"Unflinching devotion to the Teacher is paramount in the life of a true seeker. To begin with, an external God can be the object of faith. But once the devotee grows to be a seeker, only a Wise Teacher can fulfil his quest.  It is then for the seeker to get purified and enlightened by the words of wisdom from his Guru.  Their bond and attunement put the Teacher on the pedestal of God.  Such an impeccable Guru-sishya bond alone bestows wisdom, strength and fulfillment to the seeker."

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Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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  • Sādhana-śibiram | Delhi | March 2018 17-02-2018

    Swami Nirviseshananda Tirthaji will be in Delhi from Mar 07 to Apr 01, 2018 to conduct the annual Sādhan¡-Śibiram. Enlightened Living and "Be Master of Yourself" workshop is being offered. Details.

  • Dakshinkhanda Pilgrimage - A Report 15-02-2018

    By the end of the night there were so many words that came up repeatedly in attempt to convey the feelings about this sublime event - blessed, grateful, deeply moved, and humbled. Humbled to see what true bhakti really is.

  • Enlightened Living | Delhi NCR | March 2018 22-01-2018

    Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha Ji will conduct a residential course "Enlightened Living" from 15th to 25th March 2018. Participation requires prior registration. No charge.

  • 54th Annual Jñāna Yajña - Jamshedpur 17-01-2018

    On 6th Feb, Sampoojya Swamiji and Mā will reach CIRD Jameshedpur for the Annual Jñāna Yajña. They will return to the Ashram in Thrissur on February 28th.  Details..

Practical Guidance

Prabhaata Rashmih talks by Poojya Swamiji
  • PR 02 Aug 2016 - The Purushotthama
    Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru. 

    In Rigveda we have a Purusha-suktham. The word Purusha becomes important there. Here, the same Purusha is spoken of as Uttama-Purusha, purushotthama. The chapter is named after that word. Krishna began referring to the creation as a whole as

    ऊर्ध्वमूलमधःशाखमश्वत्थं प्राहुरव्ययम् ।
    ūrdhvamūlam-adha:śākham-aśvatthaṃ prāhur-avyayam |

    Imagine the whole creation to be an inverted ashwattha tree. The roots are above, you won’t be able to reach them any time. We only have available that huge inverted tree’s branches and leaves. Now, these leaves, just like in the case of a tree, enable us to find out what is the tree, what are its properties etc. our Vedas are like the leaves to explain the inverted ashwattha tree of creation. So, our Vedas have to be used as an enlightening book. It is not so much a kāraka text, as a jñāpaka text. It reveals revelatory and not mandatory.

    Initially he said,

    निर्मानमोहा जितसङ्गदोषा अध्यात्मनित्या विनिवृत्तकामाः ।
    द्वन्द्वैर्विमुक्ताः सुखदुःखसंज्ञै-र्गच्छन्त्यमूढाः पदमव्ययं तत् ॥
    nirmāna-mohā jita-saṅga-doṣā adhyātmanityā vinivṛtta-kāmā: |
    dvandvair-vimuktā: sukha-du:kha-sañjñair-gacchanty-amūḍhā: padam-avyayaṃ tat ||
    (Bhagavad Gita 15.5)

    The avyaya pada has to be searched, looked for.

    तमेव चाद्यं पुरुषं प्रपद्ये यतः प्रवृत्तिः प्रसृता पुराणी ॥
    tam-eva cādyaṃ puruṣaṃ prapadye yata: pravṛtti: prasṛtā purāṇī ||
    (Bhagavad Gita 15.4)

    I seek refuge under the supreme purusha, from whom all the activities, vibrations and interactions proceeded.

    Then He says, nirmāna-mohā jita-saṅga-doṣā. Māna and moha to be avoided, sanga to be overcome, constantly remain in adhyātma, ātma-chintana, adhyātma-chintana. Get away from desires and desiring habits.

    Dvandvair-vimuktā: sukha-du:kha-sañjñaih. You have to get freedom from dvandvas. What are the dvandvas? Sukha-duhkha themselves. They are the resultant of all other dvandvas. The entire world is a collection of dvandvas. All the dvandvas put together individually and collectively, generate the dvandva inwardly called sukha-duhkhas. Gain redemption from them. When you do so, what happens?

    Gacchanty-amūḍhā: padam-avyayaṃ tat. You will reach the imperishable abode, being de-deluded, getting away from delusion. So, you will become enlightened. And He says, how to be unaffected by this ashwattha tree which is an inverted one. This is the way. sukha-du:kha-sañjñaih gacchanty-amūḍhā: padam-avyayaṃ tat.

    Then He describes the Avyaya pada, na tad-bhāsayate sūryo etc. etc.

    अहं वैश्वानरो भूत्वा प्राणिनां देहमाश्रितः ।
    aham vaiśvānaro bhūtvā prāṇinām deham-āśrita: |
    (Bhagavad Gita 15.14)

    I become the vaiśvānara and digest the food. So, the Supreme Truth is not away from us. It is in us, within us and it is we ourselves.

    Then He says, in the loka, “lokesmin”, he says two purushas are there.

    द्वाविमौ पुरुषौ लोके क्षरश्चाक्षर एव च ।
    dvāv-imau puruṣau loke kṣaraś-cākṣara eva ca |
    (Bhagavad Gita 15.16)

    Kshara and the Akshara. Kshara is the perishable prakriti and Akshara is the imperishable substratum it has. That imperishable substratum is called the purusha. The rest is prakriti. That prakriti is called by Krishna as ‘kshara purusha’ here and the other is ‘akshara purusha’. So, the kshara and akshara purusha explain the whole creation, represent also.

    Then He says,

    उत्तमः पुरुषस्त्वन्यः परमात्मेत्युदाहृतः ।
    uttama: puruṣastv-anya: paramātmety-udāhṛta: |
    (Bhagavad Gita 15.17)

    This is where your attention should be rightly focused. There is still another Purusha, Uttama Purusha. That Uttama Purusha is Paramātma. What is the Atma? Within our body, being a subject of reference as ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’, there is something. That is a Purusha. And that ‘I’, ‘I’ denoted presence, that presence is the Uttama Purusha. Because He is Uttama Purusha, different from kshara and akshara purushas, He is called Purushotthama. That Purushotthama, He says,

    यो लोकत्रयमाविश्य बिभर्त्यव्यय ईश्वरः ॥ १५.१७ ॥
    yo loka-trayam-āviśya bibharty-avyaya īśvara: || 15.17 ||
    (Bhagavad Gita 15.17)

    All we experience and refer to understand are products of three states of ours. Jagrat, swapna and sushupti. Jagrat world, swapna world and sushupti. These are the only three states which are revealing to us whatever they do. So, He has referred to kshara purusha and akshara purusha, then the Purushotthama. That Purushotthama is called Paramātma. Atma means that which is denoted by the term ‘I’. When that presence is understood in its full measure and magnificence, it becomes Paramātma. So, who is Paramātma? The Purushotthama. Where is the Purushotthama? As Paramāthma inside the body. Do you understand that sequence?

    paramātmety-udāhṛta:
    yo loka-trayam-āviśya bibharty-avyaya īśvara:

    It is that imperishable presence in everything.

    यस्मात्क्षरमतीतोऽहमक्षरादपि चोत्तमः ।
    अतोऽस्मि लोके वेदे च प्रथितः पुरुषोत्तमः ॥
    yasmāt-kṣaram-atīto’ham-akṣarād-api cottama: |
    ato’smi loke vede ca prathita: puruṣottama: ||
    (Bhagavad Gita 15.18)

    In the world as well as in the Vedas, this Uttama Purusha is called Purushotthama which is no other than Paramātma.

    Now, whoever understands this Purushotthama, he becomes a ‘sarvavid’, a ‘sarvavid’, a knower of all.

    bhajati māṁ sarva-bhāvena bhārata ||
    भजति मां सर्वभावेन भारत ॥
    (Bhagavad Gita 15.19)

    Such a one starts worshipping Me through all the bhāvās.  So, it is a bhāva worship here, bhāvātmaka worship.

    You will find many people are coming to the temple or common objects of devotion. At one point of time, their bhakti would have become real and expansive and they will start feeling “I don’t like to go to the temple. I feel the presence of God everywhere.” This is how we end up.

    So, in this particular chapter, initially making a reference to the entire creation, then bringing the three concepts of three purushas, and then finding the Uttama Purusha, Purushotthama in yourself, is something very, very important, important. It is not that we are the atma alone, our atma with whatever potentials and possibilities it has, together with them, it becomes the focus for us.

    I thought, I would explain it to you so that you can think about it.  See, He brings the concept of the third purusha and third purusha He says paramātma and parameshwara. If you think in this manner, the fifteenth chapter gives you enough of opportunity to live a very devotional and spiritual life, not affecting you adversely, but making you succeed in whatever you do.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 25 July 2016 - Love, Sympathy and Sacrifice
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    In the Ashram, we have common routines, morning prayers and evening bhajans. The morning prayers are followed by a program called Pushpa samarpanam.  I am wondering whether you know why this is being done.  The idea is to generate and also preserve a very beautiful note of sublimity, softness, kindness, tenderness in the mind. 

    People are generally rough and tough, sometimes hard, sometimes very crude. Different ways are there. They may not know. People collect the flowers from my feet and they wipe my feet. Everyone will do it in a different manner. You may observe yourself and find out how best it can be done. The tenderness, the softness, the sense of intimacy, any other sublime notes that you can add, all of them will be reflected in your doing this.

    Now here you have a living God, a living Guru. But when you handle an idol or a picture, in wiping it, in pouring water if you have in doing the archana, removing it and cleaning it, this is an abhyasa, an anushthana which will instill a lot of qualitative refinement in you. To be a devotee means to be soft, soft-natured, soft spoken. Try to observe yourself and see how far you are soft. It is equally to develop a number of qualities, to be soft and gentle is one. To be reasonable, proper, firm, decisive will be another. But in a good devotee, especially the one who is able to culture himself as a qualitative person, you will find there is a beautiful blend of the qualities and also emotional fineness.

    The Vishnu Sahasranama is one which when chanted will make you think about various qualities of God. Though you are chanting words which are referring to God, the chanting is done by you and the qualities are going to grow in you provided you do it fondly and well, especially reflecting.

    Today I brought Srimad Bhagavatam, primarily wanting to tell you one important verse which Sri Krishna said in the beginning to Uddhava.

    सर्वभूतसुहृच्छान्तो ज्ञानविज्ञाननिश्र्चय:।
    पश्यन् मदात्मकं विश्वं न विपद्येत वै पुन: ।।
    sarvebhūtasuhṛchānto jñānavijñānaniṣchayaḥ ।
    paśchyan madātmakaṁ viśwaṁ na vipaddyeta vai pūnaḥ ।।
    (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.7.12)

    Sarvebhūta suhṛt shānto. This one word, when I first read it in Srimad Bhagavatam, it appealed to me so much. This is the standard and style for a devotee.

    Sarva Bhootha suhṛt.  You should think as a friend of all creatures, all beings. Your mind may not accept it initially. But keep it as an ideal. Be friendly to the others, kind to the others, considerate to the others. That consideration for others, consideration for others. People are seated here. Whenever there are children, elders should feel that the children should be brought to the front and made to sit. Whether it is here or in a photograph, group. Anywhere and everywhere, be considerate to youngsters. And so far as youngsters are concerned, they should be considerate to the elders, to see that they are not put into discomfort, if at all they are helped with some convenience etc. Some people cannot bend, some people cannot do this, cannot do that. See what are the items of service you can do for them and without being told, sense it and then do it.

    This one phrase, Sarvebhūta suhṛt shānto. If you can keep it in your mind and recite it many, many times, automatically you will become a Sarvebhūta suhṛt. It is Krishna who says this to Uddhava especially as a parting message when Uddhava was to take leave from Krishna and go to Badarikashrama and remain there, contemplating upon Krishna, taking his bath in Mandakini, remembering Krishna and seeing Krishna everywhere, everywhere, everywhere.

    When he was with Krishna, Uddhava had a physical focus on him. When Krishna is no more there, the only way he can generate Krishna is by the mind and from the mind. He says paśchyan madātmakaṁ viśwaṁ. When Krishna was alive, he was always identifying Krishna with the body. When the body is no more there, it is not nearby, the only way is to think of Krishna in a much larger dimension. The whole universe is Krishna laden so much so, that you will never miss him even for a moment. Madātmakaṁ viśwaṁ.

    In that case, na vipaddyeta vai pūnaḥ. You will never get into any kind of a trouble at all. Where is the trouble? Who will cause trouble? Everywhere is the same Lord. You must have love. Love, not particularly related to one person, no, loving by nature, loving by nature. Where there is love, there will always be sympathy. Sympathy means a kind of a concern and care for others. “I have love for my mother, but I have no consideration in the matter of helping her in her work. She is becoming older and I am growing , becoming an adult. So as an adult, I should not tax my mother unnecessarily. I should wash my own vessels and keep. After food also maybe I wash my vessels and keep them where they are to be. I don’t ask her to give me a glass of water, I will take it myself. I will give my mother also. She is already cooking. That is is enough burden.” So, love should be accompanied by sympathy and both should be equally leading to sacrifice. 

    Sacrifice means one’s own needs and comforts are left partially or fully, in order to be helpful to the others and pleasing others. Where there is love, there has to be sympathy. Where there is sympathy, there has to be sacrifice. Love, sympathy and sacrifice are the three basic virtues and all the others are multiples and combinations of these.

    We have always felt, when some newcomer comes to the Ashram, maybe in satsang, I have met him, spoken to him. He has got up. Our usual people will simply leave for the dining hall. None of them seems to have a concern, he is a newcomer, he may not know where is the dining hall, “ So please come. Let us go. We will go for breakfast.” I don’t know whether any one of you says that. If you say, well and good, I compliment you. If you don’t say, please think about it.

    What is wrong with us? After all, we don’t know where they stand, what they do, whether they are doubtful, so they will have to go by themselves uninvitedly so to say. That is sometimes very bad. Very bad. Personally, I will not like it at all. Even for the main function here, I always used to say, one or two people should be there to welcome the newcomers, accompany them and guide them to where to sit. These are some of the niceties which every one should know and practice in their respective households. In the Ashram, it is all the more so because we may not be always available to talk to the visitors. They will see us and then go and we cannot accompany them.

    So, everyone who is associated with the Ashram, who have some familiarity, know about the practices here, I think they should keep in mind to welcome the newcomers, and conduct them properly. First time if you have conducted them, maybe they will know. But even then, a courteous word from you is always necessary. The evaluation about all of you will be drastically changing. And then, the greater benefit is that your whole inner personality becomes softer, gentler, more and more considerate. To the extent these qualities grow, you know what will happen? A divine experience will start growing in you. At present we see only the objects through the senses. Without the senses, without even the body, you will find a very pleasant experience, pleasant experience rises in your system and you are able to feel, provided you are emotionally sublime, emotionally refined. That emotional tenderness should be there as much as possible. Try to practice this.

    I think the life style itself should completely change. You must have love for the articles you use, whatever articles you use, have love for them. The vessels should be properly cleaned, dried, make sure that there is no soap powder or washing powder there after washing. The gas stove should be kept clean, the kitchen should be kept clean. Everything should be clean. Your own dress, wear it nicely, keep it nicely and look for any kind of uncleanliness and remove it. All these things I believe will make your inner being much, much better, softer, more and more reflective and will generate that wonderful experience called realization.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

  • PR 29 July 2016 - Contemplate on the Meaning of the Mantra
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    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

    There is a very clear difference between stothras and japa. Stothras are to be uttered and recited loudly. Most of the Vedic Suktas, Veda mantras, they are recited loudly but there is a difference between these hymns and suktas which are recited in praise of different Gods and Goddesses and then mantras. Mantra is supposed to be chanted by the mind alone. The definition of a mantra is like this.

    mananāt trāyate iti. 

    Mananāt, by keeping in the mind, by revolving in the mind, by preserving in the mind, the man who does so will be protected, protected. 

    Mantra japa is very, very effective. You cannot say how effective it is. There is a category of people who are called mantravadis. I like to call them white-magic people, not black-magic, white-magic.  Their services are requisitioned by various people. Their strength is their mantra. Any mantra, it is said, if you chant it akshara-laksha, means what? - As many letters as the mantra has, so many lakhs of times you should recite it. Suppose Gayatri, 24 letters are there. So, you have to recite Gayatri 24 lakhs of times. Then, they say the person has gained the siddhi over that mantra. Means what? That mantra, he has become very, very competent, not competent, what is the right word to be used? He has done so much of austerity with that mantra, that the mantra has become very effective for him and he can employ it for whatever purposes he wants.

    Generally, these mantravadis, white-magic people will have a mantra which they will do minimum akshara-laksha. So, you can imagine, to chant Gayatri 1000 properly, slowly chanted, it will take 3 hours. 3 hours for 1000 times. So, 100,00 times, how much? 300 hours. And 300 multiplied by 24, just see how much it is! Why I am telling you this is you should understand that our mind is very, very resourceful and powerful. To access this mind and to live in the mind, the only way is to take to a mantra.

    These mantravadis and the others who resort to mantra japa, they believe in number and they try to complete the number. Suppose you chant many, many, many times a mantra, don’t think that the mind will always be focused but while you chant a mantra, a hundred times or five hundred times, at least a little of concentration will be there, though not fully. Like that it goes on working.  

    In our Brahmavidya deeksha and sadhana, the mantra is not used like that. It is not counting or number; it is reflecting over the mantra. Whatever mantra you have, you should reflect upon it, try to understand it, associate yourself with the message and content.  So, it is not merely the application of the mind but the application of the intelligence also. So, the mantra institutes in you a particular type of contemplation.

    So suppose you start chanting a mantra like “My dear God, I prostrate before you”. Now you say that “My dear God, I prostrate before you”. By saying I prostrate before you, you really don’t prostrate. And who is this God whom you prostrate? If you start applying the intelligence on this mantra, it will make you reflect upon – “Who is this God before whom I prostrate? Am I really prostrating?’ Or I say “I am prostrating”. Suppose you say “I am eating”, “I am eating”, will it mean that you are eating or you have to have your food specially in a plate, go to the dining table, sit on a chair and take your food? When you are having your food, do you have to say “I am taking food”? No. Suppose you are not taking food and you say “I am taking food”, will it mean that you take? No. So, there is something missing here.

    “Oh God, I prostrate before you”. Which God? And how do I prostrate? Do I bend my body, touch the ground with my forehead? What is this prostration, and especially to God? Who is this God?.He is present inside as well as outside. A presence that is inside and outside, can I offer Him a physical prostration? So, what is this prostration to God and who is this God? When the mind starts reflecting upon in this manner, this is called Tattva manana. Then the mantra assumes a totally different content, message and level. It is such contemplative, contemplative, contemplative process that we mean by real manana and nidhidhyasa. It is upto you to enter into your mind with the mantra and after entering there, make the mantra a cause, a means for your contemplation.

    When you start reflecting upon “Which God am I prostrating before? What is meant by prostration? Am I really prostrating when I say ‘I prostrate’? What would be the real prostration? And who is this God to whom I offer this prostration?” When you start thinking in this manner, the mantra japa is taken over by tattva vichara. And the tattva vichara will be far more effective. A person who does tattva vichara, his mind and intelligence will be very deeply involved in the process. You cannot do it without the involvement of the mind and intelligence. But in any case, you should find that, you should know that you have to enter into the mind plane and engage yourself there. Whether it is by a mere repetition of a mantra or by a contemplative pursuit of that mantra, that is up to you.

    For our purposes, we will not simply say chant the mantra, chant the mantra alone. Whatever is the content and message of the mantra, you should contemplate upon it. And that contemplation will today or tomorrow make you plunge in your own inner essence. Our Upanishads say,

    यतो वाचो निवर्तन्ते। अप्राप्य मनसा सह। 
    Yato vācho nivartante | Aprāpya manasā saha |
    (Taittiriya Upanishad 2.9.1)

    From where words recoil, along with the mind, that is the Supreme state. So, by chanting the mantra or engaging the mantra in the mind or mind in the mantra, there will come a time sooner or later, when the whole thinking process itself dissolves. Where will it dissolve? Into its own inmost source. That is where you discover, realize and feel the self that you are.

    I don’t know when I explain it like this, you are following me and getting the spirit of it and you can apply it. You have to enter into the mind level and plunge there to such an extent that you will go to the very source of thinking, knowledge, experience, everything, the source of everything. Think about it. Think about it. All that you need is your mind which you have and a thought process which you can have and then apply the thought process in such a manner that you will have the depth, the vastness, and absorption that is desired. I think it is simple, provided you get drawn to it fondly.

    Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

 

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Poojya Swamiji says that the real focus

  • of devotional practices is not God, but the devotee's own mind and behaviour;
  • of karmayoga is not action but the attitude of the mind with which an action is performed;
  • of knowledge is not knowledge, but the purification and expansion of the seeker's mind.

Swamiji's Teachings

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Poojya Swamiji says that the real focus

  • of devotional practices is not God, but the devotee's own mind and behaviour;
  • of karmayoga is not action but the attitude of the mind with which an action is performed;
  • of knowledge is not knowledge, but the purification and expansion of the seeker's mind.

 

NSJi-HmPgSwami Nirviseshananda Tirtha

Swami Nirviseshananda Tirthaji, a renunciate disciple of Poojya Swamiji, is known for his scientific expositions which are a source of inspiration to seekers.  Read More...

MaJi-HmPg-White

Ma Gurupriya

A disciple of Poojya Swamiji, Ma is the loving mother of Poojya Swamiji's devotees around the world. Devotion and service remain the predominant forces shaping Ma's life.  Read More...

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"Excellence and Beyond -
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Recordings of Poojya Swamiji's Talks

Bhagavad Gita : A Topic for Research - 1

Bhagavad Gita : A Topic for Research - 2


 

Vicharsetu
Vicharasethu 
Vicharasethu is a monthly journal in English and Hindi, edited and published by Poojya Swamiji. It is also published in Malayalam by the name Vicharasarani. With Articles, Correspondance, Guidance for Sādhana and News updates from the Ashram, these monthly publications are a great guide for the earnest sādhaka. 
 
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Devotees hold periodic meetings at their own locations wherein the teachings and messages of Swamiji are heard, read and discussed with a view to comprehend and arrive at their essence and make it a functional note in their life. This section provides resources to facilitate the proceedings at such gatherings. Read More ....

How to chant Bhagavad Gita

How to chant Viṣṇusahasranāma

  • 024 - Dharmam Bhajasva - Live the Life of a True Devotee

    Always be dedicated to the dharma of devotion, disregarding all other common worldly codes of behaviour. Serve the Wise and Noble, eliminating worldly desires. Getting rid of the thoughts of others’ imperfections or virtues, drink to heart’s content the nectar of words of service to the Lord.

    Read More ...

  • 054 - Dhairyam Yasya - Develop Virtues and be Fearless

    A Yogi for whom composure is his father, forbearance his mother, calmness of mind his wife, truth his son, compassion his sister, control of mind his brother, and for whom this earth is the bed, the directions the attire and the nectarine knowledge the food – for whom all these are members of his family, tell me O friend, from what would such a Yogi fear?

    Read More ...

  • 085 - Na Rodhayati - Association of Saints to Uproot Worldliness

    The mind, which runs behind perishable worldly affairs, must turn to God if one wants to attain unbroken peace in life. A person, who is devoted to God, wants to feel His presence every moment. But, unfortunately, he finds that although he worships God following the various injunctions of the scriptures, undergoes several austerities, he is not able to bind God to his heart

    Read More ...