Revered Master, Revered Sir , and My dear brothers and sisters-
My hearty pranams to all of you.
Today I feel very happy to be amidst all of you celebrating the birthday of our beloved Grand Master Pujya Lalaji Saheb. Attending the bandaras is indeed one of the greatest blessings given by the Master to us. When we attend such functions we feel effervescent on the day-1 and the joy reaches the crescendo by the time the function comes to an end on the third day. Every function is felt in a different way, the experience is unique every time. This is because of our change in our perceptions as we move on the path. One of the most important gain that I feel from these functions is our determined will to do sadhana gets reinforced every time we attend. As we observe our other abhyasi brothers and sisters we feel more enthusiastic and the grace of the Master had during Pranahuti sessions fills up our hearts with spiritual energy that we feel quite rejuvenated.
As we go back home we continue to do sadhana with renewed vigour for few days but it slowly tapers off and our inspiration is limited by our aspiration to reach the goal, our samskaras, our own priorities in life and others external factors like the family environment, office environment and our circle of friends and relatives etc. But for some people who are really seeking the Master, every such exposure to a Bandara leaves an indelible impression on the heart and mind and they keep drawing inspiration in their sadhana wherever they might be. As far as my personal experience goes, for many years I had the experience of the first kind, the emotional and sentimental upsurge I had after every function was not sustainable for an enduring settled ness in practice. But of late , I feel less emotional and seek the help of the Master more ardently as I understand that without His Grace and blessings we cannot move an inch not withstanding the effort put by us.
If we understand the preciousness of every moment of ours in this limited life span, then we cannot afford to while away the opportunities that are being blessed in full by the Master. This is more true in case of the Bandaras. If we analyze the reasons for the waxing and waning of the enthusiasm in sadhana and in particular reference to participating in the functions with the same zeal, then the striking reason is our lack of determination to reach the goal. Our determination is infact is determined by the goal that we have set for ourselves. Revered KCN, in the article Determination and contentment as published in BP-vol3 strikes at the root of the problem, “ We should have clear idea as to what we want and this may be another way of looking at the goal of our life. We should know what we want out of life. If we find that we are struck with lots of conflicting priorities in our life we need to seriously contemplate on what can make our life meaningful. In such contemplation we can discover what we want to get in our life” BP Vol 3- page 12.
Our conflicting priorities are to be set right through fixing up of the Goal. The understanding of the goal ( goal clarity) emerges as we progress. But one of the main problems which lead to multiple goals is lack of contentment in what we are bestowed with, this generally leads to a restless state of mind. In this state we start several activities without completing any one of them, a kshipta state of mind. In this state we seldom experience the deep quiet and stillness and we are not in a position to derive the motivation to do sadhana from meditational experience per se. We continue to practice but without complete inner conviction. We need to be constantly goaded by our family members, co abhyasis, trainers etc. Though it is our fortune to have such well wishers but we need to move on to have determination by ourselves through serious contemplation on life and the goal of life.
In our institute, the main focus is on sadhana which is pure and simple adherence to the Natural path in letter and spirit. The undercurrent of the thought of all of us here is,’ we have come here for our spiritual progress on our own volition, so let us do sadhana’. So for most of us here, we literally do not need such goading but still we find the interest in sadhana to be waxing and waning. In this context we need to study again the words of the Master about determination as stated in the third commandment, “ It is an admitted fact that a boat cannot ply direct to the destination unless the helm is applied to it. Treating this human form as a boat and the space it is plying in as the ocean of spirituality, it is but essential to put up the helm in order to be able to ply through the vast ocean successfully. In the spiritual field the helm is our string determination which help us to steer on to the destination”. In the next line, from the sadhaka’s view point, He addresses the obstacles that we encounter on the path which are felt as turbulent states of mind and turmoil in this manner, “ There may be certainly be countless whirls at places, but the strength of our will and confidence helps us to overcome all of them and proceed straight to the destination” IB – 29. Here the Master uses an interesting phrase, There may be certainly be countless whirls at places. Here, I think He is sharing his personal experience of the whirls at various places as indicated by the word “certainly”, but each person has his unique thought patterns or vrittis and their intensities may also vary at various stages, hence the word “ may be” was used. It is our experience that what is a troubling thought or issue to me may not be true for others and vice versa is also true. It all depends upon the psychic and karmic background of the individual. But He says, the solution or method is same for all irrespective of the thought vrittis that “ The strength of our will and confidence helps us to overcome all of them”.
Now coming to the aspect of the love and devotion in our sadhana, we do feel the love of our Master for us and we have also developed Love for the Master, Every abhyasi has his unique relationship with the Master which is quite intimate. But it also our experience that we not able to totally devote ourselves to Him and all struggle is in this end only. In such situations, if we put a question to ourselves as” Do we feel the pangs of separation with the Master? Then we can certainly shrug off our laziness and other distractions and become more and more devoted to Him. Devotion to the Master, which manifests in the form of participation in His work certainly strengthens our determination beyond our comprehension. The thought purity that is had while we participate in Master’s work is the reason for that. So internal purity is essential to have sustained determination in sadhana. This internal purity is maintained through regularity of practice. Contemplation, listening to the messages helps us further.
We are also quite fortunate to have the company of seekers or satsangis. The bond of mutual love that is experienced is beyond our rational comprehension. When we slack in our sadhana, we do get inspiration through them. What looks to be a big problem for us is simply brushed off by our fellow sadhakas when we share the problem with them. The fellow seeker must have overcome such situation so he is able to guide us or sometimes they do not see it to be a problem because of the purity of their consciousness in that regard. In both cases we do get help from the mutual association and we are back on the path. I have more than once experienced in my own case and also dealing with other’s problems that the purity of intent which is experienced as empathy helps us overcome the knotty state of mind. A small word of counsel sometimes works wonders and changes the course of life. Once I met one of my fellow brethren in a railway station, he was quite regular in sadhana but due to some family or office circumstances he slipped back in sadhana and was has become irregular. After enquiring about his well being I broached the topic of sadhana in a very guarded manner lest he may get offended. I was feeling enormous concern for my brother who was quite elder to me. I told him few tings like regularly attending to satsang at our meditation centre and with such regularity only we can muster courage to face our trainer. He followed my advise and got back on to the path and is very happy. I also received similar help from so many fellow abhaysis. The purity of the trainers is such that we feel hesitant to approach them but we all know how empathetic they are, they are ever willing to embrace us with their warmth love, only that we feel diffident to face them. Yes we do feel guilty but there is no other way left open for us then is to approach our trainer, share with him and take their help through Pranahuti.
With regard to Bandaras Master emphasizes the following in the message delivered on Brth centenary of Pujya Lalaji Maharaj, “ We have assembled here on a very auspicious occasion to celebrate the birth centenary of our Great Master Samartha Guru Sri Ramchanadra Ji Maharaj of Faehgarh U.P. We should utilize this occasion in getting into the Master and Master alone, which will act as food and tonic for spiritual elevation”. These occasions strengthen our determination which we should utilize fully also we should note that we should not indulge in gossip and flippant talk. Through irresponsible talk or gossip there is always a danger of getting into some thought which is not in tune with the Master. To get into a mess is easy but to undo it, it takes lot of time and energy. So the Viveka Jnana has always to be on. How that is possible? By having thought fixed on Master and Master alone. In the article on determination, Master tells the way,” When you orbit in such a way as your movement be direct” Direct means no deviation of thought from the Master.
Sometimes our will and determination are affected by the external circumstances. If every thing in life goes on well, then our sadhana goes on quite well. But if there is any change in external circumstances like, transfer to some other place, temporary dislocation due to tours, marriages and other social commitments, change in family conditions or change in office conditions, change in financial conditions or change in health conditions etc, then we seem to get disturbed. How long are we taking to come back to the balanced condition can be a very good parameter to suggest our acceptance of external conditions as they are. It is quite important to accept things as they are, reconciliation to the will of the Master is the condition that helps us to be undeterred by the externalities. One has to own up the condition of reconciliation to the will of the Master sooner than later to have sustained momentum or determination in sadhana.
As we practice the system with regularity, we gain some understanding of the system and also something about our meditational experiences. It is possible that the knowledge that we gain could be mixed up with our imaginations or ideas that we carry with us from the past learning. Master hints about the same in the message Path of Righteousness as, “If we proceed methodically experiences are there and the transformation takes its root from the very first day. Of course, there are experiences in the beginning which are mixed up with imaginary ideas, but as we proceed on we come to that sort of experience in the end which requires no other experience.” As long as we are in the world of our imaginations, we are the happiest persons, but the moment they get exposed, we feel terribly shaken. Often there is a serious dent in confidence in ourselves and also sometimes in the faith on our Master. This is one of the most agonizing moments in any sadhakas life. The ego that is bolstered by our such false ideas gets shattered. Our reactions could be varied, it may range from stoic indifference to the new suggestions to the wildest reactions of disagreement. In such times, the momentum takes a break and one starts rethinking on several issues. This problem is quite acute in serious sadhakas endowed with some intellecting prowess. The shock experienced is too deep and the wounds take time to heal. The training of ego is, as I understand is through unlearning. Unlearning is the most difficult part of sadhana for our thoughts and ideas are so dear to us. Yielding to the Master is the only way. We may get back with more determination with the blessings of the Master and our deep inner craving for transformation or Divinisation of our consciousness is the anchor thought in such occasions. If we think ourselves to be a person then it would quite difficult to overcome such problems.
When I have expressed my feelings, thoughts, attitudes, experiences had during meditation to my Revered Trainer through diary notes. His comments were literally simple and straight without mincing words. The comment to a big elaboration of a meditation experience is a simple statement,” Meditate as advised”. Sometimes it literally shaken my roots and took a while to understand the implication of the comment. But I have always found that the odd contrived notions that i have built would simply vanish away after reporting to my trainer and I get back again to unlearn all that. Without yielding to the Guide which would mean accept and adopt the suggestion with implicit obedience, I would have struggled for more. If I were to attach to the knowledge and experience that I have during meditations rather than a real aspiration for the Goal, then it is difficult to surmount such attitudinal problems as they are so subtle. It is only through the Right Knowledge that is imparted to us through Pranahuti that we unlearn and move closer to the Master. In this regard, I have learnt so much from the various articles written by our most beloved Sir, Sri KCN on various topics in seminars, bandaras, workshops etc I request all of you to study the same to derive clarity on various concepts. All the articles are available in Bodayanti Parasaparam Volumes.
Craving for the Real keeps us steadfast on the path, the words of our revered master of the order, DR KCV about himself always rings in my ears, which I would like to share with all of you, The following is taken from the article Sri Ramchandra’s Rajayoga- its principles and practices from Dr KCV’s Complete works vol-1 “ . .the great thinkers of the past have really contributed to my make up. They have been responsible for keeping my aspiration for Reality awakened, in a state of awakening. Though apparently they have stated different positions or aspects, all such differences and barriers are taken away. In my case I had no confusion, no difficulty. On the contrary I found an integrative process taking place, and I could enter into each system with a wonder that God pervades all of them. ..” Through this he is asking us have two things which are very important namely a) Craving for the Real b) Openness in belief systems that we develop in the pursuit of Reality. These two factors indicate the true attributes of a Real Seeker or determination. Openness is an important attitude to progress rapidly, it is some kind of balance state of mind lest we get stuck up with our ideas that it becomes difficult to retrieve ourselves from stated extreme views as dictated by the intellect. Craving for the Real always is the guiding factor.
The same subject was dealt by Sri KCN in his latest Seminar presentation on the topic” No doubt the world will be paradise but for that we have to work hard” in the following manner” … It takes enormous courage for a person to look beyond the conditioning of the belief system and admit that he knows nothing about even the most basic aspects of his life. It is not a matter of belief to say that we have two legs- we know that there are two legs even if we do not consciously see them. It is experientially clear to us. But when it comes to God, we have been told to believe: Nobody usually asks us to explore Divinity. But without an enquiring mind, we cannot know anything beyond our limited levels of existence – there will be no inner growth. This is one singular challenge that Master has provided for us and asked to know the Ultimate Reality through our imperience assuring us all the time that His support is there in this holy endeavour.
Belief cannot transform us. But if we experience the Divine, it will leave us to some extent transformed. Once we have moved in the path of PAM where the original Prana is infused from the beginning it will not be the same world as before even if were to leave the path. I will not be wrong in saying that one who has tasted Pranahuti from a competent person is eternally bound to it. For where experience is absent , whatever we believe in is of no significance..”
Babuji Maharaj has stated in this regard in message Rajayoga stated the following, “ The actual state of the real peace is beyond comprehension. It admits of no contradictions. It is literally neither peace nor restlessness, neither union nor separation, neither bliss nor its opposite. It is after all that for which we had developed pain. May you all have a taste of the pain. It is not, however, difficult to cultivate. A firm will and an undivided attention towards it are all that are required for the purpose. Then what you seek for will be found quite close to you. Nay! You might yourself be that which you seek for. For that, there must be a burning heart , which might burn down the weeds and bushes on the path .” Conflicting thoughts are what get burnt away through craving for the Real.
With these thoughts I would like to say that without craving for the Goal, it is not possible to muster enough interest in sadhana, If interest is created then we will be determined to achieve the Goal. Only through practice we can cultivate interest and it is had purely through imperiential knowledge. So on this auspicious occasion, I sincerely pray that all of us become more and more determined in our sadhana.