Thursday, June 30, 2016

1 July

Mind and Matter
Mind is not a gross thing, visible and tangible; its existence is nowhere seen; its magnitude cannot be measured; it does not require spce in which to exist. Mind and matter are two aspects, or subject and object of one and the same all full Brahman - who is itself neither and yet includes both.
Mind precedes matter; this is the vedantic theory. Matter precedes mind; this is the scientific theory. Mind is immaterial only in the sense that it has not the characteristics of ponderable matter. It is not immaterial in the sense that Brahman - pure spirit - is.
Mind is the subtle form of matter. Hence it is the prompter of the body. Mind is made of subtle, pure (satvic), atomic matter. Mind is all electricity. It is formed of the subtlest portion of food. 
The soul is the only source of intelligence; it is self-evident; it shines with its own light.
The organs or mind and senses derive their principle of activity and life from the soul. By themselves they are lifeless. Hence the soul is always the subject and never the object. Mind is the object of the soul.
It is a cardinal principle of vedanta that that which is an object for a subject is non intelligent. Even the principle of self-consciousness is non intelligence - it does not exist by its own light; it is the object of apperception to the soul.
Mind is composed of coarse or fine matter, according to the needs of the more or less unfolded consciousness connected with it. In the educated it is active and well-defined. In the undeveloped it is cloudy and ill-defined.
- - - - -
Absolute consciousness is common to all. It is one. All the workings of the mind are presented to the one common consciousness which is the witness of the mental vrittis. It is the mind that limits man, who is in reality, identical with Brahman.
This identity is realised when the veil of ignorance is removed. For Brahman, the mind is an object of perception. Atman directly cognises all the phenomena of the mind - desires, imagination, doubt, belief, shame, intellect, fear, etc., - and yet remains quite unattached and unaffected.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

30 June

Mind is All
Mind alone is the whole world, with its pains, old age, death, sin, earth, water, fire, air and ether, and all the internal organs. Mind binds man. He who has controlled his mind is a veritable god on earth. We live in a world of thoughts. First there is the thought, and then there is the expression of that thought through the organ of speech.
Thought and language are intimately connected. Loving thoughts uplift and encourage others. Unkind thoughts, thoughts of anger, bitterness and malice injure others. Thoughts are things. Sound, touch, taste, form and odour, the waking, dream and deep sleep states - all are the products of the mind only.
Thoughts such as passion, anger, bondage, time - know all these to be the results of the mind. The only true laboratory is the mind. Study it, test it and then go beyond it. Then you will realise the truth; then you will discover the hidden soul. Only if your mind is quiet will you enjoy peace in your own home, as you will enjoy it in the forest.
Man has a mind. But mind is not man. Mind is a good servant. It is an instrument only. Utilise it tactfully and properly. The prime requisite for happiness is control of the mind or lower self. Your thought is imprinted on your face. Mind is a bridge that connects the human with the divine.
Your body, your business, your house, are all only ideas within your own mind. Thought is a dynamic force. Good thought is the first perfection; it is the real wealth. Emotion is the driving force at the back of the mind. Will power is the master-key to success. Knowledge, thought, intellect and reason are one.
Appetite, instinct, impulse and desire are one. Emotion, ambition, spirit and courage are one. The mind is the master of the body. The soul is the master of the mind. Thou art, in essence, immortal soul. Thou art above body and mind. Always remember this supreme fact and live in the awareness of thy spiritual nature.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

29 June

The Source of the Mind
Creation, preservation, destruction, veiling and blessing are God's five kinds of actions. God is the ruler, the knower of the heart, and the prompter. He helps the student in a variety of ways - through dreams, the inner voice, talking through the mouths of others in conversation and in advice from friends.
Eternal bliss, supreme peace, eternal satisfaction, infinite happiness and unbroken joy can be had only in God. Attain God-consciousness or Self-realisation through exclusive devotion to one aspect of the Lord, or by self-enquiry.
When, by analysing your own mind, you come face to face with something which is never destroyed, something which by its own nature is eternally pure, perfect, self-luminous and unchanging, you will no longer be miserable or unhappy. The nature of Brahman is satchidananda (existence knowledge bliss absolute). What limits the individual soul's vision? It is only the mind.
Between the Atman (Self) and the organs of the senses, a connecting link is necessary. We acknowledge the existence of an internal organ, the mind, through which perception takes place. If we do not admit the internal organ, there would result either perpetual perception or perpetual non-perception.
Perception results when there is conjunction of Atman, the sense and the object (these are the three instruments of perception). If this effect did not follow, perpetual non-perception would take place.
Neither is the case however. We have therefore to acknowledge the existence of an internal organ, on whose attention and non-attention perception and non-perception take place. This is the argument for the existence of the mind.
- - -
Mind is nothing but a collection of impressions. It is a bundle of habits. It is a collection of desires arising from contact with different objects. It is a collection of feelings aroused by worldly botherations; of ideas gathered from different objects. These desires, ideas and feelings change constantly.
Some of the old desires and feelings are constantly departing from the store house, the mind, and being replaced by new ones. This constant change does not in any way interfere with the harmony of mental operations. Some ideas and feelings depart and those that remain work in healthy cooperation with the new arrivals. They work in harmony and this harmony sustains the identity of mental existence.

Monday, June 27, 2016

28 June

The Secret of Yoga Sadhana
I solemnly affirm that the disease of birth and death can be removed only through the divine panacea of mind mastery; not through any other means. The path of annihilation of the mind will be most beneficial to you and will never generate the least of pains. If the mind is destroyed by dint of discrimination, then maya (illusion) will not afflict you. There is no other vessel on this earth to sail the ocean of rebirth, than mastery of this turbulent mind.
Tame the mind. Collect your thoughts. Keep the mind serene. Think not of evil. You will enter the realm of deathlessness, dominion of eternal bliss. Withdraw the senses from their objects. Collect the rays of the mind. Direct the mind towards the ajna chakra (or the space between the eyebrows) and fix it there steadily.
Understand the mind; know how to manage it. Mind abhors a vacuum. Aversion and desire, both are binding - two monkeys sitting on the tree of the heart. While they continue to shake and agitate it there can be no peace.
Man falls into the cycle of births and deaths through his own thoughts, his own ignorance. Liberation means nothing but the destruction of the impurities of the mind. If your mind is free and pure, you will not again enter into birth.
Control of the mind is not done in a day but by constant practice and sustained dispassion. 
Victory will be yours. Become a true hero. Have mastery over the mind. Enter the illimitable realms of bliss. Blessed is he who has controlled his mind and achieved self-conquest.
- - -
Dispassion, discrimination, renunciation and meditation are enemies of the mind. You can destroy the mind easily, if you possess these virtues. The mind manifests itself as the external world in the shape of pain and pleasure. The mind subjectively is consciousness, while objectively it is this universe. The mind has the potency of creating or undoing the world in the twinkling of an eye.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

27 June

Song of Vibhuti Yoga
Bhajo Radhe Krishna, Bhajo Radhe Shyama
Bhajo Radhe Krishna, Bhajo Radhe Shyama

Soham Soham, Sivoham Soham.
Soham Soham, Sivoham Soham.

Om Om Om Om Om,
Om Om Om Om Om.

I am neither mind nor body, immortal Self I am,
I am witness of three states, I am knowledge absolute.
     (Om Om.....)

I am fragrance in jessamine, beauty in flowers, 
I am coolness in the ice, flavour in coffee.
     (Bhajo Radhe Krishna...)

I am greenness in the leaf, hue in the rainbow, 
I am taste buds in the tongue, essence in orange.
(Om Om.....)

I am mind of all minds, prana of all pranas, 
I am soul of souls, Self of all selves.
     (Bhajo Radhe Krishna...)

I am Atman in all beings, apple of all eyes, 
I am sun of all suns, light of all lights.
     (Om Om.....)

I am Pranava of all vedas, Brahman of Upanishads, 
I am silence in forests, thunder in all clouds.
     (Bhajo Radhe Krishna...)

I am velocity in electrons, motion in science, 
I am effulgence in the sun, wave in the radio.
     (Om Om.....)

I am support of this world, soul of this body, 
I am ear of all ears, eye of all eyes.
     (Bhajo Radhe Krishna...)

I am time, space, dik and the controller,  
I am God of gods, guru and the director.
     (Om Om.....)

I am melody in music, in rag and raginins, 
I am sound in ether, shakti in virya.
     (Bhajo Radhe Krishna...)

I am power in electricity, intelligence in mind, 
I am brilliance in fire, penance in ascetics.
     (Om Om.....)

I am 'reason' in philosopher, 'will' in jnanis, 
I am prem in bhaktas, samadhi in yogis.
     (Bhajo Radhe Krishna...)

I am That I am, I am That I am, 
I am That I am, I am That I am.
     (Om Om.....)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

26 June

Song of Govinda
God is truth                                                     Govinda
God is bliss                                                     Govinda
God is peace                                                   Govinda
God is knowledge                                            Govinda
 
God is love                                                      Govinda
God is light                                                      Govinda
Control the mind                                              Govinda
Control the senses                                          Govinda

Realise the Self                                               Govinda
This is the teaching                                          Govinda
Of all the scriptures                                          Govinda
Goal of life                                                        Govinda

Is God-realisation                                            Govinda 
Practise ahimsa                                               Govinda
Speak the truth                                                Govinda
Serve, love, give                                              Govinda

Be good, do good                                            Govinda
Be cheerful                                                      Govinda
Be courageous                                                Govinda
Be patient                                                        Govinda

Be forgiving                                                     Govinda
Be moderate                                                   Govinda
In everything                                                   Govinda
Be regular                                                       Govinda

Get up at 4 a.m.                                              Govinda
Enquire 'Who am I?'                                        Govinda
There is no pleasure                                        Govinda
In the sensual objects                                      Govinda

Study daily                                                       Govinda
Gita, Upanishads                                             Govinda
 
Do not smoke                                                   Govinda
Do not drink                                                     Govinda
Do not take bribes                                           Govinda
This is bad                                                      Govinda
 
Time is precious                                              Govinda
Do not waste a second                                    Govinda

Utilise it                                                           Govinda
In japa, kirtan                                                  Govinda
In meditation                                                   Govinda

Friday, June 24, 2016

25 June

Song of Immortality 
Ram Ram Ram Ram, Jaya Jaya Sita Ram  
Ram Ram Ram Ram, Jaya Jaya Radheshyam. 

Turn the gaze, draw the indriyas,  
Still the mind, sharpen the intellect;  
Chant Om with feeling, meditate on atma,  
Chant Ram with feeling, meditate on Sitaram,  
Chant Shyam with feeling, meditate on Radheshyam. 
O children of light, will you drink not, 
Won't you drink not, the nectar of immortality? 
     (Ram Ram…..)

All karmas (are) burnt now,  
You have become a jivanmukta,  
That blessed state turiyatita  
No words can describe, 
O children of light, will you drink not, 
Won't you drink not, the nectar of immortality? 
     (Ram Ram…..)

The grass is green, the rose is red,  
And the sky is blue,  
But the Atman is colourless,  
Formless and gunaless too, 
O children of light, will you drink not, 
Won't you drink not, the nectar of immortality? 
     (Ram Ram…..)

Life is short, time is fleeting,  
The world is full of miseries,  
Cut the knot of avidya,  
And drink the sweet nirvanic bliss,
O children of light, will you drink not,  
Won't you drink not, the nectar of immortality? 
     (Ram Ram…..)

Feel the divine presence everywhere  
See the divine glory all round,  
Then dive deep into the divine source,  
Realise the infinite bliss, 
O children of light, will you drink not, 
Won't you drink not, the nectar of immortality? 
     (Ram Ram…..)

Do asana, kumbak, mudra,  
Shake the kundalini;  
Then take it to sahasrar  
Through chakras in the sushumna, 
O children of light, will you drink not, 
Won't you drink not, the nectar of immortality? 
     (Ram Ram…..) 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

24 June

The Divine Secret
True wisdom is love. The way is only one - love divine - that is all. Love divine is a great power; it is the basis of all religious life. Divine love has no sex. It sees God in all and all in God. Where love is, there God is. From love the world is born, by love it is sustained and into love it enters. He who loves not, knows not God, because God is love.
Open the floodgates of your heart for the inpouring of love divine. The path is through love - every moment of separation is a pang of death to the lovers and the devotees. Day and night the flame of love burns in the hearts of the devotees. Solace comes to the devotee in the flow of tears. The creeper of love is nourished by the eyes.
Love is not a passing sentiment or a feeble emotion - it is strong, deep, enduring. There is real love only when there is true inward identification with the life of another entity. Pure love divine communes with the beloved, with unity, with the one, the all-pervading essence of bliss.
The most important aspect of spiritual life is bhakti (devotion), and the secret of bhakti is love, a love which embraces all. Company of saints, kirtan (chanting) of the Lord's names, study of the Bhagavatam and service of the saints will create love for the Lord.
- - -
Love of the body or skin is passion. Love of God is prema (or devotion). It is pure love, love for love's sake. To love someone for attaining a selfish gain, is selfish love. It binds you to this earth. To love all beings, as manifestations of the Lord himself is pure love and leads to liberation. Pure love redeems and purifies the heart and transmutes you into divinity. God is an embodiment of love - an ocean of love. If you wish to attain God-realisation you must also become an embodiment of love. Love inspires, illumines and leads the way. Love is giving and not taking. Love cements the broken heart. It is the key to open the door to moksha.
Love inspires love. It is divine elixir; it bestows immortality, supreme peace and everlasting joy. Love is the golden link which binds heart to heart, mind to mind and soul to soul. Love never reasons but ever profusely gives. It is not affected by offence or insult. It looks only with the heart.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

23 June

Universal Love
The only sara-vastu (thing of value) in this world is prema (or divine love). It is eternal, infinite and undecaying. Physical love is moha (passion or infatuation). Universal love is divine love. Cosmic love (vishva prema) and universal love are synonymous terms. God is love. Love is God. Selfishness, greed, egoism, vanity, pride and hatred contract the heart and stand in the way of developing universal love.
Develop universal love gradually through selfless service, satsanga (association with holy ones), prayer, recitation of guru mantra (mantra or a holy word given by a guru), etc. Thus all barriers are broken and now the heart will expand infinitely.
It is very easy to talk of universal love. But when you want to put it into actual practice it becomes extremely difficult. Petty mindedness of all sorts comes in the way. Old, wrong samskaras (impressions) which you have created by your wrong mode of life in the past, act as stumbling blocks. Through iron determination, strong will power, patience, perseverance and vicar (right enquiry), you can conquer all obstacles quite easily. The grace of the Lord will descend on you if you are sincere, my dear friends. 
Feel that the whole world is your body, your own home. Melt or destroy all barriers that separate man from man. Any idea of superiority is ignorance or delusion. Develop all-embracing love. Unite with all. Separation is death. Unity is eternal life. Feel that the body is a moving temple of God. Wherever you are, whether at home, at the office, the railway station or the market, feel that you are in this temple.
Consecrate every act as an offering unto the Lord. Transmute every work into yoga by offering its fruits to God. Have akarta sakshi bhava (feeling: "I am a non-doer, witness") if you are a student of vedanta. Have nimittabhava (feeling: "I am an instrument") if you are a student of bhakti. Feel that all beings are images of God, that this world is indwelt by the Lord. Feel that one power, or God, works through all hands, sees through all eyes, hears through all ears. You will become a changed being. You will enjoy peace and bliss.
May Lord Hari take you all to His bosom and bathe you with the waters of sweet love. May your heart be filled with cosmic love.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

22 June

Seek God Within
Seek God within you, in your heart. Seek him not elsewhere. Seek him with faith. Seek not God for favours. Such favours will not bring you near to God. Cultivate nishkamya bhakti (motiveless devotion). Pine for his grace and mercy.
Quicken and enliven your faith in God. Let the flame of faith grow brighter and brighter daily. Feel His presence everywhere. Obtain His grace through faith, devotion and total self-surrender.
Cling to the feet of the Lord. Lead the life divine. Roll the beads and mentally repeat his name. Sing his praises and remember Him at all times. Fix your mind on the lotus feet of the Lord at all times. See the Lord in all objects. Sing the Lord's names.
Meditate on His form first then meditate on His all-pervading essence. Withdraw the senses from their objects and gaze within. Concentrate on the heart - search for Him there.
Practise ahimsa, satyam and brahmacharya (non-violence, truth and purity). Say from the bottom of your heart, "I am thine. Thy will be done, O Lord." Stick to dharma (right conduct). Control the mind and the senses. Kill egoism, lust, greed, hatred, etc.
Serve the saints. Serve your guru - guru and God are one. Chant the name and praises of the Lord. Meditate on His divine attributes. Constantly remember the Lord and His presence. Serve and worship the Lord.
Cling to the name of the Lord. Practise the religion of sacrifice. Dedicate yourself to God. Walk in humility and love. This is the way to God-realisation.
Here are some auxiliaries to bhakti. Study the lives of saints, again and again. You will get new inspiration and you will be elevated, renovated and transformed.
Japa (repetition of God's name), kirtan (chanting), prayer, service of saints, meditation, smarana (remembering God), are aids to God-realisation. Shun evil company. Live in the company of saints. Serve the sick and the poor. Lead a simple life.
Cultivate divine virtues such as humility, tolerance, mercy, kindness, courage, selflessness, cosmic love, truthfulness, purity and celibacy.

Monday, June 20, 2016

21 June

Supreme Love of God
Life is complex nowadays. The struggle is very keen. 
Here is an easy way of worshipping the Lord
Consider your house as the temple of the Lord, 
Your wife and children and others as the holy company of the bhaktas (devotees). 
Consider every word you speak as the japa (repetition) of the Lord's name and as praise of him. 
Consider every action as service of the Lord; 
And your lying in bed as prostrations before the Lord, 
And your daily walk and moving about as perambulations of the Lord. 
Consider the lights you burn in the evening as the waving of lights to the Lord. 
Consider sleep as samadhi (super-conscious state). 
Give food and drink as offering to the Lord, then take it as his prasad (gift). 
This is an easy way to worship the Lord
"How shall I wash thy feet with holy water, O Lord, when the very Ganges flows from thy feet?
How shall I give thee a seat, O Lord? 
Thou art all pervading! 
How shall I wave lights for thee, O Lord? 
The sun and the moon are thy eyes: 
Shall I offer flowers to thee? 
Thou art the very essence of the flowers."
This attitude is called para puja (highest worship). 
Feel the presence of the Lord everywhere. 
He dwells in the chambers of your heart too. 
He glitters in your eyes. 
He is the breath in your nostrils. 
He is nearer to you than your jugular vein. 
Behold Him in every face. 
You will attain happiness here and hereafter if you worship God in this way.
Life is short and time is fleeting. 
Start doing this right now.
- - -
Why should you roam hither and thither to find God, the Supreme Being? Why should you go in vain to the forests? Why? Even as in the flower, fragrance resides, even as in the fire, heat dwells - even so doth the Lord abide. Seek Him within, my friend. Seek Him earnestly too.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

20 June

Devotee's Vision
The bhakta is blissful at all times. His mind cannot think of anything for everything is God. “Yatra yatra mano yati tatra tatra samadhayah - Wherever the mind goes there it experiences samadhi” - for it does not find any object of enjoyment. God fills every speck of space and the whole world is clothed in the glory of God.
The saint and the sinner, the virtuous and the vicious, the good and the bad, the man and the animal - all are forms of God. How can the mind deal with them in any undivine way? There, the mind experiences samadhi - it has consciousness but no object. Samadhi is thoughtless consciousness, objectless consciousness - this is para bhakti. This is the same as vedantic realisation. The effect is the annihilation of the ego or the destruction of the mind.
God, who is supremely powerful, supremely wise and supremely blissful, pervades the entire atmosphere and the earth. He is the earth and the heaven; He is father, mother, brother, sister; He is the consummation of all love and aspiration, of all desire and ambition; He is the stoppage of all mental vrittis and He is the ideal to be attained.
Control the mind and annihilate the ego - this is the essence of all yogas. It is the ideal of bhakti yoga, which is a very sweet and easy method or procedure. One has not got to curb one's emotions and one has not to run away to the forests. He has to direct his emotions towards God. He has to see God as present in the world. This is the essence of bhakti sadhana (practice).
Bhakti is thus only a reflection of the love for the Self which the Upanishads declare. Only the names are different: one calls it Self and the other calls it God. Names do not matter; it is the feeling that counts, and that is the same in both.
Self-surrender is the highest form of bhakti. It is surrender of the ego or individuality. What remains after that is the 'Absolute' of the vedantins. Bhakti surrenders the ego and a vedantin disintegrates the ego. In both the ego is not there - their ideals are the same. Whether one eats rice or wheat, it is all the same - the purpose of both is to appease the hunger. So whether you follow bhakti or vedanta, the effect is the annihilation of the ego. This is the truth.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

19 June

Grace Purifies the Heart
Behold the Lord's grace in every inch of his creation. On a hot summer day you enjoy the delicious sweet juice of grapes, cucumber, oranges and pomegranates and the cool Ganges water of Rishikesh and Hardwar. This is the Lord's grace. When you suffer from a serious ailment you get immediate relief and cure from herbs - this is the Lord's grace. When you walk in the dark night, the stars twinkle and throw light on your path - this is the Lord's grace. When you are unable to bear extreme pain you become unconscious - this is the Lord's grace. When the weather is sultry, a gentle breeze springs up and refreshes you - this is the Lord's grace.
The subtle forms of lust, anger, egoism, pride, etc., can only be totally destroyed through the grace of the Lord. However hard you may strive and do sadhana (spiritual practice), these subtle forms cannot be eradicated through your sadhana alone. Only the Lord's grace completely purifies your heart.
It is the Lord's grace only that stirs the aspirants to do right exertion. But do not sit idle and say: "Oh the Lord's grace will do everything for me, why should I do sadhana?" This is wrong philosophy. God helps those who help themselves. God's grace will only descend on those persons who exert themselves. You cannot expect the Lord to do self-surrender for you. Be up and doing. Strive. Plod. Persevere. The Lord will shower his grace upon you.
- - -
It is the grace of the Lord that gives rise to sincere satsankalpa (good and true thoughts and pure resolves). You can be transformed in the twinkling of an eye. One moment you may be groping in the darkness, the next moment you can attain illumination.
There is an ignition point of the soul. When it is connected, man is transformed. His life is turned from its former worldly ways into a new divine life. He is awakened spiritually.
This serenity will deepen into unshakeable peace amidst all the troubles and difficulties of life. Then only insight and intuition will dawn. Then only you will attain wisdom, perfection and freedom.

Friday, June 17, 2016

18 June

Supreme Love is Self-Knowledge
A devotee of para bhakti type is all embracing and all inclusive. He has cosmic love and the whole world is holy for him. He does not visit temples for worship, seeing the Lord in everything. He feels that the world is a manifestation of the Lord, and that all movements and actions are his sport. He has no dislike for faecal matter or dirt, for the outcaste, the scavenger, the cobbler, the beggar, the prostitute, or the thief. He says: "I see my sweet Lord everywhere. It is Hari who is playing the part of the prostitute, the thief, the dacoit, the scavenger." He has an all embracing, all inclusive, exalted mental state. This cannot be described adequately in words, but must be felt. Mira, Gouranga, Hafiz, Tulsidas, Kabir, Ramdas - all enjoyed this state.
Namdev said to the dog: "O Vittala, my dear, in the form of a dog, do not run away with the dry bread. It will affect your soft throat. Pray let me apply ghee (clarified butter) to the bread." He ran with ghee in a cup to the dog. Sri Ramakrishna prostrated before an outcaste girl: "O Mother Kali, I see thee in this girl." Eknath, a Maharashtrian bhakta, gave his ring voluntarily to the thief when the latter entered the house. "O thief, take this ring also. Your duty is to steal things. Thou art Krishna. Keep up this sport." Have you understood the sublime state of these exalted bhaktas who had a new angle of vision? A day will come to you also. Exert and struggle.
Para bhakti is self-knowledge only. Sri Sankara, who was established in the wisdom of pure non dualism, was a great bhakta of Lord Hari and Devi. Sri Ramakrishna worshipped Kali and obtained self-knowledge through Swami Totapuri, his guru. Appayya Dikshitar was a devout bhakta of Lord Siva. Para bhakti and self-knowledge are one. The only slight difference is that a bhakta uses his emotion, while a sage of wisdom uses his will and intellect. Bhakti begins with love, while jnana or self-knowledge begins with thinking and self-analysis. The end of both is the same, union with the divine.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

17 June

God-Realisation
Divine love overflows to others once it has filled your heart. Love God with all your heart - and your neighbour as yourself - this is the secret of God-realisation. Love breaks down all barriers. Love is an open sesame to an infinite realm of bliss immortal. The learned talk of God but the poor love Him in their hearts.
Beyond logic, beyond intellect, beyond reason is the feeling of love and the embodiment of love - which is God. Argue not. Realise Him. Talk to Him with the language of the heart.
Do not gauge the Lord's love and mercy by the material prosperity He gives you. Infinitely more valuable is the spiritual treasure He bestows upon His true devotee. Love is the dew drop of divine grace.
Cosmic love is the threshold to the limitless domain of Brahmic bliss. Cosmic love is synonymous with supreme self-sacrifice or egolessness. In all beings lives the one God   the Supreme Being, the eternal Lord. Therefore bow to all beings with reverence, faith and devotion.
Feel that another's difficulty is yours and relieve him of his difficulty. Then alone you will grow in cosmic love. Love is an actual substance that you can use with confidence. Love is a positive, concrete thing.
Love vibrates in the form of service, charity, generosity and benevolence. There is unity of life. Love of one's Self is the true love of all life. All patriotism, love of one's own nation, one's own race, one's own religion, are but limited kinds of love. Human love is but the stepping stone to divine or universal love.
Love all. Behold the one common consciousness that indwells all beings, that is immanent in all names and forms. Spread the message of divine love, light and worship wherever you go. Love knows no fear. Love is the greatest power.
Love is the divine force of this universe. The purer you make your heart, the greater will be the power of your love. Be kind, be compassionate, be humble, be tolerant, be good, be just, be natural. Love the eternal in every being. Make no distinctions between one being and another.   

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

16 June

I Am Thine, O Lord
Do not bother about taking care of your body. God will save it if he needs it for further service. Surrender it at his feet and rest in peace. He will take care of it. A real devotee says, "Let me take millions of births; it does not matter, but let me be attached to the lotus feet of Lord Hari. Let me have spontaneous devotion to the Lord. Let me be endowed with purity, spiritual strength, the spirit of selfless service and other divine virtues."
If you simply say without real inner feeling, "I am thine, O Lord," this will not constitute real integral self-surrender. This should come right from the core of your heart. You must be prepared for a radical change. You should not stick to your old habits, ways and motives. You should not expect that everything should happen in the way you want. You should live to carry on the divine purpose. You should not think of those ambitions which the mind likes to gratify. You should not think of using divine grace or the divine force for your own purposes - then the irrepressible ego will assert itself in various ways and refuse to give up its old habits.
The ego tries to get everything from the divine but it totally declines to give itself to the divine. That is the reason why aspirants do not make any substantial progress on the spiritual path even after doing sadhana (spiritual practice) for several years.
There is no loss in self surrender. You get from the Lord everything. You enjoy all the divine aishvarya (wealth of divine attributes) of the Lord. The whole wealth of the Lord belongs to you. Siddhis and riddhis (psychic powers) will roll under your feet. You become one with the Lord. You are freed from all wants and desires and cravings. The spiritually hungry and the really thirsty aspirant who yearns for the vision of the Lord, turns towards the divine and is quite willing, eager and happy to consecrate his body, life and mind and soul at the feet of the Lord.
The first stage of self surrender is only a firm resolve to surrender oneself to God, or to his preceptor. A sadhaka (seeker) who has dedicated his life for the service of his teacher or the service of humanity or for attaining Self-realisation, is not bound by the actions he performs subsequent to his self-surrender.
Self-surrender becomes perfect only after God-realisation.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

15 June

Surrender
Surrender is isvarapranidhana. The devotee consecrates all his works and their fruits to the Lord. He has no will of his own. He says unto the Lord, "I am thine. All is thine. Thy will be done. Thou art just. Thou doest everything for me. I am an instrument in thy hands."
In surrendering one's will to the Lord, his will becomes one with the cosmic will. He becomes one with the Lord. There is no loss in surrendering one's will to the Lord.
Self-surrender is atma nivedana, or prapatti. This is the highest bhakti (devotion). The gopis of Vrindavan, Radha and Mira surrendered everything at the feet of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna was their all. In Kathopanishad it is said, "The Lord chooses that man who has surrendered himself, reveals himself unto him and bestows the highest wisdom on him." 
The two obstacles to self-surrender are egoism and desire. Egoism and desire wage guerrilla war. They assume various forms and assail the devotee again and again. Be on the alert. Be ever vigilant. Slay the egoism and desires beyond resurrection. Then alone will you be safe.
Your sadhana shakti (ability to practise) is grace of the Lord. Guru is grace of the Lord. Sticking to the spiritual path is grace of the Lord. Progress in sadhana is grace of the Lord. Revelation or intuition is grace of the Lord. Descent of divine light is grace of the Lord. Human birth is Lord's grace. All sorts of aids to sadhana you get such as kutir (cottage), food, clothing, medical aid, good place for meditation, books, satsanga (good company), etc., are his grace only.
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It is difficult to eradicate the self-assertive nature. Every man has built his personality from the beginning of time. He has allowed the rajasic (impure) mind to have its own way. This personality has grown very strong, it is hard to make it pliable and elastic. The self-assertive man wants to dominate over others; he does not want to hear the opinions of others, even though they may be sound, logical and tenable.

Monday, June 13, 2016

14 June

The Nature of Surrender
In atma nivedana (self-surrender) the devotee offers everything to God, including his body, mind and soul. He keeps nothing for himself. He has no personal, independent existence. He has become part and parcel of God. God takes care of him and God treats him as Himself. Grief and sorrow, pleasure and pain, the devotee treats these as gifts sent by God and does not attach himself to them. He considers himself a puppet, as an instrument in the hands of God. He does not feel egoistic, for he has no ego - his ego has gone over to God.
This devotee does not feel it is his duty to look after his wife, children etc., for he himself has no independent existence apart from God. God will take care of all, for He knows how to lead the world in the right path. He has no sensual craving, for he has no body; it has been offered to God. He only feels the presence of God and nothing else. He has no enemies or friends, for he has given himself up to God who has no enemies or friends. He has no anxiety, for he has attained everything by attaining the grace of God. He does not even have the thought of salvation - he merely wants God and nothing but God.
This devotee is satisfied with the love of God, for by that there is nothing that is not attained. What is there to attain when God has sent his grace upon the devotee? The devotee does not want to become sugar but to taste the sugar - there is pleasure in tasting sugar but not in becoming sugar itself. So the devotee feels that there is supreme joy more in loving God than in becoming God. "I am Thine", says this devotee, knowing that God will take complete care of him.
Mira abandoned everything. She renounced her kingdom, husband, relatives, friends and property. She remembered Lord Krishna all day and all night. She shed tears of love (prema). She sang His name with devotion. She gave up eating food and her body became emaciated. Her mind was ever absorbed in Lord Krishna. Only then did Lord Krishna shower His grace upon her.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

13 June

God as Master and Friend
Dasya bhakti is love of God as the servant of God. To serve God and to carry out his wishes - realising his virtues, his nature, his mystery and his glory and considering oneself as a slave of the supreme master - this is dasya bhakti. Serving and worshipping the murtis (images) in the temples, sweeping the temples, meditating on God and serving Him like a slave (mentally), serving the saints and the sages, serving the devotees of God, serving the poor and the sick, is also included in dasya bhakti.
To follow the words of the scriptures, to act according to the injunctions of the vedas considering them to be direct words of God, is dasya bhakti. Association with and service of love intoxicated devotees and service of those who have knowledge of God, is dasya bhakti. The purpose of this is to be ever with God, in order to offer your services to him and win his divine grace and thereby attain immortality.
Arjuna prays with the sentiment of a servant and a disciple in order to get the grace of Lord Krishna: "O Lord, I am your disciple. I have taken refuge in you. Teach me." The aspirant should completely give himself up to God and should not retain any personal reservations. Ananya bhakti is total relinquishment of the self to God.
Sakhya bhava is the cultivation of the friend-sentiment with God. The Bhagavatam says: "Oh how wonderful is the fortune of the people of Vraja, of cowherd Nanda, whose dear friend is the perfect, eternal Brahman or absolute bliss." 
To be always with the Lord, to treat him as one's own dear relative or friend, belonging to one's own family, to be in his company at all times, to love him as one's own self, is sakhya bhava of bhakti marga (the path of devotion). The devotee takes up with eagerness any work of the Lord, leaving aside even the most important and urgent and pressing personal work, and totally concerning himself with the love of the Lord. How do real friends love in this world? What an amount of love passes between them. Such love is developed for God - physical love is turned into spiritual love. There is a transformation of the mundane into the eternal.
It is a great pity that sakhi bhava (the attitude of God's beloved) is misunderstood. The jiva chaitanya (individual soul) is the real sakhi. Sakhi bhava is purely an internal state, not a mere external show. The individual soul is united with the supreme soul by self-surrender. The lover and the beloved become one. This is the acme of bhakti. This is the culminating point. Bhakti begins with two and ends with one.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

12 June

Prostration
Vandana is prayer and prostration. Humble prostration - touching the earth with eight limbs of the body, with faith and reverence, before a form of God, or prostration to all beings, knowing them to be the forms of the one God, getting absorbed in divine love of the Lord - is termed prostration to God.
The Bhagavatam says: "The sky, air, fire, water, earth, stars, planets, cardinal points, trees, rivers, seas and all living beings constitute the body of God. The devotee should bow before everything in absolute devotion, thinking that he is bowing before God Himself".
Sri Krishna says to Uddhava: "Giving no attention to people who laugh in ridicule, forgetting the body, and insensible to shame, one should fall prostrate on the ground, bowing to all beings even down to the dog, the cow and the ass." Doing prostrations to others makes a man humble.
If a man entertains Narayana bhava (feeling the presence of God in all) when he does prostrations, this will help him to realise that whatever he sees is God, that there is nothing but God, that the manifestation is the virat (cosmic) aspect of Brahman. This will help to develop devotion. Always feel that you are prostrating to the Lord himself - all living creatures, all objects, are forms of God only.
May you all attain God consciousness through the practice of prema (love) yoga. May your heart be filled with prema for the Lord. May the blessings of the Lord be upon you all. May you shine as bhagavatas, singing the Lord's name, disseminating divine prema and radiating joy, peace and bliss everywhere.

SIVA'S FINAL TEACHING 
Purify your heart through selfless service, 
Be devoted to the Lord and obtain his grace, 
Through japa (repetition of God's name), kirtan (chanting), prayer and self-surrender.
Practise asanas (postures), pranayama (yoga breathing), etc.
Abandon egoism, desire, anger and greed.
Control all the senses.
Cultivate discrimination and dispassion.
Practise the four means.
Hear the shrutis (scriptures). 
Reflect and meditate ceaselessly.
You will attain Self-realisation.

Friday, June 10, 2016

11 June

Worship (…continued)
A devotee repeats the mantra (mystic formula) of the Lord during worship and touches his heart, his head, tuft of hair, arms and hands. There is chaitanya (consciousness, power) in every letter of the mantra. Through repetition of the mantra and the touching of the parts of the body with the repetition of the mantra, the aspirant is gradually divinised. There is spiritual awakening. Spiritual currents are generated - tamas (inertia) and rajas (impurity) are destroyed and he is filled with pure satva (purity). He becomes identical with the object of worship. He attains the same world of, or proximity with, or the same form of, or absorption into, the Lord.
For a sage there is no such thing as insentient matter. Everything is Vasudeva or chaitanya. The devotee actually beholds the Lord in the idol. But the worship does not stop there. The sadhaka (seeker) is taken step by step to higher stages of devotion and samadhi (or communion) through the worship of the idol. Though he worships the idol, he has to keep before his mental eye the all-pervading Lord. He has to feel the Lord's presence in his heart and in all objects also.
The ways and rules of worship, described in the Hindu scriptures are scientifically accurate and highly rational. It is only ignorant people who have not studied the scriptures, who have not associated with the devotees and great souls, that vilify worship of idols or murtis.
The aspirant who worships the idol in the beginning, beholds the Lord everywhere and develops para bhakti (supreme devotion); he beholds the whole world as the Lord. All ideas of good and bad, right and wrong, etc., vanish. His vision baffles description. Glory to such exalted devotees who are veritable gods on earth, who live to lift others from the quagmire of samsara (world existence) and save them from the clutches of death.
Tulsidas realised the all-pervading essence. He had cosmic consciousness. He communed with the all-pervading, formless Lord. And yet his passion for Lord Rama, with bow in hand, did not vanish. When he went to Brindavan, and saw the murti of Lord Krishna, with flute in hand, he said: "I will not bow my head to this form". At once the form of Lord Krishna assumed the form of Lord Rama. Then only Tulsidas bowed his head. Mira also realised her identity with the all-pervading Krishna and yet she never tired of repeating, again and again, "My Giridhar Nagar".