50 Divine Thoughts
of Chandrashekharendra Saraswati
The medicine of Grace to wipe out our sorrows is to develop unshakable faith in God, and tolerance is the medicine of Grace to wipe out our sorrows.
Bhakti alone can give us the capacity to put up with sorrows. Temples are the agencies for developing that Bhakti. Hence, the need for temples at all places. All offerings to the deities in the temples are tokens of our gratitude to God.
That which is within all, which is seen as "This" is the source. He who is within and sees as "This" is God. It is the reality. It is in yourself. What is limited is Saadhanaa; what is unlimited is the end.
He alone is an Aachaarya, who, after clearly understanding the conclusive teachings of the Shaastra, makes the people of the world gain their welfare by making them stick to the path shown in the Shaastra and also himself does everything according to Shaastra and remains in that experience.
Many acts relating to God, like building temples, digging tanks are performed. While executing them, there would be many difficulties. There would come also several kinds of dishonor. Not minding any of these, they would complete their tasks with mental one-pointedness removing impurities from their minds and letting the mind wander. By straightening their mind, they acquire mind control and at the end, they realize the Reality that is to be known. Digging tanks, building temples and such other acts are called Poort. The performance of sacrifices etc, is known as Isht. Combining these two, we have the word Isht-Poort.
In all that you do, let love be the sole motive. Any need must be with reference to another. Let action be out of love. Passions such as desire and hatred, anger and malice must be totally eschewed. If love becomes the grounding principle of all deeds. Then most of the ills of the world will vanish.
We know many faults we commit, even if others do not know them. Sometimes we realize we are doing so many evil things and repent bitterly and feel why we should be born. Our duty is to pray to God -"I have committed so many faults. Will you not, 0 God, give me the will power not to do like that in future and will you not purify my mind?" We must note down in a diary every night before we go to bed the faults committed by us and pray to God to give us courage and intelligence not to do so. This must be propagated widely.
Parameshwar and Shreeman Naaraayan are one and the same in reality. They are not two. This is the conclusive view of all the Shaastra. Names differ, forms are different, occupations vary, but the reality which is within Them is one and the same.
What is the purpose of human birth? To earn, to eat, to undergo misery everyday and finally to die? Instead of earning and suffering, can we not die now? The purpose of birth is to avoid re-birth. Except man, all animals grow horizontally. Only man grows vertically. Instead of growing horizontally, it is God's will that he should grow vertically in order to look up. God has given to animals devices for self-protection; to man alone He has given intelligence. By doing nothing, we avoid re-birth; By giving up attachment, we avoid sins.
When any object is consumed by fire, it becomes charred. If that black residue is burnt again, it becomes white ash. White ash continues to remain white even when burnt again. This shows that white is the ultimate and black is proximate to it. Science tells us that diamond and coal are basically one. White and black are not colors. The primary colors get separated from the objects to which they are attached when subjected to the test of fire and ultimately become white. Similarly, in the mental and spiritual place, the Ultimate Reality is Shiv, who is white and proximate to Him is Paarvatee, who is dark. When we test everything in the fire of Gyaan, or true knowledge, the residue is Shiv. Ash in the material plane corresponds to Shiv in the spiritual plane. We smear our bodies with the sacred ash to remind ourselves of Shiv and the fact that the ultimate goal of life is Shiv.
Much is said about the personal God and the impersonal absolute God with attributes and without attributes. It is only when all the colors in the light mix together that we get the colorless rays of the Sun. Similarly by the very virtue of being the abode of attributes, God becomes Nir-Gun, attribute-less.
By education we realize Truth. There are many truths, History is one truth. Geography is one truth, Mathematics is one truth. The content of truth is the greatest in Mathematics. In others, there is an element of imagination. In Geography, we come across names Asia, Africa, Madras, Calcutta, etc. These names were given by us. By imagination, we have given names "plateau" "valley", etc. By a process of gradual elimination of all that is imaginary, when we arrive at truth, that Truth is found to be God. To think of Him with real devotion is the fruit of education.
What is the use of education? Its first use is to develop humility (Vinaya). In olden days, the disciple who went to a Guru was called "Vineyan" meaning a person of humility which is the hall-mark of Instruction he had from his Guru, the fruit of education. Education without humility is no education. Education is the same today as it was before, but methods have changed. The medicine is the same but if the diet is changed, the medicine becomes poison. Education has today become merely the means of livelihood. For true education, the student should go to a Guru and follow the Guru-kul system.
Right education should make us know that God is the Truth. Knowledge must fill one with good qualities, through which one can realize the Truth, that is God. Therefore, the goal of knowledge is the understanding of the Ultimate Truth. The first fruit of education must be humility and self control.
The total surrender to the Lord is a means of learning our insignificance and the transcendent grace of the Lord.
If we engage an inquiry into the Aatmaa, at the end of it, it will be clear that God is in us as our very self. When that stage is reached, we have no use for the Devtaa. Then all Karm will fall away from us. But, until then, we must obligatorily do our Karm directing them to the God.
Those who are the leaders of a group, society, or state should not neglect the established religious customs and usages. For themselves they may not be in need of Church ceremonies, for instance, their advance in spirituality may not require them. But if they begin to neglect them, the people for whom the rituals are really helpful, will also start neglecting them. This would be setting a bad example. In the words of the Bhagavad Geetaa, the wise one should not unsettle the minds of those who are ignorant, and are attached to action: on the contrary, he should encourage them to perform what they should perform, by himself doing the appropriate actions well and with diligence. It is duty cast upon the leaders and those that are at the top to lead the people from where they are, and not to refrain from participation in the traditional ways of worship.
Of all scriptures, the Geetaa has acquired a specialty of its own. Like this, there are many other books of wisdom. In the Mahaabhaarat there are many chapters teaching wisdom. Besides, in the Shiv Puraan, Vishnu Puraan, Skand Puraan, etc, there is Gyaanopadesh.
So also in Agam. But what is the special importance of Geetaa due to? Not only in our country but in countries like Java, people follow the Geetaa. My inference is that because it was born in an atmosphere utterly free from attachment - attachment to life, attachment to body, attachment to kith and kin, but out of attachment only to Reality, it has become so famous.
On deep consideration, A-Hinsaa appears to be good as an ideal or for preaching. But practically speaking, it is difficult to follow fully. First of all to follow it, we must love others. But if we love anyone too much, the end is sorrow. Therefore we should love God who always gives happiness and not sorrow. I ask myself if we love God, should we not love anyone else in this world? So long as there is false knowledge which distinguishes God from the rest of the world, there will be differences. If we attain Gyaan that God is all, we will develop the same love for all that we have for God; This is the sign of Ahinsaa.
For the sake of food, clothing and shelter, everyone is toiling and sorrow-stricken. If sorrow is to be banished and if we are to be ever happy, we must dedicate all our actions to God. If we get His grace, then we need not to do anything and can be happy. God is a good master. By praising Him always, we cannot please Him. He is indifferent to our praise or dispraise, action or inaction. But all our actions are ordained by Him and are meant only to purify our minds.
Why so many Gods? Is it not enough to have only one? Other religions speak of one God only and not many. We are assailed by such doubts. We eat to satisfy hunger, the stomach becomes full, there is no trouble or hunger. Then why can't we take cooked rice alone? Why should we eat so many side dishes? So, if we eat, it is just not to fill the stomach, but we want food tasty to the palate and pleasing to the eyes. Whoever is attracted to a particular God, he worships that.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/9/09
Updated on 06/09/11