Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Oct.22.

October 22, 2008
-Namasmarana, Morality, Love of God at Heart

One who has nama on his lips certainly has Rama in his heart; I look on him as Rama Himself. Life is definitely incomplete until we enrich it with God. Let us not be slaves of prapancha, but let us live as its masters. How can a slave ever be contented? Pleasure is given by others, but contentment is a state of one’s own mind; it is not dependent on others. It cannot be given by one to another, nor can it be derived from another person or thing or circumstance. It can only exist where desire is absent; one who lives for God can alone be free from desire.
I never ask you to quit worldly life, because I am convinced, that is not the way to attain spiritual progress and God. One can do with it as well as without it. What is essential is an attitude of contentment. Keep nama constantly on the lips, observe strict morality in your behaviour with others, and bear love of God at heart. Love will be able to achieve what no other means can. Bear love for God similar to what you bear for your parents, or your children.
Let alone Jnyaneshwar, for he is in a class by himself, being a very repository of the highest knowledge; in fact, he was God incarnate; but what erudition did Saint Tukaram have, except intense love? That was so strong that it still induces lakhs of people to go to Pandharpur to have darshan of Vithoba. Learn to love God with corresponding intensity. Let the conduct of the entire household be such that everyone learns to love God. See that mutual talk is always, soft and sweet like butter. This will be easy, natural, if everyone is genuinely selfless. Even rebukes will be couched in sweet words. Financially the house may be modest, but it will be replete with contentment and happiness. True, selfless love for God will be the mutual bond. Such love will never ask for anything. When a thief asks for success in a theft attempt, he is doing nothing worse than a man asking for something for his prapancha, for neither is asking for pure love for God. Remember, there is no sin greater than forgetting God. So let us always remain in nama, simultaneously discharging our duties conscientiously.

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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Oct.21

October 21, 2008
We Ascribe Unknown Conditions to Destiny

The difference between man and other animals is that man has the capacity to fix the goal for himself, despite external circumstances. Both have to go through the destined pleasure and pain; only, a man who has God to back him can alter their timing. The law of destiny applies equally to the individual and to the world.
It will not be possible unconcernedly to leave the body to bear its destined pleasure or pain unless you quit the idea that whatever you earn is the proper reward of your own effort. If, however, you assign to God everything you possess, the action will go on as normal, without giving rise to a sense of doership.
There are things for which we can point out the cause; and there are many whose cause we are unable to trace. In the latter case we ascribe them to ‘destiny.’ ‘Destiny,’ then, may be defined as matters for which we cannot ascribe a plausible cause. Even saints have to bear the effects of destiny, but they care nought for them because they are able to face both pleasure and pain equably. If an illness comes, one should not neglect to take proper medicine but bear the pain cheerfully. A person having some divine or occult power, should not use his power to cure or to evade anybody’s illness. It may give some celebrity to the person who performs such acts, but it is not in the interest of the person making use of such powers, nor of the one who avails himself of it. Suppose a person comes across a high value currency note lying in the street; that is destiny; but it is his volition whether or not to pick it up and pocket it; destiny does not dictate this. So, it is in our hands to regulate the mental response. Even God has the same law to face when He assumes a tangible form.
Improvement even in the congenital nature of a person is possible if he strives for it. For spiritual progress purity of heart is necessary. Just as farmland has to be cultivated before sowing, all pollution of the heart must be cleared before God can enter and reside in it. Once it is so purified, it is comparatively easy to maintain constant awareness of God. So aim at doing this, and let other things conduce to it. For this everyone should chant nama and live happily, without worrying.
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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Oct.20

October 20, 2008
Pleasure and Sorrow Vanish with Dedication

The saints advise us to dedicate ourselves whole-heartedly to God. They also tell us how to dedicate. When beginning any action, first think of God; and throughout the course of the effort, keep thinking of Him; thereby the entire action will automatically become dedicated to Him. Go in utter surrender to Him or to the sadguru: that is all you need to do. Good inclinations, good qualities or bad passions, whatever you have, dedicate yourself to Rama with them. A son born to a king automatically becomes heir to the throne. Similarly if you throw yourself on Rama’s mercy, you will escape the clutches of passions and sense-attractions. Take the usual precautions in your worldly transactions, but give your heart to Rama. Think not of anything else; then He is bound to shower mercy on you. If you dedicate yourself to Him body and soul, where is the reason to fear death?
Never, for a moment, lose sight of the fact that God is omnipresent, omniscient; never cease chanting nama; always keep God in your thought: this is the sadhana for paramartha. Do what is necessary in life, but never allow yourself to get attached anywhere. Live your life but as a guest, with only that much concern for anything or any person. The tangible world is always oriented towards carnal pleasures; let your mind not get entangled there. Let the body do its tasks in the world, but the mind should be fixed on Rama. Just as an avaricious man goes through all his tasks but his mind is riveted on money, so go about your worldly business with due precautions but let the mind concern itself only with Rama. The mind fails in concentrating on Rama because it has distractions in the form of sense–considerations, just a as bird flies high in the sky without taking its mind off its nest. So devote your mind to what, by its very nature, is steady, immoveable, unchangeable.
Be ever alert lest you allow God to be out of sight. Worldly life should be treated as a duty; it never can yield true happiness. Serve Rama as an end in itself, never as a means for some other object. Be properly alert in everything, but as a custodian, never as a proprietor. This applies even to your family, nearest kith and kin. This is paramartha.

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SRI MAHARAJ’S PRAVACHAN-OCT.19

October 19, 2008
The True Object of the Samskaras

The various samskaras prescribed by our religion are intended to mould the mind and direct thought and action properly. Samskaras should, as far as possible, be in accordance with the shastras. Whenever the shastra’s provisions cannot be complied with, recourse should be taken to nama-smarana, because, after all, the object is to strengthen faith.
The main object of our samskaras is to ensure that we follow what is good for us, and avoid what is not wholesome. This, naturally involves certain restrictions, some discipline, for the individual. No society can exist or sustain itself without discipline; it is foolish to advocate the abolition of restrictions. Restrictions have supreme importance, for it is these that have sustained our religion through the ages. At present we find religious restrictions being disregarded wholely. In the past people respected religion, and minds were generally at peace. The world today boasts of many gadgets and amenities but mankind has forfeited peace of mind because life is divorced from religion.
Some people advocate a change in the moral code to bring it in line with the current state of social behaviour. Spiritualism, on the other hand, affirms that the moral code ever remains unchanged; instead of seeking to adapt it, the individual should adapt himself to those unchangeable standards. A society may base its structure on intellectual standards, another on financial standards; but that society alone will afford real contentment to the individual which is founded on true religion. The very function of religion is to provide order; religion holds society together through the samskaras.
Many of us may plead that though they sincerely desire to attain God, the world puts obstructions in their path; they feel so because their relations with the world involve selfish interests. They cannot afford to disregard the world. They cannot behave selflessly. They should first learn to deal with everybody without any selfish consideration. This calls for control over the mind, and this can be acquired by practising nama-smarana. We can justify God’s grace in granting us human life, by remembering Him in all actions. He who sincerely yearns for the removal of obstructions in the approach to God, may rest assured that he is on the right track.
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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan. Oct 18.

October 18, 2008
Means of Attaining God

God is hidden to us behind the screen of individual consciousness; we become one with Him as soon as this screen is removed. There are different means, or sadhanas, for removing it; the path of action, of yoga, etc. These are rather laborious to practise and may, sometimes, strengthen the screen instead of tearing it down. The path of devotion, however, is easier, more congenial. It consists in going in utter surrender to Him, simultaneously emptying oneself of pride of individuality, to belong to God, to see God in everything, and to see nothing but Him in anything. The means to achieve this position of devotion is to ascribe all doership to God, to think that everything happens as He desires it, and to dedicate every action to Him. This is the quickest way to destroy egoism. Alternatively, abide strictly by the instructions of the sadguru, setting aside all ego and so-called wisdom, and without demur. The least one can do is merely to live with him, in his company. Listening to his talk, observing every action of his, gradually consume all ego.
There are two ways of creating and imbibing a spirit of devotion. One is kind of recklessness with oneself: to divest oneself of everything, including clothing, and donning only a loin-cloth, and sitting down in a sort of satyagraha to meet God. This, however, is difficult for the common man. The other, easier way, is to create intense love or devotion by constant companionship: to read about His virtues, to listen to other devotees’ panegyrics, to visit temples and see His idols, to do everything for Him, in His remembrance. Such constant company with Him eventually kindles intense love or devotion.
Devotion with an ulterior mundane object cannot be called genuine devotion. True devotion must be for its own sake. If I do something to gratify the senses, it becomes devotion to the senses, not to God, and I then become a slave to my senses. How can I enjoy sense-pleasures in a state of slavery to them? True enjoyment can only be as a master. The pleasure derived from God and the saints transcends all other pleasures. To beg mere sense-pleasures of them is like begging a king for an alms-cloth. Asking for anything in return amounts to spurning God for limited objects. So the aim of human life should be nothing less than attainment of God.
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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Oct.17

October 17, 2008
Single-Minded Love Gives Rise to Devotion

True devotion can only exist for God. One who has it will be distinguished by a divine attitude to the whole creation, just as a person who regularly goes to a gymnasium can be distinguished by well-formed muscles. If we are interested in scholarship, we should associate with the learned; so, too, if we are interested in devotion and pure, permanent bliss, we must associate with God Who is the object of pure devotion and the repository of sheer bliss.
To see the whole creation as a manifestation of God is the culmination of devotion. This calls for single-minded love of God; indeed, single-minded love is termed devotion. And what is single-mindedness but the conviction that God is the sole support? God has Himself said in the Bhagavadgeeta, that devotion is the only means to attain Him. Just as nama-smarana is impossible if God is forgotten, devotion or single-minded love is impossible if pride of individuality is retained.
Suppose a young man gets married today. He was a celibate yesterday, and becomes a householder today. Despite the change in social status, his other individual functions, such as eating, breathing, etc., continue unaffected. Similarly, even if we change our allegiance over to God, our other activities of life continue unaffected.
Every occurrence in life should be narrated to Him as to a confidant. In order to maintain the feeling that God is present always and everywhere, inform Him of every movement you make, every action you undertake. Such love will enable you to realize Him, and gradually annihilate desire of certain fruit for an action. The ‘body-am-I’ conviction grew upon us by our sense of identity with the body; in a similar way, the ‘I-am-He’ conviction will come as we think, keep aware more and more of Him. For this, it is necessary to think of Him as similar to us in general form and attributes, that is, saguna. Just as we have to walk along the road in order to reach our home, we have to go through saguna upasana in order to realize the true, attributeless God. Saguna upasana is, in other words, to attribute all doership to Him; this is true devotion. Say to God, ‘I shall be happy to accept whatever it pleases you to give’ and when about to do anything, ask yourself,’ Will God approve of this?’
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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Oct.16

October 16, 2008
Slander and Pride Keep Man Away from God

There is no sin greater than calumniating others. It is a pernicious practice that harms both the slanderer and the slandered. It is the object of the former to cause pain to the latter who usually is not within earshot. What, then, is the gain? Slandering pollutes the slanderer’s mind. It is a polluted mind that seeks pleasure in calumny. So one who seeks or finds pleasure in calumny may safely conclude that he is quite far from God. Indeed, it is a safe guess that the degree to which one indulges in calumny is an index to one’s distance from God. So whoever cares for his own true interest should eschew slander and devote his tongue to chanting nama. A sincere sadhaka should always remember that when he sees a fault in another person, he has in himself the same fault in some degree; so he should make an effort to uproot it from his own mind and plant nama in its place.
Often a person is aware of his shortcoming, aware also that it is a hindrance on the path to God, but is powerless to eradicate it. Some, for instance, have an evil eye, and if they see a good thing, even admire it, that thing will, in some way, suffer or go bad. At such times it is often futile for the person to try to cure himself of it; the company of a godly person may bring about a cure.
Scholastic achievement often draws a person away from God. An unlettered but devout pilgrim may, with his implicit faith, realize God, whereas an erudite person may read tomes about paramartha and may remain a Doubting Thomas. A man may store bagfuls of almonds, dates, and such other things in his house, but what is their use unless the tonic things are eaten, digested, and go to form blood and sinews? Similarly, what is the use of merely reading learned books unless their teaching is assimilated and brought into day-to-day practice?
God cannot be attained by mere physical toil or austerity; so do not undertake laborious activities for the purpose. What is wanted is sincere, selfless, intense love, and any effort made out of love is soon forgotten. Be brimful with love for God, and for mankind; you will then lose yourself in the flood of love which you find filling all creation.

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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan.Oct 15

October 15, 2008
Humility is the Gateway to God

Nama-smarana should be completely without pride, in utter submission to God. One has to be specially cautious in this regard, because it is most likely that a seeker may well develop a self-righteous pride of sadhana, rendering sadhana fruitless. When going to a saint, we should completely vacate the mind of all thoughts except that of God and love for Him. On the other hand, we carry with us loving ideas about prapancha, and self-righteous pride; the saint’s guidance then becomes blurred and illegible, like over-writing.
We think of ways to obtain a thing only after first feeling that we want it. Similarly, we should first feel the need for God. Then we look for ways to attain Him. This calls for mental effort; for instance, the effort to suppress anger calls for more courage and control on the mind than giving vent to it. But the resultant bliss makes it all worthwhile. We should be very cautious in our behaviour and talk, to avoid the undesirable.
Utter surrender needs neither money nor learning; we only need to give up pride. God can be easily attained by one with a spirit of humility. One who thinks nothing of oneself, even if his real worth is high, will find it easier to attain God. What is wanted is a determined mind. We should have open dealings, open-hearted talk, and think or do nothing that we would be ashamed for God to see. Our whole behaviour should tend to generate increasing desire to seek God, to yearn for Him. For this to come about, we should always keep the mind immersed in nama. We may be worldly to all appearances, though in the heart of hearts we should belong to God. This attitude to life will help very much in spiritual pursuit.
A person enticed by pleasures and convenience of the body is evidently oblivious of God. But one who vigilantly maintains constant awareness of the presence of God has no regard for worldly greatness. Hankering after money and popular applause leads one away from God. We must not fall into their snare. In worldly life we cannot help coming in contact with them. One who yearns for the love of God should realize their strength and weakness and employ them with proper regard to them, so as to escape their pitfalls. You can attain Rama only by surrendering to Him completely.
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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Oct 14

October 14, 2008
One who Endears Himself to God is Loved by all

Some people feel that God should endow them with some special capacities to enable them to do some public good. But why desire that the good should happen through a particular individual? Does it not mean that the ‘body-am-I’ feeling is fully operating in the particular individual? God may so endow persons who can wield such capacities. What is the wisdom of handing a sword to a young person who has neither the requisite capacity nor discretion? You feel that people should respectfully listen to what you preach, although you have no proper control over anger, perhaps, or other mental reactions. First master your own mind, and then think of giving guidance to others. Do you want to be popular among your brethren? Then first endear yourself to the King of Kings. People may seem to be in dire need of being improved, but do not rush headlong into the task. Remember you have enough evil in you if you see evil in others, and so you have a need first to improve yourself; you will thereby cease to see faults in others.
Little girls play at home-making with dolls and a wendy-house. They feed the dolls and lull them to sleep. In the heart of hearts, they know that the dolls are lifeless. Why don’t you similarly imagine that God and you converse with each other? As your sentiment deepens, you will find that God and the conversation assume reality. Relate yourself to God in some way or other. Since our entire life is in His hands, the individual happenings must be so.
We often perform ‘sattvic’ acts, but bear pride for them. Sattvic actions are certainly highly commendable, but it is highly harmful to feel pride for them. Indeed, even bad actions are preferable, because there is a possibility of regret and repentance being felt for them some time or other. But where is the chance for removal of pride for sattvic acts? Suppose a man helps a friend or relative, and the obligee later says, ‘After all, he helped me because he could afford to, so it is hardly any special goodness on his part,’ and the obliging man feels hurt; does it not indicate a latent pride in him? Why should he feel hurt, instead of feeling that it is God’s favour that he had the capacity, the opportunity, to make himself useful? So it is best to ascribe everything to God.
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Sri Maharaj’s Pravachan-Oct.13.

October 13, 2008
Faith Should be Unshakably Firm

There are more things in heaven and earth than we know of, but that is no reason to deny their existence. We go about with pride for our scant knowledge, and that is where we err. If we allow ourselves to be proud of the knowledge that God graciously grants us, is it not like cutting our own throat with the sword that God has given us to use against an enemy? That learning which does not show us where our interest lies cannot be classed as knowledge; it is sheer ignorance. To give credence to what is not true is as much ignorance as to doubt the existence of God Who is the Eternal Truth. Real knowledge admits that God sees all that we think and do.
God never fails to give to everyone as much as he really needs, so be content with what you have. He who thus trusts in God will be contented irrespective of circumstances. Our faith should be unshakable, whereby our contentment will remain rock-firm. Harishchandra, Prahlad, and other great devotees had to face tremendous persecution, but they safely survived it merely on the strength of faith.
Circumstances keep changing, and so what we cravingly ask for today may not be suitable for the altered conditions of tomorrow. It is wise, therefore, to be content with whatever God gives.
The Bhagavadgeeta says that we may abandon all religions and go to God in complete submission; but here we are, yielding slavishly to the senses and their pleasures; who can help in this situation? Arjuna opted for the Lord alone as against His whole army; but this brought the Pandavas a contentment, despite dire difficulties, the like of which the opponents, the Kauravas, never enjoyed.
Contentment is the effect of the trust that the will of God is supreme and that He is the real doer. The delight one feels is in doing, not in the hope of the fruit of an action. If we adhere to nama-smarana we shall undoubtedly get permanent bliss and contentment. This can be assuredly experienced within a year by one who lives with the genuine conviction that whatever happens is by God’s will. As you chant nama, say to God, ‘I do not ask for anything pertaining to prapancha. Bless me only with Your love.’

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