“kamyopasnayarthyantyaneedinam kircit phalam seepsitam.
Reeit svargamathapvasgamapare yogdi yajnadibhih.
Asmakam yadeenandananjhryugal dhyanavadhanarthinam him lokena damena him nrpathina svargavaigaise him. Apaharai mano me ko pyayam kssna choueerah, pranat demit chaeerah pautana……………… propadye.”
Seekers of the nectar of the lotus feet of that Sacchidanand Shree Krishna, Who is the root of Bliss and the object of knowledge of the Veda and Vedanta. As is the custom, let us chant the names of God after which we will deliberate on some divine principles.
Bhajo Giridhan Govinda Gopala, Bhajo Murali Manohar Nandalala…..
All glories to Vrindaban Bihari Lal. My throat has been rebelling for a week now, but you are my guests for a few days, so I have rebelled against my throat (and chosen to speak). So please do not reflect on my throat, but on the subject I speak on.
You all know that there are three eternal principles- One God, one the jiva (soul) and one maya. And you also know ‘ raso vai sah rasmyyovayam labdhra “ nandi bhavati” that whatever you want will be attained on the attainment of God. It is only then that the ultimate aim of your devotion-infinite divine bliss will be attained, and only then that you will be free from maya. And you have also been told many times that even though that Supreme Power, God is Divine, the initiator, maintainer, ruler of this world, all- pervading and imperceptible to our senses, mind and intellect, nevertheless when He graces someone, “yamevaisa concrete tena babhya. “ that soul who is the fortunate recipient of His grace, attains God. You have also been told many times, that His grace is dependent on surrender and that surrender cannot be direct. It has to be via a guru conversant with the scriptures (srotriya) and one who has attained God (Brahmanistha). However, there is only one question has not been resolved by us, though infinite lifetimes have passed. We have attained a human body infinite times, we have heard the lecturers of saints infinite times and studied the Vedas and other scriptures infinite times. We have not yet made a decision as to how God is to be attained, we seem to be entangled somewhere, because knowledge implies making a decision. You have the knowledge” I am” and this knowledge remains the same always, in all circumstances. “I am the same as I was yesterday. I am the same person who slept and saw a dream. I am the same person who went into deep sleep”. So you realize the “I” always, in all circumstances, and if your knowledge is mature like that, only there can it be called true knowledge. If we still have doubts, we have not attained mature knowledge as to how God is to be attained or you can say how surrender is to be achieved. You have heard a lot from my students and from various saints and religious leaders, that there are various routes to God, just as various rivers take various routes, but finally end in one ocean. In the same way, it is said that there are many routes to merge into God, to attain His Bliss, His knowledge, but I do not accept this. To attain God, there is only one path, there is no other path. They can be no other path. In other words, there was no other path, is no other path and will be no other route. Now there is no dispute, because if you are standing on a cross road and one person gives you direction to go to the left, one says go to the right and so on, a person gets confused as to where to go. So what generally happens is that the traveler goes straight for a while and then returns, feeling it is the wrong route, then he goes to the left and returns, the right and returns and in this going back and fourth the body perishes. We have done this in every life, otherwise if we knew the correct route, and kept going then no matter how long it is, we would have reached, because we have lived since eternal time. God is not senior to us. Infinite lifetimes and we have not reached the goal ! Astonishing ! And the astonishing thing is that our decision is not yet firm.
Yes, so there is only one path, you do not need three* (* Karm, Gyan and Bhakti are described in the Veda). There is only one path to attain God, there is no dispute now, it is called the path of love, the path of devotion, the path of upasana. It has various names. You might think, I have heard of Karmyog, Gyanyog and so on, but they do not take you to the goal. You must have also heard that karm without devotion cannot free you from maya, that Gyan in which devotion is not paramount, cannot free you from maya. So what does that leave you with? Just the path of devotion. You can read infinite scriptures, the Vedas, Purans and various religious texts, go to various saints and sects, what will happen? “ Srutirvibhunna smrtayo vibhinna naiko muniryaseya nacah pramanam. You will get confused, by all this hearing and reading, because the way masters speak is variegated. All of you sitting here could even become atheists; there is such danger in the words of scripture. And the masters will speak from the Vedas not just randomly. Once in an assembly of learned scholars, I said there are no books as wrong as the Vedas and Gita, nor could there ever be and I challenged the scholars to come the next day, if they objected and prove me wrong. No one came and then I said I will prove today that there never was, is or will be any book superior to the Vedas and Gita. The subject of the scriptures, like the Veda and so on, is like word jugglery, the depth and sense of these words is beyond human capability to grasp. Only God or the saint bestowed with God’s intellect have that capacity. A theoretical man, no matter how great a scholar he may be, even if gifted with the intellect of Brihaspati* (* The preceptor of the celestial gods) or Saraswati (The Goddess of learning) cannot understand. “ khidyati dhiridamih. “ When Saraswati’s intellect fails in the subject of God, then what to say of the common man? Therefore, one has to stop excessive hearing, reading, thinking and intellectualizing. There is only one path, the path of devotion-there is no dispute and no confusion. If there is some great scholar of scripture, he can give a long lecture, but will finally have to say that it is only devotion that is beneficial . So what why take your hand from behind your head to hold your nose for . pranayama1, when you can hold it directly.
You must have heard from the scriptures, that foolish, illiterate rustics usually get delivered faster or “ yasca biddheh parangatah” –those who acquire the knowledge of the entire scriptures and then toss it away, admitting from the heart to their ignorance. All those who have read a bit, will know that 99.9% of the saints in India have been simple, illiterate persons. The Jagadgurus- Shankaracanya, Ramanujacharaya and so on have been just a handful. The rest of the saints have been simple, illiterate men and women, because they have a greater capacity for faith and where there is scholarship, there is doubt. Therefore the Vedas advises “pandityam mirvidya balyina tisthast. “ surrender your scholarship at the feet of the Lord, or else it will increase your pride and pride is an opponent of surrender. And instead of gaining anything you will end up with a loss.
Hit Harivansh was the greatest undisputed scholar (digvijayi) of his time, but he threw his scholarship down the Yamuna and came to Vrindaban to practice devotion to Radha Krishnaa. After some time, another phenomenal scholar by the name of Vyas (who later became a maharasik) came to challenge Hit Harivansh, to debate on the scripture. To be considered a digvijayi scholar , one would have to defeat the previous digvijya scholar. So Vyas reached Vrindaban. Hit Harivansh was cooking and identified himself on being questioned. He offered Vyas food, but Vyas said “ I have come here for scriptural debate”. Hit Harivansh said, “ Scriptural debate is done with those who know the scriptures. When you do not know the meaning of the Vedas and shastras, how can I debate with you? “ Why would a professional wrestler wish to fight with a T.B patient at the 3rd stage, who would not be able to take even a slap ? Vyas got angry and asked “How can you say I do not know the meaning of scripture ? Harivansh said, “ There is no need for fighting. I have come to Vrindaban to chant Radhey- Radhey. Just fetch me a pen and paper.” Vyas was wondering how the debate would take place with pen and paper. A debate of this kind could go on for days, months, years or even a lifetime, how would it be accomplished by writing. Hit Harivansh said “ No, No, Vyas, you haven’t understood. I want the paper and pen so that I can write that you won and I lost. Just leave this place. Don’t disturb my contemplation of Radha Krishna. Every second of mine is precious “Vyas was astonished, that a digvijayi scholar, without debate is admitting defeat to him in writing, to show all over India, just on the condition that he leaves. Seeing Vyas’s silence, Harivansh told him kindly, “ Look, son I have no intention of insulting you. All I am saying is that if you know the meaning of scripture then you would not behave in this way ”alogya srva sastrani vicarya ca punah punah, idmaekam surrnispannam dhyayo navayano harish,” Veda Vyas, who divided the Vedas, composed the Vedanta and the Purans, who is a descension of God, has said that it is beyond human intellect to gain knowledge of the entire scriptures. It is impossible to read them, a full lifetime would be spent in just turning the pages, they are so vast. He says “I have read, heard, understood and deeply pondered on the scriptures, so I am telling you with raised hands that you have to meditate on God. This is all that is written in the scriptures”. So Harivansh told Vyas. “ If you know the meaning of scripture you would not indiscriminately insult others and increase your pride. You are falling even lower. Ordinary people are better off because they do not have the pride of being a digvijayi scholar, of having defeated everyone in India.” Vyas surrendered to Harivansh right there. All the Braj rasiks know this. So all the scriptures including the Vedas, are saying. “ Practice devotion. Just love God. “ One sufi fakir* (*A muslim saint) has said”. Veda avasta al kuran ingil my kabao butkhaneo atasakda “ I have read all the Vedas.” Another fakir said. “ You are a Muslim, what do you know of the Vedas”?. “You do not know, I have studied all the Vedas, I have studied the Bible and I have accepted them all. I have made the temple, the mosque and the church mine”. How ? “Because I have loved God”. What else is written in the Veda, or the Purans, or the Bible ? And by loving God, I have accepted all these scriptures. The Vedas will be pleased with me. “ Yes, he has understood our message and accepted it”. The Koran will be pleased. No one will be displeased. So gaining knowledge of the scriptures including the Vedas, means to love God.
Uddhav was a great gyani- you must have heard of him. Shree Krishnaa said “Have you acquired full knowledge? “ Being Shree Krishna‘s friend, he used to speak as an equal. “ Of course, I have. “ So God said. “ gran nynana sampanno bhaj nam bhakti bhavatah. “ (Bhagvatam). “ You are acquainted with all knowledge and science” “Yes. “ “Then love Me.” The moment you know someone is yours then not to love him is impossible.
Let us take the example of a father and son. The father slaps the son because of some mistake he makes. The son leaves home at a young age, and starting with some simple work at a hotel, he works his way up till he owns his own business and becomes a millionairies,. Now he thinks of visiting his native land. Initially he had vowed not to return, because of the slap of his father, but better judgment prevailed. With this positive intelligence, came the desire to see his father, and he started off towards him. Now the father was also half mad due to separation from his only son. By chance, both of them happened to be staying at the same inn and that too in adjacent rooms. Now the father in his state of madness, world sometimes speak incoherently, sometimes cry and so on, and the son, being a millionaire and having the pride of youth, came out and scolded him saying “ Old man, you are disturbing my sleep. I don’t know how they allow mad men to stay in this hotel. Where is the manager ? He should be called and have this man expelled”. Now, there was an exchange of words between the two and in that, they realized that they were father and son. The anger of course subsided. Instead both embraced each other and started crying. See, initially there was so much enmity, but knowledge of the relationship led to instant love. If someone says he knows God 10%, then his love for God should also be 10%. “No, I don’t love Him. “Then, you do not know Him, that is proved, you are simply talking nonsense. To know means to accept. If you do not accept then what have you known? “ drstva janma jara ripathimananam trassca notpadyati. Pitra mohamayim pramad madira manmatlabhutam jagat. What has a person gotten from his mother, his father, his son, his wife, husband ? from friends? The inside story was just of selfish interest. Have you reflected on it?. “No I have not reflected”. Why? You should think about it, you have a human life, in a body with a superior intellect, rare even for the gods to attain and what use are you putting it to? Why have you gotten it? Till death you have not thought for a second that all these relatives and things are not mine. They are not ours. Not even 0.1% of our self interest is to be gained from them. And we are naturally seeking our interest, it is our nature. Wherever your mind is attached, it is only for selfish reasons. You have heard all this in great detail and understood it. But it is an astonishing thing, that after having being deceived for infinite lives, we still turn to the world. There is a famous Indian proverb which says “A cat that burns itself with hot milk will blow on butter-milk too before drinking it” and we who have been burnt infinite times still go towards the world . If someone says to you “ You are otherwise a nice person, but I feel you have a screw loose”. He has just said one, but you say “What did you say, I have a screw loose? See, just on his speaking anger has come. Anger means personal harm. You are supposed to be looking after your self-interest aren’t you? Yes. Then why are you harming yourself by getting angry? Where is the intelligence in this? Yes, we are supposed to care for ourselves. Even if you are a follower of Charvaka,* your self-interest decrees that you do yourself no harm. Yes. And you are getting angry. The body is harmed, there is mental harm, spiritual harm, loss in every way. “Yes, I know but I do not know why I am doing it”. We have made no decision even though we have heard a lot, read a lot and thought a lot. With all that reading, hearing and thinking, if no decision was made, your effort was wasted.
So we have to love God. This is the only action, the only knowledge, the only duty. Yuddhisthir asked Bhishma who was lying on the bed of arrows “ Maharaj, I am confused by the teachings of the various scriptures, tell me in brief, what is the true form of religion? What is our religion /duty”? Bhisma replied “esa mem sauradharnarnam dharmo dhiktmo matah. Yadbhaktya pundarikaksom stavairarcainnarah sada” (Mahabharat). “Various religions and paths create confusion, and your aim is to eradicate the confusion. This confusion is maya because of which you are devoid of the experience of bliss. Just attach your mind to the lotus-eyed Shree Krishnaa, surrender to Him, practice devotion to Him. Besides this there is no other religious principle”. Religion or duty means that which is worth holding on to. Just as you hold on to, cook and eat rice, cereals etc. because it is necessary for the body. It is to maintain the body that all these are required. The soul has its own nature. What is needed for it? What is our spiritual food?. Don’t think of anything else. Hold onto Shree Krishnaa. That is your duty, because you are His servant. Your duty is to hold onto your master, its that straight forward. If anyone holds onto anything else, or tells you to hold on to anything else, he is insane. Veda Vyas says something very beautiful in the Skanda Puran. “ sa karta sauvradharamanam yo bhaktastav kesava sa karta sauvapapanam yo na baktastvayuta.” Whoever practices devotion to Shree Krishnaa has done all his duties. All duties will salute him, he has nothing left to do. In the world, the personal assistant of the president or Prime minister, is saluted by big officers, Collectors and Commissioners and they try to gain his favor. He is not the Governor, or the Prime Minister, but a P.A But, he is the Prime minister’s man. So, whoever becomes God’s man, can not be opposed by the greatest powers of the universe- Indra (The king of the gods), Varuna
You know of the descension known as Nrsingh who killed Hiranyakasyapu. All the gods, including Brahma and Shankar were present there. They had a meeting and decided that He should be welcomed to that universe, and thanked for what he had done, as demanded by etiquette. So Brahma pushed Shankar forward saying that as he had the power to destroy creation he should go before Nrishingh. Then, Brahma was told to go forward as he has the power to create. Then, Vishnu as the protector of the universe was requested. Each was pushing the other, forward and no one was willing to go. When these three great powers were so fearful, you can imagine the state of lesser powers like Indra, Varuna, Kuber and Yamaraj. Finally, they went to Laksmi saying “You always massage His feet, please do us this favor. You go in front, mother, we will follow”. Lakshmi said “No. My body is trembling just seeing Him”.
In the end, Nrsingh’s personal man, His devotee, seeing everyone’s fear, said “Come here, everybody, I will go ahead.” It was Prahlad. Everyone was astonished at the courage of the little boy. A powerful man will start trembling, if he sees an ordinary lion standing in front of him, and here when God had taken a Lion like form Prahlad is smiling and saying “Why are you scared, this is the Beloved of my life, the life-giver to my soul. He is not a destroyer, but a protector, why are you afraid? “ This was Prahlad’s state, and when he went over, Nirsingh lifted him up, putting his feet on one hand and putting the other hand on his head. His anger was gone, instead He started dancing, with tears of joy in His eyes. God loves His devotees so much, so how can anyone possibly raise a finger against them. You have heard many stories in this regard, like that of Ambarish. Therefore one who practices devotion to God has fulfilled all other duties. And one who does not practice devotion and does everything else, pay attention, everything else, like follow the rules of Varnashram dharm, practicing austerities, or the path of Yog or other spiritual practices, or acquires the power to create a new heaven as Vishwamitra did, is condemned. Devotees reject all this austerity and show of miracles, do not even glance in this direction, became this is all sin. Veda Vyas is describing all this as sin. In the Padma Puran Veda Vyas quotes God “ Mannimitam kirtam papam maddhamauya ca kalpate. Mamnaraya dharmo pi papam syanmatpiabhavatah.” “O humans. Sin which is committed for My sake becomes rightenousness, and righteousness independent of Me, becomes sin” Therefore devotion to God- is the Supreme religion “ dharmo madbhaktikrt prortah“. And Vedavyas writes in detail “ “vasiveda para rdah” . Everything, karm, duty, charity, penance etc. are all intended for Vasudeva (Shree Krishnaa) and if not done for Him, it is like multiplying O with a million, a billion, a trillion. What is your result? Zero. You take the effort of multiplying O with ten million and what is your result? Zero. This applies to every path, Shree Krishnaa tells Uddhava “ etavanyog adistho macchisyaih sanakadibhih. Sarvato mana akrsya mayyaddha vaisyati yatha (Bhagvatam) “Uddhava, you have heard of the path of yog. “ Yes I have Maharaj. It is called the eight-fold Yogic path” (astanga yog)” Shree Krishnaa explained that the real meaning of yog, was the removal of the mind, from the entire world, from all objects and from all tendencies, and attaching it only to Him. Yog means to get linked. For the mind to get linked with Manmohan, is yog. To know who Shyamasunder is, is Gyan, or true knowledge, to know how to serve Him, is Karm, that is all. There is no other Karm, or duty, and if there is, it is mayic, causing bondage, making one rotate in the 8.4 million species of life. Whether it is a worldly duty or a Vedic one, or one that gives you a birth on earth or one that gives you a birth in heaven, it is a path that will take you away from your real goal. “Karmnam parinamitrada vrincad mangalam”. Karm will take you up to the highest heavenly plant Brahmalok, but what will that achieve ? “ a Brahmabhuvanalokah punaravartirno rijuna. You will one day have to return. “ hinataram va visanti”. From there you can go even into the womb of a dog or a hog. And of course, you will miss the chance of a human birth. In other words, there is just one path, the path of devotion. “ athat anancladugham padambujam hansah sryerannaravinda locana” (Bhagvatam). Shree Krishnaa tells Uddhava,” Even the qreatest of paramhansas, ultimately have to humble themselves before Me. Why not do it right at the start?” Which paramhansa has crossed maya, without practicing devotion to Shree Krishnaa? “ na sobhate Gyanmalam niranjanam”.
Even after gaining niranjan jnan (transcendental knowledge) one cannot cross maya. “ Pay attention. What is this “ niranjan Gyan”. There is one anjan Gyan” and one “niranjan Gyan”. Niranjan Gyan “ means to reach a state of indifference. The first stage of the gyanis is tattvamasi”. The second stage is “ aham Brahmasmi.” In this 2nd higher stage, the triputi (set of three) of knowledge, knower, and that which is to be known all exist. And niranjan Gyan is above this. Here the knower ceases to be. “ Aham Brahmasmi ( I am Brahm) the “I” disappears and only “ Brahm” remains. Now when the knower goes, that which is to be known, goes and knowledge also goes. This triputi (set of three) vanishes. This is a state gyanis reach, their ultimate stage, upon which they lavish great praise. But these poor souls, should not be an object of anger, but of compassion. What miracle have the niranjan gyanis performed in crossing the 5 covering of water, fire, air ether and ego, beyond this there is mahan, and prakriti (maya). The sequence of creation is that from God, prakriti* (* Maya)) emerges, from that mahan, (The cosmic manifestation) and from that ahankar (the ego) and from that, the world by eliminating the ego, the gyani crosses ahankar, but beyond this is mahan, and beyond that its creator maya. These two are left and cannot be crossed by any personal spiritual discipline.
That is why, “areehya kraeechiena param padam tatah patanti”. He will fall again, die again, there is no question of liberation. For liberation, there is only one path, and no other, the path of devotion.”Bhaktirevainam nayati bhaktirevinam pasyati bhaktirevainam darsayati” (Veda). Shree Krishna tells Arjuna “ You have had my darshan? “ Yes, Maharaj I have” “Naham vedina na tapasa na danena na cejyaya. “ This darshan of Mine cannot be attained by any spiritual practice. You can live for ages just on air, live even without air but you will not attain my divine vision (darshan) “na man sadhyati gogo na sankhya dharma” “Uddava there is no path to attain Me”.
Yes, if someone has acquired wealth, he can build himself a mansion, , buy a car, or an aeroplane. You can do all this but you cannot attain Bliss, you cannot free yourself from sorrow. That won’t happen. Then what is the value of all your earning? Your tension has increased. You have increased your problems. Why did you earn your millions, billions what did you want to achieve? “I would be able to sleep peacefully, free from all worries”. But isn’t everything just the reverse? “Yes that’s true but if instead of a million I had 2 million, then my worries will go”. It is in doing this that infinite lives have passed. You have infinite times held the post of the king of heaven, in past lives, you have had Yamaraj under your control and that position did not quench your thirst. Therefore, it is gross foolishness to say that a million, or a billion will end your worries. An ordinary fool can be rectified, but not a gross fool. Tulsidas has said “ murakh hrdaya na cet yadi guru mile viranei sam”. Even a guru as great as the original Jagadguru Brahma world not be able to such a fool.
“Srimad bakra na kinha kehi prathbuta badhir na kahi”. The pride that comes from wealth is such, that outside of God realized saints, there was, is and will be no one, who will not get blinded by its intoxication ”nahi kou as janma jag mahin, prabhuta pai, jahi mad nahin.” When people start displaying arrogance, just on owing a lakh, then you can imagine the condition of a billionaire (laughs). When you are overwhelmed, just upon seeing these wretched material bodies of yours in a mirror, you can imagine what will happen if you see Urvasi or Menaka* (*Two of the most beautiful dancing girls of king Indra’s heavenly court”). In other words, we have pride over insignificant things. And if someone has great power and pride, then what is so surprising in that? Ravan is cited as being prideful. What pride did he have? There is one God whose servants are the sun god (Surya), the moon god (Chandra), the god of death (Yama) and Ravana was like a second God, because all of them were his servants. There is nothing wrong in his saying “There is no one equal to me. “kshupanath tinhe rahe chatra jako. He could forbid the sun from creating a temperature over 450. He could command the moon to remain full. And you call him arrogant. Arrogance is what we people have, who strut about even though we have nothing. We go in front of saints and if this scold us, we leave, saying “I have no faith in him “ Why? Because you have a million. Even if you humble yourself for a thousand years, and then a saint scolds you, you should persist in going to him. Then you will gain something. This million that you own is destroying you. Come to your senses.
“ asatah srinadandhyasys daridrayam paramanjam” Veda Vyas reflected a lot on how the wealthy could be saved. In the end, he admitted defeat. It cannot happen. Yes if by good fortune, they donate the money to a worthy recipient, and become poor, then they can be saved.” Daridraya paramanyanam”. They will have to accept poverty or else their salvation is impossible. Yes once you attain God, anything is possible. Prahlad ruled the world for 306 million, 720 thousand years. And once in this long reign, he was tested. Once there was a bet between Prahlad’s son Virochana and Prahlad’s guru’s son, and they put their life as wager. So it was no ordinary bet. “If I lose, my life is in your hands, if you lose, your life is in my hands”. They were children and laid down the wager, but who would decide the result? Who would act as judge? The guru’s son said to Virochana” Your father Prahlad should be the judge.” Virochana said” He is my father, if he rules in my favor, you will say he was partial. Some 3rd party should be the judge. “ The guru’s son said “No. No. It’s not like that. My father (Prahlad’s guru) says that your father cannot act partially. Maya has no sway over him.” Once someone has attained God, his maya is finished for eternity. “shatn mechapathe maya.” Maya cannot stand in front of Him, where is the question of overpower him. Just as darkness cannot stand in front of light. Cannot it stand in competition at least and then lose? No It cannot even stand in front!
Anyway, Prahlad made the decision against his son and ordered him hanged. And he maintained the same demeanor that he had before, during the trial and when making the decision. There was no feeling both within and without. His internal state remained the same in all circumstances. Now the guru’s son told Virochana “Your life is in my hands”. “Absolutely, my father has made the decision”. Now there can be no “buts”. “I had accepted the wager beforehand”. Now the guru’s son asked Prahlad “ Are you my superior or my subordinate? “ Your inferior Maharaj”. Then you will have to follow my order.”Prahlad said” Absolutely. If you want, I will also hang just as I have ordered for my son.” “No, I order you to release him. He is your only son and has to rule after you. He has to manage the entire world, so I release him , I must be merciful”. Prahlad released him, without being elated about his release. It was alright if he died it was alright if he lived. This condition will come after attaining God, it is impossible before. Someone can say “ I have everything, but no pride.”Who is saying this? Someone who has something is saying this.” I have no pride” Whose statement is this? The intellect’s. What is your pride about? Your intellect. Why will your intellect make any decision against itself? When you are alone you think” Am I doing anything wrong? “ Not at all. Who are you asking? You are asking the intellect which is under the three gunas, it will only make a decision in its own favor. Only the guru can make decisions against your intellect, no one else has the courage. Even a mother and father cannot do it, because they think if we speak like this, then he can get angry and our self- interest will be harmed. Once Ram gave a lecture in Ayodhya, after which, the public said “ Tum bin as sikh dei na kou nature pita svarth rut hou. “ No one can give us instruction as you do because you have nothing to gain from us.” ” Where there is even a touch of self interest justice cannot take place, some mess will take place, will enter in secretly. But if someone says injustice has taken place, the person will defend himself vehemently. “This is not injustice, what I did is absolutely correct.”
So the wealth of this world is extremely harmful for us. That is why Kunti asks for a boon. “ O Lord, I am not asking for devotion or Golok or Vaikunth. Just deprive me of the world” “janmarimya sheta sribhiredhamanmadah jumani naivarhatyabhidhtum vai truvamakinacan gocaram,” “You belong to the destitute, and wherever there is wealth, the pride that “ I am somebody” also comes.” Tandapi sunicena taraopi sahisnure” And the foundation of surrender is humility. It is on this that the palace of devotion stands. Its basis is humility. If that goes, what is left? Then with your mouth you can chant the names of God, pray, do anything, it will all be faulty. If you have pride, then whatever actions you perform are all wrong. You went to the saints, you saluted them, you washed their feet and drank the water, all of it was done wrong.” “I went on pilgumage to the 4 dhams”. You did the wrong thing. All your charity and good deeds will be wrong if done with pride. You will realize this, after death, when you have to reap the result. You did so much and you are getting punished instead. Yes because it was pride that motivated it, not humility. Even if you give a beggar two paise, look at the way you toss it to him with such arrogance. He is a child of God and so are you but you have taken out of God’s creation, a larger amount of goods and called it yours. This is your crime, and that poor fellow has not called made so many goods his. He is asking you for two paise, that too from his own father’s property, you are not doing him some special favour. Even if you give two paise, give it with love.” “What are you saying to me? I am a billionaire” (laughs) Your are not anything, when the body is taken away, everyone will have to stand in one line for judgement whether you are a billioinaire, or a pauper or the king of heaven.
There was a great Muslim saint by the name of Hazrat Junaid. There is a beautiful story of his with reference to a person who was returing from his pillgrimage to Mecca (Haj). So these Hajjis (a person who has completed his pilgrimage to Mecca) begin to fell that they are special, just as we have the pride of having visited the four dhams*. (The four dhams are are Puri, Rameshwaram, Dwarika, and Badrikashram). And we talk about it with everyone. We will tell others without even being asked. Hazrat Junaid asked the Haji “When you went towards the Kaa’ba towards Mecca-Medina, did you feel you were getting closer to God?” “No I did not”. “Then you did not go towards the Kaa’ba, you have been deceived”. There are many halts on the way to Mecca Medina. They have their rules and regulations and a particular sequence in which the pilgrimage is to be conducted. After many halts, one reaches Mecca. “ So on these halts, did you get the realization that, you were coming close to God, that you had made progress”? “No, more I remained normal.” Then you did not observe the halts’(padaav) at all’. “Did you wear the “ahraam? “ The ahraam is an unstitched cloth that is worn when going on the Hajj to Mecca-Medina. “When you left your stitched clothes and donned the unstitched cloth, did you leave all your evil tendencies at that time? “ “No, I didn’t leave them”. “Then you didn’t wear the “ ahraam”.There is a mountain there called Irfaan”. Pilgrims stand on the peak of “Irfaan” with their eyes closed, and worship God. They offer their salutations to Him.” So when you stood on the peak of Irfaan did you feel you had reached God, that nothing in the world was yours? “ “No nothing like that happened. “ “Then you did not stand on Irfaan at all.” There are two mountains there, Safaa and Marvaa. You must have run on these two mountains. I am telling you the rules governing the Haj, which everyone has to follow.” When you ran on Safaa (purity) and Marvaa (compassion) did you feel these qualities inside you? “ “No, nothing special happened.” Then you did not run on those mountains”. There is one place where one has to make a sacrifice. “Did you make a sacrifice, an offering of your desires, and did you feel your desires coming to an end?.” “No my desire did not end, they remaind as they were.”” Then you did not make any sacrifice.” So, the rules laid down for the Haj by the Prophet Muhammad if followed properly, would make one beloved of God, a devotee of God. He would attain God, but if not done properly the whole Haj become mere acting.,
Like that, we visit the four dhams, go to Vrindaban, Mathura, here and there, after some charity ins some place, obeisance in another, and after this play acting, when we return home, we do not examine ourselves to see where we stand. We are exactly where we started, except that we have the additional pride, of having done everything. This is our earnings!, In other words we make an ever greater loss. To looked down on others and think oneself superior -these two tendencies are our enemies. You can write it down in gold letters, that to consider others lesser and oneself greater is the greatest fault one can have. There is no greater fault to be found in the world. If you shed a few tears for God, during kirtan, you start thinking about another devotee. “He is nothing, I shed tears, I am the greater devotee.” Why do you make this mistake? If by the grace of God and guru, two tears do come, admit it was their grace. This is not your inheritance; it can be snatched away from you in a second. Great, great spiritual aspirants have been destroyed, what is your standing? Always study yourself, remain alert. When you cycle in the city, you remember where you have to go, you move aside for the car behind you, are conscious of the motor-cycle to the left of you, stop when you sense danger. You remain alert always. Because the slightest mistake, the slightest carelessness, and you could die, or fracture an arm or leg. But there you are cautious. Because the importance of it is in your brain, but you give no importance to the subject of God, or else very little, and therefore you are careless in this respect.
So, devotion is the only path. And it should be from the heart, not the senses. It is alright for you to engage the senses. I am not telling you to stop your kirtan and bhajan, these are all helpers, and should be used. They have been made for that purpose. “sang sajjana carccar mana ca ghosa kiratna ca aharmshi”. A saint called Tukaram says” Do all this, but do not forget that the mind is the main point”. The main thing is lost, and people are doing kirtan, bhajan, going on pilgrimage, chanting on beads, reciting scriptural texts and engaging in prayer. And this is what is taught by the babas “Just chant on your beads so many times, just read this scriptural text aloud, read the Ramayana aloud, the Gita, the Bhagvatam, the Vedas”. What is the use of mere recitation of letters? It says in the Gita “ mamekam saranam vraja”.- “Surrender to Me.” Who is saying this? God. Who is He sayng this to? To Arjun. Why is He saying it? To make Arjun surrender to Him. Now you go and repeat” mam ekam saranam vraja.” Who are you saying this to? To whom? “We are just reciting it”. Why are you just reciting it, are you mad? God was not saying this in a state of madness. He was telling Arjuna to take shelter of Him. Who are you asking to take shelter of you? In other words, you simply recite what is written in the scriptures. Writing, reading, both are equally uselessl, until you do what the scripture says. The verse of the Gita is asking you to practically surrender to God .It is not saying just say “ I am surrendered.”
In the disciplic succession of Vallabhacharya there is a mantra “ Sri Krisna sharanam mama”. This is the mantra given by the guru “ Sri krishna sharanam mama” (Sri Krisna is my only shelter). Now you can repeat this day and night. You might say it is all right. Something is better than nothing. However, I do not even consider it something, because “something” should have some connection with the mind. Just to repeat with the mouth, is not sadhana. Sadhana or Upasana means to take the mind close to God. If there is a fire pit fifty feet away, and you are feeling cold, move forward ten feet. “I did. Yes the cold has reduced”. Now, move to twenty feet from the fire. Now you getting the benefit of the temperature even more. Now if you stand at fifty feet away from the fire, just extending your hands, where is the heat? You will say “There is no fire.” I have kept my hands up for such a long time and the cold has not subsided.” You have to go close to the fire, take this body close to the fire, to feel its temperature. Like that, you have to take your mind to God, to get the benefit. Don’t be afraid.” I have committed a lot of sin”. “Sin? Pay close attention. Before the attainment of God there is no one-sage, ascetic, yogi or the greater fool, who has not committed infinite sins which have accumulated in his account. Someone who has the power of creation, like Vishwamitra also has an infinite stock of sins. How do you say then” I am a great sinner. I am a small sinner? ”Do not take the calculation of one life in counting your sins. Infinite sins of infinite lifetimes are amassed together and linked to you and you will be forgiven them only on the attainment of God. After that you can not be forced to reap their consequences. This is leniency, mercy on the part of God, once you attain Him. So do not be fearful of being a sinner. Everyone is a sinner, everyone has infinite sins to their credit. And don’t say that you have committed no sins in this lifetime. Until you attain God, whatever you do is sin. You do not understand the definition of sin. So we are not free of sins, as a matter of fact we are linked with every possible sins. “harenamnasica ya sakhih pap nirharane dviya”.” However God says “sarva dharma bahibhutah sarvapaparatasthata”. “ If one comes into My shelter everything is forgiven. “Janama koti agh nasahu tabahim”.
I dayahe ma dayahe na umedi nesta, sadbar agar toba sikasti baj a “. A sufi saint says “God’s court is where you have sinned infinite times and repented infinite times saying “Lord I will not commit this mistake” and you do it again. But still, do not be afraid. Even thought you have repented and sinned infinite times, still repent truthfully and come into His shelter. True repentance means not to commit the same mistake. We have this habit in the world of saying “ Sorry, sorry” all day without any corresponding feeling inside. What is it we are saying? “Forgive me Excuse me” This is said with the mouth, without any feeling inside of having done anything wrong. Today “ Sorry” is a term used to fool people. But, you have to actually realize your guilt, feel bad about it. However, this is not part of our philosophy.
So there is just one duty, one karm, one Gyan- to practice devotion to God. This is the verdict of all masters, of practitioners of every religion. This is the ultimate verse from the Quran “ ma khalkatal ins va jinna illable avaden”. O humans ! you have got this human body, just to love God.” You know the work ”Unsa” means lover. “Salma” is the word from which Islam” is derived. It means a “lover”, a worshiper of God. The word “ Christianity” that you hear is derived from “kristos” which means washed, cleansed with Godly knowledge. All these words all carry the same meaning. But this love has to come from within, external theory is not good enough. So devotion to Sri Krishnaa is the only way, and it requires no particular spiritual practice, no particular knowledge, nor do you have to wonder what is to be done in order to surrender to Him. You have to do nothing, just make the right emotions towards Him. He is greedy for your devotional sentiments. There is nothing else that has to be done.
There is a Roman Catholic story, concerning a deity of Mary in a Church. Various priests, and the lay public would go and petition Mary for the fulfillment of their desires. There was a juggler, who supported himself, with his juggling performances. Nevertheless, he could not fill his stomach in spite of sweating it out all day. He said “Everyone goes to Mary to petition Her, I will also go today. If I just got food and clothing, I would require nothing else. “ So after the priests had made their petitions and left, he continued to hide in a corner of the Church and on everyone’s departure, he locked the gates from within and started his juggling act for Mary. He was simple- minded, he did not consider it a stone figure, but Mary herself. He showed the various skills that jugglers display, jumping all around the church until he was sweating profusely. Mary said nothing. What do you expect from a stone statue. His repeated jumping caused some sound to go outside. Just as we have temple priests, they have the same in a church. So someone asked, “ What is this noise inside. It sounds like someone dancing.” He glanced through the peep hole and saw a man inside. The door was broken down, and a crowd collected, including the priests, and they started beating the juggler, accusing him of dirtying the church, by spreading sweat all over. Just as they started beating him, an effulgence manifested, and Mary appeared and wiped away his sweat. Everyone fainted, She said” He is dear to Me, he believed in Me whereas you all have no faith in me.”
So God is greedy for your devotional emotions. He does not want any false show, or any particular means. He does not say “ Recite this particular mantra, get up at four am or six am face east or west, sit in this position, wear these clothes, wash and bathe. He is not concerned with all this. Then what is He concerned with? I will explain this some other time.
All glories to Vrindavan Bihari Lal!