KATHA TRANSLATIONS

Please note that translations for kathas have been provided for those that are available. The main chaupai for each katha with its meaning has been included.

Uttar Kand – Doha 119
More man prabhu as bisvasa | Ram te adhik ram kar dasa ||
Ram sindhu ghan sajjan dhira | Chandan Taru hari sant samira ||

I have this conviction in my heart, my lord, that a servant of Sri Rama is greater than Sri Rama himself.
While Sri Rama is the ocean, the wise saints are like the rain-clouds; or (to use another metaphor) While Sri Hari is the sandal-tree, the saints represent the winds (that diffuse its perfume).

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The path of devotion (bhakti marg) is impossible (asambhav) without trust (vishvaas). In fact, devotion is created by trust.

The path of knowledge (gyan marg) and yoga (yog marg) have specific methods and particular means (saadhan). As well, they both give importance to direction (deeshaa). However, the path of devotion does not follow any particular means (nisaadhantaa) and gives importance to one’s state (dashaa).

Just like there are 10 directions (deeshaa) (north, south, east, west, north-east, north-west, south-east, south-west, up and down), there are also 10 states (dashaa) in the path of devotion, trust and nisaadhantaa.

The 10 states (dashaa) in the path of devotion, trust and nisaadhantaa are:

Abhilaashaa / Manorath – When a devotee wishes for something yet whole-heartedly leaves the outcome to God. Should one’s wish not be fulfilled, then devotees believe that the outcome was not in one’s best interest.Chintaa – Worrying for God’s well being, not for the well being of one’s self. Smruti / Smaran – Remembering God.Vyaadhi – The sadness or sorrow felt in the love of God. Oonmaad – Being filled with and/or drunken by the nectar of love.Pralaap – To shed tears and cry.Goon kathan – Seeing good qualities of the one you have faith in.Jadtaa – The firm belief that God’s compassion will enable certain outcomes to occur in one’s life.Oodvaig – When the mind and body are both anxious. Asaiyatha – To have intolerable love.
Devotees choose the above 10 states. Who then can be called a devotee (daas)? The Ram Charit Manas gives numerous descriptions of who can be called a devotee. One such description of a devotee is given in the following couplet (chaupai):

Mor daas kahai nar aasaa | Karahi to kahahu kahaa bisvasaa ||

The above couplet questions the trust and faith of one who is known as a devotee of God yet has desires and wishes of other people. Thus, a devotee is known as one who doesn’t have any desires or wishes of others (aash na kare), just from God.

A second description of a devotee is one who never worries of getting destroyed (naash). A third description is one who never gets disheartened (oodaas). A fourth description is one who has firmly surrendered (dradh ashrai).

On one hand, Lakshman shows his independence by stating that he is a devotee, yet on the other hand says that he is dependent (at the feet of Ram).

From this, it is apparent that one characteristic of a devotee is to remain dependent (paraadheen) and never attempt to be independent (svaadheen). In fact, to remain dependent on one’s God, Sadguru, scripture (shastra) or aphorism (sutra) is the true form of being independent. Even though a master never wishes or makes his devotee (sevak) be dependent, a devotee himself experiences great pleasure in being dependent. This dependency becomes a sense of security and comfort for the devotee.

When this dependency (aadheenta) occurs, a devotee’s heart (hriday) is freed (mukt) of 5 hindrances (baadhaa). These are:

vichaar – both good and bad thoughtsvikaar – distortions vishaad vibhav – ill feelings towards others vilas – luxuries in excess of what we need
Another characteristic of a devotee is one who is remembered by God. This can be seen when Bharat asks Hanumanji if Ram has ever remembered him.

In Uttar kand, Ram states that his devotees (daas) are extremely beloved to him.

The question then arises whether or not a devotee has to abide by any rules (niyam) or laws (kanoon). Devotees should follow 3 things, listed in order of occurrence:

vivek – discrimination between right and wrongdhairya – patienceashrai- taking shelter
The next question arises as to how the above three can come into a devotee. Discrimination (vivek) comes from religious activities (satsang), patience (dhairya) comes from discrimination (vivek) and taking shelter (ashrai) in a firm way comes from patience (dhairya).

Insulting (tiraskaar) an individual is actually insulting God since God is in everyone.

Ram sindhu dhan sajjan dhira | Chandan taru hari sant samira ||

There are 7 oceans on this Earth. Since Ram is referred to as an ocean in the above couplet (chaupai), then Ram is the following 7 oceans:

kripa sindhu – the ocean of kindnesskaruna sindhu – the ocean of compassionsheel sindhu – the ocean of good qualitiesgyan sindhu- the ocean of knowledgesukh sindhu – the ocean of pleasuredaya sindhu – the ocean of mercykshama sindhu – the ocean of forgiveness
One who follows many spiritual or religious means (su-saadhan) (ie. jaap, penance (taap), reading scriptures (paat), etc.) gets kripa after some time (der se) because one’s arrogance and pride shields it from coming sooner.

One who doesn’t follow any pure spiritual or religious means (ku-saadhan) (ie, with ill-feelings, pride, and jealousy) get kripa that destroys (maar) those impurities.

One who doesn’t follow any spiritual or religious means (nis-saadhan) gets kripa with love.

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After Ram’s marriage when Sita came to Ayodhya, there was a lot of wealth (samrudhi). The question then arises as to why sorrows (dukh) came in the form of why were Ram, Sita and Lakshman being sent into exile in the forest (vanvaas)? With the grace of God (kripa), we all have wealth, peace and happiness. It is when we desire for even more that this could result in some sort of exile (vanvaas) in our lives.

Devotion (bhakti) is not attained by force (jabarjasti). By force, one will only attain its shadow, not the real form. Instead it is attained by the grace of God (kripa). It is important that children not be forced towards devotion.

Ram does not consider anyone’s caste; rather he only takes to heart one’s feelings and devotion. Tulsidasji’s Bhakti Sutra (aphorisms of devotion) describes 9 forms of devotion:

Sant sang – keeping the company of saints
In Bapu’s opinion, a saint is one
whose end never comes (jiska aant naahi). who does not fight /oppose, is not stubborn (jise kisike saath taant nahi), accepts any circumstances (sthithi) and has no insistence to requirements. who does not want a prestigious position (jisko kahi mahaant nahi hona hai). who prays and does social service (seva) with happiness and feelings (aanand- bhav)
(bhajan khaant se karai).

Katha prasang main ras lena- enjoying the nectar of God’s discourses
The highest form of a listener (uttam shrota) is one who does service to others (seva) as well as listens to discourses (katha shravan).

Guru Charan Kamal Seva – doing service of one’s Guru’s feet
This is to be done without any arrogance (abhimaan). A Guru is one who your heart embraces and one who feels like your own. Whatever your inner voice (antakaran) says, you should do – if you go against it, considered anyashrai. Leave pride (abhiman) and do service (seva) – “seva guru ki agya anoukul ”

Bhagwans Gun Gaan – kapath chorkar – without deceit. “A kathakar should not take any money for katha,” said Mahaprabhuji- (e.g. from networking it becomes a business). Even when Bapu started kathas he never asked an amount for his katha.
Kapath – using someone else’s ideas /sutras under your name.

“Mantra jap mam dhrd vishvasa”- with guru mantra with total faith (bharosa)

“Sayam niyam se varatna /rehna” – To be careful what to eat and drink
Children should study well, but keep vivek in company , food and drink
“bahut pravruti se nivruti” make time for family

“Sab main Hari Darshan” – see God in everyone.
“sant” is greater than God

”jatha labh santosha” – Contentment in what we receive/result
Even in your dreams, you should not look at anyone’s faults – Bad feelings to others’ success.
Looking at other people’s faults, we are causing significant loss for ourselves.

“Saral jivan”- simple life without cheating and deceit (chhal kapath)
Do not take too many opinions – follow what your soul says or someone awakened who only has your good interest. Live with Gods faith – “bharosa”
-“Hanumanji ne lidhe Sugriv ko Ram mile”/ “Sant ke madhyam se jiv ko bhagwan mile”
– Hanumanji “prassan” on the way to lanka – Sunderkand “prabhu mudrika meli much mahi”
-If you keep something in your mouth (sweet or pan) you will become fresh, awake and happier. Just like that, if you have worries or are depressed, then take “hari nam – prasan”
-If you don’t have faith (shraddha) in a Sadhu, it is acceptable, but don’t do “apradh” towards a sadhu.

Summary for Manas Mahaprabhu Katha

“Dhradh Ashraiy Rakhna” – but not from “pralobhan – pratishtha –bhaiy”
– with entire feeling, heart inspired , from inner faith towards our God, strong faith/following,
irrespective of which religion. Dhrad ashraiy is important for all.“Seva – Jitni hosake seva”- as much as possible whilst maintaining your duties/responsibilities
“Aahetu seva, thakur ke prassanata ke liye” and Family, children etc. all a part of God –“ prabhu ke aang”
Without arrogance (abhiman) – Sneh se Seva for pleasing God (prabhu prassanatta) – for God’s happiness and not self gain. “Hari nam ka smaran” –remembering God’s name. “Sahaj ho”- as much as possible
“nisadhanta” – “Bharosa rahe – “Krishna nam rahe”
“Prabhu nam smaran” – Any name that your heart says “Sahaj gati pakro”
“Krishna seva – Krishna ashraiy –Krishna smaran”
II Yaha kalikala ne sadhan dhouja, jog jagya jap tap vrat pooja II

II Ramahi sumiri , gayiea ramahi, santat suniya Ram gun gramahi II Tulsiji – Manas

Sansar ka vehvar nibhaiyainge aur hari ko payenge – The 2 wheels life runs on

Sansar se bhage firtai ho – bhagwan ko tum kya paoge ; Eis lok ko na apna sake-us lok main bhi pastaoge.

Main Chopai: Kishkindha Kaand – Doha 27
Kaha angad bichaari mana maahin | Dhanya jataayu sama kou naahin ||
Ram kaaj kaaran tanu tyaagi | Hari pur gayau param bada bhaagi ||

Angad said after thinking about it ‘Glory to Jataayu !, There is no one like him, who has laid down his life in the service of Shree Ram and most blessed and ascended to abode of Shree Hari.

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Here, in Ferozpur, we have all gathered for Ramkatha and to pay homage to our martyrs, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, who laid their lives for the freedom of our country at this place. The main subject of this katha would be the character of Jataayu in Shri Ram Charit Manas who also laid his life for protecting Ma Jaanaki. Jataayu’s character comes in Aranya Kand when Raavan is abducting Ma Sita and she cries for help. At that time, Jataayu hears her cries and tries to help her out- Seeta kai bilaap suni bhaari | Bhaye charaachar jeev dukhaari ||, Geedh-raaj suni aarat baani | Raghukul tilak naari pahichaani ||.

There are three types of cries – aalaap, vilaap and pralaap.

Aalaap is a sober form of cry, usually in musical notes sung by vocalists. It might sound good to some but not necessarily to everybody. Vilaap is the cry of an individual, usually coming out due to inner sorrow. It normally leads to the melting of the hearts of the listener. Pralaap is hue and cry about useless things. Avoid getting involved in such futile arguments or discussions. Question – It is said that God’s grace flows for all, then why can’t I experience it?
Bapu’s answer – Mud/soil cannot contain anything, but if a potter uses it and creates a pot from it, it gets transformed into a container. Similarly, a person may not be able to experience God’s grace; but if a Sadaguru treats him/her, he/she gains that receptivity to feel God’s grace. Katha/satsang helps a lot in forming the receptivity of the speaker as well as the listener. Sadaguru works on the aspirant’s mind with such an expertise that his spiritual journey becomes a reason of joy. The aspirant is not even worried about the destination; he/she finds saadhana (path of spiritual efforts) itself blissful.
When an aspirant’s inner-self (antah-karan) becomes absolutely pure with no trace of malignity, then whatever she/he aspires for materializes for sure.

Jataayu had four prominent features that are essential for an aspirant who wants to help others:

Aankh (eyes)- he had a sharp vision. Paankh (wings)- he used his actions to implement his vision. Chonch (beak)- he had a sound sense of discretion (ability to make responsible decisions) as to where to get involved and where to not. Saanch (truth)- he was sincere in his duty.
The one who decides to lay his life for others does not go by what the others say or do; he just does his own efforts with sincerity. Jataayu was full of such courage when he confronted Raavan.

Bapu says, “If you ask me personally, I would say that ‘Ram naam’ is the ultimate for me. All other spiritual efforts are also respectable, but for me there is nothing like ‘Ram naam’; it is the essence of all other efforts.”

“kaha angad bichaari mana maahin” – Angad says that Jataayu’s indeed blessed, but he says this after thinking well. An aspirant should think thrice before speaking anything. He describes Jataayu as ‘dhanya’. Dhanya means what? The one who lives in ‘dhan’ (wealth) can be called as dhanya, but dhan here refers to ‘Ram rattan dhan’ (wealth of Ram-naam ), ‘santosh-dhan’ (wealth of contentment) and ‘tapo-dhan’ (wealth of penance). Jataayu is the possessor of these three types of wealth, so he’s truly called dhanya.

“karma phal hai, kripa rasa hai.”- every action, leads to some kind of fruit and if the grace of God is experienced, then one can actually feel the ‘rasa’ (essence) of that fruit. But, an aspirant should be careful that there should not be any negative element such as hatred or jealousy in the mind, as they spoil the rasa of every fruit.

If you really want to be happy, never blame anyone for your problems, accept the problems as the will of God.

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Tulsidas jee says Angad and Hanuman jee are ‘badabhaagi’, who are fortunate enough to be in service of Bhagwan Ram. He calls Ahalya jee as ‘Atisaya- badabhaagi’ , who gets the blessing and grace of Bhagwan Ram and goes in the duty of her husband. But, Jataayu is called ‘Param- badabhaagi’ who leaves for the abode of The Lord instantly.

The characters of Shri Ram Charit Manas like – Bharadwaaj jee and Ma Parvati, doubted the existence of Lord in human form. But, they never doubted the one they asked. Bharadwaaj jee did not doubt Yagnavalkya jee and Ma Parvati did not doubt Bhagwaan Shankar. Never ever doubt your Sadaguru; doubt is a big hurdle of spiritual path.

Aranya Kand is predominantly highlighted by the element of illusion (maaya). Jayant, Raavan, Maareech, Ma Sita, all of them illusionary forms but it was only Jataayu who remained genuine and free of any illusionary forms.

Bhagwaan Ram lived the path of dignity (maryada), but at the same time he also showed that the life should not become dry with rules; rather it should be full of ‘rasa’, music, dance, joy and spontaneity. Dignity should not be harsh and should not make an individual heartless. It should not become a binding and snatch away the innocent joys of a person. In fact, Bhagwaan Ram generated ‘rasa’ (nectar of life) in the stone-turned Ahalya jee also. Shri Ram Charit Manas gives a new message everyday; it is an evergreen shastra.

Yesterday, it was said that even if you doubt the existence of the Lord, don’t doubt the speaker of the Lord’s katha. But, the speaker should also possess certain qualities according to shrimad Bhagwat. They are as follows.

Virakto – It is an inner state of detachment. The speaker should not be possessive of his own principles also; there should be complete detachment from any kind of reservations. Vaishnavo – It refers to large-heartedness of the speaker. Vipro – Speaker should be free of materialistic tendencies (vigat-prapanch). He should have a sense of discretion (vivek-pradhaan) and should be capable of fulfilling the listener with devotional feelings. Veda – shastra vishuddhi-krit- He should be able to convey the thoughts of Vedas and scriptures in a pure form with their actual sense intact. Drishtaant kushalo – A speaker should be able to support and simplify the principles with appropriate examples. Dheero – A speaker should be mentally balanced to contain the reactions of listeners. Nihspriho – He should not be fond of crowds.
If anyone criticizes someone else scornfully in front of you, and you can neither stop him nor close your ears, then the best thing to do is close your eyes. By closing your eyes you can prevent the negativity entering your life to an extent. Closing of eyes in favourable as well as unfavourable situations helps a person to Keep up mental peace. Ma Jaanaki uses this practice in Pushpa vatika ( after the first glimpse of Bhagwaan Ram)and also in Ashok Vatika (in the middle of demons).

If you have the provision of open space, the please sow the trees of Banyan (vada), mango (aam), paakari and peepal. These four will help in controlling environmental pollution. If an aspirant does some spiritual efforts under them, then he/she can also save oneself from mental pollution.

Bapu says, “Somebody told me that a great scholar calls life itself as the master (Sadaguru), but if I was asked I would say that my Sadaguru is my life.”

The two brothers Jataayu and Sampaati contributed with their calibers to help Bhagwaan Ram. Sampaati helped with his words in search of Ma Sita and Jataayu fought hard to save her from Raavan. The two birds give the message that one should use the calibre in the best possible way to serve Bhakti (devotion).

Question – People criticize a lot if I listen to katha. What to do?
Bapu’s answer – People’s reaction is natural; don’t expect anything exceptional from them. Practice silence (maun) in such circumstances. Just accept everything with silence and indifference; keep your focus on satsang.

Question – Does interaction with people create new debts according to karma philosophy?
Bapu’s answer – It’s hard to give one decision in this matter. Shri Ram Charit Manas says-‘Firat sadaa maaya kar prera | Kaal karm subhaav guna ghera||’. A human being is surrounded by four elements of kaal (time), karma (action), swabhaav (own nature) and guna (inclinations). But the doors of satsang provide solace in such tight surroundings. Let us discuss the four.
Kaal – It can refer to three things- time, change of seasons and death. All these are not in control of man. But, you can prevent their effects by cultivating tolerance or by using the available equipments in the best possible way. Karma – Action is upto you to decide. Positive actions come out of affection (raag) towards someone and negative actions are a result of hatred (dwesh). Action and its fruits lead to pain where our desire gets attached to it. Desire (kama) tries to place itself first in the senses (indriya), then in the mind (mana) and finally in the intellect (budhhi). Please beware of it! Swabhaav – Sometimes, the nature of a person becomes the primary reason of pain/ sorrowfulness. The nature can only improve with satsang. Guna – There are three inclinations of Satva, rajas and tamas. They should be practiced in accordance with the time, space and situation. For example – In a temple, one should be saatvik (calm and serene), at work one should be rajasik (in action).

If the wrong guna is used contrary to the need of the situation, then it may lead to problems.
The above listed four can become supportive if a person follows satsang. Satsang/katha helps a lot in freeing oneself from the negative repercussions of the above four.

Jataayu’s wings were chopped in the dual with Raavan, but he had two qualities of humbleness and eagerness in his eyes. These two helped him reach the Almighty.

The qualities of a katha listener are showed by Ma Parvati when she goes to Bhagwaan Shankar for katha – ‘Paarbati bhal avasaru jaani | Gayi sambhu pahin maatu bhavaani ||’. When all the circumstances are favourable, don’t miss going to katha. Listen with the mentality of a woman as women are naturally blessed with faith (shradhha), forgiveness (kshama) and acceptance (sweekriti). Don’t cross your limit of dignity. Take care that your questions are not borne out of unnecessary reasoning but faith.

Question – if the creatures’ life (jeev) is subject to ‘karma’ (action and its fruits), then what is the basis for the creator. Does any rule apply to him?
Bapu’s answer – the Lord is constrained only by kripa (grace). And this kripa is based on the humbleness (deenata) of an aspirant. Kripa is extremely sensitive in nature; it shies away if it witnesses negative elements like hatred, jealousy and scorn in aspirant’s life. Kripa also gets withdrawn when the aspirant does not live according to what he says (if there’s no coordination between speech and action of aspirant).

According to Shrimad Bhagwat, an aspirant is unable to experience the grace of God if he/she is not ready to leave ‘maatsarya’ (envy). Maatsarya is a strong feeling of competing and defeating the contemporary people in every field. But, when this feeling of envy enters in the spiritual path of an aspirant, his bhajan becomes weak and he’s unable to feel the divine grace. So, please be very careful of feeling of competition, always remember that spirituality is a path of faith in the Lord and not of racing with people around you.

There are some experiences that indicate that the Sadaguru/Lord is coming closer to you.

Khushbu (fragrance). Paraag (pollen). Makrand (nectar of flower). Rasa (essence). Anuraag (devotion). Jhaanki (a faint glimpse of the Lord). Sannikata (Close encounter). Sira par haath (when the Lord blesses with hand on the head). Nirvaan/Bhagawata (aspirant feels freedom from every sorrow, only bliss remains in life)
Question – what is the difference between prem and kripa?
Bapu’s answer – Usually, prem (love) is offered by the aspirant towards the beloved Lord and kripa (grace) is bestowed by the Lord upon the aspirant.

Please try and avoid negative feelings (durbhaav) towards anybody. But avoid especially keeping negative feelings, even towards enemy, during certain times of day – morning, bed-time, at the time of eating food and at the time of bhajan. The negative feelings pollute the inner self (antah-karan) and prevent the grace of God from being felt and digested in life.

If you get negative feelings toward anybody, then just do one mala at that moment for the welfare of that person. Pray heartily for that person; this is true spirituality.

There are 3 types of hindrances in bhajan:

Taamasi baadha – At the time of bhajan, when an aspirant experiences feeling of revenge or insulting anybody, it is taamasi badha. Raajasi baadha – When an aspirant wants to be called as religious and wants to be known for his good deeds, it is raajasi baadha in bhajan. Saatviki baadha – At the time of bhajan, an aspirant gets stuck to a sutra, a shastra or even remembering some good person, it is saatviki baadha.
The remembrance of sadaguru is not considered as a hindrance; it is rather an auspicious to occur during bhajan.

The person who makes a soft spot in the heart of an enemy also, is said to be living in salvation (jeevan-mukta). Khalil Gibran has described salvation in the following ways:

“When all my sheep gather at a safe place at the right time is salvation.” Here sheep refers to the senses that rest in peace. “Salvation is like a sound sleep of a child, where child is the mind that becomes calm and tranquil.” “Salvation is the remembrance of the last verse of my poetry”. It means that there is permanent remembrance of the gist of a shastra.

Today, the family of Shaheed Bhagat Singh came for RamKatha. Bapu expressed his regards and best wishes for families of all the martyrs who have laid their lives for the nation. He also conveyed his good wishes to everyone on the occasion of Holi festival.

Human beings can be classified as following types:

Khanij maanav – A person who is always focused on acquiring material goods from wherever possible just like people are on a look out for metal from mines. Vanaspati maanav – a person who takes inspiration from plants and trees. Jal/pravaahi maanav – a person who does not lead a stagnant life’ he reaches out to people. Chandra maanav – a person who soothes others with his serenity. Pashu maanav – a person who has some understanding with intellect. Vaanar maanav – a person who is loyal to the master just like Angad, Nal-Neel etc. Nar maanav – a person who is educated, thoughtful and compassionate for humanity. Naaraayan maanav – when the Lord comes in the form of human being.
At the end of his life, Jataayu transformed into Naarayan maanav, the ultimate for any creature.

Jataayu did ‘stuti’ (prayer in praise) of Bhagwaan Ram in four stanzas. The four stanzas represent the four elements of the Lord in human form:

The first stanza is for the ‘roop’ (form/ physical appearance) of Bhagwaan Ram. When an aspirant meditates on roop of the Lord, he gradually moves towards the realization of one’s own actual inner form (swaroop). The second stanza is about the holy name ‘Ram naam’. The remembrance of the name of the Lord frees the aspirant from the cycle of rebirth.The third stanza indicates about the divine works of Bhagwaan Ram (leela). The leela of the Lord becomes a source of inspiration for aspirant’s conduct.The fourth stanza is about the ‘dhaam’, the abode of the Lord. An aspirant thinks about the abode and then aspires to build his heart as the Lord’s abode in himself.

Question – If you don’t consider anyone as your shishya, then whom do we accept as our sadaguru?
Bapu’s answer – I have no shishya nor any group; the whole world is my family as I believe in ‘Vasudhaiv kutumbkam”. If you really want a Sadaguru, you can accept Shri Ram Charit Manas or Hanuman jee as your Sadaguru. They would not ask for anything but will eliminate your fears and doubts. A Sadaguru works on the mind of an aspirant and washes away the faults; his work in not just about giving a rosary or deeksha.

Question – It is seen that you don’t force anyone for anything, there is no aagraha from you?
Bapu’s answer – I think forcing anyone for anything (keeping an aagraha) is a kind of mental violence. If asked, I would say here is that if you can keep your surroundings/environment clean (baahari swachhata) and inner-self pure (bheetari pavitrata).
Every individual should be given freedom to grow with inherent qualities. Restrain yourself from finding faults with others. Never blame others for your problems. If you try to blame others or even exploit others for your good, then just understand that you have lost consciousness (behosh).

RamKatha never finishes; it actually finishes those who are committed to it! It destroys the faults and prejudices of the devotee. A story gets over with time but katha is eternal-‘ Hari anant hari katha ananta…’

“Ramahi sumiriya gaaiya ramahi | Santat suniya ram guna graamahi ||”

The chaupai prescribes the saadhan (efforts of spiritual field) for Kaliyuga, the present times.
Sumiriya – Remembrance of God is the best yagya.
Gaaiya – Reciting/singing the glory of the Almighty is a form of charity (daan). Singing out of devotion removes the pollution from the environment.
Suniya – Going for katha, managing in whatever resources is penance (tapa) for listeners.
The above three sutras also connote – satya, prem and karuna.

Remembrance of God is the ultimate truth/satya (Sata hari bhajan jagat sab sapna..), singing for God comes out of love/prem and listening to katha happens only with God’s grace/karuna.

Question – There have been various descriptions of ‘Ram’. Is Ram one or many?
Bapu’s answer – There’s only one Ram, the supreme power. But like one sun has different reflections in different containers, the projections of Ram takes place in every heart according to one’s nature and interest.

Question – How do we appease Hanuman jee?
Bapu’s answer – The best way to make Hanuman jee happy is to recite RamKatha for him with total faith and devotion.

“Paai na kehin gati patit paavan ram bhaji sunu satth manaa|

Ganika ajaamil byaadh geedh gajaadi khal taarey Ghana ||”- Tulsidas jee says that RamKatha worked for the most down-trodden people also. But, for people like us, we have the inclinations of such people, RamKatha can work for us in removing those negativities. ‘Ganika’ is our corrupt intellect, ‘Ajaamil’ is our unhealthy mind, ‘Byaadh’ is our egoistic hunting tendency, ‘Geedh’ is our hypocrisy when the show is of goodness and the thoughts are demeaning, ‘Gajaadi’ is our intoxicated state due to arrogance- all these inclinations are treated by RamKatha effectively.

Baal Kaand – Doha 360 and Ayodhya Kaand – Doha 120
Naath sakal sampada tumhaari | Main sevaku samet sut naari ||
Naath aaju main kaah na paava | Mitey doshe dukh daarid daava ||

Dashrath Jee says to Vishwamitr jee, “My Lord all that I have is yours, I and my sons and my wives are your servants.
“Lord”, Kevat cried and said to Bhagwan Ram, “What have I not already received this day ? The fire of my sins, sorrows and indigence (poverty) has been extinguished” !

On the commencement of this katha, Bapu began by saying that In this holy place of Nathdwara, my pranaam to Bhagwaan Shrinaath jee and all my listeners on the occasion of the new Vikram samvat year.

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, the first chaupai of this katha is by a King (Dashrath jee) when he went to see off Sage Vishwamitra after the wedding of Bhagwaan Ram and Ma Sita. Whereas the second chaupai of this katha is spoken by a modest person (kevat) in an expression for Bhagwaan Ram’s grace towards him. These two chaupais can indicate an aspirant as to how to behave with a saint and the Lord.

An aspirant should try not to complain to God but rather express his gratitude for whatever he’s been bestowed upon. In the times of adversity, if an individual gives more importance to the trouble then it means that he/she is making the grace of God smaller than the trouble. Rather, in such times it is better for an individual to consider his Lord and his grace greatest of all and lessen the weight of the trouble.

Shri Ram Charit Manas is a great scripture; its presence around also can give a lot of strength to a person. Just like when a person has a good sum of money, he feels confident and fearless. If a bundle of paper currency can make a difference to a person’s psyche, it is obvious that a scripture like Shri Ram Charit Manas can work wonders for him! Similarly, your mala (rosary) can be a tremendous source of strength as it is continually attached to the remembrance of the Almighty.

The seven kaand of Shri Ram Charit Manas convey a certain message and if an individual tries and implements those in life, it is equivalent to doing the paatth of Manas. The seven messages are as follows.

Bal kand preaches that one should never ever be proud of own bhajan. If one is not careful about that, then he might face a downfall like Naarad jee faced when he got arrogant about his samaadhi. Ego is the root of all faults, so an aspirant should be extremely careful and be a like a child (free of false pride). Ayodhya Kand teaches that one should not have any ill feeling towards anybody. Kaikeyi jee indulged in ill feeling, so neither she was happy nor anyone else. Aranya Kand shows us the path to sacrifice like Jataayu and not capture like Raavan. In Kishkindha Kand, Tulsidas jee indicates that one should try and be free of hypocrisy like Baali. In Sunder Kand, Hanuman jee took a leap towards Lanka in the search of Ma Jaanaki. One can learn from this that the caliber should be always used to help others. Lanka Kand is all about ‘Setubandh’, i.e. building bridges between sects, communities, races etc. One should try and create harmony in own surroundings. Uttar Kand makes a person gradually progress towards the ultimate peace through the spiritual path.
If a person is able to sincerely implement the above sutras in life, he/she can be said to be living Shri Ram Charit Manas in daily life, in spite of not doing paatth of it.

Bapu began today’s katha saying that the subject of ‘Nav-naath’ can be seen from three aspects.

The nine forms of Bhagwaan Krishna as ‘naath’.
The nine characters of Shri Ram Charit Manas who are addressed as ‘naath’.
The worship tradition of ‘naath’ sect with its lineage of nine heads.
Let us first discuss the term ‘nav-naath’. The digit 9 (nav) is a considered to be a whole number as well as a digit connoting a vacuum.

In Sanskrit vocabulary, the word ‘naath’ refers to following four meanings:

Yaachana (to ask for) – an aspirant should resist from asking for anything from anybody, but if that does not seem possible, then ask only from the Almighty (naath). Tulsidas jee says in Vinay patrika-‘ Jaanchiye girija pati kaasi..’ indicating that only your Lord can fulfill your wishes; it is useless to ask from anybody else.

Aishwarya (fortune) – Never ask for fortunes from God. An aspirant should rather ask for God from God (naath), fortune would follow automatically! In our Neeti shastras, it is said that the one who desires only God from God is a Mahatma.

Uptaap – Naath is also referred to a person who uses the path of penance (tapa) to destroy all the faults.

Aashirwaad – A blessing can work for a person as the caretaker.

‘Naath’ in the common language means a master or a subject of respect and love (naath is also said for swami, prabhu, pati, guru).

In Rig Veda’s 10th Mandal, there’s an indication of ‘naath’. The Rishi says that it’s only the Master (naath) who can answer the questions like why, where, how this creation came into being.

In ‘Tantra shastra’, Lord Shrinaath is described as the one who is capable of granting salvation i.e. freedom from worries and anxieties, the one who takes a person towards self-realization and the one who stops the expanse of ignorance. But, it is to be noted here that Bhagwaan Shrinaath jee can stop the expanse of ignorance, but it is only the Sadaguru who can destroy the roots of ignorance in the aspirant. Bapu says, ‘I strongly have faith in the fact that it is only because of Lord’s grace that an individual reaches gets a Sadaguru.’

Let us see who are the nine naath in Shri Ram Charit Manas:

Mahadev- Biswa-naath mum naath puraari | Tribhuvan mahima bidit tumhaari || Bhagwaan Ram – Daani siromani kripa-nidhi naath kahaun satibhaau| Vishwamitra jee – Naath lakhan pur dekhan chahahin | Prabhu sakoche dar pragat na kahahin || Yaagyavalkya jee – Naath ek sansau bada morein | Karagat beda-tatva sabu torein || Bharadwaaj jee – Ram saprem kaheu muni paahin | Naath kahiya hum kehi maga jaahin || Parshuram jee – Naath sambhu-dhanu bhanjanihaara | Hoihi keu ek daas tumhaara || Bharat jee – Suni saprem samujhaav nishaadu | Naath kariya kata baadi bishaadu || Kumbhaj Muni – Naath kosala-dhees Kumaara | Aaye milan jagat aadhaara || Kaag Bhushundi jee – Naath kahahu kehi kaaran paayau kaak sareer |
Now, let us just list the nine forms of Bhagwaan Krishna as ‘naath’.

Shrinaath. Vraj-naath. Gopi-naath. Surat-naath. Lok-naath. Kaaliya-naath. Draupadi-naath. Arjun-naath. Dwarka-naath.
There has been a tradition of ‘Gorakh naath’ where the original deity is Bhagwaan Shankar considered as ‘Aadi-naath’ and then nine saints who come in the ‘naath’ school of worship propagated it.

A Sadaguru is an ocean of grace (kripa-sindhu) from where a disciple can attain innumerable precious elements. Many people say that they are like dust of their Sadaguru’s feet. Such people should take care that they don’t create in malignity in others’ eyes and rather should try to purify their vision.

Bapu says, ‘Recently, a sanyasi asked me if one can have a glimpse of God in the outer forms just like in inner self. I said yes, one definitely could. But, I have never desired for Lord’s glimpse, I see him in his every creation. For me, my Sadaguru is more than enough.’

For a dedicated shishya, his Sadaguru is everything. A Sadaguru reaches to aspirant through his spiritual being (chetna), if not physically. When there is not a point of hole in shishya’s bag of faith, only then he would be able to absorb Sadaguru’s grace in the right manner. Even a minutest doubt can hamper his spiritual journey.

Some scholars have defined ‘Naath’ as ‘Na + Atha’, meaning the thing that does not have any end and thus does not have any beginning also. The naath sect has an age-old tradition but there has been a supposed allegation on it that it propagated Yoga and denounced the path of devotion (bhakti). But this allegation does not hold any weight, as any spiritually aware person would never criticize devotional means of worship. Gorakh nath had said, ‘Hansiba kheliba dhariba dhyaanam..’- A spiritual person should meditate but not at the cost of his joy and innocence. This statement clearly indicates that the naath sect endorses the path of devotion, which is full of joy. Spirituality should not make an aspirant grave and sad; but he/she should be full of delight and be able to enjoy dance and music. Bapu says, “I feel that ‘To smile’ should be added to the ten characteristics of Dharma as the eleventh one.” Mira is a good example; she showed to world that a fully spiritually aware person is full of joy, music and dance.

Meditation should not be dreary; it should have an element of ‘rasa’. The more a person is quiet and peaceful from inside, the more is he joyful; he would sing and smile. Like in a sea, there’s depth and stillness inside it, but there are waves in its outer appearance. Similarly, inner peace and tranquility in a human being creates waves of joy around the person. Meditation is not just about a still body; it is actually about having a still mind.

Bapu says, “Gorakh naath is in tune with the thoughts of my Vyas-peetth. If the subject does not complement my Vyas-peetth, then my pothi only does not allow it to be discussed from here. I have total faith on my pothi (Shri Ram Charit Manas).”

Naath sect has a ceremonial ritual of piercing ears, which connotes that an aspirant’s ear bloom and flower with the words of Sadaguru.

Bapu said, “I would request all my listeners to be very careful about not getting prejudiced about any person, place, thing or situation. As once the knot (granthi) is formed in mind, it becomes very difficult to unfold it. It can last forever and can spoil the journey of life”.

The founder of ‘Naath’ tradition was Matsyendra naath. Let us have a brief glimpse of his life. There’s ambiguity about his life history as there are many opinions about it. But, it is said that he was named Vishnu Sharma in the childhood and he attained knowledge from Bhagwaan Shankar. Once, he went to a forest but got enticed by the womenfolk living there. His disciple, Gorakh naath was informed about this. Gorakh took a form of a dancer and went to the place where his Guru was. He alerted his guru and helped in regaining his awareness.

The significance of this story can be summarized in saying that the Sadaguru and his actions are not comprehensible for everybody. This kind of behaviour may be just to show that a person can become aware even while living in the middle of the world. Or it can also be ascertained that a shishya can overtake a Sadaguru and in such a case, the Sadaguru should be proud of his shishya.

Question – How do we establish faith in God?
Bapu’s answer – Try and know your subject of worship. Unless you understand and know your deity, you wont be able to put faith in him.

Let us discuss today, one of the ‘naath’ forms of Bhagwaan Krishna i.e. Vraj naath. The literal meaning of the name is ‘the head of the Vraj kshetra’. But, ‘vraj’ also means movement (gati). Bhagwaan Krishna is the propagator of movement and not stillness. Movement leads to innovations and creates novelty. An individual should get up as a new person every morning. An aspirant should always aspire to move forward in his spiritual journey and the Lord takes further care. For instance, when an aspirant decides to do ‘japa’, then the Lord pulls him towards himself and also gives the necessary push for forward journey as such. Even the resolution to do japa comes from the inspiration of the Lord only.

Bhagwaan Krishna carries the ‘Sudarshan chakra’ representing constant momentum. Indian culture has witnessed three main charkas:

Sudarshan chakra (represents truth) Ashok chakra (Denoting the win of love over hatred) Yerawada chakra of Gandhi jee (gives the message of compassion).
Movement of sudarshan chakra indicates three types of movements that Bhagwaan Krishna brought about in society.

Go-gati – Bhagwaan Krishna took care of cows in a big way. But it also means that he used his senses (‘go’ means indriyas/senses) for bringing about positive movements. To watch, hear, talk, walk or hold auspicious elements is the movement of senses. Golok-gati – Bhagwaan Krishna took utmost care of his surroundings. To keep the environment free of pollution and to use the resources in the right manner is ‘golok-gati’. Govardhan–gati – Bhagwaan Krishna gave shelter to everyone under the Govardhan mountain. To be large-hearted and helpful to others is the ‘govardhan-gati’ for aspirants.
Once Gopichand asked Jalandhar naath (second saint of naath tradition) some questions and got the following responses.

What to do when desires disturb me when I’m in the middle of people?- Controlled and pure (saatvik) diet can help in reducing the desires. Yoga endorses balanced diet. What to do when hunger disturbs in a forest?- Practise pranayam. What to when delusion (maaya) disturbs in a hut (kutiya)?- Chant the ‘naad’ (Omkaar) or Harinaam. What to do disease gets on me when I eat sweets?- With the help of Guru kripa, try to create a harmony between the mind and air in the body.
In Mahabharat, there are reasons mentioned that become a reason for friction in the society. They are – woman (when there’s an insult to a woman’s prestige or she speaks harsh words on some occasion), Money, Negative speech, Enemy and Crime.

If any poetry, music, dance or a statement touches your soul (not just the the mind or heart) , then just understand that there’s truth behind it. Soul can
only be touched by truth.

The whole creation is a form of God only; it is not for condemning, but for celebrating. Never insult anyone; it is an insult to the Almighty.

Bapu says,“we can see the darkness, but we can not see in the darkness. We can see the creation but we are unable to see the creator.”

An aspirant should never get arrogant about his spiritual stage as downfall can occur at any point of time. It is only the God’s grace that saves an aspirant from the attacks of anger, greed and desire. Aspirant’s efforts are limited and they are extremely prone to ego and false pride; therefore, just take refuge in the grace of the Lord and never take it for granted. Ego is in constant search of a vehicle to reach out to you and capture you any moment.

Question – In the two main chaupais of this katha, the word ‘main’ occurs at different points. In the first chaupai, it is used in the second half of chaupai and in the next chaupai, it is used in the first half. Is there any particular reason behind it?
Bapu’s answer – Shri Ram Charit Manas has not just been written by ink on paper, it has come as a blessing or voice of the supreme power and Tulsidas jee became a medium in putting it across the world. In the first chaupai, Dasarath jee is surrendering in the feet of Rishi Vishwamitra, so his ‘main’/ego is at the back. When an aspirant surrenders in the feet of his Sadaguru, he should let go his ego; surrender is not successful if done with an egoist attitude. In the second chaupai, Kevat is conveying his gratitude; in expressing the thankfulness, an aspirant should be the first one to feel that this kind of grace has not been bestowed upon anyone else.

Question – How do we save ourselves from ego?
Bapu’s answer – An aspirant should be constantly aware and alert in this regard. But, it is only the God’s grace that can save a person totally from ego.
Do not compare anyone with yourself. Just think over and then you will realize that God has been extremely kind in showering the grace on you. Every individual, on a personal level, should think that isn’t it true that God has given more than one deserved. Comparison leads to mental complex.

In the worst of adversities, if you can sustain your faith, you can move above the troubles. Total faith is a big strength for an aspirant.

In the ‘naath’ tradition, Gahini naath was a saint who defined the sutras of devotion with the reference to Yoga. But on the other hand, Gorakh naath defined the yoga sutras with a devotional approach. He said, “ Mana main rahina, bheda na kahina, boliba amrit baani, aagili agini hoiba avadhu, aapan hoiba paani.”

‘Mana main rahina’ – If one is able to station himself in his own mind, he can easily become a saadhu. This is possible if one does not indulge in analyzing the minds of others.

‘Bheda na kahina’ – An aspirant need not share the experiences of his spiritual journey with everyone; just share them with your Sadaguru. Tulsidas jee says,‘Joge juguti tapa mantra prabhaau | Falayi tabahin jab kariya duraau ||.’ Yoga practices, strategies, penance and mantra chanting lose their charm and strength if they are shared with others.

‘Boliba amrit baani’ – Avoid the use of harsh words even if you are true.

‘Aagili agini hoiba avadhu, aapan hoiba paani’ – In the situation where the other person burns in the heat of anger, an aspirant should use the water of composure to make him at ease.

Bhagwaan Krishna as ‘Gopinaath’ can also been seen in the context of the above sutras of Gorakh naath. Bhagwaan Krishna was given allegations in the things that he wasn’t involved in. In those circumstances also he never retaliated, he maintained the composure of mind. He went through a lot of unpleasant episodes as human being, but he never complained. He kept his intentions and feelings to himself. His speech was so inspiring that anyone could regain the lost confidence; the biggest example is his Bhagwad Gita. He listened to blasphemous language by Shishupaal etc. but never retaliated.

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Sage Yagyavalkya and Bharadwaaj Jee both are addressed as ‘naath’. Bharadwaaj jee is such a naath who does penance but is non-aggressive; he maintains calmness. He has control over his senses with discretion and he is well aware of the path of salvation (paramaarth).

King Bhartrihari jee has also has been a follower of the ‘naath’ tradition. He experienced extreme disappointment in his life in the relationship with his queen, Pingala. He got inspiration from Gorakh naath and took on the path of detachment. His whole focus was on Vairaagya (dispassion). Gorakh naath’s instructions were-

Do not speak without thinking. Walk carefully so that you don’t hurt anyone. Don’t be arrogant about your achievements. Live according to your nature (sahaj). Saadhana should also be done in a comfortable manner, as without a healthy body, it cannot proceed. For instance when you do japa, sit in a comfortable posture.
After practicing the above instructions and spending twelve years on the ‘naath’ path, Bhartrihari was sent by Gorakh naath to his palace and ask for alms from Pingala considering her as a mother figure.

Mahabharat says that following people should be got away with just like a broken boat is disposed off as it is unsuitable to go ashore:

King who does not take care of his people. Religious leader who does not show the right path. Woman with malign intentions and behaviour. Brahmin who turns away from shastras and misuses them. Cowboy who is not ready to go to forest. Barber who is not ready to leave forest. Question – We’ve heard that the one who follows religion has a respectable end where as a non-religious person does not have so. Is it true?
Bapu’s answer – It is not like that. One should try to follow the religion and try to be righteous, but it does not guarantee a peaceful end. Eg. In Mahabharat, it is understandable that Duryodhan, Dhritrashtra etc. did not have an ideal end. But it is also seen that people who followed religion did not have necessarily have a good end too. Pandavas, Bheeshma and Vidur were on the side of religion but still did not have an ideal end. The end actually depends on the decision of the supreme power. The end is not the certificate of being religious. But, if a person chants Harinaam in the end, it surely is most auspicious. Harinaam is the greatest of all saadhan (spiritual efforts). Try to increase your bhajan/sumiran even if you are full of faults or vices. For instance, Dasharath jee chanted Ram naam in the end and attained the ultimate fruit of life and death.
Even if the Sadaguru is not physically around, his inspiration can reach an aspirant in any form, provided he’s receptive.

An aspirant should try to satisfy the people around him with his best efforts. Doing bhajan does not give you a license to be indifferent to the family and surroundings. Also, don’t create enmity with anyone; rather try to be as helpful as possible according to your caliber.

In the ‘Naath’ tradition came, “kanipa naath.’ His thought was mainly based on Dhyaan/meditation. He said that meditation could be in the form of aspirant’s mind, speech and intellect being in union with the supreme power continually.

Katha is such a distinctive medium that it incorporates all the paths of spirituality in some way or the other. It is an ‘all in one’ saadhan!

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Sage Vishwamitra is referred to as Maha-muni. But, he says that he needs Bhagwaan Ram as his ‘naath’ as without him all the achievements are worthless – ‘Anuj samet dehu raghunaatha | Nisichar badh main hobe sanaatha ||’. But it is seen that once, he gets the company of Bhagwaan Ram, he becomes the naath himself – ‘Naath lakhan pur dekhan chahahin | Prabhu sakoche dar pragat na kahahin||’.

Bapu says, ‘My Vyas-peetth sees a person as naath, who has following traits.”

The one who is fearless (abhaya) – a person can be fearless if there are no desires and pretensions (hypocrisy). The best way to attain fearlessness is to constantly be aware of the fact that the Lord is within me. Hanuman jee is totally free of fear as he’s in constant union with Ram naam. The one who is not pompous about his fearlessness. Hanuman jee always credited his success to the grace of Bhagwaan Ram. The one who does not indulge in scornfulness (ninda). The one who follows the ‘ashram-vyavastha’ (four spheres of a human being’s life) with discretion. The one who is free of hypocrisy and has a transparent personality – Hanuman jee took various forms, but they were only for ‘leela’ purpose. The one who is continually involved in the study of scripture, reciting it or thinking about his beloved deity. Even if you have a scripture by heart, still pay respect to it by reading some part of it daily. The one who is joyful. The one who does not give his opinion about others. A spiritually inclined person should use his discretion in choosing his company, but should never give personal opinion about others. The one who does not have an ideal. He/she should move ahead in life maintaining originality.
Hanuman jee is a unique persona, who can be considered an ultimate ‘naath’ but still is beyond every ‘naath’.

Question – You say that your listeners are not your shishyas, then whose responsibility is for your listeners’ spiritual progress?
Bapu’s answer – If any individual is totally committed to one Vyas-peetth only, then it automatically becomes the responsibility of the speaker to take care of his/her spiritual journey. But, if the listener is not committed to one speaker, then it is his own responsibility. It all depends on the loyalty of the listener towards the speaker. If the commitment is absolute, the speaker has to take care of the listener; he cannot escape this responsibility.
The difference between ahankaar (ego) and abhimaan (arrogance) is that ego may come in a person genetically and so it remains deep inside an individual. Whereas, arrogance may be situational, it lasts temporarily; it may come and go with time.

According to Sage Manu, following five places are worthy of respect in their ascending order:
Vittam – The wealth that is used for welfare of others and cannot be counted is Lakshmi. Such Lakshmi should be respected. Bandhu – The relationship with your kith and kin should be respectful. Vayah – The elderly should be respected in spite of having difference of views with them. The youth should serve the elderly as their blessings may bestow good age, knowledge, fame and strength. Karma – Good deeds should always be given due regard. Vidya – Knowledge should be given utmost respect. Question – You don’t pay much significance to vice-virtue (paap-punya) thought in the spiritual journey. What are the vices in practical life according to you?
Bapu’s answer – I think the following vices should be avoided. They are the worst vices of the present times.
Stree-ninda – Never abuse a woman; wherever a woman is insulted, there cannot be true happiness.
Gareeb ki upeksha – Never be rude to the poor/needy. If you want inner peace , respect every human being. Insulting a poor person is a form of violence. Asahaj jeevan – Living against your nature is nothing but hypocrisy. The more unpretentious you are, the more religious you are. Dwesh karna – Bearing ill-feeling towards others is a vice. Abhorrence towards people can have a long lasting negative effect on the society. Bhajan mein bhang karna – creating hindrances in others’ spiritual path should be forbidden. Never criticize anybody’s path of worship. Even if you are involved in social service, don’t ignore bhajan.
A ‘naath’ could be the person/place or element for which you become willing to surrender yourself completely. And also who is capable of fulfilling your life in every way.

In the ‘Naath’ tradition, came ‘Charpati naath’; he was a propagator of ‘rasa’. He was once asked that what would be the greatest fruit of life. He answered that surrendering everything in the feet of Mahadev is the ultimate fruit of life.

Another saint was ‘Gopichand naath’. He took the resolution in front of his mother, Maina that until he attained total self-realization, he would not return back home.

Question – Can you explain ‘prem’ in detail?
Bapu’s answer – It is difficult to explain it in detail, but I can spread it amongst people! Love is flower that can bloom anywhere, for anyone, at anytime; there can never be restrictions on love. Khalil Gibran professed some things about love, as the supreme element (prem devata). He said the following things:
Follow the path that the prem devata indicates. When prem devata spreads its wings, just surrender to it. Follow the words of prem devata with faith. Prem is such that it takes all and gives all; it exists in absoluteness and not in pieces.
Question – It is said that olden times were better than today. What can you say about that?
Bapu’s answer – There have been good things and bad things in the past as well as in the present. It actually depends on the individual as to how to live and extract the best from both. One should not waste the present in doing the postmortem of the past.

Question – If a good end is not guaranteed by righteous living, then why to follow religion?
Bapu’s answer – Do not worry about the end. Following the religion is helpful for living a healthy life. Religion saves an individual from mal practices to some extent.

Bapu began today’s katha by conveying greetings to everybody on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti and Dev-Diwali.

Two of ‘Nav-naath’ are ‘Revani naath’ and ‘Naag naath’. Revani naath was mainly involved in social service and opposed the superstitious activities in the society. He aimed at creating gender and caste equality amongst people. He spent a long time of his life in Girnar.

Naag naath believed in ‘maun’ (silence). He said that words complicate the matters. Rishi Kumbhaj is a ‘naath’ in Shri Ram Charit Manas. He drank up the ocean, terminated the growth of Vindhyachal mountain and Bhagwaan Ram came to meet him on his own. These incidents indicate the characters of naath- ‘naath’ can be the one who is capable of digesting the ups and downs of life, stopping the strong flow of desires and for whom the Lord becomes a guest out of choice.
Bharat jee and Kaag Bhushundi jee are also naath of Shri Ram Charit Manas.

Question – There have been various discussions about the characters of ‘naath’ in this katha. Are there any sutras that can make us instill some part of ‘naath’ in ourselves?
Bapu’s answer – It is a good aspiration to inculcate the characters of naath in yourself, but it is more important to make sure that you don’t remain ‘anaath’ (without a master). Even if you adopt a single sutra of katha, it can become your guide and you become ‘sanaath’ (sheltered by master). One can take inspiration from ‘naath’, but it is not an easy task to become one. But if you want become ‘sanaath’, just take care of following factors:
Life – Respect your life and see its positive aspects. Live – one should learn to live every moment in the best way. The more you try to escape from troubles, the more they come to bother you. Face every situation with courage. Love – Live with love for all; don’t breed ill feelings towards anyone. Learn – Always be ready to learn more. Keep an open mind and accept the truth from wherever possible. Leave – Try to sacrifice for others. Youth should make a resolution of donating something to others everyday. Donating may not only be in the form of money or a thing but it can also be in the form of a smile, a good thought or a consolation. Every individual should donate 10% of his money for welfare of others.Laugh – Be joyful and keep smiling.
Sadaguru is not a shikshak (teacher); he is a chikitsak (physician). Teacher can explain or give knowledge about your problem, but Sadaguru is the one who gives treatment to you. Bapu says, “I’m not your vitta mantri (finance minister), but I’m your chitta mantri (manager of the mind). My vyas gaadi has been working on the minds of many people.”

Let us offer the fruit of virtue of this katha in the feet of Bhagwaan Shrinaath jee…Haraye namah..Haraye namah..Haraye namah..

Ayodhya Kaand – Doha 28, Uttar Kaand – Doha 49 and Ayodhya Kaand – Doha 269
Satya-mool sab sukrit suhaaye | Beda puraan bidit manu gaaye ||
Prem bhagati jal binu raghuraai | Abhiyantar mal kabahun na jaai ||
Jehi bidhi prabhu prasann mana hoi | Karuna-saagar keejiya soi ||
Truth is the root of the all noble virtues as the vedas and puranas declare and as stated by Manu (the first law giver of the world, the author of manusmiriti).
So, Raghunaath, only by cleansing with the water of love and faith can the impurity accumulated within be washed away. O ocean of compassion, do whatever is most pleasing to yourself.

Bapu began with his characteristic grace and humbleness offering felicitations to his visible and invisible audience and made a special reference to the message sent by Prime Minister Tony Blair and to the area MP Right Honarble. Keith Vaz who brought that message.

Bapu then by a common consensus chose Satya (Truth) Prem (Love) and Karuna (Compassion) as the major themes for his Katha and all the three will be the specific angles from which he would discuss and explain Shree Ram Charit Manas on this occasion.

Bapu discussed that Truth, Love and Compassion are eternal, age old values; the principles that have been the base of many philosophical thoughts. Bapu clarified that he does not want to impose his ideas and his opinions and is offering them for discussion and understanding and we are free to differ from him. Ram Katha is a process of thinking and clarity of thoughts.

Bapu says the three values (Truth, Love, Compassion) are intertwined – these qualities and virtues are found in the characters of Bhagwaan Ram, Bharat Ji and Ma Sita in all of them, but Bhagwaan Ram predominantly represents truth, Bharat is mainly an embodiment of love while Ma Janaki is the personification of compassion.

Bapu explained life of Jalaram Bapa and discussed that Bapa’s activities were inspired by all these virtues in modern times. While Bapa was extremely truthful in all his dealings and doings, he concentrated on feeding the hungry, which is an act of love because only love can sustain such a practice for long. His wife Virbai, out of unbound compassion or karuna joined him and supported his activities.

Satya says Tulsidas is the root of every thing good. A root out of which good actions (Sukrit) develop. Prem-bhakti/ devotion full of love (Prem bhagati jal binu raghuraai | Abhiyantar mal kabahun na jaai ) is like nourishing water which is used to nourish the roots of truth and as a result huge shady tree of karuna grows. The tree that grows so fast offering shelter to birds, food to the animals and shade to humans. Satya, Prem and Karuna are complimentary to one another and would balance the life of an individual and make the nations prosperous and benevolent.

Bapu says that his intention is not to preach (Upadesh) or issue orders (Aadesh) to anyone. Bapu says he is just trying to spread the message (Sandesh) of Tulsidas jee and would bring the message of Shree Ram Charit Manas as a postman brings the letters. Bapu says that his purpose is to explain according to Shree Ram Charit Manas, which has been the major, the most important and the most authentic scripture for him. Bapu says his source of inspiration has derived the conception of the trinity of Truth, Love and Compassion.

Spiritual field is an area that has neither victory nor defeat but each factor and phenomenon is just in the nature of things, only a being: just as it is, it exists. Bapu does not feel comfortable with the Bhagwaan Ram carrying a weapon even after Ramrajya was established. Ramrajya is a domain of love and an abode of peace. Why does anybody need weapons in such a polity after Ramrajya is achieved and established? Bapu says that mankind has been using violence for millions of years and is still using it to spread destruction and terror. Let us give up weapons (shashtras) and give a chance to shaastras or ethical values and activities.

Bapu described that Manas consists of seven sopans (chapters) and mainly described the five characters of Bhagwaan Ram, Ma Sita, Hanuman jee, Bhagwaan Shiva and Bhushundi jee.

Tulsidas jee praised and saluted Ganesh, Surya, Vishnu, Durga and Shiva in the beginning of Balkand as they represent intellectual and emotional phenomenon. Ganesh represents judgement and of balance; and to live a balanced life is the best way to worship Ganesh. Sun represents enlightenment –it connotes an aspirant’s search of light and an effort to avoid darkness of any type. Worship of Vishnu can be in the form of being broad-minded and large-hearted. While Bhavani personified faith (shradhha), which is not blind; because blind faith (andh-shradhha) is as dangerous as total lack of faith (ashradhha). Bhagwaan Shiv is kindness. An effort to desire and work for the welfare of others is to worship Shiva.

Bapu says that some persons suffer from Dwesh (jealously) and Bapu advised all to beware of and avoid jealously. Other passions like Kama (lust), Krodh (anger) Lobh (greed) and moha (infatuation) are obstacles for spiritual progress but nothing is as harmful and as self-consuming as Dwesh. Bapu reminded that Gita says that he who is free from Dwesha is a real Sanyasi.

Bapu says that we all need a guru, a guide, who leads us in the spiritual journey. Bapu explained that Guru Charan (feet) as ‘Acharan’ – life style and conduct of guru and declared that an enlightened person feels that entire creation is a form of Rama and Sita. We must accept the totality of existence, and Bapu pointed out that Tulsidas has showed his broadmindedness by respecting even the evil forces likes demons. Bapu says that everyone should recite the Hanuman Chalisa, preferably eleven times a day or as often as we can. Hanuman is Prana an element of life as important as breath. He is the son of vayu. Hanuman is to be worshiped in his mild form and not in his aggressive posture. Bapu insisted that our religious practices and our Sadhana should not be a cause of harassment or a disturbance to others; a true practitioner of spiritualism takes good care of people around him/her.

Bapu began by saying that he does not want to be a Guru and needs no disciples (shishyas). He has people who are listeners (shrotas). Bapu explained that in Indian tradition to repeat a statement three times to establish it as Truth (Tree-satya). He mentioned Shrimad Bhagwat where there were nine such repetitions. But Bapu says, that he personally feels that Truth needs to be stated only once and that should be sufficient. Truth lies deep-rooted in the inner-self (Antah-karan) of a human being and it needs no gadgets or instruments (Upkaran). Truth does not need any demonstrations, any processions or crowd activity. Truth does not need any externals and it stands alone and by itself. Truth is light-weight, and easy; it is a simple and as effective as nature itself.

Some people are ‘Satyaa-grahis’ and use social activities and social pressure to enforce Truth on others. There are some clever people who are ‘Asatyaagrahis’. They are convinced that Truth never works and is totally useless in all our mundane actions and relations. They use lies and falsehoods to get their way in this world. But Bapu pointed out that a real sadhu – a seeker after Truth and spiritual progress is ‘Anaagrahi’ (free of bias). He knows the Truth and practices it but he does not make any show of it and does not force others to accept it. He will proclaim the Truth once and leave others free to accept or not to accept it.

Bapu discussed the Indian Tradition of truth being threefold

Truth in thought (vichaar), Truth in speech (uchchar) Truth in action (aachaar).
Truth must be consolidated in our mind, our speech and in our behaviour. This is Bapu’s concept of Truth but he does not want to teach nor does he want others to forcefully accept it. Such truth implies a capacity to take boldness, Courage and above all patience to wait till truth prevails and is accepted by others. He mentioned a short story of Hitler, Mussolini and Churchill betting on getting a fish out of a swimming pool without using net or hook. After the first two failed, Churchill patiently started ladling out pool waters with his teaspoon.

Bapu says that each one of us has the truth in own heart and we know it to be true but we do not dare to speak our mind. He mentioned the famous story of Mahabharat. The most Respected Bhishma knew the truth when Draupadi was being stripped in public but he did not raise a voice against it. Instead a young person Vikrant got up to boldly protest and then walked out of it. He defied his powerful arrogant elders. Very often, it is seen that we compromise with the truth under social pressure.

Bapu pointed out that Bhagwaan Ram is the epitome of Dharma and Dharma is nothing but the truth. Bhagwaan Ram was truthful in his thoughts (vichaar), he was bold enough to speak out the truth (uchhar) and he always acted upon truth whenever there was occasion for it (aachaar).

Whatever a truthful person wants to happen, happens and Bapu quoted Patanjali Yoga Sutra. Bhagwaan Ram did not want to be a king and he did not become a king. When he was told about his going to the forest, he was happy and spoke out about the benefits of his exile. He cheerfully prepared to go alone to the forest for fourteen years.

Bapu pointed out that path of spiritual progress is a lonely path. A person of this path feels isolated in a crowd and has great company of himself when he is alone. He enjoys by renouncing everything and he seeks no publicity because all his activities are for self-purification and for internal bliss. Such a person follows Dharma, which is unchanging and eternal and cannot be fixed into any frame of prevailing social norms. All renunciation is an internal experience and should not be external showmanship. Such a person is free of all bonds.

Bapu says that we should not impose anything on children. He wanted children to enjoy all the fun (masti) so that children can develop all their potentialities. During youth and maturity we should do bhakti, in the sense of service of others. In the old age we should seek freedom from burdens and responsibilities. He who gives up everything gets everything.

All our activities must lead to internal joy and progress, not for publicity. We should serve the living gods in our family – our elders and relatives and children before we go out to worship gods in temples and if this is done so many quarrels will disappear.

Multiplication of Police stations and hospitals are not the good signs of a society but the symptoms of ill health of society. They show the presence of evil in our personal life, in our family and in our society.

Bapu emphasized on the importance of Ram naam. Bapu pointed out that in Kaliyug religious practices, Sadhanas and ceremonials like yagnas are very difficult while continuous recitation of holy name is enough to give us peace of mind and help us in our spiritual progress. Some people will praise you and some persons will denounce you for whatever you do but we should not worry because truth always stands between critics and admirers.

Bapu said that Mahadev is the God whom he loves the most and whom is considers to be an ideal family man, a benefactor of society, a patient husband and a great sanyasi.

Satya is a very complicated subject and has been debated for ages by several great thinkers who wrote volumes about Truth. All such discussions and books are like food put on our plates after being cooked and served. Unless we chew and digest the served food, it is of no use to us. If for some reason food leads to vomiting, it may be prove to be harmful and disgusting. Similarly Truth, Love and Compassion must be internalised in our system. Only then, these principles will give us strength and energy.

Truth in fact raises very awkward and serious issues. If everyone insists upon his perception of Truth as the only Truth (Mam Satyam) then there will be quarrels and conflict among them. Jesus insisted on saying that I am the only light and follow me. This created problems and troubles between Christians and non-Christians. But if we are ready to welcome, understand and respect the Truth of others, then there should be no problems in life or in the world.

Every religion supports Truth but each religion insists upon its own version of Truth as the only Truth. This is the outcome of our arrogance. Bapu quoted a Gujarati poet Narsi Mehta who said that out of sheer ignorance, everybody says that I am doing everything to move and maintain the world but very few realise that the world is run by divine force.

One must be firm about his Truth but he should not be stubborn about it. The respect for each other’s truth makes a cordial atmosphere in society. Just as we have lamps in our home, the neighbours have their own lights in their homes and there is a universal light of sun shared by all of us as the supreme source of light. Similarly Truth can be personal Truth, it can be another person’s Truth and there is a universal, supreme Truth.

Tulsidas jee in Shree Ram Charit Manas always describe Bhagwaan Ram as a universal, all prevailing eternal Brahma. Those who restrict Truth would themselves become shallow and small. Universality and all pervasive character is the philosophical (daarshanic) aspect of Bhagwaan Ram. After describing the philosophical aspect of Bhagwaan Ram, Tulsidas jee immediately turns to its practical application. Since Bhagwaan Ram is universal, the entire universe is the form of his supreme power, we should respectfully bow down to everything and everybody in this world

“Seeya ram-maya sab jaga jaani | Karaun pranaam jori juga paani ||”

There are several religions and sects today that do not universalise Truth. They insist upon their own single version of Truth and hence they are fighting with others and use violence to crush and control others.

Bapu says that he is a great admirer and a devotee of Shree Ram Charit Manas and he finds teachings of Tulisdas jee very profound and very true, but Bapu at the same time adds that he does not accept everything and every opinion of Tulsidas jee. He said that when we go to shopping mall, we don’t bring home everything it contains, we purchase only those things that we need or those things we like. Similarly we should pick and choose the best and the most useful ideas from Shree Ram Charit Manas. Honeybee collects nectar from number of different type of flowers. Similarly a Sadhu should seek and secure the best from everyone and every place and every religion. God has endowed each individual with full potential divinity but the masters are able to cultivate and express the divinity within them, while ordinary persons like us are not able to do so. Bapu expressed his opinion that all rituals and ceremonials become secondary and useless when we have a firm and abiding faith in truth.

Bapu quoted an unknown poet who sang that Dharma like Shiva has three eyes of Truth, Love and Compassion. Prem (love) is the middle eye. The middle eye of fire of Shiva is also the eye of Love. Bapu explained this contradiction of Love and Fire by pointing out that Love thrives on separation between the lover and the supreme beloved and both suffer the intensity of fire in yearning for one another. Moreover, Love like fire burns away all the impurities and aspirants become purified by such an experience.

Bapu then presented a fable of four candles of peace (shaanti), faith (shraddha) Love (preeti) and Truth (satya). The first three candles flickered and faded out as very few people want peace, faith and true love. But Satya – the light of truth reveals reality and would revive and rekindle all of them and establish their importance and efficacy in this world. Truth is based upon and closely related to love and compassion.

Bapu said that people get scared by superstitions and do not know where to turn to. A true religion would make people bold and brilliant, self reliant and bubbling with life and energy.

Bapu says that we fail to understand the true nature of divinity, though we do experience divine activities all around us. Just as we use electricity in several ways and for many purposes but nobody even today knows or understands what that energy actually is.

Truth is as universal and omni present (Vyapak) as Brahm but each one of us sees it and feels it differently so that there is my truth, your truth and a reality (vaastvikta) of truth. Truth is often realised and felt only in adversity.

Bapu discussed a few definitions of truth and mentioned in Patanjali sutra of effortless achievements of those who absorb truth in their personality. Practical truth (vyavhaarik Satya) is different from its theory and Shankaracharya’s sutra of the world being an illusion and unreal cannot be acted upon in practical life. Truth is as vyaapak (omnipresent) as Brahm but in Shree Ram Charit Manas, Shiv ji has described his own experience that Vyapak Brahm can be seen in practical form through Prem (love).

Ques: What do we mean by ‘all’ and how many numbers and how many varieties are involved in the concept of ‘sab sukrit’ in the chaupai- “Satya-mool sab sukrit suhaaye | Beda puraan bidit manu gaaye ||” ?

Bapu’s Answer: Tulsidas jee is not referring to the number but to an attitude and very often in spiritual life all can be and is included into only one. In Bhagwat Gita, Bhagwaan Krishna explains that you should be to devoted to me only (“mamekam sharanam vraj”) One who wants spiritual progress must devote himself to one and only one sadaguru and get completely devoted to him. A devoted disciple finds not only enlightenment but also fragrance in the teachings of his Guru. Amir Khusrau has written that he used to feel the presence and smell the fragrance of his Guru.

Satya (Truth) can only be realised by inner experiences. External gadgets like spectacles can help the eyesight but do not enable an illiterate person to read as the capacity to read comes from within you. Such internal experiences – intuitions – are not possible with out a total surrender (samarpan) to a guru or to God. Such a total surrender is the outcome of Prem – love.

If we feel in tune with the entire world, if we feel the empathy towards one and all, we can realise truth through love. One way to feel such unity is to share whatever you have with others. Give as much as you can give, give as often as you can give, give to as many people as you can give.

Bapu emphasised the virtue of Charity and explained that giving does not mean only money, giving food, giving knowledge, giving good ideas – is also charity. What you give is not important but the desire to share is important because sharing is love. Charity (Daan) and total surrender (samarpan) are necessary conditions of love and will help us in realising Satya.

Bapu discussed in detail the second principal subject of this Katha – Prem (love) and he said love is the only purifying and cleansing fluid that can help us in removing all the dirt (mull) and all the evils in our mind. We clean our body but Prem is the only fluid, which is effective for internal purification.

Spiritualism is not something external; spiritualism is not clothes that we can change everyday. Such external show of piety is not religion; it is merely a show off – of religiousness. Religion or spiritualism is our skin, it is our personality, and it is totally internal. It is not a ceremony or rituals. That is why Bapu calls Ram Katha as Prem Yagnas. Katha is to awaken love in all of us.

Bapu then discussed various definitions of love and chose a very simple definition because love is very simple and straightforward. Love has the capacity to manifest the invisible power of God (Prabhu) and it is love that can also bring out the divinity within individuals.

Bapu pointed out that knowledge has been described in our scriptures as the eye (gyan), eyes which can see and perceive. Bapu went a step forward and said that if knowledge is an eye then love is the fluid that keeps the eye moist and healthy. Eyes will dry out without fluid. A dry eye is a dead eye. Similarly without love (prem) knowledge (gyan) becomes ineffective. Love (prem) can transform desire (kama) into divine (Ram); it can convert anger (krodh) into enlightenment (bodh); it can change greed (lobha) into aversion/indifference (kshobha).

Bapu said that he will resume this discussion next day and he took up the narration of Katha. He described Shiva is a great orator. An orator should be totally relaxed, he should be quite light hearted and witty, he must have a prolonged study of the subject, he should have generosity and softness to present his point of view without offending others.

Bhagwaan Shiva is a house-holder (Grihastha) and Bapu mentioned how a false tradition was prevalent in India that only Sanyasis can speak about Ram Katha. Parvati wanted to hear the katha in order to get answers to 9 questions and Shiva took a day to answer each one of them. Therefore Ram Katha is organised for nine days.

In the reference to the reasons for Ram-janma, Bapu said that he does not like or accept the idea of cursing because curse is the outcome of anger and spiritually advanced people must overcome and control their anger.

Bapu narrated how God was born to Ma Kaushalya and she taught him how to be human. He said that we all should learn how to be good human beings and he pointed out that it is the power of Bhakti, efficacy of love that can persuade God to assume proportions of human form.

Bapu began the Katha by describing that katha is not a teaching or lecturing session, Katha is a dialogue (samvaad); a talk. Such discussions and dialogues ought to be based on scriptures (shashtra) and must be an expression of mutual love and regards. Discussion will be more useful if it is based on personal experience (swa-anubhav). It ought to be brief as well as factual (tathya). In Manas the discussions are between enlightened teachers and listeners and therefore such dialogues are full of wisdom and are real (vastvik).

Bapu mentioned a letter from a Muslim devote who raised a question if there should be a limit in donation and charity? Bapu explained that elements of nature (Sun, wind, trees, rivers) continuously serve us without any fixed time schedule. So we also must give continuously, we must give to whoever needs it and whenever it is needed. Jesus said that he who gives shall receive more and more and he who does not, will lose all that he has. Bapu also mentioned Bhagwad Gita that says Charity purifies even the most pious persons.

Bapu says just as Ram represents Truth, Bharat jee personifies love. Tulsidas jee emphasizes that Bharat jee is the only proper factor that can lead us to become devotees of Ram. It was for the sake of Bharat jee, that Bhagwaan Ram had to go the forest for 14 years. This exile of Bhagwaan Ram was like the churning of ocean from which the nectar could emerge, in the form of purest and most intense love of Bharat jee.

When atomic fuel reaches the point of total transformation and bursts into energy it is called a point of criticality. Vanvas of Ram is such a turning point – the criticality in his life and Bharat jee is transformed into Love.

Bapu raised an issue that is very original and very interesting. It is often said that for true and intense lovers’ separation leads to instant death, as happened to Dashrath jee. Such a death is considered to be the proof of real love. But Bapu did not agree with such a traditional view. He reasoned that Love is a nectar (Amrit) and how can anyone die of Nectar?

Rather, Love is the force of life; it leads to salvation, not death. Intense lovers like Bharat jee or Gopies did not die. For Tulsidas jee, the epitome of Love is Bharat jee, not Dashrath.

Bapu said about himself that he can stand any other thing but if he gets cut-off from Manas and Katha he may not be able to survive because Katha is his life, his breath (Pran).

In Bapu’s opinion separation between lovers intensifies love into a blazing fire and lovers and Bhaktas continuously shed tears to extinguish that fire (virah-agni) – mere verbal declarations of love shows the artificiality and shallowness of love. It is said that love is blind. Bapu believes that love is never blind. It gives a continuous awareness. Real love like the one that Bharat jee had for Bhagwaan Ram is as patient as a chatak (a bird) and as discerning as a Hans (swan). Bharat jee waited for 14 long years. Bharat jee had the immense capacity to deserve and hold that love for long.

All great prophets have given the message of Love but their followers are continuously fighting amongst themselves. Bapu explained that we may not be proper containers (paatra) and therefore, cannot receive and hold that divine love. Bapu mentioned Bhakti Sutras of Sage Narad jee who describes love as a feeling that is incessant; it gets more and more intensified every moment. Love has no purpose (Hetu); wants nothing, expects nothing and it is totally focussed on the beloved. A true lover lives immersed in love. Any laws of society or words of morality cannot restrain such a love because love has its own scriptures (Shastra) and as Tulsidas jee says, it cannot be described in words.

Bapu advised the devotees of Bhagwaan Ram to also absorb the qualities of other brothers. Aspirants should fill and nourish as many persons as they can, they should wipe out enmity and serve and support the best elements in the world.

Bapu said that Anger should be avoided all the time but especially when you get up, when somebody is coming home or going on a journey, at the time of eating and when you go to sleep.

Bapu began the Katha by describing that katha is not a teaching or lecturing session, Katha is a dialogue (samvaad); a talk. Such discussions and dialogues ought to be based on scriptures (shashtra) and must be an expression of mutual love and regards. Discussion will be more useful if it is based on personal experience (swa-anubhav). It ought to be brief as well as factual (tathya). In Manas the discussions are between enlightened teachers and listeners and therefore such dialogues are full of wisdom and are real (vastvik).

Bapu mentioned a letter from a Muslim devote who raised a question if there should be a limit in donation and charity? Bapu explained that elements of nature (Sun, wind, trees, rivers) continuously serve us without any fixed time schedule. So we also must give continuously, we must give to whoever needs it and whenever it is needed. Jesus said that he who gives shall receive more and more and he who does not, will lose all that he has. Bapu also mentioned Bhagwad Gita that says Charity purifies even the most pious persons.

Bapu says just as Ram represents Truth, Bharat jee personifies love. Tulsidas jee emphasizes that Bharat jee is the only proper factor that can lead us to become devotees of Ram. It was for the sake of Bharat jee, that Bhagwaan Ram had to go the forest for 14 years. This exile of Bhagwaan Ram was like the churning of ocean from which the nectar could emerge, in the form of purest and most intense love of Bharat jee.

When atomic fuel reaches the point of total transformation and bursts into energy it is called a point of criticality. Vanvas of Ram is such a turning point – the criticality in his life and Bharat jee is transformed into Love.

Bapu raised an issue that is very original and very interesting. It is often said that for true and intense lovers’ separation leads to instant death, as happened to Dashrath jee. Such a death is considered to be the proof of real love. But Bapu did not agree with such a traditional view. He reasoned that Love is a nectar (Amrit) and how can anyone die of Nectar?

Rather, Love is the force of life; it leads to salvation, not death. Intense lovers like Bharat jee or Gopies did not die. For Tulsidas jee, the epitome of Love is Bharat jee, not Dashrath.

Bapu said about himself that he can stand any other thing but if he gets cut-off from Manas and Katha he may not be able to survive because Katha is his life, his breath (Pran).

In Bapu’s opinion separation between lovers intensifies love into a blazing fire and lovers and Bhaktas continuously shed tears to extinguish that fire (virah-agni) – mere verbal declarations of love shows the artificiality and shallowness of love. It is said that love is blind. Bapu believes that love is never blind. It gives a continuous awareness. Real love like the one that Bharat jee had for Bhagwaan Ram is as patient as a chatak (a bird) and as discerning as a Hans (swan). Bharat jee waited for 14 long years. Bharat jee had the immense capacity to deserve and hold that love for long.

All great prophets have given the message of Love but their followers are continuously fighting amongst themselves. Bapu explained that we may not be proper containers (paatra) and therefore, cannot receive and hold that divine love. Bapu mentioned Bhakti Sutras of Sage Narad jee who describes love as a feeling that is incessant; it gets more and more intensified every moment. Love has no purpose (Hetu); wants nothing, expects nothing and it is totally focussed on the beloved. A true lover lives immersed in love. Any laws of society or words of morality cannot restrain such a love because love has its own scriptures (Shastra) and as Tulsidas jee says, it cannot be described in words.

Bapu advised the devotees of Bhagwaan Ram to also absorb the qualities of other brothers. Aspirants should fill and nourish as many persons as they can, they should wipe out enmity and serve and support the best elements in the world.

Bapu said that Anger should be avoided all the time but especially when you get up, when somebody is coming home or going on a journey, at the time of eating and when you go to sleep.

Bapu continued the discussion about the 24 elements of Prem. Bapu quoted Bhakti Sutra to say that Lovers must avoid 3 elements because Love should be free from gunas. He described the characteristics of Rajoguna, Tamoguna and Satvaguna.

Rajoguna is the over activity of mind and body leading to continuous running around and restlessness. Such a person keeps on rushing from one point to another and is never steady. Tamoguna is the exact opposite. It makes a person suffer from total lethargy and he avoids all physical and mental activities. Satvaguna is midway between the two and such a person is balanced and does not go to the extremes of over-doing and not doing anything.
Bapu would like to put a new interpretation of Guna. Bapu pointed out that Guna also means a string/rope that can tie up a person. But, in Prem (Love) there’s total freedom (moksha) and there should be absolutely no bonds and no conditions between Lovers. Imposing restrictions on the beloved under the pretext of Love is not Prem but only an infatuation (moha). A true lover gives complete freedom to his or her beloved to do whatever the other person wants to do and readily agrees to all that makes the other person happy.

Bapu quoted an incident from Shree Ram Charit Manas when in chitrakoot, there was a serious debate on future course of action. Bhagwaan Ram said that whatever Bharat decides would be final and acceptable and Bharat said that Bhagwaan Ram should decide whatever pleases him best and all of us will do it. In Love there is no self-assertion but there’s self-denial (Tyaag). God loves all of us very intensely and deeply, but has given complete freedom to every creature to choose his life style and his objectives.

Bapu mentioned about the criticism he faces for his efforts to build a bridge of peace, amity and brotherhood between various communities in India. But, he expressed his view that as a Sadhu it is his duty to spread the message of Love in midst of all hatreds and misunderstandings.

He then mentioned the last and the most important Tatva, the 24th element is mutual Trust (vishwas). Trust is the presiding deity of Love. Trust is never blind because Bhagwaan Shankar is personified trust and he not just two but an additional eye of knowledge and understanding; therefore, trust is full of awareness. Bapu has absolute faith in Manas and regarded it an incarnation of God in the literary form as a scripture (Granth-avataar).

Tulsidas jee says that devotion is the outcome of knowledge. Faith without knowledge is void. Shraddha is based upon Samadhi (total awareness). Bapu said that our life runs on the wheels of faith (vishwas) and thought (vichar), both moving on the axle of discernment (vivek).

Tulsidas jee refers to his three gurus in Shri Ram Charit Manas. Narhari was the guru who taught him Shastras and Ramayana. Bharat jee took him to Bhagwaan Ram, but his sadaguru is Hanuman jee. He has mentioned four entrances to approach Bhagwaan Ram. One is for those who seek material benefits, one for those who seek salvation, one for those who have attained spotless mind and fourth door is the door of Bhakti. Where even the rouges and crooked can be saved by the kripa of Bhagwaan Ram.

Bapu concluded the discussion about Prem (Love) by narrating several incidents from Manas that expressed deep love of Bharat jee for Bhagwaan Ram.

Bapu then took up the third angle– ‘Karuna’ for this Katha. He did agree that Karuna (compassion) is most often used for Bhagwaan Ram and very rarely for Ma Sita. But Bapu pointed out that Ram and Sita are so closely united there is such a communion (sayujya) between them that their qualities intermingle. Ram is the inner self of Sita and Sita reigns supreme in the heart of Ram. Moreover women have much more compassion (karuna) than males.

Bapu says that Satya is the tree, Prem is its fruits and Karuna is its shade. Satya makes us fearless (Abhaya) and gives us peace of mind (Shanti). Prem leads to tyaag (surrender) which produces peace of mind and Karuna leads to non-violence & finally to Shanti. Satya Prem and Karuna create such threefold peace and therefore in our vedas every recitation is followed by Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Bapu pointed out that Bhagwaan Ram is always described as ‘Karuna-nidhan’ (full of compassion), but he has taken very hard decisions also. Bapu gave examples- he went away when people of Ayodhya who followed him were sleeping, he sent an arrow to destroy Jayant. His eradicator form – ‘Kaal-swaroop’ – was shown in his determination to kill Rakshasas (demons) and when he fought against Ravan and his associates. His harshness was also revealed when he decided on fire ordeal for Ma Sita. Another incident of his harshness is the going in exile of innocent and faithful Ma Sita. The very presence of weapons in hands is a symbol of strictness.

It is quite usual we judge and see people in the same colour as we are. When Ma Sita describes Bhagwaan Ram as compassionate (Kripa nidhan), she is actually revealing her own character. Tulsidas jee uses the word ‘Karuna’ for Ma Sita when in Chitrakoot she meets queens of Dashrath after his death –‘Tehi avasar karuna mahi chhaai’. Moreover Bhagwaan Ram and Ma Sita are always united (Nitya yoga) into one and qualities of Ram automatically apply to Ma Sita and vice versa. Moreover, Ma Sita is the daughter of compassionate mother earth and she herself is a mother and it is true that mothers are always kind and compassionate.

Ma Sita faces troubles all her life but she could face them because she used to seek happiness by making other happy. In this context, Tulsidas jee has presented an original idea not found in other scriptures. He says that without inner personal happiness, the mind can never become stable-“Nij sukh binu mana hoi ki theera|”. It is only when we share our wealth and happiness with others, we can attain peace and stability of mind.

Sage Patanjali has said that the whole world bears four inclinations of Paap (vice), Punya (virtue), sukh (happiness) and Dukh (misery). But by cultivating the following attitudes, an aspirant can deal with each of them.

Paap – We should always neglect or be indifferent (upeksha) to sins of others and be careful in never cultivating anger or hatred for the sinners. Bapu mentioned the famous examples of Jesal and Toral. A sinner should always be given a chance to improve.Punya – We should always be pleased (mudit) wherever we find good activities being carried on or religious activities being undertaken. It is our Dwesh (jealously) that prevents us from freely congratulating those who are doing good. Bapu said it is easy to feel miserable when others are suffering but it is difficult to be truly joyful when others are happy, as jealousy cannot tolerate the progress (Utkarash) of others. Sukh – We should learn to be happy and friendly (maitri) at the happiness of others and fully participate in their joy. We must not reject happiness. We must enjoy the good things in life if they are morally good Do not get affected by criticism of others; just carry on with your bhajan. Dukh – Lastly we must have compassion (karuna) whenever we find others are suffering or are in trouble. We must cultivate compassion in our heart to such an extent that no space is left for enmity.
Question – How Katha is to be delivered or spoken, how should others listen to Katha and how can we live Katha in our life?

Bapu’s Answer: Katha should always be recited with confidence (Vishwas) arising out of faith in the Almighty, the scripture, the words of sadaguru, the main subject of katha and self-experience. But at the same time, he should not impose his confidence on others, they should be free to decide for themselves. A Kathakar (speaker) should have total faith that every chaupai is a mantra. Anything said with confidence has truth in its base. A listener should listen to katha very thoughtfully (vichaar). He should analyse Katha and if there are any doubts, he must raise and fearlessly ask questions. Bapu said that sometimes, listeners of his Katha take his jokes seriously without thinking and even his gestures are misinterpreted. Listening is an art and a science and it is rather difficult to listen properly and correctly. Katha is to be implemented in life with discernment (Vivek), balancing various principles.

Bapu mentioned a serious social problem, where female foetuses are aborted on a massive scale. Bapu advised people to celebrate the birth of daughters in the same way that we celebrate for sons.

The important day of sadaguru is the ‘guru purnima’. It connoyes that a sadaguru is a ‘poorna-Ma’ i.e. a perfect mother for an aspirant.

Bapu reverted to the analysis of compassion of Ma Janaki and mentioned that just as 14 jewels (ratnas) were churned out the ocean, the sea of Karuna also generates 14 qualities. He listed them and briefly commented on each one of them.

Kripa (grace) – it has to be done by someone on someone else. Daya (mercy) – it is rooted and connected with an incident or an occasion. Anugraha (benevolence) – without any reservations/prejudices. Anukampa (empathy) is a physical experience when we share the suffering of others (Samaanubhuti). Sudrishti (clear vision) – compassion is expressed through eyes. Suvachan- compassion helps in cultivating the habit of polite and truthful speech. Suvichar – A compassionate person always gets good and benevolent thoughts Suvyavahaar – Compassion leads to a behaviour that is straight forward and simple. Unbiased flow – A compassionate mind is never rigid or restricted. It has a tendency to flow and its fluidity keeps it fresh but this does not mean fickleness. Commitment – A compassionate person is devoted to principles of kindness and generosity. Transparency of inner self – His heart gets constantly purified (Antah-karan Shuddhi) and there is not blemish or impurity in his life. Maun – A compassionate person is often a man of few words and his compassion is reflected more in his conduct than in speech. Nirantar sumiran – A compassionate person continuously remembers the divine and constantly thinks about it. Utsaah (the zest for life) – A compassionate person is enthusiastic and strives for happy and long life. He enjoys his bhajan, which joins him to divinity, and for him even the earth is not enough to contain his bliss.

Bapu finished the katha (story of Ramayana) narration yesterday. Today, he concentrated on the three basic principles, of Truth, Love & Compassion, which are basic ingredients of the Ramayana as he sees it. Bapu said that ‘Karuna’ has no limits, as it is the supreme strength (alhaadini shakti) of Bhagwaan Ram.

Question – what is the meaning of the Sanskrit word ‘Vivek’?
Bapu’s Answer: Vivek does not refer to mere manners or etiquette. Vivek means the actual perception of a thing- ‘as it is’. It is the discernment, the capacity to distinguish between the right and wrong in every field of life, whether practical, intellectual or spiritual. The more we get the capacity to discern, the more we understand the world in which we live in; it also helps greatly in the spiritual world in which we want to progress. Even the religious thinking requires the study of discernment because if religion is accepted as customary system of beliefs (without discernment) then it is not a religion in real sense. Vivek is the result of satsang. An aspirant should be careful in preserving the vivek that he gets from satsang. Bapu said that he did not intend to give deeksha (ritual of spiritual initiation) but only wanted to show a path (disha) through satsang of Ramkatha. A katha listener should listen to sutras of katha in the way they are said; in their actual sense. Wrong interpretation can create many problems.

While discussing Shankaracharya’s theory of world is a illusion, Bapu humbly put forth his view that when we understand that the creation is the form of the Almighty only, then the creation is as true as the Almighty. It is not an illusion; Considering the world and God as different is not right; they are one. Rather, the thought of differentiation between the two is an illusion in itself.
There are people who claim to be prophets & teachers of a religion and try to snare the innocent and the unknown. But a sadaguru is spiritually aware and he helps aspirants in making sense of circumstances. The mantra given by sadaguru has to be put in practice; one has to believe and become aware and to escape the snares, which are laid by the false ‘so-called religious’ people.

A saadhu’s effect is such that the people around him never feel any binding but at the same time, they remain every inside the moral limits. A sadaguru is like air; he is the life source for the aspirant but he is beyond anybody’s reach. For a committed aspirant, the sadaguru and the Lord are the same.

Katha listeners should listen with awareness and should not be blind followers. Katha should not only be heard but it should be remembered again and again. You should bear in mind as long as you can and try to practice whatever the principles suit you.

Truth, Love and Compassion is the trinity of every religion and Bapu said that they are fit to be inscribed on the main building of the United Nations situated in New York.

Bapu said that he tries to beautify his audience not physically but spiritually, emotionally and mentally with chaupais, shlokas, mantras, poetry, short stories or thoughts and quotes of saints. He concluded by offering the fruit of virtue of this katha in the lotus feet of Bhagwaan Shankar in the advance, for the coming ‘shraavan maas’.

Pavan tanay sankat haran mangal moorati roop |
Ram lakhan sita sahit hridaya basahu sur bhoop ||

Lanka Kaand – Doha 80
Sunahu sakha kaha kripa-nidhaana | Jehin jai hoi so syandan aana ||
Sakha dharm-maya asa rath jaakein | Jeetan kahan na katahun ripu taakein ||

Listen Friend, replied the All-Merciful, the chariot that leads one to victory is quiet another one.
My friend, he who owns such a chariot of piety shall have no enemy to conquer anywhere.

The situation of Manas-Dharma-rath is such where Raavan (fully equipped) and Bhagwaan Ram (barefoot and without any ammunition) come face to face with each other in the war of Lanka kand; at such a moment Vibheeshan gets apprehensive about the safety of Bhagwaan Ram and expresses his anxiety. The one who is extremely dedicated feels concerned for the beloved even in the highest stage of devotion. Then, Bhagwaan Ram explains the spiritual rath (chariot) that makes a person win over any situation.
The chaupai from where the Dharma-rath is to be continued in this katha is ‘Amal achal mana trone samaana | Sama jama niyam seelimukh naana’..The mind of an individual gets concentrated even in the negative elements, but it does not remain pure. For saadhna, it is necessary for the mind to be steady as well as pure.

For a successful picture (chitra), there are certain requirements like canvas, colours, brush, painter and viewers. Similarly, a person’s character (charitra) can be sketched through elements of life. Truth (satya) is the canvas for a good character. Different types of manners (sheel) are the various colours for the beauty of the character. The brush for sketching a good character is love (prem). The painter who creates a character is Dharma (religion/duty) that draws lines of morals and values. Dharma should have less of rituals (vidhi) and more of understanding (vivek) and faith (vishwaas). Finally, the viewers of a sketch of a character are the listeners who recognize and identify the greatness of the character.

Bapu says, “ In small villages, there are certain people who carry their ladders and repair houses in rainy seasons. I’ve also come with a ladder of seven steps (seven kand) i.e. Shri Ram Charit Manas ; it will help the needy, the depressed and indecisive people to lead a better life.”

Sadaguru is the most vital factor in the spiritual journey. The status or position of Sadaguru (guru-pada) can never be weak; it is ever strong in every situation. Hanuman jee is an ideal Sadaguru- he is brave (mahaveer), free of ego (Hanu-maan), engrossed in destroying the negative elements (khal bana paavak), showers knowledge (gyaan-ghan) and Bhagwaan Ram resides in his heart in his special form (Jaasu hridaya aagaar basahin ram sar chaap dhar).

Question – Please define Satya and Prem.
Bapu’s answer – Gandhi jee said that Satya is Parameshwar (the Almighty) and Jesus said that Prem is Parameshwar. But I think that satya and prem both are param-aishwarya (divine fortunes). In other way, both should be complementary in one’s life; Truth should be full of love and love should be true and not artificial.
In ‘Vairagya sandipani’, Tulsidas jee says that the human body is like a farm where the farming is done by mind, speech and actions. The seeds of virtues and vices (punya and paap) are sown and they bear fruits according to their respective nature. So, the mind is termed as a farmer here who has the capability to choose between a virtue and a vice. These seeds of paap and punya are not two, but the parts of one seed. Every action has a portion of both, but there may be a difference in the ratio. No action is purely virtuous or sinful. For example, when a person gives a large amount of money for charity, there may be some devious thing in either earning or saving the amount. In Mahabharat, Bhagwaan Krishna asks Arjuna to attack Karna when he’s repairing the wheel of his chariot, this may seem a negative act but the hidden virtue behind this order is to create betterment of world. So, there is a hidden virtue in a sinful act and a vice hidden in the most virtuous deed. Harinaam is the only strong catalyst that nullifies both virtue and vice. Harinaam makes the seeds of both kinds ineffective.

‘Amal achal mana trone samaana | Sama jama niyam seelimukh naana ||’
In Dharma-rath, Tulsidas jee says that the mind is the quiver where the arrows are kept by warriors. If the quiver is not tied tightly or is full of filth then the warrior would not be able to fight properly. Thus, the mind is an important part of saadhana. Bapu says, ‘ in my opinion, it is more important for the mind to be pure than steady. The more you try to make it still, the more it becomes fidgety. The best thing is to surrender the mind in the feet of the Lord in whatever condition it is. The steadiness of faith (that the Almighty will take care of my mind) is more important than the still ness of mind.

Harinaam is such a food for soul that increases life, will power, health, glow and balances the fire element of the body. So, don’t worry too much about virtues and vices, just stick to Harinaam. The Lord’s name is the summary of all shastras.

Bad habits cannot be framed into a certain definition. Creating obstruction in the best moments of life, keeping yourself hungry in the name of forcible fasting and indulging in unnecessary elaborate rituals are also bad habits.

One carries heaven and hell in oneself. When you feel happy at others’ prosperity, it is heaven but if you feel jealous at others’ good, then it is hell.

Question -Who is your ideal?
Bapu’s answer – My originality is my ideal. There is no condition in spirituality; where there are conditions, the originality of a person

Bhagwaan Krishna says in Bhagwad Gita that I am the mind in the senses of a human being. If the mind is the form of Lord Himself then it cannot be destroyed; though it can be forgotten in absence of feeling of pain and pleasure. If the mind is Bhagwaan Krishna, then it will not remain dull, thus it would be agile and playful. So, an aspirant should not try to control it forcibly, but rather try to cleanse it and decorate it. The dust of feet of Sadaguru can purify it. Even satsang, Harinaam and sutras of shastras can also help in the cleansing of mind.

The lord seems farthest for the person who searches (khojna) for Him and he becomes closest for the one who gets lost (even gets away from himself- kho jana).

True love has three eyes. Two are the outer eyes that see the world and the third eye is the one that only sees the beloved Lord. A true devotee would not be too fussy about own faults but he would remain focused on the greatness of the Lord.

The one who claims to follow Dharma (dharm-aacharan) should be truthful to the sutras (satya-aacharan) in his practical life. For example, the one who applies tilak should never be jealous of others’ progress or the one who keeps mala should never indulge in scorn.

Question – Bhagwaan Krishna seems too far, so we want to surrender our mind in the feet of Sadaguru. What is the procedure and evidence if it has been accepted?
Bapu’s answer – Yes, it is fine that you surrender in the feet of Sadaguru but there’s no fixed procedure for it. It can happen anywhere and any time that you get inspired to do so. The evidence that he has accepted your mind is when your mind does not get diverted from him.
In Gitavali, Tulsidas jee terms the mind of a person as a path where an aspirant can walk and attain the Lord. There are three major paths, Rajpath, Janpath and Dharma path. Don’t make your mind rajpath or janpath as there’s a risk of overcrowding, make it a path of dharma that comprises of truth, love and compassion; this path will definitely lead you to the Almighty.

The one who knows the art of dancing need not sing or speak. Meera just danced and attained Bhagwaan Krishna. The one who knows how to sing need not speak much but the one who knows how to give speeches needs to listen to people.

In the spiritual journey, don’t try to test others (pareeksha), just try to be patient and wait (prateeksha) for the right time to realize the facts.

A realized soul/saint is so clear hearted that he gets the indication from inside if a person is trying to lie/cheat/deceive him. One should never try to justify lies/errors in front of spiritually aware person, as there may be a risk of making more blunders! A spiritually aware person, on the other hand, would never try to prove his truth as he has full confidence in it and values it truly.

In Gitavali, Tulsidas jee equates the mind with hand. The hands should be moving but it is more necessary that they should be clean. Thus, the mind also need not be necessarily still but it is important that it should be pure. The purity will make the mind steady automatically. The situation is not so bad if the mind is pure but fidgety, if the mind is polluted and still, then the person cannot be reliable.
If Tulsidas jee calls mind a hand with four fingers and a thumb, then a mind also has five parts i.e. the five inclinations of mind described by Sage Patanjali.

The five fingers depict respective elements of society:

Thumb -the Almighty, First finger – knowledgeable people, guideline givers Middle finger – economy, Ring finger – saints Smallest finger – political system.
Similarly, there are five points of mind.

Samyak gyaan/pramaan (knowledge) – A point, when activated grants attainment of knowledge. Viparayaya (illusion)- A point that makes truth seem untruth and vice-versa. An aspirant may see negative things even in his Sadaguru, but in such a situation also he/she should never leave the Sadaguru as this kind of inclination might subside with time. Sadaguru will never leave the aspirant, but one should take care of own mental inclinations! Kalpana (imagination)- This point of mind is very active in creative people or artists. Nidra (sleep)- Yogis cultivate their minds in such a way that their dreamless sleep develops into samaadhi. Smriti (memory)- The best memory for the mind is of the Lord!
People should avoid vyakti-pooja (worship of a human being) for the good of both worshipper and the worshipped. If you want to bow down to someone or touch his feet, the do it with your hand of mind! Swami Sharanaanand used to say that Sadaguru is a tatva (element), don’t indulge in the worship of human form..Bapu says, ‘ Swami Sharanaanand is the only Mahatma with whose sutras I have been always in been in agreement, I have never been able to negate his sutras till date, though I can’t say that for future!!’.

Su-vrat is the conduct (vartan) done for the welfare of others. Vrat (fasts) should be strong in faith and not be rigid.

No activity should be given priority over the development of spiritual energy (Aatma chetna vikas) as this is the purpose of being on this earth. At the end of life, an aspirant should feel content in this respect.

Fire can burn up almost everything on this earth or can even deshape an object if can not burn it. But it can neither burn up nor deshape a pot made of clay. In fact fire makes it stronger.

The potter makes it in the shape where there is emptiness/space inside, thus fire cannot affect it.

In Kavitavali, Tulsidas jee equates mind with a clay pot. The potter who treats the pot of mind is the Sadaguru. If the Sadaguru is an expert then, no fire of others’ anger (kroadh) or heat of self-ego (gumaan) can affect the mind. But, in case the mind gets affected by the above mentioned fire and heat, then it should be understood that either the Sadaguru is not truly one or the aspirant hasn’t been able to empty/surrender himself fully.

If the mind gets developed in such a way, with Sadaguru’s grace that anger of others and heat of self-ego does not affect it, then it should be filled with the water of love (prem). Such a mind can provide solace to others.

When you lose temper, a Sadaguru feels guilty as he feels that his work has not been sufficient. It is the responsibility of a katha listener to maintain a cordial atmosphere in the family even in adverse circumstances. A katha listener should never lose his/her calm even when others are being unreasonable.

In Indian villages, there are particular ways of handling the clay pots by women.

The first spot they keep it is on their waist. If seen with context of mind as a pot, a Sadaguru initially keeps the shishya too close too him and takes minutest care. The second spot for the clay port is on the head. Then, once the clay pot is filled, the pot is kept on the head in such a way that the water does not spill. So, when the Sadaguru sees that the shishya has gained some spiritual knowledge and has experienced something on this path, he keeps him on the head. At this time, he remains very careful that the shishya should not get over-whelmed/over-confident of his knowledge and should not get flawed by false-pride. Sadaguru saves the shishya from spoiling his this spiritual stage. The third spot for a clay pot is that particular place in the house from where everyone drinks water. The Sadaguru then stations the shishya at a spot where he’s able to quench the thirst of others or help others.
This three-tier placement of shishya is according to the nature of shishyas’ gunas – Tamoguna, Rajoguna and Satva-guna. If a shishya reaches a stage where he goes beyond three gunas, then the Sadaguru destroys all his bindings. He makes him so independent so that nothing else can tie him.

A katha listener should not keep any reservations about selected topics. He/she should not carry choices for subjects, as this would be a hurdle for ideal kind of listening. Every topic is a prasad!

Vinoba jee used to say that Sadaguru should be sheelvaan (humble like a saadhu), Pragyavaan (knowledgeable) and Karunavaan (compassionate and caring like a mother).

Tulsidas jee says that the person who implements the sutras of Dharma-rath does not have any enemies to be defeated. Even if others may consider him as enemy, he does not have enmity with anyone. ‘Vijay’ word at the end of Dharma-rath does not refer to victory, but deep continual contentment.

Sage Patanjali has described Yoga as the total control over tendencies of mind (Chitta vritti). But he has not asked people to do it; he has just described Yoga in this way. Sometimes the sutras of sages have been misinterpreted.

Bapu says, “people who consider Tulsidas jee as conventional (parampara-vaadi), I feel sorry for them. They don’t know have much idea even about his writings. He was a revolutionary (vidrohi) in his time and so am I. I also don’t touch the sutras of Tulsidas jee that I don’t understand.”

In Dohavali, Tulsidas jee uses horse-shoe as a connotation for the mind. The horse-shoe comes in contact with the ground (lifeless/jada) as well as the horse (living/chetan) but it makes no difference to it whether it goes to jungle or a town. Similarly, if mind is like a horse shoe, it may come in contact with many uplifting as well as disappointing circumstances but if you cultivate it to live in the present, then it won’t get affected by any situation. An aspirant should try to get satisfied by any result after doing sincere efforts in any matter. Progress (vikaas) should not be at the cost of inner peace (vishraam). Bhajan will help in creating contentment as the aspirant would realize that the true joy is not in materialism but devotion towards the Almighty.

Once Swami Sharanaanand was asked about the actual form of truth (satya). To this he replied that to understand truth, one has to first understand untruth (asatya). So, in Shri Ram Charit Manas, the story of Raavan comes before the birth of Bhagwaan Ram!

Some people have asked about how to make the mind steady?. There mainly five ways for that:
Bhagwaan Krishna prescribes two things in Bhagwad Gita that the mind can become still firstly with abhyaas (Practice of controlling the mind). The second thing he says in continuation is through vairaagya (dispassion from the world). The third way is to keep a beautiful form of deity as the subject of worship. Beauty lies in the eyes in the eyes of the beholder! The fourth way is to pray to God that only you can take proper care of my mind. Sometimes, when the Lord attracts the mind of the aspirant, the aspirant is not prepared to surrender fully. The fifth and the simplest way to mind still is the grace of Sadaguru. All efforts done on own, may not be successful, but Sadaguru kripa never fails. Bapu says, ‘I stand in favour of the grace of Sadaguru but at the same time it does not mean that the aspirant should become lazy and take things for granted. The grace works instantly provided the surrender is absolute. Ego is a big hurdle in the path of surrender, so be careful of it. Sadaguru and the Almighty are the most accessible, but there has to be total faith.’ An aspirant should not waste time and energy in comparing saadhus and saints. Respect every saadhu with his individual nature and qualities. The one who does not live in originality is living a fake life.
According to sage Patanjali, there are four ways to maintain a joyfulmind.

Seek pleasure in the pleasure of others. Be compassionate in the painful times of others. Be indifferent (udaaseen) with the vices of others. Don’t condemn the person, but condemn the fault. Be happy with the virtues of others.
Now let us move to the next half of this chaupai- “Amal achal mana trone samaana | Sama jama niyam seelimukh naana||”. Tulsidas jee mentions the arrows for the rider of Dharma-rath. There are total eleven (5 yama, 5 niyam and sama) arrows from which five each of yama and niyam are used to destroy delusion (Raavan) and the eleventh left is the arrow of sama (shanti/peace) that connotes Ma Jaanaki. This means that when an aspirant destroys delusion from life, he can experience inner peace in the actual form.

Usually people are strict about their niyam (daily spiritual practices) and also become finicky about them. But actually, an aspirant needs to be more sincere in following the five Yama that help him grow more spiritually. Let us discuss yama and niyam as the following.

5 yama are:

Ahinsa (not to hurt anyone by either thoughts, words or actions) Satya (be truthful), Asteya (abstain from stealing), Brahmacharya (controlling desires to avoid downfall) Aparigrah (avoid collecting unnecessary things).
5 niyam are

shauch (purity of body and mind), Tapa (tolerance/ sacrifice for the welfare of others), Santoshe (maintain satisfaction), swaadhyaya (studying scriptures and also one self) Eeshwar pranidhan (samadhi/meditation). According to Shankaracharya, the four paths that lead to God are – Satsangati (company of a truthful person who also saves you from untruth), Daan (charity of any kind, even a small gesture of kindness), Vichaar (thoughtful behaviour) and Santoshe (self-satisfaction).
The next chaupai of Dharma-rath is – “Kavach abheid bipra gur pooja | Ehi sama bijay upaay na dooja ||”. The shield of the rider of Dharma-rath is the reverence towards Sadaguru. A person may give regard to a Brahman, it becomes a protection, but such kind of protection becomes a strong shield with the grace of Sadaguru. If an aspirant wants, he can take wood-sticks (Samidh) for the Sadaguru and the Sadaguru uses them for his yagya. But even if the aspirant wants to take something else other than wood-sticks, it should be taken with the mentality of samidh. A Sadaguru is the center of all qualities, so if an aspirant takes refuge in the feet of Sadaguru, he attains all the qualities in an easy manner.

In Mahabharat’s war, Hanuman jee placed himself in the flag of Arjun’s chariot, but in Ramayana, he was actively involved in the war of Lanka. So, if Tulsidas jee says that the flag of Dharma-rath is truth, then we can take inspiration from Hanuman jee that we should either become still in truth (righteousness) or come in action for the cause of truth according to the need of time and circumstances and Sadaguru’s instructions.

Let us move to the chaupai of Dharma-rath – “Kavach abheid bipra gur pooja | Ehi sama bijay upaay na dooja ||”. Here, the word ‘vipra’ does not mean just the Brahmin caste but the one who is learned and studies and teaches Vedas. Shrimad Bhagwat mentions 12 characters of a vipra; it can also be said that the one who possesses these 12 characters is a vipra irrespective of his caste. The twelve characters are:

Daan (charity) Japa (chanting God’s name) Tapa (tolerance) Ekaant-priya (lonesome/introverted) Maun (silence) Satya (truth) Ahinsa (non-violence) Sangrah na kare (No greed of collecting things) Chori na kare (not to steal) Santoshe rakhe (satisfaction) Shauch (physical and mental purity) Vidya adhyayan (study of shastras).
The company and respectful attitude towards such vipra gives security to the aspirant.

Bapu says, “in my opinion Viprs should be worshipped (pooja) but Sadaguru should be served (seva).” Sadaguru’s seva means what ? – “Agyaa sama na su-saahib seva | So prasaadu jana paavai deva ||”. Accepting the commands of Sadaguru and implementing them with full sincerity. Do not put forward any alternatives in his directions. Don’t use Sadaguru’s stamp to endorse your choice; leave every choice to him. True seva can only be done when the aspirant abandons his ego completely. It is easy to do charan-seva, but aacharan-seva is difficult.
Sadaguru is an ‘atithi’ , who meets an aspirant at any given time; there’s no fixed time for his meeting. It so happens that when an aspirant meets him and it strikes in the soul that he is the only master for him. Sadaguru can meet an aspirant at anytime/anywhere. He enters the life of an aspirant provided the aspirant is receptive.

There are several characters of a Sadaguru who can be an ideal master.

His company transforms attachment into dispassion. His critics may not admit but from inside they like his nature. His presence itself provides answers to all your questions and doubts. He accepts things for the happiness of others and not for his needs. He lives only for others, so he can only be served; not worshipped.
You should go and just sit quietly around the Sadaguru, don’t ask too many questions also. Don’t present your demands in front of him as it is an insult to his omnipresent nature.

Bapu says especially for the youth that the when the body is active, it will become powerful (shakti), when the intellect works in the right direction, it leads to independence (mukti) and when the heart is full of love, it leads to devotion (bhakti). Use your energy in the right way!

In the war of Lanka, Raavan had a physical chariot but on the other hand, Bhagwaan Ram had Dharma-rath but not a chariot. Bhagwaan Ram describes the Dharma-rath to Vibheeshan and it can be seen from Shri Ram Charit Manas and other writings of Tulsidas jee that all the qualities of Dharma-rath are present in Bhagwaan Ram, only then he is discussing Dharma-rath. Raavan is hardly able to manage some of them and that too partially.

Question – Why don’t we experience conclusive feeling in prem?
Bapu’s answer – There can be no conclusion in prem as it is always growing and unending (anant). Even the supreme beloved is infinite (anant) and also the need for prem is endless (anant). So, when there is amalgamation of these three ‘anant’, how can there be a conclusion!
There’s a difference between ‘charitra’ and ‘leela’. Charitra is the narrative of the actual happenings of past and leela may have incidents that may or may not have happened. Bhagwaan Ram walked on both the tracks but Raavan was weak in charitra.

‘Sakha dharm-maya asa rath jaakein | Jeetan kahan na katahun ripu taakein ||’- Bhagwaan Ram says that the one who is able to implement this Dharma-rath will not see anyone as enemy, so no one is left to be won!

‘Maha ajay sansaar ripu jeeti sakayi so beer | Jaakein asa rath hoi driddh sunahu sakha mati-dheer ||’- Bapu says that the way he perceives this doha (based on how Dadajee taught Shri Ram Charit Manas) as the world is not an enemy, it is to be served. But the people who dispute the creation of God are real enemies. The world is a form of the Almighty and if it is criticized unnecessarily, then the thought behind this kind of criticism is like an enemy. The aspirant who follows this Dharma-rath is truly brave as he becomes able in destroying such negative thoughts. The world is a place of the Lord, saints and shastras, so it should not be condemned in any way.

Bapu says, ‘I want to congratulate all for three reasons – 1) for successful organization of this katha, 2) for tomorrow’s occasion of Maharashtra-Gujarat day and 3) for the Akshaya treetiya today, it is Parshuram Jayanti today, so let us offer this katha in his feet.’

“Jaasu naam bhav bheshaj haran ghore traya sool | So kripaal mohi toe par sadaa rahau anukool ||”- Let us conclude this katha with this prayer in the feet of Bhagwaan Ram that his holy name may become a remedy for all our problems…

Lanka Kaand – Doha 80
Sunahu sakha kaha kripa-nidhaana | Jehin jai hoi so syandan aana ||
Sakha dharm-maya asa rath jaakein | Jeetan kahan na katahun ripu taakein ||

Listen Friend, replied the All-Merciful, the chariot that leads one to victory is quiet another one.
My friend, he who owns such a chariot of piety shall have no enemy to conquer anywhere.

In Rigveda, the aspirant prays that may he be blessed with auspicious thoughts from all directions. But, in addition to this prayer, the thoughts should not be subdued, they should be liberated. Secondly, the thoughts should not be limited; they should be able to appeal to all at a large platform. Thirdly, the thoughts should not be destructive, but beneficial for mankind.

The katha listeners should definitely spend some time in thinking about the sutras of katha. The power of positive thoughts is such that it can bring a hault to any kind of struggle in life. Like the discourse of Dharma-rath by Bhagwaan Ram has brought a break in the war of Lanka.

A devotee, who has surrendered in the divine feet, should never become perplexed by any situation. If he gets moved by ups and downs of life, either the place of his refuge is not perfect or his surrender is not absolute.

Being in the company of a person who has stationed himself fully in faith is heaven for an aspirant and on the other side, the company of a faithless person is equal to hell for him.

Question – Why is ‘sansaar’ called ‘ripu’ (enemy) in Dharma-rath – ‘ Maha ajay sansaar ripu jeeti sakayi so beer’ ?
Bapu’s answer – Sansaar (materialism) may be an enemy, but jagat (creation) is not. It is a form of the Lord.
An individual experiences peace (shanti) at some point of time or the other, but it is more important to experience joy (aanand). The mangalaacharan (initial shlokas) of Shri Ram Charit Manas are grah shanti (process of establishing peace) and the conclusion in Uttar kand connotes param-vishraam/ param-aanand (joy).

The highest element is the supreme power, but Sadaguru can be higher than the highest when an aspirant places ultimate faith in him. Sadaguru is Upaasya (subject of reverence) and the shishya is Upaasak (devotee). Upaasya should be spiritually capable (samarth) but the upaasak should always maintain complete modesty in his heart (despite any material ability). The bridge between both is Upaasana (the flow of spiritual energy). This process cannot be seen but can only be felt. The flow should move in a balanced way, neither very slow nor over-flowing. The upaasya should not be aggressive; he should be serene and should be able to have a calming effect on the aspirant. He can only fill an aspirant with spiritual energy, only if the aspirant is vacant from inside.

‘Daan’ (charity) may be of many types, as discussed in previous katha, but the greatest daan is ‘Ram daan’ or to place Bhagwaan Ram in someone’s heart. Don’t try too hard to remove the haraam (negativity), just try and situate Bhagwaan Ram for good and you will feel that the faults start leaving you automatically. It is more important to for an aspirant to get attached to the Lord and his holy name as in this process, the faults will get destroyed by God’s sheer auspiciousness.

In the 21 st century, casteism (varna-vaad) and sectism (sampradaay-vaad) should not be given much importance. This kind of distinction does no good for the society; it only creates division in people’s mind. Some things do not carry practicality forever.

A person may be full of knowledge and information, but if he is not able to be compassionate and sensitive towards others, then his knowledge may prove to be just destructive. Such a person would not be of much help for the welfare of society in spite of being knowledgeable.

The one who wants to take an oath (vrat) of doing charity should take of following four:

Sankalp (resolution)- In the morning, make a firm resolution of donating something. Saadhana (appropriate efforts)- In the daytime, do sincere attempts to put the resolution into practical. Samarpan (present)- In the evening, give away whatever you could accumulate in accordance to your resolution. Samaadhi (blissful state)- If the above three steps are followed, then the aspirant can find ultimate joy of samaadhi even in his sleep.
“Daan parasu budhhi sakti prachanda ”- Dharma involves powerful intellect. Weak intellect may be able to produce weapons, but only a powerful intellect can rightly decide to use or un-use it. According to Vinoba jee, there are five features of a powerful intellect (prachand budhhi), withstanding the fact that the person may or may not be a literate or academically learned.

One who has faith in ever-existing morals- Values like truth, love and compassion will never become out of date. One who is doing earnest efforts for creating and maintaining goodness and unity in family as well as society. A person may live in three stages. Firstly, ‘Bhaav-avastha’, where he feels that any mishaps that occur around him are not due to any other reason but only because his own bhajan is not sufficient to prevent such happenings. Secondly, ‘Kriya-avastha’, where he does all the possible attempts to prevent any mishaps and thirdly, ‘Gyaan-avastha’, where he conditions his mind not to get affected by the ups and downs of life. One who accepts the fact that there was life before birth and life would continue even after death. This fact may not be clearly evident to all as some things are beyond normal intellect. Death is not the end of a creature’s existence. One who has faith in the theory of Karma- Every individual gets the results of his own actions. Some deeds may be fruit immediately and some may take longer time. One who has faith that science and dharma are not separate; they are complimentary in many ways.
Any activity that helps in cleansing the antah-karan (inner self) and removing the faults is satsang. It may be in the form of any art like music, painting etc, or in the form of performing your duties with dedication or also in the form always being cordial with people around.

Bhagwaan Ram chooses particular characters for spiritual discussion in Shri Ram Charit Manas. Similarly, in a satsang or a discourse, there may be thousands of listeners but Sadaguru speaks for some chosen aspirants. Sadaguru is not in search for Paramaatma as he himself is Paramaatma, but he is in a search for suitable shishya who is able to understand his sutras.

The first and foremost character of such a shishya is that he should be the one who neither jealous of others nor should he criticize anyone. Bhagwaan Krishna chose Arjun for the discourse of Bhagwad Gita and here in Shri Ram Charit Manas, Bhagwaan Ram chose Vibheeshan for the discourse of Dharma-rath. There is a difference between Arjun and Vibheeshan. Arjun got depressed by seeing his family elders and cousins as opposing party in the war, but Vibheeshan was moved due to extreme affection for Bhagwaan Ram and he got concerned for his safety in the Lanka war. Vibheeshan did not interrupt Bhagwaan Ram during Dharma-rath, but Arjun raised many question to Bhagwaan Krishna during Bhagwad Gita.

A loyal devotee becomes totally fearless as his refuge is so intense that nothing moves his faith. If faith is not up to the mark, then the surrender won’t be so effective. There is no need of a procedure (vidhi) with Sadaguru, the main prerequisite is the firm faith (vishwaas) of the aspirant.

“Give and live” or “Giving is living”- If you take or get from somewhere, please share it with others as it will lead you on to the right path of spirituality.

“Bara bigyaan katthin kodanda”- The strong bow (dhanush) of Dharma-rath is science. Knowledge is the information in theory, but science is the practical implementation of the information. The bow lies on a shoulder of a person, but unless the hand uses it, it remains useless. Shastra’s knowledge remains a burden unless it is used in practical life. Bhagwaan Ram used the bow given by Parshuram jee to put an end to Raavan life’s and thereby taking away the burden of this earth.

Question – Usually, it is seen in a rath that the four horses are not arranged in row but two in the front and two behind them. In Dharma-rath, which horses are kept in the front and which ones behind them?
Bapu’s answer – The horses may be arranged in whatever convenient way, but in this kind of arrangement of doubles, the first horse in the front should be parhit (welfare of others) and second should be Dama (control). The horse behind parhit should be bal (strength) as one should indulge in welfare activities according to one’s capacity. And in spite of being able and strong, if you are not able to be of any help to others then that ability may not carry any significance. The horse behind dama should be of bibek (wisdom) as control should be done with appropriate manner. It should not go over-board and should be done in a balanced way. The three halters of forgiveness, grace and equality should be jointly used for all.
The characters of Shri Ram Charit Manas ride on the three horses at some point of time or other.

The horse of ‘ Bal’ is used by Bali Bharat jee uses the horse of ‘Bibek’ ( Bharatu hans rabi-bans tadaaga | Janami keenha guna doshe bibhaaga) . The horse of ‘Dama’ is used by sages and Rishis of Aranya Kand and Jataayu uses the horse of ‘parhit’ as he sacrifices his life to save Ma Jaanaki.
An aspirant should chant Hari-naam keeping three things in mind. Let us look at Shiv Parivaar for this. Bhagwaan Shankar is a form of faith (vishwaas), Ma Parvati is shradhha (loyalty/dedication) and Ganesh jee connotes vivek (wisdom); they all chant Ram naam. Taking inspiration from them, one should do japa with faith, dedication and wisdom. No other procedure (vidhi) or condition is required for Harinaam japa.

Tulsidas jee says, “ Ramahi sumiriya gaaiya ramahi | Santat suniya ram guna graamahi ||”- There are different ways of doing bhajan- reciting or doing paatth of Ramkatha, listening to Ramkatha or chanting Ram naam. But in Kaliyuga, chanting is the most feasible option as that can be done 24×7. Listening and reciting are also great and should be followed but they are bound in time.

For youth, “ Don’t lose the character in the process of making a career.”

Parents should not try to dominate children; they should try and deal with them with affection understanding their vulnerability.

Let us continue with Dharma-rath -“ Bara bigyaan katthin kodanda”. According to Vinoba jee, The greatest science has three features:

It continues innovating new things; it is not stagnant It helps in the betterment of mankind. It should be constructive and not destructive. Question – Is it true that intellect gets destroyed when a person is in anger or in some worry?
Bapu’s Answer – When a person is angry or worried, his intellect does not get destroyed but it gets subdued. Later, when one experiences the insignificance of anger and worrying, the intellect gets activated again. But the intellect gets destroyed when one loses all the memory.
It is a fact that the Almighty is omnipresent, so he exists in the heart of every creature. But, to realize this fact, an aspirant has to condition his mentality and first look around Him in all creation; The whole existence is a form of that supreme power only. The experience of Almighty’s presence everywhere helps in realizing Him in inner self. Like a person has to see in the mirror to look at himself, he has to look for the omnipresent in all creation to experience Him in own heart.

There are said to be four purushartha or fala (dharma, arth, kaam and moksha) in our scriptures. Bapu says, ‘I think in Shri Ram Charit Manas there are three more in addition to the three. It is a Saptak.” Balkand is ‘dharma’ as Bhagwaan Shankar sits on the throne of dharma, Ayodhya kand is ‘Arth’ as there are happenings in this kand that occur due to the throne of Kingdom of Ayodhya. Aranya kand talks about ‘Kaam’ as there is arrival of Supnakha will desirous feelings and also the discussion with Naarad jee about it. Kishkindha kand talks about ‘Moksha’ as Bali attains salvation by the arrow of Bhagwaan Ram. Sunder kand discusses ‘Prem’ ( Tatva prem kar mum aru tora | Jaanat priyaa eku manu mora ). Lanka kand highlights ‘Kaal’ ( Lav nimesh paramaanu juga barash kalap sar chand | Bhajasi na mana tehi ram ko kaalu jaasu kodand ||). Uttar kand’s main sutra is ‘Param vishraam’ ( Paayo param bishraamu ram samaan prabhu naahin kahun).

If seen in this particular way, Shri Ram Charit Manas is also a Dharma-rath in itself. The seven things mentioned above are its various parts.

If Shri Ram Charit Manas is a Dharma-rath, the two facets of wealth

(Arth) are its wheels. Money can be used in two ways, either for victuals (bhog) or for charity (daan). Money is needed even to propagate dharma. We should not criticize wealth; rather it should be used for good purposes. The use of wealth for victuals should not go beyond a limit and the second use of wealth may be charity but that also should be in accordance with your capacity. According to Upanishads, first, sacrifice the goods and then take pleasure from them. But, in the present scenario, it can be said that first take the taste of things and then share it with others so that they can also have a taste of good things. Like a mother first tastes and checks the food and then gives it to child to eat if its good.

The horses of this Dharma-rath are the various desires (Kaamana). The several types of wishes don’t allow an individual to be at peace. They make a person restless. If you want to test the depth of personality of scholar of shastras, check if he becomes cranky in small things, has an inclination to take revenge or is full of desires, then understand that he has still not attained the ultimate knowledge.

The saarthi of this Dharma-rath is mentality of salvation (Moksha). The aspirations for salvation should control the senses. Here, salvation refers to freedom from moha (delusion). This kind of freedom comes gradually with Sadaguru’s grace when an aspirant experiences that all the materialism is ultimately insignificant.

The rider (rathi) of this Dharma-rath is ‘Kaal’ (power of time) – it guides an individual and brings about changes in life. But the presence of ‘Prem’ can influence it; love is such an element that in spite of being invisible, it reigns over time also. The goal of this Dharma-rath is ‘Param Vishraam’- ultimate peace.

Question – What saadhan and in how much quantity should be done to stop malign thoughts?
Bapu’s answer – Don’t think about the quantity of saadhan, the best saadhan is Harinaam japa done with full emotions.

Question – You say that the supreme power is “param avyavastha” (ultimate non-arrangement). Is guru also similar to this?
Bapu’s answer – I can’t say about a guru but Sadaguru is also the same. It is difficult to predict him as he is not bound by any kind of arrangement.
An aspirant should be free from hatred, jealousy and competition with other aspirants. His only goal should be self-realization. He should be focused on own spiritual journey and not bother about others’ progress.

Question – Why does a person feel proud of his anger instead being apologetic?
Bapu’s answer – the pride of an angry person may be outwardly but his inner conscience feels the pinch of this fault. The ego’s sadist influence is so strong that it makes a person go through negative inclinations.

Ignorance (agyaan) leads to pain, Knowledge (gyaan) makes a person look above the pain and pleasure; brings both on an equal level. Science (vigyaan) leads to pain as well as pleasure as it depends on the mentality of the person using the scientific instrument. He may use it either for constructive or for destructive purposes, for example, a match stick may be used to light a lamp and also to burn someone’s property. But, the highest science (bara bigyaan) is that which only leads to spiritual joy. It can be said that bara bigyaan is the highest understanding of a person’s mind that clears all doubts and creates joyfulness.

Question – Why does a person experience pain?
Bapu’s answer – Many reasons have been discussed in earlier kathas, but here are some more:
In the process of doing efforts to find pleasure, one goes through pain. To avoid this, one should do efforts with a mentality of doing duty and leave the result to God. Refrain from the sorrows of the past and worries of future, live in the present. Lack of faith (ashradhha) and superstition (andh-shradhha), both lead to grief; Only faith (shradhha) can make a person joyful. If an aspirant is able to put his absolute faith in the feet of a Sadaguru or the Lord, he would never feel sorrowful. Endless wishes and hopes (aasha) for happiness lead to depression at some point of time. When you have to ask for/ beg for something from anyone (yaachna), it is painful. Competition (spardha) leads to pain. Try to be content in your own ability.
Anticipation and acknowledgement of sorrow – An aspirant should not pay much attention to troubles, rather try to make oneself mentally strong. Take the strength from the faith in shastras and Sadaguru. This strength will help you in preparing to face any situation with courage. Bapu says, “if you decide to be happy in every kind of situation, then even God cannot make you unhappy.”

Bapu says, “Today in the morning I decided that we shall continue with Dharma-rath in Mumbai katha (next katha in Hindi as all the kathas before that will be in Gujarati) . I don’t want to rush with the chaupais of Dharma-rath. Anyway, we will continue tomorrow with the next chaupai – Amal achal mana trone samaana | Sama jama niyam seelimukh naana||. ”

“Jai Jai Shri Ramchandra, avadh ke dulaarey….”

Some aspects of Adharma rath were discussed in Kolkata katha. Let us see what are its axe, strength and bow. The axe of adharma rath is hoarding of material goods (sangrah) as against charity of Dharma-rath. The strength of adharma rath is hostile intellect (vipareet budhhi). Vibheeshan tells Raavan that the negative intellect forms a hindrance in seeing the reality -“ Tav ur kumati basi bipareeta | Hit anahit maanahu ripu preeta ||”. The bow of adharma rath is superficial information without in-depth knowledge. Duryodhan says in Mahabharat that he knows the dharma but is unable to implement it. Theoretical knowledge does not help much until it is put into practice.

Let us see the next chaupai of Dharma-rath. – “Amal achal mana trone samaana | Sama jama niyam seelimukh naana ||” . A quiver (arrow case) is necessary to keep arrows for using the bow properly. Bhagwaan Ram says to Vibheeshan that traan (footwear) is not so important, but trone (quiver) is necessary part of Dharma-rath. The quiver of Dharma-rath is pure and steady mind of an aspirant.

In a mantra of Kenopanishad, A shishya asks the main energy behind the mind?. In the answer, it is said that the Almighty cannot be understood by the mind, but if the person is able to understand the supreme power, then he would be able to understand the mind also.

Let us first see what is a mind (mana)-

Mind is full of energy and at the same time Tulsidas jee calls it a mukuru (mirror), which is a lifeless object – ‘ Shriguru charan saroj raj nij manu mukuru sudhaari’. Mind is like a peacock – ‘ Ghan ghamand nabh garajat ghora | Priyaa-heen darapat mana mora||’. A peacock cannot fly to great heights, similarly, the mind has a limited capacity to create disturbance, it cannot go too far. Don’t stop your bhajan if your mind does not cooperate; it will settle down on its own with time. Mind is like a mosquito (patang), which burns itself up in material attractions – ‘ Deep sikha sama jubati tana mana jani hosi patang’. Mind is like an elephant, whose weakness is sense of touch – ‘ Mana kari bishaya anal bana jarayi | Hoi sukhi jaun ehi sar parayi’. Mind is like a fish –‘ Ram bhagati jal mum mana meena | kimi bilagaai munees prabeena’. Mind is like a leaf of a peepal tree -‘ Asa mana gunayi raau nahin bola | Peepar paat saris manu dola||’. Mind is so tender, like a peepal leaf, which moves even in the absence of wind. Kaag Bhusundi jee meditates under a peepal tree but does not get affected by the constant movement of leaves as his concentration remains in the roots of the tree and not the leaves. If an aspirant wants to meditate, he should keep his eyes on the roots of his subject of meditation. Mind is like moon as it grows positively in satsang and regresses in adverse surroundings -‘ Ahankaar siv budhhi aja mana sasi chitta mahaan’. Many times, a mind is like a crook as it plays tricks – ‘ Paai na kehin gati patit paavan ram bhaji sunu satth manaa’ and ‘Mana kapati tana sajjan cheenhaa | Aapu saris sabahi chaha keenhaa||’. Mind is like a child of a cowboy – ‘ Noi nibritti paatra biswaasa | Nirmal mana aheer nij daasa ||’. Mind is like a temple -‘ Mana mandir tinha kein basahu seeya sahit dou bhraat|’. According to Vedaant, mind is one of the four inclinations of inner conscience (antah-karan). In Vedas, it is said that the mind is the center of auspicious resolutions (shubh-sankalp). According to a scholar, the mind is a bundle of thoughts.
In the coming days, we shall discuss the origin of mind, with whose inspiration it works and how to deal with it.

If an artist becomes a saadhu, it is his promotion; But if a saadhu becomes an artist, it is his demotion. Saadhuta contains all the art, he need not limit himself in one.

Katha recital with music creates rasa and joy. But, music should not overtake katha.

Bapu says for the youth, ‘One should first study and analyze the natural inclinations of personal mind, then choose the career accordingly.’

Bapu says, “My congratulations to everyone on the occasion of Makar sankranti. It is the only festival in Hindu tradition that is celebrated according to English calendar date i.e. 14 th Jan. Otherwise, all other festivals are celebrated according to Hindi tithi (like Diwali on ashwin amavasya, Holi on falgun purnima etc.) where date varies from year to year. It is a day to give secret donations (gupt-daan) and in Gujarat people fly kites today.”

Kite connotes the purushartha (efforts for material accomplishments). One should not fly this kite too far that he cannot see it properly meaning that a person should not go overboard with his efforts in such a way that he cannot enjoy the results as he becomes too tired in the process.

Usually, two kinds of people are seen – one who fly the kite and two who are looking for a chance to cut the strings of others’ kites. Similarly, there are two kinds of mentalities in people. Some are busy in just doing efforts for material comforts and some trying to create hindrances for others. But, it is best for an aspirant to remain free of both such inclinations.

In Ayodhya Kand, Tulsidas jee describes the state of Lakhan jee’s mind and equates it to a kite-

“ Mili na jaai nahin gudarat banayi | Sukabi lakhan mana ki gati bhanayi ||

Rahey raakhi seva par bhaaru | Chaddhi chang janu khainch khelaaru ||”

When Lakhan jee sees Bharat jee in Chitrakoot, he is in a dilemma whether to go and meet him or remain where he was. There is a pull of emotions on one side and on the other side, there is duty of seva of Bhagwaan Ram. .Like a kite is flown properly when one tightens and loosens the strings from time to time. Similarly, for proper functioning of mind, one should be able to contain his emotions and sometimes should be able to flow with feelings according to the situation.

There are ten senses (five gyanendirya and five karmendriya) in body, but they all function with the signals from mind; otherwise, they remain still. For example, you are young, full of energy- your eyes can see, legs can walk, ears can hear and you have all the facilities to go for a movie, but if your mind is un-interested, none of your body parts will work in that direction. Mind is the reason behind pain and pleasure, paap and punya, freedom and dependency.

Mind is the center point of saadhana. One should build up an understanding and devotion within that the Almighty is the sole subject of my love. Others are not to be hated, but my supreme beloved is only the Lord, without whom I would be nowhere.

A hand denotes the inner conscience.

The first finger is the mind that controls and gives directions. The middle finger is the intellect as it is powerful in deciding things. The ring finger denotes the chitta that highlights the spiritual energy. The smallest finger is the ego. The thumb is the connotation of the supreme power, in the absence of which no element works properly. Question – You say that for a perfect marriage, the wife should respect the husband and husband should love the wife. But, if the lady gives due respect to husband and still husband does not reciprocate with love. What to do in that case?
Bapu’s answer – In that case, the wife should understand that he does not have enough love inside him therefore, she should give him some love from her side. He would return back the same to her.
It is usually said that ‘follow the conduct of Bhagwaan Ram and words of Bhagwaan Krishna.’ But, in today’s times, it is not so easy to follow every conduct of Bhagwaan Ram and it is feasible to follow some of the conduct of Bhagwaan Krishna like playing, singing, helping one in distress (Arjun).

Sanyog is the meeting with the Lord bound in time, but Viyog is meeting every moment. It is a boon.

According to vedaant, there are some kosha in the body- anna-maya, mano-maya, praan-maya, vigyaan-maya and anand-maya. ‘Manomaya’ kosha has two facets- good and bad, resolutions and options, bondage and liberty etc. Tulsidas jee also mentions the two facets of a mind- pure and steady- “ Amal achal mana trone samaana | Sama jama niyam seelimukh naana ||”. An aspirant should not worry much about the steadiness of mind as it becomes steady automatically in faults like anger, desire and greed. Rather, one should be sincere in purifying the mind from negativities.

Another set of two facets of mind are- healthy and unhealthy. Garuda jee asks Bhushundi jee about mental illnesses.- ‘ Manas roge kahahu samujhaai | Tumha sarbagya kripa adhikaai||’. In reply Bhushundi jee says that everybody is a victim of such illness but only some people realize it. Then he discusses the various types of faults that make a mind sick. But later, in conclusion of his answer, he describes the process of well-being coming back for the mind. He says, ‘ Jaaniya tab mana biruj gosaain | Jab ur bal biraag adhikaai ||’. The sign of mind getting well is the rise of feeling of dispassion (vairaagya). Dispassion is not abandoning (chhodana) or breaking (todana) away – this kind of behaviour is a kind of madness/ignorance. Dispassion is actually living in the middle of everything but still remaining mentally aloof from all; this is sign of mental well ness. Dispassion has its own kind of joy.

‘Viraag’ also means a vishesh raag (a unique kind of connection). Let us take an example of a coconut. In case of a raw coconut, the inner core sticks strongly to the interior side of peel – this is ‘raag’ when a person is too attached to everything. But, when the coconut becomes ripe, its core gets naturally separated from its inner layer in spite of being inside it – this ‘viraag’. It is more practical to remain aloof from the mind than abandon everything. Another sign of mental healthiness is hunger for positive thinking/intellect and weakness of desires goes away.- ‘ Sumati chhudha baaddhayi nit nayi | Bishaya aas durbalata gayi ||’. Then a healthy mind gets refreshed by the knowledge that is free of arrogance- ‘ Bimal gyaan jal jab so naahai | Tab raha ram bhagati ur chhaai||’.

Symptoms of a healthy mind:

When there are ample reasons to get angry, you are able to sustain your understanding without giving immediate reactions and remain calm. Later, you use pleasant words to pacify the matter and maintain a cordial atmosphere around you. In spite of all the available opportunities of fulfilling your desires, you are able to concentrate on your bhajan. Instead of being greedy, you are able to share your wealth for welfare of others. A greedy person is neither able to cry or laugh heartily. Sadaguru is a physician who takes care of mental health of the shishya. His words are like rays of the sun that reach out to the shishya. He has a remedy for every problem. The only condition on the shishya’s part is strong faith in Sadaguru’s words.
‘Mala’ is like a setubandh (bridge) where every bead denotes the blessings of Sadaguru , the mantra joins them and the meru (central bead) is like a Shiv-linga or the grace of God i.e. the most important element in japa.

Even if you attain the ultimate peace (param vishraam), don’t forget your humility. Humbleness is the sign of peacefulness – “ Mo sama deen na deen hit tumha samaan raghubeer”.

We shall continue with the rest of the part of Dharma-rath in Mumbai katha (in April 2006), if God wills!!

Haraye namah..Haraye namah..Haraye namah..

Lanka Kaand – Doha 80
Sunahu sakha kaha kripa-nidhaana | Jehin jai hoi so syandan aana ||
Sakha dharm-maya asa rath jaakein | Jeetan kahan na katahun ripu taakein ||

Listen Friend, replied the All-Merciful, the chariot that leads one to victory is quiet another one.
My friend, he who owns such a chariot of piety shall have no enemy to conquer anywhere.

Welcome to all for satsang in this city, located close to Ma Ganga. We will take up the topic of ‘Manas-Dharma rath’ from Uttar kand of Shri Ram Charit Manas in this katha. It has already been discussed twice earlier years back, but there was a request for this topic here and as recently we all celebrated Gita jayanti and in Bhagwad Gita also the rath of Arjun, driven by Bhagwaan Krishna (chariot) is in highlight.

This rath is not just for war (yudh) but to make a person wise (budh). It is rath that is necessary for life as in every person, a dual between positive and negative goes on and this rath can help in dealing with the inner conflicts.

Bhagwaan Budhha said that be your own light; it is a good thought, but Sadaguru is necessary to light up the diffused light in an aspirant. If one is unable to light a lamp for himself within, then going to Sadaguru (who is fully illuminated with spirituality) would create light and provide a new direction.

Troubles are to be faced with courage, they do not go if you keep crying or cribbing about them. They are the results of your own deeds. God tries your faith by giving adversities and not to make you suffer in pain! Remember problems are just your tests, which will go with time.

In Bhagwad Gita, Bhagwaan Krishna’s discourse was in the beginning of Mahabharat, but the discourse by Bhagwaan Ram to Vibheeshan in the form of Dharma-rath is in the middle of war of Lanka. As the war progressed, one day, Vibheeshan got restless when he saw Bhagwaan Ram without any footwear and chariot to confront Raavan ( Raavanu rathi birath raghubeera | Dekhi bibheeshanu bhayau adheera ||) . Here, a question arises that in spite of surrendering in the feet of the Lord, why did Vibheeshan feel fidgety (restless)? The statement that says that Vibheeshan felt restless comes from any of the narrators of Shri Ram Charit Manas and not from Bhagwaan Ram. In fact, Bhagwaan Ram calls him ‘matidheer’ (enduring) in the conclusion of his discourse of Dahrma-rath. Therefore, for an aspirant the most important thing should be what his subject of worship thinks about him and not the views of others.

Just like the sun never goes off, it gets hidden due to rotation of earth; similarly, the God given wisdom of an individual is always there but it gets veiled by the adverse or favourable situations.

There is a difference between the anguish (vishaad) of Arjun and Vibheeshan. Arjuna got nervous due to delusion (moha), but Vibheeshan got apprehension due to extreme affection towards Bhagwaan Ram ( Adhik preeti mana bhaa sandeha | Bandi charan kaha sahit saneha ||).

There should be material development (vikaas) but not at the cost of inner peace (vishraam). Suffering may be due to many reasons as follows.

Raag moolak – Due to individual’s attachments, like it happened with Arjuna. Dwesh moolak – Due to jealousy and hatred. Eg.- Duryodhan. Abhinimesh moolak – Due to lack of knowledge.
The end of suffering cannot be experienced with outer reasons, but with the actual joy from within.

To prevent yourself from becoming restive/uneasy (adheer), take care of following.

Anukool samaya – Choose a convenient time for every work. Even in the case of daily pooja, be flexible and choose a suitable time according to your practical circumstances. There is no time-table to remember God, so choose an appropriate time when your mind is energetic and healthy.

Anukool samajh – Appropriate knowledge should be there according to age.

Anukool saadhan – Choose the appropriate method of worship according to your personal inclination and natural choice.

Anukool sahaayak – One should such a company of people who help you in maintaining the inner peace.

Anukool sahan-sheelta – Keep appropriate patience. Involve yourself in endeavours that are in your capacity. Don’t go overboard with your enthusiasm and understand your limitations.

Anukool uplabdhiyan – Keep appropriate number of material goods around you. Do not collect things unnecessarily without requirement.

“Adhik preeti” (extreme fondness) is naturally existent in three relationships:

Parents and kids – It is there upto an extent, but with the passage of time, age brings limitations in it. Friends – Friendship retains fondness provided no selfish interests come in the way. Sadaguru-shishya – Remains eternal if both are faithful.
Pain and pleasure are not happenings but the reactions of a person towards any happenings. It depends on an individual to take out the positive or negative meaning from any happening.

Ram naam is the essence of all spiritual efforts. The spiritual journey should move on the tracks of thought (vichaar) and faith (vishwaas).

Bapu says, “I would request the male members of family to understand and bear the pains of hardships and then make everyone happy without cribbing. Females are a bit tender so they should take care of them.”

Dharma-rath of Shri Ram Charit Manas came in the middle of the Lanka war and not in some sage’s ashram. This means that there is no need of a specific place for realization; it can happen anywhere provided the aspirant is eager and is mentally receptive. Change of place is not required; change of mind is required to attain realization.

Actually, the war is not between Bhagwaan Ram and Raavan but between the forces of love (neh) and delusion (moh). Raavan rides on the chariot of delusion (Adharma-rath) and Bhagwaan Ram prefers love (Dharma-rath).

There are several social sins according to Gandhi jee. Some of them are listed below:

Taking away someone else’s money without doing any efforts. Science without sensitivity – Science produces Yantra (instruments), but spirituality produces Mantra. Vinoba jee said that science produces three types of instruments/yantra- ‘Sanhaarak’- destructive like bombs. Samaya-saadha – time saving like aeroplane, telephone etc. Utpaadak – productive. Preaching without practice. Politics without morals. Business without honesty. Worshipping without respect.
Bapu says, “I want to add two in this list.”

Farming without hard work. Saadhuta (righteousness) without truth.
You can see God in three ways:

Paarivaarik paramatma – see in the people around you, this way quarrels will automatically stop. Praakritik paramatma – see in the nature and its creation around you. Try to cooperate with nature as struggling with it will not help in any way. See within yourself.
Never ever think that God’s grace is bestowed upon me because I deserve it. It is not due to an individual’s eligibility, but due to God’s benevolent nature that one feels His grace. His nature compels Him to bestow grace on all.

Bapu says, “ In the times of struggle, try and remember this Dharma-rath. I have faith that it will help you come through troubles. Recite with faith, it will inspire you to move towards right direction.”

Question – How do we increase love in life?
Bapu’s answer – It will increase with humbleness (vinay) and it is evident in a person’s speech. Mannerly behaviour (sheel) increases fondness and it shows through eyes. Love also reciprocates love.

Raavan’s rath is of adharma (wickedness) is visible & but Dharma-rath of Bhagwaan Ram is not visible. This connotes that dhrama need not be seen (sthool) outwardly; it is actually inside a person (sookshma). It is in the roots, so its not seen sometimes. The symbols of dharma are outer but its essence resides inside the aspirant. The incidents of the storyline of Ram katha may seem happenings, but they convey perceptive meanings.
Vyas jee had said that lethargy is equivalent to being dead. But Bapu says, “I want to add three more sutras in this context:

Pradarshan – Exhibiting yourself by copying others is like killing your own soul. Retain the nature that lies within; do not ape others. Paraadheenata – Lack of freedom is like being a dead body as you are dependent on others. Patit vritti – Sinful mentality.
Question – You say that there is no system in the supreme power. How is it possible as there is supposed to be a divine system that takes care of all creation?
Bapu’s answer – Yes, it is absolutely true that the supreme power is beyond any kind of arrangement. Actually, the system applies to nature, which works according to time and a defined mode. But, the supreme power is not bound by any system or any set of rules. The defined principles may be of scriptures, sects or law but the Almighty does not have any set principles. The ultimate divine power is free of limitations. A creature requires ears to listen, mouth to speak and taste, hands to work, feet to walk, eyes to see; but the supreme power does everything without any of these; it is beyond any of these requirements. Like a garden has a boundary, it has a set of plants and it requires maintenance. But a jungle is not bound in any kind of arrangement.

Question – Why do you say “Sadaguru bhagwaan ki jai.” Are you bhagwaan?
Bapu’s answer – “I say ‘Jai’ for my Sadaguru (my Dadajee), it is up to you to say the same or not; its your choice! You can also remember your respective Sadaguru when you say jai with me. I’m not bhagwaan, but bhagwaan is in me. Similarly, Bhagwaan is in you too, but you are not bhagwaan. Bhagwaan is everywhere, an individual needs to feel him. Hemendracharya defines bhagwaan is with certain qualities in the following way:

Bha – Relates to Bhakti. One who is full of devotion
Ga – Free of ‘garv’ (pride)
Wa – Whose speech is full of humbleness (vaani mein vivek).
Na – Who is not pessimistic (nakaaratmak na ho).

Let us start with the parts of Dharma-rath. Tulsidas jee says that the two wheels of Dharma-rath are bravery and patience.

sauraj dheeraj tehi rath chaaka | – A person should have a blend of bravery that is not hurting to others and patience that helps in maintaining mental balance. Valor is handicap without patience. A person may be daring but if he is not able to keep patience in the ups and downs of life, then he is incomplete. Patience actually means to behave in accordance with the demands of circumstances.
satya seel driddh dhwajaa pataka || – Truth is the flag of Dharma-rath; it is an identification of a person. The various flaps are different kinds of manners that decorate a person. How , what, when and where to speak; what and what not to see; How and what to eat; How and where to sit etc.. One of the main sheel is minding your own things, do not intefere in everything.

In a book called ‘Bhoj Prabandh’, it is said that any work is accomplished by purity of spirit and not by instruments. Bhagwaan Ram used minimal instruments but accomplished himself wherever he went.

Yesterday, we saw that the wheels of Dharma-rath are bravery and patience, but as opposed to this the wheels of adharma rath are fear (bhaya) and impatience (adhairya). Raavan was supposed to be very strong but it was only outwardly. When he went to abduct ma Sita in Panchvati, he feared like a dog. A wicked person does not have much patience, he becomes perplexed by petty things also. Patience can only come with total surrender in feet of the Lord. The flag of adharma rath is untruth (asatya) and the flaps are various types of indecencies (asabhyata) in behaviour. Bapu says, “I would like the youth to understand the viewpoints of elders and remain cordial with them. Don’t create conflicts in family.”

Now, let us start with the next chaupai of Dharma-rath

Bal bibek dama par-hit ghorey | Chhama kripa samata raju jorey ||

Tulsidas jee discusses the four horses and their halters of Dharma-rath. The most important parts of any horse are its four legs and its two eyes. Let us discuss the four horses.

Bal – The first horse denotes strength. The four legs of strength are the strengths of intellect (budhhi), faith (shradhha), dispassion (vairaagya) and resolution (sankalp). Intellect and faith are different sides of the same coin. When a person’s energy turns outwardly, it is called intellect, but when it goes reverse within, it is called faith. Dispassion provides strength to dharma and it becomes stable with fervent resolution.

The two eyes of Bal horse are neeti and reeti – Strength should be used at the right place and in the right way.

Bibek – The second horse is understanding/wisdom. The four types of understandings are classified as laukik (apt behaviour in practical life and relationships), alaukik (appropriate conduct with realized souls like saints, fakirs etc), aatmaa (to remain conscious of the fact that this body is just a cover of the soul, soul is indifferent. One who maintains this consciousness does not feel any bodily pain) and brahmaa (understanding that the supreme power is beyond any arrangement).

The two eyes of the horse of bibek are samata and mamata – one should sustain equality in mind for all but attachment for those to whom you are responsible.

Dama – Third horse denotes Control. The four legs signify the four Parts – mana, budhhi, chitta and ahankaar. An aspirant should have control over the four but the two eyes of horse of Dama are nyaayi and sthaayi – teach that the domination should be just and lasting. Too much or too little control is not helpful; it should be in the right proportion.

Parhit – The fourth horse denotes to do welfare of others by money or by feelings. The four legs of this horse are sadbhaav poorna (one should serve others with no self interests involved), sanmaan poorvak (with due respect for the needy), samabhaav poorvak (with equal feelings for all) and swabhaav anukool (in accordance with the nature of the person).

The two eyes of Parhit horse are shakti and bhakti – Do good for others according to your capacity and build a mentality of devotion for the Lord in the form of service to the needy.

Three halters control the four horses of Dharma-rath:

Chhama kripa samata raju jorey | – a person who follows dharma should be able to forgive others (chhamaa). In the process of maintaining dharma, control over vices takes place with the grace of God (kripa). Dharma means taking care of others as much as yourself, but one should maintain equality of mind (samata) in this process

An incident can be said as great where there is amalgamation of following five elements:

Paatra – where the main character is significant. In Bhagwad Gita, Arjun was the main listener, who provoked Bhagwaan Krishna to give an inspirational discourse. In Dharma-rath, Vibheeshan becomes the listener of Bhagwaan Ram. Prasang – No other scripture speaks of equality of all dharma as Bhagwad Gita and that too in the middle of the war place. In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Dharma-rath is an auspicious element in the war of Lanka. Prashna – The questions of Arjun in Bhagwad Gita and Parikshit in Shrimad Bhagwat were such that the answers provided inspiration for whole mankind. In Dharma-rath, Vibheeshan only expressed his apprehension in one line-‘ Naath na rath nahin tana pada-traana | Kehi bidhi jitab beer balwaana ||’ and it led to Bhagwaan Ram’s discourse. Aarambh – Arjun’s perplexed state in Mahabharat and Vibheeshan’s concern for Bhagwaan Ram led to Bhagwad Gita and Dharma-rath. Parinaam – In Bhagwad Gita, the conclusion was in the form of victory of dharma over adharma. In Dharma-rath, Vibheeshan was full of gratitude saying-‘ Ehi mis mohi upadesehu ram kripa sukh punj’.
Thus, both the discourses by Bhagwaan Krishna and Bhagwaan Ram can be rightly defined as momentous happenings.

Yesterday, we discussed the halters and the four horses of Dharma-rath. Let us see the halters and four horses of adharma rath. These horses do not take the person anywhere as they have no legs and no eyes.

Chhal (deception) – Duryodhan uses deceit full tricks to lure Bhagwaan Krishna to join his side. Avivek (irrational) – Wicked people show that they are mannerly, but they have evil intentions. Hum/ahankaar (egoistic) – Adharma pushes a person to credit for everything good. Par-peeda – A heinous person would find pleasure in hurting others. Do not sow pain, do not give pain abut when it comes to you do not try to run away from it.
The three halters of the above horses of adharma rath are:

Pratishodhe (revenge) – People on the path of devotion should make it a practice to forgive others. Taking revenge is abstaining from the devotional path. Katthorata (harshness) – wicked people are stone hearted; they remain unmoved by anything. Aspirants should not remain stubborn but try to be compassionate with others. Mamata (attachments) – Adharma breeds blind attachment to several things due to selfish interests.
Intellect gets corrupt by three main reasons:

Bad company – According to Jainism, don’t be in the companyof such people who spend too much time in sleeping, eating and talking. Parents who complain that the company spoils their children, should take care that they present an ideal example to kids by their own behaviour too. Stop the senses when there’s a chance of attraction; use the intellect at such times. Misunderstandings (bhraanti) corrupt the intellect. Surrendering at the wrong place can corrupt the intellect.
Let us see the next chaupai of Dharma-rath

Ees bhajanu saarathi sujaana |

In the times of Upanishads, intellect used to be the saarathi (charioteer) of a person following dharma. In Dwaapar yuga, Bhagwaan Krishna took the halters of Dharma-rath in his hands and took care of Arjun’s rath. But Tulsidas jee says that in Kaliyuga, only the bhajan (devotion) of the Lord can take the Dharma-rath in the right direction. It will control the rath with the halter of ‘Mala’ (rosary). Japa/mala would save the aspirant from the attack of vices. Bhajan can be in many forms like amending your behaviour, abandoning vices etc.

Birati charm santoshe kripaana ||

According to Vinoba jee, Hindu referred to a person who got hurt by seeing the violence on others (Hin=hinsa: du=dil dubhe). Thus, an aspirant should never think of hurting others, but he has to have a protection to save himself from the criticism of society. Dispassion/vairaagya saves him from any such attack. It also means that dispassion should be like a skin of the person and not just for outer show. It should become apart of existence for an aspirant. ‘Satisfaction/santoshe’ is the kripaan, a two-sided sharp weapon, which helps in destroying the vices that attack closely.

Ways of attaining mental peace:

Kaamana na kare – Do not wish for material things. Do efforts, but don’t get obsessed with them. Spriha na kare – Don’t get too attached to a thing. Don’t get affected if it goes away. Mamata na kare – Don’t condemn if it goes away. Ahankaar na kare – Don’t become proud if you are able to leave it without problem

Question – In the chaupai ‘ Ees bhajanu saarathi sujaana’, why is the word ‘sujaana’ used for bhajan?
Bapu’s answer – Originally, the word ‘Ees’ only applied to Bhagwaan Shankar and he is called sujaan by Tulsidas jee in Shri Ram Charit Manas- “ Hari ichchha bhaavi balwaana | Hridaya bichaarat sambhu sujaana” and “Dekhi su-avasar prabhu pahin aayau sambhu sujaan”.
Hari bhajan should be done with right energy; it should not be life-less. Hari bhajan is not a matter of destiny, it is up to and individual to involve oneself in it or not. It is true that it happens with God’s grace and God’s grace is on everyone. Bhajan would be full of life if an aspirant has 7 types of nishttha (faith in some one/allegiance). They are as follows.

Bapu says, ‘This is my nishttha saptak’.

Guru nishttha – Faithfulness towards Sadaguru is very important as he controls the ups and downs of the spiritual journey for the aspirant. Sadaguru’s power of grace for aspirant. Granth nishttha – Stick to one granth (Scripture), whichever appeals to your heart and does not create prejudices in the mind. Mantra nishttha – Faithfulness to a mantra may be in the form of chanting one mantra or may be in the form of following one particular thought. Ishta nishttha – Keep faith in one deity but at the same time do not disrespect others’ subject of worship. Satya nishttha – Faith should be absolute and in other sense, practice of truth should be total i.e. in thought, speech and actions. Prem nishttha – Spiritual path is only for those who have faith in the thought of love towards all creation.. In this path, when the tears roll down, faith rises higher and grows for better. Aatma nishttha – Awareness of soul.
Let us see some aspects of adharma rath of Raavan. The saarathi (charioteer) of his rath is kumant (as opposed to Sumant of Ayodhya) denoting corrupt mentality. Raavan admits that he cannot do bhajan -‘ Hoihi bhajanu na taamas deha | Mana kram bachan mantra driddh eha ||’ . A wicked person might worship with rituals but there’s no devotion in it.

The protection of adharma is ‘aasakti’ (obsession). Strong attachments protect wickedness. Raavan’s weapon ‘kripaan’ was in the form of discontent.

Now, let us take the next chaupai of Dharma-rath.

“Daan parasu budhhi sakti prachanda”

Daan (charity) is an axe for the rider of Dharma-rath. It is such a weapon that works on the spot. When you donate somewhere, you can see the results instantly most of the times. For example- if you give food, you can see the satisfaction when one eats it. Everybody should give something everyday- not necessarily money but in the form of kind words, sound advice or even a smile. Give according to the necessity of the needy.

Daan (Charity) can be of various types:

Vastra daan – Giving clothes is sometimes more important that food also as the clothes protect a person’s prestige. In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Ma Ansuya gives clothes to Jaanaki jee- ‘ Dibya basan bhooshan pahiraaye | Jey nit nootan amal suhaaye|’. Don’t hide anything with deceit full a purpose from anybody is also a kind of vastra daan.

Ann daan – Food should be donated with due respect. Ma Annpoorna is the provider of food for all.

Vidya daan – Encourage and help kids to study and prosper. Gurujans like Vishwamitra jee are the people who grant knowledge.
Abhaya daan – Grant fearlessness to people around you. Bhagwaan Ram makes Sugreev free of fear.
Kshama daan – Make it a habit of forgiving others. Ma Jaanaki forgives Jayant in Aranya kand inspite of his mis behaviour.
Bhakti daan – Saints grant the boon of devotion to aspirants.
Bapu says, “We will take the next phrase of the chaupai tomorrow. And if God wills, we would continue with Dharma-rath in the next katha in Bangalore as I don’t want to rush with the chaupais.”

Question – Tulsidas jee mentions the horses and their halters in the chaupai- “Bal bibek dama par-hit ghorey | Chhama kripa samata raju jorey ||”. Which halters are used for which horse?
Bapu’s answer – All the three halters can be used for all the four horses and also can be used in different permutations and combinations according to the nature of the aspirant.
The first horse of strength (bal) is held with the halter of forgiveness (chhama). The strong should be able to forgive others and everybody should forgive the weak.

The second horse of wisdom (vivek) is held with God’s grace(kripa). An Aspirant should always think that my wisdom is only due to grace of God. Tulsidas jee says, “Binu satsang bibek na hoi | Ram kripa binu sulabh na soi ||”.

The third horse of control (dama) is also held with halter of God’s Grace as it is not easy for any aspirant to control his senses on his own; it the Lord’s grace that helps in sustaining the control -“ Yaha guna saadhan tein nahin hoi | Tumhari kripa paav koi koi||”. If control comes with grace it would be dignified, but if it comes with force, it might be perverted.

The fourth horse of doing welfare of others (parhit) should be held with sense of equality (samata). Welfare activities should be done without any discrimination. Serve the religious leaders but at the same time take care of your servants and helpers. Respect your family members as much as you respect outsiders.

Question – Can Hanuman jee really fly?
Bapu’s answer – Yes, he definitely can. It is actually a science, but may not be possible for all. Like a bird flies, an aeroplane flies as it is made lighter than air by certain machines. Similarly, when an aspirant accomplishes special yogic kriyas, he can fly too.
The more shishya is transparent (paar-darshak), the more he can attain from a Sadaguru’s (path-darshak) guidance.

Axe of adharma rath is Lootana, chheenna (to steal/rob or to capture by force). The rider of adharma rath protects himself by strong attachments (aasakti) and fights with a kripaan of greediness (trishna/kripanata).

Question – how much bhajan should a person do?
Bapu’s answer – The amount of time one spends in a day for eating food, equal time should be spent for bhajan. If you spend an average of an hour per day for breakfast, lunch, dinner etc., then spend an a day for bhajan.
Parents should take care that the child does not fall into bad company; otherwise it will corrupt the impressionable intellect of the child. They need to take mental care more than physical care of a child.

Shastra cannot be understood by reading many books (Pustak) nor by studying the psychology people (mastak) but only when a Sadaguru knocks (dastak) at your heart with his grace.

Until one stations him in truth, he/she is not able to sustain the ups and downs of life. In the cycle of existence. An aspirant should prepare himself for every kind of situation. This preparation can be done with the help of Sadaguru’s grace and your own bhajan. In Bhagwad Gita, Hanuman jee sits in the flag, denoting truth/satya, so victory or defeat does not affect him. But, in the war of Lanka (where there is a need of circumstance), he becomes active. Truth should come into action when required.

The following type of people cannot experience the actual pleasure of life:

A jealous person burns himself within and invites stress for himself. Everyone should check himself. A hateful person just cannot see and feel happiness around. A person who never gets satisfied is always unhappy. An angry person affects himself the most; his anger may or may not affect the other. A person who is dependent on others cannot be free to choose his wish of happiness. If an individual is dependent on some instruments to find joy, he will lose happiness in the absence of those.
Let us take the chaupai of Dharma-rath -“ Daan parasu budhhi sakti prachanda|”

Intellect is an powerful part of existence; it can work both ways. On one hand, it makes one aware and on the other hand, it can also make unconscious of reality if wrong ways influence it.

According to SaamVeda, an aspirant can attain immense power through following:

‘Somam anu aarabha mahe’ – Follow the serenity of moon as it is a force in itself. Calmness in a person’s nature is a quality that makes his personality weighty.

‘Raajaam anu aarabha mahe’- Follow a person whom you can look up to.

‘Varunam anu aarabha mahe’- Follow the water body. It inspires the aspirant to live with equality and large-heartedness.

‘Agnim anu aarabha mahe’ – Fire a strong element as it burns waste, cooks food, provides light etc.

‘Aadityam anu aarabha mahe’ – Bhagwaan Surya grants glow of personality (tejasvita).

‘Vishnum anu aarabha mahe’ – Bhagwaan Vishnu inspires all to be open minded and not to get affected by the wealth.

‘Brahma anu aarabha mahe’- The creator shall be worshipped.

‘Brihaspatim anu aarabha mahe’ – Salute to the dev-guru. And in the other sense, bow to your Sadaguru.

It might seem difficult to follow all the above, so Shri Ram Charit Manas makes it easy for aspirants as it propagates that all these elements are present in “Ram naam”. Hari naam shall fill you up with a power that will prove to be constructive for the mankind and will lead to spiritual realization.

We would continue the rest of the part of this chaupai “ Daan parasu budhhi sakti prachanda| Bara bigyaan katthin kodanda ||” and the following chaupais of Dharma-rath in Bangalore (next katha), if God wills!!

“Haraye namah..Haraye namah..Haraye namah..”

Main Chopai: Aranya kand – Doha 9 and Lanka kand – Doha 112
Taatey muni hari leen na bhayau | Prathamahin bheid bhagati bara layau ||
Taatey uma mochchh nahin paayo | Dasarath bheid bhagati mana laayo ||

The sage was not absorbed in to the person of Sri Hari because he had received the boon of personal devotion before his death.
Uma, Dashrath did not attain liberation because he had set his heart on devotion while maintaining his seperate identity.

Bapu says, “I want to express my happiness that we have assembled for katha in this teertha. I try to begin the new year (after Diwali) with the first katha in a teertha. And this place is the focal point for all Nimbarkis.”

Ram katha is unique in itself, which has been flowing on for ages like Ma Ganga. In fact, its vastness is growing day by day. Everyone knows Ramkatha as the story of Bhagwaan Ram’s life, but still people are drawn towards it for its spirituality/divinity.

We’ll take up a particular topic from Ramkatha for this katha tomorrow, whatever inspiration comes; otherwise Ramkatha as a whole is always there!!

Truth is such a strong element that even falsehood (lie) has to take help of truth in some form or the other.

Unless one feels contentment inside, his/her mind cannot become steady/sound.

Bapu began today’s katha with paying heartfelt homage to Gunvant bhai (sangeet ni duniya) who departed from this earth yesterday.

Bapu said, ‘ I’ve decided the topic for this katha as MANAS NIMBARK and in the coming days we would discuss where there is a sync between the Nimbarki thought and Tulsidas jee’s views in Shri Ram Charit Manas. Parsuram maharaj of Nimbark tradition has been revolutionary in his thought as he spoke of avoiding unnecessary customs/rituals. His writings show that he wanted to bring about unity in the country.

Tulsidas jee indicates the Nimbark philosophy of ‘bhed-abheda’, where there is segregation from the Lord but at the same time full union in other way. Bhagwaan Ram gives deeksha (spiritual initiation) to Hanuman jee in Kishkindha kand by saying

So ananya jaakein asi mati na tarayi hanumant |
Main sevak sacharaachar roop swaami bhagwant || (Doha 3)

Bhagwaan Ram said that the servant of the Lord sees everything as a form of Almighty only but always considers himself as a humble attendant. The Nimbark thought is evident here as on one side nothing is away from the God but the servant remains humbly in the service of the Lord.

What is the need for a Sadaguru? – In every thought/tradition there is always a master who is in the base of it. It is not appropriate to consider Sadaguru as any other person and any other person as Sadaguru. He is not just a person, but a supreme element (param tatva) who may be either in human form or may be in any other form.

Sadaguru is needed to guide us understand the pure mysteries of the presence of divine power. Just like we all live in air (as we breathe and survive on air), but we cannot see it. It can only be seen with particular equipment; Similarly, we cannot see the omnipresent but Sadaguru helps us in understanding and feeling its presence around and in us.

If an individual has acute eagerness to find a master, he comes across one at some point or the other in life.

A hand represents the various elements of a society:

The first finger represents the guiding people who show the right way with their experience. The middle finger represents the wealthy strata. The ring finger represents the auspicious element as it is used by a Sadaguru to do a ‘tika’ on a shishya’s forehead to bring a transformation his mentality. The smallest finger represents the government, which is important but is not greater than the rest. But, the most vital is the thumb that represents the Sadaguru without whom any society is incomplete. Just like no hand functions well without a thumb, the Sadaguru is indispensable for an aspirant.
One should try to see only the positive in every happening. Satsang helps a lot in developing a positive mindset. Tulsidas jee describes the Almighty as ‘Mangal bhawan’ (abode of auspicious) so, it is impossible to get anything negative from Him. Therefore, whatever happens, happens for good.

Chanting of Ram naam does not require a procedure, but it should be done with faith.

Two fundamental factors for true devotion are- “Vafaa” (loyalty) and “Vishwaas” (trust).

The Almighty, Bhagwaan Ram is the supreme power, but the element that leads to its manifestation is ‘prem’/ love. And this love is not found in heaven, it is only here on earth that love exists. Thus, a true devotee would prefer to be on earth do bhakti. The joy of satsang is greatest joy, which cannot be found any material comforts.

Dasarath jee pronounced Ram naam six times at the time of his death ( Ram ram kahi ram kahi ram ram kahi ram | Tanu parihari raghubar birah raau gayau sur-dhaam ||) but did not go for salvation and preferred to choose ‘Bheda bhakti’ i.e. to remain in devotion for Bhagwaan Ram as his father.

According to the Nimbark philosophy, The supreme power is seen in four forms. Akshar – Unfathomable (immeasurable) element that is beyond alphabets. Ishwar – The force behind creation. Jeev – Being a part of the supreme, every creature is its form only. Tulsidas jee says in Uttar kand-“ Eeswar ans jeev abinaasi | Chetan amal sahaj sukh raasi ||”. Jagat- All creation is a form of Brahm, the omnipresent- “ Seeya ram-maya sab jaga jaani | Karaun pranaam jori juga paani||” Bheda bhakti may be described as seven types.
Bheda refers to a positive arrangement (su-vyavashtha) according to one’s position. It means the way to live in a dignified manner ( maryada). Every creature is a part of the Almighty, but the way one relates with God differs according to one’s inclination/choice (‘sambandh bheda’ is there but no ‘swaroop bheda’). The relation between a Sadaguru and a shishya is a perfect example of bheda bhakti as there always remains a respectable distance between the two in spite of being in harmony. The subject of worship should be the form of trust (vishwaas) and the devotee should be the form of faith (shradhha). The Lord is the origin and the jeev is its creation/part. The God is space/sky and jeev is its earth.
All creation is a form of God but the devotee considers himself as just a servant of all creation. A devotee would not say that ‘I am God’, he would rather say ‘I belong to God’.

Katha may be pronounced in words for masses, but actually the form of katha is ‘param maun’ (silence). Katha is not about raising slogans or creating commotion in the name of dharma; in fact it is to create tranquility and peace inside. The sounds of dharma should not be disturbing; they should take an aspirant towards a meditative state. Dharma is not to intoxicate but to make a person aware. Katha removes the inner dirt and paints the inner being of the listener with the Lord’s colour.

Nimbark Bhagwaan was an incarnation of sudarshan chakra. Sudarshan means an optimistic approach towards everything. It also indicates that Nimbark philosophy believes in dharma that is not stagnant but progressing. An aspirant who follows the sudarshan, remain unaffected by the false criticism of society, as he understands that neither the critic nor his words contain any value; both are worthless. He does not pay any attention to such criticism. A person with constructive mentality lives life to the fullest.

Knowledge need not be conversational/outspoken, but it should be smiling. A grave person may not be having true knowledge.

Every individual should take care of environment. If there is a compulsive situation where a tree has to be cut and there is no other option, then first sow seed of a tree wherever possible and the cut the required tree. The Nimbark sect’s main symbol is the Neem tree. It gives an indication that the way Neem tree provides disease free environment and its components are also used in curing ailments, similarly, the sect aims to make the society free of mental maladies.

The Nimbark thought mentions of five main ‘Anushtthan’ (religious undertakings/resolutions).

Anugaman – An aspirant should follow the directives of the Sadaguru who leads him in the spiritual journey. Upaadaan – An aspirant should collect the best of material, according to one’s capacity, for the service of the Lord. Ijyaa – An aspirant should perform the pooja of the Lord at five specific times in a day. But, it may not be possible for all. Therefore, serving the needy and helping to provide for poor is also Lord’s service. Give time and freedom to your employees to enjoy with their families is also a form of pooja. Adhyayan – An aspirant should study the shastra of his choice regularly. Yoga – An aspirant should perform all his duties and then sit at peace and try to meditate

Let us begin today’s katha with a mantra from Maandukya Upanishad –

Esha sarveshwarah esha sarvagya eshont-anataraya-myeshesha yonih sarvasya prabhavapyayau hi bhootanaanam

This mantra indicates about Sarveshwar Bhagwaan, who is the subject of worship for Nimbarkis. The Lord sarveshvar is the one who is the God of every creature without any kind of discretion of caste, creed or community.

There was a question about the history of Bhagwaan Sarveshwar, who is in the form of a ‘Shaaligram’. In olden times, Brahma jee gave the Shaaligram jee to Sanakaadi for worshipping and they were later passed to Naarad jee from them. Naarad jee gave them to Niyamaanand jee (who established the Nimbark sect). Therefore, that Shaaligram jee (called as Bhagwaan Sarveshwar) is the main deity of Nimbarkis. If seen with some divine grace, one can even see that there are two miniature lines on it that denote Radha jee and Bhagwaan Krishna. Jagadguru of this sect carries the Shaaligram jee in the neck thread if he has to travel. But, it is not possible for everyone. Thus, it can be said that the Black ‘bindi’ (dot) on forehead can be worn as its form. Jagadguru has to take care of Shaaligram jee, but the one who wears black bindi, he is taken care by the bindi from evil eyes!!

Question – We have to face criticism from people around us as they say that youth is not the time for spirituality. What to do?
Bapu’s answer – One has to accept that criticism is bound to come in this field. It is an evidence of the fact that you have entered an auspicious sphere! If compared in society, only a small minority of people criticizes against the majority of people who rather appreciate it. An aspirant should not pay attention to such views.
Do not ask for anything from the Lord, as he knows your requirements. Asking from the Lord is an insult to his omnipresent nature.

Let us see how deeply the Nimbark thought and Shri Ram Charit Manas are connected. In Uttar kand, Sanakaadi rishis sing in the praise of the supreme power-‘ Sarb sarbgat sarb uraalaya | Basasi sadaa hum kahun pari-paalaya ||’ (34). Here, the word ‘Sarb’ has been used three times and it is a clear indication towards Bhagwaan Sarveshvar as he is the deity for Sanakaadi rishis and thus the whole Nimbark tradition. It can also be directly related to the mantra we discussed yesterday where qualities of Bhagwaan Sarveshvar were discussed-

Esha sarveshwarah = sarb (that is Bhagwaan Sarveshwar)

Esha sarvagya = sarbgat (the omnipresent)

Eshont-anataraya-myeshesha = sarb uraalaya (the one who resides in every heart).

In the same stuti there is another chaupai which indicates towards another persona of Nimbark sec i.e.- Hans Bhagwaan.-‘ Muni mana manas hans nirantar | Charan kamal bandit aja sankar ||’

Bapu says, “And in the conclusion of the stuti, the chaupai has the names of our family’s elder generation and who have been following the Nimbark tradition. It is a matter of great joy for us- Taaran taran haran sab dooshan | Tulsidaas prabhu tribhuvan bhooshan ||.”

Guru purnima is that stage of a saint when his maternal feelings towards the society reach its ultimate nature.

Bapu says, “There are five sanskars (formal ceremonies) for Nimbarkis and I have my viewpoint for them. They are as follows.”

“Urdhva pund” (vertical tilak on forehead)- It is an inspiration that the intellect of an aspirant should go higher and higher and abstain from low thinking. “Shankh-chakra chhaap” (impressions of conch-shell and chakra on arms)- A conch-shell has a sound but it can only be heard is someone hold it in the hand and puts on lips to blow the air in it. It is a pointer to the idea that an aspirant’s speech and action should not be different; he should practice what he says. One should not rely just on destiny but do sincere efforts with own hands to make oneself successful.
Chakra shows that there should be a ‘sudarshan’ constructive attitude towards every incident in life.

The impressions of the two symbols may not be permanent on arms but if seen in the above perspective, they may have life long impressions in an aspirant’s heart.

“Naam-karan” (assigning a name)- Attaching words like ‘das’ and ‘ sharan’ with the name indicates that how much ever great you become, don’t lose your humbleness. “Kantthi-dhaaran” (wearing a rosary of tulsi beads)- Bapu says, ‘ I wear a rudraksh mala as a remembrance of Vishnu dada, but the meru of this mala is of tulsi.” When a Sadaguru controls the throat of his shishya is a true of Kantthi. “Mantropadesh” (granting a mantra)- Following the sutras of instructions of a Sadaguru.
In the katha, one of the reasons of Ram-janma is the curse given to Jai-Vijay by Sanakaadi rishis at the doorstep of Vaikuntth. This incident signifies that the downfall of feelings of unnecessary competition (winning more and more) can lead to birth of true joy in life. And also the fact that even the curse of saints is always for betterment of an aspirant.

Question – There are sects for human beings, but the birds do not have any sect. So, how come Hans Bhagwaan (in the form of a bird) belongs to Nimbark tradition? Bapu’s answer – A bird may not set up a fixed route of flying, but it definitely has a direction, which it follows according to seasonal changes. A sect is an assimilation of auspicious thoughts; it is not to make walls in society. But there is a risk of narrow-minded ness if it gets stuck in boundaries. It may lead to fanaticism if the followers create an extremist attitude towards their philosophy and do not accept anybody else’s thought. Further on this line, there arises a need to grab power through the sect and thus leads to politics in religion. Spiritual journey is lost when politics come into minds of aspirants. Therefore, followers of any sect should be very careful and remain away from politics.
Everyone should donate 10% of his or her income towards charity. There have been incidents where even children take out 10% of their pocket money to help the needy. Elders should take inspiration from such kids!!

According to Gorakhnath, there are four steps for learning from any thought:
Aarambh – In the initial stage, go bit deeper and look inside to check your nature. The term’ conversion’ of Jesus Christ, actually meant to go reverse into oneself for analyzing nature; it does not mean to use ways to convert people’s religion to spread Christianity. Ghat – Respect your body and take care of it as a medium of spiritual journey. Neither pamper it nor torture it unnecessarily, just take care of it in a balanced way. Parcha – Look at the divine present in every creature. Nishkarsh – Find a conclusive knowledge from life and then share your experience with others

Question – You say that the katha is trying to mainly address youth. Who is young and old in your view?
Bapu’s answer – Young and old are not defined by age but with the attitude towards life. An old person is the one who thinks that satsang has not been successful in transforming people’s mentality, so there is no hope for future also. But, the young are those who are optimistic that whatever has not happened in past will definitely happen in future. Katha would surely bring revolutionary mental transformation in people and take them further in spiritual journey. Pessimistic thoughts make an individual old and jarred in spite of being young in age.
Never try to ape any ideal personality blindly. Look into your nature and take inspiration from eminent people accordingly to develop your personality for betterment.

In the Nimbark tradition, there is a scripture called ‘Vedaant kamdhenu’ and it mentions the ten main shlokas (das-shloki). We would discuss the first and the last mantra from this.

The first mantra discusses the actual form of Jeev. It says that every creature is a form of divine power, but only knowledge supports him to realize this fact. Tulsidas jee says in Shri Ram Charit Manas –“ Parabas jeev swabas bhagwanta | Jeev anek ek shri kanta ||”

The last mantra defines the one who should be worshipped i.e. Shri Radha-Krishna. But, it does not mean that Radha-Krishna are just two deities, they signify the Infinite divine power. Next, in the mantra, there is an indication towards the one who worships i.e. the Jeev. It further says that the grace of the Lord comes in the form of bhakti and it bears the fruit of salvation. In conclusion, it says that an aspirant should be aware of risky elements that create harm to faith. People with harmful tendencies oppose the aspirant’s way of life do not gain much; they just waste their energy.

Every aspirant of path of devotion should ask himself/herself the following six questions about bhakti:

kya (what) – Bhakti is nothing but pure form of love towards creation i.e. Prem. There may be a consequent question from this that what is pure love?..Prem has three main features
Care – one would take minutest care of the beloved. Sacrifice – unconditional sacrifice would come automatically if your love is pure. Respect – there would be a regardful feeling always. Love destroys the dryness in a person, makes a person softhearted. Nobody seems bad as every creature is seen as a form of God only. Kyon (why)- Bhakti helps in experiencing the essence (rasa) of the supreme power. Kab (when) – There is no particular time for devotion. Anytime and all the time, keep the Lord engaged with you. Kaise (how) – An aspirant’s devotion should be free feelings and affection. Kahaan (where) – There are no boundaries for the Lord, so no specific place is required for bhakti. The holy places have helpful spiritual vibrations. One can do bhakti wherever he/she is. Kaun kare (who) – Everybody is entitled for bhakti, there are no bars of age, sex, caste or community.

To make ‘bheda-abheda’ thought easier to understand, take the example of human body where there are two eyes at a certain distance from each other, the distance is the bheda. But, the view of both the eyes, in spite of being away from each other, is one; that oneness is abheda.

Sidhhi can make a robust person, small in physical form. But shudhhi can make even a small person, great in nature.

Don’t ask for forgiveness from God, but from the person whose wrong you’ve done. After expressing your apology to that person, then go and tell the Lord that you did so.

Question – Is there any indication of seven facets of Bhakti in Shri Ram Charit Manas?
Bapu’s answer – Yes, there’s a clear indication in Uttar kand about the seven facets of devotion- “ Ehi mahan ruchir sapta sopaana | Raghupati bhagati ker panthaana ||’
Vinay patrika is full of bhakti’s various aspects. Bapu says, “I would say that the aspirants on the path of devotion should also study Vinay patrika along with Shri Ram Charit Manas”.

Shandilya Rishi says in his bhakti sutra that shradhha is not same as bhakti. Belief is the initial stage but devotion is the ultimate stage.

In our scriptures, there are seven main aspects of bhakti.

Dainya – Humbleness is the core of bhakti. Every aspirant should be always aware of his insignificance (laghuta) and the Lord’s greatness (prabhuta). Maan marshitvam – freedom from ego. Even the pride of japa, tapa,sadhana,humbleness should be checked and stopped immediately. If you have attended many kathas, do not try to make them your eligibility for special favours. You should become more gentle and humble instead. Bhayasya darshanam – Warn your mind that there is no joy without lord’s devotion. Bhartsna – Train your mind with satsang to face any situation. Ashwaasanam – Console your mind that many people have attained bliss with satsang. Manoraajyam – Try to think positively and aim to be free from faults. Keep your mind free from depressing thoughts. Vichaarana – -Think about the various aspects of spirituality. In the ultimate stage, devotion gets blessed with knowledge and knowledge gets in the mould of devotion.
According to a scholar, Hanuman jee explained the five scientific features of Ram naam to Tulsidas jee.

Taarak – Ram naam takes an aspirant ashore the enormous ocean of rebirth. Dandak – It becomes a support for the aspirant and helps one to tackle the faults like anger, greed and desire. Kundal – It is an ornament for ears as the sense of hearing is only successful if you hear Ram naam and satsang. Ardh-chandraakaar Bindu
Let us offer the fruit of virtue of this katha in the feet of Lord ‘Radha-Madhav’, whose alliance was celebrated yesterday on tulsi vivah.

Ayodhya Kaand – Doha 95 and Uttarkaand – Doha 121
Dharamu na doosar satya samaana | Aagam nigam puraan bakhaana ||
Param dharm shruti bidit ahinsa | Par ninda sama agha na gareesa ||

There is no virtue equal to truthfulness, so declare the Agamas, Vedas and Purans.
A vow of non-violence is the highest religious merit know to the vedas and there is no sin as heinous (horrible, evil, hateful) as speaking ill of others

Today we are beginning Ram katha in this Gandhi teertha; it is a place charged with the saint’s vibrations. Gandhi jee went from here to Dandi, but Ram katha has come here after going to Dandi first. I invite people from all walks of life, without any kind of discrimination of caste, creed or class, to come to this ashram’s Ram katha. This katha is to make the people, especially the youth, aware of Gandhi jee’s thought and ideology. He walked through his life with the two feet of Truth and Non-violence. He said that His God was his truth and to attain it in the ultimate form, the only medium was the practice of non-violence.

The seven Kand of Shri Ram Charit Manas denote the characteristics of a mahatma (a saintly person).

Bal kand – ‘Nikhaalasta’ i.e. innocence/virtuousness. Ayodhya kand – ‘Samyak sanyam’ that signifies appropriate control over action, mind and speech. Aranya kand – ‘Tapasya’ refers to penance. Kishkindha kand – ‘Maitri’ i.e. friendship or inter-personal solidarity. Sunder kand – ‘Mukta karna’ means providing freedom. Lanka kand – ‘Virodh ho par shatruta nahin’; there is an opposition but without the feeling of enmity. Uttar kand – ‘Nirvaan’ or salvation.
If we see the personality of Gandhi jee, all the above traits are seen in him. We would discuss them in detail in coming days.

Vinoba jee used to say that the people might be classified in four types .

Lowest – who only see the faults of others. Middle – who analyze the faults as well as qualities of others. Higher – who only see the positive traits of others. Highest – who catch the positive qualities of people around and spread them further.
The same classification can be used to describe the speakers and listeners of katha.

Bapu says, “ I’ve been saying that the world has tried to use wars and fights to solve disputes. But it is seen that these methods were not so successful. Therefore, it is time to experiment the ways of love and integration to lead a peaceful life.”

Bapu is glad that the chief minister of Gujarat and the Editor (the yajaman of this katha) of Gujarat samachar, a newspaper of the state, are together on this stage. Bapu expresses his happiness and says that his katha works as a setubandh to join various people of distinct fields.

Bapu also clarifies that it is not his birthday today, but still accepts the good wishes of people gracefully.

Discussing the qualities of Gandhi jee, Bapu says that he (Gandhi Jee) was a person who did not have any place of hypocrisy in his life. Gandhi jee’s personality was transparent and thus his speech, in spite of not being very illustrious, had intense impact on the people. He never bore any double standards (duraav) or hatred (dwesh) towards anything; such was his purity of heart (nikhaalasta).

He did not hide the fact that he borrowed certain concepts of his life from ideologies of various people. For example, he took the famous prayer-‘raghupati raghav raja ram..’ from Guru Gobind singh’s verses. The concept of ashram was taken from Ruskin.

Gandhi jee practiced necessary control (samyak sanyam) over materialism. In an instance, when he realized that people of his country did not enough clothes to cover their bodies, he decided on the spot that he would only wear an under cloth himself.

Gandhi jee stuck to truth and that was his major penance (tapasya) all his life.

The love for humanity signifies the maitri (friendship with all) feature of this mahatma.

Gandhi jee led India towards freedom from British rule, his faith in mukti is evident. He did not consider them as enemies but he was assertive in his opposition. And it is well known that he finally attained the ultimate goal, salvation, spiritually.

Question – have you practiced the philosophy of Gandhi jee, like abolition of untouchability?
Bapu’s answer – yes, I’ve tried to do it in my own way. I’ve done two kathas in a village of harijans where I stayed in the house built by them, ate what they cooked.

Question – Do you eat at a muslim’s place?
Bapu’s answer – yes, I’ve eaten. When I go out for bhiksha sometimes, I never ask the religion of a person from where I get the food.

Tulsidas jee’s nationalism is evident in Shri Ram Charit Manas. As he first salutes the state, Ayodhya, then the rivers etc. which are the natural treasures of the place, then the citizens and then finally the ruler.

Bandaun avadh puri ati paavani | Saraju sari kali kalush nasaavani || Pranavaun pur nar naari bahori | Mamata jinha par prabhuhi na thori ||

A true nationalist is the one who is ready to forgo his personal interests for the best of nation at any time/ any place.

According to a Sanskrit literate, the word ‘Sant’ (saint) refers to ‘Shudhh astitva’ or pure existence. Thus, a saint is free of any malign altercation with anyone.

In India , some of the great personalities have been described as the following:

Bhagwaan Ram – Satya-avataar Bhagwaan Krishna- Poorna-avataar Chaitanya Mahaprabhu- Prem-avataar Budhha- Karuna-avataar Mahaveer- Tyaag-avataar Mohammed Paigamber- Bandhutva-avataar Jesus Christ- Prem-avataar Sardar Patel- Ekta-avataar Vinoba jee- Pragya-avataar
In the similar way, Gandhi jee can be ideally described as “Ahinsa-avataar”. Non-violence was the inherent fundamental in all the decisions of his life.

Gandhi jee followed 11 resolutions (vrat) in his life. We can say that the eleven can be seen in Shri Ram Charit Manas through different characters. Let us see how:

Satya (truth) – As stated earlier, Bhagwaan Ram was personified truth. The main chaupai of this katha –‘ Dharamu na doosar satya samaana | Aagam nigam puraan bakhaana ||’ is Bhagwaan Ram’s statement for Sumantra jee. He abandoned the throne and every kind of comfort to keep the words of his father.

Gandhi jee’s truthfulness is well known to world. He was not ready to sacrifice truth at any cost.Ahinsa (non-violence) – Ma Kausalya is the perfect example of non-violence, as she did not hurt anyone even with her words. In the state of distress also, at the time of Bhagwaan Ram’s vanvaas, she did not utter harsh words. She only said-‘ Jaun pitu maatu kaheu bana jaana | Tau kaanan sata avadh samaana ||’.

Gandhi jee could not bear any kind of violence. At the hour of independence, when the country was celebrating, he was busy serving the injured who were hurt in communal riots. Asteya (not to steal)- In Ayodhya Kand, it is seen that the kole- kiraat (tribals) abstained from stealing when Bhagwaan Ram started staying in Chitrakoot. They say-‘ Yaha hamaari ati badi sevakaai | Lehin na baasan basan choraai ||’. Aparigrah (non-accumulation of material goods)- Bharat jee lived an ascetic life, in spite of being the in charge of the state of Ayodhya ( Ramaa bilaasu ram anuraagi | Tajat baman jimi jana bada-bhaagi) . Necessary goods for survival are reasonable, but the one who accumulates beyond measure shows his faithless-ness in the Almighty. Bapu says, “In my experience, the more detached you become from inside, the more Lord gives.” Brahmcharya (celibacy)- Lakshman jee’s conduct is apt to describe the ideal control over senses. Gandhi jee also experimented with various ways to follow brahmcharya. Swaashraya (self-dependence)- In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Ma Jaanaki did all the daily chores herself, even after being back from vanvaas.

Gandhi jee believed in doing all the chores himself, to extent of cleaning the toilets of the ashram. No untouchability- Bhagwaan Ram reached out to the neglected. He touched Ahalya jee with his feet and ate the fruits offered by Shabari jee.

Gandhi jee wanted all mankind to be one without any differentiation of caste or creed. Abhaya (fearlessness)- It is not possible to be free of fear unless one is truthful. Bhagwaan Ram befriends Sugreev and makes him fearless.

Gandhi jee never feared anyone and was able to send away the British with his sheer faith in truth and non-violence. Swadeshi (use of own country’s resources)- Kole-kiraat welcomed Bhagwaan Ram with whatever they had in forests.

Gandhi jee always encouraged the people to use only country made goods, so that it could generate employment to people. Swaad-tyaag (not getting addicted to a particular taste)- One should remain ‘sahaj’ in daily life without being rigid about petty things. Equal respect for every religion- All religions cannot be equal as each has its own time and place of origin. But, an individual should have due respect for every dharma. Bharat jee led such a life that one could see the amalgamation of all the religions in him- ‘ Jaun na hote jaga janam bharat ko | Sakal dharam dhur dharani dharat ko ||’. Anybody who comes to satsang should do their inner self-analysis whether the faults/weaknesses are reducing or not. If you don’t pay attention to this, then you are wasting your time is satsang. An aspirant should be extremely careful of the faults as they burn up the saadhana. Bapu recalls, “I was 9-10 yrs old, learning Shri Ram Charit Manas from my Dadajee. Once, he asked me that with which shloka will you start your katha? I said that I liked the shlokas of Ram raksha stotra (Lokabhiramam…). Then he asked that why not with any shloka of Shri Ram Charit Manas? I answered that this shloka appealed to my heart because in this shloka, Bhagwaan Ram does not carry any weapons.”

Once, a journalist asked Gandhi jee if he was really a mahatma. Gandhi jee replied that he never considered himself as a mahatma. The people have given the title “mahatma”. He said that I am one amongst the common people, but when you see that special arrangements are being made for me, they are actually done for the title ‘mahatma’! Gandhi jee was so unassuming in spite of being a great personality. Around 40,000 books have been published about him all over the world.

Bapu says, “I believe in traditions; but the traditions should not be made rigid. They should be flowing (pravaahi parampara) with the changing times, so that any individual is able to follow them in accordance with the prevalent scenario.”

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Aranya Kand professes the concept of ‘tapasya’ i.e. penance. This kand discusses the characters of Sage Attri, Ma Ansuya, sages like Sharbhang and Suteekshna and Ma Shabari. It also shows the Tapa of Bhagwaan Ram in his separation of Ma Jaanaki and also the tapa of Lakshman jee who has to see Bhagwaan Ram in grief. The patience and faith of Shabari jee is one of the highlighting features of this kand. To wait for someone with unbending perseverance is a big tapa.

Tapasya is a characteristic of a mahatma. It can be seen on three levels- physical, mental and in speech.

Physical penance may be in the form of taxing the body to achieve a particular goal. But, an individual should be careful that he should not lose inner happiness in the process of physical tapa. Penance should lead to inner joy and not to mental frustration. Bhagwaan Krishna says in Bhagwad Gita that an aspirant should have a balanced lifestyle.

Mental penance is to accept every situation, whether favourable or unfavourable, as a blessing of the Lord with a positive attitude. Be ready to face the pain after experiencing pleasure; it is a cycle that goes on and on. Don’t remember the person who abuses you, but remember the omnipresent Almighty who is present in him also.

Penance in speech refers to abstaining from speaking harsh words. Abandon the mentality to take revenge by words also.

Gandhi jee’s physical tapa i.e. fastings etc. were not for some other means but for cleansing of the soul (aatma-shudhhi). It came from his nature and it was not done as a fad at that time. His ahinsa (non-violence) was also not orthodox. It also means ‘anivaarya-hinsa’, which means that there was no other option but to put an end to something for betterment. Like, once in the ashram, a baby goat was suffering from severe physical pain and the injury was beyond cure. Gandhi jee decided to exterminate the incurable suffering by bringing an end to its life. Thus, he was practical in his approach.

Gandhi jee mental penance is seen in the fact that there was never an ill will in his mind towards anybody.

Gandhi jee’s words were spoken in the shadow of ‘Ram naam’. He also practiced ‘maun’ many times.

Bapu says, “Where there is Vishwaas (faith), there is Vishwanath (Almighty).”

Tulsidas jee says that if a person listens to Manas katha, he experiences peace. But the one who implements the sutras of this katha achieves peace permanently.

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, the one of the highlighting features of Kishkindha kand is the building of friendship (maitri) between Bhagwaan Ram and Sugreev. Bhagwaan Ram discusses the essentials of an ideal relationship of friends.

“Maitri” is a characteristic of a mahatma with which he bonds with everyone. It is mainly based on three aspects:

“Vivek-Budhhi” – friendship should be based on intellectual understanding with each other, only then it can be ever-lasting. In case of any discussion with a friend, the reasoning (tark) also should be in the shadow of understanding/wisdom. Bhagwaan Ram says that there are certain ways to be an ideal friend-

“Jey na mitra dukh hohi dukhaari | Tinhahi bilokat paatak bhaari ||
Nij dukh giri sama raj kari jaana | Mitrak dukh raj meru samaana ||
Det let mana sunk na dharayi | Bal anumaan sadaa hit karayi ||
Bipati kaal kar satagun neha | Shruti kaha sant mitra guna eha ||”
A true friend is the one who takes care of his friend hundred times more in the times of crisis. He takes the friend’s troubles more seriously than his own and never doubts in any kind of transactions with him.

Gandhi jee’s understanding and sheer wisdom was well acknowledged. The witness of this quality was Mahadev bhai Desai, who worked with him for many years.

“Vivek-Vinod” – There is healthy humour in mahatma’s life: humour that does not lose the sanity (saatvikta).

Many incidents of Gandhi jee’s life depict his good sense of humour.

“Vivek-Vairaagya” – Abandoning (tyaag) anything without understanding can lead to false pride/arrogance. The inner feeling of detachment (vritti) is more important than the thing abandoned (vastu). Bapu says, “ I feel that discarding with the hand is tyaag. But detaching anything from the heart is vairaagya.”

Gandhi jee’s lifestyle was extremely simple. People now worship the minimal things that he used in daily chores.

It is not always that satsang has to be done in a religious discourse. Satsang can happen anywhere, in silence, in the lap of nature, provided the aspirant is receptive to divine vibrations.

Every individual can do charity according to one’s own capability. It may not be in the noticeable form, but may be significant in its own way. For example, if you cannot build a school, then you can sponsor one needy child’s education.

This katha’s outcome should be that at least the generation of today does not ignore Gandhi jee’s thoughts as out-dated and gets aware about the importance of this great saint’s thoughts in the present world. Gandhi jee should be seen from all angles, as there are many unique facets of this mahatma. His life had the fusion of karma yoga, gyaan yoga and bhakti yoga.

Every Indian should first know his mother tongue. Then the national language, Hindi. Then should try and learn some stotras of our heritage language, Sanskrit and then know English.

“Ali Maula…Ali Maula…” -Bapu says, “ Many people come and say that you do a kirtan of Muslims in Ramkatha, but they never take Hari-naam. I tell them that it is their will to take Hari-naam or not, but I can’t stop myself from integrating all…mera paigaam mohabbat jahaan tak pahunche.”

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, the daughter of the mother earth i.e. Ma jaanaki was abducted by Raavan and kept under the control of demons. A saint like Hanuman jee could make a plan to release her from there. In the times of Gandhi jee, the situation was somewhat similar. The earth was in the control of some exploitative powers and a mahatma (Gandhi jee) came to its rescue. He led the country towards freedom from British oppression.

Question – Writing an autobiography is a western concept. Why is it that Gandhi jee and some other national leaders have followed this concept?
Bapu’s answer – Gandhi jee did not write the book as his autobiography. He has said that he has only shared his various experiments with truth during his lifespan. There are many important incidents of his life that are not included in this book. Narayan Bhai Desai’s work on Gandhi jee in four volumes discuss these unmentioned but significant incidents of Gandhi jee’s life.
Every individual should take some time out and spend with nature. Try to listen to the sounds of birds, rivers and trees. It can bring about positive changes in a person’s nature. If a person sleeps under the sky continuously for some time, he can become large-hearted. One should share his resources (saadhan) with others to purify them. Gandhi jee called this open-minded behaviour as saadhan-shudhhi.

Bapu says, “Every single person should take steps to bring about unity in different communities. Even the smallest effort may do wonders. Gandhi jee’s soul would be very pleased with our efforts for integration. The media should play a responsible role in this and should work constructively to bring about harmony amongst people. In Hindu-Muslim meetings, where there are discussions of solidarity, I always appeal to Maulanas to propagate the same message of peace and brother-hood in their own groups also.” Bapu invited Osman Mir (Ghazal singer) to sing something as homage to Gandhi jee.

Tulsidas jee described a ‘Dharma-Rath’ (a chariot of dharma) in Lanka Kand. Gandhi jee also had a similar Dharma-rath, with which he successfully led the freedom movement. Following are the various parts of Gandhi jee’s chariot:

The two wheels of Dharma-rath are bravery and patience ( Sauraj dheeraj tehi rath chaaka) . Gandhi jee’s physical form was frail but his spirit was too brave.
The flags of this Dharma-rath are truth and mannerly behaviour ( Satya seel driddh dhwaja pataaka). Gandhi jee held on one truth but there were various incidents where his perfect manners were seen.

Strength, understanding, control over senses and welfare of others are the horses of this Dharma-rath and these horses are to be controlled by forgiveness, grace and equality. ( Bal bibek dama par-hit ghorey | Chhama kripa samata raju jorey). Gandhi jee had the power of prayer in him. His understanding of shastras of various religions gave him a sound thought. His compassion for all was eminent as he forgave everyone who hurt him. His sense of equality was evident, as he made sure that his family followed the rules of the ashram in the same manner as others.

The charioteer is most important for any rath. The Lord’s bhajan drives us to victory ( Ees bhajanu saarathi sujaana | Birati charm santoshe kripaana). Gandhi jee’s faith on bhajan was immense and his respect for all religions is well known.

The weapons of this Dharma-rath are charity, sharp intellect and scientific innovations ( Daan parasu budhhi sakti prachanda | Bara bigyaan katthin kodanda). Charity never goes waste; the results may take time to come. Gandhi jee left his well-paid barrister-ship and laid his life for the freedom struggle. His belief was that science should only be used for constructive purposes and not for destruction.

Tulsidas jee says that the steady and pure mind works as a vase for various resolutions ( Amal achal mana trone samaana | Sama jama niyam seelimukh naana). Gandhi jee’s resolutions were successful as his mind was free of any malignity towards anybody.

The blessings of recognized souls save an aspirant from defeat in any field ( Kavach abheid bipra gur pooja | Ehi sama bijay upaay na dooja). Gandhi jee paid due respect to anyone who followed the path of truth. He took inspiration from many Masters and Philosophers.

There are three levels of relationship between a learner (disciple) and the trainer (Teacher):

The relationship between a teacher and a student (shikshak-vidyaarthi) is limited to books and words and it is mainly for academic purposes. The relationship between a master and disciple (guru-shishya) is based on heart. For a shishya, the giver of knowledge is more impotant than knowledge itself. When shishya grows into a devotee (bhakta), the guru moves aside and opens the doors (guru-dwaar) of the Almighty for him

Like an atom bomb bursts with flow of energy. The saints of this country flow their spiritual energy at significant places to revitalize the sanity of teerthas. Jain tirthankars went to Parshvanath mountain for this reason. Ma Ganga remains pure as since lakhs of years saints have doing their saadhana on its banks. Similarly, Gandhi jee’s ashram also gets recharged with such satsang-yagnas. This katha was decided by the supreme existence (astitva); we all just became medium in this katha.

In Sunder Kand, Hanuman jee took a mission to search Ma Jaanaki so that she could be freed from Raavan’s control. He took some monkeys and bears till the shore of sea and then took a big leap towards Lanka. Hanuman jee took a mudrika (ring of Bhagwaan Ram) in which Ram-naam was embossed.

On similar lines, Gandhi jee took up a mission to free the nation from foreign rule. He travelled across the country to find and bring together the people who could contribute in this freedom struggle. He also stuck to power of Ram-naam with dedication.

According to Vinoba jee, Gandhi jee’s mission was equipped with three factors:

Vedaanta – It usually refers to the essence of Vedas. But Vinoba jee said that it could also mean that the controversial and unnecessary matters in any scripture of any religion (not just in Hindu dharma) should be eliminated, as they may be harmful to the cordiality in the society. Such issues should be saluted and buried forever with due respect.

Vigyaan – Science is an essential power that should be used wisely for the betterment of mankind. Gandhi jee emphasized a lot on the view that resources should only be used for constructive purposes. Science should not become callous and lose all sensitivity. It should lead to development (vikaas), but not as the cost of peace (vishraam).

Vishwaas – The merger of vedanta and vigyaan should result in building faith in conviction. The breath of a person (shwaas) only lasts till he is alive, but the faith of a person (vishwaas) lives forever. Narsinha mehta, Vallabhacharya jee and Gandhi jee etc. are remembered for their unbending faith.

Never do a ‘sat-karma’ or a holy deed for showing off to others. Do it in a way that nobody gets to know that you have done it. Do it for enhancing your faith (nishttha) and not for prestige (pratishttha).

In the times of crisis, an aspirant should do the best of his efforts to come out of the situation. The next step is to pray to the Lord with true feelings. And the final step is to wait patiently for the grace of Almighty. Aspirants usually follow the first two steps but then lose courage to wait for divine grace.

Every person should take a resolution to give something to someone in a day. It may not be in the form of money or any thing; you can make person smile, share a good thought or give a sound advice to the needy. Charity can done in any form.

Lanka Kand shows that there may be differences between Bhagwaan Ram and Raavan, but there’s no hatred. There is distance between them but no enmity.
Gandhi jee also experienced a difference of opinion with many contemporary British as well as Indian leaders, but he never bore any malign feelings for anybody. In face-to-face interactions with Gandhi jee, others used to end up saluting his ideology. The frail feet of Gandhi jee had such a thoughtful influence that many heavy heads with prejudices used to bow down to him after meeting him.

Bhagwaan Shankar keeps trishool for curing the shool (troubles) of devotees. Bhagwaan Ram also keeps bow and arrow but uses them only when there is no other option. Bhagwaan Krishna used the Sudarshan chakra when required. In the following times, many great characters of our tradition used their own weapons for the betterment of society.

But, Gandhi jee never kept any weapon with him, still was successful in his freedom struggle. His ‘Laatthi’ (stick) was not for attacking anyone (prahaar), but for his own physical support (aadhaar). In other context, he consoled the earth by his laatthi that he will go with his principles of truth and non-violence until the country is freed from foreign rule.

Question – In spite of having a master like Shrimad Raj chandra, why did Gandhi jee incline towards Christianity at one time. Was that his weak moment?
Bapu’s answer – Gandhi jee took inspiration from positive points of every thought. It is a characteristic of a saint to derive the best out of anything.

Don’t trust the person who does not look beautiful even while smiling, as he may be very cunning or purely artificial. And bow down to the person who looks good even while crying as, he may be a genuine and pure at heart. Bapu says, “smile and tears are boons to a human being.”

Applying chandan (sandalwood paste) on the nail of foot and forehead is not just a ritual. It is a constant reminder to remain and free of aggression.

Today is a great day for us, let us bow down to the humble birthplace e of Mahatma Gandhi, Dandi and Rajghat along with various ashramas, from where he carried on his freedom mission. It is not just the birthday of Gandhi Bapu, but the birthday of our country as well; wherever there is a light of freedom and equality, Gandhi is born.

In the world, some people are ‘chaal mast’ i.e. their character is flawless and pure. Some are ‘haal mast’ meaning they remain composed in unfavourable and favourable circumstances. Whereas, some are ‘maal mast’ i.e. they are equipped with moral values. But the one who has a amalgamation of all the above three are ‘kamaal mast’. Gandhi jee was one such person who had the shaastra (scripture) of truth with him and he fought for freedom with his unique shastra (weapon) of non-violence.

Rabindranath Tagore had once said that Gandhi jee may be called as Mohandas Gandhi, but his appropriate name is ‘mahatma’ due to the saintly qualities. Mahatma is not his title, but his name. His poem from Gitanjali- ‘where the words come out from the depth of truth..,, where knowledge is without fear, world is not broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls’, ideally describe the works of Gandhi jee.

The qualities of various characters of Shri Ram Charit Manas are all seen in Gandhi jee in some form or the other. They are mentioned as follows.

Dasarath jee’s Vachan paalanata (keeping the word)- Gandhi jee promised the nation independence and fulfilled it. Bhagwaan Ram’s satya (truth) was absorbed by Gandhi jee with absolute dedication. Ma Jaanaki jee’s sahan-sheelata (tolerance) and dhairya (patience) were seen in Gandhi jee at many places. Lakshaman jee’s jaagaran (awareness) was followed by Gandhi jee as there was no place for whimsical dreams in his thought/philosophy. He was extremely practical. Bharat jee’s satta-tyaag (dispassion for throne) is evident in Gandhi jee when he refused to hold any political post after independence. Shatrughna jee’s maun (silence) was seen in Gandhi jee as he kept maun once a week. Maun of a person can reduce enmity in the opponents’ mind. The lesser you speak, the safer you are from controversies. Bhagwaan Ram went to forest and met the most neglected. He went to Ma Shabari’s ashram, who had been waiting for him. Gandhi jee also reached out till the last man and did many efforts to bring them out of poverty. Jataayu’s bravery was in fighting with Raavan for saving Sita jee. Gandhi jee did best of his efforts to save our country from domination of British. Like Hanuman jee went for a mission to find out Sita jee, Gandhi jee went across the length and breadth of the nation to find people with patriotic sentiments, who were ready to contribute in his mission for freedom. Bhagwaan Ram sent Angad as a envoy to Lanka so as to avoid conflict with Raavan. Similarly, Gandhi jee went to England in the second round-table conference to save the division of the country and preserve unity. The bridge was build by Nal and Neel and the stones that were used for it bore Ram-naam. Gandhi jee tried hard to build integration amongst various castes, classes and communities and his strength was Ram-naam.
The thought of giving and sacrificing always brings you closer to Shaastra (holy scriptures). Whereas, the thought of breaking or killing can only result in shastra (weapons/conflicts). An individual should do sincere efforts to refrain from negative thoughts.

Many things were said in this katha, but please hold on to the thoughts that struck your heart. Try to implement them in your life with faith. A thought can do wonders only if it is supported by strong faith.

Bapu says, “This katha was to pay homage to Gandhi jee and I did his shraadhh with my words.”

Vaishnav jana to tene kahiye je peer paraai jaane re…

Raghupati raghav raja ram, patit paavan sitaram…

“Jai SiyaRam”

Baal Kaand – Doha 17
Mahabeer binavaun Hanumaana | Ram jaasu jasu aap bakhaana ||
Pranvanun pavan-kumaar khal bana paavak gyaan ghan | Jaasu hridaya aagaar basahin ram sar chaap dhar ||

I bow to Hanumaan Jee, The great hero, whose glory has been extrolled by Bhagwaan Ram himself. I greet Hanumaan, the son of the wind-god, an embodiment of wisdom, who is fire as it were for the forest of the wicked, and in the abode of whose heart resides Bhagwaan Ram, equipped with a bow and arrows.

Jai SiyaRam and Pranaam to all.. There is a special bend towards the worship of Hanumaan jee in this part of the world. So, we’ll discuss about Hanumaan jee and other ‘mahaveer’ of Manas in this katha.

Tulsidas jee has expressed his humbleness in the feet of Hanumaan jee and asked for the permission to offer reverence; but he has not demanded anything from him. This is a true form of devotion. and true devotee never demands anything from his Lord and the Lord never leaves his any wish unfulfilled. Only a person who is free of demands can experience and understand Hanuman jee’s grace in actual form. Hanumaan jee is not just close to Bhagwaan Ram, but also remains around those who try to live on the sutras of Bhagwaan Ram.

Question – How to avoid struggle/frictional situations (sangharsh) in life?
Bapu’s answer – One can avoid struggle if he/she tries to give satisfaction to others’ expectations according to own capability. One should use personal ability in the best way to satisfy others around him.
Just two days back, we all celebrated Guru purnima. It is also called as ‘Vyas Pooja’ – ‘Vyas’ signifies enormous and ‘pooja’ means worship. Thus, when a person feels that everything, everywhere is sacred and a form of Lord, then everyday is a guru purnima for him.

A question comes to mind that who is a Sadaguru? The answer can be explained in discussing the following five characteristics of a Sadaguru.

Dhaaran kare – A Sadaguru bears his every shishya with care. Just like a child sits on the shoulder of his father and father takes his care personally; and Sadaguru looks after every shishya with care. Indriyon ka chaaran kare – A Sadaguru guides our senses towards their ideal use. He provides right vision to the eyes, right words for the ears, right thoughts to the mind, right speech for the tongue, etc. He completely changes the attitude of a person towards life. Vikaaron ka maaran kare – A Sadaguru destroys all the negativities of a shishya. Kaaran bane – A Sadaguru becomes the purpose of life. For a guru-devoted shishya, he is the base of his existence. Taaran kare – A Sadaguru takes a shishya across the ocean of materialism/worldliness (bhav-saagar).
Knowledge may seem difficult for everyone to understand in spite of its greatness. But, for a common man, living with truth, love and compassion and also being able to help others is a form of knowledge.

Fear has no place in spirituality. Any kind of fear (even due to any religious practice) is not permitted in this sphere.

The word ‘mahaveer’ denotes several features of a person who is entitled for this term. It points to the one who has a lot of strength, the one who is extremely humble, the one who is able to destroy the harmful elements around etc..
In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Tulsidas jee indicates the characteristics of ‘mahaveer’ in the sorttha -“ Pranvaun pavan kumaar khal bana paavak gyaan ghan | Jaasu hridaya aagaar basahin ram sar chaap dhar||” .

Mahaveer is the one who is able in destroying the ‘khal’ (evil) elements outside as well as within oneself. Let us first understand the nature of a ‘khal’ person according to the opinions of various saints.

The one who keeps on eating and fighting with others. he one who is deceitful with his provider also. The one who keeps thinking without any action and keeps uttering non-sense. The one who asks about the wellness of others but does not help anyone. The one who lies blatantly without being capable and claims to ape Bhagwaan Krishna.
A wise person should not waste his time and energy in destroying the above mentioned ‘khal’, but just be a witness to the fact that he gets destroyed by his own negativity.

Mahaveer is the one who is able to eradicate the faults of within. And this becomes possible mainly with the grace of the Lord. The efforts of an aspirant help 20% and the grace of God contributes 80% in destroying the faults of within. Grace is like an escalator which takes one to his destination without much efforts. But , when a person starts walking the steps of the escalator (the efforts of the aspirant), he is sure to reach more quickly.

The lord’s grace can only be felt and cannot be proved in the literal way. Even if a person tries to explain the grace in words, the listener would not be able to understand it in the actual sense as grace is only profound for the one who experiences it. There are four ways to feel the grace of God.

Shravan – Listen to katha of Lord’s grace without any prejudices. Samarpan – Try to give and sacrifice for others. Shradhha – After experiencing the pleasure of giving, put faith in this path. Saboori – Keep patience and wait for the grace of God as it works on His will and not ours!
The main reason behind why a person is not able to experience grace is hypocrisy (dambh) is like an overcoat that prevents grace from touching you.

Desire (kaam) is required for the continuation of life in the world. Anger (kroadh) should be used sometimes to maintain discipline in the surroundings and Greed (lobhe) is alright if it is used to make provisions for your family/dependents. But censure (ninda), jealousy (irshya) and ego (ahankaar) are absolutely useless. One should sincerely try to remove them for a better life.

Question – Which is the best character/incident of Shri Ram Charit Manas according to you ?
Bapu’s answer – Every character and incident is like a distinct flower in the garden of shri Ram Charit Manas. But for me the greatest element in Manas is Ram naam. Nothing is as precious as the holy name of God.

Bapu began today’s katha by saying, “my aim is to address the youth. I bow down to the elders, but I want the youngsters to come in katha, whenever convenient.”

Tulsidas jee depicts the inner faults of an individual through the characters of Shri Ram Charit Manas. Raavan represents ‘moha’ (delusion), Indrajeet represents kaam (desire) and Kumbhakaran represents ahankaar (ego). Until these three are removed from inside, an aspirant cannot feel the presence of Bhagwaan Ram in himself.

An unaware/foolish (mooddh or agyaani) person is unable find peace within; he can be recognized by following features:

Creates bitterness in the family – to experience real happiness, one should try to maintain cordiality in the family at any cost. Has pretense (kapat) in the heart – a person who deceitfully lures others for personal gains, who uses others’ name for raising self-prestige, who exploits the weak points of others’ etc. can never feel the presence of the omnipresent God in himself. Remains in bad company – one should be extremely careful about the company he keeps as it may influence his whole personality. According to Chanakya – an aspirant should keep relations like the following.
Truth as the mother – Who ever is truthful should be loved and regarded by you, just like you take care of your mother. Knowledge as the father – Any knowledgeable person or an artist should be respected like a father. Dharma as the brother – A person who performs his duties sincerely should be considered a brother. Mercy as a friend – A merciful and compassionate person should be befriended. Serenity as the wife – A homemaker needs to be peace loving by nature, only then can be build a happy family. Forgiveness as a child – One should take care of the person who is forgiving.
Thoughtfulness is a symbol of a human being; thoughtless-ness can be equated to an animal. Thought is the raw material of the conduct of any person. Thought is so powerful that it can work as medicine as well as poison for a person’s health. It should be complemented with faith for a balanced lifestyle. Faith is like closing eyes with trust and thought is like opening eyes to see it in practical. Always think properly before taking any action.

One should always follow the ancestral customs that are beneficial and harmless, but one should discard those rituals/customs that are no more useful. This will appease your ancestors also!

Air (pavan) has no form, but it still it is omnipresent. Hanuman jee being the son of pavan, he does not give any form to his ego. Thus, he is free of ahankaar (pride).

Mahaveer is the one who is able to destroy the inner faults. But, it is seen in the nutshell that if the faults are eliminated then many hurdles of spiritual path of an aspirant are removed making his way a lot more smoother.
Let us discuss the originating reason behind faults. The main cause of all the inner faults is ‘dwait’ (twosome/encounter with the other). A person usually gets angry at the other person/ thing. Similarly, a person desires the other person/thing/situation. But, in case if an individual lives in complete isolation with a balanced mind, he can become free of faults.

Hanumaan jee is initiated (deeksha) in this kind of isolation by Bhagwaan Ram- ‘So ananya jaakein asi mati na tarayi Hanumant | Main sevak sacharaachar roop swaami bhagwant||’ (kishkindha kand). Bhagwaan Ram says that an ideal devotee is the one who only sees the omnipresent power in all creation and thus he can remain free of faults. After getting this kind of deeksha by Bhagwaan Ram, Hanumaan jee’s devotion is ascertained when he saw Bhagwaan Ram in Raavan’s form also. He calls Raavan as his master saying- ‘Khaayau fal prabhu laagi bhookha’ and ‘ Sab key deh param priya swaami ‘. Another incident that shows Hanumaan jee’s perfect commitment is when Bhagwaan Ram is stationed on Subel mountain and when he asked Hanumaan jee about the stain on the moon, Hanumaan jee replied that the stain was there as the moon worshipped you. Therefore, it can be seen that in every kind of situation Hanumaan jee’s devotion is extremely focussed only on Bhagwaan Ram (without any dwait) and thus he if free of faults.

Another reason behind faults is ego (ahankaar). It encourages/breeds even the smallest weakness of an individual. Hanumaan jee is free of ego as he continually feels the presence of Bhagwaan Ram in his heart.

Any comfort that is dependent on the other is never ever lasting. One should feel content in himself.

An aspirant should be careful in donating for charity also. He/she should not donate blindly to religious leaders or institutions, as it may not be used appropriately. One should rather donate directly to the needy or poor.

Question – what should be done to make a human life successful?
Bapu’s answer – Birth as a human being is due to supreme grace, so distribute love to all. Worshipping the Lord is good, but one should try to see Him in everything /everybody and spread love everywhere. ‘Bhaav’ (goodwill) towards all would remove every ‘abhaav’ (inadequacy) from your life.
A spiritual person should be joyful. Joy (aanand) is the form of God. Be God-loving and not God-fearing.

Five sutras to cultivate happiness.

Try to remain pure (in the heart) as much as possible. Try to maintain the joy that comes with purity. Try to uphold the faith in your subject of devotion. Try to retain the sincerity in your conduct at every cost. Try to help others whenever possible.
By following the above five, you may come across adversities, but you won’t feel the pain. All the situations will come as Lord’s Prasaad.

‘Pranavaun pavan-kumaar khal bana paavak gyaan-ghan’ – Hanuman jee is described as mahaveer and Tulsidas jee indicates a particular trait of him in the sorttha as gyaan ghan (rain cloud of knowledge). Hanuman jee showers knowledge like rain like a cloud and he is not partial towards anyone/anything. He maintains equality (samata) which is the main sign of true spiritual knowledge.

Knowledge is not recognized by impressive speeches or religious symbols; it is recognized by a person’s developed mentality of experiencing the omnipresent in all creation.

A gyaani (knowledgeable) may be called a veer/brave but Hanuman jee is the utmost gyaani as he puts his knowledge in practice; therefore, he is aptly called as mahaveer.

One should respect every individual’s viewpoint as everybody has own inclination and thinking. An aspirant should ignore the weaknesses of the other and appreciate and learn from others’ qualities.

Question – why do you look different on Vyas-peetth?
Bapu’s answer – I’m just the same otherwise also, but you may feel the difference due to your bhaav (mind-set) and the different surroundings of Ram katha.

Question – How do you sit continually for 4-5 hours in katha without getting up?
Bapu’s answer – it is a matter of practice of many years. For me sidhhi (any accomplishment) is not so important, but I prefer that shudhhi (purity) should be there.
Every creation is a result of the inherent presence of supreme power everywhere. Every form is the expression of the form less omnipresent authority.

Possessiveness of anything can result into stressful mind. Don’t be too possessive about anything to remain light-hearted.

Question – What is more important- destiny (praarabdh) or self-efforts (purushaarth)?
Bapu’s answer – Both play their parts in life, but I feel that the most dominant factor in an aspirant’s life is God’s will. It is seen in Hanuman jee’s life that only God’s will played the most significant role in every circumstance. To understand the God’s will better, following four can be helpful for an aspirant:

Shradhha – faith that whatever Lord does would be for my best only. Samarpan- Surrender in God’s feet with sincerity. Samajh- Wisdom and willingness to understand the situation. Samaya- Patience to wait for the time to give results.

Tulsidas jee mentions three major ‘khal’ in Aranya kand – “Taat teeni ati prabal ati kaam kroadh aru lobhe”. Hanuman jee fights with all the three and it is depicted through the incidents of Shri Ram Charit Manas. For example- Indrajeet, Raavan’s son represents ‘kaam’ (desire). He is shown to be such an element that creates unrest in everyone’s life. It is important for an aspirant to be extremely careful of these three. If an aspirant takes refuge in Hanuman jee’s feet, he can be safe as Hanuman jee is able in controlling the khal.

According to Vedanata, there are two ways to see the world. One is ‘Brahm-satyam’- it is a positive approach that propagates that the supreme power is truth. Second is ‘Jagan-mithya’- it is a sign of a bit pessimistic attitude towards life that connotes that the world is false. Swaami Vivekanand chose the positive approach and led people towards optimism.

A person should live a wholesome life. Earn well till a certain age till your children grow up to carry the responsibilities. After a certain age use your wealth for welfare of others. The more you spread yourself materially, the more difficult it would be to wind up from all directions. Thus, spread your material life wisely in the initial years only.

Religious leaders should not baptize small children forcefully. Children should be given freedom to enjoy their childhood. Religious rituals should not burden anyone. No religious institution should try to forcibly implement their pattern of worship in the society.

Question – Some religious speakers on television prescribe meditation as the path of spirituality. Kindly share your opinion on that?
Bapu’s answer – Meditation is one of the many paths of spirituality, but it is not the only path. One can choose any path of spirituality according to own nature and inclination. But it is not right for anyone to criticize others’ path to propagate own path.

An aspirant who goes on the path of thought (vichaar) has to do efforts to reach the God. But, if an aspirant chooses the path of faith (vishwaas), the Lord comes to him through Sadaguru.

Sadaguru is not recognized by a particular symbol or attire. He is the one whose slight remembrance, even miles away, creates purity in the heart and tears in the eyes of an aspirant. One should not use many words with the Sadaguru; there’s a dialogue through heart between a Sadaguru and shishya.

The three main ‘khal’ (desire, anger and greed) that are parts of any human being’s life. They are tolerable to an extent provided they are in the prescribed conventional limits. If they remain in the small proportion, then they are called ‘sanskar’. Bhagwaan Krishna called ‘kaam’ (desire) his form in Bhagwad Gita, but the condition being that it remains in the limits of Dharma. But, if the ‘khal’ become out of control, then they are termed as ‘vikaar’ and have to be curbed.

Hanuman jee dealt in the unique way with unbounded desire, greed and anger. We can see that and learn through the conduct of Hanuman jee in the incidents of Shri Ram Charit Manas.

In Lanka Kand, Meghnaad, who represents Kaam , hurt Lakshman jee and he became unconscious. At that time, Hanuman jee took him in his lap and brought him near Bhagwaan Ram. Later he also brought Sushen, the physician of Lanka and Sanjivani, the medicine.

If seen in today’s perspective, if a saint like Hanuman jee comes across helping the unconscious aspirant, he can take care of his required treatment. A saint introduces the aspirant to a Sadaguru (represented by Sushen), who cures us and makes us conscious of truth. Sanjivani is the medicine of ‘bhakti’ (devotion), which should be taken before life ends. Path of spirituality is not just for elderly; it can prove to be more useful for youth.

Hanuman jee’s behaviour with greed can be seen in Sunder Kand. When Hanuman jee went to Lanka, Mainaak mountain offered him to rest on its ground. But Hanuman jee just touched it and proceeded forward in his mission. Mainaak denotes materialism; material comforts may lure an individual but an aspirant should politely use the wealth wisely and not get greedy about it.

Further on his way, Hanuman jee faced Sursa, symbol of fame. But, Hanuman jee passed that hurdle also skillfully. An aspirant who overcomes the greed of wealth may be caught in the longing of fame. Therefore, he/she should be extremely careful and try to remove it from the spiritual path.

In the same journey, Hanuman jee came across Lankini, who stands for anger. Hanuman jee used his fists to toss her. An aspirant can also try to gain control over anger by tightening the fists the moment anger takes over. It is psychologically true that at the time of anger, washing the face with cold water, looking in the mirror, closing the eyes etc can also be helpful.

It is neither right to condemn the past and brood over it nor to worry about the future. An individual should make the best of present available moment.

Pavan works incessantly without a fail of a second as a life source of creation. Hanuman jee being his son also works on the same line and provides his continual services to Bhagwaan Ram. Thus, Hanuman jee is a ‘param karma yogi’, who masters in working non-stop.
Hanuman jee is ‘param gyaan yogi’ as he burns away the faults (khal) like a fire burns away forests and then showers knowledge like a rainy cloud (gyaan ghan) for an aspirant.

Hanuman jee is also a ‘bhakti yogi’ because the supreme power resides in his heart in the form of Bhagwaan Ram and he feels the divine presence constantly.

There is an amalgamation of the three paths of spirituality in Hanuman jee. His presence as air provides ‘swaas’ (life-source) in the whole creation. His devotion denotes ‘viswaas’ (ultimate faith) and his knowledge signifies ‘vivek vichaar’ (wise thought).

Wherever, you see this kind of integration, try to be in company of such a person. Be careful in keeping company (sang) as it influences anybody very quickly. Company breeds attraction/desire and when the person tries to justify his attraction, it leads to anger. Anger is gloom; it is a seed of violence. Love serves as a seed of compassion. Ultimately, this results in making an individual’s intellect corrupt and he is not able to see the reality of life.

A shishya should be completely dedicated in the feet of his Sadaguru. He has a choice to respect other saints but his heart should be faithful only toward his Sadaguru. If the allegiance is not perfect then he may not be able to receive the required satisfaction (samaadhaan) in life. ‘Nishttha’ (focused commitment in the feet of one Lord) should be extremely precious for an aspirant.

Sometimes, it is seen today that nishttha of a person is like a dancing woman which is used to appease many people. One may get prestige in the society by this kind of conduct but he/she can never experience true joy.

Gyaan (knowledge) is the state when every form merges into one- ‘me’; the whole existence is into oneself, thus, a person becomes absolutely self-content.

Bhakti (devotion) is the state when all creation merges into the supreme beloved. The beloved becomes the whole existence. These are two distinct paths; an aspirant should choose the one that suits his nature.

Question – what is meant by ‘bhakti’?
Bapu’s answer – according to Shrimad Bhagwat, there are nine kinds of devotion:

Shravanam- listening to God’s glory with fondness. Kirtanam- reciting the chaupais/bhajans/God’s holy name vocally or in the heart. Smaranam- remembering the Lord or satsang with affection. Paad sevanam- worshipping the feet of the Lord or Sadaguru. But it also means to follow the footsteps of Sadaguru and implementing his sutras in life. Archanam- ritual worship of God and it also refers to providing relief or encouragement to the people who are in despair or feel defeated. Vandanam- respecting all by seeing the omnipresent in all creation. Daasyam- living as the caretaker of the family and not as a master. Sakhyam- befriend the Lord; one is free to make any kind of relationship with the Almighty. Aatma-nivedanam- whole and soul surrender in the feet of the Lord.
Bhajan is:

Remembering the supreme beloved with true feelings in the heart and tears in the eyes. Creating a relationship with the God. Doing sincere efforts to reduce your vices. Creating cordial atmosphere in the family. Abstaining from saying lies. Sharing your resources with the needy. Stopping yourself from blaming others. Trying to fill the deficiencies of life by bonding with the Lord

There are two temples in India where the name bears gold connotation. One is in Ayodhya – Kanak Bhawan (Bhagwaan Ram’s palace) and second in Amritsar , Punjab – Swarna mandir (Guru granth sahib’s place).
Hanuman jee is another golden temple ( Atulit-bal-dhaamam hem-shailaabh-deham ) where Bhagwaan Ram resides permanently. No one could harm Hanuman jee due to the constant presence of Bhagwaan Ram in his heart. On the other hand, even Lanka was all of gold, but it got burnt into shambles as it served as a residence of Raavan. Gold represents wealth; it is not bad if it has Bhagwaan Ram’s blessings. But, if it is used like Raavan, it may not prove to be everlasting.

The more one gives, the more one gets! Don’t be miser in sharing your wealth for the welfare of the needy.

Troubles may chase a person more if he/she tries to escape and run away from them. But, if an aspirant bravely faces them, the troubles shy away from him. Satsang creates courage in the aspirant to face problems.

It is a sure fact that Hanuman jee will remain on this earth in one form or the other till the day Ramkatha is recited. Presence of Hanuman jee can be felt, if not seen.

Tulsidas jee says from his experience that whoever garners even a few chaupais in the heart will feel stress free.

Yogis curb their inner faults by self-control, gyaanis become like a witness all happenings with the help of their knowledge. But for a common person, the faults can be controlled by the rod of bhakti (devotion) and a flag of satsang over it.

Let us offer the fruit of virtue of this katha to all the people of Africa.

Bapu says, “With guru-kripa, I never feel tired on the vyas-peetth. Also because I’m watching the results of my katha when the listeners try to adapt the sutras and aspire to lead a truthful life.”

Pavan putra Hanuman…lalla..lalla..Pavant putra Hanuman………….

UPCOMING


Upcoming
Kathas


Katha 849: Online Katha from Kamandal Kund, Siddhakshetra, Girnar, Gujarat
(At Highest peak of Girnar near tapahsthali of Lord Shri Adiguru Dattatreya)

17th October to 25th October - 9:30 am to 12:30 pm: Live on Aastha & Chitrakutdham Youtube Channel


शारदीय नवरात्रि के पावन अवसर पर घने जंगलों से आच्छादित सिद्धक्षेत्र गिरनार पर्वतमाला की सबसे ऊँची चोटी पर स्थित आदिगुरु दत्तात्रेय भगवान की अक्षय तपस्थली के आश्रय में एवं माँ गंगा स्वरुप कमण्डल कुण्ड के समीप मोरारी बापू की करुणामय वाणी में कोरोना महामारी के कारण कथा स्थल पर बिना श्रोता के आयोजित ''849वी राम कथा'' का आस्था पर सीधा प्रसारण देखिये

17 से 25 अक्टूबर, प्रातः 9:30 से 12:30 बजे तक