IVY Swadhyay - May 2016

During IVY Swadhyay in May, Brahmnisht Minalben continued to instruct young mumukshus from Shrimad Rajchandra’s Vachnamrut.

Giving a discourse from letter number 84, Minalben said, at the age of 23, Shrimadji was still in search of a Guru and the path to enlightenment, while also living his worldly life as a husband, son and businessman.  It was at this time that he laid down 8 points that would help him strive a balance between his worldly and spiritual life.  These same tasks can prove to be beneficial to mumukshus as well, said Minalben, and we should strive to indoctrinate them in our lives.

1. Remember our body and mind are separate entities, and what powers them is a third entity, our atma.  Our powerful mind is the creator to our thoughts, and this mind functions in the presence of our Atma (Soul).

We must use this concept when we are caged in worldly thoughts, whether good or bad. We can also use our thoughts to test if we are happy or sad and what is important here is that we are trying to find out if our atma is happy and not the mind.

2. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. We can control what affects us or bothers us, and no one else.  As long as we continue to be born in this sansar, pain in the form of karmas, will continue to torment us.  Many people do not understand this due to the lack of a Guru in their lives. The only way to escape this suffering is to rid ourselves of all attachments and to surrender to the holy trinity (SatDev, SatGuru, SatShastra).

3. This total surrender may seem impossible to attain but it isn’t so. That state exists and it can be experienced.  One can reach his goal of eternal happiness not by wishing away the sadness, but by inculcating detachment within, so that sorrow is incapable of upsetting us.

4. This state can be achieved by renouncing worldly attachments, and taking the shelter of an Enlightened Master.

5. Shrimadji compassionately instructs us that if renunciation is not possible immediately, one can still achieve self-realization by taking the refuge of a Sadguru.  Faith and following Guru Agna are the 2 master keys that will unlock the door and help us to move ahead on the spiritual path.

6. Every activity should be given its due importance. Just as we plan our diet to remain healthy, our day should be planned in such a way that we constantly feed and nurture the spirituality within us. A preset number of hours should be allocated each day to follow Guru Agna.

7. Recognize that our wants and desires are like a bottomless pit. What we have today, does not give us any pleasure tomorrow.  But if we wish to rescue our atma from the never-ending cycle of births and deaths, we must give up our attachments to transitory objects.

8. Life is very short and this human birth is all we have to save our soul.  But humans are surrounded by and immersed in their problems, such that they are not able to pursue their goals single-mindedly. And when one feels overwhelmed, one must remember the points below:

  • Just as a lotus grows in muddy waters, we must also thrive spiritually in this transient, materialistic world. Above the dirt is sunshine and fresh air. We must learn to reside in the body but live in the soul.
  • The nine-fold bhakti marg will help us reach higher and higher.  This bhakti marg (path of devotion) will help us connect to our Guru in different ways.

Narrating a thought provoking story, Minalben said:

Intending to get his daughter married, a king invited many princes and suitors to his palace and organized a competition to find the strongest man in his kingdom.  He said "I have a dangerous task for you. This river is full of crocodiles, whoever swims across the river, wins my daughter’s hand in marriage!”

No one was willing to take the risk. Suddenly, there was a loud splash. A prince had jumped in and started swimming. He swam as fast as he could and reached the other side!  The king was delighted to see him succeed and sent a boat to get him back.

The king congratulated the prince and asked him to address the people. The prince asked: "I would like to know who pushed me in?”

Sometimes circumstances force us into deep waters. We must bear with grace. For it is those challenging times that uncover the true potential within us.

We are all as strong as God from within! But that power remains unexploited.  We constantly try to live worldly lives comfortably – this is our biggest mistake.  Our goal and objective is wrong. Caged in the body we can never be truly happy.  Without our spiritual goal, our life will be derailed.

Worldly and spiritual evaluation is important.