As we all sail through the sea called life, Our Guru Maharaj gives beautiful precepts that one can follow to cross this sea. He always urges his devotees to view life with a positive attitude and envision life as a beautiful lyric and do not look into life in the perspective of issues and problems and to not get involved in the mundane world. In order to substantiate this wonderful precept, let us take the leaf of a lotus flower. The leaf has the capability to float in water and also to hold the lotus flower on it and yet it does not have any affinity to neither the water nor the lotus flower. Even if it has water droplets on it, it does not associate itself with these water droplets. One should lead a life akin to the leaf of the lotus. But due to our sins that we have accrued from our previous life, tends to make our lives miserable. We eventually try to fight against our karmas in an effort to transform ourselves. King Parikshit also asked Sage Suka if it is indeed right to fight against our inherent tendencies. Sage Suka acknowledged his question and agreed that it was indeed right to fight against these tendencies since the intention to transform to a better human being is genuine. King Parikshit in his next question to Sage Suka asked if one can attain a state which is devoid of all the karmas. Sage Suka urged King Parikshit to wash away the dirt [malam] that is present inside every human being. Sage Suka gave a beautiful list enlisting the paths that one could adopt to clean the dirt. Mahans always talk with reference to shastras and scriptures. Whatever they propound would have already been told in the shastras and the scriptures. Their way of life aligns to what is said in scriptures.
“tapasa brahmacharaeyna shanena cha dhamenacha
thyagena sathya chouchabhyam yamena niyamena va ||
Deha vaag bhuddhijam dhIrA dharmajnaah shraddayan vitaah
kshipantyagham mahadapi venu gulmam ivaanalah” || [SB 6:1:13-14]
The above sloka describes the various paths that Sage Suka mentioned to King Parishit.
Tapas – By adhering to the path of meditation will slowly absolve the sins. Practicing celibacy will lead one to control the sensual desires will reduce one’s sins. The other paths that Sage Suka explicated include charity, by adhering to the path of truthfulness, by being pure in body, mind and heart, by following simple rules of life and by following austerities one can reduce the sins. Having said all this, it is said that a true Master will only give the best of the best to his devotee. Sage Suka tells Having said this, he then started to expound on the path of bhakti. If one does bhakti [devotion] to Vasudeva, by merely catching hold of the path called bhakti, and not needing to do any other sadhanas, one’s sins will fly off akin to how dew drops dry off when the sun rises in the east and lastly their intention to sin will also be lost. By following the path of bhakti, one will transform all their emotions as love for Lord Vasudeva. One will experience this only after practicing bhakti for some time and it is not an instantaneous process he added. Perseverance and patience that one develops while when doing bhakti is only by Guru’s grace. The easiest way for acquiring Guru’s grace is verily through the chanting of the Divine Names of the Lord.
After a brief round of introductions, Ms. Ramyaji from San Jose started to discourse on the 24 Gurus. The satsang after reminiscing the first five gurus, went on to expound on the next four gurus.
Chandrama [Moon] – We all know that the moon appears for 15 days in a month and disappears for the next 15 days. The waxing and waning of the moon occurs only to the digits of the moon. During the waxing period, the moon slowly starts to be visible and on the full-moon day, it is fully visible. After the auspicious day of Pournami, it slowly starts to disappear and on the new moon day, the moon is totally invisible. It seems like the moon is born and dead every month. This assumption is however not true. It is verily due to the earth’s movement that one can perceive the appearance and disappearance of the moon. The moon is always known to be fat, glowing and complete and is called as Poornachandran. Akin to the moon is the Atma. It is always complete and the different states of growth starting from birth, boyhood, the youth hood, maternity, old-age and ending in death only implies to the body [sharira] and does not relate to the Atma. The atma is never born or dead and it is similar to the Poornachandran. This is what Avadoorata says he learned from the moon.
“Visargaathyaha smashanantha bhava dhaeasya nathmanah
kalanamiva chandrasya kalaenavyaktavarthmana”|| [Srimad Bhagavatham 11.7.45]
It is a well known fact that the earth is one. But due to circumstances, it is demarcated as different continents, countries and cities. If we delve into this further, we would realize that the earth is only one but due to demarcation it looks different. Akin to earth is water. People try to quantify water, which is infinite by calling it with different names. Even Fire [Agni] and Sky [Aakasha] are all only one. If we see from the window of our house we see only a portion of the sky and if we view the sky from our neighbor’s window, we see another part of the sky. But we eventually see only one sky when we come out of our homes. Akin to the sky is sun. As we all know there is only one sun. Even as the sun reflected in the reflecting substance is perceived to be a different sun, similarly Atma which is clothed in a body is perceived to be a physical body all though it is one by itself. In other words, the atma which is present in all of us is the same and it enters every being and hence we tend to personalize each being with a name. If we keep the name aside, then we can see that the atma that entered all the beings is one and the same.
Bhudhyathae swaena bhaedena vyakithisya iva thadgathaha|
Lakshyathae stoolamathibihi athma chavasthitorkavatha||
Kapotha [Pigeon] –
Nathisneha prasango vaa karthavyah kvaapi kenachit
Kurvan vindeta sandapam kapota iva dheenadhih”||
There was once a bird couple and they were leading a happy life. In a few days, the lady bird gave birth to their off-springs. They were deriving happiness by seeing their fledglings grow up. Every day the male bird went out to get food for his family and the mother bird was taking care of her younger ones in the nest. One day the chicks were playing and a hunter caught sight of this. He immediately trapped them in his net. Seeing this horrible sight, the mother bird rushed down to save her younger-ones. She was also eventually caught in the net. The male bird after collecting the food for his family returned home. As he approached his home, he was devastated to see his dear ones trapped in a net. The male bird tried his best to save his family but was in vain. Alas, he was also caught in the same net by the hunter. The female dove due to overwhelming affection on her younger-ones got caught in the net. The male dove due to his unstinting love for his wife and his fledglings also got caught by the hunter. Akin to the bird, we also get entangled in our family due to sheer love for our family members. Having blessed with a human birth, we need to use this birth in a wise way to attain the holy Feet of the Lord and attain the final beatitude.
Yapprapya maanusham lokam muktidwaaramapavrutham
gruheshu kagaath sakthasthamarudachyutham vidhuhu
The crux from the bird’s story is that one should never keep excessive fondness or attachment on any person or object. The mind of a man becomes so unhappy and comes to grieve akin to this dove upon losing its dear ones.
graasam sumrishtam virasam mahantham sthokamaeva va
Avadoota started to expound on his next guru. Ajagara is python. He says one should learn to eat food like a python be it sweet or bitter. Python is also known as ‘malai paambu’ in tamil. The snakes normally wander from one place to another in search of food. In the process, they get spotted by people and are eventually killed. The pythons are an exception. They never wander for food and they do not possess enough strength to roam around for food. They just remain in one place. Unless and until food comes somehow comes to python they won’t eat anything. It might just eat a frog one night and the next night it might have a sumptuous dinner which could be a rabbit or a deer. The following day they might not get anything to eat and hence they will starve. Sadhus are akin to pythons in this regard. They won’t go in search for food. There are two types of dharmas that are specified for sadhus. The two dharmas are Ajakara vrithi and the Madhukara vrithi. In the case of Madhukara vrithi, the sadhus go from one house to another like the bee for biksha. In the path of Ajakara vrrthi, the sadhus do not go from one place to another for biksha. They will have biksha only when it comes to them and they are extremely pleased with whatever they get. So Avadootar says that one should develop dispassion [nirapeksham] and should not have passion or affinity [apeksham] to anything in particular and should be contented with whatever they get.
The satsang ended with prayers and Namasankirtan.