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-Feb.13

February 13, 2009
Timeless Supremacy of Nama

Nama is ‘Sat-Chit-Anand’ itself. Nothing is closer to the Supreme Soul than nama. It is the parent source of energy, as also of all bliss. In its ebullience, it gives rise to all creation. It generates numberless forms, destroys them, recreates them; all the while it maintains its own eternality; is this not a supreme marvel? Ever since I learnt to speak, I have been incessantly talking about it, and yet have not said enough about its greatness, its supremacy. He alone will conceive its greatness whose identity has completely merged in nama. Such a person will either maintain complete silence on the subject, or will go on talking about it to his last breath; for, the greatness of nama can never be told completely or adequately, nor will the listener be ever satiated.
Nama wipes out all sin. To forget the Lord is the greatest of sins; nama keeps us ever awake to the Lord. It is superior even to the vedas. In order to benefit from them, we must first study all the four vedas, which will involve a vast amount of time and labour; nama needs no effort. Besides, not all people are eligible and qualified for such study, whereas nama can be chanted by all and sundry. All vedic mantras commence with Om, that is, with nama. It is superior to pilgrimages to sacred places; such visits aim at purifying the heart, but they require adequate money and means as well as physical well-being. Nama, on the other hand, brings about such transformation right where we may be. One should go to Pandharpur, for instance, to learn to chant nama, else the pilgrimage is in vain. Nama is the prince of all righteous actions, sat-karmas, for sat is God; and therefore that alone is sat-karma which leads to Him. Other actions that can lead to Him follow tortuous roads, while nama takes us straight to Him. Nama is a sovereign cure for bhava-roga, the disease of worldliness. To be addicted to worldliness is at the root of that disease. Nama directs our love to God, detaching it from its present object, worldliness. Nama relieves us from all pain and misery, for they rise from love for sensuousness, which nama destroys. Besides, because God is bliss incarnate, when we hold fast to Him with nama, how can misery even exist for us?

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Dec.28

December 28, 2008

Add Nama to Vedic Rituals

Those who study and master the vedas are certainly laudable for their erudition and for their assistance in preserving this precious treasure for the world. The vedas have shown great reverence for the Gayatri mantra. It should be borne in mind, however, that, to be fruitful, the sacredness of the mantra should be matched by unimpeachable vairagya, and by utmost purity in thought and behaviour. These are very difficult to find in the present degenerate times. The sages of the hoary past lived in the forest, far from the crowd and its life of strife. They subsisted on a simple diet consisting of roots, bulbs, and such other natural things. They exercised austere control over the senses and over passions like wild desires, anger, and covetousness. They never uttered an untruth. Leading such simple, undefiled lives, they were fit persons to pursue the cult of the sacred and potent Gayatri mantra. With the strength of such austere penance to back them, their blessings and their wrath were equally potent.
Times have, however, radically changed. We can no longer lead a life which is in the least like that of these past sages. Circumstances do not permit performance of vedic rites with adherence to their rules; nor have the people at large faith in them. Therefore, if they are undertaken at all, they should be supplemented by earnest nama-smarana. Self-control being virtually absent these days, the saints advocate recourse to nama, so that the common man may, even in the present conditions, succeed in attaining God.
Constant, determined nama-smarana, will eventually produce love for God, for, association produces love. A trader, for instance, always has thoughts of trading activities, and will even have dreams concerning them. We come to feel attachment for the house we have long lived in. A resident of a large city like Bombay becomes so used to its bustle, noise, crowd, even its filth, that he feels uneasy if he has to live a comparatively placid life of the countryside. If we teach our heart to feel the presence of Rama, we shall always be aware of His presence. Reinforce this conviction by telling yourself repeatedly: “I am not different, distinct from Rama; He resides in my heart.”
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Dec.22

December 22, 2008
Come What May, Never Forsake Nama

The sky will always be overhead, however far and fast you run in fear of it. So, too, whereever you go, the body, the mind, and the destined suffering of pleasure and pain are inescapable. Therefore, put up with whatever falls to your lot. Of course, so long as you feel that you should better have tried; by all means do so, but leave the success or otherwise to God. Leave all doership to Him. To ask God ‘how long must I serve You?’ amounts to deficiency in devotion. Similarly, asking for a limit for nama-smarana means deficiency in faith. Do we ever ask for a limit on the pleasures of the senses?
Today we hold one end of the rope, while God is at the far end. We should gradually haul ourselves up to Him with the help of nama. Association with the good is achieved to the extent to which we hold nama in the heart. Never let it go, whatever the circumstance in prapancha.
A vacant mind always runs after sense-pleasures. So always keep it engaged; and in doing every thing – sitting, rising, chanting a mantra, reading, gossiping, jesting – see that it is related ultimately to God; that is, never let God be out of your mind; this is what is called anusandhana. Everything we do must have reference to God. Nama is the link connecting the mind with God. So always keep the mind riveted to nama. Remember that Rama is omnipresent and omniscient, and therefore a witness to everything; this will preclude the performance of undesirable actions.
We make it a habit to cite an excuse for what we do or miss doing. Quite often, we are ‘busy’. But our’ spare’ time is devoted to idle gossip, or to slandering others, or playing one game or another, and so on, rather than doing nama-smarana. Let us cure ourselves of that habit. The mind is inclined to wandering or listlessness, avoiding concentration and steady effort. It will have to be coerced into chanting nama. Nama is powerful enough to eradicate the ‘body-am-I’ delusion and establish itself firmly in the mind. We should habituate it to nama-smarana during waking hours; then it will percolate into the sleeping hours and dreams, and finally, if assiduously practised, it will stand in the mind at the moment of death.

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Shri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Dec.19

December 19, 2008
Vedanta is for Practising it.

The mere pedantic study of vedant is little use if not put into practice in daily life. Its bookish knowledge is little better than the knowledge of preparing various dishes, while the stomach remains hungry; neither is it of practical use. Scholars couch their philosophical talk in an unintelligible jargon, bewildering the common man, who then feels that philosophy is beyond his ken and beyond ,use in daily life. As a matter of fact, philosophy is for every human being; a man, indeed, needs it for guidance in his daily activity and behaviour. True philosophy aims at making our narrow mind liberal, replacing selfishness by selflessness.
Desire is basically subtle; it takes a palpable form through the medium of the body; this is worldliness. As against this, the Ultimate Reality is subtler than the subtlest. Consequently, the means whereby we can realize God must be such as will convert the palpable into the impalpable; nama is the one such means.
It often happens that spiritually advanced souls get involved in some desire, to satisfy which they have to live another life; so they take birth in a spiritually favourable atmosphere. In a short while they get their desire satisfied, and quit worldly life at a comparatively early age. It is therefore improper to lament their death.
Desire can never end, no matter how much you try to fulfil it. The only antidote is constant association with God, who is desireless. One who lives in constant chanting of nama lives in God, and thereby vanquishes desire. When desire ends, God’s grace descends.
The sages who had attained to God had acquired such a subtle state of mind that they never thought, ‘I do,’ ‘I speak,’ ‘I compose this verse’; they always felt ‘God does,’ ‘God says,’ ‘God has composed this mantra.’ They feel this in the depth of their heart. The vedas, being composed in such circumstances, in a trance so to say, must evidently be considered ‘divine verses,’ not human compositions.
Live happily in the pleasant feeling that Rama is everything, and I am nobody, insignificant.

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