“The paths leading man to god or Truth are said to be many. I will speak only of the shortest. It is to recognize God as the Self in you and then to find Him out. What is the distance then between you and God, between you and yourself? Ah, there is no distance at all, a full Zero! Yet, how dare you say to find God and Truth is hard?’’ 

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Nothing in religion is to help or benefit God. Everything that we do is for our own benefit. Once you start understanding this well, I believe all the suspicion, all the doubt, unwillingness to do something spiritual, religious or devotional will disappear from your mind.

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

I have been exposing and speaking about spirituality which also means devotion and religion also. When religion is scientifically and rationally explained, it becomes a spiritual science. When devotion is rationally and scientifically explained, it becomes a self-science, a yogic science. Unfortunately, people don’t know these are the subtle truths about religion and devotion.

Whatever we say, whether it is religion, spirituality, philosophy, yoga or otherwise, everything is based upon and revolving around our personality. We say ‘world’. Instantly comes the question, what world? Where? How? Who says? Who feels? Can we refer to a world which is not in our experience? Whenever we say ‘world’, it is the world we experience. Whenever we say ‘body’, it is the body we experience. So in the whole process, I would like these children to think well, as to what comes first. Does the world come first or we who experience the world come first?

Suppose there is a dead body; will it ever say ‘I have a body’? Only when a body is living, that living person can say ‘I have a body and I live in a body’. So does the body come first or what resides or dwells in the body? This is a very simple question but nobody seems to be taking it up.

Our personality is a composite one. What do you mean by composite? It consists of more than one constituent or part. Our whole body is a visible, gross, matter-energy aggregate - our body. What did I say? It is something visible. It is something gross that you can feel, touch, and it is consisting of matter and energy like any other product.

You go to a toy shop; you will find a number of toys. Both human toys and also animal and bird toys. All of them are very much looking like what they represent. But one thing that they are lacking is life, activity. Our body is something like that. It is gross; no doubt. It is visible also. But it is inert. It is only matter and energy put together. So this has no power to sense or experience anything whereas in a living body we always say “I have a body, my body is comfortable, I have ache in the head, ache in the stomach”. So there is something other than the body which says that it is there, ‘I am experiencing it’. So apart from the body, there is some constituent inside the body. That inside factor is what we refer to as mind, intelligence, ego, and even the soul.

So when I say our body is a composite one, I mean, thinking that body is a composite, you have to go into the body first and then think of something different from the body inside. It is that body-different factor that we refer to as the soul, S-O-U-L. Everybody uses the term ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’. Only when the ‘I’ is there, ‘you’ can be there, ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’ and ‘they’ can be there. For everything in our life, whether it is a physical action, activity or inner activity, that will be possible only when that activator, that ‘I’ factor is there. This ‘I’ is only one, whereas the other things are many. We have our ego, we have our intelligence, our mind, our body, our senses, our parents, our brothers, sisters, our house, our car, our book, our knowledge, our forgetfulness. See? ‘I’ seems to be one, very readily, and all the other things are many-many and super many. And everybody says ‘I’. The child says, the grown-up man says, the aged person says, man, woman, boy, girl, the person about to die also says “I will not live long, my days are counted, I shall drop my body.”.

It is this ‘I’ factor that we try to deal with in spirituality. What is this ‘I’? It is remaining changeless in our personality whereas our whole personality is changeful. How many cells are newly made and how many cells are getting destroyed through activity throughout the twenty-four hours of the day? If our body continues to change and cells are replaced, then how can we say uniformly ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’? Whatever body you had a week back, you don’t have today. But you don’t say ‘I have changed’. My body may have changed but I have not changed. So there is a changeless factor called this ‘I’. And if you search the whole universe, you will not be able to find anything anywhere which is not changeless. Everything is changeful. Our sun is changing, moon is changing, stars are changing, earth is changing, water, everything is changing.

You know what a change means? Change means total extinction of whatever is now and total birth or appearance of something new. So if you analyze a change, it implies a total destruction and a total appearance. So is it that we are dying every day, every moment and we are getting born the next moment? What is it that makes us live? That which makes us live is the changeless ‘I’. It is because of the ‘I’ that the changeful body continues to be and we are able to handle it with an identity for ourselves.

I don’t know whether my talk becomes too serious. I want all our children to think what is this ‘I’ that they are referring.

“Are you the body?” “No, Swamiji, it is my body”.

“Are you the mind?” “No, it is my mind”.

Your mind may sometimes be happy, sometimes be unhappy. So you say ‘My mind is not happy, My mind is unhappy’. So you seem to be experiencing the happiness of the mind and also the unhappiness of the mind. So you are different from happiness and unhappiness. That is why you refer to them separately. Similarly, “My intelligence is not very sharp, I am not able to learn very fast, another has got a sharper intelligence, he can read faster, understand faster, I seem to be forgetting, I read everything but when I go to the examination hall, everything does not come to my mind”, but ‘I’ remains the same. Nobody is forgetting himself or herself!

You sleep every day, and after waking up you say ‘In the sleep I did not know anything. I have woken up now.’ That ‘did not know’ is also a knowledge which you have. Just see?

Now the word 'spirituality' means what? It is a science or a subject that deals with this changeless inner ‘I’, your own identity ‘I’. What is this ‘I’? Is it something small? Certainly not! Using my eyes, I see the sky, I see the sea - ocean, I see the earth, I see a number of articles. Think of climbing up a hill, go there on top and take a look all around. How many things will you have seen! How much of variety was there! Infinite variety, infinite objects with your naked eyes you would have seen. So what is the capacity of the eye and what is the capacity of the mind which registers all these visions and keeps them in the form of a memory?

You can see a mustard, very small object. You can see a mountain. You can see the endless sea and the all-round sky or space. All of them are seen by the same eye and a picture of these things are taken by the mind. You never experience anything in your body or outside. Every experience is inner and it belongs to the mind, mind, mind, mind. When you see a mountain, the mountain doesn’t come to you nor do you go to the mountain. You are where you are and the mountain is where it is. Nevertheless, you say ‘I have seen a huge mountain full of trees.’ Whatever is the size of the mountain, almost the same size is contained within your mind and mind is having an imprint of what it sees. So you tell me, is the mind something small or big, super-big and deluxe-big?

Thoughts are arising in this mind. Understanding is arising in intelligence. Pride etc. arise in the ego. Now whenever we refer to religion and spirituality, they are actually referring to your own inner personality. The external personality namely the body is a subject for medicine and medicinal people to learn, discuss, understand and treat. But when it comes to the question of inner personality, none of these doctors can do anything about it.

When a person sleeps, what happens to him? What happens to him in sleep? Nobody knows. There are medicines to put you in sleep. But we cannot probe into sleep and understand what takes place there. So whenever we say religion, the refined form of which is spirituality, that spirituality is no other than a study of the inner personality of man. The inner personality consisting of the emotional and thoughtful mind, the rational and reasoning intelligence and the asserting ego. These are the three members, constituents of the inner personality. Now to understand it, obviously you have to go inside. That is why we ask you to sit in a place and do some prayers.

Go to a temple, spend about half-an-hour or fifteen minutes there. Go around the temple, circumambulate, close your palms, sit in front of the deity, close the eyes, and somehow get into an inner communion. Get into your own mind, your own intelligence and your own ego and let there be an inner communion for you. This is the purpose. Nothing in religion is to help or benefit God. No, No! If you go for a morning walk or for a morning ride, is it to benefit the place where you walk? Suppose you have a good meal, is it to benefit the items that are cooked and served for you? Is it for the benefit of the kitchen or the vessels in which the cooking has been done? No, No, No! You cook; you eat, for your body to be appeased and to be benefited. When you go to the temple, the temple is the least benefited. The deity, all the more so.

We go to a cinema house, is it to benefit the cinema house? We travel on a train or an aircraft. Is to benefit, does the aircraft know that you have travelled in it? When are we going to understand that everything that you do, no matter how it is externally related, everything that you do is for your own benefit?

My dear children, if you study hard and become a good student, it is not for the books. It is not for the teacher. It is not for the classroom. It is not for the class, school. It is for you. If you wear a good dress, you mean to say the dress is happy? Suppose you wear something dirty, do you mean to say that the dress grumbles? Certainly not!

Everything that we do is for our own benefit. Once you start understanding this well, I believe all the suspicion, all the doubt, unwillingness to do something spiritual, religious or devotional will disappear from your mind.

I tell the students, if you take one hour to read a lesson and understand it, if you have some spiritual association and practices, the one hour will be reduced to, if not 30 minutes, 40 minutes. Your intelligence will become sharper, the mind will become subtler, the sensibility will grow, the memory will become better. You will suddenly remember whatever you want to. See, to remember we can hardly do anything for. To remember, to remember, to remember we can read, but we may not be able to remember. Our śāstrās say you can have timely memory only by the blessings of God. To remember whatever is necessary from time to time is the greatest blessing that we have. So everything is around your mind, intelligence and ego and it is to improve your mind, intelligence and ego. If you children understand this, I shall be very happy.

Everything is revolving around this ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’. I generally tell people, who will build up his life? Who will grow? He who has three ‘I’s, one is Intelligence, the second is Integrity, and the third is Industry. Industry means hard work. You have to be intelligent, you must have integrity and you must be industrious. If these three qualities are there, you can go to any extent in your life of excellence, achievement and ecstasy.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

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