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Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

‘Z’ was telling me that whatever discussion I had during the satsang last night, she says the recording would not have been clear. She was asking me whether I could speak on it again.

See, I was trying to tell them in a very personal and touching manner that in my case, my sādhana has been practically very nourishing, effortless and light primarily because my sādhana has been a poetic sādhana. What is meant by poetic sādhana? Everything I have learnt about spirituality is 99.9% poetry. A few statements maybe in the form of aphorisms or aphoristic statements.

Sā kasmaichit parama-prema-rūpā
अथातो ब्रह्मजिज्ञासा
Athāto brahma-jijñāsa

Like that some sentences are there in prose. Otherwise it is all in poetry. I have told many times our listeners that śloka is by itself removing śoka, grief. So anything poetry has got a delightful effect. When you sing poetry, it is 50% music and music by its very nature is very delightful and sweet. In the case of poetry, it is sweeter than even music because poetry is more intelligence based than mind and emotion based. The delight that comes from the intelligence is always deeper, loftier and finer.

Everything that I want in my life as part of my sādhana or otherwise, embellishment, enrichment, I have found it in poetry. Whenever I read or come to see a poetry, when there is a value or a message in it, then only I listen to it, I attend to it and I learn it invariably. Once the poetry is learnt, it becomes part of your memory and knowledge because the poetic messages are in the form of knowledge, value, ideal, discipline, refinement and the like.

Learning of poetry is not just learning, keeping it somewhere in a box in the brain. According to me learning is assimilating the message and making it part of your life. Any poetry will be expressing ideas. Ideas are relevant to the mind. So the mind when it absorbs an idea then the mind becomes enriched by that idea and the idea becomes part of the mind. Apart from making ideas part of the functional mind I don’t know what is meant by sādhana.

All people are reporting that sādhana becomes difficult because we don’t remember, we don’t remember. A poetry when learnt, you cannot but remember. You must have seen that wherever I speak, whenever I speak, I always look for poetry and on the basis of poetry I speak. Discrimination is in poetry, wisdom is in poetry, dispassion is in poetry, all the qualities the mind needs are in poetry, the ideal is in poetry, corrections are in poetry, sublimations are in poetry. So when these verses are committed to memory, they come to you irresistibly whenever something is required.

I was doing intense sādhana in Calcutta before taking up sannyāsa and moving towards sannyāsa more intensely and fast every time. So the mind always felt a gap. I had a lot of meditation, meditative absorption with a lot of absorption, with a lot of vibration, pleasant vibration, everything was there but I was looking for that self-knowledge, self-realization. In the course of my reading about the subject, I found the self is not to be got, it is not to be had, it is not to be reached, you are already the self. Then what will you do? It is like trying to walk to reach the destination which is the destination right under your feet. So it comes to you in the form of a comprehension or an apprehension that” I am the self”.

If “I am the self” is the realization and that is going to be the pinnacle of this search, why this realization is not coming? But meditative absorption and delightful delving into oneself, it was there in ample measure. But that was not sufficient. It was only a state. When I woke up, the state would be broken. So what is that wonderful thing called knowledge? What is that knowledge? In this way there was a lot of heated enquiry. There was a great sense of waste, loss, repentance and what not!

So that was the time I happened to read,

देहाभिमाने गळिते विज्ञाते परमात्मनि ।
यत्र यत्र मनो याति तत्र तत्र समाधयः ।।
Dehābhimane galite vijñāte paramātmani
Yatra yatra mano yāti tatra tatra samādhayaḥ
(DrgDrsyaViveka 30)

I think this is from DrgDrsyaViveka.

Dehābhimane galite, when the deha abhimāna, body consciousness, it falls, vijñāte paramātmani, when the paramātma is sufficiently known, yatra yatra mano yāti, wherever the mind goes, tatra tatra samādhayaḥ, there ever it is samādhi.

So samādhi is not something to be had merely by sitting and meditating. Wherever the mind goes it should be samādhi. What is that wonderful situation or position where mind, whatever it goes to or thinks about, it will still be samādhi? So is the samādhi so mobile and so consistent, so incessant, so unbreakable? What is that? Again it points to some kind of a knowledge.

Then, I used to read

वासनाक्षयविज्ञानमनोनाशा महामते ।
समकालं चिराभ्यस्ता भवन्ति फलदा मुने ।।
vāsanākṣayavijñānamanonāśā mahāmate |
samakālam cirābhyastā bhavanti phaladā mune ||17||
(Yogavasishta Ramayanam, Upasama Prakaranam - 5.92.17)

Three items are mentioned in Yogavasishta Ramayana, Vasishta’s words. Vāsanākṣaya, attenuation or extinction of desires, vijñāna, sufficient knowledge about the self, manonāśā, the extinction of the mind, these three when practiced for long become fruitful and a man becomes a jīvanmukta.

Everywhere I found jñana, ātmajñana is emphasized. But here is a verse where Vasishta says, vāsanākṣaya. The first word used is, the first phrase used is vāsanākṣaya. It is the extinction of desires. But we are not to attempt to know the self. What is knowing the self? The mind and intelligence are involved in knowing. But if the mind and intelligence are encircled by desires how will it know the self? Because in the knowing process itself this encirclement will constrict. So we must get rid of the desires.

And what are the desires? Putraishana, vittaishana, lokaishana. Everywhere in Vedanta, the first statement made is eshanātrayam will have to be eschewed or overcome. Putraishana - The desire for progeny. Vittaishana - The desire for wealth, lokaishana - The desire for recognition in the world. These three are the hindrances, enemies to the self-realization process. So these are to be set right.

नायमात्मा प्रवचनेन लभ्यो
Nāymātmā pravachanena labhyo

Nāymātmā pravachanena labhyah, this ātma cannot be attained by pravachana. So it is no use trying to become an eloquent speaker on the self. See, when I read all these things…

ज्ञानप्रसादेन विशुद्धसत्त्वः
Jñānaprasādena viśuddhasattvaḥ
(Mundakopanishad 3.1.8)

Jñānaprasādena viśuddhasattvaḥ, a person has to become a viśuddhasattva, purified being, jñānaprasādena, by the favour or blessing of wisdom. So the knowledge must result in purity. So whatever I read does it bring purity? How will the knowledge bring purity?

Finally, I remember when I was walking almost restlessly perhaps in Jñānashram I got this verse from Yogavasishta Ramayana.

नैष्कर्म्येण न तस्यार्थो न तस्यार्थोऽस्ति कर्मभिः ।
न समाधिजपाभ्यां वा यस्य निर्वासनं मनः ।।
naiṣkarmyeṇa na tasyārtho na tasyārtho'sti karmabhiḥ |
na samādhi-japābhyām vā yasya nirvāsanam manaḥ ||27||
(Laghu Yogavasishtha 4.5.28)

My dear children, I don’t know whether you follow me and you are with me. Naiṣkarmyeṇa na tasyārtho, that person has nothing to get from naiṣkarmyeṇa siddhi which is extolled by spirituality, a feeling that I have to do nothing and not doing anything either to get or to get out.

Na tasyārtho'sti karmabhiḥ, even by any kind of a noble extolled actions also he has no purpose. Na samādhi-japābhyām vā, not by samādhi, not by japa. So he has no purpose from naiṣkarmya, karma, samādhi and japa. When, yasya nirvāsanam manaḥ, when his mind becomes totally nirvāsana, devoid of desires.

So this samādhi is of no consequence, meditation is not the final or finale. Then what is it? Not even the so called purity. Then what? Yasya nirvāsanam manaḥ, the mind must have no desire at all. So the desire-freeness of the mind will clinch the issue and not anything else. Now examine the mind and find out whether there is any desire. How will you do? For me it was not a problem.

naiṣkarmyeṇa na tasyārtho na tasyārtho'sti karmabhiḥ |
na samādhi-japābhyām vā yasya nirvāsanam manaḥ ||

I never struggled with my desires. First of all I did not have many. Maybe the desire for self-realization, something like that would have been there. But even that, I did not struggle, my dear children, please understand this. Instead of struggling what I used to do was, this poetry will come to my mind.

naiṣkarmyeṇa na tasyārtho na tasyārtho'sti karmabhiḥ |
na samādhi-japābhyām vā yasya nirvāsanam manaḥ ||

The mind instead of struggling, the mind was impressed, embossed by this message and that embossing was done automatically by remembering these lines, poetic lines. Because they were poetic, there was a joy in remembering. The remembrance also will be poetic. So my sādhana you can say was poetic. My sādhana has always been poetic, even now.

Many years back I happened to read, I have heard in my school days.

Kāvyeṣu nātakam ramyam tatra śākuntalam mahat
Tatra chāpi chaturtvanga tatra śloka chatuśtayam

Amongst kāvyās, nātaka is more beautiful, delicious. And amongst nātakās, dramas, Shākuntala is the best. And in Shākuntala, the fourth anga and four ślokas. I had heard it but where was the book to see? So at one point of time I got a book here. In my young days there was no question of getting any book. Even text books were becoming a very rare commodity. Purchasing books required money. Our father did not have so much of money for that.

So I looked into it and then I found Kanva Maharshi was giving a message to Shakuntala. From the ascetic austere environment she was being sent to the luxurious royal platform. So he was giving a message. In that message

भूयिष्ठं भव दक्षिणा परिजने
Bhūyiṣtam bhava dakṣiṇāparijane
(Abhijñata Shākuntalam, 4th bhagam, Verse 98)

Be kind hearted and merciful to the people who are around you, who serve you. My dear children, ever since I read this I have been very, very, considerate to our servants. I quote this, I expect Mā and Nutan Swamiji to understand it but I don’t know whether they remember it as much as I do. Bhūyiṣtam, adequately, abundantly, bhava dakṣiṇā, be merciful, parijane, the people who look after you and around you. In that, all of you are included. Everybody is included.

So that one sentence, if at all I was lacking or anytime the mind became a little stern, these four words will not allow me to become stern. I am so inseparable from the lines. Bhūyiṣtam bhava dakṣiṇāparijane. Four words, it is in the form of poetry.

So my dear children, in the whole of my life I have never struggled for sādhana. My sādhana has been very sweet and delicious, though sometimes exacting, forceful, very crucial, but it is nevertheless very sweet also because it was poetic. And from poetry I get everything! So I would like you to learn these poems, learn them by heart, keep them as an inner treasure, make them an associate of your mind, live in their company, cherish them, be nourished by them.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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