Sunday, January 19, 2014

A mind that is pure

One must have the grace of God to attain the highest state or the complete bliss state. Ishwara’s (God) grace is of utmost importance to reach the highest state. If his grace is not there, then all efforts may not be successful. The mind is the creation of God. A mind free from desires, greed and jealously, and which neither sees good nor bad, such a mind is known as ‘bangara manasu’ (a mind that is pure). Such a mind is given by Maha Vishnu.

All the sadhana or spiritual practice that we are doing is to attain that ‘bangara manasu’. Our actions in the past affect us in this birth in two ways: the body suffers from disease;and the mind gets trapped in grief. Both disease and grief are fruits of previous actions (done in past births). So, in this life you must not keep recalling issues that have affected you. Leave them, forget them and move forward. In this life, do not be bothered about the past and the future. Future actions will take place as they have to. Thinking about them and disturbing the mind is not correct. Each one must learn to dwell in solitude (Ekanta Vasa) at least for an hour each day.

If you face all events in life happily, slowly the result of the past actions decreases. Gradually you will gain supreme knowledge. Each task or work assigned by God to you must be performed in a righteous way. If it is not possible, then do not do it. As far as possible do not jump into other people’s issues. This again leads to ignorance. But you can do tasks for the welfare of others.

Feed and take care of old people in the house. Think that the Lord has come in their form. This process is called seva or selfless service. Then the work does not become a burden. Through work you are glorifying God.

Conversations with Sri Nannagaru (Courtesy - Pericharla Durgaraju & Shyamala)

A Satsang was held in the year 1999 in the month of November at the residence of a Ramana devotee called Pericharla Durgaraju garu. Some press reporters attended this session and posed some questions to Sri Nannagaru. The answers of Sri Nannagru are being printed in the form of this book.

We whole-heartedly hope that these answers would be useful to the readers. This book has been printed and presented to the devotees by Pericharla Durgaraju garu and his wife Shyamala.

Question - How far can the spiritual values help in reducing the criminal tendencies within man?

Answer - To a certain extent, Poverty and Ignorance can be stated as the cause for criminal tendencies within a man. Being deluded that happiness exists in money alone is one of the reasons. Imitation is another reason. The main reason is due to the misconception that happiness exists in pleasures only. People with goalless life get inclined towards crime. Some people are selfish but not cruel. Some people are cruel but not selfish. If a person possesses both selfishness and cruelty, he is bound to become a criminal. Recently committing crime has become a hobby in few cities. Moral values form a strong foundation for spiritual values. Spiritual values help us in seeking Truth. In the search for Truth, the inclination for committing crime comes down naturally. If the criminal is made aware of the direct consequences of committing a crime, then he will be released from the tendency of committing a crime. As and when the social consciousness increases, he becomes matured and gradually gets disinclined towards committing a crime. The tendency to commit a crime is a weakness. The society has to be made responsible for this.

Question - It is said that a flower blossoms as and when it is born. Were you interested in spiritual matters since your childhood itself?

Answer - I have to say that I possessed some interest in spiritual matters since my childhood. Since my teenage spirituality blossomed within me. Even Spiritual values contribute towards independent thinking. Working without expectation has contributed towards my spiritual progress to a certain extent. I naturally got habituated to working without ego sense. Though I lacked a clear perception regarding Jnana in my childhood, I still possessed an intense craving to attain it. My mind showed more interest towards spiritual matters than the materialistic matters. I did not possess the same interest in religions that I possessed in seeking Truth. I used to feel that the religions and castes are polluting the society. It is not possible to increase our level of consciousness without spiritual thought process.

Question - You are personification of Divinity; You possess the purity of speech; You are habituated in impressing both the educated and uneducated through your sermons. How are you able to do this?

Answer - I exorbitantly love my audience. My behavior towards them is very liberal and peaceful. I ignore the ordinary flaws that exist within them. I not only preach them the Self Knowledge but also desire their material prosperity. I help them in awakening their goodness. I make my share of contribution to ensure that they not only tread the path of Peace but also attain the abode of Peace. Even the devotees possess lively faith in me. I consider my devotees as my friends. But they consider me as an embodiment of Divinity. Therefore I am very cautious when it comes to thinking about their well being or in preaching them. I have never been irresponsible in my behavior towards them till date. I feel that they are honoring me more than that I deserve. I consider their mistake to be my own mistake. I share their sorrow to a certain extent. My preaching helps them to a certain extent in leading a rational life. My relationship with the devotees is not similar to the preceptor-disciple relationship. We live like a family. The devotee's loving relationship with me has never been deteriorated whether they faced favorable or adverse situations in their lives. The mental contact has always existed. They are getting solutions to the problems in their day to day life. They are experiencing Peace on listening to my words. One who lacks Peace is devoid of Bliss. Therefore they are becoming Blissful due to my preaching. The devotees feel as if getting submerged in an ocean of Peace due to my Love, Compassion, affection, reverence and attachment for them. I am able to perceive that the devotee's are recognizing my affection towards them. Therefore I am unable to abstain myself from preaching them. I try to express a Complex subject in very simple words. If they are unable to grasp it, I consider it to be my flaw. The Love and faith of devotees towards me has been perpetual. Therefore even if my body perishes, I will reside in their Hearts forever. Therefore I am trying to preach Self Knowledge in small (easily understood) words and short sentences.

Question - Every Mother and Father desire that their child should become an engineer or a doctor or a collector but they don’t desire that their child should become a Jnani. Why is it so?

Answer - Normally every Mother and Father has a materialistic and worldly outlook only. They have a misconception that one can lead a luxurious life by possessing wealth. They are aware of the importance of money. But they are not aware of the importance of Knowledge. Therefore they don’t desire that their children should become a Jnani. Though man may possess skill, he should get an opportunity to blossom the same. He is wise who utilizes the opportunity in hand appropriately. Except for Self Knowledge all the other education is only for feeding the stomach. Self Knowledge bestows the man with freedom, bliss, peace and spiritual evolution. Man attains the Immortal state only through Self Knowledge. Only those parents who are aware of the importance of Self Knowledge can rejoice in their children becoming a Jnani. They get the feeling of sitting on an elephant. Even today there are some parents who desire that their children should become a Jnani. Attaining Self Knowledge is an important aspect of Life. Can we beautify a corpse by decorating it? No. Similarly our lives devoid of Self Knowledge resemble the same.

Question - Did your parents ever expect you to become a Jnani?

Answer - My parents never expected me to become so and so. There was not much encouragement from others with respect to my spiritual progress. Any seeker of Truth will not get the required co-operation from his family members. The Grace of Arunachala Ramana helped me more than any of my spiritual efforts in attaining Self Realization. If God's Grace does not accompany one's effort, the seeker cannot transform into a Siddha (Realized soul). The mind does not subside without God's Grace. Only the subsided mind becomes eligible to attain Self Realization. It is only due to the Blessing of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi that I have been able to attain the abode of Peace.

Question - Will the parents rejoice in their children attaining Self Knowledge?

Answer - I will give you a small example for your understanding. Won't the parents of Gautama Buddha, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Aristotle etc., rejoice in the greatness of their children if they were alive today? They will certainly rejoice in the same. It is the same with any other parents!

Question - Do you feel that you have achieved anything till date or Is there anything that you still want to achieve?

Answer - I did some social service within my limitation. I made my share of contribution in the spread of the 'Akshara Jyothi' program. I concentrated more on those tasks that are beneficial to us. There was never any pomp and show in any of my tasks. I never expected others applause or recognition. There is only one thing to be achieved and it is 'To Know thyself'. Without Knowing Thyself, if you consider that you have achieved something in your life, all of your achievements are equivalent to zeroes without one (on their left hand side) i.e., worthless. Truth is always beyond place and time. True Bliss exists in Truth alone. True Peace exists in Truth alone. Only those who are peaceful attain freedom. Only they are blessed in Life who attain the independent Bliss not dependent on any external objects or external people or external circumstances. We can conclude that only they have achieved something in their life who utilize their God gifted faculties for the sake of others. Only such people are purified. It is only the purity which earns us the eligibility to realize the Truth. Whether it is me or anyone else, we can proclaim that we have achieved in Life that which is worthy of being achieved only when we attain the Immortal state. Only those who fight throughout their life for the sake of Harmony get released from the falsehood and ignorance. It is only this which is worthy of being achieved. In the journey of Life, our thoughts, words and deeds should be such that they will become an aid in leading us towards our bright future. If our goal is good, even our life will be diverted in concurrence with the same. Then we will attain that which is worthy of being attained. We will achieve that which is worthy of being achieved.

Question - Can we get cured of our ailments with the help of customs in the worship of Lord, doing japa, chanting mantra and taking good advice?

Answer - The customs in the worship of Lord have been framed only for the sake of cleanliness and purity. The cooking utensil has to be cleansed both externally as well as internally. Similarly the body as well as the instrument within the body ie mind have to be kept clean and pure. The water cleanses the body whereas the mantra cleanses the mind. The customs in the worship of Lord, doing japa and meditation help us in conquering the body and the mind. Yoga distances us from Roga ie disease. Yoga impairs a man's relationship with his sorrow. Seclusion, Holy Company and fasting help in cleansing the mind, attaining concentration and achieving aspiration for Truth. They release a man from his sins, flaws, imperfections, curses and weaknesses and bestow him with freedom. The disease first enters the mind and then spreads to the body. The body belongs to the mind only. The mind keeps influencing the body and the body keeps influencing the mind. Man is formed only by the combination of body and mind. One who possesses only body without mind is termed as insane and one who possesses only mind without body is labeled as a devil. The mental health of a man is as much important as his physical health. But man is not giving due importance to his mental health. The disturbance within the man's mind is being expressed in the form of agitation, dispute and censure in the world. Only that which exists internally is being reflected externally. Japa bestows us with a spotless mind. A Serene mind aids us in preventing disease. When we convert our mind into gold, we will be released from several ailments. Meditation bestows us with mental health as well as physical health. Both the mental health and physical health are required to gain the wealth of Self Realization. The authoritative scriptures (like Bhagavad Gita) help in the spiritual progress of man to a great extent.

Question - We get elated in our happiness and get depressed in our hardships and it is very natural that we try to escape from the pain involved in it. What effort should be made in order to boldly face the hardships?

Answer - In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna mandated to give up attachment, fear and anger. All these three are the cause of sorrow. Therefore He advised us to forego them. The hardships-happiness, likes-dislikes are referred to as dualities. They form an obstacle in man's seeking of Self Knowledge. God preached Yoga to man in order to get him released from these obstacles. One can get rid of them by contemplating upon God and adoring Him. One should attain a peaceful mind and then fight against them. When there is a medicine called 'courage' in hand, one can very easily face any number of hardships or any number of ups and downs. One who rises to the state of fearlessness will not even be cognizant of these dualities. Timidity of the Heart is the only root cause for getting elated in happiness and getting depressed in hardships. Therefore Vasudeva Swami said: "There is nothing meaner than the timidity of Heart." One who leads a God-centric life does not get troubled even when afflicted by any hardship. There is no hardship where there is willingness. He is a true sadhaka who converts his sorrows into happiness in the course of his day to day life. Only the sadhaka attains Siddhi (Self Realization) in due course of time. He is a Siddha who attains THAT WHICH IS EVER READY ie Self. One cannot become a Siddha without being Pure (Shuddha). We will be bestowed with the power to forbear hardships when we possess devotion for God. Except God, all the hardships-happiness, likes-dislikes are creation of the mind. When the mind is destroyed even these will cease to exist.

Question - The hardships resemble the waves in an ocean. As a wave follows another wave even the hardships arise one after the other. Isn't it? Are these arising as a result of self made offenses? or Do you believe the law of karma to be the root cause? Or Is it due to the selfish people surrounding us?

Answer - Self made offenses are the root cause of hardships. All these merge in the sanchita karma. Happiness-sorrow, victory-defeat, honor-dishonor, gain-losses - all these happen according to the destiny of the body. We must leave the body to its destiny and involve ourselves in seeking the Self Knowledge. Peace exists only within Self. One who is devoid of Peace cannot become Blissful. When we whole heartedly believe that all the hardships and happiness that we face in our life are all by the will of God, we will not get affected by them. Except for the Absolute Truth, all the dualities are but creation of the mind. By experiencing hardships, the sins get reduced and by experiencing pleasures, the merit gets reduced. Which is more beneficial? There is an opportunity to increase the depth of our thinking in hardships. Hence the hardships widen our Heart. Only a weak mind gets affected by the surroundings. A person with a strong determination ensures that he is not affected by the surroundings. Imitation is assign of weakness. A person with a stable mind attains equanimity. A person with equanimity gets released from all kinds of dualities and flaws. A tolerant person overcomes any number of hardships. He is wise who distances himself from petty and trivial matters. A wise man remains untouched by the dualities. Man has to perceive that he is responsible for his own destiny. Selfishness obstructs us in attaining the Supreme Self. A wise man is never influenced by the people who live only for the sake of their selfish needs. A peaceful man does not expect temporary gains. He possesses far-sightedness. He recognizes that there is no difference between cause and effect. Some pleasures result in pain. A far sighted-person recognizes this beforehand.

Question - Finally what is the advice that you want to give to our readers?

Answer - We should work forgetting our selfishness. We should not forget that our welfare is ingrained in everyone's welfare. We should get habituated to independent thinking. Everyman has at least some thinking faculty. Such reasoning and thinking faculty should not get habituated to laziness. Even the thought process constitutes nectar. When we speak thoughtfully and work thoughtfully, we can overcome several hardships. Until and unless Self is visualized by our thinking faculty, it cannot be purified. Who else will reform our thinking faculty if we don't do it? We have to make our share of contribution in educating the mankind. We have to practice as well as make others practice the principles of health. When compared to the past, the life today has become more stressful. Therefore we are lacking the mental health. As food is necessary to eat, as shelter is necessary to live, a peaceful mind is equally required to lead a happy life. Our words and deeds should lead our fellow beings into the path of Peace and thereby bestow them with Bliss. We should not waste our precious time in vain thoughts and vain actions. Our reverence for work should increase. We should attain the abode of Peace through our work. We should visualize God in our work. We should learn to adore God not only with our hands but also with our work. There is no conflict between work and Self Knowledge. We should preach the importance of Knowledge and Peace as well as encourage the mankind in attaining them. Spiritual progress is as important as the material prosperity. We should learn tolerance and earn equanimity. Tolerance increases the depth of our thinking faculty and widens our Heart. Work and Knowledge resemble the two eyes. Therefore we cannot afford to be careless in their aspect. It is better to die while performing work than in dying after being bedridden." We should rise to the work-less state through our work." Some people are restricted to their stomach (i.e., earning their livelihood) whereas some people are born for the sake of others. Devotion towards God is as important as Patriotism. We should put our full efforts in increasing the social awareness (educating people of their duty towards the society) of the people. Thought is the basis of our word and work. Therefore we must regulate our thoughts. If we keep thinking about the things that are useless to ourselves as well as to the society, our ignorance increases. Ignorance needs to be destroyed to attain the sorrow less state. Ignorance is the root cause of each and every disaster. Ignorance is more frightening than poverty. Poverty can be eradicated by earning wealth and ignorance can be annihilated by earning Self Knowledge. Self Knowledge is Liberation. Life devoid of Self Knowledge is fruitless.