"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. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

Yesterday I was speaking about discipline and also austerity. I don’t know whether you have reflected upon what was said and disclosed. Human life is distinct from the rest of the life forms upon the earth. All the others have got a certain habit, a certain way of life and they are not supposed to improve it or change it in any way. The cat behaves in a cat-ly manner, the snakes behave in a snake-ly manner, the apes behave in an ape-ly manner. Many of the animals are not associated with us. In the domestic animals, we bring about some changes sometimes. They don’t themselves change. The cow behaves in a cow-ly manner.

In the case of human beings, right from the beginning, we are expected to be changing and improving and there is a lot of scope also. Our improvement is not in the physical make-up or characteristics of our personality. Our eyes, nose, ears, hands, feet, all of them will naturally grow in their own shapes and sizes. The change, if at all, is not even in the tone of your voice, but in the content of your voice. In the same manner, in the content of your mind and intelligence. This change can be brought about only by a process of discipline.

What is meant by discipline? Administering whatever is necessary and desirable and eliminating whatever is undesirable. Suppose you are given to rough speech, avoid it and be given to soft speech. So eliminating the roughness and instilling the softness. This is called discipline. In fact, this is also austerity. When any form of discipline is taken to its depth and you are able to feel that the discipline comes from the mind and because it is coming from the mind, it has got an effect on the mind, its behavior and character, then it becomes austerity. Mind is not actually matter nor is it energy. Because it is different from matter and energy, we call it divine, not material and energial. Anything when you take to the mind, it becomes very, very austere and sublime. There is a verse which the Upanishads sings,

एषोऽणुरात्मा चेतसा वेदितव्यो यस्मिन्प्राणः पञ्चधा संविवेश ।
प्राणैश्चित्तं सर्वमोतं प्रजानां यस्मिन्विशुद्धे विभवत्येष आत्मा
Esho'ṇurātmāchetasā veditavyo yasmin-prāṇaḥ panchadhā samviveśa |
prāṇaiśchittham sarvamotam prajānām yasminviśuddhe vibhavatyesha ātmā ||

एषोऽणुरात्मा चेतसा वेदितव्यो - this extremely subtle, atomic Soul is to be comprehended and realized by the mind.

But the mind is coupled with पञ्चधा प्राणः संविवेश - because it is coupled with the pranas, the pranas start pulling them and pushing them in different directions. This entanglement with the prana should be released and the mind should become pure.

When the mind becomes pure, यस्मिन्विशुद्धे विभवत्येष आत्मा - then the soul becomes revealed, it starts shining.

So the distance to the Self is very very short, small and negligible. What we need is the purity and sublimity of the mind. This cannot be brought about except by discipline and austerity. The best of discipline you have when you treat the mind with spiritual and philosophical thoughts. If you read a spiritual book and in that reading, you can put your attention, identity and wholesomeness, I think that is the best discipline that you can think of. As a result ,of this discipline which is also austere, the mind sheds its impurity and grows more and more purity. If you listen to a spiritual narration, discussion with attention, attunement and identity, you will find the mind grows pure and sheds impurity.

In a way it is very simple and easy to access, very simple and easy to access. There are so many verses being sung and Mā should be singing a number of verses for you. The mere listening to these verses, that itself will make you imbibe purity and the mind will start shedding impurity. It all depends upon the disciplined listening. The listening should be disciplined. What does it mean? Don’t move your body unnecessarily; sit in a place comfortably; pay your attention to what is recited; try to feel it apart from hearing. Hearing is done by the ears; feeling is done by the mind; if you can preferably understand with the message, then that is done in the intelligence. So the ear is involved, the mind is involved, the intelligence also is involved. If there is thus a threefold involvement in listening, I think that becomes a full-fledged austerity. This disciplined listening will make you absorbed, absorbed, absorbed. As a listener, you will not be considering that it is a sensory, intellectual process. No. It is something more than that, different from it.

I was reciting though a little fast more than a chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam from the last message of Krishna to Uddhava. You know when I recite them and my body is fervent, my voice also is alright, I find nectar and elixir in the recitation. If I simply peruse through it, I will not get it. When I recite it and my own ears listen to it and it produces the disciplined wholesome sublimity, then instantly arises ecstasy, exhilaration. There is a great attunement that follows. This attunement when properly enhanced, will become identity and oneness.

Discipline means you are watchful about your body and senses; watchful about your mind, watchful about your intelligence. This watchfulness comes from the mind. So if you are disciplined, understand that the mind is instantly involved and it is sublimating to the mind. Then you should further have the enrichment and empowerment from the wisdom, from the intelligence. That is why you should read spiritually exposural books, primarily the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Prakarana Grandhas, read them, read them, read them. To have a determination and to read with regularity, that requires discipline. You have to discipline your mind, discipline your day, discipline your habit, discipline the choice also.

In this process of discipline, the senses have a part, the mind has a part, the intelligence have a part, the ego also. Unless all these things are doing what you want them to do, this will not be possible. So it is all a process of discipline my dear souls. But people generally understand discipline to be a a mechanical, physical and sensory process. No, no, it is not so. True discipline trickles into the mind, equally to the intelligence and ego and brings about such a beautiful attunement, refinement, sublimation, and enrichment that you will be wonderstruck at the way in which all these takes place. And it all starts from administering a note of discipline to everything that you do, everything that you do, that you speak, that you think, that you understand.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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