"It is not what you do that matters, but how you do it – with what attitude and aim. The spiritual effect that a seemingly spiritual activity brings, can also be had by the domestic pursuit, provided you preserve a spiritual attitude and dedication."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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I take materials in my hands, chant mantras, offer them to the fire or offer them in front of an idol. It is an external interaction. But what you want to touch up and improve is your mind and intelligence. How can an external act improve your mind? It can at best be a proxy. The proxy will work only when the mind is employed there. Suppose in the performance of a puja, how much is the mind getting involved? That will determine the salutary or sublime effect of the puja.

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru. 

Last night in the discussions we had, I was emphasizing how spirituality and spiritual life verily becomes a co-ordinate of the mind. The role of intelligence is to help it, first of all, to understand the spiritual life and pursuit and then impart it to the mind as a regular discipline, reformation and refinement. Though I have said this many times, I have my doubt whether all of you really get to it because we have a composite personality.

In this composite personality, what is visible is our gross body with ten sensory organs fixed to it. When we look at each other and interact with each other, the whole process is taking place in the sensory, bodily, gross level. But the fact remains that this gross external personality or body is inert and it cannot do anything! It has to be animated and activated by the mind and the intelligence. Both the mind and intelligence are completely different in their material content, powers, potential. The body is consisting of matter and energy, both of them inert. The inert body cannot do anything. So, it has to be employed, animated, activated by factors or elements which are different from matter and energy, and that is what our mind and intelligence are. So, the real personality though we have a body, and the body is the one that is born, the real personality is not the body personality. It is the mento-intellectual inner one. When will every one understand this and be true to the understanding?

So, whatever gain, whatever improvement, whatever kind of reformation, refinement, attunement, harmony, purity, anything that you want to bring about, it has to be brought about by the mind in the mind level. And the mind and the intelligence will get involved only when you take up the thought process and the reflectional process. That is why Krishna, right from the beginning, introduces the subject of life. He says, life is a constant interaction between the senses on our body and the objects surrounding them in the world. This is a very great understanding that life is interactional and the interactions generally are transpiring in the level of the senses.

But the senses by themselves cannot act. They have to be employed by the mind. They are inert. And these interactions while they go on in the sensory level, the experiences resulting from the interactions are felt by the mind. So, the whole interaction actually takes place inwardly in the sphere of the mind. I want to see. Therefore, I open my eyelids and turn in the direction the mind wants. Then vision follows. Even the vision, it does not take place one millimeter away from the cornea. It does not take place even in the cornea level. The cornea is only an instrument that helps vision. And in the mind level alone, the imprint of the object is formed and that too by the mind and we feel that imprint. Now you tell me, is the experience at the bodily level, sensory level or it is in the mind level? This understanding is very, very vital in spirituality.

Then, He says because sensory interactions constantly produce pleasantness and unpleasantness in the mind level, what is to be done? They are inevitable consequences. Learn to forebear them, learn to accept them. Be in harmony with them. Do not struggle the least, either to get this pleasantness or to get rid of unpleasantness. Like day and night, light and darkness, these two also are inevitably alternative in life. Now this is an understanding. This understanding takes place in the intelligence level. The effect of the understanding is to be displayed by the mind. What is that? Do not crave for pleasantness and do not resent unpleasantness because these will alternate in our interactional life.

Now you tell me - what is spiritual life? Spiritual life is completely applicable to the mento-intellectual part of our personality. Now, if this has to take place, you cannot accomplish it by any ritual at all. The rituals are done primarily at the sensory level using inert materials, burning them in the inert fire, offering water, chanting mantras etc. All are physical exercises. But the reformation you want to achieve is in the mind, inner personality! So, when are you going to have that vyavasāyātmikā buddhih (Bhagavad Gita 2.41) - that resolute nature of your intelligence which is the sole cause of spiritual life, pursuit and fulfillment?

Just see how He relates that ‘vyavasāyātmikā buddhih’ to

mātrā-sparśās-tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ |
āgamāpāyino’nityās-tāṁs-titikṣasva bhārata || 2.14 ||
yaṃ hi na vyathayanty-ete puruṣaṃ puruṣarṣabha |
sama-duḥkha-sukhaṃ dhīraṃ so'mṛtatvāya kalpate || 2.15 ||

So the man wanting to have the freedom, abundance and fulfillment of the soul, all these are inner becoming, inner outcome. This inner outcome cannot be had by your dabbling with the external rituals and ceremonies. External rituals and ceremonies are external! I take materials in my hands, chant mantras, offer them to the fire or offer them in front of an idol. It is an external interaction. But what you want to touch up and improve is your mind and intelligence. How can an external act improve your mind? It can at best be a proxy. The proxy will work only when the mind is employed there. Suppose in the performance of a puja, how much is the mind getting involved? That will determine the salutary or sublime effect of the puja.

So, I think this is a point which all of you should spend enough time to think about and understand. Vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ samādhau na vidhīyate (Bhagavad Gita 2.44). Inside your body, that spiritual resoluteness of intelligence will never arise by a process of involvement in rituals, however sublime, Vedic and sanctifying they are supposed to be. It is a wonderful statement, my dear souls. Yesterday I was a little weak but I would like you to think about it and if necessary I will continue the discussion in the same manner about the same subject for the evening satsang.

See, what we want is at the mind level, intelligence level and what we are doing is in the sensory and external level. One is in the sphere of the inert matter and energy; another is in the sphere of sentient mind and intelligence. Instead of going to the mountain, you are walking to the sea. Instead of reaching a destination in the east, you are walking very fast towards the west. So opposite these are! It is something very wonderful, striking, revealing and shocking, but it is a fact.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru. 

 

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