"Our body and this complex world around us is meant to reveal and display the Self variously. Spiritual seeking lies in looking for That which animates the body. Turn the mind and intelligence inward to their very Source. Let the thoughts make you search for the thinking substance, the thinker.  Only then the mystery of the Self will be unveiled."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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So understand mind is the fulcrum of your life; the pivot of your life; the source of your life. This mind has to grow spiritually. So it is not prosperity that counts. It is not external success or achievement that counts. It is something else. Let us call it purity of the mind. When the mind becomes pure, automatically you will feel more and more peace and joy. Not only that, as it becomes purer and purer, you will be able to know, 'I am not so much the body as I am my inner being.' This inner being has got a fulcrum, that is what we call the soul. So you will be able to understand more and more, it is not the body that feels the presence of the mind, it is the mind that feels the presence of the body.

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru. 

Mā tells me that Sumesh has raised a question. He is Brahmachāri here; he has raised a question – ‘What is the growth of a seeker?’ A very good question. This is a question that should not leave the seeker throughout his life. Every time, you will find this question unfolds greater and greater scope and potential. It also provides an occasion for the seeker to examine his mind, examine his personality, to verify whether it is growing, if it is not growing what is the reason and how to facilitate growth. All these will be the results of this examination. So the question is very important.

The seeker is after all a personality. The human personality is a composite. In that composite personality, there are two aspects. One is the gross, external body which is the visible counterpart of human personality. In the same manner, we have an invisible counterpart which consists of the mind and intelligence. The intelligence itself is a refined form of the mind.

So our personality has got a visible, external, gross aggregate. It consists of matter and energy. Because it is matter and energy, they are inert and the body also is inert. The inert body becomes animate and functional only because of something different from matter and energy. That is what we call the mind. The mind alone employs the body and bodily parts in order to do any action or interaction. So whenever we speak of growth, we are speaking of growth of what - The visible counterpart or the invisible counterpart?

One becomes a seeker after he has become an adult. The moment he becomes an adult, the body has completely grown to its full size. No further growth is possible. I generally say 21 years will be the maximum period of growth of the body; only the wisdom teeth are supposed to sprout later. When as an adult, the body has completed its growth, then the question arises – ‘Where is the seeker supposed to grow?’. The body has completed its growth. So the growth can only be in his mind and also in the intelligence. So the growth for everyone who has become an adult is inner, inward and it is in the sphere of the mind and intelligence.

The normal man will grow with enough of worldly knowledge, worldly efficiency, worldly occupation and worldly achievements and the like. But for the seeker, it is not worldly at all. Let us say the normal man looks for a secular growth, a financial growth, a prosperity growth. But the seeker will have to look for not an external prosperity growth, but internal felicity growth. The word ‘felicity’ means spiritual, everlasting happiness and glory.

So the growth of the seeker is always related to his mind. Not only him, the ordinary man also, the growth is always related to the mind. And this mind will have to become more and more spiritual; it has to become purer and purer; more and more refined; and the minimum the seeker's mind should bestow is joy and peace. Whether you call it joy or peace, it relates to the mind. It is not something relating to your body. In fact, the whole body is inert. It is made animate by the mind. The body cannot itself function; do any action; the mind has to employ it consciously.

So understand mind is the fulcrum of your life; the pivot of your life; the source of your life. This mind has to grow spiritually. So it is not prosperity that counts. It is not external success or achievement that counts. It is something else. Let us call it purity of the mind. When the mind becomes pure, automatically you will feel more and more peace and joy. Not only that, as it becomes purer and purer, you will be able to know, 'I am not so much the body as I am my inner being.' This inner being has got a fulcrum, that is what we call the soul. So you will be able to understand more and more, it is not the body that feels the presence of the mind, it is the mind that feels the presence of the body.

This mind will start growing in terms of virtues. What are the virtues that you can think of? There are many virtues, Bhagavad Gita lists twenty of them in the thirteenth chapter, a few of them in the twelfth chapter, a few are listed elsewhere in other chapters and the sthita-prajñata and the sthitadheetva are also explained in the second chapter. There you will find the qualities of a seeker and the features of a knower. But I would like to speak only of three. One is love, the second is sympathy, the third is sacrifice. These are the three virtues or emotions which the mind should constantly display.

Have love. Love for what? Love for everything whatever is - Love your body; love the world; love the work that you do; love the company of people you have; love the ideals you have fostered or accepted. Whenever there is love, there is also joy. Love is an emotion which only knows to generate joy. Suppose I love somebody, I like seeing him and his sight gives me joy and pleasure. I go away from the Ashram frequently for different programs and I come back. The sight of the Ashram makes me happy. The sight of the people here gives me more happiness. The sight of my working table, the computer, the chair, especially covered with an orange cloth gives me a lot of joy because I love them. So you love your body, love your work, love the people around, love the ideals, love the virtues. Ashtāvakra tells Janaka,

मुक्तिमिच्छसि चेत्तात विषयान् विषवत्त्यज।
क्षमार्जवदयातोषसत्यं पीयूषवद्भज।।1.2।।
Muktimichasi cettāta viṣayān viṣavat-tyaja |
kṣamārjava-dayā-toṣa-satyam pīyūṣavad-bhaja ||
(Ashtāvakra Samhita 1.2)

This is the growth Sumesh. If you are interested in Mukti, he says,

Viṣayān viṣavat-tyaja - Abandon the objects of the world like poison. Then what will you cultivate and love instead? Here are three virtues, all of them relate to the mind. Kshama, Ārjava, Daya, Tosha, Satyam.

Kshama means patience and tolerance; Ārjava means straightforwardness; Daya means compassion; Tosha means contentment; Satya means truthfulness.

So in this context as I am speaking, as I told you love, sympathy and sacrifice are the three primary virtues which will make the mind spiritually grow under love, these are the five virtues, five embellishments which you should consider as nectar and start cultivating and growing. So the growth of a spiritual seeker can be identified by whether he is able to like, prefer and display these virtues.

Kṣamārjava-dayā-toṣa-satyam pīyūṣavad-bhaja

Whatever happens, do not lose your contentment. Whatever happens, be not untruthful. Whatever happens, be not intolerant, be patient. Whatever happens, be straightforward. Whatever happens, be compassionate. I think it is so simple. Because it is simple, perhaps you don't consider that it is spiritual.

Constrictions of the mind will start falling; expansion will start grazing the mind; the mind will start feeling delight and happiness. There will be more and more balance, harmony. There will be poise, there will be great confidence, hope, because a seeker especially in the context of being an ashramite, we don't have anything at all except God to depend upon. We may live in an Ashram, the Ashram may look a little modern. But all these are nothing. Everything here comes from our spirituality, spirituality, spirituality! So love it, try to be more and more spiritual. Let the mind prefer it, let the mind like it. I think the growth is very simple and it is finally climaxed by one verse in Vivekacūḍāmaṇi, which I think Sumesh and many others know here.

विशुद्धसत्त्वस्य गुणाः प्रसादः
स्वात्मानुभूतिः परमा प्रशान्तिः ।
तृप्तिः प्रहर्षः परमात्मनिष्ठा
यया सदानन्दरसं समृच्छति ।।
(विवेकचूडामणिः ११९)
viśuddha-sattvasya guṇāḥ prasādaḥ
svātmānubhūtiḥ paramā praśāntiḥ |
tṛptiḥ praharṣaḥ paramātma-niṣṭhā
yayā sadānanda-rasaṁ samṛcchati ||
(Vivekacūḍāmaṇiḥ 119)

This is the final point of a seeker's growth. He becomes a pure being. Then all these guṇās start grazing him. Prasādaḥ - Contentment, delight. Prasannata - Then the experience of the Self, supreme peace and quietude, contentment, exhilaration. Then the Ātma niṣṭa, this is all the result of the growth of the seeker. maturity, purity, ripeness, refinement of the seeker. And ultimately, yayā sadānanda-rasaṁ samṛcchati. You will constantly get the ānanda. Don't think that it is just one day’s job. It may take quite sometime. But every time and every day you will be growing and growing alone.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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