Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May.31

May 31, 2009
Total Surrender to God

He is a true and sincere devotee who, does everything with the genuine faith that it is service to, God. One can only free oneself of doership by being such a devotee. To, desire nothing but God is the mark of a devotee. Actions, even good and kind ones, lead to, bondage if done with a sense of doership. Therefore, perform every act in the remembrance of God. It is no breach of ritual if one forgets the prescribed daily ablutions because of being engrossed in nama-smarana. Only the time spent in the contemplation of God is spent happily. We forget ourselves while enjoying sensuous pleasures; it would be far better to, forget ourselves in meditation.
Implicitly obeying the sadguru is tantamount to surrendering one’s volition. Such obedience effortlessly wipes out pride of doership. In the early stages, our volition often raises its head and tries to, defeat the attempt of passive obedience to the sadguru, but stubborn determination overpowers this volition, which then gradually dies out. Never disobey the sadguru even if it costs you your life. Obeying the sadguru is the means par excellence to stamp out body-consciousness.
Take care of your duty as well as of your morals, and keep company with the godly. Saints and householders may both lead a family life, but the former attribute doership to God, while the latter claim credit for themselves. If you assume doership, you will naturally have to, bear the good or bad consequence.
If a man’s wife falls ill, he spends sleepless nights to, nurse her; can he not then similarly forget himself and strive tirelessly for God? This is certainly possible where there is real yearning for God. To the question, “When is true liberation obtained? ” Shri Samartha Ramadas has given a very cogent answer in the words: “the moment you forget yourself in remembrance of God “. To forget oneself thus is to, realize nirguna.
Association with a person generates affection for him; will association with God not create love for Him, then? The essence of religion and the shastras is to achieve complete surrender to Him and live solely for Him.
Our true self is distinct from both the body and the mind. Try to live so, by engaging yourself in nama-smarana. Nama is so potent that it will achieve that end; no other means can achieve that.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan – May 30

May 30, 2009
Remember Only Rama, Forgetting all Else

The only way to make God our own is to do everything without assuming doership. Harbour neither hatred nor jealousy towards anyone, see our Rama in everyone. Avoid slander and rather, look critically at yourself, to foster good qualities and eradicate defects and evil tendencies. Behave so with others that people hanker after you. This can be achieved if you have a liking for none but Rama. Rama’s grace will lighten even great physical pain. Rely on Rama as your saviour, and keep your mind from being affected by anything. Never entertain pride, and be fearless at heart. Whatever pain or sorrow Rama chooses to inflict, accept cheerfully.
Leave the body to suffer its destiny; take care to see that you do not stray from your sadhana. To belong to Rama – let this be your unswerving goal. The body may suffer pain or pleasure under the sway of fate, but keep your mind fixed on Rama. Keep your knowledge concealed under the plea of ignorance. Look not for faults in others, but improve your own. Make it a rule not to harm anyone. Be devoted to Rama in your heart, and see God in all.
He who holds Rama as his master should neither whine nor cringe. Never beg for anything; keep your faith firmly in Rama. Remember we have to turn even unpleasant things and situations to our good. Forgetting the Lord makes us succumb to temptation; so concentrate on devotion and nama; listen not to other “knowledge.”
It is Rama who creates all circumstances; so see His hand in everything. Our thoughts will be on the right track if we remember that Rama is the doer of everything. Pay no more than casual attention to worldly gain or loss. Conduct yourself cheerfully in life, with unflinching faith in Rama. Strive for that, glorious moment when Rama alone occupies the mind to the exclusion of everything else. Give no quarter to any inclination or desire that does not pertain to Rama. Never forget that you belong to Rama, and in that thought always be contented. “Now that I truly belong to Rama, I feel perfectly blessed.” Stabilise this conviction, and you may be sure that Rama will be pleased.
Nama is powerful enough to take and secure you to Rama. To this moment I have been asserting that your true interest lies only in nama.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May.29

May 29, 2009
Ardent Yearning for God Is Essential

A man is pleased if we do what he likes. God wants nothing but love. To beget love for God, we should cultivate attachment for Him. We should resolve not to rest until we attain Him, no matter what others say. Where there is a will there is a way. Earnest longing does discover the way. Saints are eager to guide us, provided we surrender our ego.
I shall cease seeing faults in others only when I myself become free of all faults. The root cause of all faults is that I forget God. To forget Him is indeed the prime sin. When we commit a sin we take care to see that we are unobserved; the remedy is to remember that the Supreme Being is everywhere and sees everything.
Any deed performed with expectation of a return becomes harmful. That act alone is good which brings God closer. What is the use of observing religious rituals if we resort to malpractices in life? Keep faith in God, and expect nothing from whatever you do. Dedicate your mind itself to God instead of engaging it elsewhere. If the mind so dedicated subsequently takes pleasure in sense-objects, it is no dedication at all. Pray to God with all sincerity, saying, “Lord, let my worldly life be as it may, but grant that I may never be unmindful of Thee.” In doing anything, recall the thought that you belong to Him. One who holds fast to God even in adverse circumstances is daunted by nothing.
What calamities befell the Pandavas despite the Lord Himself being with them! One may well ask why the Lord did not avert the calamities rather than letting them come and, then helping the Pandavas out; the simple answer is that if the calamities had been warded off beforehand, one may feel they were not of much consequence at all. Calamities are merely the fruition of our own past deeds. Consciousness of God enables us to face calamities more equably and keeps us contented. Even those who are favourably placed do not enjoy contentment. So those less favourably situated need not be sorry, because contentedness is not a function of circumstances at all. Discontent is, in fact, an ill common to all, and the remedy, too, is common for all – remembering God.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May 28

May 28, 2009
Treat Your Family Life as Belonging to God

What is vairagya but discontinuance of desire to have this or not to have that? If a calamity comes, instead of wishing it away, we should remember God and pray, “Lord, do not let me ever desire to ask for anything.” While you should not deliberately cause suffering to your body, if suffering does come in natural course, accept it calmly, ungrudgingly, cheerfully.
If one feels or knows that prapancha is unreal, is it not inconsistent that one should wish or expect it to be comfortable, or to relish it? Let it be as it may; let us do it only as a duty, as an actor’s part in a drama. Do not arrogate to yourself credit as doer, whether in prapancha or in sadhana; for, while the former is the fruition of prarabdha, the latter is really the prompting of the sadguru. Worrying about either is therefore futile, and it is best to accept cheerfully whatever happens. The moment you give yourself up to the sadguru, your past actions and sins become his concern, and he takes charge of your future as well. So cease brooding over past sins, and give up all anxiety about the future; live in the present in joy and contentment.
Spiritual life is nothing but leading worldly life as a proxy-holder for God, the proper owner. To maintain constant remembrance of Him, to ascribe all ownership and doership to Him, to do everything only on His behalf, is true dedication. To say only at the end of an action or episode “I dedicate this to Thee” – does this not imply that I had been unmindful of Him the rest of the time?
So we should pray to God thus: “O Lord, call me Thine. I lay down my mind and heart at Thy feet. Let me never feel the desire to ask anything of Thee.” Asking for anything but His name is like begging the King for a broom. If you pray to God in right earnest, He will surely guide you. As we walk in the dark at night, a lightening flash lasting only a fraction of a second may show us the entire way ahead; similarly, if we pray earnestly to God, He does not withhold His guidance. Assure Him that you will like whatever He bestows on you, and keep His constant remembrance. Can there be any other way to meet Him?

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May 27

May 27, 2009
Prideless, Selfless Good Turns are Service to God

It is essential for everyone to have an obliging nature, but discretion must be used in deciding who should help and when.
The primary need of every field, for instance, is enough water for itself. Only if it has any to spare should it think of passing it on to another field that is in need. Similarly, those alone can be true philanthropes who have first liberated themselves; they re-incarnate themselves only to uplift others.
Now, does that mean that the common man should not at all think of doing anything for others? Not so at all. Everyone must have an inclination to make oneself useful to the deserving so far as one can, but there are the obvious limits of one’s capacities.
Real altruism consists in exerting for others, not with selfishness or pride of doership, but purely as service to God. This, naturally, is free from undesirable consequences. However, this is not easy; a common man feels self-righteous and falls an easy prey to self-esteem and pride of doership. Therefore, whenever a chance arises to do something for others, one should avail oneself of it but in a spirit of thankfulness to God for this grace, and begging for further similar opportunities to serve Him. If we fail to keep this thought in the forefront of awareness, there is no knowing when pride of doership will sneak into the heart and cause a downfall. One must maintain constant vigil in this regard.
The straightforward meaning of philanthropy or altruism is doing something for others. This evidently calls for two persons; the obliger and the obliged. The common man thinks in terms of two entities: himself, and the rest of the world. This “world” is obviously different for each individual, peculiar to each person. When we get a chance to do something for another, we feel elated at having obliged someone, thus falling an easy pray to a sense of superiority, and to egoism and pride. Even those reputed as philanthropists, but without firm faith in God, will sooner or later fall a prey to expecting or seeking public esteem and honour. All saints have therefore cautioned us to be specially vigilant about this. If we remain constantly in nama, egoism is naturally ousted, vigilance becomes easy, and the mind attains contentment and placidity.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May.26

May 26, 2009
To Remember God is Righteous Thinking

Why is it that not everyone feels God’s existence although He pervades all creation? His existence is apparent only to those whose faith and feelings are mature, not to others. Such faith and feeling can be generated only by constant remembrance of God. I feel that one who repeatedly chants nama lays me under an obligation, because such a one uplifts himself and to that extent, all creation.
A question that haunts many so-called ‘rationalists’ is that if it is God who grants reason to man, then how can man be blamed when his reason leads him astray? The answer is that, while it is perfectly true that man’s reason comes from God, we must see what causes its proper and improper exercise. To give an example: light and darkness are both caused by the sun, the one by his presence, the other by his absence. Similarly, reason functions aright where there is remembrance of God, and goes amiss where God is forgotten. We thus see that although reasoning is a gift of God, it is upto man whether it works well or ill. Its working will not be tortuous if guided by His remembrance; therefore, man should always maintain His remembrance to avoid his reason going astray; this is achieved by nama-smarana. One should live in nama wholeheartedly. Better still it is to do one’s worldly duties and maintain awareness of God all the time. This day, every day, we owe to His grace, and we must therefore use it in His service, His remembrance. If we spend our days in this manner, every day will be happy, like the festival of Diwali.
This state of spiritual union with God is related to neither age, sex, wealth, nor any other circumstance. Constant awareness of God achieves what other sadhanas seek to achieve. This, indeed, is the distinguishing trait of kali yuga.
This constant awareness of God, means concentration of the mind on a single subject, to the exclusion of all other things. Such unbroken consciousness of God is punya, spiritual credit, or merit; it is the fulfilment of human life. Achieve it, and all noble qualities will follow. Pray to God in utter submission, “Lord, happen what may to the body, I implore you to see that I never, for a moment, miss awareness of You.”

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan- May.25

May 25, 2009
Achieve Joyfulness by Directing Desire to God

All in the family should live cheerfully and joyfully. We should have such a disposition that whoever desires joy and cheer should hasten to us. Distributing largesse may impoverish the donor or may not suffice the recipient’s need; cheerfulness of disposition, on the other hand, is a fund that is inexhaustible.
Life has its origin in God, Who is all bliss; so life should really be endlessly blissful. It is only acquirable, however, when the ‘body-am-I’ conviction dies. Bliss, being natural, is easy to acquire; it only needs that we, too, become simple, that is, free of ‘conditioning’ or upadhi, which has weighed us down. Everybody is in search of bliss; so learn to be joyful in all circumstances. Bliss is basically ever-lasting, but we seek it in sense objects, which are transitory, and therefore we fail to find true, lasting bliss. A pustule of scabies causes itching; the scratching gives a kind of pleasure but draws blood and causes irritation; does the pleasure justify the scratching? A dog chews a bone, under the impression that he is tasting the marrow; but he is actually tasting his own blood from his mouth, some of the blood actually falls on the ground and is lost to his body, but he does not let go the bone. The joy obtained from sense-pleasures is exactly similar. God manifests Himself in the bliss that comes without the help of any material thing.
If a man withdraws his desire from the material world and turns it to God, he experiences nothing but bliss. Desire is like fire. Fire helps to give us fresh, tasty, warm food; but, applied to a house, it can burn the entire edifice to ashes. Similarly, desire turned to God can make a man blissful; whereas, if applied to sensual pleasures, it lands him into misery and grief. Desire offers varying sensuous enticement to us every day; or, rather, the pleasures are not new, it is the desire that renews itself. Desire, which is synonymous with pride or ego, is the archenemy of man, and effectively obscures divine bliss; it deprives the human mind of contentment. Even when man understands this, desire is so overpowering that it haunts and continues to lure man, to his last breath. There is nothing to equal the effectiveness of nama in vanquishing desire. When desire ends, what remains is sheer bliss.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May 24.

May 24, 2009
Value Nama as Your Life

God has endowed man with the unique gift of speech; will it be proper to employ it for anything but the chanting of nama? How can we afford using the tongue for futile chatting about mundane matters, instead of employing it for nama-smarana whereby we can attain God? You buy books for the purpose of study; if you merely use them for a pillow, how can that impart knowledge? Therefore, I say, employ this precious gift of speech for nama-smarana. God has blessed us with sound health and robust legs; had we rather not be legless if we do not employ them for the attainment of God?
You have before you the example of Brahmananda. He devoted his entire life and energy to nama-smarana, to which he stuck heart and soul. You may not be able to emulate him, but the least you can do is to love nama no less than you love the body. In the present times of Kali yuga, every day means further digression from faith in God. Be vigilant lest you lose faith. If scepticism overtakes you, resort to nama-smarana with redoubled vigour. Trust in me in this regard, if not in worldly matters.
Do not exploit nama for a worldly motive. Nama-smarana should be done for its own sake, and you shall get genuine bliss from it. Take stock every day of how much time you devoted to nama; resolve to spend at least part of the day in practising nama and thereby your faith shall become firmer. True contentment will be fostered by repeating nama. Nama is self-existent and natural; persist in it despite doubts and distractions, for they will disappear in course of time. It is the master remedy to uproot doubts and distractions. It is like money deposited in a bank; you can depend on it in times of need. Approach the Lord in all humility and complete surrender, and earnestly implore Him to grant you love for His name; this will definitely beget that love in you, and you will see Him in the true sense.
Desire destroys, or steals, one’s joy. It deprives one of the contentment which is the objective of life. Nama-smarana directs desire to the proper path, so desire will gradually die out, leaving pure bliss with us.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan- May.23.

May 23, 2009
Forget Yourself for God

Do you not forget yourself at least once in a day? You do, but it is in mundane matters. We sometimes hear highly welcome news, sometimes very disconcerting news; both so disturb us that for a time we are beside ourselves with jubilation or misery, and do not know what we are doing. In other words, we forget ourselves in emotion; this is so also when we are in a towering rage or passion. It is admittedly undesirable to forget oneself in worldly subjects, but nothing is better than forgetting oneself for God.
When singing bhajan we should get so lost in it that we become unaware of the body. Is it so today? If a co-singer commits a fault in rhythm, we instantly fly into a temper; that is not true bhajan. It should be performed in the feeling that there is none else but God and me; then alone will it be true bhajan, and we may then lose awareness of the body. In worldly life, never forget who you are in reality; that is, never be subservient to sensuous subjects. If we go through life with an awareness of our true self, it will never prove harmful.
In worldly affairs you may have passion, anger, greed, and such other emotions, but they must always be under your control; you must not be a prey to them; then body consciousness will gradually die out. This can be achieved only by complete surrender to God, which again, is brought about by nama-smarana. There are some who find no advancement even after being in sadhana for a score of years and more, and therefore give it up as unfruitful, ineffectual. This fruitlessness is evidently their own fault, not of the guru.
If you want to enter sannyas-ashrama, evidently it cannot be done unless you give up living with your wife. Similarly, you cannot be said to have really met the guru unless you go to him divested of worldly desires. So first purify your heart by practising the sadhana prescribed by him, and then you can meet him in the true sense. What you should ask of him is genuine contentedness. If you get that, there remains nothing more to ask for, and thereafter you cheerfully accept whatever situation he chooses to keep you in. Then you cease to care for the body and what happens to it.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May 22.

May 22, 2009
Keep Implicit Faith in the Guru

Exercise builds up physical strength; solving difficult examples develops intellectual capacity; similarly, spiritual strength is enhanced by facing difficult situations boldly, coolly. Spiritual strength is gauged by the degree of diminution of body-consciousness. It is for this that God sends calamities. It is wrong, therefore, to be scared by them. God knows well wherein your welfare lies, and it is not in your interest to request Him to withdraw calamities. It is valorous to endure coolly whatever situations arise. Do take medicine if you are ill. But is it not God who endows the drug with its curing property? And, after all, it cures one patient, fails with another. So remember that whatever God brings about is best for the particular person. Therefore, approach God in genuine submission, and pray for strength to bear the situation with courage, pray to Him to bless you with contentment, and live in His remembrance. If illness comes, bear it cheerfully, for to that extent you are redeeming yourself from what you owe to prarabdha. Do not give much thought to it, then it will affect you less.
You feel indisputably sure of your existence as so-and-so; you should feel equally sure that God exists. When you have the conviction that your guru is the same as God Almighty, then alone you can be said to have true regard for him.
When you think you are serving me, it is only with your body-consciousness; for, you do only what you yourself like to do. To do what I like, to obey me passively, to be in nama-smarana, not to hurt anybody physically or emotionally because God dwells in every being, and to believe that it is He who does everything – this would be true service to me.
My preaching may be ineffective for one of two reasons: one, that I lack the power to bring about the mutation of your mind; and the other, that you do not practise what I tell you. But, after all, a sudden spiritual metamorphosis is not desirable; for instance, if fever suddenly drops from 40° c to 35° c, it may indicate a collapse. So, too, if one who is prone to fits of anger becomes very docile in a day, it is not desirable. The change should be gradual, and be brought about by deliberation.

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