"Unflinching devotion to the Teacher is paramount in the life of a true seeker. To begin with, an external God can be the object of faith. But once the devotee grows to be a seeker, only a Wise Teacher can fulfil his quest.  It is then for the seeker to get purified and enlightened by the words of wisdom from his Guru.  Their bond and attunement put the Teacher on the pedestal of God.  Such an impeccable Guru-sishya bond alone bestows wisdom, strength and fulfillment to the seeker."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

My mind does not allow me to get away from the discussion and the focus of the 'mind'. When I first read Yogavāsiśtha Ramayana, I found the word “vicāra”. What is “vicāra”is described there. Vicāra is also described by Śankara in Aparokṣānubhūtiḥ. Perhaps that was the first time I encountered the word “vicāra”, though “vicāra”is a word used in Malayalam as well as Tamil.

But in Sanskrit, I found “vicāra” represents a process, a pursuit, a habit, an orientation, a discipline and an exercise. That "vicāra” means all these, is something I had not known.

दीर्घसंसाररोगस्य विचारो हि महौषधम् ।।
dīrgha-samsāra-rogasya vicāro hi mahauṣadham ||
(Yogavasishtha, Mumukshu-Vyavahāra-Prakaraṇam 14.2)
 
For this long-standing disease of worldliness, vicāra is the only powerful medicine. These are words of Vasiśtha to Sri Rama.

So, the word “vicāra” underwent a great deal of transformation in my mind. I am reminded of it when I am sitting here today. While all of us are discussing problems of the mind, I want to ask you: Are you taking up the process of vicāra to redress your problems? Do you have any difficulty in this vicāra process? Why is it that you are not able to do it? What is the trouble?

I am somehow inclined to think that you have not yet understood the significance of intelligential activities. Physical and oral activities you are aware of. But besides these two, we also have mental and intelligential activities, which elude your notice and attention.

Mental activity is stronger and more effective than physical activity. And intelligential activity is even more so. Vicāra is a mento-intellectual pursuit. Have you given importance and place to this vicāra process? I doubt. The time that you are undergoing the suffering and the time that you are spending on vicāra , with a view to deal with your suffering – if you compare the two – can you tell me which is more? V, which takes more time? ( V says, “Swamiji, the suffering time is more”.) That is why you are suffering! That is why I say that you are not conscious of the vicāra process.

Why are you suffering so much? There is no necessity at all. See, the time we are spending on vicāra should be much more than that on suffering. You don’t like the suffering. You want to redress it. And the only process by which it can be redressed is vicāra. But why is it that after such a long association, repeated listening to philosophical and spiritual talks, discussing the subject over and over again, you don’t give importance to vicāra as a distinct activity?

I don’t know how to translate this word “vicāra”. If we say enquiry, investigation, examination, evaluation, etc, I don’t think it will serve the purpose. It is a very sincere and devoted spiritual or philosophical introspection.

Do you reflect upon your suffering? Who is suffering? Where is this suffering? Why is it caused? Are you regarding a mustard disturbance of the mind as a mountain? Are you making the mustard-thought in the mind greater than the mind itself? Why don’t you imbue into your mind-system an awareness of its own depth and vastness? Can a wave in the sea be greater than the expanse and depth of the sea? Why do you always think that the impact from the world is more powerful than the mind in which it is caused?

I think there is a great secret here. Unless you are able to imbibe this secret confidently and lovingly when it is being exposed, I don’t think there will be any relief. You are free to hit upon it yourself; but you do not seem to.

After I get up from here, I will be doing different kinds of work. But underscoring all these, that concern for you – for your unwarranted suffering – is very, very dominant in my mind. And I’m always thinking about it. Repeatedly I am trying to find out how this problem of yours can be tackled and how, as an exponent, I can convey this to all of you so that you become proficient in handling your own problems.

Yesterday R spoke to me something about her mind. I was very happy to hear what she said. Whatever she said was in my mind. May not be the whole literature of it, but the essence. Yesterday itself, after getting up from here, I wrote a note to her. In that note the primary point is about how to reduce the time of your sādhanā.

I am concerned about your difficulties and your suffering. I keep thinking more about your problems than you do! If only you have as much concern for your own sufferings as I do! But, no! You are spending your time in looking after your sufferings, in nursing your wounds!

See, your one attention should be: How to make light of the impacts of the world, arising from different persons, places, events and circumstances. How these can be dissolved? How their imprints can be “undergone”? How can we confidently float over these impacts without allowing them to overpower us?

You have to imbue into the mind such thoughts, introspection and inputs, by dint of which, the impact from the world loses its effect. This is called taking recourse to knowledge. You must find out as to how or by thinking and understanding in which manner, the overpowering nature of the problems can be dissolved. And every time you revolve thoughts in this way – understand that this itself is a mental activity – the weight of the problems will become lesser.

Suppose you enter a room in which is lit a small candle and you don’t like it, then, what do you have to do? Don’t put out the candle! Put on another electric bulb, so the candle is practically dimmed. See, you must bring in such an import and vigour from within you, from your own personal inner interaction, that the external impact is overwhelmed . Am I clear?

One is an external input, from an external source. The other is an internal generation, from within. That inner generation should become so predominant that the external imprint becomes insignificant. “Is it possible or not?” is the question. I would like to tell you that this is possible and this alone is possible.

Activate your process of vicāra . As a result of this, all the insufficiencies of the mind can be completely remedied and a sense of abundance and affluence will start gracing the mind. I would like you to be mentally opulent and resourceful. Be given to inner sufficiency. That sufficiency of the mind will overwhelm the external situation. I think it is hundred percent possible.

Anyway, I am ending up with a note of disappointment, because, in spite of my long and repeated efforts, I believe you are not responding to it. You are not pursuing that path with enough of dedication.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

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