Continuing from the last month…
These are the next lines of the series “Sadhana Karu Pyare”.
साधना में है प्रमुख मन, इन्द्रियाँ नहिं प्यारे |
मोक्ष अरु बंधन का कारण, एक मन ही प्यारे |
प्रथम करु हरि ध्यान मन ते, जैसी रुचि हो प्यारे |
sādhanā meṅ hai pramukha mana, indriyāṅ nahiṅ pyāre
mokṣha aru bandhana kā kāraṇa, eka mana hī pyāre
prathama karu hari dhyāna mana te, jaisī ruchi ho pyāre
Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says that in practicing devotion, the involvement of the mind is the foremost thing and not the material senses. Why does he say that? This is because, in this material world, external behavior and manners take precedence. By external behavior we mean etiquette. For example, we say “Sorry” and “Thank You”. These days, people use these words without any feeling. A “Sorry” denotes that a mistake has been done. But there is no real regret, and we merely say it as a matter of etiquette. While walking, people greet each other, “Jai Siya Ram!”, which means Namaste. Similarly, people say, “How are you?” In reality, they do not genuinely care how you are doing. Now, if you start telling all about yourself and your worries, they will get irritated. They would wonder, “Why did I ever ask him in the first place?”
So, in this material world, etiquette is followed, and it is just an external act. When two people cross each other while walking, they say, “Good Morning!”, even though they do not know each other. There is no feeling from the inside; rather it has become a mere formality.
God says that acts such as ostentation, craftiness, artificiality, deception and superficial words are of no importance in the spiritual realm. God says, “I will only consider the feelings in your mind.” You do not have to say the word “Ram” even once but you have to feel from the inside. God will note the feelings in your mind, and accordingly, reward you with divine results.
There was a boy in India. He was reciting the Hindi alphabet to God, ‘Ka’, ‘Kha’, ‘Ga’, ‘Gha’. A saint came by and asked him, “What are you doing?” He said, “I am praying to God.” The saint said, “Is this how you say your prayers?” The boy said, “I do not have the intelligence to recite a prayer, and hence, I am just reciting the alphabets to God and asking Him to make a prayer of His choice. I simply want to make Him happy.” The saint replied, “All glories to such innocence. God is attracted to such innocent behavior, where there is no deception or pretense.” So, Kripaluji Maharaj says that in this spiritual realm, the mind plays a vital role. We have to train our mind to think in the right direction.
This mind alone is the cause of liberation and bondage. Our mind’s attachment to the material world has kept us bound to the cycle of birth and death. When we train the mind to detach itself from the material world and concentrate on God, we are actually attempting to cleanse our mind.
Shree Kripaluji Maharaj further says, “Your ‘will power’ is limited and maya, or the eternally existing, lifeless, cosmic power of God is unlimited. Therefore, your willpower is bound to fail in front of the power of maya.” If you want to win and control your mind, there is only one solution – surrender yourself to spiritual power. By surrendering to spiritual power, God will bestow His Grace and you can control your mind.
Shree Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita:
दैवी ह्येषा गुणमयी मम माया दुरत्यया |
daivī hyeṣhā guṇa-mayī mama māyā duratyayā
“Arjun! This maya power of God is very difficult to defeat. But…
मामेव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायामेतां तरन्ति ते
mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te
If you come to my shelter alone and surrender completely to me, I will free you from the clutches of maya.” How do we conquer our mind? By remembering and meditating upon God. There are innumerable organizations that teach meditation. Some meditate upon an imaginary circle, some mediate upon the pranas. It is intriguing to see someone meditating upon prana instead of God.
Our Guru teaches us to mediate upon God, which means we have to meditate upon the form of God. Along with this, we can also chant His Divine Name and Pastimes, sing kirtans that will be helpful in the remembrance of God. If we involve our material senses in the spiritual area, it will be easier to attach our mind in God. But this is not compulsory. If you do not feel like doing kirtans, you can simply meditate upon the form of God. But it should not turn out that you neither contemplate on God nor sing His kirtans. So, to be safe, the best thing is to chant His names, sing His virtues, listen to His Divine words, and remember Him with the mind. This type of bhakti called tridha bhakti has been accepted and taught by many saints, and Kripaluji Maharaj has also recommended this:
श्रीकृष्णं स्मरणं मनसा वचसा सरस् कीर्तनं
श्रोत्रेण श्रवणं नित्यं त्रिधाभक्तिर्गरीयसी ||
śhrī kṛiṣhṇaṁ smaraṇaṁ manasā vachasā saras kīrtanaṁ |
śhrotreṇa śhravaṇaṁ nityaṁ tridhābhaktirgarīyasī ||
He says, “Remember and contemplate Shree Krishna with your mind, sing the glories of Shree Krishna by chanting kirtans and hear to beautiful kirtans.” This tridha bhakti is the best and most powerful. It is because of the power of tridha bhakti that in this sadhana camp we are engaging in devotion day and night. If we were practicing some other kind of devotion, we would not experience that Bliss, and we would lose interest in 2 or 3 hours. For example, when we sit to perform a yagya, fire sacrifice, we can hardly sit for a couple of hours without getting distracted. We start to think, “When will this get over? I cannot understand the mantras that the pundit is chanting, nor am I able to enjoy the Bliss of God.”
It is the grace of our Guru that he has gifted us this simplest and very sweet form of bhakti that helps us attach our mind to God. Hence, tridha bhakti is the easiest and best for people of this age since the three primary senses (mouth, ears, and mind) are engaged in the remembrance of God.