"Self-realization is meant to ensure fulfilment for one’s own self. It is not reaching somewhere or getting at something external, like going to the peak of a mountain. The attainment is in dissolving the mind and intelligence, and getting into the very core of oneself. In other words, it is like multiplying everything with zero."

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.

If only the seekers have the real sense and keenness to find out how to intensify their seeking and reach the goal, I think there are a number of suggestions, statements, throughout our scriptural compositions. In all our scriptural compositions, Bhagavad Gita from Mahabharatam is a very important one. I think we can say it has become a universal gospel translated into the maximum number of languages. Many people are referring to it in very different ways. In the recent times, management science and management teaching which have become very popular because that is one by virtue of which the world productivity increases, gross domestic profit also increases, they refer to Bhagavad Gita as a very important management gospel. I describe it as an administrative gospel.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna has referred to worship and how it progresses and fulfills itself in a very beautiful manner. First of all, He says worship can be with external materials offered to an external representation of God.

पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति ।
तदहं भक्त्युपहृतमश्नामि प्रयतात्मनः ।।
patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati |
tad-ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ ||
(Bhagavad Gita 9.26)

Offer a flower, patram - a leaf, pushpam - a flower, phalam - a fruit, toyam - or simple water, whatever may be the material that you offer, the offering mind is what matters. You want to offer and you want to take one material or the other. He says it can be anything. Very simple and natural; a leaf, flower, fruit or even water.

What matters in the offering is यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति- That must be offered with devotion. The material is only an occasion or an instrument which you have to besmear with your devotion. And where is this devotion? It wells up from your heart. So, when you take the material in hand, offer it gently or place it at the altar, the whole process is to evoke from your own mind, invoke from your own mind, the devotional attitude and sublimity. You have to smear the whole article and process with devotion. So the devotion is generated in your mind.

भक्त्या प्रयच्छति, तदहं भक्त्युपहृतं - that becomes a devotionally besmeared offer to me and then I take it.

अश्नामि प्रयतात्मन: - provided the offeror is good, benign, noble and has sufficient control and regulation in his own being. That person cannot be a haphazard man, certainly not. He has to become very regulated and refined. He must become a model human, not harming anybody, if at all, helping others. This is the first level of devotion.

In the eighteenth concluding chapter, He says this devotion has to become larger and larger. And it has to be after God. Means what? Who is God? Some presence who is all-pervading. So consider that God is all-pervading and what offer can you make to Him who is present everywhere? If you take a flower or a petal from either the plant or from the flower itself, God is already present in the plant and also in the flower, in the petal. So why do you detach it from one place and offer it to another place? Moreover, you have to offer something to God, that God is all-pervading. So can you distinguish that God as feet here and head there? That is not possible. So, what is the right type of offering? He says,

यतः प्रवृत्तिर्भूतानां येन सर्वमिदं ततम् ।
स्वकर्मणा तमभ्यर्च्य सिद्धिं विन्दति मानवः ॥
yata: pravṛttir-bhūtānām yena sarvam-idam tatam |
svakarmaṇā tam-abhyarcya siddhim vindati mānava: ||
(Bhagavad Gita 18.46)

Understand that God is the source of the whole creation, from where the entire creation has proceeded. Not only that, after the creation came up, God has not become separate from the creation. He has pervaded and permeated it. Though He is the source, the effect or the outcome is not separate from Him. He permeates it, pervades it.

यत: प्रवृत्तिर्भूतानां येन सर्वमिदं ततम् - Such an all-pervading presence, how can you worship? He says the only way will be स्वकर्मणा तमभ्यर्च्य - In puja, you use a few materials and you do puja for a short time. No, it should not be. All the activities of yours throughout the day should become an offer to the all-pervading God. The activity is propelled by Him; the instruments are created by Him, they are permeated by Him and the place of work, the purpose for which you work, the instruments you use, all these are equally pervaded by God. Such an all-permeating God, how will you worship? स्वकर्मणा - As is puja, so is eating, sleeping, going, doing, working, talking, thinking. Every act should be equally devotional, pious and religious. So, you don’t have to specially choose a puja, a place or a process. All the activities are equally means for worship. This is how the worship expands from a short time and from material specifically used to the whole activity of yours throughout the day. Is that the complete one? No, there is still more to go. What is that?

ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानां हृदेशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति ।
भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया ॥
तमेव शरणं गच्छ सर्वभावेन भारत ।
īśvara: sarva-bhūtānām hṛd-deśe’rjuna tiṣṭhati |
bhrāmayan-sarvabhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā ||
tam-eva śaraṇam gaccha sarva-bhāvena bhārata |
(Bhagavad Gita 18.61-62)

Understand that God is present everywhere and therefore He is present within you also and He is the one who activates and animates every thing in your life. Seated within your heart, He propels and activates all your sensory, oral, mental and intellectual activities. And such a God, how will you approach? The approach is an inward one, inner one, directed inside. What is that process?

तमेव शरणं गच्छ - Seek refuge under this indwelling God. सर्वभावेन – whatever bhāvās, attitudes, emotions, outlooks, insights, responses, reactions, whatever are arising from the mind, use all of them as a flower and offer it to the very source. What does it mean? Every product of the mind, every outcome the mind produces; all are collected and offered to the very source. When you start doing it,

तमेव शरणं गच्छ सर्वभावेन भारत |
तत्प्रसादात्परां शान्तिं स्थानं प्राप्स्यसि शाश्वतम् ||
tam-eva śaraṇam gaccha sarva-bhāvena bhārata |
tat-prasādāt-parām śāntim sthānam prāpsyasi śāśvatam ||
(Bhagavad Gita 18.62)

Then that inner God will be pleased and you will be showered the permanent undecaying abode. What do you understand from this? The entire devotion is resting on your heart. Initially out of limitation and ignorance you make worship with external materials and offering them to an external focus. Very soon you outlive it, and use all your activities for worshipping the all-pervading Lord. Go a step further, understand that the focus has to be within your heart and the Indweller should be your objective and aim. For that, use every bit and piece of your mind and offer each of it as an offering to God. You will find the whole devotion getting fulfilled, getting its fruition very easily, naturally, comfortably and surely. There is a lot for introspection and for gaining in this kind of an approach and exposition.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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