Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan- Feb.18

February 18, 2009
Repeat Nama With a Pure Heart

God is the creator as well as the protector of everything and everybody. He is also the destroyer; and yet He is called just and loving. This is evidently because He is selfless. That means that love arises from selflessness. In our case, our attachment to sense-objects and our selfishness obstruct our love for God. Should we, then not rid ourselves of these things? Our attachment and love for these must be given up. We ought to surrender ourselves to God and the saints, and should feel the need of nothing else.
The same clay may be moulded by a potter into a pitcher, a doll, or an idol of Ganapati, as demanded by the customer, so does God manifest Himself according to the seeker’s concept. So our devotion should be pure, selfless. It is to this end that religious rites and practices are devised. Quite often, though, these are observed only in outward form, ignoring their spirit. For instance, take the man who, observing fast for ekadashi, instead of doing nama-smarana, spent the day scrubbing the sink and cleaning the courtyard and gutters! How will that purify his heart, as is sought to be done in prescribing the fast? So, in spiritualism obey the guru implicitly. Practise nama with complete faith and selfless heart, without harbouring doubts and misgivings. Once you realize the sweetness of nama the Lord will not let you go. We must have the conviction that there is no truth other than nama. The stronger the hold of the body-consciousness, the nama will have to be practised. There is no sadhana easier to practise than nama. The worldly-minded argue that the experience of the senses is instant and real, while that of the Lord is deferred and of inference, one of belief. I can understand their viewpoint, and am not surprised that they do not quit worldly life. What I am sorry to see is that they consider this “happiness” as ever-lasting. I ask you to believe only your own experience. When you realize that hankering after sense-pleasures does not yield happiness, then You will come to see the sweetness of nama.
You have no control over the body, nor over money, nor over the persons you call yours. So in your life, acquit yourself thoroughly of your duty, and go about with a worry-free heart.
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Sri Brahmachaitanya Pravachan-Feb.17

February 17, 2009
Repeat Nama with Deep Feeling

We do not feel the need for God at present, but we should consider how such need will be created. We shall feel it by meditating on God and repeating nama. The feeling should be so acute that we even lose thought of food and drink. The greater the conflagration the more the water required to put it out; similarly, the firmer the body-consciousness the more intense should be the chanting of nama. If we have no love for it we should persist in it all the more tenaciously. You will develop love by and by, even if you repeatedly tell yourself that you have it. You cannot help chanting nama when you have the conviction that it is the only sadhana, the only truth; and if repeatedly chanted, it will definitely develop love for it.
The saints assert that God exists, and we repeat the assertion parrot-like; but while, for them, it is direct, first-hand experience, for us it is pure inference. The saints have transcended the body-consciousness; we, too, shall gradually overcome it by association with them. This association need not be physical; it may be emotional, provided it is sincere, and this may actually be more effective. After all, the sanctity of a holy place, the divine in an icon, the mastership in a guru, all depend upon the emotion we bear towards them. If we go to a holy place with a conviction that a bath there will absolve us of all sin, then alone it acquires sacredness; else, it is just bathing with water! Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so. Nama creates faith. Nama repeated with faith will achieve its object quickly.
The common man can recognize a saint from the effect experienced by him. You are in the presence of a saint, if his company gives some degree of peace of mind, if the ego is subdued a little, if the mind is freed of desire for sense-objects or at least, the mind feels inclined towards that state. A saint sees God, or his own self, everywhere, and therefore he loves all. Universal love means doing everything selflessly. The saint sees unity all around. We on the other hand experience duality everywhere, because we feel kinship with only a few. We should treat all with artless, selfless love. Our talk, even our look, should be marked by such love.

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Sri Brahmachaitanya Pravachan-Feb.16

February 16, 2009
Follow what the Saints Tell You

Feel happy in the circumstances in which God keeps you. Do not feel sorry about the misery and the reverses of family life. We always talk of ‘me’ and ‘mine’; do we ever stop to consider how much of it we can really control or enjoy? The real reason for our misery is expectation, and avarice for more and yet more. This can only be cured by maintaining constant remembrance of God. Never forget that you belong to Him. True spiritualism requires that the mind is engaged in thoughts of God. Deceive not the world, nor let yourself be duped by it.
He who lives in nama really lives in the company of the godly. We usually keep company with those of like occupation and similar taste. Attach your mind to nama.
A dog is emboldened and barks at others when accompanied by its master; so, too, we should live fearlessly with the support of the Lord; only, we should not bark, that is, should not be puffed with pride that we chant nama. Such pride degrades the sadhana. We should forget that ‘we’ chant nama, and always behave with humility. Be attentive to your work, and treat all with love. A woman respects and tries to keep her in-laws pleased, with the primary object of pleasing the husband; similarly, behave so that the Lord is pleased.
If you ask the doctor, “Why don’t you give me the medicine contained in that particular bottle?”, he answers, “Because your illness is not one for which that is a remedy”. Similarly, the sadhana prescribed by a sadguru is the one particularly suited for the individual’s needs. Therefore, we should do as he tells us to; it is no use blindly imitating his actions. Hand over the reins of your life to him, and be carefree. Follow the guru’s behest; when you come to the cross roads, he is right there to point out the correct way. What is the Use of doing nothing and merely asking, “What next?”
It is only the saints who have really comprehended the vedas. They have laid us under deep obligations by explaining the meaning in a simple manner. We should passively obey them to the letter, without adding anything of our own. We can rest assured of success then. A saint is brimful and dripping with love of God. Only nama-smarana will lead you to a saint.
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Sri Brahmachaitanya Pravachan-Feb.15

February 15, 2009

” I am Present Wherever Nama is Chanted”

When I say “See me in nama,” I mean that I treat my body as only the outer cloak but I am really in nama, for, really speaking, we are only where the mind is. Suppose you are on a pilgrimage, but your mind is thinking of your home; then you are virtually at home, not in the sacred place. If asked, “Where do you usually reside?” you will have to answer,” In the world of the senses and sense objects.” One can say that a person is where his liking lies. If, then, you are asked where your guru lives, will you not say, “In nama”? Therefore, I am where nama is being chanted; whoever chants nama may rest assured I am right by his side.
The learned, versed as they are in the shastras, claim that the jnyanamarg, the path of knowledge, is the way fit for them to attain God. In saying this, they lose sight of the fact that, path of knowledge is not only difficult but also risky, because it is very likely that the sadhaka may be infused with pride, the very thing which must be fully conquered before realization. They may verbally understand the doctrine that ‘Brahman is the ultimate, undying Truth, while the creation is transitory’, but they never experience it. In practice, they treat the body as the reality, although they theoretically declare the world unreal.
The orthodox, on their part, declare that they will rigidly adhere to the rites and observances prescribed by the vedas and shastras. They, too, deny faith in nama. They observe rules and limits very scrupulously, as if they were the goal and not the means, whereas the attainment of God is the end in view. Actually, the rules and rites have no more utility than the hedge for a field. They, however, mistake the one for the other, and assiduously water and manure the hedge; that is, they scrupulously carry out the rituals, forgetting all about the real objective, namely, God. It is accepted that vedic rituals are designed for purifying the heart, but that purification itself is for the attainment of God. If that ritual has not as its basis that objective, what ultimately emerges is sheer bigotry and orthodoxy. Actually, they contradict themselves; for, at the beginning of the sandhya or any ritual, they first utter Omkar that is, nama.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.14.

February 14, 2009
Practise Nama if You Want Bliss

When the body lacks or has excess of any of the basic constituent elements, the metabolic system becomes unbalanced and causes illness. Dry ginger is a substance which restores the balance, by making up the deficiency or counteracting the excess. Nama, in a similar fashion, removes the obstacles posed by certain qualities or short-comings in an aspirant and ensures his smooth spiritual progress. So, whatever may be the obstructing tendencies, if the aspirant chants nama persistently and with firm faith, his spiritual path is cleared, and the attainment of the goal is ensured.
It is the practice with some of us to maintain an ever- burning oil lamp beside the idol of a deity. Naturally, a supply of oil to the lamp has to be maintained. Similarly, one who desires that his lamp of bliss be maintained, must feed it with nama constantly; in other words, he must live in nama; for, that bliss has its very root in nama. Just as coldness is a property of ice all over the world, so bliss is bound to be where God is.
I would readily approve the doctrine ‘Eat, drink, and be merry’ but for the fact that it is based on the physical body, which is itself impermanent, and the joy vanishes no sooner than the affluence declines. Man, on the other hand, should learn to be happy irrespective of the circumstances.
Learn to be one with God, if only for five minutes a day; the joy of those five minutes will surpass mere living for a hundred years, just as mere haranguing for an hour on the sweetness of sugar cannot equal the pleasure of actually tasting even a pinch of sugar. It is true that there is joy in living, but the living that has no joy in it is worse than death. He alone can have a joyful life who lives in God. So one who really wants to ‘live’ should chant nama.
Shri Samartha prayed that he ever remain united with God; while Shri Tukaram prayed, ‘let me never forget Thee.’ The plain reason for such prayers is that where there is God there is pure, permanent bliss. We should resolve to be happy in the present, leaving unhappiness for the never-dawning ‘tomorrow.’ For, one who learns to maintain a blissful mind in chanting nama will enjoy himself all the time.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.13

February 13, 2009
Timeless Supremacy of Nama

Nama is ‘Sat-Chit-Anand’ itself. Nothing is closer to the Supreme Soul than nama. It is the parent source of energy, as also of all bliss. In its ebullience, it gives rise to all creation. It generates numberless forms, destroys them, recreates them; all the while it maintains its own eternality; is this not a supreme marvel? Ever since I learnt to speak, I have been incessantly talking about it, and yet have not said enough about its greatness, its supremacy. He alone will conceive its greatness whose identity has completely merged in nama. Such a person will either maintain complete silence on the subject, or will go on talking about it to his last breath; for, the greatness of nama can never be told completely or adequately, nor will the listener be ever satiated.
Nama wipes out all sin. To forget the Lord is the greatest of sins; nama keeps us ever awake to the Lord. It is superior even to the vedas. In order to benefit from them, we must first study all the four vedas, which will involve a vast amount of time and labour; nama needs no effort. Besides, not all people are eligible and qualified for such study, whereas nama can be chanted by all and sundry. All vedic mantras commence with Om, that is, with nama. It is superior to pilgrimages to sacred places; such visits aim at purifying the heart, but they require adequate money and means as well as physical well-being. Nama, on the other hand, brings about such transformation right where we may be. One should go to Pandharpur, for instance, to learn to chant nama, else the pilgrimage is in vain. Nama is the prince of all righteous actions, sat-karmas, for sat is God; and therefore that alone is sat-karma which leads to Him. Other actions that can lead to Him follow tortuous roads, while nama takes us straight to Him. Nama is a sovereign cure for bhava-roga, the disease of worldliness. To be addicted to worldliness is at the root of that disease. Nama directs our love to God, detaching it from its present object, worldliness. Nama relieves us from all pain and misery, for they rise from love for sensuousness, which nama destroys. Besides, because God is bliss incarnate, when we hold fast to Him with nama, how can misery even exist for us?

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Shri Brhamachaithanya Pravachan- Feb.12

February 12, 2009
Nama is the Ultimate Truth in Essence

Nama is doubtlessly superior to the form; so even if you are unable to visualise the form while meditating on nama, persist in the meditation. The form will follow in due course. The form, being material and perceptible, is subject to birth, growth, and decay, occupation and change of space, change in course of time, and such other limitations. Nama is subtle, transcendent to perception, causation, birth, growth, diminution and decay; nor is it subject to dimension, change of position, limitations of time and space, etc. It is, in fact, the Ultimate Truth, and more comprehensive and omnipotent than form. What is more potent is obviously more independent, that is, less restricted, less limited. Therefore, nama is more extensive and pervading, more powerful, more independent, more free of limitations, than the form.
Let us examine the process whereby we imbibe knowledge. Suppose we stand on a hill top and survey the scenery around us. Firstly, the rays of light from all the objects pass through the eyes to the brain. Sense organs are thus the instruments of knowledge of external objects. The sensations conveyed by the senses are co-ordinated by the mind, and the intellect, by its power of discrimination, gives them an interpretation, so that we come to know what the object really is. But the function of human intelligence does not end there. After perceiving these objects severally, the trees, creepers, houses, gardens, humans, birds, lakes, etc; it synthesizes all of them and creates the conception of scenic beauty. This co-ordination of separate impressions perceiving unity in diversity, is a unique characteristic of human knowledge. In this world we notice such a variety in everything. Diverse types of stones, insects, birds, animals, all of them share one common quality, ‘existence,’ whether they are living or non-living. Similarly, even the emotion of joy ‘exists’, or has ‘existence’. This quality of ‘existence’ is nama, the divine name, or ‘omkar’, the symbol of the Ultimate Reality, ‘Paramatman’, the Cosmic Soul. Therefore, nama was there at the beginning of creation, it is there today, and it will survive even the destruction of all creation. Nama is God. It gives rise to myriad forms which, eventually, re-merge into it. The form, therefore, has no existence independent of nama, for nama includes and trancends the form.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb. 11

February 11, 2009
Nama, the Sole Antidote to Maya

There are many who keenly desire to devote themselves to Rama and nama, but do not actually practise it; why is this so? This is due to the obstruction of maya. How can we outwit maya and reach God? She is like His shadow; and to expect Him to come without His shadow is as good as asking Him not to come.
Maya is thus an unavoidable accompaniment to God. The only way to outwit maya is by repeating nama constantly. A shadow cannot exist without the substance; similarly maya has no independent existence. Nor, like the shadow, has she power of any kind by herself; she can only move as God does. Again, a person may not be visible but only his shadow; so, too, we can realize the existence of maya, though God himself may not be tangible. The shadow of a person going eastward will have to move in the same direction; should it wish to move in the opposite direction, it just cannot, unless the person himself does so. It is thus subordinate to the person. So is maya subordinate to God. The universe is a manifestation of maya, that is, it is the shadow of God, that is, it is, based on and sustained by Him.
Now, we want to reach God; how can we bypass maya and her obstruction? Suppose we want to see some prominent person whose house is guarded by a doorkeeper, dogs, etc. We cannot walk straight in, as in an ordinary house. Suppose, however, that we have a letter signed by the person himself, asking us to go and meet him; then the doorkeeper will on our showing him the letter, not only permit us to enter, but will himself usher us into his presence. In a like manner, if we persistently chant nama, which can be likened to an authorising letter, maya, the gatekeeper, will readily admit us to His presence. Nama-smarana is thus the permit that will take us into His presence despite the wiles of maya. Let us therefore get absorbed in nama, forgetting even the body. To lose body-consciousness in chanting nama is to become nirguna.
An urge for sensory pleasures constitutes domination of maya; nama-smarana is to live in God and in bliss.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachanu-Feb.10

February 10, 2009
Advice to the Aged

Blessed is he who gets a chance to worship and serve Rama continuously. There can be no greater good fortune than serving Rama selflessly. Speech devoted to nama, the body dedicated to serving the Lord, the mind ever engaged in contemplation of God; in brief, complete dedication to God; this is the most perfect way to serve Him. Whatever is perceptible is perishable; this is what the spiritually great always bear in mind. Be you like them. Take care of the members of the family; never feel dejected. And yet, be detached at heart. Be in the practical world but not of it. Hold Rama in the heart always. Verily, I tell you, there is no better path to your true welfare. Tell yourself that henceforth you live for Rama alone, that you relinquish all doership to Him. Harbour no thought except the divine name. Give up all desire for popular esteem, think of God alone. Keep the mind focussed on Rama, and remember nama always. Dedicate yourself to Rama wholeheartedly. Never be despondent; remember that you are backed by Rama.
In advanced age the body becomes weak and incapacitated, but the hankering for self-esteem continues to flourish; set this self-conceit away. Entrust family affairs to the younger generation; do not interfere with them much, and remain detached and contented. Take care about your regimen, but never be dejected or miserable. Physical capacities may get attenuated, but desires and tendencies continue unabated. ‘Me’ and ‘mine’ continue to dominate so long as the body lives. So dispossess the mind of all these desires and tendencies by surrendering them at the feet of Rama.
The body becomes weak and incapacitated, so look after it carefully. The body should not be allowed to lapse into indolence; at the same time, we should not ignore its present condition, and should adjust ourselves to its requirements and limitations. Yet, our faith in Rama need not, should not get attenuated. Continue to be happy in family life, with full contentment at heart, for contentment depends on no external factor. This can be done if you treat gain and loss with equanimity. None but we ourselves affect the state of contentedness; it can be maintained if we leave the body to its destiny. Ascribe all doership to Rama, and forsake all anxiety. This can be achieved by constantly repeating His name.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.9

February 9, 2009
Beware of Thirst for Esteem

Basically, we are part and parcel of the Eternal, but we erroneously believe that we are transitory. We have forgotten God, the Eternal. Because of a loving attachment for sensory objects we lose sight of the eternal. Our daily routine should be such that we are again and again reminded of the eternal. Really speaking, we should be constantly aware of the Eternal; since that does not happen, we should, as a reminder, devote at least some time every day to doing some appropriate reading and contemplation of what we read. This should become a habit with us. One who remains ceaselessly in nama-smarana lives in the eternal, as did Brahmanand.
Let us ponder how we can live unceasingly in nama. Implicit obedience to the sadguru is the sure means to this. Surrender yourself to him unreservedly. The seeker should read a little every day, think over it, act upon it, and finally surrender passively to the sadguru.
As a man grows in age his yearning to meet God should become keener. A sadhaka should do his spiritual exercise with an earnest mind, not merely as a routine. Haphazardness is harmful to spiritual progress. Implicit faith is the very stock-in-trade of sadhana. Rest assured that contentment is all in all. It is the thermometer with which to gauge one’s progress. Do not think on the defects and shortcomings of others, for we ourselves carry their seeds in our hearts. Hankering for respect and applause from others is highly dangerous, for it leads even well-advanced seekers to downfall. So, too, do inordinate covetousness and lust. All these are snares in which seekers may be easily trapped. The sole attachment which liberates one is attachment to the Divine; it secures perfect, eternal contentment.
Guard yourself against becoming a prey to thirst for public applause, for this fosters the ‘body-am-I’ feeling even more than money and lust. Be extremely cautious in this regard. Avoid going where praise is likely. If you cannot avoid getting esteem, treat it as God’s gift, not as what you merit. One who is really great never desires for respect and honour, and if they do come, cares not for them, spurns them. Search your heart to discover whether you desire respect; this will indicate what greatness you possess in reality.
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