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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
This is a Subhashita which tells you how to approach our śāstras which are endless and various.
Ananta-śāstram. Infinite are the śāstras, endless; bahu-veditavyam, all of them have some knowledge or the other to offer. Each of them; all of them. So it becomes too much.
Svalpascha kālo. We have a very short time. How will you calculate your time? Initially you are given to studies. Then the household life. If at all when you retire, then almost half of it is night. So how much is left aside? Very short period, half of it is gone at night. In that, you have to attend to many other matters. So, the time available is very short.
Bahavascha vighnāḥ. A number of obstacles also face us. Therefore, what should be done? Try to find out what is the essence of all the śāstras.
In Srimad Bhagavatam, the listeners are putting a question to Sūta, the communicator. “You have read all the Vedas, śāstras, Itihāsās, Purāṇās and the like. Please let us know what is the essence in all of them.” That kind of an approach; (to know) what is the essence.
Tad-upāsitavyam. After coming to know of it, be focused in practicing it.
Hamso yathā kshīramivāmbu-miśram. Swan is considered to be a bird which can select milk and reject water when milk and water are presented to it. You must be able to sift the essence and then hold on to it.
With this background, I wanted to say that the world is very huge and endless. What of it? I don’t have to go to the world. The world can enter me and only then it gives me some experience. And that entry point is only five. Let the world be many but when they come to be experienced by me, that ‘me’ part makes the world simply five – sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. That is because we have only five senses to interact with the world. So the entire variety is reduced into five and these five are further reduced into two in the mind level.
So the entire world of infinite variety, when it comes to be experienced by the individual, it simply reduces into two and the two are a pair of opposites - sukha and duhkha. I don’t know whether this point you will appreciate, hold on to and make a focus in your life. These are a set of dvandvas, that is sukha and duhkha. These are the only two experiences the entire world has to provide.
We have come to a very important point - only two from the infinite. What is the attitude that you should foster? You should never foster a preference to one of them and prejudice to the other. Because they can only be together had. If you want to have sukha, it will only follow duhkha and it will lead to duhkha. In between two duhkhas alone, you can have one sukha and this is irresistibly had by you. You cannot resist it, prevent or avoid it. Why? Because you have five senses and they interact with the world; and interactions are bound to produce sukha and duhkha. So, is there any effort in life - No. Should you have any ambition in life - No. Are desires necessary – No. Is there anything to be hated - No. Because these sukha duhkha opposites will definitely be resulting every day because of your five senses and variety of objects in the world.
If you don’t have to struggle for sukha and duhkha and sukha does not become desirable because on this side and the other side are duhkhas, then what are you supposed to do? This is the secret. Become a nirdvandva - Try to rise above both. Do not give special importance to anything or dis-importance to the other. This is called the path of nirdvandvata, the non-dual path, the transcendental path, the path of transcendence. You can apply it to any life situation, any act, even worship of God. By worshipping God, you feel comfortable; by not worshipping you feel discomfort. So, rise above both. The world will not cause you any discomfort. So, you don’t have to worship God for comfort.
See, you have no preference for sukha and you have no prejudice for duhkha. This is what you have to ensure - Take away the preference and prejudice and allow sukha and duhkha to be what they are. So you have taken away the steam from both. Can you imagine the level of transcendence you will achieve by this approach? You can apply it to anything! That is why in our books you will find:
Whether it is gain or loss, heaven or hell, this or that, sin or virtue, all the things result only in sukha duhkhas and you have become neutral towards both, harmonized them.
Sri Krishna says, “O might armed Arjuna, the nirdvandva man is liberated comfortably in life. This is a very comfortable process of seeking and getting liberation.” My dear souls, this is the gist of the entire śāstras. All the explanations are only re-statements and confirmations of this one basic point. Of all the texts, Bhagavad Gita makes it very well. When you go to Yogavasishtha, there also a lot is emphasized.
We believe āsanās are there, prāṇāyāmās are there, rituals are there, this mudra, that mudra, this practice, that practice, so many things are there. But when you come to analyze life, analyze the world, you come to a position where all that you have to do is, nirdvandvo hi mahābāho sukhaṁ bandhāt pramucyate. Very few people will understand this and practice it successfully. They have to cut across everything!
A big puja or a big havan is announced. I am sure that many of you will rush there and some of you may have taken deeksha from me also. “Because so many people are coming, I must also go”. Why go; what do you get? Similarly, a temple, a deity. “Let me go there and offer some crackers.” There are some temples where crackers are offered! Just examine your mind and find out how important is this, how conclusive is this, how final it is and how nonsensical are all the others. Ashtavakra Samhita discusses this in very different ways.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.