"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.

Yesterday I was speaking about the quality, the habit, the ability, the gift of remembering things properly. In all these, that inner qualitative refinement is the most important factor. I speak. Many of you hear. The hearing part is almost common. No, there also there is difference. Each person may listen to it from his own insight. Maybe the ear drums fulfill their role. But the ear drums exist only for the sake of the mind. So, in the mind part, the listening maybe of an assorted nature. Some people will listen to it with a lot of attention, with a view to absorb what is said, to be identified with what is heard and to incorporate it in their life, in their system.

So far as the hearing is concerned, you can say ear has a role to play. But once it becomes a question of receiving the words, receiving and absorbing the ideas, I think the ear keeps away. Everything is done by the mind. So, the qualitative listening will depend upon the attunement the mind is able to develop. Attunement itself as I said will depend upon the extent and depth of interest you have in any subject whatsoever. Whenever I began to read spiritual literature, luckily I found that whatever I wanted to read was invariably in poetry. Poetry is the only kind of literature which you can remember.

You know in our country, when children are being taught Sanskrit, the first thing that they are taught is Amarakosam. This Amarakosam, if I remember correct, it is partly in Malayalam and partly in English also. We have got a dictionary in Sanskrit. The dictionary of all the names used in Sanskrit - it is all in poetry. And this dictionary used to be by-hearted by the students because there was no other way. They had to learn it, learn it, learn it and be impressed by it. Similarly, the entire grammar, Panini sutras, they also used to be by-hearted. This was the way. Suppose it was not poetry, I don’t think we will be able to by-heart prose to that extent. I don’t know whether anybody will be able to do it.

Poetry has got a kind of closely knit nature by virtue of which it is all governed by chandas, metre. So the metre will not allow any kind of a deflection or a replacement so easily. So every letter will bring the other letter, the second letter will bring the third letter, the third letter will bring the fourth word, like that. There are some children who come to the Ashram, maybe six years, seven years or five years even. You know, they recite quite a number of verses at such a tender age.

So what I have to tell you is that how can you learn, by-heart a particular verse? Only by reading it, reciting it, reading it, reciting it, making mistakes and then feeling “No, this is not the word.” When you start chanting a verse, it will not come to you properly. So you have to relearn it. So the extent of mind hours or mind minutes you put on a subject, can you imagine?

I would like to ask all our Brahmacharis and Brahmacharinis, "Are you spending such mind hours on a subject?" I am telling them "You learn.” But they are not learning. I was telling them that “I would teach you something like one hundred verses.” I began with fifty and at one time I went up to one hundred. Except Yogavasishta Ramayana, all the verses necessary for them to know the subject of Vedanta, right from the beginning of the theory and the end of realization, I had covered in about 100 verses. If they were to by-heart these verses, every time the verse will come to them. And by appearing in the mind in the form of memory, you get an opportunity to match your behaviour, match your thoughts, match your reaction with whatever is said there. Now this process of inner examination, inner verification, inner correction will be automatic. This is all accomplished only by the poetic rendering of the values, principles and goals of our life.

Our ‘X’ knows quite a number of verses. She knows Gita very well. If she has that kind of a memory which I also don’t have because I have not spent time in that manner, which verse belongs to which chapter etc. So, how can she say that “I don’t remember”? Whatever she wants to remember, she must spend time for it. I told you that ‘Lokesa chaitanya mayaadi deva’. That beginning word will never occur to me. So I was trying and trying and trying, now it is almost alright.

Some of the verses which I have learnt long back, suddenly sometimes I remember it. For Muktisudhakaram, I have to spend a little time. When I read the verses, the mind will connect whatever else is there somewhere. So, it takes time. I must give time to that. Invariably I remember connections while taking bath in the bathroom, maybe in the toilet also. So I think it is question of mind application. I would like you to examine and find out whether you are applying your mind to what you are learning or want to learn.

Yesterday I was speaking –

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)

What does it say? The human mind is twofold – It is pure and impure. So, this is what you have to know in Vedanta. Mind has got two kinds – one is pure, another is impure. What is pure and what is impure? Aśuddham kāma-saṅkalpam. The impurity is kama and sankalpa and shuddha is kama-vivarjitam.

You learn this verse, you remember it. And every day you match your mind with this statement made here, evaluation made here. I don’t know how much time it will take. Learning only 24 letters. To learn 24 letters, how much time will you take? Even if you take in the course of 10 days, 10 hours, I think that is the long and short of the whole sādhana. And then you start applying it. Suppose you don’t have this information, then it becomes difficult. And by rendering it in poetry, we also have the additional benefit of getting a lot of ecstasy, exhilaration, joy and delight by chanting it because it is partly music. For everything we have got Sanskrit verses. What is self-realization? What is Jeevan-mukti? When does a sādhaka completes his sādhanā? Will he become free and liberated from sādhanā also? Yes. He will become a siddha, a sādhanā-nirmuktah. All these are mentioned there. Why not we open the book, learn and keep that learning in your mind readily available? I think it is all a question of spending mind minutes, mind hours, mind days.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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