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Path for a Spritual Seeker

  Some Sermons of Shree Shree Goswami Prabhu

a)    Scriptures.

  1. One can be saved only by following the words of the sages respectfully, else, is there a way out in today's time? It gives rise to various problems just by reading a book written by somebody or hearing a lecture delivered by someone. Someone claiming to represent Hindu religion says that there is no harm in eating meat. This should be declared as one's own views instead of labelling it as belonging to Hindu religion. The body has to be purified by taking satwik (pure) food. Without purity of the body, the elements cannot be purified (bhootshuddhi). One cannot be eligible to worship without purity of the elements. The brahmins who worship do not even touch the offerings before purifying the elements/These days bhoot shuddhi is confined only to the mantras. Bhoot shuddhi is not just a mantra. The five elements of this body have to be purified. In this state one can read one chapter of the Gita, some parts of Shreemad Bhagabat, Shree Chaitanya Charitamrita, Shree Chaitanya Bhagavat, Prayers of Shree Narottam Thakur etc. One will be secured and achieve peace by following this path. Reading the scriptures written by the sages gives peace to the soul and there will be no restlessness. Now, what is the need of the bhoot shuddhi and purity of the body? These are needed for worship. Wrong interpretation of Vedanta has removed all these. If one develops yearning by following the path mentioned above, then by God's grace one can achieve something.

  2. Only the sages had the power to say something new about religion. We do not have the capacity to understand their views On religion kept in the form of scriptures. But we are desirous of following their sermons properly. Now a days it is difficult to conform to the real scriptures, owing to physical, social and environmental reasons.

  3. Scriptures and good conduct should be followed always. I too was a Brahmo, I did not follow anything. But after observing the scriptures I have benefitted mentally and physically.

  4. One will not benefit just by reading any one book. At first one should read selectively. Such as Mahabharat, Ramayana, Bhagavat Gita, Chaitanya  Charitamrita,  Bhaktamala, Adhyatma Ramayana. One should read according to one's choice from these books. Only after one develops a taste in the scriptures will one benefit by reading the Vedas, Upanishad, Smriti, Tantra, Puran etc. There is no doubt that the Hindi Bhaktamala is still better.

  5. It is very much necessary to abide by the scriptures. There is no option but to follow the foot-prints of the sages.

  6. Guru Nanak has repeatedly shown the futility of following paths other than the scriptures.

  7. Understanding Hindu scriptures is difficult without the knowledge of the Vedas and Upanishads. The complicated question of religion cannot be solved without throughly studying the eighteen Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharat. The solution of a matter in the Adi Parva (first chapter) is to be found in Shanti Parva (chapter of Peace). The entire detail of a matter mentioned in Brahmanda Puran is to be found in the Markandeya Puran. The solution of a matter mentioned in Manusamhita is to be found in Brihat Goutam Samhita. The full details of a matter mentioned in the Nirvana Tantra is available in Rudrajamal. A story which appears in Yajurveda Samhita, Saamveda Samhita is found in Shreemad Bhagavat, Vishnupuran etc. So commenting on them without studying the scriptures thoroughly is but deception and ignorance.

  8. The body becomes pure by bathing in the Ganga, going on pilgrimages, fasting on the days of ekadashi (eleventh day of the lunar month), full moon and new moon etc.

  9. All the places of pilgrimage are present in the house that contains Ramayana, Mahabharata and Shreemad Bhagavat.

  10. The scriptures cannot be understood without studying under a preceptor.

  11. Even if a route other than that laid down by the scriptures and good conduct leads you to Brahmaloka, do not follow it. It is told by the sages that though some people, owing to the influences of good deeds done in previous birth, may attain their destination by other route, but the beginners will move about in cycles of blind darkness, if they do so. Violation of the Upanishads and sermons of the sages will not lead one to the real truth of the Aryans.

  12. All the things, other than the scriptures, sermons of the sages, conduct of the great ones are of no substance. Only when things comply with these, should they be accepted. Otherwise comments made by anybody need not necessarily comply with the scriptures. Some people express their personal opinions without looking into the scriptures and these cause problems.

  13. Bhagavat Gita and Shreemad Bhagavat are the commentaries on the Upanishads. The message of the soul of the sages can be realised when one follows spiritual practice according to these books.

b)    Sadguru and Infusion of Power.

  1. Choose a Guru who has the knowledge of the Vedas, knows Brahman, has achieved peace in Brahman. Take shelter under a Guru who is a brahmin, desireless, who has destroyed all the six inherent vices ('Shadaripu'), whose body is pure, not physically deformed, and who has achieved total devotion at the lotus feet of Shree Krishna.

  2. Without initiation from a living Sadguru one does not acquire the right to the vision of the creator. Dhruva was a five year old child. In spite of his soulful cries while taking the name of Padmapalash lochan (the one with lotus eyes) he could not see God until he was initiated. Jesus was initiated by John the Baptist. Chaitanya was initiated by Ishwar Puri. I have definitely realised that it is not possible to have Brahmadarshan (sight of the Brahman) without Guru.

  3. In the case of taking deeksha from Sadguru, no rituals or formalities are needed. A particular date or time is of no significance. Then how are we to identify Sadguru? Sadguru cannot be recognised by any sign. Only spiritual practice through many births enables one to identify Sadguru by the grace of God.

  4. We need a teacher for anything that we learn in our human life. Whatever we enjoy by our senses in the world, the things that we see, hear, smell, touch taste etc., if we are to learn about the root cause for all these, then we have to take lessons from the knowledgeable ones.

    Thus everybody knows by common sense that God exists, I exist, the world exists. If one is not satisfied with just the general information and wants to know the subject thoroughly then one has to take lessons thoroughly from a knowledgeable teacher. None other than the Guru, who knows Brahman is qualified to give sermons on Brahman. That is why real knowledge is not obtainable from a source other than Guru.

  5. The power of God is inherent in everybody. To awaken that power (known as Kundalini) by the intense power of a Mahatma is known as infusion of power. That power generally remains in a dormant state. Even after awakening it tries to go back to the state of dormancy. Those who practice naamjapa constantly in breathing and do not allow it to fall back to sleep, have the force play nicely in them.

  6. Deeksha should be taken if the mind is very eager for it. It is not advisable to go for it just on hearing from others. Even while buying a small article, people inspect it well. So one must verify thoroughly if the deeksha one intends to take from someone conforms to the scriptures and good conduct rules. There is- no harm if one has hundreds of doubts before taking deeksha. But even one instance of suspicion after taking deeksha is harmful. That is why a thorough investigation before taking deeksha is better.

  7. Faith in Guru is very difficult to achieve. One having faith has achieved everything. The only way to achieve faith is to obey Guru's orders. Belief in Guru's words is not achieveable without the good deeds of previous births.

  8. Goswami Prabhu's answer to the question that whether the authority to impart this initiation is confined to particular
    persons, was that this is never possible. The strength to do good to others is proportional to the degree of God's dharma of truth that one obtains in one's life. But the one who has not obtained the strength to open up another's spiritual eyes, or to manifest the yogashakti (spiritual power) of another person, can never have the authority to initiate another. The path of yoga has four stages -

    1. Pravartak (introducer)

    2. Sadhak (austere endeavourer)

    3. Yunjan siddha (constant union with God with occasional breaks)

    4. Yukta siddha (constant contact with God).

    In the stage of Pravartak the sadhak displays only the primary emotions like humbleness, non-attachment, love, purity. Subsequently in the stage of Sadhak, God's presence is felt little by little and towards the end of this stage clear vision of Brahman is achieved. Then the Yunjan Yogis often remain in the company of God and become blessed by accessing various realities. But at times they too suffer from separation. These periods are very distressing. During the stages of separation, sin can penetrate even them and cause disaster. Later by the grace of God they reach the stage of interminable link with Him and stay and move in Him. They are known as Yuktayogi. This is the stage of real accomplishment. Yogadeekshashould be taken from such a yogi. But if some yogis have direct link with some accomplished mahatmas and if such mahatmas infuse power in such yogis and instruct them to initiate Others, then also same results can be obtained. Otherwise taking deeksha from just anybody without discrimination should be avoided. How can a blind person show the way to another person? Can the one owning one hundred rupees open a charitable Institution? Only one having link with the limitless source of power, the Almighty, has attained the unlimited fountain. No one else has the authority to give yogadeeksha. Taking deeksha from people of such poor states has circulated the dreadful atrocities and beastly Customs of Guruvad in our country.

c)    Naam Japa

  1. All the scriptures have said, "Naam japa is the only path (for salvation) in Kaliyuga".

  2. It is enough to give naam as a sermon to the world. But one has to have a firm belief as to whose name it is. A name may mean many things. For example the word Hari means the sun, the moon, horse, lion, monkey etc. and Hari also means God, the eliminator of all sins. That is why the meaning of the naam along with it has to be neatly explained. Brahman has many meanings like the universe, the creation, the soul, knowledge, the Vedas etc. That is why primarily it is needed to have the knowledge of the matter. It is enough just to give the sermon of a naam to the one who has the faith, that there is one Supreme Master of the universe. No other sermon is required. Many people say that there is one Master. This is not the indicator of faith. Because faced with even a little bit of adversity they cannot hold faith in the Master. One who does not know anything else, but cries like a child, alone achieves the naamee (whose name it is) because of his childlike simplicity.

  3. One is able to see Guru by repeating naam in every breath and then the conscious form of naam is seen in Guru. The sadhak then understands that Guru and Brahman are one and the same.

  4. Fruits of naam japa can be achieved instantly when one is humbler than the grovelling grass, as tolerant as the tree, respects the honourable and discards ego. But to attain such a state, one should have satsanga (association with spiritually inclined persons), read spiritual books, obey Guru's orders, serve
    parents and elders.

  5. One must engage oneself regularly in spiritual practice even for a limited time. Even if it is not pleasing, this should be done similar to swallowing bitter pills. Then the taste for naam will develop gradually. In the case of bilious disorders even sugar candy tastes bitter in the mouth. The remedy for this is the sugar candy. While taking sugar candy, gradually the sweet taste is felt. Similarly naam itself is the remedy for distaste for naam.

  6. After waking up in the morning and bathing, practice pranayam and naam japa for an hour and then read spiritual
    books for an hour. Then offer service to trees, creepers, insects which means watering the plants and offering some food to the creatures and then do the household chores. Do not go to sleep just after eating. Read some books after taking rest for sometime. Go for a walk in the afternoon, sing hymns in the evening, later go to bed after having a limited quantity of food. Such a practice will result in a spiritual life.

  7. The word 'Hari' is not just a word. Any name which eliminates all sins of any particular person is that person's Hari. Whoever has faith in a particular name, say Durga, Kali, Rama, Krishna, Narayana, Allah, Khoda, Jesus, that name is Harinaam for him.

  8. Repeat naam always in every breath. No other sadhana is superior to naam japa. This is the best way to erode the result of past actions. It is not easy to repeat naam in evey breath. Repeating naam in other ways even if it is for three or four lakh times or three or four crore times cannot deliver benefit equal to naam japa in every breath. Once the naam gets linked to every breath then one is able to have atmadarshan (recognize the self). Then one is able to understand,   "I am a separate entity other than the body." With naam japa the body becomes satwik (pure) and finally naamamoy (filled with naam). Print of naam is even clearly visible on the body that is filled with naam.

  9. Is it easy to make the mind tranquil? Everything becomes achievable when the mind is tranquil. Initially the mind does remain restless, repeating the naam causes disgust. But one should not give up. Even during extreme unwillingness, naam must be repeated, like swallowing distasteful medicines. It will not help if naam is not repeated forcefully. Once this forms a habit, no more problem remains. Unless the practice of naamjapa becomes a habit, this should not be stopped. Effort must continue. Keep trying. By the grace of God you will achieve everything.

  10. If the vision of gods in dreams be true then worldly attachment is destroyed. There will be no doubt about the vision. You can never forget what you hear from Him and what you feel by His touch and you will certainly believe that you have been Messed and liberated. Such a state can never be achieved if those visions are not real.

  11. Those having nocturnal emissions should write the name of a goddess on a piece of paper and keep it under the pillow before going to sleep. They should repeat the naam till falling asleep. Keep basil leaves (tulsi) on the bed and try to save semen from being wasted. What can you do if your strength does not suffice? It should not be stopped by external means. There is a recommendation that one should sleep separately from one's wife. No one can forcibly stop what lies inside one's nature. Indra, Chandra and even Brahma have been defeated. These inclinations can easily be subjugated only by taking refuge in God and repeating the naam.

(d)   General Sermons

  1. What is Satsanga? The place where one develops religious feelings and gives up irreligious ones, where no room for
    groupism or communalism exists, is satsanga. The place where satsanga takes place is always replete with good conversations on spiritual topics and happiness. Satsanga means a place where, in sat company some are laughing, some are dancing with joy. A place devoid of such expressions cannot be called one of satsanga. To a person who is sat (virtuous), all are equal.
    His affection does not vary on the basis of closeness or distance. The virtuous person welcomes even a person condemned to hell by the populace; this is because he sees his Lord in such a person and feels satisfied. No groupism can penetrate him.

  2. Doing work is not futile. Worldly desires are destroyed if you take the name of God while working. The one whose karma is not yet over cannot repeat naam throughout the day. He wastes a lot of time in futile work. Do your work without expecting anything. Desireless work severs the bondage of work.

  3. Donation should be made to the right candidate. One who always asks for something is not the right person for a gift. It is improper to make a gift to a sycophant. Gifts made out of fear, shame, a hope for a return are not proper gifts. Gifts driven by a desire to attain heaven or to neutralise a sin are not gifts. The real giver should be eager to donate to the deserving person in the same way as a thirsty person becomes eager to drink water on seeing it. He does not hesitate to give away all he has to alleviate the suffering of others. One derives unlimited joy by making a real gift. Mahabharata describes the gleaner1 brahmin as the greatest giver.

  4. A man may have thousands of faults, but even then he should be praised for the virtues he has along with these faults. Praising people with a simple mind is as good as worshipping God. By praising others for their good qualities, one's own faults are removed, strength is achieved and happiness attained. Slandering takes away one's own virtues.
    One should have intense yearning to receive God's grace. Shree Chaitanya taught us this lesson.

  5. Even if I fail to subjugate the tendencies in my mind after much effort, I do not lose spirituality - only my soul becomes dull, does not stay cheerful. Sins committed wilfully are irreligious. When tendencies become forceful during spiritual practice, efforts should be made to subjugate them. Sin does not touch as long as there is struggle. Dullness enters only during weakness in oneself. Everything becomes allright when one is linked with the scriptures and good conduct.

  6. Preaching by keertan is highly advantageous. A better medium for preaching has not yet been discovered in the world so far. The way keertan acts on the heart, mind and the soul of the people cannot he done by talks or sermons. That is why Shreeman Mahaprabhu and Goswamipaadas have said that keertan is the best path. However, the real state cannot be achieved just by engaging oneself in keertan.
    Real single mindedness is not achievable without destruction of the desires and doubts of mind. One should always remember that God exists. Rememberance, mental culture and profound meditation are the best ways of concentration.

  7. There are expression of three type of emotions during keertans. People benefit by the expressions of satwik emotion. Emotions of rajobhav sometimes benefit and sometimes harm people.

  8. The Gleaner - One who has given away everything and somehow makes one's living but still eagerly gives - as the greatest giver expression of tamobhav is a nuisance for people, because in this type of emotion people just jump about haphazardly. Many persons get hurt, break their legs and household goods are damaged by their unseemly dancing. Children being frightened, cry out.

  9. What is sadhan? Repetition of the naam given by Guru is not sadhan.   The  naam  given by  Sadguru   will  continue
    automatically eternally by his power. Sadhan means giving up restlessness in every matter and performing all work with unlimited patience.

  10. Sadhan should be done every night between 2 A.M. and 5 A.M. If you are unable to do sadhan for 3 hours, try to do it even for 2 hours or 1 hour. It is beneficial to do it between 4 A.M. and 5 A.M. in the morning. It is enough to sleep up to 6 hours at night.

  11. As long as one has lust and anger, these will appear in the mind at times. It is no offence if they appear. There is no sin if we try to prevent them from appearing in the mind. Sin is to join it wilfully with pleasure. There is no offence even if one gets defeated in combatting this.

  12. Taking basil leaves ( tulsi) in drinking water, rice, food and taking it even after food is good. The body stays cool this way.

  13. The first stage of dharma - truth, justice, kindness to living beings, respect to parents and elderly people, desire for
    satsanga, caution with wives of others, non-covetous of others' wealth.

  14. Stages of attaining love through Harinaam :
  • Recognizing what is sinful,
  • Repentance in acts of sin,
  • Disinclination towards sinful acts,
  • Hhatred for evil company,
  • Liking for company of pious ones,
  • Taste for naam and distaste for slander,
  • Development of satwik emotion and
  • Love.

(Vide : Sadguru Sanga, from the book Sadhana Path)
(Path of Spritual Practice)

   
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