Thursday, May 31, 2018

1 June


Unflinching Devotion

When you repeat the Lord's name you must evince unflinching devotion from the bottom of your heart devotion to God, without love for any other object. You must drive off all worldly thoughts from your mind. Fill the mind with thoughts of God and God alone. You must struggle. You must exert hard. Remain absorbed in him.

If you love Krishna, then love Him alone till the end. Just as you see wood alone in the chair, table, bench, stick, cupboard etc., see the antaratma (the hidden indwelling self) - Krishna alone - in flowers, trees, fruits, tumblers and all objects. This is ananya bhakti (total devotion). This is para (supreme) bhakti.

Just as you remember all the qualities of your son when you think of his name, so too you should remember the qualities of God   omnipotence, omniscience etc., when you think of his own name.

When you repeat the mantra, have satvic bhava or shuddha bhava (the pure mental attitude). Bhava comes slowly when the purification process goes on. Even mere mechanical repetition has an effect, a very great effect. The vibration in the mind set up by the repetition purifies the chitta (mind stuff) and brings chitta shuddi (purity of mind).

A beginner should have a japa mala or rosary. Later on he can take recourse to manasika japa (mental repetition). If a man repeats his mantra for six hours daily, his heart will be purified quickly. He can feel the purity. Have great faith in your guru mantra (the mantra learnt from your guru) and keep it a secret.

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Constant repetition of the mantra with faith, devotion, purity and one pointed mind awakens the mantra chaitanya (the dynamic consciousness of the mantra latent in the mantra, and bestows mantra siddhi (perfection or psychic power inherent in the mantra) on the aspirant - illumination, freedom, peace, eternal bliss and immortality. The repetition of the mantra again and again generates a great spiritual force and momentum and intensifies the spiritual samskaras or impressions.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

31 May


The Supreme Remedy

When allopathy, homeopathy, chromopathy, naturopathy, ayurvedapathy and all other 'pathies' fail to cure a disease, the divine namapathy alone can save you. The name of the Lord is a sovereign specific, a sheet anchor, an infallible panacea and a cure all for all diseases. It is an ideal or supreme 'pick me up' in gloom and despair, in depression and sorrow, in the daily battle of life or the struggle for existence. There is a mysterious power in the name. There is an inscrutable shakti (power) in God's name! All the divine potencies are hidden in the Lord's name. It is the cream or the quintessence of Chyavana Prasha, Makaradhwaji Almonds, Vasanta Kusumakara or Svarna Bhasma or gold oxide. It is a mysterious, ineffable divine injection.

You can take this medicine or nama japa (repetition of God's name) yourself, for curing any disease. You can administer this marvellous medicine to other patients also in your house or elsewhere. Sit by the side of the patient and repeat, with sincere devotion and faith, the name of the Lord, like Hari Om, Sri Ram, Om Namah Shivaya, and sing his names also: "Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare; Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare". Pray for his mercy and grace. All maladies and agonies will come to an end. Do the treatment of nama japa for at least two hours in the morning and evening. You will find the miraculous effect within a short time. Both the doctor and the patient should have perfect faith in the Lord's name, his mercy and grace. The real doctor is only Lord Narayana. Lord Dhanvantari, the physician of the three worlds (who expounded the ayurvedic medical science), has himself declared: "By the medicine of the repetition of the names, Achyuta, Ananta, Govinda, all diseases are cured - this is my definite and honest declaration." In all treatments, Lord Narayana is the real doctor. You find that even the world's best doctors fail to cure a dying king. You might have also heard of many instances where patients ailing from the worst type of diseases are cured miraculously, where even the ablest doctors have declared the case hopeless. This itself is clear proof that there is the divine hand behind all cures.

The divine name will eradicate the disease of birth and death and bestow on you moksha, liberation or immortality.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

30 May


Forget the Body

He who does sankirtan (same as kirtan: chanting) forgets the body and the world. Sankirtan brings super-intuitional knowledge. Sankirtan brings darshan (vision) of God or attainment of divine consciousness in this Kali Yuga (dark age). It develops love. It is the easiest, surest, safest, quickest way for attaining God-realisation.

Those who do sankirtan in the beginning, for the sake of mental enjoyment, will realise the purificatory effects of sankirtan after some time and then they will do it with bhava (devotion) and shraddha (faith). There is a mysterious power in the name of the Lord. Man cannot live by bread alone but he can live on the name of the Lord.

The harmonious vibrations produced by the singing of the names of the Lord help the devotees to control their minds easily. They produce a benign influence and elevate the mind at once from its old ruts, to magnanimous heights of divine splendour and glory. If one does sankirtan from the bottom of one's heart, with full bhava and prem (love) even the trees, birds and animals will respond. They will be deeply influenced. Such is the power of Sankirtan. It brings the devotee face to face with God.

The individual soul becomes one with Paramatma (the supreme soul) only through the process of evolution (ascent through different rungs of the spiritual ladder) by means of nada upasana (contemplation of mystic sound). Nada (sound) is of two kinds - gross or expressed and subtle or unexpressed. The former leads to the latter.

The union of prana with anala or fire, in the human soul, is an indispensable requisite if the individual soul wishes to unite with Brahman (infinite) or attain the highest (nirvikalpa) Samadhi. The fire of the muladhara (the lowest psychic centre) represents the RA bija (seed-mantra). It ascends to meet the prana from the brahmarandhra (the crown of the head), which represents the MA bija. The combination of RA MA is the taraka bija (the redeeming seed mantra) by which the individual soul crosses to the other shore of fearlessness and immortality and attains eternal bliss and supreme joy. Sankirtan is an easy approach to the sukshma nada (subtle sound) and eventually to the divine communion.

Monday, May 28, 2018

29 May


Sing Without Ceasing

Akhanda kirtan is to sing the Lord's name without a break. This is a very effective spiritual sadhana (practice). There is eradication of all evil vrittis (thoughts) during this period; the mind has neither time nor opportunity to think of sensual objects during this period. This is an easy way to capture the mind. During this period the mind is filled with satva (purity) and it is filled with supreme peace and joy.

There is no yajna (sacred rite) greater than akhanda kirtan. It is specially suited to this age. It costs you nothing. During akhanda kirtan the maha mantra should be sung. One person should repeat this mantra (formula) in a melodious, sweet voice and all the others should follow him in chorus. The sixteen words, "Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare" constitute one mantra. Do not repeat or sing either "Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare"or "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare" twice.

For individual japa (repetition) and kirtan (chanting) the whole mantra should be repeated at a stretch. But during akhanda kirtan - to avoid too much strain and break - the first half of the mantra may be repeated by the person leading the group, followed by the chorus of the other half. Some people cannot sing even half the mantra without a break. They should train themselves to sing one half without a break in the middle. Especially those who lead the kirtan should take care of this point, otherwise it is not akhanda kirtan.

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Open the doors of your heart. Let the lightning spark of love arise in your heart. Let love pierce you through and through. Let heart sing to heart. Let your soul mix with the supreme soul. Let the heart lotus blossom and waft its sweet divine fragrance. Let the divine thrill strike the strings of your heart. Let the tears flow down your cheeks. Let the divine ecstasy fill your whole being.

Lord Hari is an ocean of mercy. He has boundless love for his devotees. He is the purifier of the sinful and the fallen.

Collect the dissipated rays of the mind. Become serene. Repeat God's name. Your happiness will know no bounds, God will dwell in your heart.

May Lord Narayana take you to his bosom and bathe you in the sacred waters of divine love and transcendental bliss.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

28 May


Sankirtan is Spiritual Food

People do sankirtan with surprising enthusiasm and vigour for a year or two but after that they become slothful and torpid. The same zeal should be kept up throughout life. Just as food and drink are not dispensed with, even for one day, so also sankirtan should not be stopped even for a day. Sankirtan is indeed a spiritual food. Nay, it is a physical and mental tonic as well. You can live on Sankirtan.

When you sing Lord Hari's Name, feel that the Lord is seated in your heart, that every name of the Lord is filled with divine potencies, that the old, vicious samskaras (habits) and vasanas (tendencies) are burnt with the power of the Name, that the mind is filled with purity, that rajas (passion) and tamas (inertia) are completely destroyed, that the veil of ignorance is torn down. Meditate on His form and His attributes - then only you will attain the maximum benefits of sankirtan.

Kirtan is singing the Lord's glories. The devotee is thrilled with divine emotion. He loses himself in the love for God. He weeps in the middle when thinking of the glory of God. His voice becomes choked and he flies into a state of divine bhava (feeling). The devotee is ever merged in japa of the Lord's name and describing his glories to one and all. Wherever he goes he begins to sing and praise God. He requests all to join his kirtans. He sings and dances in ecstasy and he makes others dance also.

Such practices should be the outcome of a pure heart; they should not be merely a show. God knows the inner secrets of all. None can cheat him. There should be perfect straight forwardness. All his actions should be a natural out pouring from the heart.

This is the easiest of all modes of approach to God. In the Kali Yuga, the Iron Age, kirtan alone is the best yoga. This is the prescribed method of devotion for this Age. The mind that is ever intent upon singing the Lord's Names and glories has no occasion to take interest in the things of the world. Day and night the devotee feels the presence of God. This thins out the ego; he becomes satvic and pure at heart.

May you live drowned in the ocean of divine ecstasy, in a fully illumined state, by the regular practice of sankirtan and complete self-surrender to the Lord.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

27 May


Lord is Your Sole Refuge

The name of the Lord is your sole refuge. It is your prop, shelter and abode. Name is divine nectar. Name and form are inseparable.

Keep a picture of the Lord and concentrate on it. Concentrate on the face or feet or the whole picture. Then visualise this in your heart or in the space between the eyebrows.
Repeat your mantra - Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namo Narayanaya, Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya - mentally, or if the mind wanders, do this verbally.

There are five kinds of bhavas or attitudes. They are shanta bhava (relationship of peace), dasya bhava (relationship of servant master), vatsalya bhava (relationship of father son), sakhya bhava (relationship of friendship) and madhurya bhava (relationship of lover and beloved). Have any kind of bhava that suits your temperament. Develop it again and again.

Practise the nine modes of devotion - shravana (hearing the lilas or stories of the Lord), kirtana (singing the Lord's name), smarana (remembering the Lord), padasevana (service of the Lord's feet), archana (offering of flowers), vandana (prostration), dasyam (servant bhava), sakhya (His friendship), and atmanivedana (self-surrender).

Feel that you are an instrument in the hands of the Lord. Feel that the Lord works through your body, mind and senses. Offer all your actions to the Lord. Offer the fruits of your actions to the Lord. This is the way to do self-surrender.

Do anusthana (intense whole time practice) frequently. Live on milk and fruits for a week.
Observe mauna (or silence). Do japa (repetition of God's name) and meditate in an intense manner.

Do mental worship - it is a great help for increasing devotion and attaining concentration. Offer flowers, incense etc., mentally, to the Lord.

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God is all pervading.
God is all permeating.
God is interpenetrating.
God is indwelling.

Friday, May 25, 2018

26 May


Benefits of Japa

Japa (repetition of the mantra) checks the force of the thought current moving towards objects. It forces the mind to move towards God, towards the attainment of eternal bliss. Eventually it helps us to have the darshana (vision) of God. The mantra power is hidden in every mantra.

Whenever the spiritual aspirant shows lack of vigour in his sadhana (practice), the mantra shakti (power of the mantra) reinforces the sadhana shakti (energy) of the aspirant. Constant and prolonged repetition of the mantra (name of God) for some months cuts new grooves in the mind and the brain.

During japa all the divine qualities steadily flow into your mind from the Lord, just as oil flows from one vessel to another vessel. Japa transforms the nature of the mind. It fills the mind with satva (purity).

Japa changes the mental substance from passion to purity, from rajas to satva. It calms and strengthens the mind. It makes the mind introspective - it checks the outgoing tendencies. Japa eradicates all kinds of evil thoughts and inclinations. It induces determination, and austerity and eventually it leads to the direct darshana (vision) of God (the ishta devati or tutelary deity) or to God-realisation.

The mind is purified by constant japa and worship and it is filled with good and pure thoughts. Repetition of mantra and worship strengthen the good samskaras. "As a man thinks so he becomes" - this is the psychological law. The mind of the man who trains himself to think good, holy thoughts develops a tendency to think good thoughts. His character is moulded and transformed by the continuous flow of good thoughts.

When the mind thinks of the image of the Lord during japa and worship, the mental substance actually assumes the form of the image. The impression of the object is left on the mind and this is called samskara. When the act is repeated very often, the samskara gains strength and a tendency or habit is formed in the mind.

He who entertains thoughts of divinity becomes transformed actually into divinity itself. This is the power of constant thinking and meditation. His disposition itself is divinised and purified.

The meditator and the meditated, the worshipper and the worshipped, the thinker and the thought, become one and the same thing. This is samadhi. This is the fruit of worship (upasana) or of doing japa.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

25 May


Mantra Yoga

Mantra yoga is a great science. "Manana trayate iti mantrah" - "By manana (constant thinking or recollection) one is protected or released from the round of birth and death - that is mantra". That is called mantra, by meditating on which the jiva or soul attains freedom from sin, enjoyment in heaven and final liberation. And, by its aid it attains in full the fourfold fruit (chaturvarga) i.e., dharma, artha, kama and moksha (virtue, wealth, pleasure and liberation).

A mantra is so called because it is achieved by the mental process. The root 'man' in the word mantra means 'to think'. And 'tra' comes from 'trai' meaning to protect or to free from the bondage of samsara or the phenomenal world. By the combination of 'man' and 'tra' comes mantra which calls forth the four aims of being - chaturvarga.

A mantra is divinity. It is divine power manifesting in a sound body. The mantra itself is the devata (deity). The aspirant should try his level best to realise his unity with the mantra of the divinity. To the extent he does so, the mantra power supplements his worship power. Just as a flame is strengthened by winds, so also the aspirant's individual shakti (power) is strengthened by mantra shakti. Then the individual shakti joins with the mantra shakti to make it more powerful.

The mantra is awakened from its sleep through the sadhana shakti (worship power) of the aspirant. The mantra is a mass of radiant energy.

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Even to visualise the Lord in meditation just once, to utter the divine name of the Lord, with love, even a single time, has surely got a tremendous, transforming influence upon the soul. You are free here and now. Only you are not aware of it, through the force of maya (or ignorance).

This Atman is peace. Realise this peace that passeth all understanding and be free forever. Peace is thy birthright. Peace is thy real, essential nature. Peace is Brahman. Peace and Brahman are one.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

24 May


Mantra is Power

There is an indescribable power in the mantra (God's name). Shakti is the energy or form of the mantra, i.e., the vibration form set up by its sound which carries a man to the devata that is worshipped. A mantra accelerates and generates the creative force. Mantra produces harmony in body and mind and awakens supernatural powers.

If you repeat the mantra with concentration and meaning you will attain God-realisation quickly. The glory of the name cannot be established through the intellect. It can be realised only through devotion and faith and constant repetition. That which shines above all, having made the whole world equal to a blade of grass, full of the light of consciousness, bliss, purity - is only the sweet name of the Lord.

Sweeter than all sweet things, more auspicious than all auspicious things, purer than all pure things is the name of the Lord. OM is everything. OM is the name of God. Name is the bridge that connects the devotee with God. God's name is the way and the goal. Name is the weapon to destroy the mind. The name has the power to burn sins and desires.

As you repeat the mantra feel that the Lord is seated in your heart, that purity is flowing from the Lord to your mind. The name serves as gate keeper; it never allows worldly thoughts to enter the mind.

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Remembrance of God also includes hearing stories pertaining to God at all times, talking of God, teaching to others what pertains to God, meditation on the attributes of God, etc. God is to be remembered at all times, without a break, as long as one has consciousness intact. Right from the time he gets up from sleep in the morning, until he is completely overpowered by sleep in the night, a person is to remember God. He has no other duty in the world but to remember God.

Remembrance of God alone can destroy all worldly samskaras. Remembrance of God alone can turn the mind away from sense objects.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

23 May


God and His Name Are One

What a lot of joy the repetition of His name brings! What a lot of power it infuses into man!
How it changes the human nature marvellously! How it exalts a man to the status of divinity!
How it destroys old sins, vasanas (tendencies), sankalpas (thoughts), whims, fancies, depressing moods, sex impulses, and various samskaras (psychological impressions)!

How sweet is God's name! What a tremendous power it possesses! How it transforms quickly the asuric (diabolical) nature into satvic (divine) nature! How it brings you face to face with the Lord and makes you realise your oneness with him (para bhakti - supreme love)!

The name of God, chanted correctly or incorrectly, knowingly or unknowingly, carefully or carelessly, is sure to give the desired result. Every name is filled with countless potencies (shaktis). Its glory is indescribable. The efficacy and inherent shakti of the name of God is unfathomable.

Just as fire has the natural property of burning inflammable things, so also the name of God has the power of burning sins, samskaras and vasanas and bestowing eternal bliss and everlasting peace on those who repeat it. Just as burning quality is natural to and inherent in fire, so also the power of destroying sins with their very root and branch, and bringing the aspirant into blissful union with the Lord through bhava samadhi (culmination of devotion) is natural to and inherent in the name of God.

O man! Take refuge in the name. Nami (God) and Nama (name) are inseparable. Sing the Lord's name incessantly. Remember the name of the Lord with every incoming and outgoing breath. In this present age, japa (repetition of God's name) is the easiest, quickest, safest and surest way to reach God and attain immortality and perennial joy. Glory to the Lord! Glory to his name!

Monday, May 21, 2018

22 May


The Lord's Name

The name is a verbal expression of the conception of the Supreme Being, who is known by different names and forms, in different climes and times. The supreme is infinite but as it is not always possible for the common man to conceive of what is beyond the perception of the finite mind, this infinite truth is symbolised as forms, symbols or objects that vary according to each one's respective tendencies or modes of perception.

Though in the initial stage there is difference and distinction among the various names and their associated objects, ultimately, when the habit of repetition of the name is formed and the divine consciousness is kept ever awake, then there remains no distinction between the name and the associated idea or object. The intuitive knowledge of the supreme reveals itself in the name itself - for the basis of all names and forms is the one primal being who manifests himself under different names and forms, as different faiths and tendencies, as different sects and races, in different times and places.

There is an unfathomable depth, intense sweetness and charm in the Lord's name. It is beyond the futile explanation of the limited intellect. It is a thing knowable only through experience. The music first thrills the nerves, harmonises them and then mysteriously acts upon the mind. The sincere devotee loses himself in divine ecstasy.

The worldly mind cannot grasp or perceive this state of intense emotion. The Lord's name is all bliss and when it is chanted, the mind merges in its bliss. It loses its individual entity in bliss. It becomes one with the bliss itself.

Without the name of the beloved, none may hope to cross the sea of samsara (worldly existence). The Lord's name is the lasting medicine against any kind of ailment. You cannot be overtaken by sorrows, sins, troubles, sicknesses if you take refuge in the Lord's Name. Repetition of the Lord's name dispels all fears and evil thoughts. He who repeats the name of the Lord has all his desires fulfilled. So sing the holy name. If you are attached to the Lord you will be released from all attachments which bind you and pull you down. This constant repetition gives infinite strength.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

21 May


The Power of Sound

The subtler the element, the more powerful it is. Water is more powerful than earth because it is more subtle. Water removes earth away. Fire is more powerful than water because it is subtler than water. Fire dries up water. Air is more powerful than fire because it is more subtle than fire. Air blows away fire. Akasha (ether) is more powerful than air because it is more subtle than air. Air rests in akasha. Akasha is the support for the air. Air is born of akasha, fire is born of air, water is born of fire, earth is born of water. During the cosmic dissolution, the earth is reduced to or dissolved into water, water into fire, fire into air, and air into akasha.

The barrier that separates man from the supreme soul, is mind. The five subtle elements - earth, water, fire, air, ether - which go to constitute the body of the antahkarana (psyche), are the five robbers who have plundered the jewel of Atman. Akasha is the ring leader. If you control akasha, if you subdue the ring leader, the other four elements or robbers will come under your control. If you can control the five elements you can control the mind very easily. The function of akasha is sound. Therefore kirtan helps the aspirant to control the mind easily and thereby attain God-consciousness.

Sound exists in four fundamental states: dense, audible sound - sound at its maximum differentiation; inner, subtle, more ethereal sound - inaudible to the human ear; a higher inner and more ethereal state; the potential state of sound - undifferentiated, the primal substratum of all sounds, the source of the universe.

The mind is purified by constant kirtan (chanting). It is filled with good and pure thoughts. Daily kirtan strengthens good samskaras (habits). The mind of a man who trains himself in thinking good, holy thoughts, develops a tendency to think good thoughts. His character is moulded and transformed by continuous good thoughts.

He who entertains thoughts of divinity becomes transformed actually into divinity himself. His bhava (disposition) is purified and divinised. The meditator and the meditated, the worshipper and the worshipped, the thinker and the thought, become one and the same. This is samadhi. This is the fruit of kirtan or upasana (adoration).

My dear friends, do sankirtan daily. Disseminate sankirtan bhakti far and wide. Develop vishvaprem (cosmic love) through sankirtan. Realise your sat-chit-ananda state!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

20 May


Human Nature into Divine Nature

God is a mystery. Mind is a mystery. The world is a mystery. How sankirtan transmutes human nature into divine nature, how it overhauls the old vicious habits, how it changes the mental substance, how it transforms or metamorphoses the impure nature into pure nature, and how it brings the devotee face to face with God - this also is a mystery.

Science and reason can hardly explain the 'modus operandi' of sankirtan (chanting). Reason is an imperfect instrument. A man of weak intellect can be defeated by one who has a stronger intellect. Reason cannot explain many of life's problems. Intuition transcends reason; it does not contradict reason.

There is great shakti (power) in every word. The very utterance of the word 'hot pakouri' (a tasty savoury) brings saliva to the mouth. If you speak about 'faeces' when a man is taking his meal, he will immediately vomit. When such is the case with ordinary words, what to speak of the names of God? Every name of God is filled with various divine potencies and nectar.

One objector says. "If I say, 'sugar candy, sugar-candy', can I get it? How can I see God if I simply say 'Rama, Rama'?" In the case of sugar candy, sugar candy is outside, but God resides in the very chamber of your heart. He is close to you. By repeating "Rama, Rama", the mind becomes one pointed. It melts in silence and, in the heart, you will get the darshan (vision) of God. The name of God is as good as God himself. God is chaitanya (consciousness, energy) and so is his name. It is not so with other objects or names of objects.

There is a man in sound sleep. The prana (life) is there; it is awake, He will not respond if you call, "Prana prana". But just call him by his name and he will hear you and will get up from his sleep. Such is the power of the name. The name is nothing but chaitanya (consciousness) personified.

Friday, May 18, 2018

19 May


The Saving Grace

Japa is the best of all spiritual practices in this modern age. It is the easiest too. The divine name alone will give you all success and bestow on you the highest spiritual attainments.
The seeker after truth reaches the highest goal by japa or recitation of the Lord's Name (or mantra) alone. This is a sure medicine for the disease of birth and death. If you take to the recitation of the divine name, all inauspiciousness will certainly vanish.

Smarana is remembrance of the Lord at all times. The mind does not think of any object of the world. It is engrossed in thinking of the glorious Lord alone. The mind meditates on the glories of the Lord and forgets the body. Even japa is only remembrance of the Lord.

Ever remember the Lord. His divine name is the greatest treasure on earth. It has got indescribable power of bestowing blessings upon all who have faith. It is a good idea to recite the mantras at bedtime.

In ordinary self-consciousness there is duality between the repetitioner and the name. It is discursive. It is within the fields of ordinary experience. It is confined within the categories of the mind, of limited conceptions. Ultimately the ordinary self-consciousness is elevated into a transcendental experience, into a state of super-consciousness.

The repetitioner and the name become one. The eternally revealed truth reveals itself to him and he realises his oneness with the supreme. The sense of duality, the gulf of separateness between the finite and the infinite, is removed.

- - -

Spiritual life needs harmony in all parts of your being. Spiritual truth can only be realised when the whole being is perfectly at ease and in tune with the divine. Mantra (the name of God) has the power to release cosmic and supracosmic consciousness. It bestows illumination, freedom, supreme peace, eternal bliss and immortality.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

18 May


Aids to Bhakti

People put the question: "How can we love God whom we have not seen?" Live in the company of saints and hear of the divine sport of God, study the sacred scriptures. Worship Him first in His several forms as manifested in the world. Worship any image or picture of the Lord or the guru. Recite His name, sing His glories. Stay for a year in Brindavan or Ayodhya, Chitrakute, Pandharpur, Benares, or Ananda Kutir. You will develop love for the Lord.

Every act must be done that awakens the emotion of bhakti. Keep the room of worship clean, decorate it, burn incense, light a lamp, keep a clean seat, bathe and wear clean clothes. Apply ash and kumkum (sacred red powder worn on the forehead by devotees). Wear a rosary, either that made of beads symbolising the third eye of Siva or that which is made from the stalks of the holy basil. All these produce a benign and elevating influence on the mind inspiring it and generating piety. They help to create the necessary attitude or feeling to invoke the deity that you want to worship. The mind will be able to concentrate easily.

Practice of right conduct, keeping company with the holy, repetition of God's name, remembrance, singing of the names of the Lord, prayer, worship, service of saints, residence in places of pilgrimage, service of the poor and the sick with divine feeling, observance of duties, offering of all actions and their fruits to the Lord, feeling the presence of the Lord in all beings, prostrations before the image and saints, renunciation of earthly enjoyments and wealth, charity, austerities, and vows, practice of ahimsa (non-violence), truth and celibacy - all these will help you to develop devotion.

Desire obstructs the growth of devotion. Devotion to the Lord increases in intensity when mundane desires are renounced. Renunciation is the very essence of devotional love. Divine love has no element of desire in it.

Devotion cannot co-exist with desire of any kind, not even the desire for liberation. The devotee wants God and God alone, and His loving service. The devotee loves God and serves Him and His creation. He does not strive consciously for liberation which God confers on his devotee unsolicited.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

17 May


Importance of Guru Bhakti

Here is bhakti yoga in a nutshell. Select an ishta devata (a favourite deity) - either Siva, Rama, Krishna, Vishnu, Dattatreya, Gayatri or Sakti   according to the advice of your guru, or your own inclination. Get the proper mantra (a mystic formula). Then keep a picture of that particular deity in front of you in the meditation room. For six months gaze steadily at the picture from fifteen seconds to fifteen minutes. Concentrate on the figure, without winking, until the tears flow profusely.

Study the scriptures constantly - the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Narada Bhakti Sutras and the Sandilya Sutras. Live for one year in a holy place. Pass through the course of nava vidha bhakti (nine devotional practices). Repeat your mantra constantly. Sleep only for three hours. Select an attitude suitable for you madhurya sakhya, dasya or vatsalya (lover beloved, friend, servant or mother child). Make ungrudging, unreserved, true, perfect self-surrender to God. Pray from the bottom of your heart. Prayer can move mountains. Prayer can reach a realm wherein reason can hardly enter.

Have devotion to one ideal. Bhakti must be unswerving, one pointed, single minded devotion. Slowly develop anuraga prema, priti, viraha (pain of separation from God), bhava, and maha bhava (stages or states of God love). In maha bhava the devotee is unconscious of his body and the world. He is absolutely merged in God. From lower bhakti the devotee passes on to higher (para) bhakti. A devotee gets progressive emancipation after passing through salokya sampiya sarupya and sayujya mukti stages in emancipation or liberation.

After enjoying lower mukti a devotee finally attains kaivalya moksha - the same state as that of a jnani. An earnest seeker with perseverance can realise God within two or three years. I assure you emphatically. So make a sincere effort and watch the results. Follow Lord Krishna's instructions, given in the Bhagavad Gita and described as: macchitta, yukta, matpara - with the mind totally absorbed in God, united with God, with God as the goal and ideal.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

16 May


The Flower of Flowers

Divine love (or prema) is the flower of flowers. It is the rarest of all flowers and it is cultivated in the hearts of all devotees. Prema or bhakti is intense love, or the highest form of devotion to God. It is supreme attachment to the lotus feet of the Lord. It springs from the bottom of the devotee's heart. In it there is no effort - there is only genuine, natural, spontaneous longing to meet God.

Just as a fish cannot live without water, just as the sunflower cannot live without the sun, just as the chaste wife cannot live without her husband, so also a true devotee cannot live without God - even for a moment.

Bhakti or prema is of the nature of nectar. It gives freedom to the devotee and makes him perfectly and fully satisfied. It takes him to the feet of the Lord.

There are three things which are indeed rare and are due to the grace of the Lord. They are human birth, the longing for liberation and the protecting care of a perfected sage.

The man who, having by virtuous actions in previous births, obtained a human birth and a good intellect, is foolish indeed not to exert for Self-realisation. He verily commits suicide, for he kills himself by clinging to things unreal.

There is no hope of immortality by means of riches. Such indeed is the emphatic declaration of the shrutis (scriptures). The scriptures declare: "Na karmana na prajaya dhanena tyagenaike amrtatva masasuh" - "neither by rituals, nor by progeny, nor by riches, but by renunciation alone can one attain immortality."

Mere giving up of objects will not constitute real renunciation. Dear friends, remember this point well. Real tyaga (renunciation) consists in renouncing egoism, 'mine' ness, selfishness, anger, pride, desires and cravings.

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People despise this Kali Yuga. This is a mistake, for in Kali Yuga you can attain God-realisation easily; you do not have to do hard tapas (austerities). Merely singing the names of the Lord and by his constant remembrance will you attain God-realisation. Wherever there are satsanga (holy company), kirtan (chanting), svadhyaya (study of scriptures), bhaktas, swamis and yogis   there is Satya Yuga (golden age). In all ashrams and holy places Satya Yuga prevails. Kali cannot enter here.

Monday, May 14, 2018

15 May


Get Nearer to God

Maya is the Lord's illusory power. God creates through maya. It is maya that makes the one universal spirit appear as many, as embodied in multiple forms, and delights in the same objects, the false ideas of 'I' and 'mine'. Total, unreserved self-surrender to the Lord alone will enable you to cross this maya and attain His lotus feet.

Bhakti yoga sadhana is to unfold yourself continually and to endeavour, continually, to get nearer to God. The more you unfold yourself, the more guidance you will receive and the more power you will manifest.

O man! Conquer thy craving. Conquer thy attachment. You will soon attain God-realisation. In meditation the mind is turned back upon itself, the mind stops all the thought waves.

Truth is love. Love the Lord. Speak truth. Cultivate pure unselfish love. Rest in truth. Rest in the Lord of love. Make your heart empty of all other things. Then alone will God enthrone Himself in your heart. Equal vision is the test of God-realisation and the way to God is through the heart.

God can be realised through faith, devotion, surrender and meditation. Trust in the Lord. Surrender yourself to Him. He will bless you with peace and plenty. He will bestow upon thee all health, prosperity and success.

Worship the Lord with true devotion. Lead a life of purity, humility and selflessness. Remember God. Take His name always. Meditate upon Him. Know the Lord to be the one reality in the midst of unreal things.

Think often of God, by day and by night. He is always near you and with you   He dwells in the chambers of your heart.

Dedicate all the fruits of actions and the action itself to the Lord. This is the entrance to devotion and freedom from bondage. Worship the Lord continually. Live with Him. Put your trust in Him. Think of Him continuously and you will dwell with Him.

Pray to God sincerely for strength and patience to bear pain, but not for deliverance from pain. Pain is a blessing from God. He employs it for your spiritual upliftment and emancipation. Be satisfied with any condition God places you in. God is nearer and more effectively present in sickness than in health. He is your unequalled, supreme physician and surgeon.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

14 May


Bhakti and Jnana

Those who tread the path of jnana and yoga are liable to become proud of their powers and wisdom. Bhaktas are humble, humility being the foundation of bhakti yoga.

Jnana yoga is the yoga of wisdom. It is the path of analysis and rejection. It is the path of endless negation, a very difficult path.

Raja yoga also is difficult. It is like stilling the waves of the ocean. You will have to still all the thought-waves. Karma yoga is also difficult. It is like climbing to the highest peak and tremendous will power is needed. Bhakti yoga alone is easy. The Lord is stretching his hands to lift you up from the mire of births and deaths, but you will have to grasp his hands firmly. One thing is absolutely essential here: you should not have any other thought than that of God and God alone.

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A devotee contracts, while a vedantin expands. The former contracts and enters the Lord through self-surrender, while the latter expands and becomes one with Brahman through assertion and identification.

The fruit of bhakti is jnana. Jnana intensifies bhakti. Even sages like Shankara, Madhusudhana and Sukhadev took to bhakti after realisation to enjoy the sweetness of loving relationship with God.

Knowledge or wisdom will dawn by itself when you practise bhakti yoga. Bhakti is the pleasant, smooth, direct road to God. Bhakti is sweet in the beginning, in the middle and in the end. It gives the highest, everlasting bliss.

Love the divine in thy heart, for this is the immediate way to the kingdom of God. Pray to the Lord, sing his glory, recite his name and become a channel for his grace. Seek his will, do his will, surrender unto the Lord. He will become your charioteer on the field of life. He will drive your chariot well and you will reach the destination, the abode of immortal bliss.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

13 May


Nature of Bhakti

Bhakti is resting in God. Bhakti is the flow of devotion like the flow of a river. Bhakti is continuity of devotion, just as there is continuity in the flow of oil from one vessel to another vessel. Bhakti is the attraction of the needle to the magnet.

Bhakti is love for the sake of love. The devotee wants God and God alone. There is neither selfish expectation nor fear. Is the son afraid of his father though he is a judge? Is the wife afraid of her husband? So also, a devotee entertains not the least fear of God. The fear of retribution vanishes in him. He feels, believes, conceives and imagines that his chosen deity is an ocean of love (prema).

Bhakti transmutes man into divinity. It intoxicates the devotee with divine love and gives him eternal satisfaction. It makes him perfect, weans his mind from sensual objects and makes him rejoice in God.

Emotional excitement is not devotion to God. Devotion is pure love, Fanaticism is not devotion, but frenzy, mere excitement. Bhakti is not mere emotionalism, but is the tuning of the will as well as the intellect towards the divine. It is supreme love of God, and later blossoms into knowledge of the self. It leads to immortality. Bhakti is the direct approach to the ideal through the heart. Love is natural to everybody.

Bhakti can be practised under all conditions and by all alike. Study of the Vedas (the revealed scriptures of the Hindus, containing the Upanishads), learning, austere penance and brilliant intellect are not needed for the attainment of bhakti or devotion. What is wanted is constant and loving remembrance of God, coupled with faith. That is the reason why the path of devotion is available for everyone.

Bhakti is easier than any other way of approach to God. In jnana (self-knowledge) and yoga, there is the risk of a fall. In the path of devotion, there is no risk as the devotee receives full support and help from God.

Friday, May 11, 2018

12 May

Intense Devotion

Bhakti is the slender silken thread of pure love that binds the heart of the devotee to the lotus feet of the Lord. Bhakti is the intense devotion and supreme attachment we feel for God. It is a spontaneous outpouring of love towards God. It is pure and unselfish.


Bhakti is sacred love. It is a higher emotion, with sublime sentiment, that unites the devotee with the Lord. It has to be experienced. Human love is hollow; it is mere animal attraction; it is passion; it is carnal love; it is selfish love. It is ever changing. It is all show and hypocrisy.


When the husband is unemployed, the wife no longer cares for him; she frowns at him. The husband dislikes his wife when she loses her beauty on account of some chronic disease. You can find real, lasting love in God alone. His love knows no change.


Bhakti is the basis of all religious life. Bhakti destroys vasanas (psychological tendencies) and egoism. A life without bhakti, faith, love and devotion is a dreary waste. Bhakti softens the heart and removes jealousy, hatred, lust, anger, egoism, pride and arrogance. Bhakti infuses joy, divine ecstasy, bliss, peace and knowledge.


All cares, worries, anxieties, fears, mental torment and tribulations vanish entirely. Then the devotee is freed from the wheel of birth and death. He attains the immortal abode of everlasting peace, bliss and knowledge.


In sakhamya (desire motivated) bhakti, the bhakta worships God for the sake of getting riches, for getting a son, or for the removal of suffering from a disease. In vyabhicharini (insincere) bhakti the devotee worships God for some time - then he worships his wife, children and property for some time.


To love God and God alone is avyabhicharini (sincere bhakti). Lord Krishna says: "I am not in my control. I am in the complete control of my bhaktas (devotees). They have taken entire possession of my heart. How can I leave them when they have taken entire possession of my heart? How can I leave them when they have renounced everything for my sake? He who seeks me in all things, and all things in me - to him I am never lost, nor he to me."

Thursday, May 10, 2018

11 May


God is Love

God is love. Love is God. God is nectar. God is prem. Bhakti is supreme love towards God. Bhakti is the greatest power on earth. It gushes from one's pure heart. It redeems and saves. It purifies the heart. Devotion is the seed. Faith is the root. Service of the saints is the shower. Communion with the Lord is the fruit.

Bhakti is of two kinds - apara bhakti (a lower type of devotion) and para bhakti (supreme love). Ringing bells and waving lights is apara bhakti. A devotee who practises this has no expanded heart, is a sectarian and dislikes other kinds of bhaktas who worship other deities. In para bhakti, there is no ritualistic worship, the devotee is absorbed in God. In supreme love the devotee forgets himself entirely; he only thinks thoughts of God. Para bhakti and jnana are one. In the end the two become one.

Bhakti grows gradually just as you grow a flower or a tree in a garden. Cultivate bhakti in the garden of your heart gradually. Faith is necessary for attaining God-realisation. Faith can work wonders. Faith can move mountains. Faith can take you to the inner chambers of the Lord where reason dare not enter.

Japa (repetition of God's name), kirtan (chanting), prayer, service of saints, study of books on bhakti all are aids to devotion. So too is satvic (pure) food such as fruit and milk, etc.

Evil company is the enemy of devotion. Give up evil company and take recourse to satsanga (or the company of saints). Pray to the Lord thus: "O adorable Lord of compassion and love! Give me faith and devotion. Let my mind be ever fixed on thy lotus feet. Let me have constant remembrance of thee. Let me sing thy glory always."

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A bhakta always does everything to please the Lord. He will abandon everything that displeases the Lord. Thus he corrects himself and removes all defects. He does not practise deliberate self-discipline like a yogi.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

10 May


Prema Yoga - 2

To define God is to deny God. You can give definition of a finite object only. How can you define the limitless or infinite being who is the source and ultimate cause for everything? If you define God you are limiting the limitless one, you are confining him within the concept of the mind. God is beyond the gross mind, but he can be realised through meditation with a pure, subtle and one-pointed mind.

Purity of food leads to purity of mind. This implies that all the objects which are grasped by the senses must be pure. The ears should hear the sublime utterances of Gita, Ramayana and the Bhagavatam, and the kirtans (hymns) of Lord Hari. Let your clothing be satvic (or pure). Let your speech be pure. Let your companions be satvic persons. Let the books you study be pure. Let the place you live in be satvic. Let the meditation room be decorated with satvic pictures of the Lord. Then only you will soon attain God consciousness. You will find in the Peace Chant these words: "O Gods! May we with our ears hear what is auspicious. O ye, fit to be worshipped, may we with our eyes see what is auspicious."

Without love a man's life is empty. Without love man lives in vain. Love is vital. Love is a great power. Give love and it shall be given unto you. Cultivate this love through service, japa (repetition of God's name), satsanga (holy company) and meditation. Strive ceaselessly to live in God, then only will you be able to conquer time or death.

God is always with you. He will protect and deliver you. Take refuge in him. His blessings will overflow in your life and will transform your mind and body. Develop your consciousness of spiritual things. Make a special effort daily to exercise control over your thoughts, words and actions. Feel his presence in your room. Pray daily. Meditate daily.

Friend! For a little while concentrate thy mind on the indweller of your heart. Abandon all worldly pleasure. Take to the path which is trodden by the righteous. Live on milk and fruits for a week. Endure cold and heat, hunger and thirst. Do not injure any creature to the slightest degree. Live a contented life. Regard applause and censure equally. Derive happiness from thy soul.