Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-April.30

April 30, 2009
Saints Dwell where Nama is chanted

God is certainly far away so long as we look up to the world with expectation; He cannot be reached while we are addicted to worldly matters and pleasures. Loving worldly life will lead to certain ruin. We are so completely identified with worldly matters that we find it virtually impossible to disentangle ourselves. Worldly pleasures and pain, respect and disrespect, all arise from selfishness, egoism, which makes us forgetful of God. Pleasure and sorrow, good fortune and bad, are the flows and ebbs of worldly life. We cannot dislodge maya unless we realise our true self. Now gird up your loins and resolve to overcome maya. Whatever we see outside is but a reflection of our own mind. Remember that the realization of the Supreme Being can alone give perfect contentment.
We find that sorrow arises from the very thing wherein we seek pleasure. Man can attain his real goal if he follows the correct path. To the person from whom we have some expectation, we naturally have to become subservient. The body is made of pancha mahabhootas, the five primary elements, and is therefore perishable. Do not be attached to the cognizable world, because it is impermanent; contentment can only come by God’s grace.
Not circumstances but the attitude of our mind is the cause of our bondage. You cannot be a complete devotee of Rama without categorically abandoning worldly pleasures. A mind which is devoid of interest in sensuous objects will alone attain bliss. It is in your interest to strive for ultimate good. He is a brahma-jnyani who is always in deep, loving contemplation of nama. Freedom from attachment to woman and wealth is the true mark of a saint. None can equal him who sees God in all creation and loves Him in His myriad forms. He is jeevanmukta, liberated while yet in the body, who gives food free to all who come, who chants nama, and who has realized Rama in his heart. One who aspires to be a ‘Ramadasa’, a servant of Rama, should completely abandon all expectation from the world.
A tranquil, unruffled mind is the mark of a saint. Saints are to be found where there is continuous chanting of nama. There can be no better fortune than to surrender oneself unreservedly to a saint. Practise nama to secure the company of saints.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-April.29

April 29, 2009
Abandon Attachment for Money

Lust and greed for money, are both harmful to spiritual life. But if I am asked to name the one more harmful of the two, I would unhesitatingly say, “money, because it greatly weakens faith in God”. Whatever money God has given us, can we honestly say we really merit it? Therefore, do not unnecessarily wrangle with a beggar in giving him alms; for, it amounts only to an attempt to evade giving him anything.
A man may renounce all his possessions but not his ‘self’, his ego. Actually it does not matter even if he retains the possessions, provided he really surrenders his ‘self’; but the converse is not true. In other words, all giving is in vain if there is a feeling “I donate “. The main thing is to divest oneself of the very concept of ownership, doership, or attachment; it is this that gives pure happiness.
If we try to raise the superstructure of happiness on the shaky, insecure foundation of the frail, mortal body, how can we hope for success? I call this body ‘mine’, but am unable to prevent it from getting fever or suffering an injury. I say, ‘I am perfectly able to look after myself,’ but if I stumble and fall, I have to be carried home by others. That shows the hollowness of my boast of independence ! How can any work done egoistically achieve success, no matter how hard the body toils for it ? Achievement will only come if God wills it. Samartha Ramadas first annihilated all egoism and worked only as directed by God, and that is why he succeeded. Only that will achieve success which is done by one dedicated to God, and only he gets real contentment.
How can one entertain conceit of wealth when we see even princes reduced to poverty? Wealth gives rise to feuds even between close relatives and friends. So I exhort you to steer clear of attachment for money. An easy way to achieve such detachment is to remain in company with the godly. We doubt the existence of saints in today’s world, but we fail to find saintliness anywhere because we do not sincerely long for it. People approach saints in the hope of betterment in worldly affairs; how many approach him for the purpose of dedicating themselves to him?

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-April.28

April 28, 2009
Earnest Yearning is an Invitation to a Saint

We shall feel the need for a saint only when we feel disgust for the unsaintly. Sensuous matters continually plague us, but we do not see how to get rid of them. Only he who feels he has lost his trail in a forest will think of inquiring about the right way. We shall keenly feel the need to meet a saint only when we feel that we are advanced in age, that death may claim us any moment, and that Rama is our sole support. Outwardly we seek the company of the saintly, but inwardly we are all for worldly things. We have to go to a saint in order to forget our ‘self’, for that means remembering God. We feel anxious in the absence of a letter from a relative who is away; do we feel equally anxious to meet God who has been away from us since our very birth? We perform nama-smarana, but have we ever cared to know the One whose nama we take? How can we meet Rama so long as we cling to His opposite, namely, the sensual world? How can we simultaneously have both when the two are mutually antithetical?
We cannot renounce action so long as we are conscious of the body; only, while acting, we should ascribe all authorship to God.
One who has realised the Truth will talk little or not at all about it. Another may have experienced the reality, but may talk about it only because otherwise we, the poor ignoramuses, will never know what It is. But those who indulge in empty, pedantic verbosity only, without any first-hand experience of the Ultimate Truth, are the lowest order of men. That man alone can lead the world who neither deceives others nor permits himself to be deceived.
Some saints hurl stones or abuses at others, and are still followed by people, because even such actions from them turn out to be blessings. There are many, however, who do not realise this. A father may smack his own child while he condones another’s for the same offence; this is because he has his child’s true interest at heart. A saint’s heart always overflows with concern for the weak of the world. He has no selfishness, and is sincere and solicitous to the core. We must, therefore, place full trust in what he says.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-April.27

April 27, 2009
Things to be Avoided by One who Practises Nama

Our thoughts should be free from selfishness, for it produces and pampers pride and vanity. A selfish person never can be happy. Observe the moral code. Look on another’s wife as your mother. Householders who never think of other women except as a mother are virtually brahmacharis Covet not another’s wealth, look on it with disgust. You have no idea how deeply harmful such covetousness is. Slandering others is the third major point which should be scrupulously avoided, because in discussing others’ faults we concentrate our attention on them and thereby inculcate them in ourselves, and thus assist in our own fall. Take these major precautions, and love for nama is bound to arise. Never fail in doing your duty towards your parents, other elders, children, etc., without attachment to anything that you do. Duty is an act done without egoism or attachment, and without expecting any return. Never neglect your duty, observe the moral code meticulously, and carry on your worldly life in the remembrance of God; then your ordinary life itself will constitute a spiritual exercise, and love for God will arise in your mind; you may take this as a solemn promise from me.
Worldly life is like salt. How much of it do we add to the dough for bread? Only a pinch, for taste. If we reverse the proportion, how will the bread taste? But that is like what we do, treating worldly life as the main goal and spiritual duties as merely secondary. When a man realises true contentment, he treats family life like a game or diversion, caring nought whether he succeeds or fails, and quite willing to call a halt to the play at any time.
Worldly life demands and offers numerous things, but they never suffice, because obtaining one thing itself contains the seed of the requirement of another. Not so with God; when once we obtain Him, it is the end of the search. Suppose we go to a big store which stocks many things, except the one we need: then the store may be very big but not to our purpose. Similarly, if one possesses many faculties but God is not there, all the rest is of no avail. Instead of trying to drag God down for assistance in worldly pleasures and purposes, we should spiritualize our worldly life; it is in this that true ability lies.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravchan-April.26

April 26, 2009
Saints Made the Supreme Being Perceptible

Total dedication is the supreme form of devotion. While worshipping, say to yourself, “Lord, I am Your humble servant”; this will generate in you love for Him. Dedicate yourself to Him and then worship Him; there is nothing in this to be ashamed of. We slave for people, passions, and circumstances; only what remains thereafter we offer to God; this is far from total dedication. You can achieve this total dedication by mental worship, manasa-pooja, in which everything is done mentally. Offer to Him whatever you yourself like. Love is not generated by physical toil, unless this is accompanied by the utmost sincerity of heart. Do not worship only outwardly, with the mind engrossed in worldly matters, for this is feigning, which is harmful. Sagunopasana helps most in developing love for God. Do this at a fixed hour and in a fixed place. The deity we worship, albeit mentally, is saguna too, and will thus expect pooja at that hour and place. The effulgence of the idol we worship will wax in proportion to our ardency. If an idol has been worshipped by a very devout, righteous man, it will radiate a peculiar effulgence, will be useful to many others, and will last long.
Sagunopasana will alone impart to us knowledge of the creation. Real devotion must remove all anxiety from the mind, while the body passes through the cycle of prarabdha. The lustre which a true devotee radiates is really of a special kind, and is unequalled by that imparted by learning or wealth. He alone can achieve something worthwhile in this world who is backed by sincere upasana.
A certain woman would sit with closed eyes, and she would see the vision of the goddess she worshipped, who would give her guidance about many matters. Later the woman stopped meditating on the goddess, and lost her special vision and guidance. Therefore, we should not stop our upasana whereby certain supernatural powers support and guide us.
The saints have given a tangible form to the intangible Ultimate Reality, and thereby they have conferred a great boon on us. It creates in us an awareness that it is God who is the giver, the supporter, and that He will certainly look to our ultimate welfare.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-April.25

April 25, 2009
Saints Conjoin us with the Supreme Being

Our heart is crammed so full with sensuous passions and mundane desires, that there is no room for love for the divinity. If we try to force this love in, it is spilt out and immediately evaporates. To fill this heart with love for God, we must first evict those passions and desires, and then charge it with love for God. It is common experience that a thing which is obtained repeatedly and in abundance cloys us. Let us now try to acquire something which will not so cloy; and there is only one thing which answers to that description: it is God.
A very high-ranking officer gets a stamp made of his signature, and authorises a trusted subordinate to use it at his discretion and in his name. Similarly, God gave the saints His name, to be used at their discretion, and to give to a deserving person.
As a human being, there is little distinction between us and a saint, except that while he acts as he preaches we only talk tall and glibly, but if anyone crosses our path of selfishness, we talk ill of him. We dislike a person who loves to do what we love to. We talk approvingly of moral principles, but do not act up to them. Let us therefore learn to practise what we preach.
One does not take a railway train for its own sake, but for reaching a certain destination. Similarly, saints leading a family life did not do it for the pleasure of it. They always strove to save ignorant souls, without ever deflecting from their spiritual level. They have provided us with the support of the Lord just as a drowning person may be saved by casting a rope to him. One who lives in the company of a saint himself becomes a saint in course of time, just as the wood of a tree in the vicinity of a sandalwood tree acquires the same scent. Indeed, the greatness of a saint lies in leading an ordinary person to spiritual height without his performing austere disciplines.
Even righteous persons feel that their mind is not yet purged of passions. But if we merely harp on these passions every now and then, they may thereby multiply rather than diminish. So just ignore them, only see that the body does not act up to them. Then they will automatically diminish.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan- April. 24

April 24, 2009
Implicit Obedience Ensures “belonging” to a Saint

No less important than the need to live is that of getting to know the creator. Who can escape criticism of the world? One who devotes himself to spiritual life is charged with neglecting worldly life; we had best ignore such comment. The only cause of real regret can be that one does not yet belong to God. One who accepts the Lord’s doing and will, cannot but come by good. We should feel contented in whatever circumstances God keeps us. God is bliss itself, and it is in the very nature of all creation to lead everyone and everything to that bliss. There is scope for blissfulness even in the midst of the direst poverty. In fact, man cannot survive without some degree of joy. When every being is of that eternal bliss, whence comes this bugbear of sorrow? If I feel sorrow, there must be something wrong with me. The liberated never feels doubt as to whether he is right or wrong, because he is one with God. The spiritual ignoramus simply discounts the existence of God, and never suspects himself to be in the wrong; he assumes the authorship of whatever he does. Qualms are only felt by the mumukshu. When the qualms become acute, a saint comes along to quell them. This only happens where there is considerable store of past merit.
We should live as is meant for one “belonging” to the saints, that is, as one who has none but the saints to support him. Such a person acts scrupulously within their behests. We should not imitate their actions but act as directed by them. Cultivating association with the eternal truth is identical with the company of saints. To act without attachment to anything is the mark of a liberated soul. There is no cause for sorrow when we give up the desire to “have” or “not have” anything.
To feel the presence of the sadguru whatever we are, and to get perfect contentment in that feeling, is the true grace of the sadguru. What devout faith can achieve is unobtainable even by austere penance. Understand once and for all that the guru is identical with the Supreme Being, and there is no better spiritual exercise than implicit obedience to him; it is as good as penance, and we need feel no desire to do anything else by way of spiritual practice.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-April.23

April 23, 2009
Books Written by Saints are their Testament

Saints do not write books out of fondness for writing; on the contrary they do so with great reluctance. Their knowledge is intuitive, and comes directly from the Lord. Do you think Samartha Ramdas and Eknath wrote their books after repeated reading and study of the Jnyaneshwari? It is inevitable, of course, that they express some thoughts already set forth by predecessors. The saints’ works are their testament. Which father would bother to write a testament if he were sure that his sons would behave properly? It is only written by one who is not sure in that respect. Similarly, saints have written not because they liked to do it, but purely out of compassion for the well-being of suffering fallen souls like us. Such books are closely connected with our life; they set forth philosophical principles which are directly applicable in everyday life.
Shri Samartha Ramadas has in his Dasabodha raised doubts and queries on our behalf and answered them, too. A person who does not think of his lasting welfare is an obvious fool, but one who tenders gratuitous advice is doubly guilty. Saints accept even this blame and try to preach spiritualism, and it is in our interest to attend to it.
When reading a spiritual book we should carefully look for the sadhana advocated for attaining the goal. If we carefully select the most suitable sadhana we can be sure of success. We should read only books pertaining to spirituality, which we want to be proficient in. If we want to study mathematics but read only fiction, how can that lead us to success? To attain spiritual ideals, therefore, we should study only the saints’ works, and ponder and meditate on them.
With the mind firmly fixed on God, we should let the body and its affairs drift on the current of fate; they may sometimes be in a pleasant state, sometimes otherwise; floating on a straight course for a time, nearly sinking at another. However, under any circumstances, our mind should be peaceful and blissful. We should learn to look objectively at ourselves; this we can do if we surrender ourselves mentally to God and physically to prarabdha or destiny. The feeling of pain of the body should be treated with indifference, and not allowed to affect the mind to any depth. Pursuit of nama helps us achieve this.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-April.22

April 22, 2009
Association with Saints, Best Means to Attain God

To be born a human being, to meet a saint, and to recognise and associate with him: these are the rarest things on earth. That is why living with a saint is incomparable good fortune. It may, in fact, be termed the king of sadhanas. Saints eradicate all desire in a man; and then there remains nothing to be acquired.
The body of a person performing religious rituals very meticulously, automatically acquires a characteristic radiance or aura; such you may not find with a saint, but his body is invariably a fit temple for divine knowledge. The ways and means of acquiring pleasures of the senses may be better known to us worldly-minded persons, but the blissfulness that is beyond the capacity of the body and that transcends time and space can only be obtained by remembering God and thereby being oblivious of the physical body. That is divine bliss; and only a saint can guide us in realizing it. One may go to a saint with the object of fulfilling some mundane desire, but the saint will manage to send him back divested of all wishes; in fact, one who achieves this for every person that approaches him is a true saint —nay, he is God Incarnate. We should long to meet such a one. Saints make us cognizant of the Ultimate Reality. The true achievement of human life lies in following a saint’s behest in word, deed, and spirit.
All persons sitting in a railway train reach the terminal station, irrespective of the class they travel by, and even those without a proper ticket. Similarly all persons living in the company of a saint reach the terminus, namely, the Ultimate Reality. The wicked, the sinful, the unrighteous, the unworthy, and the despicable, who may be said to correspond to the ticketless; these, too, will achieve liberation. The only proviso is that they do not leave the train en route, that is, they hold on to the saint’s company. Therein, indeed, lies the greatness and the glory of a saint.
In man’s quest for liberation, association with saints is of paramount importance. This association can be obtained in three ways: physical association, association with the mantra conferred by the saint, and association with his lofty thoughts and teaching. All these kinds of association exert an influence that takes place almost unawares, but is quite positive.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-April.21

April 21, 2009
Living as Directed by the Saint is True Association

Every sacred function commences with an invocation to Ganapati, and is wound up with bidding Him propitiatory farewell. So, too, the beginning of the perusal of a spiritual book as well as its termination should be marked with an awareness of God, only with this difference: that whereas in a function, after the end, we remain and Ganapati is given a farewell, in the perusal of the spiritual book we should merge our ‘self’ at the end with God, with the prayer, ‘O Master, keep me as you please, but I beg you grant that I may never be unmindful of you’.
When you sing a hymn, do not forget that it is God that is your object. If you have Him in your thought, it does not matter even if the body is engaged in household chores. Do not set God aside out of fear about what the world thinks of you. Think on what you are in reality; that you will realise when you try to see who you are not. A little thought will show you that you belong neither to kith nor kin, nor to wife, child, parents, nor even to the mind and body that you think to be yourself; what remains after eliminating all these, is the real you. True contentment is only obtained in unity with the Supreme Being, in giving up all duality. Ego creates the sense of duality, so endeavour to conquer that ego. For this, attribute all doership to God, try to feel that God is immanent in everything, associate with the good. The real good is in the Ultimate Truth. True association with the good and the godly consists in having faith in their words, and moulding our thought and action accordingly. Keep single-minded faith in the saints. Follow their way. Do not think it humiliating to be in their company. Those, who continually indulge your sensual needs are not true saints. True saints, on the contrary, reduce the attachment to sense-pleasures. Surrender yourself to such true saints, for they alone can purge the mind of hankering after satisfaction of the senses, and can create a yearning for God. Their language always rings with sincerity, and therefore it appeals to us, converts us. Implicitly follow their teaching.
The world can never be devoid of saints. We can only recognize them by assiduously practising nama.

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