“The paths leading man to god or Truth are said to be many. I will speak only of the shortest. It is to recognize God as the Self in you and then to find Him out. What is the distance then between you and God, between you and yourself? Ah, there is no distance at all, a full Zero! Yet, how dare you say to find God and Truth is hard?’’ 

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha


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Harih Om Tat Sat Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

Every one of you will agree that our life is interactional. The moment we wake up in the morning, maybe lying on your bed, when you open your eyes, the interactions start. Maybe the first interaction will be with the roof under which you are sleeping or if you have a mosquito curtain, then you will see the curtain top. Then when your turn your gaze to the left or the right you will see the wall. You get up, you see the floor, then walk, past the door, get into the toilet, bath room, like that it goes on interaction, interaction, interaction alone. Once the interactions take place, every interaction has got its impact or effect in you. This effect gives rise to subsequent interaction. Like that, it becomes an interaction with the outside objects through the senses.

The interactional process occupies you, involves you completely. In this, many things will come, your going to the office, doing your work, reading the newspaper, talking to friends, dealing with the files, sometimes going to the market, interacting with members of the society, members of the family - all these are interactions, mind you. And these interactions take place only with and in five different senses. The interactions may be varied and variegated. But actual interactions are only fivefold. śabda, sparśa, rasa, rūpa and gandha. Śabda means sound, sparśa means touch, rasa means taste, rūpa means color and hence shape, gandha means smell. These are the five products which our senses produce by virtue of interactions with the objects. You may call it residential interaction, professional interaction, societal interaction but whatever it may be, all these are śabda, sparsha, rasa, rūpa, gandhas.

Now the point that you should understand is, in all these interactions, we don’t have much to do with the improvement of the senses as such. If any sensory organ is defective or it becomes ill, then we have to treat it. Agreed. Otherwise I don’t think any quality can be administered to your senses. Am I clear? You cannot administer a quality to your eyes except set right the defects. Similarly, either to your hand or to your ears. So please ask yourself, then where is this quality administration, reformation to be brought about, refinement to be sought and gained? Where is that enrichment process taking place? The answer will be, it is only in the causal zone or region. What is that? Within the body in the sphere of the mind and the intelligence. Are you clear about it? So your focus throughout the interaction should be, apart from the physical external interactions you have, your focus should be, what enables you to interact through the senses with the objects, and where do the interactional impacts and outcome fall, how does it further shape further activity? The answer is that it is in your own inside in the inner personality where the thinking, feeling and emotional mind comes first. Then the enquiring, ascertaining and deciding intelligences comes next.

So the inner personality consisting of mind and intelligence is the only source of all interactions. Every interaction proceeds from these two. The interactions subsist on them; they also conclude in them. Once you agree that this is so, are you spending enough time and attention, making any effort, in order to improve the inner personality every time? If you are not doing, how do you propose to improve the quality of your interaction? Whenever we speak of quality and refinement, be very clear that it is an inner enrichment; it is an inner improvement, it is an inner refinement and excellence in the whole process.

What can be the improvement in the mind and the intelligence? In the mind level we respond to external situations. In that response level, you should not be miserly or trifling in your responses. Try to be as liberal, as thoughtful, as expansive, as lofty as possible. Any response that comes to your mind should be a lofty one; should always be promotional, elevational. Now you have to think about, what is that? It is very simple to say. Ashtavakra told Janaka, if you are an aspirant of liberation, he only said cultivate five items - kṣama, ārjava, daya, toṣa, satyam pīyuṣavat bhaja (Ashtāvakra Gita 1.2). The entire spiritual gamut is covered by him. Enrich your mind with these five qualities. Kṣama - patience and tolerance, ārjava - straightforwardness, daya - compassion, toṣa - contentment and satya - truthfulness. This you cannot get from interaction. It is at the source level, at the causal level. So try to find out whether your mind is truthful or untruthful, whether it is patient or impatient, whether it is compassionate or cruel, whether it is contented or not.

You have no right to have a discontented mind. Contentment is an emotion. As an emotion it belongs to the mind, it is created and afforded by the mind. It is your mind that inwardly and subjectively produces and preserves contentment. You can be unhappy with many things in this world. But you can be happy with a few things or with nothing. When I took up sannyāsa, what was the motivation? Not to have anything; leave everything. Till then, a boy who was given to having things, earning an income, spending the minimum, saving the maximum, sending home, buying some articles, dress, so many other things, at one time he decided “I am going to leave”. Then the focus was on leaving. Till it became realized, the mind was restless and very swift and fast in the process of thinking. So let us be very clear, in our responses we have to be very liberal. A mind that found joy in earning, the same mind now starts feeling, “I should not earn and I should not have a profession, a lucrative profession. My happiness lies in dispossessing myself.” Earlier perhaps, the contentment if at all was in something else. Now it is different. This is what I say, the mind with many things may not be happy but the mind with a few things or nothing can be happy.

Listen to what Shankara says in the Kaupīna pañcakam, Yati pañcakam,

वेदान्तवाक्येषु सदा रमन्तो
भिक्षान्नमात्रेण च तुष्टिमन्तः ।
विशोकमन्तःकरणे चरन्तः
कौपीनवन्तः खलु भाग्यवन्तः ।।
(कौपीन पञ्चकं)
Vedāntavākyeṣu sadā ramanto
Bhikṣānnamāthrena ca tuṣtimantaḥ
viśokamantaḥkaraṇe carantaḥ
kaupīnavantaḥ khalu bhāgyavantaḥ
(Kaupīna pañcakam)
Vedāntavākyeṣu sadā ramanto
Bhikṣānnamāthrena ca tuṣtimantaḥ
- the people who wear a lankoti or a kaupīna alone in their waist, they ramble, move about in this world. They seek bhiksha from a few households in order to sustain the body. But you know how they are walking?

Vedāntavākyeṣu sadā ramanto - their mind is constantly dwelling upon the Vedantic pronouncements and declarations. What are they? They are quite a few.

न कर्मणा न प्रजया धनेन त्यागेनैके अमृतत्वमानशुः ।
(कैवल्योपनिषत् १.३)
Na karmaṇā na prajayā dhanena tyāgenaikē amṛtatvamānaśuḥ
(Kaivalyopanishad 1.3)

Not by glorious and famous activities; not by begetting children; not by amassing wealth, only by renunciation, a few were able to attain immortality, and splendor and glory proceeding from it.

Brahmavid āpnoti param - The one who knows and realizes Brahman attains the supreme object of human life.

इहचेदवेदीदथ सत्यमस्ति न चेदिहावेदीन्महती विनष्टिः ।
(केनोपनिषत् २.५)
Ihacedavedītha satyamasti
Na cet ihāvedīnmahatī vinaṣtiḥ
(Kenopanishad 2.5)

If you succeed in knowing this Truth and the Self here and now, your life becomes meaningful. If you fail in doing so, colossal is the loss. You know, when I read these pronouncements when I was in Calcutta in my pre-sannyāsa life, reading, reading, reading and getting exposed to their content and revelation, it was so stimulating, so exhilarating, so engulfing, so comprehending. Can you imagine a mind getting all its delight from these statements and pronouncements of the Vedas? They were words spoken by your own predecessors. Maybe they lived countless millennia before you on this land. They have also lived, they also had a body. They also had senses. They interacted with the world. They found many things. And ultimately they said, “Not outside but inside; not in the senses but in the mind; not in objects but in the subject; in knowledge, not the things that you possess but the degree, kind and quality of knowledge that you gain lies joy, contentment, delight, fulfillment.”

Such Vedantic declarations they rejoice in, rejoice over

Vedāntavākyeṣu sadā ramanto
Bhikṣānnamāthrena ca tuṣtimantaḥ

They are very happy with whatever bhiksha they get from the household. viśokamantaḥkaraṇe carantaḥ– they are traveling, rambling, traversing within their body in the region, in the horizon of their own mind, and they can travel infinite distance there in the mind. How do they travel? Viśokam– free of all agony, affliction, torment, grief, tension and stress.

viśokamantaḥkaraṇe carantaḥ - they are given to traveling. They go on observing their thoughts, studying their thoughts. What is happening to the mind? The same mind produces a number of thoughts, emotions, everything comes and goes. Endless is the process but mind is the same. How can the single mind give rise to myriad thoughts? How does this magic take place? How does it produce? Where the produced thoughts are reigning, and where do they disappear? They go on, go on, go on…(observing). The mind produces infinite length of thoughts, variety of thoughts. So what would be the source mind like, its potential? They start imagining, observing, experiencing, and then they become delightful. Oh! My dear mind, you are the magic that I know. There is nothing greater than that. You produce a number of thoughts, try to get me involved in them. Ultimately all thoughts disappear. Then why did I get involved? Why did I become miserable? Misery is uncalled for. Agitation is nonsensical. Tension is unfounded. Nevertheless I am victimized by all these things. What is this jugglery? How long can it go? This is the way they introspect. They have only one kaupīna on the waist, so that others will not be repelled by looking at them.

Vedāntavākyeṣu sadā ramanto
Bhikṣānnamāthrena ca tuṣtimantaḥ
viśokamantaḥkaraṇe carantaḥ
kaupīnavantaḥ khalu bhāgyavantaḥ

Therefore those people who ramble in this world wearing only a kaupīna, but always contemplating upon the Vedic supreme pronouncements, they are the most fortunate in this world; not the others.

In front of such a reliable pronouncement, what can you do, my dear seekers? Can you afford to be possessive? Can you afford to be deluded? Can you afford to be victimized by your senses and sensory interactions?

There is a far greater world inside your body. A world of beauty, unsullied beauty, a world of excellence which can never be surpassed. An inner invisible splendor, an invisible magnificence to transcend which there is nothing in the outside world. And this is revealed by our scriptural compositions, texts, our scriptural authors. The extent to which you have respect, adoration towards them, that will determine the extent and depth of receptivity that you will grow. Expand and enlarge your mind. Deepen it as much as possible. Make it as lofty as possible. Be liberal, liberal, liberal! Do not victimize yourselves by your reactions and responses. Always float over the mind and hence over the world. This inner swimming is what is trained and taught and imparted by spiritual wisdom particularly the Self-realized teacher. This is what you have to learn. Swim on your own mind and be afloat all the emotions that surge in, all the responses that come forth, all the reactions that transpire.

Harih Om Tat Sat Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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