"It is not what you do that matters, but how you do it – with what attitude and aim. The spiritual effect that a seemingly spiritual activity brings, can also be had by the domestic pursuit, provided you preserve a spiritual attitude and dedication."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Every time you have to go into your mind and find out whether it is behaving properly or not. If not, try to correct it. This is called introspection and this introspection you can do in any situation with regard to any context of things. I think all of you should do well to understand the whole process and see that every moment the mind is corrected.

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 Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio 

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

I think – I don’t know how many of you – may be many of you or all of you are not very clear about the nature of introspection you have to do. The introspection of a seeker, a Vedantic seeker, should always be to find out from his own mind, whether the working of the mind is over-shadowed by either a powerful or a basic desire, much worse greed and possessiveness. One point – it all comes under desire. The second part is hatred, different forms of which are intolerance, impatience, dislike, resentment, disapproval and all that. Then thirdly fear. The fear has to be distinguished from anxiety. Unnecessary anxiety is always to be avoided.

You have a knife in your hand and in using it you have to be careful that you don’t cut your finger. Now, do you mean to say that this is a fear which we have to overcome or it is a useful element? In handling the knife, you have to be careful. Hold it in such a manner. You know we have got a habit. We have got the large knife. I don’t know whether there is any other word in English for it. We call it ‘vettukathi’ which is used for cutting wood, branches of trees etc. It will be very hefty, may be more than one kilogram in weight and we generally have to hold it, whenever we hold it, with the sharp side  facing downward. That is how it is to be used.

I observed in my very young days, there was an old man, an agriculturist who used to carry his vettukathi. He always used to keep it in his left or right hand. The handle in the front and the metal portion – look at me, I am holding it like this. The handle will be in front and the steel portion will be behind and he will always keep the sharp edge above. You know that one sight, it gave me so much of insight. “Oh, this is the way to carry it whenever you have to carry.” He used to keep it in his hand and walk, may be a kilometer or so for the work spot.

The idea I could understand was, suppose for any reason that knife falls, the sharp edge should not hit anywhere including the body. The other portion should fall first. Is it not carefulness and a caution that is very prudent? I think one has to admire it. My mother once told me – We have to keep this knife somewhere. Generally this vettukathi etc. they used to be kept on the ground and whenever I kept it, mother told me, “You always keep it close to the wall and whenever you keep it, let the sharp edge be towards the wall. So, even if you are walking and suppose your foot happens to hit it, you will not hit at the sharp edge. “

Now, these are all precautions taken to avoid accidents and hurts. So such precautions arising out of fear or consideration will be necessary. Otherwise imaginary fears, anxieties and the like will not be correct. When a vehicle comes in your front, you always keep to a side so that you are safe and the vehicle is free to pass. These are all precautions necessary to be taken. I don’t know whether they can be considered to be unnecessary fears.

About the desire, suppose you see a person prosperous and you are not so prosperous. When you are not prosperous and you see somebody prosperous, many different feelings can come. One good feeling that I can suggest is: “I am not prosperous. I would like to be prosperous. So whatever I will be if I am prosperous, the same thing I am seeing in another. So I should be happy about it. In this case, it is not myself who is prosperous but another person but prosperity is something that I like. So, whenever a person is prosperous I should be liking it. But why is it that my mind becomes not able to appreciate and feel the joy?”

That is because of either a desire or an intolerance or what you call jealousy. I don’t think it is necessary. So, you should introspect and go into the mind. Am I not a lover of prosperity? Yes. So wherever prosperity is, it should make me happy. Now in this case, somebody is prosperous. I would like the whole world to be prosperous. May be I am not prosperous. But that does not take away the joyfulness of prosperity. So, when I see somebody prosperous, the very reason that I like prosperity, I must be able to enjoy and rejoice over it. Why is it that my mind is not able to? Because of a kink. That kink should be noticed and you should straighten up the mind.

Any kind of a desire – “I want to improve.” I see another man improve. “Oh, I want to improve. In his case the improvement is already there. How blessed is he.” Associate yourself with him so that the improvement will be easier for you. In this way, every time you should introspect and find out.

My wife could have spoken to me better. My husband should have behaved better. Yes, he should have or she should have behaved better. But the fact is that they are not able to behave. So, one day you can discuss it with them and then say: “I sometimes feel that your behaviour could be a little better. What is the reason?” Why don’t you discuss it openly? Suppose after a discussion, X or Y is not able to improve. You cannot change your married partner frequently. So, you have to understand now this is one item where my expectation will not be fulfilled. So I will drop my expectation. Let me accept my partner in whatever manner he or she is. So the acceptance becomes your problem and that problem has to be tackled by the mind. There also it is introspection.

In all my talks and dealings, do I have a hatred, do I have a dislike? To have a dislike means to make the mind bitter. Dislike towards anybody in this world will make your mind heavy and bitter. So to have dislike, is it correct from the view point of a good and a noble mind? And I must give supreme place to possessing a noble mind, a good mind, a benign mind. Just like I would like to possess thousand kilograms of gold if I want gold or prosperity. More important than that is a golden mind.

So, is it right for me to have any kind of a hatred or intolerance towards anybody? No. Then why is it that my mind has it?

So, tutor the mind and then say that it is not right. You should become free, absolutely free, of hatred of any kind. There may be many things hateable in this world. Ok they are hateable you can say. But you cannot hate them. Hateable is only a classification. Classify them as undesirable. Undesirable things will be there in you as well as in others. That does not mean you must  have hatred or dislike towards them. The moment hatred or dislike overpowers your mind, it becomes heavy and the whole peace and joy are robbed.

Every time you try to introspect in this manner and make your mind better and better. Inter personal relationship is very important here. Only in inter personal relationships the mind comes out with its inadequacies, insufficiencies, irregularities, defects, evils, venom, poison and all that. Somebody was telling me – “My wife is fondly speaking to the children and the children are fond of her. So, I started asking, “The way my wife is dealing with the son, why is it that she is not dealing with me”? This kind of a feeling a father has and he is spoiling his mind. Oh, the wife is not speaking to me so fondly but at least she is speaking to the son. Let me look at it and enjoy it.

No I am missing it. Oh, you are missing it already but at least you are seeing it in another. So, why don’t you – that moment at least you feel joyous and you can propose to your wife – “You know I am very happy when you talk to the son so beautifully but in the same manner, I also would like to be talked to. See whether you can speak a few good words to me.” You can say that because with the wife why should you have any secret. So, even prestige is a negative point. If you keep your prestige in the matter of dealing with a problem or what you miss with the wife, then that is also a defect. This is called: 

दम्भो दर्पोऽभिमानश्र्च क्रोध: पारुष्यमेव च
dambho darpo'bhimānaśca krodhaḥ pāruṣyameva ca
Bhagavadgeeta 16.4                              

Every time you have to go into your mind and find out whether it is behaving properly or not. If not, try to correct it. This is called introspection and this introspection you can do in any situation with regard to any context of things. I think all of you should do well to understand the whole process and see that every moment the mind is corrected. But I can tell you, the mind can be treated beautifully and you can take it to a level of, if I can call it, purity – purity, goodness so that you will be happier and happier and happier. And even a small fractional percentage of improvement in any matter will make the mind that much happier. So, the reward is instantaneous.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

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