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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
Yesterday, at the instance of ‘V’, I was discussing the role of mantra, the pursuit of mantra and the effectiveness of ‘mantra japa’. I would like to explain the subject briefly this morning.
In the whole universe, whatever we see as the gross, external creation is invariably the inert things called matter and energy. As far as we are able to understand so far that only upon the earth there are living beings, that is the first developed form from matter and energy. When I say beings, I am not restricting my statement to living beings which move from one place to the other. Even plants, they also move. How do they move? They vertically move. To some extent horizontally also in the form of branches spreading to different directions. The creepers, of course travel a little more. So they are also beings, but they don’t have that communication as such, inter-being communication perhaps. They must be having, but it should be of a rudimentary measure.
By living beings, we are particularly meaning beings which move from one place to the other independently, getting dislodged from the base. A plant, tree or a creeper will not move from the root level. The roots may spread. But we can move; our legs are not glued to any place upon the earth, so are of all the beings.
Now in the beings you will find, apart from matter and energy, there is something. When you take that also into account, the whole creation is complete. There is no fourth substance here – matter, energy and sentience. Sentience is the power and presence by virtue of which we are able to sense, move, feel, remember, act and react. These are said to be symptoms of life. It is one sentience that becomes maximum developed in the human being. It is not that the sentience has developed, but the sentience expresses itself in a developed form. What are these? A very good articulation by virtue of which we are able to convey our ideas, feelings, thoughts, memory etc. Animals also communicate through articulation but that is not so developed as in the human beings. Now in order to do this, we have three additional factors in us. What are they? The thinking mind and the rational intelligence. In a way, the ego is also in the animals and birds. So, the additional factors in the human are mind and intelligence. They are not two different entities as such, but they are only the expressional notes, the functional notes of sentience or consciousness. It is this consciousness that has formulated our body, shaped our senses, imbued them with their respective powers and it is through these senses that the consciousness extends itself as it were to become the infinite, endless world of variety.
So in the whole creational process, it is this consciousness that remains the pivot, the pith and the fulcrum. And the first access we have to the consciousness is through the mind. So the mentational practice becomes the most critical, valuable and decisive. This mind, if you are able to access and improve in the manner you want, our life will start improving in its quality, degree by degree, day by day, week by week. I don’t think it will take a very long time for the mind to become absolutely radiant, pure, brilliant and joyful.
Once you understand that the mind is the fulcrum in our life, this mind has to sublimate three important factors as Bhagavad Gita constantly puts it. What are they? Rāga - desire, Dvesha – hatred and Bhaya – fear. In Bhagavad Gita in the fourth chapter, there is a verse about which I do speak often.
I think this one verse is enough for anybody to do his sādhana and reach the level of perfection he desires or aims at. While living and moving with the mind, we have to access the mind and through a process of reformation and refinement, we have to transcend love, hatred and fear. Initially, these are the three notes by virtue of which the mind puts us into trouble. All the torment in human life is because of these three. If you are aware of them and everyday you try to sublimate rāga, dvesha and bhaya, you will reach a stage where you become like God or you become Godly. Krishna says “They have attained to my state”. This process is called by Krishna – Jñāna Tapasa. It is an austerity in the way of knowledge.
Understand that you have a mind and the mind is consisting of rāga, dvesha and bhaya. Do not allow them to grow in intensity, try to lessen them, make them lighter and lighter, feebler and feebler, thinner and thinner, until at last they never bring any problem to you. This means you have to look into the mind. It is in this context that mantra and japa become extremely effective. How to get into the mind? Take a mantra and start chanting it mentally. When you mentally chant a mantra, you are in the mind. Otherwise there is no way of entering into the mind arena. Try to preserve this mantra, pursue this mantra, keep this mantra as much as you can. You will find for hours and hours, the mind will be occupied with this mantra, to that extent it will be dis-occupied with other unnecessary things. Apart from that, this is the one functional way by virtue of which you can get into the mind and direct it and lead it the way you want.
Mind’s work is far more effective than physical or sensory work. If the sensory work has got one effect, then the oral work has got hundred, mental work has got one thousand and intelligential work has got one lakh effects. Mantra japa is functioning in the mind level. In the intelligence level, it is not mantra. It is introspection with a view to know and act in a knowing manner. You can take the world itself and introspect over it. You can introspect over yourself. You can introspect over the religious God who is responsible for the entire creation’s preservation and dissolution.
Now you will find, thinking about the world is thinking about the object. Thinking about yourself is thinking about the subject of the whole object. Initially you may think of the mind, think of the intelligence, think of the ego etc. but you will find it is all ‘my’ mind, ‘my’ intelligence, ‘my’ ego. So, that ‘I’ remains separately. That is the one indicative of the subject. Then about God, God is no other than a synonym of the self, the ‘I’ and the world is no other than an extensive display of the ‘I’. So whether you think of the world - the object, or think of yourself as the subject, or think of God as the source of everything, in reality, all the three thoughts converge into yourself.
Nobody will know whether you are doing the knowledge austerity – Jñāna Tapas. Do not allow desire, hatred and fear to grow in your mind and to victimize you. You can live in this world, act in this world, interact in this world, but not out of and for and propelled by Rāga, Dvesha and Bhaya. Think of a situation when the mind is pure and expansive and impersonal, by virtue of which it has no desire, no hatred and no fear. Can you imagine? You will virtually become Godly. That is how God has created and is preserving this universe. When somebody dies prematurely, we feel we are having bereavement. How many people are dying and what do you think of the Mother God and Father God? What should be the extent of bereavement that He feels when his own creation prematurely dies? So don’t claim too much before God.
So the mantra japa gives you the opportunity to initially enter into the mind arena. And after you are able to enter (the mind arena), activate the intelligence and let it be an intelligential pursuit – knowledge austerity as Krishna puts it. Then you will find spiritual life has got an altogether new emphasis and meaning. And what a seeker is normally not able to achieve in 25 or 30 years, if you are taking to Jñāna Tapas, you will be able to achieve it in something like six years or so. It is a progressive pursuit - Sensory, physical pursuit, oral pursuit like stutis and geetams, mental pursuit like mantra japa and intelligential pursuit of introspection where you become close to the self.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.