"Unflinching devotion to the Teacher is paramount in the life of a true seeker. To begin with, an external God can be the object of faith. But once the devotee grows to be a seeker, only a Wise Teacher can fulfil his quest.  It is then for the seeker to get purified and enlightened by the words of wisdom from his Guru.  Their bond and attunement put the Teacher on the pedestal of God.  Such an impeccable Guru-sishya bond alone bestows wisdom, strength and fulfillment to the seeker."

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.

Many people do not know that all our scriptural narrations are nothing but questions, enquiries, investigations, findings and answers arising from the human mind and intelligence. That is why you find most of the presentations are in the form of questions and answers or at least dialogues between people. Many of the Upanishads are like that. Bhagavadgeeta itself is a dialogue. Uddhavageeta is another dialogue. The dialogue goes on extending only because of questions and enquiries from the listener and answers to them from the exponent. The Hindu dharma is such that, it raises all questions and it also answers them. Questions can only be with regard to three basic factors or constituents - the complex world around us which we interact with by our senses, the religious God to whom all practices of devotion are addressed, and then one’s own invisible personality within the body, characterized by mind, intelligence and ego. Finally, what am I, or who am I? So enquiry into oneself, enquiry into the world and enquiry into God, and the Hindu dharma says that all these enquiries converge and they become one - the answer is one. God is the self and world is the self-manifest. I am the self. When you come to the question of the seat of spiritual justice, there you cannot be emotional, you cannot be preferential, you cannot be prejudicial, there you only have something called the appropriateness of matters. Appropriateness of matters cannot brook any emotional sanction or resentment. The entire effort of the human being is to elevate himself from the level of emotion to the level of wisdom or intelligence.

Every time Krishna spoke, he is described as ‘prahasanniva bhārata’ (Bhagavadgeeta 2.10). While Arjuna was shedding tears, Krishna smilingly answered him. I think it has got a lot of meaning. When somebody is crying, seeing that, another person also is crying. The second person will not be able to offer any redress or relief to the first person. Only when he is able to keep a kind of a cool and smile, he will be in a position to talk to the other effectively and help. I think these are points which I would like you to know.

A very important question has been raised by ‘V’. What about devotion and prayer, God on whom devotion is based? This is a point I have been explaining and exposing variously, only to create in people a kind of realistic thinking so that they will have no delusion about anybody. I think all of you should start thinking, what shall I pray for? What kind of a prayer will be unfailing and will be all fold and all applicable? In a family, a girl is pregnant. The family wants a boy. So they start doing a lot of offering, thinking that it should be a boy. They will continue to do this offer even one hour before the delivery. So I used to ask, is not the sex of the child decided already? And do you want by virtue of your prayer some kind of a change in it so that he will neither be a man nor a woman? What is it that you are thinking about? You can pray but what for? - this you should understand. I have also told on many occasions what took place in Poornathrayeshan temple. Generally in Cochin people used to attain, get to the throne very late in age when they are in their seventies and eighties. So one Maharaja was sick, his wife goes to the temple and asks the priest, “In order to prolong the life of my husband what should be done?” He says, ‘X’ should be done. After four days, another woman goes there who is supposed to be the wife of the next incumbency. She said, “How soon will I be able to get throne for my husband? What is the offering?” The priest said, “This is the offering.” You tell me - whose offering will be accepted and honored by the Lord of the temple? Does this kind of an offering have any meaning? No. Therefore should it be done or not done? Yes, you may do it. Because ignorance and delusion are ruling the minds of the people. As long as ignorance is there and delusion is there, many things can be done, will be done, and will be suggested to be done. So you total up everything and finally come to the conclusion as to what is the right type of prayer. This also I have said.

प्रातः समुत्थाय तव प्रियार्थं संसारयात्रामनुवर्तयिष्ये ।।
prātaḥ samutthāya tava priyārthaṁ saṁsāra-yātrām-anuvartayiṣye ||

We are getting up early in the morning by virtue of your command and the saṁsāra-yātra, the voyage of worldliness which you have ordained, we are pursuing it. Nothing more you have to pray. Carry the consciousness that you are following the command of God, and you are following a chartered yātra, chartered by somebody, certainly not you, call it God if you like.

नास्था धर्मे न वसुनिचये नैव कामोपभोगे
यद्भव्यं तद्भवतु भगवन् पूर्वकर्मानुरूपम् ।
- मुकुन्दमाला ५
nāsthā dharme na vasunicaye naiva kāmopabhoge
yadbhavyaṃ tadbhavatu bhagavan pūrvakarmānurūpam..|
- Mukundamālā 5

One devotee comes up and says that, “I am not interested in Dharma. I am not interested in Artha - wealth or prosperity. I am not interested in kāma. I am also not interested in moksha.” Why?

yadbhavyaṃ tadbhavatu bhagavan, If our life is decided and determined or even otherwise, what is going to take place, will. So let it. I am not going to deter it or avoid it or ask for a change or alternative.

yadbhavyaṃ tadbhavatu, If our Karma, our life is governed by destiny or any other factor, whatever it brings, let it bring, then why should I ask for any option? Will it not be unrealistic? So you don’t have any prayer! Yes I have a prayer.

ह्येतत् प्रार्थ्यं मम बहुमतं जन्मजन्मान्तरेऽपि
Hyethath praarthyam mama bahumatham janma janmaantharepi

This is my coveted prayer. What is that? After the body falls, some people say there will be a further birth. Some others say, no birth. Whether no birth or birth, it is better to think that if I were to be born or if there is no birth at least till this body falls..

ह्येतत् प्रार्थ्यं मम बहुमतं जन्मजन्मान्तरेऽपि
त्वत्पादाम्भोरुहयुगगता निश्चला भक्तिरस्तु ।।
hyetat prārthyaṃ mama bahumataṃ janmajanmāntare’pi
tvat-pādāmbho-ruhayugagatā niścalā bhaktirastu||

Let me have unflinching devotion to Your lotus feet. This unflinching devotion will enable me to forbear, receive and assimilate all the events and episodes in life, one. Secondly, no matter whether they are bitter or sweet, from this devotion itself, I will have an inner spiritual elixir. Suppose, all the things around me are alright, then also I get only a joy. Suppose, some of them are not alright, then I am thrown into misery. Now without being victimized by misery, let me have unflinching devotion to Your lotus feet so that I will be alright, I will not be affected by anything.

नान्या स्पृहा रघुपते हृदयेऽस्मदीये
सत्यं वदामि च भवानखिलान्तरात्मा ।
भक्तिं प्रयच्छ रघुपुंगव निर्भरां मे
कामादिदोषरहितं कुरु मानसं च ।।
- श्रीरामचरितमानस-सुन्दरकाण्ड-२
nānyā spṛhā raghupate hṛdaye’smadīye
satyaṃ vadāmi ca bhavān-akhilāntarātmā|
bhaktiṃ prayaccha raghupuṅgava nirbharāṃ me
kāmādidoṣa-rahitaṃ kuru mānasaṃ ca||
- Srirāmacaritamānas-Sundarakāṇḍa-2

This is another prayer. Both of these I have specially selected and have been singing for so many times. I don’t have any other desire, my dear Lord Rama. I am speaking the truth and because you are an antharātmā, you will know whether I speak the truth or not. If it is untrue please correct me. I have no other desire. Then one desire is there - what is that?

bhaktiṃ prayaccha, Give me devotion.

raghupuṅgava nirbharāṃ me, Give me total and wholesome and all filling devotion.

How do I know that you have given me?

kāmādidoṣa-rahitaṃ kuru mānasaṃ ca, Make my mind free of desires. When the mind is made free of desires, my mind becomes desire-free, I know that you have given me the supreme devotion. Now you tell me, is there a God? If you believe, yes-yes. And what should you pray for? This is what you have to pray for. If you make any deflection or any difference you are out to suffer. Bhagavadgeeta says

मात्रास्पर्शास्तु कौन्तेय शीतोष्णसुखदुःखदाः ।
आगमापायिनोऽनित्यास्तांस्तितिक्षस्व भारत ।।
- भगवद्गीता २.१४
mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ
āgamāpāyino 'nityās tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata
- Bhagavadgeeta 2.14

This is what Krishna told the grieving Arjuna. He said, life if you analyze, is an interaction between senses and the objects of the world which definitely bring either sukha or duhkha. Sukha is acceptable, you like. Duhkha alone is unacceptable. Understand the nature of life and be tolerant and forbear both. Suppose you are able to forbear these two, the mind becomes free and liberated. Now, even the tolerance should you ask for, if you ask me, I said, even that you don’t have to bear. When sukha comes, as you live, dukha comes also you will live. Maybe shedding tears, complaining and all that. If the purpose of dukha is to be fulfilled, then you have to be made alive and made to suffer. So if you think further you will find, even forbearance is not to be sought. Then what is to be sought? Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing!

Jadabharata (Srimad Bhāgavatam, 5.9) was attacked by the thief, he was bathed, Raktachandana was spread on his body in front of a Kālī temple. Two thieves with a sword in their hands were ready, standing on both sides, one each. They were waiting for their chieftain to come so that his neck could be cut and narabali could be offered to the Goddess. Jadabharata remained there. He never prayed. He never felt anything unusual. When the chieftain came, suddenly from the idol proceeded the so called Kālī, with a sword in her hand and cut off both the thieves. Did he pray? Bhāgavata says no. Why this phenomenon occurred? You yourself explain. Most of the prayers are unrealistic. If at all you have to pray, prayer is not necessary. That is why we say

Āyātam āyātam apekṣanīyam gatam gatam sarvamupekṣanīyam.

Receive whatever comes, and reject whatever goes. Actually do you have to receive and reject? No! Whatever has come means it has come! What further reception? And whatever has gone has gone! No rejection also is necessary. When you understand the subject properly, we are already doing it. I think all of you will have to think well as to, what is devotion? Is there any God? And what should a devotee pray for? Unless these truths are understood, the mind is not going to rest in peace.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

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