Kenya Dharmayatra 2016

 

Introduction

Param Pujya Bhaishree has embarked on a Dharmayatra to Kenya from the 30th April - 11 May 2016. The topic of the 5 day shibir is 'Shant Sudharas: Nectar of immortality' composed in the 17th century by Upadhyay Shri Vinayvijayji Maharaj.

 

Day 1

Amidst the downpour of rains, Kenya has been drenched in divinity. Param Pujya Bhaishree's divine lotus feet graced the land of Kenya late last night to share the message of inner lasting happiness and the nectar of immortality.

Thika

Feel the explosion of joy within that you can't contain yourself - Brahmanisht Vikrambhai

Feel the explosion of joy within that you can't contain yourself - Brahmanisht Vikrambhai

Eager and inspired seekers gathered at Thika for the arrival of their beloved after a long three years.

Param Pujya Bhaishree's first discourse was an in-depth explanation of Shree Anantnath Bhagwan stavan (written by Shree Devchandraji Maharaj), which struck right to the core inspiring us to awaken and unlock our own wealth and lasting happiness.

Here is an English translation of this beautiful stavan:

O Lord Anantnath, your idol has been consecrated in my eyes;
You are the reservoir of equanimity & from you the nectar of self-realisation flows effortlessly. (1)

For those souls weary of the sorrows of materialistic existence, you provide immortal shelter;
For getting rid of the poison of delusion, you are like a magical charm. (2)

You Lord, are like the wish-fulfilling gemstone for attaining the greatest wealth of the soul's infinite qualities;
Thereby the seeker attains the eternal bliss of liberation and remains firmly established in his true nature. (3)

Just by one glance at your divine form, all the doors for the inflow of karmic bondage are shut, and new bondage is greatly reduced;
The seeker attains the three jewels of right faith, knowledge & conduct and is empowered to engage in such spiritual activities that shall lead to liberation. (4)

Sweet O Lord is your divine countenance, with great respect and zeal I have beholden it;
The one who shall understand and contemplate upon your great qualities, shall surely get rid of the cycle of birth and death. (5)

In your name O Lord, lies a unique charm, while in your consecrated idol lies the power to mesmerise the devotee with joy;
But most of all, in your numerous qualities lies the power to completely engross the devotee in a meditative trance. (6)

I worship The Lord Anantnath, in whom there lie infinite (anant) virtues;
He who shall duly worship The Lord who is indeed as radiant as the moon is among all the other demigods, shall surely be wedded to him for all eternity. (7)


Day 2

After the day in Thika, today we were back to Nairobi where Gurudev showered seekers with his pure words. He emphasised on us the importance of mumukshuta (qualities of a seeker of enlightenment).

"Unfavourable circumstances can become an amazing opportunity to cross the ocean of life and death". Pujya Bhaishree stressed to us the importance of maintaining our spiritual efforts at the same level regardless of what state we find ourselves in.

This evening seekers have gathered to celebrate and welcome their beloved Gurudev Bhaishree to Kenya.

Unable to contain their joy, they broke out in song and dance. Seekers also performed a Guru Aarti:

'Glory be to the enlightened Guru, Glory be to the enlightened Guru! Saviour of the sinners, we bow our heads at your lotus feet'

During this joyous evening where seekers welcomed their beloved to Kenya, the air was filled with devotion and we were transported to the inner world through soulful singing by Nitinbhai and team.

Bhaishree also further mesmerised us with his divine wisdom where he shared with us the importance of true faith and the magical effect it has on every part of our life.

He said, "In one who has true faith, Godhood and all of its glory will unfold and blossom like a fragrant flower."

Bhaishree explained that there are so many paths that take you to God, but if there is one that is the easiest, it is to be completely surrendered to an enlightened master who lights the path for you.

But, first, one has to realise what this true surrender really means.

With a playful laugh Bhaishree said, people wrongly think true surrender means giving up your entire wealth and belongings to your Guru.

Not leaving us hanging, Bhaishree explained, we constantly carry the weight of life's burden on our shoulders and in our mind. We become one with these everyday troubles and feel like they are happening to 'us', whereas in fact they are happening to the body which we are imprisoned in and thus identified with.

We have to melt this feeling and belief of ownership and mine-ness that is limiting us on our path to realisation. True, complete surrender is when you can give all of these worries up to God, which allows you to have a completely free mind so you can unlock your own true nature.


Day 3

On this wonderful day that we start with a visit to the Jain Derasar of Munisuvrat Bhagwan here in Nairobi.

"O Lord! What can I say? You are the compassionate Lord of the lowly, my Lord. I am filled with infinite faults. Bestow your compassionate grace on me." - Vis Dohra

This morning, Param Pujya Bhaishree showered his grace on seekers through his sermon on the power of satsang, drawing on inspiration from the divine words of Param Krupalu Dev Shrimad Rajchandra.

*Satsang means association with like minded souls seeking the truth. The blessed company of a self-realised soul is the highest form of satsang.

* Satsang is the root of eternal happiness and self enlightenment.

*Just as it is impossible to swim on land, so it is impossible to drown (in the ocean of birth and death) with satsang

*In a world where we are burning in mental worries, bodily worries, or worldly worries, satsang is our saving grace. It raises us above all the worries so that we can reconnect to our true nature.

*With unique unprecendented devotion, the obstacles to satsang such as dogmatic obstinacy, hubris, complacency and sensual indulgence are all overcome.

 

Swadhyay on Devotion

"True loving devotion to the self is the highest of all paths. If practiced at the feet of the enlightened Guru, it can lead to liberation in an instant"
-Param Krupaludev Shrimad Rajchandra

O beloved Bhaishree, you are the epitome of love and compassion. You have given me everything I need and yet I have one more request. Bless me so I have the strength and courage to consecrate my mind at your divine lotus feet, and love you as completely and unconditionally as you love me.


Day 4

"Time to forget the good and bad times Listen only to the inner joy chimes Time to mingle truly with divine love Feel peaceful blissful like the white dove."

"Time to forget the good and bad times
Listen only to the inner joy chimes

Time to mingle truly with divine love
Feel peaceful blissful like the white dove."

Bhaishree's topic for the retreat is 'Shant Sudharas' or the Nectar of Tranquility which was composed by Vinayvijayji Maharaj Saheb and which contains powerful contemplations upon the nature of existence.

Meditation Retreat, Day 1

Eagerness, excitement & tranquility filled the atmosphere as meditators gathered at the Navnat hall in Nairobi for the first day of the Dhyan Shibir.

We began the day with the auspicious lighting of the lamp - symbolically implying the dawning of wisdom within the self. We then assembled to listen to Bhaishree's sermon on the ancient Jain scripture 'Shant Sudharas'.

Through his talk, Bhaishree focused upon the idea that we have identified with that which we are not (the body) and we have forgotten what we actually are (pure soul). Because of this we have forgotten what true happiness is and instead we think happiness is that derived from material pleasures of the world. Due to this we are always in a state of suffering. He emphasised that our freedom lies in our hands and that with a sincere quest to find out true nature we could rid ourselves from the shackles of materialistic bondage and dwell in the infinite bliss that lies within.

Anitya Bhavna (the contemplation upon the momentary nature of existence)

Bhaishree began by expounding upon the first of the twelve contemplations that are contained in the "Shant Sudharas" scripture. These are invaluable contemplations for any spiritual seeker.

"Life is as momentary as the passing wind,
Indeed wealth is nothing but an affliction;
Pleasures of the senses are as ephemeral,
As the colours of the evening sky;
All associations in this world,
Are as diaphanous as a dream;
Friend, brother, wife - they are all fragile,
Why then do you wallow in this illusory drama !"


Day 5

Meditation Retreat, Day 2

During the retreat, the seekers not initiated in meditation are treated to small group sessions with Brahmanisht Vikrambhai. This is what he shared:

"Fathoming the depth of one's own inner being, is meditation.

It actually begins from that moment, when a disciple surrenders to his Sadguru (self-realised master). Dazzled and captivated by His divinity, a disciple remembers his Sadguru in all that he does. Relishing good food or buying new clothes, he wants his Sadguru to have it all before he has it for himself. While taking major decisions he keeps Him in his mind.

His life gets encircled around his Sadguru and progressively a day isn't far when his Sadguru becomes a part of his own being.

This is the time, when a Sadguru showers grace and teaches a disciple to focus within. With practice, the disciple is able to still his mind and the mode of self awareness gets activated.

Sadguru being the focus is in real sense true Meditation. In devotion, a disciple gets effortlessly induced to a meditative mode."

 

"Time to sprinkle the water of piety Worship the feet of Sadguru our true deity. Time to drench ourselves in devotion Be calm and still even though life is in full motion." - Br. Minalben

"Time to sprinkle the water of piety
Worship the feet of Sadguru our true deity.

Time to drench ourselves in devotion
Be calm and still even though life is in full motion."

- Br. Minalben

Asharan Bhavna (The contemplation upon the shelterless & orphaned nature of the self)

Bhaishree continued expounding upon the twelve bhavnas or contemplations during his sermon this morning at the second day of the meditation retreat. He elucidated upon the 'Asharan' Bhavna ie the contemplation upon the lack of any shelter and complete helplessness at the hands of death.

"The great Chakravartis (emperors of the six continents) as also the powerful heavenly beings who are constantly absorbed in pleasures, when mercilessly pierced and abused by the cruel spears of death, cannot be saved by anyone! Even these powerful beings look desperately in all the ten directions for shelter at the time of death, yet none can save them. (1)

"Alas, none can overcome death. At the hands of death, great men are like little insects. All the pride, luxuries, fame and success that men revel in, shall only last until so long as death hasn't arrived. When death arrives, all their wealth, beauty, ancestry, learning, greatness, ego etc. shall all vanish. (2)

When the Lord of death (Yamraj) summons someone, all their esteem, strength & vigour stand defeated. Their able bodies turn feeble. Their faces lose all their lustre. Seeing them in this condition, their own near & dear ones start fighting over their wealth and estate, even while they are alive. Thus O soul, never rely on time, for it comes and goes without any notice (3)

 

Sansaar Bhavna (the contemplation upon the nature of worldly existence)

After a second meditation, all assembled for the second discourse of the day. Bhaishree continued on his topic of 'Shant Sudharas'. He spoke on the third contemplation or 'Sansaar Bhavna'. Through the beautiful verses and powerful stories, he explained how troublesome this world existence is for the soul.

"O! The wretched forest of materialistic existence is full of worries; it is truly treacherous; how could souls trapped in it ever attain peace ? In this forest of worldly existence, the fires of greed are raging wild. These fires constantly scald everyone and it is truly difficult to be freed from them. (1)

Alas! In this materialistic world not a single person is free from affliction. As one problem is resolved, another arises immediately. Souls are engulfed by mental, physical or external troubles. Thus this wold is like an endless mine of worries and troubles. (2)

At first the soul suffers intolerable pain in the mothers womb, then through childhood it goes through untold suffering, as it grows older and attains but a moment of calm amidst illusory pleasures, there comes old age and death. Thus this worldly existence is full of suffering. (3)

The deluded soul that has forgotten itself and roams this illusory world is like a bird. The body is like the cage it is trapped in and passing time is like the cat that is after the birds life. (4)

This universe has existed since time immemorial. The soul has suffered much having gone thorough infinite cycles of birth and death each time reincarnating in a new form. O self, free yourself from the bondage of this materialistic world." (5)


Day 6

Meditation Retreat, Day 3

Aekatva Bhavna (the contemplation upon the singular reality of the soul)

This fine morning as we gathered for the retreat, an ethereal sense of calmness and stillness was writ large in the air. It was as if all the meditators had risen far above their materialistic woes and had dived deep within the self. Bhaishree radiantly continued his sermons on the twelve contemplations from the Shant Sudharas scripture and discussed the fourth of them - Aekatva Bhavna.

"Only the self, the true Lord, is the solitary reality. It is of the nature of consciousness, awareness and bliss. All else is merely an illusion. Because you are interested and attached to this illusory world, you continue to suffer. (1)

To hanker after external pleasures and pursuits is the result of ignorance. Blinded by sensual pleasures, the soul remains attached to that which is external to it. It imagines "this is mine, that is mine"! In reality the pure soul is all there is, and it is only due to its own ignorance that it yearns for external pleasures. (2)
 

Just as the wise one knows that to seek the wife of another is the cause of nothing but much trouble, so also to let go of ones true nature and to desire external pleasures is the cause of numerous afflictions. (3)

"Time to enjoy the spiritual celebration And crave only and only for salvation Time to accept blessings from our trinity Enjoy every colour of life with glad acceptance and divinity." Br. Minalben

"Time to enjoy the spiritual celebration
And crave only and only for salvation

Time to accept blessings from our trinity
Enjoy every colour of life with glad acceptance and divinity."

Br. Minalben

Thus knowing that which is external to be the cause of all sorrow, withdraw this blanket of externality that you have created in all four directions; unwind the net of external engagements that you have trapped yourself in; destroy the feelings of attachment towards that which is external; and spread the fragrance of self-inquiry, meditate upon yourself, let go of all external thoughts. (4)

"The soul is alone, it has come into this world by itself; it shall leave by itself; it shall bear the fruits of its good and bad deeds by itself; nothing will come back with it; it was born alone and will die alone."

Aekatva Bhavna (the contemplation upon the singular reality of the soul)

In the second sermon on the day Bhaishree expanded on Aekatva Bhavana by using examples and stories.

One of the stories he shared was that of King Nami which has been referenced in the 'Bhavnabodh' by Shrimad Rajchandra. The King had renounced the world and adopted monkhood. To test his resolve, an angel appeared in the guise of a mendicant and urged him to give up his monkhood as his kingdom and family desperately needed him. A profound conversation ensued between the two - the mendicant trying to convince the King to go back and yet King Nami refuted each of those questions arguing that his soul was his sole reality and that its upliftment was his only duty. King Nami then narrated the story behind his renunciation - one time he felt very ill and no remedy would work. His dedicated wives were making sandalwood paste so as to provide him some relief, however the noise of their bangles was irritating the king and so he ordered them to stop the noise. Soon pin-drop silence followed and when the king enquired he found that the queens had taken off all but one of the bangles and hence there was no noise. It stuck the king that only in silent solitude is there true peace and so he decided to renounce the world and adopt monkhood.

O self, thus contemplating upon the nature of reality, you shall attain the nectar of equanimity. Drinking that nectar, an ethereal, indescribable bliss will consume you. O Vinay, no materialistic pleasure could ever come close to this bliss of the self, so remain in it always.


Day 7

Meditation Retreat, Day 4

Anyatva Bhavna (the contemplation upon all that is external to the soul)

Whilst the rains poured outside this morning at the Navnat Centre, Nairobi, Bhaishree showered seekers with his grace. He elucidated upon the fifth contemplation from the 'Shant Sudharas' scripture - Anyatva Bhavna.

"Due to the particles of karma that are external to the soul but that are stuck to it, the soul has suffered untold miseries. That very self which is the master of infinite bliss, wanders around in destitution due to the entry of that which is external to it. (1)

O Soul! Under the spell of attachments, why do you attain so much sorrow by desiring things like family, wealth etc which are external to you. Why do you not contemplate upon your own inner wealth that is comprised of the invaluable jewels of consciousness, awareness and bliss ? (2)
 

"We are all so blessed to have a divine Sadguru who has given birth to our spiritual being!!! HE has groomed us with selfless love. Let us have FAITH in HIM. HE has taught us the principle of truth. Let us always ADORE HIM. HE has trained us to live life with equanimity. Let us TOUCH his feet and ask for HIS blessings today." Br. Minalben

"We are all so blessed to have a divine Sadguru who has given birth to our spiritual being!!!

HE has groomed us with selfless love. Let us have FAITH in HIM.

HE has taught us the principle of truth. Let us always ADORE HIM.

HE has trained us to live life with equanimity. Let us TOUCH his feet and ask for HIS blessings today."

Br. Minalben

O Self! That which you desire after, that which causes you fear, that which brings you sensual pleasure, that which causes you distress, that which you yearn for, that which you like, is all external to you! Yet you destroy your own true nature in the pursuit of the above. (3)

O self! Have you not undergone tremendous suffering in this world ? Have you not repeatedly undergone much sorrow. Time and again you were tortured in the fires of hellish and animal life-forms. Instead of contemplating upon materialistic objects , had you contemplated upon your true self, you would never have attained such affliction. Yet you consider all that which is external to you to be yours, why are you not ashamed of this ? (4)

O Soul! Know that only your qualities of consciousness, awareness and bliss are yours. All else is external, contemplate upon this deeply. (5)

Dharma Bhavna (the contemplation upon the rarity of the true Dharma)

This afternoon Bhaishree explored the 10th contemplation from the 'Shant Sudharas' text - Dharma Bhavna. His powerful words combined with the masterful writings of Vinayvijayji filled us all with a sense of completeness and abundance at having attained the true path to enlightenment and liberation.

The Lord Jinas have propounded the Jain religion,
For the benefit of souls far and wide;
May their ideals such as compassion, righteous conduct & penance,
Always reside in my heart. (1)

Further the noble Jinas have laid down the code of conduct for Monks,
And have given us the ten virtues to be practiced;
Truth, forgiveness, humility, purity, detachment,
Straightforwardness, disinterest in sensual pleasures, lack of desires, renunciation & non-possessiveness. (2)

It is by the radiance of this Jain dharma,
That the moon & the sun shine upon the earth;
Indeed this dharma is like the cooling rain-showers,
That calm the land burning in the summer heat. (3)

Those who practice dharma,
Are unaffected by vicious storms or hellish fires;
All violence is given up even by cruel souls,
Such is the greatness of this dharma. (4)


Day 8

Meditation Retreat, Day 5

As we start the last day of the retreat, Brahmanisht Vikrambhai led a small group workshop for those not initiated in meditation. He sang a hymn starting with the line "Mann ki tarang marlo, bus hogaya bhajan" (All we need to do is calm our wavering mind, and that itself is our prayer), explaining in practical terms that if we are able to still our continuously wondering minds, and live in the present moment, we will find inner peace, and a power to concentrate that will eventually lead us to divine bliss.

With such sweetness and love, Vikrambhai emphasised that Dharma is the simplest and easiest thing in the world. "We are trapped in this body. Do we feel that? Until we feel that we are truly trapped and locked in this body, we will not ever be free."

Bodhi Durlabh Bhavna (the contemplation upon the rarity of the enlightened master's path)

In the last sermon of the retreat, Gurudev continued on the twelve contemplations from the 'Shant Sudharas' scripture and discussed Bodhi Durlabh bhavna.

During this soul-stirring sermon, Bhaishree left no stoned unturned as he explained the importance of the rare endowments we have been blessed with. He said not only is it rare to be a human, it is even rarer to have full working faculties of a human body including the five senses and discriminative mind. More rarer is to be blessed with the good fortune of humane virtues that lead us to hear the pure words of an enlightened master. And even more rarer is to have faith and completely surrender to the enlightened master who will show us the path to divinity.

Bhaishree shared that despite being so rare, due to our good merit, we have all the necessary factors to liberate our souls - an invaluable treasure that only a few fortunate souls are blessed with. He said all seekers should make a firm resolution that while one is alive, regardless of circumstances, bodily pain, external hiccups of life, etc, one should cast away any laziness and use all his energy for his spiritual striving so that he can free himself and experience his own true reality.

O soul, contemplate on this rarity and realise how fortunate you are!

This afternoon the 5 day meditation retreat with 99 seekers came to an end with the closing ceremony.

Upon striving to reach new peaks of inner awareness this week, there was an air of peace and tranquility as well as a radiating glow amongst all.

A participant shared, "I wish that the positive energy and the air of transformation you have thrown amongst us and tried to instil in us stays with us forever and helps us all of our striving."

Brahmanisht Minalben's thoughts for the last day of shibir:

We are all so blessed to have a divine Sadguru who has given birth to our spiritual being!!!

HE has shown us the true colours of the world we live in. Let us HONOUR the God within HIM.

HE has sown in us the seed of enlightenment. Let us ENERGISE ourselves and move on the path of spirituality.

HE has kept nurturing our soul with HIS soul-stirring swadhyays. Let us RUN and take HIS shelter and turn our backs to the mortal being.

Practical Spirituality

"Learn to see God in all and make the world a better place Enjoy life to its fullest, living under His grace." Br. Minalben

"Learn to see God in all and make the world a better place
Enjoy life to its fullest, living under His grace."

Br. Minalben

This evening we were blessed and lucky to have a very special satsang entitled "Practical Spirituality" delivered entirely in English by Br. Minalben and Br Vikrambhai.

Both of these extremely pious, blissful, and energetic souls shared with us through their own experience and contemplations, how to practically conduct and live a spiritual life that allows us to cultivate the values and virtues that lead us to permanent happiness.

The first half of the session was conducted by Br. Minalben, who through her own self composed poem, guided us through a journey to true happiness and inner peace.

"Whether we are an adult or whether a child
Whether our mind is tamed or it runs wild

One thing we all need and always do desire
Is to feel happy, energetic and never to tire

But the truth is that we all feel the high and low
In the fast moving world we do tend to become slow

Our hearts beat fast and our minds lose control
Each and every time we face life's ever changing role

Now is the opportunity to behold and head
The pious words of our Sadguru and feel the real cheer

An epitome of peace, a man of true wonder
Able to always guide us and never let us wander

A perfect example of living free inspire of body bondage
Doing all the daily activities yet remaining detached like a hermit sage

Come, see, listen, feel and experience the inner poise and outer charm
Of the Sadguru who protects us from all internal and external harm

He teaches us the art of a peaceful balanced life
By meditating and eventually becoming a spiritual being

Life is short and time is quickly passing by
So let's know our soul and heave a peasant sigh

Learn to see God in all and make the world a better place
Enjoy life to its fullest, living under His grace."

"The mortal body hides an immortal flame within, Kindle it and the light of Joy and everlasting Happiness will surely spring." Br. Vikrambhai

"The mortal body hides an immortal flame within,
Kindle it and the light of Joy and everlasting Happiness will surely spring."

Br. Vikrambhai

In this session Br Vikrambhai spoke to us about happiness.

Jumping straight in, Vikrambhai questioned, "Though we all want everlasting happiness, are we aware of where this happiness lies and how shall we reach there or experience it?"

He explained that happiness is within us, but we relate it externally to an object, a person or a situation, and due to this, we keep searching for it externally and so our thirst is never quenched and each happiness is short lived.

"Happiness depends on how we think and react to situations. If we are doing something we love, but are pessimistic, then we won't find happiness, but if we can learn to relax and enjoy the things we hate, we can be happy." He shared that we need to learn this art and start appreciating what we are and what we have.

"Happiness is not a place but it is the journey. Happiness is in the moment of now. It lies where we are, in this moment, doing what we are doing without worrying about the outcome or trying to get away from something"

Vikrambhai stressed that our happiness lies on the quality of our thoughts, and so we must develop a positive attitude by accepting principles of truth as well as inculcating virtues within, and for this, we must take the shelter of an enlightened master.

"The mortal body hides an immortal flame within,
Kindle it and the light of Joy and everlasting Happiness will surely spring."


Day 9

Coming right off an energising five day meditation retreat, seekers embarked on a joyful two hour nature walk with their beloved Sadguru this morning to explore the Karura Waterfalls within the upland Karura forest reserve in Nairobi.

After an inspiring walk, Param Pujya Bhaishree, Br Minalben, Br Vikrambhai and seekers partook in a small tree planting ceremony.

O dear Gurudev, with every interaction, with every glance, with every smile, and with every word, you effortlessly sow within me the seed of enlightenment so that I can reap the fruits of liberation.

O dear Gurudev, with every interaction, with every glance, with every smile, and with every word, you effortlessly sow within me the seed of enlightenment so that I can reap the fruits of liberation.


Day 10

Jains around the world celebrate the auspicious day of 'Akhatreej' today - the very day when the first Tirthankar Rushabhdev Bhagwan finally received alms at the hands of his own grandson and could thereby relieve his fast of four hundred days.

On this sacred day, seekers have gathered at Deepakbhai Kothari's residence where Param Pujya Bhaishree will consecrate the idol of Tirthankar Bhagwan in their home.

Remembering and singing the Lord's name and virtues, may we gain the strength, open-mindedness and positive enthusiasm to inculcate them within us.

Devotion, love and gratitude filled the air as seekers sang and danced to the qualities of their Lord.

Consecrating the Lord in one's home and heart is a pious, unforgettable ceremony that arises within the seeker a deep sense of devotion and faith.

After the ceremony finished, all partook in Aarti and Mangal Devo, which was then followed by a sermon by Gurudev.

He explained that consecrating the Lord at home provides a constant reminder of the highest virtues which one wishes to imbibe within. It softens the heart, preparing one for the calm yet focused pursuit of every day activities.

Bhaishree then explained the Stavan of Shree Parshwanath Bhagwan, written by Shree Mohanvijayji Maharaj.

"O Son of mother Vama (Lord Parshwanath)! You are dearer to me than my own life,
Keep me not away from you even for a moment!
Greatest among men, although your complexion is dark,
Yet the radiance of self-realisation & numerous virtues that have flowered in you shine out bright!"


Day 11

At today's special ladies only Satsang, seekers had the privilege to hear words of wisdom from both Br. Minalben and Br. Lalitamasi.

Minalben said, "We may not be self-realised but why should we not think like one who is? We need to practice to see ourselves different to the body."

We see a cream wall in a house and although it looks like one, we know there is a difference between the cream paint and the wall underneath. We see a sword in its sheath, and although they look like one, we know there is a difference between the sword and the sheath.

Using these examples, we need to contemplate on the difference between the soul and body. Though they may both appear as one, there is a vast difference between them.

Imagine the death of a close family member. Once the soul leaves, the body still looks the same. We then put the body on ice to preserve it, sometimes even for days and weeks. When we think about ice, how long could we really sit on it for? Only a very very short while. The dead body which we leave on this ice for days however, feels nothing, as there is no soul inside to feel. After a few days, this same body is cremated."

Minalben continued, "Now we're all women who cook; what happens if we touch the gas flame when cooking for even a second? We get burned, but does the dead body being cremated feel anything? Of course not, as there is no soul inside to feel."

Minalben showed us the importance of contemplating upon this reality again and again, and to think and feel the difference, even though we may not yet have experienced it.

Lalitamasi spoke for the second half of the session. She said, "If we are walking to some destination and after a while, we don't reach, we ask someone the way, and the second he tells us we are walking in the wrong direction, we turn around and start walking in the right direction. So why when it comes to spirituality, are we still walking in the wrong direction? Bhaishree tells us time and again, wake up, you aren't the body but the all-knowing soul trapped in the body. So then why do we keep forgetting and acting from body perspective?

When it comes to the body, we are so careful that our weight doesn't increase. We exercise it and make sure we stay under a certain diet etc. Why then, are we so lax when it comes to karma. Do we not mind that our karmic load keeps increasing? Contemplate this!"

 

Farewell Dinner

After 11 days of showering seekers with divine wisdom and guidance, seekers gathered for the farewell dinner and cultural program in the presence of Param Pujya Bhaishree.

With hearts full of joy, faith and love for their beloved Sadguru, seeker Shobnaben spoke the words on everyone's mind:

"O dearest Sadguru Bhaishree, you have given us everything. You have showed us the path to everlasting happiness. You have inspired us to make our striving firmer and stronger. How can we repay you? We cannot do anything but follow your guidance, know ourself and achieve self-realisation. And that too by your grace!"

Param Pujya Bhaishree in his last discourse of this tour inspired seekers to find their inner strength, stay enthused and do the necessary striving so they can experience their own true self.

"The root of all our strength is the existence of our soul. You have this greatest strength within you. Resolve to not allow any of the worldly life, whether it's mental or physical, to affect you. Our soul has been lost within the delusion of the body. Yet you are not this body. You are the infinitely blissful soul. So why allow yourself to be tired, or unhappy, or pained?"

Bhaishree explained that as a true seeker, if one can joyfully become more and more focused and stiller in awareness within meditation, as well as throughout the regular activities of his day, the more productive and happy he'll be, whilst feeling energetic, enthusiastic and light at heart.

In closing, Bhaishree with his blessings showered upon all the seekers affirmed: "May your striving be filled with strength and confidence so that you can finally win over the delusion that has entrapped you in this body. Do not let even a moment of inferiority bring you down. Count on the strength that you have within you!"

Bhaishree also paid respect to Brahamanisht Taraben Chudgar who herself is a resident of Kenya, and a guiding light and inspiration for the devotees.

The evening culminated beautifully with a cultural program of song, dance and action performed by devotees.

Special mention to Bhaishree's young grand daughters for a beautiful skit that showed the power of faith in Sadguru, as well as to sisters Nilpa and Naytika for their electrifying dance.