|Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio|
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
Today I thought of telling you how you should take to the scriptural texts, their statements, their analysis, their pronouncements, their declarations, sometimes their promises, how you should take to them and in which manner will they benefit you.
Narayanashrama Tapovanam is a place where we do a lot of exposure with regard to the scriptural texts. Our satsang is completely based on the scriptures and scriptural revelations. People have opined that it is very difficult to find a place where such exposition can be had. While this recognition to some extent however small scale is good, I am wondering whether all of you understand very clearly how you have to take to the scriptures.
The scriptures are eternal writings. The writings of the scriptures remain ever relevant, relevant to life in general and more particularly to your mind and intelligence. When they relate to your mind and intelligence and the mind and intelligence continue to be the same over millennia, naturally the message becomes eternal. “Swamiji, do they relate only to the mind and intelligence? What about the senses, our activities, our family, our interpersonal relationship, our interactions with nature, with profession and so many other things?” Yes, our scriptures relate to them also. In what manner? Because all the activities are initiated by the mind, they are sustained by the mind. They are also terminated by the mind to remain as memory. So, when the scriptural values relate to the mind, automatically it means that the resultant impact is in your activities and interactions.
Intelligence is the one that actually absorbs the information which with your eyes or ears you grasp and it is for the intelligence to sift it properly and apply it. All your actions should be thus scrutinized and directed by the intelligence.
So, when I say they are relating to your mind and intelligence, understand that it is not merely an internal relating. The resultant impact of mind and intelligence will always be in your character, in your behavior, in your interactions. Character represents the static qualities that one has. Behavior is their manifest expression. And interaction is one where the behavior involves yourself and the other people, other factors.
You are wearing clothes. Now wearing clothes is something that you do yourself. Others may not be a part in the whole process. But what kind of clothes are you wearing, do you keep them clean, while wearing and after wearing are you sensitive that it should be properly worn, what is the manner in which you keep your articles either in the room or in the office, either in the kitchen or in the drawing room, how do you keep your bathroom and kitchen, are you keeping them clean? The cleanliness is a quality or a character but when it becomes manifest in the form of behavior, it is visible. Interaction means when you interact with someone else. So, these are the two phases in which the scriptural enlightenment will also be reflected.
What are the thought patterns that you have? What are the attitudes that you have and what are the aims that you foster? And with these when you behave, conduct either behaviorally or interactionally, all these points will come to be revealed. That is why our scriptures while addressing the mind and intelligence really bring about a wholesome effect in the whole personality, his behavior and also interactions. With this background I thought I will take one sloka of Bhagavad Gita and see how you have to take to it.
Sri Krishna speaks quite a lot about asanga. Whatever is done with asanga, sanga means delusional clinging to whatever you do including your body. Now, without this delusional clinging, suppose you perform your actions, kāryaṁ karma samācara, whatever is to be done, Krishna doesn't say that this is to be done and that is not to be done. Whatever is to be done, maybe from your level, if you are a family person from the family level, from the societal level, for religious reasons, social reasons, philosophical reasons, spiritual reasons, economic reasons, environmental reasons, celestial reasons, whatever actions you do is an open certificate, you do it very-very well; don’t do it half-heartedly. Don’t do it inattentively. Do it with full heart. Spend all the time, all the energy, all the application, be as assiduous as possible.
Kāryaṁ karma samācara. Obviously, this karma ranges from getting up in the morning, washing your teeth, having your bath, having your breakfast, going for your work, then having your lunch, again working, coming back, having a cup of tea, then having your dinner, after one or two hours going to sleep. Any karma, no distinction at all! Normally for pooja we have to take materials, go to the pooja room, chant mantras, open the book, a procedure has to be undergone. This is not something like that. Kāryaṁ karma samācara. Whatever you think to be done, do it, do it. Samācara and do it well, well.
Every time you should ask yourself, “Have I done my act well?” I use an article and after using I leave it. Where do I leave it, how do I leave it? I used to tell people sometimes that when you go and live in a hotel room, when you leave it, make sure that the room is clean. Don’t leave any of the articles like paper or some thing like that here and there. If the bed sheet is wrinkled, at least straighten it to some extent and then leave. Somebody who comes and sees, particularly the hotel owners, they should not feel this has been used in a haphazard manner. Public latrines, understand that it is for another person to use after you have done. Use it well and don’t leave it after use in a spoilt manner. So, that samācara is a great expression.
You have to think about that word, relate it to you, tasmād-asaktaḥ satataṁ kāryaṁ karma samācara. While doing it very well, you should not have any delusional clinging or the common word we use ‘attachment’. You may immediately ask, “Without attachment, how can we work well?” But this is a contradiction that you have to overcome. You don’t have to have attachment. Doing a work should be a quality of your life. You must be clean and do everything clean. You must be loyal and do everything loyal. Be contended and do everything for contentment and by contentment.
Examine your own mind, attitudes, attention etc. to find out whether this verse has meaning in you, whether it is acting on you. This introspection and self-evaluation are the most important aspects in scriptural reading and adherence.
Asakto hy-ācaran-karma param-āpnoti pūruṣaḥ. Pūruṣaḥ, the human. Param-āpnoti, attains the Supreme. How? Asakto hy-ācaran-karma. If he is doing all his activities as an asaktah, without any delusional clinging. Normally the feeling is that only when I am attached to my house, I will look after it well. Why? Why should there be any attachment? You are living in a house. You like cleanliness, you are a clean person. So, keep the house clean. Maybe you are selling your house. Until the occupant comes and occupies or you leave the house after sale, you should look after it very well. The thought that “I have already sold it therefore I don’t mind. Let it be like this.” - This kind of an attitude, I don’t think is correct. Whether you live or another lives, the house serves its purpose. Can you spoil a house and then go?
I was told by a Government Officer in Shillong that he had a residence. He had rented it. That man would never leave the house. He went to the Court naturally. Every Court he would manipulate the issue of notice, the non-delivery of notice etc. it went on, went on. One day he came to me and started shedding tears “Swamiji, I am a Financial Advisor in the Government of India. This is the plight that I have.” I asked him “What you say, is it all true?”
“Okay I will give you a mantra.”
I gave him a mantra.
“Go on chanting it. Don’t say anything.”
After some time, he said the Court, one Court after the other finally has evicted him and the house has gone back to him and he started living. But you know what he told? The people who were living there, that man who refused to leave etc., he took a hammer and broke every window pane before going. Can you imagine how notorious is the human mind? He hammered all glasses and broke every one of them before leaving.
Asakto hy-ācaran-karma param-āpnoti pūruṣaḥ. You will attain the Supreme provided you are able to live, move and act in this world with no delusional clinging. Now, this is the only verse of Bhagavad Gita which you have to learn and apply. Now think, think and think. Compare, compare and compare. Contrast, contrast and contrast. Evaluate, examine critically and find out “Whether I am living and doing as an asaktah? Am I doing with asakti, with no sakti? All that I do well, well beautifully? Or if I don’t have sakti, suddenly the performance comes down in quality?” How do you understand this contradiction? Live but with no attachment, do well with no attachment.
All of you will come up and say “Swamiji, unless you have attachment you will not be able to do anything well.” This is the common statement everybody will make and I also happen to hear. But my dear souls, you are disrespecting the scriptures by thinking in that manner. Right from the first time you hear this verse, your attitude should be ‘Oh! This is the truth? Oh! This is possible? Wah! I must be able to do it.” And from that moment onwards, the spirit of asakta and performing things well should overtake you. Until this takes place, I cannot say you are reading the scriptures or understanding them or you have the necessary reverence and loyalty to the scriptural statements.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.