"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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It is the power and presence called sentience, consciousness which makes you conscious of the body, conscious of the world, conscious of the mind, intelligence and ego, it is that supreme power and that is the all-controller – that is what produces everything, the multiple, the manifold. Understand that it is within your heart. This is why our devotional scriptures say that God is everywhere, is equally present in your heart. Consider Him as the nearest and the most dear, talk to Him freely, fondly, rely upon Him, trust Him, make Him a staff of security, an umbrella over your head, have the maximum confidence. He who protected you in the womb, he alone is the protector when you come outside.

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Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

Yesterday ‘J’ coming from Maharashtra asked me a question, a very pertinent one with regard to the seekers who pursue their sadhana. They are often assailed by a doubt or an enquiry or an indecision about – ‘What exactly is the right sadhana, are they doing the sadhana well, the mind tends to shift from one particular line to the other, what is to be done for it’. I think that this a very pertinent question and this is the last question of a seeker.

Our śāstrās have a very unique and unparalleled place in the whole of human civilization, you take the whole world. The subject of spirituality, religious life, philosophy and the experiential yoga has been researched here by so many experimentation, direct experience and the like, ever since the Vedic ages. In the Vedas also, you will find a gradual transition and a progression from mere praises offered to God to various forms of rituals performed, particularly fire sacrifices; they did not find them to be ultimately useful and beneficial. So they dropped them, outlived them; took to some kind of a contemplation, imagination in the mind. There also, they were not happy. Ultimately, they stepped into that level of enquiry, search, seeking, investigation. When the mind and the intelligence were involved completely in their search, they found they not merely raised questions but also found the answers.

All questions are from your mind. The answers also have to be from the mind. As I always say, Newton saw an apple fall and he started enquiring why is it falling and not fleeing. The question was of his mind. The apple was not going to reply nor the tree nor the air nor the earth. So many people had seen apple falling. It occurred to nobody to question the phenomenon. ‘From where the apple was and where it falls, if you draw a line it would be a straight line. It falls perpendicularly. Why? What is the reason?’ It was a great quest.

I think when the mind questions, it is something very good. And just beneath the question is the answer also. He started introspecting over his own question. And maybe it took one year for him to finally come to the conclusion that it was the force of gravity that brings the apple from the tree straight down to the surface of the earth. In the same manner, for all the questions arising from the mind, no matter whether they are relating to religion, philosophy, spirituality or yoga, the answers also have to spring from the same mind. This kind of a question, answer, experimentation, search, research, investigation, evaluation, a lot of it has taken place in our country; Not now, millennia ago, right from the prehistoric times.

So if you have either the wisdom or the patience or the fortune to go through these śāstrās, you will find the very question is discussed there and the answer is provided. Here is one verse that comes to me from Ashtavakra Samhita.

नाना मतं महर्षीणां साधूनां योगिनां तथा ।
दृष्ट्वा निर्वेदमापन्नः को न शाम्यति मानवः ।।
nānā mataṁ maharṣīṇāṁ sādhūnāṁ yogināṁ tathā
dṛṣtvā nirvedam-āpannaḥ ko na śāmyati mānavaḥ
(Ashtavakra Samhita 9.5)

After listening to various differing accounts, different opinions and evaluations from, maharṣīṇāṁ sādhūnāṁ yogināṁ tathā, from the enlightened people like maharshis, from the siddhās who have been pursuing the spiritual life of contemplation right from the beginning, then the so-called yogis who take to prāṇāyāma, pratyāhāra, kriyās, mudrās etc. by listening to all these people, ‘J’, mark what I say.

Dṛṣtvā nirvedam-āpannaḥ - He whose mind becomes indifferent to all these things.

Ko na śāmyati mānavaḥ - Then the mind attains its quietude, poise and beatitude.

The deflection of the mind is what causes trouble. The distraction is what causes trouble. The Supreme Truth is that the world is made of panchabhūtās. These panchabhūtās are inert and insentient. At the same time, we find in the world, intelligent people, conscious people, sentient people. So panchabhūtās cannot be everything. They are inert. So there is something different, the sixth factor, that is the sentience or consciousness. And this is maximum developed and expressive in the human being. We are capable of thinking, understanding, articulating what we think, sharing our thoughts and feeling with others and share from others also. It is this power called sentience. That is the Supreme reality, truth. That is what has shaped our body, shaped our senses, shaped our brain, shaped everything in the whole personality. It is with this personality that we interact with the world and try to assess it in various ways. Can you imagine the primary and ultimate position of your own personality then and that which shapes your body, which resides in it, which administers the whole biological system, which produces thoughts, feelings, emotions, which raises questions, which brings answers, which causes the wakefulness state, the sleep, the dream? - That is the Supreme Reality.

एको वशी सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा एकं रूपं बहुधा यः करोति ।
तमात्मस्थं येऽनुपश्यन्ति धीरास्तेषां सुखं शाश्वतं नेतरेषाम् ।।
eko vaśī sarvabhūtāntarātmā ekaṁ rūpaṁ bahudhā yaḥ karoti ।
tamātmastham yenupaśyanti dhīrāḥ teṣām sukhaṁ śāṣvataṁ netareṣāṃ ।।
(Kathopanishad 2.2.12)

What more do you want?

Eko vaśī - The all-controller is only one.

Sarvabhūtāntarātmā - It is the antarātmā in all beings. Antarātmā means that presence which you denote by the term “I”. Everybody says “I”. So there must be something like the “I”. It is that presence, the changeless one.

Ekaṁ rūpaṁ bahudhā yaḥ karoti - Though it has one nature, it has got the intrinsic power to produce and manifest anything as it happens in dream, the sleeping person. The consciousness in him produces a dream world parallel to the wakeful world. Imagine its power then! The same colourless mind, colour-free mind produces a number of colours. Ekaṁ rūpaṁ bahudhā yaḥ karoti.

And that wonderful power, tam ātmastham - It is right inside your being.

Yenupaśyanti dhīrāḥ - Those wise people who see him as seated in his own heart, in one's own heart.

Teṣām sukhaṁ śāṣvataṁ netareṣāṃ - For them is the perpetual comfort, delight and happiness; not for the others.

What more do you want to arrive at a conclusion in the whole subject? It is the power and presence called sentience, consciousness which makes you conscious of the body, conscious of the world, conscious of the mind, intelligence and ego, it is that supreme power and that is the all-controller – that is what produces everything, the multiple, the manifold. Understand that it is within your heart. This is why our devotional scriptures say that God is everywhere, is equally present in your heart. Consider Him as the nearest and the most dear, talk to Him freely, fondly, rely upon Him, trust Him, make Him a staff of security, an umbrella over your head, have the maximum confidence. He who protected you in the womb, he alone is the protector when you come outside.

Srimad Bhagavatam says,

स रक्षिता रक्षति यो हि गर्भे
sa rakṣitā rakṣati yo hi garbhe
(Srimad Bhagavatam 7.2.38)

Who protected you in the mother’s womb, the same protector is there when you come outside. He is surrounding you, inter-penetrating you. Rely upon Him fondly, trust Him, talk to Him, make Him as close as possible. This is the best way of approaching the subject and progressing to fulfillment.    

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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