Katha Chopais

Nirakaar-mokaar-mulam-turiyum | gira-gyan-gotit-misham girisham ||
Karalam mahaakaal kaalam kripalam | gunagaar sansaar-paraam natoham ||

I bow to the supreme Lord, who is formless, source of the sacred OM, symbolizing Brahma, the monumental Self of Creatures which transcends all conditions and states, beyond all speech, understanding or sense-perception, terrible yet gracious,
the ruler of Kailaas, devourer even of Death, the almighty, the abode of virtues, immortal

Katha Translations

Lord Shiv has shubh vichaar (good thoughts) and shubh uchar (good speech/utterance)
In Shivji’s manas are vichaar (thoughts) of Ram Charit Manas, and on His lips are Ram Charit Manas uchaar (words).

Bhagvan (Lord) Shiv has 100 names, but Tulsidas favorite name is “Shankar”. Bhagvan Shiv’s mool (original) name is Shankar.

In this katha, Omkareshwar is the shrota (one who is listening) and the ayojan (organization) is done by Mahakaleshwar.

Manas Rudrashtak is nirvan of Guru apradh (offence).

The doha immediately before the Rudrashtak outlines five lakshan (qualities) of a Guru:
1. Dandvat kriya [ action of bowing/obsciance] 2. Sa prem dvij [Brahm with love] 3. Shiv sanmukh [facing Shiv] 4. Haath jodiye [with folded hands] 5. Gadh gadh swar [delightful voice/sound]

Lord Shiv has/is asht murti (eight physical forms) – panch tatva (five elements) and three others:

1. aakash (sky) [Element] 2. vayu (wind) [Element] 3. jal (water) [Element] 4. prithvi (earth) [Element] 5. agni (fire) [Element] 6. surya (sun)
7. som (moon)
8. pratyek jeev-atma (soul of every living being)

Namamish meeshan – in between purva (east) and uttar (north) is eeshan. Eeshan is Shankar.

Nirvaan Rupam is Bhagvan Shiv who is also moksh roop (form of salvation).

Vibhum refers to sarva shakti-maan (almighty)
Vyapakam refers to drishti (vision), charitrata (Characteristic)
Brahmah is used to call Shiv shakshat brahmah.
Nijam refers to Shiv being svatantra (free)
nirgoonam implies that Shiv is beyond gun (quality)
nirvikalpam implies that Shiv does not have any vikalp (no substitute)
niriham refers to Shiv not having any chesta (attempt), eicha (wishes) or kamna (desire)
Chidaakash makaash vaasam bhajeham refers to Shiv being aakash ka kapadaa (garment of sky)

Shiv doesn’t do ninda (malign/slender) of anyone. One who doesn’t do ninda of anyone is nirvan roop.

Shiv is mukht (free) from krodh (anger). Krodh is part of tamogun (property of ignorance). Yet Shiv is nirgunam. Thus, Shiv doesn’t have any krodh because he is nirvana (free of all desires). One who doesn’t insist on changing others, who doesn’t do krodh, who doesn’t do lobh (greed), and who doesn’t do ninda is nirvan roop.

Nirvikalp sthiti involves gyanta, gyan and gneh-jana. Shiv is in nirvikalp sthiti.

Don’t do vikalp (question).

Ram teaches us to laugh, Krishna teaches us to dance, and Shiv teaches us to sing.

Shiv has akhand samadhi. Chidaakaash implies no aakar, shunyata and no vikar. One of Shiv’s roops (forms) is aakash (sky, vastness).

A Guru is:
1. a darpan (mirror)
2. deepak (light)
3. dehri (boundry)
4. upai (solution)
5. dil (heart)

Bhagvan Mahadev has/is asht murti of which the first one, aakash (sky) was spoken of yesterday in the first bandh. In the second bandh, Bhagvan Shiv’s prithvi murti (earth) is hinted at. Even Gandharvaraj Pushpadant mentions these eight murti’s in the Shiv Mahima Stotram.

Shiv’s eight murtis, twelve jyotir lings, five mukhs and fifteen eyes together equal forty (8 + 12 + 5 + 15 = 40). And these forty are sthapit (placed) in the Hanuman Chalisa. In the Hanuman Chalisa are the eight murtis, twelve jyotir lings, five mukhs and fifteen eyes. This will be elaborated on in some future katha. However, if one recites the Hanuman Chalisa with ones heart, one is doing darshan of the eight murtis, twelve jyotir lings, five mukhs and fifteen eyes. Thus, there is a khaas (special) kaaran (reason) of Hanuman Chalisa.

Shri Guru charan saroj raj nij man mukur sudhari. This couplet is in the beginning of Ayodhya kaand as well as in the beginning of the Hanuman Chalisa. This shows purnarukti.

When a question is asked to a Mahapurush (greatman/saint/sage), one should keep the question short with three vidhaa (methods/ways) in mind:
1. Sahaj sundar (naturally beautiful) On the outset, a question may appear to be beautiful, but the person asking the question may actually be testing the other person and that is not sahaj sundar.
2. Sukh-dai (gives pleasure) The question should give pleasure to both the shrota (one listening to the answer) and the vakta (one who is giving the answer). The question should not give kasht (any trouble) or be dukh-dai (sorrowful).
3. Sant sammat A true sant (saint) can decide if the question will give sukh.

With these three in mind, another person becomes majbur (helpless) to answer the question. If a person asks a question with the above three vidhaa, then even the astitva (existence) will give an answer if no one else gives one. In fact, if you have asked a question in such a manner, then consider that the answer has come from your Guru, regardless of where it has come from.

Sanshai (suspicion) / prashna (question) to samadhan (solution) / shraddha (faith) is a yatra (journey) of the Ram Charit Manas. Ones faith should be maulik (fundamental) – keep it real, not andh shraddha (blind faith) or ashraddha (not having faith). Shanshai can become a sadhana (practice) if it is asked in the right way.

Three param (supreme) gyani (wise one) are Ram, Krishna and Shiv. Despite being param gyani, Ram teaches us to laugh, Krishna teaches us to dance, and Shiv teaches us to sing. Then why are we so serious? A person’s swaroop (form) is aanand (bliss). We should be prasanna (happy) when in sansar (world) and can be udaas (sad) when bhitar (within).

When you listen to katha in a tirth (holy place), select what you want from what you have heard, sit and do dhyaan (concentrate) of it.

If a question is tivra (asked with a strong desire) and from ones hriday (heart), then there is no need to even ask the question since you will get the answer from the shastras (religious scriptures).

Katha is ek-matra upai (the one solution ) for :
1. bin badal varsha (katha is the solution for rain/showers without clouds)
2. bin badal beejali (katha is the solution for lightening without clouds)
3. bin badal mayur ko bulaava (katha is the solution for calling a peacock without clouds is possible)

Ram katha works on vyakti’s swabhav (individual’s nature). The vyaspith works on an manvi’s swabhav (nature).

Param Sadhu is saying the Rudrashtak for His shishya’s (disciple’s) kalyaan (welfare). The Param Sadhu is telling Mahakaal (Bhagwan Shiv) in the Mahakaal mandir that He [ie. Shiv] is nirakaar (without form).

As long as a saadhak (devotee) has a mind, that mind will always take on some aakaar / roop (form):
1. In yog, one should maintain nirodh (extreme control) of ones mind.
2. In bhog (fulfilling ones desires), there is durupyog (misuse) of ones mind.
3. In gyan (wisdom), one should eliminate ones mind – man ka nirodh’.
4. In bhakti (devotion) ones mind is used for sadupyog (good purpose).

A quality of ones mind is to take on some aakar / roop (form). Niraakar is the stage when ones mind does not take on any form, when the mind is khatam (finished), and when no mind remains. Since the mind always takes on some form, it is impossible to reach this stage of niraakar. God is niraakar but takes on a form for us (for example, Krishna) since our minds require some form.

Question: Why has Tulsidas written “Ram Chand” instead of “Ram Chandra”?
Answer: Both “Ram Chand” and “Ram Chandra” are used. “Chand” is not a short form of “Chandra”, nor is it an Avdhi word (word used by those in Ayodhya). In the word “Chand”, rakar (letter “R”) is missing. Rakar is agni beej (seed for fire) and it jalata hai (burns). When “Chandra” is used, thodaa jalana (little burning) occurs. For example, when Ram Chandra – the Raja (king) – is referred to, people in his kingdom are a little scared. When “Chand” is used, there is no jalana’; rather sukh (pleasure) is experienced.

As the Rudrashtak stuti continues, Mahadev is told that He is the mool (root) of Omkar. Actually, Omkar is the mool of everything, but you [ie. Shiv] are the mool of Omkar.

It is said that all feet can fit inside an elephant’s footprint. Specifically, an ant’s foot can fit inside a fly’s footprint, a fly’s foot can fit inside a cockroach’s footprint, a cockroach’s foot can fit inside a mouse’s footprint, a mouse’s foot can fit inside a cat’s footprint, a cat’s foot can fit inside a dog’s footprint, a dog’s foot can fit inside a cow’s footprint, a cow’s foot can fit inside a bull’s footprint, a bull’s foot can fit inside a tiger’s footprint, a tiger’s foot can fit inside a lion’s footprint, and a lion’s foot can fit inside an elephants footprint.

However, a person sitting on top of an elephant can kick the elephant. Using this possibility, an elephant’s foot can fit inside a person’s footprint [not literally]. A person’s foot can fit inside a vaman’s (dwarf’s) footprint [explained through Vaman avtaar example]. A vaman’s foot can fit inside brahma’s foot. And brahma’s pada (foot) is dependent on Omkar. Omkar is shresht (superior) – if it has aadhar (foundation) on anyone, then the aadhar is on Shiv

Mahakaal is the mool (root) of Omkar [ie. The sound of AUM]. Each Ved is in search for Omkar. Every tapasya (penance) is done for Omkar. Brahmachari’s keep control / discipline for Omkar. Many mantras begin with “AUM”.

OM (sounds AUM) has three letters: A, U, M. There are many meanings that come from this:
1. A refers to becoming avtarit (taking a human form), U refers to uthnaa (getting up) after becoming avtarit, “M” implies becoming maun (quiet).
2. A is asang tatva (element of non-attachment). Even when one pronounces A ones lips will not touch each other. When U is pronounced, a little bit of sangati occurs. When M is pronounced, complete sangati occurs. This exemplifies that ones mool svabhav (true nature) is asangati (non-attachment), but as one lives their life, one slowly experiences more sangati (attachment).
3. A implies jagrut (aware, awake), U implies swapna (dream-state), M implies sushupti. These three imply turiyum which is Shankar.
4. A, U, M are the mool (roots) of the Veda’s.

Ishvar’s (God’s) vaachak shabdh (word) is AUM. Omkar is also Ishwar, and its roots are Mahakaal. This entire universe was created from the AUM sound. And the sound of AUM comes from Mahadev Shiv.

Mokar moolam – you are the mool (root) of AUM.
Turiyam – Mahadev is kala of three: jagrut (awakened), sushupt and swapana (dream). He is free from dosh (faults).

Gira gyan gotit misham girisham – Shiv is beyond words. No matter what words are said, they cannot describe Shiv. He is beyond gyan (wisdom). One meaning of gyan is mun (mind). Thus, Shiv is beyond one’s mind.

Crying, thinking of someone, loving and praying are also beyond words. One cannot explain the feelings associated with them; one can only experience them.

Gotit – Paramatma (God) is beyond indriya (senses).

Shiv is beyond words, wisdom and senses.

Girishum – This is God’s prithvi (earth) murti darshan. Giri is a mountain. Shiv is Giri’s ish because He is Kailash naath.

The Vedas have outlined certain sopan (steps) / lakshan (characteristics) of bhakti (devotion). If these are done, one is considered to have vedic bhakti.
1. Satsang — this refers to sant sang (the company of saints). In the Rig Veda, it is referred to as jaanta sa-ang. In the Ram Charit Manas, it is referred to in the chopai (couplet) “pratham bhagati santan kar sanga”.
2. Shraddha (faith). In the Vedas, it is referred to as shraddhaya satya. In the Ram Charit Manas it is referred to in the chopai “dusari rati mam katha prasanga”.
3. Daan – avdaan (to give), udaarta (generosity). The Vedas mention that one should ekatrit (gather) with 100 hands but should give with 1000 hands. One who gives can become siddh (accomplished).
4. Sa-yum (control) – Shankar has sa-yum (control) and this is a great lakshan (quality) of His.

If one is going to take daan (donation/charity) from others, one should be saved from four dosh (faults):
1. Datru (donator) – One should look at the person who is giving the daan and not take it from someone who has the wrong intentions. For example, one should not take daan from someone who is giving with ahankaar (pride).
2. Desh (place/country) – It is considered a dosh to give daan and associate someone’s name with it in certain places (for example Omkareshwar, Mahakaal, Ayodhya) because those places are not your desh.
3. Kaal (Time of donation) – There are certain times during which daan should not be given. For example, on days with surya grahan (solar eclipse), chandra grahan (lunar eclipse), Deepawali and Makar Sankranti, one should give daan after the associated time; otherwise it is a dosh’.
4. Agrahiya – Taking things that are not appropriate is considered a dosh’. For example, alcohol made of ganga jaal is agrahiya’.

If one wants to do bhajan, then one must be beware.

Shankar is a big daani (one who gives), but he does not have the above four dosh (faults).

Karalam – kaal se bhi kaal.

Kripalam – Shiv is kripalu (merciful).

Shiv is karaal (harsh on the outside but soft from within) and kripalu.

gunagar – In this vishva (universe), Shiv is the mandir of all gun (good qualities). He is gun ka bhavan (home of good qualities).

Sansar paaram – Only Shiv can paar us (take us through) from sansar (world), because Shiv Himself is par (aloof) from this world.

Nathoham – naman, namaskar (bow to thee).

Yesterday, we talked of the second murti of Shiv: prithvi (earth).

Karaalam mahakal kalam krupalam Gunagar sansar-paaram natoham

Bhagvan Shiv is karaal (harsh on the outside but soft from within) and kripalu (merciful). Karaal and kripalu are two extremes that describe Shiv. This seems odd, but in this world, one who is karaal is also kripalu. For example, a tree is karaal [ie. Its physical structure] but is also komal (soft) [ie. Its leaves are soft and the tree gives fruits to us]. Karaal and kripalu are two sides of one coin, thus it is not possible to separate the two unless an individual is crooked. Karaal and kripalu are twins.

Science says that there is life in everything. Therefore, this means that in karaalta, kripalta is hidden somewhere.

One who is cultured that is, one who is understanding, wise, having good qualities, well-mannered – and one who is in touch with nature will be both karaal and komal / kripalu. However, one who is crooked is neither cultured nor in touch with nature will be only karaal. One who is crooked is ignorant and their mind is not proper. Bhagvan Shiv is param Chaitanya (supreme conscious).

Bhagvan Shiv is guno ka mandir (a temple of good qualities). He, Himself is aloof of sansar (materialist world), so He is able to paar (take us away) from materialist world. The Bhramin who is saying the Rudrashtak stuti is himself a Guru. The qualities described in the stuti also apply to him and other Guru’s. Thus, a Sadaguru is also nirakaar.

Question: Why did Tulsidas not mention Bhushundi’s Guru’s name? [ie. The one who is saying the Rudrashtak stuti] Answer: A sadaguru is one who has no name form. Nar-roop Hari (God in the human form) does come, but a sadaguru is one who himself does not have any form – a sadaguru is nirakaar. In fact, a sadaguru does not have any one form; rather a sadaguru has many forms (those that are engraved in ones hearts and eyes). A sadaguru takes many roops to be helper to his/her shishya (disciple).

Despite being nirakaar, Shankar takes on many aakaars (forms).

Ganga, Saryu, and other holy rivers are not just plain bodies of water.

Vidhyapati was a very follower/believer of Shiv and Ganga. One day, Shiv took on the form of Vidhyapati’s shishya (disciple) and named himself Ugna. Once, Ugna and Vidhyapati were walking somewhere when Vidhyapati became very thirsty. There was no water in sight, so Vidhyapati sent his disciple Ugna in search of some water. Ugna walked far from Vidhyapati and then undid his matted hair to get some Ganga-jaal (water from Ganga). Ugna filled his vessel with the Ganga Jaal, returned to Vidhyapati and gave it to him to drink. Vidhyapati, being a follower of Shiv and Ganga, immediately recognized the Ganga jaal. Then he noticed that Ugna’s hair was wet and that water was dripping from his matted hair. Vidhyapati asked Ugna a few times who he really was. Finally Ugna told Vidhyapati that he is Shankar.

Prior to this incident, Ugna used to eat Vidhyapati’s leftover food. Now that Vidhyapati knows that Ugna is Shankar, Vidhyapati wants to eat Ugna’s leftover food. Ugna agreed on the condition that Vidhyapati did not reveal who he really is.

One day, Vidhyapati’s wife could not bear seeing her husband eating the leftover food of Ugna. When she persisted in letting him know how she felt, Vidhyapati told her who Ugna really is. At that instance, Ugna disappeared and Omkareshwar remained. Ugna se Omkareshwar pragat huaa (From Ugna, Omkareshwar appeared).

Once when Shankar danced, Ganga-jaal dripped all over the world: “sakal lok jag pavani ganga” resulting in Ram katha.

Ram had a regular practice where He did Parthiv pujan (puja to Lord Shiva) daily. For this, Hanumanji used to bring 1000 flowers every day. One day, Hanumanji accidently brought only 999 flowers, leaving Ram one flower short for His puja. Ram did not scold Hanumanji, nor did he make do without the missing flower. Instead, being Rajiv (Lotus) netrum (eyed), he offered his right eye. In this right eye is the entire aishwarya (divine powers).

Ram had so much bhakti bhav (feelings of devotion) that he gave one of his eyes. In return, Shiv gave Ram [ie. Vishnu] the sudarshan charka (Vishnu’s discus) for jagat rakshan (protection of universe). This is where the sudarshan chakra in Krishna’s hands have come from.

To offer 1000 flowers/Kamal (lotus flower) means to offer whatever we have to God.

There is no need for a golden Shiv Ling. One can do abhishek (offering of water) even to a pile of sand. In fact, even if one were to make a fist and hold up ones thumb, Shiv would accept this as His Ling.

A sadaguru is kalptaru (The wish-fulfilling tree of heaven) – he gives fruits according to his devotee’s feelings.

By giving a sadaguru a form, we are binding that sadaguru.

Sadaguru, in Shiv’s form, is in the form of Omkareshwar.

Sadaguru is beyond words, beyond indriya (senses), is formidable (kaaraal) without Jealously (raag-dwesh) and gentle, has won over time, and gives life to one who has died. Giving life doesn’t only refer to the physical body; it can also include the following:
• Making one who is kaam vash (surrendered to desires) to Ram vash (surrender to Ram)
• Making one who is lobhi (greedy) into a kripan (one who gives)
• Making an ati vimudh into a great pundit
• Gives vision to one who is ati daridra (extremely poor). Daridra can also include poor speech
• Giving a good name to one who is ajasi.
• Rejuvenating the youth in one who is ati budda (very old).
• Making one who is sada rog vash (sick) nirogi (without disease).
• Making someone who is always krodhi (filled with anger) bodhi (wise).
• Taking someone in front of Ram (sanmukh) if one is vimukh (away).

A Sadaguru is ati kripalu (extremely gracious) — He is kripa ki murti.

Rudrashtak stuti is said for Tribhuvan Guru [ie. Shiv], Kak Bhushundi’s Sadaguru, and for all Sadagurus.

The third mantra of the Rudrashtak describes the jaal (water) murti of Shiv: sphuran-moli. Although the chandra (moon) murti is mentioned in this third portion, the Vyas gaadi will associate it with another bandh.

The sadhu saying the Rudrashtak saw sakshat Mahakaal ka vigra (the true form of Mahakaal). Tulsidas also saw the true form.

Chalat kundalam exemplifies that they saw Mahakaal and noticed that the kundal were moving on the ears.

Tusha means ice/snow.
Raa-dri implies a mountain.
Sankaash is used to say that Shankar is unke saman (similar to ) [snow clad mountain]).

Question: Despite listening to so many kathas, why is there suffering in this world?
Answer: One should not consider it as suffering instead it should be considered as an opportunity to grow and blossom. One should accept whatever one is given and not have any expectations.

One should consider the world as “ST” (State Transit) [ie. A bus] in which one should sit wherever there is room and have no expectations. Furthermore, one should not go to a “STD” (Subscriber Trunk Dialing) [ie. A means for making telephone calls.] and do shikayat (complain).

In intellect – have faith
In Mind – have devotion and love

Devotion and faith are needed.

Ones seva (service) becomes fruitful if it is done with faith and devotion. Some phal (fruits) are experienced immediately while others are experienced after some time. However, the fruits are always received.

The masti (feelings of extreme joy) that one has gained will never decrease or die out. It is possible that the masti may be suppressed as a result of pride, but it will never die. If the masti does not increase then it has been suppressed for some reason.

Shiv, you are gaur (beautiful) like snow and shankh (conch).

Shiv’s ashtak murti is described in the Rudrashtak Stuti. The Brahmin is singing this stuti (hym) for his disciple. So let us continue with the third mantra’:

tusharadri sankaash gauram gabhiram | manobhut koti prabhaa shri shariram ||
sphuranmauli kallolini charu ganga | lasad-bhal-balendu kante bhujangaa ||

In the Ram Charit Manas, Shiv is described as being gaur (beautiful, attractive) shankh jaisaa (like a conch) and like a full moon. In the Vinay Patrika, he is described as kapur gauram. In the Rudrashtak stuti, it is said that Shiv is gaur (beautiful) like snow clad mountain.

Why has Shiv been compared to a mountain because a mountain is steady and serious. There is great importance behind this analogy:
1. A mountain has many hills and peaks. This symbolizes Mahadev being both karaal and komal.
2. Despite the appearance of mountains, one can find jewels and water in/on a mountain if one searches. Similarly, Shiv’s appearance is amangal (not good) [ie. He wears snakes and skulls.] but He is beautiful from inside.
3. When one climbs a mountain one gets tired. However, when one comes down from the top of a mountain, one gets vishram (rest). This exemplifies that if one tries to “climb” Shankar [as mountain], one will get tired. That is, one will attain Shiv if one undergoes tough devotion/worship such as yog, tapp (penance), etc. However, if one wants to climb down then it is much easier.
4. A mountain keeps three things on its mastak (head). Similarly, Shankar keeps those who are deen (poor), heen (deprived/abandoned) and vakra (crooked) on His head. He loves those that are small/insignificant (chhotaa). For example, He keeps the moon on His head because it is crooked. He also keeps Ganga on His head because Ganga was filled with pride.

When an individual gets hungry, two things arise. If the individual is materialistic, then asking/ begging arises. However, if the individual is spiritual, then longing/desire arises. In the latter, the desire is for bhakti (devotion).

Shiv does begging for food because 1032 mouths have to be fed at His home:
• There are 1000 mukh (mouths) from the shesh on Shiv’s head.
• Raavan eats there and he has 10 mouths.
• Kartik swami has 6 mouths.
• Shiv Himself has 5 mouths.
• Ganesh sits on Shiv’s lap and he has 1 mouth.
• 4 mouths come from Brahma who Shiv had called His father.
• Parvati has 1 mouth.
• Shiv’s ox has 1 mouth.
• The peacock has 1 mouth
• The lion has 1 mouth. (The lion was also a vegetarian.)
• The mouse has 1 mouth.
• Ganga has 1 mouth.

Gauram gabhiram – Shiv is compared to a moutain because Ganga was released from His jatta’. Ganga is also bhakti.

A mountain has four bad qualities because it is:
1. Maleen – dirty. For example, it has thorns.
2. Sthaavir – sturdy
3. Jad – set in its own ways
4. Shubhraa – dreadful / dangerous

Although Shankar has been compared to a mountain, He does not have the above bad qualities. Shankar has been compared to the Himalayas, and the Himalayas are:
1. not maleen – they are dhaval and bright
2. not sthaavir – since Himalaya married his daughter, he cannot be sthaavir
3. not jad – they are knowledgeable
4. not shubhraa and not bhayanak – they are beautiful

Question: What change should occur to those who have been listening to kathas for 20 to 25 years? Should we as individuals remain alone in aloofness or should we run to kathas?
Answer: Either way is fine, so choose according to your liking. And choose in which your feelings increases. We should let people do whichever they feel is appropriate, because judging who is lower and better may be an offence.

Question: My mind is no longer into puja (worship) and path (daily prayers). What should I do?
Answer: Do whatever is natural and as per your feelings.

When one does path, one reads in ones own language. However, there is only one language for God – it is the language of ones eyes and emotions. In spirituality, words from the mouth are not of importance – only words from ones eyes are. Communication should be done with ones eyes, not through words in spirituality.

“Jeev ka parichai vani se hoti hai. Bhram ki parichai aakho se hoti hai.” (Words can identify an individual; eyes can identify God.)

Attaining God can be done from a Sadguru, renunciation) and devotion.

That attempt from which one attains God is bhakti

Every decision of a Guru is free of malice and jealously.

Sita’s Ram is not in her heart; rather He is in her eyes. That is why Sita communicated with the women of the village through her eyes so that they can see/experience Ram hidden in her eyes. The village ladies did pranam (bowed) to Sita and also gave her their blessings for longevity of her husband to remain as long as the world rests on the Shesh. Both bowing and blessing are possible in love.

There are two types of sadhus / mahatmas (sages) in the Ram Charit Manas: those who move around and those who sit alone. Moving around all the time is considered pravrutti marg, and sitting alone is considered nivrutti marg. Both of these are good, and one should follow that which one likes and come naturally.

Coming to kathas is nivrutti marg because one lets go of so much to attend. There is so much phal (fruits) associated with attending kathas, but many miss out a little because of lack of knowledge/understanding.

In the Ramayan, santatva is compared in which both sarovar and sarita are mentioned. A sarovar symbolizes shaant marg (a quiet path) where one stays in one place and is stable. On the other hand, a sarita is always moving.

If one chooses the pavrutti marg, one should ensure that one does not have madd (ego) or moh (attachment). In solitude, one should not have ego and attachment. One should do bhajan without ego and attachement a sarovar or like a sarita’.

sphuran – From the jatta of Shiv came Ganga maiya (mother).

All the lakshan (qualities) being sung to describe Shiv also describe the one who is singing the Stuti [ie. The Param Guru / Bhramin].

The Ganga also flows from a sadguru’s head. This Ganga is that of bhakti (devotion), prem (love), gyan (wisdom), etc. A sadguru is sthir like a pahad (mountain) no matter how much aalochana (criticism) is done. A sadguru is gambhir in listening to the world’s upaas’.

A sadguru’s head has vivek pravah (flow of knowledge), sheel pravah (flow of qualities) and bhakti pravah (flow of devotion). He has the moon on His head in that He always considers Himself far from the full moon.

The asht murti (eight forms) of Shankar are also described in the Shiv Mahima Stotram:
Bhav represents the jal murti (water)
Sharva represents the pruthvi murti (earth)
Rudra eludes to one who does krodh (anger) and represents agni murti (fire)
Pashupati represents jeev atma murti (soul)
Ugra represents vayu murti (wind)
Sahmahaan represents chandra murti (moon)
Bhim represents aakash (fire)
Ishana represents surya (sun)

Mili was a very beautiful woman. She was so beautiful that the samaj (society) decided that she could not just be one man’s wife. As a result, she became the entire village’s wife. One morning while she was drinking tea, she asked her servant what the celebration going on outside was for. The servant explained that Christ, the one who has given love to everyone, would be coming to town. Mili wanted to go to meet Christ but wondered whether Christ would accept her. Since Christ was nearby, she went as is to meet him. When she met him, tears flowed from her eyes onto his feet. At that moment, her uddhar occurred.

Today is His [ie. Jesus Christ] day [ie. Christmas Day], so let us remember Him. Badhai (congratulations) to the entire world on this day.

Shiv has the Ganga on His head, which depicts His jal (water) murti. Also on His head is the moon. In the Ram Charit Manas, Ram has stated many faults of the moon. If Ram Himself has stated various bad qualities, then why is the moon so worthy of praise? It is because it was able to attain Shiv’s ‘bhaal’ (forehead).

When one puts a teekaa (dot on the forehead representing the third eye) on some faces, those faces look good. Then there are other faces on which a teekaa looks good when put on that face. This is also the case with aabhushan (jewellery).

For the words Lasad bhaal, one could interpret that Shiv’s ‘bhaal’ (forehead) looks good because the moon is on it. Another interpretation is that the moon looks good because it has attained Shiv’s ‘bhaal’. The latter interpretation is more appropriate.

That who makes an individual with faults His alankaar (jewellery) is Shiv.

Shiv’s agni (fire) murti is depicted in the following bandh (stanza):

chalat-kundalam bhru sunetram vishaalam prasanannam neelkanttam dayalam
mrugadhish-charmambaram mundmaalam priyum shankaram sarv-natham bhajaami

There are two different paath for this:

“chalat-kundalam bhru sunetram vishaalam” and “chalat-kundalam subhra netram vishaalam. Chalat-kundalam refers to kundal (earrings) moving on Shiv’s earings.

Sunetram – Shiv’s vishaal (vast,big) netra (eyes).

Prasanannam – Shiv is happy.

Neelkanttam – Shiv has a neel kanth (blue neck).

Dayalam – Shiv is merciful.

Mrigadhish – Shiv wears clothing made from deer

Priyum shankaram – Shankar, you are very dear to me.

Sarv-natham bhajaami – you are master/Lord of all , I am praying to you [ie. Shiv].

When Shiv was getting married, Tulsidas described His appearance:

kundal kankan pahire byaala | tan vibhuti pat kehari chhaala || – Bal kaand 91

Does ones kundalini (spiritual energy) become awakened in bhakti? The answer to this is yes. It is a good thing that a bhakt (devotee) is not aware of this spiritual energy surfacing, otherwise the possibility of becoming proud exists.

If an individual can feel various (natural) kundalini becoming awakened (for example, a small headache), then the awakening of ones bhakti kundalini (devotional spiritual energy) should also be felt, Yet still individuals do not feel the bhakti kundalini. This is because a devotee’s energy progresses to the ears as kundal (earrings). This association should be made with chalat kundalam.

One should not do ones sadhana (spiritual practices) according to ones ‘sav prayaas’ (individual attempts). Instead, one should do ones sadhana according to ones Guru’s marg darshan (guidance).

As outlined in the Ram Charit Manas, Sati [Ma Parvati] wanted to know whether Ram is Bhrama (God) or manush (human). Her mistake was that she did not attempt to find this out in the manner suggested by Shiv. She figured that she is buddhi-maan (smart/wise). She has so much prakash (light) from Shiv, yet she didn’t use it in the right way. The outcome was that vishvas (trust) went and so did Sati’s jeevan (life).

A devotee should make attempts. However, a Sadguru is the jyoti (light) that is used to light the sadhak’s mombati (candle).

An attempt by the devotee as well light from Sadguru, and (lessed offerings both go hand in hand. However, a Sadguru’s light absolutely necessary in ones devotion/regilious practice.

Shravan (listening) is bhakti (devotion). However, bhatakvu (wandering) can decrease ones bhakti and/or increase ones bhrum (misconception).

A few days ago, we discussed certain ‘sopan’ (steps) / lakshan (characteristics) of bhakti (devotion) according to the Vedas. The fifth one is adroh where one sees everyone with mitra darshan (as a friend).

Those who speak for the astitva (existence) [ones who recite kathas] need to adhere to the following four modes of recitation as described by Tulsidas:

1. Prem (Love) – Sadbhav (good feelings) should be kept towards those who listen [to kathas]. Words should be said with love, for if there is no love in ones words, those words will not touch others.
2. Prasanshaa (Praise) – When one sees something that is sachaa and satya (truth), one should do prasanshaa. One should do pranam (salutations) to the truth and offer praise wherever it is appropriate.
3. Vinay (Politeness) – One should speak with politeness
4. Vayung (humour) – Every so often, do chuttki’ / majaak (add humour) to lighten the mood.

Ones family is also a small astitva (entity), so one should practice the above four while staying with others.

Why did Parvati listen to the Ram katha only from Shiv? It is because she didn’t want to listen to others in the event that her mind started to wander and/or she got bhranti misunderstanding). She strongly adhered to the fact that she has her husband who is Tribhuvan Guru.

Words are very powerful and can nfluence. Thus, one should maintain ones mansikta (state of mind).

One should stay in ones Sadguru’s prakash (light) so that ones current state does not stop from increasing.

‘Kundal (earrings) in ones ears should move. In order for earings to move, vayu (wind) is needed. Examples of kunda’ are found in the Ram Charit Manas with Mandodari and Shiv, Hanuman Chalisa, Mahabharat with Karan, and with the Gopi’s.

When a bhakt listens to a katha, the urja (energy) comes to ones ears. In listening to a katha, a bhakt becomes so engrossed that he/she does not realize that awakening has occurred.

The Valmiki Ramayan describes when Hanumanji goes to Bharat in Nandigram to inform him of Ram’s return. At that time, Bharat hugs Hanumanji and expresses his desire to give Hanuman something in return for the news. Bharat gave the following:

• one lakh (100,000) cows
• one hundred villages
• sixteen well-mannered, unwed women

It appears odd that Bharat would give Hanumanji sixteen women. However, these are actually the sixteen vidha (modes) of listening. And in describing them, they are associated with kundal (earings)

Kundal should move;nupur (anklets), bangles and a judo (jewellery used to hold keys) should make noise. Kundal moves with wind and/or when the head moves. Similarly, when kundalini (spiritual energy) comes to ones ears, one becomes praan-vaan (filled with life).

Badhai (congratulations) to everyone on Ram Janam! (Birth of Bhagwaan Ram)

Upon Garud’s request, Bhushundi is reciting His life’s important events to Garud. Of them, Bhushundi tells of His Guru apraadh (offence) and the stuti (hymn) that resulted in His Guru singing to Shiv. It is this stuti that we are doing darshan of (looking at) in this katha.

Yesterday we discussed the fourth bandh (stanza) of the stuti in which Shiv’s agni (fire) murti can be seen:

chalat-kundalam bhru sunetram vishaalam prasanannam neelkanttam dayalam
mrugadhish-charmambaram mundmaalam priyum shankaram sarv-natham bhajaami

We went into great depth about kundal yesterday. Prasanannam implies that in each circumstance, Shiv remains prasana (happy).

Kalidas described Shiv in the following manner:
• He is never scared, despite having so many snakes on Him.
• Despite the chandra (moon) being able to drip amrit (nectar), He has no priti (love) for it.
• He wears a mund mala (chain of human skulls), yet He does not see anything impure.
• Although He has the Ganga on His head, He does not worry about things being pure.
• He does not think twice about wearing ‘bhasma’ (ashes) on His body.

Why is this the case? It is because Mahadev’s aatmaa (soul) is engrossed in Ram. Thus, He is able to stay with happy.

Question from Bapu: Do you wish to remain happy (prasana)? If so, then there is a method that will definitely enable you to be happy. Following these will enable you to be happy like Shiv and like Bhushundi’s Guru [as mentioned in the Rudrashtak Stuti].

A ladder enables one to climb onto a terrace, as well as down into a well. It does not just take an individual up, but it can also bring one down. Human life is like a ladder, for it can take you up or down. Which of these two we take ourselves is dependent on our chosen path of life.

“narak svarag apvarg niseni … “ — Uttar kaand 120

It was not only Shankar who had to drink poison – all Sadguru’s have to do the same. It is important to see a Sadguru from every angle. In order to remain happy, one will have to drink poison. One who remains happy after drinking poison is merciful.

Why is it that some individuals do not remain happy? Perhaps they have already made up their minds not to be happy. Some individuals think of the past and become sad; some think of the future and become sad. And as a result, this may make their present sad.

Paramatma [ie. God] sparked eichha (wish, desire) inside Himself and then made this universe. By living in this world, we are all making Paramatma happy. Then why is it that we ourselves cannot be happy?

Human nature is to stay in joy, then why are we unhappy?

For the feeling of happiness: “kar nek amal, har ko simar, utpat na kar” [follow the path of righteousness, meditate on Hari (God), don’t be destructive].

One doesn’t attain peace until one gets into ones own personality/character. Many faults are manav janit (stem from humans), not from the nature. To eliminate these faults, one needs to make serious attempts. And this is called sadhana.

Sadhana is not just praying on a mala (rosary beads). If one does pray on ones mala but does not do proven effort then that person will not enjoy the result of their proven efforts.

In order to stay happy, one should NOT say anything bad to anyone. One should not judge others because no one is competent being a judge. Who are we to pass judgement? One should not even pass judgement on a small child since they too have chetna (consciousness). Recognize that you are passing judgement that someone is bad because you yourself are bad.

To stay happy in this world, one should wait and Love of God.

“I am talking to you; this is not my lecture.”

Some individuals do not take reward or donation, but most people take gifts. Question from Bapu: If someone gives you Rs1000 note as a gift, would you take it? Answer from shrotas: yes. What if it were dirty – would you still take it? Yes. What if it became wet? Yes. What if the note was old? Yes. What if it was dropped in mud? Yes.

Why is it that you will take the Rs1000 note despite it being dirty, wet, old and/or muddy? It is because it has a lot of mulya (value). Then do human beings not have value? If one will accept a currency note regardless of its condition, then why not also accept human beings the same way.

As mentioned earlier, one should follow the method outlined below to forever remain happy. There are three things that one should eliminate and renounce:
1. Hattaagrah (stubbornness) – One should not be stubborn for things such as people, money, fame, etc. Duryodhan was defeated because of his stubbornness. Other examples include Ravan and Bali.
2. Kadaagrah (enforcing ones thoughts on others) – By enforcing your thoughts on others, you are disrespecting the chetna of other human beings. One should share ones thoughts, but one should not insist that others agree. One paatra (character) in the Ram Charit Manas that had such stubbornness of thoughts is Parshuram. One should not feel that ones thoughts are correct and insist that others follow what you say.
3. Purvagrah (prejudice) – It’s very hard to get rid of a prejudice/predetermined notion is developed

The above three are three invitation cards to be prasana (happy).

If one has to let go of things, such as money for truth and love, then do so because ones relationships are more important.

If one were to tyaag (give up), then give up ‘akrodh’ (lack of anger) will ‘paida’ (spark, be born). If one practices ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence) then ‘satya’ (truth) will spark. Ahinsa (non-violence) includes not hurting anyone with your mind, speech or actions. If one were to stop doing ‘kutli’ (gossiping from behind) then peace will spark. ‘Kutli’ includes enjoying others gossiping.

The Bhagvat Gita is not [only] for swearing on in courts [as done in India]; it is for keeping it in ones heart.

Hattaagrah stubbornness is of padaarth (material things)
Kadaagrah ones thoughts on others is of vichaar (thoughts)
Purvagrah Prejudice is between people.

The above 3 are not independent; they are all connected.

Hattaagra sparks kaam, Kaam is an andhi (storm).
Kdaagrah sparks krodh (anger), krodh is agni (fire).
Purvagrah sparks lobh (greed). lobh is baad (flood).

“kaam bat kaf lobh apaara | krodh pit nit chaati jaara || “ — Uttar kaand 120

An individual’s hattaagrah and kadaagrah strengthen ones purvagrah.

If one keeps one’s mind is with God one will reamin happy regardless of his/her circumstances.

Mrigadhish charmambaram — Shankar wears lion, yet mrig (deer) means a lion. However, a deer is considered to take the place of a lion when a lion is not present.

Priyum Shankaram sarv natham bhajami – Despite you being everyone’s naath(master/God), I consider you to be my Priya (loved one).

The lakshan (characteristics) described in this stuti also applies to a Guru.

A Guru is prasana and dayalu (happy and merciful)
Mrigadish, priyum – everyone loves a Sadguru;
Mund mala – a Guru wears a mala (rosary beads) of His disciples’ prarabhd (destiny);
Sarv naath – a Sadguru does kalyaan (welfare)

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