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
Swami Ramsukhdasji has given a very good explanation and symbolism on karam.
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
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
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
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
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
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