Saturday, May 31, 2014
When you repeat the Lord's name you must evince unflinching devotion from the bottom of your heart devotion to God, without love for any other object. You must drive off all worldly thoughts from your mind. Fill the mind with thoughts of God and God alone. You must struggle. You must exert hard. Remain absorbed in him.
If you love Krishna, then love Him alone till the end. Just as you see wood alone in the chair, table, bench, stick, cupboard etc., see the antaratma (the hidden indwelling self) - Krishna alone - in flowers, trees, fruits, tumblers and all objects. This is ananya bhakti (total devotion). This is para (supreme) bhakti.
Just as you remember all the qualities of your son when you think of his name, so too you should remember the qualities of God - omnipotence, omniscience etc., when you think of his own name.
When you repeat the mantra, have satvic bhava or shuddha bhava (the pure mental attitude). Bhava comes slowly when the purification process goes on. Even mere mechanical repetition has an effect, a very great effect. The vibration in the mind set up by the repetition purifies the chitta (mind stuff) and brings chitta shuddi (purity of mind).
A beginner should have a japa mala or rosary. Later on he can take recourse to manasika japa (mental repetition). If a man repeats his mantra for six hours daily, his heart will be purified quickly. He can feel the purity. Have great faith in your guru mantra (the mantra learnt from your guru) and keep it a secret.
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Constant repetition of the mantra with faith, devotion, purity and one pointed mind awakens the mantra chaitanya (the dynamic consciousness of the mantra latent in the mantra, and bestows mantra siddhi (perfection or psychic power inherent in the mantra) on the aspirant - illumination, freedom, peace, eternal bliss and immortality. The repetition of the mantra again and again generates a great spiritual force and momentum and intensifies the spiritual samskaras or impressions.
Inspiring Talks of Gurudev Sivananda
4th November, 1949
HOW CAN I HAVE RAM’S DARSHAN?
Sri. R.P., who has been placed in charge of the Publication League, felt a bit nervous and diffident about his capabilities. He felt that was too much of a responsible position for him to occupy with success.
As Siva entered the Office, Sri R.P. caught his eye. ‘Ohji, don’t be afraid of the work. I have written to Sri Mohindra and if he agrees we shall employ him as the Manager of the League. You can also assist him and get yourself thoroughly trained by him.
‘Don’t be afraid of work. Don’t try to run away from it. You have a sweet voice. You have nicely developed the poetic faculties. You have great devotion to the Lord also.
‘Know that the best way to attain the Lord is through work and work alone. Go and remain in a cave for twelve years without doing any work. Then come back and tell me whether you have improved or degenerated. Work here ceaselessly; and do one Mala of Japa. Find out for yourself which method helps you evolve more quickly in the spiritual path. Even if you remain in a cave for twelve years you cannot have Darshan of the Lord. But if you serve selflessly, work and work ceaselessly, and in the intervals do Japa of the Lord’s name for some time daily, the Lord will at once come to you. When selfless service has purified your heart, even before you finish the first Mala of Japa, the Lord will appear before you.
‘You do not have the vision to see what a great and soul-elevating power this service has. If only you are able to see the actual change in your heart that this service brings about, and if you are mentally able to compare this with the change that cave-dwelling will bring about, then you will at once agree with me. It is lack of this knowledge that makes you dread work. It is that which makes you feel that work is waste of time and that God can be attained only through parrot-like repetition of a Mantra.
‘Go and see the Sadhus who live an idle life. They have no care. They have no responsibility. They will pretend that they have attained a very high stage when they ought to give up work. All that they are concerned about is their daily Bhiksha. They can get up at 9 a.m. and prepared to go to the Kshetra. Come back, take the food and sleep. Wake up again for Bhiksha. That is their life. Man’s very nature is Tamasic. You have to conquer that through intense selfless service. Then Satva will supervene.
‘It is this Tamas that prompts you from within to shirk work. It is Tamas that prompts you to go away and lead an independent life. You are sure of free food from Kshetras. This free food system should be stopped altogether. It is this alone that encourages man to revel in his Tamasic indulgence.
‘You should become a dynamic Yogi. Work alone will enable you to control your mind, to banish evil thoughts from the mind and to purify the heart. In a purified heart alone will the Lord reveal Himself. Look at me. There is 8 per cent sugar in my urine. I have so many other physical ailments. I cannot even stand for an hour at a stretch; I feel giddy. Yet, I have been working till now. You have all taken your food. But here, I am still at my work. It will take two hours for me before I can take my food.
‘You are a good worker, no doubt. But, you feel diffident. That diffidence you can conquer only when you take intense joy in service. You should love to undertake responsible work. You wish to realise God: but can you for a moment think of God’s Great Responsibility? You are afraid of this petty work. And yet, you wish to realise Him Who bears the burden of protecting and maintaining the whole universe. You think that work will interfere with your meditation. Read the life of any saint. You will find that he has practised and preached selfless service. Everyone has worked till the very end of his life. Such should be your attitude. Then and then alone can you have Darshan of Lord Rama in a minute.’
12th November, 1949
YOGA – HOW MANY YEARS’ COURSE?
The Jnana Yajna, according to Vedic rituals, conducted by Sri R. Ananthakrishna Sastri, was in progress in the temple.
Two European (Swiss) tourists came to the temple to have Siva’s Darshan. They had noticed on the road leading to the temple a big sign-board bearing the words, ‘Yoga-Vedanta Forest University’. They had also seen the University’s Weekly magazine. The first question that came to their lips when they met Siva was: ‘How long does it take one to complete the Forest University Course on Yoga and Vedanta?’
Siva’s reply was quick: ‘A life-time.’
‘Yes: if you are to pass the final test of the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University, which is Self-realisation, you have to dedicate your life to the study and practice of Yoga and Vedanta. It will not do just to read a few books and vomit the knowledge on your answer papers at the Examination and feel mightily pleased with yourself, thinking ‘I am a great Yogi now.’ Yoga and Vedanta should become part and parcel of your very being. You should not only know intellectually what Vedanta says, but you should actually feel and realise for yourself the Truth about which Yoga and Vedanta preach.’
‘What a great difference between the Western universities and this one here!’ thought the Europeans and went their way, bowing in humility before the great sage Siva.
24th November, 1949
WORLD PACIFISTS AT ANANDA KUTIR
At 9 a.m. two ladies, Mrs. Mildred Fahrni and Mrs. Magda Trocme, delegates to the World Pacifists Conference, came into the Office accompanied by Sri Narayan of the Pashulok Ashram.
Siva’s hospitality-machine was at once set in vigorous motion. It started with fruits, biscuits and tea and ended with a spoonful of Chyavanaprash. The ladies liked this immensely, and Siva gave them a tin each. He looked at Mrs. Fahrni’s hair and remarked: ‘Do you use hair-oil?’ and without waiting for an answer, quietly passed on a bottle of the Brahmi-Amla oil. ‘Besides serving as hair oil, it will cool the brain and increase your brain-power.’
Grammophone-Siva sang ‘The Song of Ities’ to the right of the ladies. From their left, too, they heard the same song. Bewildered, they looked this side and that. The two Sivas sang into the ladies’ heart from either side.
Siva had in the meantime passed on a number of books, specially autographed by him, to the ladies.
Padmanabhan was very busy taking photographs and movie-films, too. Mrs. Fahrni, a camera-enthusiast, noticed this. As soon as we walked out of the D.J. Hall, she said: ‘Now, may I take a snap of you, Swamiji? Siva posed for a picture: then, all of us did so, too. We went to the Yoga Museum. The lay-out of the Museum was explained to them. They listened to the explanation with eager interest.
Then we went to the Art Studio and Mrs. Mildred was absorbed in the study of the huge albums of photographs that had accumulated there. One album contained a photograph of Siva in the Purvasharam in Malaya. ‘Is this you, Swamiji?’ asked Mildred, apparently puzzled at the difference between then and now.
‘Yes, yes. I was very thin then!’ said Siva. ‘Thinness and fatness belong to the body. The soul is bodiless.’
From there we went to the Bhajan Hall. Siva explained: ‘Here the Great Mantra is continuously repeated throughout the day. That has been going on for the last six years. This Mantra occurs in the Upanishads. It is in praise of the Lord. It is very potent. It is said that in this Iron Age the repetition of this Mantra alone will lead one to God-realisation.’
Siva asked a young Brahmachari to chant Sri Rudram. ‘This is a Vedic chant in praise of Lord Siva. All His attributes are enumerated. A very significant thing about this chant is that He is considered as the Best of everything—good and bad. That is point out to us that the same Consciousness pervades all that is good and all that is (or, more accurately, seems to be) bad, too. That should be the attitude of the wise man.’
‘Do you worship only Hindu gods here, Swamiji?’ asked Mrs. Trocme.
‘No, no. I sing the names of all gods of all religions, all prophets and saviours. See: here we have the picture of Lord Buddha. There you see the picture of Lord Jesus, that of Guru Nanak, etc. On every Thursday night (Guru Day) I sing the names of all these saints and prophets. So saying,
Siva sang the following Kirtan:
Bhajo Lord Jesus
Bhajo Mother Mary
Bhajo St. Francis
Bhajo St. Joseph
Bhajo Lord Buddha
Bhajo Lord Mahaveer
Bhajo Guru Nanak
Bhajo Ahur Mazda
Then we went to the temple. Siva explained to them the significance of the Prasad.
‘Prasad is the sacred offering to the Lord of Bhasma (holy ash) and Kumkum (vermillion), as well as bael leaves. The offering is accompanied by powerful Mantras. The Prasad is, therefore, very potent. Devotees who have faith in the Prasad derive great benefits from applying this Prasad on their forehead. Incurable diseases are cured, often, by the mere use of this Prasad. Besides, bael leaf is good for diabetes.
As we were coming out of the temple, the entire group was photographed. Mrs. Magda said: ‘Swamiji, this is the best place in the whole world. Not only is the scenery superb, but the holy vibrations here are full of peace, bliss and calm.’
25th November, 1949
Sri R. Ananthakrishna Sastri, who has been conducting a series of lectures on the Upanishads, concluded it today as he is leaving for Delhi the day after tomorrow.
With his characteristic forethought, Siva had arranged for taking due advantage of the occasion to honour the noble Sastrigal.
As soon as the Sastrigal had concluded his day’s discourse and also announced that it was his last at the Ashram during his present visit, Siva garlanded him with a suddenness that literally unnerved R.A.S. S. was trembling with emotion at this great honour shown to him by a sage. Before he could give expression to his sentiments, Siva with remarkable cool-headedness began:
‘It is a rare good fortune for us all to have been blessed with Sr. Sastriji’s Satsang for the past nearly a month. We are thankful to God for this. To Sri Sastriji we owe a deep debt of gratitude for taking the trouble of delivering his learned discourses every day.
‘We have many lessons to learn from him. First and foremost is his punctuality. It is a virtue which every spiritual aspirant should possess in abundance. Without punctuality and regularity in Sadhana no progress is possible.
‘Sri Sastriji has developed Titiksha to an extraordinary degree. During his pilgrimage to the North Pole region where he worshipped the sun all the twenty-four hours, in that icy cold region he broke the ice and took his bath in the cold water early in the morning. Even here, he was regular in his early morning bath in the Ganges. It requires great will-power to do so. And, this will-power is developed through systematic and persevering effort. Steady application to the task you have undertaken will crown your efforts with sure success.
‘The great service that Sri Sastriji has rendered to the cause of the preservation and popularisation of old manuscriptions, is unimaginable. To the Sadhaks all over the world, especially his researches into our ancient scriptures have been invaluable. He has, so to say, given a new life to Suta Samhita. He has translated this great scripture into Tamil also. He has translated several great Sanskrit works into English.
‘Look at his zeal for service, his intense desire to share with others the knowledge that he possesses. Even at the ripe old age of 85, he is still delivering fiery lectures on the Upanishads. You should all strive to emulate his glorious example. May God bless Sri Sastriji with many more years of service to humanity. May God bless you all.’
As we left the Hall, Sri S. remarked: ‘Swamiji, when you showed me that honour, put a garland round my neck and spoke about me, I was simply trembling with emotion. I did not know what do so. I was practically not myself. I was, as it were, in a different world altogether.’
In the evening Sri S. had arranged to perform ceremonial worship of the Ganges. At four the Ghat had been nicely cleaned and all the Ashramites had taken their seats beautifully on the steps. Siva was there, too. S. and his wife began the worship. Siva was intently watching the process.
‘One year’s daily ceremonial worship of the Ganges like this is equal to one week’s whole-hearted service to a typhoid patient, washing his clothes and removing bed-pan. Such service will at once purify the heart and bring about inner illumination,’ and added after a few minutes: ‘Nurses serve the patients in the hospitals. But there is no inner purification for them, because they do not have the proper Bhavana when they serve.’
Siva then noticed some inmates had also joined in the worship and were offering bael leaves to Ganga.
‘Each person is offering only his own bael leaf to the Ganges. What a grand thing would it be if one has the real inner feeling that He alone offers the worship through all hands. How much more effective will that worship be.’
This last remark contains the very essence of what Siva is. He constantly identifies himself with the Supreme Consciousness in a fraction of whose reflected light numberless universes exist. He ‘knows’ that He and He alone works through all: and because of the depth of his realisation of this truth, he does work through all. That is for a Siddha.
4th December, 1949
THE UNCHANGING ONE
Sri V.G. Garde and Srimathi Leelavathi have come from Roorkee. These two noble souls who have dedicated their lives to Siva, their beloved Guru, have been frequently visiting the Ashram for the last several years. Their devotion to Siva is ever on the increase. Behind all the phenomenal growth of the Society and the Ashram, they only see the miraculous hand of Siva, and their devotion to him becomes more intense.
As the couple sat near Siva in the office and were being entertained by him to a light repast, Siva pointed out to some of the Ashramites standing around them. ‘Do you know him? Do you know the other man? He might be new to you,’ and ‘You find many new faces in the Ashram. You find that several old people have gone away. You find so many changes. But, there is one unchanging element here.’
‘Yes, Swamiji. And, that is yourself. It is only this unchanging element in the Ashram that has enabled all this work to go on smoothly and efficiently in spite of the constant change here. It is this unchanging One that gives strength and power for the changing ones to carry on the work.’
GOVERNMENT vs. ASHRAM
Sri B.M. Maheshwari, Addl. District Magistrate, Tehri, walked into the Hall as Mr. and Mrs. Garde were preparing to go round the Ashram. While taking his tea, Sri B.M.M. explained to a Swami who had come along with him the most noteworthy features of the Ashram, especially the Yoga Museum.
Siva interrupted him and said: ‘We have not got a generator—with the help of which we are able to project 8 and 16 mm movie films. We have got a lot of films depicting the activities of the Ashram. Padmanabhan has gone to Patna. As soon as he comes back I will send word to you. You can see the films. You will greatly enjoy them.’
‘I would love to, Swamiji. And, I shall bring with me a reel of movie-film which we took on the occasion of the State’s merger with the U.P. We have not so far been able to see the film for want of a projector. I shall bring it with me and we shall project it here.’
I AM EVER WITH YOU
After selecting the site for the construction of a temple to house Siva’s marble image, and asking Mr. Garde to prepare a plan, Siva was leaving for his Kutir. Mr. and Mrs. Garde were going to Lakshmanjhula. ‘Swamiji, perhaps we may not see you again before we leave. We shall take leave of you.’ They prostrated.
‘I am always with you,’ said Siva, hinting that the union of Guru and disciple is an eternal union of souls.
10th December, 1949
THEN AND NOW
Sri C.V. Narayana Iyer has come. Siva greeted him cordially. N. prostrated before Siva.
‘Ready?’ queried Siva omitting even his usual formal enquiries.
‘Yes, Swamiji, even this very moment.’
‘Oh yes. The time has come now. Guruwara is the best day. Then let it be next Guruwara (Thursday). Subhasya Seeghram: auspicious things must be done quickly, without procrastination.’ And, Siva added, after a pause, ‘No, no. Why not tomorrow itself? Tell Krishnanandaji to get everything ready. We will have it done with proper Viraja Homam etc.’
Thus, within a few minutes of his arrival at the Ashram, Sr. N. got Siva’s permission to be initiated into Sanyas.
N. had recently written to Siva and got a ready answer: ‘Yes, I will give you Sanyas. Kindly come.’ The word ‘kindly’ moved N. He said to me: ‘Perhaps it may be possible for a few aspiring souls to become a great Yogi like Swamiji. A few might even be able to do dynamic selfless service to humanity, like Swamiji. But this humility-cum-love—it is impossible for one to develop. He does not write ‘You may come’, or ‘Come, but ‘kindly come’—as though he deems it a favour done to himself.’
C.V.N. also confessed to Siva: ‘I was not ready for Sanyas when I came last time. I had not fully discharged my worldly duties. And, I had several worldly ambitions. So, you sent me back. Now, the time has come. You have called me to yourself.’
SIVA NEVER FORGETS HIS LESSONS
He is a wise man who learns from others’ experiences; a mediocre who learns by his own; a fool who learns from neither.
Ramakrishnan was explaining to Siva the location of the Bharati Memorial at Ettayapuram. Siva was trying to remember the topography of the place. When R. described the location of a street, Siva at once identified it:
‘Oh yes, yes. That was the street in which all the houses were once destroyed. There were many thatched huts in that street. Next to it was the bazaar. One of the shops caught fire, and the fire soon spread to all the thatched houses on that street. The entire thing was reduced to ashes in no time.’
Siva’s recollection of this incident is significant. He remembers other things about Ettayapuram only vaguely: but remembers the fire that destroyed the thatched huts very vividly. And, this incident taught him a lesson: ‘Never build a thatched hut. Nothing in it is safe.’ To this day, even the gods cannot persuade him to build a thatched shed for any purpose—even to provide a closed room for the purpose of stocking bricks.
11th December, 1949
One has to learn from Siva the art of construction thinking and acting. No looking back or thinking of pros and cons or vacillating; but sheer good action—and that, too, without any premeditation.
In the afternoon at about 3, Siva was told that today the Darshana Maha Vidyalaya people are celebrating Sri Raghavacharyaji’s birthday. This ‘shortness’ of notice could not disconcert Siva. At once he said: ‘Please see if there are fruits in the kitchen. If not, ask someone to go to the bazaar immediately and get fruits. Bring a plateful of fruits, nuts, and also ten rupees. Ask Padmanabhanji to clean a petromax to be sent to the Vidyalaya for the evening function.’
Within ten minutes, the fruits, money, etc. were brought. Siva added to this a Hindi book of his, also.
In the evening Siva went to the Vidyalaya to take part in the celebrations.
During the course of his address to the disciples and devotees of Sri R., Siva observed:
‘I have been repeating year after year my suggestion that the immediate disciples of Sri Acharyaji should sit down and commence the great work of writing his biography. It is the disciple’s duty to his Master.
‘There is another, and a more important aspect to this work. It is the spiritual. Your quest is to find out that ‘something’ which really exists, as distinct from that which does not exist but appears to be. Existence never eases to be. During your waking state you see the diverse phenomena. During the dreaming state, the external vision vanishes: but you see the diverse phenomena in your own mind. But, again in deep sleep, both these phenomena disappear altogether, and you pass into a state of unity within yourself. The outside world is altogether lost to you. Yet, when there is not the slightest pleasure derived from external objects, you derive an intense inner bliss. When you wake up, you feel that you slept soundly and therefore experienced an inner joy. But, during this deep sleep state when you pass into that unity, you are not conscious of the state. Ignorance veils you. If you can consciously bring about that state of unity within yourself, withdraw your mind from the Indriyas and direct all your attention to your Self, then you will consciously experience the state of bliss called Samadhi.’
‘That is the real state of everyone. There is no duality in that state. Therefore, the Reality is One only. When you celebrate the birthday of Sri Acharyaji, you should feel that you are worshipping that Inner Reality, your own Self. The consciousness of this Self is more fully awakened in the Jnani than in a worldly man. That is the difference. Therefore, the worldly man and the aspiring baby-souls—when they thus worship the Jnani—get an opportunity of thinking of him and meditating upon him, thus stirring within themselves a desire to become like the Jnani. You worship that Consciousness today. That Consciousness will bless you and fulfil your spiritual ambitions. That Consciousness will show you the way to the annihilation of ignorance. That is the secret of celebrating the birthday of saints. Saints are not in need of your honouring them. They are beyond honour and dishonour. They are here only for your sake. If you worship them with Bhav and devotion, you get in tune with their grace through which you can realise your own Self. If in that spirit you begin to write Sri Acharyaji’s biography, you will be greatly benefited in your spiritual evolution.’
Friday, May 30, 2014
The Supreme Remedy
When allopathy, homeopathy, chromopathy, naturopathy, ayurvedapathy and all other 'pathies' fail to cure a disease, the divine namapathy alone can save you. The name of the Lord is a sovereign specific, a sheet anchor, an infallible panacea and a cure all for all diseases. It is an ideal or supreme 'pick me up' in gloom and despair, in depression and sorrow, in the daily battle of life or the struggle for existence. There is a mysterious power in the name. There is an inscrutable shakti (power) in God's name! All the divine potencies are hidden in the Lord's name. It is the cream or the quintessence of Chyavana Prasha, Makaradhwaji almonds, Vasanta Kusumakara or Svarna Bhasma or gold oxide. It is a mysterious, ineffable divine injection.
You can take this medicine or nama japa (repetition of God's name) yourself, for curing any disease. You can administer this marvellous medicine to other patients also in your house or elsewhere. Sit by the side of the patient and repeat, with sincere devotion and faith, the name of the Lord, like Hari Om, Sri Ram, Om Namah Shivaya, and sing his names also: "Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare; Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare". Pray for his mercy and grace. All maladies and agonies will come to an end. Do the treatment of nama japa for at least two hours in the morning and evening. You will find the miraculous effect within a short time. Both the doctor and the patient should have perfect faith in the Lord's name, his mercy and grace. The real doctor is only Lord Narayana. Lord Dhanvantari, the physician of the three worlds (who expounded the ayurvedic medical science), has himself declared: "By the medicine of the repetition of the names, Achyuta, Ananta, Govinda, all diseases are cured this is my definite and honest declaration." In all treatments, Lord Narayana is the real doctor. You find that even the world's best doctors fail to cure a dying king. You might have also heard of many instances where patients ailing from the worst type of diseases are cured miraculously, where even the ablest doctors have declared the case hopeless. This itself is clear proof that there is the divine hand behind all cures.
The divine name will eradicate the disease of birth and death and bestow on you moksha, liberation or immortality.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Forget the Body
He who does sankirtan (same as kirtan: chanting) forgets the body and the world. Sankirtan brings super-intuitional knowledge. Sankirtan brings darshan (vision) of God or attainment of divine consciousness in this Kali Yuga (dark age). It develops love. It is the easiest, surest, safest, quickest way for attaining God-realisation.
Those who do sankirtan in the beginning, for the sake of mental enjoyment, will realise the purificatory effects of sankirtan after some time and then they will do it with bhava (devotion) and shraddha (faith). There is a mysterious power in the name of the Lord. Man cannot live by bread alone but he can live on the name of the Lord.
The harmonious vibrations produced by the singing of the names of the Lord help the devotees to control their minds easily. They produce a benign influence and elevate the mind at once from its old ruts, to magnanimous heights of divine splendour and glory. If one does sankirtan from the bottom of one's heart, with full bhava and prem (love) even the trees, birds and animals will respond. They will be deeply influenced. Such is the power of Sankirtan. It brings the devotee face to face with God.
The individual soul becomes one with Paramatma (the supreme soul) only through the process of evolution (ascent through different rungs of the spiritual ladder) by means of nada upasana (contemplation of mystic sound). Nada (sound) is of two kinds - gross or expressed and subtle or unexpressed. The former leads to the latter.
The union of prana with anala or fire, in the human soul, is an indispensable requisite if the individual soul wishes to unite with Brahman (infinite) or attain the highest (nirvikalpa) Samadhi. The fire of the muladhara (the lowest psychic centre) represents the RA bija (seed-mantra). It ascends to meet the prana from the brahmarandhra (the crown of the head), which represents the MA bija. The combination of RA MA is the taraka bija (the redeeming seed mantra) by which the individual soul crosses to the other shore of fearlessness and immortality and attains eternal bliss and supreme joy. Sankirtan is an easy approach to the sukshma nada (subtle sound) and eventually to the divine communion.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Sing Without Ceasing
Akhanda kirtan is to sing the Lord's name without a break. This is a very effective spiritual sadhana (practice). There is eradication of all evil vrittis (thoughts) during this period; the mind has neither time nor opportunity to think of sensual objects during this period. This is an easy way to capture the mind. During this period the mind is filled with satva (purity) and it is filled with supreme peace and joy.
There is no yajna (sacred rite) greater than akhanda kirtan. It is specially suited to this age. It costs you nothing. During akhanda kirtan, the maha mantra should be sung. One person should repeat this mantra (formula) in a melodious, sweet voice and all the others should follow him in chorus. The sixteen words, "Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare" constitute one mantra. Do not repeat or sing either "Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare"or "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare" twice.
For individual japa (repetition) and kirtan (chanting) the whole mantra should be repeated at a stretch. But during akhanda kirtan - to avoid too much strain and break - the first half of the mantra may be repeated by the person leading the group, followed by the chorus of the other half. Some people cannot sing even half the mantra without a break. They should train themselves to sing one half without a break in the middle. Especially those who lead the kirtan should take care of this point, otherwise it is not akhanda kirtan.
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Open the doors of your heart. Let the lightning spark of love arise in your heart. Let love pierce you through and through. Let heart sing to heart. Let your soul mix with the supreme soul. Let the heart lotus blossom and waft its sweet divine fragrance. Let the divine thrill strike the strings of your heart. Let the tears flow down your cheeks. Let the divine ecstasy fill your whole being.
Lord Hari is an ocean of mercy. He has boundless love for his devotees. He is the purifier of the sinful and the fallen.
Collect the dissipated rays of the mind. Become serene. Repeat God's name. Your happiness will know no bounds, God will dwell in your heart.
May Lord Narayana take you to his bosom and bathe you in the sacred waters of divine love and transcendental bliss.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Sankirtan is Spiritual Food
People do sankirtan with surprising enthusiasm and vigour for a year or two but after that they become slothful and torpid. The same zeal should be kept up throughout life. Just as food and drink are not dispensed with, even for one day, so also sankirtan should not be stopped even for a day. Sankirtan is indeed a spiritual food. Nay, it is a physical and mental tonic as well. You can live on sankirtan.
When you sing Lord Hari's name, feel that the Lord is seated in your heart, that every name of the Lord is filled with divine potencies, that the old, vicious samskaras (habits) and vasanas (tendencies) are burnt with the power of the name, that the mind is filled with purity, that rajas (passion) and tamas (inertia) are completely destroyed, that the veil of ignorance is torn down. Meditate on His form and His attributes - then only you will attain the maximum benefits of sankirtan.
Kirtan is singing the Lord's glories. The devotee is thrilled with divine emotion. He loses himself in the love for God. He weeps in the middle when thinking of the glory of God. His voice becomes choked and he flies into a state of divine bhava (feeling). The devotee is ever merged in japa of the Lord's name and describing his glories to one and all. Wherever he goes he begins to sing and praise God. He requests all to join his kirtans. He sings and dances in ecstasy and he makes others dance also.
Such practices should be the outcome of a pure heart; they should not be merely a show. God knows the inner secrets of all. None can cheat him. There should be perfect straight forwardness. All his actions should be a natural out pouring from the heart.
This is the easiest of all modes of approach to God. In the Kali Yuga, the Iron Age, kirtan alone is the best yoga. This is the prescribed method of devotion for this Age. The mind that is ever intent upon singing the Lord's names and glories has no occasion to take interest in the things of the world. Day and night the devotee feels the presence of God. This thins out the ego; he becomes satvic and pure at heart.
May you live drowned in the ocean of divine ecstasy, in a fully illumined state, by the regular practice of sankirtan and complete self-surrender to the Lord.
Monday, May 26, 2014
Lord is Your Sole Refuge
The name of the Lord is your sole refuge. It is your prop, shelter and abode. Name is divine nectar. Name and form are inseparable.
Keep a picture of the Lord and concentrate on it. Concentrate on the face or feet or the whole picture. Then visualise this in your heart or in the space between the eyebrows.
Repeat your mantra Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namo Narayanaya, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya - mentally, or if the mind wanders, do this verbally.
There are five kinds of bhavas or attitudes. They are shanta bhava (relationship of peace), dasya bhava (relationship of servant master), vatsalya bhava (relationship of father son), sakhya bhava (relationship of friendship) and madhurya bhava (relationship of lover and beloved). Have any kind of bhava that suits your temperament. Develop it again and again.
Practise the nine modes of devotion - shravana (hearing the lilas or stories of the Lord), kirtana (singing the Lord's name), smarana (remembering the Lord), padasevana (service of the Lord's feet), arcana (offering of flowers), vandana (prostration), dasyam (servant bhava), sakhya (His friendship), and atmanivedana (self-surrender).
Feel that you are an instrument in the hands of the Lord. Feel that the Lord works through your body, mind and senses. Offer all your actions to the Lord. Offer the fruits of your actions to the Lord. This is the way to do self-surrender.
Do anusthana (intense whole time practice) frequently. Live on milk and fruits for a week.
Observe mauna (or silence). Do japa (repetition of God's name) and meditate in an intense manner.
Do mental worship - it is a great help for increasing devotion and attaining concentration. Offer flowers, incense etc., mentally, to the Lord.
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God is all pervading.
God is all permeating.
God is interpenetrating.
God is indwelling.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Benefits of Japa
Japa (repetition of the mantra) checks the force of the thought current moving towards objects. It forces the mind to move towards God, towards the attainment of eternal bliss. Eventually it helps us to have the darshana (vision) of God. The mantra power is hidden in every mantra.
Whenever the spiritual aspirant shows lack of vigour in his sadhana (practice), the mantra shakti (power of the mantra) reinforces the sadhana shakti (energy) of the aspirant. Constant and prolonged repetition of the mantra (name of God) for some months cuts new grooves in the mind and the brain.
During japa all the divine qualities steadily flow into your mind from the Lord, just as oil flows from one vessel to another vessel. Japa transforms the nature of the mind. It fills the mind with satva (purity).
Japa changes the mental substance from passion to purity, from rajas to satva. It calms and strengthens the mind. It makes the mind introspective it checks the outgoing tendencies. Japa eradicates all kinds of evil thoughts and inclinations. It induces determination, and austerity and eventually it leads to the direct darshana (vision) of God (the ishta devati or tutelary deity) or to God-realisation.
The mind is purified by constant japa and worship and it is filled with good and pure thoughts. Repetition of mantra and worship strengthen the good samskaras. "As a man thinks so he becomes" this is the psychological law. The mind of the man who trains himself to think good, holy thoughts develops a tendency to think good thoughts. His character is moulded and transformed by the continuous flow of good thoughts.
When the mind thinks of the image of the Lord during japa and worship, the mental substance actually assumes the form of the image. The impression of the object is left on the mind and this is called samskara. When the act is repeated very often, the samskara gains strength and a tendency or habit is formed in the mind.
He who entertains thoughts of divinity becomes transformed actually into divinity itself. This is the power of constant thinking and meditation. His disposition itself is divinised and purified.
The meditator and the meditated, the worshipper and the worshipped, the thinker and the thought, become one and the same thing. This is samadhi. This is the fruit of worship (upasana) or of doing japa.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Mantra yoga is a great science. "Manana trayate iti mantrah" - "By manana (constant thinking or recollection) one is protected or released from the round of birth and death - that is mantra". That is called mantra, by meditating on which the jiva or soul attains freedom from sin, enjoyment in heaven and final liberation. And, by its aid it attains in full the fourfold fruit (chaturvarga) i.e., dharma, artha, kama and moksha (virtue, wealth, pleasure and liberation).
A mantra is so called because it is achieved by the mental process. The root 'man' in the word mantra means 'to think'. And 'tra' comes from 'trai' meaning to protect or to free from the bondage of samsara or the phenomenal world. By the combination of 'man' and 'tra' comes mantra which calls forth the four aims of being - chaturvarga.
A mantra is divinity. It is divine power manifesting in a sound body. The mantra itself is the devata (deity). The aspirant should try his level best to realise his unity with the mantra of the divinity. To the extent he does so, the mantra power supplements his worship power. Just as a flame is strengthened by winds, so also the aspirant's individual shakti (power) is strengthened by mantra shakti. Then the individual shakti joins with the mantra shakti to make it more powerful.
The mantra is awakened from its sleep through the sadhana shakti (worship power) of the aspirant. The mantra is a mass of radiant energy.
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Even to visualise the Lord in meditation just once, to utter the divine name of the Lord, with love, even a single time, has surely got a tremendous, transforming influence upon the soul. You are free here and now. Only you are not aware of it, through the force of maya (or ignorance).
This Atman is peace. Realise this peace that passeth all understanding and be free for ever. Peace is thy birthright. Peace is thy real, essential nature. Peace is Brahman. Peace and Brahman are one.
Inspiring Talks of Gurudev Sivananda
5th October, 1949
TO YOUNG WIDOWS
Srimathi X, a young North Indian lady who had recently lost her husband in tragic circumstances, has come to Ananda Kutir for a brief stay in the belief and conviction that Siva’s Darshan and Upadesh will remove her grief. She is a highly educated young lady, with advanced views on social matters. Yet, she has to observe Purdah imposed upon her by family tradition.
Siva spoke to her as follows:
‘You are an intelligent lady. The purpose of intelligence is proper discrimination. Try to discriminate between the Real and the unreal. Then, study Gita, especially the second chapter. You will clearly see that the physical love that you had towards the physical form of your husband was misplaced and had to come to an end one day or the other. But if you love him in spirit, if you have spiritual communion with him, if you feel that your Self and his are one and the same, this love will be enduring, and the bliss that you obtain from it also will be ever-lasting. Then, you realise that he has only changed his costume and taken a new suit. You will not grieve.
‘Once you have laid this foundation of a spiritual understanding truly and well, the rest of the work will be easy. You have to keep yourself busy in humanitarian work, in selfless service of humanity with Atma-Bhav. Keep your body and mind constantly engaged in noble, divine and humanitarian service: this is the best way to ensure peace of mind and to remove grief.
‘Study Bhagavatam. You will find that the Lord has Himself stated there that He removes the pleasure-centres of Jivas when He chooses to shower His grace and blessings on the devotee. The mind will refuse to believe that what is generally considered a calamity is in fact a great blessing. The calamity shatters your belief in the permanence of things of the world: it points out clearly that everything here is fleeting and transitory. And, the calamity eventually turns your mind Godward—which, in turn, bestows peace and happiness on you. By diligent study of the Gita and other scriptures, and by proper discrimination, however, it is possible to bring your mind to believe in the existence of the Eternal Atman, and in the fact that all that happens here has the grace of the Lord behind it and so happens for your own good.’
‘Therefore, plunge yourself in selfless service. Conduct common meditation classes. Organise Gita study circles amongst the people of your locality. Spread the glory of the name of the Lord.’
‘But, Swamiji, even against my will, I have to observe Purdah. My family people will not allow me to move about freely. It was with great difficulty, and in the teeth of heavy opposition, that I could get through the B.A.’
‘Well, even that need not worry you. Do what you can do within the limitations imposed by external circumstances. Gather together a few girls of your locality and educate them, mould their character, and divinise them. Teach them Gita, Ramayan, etc. Make a beginning thus. When the Lord knows that your heart yearns to expand and to render selfless service of a divine nature to all humanity, He will Himself provide you with golden opportunities.
‘Above all, be brave. Be cheerful. Develop the faculty of discrimination. Study and keep yourself absolutely busy, training your children properly. Give them a spiritual turn of mind from the very beginning of their career. God will help you and guide you on your onward march.’
6th October, 1949
MEET BANERJI OF KALIBARI
Judge Gauri Prasadji, Swami Chidanandaji, Swami Omkaranandaji and myself were leaving for Dehra Dun this morning. Siva was on his way back to the Kutir from the morning class. We took leave of him and were about to get into the tonga. Siva then mentioned casually:
‘There is one Banerji of Kalibari. I was in that Kali Mandir for some days and performed Kirtan also. Do meet him and conduct Kirtan there. He is a very nice man.’
And, we left the Ashram.
As we entered the Rishikesh railway station, we were greeted by Sri Mamraj Singh of the Tehri Government. And he joined our party, as he, too, was going to Dehra Dun.
We reached Dehra Dun.
M. Judge Saheb and Omkarji left immediately for the Court. At the Court, Judge Saheb could not find his own advocate-friends. Casually, M. took G.P. to an advocate whom the former had known, and everything was fixed up.
In the evening, G.P took Swami C. and myself to see the Advocate. We met the young man, talked the matter over with him for over half an hour. His face clearly indicated that he was at the point of bursting forth with joy and with something that he wanted to say. At last he said it: ‘I know Swamiji Maharaj.’ We were surprised. ‘I saw him when he was in the Satyasevashram at Lakshmanjhula. I was a young lad then.’ His name, which we had casually heard of, assumed a new meaning for us. Instantly we shouted: ‘Are you the Banerji of Kalibari?’ He calmly said:
Now we could connect up everything that had happened since this morning. How well Siva arranges every event in proper sequence. How miraculously his hidden hand guides us.
Mamrajji, whom we never expected, accompanied us to Dehra Dun. Why? In order to introduce us to the man whom Siva wanted us to meet. The two Advocates that Judge Saheb wanted to meet were not in the Court. Why? Because, we were to meet the man whom Siva wanted us to meet.
The subject of the conversation then centred entirely on Siva and Benerji’s meeting with him, twenty years ago.
‘How hard he used to work,’ B. continued. ‘Seva for him was second-nature. Seva was his great Yoga. Seva was the Open Sesame of the Door to Liberation. Subsisting on the meagre Kshetra rations, he used to serve, serve and serve throughout the day. I met him along with my brother and family. During the course of the conversation we had with him, he asked me not to marry. I am now over forty, and I am still a bachelor and hope, by his blessings, to continue to be so. So strong was the impression created by his commands.’
We had Kirtan that night in the Kali Bari of the Kali temple.
12th October, 1949
Yet another student from the West—Colins Turnbull—has come to the Ashram to drink deep from the fountain of Light.
After the night Satsang, Siva turned to C.T. and said: ‘Learn Sanskrit. Study the first and second books of Bhandarkar. They will give you enough knowledge of the language to enable you to read the Vedantic texts in their original and appreciate their grandeur. You can do it in six months.’
‘Yes, Swamiji. I have already begun learning Sanskrit.’
T. is leaving tomorrow and told Siva so.
‘Come again. Come here whenever you want to take rest. This is your own home. From Banaras you can come here and spend your holidays here. Even from Scotland you can fly to Rishikesh for a period of rest and meditation.’
As we were walking down the Bhajan Hall, Siva said: ‘All the leaders in the West should learn philosophy. Even if they acquire a theoretical knowledge of philosophy, that will be sufficient to impel them to put into practice at least a little of it. That itself will enable them to give the proper lead to the people and to govern their countries properly.’ After a moment’s pause, he resumed: ‘Philosophy must be made a subject of compulsory study in the schools. Only that can solve the problem. But, what an irony of fate. Whereas, India ought to have given the lead in this respect and by example inspired the western universities to introduce philosophy as a compulsory subject, she has herself banned the teaching of philosophy in her schools.’
16th October, 1949
RECIPE FOR PEACE OF MIND
Sri R., an officer of the Government of India, has come. He wears a worried look. A look at him will suffice to show that his mind is greatly perturbed.
Siva greeted him and made him sit. He found out the trouble that afflicted the visitor.
‘I come from….’ began R.
‘Please have your bath in the Ganges,’ interrupted Siva, unwilling to let R. remind himself of his mental condition while he is in the Abode of Bliss. ‘Then, kindly go up the hill. There is a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Viswanath. Chant Rudram there. Recite Stotras, also. Then go to the Bhajan Hall where the Akhanda Maha Mantra Kirtan is going on for the last five years. Do Kirtan for an hour. By that time, food will be ready.’
R. was amazed at the programme that Siva had chalked out for him. Without another word, he left the Hall.
In the afternoon, R. met Siva in the office. He was a thoroughly changed person now. He was cheerful and in a very happy mood. As he came into the office, some Ashramites were taking Roneo-copies of the Forest University Weekly. R. took part in the work. When Siva came, he prostrated at his feet.
‘Swamiji, this is really Ananda Kutir. Peace and Bliss reside here only.’ Then he related his story. His duty is to bring to books bribe-takers and corrupt officers. In the discharge of his duty, however, he has to proceed against high officials. They dislike him. They make it impossible for him to carry on his work. They have forced him to go on leave. And, his conscience does not allow him to countenance dishonesty.
Siva told him: ‘Lay your burden on His shoulders. He will help you. Be honest. Be truthful. If you feel that you cannot carry on due to unfavourable circumstances, resign. Take it as God’s hint that you are to evolve rapidly in the spiritual path and that He intends you to do something worthier than toil in a Government office. Dedicate yourself to some spiritual institution. Through the institution, serve humanity. You will attain Moksha.’
19th October, 1949
COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS AND CALCULATING BRAIN
An official of the Government of India, and another from the Bihar Government, were having an interview with Siva. The Govt. of India man wanted to know the essence of Vedanta and Siva’s method of attaining cosmic consciousness. Siva said:
‘Infinite expansion of consciousness is the goal of Vedanta. ‘Aham Brahma Asmi. I am the infinite Brahman—Bhuma. Besides me, nothing else exists. I am the Soul of everything that exists’. The actual realisation of this great truth is the goal of Vedanta.
‘Mere study of texts dealing with Vedanta will not do. We must introspect and find out the draw-backs in us. A man will come to the Ashram and will stay here for three days. At the end of his stay, he will calculate thus: 4 as per meal, 6 meals come to 1.8. Tea and milk will cost me 1.8. And, then boldly come forward with a donation of Rs. 3! The very same man will not hesitate to spend 200 rupees on the purchase of a single saree to his daughter-in-law. ‘That is ‘my’ daughter-in-law; this is ‘an’ Ashram. I should not spend on something which is ‘mine’ but not on something which is other than ‘mine’.’ So long as this attitude is there, how can cosmic consciousness dawn in him? Practical realisation of Vedantic truths is possible only if you give up all this petty-mindedness. Give your all to some good institution. Renounce. Renounce. Renounce. Give. Give. And give. Then and then alone will your eyes be opened, and then alone will you have cosmic consciousness or Brahma-Jnana.’
Surely, one who lives with Siva—even for a few days—moves closely with him, watches every movement, every action of his closely and with inquisitive vision—he will not need a word from Siva’s lips, for Siva is a living commentary on the bold utterance of the Upanishadic seers. His very life and every-day actions will provide one with ample illustration of what those sages must have meant when they uttered those great truths.
And when Siva talks on Vedanta, he always gives it a practical turn. He has no patience for polemics.
HOW TO SERVE THE SICK?
‘Oh Madi Swamiji, did you take the temperature of Balammal in the evening?’ Siva asked, as he was coming out of the Bhajan Hall after the night Satsang.
‘I did not go there in the evening, Swamiji.’
At once Siva went to the patient’s room. And, he would not leave the place until every minute detail in connection with the patient’s requirements had been attended to.
Siva, then, said: ‘Put yourself in the patient’s place. That is the best way to ensure attention to the minutest details. If you consider that you are the doctor, you will neglect some things. Even if you consider yourself a nurse, you will miss or forget some things. Think for a moment that you yourself are the patient. What are the things you will need? See that all those things are available to the patient. You must enter into the patient’s spirit. That is real service.
‘There must be a bed-pan. This is most important, especially in the case of aged patients like this lady. There should be light, matches, water in a bucket and a tumbler. All these things should be neatly arranged in the room so that the patient can reach out to them without much difficulty. You should pay particular attention to the arrangement of the bed. Even the slightest carelessness in this regard will deprive the patient of nature’s most powerful remedy—sleep. Haphazard making of the bed will not do. What might be a mild discomfort to a healthy man will be unbearable horror to a sick man. Bear this always in mind.
‘Viswanathan and Ramakrishnan are training themselves in service. They have willingness to learn. They have eagerness to serve. You should not lose one opportunity of service. Then and then alone will this selfless service become a part of you.’
‘Lord Dattatreya says in the very first Sloka of the Avadhuta Gita that Adwaitic realisation is impossible for one unless there is God’s grace. God’s grace can be obtained only through sincere, untiring selfless service and Upasana. Service of the sick is the greatest form of selfless service, which will at once clean the heart and invoke God’s grace into it.’
24th October, 1949
THE LESSON WOMAN NEEDS MOST
Three Siamese girl-students of Banaras University have come to the Ashram to stay for a couple of days and learn what they could of Siva and his philosophy. Siva entertained them nicely on their arrival; gave them several books with his autographed blessings. And after they had listened to the Gramophone records of Siva’s Kirtans, had them taken round the Ashram. They were shown the Yoga Museum also.
In the course of their conversation with Siva, he told them: ‘The impact of Western civilisation on Eastern culture has had the baneful result of making the Eastern men and women worship their body instead of the soul. This is especially true of the ladies. They spend all their time in beautifying their body. In spite of all the beauty-aids, no one will be able to prevent old age and death. In a moment all this physical beauty will vanish. Feel and realise that real beauty is in the Soul or the Atman alone. All other beauties are evanescent. Therefore, do not attach much importance to them. Meditate on the Atma, the Beauty of beauties. This Atma is imperishable. Therefore, the attention that you bestow on It will be really worthwhile. The Atma never ages; It never dies. Realise this Truth. Then, and then alone, have you learned to beautify yourself really and truly.’
FOOD AND THE EATER ARE ONE
During the night Satsang, a South Indian devotee recited a Mantra from the Sama Veda: ‘Aham Annam, Aham Annadah’. After he had concluded, Siva explained the significance, in a few words, especially for the benefit of the Siamese visitors.
The Vedic seer has, at a moment of Cosmic Consciousness, ecstatically sung: ‘Oh I am the food. I am the eater of the food.’ This only goes to prove that in reality the objects and their enjoyer within are one and the same, and that the duality and plurality that are perceived through the senses are false and illusory.
‘Once this truth is recognised, and one comes to feel the oneness of the objects and the enjoyer, then desire for objective enjoyment will vanish. True Vairagya will dawn in man. He will yearn to perceive and realise that Seer within, that Enjoyer within Who Himself is All. When desires have vanished and Para Vairagya dawns in man, he soon crosses beyond Maya and Samsara and attains Nirvana very soon.’
OM MANI PADME HUM
Such is the catholicity of Siva and his consideration for the views and feelings of others, that today, at the end of his Kirtans and Bhajans (in the course of which he had chosen to include many of his songs and poems on Vairagya and Vedanta) he included along with his Maha Mantra Kirtan, the Buddhistic Mantra, also (in the same tune)….
Om Mani Padme Hum, Mani Padme Hum,
Mani Padma Hum, Mani Padme Hum
25th October, 1949
ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS
Sri Swami X’s eagerness for the Parivrajak life brought forth the following Upadesha from the lips of Siva:
‘An occasional spell of Parivrajak life is no doubt very good as a measure of discipline. If you are vigilant, you will be able to learn many good lessons during the wanderings, and you will be able to cultivate perfect and unconditional self-surrender to the Will of the Lord.
‘But the present-day world is not suitable for a Sanyasin taking forever to the Parivrajak life. In days of yore, Paramahamsas who had had Atma Sakshatkara wandered about fearlessly: their bodily needs were attended to by the householders, and they, in their turn, blessed the householders, gave them spiritual instruction, and thus carried out the Will of the Lord and preserved Dharma. Such Self-realised Parivrakjakas are rare nowadays. The people, too, have lost the reverence which their ancestors had towards Sanyasins. Therefore, such Parivrajaka life nowadays is fraught with dangers and temptations.’
‘You cannot practise much Sadhana during your Parivrajaka life. Morning till evening you will be concerned about yourself. Walking and walking will make you tired, and the rest of the time you will only worry about your food. You cannot do much selfless service. You cannot practise much Dhyana, either. Stick to one place. Serve the humanity from there. Purify the heart through service and worship. Meditate and realise.’
WHY SIVA CAME TO RISHIKESH?
‘When I came away from Malaya and took to the wandering life, I was soon tired of it. I wanted seclusion and meditation, which were hard to get during the wandering life. I wanted books for study. I found out that these three things were essential for a Sadhu if he was to carry on his spiritual practices—service, Bhajan, and meditation—uninterruptedly, viz., food, medical care and library. I went to many places on the way. But none of them satisfied me till I reached Rishikesh—where I found all the three, besides a most wonderful and delightful place for Dhyan. When you find such a place, always stick to it and never move from there. Find out every opportunity of serving humanity. Watch, watch, and watch. Serve, and then do Bhajan; then, serve again; then, meditation. Go on rotating these three. You will have rapid spiritual progress.’
27th October, 1949
SADHU ELEMENT vs. BABU ELEMENT
Sri S. and Sri J. have left the Ashram. Another Ashramite had also been instigated by Sri J. to leave the Ashram, but had a miraculous escape as he had to go to Dehra Dun on the appointed day. When the matter was brought to Siva’s notice by this Ashramite, with the request that he, too, might be allowed to follow them for a short while, to help them settle down somewhere, Siva gave us the following Upadesha:
‘I thought that Sri J. was a quiet worker and efficient. He appeared to be very good, simple and humble. But now, he has proved that his inside was filled with venom. It was God’s grace that has saved you. He has not only ruined himself, but has done a great disservice to Sri S. and the Ashram, too, by enticing Sri S. also away.
‘Only people with good, spiritual Samskaras will stay here. Others will go away. You will not find a place like this anywhere else in the world. You have all conveniences here plus Ganges, Himalayas and seclusion. A good library, a dispensary, temple, Bhajan Hall, food and clothing—everything you have here. You have splendid opportunities of serving humanity. Identify yourself heart and soul with the institution. Make it your own. If they have gone, do not bother yourself now. What have you to do with them? If they have been courageous enough to go away, they will have the capacity to settle themselves down. You need not run after them. Why, I am here and your own institution is here, which serves humanity. Why not help it instead of trying to help runaways?
‘God knows who are to stay here. He is the Antaryamin. People like Sri S. and J. may be good workers, but they do not have spiritual Samskaras. They have not got the Sadhu element.
‘You may be a very good worker. You may be a brilliant scholar. You may be able to recite the Gita, Upanishads and Brahma Sutras from end to the beginning. You may be an expert in Hatha Yogic Kriyas. All these are no good if you do not possess the Sadhu-element. What is the use of study, meditation, and bead-rolling? What is the use of standing upside down for three hours? Remember this point very well: if you do not have the Sadhu-element, you are a failure as a Sanyasin.
‘The Sadhu-element is a peculiar mixture of various noble qualities. It is an indescribable something which you will recognise at once when you see the man who has it. It is comprised of humility, fortitude, forbearance, forgiveness, tranquillity, spirit of service, adaptability, cheerful surrender to the will of the Lord, freedom from anger, lust and greed, and complete absence of the complaining spirit. One who has the Sadhu-element in him will be ever joyful and he will take everything calmly—‘Everything is God’s grace’. He will have no occasion to complain.
‘The Babu-element on the other hand will have nothing but complaint. If there is a little less sugar in the tea one day, if tea is given late one day, he will fly into a rage. He will be a cut-throat. His heart will be full of hatred, jealousy, greed and lust. He always hankers after power and prestige. He is fond of back-biting, scandal-mongering, plotting and diplomacy. He has a vigorous scheming brain. He is selfish, selfish and selfish to the very core of his being. When you move with him for a couple of days, you will at once know his nature: beware of such people.
‘All your Sadhana should be directed towards the development of the Sadhu-element in you, and the eradication of the Babu-element. You may be an illiterate man, unable even to talk a few words: but, if you have the Sadhu-element preponderant in you, you are a sage!’
We were all thankful to Sri J. who was instrumental in providing us with this rarest treat from Siva’s lips.