Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.28

February 28, 2009
Pray God Only for Love for His Name

What blessing will you pray God for? Ask Him only for love for His name and nothing else. Make no mistake in the matter. A teacher may have taught his students very efficiently during the year, and given them all the likely questions together with the correct answers; yet, at the time of examination, he cannot guide them even if he is present and notices that an answer is incorrect. I am in that position. After all, it is for you to pray and beg for the favour you desire, and I caution you in the matter lest you ask for something other than love for His name.
If you never let the nama of the Lord slip from memory, whatever the circumstances, your mind will not be agitated by pleasant or unpleasant happenings. A man gets frightened when calamities befall him. But at least those who believe in God should not get scared. When the father covers his face with a veil to pretend being a bug-bear, the child becomes apprehensive, but once it knows that it is only its father pretending as a bug-bear, it gives up all fear. So, too, everyone should remember that all happenings are the acts of God or our sadguru. This will remove fear and sorrow for unpleasant happenings as well as jubilation over pleasant happenings. For this, one should constantly meditate on the Supreme Being.
Sometimes we find that a thing does happen as we desire, but it does not result in happiness; conversely, it also happens the other way round. In other words, we cannot judge immediately whether a happening is ultimately conducive to our happiness or sorrow. So let us learn to wait and watch before we jubilate or grieve over anything.
When the body goes through suffering, which is the result of prarabdha we should be glad like one repaying a debt. To evade prarabdha is equivalent to evading a creditor. Prarabdha is nullified only when the ego dies out. Remember what Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas, asked for from Lord Krishna: “Lord, I cannot blame you for what I suffer, for it is simply the result of my prarabdha; but if that suffering keeps me in constant awareness of your presence, then pray keep me always in suffering throughout my life.” Let us realise the wisdom underlying this request, and do our utmost to remain in communion with God.

Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.27

February 27, 2009
Why We Fail to Develop Love for Nama

The names of the great saints such as Jnyaneshwar, Tukaram, Samartha Ramdas, have survived these long centuries. The reason is that they had intense love for nama. We have faith in the words of these saints. We also feel that we should have the same intense love for nama that they had. Why do we not succeed in this? This point deserves consideration.
The saints declare that nama surpasses even nectar in its deliciousness. Why, then, do we fail to feel love for it? Certainly there must be something that stands in the way. If sugar placed on the tongue fails to taste sweet, we say that evidently there is something wrong with our palate and health; similarly, since we fail to find sweetness in nama, there must be something wrong with us.
Almost all people put forward one plea or another. One says,” I do not feel love for nama because I am yet unmarried; when I have a wife and children and a family of my own, I shall naturally come to love nama.” But then, how many of those who are married and have a family, love nama? Some others say,” Because we are short of money, we have always to labour under anxiety, and this bars the rise of love for nama.” How many of the affluent millionaires can we show who have developed this love? Yet others plead preoccupation with worldly responsibilities such as the wife and the family, illness, management of farms and property, as the cause for the lack of love for nama. Yet others say, “I am fed up with the travails of worldly life; I shall now renounce all these and become a sanyasin so that I may acquire love for nama. “Yet others may be so disgusted as to be inclined to ending life by suicide. In brief, everyone blames the situation he finds himself in, for failure to acquire love for nama. We should give serious thought to this and find out whether the external situation is a real impediment to the generation and development of love for nama. To my mind, the true cause is that we do not sincerely desire to have God as the mentor and support. Indeed, to feel such a desire is a matter of rare good fortune. When such a desire arises, that itself will show you the way.

Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.26

February 26, 2009
Nothing Makes Nama-smarana Impossible

Man’s entire struggle is for lasting contentment. Because such contentment is only with God, everyone needs Him. Everyone says that despite his efforts he has not succeeded in attaining God, and blames circumstances for the failure. Let us consider the problem in earnest.
Circumstances are of two kinds: external, and internal. The first and foremost factor of external circumstance is bodily health. Can we do nama-smarana irrespective of the state of health? The Lord states in the Bhagavadgeeta that it is possible to do nama-smarana even at the moment of death, when the body becomes very weak and infirm. It is therefore incorrect to say that the condition of health affects nama- smarana.
Many complain of financial stringency, and say want of money gives worry and prevents giving attention to God. Now tell me, how many of those who have amassed vast wealth and reached the pinnacle of prosperity, turn to nama-smarana? How many kings have quit their kingdom and turned recluse with the object of attaining God? Therefore, want of money cannot justifiably be put forward as a reason hindering the attainment of God. On the contrary it is money that lessens faith, for it gives a false sense of security. One saves money against needs of advanced age; but what guarantee is there that one may at all live to be old? Happiness and contentment have no relation to money. Every person has his retinue; when the king of ghosts is in procession, he is followed by ghosts and evil spirits; whereas, in His procession, God will be accompanied by compassion, forgiveness, and a spirit of joy. Similarly, accumulation of money is followed in its wake by anxiety, avarice, and dissatisfaction. A woman may resist the adulterous advances of a man, but money does not resist even ill use. It is almost always money that causes discord between even a parent and son or daughter, or between siblings or between friends. It cannot be said that to collect money is improper; but it should not create a sense of security, nor should it be allowed to stand in the way of consciousness of God. When the desire to attain God arises, that will itself show you the way to Him.

Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.25

February 25, 2009
A Parting Message

As a farewell message, I would exhort you to bear love for each other. The whole world can be brought under sway with the help of love. You may learn from me how to get oneself endeared to others. I am very fond of this art, for he is bound to be liked by God who endears himself to others. Only he who is unselfish will be dear to others. He who accepts the dispensation of the Lord will be liked by all. The Lord likes one who does for others what he would do for himself. Everyone should covet our company. For this, it is necessary neither to do only what people like, nor speak only to please them. To love others does not depend on any extraneous thing, and needs no money, as my own experience goes.
I have gone through the direst poverty, and yet I could keep uninterrupted consciousness of God; why then, should you find it difficult? If there is any rule that I have scrupulously observed, it is: do not hurt anybody’s heart.
I exhort you to do the same. Whomsoever I met I treated him as my own. All that I did, I treated this as a sport, and merely played the game and therefore remained untouched by pleasure or pain, success or failure.
I reincarnated myself to fulfill my unsatiated craving for chanting nama. I look on all of you as Rama. If there is anything you want to tell me, you may narrate it to God Maruti wherever you may be, and it will become known to me.
One who belongs to me will be automatically drawn to me, wherever he may be. I dislike dejection and despondency. Those who slandered me know not who I was in reality, but, what is more, those who applauded me know me even less.
Repeat nama with all your heart; this will awaken you to your own short-comings, and then you can try to eradicate them. To achieve concentration, remember always that God is watching you. Stop thinking ‘I want this’ and ‘I don’t want that.’ Believe firmly that Rama is the doer. Apply your good qualities to His service. Approach Him with humility and childlike simplicity and trust. Do not get disgusted with bodily pain and suffering. Take care, but be not anxious. Rid yourself of fear and of your ego.

Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.24

February 24, 2009
Nama is the Sovereign Remedy

You say that you repeatedly make mistakes. They seem amusing to me, like a child’s toddle or baby-talk to its parent. Equally amusing are your attempts of correction. So you need not feel embarrassed in the least. If the guru says that you are condoned and absolved from your past deeds, the disciple should accept it in faith. Nama is the only remedy that purifies a man of his errors. Indeed, it is the sovereign cure for all ills; only, it must percolate steadily, constantly, by drops as it were. It should also be taken to your workplace. It does good to all, the learned and the ignorant, the rich and the poor. It will show a quick result if taken with the proper regimen.
If a boy insists on jumping into a well, should the father indulge this stupid obstinacy, or bring him to reason with a slap in the face, and lead him away by force? Similar is your solicitation for mundane things. The true devotee is never in pain, sorrow, or dejection; he is ever contented, no matter what pangs of poverty, difficulty, or bodily illness he may be in. We commonly feel sorry if we fail to get what we want. A true devotee, on the other hand, harbours no desire whatsoever, and so has no cause for sorrow at any time. Indeed, being merged into the Supreme Being, his desire does not differ from that of God. Worshipping saguna, he gradually forgets his individual self and becomes increasingly confirmed in feeling that he has no separate existence from God. When, finally, his individual soul dissolves into the Cosmic Soul, the intermediary Rama, Krishna, etc. also vanish, and the sole thing that remains is the Cosmic Soul.
A person recuperating from exhaustion following a prolonged illness needs the support of a walking stick; likewise, a common house-holder should resort to saguna bhakti. Indeed, nothing else is possible so long as there remains even a vestige of awareness of the body. We should pray to God for His grace, which consists in His unbroken remembrance. This will eventually result in bhakti. There is no happiness, no contentment, except in belonging to God. One who so belongs to Him, that is, remains in constant remembrance of nama, will never be tired of life.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan- Feb.23

February 23, 2009
The Aspirant and Nama

Those who believe that every word only echoes the divine name are indeed peculiarly blessed. We entertain love for only the nama of our particular deity, but when realized persons hear any utterance by anybody, they feel it is the divine name.
Do not bother about the way to utter nama; do it in any way you like or can, but see that you cling firmly to it. Experience for yourself the efficacy of nama-smarana. Remember nama when sense-objects try to lure you.
What did Prahlad do except chanting nama? Love nama with his fervour. This is just what all devotees have done. Nama-smarana is the pathway to God. Do that, and sense-lures will automatically die out.
A sadhaka should be softhearted like butter; agreeable to all, and hurtful to none. You can do this only by being absolutely unselfish. If anyone bows in respect, the sadhaka should remind himself that he does not deserve it, so that he will neither be puffed with vanity, nor feel slighted when not so saluted. After doing a good turn, he should not tarry there lest he may have to listen to praise or gratitude.
One who aspires to attain to God should realize that he has now entered the wrestling pit, and must not be shy of being soiled by the red soil of its bed. The wise wrestler rolls first in that soil to overcome such shyness.
There are two ways to reach God. One is, to live in His remembrance, free of all anxiety, and in the firm faith that whatever has happened so far has been only by His will, that whatever is ‘mine’ really belongs to Him and so He will take care of it, that whatever He does must be for the good of all, and that the future, too, will be at His will.
The other way is to remain in contemplation of God, relinquishing all attachment, and with the conviction that “I belong to God and to none else.” This way is more difficult because the sadhaka has to sever all ties of attachment but that to God, for true love is single-minded.
Begin to act using your faculty of discernment between good and bad; the mind will automatically follow. Saints, therefore, advise us not to seek to subdue the mind but rather to turn it to God.

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Sri Brahmachaitanya Pravachan- Feb.22

February 22, 2009
God Resides in Action which is Free of Desire

There is dire need to search and scrutinize our heart. Whether an action is righteous or otherwise is determined by its motive. It is futile to perform righteous deeds if the object is mundane pleasure. Even if you exert yourself physically, or abandon your wife and family, you will not meet Rama unless your heart is dedicated to Him, unless you become restless for Him. God resides in desirelessness, so all your actions should be devoid of desire.
Really speaking, the task of a sadhaka involves far less toiling than that of a worldly-minded person. Even a half of the householder’s drudgery will bring bumper spiritual returns. The situation God chooses to place us in, is always favourable for recognizing Him. However, we act for worldly objectives, and at the same time complain that we have not been able to attain God; who can help in this anomalous situation? The puranas tell us that the demons performed penance to propitiate the Lord; so did Samartha Ramdas. The former did it to acquire worldly power and sensuous pleasures; they did get them, but lost the Lord. Samartha, on the other hand, wanted God for His own sake, so he got Him, which was his sole goal. Intense love creates intense yearning for God. We must feel that on attaining the Lord we shall have no other desire; then alone will the ego die. God’s hand is ever extended to meet us; it is we who are not eager to take it.
Righteous behaviour is far more important than money and intellectual brilliance. If good conduct is accompanied by faith in God and a mind that remains contented in any situation, one can be happy in worldly life. Happiness is not a thing to be obtained from an external source, it is right there in our own mind. Just as I belong to God, so do all others; therefore, loving God is loving the world.
If we come across a bitter almond in prasada, we eat it without demur; why, likewise, should we not cheerfully accept the sorrow that God, in His wisdom, may occasionally send to us?
We should remember God, laying aside the questioning attitude for the while. One who is convinced that nama is the only truth, does not need to be told anything more. Under whatever circumstances you take nama, it will prove to be your saviour.
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Sri Brahmachaitanya pravachan-Feb.21

February 21, 2009
Cast Away all Pride of Doership

Can we have true devotion for God while we remain deeply interested in worldly matters? Assuredly not. The two are simply incompatible. A devotee is one who gives himself up unreservedly to God. This is impossible while retaining ego; so we should see how the ego can be conquered, and should conduct ourselves accordingly.
We go about in family life in the firm faith that our wish will prevail. Even at the fag end of life we speak with unshakable assurance, asserting that we will do this and that. What an arrogance, pride and ego! So I exhort you, discard the feeling that you are the doer; ascribe everything to Him, telling yourself that your success and achievement you owe entirely to His will. This will automatically diminish your attachment to worldly interests. You cannot walk in the way of God unless all feeling of doership dies out.
Some people argue that the vedas enhance our attachment for worldly matters when they promise a certain fruit for a certain action. However, this is only like holding out a candy to coax a child to take medicine. The idea is that a man should be induced to righteous acts with the bait of an alluring result, and when he continues to perform righteous acts his attachment to the result steadily diminishes; finally, with his ego attenuated, he comes to the realization that God is the doer. He then sheds all ego, and comes to feel that he is a mere tool in God’s hand. Thereby, whatever he does automatically becomes dedicated to God.
The common man offers vows to God for deliverance from distress; and when he is not requited as desired, he concludes that it is futile to pray to or please God. But can one hope to dupe or bribe God? Being immanent in our heart, He knows our innermost secret feelings; He says, ‘This cheat never thought of Me while things were after his heart; and here he is, now that he is in difficulty. ‘What, indeed, have we done to deserve His granting of what we desire? We should never seek to deceive God, for He is beyond deception, and we may only be rewarded with frustration. We toil so much for worldly and family matters, but just consider, do we spend even an hour a day for Him?

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.20

February 20, 2009

Remember God and Do Your Duty

Never desert your duty. Maintain constant awareness of God. Do your duty properly, leaving the rest to God. This is the key to success. Conduct your worldly life without ever letting yourself forget Rama. Be ever alert to duty, simultaneously remembering God; this will give peace of mind. He who conducts his life thus will attain God. Never be idle; keep trust in God, but also pay attention to your duty.
To lose awareness of the body while remembering God is the chief characteristic of bhakti. Commend your body to Rama, totally relinquishing doership. No matter how deeply versed one may be in the shastras, futile and meaningless is the life of one who does not feel supreme happiness at the feet of the Lord.
To live in God is the best way to bliss. We should always think of how to attain Rama. Love for the Lord will certainly grow if you give up expecting happiness from worldly life. God should be the basis and the goal of all action; He alone can really bless you. Lay down all good and evil at the feet of Rama. Physically you can carryon worldly life, but the mind should be devoted to Rama, and then you will become a stranger to both pleasure and pain. Blessed, indeed, is the mother of the man who keeps his mind filled with Rama. To him there is no truth except Rama. With complete faith in Rama, you can live happily in your worldly life. For him who dedicates his life to Rama, his worldly life is itself equivalent to performing yoga-sadhana.
It is good to go about your worldly life in the firm belief that all that is apparently yours really belongs to Rama; you will then have little trouble to undergo, for Rama will ever be by you. Resign yourself to Rama, and believe that whatever may come about will be by His will. Keep your mind riveted on His holy feet, think of nothing else. Take care to see that you hold on firmly to Him; make yourself His serf. What is the main characteristic of a serf? That he thinks of none but the master. A servant of the Lord is respected by the world. Therefore, never forget that we are all His retainers. Resolve to consider Him as solely yours; let no other thought enter your mind.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.19

February 19, 2009
Living in Nama is the Highway to God

A woman found it difficult to practise nama because her in-laws disapproved of it. I told her, “If one eats butter every day, maybe even surreptitiously, it is bound to show its fattening effect on the body. Similarly nama, even if practised without anyone’s knowledge, will certainly have its wholesome effect. So, if you cannot practise nama openly, you can do so in secret, with due caution, and derive its beneficial effect.” If the body is unable to take food by the mouth, it is introduced directly into the stomach through a tube; similarly nama taken with faith and feeling becomes effective very quickly.
A man travelling by bullock-cart fell in the road. A “good Samaritan” who reached the spot some time later found him lying there, took him home, and treated his injuries. Similarly, if we keep practising nama, a saint will come along some day and help us on; only, we must take care to be on the highway, that is, keep practising nama. To live engrossed in sense-objects and interests is like falling in an unfrequented by-lane.
How free of all conditioning nama is! We, who are grossly conditioned by the body-consciousness, therefore fail to realize its importance. It is the saints who truly realize it. England is several thousand miles away from here. We hear about it from those who have been there. We cannot go there on foot because of the long distance. Nor can we go there by a road-conveyance, because the wide ocean intervenes. We can, however, reach there without tiresome trudging, and without fear of being drowned, if we take a steamer. If, similarly, we take to nama, we can attain God in comfort and safety. We have not seen Him ourselves, but the saints have, and they describe Him. We cannot reach Him for the distance, and for the intervening ocean of worldly life. Under these circumstances, if we hold fast to nama we can comfortably attain to Him.
A person may be known by different appellations in different circles of his kith and kin, and he responds to any of them; so, too, will God respond, whatever name you call Him by. Just as a purchaser gets a property spread over different places merely by a single mention in the sale deed, the omnipresent God is comprehended in His name.
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