Right and left

The Vedhas and the Shaastras provide illumination to guide the steps of man but, to the blind, it is always dark, however bright the illumination; for those who have lost faith, faltering along, stumbling and falling is the only course: The Shaastras and the Vedhas point out the means of securing the secret of lasting joy; but, man is attempting to earn shadowy joys, fleeting pleasures, pleasures fraught with evil and harm. He is trying to draw water with a pot full of holes. The senses leak out the joy he draws. They are wild untutored servants who dictate to their master, the mind.

The mind has to be brought under your grip; then, the servants will fawn at your feet. The mind is the monarch; the senses or indriyas are the soldiers; the soldiers are now ruling the king, because he lends his ears to them and not to buddhi (intellect), who is the Prime Minister. Let buddhi take charge; in a moment, the senses will be forced back into camp and the mind can save itself. The Aathma is the Sun in the firmament of the Heart. Now, the light of the Sun is obstructed by the thick clouds of vishaya-vaasana (desire for sense objects and objective pleasure); let the strong wind of paschaath-thaapa (repentance and resolution) scatter the clouds, so that the Aathma may shine forth brilliantly.

Man thinks he is enjoying the pleasures; but really speaking, it is the pleasures that are enjoying man, for, they sap his energies, dry up his discrimination, eat up his allotted years, and worm into his mind, infesting it with egoism, envy, malice, hate, greed and lust. You should not plunge into action spurred by momentary impulse; ponder deeply over the pros and cons; weigh the expected benefits against the likely harm; then act so that you escape pain and you do not inflict pain. This is true in worldly matters as well as in the spiritual field. A woman heard someone expounding Thath-thwam-asi (That thou art); she took it immediately to head and behaved as if she had no need to eat and drink and be in society and family thereafter. The truth of Thath-thwam-asi must lead to Bhaava Adwaitham (nonduality of self), not Karma Adwaitham (duality of action), for, when you come down into the field of karma, duality is inevitable.

Truth behind two aspects of God

Saguna and Nirguna (with Form and Formless) aspects of God create the same doubt in the minds of saadhak, whether they can both be true. It is like hardened ghee and liquid ghee. Ice and water are the same; water takes the form of the vessel which contains it. It is formless. But, yet, there is no distinction between ice and water. In saadhana, the saguna worship and the nirguna meditation are like the right and left feet for the journey. During the saguna worship, the basic nirguna aspect of God has to be sustaining the mind; no description can exhaust the Glory, no word can approximate the Majesty. During the nirguna meditation, the faith that God does not diminish His Glory or Majesty by being with Form, attributes and name must be the sustaining force. The final step, however, must be the right foot, considered auspicious, the nirguna step.

The jeeva (individual soul) is destined to lose its separate Name and Form and merge in the formless and the nameless. All must find their ultimate destiny in the nirguna. But, there are some who say that since the jeeva is caught up in birth and death, it can never attain the merger with the Eternal; it has to be eternally separate and distinct. The jeeva is born in sin, immersed in sin, revelling in sin and so it can at best be granted only admission to the presence of the Lord.

A person who held this opinion once went to a village and gave a discourse on the impossibility of man attaining merger with the Absolute and the Universal. One adwaithin (non-dualist) who was in the audience got up and said, this declaration is being made by even the most illiterate ryot here; why, our washerman will make it. He called the washerman in and asked him “Who are you, tell me, truly.” The fellow got frightened at this sudden invitation to announce his nature. He said, “I am a low mean sinner.” Turning to the Pandit on the platform, the adwaithin said, “If you can tell us something more than what this washerman can tell us, then, speak on.” Man must strive to break the bonds, to cleanse the sin, to regain lost glory, to attain to the highest majesty. That is the goal worth striving for, with all the equipment he is provided with.

Remove the weeds in the garden of your heart

The Vedhas and Shaastras have been teaching one thing; but those who claim to revere them are practising another thing. Listening to the teacher at a Vedhic school was one boy, among the many, in the class; he was watching a rat making its way into a hole in the wall opposite. Suddenly the teacher turned towards him and asked, “Has it gone in?”, meaning, “Has this point entered your brain?” The boy answered, “The tail is still outside the hole”, taking the question to be about the rat which he was watching! That is the condition of Hindus today: listening to Vedhas and watching the vanities of the world, the petty problems and personalities that strut on the world stage for a moment and disappear. The Shaastras lay down steps in saadhana, so that man can have peace, contentment and joy. Get acquainted with them, through these Pandits who have dedicated their scholarship and their experience for your benefit. The very first step is to remove the weeds in the garden of your heart, plucking by the roots the briar and bush of lust and greed, of hate and pride and plant in the ground thus cleared the fragrant flower plants of prema (love) and the sweet fruit trees of dharma (virtue).