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Seventh Discourse
Page Three

Aavashyak Karam

Some acts are performed on a regular basis, and are considered necessary like waking up at a certain time, going to the office, looking after your health, your family, bathing, eating, resting, etc. These are called Avashyak karam or Necessary actions.

Swami Ramsukhdasji has given a very good explanation and symbolism on karam. He believes that karam or action is dependant on 4 factors. He has divided it very beautifully by comparing it to a car.  When the car is in the garage, neither its engine nor the wheels move. When you start the engine the mechanism is in motion but the wheels are still stationary. When you press the accelerator and drive the car away from the garage, then the engine and the wheels are both in motion. When the car takes speed and let us presume that it reaches a slope, you may put off the engine but the wheels will continue to roll.

In the first instance neither the wheel moves nor the engine. This state is comparable to that of the sages, who do not have a desire and therefore no action arises due to it.  The second state is that of those people who have a desire to achieve or become, but do nothing about it. Their state is like that of the car whose engine starts but the wheels do not move. Smoke may come out from the engine and from the desiring but there is no movement.  Then there are those type of people who have the desire and move to do something to fulfill that desire. These type of people are comparable to the car whose engine and wheels both move.  Lastly comes the Nisaadhan pilgrim whose desires have ceased but his actions continue in the form of prayer and patience. He surrenders his all to the Lord. He is compared to the car whose wheels continue to move with the engine off. He has no desires left and he reaches that point in the road where Grace will fall! Where the invitation has come from above to stop the engine, halt all desire.

How wonderful to reach the stage where no more energy is required, petrol is not wasted, the wheels continue to move and one reaches ones destination without effort.


Nana karam Dharam Vrat Daana

We have discussed various karams that take you on the road of devotion and love i.e. Bhakti. Giving what you have is called "Daan". One should make a promise to oneself to give something away during the 24 hours of the day. If nothing else offer someone a seat on which to sit, or a glass of water or a few respectful words. There is so much to give! You can give knowledge, clothes, food even forgiveness. Someone has done something or said something to hurt you. Forget it. Give him the gift of forgiveness. This will help you in the path of devotion.

Abstinence Discipline

Bring your mind under control. Keep practicing. The Geeta says that with practice and constant discipline one can harness the mind. It is not very difficult to understand the above. When one learns to ride a cycle, it seems like the most difficult thing in the world. But with practice one is able to ride it with ease.  So explain to the mind, cajole it, like Surdas did, Tulsidas did, like the great sages do. If the mind does not understand with gentle persuasion, then scold it!

There was once a mother who was busy with her work and her child was busy with mischief. He was engrossed in fighting with his friends. The mother, upset, made the child sit close to her, while she continued with her housework. Every time the child tried to move away, the mother would stare at him and order him to continue to sit still.  What I am trying to say is, control your mind. If you are sitting for a Spiritual discourse, tell your mind, "There is no need to go to the office now, sit!"  The Law states that if one is able to find the weak point of another, then one gets to control the other one. The weak point of the mind is that it cannot be at 2 places at one single time, just like a man cannot bathe in 2 bathrooms at the same time. Therefore if the mind is involved in the Lord's name, it cannot think of the world and vice-versa.

To bring the mind under your control is also a means to achieve devotion.  Control your senses. The senses tend to move hither and thither. Slowly lure them back under your control.  Krishna used to go to the meadows to graze the cows. But in the evenings, He would call out to them, and they all would return from different directions. Similarly call back your senses from all directions that they have gone to.

"Tap" or Penance can also be a means to achieve devotion. Besides fasting and other disciplines, undergoing difficulties and inconveniences that come about in life is also "tap". Bearing an underserved insult is also "tap". Try to understand this clearly.

Sanyam Dam Jap Tap Makh naana

We Indians have forgotten "Yagya" The offerings to the fire.  It would be incorrect if a cook who prepares the meal for 10-15 people does not get to eat himself. One must remember that what really cooks the food is the fire. So shouldn't we be giving it an offering?

In the villages people who did not know how to recite any mantras (prayers) would sprinkle pure "ghee" (oil), on the fire as an offering. Today maybe that is not so practical as we cook on gas stoves, or with the help of electricity. However you can make an offering to the fire within you, to the Deity that resides within you. So now, whenever you eat, imagine that the Lord within you, eats the offering that you give to him.  Or maybe you can look at it another way. There is fire burning within the hunger pangs of the beggar outside your door. Offer him something to eat respectfully. Continue to offer food to your deities, but do not forget the live ones that roam about barefooted. Fill their stomachs and it shall be regarded as a "Yagya" a sacrifice to the Fire-god.  The Geeta claims "Do not give up "Yagya-daan" because it cleanses the intellect of human beings.

Daya aur Seva
Mercy and Service

Vaishnava jan to tene kahiye
Jo pir paraai jaane re

Which means that he truly belongs to the family of God who understands the pain of others. We should make a promise unto ourselves that we will not hurt another creature.

Dvij Guru Sevkaai

Service towards men of God is a means to achieve Bhakti or devotion. If you truly serve and the Guru's blessings sprout from the bottom of his heart, then to achieve the Lord is not a difficult task. When you serve do so without expectation. Sometimes a revolution can take place in your life and heart as a result of true service.

Vidya aur Vinay
Knowledge and Humility

Knowledge is a means to achieve bhakti or devotion. True knowledge has to result in humility and "vivek" which is the power to discriminate from right and wrong, only then will it liberate you.

Sachiv Biraag bibek Naresu

Goswamiji is considered the king of Vivek.  A king is able to rule wisely if he has an honest minister. That minister should be Vairaagya which means the power of renunciation.  So from Knowledge sprouts humility. From humility comes the power of discrimination.

Janh lagi saadhan Ved bakhaani
Sab kar phal Hari Bhagati Bhavaani

Shivji tells Paarvati, "These efforts mentioned in the Vedas make's one achieve devotion towards the Lord."  Parvati poses an important question to Shivji. She says that it is difficult enough to put in so many efforts during purer times like Satayuga, Dvaapur or Treta yuga, Wouldn't it probably be impossible to perform so well during Kaliyuga? How will man, then achieve Bhakti during times with more distraction and temptations?

Shivji replies that during the Iron-age or Kaliyuga one can achieve the same benefit by pure "Nisaadhanta" The Lord's Grace will befall the man who after having striven, drops all effort, and surrenders to the Almighty.

Nirantarta aur Vishwas
Faith and Consistency

By listening to "kathas" or discourses of the Lord, one can achieve devotion or bhakti. But one must listen to a katha "nirantar" which means without a break. This does not mean that you go to one katha after another, but that when you listen to a katha, you listen with rapt attention. No other thought should disturb you at that time.
Listen to the katha believing that the Scriptures are the very embodiment of Shivji. Believe that what you hear will be for your own benefit. It will be for your own salvation. Know in your heart, that if what you hear does not liberate you, then the fault lies in your weakness and not in the Scriptures. Listen to a katha with unbroken faith.

Bharoso dridh in charnan kero

What sages of yore found so difficult to achieve during purer times, people of Kaliyuga will be able to attain with relative ease by Nisaadhanta.

Mahaprabhuji urges you to have faith and not to worry. He believes that he who surrenders to the Lord will not stumble in the material world. God will not allow him to slip. Faith is a gift of Nisaadhanta. Bhakti is respectfully awarded to you when you listen to kathas. With right efforts you achieve the Grace of the Lord. And with the Lord's Grace you get to hear words such as these. So:

Naath sakal saadhan main heena

O Lord, I have surrendered to you my all! Since I have come to your refuge, I feel complete, I feel secure! Now that you have stolen my heart,  now that all belongs to you, who can rob me of anything?

Nij pan raakheo jan man chora
Shafi, a poet has stated:
Teri gali mein aakar
Khoye gaye hain dono
Dil tumko dhundta hai
Main unko dhundta hoon

Which means that ever since I have come to you, o Lord, I have lost my heart which yearns for you.  This is Nisaadhanta! This is fulfillment.

Sri Vallabh Vithal Giridhaari
Yamunaji ki balihaari

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