“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


Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

Yesterday, ‘X’ raised a pertinent point with regard to spirituality, the manner of imbibing it and how well and suddenly, sometimes it has its effects. The question is very important and it should make everyone think further about it. I think yesterday or the day before I was saying, 

उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् ।
आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मनः ।। ६.५ ।।
uddhared-ātmanātmānaṃ nātmānam-avasādayet |
ātmaiva hy-ātmano bandhur-ātmaiva ripur-ātmana: ||

Uddhared-ātmanā ātmānaṃ – This is the message of Bhagvad Gita. You have to elevate yourself by yourself, elevate yourself by yourself.

As human beings, we are only supposed to elevate ourselves. Nobody should degenerate. You may be born in a family with a certain inheritance and with also a certain acquisition, before you become an adult. So everybody has got a kind of a twin inheritance. One is at the time of birth, another is in the form of acquisition before he becomes an adult. This maybe good, bad or even otherwise. Whatever maybe, uddhared-ātmanātmānaṃ, you have to elevate yourself from wherever you are, in whichever level you are. This point is repeated by Krishna throughout.

इन्द्रियस्येन्द्रियस्यार्थे रागद्वेषौ व्यवस्थितौ ।
तयोर्न वशमागच्छेत्तौ ह्यस्य परिपन्थिनौ ।।
Indriyasyendriyasyārthe rāga-dveṣau vyavasthitau |
Tayor-na vaśam-āgacchet-tau hy-asya paripanthinau ||
(Bhagavad Gita 3.34)

Attraction and repulsion are capped. They cap every sensory object. One should not come under their sway. And in so many places he has mentioned it. Later on he says,

अपि चेत्सुदुराचारो भजते मामनन्यभाक् ।
साधुरेव स मन्तव्यः सम्यग्व्यवसितो हि सः ।। ९.३० ।।
क्षिप्रं भवति धर्मात्मा शश्वच्छान्तिं निगच्छति ।
कौन्तेय प्रतिजानीहि न मे भक्तः प्रणश्यति ।। ९.३१ ।।
api cet-sudurācāro bhajate mām-ananyabhāk |
sādhur-eva sa mantavya: samyag-vyavasito hi sa: ||
kṣipraṃ bhavati dharmātmā śaśvacchāntiṃ nigacchati |
kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhakta: praṇaśyati ||
(Bhagavad Gita 9.30-31)

A person maybe the worst as a human being, he maybe a wicked person, mentally downtrodden. It does not matter what he is and where he is. Will he have the resolution that, “I should take refuge under God and improve myself.”?  If this decision he can take and he takes, then he(Krishna) says, he has become a Mahatma, he has become a high soul.

Kṣipraṃ bhavati dharmātmā – very soon he becomes a Mahatma.

Śaśvacchāntiṃ nigacchati – he attains supreme quietude.

Kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhakta: praṇaśyati – “My dear Arjuna, please go and swear on my behalf that my devotee never perishes.”

So, where is the possibility of a good seeker not succeeding in his attempt? This is a question that I would like to pose before you. Whenever the spiritual instruction is not read, it is a question of not having the right exposure. Our sastras are available to all. What prevents anybody from reading them? A book has been presented to me about Hindu dharma. I went through the introduction, forward. The author saying that Christianity and Islam, both are charging Hinduism saying that “You don’t have a single book of your Dharma.” So, we decided to publish a book containing it. And what is our dharma? Our dharma is not Ramayana, Mahabharata or Srimad Bhagavada. Our Dharma is Vedas. So, it starts from the Vedas.

People say that we don’t have a book of our religion. We have many books. Even now, books may be written. It is a question of who can and who will. Suppose anybody says that we don’t have a book. Is it a fact or a truth? But nevertheless people say that! What is the cardinal of Hinduism or what are the cardinals of Hinduism?

When somebody who was going to America came years back and asked me, “When people ask me, what shall a say?” I told him, that from the human mind and intelligence, there can only be three enquiries. One is an enquiry into the world we see, another is enquiry into God whom we believe and the third is enquiry into oneself on the basis of which we make a reference to God and to the world. Hinduism says, any enquiry of these three is okay. And all the three converge, converge and become one! This is the uniqueness of Hinduism. You may become religious or not, you may still enquire into the world in which you live. It is a very scientific enquiry. You may not be a scientist but you may take up the enquiry – “Who am I? What am I?” Any enquiry takes you to the same goal. This identity is our uniqueness!

So, where is it mentioned in our scriptures that the spiritual instruction or spiritual wisdom is something very hard and it operates in a very, very long drawn out manner? Never so! Shankara at one point of time says that,

अयमात्मा नित्यसिद्धः प्रमाणे सति भासते ।
न देशं नापि कालं न शुद्धिं वाप्यपेक्षते ॥ ५३२ ॥
ayamātmā nityasiddhaḥ pramāṇe sati bhāsate |
na deśaṁ nāpi kālaṁ na śuddhiṁ vāpyapekÿate ||
(Vivekachudamani 532)

Ayamātmā nityasiddhaḥ pramāṇe sati bhāsate – The self is nitya siddhaha, ever present, ever attained.

Pramāṇe sati bhāsate – when you have the right means to reveal it, it is revealed.

Na deśaṁ nāpi kālaṁ na śuddhiṁ vāpyapekÿate – the process does not depend upon a particular time, auspicious time or a favorable place or even purity, he says. It is a very threatening statement! Even purity, it does not depend upon.

Self is a fact. It is a truth. When you open your eyes, you see colors. Is there any difficulty in this? Anybody who has eyes will see colors and shapes. In the same manner, anybody who has got a good and a favorable intelligence – when he is explained to properly, when we explain to him that this is the self, he simply has to wonder – Ah! Nachiketas at very young age went to Yama Dharma Raja and he persisted on knowing – “Is there anything called soul? Does it survive at the time of death or is it all the body that dies?” Yama Dharma Raja dissuaded him, offered him many other prosperity items to choose and spare this question. The boy persisted. Then Yama complimented him and said, “May I have more enquiries, many enquirers like this!” And he disclosed, Nachiketas understood.

Angiras spoke to Saunaka, he understood. Krishna, in the battle field explained it to Arjuna, he understood. Krishna explained it to Udhdhava, he understood! And at the last point, though he was shedding tears, tears, pangs of separation pestered him, he still, he still took the slippers of Krishna, put them on his head, turning back, turning back, crying and crying, he proceeded to Badarikashrama. You tell me - where is it mentioned that the self- instruction cannot be absorbed instantly and immediately? So don’t bring so many factors. The real point is that you are not interested in absorbing.

See, when I tell you that our body is a fact but the air inside the body is a greater fact. If the air is there, that is pervading quite a lot. Then we transcend the whole sphere of matter and energy and we have mind. Then we have intelligence and ego. All the three are transcending matter and energy. So our personality is what? Material or supra-material? And in the supra-material inner personality, we are referring to something as the fulcrum, the center or the pivot called ‘I’. That ‘I’ is the pivot. To understand this, where do you have to go?

“Oh! Is there anything like the ‘I’, distinct from everything else?”

“Yes! And what is that ‘I’?”  “Here is the description.”

To absorb and accept the description, where do you have to go? Which court do you have to approach? So, when the scriptures say.

न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि-
न्नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः ।
(Bhagavad Gita 2.20)

It’s a fact! And it’s a fact which cannot be verified with telescope and microscope, with chemical and physical reactions. No! It is a sphere in which our own mind and intelligence alone can work! It all depends upon the recipient! So you hear it, absorb it, sometimes instantly and next moment you find, “If this is the truth, I don’t want anything else. I have to be governed by this. Is there any way of life whereby I can keep away from professionalism, keep away from domesticity, social obligations and completely be given to this kind of a self-life.” Well, that is what sannyasa is. That is how people take it up. So, it is not like, perhaps ‘X’ thinks that it is this, it is that. Never, it is! You need not have purity to understand this. But if the self-knowledge has to guide you and you are guided by it, automatically, the purity will be there, it is irresistible, inescapable, it is a fact.

I tell people in close quarters – See, I tell you I live in our Ashram. I even now remember. It was a very humble, resourceless life. At that time also I felt, this is maiden earth, see, it is unfenced, unprotected. There is a lot of erosion every time the rain falls, so much of water flows. This is not the way that we should live anywhere. So, I would like to have some retaining wall, embankment here, there etc. whatever I wanted to do as a protection, as a preservation. It is a minimum obligation. It is just like a king ruling a country well.

So, we had a lot of problem earlier. But whatever I felt was necessary has been done. I tell you that I don’t feel I lack anything! Even in the matter of giving and taking, this is the shloka I was chanting all along.

Kartavyam-asti na mameha na kiñcid-eva
Sthātavyam-ity-atimanā bhuvi saṃsthito’smi |
Saṃśāntayā satata-supta-dhiyaiva vṛtyā
Kāryaṃ karōmi na ca kiñcid-ahaṃ karōmi ||
(Yogavāsishṭha Rāmāyaṇa 2.10.44)

Ever since I read it years back, this shloka has become my nature. It has become mine! It is Vasishta Deva’s. It was, it is spoken by him. I am not taking the trouble of composing a verse like this. I have composed two verses. Not two, more, but…. So I think this is absolutely possible. And it does not and it need not take so much of time. I don’t know why people are struggling, struggling, struggling, struggling - it is only because we are not products of sattvik life, we are products of rajasic and tamasic life. Our parents, their parents- all of them have been driven by the world. That is why we are like that! Now you have to cut across the fetters and that is possible depending upon your attention, astuteness, tenacity, that rivettedness. These are qualities which you have to cultivate if you don’t have. I am not speaking about the impurity you have. Let the impurity remain there. But these are qualities which you can cultivate. When they are cultivated, the impurity will simply melt like mist before sun.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.