"It is not what you do that matters, but how you do it – with what attitude and aim. The spiritual effect that a seemingly spiritual activity brings, can also be had by the domestic pursuit, provided you preserve a spiritual attitude and dedication."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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A number of miseries will be there, griefs will be there, you will have to get immersed in the griefs but do not have the agitational impact. Similarly you have to course through a number of pleasures or pleasurable situations but don’t be, don’t be drowned by them or over powered by them. When people ask me, “Swamiji, How are you?” I say I am alright. Are you happy? Normally I will say in their language happy. But if you ask me I am neither happy nor unhappy. And it is really so. The word auspiciousness, the word blissfulness is not understood by people. Blissfulness is not exciting exhilaration. It is the settled, calm and composed mind where you become harmonious with pleasure and pain.

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 Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio 

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

In this Ashram our spiritual thoughts, philosophical introspection, religious propositions, very rarely yogic elements also, are presented in various forms. In the Prabhata Rashmi I cover quite a number subjects, in our journals we write, many lectures are given, daily satsangs also are made. In all these things the subject has been discussed, analyzed from various angles as is Krishna doing in the Bhagavadgeeta in the eighteen chapters. The doing part is okay. The hearing to some extent is okay. But after hearing the hearer should do their exercise of introspecting over whatever they have heard until the knowledge becomes theirs.

With this background I thought I would mention today, I was walking in the morning. I come down from the second floor to the middle floor then go up climbing the steps then come back climbing down the steps and like that I walk for about thirty minutes the doctors say I should increase it to forty five minutes. I don’t know whether I can get that much time. Today our N was in the office, she doesn’t generally come so early. Today A was also there, N also. I generally keep the entry and exit doors of my office open for wind circulation while I am walking. So after my walk I went to her. Then I took up the subject ‘How is your Mind? Is it peaceful? Is it light? Is it becoming thinner and thinner?’ At one point she said, I have lot of feeling of futility about life and world. It was yesterday that she showed me a photograph in the newspaper. A pigmy mother elephant is lying dead, the little baby has come near and using the trunk she is opening the eye of the dead mother. What a splendid sight it is! She was referring to that sight and said futility.

Then I said, “Let us first go back to the Mother Earth. She is revolving, she is inert, insentient, she is revolving on her own axis and circumambulating the sun. Is it necessary, good, useful?” She said, “I feel futile about that also.” I said the sense of futility is correct. Sri Krishna in the Mukti skandha repeatedly emphasizes that the entire world is a nonexistent factor. Viddhi māyā-mano-mayam (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.7.7) is the description he uses. It is mind born, mind subsisting and illusory. Suppose you are born to a set of parents in your dream and you live for sixty or eighty years then you drop your body all these experiences come to you in dream. When you wake up how will you look up the whole development? It was just in dream it is never a matter of fact. Exactly so is whatever takes place in the whole universe including the whole creation. I think the world is a zero. It is also infinity, infinitude. It has got an infinite measure, it has got a zero measure also. Unless you are able to realize and be in harmony with both and everything in between, the spiritual pursuit is not full and crowning.

I go back to my days in Calcutta before I took up sannyasa and came over to Kerala. I was doing severe sadhana after getting initiated from my Gurudev. I always say I used to spend two and half hours in meditative absorption, morning and evening. The intensity of seeking was quite much appreciable. So there were occasions when I used to feel oh; today is also passing. One more day is gone and I am not able to reach my goal in life, such a sense of futility and uselessness. Our mind, human mind has got nine emotions. Of all these emotions very few are really experienced by people. Everybody speaks about love, love, hatred, jealousy, competition, fear, sense of uselessness. Many emotions are there and bhakti is said to be the tenth taste. A rich and a resourceful human mind should be able to undergo all these emotions. You may not get an opportunity for that in your actual life. That is why our epics are present before us. Particularly Vyasadeva’s Mahabharatam presents all the nine emotions, generates them in your mind if you read them well.

As the world is attractive and alluring so is it repulsive and frightening. It will also cause jealousy, competition, intolerance, greed, many, many, many, many things. And there are a number of instances and features in the world which are sure to generate sympathy in your mind. A mind which does not have sympathy is not at all good. But along with all these emotions you should understand the world is a rigmarole which creates all these emotions. In reality it does not exist at all. Swamiji, how do you say so? Everything you see is pictured and made to be felt by the mind. The mind is very subtle within the body. Can the subtle mind produce gross objects within the body? No. So all the grossness you feel within the body in your mind level are absolutely non-existent. Suppose you see an elephant and the elephant was really there in its three dimensions within your body then you would die, the body will break. You see a mountain but you experience the mountain within you. So the mind produces the mountain. But that mountain is not really stūla gross. But the mind produces the stūla idea. That the mind is capable of producing.

I was mentioning to her that our body is mūrta, personal and gross. But our mind is amūrta impersonal and subtle. Our real personality is impersonal. You have to glide through, course through all the different types of emotions. Think of a day when a very sorrowful death, dramatic death has taken place, a young person has died steeping all the people in sorrow. You have to visit that place, attend the cremation. The same day there is very exciting and exhilarating marriage function also going on, you have to go there also. Now tell me, who is the right and the best person, he who is able to go to both places and be able to respond to and react to the situation equally well. No, today is the cremation if I go to the sorrowful place I will not be able to come for marriage. If I decide to come for the marriage then I will not be able to go there. Is this what you are supposed to do? Both parties equally expect you and it is up to you to visit both places. Maybe you also have to see an accident after that. My dear children I have been thinking about it from, I don’t know when, a very young age. I have always found I am not able to do what I want to do and I am forced to do what I don’t want to do. I don’t want to live in this world but I am made to live. I think you have to become a zero as well as infinity and it is possible.

The Sthitaprajna Bhagavadgeeta describes as Dukheu anudvignamanā (Bhagavadgeeta 2.56). A number of miseries will be there, griefs will be there, you will have to get immersed in the griefs but do not have the agitational impact. Similarly you have to course through a number of pleasures or pleasurable situations but don’t be, don’t be drowned by them or over powered by them. When people ask me, “Swamiji, How are you?” I say I am alright. Are you happy? Normally I will say in their language happy. But if you ask me I am neither happy nor unhappy. And it is really so. The word auspiciousness, the word blissfulness is not understood by people. Blissfulness is not exciting exhilaration. It is the settled, calm and composed mind where you become harmonious with pleasure and pain. I was telling N you prepare a bitter gourd preparation. Bitter gourd is very, very bitter. If you give me I will feel my whole face will get shrunk. There is salt in that. And you have a pumpkin preparation which is sweet, there also salt is there. Salt is there in both but does the salt become either bitter or sweet? But is it not associated with the bitter gourd and the pumpkin? Exactly so your mind will have to course through a number of items. I would like you take it from me as a secret, spiritual secret I found long, long back. What is the right attitude to live in this world and what is the right note of perfection, I have found you have to respond to every situation, feel it fully but never be, never be undone by anything.

The world produces a number of scenes, sights and developments each of which is supposed to generate and evoke a particular emotion in you. So there are a number of sympathy producing instances you are supposed to have, sympathetic response to it. There are a number of lovable phenomena, love them. There are a number hate able items, hate them. There are very good people who are noble, you can be jealous of them. I would like to be like them. There are some instances where you have to become indifferent.

Ma narrates to me almost frequently about her poorvashrama father and mother. Both of them have become old and they are lying on the cot. Neither of them is able to help the other. They have become equally old you can say. They have a son who is employed. He is the chairman and managing director of a Government of India organization. See he has to respond to his duties. The parents are lying at home. The assistant who was brought from Calcutta to serve them has gone on leave. If you hear the story I find what about the young age life we had lived if this going to be the climax of life where you are unable to look after yourself and the others also are not able to spend ample time for. Life is not going to terminate at wish nor will it linger on at your wish.

Nāpinande druvam mrthyum Adruvam vāpijīvitam Do not desire to live because it is indefinite on all fronts and do not desire to die because it is definite you don’t have to desire it. So there is a point of view where by you become totally indifferent to either life or death. This is the transcendental level which is the one goal of spirituality and spiritual wisdom.

So I think N’s feeling of futility is not out of place but she should understand that sense of futility is absolutely true. Decades back Ammini aunty wrote to me from Jamshedpur: ‘Swamiji, when I sit in meditation my mind gets absorbed and I get up after some time, I feel so much that there is nothing in life. I become so dispassionate and indifferent.’ I wrote to her back saying that ‘Is it not the real attitude towards life?’ Yes It is. Somebody will come to you wanting to have a few loving and praiseful words; others will come and look to you for something else. There was a worker here who was a very lazy worker but good and intelligent worker. Sometimes matters will drift in such a manner that I have to go to him and shout, speak harshly. So I used to ask him, “R don’t you have some sympathy for me? I am working on the computer writing very beautiful and nice letters presenting a number of thoughts and in between I have to come and shout at you? Is it right? Can you not avoid this?” I used to ask. Maybe internally he was smiling and laughing. Sometimes I used to go and tell him, “R, this is a work that I would like you to do. I don’t want you to murmur or show your face. Please do it well. You are capable of doing and do it well.” I will be smiling and he will start doing.

I think we must be able to glide through every situation. Please understand that spirituality is not just exhilaration. That maybe a passing phase. Spirituality is that level of maturity, sublimity, poise, fullness and harmony by virtue of which you will never be undone or super done by anything. There is that state of salt being added to every preparation. Salt never loses its nature or taste but it is coupling itself with bitter gourd, pumpkin and all the other vegetables. Try to be this wonderful common salt.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.