Tuesday, December 10, 2019

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.

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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.

Monday, December 9, 2019

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.

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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.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

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.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

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 guruparampara - 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. Sankara was standing on the bank of the river and Padmapada was standing on the other bank. Sankara 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.

Friday, December 6, 2019

7 December

Mumukshutva

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!

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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!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

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.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

5 December

Such is the Mind

There is no limit to the power of the human mind. The more concentrated it is, the more power is brought to bear on one point. You are born to concentrate the mind on God after collecting the mental rays that are dissipated on various objects. That is your important duty. You forget the duty on account of moha (attachment) to the family, children, name and fame, money, power and position.

Mind is compared to quicksilver, because its rays are scattered over various objects. It is compared to a monkey, because it jumps from one object to another. It is compared to moving air, because it is restless. It is compared to a furious elephant, because of its passionate impetuosity.

Mind is known by the name 'great bird', because it jumps from one object to another just as a bird jumps from one twig to another, from one tree to another. Raja yoga teaches us how to concentrate the mind and then how to ransack the innermost recess of our mind.

Concentration is opposed to sensuous desires, as is bliss to flurry and worry, sustained thinking to perplexity, applied thinking to sloth and torpor, rapture to ill-will.

So long as the thoughts of one are not thoroughly destroyed through persistent practice, he should ever be concentrating his mind on one truth at a time. Through such unremitting practice, one-pointedness of the mind will accrue and instantly all the hosts of thoughts will vanish.

To remove this tossing of the mind and various obstacles which stand in the way of one-pointedness of the mind, the practice of concentration on one thing alone should be made.
The more the mind is fixed on God, the more strength you will acquire. More concentration means more energy. Concentration opens the inner chambers of love or the realm of eternity. Concentration is a source of spiritual strength.

Fix the mind on the Atman. Fix the mind on the all-pervading pure intelligence and self-luminous effulgence. Stand firm in Brahman. Then you will become 'Brahma-Samastha' (established in Brahman).

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

4 December

Balance of Mind

Samadhana is mental balance. There is perfect concentration now. This is the fruit of the practices of sama (control of mind), dama (control of the senses), uparati (turning away), titiksha (endurance) and shraddha (faith). It is fixing the mind on Atman (Self) without allowing it to run towards objects and have its own way. It is self-settledness. Sri Shankaracharya defines in "Atma-Anatma Viveka": "Whenever a mind engaged in shravana (hearing) and the rest wanders to any worldly object or desire, and finding it worthless, returns to the performance of the three exercises - such returning is called samadhana." 

The mind is free from anxiety amid pains. There is indifference amid pleasures. There is stability of mind or mental poise. The aspirant or practitioner lives without attachment. He neither likes nor dislikes. He has a great deal of strength of mind and internal peace. He has unruffled supreme peace of mind.

Some aspirants have peace of mind when they live in seclusion, when there are no distracting elements or factors. They complain of great tossing of mind (vikshepa) when they come to a city, when they mix with people. They are completely upset. They cannot do any meditation in a crowded place. This is a weakness. This is not achievement in samadhana. There is no balance of mind or equanimity in these persons. Only when a student can keep his balance of mind even in a battlefield when there is a shower of bullets all round, as he does in a solitary cave in the Himalayas, can he be really said to be fully established in samadhana.

Lord Krishna says in the Gita: "Perform all actions, O Dhananjaya, dwelling in union with the divine, renouncing attachments, and balanced evenly in success and failure." This is samadhana. Again you will find in the Gita: "The disciplined self, moving among the sense objects with senses freed from attraction and repulsion, mastered by the self, goeth to peace." This is also samadhana.

Monday, December 2, 2019

3 December

Faith Versus Reason

Faith is first and reason is second. Faith is life and doubt is death. Reason is powerless to know God. Faith alone takes one to God. He who has faith has everything. He who has no faith has nothing. Have intense, unswerving faith - in the measure in which you have faith, you will achieve.

Faith brings God closer and reason puts Him far away. Faith is not blind belief - it grows out of the wisdom of the heart. Do total surrender to the Lord - keep nothing back, not even a little pride. Surrender yourself and your all to the Lord.

Say to the Lord: "O Lord! Give me only that which is best for me, because only you know what that is." A life of faith and devotion and of absolute faith in the name of the Lord will always be successful in the long run. Through love, faith and devotion alone is God-realisation possible.

Prayer releases God's power. It should consist of confession, praise and petition. Prayer is a spiritual tonic - it purges the mind of all its impurities - such as desire, attachment, anger, lust, etc. It also strengthens a man's aspiration and brings him closer to God. It brings him into the presence of God.

Pray to the Lord for strength and help as soon as you get out of bed in the morning. Satsanga (the company of holy men), faith, single-minded devotion to one's ideal, intense love for God, bhava (feeling), and prema (divine love) bring the devotee face to face with God.

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Trust in the Lord with all thy heart. Acknowledge him in all thy ways. He will direct thy spiritual path. God helps the sincere aspirant at every step. God will help you too. He will bless you, inspire you and throw light upon the path. Never mind about the external environments. Create your own internal environments, wherever you are.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

2 December

Faith is the Greatest Thing

Faith is shraddha. Faith is the greatest thing in the world. Even the greatest philosopher has faith as his stronghold. No intellectualism can prove good if it is unsupported by faith. The whole world stands on faith, is guided by faith.

Religion has faith as its root. One cannot prove God if he has no faith in God. And this faith is the outcome of samskaras (past mental impressions). Faith is guided by impressions of actions done in previous births.

Blind faith should be turned into rational faith through understanding. Bhakti (devotion) is the development of faith. Jnana (self-knowledge) is the development of bhakti. Faith leads to the final experience. Whatever a person strongly believes in, that he experiences and that he becomes.

This whole world is a product of faithful imagination. If you have no faith in the world, the world does not exist. If you have no faith in sensual pleasure, you will not get pleasure from sensual objects. If you have no faith in God, you will never reach perfection. Wrong faith can even turn existence into non-existence. Faith is the fundamental necessity for spiritual sadhana (practice).

Aspiration is a development of faith. The flame of faith burns as the conflagration of spiritual aspiration for moksha (liberation). The devotee longs to have union with the beloved - he has no sleep, no rest. He always contemplates how to attain the object of his love. He prays, he sings, he gets mad with his Lord. Divine madness overtakes the devotee and he completely loses his personality in the aspiration for attaining God. This is called self-surrender.

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You must have an ideal to live for - otherwise you will be heedless, depressed and negative. Understand well before you take a step. Have a clear-cut ideal and then have right attempt. Faith in God, faith in oneself, faith in the guru (preceptor), faith in the wise teachings, faith in all that is good and noble - this is the sap of life.