Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Dec.21

December 21, 2008
Do not Regard God as a Tool for Prapancha

A boy fled home. After much futile search, the mother comforted herself, saying, ‘I wish him well, whereever he may be’. Similarly I say, ‘Be you where you may, but never be without nama-smarana ; you may even force yourself to do it, if necessary. It would be better if you do it with faith, and still better if done with restraint on mental attitudes and desires.’ The extraction of the juice of certain leaves requires a catalyser such as honey, milk, ghee, water, etc. Similar is the use of faith for producing relish in nama. The experience ‘I am Brahma, the Ultimate Reality’, presumes the existence of an individual ‘I’; nama is even beyond that experience. One should therefore keep a constant awareness of God; it also facilitates prapancha. There is no sin in the world that call withstand the prowess of nama.
Do not give up nama for the reason that you are unable to visualize the form; you will not fail to do so later. It does not suffer from imperfectness because there is no return expected; there is nothing equivalent to it. The pundits always say, I will repeat nama only if I get love for it.’ The ordinary, not-so-learned man generally begins to chant nama on being asked to do so. Nama is basically sweet, but it seems bitter to us because the venom of the snake-like worldliness and sense-pleasures has penetrated into our blood-stream. The remedy is to begin chanting nama from this very moment. Go in surrender to Rama without pride of your ‘knowledge’. Approach Him in complete humility, and see the result. Keep your conduct morally clean, be sincere and earnest in devotion to Him; this will propitiate Him.
Knowledge is admittedly most excellent; however, it cannot survive without devotion. A devotee is one who is never separate from God; knowledge imparts a sense of identity with God; thus devotion gives birth to knowledge, which subsists on devotion. The true devotee also has true knowledge. True devotion desires God purely for His own sake, not as a tool for improvement of worldly conditions. Be contented with the condition in which Rama keeps you. One who spends his life in remembrance of nama can take it that he has made the best use of his life.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan -Dec.20

December 20, 2008
Hold the Mind Steadily Fixed to Nama

The mundane body will follow the path dictated by prarabdha, so give not your mind to it, let your mind not be affected by it. Prarabdha, after all, is the fruition of our own action performed in this or past lives. Being so, nobody can rectify or modify it. The Pandavas were friends and devotees of the Lord, and yet their banishment to the distressful life of the forest could not be avoided. Sudama, a beloved boyhood friend of Lord Krishna had to live a life of penury. Therefore, one should leave the body to face prarabdha, and cheerfully accept whatever happens. Just like misery and difficulty, an agreeable situation may follow, if it is in the destiny; so take both on par, fixing the mind on nama and God. Let the body be led by prarabdha; you will not feel the vicissitudes if you persistently remember God, and leave the result to His dispensation. Even sages, saints, and incarnations of God, could not escape their respective prarabdha. Since vicissitudes of life depend entirely on prarabdha, we should not base our contentment on them, but the remembrance of Rama will help keep mental equanimity.
There can be no better action than keeping nama always on the lips. The mind will become peaceful and lucid if we sincerely believe that nama is the Ultimate Truth. Be alert in doing your duty and unremitting in chanting nama. Guard the love for nama as closely as a miser watches every penny, for it is our real surety, our true saviour. Keep nama ever on the lips, even while outwardly you are busy with worldly tasks. Thus united with Rama, never entertain even the shadow of regret. You have so far staked everything for desire; now make nama your stock in trade. Remember that only he who has tremendous past merit to his credit will feel love for nama. On the other hand, one who loathes nama will not fare well. Chant nama without expecting a return of any kind, and you will assuredly attain the Cosmic Soul, the true God.
Any sadhana other than nama, will only be so much toil. The body is, of course, mortal, but nama I have given you is ever abiding. Keep steady love for it. Let no extraneous thoughts intrude on nama-smarana. Be always fully contented; that is the essence of paramartha.
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Shri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Dec.19

December 19, 2008
Vedanta is for Practising it.

The mere pedantic study of vedant is little use if not put into practice in daily life. Its bookish knowledge is little better than the knowledge of preparing various dishes, while the stomach remains hungry; neither is it of practical use. Scholars couch their philosophical talk in an unintelligible jargon, bewildering the common man, who then feels that philosophy is beyond his ken and beyond ,use in daily life. As a matter of fact, philosophy is for every human being; a man, indeed, needs it for guidance in his daily activity and behaviour. True philosophy aims at making our narrow mind liberal, replacing selfishness by selflessness.
Desire is basically subtle; it takes a palpable form through the medium of the body; this is worldliness. As against this, the Ultimate Reality is subtler than the subtlest. Consequently, the means whereby we can realize God must be such as will convert the palpable into the impalpable; nama is the one such means.
It often happens that spiritually advanced souls get involved in some desire, to satisfy which they have to live another life; so they take birth in a spiritually favourable atmosphere. In a short while they get their desire satisfied, and quit worldly life at a comparatively early age. It is therefore improper to lament their death.
Desire can never end, no matter how much you try to fulfil it. The only antidote is constant association with God, who is desireless. One who lives in constant chanting of nama lives in God, and thereby vanquishes desire. When desire ends, God’s grace descends.
The sages who had attained to God had acquired such a subtle state of mind that they never thought, ‘I do,’ ‘I speak,’ ‘I compose this verse’; they always felt ‘God does,’ ‘God says,’ ‘God has composed this mantra.’ They feel this in the depth of their heart. The vedas, being composed in such circumstances, in a trance so to say, must evidently be considered ‘divine verses,’ not human compositions.
Live happily in the pleasant feeling that Rama is everything, and I am nobody, insignificant.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Dec.18

December 18, 2008
If Worrying is a Must, Better do so About Nama

It is a matter of common experience that what we today consider unpleasant often turns out to be wholesome eventually, and vice versa. Now if you think of everything as something willed by God, nothing would be unpleasant or unwelcome. Things will appear agreeable or otherwise so long as we do not become fully dedicated to God. Terror strikes us when we feel devoid of adequate support; therefore, live in the conviction that everything happens as Rama wills. Those who profess to be dedicated to Shree Samartha or Rama should never feel daunted by adverse conditions, for they are backed by the highest and most dependable support. There is really no fright but it is created by our own imagination.
The oscillations of pleasure and pain affect one only so long as there is a sense of doership. So ascribe doership to Rama, apply the body to duty, and keep the mind stable and at peace. We should pray to God, “Lord, let circumstances not affect my mind,” rather than, “Please change the circumstances to please my mind.”
Anxiety has permeated our very blood, and cannot be eradicated by external applications. What is required is an intravenous injection in the form of constant awareness of God. Anxiety is an accumulation of all things that cause forgetting of God. It is a fatal disease. A tumour in the stomach may grow to a large size and render impossible all intake of food; similarly, anxiety may become an ineradicable habit barring entry to all sense of gladness.
This ‘anxiety’ is a result of the ‘body-am-I’ delusion, and the consequent sense of desire. Repeated chanting of nama annihilates both, the desire and the ‘body-am-I’ feeling. A situation of happiness may suddenly be metamorphosed; it is this possibility that causes fear and anxiety. Anxiety is as much a killer as nama is a saviour; and yet we do not want to overthrow anxiety. Is this not curious?
Time spent in anxiety is time wasted harmfully. If you cannot help worrying, let the worry be on how to take more pleasure in nama, how to maintain awareness of God. Take care of nama, and forget all anxiety.

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Shree Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Dec.17

December 17, 2008
‘Body-am-I’ Delusion, the Root-cause of all Misery

Paramartha is a subject not easily understood, and yet it is of vital importance to everyone. It is best comprehended by trying to see what ‘I’ am not, rather than to see what ‘I’ am. If we are walking along a foot-track which is not for our destination, then we may miss all the landmarks. If in solving an example, we make a mistake at any point, the answer will evidently be wide off the mark. Similarly, if one fails to comprehend correctly the basic qualities and failings of human nature, paramartha, which is based on them, will also not be fruitful. The first of these features is the universal desire to be continuously happy, or at least to have a promise of happiness. Death or extinction nobody wants; we all desire to live forever. God is eternal, and ever blissful; and since He is in the make-up of us all, we too desire to be likewise. But we miss the right way from the very start, and consequently everything goes amiss. If a tree in our yard is uprooted in a storm, we say’ our tree has fallen;’ but if a person dies, we say ‘he is dead, not as a matter of fact, ‘his body’ is dead. The fundamental error, therefore, is that we consider ourselves identical with the body, not with the spirit or soul. We love the body more than the soul, and cater to the needs and pleasures of the body with the utmost care. Nay; instead of controlling and regulating them, we allow ourselves to be completely mastered and led by them, at times even disregarding the better judgement of the conscience. We thus go on piling one mistake on another, thus completely misusing the special assets of human birth.
If we want to fell a tree, we first cut off the branches, and then attack the trunk. To observe the moral code of conduct corresponds to cutting the branches of the tree of passions. The second attack is devotion to the saguna form of God. If this devotion is intense, a man forgets himself at least momentarily, and has the feeling that he belongs to God. True constant awareness of God comes by nama alone; nama will thereby mitigate the ‘body-am-I’ delusion and also attachment to material things; the person will then see God in everything.

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Shri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Dec.16

December 16, 2008
Nama Will Itself Lead You to Him

The source of a river is found to be a dribble of crystal-clear water in a far-away hill. Later, the stream is joined by other streams, some of them muddy, and therefore its own flow becomes somewhat turbid. Similarly, the source of a desire for paramartha can be traced to some good actions of a past life. Pure at the source, it often becomes unclean by association with good and bad worldly affairs, individuals, etc. Turbidity of water can be removed by the application of alum which causes the impurities to settle at the bottom. Similarly, the merits and demerits of an action settle at the bottom and the flow of life continues clear, if a person takes recourse to nama. To perform one’s duties conscientiously, to chant nama, and to live in complete contentment, constitute paramartha. You may rest assured that there cannot be any paramartha in the absence of nama­smarana.
Paramartha essentially aims at creating love for God; and for this there is no better means than nama, because it is a constant reminder of God and thereby, constant association with Him. There may be many who read a lot about paramartha, and start talking about it, preaching it; but rare, indeed, is one who practises it.
As for prapancha one can never feel the satisfaction of having had enough of it. One may find an old man who has had everything that life offers; wealth, children, status, amenities, and what not. And yet, when the time comes for him to quit the world, he may wish he had seen his great-grandson married and settled in life! This shows the endlessness of desire. It clearly shows that there can be no satisfaction of perfectness or completeness in prapancha. The sense of longing can only come to an end On attaining God. For this, the only means is nama; so have recourse to it early in life; the sooner the better. You can be sure that nama will unite you with Him at the end of life.
If God were to grant all that a man continues to desire, He would not find a moment’s respite and yet be unable to satisfy him. So what should we ask of God? Only this: ‘Give me love for nama, O Lord’.

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Shri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Dec.15

December 15, 2008
Living in Nama Gives True Vision of God

Even Lord Shreekrishna had to discard His mortal body. The Cosmic Soul, too, when it appears in a material form, must follow the laws that govern the material world. When appearing as a perceivable entity, a form, attributes, and all other auxiliaries come unavoidably. We, being in the human form, would naturally like to see Him in a similar form, but we should remember that, that was only a role that He then played.
The darshana in a physical form is forgettable, perishable. The darshan that is obtained by a person engaged in ceaseless nama-smarana is not only the true one but one that becomes clearer, brighter, every day. So keep on chanting nama, and you will always have darshan of God. A saguna form cannot last for all time, but nama is the complete symbol of the Ultimate Reality, the true God. Uttering nama is equivalent to having God by one’s side. God in the saguna form is affected by certain limitations. Rama and Krishna in their human form could not change the evil mentalities of Ravana and Duryodhana. The saguna manifestation cannot achieve the task of transforming the mentality; it can only be accomplished by nama. In the practical world also we find that the form changes and perishes, but nama abides. Even Rama and Krishna disappeared in form but their names have lived down the ages. In the present degenerate age there is no visible incarnation, but nama is the incarnation, and it is the true saviour.
Lord Shreekrishna, had educated Uddhava, His bosom friend and staunch devotee, about the true nature of the Ultimate Reality. He requested him to go to village Gokula, the scene of His childhood, to pacify the rustic milkmaids, who were apparently pining for Him. Uddhava complied. He explained to the maids that Shreekrishna was not just the infant and the child that had fascinated them, but the very Cosmic Soul; that it was ignorant to pine for the apparent child. The maids burst out laughing, saying, “Shreekrishna has duped you. Actually, we don’t miss Him, for He is held captive in our loving hearts.” Let us emulate them by love and utter surrender.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Dec.14

December 14, 2008

Let God Alone be in Mind During Nama-smarana

In truth, all that God expects of us is pure love coming from the bottom of the heart. Our problem is that we do not possess true love for God at all. We are unable to call Him with ardency. How can the call reach His ears at all? It is association that generates love. We have love for the body because we have had one body or another in a series of lives. If we maintain constant association with nama, we shall evidently feel similar attachment for it too, with consequent reduction in our attachment for the body and for sense-pleasures. What tremendous sacrifices we undertake for the wife and children! Why then should we hesitate to forsake the flimsy desires for sense-pleasures, for the abiding happiness that we get by associating with God?
The passions are not basically worthless. They have been implanted in us by God Himself, so they must be having a useful purpose in life. They are, indeed, necessary on occasions in life; only, they must be under our control and command, instead of our yielding to them submissively.
While we are engaged in nama-smarana, we must vacate the mind of all thoughts, ideas, fancies, memories, etc. and fill it completely with God and God alone. In worldly affairs we cannot altogether avoid their intrusion on the constant awareness of God. But we should not allow them to make a home in the mind. They will then not be harmful.
All the saints unanimously advise us to maintain constant awareness of God, and assure us that thereby we shall come to comprehend the Ultimate Reality. We must ensure that God is never out of mind, even if it means some overlooking of worldly matters. This awareness of God one person may maintain by engaging in worship, another by singing hymn:, and prayers, some by nama-smarana, another by mental worship, and yet another by engaging himself in some art. So let us resolve to maintain constant awareness as our goal, and do other things as only subordinate to it.
Remember that paramartha is nothing but ceaseless nama-smarana and a constant awareness of God. This can be achieved by repeating nama as often as possible.

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Shri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Dec.13

December 13, 2008
God is Truly Served only with Pure Devotion

The body consists of the heart as well as other organs and limbs. Suppose these organs and limbs are all intact, but the heart ceases to function; the body becomes ‘dead’, ceases to live. On the other hand, suppose the organs and limbs fail while the heart is intact; then the body continues to live, though with reduced efficiency, and there is a possibility of curing it completely with proper treatment. Nama­ corresponds to the heart, while other sadhanas are like the limbs; therefore, no other sadhana can, by itself, suffice for attainment of spiritual liberation. What is love in worldly life, if applied to God, becomes’ devotion’; ‘greed’, if turned to God, becomes intense desire for acquisition of God.
A traveller boarded a train, and found a very comfortable berth; he therefore preferred to keep the berth and to travel from one terminus to the other and back again, instead of alighting at his own destination. How far would that be called wisdom? Are we not doing the same, merely living from birth to death in life after life? Let us now be on the watch for our desired destination, namely, God. Just as a traveller buys fruits and snacks on the way, you may acquire houses and property and amenities of life, but never lose sight of the destination, which is God. So we should beware, and first decide on the sadhana we would adopt.
People often go to hear reading of sacred books or discourses on them, so that others may respect them for their religiosity, or for the sake of avoiding boredom, or for recreation and relaxation. This is certainly to be deprecated. The text of the sermon may be perfectly right, but the commentator’s personal views often colour the explanation, and that may unwarrantably and adversely impinge on our resolve. Consciousness of duty and constant awareness of God are the essence of all sacred books.
One can truly serve God only if the devotion is pure, selfless. It is such devotion that saves us, not the grandeur of the temple. Such devotion comes by avoiding idle talk, and this will come about if we dedicate ourselves to nama.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Dec.12

December 12, 2008
Nama Achieves what Yoga Does

A householder should, as a rule, never say ‘no’ to anyone who comes to beg; he should and give him something, if not all of what he asks for. Never turn away one who begs for food. In regard to requests for money, use discretion; if his request appears unjustified, give him only part of it. Remember that even the job we do for livelihood is a kind of begging, so never use bad language to a beggar. It is not at all degrading for genuine vairagya to beg for necessities; but the begging should not be for a selfish end. The mystical grandeur of true vairagya never remains veiled. Paramartha is unsound without genuine vairagya.
To recognize the true nature of the palpable universe is the first step in the acquisition of knowledge; it is ignorance to treat the unsubstantial as real. A worldly man is unable to judge the spiritual status or attainments of a person, so the common man should not vilify anyone. Some idea of a man’s spiritual status can be had on observing the state of his mind at the moment of death.
A person who is ordinary in the eyes of the world may attain a high status spiritually by faith in and practice of nama. This can, of course, be judged only by one who is himself absorbed in nama. Nama is, indeed, extremely powerful; it is a pity, though, that no one is prepared to give it a proper trial. There is no doubt that nama can achieve nothing less than what yoga can. A passion for nama is a sure sign of the grace of Rama. This passion is generated by constant chanting of nama.
It is found that people leading a worldly life are extremely selfish. They are not prepared to forgo even a part of their selfishness and ego, and yet they expect spiritual achievement. How is this possible when selflessness is the very foundation of spiritualism? We go to a saint or sadguru to learn to forgo this tendency for selfishness. No one expects you to relinquish worldly life altogether, nor would anyone be ready to do so. Selfishness is curtailed if desire is reduced; desire is subjugated if we dedicate ourselves to God; dedication comes from constant awareness of Him; and this is achieved by chanting nama; and that is why I exhort you ceaselessly to repeat nama.
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