Sunday, December 31, 2017

1 January

Universal Prayer

O adorable Lord of mercy and love!
Salutations and prostrations to thee.
Thou art satchidananda.
(Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute)
Thou art omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient.
Thou art the indweller of all beings.

Grant us an understanding heart,
Equal vision, balanced mind,
Faith, devotion and wisdom.
Grant us inner spiritual strength
To resist temptations and to control the mind.
Free us from egoism, lust, anger, greed and hatred.
Fill our hearts with divine virtues.
Let us behold thee in all these names and forms.
Let us serve thee in all these names and forms.
Let us ever remember thee.
Let us ever sing thy glories.
Let thy name be ever on our lips.
Let us abide in thee for ever and ever.

                                                                            —Swami Sivananda

Real Peace
How long do you want to live a life of duality? A life of restlessness and discontentment? How long do you wish to lead a life of ignorance, hatred, bitterness, and separation? How long do you wish to continue your own selfish struggles? How long do you wish to behold differences and distinctions? How long do you wish to keep the barriers between man and man?
You cry for shanti, for peace. But where to get it? Through whom to get it? Realise peace in your own heart through association with sages and by meditation. You can find this peace only in the stillness, only within your own Self. You certainly cannot find it in objects. Look within.
Sit silently in a quiet room for one or two hours. Close your eyes and concentrate on the point between the eyebrows. Withdraw the mind and the senses from the external objects. Be still.
Silence the surging thoughts and the bubbling emotions. Forget the body. Forget the world. Enter into the great calm. Dive deep down into the recesses of your heart. Plunge into the ocean of peace. Now you can realise your oneness with the Supreme Self.
Be regular in your practice. This is of paramount importance. It is useless to talk of the cessation of war, whilst you are still full of petty hatred and jealousy. So first remove your own inharmonious vibrations. Then there will be no more war between nations. It is only the individuals that constitute a nation.
Lead a life of peace. Kill suspicion. Kill envy. Kill prejudice. Kill selfishness. Kill the greed for power and possession. Do this ruthlessly.
Lead a simple life. Practise daily meditation and establish peace in your own heart. Then you will radiate it to all who come in contact with you.
Mysterious is this peace. If you enjoy this peace, you will be contributing peace to the whole world. Realise the peace that passeth all understanding and be free.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

31 December

A Beacon-Light to the World
The liberated sage, like unto holy waters, purifies others by mere sight, touch and the utterance of his name. Sometimes he remains unnoticed, while sometimes he becomes known to those who desire welfare. He eats food offered to him by pious devotees and burns up their past and future evils and impurities. A liberated sage or a saint is the ultimate source of knowledge of the soul. To keep company with a jivanmukta (liberated sage) for even a minute is much better than to rule a kingdom - his very presence is so thrilling and inspiring. Seek his company and evolve. Serve him with faith and devotion.
A jivanmukta may give up his body in any place, at any time. Just as the falling leaves and fruits of a tree will not affect the tree itself, so also, the shedding of the body will not affect the Self which survives like the tree. His vital airs do not depart elsewhere for transmigration. They are absorbed in Brahman after the exhaustion of his destiny, the results of past actions that have already begun to bear fruit. He is freed from further births. The jivanmukta is freed from the trammels of mind and matter. He is absolutely free, perfect, independent. He is absolutely free from hatred, lust, cares, worries and anxieties. Everybody surely desires this state of beatitude or final emancipation. It is the final goal of life, the end of all human aspirations.
The state of a jivanmukta is the be-all and end-all of existence. There is fullness in this state. All desires are burnt. It is a state of absolute and perfect satisfaction. There is no gain greater than this; no bliss greater than this; no wisdom greater than this.
There, at the summit of the hill of eternal bliss, you can see the sage or jivanmukta or a full-blown yogi. He has climbed the stupendous heights through intense and constant struggle. He did severe, rigorous spiritual practices. He did profound meditation. He spent sleepless nights. He kept long vigils during several halting stages. He persevered with patience and diligence. He surmounted many obstacles, conquered despair, gloom and depression. He is a beacon-light to the world now. Remember that he was also rotting in those days in the quagmire of births and deaths, like yourself. You can also ascend to that summit if only you will.

Friday, December 29, 2017

30 December

Sage's Behaviour
A liberated sage is not a whimsical man, neither is he bound by the rules of scripture or society. And yet, he will not deviate from righteousness. All that he does will be in strict accordance with the scriptures or sacred books. He spontaneously does only what is good. An expert dancer never makes a false step. So is a jivanmukta (liberated sage) when he works.
The sage works without effort, without agency, without egoism, desire and attachment. Like a child, his conduct is neither good nor evil. The sense of right and wrong will be natural in him independently of scriptural teachings. He has destroyed all egoism, is above all karma, and karmas cannot touch him. He may, for the instruction of the world, perform works or refrain from forbidden acts. The jivanmukta does not care for public criticism. He keeps a cool mind even when he is assaulted. He blesses those who persecute him. He beholds only his own Self everywhere.
His mark or characteristic is an internal mental state. It cannot be perceived or detected by others. The Lord uses him for His divine work.
A knower of Brahman or a liberated sage need not be a genius. He need not be an eloquent speaker, orator, lecturer or professor. But he is calm, serene and tranquil. His silence is superior eloquence. He has divine wisdom and intuitive knowledge. In his presence, all doubts are cleared.
Householders make a wrong judgement in deciding the nature of a jivanmukta. They take into consideration only the external conditions of a jivanmukta. Even educated people make mistakes in this regard.
He will sometimes appear like an 'all-knower'. He will sometimes appear like an ignorant man. He knows when to act like a knower of the self. Serve him with proper feeling and devotion, with spiritual thirst; he will impart the highest knowledge to you. If you approach him with a bad motive, he will behave like a madman and you will be deceived and great will be your loss.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

29 December

The Sage's View of the World
The man who stands up to his neck in water has a twofold experience. His head is exposed to the sun. He experiences both heat and cold. Such is the experience of a liberated sage. He has double consciousness. He enjoys the bliss of Brahman, but also has the experience of this world. He is like a man who knows two languages.
Just as the pot in which asafoetida or onion is kept emits a certain amount of smell even when it is cleaned several times, so also, a small trace of ignorance still remains in the mind of a sage. The jivanmukta (liberated sage) has a consciousness of the body in the form of an impression in the subconscious mind. That is the reason why he eats and drinks. Though the instinctive mind with low desires is destroyed, the pure mind does not perish in the liberated sage. How will he be able to engage himself in worldly activity without an instrument, namely, the mind?
The phenomenal universe does not vanish from the vision of the liberated sage. He sees the world as a dream within himself. Just as the mirage appears even after the illusory nature of the water is understood, so also, the world appears for a jivanmukta even after he has attained Self-realisation, even after he has clearly understood the illusory nature of the world. But, just as the man who has understood the nature of the mirage will not run after the mirage for drinking water, so also, the sage who is liberated will not pursue sensual objects like the worldly-minded people - though the world appears to him. That is the difference between a worldly man and a liberated sage.
The jivanmukta beholds the one reality or God everywhere and in all things. For him there is no distinction between a rogue and a saint, gold and stone, honour and dishonour. He actually feels that all is himself only - that snakes, scorpions, tigers, bears and lions are as much part of himself as his own eyes, nose, ears, hands and feet. He is one with the flower, sun, ether, ocean, mountain and sky. He has cosmic vision and cosmic feelings.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

28 December

A jivanmukta is a liberated sage. He is released even while living, He lives in the world, but he is not of the world. He always revels in the eternal bliss of the Supreme Self. He is the Lord himself, a God on earth.
The jivanmukta or full-blown sage is full of pure love, compassion, mercy, exquisite gentleness and hidden power and strength. Love and lustre shine through his brilliant eyes.
The jivanmukta has not a bit of selfish interest in him and is absolutely free from worries, difficulties, troubles, tribulations and sorrows under all circumstances. Even when pains and afflictions attach themselves to his body, exhibit themselves on his face, his mind never writhes under them or their antithesis. He is not a slave of his moods; he is ever cheerful and peaceful. His higher excellences have been perfectly unfolded; all divine attributes are fully awakened in him. Every one of his weaknesses and limitations is burnt in toto. He shines in his own pristine glory, in his own essential nature of divine consciousness. He radiates peace and joy everywhere. The true greatness of a realised yogi is indescribable. His eyes are inspiring and impressive. His nature is magnanimous, his touch purifying; his looks are merciful, gestures illuminating. He is omniscient; he has intuitive transcendental knowledge and clear insight into the very heart of all things and beings. You will experience a deep sense of peace and harmony, great elevation and inspiration, in his presence.
The jivanmukta or liberated sage is absolutely free from egoism, fear, doubt and grief. These are the four important signs that indicate that one has attained perfection. The liberated sage is perfectly content, has unruffled peace of mind, experiences deep abiding joy and bliss, possesses super-sensual spiritual knowledge and has the ability to clear any kind of doubt an aspirant may have. Doubts vanish when one remains in his company.
The jivanmukta does not even care for the wants of the body. He is not afraid of death and has no longing to live. Mother Nature is his obedient and sweet nurse, attending upon him carefully. Bodily wants come by themselves. Nature arranges everything for him beforehand, this being her responsibility. Balanced mind, equal vision, indifference to the pairs of opposites like pleasure and pain, censure and praise, heat and cold, success and failure - these are the marks of a jivanmukta.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

27 December

Key to Perfection
Meditate on the Atman; you will enjoy peace and bliss. The more you grow in aspiration and meditation the more God-like you grow, for in meditation is the light of the Lord. Meditate and charge your battery by contact with God. Dive deep into the chambers of your heart through profound and silent meditation and bring up the pearl of truth. Meditate and retire to your innermost centre. Abide now in perfect serenity and the peace that passeth all understanding.
Fear, distress, worry, temptation and despair will assail you during meditation. Repeat the Lord's name vigorously and sincerely - all will vanish. Meditate amidst noise, study amidst noise. Discipline and again discipline. There will be no tossing of the mind for you. You will have a strong unperturbed mind. If purity increases, the body becomes light and the mind becomes cheerful. One attains greater balance of mind and the power of concentration increases. You enter into deep meditation. If for one day you do not practise meditation, you will lose much; you will not be able to reach the original spiritual height the next day. Therefore always be regular in your meditation. Enquire, "Who am I?". Find the seer, find the knower. Meditate on satchidananda Atman, the inner ruler, the indweller.
Meditate on Brahman as support, greatness, wisdom, bliss and existence. The light which never fails is the light of meditation. You experience samadhi (the vision of truth) through the light of meditation. Moksha (emancipation) is very near to him who is perfect is meditation. Connect your mind with the mind of God through meditation or yoga. Your life will become divine, your life will be transformed.
- - -
Meditation is the means; knowledge is the end. Meditation is the process; knowledge is the culmination. In meditation there is struggle, striving or effort. In knowledge there is no striving. So long as there is meditation, the meditator is only an aspirant. When meditation ceases and the goal is reached, the meditator becomes the knower of truth - all meditation and effort cease. He is a jivanmukta (liberated sage). When you try to behold a tree, there is effort in the beginning of perception. Later it becomes a continuous stream of consciousness of the tree. So is knowledge of Brahman.

Monday, December 25, 2017

26 December

Meditate on the Lord
Meditate on the Lord, the inner ruler, the indweller of your heart. The lotus of your heart will blossom; the sun of wisdom will shine. The darkness of the heart will end. The five kleshas (psychic sources of sorrow) will be annihilated. The three fires (internal, external and supernatural suffering) will be extinguished. Sins and samskaras (mental impressions) will be burnt. Vasanas (tendencies) and cravings will be fried.
Meditate on the eternal which is free from pain, from disease, from fear and delusion, which is all-filling, pure, far yet near, the birth place of the five elements, the final goal of yogins and sages, the source of mind, senses and vedas, the place where silence reigns supreme, where there is immortal bliss beyond thought, the supreme, glorious splendour where thought is dead, where there is neither noise nor fight.
Purity, humility and mercy are the rungs of the ladder to the supreme abode of my beloved. You may burn the ladder now - I will not come down any more. Rivers of honey run in this wonderful land and flowers do not fade at any time - I swim daily in the ocean of eternity. I drink the immortal nectar. Hunger and thirst torment me not. Exhaustion and fatigue trouble me not. There is no need of lamps and electric light - there is eternal sunshine. There is no fear of snakes and scorpions - this deathless realm makes everyone fearless.
When you have realised oneness, when you behold Brahman everywhere, can there be 'here' and 'there'? Can there be 'this' and 'that'? Can there be 'I' and 'you' and 'he'? Can there be one, two or three? One homogeneous, blissful essence alone exists. There is only one Brahman - the infinite. All dualities, differences and distinctions melt away. The seer and the seen become one. The meditator and the meditated fuse. The thinker and the thought blend. The knower and the knowable merge. It is the transcendental experience of wholeness, perfection, fullness, freedom and perennial joy.
- - -
Meditate on courage, humility, love, compassion, peace, bliss, serenity. First practise concentration on an object. Then concentrate on the idea of the object. Finally concentrate on the existence behind the idea. Meditate on completeness and spiritual perfection. To meditate is to go into oneself and open the heart, in silence, to the divine spirit. Meditate on the Atman. You will see the light of truth, you will understand the oneness of all life.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

25 December

Christmas Message
Christmas is the great festival of Christendom. There is a spirit of joy everywhere. Men and women lay aside their jealousies and enmities for a while. They come a little nearer to each other - and to Christ.
Christ came and lived among men to awaken the Christ-consciousness within them. Christ should be born in each one of you - then alone you will understand spiritual life. Then alone you will try to live a perfect, divine life. Then alone you will realise the spirit of Christ, which is within each one of us.
The sacrament of baptism enables you to come one step nearer to this perfect life. The sacrament of confirmation enables you to come another step nearer to sharing his life, using his force and his love.
Now, you are a knight in Christ's service. When you partake of communion, you really partake of his very life. Thus the spirit of Christ in you is gradually being roused, and you are awakened to the higher life of Christ-consciousness.
Every day should be Christmas day for us. So bring the spirit of Christ into your daily life. Behold Christ in everything, in all beings.
Cultivate sympathy and mercy for all beings. Expand your heart and embrace all.
Greet the Christ, everywhere. Perform each day, for yourself, the Christ's mass. Remember that Christ is in the priest. Christ is in the saint and the sinner. Christ is in the dog and in the labourer. Christ is in all.
- - -
Every day is a fresh beginning. Spend it usefully. Beginning the day right will bring great success. The whole day will be well-lived. Begin the day at 4 a.m. Pray, meditate, do japa. Pray unto the Lord: 
"Lord, lead me from the unreal to the real,
from darkness to light,
from hatred to love,
from impurity to purity,
from imperfection to perfection,
from disharmony to harmony,
from diversity to unity."

Saturday, December 23, 2017

24 December

Moksha Gita - 10
O my child! Hast thy delusion been destroyed? Have you become fearless now? Have your doubts been removed? Are you resting now in your own satchidananda svaropa? I have declared to thee the profound secret of vedanta, the essence of vedas. O preceptor! I have realised the Self now. I am verily that Brahman, which is self-effulgent, one without a second, which is changeless, partless, formless, eternal, all-pervading, the absolute and the homogeneous essence.
I am satchidananda Brahman. I am pure, infinite, unattached, timeless, motionless, deathless, decayless and fearless. I have no connection with the body and the mind. I am actionless, formless.
Salutations unto thee, O venerable guru! Thou hast saved me from the wheel of birth and death. Through thy grace I have attained immortality and eternal bliss. All my doubts, delusion and ignorance have vanished. Millions of prostrations unto thee, O merciful Lord.   

Song of Divine Life
Gopala Gopala Muralilola
Yasoda Nandana Gopibala.
Serve - love - give - purify, practise ahimsa,
satyam, brahmacharya 'take satvic food', study Gita,

Have satsang, control senses, do japa kirtan,
Meditate in brahmamuhurta, know thyself.
Love all, embrace all, be kind to all,
Work is worship (serve all), serve the Lord in all.

Purify, concentrate, reflect, meditate,
Know the Self through enquiry, "Who am I?".
Purify, concentrate, reflect, meditate,
Serve, love, give and be dispassionate,

Know Brahman, maya, samsara and 'I',
Behold the goal of life, Hae Saumya nearby.
                                                                       (Gopala Gopala .....)

Friday, December 22, 2017

23 December

Moksha Gita - 9
Thou art not this perishable body. Thou art not the wavering mind. Thou art not the indriyas (senses). Thou art not the intellect. Thou art not the causal body. Thou art the all-pervading, immortal Brahman. Realise this and be free.
Thou art the prajnana ghana Atman (embodiment of wisdom). Thou art cidghana Brahman (mass of consciousness). Thou art vijnana ghana purusha (mass of knowledge). Thou art ananda ghana soul (mass of bliss). Realise this and be free.
Thou art akhanda ekarasa Brahman (one homogeneous essence). Thou art cinmatra purusha (pure consciousness). Thou art spotless, passionless, sexless and bodiless soul. Realise this and be free.
Thou art timeless, spaceless, deathless, changeless, endless, beginningless, motionless, desireless, faultless and actionless Brahman. Realise this and be free.
Thou art indivisible, partless, and infinite. Thou art birthless and deathless. Thou art immutable and self-luminous. Thou art eternal, perpetual and self-contained. Realise this and be free.
Thou art anandamaya-purusha (blissful soul). Thou art chinmaya Brahman (pure consciousness). Thou art jyotirmaya Atman (radiant). Realise this and be free.
Thou art distinct from the three bodies and the five koshas. Thou art the witness of the three states. Realise this and be free.
That supreme Brahman which is the immortal Self of all, which is the beginningless entity, which is immutable and infinite, which is beyond the reach of mind and speech - that Brahman art thou. Meditate on this. Realise this and be free.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

22 December

Moksha Gita - 8
A jivanmukta (liberated sage) who has reached the imperishable turiya (transcendental) state can never be affected by the pairs of opposites. He always rests in his own satchidananda svarupa (essential entity as satchidananda). He roams about happily.
A jivanmukta realises that he is beyond the three bodies and the five koshas; he is the witness of the three states; he is pure consciousness.
For a liberated sage who has realised that all beings are the self, there is neither delusion nor grief, as there is no second for him.
The sage who has destroyed all his desires and egoism, who is always calm and serene, equanimous, who does not see any distinction of form and who has freed himself from delusion or ignorance, shines brilliantly.
The jivanmukta rests with an unshaken mind in the all-blissful Brahman. He is free from all the modifications of the mind. His heart is pure like the Himalayan snow or the crystal. He is free from the distinctions - I, he, thou.
The liberated sage, the prince among ascetics who has conquered the enemy, ignorance, who has known the secret of true bliss, uses the palms of his hands as his bowl, and sleeps blissfully under the foot of a tree.
The sage does not care for public criticism. He keeps a cool mind even when he is assaulted. He blesses those who persecute him. He beholds only his own Self everywhere.
He whose mind does neither sink nor float amidst pains and pleasures is indeed a liberated sage. He has rendered his mind completely quiescent by identifying himself with Brahman.
The jivanmukta has a consciousness of body in the form of a samskara (psychological impression). The videhamukta has no consciousness of the body.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

21 December

Moksha Gita - 7
He who thinks, "I am the body ... This body is mine ... She is my wife ... He is my son ... I am a brahmana ... I am fat ... I am black ... I am a pandit", is an ignorant man. He is bound.
He who thinks, "I am not the body: I am all-pervading, changeless, immortal, indivisible, self-contained, self-existent, satchidananda Brahman", is a wise sage. He is free.
He who thinks, "I did this work, so I will go to heaven; I enjoyed such and such a thing", is an ignorant man.
He who thinks, "Prakrti (nature) does everything ... I am only witness .... I am non-doer ... I am non-enjoyer" - is a wise sage.
The annamaya sheath (food sheath) is made up of the five elements. It has a beginning and an end. It is inert and full of parts. It is an effect of the five elements. It is full of impurities. 
Therefore you are not this physical body or the annamaya sheath. You are the witness of this body. Understand therefore, "I am not the body. I am Brahman."
The pranamaya kosha (the vital sheath) is the product of rajoguna (dynamism, passion). It also has a beginning and an end. It is inert. It is an effect. Therefore you are not the pranamaya kosha. You are the witness of this sheath. Understand therefore, "I am not the pranamaya kosha. I am Brahman."
The manomaya kosha (the mental sheath) is a product of satva guna. It also has a beginning and an end. It is inert. It is an effect. Therefore you are not the manomaya kosha. You are the witness of this sheath. Understand therefore, "I am not manomaya kosha. I am Brahman."
The vijnanamaya kosha (the buddhi sheath) is a product of satva guna. It has also a beginning and an end. It is inert. It is an effect. Therefore you are not the vijnanamaya kosha. You are witness of this sheath. Understand therefore, "I am not the vijnanamaya kosha. I am Brahman."
The anandamaya kosha (the bliss sheath) is avidya or ignorance, a modification of prakrti (nature). It is the effect of past deeds. It is endowed with changing attributes. It is jada (insentient). Therefore you are not the anandamaya kosha. You are the witness of this sheath. Understand therefore, "I am not the anandamaya kosha. I am Brahman."

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

20 December

Moksha Gita - 6
Om is the symbol of Brahman. It is the word of power. It is the sacred monosyllable. It is the essence of all the vedas. It is the boat to take you to the other shore of fearlessness and immortality. Meditate on Om with bhava (feeling) and meaning.
You should make Brahma-vichara habitual in you by constant practice. Then only your mind will be under your perfect control. All the impurities of the mind will be washed away by Brahma-vichara.
Enquire unceasingly: "Who am I? Whence came this universe? How did birth and death come? What is bondage?" You will be able to attain the imperishable abode of eternal bliss.
If you want to attain Brahman, all longings for objects should perish. The more you are removed from objects, the more the effulgence of Brahman will radiate in you.
You will never be able to go into samadhi (super-conscious state) although you can sit in the padma or siddha asana for six hours at a stretch, if you are not free from attraction and repulsion, anger, egoism and pride.
Merge the speech in the mind; merge the mind in the intellect; merge the intellect in the witness of the intellect or Brahman and enjoy the supreme peace.
Restrain the senses. Silence the bubbling thoughts. Drown the mind in Brahman, who is within. Now you can realise your identity with Brahman.
Acquire the four means. Control your speech. Annihilate all hopes. Hear the shrutis (scriptures). Reflect on what you have heard. Then meditate. You will attain Self-realisation.
Brahman can be clearly and definitely realised only through nirvikalpa samadhi. Samadhi ensues only when the purified mind is merged in Brahman.
When Brahman is realised by means of nirvikalpa samadhi, then the heart's knot viz., avidya (ignorance), kama (desire) and karma (action) is destroyed.
You cannot have samadhi without perfect dispassion; you cannot have Self-realisation without samadhi; you cannot have perfect freedom without Self-realisation.

Monday, December 18, 2017

19 December

Moksha Gita - 5
As fire is concealed by ashes, sword by the scabbard, sun by the clouds, foetus by the amnion, rubies by the earth, mattress by the bedsheet, so also Brahman is concealed by flesh and bones. If you remove the ash you can perceive the fire; if the clouds are dispersed you can recognise the sun; if you remove the scabbard you can behold the sword; if you remove the bedsheet you can see the mattress. Even so, if the veil of ignorance which conceals the Brahman is removed by knowledge of Brahman you can directly cognise the self-luminous Brahman.
You cannot see the all-pervading butter in the milk, but if you churn it you can get the butter. Even so, you cannot see Brahman by these physical eyes, but you can behold the all-pervading Brahman by the churning of meditation.
Purge your mind of all impurities. Sever mentally all your connection with visible objects. Destroy the weeds of desires. Abandon all sankalpas (thoughts). Eradicate the longings. Meditate on Brahman. You will attain soon the non-dual Brahmic seat of ineffable splendour.
Understand the right significance of the 'Tat Tvam Asi' mahavakyas (the great declaration, 'That Thou Art'). The knowledge relating to the identity of the individual soul and the supreme soul that arises from mahavakyas like 'Tat Tvam Asi' (Thou art That) is the means to emancipation.
The immaculate and supreme seat can be attained very easily if you possess equal vision, balanced mind and discrimination, if you associate with the wise persons and if you practise vichara or enquiry constantly.
One soon becomes that on which he constantly meditates with great intensity in accordance with the illustration of the wasp and the worm.
Negate the five sheaths. Control the senses. Sit quietly. Meditate always, "I am satchidananda svayamprakasha Brahman" (Brahman which is existence-consciousness-bliss and which is self-luminous), which is the substratum for these five sheaths and the whole world. Keep up the Brahma-bhavana (contemplation of Brahman) while walking, eating and bathing.
You should ever be engaged in enquiry of Brahman, till you get Brahma-jnana (knowledge of the Absolute). You should practise right conduct also. You should have association with the sages. Brahma-bhavana, the end of all vedas, will dawn of itself in you, if you generate the Brahmakara-vritti (the concept that Brahman alone is real) constantly from your satvic antahkarana (pure mind and heart) by meditating on the right significance of the mahavakyas, 'Aham Brahma Asmi' (I am Brahman).

Sunday, December 17, 2017

18 December

Moksha Gita - 4
The mind has the power of creating or undoing the whole universe in the twinkling of an eye. Slay this mind through vichara (enquiry), destruction of vasanas (psychological impressions or conditioning) and control of its fluctuation.
Mind is a bundle of vasanas (subtle desires). Through vasanas bondage is caused. Destruction of vasanas will bring freedom. The mind will attain quiescence like a gheeless lamp if the vasanas are destroyed.
Just as a silkworm is caught in its own cocoon, so also man is caught in this vast net of samsara (worldly life) by his own sankalpas (thoughts and notions) and vasanas.
The enemy of the Atman (Self) is the fluctuating mind only. The mind through its power of fluctuation generates countless vasanas and sankalpas. Destroy this fluctuating power of the mind through constant Brahma-vichara.
Brahman will not shine when the dualities of the mind are not destroyed. Destroy the dualities. Brahman will shine in its pristine glory.
Ahamkara (egoism), which is the source of all troubles, has its seat in the mind. Annihilation of egoism will bring about destruction of the mind and annihilation of the mind will cause destruction of egoism.
The ideas of 'mine' and 'thine' are only the creation of the mind. If the mind is destroyed through vichara, these ideas will vanish. Destruction of the mind alone is moksha (liberation).
Destruction of sankalpas is really destruction of the mind. It is only sankalpas destroyed beyond resurrection that constitute the ineffable, imperishable, and effulgent Brahmic seat.
Just as gold is purified by heating it on the fire, so also mind is purified by the fire of meditation.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

17 December

Moksha Gita - 3
Avidya (ignorance) is malina satva (weakened purity). It is the upadhi (limiting adjunct) of jiva (individual soul). It is the karana sarira (causal body) of the individual soul. Avidya is anandamaya kosha. Avidya is a false perception by which the ignorant jiva takes the body and intellect as pure, permanent and a source of pleasure.
Just as a king acts the part of a beggar out of his own free will on the stage in a drama, so also the satchidananda Brahman acts the part of a jiva in the drama of the world out of his own free will for sport.
Just as men with a defective vision behold a white thing as yellow, so does one perceive the Self as the body on account of avidya or ignorance.
When one gets knowledge of the self, this avidya vanishes. It is the destruction of avidya that is the Brahmic seat.
Just as the mirror is dimmed by dirt, so Brahman is veiled by avidya. Therefore human beings are deluded by this avidya. Mind, senses, egoism, intellect and body are the efforts of avidya. If the cause is destroyed, the effects are destroyed by themselves.
This universe of names and forms has its origin in ignorance. It is dissolved by knowledge of the self. The universe, being other than the self, is unreal and like a dream. It is like a mirage.
Just as a snake is superimposed on the rope, silver on the mother-of-pearl, a thief in the post, city in the clouds, mirage in the desert, blueness in the sky, so also this world is superimposed on Brahman.
Just as it is water alone that appears as waves, ripples, etc., gold alone as ear rings, bangles, etc., clay alone as pots, jars, etc., threads alone as cloth, towel, etc., so also does Brahman alone appear as many universes.
Children regard a wooden elephant as an elephant, but the grown-up persons treat it as wood. 
Even so the wise behold only Brahman everywhere but the ignorant perceive the non-Self only. The whole universe is within Brahman. It appears as external to you, just as your body appears external to you in the mirror on account of maya (illusion).
Just as a man does not behold the object which he has seen in his dream when awake, so also the jivanmukta (liberated sage) does not perceive the universe after he attains knowledge of Brahman.

Friday, December 15, 2017

16 December

Moksha Gita - 2
Maya (illusion) is the upadhi (limiting adjunct) of Ishvara (God). She is the illusory power of Brahman. She keeps the lila (creative play) of Ishvara (God through her three gunas (qualities), viz., satva (purity), rajas (passion) and tamas (darkness).
Maya is not non-existent because it appears, neither is it existent because it is destroyed by the dawn of knowledge. Maya is 'not That'. It is an indescribable appearance.
Maya is neither sat (real) nor asat (unreal). Maya is anadi santam (beginningless) but has an end only for the sage who has realised the self). Maya is shuddha satva or pure satva.
He who gets knowledge of the Self having overcome maya or the illusory power, will alone know what maya is, how it arises and is destroyed.
The five elements, the five tanmatras (subtle or root elements), and the various objects of the world are all products or modifications of maya.
Just as you can infer the existence of fire through smoke, so also you can infer the existence of maya through its various manifestations.
Maya is of the nature of mind. Maya generates different degrees of illusion. Maya pervades everywhere. If your mind is destroyed by discrimination and vichara (enquiry into the self), then maya will not afflict you.
This mind which ever hankers after sensual objects is the seed of maya. If the mind is annihilated maya will vanish. You will attain the state of quiescence. Brahma jnana (knowledge of the Absolute) will dawn in you.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

15 December

Moksha Gita - 1
Fear not, my child. In reality there is no death for thee. There is a means for crossing this ocean of relative existence and attaining immortality or the supreme bliss. I shall teach thee now Brahma-Vidya (knowledge of the Absolute).
Salutation to satchidananda para (supreme) Brahman, that glorious first preceptor, who is self-luminous, eternal, indivisible, pure, spotless, desireless, attributeless, timeless, spaceless, changeless, beginningless and endless.
That ultimate reality which is the support for this world, body, prana (life), mind and senses, which is the womb for the vedas, which is all-pervading and all-permeating, which is colourless, odourless, tasteless, nameless and formless - that something shines eternally.
Some indescribable supreme principle which is imperishable, unborn, undecaying, fearless, motionless, one without a second, ancient and infinite - that alone exists.
What is neither short nor long, neither that much nor this much, neither black nor white, neither stout nor thin, neither good nor bad - that should be understood as Brahman.
That which is neither subtle nor dense, which has neither caste nor name, which is immutable, immortal and bodiless, which is beyond the reach of mind and speech - that should be understood as Brahman.
Brahman is distinct from the gross, subtle and causal bodies. He is the soul of all. He is the inner ruler of all. He is eternally free. He is without action, and without motion.
Brahman cannot be defined. To define Brahman is to deny Brahman. The only adequate description of Brahman is a series of negatives. That is the reason why the Upanishads declare, "Neti-neti" - "not this-not this".

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

14 December

Respect All - Adore All
Competent disciples are never in want of a competent guru. Realised souls are not rare, but ordinary ignorant persons cannot easily recognise them. Only a few persons, who are pure and embodiments of all virtuous qualities, can understand realised souls, and they only will be benefited in their company. The number of realised souls may be less in the present age when compared with the satya yuga (the golden age), but they are always present to help the aspirants. They are always searching for the proper adhikaris (qualified aspirants). Let each man take the path according to his capacity, understanding and temperament. His true guru will meet him along that path.
Do not dig shallow pits here and there for obtaining water, for the pits will dry up soon. Dig a very deep pit in one place and centralise all your efforts here. You will find good water that can supply you throughout the year. Even so, try to imbibe thoroughly the spiritual teachings from one preceptor alone. Drink deeply from one man. Sit at his feet for some years. It is useless to wander from one man to another out of curiosity, losing faith in a short time. Do not have the ever-changing mind of a prostitute, but follow the spiritual instructions of one man only. If you go to several people and follow the instructions of many persons, you will become quite bewildered and be in a dilemma.
From one doctor you get a prescription. From two doctors you get consultation. From three doctors you get your own cremation. Even so, if you have many gurus, you will be bewildered and be at a loss to know what to do. One guru will tell you: "Do this." Another will tell you: "Do that." A third guru will tell you: "Do the other." You will be quite puzzled. Stick to one guru and follow his instructions.
Listen to all, but follow one. Respect all, but adore one. Gather knowledge from all, but adopt the teachings of one master. Then you will have rapid spiritual progress.
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The guru and the scriptures can show you the path and remove your doubts. Direct experience or direct intuitive knowledge is left for your own experience. A hungry man will have to eat for himself. No doubt, the guru's blessing can do everything. But how can one have his blessings? By pleasing the guru. A guru can be pleased with his disciple only if the latter carries out his spiritual instructions implicitly. Therefore, follow the instructions of the guru carefully. Only then will you deserve his blessings which can do everything.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

13 December

Guru Bhakti
You will find in the Gita: "Learn thou this by discipleship, by enquiry and by service. The wise, the seers of the essence of things, will instruct thee in wisdom." (Chapter IV - Verse 34.)
The guru must not only be a Brahma-shrotriya (well-versed), but a Brahma-Nishta (established in Brahman) as well. Mere study of books cannot make one a guru. One who has studied the vedas and who has direct knowledge of the Atman, through anubhava (direct experience), is a guru. If you find peace in the presence of a holy man (mahatma) and if your doubts are removed in his presence, you can take him as your guru. When the guru gives the mantra to his disciples, he gives with it his own power.
Just as water flows in a river, so also jnana (knowledge) and bhakti (devotion) are ever flowing from a sage. Only a thirsty man drinks water. So too, a thirsty aspirant, who has implicit faith in his guru and is eager to imbibe his teachings can drink the nectar from him. The student can imbibe from his guru only in proportion to the intensity of his faith in him.
The guru tests the students in various ways. Some students misunderstand him and lose their faith in him. Hence they are not benefited. But those that stand the tests boldly come out successful in the end.
The periodical examinations in the 'University of Sages' are very stiff indeed. Once a great sage (Gorakhnath) asked some students to climb a tall tree and throw themselves head downwards onto a very sharp trident (trisula). Many of the faithless students kept quiet. But one faithful student at once climbed up the tree with lightning speed and hurled himself down. He was protected by the invisible hand of the sage and had immediate Self-realisation. This man had no deha-adhyasa (feeling, "I am body"), but the others had strong attachment for their bodies.
Once Guru Govind Singh tested his students. He said: "My dear disciples, if you have real devotion towards me, let six of you come forward and give me your heads." Two faithful disciples offered their heads.
Many people debate over the necessity for having a guru. Some assert vehemently that it is not necessary to have a guru for spiritual advancement and that one can attain Self-realisation through one's own efforts only. No spiritual progress is possible unless a man gets the benign grace and direct guidance of a spiritual preceptor.

Monday, December 11, 2017

12 December

The Disciple's Duty
People want to have contact with an avatara (divine incarnation) without being endowed with the proper qualifications. Even if an avatara appears before you, you will not be able to recognise him. You have not got the eyes to see him. You will take him for an ordinary man.
It is only a saint who can recognise a saint. Only a Jesus can understand a Jesus. Even if you live with a saint for a considerable time, you will not be able to fathom or know him.
A beginner on the spiritual path should have various upa-gurus (assistant gurus). He must prepare himself gradually. He must get spiritual instructions from them. He must follow their instructions strictly. He should make himself fit to approach a Brahma Nishta guru (a guru who is already established in Brahman). He should practise meditation and he should see the Lord in meditation.
An aspirant should develop various satvic (divine) virtues. These are all enumerated in the Bhagavad Gita, chapters thirteen and sixteen. These are virtues such as humility, fearlessness, freedom from anger, a forgiving tendency, tranquillity, self-restraint and so on. He must also practise yama (self-restraint) and niyama (discipline). This is his work. The guru will not do this.
But nowadays people want to practise a comfortable yoga, lying in an easy chair. They do not want to practise any vigorous tapas (penance) or sadhana (spiritual discipline). They expect everything to come by the grace of the guru. They even seem to expect him to place Self-realisation before them, like a ready-made betel leaf - so they can just take it and swallow it easily!
All saints and yogis are ready to receive you with outstretched hands and love - if you have the real eyes to behold them, if you have the real heart to unite with them, if you have the real earnestness and longing to be in their company, if you have a real thirsting for God-realisation - and if you are really hungry to eat the sweet divine manna of the illimitable domain of bliss of the self.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

11 December

Necessity for a Guru
Ishvara (God) is guru of gurus. He removes the veil of ignorance and blesses the ignorant jiva (soul). The aspirant should regard his immediate guru - in the physical form - as an incarnation of that Guru of all gurus. He should have equal devotion to him. Guru in physical form is the main source and embodiment of all good and happiness that accrues to the disciple.
The disciple should realise the supreme necessity for obeying the guru's commands and behests. He should keep his faith in the guru unsullied and staunch. Lay bare to your guru the secrets of your heart. The more you do so, the greater the sympathy. And this means an accession of strength to you in the struggle against sin and temptation. A spiritual teacher actually transmits his spiritual power to his disciple.
A certain spiritual vibration of the satguru is actually transferred to the mind of the disciple. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa actually transmitted his spiritual power to Swami Vivekananda. Lord Jesus did the same to his disciples. This is the master's touch.
It is he who transmutes the little jiva (soul) into great Brahman, infinite. It is he who overhauls the old, wrong, vicious nature (samskaras) of aspirants and awakens them to the attainment of knowledge of the self. It is he who uplifts the jivas from the quagmire of body and samsara (worldly life), who removes the veil of avidya (ignorance), all doubts, fears, etc.  It is he who awakens the kundalini and opens the eye of inner intuition.
- - -
Never look into the defects of the guru. Deify the guru. Guru, Ishvara, Brahman, Om, truth, are all one. Strictly obey the guru and carry out his orders. You must think that underneath the name and the form of the guru there is the all-pervading, pure consciousness. In course of time the physical form will vanish and you will realise your own self, the pure Brahmic consciousness that lies at the back of the physical form of your guru.
Once you have taken a man as your guru you should never change even if you get a man with greater siddhis (development). Then only you will have strong faith. And through this strong faith you will realise God in the guru.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

10 December

Know the Guru
Guru leads man to God. Guru, mantra (mystic formula) and devata (deity) form a unity. Guru is present in the mantra which he enlivens and communicates. The mantra is the body of the devata. The guru is the embodiment of the deity that is invoked.
True guru is living God. Devotion to guru trains your heart and prepares for devotion to the Lord. Gurus are plenty but good disciples are very rare. When the disciple is ready the guru appears. He who has a guru can alone know Brahman, and the knowledge received from a teacher alone becomes perfect.
Initiation is necessary to go along the spiritual path. Guru shows you the path. When you are initiated your body and mind become purified. The highest spiritual wisdom experienced by the seers of truth in ancient times, has been passed down to the present day, through an unbroken line of traditional teachers.
Have self-control, tranquillity, sincerity and humility. Then approach the spiritual preceptor. Then alone you will be benefited. Hear silently - anything that your guru may say - hear with faith and bhava. Adapt yourself to his ways. He who serves the preceptor and follows his instructions gains the greatest benefit. He who speaks ill of his guru and does not follow his instructions loses most.
A perfect guru is learned in the scriptures and is desireless. He is a boundless ocean of mercy. He is a full knower of Brahman. He is a friend and a guide to those who have surrendered to him.
Guru is the word. The word is guru. Though God is indescribable, you can see and realise God through the guru.
- - -
Here are the characteristics of a real guru. If you find them in any man accept him at once as your guru. A real guru is one who has full knowledge of the self and the vedas. He dispels the doubts of aspirants. He has equal vision and balanced mind. He is free from likes and dislikes, joy and sorrow, egoism, anger, lust, greed, pride, etc. He is an ocean of mercy. In his presence one gets peace and elevation of mind - all doubts are cleared. The guru does not expect anything from anybody. He has an exemplary character. He is full of joy and bliss. He is in search of real aspirants.

Friday, December 8, 2017

9 December

Glory of the Guru
The guru is God himself manifesting in a personal form to guide the aspirant. Grace of God takes the form of the guru. To see the guru is to see God. The guru is united with God. He inspires devotion in others and his presence purifies all.
The guru is verily a link between the individual and the immortal. He is a being who has raised himself from this to That, and thus has free and unhampered access into both realms. He stands, as it were, upon the threshold of immortality; and, bending down he raises the struggling individuals with one hand, while with the other he lifts them up into the imperium of everlasting joy and infinite truth-consciousness.
The true guru is Brahman himself. He is an ocean of bliss, knowledge and mercy. He is the captain of your soul, the fountain of joy. He removes all your troubles, sorrows and obstacles. He shows you the right divine path and tears your veil of ignorance. He makes you immortal and divine, transmuting your lower, diabolical nature. He gives you the rope of knowledge, and takes you up when you are drowning in this ocean of births and deaths. Do not consider him to be only a man, for, if you do, you are a beast. Worship your guru and bow to him with reverence. Guru is God. A word from him is a word from God. He need not teach anything. Even his presence or company is elevating, inspiring and stirring - his very company being self-illumination. Living in his company is spiritual education. Read the 'Granth Saheb' (the holy scripture of the Sikh religion). You will come to know the greatness of the guru.
Man can learn only from man, and hence God teaches through a human body. In your guru, you have your human ideal of perfection, the pattern into which you wish to mould yourself. Your mind will readily be convinced that such a great soul is fit to be worshipped and revered.
Guru is the door to liberation, the gateway to the transcendental truth-consciousness. But, it is the aspirant that has to enter through it. The guru is a help, but the actual task of practical spiritual practice falls on the aspirant himself.
The guru's tender smile radiates light, bliss, joy, knowledge, peace. He is a blessing to suffering humanity. Whatever he says is Upanishadic teaching. The guru knows the spiritual path. He knows the pitfalls and snares on the way. He gives timely warning to his students. He showers his grace on their heads. All agonies, miseries, tribulations, taints of worldliness, etc., vanish in his presence.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

8 December

Importance of Guru Bhakti
It is universally admitted that an efficient teacher is needed in all branches of knowledge in this physical plane, and that physical, mental, moral and spiritual culture and growth can only be had through the help and guidance of a competent teacher or master. This is a universal, inexorable law of nature. Why then do you deny the application of this universally accepted law in the realm of spirituality as well?
Spiritual knowledge is a matter of guru-parampara - it is handed down from guru to disciple. Study the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. You will have a comprehensive understanding of this truth.
Some aspirants do meditation for some years independently. Later on they feel the actual necessity for a guru. They come across some obstacles in the way and do not know how to proceed further. Then they begin to search for a guru.
The student and the teacher should live together, as father and devoted son, with extreme sincerity and devotion. The aspirant should have an eager receptive mind, ready to imbibe the teachings of the master. Then only will the aspirant be spiritually benefited. Otherwise there is not the least hope of the spiritual uplift of the aspirant and the complete regeneration of his old unregenerate nature.
Once Shankaracharya wanted to test the devotion of his disciple Padmapada. The river Kaveri was in flood. Shankara was standing on the bank of the river and Padmapada was standing on the other bank. Shankara beckoned Padmapada to come to him immediately. There was no boat. Padmapada did not care; he at once jumped into the river. He did not know how to swim. This is real devotion. Through the grace of Shankaracharya, Padmapada walked quite easily on the water. At each step a lotus flower appeared. This is how he got the name Padmapada (lotus in the feet).
There is no hope of salvation for the deluded soul without the healing, magnetic touch and guidance of the spiritual preceptor. It is the guru only who can effect a radical change in the angle of vision of men and raise them to sublime, transcendental heights of eternal life in Atman (Self) with cosmic consciousness, divine glory, atmic effulgence and splendour.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

7 December

Mumukshutva is intense desire for liberation or deliverance from the wheel of birth and death with its concomitant evils of old age, disease, delusion and sorrow. If one is equipped with the previous three qualifications, viz., viveka (wisdom), vairagya (dispassion) and sad-sampat (six virtues), Mumukshutva will come by itself.
The mind moves towards the source of its own accord, because it has lost its hold now on external objects. It has no resting place in this objective universe. Purification of the mind and mental discipline form the rock-bottom foundation of yoga. When this is effected, the longing for liberation dawns by itself. Mumukshutva must be of a burning type. If burning Mumukshutva is coupled with burning vairagya, Self-realisation will come within the twinkling of an eye. 
Generally the vast majority of people have got a dull type of vairagya and Mumukshutva. So they do not succeed in their attempts. If one finds that he has not got burning Mumukshutva, he must practise the other three sadhanas (practices) vigorously till he acquires intense longing for attaining salvation or immortality. That aspirant who is endowed with these four qualifications should hear the shrutis (scriptures) from a Brahma Nishta guru (preceptor who is established in Brahman), and then reflect and meditate on the inner self. He will soon get Self-realisation.
The aspirant should practise all the four means to a maximum degree. Proficiency in one sadhana alone will not make you perfect. There is a definite significance in the sequence of the four sadhanas. That aspirant who is in possession of the four means is a blessed divinity on the surface of this earth. He is Brahman himself. He must be adored and worshipped. My silent salutations unto such exalted souls!
- - -
Open yourself fully to the divine influence. Develop a burning desire for the attainment of God-realisation and burning dispassion (vairagya) for worldly enjoyments. Abandon all worries. Abandon all worldly ambitions and mundane desires. Soar high in the realm of higher spiritual knowledge. Show your moral courage and spiritual strength now, O Ram!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

6 December

Freedom: Your Birthright
Freedom is man's birthright. Freedom is knowledge, peace and bliss. Consciously or unconsciously, willingly or unwillingly, all are attempting to attain this freedom. One nation is fighting another on the battlefield for freedom. A robber robs in order to obtain freedom from want - though his movement may be crooked and circuitous. Every movement of your foot is towards freedom or existence-knowledge-bliss.
The real reason is that there is in you the immortal, self-effulgent soul or Atman, which is one without a second, which has no rival, which is the inner ruler, which is the support for the whole universe. In reality, you are this Atman. That is the reason why you have such a feeling and desire.
In every heart, there is this desire for freedom, this all-consuming passion for liberty. Freedom is the birthright of man. Freedom is the very nature of Brahman or the eternal soul. Brahman is eternally free. The desire for freedom is there even in the lowliest of God's creatures. Freedom is an attribute of the soul, born with you. No force, no known human device, can suppress that desire. Freedom's flame is ever burning bright. Freedom or liberation is the ultimate goal of man. Freedom is liberation from the thraldom of mind and matter.
Real freedom is not merely political or economic, though political and economic freedom is essential for the welfare of a people. Real freedom is lordship over oneself. It is the freedom of the self. It is immortality; it is perfection. It is attainable only by slow and painful stages.
From time pass into eternity. This is freedom or emancipation. Still the mind. Herein lies freedom and bliss eternal. Real freedom is freedom from birth and death, freedom from the bondage of the flesh and mind, freedom from the bonds of karma and freedom from attachment to the body. Real freedom is freedom from egoism and desires, freedom from thoughts, likes and dislikes, freedom from lust, anger, greed and pride. Real freedom is identification with the Supreme Self. Real freedom is to realise the self. Real freedom is merging in the Absolute.
Freedom is in detachment, desirelessness, mindlessness. Eradication and extinction of desires lead to the sublime state of supreme bliss and perfect freedom.