Second Discourse - Page One
Naath sakal saadhan main heena
Kinhi kripa jaani jan dina
So kachhu dev na mohi nihora
Nij pan rakheo jan man chora
Vallabhacharyaji says "Surrender to the Lord." Sharbhang muni
expresses the same idea in the Aranyakaand of his Ram Charit Maanas. I shall be
speaking to you on the same topic in Champaraanya. Let me precede my narration
with a small introduction.
Sri Ram, after his stay in Chitrakoot passed through the ashram of Atri
and Anasuya. Later he killed a demon called Viraadh in a spot which was a few
miles away from the ashram of Sharbhang Muni.
Puni aaye jahan Muni Sarbhanga
Sunder anuj Janaki sanga
The incident about Sri Ram visiting the ashram of Muni Sharbhang may be
short but it is very important, because it has relevance to the teachings of
Mahaprabhuji. Though Bhusundiji has narrated the Ramayan in brief, he has not left
out the above incident.
Kahi biraadh badh jehi bidhi
deh taji Sarbhang
barani suti chhan priti puni
Prabhu Agasti satsang
However humble you are in your spiritual saadhana, the ego will obtrude to a certain
extent, and it will be an obstacle to your inner advancement.
Actually there are two types of ego. Maybe you will be able to appreciate
fact if I explain to you the different types of spiritual introspection
- A solemn resolve (sankalpa)
- Uncertainty or ambiguity (vikalpa)
- A thought or an idea (vichaar)
- The ego (ahankaar or/and abhimaan)
Abhimaan is a disease but ego represented by it has a remedy. When one feels that
one is doing something for the Lord, there is abhimaan in it; but when the same
act is considered a service of love and therefore a joy ,that ego here has a
different connotation and not to be considered.
The Subtle Ahankaar
Whatever means we may employ for spiritual practices, I believe that the ego in a
subtle form can take a hold of us. If you do not want to talk about the amount of
time or energy you spend in your saadhana even though you are urged to do so,
then, maybe, you have escaped from the clutches of ahankaar. But sometimes a
dear friend ,asks you,about your saadhana or devotion and ,in order to inspire
him, you tell him: "I chant or pray for so long" here the ' I' that you
use becomes the ahankaar (ego) with a subtle form and it is difficult to get rid
It is worth noting that both Mahaprabhuji and the Maanas (Ramayana) lay
stress upon Nisaadhanta. The reason is that whenever one undertakes any means to
achieve the Lord-the ego in a subtle form always obtrudes. Then what are we to
do? Let us think of Sharbhang who after having done japa and tapa (spiritual
practices), surrenders everything to the Lord and speaks thus:
Oh Lord, I have no means to reach you!
There are three opinions to understand Nisaadhanta. The Ramayana makes it
Nisaadhanta and Karma
Both Vedaanta and Saankhya (branches of Hindu philosophy) seek to establish that
a man's actions depend upon his character. This is simple to understand .If your
thoughts are good , your desires and actions will also be good and vice-versa.
Most great teachers have affirmed the above according to their own experiences
However Acharya Devarishi Naarad who believes in the Bhakti Marg (the path of
devotion) observes: 'No man consciously does any karma (act) that is good or
bad, it is the Lord that
makes him do so.' (i.e. man is only an instrument of God's will).
My dear brothers and sisters, if you were to hold fast to the above belief
you would achieve unshakeable faith in the Lord. Sometimes people argue: "Do
you mean that it is God who makes us do even an evil deed?"
This is an important question. Since nothing happens without the will of God,
then whatever we do, must be according to His will. This is the common argument
of people. Yes God does make you do His will! Without a doubt He makes you do it.
Take the example of an industrialist who establishes a factory and an office. His
subordinate, the manager takes care of the day to day work. Now, think
carefully. Who will reap the profits, or suffer the losses? The boss or the
manager? The manager does his work but the profit or the loss is the concern of
the boss. We must also, like the manager perform our actions, and surrender our profits
and losses to the Lord, who is the big Boss. The Lord says: Give me all, because I have made you
act. Why do you chose to be
the doer and get bound (by the karma)
Mahaaprabhuji and all true spiritual pilgrims believe that all evil acts result
in sorrow. Now, if you surrender all your actions to the Lord including your
evil ones, then you would be inflicting sorrow on the Lord! And a truly
religious person will not want to do the above. The solution to the above dilemma is to be found in the Ramcharit Manas.
Surrender your good deeds-Be conscious of your base ones.
The spiritual person must, with all humility, say to the Lord, "There are
so many evil tendencies in me, I am not going to offer these to you, because they
will give you pain and I cannot accept that, so I will offer you my worthy deeds.
However I will keep before you my sinful ones too. If I place my sinful deeds
& thoughts before the world, they will make my life impossible. Therefore I
have come to you and place them before you."
Mahaprabhuji speaks of three faults. He claims that a truly religious person should be free from the above
shortcomings. These faults are:
- Mukharta dosh
- Anyashraya dosh
- Anivedit dosh
Mukharta dosh is the harm that arises from
excessive chatter that is abusive. There is not much difference between a Mukhar person (a man who talks too much)
and a Murkh person (a half-wit, a fool) One given to excessive talk is a fool.
course in order to interrelate with others (or with the outside world) everyone
needs to talk, but gossip or fault-finding is another matter and must be
avoided at least in a place of worship. In a temple have darshan of the Lord!
Amongst the members of Sri Vallabh, the words are used sparingly and very
carefully .How much hurt do common people cause others by using unnecessarily
harsh words! Such people cannot truly be spiritual .As a
matter of fact, it is better to communicate with gestures than with
words. There would then be less cause for disputes and misunderstandings.
In order to listen to a spiritual lecture you require a kathakaar. (a story-teller
or a narrator) If you go to a temple, the sanctum must be open- so that you have
darshan of the deity; but to chant the Lord's names, all you require is yourself
and a will to do so. So sing the Lord's names and if you feel the urge to talk, speak about Him.
Anyashraya dosh: Not to have implicit faith in the Lord is considered a
shortcoming for the spiritual pilgrim.
Ekai dharam,ek vrat nema
Kaai bachan man pati pad prema
Recite the Lord's name in whichever way, and in whatever form you like and
that will enhance your faith in your own Ishtadeva (personal deity)
Anivedit dosh: A devotee is guilty of the fault, when he accepts anything
without its first having been offered to the Lord. The Ram charit Maanas claims:
Tumhi nivedit bhojan karhi
Prabhu prasad pat bhushan dharahi
Mahaprabhuji followed the above rule to the letter. He would first offer food,
clothes, jewels, etc to the Lord, and then accept them as parsad (an offering
blessed by the Lord) Such a practice reminds the devotee of the fact that
everything belongs to the Lord and instills in him a certain humility which
is very beneficial during his religious journey.
Mahaprabhuji and Krishnadas
Mahaprabhuji had a very dear friend called Krishnadas. Whenever Mahaprabhuji
met Krishnadas, all that he would say is: "Sri Krishna sharanam mama "
One day Krishnadas said to Mahaprabhuji, "You are obviously asking me to
chant the Lord's name, but why would I need to do it since I am always with you.
You are always chanting the Lord's name so I am receiving His blessings
This is Nisaadhanta: when one has faith, and takes the humble attitude that I
but a child and I need not do anything on my own. My Lord and my guru will take
care of me. Krishnadasji, however had second thoughts and said "It may not be
necessary now, (for me to chant the Lord's name) but what if at some time in the
future we are separated?"
Once when Krishnadasji was out in a forest, when he saw a tiger coming
towards him. Frightened he climbed a tree and started chanting "Sri
krishnam sharanam mama "
The tiger looked at him for a moment, then went to a water hole and drank some
water. Krishnadas chanted again, and again the tiger looked up at him and drank
some water. This happened three times. The tiger then quietly went away.
Later Krishnadas met Mahaprabhuji. The latter knew what had transpired and
mentioned it to Krishnadas to his amazement. Explaining the incident Mahaprabhuji said "The tiger in his previous
incarnation was a spiritual man, who had in his present birth become a tiger for
some reason. He had made a promise to himself that he would not partake of
water until and unless he heard the Lord's name chanted. Thus my dear
Krishnadasji you were saved from your fear by chanting the Lord's name and as
for the tiger, it fulfilled its promise of drinking water only after he had
heard the chant!
The Ram charit Maanas and the Nisaadhan bhakta
Chitvat panth raheo din raati
There are many characters in the Ram charit Maanas who did not do anything
great to attain to the Lord, but they had unshakeable faith in Him and knew how
to wait with devotion for His grace. Ahilya who had turned to a stone due
to a curse, did not do anything but wait until the Lord Rama redeemed her. She
did not undertake any pilgrimage, nor did she chant or pray. The boatman who had the good fortune to ferry Lord Ram
across the river
had only one quality: that of honestly carrying out his duty to earn his
livelihood; apart from an intense longing to meet and serve Sri Ram. Jatayu fought with
Raavana. He was confident that Sri Ram would come that way;
so he waited and waited until Sri Ram did come and Jatayu had the good fortune
of dying in His arms. Shabri waited her whole life, looking into the path that would bring Sri Ram to
her. When at last Sri Ram did come, all she had to offer was some berries which
she had tasted to make sure they were sweet. Sri Ram lovingly accepted her
token of love. The Gopis of Vrindaavan also waited and waited for Krishna to
come to them and,
while they waited, they felt His presence in every tree and leaf of that place.
Man ka Chor
The One who steals your heart
You have spent 60-70 years of your life chasing fantasies, losing your heart
to one desire after another. Now urge the Lord to steal your heart. Get attached
When the Lord takes possession of you, He becomes a robber. And does one
pray to a thief?.
Supposing you were sent out on a journey and you knew that you were on the
robber's hit list ,would you not hesitate to leave your home?
The difference in your attitude to the two robbers - the one who robs you of your
possessions, and the one who steals your heart - is that you will welcome the
latter. This is one method of Nisaadhanta . There is another way. Be child-like.
A child has full faith in his mother and is totally dependant on her. Even when
the child is ill, it is the mother who decides on the doctor to be sent for, what
medicine to administer. Have faith in the Lord and in your personal guru, as you
have faith in your mother and leave your problems to Him. This is also called
Let us once again remember the words of Sharbhang:
Naath sakal saadhan main heena
Sharbhang says that he knows no means by which to attain the Lord. Does that mean
that we should not make an effort? No! Man was meant to act! But then
Naaradji claims that the Lord is actually responsible for all our actions and we
are but His instruments. The Lord is like the owner of the factory, as I mentioned in an earlier
discourse, and we are like the manager who submits to Him the profit and loss
account. So offer your good deeds to the Lord and be conscious of your unworthy
Gun arpan karen , avguna nivedit karen
It has already been discussed that you must offer all your actions to the Lord.
But then a devotee feels hesitant to offer his evil deeds. The truth of
the matter is, that even if you offer your unworthiness to the Lord, He takes it
upon Himself. When a new government takes over, it inherits the assets as well as the debts of
the previous government. So when you offer yourself to the Lord, He accepts you in totality with your
good and bad aspects. The truth is that when the Lord wants to make you His own, He becomes the
inspiration for you to chant His name and love Him and then finally surrender to
Suppose a king were to be enamored of a village belle and marries her, it would
be his responsibility to make her fit to be a queen. She herself would have to
do nothing. Similarly if you were to adopt an orphan, you would provide for his
clothing, shelter, food and education. So, when the Lord chooses you to be His
own, He inspires you to follow His path
that ultimately leads you to Him. But you have to choose to be chosen.
When Bharatji went to the forest to urge Sri Ram to return to Ayodhya, he
Paahi Naath kahi paahi Gosaai
"Even though you have bestowed upon me the kingdom of Ayodhya, I feel
like an orphan without your accepting me as your own" Such words sprouting truly from your heart, speak of a true service rendered
unto the Lord.
Service in the Vallabh commune
The flowers that are lovingly woven by the devotees into a garland are symbolic
of a string with which the spiritual pilgrim hopes to bind the Lord unto him.
The garland reaches down to the Lord's feet. It is as if the devotee
tells the Lord "Now you are bound to me and you cannot escape from me"
The flowers of the garland, offered to the Lord are separated by two knots.
One knot represents "the one who sings the praises of the Lord " and
the other knot represents the "listener". Interestingly both these
knots are placed near the Lord's heart.
God is mercy
Another way of serving the Lord, is to regard Him as your friend and to know
that He will never let you down when you are in need. Know in your own heart
that you are not capable of doing any service unto the Lord, yet continue to
serve Him in the same way as Bharatji served Sri Ram.
Suppose a great man singles you out for his attention, his relationship is bound
to create a controversy amongst the people. So he allots him some work, like
fetching his puja utensils or some tea.
Similarly, when the Lord wants to make you His own, He bestows upon you the
inspiration to chant His name, or to be of some service to His great work.
Sharbhang has performed many prayers and penances and yet he claims that he has
done nothing. You may be spending a little time in your prayers and serving the
Lord but who do you think is awakening you to do it? The Lord is the inspiration
behind it all.
Mahaprabhuji is seen standing with one hand raised. He seems to be saying,
"I have been calling you since such a long time . Now come! I am tired of
waiting for you." His other hand is placed on his waist. Maybe, he is
saying, " I am weary of waiting for you, and you keep lingering. Come
to me ,I promise that I will save you from the ills of the world. I will not
allow you to be drowned in the ocean that this world is."