“The paths leading man to god or Truth are said to be many. I will speak only of the shortest. It is to recognize God as the Self in you and then to find Him out. What is the distance then between you and God, between you and yourself? Ah, there is no distance at all, a full Zero! Yet, how dare you say to find God and Truth is hard?’’ 

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio

Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

Krishna makes apt comparisons and contrasts there. At one point he says that “Many people have attained to my state by dealing with rāga, dvesha and bhaya. Raga means desire. Dvesha means hatred, anger or resentment, intolerance. Bhaya means fear. These are the primary ingredients of any mind. Now to deal with them, one has to take recourse to ‘jñāna tapas’ - austerity which is in the nature of knowledge. This word ‘jñāna tapas’ is something that I would like all of you to know about.

We can have sensory and bodily tapas. We can have oral tapas. We can have mental tapas. We can also have knowledge tapas. Why don’t you think about what are these and what is the difference between every two of them?

Bodily tapas is anything, any religious exercise, discipline or routine you do with your body or senses. Look at the picture, go to the temple, circumambulate, do pradakshinā there, prostrate before the idol, take some prasāda, put it on your forehead, take religious bath either in the temple or in your bathroom. Whatever you do with the body, again fasting, if not full fasting, fasting with phala-āhāra, fruits, take only milk, payo-vrata, is a milk alone food, any kind of these things comes under physical and bodily austerity.

What is oral austerity? Where you start using the tongue and start chanting. A very common thing is reading Ramayana, reading Bhagvat Gita, reading Srimad Bhagavatam. That reading means it is done by the tongue using the sound.

These two are external and visible, the third will be mental. What is mental? Chanting the name of God, chanting a mantra, remembering, remembering, remembering, remembering God.

What is knowledge then? That belongs to the intelligence where you start finding out what is wrong, what is right. Try to remove the wrong, try to incorporate the right. This inner exercise goes on known to oneself. Here, the jñāna tapas consists in dealing with rāga, dvesha, bhaya and removing them. “Many people have adopted this and have become like me” He says. “But people are not interested in this. They are given to many other ways. I don’t say no to anybody. I always welcome them and I reciprocate in the same manner in which they are approaching me. That is why differences are there.” He says. Now, I want you to understand this and then apply it your inter-personal behavior, whether it is in the ashram between devotees, friends and seekers or in our centers.

Whenever you get angry or intolerant with another, the cause may be anything, you may be very right, but the question is, he is also a man, a person, you are also a person and both of you are associated with the center or with the ashram or as disciples. So, there is a relationship. That relationship should be cemented at every point of time.

So, your attitude should be, whenever you feel intolerant, that intolerance can be either due to he being wrong and you being right, he being harsh and you being soft. Whenever it is so, please understand that from your point of view it is not good. This raga, dvesha and bhaya are very personal. Do you have a desire? - No.

Do you have the opposite, hatred? Then it is wrong. It may be due to anything.

And fear - That is also wrong.

So, you know it first and last, whether the emotion is welcome or not. If it is not welcome, should you not deal with it? Anytime you become angry or intolerant, you should be the first person to feel guilty and to have to deal with it. Once you start taking this attitude; “Arey! Whatever may be the cause and provocation, why am I getting angry? I cannot hate him even in my dream. Because to hate somebody means to breed hatred in me. I cannot hate except in relation to a man”. Hatred, love and also fear, all these imply at least two, if not more. But the hatred belongs to you, the desire belongs to you, the fear belongs to you. Now, would you like to be a victim as a spiritual seeker and sādhaka? Certainly not!

So, I think the one way of looking at them is, “It is after all my being victimized. That is not right. That is not right”. This admission should be there. Suppose you are jealous of another. This jealousy means what? A kind of a pride and the pride gets hit. I somehow become a little less before the other or he becomes a little more before me. We can only be more or less. Suppose you try to be more than everybody, there will at least be a one person before whom you will be less.

शास्त्रे वादिभयं
śāstre vādi-bhayaṁ

(Vairāgyaśatakam 31)

There have been very great scholars in our country and they were so proud, and the proud scholars have been defeated by somebody. In Kerala, a Tamil scholar came and defeated all the Kerala scholars. The Kerala Brahmins got so affected that they picked up a pregnant woman and started Veda mantras and the others, giving her medicated ghee, medicated not, spiritualized ghee and a son was born, a boy, and that boy started showing, he was precocious. He was noted for his early development. And this boy was taught specially and by the time he grew up, 10 or 12 or even still lesser, this same pundit was called for a debate and that man was totally defeated by silly questions and silly statements, very minor, though not silly, and he went away saying:

Anaradhya kaaleem anaswadya gaulim
vina mantra haktim vina tanra shauryam
prapancha prasidham pravaktum
matanya kavi kyim …..

Something like that. I am not able to remember it well. I have to strain my brain.

He said, “Without worshipping Goddess Kali and without giving him spiritualized and incantational ghee, I have made a very great grantha. Who else than I will be able to make such a grantha?”. Thus saying he went away.

“So here is a boy who was specially made by virtue of mantras, tantras, ghee and what not! So in my case, nothing has happened. So I am still great.” Consoling himself he went away.

So if you feel proud that the other man has hit you, then you will feel nobody can be a great scholar to such an extent that there will be nobody greater. Let us not think like that. So, what is required is a sense of accommodation and welcome. Maybe if you try to become moderate and welcoming and nice and soft, in that you may stand first, many people will fail in that.

So why don’t you reassess your position and every time there is a disturbance in your mind, getting angry with another, showing displeasure of one kind or another, being irritated, this is not right at all! Can anyone say irritation is good, anger is good or anything like that? It is not possible. So, I think this is the way you should think about it and positively:

वीतरागभयक्रोधा मन्मया मामुपाश्रिता: ।
बहवो ज्ञानतपसा पूता मद्भावमागता: ।।
Vīta rāga bhayakrodhā manmayā māmupāśritā
bahavo jnānatapasā pūtā madbhāvamāgatā ।।

(Bhagavad Gita 4.10)

Krishna has clearly said that worship of the Lord should be to purify the mind. Purification of the mind means sublimating rāga, dvesha and bhaya. Let these three words alone be with you, never think of another word. Rāga, dvesha, bhaya, rāga, dvesha, bhaya, rāga, dvesha, bhaya, rāga, dvesha, bhaya.

Once you get focused on this formula, on this path, I think every day like pouring water into a tub, with every drop, the level of water will increase. Similarly, the level of sublimity and purity will increase in your mind and proportionately you will feel peaceful, joyous, free and harmonious. What a wonderful position is this! Recognize something called jñāna tapas and devote yourself to that as much as you can. This involves no money, no expenditure, no special time. It is a practice concurrent with your daily activity whatever it may be.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

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