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.
Ayodhyaa Kaand – Doha 303
Mahimaa taasu kahai kimi tulsi | Bhagati subhaay sumati hiyan hulsi ||
Aapu chhoti mahimaa badi jaani | Kabi-kul kaani maani sakuchaani ||
How can I, Tulsidas, speak of his (Bharat Jee’s) glory? It is the devotion and noble sentiments that inspired sublime thoughts in Tulsidas Jee’s mind.
Tulsidas Jee was humbled and felt his smallness in front of Bharat Jee’s greatness and he could not go beyond his poetic limitations.
Welcome and pranaam to all from Surat. Tulsidas jee considers Bharat jee as his Sadaguru; and as seen from his chaupai – ‘Sadgur gyaan biraag jog key..’ he indicates that Shri Ram Charit Manas is also a Sadaguru. There are seven characteristics of a Sadaguru that help people to recognize him and thus they are evident both in Bharat jee and Shri Ram Charit Manas. They are as follows.
1) Tapa – Bal kand is full of penance. The main characters who have followed the path of ‘tapa’ are Uma and Manu-Shatrupa. Even Naarad jee’s tapa is mentioned here.
A Sadaguru bears baseless criticism of people with grace. Public acclaim does not move him either. A Sadaguru keeps a balanced mind to assimilate both negative and positive reactions of the society.
2) Tyaag – Ayodhya Kand displays the race of abandoning for the other. Bhagwaan Ram leaves the throne for Bharat jee and he in turn tries to return it to him.
A Sadaguru may or may not abandon the material things, but he is definitely free of attachment towards them. Tyaag is not just forsaking the worthless, but it is actually holding on to the auspicious elements.
3) Teertha – In Aranya Kand, Bhagwaan Ram visited the places of Rishis and Munis (sages). It is a kind of his pilgrim journey.
A Sadaguru is a mobile pilgrimage. His holiness is equal to that of any pilgrim place.
4) Taarunya – The entry of Hanuman jee (who is a symbol of ageless ness) takes place in Kishkindha kand. Bali , Sugreev and Angad symbolize the youth factor.
A Sadaguru is the one whose spiritual energy never fades away; rigid customs or rituals do not bind him.
5) Tadap – The anxiety of Bhagwaan Ram and ma Jaanaki to meet each other is clear in Sunder kaand. Even Hanuman jee is eager to meet Vibheeshan and the Ma Sita. A Sadaguru’s is always eager to share his spiritual wealth with the aspirants. He is not a narrow-minded person.
6) Tejasvita – Raavan has been called as ‘avataar’ by Kaag-Bhusundi jee and thus at the time of his death in Lanka Kand, Tulsidas jee indicates his ‘tej’ (magnificence)-‘ Taasu tej samaan prabhu aanan..’ A Sadaguru spiritual radiance is evident in his personality.
7) Tript – Uttar kand culminates with total contentment of Tulsidas jee-‘Paayo param vishraam ram samaan prabhu naahin kahun’.
A Sadaguru is absolutely contented with himself; his satisfaction does not depend on others.
Bapu began today’s katha with, “my greetings to all on the occasion of ‘Gujarat day’. I remember all the great literary people of Gujarat with regard and also all the noted and talented people of Gujarat in various fields.”
Tulsidas jee presents an undeniable fact through this Doha –‘ Bharatu janaku munijan sachiv saadhu sachet bihaai | Laagi dev-maaya sabahi jatha-jogu janu paai ||’ (302). He says that everyone gets influenced by maaya (material illusion) in some way or the other except Bharat jee, Janak jee, some munis, minister (who follows the path of truth and dispassion) and aware saadhu (who does not impose his sect on others and does not create groupism in society). The mentioned people remain unscathed by delusion.
When we pick up the word, ‘Mahimaa’ (greatness), then let us discuss that what does it exactly mean. A person is truly great (mahimaa-vant) when he has a positive impact on the people in the following three ways.
His darshan (glimpse) does not let a person feel lowly (inferiority complex). A Look at a ‘mahima-vant’ person makes the viewer feel good. His bhajan (way of devotion) inspires others and it becomes a reason for blooming of others’ intellect. His swabhaav (nature) makes others joyful. His nature is so intriguing that it cannot be described in words.
A truly distinguished person’s influence is never harmful for others. He is a source of inspiration for others.
Question – what are the four fruits in the Doha –‘Shriguru charan saroj raj nij manu mukuru sudhaari | Baranaun raghubar bimal jasu jo daayaku fal chaari ||’ (Hanumaan chalisa).
Bapu’s answer – ‘The fruits that are commonly quoted are dharma, arth, kaam and moksha. But I think these are efforts (purushaartha) for actual fruits.
The actual fruit of dharma (religion) is dispassion (vairaagya) and the nectar of this fruit is devotion in the feet of the Lord. The fruit of arth (wealth) is the material facility and not pleasure (sukh). The real pleasure is to share the wealth with others. The fruit of kaam (desire) is experienced when it leads to Ram (spirituality). The fruit of moksha (salvation) is freedom from delusion while living in the world.
There is a difference between mrityu (death) and jeevan-mukti. Mrityu happens when the body dies but desires live. But jeevan-mukti is when a person becomes free of all the desires while alive.
A mind of a person breeds on the incidents of past and plans of future. A person can experience freedom from mental stress if he focuses only on the present.
An aspirant should not wait or expect the Sadaguru to acknowledge him as a disciple; he should rather just accept one as Sadaguru. When he surrenders himself in the feet of Sadaguru with absolute devotion, he himself becomes a guru. Then, the alliance between the two results in maitri (friendship) like that of Shri Krishna and Arjun.
Katha is not a religious seminar; it is a medium for cleansing the mind. Everyone is welcome here, as there is no distinction of religion here.
Keep smiling and make others smile!
A person may be considered as mahima-vant (distinguished) due to three factors.
Prabhaav – Impact due to knowledge/personality/status in the society. Swabhaav – Nature that touches the heart of all. Abhaav – The detached attitude of saintly people creates an aura of greatness (fakiri).
The prabhaav is discussed in Shri Ram Charit Manas ‘ Jinhahi birachi bada bhayau bidhaata | Mahima avadhi ram pitu maata ||’ – Dasarath jee and Kausalya jee are so great that even the creator achieved greatness after creating them.
The swabhaav of the supreme power is indicated by Tulsidaas jee –
‘Binu pada chalayi sunayi binu kaana | Kar binu karam karayi bidhi naana ||
‘Aanan rahit sakal rasa bhogi | Binu baani bakataa bada jogi ||
‘Tana binu paras nayan binu dekha | Grahayi ghraan binu baas asekha ||
‘Asi sab bhaanti alaukik karani | Mahima jaasu jaai nahin barani ||’
The supreme power is such that he walks without feet, listens without ears, works without hands, speaks without words, touches without body, sees without eyes and smells without nose. The supremacy of Almighty cannot be described.
Bharat jee indicates the abhaav factor –
‘Bhooshan basan bhoge sukh bhoori | Mana tana bachan tajey tin toori ||
‘Tehin par basat bharat binu raaga | Chanchareek jimi champak baaga ||’
The detachment of Bharat jee, in spite of having a choice of possessing everything, makes him mahima-vant.
Bapu says, ‘ I can assure that if you read (do paatth) Shri Ram Charit Manas with total faith and devotion, it can alter your destiny for better. But the important condition is absolute faith.’
If you are really sincere to improve your life, then try never to pronounce any one as bad. The creation is a combination of both positive and negative; therefore, even the evil person may have some good qualities. Try not to think adversely for anyone. An aspirant should also be careful that he does not remain remorseful about own weaknesses also. Think positive for others and yourself too.
There are several steps of speech:
Silence- silence can convey without words. Truth- truthful words remains undeniable. Polite truth- truth should not hurtful. Speech should be adorned by concrete thoughts. Speech should be in accordance with shastras. Do not be harsh to people who do not understand your words, be quiet.
In ‘guru-vandana’ of Shri Ram Charit Manas, Tulsidas jee mentions three things of Sadaguru –
Guru charan raja (dust of his feet) depicts the abhaav or his simplicity. Guru pada nakh jyoti (glow of his feet’s nails) signifying his prabhaav which grants a divine vision to the disciple. Guru pada padum paraaga – indicates that Sadaguru’s way of life is like that of a lotus as he remains unscathed by materialism of the world, in spite of living in it.
The presence of Sadaguru is an indispensable part of spiritual journey. The fastest way to reach the Sadaguru is ‘smaran’ (remembrance). Sadaguru comes to the shishya through this route. Just like the meru of a mala comes closer with passing of each bead. Sadaguru always hides himself as he behaves in a very ordinary manner. He never shows the enormity of his personality, only a true shishya gets to know about it.
A Sadaguru has three major characteristics:
He understands that I’m nothing, but a form of supreme power. He understands that I don’t possess anything in this world. He understands that I don’t need anything. Question – do you believe in communalism?
Bapu’s answer – It is better to be common than communal. I try to remain common by always remembering my roots.
Lesser the wishes, more the peace!
A christian priest Fr.(Dr.) Kamilmulke has written a book on Valmiki Ramayana, ‘Ramkatha’. He writes that once he asked a Muslim person that why he read the Ramayana. The Muslim replied that Ramayana helped him in being a good Muslim. Bapu welcomed the representatives of various religions and expressed his happiness that they were present in Ramkatha today.
In Shri Ram Charit Manas, there is a description of mahima of 16 elements. It is first used in Bal kand to express the boundless virtues of a saadhu- ‘ Bidhi hari har kabi kobid baani | Kahat saadhu mahima sakuchaani ||’. Tulsidas jee starts mahima with an indication to vast greatness of a saadhu.
Who can be called a saadhu? A particular attire or symbol can be a pointer of a specific path of way of worship. But such an outer appearance does not mean that person is a saadhu. One should check the following 9 points to confirm an actual saadhu, whose mahima is infinite.
Bharpoor Saumyata – full of tranquillity. Even Bhagwaan Vishnu (who is supposed to be a personification of calmness) seems a bit trivial in comparison as it is seen in shastras that he uses shraap (curse) at some points. But a saadhu never loses his calm. Komalta – softhearted. Tulsidas jee says that a saadhu’s heart is softer than the butter as it melts immediately when he sees others’ pain –‘ Nij paritaap dravayi navaneeta | Par dukh dravahin sant su-puneeta||’ Su-hridayata – sensitive. A saadhu is free of distinctions of caste, creed, religion etc. Udaarta – generous and can never be a miser. Sahan-sheeltaa – tolerant as goes through all kinds of reactions of people. Satyata – truthful. Sunderta – radiance of over-all personality. Niraabhimaanita – free of ego in spite of being able. Bheetari swasthata – total mental fitness.
God is never too far from us. He is only at a distance till your voice/call reaches. Never think Him to be too distant.
Each lie is a death (whenever you lie, you die). Doubting others leads to death. Lethargy is a form of death and putting faith at a wrong place is also a death.
Never lie or hide anything from your Sadaguru. He knows everything, but might not say due to his large-heartedness and to prevent you from embarrassment.
If your wishes get fulfilled, it is Hari-kripa. If not, then accept God’s will as it is Hari-ichchha for your advantage. If you adopt and understand this sutra, you will become free of stress.
Today is Shrimad Vallabhacharya’s jayanti. Greetings to all on this occasion and our salutation to the great acharya, who gave the path/philosophy of ‘pushti maarg’ to the world. He said-‘chinta kvaapi na kaaryaat’, which means that if a devotee worries, he insults the capability of his Lord. Jai Shri Krishna to all!!
Question – What is truth and how is it? Katha touches the heart, but we sometimes wonder if all that is said is true?
Bapu’s Answer – “Only truth itself can define the wholeness of truth. But, in my journey for search of truth, whatever I’ve experienced with guru-kripa and whatever I share here is the truth of my life.”
Question – Can we look around while doing japa on maala?
Bapu’s answer – Yes, you can look around but with such a mentality that each person around is a bead of my maalaa (rosary). The whole creation is the form of my Lord.
Bhakti means knowing the nature of God and building a relationship with Him. We get to know the nature when we stay near or around but the relationship’s strength is gauged when there is a certain distance. It is good to stay around your Sadaguru, but it is even better to keep a certain distance for building a strong bond.
The one who hits your mind first at the time of waking up is the one with whom your heart truly gels. He is the one who has made a place in your nature.
Worshipping ways of the Lord should be made simplest so as to encourage everyone in the spiritual path. Rigid ways of some religions have made worship patterns difficult to understand and thus inaccessible for all. The worship of the Almighty should be burden-less and in accordance with your nature.
The charitra (character) of Bharat jee can also be classified in seven parts, like said for Shri Ram Charit Manas on the first day of this katha.
Tapa – Bharat jee’s main tapa (penance) in his life was to be always away from Bhagwaan Ram, who was his subject of devotion. Right from childhood games, he had to be in the opposite team of Bhagwaan Ram. Later, he stayed mostly at his maternal grandparents’ place. Then, he lived in Nandigram when Bhagwaan Ram was in Chitrakoot. Tyaag – Bharat jee’s emotional outburst at MaKaikeyi when he got to know about Vana-vaas of Bhagwaan Ram and then his refusal to accept the throne signifies his tyaag (detachment). Teerth – Bharat jee’s yaatra to Chitrakoot with the people of Ayodhya to meet Bhagwaan Ram, via Shringberpur and Prayaag was his teertha yaatra (pilgrimage). Taarunya – Bharat jee’s novel thoughts in the various meetings of Chitrakoot denote his unmarked mind. Tadap – Bharat jee’s readiness to send back Bhagwaan Ram to Ayodhya and himself staying in Chitrakoot shows his concern for Bhagwaan Ram. Tej – Bharat jee lived in the shadow of Paaduka of Bhagwaan Ram. It brought radiance in his persona. Tripti – Once Bhagwaan Ram came back to Ayodhya and established Ram-rajya, Bharat jee could not be seen much; it marks Bharat jee’s contentment of living in the reign of Bhagwaan Ram.
Do not pronounce your vrat (resolution) publicly. Declaration brings the risk of breaking it. The biggest vrat is to maintain truth (satya-vrat) and being always sincere in your devotion (prem-vrat).
In olden times (In India), five primary things used to happen at the banks a flowing river.
Snaan – people used to bathe in the water of the river. Paan -people used the river water to quench their thirst. Gaan – people used to recite stotras (verses) on the bank. Dhyaan – river bank was an appropriate place for meditation. Daan – donation to the needy was done at riverbank.
Ram katha is also a Ganga. People should take a dip (snaan) in it by listening with attention for cleansing their minds. If a person’s prejudice or stubborn-ness does not let him listen properly, then one should go to a katha for at least 10 minutes (paan) to taste the affect of holy katha. But, if one is unable to come to katha due to some reason, then he should hum chaupais (gaan) at home. A person can even think about the sutras (dhyaan) of katha wherever he is. And if all the above options are not possible, then at least donate for a good cause. But, lastly, if you can’t even donate anything, then please take a resolution to give a smile to others.
Every person should take a pledge to donate 10% of his earning towards charity. It is a social responsibility of every individual to share his earning with the needy who need it more. This can bring an end to misery of many and solve many social problems.
Katha is a successful medium to create ‘aastha’ (faith) in a person’s life and create ‘vyavastha’ (cordial atmosphere) in the society. A saadhu also does the same. But, he should maintain the awareness that all his capability is due to the grace of the Almighty.
In every circumstance of your life, you should never abandon ‘Hari-smaran’ (remembering the Lord). Hanuman jee was chanting Ram-naam when he was flying with Drona-giri (mountain with medicine to cure Laxman jee), but when Bharat jee saw him above Ayodhya, he thought that might be some devil. Bharat jee threw an arrow at Hanuman jee and he fell down. But at that time also, Hanuman jee kept on chanting Harinaam. This is a clear indication by Tulsidas jee that when you pass through ups and downs of life, never leave Harinaam.
Shri Ram Charit Manas can be also said as Bharat charit manas as the character of Bharat jee goes hand-in-hand with Bhagwaan Ram. Both were born around the same time. They grew up together and then both were married at the same time. When Bhagwaan Ram went to forest at Ma kaikeyi’s demand from Dasarath jee, at that time Bharat jee lived in Nandigram; it was a vana-vaas in his own away. Bhagwaan Ram had to bear separation from Jaanaki jee and Bharat Jee from Maandavi jee. Both kept Paaduka with themselves. Bhagwaan Ram killed Raavan (personified delusion or moha) and Bharat jee destroyed almost all the faults resulting from moha. Both wound up their lives in a very graceful manner.
‘Jaun na hote jaga janam bharat ko | Sakal dharam dhur dharani dharat ko ||’
Tulsidas jee says that Bharat jee adopted the main sutra of every dharma:
The Islam religion does not believe in idol-worship; Bharat jee did not keep any image as the subject of his worship. He used to obey the Paaduka of Bhagwaan Ram and paaduka is not just made of wood, it is actually made up of guru-element (tatva). Bharat jee adopted the message of service and love of Christianity. Compassion of Budhhism was seen in Bharat jee’s life. Jainism advocated non-violence; Bharat jee stopped Shatrughna jee when he was hitting Manthara, therefore his non-violence is evident through this gesture. The allegiance towards the Almighty is taught by Sikhs. Bharat jee’s faith and commitment towards Bhagwaan Ram is well known. The inter-personal cordiality of Parsis is also seen in Ayodhya.
‘Taat bharat tumha sab bidhi saadhu | Ram charan anuraag agaadhu ||’
Some saadhu is a follower of the path of knowledge (gyaan), some of action (karma) and some of devotion (bhakti). Bharadwaaj jee pronounced that Bharat jee was the one saadhu who had amalgamation of all the qualities of every kind of saadhu.
A person goes through four yugas in every day life and can practice the respective prescribed methods of worship in feasible manner.
Sata yuga – The morning time is considered to be sata yuga and it is most suitable for meditation.
Treta yuga – The time of 10am to 5pm is said to be treta yuga. It is a yuga of ‘yagna’ and one should do their job/work during these hours with the mentality of doing yagna.
Dwaapar yuga – Evening time is dwaapar yuga in everyday. Pooja is an ideal form of worship in this time, but if one cannot get involved in doing ritualistic worship of God, then pooja can be in the form of helping the needy and even taking care of family members.
Kali yuga – Night time is considered to be kali yuga and it is best for chanting Harinaam.
One should take a vrat (resolution) of keeping patience (dheerta) and maintaining silence (maun)- this can be called as ‘Ahalya vrat’.
Bharat jee’s character had five main prominent thoughts:
Vipad vichaar – Everyone goes through difficult circumstances in life at some or the other point of time. But, one can pass through them without being too stressed with the help of patience and courage. Nothing is permanent here, so crisis also does not last forever; it is bound to go away. Bharat jee spent the years away from Bhagwaan Ram with this kind of serenity. Vastu vichaar – While living in this world, one comes across many kinds of things. But one should use the material things in the best possible way (without exploiting them) and with a mentality that this is prasaad (blessing) from Almighty). One should not get obsessed by material possessions, but take care of them like a caretaker. Bharat jee looked after Ayodhya in the absence of Bhagwaan Ram, but never tried to dominate it. He always maintained that awareness that after all everything belongs to Bhagwaan Ram. Vishaya vichaar – An aspirant should appropriately treat the material comforts and maintain the mental detachment from them. Bharat jee did not get influenced by any of them in the ashram of Bharadwaaj jee who provided best of luxury. This is possible when one keeps faith on the Lord that only He can save from the attraction of material pleasures. Faith works immensely; the clearest example is of Bhakta Narsinha mehta who had such a sound trust on God that Bhagwaan Krishna came in person to manage his work. Vivek vichaar – Bharat jee’s wisdom is evident in the meetings of Chitrakoot, where he gives all the options to bring back Bhagwaan Ram in Ayodhya. But, at last his ultimate statement-‘ Jehi bidhi prabhu prasann mana hoi | Karuna-saagar keejiya soi ||’ shows his highest form of understanding where there is a merger of wisdom and devotion. He surrenders everything and leaves the decision to Bhagwaan Ram. Bhagwaan Ram says that Bharat jee is like a Hans who can distinguish between the worthless and valuable. This kind of wisdom comes through satsang. There is difference between intellect (budhhi) and wisdom (vivek); Even an illiterate person can be extremely wise. Vairaagya vichaar – Bharat jee lived with total dispassion in Nandigram, his devotion was absolutely focussed in the feet of Bhagwaan Ram- ‘ Tehin par basat bharat binu raaga | Chanchareek jimi champak baaga ||’. If one is able to cultivate this kind of mental dispassion, it is essential for him to not to make it too evident to people around him.
Just like a body is made up of five elements, Bharat jee’s personality was made up of these five thoughts.
It is said that God comes at the critical moment when you need him the most. But Bapu says that whoever helps you at the critical moment is God in some form or the other.
In ‘Guru-geeta’, Bhagwaan Shankar mentions some of the features of a Sadaguru whom he calls as ‘param-guru’. He says that just like an ocean is a king of all water-bodies, Sadaguru is the head of all gurus in the world. He is free of moha (delusion) and other related faults and they never bind him. He is as calm from inside as he appears from outside. He is so self-content that his joy is never dependent on others. The riches of the world are insignificant and he experiences continual joy without any of them. He is free from arguments and does discussion on anything that is for betterment of all. He lives in the light of self-realization and destroys the darkness of aspirants’ life. Just a glimpse of his can create delight in the hearts of the looker. He is extremely patient and it is important for the aspirant to be patient in order to remain with him.
A statement/thought is important but the more important factor is that who speaks it. The value of any statement is gauged by the fact that who propagates it.
It is not easy to describe the various facets of Shri Ram Charit Manas in any limited time. Therefore, I’ll take up this topic of ‘Manas-Mahima’ again in one more katha wherever God inspires.
Ram rajya can be created at every level. If there is cordiality and affection amongst the family members, the Ram rajya is in the family also.
There should be three types of results of katha:
End of doubts. Opening of wings like Garuda- one gets ready to adopt and implement the sutras of katha in life. ‘Kritaarth bhaav’- the listener is filled with gratitude.
Let us offer the fruit of virtue of this katha in the feet of Ma Taapi ( river of Surat ).
Haraye namah..Haraye namah..Haraye namah. Jai SiyaRam!
Ayodhyaa Kaand – Doha 288
Suni bhoopaal bharat byavahaaru | Sone sugandh sudha sasi saaru ||
Moodey sajal nayan pulakey tana | Sujasu saraahan lagey mudit mana||
When the king heard of Bhrat’s conduct which was rare as a combination of gold and fragrance or as nectar extracted from moon,
the king closed his tearful eyes and a thrill ran through his body and he broke out into ecstatic praises of his bright glory
We have assimilated for Ramkatha in the middle zone of our country (Madhya pradesh). The topic for this katha is also from the middle part of Shri Ram Charit Manas i.e. Ayo-dh-yaa Kaand. Su-nayanaa jee is conversing with Janak jee about the nature and conduct of Bharat jee. Listening to which, he closes his teary eyes and his heart is filled with silent appreciation for Bharat jee.
A saint /saadhu can be recognized by his behaviour and not by outer appearance or attire.
Gyaani lives on his own efforts (prayaas), whereas bhakta lives on the grace of God (prasaad).
A Sadaguru has three vital characteristics. An aspirant should see the following and then only accept anyone as Sadaguru.
He should be able to grant fearlessness (abhaya) – anyone who creates or encourages fear can never be a Sadaguru. He is the one who incessantly showers grace (anugraha) in spite of negative response from the other person. He is the one who leads the aspirant with affection (anurag).
Always try to respect the positive qualities of an individual and ignore the weaknesses. This is a formula for happiness.
Hanuman jee is in the form of life source (shwaas) and faith (vishwaas). He prevails everywhere without any distinctions or boundaries. Hanuman chalisa is pure and powerful.
Don’t use excess food material to offer to the deities; donate to the needy instead. The deity would be more pleased with this kind of gesture.
This is Bharat katha, which is not knowledge based but is essentially devotion based. It usually happens in night. Bharat katha is a little harder than Ram katha; Bharat jee is not just an individual but a thought institution.
There is a certain potential in realized souls that creates tranquility in anyone who comes around him. There is no need for exchange of words also, just sitting silently around such saintly person can dissolve all the doubts and questions of an aspirant.
Some people ask that devotion is not remain consistent and tears dry away. Bapu says, “ it is a phase of saadhana and one has to pass through it. It is test for the aspirant.” Tears are an expression of love and they are the best ornaments for eyes.
All the creation is a result of love only. Here everything is inter-connected due to love for each other. Even the Almighty takes a form due to love- “Prem tein pragat hohin main jaana.”
Bharat jee’s nature is noble, but it becomes more regarded as it complemented with modesty (sheel). The humility comes with the grace of Sadaguru and good education.
Bharat jee lives an ascetic life, even though he is a grihastha (married person). He is free from basic human faults in spite of living in the world. On the other hand, Naarad jee, in spite of being a sage experiences all the weaknesses of a worldly person.
In katha, the foremost requisite for both speaker and listener is alertness (saavadhaan). The orator is usually alert, as he has to speak, but is extremely important for a listener to listen with concentration and understand the words as they are meant.
According to Acharya Hemendra, ‘saavahdaan’ denotes following factors:
‘Sa’ – live ordinarily/according to nature (saadhaaran). Religious leaders should remain down-to-earth. A person, however great, should not lose forsake originality at any cost.
‘Va’- katha is a rain (varsha) of sutras. One has to make oneself receptive to make the best of it.
‘Dha’- One should strongly adhere to certain sutras (dhaaran karna).
‘Na’- Every individual should try be free of negativity (nishedhaatmak-ta).
Katha is a successful medium to transform the negativity of mind into constructive attitude and faults into qualities.
Question – Yesterday, you discussed the definition of ‘saavadhaan’ given by Acharya Hemendra. How would you describe the word?
Bapu’s answer – I would define each alphabet of this word in the following way. A listener should try to take care of following attributes while listening:
Sa = Saadhuta : Listen to katha with undivided concentration. Leave all the expectations and complaints aside while listening to katha.
Va = Vastu-vivek : Katha is not a means of entertainment. One has to understand the actual content of katha. Elements like examples, jokes or music support the real matter; just these should not carry one away. A listener should try to grasp the sutras behind them.
Dha = Dhaarana : Listen to katha with patience. Spiritual journey takes its own time.
Na = Namrata : Listen to katha with humility and not with any intention to test or judge the speaker. Humbleness is a valuable quality of an aspirant.
Let us go to the next chaupai of this katha – ‘ Saavadhaan suni sumukhi sulochani | Bharat katha bhav bandh bimochani ||’ Tulsidas jee says that Bharat katha can break the bindings of the world.
According to shastras, there are many worldly bindings like shyness (lajja), Doubt (shanka), fear (bhaya), grief (shoke), family traditions (kul) and Over-modesty (sheel). Bharat katha can eliminate these ties and create a Balanced personality in an individual.
But there is another angle to this chaupai. Bapu says, ‘I feel that it can also mean
that Bharat katha opens the doors of the world for an aspirant.
Bharat katha inaugurates the inherent goodness of the world. The misinterpretations of the actual positive facets of the world get abolished and the virtuousness gets highlighted. Even the most pessimistic person can realize that the world is indeed beautiful and livable. Bharat katha grants a novel vision to see the world.’
According to Naarad bhakti sutra, a saint is always present in the world but it is hard to recognize him. When he is recognized, it is not so easy to reach up to him. An aspirant can feel his presence and gain from his grace but cannot get hold of him. A saint takes an aspirant to such a state that is beyond mind and intellect. He may have unconventional thoughts, that sometimes it seem unfeasible but they definitely create rejuvenation and transformation in a person’s life for better.
The main thought of ‘brahm-vichaar’ (Vedic school thought about the supreme power) is ‘advait’ (oneness in whole creation).
The basic provision of a political system is prescribed in Shri Ram Charit Manas – there should be a consideration of opinion of people, sages and shastras. The condition for a true politician should be sincerity in life. A politician should not regard seat of power as a throne (gaadi) but the lap of citizens (go-dee).
The base of real dharma is goodwill for all.
According to a Greek philosopher, an orator’s speech can prove to be appealing only if the following features adorn it:
• The speech is presented in a dignified manner
• The words come out from the depth of soul.
• The listener feels solace and forgets the sorrows.
• The discourses always seem new.
A wise man never claims to be perfect, he is humble about his point of view. Janak jee says that the greatness of Bharat jee is such that is not possible for his intellect to describe even the shadow of it. Bharat jee is beyond dharma, politics and knowledge. Janak jee is a ‘devarshi’ (who has sound mind), raajarshi (whose action is perfect) and brahmarshi (whose speech is precise). But Bharat jee is a ‘saadhu’, who is beyond any adjectives. It is hard to measure his enormous righteousness.
Traditions are good to a certain extent. But some traditions need to be altered according to the demand of changing times and conditions. Some of the unnecessary elements are encouraged in the garb of following traditions. Even Bhagwaan Ram brought a revolution in Raghukul by opting to choose Bharat jee for the throne of Ayodhya. He showed the world that it was not necessary that the eldest son only should become the successor.
Envy (irshya) is borne out of failure or incapability. An aspirant should be careful when he passes through these two circumstances and try to keep patience.
Bharat jee’s nobility is such that even the best of intellectual people are unable to explain it-‘ Bidhi ganapti ahipati siv saarad | Kabi kobid budh budhhi bisaarad ||’. His seven qualities (character, fame, actions, dharma, modesty, righteousness and distinction) are like seven seas that are beyond the reach of beat of scholars- ‘Bharat charit keerati karatooti | Dharam seel guna bimal bibhooti ||’. It is difficult to put Bharat katha in words but it is extremely soothing to listen to it, as his nature is as pure as the Ganga and as comforting as the divine nectar (amrit).
‘Sukh’ does not mean material comfort. If it was just that, then why would a wealthy person be unhappy. The real ‘sukh’ is internal peace.
If seen spiritually, there is a special heart behind heart, the organ. It experiences the following three sentiments:
Aaghaat – the first encounter with the supreme beloved that jolts the inside of an aspirant is aaghaat. The first impression creates a positive turmoil that fastens the spiritual journey. Sadaguru’s graceful nature and simplicity create a very intense impact on an aspirant.
Aashcharya – like Arjuna was bewildered by the glimpse of Bhagwaan Krishna in Bhagwat Gita, an aspirant feels amazed by the mixture of innate divinity and ordinary lifestyle of a Sadaguru.
Aanand – after feeling the above two, aspirant experiences true joy.
Let us discuss the chaupai- ‘Bharat charit keerati karatooti | Dharam seel guna bimal bibhooti ||’
‘Charitra’ is the description of a person who can be looked up to and whose account is worth listening to. Anything that is not worth listening can not be called as charitra. Naarad jee says in Bhakti sutra that the accounts of anger (in the form of vairi ), desire (in the form of stree ) and greed (in the form of dhan ) are not worth listening. The people who deny the existence of God ( naastik ) are not worth to be heard.
Question – Why do some writers do not accept Ramayana and Mahabharat as true stories?
Bapu’s answer – These thoughts are mainly of the western writers who do not know the potential of Indian soil and do not try to understand the actuality of these great happenings. Ramkatha is not a mythological story; it is a reality and has truth in the base. Therefore, it still exits in the hearts of millions even today. Anything that does not have truth behind it is never long lasting.
According to Ramana Maharshi, there are two types of anger – active (expressed in words/action) and passive (burns inside). There are some reasons for anger:
Over-expectations from others- when you don’t get the desired from people around you. Stop expecting, try to sacrifice and spread love round. Due to over mental stress. Comparisons with others.
Never try to imitate anyone. Be content in yourself and try to excel with your innate qualities. One should follow ‘swa-dharma’ (natural duty/inclination). Everyone should be proud of own religion and should be faithful towards it without wavering. Remain dedicated to own religion but don’t be fanatic and never fight with others who don’t belong to it.
‘Keerati’ usually refers to fame. But Tulsidas jee indicates about it in the aarti of Shri Ram Charit Manas-‘keerati kalit lalit siya pee ki..’ Keerati refers to the potential of Ma Sita who removes the faults and at the same time fulfils all the needs of needy. Bharat jee’s name is such that it fulfills the requirements of the deprived.
‘Karatooti’ refers to the action of a person who becomes just a medium (nimitta) even in great endeavours. It also refers to the expectation-free approach towards any work and maintaining humbleness.
‘Dharam’- Bharat jee was personification of the gist of every dharma. His dharma was not in theory but entirely in practical incidents of his life. Bapu says, ‘ I feel that the gist of dharma is truth (satya), love (prem) and compassion (karuna).’
Bharat jee’s ‘sheel’ (noble nature) is evident in many incidents of Shri Ram Charit Manas, be it in Ayodhya or Chitrakoot.
His ‘guna’ (quality) is to look beyond both positive and negative aspects of a person. His continual remembrance of Bhagwaan Ram is his biggest quality.
‘Bimal bibhooti’ refers to the purest form (saatvik) of affluence. Bharat jee remains absolutely unassuming in spite of having the best of comforts.
It is usually seen that there is a limitation in the good qualities of an individual. But Bharat jee is an exception and his righteousness is limitless. The most dominant feature of his personality is his devotion towards Bhagwaan Ram. According to some shastras he is supposed to an incarnation of Vishnu, but Bapu says, “I feel that he is a personified form of love towards Bhagwaan Ram. He is a prem-avataar.”
Question – why does Bharat jee’s life comes across as full of grief in Shri Ram Charit Manas?
Bapu’s answer – “It is true that a reader may find him full of sadness, but it is not a negative trait as the reason behind it is attached to Bhagwaan Ram. It shows us the highest form of devotion towards the supreme power. Like, Arjuna’s distress lead to Bhagwad Gita. Bharat jee’s character is an indication of ‘Bhaagwat Gita’. I want to elaborate on this and discuss its 18 chapters. I’ve also concluded on 70 sutras for this Gita. There is no value of joy if there is no sorrow. Valmiki’s sorrow led to Valmiki Ramayana and Vyas’s sorrow led to Shrimad Bhaagwat. Therefore, grief is the base of many great shastras.”
If one has an eye, he can see the best in the worst conditions also. A wise vision makes the world beautiful.
Let us move on with the next doha – ‘ Niravadhi guna nirupam purushu bharatu bharat sama jaani | Kahiya sumeru ki ser sama kabikul mati sakuchaani ||’ (288) Janak jee says that Bharat jee is one of his kind in the creation; no adjectives are appropriate enough to describe him.
But at some points, Tulsidas jee compares Bharat jee with others:
In Hanuman Chalisa -‘Raghupati keenhi bahut badaai| Tumha mama priya bharat sama bhaai||’ Hanuman jee is a Sidhh and Bharat jee too is a sidhh, therefore two are associated here.
In Kishkindha kand-‘ Tab raghupati boley musukaai | Tumha priya mohi bharat jimi bhaai || ‘ Sugreev is a vishayi but he confesses his weaknesses openly just like Bharat jee confesses his guilt of being the reason behind the vana-vaas of Bhagwaan Ram. Thus the two are related here.
In Lanka Kand-‘ Sab bhaanti adham nishaad so hari bharat jyon ur laaiyo’. Guha is a saadhak whom Bhagwaan Ram invites to visit Ayodhya just like Bharat jee used to visit Ayodhya while living in Nandigram.
Through this, there is an indication of Bhagwaan Ram that he would love all, provided the aspirant remains attached to him.
Question – Are the slogans like ‘Rashtra devo bhav and Prem devo bhav’ enough to bring about transformation in mentality of people?
Bapu’s Answer – These are not just slogans, they are seeds that will take their own time in growing and multiplying. They are not enough for transformation but it is also true that they are not less for starting off the transformation for better.
There are some characteristics of a wise speaker:
‘No upaay doshe’- reasons for proving his statements should not be faulty. ‘No swaroop doshe’- words should not be cheap or misguiding. ‘No kriya doshe’- presentation should be done in a pleasant manner.
Let us take the next chaupai -‘ Agam sabahi baranat barabarani | Jimi jal-heen meen gamu dharani ||’ Janak jee says to Sunayana jee that it is extremely difficult for anyone to narrate Bharat katha just like a fish finds it hard to survive in a water-less place.
Here, ‘Bara barani’ (who has a beautiful face and who has best choice) word is used for Sunayana jee. But Tulsidas jee uses the same words for Ma Jaanaki (Sunayana jee’s daughter) –‘ Tinhahi biloki bilokati dharani | Duhun sakoche sakuchati bara-barani || (Ayodhya kand, 117). Sunanyana jee denotes a pure vision and Jaanaki jee denotes peace/shaanti. There is a connotation that peace is borne out of chaste vision (su-drishti). Anyone who seeks peace should take care of his vision and always maintain noble intentions in all endeavours. Peace cannot be experienced if a person has malignity in eyes and mind.
According to a Gujarati writer, an individual should do following five things to experience peace:
Maintain self confidence – An individual should have self-confidence, but avoid self-pride. If one expects acclaim from others and he fails to get it, he is bound to get disturbed and lose mental peace. Avoid self-criticism – Don’t be pessimistic about yourself, it will create mental complex. Humbleness is not being critical about yourself. Freedom from fear – Peace is lost if a person is fearful. Adjustment with circumstances – An individual should be able to adjust to the various situations of life. Just like a tree stands peacefully even if it loses all the leaves; it waits for other season to make it green again. This world is an examination centre; everyone has to go through its various tests. Wisdom and faith helps a person to pass through successfully and he is able to find happiness and peace in the adverse conditions also. Don’t assess any situation in a hurry. Peace will be lost if you involve yourself in judging everything. Avoid analyzing anything in a rush.
‘Upaasana’ is just sitting quietly with a realized soul. The silence touches the soul and the spiritual energy gets recharged. But, if an aspirant cannot be physically around the Sadaguru, he can be close through chetana. Chetana has no limitations and it can travel to any distance. Mental proximity is more important than being physically around.
Janak jee says that no reason/argument (tark) can measure the faith and devotion between Bharat jee and Bhagwaan Ram. Naarad jee’s Bhakti sutra and even Brahm sutra both prescribe that there is no place for reason in path of devotion as it is beyond the reach of intellect. Reason/argument does not work in spiritual sphere.
Once Einstein was asked, what were the most important things in your life. He answered in six words- God, Country, human being, wife, mathematics and peace.
Similarly, a western scholar, John Gardner, expressed his important words- live (never let negative thoughts come in your mind; live every moment with enthusiasm), love, learn (learn from wherever you can), logic, leave and laugh.
Bapu says, “I like three sutras. One is of a prominent religious leader and the rest two have come in my experience–Art of living, Art of loving and Art of leaving. Art of loving is all about keeping faith and maintaining devotion. Art of heart is loving the beloved. Art of living is about placing equality and attachment at the appropriate places. If a person learns to retain equality, his attachment would not be harmful; Art of leaving is discarding moh (delusion).”
Bharat jee also has some prominent words:
Preeti (love) and Prateeti (faith) – this is art of loving. Samata (Bhagwaan Ram’s equal love for all) and Mamata (Bharat jee’s devotion towards Bhagwaan Ram)-this is art of living. Swaarth (refers to sansaar/selfishness) and Parmaarth (refers to sanyaas/ asceticism)- Bharat jee renounced both with dignity – this is his art of leaving. If possible, make a resolution, to give something to someone everyday. If nothing else, then give a smile at least. Donating for temples is good, but also donate for needy and build a shelter for shelter-less; it is like renovating a temple. Donate 10% of your earning towards charity. If you do not, the nature takes it toll through calamities. Even the big religious institutions should donate to smaller institutions from their funds.
Bapu is glad with the way the listeners of Bhopal, along with the CM, who have been attentively listening to Ramkatha for nine days. He expressed his happiness with the whole arrangement in the beginning of this day’s katha.
Question – How can we always remain happy?
Bapu’s Answer – There are some ways to retain happiness:
Try to live in awareness (jagriti). Without awareness, even the sense organs do not work properly. A mentally stressed and hurried person does not feel the ordinary comforts also due to lack of awareness. Don’t let stress take away your awareness. Sometimes, do the unconventional things for your happiness; but be careful, not at the cost of decency (maryaada). Enjoy the present moment and try to see happiness in whatever is available to you. Use the material things in the best possible way with wisdom (vivek). Acknowledge and appreciate the positive qualities of the people around you. Don’t bargain prices for little things and compromise on your happiness. Learn to politely say no, where it does not suit you. Take out time to play with kids. Accept every situation with a smile.
“Saadhan sidhhi ram paga nehu | Mohi lakhi parat bharat mata ehu ||”- Janak jee says that the devotion of Bharat jee towards Bhagwaan Ram is his effort (saadhan) as well as his goal (sidhhi).
According to Vedas, there are four types of saadhan:
Parampara saadhan – the efforts of spiritual path that come have come through traditions.
Bahirang saadhan – the efforts that are done in accordance with the surroundings. Like a namaaz in a mosque and prayer in a temple.
Antarang saadhan – the efforts that are done according to the natural instincts of a person. No one should be forced to follow definite rituals if his conscience does not go along.
Saakshaat saadhan – the efforts that are done according to the demand of time and situation. Like giving food to hungry (it won’t be right if you give books to hungry).
Tulsidas jee discusses in Vinay patrika- “jo mana bhajyo chahai hari sur-taru..sama santoshe bichaar bimal ati satasangati ye chaari driddh kari dharu”
He says that Satsang is the main saadhan and it leads to samata (equality in vision), santoshe (contentment) and bimal bichaar (noble thoughts). Samata denotes yoga i.e. maintaining a balanced lifestyle.
Santoshe denotes Upaasana i.e. doing sincere efforts and leaving the fruit to the Lord.
Bimal bichaar signifies knowledge.
Bharat jee excelled in all the above saadhan through his devotion.
Let us conclude today and offer the fruit of virtue of this katha in the feet of Almighty for the happiness of people of Madhya pradesh.
Lankaa Kaand – Doha 2
Param ramya uttam yeh dharani | Mahima amit jaai nahin barani ||
Karihaun ihaan sambhu sthaapana | Morey hridaya param kalapana ||
This is the most charming and delightful spot, Its glory is immeasurable and can not be described in words.
Here I will install (an image of) Shambhu, this is my ardent desire
There are many temples in the world whose structures are vertically high and tall. But today, there is a need to build bridges between people that can be called as temples, but build in horizontal way. Such is the bridge to Lanka (setubandh) made by Bhagwaan Ram; it is a horizontal temple. Horizontal temples cannot be abolished as they already exist on ground to bring people together.
Bapu says, “Like Gujarat govt. has brought a scheme of ‘Burden-free education’; I would like people to recognize the supreme power as ‘Burden-free God’, who does not make anyone frightened but fearless. Everyone should be able to easily identify with their subject of worship.”
Anything in the world that does not have truth in its base/origin does not last forever. It is bound to degenerate in limited age.
One who has the following can described as truly great, even if he/she is not given adulation by the world. He/she has the ideal combination of all the elements of nature.
Resolution (nirnaya)- To walk on a defined path with dedication. This is the earth element. Skill (nipunata)- To learn from the master; this denotes fire element. Purity (nikhaalasta)- Absence of ego signifies the sky element. Fearlessness (nirbhayata)- Courage to pursue the goal depicts the air element. Originality (nijata) – Self-realization is the indicator of water element.
“Seeya Ram maya sab jaga jaani” – To actually experience that all creation is the form of the Lord, it requires rigorous penance over the years and grace of Sadaguru. Instant realization is usually in theory and far too away for practice. The usual prescribed time for an aspirant for realizing/experiencing the Lord in every form is twelve years.
The criticism and comments of the society should never discourage an aspirant. He/she should have faith in bhajan and carry on with dedication
A basic difference between jeev (creature) and shiv (creator) is that the jeev is capable of imagining and planning (kalapana) but shiv is capable of materializing any thought effortlessly. For a jeev, it requires a lot of patience, courage and dedication to pursue any thought. One has to be extremely careful about choosing the place where to initiate the thought.
In case of any venture, one should be mentally prepared for any kind of result, either success or failure. Sadness or happiness should not take over an aspirant as the results are bound to happen in any endeavour.
An aspirant has to have following for a spiritual journey:
Intense anxiety for the divine. Shelter of a Sadaguru. Courage to be always truthful. Obeying Sadaguru’s commands with faithfulness.
If one can maintain these then the fervent faith only leads to realization.
Tulsidas jee uses the ‘pram ramya’ (exceptionally exquisite) only at key places in Shri Ram Charit Manas; it shows that the usage denotes certain thoughts.
1. Param ramya giribaru kailaasu | Sadaa jahaan siv uma nivaasu||
Kailas is referred to as magnificent abode of Bhagwaan Shankar and Ma Parvati. Kailaas signifies greatness/height. A person’s eminence can only be unique if it is adorned with faith (vishwaas) and belief (shradhha). It also means that the greatness of an individual should be such that it cannot be scaled by anything, just like Mount Kailaas .
2. Bharadwaaj aashram ati paavan | Param ramya munibar mana bhaavan||
The ashram (hermitage) of Bharadwaj jee is illustrious in its own way. According to Hinduism, ‘ashram’ also refers to various phases in a person’s life. If an individual lives every phase of life appropriately (according to the prescribed way by the scriptures), it is a considerable achievement. The ashram of Prayaag is also a place of Kumbh (where there is an assembly of various schools of thought), so it is a connotation that an aspirant has to move towards merging of knowledge and devotion and purity (shudhhata) and capability (sidhhata).
3. Baagu tadaagu biloki prabhu harashey bandhu samet | Param ramya aaraamu yehu jo ramahi sukh det||’
The ever-blooming garden in Janakpur Bhagwaan Ram (pushpa-vatika) is a boon of comfort and beauty. If an individual experiences peace in any activity/place /situation, it is a blooming garden for him/her.
4. Param ramya uttam yeh dharani | Mahima amit jaai nahin barani ||
Bhagwaan Ram chose to install Bhagwaan Shankar’s image while proceeding to Lanka; An aspirant should take an inspiration that in the best of times, one should make the most of it and at the same time bow a resolution in the heart for welfare of all.
There is favour for us, even in the worst adversities. The Lord is ‘mangal-murti’, so he can only do the best for us. To develop this mentality, one has to have strong faith (vishwaas) and suitable knowledge (vivek). Both are indispensable parts of a spiritual path.
These days everyone knows how to place things in house/workplace. But one should also be able to secure the place of parents, spouse ad others around him with respect in life.
“Param kalapana’ in the main chaupai also means a resolution for welfare of all. It is an extremely benevolent thought. Poet Bashir Badr says, “Khuda mujhko aisi khudaai na de, Ki apane siva kuchh dikhaai na de.”
An individual should think beyond oneself and always try to share whatever is bestowed to him/her.
In Vedas, over questioning (questioning beyond a point) is prohibited. As there is no end to the infinite supreme power, there cannot be any end to questions about it; therefore, we have to just conclude with ‘neti, neti’ (not the end, not the end..).
Pure joy is a form of God. A spiritual person need not be grave, but be lively and cheerful.
Yesterday, we missed one chaupai of Shri Ram Charit Manas where the word ‘param ramya’ is used by Tulsidas jee:
‘Sikhar ek uttang ati dekhi| Param ramya sama subhra bisekhi||’
(Lanka Kand, 11)
Here, there is an indication of four characters of greatness.
A person can be actually great when a point is reached, where he gains a magnitude that takes him above everything, making him a witness of all. But this stage cannot be attained at the cost of humility. There should be total rejection of ego. An egoistic person may have certain tendencies- he does not respect anyone, disregards everyone and equates himself with notable personalities. A great person has inner beauty that reflects on outside personality. Only a balanced-minded person can achieve a momentous stage.
A great soul is illuminated inside-outside, free from darkness of false pride.
In this specific topic of Lanka Kand, Tulsidas jee used the word ‘setu’ 10 times (setu-8 times and setubandh-2 times). Rameshwaram is the 10 th Jyotirlinga. There is a hidden reason behind every word of Shri Ram Charit Manas.
Don’t take the respect given by others for granted. It is not due to your merit, but due to their large heartedness. Give credit to others’ modesty in order to prevent your ego from inflating.
An individual should take inspiration from two sutras of Sai Baba of Shirdi:Shradhha (trust) and Saboori (patience). For instance, if we feel hot in a room, we open the window, that is shradhha, and we wait for breeze, that is saboori.
Bhagwaan Ram found the southern point of India as appropriately sacred (param ramya) due to following reasons.
It was a place where immobility (Hanuman jee was inactive till now) turned into action. It was a place of saadhana (Bhagwaan Ram himself did penance for three days). The seeds for Ma Jaanaki’s (form of bhakti) search were sown here. Vibheeshan gained refuge in Bhagwaan Ram’s feet here. Jaamvant jee says that Bhagwaan Ram’s name is a setu (bridge) in itself-‘ Naath naam tav setu nar chaddhi bhav-saagar tarahin|’. There are two ends of the bridge of Harinaam-They are faith (shradhha) and pure mind (saral chitta). Harinaam becomes bridge to cross the terrestrial ocean.
The mind of a person is usually stained by three elements. Two of them need to be removed, but one can be considered as complementary:
Kaamana (desire)- it prevents the bridge of Harinaam from getting formed, so needs to be removed as much as possible. Ahankaar (pride)- an individual may have a risk of getting an overblown ego when he gets conscious of his efforts in the spiritual path (saadhana). Therefore, an aspirant has to constantly remind himself that all his efforts are only due to the grace of Sadaguru. Karuna (compassion)- This is also a form of binding for an aspirant. But it is not so harmful as it helps in reducing the desires and makes place for generosity. Question – One should confess to the Lord or the world?
Bapu’s answer – A person whose main priority is the Lord and who lives a spiritual life should confess to God. But a person, whose life revolves around the materialistic world and who hardly ever turns to God, should confess about his deeds to the world.
Sahajo Bai had said that Sadaguru might be of four types:
Paaras (stone that converts iron into gold) – Just a touch of such a Sadaguru can transform an aspirant, but there is a condition of touch and absence of any wrapper around. Lamp – Like a lighted candle lights another; Sadaguru can enlighten the disciple provided there is certain closeness between the two. Breeze from Malaya-giri – The breeze of malaya tree can turn a palaash tree into sandal tree even if it is miles away. Just a remembrance by Sadaguru can make over an aspirant, but there is a condition of shishya being receptive like palaash. Oil in water – If oil is mixed in water, it spreads over it making it greasy and colourful. Sadaguru fills the aspirant with affection and brings true joy in his life.
Sahajo Bai also discussed four types of faith (shradhha) of a shishya.
Like a line drawn on water that is only for a while. Like a line on ground, which only lasts till others’ feet and dust does not wipe it off. The belief gets drained due to the brainwashing by the people who try to convert the religion of others. Like a line on iron. Faith lasts long provided other equally strong object does not rub it. Line on a diamond is quite strong, but a diamond gets sold. Faith gets developed but there is a risk of getting lured by a good price.
Bapu says, “I would like to add the fifth i.e. line on the soul. The faith gets embellished in the soul, so there is no chance of getting destroyed or damaged as soul is beyond reach of anyone.”
Bhagwaan Ram worships Shiv and also says that he is the subject of my affection, like no one else. Shiv is Bhagwaan Shankar, but it also means ‘kalyaan’ (welfare of all). Bhagwaan Ram is pleased by anyone who makes every effort with the intention of wellbeing of everyone.
We all commonly experience that whenever, we indulge in scornful talks (ninda), hatred towards others (dwesh) and envy (irshya), and we lose peace of mind. This unrest inside happens, as the soul cannot accept such negativities, therefore mental discomfort is inevitable. A person with such damaging inclinations lives in hell on earth.
It is noticeable that in the process of building the setubandh (bridge), Bhagwaan Ram did not get any support from any people from higher status/caste, Devatas or Kings. He got assistance from bears and monkeys, which denotes that the common man is most willing for bridging the gaps. Supposed leaders and fanatics are not so sincere in their efforts to bring unity amongst people because of their selfish motives.
Never pain or trouble (dukh) as enemy; a person’s enemy is individual mental hatred (dwesh) towards others. Similarly, material comfort (sukh) should not be regarded as a friend; a person’s true friend is his wisdom/understanding.
Don’t encourage sects that create differences in the society, whose sole purpose is to spread their worship patterns by hook or crook. So, be extremely careful in giving donations to such religious organizations. Such sects with selfish motives lure people by some social services just to convert them into their group. They don’t even hesitate in attacking the dignity of ‘Sanaatan dharma’. Bapu says, ‘ please be careful of such sects and stick to your original faith.’
Some messages of Sufism are highly revered.
Sharaafat-e-khuda – God is there where there is honesty. Mohabbat-e-khuda – God is there where is love. Rehmat-e-khuda – God is there where is compassion. Siyaasat-e-khuda – God is there where truth controls power. Qayaamat-e-khuda – God is present on the day of reckoning.
Everyone should be proud of own religion. But humanity is the common religion for all human beings and it should be the base of building the bridges between people. Each one should try to join in this effort at his/her own level.
According to a story in Puraan, once Bhagwaan Ram and Ma Jaanaki went to Kurukshetra and met LopaMudra jee (wife of Kumbhaj Rishi). She asked Bhagwaan Ram that what was the reason behind constructing the setu. Bhagwaan Ram answered that it was not fair to ask Kumbhaj Rishi again to drink up ocean that had earlier come out of his body. It was not right to dry up the ocean either. Setubandh was a medium to ascertain the potential (prabhaav) of the supreme power. Another reason was to unite people, but the main reason, according to Bhagwaan Ram was to place Bhagwaan Rameshwaram at that point.
A spiritual person should not gain strength at the cost of humility. He should always maintain humbleness along with power, only then he can bring unity in practice.
The five faces of Bhagwaan Shankar denote five sutras of Upanishads:
‘Annam brahmeti vyajaanaat’ – Revere the food like God. Never criticize the food served to you; it is insult to God. Eating with this mentality will become bhajan. Don’t keep too many fastings at the cost of peace of mind. Any fast that takes away the natural joy and peace of a person, should not be followed. ‘Praano brahmeti vyajaanaat’ – The life source is God. The existence of any creature is due to this force only. ‘Mano brahmeti vyajaanaat’ – The only companion that never leaves any creature, even through the cycle of rebirth, is the mind- It is God. ‘Vigyaanam brahmeti vyajaanaat’ – Science that preserves is God. ‘Anando brahmeti vyajaanaat’ – Inherent joy is God.
The whole existence is infinite (agaadh). It is almost impossible to know it fully. A person should live and try to make the best of his time without being finicky about analyzing everything.
Existence is full of depth (gahan). It can be only understood rightly if a Sadaguru grants appropriate vision.
Existence is full of mystery (rahasya-poorna). The whole cycle of this subsistence is mysterious.
In spite of the above, one should not become cynical, but try to live with positive state of mind and make the best of every moment.
A true Sadaguru never hypnotizes anyone; neither does he criticize anyone. The main task of Sadaguru is to create satisfaction in everyone’s life.
An aspirant should stick to one subject of worship in the worst of circumstances also. Surrender (sharanaagati) is good, but one has to actually come across (sanmukh) the Sadaguru. One has to literally turn towards the Sadaguru with faith. Ahalya jee is a fine example of this. She was out in the open, waiting for Bhagwaan Ram with perseverance, without any fear of admitting her mistake.
Bhagwaan Ram worships ‘Setubandh’ i.e. bridging the gaps and creating unity. While returning to Ayodhya after the war in Lanka, Bhagwaan Ram showed the places where major incidents (like killing of Meghnaad and Kumbhakaran) had taken place to Sita jee. But he did not confirm his involvement in any of those. When he showed Bhagwaan Rameshwaram, he clearly admitted that he himself placed the Shiv-linga there. The feeling of Bhagwaan Ram for ‘Setubandh’ becomes openly obvious.
‘Baandha setu neel nal naagar | Ram kripa jasu bhayau ujaagar||’ – Tulsidas jee uses the word ‘naagar’ (uppermost social order) to describe monkeys and bears, who formed the bridge. This is an evident implication that even the most ordinary person gets transformed into the highest personality if one uses his caliber to create harmony for the welfare of all. For such a person, fame also follows due to God’s grace.
Everyone who gains acclaim in the society should understand that it is all due to eternal grace. One should be careful of invasion of ego in the mind.
Don’t forget to give but forget after giving.
Bapu says, “if you want to be successful leave everything to Sadaguru, if that is not possible then it is better to leave the Sadaguru.”
Bhagwaan Ram took care of Ahalya jee, who was abandoned by all including her husband (Gautam Rishi), son (Shataanand) and Indra, who became a reason for this state of hers. This signifies that the Lord takes care of the most downtrodden
Question – Unity needs to be created in every sphere of life. Please discuss the bridge between a Sadaguru and shishya.
Bapu’s answer – Sadaguru and shishya are two seas. Sadaguru is a sea of good qualities and shishya is a sea of faults. To bridge the gap between the two, efforts should be undertaken from both sides to prevent unnecessary delay in spiritual journey. Shishya’s efforts should be in the form of faith (shradhha) and Sadaguru’s efforts are in the form of grace or affection. They both may be on distinct banks, but still they can remain aligned through this bridge.
A poet says, “unse milne jaana hai, khud se mil kar aana hai.” In the presence of Sadaguru, the aspirant realizes his own self. A person can only feel truly content if he is satisfied with himself; otherwise all the efforts to find joy would be futile. One should never try to imitate anyone, but live true to oneself. One can lose own identity in the process of imitating others.
There may be three reasons to imitate anybody:
Ambition to become great. Ego to equate oneself with the highest. Hatred/jealousy towards the renowned.
Susang is not Satsang; Susang is the company of decent person and satsang refers to company of truth or Sadaguru. Therefore, susang cannot transform people but satsang definitely works on the mind of an individual and brings transformation for good.
Don’t try to use your power/privilege (adhikaar) all the time. Use it at the appropriate time, in such a way that it is not hurtful to others. Be careful in using the words to express your right; don’t be harsh in speaking. Also be cautious in choosing the suitable person to pursue your right.
There should be a bridge (setu) between the various sections of society for prevalence of cordiality.
In a family, on one hand, the setu should be build by youngsters’ respectful behaviour towards seniors and on the other hand, elders’ open-heartedness towards youth.
In the political sphere, the setu should be build two; one by constitutional rights of citizens (prajaa) and two by duties prescribed by the constitution for the head of state (raaja).
After the construction of setubandh was finished, Bhagwaan Ram decided to proceed towards Lanka. On this command, some monkeys and bears skillfully jumped and almost flew over towards Lanka, some walked over the bridge and some walked over the bridge made by bodies of countless creatures of sea who had gathered to have a glimpse of Bhagwaan Ram.
If seen in the spiritual context, the route of the sky signifies the path of knowledge (gyaan). The path of action (karma) is the way of walking over the setu formed by themselves. The bridge, which was formed without any formal preparations (unexpectedly by the creatures of the sea), is the connotation of the path of devotion.
The only fundamental requirement in the path of devotion is endurance (dhairya). One has to cultivate immense patience, as there may be no instant results in this path. Do your efforts with sincerity and leave the results to Him. Just focus on the Lord and it is experienced by many that even the negative elements become cooperative.
When setubandh was constructed, numerous creatures of the sea gathered together to watch it. This resulted in a huge crowd at that time. It is an indication that every living creature is in favour unity and accord amongst people.
The word ‘Setu’ has been used for Bhagwaan Ram at some key points in Shri Ram Charit Manas. These are significant of the three main paths of spirituality:
‘ Shruti setu paalak ram tumha jagadees maaya jaanaki|’
(Ayodhya kand, 126
Bhagwaan Ram is personification of Vedas. This is a representation of path of knowledge. All the scriptures are bridges in themselves, provided they are studied without fanaticism. There are two shores of the bridge of gyaan – ‘Ruta’ (truth in its highest form) and ‘Tapa’ (penance). As this bridge is steep in shape, it is a bit challenging to go on this path.
Dharma setu karunaayatan kasa na kahahu asa ram|’
(Ayodhya kand, 248)
Bhagwaan Ram shows that the path of action (karma) can become a tool for creating unity if a person’s action is for welfare of all. Dharma comprising of truth (that results in fearlessness), love (that ends in surrender) and compassion (leading to non-violence) is a bridge that helps to cross the vast ocean of reincarnation. This is a complex bridge as it is not easy to follow every form of dharma all the time.
‘Naath naam tav setu nar chaddhi bhav-saagar tarahin|’ (Lanka kand, 1)
Bhagwaan Ram’s name is the sign of the path of devotion. The Harinaam setu is in the form of ‘japa maala’, in which every bead is a tirtha (pilgrimage) and the meru (central bead) is Rameshwaram. Every religion has maala as a part of worship. It is a tool to attain peace of mind in actual sense. There is a scientific reason behind maala, it is not just a spiritual method.
Once Naarad jee explained the various aspects of ‘daan’ (charity) to a king named Dharmavarma:
He said that the two basis of daan are capability (shakti) and faith (shradhha). The six reasons for charity are: religious instructions (dharma), to get more money by donating a small amount (arth), to satisfy the desires (kaam), out of shame (lajja), out of pleasure (harsh), out of fear (bhaya). The six components of daan are – donor, recipient, pure intention behind donating, donation that is accordance with dharma, appropriate place and time. The four types of daan are – that last for a long time (dhruv), like building of wells, dharmashaalas etc.; that involve recurring donations (trik); that are for selfish gains (kaamya); that are given on special occasions or places (naimittik). The three categories of daan are – best (uttam), medium (madhyam) and lowest (kanishthha). The three elements that spoil daan are – the regretful attitude after donating, giving without faith and giving to undeserving.
Let us all take a resolution to build setu in out various facets of life and offer the fruit of virtue of this katha in the feet of Bhagwaan Koteshwar.
Baal Kaand – Doha 106
Tehi giri par vatta bitap bisaala | Nit nootan sunder sab kaala ||
Tribidh sameer suseetali chhaaya | Siv bishraam bitap shruti gaaya ||
On the summit of that mountain exist a huge banyan tree which is ever young and is charming during all seasons/eras.
Fanned by cool, soft, fragrant breeze, its shade is ever refreshing. It is the favorite resort of Siva, glorified by the Vedas.
Here, in the benign shelter of Bhagwaan Vadavaada (deity of the place) and the whole tradition of saints in the form of a Banyan tree (Vata vriksha), we begin Ram katha.
There are five main Vata (Banyan tree) in Shri Ram-charit-manas:
Vishraam Vata – In Kailas, where Bhagwaan Shankar resides. Vishwaas Vata – In Prayaag. Vivek Vata – In Bhushundi Sarovar. Vichaar Vata – Tulsidas jee’s base. Vishaal Vata – In Chitrakoot where Ma Jaanaki and Bhagwaan Ram listen to katha.
There is a mention of a Banyan tree in every Kand of Shri Ram Charit Manas:
Baal Kaand – The Vata of Kailas and Prayaag. Ayodhyaa Kaand – The Vata of Chitrakoot. Aranyaa Kaand – The Panchvati denotes 5 Vata. Kishkindhaa Kaand – The Vata where Bhagwaan Ram stood to watch the dual between Bali and Sugreev. Sunder Kaand – The Vata that Hanuman jee used in the clash with demons. Lankaa Kaand – The war between Bhagwaan Ram and Raavan is described as ‘Sangraam bata’. Uttar Kand – The Vata of Kaag Bhusundi jee.
There are usually five fears in an individual.
God’s fear – One can become free of it, if one leads a truthful life and become a devotee. Dharma’s (Righteousness) fear – If one desists from involving in vices; one can be free of it. Society’s fear – To be free from it, one should abstain from anti-social behavior. State/Government’s fear – One should follow the rules of the state to be free from it. Fear of self-decline – if the above four are taken care of, then there is no chance of fall of a person.
In the shelter of a Sadgranth (scripture), service of a sadaguru and involvement in satsang, all the fears fade away. Katha provides all these three and thus makes a person truly fearless.
In the beginning of Shri Ram Charit Manas, a sadaguru can be seen in the form of Bhagwaan Shiv, Narsimha jee and Hanuman jee.
A sadaguru is the one who adorns a disciple on his head and makes him/her worshipped by all. Just like Bhagwaan Shankar places the curved moon on his head.
A sadaguru is like Narsimha who guards his disciple from negative elements and prevents the good qualities from evading.
A sadaguru is like Hanuman jee who keeps the Lord as the utmost priority and prestige as the last.
A Banyan tree grows high and also spreads to give shelter to many. Its shelter is soothing in the summers and it gives warmth in the winters.
Every Banyan tree (Vata) has five prominent parts – roots, stem, branches, leaves and fruit.
Let us discuss the Vata of Kailas, the abode of Bhagwaan Shankar. It is the ‘Vishraam Vata’ that actually signifies peace and tranquility. The tree of peace also has five parts, which are discussed as below.
The root of peace is ‘sahaj santosh’ i.e. inherent contentment. A person can experience satisfaction through various happenings in life. A dejected person may have to accept satisfaction by the circumstances that are not in control, but sorrow is the base of such satisfaction. An individual can derive satisfaction from successful events in life, which is dominated by happiness. Another way to experience satisfaction is to accept every situation as God’s will. But ‘sahaj santosh’ can be experienced by a mind that is free of prejudices and reservations. This kind of contentment is from within and it is not dependent on any thing, situation or person. It is the root of peace. The stem of tree of peace (Vishraam Vatta) is ‘nishttha’ or unbending allegiance towards one deity. Either acclaim or criticism of people does not affect it. It is never shadowed by want of prestige. The branches of tree of peace (Vishraam Vatta) are the many ways of bhakti/devotion. It may be of nine types that Bhagwaan Ram discussed with Shabari jee or may be those that are discussed in Shrimad Bhagwat. One can choose any branch, which suits and appeals to one’s heart to experience true peace. The leaves of this tree of peace (Vishraam Vatta) can be seen in the sublimation of the Lord when he melts for his beloved devotee. Finally, the fruit of this tree of peace is the grace of the Lord. It is experienced by all that god’s grace always results in peace.
Even the simplest words of your sadaguru, spoken spontaneously should be considered as ‘Mantra’. They carry a deep meaning and intense thought.
To maintain a cordial atmosphere in the family, one should take care of following five things.
Don’t be partial. Be tolerant. Acknowledge the positive qualities of family members. Don’t insult anyone. Go through every kind of unfavorable circumstance quietly with perseverance.
Satsang should never become narrow in nature; it should be as vast as sky. It should serve as a medicine for the mind and not become a disease.
A sect should not build boundaries and create distinctions between different believers. Groupism leads to various conflicts.
Mind is the reason behind an experience of pleasure and pain. The Lord does not possess a mind (mana) like ours, so He is beyond these feelings. Bhagwaan Krishna had to accept a mind for Raas lila.
It is a fact that God is omnipresent. But to feel His presence one has to do some efforts. As Bhagwaan Shiv points out in Shri Ram Charit Manas, “Hari vyaapak sarvatra samaana | Prem tein pragat hohin main jaana ||”.
A spiritual person is like a Banyan tree. He is ever new and the freshness never fades. He is not affected by the age-factor; he looks good in every phase of life. The nature of that person is such, which is soothing for all; he is free of aggression.
The supreme power can be felt every day/every moment. The appearances in the forms of Ram, Krishna etc. are for special times, but the true form is accessible for all. It is mentioned in Shrimad Bhaagwat-“Sachchidaanand roopaay vishwot-patyaadi hetave..”, which means that the supreme power’s actual form is sata (truth), chitta (tranquility of mind) and aanand(joy). When we live with truth, we meet him. Whenever we experience the serenity in our minds, we get his glimpse. When we feel blissful, it’s the pointer of His presence with us.
A spiritual person should not get involved even in social service at the cost of Bhajan. Bhajan should not take a back seat, but should be the most dominant feature in life. These days, ‘upayogita-vaad’ (using the other person for certain motives) is prevalent in the society. Therefore, a spiritual person should be careful and use his/her time more in bhajan. Lao tse said, “Be like an useless tree, otherwise people will make furniture out of you.”
Let us discuss “Akshaya vata” of prayaag. This is ‘Vishwaas vata’ as it denotes fervent faith. It is heard that the British rulers cut it and even threw acid on the leftovers to destroy it completely. But as the waters of triveni flooded the place, vishwaas vata grew again. Faith should be such that it can never be abolished.
There are two roots of tree of faith – watching and knowing. These two form the base of faith. Faith can never be blind, it sees and recognizes first and then accepts.
Stem of this tree of faith is surety, which crops up only as a result of watching and knowing. Hanuman jee first saw Bhagwaan Ram, then identified him and when he was sure that he was the subject of his worship, then only fell in his feet.
There are three main branches of tree of faith – faith in Sadaguru’s thinking (vichaar), speech (vachan) and action (vartan). An aspirant’s faith should be such that Sadaguru’s thoughts will be for the best for me. Sadaguru’s speech will lead me to the right path and there is an inspiration behind every action of Sadaguru. If an aspirant develops such faith, then Sadaguru takes care of the minutest detail of his life. A disciple’s faith should be focussed on how his Sadaguru’s grace has worked wonders in his life. A disciple can grow with the support of all these branches or whichever suits one the best.
We shall continue with the rest of the parts of tree of faith tomorrow.
Incomplete knowledge is almost like ignorance. It weighs down a person. Only complete knowledge can make an individual feel free of burden. Ignorance is a little better than imperfect knowledge as there is a possibility of admittance of reality of not knowing; but partial knowledge is very risky as it may breed false pride of being learned.
Yoga is a medicine and not the food for life. Samaadhi is the state of absolute peace where there is no anger (krodhi swabhaav), no upaadhi (anguish) and no vyaadhi (worries).
Never assess a person/ thing / situation in a hurry. Spend some time to watch and analyze properly to know the actuality. Never comment on anything that may be in process. A situation that seems unfavorable initially may result in the best of results.
Let us continue with the tree of faith (Vishwaas Vata). Root forms the base of a tree, stem shows its stability, branches denote its development and leaves signify shelter and beauty.
To continue from yesterday, the leaves of tree of faith is the element of life (praan tatva). Only a strong will-power can complement strong faith. Sound will power is a beauty in itself and becomes the shelter of faith. Bapu says, “I request all to take care of will-power and never let it become weak. Will power can even fight disease in the body.” The fruit of tree of faith is Bhajan. People expect some fruits after doing Bhajan, but the truth is that bhajan is a fruit in itself. Lord’s holy name is the biggest fruit for any aspirant.
Trishna (want for acclaim, money, family etc.) is the cause of pain. It is not easy to end it in one’s life. But an aspirant can successfully deal with it, without being pained, if one consumes a little of what he/she gets and then share the rest with all. This can lessen trishna in a big way.
Question – Please discuss the ‘sangraam bata’ of Lanka kand
Bapu’s Answer – Sangraam means conflict/struggle/friction, but it also means Sang+Ram = Along with Ram.. But if seen in the context of Lanka Kand, it denotes a tree of war. The root of this tree is hatred (Dwesh). Detestation becomes a base of tussle. Constant anger is the stem of the tree of war. The branches are the negative inclinations of mind. The unstable state of mind signifies the leaves that never let an individual experience security. The fruit of the tree of war is violence.
It is observed that there have been mainly three reasons of any war in history – Want of expansion, revenge and challenge of war by an opponent.
Japa is a yagna – Tulsi mala is sameedh (wood), tears are aahuti (offering), devotion is ghee (igniting element) and attachment (mamata) is sacrifice in this yagna.
Let us discuss the ‘Vivek vata’ of Bhushundi jee. All the means of Bhushundi jee’s saadhana are of utmost kind. They are manasik pooja (worshipping in the mind), japa yagna (chanting Harinaam), Dhyaan rasa (meditation full of rasa) and Hari katha (reciting and listening of katha). Anyone who criticizes these is not aware of their magnitude in spiritual path.
The tree of understanding/ knowledge (vivek vata) is very important. The root of vivek is satsang – ‘Binu satsang bibek na hoi..’ Satsang gives rise to a person’s mati (positive intellect), keerati (fame), gati (right path of progress), bhooti (fortune), bhalaai (goodness) and also vivek (appropriate knowledge/awareness). Satsang cannot be bound in one form. It is too vast and anyone can practice it in daily life. It can be in being quiet and interacting with yourself, studying shastras, avoiding supposedly religious talks/gatherings that harm your faith.
Anything that is aligned with truth is satsang. A person who is sincere and true in his duties can make even his profession as a form of satsang. Satsang should not breed superstition and false miracles that lead to blind belief. Satsang should never be used for business purposes, be careful!!
We shall discuss the rest of the parts of vivek vata tomorrow
Question – What is better, service (seva) or dharma (religion)?
Answer – Don’t separate the two. According to Shri Ram Charit Manas, “Seva dharamu katthin jagu jana”- serving others can be a Dharma in itself.
The supreme power is omnipresent in the creation, but it can also be said that the omnipresent itself has taken the form of the creation. It is important for an aspirant to realize this. But the test of this realization is that one should never have any kind of negative feelings (virodh) towards anything/person. One can pass this test only in the absence of ego, because ego forms distinctions in the mind.
The Lord is like the epicentre of a circle. We are like dots on the ring of the circle. If we try to attain peace by running after different dots, we would not be successful as the circle goes on and on. We can only experience ultimate peace, when we directly go to the centre.
A person willing to take the spiritual path usually has certain characteristics:
Intense anxiety for the divine. Fearlessness in any place. Faith on Sadaguru. Appropriate understanding.
Let us continue with the ‘Vivek vata’ (tree of knowledge/understanding) of Bhusundi jee. Yesterday, it was said that satsang is the root of knowledge. The stem of tree of knowledge is dispassion (vairaagya), which provides strength and longevity. Dispassion should not be fluctuating, but it should become the nature of an aspirant; otherwise, knowledge would not be stable.
There are three main branches of vivek vata.:
Laukik vivek – Worldly courtesy and mannerly behaviour, according to place, time and situation.
Alaukik vivek – It is seen in Shatrupa in Shri Ram Charit Manas. When the Almighty offered her to ask for anything, she did not ask for any material gains but only asked for the spiritual way of life.
Paar-laukik vivek – When one uses own knowledge to lead others towards awareness.
There are seven leaves of vivek, that are mentioned in Yoga Vashishtha:
Shubhechha (goodwill towards all) Vichaarana (thoughtful behaviour) Tanu-maanasa Satvaapati Asansakti Padaaarthaabhaav Tturyiga.
The fruit of tree of knowledge is salvation. The end of delusion (moh) is true salvation.
The supreme power is in the form of a scripture/book (Granth-avataar) i.e. Shree Ram Charit Manas, Lord is in the form of a place of pilgrimage (Dhaam-avataar) i.e Ayodhya jee, Lord’s name is personified as the form of Hanuman jee (Naam-avataar) and Lord’s full manifestation came in the form of Bhagwaan Ram (Leela-avataar).
Outward equipment is not harmful, but the thought behind any equipment causes harm. Only a noble thought can treat a distorted thought of any person. Tulsidas jee wrote Shri Ram Charit Manas as a scripture of inspirational thoughts. So, it can aptly said that Tulsidas jee’s writing is a ‘Vichaar vata’. Bapu says, “ I was once asked in an interview (around 30 years back) about the key thoughts in Shri Ram Charit Manas and I listed seven of them (one in every kand).”
“Seeya Ram maya sab jaga jaani | Karaun pranaam jori juga paani||” (Bal Kand). The ideology that the supreme power is omnipresent was discussed in theory; but Tulsidas jee established this thought by saying that, ‘I bow down to all after practically knowing/experiencing (not just believing) that here everything is a form of the Almighty.’ The realization of the presence of Almighty everywhere is a knowledge based (gyaan) thought and humbly bowing down is a thought of devotion (bhakti). This is remarkable amalgamation of thoughts by Tulsidas jee. Raghukul reeti sadaa chali aai | Praan jaahu baru bachanu na jaai || (Ayodhya Kand) Tulsidas jee mentions the tradition of Raghukul but in the same Kand, he puts across a revolutionary thought that the tradition should not be binding (‘Bimal bans yehu anuchit eku..’). He advocates that anyone who deserves can hold the throne. “Asa abhimaan jaai jani bhorey | Main sevak raghupati pati morey||” (Aranya Kand). It is a fact that ego is a weakness of a human being; But Tulsidas jee clarifies it, when he says that there is nothing wrong if a person is proud to be a devotee of supreme beloved. “Ab prabhu kripa karahu ehi bhaanti | Sab taji bhajanu karaun din raati ||” (Kishkindha Kand). Sugreev asks for God’s grace that may he never abandon bhajan, even if everything has to be kept at stake. Tulsidas jee writes that no compromise should be made in bhajan. No activity should be taken up at the cost of bhajan. “Kaha Hanumant bipati prabhu soi | Jab tav sumiran bhajan na hoi ||” (Sunder Kand). Tulsidas jee is of the opinion that the gravest adversity in one’s life is the time when he/she cannot do bhajan. “Sant kahahin asi neeti dasaanan | Chauthein-pan jaaihi nrip kaanan||” (Lanka Kand). Every individual should lead an ascetic life in later years of life, in spite of staying in a home. The inclination is more important than the place. “Saral subhaav na mana kutilaai | Jatha laabh santoshe sadaai||” (Uttar Kand). Simple nature that is free of hypocrisy and satisfaction from whatever is achieved after doing sincere efforts should be the way of life indicated by Tulsidas jee.
The root of ‘Vichaar vata’ i.e. the tree of thought is the mind. It is a psychological fact that all the thoughts crop out of a person’s mind. One experiences happiness and grief only because of mind. ‘Aman’ (absence of mind) means peace, but it is not so easy to be in that state, so, one should try to cultivate ‘suman’ (an amiable mind) to live a better life.
The stem of tree of thought is a clear intellect that takes decisions.
The rest of the two parts (leaves and fruit) would be discussed tomorrow.
When an aspirant chooses the path of Harinaam, he should try to make the family members happy and satisfy them with affection. Never keep a feeling of enmity with anyone, even if others do not reciprocate the same way. Try to be a support to the needy.
Yesterday, we were discussing the “vichaar vata” of Tulsidas jee. The stem of tree of thought is the resolute intellect that decides upon a thing. In Shri Ram Charit Manas, ‘So ananya jaakein asi mati na tarayi hanumant | Main sevak sacharaachar roop swaami bhagwant ||’. Here, Bhagwaan Ram discusses with Hanuman jee about the earnest intellect of a person with spiritual bend of mind. Such a person lives as a servant of God and treats all creation is the form of God. Hanuman jee holds on to this thought. It is evident when he is taken to the court of Raavan in Lanka, and he addresses Raavan as ‘prabhu’ (replica of Lord) and also when asked about the scar in the moon, Hanuman jee sees the image of Lord in it. Only a strong intellect provides stability to thoughts.
One should try to see the Almighty in every creation, but the conduct has to be in accordance to the practical situations.
The branches of a positive intellect are reasons (tark), but the distortion of branches is pessimistic reasoning (kutark or dushta tark). Positive reasoning may lead to constructive results but negative reasoning may result as a mere wastage of time and energy; it does not yield anything.
The leaves of tree of thought are inclinations of bliss that are experienced by mind. And the fruit of this tree is ‘Yoga’ (union with divine). When there is continual joy in the mind, one feels that he/she is getting truly aligned with God. Joy is a form of the supreme power. An aspirant should not become grave but should be cheerful on the path of spirituality.
Let us discuss the fifth banyan tree, ‘ Vishaal vata’ of Chitrakoot, where Shri SitaRam jee stayed during vanavaas. This is the tree of enormity that encompasses all the trees in itself. In our scriptures, dharma is said to be –‘gagan sadrisham’ (as vast as sky). The vastness of this tree signifies dharma. The root of the tree of dharma is truth. If a person maintains truth, he/she can remain novel even in old age.
The stem of the tree of dharma is patience (dhairya). An aspirant should not lose patience even if others do not accept his/her truth. A Sadaguru lets the patience of the aspirant develop to make him/her as a determined seeker in the spiritual path.
The branches of the tree of dharma are in the form of mercy (dayaa), which treats one and all equally. Mercy should not be bound by limits. It can also be in the form of harshness (katthore kripa), but it is always for the betterment of an individual.
The leaves of the tree of dharma are in the form of purity (pavitrata). Purity of thought, speech, action, vision etc. are the various types of leaves of dharma.
The fruit of dharma is prem (love). All dharma should lead to goodwill for all ‘premaambu-pooram shubham’.
Bapu says, “on the concluding day, I would like to present one banyan tree i.e. Shri Ram Charit Manas to everybody. This tree is not for house but for heart. The root of Shri Ram Charit Manas is large-heartedness (vishaalata) as it respects all. The stem of Ramayana is faith (vishwaas) that is unbending in all kind of circumstances. Knowledge (vivek) forms the branches of Shri Ram Charit Manas. Various thoughts (vichaar) given by Tulsidas jee are its leaves and the fruit of Shri Ram Charit Manas is tranquility/peace (vishraam). All the five trees that were discussed over these days have made this tree. Bow it in the heart, nurture it with tears and take care of it. It will give shelter to you and your coming generations.”
Let us offer the fruit of virtue of this katha to Vadavaada dev (deity of the place) and may all experience his soothing shelter.
Jo yeh padhe Hanuman Chalisa | Hoi sidhi saakhi Gaurisa ||
Tulsidas sada hari chera | Kije nath hriday maha dera ||
Whosoever recites Hanuman Chalisa will be successful, Gaurisa (Bhagwan Shiv) is my witness.
Tulsidas who is forever servant of Hari prays that Bhagwan enshrines in his heart.
Bapu says, “With Pranaam to Bhagwaan Vishwanaath, Ma Annapurna, Ma Ganga and all the past-present-future great souls of Kashi, let us start this katha. It is my ‘vinay-patrika’ for all, especially youngsters, and I would request all to listen and try to understand as said and move forward.
There is no dakshina (offering/fees) of any kind here, no pradakshina (extra rituals), but only prem vikshana (flow of love towards divine) in Ram katha. If possible, we should try and put the slogan of ‘Prem devo bhav’ on the wall of UN building where all the decisions are taken with an intention of welfare of all. World has witnessed enough wars and battles for finding solutions, but they proved to be futile. Let us try and experiment the method of love to solve our problems.”
A person should be proud of his or her Dharma, but should not become fanatic about it. Everyone should respect each other’s Dhrama and join together to enhance the glory of the nation.
There are forty lines in Hanuman Chalisa. Bapu says, “ I feel that the number 40 signifies the zeroing of four things in life. The four things, (Dharma, Arth, Kama, Moksha) mentioned in the initial Doha (Jo daayak fal chaari…) should come to an end with the conclusion of Hanuman chalisa. We’ll discuss them in the coming days.”
Ram katha teaches a way of life (shiksha), initiates a person into spirituality (diksha) and distributes unconditional love (bhiksha).
Bapu says, “ I would like to request the youth that howmuch ever success, fame and money you get, never forget your roots and the simplicity of this nation.”
In the Vedas, there is a particular manner to introduce or define a thing/person, in which there is an indirect indication towards it. The definition may not be clearly visible, but it lies in a subtle way. Hanuman jee’s presence in the Vedas is indicated by the word ‘Hanu’, which comes 4 times and the word ‘doot’ comes 5 times. The first mantra of RigVeda mentions ‘agni and purohit’ which signifies the Hanumant element. ‘Agni’ (fire) is Hanuman jee as Tulsidas jee calls him “ khal bana paavak”- a fire that destroys the negative elements. ‘Purohit’ refers to the doot/messenger. Hanuman jee is a messenger of Bhagwaan Ram for many like Sugreev, Vibheeshan, Jaanaki jee and Bharat jee. He introduces himself as ‘Ramdoot’ in Shri Ram Charit Manas. Therefore, Hanuman jee is an indispensable part of the Vedas.
Many people wonder why did Tulsidas jee start Hanuman Chalisa with a Doha saying-‘Baranaun raghubar bimal jasu..’ The reason is that Hanuman jee is ‘raghubar’ (best amongst the Raghuvansh) as Bhagwaan Ram and Ma Sita have accepted him as their son.
Question – How many listeners do you want to enlighten?
Bapu’s Answer – Just one will do. I would be satisfied even if one listener becomes truly enlightened. Truth gets covered in a crowd, but it gets illuminated in a single person.
There are many meanings of the word “Hanu” and they all indicate towards the qualities of Hanuman jee.
Attractive lady – Hanuman jee is such that he attracts one and all. Death – Hanuman jee brings an end to one’s faults. Speed – Speed is described as three faceted. Gyaan – Hanuman jee is full of knowledge. Gaman – Hanuman jee’s movement is extremely fast. According to an American study, Hanuman jee flew at the speed of 660miles/hour. Uplabdh – Hanuman jee achieved Bhagwaan Ram in all the ways.
The word ‘Chalisa’ refers to the zeroing of many four elements.
Dharma, Arth, kama, moksha – According to Adi Shankaracharya, there should be no pressure of dharma, no botheration of wealth, no disturbance of desire and no worry for salvation. Classes of society – Brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya and shoodra. Stages of a person – Brahmcharya, grihasta, vaanprastha and sanyaas. Inner facets – Mana, budhhi, chitta and ahankaar. Tirthas – Badrinath, Rameshwaram, Dwarka and Jagannathpuri. Yugas – Sata, treta, Dwaapar and kali. Dishas – North, south, east and west.
For a person, it may be difficult to find a sadaguru with own efforts. One should develop such an intense aspiration that sadaguru should come searching for him/her. Efforts may seem tiring but they help in understanding the value of his grace. Sadaguru is like Narsimha Bhagwaan, who sits at shishya’s doorstep to protect him from unwanted worldly elements without disturbing his inner system. He checks the purity of his heart.
Question – How does the dust of sadaguru’s feet (Charan Rajj) work on the mind of a shishya?
Bapu’s answer – It is a matter of faith where the remedy (dust of sadaguru’s feet) is outer and it works to purify the inner element (mind). Just like when one applies perfume on the body, the mind feels good.
Sadaguru gives shelter to a shishya but never binds him to hinder his independence. He does not impose rules on him but creates strength of control in his mind.
Criticizing others is the indication of one’s own weaknesses. Its good to be aware of positive and negative, but one should not get too involved in it.
Hanuman chalisa is the purest way of devotion towards Hanuman jee. Try to recite it 11 times a day. Hanuman jee helps one to move forward towards the subject of your devotion.
According to a Sanskrit dictionary by Harshdevacharya, Hanuman jee’s name indicates his inherent qualities. The first alphabet ‘Ha’ means Shiv, showing that He is the incarnation of Bhagwaan Shankar. ‘Nu’ means a person who is praise worthy, indicating that Hanuman jee is truly creditable for our worship. ‘Ma’ means Bhagwaan Vishnu or Laxmi or both; the presence of Bhagwaan SitaRam in Hanuman jee’s heart justifies this trait also. ‘Na’ refers to bravery or courage that is unquestionable in Shri Hanuman jee.
A person’s precise information (without any exaggeration) can be obtained from first the person himself, second from the one who closely understands him and third from his enemy.
The key most important thing behind all the lectures and kathas is Harinaam.
Pravachan (lecture) is a good exercise of intellect that may help in purifying the mind and the heart. But the essence of all is only Harinaam. If you call out someone’s name with the Lord in the mind, then every name is Harinaam.
There is a time for everything in life. A child need not be pushed into devotion, let him play and enjoy his childhood with delight (masti). Parents should sow the seeds of good values and dharma, but should not implement them forcefully during childhood. The youth is the time for devotion (bhakti) that inspires youngsters to serve others and develop love towards divine. The old age is for salvation (mukti) from worldly bindings.
The wealthy people donate money to religious leaders and institutions, but at the same time they should look after their own servants with humility.
A true celebration of Shivratri is to boost confidence of depressed people (Shav like). Give a new lease of life to disheartened people, who have lost all hopes, with your love and affection.
Sunder kand is unique as Bhagwaan Ram confesses 5 things in it, which are not found together in any other kand of Shri Ram Charit Manas.
His resolution (Pana) to make a person fearless who seeks refuge – “Mum pana saranaagat bhaya haari..” His personal opinion about shri Lakshman jee – “Jaga mahun sakha nisaachar jetey | Lachhimanu hanayi nimish mahun tetey ||” His own nature that is known by Bhusundi jee and Bhagwaan Shankar and Ma Girija –“ Sunahu sakha nij kahaun subhaau..” His personal choice about preferring simplicity and not liking conceitful behaviour – “Nirmal mana jana so mohi paava | Mohi kapat chhal chhidra na bhaava||” His intention of coming to earth for the sake of his beloved saints- “Tumha saarikhey sant priya morein | Dharaun deh nahin aan nihorein ||”
Learning from Bhagwaan Ram’s open-mindedness, we also should not lead a hypocritical life. Live with an open mind to remain stress free.
Hanuman jee has received all the five kinds of spiritual initiations (deeksha) by Bhagwaan Ram in Sunderkand.
Chakshu deeksha – Through glances of Bhagwaan Ram- “Puni puni kapihi chitav sur-traata | Lochan neer pulak ati gaata ||”. Maanasik deeksha – Through the thoughts of Bhagwaan Ram- “Sunu sut tohi urin main naahin | Dekheun kari bichaar mana maahin ||” Sparsh deeksha – Through the touch.Bhagwaan Ram put his hand on Hanuman jee’s head- “Prabhu kar pankaj kapi kein seesa | Sumiri so dasaa magan gaureesa ||” Vaak deeksha – Bhagwaan ram personally addressed Hanuman jee- “Sunu kapi tohi samaan upakaari | Nahin kou sur nar muni tanu-dhaari ||” Kripa deeksha – Jaanaki jee blessed Hanuman jee that may the grace of Bhagwaan Ram always remain with him-“Karahun kripa prabhu asa suni kaana | Nirbhar prem magan hanumaana ||”.
Every quality in a person is a blessing of the Lord and until it is offered in his lotus feet, it cannot become successful. It may turn into a weakness if it is not devoted to the supreme.
Let us start with the part of chaupai of Hanuman chalisa, where we last left in last katha in London. -“Tej prataap maha jaga bandan ||”
Hanuman jee’s tej (magnificence/glow in the personality) and prataap (glory) is unbeatable.
Tej may be of three types.
Taamasi – like Raavan’s that was vindictive. It may lead to pain for others.
Raajasi – that is made up by outer cosmetics. It is artificial and may bring arrogance.
Saatvik – that comes with humility and penance. It may create envy in others.
Hanuman jee’s tej is beyond the above three. His tej is of the sun (as per the legend, he swallowed it in his childhood), the moon (being a form of Shiv, he bears moon on his head) and fire (he is fire himself, as said on previous days).
According to Tulsidas jee, Hanuman jee is an incarnation of Ram Naam- “Kaalnemi kali kapat nidhaanu | Naam sumati samarath hanumaanu ||”. The chanting of Ram Naam is recitation of Hanuman chalisa and similarly, every word of Hanuman chalisa is Ram Naam. Bapu says, “ I personally feel that Hanuman chalisa and Ram Naam are more than enough for an any aspirant in his/her spiritual journey. There are many ways to go about in this journey, but nothing else is required if one holds on to these two.”
Bapu says, “There is a vision in my mind for katha. People should be relaxed and should listen with a stress free mind. Each individual should sit in such a way that there remains certain empty space around him/her. Katha is a scientific, psychological experiment. I would like that there is complete silence before katha starts, if at all, there should be a soft sound of light instrumental music. The time spent here by listeners should not go waste and they should be able to grasp each sutra with a tension-free mind.”
Every person can be described as a field of five elements (fire, water, air, sky and air). He/she should get the seeds of spirituality from the sadaguru and then water them with tears. After this initiation, sadaguru takes care and watches carefully that no one harms the harvest of divine bliss. If an aspirant has fervent faith in the feet of sadaguru, then no planetary repercussions (grah) can affect him/her. Sadaguru’s grace (anugrah) becomes an all-pervading savior of his/her life. The negative elements get destroyed by their own negativity, just like Hanuman jee burnt Lanka by the arrangements (oil, cloth, fire etc.) provided by the inmates themselves.
The world bows down to Hanuman jee (jaga bandan…) as he found certain elements for the welfare of mankind- Bhagwaan Ram, Ma Sita, a guide (Vibheeshan) and medicine (Sanjivani).
Every person has four things and thus requires these respective elements to make them successful:
Tana – The body remains healthy with food, provided it is taken as a medicine and bhiksha (as a grant from the Lord). Hanuman jee found the medicine in the form of Ram Naam and sanjivani.
Mana – The mind wants peace. Hanuman jee found Sita jee (a true form of tranquility) in the most adverse circumstances.
Janma-maran – In the cycle of rebirth, one seeks the ultimate truth. Hanuman jee found Bhagwaan Ram (personified truth).
Jeevan – On needs a guide in life; Hanuman jee found Vibheeshan jee who showed the world how to lead a spiritual life amidst all the worldly pressures.
To develop a deep-seated faith in the Lord, one must listen to katha over and over again. Katha never becomes out-of-date and it remains new forever.
The term ‘Hanuman’ occurs four times in the forty lines of Hanuman chalisa. Bapu says, “I feel that four images of Hanuman jee are depicted through this occurrence. Let us discuss them as follows.
Jai Hanuman gyaan guna saagar | Jai kapees tihun lok ujaagar ||
This chaupai indicates the Gyaan murti of Hanuman jee. He is an embodiment of knowledge and thus all the positive qualities get merged in him automatically.
Sankat sey Hanuman chhudaavai | Mana kram bachan dhyaan jo laavai ||
This points towards the Dhyaan murti of Hanuman jee. Hanuman jee’s meditative image is such that is beyond any manifestation of speech, mind and action. If one meditates keeping this image in mind then, it is possible that he/she may see Budhha or Mahavira in him. This kind of meditation leads to large-heartedness and freedom from narrow worldly boundaries of mind.
Jai jai jai Hanuman gosaain | Kripa karahu gurudev ki naain ||
This is an indication of Guru murti of Hanuman jee. It is his image of a perfect master. If a person cannot acknowledge any person as sadaguru, then he/she should accept Hanuman jee as sadaguru.
Jo yeh paddhai Hanuman chalisa | Hoi sidhh saakhi gaurisa ||
It denotes the Gaan murti of Hanuman jee which signifies his expertise in music. When you recite Hanuman chalisa, be at ease and try not to be too speedy. It does not matter if you recite a lesser number of times provided it is done with devotion.” Question – What is a difference between a sect (sampradaaya) and religion (dharma)?
Bapu’s answer – The difference between the two is quite clear. A leader starts a sect at a specific time and sometimes it is seen that it comes to an end also. Whereas religion is based on God’s initiation and it has no date of origin. Religion is immortal; it may go through some alterations at times but never gets ruined. A sect may instruct that any negative element is evil, but religion teaches that anything (whether positive or negative) that gets beyond moderation may be injurious.
Don’t compare scriptures but gain the best from them as much as possible. Shri Ram Charit Manas has touched the hearts of millions as it appeals to the masses due to its simple language and also revered due to its divine nature.
Being in company of anything that is attached to the truth is satsang. Indulging in any auspicious talk, thought, silence, music is satsang.
Let us move to next chaupai
Vidyavaan guni ati chaatur | Ram kaaj karibey ko aatur||
The first word ‘Vidyavaan’ signifies Hanuman jee’s proficiency in all the possible fields of knowledge. The presence of knowledge makes him absolutely free of ego, hatred and conflicts.
The evidence of his knowledge are known by the following four features.
Karm shudhhi (purity of action) – Hanuman jee’s every action is ideal in nature. Bhaasha shudhhi (purity of speech) – Hanuman jee is a master in oratory. His words were such that Ma Sita’s pain began to vanish in Ashok Vatika. Mantra shudhhi (purity of thought) – Malign thoughts prove a major hindrance in the spiritual journey. Try to first avoid and then remove them with the help of satsang. Though only Lord’s grace can save an aspirant from the negativity totally. Dravya shudhhi – This refers to the use of wealth for welfare of all. But it also refers to the stage when a person’s heart melts for betterment and becomes free of stubborn attitude made up of anger, greed and desire.
The next word ‘Guni’ also has following four dimensions.
Who possess good qualities. Who appreciates the goodness in others. Who is aware that actually all the qualities are bindings like ropes. Who has come to a conclusion that the true quality is to rise above and beyond the positive and negative
Hanuman jee inspired Vibheeshan with his thought to join in Ram kaam (action for Bhagwaan Ram) along with Ram naam. Whoever follows this thought can experience the flow of divine grace as well as love.
When you listen to katha, not just listen attentively but also choose some sutras that you can implement to make your life better. The time spent in katha is very precious; one should not let go the sutras. Bapu says, “In this katha I invite people to decide for their lives, between the company of kabir-like viewpoint (satsang) or the company of kuber-like people (materialism).
Dharma should be a means of awareness and not of fanaticism. Poet Majboor rightly says, “To be reasonable is to be religious.”
According to Swami Sharananand jee, essence of every facet of life (dharma, arth, kaam, and moksha) can only be experienced provided one is completely free of ego. Sharing your riches with others is the essence of wealth.
Let us continue with the next word of Hanuman chalisa – “Guni”. Hanuman jee is personification of all the great qualities, but he also recognizes and appreciates the positive qualities of others as well. People coming in katha should be able to pray for the progress of others’ merits without being jealous. Hanuman jee showed the world that all the qualities are after all binding as he got bound by the brahm-astra of Meghnaad. Therefore, one should always maintain a certain distance from even a highly meritorious person, as it might become bondage for him/her. Hanuman jee’s persona is such that he is above all the gunas (positive or negative).
The next word is, “Ati chaatur” indicates towards the prowess of intellect of Hanuman jee. Tulsidas jee instructs all to abandon ‘chaturaai’ in the form of cunning tendency that takes advantage of others. But he also says “Ramahi bhajahin tey chatur nar..”, indicating that a wise person (chatur) lives with a conclusion that ultimate bliss lies in Ram bhajan. Bapu says, “There are four types of arts that make a person ati-chaatur. They are as follows.
Art of living – Hanuman jee’s life was devoted in the feet of the Lord. Art of leaving – the unnecessary elements and using everything in best possible way. Art of learning from others – Hanuman jee learnt from everywhere he could even from Swayam-prabha and Sampaati. Art of listening – Hanuman jee is an ardent listener of katha, but he also listens to anything that is auspicious. One should listen katha without any preferences or prejudices for various topics to excel in the art of listening.
One should take refuge under the shelter of a sadaguru who is totally content. Only such sadaguru who is free of any kind of desire can be true spiritual guide.
There are some steps to experience “Ram-janam” in your life.
Efforts to find the Lord (Purushaarth). Call out to the Lord (Pukaar). Wait for the Lord (Prateeksha).
Charity should be done very confidentially. The donor should not know the taker and taker should not know the donor.
Bapu started today’s katha with happily welcoming some people from Islam dharma. He says, “I am happy to see this kind of unity in this prem-yagna. Here, I distribute love and not religion. Love is the key factor of happiness. A Muslim youth has asked me for a katha. I’m extremely glad about it.”
Let us continue with the next phrase of the chaupai
“Ram kaaj karibey ko aatur||”.
Hanuman jee is always eager to carry out the work of Bhagwaan Ram, but we can learn from him that we should involve ourselves with fervor in anything that is for welfare of all. There are four important factors that are significant in the process of “Ram kaaj”.
Pragna (wisdom) – Hanuman jee possesses intellect of par excellence, Tulsidas jee calls him “Budhhimataam varishthham..”One should have the wisdom to choose the right path to search the peace that is lost in the world, just like the way Hanuman jee’s quest was for Ma Sita.
Dhairya (endurance) – Hanuman jee never lost his cool even in the worst circumstances in Lanka. One has to be persistent to carry on with the endeavor without getting perturbed by the hurdles.
Drishti (vision) – Hanuman jee gauged every situation first and then moved forward accordingly. One should have proper insight to recognize the goal.
Utsaah (enthusiasm) – Hanuman jee zeal for Ram-kaaj was outstanding. When he begins his search for Ma Sita, he is full of zest- ‘Jab lagi aavaun seetahi dekhi | Hoihi kaaju mohi harash bisekhi ||’. Youngsters should specially learn this trait for Hanuman jee that anything done with a positive attitude can bring success. One should not let will-power fall in any condition.
Hanuman jee is a great orator. The two features of speech – grammar and practical implementation (vyaakaran and aacharan) both are in perfect form. In Sunder kand, ideal speaker’s speech’s four features are mentioned-“ Mana santoshe sunat kapi baani | Bhagati prataap tej bal saani ||”.
a) Bhagati – speech should unite and not divide.
b) Prataap – speech should create a lasting impact on the listener’s mind.
c) Tej – speech should be able to destroy the darkness of delusion (moh). It should show the right path.
d) Bal – speech that comes out of experience bears strength.
Jaanaki jee accepted Hanuman jee as her son- “Aasish deenhi ram priya jaana | Hohu taat bal seel nidhaana || Ajar amar guna-nidhi sut hohu | Karahun bahut raghunaayak chhohu ||”. Just like a lady gives birth to a child who is made up of five elements (water, air, fire, sky and earth), Ma Sita also endorsed Hanuman jee as her son by granting five elements.
1) Bal (strength) – symbol of earth.
2) Sheel (humility) – symbol of water.
3) Ajar (ever young) – symbol of air.
4) Amar (immortality) – symbol of sky.
5) Guna-nidhi (a holder of all qualities) – symbol of fire.
Hanuman jee’s source of life (praan) was the grace of Bhagwaan Ram, without which all the above five elements could have proved worthless.
In satsang, the listener bears a greater responsibility than the speaker does. In analyzing the result of satsang, listener is tested and not the speaker. Just like a sadaguru is beyond measure, but a shishya can check his own progress. Sadaguru cannot be judged, but a shishya should judge himself by the transformation as a result of Sadaguru’s satsang.
The seven kand of Shri Ramcharitamanas are different stages of study for an aspirant. Bal kand is the birth of an aspirant, Ayodhya kand is his admission for study, Aranya kand is the compound of the school, Kishkindha kand is the study, Sunder kand is the fixation of exam, Lanka kand is the examination and Uttar kand is the announcement of the result. But, Hanuman chalisa is the certificate after the study of Shri Ram Charit Manas.
Question – What does “Ram kaaj” mean?
Bapu’s answer – Hanuman jee did three important things that comprise Ram kaaj and as result he was the only one who could always remain with Bhagwaan Ram. Many people came and went but Bhagwaan Ram never left his company.
Ma Sita’s search. Setubandh (making a bridge between Bhagwaan Ram and Raavan). Fight against the demons.
Hanuman jee is a great source of inspiration to the youth of today. Just like Hanuman jee searched Ma Sita, one should discover and develop the innate capabilities to make the best of them. The youth can bridge the gap between the people who have turned their faces from each other. Unifying the society can be a setubandh for youngsters of today. Just like Hanuman jee fought with the demons for the sake of their welfare, the youth should try and abolish the negativity in their surroundings and establish goodwill.
According to Bhagwat Gita, one can only accomplish such great tasks if he/she can make oneself free of the following four. Hanuman jee was successful, as he is absolutely free of them.
Kaamna – There was no desire in Hanuman jee’s life. But, we can also learn from him that we can condition our mind in such a way that we do not feel deprived of the coveted result even after doing sincere efforts. Mamata – Hanuman jee showed that any position or person never entrapped him. One should not get too attached to anything. Spriha – Hanuman jee accepted the situation as the blessing of the Lord; this is an indication that one should not try to make unnecessary preparations for future. Ahankaar – Hanuman jee, being ‘pavan-putra’ has no egoistic tendencies just like air has no particular form of its own. Question – If we cannot choose the sutras from katha, can you choose for us?
Bapu’s answer – You can only ask someone else to choose the sutras for your life provided there is absolute surrender without any preferences from your side. An aspirant should make at least some efforts to cleanse oneself from inside. Question – what is the difference between sukh (material comforts) and shanti (peace)?
Bapu’s answer – Sukh is worthless without shanti. It can become distorted without shanti.
Question – How do you react to criticism?
Bapu’s answer – Criticism helps in digesting appreciation. If it implies, I try to improve but if it does not then I don’t mind it. One should remain very careful and not let any ill feeling arise for the critic also. One should try to maintain the inner balance while facing criticism and if the critic is totally unreasonable, then don’t try to give any clarifications also. One should be prepared for every kind of situation on the spiritual path.
Let us continue with the next chaupai of Hanuman chalisa
“Prabhu charitra sunibey ko rasiya”
Hanuman jee is an ardent listener of katha. On his lines, we can see the following characteristics of a katha-rasik (dedicated listener of katha).
In spite of facing criticism and insults from others, one who does not lose interest in katha. One who can enjoy katha sitting anywhere, there is no choice of a particular place. One who would sing chaupais and bhajans without shyness. One who would wait for the speaker with acute eagerness. One who listens to katha without any kind of preferences for selected topics.
“Ram lakhan sita mana basiya”
Everyone in Ramayana wishes to place Bhagwaan Ram, Lakshman jee and Ma Sita in their hearts. But Hanuman jee goes a step ahead by securing a place in the heart of all the three.
Sookshma roop dhari siyahi dikhaava | Bikat roop dhari lank jaraava || Bheem roop dhari asur sanhaarey |
Hanuman jee remained as a child for Ma Sita and he took an enormous form in Lanka. He was adaptable to the need of the place and time according to the situation. An aspirant should neither be stubborn in his spiritual efforts nor be pompous about them.
Hanuman jee is a form taken by Bhagwaan Shankar. There are forty features of Bhagwaan Shankar – fifteen eyes, five faces, twelve jyotirlingas and eight-dimensional image (Ashta-murti)- that totals to forty. All these forty features are placed in Hanuman chalisa, but they will be discussed in the kathas to follow on the topic.
Hanuman jee belongs to not a part of one sect or religion; He belongs to all. He can push a person in whatever religion one follows. A christian youth has asked about what does Hanuman chalisa offer for them. Bapu says, ‘ I think the word chalisa itself is inspirational for them. If deciphered- Chal+Isa, it guides to move towards the Isa (Jesus).
Only true secularism can bring about peace. Religious leaders, who speak of unity in general gatherings, should say the same thing with honest intentions in their own religious meetings also. In order to encourage the respective followers to establish communal harmony.
Question – What is the difference between Karma and Kripa?
Bapu’s answer – Karma (action) can bring you fruits but Kripa (grace) can bring you rasa (nectar or essence of the fruit).
Hanuman jee took a ‘bikat roop’ (aggressive form) at the time of razing the inauspicious elements in Lanka as he did not want to hide his intention. He is not a hypocrite who would show artificial composure but would conspire to harm others. Hanuman jee’s character bore that transparency that is able to abolish the negative elements.
Bapu says, “I’m extremely proud of my country. I would want that all the political leaders, religious institutions should surrender their funds and officers, at least for one year, should leave corrupt practices. This way poverty can be totally eradicated and if this happens, I would be the first one to declare the capital of our trust.”
Hanuman jee used just a part of his potential in the form of ‘muthhika’ (blow with a fist). He did not use unnecessary techniques of war.
We’ll continue with the part of phrase- “Ram chandra key kaaj sanvaarey||” in the next katha on Hanuman chalisa that may take place next year.
Let us offer the fruit of virtue of this katha in the feet of the Pandit Madanmohan Malviya jee, who was the founder of Banaras Hindu University. With mental salutations to Bhagwaan Shankar, Ma Ganga and all the great scholars, artists and aspirants of this Kashi City, let us wind up this katha..
Sita Ram Ram Ram.. Sita Ram Ram Ram.. Sita Ram Ram Ram.
Baal Kaand – Doha 48
Ek baar treta juga maahin | Sambhu gaye kumbhaj rishi paahin ||
Sang sati jaga janani bhavaani | Poojey rishi akhileswar jaani ||
Jaamvant said, “Susena, the physician lives in Lanka; someone should be sent to fetch him here.”
Assuming a minute(indescernible) form, Hanumanji went and immediately brought, house and all.
Bapu expressed his intense and immerse pleasure in welcoming the brilliant luminaries of Gujarati literature. For him, this was an occasion of PARAMANAND – supreme joy as he would meet and interact with these masters – each one an achiever in his or her chosen area of excellence.
Bapu advised his listeners not to hide or overlook the roots because they alone collect flowers, who nourish their roots. Bapu was always ready and eager to accept Truth wherever and whenever and from whosoever and in whatever form it is available as he strives to progress from the gross [Sthula] to more and more refined [Sukshma] stages.
Bapu quoted an episode of Bodhidharma who considered the external disciplines of ‘Satya, Ahimnsa, Aparigrah and Asateya as mere external husk, a mere coverage, a mere skin of his teachings. The mental discipline like ‘Yoga, Sadhana, Mantra and Kriya’ is but a step deeper. The spiritual experiences of ‘ Sunya, Shanti, Samadhi and Vishram’ is the kernel but the innermost ingredients were ‘maun and prem.’ the Summum Bonum of life. Bapu has given up several of such sthula rituals like ‘shobhayatra’ and ‘akhand deep’
Bapu explained that his katha is meant not for giving any advice ‘updesh’, much less any order ‘adesh’ but he would love to pass on a message ‘sandesh’ of happy and free and joyous mind.
It is seen that the society (samaaj) is unable to understand a saadhu. It is only the suitable comprehension (samajh) that can help a person to understand him.
Our tapasya (certain rules for penance) should be such that they do not create samasya (problems) for others. For instance, if one keeps maun (a fast of being silent), but he/she speaks for the happiness of children, then it should be considered as the fruit of the penance.
Bapu says, “once someone asked me that what is the main feature of your katha. I replied that experience (anubhooti) is the main basis of my katha. Other features like music etc. may complement the katha, but the most important is the practical implementation of the sutras.”
One should never forget one’s own roots neither in the best nor in the worst of times. This memory reminder keeps a person level-headed
Katha 612 – Manas Adhikaari, Akola
Katha 611 – Manas Raavan, Rakshastal
Katha 609 – Manas Rudraashtak, U
Today is teacher’s day and we all shall remember our teachers who have contributed to our lives. There are two main teachers in Shri Ram Charit Manas:
Bhagwaan Shankar Kaag bhushundi jee.
Supporting them are other two teachers
Yagyavalkya Rishi Tulsidas jee.
A sadaguru always has profound eyes and wide feathers. Guru purnima is not a day for loud celebrations, but for heartily remembering one’s sadaguru in solitude and offer devotion.
Sadaguru’s work is not to impress the disciples. His work is to help the aspirants discover the supreme power within them.
Tulsidas jee has maintained the boundaries of maryada (conduct of proper decorum). But if seen in his other works, all the angles of his writings are visible.
Dharma does not grow in a day. It is not an instant product and cannot be achieved in a jiffy. It is a prolonged and incremental process growing and ripening out a long period of patient and persistent efforts. Bapu denounced in very strong terms all the cheats and the frauds who have made DHARM a profitable business and who frighten innocent people in the name of gods and divine anger. They do it just to fleece the mass and make money out of it.
Bhagwaan Shankar went to Kumbhaj Rishi’s ashram, as he wanted to create a bridge between a speaker and listener of katha. He wanted to show that however great one might be, but wants to listen to katha. Then he/she has to take the initiative and go to the speaker. He also wanted to show that the joy of listening is much greater than even viewing the actual incidents of katha. As viewing may lead to doubts in one’s mind but listening makes a person free of any kind of doubts.
Bapu says, “I request all, especially youngsters, to go through andunderstand our scriptures (Ramayana, Mahabharat, Bhagwat Gita and Shrimad Bhaagwat) at least once. If you don’t follow the language then try to understand by asking any master who can translate for you. It would clarify many misconceptions. Don’t create prejudices about scriptures in your mind. There is nothing in this world that is not in our scriptures.”
Shri Ram Charit Manas is a transformation saga beginning with the doubts of Sati and concluding with the sound faith of Parvati.
Never force anyone to break/alter one’s fast (vrat) due to your devotional insistence also.
Don’t ask for any favours from the Lord, not even his darshan (glimpse). Make yourself free of demands.
Let us begin today’s katha with some questions.
Question – why did Hanuman jee ask for Bhakti from Bhagwaan Ram in Sunder kand –“Naath bhagati ati sukh-daayani | Dehu kripa kari anapaayani||”?
Bapu’s answer – A true devotee is actually not aware of the devotion present in him and thus asks the Lord to grant him bhakti. Hanuman jee is the greatest Ram bhakta, but he is extremely humble and also oblivious about inherent bhakti already present in him. If a person is conscious of his/her devotion, then bhakti is not perfect in nature.
Question- whom would you choose as the closest amongst Ram, Krishna and Shiv?
Bapu’s answer – “In our family, traditionally we worship Lord Krishna. I sing for Bhagwaan Ram but I would like to say that I find Shankar jee closest. All other deities belong and come from unseen places, like Krishna from Vaikuntth, Ram from Saket but it is only Bhagwaan Shankar who permanently belongs to Kailas and lives on this earth. He is most accessible as he is placed even in the graveyard, where there are no visiting restrictions of time or caste. Every creature worships him, be it Devatas, demons, Naags, Kinnars etc. therefore, he seems to be closest.
If seen in other context, I feel close to the Truth (satya) of Bhagwaan Ram, Love (prem) of Shri Krishna and Compassion (karuna) of Shankar Bhagwaan.”
It is seen that people all over the world have become anxious about Shri Ram Charit Manas and its chaupais. It is good that at least gaan (reciting) is taking place, even if gyaan (knowledge) may take some time.
Blessings can be taken from anyone, regardless of age, gender, caste or creed, provided they come from the bottom of heart. Even a small baby can give blessings, so leave aside your ego and bow down to their divine innocence.
Bapu says, “ I would like to ask all the non-resident Indians to be proud of their origin. Live where you are comfortable, serve the place and people around you, but at the same time don’t forget your motherland. No other culture is as dynamic as Indian, never ever insult your motherland. Respect it because it is the base of our values.”
It is better to get deceived than to deceive others, because the guilt of deceiving others can be extremely harmful.
Many rasa discussed in Indian literature are visible in Bhagwaan Shankar
In Ayodhya kand, Tulsidas jee describes him.
“Yasyaankey cha vibhaati bhoodhar-suta deva-pagaa mastakey
Bhaaley baal-vidhur-galey cha garalam yasyorasi vyaal-raat |
Soyam bhooti-vibhooshanah sur-varah sarvaadhipah sarvada
Sharvah sarv-gatah shivah shashi-nibhah shri-shankarah paatu maam||”
Yasyaankey cha vibhaati bhoodhar-suta – He places Ma Parvati on his lap, this is Shringaar rasa.
Deva-pagaa mastakey – He places Ma Ganga on his head, just like a spouse gets on the nerves of the partner. This is Haasya rasa.
Bhaaley baal-vidhur- The moon of sky is placed on his hair, this amazing feature depicts adbhut rasa.
Galey cha garalam – Shiv jee kept poison in his throat for the welfare of all, this shows his compassion i.e. Karuna rasa.
Yasyorasi vyaal-raat – The presence of snakes on his body is bhayaanak rasa.
Soyam bhooti-vibhooshanah- The ash of graveyard is smeared on his body. This is bibhatsa rasa.
Sur-varah sarvaadhipah sarvada
Sharvah sarv-gatah shivah shashi-nibhah shri-shankarah paatu maam – The solemn form of Bhagwaan Shankar depicts the shanta rasa.
Let us begin today’s katha with a question.
Question – What is the difference between doubt (bhram) and faith (vishwaas)?
Bapu’s answer – these two are the most prominent features of Siv-charit. The main difference is, that in doubt one has a tendency to test (pariksha) the subject of worship and in faith one has a tendency to wait (pratiksha) for the beloved. If doubt works in a constructive manner, it is not so damaging as it may remove many misconceptions and may lead to knowledge. But one has to be careful that doubt does not take a shape of a negative bias.
It is very important for an individual to feel contentment from his/her endeavour/activity. Unless one experiences ultimate satisfaction from within in his/her field. Any art, knowledge, wealth, position is incomplete. Personal fulfillment is much greater than the recognition from the world.
Never attack or criticize anybody’s faith on a particular subject of worship. Everyone has a right to choose his/her deity or worship pattern. Religion cannot be restricted in boundaries.
When the spiritual energy (chetana) takes an outward stance, it is called intellect (budhhi), but when it turns inwardly, it transforms into faith (shradhha). Both intellect and faith are distinct angles of spiritual energy.
Sati ignored Maha-mantra recital by Kumbhaj Rishi (Ramayana) and advice of Param-guru (Bhagwaan Shankar). Thus, it was inevitable that it could lead to repentance and anguish.
There are prominent thoughts indicated in the seven kand of Shri Ram Charit Manas.
Baal kaand – Vivek vichar (satsang should give birth of wisdom).
Ayodhya kaand- Vishaya vichar (excessive desire of Dasrath jee for Kaikeyi led to distress in Ayodhya).
Aranyaa kaand – Vinod vichar.
Kishkindhaa kaand – Virodh vichar (tussle between Bali and Sugreev is depicted).
Sunder kaand – Vigyaan vichar (Only a scientist like Hanuman jee can find out shakti/ power i.e.Sita jee).
Lankaa kaand – Viraag vichar.
Uttar kaand – Vishraam vichaar.
To perceive a situation or a person in the exact manner, one needs to be at a certain distance. Every one should be given space and freedom to live with personal preferences. Don’t try to dominate anybody.
Charity should be silent. It should not be made public. It saves a person from getting proud about it.
The number seven is a significant feature in Shri Ram Charit Manas:
There are main 7 characters (charit)-Ram, Sita, Bharat, Hanumant, Shiv, Uma and Kaag Bhushundi.
The chapters (kaand) are seven.
Bhagwaan Ram is the seventh incarnation (avtaar) of the supreme power.
Bhagwaan Ram’s all prevailing element (tatva) is such, that has surpassed the seven stages of knowledge.
It starts with seven shlokas, each representing the seven kand.
Bapu says, “Some people criticize Tulsidas jee saying that he has not given due respect to women. But I would like to say that such people have not read or understood his writings in the right way. Tulsidas jee has never generalized the female gender as negative, but has indicated about the faults of a particular woman in a particular situation, for instance Supnakha. His respect for women is clearly evident when he begins this shastra with offering salutation to Ma Saraswati.”
It is observed that a person feels grieved after seeing others in trouble, but one does not feel happy in seeing progress of others. Try and get rid of minutest ill feeling in the heart. So-called followers of religion should intricately analyze their tendencies.
Sadaguru takes care of his disciples in three ways:
Sadaguru remembers the aspirants in his heart, from wherever he is. With this mental connection, he treats the disciple, which is called “smaran deeksha”. Just like a turtle leaves the eggs in the sand on seashore and then forgets the place where they lie. But the acute mental focus of the turtle hatches the eggs.Sadaguru keeps an eye on the aspirant and watches his spiritual progress. This kind of contact is called “drishti deeksha”. Like a fish keeps eggs on shore, but constantly hatches them with her eyes.
Sadaguru puts his hand on the head of disciple and this touch helps to cure mental faults of shishya. This is “sparsh deeksha”. Just like a hen hatches her eggs by providing the heat of her body.
A disciple should only focus on how sadaguru takes him/her on the spiritual path and thus follow him with devotion. He/she should not divert oneself by indulging in the lives of fellow-disciples.
Following five deities can be worshipped in following ways:
Surya pooja – Live in the light of sadaguru’s guidance with an aware mind.
Ganesh pooja – Always try to help and solve others’ problems and respect wisdom without prejudices.
Vishnu pooja – Be broad-minded and be open to accept the goodness around you.
Shankar pooja – Work for welfare of others.
Gauri pooja – Maintain a strong faith in the Lord.
Tulsidas jee gives an indication that sadaguru is like ‘Narsimha Bhagwaan’. Just like narsimha, sadaguru places himself in such a way that he guards a shishya’s inside (antah-karan) by not letting in the faults and not letting out the qualities. He checks the purity of disciple’s heart.
For an absolutely committed aspirant sadaguru becomes his God. Sadaguru should be such that in any adverse situation, he maintains his calm. He should have no malice towards anyone and should never lose faith in the supreme power.
A vision can be termed as pure only when one sees God in every creature and does pranaam (bow down in respect) to all.
Knowledge should not make a person so grave that he/she cannot experience the delight of life. Humour is the reflection of growth of inner joy. Smile can help in curing many problems.
Grave attitude can become a hindrance between the speaker and listener of katha also.
Question – How do u deal with appreciation and criticism of people?
Bapu replied, “ I come across both so I have tried to cultivate a mentality. When people appreciate, I become a moorti (an image/ stone idol) that does not get affected by either recognition or rejection. If a person calls out in front of a moorti, the moorti does not melt but the person melts from inside. In case of criticism, I become moorti-mant (to listen and analyze), so that, I can improve myself if it implies and if it does not then I don’t mind.”
If the speaker is in the state of extreme joy and the listener in the state of extreme devotion, then it leads to katha only. It may be in the form of speech or even silence.
Tulsidas jee lists seven characteristics of a woman’s nature. If seen with a proper insight, they are the actual inherent qualities and not faults as many people think:
Saahas – Woman has always proved to be bold in time of crisis.
Anrut – Woman conceals the mistakes of others by false admission.
Chapalata – Woman’s promptness in action is a positive point of her nature.
Maaya – Woman hides the loopholes in her family.
Bhaya – Woman lives with a peculiar fear that nothing should bring disgrace to her family.
Abibek – Woman sometimes takes a blunt stand on an issue for welfare of all.
Asauch – Woman’s physical form is such that she has to go through a certain unhygienic condition in the process of motherhood. It is natural and not adopted by her.
Adaaya – Woman becomes determined when a situation requires.
Bapu says, “ I’ve experienced three stages in maun. In the early stage, one feels lot of noise from outside. In the middle stage, the outer sounds are there but they don’t bother the aspirant. At the same time, the inner noise becomes loud. It is a critical stage as the inner noise may be positive or even negative, may lead to downfall if not dealt in a balanced way. In the ultimate stage, the aspirant experiences an absolute silence, where there is no sound at all, either from outside or from inside. If the person is able to digest this silence, then all his boundaries are broken and he can float like energy in the space. But if an aspirant cannot sustain this severe silence, then he/she may seem insane.
All creative activities like literature music and dancing are spiritual in nature because they all aim at self-satisfaction (swantah sukhaya) and ultimate bliss.
Bapu expressed his happiness that so many scholars came to attend this katha.
Chitrakoot is a forest of faith, but Panchvati is a forest of doubt and deceit.
In the time of crisis, try and concentrate patiently towards your inner-side (antar-mukh). You might get the answers for your questions if you let the conscience speak.
If the medium to attain the Lord is not pure, then one would not be able to experience the ultimate bliss. Just like Sati used a test to verify the identity of Bhagwaan Ram, she could not feel the joy of his darshan (glimpse), in spite of being face-to-face with Him.
A saadhu can change the whole viewpoint towards life of a devoted aspirant. A situation that may create tension otherwise can seem easy to deal with.
A smallest action done with cent percent (100%) sincerity is a great deed.
Awakening may be of many types. One may get awakened by wants or desires, delusion, worry of a loan, a thief etc. But it is best if you get awakened by a sadaguru, like Vibheeshan was awakened by Hanuman jee, Dhruv by Naarad jee. This kind of awakening leads to God. But if seen in other characters of Shri Ram Charit Manas, Supnakha got awakened but ended with desire (kaamna) and Sati ended with distress (santaap).
Never hide anything from the subject of your faith/ sadaguru. A sadaguru may feel a pinch in the heart if his disciple conceals the truth from him.
There are many aspects that make pain (dukh) and pleasure (sukh) distinct from each other. Pain makes a person humble as the ego gets a setback, whereas comfort may make a person proud and stubborn. Crisis brings even estranged people together but it is seen that when there is prosperity, individuals might go separate ways for want of personal comforts. Pain is always of one kind but comfort might be of many kinds. Don’t invite trouble, but if it comes inevitably then welcome it with grace.
Don’t ask for trivial things from the Lord. If you really can’t resist asking, then ask for ‘abhaya’ (fearlessness). Sadaguru grants abhaya if the aspirant is sincere.
According to a survey, if an individual makes one dress of Khadi in a year, then one crore people get employment through it. Bapu says, “ I would like to request my listeners to make and wear at least one dress of khadi a year.”
Ego is the worst mental disorder. It is like a massive rock that becomes a hindrance for the positive elements in life. Sadaguru finds it, digs it and then throws it out for the flow of auspicious elements in an aspirant’s life.
Ego that influences the present is most dangerous. If it shifts to the past then, it may encourage a person to understand that there were many greater people than him in the past. And when it focuses on future, it may inspire a person to move towards development.
Bapu says, “ I feel that if we recite the stotras of our scriptures and try to leave aside our faults even for sometime, then the deity of the stotra definitely answers, in one way or other.”
When faith of an aspirant reaches a certain level, he/she need not invite sadaguru as the sadaguru comes on his own searching for the aspirant.
Manu asked from the Lord for Lord himself, but Shatrupa asked for God’s love from the Lord. Bapu says, “ if given a chance to ask, I would not ask for God’s love also but aspire to give whatever love I have.” Tulsidas jee says that don’t expect Bhagwaan ram to love you, devote your love for Him.
Bapu says, “People ask me about their domestic problems, but I would like to say that I cannot solve them but only pray for them. But I would like to help in spiritual journey – from truth to truth i.e. to accept the truth of death and the move towards the ultimate truth of immortality.”
Plant of Tulsi is a great inspiration for the persons who recite Ramayana. Just like a tulsi plant adjusts itself in any place, be it a pot or ground, they should be flexible and not stubborn in their behaviour. Like Tulsi has medicinal properties, they should provide comfort to listeners by their words. A person who recites Ramayana should have a tulsi mala for continual remembrance of the Lord.
Uncontrolled lifestyle is a hindrance in Yoga, favoritism and ego are the hindrances in Knowledge, Distraction from the set pattern of activity is a hindrance in Karma yoga, but the uniqueness in the path of devotion (Bhakti) is that there is no hindrance. Therefore, it is described as unidentified salvation (paroksha moksha).
There are four types of Manthan (activity of stirring) in Shri Ram Charit Manas:
Kaam – If the manthan is done on the base of desire, then the physical form is affected and it paves a way for the on going process of life, but the excessive manthan may lead to poisonous results.
Arth – This manthan, based on material achievements, is necessary for earning living and survival in the world.
Brahm – It is the manthan of the supreme power by saints that produces the sweetness of devotion in the form of katha.
Bharat jee’s manthan is done by separation (virah) from Bhagwaan Ram that ends to nothing but the divine love.
According to Tulsidas jee in Dohaavali, seven things can help one go through critical times:
Dheeraj – Patience with optimism that there would be sunrise after the night.
Dharma – A sincere duty (allegiance) towards values can be a support.
Vivek – Awareness of discriminating between right and wrong can be very helpful.
Saahitya – Any form of literature (poetry or prose) and good writings can provide moral strength.
Saahas – Courage to move forward with life.
Satya vrat – Faithfulness towards truth.
Bharosa – Trust on the supreme power as well as His creations is the most vital of all. Even if all the above six are not present, one should not let go the faith on almighty.
Different types of people aspire for different goals:
Vishayi (materialistic person) wants bal (power).
Saadhak (aspirant) wants power plus grace of God.
Sidhh (seer) wants grace but not in a huge quantity.
Shudhh (a pure soul) wants unending love.
Vishudhh (an ultra-pure soul) would not want anything but only offer his/her love for all.
Any action done with pure intention and sincere effort is taken note of by the almighty, don’t worry about others’ notice.
Only as sadaguru can make an individual realize the presence of the omnipresent in oneself.
Uttar Kaand – Doha 128
Ram katha key teyi adhikaari | Jinha kein satsangati ati pyaari ||
Gur pada preeti neeti rata jeyi | Dwij sevak adhikaari teyi ||
Whosoever dearly love being in the company of truth and holy people, are worthy of hearing Ram Katha.
Whosoever are devoted to the feet of their Guru and live with morals and values, they are the ones who are wothy of doing seva of realized souls (e.g. Sadguru)
Katha is not a ritual, but a purely spiritual experience.
Bapu says, “ I want to ask you all some questions:
Q1. Do you want pleasure (sukh) in life?
Yes, everyone wants comfort in life with an exception of some. And those who have said that they do not want it, please stick to your decision.
Q2. Do you want enthusiasm (Utsaah)?
Yes, comfort cannot be experienced in real sense, if a person is not eager about it.
Q3. Do you want love?
Yes, it is a basic need of every creature.
Q4. Do you want love that is everlasting?
Yes, temporary emotions cannot be described as love. Love should grow every moment.
Q5. Do you want to fulfil your wishes?
Yes, everyone wants to fulfil his or her wishes.
Q6. Do you want to cross the cycle of birth and death effortlessly?
Yes, most of the people would want it.
Q7. Do you want success (vijay) in the struggles of life?
Yes, success is important for all.
Q8. Do you wish to have suitable knowledge (vivek) to understand success?
Yes, without proper insight, one cannot understand the value of success.
Q9. Do you want the ultimate peace (param vishraam)?
Yes, everybody wants to experience it.
The above are the basic wants of any person, therefore to have them all fulfilled, one should listen to Ram katha. I have experienced in my life that all the above become accessible by the grace of katha alone.”
In Uttar Kand, Tulsidas jee mentions some characteristics of true aspirants who are rightly suitable (adhikari) for the grace of Ram katha:
He/She is extremely fond of satsang.
He/She has deep love in the feet of sadaguru.
He/She follows the ideals and morals given by elders.
He/She serves the realized souls (dwij).
Once, a person becomes adhikari of Ramkatha, all the wants of his/her life are satisfied.
Try not to keep anyone’s debt on yourself. Repay as soon as possible. Though it may be in the form of goodwill, behaviour or something even in kind.Youngsters should recite Guru-vandana in the morning, Hanuman chalisa in the afternoon and Kaag-Bhushundi Ramayana at in the evening or at night. Guru vandana can purify a vision of a person. It can change the entire viewpoint towards life. Once the vision becomes pure, mind also follows suit.A sadaguru does not work on a crowd but on some chosen aspirants who spread the forum of his love around. He does japa on a Mala to control the inclinations (vritti) of his aspirants. His mala is like a steering wheel. A sadaguru protects an aspirant but at the same time never curbs his freedom.Salvation is gaining freedom from fear that lies in wealth, desire and even religion.To smile or to sing to someone is a form of worship.Nature gives signals (ishaara) but sadaguru gives shelter (sahara).
Ram katha is accessible to all; anyone can go and listen to katha, but only suitable (adhikaari) aspirant gains from it, as he makes himself receptive to the sutras. The person who recites with appropriate comprehension is the caretaker of katha, but the person who always listens with firm faith and high regard is the adhikaari of katha. It is not necessary to attend each and every katha, but one should have fond feelings for it wherever he/she is.
Bapu says, “let us discuss some more questions today.
Can disease be cured without medicine?
Can a body get energy without food?
Can money and material goods give comfort and peace?
Can one acquire knowledge just with the help of studies of scriptures?
Can the relatives become yours forever?
Now let us talk about each question in detail. All the above are misconceptions that need to be cleared.
1. Can disease be cured without medicine?
It is a fallacy that disease can be cured by medicine. One should take medicine in case of physical problem, but it cannot be guaranteed that only it can cure. Actually, a disease is cured by the basic life source lying in every living being, it can be called ‘jeevan shakti’ or I would call it ‘Ram shakti’. When there is friction between the disease and life source, it results in pain. One who supports this energy of life wholly is able to get rid of the disease even without taking medicines. A medicine helps to subside the disease, but it is only the life source that destroys it completely. A person who is full of excessive desire, anger and greed becomes prone to diseases. One should take medicine if required, but at the same time support and believe in Ram-shakti.
2. Can a body get energy without food?
Only food cannot generate energy, as it is seen that many obese people are stamina-less. Therefore, the basic source of energy in a person is the presence of soul.
3. Can money and material goods give comfort and peace?
Material wealth cannot grant peace and pleasure to a person until it is shared by others.
4. Can one acquire knowledge just with the help of studies of scriptures?
The study of scriptures cannot become a reason for knowledge. Adi Shankaracharya had said that excessive study could take a form of addiction. Scriptures give a lot of information but the ultimate Truth is actually beyond words.
5. Can the relatives become yours forever?
One should serve the relatives and make them happy, but be sure that you can never make them your own.
Ram katha is so powerful that it removes all the above misconceptions.”
The darshan (coming face to face) of the Lord is not the ultimate, it is only a medium. The ultimate spiritual experience is self-realization.
Tulsidas jee says:
Mum darasan fal param anoopa | Jeev paav nij sahaj saroopa||
Faith is bhajan (devotion). Faith can produce such results that that can even overtake the rules of this world. Faith rejuvenates the energy of a person, efforts like fasting etc. make a person tired. Therefore bhajan is most important for life.
Satsang is not just restricted to some kind of discourse. Truth in speech, thought and action is satsang. Any incident that increases one’s faith and love towards God, is satsang. According to Kabir, one should always remain connected to Sat-naam (Lord’s any name on which one can place trust), Sat-saahib (The Lord), Sat-guru (The master) and Sat-shastra (Scripture). Helping the needy is satsang. Help your servants to make their lives better. Wiping the tears of poor is satsang. Observing silence (maun) is also a type of satsang. It is not possible to accompany your sadaguru everywhere, but one can remain with him through vibrations. He sends waves of his grace and the aspirant can feel him at any given place. The only guru dakshina one can offer to a sadaguru is to keep faith on his words. This way, one can remain in satsang forever.
Bapu says, “ I cannot understand how the people who chant Harinaam can lie. How a person who goes to katha can have hatred towards others. If you really want to be adhikaari of this katha, then you should be able to take care of your behaviour and become responsible.”
Once a question was asked to Khalil Gibran. What is sukh (pleasure)?
In the answer he said that pleasure is an announcement of freedom, but it is not freedom in itself. The youngsters who are in a race for gaining happiness are not wrong but they should be careful that the pleasure they are striving for has seven sisters that have to taken care of. Bapu says, “Khalil Gibran does not elaborate on the seven sisters, but I want to discuss about them.
The seven sisters that complement the basic pleasure of life are as follows:
Prasannata -If one is able to feel happiness even in a deprived state, he is experiencing the true pleasure. Adverse situations do not affect the real happiness.
Pavitrata – Purity is a pleasure in itself. A person who is pure at heart can be truly happy.
Pramaanikata – Sincerity becomes a kind of security for one’s happiness. Even in a spiritual journey, only a sincere person can actually surrender in the feet of the Lord.
Prauddhata – Happiness lies in maturity. A fickle person cannot experience long lasting happiness.
Priyata – When a person can maintain goodwill towards all, it creates a lot of inner happiness.
Pravritti paraayanata – Duties should be performed with interest for experiencing happiness.
Paropkaarita – Working for welfare of others can grant happiness.
In the presence of the above seven, a person can be called ‘Sukhi’ even if he/she does not have material comfort.
Do not get afraid of the Lord. He is like a sea; small pebbles of our petty mistakes do not disturb Him. Do not be afraid of negative thoughts also, keep chanting HariNaam. One should not indulge in vices, but if already committed, do not be scared but open yourself in Lord’s feet and take refuge in HariNaam. This is the only remedy for ordinary people like us.
There are three types of sukh (pleasure/comfort):
Sukh (The basic pleasure)- Most people want comforts of life while they are alive and also seek the pleasures of heaven after death.
Nij sukh (mental comfort)- Many people seek the pleasure of remembering the Lord. Good thoughts give them comfort and they ultimately wish for salvation.
Swaantah sukh (pleasure within self)- Aspirant gets absorbed in devotion and does not demand anything.
Satsang can be described as three kinds:
Mukhar – when a disciple shares a talk with sadaguru.
Manan – when a disciple thinks about the sutras given by sadaguru.
Maun – when a disciple becomes absolutely silent and experiences grace of sadaguru wherever he/she is.
Satsang is :
Getting a glimpse of your sadaguru.
Meditating for sadaguru.
Being receptive to feel the waves of sadaguru.
Talking with sadaguru.
Looking in the eyes of sadaguru as his eyes denote vairaagya (detachment) and gyaan (knowledge).
Smiling with everyone.
There are three types of Adhikaari in katha:
Sarkaari – The officials of government, police etc.
Sahkaari – The committee or volunteers that offer services in organizing katha.
Sanskaari – The listeners who attend katha with sound faith.
If you are not able to control your untruth (lying) while doing japa, do not stop japa. Try to abstain from lying instead.
For a spiritual person, the biggest grief is not being able to attain God. This grief is an indication of an adhikaari (a worthy aspirant). The greatest happiness is when he/she is able to meet the sadaguru who is capable of taking one closer and closer to God.
Once a saint was asked, ‘What is nitya niyam?’ He replied that living with a constant consciousness of omnipresent God, truth and nature.
If a sadaguru is not physically present, but aspirant surrenders whole-heartedly in front of his image, all the responsibility of his actions is taken care of by sadaguru. The only important condition is that the surrender should be absolute.
One should not try to obtain freedom from death, as it is inevitable. A person should try to get rid of unnecessary beliefs, customs and habits in life that have become out of date and are no more useful.
Let us discuss one question today- “ How can we guard bhakti, which is satsang according to Shri Ram Charit Manas:
Pratham bhagati santanha kar sanga | Doosari rati mum katha prasanga ||
The answer to this question is also mentioned in Shri Ram Charit Manas
Seeta keri karahu rakhavaari | Budhi bibek bal samaya bichaari ||
Four features help an aspirant to guard his devotion:
Wisdom (Budhhi)- Wisdom chooses and decides the subject of devotion. The efforts in the path of devotion should be supported by the intellect.
Discretion (Vivek)- A devotee develops his understanding and grows spiritually. He does not have a feeling of revenge or complaint towards anybody.
Strength (Bal)- Only brave can enter and move in the path of devotion. A devotee is humble by nature, but this humility becomes his strength that makes him secure. Inner strength is more important than physical strength. The power of tolerance of listening to the taunts of people is a devotee’s asset.
Time (Samaya)- A devotee has to be practical so that he can adjust the time of his saadhana in accordance to his worldly duties.
An aspirant should be extremely alert that any kind of doubt about any person or incident does not enter his psyche. Vivekanand jee had said, “ Trust is life and suspicion is death”. If doubt enters one’s mind, peace is lost.
Faults can be curbed by the efforts of aspirant, but they can be completely destroyed by the grace of God.
A student studies and gets a degree, but to get a designation he has to apply at some place. After applying, he gives interviews and if he succeeds in that, he is made an officer.
Similarly, there are stages for becoming an adhikaari of Ramayana. When a person listens to katha, he gets a degree. Calling out to the lord is one’s application. Then comes the stage of realization which can be said as the interview. If one passes through successfully through all these phases, he gains an authority in Ramayana.
Bapu says, “In Upanishad, theory of nature (swabhaav-vaad) is described. It says that whatever is happening around you is because of your nature. Nobody can hold anything or anyone else responsible for the happenings around oneself. Anything done due to spontaneity of own nature (sahaj swabhaav) does not bind one in the web of Karma.”
Attachment towards satsang makes an individual an adhikaari of Ramkatha, so let us discuss three kinds of satsang:
Seva (service)- Serving and helping people according to one’s capability, without showing off, is a form of satsang. The service can be described as five types:
Prabhu seva- worshipping the Lord of your choice, taking care of the place of worship etc. Parivaar seva- taking care of the family members. Padosi seva- Helping neighbours and spreading goodwill amongst them. Praant seva- cooperate in welfare work to make your area/to a better place. Prapanch seva- View everyone as the forms of the Lord and try to help everyone, wherever you are.
Samaya (time)- Dealing positively with time is satsang.
I. Bhoot kaal (past)- Forget the bitter experiences of past and learn to grow out of them.
II. Vartmaan kaal (present)- The present should be used to remember the Lord, do not wait till old age.
III. Bhavishya kaal (future)- Be prepared for death in future. Don’t be afraid but think about it to remain careful about your deeds.
Suvrat (positive resolutions)- One should make noble resolutions like keeping silence (maun) for some time or fasting on selected days when you are inspired by your own discretion (vivek). Make a resolution to bring a smile to at least one person on a day.
Bapu says, “ Let us discuss one more question today. Does one need to wander around the world, if he/she has become free of desire and delusion and has experienced bliss?
Most people would say that there remains no need to roam around anywhere. But In Shri Ram Charit Manas, a different viewpoint is given. In Bal kand, Tulsidas jee states, ‘Chidaanand sukh-daam siv bigat moh mada kaam | Bicharahin mahi dhari hridaya hari sakal loke abhiraam || (75)’. Bhagwaan Shankar is an epitome of bliss without any trace of delusion, desire or arrogance, but still he roams around the world only because of remembering the devotion of Parvati jee. It means that in the absence of supreme love, even a yogi like Bhagwaan Shiv is incomplete.
In the life of Vivekanand jee, there were some incidents that made him cry. He was asked that in spite of being a sanyasi, why is he affected so much. He replied that it is true that he had adopted renunciation as way of life, but he had not turned into a stone. He added that renunciation without love is not just insignificant but also has no value.”
Yoga connects one to the supreme. Knowledge gives a know-how of the supreme. Devotion brings down the supreme to our own level.
Shriguru charan saroj raj nij manu mukuru sudhaari |
Baranaun raghubar bimal jasu jo daayaku fal chaari ||
In the beginning of Ayodhya kand, there is a remedy prescribed to cleanse the mind i.e. by the dust of Sadaguru’s feet. The question is how does the dust clean the mind. But the answer can be understood through an example- just like a feels good inside if he uses perfume on the body, similarly, if the dust of Sadaguru’s lotus feet touches a person, his/her mind gets purified.
Satsang can be done with the following three:
Deh – One should learn from the body that nothing is everlasting here and thus be careful of trivial materialism.
Dev – One can learn from the deities.
Divya – One should respect divinity wherever it is seen.
One satsang is of ‘mohan’ i.e. a name of Lord Krishna. It also means moh+na = no delusion.
A person should try to be in the company of such people who are free of delusion and have a clear viewpoint about life.
When one grows spiritually, he has to be prepared for criticism of the world. Just like slush around a lotus helps it grow, aspirant can use the criticism to develop one self.
Let us discuss one more question today. How do we eliminate pain and experience pleasure in life?
According to Shri Ram Charit Manas, there are – doubt (sanshaya) and sorrow (vishaad). If a person is free of these two, one can experience mental comfort.
Doubt takes one to downfall at some time or other. In a state of sorrow, one becomes unable to decide the best for him and also cannot realize his duties. Bali says to Bhagwaan Ram, that only now that his doubts are cleared, he is able to know the form of joy (sukh swaroop) of the Lord. In Bhagwad Gita, Arjuna’s sorrow was destroyed by Bhagwaan Krishna’s words.
Both doubt and sorrow are eliminated by the grace of sadaguru.
A sadaguru should be viveki (full of knowledge). He should never exploit but encourage the spiritual anxiety of his disciples.
A disciple should be vinayi (modest) in his behaviour and be free of false pride.
We have been discussing the first character of adhikaari of Ram katha ( Ram katha key teyi adhikaari | Jinha kein satsangati ati pyaari) i.e. Satsang.
Now let us discuss the second
Gur pada preeti neeti rata jeyi | Dwij sevak adhikaari teyi
i.e. devotion if the feet of sadaguru. The question can be, ‘Whom can we identify as a sadaguru?’
A sadaguru has infinite qualities, but some features are mentioned below:
Gyaani – A sadaguru is an epitome of knowledge, which he has experienced himself. He may not be a great literate, but he has realized the divine completely. He himself is awakened; therefore he is capable of awakening others from the delusion. Dhyaani – A sadaguru lives in a natural state of meditation. He takes care of all disciples in spite of their weaknesses.Nirmaani – A sadaguru is free of ego as he knows well that there is nothing to be arrogant about. He is the master of learning and meditation but does not feel proud about it.Samaani – He has equal amount of respect for all. His behaviour may seem varied according to the need of time and person but his inner feeling is same for everyone. Just like a flower spreads its fragrance equally, sadaguru spreads his goodwill to all, as there is not a trace of any selfish motive in his mind.Daani – A sadaguru grants refuge, knowledge, security and tears to aspirants. He may not have material goods but he is capable of giving everything
Let us discuss the third feature of adhikaari of Ram katha – (“Gur pada preeti neeti rata jeyi | Dwij sevak adhikaari teyi ||”) i.e. following the prescribed morals and values
Another question today- Do we need a moral code or love for God?
Everyone would agree that love is most important, but in Dohaavali, Tulsidas jee says
Preeti Ram so neeti path chaliya raag rasa jeeti |
Tulsi santan key matey ihai bhagati ki reeti ||
In this Doha, he prescribes three spiritual ways:
Devotion in the feet of Bhagwaan Ram.
Walking on the path of morals.
Getting beyond attachment and hatred (raag-dwesh)
There should be a way of devotion towards God where an aspirant should try to be free of dual of regard and contempt while walking on the path of morals. Morals make a path but not the destination. Morals may vary but devotion should remain stable. Morals may be many but devotion should only be in the feet of one Lord.
There are many values in Shri Ram Charit Manas. Some are discussed below:
Shankar neeti – Bhagwaan Shankar’s morals can be called ‘Shruti neeti’ or morals of Vedas. As He is beyond birth and death, his values are also timeless. One of the most important sutra for today’s youngsters is ‘ Satyam vada, Dharmam char, Swaadhyaya pravachanaabhyam na pramaditavyam…’
Try to desist yourself from speaking untruth as much as possible. The one who speaks only truth may face some problems but it definitely makes him/her totally fearless. It is said in Vedas that where there is truth, there is success (Satyamev jayate). But it is not necessary that where there is success, there may be truth. Because people manipulate in many wrong ways to succeed by hook or crook!
Put religion in practice. One need not show off religious activities, as they should be used to make better person of oneself.
Never be lethargic in doing your studies.
Ram neeti – Bhagwaan Ram goes out to those who are not able to reach him, for instance Ma Shabari. He picks up those who are downtrodden, Like Shri Ahalya jee. He never breaks the rules of a place and takes permission of the authorities, like he asked first and then only entered the Pushpa-vatika in Janakpur.
Bharat neeti – ‘Bharatu neeti rata saadhu sujaana…’ Bharat jee does not compromise on his ideals at any cost. He believed that he has no right to head Ayodhya, it is the right of Bhagwaan Ram. So, he stuck to his values, looked after people like a caretaker and finally handed over the throne when Ram jee returned.
There are many morals mentioned in scriptures – Chanakya neeti, Vidur neeti etc., but most important is above discussed shruti neeti. Do not bargain for your values in any kind of adverse situation.
The cycle of pain and pleasure is constantly moving. Pleasure gives birth to pain and pain leads to pleasure at some time or other. Therefore, condition your mind equally for both. And the only way to condition is continual remembrance of God and sustaining patience in hard times.
The question for today is – Who is the main reason behind Bhagwaan ram’s vanvaas (exile in forest)?
If seen outwardly, the primary reason can be Ma Kaikeyi, who in spite of being mother of saint Bharat and her extreme fondness for Bhagwaan asks for the exile. This happened just because she fell in the ill company of Manthara-‘ KO na kusangati paai nasaai…’thus, Manthara can be held more responsible, but if seen deeply, it was Goddess Saraswati who influenced her mentality. So, the reason may shift to Saraswati jee. But if seen with a spiritual insight, she is not absolutely free, as she is controlled y Bhagwaan Ram. Therefore, actually it is Bhagwaan Ram himself who wanted to go in the forest-‘ Ram keenha chahai so hoi…’.
Another question rises from this as to why did Ram jee choose to go in forest? Raavan could be killed in any other way, but the reason behind all this leela was just to spread mangal (festivity) in the lives of people all over. He wanted that joy should not be restricted just to limited people around him but to all those who could not come to him like Kevat, Ma Shabari, Kole-Kiraat, monkeys and even demons.
The fourth factor that makes a person adhikaari (suitable) for Ramkatha is dwij seva (service of the realized souls)-
“Gur pada preeti neeti rata jeyi |
Dwij sevak adhikaari teyi ||”.
A dwij is a person, who has experienced a second birth in one life by the grace of sadaguru as he has renewed his inner self. A Brahman (who is called a dwij) wears a sacred band made of nine threads (Yagnopavit/Janeu). In Sunder kand, Bhagwaan Ram describes nine threads of a spiritual band for everyone who wants to become a dwij.
Janani janak bandhu sut daara | Tanu dhanu bhavan suhrid parivaara ||
Sab kai mamata taag batori | Mum pada manahin baandh bari dori ||
Oneself can make the threads of this band by serving the parents, maintaining goodwill with colleagues, not pressurizing the children unnecessarily, loving and respecting your spouse and using your wealth and property for welfare of others. Finally, the band made from these threads can be offered to God and a person can become a dwij.
In Bhagwad Gita, Bhagwaan Krishna also mentions nine characters of a dwij:
Sham – who is at peace from inside.
Dama – who takes care of his senses with appropriate discretion.
Tapa – who tolerates every adversity to uphold truth.
Shauch – who tries to maintain inner and outer purity.
Kshaanti – who always forgives others.
Aarjavam – who is simple in body language, mind and speech.
Gyaan – who is knowledgeable.
Vigyaan – whose knowledge is not just in theory but also in the practical life.
Aastikyam – who has faith in the doctrines of vedas and basically Hinduism.
An adhikaari of Ramkatha is the one who does not keep dwij as a servant but the one who serves a dwij with respect. True service of a dwij would be to follow his command exactly as told, without arguing and worrying about own comforts.
Question – do you believe in Re-birth?
Bapu’s Answer – Yes. I do, as it is explained in Vedas
Bapu says, “Treasure these sutras. They will help you to pass through the turns and ups and downs of life…let us offer the virtue of this katha in the feet all the saints in this Adhik maas.”
Jai Siya Ram and Pranaam.
Baal Kaand – Doha 176
Kala pai muni sunu soi raja | bhaeu nisachara sahit samaja ||
Dus sira tahi bees bhujadanda | Raavan naam bir baribanda ||
Listen, sage, in due time this king and all his household were born as demons.
He had ten heads and twenty arms; his name was Raavan, a formidable and valiant warrior
In Bapu’s words, “Jai SiyaRam to all from this spiritual place. It is said that this kind of katha is only possible due to fruits of virtues (punya) of people; So I feel that it may include the virtues of many present or concealed ‘chetanas’, the purity of our samadhis (ancestors) and also the virtues of Shiv parivaar as He has invited us for listening Ramkatha. ”
“Rakshasa taal” (the name of the place) denotes a particular meaning. In the word ‘Rakshasa’, “ra” means Ram, “sa’ means Sita and “ksha” means a particular ray in the universe which enables a person to see Ram and Sita even in a demon.
The word ‘Taal’ signifies many things -a lake, a thigh of a person, a skull, rhythm of life. In the context of the place, the lake is the point where Raavan practiced penance; the meaning of thigh refers to Raavan’s valour; Raavan’s mind or skull was full of hidden knowledge and Raavan recited stotras for Bhagwaan Shankar in a rhythm.
Question: Why is Raavan called a ‘mahaatma’ (a virtuous person)?
Answer – A jeevaatma (an ordinary human being) is the one who is full of adverse intellect, but is not aware of the negativity, but mahaatma is the one who is not only aware but also ready to admit his negative attitude. Therefore, Ravaan proves to be a mahaatma.
There several ‘rekha’ (boundary lines or limits) mentioned in Shri Ramcharitamans. Raavan was extremely careful and took care that he never crossed them. Raavan took care of the limit drawn by Lakshman jee of Vairaagya (dispassion). He did not cross over the line of devotion drawn by Sita jee in Ashok vatika. Ram jee had drawn a boundary of Truth, he took care of that too. He did not offend Sadaguru’s limit (if Hanuman jee is seen as his sadaguru). Raavan followed his basic nature, which is a religion (dharma) for a person, so took care of that limit too. It can be said that this kind of lifestyle (like of Raavan) can be described as in tune with spiritual rhythm. A devotee can take inspiration from him in this way.
Bapu says, “there is a precise reason behind every ‘anushtthan’ (katha as a spiritual experience). The result will be evident only after many years. This place is chosen, as Kailas is the source of praan (life) and urja (energy).
In Siddhi (expertise), a list is made of acquired things, but in shudhhi (purity), the things given away are accounted for.
A truly spiritual person is ever willing for developing his inner-self. He can even ask a child that what traits does he need to change to make a better person.
A sadaguru (like Hanuman jee in the form of a monkey) may take a shishya from one branch of spirituality (devotion, yoga, knowledge etc.) to another, but a dedicated disciple should hold on to sadaguru in every situation.
It is seen in the world that some kind of ugliness passively lies in a beautiful object and at the same time there is a hidden beauty present in what seems ugly. Raavan’s positive qualities were concealed under his harsh exterior.
Question – Why didn’t Raavan do his saadhana at the banks of Manasarovar, which is nearer to Kailash. Why did he choose Rakshasa taal?
Answer – Saadhana is more successful if it is done from a certain distance. Proximity pushes a person to see the faults of others. The people who chose the path of renunciation were not emotionless but they were aware that a specific distance from the world is necessary in spirituality.
Raavan’s behaviour was not acceptable to everyone (for himself also it was a compulsion), but his thought definitely could not be rejected.
There are six areas of activity (pravritti) mentioned in Shri Ramcharit manas by Surpanakha,
Sevak sukh chah maan bhikhaari | Byasani dhan subh gati bibhichaari ||
Lobhi jasu chah chaar gumaani | Nabh duhi doodh chahat ai praani ||
1. Seva (service)- A person who serves others should not expect comfort for oneself.
2. Bheekh (asking for alms)- A person who asks for favour from others should not expect respect.
3. Dhan (earning money)- in the process of earning money, one tends to get drawn to vices. This process should not become such an addiction that it takes away the peace of a person.
4. Subh gati (welfare)- A person whose faith is focussed only in the feet of one supreme beloved can do the best welfare of own and others.
5. Jasu (activity to gain prestige)- Greed can motivate a person to indulge in self-pride activity.
6. Chaar (job)- a job should be done without ego.
In Uttar kand, Tulsidas jee (through Veda stuti) describes the three-fold path of devotion, which are the basic features of this course.
Biswaas kari sab aas parihari daas tav jey hoi rahey|
Firstly, a devotee should maintain a firm faith on the Lord. At the second stage, one should be free of all the expectations of favours from God, but at the same time, he/she has to be extremely careful that arrogance of reaching this stage does not surface in life. The third fold says that one should remain like a humble servant.
These three are indispensable parts of the path of devotion. Raavan possessed all the above three qualities- he was sure that he could not reach the almighty through conventional means, he never asked any favours from God and he was dedicated to Bhagwaan Shankar like a servant. In a sanyas field, the heads are known as ‘dandi swami’, but if one sees Raavan, he had 20 arms (bhuj-dand), so he was 20 times more than a sanyasi. Bapu says, “I would like to call him Swami Raavanaanand” as he mastered in all the three qualities.”
Sadaguru grants wings (pankh) to a disciple and not feet (pada). The former denotes God’s grace and the latter signifies materialism.
Hey hari…hey hari….hey hari…..
Kaag bhusundi jee calls Raavan an ‘avataar’. An avatar has 4 prominent features.
naam-his name is raavan.
roop- his outer form is unique with 10 heads and 20 arms etc.
leela- he participated in the battle with Bhagwaan Ram like a play.
dhaam- he lived in golden Lanka.
There are three types of people.
Vishayi- a materialistic person copies his role model’s physical look/actions (anukaran).
Saadhak- an aspirant tries to implement his role model’s ideals and values (anusaran).
Sidhh- a realized soul is blessed with special qualities by god’s grace (avataran).
An aspirant can experience some kind of comfort with his own efforts but actual peace can only be experienced with the grace of Sadaguru.
Every kind of worry emerges from the body, but immediately adopts the mind as its shelter.
In shrimad Bhagwat, Bhagwaan Kapil describes three methods to become ‘udaaseen’ (unperturbed by worldly happenings).
Gyaan- One should have the Knowledge of what one wants.
Vairaagya- One should know exactly what has to be given up.
Bhakti- one should worship a supreme deity of own choice.
These three are like strings of an instrument that can fill one’s life with music of bliss.
There are four points from where, ‘raavanatva’ (inclinations)
From a Demon or a shoodra -as Raavan was born due to curse of Jalandhar’s wife, who was a demon himself. The negative traits of a devious character are seen in him.
From a Brahman- Raavan was born as a reincarnation of Bhagwaan Shankar’s gana. One should be careful about not encouraging the inclination of making fun of others, in spite of being knowledgeable.
From a Kshatriya- Raavan was born as reincarnation of Pratap bhanu, the king. When inclination of greed, over-ambition and revenge surface in your life, be careful that it may lead to ‘raavanatva’.
From a Vaishya- Jai and Vijay, the gatekeepers of Bhagwaan Vishnu in Vaikuntth were reborn as Raavan and Kumbhakaran. The inclination of being rude and inconsiderate are the traits of a devil.
There are three points of spiritual energy’s (chetana) movement in the body:
1. Tips of hand fingers 2. Tips of foot fingers 3. Eyes. An aspirant should take care that he does not touch anything unnecessarily. Mala (rosary) is an instrument to conserve this energy in a positive way. An aspirant should be extremely careful of his vision (he should not use his eyes to see negative elements).
Ambition gives birth to activity which leads to either success or failure.
Through success one feels pleasure and failure brings pain and thus both generate attachment (raag) or hatred (dwesh) respectively. Therefore, be careful of over-ambition.
According to Vyas Smriti, one should not give gold to a sanyaasi (a sage), taambool (paan) to a brahmchaari (a person who practices celibacy) and shelter to a thief. This is said in order to encourage the purity of a sage, control of a celibate and discourage stealing.
God is all-inclusively absolute, his grace is also the same and in addition his katha is also totally comprehensive in nature. Though no one has the power to make it the way it is, it is absolute in itself.
Sadaguru’s sankalp (resolution) can change his disciple’s destiny. His eye can put an end to his mind’s delusion; therefore the aspirant should take care that his every activity should be done under the eye of his sadaguru.
Devious personalities existed in every Yuga. In satyuga, they were in the form of Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu, Bhagwaan Varaah and Narsimha dealt with them respectively. In Treta yuga, there were Raavan and Kumbhakran, Bhagwaan Ram granted them salvation. In Dwaapar yuga, there were Dantvaktra and shishupaal who were taken care of by Bhagwaan Krishna. In Kaliyuga, according to Vinay Patrika, the demons for a human being are delusion and ego. The demons of Kaliyuga can only be treated by Ram katha, like in the case of Sati. Only Ramkatha could free her of these two demons.
Faith is the foundation of every path of spirituality. It may be knowledge (Gyaan), action (Karma) or devotion (Bhakti), in the absence of faith, an aspirant can not be successful.
Censure’s (ninda) place is tongue of a person and jealousy (irshya) resides in his mind. Be careful of both as they keep complementing each other.
Never insult a Saadhu knowingly or unknowingly. Even God cannot forgive such a mistake.
Bapu says, “Shri Ramcharitamanas is my life, I live on it. But still I don’t like certain words used in it, like ‘shraap’, ‘narak’ and ‘laraai’. I can’t describe what this shastra means for me, it is everything for me, but I would like to say very humbly today that I have a right to differ from Tulsidas jee on some points. And I’m sure that he would not mind it and gladly agree with me. We should hold on to our roots but at the same time discover new flowers, as five hundred years have passed since this was written. I feel that there should be no Agni-pariksha (testing through fire) now, Jaanaki jee could pass it, but it is not meant for women of today. Another thing that I cannot stand for is Ma Jaanaki’s second time exile in forest. No one should create misery for a pregnant woman, it is not fair. Another incident is when Ma Sita asks Bhagwaan Ram to get the golden skin of a dear. Inspiration should be taken from this, that women should not compel and force their spouses to fulfil their unreasonable demands”
Tulsidas jee says that Supanakha’s nose (naak, which also means heaven) and ears (shruti, which means vedas) were slashed by Lakshman jee. It means that people (men or women) with malign intentions are deprived of comfort of heaven and knowledge of Vedas.
Hare krishna …hare Krishna…
Let us begin today’s katha with a small story. Once, in a court of a king, a question was asked that there is something that is present now and will remain in future. The other thing is that, which is there now but will not be in future. Another thing is not present now and will take a shape tomorrow and the last thing is not present now and will not be in future also. What/who are all these?
The minister was intelligent and in the answer of first, he brought a wealthy man saying that his wealth is present today and will increase in future as he does charity. In the answer to second, he brought a dancer saying that her beauty and money is present today but may not be the same in future. In the answer to third, he brought a saadhu saying that his power may not be recognized today, but he would surely be acclaimed in future. In the answer to fourth, he brought a thief and said that he neither has anything now nor will he have anything in future if he continues like this. Raavan’s personality was composed of all the above four features.
Raavan wanted to welcome some people in Lanka. He brought Jaanaki jee and welcomed her with full family in Ashok Vatika. He even offered her the services Mandodari and other queens.
He wanted Hanuman jee (who is his guru in the form of Shankar) to visit him, though his devotion was tightly hidden. He wanted his guru to check if he was upto the mark. He welcomed Hanuman jee in his palace court publicly.
Raavan also wanted Bhagwaan Ram to come to Lanka and when he got the news that Bhagwaan Ram was on Subel (mountain of Lanka), he organized a musical show which could be seen from there. He was in high spirits just like that of a samaadhi, as all the people whom he wanted had come to Lanka. But at that time Bhagwaan Ram hit an arrow, as he wanted Raavan to continue his leela (play). (‘Keenha maha rasa bhang’ here maha rasa refers to samaadhi.)
Bapu quotes Poet Majboor, “minimum should be taken and maximum should be given.” Explaining love of divine nature he says, “I like you. I need you but I can’t do without you.” Loving the supreme is not a part-time job; it has no retirement period. Limit of one life does not get attached to it, it is infinite. Love cannot be related to any kind of law.
Do not get attached to a speaker, adopt his statements.
A saadhu is never close to anybody and he never keeps anyone far from himself. If you see some kind of variation in his behaviour with people, it may be the fault of your eye.
Some shaayari was given to Bapu, he sang them and with pleasure saying that this is also a bhajan to appease Raavan. Some excerpts from shaayari are given below.
Neend pichhali sadi ki jhakhmi hai, khwaab agali sadi key dekhate hain.
Dhoop itani karaahati kyon hai, laa chhanv sey jhakhm see key dekhatey hain.
Baarishon sey to pyaas bujhati nahin, aaiye jhahar peekar dekhatey hain.
Ek pal ek sadi mein jeetey ho, zindagi se bahut lagaav hai kya.
zindagi mujhako kyon nahin milati, raastey mein bahut ghumaav hai kya.
Ungaliyaan yun na sab par uttaahaya karo, kharch karne se pehle kuchh kamaaya karo.
Doston se mulaakat ke naam par, neem ki pattiyaan chabaaya karo.
Chaand sooraj kahaan apni manjhil kahaan, aisey vaison ko muh mat lagaaya karo.
Zindagi kya hai kisisey ye mat poochho, baarishon mein patang udaaya karo.
Once a guru asked his disciple that which five events have inspired him the most. The disciple replied that the five events were:
Dhan terass – He explained that it symbolizes that the wealth should be like a liquid, it should flow and reach all.
Kaali chaudas – A day to remember the great masters of the past and the present. It should not be a day of doing malign experiments of tantra.
Diwali – A festival of lighting lamps in the darkest atmosphere.
Anna koot – a day to distribute the goodness and the positive energy of your saadhana.
Bhai dooj – a day signifying inter-personal cordial relations.
In Raavan’s life particular events were seen. Dashehra’s day was the day of his salvation. When he came to this earth, it was his Dhan teras. He did special saadhana on Kaali chaudas. In Diwali, Brahma jee and Bhagwaan Shankar granted him boons. When Lanka became full of wealth, it was his Anna koot. There was a special Bhai dooj for him, as on that day Supanakha came and awakened him by informing the presence of Bhagwaan Ram in panchavati.
Bapu says, “I liked a thought of a thinker. It was ‘ give me a thought, I’ll give you action. Give me an action, I’ll give you a habit. Give me a habit, I’ll give you character’. I like the positive journey towards betterment of life described in this.”
Question – sometimes it is experienced that a person’s faith towards the sadaguru increases than that towards the parents, is it a right way?
Bapu’s answer – yes, it is a process according to the Upanishads that says, “Matru devo bhav, pitru devo bhav, atithi devo bhav, acharya devo bhav.” But one has to be careful and should not get carried away; he/she should give due respect to parents.
If you want prestige then display your love for supreme, but if you want the Lord then hide it as much as possible. Love is not for exhibition; if seen truly it can last till the point of ultimate hurt (barbaad), loss of prestige (badnaam) and sacrifice (balidaan). True love never breeds in the shadow of selfishness, forcefulness and compulsion.
God is full of mystery, but there are some ways to get to know him:
By being a child and surrendering totally in his feet.
By becoming his friend, like Arjun was to Shri Krishna and Vibheeshan to Bhagwaan Ram.
By devoting oneself entirely and accepting Him as the ultimate, like a wife for a husband.
By developing a feeling of belongingness, like that of his own baby.
But Raavan chose a distinct way of becoming his enemy and getting to know the minutest detail of His every movement.
There is a difference between ‘deen’ (very humble and poor) and ‘dukhi’ (sad). A ‘deen’ person is the one who does not have any refuge in his life. He does not have a sadaguru, a mantra or anyone to guide him. A ‘dukhi’ person is the one who is deprived of material goods, he does not have even the basic necessities of life.
Bapu says :
“A committed faith in ‘Ram naam’ can make a person’s Gyaan (knowledge), Karma (action) and Bhakti (devotion) truly successful.
I would like to encourage youngsters never to give up mala. People might say various things in a taunting way but stick to Harinaam. Japa is filling oneself with God’s name and kirtan is sharing it with others.”
Once two bullock carts were going to a same destination. One was loaded with scented items and the other with foul-smelling things. On the way, the owner stopped to rest and gave fodder to the bullocks in spite of the fact they were carrying contrasting things on their carts. No difference was made for the bullocks.
Similarly, Ram is the personification of all the auspicious things and Raavan carries some inauspicious things with him, but the basic element is same in them. According to shri Ram Charit Manas, “Eeswar ans jeev abinaasi | Chetan amal sahaj sukh raasi ||”, it means that the qualities of paramaatma and jeevaatma are similar but Raavan is similar to paramaatma in his appearance also (with many hands, heads, eyes etc.).
Bhagwaan Ram and Raavan worship the same deity ie. Bhagwaan Shankar, but Ram jee worships his Bhadra (decorous) form of Vishwaas (faith) and Raavan worships his Rudra (aggressive) form of ego (ahankaar).
In the path of sharanaagati and prem (surrender and love), there is no complaint from the devotee. The best example of this can be seen in the character of Paarvati jee. When Sapta-rishi came to test her dedication, they criticized her guru (Naarad), herself, her saadhana and even her beloved Bhagwaan Shiv. In spite of all this, she did not lose her faith and devotion and neither did she complain to anyone.
When there is no demand and no crisis in your life and at that time you remember God and your eyes are filled with tears, it means that your eyes are chanting His name. This is a japa of eyes.
Once Vasisht jee went to Bhushundi sarovar and asked Kaag Bhushundi jee some questions.
What is the secret behind your long life?
Bhushundi jee’s answer – In every action of mine, I don’t feel the consciousness of my body (dehabhimaan).
How do you remain free from diseases?
Bhushundi jee’s answer – I look at the world with a healthy and humble viewpoint.
The more closer you move towards the God, the more you are tested. Don’t lose patience in the testing times, it’s a step forward in the spiritual journey.
A person is a bachelor before his wedding, but the moment he accepts a life-partner, he becomes married, but due to this, his basic appearance, nature and habits do not change. Likewise, a human being goes through various stages of life, but he/she should be careful that he does not lose Harinaam, which should be a basic feature of his personality.
There are some indication of ‘Ram janma’ (realization of soul) in an aspirant as follows:
One feels either absolutely complete or totally empty.
One is able to balance himself/herself in the situations of pain and pleasure.
One’s energy is used for the welfare of all.
One’s heart is filled with positive qualities and they are showered around for all
As a result of curse to King Prataap Bhaanu, he along with the people of his state had taken birth as demons. He was reincarnated as Raavan but he made a resolution that he would do efforts for the salvation of his people. Finally he was successful, as the people of his state found their way to salvation through Bhagwaan Ram’s visit to Lanka. It was a ‘Niravana yagna’ of Raavan.
In the regular routines of life, find time and opportunity to carry different types of yagnas in your own way. A person who is on the path of knowledge (gyaan) can carry out ‘Niravana yagna’ for people (like that of Raavan). If a person is on the path of devotion (bhakti), his life should be adorned with ‘Prem Yagna’. For a person of action (karma), the best yagna is prescribed in Bhagwad Gita as ‘ Yogah karmasu kaushalam’ or perfection on every action.
Question – we have faith in scriptures and in katha, but how do we actually feel the impact of all this in our lives?
Bapu’s Answer – the impact can be felt if four things are done:
Have firm faith – it is the basic necessity of every path of spirituality. But one has to be careful that it is not blind faith that he is following; your intellect should be convinced by the subject of your faith. Saadhana – there should be some kinds of efforts from an aspirant’s side; it may be chanting holy name of God, charity, yagna etc. Some people take for granted that they need not do any efforts if they are surrendered in the feet of a sadaguru. But in such a case, they should do efforts for others if not for themselves. If a person does not feel the need to do any efforts, then he should be able to accept every decision of his sadaguru in the precise way with willingness, with absolute commitment, with no doubt at all.
Do not be under the impression that there would be no troubles in life, if you are doing adequate efforts faithfully. The Lord might test you with each trouble, but you should continue with sincerity.Self-experience – if the above two steps are followed rightly, then one experiences the divinity of shastras. A person’s behaviour becomes modest, he becomes free of arguments, and he also becomes lonesome.Samaadhaan (answer to all the queries about life)- if a person is careful (saavadhan), he gets answers (samaadhaan) to all his doubts.
The strength of Vairaagya (dispassion) surpasses the mental (knowledge) and physical strength.
Anger and argument is extremely hazardous, as one cannot understand the matter in the exact way. Be careful of both.
“Ram naam” is an all-round caretaker. It takes care of the four aspects of a person’s life:
Dharma – the action of chanting the holy name is a religious activity in itself.
Arth – it provides material wealth in accordance to what one deserves. But actually, it provides the real meaning (arth) of life.
Kaam – it fulfils the necessities of a person.
Moksha – Salvation becomes easily accessible.
In Bapu’s words, ‘I have experienced the above four in my life. Only due to Ram naam, all my resolutions materialize in perfect manner as desired.’
On the last day of Manas Raavan (7), Jai SiyaRam to all. There was a triangle in this katha. One side was the Katha of Bhagwaan Ram; second was the topic of main character of this katha i.e. Raavan and third was being in the blissful shadow of Kailas.
According to Adi Shankaracharya’s ‘Vivekchudaamani’, three things are difficult to attain:
Being born as a human being (manushyatvam).
Getting anxious about spirituality and salvation (mumukshatvam).
Getting the opportunity to be with a saint (satsang).
Tulsidas jee brings out the above three in his way in Shri Ram Charit Manas. He describes Bhagwaan Ram as the ultimate (poorna) human being. He indicates Raavan’s anxiety for salvation in a very subtle way and he suggests the importance of satsang by saying that Bhagwaan Shankar, in spite of being the Lord himself, seeks the blessing of satsang at the time of Ram rajya.
One has the right to expect love and respect from others only if he gives both to all.
Bhagwaan Ram is called “Patit paavan”. Patit is not a synonym of ‘Paapi’ (vicious person). It refers to a person who is not able to manage himself and as a result falls from where he is. So, in case of a mistake in life, do not become frustrated, Bhagwaan Ram will hold you willingly and make you pure, provided you are able to surrender to him like a child.
Bapu says very emotionally, “Behind such a blessed destiny like ours, there is only one factor that works, it is only Guru kripa (grace of sadaguru). I feel that Shri Ram Charit Manas itself is Manasarovar, Kailas, bhushundi sarovar, but still why do we need to go to these places? I think because there are some chetanas (hidden but spiritually existing saints) who do not leave these places, and we need to go there to quench their thirst of satsang. This katha was to bring more joy to them.”
There are four aspects of any endeavour. It was seen that they became successful here:
Dharma – People listened to katha with devotion and concentration; it is a purely religious activity.
Arth – The material wealth used for this katha found its right place. It was not the money of the organizer, but of the Vyas-peetth.
Kaam – The team of organizer worked with the required spirit.
Moksha – Raavan’s character showed us all, that how one can attain salvation even with a negative impression in the world.
Bapu says, “I dedicate the fruit of this katha to ‘Swami Raavananand maharaj’, who is a sanyasi and request him to accept this as a bhiksha (offering). I bow down to him as the moblile temple of Ma Jaanaki and salute the ten domes (heads of Raavan) and twenty pillars (arms of Raavan).”
UttarKaand – Doha 108
Niraakaramomkaar moolam tureeyam | Gira gyaan goteet meesham gireesham ||
Karaalam maha-kaal kaalam kripaalam | Gunaagar sansaar paaram natoham ||
I bow to the supreme Lord, who is formless, source of the sacred OM, symbolizing Brahma, the monumental Self of Creatures which transcends all conditions and states, beyond all speech, understanding or sense-perception, terrible yet gracious, the ruler of Kailaas, devourer even of Death, the almighty, the abode of virtues, immortal
In Bapu’s words, “Jai Siya Ram and Pranaam to all! After the last katha in Ujjain kumbh, it was decided to recite Rudraashtak in Omakreshwar. In Omkareshwar, it was decided to recite it again in Ujjain with a special reference to Sadaguru in its mantras. All the qualities described in the mantras aptly illustrate the greatness of sadaguru. I’m extremely fond of rudraashtak as this was the first stotra from Shri Ram Charit Manas that I learnt from my sadaguru.”
This prasang (incident) discusses the waywardness of a disciple and the goodness of the master. A disciple (Kaag bhusundi jee) who admits to be utterly unmannered and how the grace of his sadaguru worked for him. Sadaguru is indispensable in the spiritual journey. With this regard, let us remember and pay homage to Shri Aadi Shankaracharya (a great master), as today is his appearance day.
Katha listener should listen with one mind (with concentration), inspite of the crowds around. Katha remains new and fresh forever like the Ganges.
In this prasang, there is an indication that Bhusundi jee’s certain weaknesses were rectified.
|| Dhan mada matt param baachaala | Ugra-budhhi ur dambh bisaala ||
We should also aspire to get rid of weaknesses like provide of wealth, over-talkativeness, shrewd intellect and hypocrisy.
In the beginning of Shri Ram Charit Manas, Tulsidas jee salutes five deities. If an aspirant rightly bows down to sadaguru, he sees all the five in him. The discretionary power and modesty of sadaguru denotes Ganesh jee, his motherly care denotes Ma Gauri, his large-heartedness and care of the aspirant’s goodness indicates Lord Vishnu, his welfare activities denote Bhagwaan Shankar and his words are like the rays of Bhagwaan Surya which destroy the darkness of delusion.
If an aspirant’s anxiety about God is passive, the dust of Sadaguru’s holy feet can encourage it. But after he gains knowledge, the same dust is used to digest it appropriately. Sadaguru works as a physician to cure mental faults.
According to a saint, there are several people who help in developing our thought:
A teacher teaches what he has learnt.
An acharya (senior teacher) adds his personal views about what he has learnt.
A rishi (ascetic), in addition to above two, abolishes the ignorance of the disciple.
A sadaguru (master) does the above three, but also shows the way for future (even thousands of years away).
Do not live without the shelter of such a Sadaguru, who may not be bothered about his name or fame but is only concerned with the welfare of his shishya, like the master of Shri kaag bhusundi jee.
The Rudraashtak was recited in honour of Bhagwaan Shankar, but if seen with eyes of faith, the one who recited it (Kaag Bhushundi jee’s sadaguru), bears same qualities as described in its Mantras.
Every sadaguru is absorbed in all these divine qualities; One can see them provided he/she has deep nishttha (allegiance in the holy feet). Doubting and dwindling in nishttha is not a way to find comfort ever.
Salutation to ishaan (Bhagwaan Shankar, who holds the centre point between east and the north direction). Sadaguru is the centre point of ‘poorva and uttar mimaansa’ (scriptures). Sadaguru remains in forefront and takes of the last person. He is unique for an aspirant and no one can take his place in the aspirant’s life. He is like the retina of the eye that provides vision to the aspirant. Taking refuge in the shelter of sadaguru makes a person truly successful and secure. This is not said in praise of sadaguru, but it is his glory that has to be acknowledged. It is not like worshipping of a person, but bowing down to the ultimate element (Param tatva).
Sadaguru is the supreme heart specialist; he repairs the inside of the disciple and finally discharges him from the cycle of rebirth.
Sadaguru is neither far nor close for the disciple, He is just present for him whenever a need arises. There is a constant feeling of his presence in an aspirant’s life.
Even if an aspirant does not seek salvation, he gains a unique type of salvation. He gains freedom from untruth, ill manners, anger, hatred, scorn etc. true salvation takes place when all the attachments fade to merge with the devotion towards to God. When a person goes beyond the bounds of dharma (religion), arth (wealth), kaam (desire), he experiences actual freedom (moksha).
Sadaguru is full of power of knowledge, intellect, forgiveness etc. He has the power to make an aspirant realize that the body and the soul are different from each other.
Sadaguru has a vast vision, thought and spiritual authority. His infinity cannot be measured; still he respects the most ordinary of the beings.
Brahma ved swaroopam
He is knowledge personified. He is a living scripture, who removes all the doubts of an aspirant’s mind with his mere glance.
Sadaguru is absolutely independent and can never be bought by anything. No wealth or prestigious posts can bind him.
Sadaguru is above all the three inclinations (satva guna, rajoguna, and tamoguna) of human beings. His state is difficult to describe in words.
Sadaguru gets above the resolutions and its alternatives. Just the presence of sadaguru does the needful work.
Sadaguru is free of any wish or any longings.
maakaash vaasam bhajeham”- Sadaguru is open like the sky, without any drapes. He is one form with the sky, he lives in the sky and the sky lives within him.
Question – who was Bharat jee’s sadaguru?
Bapu’s Answer- Bhagwaan Ram’s paaduka.
There is no greatness in impressing the public, greatness lies in enlightening the people and it is possible, only if the person himself is enlightened. It is quite easy to create a gathering of people, but more important is to free some of them from mental faults.
Harinaam is the centre of all religions. A person who chants Harinaam can be good at yoga and dhyaan (meditation) also.
Govind bolo hari gopal bolo……….
Let us begin the second verse of Rudraashtak. Sadaguru is actually formless (niraakaar). Tulsidas jee intentionally does not name or describe the appearance of kaag bhushundi jee’s sadaguru, who had recited this stotra.
If seen psychologically, it’s the mind that develops forms. A person becomes free of formations if the mind fades away. Mind creates positive or negative image according to one’s tendencies and gives reasons for it.
In the elementary way, every thing on this earth is formless. Just like some extremely tiny micro-organisms cannot be viewed even with the microscope, similarly none of us can be seen from the vast sphere of this universe (every form becomes non existent).
Sadaguru cannot live in a limited sphere, his forte is infinite. An aspirant should never think that he owns him, he should understand that he lives for all. For a sincere and truly devoted disciple, sadaguru may take a form desired by him, but it is upto his discretion. He is like the air in the atmosphere; one can take as much benefit from as per one’s lung’s capability.
An aspirant can not find a sadaguru, until the sadaguru has found him. Jesus Christ had said that sadaguru is like a fish catcher, he gets the fish like aspirants and then takes care of them.
Sadaguru is the basis of ‘Omkaar’. Omkaar or even ‘Ram’ mantra blooms and spreads its forum like a flower, but the base is sadaguru who grants it to the world. It comes out through a sadaguru.
Sadaguru is away from the three states of a human being: Dream (swapna),Sub-conscious (sushupti), Awakening (jaagriti), but still he is so capable that he can adopt any of these if he wishes.
Gira gyaan goteet meesham
Sadaguru is beyond words as his work cannot be described. In fact, words become pure if they are used for him. Knowledge does not bind him but it helps in understanding him. He is the master of the senses. An aspirant can just try to absorb (aatma-saat) his soul’s greatness by his own senses.
Sadaguru’s height in purity and stability cannot be measured. He is unbiased and he is very tender from inside.
According to Vallabhacharya jee, sadaguru is the base of all the contrasts. Inspite of extreme compassion, there is a certain discipline that sadaguru expects. Living in sadaguru’s discipline is a disciple’s true independence.
Sadaguru is himself beyond the boundaries of time, but he makes his disciple also one.
Sadaguru’s compassion is unmatched in this world.
Sadaguru is full of divine qualities.
Sansaar paaram natoham
Inspite of living in this world, he is free of worldly bounds.
A prejudice-free mind is one of the first conditions to enter a spiritual journey.
In Bapu’s words, “If there is competition in shastras, then there is no scope of faith. I would call this type of race as madness.”
A devoted aspirant should develop a mentality that wherever he moves, it is the circumbulation (parikrama) of his sadaguru. Every journey can become a pilgrimage.
In spirituality’s four aspects, mind is the central point:
Dhyaan (meditation)- mind is to be controlled
Gyaan (knowledge)- mind is to be finished.
Bhog ( materialism)- mind is used negatively.
Bhakti (devotion)- mind is used in the positive way.
Bapu says, “Everybody should make a resolution to see the positive qualities of every person. I can guarantee that there will be peace around you.”
Religion should be understood deeply and taken seriously, but be careful that in the process you do not become serious or grim yourself. Laugh at least three times a day and cry for the Lord at least once a day.
Shri Ramcharitamanas is not just a grand poetic book (Maha-kaavya); it is a great Mantra (Maha mantra). If a person studies it with the former viewpoint, his luck lines (prarabdha) get decorated and if a person worships it with the latter mentality, his luck lines get washed away (he becomes free from the prarabdha).
Question: Why was Bhujang prayag chhand used in Rudraashtak?
Bapu’s answer: There is a story behind it, which relates to Garuda jee. Once he got hold of Vaasuki naag (a particular snake / bhujang). Vaasuki wanted to break free, so he asked Garuda if he could sing for him. Garuda permitted him and he started singing in Bhujang prayag chhand. As Garuda was spell bound, Vaasuki broke free from the bounds. An art can bring freedom in the life of a person.
Kaag bhushundi jee’s sadaguru uses the same chhand, as he wants his disciple to be free from the shraap (curse) given by Bhagwaan Shankar.
Every line in this stotra has 12 alphabets. It means that if a person recites it from the bottom of his heart, then he gets the virtuous fruit (punya) of the pilgrimage of 12 Jyotirlingas of Shankar Bhagwaan.
Tulsidas jee indicates the way to recite this stotra. He says that a person should:
first bow down with absolute humility in the feet of the Lord and abandon negative attitude towards (vimukhata) others. If one never sees the faults of others, he can become face-to-face (sanmukh) with the Lord. Question: Why is it an ‘ashtak’ (a stotra with eight verses)?
Answer – It is an ashtak (Octad) due to many reasons:
Bhagwaan Shankar is said to be ‘ashta-moorti’ (described in eight images). Eight things are eternally connected with Shiv jee.
Bhasma (ash) Bhooti (gradeur) Bhujang (snakes) Ganga jee Trishool (a weapon) Damaru (a musical instrument) Mund-mala (garland of skulls) Ram-Naam In this incident, Bhagwaan Shankar cursed Kaag bhushundi jee once, but in eight aspects. Kaag bhushundi jee had committed eight types of mistakes (droh):
Dev-droh –he used to have pessimistic feelings for other deities. Vishnu-droh – he used to criticize Bhagwaan Vishnu. Vaishnav-droh – he never respected any devotees. Mantra-droh – he replaced the mantra given by his sadaguru. Shastra-droh – he misinterpreted the scriptures. Sthaan-droh – he insulted his sadaguru in a temple. Guru-droh – he ignored the greatness of his sadaguru. Bapu says, “ I had asked my sadaguru as to why do I start the study of stotras with Rudraashtak?
My sadaguru had replied that this is just to make you careful that you should never indulge in any of these mistakes (droh) which were committed by Kaag Bhushundi jee.”
Let us discuss the third verse of Rudraashtak. .
A sadaguru shines like a snow-covered peak. He is illuminated with divinity. He is very soothing for an aspirant, but if he ever does get a little harsh for his welfare, then please understand that this harshness is not his own, but borrowed from somewhere for the purpose.
Sadaguru never has any malice in his mind. He lives for the welfare of all. Even if he comes across criticism, he bears it without any sign of malignity.
Sadaguru’s intellect is as deep and as stable as sea. As sea never leaves its shores, sadaguru sticks to his faith.
Manobhoot koti prabha-shree shareeram
A sadaguru’s aura is so bright that it beats many many Kaam Devas (god of beauty and desire). It is the magnificence of his sub-conscious body (Sookshma shareer) that reflects on the face. The purity of the soul makes him an outstanding personality.
Sphuran-mauli kallolini chaaru ganga
There is a constant flow of knowledge and devotion in the heart of sadaguru.
A sadaguru never assumes himself to be accomplished in spirituality, in spite of being one. He always remains careful of vices.
A sadaguru swallows the poisonous tendencies of his disciples and makes it his ornament.
Bapu says, “ I met a Sufi (a Muslim saint) yesterday. He has put up a camp in Kumbh mela. It is a festival of sanaatan dharma (Hindu religion), in which everyone is welcome.
I would like that every camp should hoist Indian flag on their camps, but let us start from our katha mandap. It is the pride of our nation.
I would also suggest that if a saadhu from each camp goes to any one of the villages and serves the people there for five years, it could bring a revolution in the country.
He can build a school, a hospital, house for the needy etc. But be careful that service should not be at the cost of bhajan, otherwise it may become egoistic.
To make your life successful – stop using the following on others:
Anger Scorn Hatred Jealousy Insult Tulsidas jee remembers Bhagwaan Shiv in all the seven kand of Shri Ram Charit Manas. One should have a place for welfare of others in all the stages of life, otherwise a person can be as good as dead (shav).
A person should be observed from all the angles in order to understand him in the right perspective. In the creation of God, everything has positive as well as negative aspects. Kaag bhushundi jee did many mistakes but at the same time, we can also see some positive qualities in him.
Tulsidas jee describes in Ayodhya kand, the points that are chosen for Bhagwaan Ram’s abode:
“ Kaam krodh mada maan na moha | Lobhe na chhobhe na raag na droha ||
Jinha kein kapat dambh nahin maaya | Tinha kein hridaya basahu raghuraaya ||”
In the above chaupais, there are 12 positive points mentioned by Tulsidas jee.
– Kaag Bhushundi jee had 4 out of these 12 and
– his sadaguru wanted to establish the remaining 8
and thus he sang this rudraashtak to pray to Lord Shankar.
The positive feature in Kaag bhushuni jee’s character was that he was free of 4 faults:
Kaam (he had no desire in him), lobhe (he was not greedy), kshobhe (he never suffered from anguish) and raag (he was unattached). Let us start with the fourth verse.
Chalat kundalam bhru sunetram vishalam |
Prasan nananam neelkantham dayalam ||
Mrigadish charmambaram mundmalam |
Priyam shankaram sarvnatham bhajami ||
Like Bhagwaan Shankar wears the ear-rings of snakes, a sadaguru prepares his ears in such a way that no censure can dare to enter his ears. There is no demand of scorn, so there is no supply either. His energy makes way to his ears effectively.
Bhroo sunetram vishaalam
A sadaguru’s eyes are distinctly beautiful as they are full of compassion, purity and devotion.
Prasann-aananam neel kanttham dayaalam
There is an indication of ‘shanta rasa’ in this couplet. A person’s state of mind reflects on his body. Sadaguru’s mind full of joy, therefore it reflects on his face. He always remains blissful, in spite of facing worldly ups and downs.
According to Bapu, “There is a formula to remain happy, if anybody gets rid of the following three, he can experience joy.”
‘Hattha-agrah’- Obstinacy is a hurdle in happiness. Don’t become stubborn; accept the goodness in others also. ‘Dura-agrah’- The willfulness in thoughts makes a person fussy. Remain open to new thoughts. ‘Poorva-agrah’- If you have a prejudiced mind, you will spend all your time and energy in proving the other person wrong. In the process, you will sacrifice happiness. In spite of going through many adversities in life, sadaguru remains joyful and showers mercy on all.
When an aspirant gradually becomes free of aggressive tendencies, cruelty and is no more hostile to others, the sadaguru adorns him as his ornament. Like a mother carries a child on her waist, sadaguru takes care of his shishya.
A sadaguru observes the prarabdha (destiny) of his disciple and can alter it if needed.
Priyam shankaram sarv-naatham bhajaami
A disciple should be able to feel that his sadaguru is revered as well as adored by all. He should be aware that one person cannot possess a sadaguru for himself, sadaguru is the caretaker of all.
Question – Can a person awaken his kundalini through the path of devotion?
Bapu’s Answer – Yes, it is possible, but the devotee does not realize that this process is taking place. Therefore, there is no scope of taking pride and a devotee never suffers a downfall.
See the world with the eyes of goodwill. Do not analyze the weaknesses and qualities of others, but see them as the aspects of nature, don’t attach your choices with them. You will neither feel attachment or repulsion towards anybody.
A person who has the following four qualities in his speech becomes eligible to be a disciple.
There should be affection in the words. Speak with a smile. It is truly said, ‘think twice before you speak.’ Praise the truth seen in the other person. Speech should be full of humility. There should be some teasing quality, which can bring two people closer.
There should be ‘rasa’ in every field of spirituality, be it yoga or, meditation or knowledge. Rasa makes every field easier to follow provided it remains in a certain limit.
Let us begin with the fifth verse of Rudraashtak.
Prachandam prakrashtam pragalbham paresham |
Akhandam ajam bhanu koti prakasham ||
Trayah shul nirmulnam shulpaniam |
Bhajeham bhawani patim bhav gamyam ||
Every sadaguru is an all-powerful master. An aspirant is sure that his sadaguru’s strength is unmatched. It may not refer to physical strength, but strength in three aspects:
‘Karma bal’ (strength of actions) – A sadaguru’s actions can never be challenged by the Almighty also. He understands the core reasons behind all the actions. There is a vital cause for his every action.
They may be four reasons for a person to indulge in any action.
Moh (delusion) – If a person gets under the influence of delusion of the world, he would be forced to act.
Swaarth (self-interest) – One uses actions in order to achieve some self gain.
Vyasan (habit) – Habit is a little difficult to leave, therefore it pushes an individual into action.
Kartavya (allegiance towards duty) -A person performs his duties through various actions. If the natural duty (in spite of being faulty) is performed with sincerity, it does not bind a person in the karma phal theory.
Sadaguru’s actions are either natural or a part of his duty towards the society. His mere presence makes the things work. Like Ramana Maharshi used to say, ‘ to be is better than to do’. The true strength of actions comes from arrogance-free attitude.
‘Manobal’ (intense will power) – A sadaguru’s will power never fades in any situation. One can never see him anguished by any incident. He remains neutral and sees the happenings of the world as a witness. His bhajan makes him strong enough to remain composed. The base of his will power is continual satsang.
‘Vachan bal’ (power of speech) – The words of sadaguru are so astounding that no one can challenge them. Even if a person tries to deny them, he never finds comfort by doing it. An aspirant should flow with the tides of sadaguru’s words and if he gets carried away in the wrong way, sadaguru immediately takes care of him. Sadaguru’s words are like scriptures. They are well thought and they are based only on truth. But please be careful, if you cannot surrender fully in the feet of sadaguru, then understand that he may not be prachand (all-powerful). This is an indication given by nature. You have to recognize this natural indication in true way and not through your ego or ignorance.
For an aspirant, his sadaguru is the Supreme Being. He holds him in the highest position. Like Sahajo bai had sung, ‘ Ram taju pai guru na bisaarun….’
A sadaguru is extremely mature. He bears the innocence like a child, but at the same time his wisdom is incomparable. Like Bhagwaan Shankar upholds a curved moon on his head, a sadaguru takes care of the most wayward of the disciples.
A sadaguru is more eminent than God for his aspirant. It is not the worship of a human being, but of the supreme element present in him.
A sadaguru’s wholeness cannot be broken. His capability is unmeasured as he lives in awakened state of mind.
A sadaguru is beyond the cycle of rebirth. His presence is all prevailing in the universe, but it only becomes evident if anxiety is born in a person.
A sadaguru is an illuminated person whose aura is such that it grants comforts to all.
This is the first part of the fifth verse, we will continue with the second part tomorrow.
If a person refrains from creating hindrances in others’ lives, it is a type of bhajan.
Don’t observe so many fastings that make you cranky and take away your smile.
Don’t go to a sadaguru half-mindedly. But if you have made up your mind, then don’t leave anything in surrendering.
A person’s knowledge is sustained only by satsang. Satsang may not be in literal form, but it may be going on in thoughts, actions and intentions.
There are three types of ‘darshan’, ranking in the order written below.
Dhyaan darshan- It is best if a person can see his sadaguru in meditation, as this darshan is exclusive and continual. Pratyaksha darshan- In this kind of darshan, a person is face-to-face with the sadaguru, but it is prone to separation. Swapna darshan- A sadaguru gives darshan in the dream of an aspirant
If three things are kept in mind, an aspirant can get rid of ego.
All his efforts are like a boat, to successfully go across the sea-like world.
Sadaguru is the captain of the boat in an aspirant’s spiritual journey.
God’s grace is the assisting breeze that helps to steer the boat across fruitfully. Question: We have been listening to katha for years, but still not able to feel the required delight in life. What should be done?
Bapu’s Answer: There may be many reasons for this:
Inter-personal jealousy and hatred stops the joy that one can experience from katha.
A complaining mind can never enter a spiritual sphere.
It is often said that a grieved person complains, but the truth is that the habit of complaining makes a person distressed.
When a person feels pain or pleasure, its medium (nimmita) may be external, but the origin of both is the mind of the individual.
A medium may not be controlled but mind can be conditioned by satsang so that these feelings do not affect the person.
A person’s ignorance (agyaan) proves to be the hurdle in experiencing real happiness.
Action based grief may trouble a person; but if he/she surrenders completely in the feet of the sadaguru, then it gets washed off.
Sometimes, it is the will of the God that makes one go through some hardship. But an aspirant understands that it must be for betterment only. Bapu says, “ I sometimes get worried for the listeners who are not able to comprehend the essence of katha. One should not only listen but also choose, at least some selected sutras that can be applied for making the life better.”
Let us start with the latter part of the fifth verse of rudraashtak.
Trayah shul nirmulnam shulpaniam | Bhajeham bhawani patim bhav gamyam ||
Trayah shool nirmoolanam shool paanim
Bhagwaan Shankar like sadaguru completely abolishes the three ‘shool’ (thorn like problems) from its base and relieves the aspirant from the hurt. The shool can be described as follows:
Aadhi-bhautik shool – when a person feel physical pain, through some disease, accident etc.
Aadhyaatmik shool – There is mental stress in a person’s life. It may be in the form of fear, worries or insecurity.
Aadhi-daivik shool – A person suffers by calamities of nature, like earthquake, floods etc.
God always does the best for everyone, but it is the matter of your faith that helps to understand his grace in all situations.
Bhajeham bhavani patim bhaav-gamyam
For a devoted aspirant, the only way to worship is by love and surrender (Bhakti).
For a person who has managed to purify his intellect, path of knowledge is propriate (Gyan).
for a person who has attained control over his breath, path of yoga is perfect (Yog).
Like Bhagwaan Shankar, a Sadaguru is eight-imaged (ashta-moorti). An aspirant can form and worship an image of his choice:
Gyaan moorti (knowledge). Vishwaas moorti (faith). Shastra moorti (scriptures). Tapo-moorti (penance). Tyaag moorti (renunciation). Bhaav moorti (devotion). Sheel moorti (modest conduct). Some Sutras
Elderly people should withdraw from worldly activities wisely, before they are pushed out of the system.
A certain distance is essential to understand the sadaguru. Therefore, duality (dwait)is prescribed in the relationship of master and disciple.
A Smile can bring solution to many frictions in the society.
In spirituality, listening is more significant than seeing. So, ‘Shrawan’ is the first bhakti
Lets start with Rudraashtak’s sixth verse.
A sadaguru is an epitome of modesty. He is a master of every art, but when art transforms into learning (vidya), it becomes a medium of freedom (mukti). When a person practices his art, he does not remain conscious of time. But when (in spite of knowing, understanding and respecting every art form) sadaguru crosses every field, he reaches a state that is beyond every art form. In scriptures, it is mentioned that a sadaguru possesses sixteen types of art, but they can be viewed with the help of his grace only.
A sadaguru’s every art or endeavour is only for the welfare of all.
A sadaguru saves his disciple from the ruining attack of ‘kaal’ and keeps him in his shelter.
Sadaa sajjanaanand daata
A sadaguru is the all-time benefactor of joy for dedicated aspirants (sajjan). He provides joy to errant aspirants too, but not all the time as. He sees their capability (if they can digest his grace), as he does not want them to become egoistic due to that. If one wants to experience the joy granted by sadaguru, he should try to become sajjan. It refers to a person who can maintain his goodness while living in adverse surroundings (like Vibheeshan), who can see the progress of others and pray for their happiness and who understands the basis of scriptures.
A sajjan understands the following four kinds of progress:
Aabhaasi Vikas – it means that a movement is there at one place but with no result. Neither does one go backward or forward, it just seems like progress. This is the first step of development.
Bhautik Vikas – it refers to material development achieved through hard work. It always takes place on outer front. The material objects do not take care of you, but you have to take care of them.
Vyaktitva Vikas – it is means the growth of inner self with the help of art, literature, philosophy etc. A wise person always pays more attention to this kind of progress and does effort for it.
Aadhyatmik Vikas – it refers to spiritual growth in a person’s life. ‘Adhi’= going towards and ‘atma’= soul, therefore, when a person moves further towards the soul, he grows spiritually.
A person who understands the above four in actual sense is a ‘sajjan’ and sadaguru fills his life with divine delight.
Like Bhagwaan Shankar lives in the Shmashaan (cremation ground), sadaguru is a person of solitude. He does welfare of the society, but remains aloof.
Sadaguru appears like a normal human being, but he possesses some special features. A human body is made up of five elements, but in a sadaguru, one can see them in different forms.
The water element is in the form of tears or sweat that comes from the efforts done for aspirants’ welfare. The fire in him is Virah-aagni (fire of separation from the Lord), Gyaan-aagni (fire of knowledge) and Yoga-aagni.
The sky element is in the form of chaste and clear mind. Earth element is present in the form of forgiveness and air refers to the trust (viswaas) he has in God and also in his disciples, that some day they would be free of faults. He never breaks the faith of his disciples.
A sadaguru removes the delusion in the lives of aspirants. His words are like rays of sun, that destroy the darkness of ignorance from a person’s mind. He knows that this is essential for them to experience bliss in life.
Praseed praseed prabho mana-mathaari
An aspirant prays in the feet of his sadaguru to bestow happiness. A sadaguru is free of desire and he also makes the people around him like that, therefore, his feet are ideal for worshipping.
“Na yaavad uma naath paadaar vindam | Bhajanteeh lokey parey vaa naraanaam|
Na taavat-sukham shaanti santaap naasham | Praseed prabho sarv-bhootaadhi-vaasam||”
Except for the refuge in sadaguru’s feet, an aspirant cannot find self-contentment anywhere else. He grants so much peace that an aspirant does not feel deprived of anything. He is the only solace in the lives of the aspirants.
If a thought comes from your soul without any intention, perceive it as an indication of the Lord and make efforts in that direction.
The intention behind giving up is more important than the thing.
If a person uses a thing in the best possible way, it is a kind of service (seva).
Faith is to keep no expectations from anyone, except your sadaguru.
One should be strong in one’s faith, but should not become fanatic about it.
Eighth Verse of Rudraashtak.
Na jaanami yogam japam naiv poojaam |
Natoham sadaa sarvada shambhu tubhyam ||
Jaraa janma dukhaugh taatapya maanam |
Prabho paahi aapann namaameesh shambho ||
Kaag Bhushundi jee’s sadaguru was a master of the various fields of spirituality, like following:
Gyaan yoga – Tulsidas jee says that he had attained ‘samyak bodh’ ie. Appropriate awakening.
Raaj yoga – he lived amongst the people of world but remained aloof.
Karma yoga – he worked for the wellbeing of his disciple.
Bhakti yoga – he prayed with humility.
Hatth yoga – he called out to Bhagwaan Shankar with focussed devotion.
Laya yoga – he took care of his inclinations (vritti) and fused them into the devotional path through satsang.
Mantra yoga – he gave mantra to his shishya.
In spite of mastering all these aspects in the spiritual journey, he was extremely humble. He confesses to Bhagwaan Shankar in the eighth mantra of rudraashtak that his disciple (kaag bhushundi jee) could not be saved by the mantra he had given him. He also said that he did not know how to follow the rituals of worship, he could only offer his love to the Almighty. He sang this stotra only to please Bhagwaan Shankar and whoever would sing with this kind of devotion, he/she would also be able to please Him.
A sadaguru is so modest that in spite of being an expert in spiritual sphere, he lives like an ordinary human being. He is humble, but not weak. He loves God more than indulging in ritualistic worshipping. He chants Harinaam for the welfare of all. All his activities are for making others happy.
Katha is the demand of nature; the organizers are just the mediums to materialize the demand.
Prayer mainly consists of two things:
It describes the glory of God.
It puts forward the confessions and demands of the devotee.
Bapu says, “If a person frees himself/herself from all kinds of prejudices and he puts Shri Ramcharitamanas on head, one can actually feel the flow of chetana (spiritual energy), which is also called ‘shaktipaat’. A sadaguru works like this for a truly earnest disciple, even if he is miles away. A devotee becomes eligible (paatra) for this kind of treatment if he has three qualities:
He should never disobey the sadaguru.
He should have immense faith.
He should be eager to purify his inner self.
A sadaguru who can carry out this treatment effectively bears three qualities:
He should be extremely anxious to pursue spiritual path.
He should be free of desire and his mind should be purified.His heart should be full of compassion.
There is a little risk in this process. If the disciple is unable to absorb the energy, the sadaguru has to take immediate care of him. Another adverse possibility is that the disciple might become lethargic and leave all the efforts, if he takes this treatment of sadaguru for granted. Therefore, one has to be very careful in the spiritual journey.”
Material goods always reduce if given away. But if feelings and affection is shared, it is never lessened. So, don’t be a miser in giving goodwill.
One should never give opinion about anything/anyone without knowing enough; otherwise you may have to repent.
Bapu says, “ I offer the fruit of virtue of this katha to the great unknown, unnamed sadaguru of Kaag Bhushundi jee in the Maha-kaal temple , so that all the disciples are granted forgiveness if they indulge in faulty activities due to their ignorance.”
Kishkindaa Kaand – Doha 6 & 7
Naath Baali aru main dwau bhaai | Preeti rahi kachhu barani na jaai ||
Baali param hit jaasu prasaada | Milehu ram tumha saman bishaada
My Lord, Baali and myself are two brothers, the affection that existed between us was beyond description.
Baali is my greatest friend, by whose grace I have met you, Bhagwaan Ram, the remover of sorrows.
If Sadaguru gives “Naam-deekshaa”, then only one can gain Love towards God.
Kishindha-kand is such deekshaa-kand.
Kishkindha kand is a kand of ‘Deeksha’ (spiritual initiation). Bali’s character is comprehensive in nature; even his name appears 18 times in this particular incident, denoting the wholesome features of his personality.
Sugreev and Bali were similar in nature to a certain extent, but they received distinctively different treatment from Bhagwaan Ram. Bali was killed by him as he had ‘Kapat’ (behaviour full of tricks) and ‘chhal’ (deceit), whereas Sugreev never tried to conceal his real self.
Baal kaand is a drishti-kaand : grants a insight (drishti)
Ayodhya kaand is a darpan-kaand : discusses about the mirror in which one can watch his mind. If both, insight and mirror get in sync with each other, a person can see God’s grace in every given situation of life.
Aranya kand is dayaa-kaand : talks about mercy of the Lord, when a person sees His mercy in every circumstance, he becomes eligible for ‘deeksha’ (as mentioned earlier about Kishkindha kand). In this kand, first Hanuman jee’s initiation takes place and then it is followed by Sugreev and Bali. The arrow of Bhagwaan Ram baptizes Bali’s heart.
Sunder kand is a dakshata-Kaand : aptitude to achieve one’s goal
Lanka Kaand is a dahan-kaand: The goal of searching Sita jee is accomplished by Hanuman jee and this leads to ‘dahan’ (burning away the faults) in Lanka kand.
Uttar kand culminates into spiritual contentment, fulfillment and thanks-giving
Bapu says, “In personal belief, spiritual journey cannot move evenly without a sadaguru. He takes care of the aspirant at every step.”
The strength of faith (shradhha) is immense. If a person has unbending belief in his body, no rog (disease) can trouble him and if the faith is placed in the soul, his yoga (connection) with the Almighty will be established.
In other words, Baali is son of Indra, and Sugreev is son of Sun-Surya-Shradha (conviction, faith)
shradha on body can give us good health
shradha on soul can give perfection in yoga
shradha on God can give freedom from the world
In Bapu’s words “ In Adhik Maas (Extra month that comes every 4 years as per Lunar Calendar), which is going to come this year, one should take a resolution that I would give adhik (more) respect, love and forgiveness to all. This kind of resolution is an entry ticket to Satsang.”
If an aspirant wants to chant a mantra, its better to get it spiritually initiated (deeksheet) by a saint.
Deekshaa means someone can join us to God with love by some instrument.
Hanumanji has different forms:
he has a clear holy eye-sight,
he does not demand anything from God,
he remembers God constantly so he does not feel grief by any unhappy event, and
he protects Sant (Saint) as well as Asant (ordinary person or person who is not saint)
Question – if a mantra is not Deeksheet (Spiritual Inititalited) by any saint, should an aspirant not chant it at all ?
Bapu’s answer – if a person is incapable of getting the mantra Spiritually initiated by any living saint; he/she should try to do the following:
If a person wants to chant “Ram”, he/she should write the mantra on a paper and place it in front of Hanuman jee’s image along with his Mala (rosary). Pronounce it three times with devotion and accept it as the ultimate mantra for life.
For “Krishna”, place it in front of image of any of the Acharyas (Vallabhacharya jee, Ramanuj jee or any saint you have trust in).
For “Shankar”, place it in front of image of Aadi shankarcharya jee.
These kinds of provisions are for those who do not have enough belief in any living saint. But if an aspirant wants to get his mantra Spiritually initiated by any present living authority, he/she should find someone who has absolutely absorbed himself in that mantra. A person, who may not seem to be outwardly religious, but his sub-conscious body (sookshma shareer) is persistently chanting the mantra without a break and there is a certain aura around him that inspires others to go the same way.
Japa (chanting) can be done in three ways:
By Kaaran shareer – Japa is done due to some reason. A person wants to fulfil his motive to gain something. It is seen that some perverted people indulge in japa, and use its power to create trouble for others, which is not right at all.
By Sthool shareer – Japa is done on a rosary with certain norms (niyam) but without any greed of gains.
By Sookshma shareer – Japa may not be evident outwardly, but there is a strong alliance with the Almighty and the soul is immersed in Harinaam.
Question: What is “Bharosa” (Genuine trust)?
Answer: The answer is found in a chopai of Shri Ram Charit Manas, ‘ mama bharose hiyan harash na deena’. When a person becomes stable in every kind of situation. He neither experiences pleasure in facility or pain in adversity. He understands that both are just the sides of the same coin. He always takes a situation as the gift of the Lord. Different situations of life are the tests of trust.
Bapu says, “There is no substitute for ‘Bhajan’. People may guide you and push you towards dhyaan (meditation), yoga etc., but I believe that there can never be an alternative for Bhajan. If bhajan is done with honesty, it may become your dhyaan and yoga”
Out of nine kinds of Bhakti, if we do the first one, – that is “keeping company with sant (Saint),” then there is no need to do the other eight. Fifth bhakti is to do mantra jap with firm faith. Mind’s one-pointedness and other procedures are not required. Having firm faith on God means any good or bad events are unable to disturb you.
There are three types of ‘smaran’ (remembering with earnestness):
Bodh smaran – a person remembers in a Vedanti way, but without emotions. Like chanting mantras from Vedas -“Aham brahmaasmi” (I am God) and “Sohamasmi”.
Bhaav smaran – a person calls out to someone, but without being aware of the relation. Like a baby calls out to his mother.
Sambandh smaran – a person remembers the beloved earnestly and builds a bond.
Respect everyone but bow down only to the only one who can be your ultimate refuge.
Bapu says, “a true devotee never demands anything from the Lord. In case, he demands, it is only for the welfare of others.”
In Shri Ram Charit Manas it is mentioned that Sugreev seeks to do bhajan through day and night. Practically, it may not be feasible, but it means that an aspirant will devote himself to the Lord in the light of pleasure and also in the darkness of pain. Spending some definite time in worship and then taking care of your duties without any desire, is also a kind of day-night bhajan.
On Hanumanji;s request, Ram accepts Sugreev as a friend, and Sugreev tells him his life-story.
Sugreev represents “jeev” – human being, and Bali represents “karma” (actions) which always follows “jeev”, and ego is always attached with it.
In Kishkindhaa kaand Tulsidas jee mentions four caves in different incidents. They signify the four aspects of inner self (antah-karan):
Baali’s cave – This cave denotes the ego (ahankar) of a human being. False pride of various deeds surrounds a person at different times.
ave at Pravarshan parvat – this cave is of Bhagwaan Ram, it signifies the sub-conscious (Chitta), which catches the most acute detail.
Swayamprabha’s cave – This cave denotes the light of one’s intellect (budhhi).
Sampaati’s cave – This cave denotes the features of one’s mind (mana).
Even though we do karma with desireless attitude or witness attitude, still some minute ego “I” remains attached with the karma and ego fights in the world
Bapu says, “ Remember that the world is like a child and we are its guardians. It is created by each of us. Just like the parents overlook and forgive the wayward ways of a child due to his innocence, we can develop similar mentality towards the awkwardness of the world and remain calm in life. We would be able to live more cordially without getting upset by toughest of incidents.”
A bhakta is the one who faces every challenge with a smiling face, as he is positive about his faith on the almighty.
God always does the ‘param hit’ (ultimately best) of a person, but it may be in the form of a hardship or a favourable situation. An aspirant should keep patience to understand His moves in the right perspective.
It is understandable and even forgivable, to an extent, if you express anger due to the faults in the other person. But, it is just not reasonable if you find faults in the other person due to your anger. Be careful and save yourself from such tendencies.
When art (kala) is developed with a mentality of worship, it transforms into knowledge (vidya). This is the actual success of the art.
Bhajan means different ways of worshiping God:
Doing your selected kind of worship with insense, candle, food, offering rest etc.
naam-jap (Chating Bhagwan’s name)
Helping bhaktas (devotees)
Taking interest in any kind of art of singing, dancing, drawings, etc.;
Fulfilling your duties of life
All these are bhajan. Do bhajan, and leave all the other things which are so obstructive in the way of worshiping God.
Science tries to open the secrets of nature, and destroys the beauty of nature by analysing everything. We should preserve the secrets of nature and enjoy it.
Every incident that takes us closer to the Truth/Almighty should be considered as most sacred. It may not seem to be favourable on the outer front, but be sure in your hearts that only is the best choice for us. A person can condition his/her mind in this way when he develops patience and satisfaction. Every state proves to be auspicious in the creation of God.
God expects some satisfaction from all of us, as He is always satisfied by whatever we offer to him. He never demands anything more than what is offered to Him. In this case, there arises a point that satisfaction may breed lethargy in the name of devotion. But Tulsidas jee has a clarification on this, he says that a person should not be satisfied by his actions or duties (karma), he should be satisfied by the fruits or results of his actions (karma phal).
Question – In shri Ram Charit Manas, Sugreev says that his mind had become stable -“Upaja gyaan bachan tab bola | Naath kripa mana bhayau alola…” So, is the stability of mind due to knowledge (Gyaan) or grace (kripa)?
Bapu’s answer – It clearly means that when a person attains knowledge, he/she realizes that the mind has become stable due to the divine grace. Knowledge helps one in understanding the power of His grace. There is no principle that knowledge makes a mind stable. If knowledge alone could make the mind stable, then a sage like Vishwamitra could not have experienced worry or fear.
It’s a form of violence to attack or criticize anybody’s faith or subject of devotion. Please do not impose your worship pattern on anyone.
Bapu says, “I would request everyone, who listen to Ram kathaa, to make a resolution to never compete with each other. Competition invariably leads to either adoration or resentment. If I had the authority, I would abolish the system of examination in schools. ”
One should never get carried away by the recognition of the people. Public memory is very short, so one should not give undue importance to it.
To avoid unnecessary attachments (raag) in life, do not get besotted (infatuated) to a person with good qualities, try to adopt the positive points of his/her character. Similarly, to avoid aversion (dwesh), overlook the negative aspects of a person.
In Bapu’s words, “ The ideal form of bhajan is chanting God’s holy name with faith. Faith is the soul of chanting (japa). If done in a sincere way, one gradually experiences the process of automatic detachment from the world ”
If a person wants to feel true happiness, he/she should erase the intention of revenge from life.
There may be three junctures in life with respective masters:
Shrawan Guru – one gets to listen about the auspicious elements (shubh tatva).
Shiksha guru – one understands and lives those elements.
Deeksha guru- one reaches the supreme element (param tatva)
In Bapu’s words, “ my inner self (antah karan) says that each and every happening of life occurs only for the benefit of an individual as there is no provision for in-auspicious element (ashubh) from the Almighty. One might not understand this fact right away, but time always makes a person realize its trueness.”
The wealth that hinders the establishment of love in life should be abandoned intentionally.
In Shri Ramcharitamans, evility has been shown but no one is proved to be evil. For instance, like in Ravan’s and Bali’s characters, faults have been mentioned but they are not made out to be villainous in nature, therefore both end up attaining eternal peace in the end.
Always avoid looking at the flaws of others, but if you really cannot help it, then definitely do not see them in the morning time. Do not spoil the divinity of that time.
A person, who is used to blaming others for own sorrows, can never get rid of them and similarly a person who expects to gain happiness from others can never experience true happiness.
Don’t carry small disputes so far to the extent that they spoil great relationships.
Question – how many times should we forgive a person who is always lying?
Bapu’s Answer – Forgive him always! Permanent liars should be forgiven all the time, as only forgiveness might bring a change in them. Forgiveness is a goddess and untruth is a demon, she would definitely destroy him one day.
Question – what is the difference between mind’s steadiness and purity?
Bapu’s answer – “ I believe that its more important that mind should be pure. Purity is better than stability, just like a taantrik’s mind may be extremely focussed but his intention may not always be pure. An unsteady mind can become pure and steady by Ram katha. A pure mind can effortlessly become stable. Even Bhagwaan Ram asks for a pure mind (not necessarily a steady mind)- “ Nirmal mana jana so mohi paava…”
Question – Faults like anger, greed, hatred and desire have reduced, but still do exist inspite of doing many efforts. How can we get rid of them completely?
Bapu ’s answer – answer is in Sugreev’s words, “yeh guna saadhan tein nahin hoi | tumhari kripa paav koi koi||”. Efforts do help in becoming aware about them, but only grace can be absolutely successful in destroying these faults. If the direction of these faults can be altered, then they might lead to the Almighty. Like gopis went with desire towards Shri Krishna, Kansa and Shishupaal went with hatred.
Serve everyone (saadhu as well as asaadhu) with equal respect, but remain in company of noble people only and always avoid being with wicked people.
There is enormous power in the holy name of God. With the help of the name, one can actually experience the grace of God.
Fearfulness from Guru, husband, mother, father is good. Independence is all right in the form of medicine. Otherwise independence could be a disease e.g. flow of Ganges is all right, but flood is harmful, same way, too much independence is not good.
Common arrogance considers others like a pond and thinks own-self to be an ocean. But a pond is sweet and the ocean is salty.
Middle class arrogance considers others as trees.
Excessive arrogance considers other people like blades of grass.
Renunciated person forsakes all of three attributes like blades of grass.
Today is the appearance day of Vallabhacharya jee, let us begin the katha with his sutra, which says that no one’s inner self can deny the existence of the supreme power, but its only the ego of a person that is not ready to accept it. Bapu says, “ in my personal view, I believe that no one is a born atheist (naastik), but the false pride makes a person one.”
There are three main signs of an extremely egoistic person (maha-abhimaani). Bali’s character had all the three features:
Intellect is convinced of the reality of the divine power, but the ego is stubborn in denying it. A person, full of arrogance, is prone to showing off his capability without any need. He exhibits his strength to disregard the power of God.An arrogant person does not pay any heed to the advice of his well wishers. Never ignore the guidance of your sadaguru, who lives for welfare of all. He gives so many consolations and evidences about the welfare of all. An arrogant person considers others to be absolutely valueless. He thinks that others’ thoughts are trivial. In Bapu’s words, “ a person who considers others as low, is himself, the lowest. ”
There is a shloka, in which some indications of a person nearing death are mentioned. These are not to scare you or create doubts in your minds, but to make everyone careful.
“ Deep niravana gandham, suhrid vaakyam, arundhatim,
na jighananti, na shrunavanti, na pashyanti, gataayush.”
When a person cannot smell the scent of just extinguished lamp, when he/she is not able to understand the advice of well-wishers and when he/she is unable to see the Arundhati star.
This means that when a person is unable to identify the goodness of people who are extremely cooperative, his downfall becomes inevitable.
Bapu says, “ I would like to request, specially the elderly people, to keep ‘Maun’ (silence) on their birthday for the same number of hours as per the years completed. But be careful that you keep maun with a smiling face. ”
Religious leaders should not forcibly drag the people in their religious stream. Especially children, should not be given forceful spiritual initiation (deeksha) by the heads of any religion, let them enjoy their childhood.
A great person may be the one who seems to be the most ordinary. Therefore, never disrespect anyone.
After doing lots of efforts (saadhan) to reach your goal, when an aspirant still does not see any results, he becomes desperate and decides to leave his calling. But be careful, that particular moment of despair may be the moment of the ultimate gain. Take care in such moments and hold yourself to experience your achievement.
Question – What exactly is a virtue (punya) and a vice (paap) in your personal opinion?
Bapu’s answer – when a person has ample opportunity, capability and freedom to indulge in a vice and still he/she saves oneself from doing it- that is a true virtue. Similarly, when a person has enough strength, independence and chance to involve oneself in a virtuous deed and still he/she does not- that is an actual vice.
“Remember donor is always greater than the donation. Sadaguru is genuinely greater than the Lord, as he is the one who takes us on the way to go to Him.”
The birth of Bhagwaan Ram can be experienced in one’s own inner self. The indications ‘Ram janma’ in one’s own self are as follows:
When a person conditions oneself in the present (neither condemns the past, nor worries for future).
When one becomes unaffected by pleasure and pain.
When inner self feels pure.
When one feels goodwill towards all.
Sadaguru prepares an aspirant to be capable of experiencing this state, without going anywhere, but from wherever he is.
Bapu says, “in my personal opinion, shri Ramcharitamanas is a shastra (scripture) of mysteries, it is not just a history. Only a sadaguru has an answer to all the mysteries in it. After being with it for all these years, I feel that it is extremely innate, it overtakes all the Seven Wonders of the World.”
Question – what is the place of Sadaguru in the temple at home, where should we put his image?
Answer – Sadaguru’s place is in the centre of an aspirant’s life. Sadaguru lives in the heart of the aspirant and takes care of all the things in life, contrary to the indifferent God stationed in the heart. When a person has adopted a spiritual way of life (saadhana), Sadaguru definitely is more important than the Lord. He is one of his kind in the universe for the aspirant and incomparable to anyone. There can never be an alternative for sadaguru. An aspirant can place his image in the centre in his temple at home with deities, provided he is prepared for criticism from the people who are not aware of sadaguru ’s eminence in life.”
Do not entertain any such people who attack your faith. Remember that faith is precious.
If you chose to follow a spiritual way of life, you may come across people who may try to forcibly impose their worship pattern on you. Be prepared for such situations, they are bound to come in this journey. In such circumstances, don’t be aggressive but be assertive and hold on to your subject of devotion with sincerity. Don’t encourage activities of such people in order to suppress their malign intentions.
Do not get over-awed by any religious leader by big name. Don’t be in a hurry to decide your sadaguru, if you are not absolutely convinced from your soul. A shastra can be adopted as sadaguru, if an aspirant can not devote himself entirely in someone’s feet. There is only one essential condition in the devotion towards sadaguru, the aspirant has to unreservedly give up his ego and become empty from inside to absorb his grace.
If the problems of your life are sorted out in your favour according to your choice, it’s His grace. But if something happens in contrast to what you perceived, it’s His will. Accept both thankfully.
Bhagwaan Ram stood behind a tree as Sugreev went to fight with Bali. It is asked as why did He not go in front? The answer is that Bhagwaan Ram had not gone there to take part in their fight, He had gone there to give justice to both. Bhagwaan Ram waited a little long to see their conduct and saved Sugreev as he surrendered totally in his feet. Bhagwaan Ram’s stance behind a tree also depicts his presence in the most ordinary of the things. One needs an eye to see him everywhere as an omnipresent power.
Bhagwaan Ram’s stance at the time of Bali-Sugreev fight is often discussed as to why did He hide behind a tree. But if seen through the eyes of Shri Ram Charit Manas, he is not hiding but standing in the shadow of a tree. He remained in the background just to conceal his power which would have washed away the sins of Bali; and his ‘leela’ (divine design) would not have proceeded till establishing Ram rajya.
Do not try to copy the religious practices of others or get carried away by wrong influence. A person’s basic nature is his religion.
Bapu says, “It is believed that Shri Ram Charit Manas is a ‘shastra of lok dharma’ (scripture showing the ideal ways of social conduct). But I would like to draw attention that this impression is not 100% true. Many characters of overtake the ‘lok dharma’ and go beyond to reach ‘prem dharma’ (duty for divine love). For instance, Ma Sita ignores the advice of her elders and accompanies Bhagwaan Ram in the forest; Bharat jee boycotts his mother who initiates the exile of Bhagwaan Ram. ‘Lok dharma’ may be a station but ‘prem dharma’ is the destination for aspirants. Therefore, in certain situations, one has to overlook the social duties for the sake of spiritual gains, provided the discretion (vivek) attained by satsang allows.
Question – Why was Bali hurt in the heart by Bhagwaan Ram’s arrow?
Answer – To give Bali a chance to get his heart operated, as all the veins were blocked by excessive ego.
It is true that the principle of karma and karm phal (action and its result) does exist, but the ultimate decider is the Almighty. Therefore, he is free to alter the rules according to His will. He is an absolute self-governing power who may or may not follow the rules of humanity.
Tulsidas jee shows the path for meditation (dhyaan):
Gain control over your breath.
Have a hold over your mind.
Make your senses free of desires.
These three steps make meditation easily possible. Meditation is an ideal spiritual path for Satyuga, but for Kaliyuga, it is only Harinaam. Though the followers should never criticize each other.
An aspirant should not be an escapist. He should bravely face the results of his actions, but at the same time he should keep praying to remain attached to the holy feet of the Lord.
If a person studies shri Ram Charit Manas with dedication and discretion, he/she can find that Tulsidas jee mentions seven types of ‘Bhakti’ (devotion):
Basic bhakti as told by Bhagwaan Ram to Lakshman and Shabari jee.
Nirbhar bhakti – this type is a personal choice for Tulsidas jee. An aspirant is wholly dependent on God’s grace. He/she eats, drinks, sleeps, thinks and lives on the grace on the grace of God.
Anapaayani bhakti – aspirant is never satisfied with his efforts, he seeks to do more and more.
Aviral bhakti – aspirant is continually calling out to the Lord, without any breaks.
Ananya bhakti – aspirant’s devotion is solely focussed on one deity.
Bheda bhakti – there remains a certain distance between the master and the disciple.
Vimal bhakti – pure devotion without any adjectives
At the time of death, Bali seeks devotion from Bhagwaan Ram. He does not seek salvation (mukti), but Bhagwaan Ram, in addition, grants him a place in his divine abode and gave him free choice to come to the earth if he wished.
Salvation (Moksh) is said to be of four types:
Sayujya – a person gets absolutely engrossed, absorbed in God, and looses his identity; like a drop falling in ocean. For instance, Shabari jee.
Salokya – a person gets to reside in the abode of Bhagwaan Ram. Bali was granted this kind of salvation.
Samipya – a person get to reside around the Lord.
Saroopya – a Person gets the form of God. For example- Jataayu jee.
Question – How can we take care of our karma? Can we leave all the actions- karma? How can we exhaust out our “Sanchit” karma (Karma in bank), and “Prarabdha” karma (which are yet to come)?
Bapu’s answer – No one can remain without being in action for a moment also, according to Bhagwat Gita. Action may be in the form of thoughts also.
There are several ways to deal with the cycle of karma:
Accept and undergo the fruits of our karma; without adding new karma during that time.
Ask for forgiveness for bad karma and don’t repeat them in future.
Go through the procedure of repentance according to honest opinion from our scriptures.
Calling on God from the bottom of your heart, requesting for his kindness.
Chanting God’s holy name can help in breaking the bindings of karma.
Sadaguru’s blessings, or more rightly, his love is the best way to deal with karma. There is no shelter like sadaguru’s shelter.
Moh (delusion) is the most dangerous mental disease, be careful and try to keep a check on it.
In kishkindhaa kaand, Hanuman jee was granted ‘Naam deeksha’, Sugreev got ‘kaam deeksha’ (he was assigned the work of the Lord) and Bali got ‘dhaam deeksha’ (he was sent to the abode of the Lord). Take inspiration from them according to your natural inclination and proceed further in the spiritual journey.
Hey Hari…Hey Hari…Hey Hari………….
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