“The paths leading man to god or Truth are said to be many. I will speak only of the shortest. It is to recognize God as the Self in you and then to find Him out. What is the distance then between you and God, between you and yourself? Ah, there is no distance at all, a full Zero! Yet, how dare you say to find God and Truth is hard?’’ 

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

Mā tells me that I should speak on what each one should do to retain their spiritual devotion or devotional assiduousness. I think it is a very good subject.

Either before coming to the Ashram or after coming to the Ashram, the people who come here, first of all derive an exposure into the subject of spirituality or the inner domain in their own personality. Right from the time a child is born, that birth itself is its exit into the outside world, means the sensory world. First of all, it feels the touch impact when it comes out. It is provided by the skin I believe. Then maybe tongue, thereafter sound, smell and gradually eyes. All these are external contacts and external interactions.

I think throughout our life, we are only interactional and the interactions are with the external world and the world objects. But we all miss the fact that though these external interactions dominate our life, the actual interactions are designed, implemented and the results stored by the inner personality and presence. So where does the external come at all then?

An interaction is first of all thought of within the mind, then the mind employs the respective organs and implements the interactions, the interactional impacts are stored in the form of experience, knowledge and memory by the mind. So is there a point of time when interactions ever become exclusively external? No - But who understands this? Nobody. And who cares for it? None. Now this is the common plight of people.

When you come here, what happens is you get an exposure into the inner domain of your personality. Maybe it is an exposure into either God or soul or what is spirituality and spiritual pursuit. Once you get the exposure, the exposure is provided by us, provided by the Ashram. Following the exposure, what should you do? I think it is your own solitary work efforts.

Whatever you get in the form of an exposure, how to retain it was the question raised by . My answer to you is –

  • Did you receive an exposure?
  • Is it worthy and useful?
  • Should you not follow it up?

These questions should be answered by you. If you have to follow it up, make every effort to follow it. What is that effort if you ask me, you should reflect upon the exposure. Try to understand, evaluate it more and more, more and more, more and more. In what way is it different from what I already know? In what way is it different from whatever benefits I get from the external interactions?

So you have to evaluate the exposure yourself from your own side. It is not just what you have heard, but you must be able to make your own evaluation and assessment. For that what is required? If you have a very good memory and intelligence, the exposure itself will have given you enough material to reflect upon. So reflect upon it. Atleast for minutes, minutes, minutes, if not hours. This reflection cannot be avoided. In order to help you to reflect upon it, if there are books available on the subject, we have books. Take the books and read them, read them as many times and frequently as possible so that the exposure will remain active and vibrant in you.

The next stage will be, we always speak on Sanskrit verses and Sanskrit compositions. Poetic literature has its own distinction in its place, importance and relevance. So I would like you to learn these poetic presentations. The one important book that you can always make a friend of is ‘Bhagavad Gita’. Bhagavad Gita is a very very important dialogue that transpired in the battlefield of Kurukshetra unexpectedly between Krishna and Arjuna. The benefit of the dialogue was instantaneous. After the dialogue, Arjuna confesses that his delusion is gone, memory is got, he will take back his bow and arrow and fight not one Mahabharata war, maybe a score of them.

Why don't you keep this picture, this scenario in your mind? Kurukshetra battlefield, Arjuna went there after thirteen years of special, austere preparation. Even then, when he looked at the army on both sides, he became weak, sympathetic. He was unable to stand, the body started trembling, his bow started slipping, his mouth went dry, mind started whirling, intelligence said “Don’t fight”. With a crumbled ego, he left his bow and arrow and sat looking fondly at Krishna for any kind of a help or balm, a mental balm that he needed. It is in such a context that Krishna spoke to Arjuna.

I would like to emphasize this word ‘Spoke’. What did Krishna do? He spoke, spoke, spoke, spoke. This is what I am doing, others are doing here. This speech is very very important, very very important. Words through the ears can penetrate into the inner personality. Like every drop of milk poured into a tub of water, it starts making the water white, white, white, milky, milky. Similarly, your personal mind will become a universal mind, your worldly mind will become a spiritual mind, your deluded mind will become an illumined mind, your constricted ego will become an expansive ego and in place of enervation, you will have elevation, enlightenment and expanse. Now watch whether you have these. If you don’t have this, your reflection and assimilation are not upto the mark.

Make Bhagavad Gita a close friend of yours. Bhagavad Gita means a dialogue between yourself and a master. The purpose of the dialogue is to de-delude your inner personality. It is to give you strength, give you inspiration, give you clarity, give you poise, give you stability, give you resolve. None of these qualities is something that you can say “No, I don’t want”. So to retain what you have heard, the one way is to spend time devoted to it. I am not asking you to spend so many hours. Atleast 30 minutes to one hour apart from what you have heard.

Try to hear what Krishna said to Arjuna. Learn atleast fifty Bhagavad Gita verses. Yesterday I told you, two verses in Bhagavad Gita will complete the entire scenario. To learn fifty verses of Bhagavad Gita, whatever time you propose to take, you take. Can you not learn them in atleast three months? You will not return to Ashram within three months. So you will be at home. So take three months and then learn at least fifty verses. I would like you to learn them and recite them in Sanskrit itself. For understanding you can use commentary etc. and then reflect upon these verses.

You may drive your car. You may be in the marketplace. Whenever there is time, when the mind is not seriously occupied, you must always reflect upon these anecdotes, episodes, plight, fate, outcome and efforts. And there is enough material for you to introspect over. Bhagavad Gita is very challenging, very inspiring, very instigating, very relieving, very inspiring, very enchanting, very enlightening, very fulfilling, invigorating, stabilizing. All these words I am using very specifically. All these represent qualities which every living man and woman require in this world.

If you are able to relate the spiritual subject, the spiritual life with your daily life, with your interactional life, I think that is sufficient success for you. My distinction is to explain spirituality in a manner that it relates fully to the life in this world, the life as a family member, as an individual, as a professional, as a thinker, as a social being, as an administrator, as a ruler, as the ruled. So very important, so very important.

Can you give me a word saying that “Swamiji, yes, I will devote at least half-an-hour or one hour of a day in order to recapture whatever exposure I had and whatever interest I have seen. Then I will enhance it and strengthen it by reading Bhagavad Gita, by reciting the ślokas, by trying to learn them by heart, by reciting them. Always while reciting, hearing what I recite and relating the words with their meaning and ideas, trying to verify whether my pronunciation is okay, have I done it well.”

You recite using the mouth and the vocal system, you hear with your ears. Even in reciting you have to use your mind and then with your intelligence you compare notes to find out whether the letter is pronounced properly by the tongue and whether the ideas and bhāvās associated with the word, whether they are captured by your intelligence. One verse I happened to read many years back.

मुनिः प्रसन्नगम्भीरो दुर्विगाह्यो दुरत्ययः ।
अनन्तपारो ह्यक्षोभ्यः स्तिमितोद इवार्णवः ।।
muniḥ prasannagambhīro durvigāhyo duratyayaḥ |
anantapāro hyakṣobhyaḥ stimitoda ivārṇavaḥ ||
(Srimad Bhagavatam 11.8.5)

Muniḥ - A person given to silence or given to manana śīla’, reflection and rumination.

Prasanna  gambhiraha - He is profoundly profoundly cheerful. His cheerfulness is not because he had some temporary gains and success. He is cheerful because he is already connected to something very high, noble and great. Maybe he has set himself to gaining it and he is progressing or he has achieved it. Such a man - durvigāhyah, duratyayaḥ, he is very difficult for others to measure, recognize and appraise like the Avadhoota who Yadu Chakravarty met on the road. He is one who cannot be transcended or overcome or outstripped.

Agādha buddhih, he is of intelligence which is very very deep and immeasurable. Akṣobhyaḥ - He does not get agitated.

When I read these words, muniḥ prasannagambhīro durvigāhyo duratyayaḥ agādha buddhih hyakṣobhyaḥ.

Stimitoda ivārṇavaḥ. He is like the ocean filled to the brim, With the incoming rivers, the ocean does not overflow. So he is capable of receiving all kinds of inputs and impacts and he will never feel tired, tired, tired. He will never feel ‘No I cannot do.’

Whenever he has to leave something, he will leave pleasantly, whenever he has to take something, he will take also pleasantly. He will not grumble. This one verse has remained with me ever since I read. You can always compare it whenever you get agitated. This is a possibility that the human can develop, reach and retain. Have Manana-śīla, profoundly cheerful you become, immeasurable for others, none can transcend you or outstrip you. Have deep intelligence, do not develop the habit of getting agitated by anything but remain unagitated. Be like an ocean. Your mind is like a well now, let it be atleast a tank, let it grow to a lake, maybe it becomes an ocean and finally the infinite space. So you must have an oceanal mind and a spacial mind. See, the very thought is so noble, picturing before you the possibilities before the mind.

We know the mind only to cry and weep, somebody said something. {sob} “I have lost some money, everything is lost.” You have lost,why should you remember it? Try to gain now by hard effort. Tell everybody “I have lost, I have lost, I have lost.”! You have lost, it is a fact. Be careful not to lose anymore. Should you remember your loss or should you be concerned about filling the gap? Have you any answer? Are we not rational? Are we not intelligent? And should we not live and act properly?

So I think you should reflect upon the exposure, make your own efforts to retain it. And that consists in atleast making Bhagavad Gita a close friend of yours. Let Bhagavad Gita be given an honourable place in your heart and make it a point to read and recite the verses. Simultaneously also read them and understand. And you select your own, initially two verses, three verses, five verses, ten verses, maximum fifty from Bhagavad Gita which should remain your friends constantly. I think this is simply possible, everyone can do it. It is only a question of whether you will or not.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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