Saturday, January 18, 2014

Inspiring Talks, Message 20

Inspiring Talks of Gurudev Sivananda

22nd December, 1948
Today is the 87th Birthday of Sri Raghavacharyaji, the founder of Sri Darshana Mahavidyalaya, near the Ashram. Siva had been invited and he went up to the Vidyalaya with fruits, etc.
As he was nearing the Vidyalaya, Sri Raghavacharyaji, Sri Vishnu Dutt Sastriji and others were hurrying towards him to welcome him. Noticing this, Siva remarked: ‘Do not trouble yourself, Maharaj, I belong to you all. This honour is, therefore, superfluous.’

Siva then delivered an inspiring talk. After describing in detail Sri R.’s services, to the cause of the spread of Sanskrit knowledge and a knowledge of the Darshanas, Siva felt that Sri Acharyaji’s disciples should join hands with one another and bring out a short life-sketch of Sri R. ‘It is your duty, the duty of all the disciples of Sri Acharyaji Maharaj. Where there is a will, there is a way. You should all at once set about the task.’

Siva led the gathering to the famous RAM chant. He demonstrated to them how his RAM chant, in some respects, even excelled OM chanting. ‘OM is Nirguna and RAM is Saguna. Chant RAM. It is even more inspiring. You will quickly get into Bhava Samadhi. It will bestow on you peace and joy.’

Then Siva taught them the loud RAM Japa-Kirtan. It is unique. You have to quickly repeat Ram Ram Ram. ‘This is wonderful,’ said Siva. ‘It is very efficacious when you wish to counteract evil thoughts. You can gain peace very quickly. Not only this, this quick chanting of RAM automatically brings about Kevala-Kumbhak and thus goes a long way in stilling the thoughts. It is a powerful form of exercise also. It increases the gastric fire. You will be able to digest your food properly. This is an all-round exercise, very suitable to you all, the disciples of Acharyaji, who is a Samuchaya Vadin.’

Siva noticed some books lying stacked in a corner. He quickly pointed out to one of the inmates of the Vidyalaya (and this effectively proves the truth of the earlier remark ‘I belong to you’): ‘Please keep these books nicely. They are very precious. They are more valuable than our life itself. Tie them nicely in a good wrapping paper and keep them safely. I will ask Kesavji to assist you in this work.’ Who else will do this? Divine Life is dissemination of spiritual knowledge: and whoever does this, Siva is at-one with him.

23rd December, 1948
I was just passing along the verandah outside the dining hall when I heard this very interesting conversation between Sri Balanji and a visitor. I reproduce the gist of it: it gives you an idea of what Siva did silently, months ago.
‘Balanji, I heard your wonderful lecture this morning and last evening. How long have you been here?’ The visitor obviously was unaware of the fact that Sri Balan is an M.A. and a prosperous free-lance journalist.
‘I came here a little over a year ago on just a casual visit. I stayed for a couple of days and felt irresistibly like staying on. On and on I have stayed, granting myself piece-meal extensions, until  at last I feel that I have, as you would say, come to stay.’
The visitor was deeply interested. With just an exclamation, ‘Achcha?’ that involuntarily escaped him, he listened, eyes gleaming in curiosity.
‘You see,’ continued B: ‘there is the rare blessing of Ganges here. You might say that there are other places where the Ganga flows. There are the Himalayas. I know you would again say that there are other places in the Himalayas. You have a Society here that has its numerous departments to cater to the needs of aspirants of all temperaments. Here, again, you might suggest that there are other institutions approximating to this, or at least with departments enough to suit MY temperament. But, then, you do not have one thing anywhere else. And, that is the closest proximity to a living sage and Jnani (and, what is extra-ordinary) who would talk freely with you, mix with you, crack jokes with you, at the same time clear all your doubts by his mere glance and elevates you by his mere thought. He is truly your father, mother, friend, all.
‘Not only I: but quite a few there are like me who just came for a day and then decided to spend their whole life here. Do you know our Sivanarayanji who delivers inspiring Hindi lectures? He, too, came three years ago just to attend the Birthday celebrations. He used to deliver Hindi lectures during the celebrations. His talks were highly interesting, full of educative humour, of stories and anecdotes which produced side-splitting laughter among the hearers. Swamiji found good spiritual Samskaras in him and suggested he might stay on for some time more. S. actually renounced the world and has stayed on. The miraculous thing: this has saved his life, so to say, because he was living in what is now Pakistan. S. attributes all this to Swamiji’s grace and timely suggestion. What else do you call a person who gives you life, than father and mother in one?’
With a look suggestive of an inward envy at the happy and glorious lot of these ironfilings who were without any effort on their own part drawn to the Great Magnet Siva, the visitor left the spot. He must have reflected within himself: ‘Has this iron-filing, myself, reached that level of rustless purity that would enable it to be drawn to the magnet?’

Sri Seth, the Society’s auditor, expresses profound gratitude at having been able to stay in the Ashram.
Siva said: ‘This is your own home. You can come here as often as you can. You are, after all, so near. Make it a point to spend all your holidays here and attend all important functions here.’
‘Swamiji, the world is such that if, instead of saying all this, you had said: ‘Come to Rishikesh. 
There is such and such a chance of your acquiring ten thousand rupees.’ I would have rushed to Rishikesh any number of times. It is very difficult to gauge the value that one derives from this Satsang, seclusion and Tirtha Yatra. Very few people can even understand that there is a lot of good in them.’
How true, indeed!

28th December, 1948
Swami Omkaranandaji and myself had been deputed by Siva to represent him at the Tehri-Garhwal Constituent Assembly to be inaugurated at Tahri tomorrow.
Familiarity breeds contempt: is a proverb in which I had cent per cent belief. For once I had to experience an exception.
At Rishikesh, we ran into a tea-shop for a cup of tea. The shop-keeper is an old resident of Rishikesh.
‘I have been here for the past forty years. I have been watching all the Sadhus and Mahatmas. But I have never seen anyone approach Swami Sivanandaji’s greatness.’
‘Oh, yes, he has written a number of books,’ explained someone else.
‘That is all right. Of course, he is a great learned man, too. But my point is not that. I have never met anyone who has got his heart. Swami Sivanandaji’s is a divine heart. I remember how he used to serve all sick Sadhus and Sanyasins, poor people and lepers here. I shudder to think: he used often to sleep with dangerously sick patients suffering from cholera and typhoid. No, no: there is no one in the world with Sivanandaji’s heart.’

30th December, 1948
The crowded Sadhana Week programme had almost come to an end. The drama, ‘Four Letters of Yama’, had been staged under the direction of Sri Swami Chidanandaji. Many were the interludes to the play: there was the humorous Doctors’ Parade conducted by Sri Kesavji with his discourse on Namopathy and its uniqueness; there was the formal opening of the Anand Kutir Brahma Jnana Research Pharmacy with Swami Chidanandaji as the doctor-in-charge (Dr. Brahman), and with sparking humour C. explained his Adhyatmic prescription for the root-maladies of man: lust, anger, greed, etc.; and there was Siva’s dialogue between meat and milk which, Chidanandaji explained, actually meant Rajas vs. Satwa; dialogue between Astika and Nastika; and discussion among the senses regarding their superiority. The boys taking part in the ‘Four Letters’ had given a very good account of themselves especially in the tense death-scene.
Siva stood up on the platform, and spoke in fluent Hindi. Below is the gist of his stirring address.
‘I thank you all for coming here on this occasion, for sitting through this performance in this cold. I am deeply indebted to you all for this.’
Look at Siva’s attitude: surely, the entire audience is grateful to him for taking all this trouble for their sake! But, no: HE is grateful, and HE thanks you for giving him an opportunity to serve you. Let us all learn this Yoga attitude from him.

‘Lord Yamma sends four letters to man. But, every time he is misguided by his worldly friends, and he ignores these letters. Hairs turn grey: but he paints them black. Teeth fall: he takes on false teeth. Eye-sight fails: he puts on spectacles. His vitality is exhausted: he resorts to tonics. He does not see that death is inevitable; and that only God’s Name will really help him in the end. In the end he repents. But it is too late. He cries for help. But who can help him? There is only ‘matlab’ (selfish) friendship in the world. Note this point well. No one but the Lord Himself is your real friend. Every one else loves you for his or her own purpose. Understand this moral very well.
‘Always repeat the Name of the Lord. Merely doing one or two Malas of Japa will not do. All the day you should repeat His name. Then only will His grace descend upon you and save you. This is a very easy form of Sadhana. This is the safest, too. Even if you don’t realise God in this birth, if you go on repeating His name, you will continue the thread in the next birth: the Samskaras will be there and you will soon realise Him.’

With ‘Sunaja’ Kirtan (Siva’s favourite), he continued:
Serve Love Give Purify Meditate Realise 
Be good, Do good, Be kind, Be compassionate
‘This is the essence of all the Vedas, of all Sastras, Puranas, not only of the Hindu religion, but of all the religions of the world. Always aspire to purify the Antahkarana. Service alone can purify the heart. Service will give you opportunities of analysing yourself and finding out the impurities that lurk in you. Gradually you should develop all the Daivi Sampath or divine qualities.
‘Isavasyam Idam Sarvam—the Lord pervades the entire creation. Realise this well. Feel this. Bow to all. Be kind to all. When you have some sweetmeats, distribute them to others’ children first, before giving them to your children. This is the way to develop the heart. Give to the health officer (scavenger, in Siva’s dictionary!) the fruits that you take yourself: do not give him stale plantain fit only to be thrown away. Analyse yourself. See how many good Samskaras you have developed. Look at the Auditor’s wife. Even in this cold, she daily goes to the Ganga for her bath in the morning. Find out how many good Samskaras you have implanted in yourself. Perfection is not an easy thing: but you need not despair, you will surely attain perfection if you purify yourself every moment.

Siva had instituted the two-party Kirtan with Krishna Dhwanis. After some time, he said:
‘There is Uma Raniji: she is a devotee of Lord Siva, and she would like Siva-Dhwanis.’ So saying, he started Siva-Dhwanis.
‘All the names are one. God is one. He is called variously. Particularly, in the case of Rama Bhaktas, they are asked to repeat the Panchakshari for six months in the beginning, and worship Siva. It is said that only then will they get Rama’s Darshan. There is a secret behind this: ‘Sivasya Hridayam Vishnur, Vishnoscha Hridayam Sivah’. Both are one. Do not act like the silly devotee of Siva who plugged the Vishnu-side nostril of a combined image lest the fumes from the incense which he was waving before the image should enter Vishnu’s nostril. Know that all forms of the Lord are one: all names of the Lord are one and have equal effect. Some people foolishly imagine that one name is superior to another. Soham is the best they will say. What do they understand by Soham? They think that the body is the Atman. What else can they understand? Their minds are full of dirt. Without cleansing their minds, they cannot understand the Mahavakyas. They do not practise Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. They speak derisively of these: they jump to Jnana Yoga. Finally, they achieve nothing at all.’

Again Siva sang his other favourite Kirtan in the Maha Mantra tune:

Eat a little, drink a little, talk a little, sleep a little
Mix a little, move a little, work a little, rest a little.

‘Eat and drink in moderation. You will have health and long life. It does not mean that you should starve. You should be moderate. Have one good meal at noon. Take a light diet of milk and fruits at night: that, too, before night-fall. In this respect the Jain custom of finishing their supper before sunset is very healthy. When you go to bed, you should have digested your food. Then you will have a refreshing sleep: and you will be able to’ get up at 4 o’clock next morning.’
‘But, what people generally do is just the reverse. They run hither and thither during the day: and at night—that, too, very late, they take a heavy diet. They do not have proper digestion. They suffer from Dyspepsia. They do not enjoy sound sleep. And, on top of it all, they get up at 8 a.m. A day’s programme is before them. They do not know what to do. They get bewildered. Their mind is confused.’
‘Mixing with all sorts of people is very bad. That does not mean that you should be gloomy and secluded. Talk to people: be cheerful: but be moderate in this. Too much of talking will only result in fights and quarrels.’
He again sang the song.
‘This is the ‘Song of A Little’. You will be able to remember this very easily. The moment you think of ‘A Little’, you will remember the instructions, too. This is the Law of Association which governs the mind. Have you not heard of the famous ‘tion’ sentence? Examina‘tion’ is a great bothera‘tion’ to the Hindu nation whose sole occupa‘tion’ is cultiva‘tion’.
Everyone laughed.
‘Here you will make many pious resolves. But the next morning you will forget all about them. Get these small songs by heart. Sing them every morning and evening. They will inspire you. 
They will not allow you to slumber again.’
At this stage Siva noticed that some people were feeling drowsy, while some people were slightly inattentive (the time was nearly 12 midnight.) 
‘I have got a medicine which will revive you marvellously. You will get new vitality without having recourse to tea.
Now sing:
Jaya Jaya Radhe Shyaaaammm.... 
Jaya Jaya Sita Raaaaaaaammmmmm….

Now, the shooting Dhwanis:
(The words are shot out with force.)
The effect of these on the audience was miraculous. Siva continued:
‘Remember the moral of today’s drama always. The more you reflect on it, the more strength you will get. Vairagya alone is the priceless treasure. Turn away from the world and direct your gaze towards the Lord in the heart. Do not run after worldly pleasures. You can never get any satisfaction in them. Even a millionaire is only a poor man. A crorepathy is more worried than an ordinary man. When the bank fails, the crorepathy’s heart also fails. He sleeps over the concealed iron-safe in which he has stored his wealth. He is afraid of thieves. Even his sons hate him: everyone is jealous of him. He has hardly a true friend. Throw away worldly riches and acquire the priceless treasure of God’s name. No one can rob you of this wealth.’
Then Siva sang his Vedantic song:

Sarvam Brahmamayam re re
Sarvam Brahmamayam Jagat 
Sarvam Vishnumayam
Matha Pitha Brahmam

Ladka Ladki Brahmam  
Ganevala Brahmam  
Sunnevala Brahmam   
Orange juice Brahmam    
Soda Lemonade Brahmam   
Tablavala Brahmam 
Harmoniumvala Brahmam

‘People with little understanding cannot realise the significance of this great truth: Sarvam Brahmamayam. But, when you have real Vairagya and Viveka, then you will understand the real meaning. People who try to understand and interpret the utterances of the sages with the help of their own finite intellect are deluded and they are led astray. They are like Virochana in the Upanishads.’
‘Sarvam Brahmamayam means that the Adhishthana or support for all is Brahman. The name and form are illusory. You will have to negate them and take the essence, the substratum of everything, which is Brahman.’
‘This understanding will come only when the mind is purified of its dross through selfless service and Upasana. Therefore, I say again: serve, love, purify, meditate and realise.’
Sri Sudarshan Sareen specially requested Siva to sing his ‘Govind song’. Siva poured forth his precious instructions in the form of this famous song. ‘The nature of God, ethical teachings, essence of Yoga—all are given in the form of this beautiful song. Siva concluded the song with:

May God bless you                              Govinda
With health and long life                      Govinda
Peace and Prosperity                          Govinda
And Kaivalya Moksha                          Govinda
May you all become                             Govinda
Jivanmuktas                                         Govinda
In this very birth                                    Govinda

31st December 1948
Today is the Viswanath Mandir Pratishtha Anniversary Day. A programme of Ekadasha Rudra Abhishekam and Laksharchana is being put through in the temple. The Abhishekam is over and several Sadhus and Sadhaks are sitting inside the Mandir worshipping the Lord with flowers and bael leaves. The Laksharchana had already progressed well and the Lord (Siva Lingam) had been fully covered over with a thick shawl of flowers: a wonderful sight.
Siva was circumambulating around the temple. Suddenly he appeared at the threshold of the shrine. One of the Sadhaks offered Siva some flowers and bael leaves to worship the Lord with. And, as the Sanyasin outside was going on with his recitation of the Mantras, Siva also joined us in offering flowers to the Lord. This went on for a few minutes.
Lo! In a mood of complete self-forgetfulness, Siva had turned on the Sadhus and Sadhaks sitting around the Lingam and is worshipping them with the flowers intended for the Lord. I looked up: but there was not a trace on Siva’s countenance or eyes that would indicate his recognition of who exactly we were. The eyes gazed on: they looked at us—but what can anyone say what he saw? 
Sadhus and Sanyasins had vanished: Grihasthas and disciples had vanished: boys and old men had vanished: man and woman had vanished: all distinctions melted away before his purified gaze. Lord Siva alone remained. Siva in the Linga being worshipped by Siva in the human garb. And, Siva worships Siva in the Lingam and in all: Sarvam Siva-mayam—a  silent discourse.


3rd January, 1949
A visitor wanted Purascharana-rules. He desired to perform a Purascharana of the Panchakshari. 
Siva explained to him the essential points.
‘Swamiji, I don’t know if I can every day spare so much time.’
‘It does not matter. Do Japa for about two hours in the morning and two hours in the night, and if possible increase this period. But, on that account, do not miss the morning and evening Satsang. Sit down on your Asan, pray to the Lord and then commence your Japa. Repeat the Mantra slowly. Keep a watch by your side one day and find out the rate at which you are repeating the Mantra. Then you can give up counting beads. Supposing, you find that you are able to do 30 Malas in one hour, calculated the number of Malas that you daily perform according to the time you have sat. This will prevent distraction in counting.’

‘How many Malas of Japa should I do, Swamiji?’
‘Five Lakhs. But, to be sure, continue till you reach six lakhs. You should not have the contractor’s mentality with God. Do the Japa with Nishkamya Bhava. No rules will worry you.’

Sri R. Ramakrishna of Karachi (now at New Delhi) has come with a harmonium for the Ashram. 
He narrated to Siva the gist of a thrilling lecture by an independent spiritual leader (what a contradiction in terms—one cannot be independent and a leader at the same time.)
‘Swamiji, Sri…. stresses on the immediate individual transformation to be brought about by Self-awareness, and asserts that the awakened individual will then be able to establish the right relationship with environments. His theme begins with an intellectual analysis of one’s own emotions which, through the mental process of naming them as such, become anger, lust, jealousy, etc.   Then such feelings are recorded in memory. This triple process of experiencing, naming and recording the emotions, is the work of mind or self-projection, or thought-feeling. The separation of the Thinker from his thought, which is a mental process leads to the cessation of thought process. When the awakened individual is alive to the force behind his emotions, it is a state of Being called LOVE in which the individual experiences an inward richness and creative joy. He is face to face with the Reality which has no end and which is never static and, viewed from the relative standpoint of time, is ever new, ever fresh from moment to moment. When he says this, Swamiji, it is so convincing and inspiring. He does not have any organisation; and he actually condemns organisations, and also the institution of Guru and disciple. He does not believe in, or quote from, any scripture. He does not advocate any religion, but he says that he has arrived at the Truth independently himself. He does not like Kirtan and speaks of them derisively as the shouting-class.’
‘You should not attend such lectures,’ instantly came Siva’s reply. ‘What a travesty of truth. 
Lord Krishna has clearly said in the Gita that one should not unsettle another’s faith. That is why the Sastras emphatically declare the need for a Guru: the Guru alone will be able to understand the aspirant’s state and prescribe the proper Sadhana. The same instructions do not suit all: and if you enunciate some general principles, they should not be antagonistic to anyone else’s principles. These instructions are suitable only for the microscopic minority. For advanced students who are well-versed in psychology. Those who have faith in the Lord’s name, in Japa, Kirtan, and the Yoga of Synthesis, should not attend such lectures. Their faith in their own Sadhana will be shaken: they will not know exactly how to proceed on the new path: and torn between the two, they will simply collapse midway.’
‘Further, organisations are necessary if you want to do some real and substantial service to humanity. Everyone has his own organisation. Take the case of this Sri….: is he not being looked after by the public? Does he not have a following? That is the organisation, though he may not call it so, and register it. If you have no selfish motives, there is no harm in having an organisation.’

In the evening Satsang, Rampremji had concluded today’s portion of Vinaya Patrika. Quietly, he folded the right-hand top corner of the particular leaf, to serve as a book-mark, and closed the book. But, Siva, of all people there, had noticed this. 
‘No, no: Rampremji, don’t do that. If you go on doing so, the pages will start breaking. The book will be spoiled. This is a little thing: but it matters a lot. These little habits of carelessness and ease-loving nature you should try to overcome. Place a proper book-mark—a piece of paper.’
‘This is not the only one. There are people who, when they find it difficult to turn a leaf in the book, will bring their saliva to use. God did not intend saliva to be used for this. To prevent this only have the Sastras prohibited such practices as unholy. They are unhygienic, too.’
‘There are several other practices which a Sadhaka especially should avoid. Cracking the fingerjoints is one such thing. Spitting, especially when it is accompanied with a roaring throat-clearing sound, is another. When you are in others’ company, disturbing others, specially when they are in meditation, with curious noises is another. These little things go a long way in forming a Sadhaka’s character.’