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Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Articles for Saadhana

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

I would like to share something with you. I am a very soft-hearted person. Then what is the difference between me and many others who are soft-hearted? There is a difference. In spite of the fact that I am a soft-hearted person, I also had a kind of a parallel thinking which will not allow this soft heartedness to take over me or to become very violent or overwhelming.

I cannot remember but still what I feel is that we are all brought up with a faith in God, our theory of karma and all that. If the theory of karma is accepted, then everybody is undergoing what he has already done earlier and it is the consequence of what he has done earlier that he is undergoing. So is there anything to be done about it? Then what is the point in feeling sympathy or no sympathy etc.?

God is supreme. So everything takes place according to his behest. If everything is taking place according to his behest, what is the point in our having sympathy and concern beyond a certain measure? My mind was not allowing to be exceedingly sympathetic to the point of becoming weak. I also had some arresting thoughts like - I love somebody and that person has died, very young. So, I become so sorrowful that I cannot attend to that dead body. Somebody else will have to come and attend. Even if I love him, I must do whatever is necessary for the dead body myself but I simply go on sitting, crying and crying and crying and the neighbours will have come and look after. Is it a model humanhood? I could not agree with that.

Suppose I had a child. I would not be petting that child except when I am also prepared to see the child die on my lap. These were some of the extraneous thoughts that I always had. I don’t know why I had them but I had them. One other thought that always used to come to me is that we are saying that X is wicked, cruel, bad and all that. That is because we are not cruel and we are not wicked. Suppose we were also like him, I would have done the same cruelty which he has done. The only difference is that I don’t have that cruelty and he has it. In what way can I claim credit for it?

Did I come with a gentle, noble or kind mind? Have I worked for it? I was born without my knowledge. When I opened my eyes, I found that this is my nature. So over this nature, can I claim anything – I cannot claim. So these are some of the thoughts that always used to come to me as a result of which I cannot blame others, I could not take any credit or anything like that.

I told you that I asked my mother what shall I pray in front of the Goddess. She said whatever karma you do, ask her to take all that and give you liberation. I did not know the meaning of what my mother said but this is what I was doing.

I always speak about three sentiments - love, sympathy and sacrifice. From these three, all the others will come. When I love somebody, can the love be such that it weakens me – no but it is weakening. I love so much that when I see him in danger, I am not able to do anything. My child falls and somebody else will have to come and pick up. Like that, this is what happens in the world. Another contradiction that I always used to find and question is we read our Purāṇās and Itihāsas and when we hear them, our heart should melt and we should shed tears, it is great noble and fortunate. But when the same things happen in our life, why is it that we don’t like?

So shedding tears for Purāṇic listening is noble but actually to shed tears when the Purāṇic incidents take place in your life, you find that it is bad. Why? Why should you think that when you hear a pathetic story from Purāṇās, you shed tears and that is considered to be very noble and fortunate? When actually, those incidents takes place in your life, you don’t feel blessedness and fortune. These are some of the contradictions I always have. This is what is going on.

So, I was wondering that these emotions are not everything of life. There is something more to it. Now also, I have love, I have sympathy, I have sacrifice. These emotions are there in me without creating any problem. So, what is the difference if you ask, I think I have known the truth. Knowledge of truth has sublimated all these things.

When Mā shows me some pictures of the floods in Kerala, my eyes well up with tears, heart is choked etc. but still I continue to see. The actual state of knowledge, state of wisdom or state of fulfillment, is it to be always loving, sympathetic to the extent of enfeeblement? A person sings the glory of God. He sometimes says, “My dear God, when will you shed your mercy on me?” and sometimes start bursting into tears. Is that the right case or the person should continue to sing without being tormented or stopped? These are some of the points I have.

What I feel is that now I have found a knowledge which gives me the other side of the whole thing. I have written for Vicharasarani and in that portion, Vasishtha is telling Sri Rama there are a number of cow butchers. These butchers will continue to butcher the cows. There is no point in shedding sympathy. They will continue to do that. You can do nothing about them. Cows will be butchered as long as there are a set of people who like to eat meat and who want to butcher. Some want to butcher; some want to eat. The eaters do not want to butcher. So some butcher and give.

Then he says suppose the sun is very hot and you want to prevent the heat of the sun, it is not possible. On the other hand, if you hold an umbrella you can protect yourself and walk but you cannot prevent the heat of the sun. He gives this as an example. A number of air-born creatures are there. They fly and live. Suddenly there is a powerful wind blowing in such a manner that all these insects die. So the wind that supports their life, that becomes their butcher. The world is like that. There is no point in shedding sympathy for it. In this way he gives examples. Have you not read Quietitude of the Mind? When I read it, I found a lot of consolation. I was wondering what shall I do, will I continue to love, sympathize and sacrifice? What are we supposed to do?

There was one person, a professor in Delhi. Our ‘T’ took me to his house. I don’t remember his name. ‘S’ introduced him in this manner, “He is one of the four brothers who survived.” All the other three brothers went to quick sand. The first brother went there and he went down in the quick sand. The second brother went to catch hold of him and he also went down. The third brother also went in. This man also went. The friends around held him back. That is why he was saved. So I am asking when a brother is entrapped, our brotherly sentiment is to save him. Should we not do it or should we do it? A big question I had.

I was told by ‘G’ that there is a very elderly Warrier. There was a boat accident. In the boat accident, one hefty man, two girls, two youngsters held on to him. He started swimming and after some time he could not swim. So he left one. Then he started swimming. After some time, he could not swim. He left the second also. He is still surviving. I think one of the girls somehow managed to escape. Now I wanted to ask him what his mind is now thinking about this incident. So he said, “Why are you asking me all those things, they are all for what?” So he did not give us any reply.

So, the right knowledge about anything whatsoever is a little hidden. It is not available to all. I have sympathy for the people who are suffering but I am not undone or unmoved by it. I question very seriously as to why the Kerala Electricity Board waited and waited and waited to catch water to produce electricity, for opening the shutters. Maximum they would have lost some energy, that’s all. Losing energy and losing so many lives and other things! Which was better? And it is a democratic government, intelligent people, not one group but many groups sat together and finally decided not to open it.

This is what they are doing for Mullaperiyar dam in Tamil Nadu. There is a broadcast in the name of BBC where a woman says Mullaperiyar dam has got only five more years of life. Supreme Court has permitted them to keep water up to 142 ft. Now its 139, last time also it happened and they simply waited. They say if something happens, the water will flow at 42 ft high and it will take only five hours to reach the Arabian sea. The Kochi airport will be non-existent, if the dam bursts or something happens there. So many districts, Idukki, Ernakulam, Trichur, everything will be lost. The slush that will remain settled will be 10 ft high. More than 10 lakhs of people will lose their life and he concludes saying that the two state governments are continuing to debate and discuss about opening and letting the water out.

I cannot excuse the people of Kerala for not having opened it and not discharged the water in a regulated manner. They finally had to open six shutters at once! And what for? They say predictions cannot be trusted. Except Meteorological predictions what predictions do you have? It is not astrological predictions. They say rains will be there. Even now we are governed. Pressure in the air changes. They cannot say when it will change. They will only say this is the likelihood or possibility. That is what astrology also says. They indicate the broad possibilities of life.

So, I feel like giving help to people, going there etc. All these I am doing. But at heart, I am not totally affected or undone by this. India is one of the ten countries in the world; we have got 7500 km of sea coast. We are always under the mercy of the sea, rains, water, cyclones etc. Either we learn to live with them like Japan has learned to live with volcanoes or we vacate India and go anywhere else we want. There are so many modern gadgets available for predicting and we must be able to shift whenever necessary. This is one of the cleverness we must acquire to live in this country. Things are far far better.

Many people went on a holy pilgrimage to Kedarnath. After all, to go and see Lord Shiva is a holy act. People who went on a pilgrimage were taken by the river. Now you tell me, does it mean that holiness act is not there? You can give any explanation. If you feel going to Kedar is very good, dropping your body in the Ganges of Kedar is also good, the best form of death.

Now in Tamil Nadu people have started saying Supreme Court is going to allow women to Sabarimala, that is why all this wrath has taken place. Another man is asking, Guruvayurappan is there, Sabarimala is there and other shrines are there. In spite of all these shrines, why Kerala had this.

But what I say is if all people will come out and start praying, “My dear clouds you go away, keep your course away”, the clouds would have gone. But nobody is prepared to do it.

King Dasaratha did not have children. He did not keep quiet. He decided to perform an Aśwamedha yāga and got four children. Here what are people saying? They simply keep quiet, they still believe it is man, man, man. Our government is a man government, leftist govt.

So I only wanted to share with you this important point. I am a very very loving, a sympathetic and kind-hearted person in spite of which I am able to live and bear. I understood that to be undone by sympathy or to be subdued by sympathy is not right. What is the truth? The truth is that even if you are the only survivor, you will survive. Nobody expects you to die along with the others. Whatever calamity comes, calamities are part of nature. When calamities come, this is what will happen. How many people will die! Some will refuse to go from the house. Somebody will say: “No, no, water will not rise, let me remain”, and suddenly water will rise. People will behave in very very different ways.

I have found that by the spiritual wisdom that I was looking for, even in the worst stroke of calamity or anything like that, you should not be undone by anything. Even sympathy should not overtake you or overwhelm you. If you feel so sympathetic that you are enfeebled, you cannot do anything, you start weeping, crying, beating your chest.

What is a doctor supposed to do when a patient is in acute pain? So the moment he sees it, what is he expected to do? In order to take action, can he be also pained? He cannot. So we should always hold our balance and try to do whatever is necessary. But this is a course people will not understand. They feel that to be sympathetic, crying and weeping is considered to be noble. A tearless sympathy is there. A painless or affliction-less sympathy is there, an enlightened sympathy is there. I don’t think people know it.

The emotionalism in me and even now I have a lot of emotion, that emotion I found by my spiritual wisdom which I looked for, not necessarily to deal with my emotions, I found that spiritual wisdom tells you all these can and will happen. We are not living in a world which is safe on all accounts. Even calamities like this will happen. I think Kerala’s progress has been very much reversed, how much I cannot say. 10000 kilometers of road has been affected they say. When can we repair it? How much money is required? Our Central Government has sanctioned 500 crores. Kerala wanted 2000. I am wondering, can they not give at least 1000 crores?

We are all aiming at some fulfillment of life, knowledge. In our case, it is Brahma jñāna or knowledge of truth. The knowledge of truth tells you that you be loving, sympathetic, sacrificing but it does not mean you should be swallowed up by all these things. What you are sympathetic for is a natural occurrence in the course of the world. Before such a calamity what can man do? Are we not living under the mercy of nature? So if something happens what can be done? The other day we got a fire. If the fire had really spread, what would have been the situation? We are telling them again and again. Everybody has to be careful.

सर्वारम्भा हि दोषेण धूमेनाग्निरिवावृताः ॥
sarvārambhā hi doṣeṇa dhūmenāgnir-ivāvṛtā: ॥

This is a statement made in Bhagavad Gita. Reading and coming to know all these stories (through newspaper) will strengthen and intensify your dispassion. We are living in such a world. So it is not worth it. So, enough of dispassion will come to you by reading. If you don’t like, you may avoid.

Newspaper is the type of mind that you have. They will report something very good and the adjacent caption will be of reverse. Why don’t you understand that the world is like that? Don’t you think reading that generates sympathy in you? Sympathy is necessary. Sympathy is a very noble emotion. All these things are there to generate sympathy in good people. Otherwise how will you feel sympathy? Even God is helpless.

Yesterday, the last item I read before going to bed was that some reporters were trapped and they were writing the story from that entrapment; I read the whole of it and then went to sleep. I read newspapers only at last point. When I read, I always get enriched by reading. It is an enrichment to read all news, this kind of a human story. Some youngsters, when the water has risen, playfully go about, walk and play. That is also there. In this road if you climb a few feet, natural springs have come from the hill and water is flowing. That indicates the intensity of rain. Did you get my message?

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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