IVY Swadhyay - July 2015

The path of  Divinity and Enlightenment is about having a zeal for true knowledge and wisdom.  And Ivy swadhaya inculcates this passion for true knowledge in young and vibrant mumukshus, to help them build the required foundation – character.

One of the simplest and quickest means given to us is daily recital of 1 mala of – ‘Aem Namah’ – the mantra of Saraswati Devi – Goddess of true knowledge, music, art, wisdom and learning. For younger children, a minimum of 27 times should be counted daily. To further nurture these budding flowers of Ivy, a Saraswati Mata Pujan was organized on 5th July, by the ever enthusiastic and helpful mumukshu – Riteshbhai, at his residence.

More than 40 children, adolescents and parents participated in the Pujan. The meticulous arrangements ensured a smooth, timely flow of the entire event. Every soul experienced inner peace and the beginning of a melodious rhythm of passion for wisdom being played within them. The benefit of such a Pujan and the daily chanting of the mantra is not just limited to excelling in academics or in one’s career, but the lessening of ‘Gnanavarniya karma’. This escalates our advancement on the path of divinity.

With the most important day in a mumukshu’s life – paying obscience to one’s divine benefactor, the Guru on Guru Purnima day- around the corner, Ivy swadhaya highlighted the value and importance of a True Guru and the devotion that we need to have towards him.

Such should be our connection with our Guru, that we should experience piousness in his presence, be anxious to serve his divine feet in his absence and wake up with his divine image before our eyes and bow reverently to his greatness. Such a simple habit to cultivate!

To match the selfless love of our Guru is impossible. But, being kind, humble, loving, forgiving, truthful to ourselves and others is what will give him happiness. All we can offer him on this Special day is moulding ourselves to inculcate virtues and an ever-growing love and bhakti for Him.

You are the doer. You are the designer of your own deeds and destiny’ – says the Lord. This feeling should get strengthened each day. If I’m suffering, then I must have gone wrong somewhere. It is entirely my fault. No one else is to be blamed. It is my uncontrolled attachments and desires to this transient world and material objects that has put me into misery. ‘The more I have, the happier I am’ – such a belief only makes us delusional. Minimalism should be our regime.

Instilling in us the motivation to progress faster on the path of divinity, Minalben recounted 3 inspiring tales:

1) An old man tried to climb the Himalayas in spite numerous difficulties and doubtful looks from others. When asked how he would accomplish this impossible feat?,  the old man replied, ‘I will, my heart got there first’. When we are determined, the word impossible doesn’t exist. We are all the more fortunate to have a support system like Pujya Bhaishree.

2) A student asked his teacher, ‘Can we see God? How can we have His Darshan? The teacher replied, ‘Penance is one excellent way to experience His graceful presence.’ Following the teacher’s guidelines, the road of penance and his incessant bhakti compelled God to show His grace to the devotee. We have also seen the result of extreme penance done by Ravan to obtain the darshan of Lord Shiva.

3) In a small town of Karnataka called Udipi, lived a devotee – Kanakdas. Being from the Shudra caste, he was never allowed to enter a temple. Wanting to see the statue of Lord Krishna, he would go behind the temple to have glimpse of Lord’s back. His unremitting love and for the Lord, compelled Him to give Darshan. The statue turned around 180 degrees to face the devotee. And since then, the statue faces the backside of the temple.

The second phase of the swadhaya focused on the topic of Navdha Bhakti, touching upon Shravan, Ashray and Kirtan Bhakti.

Brahmnisht Vikrambhai explained the letter 706 from Vachnamrutji. This letter is addressed to Keshavdas Nathubhai, one of the disciples of Krupalu Dev. What makes him a great disciple is his virtue of transparency. Keshavdas is a devotee who does not hide his faults. This is one virtue that we need to cultivate. The letter also sheds light on a powerful tool we have – The power of thought.

This is ‘the most vital and potent tool’ to grow inwardly on this path. Detachment and controlling our likes and dislikes are the fundamental virtues. This comes when we truly concentrate on the teachings of our Guru. And unwavering faith in Guru and believing that His shelter is the Only, Irreplaceable and Ultimate shelter that will bail us out from our miseries. This feeling is also explained in the poem  – ‘મૂળ માર્ગ સાંભળો જીનનો રે’.

No sooner do we show our readiness to surrender- mind body and intellect at his lotus feet – then they begin to function in accordance to His guiding light. This doesn’t mean we cannot be ambitious. But, at the same time, we need balance. Balance between the mortal and the immortal – Balance is to do something and allow something to happen. ‘પુરુષાર્થ કરો પણ એના પછી સમતા રાખો.”
Kirtan Bhakti is acknowledging, applauding and singing the glory and virtues of the Lord. Shedding the strongly held inhibitions and doing Kirtan Bhakti changes us from within. This Bhakti makes us innately positive. And if done with true heart, soon becomes music, movement becomes dance, smile becomes laughter, and our mind becomes meditation and with it, all the life becomes celebration……..

With Pujya Bhaishree at centre of our living, life will become a celebration. A dedicated disciple will always be awe-struck by the vast ocean of the Guru’s virtues….the element of admiration will never recede. This is how we must celebrate the Day of Guru Purnima.

It is said that:

‘‘ધરતી કો કાગઝ કરું, કલમ કરું બનરાઇ, સાત સમંદર કી સાહી કરું, ફિર ભી ગુરુ ગુણ લિખા ના જાયે”’

‘If this whole world was a sheet of paper, and all the trees were to be my pen, and the oceans were tobe ink, even then the glory of My Guru could not be written completely’.