Question and Answer Session with Pujya Bapuji

(Excerpts from Satsang of Pujya Sant Shri Asaramji Bapu)

Question: Bapuji! How can we get rid of worldly desires?

Pujya Bapuji: To get rid of desires, constantly be a witness to your thoughts. Do not let the mind hanker after petty sense-pleasures. For example, suppose a fan is rotating. If you turn off the switch and cut off the electric supply how long will it continue to rotate? Similarly, if you disconnect or disassociate yourself from the mind then desires will no longer hold sway over you.

When you lend importance to your mind, allowing it to seek gratification, desires take control of you. By giving credence to your mind you allow transient pleasures of this material world to overwhelm you. But if you become a witness to the mind, victory is bound to be yours.

Question: What are the virtues that enable an aspirant to progress fast on the spiritual path?

Pujya Bapuji: An aspirant, who possesses the four pious attributes of having a penchant for sadhana, never feeling tired of pursuing the same, having faith in Enlightened Saints and having an unswerving trust in God, will advance rapidly on the spiritual path.

Question: What should an aspirant do to make a quick progress in sadhana?

Pujya Bapuji: An aspirant should not waste time in futile pursuits. He should rather set his goal high and do his work carefully and completely without any sense of egotism for having accomplished the same, which in no case should be spoiled for want of due care. He should value only God and nothing else. He should maintain purity of conduct. The aspirant who assimilates these features into his life, can definitely attain his goal. There is no higher achievement than this in all the three worlds. He will attain that blissful state of the Lord ‘Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, against which even god Indra’s royal grandeur looks insignificant.

Question: What should we do to increase our love for the Lord?

Pujya Bapuji: Always listen to the stories of the Lord’s divine play. Listen to or read the life-stories of great Saints, and their enlightening stories. This will help increase your devotion, detachment and knowledge about God. Listen to or sing bhajans praising the Lord. Hum a bhajan while sitting alone. Otherwise vices like desire, anger, avarice, delusion, pride and jealousy will enter the idle mind; as it has rightly been said, ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’

Whenever you meet one another, talk about God and God-realized Saints. Make it a habit to remain engrossed in bliss by remembering the Lord at all times.

Question: What should be done to lead a healthy, happy and dignified life?

Pujya Bapuji: For good health, learn and practise yogic techniques under the guidance of holy Saints. For a happy life, realize Self-bliss through meditation. For a respectable life, give respect to others and work for the well-being of all.

Question: Who is a ‘Mahashaya’?

Pujya Bapuji: One who has a ‘Maha’ (great) ‘ashaya’ (purport, aim) is ‘Mahashaya’. And the great aim is to know the tattva of one’s life. One who does not allow desires to enter the chitta and erases the samskaras already present therein, is a ‘Mahashaya’. Such a ‘Mahashaya’ is established in Brahman, knowing this world to be illusory.

Question: How is satsang superior to even virtuous actions?

Pujya Bapuji: It is good to provide material resources to alleviate the suffering of others, but it is much better to help attend satsang of Self-realized Saints. Swami Vivekananda said, ‘Giving food to a hungry man, giving water to a thirsty man, showing somebody the righteous path or encouraging one in despair ‘all these are works of charity, all these are good deeds, but better than all these things is giving satsang to somebody, arranging satsang for others, or participating in the endeavour of arranging satsang for others. One who does so is the supreme well-wisher of mankind, for it is through satsang alone that one gets keys like the enlightening knowledge of the Supreme Self and the technique of meditation on the Almighty, that lead to the complete eradication of one’s all troubles forever.’

Not only should you listen to divine satsang yourself, but you should also involve others so that more and more people may attain freedom from sorrows by listening and reflecting upon satsang thus finally succeed in realizing their own inherent divinity. This is the highest Dharma and the most virtuous of all works.

Question: What is the difference between a Guru and a Sadguru?

Pujya Bapuji: Guru is one who teaches us something new, something we didn’t know. Anyone can be a Guru. Dattatreya Avadhutaji, a great Saint, had 24 Gurus as he learnt something from each one of them.

Sadguru, as such, is an altogether unique person. The Sadguru knows the path to the Truth-personified Supreme Self. It is for this reason that intelligent people surrender all at the holy feet of such a Supreme Guru. For the Sadguru blesses one with That which is infinitely superior to all things, status and positions on earth.

The Sadguru alone can unify one with the Lord. The Sadguru alone can relieve a disciple from all sufferings forever. Therefore, for a disciple a Sadguru is greater than the Lord Himself. That is why, the scriptures and Saints have extolled Sadgurus and declared that God-realization is impossible without an absolute surrender to the Sadguru. 

Question: What is the import of satsang in human life?

Pujya Bapuji: Etymologically, satsang = sat+sang. Sat means Truth Absolute (Supreme Self) and sang means being in association. Therefore, satsang means being benefited in the association of the Supreme Self, and experience the same.

One who does not avail oneself of satsang, does kusang by default. Ku means bad. Therefore one who does not associate oneself with good company invariably associates with bad company. One who does not do virtuous deeds, automatically engages in evil ones. A life, not dedicated to God, becomes dedicated to the devil. One who values his life knows the importance of satsang. At the same time one who is unaware of the preciousness of this human life does not appreciate the value of satsang.

Satsang provides the keys to bring reformation in life. Those who attend satsang lose interest in the transient world and learn how to intensify their love for the Lord. They are not affected by the anguish and distress of worldly life. One who listens to satsang, finds his understanding, discrimination and prudence increased. His worries are reduced. His mind becomes egoless and free from illusion (of the world). He is endowed with virtuous qualities and experiences spiritual bliss, making his life full of happiness.

Question: What role does satsang have in stemming the tide of corruption, sinfulness and politics of self-aggrandisement currently rising in the country?

Pujya Bapuji: Satsang brings about a widespread awakening among the people. The increasing number of masses coming into contact with Enlightened Saints is set to usher in a new era very soon. This spiritual renaissance in society will have its desired influence also on the minds of the politicians and the corrupt people. The growing tendency among politicians and bureaucrats to listen to satsang and reflect upon it is a sign of this welcome development.
Soon enough there will be the dawn of a new era of peace and happiness not only in India but all over the globe. After a brief spell of rivers all over the nation, the concerted efforts of Saints will bring about a new spiritual revolution which in turn will root out corruption, depravity and selfishness prevailing in the country.

Question: Pujya Bapuji! What are the benefits of regular listening to satsang?

Pujya Bapuji: Regular listening to satsang is immensely beneficial. If you regularly listen to satsang, your mind will neither go astray nor engage in futile thoughts. It will be saved from Manoraj. And the biggest benefit of all is that the mind will be ever engaged in the thoughts that are inculcated by satsang. Constant reflection on satsang will naturally kindle dispassion and discrimination in your mind, and protect it from petty desires and attractions.

Regular contemplation on the thoughts imbibed in satsang not only protects the mind and intellect from a possible downfall, but also helps them become established in the Supreme Consciousness. The more you assimilate the teachings of satsang, the more you will be elevated from this earthly existence towards divinity.

Even a person who is not a sadhaka, but regularly listens to satsang and reflects thereon, can become an excellent sadhaka and even realize God, the Supreme Being. The bliss and peace that blossom in the heart as a result of listening to satsang are infinitely superior to even the pleasures of the heavens.

Question: What is the importance of faith in life?

Pujya Bapuji: Faith is such a virtue as delights the heart it resides in and relieves it from despair, hopelessness and escapism. Faith in God, God-realized Saints, the scriptures, Guru Mantra and one's own self is an unfailing key to Supreme Bliss. Righteous actions and those actions ordained by the scriptures, when carried out with complete faith, lead to the attainment of desired results. Even a small virtuous work done with faith bestows great merit; whereas the greatest of sacrifices, austerities and charities performed without faith become fruitless.

Lord Sri Krishna says in the ‘Narada Purana’:

All virtuous deeds produce desired results only when accompanied with complete faith. Faith accomplishes everything. Faith alone pleases Lord Sri Hari.’

Question: Your Divine Holiness! What is the best pilgrimage?

Pujya Bapuji: Adi Shankaracharyaji has said: ‘A pure heart is the best place of pilgrimage.’ It is fruitless to  visit places of pilgrimage with an impure heart.

Truth, forgiveness, self-restraint, compassion towards all beings, straightforwardness, charity, absence of vices, contentment, celibacy, sweetness of speech, knowledge, patience and Tapa are all places of pilgrimage, but the greatest holy place is definitely one’s own pious heart.’
                                                                                          (Skanda Purana, Kashi Khanda: 6.30-6.32)

Question: There are many scriptures in the world. But why is the Srimad Bhagwad Gita regarded as the foremost amongst them?

Pujya Bapuji: The Gita is a combination of all the scriptures. The Gita  contains the quintessence of all the scriptures of the world. It is a confluence of the three Yogas     -Karma yoga, Jnana yoga and Bhakti yoga. It has spread the light of divine knowledge not only in India but also all over the world. Its only objective is to bring about the supreme good of mankind and to help people attain God-realization. The Prime Minister of Canada Mr. Pierre Trudeau had come to India during 1985-86. On his visit to Vrindavan, the playground of the exalted author of the Gita, he had opined, ‘I have read the Bible, the Angelus and many other scriptures. All scriptures are good in their respective spheres, but the Srimad Bhagwad Gita of the Hindus is simply wonderful. It does not contain praise or condemnation of any religion, sect  or faith. It talks truly of the elevation of mankind. It is not the bible of only the Hindus; but is the bible of the entire humanity.’

This small and compact volume contains philosophies and ideas that touch upon the deepest truths of human life. Hopelessness, despair and worries wither away merely by regular reading and reflecting on its precepts. Divine virtues like courage, equanimity, straight-forwardness, affection, peace, firm faith in dharma, etc. are easily developed. By imbibing the precepts of the Gita one attains the strength to fight against unrighteousness, injustice and exploitation. That is why this scripture which helps one attain both worldly riches and salvation, and also inculcates fearlessness and other divine virtues is unique in the world.

Question: Pujya Bapuji! How does one become an excellent sadhaka?

Pujya Bapuji: To become a good sadhaka one must first set a goal for the life. Then one has to fix a daily routine that is conducive to the attainment of that goal. Make a resolve to do a specific number of jap of your Guru-mantra and observe Mauna for a fixed number of days in a month, listen to satsang, read the scriptures and reflect on the precepts so imbibed for a certain period on a regular basis, render selfless seva for a fixed length of time, chant God’s name for a definite period and think of God in every day-to-day activity of your life. Once the resolve is made, you should fulfil it using all the means at your disposal.

In this manner, while doing a fixed practice of spiritual routines, let the virtues like selflessness, piety, love, purity, fearlessness, carefreeness, blissfulness and unflinching faith in God develop in your life. The sadhaka should also be very careful about his mode of living, his mode of eating and drinking as well as about his conduct.

Question: What is the importance of the Lord’s name in Kaliyuga?

Pujya Bapuji: All the four Vedas hold the pious Name of the Lord to be highly influential in each of the four Yugas, but especially so in Kaliyuga, wherein there is no other alternative available.

The Lord’s name is supremely pious. It eradicates the three taapas -adhibhoutik, adhidaivik and adhyatmik, and ensures one’s supreme good. Jap of the Lord’s name is not only a means to achieve worldly comforts and heavenly pleasures, but is also immensely helpful in attaining extremely rare virtues like Divine love, ever new bliss, and even in the final attainment of God-realization.

The most wonderful characteristic of the Lord’s name is that it attracts God towards us and takes us towards God. It is the most effective means to unite the jiva with the Lord. It is a divine remedy for the various afflictions of the mind. Even the most depraved and wretched sinner can reform himself through jap of the Lord’s name.

Question: O Revered Gurudev! Why is spiritual development necessary along with material progress?

Pujya Bapuji: Spiritual development is absolutely essential along with material progress. In fact, material progress is graceful only when it is accompanied by spiritual development. If mankind forgets the bliss of spiritual development and remains preoccupied with material development alone, it only invites its own doom. This situation is well-reflected in the scenario prevailing in para countries today.

If a man is divested of the bliss of spirituality and God, the fundamental basis of his life and mainstay of all existence, he will be worse off than an animal and may even become devilish. Demonic tendencies will come to dominate his life. It is only those deprived of the bliss of spirituality who, like dogs and goats, indulge in sexual perversions in clubs. They become so restless and depressed that some are even driven to commit suicide.

He who takes refuge in the one and only One Supreme Being is privileged to experience the Bliss of the same Supreme Lord. And he who forgoes the benign shelter of the Supreme One has to rely on many sense pleasures and thus ends up becoming agitated and tense.

Material comforts can provide only external happiness. They cannot provide inner peace and bliss. Only he who cares for his spiritual development along with his material progress is easily elevated.

Question: Pujya Bapuji! We know we are the Consciousness-personified, Bliss-personified, Knowledge-personified Eternal Atman. Yet we fear death. Why?

Pujya Bapuji: ‘I am Atman’  -you have heard it and believed it superficially. You have yet to realize it i.e. you have not experienced That. You are afraid of death because in your heart of hearts, you still consider yourself to be the transient mortal body and are oblivious of your eternal, pure Consciousness, your real 'I'. If one comes to realize one's Atman, the abode of eternal peace and absolute bliss, one will be delivered in no time and transcend the three Gunas viz., Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. He will then repose in the true nature of the Self that is free from all afflictions, fears, grief and even death. In fact, death itself is afraid of such a Self-realized One.

Question: Pujya Bapuji! What should be the common goal of all people -householders, businessmen, soldiers, the sick, disabled or the wealthy?

Pujya Bapuji: Self-realization is the true goal of human life. All men -householders or sanyasins or soldiers, the sick or healthy, rich or poor -should engage themselves in sadhana. And even a businessman’s business activities, a soldier’s fighting with the enemy and safeguarding the borders, a sick person’s suffering, and a rich person’s receiving praise or insult all can be veritable modes of sadhana. If we do each of our actions for the sake of God alone, it is transformed into sadhana. Make all your activities of life sadhana-oriented, and this will certainly lead you to the attainment of the Supreme goal for which you are granted a human birth after having wandered in 84 lakhs of different births.

Question: How can we elevate our lives?

Pujya Bapuji: Whatever you do, do it with an altruistic motive. One should raise one’s children and serve one’s husband, wife or neighbour selflessly, without any expectation and should have unflinching faith in God. This will transform your actions into karma yoga. You will experience Self-bliss, self-satisfaction and also have your capabilities developed. This in turn will earn you the pleasure and co-operation of society. Engage the body in rendering service to others and acts of sacrifice; and yourself in thoughts and contemplation of God.

Question: Pujya Bapuji! What is the cause of diseases?

Pujya Bapuji: Diseases in general are caused by the intake of an unrestrained and incompatible diet, the effect of one’s past deeds or changing seasons. A disease is sometimes the effect of bad food habits, then at times the consequence of a sin, and at other times a warning signal.

Question: What should we do when afflicted with diseases?

Pujya Bapuji: Take advantage of the disease. Contemplate on the Truth ‘this body is made of flesh and bones; by its very nature it is prone to diseases. Disease has afflicted the body; the body alone is suffering the pain. I am the non-attached witness to both disease and pain. I make efforts to keep it healthy but ‘I’ am not sick.’ this is making good use of disease. If you uncomplainingly bear the pain and suffering brought by the disease while making suitable efforts to cure it then it becomes a penance. If you remain a dispassionate witness to the disease, it will become a mode of sadhana. In this way you will not only be cured of the disease, but also be doing worship, penance and sadhana at the same time. And above all, the cardinal error of identifying the body with the Self, an error that has accompanied you through your numerous previous births, will also be destroyed.

Question: Pujya Bapuji! How can one forget physical pain?

Pujya Bapuji: Don’t try to forget physical pain. Don’t take painkillers. Painkillers don’t cure the disease, they merely desensitize the neurons that convey the sensation of pain with some of them even meeting an untimely death. As and when the effect of the painkiller is over you again begin to feel that pain. To be sensible one should, to the extent possible, remain a dispassionate witness to the pain and make it a mode of sadhana experiencing the Self as separate from the body and thus transform it into an excellent opportunity to establish oneself in the Supreme Self.

Question: Param Pujya Gurudev! Why does the mind not remain peaceful? What is the easy way to peace?

Pujya Bapuji: The mind always hankers after the objects of desire. This makes it restless. It does attain peace for a while when it gets what it wants, or finds itself in favourable circumstances; but even so this peace is short-lived, as the mind soon starts to hanker after some other object. Therefore practise the following sadhana everyday: Do mental jap of ‘OM’ while inhaling and count the breath while exhaling... Do similar jap of ‘Shantih’ while inhaling and count the breath while exhaling. Complete a count of 108 such breaths and pray to God, ‘O Lord! Please help me repose in my True Blissful Self. Please relieve me from the shackles of desire, egotism and ostentation and lead me towards Your Bliss and Love-personified Self!’ Such prayers will bring you wonderful results.

Question: How much time will it take to realize God?

Pujya Bapuji: The more one yearns for God-realization, the earlier one will attain results, and an urge of lesser intensity will proportionately prolong the time of God-realization. Honesty and spontaneity will take you to your goal sooner while cleverness and guile will only keep you away from it.

Question: Pujya Bapuji! Should Self-knowledge be forced down the throat of even those people disinclined to attain it?

Pujya Bapuji: Yes, Self-knowledge is such a sublime gift that it should be imparted to all, irrespective of their inclination or disinclination for it. It is such a divine nectar as should be bestowed on its aspirants and even on others after awakening the due thirst for self-knowledge in their hearts, with a view to doing Supreme good to them.

Any person, society or nation that ignored Self-knowledge and trod the path contrary to it has suffered degeneration and come to ruin. They have been rife with the evils of corruption, escapism, terrorism and cowardice. The scriptures state, ‘There is no greater acquisition than the realization of one’s True Self.’

Self-knowledge bridges the gulf between people and blesses society, tormented by fear, sorrow, envy, agitation, etc., with happiness, peace, love, sympathy and divine virtues of self-restraint, righteousness, courage, enthusiasm, valour and forgiveness. It dispels the darkness of ignorance and thus transforms the jiva into Brahman.

Self-Knowledge alone can bring lustre, selflessness and vibrancy to the lack-lustre, selfish and dejected man.

Question: O beloved Sadguru! What is real Purushartha?

Pujya Bapuji: Efforts directed to realize the Param Purusha, the Supreme Self, is the only real purushartha. Purushartha, as such, is not limited to having children, raising them and making them self reliant. Even the petty creatures like the mouse, cat, etc. are doing the same thing. In fact, to lead one’s children on the path of Self-realization by imbuing them with the noble traits of self-restraint, equanimity, magnanimity, cheerfulness and the divine ideals that would bestow on them spiritual bliss, is the real Purushartha (Purusha = Supreme Being; artha = towards); that is, to bring true fulfilment in our individual life as well as in that of our entire family by making determined efforts towards realizing the Supreme Being. Once one accomplishes this Purushartha, nothing else remains to be accomplished, because real Purushartha takes one to that Supreme state of Being, from where all worldly designations look trivial and insignificant.

Question: Kindly enlighten us regarding Brahman-Jnana, Brahman and Brahman-Vidya

Pujya Bapuji: The Knowledge (Jnana) of the Supreme Spiritual Effulgence that provides insight to all scientists, all sages, all erudite and ingenious people is Brahman-Jnana. Brahman, the Supreme Self, is the fountainhead of knowledge that has been eternally supplying and will forever continue to supply to the world the virtuous attributes of love, bliss, courage, fearlessness, strength, success, the ability to realize and unravel the mysteries of the universe, cleverness, the art of learning and retaining what is learnt; and yet it remains absolutely undiminished inspite of all these supplies.

That Truth Absolute, Consciousness Absolute and Bliss Absolute Supreme Self is ever Complete in itself in everyway and manner. This phenomenal world is completely filled with That Supreme Self only, for this complete has emanated from That Complete Supreme Self; And even after imparting Completeness to this world, That Supreme Self retains its Absolute Completeness. What remains on the Complete being created out of That Complete is Complete in itself.

The art of realizing Brahman, the Atman, is Brahman-Vidya.

Question: What is the distinguishing mark of a true Saint?

Pujya Bapuji: What is the distinguishing mark of a true alcoholic, drug-addict or a gambler? The company of a true alcoholic turns another person into an alcoholic. A drug-addict or alcoholic will make another person addicted to drugs and alcohol respectively. Likewise, in the company of Saints, who are veritable oceans of real bliss, people get their doubts and misgivings dispelled; their restless mind becomes calmer and they begin to repose in the Supreme Self.

Question: The mind has been termed both as our friend and enemy; please elucidate.

Pujya Bapuji: If the mind remains engaged in pursuit of degenerate sense-enjoyments, it becomes the most dangerous enemy, because it then makes us wander from one womb to another through 84 lakhs of species, for ages together. And if the same mind is directed towards the observance of austerities and meditation on the Supreme Self, it becomes such a great friend as burns the billions of samskaras, collected over millions of births, in the fire of Self-knowledge and leads one to experience Absolute Liberation.

Question: Gurudev! What is it that one should endeavour to realize in life?

Pujya Bapuji: That, which knows all, is alone worth realizing in life. Our religion, codes of conduct, our culture, our hierarchical social system, our history ‘all inspire us to seek Him alone. Our festivals also inspire us towards the same goal of realizing the Eternal Being That permeates every particle of the universe and imparts consciousness to all.

Question: How does one please God?

Pujya Bapuji: Selfless and appropriate actions carried out in service of the jivas with the only motive of realizing the immortality of one’s True Self before the demise of the body is the right way to please God.

If we delve a little deeper into the concept of service, restraining the eyes from seeing obscene things is service to the eyes. Service to the tongue is to remain circumspect while speaking and not allowing the tongue to be ensnared by taste. To avoid hearing obscene words is service to the ears. To check impure thoughts is service to the mind. Service to the intellect is to avoid making improper decisions. To restrain the body from engaging in improper actions is service to the body. Just as abstaining from falling prey to evil ways and engaging oneself in worthwhile deeds is service to one’s own self, restraining others, as far as possible, from evil acts through love and acumen and leading them towards good endeavours is service to them.

Question: What is Bhajan?

Pujya Bapuji: Works done with the mind engrossed in the Lord, or those actions that cause divine modification of the mind, are called Bhajan.

Shabari, a Bhil (tribal) woman, simply swept the ground but she did it with the spirit of participating in the divine work of God and the Sadguru. The woman sweeping the public road is merely doing her occupational job. The mother sweeps the floor of the house, or even other members of the family do work in the house, these activities constitute service. But when even a menial job like sweeping the floor is done for the sake of God, it constitutes Bhajan. Thus sweeping of the floor at the Guru’s ashram by Shabari is Bhajan.

That which infuses divine delecation is Bhajan.’

The action that exudes devotional memory and love, together with Divine delectation, is Bhajan.

Question: What is the difference between crying for God and crying for the world?

Pujya Bapuji: When tears flow out of devotional love for Lord, one’s sins are destroyed and one’s capabilities develop. Whereas if a person cries for the world his capabilities are diminished. Tears shed for the mundane world are warm and they trickle from the corners of the eyes. But when one’s eyes become wet out of devotional love, the tears are cool, pious and fall from the centre of the eyes.

Question: Why do we find desire and anger even in those who are engaged in Bhajan?

Pujya Bapuji: If one engaged in Bhajan is swayed by desire and anger it is because of improper food habits. Impure diet gives rise to desire and anger but a pure diet keeps them in check, while Bhajan eliminates them gradually.

Question: What is meant by Sumiran? Should it be done with eyes closed or open?

Pujya Bapuji: Sumiran is done with neither closed nor open eyes. Sumiran is done by remembering. Remembrance with the Knowledge of Truth is called Sumiran.

You see an electric lamp, an amplifier, a refrigerator, an electric iron, a motor pump ‘ all these instruments are different, but they all function on the supply of the same electric power. There may be different makes of fans, but the power running them is one and same. A heater heats the water, a refrigerator cools it; but both are operated by the same electricity. Similarly, some people spread the soothing coolness of virtue, while the sinners exude the heat of atrocity; but the Truth remains that both have the source of their strength in the very same Lord, the beloved friend of all beings. To constantly keep this fact in one’s mind is called Sumiran.

Question: What are the duties of a sadhaka?

Pujya Bapuji: The primary duty of a sadhaka is to engage in such acts, thoughts and associations as are conducive to the attainment of the Supreme goal of life, i.e., the Lord Almighty. The sadhaka should consider this as his sadhana. He should read the biographies of great devotees and Saints and spend time in the pious company of holy men. These pursuits reinforce his sadhana.

The Chataka, the Fish and the moth cannot live without their dear ones;

Then how can the sadhaka live without attaining his Supreme goal?’

Question: What is the difference between delectation derived through senses and that attained in devotion to the Lord?

Pujya Bapuji: Delectation derived through senses gives rise to desires leading to depravity and the jiva becomes dependent. On the other hand, delectation of devotion to the Lord bestows one with the Bliss of the Supreme Being thereby liberating one by making him realize his True Self.

Question: What is the difference between true moments of good fortune and those of misfortune?

Pujya Bapuji: ‘Hanumanji says, ‘O Lord! Those are indeed the moments of misfortune when one is not engaged in your Bhajan and Sumiran.’ ‘                       (Sriramacharitamanasa, Sundara Kanda: 31.2)

Infact when one turns away from the Lord’s Bhajan and Sumiran, it is misfortune, and when one is engaged in the Lord’s Bhajan and Sumiran, those are the moments of good fortune; the true golden moments.

Question: How much time should one devote to dharma?

Pujya Bapuji: In fact, a devout life is a true life. If dharma is removed from the daily life, the human life will become barbaric. Therefore, whatever one does, should be in tune with the following verse:

When I eat, I in fact make an offering to the Lord. When I move about in the world, I circumambulate the Lord (for He is everywhere). I don’t see anybody or anything other than the Lord.

The Lord existed before the beginning of creation; He exists at present and will remain in the future. Whatever we do in agreement with Him is dharma.

How much time should we devote to dharma? Dharma is not a bathroom, which we use for cleansing our body and then come out only to become dirty, go for a bath again. Dharma should regulate every activity of our day to day life. If we become religious in the temple or the worship room of our house and engage in exploitation, sense-enjoyments and amassing wealth outside, we give limited time to dharma, like we give to the bathroom. It shouldn’t be like this. From getting up in the morning to sleeping at night, from birth to death, when engaged in all activities from eating to working to taking rest, dharma should be observed at each and every step. This will elevate not only you, but also those who come into contact with you.

Question: How do the three gunas influence the rise and fall of jivas?

Pujya Bapuji : Ignorance embellishes the ego. The greater is this ego, the more one develops attachment to the world; and the more the worldly burden the lower does one go. There are three gunas, with Tamoguna being the densest marked by the characteristic of inertia, sloth, apathy etc. It is therefore that a person dominated by Tamoguna is relegated to lower births and hells. Rajoguna is a bit lighter, and one dominated by Rajoguna stays in the middle, i.e. in the human world. Sattvaguna is the lightest. Thus, one dominated by Sattvaguna rises up towards the Lord and attains higher realms of existence. 

Those established in the Sattvaguna evolve to higher goals, those abiding in Rajoguna remain in the mid-course, while the Tamoguna-dominated ones suffer degeneration.

(The Gita: 14.18)

A light object floats on the surface of water, while a heavy one sinks. Aasuri sampada (Demonic nature) is characterised by Tamoguna and hence takes one down towards degeneration, while Daivi sampada (Divine nature) is characterised by Sattvaguna, leading one up towards higher goals. Verily the Daivi Sampada is the Lord's Sampada (Nature). The more of this nature one develops, the higher he moves on the spiritual plane, i.e. he gets closer to the Supreme Self.

Question: How is God Antaryamin (inner guide or inner knower)?

Pujya Bapuji : God should be considered all pervading both in the subtle and gross forms of existence. By virtue of His omnipresence, the Supreme Self perceives and knows everything. 

Question: How is that Supreme Brahman Which has to be known by the knowledge?

Pujya Bapuji : With hands and feet everywhere, with eyes, heads and mouths everywhere, with ears everywhere, He exists in the world, enveloping all.? (The Gita: 13.13)

There is no place where He exists not, no words that He hears not, no scene that He sees not, nothing that He possesses not and no place where He doesn't exist.

When we offer Him pious food as bhoga, He accepts it. When we sing His praises, He hears them. He is cognizant of each and every action of ours, but we can?t ever see Him. Here a paraion may arise as to how can One have all His senses present everywhere? How can the eyes and ears occupy the same place? In answer to this paraion, all one can say is that the Lord is absolutely unique. He is the Transcendental Life energy. Everything, simply everything is possible for Him. Suppose there is a lump of gold. It has all varieties of jewellery hidden in every part of it. Any kind of jewellery can be obtained from just any part of this lump of gold at will. Likewise, God is such an entity as has everything present in every part of His being and from Him everything can be brought into manifestation. That is why He can listen to the utterances of all people and see all things at all places simultaneously. (For the Life is the same in all beings)

In the dream state, where no senses, eyes, ears, nose, etc. are functioning; the internal organ performs all actions itself while also being the perceiver thereof. It itself becomes the seer, the seen and the action of seeing at the same time. Similarly, the Divine Power is extraordinary. He is in every respect capable of doing just anything anywhere. This verily is the essential characteristic that entitles Him to be called the Supreme Lord; this alone denotes His Cosmic Form.

Question: What Constitutes True Service to the Lord?

Pujya Bapuji :One should willingly surrender to the Supreme Being That is realized through meditation, whether done on any form of God or the formless God, and engage oneself in listening to His glories, chanting His pious names, serving Him through the senses and the body, remembering Him in the mind, making a firm resolve through the intellect to attain Him, and lead one's life according to His will; this verily is true service to the Lord. This itself is true form of devotion and through this alone the Atman can attain beatitude fairly quickly.