The word karma in the case of a human being means the work done to earn money, which is essential for his food and offering the food to the guest. Money required for the self and his family is called 'Sharira Yatra' in the Gita. Money required to prepare food to offer to the guest is called 'Yajna Karma'. The word karma in the Gita was used in these two meanings in the context of a human being (Sharira Yatra Pichate, Yajnah Karma Samudbhavah). Therefore the fruit of the work means only money. The first mantra of the first Upanishad speaks about enjoyment and sacrifice of money (Kasyasvit Dhanam). The mantra says that the entire creation is the wealth of the Lord and one should store the money for his minimum use and the rest should be sacrificed to the Lord who comes in the human form for His mission to uplift this world. The second mantra says that one should continuously work and earn. Vashista said that money is the root of all this worldly family bonds (Dhanamulamidam Jagat). In the absence of money all the family members will leave you. All the family members and relatives approach you only due to money just like the frogs are present in the tank when it is full of water. The 'Srichakram' means the wheel that surrounds the money.
Therefore when the sacrifice of money comes into the picture, all the fraud devotees will run away because in their hearts the attraction to the family bonds exists as solidified darkness. Only the true devotees will stand, in whose hearts the darkness is removed and the light of divine knowledge exists. The Lord came in human form and tested Saktuprasta in the sacrifice of the food, which is another form of money. In draught he could secure a little flour and he was fasting for the past ten days. He was not tested in any other way of words and mind (japa, parayana, dhyana etc.). A real devotee will stand in this root test and this is the real fire test. If the bond with the money is cut, all the worldly bonds are cut, since money is the root of this whole 'samsara' [family]. The fraud devotees want to escape this test and therefore interpreted the 'karmaphala' as the fruit of prayers, japa, parayana, dhyana etc. The eyes in this world not at all see such fruit. Therefore such fruit of work done by words and mind is unreal. There is no difficulty to sacrifice such unreal fruit. Therefore they misinterpreted the 'karmaphalatyaga' as leaving a spoon of water in the plate after doing such work by words and mind. Some people have fooled the ignorant people by doing such works and get the 'Gurudakshina'. They are selling the unreal fruit for the real money, by promising that the fruits of their sins will be removed and results of good deeds, which were not done, will be attained.
The stage of Karma alone is like a school in which the teaching is done with the help of inert models. The student here is completely ignorant. The statues, pictures, temples and objects in the form of past incarnations are the models through which the knowledge of the Lord is preached. Unfortunately these models are thought directly to be the Lord and are worshipped. The second stage is the college level where the student with the knowledge of the Lord observes all the human beings as the models of the external form of the Lord, since the Lord comes in human form only. This is Pravritti in which one loves all the fellow human beings so that he will not hate the human form of the Lord whenever he recognizes. This is the actual Advaita of Adi Shankara who said that every human being is Brahman (the Lord). There is a figure of speech called 'Roopaka' or a similie [or metaphor], in which the object compared is identified with the original object. For example, this man is tiger. This means that the man and the tiger are very similar in qualities. So instead of saying that the Lord is like the human being it is said that the Lord is the human being (Jeeva is Brahman). In the third stage of the university level the human incarnation of the Lord is recognized and is differentiated from the other human beings by His internal form, which is His Special knowledge (Prajnanam Brahma). In this stage all the egoism and jealousy towards the human form must have been removed. At this university level Shankara proved that He alone is Ishwara. The water in a drop and the water in the ocean are one and the same. The water is Brahman. The definition of Brahman is confined to simple awareness. In such a case every living being (Jeeva) is Brahman since every living being is having awareness. This is the qualitative similarity between the water drop and the ocean. But if you see the quantitative aspect, the water drop is the living being and the ocean is Ishwara. Shankara told not only that He is Brahman but He is also Shiva who is Ishwara (Shivo'ham). Therefore He swallowed the molten lead where as the disciples could not swallow it. Thus Shankara proved that any living being is Brahman but not Ishwara. One should not misunderstand that Brahman (qualitative) and Ishwara (quantitative) are one and the same.
You must note that I am an Indian. But I never feel that I am Indian because My feeling is that I am the universal human being. I don't distinguish between Indians and foreigners. I appreciated the foreigners in one point and the Indians in another point. One student may be good in mathematics and another may be good in physics but both must become good in both the subjects by mutual help. Regarding sacrificing the money and detachment with the family bonds, I appreciated foreigners. They are not only sacrificing to their Christian missionaries but also to several Indian Spiritual centers. In this aspect, I requested the Indians to learn from the foreigners because Indians always sacrifice words, mind and intelligence to God extensively, but are very poor in practical sacrifice. Of course exceptions are everywhere. It is a general comment. Swami Vivekananda was inquiring the reason for the poverty in India in spite of so much spiritual knowledge. Swami Ramathirtha said in USA that Indians only speak philosophy but foreigners practice it. He also said that this is the reason why the foreigners are better than the Indians. I gave the analytical approach to the comments of these great saints. I appreciated Indians in the tolerance. Every Indian worships different forms of the Lord. In this aspect an Indian stands as an example for the foreigners to have tolerance towards other forms of God and other religions. Thus wherever there is a good point, I appreciated. A foreign diamond is diamond and an Indian stone is a stone. I have to frankly accept the universal truth without any prejudice.
The hunter Kannappa, was given salvation even though he offered the flesh of rabbit, which was killed by him in hunting. Killing an innocent animal is the highest sin. But the Lord neglected the sin because neither he enjoyed the flesh nor his family. The sacrifice is very pious path as told in the Gita (Apichet Saduraacharah Bhajate Maam...) that is even a sinner is blessed by God when he serves the God. In this verse the word Bhajate means service (Bhaja—Sevayaam) according to the root word in grammar. The Gita says that sacrifice of fruit of work is greater than meditation, knowledge and even devotion and only by such sacrifice one can attain the peace (Tyagat Shanthih).
In the very beginning itself, the second chapter of the Gita says that the fruit of the work must be sacrificed (Karmajam Buddhi Yuktahi Phalam Tyaktva Maneeshinah). This means that realized scholars sacrifice the fruit of the work. The Gita keeps the sacrifice of the fruit of work at the highest level (Dhyanath Karma Phala Tyagah). According to the Veda, sacrifice of the fruit of work means the sacrifice of money alone (Dhanena Tyagenaike). Karma Phalam means self-earned money with which the man is more attached. Reason for the inability to do the sacrifice of fruit of work (Karma Phala Tyaga) is the selfish ambition for the fruit of the work. Therefore if the selfish ambition is removed, the fruit of the work can be easily sacrificed. It is funny to enjoy the fruit of work and say that he has no ambition for the fruit of the work. In such case you must also enjoy the fruit of your sin in the hell that is cutting off your muscles by knife etc., without any selfish ambition. Shaktuprastha was tested in the sacrifice of the fruit of work, which alone can prove the lack of selfish ambition for the fruit of the work. If one says that he has sacrificed the ambition for the fruit of the work and yet, enjoys the fruit of work is trying to fool the author of the Gita. In turn the Lord will fool him in the hell.
A rich man can never purchase the Lord. The Lord sees the percentage of the money he sacrifices out of his total wealth. A person having 10 million rupees may sacrifice 1 million. He has sacrificed only ten percent of his money. But a poor fellow having 10 rupees sacrificed 5 rupees, which equals 50 per cent. The poor man is greater than that rich man. For any person to sacrifice 5 rupees is easier than to sacrifice a million. Therefore the poor man can easily purchase the God than the rich man. The importance of sacrifice of money is stressed by the Veda (Dhanena Tyagena). The first mantra of the first Upanishad says that the entire world is the money of the Lord and one has to return the extra stored money to the Lord. The second mantra says that you should constantly work and earn money. You can keep the minimum required and sacrifice the extra stored money to the Lord. You should not be lazy without doing work after earning the minimum required money. Thus the Veda encourages constant work to earn money and discourages only the storing of the extra earned money.
7. A certain verse goes thus "Gange gangeti...sivalokam gamisyati"It means that he who utters the word Ganga (the holy river Ganges) is liberated from all the sins and will reach Lord Siva. In such case what is the use of all the spiritual effort? Could we not just utter the word Ganga and be assured of reaching the Lord.
The Guru encourages you to climb the first step by saying that the first step is the final step. When you climb the first step He will allow you to sit there for some time. Then slowly He will show you the second step and will again say that that step is the final step. Like this the Guru encourages you till you climb the last step. This is called as Arthavada, which means a lie, told for some good purpose. The person will start uttering the word Ganga. After this, the Guru will say that you should go to Ganga in Varanasi for a bath to get rid of your sins. Then you will go to Varanasi and take bath in Ganga. Then the Guru will say that you must see the Shivalinga, which represents the God without form. Then the Guru will say that you must see the Kalabhairava before you leave Varanasi. The statue of Kalabhairava is in human form representing the Lord in human form. Once you catch the Lord in human form the Guru will say that you must worship Him with prayers (words) and devotion (mind). Finally the Guru will say you must worship Him by service practically. At every step the Guru will be encouraging you stating that it is the final step. Some people sit on some lower step and do not climb the higher steps. Such people can never get the highest fruit because when they die the human rebirth is never assured.
Shaktuprastha could achieve Brahma Loka by the donation of a little flour to God. Sudama achieved lot of wealth by sacrificing a handful of rice to Lord Krishna. Dharma Raja sacrificed a lot of wealth but could not be equal to Shaktuprastha. Dharma Raja gave a lot of jewels and silk clothes to Lord Krishna while doing the Ashwamedha Sacrifice. But Lord Krishna did not give any wealth to Dharma Raja. Therefore the Lord does not see the value of your donation. He will see the percentage of your donation out of your total wealth. Shaktuprastha and Sudama sacrificed whatever they had to the Lord. Therefore the Lord gave whatever He could. Here both the Shakti and Bhakti were complete. Even when you are sacrificing work, the Lord sees whether you have sacrificed all your energy or not. The squirrel was showering some sand particles in the ocean during the construction of bridge. The monkeys were putting in huge stones. The monkeys and the squirrel sacrificed their full energy in the work. When the stones drowned in the water, the monkeys stopped the construction of the bridge due to the lack of complete devotion. But the squirrel continued its work with full devotion. Therefore the Lord patted the squirrel and blessed it. Thus in sacrificing work or the fruit of work, both capacity and devotion should be complete.
9. Sankara clearly advises us through the Bhaja Govindam, to sing in praise of Lord Krisna or Visnu, in order to please the Lord. Yet you preach karma yoga (service) as the way to approach the LordCould you please explain?
The meaning of 'Bhaja' means service (Bhaja—Sevayaam) and not singing songs. Similarly the word Govinda does not mean Krishna or Vishnu. It can mean even Lord Shiva. Actually the word Govinda means the Lord in the human body. The word 'Go' means the human body which is the composite of all the senses. The word 'Vinda' means the Lord who has attained the human body. Therefore Govinda means the Lord in human form. The meaning of the sentence is that one should do practical service and participate in the mission of the Lord in human form. Knowledge is the very important step before you follow the spiritual path. Only after attaining the true knowledge, can you choose the true path to reach the goal. Finding the true path is the first step and walking in the true path (Karma Yoga) is the next step. Therefore, knowledge and practice are the only two steps. In between these two, the words and feelings (prayers and devotion) have no place at all.
When you know the true path to reach Delhi, what will be your next step? Your next step is only following the path practically. There is no intermediate step in which you express your feelings and sing songs on the path or on the goal i.e., Delhi. This intermediate step is brought as a twist by the people who are unable to practice the knowledge. First you must have the knowledge of the goal i.e., Delhi. After this you may praise and develop the desire to reach Delhi. This stage is Bhakti [devotion] in which you do prayers, meditation etc., This Bhakti will strengthen your determination to reach Delhi. Once you are determined, you must search for the knowledge of the path and once you have obtained the knowledge of the path, you must walk in it i.e., you must practice Karma Yoga. There is no need of Bhakti at this stage. If you are again going to Bhakti, it means that your determination was not complete. But first you must have the knowledge of the goal.
The word Bhakti (devotion) has two meanings i.e., to attain and to serve (Bhaja - Prapane, Sevayaam). Bhakti means love as per the verse "Yanah Preetih". By knowledge (Jnana) you must recognize the Lord. Then by Bhakti you must attain the Lord. In this stage the word Bhakti means attaining the Lord as per the Gita (Bhaktya tvananyaya Labhyah). After attaining the Lord you must please the Lord by service alone. In this stage, the word Bhakti means service. Rukmini attained the knowledge of Lord Krishna from Narada. Then she attained Lord Krishna by Bhakti [she got married to Him]. After attaining Him, she pleased Lord Krishna by always pressing His feet. Therefore service is the real proof of devotion.
11. It is said that Dharma (justice, righteousness, or duty) is greater than the LordLord Krisna asked Dharmaraja to tell a lieDharmaraja told the lie hesitantly by uttering the word 'elephant' in low voice. Why was Dharmaraja sent to hell if he refused to violate Dharma and lie, as per the Lord's instructions?
The Gita says "Sarva Dharman Parityajya", which means that the Lord is greater than justice. The Lord Datta is protecting the deity of justice, who is shown as a cow. The protector is greater than the protected. Therefore Dharma Raja went to hell for a greater sin than telling a lie. The greater sin is not following the advice of the Lord. [He should have told the lie without hesitation when Krishna adviced him to do so. But since he hesitated, he went to hell.]
Jnana yoga means recognition of the Lord in human form in this human generation. This recognition is not trivial and one is liable to be misled by several factors of ignorance. The real diamond is mixed with several artificial diamonds. To pick out the real diamond from all the other artificial diamonds requires knowledge of the real diamond and also of artificial diamondsThis discriminative knowledge is jnana yogaThere are several fraud incarnations in this world and only one real human incarnation.
As the real diamond is recognized by its multiple total internal reflections of light at various angles, the real incarnation is recognized by the various reflections of the internal knowledge in various anglesSuch knowledge is called as prajnanam, which is the special knowledge of the LordNo one other than the Lord possesses this special knowledge and no one other than Him can impart it to another. Other scholars can have only ordinary knowledge; the kind that can be learnt from books. This is called as jnanam.
The refractive index of diamond is very high and it is by this that the real diamond is recognized. Similarly by the special knowledge (prajnanam), the real human incarnation is recognized. The human incarnation possesses it and can impart it to others. By such special knowledge you will be liberated from all worldly bonds. This is salvation. Coming close to the Lord in human form is called sayujyam and kaivalyam. Thus you can attain both the benefits i.e., moksha (salvation) on one hand and sayujyam (becoming close to the Lord) and kaivalyam (becoming one with the Lord) on the other. Kaivalyam means whatever you wish the Lord will wish the same and vice versa
If scholars spend all their time only in discussions without practical sacrifice, it is of no use. The intelligence and logic of humans cannot reach the Lord as said in the Bhagavad Gita and the Veda (Yo Budheh Paratah, Namedhaya, and Naishatarkena). Scholarliness and the ability to debate and discuss on spiritual topics is not an indicator of how close you are to God or how much you are devoted to Him.
You do not discuss debate or analyze about your children. Your love for your children is not proven by logic. Then why should you spend so much time on the discussions about the Lord? Sankara said that excesses of logic and debates should be avoided (Dustarkah suviramyatam)However, Sankara adds that the discussions and logic that are in keeping with the Vedas can be used to attain the knowledge of the Lord and the path to reach Him (Sruthimatah Tarkonu Sandheeyatam).
Similarly Sage Vyasa warns about excessive logic in his Brahmasutra "Tarkaaprathisthanat". Therefore one should follow the example of Hanuman and concentrate all the energy dissipated through words, mind and intelligence and focus it in action.
14. You often compare our devotion to God and our love for our children. The Lord is worshipped either as the Formless One or in the form of idols. Children are mere human beings. How can there be a comparison between the Lord and children?
People, who are unable to sacrifice practically to the Lord, want to make such excuses. They also say that there is no need for the Lord to accept such sacrifice. They do not accept the human form of the Lord, since they want to escape from practical sacrifice. The Lord in human form came to Shaktuprastha and tested him in practical sacrifice. The Lord comes in human form as per the four Maha Vakyas of the four Vedas and the Gita to test your sacrifice. The father asks his child for a chocolate, which was purchased by the father himself. He wants to test the mentality of the child and he does not desire that chocolate. Similarly the entire universe is God's money alone. There is no difficulty for the Lord to come in the human form. The difficulty lies only in your practical sacrifice. In order to cover your love for your family and your greediness, you reject the human form of the Lord and accept only statues and pictures of the Lord. At the same time you want to get all the benefits and protection from the Lord in this world by acting as if you love Him, by your words, mind, dramatic dress etc. You are offering the food to the statue but you are eating the entire food. You are putting all the jewels on the statue of the Goddess on Friday and you are removing those jewels on Saturday. Therefore you are acting as if you are sacrificing practically but you are not really doing this sacrifice. You think that the Lord can be cheated but the result of your cheating is not good, because the Lord is not pleased. In fact He is furious.
Everywhere in the Gita, Krishna refered to Himself and this means that He is stressing on the human incarnation of the Lord. But several fraud diamonds are also mixed with the true diamond. Poundraka Vasudeva, who got the Shankha [divine conch] and Chakra [divine disc] from Lord Narayana through penance, claimed that he was Lord Narayana Himself. Narayana means the abode of the true and infinite knowledge, which is called Prajnanam. Nobody else can preach such special knowledge. Sage Vyasa says that the human incarnation of the Lord preaches a special knowledge and also uses super powers for deserving devotees. You have to recognize the human incarnation of the Lord without which all the spiritual efforts go waste. Hanuman recognized Rama, who is the human incarnation of the Lord. He could serve Rama very conveniently since the Lord is in the human form.
I advised homogeneity before the Lord in the spiritual effort. I never told you to be homogeneous in this world. Lord Krishna told Dharma Raja to tell a lie in order to kill Dronacharya. Lord Krishna says in that context, that one should cheat the cheaters in the world. Lord Krishna says "If you go into the world of Maya without Maya, you will be killed as a soldier who goes to the war without armour on the body". When you are associating with Maya for the sake of the world for a long time, the Maya enters your nature. Then you show the same Maya before the Lord. You treat the Lord as an outsider and also as a cheater. He never cheated you. He gave you this human birth even though your file of Karma recommends the birth of animals for you. He gave longevity, health and wealth and protected you several times in your life. Why should you cheat Him? You are not cheating your family members. Can't you at least consider Him to be equal to your family members? If you say that Maya affects you continuously, how come you do not show Maya in the case of your family members also? If that were the case, the Lord would excuse you because you are showing Maya everywhere. This means that you are not treating the Lord equal to your family members. You are offering the food to Him with your hand and eating it yourself. You are putting your jewels on the statue of the Lord and taking them away the next day. The statue is in your house. Why don't you keep the jewels on the statue forever? The wealth would still be in your house. Is it proper to take back the wealth that is donated to the Lord? When you donate something even to a human being, you never take it back. You do not consider that statue equal to even an ordinary human being. You say that the statue is not an inert object but is the living Lord in your eyes. If it is not a statue and is the living Lord, why are you doing such tricks? While giving jewels to the statue, the statue is the living Lord according to you, but when you take away the jewels you are treating it as an inert statue. If the statue is alive, then why is it not eating your food? Why is it not talking with you?
You will not accept the human form of the Lord because if you offer Him food He will actually eat it. If you give jewels to Him, He will wear them and not return them to you. On one side you say the statue is not inert. But on the other hand your practical behavior proves that the statue is inert. You are fooling the Lord. You are showing false love on Him. You want to impress Him so that He feels that you have real love on Him and then you want to get all your desires fulfilled.
Instead, show a drop of real love, which you are showing to your children. You are giving a pot of cow's milk to your children. At least give a spoonful of the cow's milk to the Lord. If you can't give even a spoonful of cow's milk, keep quiet. The Lord is not begging of you for your cow milk. If you cannot please the Lord, keep silent. He will not be furious with you. But don't show false love and fool Him to get boons. Don't give a potful of donkey's milk, which is false love, and make the Lord furious. It is not wrong if you cannot please the Lord but it is the greatest sin if you fool Him by false love and try to get some benefit from Him. Without practical sacrifice that proves your real love, all your traditional activities and dramatic dress, like silk cloth, sacred ash on the forehead and garlands of beads on the neck, are only the means of cheating and fooling the Lord. You can fool a human being who is ignorant or has little knowledge. But the Lord is omniscient. Knowing this you are trying to fool Him! Are you not the biggest fool before Him?
Therefore have the shield of Maya when you enter the world but when you come to the Lord, remove the shield of Maya. Even if you treat the Lord as the statue in your prayer room, stop all these traditional foolish activities and be real. Since the statue cannot eat food, don't offer food. Since the statue does not have life, don't decorate with flowers. Don't light the oil lamp when the electric lamp is present. Don't burn fume sticks and camphor and don't break coconuts as offerings. Just see the beauty of the Lord in the statue or image and fix your eyes on it. Develop attraction and love. Remember His qualities. If there is darkness, light the lamp. To remove the darkness, an oil lamp is not needed. The alternative electric light is there. Avoid the oil lamp in order to avoid unnecessary pollution. If you want good smell, burn the fume stick. Burning the camphor has no use and moreover it causes pollution. In order to satisfy your pleasure of vision you can decorate the statue with flowers. Whatever you do, do for your self-satisfaction. This self-satisfaction is the only fruit for all such actions. You can offer food to the statue, but it is also for your satisfaction only. Don't expect any extra fruit from the Lord. You can break the coconut before the Lord and offer the broken pieces of coconut to the Lord. But since you are eating the coconut, don't ask the Lord for any fruit for breaking the coconut. Therefore you can do all these things before statues and pictures with a divine feeling as if you are offering to the Lord. Your feeling is definitely better than the feeling of an atheist. But what I say is that by such feelings you have attained peace, satisfaction and happiness in your mind. Please do not ask anything from the Lord in return for these actions, because your sacrifice is not a real practical sacrifice. It is only the sacrifice of your words and feelings. It is not wrong as far as you don't ask for any fruit for such actions. Once you ask the fruit from the Lord for such sacrifice of words and feelings, all those rituals become an attempt to fool the Lord.
I am not against rituals but I am against you if you say that you have practically sacrificed to the Lord through those rituals and if you ask for some real fruit from the Lord. By all these things you have obtained peace and happiness in your heart. Very good! Be satisfied with that fruit. Don't boast that you have sacrificed something to the Lord and therefore don't expect any fruit from the Lord. If you say that you have sacrificed to the Lord by these rituals, which are only sacrifice of words and feelings, you are the biggest actor and all your rituals are dramatic actions. If you want to sacrifice really to the Lord, search for the human form of the Lord, with the help of the Veda and do any little sacrifice that you can. In such sacrifice, if you aspire for anything in return, you will get the fruit, which is just equal to your sacrifice. If you sacrifice one rupee, He will give you one chocolate. If you sacrifice two rupees, He will give you two chocolates. Let the business be justified. Don't expect ten chocolates for one rupee. But if you are not aspiring for any fruit for your sacrifice, then you are showing real love to God, similar to the real love that you show on your children. Then the Lord will give you infinite real fruit in a proper place at the appropriate time. Since you do not aspire for the fruit, leave the right place and right time to the decision of the Lord.
People do not accept the human form of Lord due to jealousy and egoism. They sacrifice the fruit of their work to the statues in temples. But who takes that money? A committee of devotees is taking that money and spending it. Therefore you have donated money to those human beings only, even though it appears as if you are donating to the statue. It is all a drama. If you analyze the drama you will understand the truth. Don't you think that a great devotee or a spiritual leader is better than that temple committee? Don't you think that the actual Lord in human form is better than even that spiritual leader? A committee of devotees spends the money offered by you within the purview of their divine knowledge. According to the level of their divine knowledge they will spend the money perhaps to construct a compound wall or to feed every fellow who visits the temple without discrimination. [Feeding every person visiting the temple is not appropriate since donation of food has to be done based on the deservingness and the need of the person to whom the food is to be donated. Indiscriminate donation of food or money, which is done without considering these two factors, is considered as a waste by the scriptures]. Therefore your money is wasted.
Instead, when you offer Guru Dakshina [donation] to a great spiritual leader or a great devotee, he will spend it for a good spiritual purpose like the propagation of the divine knowledge of the Lord. If you are fortunate to come in contact with the human form of the Lord, you can just forget about your Guru Dakshina [how He spends your donations] because even the world is not greater than Him and in whatever manner He may use it, you must forget about that. Getting the grace of the Lord is more important than social service to the world because the Lord alone can save you and not the world. Therefore give Guru Dakshina to the human form of the Lord and forget about it. This should be your first preference. When people offered Guru Dakshina to Sai Baba, they never tried to find out how He spent that Guru Dakshina. He was spending it secretly. He was testing the faith of the devotees in Him while submitting the Guru Dakshina. Even though an income tax officer was appointed to find out about the expenditures of Sai Baba, he failed even after observing Sai for a month.
You can recognize the Lord in human form with the help of the Veda because the Lord will have special knowledge and all the super powers. If He is not available, your second choice must be the spiritual leader because he may be either a partial incarnation of the Lord or a direct servant of the Lord. Such people will definitely serve the world in the best way. A managing committee of devotees who are mere human beings cannot utilize your fund in the best way. They waste the money due to their ignorance. Therefore never opt for this third choice. You need not blame the committee of devotees either, because that is the limit of their knowledge.
You cannot analyze yourself. Only the Sadguru can analyze and reveal your internal self to you. You cannot see the condition of your internal organsOnly a doctor can take x-rays and a variety of scans and show them to you. Only then can you understand your own internal system. Therefore self-analysis does not mean the analysis of yourself by yourself. It means the analysis of yourself with the help of the Sadguru.
Think that you are a universal human being and not a Hindu, a Christian or a Muslim. You belong to all the religions, which are the same syllabus in different languages. The same Lord appeared in different forms. Every religion has a gem. Use all the gems in your spiritual life. Are you not using the petrol of the Muslims, scientific technology of the Christians and analytical brain of the Hindus in your materialistic life? Similarly you can use the merits of each religion. Suppose paddy [rice] is grown in one part, pulses are grown in another part and vegetables are grown in some other part of the country. The department of civil supplies transports rice, pulses and vegetables throughout the country so that every person in the country has rice, pulses and vegetable curry in his meal plate. Such a meal alone can give full satisfaction to everybody. Muslims are famous in regularity, discipline and firmness in the faith of the Lord. Even if it is not a holiday, even if it is working time and even during a journey, they will pray to the Lord. On the other hand, Hindus worship the Lord in their leisure time and Christians worship the Lord on a holiday. Similarly the love of Christians is a gem. They love even their enemies and give funds to the spiritual centers of other religions also. In Hindus tolerance is the gem. They worship different forms of the same Lord.
Therefore have firm faith and discipline like a Muslim. Show love even to your enemies like a Christian. Worship the different forms of the same Lord of all the religions in the same manner like a Hindu. All these merits are like rivers merging in the ocean of spirituality. Be a sea-fish. Don't be a stagnant river-fish. All the religions in the advanced stage mix and become the one spiritual ocean.
You are taking a tablet for your cold (common cold) and are drinking ice-cold water throughout the day. The tablet can control the cold temporarily for an hour. But by the next day your cold will be back to the original state due to the cold water. What is the use of the medicine without following the restriction on the food and drinks (Pathyam)? Similarly you are taking divine knowledge in the discussions with the Sadguru but you are immediately entering into family affairs. By the time you come to the Sadguru, you are again in the original state. Therefore you must try for devotion (Bhakti) and also practice detachment from the family (Vairaagyam) simultaneously.
The very nature of the mind is to waver. The Lord created the mind with such a nature. You cannot change the nature of mind because the Lord created both the mind and its nature. How can you change the creation of the Lord? The Lord must have created the mind with such a wavering nature for some good purpose. You do not understand that purpose and therefore you are making a futile attempt to change its nature. You must divert your mind from the world to the Lord. The mind is always moving from one point to the other point in the world.
Even when you divert the mind to the Jnana Yoga (knowledge) of the Lord, the mind still wavers from one point to the other point. The Lord has several divine qualities. To understand His greatness, to understand the real path and to understand your self, the mind must be diverted from one point to the other point. Therefore the nature of the mind suits the study of Jnana Yoga, which is the base for devotion (Bhakti) and from Bhakti, service (Karma Yoga) results, which finally brings the grace of the Lord. Therefore your effort must be to divert the mind from the world to the divine knowledge. Both the world and divine knowledge consist of various points and both these suit the nature of the mind. You must withdraw the mind from the world and repeatedly try to divert it to the knowledge of the Lord. The Gita says the same (Abhyaasenatu...). In such a case you will succeed in the spiritual path. But if you try to change the nature of the mind you will strain yourself unnecessarily and finally fail. Try to use the same nature of the mind in your spiritual effort. Every item in this world is good because the Lord created it only to help your spiritual effort. All the bad qualities like Kama, Krodha, Lobha etc., can be diverted towards the Lord and they can be used to attain the grace of the Lord. Anything becomes bad only when you use it for the world.
Pari Prashna means a question that can be posed to your Guru or a scholar. In order to know the truth if you are asking the Guru, you must salute and serve Him. If you ask a scholar, salutation and service are not necessary. But your question should be only an enquiry, which should not have the tone of mocking or abusing. You can contradict the point of the scholar or Guru by quoting from an equal authority in spirituality. You must quote Shruti [Veda] against Shruti or Smriti [secondary scripture] against Smriti. Of course, if you quote Shruti against Smriti then the Smriti is rejected [since Shruti is the highest authority in spirituality]. While debating and posing questions, you must have an equal logic. Discussion should be between two equal scholars. Prashna means question. Pari means the question, which is associated with equal authority, logic and experience. Experience, logic and Smriti should follow Shruti [Any experience, logic or quotations from the Smriti that contradict the Shruti cannot be taken as valid]. You should confine to the point only. Even if you win in your point, you should not mock or scold the opponent, even if the opponent mocks or scolds you. You must leave the opponent for the punishment to be given by the Lord. You should not punish him.
When Ramanuja contradicted the commentary of Shankara, He never mentioned the name of Shankara. He only mentioned the disciples of Shankara. He never used any foul language in His commentary. A scholar called Bellamkonda Rama Rao scolded Ramanuja as a child (Shishu) and animal (Pashu). Ramanuja was the incarnation of 'Adi Sesha' [the Divine Cobra of Lord Maha Vishnu]. This scholar died at his thirty eighth year by the bite of a poisonous creature. You can easily convince a scholar or ignorant person but never a fellow who argues with egoism and jealousy and who possesses little knowledge. When Indra came and posed a question to Lord Brahma, Brahma disappeared without answering Indra. The personal assistant of Brahma called Uma appeared and told Indra to do penance for a thousand years to talk with Brahma because Indra was egoistic at that time. Thus you should not discuss with a fellow having half knowledge. It will be like throwing a stone in a pond of mud [it will splash and soil your clothes]. When you have a doubt on the point of the opponent, you must have all the good manners to pose the doubt. You should not resort to scolding or mocking in the first step itself even if the point of the opponent is wrong. When an employee goes wrong, a polite memo should be given asking for an explanation before taking action. The aim of all discussions must be only to find out the truth. This is called as Vada Maryada, which means the minimum dignity and decorum in discussion.
Ancient sages maintained this throughout their spiritual discussions (Satsanga). Otherwise the satsanga becomes only the barking of two village dogs. In the spiritual path you must get rid of anger, jealousy and egoism. Without removing these three, you can never attain the grace of the Lord. Shankara says that Shama and Dama are required for spiritual path. Shama means controlling the inner senses (anger, jealousy and egoism). Dama means controlling the outer senses like your tongue.
Devotion is the love for the Lord, which has to be developed by you alone. The Lord cannot give you the love for Himself. Suppose a girl loves you. You can marry that girl. Suppose another girl does not love you. Will you create love in her and then marry her? Love should be spontaneous and can never be created by external effort. You will present a gift to a person who loves you but you will not give a gift and ask him to love you in return. Therefore the Lord gives capacity to His devotee but not devotion. The Gita says "Satvanurupa Sarvasya" which means that the devotion is proportional to the capacity but we see people who are endowed with money or physical strength or both have very little devotion. There are also poor and weak people having full devotion. Therefore the meaning of the above verse must be properly analyzed. The real meaning of this verse is like this: You must decide the devotion of any person according to his capacity (money or physical strength). A millionaire donated rupees five hundred thousand. A poor fellow having ten rupees donated all his ten rupees. The former is only a half devotee and the latter a full devotee. Here the devotion is estimated according to his state of capacity. Therefore Shaktuprastha completely sacrificed the little flour he had. Dharmaraja could not be equal to Shaktuprastha even though he sacrificed crores of rupees because he did not sacrifice completely. Complete sacrifice can alone bring the true grace of the Lord. The result of such full grace is the attainment of Brahma Loka, which means the association with Swami in every birth.
It is true that I did not show you the existence of hell and heaven by taking you in a rocket. But even you did not show the entire space of this universe proving that there is no hell and heaven. The space of this universe is infinite. Suppose a blind fellow is walking on the road. A person tells him that there is a fire in front of him. Another fellow says that there is no fire. If the blind fellow is wise, he will turn back assuming that there is a fire because there is no loss even if you turn back and there is no fire. If you enjoy this life without sacrifice, you are subjected to many diseases. If you sacrifice, you remain healthy. Therefore even through this angle, enjoyment of life is not good. In case there is a fire ahead and the blind fellow refuses to turn back, his feet will get burnt. There is equal probability for both the existence and non-existence of hell. If you assume the existence of hell and follow the rules of justice [dharma] in practice, there is no loss for you. But if you assume that hell does not exist and lead a sinful life, you are put to terrible loss if hell really exists. Therefore if you are wise, you will assume the existence of hell.
Moreover, the Lord comes in human form and proves the existence of super natural powers through miracles. Such human incarnations preach of the existence of the Lord and the upper worlds. Therefore you have to believe in the existence of the Lord and upper worlds, which is proved through direct perception. This is the essence of the Veda and the Gita. This is the reason for the existence of many theists in this world.
23. In a certain verse in the Bhagavad Gita it is said that one can attain Vasudeva over the course of several births. Why then should we be hasty to reach God in this birthCan we not take our own time?
In that verse the Gita also says that the person attains Vaasudeva. This means that the Lord is referring only to the devotees who can attain Vaasudeva. Vaasudeva means the son of Vasudeva. This represents the the external human body, which will not be present in the future births. Instead of Vaasudeva, some other human form will be present in the next birth. Therefore this verse speaks about the lifetime of Vaasudeva. In that lifetime, a devotee, who recognized Vaasudeva as the Lord was very lucky. A human incarnation speaks like that only during the lifetime of that human incarnation. In that verse the word Vaasudeva has special significance. Other words like Paramatma were not used in that verse. If such words were used the meaning would have been the Lord in general, who pervades all the human incarnations. Shankara says that human rebirth is impossible (Nara Janma Durlabhamidam). Christianity and Islam also say that the human rebirth is impossible. In this verse that concept can be interpreted. Hindus misunderstood the concept and are neglecting the spiritual effort due to the assumption of availability of several future human rebirths.
Sadhana means attaining the grace of the Lord in human form by serving Him. Upasana is attaining something, which is very much near and similar to the Lord. In Upasana you cannot serve the Lord. 'Upa' means near. 'Asana' means attainment. In Upasana you can understand the nature of the Lord through a model (Prateeka), which has some similarity with the Lord. The Veda says that the sun, mind etc., should be meditated upon as the Lord (Adityam Brahmeti Upaseeta, Tam Mana Iti Upaseeta). The sun removes darkness as the Lord removes ignorance. The mind creates several forms in a dream as the Lord creates several forms in the world. The sun and the mind are only models to understand the Lord. When you meditate upon the sun and the mind, you can only understand the nature of the Lord. But you cannot serve the Lord. Hanuman meditated upon the sun and understood the nature of the Lord. Then He met Lord Rama and served Him. Therefore sadhana is greater than upasana. Upasana is the beginning stage and sadhana is the final stage. Sadhana (spiritual effort) without Guru is like the blind bull which ran in the field throughout the night and was unable to reach the village since the farmer (guide) was not associated with it.
Guru means He who removes ignorance and shows the right path. Without a Guru you will be wasting lot of energy and a lot of time without reaching the goal. If you recognize the Lord in human form and serve Him like Hanuman and Gopikas, you can attain the highest fruit. All this is known only through the preaching of the Guru. If you only serve statues, you will end in misery like Tyagaraja. The blind bull spends all its energy throughout the night without any use. Had it been in the hands of a guide, it could have reached the village in ten minutes by spending very little energy in walking.
Oh! Blind horse! Hear the Guru!
You don't see the way, yet you run with vigor!
How many wives; how many husbands;
How many sons and how many daughters;
You've had in the past millions of births!
Don't be ensnared by the sweet words
And sweet love of your family
They are the real enemies of your sadhana
You have stolen their money in your previous birth
They have come now to recover it with interest.
Not only to collect their dues they've come
But also for revenge! By spoiling your sadhana
Your energy and time are limited
They cannot save you when the death strikes you.
They will leave you after their revenge.
They have come to you for food and shelter
Help them as per your duty
But be brief and do not waste time and energy!
Hear Me, See Me, Speak about Me
And Think about Me alone!
Your senses, caught by these bonds
Will not allow you to come to Me
The blind horse ran and ran throughout the night
And never left the field nor reached its goal
For it was separated from the guide
Therefore catch the Guru at once!!
Holy Jesus told in the Bible that if one does not hate his family members, he cannot become His disciple. I am explaining the reason of His statementYour family attracts you by love and becomes an obstacle for your love for the LordThe Guru is essential for your sadhana. Nobody is greater than the Guru (Na Guroradhikam, Guru Saakshat Parabrahma). You must not limit the service by serving the Guru personally only. You must understand and assimilate His preaching. Can you pass the examination merely by paying your fess regularly to the teacher. The pity is that nowadays, some Gurus (false Gurus), concentrate only on the fees but not on the progress of the student
Kundalini is the mind, which travels in a curved way like a serpent. The chakras mean the false attractions of family bonds. They are the whirlpools, which attract and drown a swimmer who is trying to cross this world-ocean. Mother, father, wife or husband, children, false Gurus and deities, who are the external illusions of the Lord are the bonds to be crossed. The kundalini crosses these wheels by going in a curved way. This means that you can cross Maya using Maya. If you go straight, these rotating whirlpools will catch you. Therefore you should act as if you love them and concentrate all your real love on the Lord only. This is the meaning of crossing of Maya with the help of the Maya. The Veda says the same (Avidyaya Mrityum Teertva). Yoga is this path through which you can attain the grace of the Lord and also the super natural powers from Him through His grace only. But today the Yoga teachers are earning money by a false theory in which they state that the super natural powers can be attained by certain spiritual exercises without the grace of the Lord. They say that it is just like getting health by certain physical exercises. Even demons concentrated on Yoga (Tapas) but they could get the super powers only from the Lord, who appeared before them when He was pleased. The penance did not bring the super powers directly. You cannot get the grace of the Lord and salvation by certain exercises or control of breathing. These Yoga teachers are similar to Purva Mimamsakas, who say that the fruits of actions can be attained directly by the action and that there is no need of God. Even Patanjali, who is the founder of Yoga stressed on the grace of the Lord. His path is called as 'Seshvara Sankhya' which means it accepts the Lord.
All these Yoga exercises can bring good health and such Yoga is just a branch of medicine. The words like Kundalini, Six Chakras, Sahasraara, etc., are not heard in the Vedas or Brahma Sutras or the Gita. All these are just imaginations. The chakras (wheels) and the Padmas (Lotus Flowers) are only poetical models and are not true. The Yoga teachers are attracting people by preaching that the super powers can be attained by such exercises. Yantras, mantras and tantras are also imaginations, which are used to earn the money. The six family bonds are like the six whirlpools and are also like six lotus flowers, which attract the bees by their fragrance. They are only similes. Yoga means the attainment of the grace of the Lord. The Yoga power means the super power given by the Lord.
The first stage is worship of the formless Lord. Actually the formless Lord is only the formless power of the Lord, which pervades all over the creation. The light of the sun is formless but not the sun. Thus formless worship is an approach to the Lord by worshipping His power, which is actually not the possessor of the power. The Veda says that Brahman is the possessor of the power and not the formless power (Brahma Puchcham Pratistha).
In the second stage the possessor of the power is worshipped indirectly through idols and pictures. It is very difficult to worship the formless power of the Lord as said in the Gita "Avyaktahi Gatir Duhkham". For the concentration of the mind, a form is required. Thus idol worship is a higher and better step. But the idol is only a representative symbol of the Lord and is inert.
In the third stage the human being, who is a mixture of inert body and living soul is worshipped as a symbol of the Lord. Every human being is treated as the Lord although they are not the actual Lord. This symbol is better than the previous symbol. Actually in this stage the jealousy towards another man due to individual egoism is removed. Every human being is considered as the Lord and is worshipped so that when the Lord in human form is achieved, He will not be rejected. The human form of the Lord is also loved and treated as the Lord like all the other human beings. At least there is no negative approach towards the human form of the Lord, even though the positive approach is diluted [The positive approach is diluted in the sense that all human beings other than the human incarnation of God are also considered to be God even though they are not really God]. In this stage egosim and jealousy are removed and this is a stage of psychological training to cure the inherent diseases, which are egoism and jealousy.
In the fourth stage the actual human form of the Lord is realised. In this stage the devotee considers that human incarnation of God alone is the Lord and loves that human form only. This is the concentration of the positive approach. Hanuman and Gopikas, who are the highest devotees, are the best examples for the fourth stage. They never worshipped the formless Lord or the statues or all the human beings. Hanuman worshipped only one human being i.e., Rama. Similarly the Gopikas worshipped only one human being i.e., Krishna. They never worshipped the statues of the previous incarnations. Hanuman did not worship the statue of Vamana or Parashurama. The Gopikas did not worship the statue of Rama. Had they worshipped statues or images of past incarnation, they would have fallen to the second stage from the fourth stage. All these four stages are the steps in the right path and need not be criticized. Only atheism should be criticized.
First of all we must know that prayers by speech and meditation by mind do not have any value like offering a glass of water to the guest has no value. Even in a restaurant, one can drink a glass of water without paying anything. If you ask the Lord to protect you in return for your prayer and meditation, it is something like charging the customer for drinking a glass of water in a restaurant. Only service to the Lord in terms of sacrifice of work (Karma Sanyasa) and sacrifice of the fruit of work (Karma Phala Tyaga) can have real value like serving a plate of meals to the customer in the restaurant. Of course the plate of meals should always be associated with drinking water. Similarly the service to the Lord should also be associated with prayers and meditation. Service without prayer and meditation is ninety-nine percent and cannot be one hundred percent. The prayer and meditation have significance and value only when they are associated with service. Therefore asking for protection from the Lord in return for prayer or meditation is not at all justified.
Of course asking for protection after the service associated with prayer and meditation is justified but not appreciable. When you ask for the fruit, it shall be given according to the value of your service. But if you don't ask for the fruit, your service attains infinite value and you will get permanent protection from the Lord without any account of your service. Do you ask your son for the fruit as soon as you serve him? You simply do whatever service you can for your son, and when you become old, he renders whatever service he can do for you. Is there any account between you and your son? If you deserve, the Lord will protect you and you need not remind Him about this. If you do not deserve He cannot violate His own rules and administration for the sake of an undeserving fellow. If you do not ask Him for any favor, you are a good follower of His administration and He will be pleased with you even without your prayers and worship. He will become angry if you ask Him to protect you even if you deserve, because He becomes angry since you have unnecessarily reminded Him. He becomes angry with you when you do not deserve, because you are asking the Lord to violate His own administration. Therefore in both the cases you should not mention your desire for protection or for any other fruit before the Lord. Even though nobody is there to question the Lord even if He violates the rules, the angels and sages are constantly watching Him through meditation. If the Lord violates the rules for the sake of undeserving devotees, these divine devotees will be shaken in their impression about the Lord and their meditation will be spoiled. Therefore the Lord will never do anything to harm these divine devotees.
The place, time and the method of selfish worship are not important. The real festival is when you sacrifice your work or the fruit of your work to the deserving divine people, without any selfishness. Then it does not matter what place or time it may be. We have to correct our selfishness and not the date of the festival.
29. If a child is weak in studies, you suggested that the child should serve God insteadWe would have expected you to suggest something like meditation or something to improve the child's concentrationIs it not what the child should be made to do?
Meditation means concentration, which is only a physical process within the rules of nature. Divinity is beyond nature. You can expect only divine advice from Me because My aim is to get you in touch with God through some context and not to simply solve your materialistic problem by materialistic ways. Sometimes, the physical plane is not sufficient to solve the problem. But the spiritual plane can certainly solve the problem. But you should note that the Lord solves your problems in the initial stage to divert you to the spiritual path. After entering the spiritual path you should not touch your materialistic problems because you are expected to serve the Lord without expectation of any of fruit in return. Therefore, you should not continue to solve your problems using God throughout your life, in which case the main purpose is lost. If you continue like that, even the solved problems will reappear in a magnified way. Actually God postpones the bad results for some time to give you relief so that you will enter the spiritual path. If you enter the spiritual path, God will cancel all the bad results in His own way i.e., He suffers for your sake. But if you do not enter the spiritual path and continue to exploit the advantage, the postponed bad results will reappear in a magnified way since they are compounded with interest.
A person got a M.A. degree (Master of Arts) by working hard. He applied for the post of a lecturer and attended the interview in a neat suit. He got the post. Another fellow who failed 10th grade posted hundreds of applications for the same post. He bought a very expensive and fashionable suit for the interview. However this fellow was not even called for an interview. I know a person in the olden days who received an appointment order for the post of a lecturer from the government even before the result of his M.A. degree was declared by the university. The government obtained the graduation results from the university even before they were formally announced. Therefore if you have the deserving degree, you need not apply and need not go to the interview. The order of appointment will come directly to your house.
Similarly your chanting of the prayer is your application. Your silk cloth, garlands, sacred ash on the forehead etc., compose the neat suit for the interview. The practical sacrifice for the sake of the Lord crossing over the family bonds is the real deserving M.A. degree. You must work hard to attain that degree. Without doing that, what is the use of all these external things? Shankara sacrificed His old mother for the sake of the mission of the Lord, which was the propagation of divine knowledge. The deserving qualification of Shankara was responsible for that rain of golden fruits. The prayer chanted by Him was merely a formal application for the post. Even that application is not necessary if you have the deserving qualification.
Shabari, Kannappa, the elephant, the spider and the serpent mentioned in the scriptures never asked the Lord for anything. Their practical sacrifice was their deserving qualifiation. Our present tradition is preaching to you to attain only the external means without the real internal deserving qualification. Therefore the Lord is not pleased with you and no fruit is seen for such wasteful external means.
Egoism and jealousy are the two obstacles in regognizing the human incarnation of the Lord. First you must get rid of these two. The love for the Lord in human form should become infinite and due to that, the love for wealth, wife and children should be destroyed. This is called as Jeevanmukti. This is the only way. Without the attachment to the Lord, you cannot detach yourself from the world. Without light, the darkness cannot go. The bond with the Lord can alone cut these worldly bonds. The Veda says that one should cut the bond with the wife (Pravrajet), children (Na Prajaya, Kim Prajaya) and wealth (Dhanena Tyagena). Datta is the human form of the Lord, which is donated to the world. Without recognizing and loving Datta, all the detachment is useless. A stone is also completely detached and at the same time it has no love for Datta. A stone is not liberated. Avadhuta does not mean a mad person who wanders without clothes. Hanuman and Gopikas are the real Avadhutas who have detached themselves from the world due to their infinite love for the Lord in human form. The sages could not recognize Rama due to their egoism and jealousy. Therefore they were born as Gopikas and only then did they recognize the Lord in human form. Even Sage Sarabhanga, who sacrificed his body to the fire altar was reborn as a Gopika and worshipped Lord Krishna. Since he could not recognize Rama, he was not liberated in that birth. Therefore only one in millions can attain Jeevanmukti. The Gita says the same (Kaschit Maam).
The Lord preached the Gita only when Arjuna fell at His feet and craved for the divine knowledge. The Lord said that trying to give the divine knowledge to people who are not interested in it, due to their ignorance, egoism, jealousy and greed, is like throwing a stone in the pond of mud (Krutstnavit Na Vichalayet). But Shankara went to the house of Mandana Mishra and begged for a debate. Then Manadana Mishra abused Shankara and refused the debate. But Vyasa and Jaimini who were present there objected to such an attitude. Finally, Mandana Mishra entered into a debate and it continued for twenty-one days. At the end Mandana Mishra realized the truth and became a disciple of Shankara. Here Mandana Mishra was benefitted and not Shankara. Therefore you must try to uplift all the souls in this world. Even if some mud falls on you, you must have patience. Shankara did not turn back even though Mandana Mishra abused Him in a pungent way. The father tries to correct his son even if his son scolds him. Such a kind attitude is divine nature. Krishna tried to prevent the Kauravas from destruction and Hanuman tried to stop Ravana even though both Krishna and Hanuman were insulted. Of course you should leave a rigid person, which should be your last resort because such a person is destined to his fate.
Generally we do some service to the Lord and expect something good in return from the Lord. This is the norm of the general worldly business. The specialty of Lord Datta is that He announces His policy in the beginning itself. His policy is only one-sided. You have to do service to Him but He will not do anything good for you in return. Thus the attitude of business completely disappears from the mind of the devotee. At this stage itself majority of the devotees drop out. Some devotees come to Him prepared for doing the service without expecting any good fruit in return. After some time He opens His second policy. This policy is a two-way traffic but it is different from our two-way traffic. He starts doing bad in return for our service. As the devotees press His feet He will beat them with His stick. In fact this is the true love. The devotee must have divine knowledge to understand Lord Datta. By giving such troubles He is clearing all the sins. In clearing the sins He pays ninety-nine percent and the doer must pay one percent according to the rule of minimum justice. He appears to be giving troubles but actually He is clearing the devotees' sins. Then why does He not open this truth? Only when the truth is not opened, the true love of the devotee is tested. In true love, one loves in spite of troubles from the other side. If the truth is opened this true love disappears. We will realize that these troubles are for our own benefit. Then we will tolerate the troubles from that angle. In such a case it cannot be called true love. Therefore Lord Datta maintains the secrecy.
After clearing the sins, He will give boons. Without curing the fever, strong food should not be given. If it is given the patient dies. The demons were destroyed by such boons. There are three types of devotees. The lower-level devotee asks for a boon like a demon. He does not give any freedom to the Lord. He decides that something is good for him and asks the Lord to give it. The devotee acts like a master and is indirectly treating the Lord as his servant. The master asks the servant to do a particular thing without any choice. The middle class devotees ask the Lord to do whatever is good for them. They give some freedom to the Lord in deciding, what is good and what is bad for them. Up to this point they give freedom to the Lord. But after this point, the Lord has no freedom and He has to do only good. Thus these devotees give 50 percent freedom to the Lord. The best devotee gives 100 percent freedom to the Lord. He asks the Lord to do whatever the Lord likes. This devotee is prepared to receive bad results also if it can please the Lord. His only aim is doing whatever God likes; his goal is the pleasure of God. This devotee feels that he is only an inert means for the play of the Lord by which the Lord is entertained. A player hits the ball by foot and is entertained. The devotee also likes to receive continuous sufferings, if such sufferings can entertain the Lord. When Jesus was doing the last prayer, He tried to avoid the future agony of death. For a moment, He was shaken with the forthcoming agony of crucifixion. But immediately He regained His original state and ended the prayer by saying "Let Thy will will be done". He said finally that He is prepared to suffer if that was the will of the Lord. This is the best devotion.
Lord Datta starts giving small troubles, which means that He is clearing the small sins of the devotee. If the devotee is firm in his faith, Datta starts clearing big sins. That means the small troubles will be slowly magnified into big troubles. When He clears your debt of Rs. 100/-, He pays ninety-nine rupees and you will have to pay a rupee. Then He starts clearing your debt of one thousand rupees and then you have to pay Rs.10/-. You have to pay one percent of your sin according to the least expectation of justice. In the first stage Lord Datta keeps silent without doing any good for your service. This is the test of Brahma. This is a sort of initial training for the further tests. Then Datta starts troubling you for your service. The clearance of small sins is the test of Vishnu. In the third stage, big sins are cleared and your troubles are intensified. This is the third test of Rudra.
From one angle these are the tests to find out the strength of your faith and the truth in your love. Form another angle these tests are the secret clearance of your sins and your purification to make you eligible for His grace. Only the best devotee can stand before the special Lord Datta. Datta is the true God and His preachings are true. The benefit you get is also true. The real sun can remove the real darkness by its real light and imaginary sun cannot remove the real darkness. You are spending a lot of your time and energy in analyzing these worldly affairs. You are egoistic and you think that you are intelligent enough to solve the worldly affairs. By your intelligence and intensified analysis through long discussions, you will find that the worldly affair about which, you have taken so much care utterly flops at the end. If you spend even one-tenth of that time and energy in the service and devotion on Lord Datta, your worldly issue succeeds beyond your imagination.
In fact the servants of Lord Datta attend to your worldly affairs. These worldly matters are below His level. His level of work starts when you go to hell after death. He will ask the Lord of hell to not enquire about you and close your file, since you are in His service. Thus you are blessed in this world and also in the upper world. But your faith is not a hundred percent to practice this. If you are in His constant devotion, all your duties will be also discharged by the power of Lord Datta in a fraction of second, and in an excellent manner. One can test this concept in the case of one worldly affair and see whether what I say is correct or not? You can test this in one case and you will experience the truth of My preachings.
What you say is not the highest yoga but is just the beginning of yoga. By merely doing your duties, you are attached to action. If you start by cutting the mental attachment, to the duties (actions) that perform, you are detached only in mind and in words. This is only one percent detachment. There is still ninety nine percent attachment in the action. However it is at least a humble beginning.
The essence of Bhagavad Gita is 'niskama karma yoga', which means detachment in mind and action. The detachment in action is proved by two ways:
1. Karma samnyasa yoga, which means detachment from the work aimed at benefiting yourself or your family only. The work that you do should be aimed at serving the Lord in His mission in this world.
2. Karmaphala tyaga yoga, which is the detachment from the fruits of work done for yourself and your familyThe fruits should be sacrificed to God.
Only if you have mental detachment, it becomes niskama yoga. Of-course between mind, words and work, mind is the king since it is the subtlest of the three and controls the other two. However, between words and work, work is a better indicator of your mind. You may speak something and have something else in your mind. However if you are sincere in your mind, it definitely shows in your work. This is the reason why the Lord advised 'niskama karma yoga', which means detachment from mind and work.
He did not give any place to words. The mind and work are always in the same phase. What is in your mind is clearly reflected by your action; whom you really love is evidenced by whom you sacrifice the fruit of your workYou may feel so much for God in your mind. You may speak or sing so much in His praise. You may claim that all the work you do is for none other than the LordYet, when it comes to giving up the fruit of your work (money) to Him, your real mettle is tested. Therefore, sacrifice of the fruit of work is the real essence of the Bhagavad Gita.
Sometimes when you don't have anything else to do and are unable to earn money, you may surrender your work for God by volunteering to do His work. However if you have a real job that yields plenty of money and you are still able to sacrifice that money for the mission of the Lord, then your sacrifice is genuine. You have proven your love or devotion to GodThat is why the Veda says 'Dhanena tyagenaikena', which means that only by the sacrifice of the fruit of work, one can attain the Lord. That is the real test of Lord Datta. Saktuprasta was also tested in this very aspect. Sacrifice is the touchstone of devotion. It will tell whether your mind is cheap glittering brass or real gold.
Your present family is bound to you only in this birth. All family members are like drama actors. They are only temporarily related to you. The relations with them are not even temporarily real. Even in the present they are unrealYou should think of this carefully that they are not only temporary, but also unrealYou are worrying about your duties to such a dramatic association! God is the director and producer of millions of such family dramas. In each birth of yours, you are an actor in a new drama. You pass through all of them as an actor acts in different dramas. The Lord is the employer and you are maintained by Him as an employee. This relationship alone is real and permanent from the beginning of this creation.
Madhva told that the master-servant relationship is the only relationship between the Lord and the soul (sevya-sevaka sambandh. Therefore, what is your real duty? The primary duty is to serve your employer. You are forgetting the real duty and attending false duties. You say that attending these false duties is the essence of Gita! Sankara left His mother, Prahlada condemned his father, Buddha left his wife and son and Mira left her husband for the sake of God. Such souls are fully liberated since they are detached from this world by mind, words and even work. They have reached the end of the yoga.
You are just in the preliminary stage of yoga. If you are not told this truth, you will sit on the first step itself thinking that it is the final step. Of course you are better than the people who are attached to this world by both mind and work. A score of one mark is better than zero marks. Yet one mark is not hundred marks. To progress in the spiritual effort you must look at the ninety-nine steps to be climbed up and not at the first step, which you have already climbed
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