Childhood and youth of Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj

13 Jan When was God Born?

This question must be one of the most debated in this world! Everyone - from an atheist to the most devout would have come across this question in their minds. When was God actually born? Is he eternal? What about the soul? These questions have an extremely...

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08 Nov Karm Yog – How to overcome Desire? (Part 2)

In the previous article, we set about to learn how desires could be overcome. We learnt how Shri Krishna cautions Arjun about the pitfalls of desire and the nature of the senses.

How then can we overcome desire so that the mind rests in peace for ever? The secret lies in a very fundamental error in our judgement. Deep inside our intellect, a decision lies firmly entrenched that 'we' are the body. All that we associate is usually with the body or the mind. Subsequently, all that we seek as the source of happiness is material in nature because we 'think' that providing pleasure to the body will give us happiness. In short, we consider the individual identity to be the body. We associate ourselves with the body and consider the 'I' to be this gross body. This is the fundamental error. If we realize that the true 'I' is the soul, which means, 'I am the soul and not the body', we will automatically begin searching for happiness related to the soul. Its that simple!
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18 Oct Karm Yog – How to overcome Desire?

The human mind is designed to desire. It cannot refrain from creating desires that it thinks will bring happiness. Some of us desire for material happiness and some seek spiritual bliss. In both the cases, desire exists in the mind and it is the decision of the intellect that defines where we look for happiness.

Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj, in many of his lectures, repeatedly remind us that it is the mind alone which is the cause of bondage and liberation. Quoting profusely from the Vedas, Upanishads, Narad Bhakti Darshan and other Shastras, Shri Maharajji proves this fact and lays enormous stress on the working of the mind and the intellect.

It is well established that true happiness or bliss can be found in God alone and the intellect has to make the firm decision that God is our goal. Once the intellect has decided, the mind has no choice but to work towards this goal. Naturally, desires that arise thereon will center around God and all things related to God. In contrast, an intellect deluded by Maya will only seek material bliss as long as its decision says that happiness lies in the material world.

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06 Oct The Importance of Faith

In the previous articles, a lot of stress was laid on the essence of Karm Yog and the philosophy that one must not hanker for the fruits of actions. Shree Krishna has instructed us in many verses that we must keep our minds attached to him while performing our daily chores and duties.

Moving forward, we learn about one of the most important aspects in spirituality which is very essential for our growth - Faith. In verse 31, chapter 3 of the Bhagavad Gita, Shree Krishna says,

ye me matam idaṁ nityam anutiṣhṭhanti mānavāḥ śhraddhāvanto ’nasūyanto muchyante te ’pi karmabhiḥ

Those who abide by these teachings of mine, with profound faith and free from cavil, are released from the bondage of karma.

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22 Sep Karm Yog – Our Duties (Part 2)

Focusing further on the duties we are expected to perform in our social life, let us delve further into the Gita to understand its true meaning.

karma brahmodbhavaṁ viddhi brahmākṣhara-samudbhavam tasmāt sarva-gataṁ brahma nityaṁ yajñe pratiṣhṭhitam

The duties for human beings are described in the Vedas, and the Vedas are manifested by God himself. Therefore, the all-pervading Lord is eternally present in acts of sacrifice.

The Vedas emanated from the breath of God: asya mahato bhūtasya

niḥśhvasitametadyadṛigvedo yajurvedaḥ sāmavedo ’thavaṅgirasaḥ (Bṛihadāraṇyak Upaniṣhad 4.5.11)

"The four Vedas—Ṛig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sāma Veda, Atharva Veda— all emanated from the breath of the Supreme Divine Personality."

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13 Aug Karm Yog – Who is a Karm Yogi?

In our earlier articles, we briefly touched upon the topic of being a 'Sanyasi' and also introduced the path of action, Karm Yog.

Who is a true Karm Yogi? To learn that, let us understand through The 'Bhagavad Gita', the pitfalls of being a 'Sanyasi', especially in the modern day context and in the age of Kaliyug. Attracted by the lure of an ascetic life, people often renounce their work, only to discover later that their renunciation is not accompanied by an equal amount of mental and intellectual withdrawal from the sensual fields. This creates a situation of hypocrisy where one displays an external show of religiosity while internally living a life of ignoble sentiments and base motives. Hence, it is better to face the struggles of the world as a karm yogi, than to lead the life of a false ascetic. Running away from the problems of life by prematurely taking sanyās is not the way forward in the journey of the evolution of the soul.
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04 Aug Karm Yog – Path of Action

In the opening chapters of the Bhagavad Gita, Shree Krishna listens patiently to Arjun's lamentations and educates him about the immortal soul. The Lord then reminds Arjun of his duties and the nature of the soul. He then begins to focus his advise on the path of action, Karm Yog.

Shree Krishna explains that all beings are compelled to work by their intrinsic modes of nature, and nobody can remain without action for even a moment. Those who display external renunciation by donning the ochre robes, but internally dwell upon sense objects, are hypocrites. Superior to them are those who practice karm yog, and continue to engage in action externally, but give up attachment from within. Shree Krishna then stresses that all living beings have responsibilities to fulfill as integral parts of the system of God’s creation. When we execute our prescribed duties as an obligation to God, such work becomes yajña (sacrifice). Those who do not accept their responsibility in this cycle are sinful; they live only for the delight of their senses, and their lives are in vain.

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13 Jul Karm Yog – Should I be a Sanyasi?

In our previous discussion about Karm-Yog and working without desires, we learnt how to work without worrying much about the fruit of action. This forms the essence of Karm-Yog. There is another path known as Karm Sanyas, and many intellectuals debate hard on which path is the best one to take.

Is Karm-Yog is best one or is it Karm Sanyas? Some people think that Karm Sanyas is superior and hence the best and only way towards Krishna consciousness. What is Karm Sanyas?

Renouncing your profession and family to practice sadhana is the path of Karm Sanyas.  The word 'Sanyas' means renounce or give up. The life of a renunciate is not cakewalk as it may seem from far.   Many difficulties, obstacles and issues need to be resolved, just as in any worldly vocation.  At the moment, you may find that along with practicing your profession and family life, you are unable to remember God and Guru, and you wish to take Sanyas.  If you were to tread the path of a Sanyasi, and then realize that you are still unable to remember God and Guru as intensely as required, what would be the situation? You would neither be a true Sanyasi nor a Karm Yogi.

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02 Jul Karm Yog – Working Without Desire

Karm Yog requires detachment from the fruits of actions. Such detachment comes by practicing discrimination with the intellect. Hence, Shree Krishna has interestingly called it buddhi yog, or “Yog of the Intellect.”

Having motivated Arjun from the mundane level, Shree Krishna now moves deeper into the science of work. Arjun had expressed his fear that by killing his enemies he would incur sin. Shree Krishna addresses this apprehension. He advises Arjun to do his duty, without attachment to the fruits of his actions. Such an attitude to work will release him from any sinful reactions. When we work with selfish motives, we create karmas, which bring about their subsequent karmic reactions.

The Māṭhar Śhruti states,

“If you do good deeds, you will go to the celestial abodes; if you do bad deeds, you will go to the nether regions; if you do a mixture of both, you will come back to the planet Earth.”

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