Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan – Feb.8

February 8, 2009

Nama-smarana Best for Self-interest

A gentleman met me and said, “I desire to see God. Have you seen Him?” I said, “Yes, I have.” “Can I see Him, too?”, he asked. I replied, “Yes, most certainly; but not with physical eyes. The sight with which to see Him is different.” There is only one way to see Him, and that way is ceaseless nama-smarana. There is no other way. I say this to one and all, and it is necessary to heed to it in order that they should know whether they are following the path of their interest. But heeding will be effective only if put into practice. What is put into practice will alone serve you. Dedicate yourselves to nama-smarana; there is no other means of achieving ultimate self-interest. If there is anything which is naturally ours, which is free of all conditioning and restrictions, which is dependent on nothing else, it is the divine name. Therefore, whosoever repeats it with purity of heart and action, Rama will surely look after his interest.
Believe implicitly in the sadguru’s behests. If he says, ‘you will find the treasure if you go a hundred paces in this direction,’ he evidently cannot be held responsible for failure to find it if you walk even twice as much but in a wrong direction. You say you desire to see God in form; but if seeing the sadguru and talking with him fails to satisfy you, what use will it be to see God in a tangible form? The idea that your well-being lies in something other than what the sadguru has told you to do, should not even enter the mind; so implicit should be your faith in him; you should wholly identify yourself with him, whole-heartedly belong to him:
There is nothing that achieves true self-interest except nama-smarana. To desire that, with the help of this potent nama, a member of the family should be cured of illness, is simply expending the power of nama for a petty mundane purpose.
When our need ends, we forget God, just as we throw away the remnants of medicine on getting over an illness. If we place implicit faith in the words of the sadguru, pleasant and unpleasant happenings cease to disturb the mind, implicit faith accompanied by unceasing sadhana breaks the shackles of worldly life; this constitutes genuine spirituality.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.7

February 7, 2009
Devote Maximum Time to Thinking of God

People generally aim at acquiring more and more of those things which give pleasure to the senses, in the belief that this will result in greater happiness. This belief is not, however, substantiated by experience, for we do not find that those who have such things in abundance are happy. In fact, the more we have of them, the more is the greed for such things whetted. Besides, as a person ages, the body and its senses grow steadily weak and lose their capacity to derive pleasure. Thus, one never acquires real contentment.
A Wise man should therefore, studiously practise and learn to keep his happiness independent of external things, by focussing the mind on God instead of on such things. God is eternal, complete in Himself, and ever blissful; meditating on Him, therefore, instills these qualities in the mind. For one who acquires this divine bliss, life has a sweetness that passes our imagination.
A person who lives and works in the mundane world often finds it difficult to reconcile the demands of practical life with the practice of spirituality. It is common belief that one cannot do justice to both at the same time. For such a person, it would be advisable to do his worldly duties conscientiously and to devote all spare time and energy to contemplation of God. At present, we do not apply to God and to spirituality even such free time as we do have. Let us, therefore, resolve to dedicate at least some minimum time every day to chanting nama, the divine name. There are many things which interfere and prevent; reluctance itself constitutes a major impediment. We should be wary of such impediments and interferences, and persevere in chanting nama, disregarding the world’s adverse influence and comments.
We should make it a practice to read every day some portion of a book or books by saints, concerning the divinity. We should meditate on what we read, and try to see how it can be put into practice. One who does this will progress rapidly in spirituality and attain true contentment which, in other words, constitutes divine bliss.
We should treat worldly life like a sport; pay proper attention to it, but without much concern for success or failure, holding God in the heart as the focal point.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.6.

February 6, 2009
Nama, Self-surrender and God-realization

Complete self-surrender is the only means for God-realization; such self-surrender is best achieved by nama-smarana, or constant remembrance of nama. Remembrance and forgetting are both properties of the mind, not of the body; besides, they are both involuntary. They are both devoid of “doership” or ego, since there is no bodily action involved. Nama-smarana is, in this sense not ‘done’, it ‘gets done’ by the grace of God or the guru. Consequently, nama-smarana is most effective in surrendering oneself to God.
Self-surrender has another sense, namely, to stop activity of one’s own volition in respect of action, speech, and thought. This, however, is not easy. Slow cycling for instance, is more difficult than normal or fast cycling. Desisting from doing a thing may often be more difficult than doing it. Self-surrender to the sadguru means effacement of ego, that is, of the pride of doership. Nama-smarana done at the behest of the sadguru eliminates the sense that ‘1 am doing it’. Indeed, it is the sadguru who is prompting me in it, and therefore He is the doer, not I. Nama-smarana is the means par excellence for achieving thorough self-surrender.
In the Bhagavadgita, the Lord asks Arjuna, “Simply surrender yourself to Me”. Now such surrender is not possible without first eliminating body­consciousness. Attachment for worldly grandeur, and realization of God, do not go well together. It was therefore that Shrikrishna directed Uddhava to retire into solitude and meditate on nama if he was really keen to attain Him. This means that God is not attainable unless one turns one’s back on the world and its lures.
The laws for attaining to God differ from those applying to the acquisition of worldly things. To do the necessary bodily acts and to dispose material things accordingly, to satisfy a desire arising in the mind, is the worldly way; it calls for translating an abstract idea into concrete act. With God, the situation is the reverse. Because the Supreme Being is extremely subtle, to attain to It is going from the concrete to the abstract. The instrument to achieve this must, therefore, be one that takes the concrete to the abstract. Nama, being physical on the one hand, and close to the subtle on the other, is the one such instrument.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.5

February 5, 2009
Nama-smarana with Genuine Sincerity

Usually we find it easier to repeat nama while we are in happy circumstances. If anything goes wrong, however, our attention is distracted, and it repeatedly reverts to whatever has gone wrong. The reason is that our chanting lacks genuine sincerity. Repeating nama with true faith is only possible if we have an intense conviction that God is our all in all; then, and then alone, shall we be able to maintain steady nama-smarana despite ill health, pain, reverses, set-backs. We read in the Mahabharata that Lord Krishna rushed to Draupadi’s rescue only when she called out to Him with the conviction that it was He that was her last and true resort, her sole supporter and protector. We, too, must think of Him with the same sincere conviction, the same singleness of heart with which a child calls on his mother for help. It is only adversity that reveals on whom we really rely for help.
The practice of nama consists of three stages: one, chanting nama superficially, casually, in happy circumstances; two, remembering nama in adversity, with the unflinching trust that God is the sole support; and three, ceaseless remembrance of nama, after that trust becomes ingrained. In the first stage, one prays that calamities be averted. Saints, on the other hand, pray God to send calamities, because they know that it is in adversity alone that God is remembered with ardency.
We should feel as sure of the existence of God as we are of our own. We get only occasional glimpses of the presence of God; the idea will only become translated into practice if the mind is thoroughly convinced that God dwells everywhere. Only then shall we come to do nothing but what He likes or approves of.
We should get up early every morning, bow to God in submission, visualize Him in the mind, and pray, “O Lord, please caution me whenever I happen to forget You, for You are my only resort.”
Whatever and wherever a man may be, he will surely get peace of mind if he remains absorbed in contemplation of God. One who lives for God will never get bored with life.
The joy of sensual pleasures is like the euphoria produced by an intoxicant, and has an aftermath of enhanced misery. Real joy can be experienced only by one who lives in God.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.4

February 4, 2009
Nama Alone Annihilates Passions and Desires

Passions and desires are the root cause of birth. Desires can be summed up as wishing that the pleasures we have should continue forever, and fresh ones should be added. As a first step towards obtaining emancipation from this state, let us modify our desire and say to God,” Grant the continuance of the happiness we have today, and give such additional happiness as You please to.” We shall thereby be conscious that whatever we get in addition has come from Him; and about what we do not get, we shall always feel that He does not will it. There will gradually arise the conviction that everything comes from God, both what we have and what He grants. This will, in its turn, mitigate hankering and uneasiness for fresh things and attachment for what we already have. Likes and dislikes, as well as the feeling ‘this I want’ and ‘that I don’t want’, will gradually wane.
It is impossible to vanquish and transcend passions and desires on one’s own strength and determination; utter surrender to God and His will is the only remedy. Keeping appropriate company will also go a long way. If, for instance, we associate with a recluse, our desire for fine clothes will gradually die down; but living in the company of the rich may foster love for foppery. We should, therefore, keep such company as will gradually create a spirit of self-surrender.
Complete surrender to God means complete dedication of ourselves and all we have, to His service. This, in other words, means renouncing all upadhi. For this we must adopt a sadhana which is absolutely free of all upadhi. Nama-smarana is the only such sadhana. Time and space, good circumstance and bad, wealth and poverty, scholarship and ignorance, sickness and health, status, sex, age-none of these can be an impediment to the chanting of nama. Nor does nama require any appliance, whatever. The only essential thing is the will to chant it. It can be carried about in the heart, always and anywhere. Without penance or hardship, it will absolve the mind from desire and passion. Have faith that the Lord is at your help and support, and then vritti will not yield to passion and desire. While practising nama we should maintain an awareness of God’s presence. Time and space are subservient to one who practises nama.
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shreee brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.3

February 3, 2009
Nama-smarana Reveals our Defects

Awareness of one’s defects and shortcomings is the first step in any type of spiritual discipline or sadhana. As he makes progress in his sadhana, the aspirant comes to realize his sins and vices vividly. Eventually, they appear to be mountainous in proportions. Alarmed by this, he despairingly appeals to God; ” Lord, full of these colossal frailties, how can I ever hope to be fit to see you at all? Can I ever qualify for your darshana (vision)?”
An ordinary man may be easily provoked to anger, for instance, but he either denies it, or justifies it as a pragmatic necessity to inspire others with due awe or sense of authority. A certain sadhaka once complained that he had lately become quite prone to fits of anger on even small provocation. The fact was that he had always been so, only, with progress in sadhana, he had come to notice it and recognize it as a defect.
A marriageable youth had seen many girls one after another, to choose a bride, but, being extremely finicky, none of them would measure up to his choice. On returning home from one such ‘bride-selection’ visit, his sister who had accompanied him, asked him, “What do you think of this girl?” The youth gave the usual negative opinion. The sister who was a shrewd girl, quickly held a mirror before his face and asked, ” How does she compare with this?” The youth, perceiving that her looks far surpassed his own, had to admit the fact and agreed to accept her.
We see defects in others because we are unaware of our own. We should remember that when we see a shortcoming in another person, we have in ourselves the seed of that defect. One must, therefore, give up the habit of finding fault with others, and practise introspection of our drawbacks. To find defects in others is what the common man does, but this is inconsistent with spiritual life. A sincere spiritual seeker resorts to constant introspection. He does not notice defects in others because he is ever preoccupied with the enormous burden of his own, and in comparison, he finds others superior, even godly. This is the true spiritual attitude. Indeed, constant introspection to remove the seed of defects from oneself is a very effective spiritual exercise; and this can be achieved easily by nama-smarana.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan – Feb.2

February 2, 2009
Nama Alone can Rectify Thinking

In a last effort to avert the impending internecine war between the Kauravas and Pandavas, Lord Shri krishna Himself approached Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas and pleaded for the grant of a token kingdom of just five villages to the five Pandavas. Duryodhana replied, “Intellectually, I accept the logic and justice of the demand, but the inclinations of my mind refuse to accept it. As you are the Lord Omnipotent, just metamorphose my mind, and the very root cause of dispute will vanish.” This could not be done, however, and a bloody war did follow. Similarly, Ravana too could not be brought to reason. This shows that even a divine incarnation cannot rectify evil dispositions of the mind. It is only the Lord’s name that can achieve this. The dire circumstances of the present age therefore call for recourse to nama with singleness of heart.
Suppose a man develops some trouble in a limb, say, the leg, and the doctor advises amputation, to obviate possible future danger to his life. Would it not be wise to sacrifice the limb for the safety of life? Similarly, constant awareness of God should be considered the main function of human life, and other activities subordinated to it; for, such other activities without that awareness would lead to miserable disappointment and frustration in the end.
The root cause of human misery is, not that things do not shape up as we want them to, but, rather, we desire them to be different from what God, in His infinite wisdom, has ordered.
A cat, having caught a mouse, toys with it for some time before finally killing and eating it up. Exactly likewise do time and death play with us humans, beguiling us with false hopes but callously passing on beyond our limited span of life. We should very clearly recognize this, beware of being deluded and misled by such false hopes, and should understand that living in constant awareness of God alone makes life worthwhile and gainful.
The pundits pride themselves on their erudition, discuss abstract, abstruse matters, and profess to guide others; but they all really labour under a delusion, forgetting that top priority should be assigned to maintaining constant awareness of God.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Feb.1.

February 1, 2009
Nama-smarana Eradicates the “Body-Am-I” Belief

Nama-smarana is the only means whereby one can realise one’s true self. There is a spark of the divine in all creation. However, human being alone, of all creations, is capable of realising it, because he is the only being endowed with the faculty of logical reasoning and inference.
Initially aware of his high lineage, jeeva gradually degrades himself. At birth, he helds the conviction “I am He, the Divine Being.” Then he lapses into “I belong to Him.” Finally, when his fall is complete, he goes to the extent of denying even His existence. This is the result of the increasing hold of the body-consciousness, the “body-am-I” feeling, culminating in the firm belief that he is nothing but the body.
Even so, however, man sometimes speaks as if he knows the truth. For instance, if a friend dies, a man says, “Gone, alas, is my friend”, although he may be present before the dead body. This means that his friendship did not relate to the friend’s body but with the spirit or soul that had departed. Curiously enough he completely overlooks this in thinking of his own body and other living persons. This happens because, evidently he forgets the eternal, imperishable soul part, and body-consciousness has taken complete possession of him.
The obvious remedy for redemption from this situation is retracing the steps. The first thing to do, then, is to disabuse the mind of the idea ‘I am the body,’ and to rekindle the awareness that ‘I am, in reality, a part of the eternal Cosmic Spirit.’ Finally, one should realize the identity between the individual spirit and the Cosmic Spirit or Brahman. This can be achieved by constantly reminding oneself of the Cosmic Spirit, from whom the individual spirit came and to whom one really belongs. Nama is the easiest and most effective such reminder. Constant repetition of nama will awaken and maintain the knowledge and realization of the true self.
The spiritual destination is not difficult to reach if one follows the correct path. It is as simple as untying a knot, provided one knows which end of the string is to be pulled; if we pull the wrong end, however, the knot turns into a tangle. Since the Cosmic Spirit is nirguna, I can only realize it if I likewise become nirguna; and this I can achieve only by shedding the ‘body-am-I’ belief.
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