What a great fortune!
All of us who are in satsang are fortunate and blessed indeed!
The world is very large with crores of jivas (souls). But our life is totally different from that of others. What is the reason for this? It is simply because Lord Krishna has taken us into His fold; taken us as His very own! This is the reason that we have entered a satsang.
What a great fortune!
But can we remain complacent about this? When we see someone without hands we heave a sigh of relief over our own fortune. We think,
“What a great Fortune! Ah! We have been blessed with hands. We must safeguard these hands.” This is true. But that’s not enough. A truly intelligent person will go beyond this and perform good deeds with those hands, won’t he?
Similarly, realizing our fortune in having obtained “Sat sang” (Sadguru’s association) we must make the best use of it.
So what does ‘making best use of satsang’ mean?
Let’s think about our lives for a minute.
Are we, who are in a satsang, any different from the rest, in spite of the satsang Are we continuing to nurture desire and hatred, remain lethargic and fail to conduct our lives in a dharmic (righteous) way?
Instead, how should our life be?
Should it not be an exemplary one?
Our life should be an enviable and wondrous one, and not an object of ridicule by others. Others should look at a Satsang person’s life and remark:
What a great Fortune!
We may proudly declare that we have come to the fold of a Guru and that we have been in the satsang for long but we should not fail to observe our own progress.
What purpose does mere advancement in age serve if there is no spiritual progress and peace of mind?
Some people begin a work very enthusiastically initially, but after a while just drop it because of the arduous labor involved. A person tries to keep his newly constructed house clean and tidy. But as time passes he becomes indifferent and the house is filled with cobwebs and dust. Anything obtained newly enjoys great value and attention. But as it grows old it ceases to hold the same degree of attention. One becomes indifferent to it.
Sadly, we do the same with our sadhana too! How will we benefit if we follow our sadhana scrupulously initially—right after receiving the upadesa (initiation) from the Guru or entering a satsang or listening to/reading about the ways of sadhanafrom a book—but drop it after some time?
The performance of sadhana should grow in intensity with time. We should not rest until we attain the goal!
Manas (mind) is vacillating by nature. Many a time the indriyas (senses) pull us away from our goal. At such times we should not feel dejected but face and handle the situation very courageously. Whenever the mind wavers we should pray intensely.
Such prayers are always answered!
What I mean here is that when we pray for the removal of an obstacle in the way of our sadhana, it is surely taken care of. We can then find our mind getting one pointed when we sit for Nama japa or dhyana. Bhakti or Jnana is easily acquired in the mind that has become one pointed.
One desiring spiritual progress should not talk much unnessarily.
No work can be done by one who keeps chatting dime a dozen. Such a person’s mind will also be very fickle.
Only clean clothes should be worn. Good food should be consumed in right quantity and on time. We should be pleasant-faced and majestic. We should never get bogged down by anything. Abuses should not worry us. Instead, we should realize that this is the way of the world and learn to ignore it. We should never get angry.
We should be humble and be affectionate to all.
We should be forgiving. We should never waste our time. We should have a positive attitude and see only the positive aspect in everything.
There is no violence worse than using offensive language that hurts others.
If we truly desire Lord Krishna our behavior should be like this. If we lead such a life we will become gentle like the cow or the deer. We should not behave like the wild tiger or the lion that creates fear in others. We should never criticize others.
If we spend our time only joking around or being playful without any seriousness at all, our life will also pass away playfully without any purpose. Seriousness in everything is a must.
We should not develop negative attitudes like “I am a sinner, I do not enjoy good luck, I cannot do this work, etc.” Instead,“I can accomplish everything” – should be the thought we should hold on to. We should possess this confidence and courage. We should not run away from problems. We should act with courage and maturity (viveka).
I always say, “Everything happens as per the Will of the Lord and He bears the burden of our family!” If you do not understand this in the right perspective you will only become lazy! God waits to bear the burden of only that bhakta who leads his life ever in the thought of Him and has totally forgotten the world.
God has not promised to bear the burden of the one who thinks that he is a bhakta because he chants few Namas, wearsgopi chandan (sandal paste mark on the forehead) and tulasi maala around his neck but spends his time in watching television, visiting friends, relatives, acquaintances and wasting his time in gossip; or of one who speaks of Jnanaa orVedanta although he truly knows very little about it; or of one who eats anything and everything and spends a lazy life. Therefore, if one does not understand ‘spirituality’ properly you will only become lazy!
In books narrating the lives of Mahans we may find that Mahans have cured the diseases of or solved the problems of many. This is indeed true. But there is another side to it. What is that? Don’t we see many of their close devotees suffering? It is sheer waste to feel attracted to ‘kamya bhakti’ (devotion with a worldly end in mind) bereft of any ‘tattva’ (philosophy). Bhakti should be done knowing the ‘tattva’. I do not feel proud of having a large following of fools but feel it is great indeed to transform even if only a handful for the better.
I am involved in many activities (Brahmotsav, Temple renovations, running Veda/Agama Patasalas, discoursing, Nama prachar, etc.).
But all these do not make me as happy as when I succeed in making a person chant Hari Nama (the Divine Name of the Lord). I consider only this as a great feat!
I have taken the vow of helping all, even if they abuse me or cause me trouble, in all possible ways. I desire all of you to be like this.
All those who are involved in this satsang should live a dharmic life. They should perform Nama japa and Nama kirtandaily. You should be generous and sacrificing. You should be disciplined and exercise self-control. Only if we lead such a life, God will lend us all the help needed. I do not desire you all to do great work.
Let the work be small. But all that I say is – “Do it with total commitment and love!”
Heaven is not anywhere else. If only we could learn to lead our lives properly then this world itself will become heaven! Otherwise, this will be hell indeed! If there were no life after death we could live as we fancy. But there is life after death. Of this there is no doubt at all. Unless we live as per the wish of God we cannot reach His Lotus Feet.
Only then, truly we can say:
What a great fortune!
(Based on Sri Swamiji’s article in Tamil, Madhuramurali magazine – November, 1995, Jayanti Special)