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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
I was speaking about Yajna, Dana and Tapas. These are the three items meant to bring sublimation, regulation, reformation, refinement, divinization or divinity in our life. Without yajna, dana and tapas, I don’t think human life will ever become sublime, divine. You will not be able to rejoice over your own inner personality, over your mind, its qualities, intelligence, its subtlety. I spoke something about Yajna and Dana, a little about Tapas. Today I thought I would mention to you about Tapas, particularly one form of it.
Tapas is generally a religious practice, a religious concept. But is Tapas only that? In Bhagavad Gita, you find Krishna has given a broad definition to Karma. Normally by Karma we mean only rituals and ceremonies, acts of worship. But Krishna does not distinguish between a secular activity and a religious or spiritual activity. He says all activities are equally to be considered and made divine, spiritual, religious or sublime. And this happens when the activity becomes an offer to the Supreme or it is done without any delusional clinging called sanga. In the same manner, don’t think that Tapas is always and only religious. I feel that any act of discipline and refinement will become a Tapas or Austerity. And discipline is something that we need every time. When a child is born and the child begins to walk, he will start to wash his teeth, gum, he is asked to run, then gradually write, speak etc. What is it that the mother or the elders do with the child? They are teaching the child various forms of discipline and refinement.
See, a cloth is spread under my feet. The chair is placed over it at one edge of it. How the chair is placed? Is it placed well, parallelly to the cloth or the cloth spread parallelly to the chair? And what about the angles, the right angles of the cloth? Are they parallel to the floor? Are they even parallel to the door and the wall? All these are considerations which go in setting up a place or even spreading a cloth. After wiping the feet, if the cloth is to be folded back, there are already some folds existing in the cloth, look at them and fold them in the same manner. Then it will be very compact. And place it in a symmetrical manner on the foot rest. When you do it, say when I look at the cloth and when I look the manner in which it is folded, kept, I feel so divine and sublime.
If you can incorporate discipline in this manner, when you wear a cloth, wear it very well. Look at the cloth if it has a border, the border has to be properly displayed, I don’t call it a display, it should be properly done, whether it is the upper garment or the lower garment. Suppose you wear a tilak on your forehead, the size of the tilak should be proportionate to your forehead. There are some people for, who nominally put a tilak. It is so small that nobody can see it. Well, if your purpose is to put on a tilak, at the same time make it invisible, that is also a discipline. But what I am wondering is that the purpose of putting a tilak should be understood. And do it in a nice and sublime manner. Even in wearing the cloth, depending upon you complexion, age and other factors, the color of the cloth, the stripes in the cloth etc. should be suitable to that. Let the body look better and more sattvik and let the dress also look more sattvik in your body. That should be the idea.
I think this kind of a discipline if you accept it, you will find it goes on sublimating, sublimating, sublimating your whole personality. It brings more and more refinement, refinement, attunement, attunement, and all these are nothing but divinization. We always think that the religious poojas are a separate class, group and kind. And all our secular activities are entirely different. I would like you to take away this differentiation between secular and religious. And make the whole personality of yours along with all the activities, one wholesome sublime pursuit, prevalence. The last thing in spirituality is to overcome and dispense with this differentiation, it is called Bheda Buddhi. The entire world is Godly. You, included in this world, are also Godly.
Our Vedanta finally says, you yourself are the Supreme Truth. Your identity is Brahman, Atma, God. Every thing is Godly. You are also Godly. Whatever you see is Godly. Whatever you hear is Godly, whatever you taste. So if you start thinking in this manner you will find, when you cook food in your kitchen, it will not be a secular act, it will become a divine and spiritual one.
When we take upon Sannyasa, the overriding principle is that the moment you become a Sannyasin, the whole world becomes Brahman for you. Many Sannyasins are not doing so. That is a different matter. We all belong to the Parama-Hamsa-Parivrajaka category. Hamsa is the individual Soul. That individual soul should rise itself to the level of Parama Hamsa, the Supreme one. That Supremeness is had when you overcome the differentiation between world and God, God and your soul. There should be no Bheda Buddhi or differential outlook with regard to anything and everything.
You know, after I became a Sannyasin, I have never done any worship. I have not lit a lamp in front of any God. I have no worship at all. There are some people who think that in the Ashram there should be a temple. Our Ashram is one where there is no temple at all. And I believe that it should not be. What we do here is to think about God, speak about God, interact with God every time, everywhere in all possible ways.
Unless you dispense with the differential worship, you will not be able to get to the uniform worship of God throughout the twenty four hours. I don’t know whether I speak something big or something practical. No sannyasin is supposed to hunt or look for temples and places of pilgrimage. He should simply keep quiet where he is. So it is not just discipline; it is spiritual refinement, spiritual attunement, spiritual sublimation, and spiritual wholesomeness. If you start adopting this new attitude and start behaving and interacting with the world, you will find, you will start feeling a new note of sublimity which is almost bordering inner ecstasy. Try it.
Anything that you do, do it with attention, attunement, sublimation and refinement. As I am uttering these words, I seem to be more and more getting indrawn. It is so sublime to speak in this manner. It is not discipline, it is spiritual austerity meant for refinement, attunement, sublimation. When these are had, you will find the mind changes its quality, it becomes pure. And as the mind becomes pure, as the mind becomes pure, you will find the thoughts, responses and reactions become different. They become purer, more and more sublime, more and more divine.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.