Naama and naami

IT appears as if, in this Bhaagavatha Bhaktha Samaajam, they impose restrictions on all, except Myself! For, they warned all speakers so far to stop early, and now they ask Me to take as much time as I please! Of course, some 60 members of the Samaajam have come here and each of them wishes to partake in the three-day programme, which is possible only when severe restrictions are insisted upon the length of their speeches and musical recitals. They are masters in their own fields and endowed with bhakthi and shraddha; so I feel that they must be given longer time in the coming years when they would be here.

Man suffers from two types of agony; the first, which can be allayed through the intercession of others and the second, which can be allayed only by the individual’s own effort. Hunger and thirst can be overcome only when the individual eats or drinks; however much others may eat, hunger will not abate even an iota. If your wife or father or mother or son or brother offers to take an injection on your behalf, can your illness be cured thereby? The hunger of the spirit, the illness of inner man is also the same. You must help yourself. The illness has come due to some excess, some infection, some breach of rules. The infection is produced by the viruses of kaama, krodha, lobha, moha, madha and maathsarya (desire, anger, greed, delusion, pride, jealousy). They do not allow your divinity to shine forth; they cause discontent, worry, grief and pain. You can brave them only by manifesting your inner strength. Do not yield to them; fight them with faith that you are unconquerable.

Give up the idea that you are the body

How did this fatal ignorance enter into your makeup? Well, there was once a huge mirror inside a room in a rural home. They wanted to take it out, but the door was found too narrow and .too short! Some suggested that the wall be broken open while others said that the mirror itself be cut into two! How did they place it in this room, one shrewd villager asked. Yes, how did it get in? If they only knew that, they could manage to take it out too. Before the room was ready, the mirror had got in. So too, ere this body was formed, ignorance had established itself; it is a product of the sloth of previous lives. Do not worry about the house, and the mirror will cease to be a problem. Give up the idea that you are the body and ignorance will vanish. You can see yourself in the light.

The members of the Samaajam enabled you to listen to very valuable discourses and inspiring Harikathas, which made you know many facets of the Raamaayana, Bhaagavatha, the Puraanas, the Vedhas and Shaasthras. You heard from them that Raama was “Vigrahavaan-dharmah” (Dharma embodied), that Krishna was “Leelaamaanusha vigraha” (sporting in human form), but, how does that affect you? Have you felt that you too are kith and kin of Raama and Krishna, that every maanava (human) can be a Maadhava, that every nara (man) can be a Naaraayana? Unless you adhere a little to Raama dharma, how can you claim to be a bhaktha of Raama?

Unless you evince a little of the prema that Krishna had, how can you pride yourself on being a Krishna-bhaktha? Do not be different from your ideal; approach it as close as you can. You must be as golden as the gold you idealise, though you may be a tiny jewel and He, a vast treasure. The Lord is Kavi and Vaalmeeki is also a Kavi; both create — one the loka (world) and the other, the slokha (verse). The bhaktha must form himself on the model of Bhagavaan; otherwise, he can lay no claim for saaruupya (sameness of the Form of the Lord).

Maayaa is a false enchantress

Krishna-avathaara is a Sampuurna Avathaara, the Lord appearing with all the 16 kalas (distinctive marks); whereas Raama shared the kalas with other brothers. Raama appeared as if He was associated with gunas (qualities), or as having qualitative behaviour, whereas Krishna was above and beyond such. Krishna never prayed, even in the direst crisis! But, Raama does so, to Aadhithya (Sun God), for instance; the intent of that Avathaara was different. Krishna was unaffected by the gunas. His relationship with gopees was pure. A person like Dharmaraaja selected Him above all the sages and saints of the day for special worship at the Raajasuuya sacrifice.

The best armour against the tendency to read gross meanings into the ledas of Krishna is Faith – faith in Krishna as the Lord. You can also remember that Krishna was a boy of seven, when the raasaleela (sportive dance) happened. King Pareekshith asked Sukha, the immaculate saint who extolled Krishna as God, the same question: How could the gopees attain moksha? Sukha replied: They knew that Krishna was the Lord and they regarded Him as God and no less. He also reminded Pareekshith that he himself owed his life to the divine touch of Krishna which changed him from a still-born child into a hefty baby. The miasma that makes you miss these points and drags your imagination into the mire is called Maayaa. Identify it as a false enchantress — that moment she will vanish and you are free.

There was once a brahmin who passed through a forest on his way to a village, with a heavy load on his head. He could not carry it any further and there was no one in sight, except a chandaala (outcaste) youth, who offered to carry it for him only as far as the edge of the jungle, for as an outcaste, he was afraid to enter a village of the upper classes. The brahmin persuaded him to accompany him into the village itself; he advised him to pretend to be dumb and not answer any question put to him. At the village all went well, until the master of the house to which the brahmin had gone asked the outcaste to keep aside a pair of sandals. When he hesitated, the master chided the fellow, as was his wont: “Eh, you chandaala.” As soon as he suspected that his identity was discovered, the chandaala fled! Maayaa too will do likewise.

Maayaa can be driven out

Maayaa can be recognised and driven out only when the mind is purified by prema and the avoidance of envy and hatred, born of egoism. No act done without love can be commended; there are many who come here, thousands in fact, year after year, sharing in the bhajana, listening to discourses, lectures, and staying put exactly where they were when they first arrived. Naama without bhaava (Godward inclination of the mind) seldom reaches the mark. The name of the Lord must be recited with awe and wonder, humility and reverence. The bow has to be drawn full before the arrow is released; then it will pierce the target. Feeling is the force that draws the string taut and makes the Naama reach the Naami (the bearer of the name).

The Lord is approachable by all; do not have envy towards others or feel that they are your rivals or your inferiors or even superiors; each has a place in His mansion. Sathyabhaama suffered from envy and so she was never happy. Dhroupadhi had five husbands, but she was able to serve all impartially without envy and so Krishna was ever rushing to her rescue. Give your heart over to the Lord and move in society as a dedicated being; then, no harm can come to you. As a jeeva, you may be an individual; but, as Aathma, you are Vaasudheva, the Samashti (path of the Universal whole).

The gopees were sages in previous births

First save yourselves and then save others, or try to. Being yourselves caught by the wily slush, how can you pull another out? Stand firm and safe on hard dry land and then lend a helping hand to the man struggling in the mire. You may wear the ochre robe but the robe may hide an ogre! You may advise others on yoga, but you may be full of toga (disease) yourself! Be sincere; talk only about your genuine experience; do not distort, exaggerate or falsify that experience, Have the Aathmic experience; only then can you understand the Bhaagavatha and explain it to others. For example: the incident where Krishna carries away the clothes of the gopees. The gopees (cow-herd girls) were rishis (sages) in previous Avathaar periods; the vaanaras (monkeys) of Raama avathaara come again under special charter; so their hearts are pure and their motives holy. When the gopees pleaded, “Krishna! is it dharma for you to treat us thus?” Krishna replied, “My act is not adharma; but yours is, for body-consciousness is against the highest spiritual dharma.”

Vyaasa once asked some persons, who came to him for advice to cross the Yamuna near his ashram, to bring him milk and fruits and after eating his fill, he told them, “Well! If I have maintained my vow of fasting go now and the Yamuna will make way for you!” They said, “Then we are lost; for, we saw you eat your fill with the things we ourselves brought you.” But, Vyaasa said, “I did not eat them. I offered all to Krishna; I have no body-delusion. I am the Aathma dwelling in this body.” His Aathma-consciousness was so well grounded that he could assert that he had not broken his vow!

World is changing but God is steady

What is realisation? The moment you see your own beauty and are so filled with it that you forget all else, you are free from all bonds. Known that you are all the beauty, all the glory, all the power, all the magnitude of the Universe. This Nature is but an infinitesimal fraction of His Glory; yet, you feel content with the pleasure it gives, the knowledge you gather about it, the wonder it reveals. The reflection of Shivam (auspiciousness) in the mirror of Prakrithi (Nature) is jeeva (individual being).

Look into the mirror and see your own image; you assert · “That image within is mine; but, I am different.” So too, the jeeva is Shiva but Shiva is not jeeva. The image of the Sun in the water shakes, though the Sun is steady, up above; that is the nature of water, not the Sun; so too Prakrithi is changing, but Shiva is steady, unchanging, ever the same. You do not believe that dreams indicate reality, because the dream is negated on waking. When you get knowledge, the waking experiences will also be negated. Until then, you will take all this as real; after that, you will find that this has only relative value.

The drug has to be revised, when the disease takes a turn. So, I shall tell you one more point before I close. We hear of many things and see many things. Man fills these with his own illusion and garnishes or tarnishes each thing with that illusion. A baby is born and dies within two hours or two months. If it survives and dies when it is 16 or 18 years old, the pain is greater, for the sense of “mine” has deepened its roots, through association and the development of hopeful attachment. No one is worried if the neighbour’s son dies. This is due to the egoism and exaggerated attachment.

Give each problem the attention it deserves; but do not allow it to overpower you. Anxiety will not solve any difficulty; coolness comes from detachment. Above all, believe in God and the efficacy of prayer; the Lord has said that he who does good, thinks good and speaks good will not come to harm. That is the way to get Equanimity, Shaanthi.

You have designed the chains that bind you

Some of you may imagine that it is a source of joy for the Lord to take a human form. If you are in this state, you will not feel so. I am always aware of the future, the past as well as the present of every one of you. So, I am not moved so much by pity. Not that I am hard-hearted, or that I have no dhaya (pity). If you bolt the doors fast, how can the rays of My Grace be available to you? “Swaami,” you cry, “I have no eyes; I am yearning to see you. Won’t your heart melt at my plight?” Of course, this pitiable condition melts your hearts; will it not melt Mine? But, since I know the past, the background, My reaction is different. If only you knew, you too will react differently. It is the consequence of evil, deliberately done in previous births, and so, I have to allow the suffering to continue, modified, often by some little compensation. I do not cause either joy or grief; you are the designer of both the chains that bind you.

Remove the weight from your head by transferring all burdens to the Lord; leave everything to His Will, His law. Feed your mind with sweet and wholesome food — Sathsangha, Sathpravarthana, Sarveshwara-chintha (company of the holy, speaking of God, thinking of the Lord of the Universe); then you are full of joy. I am of the nature of Bliss (Aanandhaswaruupa); come and take Aanandha from Me and returning to your avocations, dwell on that Aanandha and be full of Shaanthi.