Saturday, June 28, 2014

Inspiring Talks, Message 43

Inspiring Talks of Gurudev Sivananda

9th March, 1950
REAL CHARITY 
In the evening, a batch of people was going along the road, singing songs to the accompaniment of musical instruments. Siva called them and took them into the Mela Office. After making them sing the Lord’s names for some time, he reverently gave them Rs. 5 and some fruits as his love-offerings.
Later in the evening it was pointed out to Siva that they were beedi vendors.
‘You mean to suggest that because they were beedi vendors, we should not have given them Rs. 5? No, no. That should not be our attitude. Charity is charity. We should not discriminate in the matter of charity. Does the sun discriminate and shine only on good people? Does Ganga practise discrimination and give water only to good people? Does a mango tree yield its fruits only to good people? Does air refuse to enter the nostrils of wicked people? Everyone is Lord Narayana Himself. Everyone is your own Atman. Have the Virat Bhavana always. That is the road to Moksha.’

10th March, 1950
PROF. PATHY OF THE LONDON UNIVERSITY 
Sri Prem Nath (son of Sri Ram Rattan of Dehra Dun) brought with him Sri Prof. Pathy of the University of London. The Professor was keenly interested in the activities of the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University. Siva explained to him the origin and the work of the university.
‘How many students are there here, Swamiji?’
‘At present there are only a handful of students, those living here. Three inmates are also here to study Yoga and Vedanta. And, the Forest University Weekly, which is the official organ of the University, has a circulation of more than 750.
‘You wonder perhaps why the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University has so few students? It is because one of the fundamental qualifications for admission into the University is Vairagya, or dispassion, which alone can inspire a man to seek a knowledge of Yoga and Vedanta. This turning away from the objective enjoyment of the world is very difficult of attainment; very few can possess it. These few alone are fit to be the students of the Yoga-Vedanta Forest University.
‘Secular Universities are flooded with applications for admission. Thousands of students wish to become B.A.s and M.A.s. All of them want to become I.C.S.-men. This attracts more men, because it provides them with the maximum scope for sensual enjoyment.
‘There are no degrees in this University. There is no period of study also. One has to study Yoga all his life to attain perfectly. There is only one degree that can be awarded in it: Atma-Jnana. It is the greatest of all degrees. M.A., Ph.D. and I.C.S. are nothing when compared to this supreme degree. This degree of Atma-Jnana cannot be conferred on the student by any authority on earth. It has to be earned by oneself; it has to be realised and experienced. It is not a piece of paper or a badge. It is an invisible crown of glory whose effulgence will be felt by those who approach the person wearing it. People will not shudder at his sight, as they do when they see a Minister or high official: they would love to be near him, they would love to talk to him, they would be inspired in his very presence, they would enjoy great peace and happiness in his presence, their problems will be solved at his mere sight, they would feel as though the worldly burden which was so long oppressing them has suddenly been lifted off their shoulders as soon as they approach him.
‘This Atma-Jnana degree holder does not distinguish himself by travelling in a lovely motor-car or aeroplane, by wearing silk suits, and smoking costly cigarettes or pipe. He is humble, simple, and often passes unnoticed—one among the crowd, yet he is distinctly above the common run of humanity. He is like a child. He is fond of being one with all. He does not want to shine as any superman. Yet, everyone who approaches him feels that this man is no man but God on earth.’
‘I am grateful to you, Swamiji, for your explanation. You are perfectly true in your comparisons of the secular universities and this unique spiritual university. I shall see that this University gets the recognition it deserves. Often public help goes to universities that do not deserve it. There is a bogus private university in America that awards Ph.D.s and M.A.s for a few dollars. I am very glad that you have decided against the award of any such degrees for students of this university. I shall be grateful if you can ask the Manager to send me a copy of the Forest University Weekly, which I shall study diligently.’

14th March, 1950
AHAMKARA YOGA 
‘Do you know what Ahamkara Yoga is?’ asked Siva when he entered the office.
‘No, Swamiji.’
‘I will tell you. Everyone who wishes to practise the Yoga of Synthesis should have a clear knowledge of this new Yoga also. This Ahamkara Yoga is ‘the other side’ of the Yoga of Synthesis: one has to be extremely vigilant in order to avoid it. At any moment a Sadhaka might become a follower of Ahamkara Yoga.
‘The first type of Ahamkara Yogi is the Swatantrananda. Out of sheer necessity (not because the disciple deserves it) the Guru gives the gerua cloth and initiates the disciple into Brahmacharya. It may be for the purpose of enabling the disciple to get Bhiksha from the Kshetra, or in order to keep his Poorvashram family away from him. For obvious reasons the Guru does not initiate him into the holy order of Sanyas. But the disciple goes away, shaves his head and throws away the sacred thread; thenceforward he shines as a Paramahamsa Sanyasin. He soon meets with his downfall. This is one type of Ahamkara Yoga.
‘A young man comes to the Ashram. He has good spiritual Samskaras, and has good Bhav for service. In order to encourage him, I give him Sanyasa also. He composes some songs and poems. I wish to develop this faculty in him and so appreciate his poems. He succumbs to pride and imagines that through meditation (without the botheration of service) he will be able to develop his talents more easily and quickly. He wants to go to Uttarkashi for deep meditation. He wants to lead a Parivrajak life. What is a Parivrajak life? How can one experience the mysterious ways in which the Lord helps and protects the devotee? Only by surrendering oneself completely into the hands of the Lord. But, this boy does not have this faith in the Lord. He is not prepared to surrender himself completely. He keeps fifty rupees in the handbag which he carries with him: and he expects God to reveal His grace, and ‘If you do not help, O God, I have got the money with me.’ This is another kind of Ahamkara Yoga.
‘One Sadhaka wants to practise Kundalini Yoga. This is very difficult and needs expert guidance. The Sadhaka foolishly goes on practising Pranayama. He thinks by merely holding his breath he will be able to awaken the Kundalini. What will happen when the Kundalini is really awakened—he does not know. What the Sadhanba is—he does not know. He does not also want to do any service; he does not believe in Nishkamya Karma Yoga. He only feeds his egoism by resorting to the cave-life. He has to have some conveniences and comforts which cave-life does not provide him. He neglects his health; he neglects the real Sadhana. His body falls a prey to disease and decay; his mind is overpowered by egoism. He perishes. This is yet another kind of Ahamkara Yoga.
‘Here is another Sadhaka who thinks that he is proof against all these pitfalls. He is a Jnana Yogi. He believes the entire world to be a false show. Brahman alone is the truth. He delivers lectures on the Prasthanatraya. He longs to be appreciated by people of this false world. He is unable to control a small evil habit—smoking; but proclaims loudly ‘The world of names and forms is false.’ This is another kind of Ahamkara Yoga.
‘To learn the Prasthanatraya by heart is very easy. To deliver thrilling lectures for days on end on one Sloka of the Gita, one Sutra or one Mantra of the Upanishads, is easy enough. To stop the breath, the pulse-beating or the pulsating of the heart, and to exhibit various other Siddhis is also easy. To shave one’s head is very, very easy. And to put on the orange robe and roam about as a Paramahamsa Parivrajaka Acharya is very simple. But to put down the Ahamkara or egoism is very difficult. To be humble and simple, to serve everyone with Atma-Bhav or Narayana-Bhav is very, very difficult. Such selfless service alone can enable you to conquer your egoism. The service will have to be done over a protracted period of time. Go on serving and praying to the Lord. Curb your egoism. Shave your inner being of Ahamkara. Then you will really shine as a Paramahamsa. Then the Kundalini will awaken Herself automatically and illumine you. Then the wisdom of the Prasthanatraya will dawn in you without any effort.
‘That is real Sadhana. That Sadhana which does not aim at the curbing of one’s egoism, but which only goes to feed one’s egoism, is the very opposite of Sadhana and is no Sadhana at all. One should embrace Sanyasa; one should take to Parivrajak life; one should practise Pranayama and other limbs of Yoga; one should study the Prasthanatraya and meditate also. But all these should invariably be accompanied by an internal Sadhana of egolessness. With this all other forms of Sadhana become fruitful; without this they cause greater bondage to Samsara.’

27th March, 1950
THIS IS MY METHOD 
Dr. Kailas Nath, the young Punjabi doctor who has been posted to Muni-ki-reti for the Kumbha Mela Government dispensary, was attending on a patient in the Ashram Operation Theatre (Ganga Kutir). Srimathi Karina was assisting him.
After the evening Satsang, Siva entered the Ganga Kutir. ‘Om Namo Narayanaya, Doctor Saheb. Om Namo Narayanaya, lady Doctor!’
‘Srimathi Karina is doing intense Sadhana. She keeps herself ever busy. Morning meditation, Asans, Gita study, Hindi study, attending Satsang, and assisting the doctor in the eye clinic. Good.’ 
He stood there watching the doctor giving an injection to the patient.
‘The Drishti Dana Centre is a bit dull these days, I think,’ began Siva.
‘Yes, Swamiji. So far in this Yajna we have operated upon ten cases of cataract. All of them, thanks to our grace and blessings, have been successful, in spite of the patient’s non-cooperation.’
‘I have been thinking why more and more people are not coming here daily. Except for the tom-tom and distribution of leaflets, we have not done any intensive campaign to procure patients for the Yajna. What you should do is to go to Rishikesh and stand at a prominent place and deliver a lecture on the importance of keeping the eyes healthy and of preserving the eye-sight. You should explain to the people the anatomy of the eyes, and also give them some general hints on the hygiene of the eyes. All people will be benefited and they will get confidence in you also. People will then know that you are earnestly interested in serving them. They will then flock to you.
‘You must not feel shy. You must boldly assure them; ‘Come to me. I will restore your eye-sight. I will give you new vision. I have so far cured ten people of cataract. People who were unable to see a huge elephant standing before them a few days ago are now able to thread a needle.’ You should not feel that this is self-praise. You should even make a few slides describing the state of the patient before your operation and after—how he came to the dispensary, feeling his way with a stick, and how after a few days he walks about cheerfully with his eye-sight fully restored. You should show a short reel of movie-film also, depicting yourself conducting the operation. Do not think that you are thereby praising yourself, or boasting. You need not be afraid of criticism also. Let people criticise you or say that you are boastful and arrogant, but really suffering people will flock to you. You can do a lot of service. That is what is wanted. You should always seek newer and newer avenues of serving people. You should find out novel methods of serving the public. This is Aggressive Nishkamya Karma Yoga. This is my method.’
Later Siva took the doctor to his Kutir. The doctor remarked: ‘Oh, the room is full of files and files and books all round.’
Siva replied: ‘Yes, yes. I will show you. That steel almirah is full of unpublished manuscripts. They are my treasure. Therefore, I keep them in a fire-proof cabinet. This is my Durbar.’ So saying, Siva sat down on his seat opposite his writing desk. ‘This Gaddi (a rolled bed used as a backrest by Seths generally) was given to me by someone several years ago. I did not use it. I thought it was an old man’s luxury. It has been lying in the Kutir for a number of years. Just recently I thought that I might as well lie behind my back here and so placed it here. These are the books in the making. This is the seventh book of poems. This is a book which I am writing on Naturopathy. This is Ananda Gita. Those are the life-books. This is the spiritual lessons bundle. ‘My Magazine’ of Madras is publishing these spiritual lessons since the last twenty years. That bundle is correspondence with spiritual aspirants and contains their letters to me and my replies. I go through my replies once again and take out useful paragraphs of general interest and convert them into spiritual lessons. The letter inspired one, and the book ‘Spiritual Lessons’ will inspire thousands.’
‘I keep two dozen note-books ever-ready for writing. Not one thought should be lost. These people, when I give them matter for typing, sometimes delay the return of the note-book. So, I make more and more note-books. I keep some here; I keep some in the office also, so that any moment I will be able to write. I keep several fountain-pens all filled with ink and ready. I keep one pair of spectacles here, another in the almirah as spare, a third one in the office. No time should be lost in searching for them; work is of paramount importance. I keep several torch-lights—some near the bed, some near this seat, some near the easy-chair on which I take rest. Even at the dead of night, if a good thought comes, it must at once be recorded.’
Then like a child he showed the doctor three watches that were in the Kutir. ‘One will be here, another in the bed-room. They enable me to be punctual in my work. Work is of supreme importance. That is my method of work.’
‘Swamiji, you are doing so much of work every day. You are writing on so many subjects. I simply do not know how it is possible for you. How do you get all these thoughts, always inspiring and a perennial flow of them! We may be able to get a flash of good thoughts occasionally. We may be able to get a gush of several thoughts for a few days perhaps. But the gush of random thoughts won’t all be inspiring; and inspiring thoughts won’t gush forth like Ganga. But you seem to have acquired both. What is the secret, Swamiji?’
‘I do not know.’
‘Everything here seems to be unique, Swamiji. There is a lot to learn from you. I wish I could sit always at your feet and learn your unique methods of service.’
‘Yes, yes. And, what do you think of the people here. They are all unique in their own way. Some are poets, some are doctors, some are orators, some are Jnanis, some are great thinkers. Look at Purushottam! He is a unique cook: and he is a unique binder, too. Look at this binding. The book is bound with a tin-cover. It has been made water-proof and fire-proof also. And, Dr. Krishnadas is a doctor and a poet also.’
‘Yes, Swamiji. K. will in course of time make a very good doctor. He has got the aptitude; and he is eager to learn. And, Swami Chidanandaji, too.’
‘Oh, Chidanandaji? He is a genius. You have not read his writings? I will give you his book, ‘Light Fountain’. It is highly inspiring. He is an inspiring orator. He recently addressed the Bihar Provincial Branch inauguration, presided over by the Governor of Bihar. People were thrilled. He has a pure heart full of universal love. That gives him the magic touch; he can cure a person by mere touch. People always go to him for treatment, even when there is a highly qualified doctor here. He knows the scorpion Mantra, too. It works like magic for him. The poison comes down in a minute. He repeats the Mantra—any Mantra—once and he attains Siddhi in it. He is a saint. He should have been a great Yogi in his previous birth also. It is very difficult to find a person like him nowadays. He is a rare genius.’
‘Have you seen the Kaivalya Guha?’
‘Yes, Swamiji. That is another unique feature here. Do you go there daily?’
‘Previously I used to go in the afternoon. Nowadays I do not. Work has increased so much. I now feel that everything is Guha.’ (He pointed to his chest, almost involuntarily, indicating that the heart is the real Kaivalya Guha.) I go from here to the office, and then come back here. Service is of paramount importance. That is my method of work.’
Then Siva showed the doctor the easy-chair on which he takes rest occasionally. ‘This is another unique thing here. You can’t get the like of it even for a hundred rupees now. It was purchased long, long ago. When you lie down on it, you feel as though you are in bed.’ So saying, Siva actually got into the chair. ‘If it is cold, then I pull this razai on. As he said this, he enacted it also—just as a child taking the greatest delight in showing its toys.
‘People think that a Sanyasin should not have this or use that,’ said Siva tapping a call-bell playfully. ‘But I have no such notion. Service is the thing. Work, work and work for the welfare of humanity. Keep the instruments—the body and the mind—in a fit and healthy condition for the work. I am a different Sanyasin. I like to serve. People imagine that a Sanyasin should always be grave and should always sit like this (he closed his eyes and sat erect) and thus give the impression to people that he is a Jivanmukta. But I am of a different type. Work should be your meditation. That is my method.’
The doctor had finished his milk. Siva suddenly said: ‘Your mother will be waiting for you. Om Namo Narayanaya,’ and bowed.
‘I have learnt a lot today, Swamiji. I had read your book ‘Siva Gita’, your autobiography. At first when I opened the book and read a couple of pages, I felt strange thoughts creeping into my mind. I felt, ‘What is this? All....’
‘Self-glorification?’ prompted Siva.
The doctor burst into laughter. ‘Yes, Swamiji. That was what I thought at first. But, as I read it a second time, a thought flashed upon me. You have revealed the secret of your life through that book. And what is more, you have provided the reader with a pattern of Perfect Life. You want that people should live such a life as you have portrayed in the book.’
‘Aim at serving the people. Do not bother if the people criticise you. That is my method.’

28th March 1950
RAMANAVAMI SADHANA 
The Ramanavami Sadhana commenced on the 21st March. The Ashramites had been asked to do some Malas of ‘Om Sri Ramaya Namah’ (Rama Shadakshara) Japa and take part in the Ramayana-Navha Parayanam. 
Siva added to this the daily ‘enactment’ of one Kandam from his ‘Ramayana Drama.’
‘Sadhana on such special occasions should be intense, even though it is for a short period. These nine days everyone should be Rama-mayam. Rama Nama Japa, reading of the Ramayana (both the Tulasidas Ramayana and the Valmiki Ramayana), and at night Ramayana Drama also. 
Thus will the Sadhana, even during these nine days, be an intense one. Everyone will be filled with the glory of Ram. Whatever you do, you should have intense application to it. That is the secret of success. If you serve, serve intensely, with all your heart and soul. If you worship the Lord, give your heart and soul to Him. If you meditate, meditate intensely. That is the secret of rapid progress in the spiritual path.’
This morning as soon as Siva entered the office, he greeted us ‘Jaya Ram ji ki’. Thus began the Ramanavami day. We had morning meditation class and a prabhat pheri also with ‘Sri Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram’ Kirtan.
This morning’s office-Kirtan was also full of Ram. During the entire week on every occasion Siva has been reciting the Sloka….
   Sri Rama Rama Rameti Rame Rame Manorame
   Sahasranama Tat Tulyam Rama Nama Varanane
In the temple the Havan of Rama Mantra is going on. Alongside sit Siva and the devotees while Sri Purnabodhji and Swami Krishnanandaji and Sri Ramprem give readings from Stotra Ratnakara, Tulasidas Ramayana and Valmiki Ramayana. Siva’s gramophone records of ‘Sangeeta Ramayana’ were played. Sri Rao Saheb N.G. Venkatese Iyer of Salem recited Siva’s ‘Hanuman Chaleesa’.

WHERE IS EVIL? 
After Kirtan, Siva delivered the following discourse:
‘Ram is para Brahman. Sita is Maya. Ram minus Sita is Para Brahman alone. Worship of Ram is adoration of Brahman. Through Rama’s worship one can easily attain knowledge of Brahman. Sita is the illusory power of the Lord Himself that veils the Jiva’s realisation of the real Swaroopa of Rama. The why of this illusory power you cannot know.
‘How did Karma arise? How did evil come about? What is the origin of phenomena? From the Satchidananda Para Brahman, how did Asat Jada Duhkha come? If Rama is Satchidananda Para Brahman and He and He alone pervades all, why do we find evil and misery in this world? These questions are transcendental. They are Atiprasnas. The finite intellect cannot understand the mystery, which is beyond the speech and the mind. Intellect can grasp only things relating to the senses and the mind. One cannot get a solution to this eternal question except through the realisation of the Satchidananda Para Brahman Rama.
‘In reality, evil does not exist. There is no evil except in your imagination. All is that Satchidananda Para Brahman Ram. The existence of evil is due to our wrong perception. It is only in the Vyavaharic sense that there is evil—and that evil exists to glorify the good. This evil has co-existed with good in all periods of time. In Satya Yuga the percentage of evil might have been less. In Kali Yuga the percentage may be more. But there has always been evil in the world. There is, beside this external evil, the ceaseless fight between the Subha Vasanas and the Asubha Vasanas within man.
‘Similarly, in the world also there are Deivic societies and Asuric societies. The Deivic forces always work for the welfare of humanity and for the final emancipation of man from the bondage of Samsara. They work for the establishment of real communism in the world.
‘Real communism is Vedanta which preaches oneness and equality. Real communism is divine life which ennobles every man and prompts him to see his own Self in every living creature. Real communism is divine life which demands of everyone to share what he has with others, to work for the welfare of all. It is not this Asuric communism which destroys temples and burns the devotees of the Lord.
‘There is another Asuric movement in the South. It is the self-respect movement. Real self-respect is also good. That is divine life which respects all as one’s own Self. It strives to take man towards God through worship of His Form and repetition of His Name. But, this Asuric self-respect movement pulls down temples and burns Ramayana.
‘At the same time, there spring up Daivic institutions which strive to establish Dharma, to bring about real communism and self-respect. These institutions are run by the devotees of God, Sadhakas and Siddhas. They lead the people along the path of divine life. Through conferences and propaganda, they uphold Dharma, devotion to God and knowledge of the Self. The Theosophical Society has been holding regular conferences. There are other institutions conducting Sankirtan Conferences and spiritual conferences. The Divine Life Society has also been conducting such conferences. The first Conference was held at Villupuram by Dr. Mani. Three conferences were conducted by the pious and noble Venkataramiah (Swami Ramanada). The great work was given new life to by Dr. Mangalam and Sri S.V. Iyer of Tambaram. The thread was taken up and the work is carried on by others. Sri Rao Saheb N.G. Venkatesa Iyer conducted the Second Divine Life Conference last year at Salem.
‘Rao Saheb V. is a noble pious soul who is striving his level best to spread the glory of the Lord’s name. He is a dynamic selfless worker with a noble and magnanimous heart. The Conference was a great success. Sri V. went from lane to lane, from house to house, and stirred the people to tread the path of divine life and attain the Lord’s Sayujya. To such a noble soul I give this little love-offering of mine in the form of an award—M.S.G.S., which means ‘Member, Sivananda Gyana Sabha’.
‘The Sivananda Gyana Sabha is there where people sing Lord’s Name. The Sabha is there where man runs to the aid of his sick and ailing brother. The Sabha is there where man meditates on the Almighty. The Sabha is there where Atma-Vichar is done.
‘Sri Venkatesa Iyer is a great Karma Yogi. Living in the world, carrying on his worldly duties amidst worldly distractions and family burdens, he has been boldly working for the spiritual uplift of the world.
‘It is very easy to retire to a cave. You will pretend to meditate for some time: after six months, Tamas will set in. You will not know where you are. How easy it is not to tell a lie when you have no one to talk to. How easy it is to control your anger when no one approaches you, much less opposes you. What is there in controlling the mind when there are no distractions at all? The real glory of a real Yogi or Jnani lies in being able to control the mind and to engage himself in Marka Yoga for the good of humanity, while yet living in the world. Even a little of the practice of this Yoga at once purifies you. Sri V. is a Dheera who has been serving humanity and leading the divine life, while yet living in the world. May God bless him. May God bless you all. May you all become Rama-Swaroop!’