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Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.
I am going through a number of letters, a pile of letters, which had arrived here. Ever since we went to America, I was not able to go through the correspondence. The publication of the book occupied me along with the other writings and readings etc., proof reading and the like. So in one letter a person has written, “Swamiji, you are giving so much of wisdom, at the same time there is an announcement in your Muktisudhakaram about a special puja being done in the Devi Temple, and inviting people to make use of the facility. I am wondering, what is this?” In one sense I am happy that such a question is raised. I think this difficulty is there for everyone.
A teacher who teaches a primary class student, she must at least qualify herself to be a plus two these days. After having studied for twelve years, she is teaching the primary class student. How do you find the contradiction?
Our Vedas enjoin a number of stutis and rituals in the Karma Kanda. It is the same Vedas that speak about the Upanishads and the Upanishadic wisdom. Suppose the Vedas contained only the Upanishadic wisdom, do you think any calculable number of people in our country, would have been Vedic at all? Even the people who claim themselves to be dispassionate and seekers of Vedanta, are they really following it?
What does Vedanta say, eṣaṇātraya should be completely abandoned and you should take to the self-contemplation exclusively, get out of the house. All the householders who do it – Vedanta, remain in the household. They never think of leaving and taking up another way of life. So, do you think the spiritual wisdom alone can be a feed and a nourishment to the people at large?
Kāmya-karma is the one that makes people remain tied to the Vedic life. Everyone has some need or the other, and the Vedas tell you that this is the way to fulfil that need. So they are happy. Our idea is that even in the name of desire and its fulfilment, people should have some kind of a religious or a spiritual anchor.
When I started living in this cottage years back, after listening to me in Trichur, a family set of people came here. Our Mataji here, Sulabha devi, was given to doing a little worship for Krishna every day and reading Srimad Bhagavatam. After seeing the Krishna idol, they instantly said, “Swamiji, in your ashram also there is worship and puja!" I really don’t understand why people are jumping into conclusions like this.
Any kind of a pursuit is gradual. It is graduated also. Even if I expose you to the tenets of advaita and speak the best and the fullness of it, do you think you will be able to take to it, all of a sudden? I went to Anandashram years back. There is a system of doing an arati for Mataji in the mahasamadhi place. Satchidananda Swamiji wanted me and insisted upon me to do the arati. I am one swami who has never done any worship – any worship – after I took up sannyasa! But if you go to so many other sannyasins, they only do worship. Majority of them do only worship. They want to go to the temples, visit different places and all that.
I once was taken on a pilgrimage in the whole of India. Nowhere I found anything like divinity appealing to me. Here, our 'V' has come. Two people had been to Naimisharanyam. I said, “You did not come? You should have come, you missed something good.” He said, “I am interested in advaita, not in other things.” What kind of an advaita, I don’t know, he is interested in.
Listen to what Sankara says. A true advaitin will be
निजं शैवं रूपं विविधगुणभेदेन बहुधा ।
nijaṁ śaivaṁ rūpaṁ vividhaguṇabhedena bahudhā |
A real advaitin will be one, who will find an identity with any kind or form of worship. If Advaita makes him an exclusive man, and whereever he goes, he finds that, this is not advaita and it is disharmonious with me, what is the advaita that he has? Advaita means there is no dvaita. So you can be anywhere in the world, in any company of people, or in the company of any kinds of people. Everywhere you should find the same water flowing and making a way. So, even the advaita is not rightly understood. What can we do? Some people are worshipping Vishnu. They may think they are worshipping Vishnu. Others will worship Shiva. They may think they are worshipping Shiva. But in the view of the advaitin, whether it is a Vishnu worship or a Shiva worship, it is actually an effort for self-purification and enlightenment. So he will not resent any form of worship, but will find it very harmonious, not disturbing him.
So an advaitin must be able to live and move in any place without feeling any kind of a disharmony or a disintegration.
“I am confused,”Uddhava says, “when you say transcending the guṇas is the right guṇa and discriminating guṇa and doṣa is the doṣa. So is it the entire Vedas are providing only vidhi and niṣedha? Without vidhi-niṣedha our śāstras cannot prevail. Without good and bad, right and wrong, do’s and don’t, can we live in this world? Can we eat through the rectum? We can only eat through the mouth.
Then he started explaining, and the first point that he made was
In order to bestow shreyas on humanity, I have revealed three kinds of yoga. What are they?
teṣvanirviṇṇacittānāṁ karmayogastu kāminām ||
nirviṇṇānāṁ jñānayogo - For the dispassionate, the jñānayoga.
nyāsināmiha karmasu - People who are not interested in any kind of a secular activity, they are only interested in spiritual activity, if at all. For such people, jñāna.
teṣvanirviṇṇacittānāṁ karmayogastu kāminām - For the people who are passionate and who have desires, the mind is desireful, I have revealed Karma Yoga. Remain active. Fulfil your desires but always do whatever you do, as a complete yajña to God.
Then the third group of people - neither dispassionate nor desireful, for them Bhakti yoga.
So the three types of yoga are necessary if you want to approach and be of service to the people at large.
We are performing a Viṣṇusahasranāma-samūha-mahāyajña. On the first day we performed a Mrityunjaya Homa also. Is it that we performed these? Certainly not! It has been performed by a number of people and we were guiding them and making them perform. To the same people we were talking. Most of them were hearing our lectures. The lectures were providing them śravaṇa. This particular programme was providing them an occasion to do something in the way of an anushthana. Anushthana - and that too an austere anuṣṭhāna. They came there by about 8 - 8.30. All of them were seated there. By the time they got up, It was 12.30. Four hours of sitting! Can there be a greater austerity? And the whole atmosphere was filled with 1000 names of Mahavishnu. Mahavishnu is the yajñapati - the lord of all sacrifices. And when 1000 names of yajñapati, they are recited - it is equivalent to performing all the sacrifices. And what is this sacrifice actually? It is sacrifice! It is sacrifice! Sacrifice means what? Whatever belongs to you, you give it off. So we are buying flowers, very costly flowers, for many thousands of rupees we have got flowers, a lot of oil, enough of decoration, materials for havan, all these are had only by paying money. And this money is being used in this manner. It is not used for either the body or even for the mind as you say. But this is what man must be able to do.
The presence of yajña, dāna and tapas in a society, according to our śāstras alone will enrich, empower, elevate, enlighten and expand the society. Nothing else! You may have many books in your library. You may be given to reading. Unless there is yajña, dāna and tapas. If you evolve individually, your family members may not evolve according to you or along with you, so be very sure that there is no contradiction in this at all. To find contradiction is dvaita. Not to have contradiction and be harmonious alone is advaita.
So I would like 'V' to reflect upon it and understand the point if he can. Very good! I can discuss the subject again for him.
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.