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.
sādhanā meṁ hai pramukh man, indriyāṁ nahiṁ pyāre
mokṣh aru bandhan kā kāraṇ, ek man hī pyāre
pratham karu hari dhyān man te, jaisī ruchi ho pyāre
Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj now begins to explain how we should do sadhana or devotion. He says that in practicing devotion, the involvement of the mind is the foremost thing and not the material senses. Why does he say that? This is because, in this material world, external behavior and manners take precedence. By external behavior we mean etiquette. For example, we say "Sorry" and "Thank You". These days, people use these words without any feeling. A "Sorry" denotes that a mistake has been done. But there is no real regret, and we merely say it as a matter of etiquette. While walking, people greet each other, "Jai Siya Ram!", which means Namaste. Similarly, people say, "How are you?" In reality, they do not genuinely care how you are doing. Now, if you start telling all about yourself and your worries, they will get irritated. They would wonder, "Why did I ever ask him in the first place?"
So, in this material world, etiquette is followed, and it is just an external act. When two people cross each other while walking, they say, "Good Morning!", even though they do not know each other. There is no feeling from the inside; rather it has become a mere formality.
God says that acts such as ostentation, craftiness, artificiality, deception and superficial words are of no importance in the spiritual realm. God says, "I will only consider the feelings in your mind." You do not have to say the word "Ram" even once but you have to feel from the inside. God will note the feelings in your mind, and accordingly reward you with divine results.
There was a boy in India. He was reciting the Hindi alphabet to God, 'Ka', 'Kha', 'Ga', 'Gha'. A saint came by and asked him, "What are you doing?" He said, "I am praying to God." The saint said, "Is this how you say your prayers?" The boy said, "I do not have the intelligence to recite a prayer, and hence, I am just reciting the alphabets to God and asking Him to make a prayer of His choice. I simply want to make Him happy." The saint replied, "All glories to such innocence. God is attracted to such innocent behavior, where there is no deception or pretence." So, Kripaluji Maharaj says that in this spiritual realm, the mind plays a vital role. We have to train our mind to think in the right direction.
This mind alone is the cause of liberation and bondage. Our mind's attachment to the material world has kept us bound to the cycle of birth and death. When we train the mind to detach itself from the material world and concentrate on God, we are actually attempting to cleanse our mind.
In this context, let us take a look at the views expressed by philosophers from around the world. John Milton said, "The mind is a thing of its own. It can make heaven out of hell, and hell out of heaven." This mind is so unique that it can give you the experience of heaven while being seated in hell, and make you feel like hell while living in heaven. It is through the mind that we experience happiness and sorrow. The mind gives us the feeling of pleasure and pain.
Sigmund Freud, popularly known as the father of Psychology, stated that the nature of the mind is to be tense and unhappy. This is a fact that can never be changed. It is a waste of time even to try it. Another well known philosopher from the West, Arthur Schopenhauer, said, "The mind keeps oscillating like a pendulum between happiness and pain. It will always keep wavering between these two states and nobody can change this principle."
Many of you may have heard the name of Bertrand Russell, the famous English writer of the last century. He said that the mind is constantly troubled. You can only do one thing, engage this mind in some work. By engaging the mind in some work, it will be less distraught. An idle mind is a devil's workshop. This principle is partially correct, but it is no cure.
So, we see that without the help of spiritual knowledge, Western philosophers lose the battle against the mind. Shankarachaya said:
jagadijataṁ ken mano hī yen
"Who will be victorious in this world? The one who can control his mind." This is a wonderful example of the lofty thinking that our Indian philosophers wrote many thousands of years ago. There is no parallel for such thinking in the Western culture. In India, we have utilized spirituality to control our mind. There was a saint called Swami Ramtirth. He visited the United States and preached a lot about hatha yoga since he was a hatha yogi, or the one who practices severe physical austerities. His weakness was that he would get tempted by apples. To beat this temptation, he took an apple, placed it in front of him on a table and watched it. After three days the apple started to rot. Yet, he kept that apple on the table. The apple decomposed further. He now said, "O mind! are you tempted by this apple? Eat this." So, these 'spiritual' hatha yogis do hath, the practice of obstinacy or stubbornness on their mind and try to win the battle against it.
Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says, "This will also not work. Your power of practicing hath i.e. your 'will power' is limited and maya, or the eternally existing, lifeless, cosmic power of God is unlimited. Therefore, your will power is bound to fail in front of the power of maya." If you want to win and control your mind, there is only one solution - surrender yourself to a spiritual power. By surrendering to a spiritual power, God will bestow His Grace and you can control your mind.
Shree Krishna says in the Bhagavad Geeta:
daivī hyaiṣhā guṇamayī mam māyā duratyayā
"Arjun! This maya power of God is very difficult to defeat. But...
māmev ye prapadyante māyāmetāṁ taranti te
If you come to my shelter alone and surrender completely to me, I will free you from the clutches of maya." How do we conquer our mind? By remembering and meditating upon God. There are innumerable organizations that teach meditation. Some meditate upon an imaginary circle, some mediate upon the pranas. It is intriguing to see someone meditating upon prana instead of God.
Our Guru teaches us to mediate upon God, which means we have to meditate upon the form of God. Along with this, we can also chant His Divine Name and Pastimes, sing kirtans that will be helpful in the remembrance of God. If we involve our material senses in the spiritual area, it will be easier to attach our mind in God. But this is not compulsory. If you do not feel like doing kirtans, you can simply meditate upon the form of God. But it should not turn out that you neither contemplate on God nor sing His kirtans. So, to be safe, the best thing is to chant His names, sing His virtues, listen to His Divine words, and remember Him with the mind. This type of bhakti called tridha bhakti has been accepted and taught by many saints, and Kripaluji Maharaj has also recommended this:
śhrī kṛiṣhṇaṁ smaraṇaṁ manasā vachasā saras kīrtanaṁ |
śhrotreṇa śhravaṇaṁ nityaṁ tridhābhaktirgarīyasī ||
He says, "Remember and contemplate Shree Krishna with your mind, sing the glories of Shree Krishna by chanting kirtans and hear to beautiful kirtans." This tridha bhakti is the best and most powerful. It is because of the power of tridha bhakti that in this sadhana camp we are engaging in devotion day and night. If we were practicing some other kind of devotion, we would not experience that Bliss, and we would lose interest in 2 or 3 hours. For example, when we sit to perform a yagya, fire sacrifice, we can hardly sit for a couple hours without getting distracted. We start to think, "When will this get over? I cannot understand the mantras that the pundit is chanting, nor am I able to enjoy the Bliss of God."
It is the grace of our Guru that he has gifted us this simplest and very sweet form of bhakti that helps us attach our mind to God. Hence, tridha bhakti is the easiest and best for people of this age since the three primary senses (mouth, ears and mind) are engaged in remembrance of God.
... To be Continued