"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.      

This year’s Gurupoornima and the associate retreat have come to pass. We had a feedback session day before yesterday and also yesterday. Everybody had good words to speak about in the form of the effect the retreat produced in them. And all the participants equally agreed that the truthful introspection session was very effective. This means that when they sit and think about their own inner personality namely the mind and the intelligence to find out what they lack and what they should have, in other words when they do a self-examination or evaluation, it has got very good effect. I am happy that this introspectional session has made them thoughtful and self-evaluative.

What I am wondering and I am amused by is the fact that, does it require so much time, so many years and time length for people to understand that they have to do introspection and evaluate their character, behaviour and interaction? Our body completes its growth at the age of 21 maximum. If the body does not grow, thereafter it only declines, the question arises as to what part of the personality of ours will grow. The answer is very simple. It is only the mind and the intelligence that will have to grow.

The mind thrives on emotions and it generates various attitudes and ambitions. It is for the intelligence to think reasonably and rationally and find out whether the minds habits, ways and impetuses are correct or not. So there must be a close co-operation between the intelligence and the mind. Is it so very difficult for you to know that this mutuality between the intelligence and the mind is something that you should always strive for, preserve and further? Why is it that it takes so much time to do so?

Right from the beginning, you should develop the habit of thinking. People do think of their professional needs, professional competence etc. Don’t think that they are not thinkers. Many beautiful thinkers are there. But where? People don’t think about themselves and verify whether the behaviour of the mind, response of the mind, emotions of the mind are good, welcome and elevating. Who does not know in this world that hatred is bad, getting angry is bad, rigidity is bad? Apparently every body knows, but that knowledge is not an effective tool in changing their behaviour, character and interaction. That is where we fail.

When all of you have given a beautiful feedback, I am still afraid whether the feedback will be dropped in the Ashram and all of you will go away as you came back. That introspection time that you have spent here, that should have a lasting effect on all of you. This will be possible only when you are given to the same truthful introspection every day, to begin with at least for half an hour. But it cannot stop with half an hour’s introspection. The introspection should become a habit of yours.

Yesterday I was mentioning that I would like to say something about the inmates of the Ashram. I don’t know whether Mā would like it. I think my words were wrong or they are likely to be misunderstood. I was only referring to two points about our inmates. One point is complimentary and appreciative. There, neither Mā nor anybody else will have anything to say. But the second part of criticism which I did not fully make, that is where I was afraid whether my remarks would be properly taken by everybody or not.

All these Brahmacharis and Brahmacharinis have come here with a specific resignation to improve inwardly. They have come here to make the mind golden, to enrich the mind every day. This enrichment does not depend upon any external factor. If your mind gets affected by any factor whatsoever, either it may be persons, places or circumstances or events, that affectation is yours and as a seeker of truth, you have to be focused on removing it.

You know the Ashram activities have grown. Whatever management tasks Nutan Swamiji and Mā were doing personally themselves, they are not able to do it, all of them. So these jobs have been taken up and entrusted to different inmates here. Now these inmates should develop the quality of being able to replace, say whatever Mā was doing, Nutan Swamiji was doing, particularly managing the kitchen, managing the guest accommodation, arranging facilities for them, all these will have to be taken up by them. In taking it up, I often find that that feeling of responsibility, the sensibility to bring about corrections, improvements etc. are not sufficient. I cannot say that it is not there. So I am getting very much hurt that even after having come to the Ashram, spent years here, they are not able to rise above some of the petty feelings and emotions of the mind. It all revolves around interpersonal relationship.

I do agree that this ‘enriching the mind’ maybe a difficult process. But I want you to go away from the Ashram with the feeling that it is not difficult because if it is not enriched, what you have is grief, trouble, disappointment, lack of interest and what not! Would you like to have such a depressing mind or would you like to have a cheerful mind?

So the question before everyone here is that ‘My mind is my mind and I must make it cheerful.’ In the being cheerful and for that reason, enriching, empowering, purifying the mind, I think our inmates will have to be far more focused and ready. It is easy to say that everybody is alright but I find they have to be much more ready. I am asking them the same question. “Why don’t you be cheerful? You may quarrel if you like, speak hot, I don’t mind, but let your mind be properly expressed and be cheerful.” So this is the one point I was a little apprehensive about because I am making an evaluation about the people here. Being given to truthful introspection myself, I am not able to avoid this remark. So I think the problem is common for all.

I would like all of you to go back from here with a clear analysis of your own inner personality and understanding that our mind has got sufficient capacity and potential to sublimate all kinds of agitation and other factors from the world. Sadhana means this enrichment of the mind, purification of the mind, expanding the mind, elevating the mind. Once you are conscious of this need, everyday is a golden opportunity for it. I don’t know why you postpone it or avoid it because by doing these two, your mind is going to be a whirlpool of misery which nobody likes.

So spirituality is a very beautiful path. I had a letter form America from a close devotee of mine who wrote saying that “Swamiji, your path is a very difficult.” Where is the option? Okay be miserable. If you want to avoid misery, this is the only way and where is the question of any difficulty? So I became in a way, though I am using these words, ‘desperate’. At a point I said I am deceived. Why? Because I look at all of you as very good disciples, devotees and seekers and when the nick of the moment comes, you come up with remark saying that “Swamiji, this path of self correction is difficult, it is not possible for us to implement.” Naturally you are coming to me as a disciple after listening to me and understanding me to some extent, having taken deeksha etc. When you say that the path is difficult, naturally I feel deceived. I don’t think such a remark is ever called for. What you have to do is cry, weep but see that your mind is corrected and you become cheerful. Cheerfulness is what you like. So this was the remark I made. I would like you to understand it.

So let the benefit of introspection not be a transitory one or an Ashram-based one. When you go back, take it as a quality and use it for self-improvement every day.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.      

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