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Shraddha Satsang


Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda

After returning to Jadan Ashram on 23rd April 2012 from visiting two ashrams in Jodhpur area (read here), Swamiji gave a very beautiful and a most inspiring satsang about Guru and disciple relationship and confidence.

Swamiji's Satsang, 23rd April 2012, Jadan Ashram 

Today we went to visit some other ashrams but before I tell you about that, there is something more to be said.

People come to saints and say: "Oh Babji, we have no attainment in life, our wishes do not get fulfilled, do something for us, give us Your blessing." But God gave us two good hands, two good legs and that which is between the ears. He gave us something called brain, so we are fully equipped to make our own life successful. By birth everyone is called a shudra (lowest caste in India), our karmas determine our social status and through purushartha, sincere effort and work, everything is achieved.

When a human becomes completely aware of his life's aim, which means knowing where he should go and what he should achieve in life, then he needs the blessing. In order to attain the goal of our life we need support. A hobbled person having difficulty walking needs a wooden stick for that and in the same way our mind and indriyas (senses) are hobbled due to ignorance. Krodha - anger, is present in every being and the reason for anger is bhay - fear. Anger results from fear. And along with anger, irsha - jealousy comes. The thorns of jealousy do not allow a person to progress, to develop. Our Satagurudev Swami Madhavanandji Bhagawan says:

"Kapata ki bhakti Prabhu nahi mane, sache rache Madana Gopal".

God doesn't accept fake devotion, only pure hearted and honest can reach Him.

If there are dishonesty, jealousy and fear inside us, if there are doubts in our mind, then that produces raga and dvesha – likes and dislikes. Dvesha results in krodha, krodha results in bhay and all this brings a selfish attitude into our mind and senses. Sakam and Nishkam means selfishness and unselfishness. Where there is selfishness, desires arise - I want this and I want that - and all this circle of raga, dvesha, kama, krodha, mada, lobha and moha starts. In this way a person is enslaved in his circle and is not able to be released from that. Be he a disciple, a bhakta, a student, a farmer, or anybody else, if there are doubts in his mind, then it does not matter how much time he has at disposal, he is not able to achieve his life aim.

So we went to visit an Ashram of one sadhvi, a good friend of ours, one saint from the Jain religion. Many years ago she realized that the society or her former spiritual group did not suit her. So she left them but continued her life search alone in the inner jungle, asking herself: "What did I renounce my home for, what is to be attained, what is my life aim?" The life situation of that lady was getting more and more disturbed and poor. She went to many saints, everyone gave her his blessing, but when she learnt that Paramhans Swami Madhavanadaji, our Holy Guruji, is present here in Jadan Ashram, she came here. She received immense inner peace from Holy Guruji's darshan. Once or twice per month she used to come to meet Guruji, or if Guruji went to Jodhpur, she would surely visit Him there. She did not even have a permanent place to stay. For a sadhu, wherever he goes, he is at home. She asked Guruji: "I would like to stay in the Ashram and serve you, but I wish to get the aim of life fulfilled. That is why I came."

You all know, there must be absolute faith of the disciple towards the Guru and, at the same time, of the Guru towards the disciple. The earth can move out of its position, the mountains like Himalaya can start to tremble, but the trust of the disciple towards the Guru should always stay completely unmoved, steadfast. If doubts appear in the disciple's mind, then the link to the Master gets broken and it throws the disciple again to the lakha chaurasi, circle of birth and death. That is why saints and mahatmas are saying: "Bhakti is like the edge of a sword and to walk on it is very difficult."

It is said that in the old times rishis and munis were testing their disciples in very difficult ways. Nowadays, if a Guru is a bit strict with the disciples, then they reply: "O, Gurudev, here is your ashram, here are your things and we are going." At present, a Master cannot say everything to his disciple, because the disciple would not be able to bear it. In the same way, today's parents cannot say everything to their children who see them as their servants. They think: "The property of parents is ours, it is our birth right." And if parents told their children something too sharply, the children would call the police, say it in the school, and so on. On the other hand, there are still such children who live in the spirit of full service and obedience towards their parents, and these children develop in life, they are progressing.

Some mahatma said: "As a mother, father, auntie, uncle, and grandparents love the children, in the same way a Guru loves his disciples." In that way I was receiving love, affection and blessings from Holy Guruji. He took care of me so much, I think that such a Guru is met by very few people. Guruji was always doing his mala and people used to ask him: "Guruji, you are already old, retired and you did so many malas in your life. Why do you still continue?" Guruji answered": "I do it for my disciples." Once, Guruji had a fever, 39 degrees Celzius, a strong cold and a cough, it was winter time, but He was still sitting under many blankets and doing His mala. Someone told him: "Guruji, today you are ill. Take a rest today." And He answered: "Today I cannot rest, today Mahesh needs my mala very much. He is in difficulties." And it was the truth. Guruji gave me that much love, hopefully some other Guru will also be able to give to His disciples as much. And, hopefully, the disciples will understand that.

So, Guruji told that sadhvi from Jodhpur: "O, daughter, all this is very nice, but only Mahesh can fulfill your wishes. When He comes, you should surely meet Him." As the dried plants are awaiting the rain, that was how she was waiting. When I came, she immediately arrived accompanied with some other Jain followers. She met me and Guruji said to me: "Maheshwaranand, give her your blessing." I replied: "Gurudev, how can I give any blessing, when you are here?" As long as the Master is in his duty, the disciple has no right to give any blessing. Holy Guruji used to go to many places – Bombay, Ahmedabad, Calcutta, and if somebody asked Him for a gurumantra there, Guruji would say: "Go to Bola Guda, Shri Mahaprabhuji is living there, get your initiation from Him."

Kesa Ramji from Jalore is sitting here with us. His father wanted to receive mantra-diksha from Holy Guruji but Guruji refused him, saying: "No, no Pukh Rajji, you should go to Bola Guda, Mahaprabhuji is there. As long as the king is in power, the royal prince has no right to sit on the throne." When Kesa Ramji's father arrived to Mahaprabhuji , he was told: "I gave you already diksha through Madhavanandaji." But Kesa Ramji was unshakable that Guruji told him to take mantra from Mahaprabhuji . At that time his life situation and material background was not at all like today. Today he receives a lot of respect in their community, there are peace, wealth, ridhi and siddhi at his home, and till today there is a deep tradition of bhakti in their family. Every evening they sing prayer, Mahaprabhuji 's and Holy Guruji's portraits are in all of their shops and are worshiped daily.

Let us get back to our story. I asked Guruji to give her the blessing but He replied: "I will do only mala and you speak to her and give her the blessing." She arrived accompanied by some businessman, Mr. Mehta. She sat next to me and started to cry, saying: "I wish to stay in Thy presence, I will do your seva". I said: "I mostly live abroad and there are enough people in my service." She replied: "I will go anywhere you wish me to, be it in the jungle or under a tree, with or without food. I will serve you but I want Thy blessing to get the aim of my life fulfilled."

Imagine a situation of a person surrendering completely to you and you reject him/her. Imagine what pain (s)he must be experiencing. A lot of it. But if the person is a true disciple, then there is no pain at all.

Like Eklavya. He went to Guru Dronacharya to learn archery. Dronacharyaji asked him: "Eklavya, are you of some royal origin?" "No, I am a son of a forester," replied Eklavya. Guru said: "In that case I cannot teach you here! Leave. This gurukul is only for royal princes." Eklavya understood – "Gurudev said that he cannot teach me here. It means He will give me the knowledge somewhere else." Eklavya went to the forest, made a statue of Gurudev and started to practice archery. And you all know the story. When Arjun's teaching was completed and he became the most accomplished archer of all, he once went with his brothers and Guru Dronacharya into a forest. A dog was barking there but was suddenly silenced. After a while they saw the dog having his mouth full of arrows so as not to bark anymore. However, there was no injury and not a single drop of blood. Arjun looked at this wonder and immediately asked Dronacharyaji: "Gurudev, you told me that there is no other archer accomplished as I am, but look at this. Who could do this?" Dronacharyaji answered: "Let us go and search!" They came to Eklavya's place while he was practicing archery and Dronacharya asked: "Who are you?" "I am your child, your bhakta and disciple," replied Eklavya. Dronacharya asked him: "Who taught you this knowledge?" And Eklavya replied: "You did, Gurudev. You said that you cannot teach me at the Gurukul, but you took your residence in the chambers of my heart and taught me all this."

When there is such a sraddha - trust towards the Guru, then it does not matter where he is physically because his mercy and blessing continuously flow. Some people think that if Gurudev sits somewhere else, he cannot guide and protect us. But there is no border for blessing and there are no preferences about who will receive it. To receive a blessing is the right of every bhakta. If we are able to keep it is another thing. It does not matter how much water you pour into a water pot, if there is a hole at the bottom, all the water will leak out. This hole means the doubts in the disciple's mind.

So I told her, that sadhvi: "Just remain where you usually live, there is one khejari tree, sit under it and do your sadhana following your Jain religion." And I instructed the businessman who was with her to make one meditation hut for her. After that she left. However, it did not remain on making one single grass hut. A sadhana cave and a small beautiful ashram were built along with the hut. And till today, this sadhvi, this shishya and mahatma, developed that ashram, through her sadhana directed to the Divine Mother, into a place of great beauty and divinity. There are 108 statues of different forms of Padmawati Mata and many people like to come there.

Today I went there to give the blessing for the opening ceremony. When I asked her: "Do you remember this day 14 years ago," tears came into her eyes and she answered: "I was somehow afraid to follow what you said but, at the same time, I fully trusted your words and they became true." It is said:

"Chand tale, Suraj tale, Mahapurusho ke vacan kabhi nahi tale."

Moon and sun may change their direction, but the words of the saints will always come true.

Similarly, it is said in one bhajan:

"Mana sab khoyo re kusangiyo ke sang."

"O my mind, you lost everything in company of kusangis, in bad society."

It means that in kusang you get such vrittis in your mind that everything is lost. In everyone's eyes it is clearly visible which sort of vrittis one has in his mind.

When Holy Guruji was abroad for the first time, He was served bread and butter. He told me to spread some butter for Him on the slice of bread and so I put on a thin layer. Guruji said: "Put more and more and more," till the layer was as thick as the inner white part of a coconut. Then He looked into my eyes and said: "What you are thinking about?" I answered: "Well, Guruji, there is perhaps too much butter. And You already have a problem with the heart, with diabetes and other things." Guruji just replied: "But that is not your problem, just let me eat!" "Jo houkam, as you wish," I answered. And so it is.

If a person looks at a dog, he can see from its eyes if it is going to bite him, or stay peaceful. Also in the case of an elephant, you will find out from its eyes how it is going to behave. So you see what people are like in their eyes. Today when I saw in the eyes of that sadhvi how much progress she did, how much sadhana she did, how much respect she has for others, I reminded her: "Do you remember how many times you were crying during your sadhana in your meditation cave?" She said: "Yes, Gurudev, You are absolutely right. I was hurt at that time that you sent me away, but I was repeating the words of Holy Guruji to myself – Don't worry, He is always with you - and I had absolute faith that Thy blessing can never be unfruitful."

We live in the era of titles today. We call people a doctor, an engineer, a professor. But tell me which title god Krishna had. He was known simply as Krishna. And what about god Ram? His name is just 2 syllables, Ra-ma, that is all. Lord Buddha and Jesus Christ also had no titles. But now the whole world worships them.

And to continue with the journey we made today, we came to a small village Ashotra, somewhere in the Rajasthan desert. A great saint was living there and he was also uneducated, he could hardly sign himself. His name was Kheta Ramji Maharaj. Today the whole Rajpurohit caste, as well as other people, worship him as their god because it is the divine qualities that a person possesses which are worshipped. It is said: "We want a person with the power of character, not with the power of money. It is the quality which decides, not the quantity." His main disciple, his successor, also only had one or two years of formal education, he was not even able to give lectures, but through his sadhana, respect, bhakti and his behavior towards Gurudev he received all his knowledge with which he united the whole Rajpurohit society of India. He also made the name of his Guru known as Brahma Svarup.

The true disciple worships his Guru and thus gets the divine knowledge, and the self-minded one uses Guru's possessions for his own profit, misusing what he has been entrusted with and thus causing great harm to the ashram. Every disciple can reach the Highest, the possibility is there. But we are weak because we have no confidence. Mahaprabhuji says in one bhajan:

"If I want to sell you, you must be ready to be sold.

And in that case I will sell myself instead of you.

You must be ready to give your skin for making my shoes

And in those shoes you will cross the ocean of worldliness with me."

Suppose there is a wooden boat which will cross the sea. If you hammer an iron nail into it, then it will cross the sea as a part of that boat. But if it stays separately and you throw it into the water, then it will immediately sink to the bottom. Even a stone can cross the ocean if it stays on board of the boat. But you know, that boat was made by a Master, by somebody who knows.

In our Om Ashram there are some pieces of rough stones, just lying somewhere in stock with an odd shape, and there are other stones, which have already been carved by a craftsman into a beautiful sculpture, a form of God. Such a craftsman does not have much education and only has a hammer and a chisel in his hands but possesses the skill to make it. Then we take that sculpture, place it in a temple and worship it as God. And who do we perform the puja to? Actually, it is a puja to that artist, to his skills, knowledge and bhakti which he engraved into the statue, he put that special power in that piece of stone we worship now. Similarly, a small child is just a piece of clay and if parents want, they can make a beautiful statue out of it. And in the same way, the Guru can make the form of the Divine from a fresh clay-like disciple.

So I told you a little description of our journey which we did today with the intention of making clear that rishis, munis and mahatmas were not present only in ancient history but are also with us today. And they will always stay with us because Sanatan Dharma is the eternally living religion. And the lineage of Guru-disciple will remain an inseparable part of that.

Holy Guruji used to narrate one story. There was once a disciple by the name Upmanyu. He was a son of a simple farmer. Since he was 3 or 4 years old, he was constantly telling his parents: "I want to go to Gurudev and live with him in his ashram." In the morning, at lunchtime and also in the evening, he was troubling others by repeating this wish all the time. When he was over 5, his farther finally took him to the Master who was living in that area and whose name was Dhaumya Rishi. Father said: "O Gurudev, this boy is crying all the time that he wants to live with you. Kindly accept him into your service." Gurudev looked at the boy and said: "Yes, the boy has certain inner qualities but first he will have to pass the test. OK, leave him here." The boy was in bliss: "I got a permission to live in the gurukul, my fortune has opened." Father left and Gurudev assigned the boy his first task: "Son, Upmanyu, your work will be to take care of our cows while they are grazing out in the fields. Get up in the morning, first collect the wood for the fire and then take the cows for grazing in pastures. In the evening, bring them back again." This was going on for many days. He spent all days in pastures and in the night he was sleeping with the cows in gaushala. After 10 days, when nobody offered Upmanyu food and water, Gurudev asked another disciple: "How is Upmanyu surviving? Something is strange, call him to me." Upmanyu came and the Master asked him: "Son, you don't eat in the ashram. So what do you eat?" Upmanyu answered: "Gurudev, I go for bhiksha, begging for food in the village, and afterwards I eat that." Gurudev got strict: "Boy, this is wrong! How can you go for bhiksha and eat it without offering it to your Master? That is wrong!" Upmanyu apologized: "Please forgive me Gurudev, it was out of ignorance, I did not know about this rule." From this day onward, whatever Upmanyu received as a bhiksha he surrendered it to his Master and Master would immediately send him away with the cows so he did not get any part of the food he brought. After another 10 days Gurudev called him again and asked: "Upmanyu, son, whatever you bring as bhiksha, you give everything to me and get back nothing. Then what do you eat?" Upmanyu says: "Gurudev, after I give the first bhiksha to you, I go for begging once again and I eat that." Gurudev got upset: "Boy! This is a clear misconduct. With this you are extorting the householders and a sadhu should never do this! Go for bhiksha only once!" After the next 10 days Gurudev again calls Upmanyu and asks him: "Son, you are not allowed to go for bhiksha for the second time. If you give the first lot entirely to me, then what do you eat?" Upmanyu said: "Gurudev, I drink the milk from the cows." Gurudev warns him: "But the cows belong to the gurukul, not to you, and you have no right to take the milk on your own! Stop drinking milk! Go and take the cows for grazing." Again, 10 days pass and Gurudev calls Upmanyu to him, listing down everything Upmanyu is not allowed to do and asking him how he survives if he does not eat bhiksha nor drinks the milk of the cows. Upmanyu says: "Gurudev, when the small calves drink the milk of their mothers, then I lick the foam which stays on their lips." "What a sin you are doing," Gurudev becomes angry with him, "the poor calves, out of compassion for you, then produce more foam than drink the milk themselves and so they stay hungry. Never steal food from others again!" "Gurudev I apologize very much, I was not aware of this restriction."

It happened in the middle of one night that a strong downpour started. A disciple came to Gurudev and said: "Babji, the dam of our field above the ashram started to overflow at one place and it may soon endanger the whole ashram." Master is asking the disciples who of them can go and fix it but everyone has some excuse and no one is ready to go in the middle of the night to work in that wet darkness. Yes, there are 3 types of disciples – uttam, madhyam and kanishth. Kanishth is the one who receives instructions from the Master for some work but tries to put that work on somebody else. Madhyam is the one who demands a special blessing and appreciation from the Master for doing it, and is then ready to do it. Uttam is the one who just upon getting an intuition of what his mother, father or Gurudev want to get done immediately goes and already completes the whole job in a perfect way before that instruction is said. So when Upmanyu heard that Gurudev wishes to send somebody for repairing that dam, he instantly offered himself for the work. Master first did not agree because such a dangerous job is not for a 6-year old child. But after seeing Upmanyu's determination, He allowed him to go. Upmanyu took a hoe and went into the darkness. He arrived at the place but was unable to stop the strong stream of water coming through a channel in the dam with a small hoe. He could not accept that he would not be able to fulfill guruvakya, so at last he lay down into the channel on his back. However, that was not enough, so he covered his body with soil to block the stream till the water stopped flowing. Yes, Rishi put his disciple under such a difficult test. At 9 o'clock in the morning, the cows were mooing because no one took them out. Rishi asks: "Where is Upmanyu?" Someone replies: "Gurudev, you sent him to the field in the night, he either died from starvation or ran away." Rishi told: "No, no, my Upmanyu would never run away, come with me, we should look for him." They found him buried into the dam of the field, his face hardly visible. Master tells him a bit strictly: "What are you doing here?" He says: "Gurudev, I could not put enough soil to stop the water from flowing, so I had to block it with my body." "OK," said the Master, "but now get up, we will repair the dam and you take the cows into pastures, they are waiting for you." Nobody asked if he was hungry, thirsty or felt cold. So he went with the cows. As he was completely exhausted and hungry, he started to eat leaves of different plants and trees. One of them was poisonous and as a result he became blind. One day in the evening, when coming back to the ashram behind the cows, there was an empty water well on his way and he fell in. Cows came back but not Upmanyu. Master was asking: "Where is Upmanyu?" Others were telling: "Gurudev, what could you expect, you put him under such severe tests, nobody can withstand this. He ran away." "No, no," repeats Rishiwar with certainty in his voice. "Upmanyu would never run away." Master took all other disciples and they went to look for him. Everywhere they went, they were calling: "Upmanyu, Upmanyu," and when they arrived close to that well, they could hear him calling back: "Gurudev, Gurudev!" Master looks down the well and tells: "What are you doing here at the bottom of the well?" Upmanyu answers: "Gurudev, did your cows come back safely to the ashram?" "Yes, the cows came but what are you doing here?" Upmanyu sadly says: "Gurudev, I am hungry and I was not able to bear that hunger anymore. You prohibited me to go for bhiksha, to drink the cow's milk, to lick the foam on the lips of the calves, and so to stop the hunger I ate leaves of different plants and perhaps some of them were poisonous which destroyed my eyes, Gurudev." Master gave a blessing to Upmanyu and he got the inner vision of God. Then God gave him a blessing and Upmanyu's eyes opened again. Lord puts his arm forward with some sweet and tells Upmanyu: "Son, you are hungry, take this prashad, this is your bhiksha." Upmanyu answered: "I will not take, You may give it but I will not eat." "Why", the Lord is asking. "First it should be offered to my Gurudev. If he gives it to me, I will eat it, otherwise not." Then Rishi said: "Oh my son, you yourself became like God Himself." He blessed him again and all his pains and troubles were removed. Till today the name of Upmanyu is a symbol of supreme guru-shraddha. May every disciple be like him. And every Master is searching for such a disciple. The Master takes care of every disciple each moment and, at the same time, He is searching his border of unbearable pain.

So today we had an opportunity to see such true mahatmas who achieved something that attracts all kind of people through their own tapasya and sadhana. There were crowds of people from the whole spectrum of society. Many V.I.P.s, many high positioned officials, many ordinary bhaktas and they were all running there with bare feet, dressed in dhotis, kurtas and turbans, doing seva to the audience. As for the 1100 boys, they took the vow of following the disciplines of the Gurukul.

There is no lack of great Souls in this world, and if it may seem to us that there is, then it is only a lack of our understanding, because we do not have enough trust and love. And it is the reason for our confusion in this world. That is why you should be grateful that you can live in this gurukul, where Holy Guruji was living for a long time and did a lot of sadhana and meditation, or visit it. Take the opportunity of seva and do it with tyaga.

Shri Deep Narayan Bhagawan ki Jaya

 

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