Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Sept.30.

September 30, 2008
Care for Prapancha with Mind Fixed on Rama

Try to satisfy everybody but keep your mind fixed on Rama. If we remember Rama and do our worldly activity, there will be no occasion for regret. Let God be a witness to actions. This is true paramartha. Conduct worldly matters with worldly wisdom; in paramartha, follow whatever the guru tells. It is Kaliyuga at present and naturally Kali is all-powerful, rampant. Naturally, there is a clamour of his sway all round us; however, you will escape unscathed if you keep your mind fixed on Rama.
Be cautious and alert in worldly matters, do not spare efforts. Remember Shrirama in the heart. Link your efforts with God. Do not waste time in pondering over whatever happened in the past, or worrying over the future; today, remember Shrirama and do your duty. If efforts alone could make the world happy, there would not have been any sorrow. Therefore, have God always as the base for your efforts. Dedicate everything to Him and do not worry about the outcome of your efforts. One who belongs to Rama and who has brought Rama in his house, will never have a losing business.
Take care of your worldly matters, be cautions in them; simultaneously, establish Rama in the heart, chant nama by the mouth, dedicate your body to Him; associate with saints; give food to everyone who visits you; this alone will lead to real spiritual success. The outer hard shell of a coconut is for the protection of the inner soft layer of the kernel; regard your body similarly, and have Shrirama in the heart.
Saints and sages tell us that it is possible with efforts to attain even God. Always remember this. But at the same time, remember that this is possible only for one who remembers God at the beginning itself. Therefore, constant remembrance of God is essential. While in His remembrance, do your duty, and this will lead to happiness. Therefore be alert and earnest in performing your duty, simultaneously do it unselfishly, without any expectation. So long as we are conscious of the body, the related worldly matters have to be attended to. Therefore, efforts should be undertaken as a duty; and leaving success or failure to God’s will. If one eschews doership, one will be free from pleasure and pain.

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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Sept.29

September 29, 2008
Prapancha is a Means; Paramartha is the Aim

Keep profound faith, ‘I am for Rama, not for prapancha.’ Do not say, ‘I live for myself’; say, ‘I live for Rama;’ then you will imbibe Rama’s virtues. We live for prapancha, so we imbibe its merits and demerits. Therefore, live for God. Prapancha is a means, paramartha is the aim. No one can escape prapancha. Sages, unlike us, however, utilize it to good, we don’t; therefore, we don’t succeed in paramartha.
There are three rare things; birth as a human; association with saints; and longing for liberation. Human life is meant for paramartha only, not for sense pleasures. There should be intense longing for paramartha and a purified heart. With these two, one will certainly meet Shrirama. If oil is not provided at intervals, a lamp gets extinguished. Continuous remembrance of God ensures proper burning of the spiritual lamp. Paramartha implies practical application. If interested in a pilgrimage, you must first leave home and start walking; certainly somebody will show the path; at least signboards are there. We don’t even make a start on the path of paramartha, then how shall one meet a guide? We will certainly meet a guru on the spiritual path. Therefore, let us begin with paramartha, maintaining constant remembrance of God.
Behaviour and thoughts should be in mutual unison. Whatever is read and understood from holy books should be practised at least to some extent. What is not understood will also slowly become clear later. The destination is not visible immediately on leaving the house. We reach it, step by step, following one road after another. Similarly, even if we don’t understand the teaching in a book entirely, let us act on whatever is understood. Have firm faith in the words of saints, sadguru and scriptures. Don’t ever allow confusion to enter the intellect. If this is followed, prapancha will be spiritualised. To say, ‘I belong to Rama’ is paramartha; to have ego is prapancha. Mixing ego in paramartha is prapancha; eliminate ego in prapancha and it becomes paramartha. We supply the tree of prapancha with the water of ego, therefore it grows into a huge size. The root cause, ego, should be destroyed. While the real doer is God, the jeeva unjustifiably regards himself as the doer. The real upasana is in the growth of the feeling, ‘Rama alone is the doer, not I’.
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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Sept 28

September 28, 2008
Pride Dissolves with Awareness of God

He is a true mystic who performs his duties in a householder’s life without pride and attachment. The life of the householder will be happy if pride is discarded. Never insist, ‘What I say shall be done.’ A building with pride as its foundation is bound to be shaky. Pride is related to the body and subjects connected with it. Pride should be uprooted by eliminating the ‘body-am-I’ idea. Logically, we accept the body not to be ours, but constant association develops love for it. Once love is developed, pride follows. Closely behind, avarice, anger, etc. are bound to arrive. Pride implies doership. Why can’t we work in practical life without pride?
Our mind and body are closely related. But the body being perishable, is not that important. A strong, fat body alone is of no use; our mind must be trained. Once it consciously accepts the concept ‘I belong to God,’ it is possible to become prideless. Try always to remain in devotion to God; pride dare not touch you. Earnestly pray God with tears in eyes, surrender to Him; then God will definitely shower His grace on you. We should know our limitations. As long as we feel that a certain thing should be done in a particular way, we must make all possible effort for it; however, we must leave its fruit to the will of God and remain contented in whatever happens.
Our mind should be kept pure, taintless. When we go to bed we should honestly, frankly introspect, ‘Do I envy or hate anybody?’. If the answer is in the affirmative we must remove the feeling, even by force if necessary; even a small trace will be an obstacle in the spiritual progress. We should be able to say firmly, ‘I do not envy anybody.’ Our mind should be so pure and straight that we should not allow even the idea that someone envies us. Why will it not be possible for us to merge with God by constant awareness ‘I belong to God, not to this body’? He alone is really enlightened, who is filled, in and out, with God or His knowledge. He alone is a true sadhaka maintaining true awareness, and really liberated, whose mind is pervaded by God’s remembrance, just as consciousness pervades the entire body.

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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Sept.27.

September 27, 2008
Remembrance is an Action

It is true that the guru should do everything; and that he unfailingly does. But we should examine if we are really worthy disciples. What else is required to transcend body-consciousness, except to abide by the word of the guru? If I reflect on the thought, ‘I am not the body’ I shall sometime transcend body-consciousness. Alternatively, I say, ‘God is mine.’ so that I forget body-consciousness.
I tell you on the authority of Samartha Ramadas, ‘take care of your moral discipline, and whatever be the circumstances, do not forget nama.’ He is a real devotee who says, ‘Whatever I do is for God.’ One has to become an excellent devotee for elimination of doership. To aspire for nothing other than God is the sign of an excellent devotee. That obstacle which holds God off from us is a true obstacle. That period which is spent in the remembrance of God is a happy period. Remembrance is an action and forgetting is a natural impulse. Remembrance is like an offering to the fire, and anhilitating ego is a complete final offering. The impulse must be submerged with God. We instinctively remember sense pleasures as they have taken complete possession of us. But remembering God has to be intentional. It is not so easy but not so difficult either. It is possible for human beings to do it.
Devotion to God is naturally achievable. It can be achieved by constant awareness of God. This awareness must be consciously maintained; then experience will come early. A sentry on duty is vigilant; similarly, if awareness of God is maintained consciously, worldly desires will be destroyed. There should not be the least slackness in this awareness; else desires will get an opportunity, like a thief.
Fever gives a bitter taste to the mouth, which remains even with rubbing sugar on. The bitter sense disappears only when fever is gone. Similarly, the sense of pain and sorrow leaves us only when we have unbroken awareness of God. So free yourself from the attachment to prapancha, then alone you will really enjoy family life. Just as a lamp kept on the threshold lights both sides, awareness of God throws light on paramartha as well as prapancha. Keeping God at the base of our attention towards prapancha is awareness of God or anusandhana.
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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Sept.26

September 26, 2008
Forgetting God is Suicide

Once a person started a school for teaching how to prepare different recipes. There he used to explain with oral description, the procedures for these preparations. But his students could not get even enough flour for their bread; what use could they make of this knowledge? The wordy knowledge of vedanta is similar. A man who only studies vedanta merely academically, without applying it in practical life, does not benefit from it. Knowledge which is not applicable in practice, is not useful to us, even though it may be true. In fact, a thing which is very easy to practise is very difficult to explain, it is to be known by experience only. He may be considered as incomplete whose experience is dependent on others.
The difference between us and saints is that we consider that God is for the world, while saints consider that the world is for God. When the mixture of two substances brings taste, both the substances should be considered as incomplete. In this world, God alone is complete in all respects; to forget Him is suicide. So we should try to remain in His association, that is, in nama. This is the essence of all keertanas, only the exposition is different.
Shri Rama told all the monkeys to search for Seeta. Everyone left, saying ‘yes’. But Maruti, who was very intelligent, asked how to recognize Seeta. Shrirama tried to describe her in different ways, told him that she was very beautiful. But Maruti, a confirmed bachelor, did not know what a beautiful woman looked like! Finally Rama said, ‘You don’t seem to understand what I say; now you remember only one thing; where you hear the constant sound of my nama, there she must be.’ Maruti could easily understand this. One who understands the sign of nama, has his life fulfilled, his paramartha is fruitful, and for him nothing remains to be achieved in this world. The devotion of Maruti was really great! Shrirama felt that he will not be satisfied unless he is given something permanent or ‘chiranjeeva’; He therefore gave him his own name, which is chiranjeeva. With that name Maruti became chiranjeeva or deathless. In this Kaliyuga, God Himself manifests, not in a physical form, but in nama, which alone is truly the saviour.

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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Sept.25

September 25, 2008
How to Maintain Unbroken Awareness of God

God has gifted us with intellect and we use it for our work; this means that God himself gets the work done by us. With the faith that everything happens only by His inspiration, you develop love for God. Do everything for God and you will not be affected with sin or merit.
Once Kabeer had some guests. There was nothing in the house. Tradition requires guests to be regarded as God. So Kabeer stole just enough grain to feed them. Stealing is a crime; but, in stealing for God, there is no sin. Remembering God, at least after a deed and dedicating it to Him, will reduce pride and develop love for God.
Resolve firmly, ‘I belong to God and not to the world.’ This resolution should be as firm as the conviction that, I am a human being. This, however, may be difficult to achieve. The next, simpler way is to maintain the faith in the heart that whatever is happening is according to the inspiration, power, and will of God. If this also is not possible, maintain unbroken remembrance of God by chanting nama aloud by tongue. In this process of awareness the mind is constantly attached to God. At present we are going in the opposite direction. We physically worship God, go for pilgrimages, etc; but our mind is attached to prapancha.
A daughter-in-law labours hard for everybody in the family, but in her heart she is for her husband alone. Similarly, we should do everything required for everybody in the family, but in the mind constantly maintain the awareness, ‘I belong to Rama’. When we enter a train, various things may happen, we may have to stand, we meet a variety of people; but later, we forget all this in the happiness of reaching our destination. Similarly, our aim is God, and we remain in His awareness; the difficulties in the worldly life get only transitory importance. Nama should be chanted for His grace, and not for fulfillment of worldly desires. Nama alone will help us attain the aim.
Like God, we should be aloof from prapancha while being in it. Learn to look at the body as a detached spectator. If this is not possible, while attending to the worldly affairs, maintain constant awareness of God. You may forget what you have read, seen, or done, but the awareness of God firmly held in the heart will never be forgotten.
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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Sept.24

September 24, 2008
Mutual Behaviour in the Family

In this human life, one should do appropriate duty towards others. There should be perfect harmony in the house. The young should not find faults with elders. Children should follow the righteous behaviour of the father, this enhances the reputation of the family. The elder members, on retirement, should regard themselves as the servants of God. A wife should have no other deity than the husband. All should stick to the name of God. He who behaves according to his inherent normal nature in his youth, can easily do so in his old age; his old age will not at all be painful to him. We behave unnaturally, that is, with attachment; in old age our capacity for work gets reduced, but attachment remains unchanged, and that becomes the root cause of trouble. The person who is free from attachment and insistence in his old age, will be liked by others, in spite of his bodily weakness. His hearing may be impaired, his eyesight may get affected, he may not be able to recollect past events, his sleep may diminish; in spite of all this, none may feel like avoiding him, and he himself will not be tired of life. How splendid it will be if our ego melts away in old age! There will be no sorrow if the feeling of doership is absent and the tendency, ‘but I tell you this’ is eliminated.
Everybody in the family should introspect, find out his own defects, and try to eliminate them. The age between sixteen and twenty-five years is a period of growth of intellect. For its proper growth, some regulation is necessary. The best regulation is to obey the parents; because they don’t have any motive except the welfare of the children. How can we hope to learn everything in the world by self-experience? Therefore we should certainly benefit from the experience of our parents. Not that our parents will not err sometimes, for to err is human. But their error will not do permanent damage to us because they have only our well-being at their heart. No one can foretell whose good luck brings a good period to the family; therefore, never feel despaired.
The greater the righteous deed, the greater are the obstacles. Constant remembrance of God is the greatest righteous deed. We should therefore resolutely and with a doubt-free mind chant nama and live in its joy.
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Shri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Sept.23

September 23, 2008
Words of Scriptures, of Saints, and Self-searching

Once Uddhava requested Shrikrishna, ‘You Yourself tell us how shall we attain You.’ Shrikrishna told him, ‘You will be able to attain me by devotion alone’. There are three-fold means of devotion; words of the scriptures, words of the saints (or seniors), and inward search by oneself.
Everything has become topsy-turvy these days. We have become so ‘learned’ that we are ashamed of putting faith in scriptures. Similarly, when the son is even a little more educated than his father, he thinks, “Why should I obey this ignorant father? What shall I gain by that? ” The same is with our search. What is our research? Where did Pandavas reside? Where was Rama born? Where did the Mahabharata war take place? Now tell me, what shall we gain by this research? A professor once told me, ‘ I have researched a lot into Shrikrishna’s life and now I am sure of the places of His birth and death.’ What they are doing may be all right, but saints did not feel the need of being certain of Shrikrishna’s birthplace. They made Shrikrishna their own by intense devotion to Him. Really speaking, with the earnest devotion Shrikrishna must be born in our heart itself; that is His real birth-place.
If we examine our behaviour and the thoughts in our mind, we shall be sure that people will not like even to look at us, if they are aware of our mind; in spite of this we are proud of our thoughts and research! Shall we attain love for God with this kind of knowledge? There is no need for someone else to tell us about our spiritual progress. We know about it fully well. Deep-rooted pride, no control over thoughts, laziness in spiritual discipline; with all this, how shall we attain God’s love? Saints have prescribed only one remedy for this, and that is total surrender to God. With an earnest supplication, say to Shri Rama, ‘Rama, I am now Yours; whatever happens henceforth, I shall regard it as Your will. I shall try my utmost to chant Your name; kindly accept me as Yours.’ How compassionate God really is! Swallowing hundreds of offences, and wrong actions of people, He is ever ready to help those who surrender to Him. So concentrate on nama and forget your existence as a ‘body’.

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Shri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Sept.22

September 22, 2008
Devotion is only Intense Love for God

In a big machine, when one wheel turns, all other wheels start their motions, slow or fast according to their assigned functions. Our mind also works similarly. When one faculty of the mind starts functioning, all other faculties also begin to function. It is very difficult to control the mind; that is possible only for a great man. Mercury is visible if kept before you, but you cannot strike it with a stick. Similarly, you can feel the existence of the mind but can’t control it. Therefore you should surrender to God. You have to clean the mirror when it becomes dirty. Cleaning of the mind requires some discipline. Very tasty condiments are prepared by properly mixing correct quantities of chillies, salt, pepper etc. For the attainment of God, three items are required, namely, good behaviour, purity of mind and chanting of nama. Good behaviour implies honesty, righteous actions, and moral behaviour; purity of mind implies non-existence of pride, envy or hatred and praying God for every one’s happiness; chanting of nama implies not forgetting God even for a moment. A wife need not forsake nama though her husband may dislike God; it does not amount to disloyalty to him.
Stray thoughts arising in the mind obstruct love for nama; the remedy is not to pay attention to them. One police officer was very efficient in apprehending thieves. He used to find out the woman whose house the thief frequented and saw to it that the woman betrayed the thief. Similarly, find out where our mind gets attached, and place God there; with this you can certainly control your mind. There are two ways to regulate mind; Patanjal Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. The former consists of regulation of diet and physical activity and control of sense organs. Bhakti implies intense love for God. The means for creating such love consists of chanting of nama, propagating His praise and stories, association with saints and the most important, the grace of a sadguru. Actions in forgetfulness of God are bad actions. Make it a habit to utter nama whenever you eat or drink anything. Do not deviate from remembrance of God under any circumstances. Whoever conducts his family life in the remembrance of God, will have his pride destroyed, and he will be blessed with contentment and happiness.

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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Sept.-21

September 21, 2008

Mind Reading should Begin from One’s Own Self.

It is no great art or acquisition to be able to read the mind of others. If your mind is in tune with that of the other person, you can read his mind; but this will be possible only if your mind is pure. There is a certain discipline, for achieving this. So long as this discipline is practised this power exists. When it stops the power is lost. One who uses such power commercially, need not necessarily be graced by God; and it is worthless if God’s grace is not there.
It is not essential to know each other’s language for knowing the mind. Suppose a beggar from a different region comes to your door-step and sings in his language. You cannot understand his song, but you certainly understand that he is begging. Similarly, one may understand the broad outline of the thoughts in the other person’s mind. It does not matter if the actual meaning of the words is not understood. If the listener comes with a keen interest, he automatically understands the essence of the speech. However, if the listener is not keen, then in spite of the clarity of the speaker, he does not really understand. Philosophical thought is eternal, never-changing. It has to be expounded in different languages according to the needs of place and time. Suppose we are travelling in a train. We remain on our seat but are moving with the train continuously. Similarly, if we stick to God, we shall reach our destination.
The lesson to learn from Rama’s life is that while in this human body, you should do your duty properly in respect of everyone. Stand before Rama and tell Him, ‘I am doing such and such a thing;’ and then do it. Remember God while doing the work. You will then feel contented. If you remember, ‘whatever I do is due to the grace of God,’ how can pride grow? Focus the searchlight inwardly on yourself. Find out where you have gone wrong. Don’t learn logic and become merely argumentative. Do not scrutinize the sayings of saints, for they are based on their personal experience. Their advice is in very straight-forward language. People start their scrutiny from the question, whether God exists or not; they get confused; and ultimately their progress is thwarted. Scrutiny must be done accepting God as a fact.
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