If you are willing to look beyond what is already known.....


The mature intellect brings forth devotion that is always in awe of creation. When something is unfathomable, the intellect is in awe. When the mind takes rest in the vastness of consciousness, only then can it know the Truth. This can only happen through Shraddha.
Shraddha is not just faith, it is to love something that is beyond the purview of knowing. And if one is willing to look beyond what is already known, then the vast wealth of knowledge embraces them.
The mind keeps wandering from one sense to another in search of satisfaction. It is only when you realize that this joy is caused by something greater, you can be centered. There is a saying that when one appreciates a flower, the flower feels sad as the creator of the flower is not being appreciated.
In Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna declares himself as the cause of all the joy of the senses. The intellect keeps getting stuck in the senses but when the mind, intellect and chitta get fixed on the Divine, the highest can be attained.
If one is unable to be completely fixated on the Divine, then one can establish devotion through sadhana or spiritual practices. However, any practice has to be done continuously without exception and with respect. Mental tiredness gives rise to the inability to do any practice. Many people do either only Sadhana or only Seva, and Lord Krishna does not spare either. He says, ‘If you work for Me then you will not be tired, this is for sure!’
Lord Krishna treats Arjuna as a friend and gives him options saying, ‘If you cant even maintain your practice, then at least be part of Me. Feel total oneness with Me.’ The body, mind and emotions are a result of karma. Good and bad things will happen, but be detached.
Take refuge in My connection with you and don't ever question this relationship.

Secret of Love, Fear, Hatred and Surrender


Surrender means an unshakeable confidence. Surrender simply means unconditional love. When there is love, there is no fear, know it is one energy that functions in three forms, either love, fear or hatred. When there is hatred there is no fear. When there is fear, there is no love or hate.
With all these three, the sensations in the body are at a particular place, the heart, whether you are in fear, in deep love or in hatred. And they are interchangeable. One changes into the other. You love somebody and that love slowly changes into hatred or you love something very dearly and the fear rises, thinking, "Oh, I may lose it."
Whatever you love most you hold onto. So, the same love has changed itself to fear. 
So, true surrender happens. You cannot do anything about it. If you love something, very deep,  true surrender. Surrender is not a burden, not a fear, not something which comes out of force. It is a spontaneous happening. Only the strong can surrender, the weak can never surrender.
We seem to understand it the other way. We feel that if someone is weak they will surrender. I am powerful. How can I surrender? No. To surrender it takes great courage and power, strength and confidence. Only then can you surrender. 
Surrender is always unconditional. It’s not that “I will surrender, so I can have peace of mind or bliss or whatever”. That is not surrender. If you love someone, because of what they have, then you don’t love them, you love the quality.
Love is a very deep, intimate phenomenon in your consciousness. It just flowers. It cannot but flower. There is no way you can meddle with it. You go near love, you dissolve, you simply don’t exist. That is the definition of love. Either you are there or there is love. You can never meet love or you can never love. Either you remain as love or you remain as somebody.
See, in conversation we say, “See, I love that because...” It is the most stupid thing. You love something and say "because"? "I love you because you are very good? I love you because you are honest?"
You are not loving that person, you love those qualities. And there is nothing great in you loving those qualities. And I tell you, you seem to love those qualities which you don’t have. That’s how people make ideals and they remain far away from ideals.
When we remain as a small pond, a stone will create a big ripple. If somebody says something, that can blow your peace off. So the peace is thrown off by people around you. But when you become an ocean, even a big mountain falling into it, does not affect it. Being an ocean, we behave like a pond – that is the wonder. The greatest wonder is man who is an ocean of peace and joy, behaves as though he is a little pond when he is disturbed by any little small thing.
You go crazy over little insignificant things and that worries you over and over again, day and night, for several years. Once you have surrendered, there comes a depth in you and nothing whatsoever can throw you off.

The secret behind your cravings


The association of a particular sense object over and over again creates a sense of craving for it. If you are used to drinking coffee every morning, then even though you are not born with a coffee fervor you have begun a habit within you that has created a craving. How did it all start?
The habit of drinking coffee didn’t happen in one day! Addiction starts with a repeated experience of a particular object. It becomes a habit — and the nature of habit is that it does not give you joy. It gives pain. Therefore, drinking coffee will not carry you to heaven but if you don’t have it, it can take you to hell!
The repeated experience or association of a particular sense object makes you want it more. You think about it — and it creates a sensation of more wanting. Wherever you put your attention in the nervous system, the craving for that begins. With association comes desire. And with desire comes anger. Whenever a person is angry, behind that anger is a desire. Whether fulfilled or unfulfilled, desire leads to anger.
So you get angry with somebody. The next step is that you get attached. Now, whomever you are angry with, sooner or later you will regret. Regret brings more attachment. By regretting, you do not move away from the person or situation, you move more into it. All this happens in a subtle way. Have you ever observed that whomever you are angry with or hate, you think of that person more than yourself? And as you think of this person, you get agitated or distressed. On the other hand, if you think of someone you love, you have a nice feeling and your nervous system assumes that form.
When your nervous system assumes either of the forms, it becomes like that and you get drawn to those kind of people. This is entanglement. Therefore, an obsession brings anger which in turn brings entanglement. Entanglement clouds intellect. Your wisdom and judgment are lost; your ability to understand and access the situation is lost. This is a chain reaction and it happens in such a subtle manner that you don’t even realize it.
Entanglement, whether out of craving or aversion, clouds the intellect. And a distorted intellect doesn’t let you be in peace. Such an intellect does not even bring up the emotions — the subtle feelings within you. Any feeling you get will be gross and will make you heavy.
With a clouded intellect, the memory of pleasant things is lost. Life has two sets of memories: memories of pleasant things and memories of unpleasant things. Children often have pleasant memories more than the unpleasant ones. That’s why they are so cheerful. But as we grow up and lose our innocence, our unpleasant memories increase.
Spiritual practices help bring back the pleasant memories more and more, and reduce unpleasant memories to almost an insignificant amount. Therefore, it is important to meditate regularly. Once the memory of “Who am I” is lost, the memory of “What do I want in my life,” the “reality” and “seeing life in context with the universe” is lost, wisdom is lost. Then there is no happiness and peace. The role of meditation and other spiritual practices is to withdraw the mind from sense objects. This is critical for success in life. The knowledge of coming back to the Self; the self referral value of consciousness makes it rich, energetic and beautiful.

The mind is like a mirror


The mind is like a mirror, whatever comes in front of it is reflected in it. But a mirror doesn’t cry, “Oh, I got dirty!” when a dirty picture comes in front of it. And it doesn’t jump up and say, “Oh, I have got these wonderful qualities” when something good is reflected.
When you’re driving, you can see in the mirror that there is a garbage can behind your car. Just imagine the mirror identifying itself with the garbage can. Or, imagine the mirror identifying with some beautiful scenery. In both cases, what would you say? It’s a stupid idea, it’s not the case. The mirror is neither the garbage can, nor the scenery. And that is exactly how it is with our own consciousness.
Our consciousness is like a mirror. Different images come onto it, and they all move away. Know this, and be free. When we get attached to any of those images, that is bondage. So, wake up and see – the mind is a mirror.
Anybody you think of, their emotions and their state of mind latches on to you and is reflected through you. If you keep thinking about happy people, you get happy. Thinking about unhappy things, you feel unhappy. That’s why I have said, “Don’t hate anybody.” Not for the sake of the person whom you hate, but for your own sake. Your own mind, your nervous system, will assume the form, shape, and color of that person. The most intelligent thing to do is not to hate anybody, because whomsoever you hate, you get those impressions embedded in you.

Two things that make you dance in your life


One is your desire, another is love.

Your desires keeps you on your toes, makes you dance all your life.  A desire gets fulfilled and gives rise to ten more, and you run all your life to fulfill them one after another. It makes you go on a merry-go-round (misery-go-round).  If you look into it and become aware of the dance that your desires make you do,  you will be amazed. It may be a very subtle desire and they get in to your heart and make you dance.

Then there is another type of dance that comes out joy, that comes out of love. 

That deep love makes you dance. In this dance, you do not get tired. Shraddha (faith) grows when a desire is fulfilled but when one desire does not get fulfilled the faith gets shaken. In love you don’t get shaken. You shake the whole world. Not just the world, but the entire universe.  You make the angels and the Gods dance.
You are supposed to dance after Chandi Homa, in the evening. Usually when people do yagnas they force themselves to dance or hire some professionals to dance. But here in our ashram – how spontaneously everyone get an impulse to get on their feet and dance! That is sattva, the positive energy. That is the truth. Here everything is authentically done and the dance happens automatically as a spontaneous natural phenomenon.
You have everything you want, so just be and radiate. When you are contented you automatically radiate peace.
Move on in life with the confidence that you will be given everything in abundance, and that you are being protected by the Divine. There is a divine armor around you that is protecting you; you have nothing to worry about. Know this and keep walking ahead in life with satisfaction, confidence, joy, patience, fullness and faith.

Navratri - the inward journey that nullifies our negative karmas


The festival of Navratri is a time for self-referral and getting back to the Source.

During this time of transformation, nature sheds the old and gets rejuvenated. According to Vedic sciences, matter reverts to its original form to recreate itself again and again. The creation is cyclical, not linear; everything is recycled by nature – a continuous process of rejuvenation. The human mind, however, lags behind in this routine cycle of creation. Navratri is a festival to take the mind back to its source.

The Mother Divine is recognized not just as the brilliance of intellect (buddhi), but also the confusion (bhranti); she is not just abundance (lakshmi), she is also hunger (kshudha) and thirst (trishna). Realizing this aspect of the Mother Divine in the entire creation, leads one to a deep state of Samadhi. Through wisdom, devotion and nishkama karma, one can attain advaita siddhi or perfection in the non-dual consciousness.

Though Navratri is celebrated as the victory of good over evil, the actual fight is not between good and evil. From the Vedantic point of view, the victory is of the absolute reality over the apparent duality. In the words of Ashtavakra, it is the poor wave which tries to keep its identity separate from the ocean, but to no avail. The Inward Journey nullifies our negative Karmas.

Navratri is a celebration of the spirit or prana which alone can destroy mahishasura (inertia), shumbha-nishumbha (pride and shame) and madhu-kaitabh (extreme forms of craving and aversion). They are completely opposites, yet complementary. Inertia, deeply ingrained negativities and obsessions (raktabeejasura), unreasonable logics (chanda-munda) and blurred vision (dhoomralochan) can be overcome only by raising the level of prana and shakti, the life-force energy.

The seeker gets back to the true Source through fasting, prayer, silence and meditation. Night is also called ratri because it brings rejuvenation. It gives relief at the three levels of our existence – physical, subtle and causal. While fasting detoxifies the body, silence purifies the speech and brings rest to the chattering mind, and meditation takes one deep into one’s own being.

Though our life is governed by the three gunas, we seldom recognize and reflect on them. The first three days of Navratri are attributed to tame guna (intertia), the next three days to rajo guna (activity) and the last three days to sattva guna (tranquility). Our consciousness sails through the tamo and rajo gunas and blossoms in the sattva guna on the last three days.

Whenever sattva dominates in life, victory follows. The essence of this knowledge is honored by celebrating the tenth day as Vijaydashmi.

Recognising the one divinity in every form and being is the celebration of Navratri. Hence, special pujas honoring all aspects of life and nature are performed during this time.