Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-March.21.

March 21, 2009
Greed Remains ever Unsatiated

There are two kinds of diseases that harass man. One is, utter lack of appetite. No amount of medication produces desire to eat. What use would it be to place a sumptuous meal of choice delicacies before him? He would only plead lack of appetite and decline the offer. In the other disease, the patient’s hunger is never satiated, no matter how much he eats. Exactly similar is our condition; only, we are afflicted not with one but both these diseases. There is a grand festival of spiritual exercises going on about us, worship, prayers, hymns, but we have neither love nor interest therein. We have no appetite for them. On the other hand, God has endowed us with so many material gifts, wife and children, vocation, property, that contribute to worldly happiness; but our avarice is insatiable, we want yet something more. How far, how long, is this to go on?
It may be true that we observe the moral and social codes of behaviour. But this is only under inhibitions or fear of social reproach or stigma; this cannot be called intrinsic improvement. Such good conduct may be only superficial, unless it leads to an improvement in human life as a whole. What we see in the world today is a plethora of amenities, conveniences, and gadgets, which, however, have not added an iota of contentment to human life. All this is really useless unless man’s greed is lessened and there is longing for God. Popular ‘religious’ acts such as pilgrimages, worships, singing of hymns, etc., may only remind us of spiritual life but may not purify the heart; and without such real betterment, progress towards God is unthinkable.
There is no measure to decide how much a man needs to have in this world; whereas, one who is determined to feel contented will be happy with whatever he has. Life lived with proper understanding can certainly expedite spiritual realization without necessitating renouncement of worldly life. We may not have love for God today; it will be generated in due course by persisting in devotion to saguna and nama-smarana. This repetition of nama may be insincere or even forced in the beginning, but persistence will create love for it in due course and will lead to yearning for God. It is essential to feel that ‘I am no longer my old self; I now belong to God’.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-March.20.

March 20, 2009
‘I’ and ‘Mine’ – the Cause of Unhappiness

Rid yourself of all fear, in the firm belief that Rama protects all. He will surely stand by you if you deliver yourself up completely to His care; that wipes out all cause of worry. Considering Rama as the true and only giver, eschew all fear and anxiety. Never cease striving, harbour no fear, and never let Rama be out of your mind, whatever may befall. Assign all doership and ownership of your life to Rama, by surrendering yourself completely to Him in your heart of hearts; where, then, is the cause for anxiety and anguish?
Misery and sorrow spring basically from identifying one’s self with the body. So far we have been doing everything with egoism, which is the root cause of sorrow. Despite our outward claims that we have abandoned all ego, the feeling persists deep in the bottom of the heart, and that is the seed of misery. Obstinacy and insistency, are symbols of inner pride of doership, and this is the cause of unhappiness. Any feeling of unhappiness in life is a sure sign of the existence of ego. There can be no sense of contentedness so long as your effort springs out of the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. Selfishness is an expression of ‘I-am-the-body’ conviction, and leads to misery and ruin. Every effort made so far has only fed and strengthened the ‘I-am-the-body’ conviction, the source of pain and sorrow. One who entertains that conviction will never find happiness anywhere. It only leads to attachment to interests other than Rama or God. Never yield to this egoism which totally destroys peace of mind; for, sorrow reigns where ego resides. Elation at merit and fear of sin also arise from this sense of ego.
One who loses himself in passions and desire is in for great misery. Clinging to them destroys one’s higher interest. The flow of ‘desire’ is endless, like that of a river. Desire is mitigated by neither indulgence nor suppression. We consider ourselves to be the body, and so cannot endure pain even for a moment.
I have no control over anything or any person that I call ‘mine’; how, then, can I expect the world to conform to my will? We can perhaps gift away all things, but there still lurks the sense of doership and self-esteem, which is precisely what keeps us away from realization of God.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-March19

March 19, 2009
Love all People Selflessly

Love is a fundamental instinct common to all beings, including man. Indeed, life devoid of love will be unendurable. On the other hand, pure love can conquer the whole world. The giving of love involves no effort, costs no money. And yet, we do not find love universal; pure, selfless love, in fact, is rarely to be found in human dealings. The reason lies in differences between individual likes, dislikes and nature, and in mutual relationships inherited from past births.
It is understandable that people take kindly to persons of agreeable nature and similar ways of thinking and living. Dissimilarity in these respects may, correspondingly, cause apathy; but the antipathy or hatred which people often feel is unjustifiable. It should be borne in mind that the reason for which we entertain hatred may similarly suffice for the other person to hate us. The adage ‘Many men, many minds’ should never be lost sight of. People are bound to have divergent views and different likes and dislikes. We should always make an allowance for variety in these respects, and treat people with the same tolerance that we expect from them, and not hate them. Rather, we should try to see what common and agreeable factors we can find in others, and therewith establish mutual concord and love. Make a beginning with your own family, gradually extending the circle of love to include other relatives, friends, and acquaintances, and ultimately to embrace in it all humanity. This feeling of love should be pure, devoid of all selfishness and guile. It should become a part of our nature, and should be reflected in all our actions, speech, and even look. At home, there should be mutual regard and loving consideration. Mutual relations in a family should be of love, not of awe. We should suggest but never insist. Never say ‘this shall be done,’ ‘this shall not be done’. What happens should be accepted gracefully, as His will.
We should cultivate a natural love for God, like what exists between mother and child. We would then be able to view the world and all happenings with a sense of detachment, amusement, admiration. Love for the Lord and His creation is the very soul of spirituality; we should constantly pray to Him for the gift of such love, and live in ceaseless awareness of divine love and dispensation.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-March.18

March 18, 2009
Keep Incessant Awareness of God in Prapancha

What, in the ultimate analysis, is the aim of the lifelong struggle of any human being? Happiness, as everyone will agree. But can anyone come forward and honestly affirm that he has found permanent, unalloyed happiness? Everyone puts forward one cause or another for the deficiency in his happiness; it is want of enough money, or lack of good health, or loss of a dear one, and so on and so forth. There is always want of fulfilment of this desire or that, which deprives one of happiness. And the fun of it is that this ‘desire’ is endless. Running after ‘desire’ is elusive, like running after a mirage. Who has ever caught up with a mirage and quenched his thirst? So, too, whoever had all his wishes granted, and desired nothing thereafter, were it even the preservation of what he had? How at all can we expect perfect, imperishable happiness in a world which is itself perishable and ever-changing?
Let me show you a simple way to be happy even in such a world. Simply learn to believe that this prapancha is not yours but belongs to the Lord. Easy as this may seem in words, it is very difficult indeed to put into practice, unless you earn God’s grace; and the way to earn it is, completely surrendering to Him. His grace will come upon you in a torrent; only you should not obstruct it with ‘I-am-the-body’ feeling. With the exclusion of every other thought, feeling, or desire, deliver yourself completely to His will and dispensation. The Lord’s grace is ever-flowing, ever-shining; it is we that overcloud it with doubt. Say to Him, “O Lord, I am utterly yours, and yours alone. This prapancha which I call mine is yours. I am ignorant of the path of devotion. Do guide me; I shall implicitly follow you.” Pray to Him in all earnestness, and live happily, contentedly, in whatever circumstances He places you.
You come to me with much expense, inconvenience, and trouble; what pains me is that you go back empty-handed. I would rather like that you return with love for the Lord, which I freely give you and which you cannot obtain in the practical world.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-March.17

March 17, 2009
Anxiety Keeps us Away from God

The Lord resides in sattwaguna, so we should strive to acquire it. If we want that He may come to us, we should not only do our duty diligently, but perform every act in a spirit of dedication. Be practical, and put in proper effort in worldly matters, but simultaneously see that you pay due attention to God, as much, at least, as you pay to worldly matters. We realize the degree of our dependence on others when we are ill, and it brings home to us the narrow limits of our personal capacities and efficiency.
We would find no cause for worrying about our affairs and condition if we only looked at those whose circumstances are worse than those of our own. One person worries about the recovery of his lendings and deposits, while another is worried about his owings to others, and yet another feels troubled in respect of his children. And the fun is that in all this maelstrom of anxiety, no one worries in the least about the betterment of his real self, his inner self! It is our thoughts of the past and the fear of the future that keep God away from us. Apprehensive about tomorrow, we deprive ourselves of the pleasure that we have today; isn’t this really strange? The one unfailing remedy for this is instantly to give up worrying, and to devote the time saved to nama-smarana.
One person once came to me, complaining that his son was a happy-go-lucky chap, absolutely oblivious of all worry or thought about the future. ‘How will he fare when he grows older?’ he asked. I said, “Your worry is apparently justified; but, if I may ask you, you have yourself worried about things all your life; what have you gained by it beyond physical and mental trouble, and beyond forgetting God? Why do you now ask your son to do the same? I would certainly urge him to do his duty diligently but live happily; but I for one would also urge him not to worry.”
How can one say that you are a true believer in God, so long as you worry about your prapancha? He alone can really be free of anxiety who lives in the faith that whatever is, is good and sufficient. He alone can get free from worry who surrenders himself to God’s will.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-March.16

March 16, 2009
How to Reduce our Attachment for Prapancha

Our present situation is like that of a person who wants to eat his cake and have it too. We aspire to the contentment which God alone has and can give; while, at the same time, we do not want to give up our clinging attachment for prapancha. Our love for either, thus, lacks constancy, whereas genuine love is single-minded, unswerving.
True, abiding happiness can be found with God alone; but it is by no means necessary to give up prapancha; what we need to give up is only our attachment for and entanglement with it. This can be done if we realize the true nature and value of prapancha. We have our own experience to convince us that prapancha, however diligently we do it, cannot bring true happiness; and yet it is almost necessary, unavoidable, to do it. What then, is the degree to which it is necessary to us? No more than the walking stick which an old man or a disabled person carries with him when going out.
In order that our present bonds of attachment to prapancha should weaken and finally be severed, and that, correspondingly, love for God should steadily increase, we should abide by the rules laid down by the shastras, exercising control over our acts, thoughts, and speech. Their observance will gradually wean us away from worldly life. If we ascribe all ownership and doership to Rama, whatever ‘profit’ or ‘loss’ ensues will automatically go over to Him, and we shall stand unaffected in prapancha.
Upright, moral behaviour is the very foundation as well in the spiritual quest as in the conduct of worldly affairs. The dictates of the shastras aim at ensuring that one controls passions. Our thoughts should be pure, and untainted by selfishness, hatred, or jealousy. Never wish ill to others. Exercise rigid control over speech. Always speak gently, sweetly. We want to employ the tongue for uttering the sacred name of the Lord; how, then, can we defile that tongue by uttering anything that hurts the heart of another, that is hurting the Lord who resides therein? Let us withdraw our interest from mundane matters and apply it to God.
What I advise you is strictly the same that the saints have been advising for ages. If you believe in it firmly and act accordingly, I assure you that Rama will make you happy.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-March.15.

March 15, 2009
The Divine is Nothing but Yourself Minus Upadhi

An exposition of Brahman in words is not possible beyond a certain limit, just as a mere description of the sweetness of sugar cannot give a satisfactory, complete idea of it. However, we may comprehend the truth from a proper understanding of the “non-truth.” Similarly, one who correctly understands maya or illusion can be said to have comprehended Brahman or the Reality.
Maya, after all, is nothing but the shadow that obscures Reality and precludes a true view of it. The Reality is ever-existing, never changing or perishable; maya, on the other hand, is anything and everything that comes into existence and eventually perishes. So long as one remains steeped in maya or unreality, there is evidently no possibility of realising Brahman, which is the Truth. Under these circumstances, the impermanent, perishable, illusory maya tempts us away from God that is the unchangeable, imperishable Reality, the home and treasure of bliss. That philosophy alone is worth the name which emancipates us from the illusion, and takes us to the Reality. Since God, or Brahman, is alone true, lasting and blissful, whatever is done for its attainment is true. Realisation that we are basically a part and parcel of the infinite divinity, is true emancipation. This realisation will come only if and when a person strips himself of all upadhi.
Om, the sacred syllable, is the joining link between the Brahman, which is impalpable and the creation, which is palpable. In the spiritual quest, we gradually cast off tangible forms and intellectual concepts until we arrive at this link, Om, which is but another word for nama, since nama and Om are identical.
In the Bhagavadgeeta, Lord Krishna admonishes Arjuna: “If you really possess true knowledge you must calmly and courageously face the situation; if you don’t, do not pose as a wise man and indulge in glib talk of truth, morals and duties, do not put forward fallacious arguments and pleas, but listen to and be led by one who really knows.” In plain words, this amounts to saying, “Surrender yourself to and be led by the saints.”
Compared to the creation, man and his capacities are insignificant, and we are mere pawns in the hands of a Superior Power. So whatever pleasant or unpleasant things happen, should be contentedly accepted as the will of that Superior Power, that is, God.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-March.14

March 14, 2009
Divert Love for Prapancha towards God

Love is a natural instinct. One does not have to be tutored about loving one’s daughter or son. Where there is a liking, fondness follows. But this love is, in the ultimate analysis, also selfish. Were it not so, a person would not complain that his son is self-willed, not obedient. A person complains thus because such behaviour hurts his ego or self-interest. A freshly married youth’s father, when asked how his son treated him, replied, “I’ll tell you after about six months,” during which period he expected to find out how the son’s bride tutored him and how he reacted to it. So undependable, unpredictable, is worldly love. How can one depend on this? Therefore, in prapancha one should only think of one’s duty, irrespective of the others’ response.
Prapancha, indeed, is like a laboratory or a workshop in a school, where its purpose is merely to instruct or give practice, not to turn out a remunerative product. Prapancha should therefore be considered only as a place of instruction, not as the producer of a profitable article, namely, happiness.
If we review our experience, how much achievement can we find for which we can claim sole credit, and how much is attributable to circumstances over which we had little control? Therefore, think not much about the circumstances, only do your duty conscientiously, without letting the mind become overmuch affected by external things. Everything has to await the proper, predestined moment for fruition. It is therefore yours only to do your duty conscientiously, telling yourself that all that happens is by God’s will; thereby you will gradually acquire respect and love for God. The fondness which we feel today for prapancha should be diverted to God. Studiously learn to love selflessly everyone in the family, and this will automatically lead to walking on the spiritual path, and create love for God. There is no separate exercise needed for this purpose. That fondness for God will arise if you feel that you cannot do without Him. For this we must ever remain in His company; and to remain in nama-smarana is the easiest way, the only way, to achieve this. The brain may forget what has been read, or seen, or done; but you will never forget the divine name if you decide to hold fast to it.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-March.13

March 13, 2009
Our Faith in God should be Firm, Unflinching

A child crying for its mother will not cease crying until it is reunited with her. So, too, the individual soul will find no peace until it is re-united with the Cosmic Soul, or God. Our main care, therefore, should be to see how we shall attain God, and not how we can mend a rickety prapancha. We cannot rid ourselves of worry for prapancha unless we repose firm faith in God. If He is the protector of the universe, are we not ourselves under His protection? Remember always that everything that happens is entirely by His will and in His wisdom; then the difficulties and trials of prapancha will not bother you. Only see that your faith in God is unflinching.
We read in the puranas that one day, in the course of the Kaurava-Pandava war, Bhishma, the patriarch, vowed that he would kill the Pandavas. They, knowing that his vow would never be void and ineffectual, naturally became very anxious. However, Draupadi’s faith in Lord Shrikrishna was unshakable. She referred the matter to Him. He said, ‘Undoubtedly, Bhishma’s vow can never fail. Still, let us try a stratagem.’ He led Draupadi to Bhishma’s quarters, where at night access was permitted only to women and sannyasins. Himself staying outside, he said to Draupadi, “Bhishma is about to fall asleep; you go in and bow to him in the traditional manner, but taking care to rattle your bangles,” the bangles indicating that the one bowing was a woman with the husband living. On her doing so, Bhishma spontaneously responded with the traditional blessing, ‘May you and your husband live long.’ Then looking at her, he discovered to his dismay that it was Draupadi! He said, “Draupadi, somebody has evidently prompted you to do this!” and coming out, right enough, he discovered the prompter, Lord Krishna Himself. The task had been achieved, thanks to His help.
So have single-minded, unswerving faith in Him. If there is anything that militates against such faith, it is our personal pride, our vanity, our ego. It affects all, high and low, and sometimes becomes so unquenchable that God has to incarnate Himself to annihilate it.
The sovereign remedy to check and destroy this ego is nama-smarana, provided it is done with unswerving, single-minded faith, and with no object but nama itself.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-March.12

March 12, 2009
Never Forget ” Rama is the Real Doer”

God is pure bliss itself, bliss neither caused nor affected by anything. If you meditate on His form, visualize Him as with a benign, smiling face. Man looks for joy in everything. A little cool breeze on a hot day pleases him; a shower in the hot season fills him with hope of pleasant relief. In short, he is ever on the lookout for joy, he hungers for joy. Now a hungry man eating food will have joy and the satisfaction from it; but if, instead, he eats poison, he will not have the joy but only death. So, too, a person indulging in sensate pleasures only suffers therefrom. Sumptuous food served to a person with intestinal worms, nourishes not him but the worms; similarly, if we do good deeds not selflessly, but with an ulterior selfish desire, it only fattens the desire instead of bringing us contentment. Therefore, even good acts should be done only as a selfless duty, and then they will not affect us adversely.
Man usually becomes habituated to the practices of the trade, profession, or service that he has followed in life. An advocate, for instance, gets into the habit of arguing and pleading in and out of reason. One who spends a lifetime in service will feel and behave as a servant even in a dream. On the other hand, whatever one does should be done sincerely but detachedly, dispassionately, unaddictedly, purely as matter of duty; otherwise it is bound to become harmful.
After all, it is impossible to remain perfectly still in any single position, without doing anything whatever. To have to do so would be the severest punishment. We are naturally so constituted that we cannot but do something or other, must do one activity or another. Done in forgetfulness or connivance of the fact that Rama is the true doer of everything, all actions affect us adversely, and only lay a foundation for the next birth or incarnation. Therefore, whatever you do should be done in the unshakable conviction that Rama is the real doer and that you are only his tool. We certainly cannot remain inactive, but trouble arises because we look longingly for certain results. If we do things without any expectation of this kind or that, the job is itself its own reward, and gives contentment.

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