Feb 1, 2016

Secrets of Spiritual Sadhana-24 [Sadhana Karu Pyare]

Sadhana Karu Pyare is a unique philosophical compilation set in 54 lines and arranged in the form of couplets (dohas). In these lines, Shree Maharajji has summarized the entire philosophy of the knowledge of God and Guru (Philosophy of Divine Love). Swamiji explained the complete set of 54 lines at the Puri Sadhana Shivir in 2008, which we will reproduce in this series. 
This is the next line of "Sadhana Karu Pyare" series.
Continuing from the last issue...
granth paḍhu jani bahut sunu jani, sant mat bahu pyāre
Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj is asking us to engage in loving God, rather than spending our time in reading numerous scriptures. These scriptures mention various ways of sadhana, such as, awakening the Kundalini, practice of Panchagni Kriya, concentration on the agya hakra and so on. Moreover, in our Hindu religion there are many scriptures.  If someone wants to read them all, it would take 500 years to complete. And suppose if someone completes reading them, doubts will arise in one's mind, "Here, it is written like this. There it is written in another way." So, Ved Vyas says:
śhrutirvibhinnā smṛitayaśhcha bhinnā naiko muniryasya
dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhāyām mahājano yen gataḥ
sa panthāḥ
There are several scriptures. The more you read them, the more you will get confused and entangled.  When you attempt to find  the answer to one question from the scriptures on your own, you will end up tormented by a thousand other questions.  These days, there are many devotional TV channels, which show discourses of several different saints.  The viewer gets confused as everybody tells different ways to practice devotion.  One saint says to read Hanuman Chalisa, the other says to perform austerities. The person wonders and thinks what to
do, and ends up doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that, a little he learns wrongly, and a little he forgets. All together, it becomes a mess, and even more confusing.  Your goal cannot be realized in this way. There have been innumerable ways and means propounded by
innumerable sages and Saints since many years.  We should have a strong belief that the devotion that we are practicing, taught by our Guru is right and will lead to God-realization one
day.  A firm decision should be there that God will be attainable only through this path.  There is no need of any other path. So, what is this easiest way of attaining God?  The path is bhakti marg i.e. the path of devotion or love.  God will be attained only by love.  Ved Vyas ji wrote eighteen Puranas, which contain four hundred thousand verses.  He also wrote the Mahabharat, which consists  one hundred thousand verses. Each Purana contains eight lakhs shlokas.  He embedded the Geeta in the Mahabharat. However, after writing so many scriptures Ved Vyas thought, "What is the summary of all these scriptures? All humans should learn something.
Nobody has the time and lifespan of 500 years to read all these scriptures." So, Ved Vyas said:
āloḍya sarvaśhāstrāṇi vichaārya cha punaḥ punaḥ
idamekaṁ suniṣhpannaṁ dhyeyo nārāyaṇo hariḥ
"I have churned all the scriptures several times and contemplated upon them. I have come to a conclusion that one should just love God."  Kabir ji also said the same thing in his simple language way:
pothi paḍi paḍi jag muā, pandit huā na koi
ḍhāi akśhar prem ke paḍe so pandit hoye
In this world, nobody has become a scholar by reading these scriptures.  The one who has actually learned to love God is the real scholar.  Till today, all Saints who descended in this world told only one thing, which is to love God.  But, when those Saints left this world, individuals, under the influence of Maya, forgot this philosophy.  Everybody started to practice the path of karma kand (to perform Vedic ritualistic actions/duties prescribed by the scriptures).  We start fighting over simple issues like, "You are not wearing the tilak in the right way.  You are committing a sin." Another person says, "You are not wearing the kanthi mala, (beads necklace) around your neck.  It is wrong." In this way, we souls are tied up in the physical and ritualistic aspects of karma kand and have completely ignored the main philosophy, which is to love God. There was a Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy. Mahatma Gandhi considered him as his mentor. Tolstoy has written a very excellent book -The Brothers Karamazov.  In this book, he writes that once Jesus Christ returned back to this world. He thought, "When I came to this world 2000 ears back nobody accepted me and they nailed me to the cross to death. Now, half of the world is
Christian and following my teachings, and now everybody will welcome me." This is the reason why he came back to the world. He stood in front of a church. Everybody started to come out of
the prayer hall after their prayer was finished. They saw that man standing outside the gate of the church.  One person said, "Look at that person. He resembles Jesus Christ." The other person commented, "He has dressed just like Jesus Christ. What a joker! He looks like a joker!"
On hearing to this, Jesus Christ replied, "Neither I am a fake person nor I am a joker. I am your own Jesus Christ." Everybody laughed loudly and said, "Look at this mad man. He calls himself
Jesus Christ." Suddenly, the father of that church came out. Jesus Christ said, "He is my priest, dedicated to following me. He belongs to my order, He will definitely recognize me.  The priest
said, "Who is this rascal? Tie him up with a rope and put him in a jail." Jesus was tied up and put in a jail. Late at night, the Father came to the jail to meet Jesus Christ. He bowed down to His feet and said, "O Lord! Please forgive me." Jesus asked, "You recognized me?" The priest replied, "I recognized you in the morning itself." Jesus asked, "Then why did you lie in the morning and locked me in this jail? The father said, "O Lord! Why did you come back to this world again? We were running such a great business in your name. Everything was going on moothly and we were earning well.  It was not necessary for you to come again in this world.  Now, you will hamper our status and reveal our deceit again as you did 2000 years ago!"  Just see, when a Mahapurush descends on this world, he advises only one thing, which is to love God.  When they leave this world, we end up fighting over external rules, and forget the essence of his teachings.  So, all these scriptures say only one thing: To love God.  The Koran Sharif says:
mā khalatkal insavajin illale avadoon
It states: "God made human beings so that they may love and worship God."
The Bible says: "The first and foremost instruction is to love the Lord, thy God with all thy heart and all thy might and all thy soul." 
The Bhagavad Geeta states:
bhaktya mamabhi janati
"I am known by devotion alone."
Hence, only through love we can attain God. Now, one can say that if God is attainable only by love then why there are so many different difficult paths to realize God? Like awakening the kundalini, practicing panchagni kriya, concentrating on the agya chakra, etc. Ved Vyas ji gives the answer to this question and says:
tāvat karmāi kurvīt na nirvidyet yāvatāmat kathā
śhravaṇādou vā śhraddhā yāvan na jāyate
"There is no doubt that we can attain God only through devotion, but people don't have faith in
devotion." People are unable to appreciate the beauty of the simple path. If someone asks, "How do you practice pranayam?" "See first make the nasarya mudra and then while keeping your right nostril closed, inhale from left nostril and then while keeping your left nostril closed inhale from the right nostril." You will probably comment, "This saint does not know anything."
Instead, if I complicate things, "I will tell you the correct method of practicing pranayam.  First, twist your right hand from the back and touch your right nostril and then twist your left hand from the front. With fourth and fifth fingers, close the nostrils and inhale and exhale."
On hearing this, people will say, "Yes, this is a great method of doing pranayam." It shows that t
he intellect does not appreciate the importance of the easy way.  For example, why do people climb mountains and  walk miles in a queue to visit Tirupati Balaji Temple, Vaishno Devi temple?  They say, "It is a temple of Lord Vishnuji."  "So don't you have Lord Vishnuji's temple in your city as well?"  "Yes, we have a temple. But, that Vishnuji is small.  And the Vishnuji at Tirupati is big.  That Vishnuji's is placed on a mountain and this Vishnu ji is on sea level.
So, that Vishnuji must be a more powerful Vishnuji compared to the one near my house!"
People visit the Char Dham (the four sacred pilgrimage sites of Hindus).
Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says:
chāro dhām kāhe kare govind radhe
terā hari tere ur baiṭhā hai bata de
"You visit the four pilgrimage sites looking for God, while He resides in your hearts."
Our intellect does not accept this fact. Unless, one visits these places, they will not begin to have any devotional feelings and believe that they are connected with God. Similarly, the Vedas have given various complex paths, for people who are not able to have faith that God can be attained merely by devotion.  However, the first and foremost we have to understand that the
essence of all the scriptures is only one thing i.e. to love God. There will be no use of reading so many scriptures. It will just lead to confusion: "This book says like this; that scripture says other
thing." This will result in doubts, which will be obstacles in your devotion.
Then you will think, "When we meet Swamiji and clear our doubts, then we will progress in our spiritual path."  So, don't indulge yourselves in this fight.  Understand the philosophy thoroughly from the Guru and then implement it practically.  This is what Shree Kripaluji Maharaj explains in this line.
 .... To be Continued
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Oct 18, 2015

Secrets of Spiritual Sadhana-23 [Sadhana Karu Pyare]

Sadhana Karu Pyare is a unique philosophical compilation set in 54 lines and arranged in the form of couplets (dohas). In these lines, Shree Maharajji has summarized the entire philosophy of the knowledge of God and Guru (Philosophy of Divine Love). Swamiji explained the complete set of 54 lines at the Puri Sadhana Shivir in 2008, which we will reproduce in this series. 
This is the next line of "Sadhana Karu Pyare" series.
Continuing from the last issue...
jitano too kar pyār titano, pyār kar tohiṁ pyāre

pyār hī soṁ pyār kar piya, pyār chākar pyāre 
What is the difference between worldly love and love for God? A person who loves a worldly person always doubts, and is in constant dilemma wondering, "The one whom I love, does he love me or not? And if he does, how much does he love me?" We always get caught up in thoughts like this. This is because, in this world, no one shows real sentiments. Some pretend to show more love by writing many letters, while others hide and don't express at all. Also, we always try to show that we love the other person more than he loves us. But, all the while, internally we want the other to love us more than we love him. That is why the one who loves the world is mostly tense, and wonders whether or not the other person loves him. In the spiritual realm, there are no such worries. If you would like to determine how much your ishta deva (the chosen form of God you worship) and your Guru loves you, just measure your love. He loves you as much as you love Him. If you love Him less, then He also loves you little. If you love Him more, then He will also love you to the same extent. Shree Krishna follows His law as declared in the Geeta: ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmyaham "I serve the devotee exactly according to the sentiment with which he worships Me, and to the degree of his surrender." Chaitanya Mahaprabhuji also said: ek pratigye kṛiṣhṇer āchhe poorva haichhe ye yaichhe bhaje kṛiṣhṇa tār bhaje taichhe "God will love a soul with the same sentiment, at the same time, and to the same degree and extent that the soul loves Him. God reciprocates the love of the individual soul to the exact degree and with the exact sentiment." This is an indisputable, unchanging Divine law. In the material world, we always doubt, "How much does he loves me? Is it enough? No. I saw today, His love has decreased towards me." We perform this drama everyday by seeing the other person's external behavior. But, we don't have to do this in the spiritual realm. We must understand that, whether God acts favorably or unfavorably with us, God will love us as much we love Him. This is a challenge. Do not be afraid.
Once in Braj, when God descended to earth, Lord Shankar rushed to Gokul to have a vision of His Beloved God. He disguised as an ascetic with a garland of skulls and snakes and stood in front of Mother Yashoda's door, begging for a glimpse of her Divine child. She refused, thinking that her child would be scared by His fearsome appearance. Lord Shankar got disheartened. He went to the banks of the Yamuna river and started crying loud, "You are causelessly merciful and loving to your devotees. Won't you give me a glimpse of Your Divine form?" Shree Krishna is governed by His law. According to His rule, on hearing Lord Shankar's crying, Shree Krishna also reciprocated by crying. He never cried like this before. Mother Yashoda was sure that the ascetic might have cast a spell on her child. On finding the ascetic on the banks of Yamuna river, she begged him to come and see her child, who was calling Him loudly. And finally Lord Shankar had a glimpse of Shree Krishna's Divine form. This beautiful pastime illustrates that when someone hankers to meet Shree Krishna, then Shree Krishna too hankers to meet him. This is the law that ties God in an eternal relation with His devotee. Keeping this Divine law in mind, you should never worry that perhaps He does not love you. He has to love you. He has no choice. Why is there a doubt on your part about His love for you? He is All-seeing, All-knowing, the witness to everything, the well-wisher of all, and the Supreme Almighty Lord. There is no question of doubt in this regard. There is no power that can shake or disturb the degree and amount of His love. There is no need to speculate, "Does He love me?" or "How much does He love me?" How much He loves you, depends on how much you love Him. How much love do you want from Him? "A lot." Then love Him a lot. How is it that you love Him a little bit and expect Him to love you a lot? So, God loves us to the extent that we love Him and surrender ourselves to Him. When you understand this law, you no longer worry about whether He considers you His or not. Questions such as, "Does He love me and how much does he love me," come to an end. The devotee says, "O Shyamsundar! You are my King." God says, "It is fine with me. Dear residents of Ayodhya, you are my subjects." If the individual says, "No, No! You are my friend. Come here, I will put my arms around your shoulder." Shree Krishna says, "Ok Arjun, You be my best friend." The devotee says, "O Shyamsundar! I feel like taking care of you. You are my son and I am your mother." Shree Krishna says, "No problem mother Yashoda, You are my mother." The devotee says, "No Shyamsundar, I have a very close and intimate relation with you. You are my Beloved." Shree Krishna says, "It is fine with me. You are my Gopis and I am your Beloved."
So, God has formed a law. Now, there is no question for the individual to have any doubts. It is in the hands of the devotee how much he wants that God should love him. He can make God love the person as much as he wants. He can make God his master, friend, son, or beloved. The keys are in the hands of the devotee. It was the selfless love of the Gopis that made the Supreme God, Shree Krishna forget His Godliness and become their eternal servitor. The Gopis called Him a thief, flirt and so on, and Shree Krishna longed to hear these illiterate maidens of Braj. Always remember, God only wants to see your love for Him. He is not interested in your abilities. Qualities are noticed by the worldly people. People in this world are more interested in your abilities. "He is rich and famous; He has a good social status; He is intelligent." It means the world pays attention to those who have a quality i.e., people are interested in others based on their characteristics. But, God is not like that. God is not interested and does not see all these things. Kubja was not at all beautiful, yet God accepted her love. Vidur was not from a very good family background. But, God accepted him. Sudama was not a rich man, but God accepted his friendship. bhaktya tuṣhyati kevalaṁ nacha guṇairbhaktiḥpriyomādhavah God only observes devotion. Gajraj, the elephant, was not intelligent and Dhruv was very young. All these personalities only loved God and attained Him.
So, God is attainable only by love. Hence, it is so easy to receive the love of God. Just love Him and He will reciprocate it. We don't have to think further or otherwise. You should not feel, "I am a junior. I am a clerk. I am beautiful. I am ugly". Just keep increasing your love for God. The more we increase our love for Him, the more He will love us. He will keep gracing us and we will be spiritually wealthy.
 .... To be Continued
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Oct 11, 2015

Secrets of Spiritual Sadhana-22 [Sadhana Karu Pyare]

Sadhana Karu Pyare is a unique philosophical compilation set in 54 lines and arranged in the form of couplets (dohas). In these lines, Shree Maharajji has summarized the entire philosophy of the knowledge of God and Guru (Philosophy of Divine Love). Swamiji explained the complete set of 54 lines at the Puri Sadhana Shivir in 2008, which we will reproduce in this series. 
This is the next line of "Sadhana Karu Pyare" series.
Continuing from the last issue...
ek din aihaiṁ, ihai vishavās rākhahu pyāre
Shree Kripaluji Maharaj further tells us what we have to do and what not to do in devotion.  Narad ji told us about the sign of devotion:
tadvismaraṇe paramavyākulateti
Bhakti (devotion) means, "To become immensely eager to meet God".  The one who practices devotion, constantly increases his longing to meet God.  He will be desperate to see God and think, "When will I have His Divine vision?  Here, Shree Kripaluji Maharaj tells us that we should make a desire to meet God, but if He does not grant His vision at present, then we should not get disappointed because a devotee cannot demand anything from God.  He cannot say, "O Shyamsundar!  You have to give me Your darshan (vision).  A devotee can only request, "O God!  It is my strong desire to have your Divine vision."  If God does not give His vision, then the only reason is that our eagerness to meet Him has not reached that level.

There is an example of a poet who spoke about God.  He said, "It is wrongly said by someone that no one can find you.  The truth is that we do not search for you to the extent that is required to find you."  It is not at all impossible to attain God.  The problem is that we don't try our level best to attain Him.  Hence, if God is not willing to give His vision at present, then it is not His fault.  It is our mistake.  We have to keep removing this shortcoming of ours and keep progressing on the spiritual path.  We should not get disappointed.  If a devotee gets disheartened, he says, "I have been shedding tears for so many years.  God has not given His darshan till now.  If He does not care for my wish and does not need me, I will also not care for Him.  I do not need Him anymore."  This kind of disappointment is very dangerous, as it leads to a devotee's spiritual downfall.  

There is an incident about Madhusudan Saraswati, who was a great scholar and a follower of Shankaracharya.  He used to visit various places to challenge others in scriptural debates and defeat them.  One day, he met a Saint.  The Saint said, "Madhusudan, when you win a scriptural debate, do you feel happy?"  He replied, "Yes, I fell happy when I win."  The Saint again asked, "And if by chance you lose, then do you feel sad?"  "Yes, I feel unhappy when I lose," replied Madhusudan.  The Saint replied, "You are still oscillating between the states of happiness and sadness.  You have not reached the state of non-dualism. You talk about non-dualism, but you are still under the clutches of  the dualities of sorrow and happiness.  By performing such debates you are increasing your ego."  Madhusudan was shocked at the Saint's statement and thought, "The Saint has pointed out my fault."  He asked the Saint, "What should I do now?   The Saint was an elevated soul.  He directed Madhusudan to practice devotion to Shree Krishna.  By doing so, the mind and intellect will get purified.  Shankaracharya said:
śhuddhayati hi nāntarātmā kṛiṣhṇapadāmbhojabhaktimṛite
"It is impossible to purify the mind without devotion to Shree Krishna."

The Saint instructed Madhusudan to go to Vrindavan and while staying in Braj, practice devotion to Shree Krishna. He was told to practice sadhana (devotion) to have the Divine vision of Shree Krishna.  Madhusudan went to Vrindavan and practiced sadhana continuously for three years, but Shree Krishna never gave His vision.  Madhusudan got disappointed and said, "Everything is a waste."  He stopped practicing devotion, gave up, and started to go back.   

While returning, he saw another Saint sitting near a tree.  The Saint said to Madhusudan, "You have lost hope so soon".  Madhusudan replied, "How do you know?" The Saint said, "I know many things.  Nevertheless what was your experience?"  Madhusudan said, "I practiced so much sadhana, still God did not give darshan, and that is why I got disappointed."  The Saint said, "Never mind.  Before having the Divine vision of God, I will introduce you to a ghost.  I will teach you how to practice devotion to meet a ghost.  Will you practice it?" Madhusudan answered, "I did not have God's vision.  Let's see, I will at least get the vision of a ghost".

He learnt to practice the new devotion, and did it for one year.  But even the ghost did not give his vision.  Again Madhusudan felt disheartened and decided to return back.  Again, he saw that same Saint under the tree.  The Saint asked Madhusudan, "What happened?"  Madhusudan answered, "Maharaj, The sadhana (devotion) that you taught me was not fruitful.  I did not see any ghost."  The Saint called the ghost.  He asked the ghost, "Why did you not grant your darshan to Madhusudan?"  The ghost replied, "Maharaj, I wanted to come near him, but his aura was so strong that I began to burn".  I could not go near him."  Madhusudan thought, "There is some benefit in my sadhana (devotion).  I don't realize it, but the sadhana that I am practicing is showing its effect."  He became aware of the effects of devotion.

He again went and continuously practiced devotion for three years in the place where the Radha Govind Temple has been built.  Finally, Shree Krishna gave His Divine vision to him.  When Shree Krishna came, a strange thing happened.  Madhusudan turned his face away and did not look at God.    Shree Krishna asked him, "Why are you dejected?"  Madhusudan asked, "What took you so long to give me Your vision?"  Shree Krishna showed him a mountain of his sins.  Shree Krishna said, "These are all your sanchit karm (deeds performed in the past lives).  All these sins got burnt and your mind got completely purified.  Then, I granted you My vision."

Therefore, it takes time for devotion to show its result.  If we get disappointed, then we will not be able to reach our goal.  We cannot demand God for His vision. He is not our slave that we demand and He fulfills our wish.  A soul has only got the right to keep desiring for God's vision.  And whether He will give His darshan or not?  When will He give darshan?  We should leave this decision to God.

In China, there are two religions namely Taoism and Confucianism.  There is a well known saying in Tao religion: Even if the destination is hundred miles away, it begins by taking a single step.  The construction of a huge temple begins by the laying of a single brick.  In the same manner, we should not be worried about reaching the destination of attaining God; rather, we should keep taking one step after another and keep progressing in our spiritual journey.  Have this firm faith that one day we will definitely meet God.  We are a part of Him and He is our eternal father.  It is not like that He does not care for us and thinks, "Let the soul suffer in the miseries of the world.  He also cares and worries about us, "Since infinite lifetimes, my son has been under the clutches of Maya."  He also thinks how to uplift the soul.  So, have this strong belief that one day God will surely meet us.   

Once, a disciple of Lord Chaitaniya Mahaprabhu ji asked him, "How much time is left to achieve my goal of God-realization?"  Mahaprabhu ji said, "You have as many life times left as there are leaves on this tree."  The man thought, "After so many lifetimes, will I actually be able to attain God?"  He was happy and started jumping with joy.  He started to dance and chant, Hari bol Hari bol.   Mahaprabhu ji said, "No, No.  You will attain God in this life itself."  He became even happier, and started jumping with greater enthusiasm.   Mahaprabhu ji saw his faith and devotion increasing.  He said, "Well, You can have God's vision at this very moment."

Other devotees objected and said, "Maharaj ji, how could you change your own words and grant Him a vision?"  Mahaprabhu ji said, "When I told him that one day God will definitely meet him, his bhakti (devotion) increased tremendously.  When I told him that God will definitely meet him in this lifetime itself, his faith and devotion increased even more."

So, when bhakti increases, we can see that the faith that we will meet God also increases. There is a firm belief that He will definitely grant His vision to us one day.  If not in this lifetime, He will come in some other life time.  But, He will definitely grant us His vision.  That is the sign of true devotion.  By practicing this, we will progress in our daily sadhana.  This is what Shree Maharajji explains in these two lines of the keertan.
 .... To be Continued
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Oct 4, 2015

Secrets of Spiritual Sadhana-21 [Sadhana Karu Pyare]

Sadhana Karu Pyare is a unique philosophical compilation set in 54 lines and arranged in the form of couplets (dohas). In these lines, Shree Maharajji has summarized the entire philosophy of the knowledge of God and Guru (Philosophy of Divine Love). Swamiji explained the complete set of 54 lines at the Puri Sadhana Shivir in 2008, which we will reproduce in this series. 
This is the next line of "Sadhana Karu Pyare" series.
Continuing from the last issue...
man ko māno śhatru usakī, sunahu jani kachhu pyāre
We have already heard many times and are acquainted with the fact that we are not this material body.  But, we have such a close relation with our mind that we don't even realize that we are not the 'mind'.  Whatever this mind thinks, we identify with that.  Then we go to Swamiji and say, "Swamiji, why did I think like this?  Why do I have this thought in my mind?"  Now see, you are not thinking, but it is your mind that is imagining or thinking.  You have identified yourself with the mind, and hence you are getting the feeling, "I am thinking; why am I thinking; I should not have thought like this."  If you distance yourself a little from your mind then you will realize that you are not the mind.  We will think, "I am different from my mind."  

This mind often does unwanted thinking."  God has made this mind as a machine that continuously thinks.  According to the Geeta:
nahiṁ kaśhchit kṣhaṇamapi jātu tiṣhṭhatyakarmakṛit
"This mind can never remain inactive even for a moment."  It is the inherent nature of the mind to constantly think.  Hence, by considering ourselves as the mind we get tensed.  And what does the mind do?  It wanders around in the three modes of Maya.  This world comprises of three qualities of Maya.  They are, Tamo guna (mode of ignorance), Rajo guna (mode of passion), and Sattva guna (mode of goodness).  The mind is made up of these three modes of Maya.  The particular mode that predominates at any moment depends upon the exposure that you get from outside world and the outside environment.

For example, every morning you visit the place of worship at your home and pray to God.  And because of the sattvic environment, sattva guna emerges in your mind and you are in a sattvic mode.  Your mind becomes calm and pure.  The mind starts getting absorbed in God.  At that moment, you are approached by your son or your grandchild.  He starts crawling on the floor and keeps his little hand on your back.  You hear him, feel his loving touch and immediately you start thinking of your little grandchild.  You say, "O my dear child!"  Now see, the mind, which was chanting Hare Ram gets distracted and gets absorbed there.  It means that the environment changed and your mind got dominated by rajo guna.  You are still chanting Hare Ram, but your mind is somewhere else.  You lift the child and place him in your lap.  Just then, your neighbour comes in and angrily says, "What were you saying to me yesterday?"  The moment you hear this, you become angry and go from rajo guna to tamo guna.  You say, "Mind your language and speak!"

Observe how the outside environment affects the modes of every individual's state of mind.  It shows the constantly fluctuating modes of Maya.  Hence, these modes keep on changing in our mind.  That is why you sometimes get a feeling from within, "I should practice devotion every moment."  You say, "I will get up early morning at 4 am and practice devotion."  And sometimes you say, "Why to get up so early, I will get up at 7 or 8."  Sometimes you say, "Has anyone seen God or not?  These saints keep lecturing day and night without reason."  Just see, how the state of mind of an individual keeps changing.  You get nervous and say, "Swamiji, Why does this happen?  Why does our mental state keep changing; our feeling keeps fluctuating towards Saints as well as God according to the three modes of Maya?"

The reason is the constantly changing state of individual's mind.  Therefore, Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says, "Do not consider the mind as your friend.  Consider it as your enemy.  It will surely mislead you and will keep you in delusion.  That is why, when you get up in the morning, curse your mind saying that you will not listen to it.   Make a firm decision that you will not listen to your mind but listen to your intellect.  The intellect is beyond our mind and heart.  Therefore, we have to grasp the true knowledge in our mind.  When we acquire proper knowledge, then the intellect will control the mind, and you will follow the spiritual path sincerely.

If you get devotional feelings by yourself, then it is the Grace of God.  Because of good deeds of previous lifetimes, you are automatically thinking of God, and are attached to Him.  If these feelings are not present, then you have to forcefully attach your mind towards God using the Divine knowledge and control the mind. This is the sign of a true devotee.  We should try hard to learn and realize the true knowledge in our mind constantly.  

Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says, "Always remember - You never know when this life will be over.  We may not get the next moment as life is transient.  No one knows when it will come to an end.  And when this life ends, you will realize that you lost this golden chance of progressing on the spiritual path.  But if we think that today could be our last day, then we will not procrastinate in practicing devotion and we will strive to attain our goal as soon as possible."   And if you say, "What is the hurry?  I am only 50 years old.  I will do it when I retire and have more time."  Later, you say, "I am now retired but my children still need my guidance.  I also have to worry about my grandchildren.  I will do it when my responsibilities to my grandchildren are complete."  And one day we die, having lost a golden opportunity to uplift ourselves.  If we become careless towards achieving our goal, then our devotional zeal will also reduce.

Once, two Brahmins of Janakpur were discussing that their king, despite his material opulence, is not attached to it.  He possesses so much wealth, luxury and richness, yet he is detached from it.  One of the two said, "Let us go and ask the king himself how he can remain detached amidst such wealth."  The other Brahmin said, "No, we should not ask the king.  Kings are not predictable."  But, the first Brahmin insisted on going and meeting the king.  So they both went.  After reaching the palace, they asked, "O King, we are curious how, despite the many luxuries and the wealth that you possess, you don't have any attachment to it?"  The king got angry and answered, "How dare you ask me this question?  I will sentence you to death."  The king ordered the servants to take the two Brahmins and hang them to death the next morning.  "But feed them nice tasty food tonight", he said.  

They were taken to sleep on a comfortable soft mattress sprinkled with rose water.  Now they both started cursing each other, saying, "We should not have come here in the first place.  We have lost our lives."  They were tense the whole night and couldn't sleep.  The next morning they were called by the king.  He said, "I have changed my mind.  I am giving you both one more chance to save your lives.  Take a bowl full of oil in your hands and walk around my capital city, Janakpur.  Be very careful that not even a single drop of oil should fall down.  Otherwise, you will be hanged to death."   

Now, both Brahmins took a bowl full of oil and holding it in their hands, started to walk around the kingdom.  When they came back, not a drop of oil had fallen down.  So, King Janak asked, "You roamed in my territory and came across many attractive alluring things like restaurants, cinema halls, hotels, gardens.  Did any of these things distract you, or did you get attracted to them?  They both replied, "How could our mind go elsewhere?  It was alert with the fear of losing our lives if we dropped even a single drop of oil."

So, King Janak said, "This is the answer to your question which you asked me, despite these luxuries, how am I detached?   You had this fear that you can die anytime.  Similarly, even I always realize that this human form is temporary.  It could be snatched away from me any moment."

Hence, we must always remember this fact and never procrastinate.  We must practice devotion without any delay and try to progress quickly on the spiritual path.  When we constantly have this fear in our minds that life is transitory, the mind will automatically come under control. This is what Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says in these two lines.
 .... To be Continued
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Aug 27, 2015

Secrets of Spiritual Sadhana-20 [Sadhana Karu Pyare]

Sadhana Karu Pyare is a unique philosophical compilation set in 54 lines and arranged in the form of couplets (dohas). In these lines, Shree Maharajji has summarized the entire philosophy of the knowledge of God and Guru (Philosophy of Divine Love). Swamiji explained the complete set of 54 lines at the Puri Sadhana Shivir in 2008, which we will reproduce in this series. 
This is the next line of "Sadhana Karu Pyare" series.
Continuing from the last issue...
jag meṁ katahuṁ rāg jani karu, dveṣh jani karu pyāre |
hari meṁ guru meṁ hī rahe nit, rakt tav man pyāre ||

One of the most important requirements for spiritual progress is single minded devotion to God, i.e. ananyata.  If an individual's mind is attached to anyone or anything other than God, then he will not be called as an 'ananya' follower.  Loving God alone is what ananyata means.  We have only one mind and that should be focused on the Divine, and subjects related to the Divine only.

You should attach your mind towards God.  It can be any Form of God.  It can be Shree Krishna, Lord Jagannath ji, Goddess Durga - All these are various Forms of the Supreme God.  One should not go below this level, else ananyata (single-minded devotion) will be destroyed.  That is why Shree Kripaluji Maharaj instructs us that our mind should only be attached to God and Guru.  One should have no attachment in this material world.  The attachment of our mind should revolve around God's Names, Pastimes, Qualities, and His associates. 

However, one should not have a feeling of hatred towards the world either.  Neither be hostile to the world nor get attached to it.  Not only is it harmful to have attachment towards the world, but it is also harmful to have enmity towards it. 

When a person encounters miseries in this world, then the person is devastated.  He says, "This world is very bad." He goes to a saint and tells, "Make me a renunciant too."  "Why did you get the desire to become a renunciant?"  "Because, I suffered a loss in my business; I had a fight with my wife; I did not get a job."  This is not the real detachment.  That person is getting detached from the world because he is facing sorrows, and if that pain gets over, then again there be attachment in the world.   Or if he comes across miseries in the spiritual realm, he might become detached from God as well. 

Detachment means one should have a firm decision that there is neither happiness nor sorrow in the world.  The absorption of the mind can either be through love or even through hate.  When there is neither attachment through love, nor attachment through hate, that state is referred to as detachment.  Therefore, we neither have to attach our mind nor have enmity towards the world. 

One thing is certain: If the intellect makes a firm decision that the objects of the material world cannot fulfill our goal of Supreme Bliss, the desires will automatically come to an end.  So, it is important to make a firm decision, through constant contemplation that there is not a trace of true happiness in the material world.  We should have a perception that everything is fine.  What do we have to do with this world?  We just have to live here and progress speedily towards our goal.

Suppose you go to a market to buy sweets.  You pass a number of shops selling various things.  There are many shops in the market selling clothes, jewelry, appliances, etc.  You see all of them but, you keep on moving and watching all the shops.  You do not stop at any store and compromise on your decision, "Why not have some clothes instead of sweets." Nor do you quarrel with any of the shopkeepers saying, "Why are you selling vegetables when I want sweets?"  You walk unconcernedly passing every shop and heads straight towards your goal, the sweet shop.  You are neutral towards all other shops.  There is neither hatred nor attachment.  This is detachment. 

In the same manner, this world is similar to a market.  We will find all kinds of things but we do not have to get attached or become hostile to them.  We must neither love nor hate, but must make our way straight to the shop of God, which alone is the ultimate Divine Bliss. 
 kabīrā khaṛā bāzār meṁ sabakī māṅge khair
na kāhu soṁ dostī na kāhu so bair

The Saint Kabir says: "I am standing in the market, wishing everyone well.  Nobody is my companion, nor is anyone my adversary."  One should neither have friendship nor enmity towards anyone. 

Shree Kripaluji Maharaj tells us about one instance in Mangarh ashram (It is our mission's main ashram, near Allahabad and is also Shree Maharajji's birth place).  The annual sadhana program takes place at the Mangarh ashram.  Dogs from nearby villages come to this ashram.  Once upon a time a dog from Ayodhya said to the dog from Mangarh, "What is there in Mangarh?  It is very rare that any devotee throws food and you get a chance to eat that food.  You have to be hungry.  Come, let us go to Ayodhya. The heads of ashrams there eat delectable dishes.  We will relish tasty and rich food there."  So, they decided to go to Ayodhya.  

Ayodhya was very far, about 100 miles away.  They decided that everyday they will cover twenty miles so that they will reach their destination in five days. The next day they started their journey at six in the morning.  When they covered twenty miles, they decided to take rest there.  But, when they entered the gate of that village, the dogs of that village started to bark and chased them away.  It is the nature of dogs that they have an enmity towards other dogs who enter their territory.  Every dog thinks himself as the king of his area. 

So, those two dogs thought that the dogs of the village are very bad, and decided to go further on their way and reach 40 miles halt.  There they entered the village, but the dogs from that village again fought with them and chased them away.  The dogs continued on their journey and reached their destination within two days, without any break.  And if, they had fought with everyone, then what would have happened?  They would have been wounded badly and fallen unconscious under a tree.  

Similarly, if we quarrel, argue with others in the world, it will be our loss.  Hence, we have to follow this principle that this world cannot be changed, so there is no point opposing it.  Everybody is under the influence of Maya.  We should not develop any hatred or love towards anyone, and focus on continuing our path of spiritual progress, and speedily reach our goal.

 .... To be Continued
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