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

I was asking Mā what should I speak on, she was saying Guru Bhakti. I think this is a subject which all of you should of your own volition try to understand and take to in a very wholesome manner. Most of the people who come to the Ashram are those initiated by me into Brahmavidya. The others will be in the path of getting initiated. They may not know much about initiation. But they are devotees and seekers and they feel some kind of a contact and association with the knower of truth is necessary. So with that feeling they come here and in due course of time, they mature themselves into seekers and they want association with the Guru, commencing with the deeksha into what is true sadhana.

Mostly all people are devoted to God and God is all-powerful. God is there as our object of worship. Then should not our life and needs, all of them be fulfilled and met by that God? Why do we need anything else at all? Such a question should occur to everyone. Though we worship God, God is not a person or an individual with whom you can interact. ‘My dear God, I am thinking in this manner, I wonder is it right? Can you tell me whether it is so or not?’ Like that, everything in your heart and mind, whenever you want to disclose and share, you must be able to do it. But God is not available for that.

We say He is present everywhere. Something that is present everywhere, can you see it? Can you approach it? Our mind is present throughout the body. Even then, are we conversing with the mind? So there comes a stage when we feel the impersonal God we worship is not sufficient for our devotional growth and fruition. Somebody who realizes God, we are worshipping God not necessarily to become God, but to know God and live in this world as a God-realized person. So the one we want to see is a knower of truth. How is knowledge of God reflected in a human being? What all changes it works? What is the true perception? But this level of devotees will not be very large in number. One should feel the necessity for being in the company and guidance of a teacher.

Many people come here and they have so much of bhakti that they will say ‘Oh! I have so much of devotion. Swamiji is my God. So, I will not talk to him because I am afraid whether I will make mistakes. Whether Swamiji has time?’ Why should he say whether Swamiji has time? Swamiji’s time is only for the devotees. In an Ashram, in a Guru-sishya relationship, when the seeking is given a personal direction, connection in the form of a Guru-sishya relationship, deeksha and all that, I think what matters in the life of such a seeker, initiated seeker is only Guru Bhakti, only Guru Bhakti.

What is this Guru Bhakti? Regarding him as a person whom we look to for guidance, advice, inspiration, interaction, fondness, confession. There should be no secret or hidden area from the Guru. We always speak about unreserved devotion. What is meant by this unreserved devotion? A devotee who will not have any reservation about his mind in the matter of interacting with God, later on interacting with the Guru. Now, for the Guru to be interacting with you, you must also become a little fit. Interaction can be at different levels. Maybe very closely to do some personal service, maybe in assisting to do some work. There, the capacity and knowledge of the people will differ. But everybody has to serve the Guru. You must select your own area, ‘Where I can do well?’ Some people come and tell me, “Swamiji, you are always busy. Then how can we talk to you?” What do you mean by that? Do you want an idle Swamiji who will always be sitting, waiting to see devotees? What kind of a Swami would you like to have? I will be doing some work, but my primary work is to talk to people. So whenever you want, you come and tell me. But the household habits are so strong in persons that they cannot think of telling the Guru, “I have come here, Swamiji, I would like to hear a few words from you.” I think this is the most refreshing moment in a Guru’s life.

I used to work with a table on the front verandah of the old building. I can see the people coming to the Ashram, attend to them when necessary, I can also do my work. My work is speaking when there are people, or writing. Mā will sometimes come, stand there. ‘How can I talk to you? You are very busy.’ It took quite some time for me to tell her that “If you find me writing or doing anything, that is no disturbance for you. You can come and say, ‘Swamiji, I have come here. I feel you should tell me something.’” But instead of doing their part well, they will continue to doubt. “Oh! Swamiji ko kya hoga? Vo busy rahte hai.” Even now people say, “You are busy, you are busy.” You want a Vaikunta where no action is taken and everybody enjoys a holiday or you want a Vaikunta where Mahavishnu and his team are constantly concerned about the welfare of the people and what all measures have to be done, whether the measures done are effective or not? How many days will you be serving MahaVishnu? Or doing only bhajans? There will come a time now, ‘I have been worshipping, but now I am proximate to my God. So what I should do is whatever work is necessary to facilitate his life, his role.’ In all these things one must have that Guru Bhakti, Bhakti, Bhakti. Everybody will say ‘I am a Bhaktha of Ishwara’ because Ishwara doesn’t confront you. ‘You say you are my devotee but you are not available.’

I was speaking to a woman who says she is in distress. I said I shall talk. Whenever I used to talk, she will not give me an indication that she is hearing. So I told her, “Why don’t you say something? Hoon or Ji?” “Hanji”, she will say. Again I will continue to speak four-five words, four-five sentences, no response. Again, I asked like that about six times. Then I said. “I am keeping the telephone down. How can I talk to you?” This is wonderful Guru Bhakti. Guru says that “Let me know that you are listening to me.” ‘Han.’ ‘Do this. Do this.’ ‘Han.’ ‘Do this.’ ‘Han.’ Can they not say? So that Guru Bhakti must be there.

Guru Bhakti will be in one sense attending to the needs of the Guru. All people may not do it. But at least considering and giving him a good position and whatever he wants, he wishes, if he asks us to do. You know I am carrying on very well only because of one thing. I never tell our disciples in the way of anything I want. If we start saying we want this, we want that, in order to say that we should know whether they can afford to do it, whether they have the mind to do it, whether they have the Guru Bhakti to do it. If I have to judge their Guru Bhakti, they must have free interactions, expressions, their own words, demonstrations etc.

Unless I know the devotees properly, know what is in their mind, what are their capacities, what is their knowledge, how resourceful they are, are they stingy, are they liberal, how do they part with their resources, are they kind to their relatives, do they talk well, unless we know all these things, how can I take the freedom to say anything? So that Guru Bhakti means it is something very, very important. If you want to know, what is Guru Bhakti etc. more and more, I think Mā is the best person to tell you. Then whatever is further to be heard, I think Nutan Swamiji will very critically analyze and from a knowledge level, intellectual level, he will also speak about it.

In my life, if I have anything, I have only my Guru Bhakti. My Guru Bhakti which started when I first saw my Gurudev, it continues to be the same even now. Because of my Guru Bhakti, decades of sadhana were cut into years, and years were reduced to months and months were reduced into days, days were reduced into hours. What did I want? I want the realization of God. Now with the realization, what will a man be like? In the matter of his daily habits, interactional habits etc. That also I knew. So, I have become a very fully confirmed and blossomed person only because of my Guru Bhakti.

I have never sought the need to go here, go there, look here, look there etc. I told at one time, my Gurudev, “Baba, I don’t know whether I am your disciple, but you are my Guru, you are my Guru, my personal God. Whether I am your disciple, that is for you to say, feel and say”. Once I told him this. So this is what I have to tell you about Guru Bhakti.

When a person takes deeksha, after the deeksha he must have only Guru Bhakti. Every other form of Bhakti should get merged into this and then his idea or intention should be to follow what Guru directs, asking him from time to time whatever necessity is there for him, doubt is there, everything should get clarified and he should become like his Guru.

Sveeyam Saamyam Vidhatte

Guru makes the disciple, Guru. That is how all our lineages continue. One Guru, his disciples. He drops his body. Another person becomes like him. Like that, the Guru lineage is continued.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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