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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.
Spirituality, particularly as recorded in the Vedic Upanishads, the Vedas in general, must have sprouted in the Gangetic plain or the Sindhu plain countless number of years ago. And the same spiritual tradition, culture and enrichment still survives, without any change in letter and spirit.
Why do I say this? It is to show how the fundamental spiritual truths discovered and also pursued in the most ancient past, remain true and valid even today. In pursuing these truths, primarily as a subject of understanding, secondly as a subject of introspection and thirdly as a subject of direct realization and experience, what has remained paramount is the devotion to these truths and the repeated contemplation, introspection over them.
First of all, a seeker comes to know of them. Secondly he tries to spend time to understand them. After understanding, he goes on introspecting, introspecting, contemplating, contemplating upon them, until at last, he realizes that they are true and the Truth starts delighting him. Yesterday when I was asking some questions about why the sādhana is not becoming wholesome, at one point one of you told me that "I have not spent enough introspection over it".
What am I to do to intensify my sādhana? What am I to do to make my sādhana wholesome? What is meant by wholesomeness? Why is it not transpiring or occurring in me? What is that bottleneck? Now, these are the points to be introspected over and clear answers found. Unless this introspection is taken up by everyone, the Truth or approach to the Truth will not be feasible at all.
See, that desire and delusion are the cause of bondage, is a truth which the Vedic thinkers found out. They declared them. They declared this truth and ever since then it has been pursued by generation after generation, until at last it becomes the same subject even today. So don’t you think that all people throughout the countless number of generations were introspecting over the same discovery, the same truth, until at last it became true and a matter of realization for them?
So, introspection has got a great meaning and purpose. Introspect over what? Over the cause that hinders the sādhana in becoming wholesome. Why is not my sādhana becoming wholesome? What are the hindering elements? Why is it that as seekers you are not doing sufficient introspection over it? You may be living in the Ashram, you may be moving about, you may be doing a lot of physical work. But personally I feel this introspection should and will still be because introspection is actually a mental process. It does not generally interfere with your physical and interactional life. On the other hand, it acts as a complement. Perhaps, if you don’t have any physical and interactional life, you may not be able to completely identify with this introspection. You will need diversions. So the diversions that you already have, in their presence, the introspection will become very facile and it will become a complementary note. It is the same Truth that the Vedic thinkers found out, that we are also going to experience. It is not different.
Then what is this sādhana? The sādhana is no other than introspection, manana over the Truth, until at last the Truth becomes your own understanding and realization. What prevents my sādhana from becoming wholesome? What prevents? Why am I chanting Vishnu Sahasranama? What do I propose to get by chanting a chapter of the Bhagavad Gita? What is the message that I have to pursue and actualize? Why is it that the mind refuses to become pure? What is that impurity? What is the means by which the impurity can be shed or removed?
Why don’t you take up these thoughts, one or more of them, and go on reflecting upon them until at last you get your own clarity, clarity, clarity, decision, decision? This is what Bhagavad Gita says:
When the intelligence becomes sufficiently attuned to the finding, spiritual finding, and you are able to remain in tune with this finding – Yes, my sādhana has to become wholesome and this is what hinders me, it should not hinder. The sādhana has to become wholesome. Wholesomeness will not come merely as a matter of time, it can be expedited by introspection. What introspection shall I do to make my sādhana wholesome? Where is the hindering element?
Why don’t you go into and find out what hinders you? We are already in the Ashram. It is an ascetic environment, an ascetic abode. In that abode, living as we do, why is it that we are not able to become wholesome? We are doing spiritual activities and spiritual ancillary work. After all, this is an Ashram. People come here to discuss and know spiritual subjects. They tell us about the sufferings and bondage of the mind. We try to clear that, clear them.
So their very arrival and our hosting, preparing food, having the large machinery of hosting etc. – this is all a spiritual development from a spiritual centre. That is how I look at it. In what way is a house different from the Ashram? In the Ashram everything is a concentric circle drawn from the spiritual centre. In that circle, you will find domestic activities, residential activities, hosting activities, literary activities, discussional activities, associational activities, worship activities, satsang activities. But all these are subsisting upon that spiritual centre.
A ray of light, passing through so many coverings, around a bulb burning, it may pass through yellow cloth, black cloth, white cloth, violet cloth, dirty cloth. Ultimately when it comes out, even then it is light. So the spiritual centre makes its radiation through a number of concentric circles. Now, all these circles will not make the centre non-spiritual. The radiation is spiritual. When you understand it, the whole Ashram activity becomes wholesome. The same thing you can do in the house also, but you are not able to do. If you do it, your house will become an ascetic place.
So why is it that the wholesomeness does not come? So what I want to say is that, it is only by introspection, manana that the most ancient Truth is even now remaining current and realized by us. The Truth has not changed. We also have not changed. So the vicāra, the introspection, it has to be done, done, done,… repeatedly, until at last you know, what is the hindering element to make the sādhana wholesome, how to remove it, am I removing it, is it becoming effective. If not, why not? If not, why not? I think, this sādhana is actually this introspection.
How is this introspection becoming a sādhana? Our activities are threefold – sensory - physical, oral – from the tongue and mouth and thirdly, mind and intelligence. Between these three levels, physical activity is the lowest. Oral is the next higher and the inner activity is the most effective. So this manana becomes the greatest worship. It becomes the greatest tapasya. It becomes the greatest, greatest yoga. Because we only have three levels of activities - physical, oral and this is mental. So this mental activity called introspection, why don’t you take up? While you are working, you can think about it. Go into the cause and remove it by understanding it.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru !
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