"Unflinching devotion to the Teacher is paramount in the life of a true seeker. To begin with, an external God can be the object of faith. But once the devotee grows to be a seeker, only a Wise Teacher can fulfil his quest.  It is then for the seeker to get purified and enlightened by the words of wisdom from his Guru.  Their bond and attunement put the Teacher on the pedestal of God.  Such an impeccable Guru-sishya bond alone bestows wisdom, strength and fulfillment to the seeker."

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

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

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Articles for Saadhana

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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

Our country is very great. It became great because right from the prehistoric times there were thinkers, enquirers and studious seekers were there. Any good thinker will have to think about three factors. One is the world. By thinking about the world he will look for an authorship, a source for the world. We generally can create and manage maximum a small family, making a small house, nowadays the houses are condominium also. But that does not explain how this huge world came into existence and how it is governed. So the human intelligence will always want to probe into it and find out. It is thus that religious thinking transpired and so many matters, many things came around. So one subject of thinking is the world, its origin and what not!

Another is God himself. If God has created the world, what kind of a God will he be? We know of a human mother giving birth to human beings. The female animals will give birth to animal babies. But what about God who has given birth to all kinds of creatures, matter, energy and what not! It stands to reason that, that wonderful mother or father of the universe cannot be like any human mother, animal mother or bird mother.

Our normal cause and effect sequence completely changes. Within the cause and effect area, the effect is no other than a transformed form of the cause. But when you consider the whole universe, the cause or source of the universe cannot be any one of the things that you see here. The reason is a mother who delivers all kinds of creatures cannot be like any one of them. She has to be different from all so that she can source all. I don’t know what kind of a reason this can be described as. Whatever we see and are familiar with, that is completely negative and we arrive at a situation that, just like the tongue which tastes all kinds of tastes does not have a taste by itself, it is just zero taste so that it will be able to taste all tastes. The water is colour free so that any kind of a colour can be dissolved in it. So the equation is completely different.

The source of the world cannot be anything like the world at all. It has to be supra-worldly. Is there anything like that? Can we have a touch and feel of it? This is what our religious thinker was up for and they were able to find an answer. What is that supra-worldly substance where it can be felt, how it is, they clearly found out and declared in the form of our Vedic and Upanishadic statements.

Another subject of enquiry is oneself. We think that we are the body. But we are not at all! The body is an instrument in the hands of something inside the body. That inner something cannot be gross, it cannot be sensible also. These three areas of thought were sufficiently developed by our ancient people.

Ultimately they found that the entire world is nothing but an expression of God. If God is subtle, that subtle God has condensed himself into the gross world. So in what way is the world different from God? Everything is Godly. Prahlāda tells his schoolmates, classmates,

एतावानेव लोकेऽस्मिन् पुंसः स्वार्थः परः स्मृतः ।
एकान्तभक्तिर्गोविन्दे यत् सर्वत्र तदीक्षणम् ।।
etāvān-eva loke ’smin puṁsaḥ svārthaḥ paraḥ smṛtaḥ
ekānta-bhaktir-govinde yat sarvatra tad-īkṣaṇam
(Srimad Bhagavatam 7.7.55)

These are all wonderful words which call for introspection. This is the most supreme selfish gain for the human. What is that? Ekānta-bhaktir govinde, unflinching devotion to the Lord Govinda, yat sarvatra tad-īkṣaṇam, that unflinching devotion means seeing Him everywhere and in all. See, this is something very important.

He does not define that you have to think of God in any particular form, manner, style or otherwise. He says sarvatra tad-īkṣaṇam. He says, you have to see Him in all places. You have to see Him in all and everything. That “all-ness” and “everything-ness” that is actually an expansion of your mind. Keeping God as a help, we are trying to develop devotion. And explaining God as all-pervading, our devotion also becomes of that measure.

So what is this bhakti and who is this God? Yat sarvatra tad-īkṣaṇam. We are now seeing or thinking of God as something very specific and different from the things you otherwise know. Take away this attitude of distinction, separation and difference. Dissolve it in your mind and find God everywhere and in all. If you want any reason or logic for it, that is available in our śāstrās. Why should you think of God in everything and all? There are reasons mentioned there.

तुष्टे च तत्र किमलभ्यमनन्त आद्ये
tuṣṭe ca tatra kim alabhyam ananta ādye
(Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.25)

Prahlada says when the Supreme Lord is pleased, what is there unattainable in life? So if you want to attain, even if you want to attain something great, glorious and lasting, the way for it is, tuṣṭe ca tatra kim alabhyam ananta ādye, the primordial infinite Lord should be pleased. So your devotion should be unflinching and seeing God in everything. Do not seek him only in meditative absorption. Equally find him in the wakeful hours in your mind, in your thoughts, in your memory, in your intelligence, in everything that you perceive in this world, that all folded dimension in your worship should be developed, reached and preserved. Will you understand it this way?

Take away all kinds of difference between God and non-God. There is nothing like a non-God. This is what Krishna explains in the ninth chapter of Bhagavad Gita. He says, “Everything in particular is myself and all things in general are also myself.” As you find God in an idol you have made, find God in the world which God has made. Tell me which is better?

In this way, our thinkers have been wonderful people. They never spared logic and rationality in the matter of explaining devotion and religious fervor. The test for you is, are you able to have a uniform attitude, uniform perception of God in and through everything? You may ask me, “How can I see God in a murderer? How can I see God in a cruel animal which preys other animals?” These are all part of nature. God has chosen to be like that. Who are you to question it?

So you should be able to go to a state where the mind and the intelligence will become easy and attuned. Understand it well.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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