"The power to promote and reward, as also to demote and punish the individual and his fate in this world, lies within his mind, its thoughts and feelings. No external agency is necessary to bring this infallible fruition. As the growth and development of a seed, an embryo, or a cell designed and preserved by its own inner makeup, here too the causal forces for what one rightly deserves lurk within one’s own invisible bosom."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Articles for Saadhana

Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio

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

During the February trip to Kolkata and Jamshedpur, we happened to meet this Āptakāma Prāṇa sannyāsini there. She came to us. So I had a little conversation with her. She had asked some questions. So I told her, “You come to the Ashram and I will teach you fifty Sanskrit verses from our scriptures and scriptural compositions which will become a full friend for you in the matter of your self-realizational path.” That is why she came here.

I think she stayed for about seventeen days or so. Two days I had my recording lecture. So the rest of the days I taught her these verses. On an earlier occasion I had taught something like hundred or hundred plus verses to our own inmates. The teaching is okay, to some extent learning also is okay. But what follows this learning is something very very important or in fact that is the most important part of the whole pursuit. The way Sanskrit ślokas are or have been for me, I would like them to be for you also.

Everybody says sādhanā, sādhanā, sādhanā, sādhanā. But what is sādhanā? Everyday you should spend the time of the day in doing some non-stop exercises and pursuit to serve your purpose and goal. There are people who make it a point to go to the temple either every day or on Tuesday and Friday or on Saturday or on Monday or some days. Some people go to the temple morning and evening; some people go to the temple only in the evening, some people go on special days. Now, this time-bound performance or pursuit I can say is sādhanā, nothing else is a sādhanā.

The time-bound performance starts with the body and the senses. Then it grows into the tongue, recitation, japa. That is how you have Vishnu Sahasranāma japa. There are so many hymns which are generally sung. Then it progresses into the mind level where with the mind you start chanting the mantra. In mantra japa also it is like this; not in a spiritual manner, in the ordinary manner. A person will be able to get mantra siddhi provided he does the japa of the mantra akshara-lakshah. Suppose the mantra has 10 letters or 12 letters, so many lakhs of times you should chant. You should chant in a very dedicated, calculated, legible manner. The number of letters, so many lakhs of times you should do the japa. That akshara-laksha japa is one way of getting siddhi for the mantra. Similarly, you can have a havan using the mantra for X number of times.

In all these things, you will find a time-bound performance is there. Initially it was with the body and the senses, then it became the tongue, mouth. Now it goes to the mind. The next level will be it goes to the intelligence level. When it goes to the intelligence level, it becomes one of enquiry, evaluation, assessment, consideration, probing. That is, you start thinking and deliberating about who is this God, what is this worship, by worship is God pleased, how do I know it. Am I becoming a devotee acceptable to God? What is the nature of a devotee who is good and will be acceptable to God? So all these considerations are taken up and proper answers are given. Keeping the body occupied, keeping the mouth occupied, keeping the mind occupied, keeping the intelligence occupied without disruption for a certain duration. Now the chanting of these verses which I try to impart to people, it falls within what category if you ask me, primarily it is oral, mental and intellectual. It is a combination of all these three.

First of all, you learn the verse and I want you to learn it by heart. After learning it by heart, you should start reciting it preferably closing your eyes. You will feel like closing your eyes and that recitation itself should be your pursuit. In order to recite, the mind will have to first work. The mind should remember the verse and supply it to the vocal system. Then only it can be coming out in the form of words from the throat and tongue. Now, in order to commit to memory, memorize it, quite a number of times you have to chant. It depends upon your own keenness and other factors. I believe you can commit to memory a verse in the course of about half-an-hour or so. What I have found is that thereafter we will forget. Then if you re-learn, that re-learning will make it remain with you for long.

The memorization is done in two ways. When I learned Vishnu Sahasranāma and also many other verses, I learned it only by memorizing. I did not know the meaning of all that I had learned. So, memorization is only memorization. After memorization, you should use whatever you have memorized for introspection. Every verse gives you a certain message. It may be a statement of fact, an evaluation, assessment, a kind of a comparison, a denunciation, or holding high up a certain ideal or value. It is so we agree; but how to make that this valuation is constant in you? That means this valuation should guide your mind, guide your thinking, guide your intelligence, guide your activities.

This means that generally when you study and school final we pass, then you also have under graduation. Then depending upon your learning, it will have a clear expression in your thought, mind, speech and action. When an idea is absorbed by the mind, in whatever the mind does, the idea will have its effect. Suppose you have learned 5 + 3 is 8, addition is known to you. In your day to day activities, when you go to the market, take some money, give different shop-keepers what is required in the form of price for what you have bought, all these you do. Like that, the knowledge that you gain inwardly will find its expression in your thoughts, words and deeds. That you can always check. That is something that you should do always. So this chanting is a pursuit; it is an application. You are instilling into your mind ideas and propositions which are contained in a verse.

Imagine a mango growing well. And after sometime it is plucked, then it is allowed to become ripe. Once it has become ripe, you may wait maximum for a day and then you use it. The knowledge that it is a mango, that it has grown, when we pluck it will ripen and now it is ripened, therefore either I peel it and eat it or serve others or I prepare some kind of a subji with it, and then take. So any learning that you have made will become practical and interactional.

Here also, the spiritual knowledge will have to be interactional in you. That is very important. Once you know what it is and how to apply it, automatically the application will start. But mind you, the sādhanā for realizing the truth is this repeated recitation. The recitation will start reminding you of whatever you are supposed to leave and cultivate, whether you become pure or not. All these are examined by the recitational verses.

So what I am wondering is some of you were there when I started teaching and now that spell is over. I think we have covered about 40 verses. These 40 verses, how are you going to make them functional and applicational in you - That is the point I am trying to say. Anything that you have learned must have a place in you. And because it has a place in you, it has to become functional.

The principle of addition you don’t forget; you use it. Multiplication also you use it. Similarly, spirituality also should be used. What for? To drop all desires, to drop all possessiveness, to have no ego. When ego is left, possessiveness is also dropped and desire also falls, I think you have become liberated. To make the desire drop, you start reflecting upon it, reflecting upon it.

बन्धो हि वासनाबन्धो मोक्षः स्यात् वासनाक्षयः ।
वासनां त्वं परित्यज्य मोक्षार्थित्वमपि त्यज ।।
bandho hi vāsanābandho mokṣaḥ syāt vāsanākṣayaḥ |
vāsanāṁ tvaṁ parityajya mokṣārthitvam-api tyaja ||
(Laghu-yogavāsiṣṭha-Rāmāyaṇam 4.5.20)

You go on leaving until you feel that even the moksha I want, I am going to leave that desire. When you are able to leave it, automatically you become liberated.

Our forefathers did not have the facility of computer, voice recorder, CD etc. Now we have all these facilities; they did not have. But even then, they excelled. With these, I think we should excel much more, much more, much more.

So these verses I think you should learn and if you have difficulty in understanding any one of them or even one or two words or one line, ask me or ask. Now Nutan Swamiji is here, you can ask him also. Finally you have to take up Bhagavad Gita on the one hand and Srimad Bhagavatam on the other. Then these recitational approach becomes far far far better. It will start giving you a lot of delight. Somebody was mentioning that she is having romaharsha, horripilation throughout the body while reciting. It is a symptom of devotion. When the body becomes more and more sattvik, it generates all this joy. In fact, every joy is generated by the mind. Remember this and make use of these verses.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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