Sunday, April 4, 2010

"Nannagaru beautiful Answers[1]"

Q: what suggestions can you give to our readers?

Sri Nannagaru: One should reduce selfishness and do work. One should not forget that one’s happiness lies in the well being of all. One should learn to think independently. Man can’t exist without some amount of wisdom and he shouldn’t habituate the intellect with laziness, as even in thought there is bliss. Man can overcome a lot of difficulties by carefully thinking before talking and before starting any work. Unless Reality illumines the intellect, it won’t become pure. If we don’t correct our intellect who else will do it?

We should do our share in educating mankind. We should follow the rules for health and make others also follow them. Nowadays stress created by the pressures of life leads to a decrease of mental health. Mental peace is as important as food and shelter for happiness. With our words and actions we should inspire others to enter the path of peace and thereby attain happiness. We shouldn’t waste our time with wasteful actions and thoughts. We should increase respect towards work as we can attain a peaceful state through labour. We should learn to see the Divine in duty and Divinity in work and also learn to worship God through work. Rather than becoming bed-ridden and then dying, it is better to die whilst working. Doing action one can progress to an actionless state. Some people limit themselves to working only to fulfil their physical needs but some are born to live for others. Work and knowledge are not contrary to one another. The importance of knowledge and peace should be explained to people and they should be encouraged to acquire them. Spiritual development is as important as worldly progress. We should learn patience (and attain equanimity) as patience increases the depth of the intellect and enlarges the heart. Work and knowledge are like the two eyes and that is why we shouldn’t be careless about them.

Devotion to God is as important as patriotism. We should try our best to create a social conscious in man. Thoughts should be controlled because they are the basis for word and deed. If you keep thinking about things that are neither useful to you or society, ignorance increases. To attain a state without misery ignorance should be got rid of – as it is the cause of all problems and more frightening than poverty. By creating wealth, poverty is removed and by acquiring knowledge, ignorance can be removed. Knowledge is liberation. Life without knowledge is useless – such a life is a waste.

Q:Isn’t it natural for human beings to get elated in happy circumstances and dejected in sad ones and try to escape them? What sadhana should we do if we want to face sad circumstances with fortitude?

Sri Nannagaru: In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna advises us to give up attachment, fear and anger. All three are causes of misery and the Lord asks us to keep them at a distance. Happiness, unhappiness, attachment and hatred etc., are called the dwandwas – the pairs of opposites, and they hinder man in the acquisition of knowledge. The Lord has given us yoga techniques to help us get rid of these pairs of opposites. We must have a peaceful mind to fight them and we can get rid of them through worship of the Lord. Having courage in our hands as the antidote, we can easily face any amount of hardships and difficulties. He who has reached a state of fearlessness is not even conscious of these pairs of opposites. Weakness of purpose (heart) is the cause of elation and dejection (joy and sorrow). Lord Krishna tells us that weakness of heart is the source of all misery.

When one has God as the centre of his life he does not feel any sorrow. When there is a liking for something, we do not feel any hardship in doing a job. He who takes the sorrows of daily life in a joyful attitude is the real sadhaka. Only a sadhaka attains the goal or siddhi - siddhi means the knowledge of what already exists. One who is not a sadhaka can never become a siddha.

We get the ability to face difficulties when we have faith in God. Apart from God all these joys and sorrows, likes and dislikes are only the creation of the mind. When that (mind) is destroyed all of them get destroyed.

Q:Sorrows are like the waves of an ocean, are they not? They always rise one after another. Are the causes of these sorrows self-made, the product of karma or the product of selfish elements around us?

Sri Nannagaru: We, ourselves, cause all sorrows. They come under the category of accumulated karma. Joy and sorrow, success and failure, gain and loss all happen according to the results of our past actions (prarabdha). We had better let the body suffer the prarabdha and try to acquire knowledge of Reality. There is peace only in Reality. He who has no peace has no happiness. If we believe with all our heart that all happenings in life happen by the will of God, we do not suffer under the influence of them. The pairs of opposites are purely concoctions of the mind – only spiritual truth is Real.

Sins get destroyed through suffering and the result of merit gets destroyed through enjoyment. Which is better? There is a chance of our thoughts becoming deeper and introverted when we suffer (under sorrows) as suffering widens our outlook. The environment has a great influence over a weak mind but a strong mind will protect itself from this influence. Imitation is the nature of weak minds but a balanced mind has equal vision and will get free of all doubts and malevolent influences and overcome all difficulties. He who keeps aloof to insignificant and negligible issues is a wise man. The pairs of opposites do not touch the wise man.

Man must understand that he himself is the cause of his present state. Selfishness alone is the obstruction of attaining the supreme goal. Selfish people will not influence a wise man. A man of peace does not covet temporary gain as he has a vision of the future and does not differentiate between means and ends. Pleasure that is immediate and short-lived, may lead to unhappiness and tragedy in the long run. A man of vision recognizes these fundamental issues.

Q:Parents hope their child will become a Collector, Doctor or Engineer. But why would they not wish, even in their dreams, that their child becomes a jnani?

Sri Nannagaru: Generally parents have mostly worldly and materialistic attitudes. They want only material prosperity as they think that alone will give happiness. They know about the importance of money but don’t know the value of knowledge. That’s why they don’t want their child to become a jnani. Even if an individual has talent, he needs to have the right opportunity for it to blossom. One, who uses the opportunity that comes his way at the right time, is a wise man.

Except Self-knowledge all other knowledge is pertinent only for filling the stomach. Self-knowledge presents the person with freedom, happiness, peace and development. A person can attain immortality only through Self-knowledge. Parents who realise the value of Self-knowledge and the importance of pure consciousness will feel happy if their child becomes a jnani. Then, the parents will feel that they are sitting on the back of an elephant.* Even nowadays there are parents who want their child to become a jnani. In life acquisition of knowledge is most important and lives that have no connection with knowledge will be as beautiful as a decorated corpse!

* Riding on the back of an elephant (like a king), symbolises the very height of prosperity in India.