Om Sri Sadgurudevaaya Namaha
Baaba's Glory on the occasion
Guru-Purnima is dedicated to the memory of Sage Vyaasa who expanded and simplified the Vedas for the sake of humanity. Our Guru is the uttama-adhikari and beholds the same Vyaasa pitha (the seat of Vyaasa) for us as he contemplates and transmits knowledge to the disciples. Guru-Purnima is observed to honor the Vyaasa pitha, to honor the seat of knowledge, to honor the knowledge that helps people to traverse the bhaava saagara (the ocean of delusions), this world of delusion. Guru-Purnima is not celebrated to worship the Guru, but as Gurudev always says, it is the worship of the vyakthithwa (the ideals), not the vyakthi (the individual); it is the worship of the Guru-thathwa (ideals), worship of the jnanam (knowledge). To keep the light always kindled in the hearts of the disciples, to reaffirm the belief and the allegiance, Guru-Purnima is observed year after year.
Guru is jnanam, Guru is Shiv but to realize this thathwa (principle) we need a Guru in physical form. Guru is that link between the celestial world and this. Guru plays a significant role in the evolution of man. A sishya does not meet his or her Guru by accident; it happens because it has been ordained. To be able to recognize the Guru requires an inner urge, a spiritual quest to seek the truth. All of us present here have been fortunate and blessed indeed to be able to recognize our Guru, to be able to be in His company and to be able to partake of the nectar that He bestows upon us every moment. He is nithyam - permanent- achara (immovable) and nirguna (without attributes).
Gurudev or Baaba as we normally call him, always portrays himself as an ordinary human being having normal human emotions, experiencing the same joys and sorrows, the same pains and pleasures. There is a great principle behind this. He lives Upanishads, he breathes Upanishads, he is dipped in Upanishadic principles but He says, unless He lives the life of an ordinary human being, we will not be able to relate to him. For us to transform, for us to evolve and travel beyond, Baaba sacrifices.
Baaba has his own way of transforming disciples. He is humility and compassion personified; He weeps internally when he sees a disciple in trouble; he radiates a smile when he sees spiritual progress in someone. Baaba reminds us that one who ignores the knowledge is an ignorant and one who does not allow changes to the swa-bhaava is broadminded. Sensual pleasures merely give a sense of pleasure, says Baaba.
Baaba silently transforms through spiritual discourses, studies and through meditation, through physical, mental and spiritual healing and through personal counseling. He is a Reiki, psychic and maantric healer apart from conducting emotional let-out and past life regression seminars. He has also held workshops for the executives at HAL, Kanpur and a session on stress management for the faculty and students at IIT Kanpur. Aura reading and predictions are some of the other activities through which He tries to help people.
Guru-Purnima is also the beginning of the chaturmaasa (four months) when the spiritual masters and the disciples settle down at a place to study the scriptures. For us, with Baaba, every day is the beginning of a new chaturmaasa. We have been fortunate enough to listen to divine words twice a week for the last decade. He emanates knowledge through silence which is the highest form of jnanam. His words are equally powerful and the book titled MasterPieces contains messages from Baaba to awaken and inspire the seeker. These invaluable pearls of wisdom have been extracted from Baaba's discourses over time. It has been given its due respect and honor by the initiative of a disciple Shalini Sen in bringing out this book on the occasion of Guru-Purnima.
We have been fortunate to be with Baaba and Guru-Maa for eight days for a meditation camp in West Sikkim last month. It was an extended learning in the path of self-realization. To be ONE with the Guru is to be one with Nature. It is to be one with the sweet fragrance of things around, to be one with the peace that comes from deep within. It is indeed, to be equally at home with the sublime and the real. Comparing Baba and showing how he is "different" is a task that I am neither competent to execute, nor would it be possible to express in words the subtle greatness that lies immersed in him that makes him what he is. You can only experience it! Listening to him is an overwhelming experience and his natural expressions are among the things that you can feel even with eyes closed. Again, you can only experience it!
A devout follower of Lord Shiva, deft in the nuances of Sanskrit Literature, an endless ocean of knowledge, his style is deep, uniquely identifiable, inimitable and stems from a deep desire to bring about change. Baaba always says Brahmavith Brahmaiva Bhavathi - one who knows the Brahman becomes the Brahman. To such a Lord and Master, we offer salutations -
Hridaye vasathe baaba padmaasanasthitham
Jnanachakshusham shobhithe baaba
For a true devotee Baaba is the presiding Deity in every chakra. Baaba is the air that we breathe, He is the praana and the praana shakthi, He is the flower and the fragrance, He is within and all over - now and always and finally TAT TWAM ASI.
OM Sri Gurobhyom Namaha
Guru-Purnima was observed on the 29th July 2007. This year the occasion was marked by the release of a book called MasterPieces - which contains pearls of wisdom, collected from Baaba's discourses over a period of time.
Message from Baaba after Paada-Puja in the evening
The nature of the mind is to be chanchala (always active); it is always agitated whether it receives positive or negative suggestions. This is why the noblemen preach to be always in the status of gunaateetham (beyond any attribute). The mind becomes agitated with any of the gunas (attributes) and an agitated mind can never be peaceful. There are some who cannot sit still even for two minutes and even when there is nothing to talk they would discuss the weather. The mind constantly craves for some form of entertainment all the time and these are the people who cannot attain moksha (liberation).
To bring peace to the mind, we always recite a Shaanthi Paath or peace prayer. It is an attempt to bring peace within everyone although there is no assurance that it will make you peaceful. It is up to an individual to decide and this is only information that one needs to be peaceful.
Guru-Purnima is also known as Vyaasa Purnima. Veda Vyaasa's full name was Krishna Baadarayaana Dwaipayaana Vyaasa. Krishna denotes his varna (complexion) as he was dark in color. He did thapasya (meditation) in Badrinath and hence Baadarayaana was added to his name. Since he was born on a dweep (island) Dwaipayaana formed a part of his name. Veda Vyaasa was the name by which he was addressed later on.
From the inception of the universe the great Maharishis, the great noblemen, the great thapaswis (those who constantly meditate), received enlightenment due to their thapasya, their dedication and devotion to Godliness. This helped them to reveal the swabhaava (nature) and swarupa (true form). According to saasthraas (scriptures) such people could be the drustha (witness) of the mantras. They did not just receive shruthi (listen); they were the drustha of the mantras - they could actually witness and assimilate all the Veda mantras. The Veda mantras are not for any rituals or any religious function or for attainment of any religious benefits. It is pure science, the noble science on which the entire universe is existing today. Vedic mathematics, for example was known by great noblemen even before 5000 BC. The Yajna Kuntha (pit where oblations are offered) was drawn charting the four directions - north - south - east and west. The agni (fire) was placed in the central kuntha (pit), the other eight corners had offerings. Particular measurements were taken and based on that the grabha graha (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple were constructed in the trethayuga. (In sathya yuga and dwapara there were no temples and no murthy puja - worship of the idol). All the calculations were made based on the energy settlement in the centre of a square with a particular measurement. Every temple is either in the shape of a triangle, a circle or a square. The roof has to be in the form of a triangle and the worship area either a circle or a square. We derive all the powers from the shakthi (seat of energy) and that is established in the centre, at the seat of agni. These are the Vedic mantras, which carry the total science of the existence of the universe. This science or the material science is a part of the Vedic science. Maharishis and Mahamunis could sit just anywhere and create diamonds. They could create chemicals that could disappear. They would create things when needed. They did not need to set up a factory like today to produce, store and sell. They used it for a particular purpose depending upon the requirements for the generation. This is to emphasize that the Vedic mantras are not meant for a particular religion or for promoting certain religious methods.
Recently I happened to read an article which confirms that the Vedic mantras contain the total science of the existence. An elderly Indian lady went to Germany for treatment of a fairly ordinary disease. The Germans have access to Sanskrit granths (scriptures) and their language is also based on pure Sanskrit. Their grammar is totally based on Sanskrit. Homeopathy too has been taken from here, rediscovered and further improvements made on it by Hahnemann. The doctor in Germany said, "If you have a physical problem, I have tablets and chemicals here with me which can cure you but your problem is not physical; it is your thoughts, imagination and feelings that need to be treated for which I do not have any chemicals. You seem to be an Indian. You should go back to your country where there are thousands of people who can heal you instantly by application of mantric science and the pure science of understanding". Just by looking at a person one can heal another person. Can you believe this? If you do not believe it go back to some of the sciences that are being applied even today. In Kerala even today wild elephants are caught and tamed through this method. These are great noblemen, the Namboodri sect which is highly educated in Vedic science. The elephants are trapped in a pit and then the Namboodri looks at the elephant directly in the eyes for twenty minutes. Certain mantras are chanted and through the highest meditational form, he transmits his thoughts and instructions to the elephants through his third eye. The elephant receives the instruction and the Namboodri walks away. The elephant has been tamed! Even today the practice is prevalent. This is the science that we have. This is the complete science. These Maharishis, through their chakshu (the inner eye) could witness the mantras; they could see the mantras.
Veda Vyaasa too assimilated all the Vedic mantras that were heard and noted down by his predecessors. He did not compose the Vedas; he put them in different forms and divided them into four different categories as Rig Veda, Saama Veda, Atharvana Veda and Yajur Veda. Since he took the initiative to categorize the Vedas, he was known as Veda Vyaasa. Vyaasa Purnima is hence observed in honour of the nobleman who has read all the mantras and Vedas and who could divide them into different categories. There are the Mantropanishads and the Braahmanopanishads. The Braahmanopanishads instructs the execution part of it. The Braahmanopanishads further have been divided into samhithas and upasamahithas and from these enormous amounts of documents have been created.
(It is essential to understand the importance of Veda mantras. One Veda mantra creates one Upanishad. Two lines of the mantra from the Vedas can create Upanishads of more than hundred pages. In this manner 1136 Upanishads have been created by the noblemen. These have been concised into 108 and then into 18 Upanishads. Finally Adi Shankaracharya has re-written the Vedas which were destroyed and damaged. He concised them and brought it down to 11 Upanishads, which contain the total knowledge of all the Vedas).
When this great Maharishi was identified as Veda Vyaasa, the Purnima was observed which has since become a ritual. Purnima here does not refer to the full moon but to the revelation of knowledge, complete knowledge. It is the celebration of complete (purnam) knowledge that Veda Vyaasa had. Whatever is complete is purnam. The one which is purnam is purnima. Complete knowledge has to be observed. We have no authority to celebrate jnanam (knowledge). When certain things have to be done respectfully, we say we honor that, we respect that. So purnima is observed with honor. With honor we assemble and honor the Great Guru Vyaasa so people in kaliyuga can understand how the derivation and importance of Vedic mantras took place and how it should be respected.
People from distant countries come and learn about the Vedas and Upanishads. They leave their jobs, their country and religion. They spend time here in India and derive this knowledge but people here have no time even to listen to the mantras. People here think Vedas, or Upanishads and the spiritual practices are to be followed after retirement when there is nothing else to do, when they become useless and incapable of any work. After retirement nobody wants you. When nobody wants you, you want to go to God. When everybody wants me I do not bother about God. Some people carry this misconception that such practices are meant for retired people or people who have nothing better to do or people who have been rejected by the society. Since they are useless they should listen to the Upanishads. The truth is that when you are absolutely conscious, when you are alert, when you can absorb things, when you can understand and contemplate, when you have physical and mental strength, is the time to absorb the Vedas so that you can live qualitatively.
Today we are all living but not a quality life. The true quality life should be spent in order to reveal your self, reveal the swabhaava (true nature) of you, to understand your nature, to understand the purpose of your birth, to understand what karmas you are supposed to execute in this life. You should attempt to understand how to attain salvation or liberation and for this we need the revelation. If we can do it alone, nothing like it, it is absolutely perfect. Each one's mind is their Guru. The one who gives you the right answer is your Guru but it should be the right answer otherwise your mind cannot be considered as your Guru. From the time man has taken birth, the mind has always overpowered through emotional blackmailing and threatening consequences. We all are under the control of emotions; we all act according to the emotions, which is why in Isavasya Upanishad and other Upanishads it has been told that we do not act; we only react. People live today based on reactions and not on actions. Because it is raining I must have an umbrella. Because a neighbor is rich I also should become rich. Because my boss has got promotion I too am eligible for promotion. America is doing something so we too should follow. Someone's jeans tore so he shortened them so people buy new jeans and cut them. These are reactions that all human beings have. If we do not follow we are not comfortable and happy. What I mean to say is that everything is based on reactions. We perform no action even though we have taken birth to perform some actions.
The Upanishads have divided the action into there categories - action, inaction and unaction. Both inaction and unaction are wrong. Action alone has to be performed by the conscious mind. Through inner revelation you can start executing the actions. Thapasya is an action and there is no influence on that. The result of thapasya is entirely yours; you do not share it with anyone. Can you share the result of bhakthi (devotion) with anyone? NO. That is an action. Belief, faith is an action. You cannot divide faith. You may have faith in something and I may explain it in different words and forms, but you may not believe it; you may not have faith. I cannot transmit it, I cannot transfer it. The Upanishads say, the one which is immovable, the achara, is Godliness and not the chara (movable); anything that moves is not the truth. You must have attachment to the achara, that which is stable. Most of these occur because of bandhana (bondage) and desires, they say. So the Maharishi said we have to take some help because we cannot do it ourselves. Living in this environment, in kaliyuga with lot of maya (illusions) around, we normally get attracted and attached to things. We cannot help it. In order to keep distractions away we need to lead a quality life.
I am not discouraging you to live a materialistic life but the choice is yours. We need a materialistic life as we have a body and a mind; we have certain requirements in order to maintain the body and the mind. To that extent certain materials are necessary and have to be procured. That is absolutely necessary and absolutely right but that does not mean that you will do that alone. Spend 75% of your time to reveal your self and the balance 25% for the materialistic life. This is good enough in fact even 25% is too much. Have you ever tried to identify what you actually require for your materialistic life? What is your necessity and how much time you need to procure that? You will find that it is less than 10%. All other things are trial and error method and your ego and emotional satisfaction, nothing other than that. You require only ten percent of your caliber to be living in the materialistic world. Ninety percent can be spared for the revelation of the self because the purpose of your birth is only to liberate from here, not to live here. Nobody can live here for very long. Nobody can say I do not want liberation, I just want to eat, drink and sleep and live for thousand years. This is not possible.
People could not realize and understand themselves. They needed help and sought this help from a Guru who knew about it. They knew the qualities of the right Guru. Mundakopanishad describes the right Guru who should be approached in order to reveal your self, in order to liberate your self, to understand the Ishwarathwa that is within you, the Guruthwa that is inside you. Only then can you realize your swabhaava and the purpose of your life. It also highlights how to execute the balance karmas that has accrued. Karmas have also been divided into three parts - praarabdha karma, sanchita karma and agami karma. The karmas left incomplete in the previous live are praarabdha karmas. It is a burden - praarabdha, it has been transferred to the present life. Once you have eaten and enjoyed the jackfruit you have to dispose off the seeds. You alone have to throw them away and this karma is known as praarabdha. It became praarabdha as it was left unfinished. This praarabdha is a burden as you derive no benefit out of it and even later you alone have to complete it. In this janma the benefit is that you have now completed it. Sanchita karmas are those that we execute in the present. Sanchita karmas again can be divided into two parts - one gives immediate results like touching the fire would burn the finger. The other is like planting a mango tree which takes 3-5 years to grow and it is only after 6/7 years that you enjoy the fruit. In this case you get delayed results. Hence in sanchita karma certain actions bring immediate results while some others come at a later date. In case you die before this is done, it is carried forward to the next janma on the first page. In the next janma (life) the delayed karma becomes the praarabdha karma. Aagaami karmas are those that would come in the next janma. If I can do it now, if I can correct it now, the aagaami karma can be done in the present life. Today if you listen to the scriptures, and are asked to involve your activities in self-realization, meditation, thapasya etc with full understanding, the aagaami karmas become purified. The aagaami karmas left for the next janma are very few and the progress is very rapid
The point then arises how this should be done. In order to finish the praarabdha and execute the aagaami karmas we have to depend upon the right Guru. The next question that naturally arises is how to identify the Guru. Does the disciple have an eye for the Guru? Does he have the right to choose or appoint a Guru? The answer is - when the disciple is ready, the Guru automatically comes. When the disciple has the urge he starts purification in his mind. The Guru automatically comes. Mundakopanishad describes the real Guru and the Guruthwa.
The Upanishads explain about athma kridaha (play of the athma) which is based only on the actions of athma; the athma has no reactions. Reaction is for your conscious, intellectual mind and ego centric actions. These ego-centric actions in the conscious and the sub-conscious state create unwanted attachments. What is wanted and what is unwanted attachment? Wanted attachment is that which promotes you in order to liberate. Unwanted attachments throw you down to dumps. These will not allow you to promote your self. Attachments are shackles of bandhana (bondage). When we detach from something we have to attach to something. Since you have to attach somewhere attach your self to the permanent, the immovable and the unchangeable. Athma krida is to attach your self to the antaraathma (the inner self), to the Ishwarathwa (the Godliness), to the Guruthwa (the principles of the Guru).
Athma krida is like a play. Why is it called a krida? All the actions external to us are based on the emotions. It is just like a play. We are attached to certain things, we cry, we are sad, we are happy, we are defeated, we are successful, we are earning, we are losing, we are traveling, we are stuck - everything is a trial and error and based on the emotions. You are basically functioning with your intellect, with your ego-centric actions. These ego-centric actions are based on the previous karmas; they are based on the memories from the previous janma (past life). The thoughts and emotions are created based on the previous karmas in your life. You are merely enacting or playing with the external objective materials. You want to derive some pleasures and benefit. You think it is a benefit but there is no benefit at all. Could you even live peacefully? You thought if you get a job you would be peaceful, marriage would bring you peace or the children would bring peace. Next you expected peace once the children get settled and then their children would bring peace. Peace has never been attained but all these have happened. We are trying to impose fictitious knowledge in us and trying to find peace where there is none. If you want fish you have to go inside the water. You cannot expect to find it in a garden. Athma krida is to live in the athma, play with the athma, in the sense it is an expression of the athma’s language - realization of the self. Athma does not have thousands of faces; it has only one face - the realization of the self, the antaraathma. There are no reactions, only actions. No action is result-oriented, it is not objective; it is a subjective experience. This is known as athma krida.
Athma ratihi also teaches us to follow the procedures of the athma, follow the discipline of the athma, follow the instructions that you get from the inner self of you. One who does the kriya (actions) based on athma ratihi and athma krida is able to identify the Brahma thathwa, the Brahma jnana. His endeavor is only to identify these. All the scriptures, be it the Upanishads or the Shiva Sutras, the Narada Bhakthi Sutras, teach us the identification of the truth of the true Brahman. (This is not to be confused with Brahma. Brahman is the reality of you, the inner self of you). This can be achieved by proper jnanam.
The attainment of jnanam involves three steps - dhaaranaa, dhyanam and samaadhi. Dhaaranaa is materialistic absorption, which implies that acquisition of knowledge and listening to Upanishads is also dhaaranaa. When you contemplate on this dhaaranaa and put it into thapasya it is dhyanam. Dhyanam helps to perceive the self or identify the self, experience the self. Then you go into samaadhi.
The Maharishis, thapaswis or the jnanis (the wise) have divided science into two parts - experimental science and experienced science. That which can be experimented is material science. This cannot be experienced. The Vedas, Upanishads and the saasthraas are experienced science. These cannot be experimented upon. You show me the result of meditation I will also do it - is not possible. Here you have to experience it your self. In the other case, you merge two chemicals and you create a third chemical. Anybody can use the same equation and create that material. In experimental science repetition is also possible but in spiritualism the experience has to be done by the self. The Vedic science or the revelation or the athma jnana is experienced science which cannot be borrowed from anyone. If someone asks, "Please give me some result of your thapasya" - this cannot be complied with. In Puranas you might have heard that the Maharishi transferred the tapophala (result of thapasya) to someone. This is not the same as materialism. In materialistic science you derive certain things for your personal benefits whereas experiencing is totally different. The Maharishis transferred these powers for the benefit of the humanity. It is priceless and they never negotiated a price for it. The tapophala is given to promote others. This experience can be handed down only by great noblemen. There are very few who are eligible to do that.
One who has derived the science of the identification of the self, of the antaraathma, the inner self has understood the swabhaava. In deep sleep you have no consciousness at all, there are no dreams and you are just like a dead log. After waking up you realize that you had a deep sleep but were not conscious of anything. This is the turiyavastha (the highest state of consciousness) where there are no gunas. You do understand that you slept very well, but do not know when you fell asleep or when you woke up. You were not conscious of anything that was happening around. When you are not conscious, there are no reactions. The intellect and the ego centers do not function; even the sub-conscious center does not function. We are perfectly happy at that moment. Even if you have pneumonia or typhoid or pain in the neck or spondalysis, nothing is revealed in deep sleep state. You become conscious of these pains and aches only when you wake up. This status is called not being in the sharira and mana. This is done unconsciously because you are in deep sleep but when this is done consciously it is known as thapasya, dhyanam. After dhyanam comes samaadhi. You utilize this dhyanam, this knowledge to go into samaadhi. In samaadhi you truly experience the inner self of you. You must consciously try to understand this thathwa. Here there is no place for any of your emotions and the truth can be revealed only at that point of time. We are all bothered about the identity. I should be identified as so and so. Lose the identity of the sharira and mana; acquire the identity of the Supreme. When you lose your identity you gain a better identity. When you are no more contained in this small sharira you will be contained in a very big sharira which has all the names in that. This is the principle behind it.
Patanjali Yoga Sutra explains about the Samaadhi paadam, Saadhanaa Paadam, Vibhuthi Paadam and the Kaivalyam Paadam. Rishi Patanjali explains in the Samaadhi Paadam how to attain the samaadhi, how to attain peace, how to attain knowledge and live in the right manner as has been explained in the sanathana dharma. Vibhuthi Paadam explains about the experiences of the past. Vibhuthi means ash, that which has become past, which is no more existing; it has been burnt down. Bhutha is the past and vi-bhuthi is the result of the past. Vibhuthi reminds that the past has been destroyed and is now used as alankaara (for adorning). A person is not actually smearing the ash all over his body. This is merely a representation that he has burnt all the bhutha, the past. Actually we are all bothered about the past and we work only based on the past. The tomorrow is seen in comparison with yesterday that we have seen. We do not know how to see the tomorrow because we have never seen it. You can see only what you have seen. You can experience only what you have experienced. You can believe only what you have believed. New things cannot be believed, experienced or understood. We are driven by the past but the Rishi says the past may not be true. An experience through which no benefit has been derived is called vibhuthi.
Bhagwan Shiv burnt the bhutha into ashes and that became the aabhushana (jewelry) for him. For a jnani or a thapaswi what is the real aabhushana? The burnt past. No expectations from tomorrow. The present does not exist anymore. Well according to me everything is past and future even though we have a present tense. In fact there is no present at all. The moment I have thought it has become past; I do things for the future. If at all there is a present, yes there is a present but it is not known as the present. It is known as absolute silence, vacuum. We have all heard of no man's land. Between the boundaries of two countries there lies a vacant space which belongs to neither of the countries and hence known as no man's land. Let us say one is past and the other is the future and in between what we call as present is no man's land, where there is absolute silence. Suppose the no man's land is extended on both the sides both the countries would vanish. Similarly, when you extend the silence between the past and the future, there is no past and no future. What do you call this? This is not present - just nothing, this is called the thapasya. Extend the silence into the past and into the future. Dissolve the past and the future in this silence. Then you realize the swabhaava, swa-aakaara (form of the self), swa-shakthi (inner powers), swabhutha (your past), swabhaava (your future). In order to attain this we need to do thapasya. That is why you find Bhagwan Shiv always in the meditative posture to increase the silence where the entire knowledge is prevalent. The past is already experienced and the knowledge that has been experienced is no more knowledge. Knowledge is that which is prevalent in order to uplift you to the identity of the inner self of you. If there was knowledge in your past you would have identified you by now and there would not been a past. Since there is a past it is no more the future and since there is a past the silence too is not extended. Thapasya is meant for this. Through the vibhuti paadam we identify the niraakarathwa (formlessness) in me and identify the aakaarathwa (form) in the niraakarathwa (formlessness).
Kaivalya Paadam is in order to liberate your self. We all strive to attain independence but what is the true meaning of independence? Whatever I say the others must listen to me - is the independence we all seek. Aadhaara and niraadhaara are the two words in Sanskrit. Independency is niraadhaara. We are without dependency which means no aadhaara. The niraadhaara is independent while the aadhaara is dependent. In Sanskrit this is what it means but in English there are not many words to express. When you have an aadhaara, when you are attached to the Supreme, you are independent. Strive for this independence.
Bhagwad Gita describes the chatur varnam (caste) - braahmana, kshatriya, vaishya and shudhra. In fact all the scriptures have discussed varnas but this has been highly misinterpreted. According to Bhagwad Gita, the varna is decided based on the karma that a person has executed. You can go into the Puranas - starting from Veda Vyaasa can you identify which Maharishi has been born into a Braahmana family? Even Veda Vyaasa was born to Sathyawati - a fisherwoman. In fact the human body itself contains elements of all the four varnas which has been described in Purusha Suktha in Yajur Veda when Manu sought guidance from Brahma before creating a human being. Manu asked mukham kimasya cowbaahu - kaavooru paadamuchyathey - how should be the face, how should be the hands, how should be the legs, how should be the body, how to create the human being? So Brahma says Brahmanosya mukhamaaseedh - bahuu rajanya krithaha - uuru thadaswya yadvaisyaha - padaasya shudhro ajayatha - the brain should be such that he is highly knowledgeable. The one who can identify and merge with the Brahman is called Brahmanosya mukhamaaseedh. To protect your self, to execute some work, and to do something we need a bahuu (hands). The Raja's (King) job is done by the bahuu. Uuru or the body or the vaishya (trader) does the transactions. Eating the food is a transaction so one should be able to transact. The literal meaning of Uuru is the hip joint. The paada represents the shudhra (that which does the hard labour). This demonstrates that the four varnas exist in every human body. Then he says, chandramaa manaso jataha - chakshoh suryo ajayatha. The manam or the mind should be like the moon, tejaswi, very powerful and agni should come out from the eyes. So powerful should be a person. Mukhadindrashchagnishcha - pranadvayurajayatha - the prana movement should be absolutely slow, breathing should be slow and regulated. This is how Brahma instructed to create a human.
Hence it is our karmas that determine our varna. If one is teaching, one is doing thapasya, one is doing puja, one is acquiring and distributing knowledge, he is known as the Braahmana. Brahmavith Brahmaiva Bhavathi - the one who knows the Brahman, the one who becomes the Brahman can only identify the Brahman. Braahmana has come from Brahmathwa. The one who identifies the Brahma can only become the Brahma. Such a person who has the Brahmathwa in him and reveals it to others, to become the Brahman is called the Braahmana. Sudhaama (Lord Krishna's devotee) collects bhiksha from only five houses. Why only five houses, why not the sixth? In order to survive in this world we have to keep the panchabhutaas (five elements - earth, air, water, fire and ether) alive. Our body is made up of pancha-bhutas (five elements). From each house you collect one bhuta and the sixth bhuta being the prana and the shakthi, cannot be borrowed. Once you receive from five houses, you fulfill that requirement. Sudama was a poor Braahmana and his friend wanted that Sudhaama go to a king and praise him. This would fetch money which was essential to feed his family but Sudhaama being a Braahmana, a Brahma jnani refused to do so. This is the example of a true Braahmana. Kshatriya protects the praja (people) from the enemies while a vaishya is the businessman and a shudhra a hard working person. Hence the varna is only dependent on the karmas.
We all have all the four varnas within us as God has created. The mind has to be used only for Brahmavith Brahmaiva Bhavathi. Identify the Brahman as this is the purpose of your birth. Materialistic gains are not enough. Identify the jnanam through thapasya and become the Brahman.
Om purnamadam purnamidam purnaad purnamudachyathey,
Purnasya purnamaadaaya purnamevaa vasishyathey.
Om Shaanthi,Shaanthi shanthihi.
Hara Hara Mahaadeva Om Sri Gurubhyom namaha
Pravachan after the morning Puja
The noble Rishis and Acharyas have left a wealth of knowledge and on the occasion of Guru-Purnima we must remind ourselves of the virtues of the Guru and the Guruthatwa, and the qualifications necessary to be a sishya. These have been summarized in two different shlokas - one from Dakshinamurthy Stothram by Adi Shankaracharya and the other is a shloka from Guru-Gita.
A sishya should first have a clear conception of who he or she is worshipping. As I always say that it is not the person containing the knowledge that is important; the individual vyakthi is not important. The vyaktithwa (attributes and ideals) is important, the knowledge in him is important. We do not respect someone for his external form, not because of aakaara (form) or vikaara (emotions). We respect someone for his jnanam (knowledge) and bhakthi (devotion). Jnana and bhakthi, knowledge and devotion and dedication come only with purva janma's satkarmas (good deeds done in the past lives). Lots of satkarmas (good deeds) are necessary. In one janma (life) it is not sufficient. This is known as satsanga or association with knowledge - association with sathya or the truth. This should be true satsanga or paramaartha satsanga, which means there is no artha beyond that. Artha is dhanam (wealth), artha is jnanam (knowledge), artha is laabham (gain), artha is position, artha is stithi. Artha implies result so parama artha is the ultimate result, ultimate goal, and ultimate benefit.
What is true satsanga? Adi Shankaracharya chanted in Bhaja Govindam - Dussangathwey (bad association) satsangathwam, satsangathwe nissangathwam - having no association at all is better than satsanga. This implies there should be no bandha (bindings), no sangath (association) and no attachments. Such a statement is often misunderstood. This does not mean not to have any attachments at all. It implies there should be no bonding but then the question arises - how can a human have no attachments? If you stop for a moment and think - are you really attached to something that is always with you? You are not attached to your heart, you are not attached to your athma (soul), and you are not attached to your mind because you know it is there. You have taken it for granted. The same principle applies to knowledge. You need not run after knowledge; you need not go to attain knowledge. Knowledge should be a part of you; you should become knowledge. There is no need to attain God, as he is always there. When you identify your self as the sharira (body) and mana (mind), then the Ishwara is also with body and mind. We all know Ishwara is formless. So when you become formless and attain another formless, the result is parama artham. .
This can be explained by a small example. If a glass of water is poured into the ocean it becomes a part of that ocean. The glass of water and the ocean cannot be identified separately. There is no sangathwam (association) there. It is a status of nissangathwam (no association). Satsangathwam would mean taking the punya (holy) water and keeping it by the side of another bowl of water. Once the two have merged it becomes the state of nissangathwam. The message here is just be with the Ishwara. Throughout you need to have this discipline inside you.
Adi Shankaracharya explains in the Dakshinamurthy Stothram, Gurostu mounam Vyaakhyaanam sishyastu chinna samshayaha. Literally it means the silence of the Guru emits knowledge or explains the knowledge but the seeker becomes eligible to acquire this knowledge only when he has dispelled all the doubts from his mind. In these few words, the great Acharya has clarified the qualifications in a seeker. The Guru does not explain or elaborate things in so many words. His mounam (silence) itself is the vyaakhyaanam or in other words the silence emits the knowledge.
The Guru sits under a tree in mounaavastha (status of silence) and the knowledge is emitted through His third eye. How does the disciple become eligible to receive this knowledge? When does he dispel all doubts from his mind? The disciple has to become absolutely dependent but 'dependency' is not a good word in materialism; it is considered being inferior to the other person. Dependency to another human being who is an ignorant, who is a moodha mathi (foolish), is paapa karma (sin) and such dependency makes us feel inferior. As described in Isavasya Upanishad, it is andham tamaha - one blind man leading another. Dependence should always be on the lord who has all the jnanam, bhakthi and shraddha and this is punya karma (noble deed).
In spiritualism the Guru's silence speaks every moment but the disciple can listen to the silence or attain knowledge only when the doubts in the disciple's mind have been totally dispelled. When all attachments, bandhana and srinkhala are removed, when he is not dependent, when he is totally in-dependent, he is in a position to listen to the silence. The principle is that when you become independent from one attachment, you become dependent on something else. You cannot remain suspended in the air. When you become independent from the house, you become dependent on the road. When you become independent from the road, you become dependent on the car. Gaining independence from the car you become dependent on the shop. You cannot be independent from everything at the same time. You have to depend on something. From independence you have to go into dependence. In materialism from dependence we travel towards independence. From material dependency we go into independent dependency. Independent dependency is swatantratha bodham which means to be without any association and does not mean to be alone.
The activity of the mantra is called tantra. Swa-tantra is the activity of the swa - activity of the self, activity to have bodham (consciousness) is swatantratha bodham. It means to have the swatantratha bodham - to have the attachment to the lord. To be liberated, to have freedom to attach with the lord, is the swatantratha bodham. Today we do not have freedom even to attach to the lord. We do not have the eligibility to attach with the lord as we are filled with impurities. When we become independent from the impurities we become dependent on the purities. When we become dependent on the purities we do not bother about anything. When you are the praja (common man) you would like to be the king; when you become the king you would like to be the Maharishi. When the king becomes the Maharishi he would like to be the God. So dependency keeps changing. We attain liberation from what we do not want. We want values of our liberation. We want absolute purity in us, we want to be away from impurities and go into the purities. In purity there is no dependence because the pure form is all over.
When there is a small unit and we depend on it, then we call it dependency. When a unit is all over and we are in that, a part of the unit, then we do not call it dependency. This is paramaartham. This is called swa-tantra bhaavam - where you can utilize the tantra, you can utilize the activity of the mantra in order to have the swabhaava of you. This is to be swatantra (independent) and this can be attained only when you have no doubts in your mind. When do you have doubts? It is when you have the identity of your self - aham bhaava. When you have attachment you have doubts. When you have desire and moha you have doubts. So Adi Shankaracharya said sishyastu chinna samshayaha - remove the doubts. Crush the doubts into tiny fragments and discard them. When this happens, Gurostu mounam becomes the Vyaakhyaanam. Guru's silence starts speaking. You have to be dependent on the silence and be independent of the disturbance. When you become dependent on the silence, the silence starts depending on you. When you depend on the God, God depends on you. When the bhaktha (devotee) is dependent on the Ishwara, Ishwara becomes dependent on the bhaktha. He cannot do without the bhaktha.
This dependency has decency. You depend on me, I will depend on you. This is the relationship in Guru-sishya and Ishwara and bhaktha whereas in normal relationship, in materialistic world it is one-sided. You depend on me but I will not depend on you. It is totally virodhaabhaasam (opposition) but in spiritualism it is the swabhaava (nature) of the dependency. One has to depend on the other - Ishwara on the bhaktha and the bhaktha on the Ishwara. When he becomes real bhaktha, when there are no doubts, samshaya (doubts) becomes chinna (disintegrates into fragments). The Ishwara inside him, the Godliness inside him is evoked. When that happens then he is a true spiritually motivated person. Puja performed with doubts in the mind, any offerings to temples, or even taking the trouble of going there all the way has no meaning if you have doubts in your mind. Such activities do not add to your punya karmas (noble deeds) at all. Your mind has to be absolutely pure. To be absolutely pure to attain the Ishwarathwa (Godliness) you should be in the position to listen to the silence of the Guru. In silence the disciple should be in a position to absorb jnanam (knowledge), bhakthi (devotion) and shraddha (dedication with attention) that come from the third eye of the Guru. He then goes into Ishwarathwa (Godliness).
The question that would naturally arise is - who is that Ishwarathwa, who is the Guru? Who is the right Guru on whom you should depend and where should you go? Whose silence should you listen to and in whose silence should you become the silence? When you listen to the niraakarathwa (formlessness) you become the niraakaara (formless). When you attach your self to the silence your sharira (body) ceases to exist and you become the silence. When you become the silence the aham (ego) is dissolved - twam sharanam niraakaaram (your refuge has made me formless).
In Guru-Gita, Bhagwan Shiv says pray to the:
Nithyam Brahma niraakaaram nirgunam bodhayeth Param
Sarwam Brahma niraabhaasam deepo deepantharam yatha
The Guru is nithyam brahma niraakaaram - the one who has attained the Brahma jnanam (Supreme knowledge of the self), the one who is a niraakaara (formless). Whoever attains Brahma jnanam becomes niraakaara (formless). The external body is in order to make it visible for people who do not have the inner eyes. In order to make them realize, in order to make them understand, an aakaara (form) has to be created. We all know Ishwara is not in the murthy (idol) or the photograph but we can see Ishwara in the photograph. There is Ishwara in the photograph and in the murthy; if you think there is Ishwara, it is there. When you look at Ishwarathwa in the murthy you can see Ishwara. The inner self is important. The one who has attained the Brahma thathwa, Brahma jnana, does not have aakaara (form), vikaara (emotions) and vichaara (thoughts). Depend on such a Guru who is gunaateetha (beyond the three attributes - tamoguna, rajoguna and satoguna), nirgunam (without the three attributes). Bhagwan Shiv has the trishula (the trident) which indicates he is above the trigunas (the three attributes).
Tri or three bears significance. The triple form of vilva patra (leaves of the wood apple) signifies surrendering the tri-gunas (three attributes) at the lord's feet. People today are more concerned about how the vilva patra should be placed rather than the importance of offering it. According to the puja vidhi (rituals of the worship) the vilva patra representing the trigunas, should be taken to the heart, and with total devotion pray to the dayaanidhe (lord full of compassion), to be kind enough to accept your tri-gunas below His feet. Why should it be surrendered below the feet? Because at the paada-pankaja (lotus-feet) it can be under the control of the Supreme power. The trigunas cannot be offered in His hands because we accept in the hand only what we need, not just anything. He is kind enough that he is allowing you leave your trigunas at His feet which should ideally be thrown in the rubbish dump. Who wants your vikaara (emotions), your dukha (sorrows) and kashta (troubles)? Who wants your money or happiness? When the Guru is silent, he blesses you to surrender your trigunas at His feet. He says He has an affluent treatment plant which can purify your trigunas so you can leave them at His feet. Besides, if you throw it just anywhere, it will increase pollution and affect others. He does not want this as His intention is to purify the world. This is the principle of submitting the vilva patra at the feet of the lord. You have no adhikaara (right) but you have to request him to accept it and release you from the bandhana (shackles) so that you can get moksha (liberation).
Bhagwan says the one who is nithyam Brahma niraakaaram nirgunam has the param bodha (Supreme consciousness). Beyond the bodha (consciousness) is called the param bodha. The one who is beyond the bodha, beyond the enlightenment, beyond the buddhi (intelligence), beyond the Godliness is bodhayet param. He became niraakaara (formless) because of attainment of knowledge and bhakthi (devotion), and by surrendering all qualities he goes to bodhayet param. After reaching the param bodham he reaches sarwam bodham niraabhaasam (no consciousness). There is no aabhaasa (consciousness) of the Brahma there at all.
What is niraabhaasam? Deepo deepaantaram yatha - a number of lamps are lit from one lamp. From one match stick you can light ten wicks; from one candle you can light hundreds of lamps. The person who is niraakaara (formless), one who has Brahma jnana, Brahma thathwa and also param bodha, has attained all this from sarwam Brahmam niraabhaasam. He is not interested in your emotions, form, shape, thoughts or intelligence - nothing is valuable there. Your true self alone has importance after purification. We first have a wash before entering the temple but the one who is in the status of niraabhaasa (no consciousness) is absolute purity. When you reach absolute purity you have to go into vairagya (renunciation) - renounce all your qualities. Have vairagya towards all sukha (happiness) and dukha (sorrows). Surrender all your desire and attachment then vairagya brings peace and absolute calmness. When you are calm you try for purity through chanting, glorification, through thapasya and meditation. Through purity you get the Guruthwa in you and then you become the niraakaara. When you become the niraakaara and then you reach the state of Brahmam niraabhaasam. Then niraakaara becomes the saakshaatkaara (the experience of formlessness brings the knowledge of presence of supreme consciousness/the Godliness / the truth of existence of soul). You attain the attributes of formlessness and shapelessness. Even with the sharira (body) you can become formless.
A person who meditates on the formlessness, one who meditates on the saasthras (scriptures) and the Guru, emits so much of brightness from the body that the body becomes invisible for the other man. This is the principle of formlessness. If a person prays to the lord without realizing the athma-jnanam (knowledge of the self), athma-thathwam, without realizing the purity inside him, or knowing the importance of surrendering in the right manner, he commits a sin. You cannot just stop by at the temple while you are rushing to the office. Human beings are constantly under pressure of the materialistic life but just to fulfill a ritual they rush to the temple and make some gestures of being a devotee. This is an insult to the Ishwarathwa. It is a great shakthi (power) that is presiding there and is not to be taken as lightly as you make it out to be. Praying to the lord is not like the experience of buying peanuts and eating as you travel. If you do not have time you need not visit a temple or light a lamp in front of the God. He does not want your light; you want His light. Casual prayers offered as if you are visiting a friend or a restaurant is equivalent to Brahma hathya (dissolution of the supreme consciousness/ the Godliness/ the truth of awareness of soul). Ishwarathwa, jnana, bhakthi and shraddha has to be approached only with jnanam, bhakthi and shraddha.
Many people think they are acquiring punya (accruing nobility) if they just rush before the lord but the truth is that you are acquiring paapa (sin). He does not want your drama or action; he wants the absolute pure self without any selfish motives like wealth or health. Guruthwa is only meant to take you to the Ishwara and not for materialism. During the process one may need some material, that is absolutely fine but if it is only for materialistic gain it is an insult. This is what my experience and knowledge says, what the knowledge of the Upanishads says. Accept it if you are convinced. So when you have to worship, have sufficient time, clean your self, create vairagya, de-shackle all attachments. For some time be niraakaara. Do not be conscious of your personal appearance. We even delve in false pride that we have kept all work aside and taken the trouble to reach the temple. This is not necessary. You can sit here, create purity and vairagya and pray. This is true bhakthi. True bhakthi is to have the anubhava (experience). It is meant to experience from within. Experience the God within you; become immersed in the self. If we concentrate within, we will not be distracted by the external. This is vairagya.
In the materialistic life we first eat and then experience but in spiritualism we would first like to know the end result and then decide whether to experience it. Before smoking a cigarette or eating sweets, has anybody first wanted to know the taste and then actually attempt to taste? You first ate and then experienced. The same things should be applied to spiritualism. We want convenience and hence all flexibility can be applied to spiritualism. We do not want transformation. If we apply this in the path of spiritualism we will become transformed. We do not rest even at this. We ourselves are in the wrong path and we want to distract others as well. Instead try and experience the God within after becoming nirgunam (without any attributes). This requires no money or convenience. You just need to sit down and close your external eyes for a while. We all have the capacity for shravana (listening) but not for manana (contemplation). Guru is the representation of knowledge and brings the lamp to you. Take the initiative to light it and experience the difference. Offering wealth at the feet of the lord will not reach you anywhere. Paramaartha parishuddha athma (the divine soul) has to be recognized and revealed. Those who attach to such a lord alone can experience the lord within. To experience is to see through the inner eye. One can even have the vision just as the Maharishis have seen the Veda mantras. Do not waste your life but renounce, attach, detach and experience the Godliness within.