September 9, 2009
Forgetting God is a Great Sin
Really, wherever you look, God exists. Those who have realized God have told us what God likes. The essence of their teaching is, “Surrender to God, giving up all desires for sense-objects.” This teaching must be accepted as a scriptural authority; with their own personal experience, and having attained the state of liberation, they have shown the way to it. He is our real kith and kin who releases us from the bondage of birth and death. Those who belong to God are not afraid of this world. Do we not surrender ourselves to sensuous objects? Then why should we hesitate to surrender ourselves to God? One can perform all miracles but it is not easy to really surrender to God!
When one begins nama-smarana, one is harassed by thoughts of sensuous desires. That shows how one is completely filled, in and out, with all sorts of desires. One must, however, resolutely continue practising nama. Does not one get upset by bad thoughts while looking after the family life? Then why should we be afraid of such thoughts if they arise during spiritual pursuit?
Once he took to nama, Prahlad never looked back; he was saved by nama only; he could liberate himself due to his faith alone. We must therefore remain in unbroken remembrance of God and strengthen this faith. Never think of past sins. You may not undo the wrong of yesterday, but do not waste the present moment. Never get dispaired.
Every sadhana is best in its own way. Be faithful to your sadhana like a chaste lady to her husband. Remember firmly that of all disciplines and religions aim at belonging to God. We work hard till death to fulfil the needs of our prapancha; then why should we not make some efforts to belong to, unite with God? Really, there is no greater sin than forgetting God. Longing for God is divine consciousness, while longing for sense objects is body-consciousness; when the latter diminishes, the mind will become steady in nama. When you reach the stage, ‘You exist, I do not’, with the help of nama-smarana, you can consider that you really belong to God.
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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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August 4, 2009
A person may have a lot of knowledge, but wisdom comes only with experience. A book on philosophy can truly be said to have been read only if its dicta are put into practice. Philosophy that cannot be put into practice is not worth the name. Actual first-hand experience is true realization. One who surrenders himself to God and desires nothing, has the true knowledge even if he is illiterate. One who is after pedantic knowledge only pampers his personal pride. That does not mean, however, that one who is devoid of learning is free from pride; he, too, may have it, but he can be more easily cured of it. If an ignoramus is enjoined to surrender himself to a sadguru, he may obey without protest, without entertaining doubts and reservations.
There are numerous roads leading to Kashi; but if you want to go there you cannot do so without leaving home. Similarly, if you set out to attain God you cannot entertain desire of any kind except attainment of God. To eradicate or ‘divinize’ desire, one must maintain constant remembrance of God. One must keenly realize that attainment of God is the prime, the sole, aim of human life. Ponder day and night on this aim. You can belong to God if you resolve to belong to nothing else. We experience reverses if the mind surrenders to desire and seeks gratification in sense-pleasures;
It is not really so difficult to conquer desire. A pathologist takes the patient’s blood and tests to find out what disease germs have affected it. Similarly we should, by introspection, find out what entices the mind. It is evidently foolish to desire for something that we cannot be sure of obtaining. So seek to conquer desire with proper thinking reinforced by nama. Pride of doership will then automatically vanish.
The flakes of snow as they fall are soft and crumbly; but in course of time they harden and become like rock. So also desire is basically soft and crumbly; with the aid of the ‘body-am-I’ feeling, it gradually hardens and becomes entrenched, difficult to dislodge.
The aspiration for God cannot be termed desire in the usual sense as it is not harmful in effect. Desire for God is beneficial; it is what remains after repeated sublimation of mundane desire. The only way to achieve this is by keeping God as the goal of life.
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