Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-April 10

April 10, 2009
Remain ever Dedicated to Rama

Listen carefully to what I say. Dedicate yourself completely to Rama in your heart of hearts. Surrender yourself to Rama in all respects, taking Him to be your sole friend, sole relative. He is mercy personified. Say to Him, “O Rama, you are my sole refuge. You are the only doer in the world. There is none but you who distributes both the pleasant and the unpleasant. I suffer pleasure and pain on account of and according to my mental attitude.”
As long as the struggle for ‘me’ and ‘mine’ lasts, there can be no peace of mind. The only remedy as advised by saints is to approach Rama in utter surrender. They also show us the way to achieve this. Do not remain without effort; only, do not desire for a particular result or fruit. All action should be purely a matter of duty, never forgetting the Lord. In fact, first resign yourself to God, and strive only as an inspiration or direction by Him; be ceaselessly aware of His presence; and then your action will automatically stand dedicated to’ Him.
A mind at peace with itself is the hall-mark of a saint. Remember always that everything that happens is by the will of Rama; but you must exercise due caution in your worldly affairs. Be fearless in the knowledge that Rama is your protector.
Never look to faults in others; remember that the same fault may be lurking in you. The body, of course, depends on so many persons and circumstances; but your mind is free, if you keep it fixed on God. He is really in bondage whose mind is attached to a worldly thing. One who places himself passively in charge of Lord Rama will never feel loss. Remain unceasingly in the remembrance of the Lord’s name. In worldly life, observe the moral code. Women, children, everybody in fact, should adhere steadfastly to Rama.
The present times are really extraordinarily difficult. The mind, fickle by nature, is deluded or misguided too easily. One can never be too careful in this regard; for this, never let Rama be out of sight or out of mind. You don’t have to go in search of Him; He is right here, by your side. Indeed, one who always keeps Him in mind need not be afraid even of death. Constant prayer purifies the heart, and then alone we become fit to see the Lord.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan- April.9

April 9, 2009
Mission of Saints is to Remind us of God

He who realises the Ultimate Truth becomes omniscient; those who hold fast to it are saints. They are ever eager to show us the way, but our self-conceit comes in the way. Some persons charge saints with making people unresisting and inactive by asking them to requite evil by forgiveness and even kindness. Actually, the saints have done such a great lot for humanity. However, there is a world of difference between their doings and ours, basically because they ascribe all doership to God, whereas we try to claim all credit for ourselves. The achievement of the saints is subtle, ours is only for show, and so ineffectual.
One may have a lot of book-learning, but it is evidently futile if it does not percolate into outlook and action. To understand the real nature of this world, we should go to one who successfully keeps himself free of the mesh of pleasure and pain. Such a person looks only objectively on the world, and is detached in outlook as well as in action, whereas we get enmeshed in the snare of pleasure and pain. Because a saint’s heart is pure, untainted by selfishness, even his harsh words do not hurt, but are blessings in disguise.
Saints are usually not erudite in the popular sense. One may quit home while still only a child, another runs away from the wedding altar, while yet another may be utterly illiterate. Yet their existence makes itself felt even after they quit the body.
A child playing outside the home suddenly thinks of its mother and runs in to her. This means that the child always has a subconscious awareness of her. We should have a similar loving longing for God, a similar devotion. When this longing becomes a maddening passion, a saint comes along to pacify it.
Saints are born for the sacred mission of reminding the people at large of the existence of God. The greatest obligation they have conferred on the world is that, to the invisible Lord, they have given a habitation and a name, a saguna form that we can imagine, remember, and serve; they gave us the simple sadhana of nama-smarana; wrote for us great guiding and instructive books like the Jnyaneshwari and Eknathi Bhagwat; and advised us to feed people. One who performs these things to the best of his ability will never feel want, and will ever enjoy contentment.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-April.8.

April 8, 2009
Meditate on Nama with a Doubt-free Mind

When asked to practise nama people usually advance excuses. In point of fact, however, there is no real impediment. Stray thoughts throng the mind even when we are doing any other action; why, then, should we feel upset if such thoughts crowd the mind during meditation? As soon as you find time, take to chanting nama with faith.
Two pedestrian travellers saw a grove of mango trees. They asked the keeper if they could have some mangoes. He replied, “Yes, you may eat as many mangoes as you can in fifteen minutes.” One of the travellers started eating the mangoes, while the other plied the keeper with questions about the owner of the grove, the tax paid on the grove, and so on. At the end of fifteen minutes, the keeper said, “Time for you to go”. The first traveller had his fill, while the other had to depart without tasting a mango. This parable teaches us that instead of wasting time on idle inquiries we should start practising nama with implicit faith. We should go on with the practice whether or not we have understood its significance, as Dhruva did on being enjoined by Narada. He raised no doubts and queries, stuck to nama as the sole abiding truth, and thereby propitiated God. The saints are selfless souls and guide us with great sincerity; therefore, we should practise nama with trust in their word, and simply get saturated with it.
How long should we repeat nama? Until we get lost in it; for, once that happens nama will remain with us for ever. Nama is the highest truth. Spiritual knowledge, worship of deities, performance of rituals, etc., are undertaken to attain God and emancipation; but nama-smarana is the simplest and easiest path to it.
A large fortress was absolutely impregnable. It had a large gate secured by a strong lock. One person, however, managed to get hold of the key. Then entrance became absolutely easy. Nama is the key to emancipation. It makes attainment of God a simple matter. People complain that love for and faith in nama do not come easily. However, we may trust in what the saints preach, and take to nama wholeheartedly, incessantly. This is bound to lead to contentment. If we repeatedly chant nama we can certainly shake off the shackles of ‘the body-am-I ‘ feeling.
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Sri Brsahmachaithanya Pravachan-April.7

April 7, 2009
We Fail to Achieve Real Self-interest

Neither reading nor listening, however profuse, is really useful unless translated into action. An abstract thing will not yield satisfaction unless put into actual practice. The saints have told us so much, all to no purpose because we do not ponder over their preaching. They have with one voice affirmed that this human body is transient. And yet we continue to be attached to it; isn’t this truly strange? If we do not believe in the saints’ words, we should at least see what our own experience teaches us. The mundane-minded believe that all pleasure pertains to the body and the senses; but what does experience show? It is common knowledge that the young and the old, the pauper and the prince, everyone is struggling constantly to obtain happiness and peace of mind. We grow from childhood to youth, acquire education, find a job, earn money, marry and have a family; in other words, we strive for and usually get almost everything which we thought would make for happy contentedness; have we succeeded in the goal? It is true that leading family and, worldly life does need a certain degree of attachment to the body; but that does not mean that the entire life should be devoted to toiling for sensuous pleasures alone. This is not true self-interest; it is only catering to what, in reality, we are not for; what good can it bring to our Real Self when the body dies?
Those who only talk glibly but never act accordingly, come to ruin. It is necessary to abstain from talking so long as we feel we must talk. We should distinguish between liberty and licence. ‘Liberty’ has a sanctity, while ‘licence’ is ugly and profane. Strictly speaking, man has liberty only in respect of spiritual progress. In all other matters and those concerning the body, he is under various obligations and constraints; for instance, he has duties as a father, a husband, a son, etc. However, his supreme duty as a human is to attain Godhead. While attending to their respective duties most diligently at home or in their spheres of work, people should devote all the rest of their time to meditating on nama. In business, it is the net profit that we look for; similarly, the net profit of human life is the degree to which our attention is turned to God.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan.April.6

April 6, 2009
Saints are the Visible Embodiments of God

One who cannot conduct his worldly life properly will neither do well by way of spiritual life. One should resolve not to let the mind be ruffled by worldly events, and carry out the resolution with faith in the sadguru. Practise the sadhana assiduously, and get to know who you are in reality. When you realise that God is the only Reality, then only you will realise who you are. Do not abandon saguna even when you understand nirguna. To have a liking for the name of Rama is the greatest of good fortunes. Speech is the result of inspiration in the heart; if, then, we utter the name of Rama, He must be present in our heart.
Implicit obedience to my guru was my sole sadhana; what else, then, can I ask you to do? Association with a saint puts us on the right path. Saints do not cure us of disease, but they dislodge from the mind all fear of it. Saints are the visible embodiments of God. It is their mission in life to direct the minds of thousands towards God. It is impossible that a saint will advocate anything that contravenes the teaching of the vedas and the shastras.
Our feelings of pity are aroused on seeing an offspring of rich parents begging in the street. The saints similarly feel unhappy to see us forget our heritage and grieve, despite the rare good fortune of being born as a human, after the great cycle of rebirth in myriads of lower species. It is a very serious loss for the soul not to be able to attain God even in this unique human life. We should, therefore, manage to remain in the company of saints with the utmost perseverance, and earn their grace. Let us follow unquestioningly the path chalked out by them; then there is no fear of stumbling, falling, or failing. We get ourselves involved head over heels in mundane matters, so that we fail even to notice the rousing call of the saints. Let us keep at least within earshot of that call. Let us put our faith in the teaching of the saints; this will create in us love for God which, in turn, will reduce our attachment to worldly pleasures. Thus, if we maintain association with saints it will eventually lead us to our ultimate good.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-April.5.

April 5, 2009

Effect of Association with Saints

A pedlar vending medicinal herbs and roots carries a peculiar bolus which can absorb poison or toxins when placed over the spot of a venomous sting or a festering wound. When washed, the special property of the bolus is restored. In the same way, our sins are drained away in the company of a saint, while the saint himself remains pure and holy as before. Association with a holy man can, perhaps, be secured, but it is very difficult to maintain it. Generally, we seek the company of what we like; and because we are impure at heart we seek the company of sensuous persons. Sense-objects may not be harmful in themselves, but it is the company of sensuous persons that is debasing. Company affects us for evil or for good. A saint is a person who does not help us in the gratification of worldly pleasures but, on the contrary, weans us away from them. A saint is one who kindles love for God in our hearts. We should have an earnest longing to meet such a saint. Sense-pleasures are very enticing; but when we feel that we should free ourselves from their clutches we should resort to the company of the devout. When evil thoughts beset the mind, take recourse to nama.
Those who see everything as the manifestation of God, and the universe as His pleasurable amusement, alone find true and lasting joy. That is why the saints always talk of God. Saint Tukaram used only to utter the name of the Lord, ‘Vitthal’, ‘Vitthal’, but its sweetness far surpassed that of the best of our music.
Saints feel deep and sincere compassion for us; we cannot even gauge its depth; because our mind is steeped in sense- pleasures, we take their advice lightly, though it is in our interest. When we are ill we take the prescribed medicine even if it is unpleasant to taste and smell; then why should we not attend to the benevolent advice of the saints as an antidote to miseries of worldly life? Even the apparently harsh words of a saint do not hurt, because he is constantly in communion with God.
Absolute fearlessness is the chief mark of a saint; there is no cause for fear when one feels that he himself pervades the universe.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-April.4

April 4, 2009
About Saints

One who surrenders himself to a saint, putting aside his own knowledge and wisdom, is a true sadhaka. One who sees the whole universe, including his disciple, as a manifestation of Rama, is a real guru. He never behaves under the constraint of obligation, nor does he harbour the slightest fear. Saints know on what spiritual level the disciple is. The mundane-minded are subservient to sensuous considerations, while saints rule over them. We may say that we have met a saint if we get an experience of the peace and contentment which a saint possesses, or if a liking for it arises in us.
A patient may know nothing of the constituents of a medicine and still get cured if he takes it with faith; a person who knows nothing of cooking can have a discriminating palate, and can eat food to his fill; so, too, a person may not be able to express it in words and yet have had spiritual experience.
As we do not feel sorry for common salt having a salty taste, and accept it as its nature, so the saints do not worry over battles, riots, feuds, disasters, harassment of the good, and so on, realizing them to be the very nature of the world. Not that they like them; indeed, they even strive to eradicate those evils.
Frogs living in a well or a small pond have no idea of the vastness of the ocean; so, too, we have no idea of the greatness of saints. Saints were initially just like what we are today, but they elevated themselves to the present height by dint of constant awareness and contemplation of God.
We need not undertake a search for saints. If we are really intense in our desire, they will themselves come searching for us; they look only to our earnestness.
A saint is like a detective; he lives among us, like us, but unrecognized by us. He can see what goes on inside his body, but does not worry about a disease it may have. He has the power to change destiny, but never evades or alters it; it has to be faced. Whatever sadhana the saint prescribes for a sadhaka is according to the latter’s capacity; so it behoves us to obey his advice implicitly.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-April.3

April 3, 2009
How to Recognize a Saint

Foodgrains often contain stone particles which we cannot recognize and sift; for instance, there are undistinguishable white stone grains in rice, which it is extremely difficult to detect and remove. Saints, similarly, live among us, appear like us, without our being able to make them out. Books often enumerate the qualities of saints, but still we may not be able to recognize them from the common people. The one quality by which we can unmistakably recognize a saint is that he sees God in everybody and everything. That, however, is a criterion which we cannot successfully apply unless and until we ourselves become saintly.
We should never slander anyone. When we see faults in others, we should bear in mind that those faults are in us, too, in a dormant, if not active, form; we should at once pray to God and entreat Him to rid us of them. We should take care to reform ourselves first. Until our mind is thoroughly cleansed of impure thoughts and desires, we shall not be able to see God everywhere.
Simple food is easier to digest than food made up of different ingredients and condiments; so, too, a simple, innocent heart can easily mix with others, We cannot do so today because our heart is impure. A man of simple, straightforward, innocent heart generally walks gently and talks softly and sweetly. He is liked by all. Our contentment or lack of it depends on our outlook on the world. ‘I live not for myself but for others; it isn’t that the world is for me; rather, I am for the world;’ we should cultivate this attitude towards the world.
In the heart of hearts one should be without desire of any kind, and devoid of covetousness. Never desire that another’s wealth come to you. One who owns a lot of money may be called wealthy; one with erudition may be termed learned; a farmer is one who keeps a farm; yet, none of them may be called great; one may be a miser, another proud, and the third may have some vice. He alone is truly great who possesses all good qualities together.
Conceit sullies the mind; also, this conceit works in a subtle manner, so there is no knowing how and when it will attack. Remembrance of nama is the only antidote to conceit; let us therefore, chant it ceaselessly, and live happily, fearlessly.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-April.2

April 2, 2009
The Two Kinds of Good Company

Good company is inestimably beneficial. We can keep company with a saint in one of two ways: one is physical proximity, while the other is to be in the sadhana advocated by the saint. The former is indeed rare; firstly, we cannot easily recognise a true saint even if we chance to meet one; and, secondly, even then doubts may beset the mind about his genuineness. Besides, if you fall in with a hypocrite, he will definitely lead you to ruin. Physical proximity with a ‘saint’ is, therefore, fraught with potential risk.
The other kind of company, namely, the sadhana advocated by him, is free from all risk; for, what is advised by him (whether he is genuine or fake) will have to be the correct thing. Even a hypocrite will have to give correct advice, if only to maintain the similitude of genuineness; and such correct advice, if followed sincerely by a seeker, is bound to do good. If you are fortunate enough to locate a genuine saint, however, physical proximity with him is tremendously effective. Just as we travel with the same speed as the vehicle we employ, and all we have to do is not to leave it, to hold on to it, so, if we are fortunate enough to find a real saint, it would serve our purpose even if we just keep in his company. In such company, there is nothing that we need to do beyond associating with him. That removes all scope for pride in us, and also mitigates desires. That is why Saint Tukaram requests God to grant, not money, nor even moksha, but just the company of the godly.
The company of the godly induces us to take nama; and nama alone will maintain steadiness of purpose. It keeps just what is necessary and removes the rest. But it must be taken with absolute faith. It gradually gives steadiness to our thought; and it is only then that we can really avail ourselves of the physical company of the godly, which leads us to God without extraordinary labour or penance. Sadhana gets automatically done along with the things going on there; worship, prayer, listening to good thoughts, chanting nama. Therefore we should make special efforts to keep in good company; we should not cite ‘destiny’ as an excuse against it.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan- April.1.

April 1, 2009
Associates Greatly Influence One’s Life

The kind of persons we associate with, greatly influences us. Their influence affects and moulds us very greatly, and almost unknowingly. Persons going by different conveyances travel automatically at the respective speeds of the vehicles. When we travel by a railway train, we cannot control who should take the next seat. If he be a smoker or a tobacco-chewer, we must tolerate him even if we have a nausea for tobacco. Undesirable or bad company is thus troublesome, often even debasing. On the other hand, the company of the good is always profitable, elevating, promoting beneficent desires and noble thoughts.
A sannyasin may be living under the shelter of a tree, and without food. Anyone who goes to him there must partake of the same shelter, and go without food like him. Suppose one went to Saint Ramadas; he would ask the visitor, too, to accompany him with the begging bowl and go to solicit food in the neighbourhood. If, however, a person visits a saint who is a householder, he will see to it that the visitor is fed.
Food carries with it a trace of the desire of the person who provides that food; so we should even request if necessary, for food in a saint’s place. It is not easy to keep in constant physical company of a saint, for we may be living away from his residence; even otherwise, busy as we are, working to make a living, how much time can we spare for his company? But one can be assured of beneficial company in the form of nama-smarana anywhere and at any time.
Desire cannot be satiated by indulging it, but only by living in God. Peace of heart will only come when we feel convinced that everything takes place at His will, and therefore, we should not expect or desire for a particular result. Only then can we attain complete surrender to God.
If we repeat the holy name while keeping in the company of the good, we certainly get free from the shackles of ‘the-body-am-I’ feeling. The food eaten in different countries may vary, but the water needed to digest it is the same all over the world; similarly, whatever the method of worship one follows, it does not come to fruition without nama. Therefore take to nama in all earnestness.
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