"Devotion is a means as well as its true end when it grows into a full treasure. When devotion becomes a treasure, you will need nothing more for inner fullness or affluence. As devotion grows, it will begin to free you of all desire, hatred and fear. It will relieve poverty, either by making you amply resourceful or by taking away from you the very feeling of poverty. Devotion also will remove your weakness, generating untold strength and confidence."

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.

Last evening as you know, I gave a talk in Malayalam, in a temple where yesterday a seven-day Bhagavata Vichāra Satram was inaugurated by me. Normally they were conducting saptāhams, but this year they are making it a Vichāra Satram. About twenty-seven speakers will be coming and discussing Sreemad Bhagavatam, various subjects and episodes in Sreemad Bhagavatam over the seven days commencing from today. I went there to inaugurate the session by lighting a lamp and giving a benedictory talk.

So, I first of all emphasized that Sreemad Bhagavatam is a very unique text. It is called a Pāramahamsya Samhita composed by a parama-hamsa, exposed or explained by a parama-hamsa, and Pareekshit who was a hamsa became a parama-hamsa on the seventh day. The word 'hamsa' refers to the human soul and when it attains its parama level, the supreme level, then it becomes parama-hamsa. Sreemad Bhagavata aims at raising and elevating all human souls to their destined level of purity, expansion, ecstasy and fulfillment. Sreemad Bhagavata accomplishes this literally. How does it do so? It does so by explaining devotion and God and then raising the devotion from the mere emotional level to the intelligence level. Only in the intelligence level, understanding process will take place.

You generally worship an idol. Nobody knows or thinks about what is this idol. The idol is only a physical concrete form which is supposed to represent before us, God. And who or what is God? He is neither a masculine nor a feminine. God is a presence, a very subtle presence, all-pervading also, with no specific qualities or traits. God is something like space, within which all the planets and heavenly bodies, including the earth are hovering. Once you start thinking that God is actually a universal presence and that God is denoted by the idol, sooner or later from the idol, your mind should rise to think about God and the intelligence should understand its presence. How can one be elevated from the mind to the intelligence except by exposing to him the truth about the matters?

What Sreemad Bhagavata does as it did for Pareekshit is, take the raw human raw-material called the mind and then treat it, treat it, treat it in the hands of intelligence with different workshops and processes until at last it comes out as a beautiful finished product of devotional mind, spiritual mind, a philosophical or a fulfilled mind. This can happen hundred percent, provided you take to vichara or tattva vichara. Tattva vichara is a process taken up in pursuit by intelligence alone. And if you start taking up vichara about ‘Why my mind is impure, what is purity, why is it remaining constricted, how can it expand and enlarge, why am I egoistic, is there any place for ego, am I really a karta or a bhokta’. Suppose you start thinking about, doing vichara of all these points, I think the intelligence will give you all the information and make you illumed. But we use our intelligence for external gross purposes, but not the subtle purpose of dealing with the mind.

I am discussing the Ekadasha Skandham of Sreemad Bhagavatam called Mukti Skanda. It commences in this manner. Krishna asks Uddhava to leave Dwaraka and himself. “Go, before the calamity occurs.” Uddhava, a close devotee of Krishna, immediately says, 'I am unable to leave because of the shackles the mind has put up. Please instruct me in such a manner that your words will enter my system, penetrate into the mind and remove the cobwebs and shackles effectively”. So what can reach and touch the mind? Only the words of wisdom coming from the mouth of an enlightened person, a Sadguru. The words of the Sadguru are meant only to be heard by you. And while hearing, the words should and will penetrate into your mind and because they are powerful with their wisdom and vichara, all the impurities of the mind should get disposed of, melted, one after the other.

The discourse or the satsanga you have in the hands of a Sadguru is supposed to be a crucible, where the iron of your mind will be melted and will be purified. It all depends upon how you listen to the words. Are you able to listen to the words of the teacher in this manner? If you think it is like listening to a radio news or reading a newspaper, there will be no effect. The success lies in your listening to the words with a state of absorption, with a mood of absorption as a result of which the words will go and touch and involve the mind and the mind should become purer and purer every moment. To me it appears this is one hundred percent possible. But unfortunately, people still feel that worshipping an idol is much more than listening to a discourse. When you worship, it is an expression from you. When you listen to a talk, it is an absorption for you. One is an extrovert act, another is an introvert process. I sometimes wonder when will our devotees understand that there is a role for intelligence and wisdom in the matter of dealing with the mind. I was emphasizing ultimately what Prahlada said,

एतावानेव लोकेऽस्मिन्पुंसः स्वार्थः परः स्मृतः ।
एकान्तभक्तिर्गोविन्दे यत्सर्वत्र तदीक्षणम् ॥५५॥
(Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.55)

This indeed is the supreme selfish gain for man - एकान्तभक्तिर्गोविन्दे

The supreme gain is exclusive devotion to the Lord. Once you have it, all other things will come. If you want artha, that will be, kāma, that will be, moksha, that will also be. Have exclusive devotion to the Lord. What is that exclusive devotion? It is not a pooja process or a naivedya process. It is a process by which यत् सर्वत्र तदीक्षणम्. As you see God in the idol for fifteen minutes, in a picture for two seconds, you should start seeing God in everything around you and in yourself. The idol is only a sculptural piece of a stone or a marble or wood. But what about the mountains, the rocks, the Earth, the surrounding skies, the planets, air, water, river, sea, trees, plants, animals? All of them are equally, equally, equally manifestations of the same God.

So extend the fifteen minutes of Godliness to the twenty-four hours of the day by seeing God in everything. Try it, it is a promotion, it is an expansion, it is an elevation, it is an enhancement. If you say this cannot be done, I can only pity you. You are scoring digital marks in your classes. I say this is the way by which you can score nineties and even hundred. यत् सर्वत्र तदीक्षणम् - you are already seeing God for fifteen minutes in the idol. Increase the time and see God everywhere, thinking that the whole world is His creation and every little piece of it represents Him and Him alone. This arithmetical multiplication or enhancement, if you cannot do, I sometimes wonder, what is it that you can do in this world. It is such a beautiful process, such a nice and comfortable one, the mustard mind will go on increasing to a mountainous measure, a sea measure and finally a spatial measure. Try it.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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