"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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Throughout Bhagavad Gita you will find the sadhana element of spirituality is always mind-based, mind-based. The knowledge producing intelligence is used as a tool to understand the subject and to make the mind take to this evenness.

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

Spiritual life has got it’s own definition, it’s own character, the manner in which it has to be pursued. The truth is that it is a life of wisdom. So, the emphasis will be to gain the proper wisdom and that is why we have the knowledge texts, primarily these are the Prasthana Thrayam. The Upanishads on the one hand, ageless and pre-historic, then from Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, then what Badarayana or Vyasa Deva has written in the form of reason and logic, Brahma Sutras.

Whenever you find a book, the book can only discuss and reveal knowledge. Now these three are the ground and foundation for spiritual life, pursuit, wisdom etc. Naturally it is very clear that it is a wisdom pursuit. But right from the beginning, you will find spirituality is very much inter-woven with devotion. What is devotion? Believing and having reliance on an invisible God. Trying to be fond of Him, develop a lot of humility and humility-producing practices in the name of God, revolving around God. For devotion, you need not have any wisdom as such. It is enough if you have a faith and fondness. Both faith and fondness are not of the intelligence, they are of the mind and heart. Thus, you will find in spiritual life, two parallel pursuits almost. One is the mind-heart-based devotion, another is the intelligence-based knowledge. I am sometimes wondering are they different or are they the same? So today I thought, I would speak something on this.

The knowledge pursuit also, as the subject is discussed you will find, take Bhagavad Gita which many of you know more than the other texts. In Bhagavad Gita, initially Krishna started revealing,

न त्वेवाहं जातु नासं न त्वं नेमे जनाधिपाः ।
न चैव न भविष्यामः सर्वे वयमतः परम् ।। १२ ।।
na tvevāhaṃ jātu nāsaṃ na tvaṃ neme janādhipāh ।
na caiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ sarve vayamatah paraṃ ।।
(Bhagavad Gita 2.12)

There was no time when I was not, you were not, these people were not, there will not be a time when we shall not be. We are ever, ever.

So, we are the ever present self. This is the knowledge that spirituality underscores. But just imagine, very soon Krishna comes to discuss sukha-duhkhas which are mind-born, mind sustained. These sukha-duhkhas should be looked at with a sense of equanimity and you must be able to develop samatva in your mind, He says. Just see, how from the intelligence, it has shifted to mind. And throughout Bhagavad Gita you will find the sadhana element of spirituality is always mind-based, mind-based. The knowledge producing intelligence is used as a tool to understand the subject and to make the mind take to this evenness and equalness.

In Malaysia, our kitchen is managed by two or three people. It so happened that they had some kind of a maladjustment or so, and one person said that “I will not come to the kitchen if the other comes.” And mind you, it is a spiritual place. Only sadhakas come there. They have got three days in a week programs where our texts are discussed. Many things are done. Just imagine, “I will not come, if the other party comes.” Okay, let the other party go. The other party started working on the general kitchen.

We knew about this and before coming, one day we called the insider saying that “We understand that you have some problem with ‘X’ and you have said that ‘I will not come if she comes.’ Okay. But you know it is very painful to us. Very painful to me. Mā also said, very painful to Mā. Can you not have a broad mind of welcoming people? After all, this Centre itself is for interactions and through interactions, you sublimate your emotional imbalances or disparities. She smilingly heard. And either the same day or the next day, she picked up the telephone and talked to her seeming enemy or at least a non-friend. You tell me, where is the difference now? Why is it that one was not able to accommodate the other party, got estranged to such an extent that she said that “I will not come if she comes.” And that too, a person who has accompanied us from the Ashram. Just imagine what is happening? And how is it that one day she picked up the telephone and spoke? That is at least the beginning, whether it will be followed or not we cannot say.

Now you tell me spirituality in its functional level, is it intellectual or is it mental, behavioural, interactional? When are we going to understand this? Unless you are able to open up your mind and heart and there is a breadth, a growing breadth ornamenting the mind, I don’t think spirituality will make any meaning at all.

You should give freedom for anybody to dislike you. You should take the freedom to continue to like that person. You need not speak, if they are not speaking, the other party is not speaking. But in your mind, you should have no intolerance or maladjustment.

सुहृन्मित्रार्युदासीनमध्यस्थद्वेष्यबन्धुषु ।
साधुष्वपि च पापेषु समबुद्धिर्विशिष्यते ।।
suhṛn-mitrāry-udāsīna-madhyastha-dveṣya-bandhuṣu |
sādhuṣv-api ca pāpeṣu sama-buddhir-viśiṣyate ||
 (Bhagavad Gita 6.9)

Krishna says your mind must be able to accommodate all kinds of people, suhrt, mitra, ari- enemy, udāsīna, madhyastha, dveṣi, bandhu. I think this covers all the types of people. In your mind you must have a provision for everyone. When you make voluntarily and optionally a provision in your mind, you will not have any discontent or stifling. Because you have willingly made it. “My doors are open, when you feel like coming my dear ‘X’, you may come. I understand that you don’t like me. But I don’t dislike you. So, my liking continues. I give you the freedom to dislike. But I take the freedom to like you. Whenever your dislike reduces, please come, my doors are always open.” But in the mind, you cannot wait like that. You should always host him in your mind. Keep him in your mind. Now you tell me, is it not the mind level of sublimation and sublimity? Now devotion is also this. People may not know it. That is way I emphasize it.

The Bhakta lakshanas in the twelfth chapter of Bhagavad Gita are clearly addressing the mind, addressing the mind. “Santhushto yena kenachit”. You should be delighted by anything that comes, anything that goes. There, the emphasis is only in the mind. But the idea is explained, so it becomes to that extent revealing or knowledge-based.

So, this whole sadhana is ultimately mind born. One must be able to be cheerful and delightful. Delight and cheer belong to the mind. As long as you have the mind, you should be cheerful, you should be cheerful, you should be cheerful. If there is unpleasantness in your mind, intolerance in your mind, it not merely affects the mind, I understand. It affects and the muscles in your body are stressed up. You go to a doctor, the doctor will say “You are very tense, very tense. I am able to feel it in the muscles.” What does it mean? It means something very serious. Why don’t we understand this? And make it a point that your mind will be more and more flexible, more and more flexible, more and more light, more and more light, more and more broad, broad, broad, broad, more and more subtle. Don’t allow your mind to victimize you. This simple question, can you not take up?

So don’t distinguish between devotion and spiritual wisdom path. Both are the same. Because it addresses the mind, we are mostly in the mind and much less in the intelligence. The intelligence does not produce any emotion, any dislike or anything like that. Intelligence may consider whether this is to be liked or disliked in terms of its merits and demerits. But the likes and dislikes themselves are products of the mind. What I may mean by this discussion, I mean that everyone of you should consider your mind whatever be the outer situation, your mind should not produce discontent. Is it possible? Yes. Maybe suppose it is 100%, you may be able to achieve it 0.1, may be 1. After sometime 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 1, 48, 50. But the path should be understood.

स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् ।।
sv-alpam-apy-asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt ||
(Bhagavad Gita 2.40)

Even a small degree of practice will be beneficial and effective. So please have your focus on your mind, mind, mind. And make it lighter, make it lighter, make it softer. Suddenly getting angry, why this? Learn to contain what others do and say, contain, contain, contain. Your attention should be shifted from the external cause to the internal mind where the effects are produced.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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