"Every moment of your life you are being carried to fulfilment, irresistibly. Everything that comes to you does so to improve, correct or alter your nature, thereby taking you nearer perfection. So, whenever agitation assails your mind, ponder over this truth again and again."

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.

This is a point I have spoken several times perhaps in the Prabhata Rashmih as well as elsewhere. But the point requires to be repeated not by me, but by the listeners and hearers and readers. They have to repeat it in the form of their own mentation, rumination or introspection. Somebody else can feed you in the form of articulation. The books can provide something in the way of a reading material. But, that ‘but’ is very important, whatever is heard and read will have to be possessed by you. It should become part of your life. This will take place only when the ideas and the message are assimilated by you. Assimilation means a process by virtue of which this is facilitated. What is that process? Reflect upon, contemplate upon, ruminate upon whatever you have heard and whatever you want to absorb.

Devotion is something very common. In India, you will find teaming millions are devotees. The last Poorna Kumbha Mela we had attracted about fifteen crores of devotees, mostly from India, some from abroad also. The Shabarimalai shrine in Kerala has something like three to five crores of people visiting. All of them are devotees. That means they have devotion. But if you ask them, “How many of you have either the realization of God or godliness imbibed and manifested in you?” I don’t think many will come up to say “yes”.

Devotion though commonly practiced, why is it that the devotees do not get fulfilled by devotion? In all devotees, the object of worship is God. But why worship? We are not expecting to bring any transformation in God. God is ever full, present everywhere, omnipresent. There is no second factor as a result of which God never becomes conditioned or transformed at all. Then by devotion, what is the object of the devotees? Perhaps they don’t think about it.

Devotion is what their mind and heart feel towards God. So, devotion means a kind of a reliance or fondness which sprouts in the devotee’s heart. God was there always. He is there and He will be there. Only the devotion for Him sprouts in the mind of an individual. So, this sprouting of devotion is always in the heart of the individual.

So, by devotion, are we trying to bring about any change in God? No, not at all. At the same time, we try to bring about a number of transformations in the devotee. Are the devotees conscious of it? “Do I have devotion to God? If so what kind of a devotion is it? As a devotee, am I behaving properly? What are the characteristics of a good devotional behavior?” I don’t think anybody thinks about it. But you will find in India, all devotional speakers as in devotional scriptures or devotional writings, it is true that they give a lot of description about God. But at one time you will find, they transcend that phase and then begin to discuss devotion and the devotee.

What is devotion? Where does it well forth? How is it? How can we identify it? Is there anything called low level of devotion, mediocre, high, higher and even transcendental? All these are points discussed in the devotional scriptures. That means in the genesis of devotion and also in the growth, enrichment and fruition of devotion, we have nothing to look to God, but we have everything to look to yourself. Has devotion sprouted in my heart? Is it steadily growing? What does the growth imply, warrant or dictate? Am I talking like a devotee, behaving like a devotee? What are the devotional characteristics? Do I have them? Should I not have them? So, as much as God is discussed and described, devotee is also described. When that devotee description starts appealing to your mind, alluring you, then you will grow in your devotion. Maybe day by day, week by week, fortnight by fortnight, month by month and decade after decade.

The growth of devotion is very, very important. And where is the focus of the devotion? It is only in your own mind, helped by the tool called intelligence. Now I am talking to you. This talk is really a rational presentation of the subject of devotion. A rational presentation means it comes from the intelligence. So, the true devotional growth consists of an inner process where the knowledgeable intelligence starts interacting with the emotional mind to bring about more and more purity, more and more refinement, more and more benignness and benevolence, more and more of creativity, more and more of societal feelings, expansion of the mind, dropping of all constrictions, ultimately dropping the desires, dropping the possessiveness and dropping the ego. Are you aware of these factors? It is very interesting to watch the mind.

Whether you are in the office or at home or anywhere in the world doing whatever you have to do, devotional growth can still be there. Your body and senses are active and interacting. But the mind can still parallelly have devotional links and it can improve wonderfully and steadily. Observe your mind and see whether it is devotional or not. Devotion primarily consists of a kind of a fondness and reliance on the Supreme Reality. A fondness or reliance. It is this fondness and reliance that have to grow in their dimension. It may be a mustard measure to start with. It has to become a mountainous measure. No, it has to become of oceanal measure. No, not sufficient. It has to become spacial in its dimension.

When you are able to have a spacial mind, what do you mean by that? It is that wonderful space that contains all the celestial bodies, including our own earth where we are living. In the same manner, the spacial mind will be able to include, contain, include, contain. When forbearance is required, forbear, when integration is required, integration, harmonization is required, harmonization. At no point of time should you lose your cheer. ‘Santhushtah Satatam Yogih’. You have to be always developing your mind, expanding your mind, making it more and more pure.

Think in terms of purity and refinement and understand what are the impurities and defilement. On the one hand, you remove the wrong and on the other side to imbibe and cultivate the right. These twin processes will have to continue till the fall of your body. There is no place for complacency here. I will recite a verse and explain to you where devotion will and should take you to.

अकिञ्चनस्य दान्तस्य शान्तस्य समचेतसः ।
मया सन्तुष्टमनसः सर्वाः सुखमया दिशः ॥
akiñcanasya dāntasya śāntasya sama-cetasaḥ |
mayā santuṣṭa-manasaḥ sarvāḥ sukha-mayā diśaḥ ||
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.14.13)

It is a verse I like, I cherish, I cherish. Whenever I think of this verse or recite it, you know it is ecstatic. It is equally enlightening, illumining. ‘Akiñcanasya’. Akiñcana is one who has a feeling that I have something. What do you have here? Your body is not made of you, made by you. What about the earth in which you are living? No, not at all ours. What about the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, the sun and moon shine that we enjoy? None of these things is made by us or by our parents and grandparents.

How do you breathe? Consciously or not? What about the beating of the heart? These are all involuntary functions going on in the body by virtue of which our embodiment, bodily life is preserved. If it is something which does not depend upon us and over which we have no control, then how do you say that we have anything? Whatever money you earn, property you acquire, any other assets you gain, all are perhaps with the resources that you get. By your effort or activity. But if the body itself is not yours, by virtue of which all these interactions are taking place, then what is it? It is something like multiplying a huge list, a long list of multiplication. It is a very long list. Both the ends are not available. So, whoever has got it, he starts multiplying from some point. Poor fellow, he doesn’t know that the original figure is a zero. This is how our possessiveness also is.

We don’t possess anything. We are possessed. The earth holds us on its surface by virtue of its own gravitational force. If you go to the shunyakasha, empty sky, you will not be able to fix yourself anywhere. You must have seen on the TV, people are flying. So, the earth keeps us, the air keeps us, the water keeps us, the sun and moon shine keep us. We are not keeping anything. So where is the possession that you have? So, reflecting in this manner, one becomes non-possessive. He has nothing to claim as his own. Akiñcanasya.

Dāntasya. Let the senses be moderately regulated. Whether it is the sight, the sound or anything else. By seeing, you are wearing and tearing your eyes. By hearing, you are equally aging your ears. So, have a little moderation and regulation.

Śāntasya sama-cetasaḥ. Let the mind be calm. That means, do not have any desire at all. Desire is redundant in life. By desire, you cannot achieve anything. Use your skill, use your resolve, employ and utilize the opportunity that you have in life. That is what brings about productivity and outcome. If you say “I desire a building” and make a building out of your desire, let me see. So it is redundant. Work on need, work on whatever resources potential you have, employ them.

You have a certain qualification and merit. The society at large requires it. So you apply, they recruit you and they give you. Suppose their industry is not prosperous, they will ask you to go away. Don’t think that merely because you have studied, you get employment. The opportunity has to be there. So be calm, practice quietude.

Śāntasya sama-cetasaḥ. Let the mind remain even and uniform. Let not many reactions rob the mind, subdue the mind, overtake the mind. Have a sense of moderation, have a sense of unification, have a sense of evenness. Reduce the ups and downs. Reduce the extremes. Moderation is the watch word. Moderation is the crowning glory of human life.

Mayā santuṣṭa-manasaḥ. Then you don’t need anything to become contented. Contentment or joy is an emotion and it belongs to the mind. You think that from the objects, contentment comes. That object which the mind considers dear, that dearness of the mind imposed upon the object, then only the object becomes joyful. In however, in whichever manner you think, joy, cheer, contentment, delight, all these are emotional products of the mind. Now he says, maya santhushtamanasah. Learn to be delightful with God who is present everywhere and equally present in you. Something that is present in me and everywhere, should I have to possess, possess it? Do I have to search for it or walk? Not at all! Apprehend it, realize it, understand it properly. So, the thought of God or thought of the Supreme Reality alone should start delighting you. Mind delights itself by virtue of its own delightful thinking, delightful responses.

Sarvāḥ sukha-mayā diśaḥ. For such a person, such a devotee, sarvāḥ sukha-mayā diśaḥ. All the directions are blissful, cheerful, delightful, ecstatic. All the directions! You don’t have to look at a special picture or go to a temple or a mosque or a church. Wherever you are, wherever you are, your mind starts becoming delighted, delighted with the thought of God, the thought of Self or the thought of the Supreme Reality. My dear children, understand that the entire devotion rests upon your mind and heart.

All the temples are made by our temple architecture. We have developed the architectural science. ‘God’ is a word in our vocabulary. God doesn’t say ‘God’. And ‘I am’. He doesn’t have a mouth to speak. It is we who think of God. We think of dog, we also think of God. Dog is a figure, is an animal around us. But God is a presence all around and inter-penetrating us. So, we have to define God. And we also have to define the way of apprehending or comprehending Him.

Everything in devotion rests upon the devotee’s mind and heart. It is for him to develop it, develop it to such an extent that he becomes happy. I always say, in a lighter way though it is true, “My dear God, I am happy thinking about you. But I don’t know whether you are happy thinking about me. That is your look out. Whether you exist or not, that is also immaterial for me. If You don’t exist, well and good. But I like to think of You and in the thought, I find delight, satisfaction and fulfillment. What can you do about it? Nothing!”

Suppose I meet disfavor, quite alright, disfavor is also equally God for me. When I have pain, I call it bliss of pain, bliss of discomfort, bliss of hunger, bliss of appeasement, bliss of pain and bliss of relief of pain. Our mind can think in such absolute and full and complete terms. It is a potential of the mind. Understand devotion and God in this manner and develop it in your mind and heart as soon as possible and float in the ecstasy of devotion.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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