"Unflinching devotion to the Teacher is paramount in the life of a true seeker. To begin with, an external God can be the object of faith. But once the devotee grows to be a seeker, only a Wise Teacher can fulfil his quest.  It is then for the seeker to get purified and enlightened by the words of wisdom from his Guru.  Their bond and attunement put the Teacher on the pedestal of God.  Such an impeccable Guru-sishya bond alone bestows wisdom, strength and fulfillment to the seeker."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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

Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita:

मत्तः स्मृतिर्ज्ञानमपोहनं च
mattaḥ smṛtir-jñānam-apohanaṁ ca
(Bhagavad Gita 15.15)

He was explaining the Visvaroopa after he displayed it visually in Arjuna’s front. He was describing many things, showing even the impending war and how the leaders, commanders of the army were coming fast to enter into his mouth and they were sandwiched between his teeth. And he was telling Arjuna:

युध्यस्व जेतासि रणे सपत्नान्।।
yudhyasva jetāsi raṇe sapatnān ||
(Bhagavad Gita 11.34)

‘So many of your contemporaries, rivals, competitors, all of them have arrived here for fighting with you. Encounter them and be victorious in the war.’ At one point of time, he was saying, Mattaḥ smṛtir-jñānam-apohanaṁ ca, forgetfulness and memory – both are from me.

What is a memory? A memory, that is something that you remember. And what is forgetfulness? Forgetting that. Memory becomes memory only in the background of forgetfulness. It is actually another version for sukha and duhkha. Without duhkha, there is no sukha and without sukha, there is no duhkha. So, without forgetfulness, there is no memory and without memory, there is no forgetfulness. All these are co-existing.

I have written and also spoken to you about how the change of habit after taking my bath and when I exit from the bathroom. See, this switching off the geyser, today I find suddenly I failed to switch off. I thought it had already become a habit and it is well established.

We had domestic cows in my poorvashrama in our house. There was one cow named Kamalam. At one point, she was sold and somebody from Vadakkaancherry had purchased it and taken her. After two years or three years, this wonderful Kamalam comes and stands in front of our gate. It was something very surprising. Why did she come after so many years? Mattaḥ smṛtih, some smrti she must have had. That is why she came.

So, I was wondering as to why I forgot this. Today I found, I went to the bathroom after getting up, used the toilet and came back. When I used to come back, I used to switch off the light. Then I sat on my chair, mixed up some water, made it hot and took about two glasses of water. Then switching off the light in the room, I started walking. And at the end of my walking, I found when I had to go to toilet again that the light was burning in the toilet. I felt so bad. Why is it that I forgot? I think we have to constantly, I don’t know use the word ‘fight’ but fight against this forgetfulness, attention, remembering and all that.

What I want to tell our dear people is that whenever instances of this kind take place, I cogitate, I remember them, I reflect upon them, I don’t leave them. Sufficient time is spent, “Why it has happened? What can I do?” Maybe it is a matter for me to get too dejected in life even, because I want not to do it. But it happens. So, I decided, today I will not put on the light further, at least let me compensate for the usage of electricity. I leave the office, regularly I switch off the light and fan, but sometimes, if somebody calls or something happens and I get away without doing it.

My point in telling you all this is that we have to be very, very attentive and spend a lot of mind hours with whatever we want to remember and remind us. There is no short cut at all. I have written in Vicharasethu and Vicharasarani about “Can memories be replaced? Can habits be replaced?” So, I think it is a constant challenge for us in our life. These instances make us more attentive and makes life more interesting and occupying us. If these omissions and commissions are not there, life may prove to be very stale, provided you pay attention to minor details also in life, you will find life is very interesting.

Why is it that I forgot today both items? This is a subject which had occupied my mind, I was striving and striving and striving and I thought okay, it is almost established now, the new habit. Today I find suddenly I forgot. All the precautions and reminders – everything was there. But even then I forgot.

श्रद्धावाँल्लभते ज्ञानं
Śraddhāvān-labhate jñānaṁ
(Bhagavad Gita 4.39)

Only the man who is attentive and careful, he will be able to have wisdom. Whenever we speak of this kind of a cleanliness, standard, routine, etc., our Brahmachari inmates, they themselves feel often, “Why are Swamiji, Mā insisting so much upon these surface level of routines? Do we spend so much of time for all these things?” See, that object part is not significant here. Attention is of your mind, application of the mind. Unless you are conscious of the mind, how are you going to apply the mind and gain knowledge of the Self?

The bulb burning and switching off are not the subject here. I don’t do anything with the bulb nor with its glow. In the whole process, what I deal with is my own attention, response, reminder, memory, etc. So, anything is subjective when you analyze it properly. Something very, very important.

I think we should go on, go on applying our mind, applying our mind. Yesterday, a college boy telephoned me and he says, “I know that God is consciousness. The thought that He is consciousness, any thought about consciousness makes me fearful.”. Whenever I used to speak, he would not hear, he will interrupt me and say something.

Do not think that anything is unimportant. Every activity is equally important. As you will worship before an idol for about half an hour a day, the same attitude of devotion you must have in doing all your activities, considering that each one of the activities is a flower I offer to the Lord. The half an hour devotion will extend to twenty-four hours after sometime. Why don’t you think about this? Does it grow to cover all the twenty-four hours? What is that attitude? How it works? Except the hours in which your mind and intelligence are sufficiently engaged, I think you should constantly have this devotional connection with God.

The whole Earth is resting upon Him. If the whole Earth itself is resting upon Him, what about a small creature like oneself? We also depends upon Him, we are His creation. This kind of a thought and introspection will make your devotion prolonged and prolonged and prolonged.

So today I wanted to tell you about that geyser switch and also the lights. So, I was doing my exercise but thinking about why did I forget it, what is to be done. Introspection, introspection – that is very, very important. After hearing me, I would like you to give your own rating to your practice. ‘Am I conscious of this attention, attentiveness? And how much do I do it? If the total is 100%, how much percentage I have?’ This kind of an inner constant attention. I think you should give a rating and let me know about how much you have it.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

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