Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan – Sept.2

September 2, 2009

Living in Nama Transcends Death

If a child falls sick the parents pray to God to spare his life; they vow that the child will be dedicated to God if it survives. This means that they will withdraw their feeling of possession or ownership over their child. How does it matter then, if the child dies today? It is only for their own happiness that the parents want the child to survive the illness.
How unwise it is to ask for avoidance of the ultimately inevitable death, instead of praying for deliverance from the entire cycle of births and deaths! If death is a certainty for everyone, why should we not aspire that it should be auspicious? Death which is not followed by rebirth is the most auspicious death. In fact, to forget one’s real ‘self’, is equivalent to death. You should not therefore lose any opportunity to attain our objective while our mind, which is constantly fluctuating, is steady.
We are tormented by conflicting desires. Therefore it is necessary to kill the desire itself by constant utterance of nama. To remain in nama is to kill desire, which amounts to transcending death. The real way to avoid death is to belong to God. There is no fear of death when one realizes God, who is the destroyer of death. A realized soul is never afraid of death. To be merely alive is no life at all. One must have some objective or purpose in life, and that objective should be to remain in constant awareness of God. It should be considered a very fortunate day when one leaves this body while chanting nama.
In fact, we daily die and are reborn. If we sleep and do not wake up again, it is certainly death. Therefore, go to bed while chanting nama, so that you will wake up in His remembrance. However, to remember nama at bed time, you must have previous practice of it during working hours. Similarly, how can one remember nama at the time of death, unless one has been in the habit of constantly chanting it? Let us therefore, start the practice of nama-smarana right from today, this moment.
When Sant Tukaram says, ‘I have seen my death with my own eyes, it implies the experience of complete destruction of desire.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Sept.1.

September 1, 2009

Our ‘Knowledge’ is Based on ‘Body-Am-I’ Feeling

Common people feel that sense-perceived phenomena can be instantly experienced, while divine or spiritual experience is purely a matter of inference and faith. I agree with them so far. I am not surprised that they do not abandon worldly life. I only feel sorry that they indulge in it heart and soul, under the illusion that it is imperishable, everlasting, despite evidence to the contrary. I don’t mind their rejection of divine bliss as a sheer hypothesis, provided they accept the everyday experience that sensual pleasures are only transitory. Eventually it will lead to the conviction that divine bliss alone is permanent. It is immanent in us, and does not have to be acquired from elsewhere.
Modern civilization has catered amply to the pleasures and conveniences of the senses and the body in general, but the end-result has only been unhappiness. Imagine for a moment that plenty of means of pleasures of the senses lie to entice a man, but one cannot afford them financially, or enjoy them for want of physical capacity; the absence of capacity to avail of them will only lead to disappointment and unhappiness. After all, every individual cannot command all sense-pleasures, and so, after all the struggle of life, the net result is a sense of disappointment, unhappiness. Happiness and sorrow never really existed, they are only illusory creations of our imagination. Whatever is agreeable to the moment’s fancy of the mind is pleasure, and whatever is otherwise is sorrow. Both these are the product of the illusion that the body is the be-all and the end-all, and so long as we live in that conviction, so long will all experience be necessarily polluted by illusion. That all creation, though pervaded by pure bliss, appears sorrowful is the result of illusion, which clouds our inner perception. The world, after all, is made up of so many individuals, each struggling for pleasure; how can a single person, in such a situation, get all pleasures for himself?
One cannot have guarantee of life. It can terminate abruptly, unexpectedly. Therefore, waste not even a moment, spend it in the constant awareness of God. To forget Him owing to a calamity or because of all-round happiness, is an equal loss.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Aug.26.

August 26, 2009
True Happiness is Independent of Cause

There is evidently a joy in being alive. How, then, is it that we suffer misery? The reason is that we become oblivious to the true objective of human life. We want things in order to make us happy, but instead of remaining the means they become the goal in life. All things in the world are perishable, impermanent, and therefore illusory. The gladness they bring is consequently, fleeting, momentary.
That everyone desires joyfulness is a clear indication that unification with God is a universal need; for God is the fountainhead and the storehouse of joy. We have contracted a habit of extracting joy from something; that is to say, keeping our joy dependent on something or other. Every person hankers for joy; but we seek to get it through the medium of prapancha, that is, through a medium fraught with misery. We should therefore learn to extract joy which exists by itself, not because of something else. Joy which comes because of something must necessarily be short-lived, because that something is itself short-lived.
In order to acquire supreme, causeless beatitude, one should practise to sit quiet, silent, actionless, for a while. This kind of purposelessness is really a very high achievement, far superior to being active. It is, indeed, far more difficult than action; for it signifies total unison with the Cosmic Spirit, complete annihilation of the pride of doership.
If you keenly yearn to be happy, then learn to be happy under all circumstances. If a desired thing does come about, you may feel contented, but not rapturous. Conversely, suppose there is someone who delights in vexing us; our reaction should not be one of annoyance; our joy should continue unbroken. To be doing our duty happily, unexpectantly, in the awareness of God, is the hall-mark of a fruitful human life.
Trust not people who try to dislodge your faith in nama. Listen not to sterile philosophy. Every repetition of nama is a reminder of God; so consider nama as the be-all and end-all of life. The omnipotence of nama will become apparent only to those who repeat it ceaselessly. Pilgrimages to holy places or to saints are not for acquiring material ends, but for acquiring undisturbable satisfaction, and nama-smarana is the infallible means to it.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Aug.24

August 24, 2009
Joy and Contentment Always Accompany Saints

Saints sometimes feign ignorance although in reality they are omniscient. Saints, indeed, are difficult to make out from their external appearance or behaviour. They can be known only by one who is completely dedicated to God or one who lives in the prescribed sadhana. A saint can be recognized by one who has completely vacated his mind of all earthly desires and interests, and who has become totally blind to defects in others. A saint is like the flower of the green champaka; its haunting scent spreads far and wide, but the flower remains hidden in the green foliage of the parent bush. Similarly, felicity and contentment are unmistakably found where there is a saint, but he defies discovery because he lives outwardly like a common man.
We prattle glibly about philosophical matters while the saint silently lives philosophy. Saints stay unmoved even in trying circumstances. They are free of all doubt about God, while our minds are constantly shrouded in doubt. It is therefore that they live in changeless contentment while we grope in discontent. To remove this doubt we must alter our mental frame.
True companionship with a saint is only realized when we learn to like what he likes. The pride of doership is the basic cause of the limitations that the individual soul experiences; to get free of that pride is the real way to belong to the sadguru.
A sadhaka is an aspirant; he is likely sometimes to be right, sometimes to go wrong; whereas a siddha is always right. The mortification of the senses is only a means, not the end; the real aim is to have a constant awareness of God.
Persons habituated to, interested in physical action, should first give up that interest by practicing to sit inactive in meditation, and acquire constant awareness of God. Failure in acquiring this awareness should not discourage or dissuade a person, but rather prompt him to fresh effort. In academic examinations, a failure naturally urges another attempt, but we often give up the spiritual quest if we do not succeed the first time. This is obviously unreasonable. God is truly like a father to us, just, but uncompromising; the saints, however, are like the mother, ever ready to condone, to pardon waywardness. The saints educate us by telling us about God. It behoves us to listen to them, to follow their advice.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Aug.22

August 22, 2009
Contentment is the True Gift of God

Righteous-minded persons often ask themselves, “I behave very properly, never slander anyone; and yet I have many kinds of difficulties in life, whereas many persons whose behaviour is far from proper have all amenities and happiness. How is this justified?” That one who loathes nama seems to live in enjoyment, while another, an adherent of it, has to face misery and difficulties – how can this come from God who is celebrated for just dispensation? If we probe deep into the matter, we discover that though those people apparently enjoy many sources of ‘pleasure’, they are far from happy at heart, far from having true peace of mind. Suppose a man stands at a road junction; he sees one road in excellent condition, but not leading to his destination, while the other is in a very unattractive state but is the one leading to the desired place; which one should he choose?
The Bhagavadgeeta speaks of two types of sadhakas: the advanced, and the ordinary. Those whose desires are moderate and well-controlled, belong to the ‘advanced’ class. The others, like most of us, who still have plenty of desires and lack control over the senses, but, at the same time, desire to attain to God, belong to karma-marga. The first type of people follow a path of a subtle, superior type; the path for us, the common people, is more obvious, but easy in all ways. The former achieve the destination quickly, the others scale the height slowly, laboriously, step by step. So the ordinary man should cater to his desires in a proper way and remain contented with what he gets, remembering that since everything in the world is the result of God’s will, what he gets is also His will.
If you ask, say, a dozen people the cause of their being discontented in life, they will cite diverse reasons. The obvious conclusion is that there is no single worldly thing that will bring universal satisfaction. Contentment is, indeed, an unusual thing that cannot be learnt from prapancha, for, there is always something that everyone, whether he is a prince or a pauper, feels he lacks, and that to his mind, causes discontentment. Contentment is, indeed, a truly divine gift, and it is earned by keeping constantly in remembrance of God.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Aug.21

August 21, 2009
Happiness Lies within Us

Happiness rises from within ourselves; it cannot come from the world around. Attempts to extract it from outside of ourselves is therefore doomed to failure. The world is what you make of it; it depends on how you look on it. The electric lights in the house are operated by switches. If the source of electricity develops a fault, no manipulation of the switches will operate the lights unless and until the fault at the source is set right. Similarly, it is no use seeking happiness from things and persons unless you yourself adopt a cheerful, generous attitude to the world. The water of the oceans is brinish in taste all over. So, too, the people in the world are similar all over. Therefore, our happiness is a mathematical function of our own attitude, not of other persons or things.
The sole way, therefore, is to adapt our attitude to the world. God has gifted man with the unique faculty of discrimination. Making full use of this faculty, we should adopt good things and disregard unwholesome things and thoughts. It may not be easy for many to do whatever is good. The royal road to happiness, therefore, is to use the faculty of discrimination and accordingly, do things, as far as possible, which are wholesome, and avoid those that are otherwise, and to think of God all the while. To expect happiness from other persons or worldly things is fundamentally unreasonable. On the one hand, we do not toe the line with the world because it is sinuous and unpredictable; nor, on the other, do we determinedly walk in the way of God; how, then, can we expect happiness? So look for it within yourself, and not where it lies not.
The Lord, recounting His various manifestations in the world, cites the mind as one of them. Therefore we cannot reorient the mind without the assistance of God. So attach yourself fast to God, and rest contented. Keep the mind ceaselessly fixed on God, and contentment will automatically follow. Worldly opulence and grandeur never bring true contentment, because everyone lacks one thing or another and that he feels, is something that is necessary to complete his happiness. Remember that God gives enough to everyone to fill his needs; and it is for us to feel contentment with whatever comes.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Aug.20

August 20, 2009
A Slave to Sensual Pleasures

The body is the abode of all unhappiness, and a body in pain or illness is the climax of suffering. Body and pain are, indeed, inseparable, as are sugar and its whiteness. Even an able-bodied person cannot forget pain as a possibility. Just as the body has a shadow, equally unavoidable is the presence or possibility of illness. Even divine incarnations like Rama and Krishna had ultimately to discard the body. One cannot guarantee the well-being of one’s own body; and yet people lament over the death of a person. The threat of illness always makes one uneasy. The body has to bear pain itself; there is no proxy, nor can one take over another’s pain as proxy.
Whatever one has done so far has been in the interest of prapancha, that is, the body and matters related to it, or, in other words, sensual interests. Worldly authority of one kind or another, children, wealth, worldly action, popular acclaim – these are but different forms of sensual selfishness, and they invariably lead to sorrow. Every effort made so far has aimed at one earthly gain or another, imagining that it would bring one type of pleasure or another, but they are all illusory.
We should always remember that people are selfish by nature; not only they are basically not grateful for favours done, but quite likely to snarl if, on an occasion, we do not oblige them. Attachment to prapancha is no less perilous than clasping fire to the bosom. Naturally, therefore, all the trouble we have taken so far has failed to produce the happiness we strove for. However deep we probe into worldly activities, we shall never discover the pure, lasting happiness that we look for. Failure, sorrow, can be the only outcome.
Therefore we never come across nor hear of a person who has achieved lasting bliss through any worldly means. It is common experience that one has to adopt a servile attitude to one from whom we expect something; and one who becomes servile to sensual pleasures naturally loses true happiness. We get the fruit of the plant that we assiduously water and manure. Worldly life and sensuous pleasures are what we strive for; how can this yield contentment? A bitter fruit will not taste sweet however much you roll it in sugar; so, too, sensuous pleasures can never yield lasting happiness.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Aug.18

August 18, 2009
Surrender to Rama as the Sole Support

That life in the world needs thinking of God as the basis, is amply evident. If one only looks to one’s own experience, one will have to agree that all the grandeur and prosperity of today can only be attributed to Rama’s grace. We should therefore always remember that everything that happens is by His direction and will, that we should feel neither pride nor regret of doership of anything. If a feeling of pride does crop up, recollect Rama, and He will see that, that feeling is overcome. Pride of doership rears its head in times of ‘success’ or pleasing happenings, while, in times of undesired happenings, ‘fate’ comes in handy for blame. So take care that the feeling of pride is completely destroyed. The Lord cannot be propitiated so long as there is the smallest vestige of pride of doership. So think of Rama at all times, in all actions.
He is ever happy who attributes all doership to Rama; while one who takes doership on himself is paving the way to misery sooner or later. So let us ascribe everything to Rama and enjoy contentedness. Surrender utterly to Him, and thus freed, go through life with a light heart. Ask Him for nothing but love for nama-smarana.
Rest contented in the conviction that whatever happens is by God’s will. Be not disgusted with unpleasant happenings, nor elated with pleasant ones. This will gradually wear out the desire for or against anything, and efface all feeling of self-importance. So, I exhort you, put implicit faith in Rama. In utmost humility, vow to be happy in whatever circumstances He places you. He is ever eager ,to help us, but we, in self- pride, think it below dignity to ask His help. He can most certainly grant anything you can possibly ask for; but I would caution you to ask for nothing that may go against your ultimate good.
Ramadasa Swami acquired the appellation ‘Samartha’ because he became an unreservedly devoted servant of Rama. One who ceases looking up to worldly esteem and dedicates himself to the service of Rama will easily rule over the world. Old persons should dedicate themselves to upasana, while younger people should make it a point never to miss doing their duty, and keep constant awareness of God; this is the surest, the sole means of becoming contented.
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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Aug..14

August 14, 2009
Eternal Bliss Resides Only in God

Every human being is struggling for happiness; there is no exception to this. Why is it, then, that nobody achieves it? The simple reason is that the search is being conducted where happiness cannot exist. It exists only in God. One must first ardently yearn for Him, and that yearning only comes from nama-smarana. We should rivet the mind to the attainment of God, leaving the body to float on the current of destiny. As destiny directs, the body and the course of worldly affairs may meet with happiness or unhappiness; they may have a smooth course, or meet with troubled waters and appear about to sink. The mind will be unshaken in its state of happiness and peace, if it is fixed on God.
I know you people are righteous-minded, and practise nama-smarana, and I feel sorry that you do not succeed in having genuine, firm love for nama. Everyone should introspect to discover what is it that precludes such love? Can you ascribe it to circumstances?
It appears that man sets store more by material means and things that are supposed to conduce to happiness rather than by happiness itself. Material things being perishable, the pleasure they yield is also short­lived. True happiness should be independent of things and cause. So we should pray God for permanent happiness, not for material things.
A railway station was famous for excellent fruits. A passenger alighted to buy some, and started haggling about the price. No thinking man will continue to haggle beyond the halting time of the train. Similarly, we may run after material things but not let the more valuable, permanent, spiritual gains be missed. Resolve to maintain anusandhana at all costs. To do this is to go counter to the way of the common world. It is an art to do prapancha efficiently and yet maintain anusandhana. The true devotee is an adept in this art; therefore he lives immersed in God, and finds true joy in the world. Let us, too, leave the bodily pleasures and pains to destiny, and try to do nama-smarana with persistence and sincerity. This will bring a balanced mind, with the help of which one may easily wade through the mire of worldly life and still be unscathed.

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Sri Brahmachaithanya Pravachan-Aug.6

August 6, 2009

God is Unalloyed, Changeless Bliss

Everyone seeks permanent joy, that is God, for God and bliss are inseparable, identical. God is indeed, the source and home of everlasting happiness. Happiness is a sine qua non for the very survival of every being.
What we style as ‘joy’ today is really only ‘hope’ of joy, an illusion never realized in practice. If everyone lives for joy, why is it that it is never obtained? Evidently, the goal and the means are at cross purposes. The fact is that we seek joy in the ‘pleasure’ we get through the medium of the senses. Now such joy can neither last nor be free from accompanying or eventual pain, like the ‘kick’ one gets from the use of liquor or other narcotic. The joy of all sensual pleasure is severely limited in degree and duration, and invariably accompanied by immediate or eventual pain, misery, disappointment, etc. All palpable things are impermanent, non­satisfying, and consequently, incapable of giving lasting happiness.
We expand, proliferate, and diversify our activities and interests, all for deriving happiness, but fail to achieve the objective. The bliss that is God is, like God Himself, permanent, unchangeable, independent of external cause, limitation, or interference. Consequently, to strive for acquiring mundane things as a means of happiness, is doomed to failure.
A smile or laughter is the outward expression of a joyful spirit. Joy independent of external cause shows the presence of God. Vairagya consists in abstaining from anything that would mar that pure joy, while vivek consists in doing that which will bring about, strengthen, or augment such joy. This pure joy is the mark of a mind which is happy and contented owing to deep pondering on and merging with the Universal Soul. Such pure, unruffled joy invariably stamps the life, talk, and behaviour of one whose love is universal and selfless; such a person delights in giving without even the thought of a return of one kind or another.
Truly speaking, divine bliss is innate in every heart; we have to rediscover it by removing the heavy pall of maya, or attraction of the mundane. Rest secure in the reassuring thought that you are insignificant, nobody, that Rama is all in all, and commit yourself completely to His caring, protecting hands.

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