"Let not world-objects be your mind’s master. Let them be, if at all, subservient to the mind. To be spiritual is not to look for one’s delight and fulfillment in the objects of the world. The mind that causes delight through any object can also provide delight without such an object. Delight in reality belongs to the mind alone. It is verily mind’s own gift."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

We are conducting Srimad Bhagavata Tattva Sameeksha Satram for the fourteenth year in Naimisharanyam. Right from the beginning our effort and focus have been to bring forth the essential spiritual, philosophical and even devotional messages of Srimad Bhagavatam which the author Vyasa deva has depicted in various ways. It is a very long and variegated text consisting of 18000 Sanskrit verses.

Many people do not know to read Srimad Bhagavatam in a little ordinary speed, it will take about 35 hours minimum. It contains 335 chapters. This very process of reading or even full listening is a sādhana, a discipline, a refinement.

By multi-pronged discussions what is it that Srimad Bhagavatam tries to convey to the listener or the reader is an important point. It is not very difficult to explain. In the language of devotion it says that God is the only existence in whatever manner you think of Him. The entire world, the gross world which is endless in nature, this endless magnitude can only rest in God. It cannot rest in any kind of a piecemeal creation or matter. Mind you, it is endless. It is a very huge sphere which is not bounded. Unbounded sphere. How can it exist anywhere else or on something else? So it rests on itself like a huge circle resting on the centre. There is nothing here but God. God alone is manifesting, is displayed, is expressing Himself in whatever manner you think of Him. This is one message.

Secondly, devotion to God may be begun from any point in any manner. But understand devotion sprouts and grows in the devotee’s heart. In other words, the master, the maker and the Lord of devotion is the devotee’s heart alone. It is for the heart to shape the devotion in the manner in which it likes.

Though God is infinite and endless and devotion to Him is in a way hard to develop, Srimad Bhagavata says it is not so. Devotion is what you cherish in your heart. Like any other item you cherish, start cherishing devotion. It starts growing in you. And as it grows, the distance to God becomes lesser and lesser. The separation from God becomes lesser and lesser and devotion fulfills itself when the devotee is able to feel the inseparable presence and bond of God in his heart. It is something like proceeding to a destination which is at infinite distance and bringing the destination nearer and nearer to you until at last you understand my destination is my own heart within. This is an art, this is a process, this is a pursuit and this is a secret. This is what Srimad Bhagavata explains and achieves for people.

A person who starts growing and rearing devotion of this kind, he doesn’t have to look for anything else at all. Devotion itself is a full treasure and it has got the capacity to fulfill itself. How does it fulfill itself? Is it a pious hope or a reality? This subject is repeatedly discussed by Srimad Bhagavatam. As it is devotional, pious, religious etc. it is philosophical, it is spiritual, it is rational and it is very consummating in its discussions.

In the rational level Srimad Bhagavatam has to say that mind is the place and focus where you experience everything. Our senses are created and shaped by the mind. The senses are possessed by the mind, employed by the mind. If the mind is the author of the senses, whatever the senses capture, create and produce, the same mind is naturally the author. Because the entire world is what the senses perceive. If mind is the author and the Lord of the senses, whatever the senses produce and bring in the mind level, mind is the Lord of that also. This is a very important scientific discovery and a very, very rational analysis.

My own body, our own body is sensed only during waking, wakefulness. The same body is totally invalidated in sleep. Both the sleep and the wakefulness arise in the mind, by the mind, of the mind. If the mind is the author of wakefulness and sleep, what do you think of the rest? The entire world is sensed in wakefulness alone. This wakefulness is an expression of the mind. The same mind or consciousness wipes off the wakefulness and goes to sleep. Then it wakes up from sleep.

So every wakefulness is the appearance of something in between two sleeps. Wakefulness is preceded by sleep and succeeded by sleep. And the sleep is a state where the entire mind processes, reflections and experiences, all of them are wiped off. So just imagine whatever is within the body has got the capacity to generate the wakefulness and wipe off the wakefulness. Does it not therefore become the author and the creator of the world which is nothing but a handiwork of the senses? It is at that point of time that Srimad Bhagavata says

अविद्यमानोऽप्यवभाति हि द्वयो
avidyamāno ’py avabhāti hi dvayoh
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.38)

The entire world which the senses perceive is non-existent. But it comes into existence because of the perceiving mind. It is because of our intelligence that the perception takes place.

ईक्षेत विभ्रममिदं मनसो विलासं
īkṣeta vibhramam-idaḿ manaso vilāsaḿ
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.13.34)

The entire world and other things which you perceive, which you experience, Srimad Bhagavatam says understand that it is an illusion, vibhrama.

Manaso vilāsaḿ. It is a display by the mind in the mind itself. These are very clear statements where philosophically, spiritually and experientially Srimad Bhagavatam affirms that everything that you experience is illusory. It is not a factual thing. It is like dream. You have a dream world, a dream house, a dream life, a dream marriage, dream children, everything else. All of them are just like they are illusory, the wakeful world also is illusory. This is the last message, repeated message of Srimad Bhagavatam.

Though it is a devotional text, it is highly philosophical, spiritual and experiential. Because it is clothed and coated in devotion, everybody finds it very appealing, tasteful and delicious. Now we are trying to bring forth this truth and through Srimad Bhagavatam impress people with the values of our country, values relating to the individual, relating to the family, relating to the social segment, the nation, the globe, the environment, then administration. Everything included in our dharma. All these aspects are dealt with in Srimad Bhagavatam. We are trying to get it explained properly. We are not able to get always very good speakers.

Yesterday a young boy, married of course, he was introduced to me and Vijay Menon was telling me “He is one person in spite of his age, he is able to explain Srimad Bhagavata very, very well.” We would like to have such youngster speakers who can explain the text very well. That also is not easy. Because this explanation will have to be backed by nishta, austerity, discipline, refinement which means the person will have to take up sannyāsa and make Srimad Bhagavata statements true. And sannyāsa is not a distress measure.

तुष्टे च तत्र किमलभ्यमनन्त आद्ये
tushte ca tatra kim-alabhyam-ananta ādye
(Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.25)

When God is pleased there is nothing that is unattainable. To please the Lord means to have all the things that you want to have. How they come, what will be with you and what will go, never worry about it. The best will come. Ultimately even possessiveness is a hindrance. That also will have to be lost, dropped.

So one becomes a great devotee for whom devotion itself becomes the treasure, the wish-yielding tree or kāma-dhenu. My dear souls, there is such a state of beautiful pleasantness where by the thought, by the feeling, by the devotion, by the bond of God your life becomes smooth and everything as and when necessary comes, as and when necessary goes, making you easy, comfortable, happy and fulfilled.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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