Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-June.12

June 12, 2009
Paramartha is the True Goal of Human Life

The feeling of disunion with Brahman or the Ultimate Reality is the cause of pain, while happiness and bliss result from the realization of identity with Brahman. If we live in the conviction of this identity or unity, we shall always be in enduring bliss. The world appears manifold, but basically it is one and the same stuff. Paramartha, or the attempt to realize this fundamental unity, is uni-directional; and it is on this that we should focus our attention. To desist from mental involvement in life is paramartha. It calls for abandonment of all upadhi so that even ‘I’ or myself as a separate entity, has no existence. Prapancha, arising as it does from a feeling of duality or separateness, is bound to appear multitudinous.
Unless and until we recognize the true aim of human life, prapancha persists as our goal. As a matter of fact, man comprises not merely the body but also the mind, and therefore he must strive for both the physical and spiritual goals; but the real, ultimate goal of human life is realization of identity between all creation and the Cosmic Soul. So far as physical, worldly life is concerned, a sense of duality is essential for any sense of happiness. Consequently, in our transition from the present conviction of reality of material things to the realization of paramartha, the ‘manasa-pooja’ or mental worship pre-supposes the duality ‘God’ and ‘I’; it is with this duality that we have to begin.
Until paramartha is assimilated in our flesh and blood, it is desirable to reinforce our sadhana with appropriate reading. We have to see what we must do to keep the mind fastened to God.
Prapancha carried out with only a material outlook fails to yield the expected fruit. The remedy advocated by saints is to supplement it by nama-smarana. We are, however, deterred from it by our pride and our ‘wisdom’. Who creates this ego? Its small, almost imperceptible seed exists dormant in ourselves. It sprouts as desire for popular esteem. What the saints suggest for countering it is to be in nama-smarana, and simultaneously to suppress the urge for sensual pleasures. Reverses and obstacles in life should remind us that the aim of human life is to realize God, to take us closer to God. So, instead of getting scared by them, we should apply ourselves to nama more seriously.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-June.11

June 12, 2009
Pleasure and Pain are but Mental Reactions

A medicine will serve its purpose only if its effect reaches the affected part; similarly, if we want to remove unhappiness, we should trace its source. Any deficiency or shortcoming of prapancha causes unhappiness. We shall discover that unhappiness is the common result, whether a person is poor or rich. One person may have enough money, but may be unhappy for being childless, while another may have children and lack money. A third one has both, but is afflicted by persistent colic. And so on and so forth, ad infinitum. In short, we can find no one free from unhappiness. No matter how many things you bring in, there does remain or come about one deficiency or another.
A little thought shows us that our remedies for unhappiness are superficial or transient; we do not realize that it is the reactions of our mind that constitute the basis of our unhappiness. A man in deep sleep, while his house is being robbed, may continue sleeping merrily. He starts feeling upset only on waking and discovering the fact. What feels sorrow and happiness, therefore, is the mind. What needs treatment in life is thus the mind. It is the mind that the saints train to face calamities and reverses, with unflinching faith in God. On the other hand, we give free rein to our senses, and only subordinate value to spirituality.
The company we keep influences the mind and its reactions. Accustomed as we are to sensual pleasures, we naturally find enjoyment in such pleasures. As we sow, so must we reap.
It often happens that adversities and shocks in life prove conducive to driving a person towards, and to impart earnestness to, spiritual effort. Progress in spiritual effort, however, depends not on external factors such as wealth or poverty, health or sickness; it depends on peace of mind, purity of heart and of conduct. Convenience in life can be an impediment as much as difficulties. When we go out for some work, delay may be caused if we stop on the way watching a shop window, whether it displays dresses or books. Prapancha is neither favourable nor otherwise for spiritual progress; it affects us only because we approach it with mental attachment. Paramartha is nothing but cultivating detachment from it.

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