Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai

Swami Sarvapriyanandaji: Talk at Teacher’s Meet – 2014-10-09

Swami Sarvapriyanandaji Maharaj – Short talk at a Teacher’s Meet conducted at Sarada Vidyalaya, T.Nagar, Chennai on 9th October 2014.

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Video Lecture by Swami Sarvapriyanandaji Maharaj

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Hinduism – The Importance of Spiritual Practices

Source: from M’s Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Sri Ramakrishna — If one practises a little Sadhana [spiritual exercises] then the spiritual teacher makes him understand what is what. He then himself learns to distinguish the real from the unreal and knows that God alone is eternal and that this world is ephemeral.

One night a fisherman secretly entered a garden and cast his nets into a tank to steal fish. The owner of the garden came to know of it and surrounded the thief with his men and came with lighted torches to catch him. The thief in the meanwhile smeared his body with ashes and sat like a Sadhu [a monk] under a tree. The men searched in vain for the fisherman; they found only an ascetic covered with ashes, sitting under a tree and deeply absorbed in meditation. Next morning, the word went round that a great sage had come into so-and-so’s garden. People poured in with presents of flowers and sweets to pay their respects to him, and a considerable amount of silver also began to accumulate before him. At that the fisherman thought, “How wonderful! I am not a real Sadhu, yet they show me such reverence! Assuredly then I’ll realise God if I really become a Sadhu!”

If a mere pretence of Sadhana [spiritual exercises] brought such illumination, what to speak of real Sadhana! Then you will surely perceive what is real and what is unreal; you will surely know that God is true and the world false.

A devotee says to himself, “The world is unreal and the fisherman of the story also gave up the world. What then will be the fate of those awakened ones that are living in the world? Must they renounce it?”

The Master says immediately, “If a clerk is sent to jail, he no doubt serves his term, but when he is released, should he go dancing madly along the streets? He seeks out another employment and goes on working as before. Even so, after attaining Divine Wisdom through the grace of the Guru [spiritual teacher], man can live in the world as Jivan-mukta [liberated in life].”

Sadhana and its reward In the beginning, you must be up and doing, and then Sadhana becomes easier afterwards. For the man must be alert at the helm so long as he steers his craft along tortuous water-courses and through agitated waves and storm and rain. But once he has passed them, he can sit comfortably at the helm and spread his sail in the favourable wind and prepare his pipe. Even so, when the raging blasts of Lust and Greed have blown over, it is all peace and calm.

Some have the sign of the Yogi manifested in their person; they should yet be on their guard. For Lust and Greed are the impediments to Yoga, and if the desire arises in a person’s mind to enjoy them, he falls and is dragged down into the world; and he can turn back towards God and regain his former exalted state of spirituality only when he has satisfied those desires.

The value of scriptural studies in the scheme of Sadhana Scriptures have to be studied in the beginning. It is in the early stages that one reasons out and discusses. “O My Mind, install the Beloved Mother in the heart. May I and you alone see Her, let none else pry into it.”

In the course of Sadhana one has to learn all the Scriptures. But when the Mother has been realised, there is no lack of knowledge,— She Herself provides an unfailing supply. Man has to spell the words when he first learns to write, but afterwards he can write fluently.

Mere study of the Scriptures is of no help. If you live amidst “Woman and Gold”, you are not able to able to comprehend the true significance of Scriptures. Attachment to the world takes away knowledge. “With wistful hope I learnt many a sweet poetic thing, but, alas, I fell in love with a deaf man, and all was marred.”

Preparations for the inevitable hour Know that all will walk down the same path one day. It is only a two days’ slay in this world. The world is the place of action, where you have been brought in to work, even as a man comes on business from his country-home to Calcutta.

You must take some pains by way of Sadhana [spiritual exercises]; the karmas must be speedily worked out. When the smiths melt gold, they blow with bellows, fan and pipe all together to make the fire blaze high, and only when the gold has been dissolved do they ask for a smoke. All this time they have been sweating on the brow, but they can get a chance to smoke only after they have done.

You must be very firm in your determination if you want to practise Sadhana,— you must make a strong resolve! The seed of His Holy Name is very powerful. It destroys ignorance. The seed is so soft, and its sprout is so tender, yet it shoots up through the hard earth.

The mind becomes completely distracted if you live long among “Woman (Man) and Gold”. The man of the world, living among “Woman (Man) and Gold”, may set his mind on the Lord sometimes, but it is also attracted by them, just as a fly that sits on sweetmeats turns again to sores and filth. Keep your mind ever fixed on the Lord. In the beginning you must struggle a little, afterwards you will enjoy your pension.

The time-factor and spiritual discipline Knowledge cannot be communicated all at once. Its attainment is a question of time. Suppose a fever is of a severe type. The doc- tor cannot give quinine under such circumstances. He knows that such a remedy would do no good. The fever must first leave the patient, which depends upon time, and then the quinine would be useful. Sometimes the fever would go off without your having to give the patient quinine or any other medicine. Precisely the same is the case with a man who seeks for knowledge. To him spiritual precepts often prove useless so long as he is immersed in worldliness. Allow him a certain period for the enjoyment of the things of the world; his attachment to the world will gradually wear off. This is exactly the time for the success of any spiritual instructions that may be given to him. Till then they would be as good as entirely thrown away.

Many come to me; and I have observed how some of them are anxious to listen to my words. But one or two of the company appear to be restless and impatient in my presence. They say to their friends in whispers, “Let us go, let us go! Well, if you mean to stay, we had better get into the boat and wait for you.”

It is difficult to drive nails into a strong brick wall. It will break the head of the nails sooner than make any impression upon the wall. It is idle to strike the crocodile with the sword. The chances are that the sword will not make a cut. Therefore I say that the element of time is an important factor in all these matters.

Spiritual awakening is very much a question of time. The teacher is a mere help. The fact is, a great deal of all this desire for knowledge or for freedom depends upon one’s Karma in one’s previous incarnations.

A Devotee — Yes, Sir, it is so difficult to understand one’s self. We see the self only as it appears to us. Behind it there might be a hundred previous incarnations. We walk upon the floor of a house but we never stop to see how it is made and what various things are beneath it.

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Sri Lakshmi Puja Bhajans – 2014

Sri Lakshmi Puja was celebrated at our Math on 7th October 2014.

October 07 Tuesday
04.45 pm Sri Lakshmi Sahasranama Kumkum & Pushpa Archana
06.15 pm Arati to Sri Guru Maharaj
07.00 pm Special Puja & Bhajan
08.55 pm Arati to Lakshmi Devi
09.15 pm Prasad

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Durga Puja Bhajans – 2014

Sri Durga Puja was celebrated at our Math on Sep 30 to Oct 04 2014. Following Bhajans rendered by Swami Atmajnananda and Swami Nilamadhavananda on the occasion of Sri Durga Puja

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The Necessary Qualifications for Spiritual Life – Swami Vivekananda

 

“Verily, these three are rare to obtain and come only through the grace of God: human birth, desire to obtain Moksha [liberation] and the company of the great-souled ones.”

The first thing needed is Manushyatvam, human birth, because it only is favourable to the attainment of Mukti [emancipation]. The next is Mumukshutvam. Though our means of realisation vary according to the difference in sects and individuals—though different individuals can lay claim to their special rights and means to gain knowledge, which vary according to their different stations in life,— yet it can be said in general without fear of contradiction that without Mumukshuta nothing can be achieved. What is Mumukshutvam? It is the strong desire for Moksha [liberation]—the earnest yearning to get out of the sphere of pain and pleasure—utter disgust for the world. When that intense burning desire to see God comes, then you should know that you are entitled to the realisation of the Supreme.

Then another thing is necessary and that is the coming in direct contact with the Mahapurushas, the great-souled ones, and thus moulding our lives in accordance with those of the great-souled ones who have reached the goal. Even utter disgust for the world and an intense burning desire for God are not sufficient. Initiation by a Guru [spiritual teacher] is necessary. Why? Because it is the bringing of yourself into connection with that great source of power which has been handed down through generations, from one Guru to another, in uninterrupted succession. The devotee must seek and accept the spiritual preceptor as his counsellor, philosopher, friend and guide. In short, the Guru is the sine qua non of progress in the path of spirituality. Whom then shall I accept as my Guru? “He who is versed in the Scriptures, without taint, unhurt by desire, he who is the best of the knowers of Brahman.” He who is not only learned in the Scriptures but who knows their subtle secrets, who has realised their true import in his life. Mere book-learning is of no avail. Nowadays, everyone wants to be a Guru. Even a poor beggar wants to make a gift of a lakh of rupees! Then, the Guru must be without a touch of taint; and he must be unhurt by any desire,— he should have no other motive except that of purely doing good to others, he should be an ocean of mercy-without-reason and not impart religious teaching with a view to gain name or fame, or anything pertaining to selfish interest. And he must be the intense knower of Brahman.. Such is the Guru, says the Scripture. When spiritual union is established with such a Guru, then comes realisation of God,— then God-vision becomes easy of attainment.

There should be in the aspirant after Truth, Abhyasa or earnest and repeated attempt at practical application of the Truth by prescribed means of constant meditation upon the Chosen Ideal. Even if you have a burning thirst for God, or have gained the teacher, unless you have along with it, Abhyasa, unless you practise what you have been taught, you cannot get realisation. When all these are firmly established in you, then you will reach the Goal.

Do not forget the great ideal of our religion,— which is to go beyond this phenomenal world,— not only to renounce the world, but to give up heaven too; aye, not only to give up evil but to give up good too; and thus to go beyond all, beyond this phenomenal existence and ultimately realise the “Sat-Chit-Anandam Brahman” — the Absolute Existence-Knowledge-Bliss, which is Brahman.

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Durga Puja 2014 – Maha Navami

October 03 Friday: Maha Navami
07.00 am Puja, Chandi Parayanam & Saraswati Puja
10.30 am Pushpanjali
04.45 pm Sri Saraswati Sahasranama Kumkum & Pushpa Archana
06.30 pm Arati to Sri Guru Maharaj
07.00 pm Arati to Durga Devi & Bhajan

Below are the photos taken on the day:

   

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Durga Puja 2014 – Maha Ashtami

October 02 Thursday: Maha Ashtami
07.00 am   Puja to Durga Devi & Chandi Parayanam
07.30 am   Special Puja to Sri Guru Maharaj
10.00 am   Pushpanjali
10.15 am    Homa
11.55 am     Arati
12.15 pm    Prasad
04.45 pm   Sri Durga Sahasranama Kumkum & Pushpa Archana
06.30 pm   Arati to Sri Guru Maharaj
07.00 pm   Arati to Durga Devi & Bhajan

Below are the photos taken on the day:

   

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Durga Puja 2014 – Maha Shashti

September 30 Tuesday: Maha Shashti
06.30 am   Puja & Chandi Parayanam
10.30 am   Pushpanjali
04.45 pm   Sri Lalita Sahasranama Kumkum & Pushpa Archana
06.30 pm   Arati to Sri Guru Maharaj
07.00 pm   Arati to Durga Devi & Bhajan

Below are the photos taken on the day:

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