Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May.21

May 21, 2009
Exert Yourself to Remember Nama

There is no sadhana so subtle and yet so gross as nama. One who wants to say anything most earnestly, says, “I tell you this from the bottom of my heart (or, literally ‘the navel’.)”. So nama, too, should be taken from the bottom of the heart, or the navel, because all desires spring from there. When it is made the seat of nama, it will gradually dislodge desire and totally extinguish it in the end. Nama should be practised not superficially, casually, but sincerely and insistently. Let us not worry as to how we shall respond to sensuous pleasures when all desire becomes extinct.
It is easy to realize God when we realize His omnipotence. He is a saint who has realized God. When we go to a town, we inquire about the local gentry and the Mayor. We can meet them because the residents can point them out. The Supreme Being, however, is without form, without attributes; how can we reach Him, meet Him? But then do we always take things which are not perceptible to be unreal? Our yearning for God is a yearning for the perfection that is God. This yearning can be quelled only by attaining to Him. Every being has this fundamental yearning; only, it is misdirected. Because it is directed to the satisfaction of sensuous pleasures which are only evanescent, it never really comes to fruition. Because birth itself is a result of desire, it is desire that we yearn to satisfy. To withdraw our yearning from there and direct it to God – it is in this that man’s peculiar competence lies. ‘What can I do to attain to God?’, this is the yearning that every human should entertain, else he has failed in his special mission and opportunity. All sadhanas aim at creating this longing; and where genuine longing is found, God extends His helping hand.
There is no sorrow, no pain in the world that can ever overshadow the bliss that is God. Everybody hankers after bliss, because it is His nature, His very essence. We should try to inculcate its sweetness in ourselves by study and practice. It may be asked ,’If I spring from God, what is the need for such study?’ The need arises because we have forgotten our noble origin. Because God is all love, let us strive to fill our heart with love.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May.20

May 20, 2009
Maintain Remembrance of Rama in Worldly Life

The root cause of all sorrow lies in forgetting God, forsaking Him. Life is sorrow incarnate, unless enlightened by remembrance of Rama. Coal will certainly blacken the hand, for that is its very nature; we feel sorry for the blackening because we lose sight of the nature of coal. Life, likewise, is bound to be sorrowful and futile if we keep God out of it. Worldly prosperity and public esteem fail to yield contentment if our concept of life is devoid of the divine. Forgetting the Lord is the seed from which spring anxiety, egoism, fear, longing. How can we expect sweet fruit if we plant a seed of a bitter fruit? Anxiety and fear spring from forgetting God. Worldly gain and loss both keep God away. Worldly wisdom, charitable disposition, spotless moral behaviour, public esteem, worldly splendour – all these come to nought in the absence of devotion to Rama. One who conducts himself cautiously in the world without forgetting Rama will alone be happy.
Surrender yourself unreservedly to Rama, and entirely forget ‘me’ and ‘mine’: this is all one needs to do. One who acts without a sense of doership will not be affected by Kali. Do not be a prey to Kali, avoid being a victim of pride. Where Kali enters, Rama will forsake that place. All that the householder needs to do by way of sadhana is to follow his business or profession carefully in the remembrance of Rama. He should attend to his duty in the conviction that Rama, not he, is the doer. He heads for ruin who considers that his welfare lies elsewhere than in the hands of Rama. He cannot apply his mind to Rama so long as he considers himself to be the doer. He who gives up ‘I-ness’ and pride, rest assured that happiness will come in search of him. ‘I-ness’ will cease to exist for him who dedicates everything to Rama. There is nothing that will tend more to one’s welfare than service to Rama. Therefore go in utter surrender to Rama, for there is no better way to get over sorrow and misery. It is only he who dedicates himself completely to Rama, makes his life really meaningful.
Think what you ought to do, rather than what others are doing. When you attend to Rama, understand that you are on the way to spiritual knowledge.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May.19

May 19, 2009
Act only to Enhance Love for God

To give and take is a well-known necessity of worldly life. If two pieces of wood are to be joined, they have both to be suitably chipped and fitted together; this gives a good joint. Likewise, if everyone chips off some of his faults and idiosyncrasies, people will certainly fit together and live amicably. This calls for careful thought and mutual consideration. Constraint, whether in the home or ouside, should be by persuasion and love, rather than by intimidation. The juniors should be taught to love God, with love similar to that between a mother and her children, and we should also behave in a corresponding manner.
It is common experience that when one who is suffused with love for God and is dancing in ecstatic prayer happens to touch a person, the latter also dances with the love of God. The love of God is a very strong passion, a divine madness. Fortunate, indeed, is he who is affected by it ! Once a man is possessed by the love of God, his very speech acquires all good qualities.
The transitoriness of worldly life can never be adequately comprehended by mere reading, or by exercise of reason and logic. It is appreciated as love for God grows. One whose mouth is inflamed is unable to eat even though hungry, and his palate loses taste. Similarly, despite inherent love for God, we do not relish chanting His name because we are attached to tangible life. Just as the inflamed mouth has first to be cured before the patient can eat, to know the sweetness of God’s name we have first to reduce the attachment for worldly life. This is by no means an easy task; the only three means for it are: kinship with God, His constant awareness, and company of the saintly. Because the Lord is multiform and omnipresent, there must be an endless number of approaches to Him. Each person can choose the approach most suitable for his temperament and conditions. In all these approaches, however, love for God must be a common factor; indeed, it is the very life of each of them. We should pray to God every day to grant us that love. One who gets that love will look on His creation with appreciation and admiration. Once a person acquires love for God, nothing can come in its way.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May.18

May 18, 2009
Keep the Mind Steady in God

It is not right to say that the body is an impediment in our way to God. There is not much substance in arguing either that it assists or hinders spiritual exercise. We should first introspect and see where the mind gets attached. Suppose a person proposes to spend his day in praying to God. Some friends come to him and ask him to join in their game of, say, cards; he agrees to do so, just not to displease or disappoint them. How can a person who allows his mind to be thus distracted from God become a devotee?
A mother may have brought up her son at great personal sacrifice. The son, who loved her dearly till he married, thereafter considers her a great nuisance and an obstruction in the way of his sensuous enjoyment. Here it is the mental outlook that has changed, not the physique of either mother or son. What can be done if a person prefers worldly attachment to God?
Although we know that worldly life offers neither undiluted happiness nor sorrow, we exercise our imagination and decide what will make us happy, without positive basis for such decision. This is sheer idle fancy. When we think that a certain person is out to give us trouble, half of it is a figment of our imagination. Regarding the remaining half, if we take the attitude of conniving at it, the matter ends there, does it not?
Our mind is fickle, constantly changing; so is the world. It is therefore incorrect to feel that certain circumstances cause us pleasure, certain others pain; for pleasure and pain are both mercurial in nature. The rules prescribed by the shastras are intended to stabilize the mind. Bhajan, reading religious books, raising temples, etc., should be undertaken to stabilize our thoughts; if this goal is ignored, these things may either become pastimes or bigotry, and may not be useful at all. The railway train runs to Kashi every day, but the merit goes to the credit of the pilgrims that use it, not to the train. Similarly, daily reading etc. undertaken as a mere routine does not uplift people spiritually. What is required is stabilizing the mind in God. For this purpose we can remember His name persistently, though we cannot thus maintain a vision of His form.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May.17

May 17, 2009
Be Continuously Aware that You Belong to God

If we want a thing but do not get it, we fret. But if we consider God as the doer, there ceases to be a cause for worry. We say that there is God, but is that faith firm? A drowning man will clutch even at a stone if it comes to his hand, and sink with it. Our trust in God is thus shaky, only verbal; wherefore, otherwise, do we feel anxiety? With such shaky faith, we shall not get rid of anxiety, pleasure, and pain, even if God were present with us in tangible form.
God is omnipresent, all-pervading; therefore, as he is immanent in me, so is he in every other person. I should therefore not care what another person does to me. So live in the faith that you belong to God; He is your protector, and therefore there is no need to worry about anything. This belief you can achieve by nama-smarana. So resolve to do ceaseless nama-smarana from right now; approach God in all humility and pray for, Him to inspire and support you in this resolve. The mind may have to be coerced to some extent, to begin with, just as sometimes it is necessary to do when a child is first put to school.
We should make a rule to repeat the nama at certain specific timings, such as before taking food, at bedtime, on waking, etc. This will go a long way in life. You may continue to strive for amelioration in conditions of life, but telling yourself repeatedly that you badly need the Lord. It will keep you being hopeful of meeting God; the longing will steadily become keener, culminating in deep yearning. Suppose a man proposes to build a house; repeatedly reminding himself of it, he goes on saving money for this goal; if occasions arise to buy ornaments, he forgoes them, keeping himself ever awake to save money for the house of his dream. In a like manner, even by repeatedly saying “I want thee, O Lord,” a man will gradually disentangle himself from worldliness and limit his passions down to a reasonable extent. When a hankering for God is aroused, he will feel restless until he attains his object.
He who trusts in God can depend on achieving contentment, that is on the stabilization of his inclinations; then one comes to live in God; that is samadhi.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May.16

May 16, 2009
Treat the Body as an Instrument to attain God

The proper mission of a saint is to extricate you from the bondage of body-consciousness and of worldly-mindedness, not to satisfy desires like curing you of illness, etc. The more you strive for spiritualism, the greater the pull of body-consciousness and worldliness. Even the so ­called ‘thirst for knowledge’ stems from body-consciousness; it should be sublimated. There is no better means for this than nama-smarana. A dog watches and guards the house at night; and yet, however dear and useful, he is not permitted to share your plate at the table. We should treat the body similarly. Just as the coconut shell is to protect the kernel, the body should be treated as an instrument for the attainment of God. However, man goes about in life treating the body as his ‘self’, while he also shows in unconscious flashes that he is in reality, the in-dwelling spirit. For instance, he uses expressions like ‘my’ hand, ‘my’ leg, ‘my’ eye, ‘my’ mind, and even ‘my’ life. In life, on the other hand,he behaves as if he were the body. What we ask from God is mostly what concerns the body. This is highly incorrect, undesirable.
The way to diminish this love for the body is to begin loving others. We more easily love those who have a human body, like ourselves. We do not feel much concerned at the wailing of a pup, as we do when we hear the wail of a child. Therefore, in order to be able to love Him better, We visualize God in the human from like ourselves. In order that our love for our own body may diminish, that the body-conciousness become attenuated, we have to conceive God and the sadguru in the human form. Advancing in this direction, we shall be increasingly unaware of our own body; when, finally, we transcend all body-awareness, we realise that the sadguru, like God Himself, is not merely the body but co-existent, identical, with the Supreme or Cosmic Spirit. The more oblivious we become of our body, the closer shall we be to the proper realization of the sadguru’s reality.
One who has overcome pride and awareness of his body is to be envied even by the jnyani, for there is no deeper ignorance than to think ‘I am the body.’

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May 15

May 15, 2009
Give Love to all, Hurt Nobody’s Heart

Whoever wants to save money should begin by never incurring a debt. After that, he should try to curtail his spending, and thus start saving. The same process works for love. Begin by ‘burying the hatchet’; next, ensure that you hurt nobody; you can never be too careful in this regard. A physical injury may be healed in course of time, and if we beg his pardon, the injured person may forgive us. But if we hurt the feelings, restoration is next to impossible. It is hurting God Himself, because in recounting His various manifestations in the Bhagavadgeeta, the Lord says, “Of the organs and faculties, I am the mind.”
The vow to tell “the truth and nothing but the truth” is highly laudable, but it must be tempered by discriminating thought. If a man says, “I will tell the absolute truth even disregarding the mother, the father, God, and the guru,” he may land himself and others into an impasse. If observance of this vow involves offences against venerable persons how can we justify such a vow? Should we tell the truth to a person who has come for the purpose of thieving? In short, everything needs circumspective consideration.
Suppose a man has four sons: one has a sweet tooth, the second likes sour things, the third relishes fried dishes, whereas the last likes sharp-tasting articles. Now if they start quarrels on the score of difference of taste, they can never come to terms, and the house will become an arena of conflict. They can only avoid the situation by overlooking and tolerating the difference in taste. Secondly, they should build up mutual love by the thought that they are sons of the same father, who deserves their allegiance and affectionate regard. If each one in the family decides to live together amicably, the home will enjoy peace and contentmnent. The house of a spiritual aspirant should overflow with love. A guest or visitor should be so charmed with it that when departing he should long to return to that atmosphere.
There is nothing to equal the misconception that I am the body, whereas I am really part of the Cosmic Soul. Although beset with difficulties of one kind and another, one does not think of renouncing worldly life: what greater, more poignant instance of the sway of maya do we need?
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May.14

May 14, 2009
Give Up Pursuit of Sense-objects, Public Esteem
When we attach ourselves to Rama, He undertakes to look after us. It is we ourselves, however, that hinder such attachment, because of our own liking for sense-objects and public esteem. It is a corollary of this liking that we have a dislike for Rama. Do we not disregard and set aside the needs and entreaties of the wife and children in order to attend the office punctually? With what justification, then, can we plead them as an impediment for sadhana?
The saints have been dinning it into our ears that woman and money are the enemies of spiritual advancement. On this one may ask why at all God has created them. The answer is, that, it is the use we make of a thing that commends or condemns it. The match-stick that can light a fire for cooking can also be used to set a house ablaze.
A certain person once said to me, “Domestic life disgusts me and makes me feel I should quit it.” I replied, “Do you think quitting home life will create detachment? What you need for it is proper discrimination between good and bad, permanent and impermanent. What will suffice for the present is to give up the sense of ownership and doership.”
Righteous acts may prove a hindrance in spiritualism. One may feel ashamed to own an improper act, but of a good one we boast with pride. People often say,” The misery I am undergoing is owing to sins committed by me in a previous life; I perform good acts in this life so that I shall have a happier life in my next incarnation. ” But does this not imply desiring for a re-incarnation instead of for absolute liberation from the almost endless cycle of births and deaths? A bad act may possibly lead to repentance and make one turn to God; but there is no knowing what downfall the pride of a good deed may lead a man to.
How can a bitter gourd yield a sweet taste? Likewise, how can sensual pleasure make life sweet and happy? It is begging the question to say that you will take up devotion when love for God will arise. For mere fleeting pleasures we toil and drudge; but we do not care to repeat the nama sincerely, and yet complain in despair that we still do not feel love for God!

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan- May.13

May 13, 2009
Endeavour to Improve Yourself

To do nothing, not to feel that you are doing something or have something to do is real spiritualism. It has become a habit with us to be doing something physically and mentally. To sit inactively is difficult; to keep the mind inactive is more difficult; and to keep the mind detached, while keeping the body busy in action, is most difficult of all. Really speaking, the mind seeks equanimity, but it can only be acquired by dint of strenuous effort. Mental equilibrium is upset by one of three causes; a happening contrary to one’s desire; recollection of the past; and anxiety for the future. As for the first of these, when we consider that everyone in the world wants things to shape after his heart, how can we expect that they take place only after our heart? Things are bound to go against our desires. So, to preserve our mental composure, we should train ourselves to efface all desire, not wish for a particular thing to happen, give up greed and expectation, and ascribe everything to Rama. Such ascription is equivalent to living in constant awareness of God.
How deep our ego has percolated into our thought! How casually we connive at even obvious facts when it suits us to do so! When a man’s son goes astray, he blames some other person for enticing or misleading him; he does not want to blame his own son. If a man’s son gets spoilt under his own nose, we can imagine the tremendous influence of association. How, then, can we explain why we remain unaffected by the company of the saintly? The plain, obvious reason is that we do not at all attempt to improve ourselves; Not that we do not understand what is good for us, but we lack the urge to improve ourselves. Therefore, born as we are in desire, we also die in desire. The only dependable means to extricate ourselves from the clutches of desire, is to repair to the Lord in utter surrender. Pray to Rama that now you have no other recourse but Him, that you will be content to live as He pleases to keep you, and that you desire nothing but love for Him; and ever maintain His name on your lips. Be sure that He will not fail to shower his bountiful grace on you.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-May.12

May 12, 2009
Maintain Mental Equilibrium

Humility is a quality that manifests itself mainly through physical action. While trying for self-betterment or advancement, due regard should be paid to the merit or worthiness of others. Hypocrisy resides primarily in the mind. It should be employed only for a good purpose such as covering one’s own nobility or greatness of heart. Ahimsa, or abstinence from mental or physical violence to others, is a quality that pertains to both the mind and body. It should be judged by the motive that prompts the action. Speech should be controlled so as not to hurt another’s heart, and in action one should avoid causing bodily injury. To allude to or lay bare another’s fault or shortcoming is meanness of mind. Hankering after popular esteem ruins a single life, but hypocrisy and violence ruin several lives. Hatred leads to violence, so we should never harbour a grudge or hatred in our heart. All passions are inimical to the attainment of God, but of them, enmity and hatred are the worst. Selfishness generates hatred; nama is the most potent antidote to selfishness.
The human tongue has a twofold function: speaking, and eating. We should employ the tongue to tell the truth and to talk gently, pleasantly, neither harshly, nor to teach others, nor to brag. Regarding the other function, namely, eating, the tongue should be used with great restraint. We should purify the heart, and attempt to practise the good qualities which the saints’ behaviour exhibits.
Where pride or vaingloriousness threatens to attack, it should immediately be countered by nama-smarana. An evil thought or tendency should be immediately opposed by remembrance of nama. The Cosmic Spirit was no less immanent in the demon Hiranyakashyapu than in any other creation, but it was hidden to himself owing to his swagger, like a field with an overgrown hedge. The Lord had therefore to manifest Himself in a very unlikely place, the wooden post which he kicked to spite Him. So we should hold pride severely in its limit. Be proud that you belong to Rama, so that you do nothing unbecoming. Prahlad did not say that he would like to see God, but he insisted that he would not give up the nama. We, too, should similarly adhere steadfastly to the nama.
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