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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. 

All of you know that I am generating the matter by speaking in front of the camera for Muktisudhakaram. During this period, ‘X’ said, “Swamiji, you will have to record at least six days.” I said “Five days I shall record.” Now yesterday was the seventh day, I could not go in time I was delayed, primarily because we were trying to get some quotations from Mahabharatam, in case I had to step into that area, that should also be ready. To copy these verses from the original text, see that the mistakes are removed, all this takes time. Suppose I were to write with the hand, maybe half the time would have been sufficient. So I was delayed.

I am discussing the seventeen chapter of Bhagavad Gita, the penultimate one. It is called ‘Shraddha Traya Vibhaga Yogah’. The word Shraddha is something very, very important, maybe it is most paramount in the spiritual discussions and expositions. The Shraddha means assiduous application, assiduous application. You must be able to apply your organs, sensory organs as well as the mind, if necessary the intelligence, all of them with assiduousness. Maybe to do a task, you may have to sit for two hours, three hours, four hours. You must be able to. Simply because it is tiring or it is monotonous or it is something else, you cannot avoid applying yourself. If you have to sit in a place, sit. If you have to stand in a place, stand. If you have to write, write. If you have to see, see. If you have to study, study. Our personality must be allowing itself to be applied at the instance of the mind and the intelligence. Need should be your orientation, not desire.

Now, Arjuna asked a question in the beginning of the seventeenth chapter, “Krishna, you say shastras are supreme and we must all revere and also adhere to the shastric injunctions and prohibitions. There are people who cannot have access to the shastras. It requires a certain knowledge, education, refinement of life etc. Most people may not have them, but they have enough shraddha. Suppose with shraddha, they take to devotion, how will you categorize their place? Is it alright or is it deficient? If so, how much? What percentage?”

Krishna then started saying, “Shraddha also is threefold. The entire creation is a becoming of prakrti, and prakrti consists of three constituents called sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna. There is no product anywhere in creation which is not made up of the three gunas. So, in the shraddha that you find manifest in an individual, that also will be governed by what kind of a guna is pronounced in him and what is close to it and the like. So, I have to say Arjuna, shraddha is of three kinds.”

And throughout the chapter, he makes a threefold division of everything. Food is threefold, talk is threefold, thoughts are threefold, interactions are threefold. The sattva will be less, rajas will be more and tamas will be still more. That is why the world comes into trouble now. Our problem is tamas, tamas, tamas and rajas.

Now in that context, I wanted to give some illustration for sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna. The sattva guna illustration I took from Prahlada. Wonderful boy! Seven-year-old boy. He did not leave his sattva and devotion throughout his life.

For rajas, I brought Shringi, the son of Shameeka Maharshi. The moment he heard that somebody had put a dead cobra on the neck of his meditating father, no time was missed by him. He went into a wild temper and suddenly declared to his friends, “I will show this man, most probably King, whether his power of hands is supreme or the power of our mind, the ascetics.” He went down the Kaushiki river, took water in his palm and then said, “On the seventh day from today, the hands which put a dead cobra on my father’s neck should be bitten by a living cobra and he should get burnt in the fire that emerges from the poison.” It’s all done in an instant. As Parikshit did it in an instant, the child also did it.

If the great Parikshit can have so much of slip, he can be so much angry and hateful without any cause, what about the little child with a great filial affection for the parents? The father says, “My dear son, what have you done?” For a small crime, you have given a huge punishment. This is not right. Understand that you have got an ascetic heredity. We are supposed to take everything that comes to us. Praise or blame, good or bad, blessing or curse. Understand that the Atma is unaffected. It is not within the gunas, it is above the gunas. So how the rajo-guna made that boy pronounce a curse instantly!

Then we went to Dhruva. Dhruva was blessed by Mahavishnu when he was five years old. Dhruva certainly had kshātra-tejas, the spirit and fervor of a fighter. That is rajo-guna. And then Mahavishnu blessed him, he grew. Later on, in his life, his cousin brother Utthama went for hunting and he was killed by a Yaksha. Coming to know of it, he waged a war against the whole Yaksha community. So many were slaughtered by him. Manu, the great ancestor himself had to come and speak to that boy, “My dear son, where are you? And what are you doing? At a young age, five years, you had a direct contact and darshan of Mahavishnu. He came specially for you from Vaikuntha, took his conch and stroked to your cheeks, so that you could praise him well. Such a great, good, incomparable boy, what have you done? For the death of one, you have killed numberless people. Stop this crime, it does not behoove you.” Just see? The rajo-guna continued to assail him, even when he was old.

Now what is Tamo-guna? Tamo-guna is an instance we are taking from Mahabharata where Duryodhana was doing all the crimes one after the other to liquidate Pandavas, particularly Bheema. I only took it up, I had not proceeded.

Meanwhile what I want to tell you this. The little boy Dhruva was denied the lap of his father. The stepmother interfered and said, “The only way you can claim this lap is by getting born from my womb, meaning you go and die and get born from me.” He ran to the mother. The mother initially embraced him, kissed him, caressed him, stroked him, consoled him but said this, “What the stepmother has said is right. In this palace, you will not get justice, you will not get the required abode. I, your mother is also not regarded as a queen, as a duly wedded wife of your father. I am not getting even the place of a maid servant here. So, this is not the place for you. You should straightaway go to Madhuvanam, the huge forest and remaining alone, observing the necessary disciplines and austerities, try to please the Lord of the Universe, so that you can get a permanent abode in his lap.”

You know Srimad Bhagavatam and the author, they spare no words, whatever be the occasion. If it is condemning, they will use the most powerful and penetrating vocabulary to describe the scene Similarly, if it is devotion, they go to the zenith and acme of devotion.

This morning, when I was taking bath, this particular verse came to my mind and I was reciting, reciting and reciting. My dear souls, if only you can have this habit, every problem of your personality will be resolved. What is this?

तमेव वत्साश्रय भृत्यवत्सलं
मुमुक्षुभिर्मृग्यपदाब्जपद्धतिम् ।
अनन्यभावे निजधर्मभाविते
मनस्यवस्थाप्य भजस्व पूरुषम् ॥
Tam-eva vatsāśraya bhṛtya-vatsalaṁ
mumukṣubhir-mṛgya-padābja-paddhatim |
ananya-bhāve nija-dharma-bhāvite
manasy-avasthāpya bhajasva pūruṣam ||
(Srimad Bhagavatam 4.8.22)

I can go on reciting this verse throughout my life. I don’t want to see Mahavishnu. No, not at all. I don’t want to see any particular God or Goddess. These words, these words, their music, their poetry, their message, their focus, their emphasis, their description, the elixir that flows from every letter and word is more than sufficient for me. Just see, what the mother says?

तमेव वत्साश्रय भृत्यवत्सलं

My dear vatsā, little child, you seek refuge under whom? Under Him. Who is that person? Bhṛtya-vatsalaṁ. You looked for vātsalya, affection from your father. You did not get it. Even the stepmother aggravated the scene. She also did not show any vātsalya, and my vātsalya has no meaning and purpose. I cannot solve the problem, redress the crisis. So, there is one person who is all affection for those people who try to worship Him and serve Him. His name is bhṛtya-vatsalah, bhṛtya-vatsalah, my dear vatsā, it is very correct that you sought वात्सल्या vātsalya but you will not get it from the palace or from your father.

तमेव वत्साश्रय भृत्यवत्सलं
मुमुक्षुभिर्मृग्यपदाब्जपद्धतिम् ।

Mumukṣubhir-mṛgya-padābja-paddhatim, he is not merely a bhṛtya-vatsalah, he is the abode of liberation, and he is sought by mumukshus, by seekers of liberation. While he is a bhṛtya-vatsalah, my dear son, understand that He also represents a loftiness, a greatness, a paramountness, whereby seekers of liberation seeking. So, it is something very great, glorious and superbly so.

How should you worship Him?

अनन्यभावे निजधर्मभाविते

This is the message for all devotees and devotion.

Ananya-bhāve, I am sending you away from the palace, away from me, my proximity. I am sending you not to a town or a village, I am sending you to the depths of Madhuvanam, the huge forest. You should have nobody by your side. You should be surrounded by trees, if at all by animals, birds and reptiles without hurting them, they will not also hurt you. Remain alone and you should have only one thing in your mind, ananya-bhāve, ananya-bhāve, exclusive devotion. The Chaturbhujadhāri Mahavishnu alone should be in your mind, heart and brain.

Nija-dharma-bhāvite, I am giving you the option, what for? What kind of a food and other routines you will have? You will not get the palace food. You will have to make your own food and what food is there? Except some fruits, green or ripe, maybe some leaves, some flowers, maybe some roots also are available. Whatever is available, you should decide, what kind of a discipline and austerity you will adopt, while taking refuge under the Lord.

Nija-dharma-bhāvite, nobody will advise you, so you decide on it. And you know what this boy did? He started reducing his food from two times to one time. Then only vegetables, thereafter that also not. Then water, that also left. And he lived on pure breath. Nija-dharma-bhāvite, the disciplines and austerities designed and adhered to by you.

मनस्यवस्थाप्य भजस्व पूरुषम् ॥

Make sure that you install the Supreme Lord Mahavishnu in your mind, in your heart. I am not asking you to go and search out God from the space. You should install Him in your heart with exclusive devotion. Bhajasva pūruṣam, he is the Supreme Lord, a purushah, He is the supreme self, seated in the body. Considering in this manner go and worship Him. A mother sends the son with this kind of a message. It is for everyone of you to think and introspect, to examine your own mind and heart. Do we have that Suniti quality? Do we have that dependence on God to send our son alone to the forest, to pray to God and fulfil whatever lack he feels in the palace? What a wonderful shloka!

तमेव वत्साश्रय भृत्यवत्सलं
मुमुक्षुभिर्मृग्यपदाब्जपद्धतिम् ।
अनन्यभावे निजधर्मभाविते
मनस्यवस्थाप्य भजस्व पूरुषम् ॥

What a wonderful nectar it is! There are so many verses like this in Srimad Bhagavatam. I think at least a dozen of them you should learn, you should learn. This verse, perhaps I learned yesterday. I had read it earlier. Even now it has not become fully in me. Maybe I have to struggle or strive a little.

तमेव वत्साश्रय भृत्यवत्सलं
मुमुक्षुभिर्मृग्यपदाब्जपद्धतिम् ।
अनन्यभावे निजधर्मभाविते
मनस्यवस्थाप्य भजस्व पूरुषम् ॥

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

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