"Devotion is a means as well as its true end when it grows into a full treasure. When devotion becomes a treasure, you will need nothing more for inner fullness or affluence. As devotion grows, it will begin to free you of all desire, hatred and fear. It will relieve poverty, either by making you amply resourceful or by taking away from you the very feeling of poverty. Devotion also will remove your weakness, generating untold strength and confidence."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

Yesterday I told you about our tradition, so many different types of practice etc. Our scriptures or sastras are wonderful. The people who evolved the sastras always had a very, very catholic mind. They embraced the whole of humanity and they also took into consideration the assorted nature of mankind. We cannot argue with anybody saying, “Why are you thinking like this? Why are you thinking like this? Why are you like this?” Who will explain? One has got a thieving tendency; another does not have. Who will have what tendency - Who determines this?

In a very good family, sometimes you will find a mischievous child born. And in a mischievous family, sometimes a very good child also will be born. We cannot explain the varietal expression. But one point I generally emphasize is that nature is abounding in variety and the expression of variety of nature will be there in all fronts. In the human beings, it becomes most complex. An elephant is supposed to be “elephant-ly;” a squirrel is supposed to be only “squirrel-ly.” A deer “deer-ly.” We don’t expect a deer to change into a lion or a lion to change into a deer. But in the case of man, he has the option of changing from anything to anything. Our success lies in improving and becoming better and better. Sometimes this does not happen.

A society which has become very innocuous, good, and benign – if it continues to be like that, after sometime it will decline. It is just like the pendulum, from one extreme to the other; from that extreme to this. If there is movement, the movement cannot be always in a straight line. Suppose you make a road. You will have to make a road in the existing terrain, and whatever the terrain allows, that you will have to make. So, there will be a number of curves, bends etc. Without them, if you want to make a road, you may not make it at all, because the land should be available, the expenses should be considered; many factors are there. So our sastras, dealing with all these things, understanding these things, they embrace all people. And that is why you will find a number of rituals are there – each ritual, enjoined with a certain result or objective. And only because of the objective, people perform the rituals and they want to. So, the sastras allow them to perform.

But you will find the sastras also make an analysis of the rituals and their rewards. When they make the analysis, they are very, very critical, extremely critical. These rituals serve no purpose at all; anyone who follows them will not have the intelligence level and clarity; if you want to have clarity, you have to approach the subject in a different manner. So, so many things are there.

So in Srimad Bhagavatam, at one point it says: Karma mokshāya karmāni. (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.44). Karma mokshāya karmāni. The very purpose of doing karma, action, is to get free from actions. The purpose of doing karma is to grow indifference to the very karma, and then, leave it in the end. Karma moksha, redemption from karma is the very goal of karma. When I said this, one of the listeners, he became so curious and so involved that he wanted to know more about it – “Swamiji, where is it? What is it?” Etc. He came here with one or two people for a discussion; spent a few hours.

In Bhagavad Gita, in the second chapter, when Sri Krishna explains who is a man of stable mind, stable-minded man, stable-intellected man,” he concludes it saying that

श्रुतिविप्रतिपन्ना ते यदा स्थास्यति निश्चला ।
समाधावचला बुद्धिस्तदा योगमवाप्स्यसि ॥ २-५३ ॥
śruti-vipratipannā te yadā sthāsyati niścalā |
samādhāv-acalā buddhis-tadā yogam-avāpsyasi || 2.53 ||
(Bhagavad Gita 2.53)

That is the level of yoga attainment where, (mark my words), where śruti-vipratipannā te buddhi – your intelligence which is now assailed by the conflicting and crisscross statements and declarations of the sastras, the buddhi which is now unsettled by, shaken by, the crisscross and conflicting or plural statements of the saastras; when that buddhi becomes stable and poised; when that buddhi, at present shaken by the conflicting versions of the sastras takes to its own solid position and is able to remain unflickering, unassailed, still, and poised; that poise of the intelligence with its own clarity and depth, that is called yoga.

So, yoga is an attainment of the buddhi, intelligence where it remains firm, stable, and poised. There are many things to shake up the intelligence. For a seeker, ultimately, it is various statements about seeking, progress, attainment etc. So you will find, the sastras are quite capable of shaking your intelligence. When that unsettlement dissolves in your own source and you are able to feel poise and the clarity of poise or poised clarity – that is called yoga. I think this is a statement a good seeker will have to reflect upon very seriously and apply it to himself.

At another point he says, just like the flame of a lamp placed in a windless place will remain unflickering, this is the nature of a Yogi and Yogi’s inside.

Yoga is not anything like an attainment of something away from you. It is nothing to be attained different from you, away from you as a goal, walking towards it, getting it, like going to a shop and purchasing an article, or walking a distance and reaching a destination, producing by a process a raw material into a product. No, no, no, no! It is like the universal space, inter-penetrating and surrounding everything. The soul in you is even more all-pervading. If that is the case, what do you have to attain? Nothing! Then what is attainment? The attainment is the unflickering nature of your own intelligence, which is normally given to a number of fluctuations and undulations. Because, interactions with the world are bound to unsettle you.

यथा दीपो निवातस्थो नेङ्गते सोपमा स्मृता ।
योगिनो यतचित्तस्य युञ्जतो योगमात्मनः ।।
yathā dīpo nivāta-stho neṅgate sopamā smṛtā |
yogino yata-cittasya yuñjato yogam-ātmanaḥ || 6.19 ||
(Bhagavad Gita 6.19)

This is from the sixth chapter of Bhagavad Gita. At another point in the sixth chapter he says, in meditation also, what do you ultimately have to do? Na kinchit-api chintayet. Do not think of anything. Think, but nothing. These are considered to be the supreme attainments according to our own sastras. But our sastras also have a preceding facet where these rituals and ritualistic involvements are discussed. A good and a wise man will approach them and find out, if such supreme truth they have disclosed, what is the relevance of these rituals? Actually this is what everybody should ask. But nobody asks. Nobody asks. And after asking, what should he do? He should become indifferent to everything. What is everything? Indifferent to his interactions with the world on the one hand, and even the rest of. Everything is interactions within the world.

Then the question arises – after such indifference, what will a man do? Now, that is the question – how will a man of self-realization live and move in this world? To have realization is one, to live with that realization is another. It is like science and technology. That is where our sastras are very, very clear and vociferous in explaining how it should be. Actually Bhagavad Gita excels in this explanation. But one has to spend time, read it, understand it. Invariably you may not be able to understand it yourself. You will have to go to a sadguru and he will explain to you. At least, if he cannot explain, he will say, “I don’t know.” At least that much he will say.

Even now there are some points in our sastras for which no authentic description can be given. But it is mentioned there. So they will say, it is there; we are not going to say “yes” or “no” about it, but they are there. But we are not concerned about it. Our pursuit and fulfillment take place in spite of anything about them. In this way, it is a very, very interesting process to process oneself through the scriptural revelations.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.