Swami Chidananda

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 Adorable Divine Presence, Thou who art the one all ­pervading, ever-present Reality behind the ever-changing, vanishing names and forms that constitute this world appearance, this projected phenomenon in time and space! Adorable Divine Presence, Thou who art without and within and everywhere, Thou who art interconnected in the innermost cells of our body, Thou who art the Eye of our eyes, the Ear of our ears, the Breath of our breath, the Mind of our mind, the Heart of our heart, the Prana of our prana, the very Soul of our soul, Thou who art seated within us as our own inner, eternal being, bless us dear Lord that we may ever be aware of Your presence! This is all we ask of Thee: that we should never lose the awareness that we live, move and have our being in Thy glorious holy, sacred Divine Presence and that our life is lived in You.

May there be peace in the whole world. May there be harmony and oneness between individuals, communities and nations. May there be peace in the East and the West, peace in the North and the South, and peace all over the universe. Give us this day the guidance necessary to make this day a fit and worthy offering at Thy feet. Let this day be lived with noble deeds, sublime feelings and with right understanding, good intentions and pure thoughts.

Beloved and worshipful Gurudev, thou who has granted to us once again the grate of being in your spiritual presence at this early morning hour, bless all your children, who are gathered together here in this sacred Samadhi Hall of your holy ashram! Bless them that their eyes are opened and from darkness they may see light. Remove spiritual blindnes~ and grant them all divine sight.

Bless them all that they may grasp the message of these past nine days and the reason why our ancients had ordained that a new year commences with nine days of continuous worship, adoration and prayerfulness. For nine is the fullest number beyond which numbers cease and then combinations start, all permutations and combinations of this mystical culminating figure of nine. For this nine days, our ancients wisely ordained that we observe a period of fast, prayer, worship, adoration, chanting of the Divine Name and reading of the scriptures. Thus they gave us unmistakable direction that the full year should be filled with worship, adoration and diligent reading of the scriptures, so that we get guidance upon the pathway of life through the wisdom teachings contained in the scriptures and so that the air should be filled with devotion, worship, prayerfulness and all that is conducive to highest human welfare here and hereafter.

What a great love for mankind our ancients had! What a great concern for posterity they harboured in their hearts! Through their universal love and compassion they made this provision for these nine days, so that we may know how to live our life in order that the whole year may be a great step in our spiritual evolution towards divine perfection, illumination and ultimate liberation. How can we ever repay this debt of gratitude they have put us into by this great wisdom, this great consideration for our highest welfare!

Radiant Atman! What are your thoughts about the way in which the year has commenced that you have been blessed to participate in? Have you reflected upon it? Have you tried to understand its meaning and the depth of its significance? Have you tried to grasp the message it has for you and your life, what it seeks to convey to you? Or have you, like millions of other people in India, just passed through it mechanically, in a routine manner, as a habit, because it is a tradition? Or have you tried to understand it in a special way, because you are a special group of people who have chosen the spiritual path, who have made God-realisation the goal of your life?

You are sadhakas, you are seekers. You are expected to be full of vichara, full of viveka, spiritual enquiry, spiritual discrimination, and jijnasa, a keen hunger for knowledge. Therefore, act in your special capacity as jijnasus, mumukshus, sadhakas, spiritual people, and try to understand the message that Vasanta Navaratri has for you. Otherwise, it will have come and gone and you will be where you are and what you were before. That was not the purpose with which these great sacraments and occasions of worship were instituted. The were instituted with a different purpose— that they may awaken you from time to time, inspire you, give you the right guidance, point out to you the direction in which you must go. All this and more is contained in these great occasions set up for us by our illumined ancestors.

We bemoan the condition of the world, the condition of present-day mankind. We regret the deterioration in the individual’s character. But we seldom try to see wherein lies the cause, wherein lies the reason for this that we bemoan, this that we regret. We seldom seek to know why this has come about or how it can be corrected. We seldom seek to know.

Gossip is just talking about things one sees and hears. But serious deliberation and discussion takes into consideration why these things are happening, what are the cause or causes, how can they be remedied, and what can I do as a contemporary individual in today’s society in order to remove the causes. What can I do? What can be my contribution? This is deliberation. This is not gossip.

And Gurudev has given us the key: “As a man thinketh, so he becometh.” Thought leads to action. Action is the outer manifestation of the thought that has arisen in the mind. A person thinks something and then does what this thought impels. Thought is the origin of all human conduct, all human behaviour, all human actions, the world over. Thought is the key, it is the source of human life and conduct, of human action and reaction and interaction also. If thought is properly taken care of, then everything that results from it will also be properly taken care of. 

You sow a thought and reap an action. If you continue to sow such an action, you will reap a habit. Such habits repeated bring about character, and your future destiny depends upon your present character. At the root of it all is thought, what we think. Thought leads to action, action leads to habit, habit leads to character and character decides destiny.

Therefore, what is to be done? We have just completed the Vasanta Navaratri, where after nine days of continuous reading of the avatara lila of the maryada purushottama Bhagavan Sri Ramachandra, we have celebrated the birth of Lord Rama, Ramajanma. Do you not see the significance of it? Clearly what is indicated is that the very purpose for which we devoutly read the scripture is that the ideal of Rama may be born in our heart. This is the only solution to the disease of sorrow, conflict, clash, immorality, impurity and asuric conduct that prevails in the world today. That is the only solution, the only right remedy, the only right key.

Constantly there should be a renewal of the human heart. Noble thoughts should be generated. Sublime ideas and sublime motivations should be created in the hidden interior of the human heart and mind. Then alone the human world will change, human conduct will change, human character will assume new, sublime dimensions; man will become different, what he is destined to be, divine, a child of God. It will not be possible unless we bring about a revolution in our thoughts, unless we make idealism to be born in our hearts every moment, every day.

Let idealism be born each day in the human heart. Let idealism be born again and again in the human heart. That is the one way. All other efforts are bound to fail if this fundamental process is not initiated in the human nature, in the human mind, in the human heart. An abandonment of base, wicked thoughts and a deliberate encouragement and determined attempt to bring about a sowing of sublime thoughts, great thoughts, noble intentions and pure motivations, is indeed the key. Let idealism be born in the human heart every moment each day.

If the inner man is ideal, if the mind thinks sublime thoughts and ideas, if the heart harbours noble emotions, if these intentions are at the back of each action, then the human being will behave like a true human being; he will begin to live like a god on earth. Then alone a new era will dawn for man and mankind in the human world. For the key lies in what the human mind thinks and in what feelings and sentiments the human heart harbours. And this can be of the highest, sublimest, holiest quality only if idealism is kept alive in the human heart.

When idealism vanishes, darkness envelops the human world. Man’s interior, the mind, becomes a dark factory for the manufacture of ignoble thoughts, dire thoughts. Man then creates a hell upon earth, he creates his own undoing, his downward descent. The key lies, therefore, in taking every care, taking great care about how the mind functions, how it behaves, what thoughts it generates and what are the quality of those thoughts. Idealism alone can keep these thoughts lofty, noble and sublime. In this way only will man become a source of all that is auspicious and blessed. All other solutions will be symptomatic solutions, patching up symptoms, not eradicating the root cause.

Therefore, let idealism be born in the human heart every day. This is the great significance and the message of the jayanti of Lord Rama who was the ideal divine human individual, human character. Reflect deeply over this facet, this angle, this aspect of what you have just now gone through. Know that its message is: Let idealism be born in the human heart each day, freshly, newly, vigorously. ~ This is the solution to the problem of human character, human conflict and human unhappiness created by human thought, the wrong type of thought, human error, and not doing the right thing to bring about a change.

You have been told. An indication has been given about the solution. Now it is up to you—yathe’chhasi tatha kuru—it is up to you to make use of the solution or not. If you want to see a better world, a better humanity, a better future for the world, there is but one way: Let idealism, lofty, noble, sublime idealism, ethical and spiritual idealism, humanitarian idealism be born in the human heart each day, every moment.

Our human thought is the key to human destiny. Srotavya mantavya, nididhyasitavya this is to be heard, reflected upon and pondered deeply!”

Special Occasion: Sri Rama Navami

This article has been reproduced from Awake! Realise Your Divinity! by Swami Chidananda. 

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