"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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Don’t think that meditation alone is everything. As important as meditation is, so important is the post-meditation interactions for you. So the sādhanā should be a twofold sādhanā. Meditation for about an hour and non-meditation and intense activity for at least, how much, you can say, two or three hours, for retired people it can be even more for four hours. Then you will find, you start feeling the benefit of meditation, the benefit of this spiritual sādhanā.

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Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio

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

I thought I will point out today one important point. I will point today one important area where you have to pay special attention. There is an international cry for taking up yoga, actually it is yoga sādhanā, yogābhyāsa. But they only mean by yogābhyāsa, having some physical and bodily exercises and disciplines. But actually, yogābhyāsa perhaps may be aided by physical disciplines and exercises. But actual yogābhyāsa will be when it touches our mind, intelligence and heart.

Krishna spoke to Arjuna for about three hours in the battlefield of Kurukshetra before the actual commencement of discharge of arrows. The whole conversation is described as a yoga-śāstra. Only in one of the chapters namely the sixth, He refers to a little pose for meditation. Otherwise Krishna has never spoken about any kind of a kāyika and bodily yoga-anuṣṭāna, but the subject He was discussing all along with Arjuna was yoga-śāstra.

It should make every one of you think as to what is this yoga-śāstra then. It is not the so-called āsans, prāṇāyāma, mudrās and the others. It is something deeper which directly acts upon the mind, intelligence and heart. In this area, meditation has become a craze for the people. Is it that we did not have anything like meditation? If you look into the Indian culture and civilization, you will find our Vedic learning ranked supreme. To study any Veda, I am told it takes ten years. So if anybody wants to learn all the four Vedas and become a caturvedi, he has to spend forty years. Can you imagine?

So the Vedic learning was a very fundamental one and everything grew from there. Following the Vedic learning, the Samhita portion, rituals and ceremonies are discussed to be taken up and performed by the Vedic seekers. They are not yogāsanās or yogābhyāsās. Then the next phase of Vedic life is withdrawing from all these physical involvements and details and employ your mind and intelligence alone and attempt meditation and meditative absorption. Then the last phase of the Vedas namely the Upanishads. There, very good, sustainable enquiries are set forth before the mind. Everywhere you will find it is enquiry.

When Yājñavalkya said: “I am going to divide my wealth into two parts for the two wives and I am going to the forest to pursue the self and self-knowledge.”, Maitreyi asked: “Why don’t you explain to me what is this so that I can also follow?”. So the practice that Vedas have enjoined, envisaged; that practice is a mento-intellectual practice. The learning of the Vedas by hearing it recited and then absorbing it, reciting it oneself, this whole process you will find will purify the mind, sharpen the intelligence. The entire Vedas are thus to be learned. Their meaning, message and purpose have to be understood by operating, employing your intelligence.

So what is this yoga-śāstra then? Primarily it is the śāstra, science which deals with the mind, thoughts, thinker, thinking substance and the like. You must be able to delve into your mind and arrive at a fair knowledge of – ‘What is my mind? What is the thought? How does it evolve? Where does it subside? What do I get from the whole process and is it satisfactory? If not, where lies my goal?’ All these are enquiries by the mind and intelligence to ascertain the truth of matters.

So our yogābhyāsa is primarily an inner one, inner one. It is true that meditation is an important part, but I believe one inch of meditation if you are able to cover, equally two or three inches of interactional sādhanā also you must be able to cover. I don’t think people know this. Every bit and piece of your activity and interaction should be considered as a scope for you to do your sādhanā. Interactions generally break the mind, delude the mind, enmesh it with likes and dislikes, preference and prejudice, pāpa and puṇya. This circle should be overcome, and you must be able to hold on to something by virtue of which stability will be had. Exposing this, explaining it, exhorting people to do the necessary practice for it, this is what our Upanishadic texts say and do.

So the only message I want to give today is, meditation is important, you meditate; equally or even more important is the interactional sādhanā that you perform and pursue. With interactional sādhanā, every day the mind should be additionally enriched! Maybe to a very small degree but still it has to be enriched, it has to be emboldened, strengthened, enriched, empowered, it has to be enlightened. The truth as we are discussing here in the morning and other times, it must be clearly known by the seeker. On the one hand, it will bring about more and more sublimation, modesty, humility, expansion, the power of assimilation. All these qualities will grow in you. That is okay. Don’t think that meditation alone is everything. As important as meditation is, so important is the post-meditation interactions for you.

So the sādhanā should be a twofold sādhanā. Meditation for about an hour and non-meditation and intense activity for at least, how much, you can say, two or three hours, for retired people it can be even more for four hours. Then you will find, you start feeling the benefit of meditation, the benefit of this spiritual sādhanā. It will give you joy, peace, harmony, reconciliation, stability, poise, comfort. I think this is something very very important. If you don’t know what is the non-meditational sādhanā which will sublimate you, the question should be discussed and clarification sought from a mahātmā.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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