"Thought is the most potent and creative power in the world. It initially takes shape in an individual mind. When shared with others, any benevolent thought starts growing as a vibrant process encompassing more and more people. It is such collective benevolent thoughts that build up great cultural values and treasure in the society."

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.

मन एव मनुष्याणां कारणं बन्धमोक्षयोः ।
बन्धाय विषयासक्तं मुक्तं निर्विषयं स्मृतम् ।।
Mana eva manushyāṇām kāraṇam bandha-mokshayoḥ |
Bandhāya vishayāsaktam muktam nirvishayam smrtam ||
(Amritabindu Upanishad 2)

This is an Upanishad vakya, an Upanishadic statement.

मनो हि द्विविधं प्रोक्तं शुद्धं चाशुद्धमेव च ।
अशुद्धं कामसङ्कल्पं शुद्धं कामविवर्जितम् ॥ १ ॥
mano hi dvividham proktam suddham ca-asuddhameva ca |
asuddham kāma-sankalpam suddham kāmavivarjitam ||
(Amritabindu Upanishad 1)

Mano hi dvividham proktam. Mind is considered to be of two kinds, dvividham proktam.

Suddham ca-asuddhameva ca. Pure and impure. It is the same mind that becomes pure and also impure. In oneself, sometimes it behaves like pure, sometimes it behaves like impure. And in people in general also, some will have good mind, pure mind, others will have bad and impure mind. But everything is about the mind. It is not the body that changes the color. It does not generally change or enter into the mind level. A youthful person speaks and thinks in a youthful manner. That is also done by the mind. Mind understands that ‘The body is youthful. So I have enough strength in the bodily level. If necessary, I can give a blow or return a blow.’ It is the mind that thinks like that, not the body.

बन्धाय विषयासक्तं मुक्त्यै निर्विषयं स्मृतम्

Bandhāya vishayāsaktam. It is excessive attachment to the objects of the world. The sensory objects of the world. All the objects are perceived, experienced by the senses. And it is called sensory enjoyment. So, when the mind is too much given to the sensory objects, vishayāsaktam bandhāya, that conduces to bondage. What is that bondage? We generally say in spirituality, bondage, bondage. What does it mean? The mind goes on struggling, struggling, struggling, unable to find its need fulfilled. It is not able to be peaceful nor is it quiet nor is it contented. That is called bandhana. Getting afflicted repeatedly and variously.

Muktam nirvishayam smrtam. When the mind is free from the objects and their stranglehold, then it is said to be free.

So, the freedom and bondage are two levels of the same mind. When the mind becomes tense, it is something like water reflecting many horrible sights. Water is reflecting. When you look into the water, you don’t find the water, you only find the reflections and their effects. If all the reflections go away, the water becomes very colour-free and clear. Muktam nirvishayam smrtam.

Now how to make the mind pure? This is an important point. Mind can be acted upon only by a mind process. You can nourish the body by food and drink, nutrition. But with what will you nourish your mind? This is a point nobody takes up. We are interested in eating well, looking after the body, dressing well and walk and move about and do work well. But all this is enabled by and done by the mind, invisible mind within. Unless the mind remains healthy, even the health of the body will not be meaningful and relevant. So how to approach the mind directly and see that the impurity is removed, and purity is either restored or imbued? People normally never take up this question. They are not even mindful of the existence of the mind. They don’t want. Their sole focus is in the outside world, ceaseless interaction, ceaseless activity and the outcome of all activities is counted in terms of external acquisitions.

But the actual truth is, contentment and joy as an emotion belong to only the mind. Even when you have a car of your choice for which you are aspiring for a long time and you get your joy, you tell me, does the joy come from the car? Or joy as an experience is produced by the mind? So mind alone has got the potential and possibility to produce joy as well as sorrow. So if you want to be contended, why don’t you approach the mind directly and make it generate the emotion called joy? Live joyfully, act joyfully, interact joyfully, think joyfully. Always keeping a wry face, sulking, sulking, can we not have a relaxed mind, a light mind? It can be had. But what is the methodology? Even when you read books, it is a silent reading, the mind goes on absorbing, absorbing, absorbing. But the absorption has to result in relaxation. How can it be done?

Sri Krishna has given two instructions. One is in the battlefield as an emergent instruction to Arjuna just before the discharge of arrows. The next one is from Dwaraka when he was relaxing after having done all that he was supposed to have done. Uddhava goes to him and asks, “I understand that you are preparing to leave, go back. I cannot keep away from your lotus feet even for half a minute.”

क्षणार्धमपि केशव त्यक्तुं समुत्सहे नाथ
kṣaṇārdham-api keśava tyaktuṁ samutsahe nātha
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.6.43)

“My dear Lord, I cannot keep away from you even for half a moment. Therefore, sva-dhāma naya mām-api. Take me also along with you to wherever you go to your abode.”

That is not possible. A person can die, but can he take another man also when he dies along with him? Actually death, is it going? Death means going? Or death means making the body flat? Other than that, what do we know about death? You are speaking of death of whom? Death of the body. Then you know it is lying there. Then are you speaking about the other? The body-different entity, soul? Then have you seen it? During the many years of life on the earth, have you seen it? No. Then how dare you ask the question, where does it go? Which goes? Which, which you tell me? So when you start thinking about it, it is all a state of confusion and dis-clarity. So Sri Krishna started advising Uddhava that “I cannot take you wherever I go." Each body has to fall and the falling alone is the factuality there. There is nothing like soul going, coming and all that. It is an all-pervading presence. How can it go? How can it leave? Is it possible? Can the sky leave the world and go to another place? What is space? It is within the space that all objects are there. Can the space leave the objects? The objects may leave space. That is also not possible.

So, we should understand that the space can never be left. Nor can it ever be held. The truth you should understand here also. So, Krishna started giving him an elaborate instruction. Uddhava participated in the dialogue. He raised a number of questions here, there, everywhere. All the questions were answered. Instead of being a simple conversation, it became a full compendium so to say, consisting of 1000 verses. In that Krishna makes a statement. I would like every one of you to know it. If you ask me, if I were in your position, I will copy this and hang it in my house in as many places as possible so that my vision will strike it and I will be able to remember and reflect upon it. What is that verse? Beautiful verse!

यथा यथात्मा परिमृज्यतेऽसौ मत्पुण्यगाथाश्रवणाभिधानैः ।
तथा तथा पश्यति वस्तु सूक्ष्मं चक्षुर्यथैवाञ्जनसम्प्रयुक्तम् ।।
yathā yathātmā parimṛjyate ’sau mat-puṇya-gāthā-śravaṇābhidhānaiḥ
tathā tathā paśyati vastu sūkṣmaṁ cakṣur yathaivāñjana-samprayuktam
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.26)

What a beautiful statement! Nobody reads it. Or even if he reads, he bypasses it.

Yathā yathā ātmā, Yathā yathā asau ātmā parimṛjyate, parimṛjyate. As much the internal constituents in our body, what are they? The mind, intelligence and ego. To the extent the mind, intelligence and ego get purified, purified by what? What is the methodology? What is the means?

Mat-puṇya-gāthā-śravaṇābhidhānaiḥ. That is why we have our wonderful narrations. Srimad Bhagavata is one where the whole Mahavishnu, the samrakshak of the world, all about Him is mentioned. Finally, they start explaining the birth and exploits of Krishna. Srimad Bhagavata in the 10th skandha, the entire life including birth of Krishna, is beautifully presented. You will find the development in Krishna, the activities of Krishna, the objectives of Krishna, the different types of the merit he had, how he responds to each situation, everyone, in the war field he delivered a war message, in Dwaraka he delivers a moksha message, a liberation message. Both come from the same mouth. There to Arjuna, though he was speaking and asking him to fight, the advice given was on the soul. Here also, the same soul is exposed, but with a view to enable Uddhava to leave Krishna and Dwaraka and his own family and other things, then go to Badarikasrama. And he did it after listening to the advice. So,

yathā yathātmā parimṛjyate ’sau
mat-puṇya-gāthā-śravaṇābhidhānaiḥ

You should read, you should hear. What? Puṇya-gāthā. The holy stories, the holy narrations. Sravaṇābhidhānaiḥ. Listen to them. You may not be able to read it or read them yourself, listen to them.

Abhidhānaiḥ. Not only that. Chant the names of God without any shyness. Chant, chant, chant. When you chant, the mind gets involved. Without the mind, we cannot chant or read anything. So, to involve the mind, use the voice and use the holy narrations about God and chant the name of God. So as much, as much, as much you do this. You do what?

Mat-puṇya-gāthā-śravaṇābhidhānaiḥ. Yathā yathātmā parimṛjyate’sau. Parimṛjyate’sau.

To the extent you are able to purify your mind and intelligence by listening to the divine stories of exploits and excellences, then again, by chanting, reciting the names of God, to the extent you are purified, to that extent what happens? Wah! Wonderful!

Tathā tathā paśyati vastu sūkṣmaṁ

Then to same degree, you will find you are able to perceive the subtlest truth. What is the subtlest truth? Everything outside is gross because it is perceptible to the senses. Whatever the senses cannot see and access, that is subtle, S-U-B-T-L-E. So, whatever is outside including our body is gross and whatever is within the body, it is subtle. And in that, the most subtle presence is called the soul. It is the essence of the mind, essence of thought, essence of reasoning, essence of intelligence and essence of ego. That is called the soul. It is the wateriness in water. It is the milkness in milk. It is the heat and brilliance in the fire. Tathā tathā paśyati vastu sūkṣmaṁ.

Cakṣur yathaivāñjana-samprayuktam.

When there is a defect for the eye, the defect is removed by wearing a glass. Then you are able to see well. So efficaciously and surely, your antaranga, the internal instrument will get purified by these holy associations and expressions. And by purification, it will be able to perceive the soul in your own body. Are you able to link devotion with wisdom now?

Listening to divine stories is a devotional exercise. Chanting the name of God is a devotional, devotional Sadhana. Why are we doing it? To purify our mind. To purify and sharpen our intelligence so much so that both of them together will be able to show you, make you feel “Yes, there is a presence in my body. What I call the soul, I am able to find out.”

What is the soul? Aham-pratyaya-gocharah. Whatever you denote by the term ‘I’, that is the soul. You always say ‘I’. Now you will be able to know what it is referring to. That inmost presence. What a beautiful verse is this!

यथा यथात्मा परिमृज्यतेऽसौ मत्पुण्यगाथाश्रवणाभिधानैः ।
तथा तथा पश्यति वस्तु सूक्ष्मं चक्षुर्यथैवाञ्जनसम्प्रयुक्तम् ।।
yathā yathātmā parimṛjyate ’sau
mat-puṇya-gāthā-śravaṇābhidhānaiḥ
tathā tathā paśyati vastu sūkṣmaṁ
cakṣur yathaivāñjana-samprayuktam

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

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