"Devotion is a means as well as its true end when it grows into a full treasure. When devotion becomes a treasure, you will need nothing more for inner fullness or affluence. As devotion grows, it will begin to free you of all desire, hatred and fear. It will relieve poverty, either by making you amply resourceful or by taking away from you the very feeling of poverty. Devotion also will remove your weakness, generating untold strength and confidence."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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What is this interactional sādhana? Interactional sādhana is an additive, an additional factor while performing all your interactions. You must have an additional thought and concern to introduce the interactional sādhana element and this element completely revolves upon your mind. So, wherever I am, whatever I do and for whatever purposes my actions are, I must equally have the sādhana element, sādhana sublimation process with it. And what is that? Incorporate the discipline, the refinement, the sublimity the mind should have always.

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

The habit and tendency to misunderstand, wrongly understand matters, especially many of the truths and values of life are more in people than the innocence and straightforwardness to hear, to read, to understand, to think about and then know properly. Why I am saying this – Because today I thought I will speak about interactional sādhana. This is in connection with whatever I spoke yesterday and also whatever I spoke in the Bhagavad Gita discussion during the earlier recent three days.

What is this interactional sādhana? Interactional sādhana is an additive, an additional factor while performing all your interactions. While performing interactions, the laws and processes governing actions and interactions will be at work. For example, you take up a work. What work you will take up, when will you take up and for what purpose? Here we are not speaking anything about them. Maybe you are taking bath, you are looking after the children, you are reading a book, you are going to the market, you are working in your office front, you are in a discussion with the family members; any kind of an interaction can be there. These interactions will be governed by the laws and processes of interactions themselves.

Now I am speaking. My purpose is to make you hear and expose a truth very effectively. You are hearing. After some time, I may have discussions with you. Various kinds of interactions will be there. As I always say, they are with persons on the one hand, places, environments or circumstances on the other and different types of events.

What is a work? Work is a procedure which when you complete will bring about a certain result or outcome. So that work will be governed by what outcome you need and for what purpose. There, interactional sādhana has nothing to do, nothing to say. The sādhana part of it is in addition to your interactions. Interactions - let them be governed by the interactional laws and processes. The sādhana part comes only where when you think that all my interactions should have the sādhana element in addition to the objective, associations, purposes and the like.

“With interactional sādhana, will I spoil an activity?” Don’t raise that question. You are doing your work effectively and you are supposed to do. In addition to the object relationship in your actions and interactions, I would like the sādhana part to be accompanying it. And what is the sādhana part? It has only something to do with or it has something to do with only your mind. What is this mind with regard to your action and interaction? The attitude with which you do the work and the objective for which you are doing. I am not speaking about the object objective. You must have an additional thought and concern to introduce the interactional sādhana element and this element completely revolves upon your mind. So, wherever I am, whatever I do and for whatever purposes my actions are, I must equally have the sādhana element, sādhana sublimation process with it. And what is that? Incorporate the discipline, the refinement, the sublimity the mind should have always.

Suppose you do an austerity for one hour, what is the purpose of the austerity? I don’t know whether you have thought about it. It is to purify the mind. Any form of austerity is to take away the corruptional and dilutional elements from the mind and make the mind pure. This is the purpose of your austerity. Even meditation is something like that except when it becomes absorptional and realizational. Now, the same mind purification process should accompany your interactions. This will happen when you have the attitude of accepting whatever the action produces.

The actions can produce only three subjective results. What are they - Pleasant on the one hand, unpleasant on the other or a combination of the two. The feeling of pleasantness, unpleasantness or a mixture of both, this has nothing to do with objective results. They are responses to objective results. Whenever your action succeeds in its external objective, you feel pleasant. When it does not succeed, you feel unpleasant. When there is 50-60 or 60-40 or 50-50, then also you will feel a combinational outcome. It is this part that the interactional sādhana should look after.

Maybe you do a work and it succeeds beyond measure. You will automatically feel a lot of jubilation, exultation. Interactional sādhana says ‘Don’t give vent to it’. Your action has succeeded. Very good. Every action is supposed to succeed. It has succeeded. What is there so much to be complimented about? Suppose the action fails, then don’t get depressed. All the actions are supposed to fulfill their objectives but you and your actions alone are not present in this world. You are an individual and you are surrounded by so many factors in the form of persons, places and events. So, every action or all actions do not and may not equally succeed.

Take the Mahabharata war which Arjuna fought. Was it all gain, certainly not! Immense losses were there. The death of Abhimanyu itself is something very great. De-seating Bhishma was very painful; killing Drona, very sinful. Like that, so many other factors. The Mahabharata war apparently won its objective. Though objectively the war was won, subjectively it was not always pleasant. That is why Yudhishthira lost his heart after winning the war. Any objective outcome is bound to produce either pleasantness or unpleasantness or a combination of the two. Now this part of it is what is tackled by or sublimated by the interactional sādhana.

सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्योः समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते ।।
siddhy-asiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā samatvaṁ yoga ucyate ||
(Bhagavad Gita 2.48)

Now, this yoga sādhana which is in the form of a ‘samatva buddhi’ or a ‘samatva’ mind, this is not going to adversely affect your interactions; on the other hand, take away the adverse elements and make you more and more fit, more and more beautiful, more and more light, flexible and effective in doing any work.

We went to New York from Virginia. The very purpose why we went there because we were clearly told that there would be 700 representatives, all industrial representatives from 27 countries. This is what we were told in writing. So, everybody in the United States, our people felt that “Swamiji, you should go there.” I had said I would not like to go leaving the three-day Śibiram. So, Swamiji also came from here. That was the one advantage that we had. Finally, we went there. The first reverse was we missed our train, the 4 o’ clock train we missed by 3 minutes or 5 minutes. We reached the railway station but before we could reach the train, it would have left. So that is the reverse.

I felt that the Washington Railway Station was a sound furnace. I could not remain there. So we wanted to escape. Then, we could not get the train at 5, at 6, all were booked. At 7, we got. That means three hours delay. The first upset. Dr. Kumar and party were waiting for us in Washington. He could not be contacted because of some lack of telephone number. He was greatly anxious. When finally he was told, he got so angry with Pankaj. So, unpleasantness there. Finally, when we went there, it meant a lot of dislocation for us. We must have reached where we wanted to reach by 11.30 or 12 O’clock. By the time we settled, it was one (O’ clock) or more. I could not have a wink of sleep that night, not even one wink of sleep. Pankaj was asking, “When you did not have sleep, normally people will get irritated but I did not find you get irritated. You did not have any difficulty.” No.

Somehow or the other, we got, we went there. Can you imagine? Not even 50 people were there. Out of 700, at least 70 people could have been there, 10%. Even that was not there. The talk was delayed. Finally, we were asked to go there, we sat. I told them “You may delay the talk.” It does not matter. We did not have so much time to delay. Yet I said, I spoke. But when I was giving the talk or even before that, the so-called interactional sādhana was always with me, what - Going and talking, it is an objective effort.

Now the subjective part, “Oh we came late, everything is unpleasant. I don’t have the leisure, the rest. So what shall I do? Then people are not there.” Ananthakrishnan telephoned to say “Swamiji, I don’t think it is going to be very good. Swamiji always tells us that we should not expect. I think this is a situation where expectation should not be there.” So, my own disciple giving me beautifully the message of non-expectation. Very good. I am happy that he was saying it. Then we went there, smilingly, interestingly, pleasantly, cheerfully, delightfully, exultationally I spoke and came back.

But I tell you, the whole mission was not at all purposeful at all is what I am feeling. But I still have a feeling, wherever I go and whatever I speak, some benefit will be there. Otherwise, why should providence take me there? This is how I think. I don’t think there is a greater interactional sādhana that you can imagine. Everything was adverse there, making you feel “Why did I come and what is the purpose?” And we had left something in New York. So, between the two, where should I have been better present - In Virginia with the Experiential Vedanta Program. But here, we went all the way and it was to no avail.

Now the point I wanted to ask you is interactional sādhana is not at any point of time feeling that “I am not successful, I am not able to do things the way I want, I don’t have the time.” You will have so many factors. Sometimes you will be successful, very pleasant factors will be there. Suppose everything is favourable and you fall sick, what will you do?

Now in the Ashram, everybody complains that there is a lot of heavy work here. But my attitude, please remember this, you should record it as a biographical point in my life. What is that? I will never say we have too much of work. What is meant by growth? Whenever anybody, either an individual or a family or an organization or a work, including spiritual activity, when it grows, what will happen? It will grow. It will not grow with your permission, with your approval like a water tap regulating the flow of water. If it grows, it is because of a combination of circumstances so that will grow. When it grows, there will always be excess involvement and excess work. What do you want – our Ashram to be functional and effective or our Ashram should be shrinking?

So, with the excess work, make whatever best arrangements you can to handle the work. If you are not able to handle, automatically work will fail and the growth will be stunt. Shrinking will take place. I have always one statement, one answer to make – I have not started the Ashram. I am not causing anything to be done; it gets done. So, if I have not started the Ashram or started anything, the forces which did will also look after it. So if there is excess work, let the work reduce. Let many things happen, as a result of which work will reduce. Till it reduces, I will not grumble and complain. I will try to do maximum and while doing, let my body fall. Maybe one day there is an excess work, I am doing it. While doing right then, let the body collapse rather than lying on a cot waiting, treating, and then I would like myself, my body to fall but it does not fall. Now this is the way I think about it. I believe all of you will have to reflect upon it. The interactional sādhana will look after all interactions, no matter what they are, where they are, how effective or non-effective it is. Everything will be looked after because mind is the focus here and siddhy-asiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā is the formula to be applied.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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