Category: Vanara Gita

Vanara Gita 63: Undertake sadhana without expecting any results.

We have discussed that even an ant cannot move unless it is ordained by the Lord! At the same time there are scriptures which declare that success is the result of one’s personal efforts. How to reconcile these statements? Here, it should be understood that without God’s command, the person would not even be inclined towards putting in his personal efforts.

At times, in this world, we come across persons who seem to playfully achieve spiritual success without any personal effort. How is this possible? It appears as if lady luck is smiling upon them for no apparent reason. Their easy success causes immense jealousy in everyone especially in that devotee, who is really putting in tremendous efforts to reach the goal.

Due to envy, this devotee now begins to think- “Ah, I have been working so hard but have seen no success. However, without any effort, he has achieved great spiritual success”. That’s all. With such retrograde thinking, all his efforts which he has put in till date have gone down the drain. Upon seeing other devotees, if he thinks, ‘Look, I am so devoted. But it is he who is getting all attention. He is so close to Swamiji’, then remember that all the devotion and efforts put in so far have simply been washed out.

Instead, one should think, “One day even I will get such luck” and with this belief if he continues his sadhana uninterruptedly, then in all probabilities, he will surely get this luck one day. The other acceptable alternative is to think- “Not being bestowed with such luck is also acceptable to me.”

If, on the other hand, he thinks, “Oh, I am not so lucky, I will never ever get such wonderful chance”, he will never secure it.  At the same time, to secure God’s grace, spiritual efforts should not be undertaken with an expectation that it will unquestionably yield successful results. The focus of the aspirant should not be upon the end result but on the efforts to be put in by him.

He should learn to think– “I will continue to put in my efforts irrespective of whether I am to be blessed by Him or not. I undertake my sadhana solely because I love it”. Sadhana when undertaken with such attitude will undoubtedly be successful.  

Why are certain people acquiring spiritual successes easily in life without any strenuous personal efforts on their part? Here, it is to be understood that it is happening due to God’s will. It is the efforts that they had put in during some prior birth, which is paying off in this birth.

We cannot even visualize the efforts that any person is putting in within this birth. How then are we to know about the efforts that he had put in during any previous births? Outwardly, it may appear as if the person is not even putting in the required basic efforts during this birth. It appears as if he arrives, pays his obeisance to the Lord and then sits simply. He does not recite any mantra nor write it. What we cannot visualize however, is the efforts that he is putting in within his mental plane. We cannot observe his mental prayers.

Our observation being limited to his physical movements, we tend to think, “Without any efforts on his part, he is securing so many blessings. I have written the mantra crores of times; yet Swamiji does not even look into my face. That person has written just once or twice, but look, Swamiji is speaking so affectionately to him.” With this statement the result of all the 10 million mantras that you had written up to now is simply washed down the drain.

Why are you bothered about others? You do not know in which birth, and how many crores of mantras that person has written. A change should be brought in our way of thinking- “Oh, his efforts of some previous birth are bearing fruit now. If I undertake my sadhana to the best of my ability in this birth, then in some future birth I may reap its benefit”. This is good.

“Oh, what is the use of all my efforts that I have put in so far? I might as well stop writing the nama from now on”. The person who decisively thinks in this manner will be a total loser on both counts. The merits of the nama japa done to-date has already been washed out for reasons explained above and hereinafter as he has decided to discontinue the same, there cannot be any further accumulation in this aspect. This is the worst possible outcome.

The type of result that should be bestowed for any sadhana performed by someone, be it in this birth or any previous births, rests solely with the Guru. He will decide what type of reward is to be showered for the sadhana performed. As He knows the past history of one and all, He chose to speak to that person who had recited the mantra only 10 times in this birth. What could be wrong in this?

Time is just an endless flow. It is best to go with the flow of time. The one who completely restrains his mind and goes with the flow will emerge victorious. He will successfully cross over this vast ocean called samsara. Even the best swimmer cannot swim against the current (tide). Likewise, it is foolish to go against time.

Entertaining such needless doubts only ruins the person who would have just taken the baby steps in spiritual sadhana. Due to these doubts, he will completely bring to a halt all these spiritual activities. He is harming his own mind. It is self-destruction.

 

Om Namo Hanumate namah

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Vanara Gita 62: Self-efforts or God’s will- which of them yields results?

The next hymn is composed by a Vanara by name Taruna-

Hanumādagnayā yachha bhāvi tatbhavati dhṛvam

Yada bhāvi na tatbhāvi vṛdhā dehaparisramaha.

Meaning- If Hanuman ordains that an event should materialize, it will inevitably materialize! If Hanuman wills that an event should not happen, it can never materialize! Nothing can change this. This being so, all these physical exertions and efforts that we consider essential and obligatory may be actually unnecessary.

Vanara Taruna says that it is only Hanuman’s will that gets executed at all times! When this is the reality, what is the logic in worrying about physical efforts, which in reality are useless? Instead one should wisely spend his time contemplating upon that which is truly useful.

Only when experience (anubhava) acquired by the person has reached its zenith, can a hymn of such essence be composed! Only he, who due to his ripened, complete experience has surrendered all his actions to the Lord, can praise the Lord in this manner! In its absence, it is impossible.

Our destiny is pre-ordained. It has already been inscribed upon one’s forehead by Lord Brahma. It has all been computerized a very long period before. Even the smallest event that takes place during a day has been pre-destined. Events materialize exactly per Lord’s will!

Very similar to the individual destiny is the destiny of this entire universe. Every event and movement pertaining to this universe is pre-destined. Every action in this world takes place totally in conformity to this. Destiny creates false impression that it accommodates alterations when in reality it cannot be altered even by a minute fraction.

It is said that unless ordained by Lord Shiva, even an ant cannot bite a person. However, if ordained by the Lord, just an ant bite can prove fatal to the person! Without Shiva’s command, even an ant cannot move!

Observe this creation. Who provides food to the frog that is hidden deep amidst huge rocks? Frogs in certain areas burrow deep into the ground and hibernate for six months. Which force ensures their survival during this period when they do not consume any food? Isn’t this strange? The same is the case with the white polar bears. They hide deep within the caves which are enveloped with snow and live there for a year without any food.

While we agree that everything moves per the Lord’s will, it is also true that many scriptures stress upon the need for personal efforts in order to see success. Both statements appear contradictory.

Isn’t it true that nothing can be achieved in the absence of one’s own efforts? If someone were to predict that you would receive the Supreme Lord’s blessings in a couple of days, then would you not simply sit waiting for the stipulated date and time? Is it correct? Shouldn’t you put in the required efforts during that time?

Suppose any Guru were to foretell to his devotee that in seven years he would taste spiritual success, then during this period of seven years, this devotee will commit the worst mental sins, that were otherwise unimaginable. He will thus misuse his time. How can he achieve any success within seven years? Forget seven years, even after seven births such a person will not taste success.

In case the Guru predicts success at the end of seven years, it implies that the disciple’s stringent efforts during this period will yield positive results at end of seven years. Here it is an indication to increase his efforts. The disciple should think – “after I achieve accomplishment, I may not have the time for completing my sadhana. Hence let me try to complete as much as I can before I reach that state”. With such planning, he should in fact accelerate his efforts. With such multifold efforts, the results will be extra-ordinary.

The hymn states that every incident happens only on account of God’s will. The scriptures state that without personal efforts nothing can be achieved. Both these appear contradictory. How can any reconciliation be brought out between the two theories?

Here, it should be understood that without God’s command, the person would not even be inclined towards putting in his personal efforts. In the example given above, the disciple will not get the inclination to accelerate his spiritual disciplines unless and until this has been ordained by the Supreme Lord. It should be interpreted that the personal efforts being put are also entirely due to God’s grace upon him.

 

Om Namo Hanumate Namah

Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/vanara-gita-episode-62-self-efforts-or-gods-will-which-of-them-yields-results/

Vanara Gita 61: How are virtues and sins classified? ..contd.

Lord Hanuman had to enter the inner apartments of Ravana’s palace as a part of his search for Mother Sita. Here, He had to face a test. He witnessed many ugly scenes that should not be witnessed. With this, Hanuman began to ponder, “With the intent of undertaking a meritorious task, I came here in search of Mother Sita.  Unfortunately I have seen those scenes that should not be seen. Due to this, did I commit any sin? Oh my God, what did I do? Perhaps some trace of sin would have attached to me.”

Through this, Hanuman taught the world some important lessons of life. He teaches that every being in this world should constantly reflect about the right and wrong results of his/her actions.

In such a situation, the intellect (buddhi) firmly resolves and gives its final judgment to the mind whether the deed is virtuous or sinful in nature and hence whether it should be taken up or not! The mind will get its instructions- ‘Do this’ or ‘Don’t get into this’.

 No sin or virtue can attach to anyone merely because he has seen or heard something. On the other hand when the mind is inclined towards sinning, sins attach to the person irrespective of whether he has physically seen the deed with his eyes or not. Likewise, where the mind is inclined towards meritorious deeds, virtues automatically accrue to the person.

In other words, where the mind is attached towards good deeds, virtues accrue and where the mind has a longing towards evil and sinful thinking, sins accrue. For this reason, it is imperative to control the wavering mind.

These mental evildoings are several times more sinful than the physical offences! Mentally we commit innumerable offences at all times. For example, we crave for everything in this universe. We think about many unnecessary and useless topics. We criticize and comment upon others. We find faults in their speech.  All of these are wasteful activities that should be forcibly controlled. There is absolutely no need to think about all these. The mind should be reined to think only good at all times.

The king (ruler) of the land punishes the person for the mistakes committed physically, however, it is Yama, the Lord of death, who punishes the being for the mental sins committed- antaḥ prachchanna pāpānām shāsta vaivasvato yamah.

It is easy to inflict punishment upon the body. The ruler of the land takes up this responsibility. The body can be tied and beaten for its mistakes. But who will take up the responsibility of imposing punishment for the sins mentally committed? No person or ruler can issue punishment for such sins. Who will then take the responsibility of punishing such sinners? The Supreme Lord inflicts punishment for mental sins as He is the witness.

 

Had Hanuman decided that what he had seen was really sinful in nature and with this conclusion had he given up searching for Sita, then can we imagine what would have happened? If he had to sit remorsefully thinking- ‘Oh my God, I have sinned. Now what should I do? How should I atone for these sins? What have I done?’ then He would have not made any progress.

Instead, he wisely decided that his Lord knew whether his actions were sinful in nature or not. Hence he left the net result in the hands of the Lord. He decisively reined in his mind, continued his search for Mother Sita and emerged victorious.

Likewise, the living beings while living in this visible external world, should completely restrain the mind and emerge victorious. Have we not discussed earlier that mental wrongdoings are far more sinful than physical sins? It is very important therefore to restrain the mind. Even when living in this world and even when experiencing the resultant joys and sorrows, the being should continue his righteous activities. Under no circumstances, should he take his focus away from God. There should be the in-depth realization that ‘He’ is the only saviour of one and all.

Mareecha the Vanara, has passed on to this world such an important lesson through his hymn. This is a lesson that periodically everyone should recollect.

When we evince interest and ponder over the life of true devotees; their methods of worship; the mental penance and the harsh physical penance that they performed, we too develop a desire to emulate them and live in that manner.

Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/vanara-gita-episode-61-how-are-virtues-and-sins-punya-papa-classified-contd/

Vanara Gita 60: How are virtues and sins classified?

The Vanara by the name Mārīcha states-

Sada pāpougha nistyūtaṃ pāpeṣu hṛsta mānasam

Pāpātmānam mahāpāpam rakṣa mām hanumat prabho.

Meaning- O Lord Hanuman! I am forever immersed in sins. This mind of mine derives tremendous delight from sinning and is deeply inclined towards it. I, the dreadful sinner, commit the worst sins. Yet, Oh Lord, I seek your eternal protection.

Sadā pāpogha means ‘to be eternally drowned in sins’. Nishtyootam means to be known through the sins committed. Pāpātma is a ‘wretched sinner’.

From this hymn, it is clear that Marīcha is a highly enlightened Vanara (maha jnani), who is extremely righteous, who possess saintly characteristics and who is glowing with infinite illumination! Only he who is wholly dedicated in the observance of the rules of truth (satya) and righteous living (dharma) has total awareness of virtues and sins. Being extremely righteous, Marīcha had the realization that he is sunk into the depths of sinning and that he derives a great mental pleasure from sinning. A thorough analysis reveals that through this hymn he is teaching profound lessons to this world.

The fundamental lesson here is that this unending cycle of re-births is a deep mire. The person, while living in this world, should glow like the lotus leaf that does not allow even a drop of water to touch it. He should not allow even a trace of this mire to touch him. The mind should be focused on the Lord at all times. This is the deep hidden meaning of this hymn.

In this context, let us discuss the practical lesson regarding sinning that has been taught by Lord Hanuman himself. Lord Hanuman had to enter the inner apartments of Ravana’s palace as a part of his search for Mother Sita. Here, He had to face a test. He witnessed many ugly scenes that should not be witnessed. With this, Hanuman began to ponder, “With the intent of undertaking a meritorious task, I came here in search of Mother Sita.  Unfortunately I have seen those scenes that should not be seen. Due to this, did I commit any sin? Oh my God, what did I do? Perhaps some trace of sin would have attached to me.”

Hanuman is inherently sinless. As a form of the life force, he is all-pervading. To the one who exists everywhere and who permeates everything, from where does the question of accruing virtues or sins arise?

Through this, Hanuman taught the world some important lessons of life. He teaches that every being in this world should constantly reflect about the right and wrong results of his/her actions.

The individual who begins to worry about the consequences of his actions becomes hesitant before performing any action. He will then begin to wonder about the do’s and don’ts for every action. How is the mind to differentiate between meritorious and sinful deeds? Should any task be taken up or not? In the absence of any clear direction, the mind will simply vacillate without being able to effectively decide between right and wrong.

In such a situation, the intellect (buddhi) firmly resolves and gives its final judgment to the mind whether the deed is virtuous or sinful in nature and hence whether it should be taken up or not! The mind will get its instructions- ‘Do this’ or ‘Don’t get into this’. 

No sin or virtue can attach to anyone merely because he has seen or heard something. On the other hand when the mind is inclined towards sinning, sins attach to the person irrespective of whether he has physically seen the deed with his eyes or not. Likewise, where the mind is inclined towards meritorious deeds, virtues automatically accrue to the person.

Om nano Hanumate namah

Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/vanara-gita-episode-60-how-are-virtues-and-sins-classified/

Vanara Gita 59: Father Kesari seeks refuge in Hanuman

The following is the hymn composed by Kesari-

Tvatonya saraṇam nāsti tva meva mama rakshakaḥ

Ato mayī kṛpa dṛṣṭyā hanuman rakśa mām sadā.

Meaning- O Hanuman! There is no one apart from You, who can provide me refuge. You alone are my protector. Hence with feelings of complete compassion, kindly protect me at all times.

Who is Kesari who offers such a fervent prayer to Hanuman? He is none other than the father of Hanuman and husband of Anjana Devi!

How are we to be sure that Kesari, the composer of this hymn, was none other than the father of Hanuman? Was he the only Vanara with this name in the entire Vanara tribe? Let us assume here that the father of Hanuman was the only Vanara with this name Kesari. Even if this were to be acceptable, is it right on the part of a father to pray to his own son? This is a doubt entertained by many.

Mahatmas do not have feelings such as ‘I am the father; he is the son’ or ‘I am elder, he is younger’.  They solely praise and glorify the great traits when they have recognized them in the other!

Ordinary people normally feel- ‘Oh, what is this? Should I worship my own son? Should I praise and glorify him? I can love my son but I cannot pray to him’. Here, what people overlook is that fact that the son has surpassed the father in acquiring good traits. The wonderful traits of the son have brought the father great renown. Hence such traits in the son should necessarily be praised and worshipped.

Didn’t Maharishi Kashyapa and his wife Aditi, the first couple of this universe, worship their own son Vamana, who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu? Don’t we all know that Vasudeva and Devaki, the parents of Lord Krishna, as well as Nanda and Yashoda, His foster parents, worshipped and praised Krishna profusely? Time and again they recollected His wonderful transcendental qualities. Did Devahuti not compose hymns and worship her son Kapila Maharishi?

Guru Sandipani eulogized and prayed to his own disciple Krishna. You may probably wonder as to how a Guru can worship his own disciple? But what is wrong in it? There are innumerable stories wherein the Gurus have glorified, profusely praised and sung hymns about the magnificent traits of their disciples.

It is the disciple’s personal choice to let such praise either increase his ego and self-pride or to enhance the traits of humility and modesty. The disciple should reflect for himself- ‘My parents as well as my Guru are praising me. Upon hearing this, should I further increase those good traits or should I increase my self-pride which is nothing but destructive in nature?’ We can understand the strength of the disciple’s samskaras (deep mental impressions of the earlier actions, including those of earlier births) from his decision and resultant behavior.

In this instance, Kesari recognized not only the good traits but also the divinity within his son and hence he sung hymns in praise of his son. Here the father emphasizes that there is no one apart from his son, who can give him refuge.

It is said that one should never beg. If at all one has to beg, then he should beg only from Him who is supreme and who is the giver of everything. The Supreme Lord undoubtedly bestows everything upon us. Kesari therefore prays to his son, Hanuman, realizing that He is none other than the Supreme Lord who bestows us with everything that we need. Kesari seeks eternal protection and refuge from such Lord. ‘Oh Hanuman, I will not pray to anyone apart from you. You are the Supreme Lord. Apart from You there is no one who can protect me. You are the most supreme. The capacity to listen to my prayers and to grant me the suitable boon rests purely with You’, prayed Kesari.

The Supreme Lord eternally protects every being every second, right from the time it enters its mother’s womb. It is the Lord who graces us with birth. He is worshipped as the Trinity. As a creator He is worshipped as Brahma; for protecting this entire creation He is glorified as Vishnu and in the end, for absorbing us back unto Himself , He is worshipped as Shiva.

Hanuman is the form of the Trinity and hence offering protection is one of His duties.  Although he is aware of this, Kesari does not display a careless attitude and say- “Ah, as it is the Lord’s duty to protect, He will anyway protect me’. Instead he fervently prays, ‘Oh Lord, through your limitless compassion kindly protect me at all times’. Thus, through his behaviour he teaches that one should approach the divinity with all humility.

 

Om Namo Hanumate Namaha

Permanent link to this article: http://puttugam.com/vanara-gita-episode-59-father-kesari-seeks-refuge-in-hanuman/

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