Please note that translations for kathas have been provided for those that are available.  The main chaupai for each katha with its meaning has been included.
 
Katha 727 - Manas Angad, Bakersfiled, California 29th June - 7th July 2013
Angad nām bāli kar betā | tāso kabahu bhāi hi bhetā ||
Angad bachan sunat sakuchānā | rahā bāli bānar mai jānā ||
अंगद नाम बालि कर बेटा । तासों कबहुँ भई ही भेटा ॥
अंगद बचन सुनत सकुचाना । रहा बालि बानर मैं जाना ॥

"Angad is my name: I am Vali's son. Did you ever meet him?" Ravana felt uncomfortable when he heard Angad's reply. "Yes, I do remember that there was a monkey, Vali by name."
 

The organizing committee and several celebrities belonging to various different fields of life in Bakersfield city expressed their pleasure and gratitude to Bapu for selecting this city for the Ram katha.

Declaring that katha is a satsang, Bapu chose the spiritual mythological interpretation of the personality and characteristics of Angad as the central theme on which this katha would be focused. Why was Angad chosen for a diplomatic representation of Rama and sent for thelast face of negotiations with Ravan to avoid the war and the carnage if possible. But before launching katha, Bapu called up for for the funds for the terrible disaster in Uttarkhand and the audience responded with enthusiasm and generosity. Collecting more than 3 Crores rupees in less than 30 minutes. This was three times the amount targeted by Bapu. The collection would continue till the very end of the Ram Katha.

Bapu began his discourse by explaining the name Angad as one who surrenders his Anga to divinity. Bapu referred to Vinay Patrika where Tulsidasji. Declared Vali to be a symbol of karma. He explained the great significance attached to karma in hindu philosophy. Gita has discussed at great length all the aspects and issues of karma. No one can exist even for a fraction of a second without karma. Karma siddhant is very complicated and it is very difficult to understand and to explain. Karma said Raman Maharshi, is a spark of chaitanya. Karma is an eternal and continuing chain of action- Karmshinkhla that leads to bondage and prevents our freedom( Mukti). Angad as the son of Vali is a product, an issue of his father so he is a karmphal. Vali freed himself from Karmshinkhla by surrendering to Rama his son the best phal. From his deathbed, Vali requested Rama to accept angad as his anuchar, his servant and the instrument of all his directions and needs. Bapu pointed out that Vali could have asked for making Angadas successor to throne or to even making him a crown prince (Yuvraj) but Vali asked for neither. He chose for Angad service of Rama rather then power and kingship .

In Ramkatha there are three prominent crown princes - Rama, Bharata, Angad, all of them discarded the royal throne and chose life of sacrifice and service. All the three chose spirituality over royalty. Bapu described the qualities and importance of each of them: Rama, Bharata and Angad.

Bapu said that Vali gave his best way to Ram. It is easy to give money; it is a bit difficult to give promises for those who keep them. But to surrender his son and all hope for royal power is a supreme gift, great sacrifice.

Bapu raised the question, how could Vali a character known for his arrogance and assertiveness, make such a gift? Vali is an avatar of Indra, a god always aspiring for power and prominence. Several gods were born as vanar to serve Ram but Vali being Indra was so arrogant that he could not tolerate Ram being the only one getting the credit for defeating Ravan. His avatar would not allow him to kill Ravan. Ram was going to do it. But Vali defeated Ravan and humiliated him. As the story goes, he kept Ravan in his armpit for six months. This would be very troublesome, inconvenient for Vali himself but he insisted on showing off his achievements. There are many amongst us who keep on collecting and exhibiting certificates of our goodness and greatness. This is a sign of arrogance of Vali.

How could such a person as Vali who was so arrogant became so submissive, surrendering the best fruit of his life, his karmaphal to Ram? Bapu has come to know some such persons who are so arrogant who cannot tolerate the achievements of their own children. Vali was not such a person. He became so humble as to submit his son as samarpan to Ram.

In this connection Bapu mentioned four different types of human mentality. There are some amongst us who see only evil side of others. They overlook the other qualities. (gunas). Bapu described this approach as a crow mentality kagvriti. The crow seeks nothing but the evil, the ugly , the dirty side and dirty materials. But all crows are not like this and we must not be guided by external appearance. Kagbhusundi was a crow inform but he was free from the crow mentality. Hunuman is a monkey only in appearance. Ganga is not a mere river. Ram is a supreme god in human form. So do not be guided by external appearance but look at the vriti. As against kagvriti, there are people who can discern like a swan. They can distinguish the evil and good in others this is called hansvriti- capacity to separate water from milk and accept what is good in others. The third vriti is param hunsvriti, which can see only the good side of others. They see no evils anywhere. For Tulsidas, an entire world was full of Sita and Ram. Persons with paramhansvriti overlooks the evil and the defects, the limitations of others and they appreciate what is good in them.

The fourth and the best vriti, the highest level of spirituality is going beyond good and evil. Bapu quoted Gangsati as an example of such vriti, which goes beyond all qualities.

Bapu explained that all such vritis prevent us from being free because they make us dependent on whims and our passions. It is best to go beyond all vritis where all cravings and desire ceased to exist and we reach the stage of nirvikalp- a very difficult stage to reach for ordinary people that we all are. Vali atoned for his arrogance and secured his mukti by surrendering his best karmaphal to parbhrama Ram. Such an attitude is a product of an experience. Vali has been shot by ram ban and he becameself-realized. Vali is aware of the qualities of his son and describes Angad to Ram;my son is as strong and valiant as me, he is humble and polite, he is wise and clever. These are the qualities which a diplomat(Rajdut) must have and so he was chosen by Ram as a duta to Ravan on diplomatic mission.

Angad who was unaware of Ram got so devoted to him that he offered to carry out lowest and diminishedjob (Seva) in order to stay in the presence of Ram. But he had to go as was the order of his master but he went away with great hesitation and looked back again and again before leaving.

Bapu then turned to analyze Angad. He had great qualities to represent Ram but Bapu pointed out that Angad is not a mere physicality. There is an also an Angad vriti - a desire to use all ones capacity and all once achievements for the service of the divine brahma. (Service of humanity). Angad is at his best when he meets Ravan. Bapu reminded us that there are two great and popular dialogues in Ramayana, one between Pershuram on one side and Ram and Laxman on other side and the second one between Angad and Ravan. Both are greatly enjoyed by the mass of people in India. When Ravan tried to humiliate Angad, to put him down as mere another monkey, he retaliated politely by emphasizing that he is son of Vali. Ravan shrinks remembering his humility experience.

Bapu then turned to the text of Ramcharitmanas and began with manglacharan in Sanskrit followed by punchdevpooja which Tulsidasji presented in lokbhasa. This was because Bapu said Tulsidas assigns priority to human beings as can be seen in the ending sloak of Ramcharitmanas. Tulsidasji then began his vandanas to various characters in manas and ended with guru vandana. Bapu emphasized the great importance of a guru, a guide without whose kripa nothing can be achieved in spiritual progress. He referred to the great emptiness, which modern man feels within and they try to fill up the internal void with wealth, power and prestige. He pointed out that gurupad is far more important then guru as a person. He advised that if we cannot find a guru, we must treat hunuman tatva as a guru and meditate at his feet. Hanuman is pran and is in all of us making us pranis or living beings. Such meditation is of greater importance then guru seva. He advised that when we listened to katha, we must try to penetrate into its meaning, its rahasya. Bapu believes that contact with self realized person is a far greater importance then even God. In daily life we depend on our efforts and grace of god but in spiritual life, grace of guru is the only important factor, which needs nothing else because guru kripa has 100% potency. Bapu cautioned us that it is extremely difficult to understand guru and almost impossible to thoroughly grasp him.

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

On the second day of katha, Bapu continued from where he had left and concentrated on the analysis of the spiritual side of Angad’s personality.

Angad followed the tradition and introduced himself to Ravan as the son of Vali. In those days all over India and even today in South India, the accepted way is to pronounce the name of the father and the gotra to which one belongs.

Bapu mentioned in this context the famous story of Satyakam Jabali from the Upanishad.Bapu would have preferred the Mahabharata style of introducing a person by mentioning the mother because a child, and his character are shaped more by the mother than by the father who is often away for work. In this particular case of Angad it would have been much better to mention Tara rather than Vali. Vali was brave and strong but he was not much of an intelligent person. Vali showed utter idiocy in keeping Ravan in his armpit. Tara on the other hand proved to be wise and understanding. When Vali went out for his final fight with Sugriv, Tara had mentioned that Rama is no ordinary warrior. Ram is the Supreme Lord, Parambrahma. Vali for once argued with understanding that Ram is Samdarshi and if he kills me, I would be eternally blessed. Such one time wisdom of Vali did not last long.

Bapu pointed out that all the Tamasi [evil] enemies such as Marich, Vali, and Ravan realized like a flash light at times in true majesty and personality of Ram.

Bapu then answered a question- what should be done if you are not able to attend all kathas. Bapu agreed that it is difficult and inconvenient and costly to attend all kathas. Many of you have heard many kathas. In fact, you have listened to more kathas than Bapu has been able to do because Bapu speaks and we listen.

Listening with attention- Shravan is a form of bhakti. But if you cannot listen to katha, remember all that you have heard. Just as shravan is bhakti, Smaran is also a bhakti. And smaran would create bhav showing thereby that the seeds are sprouting. Hanuman has described remembering (sumiran) as bhajan. Such remembrances purify our inner self (antahkaran) . Bapu said that he always keeps on remembering whateverand whenever the good he has heard.

Bapu used the word katha in the widest possible sense: hearing a melodious song, a literary discussion, an enlightening discourse is katha for him. In fact, Smaran brings you closerto Bapubecause shravan can be done even from great distances while smaran creates feelings of proximity.

Bapu then turned to the spiritual interpretation of a personality of Angad. Ang means a whole body or a part, a limb of the body.So whoever gives a limb or body for spiritual progress, for service of god or service of humanitybecomes Angad.Angad, Vibhshan, Hanuman, gave their entire body and all their life to divinity. Women often get devoted to their husbands, children, or families. One should feel that we are parts (ang) of devine- Astitva. We are like suburbs of a big city- complete as a unit and also a part of a larger unit.

If you cannot devote your entire body to divinity, we at least can give a limb: for example, we can give our ears to katha, or to the teachings of guru who would then pierce through us. Whatever ang you give to divine purpose would be sanskar as karanvedh sanskar. Whatever you give to the world will deteriorate as Shankeracharya said “AngGaliltam”. We ought to have Angdiksha. So listen attentively, listen as widely as possible and as often as you can. Tulsidasji has mentioned that Shravan should be as wide and broad and deep as the ocean. Take katha in the widest sense; do not restrict it to narrow circles. Listen to whatever is good and beneficial and nobling for our spiritual and moral development. Be careful and guard your ears . Poison in the stomach can be cured but poison that enters ears has no cure.

Similarly eyes can be gifted to divine and eyes are far more potent than ears. Eyes can express all the emotions and feelings and experiences of life. Out of the trio – Satya, Prem and Karuna, Karun resides in the eyes. We can experience beauty only throughthe eyes. All the descriptions of Ram emphasize his eyes. Hands and tongue and feet can express only few emotions and passions but eyes can express everything. Those who have lost their eyesight are called Pragyachaksu or Surdas. The most precious product of the eyes are the tears which clean the eyes and which express the bhav of the bhaktas or devotees and of lovers.

The hands when given to God are to be used only for his Seva, for uplifting the poor and for offering a helping hand for all who are downtrodden or spiritually fallen from the path. Our hands ought to be used for serving all the deprived and exploited sections of the society. Such hands have been described in Vedas as divine as Bhagwan. The feet are meant for visiting the holy centers of pilgrimage and for turning towards everything that is pure and pious. Such an Angad whose entire body is solely devoted to the service of God, develops firm faith and Tulsidas elsewhere has described the feet of Angad as faith.Angad pad viswas.

Thus angad ought to be viewed from many different angles. Such a view is important and necessary for our own introspection and we are going to see Angad from various point of vision for the rest of our days here.

Bapu then picked up katha and narration of katha and reverted to vandana offered by Tulsidas. Tulsidasji has presented naam vandanda at a very great length. Tulsidas argues that reciting Ram naam has a potency in all the yugas but such recitation is in kaliyug only held for spiritual progress. In satyayug there was meditation (dhyan) in tretayug yagna was important. Pooja became the way of spiritual life in dwapar. But naam smaran is the only process left for us in kaliyug. There is nothing else that is as potent as naam smaran. All the names of things and persons are mere pseudo names –takhalush and Ram is the only name for every single thing. Ramanujacharya whenever asked would first reply as Ram and as second question would utter any other name. Kabir when he was selling his products would say that the seller is Ram, the clothes are Ram, the buyer is Ram and the payment as offered is Ram.

Ram has innumerable names. In ancient India, the usual practice was to give several names to an object of devotion. Vishnu in Mahabharata is given 1000 names in Vishnu sahastranaam. A 100 names are listed for Shiva. Durga has 1000 names and Vallabhacharya is given several names. But of all the various names used for Ram, such as Raghuvar, Raghav etc. Ram is potent because it contains an R, A, M, which represents son, moon and fire. As sun destroys the ignorance, as moon it gives us peace and quietude and as fire it burns all our sins. Ram naam stands for Omkar. Bapu warned against tantra and tantrikess as they are very destructive. But all such intellectual analysis leads us nowhere. Spirituality ought to be experienced not merely discussed and it should be felt not merely explained. You cannot swim merely reading books on swimming. Plunge into a rever or ocean and fill it. Once you have experience such a depth everything you speak and sing becomes divine.

Bapu said that he is often criticized for singing lewd filmy songs but that is not true. He uses the words of such songs and in the tunes of such music but in feeling bhav- is his own. He made a solemn declaration and repeated several times that he has never sung and would never sing a filmy song with the same purpose in same bhav as you find in film. The bhav in ultimate purpose the inner most meaning is the most significant part of a song and this for Bapu is spiritual nothing mundane, nothing worldly. Bapu reverted to the importance of naamsmaran or naamjap. Even shankar is reciting Ram naam. He could drink and digest even poison when mixed with Ram naam. Bapu declared that there is no end to potency of Ram naam and Tulsidas goes to the extent of declaring that even Ram would not be able to explain the potency of Ram naam.

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

Bapu expressed his satisfaction that his Shrotas have responded so readily and so generously to his desire(manorath) to discharge our duty and our responsibility towards the people in distress. For him all donations – big or small has same value as tokens of good will. He could not but expressed his anguish at the total neglect and indifference shown by prominent leaders in politics and who hold lucrative positions of power and pelf. Money(artha) is also a part of four purushartha in Indian philosophy and most important Ang in Kaliyug.

He started his discourse by explaining seven interrelated Sopans of Ramcharitmanas. Balkand depicts Vishwas – the faith. It begins with an invocation of Shiva – the embodiment of Vishwas. All characters and events in Balkand revolve around Vishwas.

Ayodhya Sopan is a story of separation (Viyog) and of Vishad (sufferings) – Rama going away, death of Dashrath etc.

Aranyakand is Vigyankand as several rishis – Antri, Sarbhang, Shutikshan, Agastya-play prominent role. Such rishis in India attempted a synthesis of Dharma and Vigyan which is a crying need of the modern age.

For Kishkindakand, Bapu coined a new word Vishodh – a unique or special type of search(shodh). Rama is searching Sita but he also searches out several friends and followers – Hanuman, Sugriv, Vali and Angad. This Kand has six or seven special features that are not found elsewhere. It is the smallest Kandin Manas and presents several new features.

This Kand deals mostly with Vanars. Vanarsare not monkeys. Vanar, Asur, Kinner, Gandharv, Naag are various tribes in ancient India. Vanars have their own Rastra, their own language, (Hanuman is multilingual who knows several languages), their own music, and their own folklore - in short their own culture and civilization. They look like monkeys but they are not monkeys. The special trait of their culture is devotion to their master (Swamibhakti). Political thinkers in ancient India-Chanakya, Vidur, Kalidas –prescribed seven things that constitute a State (Rajya) - a government(Rashtra), a ruler(Raja), advisors (Mantries), treasure(Dhankosh), army (Sena), fortresses(Durg) and friends (Mitra). Vali had all the seven while Sugriv had lost everything. He had only an advisor (Mantri, Sachiv) Hanuman who got him friendship with Rama(Mitra) who helped him secure all the remaining things.

Bapu emphasized the importance of good and reliable friends whose company is so necessary for all but especially for young people. Bapu is always concerned with younger generation and advised them to be always in good company. Modern Science has given us so many comforts and conveniences but Bapu regretted that the Science has destroyed our privacy, our individuality, our Ekant. Today, every individual is exposed to others and is confined into space watched by others. Vishram, the real condition of progress has disappeared and the loss of Vishram willdistroy several other very valuable aspects of human life.

Bapu clarified that for him, Ramkatha is not confined only to religion because religion that is cut off from practical social life is no religion at all. Religion is one ingredient of society. Bapu is happy to be a religious person and for him it is a matter of pride and satisfaction to be a Hindu. But he is neither an athics (Nastic) nor a believer (Aasthik). He is a realist(Vastvik). He wants and aspires for direct contact with life and with people and he does not want to use proxy of any god or gods. He meets people in privacy of his Katha. Katha provides all the privacy(ekant) he needs and he quoted Dasi Jiwan who yearned for and invited Divinity to visit him in privacy of public life.

Bapu exhorted young people to secure god friends and like Sugriv, they will gain everything,something like being a king and controller of their individuality(Nijta).

Sugriv has no friends. So Hanuman seeks out Rama whose friendship will provide him with everything else. Vali, father of Angad on the other hand has everything, a Royalty in full splendor. Vali has a great pedigree, a glorious lineage of Purvaj. The tradition is that Brahma was doing his Tap on the Himalayas and from the drop of his tear,a beautifulVanar –Rukshraj was born. He was praised by all for his handsome features and became curious to see himself. He gazed into a pond and like the Greek character of Narcissus became totally absorbed in his own beauty. He fell into the pond and emerged as a woman with still more enhanced beauty. God Indra dropped his semen on her hair(Bal) and Vali was born. God Surya dropped his semen on her throat(Griva) and Sugriv was born. That is why Rama embraced neck to neck with Sugriv and put his hand on the head of Vali. Angad was born of Vali and Tara and inherited the beauty and handsomefeatures of his parents.

So said Bapu, Kishkindakand is a section of Vishodh. Rama found out Hanuman, Sugriv, and Angad and through them reached out to Suprabha and Sampati.

Sunderkand depicts Vairagya. Sita is a Vairagi in midst of luxury all around her. She meets Hanuman(a Vairagi) who contactsVibhishan who is also a Vairagi.

Lankakand is a story of Vidroh – war, upheavals and great transformations and Mandodari leads the Vidroh.

Uttarkand is Vishram, the final stage of peace and quietude. The Ram Katha thus passes through the entire gamut from Vishvas to Vishram passing through the stages of Viyog,Vishad, Vigyan, Vishodh, Vairagya and Vidroh. Such is the journey of human life, which also passes through several such stages.

For this Katha, the importance of Kishkindakand lies in the entry of Angad on the center stage. Tulsidas has extolled the entry of Angad in an impressive Chhand.

Vali gifted Angad to Rama and Angad proved to be a valuable servant of Rama. Rama appreciated his services and gifted Angad with his Mala, his Angvastra and a Mani. Gifts of Rama have great spiritual significance. Gift of Mala, Malaropan as it is called, is the acceptance of Shishya by Guru. Mala of Rama is always described as Vanmala. Gift of Mala was desired by many persons like Sabri but it was only Angad who got it. Vastra might have been given to preserve and hold such a precious gift and Mani is interpreted as Mantramani. Mala, Mantra, and Vastra have great significance as spiritual relations between Rama and Angad.

Bapu emphasized that Manas is not merelya religious treatise, it is a spiritual treasure-trove. He drew a distinction between the two. Religions are many and diverse, each having their own rules and rituals. Religions usually get divided into various Sampradayas and sects getting increasingly narrower and narrower(Sankirna).

Spirituality on the other hand is one and only one approach and does not have any distinction of race, religion, language, time and country and higher and lower groupings. It is widely open and all-inclusive. Ramayana being spiritual, belongs to one and all, without any limits. Since Ramcharitmanas is spiritual, we have to understand the spiritual significance of Mala given to Angad, Mudrika given to Hanuman and Padukato Bharat. These are ancient symbols granted only to those who were near and dear to Rama. What Rama gave to Angad was all that a devotee needs and wants.

Angad has many qualities. He is adventurous and dashing and can stake Sita on the firmness of his foot. But he is also Viveki and knows his limits. Even in enthusiasm, he keeps awareness. While discussing the crossing of ocean he said,“I can jump to the other side but may fail to return”. He has great qualities of leadership. He knows how to delegate work to proper person. He leads the team searching Sita, but gives prominence to Hanuman. Bapu again reminded us that there are no rituals and ceremonies in his Katha. He told a story and advised that we should not overlook essentials(guest)and give attention to secondary issues(horse).

Bapu then turned to the formal narration of Katha. Ramayana was composed by Shiva and was preserved in his Manas. It has four Ghats. Gyan Ghat involving Shiva and Parvati, Upasana Ghat of Kagbhushundi and Garud, Karma Ghat of Yagnyavalkya and Bhardwaj and Sharnagati Ghat (Tulsidas and his own personality). Gyan, Upasana, and Karma finally lead to Sarnagati. But Tulsidasji begins with Sarnagati. Sarnagati involves certain conditions. Sarnagati is a firm devotion and submission to one and only one. There are no alternatives and no wavering. Sarnagati has no plurality. It happens only once and is only directed to One. With Sarnagati, Karma becomes a Trivani (Sangam), a Prayag Tirth – as holy as Ganga, as purifying as Yamuna, and as enlightening as Saraswati.

Bhardwaj asks not about the story of Ram but Ram tatva. The question about Rama tatva has been asked again and again since ancient times but even today we still have no answer. To our defective vision, Rama has many different aspects, but philosophically Rama is the One and the only Tatva. Parm-tatva is inclusive of all and never Sankirna. Rama is not a subject for discussion; he is an object of remembrance.

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

Bapu mentioned two different versions about the entry of Angad. In Valmiki Ramayana, Vali gives the custody of Angad to Sugriva, while Tulsidas makes Rama the custodian. We follow the tradition from Shankar to Tulsidas. In this Vali episode, Rama has often been accused of treacherously killing Vali without facing him. But Rama was not a party in this war between brothers. Rama as a judge was punishing Vali for his crimes and sins and a judge need not face the criminal who is killed on his order.

Sugriva was elated to see Vali mortally wounded but when Vali apologized for the trouble he had inflicted on Sugriva, joy was replaced by anguish. In Mahabharata war Yudhistiralost whatever little joy he had when he was told that Karn was his elder brother. Wars from the beginning to the end are full of misery and sufferings and anguish.

So let us remember that there are two different versions of Vali episode.

It was on the deathbed, that Vali was full of wisdom and Vivek. Bapu dilated on the philosophy of death. Death is a Satsang of Kaal with every individual and angels and agents of God arrive on earth. Death makes Vali wise. Vali gives his last advice to his grown up son who would soon become a Yuvraj. This advice as preserved by Valmiki is full of wisdom and can be applied to all the 4 types of Yuvraj. The eldest son or daughter is Yuvraj or Yuvragni of he family, the first follower of a Sadhak is a Yuvraj and every guru chooses a Pattashisya who is his successor and Yuvraj. Gita declares that Jiva (ansh) is a particle of eternity(Brahma) so we all are Yuvraj in relation to Brahma. Indian Rishies have the honor to boldly declare that every individual Jiva is Brahma. (AhamBrahmasmi). Jiva is avinashi- eternal and as potential Brahma, we also are pure and vibrant. We lose our purity when we are controlled by maya(mayavash).

So the advice given by Vali is applicable to the eldest in the family, to the first follower of Sadhak, to the Pattshisya of acharya and to every Jiva, to every soul as related to divinity.

Bapu narrated a personal experience: a recently widowed mother with a young child was being consoled by Bapu. When the child began to cry the mother said that Bapu is a father to both of us. He is a father to me and a father to you.

Such understanding, such sincerity, such devotion in the common people of India prove that India may be poor in wealth but it is very rich in spiritual understanding. Such experiences Bapu said, burdens him with additional responsibilities for all those who love himand trust him. He quoted Mahatma Gandhi who was fully aware of his responsibilities and accepted all thehonor extended to him. Gandhi used to advice his followers that if I go wrong, revolt against me as Prahlad revolted against his father with politeness but also with unbending firmness.

India has been able to survive terrible disasters like Uttarkand on account of such inner strength and inner richness.

Of all theYuvrajs, the relations between Guru and Shishya are peculiar. Guru is Nirvikalp, he has no desires, no mind. So Shishyais the mind of Guru and acts on his behalf. Hanuman is described as the mind of Rama.

Bapu quoted at length the Shloka of Valmiki as words of advice given by Vali to his Yuvraj but which can be applied to all Yuvrajs for all times. Vali’s first advice to Angad is to adjust to time and place – to situation (deshkalao). Everything should be done at proper time and at a proper place. Even when you are serving your Guru, wait for his instruction, do not compete for it, do not be jealous of others who get a chance to serve Guru and do not treat Guru as your possession. Wait particularly for your turn and be confident that the time and opportunity for your service will also be there.

The next few words of Vali sounds like Gita and Bapu named is as Valigita. One must patiently suffer the priya and apriya, sukh and dukh as they come and go in the life of all of us.

Vali also gives some practical advice to Angad. You must be obedient to Sugriva. You should never align with his enemies and you should never associate with people who are not friendly to Sugriva. Do not be obsessed with love for anyone and do not totally neglect or hate anyone. Excessive love and excessive hatred are defects to be avoided. Vali dies almost immediately.

Bapu’s comments on Vali’s advice and views are quite interesting and enlightening. We must adjust with time and should not denounce the progress of science. We should overlook, tolerate, and pardon those who criticize us. Incapacity to be Khsamashil is a sign of internal weakness and deprivation. Bapu pointed out the great achievements of India in spiritual knowledge and quoted Shakaracharya at great length. The equanimity to face Sukh and Dukh or ups and downs in life is possible only for those who are devoted to the Supreme Divinity and obedience to the better people is not bondage but it is the only real freedom.

True love ensures total freedom. One can hold flowers in the fist but you cannot prevent its scent from spreading.

Bapu ended by pointing out that great poets and writers take the same events and same persons and give different interpretations. Vali as depicted by Valmiki differs from the presentation by Tulsidas. Akrur in Harivansh is crafty and a conspirator. In Bhagvat,Akrur is a virtuous bhakt of Krishna.

Bapu then took up the qualities and qualification of a Yuvraj. A Yuvraj specially from a royal family must be self controlled and able to master his passions and emotions. He pointed out that Angad was such a Yuvraj. While discussing the visit to Lanka, Angad argued that Lanka is famous for its lasciviouslife style and he night be so enticed that he may not be able to return. Hanuman has no such hesitation because he is confident about himself. Yuvraj must have physical, mental and spiritual strength. (atmabal). Bapu, inter alia answered question –how can we know whenever our company is good or bad. Bapu answered that a little experience would be enough for you to know. Your own mind will warn you about bad and good. In such matters we ought to accept the advice of Budhapurush and orders of Guru.

Bapu remembered that some people have such a dominating nature - Shashakvriti that they try to control even the Guru. Some have Poshakvriti while quite a few suffer from Shoshakvriti.

The third quality of Yuvraj must have a Shila - polite manners and a strong moral character. He must be well educated (vidyavan) in state craft( sam, dam, dand, bhed) as also in various other fields. He ought to be able to keep his ideas and objectives to himself without anybody knowing them. He must have full Shastragyan also Shaastragyan and finally he must have a Guru and Diksha from Guru. (Diksit)

Why was Angad chosen by Rama for final negotiations with Ravans. Why not Hanuman? Why not Sugriva? Why not Jambuvan?

Bapu gave three reasons. Angad would remind Ravana of Vali and Ravana would be snubbed and pressurized. Secondly Rama wanted to show that he had several other warriors besides Hanuman. Rama wanted Angad to prove his mettle and his abilities to carry out responsible assignments as Yuvraj.

Bapu then picked up the narration of Ramcharitmanas that begins with Shivcharitra and told the story from visit of Shiv to Agatsya up to his decision to cut off relations after Sati’s failure in understanding Rama. He ended up with a Sutra that God is not a subject for testing. What is needed is a patient awaiting for Him and his Krupa.

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

Bapu and few of us from India offer our greetings from the largest democracy in the world to the oldest democracy in the world.

Yesterday, Bapu began with a disclaimer. He is not a Dharmopdeshak and his Kathas are not teaching rooms for any religion or any Sampradaya. His Kathas are dialogues (Samvad) between a Seeker of truth and his Shrottas. Bapu is a free bird. Nobody controls him or can ever control his movements and his opinions or his Kathas.

Bapu continued with the analysis of spiritual personality of Angad. He emphasized that understanding Angad would be very valuable for all Sadhaks because Angad practices the middle path(Madhyam) of Budhha.

Three major characters of Ramayan – Hanuman, Sugriva and Angad emerge in Kishkindakand. Angad and Hanuman are invoked by Tulsidas in the Vandanas at the very beginning of Manas, but all the three are fully discussed only in Kishkindakand – a kand of Vishodh by Rama himself. Hanuman and Sugriva stand on the extreme opposite sides of a spectrum. Hanuman is Paramyogi, Sugriva is Parambhogi.

Hanuman is a Paramyogi, a Brahmhcharibelonging to the glorious, elite group led by Sanatkumar, Narada, Parshurama and a few others. Bapu was a bit upset that some scholars describe Hanuman as a much married man. A recent but very rich Sampradaya attempts to downgrade Hanuman and claim that their Acharya was the guru of Hanuman. Their guru was born only two hundred years ago. Hanuman is being worshipped for more than two thousand years. Such madcaps diserve to the totally neglected(Upekasha). We need not worry. Hanuman is Rock like and a few cotton balls thrown at him will have no effect.

Brahmcharya is an extremely difficult discipline and can be practiced only by the rarest of the rare Sadhaks. A Bhishm, a Parshuram, a VinobaBhave, a Hanuman might be able to stay Brahmchari. Most of the people who claim to be Brahmcharies are generally misguided souls because bodies have their biological urges that are irresistible. Hanuman is Paramyogi. But Sugriva is Parambhogi who selfishly neglected the comforts and requirements of Ram. When Vali was reportedly dead, he managed to capture the throne, depriving Angad of his right as a successor. Relations between Angad and Sugriva were always strained. So Ram, had urged Sugriva, to associate Angad in ruling and administering the state and to constantly keep in mind the duty of searching Sita. Sugriva neglected both instructions. The summer was ending and Rama stayed in a cave for four months of rainy season. Sugriva confined himself to his pleasure palace (BhogBhavan) and mostly to his bedroom. He never cared to even visit Ram or cared to discharge his duty. It was in this palace and this bedroom that an angry Laxman rushed in and a Jatilike laxman sat on the same bed of Sugriva. The mythological explanation is that Laxman an incarnation of Shesh – a serpant who frightened Sugriva out of his bed. So Hanuman is a Paramyogi and Sugrive is Parambhogi. Angad is neither. He followed the advice of his father to avoid extremes and followed the middle path. He is a moderate in between Yog and Bhog. He is Asang – Anasakt. This trait of Angad is very useful for us because excess of even a good thing may be as dangerous as poison.

Hanuman is an ideal servant(Sevak) and Sugriva is a ruler(Swami), Angad is neither. He is not a servant and though he is a future king, he has no powers at present and is not a Swami.

Angad kept on constantly changing to adjust to the situation.(Deshkallo) and so he is vibrant and bubbling with energy. He could face Ravna and his associates single handedly. Angad had great capacity of leadership and the management. He was appointed the leader of the search party sent to the south. But he delegated leadership to Hanuman when he realized that Hanuman is better suited for the mission to Lanka. Angad was clever(Chatur) in worldly ways and a diplomat must be clever and smooth. Hanuman, the leading light amongst intellectuals (BuddhimatamVaristam) is not clever in this sense. Bhakt and Sant do not need to be clever but clever Angad is capable to dealing with Ravana and his ministers and pay them back in their own coin and on their own turf.

Angad is described as Paramchatur who uses his Mana, Bhuddhi, Chitta, and Ahankar for the higher purpose to serving Ram who is Brmah. Indriya, Mana and Buddhiare the centers of passion (Kaam). So long as Kaam is confined to Indriya, it is short lived and disappears after being fulfilled. When Mana is affected by Kaam then it continues forever as Vasana but when Kaam captures Buddhi, Kaam gets stamped as Dharm and Vrikritis are treated as Sanskars.

Bapu answered a question. Is it good to have only one Guru or can we have many Gurus – when all are equally respected?

Bapu said Guruseva is Charanseva and the feet of all persons are more or less same. The differences are seen in the bodies. So Charan of all Gurus are same and Charan is a symbol of motion (Gati) of a river flow. Surdas and all other Bhaktas are devoted to Charans. In Manas, Hanuman and Angad are the only two who are selected to serve the feet of Ram during war. Another important point in the character of Angad is that he is not voluable. He speaks little and only when necessary. But when necessary, he speaks fluently and freely. Let us remember the tongue lashes that he gives to Ravan with cold, calculated but very stinging words. Bapu argued that we should learn from Angad to speak less, to keep on smiling freely and keep our minds focused by Mantrajaap.

Bapu ended the analysis for the day by characterizing the Kands in reverse order: Uttarkandis Sutratmak, Lankakana is Shastratmak because of variety of weapons used, Sunderkand isPatratmak as several messages from Ram to Sita, from Sita to Ram were passed on by messengers. Kishkindakand is Mitratmak as Ram finds several friends and allies.

Aranyakand teaming with several Rishies and therefore is Mantratmak. Ayodhyakand is a Tantrakand where worst type of Rajtantra (Politics) was played while Balkand is Netrakand where eyes of Ram and Sita play an important role.

Bapu then took up the narrative part of Ramcharitmans. Daksh organized a Yagya only to revenge himself on Shiva. Yagya involves sacrifice not revenge. Sati immolated herself and was reborn as Parvati. Bapu discussed the events that led to the preparations for marriage of Shiva.

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

After greeting the Shrotas on 4th July, Bapu answered a few questions. The question about the meaning of Brahmcharya was the most interesting and Bapu gave an exhaustive answer. Bapu quoted Raman Maharshi who defined a Brahmchari as one whose every action and way of life is like Brahma. Brahmcharya is closely associated with body but it is far more connected and concerned with mind (Mann). It is quite possible and it is very often found that those who are celebrates in body are lusting within and their minds are hankering after pleasures of physicality. Men and women keep away from physical relations on several accounts of traditions, fear of being discovered, considerations of loyalty and duty, respect for each other. But they often fantasize about such relations. This is no Brahmcharya in the real sense of the term. The best Brahmchari is one whose body, mind and intellect do not suffer from Vikar even in dreams. Kaam as Bapu said earlier does not last long if it is only resides in Indriyas. It last longer if mind is involved. When Kaam dominates our Buddhi, it is often stamped and accepted by and defended as religion and religious leaders.

The questioner had asked to understand the stage that is described as Indriyatit. This is the highest stage of spiritual progress and such a Trigunantit is almost equivalent to Divinity itself, who exists only for the benefit of others. (Paramhitkari) Such an Indriyatit is Brahmchari in the real sense.

Bapu remarked that Brahmcharya is being discussed by us who are all Sansaris because we are more aware of the difficulties involved in Brahmcharya. Brahmcharya is possible only when all the fine elements of the body – Pruthvi, Tej, Jal, Vayu and Aakash are absolutely and totally balanced (Samyak), their proportions being neither more nor less. Such a balance leads to the Divine music of spheres. But such a balance (Samyak) is hardly possible.

Bapu referred to science building up robots. If we know the secret of mixing and balancing the panch Tatva (5 elements), science can create even human beings.

Bapu referred to wonderful Siddhant that were achieved by ancient Indian Rushies which surpass modern progress of science. One whose Tej Tatva has been honed to perfection can issue commands that are obeyed over hundreds of miles. He mentioned an experiment in Moscow. A mater scientist made a person sleep and wake up by commanding him from thousands of miles. Ancient Rushies can transmit their ideas and beliefs over thousands of years. In this connection, Bapu considers Ramayan and Mahabharata to be the wings and Vision of India. Ram transformed Tretayug in Satyayug while Krushna gave Divya Drasti to Arjun. Ram transformed entire Shrusti while Krushna granted divine vision.

A person with such a total balance of panch tatva is Bramhcharya. Bapu quoted Shruti. –“Brahmvid Brahmaiv Bhavati”. He becomes a living Bramh. Bapu then analyzed the major characters of Ramayan and declared that Jaltatva dominated in the personality of Angad. He had inherited Jaltatva from his father Vali who is a progeny of Indra – the god of waters and rains. Sugriv – a son of Surya has an access of Tejtatva. Pruthvitatva is predominant in Jambuvan, Hanuman – a son of Pavan is Vayutatva and Vali had in him Aakashtatva. Each of them represents the Panchtatva or panchmahabhuts. Gangasati has mentioned a Gurumukhi Vidhya that can secure control over all Vasnas. Gangasati enjoins Sadhaks to overcome Kaam Dharm. Bapu explained that every hour of the day has its own Dharm, its own environment. Down and early morning is peaceful – so peaceful that even rivers flow very quietly. River flow becomes more and more agitated or even boisterous as the day advances. We must train ourselves to adjust to such natural environments of days and seasons and years.

Gangasati advises us to conquer and control contradictions against Kaal Dharm. We must overcome our anger and Bapu advised us not to be angry in the early morning, while leaving and returning home, while eating or while going to sleep and while singing to God. (Bhajan)

Bapu mentioned people who refuse to be happy and who destroys happiness of others. Bapu compared them with frost. When icicles on the craps destroy craps themselves and melt away. Both are gone. There are people –called Sadist in modern psychology sadists who enjoy the sufferings of others.

Bapu reverted to Gangasati who insists on equanimity (Samatva). We should treat everyone equally in our speech, behavior and in our mental approach. Gangasati argues that we can overcome our passions by Nirmalta. We should be so clean and simple and honest that we can be free from all Dosh. Gangasati insists on treating worldly possessions as futile (Mithya) and clear away the blemish (Dagh) of imbalance (Dugdha). Such futility ought to be really, truly experienced all the time. Mere verbal declaration of Mithya leads nowhere. Such Mithyatva ought t o become ingrained in our personality. Mere verbosity, mere definitions (Vyakhyas) serve no purpose. Spiritual progress depends on innermost feelings (Anubhuti) not mere practice of words. Gangasati declares that all this can be achieved by continuous and strenuous (Abhyas). The word Abhyas means practice, efforts, and discipline. For such a person all Sidhhants are mere straws to be discarded and overlooked. Such a person is truly and internally humble. Gangasati concludes that one must be true to our expressions (Vachans). This Gurumukhi Vidhya frees us from all obstacles and all impediments. Such a Sadhak rejects even the law of Karma. Scholars would argue that Sukh and Dukh are the will of God (Hari Ichchha) and both are welcome. They fail to disturb the balance of a Sadhak.

Bapu summarized the discussion on Bramhcharya by pointing out that mere physical celibacy leads to frustrations and anger (Krodh) while a real Bramhcharya is always peaceful and quiet. He constantly feels the presence of divine, for him everything is divine. Advait as discussed in Vedant.

Such a Bramhchari shows all body symptoms described in Yogshastra. His perspiration has a peculiar natural odor as Gandhkuti of Buddha, his skin is smooth and shining, his voice is deep and sweet, he is not potbellied, he has a luster of his own (Ojas), and he is slim and not overweight. Even the excretions of his body do not stink.

Bramhchari can be either male or female because there are no gender distinctions in spiritual life.

Bapu avoided the question about Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary as propagated by Christians.

Bapu then began the analysis of Angad whose personality is very close to us and very useful for us. Angad had inherited political acumen (Rajkiyata) from his father (Vali) and his uncle (Sugrive) and he inherited spiritual values (Aadhyatmika) from Hanuman. Angad keeps the Madhyamarg and even Kishknidakand is in the middle of Ramayan. Bapu pointed out even Hanuman stayed not with Ram but with Sugrive. Hanuman was worried about the indulgent lifestyle of Sugrive and often reminded Sugrive that Ram has fulfilled his part of the contract and now it is our duty to discharge out obligation. Ram killed Vali with a single arrow but there are many such arrows in his quiver that may be used against us. We like Sugrive are dormant due to our passions; we need a Sadguru like Hanuman who wakes us up to our duties and our responsibilities.

Ram was also getting upset and felt that Sugrive needs a little punishment. Ram directed Laxman to give a gentle push of punishment. He is an ally and we want him back to ourselves. God often punishes us mildly so that we go closer to him. Laxman visited Sugrive who was so frightened that instead of facing Laxman, he sent Tara and Angad to plead on his behalf and Hanuman also apologized.

Bapu, mentioned some people raising superficial discussions, how could Laxman visit a city? They forgot that only Ram has been ordered Vanvaas. Laxman and Sita are his companions.

While totally submissive to ram, Sugrive tries to shift some blame to Ram that he was enticed and befuddled by Maya of Ram and it is only by your grace (Krupa) that we can be free from Kaam, Krodh and Lobh.

The search parties for Ram were sent in all directions but south were the most important direction. Angad was the leader of the group with Hanuman as his advisor and Hanuman led in rear. Bapu explained the search is important in South because Sita is an embodiment of Bhakti and according to Bhagvat Puran, Bhakti emerged earliest I Tamilnadu (South India). Hanuman was kept last but he does not crave prominence. Hanuman was given by Ram his signet ring. How could Ram have any such Ring? Bapu explained that this ring was given to Ram by Sita as a payment for Kevat. Where Hanuman would keep such a ring? Hanuman Chalisa mentions that the Mudrika was preserved in the mouth.

Bapu then turned to Katha and quickly narrated the story from the marriage of Shiva to the birth of Ram without much elaboration. Bapu mentioned an important point about the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Both are war songs but war in Ramayana is a war between Dharm and Adharm. Ravana misused his enormous strength to systematically destroy culture and religion. War in Mahabharata is a struggle against injustice done to Draupadi. Duryodhan never destroyed religion and disturbed religion practices as Ravana had done.

Bapu ended Ram Katha with the celebration of Ramjanam.

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

Answering a question, Bapu said that though Angad is very intelligent, we cannot call him Sthitpragnya. His intellect has not reached the highest stage of Budhdhi and he is a very wandering mind. He is not steady in his Prgnya. He is worried. He is afraid of death. He hates Sugrive. Hanuman, on the other hand is a Sthitpragnya. To be Sthitpragnya is very difficult, almost impossible for people like us. Vinoba to some extent was considered by Bapu as Sthitpragnya. Gita has discussed all the laxans of Sthitpragnya. Swami Chinmayanand spoke a lot about it. There are many other texts where one can find descriptions and definitions of Sthitpragnya and Bapu suggested some further readings on the subject. There is even a Rustic Gita where Karaniyo and Charjjaniyo discuss very significant ideas in the Gujarati language of villagers.

Bapu referred to some hypocrites who are out to explain such high philosophy which they themselves do not understand and when they fail to convince their Shrotas, they denounce them as ignorant and undeserving (Apatra). One cannot spiritually develop unless one is thoroughly honest, completely free from hypocrisy and can cultivate.

Sincere humility – an humbleness from within. He described a priest who wanted to visit a theater without anyone else knowing about it. He searched fir a private passage and was told that none except one will know about his visit. That one was God who watches everything and everybody.

If we allow others and the opinions of people of world to control our mind, our life will become miserable. We should live only according to our inner light. Bapu defined spiritualism as freedom from hypocrisy and freedom from arrogance. Such a developed person is like a ripe coconut, its inner kernel is undisturbed even the external is broken. Alexander attempted to take back one Sanyasi from India, and his threats failed to move him.

Bapu said very often Shastracharcha deteriorates into mere clever play of words and such thing is not very difficult. But Shravan- listening, studying is more difficult and more necessary. Books can teach us many things but when books are explained by Siddhaa, the message becomes more potent and more telling – grapes will give you pleasure but same grapes when processed can intoxicate us with great pleasure. Buddha Purush can process books for us and bring out the essence of Shastra, kernel of experiences because knowledge has become ingrained in their personality. Books by themselves may be more useful when Chetna gets mixed with verbal bookish knowledge. He gave the example of his Katha. One can hear and even see him on television but personal attendance in the Katha has a different and higher pleasure of its own. He agreed that this is the age of Katha that has achieved great popularity and people in their innocence worship Bapu as seen on TV as if he was personally there.

Bapu argued that books, especially scriptures are not for a mere reading, we must read, think and meditate Shastras. When a Guru explain, our hearing -Shravan becomes more effective. Bapu said that he not only speaks Katha, but simultaneously he keeps on listening to himself. Such introspection helps us to clean ourselves from within and we secure a joy – a prasannta. Introspections makes us listen attentively to Param because while we read books and speak to many, our mind gets focused on one and only one center of divinity. Bapu illustrated his point by describing the life of Gopies who discharged several functions of life. They cooked and fetched water and attended to livestock and looked after their children and husbands but Gopies, Radha would be continuously and constantly thinking of Krushna and Krushna. Bapu described poignantly the suffering of Nand and Gopies when Krushna left Vraj forever and forever but even today people in Vraj refuse to accept that Krushna ever went away. Even now, they feel his presence in their midst. Bapu gave a poetic and accurate description of Krushna’s final departure to discharge the mission of his life. (Jivankarya) Krushna promised everybody that he will return, but he could never go back to Vraj. But the love between Radha and Krushna continued forever though they never met again. True love never dies and never decreases. Love is a living experience.

Reverting to Sthitpragnya, Bapu warned of a danger that some Sthitpragnya discard love and become mere wooden statue and such unfortunate people miss the real joy of life and joy of Katha.

Angad said Bapu, is intelligent but Hanuman is Sthitpragnya while Sugrive is a clever selfish, cowardly escapist. He never hesitated blaming others for his own faults and failures.

Bapu turned to analyze the sole of Angad. Hanuman is a Daas, a servant of Ram, devoted to nothing else. Angad is a Doot but he also serves Ram. Hanuman also represents Ram while visiting Sita. But there is an important difference – Hanuman is a Ramdoot while Angad is a Rajdoot.

There are several types of categories of Doots: Ramdoot, Rajdoot, Premdoot, Yudhadoot, and Dhrutdoot in Mahabharata. Doot is different from Dootiya. Doot represents while Dootiyas are spies and informants. Daas is totally devoted to his master, while Doot merely discharges limited duties – such devoted Daasas are never discharged by their masters while Doots are charged as often as necessary. Hanuman took the message of love and solace to Janki while Angad carries a war message. Bapu described five Laxans of Daas. He is never depressed (Udas), he never expects (Aas) for anything from anybody. He is never worried about anything because he has full faith in his Guru and his Swami. He gets what he wants and what he needs even before he asks for it.

Bapu mentioned a biological fact that every seven years, human body experiences great changes but a Shishya gets transformed almost every week. Bapu urged that we should never beg for anything from anybody, not even from God.

All that we should ask from God is love, Satsang and purity of mind. A Daas is never competitive and is never jealous of others. A Daas never questions and never doubts the orders of his Guru or Swami.

A Daas has correct and proper understanding. Bapu illustrated the point by telling a story of 3 pupils of Budhha. They were asked to go on a mission on a pain full of thorns. One carefully walked away saving himself and one moved on the side walk. Only Samyak picked up all the thorns making a way safe for himself and others. A spiritually enlightened person saves not only himself but strives to save all in world from discomfort and downfall.

Bapu then explained the Laxans of Doot. Career of Doot has many ups and downs depending upon their principals. Doot is a mere instrument of him who has sent him. He must be careful to preserve the prestige and authority of his master, A Doot has no permanent position, His office disappears as soon as his mission is over.

The self confidence of Angad showed in planting his feet in Ravansabha.

A Doot must be trustworthy; who would never betrays the interests and the intentions of his master. But there are several examples of such betrayals.

In this connection, Bapu emphatically declared that he has no Doot and no agent. All who have work with him should approach him directly and personally. Angad of course is an efficient Doot and seeks no personal prestige or credit. He humbly gives all credit to Ram after fulfilling his mission to Ravansabha.

Because of the most noticeable traits in the character of Angad, his fear and his fickleness prevents him from being a Sthitpragnya.

Bapu then took up the narrative part of Katha and began from where he had left yesterday. The celebration after the birth of Ram lasted for a month which went off like a day. This can be interpreted to mean that once Ram is manifested in our life, we are free from the darkness of Maya.

Bapu mentioned that Shiv and Parvati visits Ayodhya in cognito for Ramdarshan. Shiv went as an astrologer and Parvati went as a seller of toys. The days passed into months and all the children were named by Guru Vashistha each name having a special meaning. In a side remark, Bapu mentioned the dialogue in Mahabharata when Vidur declares that heaven is meant for those who forgive others and for those who feed the guests under all the dire circumstances.

Bapu quickly review the story. Ram and Laxman going with Vishwamitra protecting his Yagna travelling to Gautam Ashram to rehabilitate Ahalya. Ram indicated in his treatment of Tadka and Ahalya that even woman can secure salvation. Vishwamitra with Ram and Laxman arrived at Janakpuri and even Janak –Vairagi charmed by the handsome face features of Ram.

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

Bapu read out a letter that only those who worship the Acharya of their sect will enter Akshardham that is far superior to abode of Ram and Goloka of Krushna.

Bapu commented that such propaganda literature from the sect is very painful for those who love and support Sanatan Dharm, Bapu dared them to downgrade Islam or Christianity. Such vicious attempts and all Akshras would be wiped out in no time. Such sects are short lived and die young. Tulsidas has mentioned many such frauds coming up in Kaliyug. Bapu warned Shrotas to keep away from such sects. They have no Scriptures, no Purans, no Smrutis, no Upanishads, no nothing.

They are quite incapable of the majestic grander of Taitriya Upanishad quoted by Bapu about space (Aakash) being the body (Sharir), Satya and Aanand being the soul and Pran of Brahm. Why waste time over them, all they deserve is contempt and silence.

Turning to the main theme of Katha, Bapu reiterated that Angad is not a Sthitpragnya, he is not a Jivanmukt either. Angad is next to hanuman in Buddhi and in Gyan, but he is lacking in faith- Vishvas. It was in Ravansabha that Angad developed the necessary self confidence [Atmavishwas]. Angad kept on evolving and it is in Uttarkand, almost at the end of Ramayan, that we see a fully developed Angad with full faith and deep love for Ram.

Ram was a lovable personality. He was an embodiment of Prem, Satya, and Karuna. For Jesus, Love was god, Gandhi said, Truth is god, Bapu would feel that Karuna is god.

Bapu pointed out that in modern usage, the word “love” Prem has been devalued a lot. Tulsidasji describes Ram as an embodiment of love. (Ram Hi Keval Prem Piyara) and every character in Ramayana from Dashrath to Kumbhkarna and Indrajit are impressed and attracted to the personality of Ram. Ram felt and communicated to Sita the very essence of love. Love is not a mere physical passion; it is the highest emotional and spiritual experience at its best. Only Buddhpurush can feel and express such love. Such love, by a mere touch can give life and soul to stone. When such a Sadguru expresses his love for his disciple and when we are in the memory of our guru, we have achieved the highest in life. Ramayana is a scripture of love, truth, compassion. Hanuman had experienced such love and therefore he was the only person qualified to carry a message of pure love from Ram to Sita and from Sita to Ram. Those who indulged in physical pleasures can hardly experience or understand love. Only a celibate can feel pure love. Sadhak and Siddhas get some glimpses of love but only Shuddhas can fully feel it. Angad did experience such devotion and love later in his life.

Therefore there are many levels of love. But love is eternal and permanent while infatuation is fickle and temporary. The highest level of love can be felt only by the enlightened and they can spread it amongst their disciples. People argue that the creation begins with lust (Vasanas) for bodies but that is not true. Such lust and passions are perversions of love. (Vikruties) Love is the real content, the important ingredient of creation. Love is Mahamantra. Love is Mahasastra and it is the highest stage of realization. It is love that unites what has been separated. Love takes us nearest to god and links us to togetherness. We very often misuse the word love. Love passes through many stages. It begins with attraction and attachment and the next stage is Sneh which is softness and smoothness leading to Bhav. The third stage is Pranay which yearns for togetherness and which is accompanied by particular gestures and coyness. It is an expression of Mugdhata. Bapu illustrated the concept of Pranay by quoting the conversation while Sita introduces Ram to the simple tribal women by coy gestures and looks. Such devotion, such love is not expressed in gross form, it is expressed in suggestive gestures. Pranay is followed by Raga, the word Raga is also used in a derogatively sense. But Bapu uses the word to mean intense and eternal bond. It is difficult to explain such feeling through words. Bhagvat has mentioned Ragatmika Bhakti of Gopies for Krishna. When the next stage Anurag is reached, one experiences mental and even physical transformation. One feels a pleasant pain, a pain that purifies and makes you a better and more refined person. Anurag is followed by Maan, Maan is quite different from Abhiman. Maan is to feel important and special to your lover. A feeling that you can be teased and can demand special attention from god or your beloved. But such feeling of Maan can be overdone and so god puts you down in a gentle way. Bapu illustrated the point by referring to episode in Raslila depicted in Bhagvat. The next stage in the series is Bhav where love for divine is clearly visible through all limbs of the body- eyes, face, the color of skin, etc.

Bhav is followed by Mahabhav that is almost equivalent to Samadhi and the devotee feels identified with god. It can be seen in Chaitanya, Ramkrushna Paramhans, Turakm etc. The highest stage is Modan- ecstasy when the totality of joy is experienced (Anubhuti). The devotee feels divine and is in constant and continuous communication within. He may appear to be crazy at times even insane. Bapu concluded that all characters in Ramayan experience love for ram but they are in different stages of love. Angad is developing; he is a beginner like us but progresses in Prem diksha.

Bapu discussed the reasons for choice of Angad Rajdoot. The choice was a counter challenge to Ravan. Angad might be nursing grievances - his father was killed by Ram and he himself was deprived of kingship. So Ravan was challenged to exploit the situation, entice Angad and wean him over away from Ramshena

Angad’s mission consisted of two items on agenda. Sita must be freed and returned to Ram, secondly the interest of Ravan should be preserved. Even though Ravan was a hardcore enemy. Ram did not want to completely destroy him. Angad needed no further instructions and he boldly entered in Ravansabha. He was given a standing ovation. He introduced himself as the son of Vali--Ravan’s former friend and his conqueror Angad calls himself a Rajdoot of Ram.

Bapu then picked up the narrative part of Katha. After arriving in Janakpur, Ram and Laxman walked around in the city and made the entire Janakpuri Rammaya. Both brothers visited the garden and the friend of Sita brought Ram and Sita together. The event has been spiritually interpreted that one has to go a garden (Sant Samagam), take a bath (Nirmalta), and worship Gauri (Shraddha). When we are Shraddhavan, a friend (guru) would lead us to the Darshan, if we follow him. Ram heard the musical tingling of ornaments and finally Ram and Sita were face to face and experienced love for each other. Sita prayed to Bhavani to get Ram as a husband. Bapu pointed out that logic is not very relevant to spiritual life. He mentioned saptavedi which is very important part of marriage vows valuable even now. The day ended and next day Ram went to the court of Janak.

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

Declaring that no theme and no character in Ramcharit Manas can ever be totally or exhaustively described or explained, Bapu started with the narrative such a reversal of usual daily order of analysis followed by Katha, was necessary to bring the story down to Angad entering Ravan’s Court.

Bapu while narrating the Katha explained the Spiritual Significance of several important episode. Rama broke the bow in order to get Sita as his wife. Sita is Shakti (Power) for Yogit, Bhakti for the devotees and for those who follow the path of knowledge. Sita is Moksh or Shanti. But Shakti, Bhakti or Shanti cannot be attained or achieved without thoroughly destroying our arrogance (Ahankar). The bow belonged to Shiv who is described as the Ahankar of the Universe. So breaking up and away from arrogance is necessary for spiritual progress.

Ram could succeed in doing what others had failed to do because Ram was accompanied by his Guru, while all others had no Guru to guide and support him.

Parshuram rushed to Ram but he was overpowered. Bidding farewell to all arms, he went for Tap. Angad mentioned the prowess of Ram. All Karmayogis feel the prowess of Ram but Gnanis like Prashuram would feel the Prabhav of Ram while Bhakts would experience his svabhav. Saints and Bhakts are not interested in testing the God, they would feel God as he is (Svabhav).

Bapu told us about the great achievements that follow by understanding the Svabhav of God. He told the story of the Ram Vivah of everybody returning to Ayodhya and Vishwamitra taking his leave of Dashrath.

Bapu narrated the incident when Gusaiji through away the costly gifts of Akbar in River Yamuna and retrieved a large number of such costly gifts. This was the end of Balkand.

In Ayodhya Kand, Bharat proved himself to be a person who is devoted to Ram and receives his Paduka. Ayodhya was ruled by Paduka and only administered by Bharat. Bapu narrated the story of Ram getting shifted from Chitrakoot to Panchvati. He told the story of abduction of Sita, death of Jatayu. In search of Sita, Ram travels to lake Pampa after meeting Shabari. Hanuman meets him, Vali is killed, Hanuman jumps over the ocean, meets Sita and accepts to be arrested. Hanuman is an incarnation of Shiv, who, as Guru of Ravan made one last effort to save Ravan.

Bapu mentioned that in Ramcharit Manas, Angad is always mentioned in constant association of Hanuman, who is his Guru. Thereby, Angad and Ravan both became pupils of Shankar. The Katha reached the point when Angad is selected as Rajdut. Bapu mentioned several qualities of Rajdut. He ought to be intelligent, efficient conversationalist, wise, a realist, speaker of reality, capable in adversity, a scholar, a person with his own Pratibha, Nispruha, Vagmi and aware of various Shastra. Angad was upset because Ram was being abused. He strucks the earth with his hands and Ravan falls on his face. Angad snetched away four of crowns and passed them all to Rama as they represent four royal qualities “Sam, Dam, Dand, Bhed”. Ravan retains six of his crowns representing six passions “Kam, Krodh, Lobh, Dvesh, Moh, Abhiman”.

The war lasted for 31 days and Ravan was killed by 31 arrows – 10 for his heads, 20 for his arms and 1 at the navel.

Vibhishan was crowned. Ram and Sita return to Ayodhya; Ram and Bharat meet in great emotional reunion. Ram was crowned a king establishing thereby Ram Rajya.

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa
Katha 713 - Manas Hanuman Chalisa (part 7), Tampa, Florida 2nd - 10th June 2012
Jo yeh padhe Hanumān Chālisā | Hoi sidhi saakhi Gaurisā ||
Tulsidās sadā hari cherā | Kije naath hriday maha derā ||
जो यह प़ढै हनुमान चालीसा । होय सिद्धि साखी गौरीसा ॥
तुलसी दास सदा हरि चेरा । कीजै नाथ ह्रदय महँ डेरा ॥


Whosoever recites Hanuman Chalisa will be successful, Gaurisa (Bhagwan Shiv) is my witness.
Tulsidas who is forever servant of Hari prays that Bhagwan enshrines in his heart.
 

Bapu began with a very severe introspection, kathor atma parikshn. He raised the question about his own adhikar, and his own competency, patrata, to understand, to interpret and to explain the deeper meaning of and real implications of scriptures – especially Manas which he has been studying and discussing for about 50 years.

He welcomes and appreciates the importance of emotions, shraddhā, and bhāv. Shraddhā and bhāv are very useful but shraddhā should not become andhshraddhā and bhāv should not be adoration of a person. Bapu now wants to lift his shrotās to a higher level and he is now waiting for at least one shrotā who would understand him critically and accept his opinions only after a rational and logical analysis. Do not go only by emotions, use your reasoning and your own intellect.

That is why Bapu has turned to Hanuman for the seventh time and named this Katha as Manas Hanuman Chalisa bhag saat. Hanuman is buddhi matam varishtam and gyani nām agraganyam. Hanuman combines shraddhā and buddhi in a proper balance and Bapu wants us to follow this example and combine shraddā with buddhi.

Hanuman Chalisa would be presented on the basis of Manas at a higher level. This is not a mere Hanuman Katha and Bapu would explain Hanuman as a tatva. He then chose the four lines out of the forty lines of Chalisa – as 1/10 of the total – as the essence of it all, as the sārtatva which are very well known to the audience. Bapu agreed that he is now devoting more and more time to discussion of tatva. He again and again advised us to think for ourselves and referred to Ganesh who would not write a word of Mahabharat dictated by Vyas without understanding. If a sholka was difficult, Ganesh would take the time to understand it first and then write.

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

Bapu answered two questions. Bapu had defined dharma as a behavior according to our svbāv. The question was: My nature is full of krodh, kama, and īrshā, passions, anger, and jealousy. Would this also be my dharma?

Bapu explained that your svbāv is something which is permanent and unchanging. Your anger, passion, and jealousy come and go; they are not a permanent part of your nature. Our normal svbāv is happiness. We all have an illusion about existence. We all feel that 'I am'. It would be best if we can drop "I" and only exist, but to remove "I", to be free from “I-ness” is very difficult. And therefore Bapu gave the example of Ram whose svbāv was always joyful and obliging, so Rama was dharma as a person, dharma that was personified – ramovigrahavāndhrama.

Bapu said that all the evils, like ghamand, to be arrogant, and to be jealous is the outcome of idiocy, mudta. But be guided your real svbāvnot by impermanentvrutis.

The second was not a question but a statement of a problem: I feel sleepy in katha. Bapu said in his katha, there are no rules and there are no restrictions. If you feel sleepy, go to sleep. But please remember that such sleepiness is a sign of tamsīprkrutibeing more powerful. In such a situation, your stvais covered up and overshadowed.

Bapu then resumed his discussion about Hanuman being everywhere and he quoted references from RamcharitraManas. Hanuman always stayed behind whenever there was a group, so Hanuman is behind us. But whenever there was work to be done, or any mission to be carried out, Hanuman would be at the forefront, thus Hanuman is also in front of us. Bapu gave the example that Hanuman is also in the middle whenever it is necessary. He was the middle man between Rama and Sugriva, between Rama and Vibhishana and between Rama and Bharata. In Valmiki, Hanuman is sent by Rama with a message of his arrival. He was also the middle person who brought and gave the messages between Rama and Sita, Rama and Bharata. He is a messenger. In the Arabic language, message is known as pegham, so Hanuman is also known as peghambar.

In all the temples of Gujarat and North India Hanuman faces South, but in all Southern temples, Hanuman faces North. So he is on your left and on your right too. Hanuman is everywhere. He is pavanputra; he can moves in all directions. Hanuman jumps to the sky, thus he is his above us all. To kill Hiravana, he visited Patara and was underneath us. In Mahabharata, he sits in the flag of Arjun which is known as kapidvaja. Hanuman holds no office, but he controls all centers of power.

Bapu quoted Chalisa and interpreted it in quite a different way. Bapu said that by Hanumantjaap, we can be free from disease and free from all pain. Hanuman is a great dispenser of medicines and brought special medicine for Lakshmana but he also consulted a doctor. Our faith in Hanuman is very limited, so when we are sick we should also consult doctors and take medicine accordingly. But Hanumantjaap is very effective for mental sickness and spiritual malice. Hanuman is a psychotherapist as we can see by the way in which he informs Rama about his seeing Sita by using the word drustafirst and Sita later on.

Images and idols of Hanuman inspires us and gives us peace of mind. Spiritual experiences makes us nish-kama (devoid of desires) but bhaktascan turn even God into sa-kama as was done by the Gopis in RaasLeela. Our scriptures, especially the Bhagvad, are great literary creations. A poet may reject realities of life but he ought to have poetic imagination and a charming presentation. Literature satisfies our cravings for impossible experiences. Bapu appealed to the audience to recite Hanuman Chalisa without any petty demands and expectations. Chalisa is not a tool (sādhan) for getting things. It is a sadya by itself and if you recite it without expectations you will get unlimited blessings. Hanuman Chalisa would help us to control our anger and our passions but such things cannot be done for strict controls. What force could never do, can be done by love. But when ideas turn into institutions there are problems and struggles. That is why Bapu believes in being neither a Guru, nor a chela. Even the best of persons have to face calamities and false allegations. Vashista was charged with cannibalism and Krishna was denounced for theft of Semantakmani by several persons including Akrura.

Bapu does not believe in ghost and goblins and for him bhoot is past and pretis future. A person would be free from past and future when he is recognized and accepted by Mahavir, But who is a Mahavir? Bapu quoted Vallabhacharya to say that he who has conquered pride, conquered passions and conquered jealousy is a Mahavir. Hanuman is so great and so strong but he prefers to sit at the feet of Rama.

Bapu was very happy that scholars have described Hinduism not as a religion but as a way of life because Hinduism teaches unity of bhāv (bhāvadwet), unity of action (kriyadwet) and monism of nothingness (kevaladwet). Hanuman, being an incarnation of Shiva, always works for the good of others. His tail is an emblem of shraddhā. He did not burn the houses in Lanka, but incited dormant shraddhā in every home.

Bapu pointed out that a mere cursory reading is not enough to understand a book, it takes a prolonged tap to understand the essence of scriptures. That is why we put pothi on our head and we take out books on pothiyatras. Bapu quoted Gita to say that scriptures are not meant for easy goers (atapskāya), for those who are not bhakts, or for those who do not want to listen.

Bapu reminded us about great writers like Bholabhai Patel, Tagore and Vinoba. Bapu then turned to Manas and explained all the great importance of nāmjap. Bapu explained in great details and with great emphasis that continuous and conscious recitation of name of any God we believe in or even of any person whom we love, would produce great and miraculous changes in our life. Nāmjap helps us in facing all the problems in life. Nām jap turns poison into amrut and helps us to patiently suffer all the travails in life. God is known by millions of names but each name is conferred by God and everybody loves his own name. There is no restriction in choice of nām because religion is freedom, not confinement or bondage.

Jai Siya Ram.

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

The number three is an auspicious number. The third day of Ram Katha was a day of discussion and dancing, a day for meditation and music and puzzles. Dancing and music can be experienced but can be neither described nor translated.

Bapu said that continuous, deep and intense avlokan or darshan shāstras and nāmjap, gets ingrained in the person. He have examples of Bādshah Rama whose every body part spoke out “Ram, Ram” and of Gangeshwaranandji who was a walking encyclopedia of Vedas. Such Gurus are flowing rivers and cannot be diverted or manipulated by people around them. They flow in their own way.

Tulsidas, in Hanuman Chalisa, has given a long list of what you can get by reciting pāth of Hanuman Chalisa, but he himself demanded nothing. His only request was that Hanuman with Rama within his chest should live in his heart. For such spiritual progress we need a Guru, a guide, who is absolutely necessary.

Bapu picked up a few letters and was very, very happy that the writer was able to control his anger, krodha, by regular attendance at Bapu’s Kathas and his daughter was one step more advanced than her father. He wanted to totally destroy his krodha and his kama. But Bapu advised him not to be totally free from kama and krodha. A little kama and krodha would continue so long as we are alive. Only a dead person can be totally free from kama and krodha. Bapu again explained that svbāv was as natural as a flow of the river, as the shining of the sun or the ripening of fruits. So be true to yourself, to your own niijta.

Bapu then raises the question about the name and the family of Hanuman who is know by several names in the Manas. Mahavir himself has told Bharat at Nandigrām that his personal name was Hanuman, whose mother was Anjana and his grandmother, on the maternal side, was Ahalya. Bapu referred to the story of Ahalya as told by Valmiki and expressed his desire to do a Katha on Manas Ramayana. Bapu pointed out that in Hanman Chalisa, the name Hanuman is used only in four places and this has a significance that Bapu will explain later.

Bapu then referred to nāmjap. Nāmjap is very important because name is the most important part of a personality. Nām is the only way to grasp and understand roop and by doing jap for a long time and with proper devotion, we would realize our own svroop. And then, what is within us will emerge before our eyes in a concrete form. By doing jāp for a long time, Bapu could concretize Hanuman in the form of an idol that he had experienced within himself.

Such ātmadarshan requires constant efforts. Bapu mentioned Mahatma Gandhi, whose goal in life was ātmadarshan and he experimented in a variety of ways and activities in political, educational, social, spiritual, economical, and medical fields and in his own life style. In this connection, Bapu mentioned several other celebrities and stalwarts of the Gandhian era during his lifetime. He deeply regretted that the netas of today have fallen to a very low level of stature in comparison to the leaders of those days.

Bapu traced the development further from nām to roop to svroop leading to samādhi and the cycle begins again. Nām, roop, svroop, samādhi, nām. This completes the circle and the yatrā goes on and on.

This happens in the life of even the best and Krishna also does nāmjap after attending the highest achievement.

Bapu referred to the War in Mahabarat and Krishna in control of the situation with a whip in his hands, and the reins of the horses of Arjun’s chariot. But the best horses in Mahabharat belonged to Vamdeva. King Sal cheated Vamdeva, borrowed his horses and insulted him.

Bapu returned to the War in Mahabarat and to Gita. But surprising Gita begins with blindness, personified by Dhutrashta. Bapu pointed out that as Krishna is Giridhari for lifting Govardhan, and so is Hanuman. Both Krishna and Hanuman are Giridhari because both lifted mountains.

Bapu narrated at length the visit of Krishna to Duryodhan as a last attempt for peaceful settlement. But he was insulted and showed his Virath Svroop to the Kouravas. On this occasion, Krishna rejected the hospitality of Kouravas and chose to stay and eat at the humble home of Vidhur. Bapu advised us to choose simple, humble, loving host, rather than comfortable luxury of the rich and the powerful who are arrogant. Bapu described five types of relationships – business relation, social relations, blood relations, quality relation and the fifth and best type, spiritual relationships. Spiritual relations are based on love and Bapu quoted Bhakit Sutra of Narad as a definition and explanation for the nature of love.

Krishna, while leaving Duryodhan’s darbar, chose Karna as his escort and tried to persuade him to change over to Pandavas. But Karna proved himself to be a superior and wiser person in his choice. Ending the discussion of Mahabharat, Bapu pointed out that in war between Ram-Ravana all the moral rules of warfare were observed by both the sides, while in Mahabharat War all the rules were neglected and violated.

Bapu returned to the cycle of nām – roop – svroop – samādhi – nām and described three types of shrotās as described in Manas. Shortās are compared to village, town and city – or satvaguni, rajoguni, and tamoguni. For satvaguni, or village shrotās, nām is the beginning of first step to roop, svroop and samādhi.

For a rajoguni shrotās, he is more interested in his own name (nām). It leads to sangya, to fame, as nām pahechan. Then to nām-vhepar where our name is the basis of business and power. Such a person has intense desire for getting known or nām kāmna.

For a tamoguni shrotā, his name should be an authority and an assertion; other names ought to be wiped out and destroyed. This leads to arrogance and self praise, nām-badāi, and finally to nām-nāsh or total destruction.

In this connection, Bapu defined samādhi of sadhu as one who does not create any disturbance (upādhi) for others. Bapu narrated his own experience of smelling good (sugandha) from the samādhis of saints in Saurashtra. Bapu ended the discussion by insisting that nām jap should be done truthfully (satya) for self, with love (prem) for others and with compassion (krupa) for all. This would be the best way of defining sastras that are undefinable.

He then picked up the question he had left aside: Is Rama a symbol of truth in Ramayana? Bapu very emphatically and with some pain in his voice totally rejected the theory of symbolism in Ramayana. Rama, Lakshman, Sita and Hanuman are not mere symbols, they are real persons and living personalities. Symbolism, is defined in Sankhya as a representation of one who is not present or real. He quoted definition of pratik from Sankhya, Ram is real and eminent. He is not a symbol; he is here, there and everywhere, as real as anything else although we may not be able to see him. The sun does exist even if the owl is not able to see or feel it.

Jai Siya Ram

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

Bapu’s katha is always a free flowing river and Bapu himself does not know how and where his katha will flow because his katha is not arranged (gothvaieli nathi) but is inspired (mokleli che). Yesterday the flow was rambling over vast and varied regions. Yesterday was a postal day and Bapu answered lots of questions from many writers. First was: Why was it that Tulsidas made a personal request to Hanuman but a general request to Rama to reside in the heart of bhakts. Bapu explained that Hanuman is a permanent dās, a kaayamidās, of Rama, while our dāsbhāv is impermanent. Hanuman loves and respects the entire family of Rama but his devotion is focused permanently and exclusively for Rama. There is no space for anyone or anything else in his heart. Bapu referred to Vaisnav tradition of devotion to only a part of the body, usually the feet (charana), but it can be eyes, it can be arms, it can be only the face. Bhakti is so intense and pointed that cannot be spread over the entire body.

Bapu quoted Tulsidas to say that a good shrotā ought be panchguni – sumati, sushila, suchi (pure), katha rasikar (interested in katha) and a bhakt, a haridās. Sumati implies a shrotā is intelligent and is devoted to goodness. Sushila implies that a shrotā is of good character.

Bapu further explained that character (shila) is located in the eyes, ears, and tongue of a person. It can be expressed by the way in which a person looks at others, the way in which he speaks to and about others and by the types of things he enjoys listening. We get upset if neighbors throw garbage in our driveway so why should we spoil our ears by listening to evil thing about others? Bapu, during katha, clears out all such garbage but we go out and collect new and fresh heaps of garbage again and again. Shila can be judged even by the way one walks. Gangasati has advised that such shilavān sadhus deserve all our respect. Shila is a tremendous moral force. Hanuman has both bal and shila. He has both the physical strength and moral authority.

Devotion to the physical side of our beloved may often lead to strange experiences. Sita was devoted to the bottom side of the feet of Ram wile Krishna loved to caress the bottom side of the feet of Radha. Krishna, said Bapu, is gnyan svroop while Radha is bhakti svroop. Gnyan gets fulfilled only when it serves bhakti. Krishna as gnyan svroop is without mādhuria, he is often called the enemy of madhur and in order to get some mādhuria, he requested Radha to give him a passionate and intense kiss, sushta chumbetam. Krishna argued that if he secures such sweetness, he will spread it all over the world through his flute.

Radha is the alhadini shakti of Krishna and as Bapu said, that mere gnyan without prem is a rudderless boat without a sailor. Mere gnyan, like such a boat will never reach its destination.

Bapu pointed out that in Manas, different areas are associated with different leelas of Rama. Ayodhya is his sanskar leela, Mithila is his shungār leela, Chitrakoot is his vihaar leela and Lanka is his samhār leela. Tulsidas has given a long and detailed description of Ram’s wedding and also Ram-Rāvana War. Bapu in this connection described various marriage customs and rites that still prevail in Mithila. Bapu compared the marriage of Ram-Sita with Krishna-Rukhmani’s wedding. Rukhmani was much more bold in expressing her desires, while Sita was more bashful.

Bapu declared that he is so engrossed in Manas that he is never able to say all that he wants to say and he is still explaining only the preface, bhumika, while the real story is yet to begin.

Bapu took up the next question and advised that Ramayana paath should be done without disturbing others in the family.

Bapu was asked to explain the concepts of āstha shiddhi and nav nidhi. He said that for him, siddhis means shuddhis and therefore 8 types of shuddhi, clear body, clear mind, clear chitta, etc. are aastha siddhis. Navnidhis, for him, are the nine types of bhakti. Navdha bhakti as described in the Bhagvat. Bapu considers that a clean, normal and simple life is the best bhajan for us. When we are told that Guru would fulfill all our kāmnas, he understands that sadguru would take all our kāmnas to perfection where kāmnas end by themselves because perfection (purnata) is the end (nāsh) of all cravings.

There was a question about being cursed by an angry tapasvee. Bapu drew a distinction between a shāp and a shrāp. The word is often used in the sense of abuse. Bapu rejects the idea of curse, shrāp. how could a tapasvee ever curse anybody? A tapasvee is one who has mastered his anger and therefore he can never get angry.

Bapu then tried a novel method of writing the name of Hanuman and explained the meaning of each letter in the name. “Ha” stands for positive approach and positive attitude to life. But as adviser (sachiv), a guru and a doctor (vaid) should he be ready to refuse, to be negative otherwise the kingdom, the soul and the body would suffer. “Nu” stands for negativity. What is not good should be rejected with vivek and politeness but very firmly. “Ma” is mānprad who respects and honors all who deserve respect. The last “n” stands for nrmatā or humbleness. A great mind like Hanuman is always strong and humble. Hanuman gives respect to everybody.

Bapu quoted Vinay Patrika to explain the meaning of Mahavir. Mahavir is one who is respected and worshipped by all people. But Bapu gave a warning that Hanuman should be worshipped in his soumya form and not in the bhishana forms described in bhaivatantra and others tantrik texts.

Bapu said that Hanuman Chalisa is the first such Chalisa and was then followed by several other Chalisas. In this connection, Bapu classified nine types of leaders, netas, - symbolic leaders, intellectual leaders political and administrative officers, social reformers and activists, leaders who are elected or selected by people and finally the despotic leaders who use violence to capture leadership.

Bapu added two more types: religious leaders and spiritual leadership. Hanuman is a spiritual leader par excellence, a spiritual leader at his best. Hanuman is charming, a reformer, a supporter of truth, he rules over his group, he is humble with Ram and he is assertive with Rāvana.

Bapu explained that the best way to worship Hanuman is to anoint him, not with oil, but with love (sneh) and to clothe him, not with sutras, but with gnyan sutras. Let us study and understand scriptures and other texts in the presence of Hanumana. Mahavir is one whose worship will purify us and he should be worshipped with full and unflinching devotion (ek nishtha). Nishtha and sharanagti is always one time and to one person only. Changing nistha or wavering, unsteady nishtha is absolutely useless.

Mahavir is pavanputra and as such he is everywhere. He has to be worshipped by everybody because nobody can exist without air. So Hanuman is everywhere touching us and entering our bodies. Though we cannot see him, we can experience him. Mahavir is guru svroop just as Lakshman is jagruti svroop. And Sita is kshama svroop. Hanuman rejects animal sacrifice (bali). He does not need blood but only requires renunciation (virakti) because puja without love is a futile labor (shram). Ram also needs nothing and expects nothing except our love.

Bapu then narrated eight reasons of sankhya when we cannot see the existing things and when my home use pratik. Ram is not a not a pratik, Hanuman is not a pratik but a life giving vital force.

Bapu then narrated Shiv Katha and mentioned three types of shrotās. Āyojaks who organized katha, ālochaks who criticize even the best and āsvadaks who really enjoy katha.

While narrating Shiv katha. Bapu pointed out that the holiest laces in India - Himalaya, Ganga and Kashi are āghipuān of Shiv. He said that God is not a subject for intellectual or logical analysis. Everything happens as desired by God but we can reach God only by pure means, sādhan-shuddi.

Jai Siya Ram

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

Bapu expressed his great happiness about the sahitya sangoshti and congratulated Shri Balwantbhai Jani, Shri Sumanbhai Shah and the venerable Shri Gautambhai Patel for the excellent and scholarly presentations. Bapu compared the program to a musical symphony which blends loka sangeeta, suman sangeet and shastriya sangeet. Bapu was immensely happy.

Bapu then turned to katha. For him, katha is a samvād—a dialogue for understanding hanumant tatva. Nothing, not even a pāth of Hanuman Chalisa is compulsory and nothing would be imposed on anybody. Bapu quoted Narad to say that we should hear and think only about what is proper to be heard (shrotavaya) and proper to be thought about. There are many ugly things and ugly persons in this world, but we should focus on only the best and overlook petty things. He mentioned Esardān-ji who was so absorbed in writing that he was unaware about the absence of salt in his food.

Bapu advised young shrotās to read all the great literature but most especially poetry which has a motherly approach for all of us. Bapu said that his vyās gādi is also his pyās gādi. His sādhan for eternal search for the supreme. For Bapu, searching is far more pleasant than getting because travelling is more thrilling than arriving.

Bapu replied to a query as to why Hanuman is a vānar. Hanuman is Shiva who became a monkey because Brahma had ordered all the gods to be monkeys. Monkeys have an advantage. They can sit on trees, which is higher than even Rama. And from this position on the tree, he can always have a better darshan of Rama. There are no distinctions once you reach the peak of spiritual progress.

Physical life, our bodies, has its own craving and its own necessities that crave for several things, but our goal is to progress from sharir-anand to Brahm-anand. This can happen only if prem reigns supreme over the world and all rules, regulations, ceremonies, rituals and restrictions are discarded and thrown in a dungeon. Raise your arms not to strike but to embrace.

Bapu cited the examples of a Sufi saint Ballusha whose follower was beaten up because he chose to be a Muslim rather than Insān. We should strive to become first and above all a true human being. Bapu wondered if there was any existence of heaven or hell. He said that the presence of a good man is heaven and presence of evil is hell. Bapu advised us to avoid violence in all situations, even in the case of an attack. We should never be first to strike. Tolerate evil things and even abuses as long as you can. Krishna tolerated Shishupal and all his abuses for a long time before striking him down.

Tulsidas has great empathy for the poor and the downtrodden and uses the words garib nawaaz many times. Bapu says, aishwariya of Ram consists of his great love the lower, downtrodden, poor people. Ram was very straightforward (sarala), very strong (subala) and very good natured (saral svabhāva). He was always contented (santoshi), a sāhil, a sāhib and raghurāj.

Bapu quoted a Gujarati idiom "katha suni suni futya kān" and inverted its meaning to say that it is only by listening to katha again and again, that we develop our ability to hear.

Bapu then allotted months of the year to navda bhakti. Two months each to shravan and kirtan and the rest of the months to various types and stages of bhakti leading ultimately to atman nivedhan.

Bapu then turned to Hanuman Chalisa that declares that Hanumant tatva cures all diseases and removes all the pains (peeda) and aches. Each disease has its own pain and only by curing the disease can we give relief to patients. Tulsidās has described several natural diseases with physical symptoms produced by vāt, pith, and kaf. Anger is comparable to pith and Bapu advised us that the best way to control anger is to see our face in the mirror whenever we are angry. Pāth of Hanuman Chalisa helps in several mental diseases and in lessening our sufferings (peeda).

Bapu mentioned a writer from Kachha who writes very brief stories that tell messages. Bapu narrated some of these stories. We should try to get rid of all sufferings (peeda) but we should never try to give up empathy for others (peeda padai) who are suffering. In this connection, he sang Vaishnava Jana To, the favorite hymn of Gandhi. Bapu described several diseases both physical and mental. Bapu then mentioned that Tulsidās has suggested a remedy for disease that he calls bhavroga. We should find a sadguru who would be our physician (vaida) and trust (vishvās) his diagnosis. Ram bhakti is the medicine and shraddha is the anu pān to make the medicine more effective. Physical diseases are described as mental sicknesses that can be cured by devotion to Hanumant tatva.

But the most important condition is to find a sadguru. Bapu quoted Rumi to say that the devil has sent his agents who pose as dharma gurus but who block and misguide people by drawing a curtain to keep people away from truth. Only a sadguru as described by Kabir can help us out of all such troubles. Kabir has laid down several qualifications for a sadguru. Bapu quoted Gita to say that even the best amongst us need to purify ourselves by yagna, tapa and dān. Bapu said that satya is a great tapasya while prem is dān and s best of all donations while karuna is yagna. Such purification is easy if we cultivate satsang. A sadguru may completely transform our life to such an extent that he may feel dead and are reborn with all our past life destroyed.

Bapu pointed out that the spiritual path is a lonely path and not many people would choose it. He quoted Voltaire to say thinkers are always very explosive in their thinking. Self purification is the best and most effective way. Bapu narrated a parable of the two groups of painters--one who used to work hard on material paintings while the other group cleaned the wall and made it reflective of the original. The image of God is reflected far better in our hearts if our hearts are pure and simple (sarala). Bapu advised us to appreciate the capacities and qualities of all others and not to be jealous of them.

Bapu then turned to narration of katha. He said Ravana is an incarnation as much as Rama is but he misused his siddhis. The narration ended with Ram Janma festivities.

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

Bapu started by clarifying that his katha is not a sermon (updesh) neither is it any directive or commandment (andhesh) it is only a dialogue. It has no purpose, it has no goal except to understand the reality. He reverted to the discussion of pain and pointed out that every disease has a peculiar pain of its own. All pains can be overcome by continuous jāp, which should become as effortless as breathing.

He referred to the discussion of dukh as the only fact in Buddhism, and also in Bhagvad. Bapu spoke about dukh (misery) the cause of dukh, the remedy of dukh and freedom from dukh (mukti). Bapu does not accept this approach because if there is dukh in the world, there is also sukh (happiness). How can a world created by God be ugly and miserable? This world is beautiful and full of happiness.

Nature is beautiful; human life is full of happiness and charm. He referred to Krishna forgetting to blow in his flute when he saw the beauty of Radha. He said beauty depends on the eye of the beholder. An eye can venerate, an eye can inflict a wound and an eye can beg. We need a sadguru to cultivate a proper eyesight and he quoted Rumi's description of a sadguru which is similar to Vaishnav by Narsinh. One intensely misses a sadguru and in his absence, one feels a void which is different from shanti (inner peace). We need continuous smran and firm, unshaken faith (dradhashray) in guru to feel him around us. Bapu mentioned how Amir Khusbu could smell his guru from very great distances.

Dukh and sukh depends upon our view point, depends on our eyes. He quoted Nanak, Kabir and Tulsi who say that they have felt immense happiness (parāmsukh, purasukh).

So our vision of sukh and dukh should shift according to our understanding. Divine grace is ever flowing on and fills up the pot holes along the way before flowing onwards. Let us fill up all such pot holes in the lives of others who are less fortunate.

Bapu then further analyzed the causes of peeda (dukh). He said that the lack of material comforts can be one reason. Another reason is absence of necessary resources. It can be the result of one man’s jealousy arising out of competitiveness. It can also be the outcome of our hatreds and our contempt for others. Dukh can be caused by our own nature (svbhāv).

We should not try to crush or destroy our svbāv but shape it by satsang and by close contact with sants. In this connection, he mentioned how contact with ShrimadRamchandra changed the very lifestyle of Gandhi. We should pray to God to put us in touch with a person whom God loves and if we have such a contact, then there is no need of God for us.

A sadguru is like a mother for us. In fact, a guru is even better than a mother; a mother puts us to sleep whereas a guru wakes us up to the ultimate reality.

Bapu presented out the tremendously important role that a mother plays in our lives. He said earlier incarnations of God had no mothers and therefore are not worshipped. Ram and Krishna both had mothers and therefore are worshipped. He then gave a detailed and very charming analysis of Meghani's song of a sailor's wife and he was happy that immense literature has grown up around mothers and around motherhood.

Bapu returned to the concept of dukh and said we need not contemplate only about dukh. We are the children of ānand and we are destined to get sukh. In fact, sukh is our birthright and get it we shall.

Bapu said that sukh and dukh are relative terms and by changing our concepts and our approach, even Hell can be converted into Heaven. Let us pick up the good and the truth from wherever we got it. If we find a jewel in the mud, we should pick it up, clean it and use it. We should learn to accept every situation and every aspect of life. All arts are oriented to find destination and cultivation of music, literature, painting, dancing and every such activity.

Bapu said that he is happy with his own svbāv. He has no complaints with life. The only thing which gives him great joy is the company of sant. If we can cultivate the svbāv of saints, we need nothing else. That is why Tulsidas again and again demands the unshakable devotion of God and appeals to God to overlook his deficiencies and demerits.

Bapu was asked where is the goal of your life. Bapu said I have no goal, I just want to flow and keep flowing. I do not want moksha, svarg, gnyan or darshan. He just wants to enjoy. He said he has experienced great and true love from children. He said childhood is satyuug. When you are an adult you live in tretayuug. As you age, you enter dwvāpar and most of the people in old age become as troublesome as kalyuug because they demand too much and lose their temper on petty occasions. That is why Vinoba used to say that only kids are pure and sucche, others are raw (kucche). Out of 24 gurus of Tattraya, a child is one of them.

In Bapu's opinion, the only perfect remedy to be free from pain is to contemplate on the life and mission of Hanuman tatva and to continuously recite his name. Verbal recitation has great potency because words has all the qualities of mahabhoots. Each has a form and a luster of its own. But the key to feel and understand words is with the guru.

But we should be careful about choosing a guru. A false guru can be a killer. He can cheat and misguide and exploit us. Rumi has spoken at length about guru. A guru is much more vast than an ocean and the earth because guru is limitless. A guru is continuously in ecstasy, not of drugs but of the divine. A guru is an emperor (shahenshah) in tatters (santhara). He is a treasure trove (khajana) open to all and approachable to all.

A guru has no form because a guru is not a person, he is a vrutti (an approach). Guru has no form because guru is only a concept (vichaar) and guru helps us in understanding and accepting truth from wherever we get it.

We should cultivate discrimination (vivek) by which we can have a balanced approach and become indifferent to either sukh or dukh.

Bapu made a personal statement and said that his experiences in life have taught him that there is a balance, an equipoise between sukh and dukh. We get as much happiness as unhappiness however we emphasize our dukhs. Like a society of blind people, we cannot see our happiness and if there is a one-eyed man in a society of blind people, he would be forced to become totally blind because nobody would understand what eyesight is or what an eye is. Bapu regretted that very often we are blinded by so called religions and religious leaders. We often seek out misery in the midst of happiness by yearning for what is not there instead of enjoying what we have. That is why the Gita places great emphasis on samatva or equipoise.

Bapu then turned to katha after the birth of Ram and told funny stories about Shiva and Parvati getting darshan of Ram by passing as an astrologer and a toy vendor. Bapu explained the statement that day was prolonged to a months in Ayodhya. Bapu said yesterday is gone and tomorrow is unknown so enjoy today and live in today. It is today that is joy and that is truth. Seeking such truth should be the purpose of all our activities.

Jai Siya Ram

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

A question was asked: Why is it that mānas is to be told, sung and listened to, while chālisā is to be read and recited (pāth). Bapu explained that mānas is a charitra, a biography, that is required to be told and listened to and to be approved, but the chālisā contains only a few elements of the biography. Chālisā is mostly a commentary, a text, and a vision which will need careful reading (padnā) and repeated reciting (pāth). Sundarkānd is a bhashya of mānas and chālisā is bhashya on Sundarkānd.

The vision of chālisā is universal, it is for all, not only for Hindus or Indians. Hanuman is an ocean, he is not the Indian ocean or the Arabian sea, he is an ocean of thoughts (vichār sāgar). As pavan putra, he is like air, he is for everybody; he is universal. Hanumant tattva is needed for several sādhanās as it implies breathing and harmony.

Bapu classified three personalities. Some are tan jeevi, who are concerned only with body and physical pleasures –eat, drink and be merry. They are only concerned with food, sleep and sex. Some are vachan jeevi, who are devoted to a word or a concept. Bapu cited the example of Jogidas Khuman, an outlaw, though Bapu does not support any lawlessness or any criminal. There are people who by their very nature are cunning. The third category is mann jeevi—these are people who are guided by mental approaches and who act according to their nature. Bapu extolled such a life as a life lived according to vivek (discrimination) because mind is an attribute, a vibhuti of God. Some people are buddhi jeevi or intellectuals. Some are chitta jeevi, who lead spiritual lives. Some are arrogant (ahankar jeevi). There are people who are shram jeevi or workers and karma yogis. Bapu mentioned Bulesha who had no guru but achieved siddhis by self-efforts. When he went to see his guru, he found him working as a laborer in the fields. Bulesha plucked mangoes by his mental force but was rebuked for diverting attention from the Divine to do mundane things. Some are bhāv jeevi, living by emotional attachment and some are dhirga jeevi who live a long life.

Chālisā gives darshan of all such various personalities in one: Hanumān. Hanumān is tann jeevi because he became a monkey to please Rām and adopted a life of servitude (dāstava). He keeps his promises (vachan jeevi), he is intellectual (buddhi jeevi). He is a yogi and therefore a chitta jeevi. In short, Hanumān is all and all inclusive. Through Hanumān, we can approach Rām and by devotion to Hanumān, we can achieve proficiency in all arts and crafts. Hanumān is pavan putra and as air, Hanumant tattva purifies everyone and everything. Bapu advised that for the gift of oratory, we should turn to Hanuman instead of Kali because Kali gifts the oratory that can kill rather than save the listeners.

Bapu discarded the traditional belief that women cannot worship Hanuman or cannot sing chālisā. Bapu has campaigned against such a belief and now several women do worship Hanuman. Bapu always rejects all traditions supported by andha shraddhā.

While all Gods reside in heaven, Hanuman was ordered to stay on the earth when Rām returned to his swadhām. Hanuman is of Earth and he is our constant companion because he is our breathing.

Hanuman is humble and has described himself as insignificant, as a mere animal (pashu) and sensual (kāmi). But in a sense, Hanumān is ahankār vādi. The word ahankār has two meanings: ahankār is arrogance and ahankār is our being conscious of self. In this sense Shiva has been described as the ahankār (conscience) of the universe and since Hanuman is an incarnation of Shiva, he is ahankār vādi – as conscious of his asmitā (selfness).

Bapu very vividly described the incident of Hanuman carrying the mountain with the medicinal plant, sanjivani, and Bharat shot him down. Bharat never did anything without consulting the pādukā of Rām. But this time being very late night, he did not want to disturb Rām. But Sitā did advise Bharat to shoot with a blunt arrow and shoot at his feet, not the heart of Hanumān.

Hanumān, while falling down, handed over the mountain to his father, vāyu who held it aloft. This is an allegorical way of saying that Hanumān is willing to lift up all the burdens of life and give relief to his bhakts. Hanumān is an ananya (eternal, unchanging) devotee of Rām. He is not an opportunist (avsar vādi) like several other devotees. Bapu declared Tulsidās as an expert psychologist who knows that dreams are our suppressed desires and yearnings. That is why Tulsidās often mentions dreams to testify to the purity and steadfastness of faith. It is in dreams that reveal our true selves.

Hanuman is a holistic personality because he is inclusive of all the different human personalities. He represents life and as such Hanumān helps us in getting a jivan darshan. Chālisā is a darshan one must everyday read and recite Hanumān Chālisā because Hanumān is sarva svaroop (inclusive of all forms & types of life). Chālisa is not merely an art of living, but an art of loving and an art of dying. Chālisa should be recited often, again and again. Chālisa is a permanent and panoramic view of life.

From analysing dukha (pain), Bapu passed on to the analysis of sukha (happiness). He referred to Buddha’s vision of giving primacy to dukha and mentioned that birth, death, old age and sickness as major forms of dukha. But the same occasions and situations can be viewed from a positive side. Birth is an occasion of intense pain for the mother and the child. However, the mother is immensely happy in giving birth to a baby and the newborn enjoys the gift of new life, a new consciousness (chetnā). If birth was dukha, nobody would celebrate birthdays. We celebrate because we enjoy birth. Death is a deliverance from all cares and responsibilities. Death is a certainty—it is unavoidable and why mourn for the inevitable? But it requires a lifelong sādhana to welcome and enjoy death. He mentioned the custom in his sadhu community when the dead is taken to crematoriums with music and kirtan.

Old age certainly involves weakness and several diseases, but if we lead our life properly, old age is venerable. The elderly are respected and if you cultivate detachment, old age gives you a dignity of its own. A wise old man is the source of information, advice and guidance for all. Sickness (vyādi) produces discomfort but it is not dukh. Bapu quoted Kripā Shankar Shāstri to say that rog and vyādi are companions of Shiva. A disease can become an austerity (tap) and produces a new energy. But such austerities should not be torturous and tāmsi.

He asserted that basically we are all entitled to happiness because we are a particle (ānsha) of God, who is ānand svroop. We should seek happiness in every situation and every condition of life. Even misery (gam) has joy of its own for sukhis and sants.

The cause of sukh, said Bapu, is our relationship with God and happiness is in our own hands but we do not see it or seek it. The source of happiness is to get devoted to Hanuman tatva as chālisā advises us to get sukh from Hanuman by reading shāstras and by enjoying all arts and by bhakti.

Sukh leads to mukti, salvation. It takes us beyond all dualities. There is no sukh which can equal the satsang or association with saintly persons. Every situation in life can be a source of sukh. He referred to a song of Narsinh advising us to disregard both sukh and dukh.

Somebody asked Bapu about end of the world in 2012 and Bapu rejected and even ridiculed this belief. He advised his shrotās to be free from fear.

Bapu then turned to katha and narrated various ceremonies in Ayodha like naming and thread and schooling. Bapu expressed his wish to be free from enmity. We should not hate anyone because we all are related. Ram and Lakshman went with Vishwamitra to destroy evil, to protect yagna and to rouse Ahalya to life once again. Ram then arrived at Janakpura.

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

A question was asked and an important issue was raised. Is it possible to love all at every time and everywhere? If yes, how can this be done? What are the way and methods?

Bapu’s answer was an assertive yes. Yes, it is possible to love all. If we understand and use the word love properly. Love is not a selfish, limited feeling for getting something or for gaining an advantage. Love is multidimensional and can be expressed in several ways. For example, to serve the old and the sick and disabled is love. To extend sneh for those who are younger or lower than us, to give pyar to these who are our equals and to respect and serve those who are older is also love.

Search for self but love all. Satya, prem, karuna, said Bapu, is a spiritual triangle. Develop your bhāvgranthi. Love has been described as melting down of your heart by seeing or touching or even by mere remembrance your beloved. Enjoy and appreciate the beauty of nature. We love to see (darshan) him who helps us in development of self. Everything about our beloved feels good and makes us happy and we feel that all his vrutis get integrated in ours.

Love is a vast bunyan tree and Rama was loved even by Ravana through hatred. Love surpassed even God because an instrument (upakarana) is more useful than the object (sādhya). That is why Kabir said that only those who understand love are the only knowledgeable persons (pankit).

There are many ways to express love. There are many words and many languages but the best expression is silence (moun). Prem is yagna and we should ever flow in and with prem ganga. Prem is the middle of a continuum of satya, prem, karuna and if we hold from the middle we can hold it better and more firmly. Everyone has experienced love. Love even those who dislike you, who hate you. Expression of love depends upon the occasion and the person concerned. To help, said Bapu, the needy is prem. God is love and Love is God. There are two types of love: satya, prem and kapat prem. Satya prem is a love that wants nothing, needs nothing and expects nothing, not even a response to love. Kapat prem that is known as ketav prem is to love with expectation, to love in exchange for love or money or power. If you expect anything in return for your love, you might face disappointment. If your love gets a response, good. If there is no response it is your luck. Kapat prem is planned, organized and well set.

But then we cannot but love. Our love gets distorted when we become opportunist. Bapu gave the example of Prtaapbhaanu who was spoiled by bad company and Bapu emphasized that our companions, our associates play an important role in shaping our character. Stay with persons whose love is unchanging and eternal.

Bapu spoke and sang about the love of Gopis who felt lonely without Krishna. They felt a void; a variety of nothingness.

When love is extended to God, not only we feel a melting down in our hearts, but God also feels a melting down for us. Mundane, worldly love is with expectation and all our expectations cannot be fulfilled if we are focused on worldly affairs but if we turn to the Divine, all our expectations get fulfilled. In mundane life, more and more expectations emerge and overpower us and world is incapable of giving us everything we want. Only Divinity can satisfy all our desires and wants.

Bapu explained the meaning of each letter of Bhagvat and quoted Bhagvat to say that we would get everything from God.

Bapu said that we should insist on our own abilities. Vibhishan wanted to see Ram only with his eyes, while Arjun needed divine sight to see God. Instead of seeing the world directly and as it is, we see the world through several screens and layers. Ever be attached to satya, prem and karuna and pāth of Chālisā would fulfill and your desires and expectations. Even the minutest particle on Rama, even the dust on his feet (charan raj) does wonders. His charan raj revived Ahalya.

Bapu returned to Chālisā and said that all our sufferings (peeda) would end by smrana of Hanuman and we should get devoted to Mahavir. A continuous jāp, even jāp in reverse can lead to great relief. Shiv also recites Ram nām as a maha-mantra. Everywhere jāp is given great importance. Jāp are of various types and can be achieved by stages vaachik jāp is verbal, mānsik jaap is mental recitation. Ajapā jāp is a stage where jāp continues without your being conscious about it. Bhakti, said Bapu, is a slow process and requires several stages of stations. But our bhakti should not disturb or trouble others. Jāp and kirtan ought to be done in a quiet way. After ajapā jāp, we reach the stage of smruti jāp when jāp continues as a smranan. If jāp after a long time becomes our memory. Just as we keep remembering everything from everyday life, so jāp keeps going on and on.

Jāp is very important in the age in which we are living, in fact jāp is the only way to spiritual progress but jāp is to be done with involvement, with shraddha and vishvās. Vinoba Bhave laid great emphasis on shraddha. He used to say invoke shraddha in the morning, afternoon and evening to be aware of shraddha by shraddha. Shraddha is different from andh-shraddha and from ashraddha. Shraddha is very important in bhakti which is the main theme of manas.

Bapu then took up the narration of katha and advised us that puja should be done by your self, by your body and by your mind. Puja cannot be done by a proxy. Bapu pointed out that every incident in manas is both a leela for external eyes and deeper message for those who understand.

Ram entered vatika and saw Sita who had come for puja. Bapu pointed out that Ram moves everywhere, he is not confined only in temples. Tulsidas needs to be studied in his various aspects because manas deals with sociology and psychology. It is thought provoking, it has rules of family life, and a discussion on bhakti.

Sita recites a prayer to Parvati and the each adjective used for Parvati is tripled, pointing out that Parvati is also a tripur sundari.

Jai Siya Ram

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa

On the final day of Ram Katha, Bapu reversed the order. He began with the narration of Manas and ended with the analysis of Chālisā. During the course of this narration, Bapu pointed out certain basic principles. As he said, Bharata was offered the kingdom, he said that the kingdom did not belong to an individual, but to a dynasty; to a tradition.

Secondly, the coronation of Rama, or the coronation of any good principle, is possible only in a village and only Kevat can be the first citizen. Bapu referred to several sabhas and compared it to the sabhas that are taking place in the politics of today.

The most important point that Bapu raised, was about Draupadi in the midst of Kauravas. He said that so long as Draupadi appealed to her husbands, nothing happened. But only when she appealed to the final Divinity, was she rescued. So we should never try to seek the support from any worldly persons.

One more point that Bapu made was that the ultimate result of love is renunciation; the act of giving up. He referred to Rama Gita which consists of five questions asked by Lakshman and answered by Rama.

He made a very important statement, that Rama considers himself the son of three parents. Dashratha, of course is the physical presence. Jatayu is his father because he supported him. And Rama considers Agni as his own father.

Another point made was that Lankakand was not the burning of Lanka, but Hanumana's effort to rouse the conscience of all the people of Lanka by faith, symbolic of his tail.

Translation by: Nagindas Bapa
Katha 700 - Manas 700, Kailas Katha 22nd - 30th August 2011
Baal Kaand – Doha 105
Param ramya girivar kailāsu |
sadā janhā shiv umā nivāsu ||
परम रम्य गिरिवर कैलासु | सदा जहाँ शिव उमा निवासु ||
 
Of all mountains the most charming and the best is kailasa,
Where Shiva and Uma eternally dwell.
 
Hanuman chalisa
Jo yah padhe hanumān chālisā |
Hoi siddhi sākhi gaurishā ||
जो यह पढे हनुमान चालीसा | होइ सिद्धि साखि गौरिशा ||

Bapu began Manas 700 by mentioning that it is only, only and only by Sadguru’s grace and benevolence this Katha is taking place. Sometimes there are no limits or bounds to Sadguru’s grace. It is not with ego that I mention His limitless grace because my Dadaji had eliminated ego right from its root. It is more so a matter of delight (prasannata).

On this terrestrial globe, there is no place other than Kailas where self-conscious sacred souls reside. The fact that we have all come here is only by the grace of our Sadguru. It is only by his Karam, remember this in your awareness continuously.

Bapu then spoke about Jai as used after the name of God, pronouncing their victory, which does not align with his persona because by declaring victory there is always defeat does not take to. This word is mentioned in the Manas, but when Bapu said that when he says Jai, it is not from his inner soul. Hence, from this Katha onwards instead of ‘Ramachandra Bhagwan ki Jai’ we all will recite ‘Ramachandra Bhagwan priya ho, Balkrishna Bhagwan priya ho, Sadguru Bhagwan priya ho’. Tulsidasji’s soul was not in being victorious, it was in priyata and so he wrote: ‘Priya lagahu mohi Ram…’

Rama mera satya hain: Ram is my Truth (Satya)
Krishna mera prem hain: Krishna is my Love (Prem)
Shiva meri karuna hain: Shiva is my Compassion
In Truth, Love and Compassion, there is no victory or defeat (na jay hain, na parajay hain), these three are above victory and defeat. Voh prem karne yogya hain.

There are three Kailas:
1. Aadi bhavtik, where realised and divine prophets, saints, hermits and deities dwell
2. Aadi daivik, where souls with good and righteous fortune dwell, Shivji leads from the front
3. Aadi adhyatmik, our body is Kailas, our soul is also Kailas, to understand one’s own self is Kailas. Bapu then gave the example of someone asking Raman Maharshi where Kailas is, to which he laughed and replied, ‘Leave Kailas… Where are you?’ Because if you understand yourself that is where your Kailas will be. The body is Kailas and in this, the Atma is Shiva.

Those devoted (samarpit) to my Vyaspeeth should never protest or show resistance (virodh) towards anybody, else he is not devoted in a true sense.

Param Guru is Bhagwan Shivji – ‘Tumha tribhuvan Guru beda bhakhana’
Why does Shiva reside here, at Kailas? Why does he like Kailas? Because Kailas has four things, four qualities. Bhagwan Shiva ko Kailas priya hain. And when you see these elements (tatva) in someone, then bow down to him with a sentiment of Guru. Kailas also has these qualities:
1) Uchai: Kailas is situated at a height; it cannot submit itself to or accept low thinking (halka vichar). It is untouched, only Shiva and Parvati dwell there, he visits Kashi to deal with work, but his relaxation chamber (vishram kaksha) is only here, in Kailas.
2) Sthir: Kailas is stable; Shankar Bhagwan does not like being unstable. As with Kailas, a Sadguru will never loose his patience (dhairya) and stable stability of mind (sthairya) regardless of how much one misunderstands him.
3) Sheetal: Kailas is cool; Sadguru is cool by nature, never fiery. With his agni netra, his fiery eye, Shivji can burn, but he will burn kaam, not Rama. Satguru sheetal hota hain.
4) Ekant: Shivji loves to stay in solitude; though he is recognised as Prajanath or Pashupatinath, but his ruchi and his swabhav are ekant, to reside in solitude. Even among crowds, he safeguards his solitude.

Sadguru is one who cannot be reached and is far beyond limits (paar), but a disciple paaleta hain, can attain a Sadguru, but he does not wish to do so because he only wishes to be completely immersed in his Sadguru’s grace.

In this instance, Bapu recalls something that was said by Guru Sharananandji, that there are few elements (tatva) in this world that are to be believed (manna jata hain), that cannot be known or understood (janna nahi jata). And he who goes to believe him becomes immersed and drowns in his infinite grace (jo maanne jata hain vo dub jata hain).

You should await the day in your life when your Sadguru in which you have total nishtha, utmost faith, scolds you. That day is your Guru Purnima.

Why does Rama think of and remember Hanuman so much?

Pravanau pavana kumar
khala bala paavak gyaana ghan
jaasu hridaya aaghar
basahi Rama sarachaapadhar

Pavan makes a person pavitra, gives direction (gati) and gives life (jivan). Guru is one who gives direction, pavitrata and jivan pradaan karta hain.
Sadguru’s compassion wipes off, burns all our vices.
Sadguru is gyaan swaroop, form of wisdom.
Sadguru is one in whose heart lives Rama, not haraam.

We have come here to accomplish the journey from Mount Kailas to our inner Kailas. And so, Bapu says, let us begin this bhitri yatra with a still mind (prashant chit).

Vigyaan bhi sidha karta hain jaise dikhta hain itna hi jagat nahi hain; ek bahot bari duniya hain.
Science claims that the world is not limited only to what can be seen; It is a vast world.

In the Bhagwat Gita it is said that when a man dies and leaves this world, then is param tatva se yukta kaise hoga, then gyan vigyan kritatma, kutastha vichitendriya, that until our inner self is not completely satisfied with knowledge (gyan) and science (vigyan), we will not have true satisfaction (tasalli) of life.

Even after coming to this sacred place, if your inner vices still bother you and make your inner spiritual self sick then the following are the remedies that will help cure both inner and outer illnesses:
- Jasu Naam Bhava Bhesaj | Haran Ghor Traishul ||
Taking the name of God (Hari naam) has the capacity to cure all your inner vices, to seize the grief and sorrows of this universe. The purer your inner self, the lesser your body falls sick. However, some would consider this is sadhana path, bhakti marg, to do Harinaam. And there is therefore another aushadhi - Shubha Bhasha, good, positive language and speech, to practice to use good language while communicating with others. This will not only reduce your material body’s disease but will also help to cure your inner vices.
- Shubha Bhav, to have good intentions and benevolence towards each person.
- Shubha Darshan, seeing the good.

Ram Charit Manas has repeated the word Kailas eleven times, seven times as Kailas, twice as Kailasa and twice as Kailasu. And Shankar ke Rudra are eleven. Shankar ka bhavan Kailas hain. In this pankti chosen for this katha, it is Kailasu – Parama ramya giribaru kailasu…

Bapu then said that the way Tulsidasji has does varnan of Hanuman Chalisa and varnan of Maanas Sar in Baal Kaand of Ram Charit Manas, from that siddha ho jata hain that Tulsiji has been here, to Kailas. History always searches for facts, while spirituality always searches for Truth. The way Tulsidasji has described Kailas and Hunuman Chalisa, Bapu says that his inner voice (meri antahkaran ki pravrutti) tells him that Tulsidas has visited this sacred place as the last doha of Hanuman Chalisa has been scripted at this holy place: Jo yaha padhe Hanuman Chalisa | Hoi siddhi sakhi Gaurisaa || (Gaurisaa meaning Shivji). And again, Bapu emphasises and repeats the sutra from yesterday, that he will not try to know (jaanne ki koshish).

One who tries to understand or recites Hanuman Chalisa religiously may not become siddha, but, said Bapu firmly, he will surely become shuddha, and Gaurisaa (Shivji) will be witness to it. Mera viswas siddhi main nahi hain, shuddhi me hain, Bapu emphasised. We haven’t come here for siddhi, we have come here for shuddhi, he added. Jivan isi liye hain ke hum jada se jada shuddha jivan ji sake - Life has been given for the purpose and so that we can lead the most pure form of life.

In our country only a bride (kanya) has pariksha, is put under examination, where has she studied, does she know how to cook etc. The man is never put to the test. And that is why you should listen to Ram Charit Manas, said Bapu, for in the Manas it was not only Sitaji who endured scrutiny, here the purush, the man was also put to the test, that Dhanush tore to meri beti byaahe, if the bow is broken and if you have sheel and bal then you can marry my daughter. Pariksha sabki honi chahiye – Everyone should be tested.

When one does not get evidence from anywhere outside then an individual, for his inner progress, should consider his inner conscience as proof.

An individual can achieve a stable and calm state of mind by discipline and habitual practice of Ram Charit Manas and by practicing reclusion (vairagya).

By reciting Hanuman Chalisa one can:
- Achieve strength of life (praanvaan)
- Become intellectual (buddhimaan)
- Slowly achieve detachment (asangata)
- Gently pace towards a state of reclusion (vairagya) without doing anything. As experienced by saints and sadhus, freedom from sorrow is impossible without vairagya.

Hanumanji is Sadguru, one should do Hanumant aashray if one wants to be:
- Full of life (praanvaan)
- Believer of faith (shraddhavaan)
- Thoughtful (vicharvaan)
- Knowledgeable (gyanvaan)
One will overcome all shortcomings in life by following Hanumanji; he guides us in achieving determined devotion (bhakti) towards Ramji. Durgama kaja jagata ke jete | Sugama anugraha tumhare tete II

There are certain insurmountable tasks (durgam kaj) in this universe which cannot be achieved by our efforts, only by the grace of Hanumanji (anugraha).

Bapu then took the chopai from the last Hanuman Chalisa katha, which took place in Ghatkopar, Durgam kaj jagata ke jete, sugama anugraha tumhare tete. In our life, those tasks that are durgam, that are most difficult, most insurmountable are:

To reach Kailas
Tulsiji says in Baal Kaand, Griha kaaraja nana janjala | tehaki durgama sela pisala ||
He who starts the Mansarovar yatra has to face a series of hills in the form of worldly duties which stop us from reaching. To reach a sacred place like Kailas which is absolutely delightful, is the most common insurmountable task for worldly people like us. It has now easier, the roads have become better, and it is only by the grace of Hanumanji and Shankar that this task was made easier for us.
Many people will create obstacles through your journey but one should ignore their thoughts, as Tulsiji mentions: Tinha ke bachan vyaga aru byala

One should have these three in order to ease the accomplishment of tasks:

- Shraddha ka bhatha/ sambal - support: ‘Je shraddha sambal rahit…’ One should have backing of faith (shraddha) in its fundamental form and should certainly not support ashraddha or blind faith (andhashraddha). Life cannot move ahead without faith. Shankaracharyaji explains shraddha as trust and belief (vishwas/ bharosa) in the sayings of Sadguru and Vedanta. Geeta says that only the one who is full of faith will get knowledge (Gyan).I am sitting on this Sthul Vyaspeeth, but in reality am sitting on your Swaash (Breath) Peeth, which is without form and shape (aroop). My relation is with your breath.

- Sadhu charit vyakti ka sanga ho Companion / Guide: Tulsiji - ‘Je shraddha sambal rahit… Nahi santan kar saath’
You cannot continue your spiritual journey with faith alone, you also need a comrade. One who does not have a companionship of a Saint, for him this journey will be tough.
A saint possesses the following:
- Looking into His divine eyes, if you only see love and compassion, understand that he is a Sadhu.
- You cannot see any desire (vasna) in his eyes, only worship (upasana).
- By looking into His eyes, you get an introduction of vyakti, vyaktitva and astitva.
- One who does not dodge and who is not cunning.
- One who does not utter anything but Truth; One whose speech follows dignity of Truth.
- One in whose life pace and momentum has decorum and dignity (maryada) of mankind’s wellness (lok kalyan). Even in his solitude he maintains this limit.
- One who is practical in terms of desh, kaal and paatra.
- One who does not impose any rules and gives love to all.
Bhagwan Shankar in Maanas, he showed prem ka tatva… prem se parmtma pragat hota hain, but you mentioned Bhagwan Shankar as Karuna. To explain this, Bapu used the example of ice, only when ice melts does it become a river, pighal jaaye to jivan data banjaata. This is why we have called prem Ganga. Love has to be free flowing in the form of compassion; frozen ice can harm mankind. Tears are symbolic of love.

- Jisko param tatva priya ho/ jisko raghunath priya ho – to whom Raghunath is dear, to whom param tatva is dear.

To be born in the Human Body (Manushya jivan paanaa) We are born in the human body only by the grace of God, not by our karma. It is found by anugraha. After this, Bapu sang the bhajan Hari tumha bahuta anugraha kinha.

To be interested in Hari Naam After reaching Kailas and being born as a human, and for one to be still interested in Hari Naam. One of the easiest remedies to purify your intellect (buddhi) is Hari Naam. People tend to think that Hari Naam is one of the easiest tasks, but it is not.

Bapu, at the end of the katha, celebrated Janmashthami with Nanda gher ananda bhayo jay kanhaya laalaki, after which there was raas.

Bapu began today’s Katha with a question - What was the need to take prem pariksha of Bhavaniji? This was due to the influence of Kaal Dharma. He then described the four kinds of Dharma:

1. Kaal/ Yug Dharma (Practices bound by Time or Era)
Every era has its customs (pratha) and events happen in accordance with the practices of era. Destiny makes Kaal Dharma happen at any cost; it spares no one. If we are not able to understand Kaal, then how can we understand Mahakaal. We all are bound by Kaal Dharma.
Bapu then gave a few examples:
- When Draupadiji was shared between the five Pandavas in the Mahabharata.
- The prem pariksha of Parvati was not questioned by anyone at that time. It was accepted even by Her.
- Lord Rama’s entry in Saryu River (Jal Pravesh) is also instigated by Kaal Dharma.

2. Desh Dharma (Practices bound by country)
Every place has its own practice to be followed. When you are in Kailas, for example, you need to wear warm clothes due to cold weather. Desh Dharma has its own practical interpretations depending upon the place.

3. Gun Dharma (Attribute / quality of an element)
Gun Dharma of a person who is filled with Tamogun is Tamas (Ignorance or quality of darkness)
Gun Dharma of a person who is filled with Rajogun is Rajasi
Gun Dharma of a person who is filled with Satvagun is Saatvik (virtuous and truthful)
For example, the Gun Dharma of Fire is to provide warmth or even burn the skin and the Gun Dharma of ice is to provide cold.

4. Swabhav Dharma
This is our innate, natural dharma. If we practice to live our lives in this dharma than we would be free of all sins.

Bapu then picked up the topic of durgam kaj, that which is difficult to accomplish, from Day 2. He had already listed the three most insurmountable tasks. Today he spoke about the fourth, the significance of Jeevan/ Praan Daan, to donate the gift of life to others. To donate money, cows, knowledge to others is easy, but to donate a life to someone is the next insurmountable task.
Hanumanji has given Praan Daan to five people in Manas:
- Sugreeva, who could forsee his death even in Ramji
- Maa Janki, in Ashok Vatika when she was contemplating her death
- Lakshmanji, when he was unconscious in Lankakand
- Bharatji, when he was about to leave his life in Ramjis separation after 14 years
- The team which was in search of Jankiji, they all were thirsty and they went to a cave where they were given water and thus he provided life to them.

Hari Maya
To exist in this material world and yet to be above all these is only possible for a few souls. But by taking Hari Naam, each one of us can reach a state above all this worldly existence. Supreme state of love is meditation. When a disciple reaches that supreme state in love, meditation happens on its own, one does not have to make an attempt for it.

If someone has helped us in need and when the time comes to whole-heartedly bow down our hearts in front of him is an insurmountable task. This happens only by somebody’s boundless compassion.

Bapu picked up the topic of durgam kaj, the first three of which spoke about on Day 2, those tasks that are durgam, most difficult. Durgam kaj jagata ke jete, sugama anugraha tumhare tete:

Maintaining a stable state of body and patient state of mind amidst every adversity of life is very tough task To achieve this, you need understanding (samaj), time (samay) and control of the senses (sayyam), but these are not easy. One of the easiest ways is Hari Smaran, which will give stability and endurance during the toughest moments in life. Smaran makes all difficult tasks easily achievable.

Sumiran: even if we don’t take Hari Naam, remembrance (smruti) should be maintained
Bhajan: there is no word more ultimate than Bhajan in Bhakti Marg
A disciple reaches from the state of Sumiran to Bhajan in order. Sumiran is transformed into Bhajan.

A person who recites Hari Naam without any desire (nishkaam bhaav) even for 10-15 minutes a day, his Hari Naam is considered as one that has been performed for a whole night and day. Shivji is completely immersed in this Bhaav. Hari Naam with desire (Sakaam) can fulfill your desire but will not give you Rama.

Friendship (Maitri)
Friendship is the next difficult task, but by Hanumanji’s grace Ramji’s maitri is also an easy task.

To always speak Truth
To speak truth during the toughest situations of life is also a difficult task. However, Ramji is personified as truth, hence Hanumanji’s grace is necessary to reach Lord Rama.

Love
To always maintain and nourish love in any circumstance is one of our difficult duties. This is made easy by Hanumanji’s grace.

Compassion 
To express pity or mercy (dayaa) is easy, but to express compassion is one of the most difficult tasks.
One expresses pity or mercy even by imitating others (dekha-dekhi), out of helplessness (majburi), for recognition (pratishtha). Pity expects fruits in returns. However, to expect anything in return for compassion is an insult and dishonour to compassion, which is what makes it a very difficult task. And since Shankar Bhagwan is a manifestation of compassion, Shankar Bhagwan is also insurmountable to achieve. One who receives the grace of Hanumanji will get rid of rigidness and harshness and will move along the path of compassion.

Death - This is eased by the grace of Hanumanji.

There are 5 kinds of deaths (mrityu):
Kaal Mrityu - one that happens in its own time and is decided.
Akaal Mrityu - one that occurs unexpectedly, such as accidents etc.
Sanyojit Mrityu (arranged) - when it is planned, when a person tires of the situations in life. This should be refrained from as life is for enjoyment and pleasure.
Iccha Mrityu (wished) - What was bestowed upon Bhishmaji, who chose to die six months after he was injured in the battle of Kurukshetra and upon Bhusundiji, who chose to live forever.
Tirth Mrityu - One that occurs in pilgrimage. This is the most insurmountable of all and is only made easy by Hanumanji’s grace.

Rama Duware Tum Rakhware | Hota na agya binu paisare ||
Without Hanumanji’s permission it is not possible to get entry into Ramka Duware. Rama means Truth.
There are 5 questions that an individual has to answer to gain entry: 

If you have anything that is forbidden or prohibited when it comes to your personal character, you cannot be allowed.
A person who constantly fails to follow the path of truth and relies on lies (asatya) cannot get entry.
If a person criticises other individuals behind their back, he will not be permitted. If you want to convey vices or good qualities of others, both praise and criticism should be innocent.
Your eyes have to be pure and sacred to seek entry.
You should discard your ego and prejudice from top to bottom before entering.

A person is only eligible to seek entry to Lord Rama’s dwaar of Truth, Love and Compassion when these five criteria are fulfilled.

If our deeds are not as the kinds of disaster and adversity that we face in life then understand these hardships are by the wish of God – Hari iccha bhavi balvana.

Saba sukha lahe tumhare sharana | Tumha rakshaka kahu ko darana ||

Vedas’ brief, interpretation or elucidation is the Upanishad
Upanishad’s brief is Gita Yog (Gita has defined the principles)
Gita‘s brief is Ram Charit Manas (Manas has practical experimentations - Prayog of the principles defined in Gita)
Ram Charit Manas’ brief is Sundarkaand
Sundarkaand’s brief is Hanuman Chalisa.

Bapu then spoke about the recitation of Hanuman Chalisa, not to recite it merely to eradicate one‘s pain. Pleasure and pain are destiny and God‘s will. We don’t want to bother Hanumanji to eradicate our pain. Bapu said that his faith in Hanuman Chalisa has never stumbled as he has never recited the Hanuman Chalisa to eliminate distress. Expectations taint the path of Devotion (Bhakti Marg).

Bapus personal intention from the following Doha:
Pavana tanaya sankata harana mangala murati roop |
Rama Lakhana Sita sahita hridaya basahu surbhup ||
is only
Rama Lakhana Sita sahita hridaya basahu surbhup
Hanumanji should dwell in our hearts in the form of Rama, Lakhana and Sita, transforming our presence into active actions and making us go into the mode of performing actions. Brahma in our heart is in passive, inactive and inaction mode, hence the above intention.

Rama in the form of knowledge, intellect and understanding, Lakhana in the form of our duty, action performed with all awareness and consciousness, and Sita in the form of bhakti, devotion and love. And thus we should recite Hanuman Chalisa so Truth, Love and Compassion dwell in your heart.

Significance of 40 in Hanuman Chalisa
Recitation of Hanuman Chalisa eliminates 4 things from a person’s life. I am bound with Hanuman Chalisa since my early childhood.

1. Your Mind (Mann) gradually reaches a state of where thoughts cease to exist (Nirvichar)
Mind slowly gets transformed into zero/emptiness/shunyataa. Hanuman Chalisa over a period of time will reduce the waves in your mind. Even when you sit around your Sadguru, your mind becomes void of thoughts. The mind does not get eliminated/erased, it will still exist, but it slowly gets transformed into zero/emptiness (having no intrinsic existence).

Sharnanandji Says:
Things that you can never give away, you can never own or become the master of.
e.g.  if you are able to give respect to someone then you are the master of it and you own it. If you are unable to give respect to anyone, then you will, for all your life, be its slave. (same applies to the mind).

We are slaves of mind only until mind controls us. Once you start controlling your mind, then your mind will go where you wish it should go. Then all your actions are instigated by you and followed by your mind. Until you reach this state, all your actions are instigated by your mind.

You don’t have to eradicate your mind. It has just become little dirty, hence by your Sadgurus charan dhuli (dust) you simply need cleanse it and fill with his fragrance.

2. Intellect/Quality of discernment (Buddhi)
The wavering nature of our intellect calms down gradually and reaches a state of tranquility by recitation of Hanuman Chalisa. After this, said Bapu, we are hooked to the one and only place of faith. Then, as the Buddhi calms down, it gets cleansed (becomes innocent, sinless and pure) as mentioned in Manas - Jasu Kripa Nirmal Mati Pau… Then the Buddhi turns into Sumati - Jaha Sumati Taha Sampatti Nana… This is the Buddhi Yog of Gita.

3. Intellect heart/Instinctive mind (Chitt)
Chitt Vritti Nirodh as Patanjali has mentioned - Aur devata chitta na dharaye…
The recitation of Hanuman Chalisa ties the disciple to a single place of devotion.

4. Ego/Self Pride (Ahankar)
Reciting Hanuman Chalisa will zero down our ego and bring us to a state where we have nothing to be egotistical about.
Saba sukha lahe tumhari sharanaa…
Depending on our state, we all have our own sukh. There are four categories of people:
Vishayi, materialist people [70-80% people fall in this category]
Sadhak, those practicing penance [10-20% people fall in this category]
Siddha, those seers, sages, saints and Realised souls [5-10% people fall in this category]
Shuddha, pure souls [very few]

Pleasure of Materialist People (Vishayee)

- Family Pleasure (sut)
They wish for:
Family Pleasure/Joy (sukh) e.g. sukh of wife, kids, husband, father, etc..
Joy of convenience/amenities in our homes which make our lives comfortable
a good house and depending upon our capacity the ability to enjoy materials pleasure

If you have a lot of the above sukh, then consider it as God’s grace.

- Money Pleasure (veet)
- Social Pleasure (lok) - Pleasure from prestige people, society, neighbours bestow upon you
- Pleasure of Practicing Penance (Sadhak)
- Pleasure of worshipping and loving God
- Pleasure of giving respect to others constantly without taking respect for oneself
- Pleasure of not getting trapped by ego after practicing rigorous penance. Ego is like a thorn and is the root cause for sorrow. Here penance can be lot of Naam jap, etc..

  • Pleasure of Seer / Sage / Saint / Realized Souls (Siddha)

Nij Sukh (Personal Pleasure)
You experience this by your Sadguru’s grace. Only when you get this, can you reach a stable state of mind.

Aatma Sukh (Inner Pleasure)
Be satisfied and content with yourself and later share this pleasure with others (Budha Vishram Sakal Jan Ranjan)

Param Sukh (Supreme Pleasure)
While singing and listening to the glory of Ram, we get Param Vishram (Payo Param Vishram)

  • Pure / Holy Souls (Shuddha)

They have absolutely zero understanding of sukh and even dukh (sorrow / grief) cannot bother them. They themselves are a form of sukh.
e.g. A river will never feel thirsty
Kailas will never have a feeling of being cold
Sun will never face darkness

Since we do not fall in the fourth category, we all wish for some sukh, hence:

  • One should not expect any kind of pleasure
If it comes your way, then consider it as God’s grace and share with others and then derive pleasure out of it for ourself.

Bapu began sixth day of Manas 700 by providing insight on how Hanuman Chalisa and Manas helps us live a better life and he also made us understand the cycle of sukh and dukh in detail.

Hanuman Chalisa is a representation of Shivji in the beginning, middle and in the end.
Shri Guru Charan Saroj.. (start- Guru is Shankar)
Shankar Suwan Kesari Nandan… (almost in the middle)
Hoi Siddhi Sakhi Gaurisaa… (in the End)

Bapu added that Manas helps us understand, decode life and lead a better life. Ram Katha helps us to get our life on the right track and a Guru guides us through life, helping us change tracks and paths when required.

Today, one doesn’t need to be overtly religious nor does one need to be atheist but you need to be practical. It may also call for changing your principles with the flow of progressive life.

The Cycle of Sorrow and Bliss (Dukh and Sukh)

- Religion
In the past, people believed that the more you live with pain and sorrow, the more religious you are.

But, religion can't be strict; unlike many other sects where followers are barred from enjoying little pleasures of life, all religious followers have the right to enjoy various aspects of life.

It is important for everyone to be natural and yourself (maulik)

Any individual should not be religious only when he/she is in sorrow and pain. You will experience real blessings when you continue your prayers without any expectations and motives. A soul will only flourish with bhakti.

- Sorrow (Dukh)
Sorrow is not permanent; it’s present in your life for time being.
In today's world we are divided by groups, parties, sects and our habits of criticizing and talking bad about people behind them has increased sadness in our lives.
It's only a matter of time because we all know when there is sorrow, bliss is just around the corner. You need to explore it and make an attempt to think positive to shed all negative thoughts to make your life better

- Bliss (Sukh)
Every person needs the right vision and thought to experience bliss. People expect bliss and happiness in life hence they go through the pain and sorrow. All individuals have inner desire to explore happiness and bliss.
e.g.: An ant in search of sugar will take all efforts to find its place, will travel all the way from floor to platform and finally reach the jar of sugar. This shows that it is also in search of Sukh.

Every individual needs to think positively
e.g.: A glass filled with water, two individuals will have different views. One says its half full while other says it’s half empty. You need to think positive all the time to experience happiness.

- Gautam Buddha's Four Noble Truths
1) There is sorrow
2) There is a reason for all sorrow
3) There is solution to overcome sorrow
4) Solution is absolutely possible.

An individual can overcome pain and sorrow by listening to Katha or listening to bhajans or doing bhakti. Pain can also decrease if you involve yourself with various arts and activities.

However, Bapu says Gautam Buddha's four noble truths would change in this era: There is bliss, there is reason for bliss, there is a solution and it is possible.

Bapu affirmed that Bliss is there. However, at times, due to prolonged sorrowful times we tend to see only the sorrow.

The cause for bliss is Hari katha. Since we are doing satsang, we are warm towards each other, we are accepting of others as they are; hence, we are eligible for sukh

Solution for sukh is to change our attitude, one should stop negative thinking and start positive thinking. This solution is very much possible if we leave behind negative thoughts.

Only after one goes through a lot of hard work, sorrow and pain does one get the true feeling of vishram and bliss respectively.

As mentioned earlier our bliss is entangled into narrow sects and groups. Hence the core entity or tatva is not visible. The bliss is already bloomed like a flower but just as sometimes the flower is hidden within the leaves surrounding it, our blossomed bliss is also hidden within the narrow sects.

8 Fears of our Life
1) Death (Mrityu)
A human being breathes 21600 times in 24 hours but one moment of death scares every individual, more so to rich and well off people. While most of us fear end of life, people like Kabir celebrated death. Death should be sung rather than mourned. The best way to overcome fear is to pray and take gods name (Smaran)
Prayers will not help you escape death but will remove the fear of death.

2) Losing Prestige & Pride in society (Apkirti)
Some individual do not fear death as much as losing prestige and their name in society.
However, when you are on religious path, criticism-praise, acceptance (aswikar), respect, hatred do not matter. The key is one's state of mind should remain stable in all situations.

3) Hereditary illness (Mahaarog)
People today are wary of incurable disease which are mostly hereditary. Person can overcome this fear by taking and drawing inspiration for a spiritual leader or religious guru. Another way to overcome this fear is detachment from yourself and your body (Dehshakti)

4) Future Prospect (Bhavishya)
Worrying about what awaits us in future can be very harmful to a one's growth. One needs to surrender oneself to their master or guru (Sharnagati)
Guru will always keep you in the present and stops you from thinking about your future. But the key here is to find right person who you can follow with complete faith. Another way to give up fear is to be a staunch believer and have strong faith in the almighty.

5) Failure (Asafalta)
Even before business or examination starts, people are worried about the end result. To be successful, a person needs to diligently do his duty and job without bothering about the conclusion and end result. Success only comes when you work hard and do not keep your eyes only focused on the end result but on the process to get the job done yourself.

6) Sins (Paap)
People fear the sins committed by them which to some extent is a good fear. This can be overcome by having ones state of mind set in the non-duality principle of Vedanta. As in this principle one realizes that at the core there is no paap or punya.

7) Bad deeds (Kupath)
Truth gives fearlessness. Any individual who follows the path of truth does not need to proof or justification. Prayers helps one become more humble and also gives one better control of mind gradually making one fearless.

8) Pure love and complete dedication
There are few people who are involved in purest form of love and are completely dedicated to the ones they love. They will go to any extent to help these individuals or facilitate anything for them.
EG: Bharat's love for Lord Ram

Hoi Siddhi Sakhi Gaurisaa…

This Siddhi does not refer to –‘Astha Siddhi Nav Nidhi…’
It means Ras Siddhi i.e. having sentiments / feelings in every aspect of Ram Bhakti i.e. Katha Shravan, Kirtan, Smaran, Puja etc..

There are no friuts/yields of Bhajan.

Any action that we perform will yield some fruit. Doing bhajan and not wishing for anything in return can be achieved by the following:
Perform any action (Jap, Tap etc..) after receiving permission from your Sadguru. When we perform actions after Sadgurus permission, the yields (good or bad) of our actions do not affect us. You need to concentrate only on performing actions, without thinking of its fruits. The fruits are not given by the creator, but Sadguru gives you its fruits and while giving fruits Sadguru does not see your actions, he exhibits compassion.

Please do not perform bhajan by keeping its yields in your mind. A mango is itself a fruit, it cannot yield its own fruit. Mango will have its own juice, bhajan too has its own Ras.

You should not beg/plead from anyone or anywhere, but if you wish for something then ask only your Sadguru.

Sadguru can show you the Path – You will have to take efforts to walk on it
Sadguru can give you Vision – You will have to see through it
Sadguru can teach you the art of listening – You will have to make an attempt to listen

Bapu started today’s katha by paying obeisance to all self- conscious sacred souls of this world residing in Mount Kailas and to Mahadevji who eternally resides (virajman) in Mt. Kailas and who has given his own witness in Hunman Chalisa.

Bapu started with a question of a young listener – ‘in yesterdays katha it was mentioned that Religion should not be hostile (i.e. resistant / contradictory / to be against) to sukh (happiness / pleasure / luxury etc). If so, then should Religion be hostile to dukh (Sorrow / Grief / Pain)

Bapu’s response was quick and short. He said religion should not be hostile / contradictory to dukh. In fact, Religion should not be hostile to anything in this world. If it is hostile to anything then it is not religion.

- Vinobaji said: in this worldly existence (samsaara) war/ never happens between two religions, it always happens between two irreligions.

- Religion is not at all hostile, it is when you add an adjective to the word ‘Religion’ e.g. ‘Hindu Religion’, ‘Islam Religion’, ‘Catholic Religion’, etc that it can become a symbol of hostility. Any prefix to the word ‘Religion’ is a symbol of hostility towards other things. A true religion that essentially exists in this world is the one that belongs to our roots/origin (Mul Dharma).

- Religion can never be more than one. If it is more than one then it can possibly lead to struggle / clash. More than one is a natural cause of struggle / clash / collision.
e.g.: When a mother, already having a child of 2 – 2 1/2 years, gives birth to a new born, then during the initial days the older child cannot accept the new child. He tends to think that this new born is trying to share his mothers love and time from him. Hence, two is a natural cause of struggle.
India has discovered an extraordinary principle of ‘Non-Duality’ (Advait) in Vedas. In this principle, at any given time anybody’s struggle is impossible.

- Our Shrutis (sacred knowledge of Vedas orally transmitted by the Brahmans from generation to generation transmitted by word of mouth and listening) has rightly mentioned – ‘Ekamsat’ – i.e. ‘One Truth’. The word ‘One’ (i.e. ‘Ekam’) was also been appended forcefully. Prefixing the ‘One’ starts the thought and possibility of something else existing other than ‘One’. When a prefix is appended to religion it creates disparity / distinction of the superior (high rank) and inferior (less superior). Truth is only One. Truth is Truth.

- Religion does not need propaganda and publicity and if it does need these things then it is weak/boneless/infirm and it is only getting strong /powerful because of publicity.

- Religion is our ‘Own Personal Prosperity/Wealth’.

- Religion is a vision/attitude/way of life. It is a way/path of life.
- But ‘A Reasonable Religion’ (true or appropriate religion / conducive to proper reasoning) is the one, which, is not an interruption or obstacle of any anybody’s path, is not a cause of any kind of struggle, snf does not hurt or harm anybody.

Only in the name of Religion innumerable wars and battles have been fought on earth. If arms / weapons are not acceptable even in the hands of a commons man, then how can they be accepted in the hands of Bhagvaan Ram. They are welcome only until they are necessary e.g. when Raavan was to given nirvaan. (This is in reference to Ramji Mandir’s Bhagvaan Ram where he is holding a flower in his hands in place of a bow)

We have numerous sacred books with us, but weapons are dominating over these holy scriptures. The amount of work the Holy Quran, Gita, Vedas and Bible was not able to do weapons have done on their behalf.

If you have an enmity towards anybody, you can choose to kill that person by a weapon - your enemy will be killed but the thought/attitude of enmity will not be killed. Somebody else will repeat the same act and the cycle of revenge will continue. Centuries have been passed but this act still does not cease to exist. Sometimes, a person might not have a weapon in his hands but the attitude/nature of revenge will continue in their mind. The world today needs this mere attitude/nature to cease to exist completely.

In the Mahabharat, the war was between brothers of the same family (Kauravs and Pandavas). They were considered as enemies of each other and were killed by each other. But in the field of Kurukshetra countless seeds of contempt (Ghrina), enmity (Vair), hatred (nafrat), attitude of overtaking others, attitude to overpower someone were sown and today we are still suffering through this.

This attitude of overtaking others, overpowering someone, revenge and enmity needs to cease off. It will stop completely when Ramji holds a flower in his hand instead of a weapon and Lord Ram is already accustomed to holding a flower in his hands.

Haath ma paasaa nathi to su thayu
Jhugthu to man maa ramaatu hoi che
Zhaad cho to daad pan nami shake
Pahad cho to jhukvanu kya hoi che
Nitin Vadgamana

This is just a beginning. The process is slow but the way Vyaspeeth is headed and the way listeners are listening changes will take place going forward.

A flower bud takes the whole night to bloom completely. If only there was a camera in this world which could film the entire evolution process of this bud every moment. Like this budding process, Ram Katha is also a slow motion process. We just do not know in what quantity/magnitude the transformation is happening within each one of us, you and I are unaware of this. If we were to become aware of the transformations, ego/pride would set in. Only the one residing in Kailas is aware of this change. The process of transformation is slow but the Vyaspeeth will never be disappointed as there is always hope.

Vyaspeeth has seen a lot of progress, transformation and development from the 600th Katha to the 700th Katha – from Talgajarda to Kailas.

To understand Buddha and Mahavir it took around 2500 years. To understand Lord Krishna it took around 5000 years. Gandhiji will be very relevant / pertinent in coming 200-300 years.

Now that science has advanced so much, Ram Kath will not take this amount of time. Let the bud bloom gently and slowly. Don’t make any attempt to open the bud. When the bud blooms, it gives up:
- its nectar / juice (Ras),
- its form / beauty (Roop)
It goes into a state of calmness/tranquility and then it does not have any worry/anxiety of when it will fall off from its stem.

In Vyaspeeth’s personal opinion, after 700th Katha you will realize yourself the changes, outcomes, transformation and development

Einstein failed 700 times before he finally succeeded. There was a young scientist, who was assisting him, after 700 failures, he expressed his tiredness and frustration. Einstein responded by stating; you are just 30 and you have aged more than me.

Not a single Katha from this Vyaspeeth has failed, I have observed progress and changes regularly.

Spiritualism takes a lot of time. Depending on each ones state this time difference varies. It doesn’t happen at once. One should not be disappointed. Depending on your worthiness / deservingness (Patrata) the time for this phenomenon will vary. It will not be the same for every individual.
e.g.: Anywhere in the world; water will boil at 100 degree Celsius. This rule / law applies to water but for a person’s spiritual progress/development, such a rule/law cannot be applied.
For some people this transformation happens at a very young age, some in their old age, etc. The transformation has to happen at some point in one’s life time.

An era will come when people who have criticized Katha will be proved wrong. Katha is the world’s most-assured/well-ascertained/ firmly-resolved medium. It was founded by Lord Shiv himself. We are just making a courteous attempt to follow the path inscribed by him.

I am a good farmer. Let the youngsters come and listen to Katha and let me do my farming/plantation. The crops shall ripen in due course of time.

Ram Katha is sabal, saral, sajal.

There is nothing instant in Spirtualism, it needs sadhana (practice). Kripa can provide instant results, otherwise endurance is required.
Karhu Sadhya tehi sadhu samana…

Religion cannot be hostile towards anything. Bhagvaan Ram is a personification of Religion. Ramji is the bodily manifestation of Religion. Ramjis nature is favorable even to his enemies
Jasu Subhav Arihi Anukula…
Hence, even the enemies do not fail to praise him, because he is Religion.

Aapan tej Samharo Aape | Teeno lok haak te kaape
Person who speaks under the influence of others will fail to have an impact in the universe.

One who speaks by his own practice (sadhana), speaks truth (Satya), speaks in his own radiance (Tej) and command, his message will influence all the 3 worlds.

There are 3 meaning of Haak (Calling)
1) People will run away after listening to your Haak - Haak Suni Rajnichar Bhage…
2) People will come back to you after listening to your Haak (for those who have ran off earlier)
3) Neither of the above 2 but to make unconscious people wake up after listening to your Haak

Haak can create both awarness/enlightment and fear (as when Parshuramji comes in)
Teeno loka haak te kaape…
Teen Lok are elaborated as:
1) Naad Bhrama - the supreme spirit of Sound/Voice)
2) Shabda Bhrama - the supreme spirit of Word)
3) Swar Bhrama - the supreme spirit of Musical Note)

A person who does not have debts to others in terms of his spiritual wealth, even though he has little spiritual wealth, but it has to be his own, will be able to influence the above three worlds by his Haak.

Earn enough money that will enable you to sleep peacefully in the night after doing mala. If out of 24 hours you are not able to spare one hour for yourself then even if you acquire the whole world it is meaningless. You should earn plentiful, but should not forget Bhajan.

Sharnanandji mentions: What ever we have, we have not received from somebody but we have received from God.

Do not lead your life under the influence of somebody, only live your life in the influence of the Almighty or Guruji.

Hanuman Chalisa is Shivmay. It has 40 elements as follows:
1) 5 Faces of Mahadev
2) 15 Eyes of Mahadev
3) 8 Sculptures (murtis) of Mahadev
4) 12 Jyotirling of Mahadev

Magshar month is vibhuti (manifestation) of Krishna
Shraavan month is vibhuti (manifestation) of Mahadev
Chaitra month is vibhuti (manifestation) of Ram
Ashwin month (from Navratri to Amavasya) is vibhuti (manifestation) of Durga

Saavan month is ‘Ra’ of Ram and Bhadrapad month is ‘M’ of Ram.
Saavan Bhadav Maas… Bhoot Pisach Nikat Nahi aave

Bhoot Pisach are the following:
1) Insult – Respect (Apmaan – Samman)
2) Attachment – Hatred (Raag – Dwesh)
3) Pleasure – Sorrow (Sukh – Dukh)
4) Criticism – Praise (Ninda – Stuti)
5) Acceptance – Disdain (Swikaar – Tiraskkaar)

All the above couplets of conflicting elements are Bhoot and Pisach respectively and with the grace of Hanumanji they will not hinder or harass a disciple.

Hanumanji is not past (Bhoot) or future(Pisach), he is the present. One who takes refuge in Hanumanji will not be affected by past or future. Person will always live in present.

If you have doubt (Dehshat) in your mind, then nothing happens.
If you have efforts (Pursharth), then something happens.
If you have Grace (Rehmat), then everything happens.

Bapu's 7 Realisations and Experiences (Anubhuti) of Kailas

I was awake for almost 15 days while we stayed at Kailas. It wasn't by choice but was forced to be awake due to the atmosphere and climate. But during this time I had many experiences and I want to share those 7 with you. These 7 realisations are equivalent to my 700 Ram Katha.

Grace (Kripa Anubhuti)
Without blessings of the Lord organizing, coming to Kailas, speaking for so many hours and conducting the Katha would not have been possible. Not only at Kailas, but anywhere in the world, it is not possible to recite a Katha without his blessings. I cannot explain in further details but in last 10 days, I have experienced his blessings and seen his kindness towards us.

Varied forms of art & skills (Kala Anubhuti)
During our time I felt various forms of art and skills were on display at Kailas and among the surrounding mountain ranges. There was a constant echo/sound of varied art here in form of songs, prayers and musical instruments.

Special style to recite Ram Katha (Katha shaili)
As I experienced Bhusundiji's way of reciting Katha during Bhusundi Sarovar Katha, here I experienced Lord Shiva's style of presenting Katha. It's my nature when I hear or experience something, I cannot immediately implement it. But I am hopeful one day I will inherit Lord Shiva's style of presenting the Katha, I will wait but there will be no regrets if his style isn't inculcated in me.

Fate, Moment of death (Kal Anubhuti)
Socially it was a very sad event but I experienced a conversation between a soul and the god of death (Yama). When I was driving pass Mansarovar Lake, I was holding my brother Jaga's hand while doctors were treating him in the car. I asked him Jaga and he replied 'mota bhai paani'. We gave him water and I realised, the end was near. Jaga said Ram, Ram and passed away. It just showed how much the soul respects god of death and how death welcomes a soul.

Sing the glory of God (Kirtan Anubhuti)
A closer look at Kailas and this holy mountain resembles the Girnar Mountain but the newer version. At Kailas and the surrounding mountains you hear and feel constant prayers and bhajans are being said. I felt someone is constantly doing Ram Sankirtan here.

Salvation (Keyvalyam Anubhuti)
Mostly we all experience salvation after our body passes away, but during my stay at Kailas I experienced salvation and  got it’s glimpse. Among all 7 realisations, this is closest to my heart. I feel any person who stays here for few days with a desireless state of mind can experience such salvation.

Greatful (Kri kritya Anubhuti)
Finally, we all are grateful to you Lord Shiva. At a place where it's tough to get entry, you gave us immense respect and allowed us to stay here for 10 days also helping us with all the arrangements. We all are mindful of benefits you have conferred on us.

We all dreamt of organising Katha at Mansarovar, when I was returning back after 1997 Katha I was asked by journalists, how do you feel? I said, first we dreamt and it turned into a reality but I still wonder if it is for real or are we still dreaming. In 2011 we got this chance to recite Ramayan at the base of Mount Kailas, what more blessings can we expect. At the end of this 9 day Prem Yagna, I experienced Naath Krutharath Bhayo Mein…

||Iti Manas 700||
Katha 699 - Manas Raavan(Part 10), New York, USA 2nd - 10th July 2011
Baal Kaand – Doha 175
Kāl pāi muni sunu soi rājā | Bhayau nishāchar sahit samājā||
Das shir tāhi bis bhujdandā | Rāvan nām bir baribandā ||
 
O sage, in due time, i tell you, this king, with his family, was born as a demon.
He had ten heads and twenty arms. His name was Raavana; he was a formidable hero.

Bapu chose Ravana as the theme for the katha and reminded the audience that his first katha on Ravana was in America and this, the tenth and the last katha on Ravana is also in America. Ram Charit Manas as sadguru gives , updesh and aadesh. But Bapu never gives advice, updesh or directions, aadesh. He only gives a message, sandesh, to his listeners whom he enjoys meeting through katha.

Bapu has his own unique approach, vishishta darshan for Ravana and for him Ravana provokes us for introspection or aatma khoj. The tenth katha of Ravana is the last katha about Ravana because Ravana had ten heads. He had twenty ears and twenty eyes. Such as person can see a lot and hear a lot and become wise and good. But Ravana never used his heads, he only used his twenty hands and did a lot of things. He had great achievements; he did a lot of saadhana. We should not bother about various forms and replicas of Ravana like ahi Ravana and mahi Ravana. We should search for the real Ravana, sahi Ravana, and sahi Ravana is not a villain in Ramayana. He is only a counter hero. Rama is naayak and Ravana is prati naayak. They are poles apart like positive and negative poles. Ravana represents the evil that we all carry in our hearts.

Bapu would concentrate not on the story of Ravana but the approach that Ravana typifies and represents so that we can end that evil within from within. Rama and Ravana are the two distinct and different poles in Ramayana. Ram represents eternal peace and quietude, vishraam, while Ravana represents incessant and fruitless labor, shraam. Ravana labored and toiled forever and ever and did a lot of saadhna secured enormous wealth, unlimited power and out sanding position, but failed to get peace as also he failed to be at peace with himself. Rama also worked very hard and was continuously active but he was at peace within, vishraam, and gave peace and serenity to all others which Ravana could never do.

The difference between Rmama and Ravana is not about work and exertion, but about the results, the fruits there of. Rama always gave away; he always distributed which he achieved. Ravana acquired but never distributed. Rama was a generous giver, a donor, while Ravana was merely acquisitive.

Bapu quoted a Hindi poet who passes on the message of a Neem tree, a tree that modern botanists call a “tree of gold”. The Neem tree takes only a minimum amount of water, just enough for sustenance and growth, without exploiting nature. It suffers the hot sun, but provides shade to people. The Neem tree takes in air but converts carbon dioxide into life giving oxygen, making others energetic and lively. Every part of the tree, its skin, its leaves, its fruits and its seeds has medicinal values. The Neem tree is bitter in taste but is a health giving tree. Even if the tree is cut down, its wood is used for housing, for furniture and for fuel. Bapu reminded the audience that ancient Indians valued trees very highly and often compared trees with saints. Let us learn from the trees; work hard to become prosperous but then distribute your wealth, spend it for charities, spend at least ten percent of your wealth for others.

Bapu remembered that he has been severely criticized by orthodox people for focusing on Ravana. But lets us remember that Rama was born to the family of the Sun, Suryavanshi and represented light and brighter side of life. Ravana was born in the nocturnal family, Nishichar, representing the darker side of life. But then there can be no light without darkness, we all have to grope our way from darkness to light, tamso maa jyotir gamya. Without Ravana we can never approach Rama.

Bapu told the episode from the life of Buddha. When his father protested that family traditions prohibit begging, Buddha’s reply was that he discards old tradition and establishes a new tradition, a tradition of Buddha. This was also Bapu’s reply for focusing on Ravana, Bapu breaks away from the old to establish new routes and new traditions of his own.

So Ravana is going to be the focus of the discourse, katha. But before taking up the subject matter, Bapu wanted to introduce the volume, Ramcharit Manas, which is going to be the basis of this discourse. He gave a unique interpretation by pointing out that Ramayana is an idol of femininity, of maternity and in the Gujarati language, Ramayana Katha, bhaasha, chopai, naouka and naadi, are in words of feminine gender. Not only this but, Tulsidas has emphasized all the feminine qualities as described in the Gita, shree, vaak, smruti, meegha, kirti, kshma and dhruti. Bapu gave examples and the context where and how these words care used by Tulsidas. These are the seven vibhuti’s of maternal instinct and these vibhuti’s are mentioned and illustrated in Ramchrit Manas. He then quoted Bhikshu Akhandanand Ramayana that he used to study in his youth and he mentioned seven types intellect: childish (kaachi buddhi), matured (paaki buddhi), cunning (luuchi buddhi), innocence (bholi buddhi), perverted (dur buddhi), benevolence (sutt buddhi), and intense (saatvik buddhi).

Bapu then quoted mangla charan and vandana of Ganesha, Hanuman, Sarasvati, Shankar, Vishnu and Surya. Tulsidas has devoted himself to guru vandana and Bapu emphasized the importance of guru for spiritual progress and enlightenment. He explained that the instruction, vachan, of guru works in five different ways. Instructions of guru, vachan, controls our evil inclinations, shaaska, it dries up what is evil in us, shoshka, are often the expressions of his love and his care about us and it fulfills us and gives us bliss, toshak. Bapu summed up the attribute of guru. Guru is on who has only Rama in his heart and there is nothing evil, haram, in his personality.

Bapu nearing the end of the day, explained his happiness at the qualities of his shrota’s who listen, not only listen but understand and they also make a conscious and deliberate choice. That is why whatever is spoken or advised by guru is of great importance. Bapu mentioned the Sikh’s respect their guru’s but they do not worship human individuals but the words of guru, guru vani and treat the books, granth sahib as their height veneration. Bapu insisted that no man can ever be perfect but vichar, especially vivek vichar, can give us perfect guidance and can be our best guru.

Bapu quoted Yagnavalkya on the timely birth of Ravana and others, commenting that every event and incident involves four factors, what philosophers call causation. The first is time; nothing happens before the proper time, nothing is delayed. We cannot hurry the process. Even instant happenings, kshirop bhavati, require long time processing. The second factor is karma both in the sense of action and in the sense of destiny. Our actions lead to good and bad results. Third is our svabhav, our own nature and habits, our approach to life that makes or mars the existing situation. Lastly events are shaped by what sankhya calls guana of prakrati, satva, rajas, and tamas.

Bapu chose six names from Ramcharit Manas: Ravana, Kumbhkarana, Vibhishana, Lakshmana, Shatrugana and Hanumana, all ending in 'ana' or 'na'. Three are from Lanka, and three are from the side of Rama.  All of them play important roles in the unfolding story of Ramayana. The Western culture does not attach any importance to names and Shakespeare even ridiculed name – "What is in a name?" But we from the Eastern Culture, attach great importance to names and would say that naam is all and everything. Changing divine name, naam jap, is of great importance in purifying our mind and our intellect. This does not happen every time but may happen anytime. Bapu keep on telling his beads and very often participates in launching books in the hope that some beads and some books may purify his mind and his hands. But he advised that naam jap is effective only if you have a liking for it. Otherwise it may become just show.

Tulsidas has extolled the importance of naam jap. Even a great and reputed scholar like Chaitanya threw away all his books and resorted to naam jap. One who is devoted to naam jap can overcome all difficulties.

Yagnavalkya calls Ravana very powerful and brave but Angad knows better. He is a prince and grew up in a royal family. He was chosen and sent to Ravana for negotiating peace. When Ravana tried to impress him with all the pomp and show of his strength, Angad reminded him of his three earlier humiliating experiences. Children at the court of Baliraja caught him as a prisoner and tied him down in a stable of horses. Sahastrarjun treated him as a mere insect and shrugged him off. Vali caught him and kept him in his armpit for six months.

Bapu then explained in great detail the allegorical interpretation of these three events. Vishnu had overcome Vali, and when Ravana tried to compete with Vali (which also means "mighty") Ravana suffered humiliation. Ravana is our infatuation, our moh, but the doors of Vali were guarded by Hari himself. Moh cannot enter our mind if every entrance of our body is guarded by god or by guru. Ravana had twenty hands, but Sahastrarjun had a thousand. Ravana approached out of jealousy and was therefore worsted; jealousy is the product of our ego, ahankaar, and to humiliate persons who are better than us, more powerful than us, richer than us, would result in our own disgrace.

Bapu explained that real Ravana is our moh, our arrogance and both can be controlled by recitation of Rama naam. If Ravana was arrogant so was Vali, but there is a difference. Vali confessed to Rama that he was arrogant, while Ravana never confessed his defect. Confession or awareness of our limitation is the beginning of purification. Vali had that purity and therefore he could conquer Ravana. Angad reminded Ravana of such experiences and advised Ravana to give up his arrogance, ahankaar, but Ranava rejected his advice. He boasted of his strength and told Angad about his victories at Kailash and over all the gods and digpals.

Bapu also explained that the twenty hands of Ravana, the thousand hands of Sahatrarjun and the six hands of Kartikeiya worshipped as murgan in South India. This implies so many weapons and so many strategies. But moh and ahankar destroys even the bravest and the strongest. If we get enlightenment from a proper guru, if we give up our infatuation, our arrogance and our jealousy, we can be a better person. Anything that takes us nearer to our goal is our nayan, our eyes.

Bapu said that every limb in our body: our hands, our feet, our stomach, our tongue, our nose have their own individual function and each one of these is important. But if Bapu was given a choice, he would prefer the eyes. Bapu talked at length because eyes are not to be taken only in the physical sense. Eyes imply sight, a proper darshan, a proper understanding, a proper approach to life. The Gita has mentioned millions of eyes of God. One can see God himself in the eyes of a child resting on the lap of its mother. Bapu's Catholicity was revealed when he mentioned the eyes of Jesus on the cross when he forgave his tormentors, the eyes of Hussein at Karbala when he saw children all around him dying of thirst, the eyes of Mohammad when he released his mortal enemies, the eyes of gopis when looking at Krishna, the eyes of saints like Ramkrishna Paramhansa or Raman Maharishi, eyes of Surdaas, the eyes that help us visualise the beauty of the rising sun, the eyes of Jesus freeing the erring girl from those who wanted to stone her. Eyes, eyes, eyes everywhere.

Fresh eyes and free vision would take us to divinity but our vision is blocked by hypocrites who call themselves religious leaders and preachers and teachers. But Bapu warned that eyes can hunt, shikari, can be greedy and vicious, vikaari. Bapu advised us to admire better persons who are more powerful and richer than us, because the modern world suffers from arrogant and infatuated competitiveness.

Bapu then clarified his vision of Ravana which is different from that of Angad. Angad sees only the uglier side of Ravana, but he did not see Ravana as a great saadhak; his great victories and achievements. But Ravana could not give up his moh and therefore developed ahankar and passions, kaamna. Tulsidas considers moh to be the root cause of all evils, and such moh can be overcome by guru krupa and by naam jap. We do not have to destroy the evil, we have to control evil and regulate evil. We should follow the middle path of Buddha with his eightfold path of propriety, samyak.

Bapu said knowledge, gyana, can be of great help and we can get such gyana from studying and reading, adhyayan swadhaya, from personal expereinces, anubhav, from satsang, from purification of our internal senses, aatma vishuddhi, from guru seva, from pure and pious, saatvik shraddha. Bapu defined satsang in very broad terms; any contact with anything good, anything noble, anything beautiful is satsang.

What counts in the spiritual path is not what you do, but why you do it; not your actions but mentality and motives of action. He gave an example of donations and charity; now charities can be for social service, samajik daan, for nation building, rashtriya daan, for sectoral benefit, sampradaik daan, for dharma daan, spreading satya, prem and karuna. But charity can also be of lower categories when donations are given for personal glory or for securing power and prestige.

Bapu emphasised the best gyana is only by grace of our lord, Isvar anugraha, and frees us from moh and from ahankar. Let us understand the real Ravana, sahi Ravana in this sense.

Bupu then picked up the narration of katha and mentioned nine stages in which Tulsidas has extolled the benefits of naam jap. Rama naam gives us light like sun, coolness like moon and burns the evils within us like fire. Rama naam creates like Brahma, sustains us like Vishnu, and destroys evil like Shiva. Rama naam is the essence of Vedas, the soul of Vedas and like the soul, the essence is invisible. Rama naam is the basic foundation of all religions because it gives us vishraam. A religion that does not give us vishraam is no religion at all. It is only as sham religion. Rama naam is beyond all gunas; it is gunaatit, and Shiva himself chants Rama naam as a maha mantra.

Bapu advised his listeners to develop a positive attitude; never be negative, never denounce others, never interfere in what others are doing. Why waste our energy in criticising others? Religion is not for money, not for power and not for prestige. The one and the only purpose of religion is the realisation of Divinity, ishvar prapti. Rama naam is even more potent than Rama himself. Ram naam purifies, it destroys ego, it sustains and builds bridges across enmities. Bapu made a startling statement that Ravana was the greatest one doing Rama naam jap because at the moment of death he uttered name of Rama. This is possible only for a person if he has done naam jap all his life. Bapu gave the example of Gandhi. He emphasized that criticizing others only leads us to our own decline and downfall, adhamta. Naam alone leads us to identify with god. By naam, we can reach roop, or form, the visualisation of god-hood.

On the third day of katha, Bapu began by referring to the law of causation – that everything in this Universe, every event and every effect, must have a cause. The only exception is God. God exists and acts on his own free will and there is no reason and no cause for his krupa, his grace.

Bapu asked the audience about the cause or reason for the emergence of Ravana and got a variety of answers from his shrotas. He answered his own question by pointing out that the origin of Ravana was in Vaikuntha, which is not a geographical region, bhumi, but a stage, bhumika, which is the highest stage and because it is highest, there is a possibility, a danger, of falling down. Ravana is both an individual, a vyakti, and also a vrutti. Ravana is far away from us as an individual, but as a vrutti he is quite near us, he is within us, in fact, he is we ourselves. Vaikuntha is far above Time and is beyond all the four yugas. But every day in the katha, we can experience all the four yugas. The prayers and the chanting at the beginning of katha creates sātvik mood, an experience of peace and quietness that is satya yuga . Then follows a longer period of discussion and discourses, a sort of prem yagna or gyana yagna, which is treta yuga. The pāth of Bhushundi Ramayana, and ārti etc. is similar to puja and archana of dwaper yuga and finally, we go back to age of action and everyday struggles which is kal yuga. The bliss we experience by sankirtan is also a symptom of kal yuga because nām jap is the only effective sādhna in kal yuga.

Bapu went one step further and said that in our everyday life also, we experience the cycle of four yugas; the peace and joy in the morning, the activities and routine of life, the evening core and finally the sleep that symbolizes kal yuga . Our body has been described as a kshetra and an enlightened soul is kshetragna but Vaikuntha is beyond such rotating cycle of Time. It is kālatit. The story of Ravana, who fell down from devatwa and became a rakshasa and once again attained his status by merging in to Rama, is a story of decline and development.

Jay and Vijaya became Hiranyāksha and Hiranyākashyap in sat yuga and counted gold, hiranya. Ravana and Kumbhakarana reached nirvana after being killed by Rama in treta yuga. Shishupal and Dantvkra fought with Krishna in dwapar yuga. But in kal yuga Ravana exists not as a person, not as a vyakti, but only as a vruti, as moh with ahankar and passions, kamana. Ravana as moh is ever comatose, unaware of reality, Kumbhakarana as ahankar, slept for six months but  in one moment when Kumbhakarana was awake, he created chaos and havoc all around. Ego, ahankar, is very destructive and is never satiated. He demands more and more; his ears are big as kumbha on which wants to be continuously praised and extolled. Bapu said that kāma and krodha are limited by time. They are temporary, they come and go but lobh is eternal and ever expanding. Kumbhakarana eats a lot but he can never digest. He puts the monkeys in his huge mouth but they exit from his ears. Our hunger for prestige is so great that we never can digest it, and such a person always indulges in self praise.

Such a Ravana, very brave, a great achiever but suffers from feeling of void within. He has so much but never feels enough. Compare him with Kevat who had nothing and yet felt happy and fulfilled in the presence of Rama and proclaimed that all his blemishes, dosha, all his sufferings, dukha, all his yearnings, dava, have vanished by mere darshan of Rama. In midst of luxury and power Ravana is a great sufferer, he is an unhappy man. Bapu gave two reasons; one Ravana could never open his heart and confess the miseries he was feeling. He was a lonely person, a prisoner of his own power, his own wealth, and his own pomp. The second reason is that Ravana and entire Lanka suffers from lack of fluidity. Lanka has so many wells, so many step wells and so many ponds but it has no river, no flow of life. Life in Lanka and the life of Ravana is narrow, sankuchit and stalled, bound in limits. Ayodhya has a river, a flowing bubbling, ever fresh flow of life. So, even the poorest in Ayodhya were happier than the richest in Lanka. Before, life was ever fresh, ever changing and ever new.

Bapu advised us to enjoy every moment and every experience of life. Do not waste your joy in merely acquiring and hoarding. A person who enjoys a painting, enjoys a piece of music, a line of poetry is the real owner of it all. A thing of beauty is a joy forever and the joy, ānand, makes him the master, the possessor, of everything around. Enjoyment of life does not need a lot of money or power or prestige.  The smile of a child is enough. We should not merely collect things, but use them, bhog. In trying to possess so many things, we lose the joy of life. A man with nothing of his own can be happy and contented.

Bapu exalted those who are staying far away from homeland to preserve the best traditions of India, preserve the unity of family life, preserve our culture, and preserve our own mother tongue.

Bapu reverted to the meeting of Kevat and Rama. Kevat took nothing from Rama and yet felt that he has got everything. Rama gave him supreme joy but felt that he has given him nothing. In Indian tradition, the donor feels uneasy for not giving enough and the receiver is happy by whatever he gets.

Bapu is strictly against begging or taking anything from anybody. He considers that taking or receiving from others is dosh forever and ever. But there are a few exceptions. Donations for social service, gifts, dakshina, prasād and honorarium are such occasions where accepting from others is not a dosh. Let us remember that the world is a mixed fare of good and evil and therefore we should always be alert, saudhan, cultivated non-attachment, sakshi-bhav. World and society always try to degenerate the prophets; the entire society disowned Jesus, Socrates was condemned by entire city, Mohammed suffered banishment from his own people.

The leaders of Lanka were Ravana (moh), Kumbhkarana (ahankar), and indrajit (passions). Ravana and Kumbhkarana were asleep, unaware of the situation, not able to see or understand Rama, but Indrajit could never sleep. Our passions never allow us to relax, never allows us any peace.

Bapu clarified that he is not trying to idolize Ravana, but what is good in Ravana deserves to be praised, what is bad in Ravana should be condemned. Ravana is to be pitied because moh always makes us blind to the needs of time, requirements of our country and makes us forget the worth, patrata, of our fellow beings.

Bapu then reverted to Katha and traced its evolution. Ram katha was composed by Shiva. After a long time, he narrated it to Parvati and then to Kag Bhushundi. Bhushundi told the katha to Garud. Ram katha, in this way travelled from Kailash to Nilgiri. This katha was explained by Yagnavalkya to Bharadvāj and was taught again and again to Tulsidas by his guru in Varahghat. At the mature age of seventy seven, Tulsidas composed Ram Charit Manas for self awakening, prabodh, not for suppression, nirodh, of self. This Katha has four aspects: gyanghat of Shiva-Parvati, upāsna of Bhushundi Garud, karmaghat of Yagnavalkya-Bharadavāj and sharnagatighat-prapatighat of Tulsidas reciting it to his own self for swantaha sukhaya.

Tulsi Raghunāth gatha bhasha prabandha ati manjula aatnoti.

Tulsidas writes the story of Raghunath in soft style for his own internal bliss.

Yesterday, most of the time was taken up by questions that were picked up by Bapu. The first question was about the distinctive features and differences, if any, between the four versions of ghats and their teachers. Bapu said that the first ghat is gyan ghat where Shiva himself is a teacher. Shiva has 3 eyes that are wide, vishal, and are respectively gyan-bhakti and yoga drushti. The eyes, drushti, mean the vision. Shiva is a speaker with a broad vision and he is equally the master of gyan-bhakti and yoga which are different aspects of spiritual growth. Such a broad vision can be cultivated by studies, swadhya, adhyayan. But mere studies are not enough; studies must be supplemented by listening, shravana, to those who have experiential knowledge. A good orator needs to be a good listener and must listen to as many teachers as possible. The orator must be an expert in his field, yogyata, and he must have the technique, kaushalya, of conveying his views.

Listening to teachers like Shiva helps us in 3 different ways. One, all our illusions, bramah, are removed. Bapu said that there are many other remedies for removing misery, dukh, or deprivation, abhavagrastata, etc. but illusions, branti, can be removed only by awakening in the spiritual sense. Such awakening takes time and one must be focused, nisthavant, on to guru or subject. Such focused avyabhichari, faith can produce wonderful results. Two, by teachings of Shiva, all perverted logic sophistry, dushta tarka, are destroyed immediately and completely. We need logic but we do not need perverted and misused logic. Three, a teacher like Shiva, confirms our adoration, preeti, at the feet of Rama. Such adoration ought to be firm and unwavering. It should be based upon deep conviction, pratiti.

The second version, ghat, is when Bhushandi teaches  Garuda. Bhushandi, said Bapu, has not only a vision, ankh, but he also has wings, pankh, and symbolizes upasana. Bapu warned against misinterpretation of his words what he said does not mean that Shiva is incapable of flight or has no pankh. All spiritually advanced teachers have all the capacities which all others equally share. But each teacher has his own specialty. Bapu strongly insisted  that we must try to take a wholistic view. Teachers and principals ought not to be broken up and split in parts. Partial vision might lead to false vision and dissensions and even hatred. Bapu gave examples of how false faith of various sides divides people into hostile groups. Every path to spirituality is whole, purna, and each path has all the ingredients, factors found elsewhere. Bhushandi is a crow and traditional belief is that crows only have one eye, meaning that Bhushandi has concentrated, ekagra, vision of reality. Second, a crow is never tamed or put into a cage like other birds. A teacher with wings will be in midst of the crowd but he will never come within the cage of money or prestige or power. A crow is a free bird and Rama bhakts are always free. A true Rama bhakt is not confined to any one sect or one path. He flies all over and where ever he wants. Three, Yagnavalkya is the most outstanding teacher of bhrama vidya in Upnishads and Janak gave him a hundred thousand, one lakh, cows when he proved himself to be the most learned and superior to all the scholars at the court of Janak. His great discernment, param vivek, is very well known. He insisted on driving straight to the goal, lakshya.

 But Tulsidas has nothing. He calls himself dumb-witted, mati mand, and does not claim to have either a vision, or a flight. But, Tulsidas is an embodiment of total surrender, sharnagati-prapati, total dependence on the grace, krupa, of Rama.

The second question raised the issue of the difference between Rama and Ravana. Bapu answered that Ram and Ravana share many similarities but there are also very important and vital differences between them. Both Rama and Ravana are great devotees of Shankar, both worship with lotus, kamal puja, but Rama was both in Suryavaunshi and stands for light and brightness. Ravana was born in the nocturnal family and stands for the darker, uglier side of life. Rama builds bridges, Ravana breaks them, Rama accepts everybody, Ravana discards his own brother, Rama is a giver, Ravana is a taker.

The third question was whether there was any Ravana in Ayodhya or any Rama in Lanka. Bapu replied in the affirmative. Manthra embodies, Ravana-ness, Ravanatva in Ayodhya using the policy of divisiveness, bhed niti. Bapu agreed that divisive policy, bhed niti, is needed in politics and is widely used by all politicians everywhere. The names of Rama and Manthra contained the same syllables 'ra' and 'm' but for Rama, spiritual values are more important than mundane benefits. For Manthra, it is the other way around. But Manthra, the embodiment of divisiveness, would not dare to go to Kaushalya who represents enlightenment. An enlightened person is never divisive, because his approach is wholistic. Manthra could influence Kaikeyi because Kaikeyi herself was ambitious, rajaIsi, to get and grab whatever was available. Bapu added a very interesting episode; mother Kaushalya was asked about her age. She said she is of the same age as Rama or a few moments younger than Rama. This was so because her real life began when Rama was born and she attained motherhood a few moments after the child Rama was born.

There was a Rama in Lanka and she was Trijata, who at great risk to her life and her job as a servant protected and solaced Sita out of sheer compassion, karuna, and Rama is karunya murti.

After answering the three questions Bapu resumed his analysis of Ravanatva. We speak of Jaya and Vijaya of Vaikuntha but Tulsidas in a series of rhetorical questions of Angad in the court of Ravana has denied the very existence of Vaikuntha. Tulsidas is often being criticized without a proper study of his books and his views. There are some who out of malice for Bapu criticize Tulsi. But Tulsidas as a thinker is far more radical in his opinions.

Angad raises a series of rhetorical questions; is Rama a mere person or a mere warrior? Is Vaikuntha a mere lok or a space for residence? Is Ganga a mere river? Is kalpavruksh a mere tree? Is Shesh Naag a mere serpent? Is Garuda a mere bird? Is chinta mani a mere pebble? The answers to all these questions are No. Rama is much more than a mere man or a mere warrior.

Bapu led sankirtan and then picked up the katha. The story of Rama begins with Shiva, and Tulsidas tried to bridge the gulf between shaiva and vaishanavas of his days.

Shiva went to Kumbhaj and very attentively listened to Rama katha. While returning home, Sati saw Rama weeping and searching for Sita. She failed in her testing Rama, told a lie to her husband, Shiva, and was discarded in separation. She went uninvited to Daksha Yagna and burnt herself to death. She was reborn as Parvati. She did her penance to regain Shiva as her husband and Shiva was persuaded by gods to get married as his son, Kartikei, alone was capable of killing Tarkasura.

Bapu began by quoting Yagnavalkya whose Ravana darshan includes his merits as well as his defects. Ravana has a few vibhutis that are divine while Rama is full, purna, of all the vibhutis. Bapu referred to the statement of Angad who says that he alone can kill Ravana but there is no sense in killing those who are already dead. He treats Ravana as dead, as a mere cadaver, while Rama is eternally alive; he is the life of the Universe, jagjivan. But the Gita proclaims that death, which is inevitable for everybody is also a vibhuti of god. The yogis treat death as a sweet experience. Ordinarily people wish to live for eternity, but yogis covet death. Bapu quoted an episode where a wise yogi wanted people to do what he told them to do. People proposed three conditions: it should not cost money, it should not take away their time and it should be possible to do. The yogis reply was that death does not cost any money, takes no time and it is quite possible for everybody to die.   

Bapu then advised the audience to turn to Ram Charit Manas all the time and for facing any situation that was either good or bad. But Bapu clarified that by Ram Charit Manas he implies any holy book, any scripture, be it the Manas, the Bible, the Gita, the Koran or the Guru Granth Sahib. To Bapu all religions are siblings because they all are from the same womb. Superfluous differences apart, the basic teachings of all religions are the same and are of equal importance. Bapu quoted the vedic sutraahou sat. Truth is one and the same but it is presented and expressed by scholars, vipra, in different ways. Bapu quoted Kabir that different women use different types of vessels to draw the same water from the same well. So we must rely on scriptures under all circumstances and situations because such books like mirrors show us our real form and face.  

Tulsidas makes Angad describe the reason why Angad calls Ravana dead when he is still alive. Angad calls Ravana a living dead , a jinda lāsh, because fourteen different types of people are already dead before they die. The vam margi shastras, i.e. those who deliberately violate social rules and norms of behavior and ethics and go against all morality should be treated as dead. Two, those who are miserly, krupan, in the physical as well as moral values, also come under the category of dead as also the people who are slaves to their passions, kamvash. Those who totally lack in understanding, vimudh, who like fools rush in where angels fear to tread, those who are steeped in intense poverty and infamy, aupyashi, who suffer from senile decay, ativrudha, who are terminally sick, rogi, both physically and mentally, and those who always lose their temper for trifles or for no reason at all are to be considered dead. Bapu mentioned, inter alia, that our weaknesses lead us to be over assertive. People who have a missionary zeal to preach their religion and convert others do not realize that a strong religion spreads by itself and on its own. A religion that needs the support of propaganda and publicity is a weak religion. Bapu quoted Krishnamurti as saying that a person who keeps weapons and is afraid to be without a weapon is a weak person. The strong do not need weapons. A healthy body does not need medicines or drugs.  

Some people always shout victory to truth, satya ki jai, and some people go to the extent of shouting victory for Morari Bapu. Bapu does not like such slogans and he does not like adjectives like vishva sant; he feels such adjectives and such slogans are cruel jokes. He is happy to be a simple straight forward Morari Bapu, nothing more and nothing else. Bapu argued that he does not like the very concept of victory because victory implies the defeat of someone else. He does not want anybody to be defeated. He wants all and everyone to win in brotherhood. He wants to give the message that man to man should be brothers; there should be universal brotherhood. Let us remember such slogans of victory and such belief that we are spreading dharma and we are making dharma strong is sheer arrogance. It is to be like the cock, sure that only when I (the cock) crow, will the sun rise.    

Reverting to the court of living dead, he quoted Tulsidas that those who are opposed to Vishnu are dead while alive. He explained that Vishnu means broadness. Those who oppose broadness, those who are narrow minded are actually dead though their bodies are living. Those who reject scriptures, shurti virodhi and sant virodhi, who as a nihilist negates all scriptures and all saintly people is a dead person. He disclaimed being a vishva sant because sant tatva needs a prolonged and difficult ordeal. To be a sant is not easy. You have to pay a very, very heavy price of saadhana to be a sant. A hedonist, tanu poshak, a person devoted only to physical pleasures and passions, who has no glimpse of superior or higher sight of life, is a cadaver. Those who are always malicious, nindak, of all and everybody, who could not see anything good in anybody are already dead. Bapu explained that malice, ninda, and jealousy, irsha, are conjoint; they are related. Malice is spoken by tongue; jealousy is felt in the mind. Lastly, a person who is steeped in sin, pāp khani, who continuously lives a sinful life, is also a living dead.  

Ravana, an embodiment of death, carried nectar, amrut, in his stomach and therefore he had a spark of divinity. He was a cheater and gambled in abducting Sita. But let us remember that in the Gita gambling is also a vibuti of bhrama and he was known as Jaya in his original life. Gita has declared Jaya also to be a vibhuti. Jayosmi vijigushinam.  

Bapu concluded the long argument by saying that Ravana has many vibhutis but Rama, of course, is a vibhu, continuing all the vibhutis. Rama represents life while Ravana is death. Rama was a life-giving force as can be seen in case of Ahalya and Shabri. Ravana needs to be awakened by Shurpanakha and Trijata.  

Bapu, after analysing Ravanatva, turned to katha and resumed from yesterday. Shiva and Parvati were married, had a son, Kartikeiya. Shankar is a symbol of quietude, shantras, and is prasanna. So Parvati took this chance and requested him to narrate Ram katha. Shiva started by saying that activity, leela, of Chaitanya is spontaneous as Tulsidas calls the Universe as chidvilash. Chaitanya prevails everywhere, even in the centre of evil. Prahalad was born in the family of Hiranyakashyap and Vibhishan was a brother of Ravana. But even there are five factors leading to the birth of Rama. He narrated how earth and Gods and Brahma requested the supreme, param tatva, to help them out and Brahma enjoined on the Gods to participate in the divine programme to eradicate evil like Ravana.  

Bapu then turned to Ayodhya and narrated the family life of Dasharatha and his wives. Bapu commented that the Dasharath family has a message to give to the modern world. He expressed his anguish that somehow as civilisation progresses, family life is deteriorating, is getting disrupted and is losing its charm. Marriage can be rejuvenated and revitalised by a simple remedy as seen in the family of Dasharatha. Husbands should give love to wives and wives show respect for husbands. Such a family life can provide the emergence of Rama, a solace and happiness, vishrama, to all around. Dasharatha faced one problem of not having an heir and successor and he turned to his guru for a solution. We should all turn to our gurus for seeking solutions. Vashistha advised a yagna and after it was duly performed, Kaushalya, Sumitra and Kaikeiyi became pregnant. Then, at the auspicious moment, Rama was born. Bapu extended congratulations to all and the audience broke into joyful festivities.

The dialogue between Yagnavalka and Bharadvāj is a discussion at the highest level of understanding and knowledge.  It is not a casual conversation nor is it semantics where each party tries to prove itself superior to the other.  The discussion aiming at proving one’s superiority or aiming at denigrating the other one is vitanda vād which is the outcome of arrogance.  But jalpan is a form of discussion where one tries to show off his cleverness and thereby destroys one’s own credibility.  Vād aims at discovery of reality and both parties try to understand each other and cooperate for higher understanding.  There is no victory or defeat in vād.  When a knowledgeable person, gyani, speaks about an incident of a person it is called katha.

A discerning orator, viveki, speaks according to the level of his audience and should try to bring out and upgrade the potential of his listeners.  It is true that truth can never be fully and totally expressed in words.  It is also true that when you express truth in words, you always damage its totality and truth suffers in transitions and transfers but gyanis cannot avoid speaking about truth.

Here Yagnavalka and Bharadvāj, the speaker and the listener, are at the highest level of excellence.  Bharadvāj is a self controlled ascetic, tapasvi, and is peaceful in habits.  He is a seeker after knowledge jignyāsi.  Bapu said in discussions and even in our everyday life, the orator and the listener must have five qualities, pancha sheelPancha sheel of Buddha which is quite similar to Yama and Niyama of Patanjali are different from what we are discussing.  Both orator and his audience ought to be patient (sahana sheel), sensitive (samvedan sheel), truthful (satya sheel), discriminating (samaj sheel) and idealistic (swapna sheel).  Most of our orators are fond of their own voice.  All of them should be confined and locked in a room and made to listen to one another in order to make them aware of what the audience suffers from them.  Each orator and each teacher has a style of his own and he should never imitate others.  Bapu had great respect for Dongre Maharaj but he firmly refused to adopt his style.  Bapu, for example, is very fond of swings and philosophized on the swing which goes back and forth as life swings between happiness and difficulties. 

Bapu then discussed the nature and utility of sadhana.  Much of sadhana is undertaken to impress people to put ourselves one notch up from others.  Why should spiritual life be different from our daily mundane life?  Bapu exhorted that our routine life and our daily activities should be converted into sadhana.  He asked several rhetorical questions about Hanuman telling beads or performing puja or waving ārti or reciting path.  Hanuman did nothing of the sort.  He devoted himself to the service of the divinity, actively did all the duties needed on the occasion, kept the divine light bright in his heart and made himself into a humble servant of God and society.  He worked for Ram and chanted his name.  Bapu quoted at length from Shankaracharya who insisted that routine work done with a sense of duty, with honesty and with energy is as good as worship of God.  For such a person, sleep is samādhi, atmā is brahma, our body is a temple and whatever we speak is as good as stotra.  There is absolutely no need to do unnatural and weird acts or impose strange rules of behavior.  Bapu is a strong believer that sadhana that is separate from normal life is an abnormality.  Hair and nails, separated from the body, become waste, so also sadhana that does not conform to ordinary life is a waste.  He quoted Kabir who ridiculed the showy performance of pranayama, etc.  Kabir rejected all special abnormal sadhana.  What is natural, sahaj is best.  Sahaj samadhi is much better than the induced one.

Bapu then explained the allegory of Ravana having ten heads with their twenty eyes and twenty ears.  He pointed out that in ancient India ideas and principles were not presented directly, but in an indirect symbolic way.  Ravana having ten heads implies that he could function as much as ten persons.  Bapu said we have two eyes but only one sight, two ears but one hearing, two feet but one locomotion.  Ravana had ten heads and twenty eyes; i.e. he has ten distinct visions or approaches to life.  Let us keep in mind that even though we have only two eyes, we have numerous approaches and attitudes to life.  Ten heads and twenty eyes imply many more variety of approaches.  Symbolism is a richness of language.  When Armstrong landed on the moon, newspaper headlines proclaimed that human beings now hold the moon in their hands.  So also, Ravana is a symbol and his twenty eyes stand for the ten attitudes that he had.

First of all, Ravana was a very knowledgeable person, a gyani, but the trouble was that his gyan drashti was often interrupted by temptations.  Even though he could understand the reality, he could not resist the temptations.  When he got the news that his commanders, Khar and Dhushana, were killed by Rama, he did realize that Rama is no ordinary mortal human being.  Only God, only Brahman, could have killed such brave, strong and experienced warriors.  But, he forgot this realization when he saw Sita and abducted her.  Abduction, apaharana, is never a way to bliss, kalyāna.  Bliss can be attained only by samarpana by surrendering to the divine.  Ravana got total and uninterrupted gyana only on the point of death.  But then it was too late to be of any use.

Bapu took a very interesting digression to compare the war in Ramayana with the war in Mahabharata.  In Ramayana, the war ended in the victory of both sides.  Ram won the war but the kingdom of Lanka was retained in the family of Ravana; no Raghuvansi ever sat on the throne of Lanka.  All the warriors, rakshas’ and vānars were revived and there was no loss of life on either side.  Rama returned to his own abode, nijadhām and Ravana also returned to his dhām and secured nirvana.  War in Ramayana left no destruction in its trail.

Look at Mahabharata’s war in which both parties were defeated.  Duryodhana lost his army, lost his kingdom.  Shortly thereafter, the Pandavas also left Hastinapur and their kingdom and went to Himalayas where they died one by one.  Dhrithrastha died forelorn, Vidhur became insane, Kunti and Gāndhari got burnt in a forest fire.  The entire Yādava clan of Krishna got drunk and perished in a civil war.

Bapu reverted to analytical presentation of Ravana.  Kumbhakarana was awakened to fight with the army of Rama and was fed a huge quantity of meat and wine.  In a moment of lucidity between grogginess induced by meat and wine, he was visited by Vibhishan.  Kumbhakarana was surprised that Vibhishana was still alive.  On coming to know that Vibhishan is now on the winning side of Rama.  Kumbhakarana congratulated Vibhishana on the right choice made by him.  Kumbhakarana was depressed and welcomed the eternal sleep of death.

The second drashti of Ravana is dosha drashti and Bapu said that if we have the habit of finding faults in others and if we cannot see any good points in other persons then we too suffer from Ravanatva because we have a dosha drashti.  We may find faults with the guilty, doshi, but if we start looking for faults in even the innocent persons then we are like Ravana because Ravana could not find a single merit in Rama and taunted Angada about Rama being discarded by his own father and Rama’s failure to protect his wife.

Ravana also had a third drashti called bhav drashti and also a bedh drashti that Bapu had discussed at length about Manthara.  In bhakti there is a separation, dvaita and advaita is possible only in gyana but there is a difference between dvaita and bhedaRakshas’ being the children of diti have bheda drashtiDvaita is a distinction while bheda is divisiveness.  Ravana also has apara drashti or a capacity to look far ahead, dur drashti.  It was because of this dur drashti that Rama sent Lakshmana to learn from Ravana.  Ravana insisted on proper behavior from Lakshmana, i.e. to stand at the feet of a teacher, even if he is a dying enemy.  Lakshmana wanted to know why Ravana kicked out a wise advisor like Vibhishana.  Ravana’s answer was that he did it for three deliberate reasons.  One reason was to save Vibhishana from death.  If he were on our side, he too would have died.  Secondly, he was a devotee of Rama and if a bhakta suffers death and destruction, it would be a blemish for Bhagvan himself.  The third reason was that Lanka would continue to be ruled by a member of my family, not by someone who was a Raghuvansi.  My kingdom will be safe even after my death.

On the seventh day of katha, Bapu revealed the purpose of lengthy discussion of various drushtis of Ravana. We are using Ravana as a mirror to understand ourselves and some of the drushtis of Ravana we will find in ourselves. Ravana had gyan drushti and for a gyani, there are no bhed. All our scriptures declare that we all have divine presence within us and all have it to equal extent. And god is light, but this light, the sun of knowledge, is obstructed by maya. So our gyan dhrusti is not permanent. When gyan dhrusti is covered up by maya, we have bhed buddhi.

In Thailand, Bapu had discussed at length about Ravana as a tree of moh and he had discussed its roots, its branches, its leaves; the shade of the moh tree is maya. This subject is a difficult one but Bapu was going to simplify it. He referred to several saints and scholars who, from Shankacharya to Vinobaji, have made great efforts to discuss such problems and explain how maya creates bhed buddhi.

Bapu reverted to his approach that our life itself should be our sādhana and Hanuman has shown the way. We should work only for Rama and we should consider every work, every activity, everything we do as the work of Rama because the entire Universe is Ramamay. We take the credit of every achievement and every success. Whatever is good, was done by us and when things go wrong we blame god or fate. If we cultivate the habit of feeling Rama everywhere and every time, our life becomes a sādhana and our work will have the impact, prabhav, of divine energy.

Bapu gave the example of Sugriv and Rama. Rama was to put Sugriv on the throne and Sugriv was to search for Sita. But Sugriv passed this work on to others. For Hanuman searching for Sita was not an official duty as a servant of Sugriv, but a work for Rama and of Rama and he came forward with enthusiasm. Hanuman has always done it, be it the search for Sita, the construction of the Bridge, bringing Vibhishana over, or to bring medicine for Lakshmana, works that others should have done. If we treat our life as sādhana then as Yashodhara told Buddha, we will find all spiritual quests, all tatva, in our domestic life. We have to change our mental approach, mansikta, we need not change our work.

Much of our philosophy, tatva charcha, and most people take great interest in questions about death and what happens after death. Bapu would prefer to begin with life and problems of life. We should understand life and should enjoy life. Most religions talk about life being a misery, dukhmay. There are of course many dukhs in life, but then there are many sukhs also. Listening to katha is sukh, to chant Hari nām, gives us great happiness. We should seek Rama, who is life, rather than Ravana, who represents death. Life is a great joy, if we concentrate on this moment without worrying about the past and the future. We should seek joy in the present, in this very moment. But very often we seek misery, dukh, in midst of happiness. We concentrate more on dukh rather than on happiness. We have a right to happiness because we are the creations of amrut (amrutasyaputra). Rama is an abode of happiness, Rama is an embodiment of happiness, and we describe divine existence as ānand, as bliss. We make ourselves miserable by comparing ourselves with exceptionally gifted people and we should not underrate, ātma ninda, ourselves. The very fact that we are humans instead of a mouse or a pig is in itself a source of great joy. So let us enjoy our life and our work by making both connected with Rama, Ramamay.

Bapu took up the further discussion of maya. Both Rama and Ravana had their own maya. Maya of Rama is Sita which is vidya while maya of Ravana is Mareecha who represents avidya. Maya of Ravana feels temporarily pleasant, but it vanishes very soon. We all have Rama within us but we fail to benefit by his presence because of obstruction of maya. Our scriptures have noted obstructions of maya in our mind vikshep. We cannot see the bottom of a lake if it’s covered by algae, sevar, or if the mud below is disturbed, or by waves and ripples on its surface. We require a steady and peaceful mind.

Bapu then picked up the discussion about the ten drushtis of Ravana. He had discussed five of them before - gyan drushti, dosh drushti, bhav drushti, bhed drushti and apaar or dur drushti. The sixth drushti would be lobh drushti or covetousness. It might be inherited by Ravana from his earlier birth as Pratapbhanu because Pratapbhanu was ambitious to get more and more and was cheated by Kapatmuni. Ambition isolates a person from his companions and even from God and he suffers from yearning trushna. Bapu said that lobhvrutti is far more overwhelming than either kama or krodh because covetousness is never satisfied or satiated. Such a miserly person fails to even use his own possessions and lead a miserable, uncomfortable life.

But then Ravana also had a seventh drushti, krupa drushti, and he showed mercy sometimes for some people. Ravana allowed Vibhishan to lead a life of devotion for Rama with its external symbols of tulsi or Ramajap in his house. When Lakshmana was mortally wounded, he permitted his own doctor, Shushen, to go and treat Lakshmana by rare medicines. He often threatened to kill Sita but he never did it.

Eight, Ravana also had labh drushti and sought several benefits from several people. He took advantage, labh, whenever he could get it.

Nine, Ravana was often generous and had udār dhrusti. He spent all that he had in a generous ways so as to benefit the people of Lanka.

Ten, finally Ravana had hit drushti. He wanted his entire family and the people of Lanka to get the benefit out of the presence of Rama.

Some of these vruttis are mutually exclusive. Krupan drushti and udār drushti are contradictory to each other. Ravana is a complex personality and a bundle of contradictions. But his drushtis can be used for correcting our defects and limitations.

Bapu then quickly summarized the katha and started by narrating how Shiva started speaking of Ramayana to Parvati. He explained the names of Rama as an abode o f happiness , sukh dham, and solace, vishrama. Bharat means one who fills up and nourishes the universe. Shatrugna is one by remembering whom we learn to be free from feeling of enmity and Lakshmana is a supporting pillar, ādhar for the Universe.

But Bapu also gave a novel and original interpretation by saying that these names of three brothers can also be explained as qualities or attributes of Rama. Names of the brothers are guna of Rama. Besides his own quality of quietude, vishrama, Rama also nourishes and satisfies his bhaktas and therefore Rama is Bharat. Rama bhaktas are free from enmity and so Rama is Shatrugna and Rama is the support structure for the entire Universe and so Rama is also Lakshman. To a question as to how to get near Divine, Bapu's answer was a simple threefold formula - search within yourself, serve all others and love god.

Bapu then took a bird's eye view of katha about Rama and three brothers getting educated, the arrival of Vishwamitra, Rama and Lakshmana protecting the yagna and the journey to Janakpur. Ahalya was revitalized and Rama became patitpavan. They crossed Ganga and were told about the descent of Ganga. Vishwamitra, Rama and Lakshmana arrived at Janakpura.

Bapu ended the analysis of the ten visions or drushtis of Ravana and mentioned in passing that Ravana had twenty feet and thus ten locomotions. He had twenty ears which are displayed  as ten directions of virāt by Tulsidas. The modern compass shows only eight coordinal directions but Indians also include up and down as directions. The der virāt  refers to what is universal, best and highest, including the supreme divinity.

Bapu said that a wise man listens to all and everything from every culture and  every civilization. The greatness is achieved by listening to all and everything which may include praise and criticism and he quoted Kabir as saying that he listens to whatever people say about him as he is devoted to asceticism, fakiri. Bapu mentioned that nowadays several people claim to be a sant but they hardly have any qualities of a sant. Bapu mentioned a sanskrit subhashit which says that good things are rare. Every forest does not have sandalwood trees, diamonds are not found in every mountain and sādhus are not to be seen in every crowd. A saint listens to all and to all types and classes of people and often he listens to the unspoken word. He listens to everything but retains only what is beneficial and good. But the head of a family, a friend, a guru and a king must listen to all and sundry. Bapu advised the younger generation to read ancient texts on social and general ethics, niti shastra. Kabir has said that god can and does listen to even the minutest sound even the sound made by the anklet on the feet of an ant. Bapu said that ordinary persons listen only to what feels good and favorable. A sādhak listens only to critical comments so that he can correct his short comings if any and neglects what is not true. But a siddha listens to all because divinity is continuously communicating if only we have the ears to hear it. Nothing that we do is ever a secret and Bhagwat has listed the sun, moon and winds that bear witness to all our activities.

Ravana looked upon himself as virāt and he had many achievements to be proud of but we, who have nothing, are arrogant enough to claim greatness. Ravana had vibhutis but he was not a vibhu. Ravana has ten types of hearings and hearing is often involuntary because we can close our eyes and mouth but not our ears. Bapu quoted Punit Maharaj as saying that a sādhak should control his eyes, his ears and his mouth. Bapu advised the audience to listen katha and also listen to the difficulties and sufferings of others. He insisted that we should know the customs and habits, pratha, of all other societies and cultures and we should always try to listen to what is proper and good, yathartha.

Bapu mentioned that Ravana and his brothers must have listened to lullabies in their childhoods. When they grew up, all three brothers under took the same type of tapasya at the same place and at the same time. Ravan's tapasya was devoted to Shiva but the boons were given by Bhrama. His first listening was the voice of the divine but he did not listen properly or correctly. Ravana demanded to be immortal, as one who cannot be killed by anybody, but said, "I don’t care for human beings and monkeys because we eat them." Bapu pointed out that it is very often food, improper food, that kills us. He referred to the last meal of Buddha. It was an irony of fate that Ravana while demanding eternal life demanded and decided upon  the mode of his death. However clever or wise we may be, we cannot escape the inevitability of death.

In this context, he referred to the story of Mahabharat when Duryodhan tried to secure an invincible body. His mother Gandhari said that Duryodhan should be seen naked by her but Duryodhan hesitated to show his nudity to his mother. Duryodhan who did not hesitate to strip Draupadi naked, hesitated about his own nudity. We always try to disrobe the dosh of others but try to conceal our own defects. Bapu criticized the maternal weakness of Gandhari because she wanted to support and strengthen adharma. She should have prevented injustice being done to the Pandavs. Duryodhan, as advised by Narad, covered his thighs and butt and the mode of his death was determined. Bhima killed him by hitting him at his weakest point.Bapu argued that we should always seek life and never attempt to dodge death because death is a certainty. All sādhanas must be aimed at life and a blissful, prasana, life.

The second time that Ravana listened to advice was when Shurpanakha tried to teach him the social ethics, niti, but her words had no effect because Shurpanakha did not practice what she preached. Our words become effective when they are backed by our behavior. Shurpanakha represents a wavering mind rushing hither and thither, between Rama and Lakshmana, and she got hurt.

The third time that Ravana got good advice was from Mareecha, who tried to dissuade him from his plan to abduct Sita. Mareecha narrated his own experience about the prowess, parakram, of Rama, but Ravana threatened to kill him for disobedience. Mareecha chose death at the hands of Rama instead of being killed by Ravana. It is practical wisdom not to quarrel with ten types of people and professions who can harm us.

Ravana heard Sita trying to stop him from misbehavior but he did not listen to her and brought disaster and death on himself and on his entire family.

Bapu then reviewed the major points of katha. Touring the streets of Janakpur, Rama was noticed and admired by all for his appearance, ruup, for his strength, bal, and for his character, shil. Rama and Sita met for the first time in the garden and fell in love at first sight. Sita had full faith in divinity and after Rama broke the bow, was married Rama and her three sisters were married to the three brothers of Rama. Here ends the first sopāna of Rama Charit Manas and also the katha for the day.

On the last and the concluding day Bapu  began with the katha and explaining the numerological importance of number 14, he said that each sopan of Ramcharitmanas can be divided in 2 thus giving us the number 14. balkanda is the story of two marrages-- the marriage of Shiva and Shakti and marriage of Sita who is a Bhakti with Ram. He explained that shakti or power is dangerous unless accompanied by bhakti. The next sopan starts with the selfish motives and actions of Kaikeyi and end with the unselfish behavior of Bharagt and Rama. The third kanda is divided into two—the first part describing the activities of Rama while the second portion discusses the bhakti of Shabari and Narad. Kishkindha, the shortest sopan in the manas discusses the activities of Vanar society and its second part deals with the search of Sita who stands for peace and bhakti,  Sunderkand is taken up with the biography of Hanuman in the first part and with that of Vibhishan in the second part. The story of Lanka kand begins with the connectivity and the constructive activity of bridging and the later portion describes the terrible war. The last kand has two parts one is of political and mundane establishment of ramrajya while the later part deals with the spiritual teachings of Bhushandi.

Have referred to all the important event and incident in the manas, bapu turned to the analysis of Ravan's potentiality that he never used for spiritual progress. His heads and feet and arms were not of much use but he used his ears and listened to several celebrities and derived his own conclusions. Bapu advised that we should also listen to as many persons and books and also learn to listen the music of the universe.

He explained the allegorical meaning of heads of Ravan  being cut again and again without killing him. He said ravan is Moha and moha comes up again and again till its roots in our naval chakra is totally destroyed.
Katha 693 - Manas Aushadh, Mumbai, Maharashtra8th - 16th January 2011
Lanka Kand - Doha
Dekha sail na aushadh chinha | Sahsa kapi upari giri linha ||
Turat baid tab kinhi upai | Uthi baithe lachhiman harshai ||
 
He found the mountain but failed to single outthe herb he, therefore, lost no time in uprooting the mount itself.
The physician then immediately applied the medicine and Lakshmana cheerfully rose and sat up.

Ramcharit Manas ka sutratmak siddhant - jis karya ke prarambh me prasannata ho vo karya pari purna hota hain.

Parmatma jise mahobbat karta he ese jagrut mahapurush ki karuna se nikali huvi boli se hum prassanna rehte hain - esa janha tak mera chale vyakti gat manna hain.

Guru ek esa tatva hain jis tatva ki chhaya me hum sab jite hain. Guru ke lakshan ko siddh kar sake esa jagrut mahapurus ke sang me aur unke margadarsan me jina chahie.

Panch devo ki puja - sutro ke rup me ham thoda ho sake itna aatmasat kare:
1. ujale me jina vo surya puja
2. vyavhar me vivek rakhna vo ganesh puja
3. haday ki vyapakta se duniya me jina vo vishnu puja
4. vishesan mukta shraddha,trigunatit shraddha vo durga puja
5. dusro ka shubh, kalyan ho ese bhav se jina vo shankar puja.

Tin vani
1. Slok vani - ye vani jyadatar bhavishya kal se sabandhit hain
2. Lok vani - ye vani vartaman kal ke sath nirantar sabandhit rehti hain
3. Shok vani - ye vani bhut kal ke sath sabandhit hain.

Manas rupi aushadhi se mene meri yatra me kai logo ke kaam krodh aur lobh ko kramasah kam hote hue dekha hain.

Meri drasti me Ramcharit Manas ek swayam aushadhi hain. Jitna ho sake itna mansik rogo ko mitane aaya hu.

Manas ke sabhi kando me lagu hote hue rogo
1. Bal kand - sansay
Meri niji prathana hain sansay peda kare ese logo ka sang mat karna. Apna bharosa badha de ese logo ka sang karna.

2. Ayodhya kand - kam
Is kand ka sabse bada rog hain kam. Kam rupi bhujang jisko das jata hain usko sansar vishay rupi bhog nim ke patte jesa mitha lagta hain.

3. Aranya kand - chori
Kisika apaharan, chori karna ye ek guna nahi lekin mansik rog hain.

4. Kiskindha kand - abhimani kand ka sabse bada rog abhiman, ahankar hain.

5. Sundar kand - kurupta
Siddhanto or vicharo ki kurupta ka rog hain.

6. Lanka kand - tamasta
Isme tamogun ka prabalya hain.

7. Uttar kand - krodh
Is kand ka rog krodh hain.

Aur in sab rogo ka ausadh Manas hain.

Hari naam me priti or pratiti dono mil jae to ye hamara anand badha deta hain. Hari naam ko bhi ausadh mana gaya hain. Ye hamara rakshak bhi hain. Isilie naam ka aashray bahut karna.

Kam, krodh aur lobh ke karan aati murcchae or iska ilaaj.
1. Aarthik murccha ye lobh hain - murccha mani jise lobh ho use aarthik vivek rehta hi nahi. Uska nivaran samarpan dan karne se hoga.
2. Mansik murccha ye kam hain - kam admi ko mansik murccha deta hain. Uska nivaran hain hari naam ka jyada smaran. Hari naam aadmi ko patan se rok leta hain, bharosa karo, girne nahi deta.
3. Bavddhik murccha ye krodh hain - buddhi ke sahare hi jine vala krodhit hota hain aur uska nivaran hain kisi bodhmay jagrut purush ke sath jina.

Prasannata vyakti ko tin vastu se bhar deti hain, iske gharbha se ye nikalta hain.
1. Asangta - aadmi jitna asang hoga itna prasanna rahega. Sang aadmi ko bimar bana deta hain. Kamal ki tarah jal me rehkar asangta se jina. Ek niscchint distance rakhana. Komalta ke sath kathorta se nahi.
2. Man ki tejasvita - prasannata aadmi ko kabhibhi malan nahi hone deti. Aadmi man se tejasvi banta hain.
3. Karunta - aadmi andar se barasta ho badal ki tarah karuna se.

Meri ek prathana hain - ek bar prayog karo
Tumhara sab kuch pad, pratistha, ko ek bar chhod kar bhav se harinaam lo. Prasannata tumhare paihr chumegi.

Katha me mul to vohi rahega lekin ful samyanukul naya khilega. Isilie log katha me prasanna rehte hain.

Yuvan bhai baheno se mera ek karbaddh nivedan hain - ek nirnay karna kuch bhi ho aap prasanna rehne ka sankalp karna.

Aadhyatmik jagat me mansik rog se hum nivrutt ho gaye hain uska ek praman ye hain ki aap prasanna rehte honge. Rog nikal jae to prasannata hoti hi hain lekin prasanna raho to rog aaye hi na. Rogi ka ek lakshan hain aprasannata.

Kisike mansik rog ka nivaran ke liye:
1. Purusharth hona chahiye
2. Prarabdha hona chahiye
3. Kisiki karuna bhi honi chahiye

Hamare sarir me rahe vat, pitt or kuff in tino ki samyak matra honi chahiye. Uska atirek hona nahi chahiye. Uski visamta aadmi ko rogit banati hain.

Hamare mann me jo vat hain vo kam hain, jo pitt hain vo krodh hain or jo kuff hain vo lobh hain, ye sab ki samyakta honi chahiye; lekin uski visamta rog peda karti hain.

Mera sabkuchh Ramcharit Manas hain. Usi ke bal par prasannata se chalta hu.

Aadmi jagat me kitna bhi jagrut kyu na ho lekin kam, krodh or lobh usko murcchit kar sakta hain. Is satya ko andekha na kiya jaye. Jivan me kabhi bhi muskeli aa sakti he lekin jo hari naam ka bal hamara patan na hone deta. Aakhiri samay pe vo hame madad karta hain.

Baap Rudrastak jeisi koi ausadhi nahi hain. Roj subah aur shyam usai piyo, usai jivan ka ek ang banavo.

Har roj bhojan hamara swabhav hain veise hi bhajan bhi hamara swabhav banna chahiye. Bhajan jivan ka ek ang banna chahiye. Hari naam ki aavrutti nitaant aavasyak hain.

Ram katha ko ful se bhi komal or vrajra se bhi kathor ki upma di gayi hain. Ramkatha hame chandra kiran saman sitalta pradan karti hain aur vrajra saman hamare maha moh ko samapta karti hain.

Kaam, krodh or lobh ye tino jivan me maryadit or samyak matra me jaruri hain; lekin uska atirek na ho; uska samatva peda ho jae vo nirogita hain.

Shishya kise kahe jo guru bole ki is pahad ke sikhar se gir jao to vo gir jae lekin meri samaj me guru vo hain jo kabhi adhikari shishya keh de ki tum ye shikhar se gir jao to vo gir jae. Isi sikhari mahima hain gurujano ki.

Gyaani, jenu dehabhiman chuti gayu ena lakshan:
1. Prakash: koi na karane apda jeevan ma prakash aave
2. Anand: athe pahor anand ma rahe
3. Jeevan ma koi pan ghatna ghate jeno utsah banyo rahe
4. Chaitanya jema jadta mudhta nathi.

Dosh ave etlu kharab nai jetlu hari nu vismaran.

Yuvano e geeta pramane chaar kaam karva
1. koi pan kaam karo vidhi thi karvu
2. anna daan karvu
3. dakshina devi
4. je karma karo shradha thi karvu dekha dekhi thi nahi.

Murcha prasang Manas adhare:
1. Lakshman murcha sanjivani thi gai
2. Hanuman murcha pahad lai jyare Ayodhya par thi pasar thaya karan sukshma aham seva no avsar malyo eno Bharat na karane mati etle sadhu prabhav ane harinaam thi
3. Dasarath ni murcha kaam karne mati jyare Sumant avya etle kumati mati ne sumati avi tyare, sachiv avya tyare etle satya samjay tyare.

Ramcharit Manas: Ram ki leela ka avtaar, Ayodhya Ram ka dham ka avtaar, roop ka avtaar hain karunamurti, naam ka avtaar hain Hanuman.

Tumhari atma hi parmatma hain. Vo hi tumhe ashirvad de aisa kuchh karo.

Prem, bhakti me sadhak ke paas do vastu hi hoti hain - prabhu ka aashray aur hari naam ke ashru.

Manas me diye gaye bimariyo:
1. Shok - aage ghati ghatna par nirantar smruti lana vo shok rog ban jayega
2. Harsh - bar bar jo harshit ho jata hain vo ek rog hain. Harsh ke sath shok sapeksh hain. Choti choti vijay pe aap harshit hote ho to choti choti parajit paristhiti me tum shokit ho jaoge.
3. Bhay - kisi bhi paristhiti me bhaybhit rehna rog nahi to kya hain.
4. Priti - priti yani prem ko bhi rog mana gaya hain.
5. Viyog - viyog ko bhi rog kaha hain.

Me katha ka daan supatra ke patra me hi dalta hu. Hum sab ki jo mansik bimari hain uska ilaj keval Ram Charit Manas hain.

Dusro ki tarakki dekh kar jo hamare dil me jalan peda hoti hain vo asadhya hain, aur satsang katha ke madhyam se jo dusro ki tarakki dekhkar hamari jalan kum hoti dikhai de to samaj na vo rog sadhya hone ja raha hain.

Prem rupi kurog ka koi ausadh nahi hain. Manas me ye kurog Bharat ko hua hain. Svayam Bharat ko bhi lagta tha ki mere is rog ka koi ilaj nahi hain. Shayad uska ilaj ho Ram darsan. Is rog ka ilaj pad nahi, kisiki paduka hain. Pad or pratistha kabhi bhi mansik rog ka ilaj nahi ban sakti.

Manas – Aushadhastak

Ye sab aushadhi to hain lekin kayam ilaj nahi hain, ye keval hame thodi madad karte hain. Parmatma ka naam vo bhi anupan rupi shraddha ke sath ho vo hi aakhri ilaj ban sakta hain.

1. Niyam - niyam ke sath jivan jina vo ek aushadhi hain.
2. Dharma - dharma ki smruti se hi aap adharma ko bhul jate hain. Ye ek aushadhi hain.
3. Aachaar - aachaar ye achhi baat hain lekin uska ahankaar na hona chahiye aur uska atirek aas-asar peda karta hain to aushadh hote hue bhi vo kaam nahi karta.
4. Tap - tapasya bhi ek aushadhi hain;.uska bhi atirek na hona chahiye
5. Gyaan - gyaan me bhi maan aane ki sambhavna hain; iska gamand aa sakta hain. Isi rup me aushadhi hote hue vo aas asar peda karta hain.
6. Yagna - yagna bhi ek aushadhi hain.
7. Jap - koi mantra naam ka tum jap karo vo bhi ek aushadhi banta hain.
8. Daan - daan bhi ek aushadhi hain lekin iska bhi ahankaar ho jaye to vo aad asar peda karta hain.

Rogo ki Shreniya
1. Nirog - kuch rog hi nahi; janha vaat,pit aur kuff ka santulan ho.
2. Rog - kuch bimari ho; janha thoda santulan bigadta hain.
3. Sadhya rog - jiska ilaj ho sakta hain, uska ilaj se vo sadhya ban jata hain.
4. Asadhya rog - jiska bahudha ilaj nahi ho pata, mrutyu hi uska ilaj hota hain.
5. Kurog - jiska ilaj ho sakta hain uska ilaj se vo sadhya ban jata hain. Jiska jagat me koi ilaj na ho, aur uska ilaj keval keval aur keval Ram darshan hain.

Ramcharit Manas aapke paas ho aur aap prasanna na rahe sakte to khaak chopai gai hain.

Jisme tamam vishay aa jata hain iska naam keval or keval katha hain. Isme sab kuch aa jata hain aisa mera anubhav hain.

Nirogita ka pratik:
1. Baal komal ho
2. Rom komal ho
3. Ungali ka upar ka part komal ho
4. Sarir ki puri chaamdi komal ho.

Nirogita ka pratik:
1. Mann gambhir ho
2. Swar yani avaaz gambhir ho
3. Naabhi gambhir ho.

Nirogita ka pratik:
1. Jiske haath ki hatheli laal ho
2. Jiske paher ke talve laal ho
3. Jiske nakh laal ho
4. Jiske netra laal ho

Nirogita ka pratik:
1. Jiska naak uncha ho
2. Jiska laalat uncha ho
3. Jiska cina majbut ho
4. Jiska kati bhag putla ho.

Visuddha shraddha ki bhi apni ek ghatna hoti hain, lekin usko prayog shala me kasnali me lekar siddh nahi kiya ja sakta. Jisko pura bharosa ke sath shraddha ho vohi samaj sakta hain. Shraddha jagat ki bhi ek rahasya mai duniya hain.

Koi acchuta na rahe sakta Mahadev ke bina. Mahadev Mahadev hain. Yadi vishraam pana ho to Shankar ko bhajo, aane kisi na kisi rup me aapki bhitri dhara Shankar ko bhajegi hi bhajegi.

Jis par tumhaari puri nishtha ho or iska power ho to uska ek bol tumhari bimari nikal deta hain.

Dwesh se bilag hona isse better hain jab tak prem hain tab bilag ho jana.

Duniya me jo bhi chiz saralta se milti hain iske samaan mulyavaan kuch bhi nahi hain.

Apna mann jitna raag dvesh mukta hoga utna hum nirogi honge. Raag dvesh mann ki sumanta ko nast kar deta hain.

Jivan ke saririk or mansik rog ke nivaaran ki aushadhi:
1. Mul - mul tatva ka anusandhaan
2. Ful - ful yani suman; mann aushadhi hain jo suman ho to
3. Fal - fal ka bij bhi aushadh ka kaam karta hain
4. Pan - kai pan hain jo aushadh ka kam karte hain
5. Pahaad ke kuch patthar bhi aushadh ka kaam karte hain
6. Koi khaas prakaar ke mani bhi aushadh ka kam karta hain
7. Koi vishesh prakaar ki bhasma bhi aushadhi ka kaam karti hain.

Katha kehte kehte or sunte sunte jitna hum raag dvesh se mukta hote jayenge to mann ka rog mit jayege. Hum kyu uske pichhe apna chetshik pradesh ko rogit karte hain.

Bimari ki kabulta bhi nirogita ka Shri Ganesh hain. Durguno ka svikaar sadguno ki subh saraat hain. Jo svikar karta hain vo aage badhata hain.

Sankirnata bandhan hain. Raday ki vishalta hi mukti hain.

Bapu ki samaj me...
1. Sadhana mani karma yog..jisme sadhak kuch karne se pata hain
2. Upasna mani gyan yog...bhitar se kisi pahuche hue sadguru ke pass beith jana vohi upasna..
3. Aaradhana mani bhakti yog.

Dusaro ko dekhane ke liye drashti chahiye; khud ko dekhane ke lie darpan chahiye; lekin parmatma ko dekhane ke lie divyata chahiye.

Tulsi nivedan katha maate:
1. Svaantah sukh ke liye
2. Vaani ki pavitrata ke liye
3. Mere mann ko bodh or meri nijata me sthir rahu is liye.

Adhyatma jagat ke baid ka naam hain sadguru.

Paanch chiz jiska sanyog ho jaye to mangal aur kuyog ho jaye to amangal hota hain:
1. Grah - jo acche sthaan me aaye to subh fal deta hain aur acche sthaan me na ho to asubh fal deta hain
2. Jal - jo mitti ke saath mil jaye to kicchad banta hain aur usu jal ko koi puja ke panch patra me rakhe to bhagvan ka abhisek ke kam aata he....
3. Vayu - pavan jo ek baug par se gujarega to agal bagal me khushbu felayaga aur gandagi par se gujarega to badbu felayega
4. Vastra - jo ek sab par gaya to kafan banta hain aur dulhe par gaya to uska vesh banta hain
5. Aushadhi - jo pahunche hue beid ke haath me jae to karisma ban jaati hain or galat baib ke haath me jae to bura parinaam laa sakti hain.

Koi aisa sadguru ka aashray karna jo nirantar hamara dhyan rakhata hoga; aadmi me guru krupa se ek aisi switch aa jati hain jo apni kamnao ko kis sthiti me kis nambar pe rakhana vo sikhati hain.

Prem rupi ausadhi ka lakshan
1.balidan de lekin kabhi bhi badla na le
2.prem vo pradarshan nahi karega vo darshan karega

Pavitrata aur prassantta – parmatma.
Jiske hriday me pavitrata hain aur mann me prasannata ho bas isi samay parmatma hain.

Janha ye 6 vastu hoti hain vahaa devatao ki sahaai utarti hain:
1. Udhyam - udhyam jaruri hain, jisse hum kuch paa sake
2. Sahas - bhakti marg me sahas sahas nitant aavasyak hain or iske saath sahan shilta bhi
3. Dhairya - dhiraj bhi honi chahiye
4. Buddhi - parmatama ke naam se baar baar buddhi ko pavitra rakhana, yagna daan aur tap bhi buddhi ko pavitra karta hain
5. Shakti
6. Paraakram.

Kaliyug ka sab se bada aushadh hain harinaam, harinaam, harinaam. Iti trisatya.

Nirogi ho gaye uska pramaan: jab bhukh lagne lage sadbudhi ki, vishay ki asha rupi durbalta gai aur nirmal vivek jal se snaan karega.

Hamare sadguru vaid hain aur voh koi baat kahe unke vachan par vishwas rakhna chahiye nirogi hone ke liye.

Bhagvad me kaha char sutra ke sath char sutra lagao:
1. Ishwar se prem karo
2. Vaishnav jan, satvik jan se maitri karo
3. Balish ho un par karuna karo
4. Dweshi, pap grast unki upeksha karo.

Aushadh dohavali anusaar:
1. Saiyyam
2. Jap: mala par jap karna, apne apko shaant rakhna
3. Tap: muskurahat ke saath sahan kar lena aap pramanik aur nirdosh ho toh bhi
4. Nem
5. Dharma
6. Vrat.

Hamesha prasannata banaye rakhne ke liye patanjali ka char sutra ko bhavna ke rup me en char ke saath jodo:
1. Kisi ka sukh dikhai de uske saath maitri karo dil se khush hona uske liye
2. Jahaa dukh dekho vahaa karuna karo
3. Jahaa punya dekho vahaa mudit hona

4. Jahaa paap dekho to paap ki upeksha karo paapi ni nahi.

Shrimad Bhagvad me batai gaye formula, jise hamare mansik rog hi na ho:
1. Sauch - hum apne aap ko pavitra kare, jitne hum samarth ho, rogi na hona ho to gandgi hi na karo
2. Tapas - jo aadmi thoda tapega, tapne se aadmi nirogi banega
3. Titiksa - kisine gaali di to di; hum kyu us par tark vitark kare
4. Maun - jitna chit ko prasanna rakhana hain to thoda maun rakho, thoda kum bolo
5. Swadhay - nirantar paatth karo, jo sunna hain usko guno, chintan karo, manan karo
6. Aarjavam - saralta rog nahi hone degi; swabhav saral hona chahiye, isse mann ki kutilta ka rog nahi aayega
7. Bramacharya - brahma ka smaran, chintan aur manann
8. Ahimsa - aadmi ka mann bhitar se ahinsak hoga; bhitarta se sankalp karo me kisiko na chalu. kisiki pidaa haru, kisi ka bhi dil na dubhavu
9. Saamatva - jivan me jitne jitne dvandva aaye usme samyak rahena.

Guru krupa se yado hum ek formula ko svikare to maansik rogo ko aane ka dvaar hi nahi milega.

Gyaan jab aasu me parivartit ho jaye, jivan ka sarvang gyan me ho, gyan rupi ganga me nakh sikh nahana; isi taraah aadmi ka gyaan pighle tabhi samajna bhakti uur me chha gayi. Ye sab nirogita ka pratik hain.

Jin jin logo ko bhakti maarg ko pakad liya uski pratishtha ko todna samaj bahut prayatna karta hain lekin bhakt ki pratishtha nahi jalti, jagat ki ye lanka jal jaati hain.

Bhakti kabhi bhi pralobhan se nahi milti.

Jahaa prem hota hain vahaa tyaag hota hain aur jahaa tyaag hota hain vahaa bhitri vairagya bal badhata hi badhata hain.

Chitrakut swayam ek aushadhi hain; yahaan chit ko hi chitrakut kaha hain, chit vrutti ka nirodh, chaitsik sayyam ek aushadhi hi to hain.

Katha 692 - Manas Maharaj, Sayla, Gujarat25th December 2010 - 2nd January 2011
Uttar Kand - Doha 197
Aba munibara bilanba nahi kije, Mahārāja kaha tilaka karije ||
Mahārāja kara subha abhisheka, Sunata lahahi nara birati bibeka ||
 
Delay no more, O good sage, but apply the sacred mark on the forehead of His Majesty as a token of sovereignty.
By hearing the narrative of King Rāma’s blessed Coronation men acquire dispassion and discernment.

Rāmcharit Mānas

  1. Gāvānu shāstra che
  2. Pivānu shāstra che
  3. Jānvānu shāstra che
  4. Shrey - kalyān nu shāstra che
  5. Prey - vyavahār kusaltā prāpta karvānu shāstra che
  6. Sevvānu shāstra che
  7. Dheya - ek lakshya prāpta karvānu shāstra che

Rāmcharitmanās e sevya shāstra che. Tamne vānchatā na āvde toye chintā nathi. Eno pāth nā kari shako toye chintā nathi. Ene sevo bas sevo.

Guru vandanā, guru āshray mā akhandatā bani rahe e khubaj jaruri che.

Shikshā āpe e shikshak
Dikshā āpe e guru
Pan je tamām prakār ni bhikshā āpdi joli mā nākhe e sadguru

Rāmcharit Mānas rupi shāstra nā utroutaar vikshit thatā dhyey

  1. antahkaran nā sukh māte
  2. Man ne bodh thāi e māte
  3. Vāni ne pavitra karvā māte
  4. Param vishrām pāmvā māte

Mad - jenā jivan mā na hoi te mahān
Madan - jemā na hoi te mahān
Matsar - jemā na hoi te mahān

Bijāno utkarsh joi ne āpnā antahkaran ne khushi na pade to samajvu āpnā mā matsar āvyo.

Adhyātmnik yātrā karvi hoi to ekbijā nā parichay mā na āvo; hari na najik jāvāni koshish karo.

Bhagwān pāse kāi māngvu nahi; āpan ne shu jarur che e ene khabar che.:

32 lakshana Mānas ādhāre (Rām mā)

  • mahamoh
  • mahasindhu
  • mahamand
  • mahasukh
  • mahashail
  • maharishi
  • mahakal
  • mahagyani
  • mahachabi
  • mahajan
  • mahatap
  • mahatam
  • mahadani
  • mahadev
  • mahadhuni
  • mahanadu
  • mahanal
  • mahanaad
  • mahanidhi
  • mahaban
  • mahabal
  • mahabir
  • mahabrushti
  • mahabhatt
  • mahamat
  • mahamad
  • mahamani
  • mahamaya
  • mahamuni
  • mahamod
  • mahamantra
  • maharaj

Mukti māte dukh joie. Shānti prāpt karvā māte ishwar ni jarur āj nathi pan āpde thoru kāik tyāg kariye to melavi sakiye.

Ishwar no upyog dukh ni nivrutti, shānti ni prāpti māte na karāi, mukti māte pan na karāy. Ishwar, Sadguru no ashray bhakti prapti mate hovo joiye. Ishwar ni bahuj jarur pade khāli bhakti māte e param tatva māte āj che biji sansārikā vastu māte nahi

We should not use God to get rid of our dukh or to achieve shanti, not even for mukti. There are ways to handle these problems. Ishwar and Sadguru ashray should be done to acheive bhakti.

Sadguru no upyog keval bhakti prāpt karvā māte karāi.

Bhāgya ane Sadguru kripa thi j ave che roj roj anand, e pan prayās vagar.

Jesus – 4 sutra

a) Māngse ene malse
b) Gotvā nikad se ene malse
c) Awāj karse ene malse
d) Darvājo par knock karse ene mate khulse

‎Mahāmand:

a) āshrit ne pareshan kare to dand āpvāmā bahu ugra bane pan āshrit kahe ene kshamā karo to ishwar mahāmand bani jāi etle sāv dhilo thai jāi
b) Ishwar ni muskān mahāmand hoi mukt pan kare ane bandhi pan de
c) ākartā etlo mahāmand jem koi kai na kare to loko ene mand kahe

Mahāmoh: Tribhuvan sundar che, mahāmohan swarup che - Ram nu

Mahāchhabi: vishesh sundartā, rup madhuri

Mahāsindhu: badhuj che Ram

Mahārāj: jem mukh khāy ane purā shareer ne poshan pahochāde em rājā e samāj nā chelā vyakti sudhi pahonchvu joie.

Mahārāj: prajā khotu kare to dand devāmā kathor bane ane jyare sudhri jay toh mand bani jay.

Samuh mā shubh vichār etle kathā nām sankirtan santāp no nāsh kare, pradushan no nāsh kare, prakruti ne shudh kare.

No details.
Mahākāl: a) Lav nimesh parmanu jug… kal jasu kodand'. lankā kānd starting ma. Jem dhanushya kal che to ene vāparnāro mahākāl che.

mahā ne sāru gano to saro samay che Rām. Rām bhajshe ene e sāro samay, uttam kal che

Mahādāni: Rām jevo koi dātār nathi. Dan: dhan, vidyā, samay kshamtā pramāne. Sau thi motu dan che kshamā nu dān.

Mahāgyāni: gyān e jyā ranch mātra pan abhimān nathi ane jene sanmān ni bhukh na hoy ane apmān thi darto na hoy ane badha samān lage, badha ma bramh jove.

Dharm pravāhi hovo joie jad nahi. Mānas na sutro pan pravāhmān che.

Chaud varsh na vanvās pachi sthul sattā nu rājpanu e Ram ni leela mātra che pan satya nu rājpanu e emnu swarup che kāran Ram bramh che.

Rām mahāmuni: akhand gyāni, Rām tatva sakal lok dayak vishrama,jap kare ghar ma van ma shubh vatavaran ma rahe, sita lakshman sathe yog ma jodayela, shastra dhari sadhan che mantra sutra che sadhna che

Sādhnā, sādhan, sutra, mantra, shāstra, shāstra badhu hoi.

Vesh muni no, eni pase janaro bolko manas pan chup thai jay, man no shum etlo ke ena najik jarā ne pan shanti apade.

Nirantar chintan kare ne saar nikale toh potana bhitar nu ne bija nu ughad kare

Jarur pade tyare bole, na pade tyare na pan chehra par muskan rakhe

Mahāmuni: mahāmuni nā lakshan vishwāmitra nā sandarbhe, mānas ādhāre:
a) je gyani hoi
b) je ākhā vishwa no mitra hoi
c) je van mā rahe
d) je jap karyā kare
e) yogi hoi e

Mahānidhi: Rām svayam mahānidhi che

Rām mā avu mahātap, loko jene jānki ni ninda kari e loko no shok matadi e loko ne prasthapit karya Mahābhārat anusar mahārāj e je raksha kare

Pāpi mā pāpi mānas je taryā che e potānā karmo ne kārane nathi tarya vache padi je sadhudao e vakālat kari emna shabdo ne lidhe tarya che

Mahāmani: Raghukulmani, bhakti pan chintāmani charu che

Mahādev: devo nā dev che

Mahātap: swabhāv no tap je khabar na pade:
a) pure puru samarthya hoi chhatā sahan kare e,
b) tamām vastu no khyāl hoi chhatā kshamā kare je,
c) jeni pāse kāi na hoi chhatā āpyā kare.

Mahābal: ghanā ne potānu bal hoi ane ghanā ne bijānu Rām nu potanu bal mahābal ā che:
1. sheel
2. saral ane sahaj swabhāv nu bal
3. Satya nu bal
4. Apni jāgruti hoi evā mā tame sapnā ma e koi ne chālyā na hoi, chetaryā na hoi e bal
5. Potāni pavitra pravāhi paramparā nu bal
6. Bhakti mārag mā motu bal che vishwās nu bal.

Chār vastu ni vyavasthā kare e:
1. Dharma: Rām rājā banyā pachi niti, dharmmay, jeevan jivti prajā
2. Arth: Rām nā rājya mā koi daridra na hatu
3. Kām: badhā pāse kām hovu joie
4. Moksh: prajā ne swatantratā bolvāni, dharm pasand karvāni

Rām ni evi maryādā che ke koi daivi tatva nu apmān nahi thavu joie.

Pakshpāt mukta ghatnā ne ishwar mastak par dhāran kare.

31st: tran ane ek male etle 31st. Ek etle ekam sad rupo anek hoy pan tatva tah e ek aj hoi eno āshray āpde tran vastu thi kariye - bhāv thi, samjan thi ane pāvan, vivek purvak karmo kari ne.

Continuing from yesterday’s -
17. Mahāshail: Rām swabhāv mā āchal che pahād ni jem, himālaya ni jem.
18. Mahābrushti: ishwar dodhmār varsad che krupā ni. Darek ghatnā ma eni krupaj che āpde samikshā karvi.
Mahārāj: je bijā ne motāi ape e mahārāj.
Mahārāj: panditya ane gyān no vivek jena ma hoi e mahārāj.
Mahājan sabd nā artho:
1.Vaishnavjan hoi - jene jivan na kām, krodh ane lobh rupi kantao ne samyak samāj thi santosh thi kādhyā hoi.
2. Gunijan hoi - je potānā gun nu abhimān na kare ane bija nā gun ne grahan kare.
3. Munijan hoi - je samji ne maun rehta hoi, samyak maun hoi.
4. Sādhujan hoi - jenu jivan sadhu charit hoi. Koi pan vesh ma hoi.

Mahāras e trigunātit hoi che, parmatma nu mahārāj panu mahāras thi siddh thāi che.

Ochintā Rāmnām tamāri smruti mā āve tyāre samajvu parmātmā Rām atithi bani ne āvyā che ane jyāre e atithi nā rup mā āve tyāre ene prārthanā karjo ke ''ab dil todke mat jānā''. Parmātmā nā nām no adbhut mahimā che.

Jene bhajan karvu hoi e shabd ni bhul vyākaran mā na jāi bhajan karvā mā mandi pade

Pampā sar mā Rām param prasanna betha kāran pānch paropkāri ne malyā:
1. jhārnā vahi nadi banyā e
2. Vruksh
3. Rishyamukh parvat
4. Dharti ne
5. Santo ni kutiyā āju bāju

Kathā no ek arth vātchij bihār ni bhāshāo mā

Bharoso: jyāre ekaj sthāne āshā ane vishwās hoi ke ej āshā puri karse

Droh: krodh sāro pan droh nahi, krodh ni uttarottar vrudhi droh karave

Chodvā mā vivek hovo joie ane chodyā pachi pan vivek hovo joie jethi tyāg no ahankār na āve

Rām nā rājyabhishek nā shravan nu fal:

1. birti: asakti ochi thāi ane samāj purvak ni virakti vadhe
2. vivek: mudhtā matse ane jāgruti vadhse

Jyāre koi mahāpurush bolto hoi to shāstra mā gotvā na javāy e chopāi boltā emne dekhātu hoi e joi ne bolta hoi.

Mānas thi mukta nahi thāvu jyā sudhi sadguru pasyanti nā anubhavo mā na lai jāi. Pasyanti ma pahochyā pachi to mukij na shakāy mānas.

Vāni nā 4 prakār:
1. Vaikhāri: modhā māthi nikale e bhāshā bhale lok vāni ke shlok vāni
2. Para: bahu dur ni, par ni vāni chatā lāge bahu najik ni vāni
3. Pasyanti: bolto jāy ane joto jāy che
4. Madhymā: thodu thodu dekhānu, thodu thodu dur nu dekhānu. Mahātam samajavvāni koshish kare che.

Katha 688 - Manas Sumati Kumati, New Jersey, USA 3rd - 11th July 2010
Sunder Kand – Doha 39
Sumati kumati saba ke ura rahahi | Natha purana nigama asa kahahi ||
Jaha sumati taha sampati nana | Jaha kumati taha bipati nidana ||
 
Wisdom and unwisdom dwell in the heart of all: so declare the Puranas and Vedas, my lord.
Where there is wisdom, prosperity of every kind reigns; and where there is unwisdom misfortune is the inevitable end.
Here is a brief summary of what Bapu said yesterday in his own inimitable style. Bapu began by tracing and explaining the genesis, the evolving origin, of this Katha that is the second in the series of five devoted to the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the state of Gujarat. Bapu paid glowing tributes to litterateurs and activists who nourished the language, the Asmita of Gujarat.

Bapu has dedicated five kathas to Swarnim Gujarat as his personal contribution to the celebrations. Karnavati Club Katha was the first, this here in Edison is the second. Third katha would be for the nomadic tribes of Gujarat, the most backward section of society, because Bapu believes in approaching and uplifting those who are at the lowest rung of the social scale. The fourth would be held during Navratri Festival and the series will end at Gandhinagar on the second of May 2011.

Bapu explained how this Edison katha came to be constituted by the organizers led by Shri Rambhai Gadhavi.

Some unthinking critiques feel that so many kathas for Gujarat is narrow provincialism. As an heir and successor to Vyas, Bapu is free from such provincial spirit and he expressed his willingness for such kathas if people in other states organize them.

Bapu clarified that his kathas makes no pretence of dispensing gnyan. His kathas are prayerful songs for spreading harmony. He appealed to the Gujarati diaspora to spread love and harmony wherever they settle down.

He then chose the main theme and thrust of this Katha that would be focused on, sumati and kumati, on the good and evil mindsets that exists within us because a good mindset, sumati, the basis of good governance, a harmonious society and a happy, balanced family life. In the next few days, he would discuss the forms and implications of sumati and kumati and illustrate his discussion by the incidents and personalities from Ramcharit Manas. This katha would revolve around the conversation between Vibhishan and Ravana from Sundarkand, where Vibhishan declares that sumati and kumati lie in every human heart.

Bapu then took up the potency and the effectiveness of speech (vani) for transmission of ideas, opinions and emotions. He formulated five basic elements and ingredients for a speech embodying sumati. Whatever and whenever we speak, our words must consist of thoughtful expression (vichar maya) but speech must attain a balance (vivek) which can be cultivated only by satsang. Our vani should reflect our readiness to sacrifice (virag) for the benefit of others. Our speech must be an outcome of a confidence arising from within (vishvas) and our words must be a soothing solace (vishram) for those who listen and to those to whom they are addressed.

Such a vani would create a good state, a happy society and a precious swarnim family life. Bapu proposed an exhaustive analysis of such sumati and kumati.

Prior to launching upon such analysis, Bapu mentioned our tradition of introducing Ramcharit Manas that was going to be the foundation of discussions. Ramayana is an age old epic and well known to every Indian. Bapu quoted Mahatma Gandhi to say that an Indian who knows nothing of Ramayana and Mahabharata does not deserve to be an Indian.

But Ramayana is not an old and dusty epic. Ramayana is new and fresh every time you read it. Bapu quoted his own experience that he has read Ramayana hundreds of times but has never found it dull or stale. Every time he reads or speaks about Ramayana he always discovers something new, some fresh aspects, some new meanings of old phrases. This, said Bapu, is his experience, a bare truth without any exaggeration or embellishment. Books like the Ramayana are inspired creations of God and whatever God creates, be it a flowering bud or be it a rising sun, whatever has divine touch is ever fresh and new because touch of God is like giving touch of immortality, (piyush pani). The touch of man pollutes but the touch of God redeems.

He then described the seven sections (Sopana) of Ramcharit Manas forming a stair case of seven steps for spiritual upliftment for whoever reads it. Tulsidas has clarified that he has not written Ramcharit Manas only for others, but he has composed Ramcharit Manas basically for his own internal happiness, for his own bliss. Bapu explained that without such internal happiness or bliss, a balanced peace or equanimity of mind is impossible to secure. Tulsidas dared to write his manas in the language of the people and he was supported and congratulated by the foremost Vedanties of his days like Madhusudan Saraswati. Such choice of vernacular was Tulsi’s way of bridging the gap across social divisions and discords.

Tulsidas boldly discarded another tradition of invoking Ganesh at the beginning and he chose Vani, the goddess of speech. Moreover, Tulsidas, a devoted Vaishnav that he was, chose to begin with panchaayatan of Shankaracharya, Ganesha, Vishnu, Surya, Shiva and Durga.

Bapu explained the inner meanings of these deities, Ganesh stands for cultivating balance in every act of life which prevents us from exploiting others. Vishnu stands for broad mindedness and generosity. Surya is an attempt to live a life seeking enlightenment and avoiding darkness. Shiva is benevolence in action, speech and thought while Durga personifies shraddha; neither ashraddha nor andhshraddha of blind faith.

Tulsidas then pays a rich tribute and respect to Guru, who guides us, who goads us from behind, helps us from right and left; often standing above us but at times putting wheels beneath our feet for skating rapidly to progress.

Bapu is aware of several great minds who insist on self help and do not need the help of Guru. He quoted appya depo bhava of Buddha. But we are not so strong and able. We need a guru to take our hands and lead us through as a parent does for children.

Bapu clarified that he is not talking about guru as individuals, he is referring to gurupad, the institution of guru; “Gurudom” if we say so. Such gurupad gives us vision and reveals the final goal. Guru as an individual might have his own weakness and limitations, but not the institution of guru – gurupad.

Guru may not necessarily be a person. He quoted examples to show that guru may be a book; a poem can be a guru, a single short sentence can become a guru for us. If we are not careful, jealousy and rivalry may grow up between guru and his pupils. He quoted the Shanti patha of Upanishad, “ma vidvishad mahai”.

Bapu ended the discourse for the day with a recitation of Hanuman Vandana.

Jai Siya Ram.
Bapu began with a reference to the auspicious occasion of the fourth of July and congratulated the audience, and also all the Americans from the highest to the lowest ranks – from Obama to the poorest of Americans on this day of Independence. He mentioned that the fourth of July is an important date in the history of modern democracy but the seeds of democracy were sown in ancient Indian ideals and in Ramayana. Rama made ceaseless efforts in this direction. His protest against the tradition of primogeniture – the tradition of making the eldest son a ruler and fully cooperated in the installation of Bharat as a ruler. During his exile, he established loving relations with the lower caste people like fishermen and Nishadas from Shrungberpur and onwards.

It was in Chitrakut conference when Vashishta, the family priest and chief adviser insisted that before taking decision on the request of Bharat, Rama should give it deep thought and he should consult the  saadhun, the scriptures, the scholars and all people – lokmat. Rama imbibed the lessons of democracy and in his first address to the people of Ayodhya after his coronation, he exhorted them to be fearless and to check him if there was any impropriety in his thoughts or words. It was because of public opinion that Rama took the most painful and the hardest decision of his life in exiling Janki.

Bapu declared that his Katha’s are mainly oriented to the younger generations who are attending Katha in larger and larger numbers. As he puts it, he wanted to greet the rising sun. He advised young people to respect persons who are scholars and saintly irrespective of outward forms of dress and style of life.

Bapu returned to the concept of democracy in ancient Indian ideals of democracy – equality and pursuit of happiness. The concept in Ramayana is that the King is the servant of the people and the kingdom belongs to people. Society made Ramrajya is an ideal democracy. No one would be poor or illiterate. All would be healing and die only natural death. Bapu quoted Aristotle saying that Plato might be great but Truth is supreme and Bapu insisted that Truth ought not to be made rigid and fixed. Truth is a flowing river.

Indian tradition treats truth as the highest element – satya param dhimahi and happiness as a way to spirituality. He quoted Shankaracharya that happiness is a precondition to divine experiences. One must be happy and also be karma yogi doing work as one’s duty. Indians began by asking as to who we are ko hum and ended by declaring that we are divine so hum.

Such happiness needs nothing but love, which is the most potent force in human life. He quoted at length a dialogue between Krishna and Radha, where Radha deplores that their intense love had dried up because of prosperity and power which Krishna had attained in his later life. Love is the most powerful factor promoting spiritual progress and only lovers know the secret of spirituality. The longing of separated lovers is intensified during the rainy season and Bapu quoted from folklore, from Ramcharit Manas and from classical poetry to illustrate his point.

Bapu then turned to the main theme of the katha and described the discussions in the court of Ravana where everybody flattered Ravana but Malyavan and Vibhisan dared to give him proper and correct advice about sumati and kumati. Bapu warned that flattery and untruth are very destructive.  A kingdom is destroyed by flattering ministers, a patient suffers if doctors hide the real condition of the body and a saadhak would be led astray by a greedy guru. Bapu advised the youth not to be misguided by flatterers. Truth must be declared but need not be declared in harsh words.

Bapu then returned to the Vibhishan who declared that every one of us has both sumati and kumati, the difference is only a difference of degrees. He then said that katha can be enjoyed only by shrotas who develops sumati. The audience must be respectful but also discriminative between good and evil.

Every katha includes people of three types. The ayojak or organizers who make efforts to bring about Katha, the disarming audience (aashvad) who enjoy katha and feel happy about it but there are some cynics who are out to denounce and find faults everywhere. Doubts, differences of opinions are welcome, questions ought to be raised and discussed but such questions should not arise out of jealousy and ill will duusht tark. We should enjoy katha but overlook and forget those who are bent upon negative and carping criticism.  We ought to develop constructive discussions shatvik tark. Critical appraisal is welcome, what is not good is a nihilist approach or criticism out of malice and ill will.
Yesterday’s katha was a stunning demonstration of Bapu’s style of packing profound philosophy in the envelopes of music and jokes. In yesterday’s katha, there are two parallel currents leading to a confluence – a sangam. Bapu continued with his analysis of sumati and kumati through the medium of Vibhishan. Second was his running commentary on various definitions and requisites of prasanata – happiness.

Bapu agreed that happiness needs a firm determination (sankalp) to be happy under any and all conditions of life. Happiness is to enjoy what we have without yearning for what is not there. A happy person never bothers about troubles and difficulties in life. He always looks for the merits (goon) of others, not their defects. Bapu advised us to also seek truth and never to blame others.

Bapu pointed out that there are several unknown centers in our body which get activated by such an approach and which would make us happy. We should be aware of our limitations but also about our abilities.

Bapu argued that good and bad, happiness and misery, merits and defects, praise and blame are inseparable pairs like two sides of a coin. You can either accept both or reject both but you can never get one without getting the other. He warned that harsh sun is reality in life, shades and shadows are mere myths. Happiness lies in accepting the ups and downs in life as the grace of god or as the will of god. Happiness is to enjoy the everyday ordinary incidents of life without striving too much for achievements. Happiness is to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of nature and to respect the inner richness and not the external showmanship. A happy person does not bother about death but lives a full life.

Bapu pointed out that we are not fully and totally independent. We are dependents (paradhin) upon climatic conditions, upon situations. Total freedom can be secured by realizing our true self through satsang. Real freedom and happiness arise out of doing our duty and therefore we should avoid shirking (kam chori), insincerity (dil chori), thievery (dravya chori) or appropriating credit of others (pragyna chori).

Such happiness, said Bapu, is possible only for those who live only in the present, without bothering about past or future.  Be alive today, just now, and do not wait for then, nor for tomorrow, nor for yesterday.  Bapu quoted songs and concepts from Narsi Mehta and Bullesha in one breath and exhorted us to pick up precious moments, the pearls of wisdom and joy (moti) because life is as short and as fickle as lightening in the sky.

Bapu wanted his audience to enjoy katha without preconditions and rituals like fasting or night long vigils.  Let us be and act natural (sahaj) without being a nuisance to others. He quoted Suman Shah that even a few and fleeting moments of goodness and awareness and freedom from evil thoughts are all that we need for being happy and good.  Please remember that happiness cannot be attained by mere cleverness because all our cleverness is futile against divine dispensation.  He illustrated his point by the story of Hiranakashyap and Narsinh Avatar in support of such description.  Gita describes those goon and those final results because Gita is theory – yog while Ramayana is a prayoga - a practical demonstration through the incidents and characters of Ramayana.  Ramayana is not merely to be read but we must try to understand the underlying, inner significance of every event in Ramayana.

Vibhishan was sakhyagunni and therefore his advice and the speech in Raavan Sabha contained all the five (best) qualities – Vichaar, Vivek, Viraag, Vishwas, and Visram – that were explained by Bapu on the very first day of Katha.

Bapu referred to the three main associates of Ram – Nishaadh, Sugriva, and Vibhishan.  Nishaadh merely served Ram, Vibhishan advised Ram whenever he was consulted, but Sugriva was a friend fully and totally trusted by Ram.  Their friendship had been consecrated and sealed in the presence of fire as we do in marriage ceremonies and was witnessed by Pavan Putra Hanuman who brought them together.

Bapu mentioned Bhushundi who is devoted to Balak Rama and Bapu went one step further by saying that every child is a potential Ram and ought to be loved as such.  Such bhakti emphasizes the importance of shravan - hearing.  Vibhishan had never meet Ram or even seen him, but he had heard about him.  In her love letter to Krishna, Rukhmani also said that she had heard about Krishna.

People often say that religious discussions and discourses – katha are a waste because they do not produce any visible, tangible results.  Bapu disagreed because he has observed tremendous changes in the life of several persons on account of katha.  Vibhishan has given a firm opinion that sumati invariably produces happiness.  Since we all want to be happy we should cultivate sumati and Bapu listed the ways and methods to cultivate such a mind set of sumati.  The first and the most powerful way is namsmran.  Continuous namsmran over a long period of time helps us to break down all barriers and obstacles in the path of spiritual progress.  Therefore, namsmran is the best sadhana for kalyug – the age in which we are living.  The second requisite is satsung –the company of those whose hearts are pure and whose character is without any blemish. Such satsung develops Sumati Bhagvat Katha of reading.  Listening or studying the holy books would produce a sense of joy and happiness and make us feel the presence of divine. Bapu believes literary and artistic creations have a touch of divinity and association with literature. Music, dancing and paintings help us to purify, to enlighten, and to ennoble our hearts. These practices - namsmaran satsung katha or contact with arts may appear to be small and trifles, but then let us remember that huge and strong animals like elephants are controlled and guided by small goading devices – small ankush – in hands of their mahavats.

This is a brief summary of what Bapu said the other day.  He continued to list the ways and means to cultivate sumati. After referring to those he had listed earlier, hari nam, satsang, bhagvat katha, and susahitya, Bapu said that prasad of katha, the grace of God, be it Rama or Krishna or Hanuman or Janki – grace of any God would help us to develop sumati. But such divine grace is given to those who intensely yearn for it, to those who have talaveli or talab for it. Such yearning must be pure and simple. There should not be any cleverness in it. If we surrender everything we have, including our divisive intellect, such prasad or krupa would descend on us. Hanuman also gives such sumati and Hanuman has several names, each with a special meaning and significance. But we should worship Hanuman in his simple (soumya) benign form. Bapu advised to avoid complicated tantrik ceremonies and sadanas that may lead to dangerous results.

Bapu has found that silence (moun) to be a very effective way for attaining sumati. He then said that Tulsidas has often compared sumati to Earth (pruthvi) and even to a beautiful woman who serves the saints as a wife. Bapu continued the metaphor and described the common qualities. Just as Earth has dust, mountains, water, vegetation, metals, fire and seeds, similarly a person who has sumati feels as humble as dust, but his mind is as unshakeable as mountain Meru.  A man with sumati is aware that we are nothing compared with the existence (astitva). Sumati helps us to cultivate rus that is as fluid as water. A person who has no rus or interest in anything would be morose and half dead because he suffers from negativity. Krishna has great interest in music and dancing and he is therefore described as rass raseswar. Such a sumati would help us to love and attachment to children and to less fortunate people. Just as Earth has many precious objects sumati is also bahu ratna. Sumati is always agog with jiganyasha for gyan and gyan is compared to fire. Sumati, like trees, is always devoted to oblige others (paropkar). He mentioned the example of Madan Mohan Malavyaji’s effort to uphold the prestige of Nizam who had turned him away empty handed.

Bapu is convinced that Ramcharit Manas is basically a text written for the purpose of cultivating goodness through frank and beneficial dialogue. Dialogue implies open hearted and unconditional contacts. The dialogues with conditions and stipulations are futile and barren as they lead nowhere and produce no results. Bapu expressed his anguish that people fight and struggle for trifling material benefits. People fight for land, for controlling oceans and energy resources like oil and gas.

Ramayana and Mahabharata are full of struggles and war. While war in Mahabharata was fought for physical, materialistic benefits, war in Ramayana is for Sita who personifies human consciousness (chetna). Rama never cared for controlling or possessing either Ayodhya or Kishkindha or even Lanka. When he says this he is not comparing Ramayana with Mahabharata as one being superior or inferior because such distinction and valuations are imposed by us they are not natural or real.

Ramacharit Manas is a treatise of harmonious dialogue and such good will (sad bhav) is possibly only by developing saintly qualities (sadhu bhav). Mutual good will and personal saintliness are both needed and both are possible only if we are ready and willing to accept individuals with all their limitations and defects. Such an approach requires us to rise above good or bad, praise or blame and between all such dualities (dvaitha). Bapu dislikes comparing one saint with another. When we try to judge saints we are imposing our comparisons on them. Bapu said that when people abuse us or denounce us we should treat it just as a happening; just a minor incident or an accident. Even abuses need to be accepted because one has to pay for ones prestige in terms of abuses. When Jesus said “love thy enemy” you are still aware of enmity. A real spiritual stage is reached when we forget that there is an enemy or any enmity against us. Dualities maybe a part of practical life but in spiritual life only adhavait exists.

Bapu accepted that it is very difficult to rise above and beyond dualities but acceptance of life as it comes is comparatively easy. All dualities are the products of ignorance (agyan) and such agyan ignorance is the outcome of our ego. But what are we in comparison to the entire universe or existence. We are nothing and count for nothing. We should feel the humility which arises out of recognition of the insignificance of ourselves. To speak about such sadhana is easy but to practice and feel humility is very difficult and needs prolonged sadhana. Each individual would follow a separate sadhana suitable for himself. He then appealed to young people to accept all dualities. Bapu said that divisions and quarrels and hatreds he finds in the name of religions (dharma) are much more painful for him and young people should free themselves from such quarrels.

Bapu then picked up the main thread of Ram Katha. Tulsidas begins his Ram Katha with Shiva Chritra. Bapu referred to the visit of Shiva and Sati to Agastya (kumbhuj) for hearing ram katha. While returning Sati decided to test Rama and Rama recognized her. She concealed this truth from Shiva. Shiva decided to keep her away and after her death she was reborn as Parvati after prolonged austerities she married Shiva, had a son Kartikeya and once upon a time requested Shiva to disclose Ramcharit to her. Shiva started his narration.

Bapu began by expressing his great pleasure and deep appreciation of the cultural-intellectual program the previous evening and he congratulated the organizers and the executors.

Sumati and kumati are needed for the practical, material world in which we live. But those who rise above to the spiritual heights have to go beyond both. They go even beyond logic and intellect as intellectual analysis creates divisions and duality (dwait). Tulsidas in Vinay Patrika had discarded even sumati. Tulsidas in Ramcharit Manas writes, within self-imposed restrictions and those who want to understand the maturity and originality of Tulsi must consult his Vinay Patrika or Dohawali Ramayana, where his chetna has fully bloomed. Rama, Hanumana, Tulsi are called Vignan visharad and have secured experience insights. Tulsidas seeks to transcend beyond all dvands, all dualities.

Bapu quoted an incident from Dohawali when Rama burns down to ashes all the four fruits given by Shabri, dharma, arth, kama and moksha and give Shabri only one fruit of love. Rama in Manas is a loyal prince with Dasharath and Kaulshya as his parents. But Rama becomes a lok-Rama, people’s Rama, when he mourns Jatayu as his father and treats Shabri as his mother. In Manas, Jatayu and Shabri are the lowest of the low, but in other books of Tulsi they are elevated to the parenthood of Rama. Bapu proclaimed that when the down-trodden rejected and depressed sections of society are honored and respected, on that day Rama rajya, in the real sense of the term will be established. A lot has been written about Shabri and they are sensed interpretations as also in case of Krishna and Draupadi. But Bapu’s own explanation was that Jatayu died in attempting to rescue Sita, while it is Shabri who guided Rama to Pampa and advised him to cultivate relations with Sugriv.

Bapu reiterated that for us, it is necessary to implement and stick to rules of social and moral ethics (dharma), but at higher levels, shadhaks, may rise above such dharma. Bapu went to the extent of saying that the behavior of a sinner, papi, is predictable. His actions would be crimes and misbehavior. But one can never predict the ways in which siddhis behave. They may abide by rules of dharma or they may appear to disregard all such rules because after attaining spiritual heights sadhaks are guided by a superior understanding that goes beyond good and bad of merits and demerits, in fact beyond all dwands. For such as these, life is a flowing river. Gandhi, who led the nation, often played with children. Persons like Gandhi are free from every bond and they go beyond likes and dislikes.

Bapu mentioned Morajij Desai, the ex prime minister of India, a person of saintly character and it was on his advice that Bapu stopped attending Pothi Yatra. Bapu was in a reminiscent mood and mentioned quite a few incidents from his life. Bapu uses khadi, but dislikes people advising him what he should and should not do. Khadi for Bapu has an emotional contact with the poor and suffering masses.

Bapu reverted to his analysis the spiritually advanced whose actions cannot be gauged or measured by us. For them rituals and ceremonials are not needed, are not necessary and he gave the example of the eratic behavior of Ramkrishna Paramhaunce and of Gunatitanand. Fish may swim in the ocean but never knows its depth and birds flying in the sky fail to measure its width.

Bapu quoted the incident in the life of Chaitanya when his shisya broke all his bows to be just in his presence. Bapu said meeting with sajjan and meeting with durjan arrives and we fells unhappy when a sajjan goes away from us. Life becomes misery on account of pangs of separation from a saint. Gunas, sumati and kumati  are needed for saadhaksI but not for siddhis. That is the reason why Gita advises to go beyond all gunas.

But just as sumati is Earth-like, kumati is also like a pruthvi and has its own viij and vegetation. When drenched by Manthra. Such an Earth is overcrowded by insects and worms. Kumati leads to a crap of ugly and immoral thoughts and aspirations. Like earthquakes, kumati creates instability and like volcanoes kumati of Kaikei created devastating forest fires all around. Like a whirlwind kumati creates confusion  and destruction everywhere.

Bapu mentioned an incident in the life of Socrates when somebody ascribed all the evil traits in his character. Socrates explanation was that all such evils traits are kept under control by his powerful sense of balance and discrimination.

Bapu said that he prefers simple and straight forward teaching of Ramcharit Manas in preference more intricate and complicated discussions and teachings of Gita or Upnishadas, but Manas is the basic foundation without which we cannot reach out to higher levels.

Bapu said that sumati is described as a wife of saints as also a queen. Both saints and rulers need to guided by sumati. He narrated the example of Maharaja Ranajit Sindh of Punjab and his guru to explain that he must acquire good and throw out evils from our minds and heart.

Bapu even picked up the thread of Rama katha leading to birth of Rama, Shiva and Parvati represent shraddha and vishwas and their union leads to katha. He described the physical features of Shiv and the inner spiritual implications in very poetic terms. Parvati described her doubts and requested Shiv to narrate Ramcharit. Shiv began with Ravan charit because it is from darkness that one goes to light. Shiv described the atrocities of Ravan the prayer to the supreme and birth of Rama to the joyful singing and dancing, all around.
Bapu expressed his happiness for the musical evening and paid rich tribute to Shri Raghuvirbhai Chowdhrey for his talk on Mirza Ghalab. Answering a question on Ramayana he said Valmiki Ramayana was written by an adikavi but the author of Tulsi Ramayana is anadi shiva himself. Tulsidas is traditionally believed to be a reincarnation of Valmiki and Tulsidas has great respect for Valmiki.

Sumati has been designated as a woman by Tulsidas and as also a regal princess. Sita is a rajrani, her spiritual form is Bhakti or pragnya or sad buddhi. Bapu chose Sita as an embodiment of sumati and explained the three ornaments used by all women be it an ordinary one or a royal queen. Tulsidas in Balkanda has described thee such ornaments: bangles (kangan), waist band (kamar band) and anklets (nupur). The occasion is the first meeting in puspa vatika an abode of eternal spring, where there was neither fall nor autumn. Rama was visiting this garden for picking flowers and Sita was visiting the temple of Bhavani.

Bapu used this as an allegory for describing spiritual union and declared that Sita like every sadhak preferred Rama to the routine worship. Bapu explained that even routine activity if undertaken sincerely and honestly is spiritual; attending to a hungry child is more important than worship. A doctor’s stethoscope is as sacred as a mala. Bapu deplored that we have divorced sadhana from our daily life and that is one reason why bhakti has disappeared from our life that has become disunited and divisive (vibhakti). Such narrow domestic walls have destroyed the basic unity of mankind.

A companion (sakhi) of Sita reported the presence of Rama and Sita followed her towards Rama. Bapu interpreted the incident to suggest that we should follow our Guru who is more experienced in order to achieve spiritual progress. Sakhi advised Sita to visit Rama, who is supreme divinity itself that is not confined to the narrow walls of temples and idols. People often fight shy in becoming the followers but such hesitation is the outcome of our ego. He told the story of a vain glorious cock who believed that the Sun rises only because he crows.  There should be no hesitation in acknowledging the superiority of our Guru.

It was on this occasion that Tulsidas has mentioned three major ornaments of Sita that was Bhakti personified and therefore an embodiment of sumati.

Bapu said that bangles denote total surrender which is a characteristic of both bhakti and sumati. Such samarpan involves an inclination to give, an innate generosity of nature. Bapu exhorted people to give, to denote a part of our income and he narrated his experience that often young children donate a part of their pocket money. It is the act of giving the desire to give that is important, not the amount or nature of things given. Bapu went to the extent of saying that even religious and charitable institutions should donate their surplus money to other institutions or individuals.

The second ornament of Sita or characteristic of sumati is waist band or kamar band, a symbol of controlled and balanced life (samyam). Kumati would lead to indulgence and unbalanced life. A sadhak has to cultivate awareness that is the outcome of his understanding or his discernment. The third ornament of Sita was anklets (nupur) which implies good behavior (sadaachar).

In order to cultivate sumati one needs a habit of giving, a balanced, disciplined life and good habits or behavior. A striving for such qualities is sadhana, a readiness to accept both sumati and kumati  makes us shuddha, but one who rises beyond both sumati and kumati becomes siddhi.

Bapu pointed out that Ravana did not have a single quality of sumati. He had acquired immense wealth in terms of gold but never gave anything to anybody and his entire property, Lanka, was burnt by Hanuman. He had strength and power but no samyam or discipline in life and he did not behave according to rules of morality (sadaachar). He assumed the form of a sanyasi that was a fake or a pretense. He did surrender his heads to Shiva but that was to gain more power. Bapu named different categories of sanyasi’s leading up to the highest category of paramhauns. Bapu argued that sumati can be developed by satsang and that ultimately we get what we ourselves have created or constructed; the royal palaces that we are deputed to build. God gives us what we ourselves make.

Bapu then turned to Rama Katha and explained the inner spiritual meaning of incidents in the childhood of Rama. He explained the implications of the names given to the four brothers. Rama is a solace, a vishrama for the entire universe. Bharata would nourish the world. Shatrugna is the elimination of enmity or shatrutva and Lakshmana had all great qualities of humanity. Bapu then entered into the deeper analysis. Ram is vishrama but such vishrama comes only after great exertion. Vishram without karma is pramaad which is a synonym with death.

Bharata is nourishment, the quality of giving renunciation (tyag) , the outcome of love. Lakshmana is awareness and elimination of enmity needs silence (moun). Bapu then explained the pairing of the names of brothers, Rama-Lakshmana and Bharat-Shatrugna. Ram who is vishrama needs to be with Lakshmana, awareness and incessant action (karma shilta). An idle person is useless and even dangerous for the society while love and tyag (Bharata) needs silence (Shatrugana). We should not advertise our generosity or tyag.

He then described play and pranks of child Rama and the spiritual implications. Kaushalya often saw him simultaneously in two places sleeping in the cradle and eating in a different place. Bapu referred to vishwaroop darshan in Bhagvat, in Ramcharit Manas and in Mahabharata on different occasions. Rama delayed coming to Dasharatha but responded to the call of Kaushalya. Brahm is never at the beck and call of power but instantly responds to motherly love. Another interpretation was that Dasharatha represents gyan. We can visualize Brahm by knowledge (gyan) but it is only by love, by Kaushalya that we can attain brahm.

Bapu described the visit of Vishwamitra at length and Dasharatha’s unwillingness to hand over Rama but brahm can never be confined to royal palaces, brahm is for the entire universe and needs to be freed. Rama and Lakshmana followed Vishwamitra on foot and Vishwamitra then surrendered all his weapons to Rama because all those who were killed Rama attained Nirvana. The yagna of Vishwamitra was completed under the protection of Rama and then on advice of Vishwamitra they all started for Janakpur to attend dhanush yagna.
Bapu was immensely happy with the literary program Marijathi Madhoani because it was an attempt to amalgamate the folk literature with high brow literary activities. New Jersey katha has a distinctive value of its won in the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Gujarat as a state. Bapu made a deeply emotional appeal for the preservation of Gujarati language and Gujarati ethos by diaspora settled abroad. Bapu went into a reminiscent mood recalling his contacts with poets and sants. Turning to the analysis of sumati and kumati, Bapu described the routs and processes by which kumati gets aggravated; the contacts and the company of evil doers (khalit kumat). Satsang is good if you get it but makes special efforts and strives to avoid bad company. Company of saintly persons leads to mental peace and our evil inclinations are controlled.

Similar effects are produced by good books, music and such other artistic activities. Tulsidas would prefer to live in hell but not in the company of durjans.

Absence of bhajan, in its broad sense as sense of service is another reason why kumati emerges strong in our mind. Hanuman says declared the lack of sense of service as the greatest calamity (vipati). Bapu narrated his own experience how singing bajans helps in keeping kumati away and at bay from us. Such bahan can be in the form of silent and sorrowful memory of divinity like katha. Bapu gave a vivid description of the house of Nand after the departure of Krishna, how Yashoda remembered Krishna and rued the occasions when she had punished Krishna by tying him down to the pillar. Nand and Yashoda suffer deep depression and do not know what to do next.

It was in the firm opinion of Bpau that Indian society has been saved because of bajans and devotion (bhakti). He spoke about several bajaniks and even sang old, popular bajans. Importance and impact of bajan and katha are acknowledged everywhere because such saintly songs destroyed narrow mindedness. He mentioned Narsey Mehta and Mahatma Gandhi who were thrown out of their castes. Discrimination against lower castes is an outcome of kujuddhi but we should try not to find fault with others. So bajans are a great remedy to get freed from kumati.

The excess of rajoguna is the third factor producing sumati because rajoguna produced avarice (lobh) which leads us to dishonesty and several other khands. Bapu believed that negative approach and low opinions about others is the fourth reason which increases kumati.

Such kubuddhi produces a number of miseries and difficulties, vipatis. Take for example Kaikei who wanted to avenge herself on Dasharatha. Malicious criticism of others (parajanda) destroys our mental health and must be avoided at all cost. A habit of continuously criticizing others makes our own life miserable. We get degraded in the eyes of society as was Kaikei denounced by everybody. Such degradation makes life worthless for living. Kumati leads to a behavior that is repugnant to all. Kaikei, for example, discarded her usual clothing and all her ornaments and she looked like a widow she was soon to become. Kaikei became an axe that destroyed the royal family of Suryavaunsh and her family life became bitter and poisonous, breaking up the family ties. All such things result in total destruction and our universe becomes continuously painful. Kumati prevents our mind and makes our vision and understanding topsy-turvy. We treat friends as enemies and repose our trust in perfect strangers. To Kaikei even a straight forward person like Rama appeared as crooked and when Rama joyfully accepted his vanvass and recounted the benefits of exile, Kaikei could not believe a word of what Rama was saying. She suspected Rama playing some tricks on her. Let us remember that exile of Rama due to kumati of Kaikei led to the emergence of Rama in his true, full swaroop. Bapu compared kumati people with leeches who swim at a tangent and blame waters of river for the crookedness of its current.

Bapu then picked up the thread of Katha after the arrival of Rama, Lakshmana and Vishwamitra at Janakpur. Bapu advised to see the world from the vision of our Guru. Rama and Lakshmana moved out in the streets of Janakpur and Bapu painted an elegant picture of the entire city submerged into darshan of Rama. Elderly male citizens looked at Rama as gyanies look upon Bhram from aloofness and intellect. But women who represent bhaki merged themselves into the personality of Rama and enjoyed his vicinity. They surrender even their minds (bhan) to divinity.

Rama picked up flowers for Vishwamitra and secured the fruits of devotion from him. When Rama and Laksmana entered the arena of swayamvar, everybody looked upon them from their own point. Bapu described the scene of dhanush ban in his own dramatic and forceful language and proved his skills in consummate presentation painting verbal but vivid pictures of the happenings leading to dhanush ban. Sita chose Rama and all the four brothers were married to her cousins. The bridal procession then returned to Ayodhya.
Bapu began by picking up two questions and the second question that he answered in brief was about the rituals and the ceremonials for regular path of Ramayana. Bapu rejected all rituals and all restrictions. Read Ramayana as and when it suits you: read it anywhere and any way: read it as or as little that is convenient to you. But read it with interest and with understanding. Bapu does not want anyone to be enslaved by ceremonials. Bapu is not interested in tying kanthies or in collecting followers or his groups of chellas. He prefers to move alone and independent and he want to do as much as he can do but he never bothers about the future of his work. He has no sect, no institution, no followers or disciples and he refused to be a guru. Those that come to listen to his kathas are not his disciples but only his listeners. He is not opposed to institutions as such or to their expanding their activities. But he prefers his lonely furrow. He is a sort of spiritual nomad, a vanzara who moves on from place to place singing his Ramkatha. He wants nothing, needs nothing and accepts nothing except the barest minimum and can get adjusted to any condition. He has no rigid schedules, no strict regulations to restrict his freedom and spontaneity. He aims to a life style which can accommodate to all conditions and circumstances. So he prescribes no rules and regulations for reading Ramcharit Manas.

The second question was from a medical practitioner who wanted to know if Bapu has actually installed Rama without weapons and if that were true he wanted to know the reasons why Bapu did it. Bapu invited him to visit his Ram mandir and verify that the idols have no weapons. Bapu clarified that this was his personal initiative and he would not impose it on anyone, not even on the leaders of his village. Bapu pointed out that there were several such temples in Ayodhya and in other places where the weapons were absent. But he has his own convictions and this is the Truth as he sees it. He advised people to respect and appreciate the Truth of others.

He argued that Ramcharit Manas basically aims at humanizing and further refining human race. Rama left aside all his weapons when he went to bow down to his Guru Vashishtha. Rama used weapons so long as they were needed to eliminate the evil spirits at Lanka. But the war was over and Ramrajya was established. So why do you need arms and weapons and wars? He was in anguish and raised the question as how long are we going to fight and kill one another in the name of religion or nation? He implored to give Peace a chance all over the world and urged UNO to totally prohibit wars for five years at least. Let us experiment with Truth and Love and Peace and understanding for establishing relations between people and people. Bapu felt uneasy that even the saints in India have started keeping arms and use weapons. We the human beings have had more than enough of wars and the world today needs scriptures [shastras] not swords [shatras]. He himself would never use weapons even in self defense and would prefer death if somebody chose to kill him. He pointed out that doctors use a number of sharp instruments for surgery but once the work is over they keep it aside. They do not carry them with them. After Ramrajya was established weapons are not needed and Rama was sitting in his home. Nobody carries arms in home. But Hanuman has to keep his mace [gada] because he is the security officer for Rama and security needs weapons for protection and guarding duties.

Bapu deplored that Tulsidas has not been properly studied or understood. He quoted Tulsidas who in his Dohavali said that all wars whatever be the weapons are dangerous and destructive. Yadavas fought with leaves that were sharp at the edge and perished. Ksamdev attacked Shiva with flowers and was reduced to a heap of ashes. Bapu was highly impressed by the ideals of Vinoba Hhave who wanted philosopher rulers who were devoid of fear [nibhaya] who were devoid of spite [nirvair] and devoid of desires [nishkam].

Bapu then traced the origin of war of Yadava to alcoholism and described the mental anguish of Krishna who saw his entire family and tribe perish in a fratricidal war. Yadav youths had misbehaved with a venerable rishi. Yadavas were under a double curse-- one from Gandhari and the other from that rishi. Bapu assured the audience the idols of Rama in his temple represents Bapu's total rejection and repudiation of war and violence in any form and for any reason.

Bapu then turned to the analysis of the results of kumati. He had listed four factors on the previous day ending with perverted vision [viparit darshan]. Bapu said that both Kaikeyi and Ravana suffered from such perverted visions. Kumati like the moss covers water or stone and is very slippery.

Bapu said the Sumati leads to happiness which takes a variety of forms. The best and the highest type of happiness is the internal bliss a happiness that steadies mind and enlightens our chitta. Besides such personal or individual happiness, sumati produces happiness for people around [parsukha] and universal happiness. Tulsidas has promised happiness in the next world but Bapu has no interest in heaven and for him heaven implies pleasure of good company. Sumati gives prestige and happiness of Satsang that is the highest and the best happiness.

People of Ayodhya experienced all types of intense happiness when Rama and his brothers returned with their brides and such overflowing happiness would pose a danger of calamity.

Bapu summarized Ayodhya Sopan and highlighted the meeting between Nishad Guharaj and Rama and the insistence of Guharaj on washing the feet of Rama.  Overwhelmed by his devotion- bhakti Rama simply did what Guharaj wanted him to do. After crossing the Ganges, Rama settled at Chitrakuta where Bharat visited him and earnestly requested him to return to the throne of Ayodhya. Rama declined to do so but gave his Paduka to Bharat who ruled the kingdom for the next 14 years in the name of Rama and on his behalf. Bharat lived a simple life of same austerity that Rama was living in the forest life.
On this last day of katha, Bapu thanked the audience because speakers cannot do much in the absence of listeners. He compared Sumati with a digging blade that is a potential instrument for all search and research that bring out the hidden treasures from the mines of the mountains like Vedas and Puranas. The digging blade needs the handle and Sumati needs faith or trust. Such search needs silence while the research is going on. But while sowing the seeds of thought speech is necessary to spread the seeds of thought by communication with the listeners.

Silence or maun is very necessary and useful while the exploration is going on because by silence one can carve out one's own universe even in midst of surging crowds. Let us remember that we often talk too much. Bapu quoted President Coolidge of U.S.A. who used to say that whatever little that he speaks, he speaks too much. The less we speak there are lesser occasions to regret or repent because the spoken words can never be withdrawn. Lao Tzu said that speech spoils the experience. We must enjoy serenity of Nature without trying to put it in words.

Books can teach us both silence and serenity and books were highly revered in ancient India.  Bapu pointed out that the digging blade never destroys the roots. Similarly we should enjoy life without destroying the Satvic approach in experiences. Enjoy life but with discrimination [vivek] and we should try to live a life that others would like to write about it. We should not worry about being misunderstood because saints and prophets have always been misunderstood. Let us follow our own way with all humility and without ego because we are insignificant in the universe. Very often our ego prevents us from accepting and submitting to the wider existence [astitva]. Sumati leads us to explore and a healthy hunger for better things of life. Of all the worse things that can happen to us, the worst is forgetting or neglecting God and this can be avoided by Satsang. We must remember our real self and shed our ego because ego will destroy our naturalness and then even simplicity can become crooked hypocrisy.  Bapu advised that we should always respect and revere our elders and those who are our superiors and avoid maligning others.

Bapu then summarized the remaining sopans of Ramcharit Manas and pointed out to the hidden meanings and implications of the various incidents.
Katha 683 - Manas Mastak, Muscat, Oman20th - 28th February 2010
Bal Kand – Doha 27 & 33
Sumiri so naam ram gun gatha | Karau nai raghunathahi matha ||
Sadar shivahi nai ab matha | Barnau bisad ram gun gatha ||
 
Remembering that Name and bowing my head to the Lord of Raghus, I proceed to recount the virtues of Sri Rama.
Reverently bowing my head to Lord Siva, I now proceed to recount the fair virtues of Sri Rama.
  • Bapu firstly spoke about the beauty of Oman. He said that the yajman’s son asked him today about his first impressions of the country. Bapu said Oman is a blessed country. Bapu also paid his respects to the Sultan of Oman.
  • He then mentioned that Gujaratis used to ask him when he will do a katha in Muscat, but they would get mixed up and call it Mustak. So he decided on this as the subject of the katha – Manas Mustak. The word mustak means the head, including everything from the eyes and the mouth to the brain.
  • Two eyes, two nostrils, two ears and one mouth – these are the seven sopaan of Manas, the seven kaands. Sopaan means ladder, step by step.
  • In katha, even if u don't put your mind (mann) to it, even if your wisdom (budhhi) cannot come to a decision (nirnay na kar payi), this does not matter. Just listen with prasannataa from inside, and from outside with happiness, excitement (utsah). Man aur chit prasanna lekar yahaa ana. Ghelcha se nahi - utsah se.
  • During katha, sit wherever you find space. If you want to sit on chair and stretch your legs, that’s also fine. Eat well and sleep well before katha so that u don't sleep in katha. All I want is for you is to come prasanna. Only listen to as much as u enjoy. If you don't want to listen to more, then leave without disturbing anyone.
  • Bapu mentioned that people in Muscat start work at 730am and finish by 130pm, after which they go home, rest, and then spend time going out with wife and kids. Bapu said he likes this. In this life we just work work and work... What is life about? He is not condoning laziness or suggesting that people should be lazy, but he is referring to the enjoyment of life. If you don't have time to be happy then what is life?’
  • You should not think that you will be able to attain heaven (swarga) by listening to katha, but in katha, you can feel (anubhav) swarga. There's nothing more heavenly in this world than sat-sang. Not with foolishness (ghelcha) but with deep satisfaction (prasannata).
  • Bapu relayed a story of a mouse, who said to a baba that he is scared of cats. So the baba turned him into a cat. Thereafter, a dog came, and the cat said again that he is scared of the dog. So the baba turned him into a dog. This went on from etc cheetah.. Until the baba told him, “I won’t change you anymore because your heart is still of a chuha.” Bapu said that if only we change from mice to Ganesha. He has come across just a few people in katha who have turned from mice to even Shiva.
  • Someone asked what the differences and similarities are between a lottery ticket and a wife. You can keep buying a lottery ticket, and there is always the possibility that at some point you may win… but with a wife…
  • In rajkot university, a student asked Bapu, “You go to katha; what kind of make-up do you do?” Bapu answered, “My work isn't about make up. It’s about wake-up. What can katha not do?”
  • There are many poojas we can do but what is even more significant is to live by what they represent:
    • Ganesh pooja – this is vivek ki pooja
    • Surya pooja – Living in the light (prakash)
    • Gauri/ Durga pooja – Living with faith (shraddha)
    • Shiv pooja – doing as much of others' praise (kalian) as possible - this is rudra abhishek. Do abhishek on the shivling of your shradhha.

      Bapu also gave an example of rudra abhishek- when our eyes fill with tears because of someone else's happiness: There was a boy sitting on the edge of the train and shouting away in happiness. It just so happened that there was a newly wed couple in the same cabin who were trying to privately enjoy themselves. They were getting annoyed with the boy and requested the boy’s dada if he would ask the boy to stop shouting. But the dada wasn’t responding. When it started raining, the rain started falling on the couple because the boy had of course kept the window open, at which the couple became even more frustrated. After hours of asking the dada and much frustration, the dada finally told them that the boy had been blind his whole life and just yesterday, through means of a new technology, he got vision for the first time. Before he had only heard the sound of wind and rain and trees. Now, he was able to actually see nature with his own eyes. The couple, on hearing this, began to cry.
  • In life a sadguru is necessary. When you get sadguru's karuna drshti, your paap goes. There is no uniform to a sadgruru - can be in any form. Don't ever ask your sadguru for anything, especially sampati, or for moksha, or for bhakti. Guru is mukti, guru is bhakti, guru is sampati. Only ask one thing if you want to, 'hum tumhe shaayad bhul jaaye, tum humse nahi bhulna' - we are wordly people, even if we forget you, please you don't forget us.
  • Ghelcha and kachbo story - A boy was very fond of a tortoise (kaachbo) and used to spend a lot of time with it. One day he found it dead on the shore of the river and was sorely upset. Once he told his family, they decided to hold a very big funeral as they knew how close he was to the tortoise. They were planning to do it in such a way as though a it was a human being and part of the family. When they went back to the shore with the boy, the tortoise was no longer there. The boy looked for it and found the tortoise alive. The boy said to his father that we should kill the tortoise as we have made such big arrangements. His father, being wise, said we don’t need to kill the tortoise, we need to kill the foolishness (ghelcha).
  • Valentine's day isn't just one day in Ram Katha; it comes everyday.
  • Mastishk/ Mustak – even this is a granth because it is seven kaands of the Ramayana.
  • Bapu said that just like he can’t see all the sites and everything there is to see while he is in Oman, but he can visit some of the important places such as the Grand Mosque, which he visited yesterday, we may also not be able to understand the full body, but if we can understand just our head (mustak), then we will know the most important parts.
  • He then expanded on what he mentioned yesterday about the seven doors (dwaar) of the head (2 nostrils, 2 ears, 2 eyes, 1 mouth) representing the seven kaands of the Ramayana:
    • 2 eyes - one eye is the Bal Kaand and the other is Ayodhya kaand
      • Svadarshan / Nijadarshan – everyday, once you’ve done everything spend some time doing nija darshan – self introspection. Don’t look only at your faults. With your good deeds, you can nullify any bad deeds.
      • Sabdarshan – Bal kaand
      • Samadarshan
        • being able to see equality eg speaking to a driver or someone who works in your house with respect from the heart. Right now, in some houses, manatva ka apman hota hain.
        • Need samtaa – are we in this world only to earn money? The Vedas have said to earn with two hands and give with four hands.
        • Example – a man was leaving from home to go to the mosque and realised that he was too far and would be late for namaaz. He saw a boy crying on the street, and instead of namaaz, decided to stop the boy from crying.
      • Sattadarshan
    • 2 ears – one ear is the Sundar kaand and the other Lanka kaand (shubha shravan karna – that is kaanka sadupyog)

      Sundar kaand – whatever the characters were saying were sweet (mithi) good (achhi) things eg what Hanumanji said to Sitaji, what Trijataa said to Sitaji

      Lanka kaand – a very jagrut kaand aur lanka kaand vishudh karta hain – purifying. There is shravan in Lanka kaand, things that are sweet to hear. Shubh shravan karna – listen to good things.
    • 2 nostrils – one is Ayodhya kaand and the other Kiskindha
      Kiskindha kaand – Breathe in the khushbu of God. Tyaag ka ek mahek hoi – it is shown that there is a scent of sacrifice smelt.
    • Mouth (mukh) – uttar kaand - Less events (ghatna) and more speech from the heart.
  • 7 tirtho no snaan chhe Ram Charit Manas no paath.
  • If you have anger, then you have no need for an enemy as anger is your biggest enemy.
  • Bapu said he hasn’t even started relaying the Ram Katha. He is only saying things from the surface. We are still paddling. We haven’t even gone into the water yet
  • Gauravse uncha rahe, garva se nahi
  • Bapu remembered Rabindranath Tagore’s quote ‘Where the head is held high.’
  • The saarthakta of the head can only be achieved by bowing down to the charan. This is the bhakti maarg. There is no worth (kimat) to solely keeping the head up with pride if someone doesn’t put their hand on your mustak. If you want to ask God for anything, ask him to put his hand on your mustak.
  • There are three types of sparsh
    • Those that are younger touch the feet of elders
    • Those that are equals hold each other’s hands
    • Those that are older put their hands on our head
  • Kiskindha kaand – Sugriva and Baali. Both their atmakathas are in this kaand. There are many atmakathas in the Manas. The atmakatha of Sanpaati and Jatayu is also told in Kiskindha kaand.
  • Dedicating food (Arpan)
    • Bapu recalled Dongrebapa, who held Bapu’s katha around 40 years ago. When Dongrebapa ate, he took his food in a patra, put everything together and then added water to the mixture of food. Putting water in food, one would think it becomes entirely tasteless, but he ate it with such enjoyment as though it was the tastiest food. A sadhak doesn’t think he is eating food; he considers his food as Brahma.
    • Eat with bhiksha vrutti (bhiksha haro, nira haro). In the Manas it is written ‘Tumahi nivedita bhojana karahi, Prabhu prasaada pata bhushana dharahi…’ Bapu recited and sang the verses from the Manas.
    • Dedicate (arpan) everything from food to clothes to Thakurji ki charano, to the charan of God.
  • Bapu spoke about sleep – to sleep as much as you can but at the right time. How can you expect the youth to get up at 3am and to do mala? That pushes them away from dharma. Now the youth are coming closer to dharma. So give your children freedom (samyak swatantrata). The more freedom you give, the less your children will break maryada. If you give freedom from the heart, then you will get that much maryada in return. Bapu gave a recent example of this. While in Junagadh for Shivratri, a mahatma came to see him and stopped smoking. But Bapu, wanting to give him freedom to do as he wishes, told him to smoke. After a few refusals, he finally did start smoking. This is an example of how maryada can be gained by giving freedom.
  • Prem ka jal viswas ki bhumi par jita hain. Wherever prem is, you know beneath that there is viswas. Prem bharosa ki bhumi par tikta hain – Love lasts on the ground of faith.
  • People of the bhakti marg are not part of the crowds (bhir). Mira, Narsih Mehta etc were not part of the bhir. Prem bhir ko kubul nahi karte hain. Bapu then quote Kalhil Gibran – Children are not yours, but they come through you. Give them their freedom, let them study what they are interested in.
  • What to wear on the head:
    • Your agna – your command (maalik ka hokum)
    • Parmatma ka haat – the hand of God
    • Pavitra vichaar – pure thought like the Ganga (suvichaar ki Ganga dhara)
  • The Manas says to always keep three things on your head:
    • Guru - Keep your Guru on your mustak. He will not let us think wrongly. Sadguru ki bhumika adabhut hain – when he has his eyes open, understand he is here, in the present, but when he closes his eyes, know that he has reached somewhere miles and miles away.
    • Muni – In your road to your Sadguru, if you meet a mahapurush on the way, then give that mahapurush respect. Get satya from wherever you can. Just because your sadguru may not reply to you, call you etc, he might be thinking of you from far away. Guru is not furniture that you can just change.
    • Janaka – samasta shastro ke nata hain. Shaastra, Veda, Gyan, Samaj, Savdhani – keep these on and keep free from fear (bhay). Knowledge (gyan) which is free from fear is Janaka. His biggest sampada is bhakti (Sita) and bhakti teaches you to always give.
      Only due to these three can you bow your head down.
  • On your lips, have the name of God; in your heart, hari ka dhyaan (dhyaan = tad linataa)
  • Bapu quoted Amir Khusro:
    “Muje durse meri guru ki khushbu aati hain. Muje gulab nahi chahiyen, muje mehek chahiye.“
    Translation – From far, I can sense the khushbu (scent) of my guru. I don’t want the rose, I want the mehek (luring smell).
  • Kabandha – ek mansikta ka naam kabandh. Some people just don’t see the good. They see the dosh even in omething good. That person is kabandh. The bhakti marg is very hard.
  • The youth should do pranaam to their elders in the house when they wake up and before they sleep. By doing this, four things will increase:
    • Ayur - life
    • Vidya - knowledge
    • Yash - fame
    • Balam - strength
    Even if your ayu doesn’t increase, the prasannata in your life will. Your mustak is for ashirwad.
  • Whatever you eat or wear – do it with dedication to God, Krishna bhaavse. Whatever fruit you get, don’t let go of it, but dedicate it to Krishna. Arpan karna, then it will become anant guna.
  • Nishtha and pratishtha are the two mustaks of viswas
  • Kabandh – one who has no mustak
  • We are all Shiva tatva and our son is purushartha (= karma/ karmayog). No one can live without purushartha. We may not know we are Shiva. We all forget out swaroop. And if we remember it then we become kritakritya, and once we are kritakritya, our purushartha samapta ho jata hain. Katha can make us kritakritya.
  • Bapu said that all he wants is the prasannata of all his shrotas (listeners). If they are all prasanna, then he will be kritakritya
  • 6 mustaks of purushartha:
    • Prathakaran – Analyse situations and assess whether or not its good for you.
    • Abhyas – repeat it, keep at it
    • Sahaj – Be yourself
    • Prasannata - whatever happens, my prasannata won't go. Do work, cooking, everything, with a smile, with prasannata.
    • Whatever you do, do for others, so you can give to others. purushartha is for paramarth not for selfishness. Always give 10% of earnings to needy in the country in which you earn or wherever you see need. It must be 10%.
    • Saunshay ka nash ho- to kill all our doubts (sandeh)
  • Everyday as many times as you can, recite the Gayatri Mantra
  • Someone asked Bapu why the katha is called ‘Manas’ Mustak. What is the meaning of Manas?
    • Manas – because it is Ram Charit Manas. The abbreviation of this is manas.
    • Manas – also means hriday, dil, heart
    • Manas – can also be mann, mind (mansikta)
    • But mainly it means hriday – this is shankar mahadevka hriday. We are listening to shankar ka dil ki katha - the katha of Shankar’s heart.
  • So Manas Mustak can mean –
    • Dil or dimaakh ke bichme setubandh – the bridge between the heart and mind
    • Dono ko Jorne ki ek Saatvik anushthaan
    • Hriday aur buddhi ka samyojan
  • This is a Sammillan, not sammelan – where people meet, join and interacted rather than just a gathering
  • Different ways of saying things, explaining and giving commands:
    • Aadesh – mustak pradhan
    • Updesh – anugraha pradhan - guru tells you to do eg swadhyay, read a good poem, study..
    • Sandesh – kartavya pradhan
  • Don't forget your mul bhasha. Speak any other language, but don't forget your mother tongue. Give respect to the dressing of your home country. Wear whichever clothes you like, but don't forget your traditional dressing.
  • If one is dirty and one is clean, the light will shine out from the clean light. In the same way , parmatma is everyone’s hearts, but the purer you are, the more the light will emanate from you.
  • Mustak – word has only featured once in manas. But there are many other words for head that have appeared repeatedly in manas (matha, shir, ...)
  • Manas mastak ka saptak
    • Sa – sahas - himmat, taking risk, build up courage
    • Re – rekha (keep the borders large - these things are not bandhans - dhyan rakhna chahiye - just as in a dance the dancer does not fall off the stage
    • Ga – garal - Converting vish to amrit
    • Ma – mann - does a lot of anuman (what you imagine). There are four reasons why your mind becomes unbalanced: utsah (over-excitement), pakshpath (biased), aagra (insistence), aahaar (food).
    • Pa – pal
    • Dha – dharma
    • Ni – nind
  • 6 things ka anusheelan (appropriate use etc):
    • Aahaar (food) ka anusheelan - Ayurveda says half stomach should be filled with food, quarter with water, and a quarter with air
    • Sharir ka anusheelan – Looking after the body; rest is welcome after hard work
    • Indriyo ka anusheelan – controlling the senses
    • Ichha ka anusheelan – you need to have desire - Ichha and manorath
    • Shwaas ka anusheelan – breathing in the right way. Do yoga if you find a good teacher.
    • Mann ka anusheelan – the mind
  • Continuing from saregama yesterday:
    • Pa; par - not mera mera (mine, mine) all the time, to stop thinking about nij (myself) but to also start thinking about par (other). This is the sur of sant - mera jo ho na ho, dusro ka kalyan ho.
    • Dha – dharma - if something happens in the house then forget about it. Instead of cursing your daughter-in-law, your sasu, your husband or anyone, and then sitting in the mandir, do aarti of your sasu, daughter-in-law etc. See bhagwan in them.
  • Four purushartha on the head:
    • Taal – moksha, sanyaas, nirvaana
    • Baal – kaama
    • Bhaal – artha
    • Gaal - dharma - Nishkaam dharma and Sakaam dharma
  • The subject is not to do dharma, it is to be dharma
  • The shape of a person's face - from this can be inferred their gun kathan.
  • Guru is not a bulb, he is a powerhouse
  • Lips - associated with love eg mother kissing her child, child having milk. The two lips also represent ‘Ra’ and ‘Ma’.
  • Tongue - associated with truth. Living between 32 teeth. No bone so no akkarness (stiffness). Sharanagati, ek sharan.
  • Teeth - associated with karuna. They are akkar (stiff). The whole shobha of the face is accenuated by the teeth. A person without teeth looks odd.
  • There is respect for sultan here- the kind of respect that is rare for a ruler. The way a son loves his father. The mountains here remind me of Girnar.
  • Jesus Christ said to love thy neighbour. Live in your house with pyaar, mohabbat.
  • Don't have so much fear for doing paap. It’s not good to do paap, but if you do or say anything wrong, then this can be forgiven.
  • Give others respect while you're doing mala. Naam me dubo - drown in the name of God. But don't ignore family and others.
  • When someone asks Bapu if hwe wants to do bhagwan's darshan, he said he does not need to do Bhagwan's darshan  as he is seeing bhagwan in the eyes of these youth, in the eyes of the poor etc.
  • 32 lakshan of Guru – below are only a few:
    • Guru is not vishay lampat
    • Guru feels more dukh (pain, sorrow) seeing others’ dukh than that person who has the dukh himself
    • Who doesn't have any hatred towards anyone. An enemy cannot even appear in his heart.
    • Bhitarse vairagi haun
    • Never says anything harsh
    • Only one mamta - charan
    • When you go to Guru, you receive only happiness
No details.
Katha 680 - Manas Hanuman, Seychelles19th - 27th December 2009
Bal Kand – Doha 16 & Uttar Kand – Doha 1
Mahabira binavau hanumana | Rama jasu jasa apa bakhana ||
Maruta suta mai kapi hanumana | Namu mora sunu krpanidhana ||
 
I supplicate Hanuman, the great hero, whose glory has been extolled by Sri Rama Himself.
Listen, O fountain of mercy: I am the son of the wind-god, a monkey; Hanuman is my name.
Bapu was inspired to speak on Hanumanji while he was coming here. The natural beauty of Seychelles reminded him of Hanumanji. He has called upon all of us, to join him and experience the real essence of Hanumanji’s Swarup i.e. his core form.

Bapu then told about an incident in the life of Bertrand Russell that once a person asked him, who is the most intelligent man in this world, he replied that it was his tailor. He said so because everytime went to the tailor, he used to take his new measurement for stitching his clothes. He said further that as a person he was the same but the events and circumstances in his life were new for each passing day and so it was appropriate to have a new measurement.

In the same way, there is something new in every Ramkatha and there is always something new to be known about hanumanji.

Hanumanji is the mahaprana of Ramcharitmanas. This Katha would be a tryst to invoke Hanumanji in a very special form. Hanumanji is Mahavir. His glory has been extolled by Sriram himself. In the second part of the main chopai, hanumanji is introducing himself to Shri Bharatji, calling himself as a humble servant of Lord Ram.

The outward forms of hanumanji are various and according to the prevalent belief system in various regions, hanumanji is known in many different ways. But Bapu, wants us to have a closer look on Hanumanji’s character from the view point of Goswami Tulsidasji. And having known that, one is in position to attain Ram in his life. Attaining Ram means, param vishram, the absolute peace.

According to Bapu, satsang means that we leave the external physical form and get to know our real self. Let us come to this Katha as a Sadhak.

Bapu selected 7 ‘Vs’ in order to understand the real form of Hanumanji, which will be further discussed in this Katha. The seven ‘Vs’ which gives the Swarup darshan of Hanumanji are as follows:

First and foremost is the Vishwas of Hanumanji. However, strong a person is in his vishwas, but if he does not keep a good company then his faith may get jolted in the path. Same happened with Hanumanji, as long as he was in the company of Sugriv. But once he meets Ram, he regains back his lost faith and is awakened.

Secondly, the Vichar of Hanumanji. His ideology. If we can be receptive of his thoughts, we can reach upto him. Third is the Vivek of Hanumanji. Though, his species is known to be restless, its important to know what is the discretion of Hanumanji. Fourth is the Virag of Hanumanji. Fifth, the Vishram of Hanumanji & Sixth is the Vishal Swaroop of Hanumanji and last is the Vishad of Hanumanji. Sometimes in order to invoke Prasad, vishad is necessary.

Anyone possessing all these is a VIP person and who else but Hanumanji is such a VIP person so only in every Katha he is the first VIP to be heartily welcomed.

Bapu said, in this beautiful country we shall try to demonstrate that Hanumant element, which consists of all these 7 forms. This is not a new approach, its just a new measurement, as everything should go through a modification otherwise it will get decayed.

In this way, Bapu introduced the subject on which the Ramkatha will be recited in the coming days.

According to Bapu, Ramcharitmanas is an auspicious omen of the highest order. He quoted a couplet from Dohawali Ramayan which portrays 7 good omens in our life. They are, Sudha, Sadhu, Surtaru, Suman, Sufal, Shuhavni baat and bhakti.

All the seven chapters of Ramacharitmanas correspond to each of these 7 omens or shagun.

In Balkand we find the good omen of Sudha, the nectar of Ramkatha. In Ayodhya kand one finds the omen of Sadhu, as seen in various characters like Kaushalyaji, Bharatji and kalpavrksh ofcourse Lord Ram himself. In Aranyakand there is Kalpavruksh, the wish fulfilling tree. In Kishkindha kand one sees the omen of Suman, the flower where Lord Ram puts the garland of flower on sughriv and he was relieved of all his difficulties. Sunderkand is like sufal, where Sitaji suggests Hanumanji to eat the sweet fruit remembering Lord Ram. Lanka kand is full of good omen of wise talk i.e. hitopdesh. We find so many characters of Ramayana in this kand trying for the welfare of Ravan. Finally, the uttarkand has the good omen of hari bhakti, i.e. devotion to God.

If one carries even a small copy of Ramacharitmanas in one’s bag, one is always surrounded by all these 7 good omen, i.e. shagun.

Finally, Bapu said that if swant Sukh is the main goal behind whatever we do in life, the consequences are bound to be very special. He then spoke about how without a Guru we cannot tread the path of Truth, love and compassion. Recently, in a programme Bapu was asked to speak what he has learnt from his life. What could Bapu say when Racharitmanas itself is his life, and through it he is still learning truth, love and compassion.

Bapu said he loves the sight of a child holding the hand of his father, in the same way, a Guru holds the hand of his ashrit and guides him in his life’s journey.
Bapu began the Katha by saying that we are all well versed with the prevalent forms of Hanumanji, let us understand the swarup of Hanumanji and thus get enlightened of our own real self.

As such, Hanumanji’s real appearance is in kishkindakand, but we do find the unapparent appearance of Hanumant element in all the kand of Ram Charitmanas.

In Balkand, Tulsidasji greets Hanumanji as the embodiment of wisdom. Again he mentions him in the Namvandana.

Hanumanji is present in the form of Lord Shankar in the manglacharan of Ayodhyakand and also in many other places. Many times we find that his appearance is hidden. Just as said in a vedic sutr that, the same truth is revealed in many ways, in the same way Hanumanji’s Swaroop is revealed in various forms of Agni, Vayu and Yam.

Thus, in Ayodhyakand there is no difference of opinion about the presence of Hanumanji,, but there is definitely the mystery of truth, as to which part of Hanumant Swaroop we can find in this kand. After Lord Ram leaves the ashram of Bharadwajji, there is a mention of a Tapasvi with a spiritual glow. Many exponents of Ramcharitmans feel that he is the agnidev. Hanuman is pran vayu, he is brahmachari, he is tapasvi, he is beautiful, he is vairagi and with mind, action and speech he is a true devotee of Lord Ram. He also appears in the form of love, as love itself has a spiritual glow in it.

In Aranyakand, we find the unapparent appearance of Hanumanji in the form of Agni.

In Kishkinda kand he appears in his real form. In Sunderkand he is present everywhere. In Landakand we see the valiant form of Hanumanji. In uttarkand also we find the presence of Hanumanji.

Thus, in this way, Ramcharitmanas consists of both apparent or unapparent and revealed or hidden appearance of Hanumanji.

Bapu then presented the shaiv darshan, which tells about the subtle form of Hanumanji. Hanumanji is Jagadguru. Tulsidasji has depicted the maxims of shaiv darshan in Ramcharitmanas.

According to shaiv darshan, Hanumanji’s form consists of three objects revealed in a subtle form. They are Pati, Pashu and Paash.

Hanumanji is the master of all our senses just like our sadguru. Secondly, our inner swaroop is like an animal, pashu. We get nothing by speaking about swaroop, the form, so be calm. Speech itself is a bondage.

Bapu quoted Emerson saying that the church is more peaceful without the sermons and also he quoted J. Krishnamurthy saying that if you want to be awakened then run. Run from whom? Run from all those clever people whose talks can bind you. Run to a pace where you can’t find even yourself !

But then, Bapu said, words are necessary to go beyond the state of wordlessness. Vichar, the thought is Hanumanji’s one of the swaroops. From the duality of thoughts one can comprehend the oneness of thoughts. But the condition is, the thought should be subh i.e. good.

In continuation, Bapu said the animal nature i.e. Pashuta residing in us is manifested as soon as we cheat on others, tell lies and are jealous.

Hanumanji is the mirror who shows the pashuta, the animal nature in us, in this way one of the Swaroop of Hanumanji by shaiv darshan is of Pashu.

The third swaroop of Hanumanji is Paash, i.e. bondage. Externally, we may appear as free individuals but on the inner front all of us are in bondage.

Bapu further presented one more darshan of Hanumanji’ swaroop according to shaiv mat. This time he told about four more aspects of Hanumanji which are worth learning. They are: (1) Vidhya, i.e. learning (2) Kriya, i.e. Action (3) Yog i.e. unification (4) Vidhi, i.e. the method.

The real outcome of learning is freedom. Bapu said there is lot of difference between kriya and Karm. There is a consequence of every karm but this is not so with the kriya. There is the feeling of doership in karm but kriya is more spontaneous. For Hanumanji, his every action is karm and not kriya. Karm binds while kriya sets you free.

Bapu then beautifully clarified the difference between karm and kriya by giving some very common examples. He said the act of eating is karm while the act of breathing is kriya. The act of removing blood from the blood vessels is karm while the circulation of blood in our body is kriya. To eat is karm while the process of digestion is kriya.

Thus, Hanumanji’s swaroop is kriya. He burnt lanka, this act is kriya and not karm. All of us are trapped in karm and not in kriya.

Proceeding further, Bapu said Hanumanji’s swaroop is yog. We can’t find a greater yogi than Hanumanji. He is always unified with Ram. In Ramcharitmanas, in the end of kishkindakand we see him peacefully sitting as a Yogi.

Lastly, vidhi, the method. In Hanumanji’s worship there is no vidhi. When any vidhi takes the form of karm then it becomes very natural.

Bapu presented a revolutionary thought, that, a viveki person must render the orders of his master dutifully but through his vevek if he finds that it is not favourable, then he has to listen to his inner consciousness and then act accordingly. Bapu supported this thought by telling the incident when Hanumanji disguises himself as an adult Brahmin and meets Lord Ram for the first time in spite of sughriv telling him to disguise as a very young looking Brahmin. The reason behind this was that Hanumanji thought that presenting himself as a childBrahmin, he won’t be able to get the complete identity of the two strangers moving in the forest.

Bapu said if a sadhak want to cultivate divine qualities in himself then he must take refuse in Hanumanji. He explained the meaning of the four letters in the word Hanuman, i.e. Ha, nu, ma and na.

  1. Ha – stand for the affirmative attitude towards life i.e. being positive.
  2. Nu – here is taken from ‘nuksan’ i.e. harm one should not harm anybody.
  3. Ma – taken from ‘maan’ i.e. pride. What more pride than getting the human form in this very birth.
  4. Na – stand for namrata i.e. humility. Being humble.
Thus, a person who is humble, who is not looking for recognition and does not think ill of anybody and always has a positive outlook will find in himself the cultivation of divine qualities i.e. daivi sampda.

Lastly, Bapu as always emphasized the importance of remembering God’s name in this Kaliyuga. The name could be any, it may be Jesus, Allah or Ram.
Bapu said in the entire manas, the word Hanuman has come 55 times. In order to comprehend Ramacharitmanas, it is necessary to have a closer understanding of all the 12 volumes of Tulsidasji’s writings.

Bapu said, according to his vision and with the responsibility of the vyaspeeth, and also with the consent of the Shastras, Hanuman is Ishwar. Hanuman is bhagwan, Hanuman is Brahm and Hanuman is Parmatma. And so, where is the need of any wanderings? Bapu says let other Gods be there in your temple, but keep your Ishwar, your Bhagwan, your Brahm and your Parmatma Hanumanji in your chit i.e. consciousness. And he says that if you keep Hanumanji in your chit, then things happen here and now !

We are aware of only few sukh i.e. happiness in life, but the sarv sukh i.e. complete happiness can be had only by giving your consciousness to hanumanji.

Bapu then remembered that years ago while he was in London he had been to a masjid, it was a time not much favourable discussions were going on, and a maulana asked Bapu to accompany him for the session of namaz, Bapu readily agreed, he remembered the sight of hundreds of muslim brothers doing namaz, he sat at the back and did Hanuman chalisa.

It is not whom you are worshipping, be it Jesus, Allah or Ram but your faith must be in one place, that is important, then even a pebble becomes Lord Shankar.

Bapu said, here who wants sarv sukh? If one finds a company of few like-minded people, one thinks that is sukh, but sukh is something which is experienced by the saints and the Sufis. We are in a circle of petty happiness which we call sukh.

A gyani will tell you to have faith in Brahm, a believer in reincarnation will tell you to have faith in Bhagwan, a yogi will tell you to have faith in Ishwar, a philosopher will tell you to have faith in Parmatma. Bapu says his vyaspith tells you to have faith in Hanumanji and you will have faith in all the four.

In hanuman chalisa, the hanuman word is there four times. It depicts Hanumanji as Ishwar, Brahm, Parmatma and Bhagwan.

Bapu then said Hanumanji’s four forms of parmatma are man-mind, buddhi – intellect, chit-consciousness and ahankar-ego. He is also naam – roop – lila – dhan and dharm- arth – kam – nirvana and satya - treta – dwapar – kaliyug and Brahman – shatriya – vaishy – sudra. So much is there in Hanumanji.

In Zen Philosophy, there is a word memory, kriya memory i.e. action memory and self memory. Bapu narrated a zen story where an aspirant comes to a zen master, who is working as a coffee seller and asked him how to attain salvation. The zen master had a coffee kettle in his hand, he keeps it down in a gesture saying whatever you are holding on to, leave it, here and now ! that is salvation, mukti, it was simple.

Similarly, Hanumanji is saral, i.e. simple and easy to hold on to, here and now!

Bapu then tried to prove the mentioned things about Hanumanji. In various shastras, Ishwar is defined as the doer of all impossibilities. Then, how hanumanji is Ishwar ? Bapu quoted a few lines from Vinay Patrika where the given definition of Ishwar is realized. (In Aatma Nishta i.e. belief of soul and shastra nishta i.e. belief of shastras).

Hanumanji is the real image of the formless Mahadev and lord Shankar’s formless image is Hanumanji. Both are symbolized together in the picture of Hanumanji with the background of shivling. And so, Bapu says, Hanumanji is Ishwar.

Bapu took one more sutr from Patanjali yog sutr which defines Ishwar saying one who is not touched by the four things is Ishwar. These four are Klesh – i.e. mental anguish, karm – i.e. action, vipaak i.e. consequences of your karm and Aashay – i.e. lust.

Bapu said one who is not touched by these four in any state of time i.e. past, present or future is Ishwar.

Hanumanji is untouched by Klesh. There are five different types of Klesh i.e. mental anguish. They are avidhya i.e. foolishness or unawareness, Asmita – it is a ego based word, Raag & Dwesh i.e. attachment and malice and Abhinevesh – i.e. fear of death.

Bapu said one should not compete with others rather with ones own self. If a person wishes to be successful, he has to resort to purusharth i.e. hard work, prarabdh karm i.e. destiny and Param ki Krupa – i.e. God’s Grace.

Thus, one who is not retarded by any kind of karm i.,e. action is Ishwar. Again, according to Patanjali’s yog sutr one who is untouched by aashay i.e. lust is Ishwar and so Hanumanji is Ishwar.

Bapu then said, Hanumanji is Brahm i.e. the absolute truth. Bapu supported it by saying that if Lord Shankar is aatma i.e. soul, then he has to be the paramatma i.e. the supreme soul and thus Hanumanji is Brahm.

Now, for the discussion of the swaroop of Hanumanji, Bapu has selected the main chopai which states that Hanumanji is Mahavir and Lord Ram himself is in praise of Hanumanji but still he is untouched by any kind of pride.

Bapu then presented a very good view point, he said Hanumanji is like a fire in the forest symbolizing bad people, where the fire is caused spontaneously. He said, whenever there is a friction caused due to the rush of thoughts in our mind and causes heart burn, Hanumanji does the sadhukarm of removing it and then provides the rain of knowledge giving a new life,. Thus lets shun wickedness and cultivate the seedlings of politeness and gentleness.

Further, Bapu illustrated how Hunumanji was Nam – Roop- Lila Dharm and other such quadraplets mentioned in the beginning.

Bapu then said how a sadguru removes the 8 types of illusions of his aashrit: lets understand these as explained by Bapu. Sadguru removes the illusion of external prosperity and also the illusion of internal prosperity. He said, sometimes, if there is a drawback in a person’s faith, it is too difficult to cure him. Dirt in the teeth can be removed, but what if the entire breadth is dirty ! Lack of Vishwas i.e. faith in our life is an internal poverty. There should not be any options for your vishwas, it should be in one place, that’s it.

Through shastras, the sadguru tries to remove the doubt of his aspirant, and establishes brahm nishta i.e. faith in the supreme truth and fills his empty vessel.

A sadguru will never ever try to strike the freedom of his aashrit. A sadguru will never want to spread his glory and neither will he try to form network for his glory instead his constant endeavour is to uplift his ashrit. Katha gradually destroys our attachments. Katha is gentle like the moon rays and it can be hard like the Kalika. Katha provides a better health by treating the sick mind.

Listening to Katha is a science, otherwise Katha shravan will provide anand but wont become the ultimate cause for swanth sukh. Listening and hearing are two different things, we need to put our mind and heart while listening katha. When we return back from Katha we must feel the anand of katha shravan and thus our katha shravan becomes meaningful.

We are looking for God in a particular form. He can appear in any form. If after katha, we feel the ectasy of katha shravan, its like we had Ram darshan in the form of Aaram, Vishram i.e. complete peace.
Bapu said we call Bhagwan that person who has lot of divine affluence i.e. Aiswarya – everything includes in it. In Hanuman Chalisa, the word Hanuman comes four times.

Bapu then repeated the previous day’s sutr i.e. Hanuman is Ishwar, Hanuman is Bhagwan, Hanuman is Brahm and Hasnuman is Parmatma. All these four identities of Hanumanji are in Hanuman Chalisa.

First, Jai Hanuman gyan gun sagar – This signifies the Bhagwan roop of Hanumanji showing his divine affluence – gyan gun sagar.

Second, Sankat se Hanuman chhudave, man karm vachan dhyan jo lave. Here, the Parmatma swaroop of Hanumanji is realized. We don’t meditate on an individual but on Parmatma. Ofcourse, it can be your sadguru who is the supreme soul i.e. Parmatma. Sri Aurobindo and Sri Raman Maharshi have also proposed the meditation of sarv atma.

In Hanuman chalisa, it is said to meditate with man, karm, vachan i.e. mind, action and speech, what does it mean ? Bapu said you listen to Katha with your man, then it becomes the meditation of mind. He recites the katha with his vani, then it becomes the meditation of speech. And when we try to follow the teachings of katha in our life then it becomes the meditation of karm i.e. action. He has asked us to leave all kinds of wanderings of the feekle mind for three hours in katha, leave all the strings of logic and reasonings. Then listening to katha itself becomes meditation.

Meditation of a premi is of a different kind. Unless we listen the katha, unless we recite the katha in our life with our mind in it, the meditation is not complete. Thus, the satsand itself can become meditation.

The youth of today has been deeply influenced by the western culture. What does our Indian tradition stand for ? There are three things noteworthy about our great culture.

Number one: We believe that all is Brahm i.e. the supreme truth. When we consider the entire world to be the manifestation of Brahm, then where is the question of Raag and Dwesh i.e. attachment and malice – they are shed on its own. Due to our raag and dwesh we assign quality to everything.

Number two: Serve all, thinking each one as your own soul. Once J. Krishnamurthy and Swami Sharnanandji were in conversation with each other and a question was asked, as to what is seva i.e. service ? Swamiji replied that if a person uses his capabilities in whichever form for the welfare of others then it becomes service. Normally, people use their capabilities to harm others this should not be so.

If you serve, then decide one thing in life that, you shall never get dejected. Lift up your morale, lift up your spirit for this is necessary in the twenty first century and the times have really changed.

The present time is very conducive for Bhajan, those were the different days when people used to go to the caves and do Bhajan, this is a time, when you can put on your heater in your room and do Bhajan in your solitude.

The passing days here in katha which are full of Anand, is heavenly. It is a different kind of intoxication, of divine quality just as in vraj, one experiences the divine intoxication of Krishna prem. The prem ras which is fed in katha, in satsang is to be drunk with your ears.

Leave all the sorrowful talks, its no more relevant.

Tulsidasji is very positive in his approach, he presents altogether an optimistic viewpoint. Bapu quotes Dohawali Ramayan, where Tulsidasji prefers to call the burning of Lanka by Hanumanji, as if it was a game of the spring season which hanumanji played. This is the vision of Tulsidasji, never see anything with disappointment.

Whenever you go to your Sadguru, never be much bothered about your puja and path. Meeting him, itself is the outcome of your Jap and Tap.

If a flower blooms and speads its fragrance then, that is not its property, but it is its very own nature same with a thorn who has the swabhav of pricking.

Number Three: Our Indian tradition proposes kartavya parayanta, i.e. dutifulness.

The third time hanuman word in Hanuman Chalisa is Jai Jai Jai Hanuman Gosai, Kripa Karahu Gurudev ki naai.

Guru is Brahm. So this is the Brahm roop of Hanumanji.

The fourth time Hanuman word is in Jo Yeh Padhe Hanuman Chalisa, Hohi siddhi saki Gaurisa.

This is the portrayal of the Ishwar Swaroop of Hanumanji. As Gaurisa means, the Ish of Gauri i.e. Lord Shankar who is Ishwar.

Next Bapu said, Hanumanji is Dharm, Arth, kam and Moksh. If the word is not understood then it can become bram i.e. delusion and if understood it becomes Brahm i.e. the supreme truth.

Hanumanji is Dharm i.e. religion, he has always rendered his services for Dharm. You perform all your duties, give yourself all and be contended.

According to patanjali yog sutr how a person can be prasannchit i.e. of a happy consciousness. There are four ways (i) friendliness i.e. maitri (2) Karuna i.e. Compassion (3) Mudita i.e. to be pleased (4) Upeksha i.e. indifference. This defines dharm. Let us see how.

If you see a happy person, be friendly to him, but how many of us are really friendly ? Leave the persons who are the seekers of the path of truth, But even many great people cant be happy seeing the happiness of others.

When you see a sad person, show your karuna i.e. compassion. If you find a person involved in good deeds i.e. punya karm, show your happiness. Always have the Bhav of – be happy – be happy for others. Lastly, be indifferent to the sin and not the sinner. Circumstances are bad and not the individual.

Hanumanji befriended vibhishan seeing the prosperity of vibhishan in Lanka. He is compassionate with sugriv as he is a sad person. He was happy to see Trijata who was involved in a good deed of helping sitaji in Ashokvatika. And he becomes indifferent towards the sins of the sinners. This is the dharm swaroop of Hanumanji.

Bapu then explained the Arth Swaroop of Hanumanji. Arth means wealth. He said the physical form of Hanumanji is of Gold. Hence, the arth swaroop of hanumanji is realized. He is the parmarth swaroop.

Hanumanji is purukaam or nikhaam i.e. absolute form of desire or desirelessness. And finally, Hanumanji is Nirvaan roop i.e. embodiment of ultimate salvation.

Hanumanji is Man-buddhi-chit and Ahankar of Prabhu. He is the man i.e. mind of Lord Ram. In the guise of Hanumanji, Lord Ram’s mind goes and meets Sitaji.

In the universe, the moon symbolizes mind. Just as the moon waxes and wanes, similarly, there are different phases of human mind. Buddhi is surya as proposed in Gayatri Mantr Dhiyo You prachodaya, the sharp intellect of Hanumanji is his buddhi swaroop. Hanumanji is the chit i.e. consciousness of paramatma, but he is samchit i.e. a balanced consciousness. So only he is preferred by Lord Ram to send him to Sitaji to convey the Bhav which he carries for Sitaji.

Finally, Hanuman is samathi ka Ahankar i.e. the universal ego, pervading everything.

Bapu in the end said, its better to restrict ones desires by constantly doing satsang. Then he quoted swami sharnanandji who has given the apt definition of desire. It is as follows:

Desire for something which is extremely necessary not for the future but for now. And if you have desire for something see to it that you also have the means to attain it but be careful that the fulfillment of your desire must not hurt anyone. Lastly, after your desire is satisfied, don’t be overjoyed because that will lead to the birth of many more desires.

Lastly, Bapu said while treading the path of attaining Paramatma either be completely empty or be completely full.
Bapu recited a Rigved mantra which explained the feature of shiv tatv. Shiv means Hanuman. This Hanumant tatva is present in all the mortals. Its features include four horns, three legs (charan), two heads (shir), seven hands and this element is binded at three places.

The four horns of the Hanumant element are:

  1. Shravan: i.e. the Art of Listening, Hanumanji never misses shravan, he is constantly in it. Any good sutr can adorn us and protect us. That is, it provides both shobha and suraksha.
  2. Smaran: i.e. remembrance. Hanumanji is always ecstatically involved in the remembrance of Ram.
  3. Sharnagati: i.e. complete surrender. Some people may feel that sharnagati is dependence, they have not understood, it is the question of experience. If any sadguru tells his aspirant that you belong to me, then it is the experience of moksh for him.
  4. Varan: i.e. to be chosen by your Prabhu. Our protection lies in the fact that we belong to someone. If your sadguru assigns you some work, then don’t apply any logic. And if the whole existence has chosen you, then there is nothing like it.
Next, the three feet, charan of the Hanumant tatv, he treads the three path, tripath. The path of truth, love and compassion.

Ram is truth. The more we are closer to truth, more the shiv tatv enters our being.

Hanumanji always treads the path of truth, and when he moves towards Sitaji, he is treading the path of Bhakti, i.e. Love.

One who treads the path of truth, is always fearless. Wherever Hanumanji moves, he spreads the Prasad of fearlessness. He also treads the path of love and so we see the virtue of sacrifice in him.

The two head – shir: of Hanumanji are the two letters Ra and Ma of Ram for Hanumanji nothing is beyond that.

Now, the Seven hands of Hanumanji. Hands symbolizes giving. Hanumanji bestows upon us Bal the strength, Buddhi – the intellect, and vidhya – the learning and also Dharm – Arth – Kam and moksh.

If we get the instinct of giving in us, we should think that the Hanumant element has entered our beings.

As Jesus Christ says, if one tries to save, everything of him will be taken away and one who gives, more he gets in return.

When a lightened candle ignites the other candle, it does not loose its own illumination.

The hanumant element is tied at three places:

  1. Seva, service. Hanumanji is constantly involved in the service of Lord Ram.
  2. Vinamrta, humility. Hanumanji is Humble. In life, wherever we may reach, one must not leave humility.
  3. Atm nivedan, self admittance. By God’s Grace, whatever situation has come into our lives, one must not leave atma nivedan. Be always grounded to your roots.
    • Consider any situation, any person as Ram if that provides you vishram. A doctor’s medicine cures your disease, then he is Ram for you.
    • A scarcity stricken person tries to sacrifice his needs and still fills the other person with happiness is Bharatji.
    • Rembrance of whose name destroys the animosity in you is Shatrugn.
    • One who is the basis of the entire world and one who is Ram Priya is Laxman.
    • Ram Naam is mahamantr and the names of Bharat, Shatrugn and Laxman provide the method of Naam Sumiran. Thus, one must resort to Naam Sumiran without exploiting anybody, fulfilling all and without the bhav of animosity.

Mahavir Swami, in his youth wanted to leave his house, but could not do so because of the family members. He stayed back, but though physically present, he was actually not there. This event is some 2500 years old, but even today it can be relevant. One must, specially, the older generation, must live in the house as if they are not there. Not to be hindrance to anyone.

Bapu feels the present education system must involve a change. In Ramayana, we find, Ram going to Gurukul in his Kumar avastha, i.e. teenage. Now a days children are sent to school too early in their life, this needs to be changed.

  • Bowing down to the elders, doing pranam, enhances ones age, ones intellect, ones glory and ones inner strength.
  • An able aspirant is the wealth of Sadguru.
  • Life of an individual is like yagn. Unless the elements of Truth and surrender symbolizing Ram and Laxman does not enter, it is not complete.
Bapu began the Katha by saying that roop, the external form of a person can change as per time and place but the swaroop, the core internal form never changes. If one can comprehend one’s swaroop then things start happening here and now.

In order to comprehend Hanumanji’s Swaroop we must go beyond his kapi roop, i.e. the monkey form. These days we have to embark on a journey, which goes from the external prabhav, influence of Hanumanji to his internal being . And it will become our Param vishram, supreme peace.

In between, Bapu greeted all the Seychellois, he said, he would like to send Christmas Greetings to the President, Vice President, Cabinet Ministers and each and every person residing even in the smallest of islands constituting Seychelles. He greets each and every particle belonging to this wonderful country. He said, one who does not love Jesus, he doesn’t know about mankind. He praised the modesty of the Vice President and appreciated greatly the speech given by the minister. He further said, he prays to the Almighty that, may this country by origin, always remain free, always be prospering and always be the witness to all kinds of auspicious occasions and remain always very cheerful. He says, this is not for the sake of any formality, but it is his utmost fortune that all the Seychellois have honoured him and in return he sends his love to all.

He then welcomed the Seychellois, saying whenever they are in India, they are most welcome to his home town Talgajarda, he would love to see them there. Well, that was the message of our beloved Bapu, on the Christmas Eve.

Continuing the Katha, Bapu said, what does Mahavir actually mean ? It is not externally, how many of us have defeated, but how much of our internal deformation have been defeated.

Jain Religion talks of three Ratna, i.e. three Jewels. They are (i) Samyak Darshan – moderate darshan (ii) Samyak Gyan – moderate knowledge (iii) Moderate conduct – Samyak charin. Let us understand each, one by one.
  1. Samyak Darshan It implies, our faith in truth. Whenever you see truth, place your faith there, this is the quality of Mahavir. One must comtemplate whether one has really faith in truth ? And how long it sustains. This is the nature of human mind, sometimes it is affectionate and sometimes it is dull, cruel. This is our condition.

    If our faith totally is in truth, then we are mahavir. Hanumanji is constantly absorbed in the truth form of Lord Ram.
    • Following the path of truth is never harmful. There is always a test of truth never a punishment. We can see this in the lives of great people like Socrates and Grandhiji. Whether we are able to follow or not but we must always place faith in truth only and not untruth. One must not carry ill will towards anyone. If a person, who is treading the path of truth, finds that untruth is getting an upper edge, then its time to be firm and be indifferent.
    • One who is following the path of truth is always fearless. Bapu said, don’t try to see truth in everyone, with the brightness of truth in you, just illuminate the nearest dark corner. Just be yourself, why to wander around in search of truth in all.
    • Ramkatha is a personal journey. Change yourself, atleast that much wrong is diminished.
    • Shankaracharya’s stotr – Chidanand roop shivoham – is the tribute to the Swaroop bodh i.e. realization of the core form of our being Shankaracharya has touched up all the possible aspects of sadhna, devotion in this stotr.

      Once you have attained truth, never see faults in others, if you have truth in you, see the truth in other person also, see the good. Truth makes the person fearless, and hence he is expected to remove fear from others.
  1. Second is Samyak Gyan: It implies that one learns to distinguish between Jiv and Shiv, i.e. human and God, between the object and the soul. Then, it is not duality, both become one.
  1. Third is Samyak Charitr – It implies to do the needful and necessary. Whatever comes naturally as an instinct is Samyak Charitr.

    Thus, your faith in truth will make your fearless and fearlessness will never keep you dissatisfied in life.

    • Taking refuge in Hanumanji provides three things:
      1. Abhay, fearlessness
      2. Asang, detachment
      3. Establishing ourself in its real form.
    • Bapu then recited a mantr from Atarv Ved. This mantr is a call for fearlessness. The prayer goes as follows: May I be fearless of my transparency and detachment
      May I be fearless of my forgiveness
      May I be fearless of all those who are capable of harming me from behind

      May I be fearless from all sides
      May I be fearless of all my acquaintances
      May I be fearless of all strangers
      May I be fearless of all the known things of the past and all the to be known things of future
      May I be fearless of my dutifulness and undutifullness.

      Lastly, in this mantr, the aspirant prays that in order to realize all his wishes, O Lord, may the whole world become my friend for that, may I become friendly to all.
This is the opinion of the Ved. But just resorting to Hanumanji we can experience all this fearless condition in our life.

Bapu said, after discussing various swaroop of Hanumanji, finally I would say only one thing, that Tumhare Bhajan Ram Ko Pave, Janam Janam ke dukh bisrave. Bisrave means to forget.

Everyday is binded by the consequences of ones action, but, by taking refuge in Hanumanji, all our sorrows are forgotten.

In the end, Bapu gave a few ways to have the Darshan of our Prabhu. One must always do Satsang and thus become eligible for the compassion of the Saints and secure a place in their heart and live a life of faith.

Let us not get deviated from our path, but follow our Sadguru, he is in our adornment and also our protection, our shobha and suraksha both.
Ramhi Keval Premn Pyara, Bapu started yesterdays Katha with this chopai and said that it was the irrefutable sutr of Ramcharitmanas which says Ram knows only Love and nothing else. Yesterday was Christmas. Jesus Christ gave the message of love and he believed that ‘ God is Love’.

Love is a precious pearl which is very rarely found. This pearl is enclosed in between the two layers of the Oyster shell where it is found the two layers symbolizes truth and compassion. The face of jesus is the picture of compassion.

Now, continuing to understand the swaroop of Hanumanji. We know Hanumanji is Kesari Nandan, son of a great person Kesari, but this is his sthul or gross form. Similarly, Hanumanji is Anjani Putr, son of Mata Anjani and also hanumanji is doot of Sughriv i.e. messenger of Sughriv, all these are his gross form. While looking for his subtle form, in order to understand the swaroop of Hanumanji. Let us see it in deeper perspective.

Hanumanji as Ram doot, a messenger of Lord Ram is the subtle form while he, as messenger of Sughriv is his gross form. The knowledge of Lord Ram is Akhand i.e. whole, undivisible. We must take good thoughts from wherever possible, Vedas proposed – May we get good thoughts from all the ten directions. Keep the doors open. One must not become an obstacle in other person’s life. Keep your inner consciousness clean. Whatever, has come into your patr, vessel, take it with the bhav of Bhiksha – alms. It is just the question of changing your bhav, changing your consciousness. If a person is really in sleep, one can awaken him, but if a person is just acting to be asleep, how to wake him up, it is very difficult.

  • There are three types of people:
    1. Badhh - One who is binded – he falls in the category of Vishyi. One who runs after sense of gratification.
    2. Mukt - A free person who has become a seeker.
    3. Nitya Mukt – One who is constantly absorbed in his form and has become one with him. Sarupya & Sayujya Mukti.

    Thus Ram is knowledge. Hanumanji being the messenger of Lord Ram and hence he is Gyan Yogi and he bestows knowledge.

  • In Nimbark Sampraday – there are five types of Mukti – Liberation.
    1. Karm i.e. action. It is the means to attain liberation. Do hard work. Aapp Dipo bhav. Be your own lamp. Whatever task you are involved in, sooner or later it will become the cause of your liberation. But be real in your action.

      Even, Chartak, an ancient rishi says – a beautiful body filled with consciousness is a soul, work in the highest form of action, karm and death itself is moksha, liberation.
    2. Gyan – Knowledge – it sets you free.
    3. Bhakti – Devotion. It is the means to liberation.
    4. Prapatti or Sharnagati Surrender is again the means of to liberation.
    5. And the last is the most important. If all these four are difficult to realize then one thing can liberate you – i.e. to follow the commands of your Sadguru as it is.

      Thus, Hanumanji in his subtle form which is his swaroop can be understood as that of Gyan Yogi and he is a Bhakti Yogi – as he is the son of Sitaji who symbolizes Bhakti – devotion.

  • One who lives under the grace of his Sadguru, there is Bhav – feeling, Tej – glow, Pratap – influence and Bal – Strength in his vani – speech. For a Bhakt, the foundation of his speech is Bal, the atmabal, the strength of his soul, the strength of Guru Ashray. It is the foundation and hence, not seen externally.

    On the top is bhav and the pillars of this speech are Tej and Pratap. Whatever, we have received, its all due to the devotion to our Sadguru. If one has only the Bal, Pratap and Tej, he can become egoist, but the devotion, the bhav, the bhakti in him will keep him humble.

    Thirdly, Hanumanji is karmayogi as he is pavanputr, son of wind God. It is his subtle form and hence his swaroop. Wind is invisible but is always in action, it is the lift of giving element.

  • There is always an outcome for any karm, but there is no outcome of Bhakti, but there is Rasa – pleasure in Bhakti, it is an instantaneous pleasure, here and now! Thus, karm has its consequences. Bhakti has its instant pleasure and Gyan has its insight, Bodh.

  • Yesterday Bapu recited a mantra from Brahadaranya Upnishad, in order to understand Hanumanji’s swaroop. The meaning goes as follows:

    The subtle form which resides in all mortals, which circulates in them is nothing but the wind, and this is Hanumant element. Further, the rishi says, all cannot comprehend this, because it works in a very subtle form. This element controls and co-ordinates every thing by circulating inside our bodies.

    This antaryami Atma tatv – the internal pervading soul element is Hanumanji.

  • In the end, Bapu said, while explaining Ayodhyakand that one should never leave things for tomorrow. We all know, as the Rajyabhishek ceremony of Ram was delayed by a day, and there came the 14 years of exile to Lord Ram.

    Finally, he said a true devotee would want nothing but the Hari himself
In our tradition, in order to approve certain things, it is necessary to give Praman, i.e. evidence. Acceptance with evidence establishes faith. There are three kinds of Praman.

  1. Pratyakh Praman – perceptible evidence. It means one which can be observed.
  2. Sabd Praman – verbal evidence
  3. Anuman Praman – Evidence based on estimation.
Fourth is the antahkaran Praman – evidence of the inner self, which is the vision of the saints.

  • The pratyaksh Praman is gross and not subtle. Shabd Praman is more subtle, but the Anuman Praman is the most subtle of all the three.
  • In Pratyaksh Praman, there is vision. In Shabd Praman, there is speech. And in Anuman Praman, there is mind. 
If the anuman, i.e. estimation is really subtle then it becomes the truth. As our minds are full of deception, hypocrisy and ill will, hence our estimations are not correct. We find that the birds and animals are better off in estimation. May be because they are devoid of deception and hypocrisy.

  • Hanumanji’s any estimation is 1000% true, because Hanumanji is nishkapat, devoid of deception and his inner self is very pure. One who realizes the swabhav, the basic nature of Hanumanji, then his estimation is always true.

  • In Hanuman Chalisa, the word Jai has occurred 5 times. Bapu gave the explanation as he has learnt from dada Tribhovandasji. The explanation is as follows:

    Wherever you see the following five things, consider it to be fit for Jai Jai Kar, i.e. cheering for victory.

    1. Wherever you see knowledge. In hanuman chalisa, it is supported by Jai Hanuman Gyan Gun Sagar.
    2. Wherever you see God, Ishwar, i.e. Jai Kapish tihu lok ujagar.
    3. Wherever you see somebody involved in the act of spreading light in the human society, in the world – supported by tihu lok njagar in Hanuman chalisa.
    4. Wherever you see someone who has controlled his senses. And lastly,
    5. Wherever you see a Sadguru whose grace is even more than the God.

    These two are supported by Jai Jai Jai Hanuman Gosai, Kripa Karahu Gurudev Ki Naai.
  • Bapu next said that Hanumanji is known to be the exponent of all the art forms. All the art forms originate from the heart, to get completely involved in one’s art is a hearty matter, connected to heart.

    Thus, any art form is the sukshm swaroop i.e. subtle form of a person. Hanumanji’s Kala, i.e. Hanumanji’s art form is his swaroop, which works in two dimensions:

    1. It provides aanand, bliss to everyone
    2. It helps the exponent, to touch his inner self.
  • Hanumanji is the God of Inner being, though he seems to be influential externally, but he is residing in the inner self of the Sadhak.

  • Finally, Bapu talked about the three speciality of Hanumanji’s swaroop.

    1. He bows to all. Even to those who becomes an obstacle in his path.
    2. For him Ram Karya, service of Lord Ram is in itself a vishram, state of rest.
In the beginning of the Katha, Bapu tried to establish that vali was a valiant, respectful person and hence his son Angad also was valiant, respectful and clever. So only he was selected by Lord Ram for the peace treaty with Ravana. Such vinayi – respectful Angad calls Hanumanji as, not merely a Kapi, i.e. a monkey form, he says it was his sthul swaroop i.e. the gross form. He also says to Ravan, don’t mistaken Hanumanji to be just a monkey, open your eyes, he is sakshat Lod Shankar himself. Angad in his monkey form recognizes the swaroop of Hanumanji, we don’t have the eyes like Angad hence we are unable to see the real swaroop. And on the other hand, Ravan himself doesn’t recognize his sadguru who is in the swaroop of Hanumanji who is Lord Shankar himself.

Bapu then tried to reveal his own inner mentality and kindly requested all of us never ever try to unravel the mystery of Ramayana – this will make your loose taking pleasure, Ras in Hari Katha. A sadguru always remains savdhan, alert and doesn’t reveal all the secrets to his ashrit so that he doesn’t loose Ras in Katha. Bapu said, in each Katha he knows that he doesn’t know all the things and so the Ras is maintained. It is worth living in amusement. People say it is 679th Katha, the number is not important, but the Ras, the pleasure begotten in katha is important.

Nobody can be the marmagya of Ram charitmanas, there can only be the rasagnya i.e. the knower of the pleasure of reciting manas.

Goswami Tulsidasji is portraying Hanumanji not as Phal, i.e. fruit but as a Ras, juice in the form of Joy. This Ras roop of Hanumanji is his subtle form, his swaroop.

So, we were trying to understand the swaroop of Hanumanji in these days. We tried to journey the sthul to sukshma i.e. gross to subtle form of Hanumanji from Prabhav to Swabhav i.e. external influence to the internal basic nature of Hanumanji and from roop to swaroop i.e. outer physical form to the core form of Hanumanji.
Katha 676 - Manas Mukti, London, UK11th - 19th July 2009
Uttar Kand – Doha 118
Ram bhajat soi mukti gosai | Anichhit aavai bariyai ||
Asa bichari hari bhagat sayane | Mukti niradar bhagati lubhane ||
 
By worshipping Sri Rama, my lord, the same beatitude comes unsolicited even against our will.
Realising this, the wise devotees of Sri Hari spurn final emancipation and remain enamoured of Devotion.
Bapu chose Mukti (Liberation) as the central theme for his Katha, and called it Manas Mukti. Mukti is a complicated obscure subject and so Bapu began with a long discussion about the meaning and implications of Mukti. Bapu clarified that he never pre-plans or prepares for katha because for him katha is just like sitting on the lap of Parents and no child needs preparations for that.

Bapu selected two lines from Uttar kaand where Tulsidas mentions mukti and strikes a new path without doing any violence to established traditions. Bapu said that the concept of mukti is still being debated in his mind about its exact meaning and what is implied by mukti. Mukti is certainly not to run away and to throw off family and social responsibilities. Renunciation is not a way to attain mukti. For Bapu, Mukti is not external changes but internal transformation. Mukti is a systematic change from within. The mindset ought to become free from all negative approaches like hatred, envy and vengeance.

Bapu clarified that he’s not here to give long sermons (updesh) and it is not his habit to issue orders or instructions (adesh) to anybody. He is happy to act as a postman as Tulsidaas who wrote his vinay patrika and hoped it would reach god. This katha is vinay patrika of Bapu- his message for anyone who is ready and willing to receive it.

Mukti can be attained by gyan or by yagna or Tup. But said Tulsidaas this path is very difficult and slippery where the gyani has to search for and reach the divine. In the age in which we live, bhakti is the best and easiest path, because in Bhakti, it is the divinity (bhagwan) that seeks and reaches the bhakt. As Bapu puts it, it is like the summit (shikhar) the sublime descending to the bottom of the deep valley.

Bapu pointed out that Ram charit manas is apparently very simple and easy, but the more you study and think about it, its inner mysticism keeps on unfolding with newer and newer meanings and mysteries.

Bapu narrated his meeting with a Bio scientist who sought Bapu’s response to modern science seeking to prolong human life up to hundred and fifty years. Bapu replied that why only 150? What is the hurry to die so early, it should be 1500 years provided the body is healthy, our mind is at rest (vishram), and life is linked to the divine. Bapu would be happy if spirituality and science would cooperate to make human life healthy, happy and at peace with the universal spirit of divinity. Bapu believes that the best way to attain such a goal is Bhakti. He is not saying this as consolation (adhasan) but this is the experience of several saintly souls including Bapu.

Bapu quoted gita that yagna, gyan and tup, should never be given up because they purify even the best minds, even the golden minds. True, that gold never rusts but even gold needs polishing to retain its lustre and shine. Yesterday a question was asked as to what is yagna? And Bapu’s quick and short definition was that we ought to turn away from self satisfying ‘wah wah’ to yagna mantra of swahah. For Kaliyug, remembrance of Ram is Yagna, to hear ram katha, is Tup. Bapu expressed his pleasure by saying that those who hear katha are doing more tup than the one who recites the katha. Kirtan and bhajan is the best and everlasting donation and even those who sing for begging are donating ram smaran to the listeners. Bapu quoted gopika geet of Bhagvat that those who sing hari katha are the greatest donars (Bhuri da jana). Smaran and struggle must go on together as Krishna enjoined upon Arjun.

Bhakti should be done here and now, just today, because today is ours, tomorrow is beyond our control. Such spiritual way ought to be our life, not for seeking livelihood. Bhakti involves patience and a prolonged period of waiting and one would have to suffer malicious criticism. We should remember that such critics are seasonal and would wither away like seasonal creatures whom Bapu jocularly compared with earthworms seeking to be equal to shesh naag.

Bapu then turned to Manas which Tulsidas composed for his own inner bliss. Katha ought to be enjoyed with happiness. We all have our share of miseries, but we ought to lay them aside whilst we are at katha.

Referring to the broadmindedness of tulsidas- a vaishnav adoring Shiva, Bapu mentioned the vastness of Hinduism and regretted that narrow minded people, for their own selfish interests, have divided Hinduism into several minor sects and sections. Bapu, mentioned shankrachariya recommending worship of 5 gods shiva, Vishnu, durga, surya and ganesh. To worship these gods, in traditional ritualistic way is O. K but Bapu offers his own esoteric interpretation by equating worship of ganesh to a life of thoughtfulness (vichaar) and balance (vivec). Surya is a symbol of brightness and whoever seeks light out of darkness. Durga/ bhavani stands for shrada, faith. But not the blind faith (andh shradha) which leads to exploitation. Vishnu means broadness and worship of Vishnu is to cultivate broadmindedness. Shiva is benevlonce- Kalyan and one whose thoughts, words and actions are benevolent and beneficial to others is a true devotee of shiva.

Bapu then turned to guru vandana and expressed his conviction to guru is a guide, a protector, a help and even a shelter (odhnu). Guru acts as an alarm bell for those who fail to wake up by themselves. Guru by his tickling brings out the inner joy (aanand) that lies within us. He quoted shankrachariya and also the folk songs to emphasise the importance of guru. He then defined guru by negative system of neti. A guru should have no guile, (kaapat) no pretence (gaambh) and play no tricks (maya). He quoted tulsidas that rama resided in the hearts of those who are free from such vices. Such a guru can bestow vision.

Tulsidas offers his vandana to hanuman and Bapu rejected the popular superstition and opined that women can, and should worship hanuman in his benevolent and pacific (soumya) formation. Bapu expressed modern concept of empowerment of women in traditional terms hoping that if every girl in India becomes hanuman in her own way all our problems will be solved in no time.
Bapu began by listing the term Mukti as used by Tulsidaas in Ram charit manas and he quoted not only the chapter and verse but also the context of why and when the term was used. There are numerous references to Moksha and its equivalent terms like Moksha, Nirvan, Kevalya, Param gati etc. The term Mukti is used only seven times- thrice in Bal kaand, once each in Kishkinda kaand and Lanka kaand and twice in Utar kaand. Mukti is mentioned in the Arti of the Ramayan, which is a part of Manas but not included in the text of Manas.

Bapu pointed out that Tulsidas is ideologically connected to Bhakti not to Mukti and so without showing any disrespect Tulsidas has given secondary and subordinate position to Mukti. Those who are engrossed in Bhakti do not hanker after Mukti because Mukti is the natural and automatic attainment for Bhaktas. Moksha may be the staple food which becomes much more tasty when it is accompanied by Bhakti. Bhakti is the fulfilment of Moksha. This is a deep rooted belief that dying in Kashi ensured Moksha. But Bhakta Kabir who lived all his life in Kashi chose to die in Maghar in order to demonstrate that Moksha depends not on the place (Bhumi) where one dies, but on the state (Bhumika) that one has reached in spiritual stature. Kabir of course defied death because he as a Bhakta, felt and experienced a total union with God (Hari). If God is eternal, so is Bhakta. Bapu interpretated Maghar as elimination of all paths and sects (mag- marg). Saints like Kabir are both pacificists (Shanti karaka) and revolutionaries (Kranti karaka).

Bapu is very often talking about the success and failure of his mission to spread his message of Ramayan. Bapu has embarked upon his mission without calculating the chances of success but he is extremely happy that the younger generation has picked up Ramayan as their favourite reading. Bapu is aware that too much of adulation (Ahobhav ) world would produce a sick mind and he narrated two incidents where people became intensely jealous when others paid their respects to Bapu. Bapu is wary of flattery and is never influenced by those who praise him over much. He considers all criticism as divine tax (ishwari tax). He loves his stay at Junagadh which is a confluence of several religions and creeds and where unity of Hindus and Muslims grows by itself.

Bapu then read out a letter written by a boy of eleven who enjoys Bapu's presence and Bapu's katha without understanding a word of Gujarati and Hindi. Bapu remarked that even those who know the languages fail to understand his message and remain unchanged even after listening to him for years to-gether.

Bapu is not bothered by success and failure, because Ramayan is for him a treasure trove with an inner richness of its own. Ram nam is the be all and end all/ bestowing Mukti, wealth (Dhan), Religiousness (Dharam) and a place of our own (Dham). Bhaktas never bother about Mukti. Sayujya Mukti has been promised by Ram himself for all those who bathe Rameshwar with water brought from the Ganges. Mukti in Arati has been used to describe Ramayan as the ornaments of young women called Mukti.

Bapu then turned to Upnishad mantra which describes the prior conditions to attain Bramha and he made the audience recite this mantra with himself. To attain Bramha Mukti a person should be naturally free from passions (Akama)and he must have controlled and curbed all his passions (Nishkam) and all his passions must have been fulfilled and satiated and all his emotions are to be focused onto his soul (Atmakara)

Bapu said these prior conditions are intensely hard to attain for ordinary people. It is easy enough to be verbose and talk about such attainments but to actualise them in our life is nearly impossible. But the easiest path to the divinity is to recite Hari nam because in a stuti in the Ramayan, Ram has been described as an embodiment of all such attainments. Bapu reminded that life is short and death is a certainty and he wonders why people waste time and energy in criticising others and become jealous of those who have been able to rise above the average level. Such jealousy is rooted in our ego and each one of us believes himself to be the best and superior to all others and the world is so strange and perverted that often innocents are punished and the guilty are worshipped.

Bapu's opinion was that all the criticism levelled against him is because they cannot stand the innocent joy which we experience through katha. Such Kathas are possible only for the lucky few and Bapu never replies to those who criticise him. He pardons his critics who are ignorant. We should not bother about others but look within ourselves to decide whether we are on the right path.

Bapu reverted to the main stream and declared that Bhaktas are so happy in devotion that they never ask for Mukti. Bapu quoted the dialogue between Yudhishtir and Narada from Bhagwat where Narada says that God can be attained in a variety of ways. Gopis attained Mukti by passionate love for Krishna, Kans attained Mukti by intense fear of Krishna, Yadavs by attachment to Krishna, Shishupal by sheer hatred for Krishna, and Pandavs by their friendship with Krishna. All our passions, emotions and Vritties must be focused onto Krishna and Mukti becomes easy enough. Bapu is aware that it is people around us that pose the real enmity and Dwesh. Even those who wear the clothes of Sadhu's are not free from Dwesh. Bapu explained the difference between Renunciation (Tyaga) and non-attachment (vairagya) and he gave an example of Gorakshnath. Bapu quoted the prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous

“Oh God give us the courage to endure what cannot be changed, Give us the strength to change what can be changed and the wisdom to know the difference.”

In this context, Bapu appealed to the addicts to give up liquor and told jokes to illustrate how liquor ruins life and properties. Reverting back to the discussion of focussing all our Vritties onto Krishna. This is not very strenuous to achieve and Bhakti is the easiest path to attain our goal.

Bapu then effortlessly shifted to the narrative part of Manas and described the importance of Ram nam. Whatever Ram achieved during his lifetime in the Tretayug can be accomplished by reciting his name in Kaliyug. Ram nam is the most potent of Mantras which needs no ceremonials and rituals. Reciting, writing, Ram nam is the most effective remedy for internal purification. Bapu advised that only thing we ask from God should be Satsang, but we should also be aware that Saints are few and far between and such saints come help us in reciting Ram nam with proper mindset of devotion and piety. It is enough if we recite Ram nam as often as possible, but then once may be enough.

Bapu then led the audience to blissful recitation of divine names and to ecstasy
Continuing the discussion about Mukti further from the previous day. Bapu mentioned different darshanas to reach one and same goal of moksha and defined Moksha as the extinction (Kshaya) of Moha (attachment). Zen teachers believe that absence of attachment is Buddhatva but if you get attached even to Buddhatva, you slide back to the bondage of Sansar. Such extreme perfection, such total Truth is difficult to attain but we should strive to be as close to perfection as we can. The path of Gyan involves total detachment which is quite beyond us, but Bhakti needs only transfer of attachment from passions to Krishna. As Bhagwat puts it desires (Kamanas) and attachment (Asakti) are severe bondage but when sublimated to the Divinity, they open the gates of salvation (Moksha Dwar)

Our understanding of Truth is limited while Truth for persons like Yuddhishtir is heavenly, far beyond our understanding. Denouncing and disparaging the epic characters in Mahabharat only reveals our intellectual poverty . Bapu knows several persons who are truthful and rigorously implement Truth as they understand Truth. But even such celebrities fail to appreciate the Truth of others, they refuse to welcome the achievements of others. Bapu narrated a few such shocking experiences where renowned maestroes are jealous of budding geniuses. Our ego prevents us from feeling the goodness and greatness of others and makes us miserable even though the world is beautiful and broad enough to accommodate all of us. Bapu insisted that we ought to joyfully accept the good (Shubha) from others and become free from jealousy and hypocrisy.

He strongly advised his listeners to study Mahabharat which is a book of wisdom and reflections. Yuddhishtir was tested thrice for his firm attachment to truthful existence. When Yaksha gave him the option of getting only one of his dead brothers revived, he chose his step brother who was not going to very helpful in the forthcoming war- a fierce fight to the finish. On the second such occasion he refused to enter Heaven if his companion- a mere dog was debarred from entry. Third time was when he inquired about his brothers to share the joys of heaven. Yuddishtir fully understood Draupadi's deep rooted love for Arjun to whom she was most attached of all her husband’s.

Bapu noted that none of us ever had the occasion to suffer the miseries which burdened Yuddishtir's life, but we bemoan our trivial troubles and impediments. God is a loving mother who would never impose miseries which are beyond our capacity to bear them. He extolled the majesty of motherhood because mothers were the guardian angels nourishing, protecting and guiding the innocent children in this rough, entangled world of ours.

Bapu told us that Truth expresses itself in multitudes of medias and every person even the half bred children of Rakshasas have a touch of divine in them. He cited the example of Ghatotkach, who born of Bhima and Hidimba, sacrificed his life at the hands of Karna so that his family and his uncles may survive and win the war of Mahabharat. In response to a request about possessions by demons and deities, Bapu opinied that most of such incidents are sheer make believe and often only superstitions. In reply to a question about his translating Ramayan (Anvud), Bapu explained that his was a resonance (Anunad), a transmission of Ramayan. Since Bapu was engrossed in such activities body, mind, and soul he needs no physical exercises and can lead a care-free life of joy and happiness because he never bothers about even the most severe denunciation, such abuse reveals the real character of those who indulge in unbalanced criticisms. What can anyone expect from ignorant people?

Bapu then returned to the main theme to say that Gyan needs Bhakti to support and to flower into full bloom. The famous scholar Madhusudhan Saraswati declared that Bhakti matures into gyan, but a gyani may or may not be able to develop into a Bhakta. Shri Madhusudhan explained the stages of growth and maturity. The process begins with Sadhan bhakti, where a Bhakta is dependent on various instruments of ceremonies and rituals. The second stage is Gyan Bhakti, in which one understands the deeper Truths and proper formation of Bhakti. The third stage is the stage of Samadhan where all contradictions are reconciled and intellectual and emotional balance is attained. Bhakta then feels enlightened and realizes the reality in a brilliant light and awareness. The last stage of Siddhavastha where all locks are broken up, all doors are broken open, and the inner light spreads all around after self realization.

But Bhakti has to overcome the obstacles that are described by Vallabhacharya. Bhakti is impossible for those who are continuously in agony and anxiety (udwag). Bhakti is not possible for doubting Thomases who are always in two minds and keep on shifting from one side to another (Vitark). Bhakti is not possible for those who are deeply submerged in frivolous sensual pleasures and passions (Bhogvilas).

In order to emphasize that Bhakti is the climax of Gyan and Yoga, Bapu listed and described the physical pleasures of a Yogi as presented in Shweta Shwater Upanishad. A Gyani and a Yogi have light weightedness (Laghutva), health (Arogya) absence of lasciviousness (Aloluptva), shining brightness (Varnaprasadhan), a full throated voice (Swarsphutva) and a Yogi smells good (Sughandh). His physical discharges are reduced and odourless. He mentioned Amir Khushroo describing the charming smell of his pir Nizamuddin Aulia. All such physical characteristics are found in Bhaktas who enjoy bliss in singing (Bhajans) and dancing (Kirtans).

Bapu then turned to the mainstream narrative and started the story of Shiva and Sati visiting Kumbhaj, Sati doubting the transcendental nature (Brahmtva) of Rama her double speak to Shiv and Shivas decision to discontinue marital relations with her. Bapu digressed to describe three different types of compassion (Karuna) and named them Viveka Karuna, or discriminatory mercy, Komal Karuna which is soft and loving all the time and Kathore Karuna where strictness and even cruelty is exercised for the ultimate benefit of the person. Bapu gave examples of each type of Karuna.

While referring to the Yagna organised by Daksha to disrespect and insult Shiva, Bapu laid down seven criteria which ought to guide us in our activities and our religious practices. We should never undertake any ceremonies for taking revenge on somebody. We should always indulge in good actions with humility and consider ourselves only as instruments (Nimita) of God. When we do something we should do it whole-heartedly with expertise (Kushalta). Our activities should be natural and normal (Sahaj) not for fighting with and snubbing others (Sangharsh). The fifth Golden rule is that we should act because we enjoy the action, not with the view to secure results and achieve any purpose. We should have faith that the divine existence would be in tune with whatever we do and would bless our efforts and our actions. Last but not the least, we must act with Shradha, not in competitive spirit to harm anyone or to surpass others.

Bapu insisted that our religious activities must be devoid of arrogance. We wash our clothes with soap, but then we have to wash out even the soap.

Bapu brought the story down to the rebirth of Sati as Parvati and her pennance to get re-united with Shiva.
Before starting the dialogue on Mukti, Bapu remembered his Sadaguru, his grandfather who initiated him in the innermost understanding of Ram Charit Manas. Bapu feels that all his listeners are his family members and he feels free to make a statement that he studied only up to Lankakand under his Sadaguru. But once he had the key understanding, he could explore the rest of the Ramayan on his own.

Mukti: is a difficult subject and so is Bhakti also, but Bhakti is an easy path compared to Mukti. Gita has described four types of Bhaktas. Those who are afflicted (Arta). Those who are curious to understand the basic issues of spirituality (Jignyasau). Those who seek benefits (Arthathi ) and those Gyanis who have become Bhaktas. Tulsidas calls them Bhagat Sayane. But Bapu raised a problem and discussed it threadbare. Tulsidas has said that such Sayane Bhagats repudiate or reject (Niradhar) Mukti. How can a Bhakta whose is all inclusive and who respects every approach and every mode (Marga) for spirituality ever reject or repudiate even Mukti. A Bhakta does not desire Mukti, he does not aspire for Mukti or search for Mukti, but rejection or repudiation of Mukti does not become a Bhakta because rejection is not compatible with Bhakti.

Bapu then answered his own question. The word Niradar ought to be understood in its proper sense. Whenever we are at the forking of roads and face the dilemma as to which road to adopt, we take the road that is most convenient and most suitable to reach our goal. We choose one and give up another. This is just a choice and does not involve any insult or repudiation or any rejection. With all humility, if we go by our own road or even by a small and narrow footpath, the road will not feel rejected or neglected because others would continue to use the Road. A Bhakta rejects nothing and nobody. Bapu, with his deep trust on the young generation, advised them to go everywhere and mix with everyone even with Evil. But pick up what you find good and leave the rest where you find it. We ought to find our way and if others criticize or denounce us, we ought to enjoy such criticisms. Bapu warned that Bhakti also is a different part but it is comparatively easier than the Gyan Marg. So Bhakta welcomes (Adar) every path and all opinions and he rejects nothing. No Niradar at all. because all paths lead to one and same Reality. Therefore Bhakti shows no disrespect (Niradar) or repudiation but it follows its own different, separate path because our way of departure, our gate to spirituality is different. We prefer Bhakti, it is more suitable, more in tune with us.

During such detailed discussion about the word Niradar (rejection). Bapu has adopted the system of a spiral staircase; he came to the same point again and again but at a higher level every time. He concluded that Bhakta never accepts nor rejects Mukti. He only follows a different path and stays Udasin. He does not disregard or disrespect Mukti but he is disinterested in Mukti.

Just as there are four types of Bhakta, there are four different types of Mukti as described in Bhagwat. Bapu quoted the shlok from Bhagwat and made the audience repeat the shlok with him. There is a Salokya Mukta, where a Gyani arrives at and enters the abode of his Ishtadeva- it may be Vaikunt or Swarga Rama when bidding good bye to Vibhishan promises that he will enter Mama Dham. Those who follow the path of knowledge, in course of time, start appearing like their guru or God. Tulsidas says that Jatayu assumed the form of Hari after he was killed by Ravan. This is Sarupya Mukti. The third type is Sayujya Mukti when Gyani merges into the divine. Ravana could get Sayujya Mukt becausei the lustre of his soul (Tejas) merged into Rama.

But Bhaktas would not like any of these Mukti. Bhaktas desire only the last type of Sanidhya Mukti. Where God is in the vicinity- not too near and not too far. So that the devotee feels the presence of God and experiences his nearness. As Bhagwat has said the Bhaktas only aspire to serve God (Mat Sevanam) and to sing about him. A mere glance of the divine is enough for the Bhakta who is driven to intoxication and people find his behavior as an a condition of lunacy. Bhaktas don't care even to merge into divine as they enjoy the katha. Bhajans said Bapu is a singing Bhakti, katha is Bhakti in prose, Kirtan is dancing Bhakti, and tears of a Bhakta is a weeping Bhakti. The initial stage is just singular Bhakti. Bapu said that his Vyaspita is such five faced (Panch Mukhi) Bhakti.

Those who criticize should be overlooked like a stinking sewage and we should put a tight lid on it to avoid the stink. Just as a calf released from bond runs towards the mother cow, Mukti rushes towards the Bhakta.

Bapu warned that on all the sides and everywhere we are surrounded by the apparent and illusory world of Maya and it is extremely difficult to overcome such Maya. So ecstasy of Bhakti may not last forever and may not last even long, but for Bhakta even a moment of experiencing the presence of divine is enough.

Bapu then turned to the narrative part of katha and resumed the story from where it was left. Parvati was waiting and yearning for Shiva. Shiva was requested by Gods to get married. It is true that Shiva had burnt down Cupid the God of Carnal Lust. But he had revived Kamadev and got him planted into the minds of human beings. Hindu seers (Drashtas) have separated sex from lust. God of love resides in our mind and manifests itself on proper occasions. Like the images that lie dormant in every stone. Every stone can become a God provided that it is chiseled by a Sadaguru. Bapu described vividly and in great details he marriage of Shiva.

After the marriage, Parvati raised the same question about the transcendental nature (Brahmatva) of Rama- the question that was lying unanswered from her previous birth. But she was now in a better receptive mood and Shiva explained Katha of Rama. There were five reasons that Vishnu got incarnated in human form. The city of Ayodhya and family of Dashrata was chosen by the divine. Dashrata approaches his Guru and Bapu mentioned four doors which we come across in our life as Temple doors (Devdwar) Royal door (Rajdwar) City Gates (Nagadwar) and Gurudwar. The first three are closed at times but the doors of Guru are always open.

Dashrata performed Yagna. Yagna purush is an ideal donor. He gave the prasad and immediately disappeared. After we donate something to somebody we should withdraw our presence- donate and disappear is the golden rule of giving. Dasharat got four sons- Bapu proclaimed birth of Rama and the audience broke into joyous dancing and singing.
Bapu began with a question from a reputed scholar about the grounds from which Mukti and Bhakti originate. Bapu was going to give some of the unorthodox answers and so he quoted the last lecture of Buddha to advice his listeners to not to accept his word as the final answer. His opinions must be tested by us against the experience and intuition of each one of us before we accept or disagree with Bapu's personal opinions. Bapu said that inspite of great faith and reverance for Tulsidas, all the views of Tulsidas are not fully and totally acceptable to Bapu. He would not contradict him but he would quietly continue his dissent. The universal belief is that Mukti sprouts from Gyan and Vedic scholars proclaim that Gyan leads to Moksha. But Bapu's opinion is that Mukti is born out of fear.

In order to reconcile that contradiction Bapu pointed out that we all are shaped by our own birth Mother, our birth Place, our Motherland, and by our Mother language. Gyan personified by Kashi is the Motherland of Mukti but Mukti is born out of fear (Bhiti) fear of sufferings, of weaknesses, fear of cycle of deaths and births, fear of the unknown. These concepts about fears are the 4 noble truths- Arya satyas or Aryiosatta of Buddhism. So Mukti is motivated by fear. This may or may not true always and everywhere but as far as our vision and wisdom can be stretched, we can trace the relations between Mukti and fear. The Motherland of Mukti is knowledge as represented by Kashi and its Mother tongue is Sanskrit, because it is in Sanskrit that Mukti has been conceptualized and most widely discussed. Pali and Ardhmagadha are but the off shoots of Sanskrit.

Bapu quoted Vinay Patrika to explain the bold and revolutionizing opinions of Tulsi. In Manas Tulsidas is circumscribed by the self imposed restrictions and decorum on account of katha of Rama. In Vinay Patrika Tulsidas loudly asserts that all Sadhnas are mere useless labor and we reach fruitation only by faith (Vishwas). These are Bapu's opinions today. His opinions may change and he may proclaim something different in future. He quoted Gandhiji about change in views and supported Gandhiji's assertion that uniformly opinions or consistency is the virtue of idiots.

He turned to the origin of Bhakti and said that Bhakti is born of affection. Bhagwat declares that Bhakti originated in Tamil Nadu matured in Karnataka and died in Gujarat. Bapu asserted that this statement applied when Bhagwat was written many centuries ago. The situation has changed and Bhakti is today thriving in Gujarat. Tamil Nadu is the land of Dakishina Mukti- Shiva denotes faith (Vishwas). The Mother tongue of Bhakti is the language of heart, the language of love which is nearest to the babbling of children (Totli Bhasha). Bapu cited the famous story of a child in a church repeating alphabets and asking God to make up any prayers that he finds suitable. Bhakti is impossible without faith (Bharoso) which can never survive if love (prem) is absent. In fact Tulsidas insists that we should terminate all relations which are devoid of love (prem).

Bapu commented on those who recite Hanuman Chalisa or Sundarkand as a ritual to finish them off and count the number of times they are repeated. There is no counting or calculation in relations of love. We should cultivate patience even in everyday happenings of life and enjoy such doings which ought to be natural and normal (Sahaj). He would prefer that there should be no restrictions on people attending Bhajans, we should never be guided and goaded by the gratious advice of others. Bapu would love to be left free to act according to his own free will but free will or liberty does not imply license. He quoted Ganga Sati but insisted upon his own interpretations of traditionally accepted norms. He defined a Sadhu who lives only in the present tense. A Sadhu is not bound by the past and is not bothered about the future and who feels lonely in a crowd and crowded while alone. Bapu acts upon the age old saying that a wise man is never less alone, when alone. We should not impose our norms on Sadhu and allow him the freedom of choice doing whatever he wants to do whenever he feels like doing it. Such freedom of sadhu is beneficial to society.

Bapu then turned to define Sadhu and prescribed four tests. Sadhu is one whose life is simple (Sadu) whose life and behaviour are truthful (Sacchu) who lives an open life(Samu) and who lives a good life (Saru). His speech and action are to express his own true nature (swabhav) and he never tried to impress others (Prabhav).

In one single sentence, Bapu visualized Sadhu of future generations living in the 21st century. A Sadhu of future would be one who would live a life of truth (Satya) love (Prem) and compassion (Karuna) expecting nothing (Nirpreksha) and demanding nothing in return.

We should adhere to Truth irrespective whether truth is triumphant or defeated. He disagreed with the slogan Truth triumphs (Satyameva Jayate). He said Truth is beyond and impervious of victory or defeat. In the cruel and imperfect world in which we live, Truth is mostly defeated. But Truth is its own value, is important by itself and on its own, a Catagrieal Imperative of modern European philosophy. Truth may and mostly would bring difficulties in life as Kunti says in Mahabharata. Those who have adhered to truth - Yuddhishtir, Harishchandra, Sagalsha have suffered intensely. But we should still stick to Truth, because in the spiritual realm, evil would never succeed. Truth is for living not for winning. Pandavas won the war but they gained nothing. We should not judge great and good persons by the way they die. The elder of Pandavas Dhrutrashtra, Gandhari, Kunti, and Vidur retired to forest and perished in a forest fire. Krishna returned to Dwarika to a total annhilation of Yadavas and Dwarika. Pandavas went to Himalayas to die one after the other. Death (Kal) is beyond all control. But Death is not the end of life. If Jiva is a spark of the divine, the stream of consciousness would flow uninterrupted and forever. We do not know how and in what form Chaitanya would survive but survives it does. Sadhu in the next century would be full of compassion (Karuna) which has no cause and no purpose. Mercy (daya) arises from cause, a reason on occasion. But Karuna is beyond all such causation. Such a Sadhu would implement the values of Satya, Prem, and Karuna without any expectations but with full humility and awareness. Disparaging such a Sadhu, treating him with contempt and disregard will lead to a retribution- a delayed but definite and inevitable retribution for the individuals and for the society as a whole. We are purified even by uttering the word Sadhu.

Religion should be natural and free but religion today has become full of pain and torture because it is overburdened by fasting and such other rituals. Let us be aware that the world and life are full of joy and beauty. The world is a creation of God and is as pure as the Creator.

Bapu then picked up a Sholk of Ashtavakra Gita which describes and discusses the nature and path towards Mukti. King Janak asked 3 questions. How to acquire knowledge, how does one achieve Mukti, and how to secure Vairagya. The answer of Ashtavakra- sadaguru was addressed not to the question of Janak but to Janak as a person. He chose to overlook the sequence of questions and replies to the most important and most interesting issue of Mukti. Ashtavakra advised Janak to discard all the attachment to sensual pleasures as if they were so much of poison and the Janak should imbibe the nectar (Amrut) of qualities of Kshma (forgiveness) Arjva (softness) Daya (mercy) Santasa (contentment) Satya (truth). Bapu chose reuse the statement by saying that if we imbibe the nectar first, the poison by itself would disappear. Path of Ashtravakri is the pain of Gyan that begins with the renounciation of negativism. Bapu's pain is of bhakti that starts with positive qualities so that the poisonous substances would be eliminated by itself. Bapu quoted Tulsidas to say that hearts of saints are soft as butter, many softer than butter because butter melts when heated. Saints melt down when others suffer the heat. Bapu repeated that mercy and compensation look not at logic nor calculate the profit and loss accounts. All the fine attributes of Ashtravakra are the natural qualities of Bhaktas. Bapu then turned to the narrative part and explained the reasons and the qualities of each son of Dashrata, since Guru Vashishtha has designated four brothers as the essence of Vedas (Tatva). We are compelled to go into the analysis and understand the meaning of the names chosen by Guru and how Rama is an embodiment of all such qualities. But Bapu went a step further, that Rama is the sum total of the qualities and attributes of the three brothers. A Bhakta of Rama should nourish and nurture his family members and the society (Bharat) should end all enmity everywhere and put an end to all revenge (Shatrugva) and he must cultivate the qualities which makes him an ideal servant of the good in society.

Bapu then brought the story down to education of 4 royal princes, the travels of Rama here with Vishwamitra down to the city of Janakkul.
Yesterday was just great- a day of joy and jokes and a festival of freedom. Bapu always advises us to be free from superstitions. Yesterday we enjoyed the humour, Bapu got his coconut sized mangoes and he opened the doors for two persons- a young girl and a middle aged mum were freed from the bondage of torture imposed by orthodoxy and superstitions.

Discussing the differences and the inter relations between Mukti and Bhakti, Bapu spoke about a common link- Jugti or Yukti which is a common denominator for both. Jugti or Yukti is a technique as well as an expertise to handle both Bhakti and Mukti. Bapu advised that once we have found such a Jugti we should not reveal it to those who do not desire to know about it and who are not fit (Patra) to receive it. Bapu mentioned an anecdote in the life of Buddha where Buddha argued that just as we do not put food on a dirty plate, we do not impart teachings to those who are not prepared for it and who do not deserve to receive it. Those who have no love (Prem) and no alignment (Bhav) would misconstrue even the best of teachings. Bapu pointed out that message (Sandesh) is open for all and can be freely passed on to one and all. Teaching (Updesh) can be imparted to those who inquire and are prone to learn (Jignysu). But only when a Sadhak has advanced to a higher stage and deserves the favour of Guru that he receives spiritual instructions and guidance because only those whom we love or who are close to us can be ordered around. Therefore when Sadaguru issues orders and tells you to do and not to do things, celebrate the occasion, because such orders are a clear sign that Guru considers you close enough and you have advanced in the spiritual field.

But to reach that stage you will need an open mind, a mind that is completely free from prejudices and preconceived notions. In such a condition of mind everything and every experience feels sweet (Akhilam Madhram) and joyful. As Radha said she loves Krishna so much that whatever Krishna does to her, she feels over fulfilled.

Such orders (Adesa) of Guru are not to be contradicted and should not be even questioned on the grounds of logic or propriety. Such orders are to be only welcomed (Ameen) or greeted with joy (Adesh) because Logic has its own limitations and it has no potency at higher levels of understanding which can be greeted only in silence. Such an understanding, such an everlasting and all pervading ecstasy (Masti) can not be acquired through a proxy. The one who wants it has to join in Satsang.

Bapu quoted a doha that there are certain state and stages in life- well being (Khair) heredity (Khum), coughing (Khansi) joy (Khushi) hatred (Vair) love (Prem) and intoxication (Madhupan)- can never be kept a secret, but Jugti, Tapa, Yog, Mantra ought not to be publicised. The more you hide then the more potent they become. Exhibitionism would make you famous but it will weaken you from within. Shut out the world to grow within. Bapu expressed his intense happiness that the world and the society are becoming better as time passes and if we but know how to live, life in the forthcoming decades is going to be an enjoyable experience. Bapu then whole- heartedly expressed his intense and boundless appreciation for the cultural and musical program held on the previous evening. Art and artists need support but the greatest encouragement that can be given to an artist is not financial help but genuine appreciation for his artistic talents and achievements. Bapu narrated the reaction of potters from Uzbekistan who resented the senseless vandalism of their pottery and severely condemned those who did it. Bapu has deep rooted love for all forms of art and encourages artists and performers whenever he can and in whichever form he comes across.

Bapu returned to the discussion about presenting the potency of Jugti, Tapa, Yoga and mantra. This is the reason why Mantra is to be uttered only in the ear of the pupil and to be revealed to anyone. This is how ancient seers preserved the esoteric knowledge which is known as Shruti. Jugti which is an amalgamation of technique and expertise can help you to survive in the worst possible circumstances. An elephant would be swept down by strong currents in a river but a fish can swim upstream. That is why Bhoja Bhagat wrote about the Bridal procession of ants and as Bapu said, only ants have the capacity to identify sugar mixed with sand.

Such Jugti cannot be achieved unless we are helped by a Sudguru and we need him because we are spiritually crippled. Guru does nothing but light a small lamp within and we can find our own way in that flickering but eternal light. Bapu is well aware that Gurudom has been misused. Guru's have exploited, misguided and misused the trust of people within them. But in spite of all such limitations, institution of Guru is a much needed help for total transformation of our internal life. Guru converts trash into pure gold as far as spiritual life is concerned.

Bapu then took up a few questions and answered them briefly. A girl complained about being compelled by her mother to fast for Gauri Vrat. Bapu said he does not believe in fasting and advised that she should eat after night fall because Gauri is the mother of the Universe and no mother would be happy to see her children sleep without food. Bapu encouraged people to accept Hanuman and Mahadeva as Guru and extolled in magnificent virtues of Shiva. A questioner had taken a vow not to eat mangoes and asked how he can end the vow. Bapu advised him that the vow should be ended there and then and all the resultant divine wrath and punishment for breaking the vow should be transfered to Bapu. He was ready to suffer whatever punishment was inflicted for discarding the vow. He himself loves mangoes and would be happy to eat them. Instantly several persons in the audience offered mangoes to Bapu and Bapu in a hilarious mood accepted a few of them.

Bapu was asked by a resident of Kashi as to how he would secure his Mukti. Bapu said that those who live in Kashi are bound to get Mukti after death. Those who are killed by God also secure Mukti. Ravaan was destroyed because he disparaged and insulted a Sadhu like Vibhishan. Bhagwat has declared that those who hate and insult saintliness (Divyta) or scriptures of any religion, or our senses or scholars and pious persons or Sadhus or spiritually or Divinity are prone to total annihilation.

Bapu concluded that the easiest and most effective way is to love Rama and to be entirely engrossed in speaking, singing, discussing, dancing in the name of Rama. We like a bumblebee should enjoy the fragrance of flowers without ever damaging the flowers even a wee bit.
Moving onto a closer and deeper analysis of Jugati as the key to secure Bhakti and Mukti. Bapu said that this word has been used in context of Vibhishan, who was living in the midst of Rakshases. If the lifestyle and approach of Vibhishan are properly grasped, we would understand the full implications of Jugati. Hanuman was searching Sita in the palaces - mandirs of lanka. Sita is Bhakti and Bhakti, peace and faith ought to be found in the Mandirs (temples) but we find them all in the modest houses of Vaishnavas. As Hanuman neared the residence of Vibhishan, he felt the change in atmosphere. Hanuman was pleasantly surprised at the Tulsi plants and symbols of Rama everywhere. Bapu distinguished between Harsha (pleasure) and Prasanata. When you are happy with personal benefits, it is Harsha. When you are happy with the benefits and achievements of others, it is Prasanata. We should strive for Prasanata but not for Harsha because Prasanata is the royal road to the Divine and we must be indifferent to Harsha. Gita teaches us to be balanced about praise and calumny, about Harsha and Amarsha, because the basic thrust, the central principle (Mantra) of Gita is "Sam" (balance). Manas gives upmost importance to all inclusiveness (Sab) where as Upnishads emphasize "Sat" (reality).

Bapu pointed out that monkeys in Ramayan represent the fickle mindedness of ordinary mortals like ourselves. But Hanuman is more balanced and more mature. He addressed Vibhishan as a brother because they both regard Sita as their mother figure. Hanuman inquired from Vibhishan Jugati to find and reach Sita (Bhakti) and Vibhishan explained all the way - all the nine techniques to approach Bhakti. Vibhishan, like a good guru, told him everything without keeping anything back from Hanuman and Hanuman, like a good pupil, immediately put it into practice. These are the techniques to reach the goal of Bhakti which is personified by Sita. Vibhishan taught nine jugatis because in Indian mathematics number 9 is considered a complete integer as it remains unchanged after all multiplications.

Before listing these 9 steps to Bhakti, Bapu said that language of all scriptures is often obscure and at time mumbo jumbo, making no sense to us. The great sears use this style in order to preserve the purity of knowledge and prevent knowledge falling into unworthy hands (Apatra). The 9 Jugati’s taught by Vibhishan are the qualities required to approach and attain Bhakti. The first quality is Abhay (fearlessness) because Bhakti is not for cowards. One needs not only bravery but dauntless bravery to search and secure Bhakti (Sita). But then, how do we understand and explain the dictum of Tulsidas that there can be no love without fear because fear and love do not go together. This dictum has been widely misunderstood and furiously denounced by several commentators. But the statement is to be understood by an inverse juxtaposition of the terms in hindi language. What Tulsidas is saying is that it is only by love, that fear can be totally eliminated. Fear can be destroyed only by Love only by Bhakti. Bapu said very often you are afraid of fear itself and in this connection Bapu mentioned a Tibetan story of a Serpent and a rat held in the claws of two owls and both were about to die. But Serpent tried to reach out to the rat and eat it, while rat was trembling with fear that the serpent would swallow him. We are afraid of losing life or of losing prestige. A Bhakta is docile and quiet but he is totally unafraid either about life or livelihood or criticism. Journey to divinity begins with Abhaya. The second quallity is total absence of any pretentions. A Bhakta never tries to show off and claim to be what he is not. Hanuman during the war with Ravan had assume many forms and play many roles but none lasted for long. Only our real self can stand the test of time. Bapu mentioned Chokha Mela- a carrion carrier and cleaner but he was never ashamed of his profession or claim to be anything but a Chamar.. Bapu does not worship Hanuman in his fierce and furious forms because for him Hanuman is a father figure and a father would never terrify his children. Hanuman in this century is to be a Buddha, not a Rudra.

The third Jugti is freedom from remorse, Ashoktva no regrets for past and no worry about future. A Bhakta lives in present. Bapu quoted the famous saying that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. Bapu mentioned Gopal Bhanda who was always full of joy. He claimed that he had a Sukhda sapphire and he was ready to give to anyone. Who ever digs the ground when full moon was on the head in mid sky would find it. No one could do so till he explained that full moon in mid sky would shine on your head and you have to find happiness by digging into your head and into your mind. A Bhakta must be Ashanka- totally free from diffidence and doubts because a Sadhaka has complete faith in the Divine. Fifth quality of Jugti is that we should be equally ready to accept good and bad. There is nothing Ashubh, nothing that is inauspicious in this existence. We most own up our limitations and defects and treat every moment as Shubh. Then we must cultivate a mindet that is beyond good qualities (Guna) and bad ones (Avaguna) one must cultivate Aguna approach that is personified by Mahadev. Amarsh is the Jugti when we are happy at the happiness of others. We usually resent the progress and achievements of other people. The last one is total elimination of arrogance. We can reach that state of mind by a sincere and complete humility that arises from within ourselves.

Bapu then turned to the narrative part of katha and began with the arrival of Rama the Janakpur. Everybody in Janakpur was overjoyed by his Darshan and Rama visited the garden next morning where he had a chance meeting with Sita. Bapu explained the allegory that is implied in this first meeting of Rama and Sita, Apart from the poetic presentation, the incident has been interpreted to explain the stages by which Bhakta reaches realization of the Divine. First is the entry of Sita (Bhakti) into the garden which represents Satsung- contact with saints which one can find in any society in this world. Second Sita took a bath in a lake which is as clear and pure as the heart of a Guru. This signifies that we have not only the contact with Guru but also a place in the heart and mind of a Guru. Third incident is worship of Gauri- Bhavani. Shraddha- faith. We must have full faith and confidence in our Guru. When we have reached the third stage, the Sadaguru will himself rush towards us and lead us to self realization. Just as Sita followed her companion (Sakhi) we have to follow our Sadaguru who would lead us to the Divine and then would step aside after establishing the contact with Brahma. Bapu then discussed the flowers in the left hand of Rama, while buds decorated his head. Rama consoled the buds that they have a better chance of staying with him longer and to progress further while those who are proud that they are fully developed flowers might be just thrown aside anytime.

Sita then returned and prayed to Durga who spoke to Sita assuring her that she was going to get what she wanted most- Rama as a husband. Statues do speak to those who are emotionally attached to Divinity. Rama broke the bow for Shiva which is a symbolic destruction of Ego and the incident was followed by marriages of all the four brothers. After all functions and ceremonies were our Vishwamitra left for his ashram.
Bapu began on the usual note of Mukti being an automatic and easy acquisition for Bhakti and then moved on to explain some of the Darshanas regarding Mukti. Moksha for Shankracharya is a Totality (purnatva) a perfection, a complete wholeness that is full of everything. Buddha went to another extreme and visualised Mukti as Shunya- as nothingness. These are the extremes that are intensely difficult to understand and still more difficult to achieve. Bapu suggested a via media of staying in between the two extremes and utilised the Jugtis to secure Bhakti. Tulsidas is in favour of quickly implementing the Jugtis once we know them, while Kabir has advised us to be patient and to go slow. Seers (Drashtas) offer different advice from time to time according to the level of the Sadhakas.

Bapu believes in seeking our own way and to dare and break away from all Mullas and Pandits to work on the lonely part. Such a daring needs a free and open mind. Bapu then recited a Bhajan of Ganga Sati about various Jugtis to reach out to Bhakti. Ganga Sati has a male soul in a female body although soul is a genderless entity. Bapu quoted from Atharva Veda which declared that there is no way, no method, no Sadhna by which one can achieve self realisation and know the soul. But Atma chooses to reveal itself just as a beautiful woman sheds away all her clothes to reveal her full body to her lover. Bapu said that the scriptures are clear and conclusive but the scholastic debate between Pandits [Shastrarthas create all confusion because each scholar tries to defeat the other without realising that in Advart there is no other, we all are unified in the Divine. Bhaktas act upon the belief in Dwait so as to be able to love God.

Avoiding the extremes of perfection and nothingness, we ought to live in the present. As Ganga sati says, Jyoti will help us in understanding Alakh and we will be freed from the three Gunas. Bapu said a parable of a Gyani's dream in which he was pursued by a lion and he ran all the way till he dropped down almost dead. He got awakened and realised that lion was an illusion, that his running was also an illusion. So who is real? The usual answer would be that a neutral (Tatastha) observer can be real, but during the dream there are no observers. A Tatastha who stands on one bank of a river knows nothing of the other bank of the river. So the middle position is the best and Krishna puts Arjun's chariot exactly equidistant from the army's of the Kauravas and Pandavas. But we can hardly maintain our impartiality and our middle position in our daily life.

Bapu said that he has still not reached that position of Kutastha but he is on the road to that ideal Madhyama Bhakti which would be perfect but perhaps the most difficult types of Bhakti. He is trying to be a detached observer passing in through crowded bazaars but he wants nothing in the bazaar.

He pointed out that Satsung induces several changes—the change in the space we occupy, in the time we utilise and there are several other changes, but to change our nature or attitudes [Swabhava] is a difficult and a time consuming process. For many people, Satsung brings about temporary changes but we revert to our Swabhav after Satsung is over. But we should not feel disappointed or dejected , the change may take time, a long time but it WILL come because every time you are in Satsung, some little change takes place. Some bonds get snapped and with a few dents here and there, the shell gets broken, internal impurities like arrogance get drained and you are ready to share your blessings (Prasad) with everyone. It is true that inverted pots do not get filled up, but even inverted pots get cooled down. We should have faith that sooner or later the transformation SHALL happen.

In the path of knowledge (Gyan Marg) the Sadhak recieves Diksha which is of four types. Sparsh Diksha, the Guru's touch rouses you while in Shabd Diksha, Guru gives a Mantra. Krishna promised Divya vision to Arjun, this is Drishti Diksha. Fish would be hatching its eggs by just looking at them while eggs of turtles are hatched when the mother remembers her eggs lying buried on distant shores. This is Smurti Diksha. Such Gyan Margi Diksha's are given on fixed occasions and on proper times. But for Bhaktas there is neither time nor space nor the occasion.

For Bhakta's there are no Diksha's. Bhakta's have to find their proper directions or Disha. Whenever a Bhakta receives answers (Uttar) to his questions or aspirations, it is the north direction. South is Dakhsina which also implies everything becoming convenient or comfortable for Bhaktas. God leads the Bhaktas by moving ahead (Purva) of him, and Pashcim is the Push or support from behind- Some force or factor backing him up. Bapu advised patience and to keep on hearing Kathas with love and faith because Tulsidas has assured us that he who sings or speaks or hears Katha have both options open. They can get Bhakti or Mukti, but we should ask nothing from no one, not even from God. We should listen to the Katha without any expectations or demands (Nirpeksh) . Bapu went to the extent that even those who come to Katha with a Durbhav, only to criticise Katha, will start remembering it. Bapu was quite confident that Katha does have great impact in the day to day life of those who listen. Their family life has improved, their drinking and gambling is getting reduced. But many of us do not know what to ask for. When you meet a Sadguru, you should not ask for money or profits in business. Your experience and expertise will help you better to improve your business. We should learn from Dhasratha, who demanded nothing from his Guru but only his blessings (Kripa) and his Darshanas. Guru and God are omniscient, they know what you want or need and he would give what is good for your spiritual progress. The material benefits can be secured by your efforts and luck, but God will give you what he decides is good for you. Shankracharya, after a long list of demands, left the final decision to God (Yatha Yogya) and the final request of Bharat to Rama was to decide what makes him (Rama) happy (Prasann). Instead of begging we should start giving. Give money, give a smile, and give a good wish like Happy Birthday. Bapu gave the example of a hungry child who shared his chocolate with his soldier friends. Bapu referred to Tiruvalluvar who taught an arrogant Youth the value of labour and told him that the price is only a small part of such values. Tiriuvalluvar ended by saying that we waste our precious life by tearing it in small and useless shreds.

Bapu then took up the narrative part of Katha and presented some of the poetic masterpieces of Tulsidas. He compared various Sopanas of Manas with different stages of life and resumed the story from Ayodhya Kaand. The return of Rama and his brothers with their respective brides gave unending and intense happiness to the people of Ayodhya. Such happiness was bound to be followed by some days of anguish and unhappiness. The events happened fast when Dashratha saw a white hair in his head whilst looking in the mirror. Bapu traced the Allegory and explained that when you are holding your full court at the height of your prestige, we should pick up a mirror and look at ourselves critically. Such introspection would help us to decide when we should gracefully retire from active life and adjust our behaviour to the new situation wherein old is being replaced by the newer and younger generation. Bapu gave several tips to the elderly people that would help them grow old gracefully and stay on in the family without friction and fights.

Dashratha decided to appoint Rama as his successor but instead of doing so immediately he postponed his decision by a night. And that night changed the entire course of events and issues.
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Katha 673 - Manas Maha Prabhu, Champaran, Chhatisgarh18th - 26th April 2009
Uttar Kand – Doha 119
More man prabhu as bisvasa | Ram te adhik ram kar dasa ||
Ram sindhu ghan sajjan dhira | Chandan Taru hari sant samira ||
 
I have this conviction in my heart, my lord, that a servant of Sri Rama is greater than Sri Rama himself.
While Sri Rama is the ocean, the wise saints are like the rain-clouds; or (to use another metaphor) While Sri Hari is the sandal-tree, the saints represent the winds (that diffuse its perfume).
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The path of devotion (bhakti marg) is impossible (asambhav) without trust (vishvaas).  In fact, devotion is created by trust.

The path of knowledge (gyan marg) and yoga (yog marg) have specific methods and particular means (saadhan).  As well, they both give importance to direction (deeshaa).  However, the path of devotion does not follow any particular means (nisaadhantaa) and gives importance to one’s state (dashaa).

Just like there are 10 directions (deeshaa) (north, south, east, west, north-east, north-west, south-east, south-west, up and down), there are also 10 states (dashaa) in the path of devotion, trust and nisaadhantaa.

The 10 states (dashaa) in the path of devotion, trust and nisaadhantaa are:

  1. Abhilaashaa / Manorath – When a devotee wishes for something yet whole-heartedly leaves the outcome to God.  Should one’s wish not be fulfilled, then devotees believe that the outcome was not in one’s best interest.
  2. Chintaa – Worrying for God’s well being, not for the well being of one’s self. 
  3. Smruti / Smaran – Remembering God.
  4. Vyaadhi – The sadness or sorrow felt in the love of God.
  5. Oonmaad – Being filled with and/or drunken by the nectar of love.
  6. Pralaap – To shed tears and cry.
  7. Goon kathan – Seeing good qualities of the one you have faith in.
  8. Jadtaa – The firm belief that God’s compassion will enable certain outcomes to occur in one’s life.
  9. Oodvaig – When the mind and body are both anxious. 
  10. Asaiyatha – To have intolerable love.

Devotees choose the above 10 states.  Who then can be called a devotee (daas)?  The Ram Charit Manas gives numerous descriptions of who can be called a devotee.  One such description of a devotee is given in the following couplet (chaupai):

Mor daas kahai nar aasaa |  Karahi to kahahu kahaa bisvasaa ||

The above couplet questions the trust and faith of one who is known as a devotee of God yet has desires and wishes of other people.  Thus, a devotee is known as one who doesn’t have any desires or wishes of others (aash na kare), just from God.

A second description of a devotee is one who never worries of getting destroyed (naash). A third description is one who never gets disheartened (oodaas).  A fourth description is one who has firmly surrendered (dradh ashrai). 

On one hand, Lakshman shows his independence by stating that he is a devotee, yet on the other hand says that he is dependent (at the feet of Ram).

From this, it is apparent that one characteristic of a devotee is to remain dependent (paraadheen) and never attempt to be independent (svaadheen).  In fact, to remain dependent on one’s God, Sadguru, scripture (shastra) or aphorism (sutra) is the true form of being independent.   Even though a master never wishes or makes his devotee (sevak) be dependent, a devotee himself experiences great pleasure in being dependent.  This dependency becomes a sense of security and comfort for the devotee.

When this dependency (aadheenta) occurs, a devotee’s heart (hriday) is freed (mukt) of 5 hindrances (baadhaa).  These are:

  1. vichaar – both good and bad thoughts
  2. vikaar –  distortions
  3. vishaad
  4. vibhav – ill feelings towards others
  5. vilas – luxuries in excess of what we need

Another characteristic of a devotee is one who is remembered by God.  This can be seen when Bharat asks Hanumanji if Ram has ever remembered him.

In Uttar kand, Ram states that his devotees (daas) are extremely beloved to him. 

The question then arises whether or not a devotee has to abide by any rules (niyam) or laws (kanoon).  Devotees should follow 3 things, listed in order of occurrence:

  1. vivek – discrimination between right and wrong
  2. dhairya - patience
  3. ashrai- taking shelter

The next question arises as to how the above three can come into a devotee.  Discrimination (vivek) comes from religious activities (satsang), patience (dhairya) comes from discrimination (vivek) and taking shelter (ashrai) in a firm way comes from patience (dhairya).

Insulting (tiraskaar) an individual is actually insulting God since God is in everyone. 

Ram sindhu dhan sajjan dhira | Chandan taru hari sant samira ||

There are 7 oceans on this Earth.  Since Ram is referred to as an ocean in the above couplet (chaupai), then Ram is the following 7 oceans:

  1. kripa sindhu – the ocean of kindness
  2. karuna sindhu – the ocean of compassion
  3. sheel sindhu – the ocean of good qualities
  4. gyan sindhu- the ocean of knowledge
  5. sukh sindhu – the ocean of pleasure
  6. daya sindhu -  the ocean of mercy
  7. kshama sindhu – the ocean of forgiveness

One who follows many spiritual or religious means (su-saadhan) (ie. jaap, penance (taap), reading scriptures (paat), etc.) gets kripa after some time (der se) because one’s arrogance and pride shields it from coming sooner. 

One who doesn’t follow any pure spiritual or religious means (ku-saadhan) (ie, with ill-feelings, pride, and jealousy) get kripa that destroys (maar) those impurities. 

One who doesn’t follow any spiritual or religious means (nis-saadhan) gets kripa with love.

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After Ram’s marriage when Sita came to Ayodhya, there was a lot of wealth (samrudhi).  The question then arises as to why sorrows (dukh) came in the form of why were Ram, Sita and Lakshman being sent into exile in the forest (vanvaas)?  With the grace of God (kripa), we all have wealth, peace and happiness.  It is when we desire for even more that this could result in some sort of exile (vanvaas) in our lives.

Devotion (bhakti) is not attained by force (jabarjasti).  By force, one will only attain its shadow, not the real form.  Instead it is attained by the grace of God (kripa).  It is important that children not be forced towards devotion.

Ram does not consider anyone’s caste; rather he only takes to heart one’s feelings and devotion.  Tulsidasji’s Bhakti Sutra (aphorisms of devotion) describes 9 forms of devotion:

  1. Sant sang – keeping the company of saints
    In Bapu’s opinion, a saint is one
    1.  whose end never comes (jiska aant naahi).
    2.  who  does not fight /oppose, is not stubborn (jise kisike saath taant nahi),  accepts any     circumstances (sthithi) and has no insistence to requirements.
    3. who does not want a prestigious position (jisko kahi mahaant nahi hona hai).
    4. who prays and does social service (seva) with happiness and feelings (aanand- bhav)
      (bhajan khaant se karai).

  2. Katha prasang main ras lena- enjoying the nectar of God’s discourses
    The highest form of a listener (uttam shrota) is one who does service to others (seva) as well as listens to discourses (katha shravan).

  3. Guru Charan Kamal Seva – doing service of one’s Guru’s feet
    This is to be done without any arrogance (abhimaan).  A Guru is one who your heart embraces and one who feels like your own. Whatever your inner voice (antakaran) says, you should do – if you go against it, considered anyashrai. Leave pride (abhiman) and do service (seva) – “seva guru ki agya anoukul ”

  4. Bhagwans Gun Gaan – kapath chorkar – without deceit. “A kathakar should not take any money for katha,” said Mahaprabhuji- (e.g. from networking it becomes a business). Even when Bapu started kathas he never asked an amount for his katha.
    Kapath – using someone else’s ideas /sutras under your name.

  5. “Mantra jap mam dhrd vishvasa”-  with guru mantra with total faith (bharosa)

  6. “Sayam niyam se varatna /rehna”  - To be careful what to eat and drink
    Children should study well, but keep vivek in company , food  and drink
    “bahut pravruti se nivruti” make time for family

  7. “Sab main Hari Darshan” – see God in everyone.
    “sant” is greater than God

  8. ”jatha labh santosha” – Contentment in what we receive/result
    Even in your dreams, you should not look at anyone’s faults - Bad feelings to others’ success.
    Looking at other people’s faults, we are causing significant loss for ourselves.

  9. “Saral jivan”- simple life without cheating and deceit (chhal kapath)
    Do not take too many opinions – follow what your soul says or someone awakened who only has your good interest. Live with Gods faith – “bharosa”

-“Hanumanji ne lidhe Sugriv ko Ram mile”/ “Sant ke madhyam se jiv ko bhagwan mile”
- Hanumanji “prassan” on the way to lanka – Sunderkand “prabhu mudrika meli much mahi”
-If you keep something in your mouth (sweet or pan) you will become fresh, awake and happier. Just like that, if you have worries or are depressed, then take “hari nam – prasan”
-If you don’t have faith (shraddha) in a Sadhu, it is  acceptable, but don’t do “apradh”  towards a sadhu.

Summary for Manas Mahaprabhu Katha

  1. “Dhradh Ashraiy Rakhna” – but  not from “pralobhan – pratishtha –bhaiy”
    - with entire feeling, heart inspired , from inner faith towards our God, strong faith/following,
    irrespective of which religion. Dhrad ashraiy is important for all.
  2. “Seva – Jitni  hosake seva”- as much as possible whilst maintaining your duties/responsibilities
    “Aahetu seva, thakur ke prassanata ke liye” and Family, children etc. all a part of God –“ prabhu ke aang”
    Without arrogance (abhiman) – Sneh se Seva for pleasing God (prabhu prassanatta) – for God’s happiness and not self gain. 
  3. “Hari nam ka smaran” –remembering God’s name. “Sahaj ho”- as much as possible
    “nisadhanta” -  “Bharosa rahe – “Krishna nam rahe”
    “Prabhu nam smaran” – Any name that your heart says “Sahaj gati pakro”
    “Krishna seva – Krishna ashraiy –Krishna smaran”

II  Yaha kalikala ne sadhan dhouja, jog jagya jap tap vrat pooja  II

II  Ramahi  sumiri , gayiea ramahi, santat suniya Ram gun gramahi  II Tulsiji – Manas

Sansar ka vehvar nibhaiyainge aur hari ko payenge – The 2 wheels life runs on

Sansar se bhage firtai  ho – bhagwan ko tum kya paoge ;  Eis lok ko na apna sake-us lok main bhi pastaoge.

Katha 643 - Manas Jataayu, Firozpur24th February - 04th March 2007
Main Chopai: Kishkindha Kaand - Doha 27
Kaha angad bichaari mana maahin | Dhanya jataayu sama kou naahin ||
Ram kaaj kaaran tanu tyaagi | Hari pur gayau param bada bhaagi ||
 
Angad said after thinking about it 'Glory to Jataayu !, There is no one like him,
who has laid down his life in the service of Shree Ram and most blessed and ascended to abode of Shree Hari.
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Here, in Ferozpur, we have all gathered for Ramkatha and to pay homage to our martyrs, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, who laid their lives for the freedom of our country at this place. The main subject of this katha would be the character of Jataayu in Shri Ram Charit Manas who also laid his life for protecting Ma Jaanaki. Jataayu’s character comes in Aranya Kand when Raavan is abducting Ma Sita and she cries for help. At that time, Jataayu hears her cries and tries to help her out- Seeta kai bilaap suni bhaari | Bhaye charaachar jeev dukhaari ||, Geedh-raaj suni aarat baani | Raghukul tilak naari pahichaani ||.

There are three types of cries - aalaap, vilaap and pralaap.

  1. Aalaap is a sober form of cry, usually in musical notes sung by vocalists. It might sound good to some but not necessarily to everybody.
  2. Vilaap is the cry of an individual, usually coming out due to inner sorrow. It normally leads to the melting of the hearts of the listener.
  3. Pralaap is hue and cry about useless things. Avoid getting involved in such futile arguments or discussions.
Question - It is said that God’s grace flows for all, then why can’t I experience it?
Bapu’s answer - Mud/soil cannot contain anything, but if a potter uses it and creates a pot from it, it gets transformed into a container. Similarly, a person may not be able to experience God’s grace; but if a Sadaguru treats him/her, he/she gains that receptivity to feel God’s grace. Katha/satsang helps a lot in forming the receptivity of the speaker as well as the listener. Sadaguru works on the aspirant’s mind with such an expertise that his spiritual journey becomes a reason of joy. The aspirant is not even worried about the destination; he/she finds saadhana (path of spiritual efforts) itself blissful.

When an aspirant’s inner-self (antah-karan) becomes absolutely pure with no trace of malignity, then whatever she/he aspires for materializes for sure.

Jataayu had four prominent features that are essential for an aspirant who wants to help others:

  1. Aankh (eyes)- he had a sharp vision.
  2. Paankh (wings)- he used his actions to implement his vision.
  3. Chonch (beak)- he had a sound sense of discretion (ability to make responsible decisions) as to where to get involved and where to not.
  4. Saanch (truth)- he was sincere in his duty.

The one who decides to lay his life for others does not go by what the others say or do; he just does his own efforts with sincerity. Jataayu was full of such courage when he confronted Raavan.

Bapu says, “If you ask me personally, I would say that ‘Ram naam’ is the ultimate for me. All other spiritual efforts are also respectable, but for me there is nothing like ‘Ram naam’; it is the essence of all other efforts.”

"kaha angad bichaari mana maahin” - Angad says that Jataayu’s indeed blessed, but he says this after thinking well. An aspirant should think thrice before speaking anything. He describes Jataayu as ‘dhanya’. Dhanya means what? The one who lives in ‘dhan’ (wealth) can be called as dhanya, but dhan here refers to ‘Ram rattan dhan’ (wealth of Ram-naam ), ‘santosh-dhan’ (wealth of contentment) and ‘tapo-dhan’ (wealth of penance). Jataayu is the possessor of these three types of wealth, so he’s truly called dhanya.

“karma phal hai, kripa rasa hai.”- every action, leads to some kind of fruit and if the grace of God is experienced, then one can actually feel the ‘rasa’ (essence) of that fruit. But, an aspirant should be careful that there should not be any negative element such as hatred or jealousy in the mind, as they spoil the rasa of every fruit.

If you really want to be happy, never blame anyone for your problems, accept the problems as the will of God.

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Tulsidas jee says Angad and Hanuman jee are ‘badabhaagi’, who are fortunate enough to be in service of Bhagwan Ram. He calls Ahalya jee as ‘Atisaya- badabhaagi’ , who gets the blessing and grace of Bhagwan Ram and goes in the duty of her husband. But, Jataayu is called ‘Param- badabhaagi’ who leaves for the abode of The Lord instantly.

The characters of Shri Ram Charit Manas like – Bharadwaaj jee and Ma Parvati, doubted the existence of Lord in human form. But, they never doubted the one they asked. Bharadwaaj jee did not doubt Yagnavalkya jee and Ma Parvati did not doubt Bhagwaan Shankar. Never ever doubt your Sadaguru; doubt is a big hurdle of spiritual path.

Aranya Kand is predominantly highlighted by the element of illusion (maaya). Jayant, Raavan, Maareech, Ma Sita, all of them illusionary forms but it was only Jataayu who remained genuine and free of any illusionary forms.

Bhagwaan Ram lived the path of dignity (maryada), but at the same time he also showed that the life should not become dry with rules; rather it should be full of ‘rasa’, music, dance, joy and spontaneity. Dignity should not be harsh and should not make an individual heartless. It should not become a binding and snatch away the innocent joys of a person. In fact, Bhagwaan Ram generated ‘rasa’ (nectar of life) in the stone-turned Ahalya jee also. Shri Ram Charit Manas gives a new message everyday; it is an evergreen shastra.

Yesterday, it was said that even if you doubt the existence of the Lord, don’t doubt the speaker of the Lord’s katha. But, the speaker should also possess certain qualities according to shrimad Bhagwat. They are as follows.

  • Virakto - It is an inner state of detachment. The speaker should not be possessive of his own principles also; there should be complete detachment from any kind of reservations.
  • Vaishnavo - It refers to large-heartedness of the speaker.
  • Vipro - Speaker should be free of materialistic tendencies (vigat-prapanch). He should have a sense of discretion (vivek-pradhaan) and should be capable of fulfilling the listener with devotional feelings.
  • Veda - shastra vishuddhi-krit- He should be able to convey the thoughts of Vedas and scriptures in a pure form with their actual sense intact.
  • Drishtaant kushalo - A speaker should be able to support and simplify the principles with appropriate examples.
  • Dheero - A speaker should be mentally balanced to contain the reactions of listeners.
  • Nihspriho - He should not be fond of crowds.

If anyone criticizes someone else scornfully in front of you, and you can neither stop him nor close your ears, then the best thing to do is close your eyes. By  closing your eyes you can prevent the negativity entering your life to an extent. Closing of eyes in favourable as well as unfavourable situations helps a person to Keep up mental peace. Ma Jaanaki uses this practice in Pushpa vatika ( after the first glimpse of Bhagwaan Ram)and also in Ashok Vatika (in the middle of  demons).

If you have the provision of open space, the please sow the trees of Banyan (vada), mango (aam), paakari and peepal. These four will help in controlling environmental pollution. If an aspirant does some spiritual efforts under them, then he/she can also save oneself from mental pollution.

Bapu says, “Somebody told me that a great scholar calls life itself as the master (Sadaguru), but if I was asked I would say that my Sadaguru is my life.”

The two brothers Jataayu and Sampaati contributed with their calibers to help Bhagwaan Ram. Sampaati helped with his words in search of Ma Sita and Jataayu fought hard to save her from Raavan. The two birds give the message that one should use the calibre in the best possible way to serve Bhakti (devotion).

Question - People criticize a lot if I listen to katha. What to do?
Bapu’s answer - People’s reaction is natural; don’t expect anything exceptional from them. Practice silence (maun) in such circumstances. Just accept everything with silence and indifference; keep your focus on satsang.

Question - Does interaction with people create new debts according to karma philosophy?
Bapu’s answer - It’s hard to give one decision in this matter. Shri Ram Charit Manas says-‘Firat sadaa maaya kar prera | Kaal karm subhaav guna ghera||’. A human being is surrounded by four elements of kaal (time), karma (action), swabhaav (own nature) and guna (inclinations). But the doors of satsang provide solace in such tight surroundings. Let us discuss the four.
  1. Kaal - It can refer to three things- time, change of seasons and death. All these are not in control of man. But, you can prevent their effects by cultivating tolerance or by using the available equipments in the best possible way.
  2. KarmaAction is upto you to decide. Positive actions come out of affection (raag) towards someone and negative actions are a result of hatred (dwesh). Action and its fruits lead to pain where our desire gets attached to it. Desire (kama) tries to place itself first in the senses (indriya), then in the mind (mana) and finally in the intellect (budhhi). Please beware of it!
  3. Swabhaav - Sometimes, the nature of a person becomes the primary reason of pain/ sorrowfulness. The nature can only improve with satsang.
  4. Guna - There are three inclinations of Satva, rajas and tamas. They should be practiced in accordance with the time, space and situation. For example - In a temple, one should be saatvik (calm and serene), at work one should be rajasik (in action).

    If the wrong guna is used contrary to the need of the situation, then it may lead to problems.

The above listed four can become supportive if a person follows satsang. Satsang/katha helps a lot in freeing oneself from the negative repercussions of the above four.

Jataayu’s wings were chopped in the dual with Raavan, but he had two qualities of humbleness and eagerness in his eyes. These two helped him reach the Almighty.

The qualities of a katha listener are showed by Ma Parvati when she goes to Bhagwaan Shankar for katha - ‘Paarbati bhal avasaru jaani | Gayi sambhu pahin maatu bhavaani ||’. When all the circumstances are favourable, don’t miss going to katha. Listen with the mentality of a woman as women are naturally blessed with faith (shradhha), forgiveness (kshama) and acceptance (sweekriti). Don’t cross your limit of dignity. Take care that your questions are not borne out of unnecessary reasoning but faith.

Question - if the creatures’ life (jeev) is subject to ‘karma’ (action and its fruits), then what is the basis for the creator. Does any rule apply to him?
Bapu’s answer - the Lord is constrained only by kripa (grace). And this kripa is based on the humbleness (deenata) of an aspirant. Kripa is extremely sensitive in nature; it shies away if it witnesses negative elements like hatred, jealousy and scorn in aspirant’s life. Kripa also gets withdrawn when the aspirant does not live according to what he says (if there’s no coordination between speech and action of aspirant).

According to Shrimad Bhagwat, an aspirant is unable to experience the grace of God if he/she is not ready to leave ‘maatsarya’ (envy). Maatsarya is a strong feeling of competing and defeating the contemporary people in every field. But, when this feeling of envy enters in the spiritual path of an aspirant, his bhajan becomes weak and he’s unable to feel the divine grace. So, please be very careful of feeling of competition, always remember that spirituality is a path of faith in the Lord and not of racing with people around you.

There are some experiences that indicate that the Sadaguru/Lord is coming closer to you.

  1. Khushbu (fragrance).
  2. Paraag (pollen).
  3. Makrand (nectar of flower).
  4. Rasa (essence).
  5. Anuraag (devotion).
  6. Jhaanki (a faint glimpse of the Lord).
  7. Sannikata (Close encounter).
  8. Sira par haath (when the Lord blesses with hand on the head).
  9. Nirvaan/Bhagawata (aspirant feels freedom from every sorrow, only bliss remains in life)

Question - what is the difference between prem and kripa?
Bapu’s answer - Usually, prem (love) is offered by the aspirant towards the beloved Lord and kripa (grace) is bestowed by the Lord upon the aspirant.

Please try and avoid negative feelings (durbhaav) towards anybody. But avoid especially keeping negative feelings, even towards enemy, during certain times of day - morning, bed-time, at the time of eating food and at the time of bhajan. The negative feelings pollute the inner self (antah-karan) and prevent the grace of God from being felt and digested in life.

If you get negative feelings toward anybody, then just do one mala at that moment for the welfare of that person. Pray heartily for that person; this is true spirituality.

There are 3 types of hindrances in bhajan:

  1. Taamasi baadha - At the time of bhajan, when an aspirant experiences feeling of revenge or insulting anybody, it is taamasi badha.
  2. Raajasi baadha - When an aspirant wants to be called as religious and wants to be known for his good deeds, it is raajasi baadha in bhajan.
  3. Saatviki baadha - At the time of bhajan, an aspirant gets stuck to a sutra, a shastra or even remembering some good person, it is saatviki baadha.

The remembrance of sadaguru is not considered as a hindrance; it is rather an auspicious to occur during bhajan.

The person who makes a soft spot in the heart of an enemy also, is said to be living in salvation (jeevan-mukta). Khalil Gibran has described salvation in the following ways:

  1. “When all my sheep gather at a safe place at the right time is salvation.” Here sheep refers to the senses that rest in peace.
  2. “Salvation is like a sound sleep of a child, where child is the mind that becomes calm and tranquil.”
  3. “Salvation is the remembrance of the last verse of my poetry”. It means that there is permanent remembrance of the gist of a shastra.

Today, the family of Shaheed Bhagat Singh came for RamKatha. Bapu expressed his regards and best wishes for families of all the martyrs who have laid their lives for the nation. He also conveyed his good wishes to everyone on the occasion of Holi festival.

Human beings can be classified as following types:

  • Khanij maanav - A person who is always focused on acquiring material goods from wherever possible just like people are on a look out for metal from mines.
  • Vanaspati maanav - a person who takes inspiration from plants and trees.
  • Jal/pravaahi maanav - a person who does not lead a stagnant life’ he reaches out to people.
  • Chandra maanav - a person who soothes others with his serenity.
  • Pashu maanav - a person who has some understanding with intellect.
  • Vaanar maanav - a person who is loyal to the master just like Angad, Nal-Neel etc.
  • Nar maanav - a person who is educated, thoughtful and compassionate for humanity.
  • Naaraayan maanav - when the Lord comes in the form of human being.

At the end of his life, Jataayu transformed into Naarayan maanav, the ultimate for any creature.

Jataayu did ‘stuti’ (prayer in praise) of Bhagwaan Ram in four stanzas. The four stanzas represent the four elements of the Lord in human form:

  • The first stanza is for the ‘roop’ (form/ physical appearance) of Bhagwaan Ram. When an aspirant meditates on roop of the Lord, he gradually moves towards the realization of one’s own actual inner form (swaroop).
  • The second stanza is about the holy name ‘Ram naam’. The remembrance of the name of the Lord frees the aspirant from the cycle of rebirth.
  • The third stanza indicates about the divine works of Bhagwaan Ram (leela). The leela of the Lord becomes a source of inspiration for aspirant’s conduct.
  • The fourth stanza is about the ‘dhaam’, the abode of the Lord. An aspirant thinks about the abode and then aspires to build his heart as the Lord’s abode in himself.

“Ram kaaj kaaran tanu tyaagi” - ‘Ram kaaj’ can be defines as welfare of others in some way or the other. According to Shri Ram Charit Manas, it is denoted in three ways.

  1. Seeta ki khoj - search for bhakti (devotion), shanti (peace), shakti (inner strength). Tulsidas jee saw Ma seta as his mother, so Ram kaaj is also searching the motherly feeling in oneself. All these searches are to be taken out within oneself, as these factors are inherently present in human beings, they are not to be searched outside
  2. Setubandh - Youngsters should use their energies to build bridges between people. In a country, young energy can be use more effectively if the seat of political power is healthy (swasth) and clean (swachchh).
  3. Santaap dene wali shakti ko samaapt karna - to eliminate the negative elements that create problems for common man.

Aspirant should use (upayog) the material goods, but should also be careful not to get too attached (anuraag) to them.

For youngsters, following three things should be important in life:

  • Khud ki khoj - self-introspection (self discovery)
  • Samaaj ki seva - social service.
  • Hriday se Parmaatma ki bhakti - devotion in the Lord’s feet from the bottom of your heart.

Katha also comprises of questions of listeners, but the questions are classified into four types:

  • Uttam prashna - question that comes out of true eagerness to know and readiness to accept the solution in the right manner.
  • Madhyam prashna - inspite of knowing the answer, the question is asked just to show self-knowledge of the listener.
  • Nikrishta prashna - question is asked just to test the caliber of the speaker.
  • Heen prashna - question asked with an intention to insult the speaker, to damage the dignity of the katha or that is totally away from the topic of katha.

Bapu expressed his extreme happiness and good wishes for our Army Jawans, who are efficiently carrying on their hard duty for the safety of out country. He said that let us all offer the fruit of virtue of this katha in the feet of our martyrs as a respectful hearty homage to them.

“Rashtra Devo Bhav”

Katha 639 - Manas Ram Katha, Dagmagpur, Banaras 18th - 26th November 2006
Baal Kaand - Doha 31
Ram-katha kali kaamad gaai | Sujan sajeevani moori suhaai ||
Soi basudhaatal sudha tarangini | Bhaya bhanjani bhram bhek bhuangini ||
 
Ram Katha is a cow of plenty in this age Kaliyug). It is a beutiful life-giving herb for the virtuous.
It is a veritable river of nectar on the surface of this globe. It shatters the fear of birth & death and is a virtual snake for the frog of delusion.
Bapu began the katha with pranaam to Ma Ganga, Ma Vindhyavasini, the saints and all the listeners.

This katha’s main focus would be on five things that are highlights of the two main chaupais. These five things that are mentioned below should be abolished for the betterment of our country.
  1. Bhookh/bheekh - Hunger may lead to beggary, so every person should be provided with enough food.
  2. Bhool - Wrong decisions by so-called gentlemen should not be repeated. Mistakes of some people may lead to misery of others.
  3. Bhoomi - Land should not be exploited in a way that leads to barrenness and should not be divided unnecessarily.
  4. Bhaya - Fear leads to mental terror; it should be removed at all costs.
  5. Bhrum - An individual cannot grow with doubts, avoid disbelief.

RamKatha is the ‘Kaamdurga’ (holy cow that fulfills every wish) for aspirants of Kaliyuga. In fact, country’s every cow is a provider for its dependents. Ram Katha is the medicine for faults of decision-makers. RamKatha is like the life giving river to barren lands. RamKatha is the destroyer of doubts and fears of  aspirants.

Each of the seven kand of Shri Ram Charit Manas denotes a dominant Sutra.

  1. Bal kand is a kand of ‘vivah’ (marriage/union). Bhagwaan Shankar’s marriage to Ma Parvati, Bhagwaan Ram’s marriage with Ma Janaki and his three brothers also marry with the princesses of Janakpur.  It also has a union of two extreme personalities of then spiritual world- Sage Vashishtha and Vishwamitra; it is the union of destiny (praarabdh) and endeavours (purushaarth) ending in Joy (prasannata).
  2. Ayodhya kand is the chapter of ‘Viraag’/ sacrificing for others.
  3. Aranya Kand is all about ‘Vishwaas’/ faith- ‘Mantra jaap mum driddh biswaasa | Pancham bhajan so beda prakaasa ||’
  4. Kishkindha kand is describes the ‘Vilaas’ through Sugreev, who got enticed by material pleasures and was reminded by Hanuman jee about the work of Bhagwaan Ram.
  5. Sunder Kand is a chapter of ‘Vichaar’ as the sharp intellect of Hanuman jee gets highlighted here. It is seen that there are two types of people-those who don’t think at all and those who just keep thinking but do not act. Actually, an aspirant should think at the right time and act according to the situation.
  6. Lanka kand is the kand of ‘Vilaap and Vinaash’- cries and destruction of demons.
  7. Uttar Kand culminates in ‘Vishraam’/ ultimate peace.
The one who is not content within oneself can never experience real contentment anywhere. Every individual should try to identify the best in whatever one has. Like every female deity can be worshipped, but one should be most respectful towards own mother. Parents should not impose any ideals on their children; children should be given enough independence to grow with their inherent calibers. A Sadaguru takes care of his shishya, but never creates any kind of bindings around him.

An individual should neither aspire to become a deity or fall down to  become like a demon; he/she should try to become a good human being.

Question - Villagers may not understand your katha, so what can be about that?
Bapu’s answer - I don’t want to address the villagers, I would rather distribute love and affection to them! My address is for the urban people who can understand the sutras and reach out to those lying in backward villages and help them to better their livings.

Aashirwaad is not just giving blessings to others for comforts and fortunes; it actually means to have courage to take away the sufferings of those who bow down to you.

The scriptures are not just for ‘paatth-paarayan’ (study or recitation); they should be in fact revered and loved. Bapu says, ‘ I personally have a strong faith in paathh, but loving a scripture is more important. Saadhana also should not be done stressfully, so that you don’t forget to love people around you.

In the last katha, Bapu mentioned the five vices (paap) of present times. He repeated them here for reminding the listeners once again. They are as follows:

  • Naari ninda - Western cultures have witnessed ill treatment of women at many places. Whereas, Indian thought bows down to women in the first place - ‘Matru devo bhav’. Every woman should be treated with respect.
  • Don’t ignore the common man; reach out to the last person. Never insult anyone- move yourself than removing others.
  • Dwesh-drishti - abhorrence towards others is a vice. Bhagwad Gita says that the one who neither expects nor has hatred towards anyone is a sanyasi (ascetic).
  • Asahaj jeevan - Live in your originality, don’t try to imitate others even in the spiritual field.
  • Never create hurdles in the worship pattern of others. Do not disturb in anyone’s time of bhajan.

According to Vaartik-kaar, a Sadaguru has three kinds of knowledge:

  • Smriti gyaan - he has realized the reality of self, so he can help the aspirant to go on the same path.
  • Anubhav gyaan - he has experienced the knowledge of scriptures in his own life.
  • Upeksha gyaan - he is free of duals like hatred/attachment,  appreciation/criticism etc.

An ideal action has three results:

  • removal of faults
  • attainment of qualities
  • gaining of some profit.

Followers of religion may be of various types like following:

  • Maanane wale - who believe.
  • Jaanane wale - who know.
  • Jaagane wale - who become aware/enlightened.
  • Jeene wale - who practice/live the sutras.
  • Peene wale - who absorb the good things from wherever possible.

Tulsidas jee equates Shri Ram Charit Manas with the ‘KaamDurga’ cow. So, it can be said that the four legs of Shri Ram Charit Manas (if seen in the form of a cow) are chaupais. Dohas come out of the process of milking it. Sorttha is the yogurt made by the milk. The yogurt (sorttha), when stirred by thoughts results in chhand. And the final product is ghee (Clarified Butter), it is in the form of Shlokas of Shri Ram Charit Manas.

Tulsidas jee also equates a cow with shradhha (faith) - ‘Saatwik shradhha dhenu suhaai | Jaun hari kripa hridaya bas aai||’. A person is known by his faith. J. Krishnamurthy said that faith is indispensable for a human being. But it is seen that faith may be of two types:

  1. Aham-poorna (full of pride)
  2. Aham-shoonya (free of pride).

If a person becomes self-righteous of his good deeds, then his faith might be egoistic. But if the person maintains a realization that he’s just a medium for doing the good deeds, his faith will remain free of ego.

The more a person is free of ego; more the Sadaguru enters his heart. Sadaguru’s samaadhi may be made on a piece of land, but he actually places himself in his shishya’s ego-free faith.

When a cow is milked, it gives four things: - dharma, arth, kama and moksha. In the literal sense, cow’s milk is used for religious purposes (dharma), if sold it fetches money (arth), engages a person in work (kama) and makes person free of worries (moksha).

According to Aadi Shankaracharya (in Vivek-chudamani), a person can be described as ‘Jeevan-mukta’ (human being who has attained salvation while being alive) if he does not carry the weight of regret of past mishaps and worries of future. He just lives in the present and makes the most of every moment in hand. He goes through the circumstances with a fair attitude (udaaseen) without getting stuck with positives and negatives. An aspirant who becomes spiritually aware lives beyond the constrains of paap-punya (vice-virtue). One should be careful about not getting involved in vices (paap), but if they do happen, then don’t even get scared. Vices don’t stand a chance in front of the grace of Sadaguru and power of Harinaam.

There was a set of questions for Bapu.

Question: Whom do you love next to Manas?
Bapu's Answer: My listeners who listen to Manas with respect.

Question: Why do you recite only RamKatha, why not Krishna katha?
Bapu's Answer: Both are one. In Bapu’s words, ‘my tongue speaks about Bhagwaan Ram and my tilak is about Bhagwaan Krishna.’

Question:
Which is a greater scripture- Manas or BhagwadGita?
Bapu's Answer: Every scripture is great in its own way; there cannot be any comparison. Yoga is described in Bhagwad Gita, but its experiments (prayog) are done in Manas.

Question:
Please explain the joy you feel by RamKatha?
Bapu's Answer: Joy can be felt, it cannot be explained. Joy may be in many forms, not just in one.

Question:
People usually respect you. Have you ever experienced insult?
Bapu's Answer: Both, respect and insult, are waves that don’t carry any weight. For me, Love is supreme!

Question:
Which religion impresses you most after Hinduism?
Bapu's Answer: Every religion that propagates satya (truth), prem (love) and karuna (compassion) is respectable for me.

Question:
Do you practice Yoga, any favourite aasan?
Bapu's Answer: I did try this path in my initial years, but realized that it was not in accordance to my nature, so left it. Every kind of exercise happens effortlessly on my Vyas-peetth.

Question:
What is the most significant incident of your life?
Bapu's Answer: Every katha is a new and significant incident of my life.

Vajan’ (body weight) and ‘Bhajan’ (worship), both should be balanced. The body should be taken care of as it is essential for life and worship is the basis of spiritual growth. Both can remain balanced if a person follows a natural way of life (sahaj jeevan).

Before you leave an addiction (vyasan), take steps to leave the pride of leaving the addiction!

It has always been the need of society and time that the eminent/influential personalities of every field, whether religious or political, should reach out to the last person. The union of both can be called as merger of ‘Shloka with Lok’. Bridges should be built amongst all the strata’s of society. Bapu says, ‘every day my katha begins with the verse Lokabhiraamam…sharanam prapadye. To choose this shloka for beginning was a sub-conscious thought then, but it seems very valid for today. The mantra starts with remembering the common man (lok) and ends with surrender (shloka).

In the main chaupai of this katha- ‘Sujan sajeevani moori suhaai..’, Tulsidas jee mentions that RamKatha is a medicine for the decent people (sujan) who lie unconscious for some reason. A person can be described as ‘Sujan’ if he/she has following five qualities:

  • Suvichaar - Noble thoughts.  An individual should try and analyze the positive and negative thoughts he/she had for others everyday. Transparent living encourages auspicious thoughts. Try not to cultivate any hatred towards anyone who holds enmity with you. Don’t ask the Almighty for fortunes; but ask for good thoughts!
  • Suvachan - Good words. Speak truth, but not in a harsh a way.
  • Sukaram - Do good deeds according to your capacity.
  • Sudarshan - Positive viewpoint towards everything.
  • Sushrawan - Listen to good and inspirational thoughts.

The practice of child abortion, especially of female foetus should be completely avoided. The doctors should not encourage or indulge in child abortion. If a girl child is killed in womb, it is like assassination of seven qualities (vibhooti) of Bhagwaan Krishna that are inherently present in a woman.  

The shrewdness of an individual prevents him/her from getting close  to the Lord. Just like devatas were not able to remain with Bhagwaan Shankar in his marriage due to their cunningness. In fact, innocent bhoot-pretas were seen close to him than them.

Question - In the main chaupai of this katha, it is said that RamKatha is like a remedy for the righteous people (sajjan) who have become disheartened due to some reason. But, the question is that why should a person be righteous (sajjan). What does an individual gain if he becomes sajjan?
Bapu’s answer - RamKatha is an energy booster for sajjan; it recharges the righteousness of an aspirant. So it is essential to be in touch of satsang. Youth should attend at least one katha in a year. As for the gains of being a sajjan, Aadi Shankaracharya jee describes the benefits in a shloka of Vivekchudamani - “Vishudhh satvasya gunah prasaadah aatmanubhootih paramaashantih trpitih praharshah parmaatma nishttha yayaa sdaanand rasam samrichhatti.’

When a person decides to walk on the path of righteousness, he attains following traits:
  • Prasaad - Joyfulness of mind. A truthful person’s mind remains joyful, whereas a hateful person cannot experience true joy.
  • Aatmanubhooti - When an aspirant abandons every kind of equipment and only gets focused on inner self, he gets an experience of soulful ness. The evidence of such realization is when an individual does not feel any difference with anyone; he sees the same soul in all creation. If the very thought and discussion of such a state of realization is so joyful, living in that would be blissful. 
  • Paramaashanti - Supreme peace that cannot be disturbed. Bapu says, ‘a person gets unrest due to his own personal nature, nobody else can create hurdles if one really wants to be in peace.’
  • Tripti - contentment. One should do sincere efforts in any endeavour, but be ready for whatever result comes. True contentment is not about having or not having an object; it is actually about the contentment of the soul. Like water can never be thirsty.
  • Praharsh - Ultimate joy. It is such elation that nothing remains to be achieved after that. It is almost synonymous with God.
  • Parmaatma nishttha - to be totally committed to the Almighty.

It is a big charity to let the other person live in his/her nature (sahajata). Respect the natural inclinations of others and allow them to live according to their terms and wishes. Don’t impose  your will on others.

Question - I try to make people happy; others do get happy but not the family. I have been devoted to Bhagwaan Ram and Hanuman jee but fail to make family happy. What to do?
Bapu’s answer - It is easy to make outsiders happy but the test lies in making the own family happy. Continue to do your efforts sincerely and Lord may help you. But, still if they are not happy, then just understand that you’ve won and they’ve lost.

Question - It is hard to understand the chaupais of Manas. what to do?
Bapu’s answer - Just study Manas with faith and devotion, a stage will come when chaupais will reveal their meanings themselves. Just be patient and faithful.

Question - Who will have the inheritance of your Vyas-peetth?
Bapu’s answer - Hanuman jee.

In Kaliyuga, it is a great aid to facilitate someone so that he/she can attend katha. Help others in such a way that they can attend satsang.

Bapu says, ‘If anyone asks me about what is my aim and I have to provide an answer, I would say that it is good that the knowledge (gyaan) of Manas spreads but I would be more happier if there would be more of recitation (gaan) of Manas in an individual’s life. Recitation ultimately leads to attaining happiness and gaining knowledge.’

Every individual should do efforts at own level to create harmony and peace amongst communities and sects. Do not worry about or wait for large-scale steps to be taken for creating unity; just start at your own level. Even if you fail, try at least!

Tulsidas jee equates bhakti with Ma Ganga (sudha-tarangini)..Like the flow of Ma Ganga, bhakti (devotion) should also flow continually and not become stagnant. Maintaining devoutness in the feet of the Lord or Sadaguru denotes that like feet represent movement, devotion should also progress with time.

Question - Can you please explain the ideology of Acharya Madhusudan Saraswati about the origin and development of devotion.
Bapu’s answer - The Acharya explains eight aspects of origin and development of bhakti in his ideology.
  1. Nisargaja - the bhakti inclination comes through family tradition.
  2. Sansargaja- when an aspirant creates a particular relationship with the Lord, bhakti starts flowing.
  3. Opamyaja - when an aspirant finds someone who seems like the Lord to him, he gets devoted. A committed shishya has such devotion towards the Sadaguru, where Sadaguru becomes the God for him.
  4. Adhyaatmaja - devotion comes from the nature of inner self. An aspirant should do spiritual efforts also according to one’s nature and not according to what others say and do. Don’t bind yourself in too many rules (niyam) as there arises a risk of becoming robotic in religious practices. Love and devotion should not be bound in rules.
  5. Abhiyogaja - If some divine touch takes place, devotion starts automatically.
  6. Samaprayogaja - when there’s a union of shishya and Sadaguru, Devotee and the Lord, devotion occurs spontaneously.
  7. Abhimaanaja - An aspirant gets conscious of the fact that he has a Lord to take care of him; he/she becomes a devotee.
  8. Samaarogaja - devotion is when one is eager to listen, touch, smell, see and feel the essence to the Lord.

Don’t let the doubts created by others enter your mind; these are borrowed doubts. Keep on self-analyzing yourself if you want to be really spiritual. Beware of every kind of doubt!

The Almighty is the combination of positives and negatives. One may see all kinds of extremes in the creation as everything runs in a balance here.

RamKatha is like the divine nectar (amrit) that brings dead alive and also does not let the living die. Even if the devotee dies physically, the amrit keeps alive his/her goodwill and qualities; just like the fragrance of a flower remains even if the flower is crushed. The flow of the nectar of RamKatha may seem culminating in the form of God, but still does not end literally; it just takes different forms and remains ever after-‘ Hari anant hari katha ananta…’

There are two poles of living- sansaar (worldliness) and sanyaas (asceticism). But for ordinary people, there is a middle path of ‘kutichak sanyaas’ where one can live an ascetic life in spite of living in the world. It refers to a person who lives with son or grandson (maintaining safe distance), eating the food without being demanding, gradually distancing oneself mentally without hurting the sentiments of family members and also not displaying your spiritual stage. Bapu calls this middle path as ‘samyak samajh’. There should not be any show of your spiritual state as the display reduces the amount of result that can be got from it. But, it is seen that people are more interested in showing off their spiritual efforts rather than experiencing the essence and joy of them. One should continuously do self-analysis, as it is a must for an aspirant. Even if an aspirant tries to get away with show off, his Sadaguru can make out his spiritual stage with just one glance.

Bapu says, ‘Kroadh bodh ka kalank hai, yaad rakhna!’ whenever you get angry, you are tarnishing the knowledge given by your Sadaguru, always remember that!

The whole creation is like a great scripture of which every page and chapter is filled by God. Vinoba jee used to say that every page of this book only explains that the whole creation is a form of the Almighty. But it so happens that an individual is not able to like the form of God that is close to him (paas ka ishwar janchata nahi) and neither is able to assimilate the form of God who seems far from him (door ka ishwar pachata nahi).

Question - Why do you give more importance to masti (joyfulness) than mukti (salvation)?
Bapu’s answer - Salvation is usually talked about, whereas everyone can experience joy.

RamKatha is so powerful that it creates fearlessness in an aspirant’s life from every angle. One can take shelter in four - RamKatha, Bhagwaan Ram, Ram naam and Ram doot (Hanuman jee). The four are different names but they are actually one element. If an aspirant holds on to any one of them also, he would be free of fear. Bapu says, “In fact, I can promise that you will be completely free of fear if you hold on to Ram naam. And even if you remove the first three and just keep Hanuman jee as your refuge, you’ll get the refuge of all the four, as Hanuman jee contains the rest three in himself.”

The points of fear can be following, but the aspirant who is constantly in the shelter of the Almighty, he/she will be free of every kind of fear:

  1. King/Government - An aspirant would not be scared of politicians or leaders. In fact, sometimes the politicians would be afraid of him; his truth would keep them alert!
  2. Enemy
  3. Thief
  4. Spouse - there would be cordiality with the spouse and not fearfulness
  5. Death
  6. Sadaguru - An aspirant becomes fearless in the shelter of Sadaguru. Aspirant should carry ‘samidh’ (wood sticks) that represent the various duals (pain-pleasure, respect-insult, sorrows of past-worries of future etc.). if an aspirant surrenders these duals, Sadaguru takes him to the stage where he grows beyond them and experiences true joy.
The state of a person depends on the attitude he/she carries. If an aspirant gets a spiritual viewpoint with the grace of Sadaguru, then he can be joyful in every kind of condition.

‘Bhaya bhanjani bhram bhek bhuangini..’- Tulsidas jee says that RamKatha is like a snake which eats up the frogs of doubts in a person’s life. Frogs are fidgety (fuss/uneasiness or restlessness) , so they don’t remain still; likewise is with doubts, they seem small but are very disturbing.

Doubts look for a chance to arise and develop into superstition. Try to be as away from them as possible.

Bapu says, ‘ I feel that an individual can become a saadhu spontaneously, if there is no doubt and no ego left in him.

Please take care that they (doubts) do not enter your mind. Anger, greed and desire are not as dangerous as doubt and ego! Sadaguru can help a lot as he eats up doubt and ego when a shishya surrenders. But if he’s in solitude, his food is Harinaam. Sadaguru becomes a mother for the aspirant, so provides solace to him.

Question - Prem can be two-way or one-way?
Bapu’s answer - In the initial stage of prem, one asks for prem from the other, in the middle stage, both experience prem for each other and in the highest stage, one gives more and more prem unconditionally without expecting from the other.

Question - Does a person become a ‘paapi’ with one mistake?
Bapu’s answer - Committing a mistake is not a ‘paap’, but not  admitting it and being hypocritical about it is a certainly a vice (paap)!

Question - Should we do spare 10% of our income for charity even if we are under debt?
Bapu’s answer - In that case, repay your debt first and then when you are done with that, then give 10% as charity. But, if there’s no debt, every individual should donate some part of his wealth for welfare of others.

Question - If you don’t consider anyone as your shishya, then whom do we accept as our sadaguru?
Bapu’s answer - I have no shishya nor any group; the whole world is my family as I believe in ‘Vasudhaiv kutumbkam”. If you really want a Sadaguru, you can accept Shri Ram Charit Manas or Hanuman jee as your Sadaguru. They would not ask for anything but will eliminate your fears and doubts. A Sadaguru works on the mind of an aspirant and washes away the faults; his work in not just about giving a rosary or deeksha.

Question - It is seen that you don’t force anyone for anything, there is no aagraha from you?
Bapu’s answer - I think forcing anyone for anything (keeping an aagraha) is a kind of mental violence. If asked, I would say here is that if you can keep your surroundings/environment clean (baahari swachhata) and inner-self pure (bheetari pavitrata). 

Every individual should be given freedom to grow with inherent qualities. Restrain yourself from finding faults with others. Never blame others for your problems. If you try to blame others or even exploit others for your good, then just understand that you have lost consciousness (behosh).

RamKatha never finishes; it actually finishes those who are committed to it! It destroys the faults and prejudices of the devotee. A story gets over with time but katha is eternal-‘ Hari anant hari katha ananta…’

Ramahi sumiriya gaaiya ramahi | Santat suniya ram guna graamahi ||”

The chaupai prescribes the saadhan (efforts of spiritual field) for Kaliyuga, the present times.
Sumiriya - Remembrance of God is the best yagya.
Gaaiya - Reciting/singing the glory of the Almighty is a form of charity (daan). Singing out of devotion removes the pollution from the environment.
Suniya - Going for katha, managing in whatever resources is penance (tapa) for listeners.
The above three sutras also connote - satya, prem and karuna.

Remembrance of God is the ultimate truth/satya (Sata hari bhajan jagat sab sapna..), singing for God comes out of love/prem and listening to katha happens only with God’s grace/karuna.

Question - There have been various descriptions of ‘Ram’. Is Ram one or many?
Bapu’s answer - There’s only one Ram, the supreme power. But like one sun has different reflections in different containers, the projections of Ram takes place in every heart according to one’s nature and interest.

Question - How do we appease Hanuman jee?
Bapu’s answer - The best way to make Hanuman jee happy is to recite RamKatha for him with total faith and devotion.

“Paai na kehin gati patit paavan ram bhaji sunu satth manaa|

Ganika ajaamil byaadh geedh gajaadi khal taarey Ghana ||”- Tulsidas jee says that RamKatha worked for the most down-trodden people also. But, for people like us, we have the inclinations of such people, RamKatha can work for us in removing those negativities. ‘Ganika’ is our corrupt intellect, ‘Ajaamil’ is our unhealthy mind, ‘Byaadh’ is our egoistic hunting tendency, ‘Geedh’ is our hypocrisy when the show is of goodness and the thoughts are demeaning, ‘Gajaadi’ is our intoxicated state due to arrogance- all these inclinations are treated by RamKatha effectively.

Katha 638 - Manas Nav-Naath, Nathdhwara, Rajasthan28th October - 5th November 2006
Baal Kaand - Doha 360 and Ayodhya Kaand - Doha 120
Naath sakal sampada tumhaari | Main sevaku samet sut naari ||
Naath aaju main kaah na paava | Mitey doshe dukh daarid daava ||
 
Dashrath Jee says to Vishwamitr jee, “My Lord all that I have is yours, I and my sons and my wives are your servants.
“Lord”, Kevat cried and said to Bhagwan Ram, "What have I not already received this day ? The fire of my sins, sorrows and indigence (poverty) has been extinguished" !

On the commencement of this katha,  Bapu began by saying that In this holy place of Nathdwara, my pranaam to Bhagwaan Shrinaath jee and all my listeners on the occasion of the new Vikram samvat year.

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, the first chaupai of this katha is by a King (Dashrath jee) when he went to see off Sage Vishwamitra after the wedding of Bhagwaan Ram and Ma Sita. Whereas the second chaupai of this katha is spoken by a modest person (kevat) in an expression for Bhagwaan Ram’s grace towards him. These two chaupais can indicate an aspirant as to how to behave with a saint and the Lord.

An aspirant should try not to complain to God but rather express his gratitude for whatever he’s been bestowed upon. In the times of adversity, if an individual gives more importance to the trouble then it means that he/she is making the grace of God smaller than the trouble. Rather, in such times it is better for an individual to consider his Lord and his grace greatest of all and lessen the weight of the trouble.

Shri Ram Charit Manas is a great scripture; its presence around also can give a lot of strength to a person. Just like when a person has a good sum of money, he feels confident and fearless. If a bundle of paper currency can make a difference to a person’s psyche, it is obvious that a scripture like Shri Ram Charit Manas can work wonders for him! Similarly, your mala (rosary) can be a tremendous source of strength as it is continually attached to the remembrance of the Almighty.

The seven kaand of Shri Ram Charit Manas convey a certain message and if an individual tries and implements those in life, it is equivalent to doing the paatth of Manas. The seven messages are as follows.

  1. Bal kand preaches that one should never ever be proud of own bhajan. If one is not careful about that, then he might face a downfall like Naarad jee faced when he got arrogant about his samaadhi. Ego is the root of all faults, so an aspirant should be extremely careful and be a like a child (free of false pride).
  2. Ayodhya Kand teaches that one should not have any ill feeling towards anybody. Kaikeyi jee indulged in ill feeling, so neither she was happy nor anyone else.
  3. Aranya Kand shows us the path to sacrifice like Jataayu and not capture like Raavan.
  4.  In Kishkindha Kand, Tulsidas jee indicates that one should try and be free of hypocrisy like Baali.
  5. In Sunder Kand, Hanuman jee took a leap towards Lanka in the search of Ma Jaanaki. One can learn from this that the caliber should be always used to help others.
  6. Lanka Kand is all about ‘Setubandh’, i.e. building bridges between sects, communities, races etc. One should try and create harmony in own surroundings.
  7. Uttar Kand makes a person gradually progress towards the ultimate peace through the spiritual path.

If a person is able to sincerely implement the above sutras in life, he/she can be said to be living Shri Ram Charit Manas in daily life, in spite of not doing paatth of it.

Bapu began today’s katha saying that the subject of ‘Nav-naath’ can be seen from three aspects.

  1. The nine forms of Bhagwaan Krishna as ‘naath’.
  2. The nine characters of Shri Ram Charit Manas who are addressed as ‘naath’.
  3. The worship tradition of ‘naath’ sect with its lineage of nine heads.

Let us first discuss the term ‘nav-naath’. The digit 9 (nav) is a considered to be a whole number as well as a digit connoting a vacuum.

In Sanskrit vocabulary, the word ‘naath’ refers to following four meanings:

Yaachana (to ask for) - an aspirant should resist from asking for anything from anybody, but if that does not seem possible, then ask only from the Almighty (naath). Tulsidas jee says in Vinay patrika-‘ Jaanchiye girija pati kaasi..’ indicating that only your Lord can fulfill your wishes; it is useless to ask from anybody else.

Aishwarya (fortune) - Never ask for fortunes from God. An aspirant should rather ask for God from God (naath), fortune would follow automatically! In our Neeti shastras, it is said that the one who desires only God from God is a Mahatma.

Uptaap - Naath is also referred to a person who uses the path of penance (tapa) to destroy all the faults.

Aashirwaad - A blessing can work for a person as the caretaker.

‘Naath’ in the common language means a master or a subject of respect and love   (naath is also said for swami, prabhu, pati, guru).

In Rig Veda’s 10th Mandal, there’s an indication of  ‘naath’. The Rishi says that it’s only the Master (naath) who can answer the questions like why, where, how this creation came into being.

In ‘Tantra shastra’, Lord Shrinaath is described as the one who is capable of granting salvation i.e. freedom from worries and anxieties, the one who takes a person towards self-realization and the one who stops the expanse of ignorance. But, it is to be noted here that Bhagwaan Shrinaath jee can stop the expanse of ignorance, but it is only the Sadaguru who can destroy the roots of ignorance in the aspirant. Bapu says, ‘I strongly have faith in the fact that it is only because of Lord’s grace that an individual reaches gets a Sadaguru.

Let us see who are the nine naath in Shri Ram Charit Manas:

  1. Mahadev- Biswa-naath mum naath puraari | Tribhuvan mahima bidit tumhaari ||
  2. Bhagwaan Ram - Daani siromani kripa-nidhi naath kahaun satibhaau|
  3. Vishwamitra jee - Naath lakhan pur dekhan chahahin | Prabhu sakoche dar pragat na kahahin ||
  4. Yaagyavalkya jee - Naath ek sansau bada morein | Karagat beda-tatva sabu torein ||
  5. Bharadwaaj jee - Ram saprem kaheu muni paahin | Naath kahiya hum kehi maga jaahin ||
  6. Parshuram jee - Naath sambhu-dhanu bhanjanihaara | Hoihi keu ek daas tumhaara ||
  7. Bharat jee - Suni saprem samujhaav nishaadu | Naath kariya kata baadi bishaadu ||
  8. Kumbhaj Muni - Naath kosala-dhees Kumaara | Aaye milan jagat aadhaara ||
  9. Kaag Bhushundi jee - Naath kahahu kehi kaaran paayau kaak sareer |

Now, let us just list the nine forms of Bhagwaan Krishna as ‘naath’.

  1. Shrinaath.
  2. Vraj-naath.
  3. Gopi-naath.
  4. Surat-naath.
  5. Lok-naath.
  6. Kaaliya-naath.
  7. Draupadi-naath.
  8. Arjun-naath.
  9. Dwarka-naath.

There has been a tradition of ‘Gorakh naath’ where the original deity is Bhagwaan Shankar considered as ‘Aadi-naath’ and then nine saints who come in the ‘naath’ school of worship propagated it.

A Sadaguru is an ocean of grace (kripa-sindhu) from where a disciple can attain innumerable precious elements. Many people say that they are like dust of their Sadaguru’s feet. Such people should take care that they don’t create in malignity in others’ eyes and rather should try to purify their vision.

Bapu says, ‘Recently, a sanyasi asked me if one can have a glimpse of God in the outer forms just like in inner self. I said yes, one definitely could. But, I have never desired for Lord’s glimpse, I see him in his every creation. For me, my Sadaguru is more than enough.’

For a dedicated shishya, his Sadaguru is everything. A Sadaguru reaches to aspirant through his spiritual being (chetna), if not physically. When there is not a point of hole in shishya’s bag of faith, only then he would be able to absorb Sadaguru’s grace in the right manner. Even a minutest doubt can hamper his spiritual journey.

Some scholars have defined ‘Naath’ as ‘Na + Atha’, meaning the thing that does not have any end and thus does not have any beginning also. The naath sect has an age-old tradition but there has been a supposed allegation on it that it propagated Yoga and denounced the path of devotion (bhakti). But this allegation does not hold any weight, as any spiritually aware person would never criticize devotional means of worship. Gorakh nath had said, ‘Hansiba kheliba dhariba dhyaanam..’- A spiritual person should meditate but not at the cost of his joy and innocence. This statement clearly indicates that the naath sect endorses the path of devotion, which is full of joy. Spirituality should not make an aspirant grave and sad; but he/she should be full of delight and be able to enjoy dance and music. Bapu says, “I feel that ‘To smile’ should be added to the ten characteristics of Dharma as the eleventh one.” Mira is a good example; she showed to world that a fully spiritually aware person is full of joy, music and dance.

Meditation should not be dreary; it should have an element of ‘rasa’. The more a person is quiet and peaceful from inside, the more is he joyful; he would sing and smile. Like in a sea, there’s depth and stillness inside it, but there are waves in its outer appearance. Similarly, inner peace and tranquility in a human being creates waves of joy around the person. Meditation is not just about a still body; it is actually about having a still mind.  

Bapu says, “Gorakh naath is in tune with the thoughts of my Vyas-peetth. If the subject does not complement my Vyas-peetth, then my pothi only does not allow it to be discussed from here. I have total faith on my pothi (Shri Ram Charit Manas).”

Naath sect has a ceremonial ritual of piercing ears, which connotes that an aspirant’s ear bloom and flower with the words of Sadaguru.

Bapu said, "I would request all my listeners to be very careful about not getting prejudiced about any person, place, thing or situation. As once the knot (granthi) is formed in mind, it becomes very difficult to unfold it. It can last forever and can spoil the journey of life".

The founder of ‘Naath’ tradition was Matsyendra naath. Let us have a brief glimpse of his life. There’s ambiguity about his life history as there are many opinions about it. But, it is said that he was named Vishnu Sharma in the childhood and he attained knowledge from Bhagwaan Shankar. Once, he went to a forest but got enticed by the womenfolk living there. His disciple, Gorakh naath was informed about this. Gorakh took a form of a dancer and went to the place where his Guru was. He alerted his guru and helped in regaining his awareness.

The significance of this story can be summarized in saying that the Sadaguru and his actions are not comprehensible for everybody. This kind of behaviour may be just to show that a person can become aware even while living in the middle of the world. Or it can also be ascertained that a shishya can overtake a Sadaguru and in such a case, the Sadaguru should be proud of his shishya.

Question - How do we establish faith in God?
Bapu’s answer - Try and know your subject of worship. Unless you understand and know your deity, you wont be able to put faith in him.

Let us discuss today, one of the ‘naath’ forms of Bhagwaan Krishna i.e. Vraj naath. The literal meaning of the name is ‘the head of the Vraj kshetra’. But, ‘vraj’ also means movement (gati). Bhagwaan Krishna is the propagator of movement and not stillness. Movement leads to innovations and creates novelty. An individual should get up as a new person every morning. An aspirant should always aspire to move forward in his spiritual journey and the Lord takes further care. For instance, when an aspirant decides to do ‘japa’, then the Lord pulls him towards himself and also gives the necessary push for forward journey as such. Even the resolution to do japa comes from the inspiration of the Lord only.

Bhagwaan Krishna carries the ‘Sudarshan chakra’ representing constant momentum. Indian culture has witnessed three main charkas:

  1. Sudarshan chakra (represents truth)
  2. Ashok chakra (Denoting the win of love over hatred)
  3. Yerawada chakra of Gandhi jee (gives the message of compassion). 

Movement of sudarshan chakra indicates three types of movements that Bhagwaan Krishna brought about in society.

  • Go-gati - Bhagwaan Krishna took care of cows in a big way. But it also means that he used his senses (‘go’ means indriyas/senses) for bringing about positive movements. To watch, hear, talk, walk or hold auspicious elements is the movement of senses. 
  • Golok-gati - Bhagwaan Krishna took utmost care of his surroundings. To keep the environment free of pollution and to use the resources in the right manner is ‘golok-gati’.
  • Govardhan–gati - Bhagwaan Krishna gave shelter to everyone under the Govardhan mountain. To be large-hearted and helpful to others is the ‘govardhan-gati’ for aspirants.

Once Gopichand asked Jalandhar naath (second saint of naath tradition) some  questions and got the following responses.

  1. What to do when desires disturb me when I’m in the middle of people?- Controlled and pure (saatvik) diet can help in reducing the desires. Yoga endorses balanced diet.
  2. What to do when hunger disturbs in a forest?- Practise pranayam.
  3. What to when delusion (maaya) disturbs in a hut (kutiya)?- Chant the ‘naad’ (Omkaar) or Harinaam.
  4. What to do disease gets on me when I eat sweets?- With the help of Guru kripa, try to create a harmony between the mind and air in the body.

In Mahabharat, there are reasons mentioned that become a reason for friction in the society. They are – woman (when there’s an insult to a woman’s prestige or she speaks harsh words on some occasion), Money, Negative speech, Enemy and Crime.

If any poetry, music, dance or a statement touches your soul (not just the    the mind or heart) , then just understand that there’s truth behind it. Soul can
only be touched by truth.

The whole creation is a form of God only; it is not for condemning, but for celebrating. Never insult anyone; it is an insult to the Almighty.

Bapu says,“we can see the darkness, but we can not see in the darkness. We can see the creation but we are unable to see the creator.”

An aspirant should never get arrogant about his spiritual stage as downfall can occur at any point of time. It is only the God’s grace that saves an aspirant from the attacks of anger, greed and desire. Aspirant’s efforts are limited and they are extremely prone to ego and false pride; therefore, just take refuge in the grace of the Lord and never take it for granted. Ego is in constant search of a vehicle to reach out to you and capture you any moment.

Question - In the two main chaupais of this katha, the word ‘main’ occurs at different points. In the first chaupai, it is used in the second half of chaupai and in the next chaupai, it is used in the first half. Is there any particular reason behind it?
Bapu’s answer - Shri Ram Charit Manas has not just been written by ink on paper, it has come as a blessing or voice of the supreme power and Tulsidas jee became a medium in putting it across the world. In the first chaupai, Dasarath jee is surrendering in the feet of Rishi Vishwamitra, so his ‘main’/ego is at the back. When an aspirant surrenders in the feet of his Sadaguru, he should let go his ego; surrender is not successful if done with an egoist attitude. In the second chaupai, Kevat is conveying his gratitude; in expressing the thankfulness, an aspirant should be the first one to feel that this kind of grace has not been bestowed upon anyone else.

Question - How do we save ourselves from ego?
Bapu’s answer - An aspirant should be constantly aware and alert in this regard. But, it is only the God’s grace that can save a person totally from ego.

Do not compare anyone with yourself. Just think over and then you will realize that God has been extremely kind in showering the grace on you. Every individual, on a personal level, should think that isn’t it true that God has given more than one deserved. Comparison leads to mental complex.

In the worst of adversities, if you can sustain your faith, you can move above the troubles. Total faith is a big strength for an aspirant.

In the ‘naath’ tradition, Gahini naath was a saint who defined the sutras of devotion with the reference to Yoga. But on the other hand, Gorakh naath defined the yoga sutras with a devotional approach. He said, “ Mana main rahina, bheda na kahina, boliba amrit baani, aagili agini hoiba avadhu, aapan hoiba paani.”

‘Mana main rahina’ - If one is able to station himself in his own mind, he can easily become a saadhu. This is possible if one does not indulge in analyzing the minds of others.

‘Bheda na kahina’ - An aspirant need not share the experiences of his spiritual journey with everyone; just share them with your Sadaguru. Tulsidas jee says,‘Joge juguti tapa mantra prabhaau | Falayi tabahin jab kariya duraau ||.’ Yoga practices, strategies, penance and mantra chanting lose their charm and strength if they are shared with others. 

‘Boliba amrit baani’ - Avoid the use of harsh words even if you are true.

‘Aagili agini hoiba avadhu, aapan hoiba paani’ - In the situation where the other person burns in the heat of anger, an aspirant should use the water of composure to make him at ease.

Bhagwaan Krishna as ‘Gopinaath’ can also been seen in the context of the above sutras of Gorakh naath. Bhagwaan Krishna was given allegations in the things that he wasn’t involved in. In those circumstances also he never retaliated, he maintained the composure of mind. He went through a lot of unpleasant episodes as human being, but he never complained. He kept his intentions and feelings to himself. His speech was so inspiring that anyone could regain the lost confidence; the biggest example is his Bhagwad Gita. He listened to blasphemous language by Shishupaal etc. but never retaliated.

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Sage Yagyavalkya and Bharadwaaj Jee both are addressed as ‘naath’. Bharadwaaj jee is such a naath who does penance but is non-aggressive; he maintains calmness. He has control over his senses with discretion and he is well aware of the path of salvation (paramaarth).

King Bhartrihari jee has also has been a follower of the ‘naath’ tradition. He experienced extreme disappointment in his life in the relationship with his queen, Pingala. He got inspiration from Gorakh naath and took on the path of detachment. His whole focus was on Vairaagya (dispassion). Gorakh naath’s instructions were-

  • Do not speak without thinking.
  • Walk carefully so that you don’t hurt anyone.
  • Don’t be arrogant about your achievements.
  • Live according to your nature (sahaj). Saadhana should also be done in a comfortable manner, as without a healthy body, it cannot proceed. For instance when you do japa, sit in a comfortable posture.

After practicing the above instructions and spending twelve years on the ‘naath’ path, Bhartrihari was sent by Gorakh naath to his palace and ask for alms from Pingala considering her as a mother figure.

Mahabharat says that following people should be got away with just like a broken boat is disposed off as it is unsuitable to go ashore:

  • King who does not take care of his people.
  • Religious leader who does not show the right path.
  • Woman with malign intentions and behaviour.
  • Brahmin who turns away from shastras and misuses them.
  • Cowboy who is not ready to go to forest.
  • Barber who is not ready to leave forest.
Question - We’ve heard that the one who follows religion has a respectable end where as a non-religious person does not have so. Is it true?
Bapu’s answer - It is not like that. One should try to follow the religion and try to be righteous, but it does not guarantee a peaceful end.  Eg. In Mahabharat, it is understandable that Duryodhan, Dhritrashtra etc. did not have an ideal end. But it is also seen that people who followed religion did not have necessarily have a good end too. Pandavas, Bheeshma and Vidur were on the side of religion but still did not have an ideal end. The end actually depends on the decision of the supreme power. The end is not the certificate of being religious. But, if a person chants Harinaam in the end, it surely is most auspicious. Harinaam is the greatest of all saadhan (spiritual efforts). Try to increase your bhajan/sumiran even if you are full of faults or vices. For instance,  Dasharath jee chanted Ram naam in the end and attained the ultimate fruit of life and death.

Even if the Sadaguru is not physically around, his inspiration can reach an aspirant in any form, provided he’s receptive.

An aspirant should try to satisfy the people around him with his best efforts. Doing bhajan does not give you a license to be indifferent to the family and surroundings. Also, don’t create enmity with anyone; rather try to be as helpful as possible according to your caliber.

In the ‘Naath’ tradition came, “kanipa naath.’ His thought was mainly based on Dhyaan/meditation. He said that meditation could be in the form of aspirant’s mind, speech and intellect being in union with the supreme power continually.

Katha is such a distinctive medium that it incorporates all the paths of spirituality in some way or the other. It is an ‘all in one’ saadhan!

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Sage Vishwamitra is referred to as Maha-muni. But, he says that he needs Bhagwaan Ram as his ‘naath’ as without him all the achievements are worthless - ‘Anuj samet dehu raghunaatha | Nisichar badh main hobe sanaatha ||’. But it is seen that once, he gets the company of Bhagwaan Ram, he becomes the naath himself - ‘Naath lakhan pur dekhan chahahin | Prabhu sakoche dar pragat na kahahin||’.

Bapu says, ‘My Vyas-peetth sees a person as naath, who has following traits.”

  • The one who is fearless (abhaya) - a person can be fearless if there are no desires and pretensions (hypocrisy). The best way to attain fearlessness is to constantly be aware of the fact that the Lord is within me. Hanuman jee is totally free of fear as he’s in constant union with Ram naam.
  • The one who is not pompous about his fearlessness. Hanuman jee always credited his success to the grace of Bhagwaan Ram.
  • The one who does not indulge in scornfulness (ninda).
  • The one who follows the ‘ashram-vyavastha’ (four spheres of a human being’s life) with discretion.
  • The one who is free of hypocrisy and has a transparent personality - Hanuman jee took various forms, but they were only for ‘leela’ purpose.
  • The one who is continually involved in the study of scripture, reciting it or thinking about his beloved deity. Even if you have a scripture by heart, still pay respect to it by reading some part of it daily.
  • The one who is joyful.
  • The one who does not give his opinion about others. A spiritually inclined person should use his discretion in choosing his company, but should never give personal opinion about others.
  • The one who does not have an ideal. He/she should move ahead in life maintaining originality.

Hanuman jee is a unique persona, who can be considered an ultimate ‘naath’ but still is beyond every ‘naath’.

Question - You say that your listeners are not your shishyas, then whose responsibility is for your listeners’ spiritual progress?
Bapu’s answer - If any individual is totally committed to one Vyas-peetth only, then it automatically becomes the responsibility of the speaker to take care of his/her spiritual journey. But, if the listener is not committed to one speaker, then it is his own responsibility. It all depends on the loyalty of the listener towards the speaker. If the commitment is absolute, the speaker has to take care of the listener; he cannot escape this responsibility.

The difference between ahankaar (ego) and abhimaan (arrogance) is that ego may come in a person genetically and so it remains deep inside an individual. Whereas, arrogance may be situational, it lasts temporarily; it may come and go with time.

According to Sage Manu, following five places are worthy of respect in their ascending order:
  • Vittam - The wealth that is used for welfare of others and cannot be counted is Lakshmi. Such Lakshmi should be respected.
  • Bandhu - The relationship with your kith and kin should be respectful.
  • Vayah - The elderly should be respected in spite of having difference of views with them. The youth should serve the elderly as their blessings may bestow good age, knowledge, fame and strength.
  • Karma - Good deeds should always be given due regard.
  • Vidya - Knowledge should be given utmost respect.
Question - You don’t pay much significance to vice-virtue (paap-punya) thought in the spiritual journey. What are the vices in practical life  according to you? 
Bapu’s answer - I think the following vices should be avoided. They are the worst vices of the present times.
  • Stree-ninda - Never abuse a woman; wherever a woman is insulted, there cannot be true happiness.
  • Gareeb ki upeksha - Never be rude to the poor/needy. If you want inner peace , respect every human being. Insulting a poor person is a form of violence.
  • Asahaj jeevan - Living against your nature is nothing but hypocrisy. The more unpretentious you are, the more religious you are.
  • Dwesh karna - Bearing ill-feeling towards others is a vice. Abhorrence towards people can have a long lasting negative effect on the society.
  • Bhajan mein bhang karna - creating hindrances in others’ spiritual path should be forbidden. Never criticize anybody’s path of worship. Even if you are involved in social service, don’t ignore bhajan.

A ‘naath’ could be the person/place or element for which you become willing to surrender yourself completely. And also who is capable of fulfilling your life in every way.

In the ‘Naath’ tradition, came ‘Charpati naath’; he was a propagator of ‘rasa’. He was once asked that what would be the greatest fruit of life. He answered that surrendering everything in the feet of Mahadev is the ultimate fruit of life.

Another saint was ‘Gopichand naath’. He took the resolution in front of his mother, Maina that until he attained total self-realization, he would not return back home.

Question - Can you explain ‘prem’ in detail?
Bapu’s answer - It is difficult to explain it in detail, but I can spread it amongst people! Love is flower that can bloom anywhere, for anyone, at anytime; there can never be restrictions on love. Khalil Gibran professed some things about love, as the supreme element (prem devata). He said the following things:
  • Follow the path that the prem devata indicates.
  • When prem devata spreads its wings, just surrender to it.
  • Follow the words of prem devata with faith.
  • Prem is such that it takes all and gives all; it exists in absoluteness and not in pieces.

Question - It is said that olden times were better than today. What can you say about that?
Bapu’s answer - There have been good things and bad things in the  past as well as in the present. It actually depends on the individual as to how to live and extract the best from both. One should not waste the present in doing the postmortem of the past.

Question - If a good end is not guaranteed by righteous living, then why to follow religion?
Bapu’s answer - Do not worry about the end. Following the religion is helpful for living a healthy life. Religion saves an individual from  mal practices to some extent.

Bapu began today’s katha by conveying greetings to everybody on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti and Dev-Diwali.

Two of ‘Nav-naath’ are ‘Revani naath’ and ‘Naag naath’. Revani naath was mainly involved in social service and opposed the superstitious activities in the society. He aimed at creating gender and caste equality amongst people. He spent a long time of his life in Girnar.

  • Naag naath believed in ‘maun’ (silence). He said that words complicate the matters.
  • Rishi Kumbhaj is a ‘naath’ in Shri Ram Charit Manas. He drank up the ocean, terminated the growth of Vindhyachal mountain and Bhagwaan Ram came to meet him on his own. These incidents indicate the characters of naath- ‘naath’ can be the one who is capable of digesting the ups and downs of life, stopping the strong flow of desires and for whom the Lord becomes a guest out of choice.

Bharat jee and Kaag Bhushundi jee are also naath of Shri Ram Charit Manas.

Question - There have been various discussions about the characters of ‘naath’ in this katha. Are there any sutras that can make us instill some part of ‘naath’ in ourselves?
Bapu’s answer - It is a good aspiration to inculcate the characters of naath in yourself, but it is more important to make sure that you don’t remain ‘anaath’ (without a master). Even if you adopt a single sutra of katha, it can become your guide and you become ‘sanaath’ (sheltered by master). One can take inspiration from ‘naath’, but it is not an easy task to become one. But if you want become ‘sanaath’, just take care of following factors:
  • Life - Respect your life and see its positive aspects.
  • Live - one should learn to live every moment in the best way.  The more you try to escape from troubles, the more they come to bother you. Face every situation with courage.
  • Love - Live with love for all; don’t breed ill feelings towards anyone.
  • Learn - Always be ready to learn more. Keep an open mind and accept the truth from wherever possible.
  • Leave - Try to sacrifice for others. Youth should make a resolution of donating something to others everyday. Donating may not only be in the form of money or a thing but it can also be in the form of a smile, a good thought or a consolation. Every individual should donate 10% of his money for welfare of others.
  • Laugh - Be joyful and keep smiling.

Sadaguru is not a shikshak (teacher); he is a chikitsak (physician). Teacher     can explain or give knowledge about your problem, but Sadaguru is the one   who gives treatment to you. Bapu says, “I’m not your vitta mantri (finance minister), but I’m your chitta mantri (manager of the mind). My vyas gaadi has been working on the minds of many people.”

Let us offer the fruit of virtue of this katha in the feet of Bhagwaan Shrinaath jee…Haraye namah..Haraye namah..Haraye namah..

Katha 635 - Manas Satya Prem Karuna, Leicester, UK15th - 23th July 2006
Ayodhya Kaand - Doha 28, Uttar Kaand - Doha 49 and Ayodhya Kaand - Doha 269
Satya-mool sab sukrit suhaaye | Beda puraan bidit manu gaaye ||
Prem bhagati jal binu raghuraai | Abhiyantar mal kabahun na jaai ||
Jehi bidhi prabhu prasann mana hoi | Karuna-saagar keejiya soi ||
Truth is the root of the all noble virtues as the vedas and puranas declare and as stated by Manu (the first law giver of the world, the author of manusmiriti).
So, Raghunaath, only by cleansing with the water of love and faith can the impurity accumulated within be washed away. O ocean of compassion, do whatever is most pleasing to yourself.

Bapu began with his characteristic grace and humbleness offering felicitations to his visible and invisible audience and made a special reference to the message sent by Prime Minister Tony Blair and to the area MP Right Honarble. Keith Vaz who brought that message.

Bapu then by a common consensus chose Satya (Truth) Prem (Love) and Karuna (Compassion) as the major themes for his Katha and all the three will be the specific angles from which he would discuss and explain Shree Ram Charit  Manas on this occasion.

Bapu discussed that Truth, Love and Compassion are eternal, age old values; the principles that have been the base of many philosophical thoughts. Bapu clarified that he does not want to impose his ideas and his opinions and is offering them for discussion and understanding and we are free to differ from him.  Ram Katha is a process of thinking and clarity of thoughts

Bapu says the three values (Truth, Love, Compassion) are intertwined - these qualities and virtues are found in the characters of Bhagwaan Ram, Bharat Ji and Ma Sita in all of them, but Bhagwaan Ram predominantly represents truth, Bharat is mainly an embodiment of love while Ma Janaki is the personification of compassion.

Bapu explained life of Jalaram Bapa and discussed that Bapa’s activities were inspired by all these virtues in modern times.   While Bapa was extremely truthful in all his dealings and doings, he concentrated on feeding the hungry, which is an act of love because only love can sustain such a practice for long.  His wife Virbai, out of unbound compassion or karuna joined him and supported his activities.

Satya says Tulsidas is the root of every thing good.  A root out of which good actions (Sukrit) develop.  Prem-bhakti/ devotion full of love (Prem bhagati jal binu raghuraai | Abhiyantar mal kabahun na jaai ) is like nourishing water which is used to nourish the roots of truth and as a result huge shady tree of karuna grows. The tree that grows so fast offering shelter to birds, food to the animals and shade to humans. Satya, Prem and Karuna are complimentary to one another and would balance the life of an individual and make the nations prosperous and benevolent.

Bapu says that his intention is not to preach (Upadesh) or issue orders (Aadesh) to anyone.  Bapu says he is just trying to spread the message (Sandesh) of Tulsidas jee and would bring the message of  Shree Ram Charit Manas as a postman brings the letters. Bapu says that his purpose is to explain according to Shree Ram Charit Manas, which has been the major, the most important and the most authentic scripture for him. Bapu says his source of inspiration has derived the conception of the trinity of Truth, Love and Compassion. 

Spiritual field is an area that has neither victory nor defeat but each factor and phenomenon is just in the nature of things, only a being: just as it is, it exists.  Bapu does not feel comfortable with the Bhagwaan Ram carrying a weapon even after Ramrajya was established.  Ramrajya is a domain of love and an abode of peace.  Why does anybody need weapons in such a polity after Ramrajya is achieved and established?  Bapu says that mankind has been using violence for millions of years and is still using it to spread destruction and terror.  Let us give up weapons (shashtras) and give a chance to shaastras or ethical values and activities.

Bapu described that Manas consists of seven sopans (chapters) and mainly described the five characters of Bhagwaan Ram, Ma Sita, Hanuman jee, Bhagwaan Shiva and Bhushundi jee.

Tulsidas jee praised and saluted Ganesh, Surya, Vishnu, Durga and Shiva in the beginning of Balkand as they represent intellectual and emotional phenomenon.  Ganesh represents judgement and of balance; and to live a balanced life is the best way to worship Ganesh. Sun represents enlightenment –it connotes an aspirant’s search of light and an effort to avoid darkness of any type. Worship of Vishnu can be in the form of being broad-minded and large-hearted. While Bhavani personified faith (shradhha), which is not blind; because blind faith (andh-shradhha) is as dangerous as total lack of faith (ashradhha). Bhagwaan Shiv is kindness.  An effort to desire and work for the welfare of others is to worship Shiva. 

Bapu says that some persons suffer from Dwesh (jealously)  and Bapu advised all to beware of and avoid jealously. Other passions like Kama (lust), Krodh (anger) Lobh (greed) and moha (infatuation) are obstacles for spiritual progress but nothing is as harmful and as self-consuming as Dwesh.  Bapu reminded that Gita says that he who is free from Dwesha is a real Sanyasi.

Bapu says that we all need a guru, a guide, who leads us in the spiritual journey. Bapu explained that Guru Charan (feet) as ‘Acharan’ - life style and conduct of guru and declared that an enlightened person feels that entire creation is a form of Rama and Sita. We must accept the totality of existence, and Bapu pointed out that Tulsidas has showed his broadmindedness by respecting even the evil forces likes demons. Bapu says that everyone should recite the Hanuman Chalisa, preferably eleven times a day or as often as we can.  Hanuman is Prana an element of life as important as breath.  He is the son of vayu.  Hanuman is to be worshiped in his mild form and not in his aggressive posture.  Bapu insisted that our religious practices and our Sadhana should not be a cause of harassment or a disturbance to others; a true practitioner of spiritualism takes good care of people around him/her.

Bapu began by saying that he does not want to be a Guru and needs no disciples (shishyas). He has people who are listeners (shrotas). Bapu explained that in Indian tradition to repeat a statement three times to establish it as Truth (Tree-satya).  He mentioned Shrimad Bhagwat where there were nine such repetitions.  But Bapu says, that he personally feels that Truth needs to be stated only once and that should be sufficient. Truth lies deep-rooted in the inner-self (Antah-karan) of a human being and it needs no gadgets or instruments (Upkaran).  Truth does not need any demonstrations, any processions or crowd activity.  Truth does not need any externals and it stands alone and by itself. Truth is light-weight, and easy; it is a simple and as effective as nature itself

Some people are ‘Satyaa-grahis’ and use social activities and social pressure to enforce Truth on others.  There are some clever people who are ‘Asatyaagrahis’. They are convinced that Truth never works and is totally useless in all our mundane actions and relations.  They use lies and falsehoods to get their way in this world.  But Bapu pointed out that a real sadhu – a seeker after Truth and spiritual progress is ‘Anaagrahi’ (free of bias). He knows the Truth and practices it but he does not make any show of it and does not force others to accept it.  He will proclaim the Truth once and leave others free to accept or not to accept it.

Bapu discussed the Indian Tradition of truth being threefold

  1. Truth in thought (vichaar),
  2. Truth in speech (uchchar)
  3. Truth in action (aachaar). 

Truth must be consolidated in our mind, our speech and in our behaviour. This is Bapu’s concept of Truth but he does not want to teach nor does he want others to forcefully accept it.  Such truth implies a capacity to take boldness, Courage and above all patience to wait till truth prevails and is accepted by others.  He mentioned a short story of Hitler, Mussolini and Churchill betting on getting a fish out of a swimming pool without using net or hook.  After the first two failed, Churchill patiently started ladling out pool waters with his teaspoon.

Bapu says that each one of us has the truth in own heart and we know it to be true but we do not dare to speak our mind.  He mentioned the famous story of Mahabharat.  The most Respected Bhishma knew the truth when Draupadi was being stripped in public but he did not raise a voice against it. Instead a young person Vikrant got up to boldly protest and then walked out of it.  He defied his powerful arrogant elders.  Very often, it is seen that we compromise with the truth under social pressure.

Bapu pointed out that Bhagwaan Ram is the epitome of Dharma and Dharma is nothing but the truth. Bhagwaan Ram was truthful in his thoughts (vichaar), he was bold enough to speak out the truth (uchhar) and he always acted upon truth whenever there was occasion for it (aachaar).

Whatever a truthful person wants to happen, happens and Bapu quoted Patanjali Yoga Sutra.  Bhagwaan Ram did not want to be a king and he did not become a king.  When he was told about his going to the forest, he was happy and spoke out about the benefits of his exile.  He cheerfully prepared to go alone to the forest for fourteen years.

Bapu pointed out that path of spiritual progress is a lonely path. A person of this path feels isolated in a crowd and has great company of himself when he is alone.  He enjoys by renouncing everything and he seeks no publicity because all his activities are for self-purification and for internal bliss.  Such a person follows Dharma, which is unchanging and eternal and cannot be fixed into any frame of prevailing social norms.  All renunciation is an internal experience and should not be external showmanship.  Such a person is free of all bonds. 

Bapu says that we should not impose anything on children.  He wanted children to enjoy all the fun (masti) so that children can develop all their potentialities.  During youth and maturity we should do bhakti, in the sense of service of others.  In the old age we should seek freedom from burdens and responsibilities.  He who gives up everything gets everything. 

All our activities must lead to internal joy and progress, not for publicityWe should serve the living gods in our family – our elders and relatives and children before we go out to worship gods in temples and if this is done so many quarrels will disappear

Multiplication of Police stations and hospitals are not the good signs of a society but the symptoms of ill health of society. They show the presence of evil in our personal life, in our family and in our society.

Bapu emphasized on the importance of Ram naam.  Bapu pointed out that in Kaliyug religious practices, Sadhanas and ceremonials like yagnas are very difficult while continuous recitation of holy name is enough to give us peace of mind and help us in our spiritual progress.  Some people will praise you and some persons will denounce you for whatever you do but we should not worry because truth always stands between critics and admirers

Bapu said that Mahadev is the God whom he loves the most and whom is considers to be an ideal family man, a benefactor of society, a patient husband and a great sanyasi.

Satya is a very complicated subject and has been debated for ages by several great thinkers who wrote volumes about Truth.  All such discussions and books are like food put on our plates after being cooked and served.  Unless we chew and digest the served food, it is of no use to us.  If for some reason food leads to vomiting, it may be prove to be harmful and disgusting.  Similarly Truth, Love and Compassion must be internalised in our system. Only then, these principles will give us strength and energy.

Truth in fact raises very awkward and serious issuesIf everyone insists upon his perception of Truth as the only Truth (Mam Satyam) then there will be quarrels and conflict among them.  Jesus insisted on saying that I am the only light and follow me.  This created problems and troubles between Christians and non-Christians.  But if we are ready to welcome, understand and respect the Truth of others, then there should be no problems in life or in the world.

Every religion supports Truth but each religion insists upon its own version of Truth as the only Truth.  This is the outcome of our arrogance.  Bapu quoted a Gujarati poet Narsi Mehta who said that out of sheer ignorance, everybody says that I am doing everything to move and maintain the world but very few realise that the world is run by divine force. 

One must be firm about his Truth but he should not be stubborn about it. The respect for each other’s truth makes a cordial atmosphere in society. Just as we have lamps in our home, the neighbours have their own lights in their homes and there is a universal light of sun shared by all of us as the supreme source of light. Similarly Truth can be personal Truth, it can be another person's Truth and there is a universal, supreme Truth.

Tulsidas jee in Shree Ram Charit Manas always describe Bhagwaan Ram as a universal, all prevailing eternal Brahma.  Those who restrict Truth would themselves become shallow and small.  Universality and all pervasive character is the philosophical (daarshanic) aspect of Bhagwaan Ram. After describing the philosophical aspect of Bhagwaan Ram, Tulsidas jee immediately turns to its practical application. Since Bhagwaan Ram is universal, the entire universe is the form of his supreme power, we should respectfully bow down to everything and everybody in this world

“Seeya ram-maya sab jaga jaani | Karaun pranaam jori juga paani ||”

There are several religions and sects today that do not universalise Truth.  They insist upon their own single version of Truth and hence they are fighting with others and use violence to crush and control others.

Bapu says that he is a great admirer and a devotee of Shree Ram Charit Manas and he finds teachings of Tulisdas jee very profound and very true, but Bapu at the same time adds that he does not accept everything and every opinion of Tulsidas jee.  He said that when we go to shopping mall, we don’t bring home everything it contains, we purchase only those things that we need or those things we like.  Similarly we should pick and choose the best and the most useful ideas from Shree Ram Charit Manas. Honeybee collects nectar from number of different type of flowers.  Similarly a Sadhu should seek and secure the best from everyone and every place and every religion.  God has endowed each individual with full potential divinity but the masters are able to cultivate and express the divinity within them, while ordinary persons like us are not able to do so.  Bapu expressed his opinion that all rituals and ceremonials become secondary and useless when we have a firm and abiding faith in truth.

Bapu quoted an unknown poet who sang that Dharma like Shiva has three eyes of Truth, Love and Compassion.  Prem (love) is the middle eye. The middle eye of fire of Shiva is also the eye of Love.  Bapu explained this contradiction of Love and Fire by pointing out that Love thrives on separation between the lover and the supreme beloved and both suffer the intensity of fire in yearning for one another.  Moreover, Love like fire burns away all the impurities and aspirants become purified by such an experience.

Bapu then presented a fable of four candles of peace (shaanti), faith (shraddha) Love (preeti) and Truth (satya).  The first three candles flickered and faded out as very few people want peace, faith and true love. But Satya – the light of truth reveals reality and would revive and rekindle all of them and establish their importance and efficacy in this world.  Truth is based upon and closely related to love and compassion.

Bapu said that people get scared by superstitions and do not know where to turn to. A true religion would make people bold and brilliant, self reliant and bubbling with life and energy.

Bapu says that we fail to understand the true nature of divinity, though we do experience divine activities all around us.  Just as we use electricity in several ways and for many purposes but nobody even today knows or understands what that energy actually is.

Truth is as universal and omni present (Vyapak) as Brahm but each one of us sees it and feels it differently so that there is my truth, your truth and a reality (vaastvikta) of truth.  Truth is often realised and felt only in adversity.

Bapu discussed a few definitions of truth and mentioned in Patanjali sutra of effortless achievements of those who absorb truth in their personality.  Practical truth (vyavhaarik Satya) is different from its theory and Shankaracharya’s sutra of the world being an illusion and unreal cannot be acted upon in practical life.  Truth is as vyaapak (omnipresent) as Brahm but in Shree Ram Charit Manas, Shiv ji has described his own experience that Vyapak Brahm can be seen in practical form through Prem (love).

Ques: What do we mean by ‘all’ and how many numbers and how many varieties are involved in the concept of ‘sab sukrit’ in the chaupai- “Satya-mool sab sukrit suhaaye | Beda puraan bidit manu gaaye ||” ?

Bapu’s Answer: Tulsidas jee is not referring to the number but to an attitude and very often in spiritual life all can be and is included into only one.  In Bhagwat Gita, Bhagwaan Krishna explains that you should be to devoted to me only  (“mamekam sharanam vraj”) One who wants spiritual progress must devote himself to one and only one sadaguru and get completely devoted to him.    A devoted disciple finds not only enlightenment but also fragrance in the teachings of his Guru.  Amir Khusrau has written that he used to feel the presence and smell the fragrance of his Guru. 

Satya (Truth) can only be realised by inner experiences. External gadgets like spectacles can help the eyesight but do not enable an illiterate person to read as the capacity to read comes from within you. Such internal experiences – intuitions – are not possible with out a total surrender (samarpan) to a guru or to God.  Such a total surrender is the outcome of Prem – love.

If we feel in tune with the entire world, if we feel the empathy towards one and all, we can realise truth through love. One way to feel such unity is to share whatever you have with others.  Give as much as you can give, give as often as you can give, give to as many people as you can give.

Bapu emphasised the virtue of Charity and explained that giving does not mean only money, giving food, giving knowledge, giving good ideas – is also charityWhat you give is not important but the desire to share is important because sharing is love. Charity (Daan) and total surrender (samarpan) are necessary conditions of love and will help us in realising Satya.

Bapu discussed in detail the second principal subject of this Katha – Prem (love) and he said love is the only purifying and cleansing fluid that can help us in removing all the dirt (mull) and all the evils in our mind.  We clean our body but Prem is the only fluid, which is effective for internal purification.

Spiritualism is not something external; spiritualism is not clothes that we can change everyday.  Such external show of piety is not religion; it is merely a show off - of religiousness.  Religion or spiritualism is our skin, it is our personality, and it is totally internal. It is not a ceremony or rituals.  That is why Bapu calls Ram Katha as Prem Yagnas.  Katha is to awaken love in all of us.

Bapu then discussed various definitions of love and chose a very simple definition because love is very simple and straightforward.  Love has the capacity to manifest the invisible power of God (Prabhu) and it is love that can also bring out the divinity within individuals.

Bapu pointed out that knowledge has been described in our scriptures as the eye (gyan), eyes which can see and perceive. Bapu went a step forward and said that if knowledge is an eye then love is the fluid that keeps the eye moist and healthy.  Eyes will dry out without fluid.  A dry eye is a dead eye.  Similarly without love (prem) knowledge (gyan) becomes ineffective.  Love (prem) can transform desire (kama) into divine (Ram); it can convert anger (krodh) into enlightenment (bodh); it can change greed (lobha) into aversion/indifference (kshobha).

Bapu said that he will resume this discussion next day and he took up the narration of Katha. He described Shiva is a great orator. An orator should be totally relaxed, he should be quite light hearted and witty, he must have a prolonged study of the subject, he should have generosity and softness to present his point of view without offending others.

Bhagwaan Shiva is a house-holder (Grihastha) and Bapu mentioned how a false tradition was prevalent in India that only Sanyasis can speak about Ram Katha. Parvati wanted to hear the katha in order to get answers to 9 questions and Shiva took a day to answer each one of them.  Therefore Ram Katha is organised for nine days.

In the reference to the reasons for Ram-janma, Bapu said that he does not like or accept the idea of cursing because curse is the outcome of anger and spiritually advanced people must overcome and control their anger.

Bapu narrated how God was born to Ma Kaushalya and she taught him how to be human. He said that we all should learn how to be good human beings and he pointed out that it is the power of Bhakti, efficacy of love that can persuade God to assume proportions of human form.

Bapu began the Katha by describing that katha is not a teaching or lecturing session, Katha is a dialogue (samvaad); a talk.  Such discussions and dialogues ought to be based on scriptures (shashtra) and must be an expression of mutual love and regards.  Discussion will be more useful if it is based on personal experience (swa-anubhav). It ought to be brief as well as factual (tathya). In Manas the discussions are between enlightened teachers and listeners and therefore such dialogues are full of wisdom and are real (vastvik). 

Bapu mentioned a letter from a Muslim devote who raised a question if there should be a limit in donation and charity? Bapu explained that elements of nature (Sun, wind, trees, rivers) continuously serve us without any fixed time schedule.  So we also must give continuously, we must give to whoever needs it and whenever it is needed. Jesus said that he who gives shall receive more and more and he who does not, will lose all that he has.  Bapu also mentioned Bhagwad Gita that says Charity purifies even the most pious persons.

Bapu says just as Ram represents Truth, Bharat jee personifies love. Tulsidas jee emphasizes that Bharat jee is the only proper factor that can lead us to become devotees of Ram.  It was for the sake of Bharat jee, that Bhagwaan Ram had to go the forest for 14 years.  This exile of Bhagwaan Ram was like the churning of ocean from which the nectar could emerge, in the form of purest and most intense love of Bharat jee.

When atomic fuel reaches the point of total transformation and bursts into energy it is called a point of criticality.  Vanvas of Ram is such a turning point – the criticality in his life and Bharat jee is transformed into Love

Bapu raised an issue that is very original and very interesting.  It is often said that for true and intense lovers’ separation leads to instant death, as happened to Dashrath jee.  Such a death is considered to be the proof of real love.  But Bapu did not agree with such a traditional view.  He reasoned that Love is a nectar (Amrit) and how can anyone die of Nectar?

Rather, Love is the force of life; it leads to salvation, not death.  Intense lovers like Bharat jee or Gopies did not die. For Tulsidas jee, the epitome of Love is Bharat jee, not Dashrath. 

Bapu said about himself that he can stand any other thing but if he gets cut-off from Manas and Katha he may not be able to survive because Katha is his life, his breath (Pran).

In Bapu’s opinion separation between lovers intensifies love into a blazing fire and lovers and Bhaktas continuously shed tears to extinguish that fire (virah-agni) – mere verbal declarations of love shows the artificiality and shallowness of love. It is said that love is blind.  Bapu believes that love is never blind.  It gives a continuous awareness.  Real love like the one that Bharat jee had for Bhagwaan Ram is as patient as a chatak (a bird) and as discerning as a Hans (swan). Bharat jee waited for 14 long years.  Bharat jee had the immense capacity to deserve and hold that love for long.

All great prophets have given the message of Love but their followers are continuously fighting amongst themselves.  Bapu explained that we may not be proper containers (paatra) and therefore, cannot receive and hold that divine love.  Bapu mentioned Bhakti Sutras of Sage Narad jee who describes love as a feeling that is incessant; it gets more and more intensified every moment.  Love has no purpose (Hetu); wants nothing, expects nothing and it is totally focussed on the belovedA true lover lives immersed in love. Any laws of society or words of morality cannot restrain such a love because love has its own scriptures (Shastra) and as Tulsidas jee says, it cannot be described in words.

Bapu advised the devotees of Bhagwaan Ram to also absorb the qualities of other brothers. Aspirants should fill and nourish as many persons as they can, they should wipe out enmity and serve and support the best elements in the world.

Bapu said that Anger should be avoided all the time but especially when you get up, when somebody is coming home or going on a journey, at the time of eating and when you go to sleep.

Ques: Can you define swa-dharma (one’s own religion), and par-dharma (religions of other’s) in context of Bhagwad Gita, which declared that it is better to die in and for one’s own religion because religion of others is dangerous?

Bapu’s Answer: Religion for all of us (Swadharma) is Truth, Love and Compassion and anything which goes against this – falsehood, hatred and cruelty – is dangerous and undesirable as they would lead to conflicts and violence.  The world today seems to be dominated by such persuasions but all such evils are short lived; while ethical concepts survive for a long time.

We are not able to perceive the reality and see the world as it is.  Bapu explained that anyone can see the outside world through the glass panes of a window but when we stand before a mirror we see only ourselves and nothing else.  Both the mirror and the panes are glasses but mirror has a coating at the backside.  This coating blocks our vision.  The coating of arrogance (ahankaar) makes us so self centred, that we can see nothing except ourselves.  Even a little of arrogance, even a thin coating would result in only a self-portrait in the mirror.

Bapu discussed that if we are able to look out and if we try to understand the world and other people, we will realise that throughout the world every person has some merit and positive qualities (guna).  Every herb and tree has its own medicinal value.  Every word has some effectiveness as mantra and every heart is full of love and friendship. Our Upanishads have declared that this world is a manifestation of God and the supreme God (paramatma) is everywhere in nature (prakriti).  Generally, a person is not able to see and realise the presence of God. But a sadaguru points out and explains the presence of omnipresent divine power. Therefore we should always seek the company of those who are spiritually advanced and enjoy the satsang.  Bapu once again emphasised that for him Truth, Love and Compassion is Swadharma – Truth of Ram, Love of Bharat jee and Compassion of Ma Janaki..

Bapu pointed out that to write about Love is quite different from facing and experiencing Love. Just like one can write volumes on philosophy of death but when we have to look directly into the face of death, it is entirely different and we feel the chill of fear. But those who are totally devoted to God have no such fear and can face it cheerfully. We have forgotten our true nature and objectives of life and Bapu said that his Katha is a nine-day camp for reminding people and to make them remember and understand the reality. 

Bapu explained the concept of Love and based his presentation on Bhakti Sutras of Sage Narad and Shandilya as well as on a text known as Prem Pattanam – The City of Love.  Bapu says according to Shree Ram Charit Manas there are 24 elements (Tatvas) of Prem.

Of the 24 elements, first eight elements are symptoms and experiences of Love:

  1. A Lover first of all experiences immobility (stambhit).  He becomes transfixed as if he is struck by a cool and pleasant thunderbolt. 
  2. Secondly he has profuse perspiration (sweda). 
  3. His voice gets husky and words tumble out of his mouth in a haphazard way (swar-bhang). 
  4. He has an experience of tremor as if his body was shaking (kumpan). 
  5. His appearance undergoes a change (vaivarna),
  6. He gets goose flesh (romanch) all over his body and
  7.  Tears swell up into his eyes (Aashrupat) and
  8. He may swoon (moorchha) and sometimes, even die.

The next eight elements which should be avoided by Lovers

  1. Lovers would be negligent about joy (harsha) and
  2. sorrow (shoka) as also of
  3. happiness (sukh) and
  4. misery (dukh).
  5. Lovers do not stick to logic (buddhi) to mind
  6. (mana) to conscience
  7. (chitta) and
  8. pride (ahankar).

The next four elements that should be given up by lovers:

  1. There should be no hiding of cheating between lovers (kapat).
  2. They should not allow any fixed prejudices that can become obstacles. 
  3. There should be no crookedness (vakrata) and
  4. They should avoid sharp words and actions that pain and injure their beloved.

The lovers should try to be free of the next three elements:

  1. Tamoguna
  2. Rajoguna
  3. Satva-guna.

The supreme love goes beyond these three elements, as they all are the bindings and true love never tries to tie up the beloved; rather it gives total freedom.

The total elements discussed today are 23, the last element would be discussed tomorrow.

Bapu says that worship is easier than Love and Bapu requested youth to avoid bad company.  He was happy that many young boys and girls are responding to his appeal as many of them are trying to abstain from the immoral and thoughtless life style.

Katha is a precious medium and that is why he does not give his Katha to everyone merely because they are ready to spend money.  He aims to give this life-nourishing source only to those who are genuinely eager and can benefit from it.

Bapu continued the discussion about the 24 elements of Prem.  Bapu quoted Bhakti Sutra to say that Lovers must avoid 3 elements because Love should be free from gunas.  He described the characteristics of Rajoguna, Tamoguna and Satvaguna. 

  1. Rajoguna is the over activity of mind and body leading to continuous running around and restlessness.  Such a person keeps on rushing from one point to another and is never steady. 
  2. Tamoguna is the exact opposite. It makes a person suffer from total lethargy and he avoids all physical and mental activities. 
  3. Satvaguna is midway between the two and such a person is balanced and does not go to the extremes of over-doing and not doing anything.

Bapu would like to put a new interpretation of Guna.  Bapu pointed out that Guna also means a string/rope that can tie up a person. But, in Prem (Love) there’s total freedom (moksha) and there should be absolutely no bonds and no conditions between Lovers. Imposing restrictions on the beloved under the pretext of Love is not Prem but only an infatuation (moha). A true lover gives complete freedom to his or her beloved to do whatever the other person wants to do and readily agrees to all that makes the other person happy.

Bapu quoted an incident from Shree Ram Charit Manas when in chitrakoot, there was a serious debate on future course of action. Bhagwaan Ram said that whatever Bharat decides would be final and acceptable and Bharat said that Bhagwaan Ram should decide whatever pleases him best and all of us will do it.  In Love there is no self-assertion but there’s self-denial (Tyaag)God loves all of us very intensely and deeply, but has given complete freedom to every creature to choose his life style and his objectives.

Bapu mentioned about the criticism he faces for his efforts to build a bridge of peace, amity and brotherhood between various communities in India. But, he expressed his view that as a Sadhu it is his duty to spread the message of Love in midst of all hatreds and misunderstandings.

He then mentioned the last and the most important Tatva, the 24th element is mutual Trust (vishwas).  Trust is the presiding deity of Love.  Trust is never blind because Bhagwaan Shankar is personified trust and he not just two but an additional eye of knowledge and understanding; therefore, trust is full of awareness. Bapu has absolute faith in Manas and regarded it an incarnation of God in the literary form as a scripture (Granth-avataar).

Tulsidas jee says that devotion is the outcome of knowledge.  Faith without knowledge is void. Shraddha is based upon Samadhi (total awareness).  Bapu said that our life runs on the wheels of faith (vishwas) and thought (vichar), both moving on the axle of discernment (vivek).

Tulsidas jee refers to his three gurus in Shri Ram Charit Manas.  Narhari was the guru who taught him Shastras and Ramayana.  Bharat jee took him to Bhagwaan Ram, but his sadaguru is Hanuman jee. He has mentioned four entrances to approach Bhagwaan Ram.  One is for those who seek material benefits, one for those who seek salvation, one for those who have attained spotless mind and fourth door is the door of Bhakti.   Where even the rouges and crooked can be saved by the kripa of Bhagwaan Ram.

Bapu concluded the discussion about Prem (Love) by narrating several incidents from Manas that expressed deep love of Bharat jee for Bhagwaan Ram.

Bapu then took up the third angle– ‘Karuna’ for this Katha.  He did agree that Karuna (compassion) is most often used for Bhagwaan Ram and very rarely for Ma Sita. But Bapu pointed out that Ram and Sita are so closely united there is such a communion (sayujya) between them that their qualities intermingle. Ram is the inner self of Sita and Sita reigns supreme in the heart of Ram.   Moreover women have much more compassion (karuna) than males.

Bapu says that Satya is the tree, Prem is its fruits and Karuna is its shade.  Satya makes us fearless (Abhaya) and gives us peace of mind (Shanti). Prem leads to tyaag (surrender) which produces peace of mind and Karuna leads to non-violence & finally to Shanti.  Satya Prem and Karuna create such threefold peace and therefore in our vedas every recitation is followed by Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Bapu pointed out that Bhagwaan Ram is always described as ‘Karuna-nidhan’ (full of compassion), but he has taken very hard decisions also.  Bapu gave examples- he went away when people of Ayodhya who followed him were sleeping, he sent an arrow to destroy Jayant. His eradicator form – ‘Kaal-swaroop’ – was shown in his determination to kill Rakshasas (demons) and when he fought against Ravan and his associates. His harshness was also revealed when he decided on fire ordeal for Ma Sita.  Another incident of his harshness is the going in exile of innocent and faithful Ma Sita. The very presence of weapons in hands is a symbol of strictness.

It is quite usual we judge and see people in the same colour as we areWhen Ma Sita describes Bhagwaan Ram as compassionate (Kripa nidhan), she is actually revealing her own character.  Tulsidas jee uses the word ‘Karuna’ for Ma Sita when in Chitrakoot she meets queens of Dashrath after his death –‘Tehi avasar karuna mahi chhaai’. Moreover Bhagwaan Ram and Ma Sita are always united (Nitya yoga) into one and qualities of Ram automatically apply to Ma Sita and vice versa.  Moreover, Ma Sita is the daughter of compassionate mother earth and she herself is a mother and it is true that mothers are always kind and compassionate.

Ma Sita faces troubles all her life but she could face them because she used to seek happiness by making other happy.  In this context, Tulsidas jee has presented an original idea not found in other scriptures. He says that without inner personal happiness, the mind can never become stable-“Nij sukh binu mana hoi ki theera|”. It is only when we share our wealth and happiness with others, we can attain peace and stability of mind.

Sage Patanjali has said that the whole world bears four inclinations of Paap (vice), Punya (virtue), sukh (happiness) and Dukh (misery). But by cultivating the following attitudes, an aspirant can deal with each of them.

  1. Paap - We should always neglect or be indifferent (upeksha) to sins of others and be careful in never cultivating anger or hatred for the sinners.  Bapu mentioned the famous examples of Jesal and Toral. A sinner should always be given a chance to improve.
  2. Punya - We should always be pleased (mudit) wherever we find good activities being carried on or religious activities being undertaken.  It is our Dwesh (jealously) that prevents us from freely congratulating those who are doing good. Bapu said it is easy to feel miserable when others are suffering but it is difficult to be truly joyful when others are happy, as jealousy cannot tolerate the progress (Utkarash) of others.  
  3. Sukh - We should learn to be happy and friendly (maitri) at the happiness of others and fully participate in their joy. We must not reject happiness.  We must enjoy the good things in life if they are morally good Do not get affected by criticism of others; just carry on with your bhajan.
  4. Dukh - Lastly we must have compassion (karuna) whenever we find others are suffering or are in trouble. We must cultivate compassion in our heart to such an extent that no space is left for enmity. 

Question - How Katha is to be delivered or spoken, how should others listen to Katha and how can we live Katha in our life?

Bapu's Answer: Katha should always be recited with confidence (Vishwas) arising out of faith in the Almighty, the scripture, the words of sadaguru, the main subject of katha and self-experience. But at the same time, he should not impose his confidence on others, they should be free to decide for themselves. A Kathakar (speaker) should have total faith that every chaupai is a mantra. Anything said with confidence has truth in its base. A listener should listen to katha very thoughtfully (vichaar). He should analyse Katha and if there are any doubts, he must raise and fearlessly ask questions.  Bapu said that sometimes, listeners of his Katha take his jokes seriously without thinking and even his gestures are misinterpreted.  Listening is an art and a science and it is rather difficult to listen properly and correctly.  Katha is to be implemented in life with discernment (Vivek), balancing various principles.

Bapu mentioned a serious social problem, where female foetuses are aborted on a massive scale.  Bapu advised people to celebrate the birth of daughters in the same way that we celebrate for sons.

The important day of sadaguru is the ‘guru purnima’. It connoyes that a sadaguru is a ‘poorna-Ma’ i.e. a perfect mother for an aspirant.

Bapu reverted to the analysis of compassion of Ma Janaki and mentioned that just as 14 jewels (ratnas) were churned out the ocean, the sea of Karuna also generates 14 qualities.  He listed them and briefly commented on each one of them.

  1. Kripa (grace) - it has to be done by someone on someone else.
  2. Daya (mercy) - it is rooted and connected with an incident or an occasion. 
  3. Anugraha (benevolence) - without any reservations/prejudices.
  4. Anukampa (empathy) is a physical experience when we share the suffering of others (Samaanubhuti). 
  5. Sudrishti (clear vision) - compassion is expressed through eyes.
  6. Suvachan- compassion helps in cultivating the habit of  polite and truthful speech. 
  7. Suvichar - A compassionate person always gets good and benevolent thoughts
  8. Suvyavahaar - Compassion leads to a behaviour that is straight forward and simple. 
  9. Unbiased flow - A compassionate mind is never rigid or restricted.  It has a tendency to flow and its fluidity keeps it fresh but this does not mean fickleness.
  10. Commitment - A compassionate person is devoted to principles of kindness and generosity.
  11.  Transparency of inner self - His heart gets constantly purified (Antah-karan Shuddhi) and there is not blemish or impurity in his life. 
  12. Maun – A compassionate person is often a man of few words and his compassion is reflected more in his conduct than in speech.
  13. Nirantar sumiran - A compassionate person continuously remembers the divine and constantly thinks about it.
  14. Utsaah (the zest for life) – A compassionate person is enthusiastic and strives for happy and long life.  He enjoys his bhajan, which joins him to divinity, and for him even the earth is not enough to contain his bliss.
Bapu finished the katha (story of Ramayana) narration yesterday. Today, he concentrated on the three basic principles, of Truth, Love & Compassion, which are basic ingredients of the Ramayana as he sees it. Bapu said that ‘Karuna’ has no limits, as it is the supreme strength (alhaadini shakti) of Bhagwaan Ram.

Question - what is the meaning of the Sanskrit word ‘Vivek’?
Bapu's Answer: Vivek does not refer to mere manners or etiquette. Vivek means the actual perception of a thing- ‘as it is’. It is the discernment, the capacity to distinguish between the right and wrong in every field of life, whether practical, intellectual or spiritual. The more we get the capacity to discern, the more we understand the world in which we live in; it also helps greatly in the spiritual world in which we want to progress. Even the religious thinking requires the study of discernment because if religion is accepted as customary system of beliefs (without discernment) then it is not a religion in real sense. Vivek is the result of satsang. An aspirant should be careful in preserving the vivek that he gets from satsang. Bapu said that he did not intend to give deeksha (ritual of spiritual initiation) but only wanted to show a path (disha) through satsang of Ramkatha. A katha listener should listen to sutras of katha in the way they are said; in their actual sense. Wrong interpretation can create many problems.

While discussing Shankaracharya’s theory of world is a illusion, Bapu humbly put forth his view that when we understand that the creation is the form of the Almighty only, then the creation is as true as the Almighty. It is not an illusion; Considering the world and God as different is not right; they are one. Rather, the thought of differentiation between the two is an illusion in itself.

There are people who claim to be prophets & teachers of a religion and try to snare the innocent and the unknown.  But a sadaguru is spiritually aware and he helps aspirants in making sense of circumstances. The mantra given by sadaguru has to be put in practice; one has to believe and become aware and to escape the snares, which are laid by the false ‘so-called religious’ people. 

A saadhu’s effect is such that the people around him never feel any binding but at the same time, they remain every inside the moral limits. A sadaguru is like air; he is the life source for the aspirant but he is beyond anybody’s reach. For a committed aspirant, the sadaguru and the Lord are the same.

Katha listeners should listen with awareness and should not be blind followers. Katha should not only be heard but it should be remembered again and again.  You should bear in mind as long as you can and try to practice whatever the principles suit you.

Truth, Love and Compassion is the trinity of every religion and Bapu said that they are fit to be inscribed on the main building of the United Nations situated in New York. 

Bapu said that he tries to beautify his audience not physically but spiritually, emotionally and mentally with chaupais, shlokas, mantras, poetry, short stories or thoughts and quotes of saints
. He concluded by offering the fruit of virtue of this katha in the lotus feet of Bhagwaan Shankar in the advance, for the coming ‘shraavan maas’.

Pavan tanay sankat haran mangal moorati roop |
Ram lakhan sita sahit hridaya basahu sur bhoop ||

Katha 634 - Manas Dharm Rath (Part 3), Mumbai, Maharashtra22nd - 30th April 2006
Lanka Kaand - Doha 80
Sunahu sakha kaha kripa-nidhaana | Jehin jai hoi so syandan aana ||
Sakha dharm-maya asa rath jaakein | Jeetan kahan na katahun ripu taakein ||
 
Listen Friend, replied the All-Merciful, the chariot that leads one to victory is quiet another one.
My friend, he who owns such a chariot of piety shall have no enemy to conquer anywhere.
The situation of Manas-Dharma-rath is such where Raavan (fully equipped) and Bhagwaan Ram (barefoot and without any ammunition) come face to face with each other in the war of Lanka kand; at such a moment Vibheeshan gets apprehensive about the safety of Bhagwaan Ram and expresses his anxiety. The one who is extremely dedicated feels concerned for the beloved even in the highest stage of devotion. Then, Bhagwaan Ram explains the spiritual rath (chariot) that makes a person win over any situation.

The chaupai from where the Dharma-rath is to be continued in this katha is ‘Amal achal mana trone samaana | Sama jama niyam seelimukh naana’..The mind of an individual gets concentrated even in the negative elements, but it does not remain pure. For saadhna, it is necessary for the mind to be steady as well as pure.

For a successful picture (chitra), there are certain requirements like canvas, colours, brush, painter and viewers. Similarly, a person’s character (charitra) can be sketched through elements of life. Truth (satya) is the canvas for a good character. Different types of manners (sheel) are the various colours for the beauty of the character. The brush for sketching a good character is love (prem). The painter who creates a character is Dharma (religion/duty) that draws lines of morals and values. Dharma should have less of rituals (vidhi) and more of understanding (vivek) and faith (vishwaas). Finally, the viewers of a sketch of a character are the listeners who recognize and identify the greatness of the character.

Bapu says, “ In small villages, there are certain people who carry their ladders and repair houses in rainy seasons. I’ve also come with a ladder of seven steps (seven kand) i.e. Shri Ram Charit Manas ; it will help the needy, the depressed and indecisive people to lead a better life.”

Sadaguru is the most vital factor in the spiritual journey. The status or position of Sadaguru  (guru-pada) can never be weak; it is ever strong in every situation. Hanuman jee is an ideal Sadaguru- he is brave (mahaveer), free of ego (Hanu-maan), engrossed in destroying the negative elements (khal bana paavak), showers knowledge (gyaan-ghan) and Bhagwaan Ram resides in his heart in his special form (Jaasu hridaya aagaar basahin ram sar chaap dhar).

Question - Please define Satya and Prem.
Bapu’s answer - Gandhi jee said that Satya is Parameshwar (the Almighty) and Jesus said that Prem is Parameshwar. But I think that satya and prem both are param-aishwarya (divine fortunes). In other way, both should be complementary in one’s life; Truth should be full of love and love should be true and not artificial. 

In ‘Vairagya sandipani’, Tulsidas jee says that the human body is like a farm where the farming is done by mind, speech and actions. The seeds of virtues and vices (punya and paap) are sown and they bear fruits according to their respective nature. So, the mind is termed as a farmer here who has the capability to choose between a virtue and a vice. These seeds of paap and punya are not two, but the parts of one seed. Every action has a portion of both, but there may be a difference in the ratio. No action is purely virtuous or sinful. For example, when a person gives a large amount of money for charity, there may be some devious thing in either earning or saving the amount. In Mahabharat, Bhagwaan Krishna asks Arjuna to attack Karna when he’s repairing the wheel of his chariot, this may seem a negative act but the hidden virtue behind this order is to create betterment of world. So, there is a hidden virtue in a sinful act and a vice hidden in the most virtuous deed. Harinaam is the only strong catalyst that nullifies both virtue and vice. Harinaam makes the seeds of both kinds ineffective.

‘Amal achal mana trone samaana | Sama jama niyam seelimukh naana ||’
In Dharma-rath, Tulsidas jee says that the mind is the quiver where the arrows are kept by warriors. If the quiver is not tied tightly or is full of filth then the warrior would not be able to fight properly. Thus, the mind is an important part of saadhana. Bapu says, ‘ in my opinion, it is more important for the mind to be pure than steady. The more you try to make it still, the more it becomes fidgety. The best thing is to surrender the mind in the feet of the Lord in whatever condition it is. The steadiness of faith (that the Almighty will take care of my mind) is more important than the still ness of mind.

Harinaam is such a food for soul that increases life, will power, health, glow and balances the fire element of the body. So, don’t worry too much about virtues and vices, just stick to Harinaam. The Lord’s name is the summary of all shastras.

Bad habits cannot be framed into a certain definition. Creating obstruction in the best moments of life, keeping yourself hungry in the name of forcible fasting and indulging in unnecessary elaborate rituals are also bad habits.

One carries heaven and hell in oneself. When you feel happy at others’ prosperity, it is heaven but if you feel jealous at others’ good, then it is hell.

Question -Who is your ideal?
Bapu’s answer - My originality is my ideal. There is no condition in spirituality; where there are conditions, the originality of a person

Bhagwaan Krishna says in Bhagwad Gita that I am the mind in the senses of a human being. If the mind is the form of Lord Himself then it cannot be destroyed; though it can be forgotten in absence of feeling of pain and pleasure. If the mind is Bhagwaan Krishna, then it will not remain dull, thus it would be agile and playful. So, an aspirant should not try to control it forcibly, but rather try to cleanse it and decorate it. The dust of feet of Sadaguru can purify it. Even satsang, Harinaam and sutras of shastras can also help in the cleansing of mind.

The lord seems farthest for the person who searches (khojna) for Him and he becomes closest for the one who gets lost (even gets away from himself- kho jana).

True love has three eyes. Two are the outer eyes that see the world and the third eye is the one that only sees the beloved Lord. A true devotee would not be too fussy about own faults but he would remain focused on the greatness of the Lord.

The one who claims to follow Dharma (dharm-aacharan) should be truthful to the sutras (satya-aacharan) in his practical life. For example, the one who applies tilak should never be jealous of others’ progress or the one who keeps mala should never indulge in scorn.

Question - Bhagwaan Krishna seems too far, so we want to surrender our mind in the feet of Sadaguru. What is the procedure and evidence if it has been accepted?
Bapu’s answer - Yes, it is fine that you surrender in the feet of Sadaguru but there’s no fixed procedure for it. It can happen anywhere and any time that you get inspired to do so. The evidence that he has accepted your mind is when your mind does not get diverted from him.

In Gitavali, Tulsidas jee terms the mind of a person as a path where an aspirant can walk and attain the Lord. There are three major paths, Rajpath, Janpath and Dharma path. Don’t make your mind rajpath or janpath as there’s a risk of overcrowding, make it a path of dharma that comprises of truth, love and compassion; this path will definitely lead you to the Almighty.

The one who knows the art of dancing need not sing or speak. Meera just danced and attained Bhagwaan Krishna. The one who knows how to sing need not speak much but the one who knows how to give speeches needs to listen to people.

In the spiritual journey, don’t try to test others (pareeksha), just try to be patient and wait (prateeksha) for the right time to realize the facts.

A realized soul/saint is so clear hearted that he gets the indication from inside if a person is trying to lie/cheat/deceive him. One should never try to justify lies/errors in front of spiritually aware person, as there may be a risk of making more blunders! A spiritually aware person, on the other hand, would never try to prove his truth as he has full confidence in it and values it truly.

In Gitavali, Tulsidas jee equates the mind with hand. The hands should be moving but it is more necessary that they should be clean. Thus, the mind also need not be necessarily still but it is important that it should be pure. The purity will make the mind steady automatically. The situation is not so bad if the mind is pure but fidgety, if the mind is polluted and still, then the person cannot be reliable.

If Tulsidas jee calls mind a hand with four fingers and a thumb, then a mind also has five parts i.e. the five inclinations of mind described by Sage Patanjali.

The five fingers depict respective elements of society:

  • Thumb -the Almighty,
  • First finger - knowledgeable people, guideline givers
  • Middle finger - economy,
  • Ring finger - saints
  • Smallest finger - political system.

Similarly, there are five points of mind.

  1. Samyak gyaan/pramaan (knowledge) - A point, when activated grants attainment of knowledge.
  2. Viparayaya (illusion)- A point that makes truth seem untruth and vice-versa. An aspirant may see negative things even in his Sadaguru, but in such a situation also he/she should never leave the Sadaguru as this kind of inclination might subside with time. Sadaguru will never leave the aspirant, but one should take care of own mental inclinations!
  3. Kalpana (imagination)- This point of mind is very active in creative people or artists.
  4. Nidra (sleep)- Yogis cultivate their minds in such a way that their dreamless sleep develops into samaadhi.
  5. Smriti (memory)- The best memory for the mind is of the Lord!

People should avoid vyakti-pooja (worship of a human being) for the good of both worshipper and the worshipped. If you want to bow down to someone or touch his feet, the do it with your hand of mind! Swami Sharanaanand used to say that Sadaguru is a tatva (element), don’t indulge in the worship of human form..Bapu says, ‘ Swami Sharanaanand is the only Mahatma with whose sutras I have been always in been in agreement, I have never been able to negate his sutras till date, though I can’t say that for future!!’.

Su-vrat is the conduct (vartan) done for the welfare of others. Vrat (fasts) should be strong in faith and not be rigid.

No activity should be given priority over the development of spiritual energy (Aatma chetna vikas) as this is the purpose of being on this earth. At the end of life, an aspirant should feel content in this respect.

Fire can burn up almost everything on this earth or can even deshape an object if can not burn it. But it can neither burn up nor deshape a pot made of clay. In fact fire makes it stronger.

The potter makes it in the shape where there is emptiness/space inside, thus fire cannot affect it.

In Kavitavali, Tulsidas jee equates mind with a clay pot. The potter who treats the pot of mind is the Sadaguru. If the Sadaguru is an expert then, no fire of others’ anger (kroadh) or heat of self-ego (gumaan) can affect the mind. But, in case the mind gets affected by the above mentioned fire and heat, then it should be understood that either the Sadaguru is not truly one or the aspirant hasn’t been able to empty/surrender himself fully.

If the mind gets developed in such a way, with Sadaguru’s grace that anger of others and heat of self-ego does not affect it, then it should be filled with the water of love (prem). Such a mind can provide solace to others.

When you lose temper, a Sadaguru feels guilty as he feels that his work has not been sufficient. It is the responsibility of a katha listener to maintain a cordial atmosphere in the family even in adverse circumstances. A katha listener should never lose his/her calm even when others are being unreasonable.

In Indian villages, there are particular ways of handling the clay pots by women.

  • The first spot they keep it is on their waist. If seen with context of mind as a pot, a Sadaguru initially keeps the shishya too close too him and takes minutest care.
  • The second spot for the clay port is on the head. Then, once the clay pot is filled, the pot is kept on the head in such a way that the water does not spill. So, when the Sadaguru sees that the shishya has gained some spiritual knowledge and has experienced something on this path, he keeps him on the head. At this time, he remains very careful that the shishya should not get over-whelmed/over-confident of his knowledge and should not get flawed by false-pride. Sadaguru saves the shishya from spoiling his this spiritual stage.
  • The third spot for a clay pot is that particular place in the house from where everyone drinks water. The Sadaguru then stations the shishya at a spot where he’s able to quench the thirst of others or help others.

This three-tier placement of shishya is according to the nature of shishyas’ gunas - Tamoguna, Rajoguna and Satva-guna. If a shishya reaches a stage where he goes beyond three gunas, then the Sadaguru destroys all his bindings. He makes him so independent so that nothing else can tie him.

A katha listener should not keep any reservations about selected topics. He/she should not carry choices for subjects, as this would be a hurdle for ideal kind of listening. Every topic is a prasad!

Vinoba jee used to say that Sadaguru should be sheelvaan (humble like a saadhu), Pragyavaan (knowledgeable) and Karunavaan (compassionate and caring like a mother).

Tulsidas jee says that the person who implements the sutras of Dharma-rath does not have any enemies to be defeated. Even if others may consider him as enemy, he does not have enmity with anyone. ‘Vijay’ word at the end of Dharma-rath does not refer to victory, but deep continual contentment.

Sage Patanjali has described Yoga as the total control over tendencies of mind (Chitta vritti). But he has not asked people to do it; he has just described Yoga in this way. Sometimes the sutras of sages have been misinterpreted.

Bapu says, “people who consider Tulsidas jee as conventional (parampara-vaadi), I feel sorry for them. They don’t know have much idea even about his writings. He was a revolutionary (vidrohi) in his time and so am I. I also don’t touch the sutras of Tulsidas jee that I don’t understand.”

In Dohavali, Tulsidas jee uses horse-shoe as a connotation for the mind. The horse-shoe comes in contact with the ground (lifeless/jada) as well as the horse (living/chetan) but it makes no difference to it whether it goes to jungle or a town. Similarly, if mind is like a horse shoe, it may come in contact with many uplifting as well as disappointing circumstances but if you cultivate it to live in the present, then it won’t get affected by any situation. An aspirant should try to get satisfied by any result after doing sincere efforts in any matter. Progress (vikaas) should not be at the cost of inner peace (vishraam). Bhajan will help in creating contentment as the aspirant would realize that the true joy is not in materialism but devotion towards the Almighty.

Once Swami Sharanaanand was asked about the actual form of truth (satya). To this he replied that to understand truth, one has to first understand untruth (asatya). So, in Shri Ram Charit Manas, the story of Raavan comes before the birth of Bhagwaan Ram!

Some people have asked about how to make the mind steady?. There mainly five ways for that:
  1. Bhagwaan Krishna prescribes two things in Bhagwad Gita that the mind can become still firstly with abhyaas (Practice of controlling the mind).
  2. The second thing he says in continuation is through vairaagya (dispassion from the world).
  3. The third way is to keep a beautiful form of deity as the subject of worship. Beauty lies in the eyes in the eyes of the beholder!
  4. The fourth way is to pray to God that only you can take proper care of my mind. Sometimes, when the Lord attracts the mind of the aspirant, the aspirant is not prepared to surrender fully.
  5. The fifth and the simplest way to mind still is the grace of Sadaguru. All efforts done on own, may not be successful, but Sadaguru kripa never fails. Bapu says, ‘I stand in favour of the grace of Sadaguru but at the same time it does not mean that the aspirant should become lazy and take things for granted. The grace works instantly provided the surrender is absolute. Ego is a big hurdle in the path of surrender, so be careful of it. Sadaguru and the Almighty are the most accessible, but there has to be total faith.’
An aspirant should not waste time and energy in comparing saadhus and saints. Respect every saadhu with his individual nature and  qualities. The one who does not live in originality is living a fake life.

According to sage Patanjali, there are four ways to maintain a joyfulmind.

  1. Seek pleasure in the pleasure of others.
  2. Be compassionate in the painful times of others.
  3. Be indifferent (udaaseen) with the vices of others. Don’t condemn the person, but condemn the fault.
  4. Be happy with the virtues of others.

Now let us move to the next half of this chaupai- “Amal achal mana trone samaana | Sama jama niyam seelimukh naana||”. Tulsidas jee mentions the arrows for the rider of Dharma-rath. There are total eleven (5 yama, 5 niyam and sama) arrows from which five each of yama and niyam are used to destroy delusion (Raavan) and the eleventh left is the arrow of sama (shanti/peace) that connotes Ma Jaanaki. This means that when an aspirant destroys delusion from life, he can experience inner peace in the actual form.

Usually people are strict about their niyam (daily spiritual practices) and also become finicky about them. But actually, an aspirant needs to be more sincere in following the five Yama that help him grow more spiritually. Let us discuss yama and niyam as the following.

5 yama are:

  • Ahinsa (not to hurt anyone by either thoughts, words or actions)
  • Satya (be truthful),
  • Asteya (abstain from stealing),
  • Brahmacharya (controlling desires to avoid downfall)
  • Aparigrah (avoid collecting unnecessary things).

5 niyam are

  • shauch (purity of body and mind),
  • Tapa (tolerance/ sacrifice for the welfare of others),
  • Santoshe (maintain satisfaction),
  • swaadhyaya (studying scriptures and also one self)
  • Eeshwar pranidhan (samadhi/meditation).
According to Shankaracharya, the four paths that lead to God are - Satsangati (company of a truthful person who also saves you from untruth), Daan (charity of any kind, even a small gesture of kindness), Vichaar (thoughtful behaviour) and Santoshe (self-satisfaction).

The next chaupai of Dharma-rath is – “Kavach abheid bipra gur pooja | Ehi sama bijay upaay na dooja ||”. The shield of the rider of Dharma-rath is the reverence towards Sadaguru. A person may give regard to a Brahman, it becomes a protection, but such kind of protection becomes a strong shield with the grace of Sadaguru. If an aspirant wants, he can take wood-sticks (Samidh) for the Sadaguru and the Sadaguru uses them for his yagya. But even if the aspirant wants to take something else other than wood-sticks, it should be taken with the mentality of samidh. A Sadaguru is the center of all qualities, so if an aspirant takes refuge in the feet of Sadaguru, he attains all the qualities in an easy manner.

In Mahabharat’s war, Hanuman jee placed himself in the flag of Arjun’s chariot, but in Ramayana, he was actively involved in the war of Lanka. So, if Tulsidas jee says that the flag of Dharma-rath is truth, then we can take inspiration from Hanuman jee that we should either become still in truth (righteousness) or come in action for the cause of truth according to the need of time and circumstances and Sadaguru’s instructions.

Let us move to the chaupai of Dharma-rath – “Kavach abheid bipra gur pooja | Ehi sama bijay upaay na dooja ||”. Here, the word ‘vipra’ does not mean just the Brahmin caste but the one who is learned and studies and teaches Vedas. Shrimad Bhagwat mentions 12 characters of a vipra; it can also be said that the one who possesses these 12 characters is a vipra irrespective of his caste. The twelve characters are:

  1. Daan (charity)
  2. Japa (chanting God’s name)
  3. Tapa (tolerance)
  4. Ekaant-priya (lonesome/introverted)
  5. Maun (silence)
  6. Satya (truth)
  7. Ahinsa (non-violence)
  8. Sangrah na kare (No greed of collecting things)
  9. Chori na kare (not to steal)
  10. Santoshe rakhe (satisfaction)
  11. Shauch (physical and mental purity)
  12. Vidya adhyayan (study of shastras).

The company and respectful attitude towards such vipra gives security to the aspirant.

Bapu says, “in my opinion Viprs should be worshipped (pooja) but Sadaguru should be served (seva).” Sadaguru’s seva means what ? - “Agyaa sama na su-saahib seva | So prasaadu jana paavai deva ||”. Accepting the commands of Sadaguru and implementing them with full sincerity. Do not put forward any alternatives in his directions. Don’t use Sadaguru’s stamp to endorse your choice; leave every choice to him. True seva can only be done when the aspirant abandons his ego completely. It is easy to do charan-seva, but aacharan-seva is difficult.

Sadaguru is an ‘atithi’ , who meets an aspirant at any given time; there’s no fixed time for his meeting. It so happens that when an aspirant meets him and it strikes in the soul that he is the only master for him. Sadaguru can meet an aspirant at anytime/anywhere. He enters the life of an aspirant provided the aspirant is receptive.

There are several characters of a Sadaguru who can be an ideal master.

  1. His company transforms attachment into dispassion.
  2. His critics may not admit but from inside they like his nature.
  3. His presence itself provides answers to all your questions and doubts.
  4. He accepts things for the happiness of others and not for his needs.
  5. He lives only for others, so he can only be served; not worshipped.

You should go and just sit quietly around the Sadaguru, don’t ask too many questions also. Don’t present your demands in front of him as it is an insult to his omnipresent nature.

Bapu says especially for the youth that the when the body is active, it will become powerful (shakti), when the intellect works in the right direction, it leads to independence (mukti) and when the heart is full of love, it leads to devotion (bhakti). Use your energy in the right way!

In the war of Lanka, Raavan had a physical chariot but on the other hand, Bhagwaan Ram had Dharma-rath but not a chariot. Bhagwaan Ram describes the Dharma-rath to Vibheeshan and it can be seen from Shri Ram Charit Manas and other writings of Tulsidas jee that all the qualities of Dharma-rath are present in Bhagwaan Ram, only then he is discussing Dharma-rath. Raavan is hardly able to manage some of them and that too partially.

Question - Why don’t we experience conclusive feeling in prem?
Bapu’s answer - There can be no conclusion in prem as it is always growing and unending (anant). Even the supreme beloved is infinite (anant) and also the need for prem is endless (anant). So, when there is amalgamation of these three ‘anant’, how can there be a conclusion!

There’s a difference between ‘charitra’ and ‘leela’. Charitra is the narrative of the actual happenings of past and leela may have incidents that may or may not have happened. Bhagwaan Ram walked on both the tracks but Raavan was weak in charitra.

‘Sakha dharm-maya asa rath jaakein | Jeetan kahan na katahun ripu taakein ||’- Bhagwaan Ram says that the one who is able to implement this Dharma-rath will not see anyone as enemy, so no one is left to be won!

‘Maha ajay sansaar ripu jeeti sakayi so beer | Jaakein asa rath hoi driddh sunahu sakha mati-dheer ||’- Bapu says that the way he perceives this doha (based on how Dadajee taught Shri Ram Charit Manas) as the world is not an enemy, it is to be served. But the people who dispute the creation of God are real enemies. The world is a form of the Almighty and if it is criticized unnecessarily, then the thought behind this kind of criticism is like an enemy. The aspirant who follows this Dharma-rath is truly brave as he becomes able in destroying such negative thoughts. The world is a place of the Lord, saints and shastras, so it should not be condemned in any way.

Bapu says, ‘I want to congratulate all for three reasons - 1) for successful organization of this katha, 2) for tomorrow’s occasion of Maharashtra-Gujarat day and 3) for the Akshaya treetiya today, it is Parshuram Jayanti today, so let us offer this katha in his feet.’

“Jaasu naam bhav bheshaj haran ghore traya sool | So kripaal mohi toe par sadaa rahau anukool ||”- Let us conclude this katha with this prayer in the feet of Bhagwaan Ram that his holy name may become a remedy for all our problems…

Katha 630 - Manas Dharm Rath (Part 2), Bangalore7th - 15th January 2006
Lanka Kaand - Doha 80
Sunahu sakha kaha kripa-nidhaana | Jehin jai hoi so syandan aana ||
Sakha dharm-maya asa rath jaakein | Jeetan kahan na katahun ripu taakein ||
 
Listen Friend, replied the All-Merciful, the chariot that leads one to victory is quiet another one.
My friend, he who owns such a chariot of piety shall have no enemy to conquer anywhere.

In Rigveda, the aspirant prays that may he be blessed with auspicious thoughts from all directions. But, in addition to this prayer, the thoughts should not be subdued, they should be liberated. Secondly, the thoughts should not be limited; they should be able to appeal to all at a large platform. Thirdly, the thoughts should not be destructive, but beneficial for mankind.

The katha listeners should definitely spend some time in thinking about the sutras of katha. The power of positive thoughts is such that it can bring a hault to any kind of struggle in life. Like the discourse of Dharma-rath by Bhagwaan Ram has brought a break in the war of Lanka.

A devotee, who has surrendered in the divine feet, should never become perplexed by any situation. If he gets moved by ups and downs of life, either the place of his refuge is not perfect or his surrender is not absolute.

Being in the company of a person who has stationed himself fully in faith is heaven for an aspirant and on the other side, the company of a faithless person is equal to hell for him.

Question - Why is ‘sansaar' called ‘ripu' (enemy) in Dharma-rath - ‘ Maha ajay sansaar ripu jeeti sakayi so beer' ?
Bapu's answer - Sansaar (materialism) may be an enemy, but jagat (creation) is not. It is a form of the Lord.

An individual experiences peace (shanti) at some point of time or the other, but it is more important to experience joy (aanand). The mangalaacharan (initial shlokas) of Shri Ram Charit Manas are grah shanti (process of establishing peace) and the conclusion in Uttar kand connotes param-vishraam/ param-aanand (joy).

The highest element is the supreme power, but Sadaguru can be higher than the highest when an aspirant places ultimate faith in him. Sadaguru is Upaasya (subject of reverence) and the shishya is Upaasak (devotee). Upaasya should be spiritually capable (samarth) but the upaasak should always maintain complete modesty in his heart (despite any material ability). The bridge between both is Upaasana (the flow of spiritual energy). This process cannot be seen but can only be felt. The flow should move in a balanced way, neither very slow nor over-flowing. The upaasya should not be aggressive; he should be serene and should be able to have a calming effect on the aspirant. He can only fill an aspirant with spiritual energy, only if the aspirant is vacant from inside.

‘Daan' (charity) may be of many types, as discussed in previous katha, but the greatest daan is ‘Ram daan' or to place Bhagwaan Ram in someone's heart. Don't try too hard to remove the haraam (negativity), just try and situate Bhagwaan Ram for good and you will feel that the faults start leaving you automatically. It is more important to for an aspirant to get attached to the Lord and his holy name as in this process, the faults will get destroyed by God's sheer auspiciousness.

In the 21 st century, casteism (varna-vaad) and sectism (sampradaay-vaad) should not be given much importance. This kind of distinction does no good for the society; it only creates division in people's mind. Some things do not carry practicality forever.

A person may be full of knowledge and information, but if he is not able to be compassionate and sensitive towards others, then his knowledge may prove to be just destructive. Such a person would not be of much help for the welfare of society in spite of being knowledgeable.

The one who wants to take an oath (vrat) of doing charity should take of following four:

  1. Sankalp (resolution)- In the morning, make a firm resolution of donating something.
  2. Saadhana (appropriate efforts)- In the daytime, do sincere attempts to put the resolution into practical.
  3. Samarpan (present)- In the evening, give away whatever you could accumulate in accordance to your resolution.
  4. Samaadhi (blissful state)- If the above three steps are followed, then the aspirant can find ultimate joy of samaadhi even in his sleep.

“Daan parasu budhhi sakti prachanda ”- Dharma involves powerful intellect. Weak intellect may be able to produce weapons, but only a powerful intellect can rightly decide to use or un-use it. According to Vinoba jee, there are five features of a powerful intellect (prachand budhhi), withstanding the fact that the person may or may not be a literate or academically learned.

  1. One who has faith in ever-existing morals- Values like truth, love and compassion will never become out of date.
  2. One who is doing earnest efforts for creating and maintaining goodness and unity in family as well as society. A person may live in three stages. Firstly, ‘Bhaav-avastha', where he feels that any mishaps that occur around him are not due to any other reason but only because his own bhajan is not sufficient to prevent such happenings. Secondly, ‘Kriya-avastha', where he does all the possible attempts to prevent any mishaps and thirdly, ‘Gyaan-avastha', where he conditions his mind not to get affected by the ups and downs of life.
  3. One who accepts the fact that there was life before birth and life would continue even after death. This fact may not be clearly evident to all as some things are beyond normal intellect. Death is not the end of a creature's existence.
  4. One who has faith in the theory of Karma- Every individual gets the results of his own actions. Some deeds may be fruit immediately and some may take longer time.
  5. One who has faith that science and dharma are not separate; they are complimentary in many ways.

Any activity that helps in cleansing the antah-karan (inner self) and removing the faults is satsang. It may be in the form of any art like music, painting etc, or in the form of performing your duties with dedication or also in the form always being cordial with people around.

Bhagwaan Ram chooses particular characters for spiritual discussion in Shri Ram Charit Manas. Similarly, in a satsang or a discourse, there may be thousands of listeners but Sadaguru speaks for some chosen aspirants. Sadaguru is not in search for Paramaatma as he himself is Paramaatma, but he is in a search for suitable shishya who is able to understand his sutras.

The first and foremost character of such a shishya is that he should be the one who neither jealous of others nor should he criticize anyone. Bhagwaan Krishna chose Arjun for the discourse of Bhagwad Gita and here in Shri Ram Charit Manas, Bhagwaan Ram chose Vibheeshan for the discourse of Dharma-rath. There is a difference between Arjun and Vibheeshan. Arjun got depressed by seeing his family elders and cousins as opposing party in the war, but Vibheeshan was moved due to extreme affection for Bhagwaan Ram and he got concerned for his safety in the Lanka war. Vibheeshan did not interrupt Bhagwaan Ram during Dharma-rath, but Arjun raised many question to Bhagwaan Krishna during Bhagwad Gita.

A loyal devotee becomes totally fearless as his refuge is so intense that nothing moves his faith. If faith is not up to the mark, then the surrender won't be so effective. There is no need of a procedure (vidhi) with Sadaguru, the main prerequisite is the firm faith (vishwaas) of the aspirant.

“Give and live” or “Giving is living”- If you take or get from somewhere, please share it with others as it will lead you on to the right path of spirituality.

“Bara bigyaan katthin kodanda”- The strong bow (dhanush) of Dharma-rath is science. Knowledge is the information in theory, but science is the practical implementation of the information. The bow lies on a shoulder of a person, but unless the hand uses it, it remains useless. Shastra's knowledge remains a burden unless it is used in practical life. Bhagwaan Ram used the bow given by Parshuram jee to put an end to Raavan life's and thereby taking away the burden of this earth.

Question - Usually, it is seen in a rath that the four horses are not arranged in row but two in the front and two behind them. In Dharma-rath, which horses are kept in the front and which ones behind them?
Bapu's answer - The horses may be arranged in whatever convenient way, but in this kind of arrangement of doubles, the first horse in the front should be parhit (welfare of others) and second should be Dama (control). The horse behind parhit should be bal (strength) as one should indulge in welfare activities according to one's capacity. And in spite of being able and strong, if you are not able to be of any help to others then that ability may not carry any significance. The horse behind dama should be of bibek (wisdom) as control should be done with appropriate manner. It should not go over-board and should be done in a balanced way. The three halters of forgiveness, grace and equality should be jointly used for all.

The characters of Shri Ram Charit Manas ride on the three horses at some point of time or other.

  1. The horse of ‘ Bal' is used by Bali
  2. Bharat jee uses the horse of ‘Bibek' ( Bharatu hans rabi-bans tadaaga | Janami keenha guna doshe bibhaaga) .
  3. The horse of ‘Dama' is used by sages and Rishis of Aranya Kand and Jataayu uses the horse of ‘parhit' as he sacrifices his life to save Ma Jaanaki.

An aspirant should chant Hari-naam keeping three things in mind. Let us look at Shiv Parivaar for this. Bhagwaan Shankar is a form of faith (vishwaas), Ma Parvati is shradhha (loyalty/dedication) and Ganesh jee connotes vivek (wisdom); they all chant Ram naam. Taking inspiration from them, one should do japa with faith, dedication and wisdom. No other procedure (vidhi) or condition is required for Harinaam japa.

Tulsidas jee says, “ Ramahi sumiriya gaaiya ramahi | Santat suniya ram guna graamahi ||”- There are different ways of doing bhajan- reciting or doing paatth of Ramkatha, listening to Ramkatha or chanting Ram naam. But in Kaliyuga, chanting is the most feasible option as that can be done 24x7. Listening and reciting are also great and should be followed but they are bound in time.

For youth, “ Don't lose the character in the process of making a career.”

Parents should not try to dominate children; they should try and deal with them with affection understanding their vulnerability.

Let us continue with Dharma-rath -“ Bara bigyaan katthin kodanda”. According to Vinoba jee, The greatest science has three features:

  • It continues innovating new things; it is not stagnant
  • It helps in the betterment of mankind.
  • It should be constructive and not destructive.
Question - Is it true that intellect gets destroyed when a person is in anger or in some worry?
Bapu's Answer - When a person is angry or worried, his intellect does not get destroyed but it gets subdued. Later, when one experiences the insignificance of anger and worrying, the intellect gets activated again. But the intellect gets destroyed when one loses all the memory.

It is a fact that the Almighty is omnipresent, so he exists in the heart of every creature. But, to realize this fact, an aspirant has to condition his mentality and first look around Him in all creation; The whole existence is a form of that supreme power only. The experience of Almighty's presence everywhere helps in realizing Him in inner self. Like a person has to see in the mirror to look at himself, he has to look for the omnipresent in all creation to experience Him in own heart.

There are said to be four purushartha or fala (dharma, arth, kaam and moksha) in our scriptures. Bapu says, ‘I think in Shri Ram Charit Manas there are three more in addition to the three. It is a Saptak.” Balkand is ‘dharma' as Bhagwaan Shankar sits on the throne of dharma, Ayodhya kand is ‘Arth' as there are happenings in this kand that occur due to the throne of Kingdom of Ayodhya. Aranya kand talks about ‘Kaam' as there is arrival of Supnakha will desirous feelings and also the discussion with Naarad jee about it. Kishkindha kand talks about ‘Moksha' as Bali attains salvation by the arrow of Bhagwaan Ram. Sunder kand discusses ‘Prem' ( Tatva prem kar mum aru tora | Jaanat priyaa eku manu mora ). Lanka kand highlights ‘Kaal' ( Lav nimesh paramaanu juga barash kalap sar chand | Bhajasi na mana tehi ram ko kaalu jaasu kodand ||). Uttar kand's main sutra is ‘Param vishraam' ( Paayo param bishraamu ram samaan prabhu naahin kahun).

If seen in this particular way, Shri Ram Charit Manas is also a Dharma-rath in itself. The seven things mentioned above are its various parts.

If Shri Ram Charit Manas is a Dharma-rath, the two facets of wealth

(Arth) are its wheels. Money can be used in two ways, either for victuals (bhog) or for charity (daan). Money is needed even to propagate dharma. We should not criticize wealth; rather it should be used for good purposes. The use of wealth for victuals should not go beyond a limit and the second use of wealth may be charity but that also should be in accordance with your capacity. According to Upanishads, first, sacrifice the goods and then take pleasure from them. But, in the present scenario, it can be said that first take the taste of things and then share it with others so that they can also have a taste of good things. Like a mother first tastes and checks the food and then gives it to child to eat if its good.

The horses of this Dharma-rath are the various desires (Kaamana). The several types of wishes don't allow an individual to be at peace. They make a person restless. If you want to test the depth of personality of scholar of shastras, check if he becomes cranky in small things, has an inclination to take revenge or is full of desires, then understand that he has still not attained the ultimate knowledge.

The saarthi of this Dharma-rath is mentality of salvation (Moksha). The aspirations for salvation should control the senses. Here, salvation refers to freedom from moha (delusion). This kind of freedom comes gradually with Sadaguru's grace when an aspirant experiences that all the materialism is ultimately insignificant.

The rider (rathi) of this Dharma-rath is ‘Kaal' (power of time) - it guides an individual and brings about changes in life. But the presence of ‘Prem' can influence it; love is such an element that in spite of being invisible, it reigns over time also. The goal of this Dharma-rath is ‘Param Vishraam'- ultimate peace.

Question - What saadhan and in how much quantity should be done to stop malign thoughts?
Bapu's answer - Don't think about the quantity of saadhan, the best saadhan is Harinaam japa done with full emotions.

Question - You say that the supreme power is “param avyavastha” (ultimate non-arrangement). Is guru also similar to this?
Bapu's answer - I can't say about a guru but Sadaguru is also the same. It is difficult to predict him as he is not bound by any kind of arrangement.

An aspirant should be free from hatred, jealousy and competition with other aspirants. His only goal should be self-realization. He should be focused on own spiritual journey and not bother about others' progress.

Question - Why does a person feel proud of his anger instead being apologetic?
Bapu's answer - the pride of an angry person may be outwardly but his inner conscience feels the pinch of this fault. The ego's sadist influence is so strong that it makes a person go through negative inclinations.

Ignorance (agyaan) leads to pain, Knowledge (gyaan) makes a person look above the pain and pleasure; brings both on an equal level. Science (vigyaan) leads to pain as well as pleasure as it depends on the mentality of the person using the scientific instrument. He may use it either for constructive or for destructive purposes, for example, a match stick may be used to light a lamp and also to burn someone's property. But, the highest science (bara bigyaan) is that which only leads to spiritual joy. It can be said that bara bigyaan is the highest understanding of a person's mind that clears all doubts and creates joyfulness.

Question - Why does a person experience pain?
Bapu's answer - Many reasons have been discussed in earlier kathas, but here are some more:
  • In the process of doing efforts to find pleasure, one goes through pain. To avoid this, one should do efforts with a mentality of doing duty and leave the result to God. Refrain from the sorrows of the past and worries of future, live in the present.
  • Lack of faith (ashradhha) and superstition (andh-shradhha), both lead to grief; Only faith (shradhha) can make a person joyful. If an aspirant is able to put his absolute faith in the feet of a Sadaguru or the Lord, he would never feel sorrowful.
  • Endless wishes and hopes (aasha) for happiness lead to depression at some point of time.
  • When you have to ask for/ beg for something from anyone (yaachna), it is painful.
  • Competition (spardha) leads to pain. Try to be content in your own ability.

Anticipation and acknowledgement of sorrow - An aspirant should not pay much attention to troubles, rather try to make oneself mentally strong. Take the strength from the faith in shastras and Sadaguru. This strength will help you in preparing to face any situation with courage. Bapu says, “if you decide to be happy in every kind of situation, then even God cannot make you unhappy.”

Bapu says, “Today in the morning I decided that we shall continue with Dharma-rath in Mumbai katha (next katha in Hindi as all the kathas before that will be in Gujarati) . I don't want to rush with the chaupais of Dharma-rath. Anyway, we will continue tomorrow with the next chaupai - Amal achal mana trone samaana | Sama jama niyam seelimukh naana||. ”

“Jai Jai Shri Ramchandra, avadh ke dulaarey….”

Some aspects of Adharma rath were discussed in Kolkata katha. Let us see what are its axe, strength and bow. The axe of adharma rath is hoarding of material goods (sangrah) as against charity of Dharma-rath. The strength of adharma rath is hostile intellect (vipareet budhhi). Vibheeshan tells Raavan that the negative intellect forms a hindrance in seeing the reality -“ Tav ur kumati basi bipareeta | Hit anahit maanahu ripu preeta ||”. The bow of adharma rath is superficial information without in-depth knowledge. Duryodhan says in Mahabharat that he knows the dharma but is unable to implement it. Theoretical knowledge does not help much until it is put into practice.

Let us see the next chaupai of Dharma-rath. – “Amal achal mana trone samaana | Sama jama niyam seelimukh naana ||” . A quiver (arrow case) is necessary to keep arrows for using the bow properly. Bhagwaan Ram says to Vibheeshan that traan (footwear) is not so important, but trone (quiver) is necessary part of Dharma-rath. The quiver of Dharma-rath is pure and steady mind of an aspirant.

In a mantra of Kenopanishad, A shishya asks the main energy behind the mind?. In the answer, it is said that the Almighty cannot be understood by the mind, but if the person is able to understand the supreme power, then he would be able to understand the mind also
.

Let us first see what is a mind (mana)-

  • Mind is full of energy and at the same time Tulsidas jee calls it a mukuru (mirror), which is a lifeless object - ‘ Shriguru charan saroj raj nij manu mukuru sudhaari'.
  • Mind is like a peacock – ‘ Ghan ghamand nabh garajat ghora | Priyaa-heen darapat mana mora||'. A peacock cannot fly to great heights, similarly, the mind has a limited capacity to create disturbance, it cannot go too far. Don't stop your bhajan if your mind does not cooperate; it will settle down on its own with time.
  • Mind is like a mosquito (patang), which burns itself up in material attractions - ‘ Deep sikha sama jubati tana mana jani hosi patang'.
  • Mind is like an elephant, whose weakness is sense of touch - ‘ Mana kari bishaya anal bana jarayi | Hoi sukhi jaun ehi sar parayi'.
  • Mind is like a fish –‘ Ram bhagati jal mum mana meena | kimi bilagaai munees prabeena'.
  • Mind is like a leaf of a peepal tree -‘ Asa mana gunayi raau nahin bola | Peepar paat saris manu dola||'. Mind is so tender, like a peepal leaf, which moves even in the absence of wind. Kaag Bhusundi jee meditates under a peepal tree but does not get affected by the constant movement of leaves as his concentration remains in the roots of the tree and not the leaves. If an aspirant wants to meditate, he should keep his eyes on the roots of his subject of meditation.
  • Mind is like moon as it grows positively in satsang and regresses in adverse surroundings -‘ Ahankaar siv budhhi aja mana sasi chitta mahaan'.
  • Many times, a mind is like a crook as it plays tricks - ‘ Paai na kehin gati patit paavan ram bhaji sunu satth manaa' and ‘Mana kapati tana sajjan cheenhaa | Aapu saris sabahi chaha keenhaa||'.
  • Mind is like a child of a cowboy - ‘ Noi nibritti paatra biswaasa | Nirmal mana aheer nij daasa ||'.
  • Mind is like a temple -‘ Mana mandir tinha kein basahu seeya sahit dou bhraat|'.
  • According to Vedaant, mind is one of the four inclinations of inner conscience (antah-karan).
  • In Vedas, it is said that the mind is the center of auspicious resolutions (shubh-sankalp).
  • According to a scholar, the mind is a bundle of thoughts.

In the coming days, we shall discuss the origin of mind, with whose inspiration it works and how to deal with it.

If an artist becomes a saadhu, it is his promotion; But if a saadhu becomes an artist, it is his demotion. Saadhuta contains all the art, he need not limit himself in one.

Katha recital with music creates rasa and joy. But, music should not overtake katha.

Bapu says for the youth, ‘One should first study and analyze the natural inclinations of personal mind, then choose the career accordingly.'

Bapu says, “My congratulations to everyone on the occasion of Makar sankranti. It is the only festival in Hindu tradition that is celebrated according to English calendar date i.e. 14 th Jan. Otherwise, all other festivals are celebrated according to Hindi tithi (like Diwali on ashwin amavasya, Holi on falgun purnima etc.) where date varies from year to year. It is a day to give secret donations (gupt-daan) and in Gujarat people fly kites today.”

Kite connotes the purushartha (efforts for material accomplishments). One should not fly this kite too far that he cannot see it properly meaning that a person should not go overboard with his efforts in such a way that he cannot enjoy the results as he becomes too tired in the process.

Usually, two kinds of people are seen - one who fly the kite and two who are looking for a chance to cut the strings of others' kites. Similarly, there are two kinds of mentalities in people. Some are busy in just doing efforts for material comforts and some trying to create hindrances for others. But, it is best for an aspirant to remain free of both such inclinations.

In Ayodhya Kand, Tulsidas jee describes the state of Lakhan jee's mind and equates it to a kite-

“ Mili na jaai nahin gudarat banayi | Sukabi lakhan mana ki gati bhanayi ||

Rahey raakhi seva par bhaaru | Chaddhi chang janu khainch khelaaru ||”

When Lakhan jee sees Bharat jee in Chitrakoot, he is in a dilemma whether to go and meet him or remain where he was. There is a pull of emotions on one side and on the other side, there is duty of seva of Bhagwaan Ram. .Like a kite is flown properly when one tightens and loosens the strings from time to time. Similarly, for proper functioning of mind, one should be able to contain his emotions and sometimes should be able to flow with feelings according to the situation.

There are ten senses (five gyanendirya and five karmendriya) in body, but they all function with the signals from mind; otherwise, they remain still. For example, you are young, full of energy- your eyes can see, legs can walk, ears can hear and you have all the facilities to go for a movie, but if your mind is un-interested, none of your body parts will work in that direction. Mind is the reason behind pain and pleasure, paap and punya, freedom and dependency.

Mind is the center point of saadhana. One should build up an understanding and devotion within that the Almighty is the sole subject of my love. Others are not to be hated, but my supreme beloved is only the Lord, without whom I would be nowhere.

A hand denotes the inner conscience.

  • The first finger is the mind that controls and gives directions.
  • The middle finger is the intellect as it is powerful in deciding things.
  • The ring finger denotes the chitta that highlights the spiritual energy.
  • The smallest finger is the ego.
  • The thumb is the connotation of the supreme power, in the absence of which no element works properly.
Question - You say that for a perfect marriage, the wife should respect the husband and husband should love the wife. But, if the lady gives due respect to husband and still husband does not reciprocate with love. What to do in that case?
Bapu's answer - In that case, the wife should understand that he does not have enough love inside him therefore, she should give him some love from her side. He would return back the same to her.

It is usually said that ‘follow the conduct of Bhagwaan Ram and words of Bhagwaan Krishna.' But, in today's times, it is not so easy to follow every conduct of Bhagwaan Ram and it is feasible to follow some of the conduct of Bhagwaan Krishna like playing, singing, helping one in distress (Arjun).

Sanyog is the meeting with the Lord bound in time, but Viyog is meeting every moment. It is a boon.

According to vedaant, there are some kosha in the body- anna-maya, mano-maya, praan-maya, vigyaan-maya and anand-maya. ‘Manomaya' kosha has two facets- good and bad, resolutions and options, bondage and liberty etc. Tulsidas jee also mentions the two facets of a mind- pure and steady- “ Amal achal mana trone samaana | Sama jama niyam seelimukh naana ||”. An aspirant should not worry much about the steadiness of mind as it becomes steady automatically in faults like anger, desire and greed. Rather, one should be sincere in purifying the mind from negativities.

Another set of two facets of mind are- healthy and unhealthy. Garuda jee asks Bhushundi jee about mental illnesses.- ‘ Manas roge kahahu samujhaai | Tumha sarbagya kripa adhikaai||'. In reply Bhushundi jee says that everybody is a victim of such illness but only some people realize it. Then he discusses the various types of faults that make a mind sick. But later, in conclusion of his answer, he describes the process of well-being coming back for the mind. He says, ‘ Jaaniya tab mana biruj gosaain | Jab ur bal biraag adhikaai ||'. The sign of mind getting well is the rise of feeling of dispassion (vairaagya). Dispassion is not abandoning (chhodana) or breaking (todana) away - this kind of behaviour is a kind of madness/ignorance. Dispassion is actually living in the middle of everything but still remaining mentally aloof from all; this is sign of mental well ness. Dispassion has its own kind of joy.

‘Viraag' also means a vishesh raag (a unique kind of connection). Let us take an example of a coconut. In case of a raw coconut, the inner core sticks strongly to the interior side of peel - this is ‘raag' when a person is too attached to everything. But, when the coconut becomes ripe, its core gets naturally separated from its inner layer in spite of being inside it - this ‘viraag'. It is more practical to remain aloof from the mind than abandon everything. Another sign of mental healthiness is hunger for positive thinking/intellect and weakness of desires goes away.- ‘ Sumati chhudha baaddhayi nit nayi | Bishaya aas durbalata gayi ||'. Then a healthy mind gets refreshed by the knowledge that is free of arrogance- ‘ Bimal gyaan jal jab so naahai | Tab raha ram bhagati ur chhaai||'.

Symptoms of a healthy mind:

  • When there are ample reasons to get angry, you are able to sustain your understanding without giving immediate reactions and remain calm. Later, you use pleasant words to pacify the matter and maintain a cordial atmosphere around you.
  • In spite of all the available opportunities of fulfilling your desires, you are able to concentrate on your bhajan.
  • Instead of being greedy, you are able to share your wealth for welfare of others. A greedy person is neither able to cry or laugh heartily.
  • Sadaguru is a physician who takes care of mental health of the shishya. His words are like rays of the sun that reach out to the shishya. He has a remedy for every problem. The only condition on the shishya's part is strong faith in Sadaguru's words.

‘Mala' is like a setubandh (bridge) where every bead denotes the blessings of Sadaguru , the mantra joins them and the meru (central bead) is like a Shiv-linga or the grace of God i.e. the most important element in japa.

Even if you attain the ultimate peace (param vishraam), don't forget your humility. Humbleness is the sign of peacefulness - “ Mo sama deen na deen hit tumha samaan raghubeer”.

We shall continue with the rest of the part of Dharma-rath in Mumbai katha (in April 2006), if God wills!!

Haraye namah..Haraye namah..Haraye namah..

Katha 629 - Manas Dharm Rath (Part 1), Kolkata17th - 25th December 2005
Lanka Kaand - Doha 80
Sunahu sakha kaha kripa-nidhaana | Jehin jai hoi so syandan aana ||
Sakha dharm-maya asa rath jaakein | Jeetan kahan na katahun ripu taakein ||
 
Listen Friend, replied the All-Merciful, the chariot that leads one to victory is quiet another one.
My friend, he who owns such a chariot of piety shall have no enemy to conquer anywhere.

Welcome to all for satsang in this city, located close to Ma Ganga. We will take up the topic of ‘Manas-Dharma rath' from Uttar kand of Shri Ram Charit Manas in this katha. It has already been discussed twice earlier years back, but there was a request for this topic here and as recently we all celebrated Gita jayanti and in Bhagwad Gita also the rath of Arjun, driven by Bhagwaan Krishna (chariot) is in highlight.

This rath is not just for war (yudh) but to make a person wise (budh). It is rath that is necessary for life as in every person, a dual between positive and negative goes on and this rath can help in dealing with the inner conflicts.

Bhagwaan Budhha said that be your own light; it is a good thought, but Sadaguru is necessary to light up the diffused light in an aspirant. If one is unable to light a lamp for himself within, then going to Sadaguru (who is fully illuminated with spirituality) would create light and provide a new direction.

Troubles are to be faced with courage, they do not go if you keep crying or cribbing about them. They are the results of your own deeds. God tries your faith by giving adversities and not to make you suffer in pain! Remember problems are just your tests, which will go with time.

In Bhagwad Gita, Bhagwaan Krishna's discourse was in the beginning of Mahabharat, but the discourse by Bhagwaan Ram to Vibheeshan in the form of Dharma-rath is in the middle of war of Lanka. As the war progressed, one day, Vibheeshan got restless when he saw Bhagwaan Ram without any footwear and chariot to confront Raavan ( Raavanu rathi birath raghubeera | Dekhi bibheeshanu bhayau adheera ||) . Here, a question arises that in spite of surrendering in the feet of the Lord, why did Vibheeshan feel fidgety (restless)? The statement that says that Vibheeshan felt restless comes from any of the narrators of Shri Ram Charit Manas and not from Bhagwaan Ram. In fact, Bhagwaan Ram calls him ‘matidheer' (enduring) in the conclusion of his discourse of Dahrma-rath. Therefore, for an aspirant the most important thing should be what his subject of worship thinks about him and not the views of others.

Just like the sun never goes off, it gets hidden due to rotation of earth; similarly, the God given wisdom of an individual is always there but it gets veiled by the adverse or favourable situations.

There is a difference between the anguish (vishaad) of Arjun and Vibheeshan. Arjuna got nervous due to delusion (moha), but Vibheeshan got apprehension due to extreme affection towards Bhagwaan Ram ( Adhik preeti mana bhaa sandeha | Bandi charan kaha sahit saneha ||).

There should be material development (vikaas) but not at the cost of inner peace (vishraam). Suffering may be due to many reasons as follows.

  • Raag moolak - Due to individual's attachments, like it happened with Arjuna.
  • Dwesh moolak - Due to jealousy and hatred. Eg.- Duryodhan.
  • Abhinimesh moolak - Due to lack of knowledge.

The end of suffering cannot be experienced with outer reasons, but with the actual joy from within.

To prevent yourself from becoming restive/uneasy (adheer), take care of following.

Anukool samaya - Choose a convenient time for every work. Even in the case of daily pooja, be flexible and choose a suitable time according to your practical circumstances. There is no time-table to remember God, so choose an appropriate time when your mind is energetic and healthy.

Anukool samajh - Appropriate knowledge should be there according to age.

Anukool saadhan - Choose the appropriate method of worship according to your personal inclination and natural choice.

Anukool sahaayak - One should such a company of people who help you in maintaining the inner peace.

Anukool sahan-sheelta - Keep appropriate patience. Involve yourself in endeavours that are in your capacity. Don't go overboard with your enthusiasm and understand your limitations.

Anukool uplabdhiyan - Keep appropriate number of material goods around you. Do not collect things unnecessarily without requirement.

Adhik preeti” (extreme fondness) is naturally existent in three relationships:

  • Parents and kids - It is there upto an extent, but with the passage of time, age brings limitations in it.
  • Friends - Friendship retains fondness provided no selfish interests come in the way.
  • Sadaguru-shishya - Remains eternal if both are faithful.

Pain and pleasure are not happenings but the reactions of a person towards any happenings. It depends on an individual to take out the positive or negative meaning from any happening.

Ram naam is the essence of all spiritual efforts. The spiritual journey should move on the tracks of thought (vichaar) and faith (vishwaas).

Bapu says, “I would request the male members of family to understand and bear the pains of hardships and then make everyone happy without cribbing. Females are a bit tender so they should take care of them.”

Dharma-rath of Shri Ram Charit Manas came in the middle of the Lanka war and not in some sage's ashram. This means that there is no need of a specific place for realization; it can happen anywhere provided the aspirant is eager and is mentally receptive. Change of place is not required; change of mind is required to attain realization.

Actually, the war is not between Bhagwaan Ram and Raavan but between the forces of love (neh) and delusion (moh). Raavan rides on the chariot of delusion (Adharma-rath) and Bhagwaan Ram prefers love (Dharma-rath).

There are several social sins according to Gandhi jee. Some of them are listed below:

  • Taking away someone else's money without doing any efforts.
  • Science without sensitivity - Science produces Yantra (instruments), but spirituality produces Mantra. Vinoba jee said that science produces three types of instruments/yantra- ‘Sanhaarak'- destructive like bombs.
  • Samaya-saadha - time saving like aeroplane, telephone etc.
  • Utpaadak - productive.
  • Preaching without practice.
  • Politics without morals.
  • Business without honesty.
  • Worshipping without respect.

Bapu says, “I want to add two in this list.”

  • Farming without hard work.
  • Saadhuta (righteousness) without truth.

You can see God in three ways:

  1. Paarivaarik paramatma - see in the people around you, this way quarrels will automatically stop.
  2. Praakritik paramatma - see in the nature and its creation around you. Try to cooperate with nature as struggling with it will not help in any way.
  3. See within yourself.

Never ever think that God's grace is bestowed upon me because I deserve it. It is not due to an individual's eligibility, but due to God's benevolent nature that one feels His grace. His nature compels Him to bestow grace on all.

Bapu says, “ In the times of struggle, try and remember this Dharma-rath. I have faith that it will help you come through troubles. Recite with faith, it will inspire you to move towards right direction.”

Question - How do we increase love in life?
Bapu's answer - It will increase with humbleness (vinay) and it is evident in a person's speech. Mannerly behaviour (sheel) increases fondness and it shows through eyes. Love also reciprocates love.
Raavan's rath is of adharma (wickedness) is visible & but Dharma-rath of Bhagwaan Ram is not visible. This connotes that dhrama need not be seen (sthool) outwardly; it is actually inside a person (sookshma). It is in the roots, so its not seen sometimes. The symbols of dharma are outer but its essence resides inside the aspirant. The incidents of the storyline of Ram katha may seem happenings, but they convey perceptive meanings.

Vyas jee had said that lethargy is equivalent to being dead. But Bapu says, “I want to add three more sutras in this context:

  • Pradarshan - Exhibiting yourself by copying others is like killing your own soul. Retain the nature that lies within; do not ape others.
  • Paraadheenata - Lack of freedom is like being a dead body as you are dependent on others.
  • Patit vritti - Sinful mentality.

Question - You say that there is no system in the supreme power. How is it possible as there is supposed to be a divine system that takes care of all creation?
Bapu's answer - Yes, it is absolutely true that the supreme power is beyond any kind of arrangement. Actually, the system applies to nature, which works according to time and a defined mode. But, the supreme power is not bound by any system or any set of rules. The defined principles may be of scriptures, sects or law but the Almighty does not have any set principles. The ultimate divine power is free of limitations. A creature requires ears to listen, mouth to speak and taste, hands to work, feet to walk, eyes to see; but the supreme power does everything without any of these; it is beyond any of these requirements. Like a garden has a boundary, it has a set of plants and it requires maintenance. But a jungle is not bound in any kind of arrangement.

Question - Why do you say “Sadaguru bhagwaan ki jai.” Are you bhagwaan?
Bapu's answer - “I say ‘Jai' for my Sadaguru (my Dadajee), it is up to you to say the same or not; its your choice! You can also remember your respective Sadaguru when you say jai with me. I'm not bhagwaan, but bhagwaan is in me. Similarly, Bhagwaan is in you too, but you are not bhagwaan. Bhagwaan is everywhere, an individual needs to feel him. Hemendracharya defines bhagwaan is with certain qualities in the following way:

Bha - Relates to Bhakti. One who is full of devotion
Ga - Free of ‘garv' (pride)
Wa - Whose speech is full of humbleness (vaani mein vivek).
Na - Who is not pessimistic (nakaaratmak na ho).

Let us start with the parts of Dharma-rath. Tulsidas jee says that the two wheels of Dharma-rath are bravery and patience.

sauraj dheeraj tehi rath chaaka | - A person should have a blend of bravery that is not hurting to others and patience that helps in maintaining mental balance. Valor is handicap without patience. A person may be daring but if he is not able to keep patience in the ups and downs of life, then he is incomplete. Patience actually means to behave in accordance with the demands of circumstances.

satya seel driddh dhwajaa pataka || - Truth is the flag of Dharma-rath; it is an identification of a person. The various flaps are different kinds of manners that decorate a person. How , what, when and where to speak; what and what not to see; How and what to eat; How and where to sit etc.. One of the main sheel is minding your own things, do not intefere in everything.

In a book called ‘Bhoj Prabandh', it is said that any work is accomplished by purity of spirit and not by instruments. Bhagwaan Ram used minimal instruments but accomplished himself wherever he went.

Yesterday, we saw that the wheels of Dharma-rath are bravery and patience, but as opposed to this the wheels of adharma rath are fear (bhaya) and impatience (adhairya). Raavan was supposed to be very strong but it was only outwardly. When he went to abduct ma Sita in Panchvati, he feared like a dog. A wicked person does not have much patience, he becomes perplexed by petty things also. Patience can only come with total surrender in feet of the Lord. The flag of adharma rath is untruth (asatya) and the flaps are various types of indecencies (asabhyata) in behaviour. Bapu says, “I would like the youth to understand the viewpoints of elders and remain cordial with them. Don't create conflicts in family.”

Now, let us start with the next chaupai of Dharma-rath

Bal bibek dama par-hit ghorey | Chhama kripa samata raju jorey ||

Tulsidas jee discusses the four horses and their halters of Dharma-rath. The most important parts of any horse are its four legs and its two eyes. Let us discuss the four horses.

Bal - The first horse denotes strength. The four legs of strength are the strengths of intellect (budhhi), faith (shradhha), dispassion (vairaagya) and resolution (sankalp). Intellect and faith are different sides of the same coin. When a person's energy turns outwardly, it is called intellect, but when it goes reverse within, it is called faith. Dispassion provides strength to dharma and it becomes stable with fervent resolution.

The two eyes of Bal horse are neeti and reeti - Strength should be used at the right place and in the right way.

Bibek - The second horse is understanding/wisdom. The four types of understandings are classified as laukik (apt behaviour in practical life and relationships), alaukik (appropriate conduct with realized souls like saints, fakirs etc), aatmaa (to remain conscious of the fact that this body is just a cover of the soul, soul is indifferent. One who maintains this consciousness does not feel any bodily pain) and brahmaa (understanding that the supreme power is beyond any arrangement).

The two eyes of the horse of bibek are samata and mamata - one should sustain equality in mind for all but attachment for those to whom you are responsible.

Dama - Third horse denotes Control. The four legs signify the four Parts - mana, budhhi, chitta and ahankaar. An aspirant should have control over the four but the two eyes of horse of Dama are nyaayi and sthaayi - teach that the domination should be just and lasting. Too much or too little control is not helpful; it should be in the right proportion.

Parhit - The fourth horse denotes to do welfare of others by money or by feelings. The four legs of this horse are sadbhaav poorna (one should serve others with no self interests involved), sanmaan poorvak (with due respect for the needy), samabhaav poorvak (with equal feelings for all) and swabhaav anukool (in accordance with the nature of the person).

The two eyes of Parhit horse are shakti and bhakti - Do good for others according to your capacity and build a mentality of devotion for the Lord in the form of service to the needy.

Three halters control the four horses of Dharma-rath:

  1. Chhama kripa samata raju jorey | - a person who follows dharma should be able to forgive others (chhamaa).
  2. In the process of maintaining dharma, control over vices takes place with the grace of God (kripa).
  3. Dharma means taking care of others as much as yourself, but one should maintain equality of mind (samata) in this process.

An incident can be said as great where there is amalgamation of following five elements:

  • Paatra - where the main character is significant. In Bhagwad Gita, Arjun was the main listener, who provoked Bhagwaan Krishna to give an inspirational discourse. In Dharma-rath, Vibheeshan becomes the listener of Bhagwaan Ram.
  • Prasang - No other scripture speaks of equality of all dharma as Bhagwad Gita and that too in the middle of the war place. In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Dharma-rath is an auspicious element in the war of Lanka.
  • Prashna - The questions of Arjun in Bhagwad Gita and Parikshit in Shrimad Bhagwat were such that the answers provided inspiration for whole mankind. In Dharma-rath, Vibheeshan only expressed his apprehension in one line-‘ Naath na rath nahin tana pada-traana | Kehi bidhi jitab beer balwaana ||' and it led to Bhagwaan Ram's discourse.
  • Aarambh - Arjun's perplexed state in Mahabharat and Vibheeshan's concern for Bhagwaan Ram led to Bhagwad Gita and Dharma-rath.
  • Parinaam - In Bhagwad Gita, the conclusion was in the form of victory of dharma over adharma. In Dharma-rath, Vibheeshan was full of gratitude saying-‘ Ehi mis mohi upadesehu ram kripa sukh punj'.

Thus, both the discourses by Bhagwaan Krishna and Bhagwaan Ram can be rightly defined as momentous happenings.

Yesterday, we discussed the halters and the four horses of Dharma-rath. Let us see the halters and four horses of adharma rath. These horses do not take the person anywhere as they have no legs and no eyes.

  1. Chhal (deception) - Duryodhan uses deceit full tricks to lure Bhagwaan Krishna to join his side.
  2. Avivek (irrational) - Wicked people show that they are mannerly, but they have evil intentions.
  3. Hum/ahankaar (egoistic) - Adharma pushes a person to credit for everything good.
  4. Par-peeda – A heinous person would find pleasure in hurting others. Do not sow pain, do not give pain abut when it comes to you do not try to run away from it.

The three halters of the above horses of adharma rath are:

  1. Pratishodhe (revenge) – People on the path of devotion should make it a practice to forgive others. Taking revenge is abstaining from the devotional path.
  2. Katthorata (harshness) - wicked people are stone hearted; they remain unmoved by anything. Aspirants should not remain stubborn but try to be compassionate with others.
  3. Mamata (attachments) - Adharma breeds blind attachment to several things due to selfish interests.

Intellect gets corrupt by three main reasons:

  1. Bad company - According to Jainism, don't be in the companyof such people who spend too much time in sleeping, eating and talking. Parents who complain that the company spoils their children, should take care that they present an ideal example to kids by their own behaviour too. Stop the senses when there's a chance of attraction; use the intellect at such times.
  2. Misunderstandings (bhraanti) corrupt the intellect.
  3. Surrendering at the wrong place can corrupt the intellect.

Let us see the next chaupai of Dharma-rath

Ees bhajanu saarathi sujaana |

In the times of Upanishads, intellect used to be the saarathi (charioteer) of a person following dharma. In Dwaapar yuga, Bhagwaan Krishna took the halters of Dharma-rath in his hands and took care of Arjun's rath. But Tulsidas jee says that in Kaliyuga, only the bhajan (devotion) of the Lord can take the Dharma-rath in the right direction. It will control the rath with the halter of ‘Mala' (rosary). Japa/mala would save the aspirant from the attack of vices. Bhajan can be in many forms like amending your behaviour, abandoning vices etc.

Birati charm santoshe kripaana ||

According to Vinoba jee, Hindu referred to a person who got hurt by seeing the violence on others (Hin=hinsa: du=dil dubhe). Thus, an aspirant should never think of hurting others, but he has to have a protection to save himself from the criticism of society. Dispassion/vairaagya saves him from any such attack. It also means that dispassion should be like a skin of the person and not just for outer show. It should become apart of existence for an aspirant. ‘Satisfaction/santoshe' is the kripaan, a two-sided sharp weapon, which helps in destroying the vices that attack closely.

Ways of attaining mental peace:

  • Kaamana na kare - Do not wish for material things. Do efforts, but don't get obsessed with them.
  • Spriha na kare - Don't get too attached to a thing. Don't get affected if it goes away.
  • Mamata na kare - Don't condemn if it goes away.
  • Ahankaar na kare - Don't become proud if you are able to leave it without problem.
Question - In the chaupai ‘ Ees bhajanu saarathi sujaana', why is the word ‘sujaana' used for bhajan?
Bapu's answer - Originally, the word ‘Ees' only applied to Bhagwaan Shankar and he is called sujaan by Tulsidas jee in Shri Ram Charit Manas- “ Hari ichchha bhaavi balwaana | Hridaya bichaarat sambhu sujaana” and “Dekhi su-avasar prabhu pahin aayau sambhu sujaan”.

Hari bhajan should be done with right energy; it should not be life-less. Hari bhajan is not a matter of destiny, it is up to and individual to involve oneself in it or not. It is true that it happens with God's grace and God's grace is on everyone. Bhajan would be full of life if an aspirant has 7 types of nishttha (faith in some one/allegiance). They are as follows.

Bapu says, ‘This is my nishttha saptak'.

  1. Guru nishttha - Faithfulness towards Sadaguru is very important as he controls the ups and downs of the spiritual journey for the aspirant. Sadaguru's power of grace for aspirant.
  2. Granth nishttha - Stick to one granth (Scripture), whichever appeals to your heart and does not create prejudices in the mind.
  3. Mantra nishttha - Faithfulness to a mantra may be in the form of chanting one mantra or may be in the form of following one particular thought.
  4. Ishta nishttha - Keep faith in one deity but at the same time do not disrespect others' subject of worship.
  5. Satya nishttha - Faith should be absolute and in other sense, practice of truth should be total i.e. in thought, speech and actions.
  6. Prem nishttha - Spiritual path is only for those who have faith in the thought of love towards all creation.. In this path, when the tears roll down, faith rises higher and grows for better.
  7. Aatma nishttha - Awareness of soul.

Let us see some aspects of adharma rath of Raavan. The saarathi (charioteer) of his rath is kumant (as opposed to Sumant of Ayodhya) denoting corrupt mentality. Raavan admits that he cannot do bhajan -‘ Hoihi bhajanu na taamas deha | Mana kram bachan mantra driddh eha ||' . A wicked person might worship with rituals but there's no devotion in it.

The protection of adharma is ‘aasakti' (obsession). Strong attachments protect wickedness. Raavan's weapon ‘kripaan' was in the form of discontent.

Now, let us take the next chaupai of Dharma-rath.

“Daan parasu budhhi sakti prachanda”

Daan (charity) is an axe for the rider of Dharma-rath. It is such a weapon that works on the spot. When you donate somewhere, you can see the results instantly most of the times. For example- if you give food, you can see the satisfaction when one eats it. Everybody should give something everyday- not necessarily money but in the form of kind words, sound advice or even a smile. Give according to the necessity of the needy.

Daan (Charity) can be of various types:

Vastra daan - Giving clothes is sometimes more important that food also as the clothes protect a person's prestige. In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Ma Ansuya gives clothes to Jaanaki jee- ‘ Dibya basan bhooshan pahiraaye | Jey nit nootan amal suhaaye|'. Don't hide anything with deceit full a purpose from anybody is also a kind of vastra daan.

Ann daan - Food should be donated with due respect. Ma Annpoorna is the provider of food for all.

Vidya daan - Encourage and help kids to study and prosper. Gurujans like Vishwamitra jee are the people who grant knowledge.
Abhaya daan - Grant fearlessness to people around you. Bhagwaan Ram makes Sugreev free of fear.
Kshama daan - Make it a habit of forgiving others. Ma Jaanaki forgives Jayant in Aranya kand inspite of his mis behaviour.
Bhakti daan - Saints grant the boon of devotion to aspirants.

Bapu says, “We will take the next phrase of the chaupai tomorrow. And if God wills, we would continue with Dharma-rath in the next katha in Bangalore as I don't want to rush with the chaupais.”

Question - Tulsidas jee mentions the horses and their halters in the chaupai- “Bal bibek dama par-hit ghorey | Chhama kripa samata raju jorey ||”. Which halters are used for which horse?
Bapu's answer - All the three halters can be used for all the four horses and also can be used in different permutations and combinations according to the nature of the aspirant.

The first horse of strength (bal) is held with the halter of forgiveness (chhama). The strong should be able to forgive others and everybody should forgive the weak.

The second horse of wisdom (vivek) is held with God's grace(kripa). An Aspirant should always think that my wisdom is only due to grace of God. Tulsidas jee says, “Binu satsang bibek na hoi | Ram kripa binu sulabh na soi ||”.

The third horse of control (dama) is also held with halter of God's Grace as it is not easy for any aspirant to control his senses on his own; it the Lord's grace that helps in sustaining the control -“ Yaha guna saadhan tein nahin hoi | Tumhari kripa paav koi koi||”. If control comes with grace it would be dignified, but if it comes with force, it might be perverted.

The fourth horse of doing welfare of others (parhit) should be held with sense of equality (samata). Welfare activities should be done without any discrimination. Serve the religious leaders but at the same time take care of your servants and helpers. Respect your family members as much as you respect outsiders.

Question - Can Hanuman jee really fly?
Bapu's answer - Yes, he definitely can. It is actually a science, but may not be possible for all. Like a bird flies, an aeroplane flies as it is made lighter than air by certain machines. Similarly, when an aspirant accomplishes special yogic kriyas, he can fly too.

The more shishya is transparent (paar-darshak), the more he can attain from a Sadaguru's (path-darshak) guidance.

Axe of adharma rath is Lootana, chheenna (to steal/rob or to capture by force). The rider of adharma rath protects himself by strong attachments (aasakti) and fights with a kripaan of greediness (trishna/kripanata).

Question - how much bhajan should a person do?
Bapu's answer - The amount of time one spends in a day for eating food, equal time should be spent for bhajan. If you spend an average of an hour per day for breakfast, lunch, dinner etc., then spend an a day for bhajan.

Parents should take care that the child does not fall into bad company; otherwise it will corrupt the impressionable intellect of the child. They need to take mental care more than physical care of a child.

Shastra cannot be understood by reading many books (Pustak) nor by studying the psychology people (mastak) but only when a Sadaguru knocks (dastak) at your heart with his grace.

Until one stations him in truth, he/she is not able to sustain the ups and downs of life. In the cycle of existence. An aspirant should prepare himself for every kind of situation. This preparation can be done with the help of Sadaguru's grace and your own bhajan. In Bhagwad Gita, Hanuman jee sits in the flag, denoting truth/satya, so victory or defeat does not affect him. But, in the war of Lanka (where there is a need of circumstance), he becomes active. Truth should come into action when required.

The following type of people cannot experience the actual pleasure of life:

  • A jealous person burns himself within and invites stress for himself. Everyone should check himself.
  • A hateful person just cannot see and feel happiness around.
  • A person who never gets satisfied is always unhappy.
  • An angry person affects himself the most; his anger may or may not affect the other.
  • A person who is dependent on others cannot be free to choose his wish of happiness. If an individual is dependent on some instruments to find joy, he will lose happiness in the absence of those.

Let us take the chaupai of Dharma-rath -“ Daan parasu budhhi sakti prachanda|”

Intellect is an powerful part of existence; it can work both ways. On one hand, it makes one aware and on the other hand, it can also make unconscious of reality if wrong ways influence it.

According to SaamVeda, an aspirant can attain immense power through following:

‘Somam anu aarabha mahe' - Follow the serenity of moon as it is a force in itself. Calmness in a person's nature is a quality that makes his personality weighty.

‘Raajaam anu aarabha mahe'- Follow a person whom you can look up to.

‘Varunam anu aarabha mahe'- Follow the water body. It inspires the aspirant to live with equality and large-heartedness.

‘Agnim anu aarabha mahe' - Fire a strong element as it burns waste, cooks food, provides light etc.

‘Aadityam anu aarabha mahe' - Bhagwaan Surya grants glow of personality (tejasvita).

‘Vishnum anu aarabha mahe' - Bhagwaan Vishnu inspires all to be open minded and not to get affected by the wealth.

‘Brahma anu aarabha mahe'- The creator shall be worshipped.

‘Brihaspatim anu aarabha mahe' - Salute to the dev-guru. And in the other sense, bow to your Sadaguru.

It might seem difficult to follow all the above, so Shri Ram Charit Manas makes it easy for aspirants as it propagates that all these elements are present in “Ram naam”. Hari naam shall fill you up with a power that will prove to be constructive for the mankind and will lead to spiritual realization.

We would continue the rest of the part of this chaupai “ Daan parasu budhhi sakti prachanda| Bara bigyaan katthin kodanda ||” and the following chaupais of Dharma-rath in Bangalore (next katha), if God wills!!

“Haraye namah..Haraye namah..Haraye namah..”

Katha 627 - Manas Nimbark, Salemabad5th - 13th November 2005
Main Chopai: Aranya kand - Doha 9 and Lanka kand - Doha 112
Taatey muni hari leen na bhayau | Prathamahin bheid bhagati bara layau ||
Taatey uma mochchh nahin paayo | Dasarath bheid bhagati mana laayo ||
 
The sage was not absorbed in to the person of Sri Hari because he had received the boon of personal devotion before his death.
Uma, Dashrath did not attain liberation because he had set his heart on devotion while maintaining his seperate identity.

Bapu says, “I want to express my happiness that we have assembled for katha in this teertha. I try to begin the new year (after Diwali) with the first katha in a teertha. And this place is the focal point for all Nimbarkis.”

Ram katha is unique in itself, which has been flowing on for ages like Ma Ganga. In fact, its vastness is growing day by day. Everyone knows Ramkatha as the story of Bhagwaan Ram's life, but still people are drawn towards it for its spirituality/divinity.

We'll take up a particular topic from Ramkatha for this katha tomorrow, whatever inspiration comes; otherwise Ramkatha as a whole is always there!!

Truth is such a strong element that even falsehood (lie) has to take help of truth in some form or the other.

Unless one feels contentment inside, his/her mind cannot become steady/sound.

Bapu began today's katha with paying heartfelt homage to Gunvant bhai (sangeet ni duniya) who departed from this earth yesterday.

Bapu said, ‘ I've decided the topic for this katha as MANAS NIMBARK and in the coming days we would discuss where there is a sync between the Nimbarki thought and Tulsidas jee's views in Shri Ram Charit Manas. Parsuram maharaj of Nimbark tradition has been revolutionary in his thought as he spoke of avoiding unnecessary customs/rituals. His writings show that he wanted to bring about unity in the country.

Tulsidas jee indicates the Nimbark philosophy of ‘bhed-abheda', where there is segregation from the Lord but at the same time full union in other way. Bhagwaan Ram gives deeksha (spiritual initiation) to Hanuman jee in Kishkindha kand by saying

So ananya jaakein asi mati na tarayi hanumant |
Main sevak sacharaachar roop swaami bhagwant || (Doha 3)

Bhagwaan Ram said that the servant of the Lord sees everything as a form of Almighty only but always considers himself as a humble attendant. The Nimbark thought is evident here as on one side nothing is away from the God but the servant remains humbly in the service of the Lord.

What is the need for a Sadaguru? – In every thought/tradition there is always a master who is in the base of it. It is not appropriate to consider Sadaguru as any other person and any other person as Sadaguru. He is not just a person, but a supreme element (param tatva) who may be either in human form or may be in any other form.

Sadaguru is needed to guide us understand the pure mysteries of the presence of divine power. Just like we all live in air (as we breathe and survive on air), but we cannot see it. It can only be seen with particular equipment; Similarly, we cannot see the omnipresent but Sadaguru helps us in understanding and feeling its presence around and in us.

If an individual has acute eagerness to find a master, he comes across one at some point or the other in life.

A hand represents the various elements of a society:

  1. The first finger represents the guiding people who show the right way with their experience.
  2. The middle finger represents the wealthy strata.
  3. The ring finger represents the auspicious element as it is used by a Sadaguru to do a ‘tika' on a shishya's forehead to bring a transformation his mentality.
  4. The smallest finger represents the government, which is important but is not greater than the rest.
  5. But, the most vital is the thumb that represents the Sadaguru without whom any society is incomplete. Just like no hand functions well without a thumb, the Sadaguru is indispensable for an aspirant.

One should try to see only the positive in every happening. Satsang helps a lot in developing a positive mindset. Tulsidas jee describes the Almighty as ‘Mangal bhawan' (abode of auspicious) so, it is impossible to get anything negative from Him. Therefore, whatever happens, happens for good.

Chanting of Ram naam does not require a procedure, but it should be done with faith.

Two fundamental factors for true devotion are- “Vafaa” (loyalty) and “Vishwaas” (trust).

The Almighty, Bhagwaan Ram is the supreme power, but the element that leads to its manifestation is ‘prem'/ love. And this love is not found in heaven, it is only here on earth that love exists. Thus, a true devotee would prefer to be on earth do bhakti. The joy of satsang is greatest joy, which cannot be found any material comforts.

Dasarath jee pronounced Ram naam six times at the time of his death ( Ram ram kahi ram kahi ram ram kahi ram | Tanu parihari raghubar birah raau gayau sur-dhaam ||) but did not go for salvation and preferred to choose ‘Bheda bhakti' i.e. to remain in devotion for Bhagwaan Ram as his father.

  1. According to the Nimbark philosophy, The supreme power is seen in four forms.
  2. Akshar - Unfathomable (immeasurable) element that is beyond alphabets.
  3. Ishwar - The force behind creation.
  4. Jeev - Being a part of the supreme, every creature is its form only. Tulsidas jee says in Uttar kand-“ Eeswar ans jeev abinaasi | Chetan amal sahaj sukh raasi ||”.
  5. Jagat- All creation is a form of Brahm, the omnipresent- “ Seeya ram-maya sab jaga jaani | Karaun pranaam jori juga paani||”
  6. Bheda bhakti may be described as seven types.
    • Bheda refers to a positive arrangement (su-vyavashtha) according to one's position. It means the way to live in a dignified manner ( maryada).
    • Every creature is a part of the Almighty, but the way one relates with God differs according to one's inclination/choice (‘sambandh bheda' is there but no ‘swaroop bheda').
    • The relation between a Sadaguru and a shishya is a perfect example of bheda bhakti as there always remains a respectable distance between the two in spite of being in harmony.
    • The subject of worship should be the form of trust (vishwaas) and the devotee should be the form of faith (shradhha).
    • The Lord is the origin and the jeev is its creation/part.
    • The God is space/sky and jeev is its earth.

All creation is a form of God but the devotee considers himself as just a servant of all creation. A devotee would not say that ‘I am God', he would rather say ‘I belong to God'.

Katha may be pronounced in words for masses, but actually the form of katha is ‘param maun' (silence). Katha is not about raising slogans or creating commotion in the name of dharma; in fact it is to create tranquility and peace inside. The sounds of dharma should not be disturbing; they should take an aspirant towards a meditative state. Dharma is not to intoxicate but to make a person aware. Katha removes the inner dirt and paints the inner being of the listener with the Lord's colour.

Nimbark Bhagwaan was an incarnation of sudarshan chakra. Sudarshan means an optimistic approach towards everything. It also indicates that Nimbark philosophy believes in dharma that is not stagnant but progressing. An aspirant who follows the sudarshan, remain unaffected by the false criticism of society, as he understands that neither the critic nor his words contain any value; both are worthless. He does not pay any attention to such criticism. A person with constructive mentality lives life to the fullest.

Knowledge need not be conversational/outspoken, but it should be smiling. A grave person may not be having true knowledge.

Every individual should take care of environment. If there is a compulsive situation where a tree has to be cut and there is no other option, then first sow seed of a tree wherever possible and the cut the required tree. The Nimbark sect's main symbol is the Neem tree. It gives an indication that the way Neem tree provides disease free environment and its components are also used in curing ailments, similarly, the sect aims to make the society free of mental maladies.

The Nimbark thought mentions of five main ‘Anushtthan' (religious undertakings/resolutions).

  1. Anugaman - An aspirant should follow the directives of the Sadaguru who leads him in the spiritual journey.
  2. Upaadaan - An aspirant should collect the best of material, according to one's capacity, for the service of the Lord.
  3. Ijyaa - An aspirant should perform the pooja of the Lord at five specific times in a day. But, it may not be possible for all. Therefore, serving the needy and helping to provide for poor is also Lord's service. Give time and freedom to your employees to enjoy with their families is also a form of pooja.
  4. Adhyayan - An aspirant should study the shastra of his choice regularly.
  5. Yoga - An aspirant should perform all his duties and then sit at peace and try to meditate.

Let us begin today's katha with a mantra from Maandukya Upanishad -

Esha sarveshwarah esha sarvagya eshont-anataraya-myeshesha yonih sarvasya prabhavapyayau hi bhootanaanam

This mantra indicates about Sarveshwar Bhagwaan, who is the subject of worship for Nimbarkis. The Lord sarveshvar is the one who is the God of every creature without any kind of discretion of caste, creed or community.

There was a question about the history of Bhagwaan Sarveshwar, who is in the form of a ‘Shaaligram'. In olden times, Brahma jee gave the Shaaligram jee to Sanakaadi for worshipping and they were later passed to Naarad jee from them. Naarad jee gave them to Niyamaanand jee (who established the Nimbark sect). Therefore, that Shaaligram jee (called as Bhagwaan Sarveshwar) is the main deity of Nimbarkis. If seen with some divine grace, one can even see that there are two miniature lines on it that denote Radha jee and Bhagwaan Krishna. Jagadguru of this sect carries the Shaaligram jee in the neck thread if he has to travel. But, it is not possible for everyone. Thus, it can be said that the Black ‘bindi' (dot) on forehead can be worn as its form. Jagadguru has to take care of Shaaligram jee, but the one who wears black bindi, he is taken care by the bindi from evil eyes!!

Question - We have to face criticism from people around us as they say that youth is not the time for spirituality. What to do?
Bapu's answer - One has to accept that criticism is bound to come in this field. It is an evidence of the fact that you have entered an auspicious sphere! If compared in society, only a small minority of people criticizes against the majority of people who rather appreciate it. An aspirant should not pay attention to such views.

Do not ask for anything from the Lord, as he knows your requirements. Asking from the Lord is an insult to his omnipresent nature.

Let us see how deeply the Nimbark thought and Shri Ram Charit Manas are connected. In Uttar kand, Sanakaadi rishis sing in the praise of the supreme power-‘ Sarb sarbgat sarb uraalaya | Basasi sadaa hum kahun pari-paalaya ||' (34). Here, the word ‘Sarb' has been used three times and it is a clear indication towards Bhagwaan Sarveshvar as he is the deity for Sanakaadi rishis and thus the whole Nimbark tradition. It can also be directly related to the mantra we discussed yesterday where qualities of Bhagwaan Sarveshvar were discussed-

Esha sarveshwarah = sarb (that is Bhagwaan Sarveshwar)

Esha sarvagya = sarbgat (the omnipresent)

Eshont-anataraya-myeshesha = sarb uraalaya (the one who resides in every heart).

In the same stuti there is another chaupai which indicates towards another persona of Nimbark sec i.e.- Hans Bhagwaan.-‘ Muni mana manas hans nirantar | Charan kamal bandit aja sankar ||'

Bapu says, “And in the conclusion of the stuti, the chaupai has the names of our family's elder generation and who have been following the Nimbark tradition. It is a matter of great joy for us- Taaran taran haran sab dooshan | Tulsidaas prabhu tribhuvan bhooshan ||.”

Guru purnima is that stage of a saint when his maternal feelings towards the society reach its ultimate nature.

Bapu says, “There are five sanskars (formal ceremonies) for Nimbarkis and I have my viewpoint for them. They are as follows.”

  • “Urdhva pund” (vertical tilak on forehead)- It is an inspiration that the intellect of an aspirant should go higher and higher and abstain from low thinking.
  • “Shankh-chakra chhaap” (impressions of conch-shell and chakra on arms)- A conch-shell has a sound but it can only be heard is someone hold it in the hand and puts on lips to blow the air in it. It is a pointer to the idea that an aspirant's speech and action should not be different; he should practice what he says. One should not rely just on destiny but do sincere efforts with own hands to make oneself successful.

Chakra shows that there should be a ‘sudarshan' constructive attitude towards every incident in life.

The impressions of the two symbols may not be permanent on arms but if seen in the above perspective, they may have life long impressions in an aspirant's heart.

  • “Naam-karan” (assigning a name)- Attaching words like ‘das' and ‘ sharan' with the name indicates that how much ever great you become, don't lose your humbleness.
  • “Kantthi-dhaaran” (wearing a rosary of tulsi beads)- Bapu says, ‘ I wear a rudraksh mala as a remembrance of Vishnu dada, but the meru of this mala is of tulsi.” When a Sadaguru controls the throat of his shishya is a true of Kantthi.
  • “Mantropadesh” (granting a mantra)- Following the sutras of instructions of a Sadaguru.

In the katha, one of the reasons of Ram-janma is the curse given to Jai-Vijay by Sanakaadi rishis at the doorstep of Vaikuntth. This incident signifies that the downfall of feelings of unnecessary competition (winning more and more) can lead to birth of true joy in life. And also the fact that even the curse of saints is always for betterment of an aspirant.

Question - There are sects for human beings, but the birds do not have any sect. So, how come Hans Bhagwaan (in the form of a bird) belongs to Nimbark tradition? Bapu's answer - A bird may not set up a fixed route of flying, but it definitely has a direction, which it follows according to seasonal changes. A sect is an assimilation of auspicious thoughts; it is not to make walls in society. But there is a risk of narrow-minded ness if it gets stuck in boundaries. It may lead to fanaticism if the followers create an extremist attitude towards their philosophy and do not accept anybody else's thought. Further on this line, there arises a need to grab power through the sect and thus leads to politics in religion. Spiritual journey is lost when politics come into minds of aspirants. Therefore, followers of any sect should be very careful and remain away from politics.

Everyone should donate 10% of his or her income towards charity. There have been incidents where even children take out 10% of their pocket money to help the needy. Elders should take inspiration from such kids!!

According to Gorakhnath, there are four steps for learning from any thought:
  1. Aarambh - In the initial stage, go bit deeper and look inside to check your nature. The term' conversion' of Jesus Christ, actually meant to go reverse into oneself for analyzing nature; it does not mean to use ways to convert people's religion to spread Christianity.
  2. Ghat - Respect your body and take care of it as a medium of spiritual journey. Neither pamper it nor torture it unnecessarily, just take care of it in a balanced way.
  3. Parcha - Look at the divine present in every creature.
  4. Nishkarsh - Find a conclusive knowledge from life and then share your experience with others.
Question - You say that the katha is trying to mainly address youth. Who is young and old in your view?
Bapu's answer - Young and old are not defined by age but with the attitude towards life. An old person is the one who thinks that satsang has not been successful in transforming people's mentality, so there is no hope for future also. But, the young are those who are optimistic that whatever has not happened in past will definitely happen in future. Katha would surely bring revolutionary mental transformation in people and take them further in spiritual journey. Pessimistic thoughts make an individual old and jarred in spite of being young in age.

Never try to ape any ideal personality blindly. Look into your nature and take inspiration from eminent people accordingly to develop your personality for betterment.

In the Nimbark tradition, there is a scripture called ‘Vedaant kamdhenu' and it mentions the ten main shlokas (das-shloki). We would discuss the first and the last mantra from this.

The first mantra discusses the actual form of Jeev. It says that every creature is a form of divine power, but only knowledge supports him to realize this fact. Tulsidas jee says in Shri Ram Charit Manas –“ Parabas jeev swabas bhagwanta | Jeev anek ek shri kanta ||”

The last mantra defines the one who should be worshipped i.e. Shri Radha-Krishna. But, it does not mean that Radha-Krishna are just two deities, they signify the Infinite divine power. Next, in the mantra, there is an indication towards the one who worships i.e. the Jeev. It further says that the grace of the Lord comes in the form of bhakti and it bears the fruit of salvation. In conclusion, it says that an aspirant should be aware of risky elements that create harm to faith. People with harmful tendencies oppose the aspirant's way of life do not gain much; they just waste their energy.

Every aspirant of path of devotion should ask himself/herself the following six questions about bhakti:

  1. kya (what) – Bhakti is nothing but pure form of love towards creation i.e. Prem. There may be a consequent question from this that what is pure love?..Prem has three main features
    • Care - one would take minutest care of the beloved.
    • Sacrifice - unconditional sacrifice would come automatically if your love is pure.
    • Respect - there would be a regardful feeling always.
  2. Love destroys the dryness in a person, makes a person softhearted. Nobody seems bad as every creature is seen as a form of God only.
  3. Kyon (why)- Bhakti helps in experiencing the essence (rasa) of the supreme power.
  4. Kab (when) - There is no particular time for devotion. Anytime and all the
  5. time, keep the Lord engaged with you.
  6. Kaise (how) - An aspirant's devotion should be free feelings and affection.
  7. Kahaan (where) - There are no boundaries for the Lord, so no specific place is required for bhakti. The holy places have helpful spiritual vibrations. One can do bhakti wherever he/she is.
  8. Kaun kare (who) - Everybody is entitled for bhakti, there are no bars of age, sex, caste or community.

To make ‘bheda-abheda' thought easier to understand, take the example of human body where there are two eyes at a certain distance from each other, the distance is the bheda. But, the view of both the eyes, in spite of being away from each other, is one; that oneness is abheda.

Sidhhi can make a robust person, small in physical form. But shudhhi can make even a small person, great in nature.

Don't ask for forgiveness from God, but from the person whose wrong you've done. After expressing your apology to that person, then go and tell the Lord that you did so.

Question - Is there any indication of seven facets of Bhakti in Shri Ram Charit Manas?
Bapu's answer - Yes, there's a clear indication in Uttar kand about the seven facets of devotion- “ Ehi mahan ruchir sapta sopaana | Raghupati bhagati ker panthaana ||'

Vinay patrika is full of bhakti's various aspects. Bapu says, “I would say that the aspirants on the path of devotion should also study Vinay patrika along with Shri Ram Charit Manas”.

Shandilya Rishi says in his bhakti sutra that shradhha is not same as bhakti. Belief is the initial stage but devotion is the ultimate stage.

In our scriptures, there are seven main aspects of bhakti.

  1. Dainya - Humbleness is the core of bhakti. Every aspirant should be always aware of his insignificance (laghuta) and the Lord's greatness (prabhuta).
  2. Maan marshitvam - freedom from ego. Even the pride of japa, tapa,sadhana,humbleness should be checked and stopped immediately. If you have attended many kathas, do not try to make them your eligibility for special favours. You should become more gentle and humble instead.
  3. Bhayasya darshanam - Warn your mind that there is no joy without lord's devotion.
  4. Bhartsna - Train your mind with satsang to face any situation.
  5. Ashwaasanam - Console your mind that many people have attained bliss with satsang.
  6. Manoraajyam - Try to think positively and aim to be free from faults. Keep your mind free from depressing thoughts.
  7. Vichaarana - -Think about the various aspects of spirituality. In the ultimate stage, devotion gets blessed with knowledge and knowledge gets in the mould of devotion.

According to a scholar, Hanuman jee explained the five scientific features of Ram naam to Tulsidas jee.

  1. Taarak - Ram naam takes an aspirant ashore the enormous ocean of rebirth.
  2. Dandak - It becomes a support for the aspirant and helps one to tackle the faults like anger, greed and desire.
  3. Kundal - It is an ornament for ears as the sense of hearing is only successful if you hear Ram naam and satsang.
  4. Ardh-chandraakaar
  5. Bindu

Let us offer the fruit of virtue of this katha in the feet of Lord ‘Radha-Madhav', whose alliance was celebrated yesterday on tulsi vivah.

Katha 626 - Manas Mahatma (Part 2), Ahmedabad24th September - 2nd October 2005
Ayodhya Kaand - Doha 95 and Uttarkaand - Doha 121
Dharamu na doosar satya samaana | Aagam nigam puraan bakhaana ||
Param dharm shruti bidit ahinsa | Par ninda sama agha na gareesa ||
 
There is no virtue equal to truthfulness, so declare the Agamas, Vedas and Purans.
A vow of non-violence is the highest religious merit know to the vedas and there is no sin as heinous (horrible, evil, hateful) as speaking ill of others

Today we are beginning Ram katha in this Gandhi teertha; it is a place charged with the saint's vibrations. Gandhi jee went from here to Dandi, but Ram katha has come here after going to Dandi first. I invite people from all walks of life, without any kind of discrimination of caste, creed or class, to come to this ashram's Ram katha. This katha is to make the people, especially the youth, aware of Gandhi jee's thought and ideology. He walked through his life with the two feet of Truth and Non-violence. He said that His God was his truth and to attain it in the ultimate form, the only medium was the practice of non-violence.

The seven Kand of Shri Ram Charit Manas denote the characteristics of a mahatma (a saintly person).

  • Bal kand - ‘Nikhaalasta' i.e. innocence/virtuousness.
  • Ayodhya kand - ‘Samyak sanyam' that signifies appropriate control over action, mind and speech.
  • Aranya kand - ‘Tapasya' refers to penance.
  • Kishkindha kand - ‘Maitri' i.e. friendship or inter-personal solidarity.
  • Sunder kand - ‘Mukta karna' means providing freedom.
  • Lanka kand - ‘Virodh ho par shatruta nahin'; there is an opposition but without the feeling of enmity.
  • Uttar kand - ‘Nirvaan' or salvation.

If we see the personality of Gandhi jee, all the above traits are seen in him. We would discuss them in detail in coming days.

Vinoba jee used to say that the people might be classified in four types .

  • Lowest - who only see the faults of others.
  • Middle - who analyze the faults as well as qualities of others.
  • Higher - who only see the positive traits of others.
  • Highest - who catch the positive qualities of people around and spread them further.

The same classification can be used to describe the speakers and listeners of katha.

Bapu says, “ I've been saying that the world has tried to use wars and fights to solve disputes. But it is seen that these methods were not so successful. Therefore, it is time to experiment the ways of love and integration to lead a peaceful life.”

Bapu is glad that the chief minister of Gujarat and the Editor (the yajaman of this katha) of Gujarat samachar, a newspaper of the state, are together on this stage. Bapu expresses his happiness and says that his katha works as a setubandh to join various people of distinct fields.

Bapu also clarifies that it is not his birthday today, but still accepts the good wishes of people gracefully.

Discussing the qualities of Gandhi jee, Bapu says that he (Gandhi Jee) was a person who did not have any place of hypocrisy in his life. Gandhi jee's personality was transparent and thus his speech, in spite of not being very illustrious, had intense impact on the people. He never bore any double standards (duraav) or hatred (dwesh) towards anything; such was his purity of heart (nikhaalasta).

He did not hide the fact that he borrowed certain concepts of his life from ideologies of various people. For example, he took the famous prayer-‘raghupati raghav raja ram..' from Guru Gobind singh's verses. The concept of ashram was taken from Ruskin.

Gandhi jee practiced necessary control (samyak sanyam) over materialism. In an instance, when he realized that people of his country did not enough clothes to cover their bodies, he decided on the spot that he would only wear an under cloth himself.

Gandhi jee stuck to truth and that was his major penance (tapasya) all his life.

The love for humanity signifies the maitri (friendship with all) feature of this mahatma.

Gandhi jee led India towards freedom from British rule, his faith in mukti is evident. He did not consider them as enemies but he was assertive in his opposition. And it is well known that he finally attained the ultimate goal, salvation, spiritually.

Question - have you practiced the philosophy of Gandhi jee, like abolition of untouchability?
Bapu's answer - yes, I've tried to do it in my own way. I've done two kathas in a village of harijans where I stayed in the house built by them, ate what they cooked.

Question - Do you eat at a muslim's place?
Bapu's answer - yes, I've eaten. When I go out for bhiksha sometimes, I never ask the religion of a person from where I get the food.

Tulsidas jee's nationalism is evident in Shri Ram Charit Manas. As he first salutes the state, Ayodhya, then the rivers etc. which are the natural treasures of the place, then the citizens and then finally the ruler.

Bandaun avadh puri ati paavani | Saraju sari kali kalush nasaavani || Pranavaun pur nar naari bahori | Mamata jinha par prabhuhi na thori ||

A true nationalist is the one who is ready to forgo his personal interests for the best of nation at any time/ any place.

According to a Sanskrit literate, the word ‘Sant' (saint) refers to ‘Shudhh astitva' or pure existence. Thus, a saint is free of any malign altercation with anyone.

In India , some of the great personalities have been described as the following:

  • Bhagwaan Ram - Satya-avataar
  • Bhagwaan Krishna- Poorna-avataar
  • Chaitanya Mahaprabhu- Prem-avataar
  • Budhha- Karuna-avataar
  • Mahaveer- Tyaag-avataar
  • Mohammed Paigamber- Bandhutva-avataar
  • Jesus Christ- Prem-avataar
  • Sardar Patel- Ekta-avataar
  • Vinoba jee- Pragya-avataar

In the similar way, Gandhi jee can be ideally described as “Ahinsa-avataar”. Non-violence was the inherent fundamental in all the decisions of his life.

Gandhi jee followed 11 resolutions (vrat) in his life. We can say that the eleven can be seen in Shri Ram Charit Manas through different characters. Let us see how:

  • Satya (truth) - As stated earlier, Bhagwaan Ram was personified truth. The main chaupai of this katha –‘ Dharamu na doosar satya samaana | Aagam nigam puraan bakhaana ||' is Bhagwaan Ram's statement for Sumantra jee. He abandoned the throne and every kind of comfort to keep the words of his father.

    Gandhi jee's truthfulness is well known to world. He was not ready to sacrifice truth at any cost.
  • Ahinsa (non-violence) – Ma Kausalya is the perfect example of non-violence, as she did not hurt anyone even with her words. In the state of distress also, at the time of Bhagwaan Ram's vanvaas, she did not utter harsh words. She only said-‘ Jaun pitu maatu kaheu bana jaana | Tau kaanan sata avadh samaana ||'.

    Gandhi jee could not bear any kind of violence. At the hour of independence, when the country was celebrating, he was busy serving the injured who were hurt in communal riots.
  • Asteya (not to steal)- In Ayodhya Kand, it is seen that the kole- kiraat (tribals) abstained from stealing when Bhagwaan Ram started staying in Chitrakoot. They say-‘ Yaha hamaari ati badi sevakaai | Lehin na baasan basan choraai ||'.
  • Aparigrah (non-accumulation of material goods)- Bharat jee lived an ascetic life, in spite of being the in charge of the state of Ayodhya ( Ramaa bilaasu ram anuraagi | Tajat baman jimi jana bada-bhaagi) . Necessary goods for survival are reasonable, but the one who accumulates beyond measure shows his faithless-ness in the Almighty. Bapu says, “In my experience, the more detached you become from inside, the more Lord gives.”
  • Brahmcharya (celibacy)- Lakshman jee's conduct is apt to describe the ideal control over senses. Gandhi jee also experimented with various ways to follow brahmcharya.
  • Swaashraya (self-dependence)- In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Ma Jaanaki did all the daily chores herself, even after being back from vanvaas.

    Gandhi jee believed in doing all the chores himself, to extent of cleaning the toilets of the ashram.
  • No untouchability- Bhagwaan Ram reached out to the neglected. He touched Ahalya jee with his feet and ate the fruits offered by Shabari jee.

    Gandhi jee wanted all mankind to be one without any differentiation of caste or creed.
  • Abhaya (fearlessness)- It is not possible to be free of fear unless one is truthful. Bhagwaan Ram befriends Sugreev and makes him fearless.

    Gandhi jee never feared anyone and was able to send away the British with his sheer faith in truth and non-violence.
  • Swadeshi (use of own country's resources)- Kole-kiraat welcomed Bhagwaan Ram with whatever they had in forests.

    Gandhi jee always encouraged the people to use only country made goods, so that it could generate employment to people.
  • Swaad-tyaag (not getting addicted to a particular taste)- One should remain ‘sahaj' in daily life without being rigid about petty things.
  • Equal respect for every religion- All religions cannot be equal as each has its own time and place of origin. But, an individual should have due respect for every dharma. Bharat jee led such a life that one could see the amalgamation of all the religions in him- ‘ Jaun na hote jaga janam bharat ko | Sakal dharam dhur dharani dharat ko ||'.
  • Anybody who comes to satsang should do their inner self-analysis whether the faults/weaknesses are reducing or not. If you don't pay attention to this, then you are wasting your time is satsang. An aspirant should be extremely careful of the faults as they burn up the saadhana.
Bapu recalls, “I was 9-10 yrs old, learning Shri Ram Charit Manas from my Dadajee. Once, he asked me that with which shloka will you start your katha? I said that I liked the shlokas of Ram raksha stotra (Lokabhiramam…). Then he asked that why not with any shloka of Shri Ram Charit Manas? I answered that this shloka appealed to my heart because in this shloka, Bhagwaan Ram does not carry any weapons.”

Once, a journalist asked Gandhi jee if he was really a mahatma. Gandhi jee replied that he never considered himself as a mahatma. The people have given the title “mahatma”. He said that I am one amongst the common people, but when you see that special arrangements are being made for me, they are actually done for the title ‘mahatma'! Gandhi jee was so unassuming in spite of being a great personality. Around 40,000 books have been published about him all over the world.

Bapu says, “I believe in traditions; but the traditions should not be made rigid. They should be flowing (pravaahi parampara) with the changing times, so that any individual is able to follow them in accordance with the prevalent scenario.”

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Aranya Kand professes the concept of ‘tapasya' i.e. penance. This kand discusses the characters of Sage Attri, Ma Ansuya, sages like Sharbhang and Suteekshna and Ma Shabari. It also shows the Tapa of Bhagwaan Ram in his separation of Ma Jaanaki and also the tapa of Lakshman jee who has to see Bhagwaan Ram in grief. The patience and faith of Shabari jee is one of the highlighting features of this kand. To wait for someone with unbending perseverance is a big tapa.

Tapasya is a characteristic of a mahatma. It can be seen on three levels- physical, mental and in speech.

Physical penance may be in the form of taxing the body to achieve a particular goal. But, an individual should be careful that he should not lose inner happiness in the process of physical tapa. Penance should lead to inner joy and not to mental frustration. Bhagwaan Krishna says in Bhagwad Gita that an aspirant should have a balanced lifestyle.

Mental penance is to accept every situation, whether favourable or unfavourable, as a blessing of the Lord with a positive attitude. Be ready to face the pain after experiencing pleasure; it is a cycle that goes on and on. Don't remember the person who abuses you, but remember the omnipresent Almighty who is present in him also.

Penance in speech refers to abstaining from speaking harsh words. Abandon the mentality to take revenge by words also.

Gandhi jee's physical tapa i.e. fastings etc. were not for some other means but for cleansing of the soul (aatma-shudhhi). It came from his nature and it was not done as a fad at that time. His ahinsa (non-violence) was also not orthodox. It also means ‘anivaarya-hinsa', which means that there was no other option but to put an end to something for betterment. Like, once in the ashram, a baby goat was suffering from severe physical pain and the injury was beyond cure. Gandhi jee decided to exterminate the incurable suffering by bringing an end to its life. Thus, he was practical in his approach.

Gandhi jee mental penance is seen in the fact that there was never an ill will in his mind towards anybody.

Gandhi jee's words were spoken in the shadow of ‘Ram naam'. He also practiced ‘maun' many times.

Bapu says, “Where there is Vishwaas (faith), there is Vishwanath (Almighty).”

Tulsidas jee says that if a person listens to Manas katha, he experiences peace. But the one who implements the sutras of this katha achieves peace permanently.

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, the one of the highlighting features of Kishkindha kand is the building of friendship (maitri) between Bhagwaan Ram and Sugreev. Bhagwaan Ram discusses the essentials of an ideal relationship of friends.

“Maitri” is a characteristic of a mahatma with which he bonds with everyone. It is mainly based on three aspects:

“Vivek-Budhhi” - friendship should be based on intellectual understanding with each other, only then it can be ever-lasting. In case of any discussion with a friend, the reasoning (tark) also should be in the shadow of understanding/wisdom. Bhagwaan Ram says that there are certain ways to be an ideal friend-

“Jey na mitra dukh hohi dukhaari | Tinhahi bilokat paatak bhaari ||
Nij dukh giri sama raj kari jaana | Mitrak dukh raj meru samaana ||
Det let mana sunk na dharayi | Bal anumaan sadaa hit karayi ||
Bipati kaal kar satagun neha | Shruti kaha sant mitra guna eha ||”

A true friend is the one who takes care of his friend hundred times more in the times of crisis. He takes the friend's troubles more seriously than his own and never doubts in any kind of transactions with him.

Gandhi jee's understanding and sheer wisdom was well acknowledged. The witness of this quality was Mahadev bhai Desai, who worked with him for many years.

“Vivek-Vinod” - There is healthy humour in mahatma's life: humour that does not lose the sanity (saatvikta).

Many incidents of Gandhi jee's life depict his good sense of humour.

“Vivek-Vairaagya” - Abandoning (tyaag) anything without understanding can lead to false pride/arrogance. The inner feeling of detachment (vritti) is more important than the thing abandoned (vastu). Bapu says, “ I feel that discarding with the hand is tyaag. But detaching anything from the heart is vairaagya.”

Gandhi jee's lifestyle was extremely simple. People now worship the minimal things that he used in daily chores.

It is not always that satsang has to be done in a religious discourse. Satsang can happen anywhere, in silence, in the lap of nature, provided the aspirant is receptive to divine vibrations.

Every individual can do charity according to one's own capability. It may not be in the noticeable form, but may be significant in its own way. For example, if you cannot build a school, then you can sponsor one needy child's education.

This katha's outcome should be that at least the generation of today does not ignore Gandhi jee's thoughts as out-dated and gets aware about the importance of this great saint's thoughts in the present world. Gandhi jee should be seen from all angles, as there are many unique facets of this mahatma. His life had the fusion of karma yoga, gyaan yoga and bhakti yoga.

Every Indian should first know his mother tongue. Then the national language, Hindi. Then should try and learn some stotras of our heritage language, Sanskrit and then know English.

“Ali Maula…Ali Maula…” -Bapu says, “ Many people come and say that you do a kirtan of Muslims in Ramkatha, but they never take Hari-naam. I tell them that it is their will to take Hari-naam or not, but I can't stop myself from integrating all…mera paigaam mohabbat jahaan tak pahunche.”

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, the daughter of the mother earth i.e. Ma jaanaki was abducted by Raavan and kept under the control of demons. A saint like Hanuman jee could make a plan to release her from there. In the times of Gandhi jee, the situation was somewhat similar. The earth was in the control of some exploitative powers and a mahatma (Gandhi jee) came to its rescue. He led the country towards freedom from British oppression.

Question - Writing an autobiography is a western concept. Why is it that Gandhi jee and some other national leaders have followed this concept?
Bapu's answer - Gandhi jee did not write the book as his autobiography. He has said that he has only shared his various experiments with truth during his lifespan. There are many important incidents of his life that are not included in this book. Narayan Bhai Desai's work on Gandhi jee in four volumes discuss these unmentioned but significant incidents of Gandhi jee's life.

Every individual should take some time out and spend with nature. Try to listen to the sounds of birds, rivers and trees. It can bring about positive changes in a person's nature. If a person sleeps under the sky continuously for some time, he can become large-hearted. One should share his resources (saadhan) with others to purify them. Gandhi jee called this open-minded behaviour as saadhan-shudhhi.

Bapu says, “Every single person should take steps to bring about unity in different communities. Even the smallest effort may do wonders. Gandhi jee's soul would be very pleased with our efforts for integration. The media should play a responsible role in this and should work constructively to bring about harmony amongst people. In Hindu-Muslim meetings, where there are discussions of solidarity, I always appeal to Maulanas to propagate the same message of peace and brother-hood in their own groups also.” Bapu invited Osman Mir (Ghazal singer) to sing something as homage to Gandhi jee.

Tulsidas jee described a ‘Dharma-Rath' (a chariot of dharma) in Lanka Kand. Gandhi jee also had a similar Dharma-rath, with which he successfully led the freedom movement. Following are the various parts of Gandhi jee's chariot:

The two wheels of Dharma-rath are bravery and patience ( Sauraj dheeraj tehi rath chaaka) . Gandhi jee's physical form was frail but his spirit was too brave.

The flags of this Dharma-rath are truth and mannerly behaviour ( Satya seel driddh dhwaja pataaka). Gandhi jee held on one truth but there were various incidents where his perfect manners were seen.

Strength, understanding, control over senses and welfare of others are the horses of this Dharma-rath and these horses are to be controlled by forgiveness, grace and equality. ( Bal bibek dama par-hit ghorey | Chhama kripa samata raju jorey). Gandhi jee had the power of prayer in him. His understanding of shastras of various religions gave him a sound thought. His compassion for all was eminent as he forgave everyone who hurt him. His sense of equality was evident, as he made sure that his family followed the rules of the ashram in the same manner as others.

The charioteer is most important for any rath. The Lord's bhajan drives us to victory ( Ees bhajanu saarathi sujaana | Birati charm santoshe kripaana). Gandhi jee's faith on bhajan was immense and his respect for all religions is well known.

The weapons of this Dharma-rath are charity, sharp intellect and scientific innovations ( Daan parasu budhhi sakti prachanda | Bara bigyaan katthin kodanda). Charity never goes waste; the results may take time to come. Gandhi jee left his well-paid barrister-ship and laid his life for the freedom struggle. His belief was that science should only be used for constructive purposes and not for destruction.

Tulsidas jee says that the steady and pure mind works as a vase for various resolutions ( Amal achal mana trone samaana | Sama jama niyam seelimukh naana). Gandhi jee's resolutions were successful as his mind was free of any malignity towards anybody.

The blessings of recognized souls save an aspirant from defeat in any field ( Kavach abheid bipra gur pooja | Ehi sama bijay upaay na dooja). Gandhi jee paid due respect to anyone who followed the path of truth. He took inspiration from many Masters and Philosophers.

There are three levels of relationship between a learner (disciple) and the trainer (Teacher):

  1. The relationship between a teacher and a student (shikshak-vidyaarthi) is limited to books and words and it is mainly for academic purposes.
  2. The relationship between a master and disciple (guru-shishya) is based on heart. For a shishya, the giver of knowledge is more impotant than knowledge itself.
  3. When shishya grows into a devotee (bhakta), the guru moves aside and opens the doors (guru-dwaar) of the Almighty for him.

Like an atom bomb bursts with flow of energy. The saints of this country flow their spiritual energy at significant places to revitalize the sanity of teerthas. Jain tirthankars went to Parshvanath mountain for this reason. Ma Ganga remains pure as since lakhs of years saints have doing their saadhana on its banks. Similarly, Gandhi jee's ashram also gets recharged with such satsang-yagnas. This katha was decided by the supreme existence (astitva); we all just became medium in this katha.

In Sunder Kand, Hanuman jee took a mission to search Ma Jaanaki so that she could be freed from Raavan's control. He took some monkeys and bears till the shore of sea and then took a big leap towards Lanka. Hanuman jee took a mudrika (ring of Bhagwaan Ram) in which Ram-naam was embossed.

On similar lines, Gandhi jee took up a mission to free the nation from foreign rule. He travelled across the country to find and bring together the people who could contribute in this freedom struggle. He also stuck to power of Ram-naam with dedication.

According to Vinoba jee, Gandhi jee's mission was equipped with three factors:

Vedaanta - It usually refers to the essence of Vedas. But Vinoba jee said that it could also mean that the controversial and unnecessary matters in any scripture of any religion (not just in Hindu dharma) should be eliminated, as they may be harmful to the cordiality in the society. Such issues should be saluted and buried forever with due respect.

Vigyaan - Science is an essential power that should be used wisely for the betterment of mankind. Gandhi jee emphasized a lot on the view that resources should only be used for constructive purposes. Science should not become callous and lose all sensitivity. It should lead to development (vikaas), but not as the cost of peace (vishraam).

Vishwaas - The merger of vedanta and vigyaan should result in building faith in conviction. The breath of a person (shwaas) only lasts till he is alive, but the faith of a person (vishwaas) lives forever. Narsinha mehta, Vallabhacharya jee and Gandhi jee etc. are remembered for their unbending faith.

Never do a ‘sat-karma' or a holy deed for showing off to others. Do it in a way that nobody gets to know that you have done it. Do it for enhancing your faith (nishttha) and not for prestige (pratishttha).

In the times of crisis, an aspirant should do the best of his efforts to come out of the situation. The next step is to pray to the Lord with true feelings. And the final step is to wait patiently for the grace of Almighty. Aspirants usually follow the first two steps but then lose courage to wait for divine grace.

Every person should take a resolution to give something to someone in a day. It may not be in the form of money or any thing; you can make person smile, share a good thought or give a sound advice to the needy. Charity can done in any form.

Lanka Kand shows that there may be differences between Bhagwaan Ram and Raavan, but there's no hatred. There is distance between them but no enmity.

Gandhi jee also experienced a difference of opinion with many contemporary British as well as Indian leaders, but he never bore any malign feelings for anybody. In face-to-face interactions with Gandhi jee, others used to end up saluting his ideology. The frail feet of Gandhi jee had such a thoughtful influence that many heavy heads with prejudices used to bow down to him after meeting him.

Bhagwaan Shankar keeps trishool for curing the shool (troubles) of devotees. Bhagwaan Ram also keeps bow and arrow but uses them only when there is no other option. Bhagwaan Krishna used the Sudarshan chakra when required. In the following times, many great characters of our tradition used their own weapons for the betterment of society.

But, Gandhi jee never kept any weapon with him, still was successful in his freedom struggle. His ‘Laatthi' (stick) was not for attacking anyone (prahaar), but for his own physical support (aadhaar). In other context, he consoled the earth by his laatthi that he will go with his principles of truth and non-violence until the country is freed from foreign rule.

Question - In spite of having a master like Shrimad Raj chandra, why did Gandhi jee incline towards Christianity at one time. Was that his weak moment?
Bapu's answer - Gandhi jee took inspiration from positive points of every thought. It is a characteristic of a saint to derive the best out of anything.

Don't trust the person who does not look beautiful even while smiling, as he may be very cunning or purely artificial. And bow down to the person who looks good even while crying as, he may be a genuine and pure at heart. Bapu says, “smile and tears are boons to a human being.”

Applying chandan (sandalwood paste) on the nail of foot and forehead is not just a ritual. It is a constant reminder to remain and free of aggression.

Today is a great day for us, let us bow down to the humble birthplace e of Mahatma Gandhi, Dandi and Rajghat along with various ashramas, from where he carried on his freedom mission. It is not just the birthday of Gandhi Bapu, but the birthday of our country as well; wherever there is a light of freedom and equality, Gandhi is born.

In the world, some people are ‘chaal mast' i.e. their character is flawless and pure. Some are ‘haal mast' meaning they remain composed in unfavourable and favourable circumstances. Whereas, some are ‘maal mast' i.e. they are equipped with moral values. But the one who has a amalgamation of all the above three are ‘kamaal mast'. Gandhi jee was one such person who had the shaastra (scripture) of truth with him and he fought for freedom with his unique shastra (weapon) of non-violence.

Rabindranath Tagore had once said that Gandhi jee may be called as Mohandas Gandhi, but his appropriate name is ‘mahatma' due to the saintly qualities. Mahatma is not his title, but his name. His poem from Gitanjali- ‘where the words come out from the depth of truth..,, where knowledge is without fear, world is not broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls', ideally describe the works of Gandhi jee.

The qualities of various characters of Shri Ram Charit Manas are all seen in Gandhi jee in some form or the other. They are mentioned as follows.

  • Dasarath jee's Vachan paalanata (keeping the word)- Gandhi jee promised the nation independence and fulfilled it.
  • Bhagwaan Ram's satya (truth) was absorbed by Gandhi jee with absolute dedication.
  • Ma Jaanaki jee's sahan-sheelata (tolerance) and dhairya (patience) were seen in Gandhi jee at many places.
  • Lakshaman jee's jaagaran (awareness) was followed by Gandhi jee as there was no place for whimsical dreams in his thought/philosophy. He was extremely practical.
  • Bharat jee's satta-tyaag (dispassion for throne) is evident in Gandhi jee when he refused to hold any political post after independence.
  • Shatrughna jee's maun (silence) was seen in Gandhi jee as he kept maun once a week. Maun of a person can reduce enmity in the opponents' mind. The lesser you speak, the safer you are from controversies.
  • Bhagwaan Ram went to forest and met the most neglected. He went to Ma Shabari's ashram, who had been waiting for him. Gandhi jee also reached out till the last man and did many efforts to bring them out of poverty.
  • Jataayu's bravery was in fighting with Raavan for saving Sita jee. Gandhi jee did best of his efforts to save our country from domination of British.
  • Like Hanuman jee went for a mission to find out Sita jee, Gandhi jee went across the length and breadth of the nation to find people with patriotic sentiments, who were ready to contribute in his mission for freedom.
  • Bhagwaan Ram sent Angad as a envoy to Lanka so as to avoid conflict with Raavan. Similarly, Gandhi jee went to England in the second round-table conference to save the division of the country and preserve unity.
  • The bridge was build by Nal and Neel and the stones that were used for it bore Ram-naam. Gandhi jee tried hard to build integration amongst various castes, classes and communities and his strength was Ram-naam.

The thought of giving and sacrificing always brings you closer to Shaastra (holy scriptures). Whereas, the thought of breaking or killing can only result in shastra (weapons/conflicts). An individual should do sincere efforts to refrain from negative thoughts.

Many things were said in this katha, but please hold on to the thoughts that struck your heart. Try to implement them in your life with faith. A thought can do wonders only if it is supported by strong faith.

Bapu says, “This katha was to pay homage to Gandhi jee and I did his shraadhh with my words.”

Vaishnav jana to tene kahiye je peer paraai jaane re…

Raghupati raghav raja ram, patit paavan sitaram…

“Jai SiyaRam”

Katha 625 - Manas Mahaveer, Nairobi23rd - 31st July 2005
Baal Kaand - Doha 17
Mahabeer binavaun Hanumaana | Ram jaasu jasu aap bakhaana ||
Pranvanun pavan-kumaar khal bana paavak gyaan ghan | Jaasu hridaya aagaar basahin ram sar chaap dhar ||
 
I bow to Hanumaan Jee, The great hero, whose glory has been extrolled by Bhagwaan Ram himself.
I greet Hanumaan, the son of the wind-god, an embodiment of wisdom, who is fire as it were for the forest of the wicked, and in the abode of whose heart resides Bhagwaan Ram, equipped with a bow and arrows.

Jai SiyaRam and Pranaam to all.. There is a special bend towards the worship of Hanumaan jee in this part of the world. So, we'll discuss about Hanumaan jee and other ‘mahaveer' of Manas in this katha.

Tulsidas jee has expressed his humbleness in the feet of Hanumaan jee and asked for the permission to offer reverence; but he has not demanded anything from him. This is a true form of devotion. and true devotee never demands anything from his Lord and the Lord never leaves his any wish unfulfilled. Only a person who is free of demands can experience and understand Hanuman jee's grace in actual form. Hanumaan jee is not just close to Bhagwaan Ram, but also remains around those who try to live on the sutras of Bhagwaan Ram.

Question - How to avoid struggle/frictional situations (sangharsh) in life?
Bapu's answer - One can avoid struggle if he/she tries to give satisfaction to others' expectations according to own capability. One should use personal ability in the best way to satisfy others around him.

Just two days back, we all celebrated Guru purnima. It is also called as ‘Vyas Pooja' - ‘Vyas' signifies enormous and ‘pooja' means worship. Thus, when a person feels that everything, everywhere is sacred and a form of Lord, then everyday is a guru purnima for him.

A question comes to mind that who is a Sadaguru? The answer can be explained in discussing the following five characteristics of a Sadaguru.

  1. Dhaaran kare - A Sadaguru bears his every shishya with care. Just like a child sits on the shoulder of his father and father takes his care personally; and Sadaguru looks after every shishya with care.
  2. Indriyon ka chaaran kare - A Sadaguru guides our senses towards their ideal use. He provides right vision to the eyes, right words for the ears, right thoughts to the mind, right speech for the tongue, etc. He completely changes the attitude of a person towards life.
  3. Vikaaron ka maaran kare - A Sadaguru destroys all the negativities of a shishya.
  4. Kaaran bane - A Sadaguru becomes the purpose of life. For a guru-devoted shishya, he is the base of his existence.
  5. Taaran kare - A Sadaguru takes a shishya across the ocean of materialism/worldliness (bhav-saagar).

Knowledge may seem difficult for everyone to understand in spite of its greatness. But, for a common man, living with truth, love and compassion and also being able to help others is a form of knowledge.

Fear has no place in spirituality. Any kind of fear (even due to any religious practice) is not permitted in this sphere.

The word ‘mahaveer' denotes several features of a person who is entitled for this term. It points to the one who has a lot of strength, the one who is extremely humble, the one who is able to destroy the harmful elements around etc..

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, Tulsidas jee indicates the characteristics of ‘mahaveer' in the sorttha -“ Pranvaun pavan kumaar khal bana paavak gyaan ghan | Jaasu hridaya aagaar basahin ram sar chaap dhar||” .

Mahaveer is the one who is able in destroying the ‘khal' (evil) elements outside as well as within oneself. Let us first understand the nature of a ‘khal' person according to the opinions of various saints.

  • The one who keeps on eating and fighting with others.
  • he one who is deceitful with his provider also.
  • The one who keeps thinking without any action and keeps uttering non-sense.
  • The one who asks about the wellness of others but does not help anyone.
  • The one who lies blatantly without being capable and claims to ape Bhagwaan Krishna.

A wise person should not waste his time and energy in destroying the above mentioned ‘khal', but just be a witness to the fact that he gets destroyed by his own negativity.

Mahaveer is the one who is able to eradicate the faults of within. And this becomes possible mainly with the grace of the Lord. The efforts of an aspirant help 20% and the grace of God contributes 80% in destroying the faults of within. Grace is like an escalator which takes one to his destination without much efforts. But , when a person starts walking the steps of the escalator (the efforts of the aspirant), he is sure to reach more quickly.

The lord's grace can only be felt and cannot be proved in the literal way. Even if a person tries to explain the grace in words, the listener would not be able to understand it in the actual sense as grace is only profound for the one who experiences it. There are four ways to feel the grace of God.

  • Shravan - Listen to katha of Lord's grace without any prejudices.
  • Samarpan - Try to give and sacrifice for others.
  • Shradhha - After experiencing the pleasure of giving, put faith in this path.
  • Saboori - Keep patience and wait for the grace of God as it works on His will and not ours!

The main reason behind why a person is not able to experience grace is hypocrisy (dambh) is like an overcoat that prevents grace from touching you.

Desire (kaam) is required for the continuation of life in the world. Anger (kroadh) should be used sometimes to maintain discipline in the surroundings and Greed (lobhe) is alright if it is used to make provisions for your family/dependents. But censure (ninda), jealousy (irshya) and ego (ahankaar) are absolutely useless. One should sincerely try to remove them for a better life.

Question - Which is the best character/incident of Shri Ram Charit Manas according to you ?
Bapu's answer - Every character and incident is like a distinct flower in the garden of shri Ram Charit Manas. But for me the greatest element in Manas is Ram naam. Nothing is as precious as the holy name of God.

Bapu began today's katha by saying, “my aim is to address the youth. I bow down to the elders, but I want the youngsters to come in katha, whenever convenient.”

Tulsidas jee depicts the inner faults of an individual through the characters of Shri Ram Charit Manas. Raavan represents ‘moha' (delusion), Indrajeet represents kaam (desire) and Kumbhakaran represents ahankaar (ego). Until these three are removed from inside, an aspirant cannot feel the presence of Bhagwaan Ram in himself.

An unaware/foolish (mooddh or agyaani) person is unable find peace within; he can be recognized by following features:

  1. Creates bitterness in the family - to experience real happiness, one should try to maintain cordiality in the family at any cost.
  2. Has pretense (kapat) in the heart - a person who deceitfully lures others for personal gains, who uses others' name for raising self-prestige, who exploits the weak points of others' etc. can never feel the presence of the omnipresent God in himself.
  3. Remains in bad company - one should be extremely careful about the company he keeps as it may influence his whole personality.
  4. According to Chanakya - an aspirant should keep relations like the following.
    • Truth as the mother - Who ever is truthful should be loved and regarded by you, just like you take care of your mother.
    • Knowledge as the father - Any knowledgeable person or an artist should be respected like a father.
    • Dharma as the brother - A person who performs his duties sincerely should be considered a brother.
    • Mercy as a friend - A merciful and compassionate person should be befriended.
    • Serenity as the wife – A homemaker needs to be peace loving by nature, only then can be build a happy family.
    • Forgiveness as a child - One should take care of the person who is forgiving.

Thoughtfulness is a symbol of a human being; thoughtless-ness can be equated to an animal. Thought is the raw material of the conduct of any person. Thought is so powerful that it can work as medicine as well as poison for a person's health. It should be complemented with faith for a balanced lifestyle. Faith is like closing eyes with trust and thought is like opening eyes to see it in practical. Always think properly before taking any action.

One should always follow the ancestral customs that are beneficial and harmless, but one should discard those rituals/customs that are no more useful. This will appease your ancestors also!

Air (pavan) has no form, but it still it is omnipresent. Hanuman jee being the son of pavan, he does not give any form to his ego. Thus, he is free of ahankaar (pride).

Mahaveer is the one who is able to destroy the inner faults. But, it is seen in the nutshell that if the faults are eliminated then many hurdles of spiritual path of an aspirant are removed making his way a lot more smoother.

Let us discuss the originating reason behind faults. The main cause of all the inner faults is ‘dwait' (twosome/encounter with the other). A person usually gets angry at the other person/ thing. Similarly, a person desires the other person/thing/situation. But, in case if an individual lives in complete isolation with a balanced mind, he can become free of faults.

Hanumaan jee is initiated (deeksha) in this kind of isolation by Bhagwaan Ram- ‘So ananya jaakein asi mati na tarayi Hanumant | Main sevak sacharaachar roop swaami bhagwant||' (kishkindha kand). Bhagwaan Ram says that an ideal devotee is the one who only sees the omnipresent power in all creation and thus he can remain free of faults. After getting this kind of deeksha by Bhagwaan Ram, Hanumaan jee's devotion is ascertained when he saw Bhagwaan Ram in Raavan's form also. He calls Raavan as his master saying- ‘Khaayau fal prabhu laagi bhookha' and ‘ Sab key deh param priya swaami '. Another incident that shows Hanumaan jee's perfect commitment is when Bhagwaan Ram is stationed on Subel mountain and when he asked Hanumaan jee about the stain on the moon, Hanumaan jee replied that the stain was there as the moon worshipped you. Therefore, it can be seen that in every kind of situation Hanumaan jee's devotion is extremely focussed only on Bhagwaan Ram (without any dwait) and thus he if free of faults.

Another reason behind faults is ego (ahankaar). It encourages/breeds even the smallest weakness of an individual. Hanumaan jee is free of ego as he continually feels the presence of Bhagwaan Ram in his heart.

Any comfort that is dependent on the other is never ever lasting. One should feel content in himself.

An aspirant should be careful in donating for charity also. He/she should not donate blindly to religious leaders or institutions, as it may not be used appropriately. One should rather donate directly to the needy or poor.

Question - what should be done to make a human life successful?
Bapu's answer - Birth as a human being is due to supreme grace, so distribute love to all. Worshipping the Lord is good, but one should try to see Him in everything /everybody and spread love everywhere. ‘Bhaav' (goodwill) towards all would remove every ‘abhaav' (inadequacy) from your life.

A spiritual person should be joyful. Joy (aanand) is the form of God. Be God-loving and not God-fearing.

Five sutras to cultivate happiness.

  1. Try to remain pure (in the heart) as much as possible.
  2. Try to maintain the joy that comes with purity.
  3. Try to uphold the faith in your subject of devotion.
  4. Try to retain the sincerity in your conduct at every cost.
  5. Try to help others whenever possible.

By following the above five, you may come across adversities, but you won't feel the pain. All the situations will come as Lord's Prasaad.

‘Pranavaun pavan-kumaar khal bana paavak gyaan-ghan' - Hanuman jee is described as mahaveer and Tulsidas jee indicates a particular trait of him in the sorttha as gyaan ghan (rain cloud of knowledge). Hanuman jee showers knowledge like rain like a cloud and he is not partial towards anyone/anything. He maintains equality (samata) which is the main sign of true spiritual knowledge.

Knowledge is not recognized by impressive speeches or religious symbols; it is recognized by a person's developed mentality of experiencing the omnipresent in all creation.

A gyaani (knowledgeable) may be called a veer/brave but Hanuman jee is the utmost gyaani as he puts his knowledge in practice; therefore, he is aptly called as mahaveer.

One should respect every individual's viewpoint as everybody has own inclination and thinking. An aspirant should ignore the weaknesses of the other and appreciate and learn from others' qualities.

Question - why do you look different on Vyas-peetth?
Bapu's answer - I'm just the same otherwise also, but you may feel the difference due to your bhaav (mind-set) and the different surroundings of Ram katha.

Question - How do you sit continually for 4-5 hours in katha without getting up?
Bapu's answer - it is a matter of practice of many years. For me sidhhi (any accomplishment) is not so important, but I prefer that shudhhi (purity) should be there.

Every creation is a result of the inherent presence of supreme power everywhere. Every form is the expression of the form less omnipresent authority.

Possessiveness of anything can result into stressful mind. Don't be too possessive about anything to remain light-hearted.

Question - What is more important- destiny (praarabdh) or self-efforts (purushaarth)?
Bapu's answer - Both play their parts in life, but I feel that the most dominant factor in an aspirant's life is God's will. It is seen in Hanuman jee's life that only God's will played the most significant role in every circumstance. To understand the God's will better, following four can be helpful for an aspirant:

  1. Shradhha – faith that whatever Lord does would be for my best only.
  2. Samarpan- Surrender in God's feet with sincerity.
  3. Samajh- Wisdom and willingness to understand the situation.
  4. Samaya- Patience to wait for the time to give results.

Tulsidas jee mentions three major ‘khal' in Aranya kand – “Taat teeni ati prabal ati kaam kroadh aru lobhe”. Hanuman jee fights with all the three and it is depicted through the incidents of Shri Ram Charit Manas. For example- Indrajeet, Raavan's son represents ‘kaam' (desire). He is shown to be such an element that creates unrest in everyone's life. It is important for an aspirant to be extremely careful of these three. If an aspirant takes refuge in Hanuman jee's feet, he can be safe as Hanuman jee is able in controlling the khal.

According to Vedanata, there are two ways to see the world. One is ‘Brahm-satyam'- it is a positive approach that propagates that the supreme power is truth. Second is ‘Jagan-mithya'- it is a sign of a bit pessimistic attitude towards life that connotes that the world is false. Swaami Vivekanand chose the positive approach and led people towards optimism.

A person should live a wholesome life. Earn well till a certain age till your children grow up to carry the responsibilities. After a certain age use your wealth for welfare of others. The more you spread yourself materially, the more difficult it would be to wind up from all directions. Thus, spread your material life wisely in the initial years only.

Religious leaders should not baptize small children forcefully. Children should be given freedom to enjoy their childhood. Religious rituals should not burden anyone. No religious institution should try to forcibly implement their pattern of worship in the society.

Question - Some religious speakers on television prescribe meditation as the path of spirituality. Kindly share your opinion on that?
Bapu's answer - Meditation is one of the many paths of spirituality, but it is not the only path. One can choose any path of spirituality according to own nature and inclination. But it is not right for anyone to criticize others' path to propagate own path.

An aspirant who goes on the path of thought (vichaar) has to do efforts to reach the God. But, if an aspirant chooses the path of faith (vishwaas), the Lord comes to him through Sadaguru.

Sadaguru is not recognized by a particular symbol or attire. He is the one whose slight remembrance, even miles away, creates purity in the heart and tears in the eyes of an aspirant. One should not use many words with the Sadaguru; there's a dialogue through heart between a Sadaguru and shishya.

The three main ‘khal' (desire, anger and greed) that are parts of any human being's life. They are tolerable to an extent provided they are in the prescribed conventional limits. If they remain in the small proportion, then they are called ‘sanskar'. Bhagwaan Krishna called ‘kaam' (desire) his form in Bhagwad Gita, but the condition being that it remains in the limits of Dharma. But, if the ‘khal' become out of control, then they are termed as ‘vikaar' and have to be curbed.

Hanuman jee dealt in the unique way with unbounded desire, greed and anger. We can see that and learn through the conduct of Hanuman jee in the incidents of Shri Ram Charit Manas.

In Lanka Kand, Meghnaad, who represents Kaam , hurt Lakshman jee and he became unconscious. At that time, Hanuman jee took him in his lap and brought him near Bhagwaan Ram. Later he also brought Sushen, the physician of Lanka and Sanjivani, the medicine.

If seen in today's perspective, if a saint like Hanuman jee comes across helping the unconscious aspirant, he can take care of his required treatment. A saint introduces the aspirant to a Sadaguru (represented by Sushen), who cures us and makes us conscious of truth. Sanjivani is the medicine of ‘bhakti' (devotion), which should be taken before life ends. Path of spirituality is not just for elderly; it can prove to be more useful for youth.

Hanuman jee's behaviour with greed can be seen in Sunder Kand. When Hanuman jee went to Lanka, Mainaak mountain offered him to rest on its ground. But Hanuman jee just touched it and proceeded forward in his mission. Mainaak denotes materialism; material comforts may lure an individual but an aspirant should politely use the wealth wisely and not get greedy about it.

Further on his way, Hanuman jee faced Sursa, symbol of fame. But, Hanuman jee passed that hurdle also skillfully. An aspirant who overcomes the greed of wealth may be caught in the longing of fame. Therefore, he/she should be extremely careful and try to remove it from the spiritual path.

In the same journey, Hanuman jee came across Lankini, who stands for anger. Hanuman jee used his fists to toss her. An aspirant can also try to gain control over anger by tightening the fists the moment anger takes over. It is psychologically true that at the time of anger, washing the face with cold water, looking in the mirror, closing the eyes etc can also be helpful.

It is neither right to condemn the past and brood over it nor to worry about the future. An individual should make the best of present available moment.

Pavan works incessantly without a fail of a second as a life source of creation. Hanuman jee being his son also works on the same line and provides his continual services to Bhagwaan Ram. Thus, Hanuman jee is a ‘param karma yogi', who masters in working non-stop.

Hanuman jee is ‘param gyaan yogi' as he burns away the faults (khal) like a fire burns away forests and then showers knowledge like a rainy cloud (gyaan ghan) for an aspirant.

Hanuman jee is also a ‘bhakti yogi' because the supreme power resides in his heart in the form of Bhagwaan Ram and he feels the divine presence constantly.

There is an amalgamation of the three paths of spirituality in Hanuman jee. His presence as air provides ‘swaas' (life-source) in the whole creation. His devotion denotes ‘viswaas' (ultimate faith) and his knowledge signifies ‘vivek vichaar' (wise thought).

Wherever, you see this kind of integration, try to be in company of such a person. Be careful in keeping company (sang) as it influences anybody very quickly. Company breeds attraction/desire and when the person tries to justify his attraction, it leads to anger. Anger is gloom; it is a seed of violence. Love serves as a seed of compassion. Ultimately, this results in making an individual's intellect corrupt and he is not able to see the reality of life.

A shishya should be completely dedicated in the feet of his Sadaguru. He has a choice to respect other saints but his heart should be faithful only toward his Sadaguru. If the allegiance is not perfect then he may not be able to receive the required satisfaction (samaadhaan) in life. ‘Nishttha' (focused commitment in the feet of one Lord) should be extremely precious for an aspirant.

Sometimes, it is seen today that nishttha of a person is like a dancing woman which is used to appease many people. One may get prestige in the society by this kind of conduct but he/she can never experience true joy.

Gyaan (knowledge) is the state when every form merges into one- ‘me'; the whole existence is into oneself, thus, a person becomes absolutely self-content.

Bhakti (devotion) is the state when all creation merges into the supreme beloved. The beloved becomes the whole existence. These are two distinct paths; an aspirant should choose the one that suits his nature.

Question - what is meant by ‘bhakti'?
Bapu's answer - according to Shrimad Bhagwat, there are nine kinds of devotion:

  • Shravanam- listening to God's glory with fondness.
  • Kirtanam- reciting the chaupais/bhajans/God's holy name vocally or in the heart.
  • Smaranam- remembering the Lord or satsang with affection.
  • Paad sevanam- worshipping the feet of the Lord or Sadaguru. But it also means to follow the footsteps of Sadaguru and implementing his sutras in life.
  • Archanam- ritual worship of God and it also refers to providing relief or encouragement to the people who are in despair or feel defeated.
  • Vandanam- respecting all by seeing the omnipresent in all creation.
  • Daasyam- living as the caretaker of the family and not as a master.
  • Sakhyam- befriend the Lord; one is free to make any kind of relationship with the Almighty.
  • Aatma-nivedanam- whole and soul surrender in the feet of the Lord.

Bhajan is:

  1. Remembering the supreme beloved with true feelings in the heart and tears in the eyes.
  2. Creating a relationship with the God.
  3. Doing sincere efforts to reduce your vices.
  4. Creating cordial atmosphere in the family.
  5. Abstaining from saying lies.
  6. Sharing your resources with the needy.
  7. Stopping yourself from blaming others.
  8. Trying to fill the deficiencies of life by bonding with the Lord.
There are two temples in India where the name bears gold connotation. One is in Ayodhya - Kanak Bhawan (Bhagwaan Ram's palace) and second in Amritsar , Punjab - Swarna mandir (Guru granth sahib's place).

Hanuman jee is another golden temple ( Atulit-bal-dhaamam hem-shailaabh-deham ) where Bhagwaan Ram resides permanently. No one could harm Hanuman jee due to the constant presence of Bhagwaan Ram in his heart. On the other hand, even Lanka was all of gold, but it got burnt into shambles as it served as a residence of Raavan. Gold represents wealth; it is not bad if it has Bhagwaan Ram's blessings. But, if it is used like Raavan, it may not prove to be everlasting.

The more one gives, the more one gets! Don't be miser in sharing your wealth for the welfare of the needy.

Troubles may chase a person more if he/she tries to escape and run away from them. But, if an aspirant bravely faces them, the troubles shy away from him. Satsang creates courage in the aspirant to face problems.

It is a sure fact that Hanuman jee will remain on this earth in one form or the other till the day Ramkatha is recited. Presence of Hanuman jee can be felt, if not seen.

Tulsidas jee says from his experience that whoever garners even a few chaupais in the heart will feel stress free.

Yogis curb their inner faults by self-control, gyaanis become like a witness all happenings with the help of their knowledge. But for a common person, the faults can be controlled by the rod of bhakti (devotion) and a flag of satsang over it.

Let us offer the fruit of virtue of this katha to all the people of Africa.

Bapu says, “With guru-kripa, I never feel tired on the vyas-peetth. Also because I'm watching the results of my katha when the listeners try to adapt the sutras and aspire to lead a truthful life.”

Pavan putra Hanuman…lalla..lalla..Pavant putra Hanuman………….

Katha 622 - Manas Mahimaa (Part 1), Surat30th April - 8th May 2005
Ayodhyaa Kaand - Doha 303
Mahimaa taasu kahai kimi tulsi | Bhagati subhaay sumati hiyan hulsi ||
Aapu chhoti mahimaa badi jaani | Kabi-kul kaani maani sakuchaani ||
 
How can I, Tulsidas, speak of his (Bharat Jee's) glory? It is the devotion and noble sentiments that inspired sublime thoughts in Tulsidas Jee's mind.
Tulsidas Jee was humbled and felt his smallness in front of Bharat Jee's greatness and he could not go beyond his poetic limitations.

Welcome and pranaam to all from Surat. Tulsidas jee considers Bharat jee as his Sadaguru; and as seen from his chaupai - ‘Sadgur gyaan biraag jog key..' he indicates that Shri Ram Charit Manas is also a Sadaguru. There are seven characteristics of a Sadaguru that help people to recognize him and thus they are evident both in Bharat jee and Shri Ram Charit Manas. They are as follows.

1) Tapa - Bal kand is full of penance. The main characters who have followed the path of ‘tapa' are Uma and Manu-Shatrupa. Even Naarad jee's tapa is mentioned here.
A Sadaguru bears baseless criticism of people with grace. Public acclaim does not move him either. A Sadaguru keeps a balanced mind to assimilate both negative and positive reactions of the society.

2) Tyaag - Ayodhya Kand displays the race of abandoning for the other. Bhagwaan Ram leaves the throne for Bharat jee and he in turn tries to return it to him.
A Sadaguru may or may not abandon the material things, but he is definitely free of attachment towards them. Tyaag is not just forsaking the worthless, but it is actually holding on to the auspicious elements.

3) Teertha - In Aranya Kand, Bhagwaan Ram visited the places of Rishis and Munis (sages). It is a kind of his pilgrim journey.
A Sadaguru is a mobile pilgrimage. His holiness is equal to that of any pilgrim place.

4) Taarunya - The entry of Hanuman jee (who is a symbol of ageless ness) takes place in Kishkindha kand. Bali , Sugreev and Angad symbolize the youth factor.
A Sadaguru is the one whose spiritual energy never fades away; rigid customs or rituals do not bind him.

5) Tadap - The anxiety of Bhagwaan Ram and ma Jaanaki to meet each other is clear in Sunder kaand. Even Hanuman jee is eager to meet Vibheeshan and the Ma Sita. A Sadaguru's is always eager to share his spiritual wealth with the aspirants. He is not a narrow-minded person.

6) Tejasvita - Raavan has been called as ‘avataar' by Kaag-Bhusundi jee and thus at the time of his death in Lanka Kand, Tulsidas jee indicates his ‘tej' (magnificence)-‘ Taasu tej samaan prabhu aanan..' A Sadaguru spiritual radiance is evident in his personality.

7) Tript - Uttar kand culminates with total contentment of Tulsidas jee-‘Paayo param vishraam ram samaan prabhu naahin kahun'.
A Sadaguru is absolutely contented with himself; his satisfaction does not depend on others.

Bapu began today's katha with, “my greetings to all on the occasion of ‘Gujarat day'. I remember all the great literary people of Gujarat with regard and also all the noted and talented people of Gujarat in various fields.”

Tulsidas jee presents an undeniable fact through this Doha –‘ Bharatu janaku munijan sachiv saadhu sachet bihaai | Laagi dev-maaya sabahi jatha-jogu janu paai ||' (302). He says that everyone gets influenced by maaya (material illusion) in some way or the other except Bharat jee, Janak jee, some munis, minister (who follows the path of truth and dispassion) and aware saadhu (who does not impose his sect on others and does not create groupism in society). The mentioned people remain unscathed by delusion.

When we pick up the word, ‘Mahimaa' (greatness), then let us discuss that what does it exactly mean. A person is truly great (mahimaa-vant) when he has a positive impact on the people in the following three ways.

  1. His darshan (glimpse) does not let a person feel lowly (inferiority complex). A Look at a ‘mahima-vant' person makes the viewer feel good.
  2. His bhajan (way of devotion) inspires others and it becomes a reason for blooming of others' intellect.
  3. His swabhaav (nature) makes others joyful. His nature is so intriguing that it cannot be described in words.

A truly distinguished person's influence is never harmful for others. He is a source of inspiration for others.

Question - what are the four fruits in the Doha –‘Shriguru charan saroj raj nij manu mukuru sudhaari | Baranaun raghubar bimal jasu jo daayaku fal chaari ||' (Hanumaan chalisa).
Bapu's answer - ‘The fruits that are commonly quoted are dharma, arth, kaam and moksha. But I think these are efforts (purushaartha) for actual fruits.
  1. The actual fruit of dharma (religion) is dispassion (vairaagya) and the nectar of this fruit is devotion in the feet of the Lord.
  2. The fruit of arth (wealth) is the material facility and not pleasure (sukh). The real pleasure is to share the wealth with others.
  3. The fruit of kaam (desire) is experienced when it leads to Ram (spirituality).
  4. The fruit of moksha (salvation) is freedom from delusion while living in the world.

There is a difference between mrityu (death) and jeevan-mukti. Mrityu happens when the body dies but desires live. But jeevan-mukti is when a person becomes free of all the desires while alive.

A mind of a person breeds on the incidents of past and plans of future. A person can experience freedom from mental stress if he focuses only on the present.

An aspirant should not wait or expect the Sadaguru to acknowledge him as a disciple; he should rather just accept one as Sadaguru. When he surrenders himself in the feet of Sadaguru with absolute devotion, he himself becomes a guru. Then, the alliance between the two results in maitri (friendship) like that of Shri Krishna and Arjun.

Katha is not a religious seminar; it is a medium for cleansing the mind. Everyone is welcome here, as there is no distinction of religion here.

Keep smiling and make others smile!

A person may be considered as mahima-vant (distinguished) due to three factors.

  1. Prabhaav - Impact due to knowledge/personality/status in the society.
  2. Swabhaav - Nature that touches the heart of all.
  3. Abhaav - The detached attitude of saintly people creates an aura of greatness (fakiri).

The prabhaav is discussed in Shri Ram Charit Manas ‘ Jinhahi birachi bada bhayau bidhaata | Mahima avadhi ram pitu maata ||' - Dasarath jee and Kausalya jee are so great that even the creator achieved greatness after creating them.

The swabhaav of the supreme power is indicated by Tulsidaas jee -

‘Binu pada chalayi sunayi binu kaana | Kar binu karam karayi bidhi naana ||
‘Aanan rahit sakal rasa bhogi | Binu baani bakataa bada jogi ||
‘Tana binu paras nayan binu dekha | Grahayi ghraan binu baas asekha ||
‘Asi sab bhaanti alaukik karani | Mahima jaasu jaai nahin barani ||'

The supreme power is such that he walks without feet, listens without ears, works without hands, speaks without words, touches without body, sees without eyes and smells without nose. The supremacy of Almighty cannot be described.

Bharat jee indicates the abhaav factor –

‘Bhooshan basan bhoge sukh bhoori | Mana tana bachan tajey tin toori ||
‘Tehin par basat bharat binu raaga | Chanchareek jimi champak baaga ||'

The detachment of Bharat jee, in spite of having a choice of possessing everything, makes him mahima-vant.

Bapu says, ‘ I can assure that if you read (do paatth) Shri Ram Charit Manas with total faith and devotion, it can alter your destiny for better. But the important condition is absolute faith.'

If you are really sincere to improve your life, then try never to pronounce any one as bad. The creation is a combination of both positive and negative; therefore, even the evil person may have some good qualities. Try not to think adversely for anyone. An aspirant should also be careful that he does not remain remorseful about own weaknesses also. Think positive for others and yourself too.

There are several steps of speech:

  1. Silence- silence can convey without words.
  2. Truth- truthful words remains undeniable.
  3. Polite truth- truth should not hurtful.
  4. Speech should be adorned by concrete thoughts.
  5. Speech should be in accordance with shastras.
  6. Do not be harsh to people who do not understand your words, be quiet.

In ‘guru-vandana' of Shri Ram Charit Manas, Tulsidas jee mentions three things of Sadaguru -

  1. Guru charan raja (dust of his feet) depicts the abhaav or his simplicity.
  2. Guru pada nakh jyoti (glow of his feet's nails) signifying his prabhaav which grants a divine vision to the disciple.
  3.   Guru pada padum paraaga - indicates that Sadaguru's way of life is like that of a lotus as he remains unscathed by materialism of the world, in spite of living in it.

The presence of Sadaguru is an indispensable part of spiritual journey. The fastest way to reach the Sadaguru is ‘smaran' (remembrance). Sadaguru comes to the shishya through this route. Just like the meru of a mala comes closer with passing of each bead. Sadaguru always hides himself as he behaves in a very ordinary manner. He never shows the enormity of his personality, only a true shishya gets to know about it.

A Sadaguru has three major characteristics:

  1. He understands that I'm nothing, but a form of supreme power.
  2. He understands that I don't possess anything in this world.
  3. He understands that I don't need anything.
Question - do you believe in communalism?
Bapu's answer - It is better to be common than communal. I try to remain common by always remembering my roots.

Lesser the wishes, more the peace!

A christian priest Fr.(Dr.) Kamilmulke has written a book on Valmiki Ramayana, ‘Ramkatha'. He writes that once he asked a Muslim person that why he read the Ramayana. The Muslim replied that Ramayana helped him in being a good Muslim. Bapu welcomed the representatives of various religions and expressed his happiness that they were present in Ramkatha today.

In Shri Ram Charit Manas, there is a description of mahima of 16 elements. It is first used in Bal kand to express the boundless virtues of a saadhu- ‘ Bidhi hari har kabi kobid baani | Kahat saadhu mahima sakuchaani ||'. Tulsidas jee starts mahima with an indication to vast greatness of a saadhu.

Who can be called a saadhu? A particular attire or symbol can be a pointer of a specific path of way of worship. But such an outer appearance does not mean that person is a saadhu. One should check the following 9 points to confirm an actual saadhu, whose mahima is infinite.

  1. Bharpoor Saumyata - full of tranquillity. Even Bhagwaan Vishnu (who is supposed to be a personification of calmness) seems a bit trivial in comparison as it is seen in shastras that he uses shraap (curse) at some points. But a saadhu never loses his calm.
  2. Komalta - softhearted. Tulsidas jee says that a saadhu's heart is softer than the butter as it melts immediately when he sees others' pain –‘ Nij paritaap dravayi navaneeta | Par dukh dravahin sant su-puneeta||'
  3. Su-hridayata - sensitive. A saadhu is free of distinctions of caste, creed, religion etc.
  4. Udaarta - generous and can never be a miser.
  5. Sahan-sheeltaa - tolerant as goes through all kinds of reactions of people.
  6. Satyata - truthful.
  7. Sunderta - radiance of over-all personality.
  8. Niraabhimaanita - free of ego in spite of being able.
  9. Bheetari swasthata - total mental fitness.

God is never too far from us. He is only at a distance till your voice/call reaches. Never think Him to be too distant.

Each lie is a death (whenever you lie, you die). Doubting others leads to death. Lethargy is a form of death and putting faith at a wrong place is also a death.

Never lie or hide anything from your Sadaguru. He knows everything, but might not say due to his large-heartedness and to prevent you from embarrassment.

If your wishes get fulfilled, it is Hari-kripa. If not, then accept God's will as it is Hari-ichchha for your advantage. If you adopt and understand this sutra, you will become free of stress.

Today is Shrimad Vallabhacharya's jayanti. Greetings to all on this occasion and our salutation to the great acharya, who gave the path/philosophy of ‘pushti maarg' to the world. He said-‘chinta kvaapi na kaaryaat', which means that if a devotee worries, he insults the capability of his Lord. Jai Shri Krishna to all!!

Question - What is truth and how is it? Katha touches the heart, but we sometimes wonder if all that is said is true?
Bapu's Answer - “Only truth itself can define the wholeness of truth. But, in my journey for search of truth, whatever I've experienced with guru-kripa and whatever I share here is the truth of my life.”

Question - Can we look around while doing japa on maala?
Bapu's answer - Yes, you can look around but with such a mentality that each person around is a bead of my maalaa (rosary). The whole creation is the form of my Lord.

Bhakti means knowing the nature of God and building a relationship with Him. We get to know the nature when we stay near or around but the relationship's strength is gauged when there is a certain distance. It is good to stay around your Sadaguru, but it is even better to keep a certain distance for building a strong bond.

The one who hits your mind first at the time of waking up is the one with whom your heart truly gels. He is the one who has made a place in your nature.

Worshipping ways of the Lord should be made simplest so as to encourage everyone in the spiritual path. Rigid ways of some religions have made worship patterns difficult to understand and thus inaccessible for all. The worship of the Almighty should be burden-less and in accordance with your nature.

The charitra (character) of Bharat jee can also be classified in seven parts, like said for Shri Ram Charit Manas on the first day of this katha.

  1. Tapa - Bharat jee's main tapa (penance) in his life was to be always away from Bhagwaan Ram, who was his subject of devotion. Right from childhood games, he had to be in the opposite team of Bhagwaan Ram. Later, he stayed mostly at his maternal grandparents' place. Then, he lived in Nandigram when Bhagwaan Ram was in Chitrakoot.
  2. Tyaag - Bharat jee's emotional outburst at MaKaikeyi when he got to know about Vana-vaas of Bhagwaan Ram and then his refusal to accept the throne signifies his tyaag (detachment).
  3. Teerth - Bharat jee's yaatra to Chitrakoot with the people of Ayodhya to meet Bhagwaan Ram, via Shringberpur and Prayaag was his teertha yaatra (pilgrimage).
  4. Taarunya - Bharat jee's novel thoughts in the various meetings of Chitrakoot denote his unmarked mind.
  5. Tadap - Bharat jee's readiness to send back Bhagwaan Ram to Ayodhya and himself staying in Chitrakoot shows his concern for Bhagwaan Ram.
  6. Tej - Bharat jee lived in the shadow of Paaduka of Bhagwaan Ram. It brought radiance in his persona.
  7. Tripti - Once Bhagwaan Ram came back to Ayodhya and established Ram-rajya, Bharat jee could not be seen much; it marks Bharat jee's contentment of living in the reign of Bhagwaan Ram.

Do not pronounce your vrat (resolution) publicly. Declaration brings the risk of breaking it. The biggest vrat is to maintain truth (satya-vrat) and being always sincere in your devotion (prem-vrat).

In olden times (In India), five primary things used to happen at the banks a flowing river.

  1. Snaan - people used to bathe in the water of the river.
  2. Paan -people used the river water to quench their thirst.
  3. Gaan - people used to recite stotras (verses) on the bank.
  4. Dhyaan - river bank was an appropriate place for meditation.
  5. Daan - donation to the needy was done at riverbank.

Ram katha is also a Ganga. People should take a dip (snaan) in it by listening with attention for cleansing their minds. If a person's prejudice or stubborn-ness does not let him listen properly, then one should go to a katha for at least 10 minutes (paan) to taste the affect of holy katha. But, if one is unable to come to katha due to some reason, then he should hum chaupais (gaan) at home. A person can even think about the sutras (dhyaan) of katha wherever he is. And if all the above options are not possible, then at least donate for a good cause. But, lastly, if you can't even donate anything, then please take a resolution to give a smile to others.

Every person should take a pledge to donate 10% of his earning towards charity. It is a social responsibility of every individual to share his earning with the needy who need it more. This can bring an end to misery of many and solve many social problems.

Katha is a successful medium to create ‘aastha' (faith) in a person's life and create ‘vyavastha' (cordial atmosphere) in the society. A saadhu also does the same. But, he should maintain the awareness that all his capability is due to the grace of the Almighty.

In every circumstance of your life, you should never abandon ‘Hari-smaran' (remembering the Lord). Hanuman jee was chanting Ram-naam when he was flying with Drona-giri (mountain with medicine to cure Laxman jee), but when Bharat jee saw him above Ayodhya, he thought that might be some devil. Bharat jee threw an arrow at Hanuman jee and he fell down. But at that time also, Hanuman jee kept on chanting Harinaam. This is a clear indication by Tulsidas jee that when you pass through ups and downs of life, never leave Harinaam.

Shri Ram Charit Manas can be also said as Bharat charit manas as the character of Bharat jee goes hand-in-hand with Bhagwaan Ram. Both were born around the same time. They grew up together and then both were married at the same time. When Bhagwaan Ram went to forest at Ma kaikeyi's demand from Dasarath jee, at that time Bharat jee lived in Nandigram; it was a vana-vaas in his own away. Bhagwaan Ram had to bear separation from Jaanaki jee and Bharat Jee from Maandavi jee. Both kept Paaduka with themselves. Bhagwaan Ram killed Raavan (personified delusion or moha) and Bharat jee destroyed almost all the faults resulting from moha. Both wound up their lives in a very graceful manner.

‘Jaun na hote jaga janam bharat ko | Sakal dharam dhur dharani dharat ko ||'

Tulsidas jee says that Bharat jee adopted the main sutra of every dharma:

  • The Islam religion does not believe in idol-worship; Bharat jee did not keep any image as the subject of his worship. He used to obey the Paaduka of Bhagwaan Ram and paaduka is not just made of wood, it is actually made up of guru-element (tatva).
  • Bharat jee adopted the message of service and love of Christianity.
  • Compassion of Budhhism was seen in Bharat jee's life.
  • Jainism advocated non-violence; Bharat jee stopped Shatrughna jee when he was hitting Manthara, therefore his non-violence is evident through this gesture.
  • The allegiance towards the Almighty is taught by Sikhs. Bharat jee's faith and commitment towards Bhagwaan Ram is well known.
  • The inter-personal cordiality of Parsis is also seen in Ayodhya.

‘Taat bharat tumha sab bidhi saadhu | Ram charan anuraag agaadhu ||'

Some saadhu is a follower of the path of knowledge (gyaan), some of action (karma) and some of devotion (bhakti). Bharadwaaj jee pronounced that Bharat jee was the one saadhu who had amalgamation of all the qualities of every kind of saadhu.

A person goes through four yugas in every day life and can practice the respective prescribed methods of worship in feasible manner.

Sata yuga - The morning time is considered to be sata yuga and it is most suitable for meditation.

Treta yuga - The time of 10am to 5pm is said to be treta yuga. It is a yuga of ‘yagna' and one should do their job/work during these hours with the mentality of doing yagna.

Dwaapar yuga - Evening time is dwaapar yuga in everyday. Pooja is an ideal form of worship in this time, but if one cannot get involved in doing ritualistic worship of God, then pooja can be in the form of helping the needy and even taking care of family members.

Kali yuga - Night time is considered to be kali yuga and it is best for chanting Harinaam.

One should take a vrat (resolution) of keeping patience (dheerta) and maintaining silence (maun)- this can be called as ‘Ahalya vrat'.

Bharat jee's character had five main prominent thoughts:

  1. Vipad vichaar - Everyone goes through difficult circumstances in life at some or the other point of time. But, one can pass through them without being too stressed with the help of patience and courage. Nothing is permanent here, so crisis also does not last forever; it is bound to go away. Bharat jee spent the years away from Bhagwaan Ram with this kind of serenity.
  2. Vastu vichaar - While living in this world, one comes across many kinds of things. But one should use the material things in the best possible way (without exploiting them) and with a mentality that this is prasaad (blessing) from Almighty). One should not get obsessed by material possessions, but take care of them like a caretaker. Bharat jee looked after Ayodhya in the absence of Bhagwaan Ram, but never tried to dominate it. He always maintained that awareness that after all everything belongs to Bhagwaan Ram.
  3. Vishaya vichaar - An aspirant should appropriately treat the material comforts and maintain the mental detachment from them. Bharat jee did not get influenced by any of them in the ashram of Bharadwaaj jee who provided best of luxury. This is possible when one keeps faith on the Lord that only He can save from the attraction of material pleasures. Faith works immensely; the clearest example is of Bhakta Narsinha mehta who had such a sound trust on God that Bhagwaan Krishna came in person to manage his work.
  4. Vivek vichaar - Bharat jee's wisdom is evident in the meetings of Chitrakoot, where he gives all the options to bring back Bhagwaan Ram in Ayodhya. But, at last his ultimate statement-‘ Jehi bidhi prabhu prasann mana hoi | Karuna-saagar keejiya soi ||' shows his highest form of understanding where there is a merger of wisdom and devotion. He surrenders everything and leaves the decision to Bhagwaan Ram. Bhagwaan Ram says that Bharat jee is like a Hans who can distinguish between the worthless and valuable. This kind of wisdom comes through satsang. There is difference between intellect (budhhi) and wisdom (vivek); Even an illiterate person can be extremely wise.
  5. Vairaagya vichaar - Bharat jee lived with total dispassion in Nandigram, his devotion was absolutely focussed in the feet of Bhagwaan Ram- ‘ Tehin par basat bharat binu raaga | Chanchareek jimi champak baaga ||'. If one is able to cultivate this kind of mental dispassion, it is essential for him to not to make it too evident to people around him.

Just like a body is made up of five elements, Bharat jee's personality was made up of these five thoughts.

It is said that God comes at the critical moment when you need him the most. But Bapu says that whoever helps you at the critical moment is God in some form or the other.

In ‘Guru-geeta', Bhagwaan Shankar mentions some of the features of a Sadaguru whom he calls as ‘param-guru'. He says that just like an ocean is a king of all water-bodies, Sadaguru is the head of all gurus in the world. He is free of moha (delusion) and other related faults and they never bind him. He is as calm from inside as he appears from outside. He is so self-content that his joy is never dependent on others. The riches of the world are insignificant and he experiences continual joy without any of them. He is free from arguments and does discussion on anything that is for betterment of all. He lives in the light of self-realization and destroys the darkness of aspirants' life. Just a glimpse of his can create delight in the hearts of the looker. He is extremely patient and it is important for the aspirant to be patient in order to remain with him.

A statement/thought is important but the more important factor is that who speaks it. The value of any statement is gauged by the fact that who propagates it.

It is not easy to describe the various facets of Shri Ram Charit Manas in any limited time. Therefore, I'll take up this topic of ‘Manas-Mahima' again in one more katha wherever God inspires.

Ram rajya can be created at every level. If there is cordiality and affection amongst the family members, the Ram rajya is in the family also.

There should be three types of results of katha:

  1. End of doubts.
  2. Opening of wings like Garuda- one gets ready to adopt and implement the sutras of katha in life.
  3. ‘Kritaarth bhaav'- the listener is filled with gratitude.

Let us offer the fruit of virtue of this katha in the feet of Ma Taapi ( river of Surat ).

Haraye namah..Haraye namah..Haraye namah. Jai SiyaRam!

Katha 620 - Manas Bhupaal, Bhopal26th March - 3rd April 2005
Ayodhyaa Kaand - Doha 288
Suni bhoopaal bharat byavahaaru | Sone sugandh sudha sasi saaru ||
Moodey sajal nayan pulakey tana | Sujasu saraahan lagey mudit mana||
 
When the king heard of Bhrat's conduct which was rare as a combination of gold and fragrance or as nectar extracted from moon,
the king closed his tearful eyes and a thrill ran through his body and he broke out into ecstatic praises of his bright glory

We have assimilated for Ramkatha in the middle zone of our country (Madhya pradesh). The topic for this katha is also from the middle part of Shri Ram Charit Manas i.e. Ayo-dh-yaa Kaand. Su-nayanaa jee is conversing with Janak jee about the nature and conduct of Bharat jee. Listening to which, he closes his teary eyes and his heart is filled with silent appreciation for Bharat jee.

A saint /saadhu can be recognized by his behaviour and not by outer appearance or attire.

Gyaani lives on his own efforts (prayaas), whereas bhakta lives on the grace of God (prasaad).

A Sadaguru has three vital characteristics. An aspirant should see the following and then only accept anyone as Sadaguru.

  • He should be able to grant fearlessness (abhaya) – anyone who creates or encourages fear can never be a Sadaguru.
  • He is the one who incessantly showers grace (anugraha) in spite of negative response from the other person.
  • He is the one who leads the aspirant with affection (anurag).

Always try to respect the positive qualities of an individual and ignore the weaknesses. This is a formula for happiness.

Hanuman jee is in the form of life source (shwaas) and faith (vishwaas). He prevails everywhere without any distinctions or boundaries. Hanuman chalisa is pure and powerful.

Don't use excess food material to offer to the deities; donate to the needy instead. The deity would be more pleased with this kind of gesture.

This is Bharat katha, which is not knowledge based but is essentially devotion based. It usually happens in night. Bharat katha is a little harder than Ram katha; Bharat jee is not just an individual but a thought institution.

There is a certain potential in realized souls that creates tranquility in anyone who comes around him. There is no need for exchange of words also, just sitting silently around such saintly person can dissolve all the doubts and questions of an aspirant.

Some people ask that devotion is not remain consistent and tears dry away. Bapu says, “ it is a phase of saadhana and one has to pass through it. It is test for the aspirant.” Tears are an expression of love and they are the best ornaments for eyes.

All the creation is a result of love only. Here everything is inter-connected due to love for each other. Even the Almighty takes a form due to love- “Prem tein pragat hohin main jaana.”

Bharat jee's nature is noble, but it becomes more regarded as it complemented with modesty (sheel). The humility comes with the grace of Sadaguru and good education.

Bharat jee lives an ascetic life, even though he is a grihastha (married person). He is free from basic human faults in spite of living in the world. On the other hand, Naarad jee, in spite of being a sage experiences all the weaknesses of a worldly person.

In katha, the foremost requisite for both speaker and listener is alertness (saavadhaan). The orator is usually alert, as he has to speak, but is extremely important for a listener to listen with concentration and understand the words as they are meant.

According to Acharya Hemendra, ‘saavahdaan' denotes following factors:

Sa' - live ordinarily/according to nature (saadhaaran). Religious leaders should remain down-to-earth. A person, however great, should not lose forsake originality at any cost.

Va'- katha is a rain (varsha) of sutras. One has to make oneself receptive to make the best of it.

Dha'- One should strongly adhere to certain sutras (dhaaran karna).

Na'- Every individual should try be free of negativity (nishedhaatmak-ta).

Katha is a successful medium to transform the negativity of mind into constructive attitude and faults into qualities.

Question - Yesterday, you discussed the definition of ‘saavadhaan' given by Acharya Hemendra. How would you describe the word?
Bapu's answer - I would define each alphabet of this word in the following way. A listener should try to take care of following attributes while listening:

Sa = Saadhuta : Listen to katha with undivided concentration. Leave all the expectations and complaints aside while listening to katha.

Va = Vastu-vivek : Katha is not a means of entertainment. One has to understand the actual content of katha. Elements like examples, jokes or music support the real matter; just these should not carry one away. A listener should try to grasp the sutras behind them.

Dha = Dhaarana : Listen to katha with patience. Spiritual journey takes its own time.

Na = Namrata : Listen to katha with humility and not with any intention to test or judge the speaker. Humbleness is a valuable quality of an aspirant.

Let us go to the next chaupai of this katha - ‘ Saavadhaan suni sumukhi sulochani | Bharat katha bhav bandh bimochani ||' Tulsidas jee says that Bharat katha can break the bindings of the world.

According to shastras, there are many worldly bindings like shyness (lajja), Doubt (shanka), fear (bhaya), grief (shoke), family traditions (kul) and Over-modesty (sheel). Bharat katha can eliminate these ties and create a Balanced personality in an individual.

But there is another angle to this chaupai. Bapu says, ‘I feel that it can also mean

that Bharat katha opens the doors of the world for an aspirant.

Bharat katha inaugurates the inherent goodness of the world. The misinterpretations of the actual positive facets of the world get abolished and the virtuousness gets highlighted. Even the most pessimistic person can realize that the world is indeed beautiful and livable. Bharat katha grants a novel vision to see the world.'

According to Naarad bhakti sutra, a saint is always present in the world but it is hard to recognize him. When he is recognized, it is not so easy to reach up to him. An aspirant can feel his presence and gain from his grace but cannot get hold of him. A saint takes an aspirant to such a state that is beyond mind and intellect. He may have unconventional thoughts, that sometimes it seem unfeasible but they definitely create rejuvenation and transformation in a person's life for better.

The main thought of ‘brahm-vichaar' (Vedic school thought about the supreme power) is ‘advait' (oneness in whole creation).

The basic provision of a political system is prescribed in Shri Ram Charit Manas - there should be a consideration of opinion of people, sages and shastras. The condition for a true politician should be sincerity in life. A politician should not regard seat of power as a throne (gaadi) but the lap of citizens (go-dee).

The base of real dharma is goodwill for all.

According to a Greek philosopher, an orator's speech can prove to be appealing only if the following features adorn it:

•  The speech is presented in a dignified manner
•  The words come out from the depth of soul.
•  The listener feels solace and forgets the sorrows.
•  The discourses always seem new.

A wise man never claims to be perfect, he is humble about his point of view. Janak jee says that the greatness of Bharat jee is such that is not possible for his intellect to describe even the shadow of it. Bharat jee is beyond dharma, politics and knowledge. Janak jee is a ‘devarshi' (who has sound mind), raajarshi (whose action is perfect) and brahmarshi (whose speech is precise). But Bharat jee is a ‘saadhu', who is beyond any adjectives. It is hard to measure his enormous righteousness.

Traditions are good to a certain extent. But some traditions need to be altered according to the demand of changing times and conditions. Some of the unnecessary elements are encouraged in the garb of following traditions. Even Bhagwaan Ram brought a revolution in Raghukul by opting to choose Bharat jee for the throne of Ayodhya. He showed the world that it was not necessary that the eldest son only should become the successor.

Envy (irshya) is borne out of failure or incapability. An aspirant should be careful when he passes through these two circumstances and try to keep patience.

Bharat jee's nobility is such that even the best of intellectual people are unable to explain it-‘ Bidhi ganapti ahipati siv saarad | Kabi kobid budh budhhi bisaarad ||'. His seven qualities (character, fame, actions, dharma, modesty, righteousness and distinction) are like seven seas that are beyond the reach of beat of scholars- ‘Bharat charit keerati karatooti | Dharam seel guna bimal bibhooti ||'. It is difficult to put Bharat katha in words but it is extremely soothing to listen to it, as his nature is as pure as the Ganga and as comforting as the divine nectar (amrit).

‘Sukh' does not mean material comfort. If it was just that, then why would a wealthy person be unhappy. The real ‘sukh' is internal peace.

If seen spiritually, there is a special heart behind heart, the organ. It experiences the following three sentiments:

Aaghaat - the first encounter with the supreme beloved that jolts the inside of an aspirant is aaghaat. The first impression creates a positive turmoil that fastens the spiritual journey. Sadaguru's graceful nature and simplicity create a very intense impact on an aspirant.

Aashcharya - like Arjuna was bewildered by the glimpse of Bhagwaan Krishna in Bhagwat Gita, an aspirant feels amazed by the mixture of innate divinity and ordinary lifestyle of a Sadaguru.

Aanand - after feeling the above two, aspirant experiences true joy.

Let us discuss the chaupai- ‘Bharat charit keerati karatooti | Dharam seel guna bimal bibhooti ||'

‘Charitra' is the description of a person who can be looked up to and whose account is worth listening to. Anything that is not worth listening can not be called as charitra. Naarad jee says in Bhakti sutra that the accounts of anger (in the form of vairi ), desire (in the form of stree ) and greed (in the form of dhan ) are not worth listening. The people who deny the existence of God ( naastik ) are not worth to be heard.

Question - Why do some writers do not accept Ramayana and Mahabharat as true stories?
Bapu's answer - These thoughts are mainly of the western writers who do not know the potential of Indian soil and do not try to understand the actuality of these great happenings. Ramkatha is not a mythological story; it is a reality and has truth in the base. Therefore, it still exits in the hearts of millions even today. Anything that does not have truth behind it is never long lasting.

According to Ramana Maharshi, there are two types of anger – active (expressed in words/action) and passive (burns inside). There are some reasons for anger:

  • Over-expectations from others- when you don't get the desired from people around you. Stop expecting, try to sacrifice and spread love round.
  • Due to over mental stress.
  • Comparisons with others.

Never try to imitate anyone. Be content in yourself and try to excel with your innate qualities. One should follow ‘swa-dharma' (natural duty/inclination). Everyone should be proud of own religion and should be faithful towards it without wavering. Remain dedicated to own religion but don't be fanatic and never fight with others who don't belong to it.

‘Keerati' usually refers to fame. But Tulsidas jee indicates about it in the aarti of Shri Ram Charit Manas-‘keerati kalit lalit siya pee ki..' Keerati refers to the potential of Ma Sita who removes the faults and at the same time fulfils all the needs of needy. Bharat jee's name is such that it fulfills the requirements of the deprived.

‘Karatooti' refers to the action of a person who becomes just a medium (nimitta) even in great endeavours. It also refers to the expectation-free approach towards any work and maintaining humbleness.

‘Dharam'- Bharat jee was personification of the gist of every dharma. His dharma was not in theory but entirely in practical incidents of his life. Bapu says, ‘ I feel that the gist of dharma is truth (satya), love (prem) and compassion (karuna).'

Bharat jee's ‘sheel' (noble nature) is evident in many incidents of Shri Ram Charit Manas, be it in Ayodhya or Chitrakoot.

His ‘guna' (quality) is to look beyond both positive and negative aspects of a person. His continual remembrance of Bhagwaan Ram is his biggest quality.

‘Bimal bibhooti' refers to the purest form (saatvik) of affluence. Bharat jee remains absolutely unassuming in spite of having the best of comforts.

It is usually seen that there is a limitation in the good qualities of an individual. But Bharat jee is an exception and his righteousness is limitless. The most dominant feature of his personality is his devotion towards Bhagwaan Ram. According to some shastras he is supposed to an incarnation of Vishnu, but Bapu says, “I feel that he is a personified form of love towards Bhagwaan Ram. He is a prem-avataar.”

Question - why does Bharat jee's life comes across as full of grief in Shri Ram Charit Manas?
Bapu's answer - “It is true that a reader may find him full of sadness, but it is not a negative trait as the reason behind it is attached to Bhagwaan Ram. It shows us the highest form of devotion towards the supreme power. Like, Arjuna's distress lead to Bhagwad Gita. Bharat jee's character is an indication of ‘Bhaagwat Gita'. I want to elaborate on this and discuss its 18 chapters. I've also concluded on 70 sutras for this Gita. There is no value of joy if there is no sorrow. Valmiki's sorrow led to Valmiki Ramayana and Vyas's sorrow led to Shrimad Bhaagwat. Therefore, grief is the base of many great shastras.”

If one has an eye, he can see the best in the worst conditions also. A wise vision makes the world beautiful.

Let us move on with the next doha - ‘ Niravadhi guna nirupam purushu bharatu bharat sama jaani | Kahiya sumeru ki ser sama kabikul mati sakuchaani ||' (288) Janak jee says that Bharat jee is one of his kind in the creation; no adjectives are appropriate enough to describe him.

But at some points, Tulsidas jee compares Bharat jee with others:

In Hanuman Chalisa -‘Raghupati keenhi bahut badaai| Tumha mama priya bharat sama bhaai||' Hanuman jee is a Sidhh and Bharat jee too is a sidhh, therefore two are associated here.

In Kishkindha kand-‘ Tab raghupati boley musukaai | Tumha priya mohi bharat jimi bhaai || ' Sugreev is a vishayi but he confesses his weaknesses openly just like Bharat jee confesses his guilt of being the reason behind the vana-vaas of Bhagwaan Ram. Thus the two are related here.

In Lanka Kand-‘ Sab bhaanti adham nishaad so hari bharat jyon ur laaiyo'. Guha is a saadhak whom Bhagwaan Ram invites to visit Ayodhya just like Bharat jee used to visit Ayodhya while living in Nandigram.

Through this, there is an indication of Bhagwaan Ram that he would love all, provided the aspirant remains attached to him.

Question - Are the slogans like ‘Rashtra devo bhav and Prem devo bhav' enough to bring about transformation in mentality of people?
Bapu's Answer - These are not just slogans, they are seeds that will take their own time in growing and multiplying. They are not enough for transformation but it is also true that they are not less for starting off the transformation for better.

There are some characteristics of a wise speaker:

  • ‘No upaay doshe'- reasons for proving his statements should not be faulty.
  • ‘No swaroop doshe'- words should not be cheap or misguiding.
  • ‘No kriya doshe'- presentation should be done in a pleasant manner.

Let us take the next chaupai -‘ Agam sabahi baranat barabarani | Jimi jal-heen meen gamu dharani ||' Janak jee says to Sunayana jee that it is extremely difficult for anyone to narrate Bharat katha just like a fish finds it hard to survive in a water-less place.

Here, ‘Bara barani' (who has a beautiful face and who has best choice) word is used for Sunayana jee. But Tulsidas jee uses the same words for Ma Jaanaki (Sunayana jee's daughter) –‘ Tinhahi biloki bilokati dharani | Duhun sakoche sakuchati bara-barani || (Ayodhya kand, 117). Sunanyana jee denotes a pure vision and Jaanaki jee denotes peace/shaanti. There is a connotation that peace is borne out of chaste vision (su-drishti). Anyone who seeks peace should take care of his vision and always maintain noble intentions in all endeavours. Peace cannot be experienced if a person has malignity in eyes and mind.

According to a Gujarati writer, an individual should do following five things to experience peace:

  1. Maintain self confidence - An individual should have self-confidence, but avoid self-pride. If one expects acclaim from others and he fails to get it, he is bound to get disturbed and lose mental peace.
  2. Avoid self-criticism - Don't be pessimistic about yourself, it will create mental complex. Humbleness is not being critical about yourself.
  3. Freedom from fear - Peace is lost if a person is fearful.
  4. Adjustment with circumstances - An individual should be able to adjust to the various situations of life. Just like a tree stands peacefully even if it loses all the leaves; it waits for other season to make it green again. This world is an examination centre; everyone has to go through its various tests. Wisdom and faith helps a person to pass through successfully and he is able to find happiness and peace in the adverse conditions also.
  5. Don't assess any situation in a hurry. Peace will be lost if you involve yourself in judging everything. Avoid analyzing anything in a rush.

‘Upaasana' is just sitting quietly with a realized soul. The silence touches the soul and the spiritual energy gets recharged. But, if an aspirant cannot be physically around the Sadaguru, he can be close through chetana. Chetana has no limitations and it can travel to any distance. Mental proximity is more important than being physically around.

Janak jee says that no reason/argument (tark) can measure the faith and devotion between Bharat jee and Bhagwaan Ram. Naarad jee's Bhakti sutra and even Brahm sutra both prescribe that there is no place for reason in path of devotion as it is beyond the reach of intellect. Reason/argument does not work in spiritual sphere.

Once Einstein was asked, what were the most important things in your life. He answered in six words- God, Country, human being, wife, mathematics and peace.

Similarly, a western scholar, John Gardner, expressed his important words- live (never let negative thoughts come in your mind; live every moment with enthusiasm), love, learn (learn from wherever you can), logic, leave and laugh.

Bapu says, “I like three sutras. One is of a prominent religious leader and the rest two have come in my experience–Art of living, Art of loving and Art of leaving. Art of loving is all about keeping faith and maintaining devotion. Art of heart is loving the beloved. Art of living is about placing equality and attachment at the appropriate places. If a person learns to retain equality, his attachment would not be harmful; Art of leaving is discarding moh (delusion).”

Bharat jee also has some prominent words:

  • Preeti (love) and Prateeti (faith) - this is art of loving.
  • Samata (Bhagwaan Ram's equal love for all) and Mamata (Bharat jee's devotion towards Bhagwaan Ram)-this is art of living.
  • Swaarth (refers to sansaar/selfishness) and Parmaarth (refers to