Jan 2, 2013

Secrets of Spiritual Sadhana-8 [Sadhana Karu Pyare]

Sadhana Karu Pyare is a unique philosophical compilation set in 54 lines and arranged in the form of couplets (dohas). In these lines, Shree Maharajji has summarized the entire philosophy of the knowledge of God and Guru (Philosophy of Divine Love). Swamiji explained the complete set of 54 lines at the Puri Sadhana Shivir in 2008, which we will reproduce in this series. 
This is the next line of "Sadhana Karu Pyare" series.
dhyān binu sab sādhanā hai, prāṇ binu tanu pyāre
man ko jo bhāye banā lo, roop vaisā pyāre
sāmane hari ko biṭhā kar, sādhanā karu pyāre
How do we meditate upon God?  We have two options. Devotees are of two types - one who loves God in His formless aspect and the other who loves God in His personal form.  If we love God in His formless aspect, the affinity and closeness with God is lost because you would never be able see your Beloved, massage His lotus feet, fan Him, nor be able to serve Him. You would only try to concentrate on some source of light. It is not possible to experience the sweet Divine nectar, which one can get from His personal form.  Even the devotees of the formless aspect very naturally take the support of a personal form of God in their meditation.
Members of 'Arya Samaj' strongly believe that God does not exist in His personal form, but they have a photo of Swami Dayanand Saraswati in their homes.  Swami Vivekananda was a great devotee of Maa Kali, and preached throughout India.  On one of his tours, he stayed at the palace of the king of Alwar in Rajasthan.  The king was a member of 'Arya Samaj', and was completely against the personal form of God.  He started arguing with Swami Vivekananda that God does not have a personal form, it is a misconception, and we just make idols of God. 
Swami Vivekananda saw a big photo of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the guru of the king, hanging on the wall.  He removed the photo, threw it on the floor and placed his feet on it.  The king was angry, and prepared to slap Swami Vivekananda! Swamiji asked the king - "Why are you upset? You are against idol worship.  Then this photo is not your Guru. Your Guru is different; this is just a piece of paper.  By trampling the paper, I have insulted Maa Saraswati, but that does not mean you can slap me! You wanted to slap me because you see your Guruji's presence in this photo.  Hence, even you are doing idol worship." 
Which devotee does not perform idol worship? Christians remember and pray using the holy cross.   Allah is everywhere, yet Muslims turn to the west to offer their daily namaaz (prayer). Why is it so?  They remember the kabbah, which acts a point of holy reference.  This means even they engage in idol worship.  Without the support of a form, it is not possible to concentrate or fix the mind.  If we remember the beautiful form of Shree Krishna, His pastimes and His Divine abode as described in the scriptures, it will be advantageous to us.  This way, we can take the support of His name, form, pastimes, virtues and abode.  
A believer in the formless aspect of God can ask, "If you imagine the personal form of God (in your mind), He is not the true God.  The true God is Divine and our mind is material.  With this mind, how can we meditate upon God?"  A worshipper of the personal form of God answers, "People who believe in His formless aspect, concentrate on a source of light, which is also material by nature.  It is not the true light of Divine God.  The human mind cannot reach the Divine light by itself."
go gochar jahaṁ lagī man jāī, so sab māyā jānehu bhāī
Wherever and whatever the mind thinks, it is related to this material world and God is beyond the realm of matter.
rām svaroop tumhār vachan agochar buddhi par
God is beyond human intellect. It does not matter if we worship Him in his personal form or His formless aspect, the human mind cannot meditate on the true God.  Then how can we attain our goal? God says, "Do not to worry - I am causelessly merciful, whatever grace I have bestowed upon you, utilize it with care, then I will bestow more".  God says, "Create Divine feelings in your material mind (Roop-dhyan).   Just do that and I will provide the Divine energy to your mind.  With My Divine energy, your material mind will become Divine.  
In meditation (Roop-dhyan), feelings are the most important. Meditate on any form of God you like.  For example, some people like Shree Krishna as a child, while others like Him in His adult form.  We can find different deities of Jaganathji and Ganeshji, but it is not that only one particular form of the deity will help us reach God and rest cannot help us reach Him.   God always notes the sentiments and feeling that we have in our heart.
na kāṣhṭhe vidyate devo na śhilāyāṁ na mṛitsu cha bhāve hī vidyate devastasmāt bhāvaṁ samācharet
God only notes your feelings.   Even if you meditate upon the black and round Shaligram with the true sentiments that it is God, He will give you its Divine fruit.  Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says that it is very difficult to meditate in this material world but there is nothing to worry. Shree Maharajji says, "Try to imagine your father's face.  You will not be able to imagine the exact face, because you have never watched him so closely.  Now, if you cannot imagine the exact face, it means you are not able to picturize your father;  it is some other image.  But God is causelessly merciful.  He accepts any face you can imagine with your material mind.  He says, "Just create Divine feelings and sentiments.  Try to develop your love for Me.  The rest is left to Guru and God.  It is their duty to grace you with a Divine mind and bestow Their Divine vision."  Hence, Shree Kripaluji Maharaj tells us to first "picturize" God in front us and then meditate upon Him.  Using our material mind, we must imagine God to be in front of us, and only then start to meditate on His form, virtues, pastimes and abodes.   
param vyākulatā baṛhāo, hari daras kī pyāre
What is the next step after meditating on God?  We have now seated God in front of us, what next? We must now build a yearning to see Him.  When will I be able to hear His sweet voice? When will I smell the fragrance that surrounds Him? When can I embrace Him? When will I be able to relish his leftover food? Let your five senses become eager to attain God. All the five senses are inclined towards the materialist world, maya. Now, if we divert these five senses toward God, it is called bhakti. After diverting your mind, increase the longing to meet God by a thousand times. The intensity of the longing should reach such a level as described by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu:
yugāyataṁ nimeṣheṇa chakṣhuśhā prāvṛiṣhāyitaṁ śhunyāyitaṁ jagat sarvaṁ govinda viraheṇa me
Who can teach the worship of Shree Krishna better than Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhuji, who is another form of Shree Radhaji? He taught us how to increase the longing to meet God.  He stayed at Gambhira, a place in Jagannath Puri for 18 years.  For 6 years, he performed parikramas in Puri, and undertook long padyatras to Vrindaban and South India, and freely met people.  But in his last 12 years, Mahaprabhuji lived alone, relishing the sentiment of separation from Shree Krishna.  He says in his Shikshastak, "O Govind! I have become so anxious for Your darshan that without You, each moment seems like an eon. In separation, my heart melts for You, and tears flow from my eyes.  This whole world is appearing void without You."
Using this as an inspiration, we must increase our longing to meet God.  This is the only way to purify our heart.  The gyani tell the bhakt, "You need to leave your desires, but you are not able to do so".  But the devotee says that you do not have to leave your desires. Instead, divert them towards God. If we abandon the desire to attain God, then our love for God will also come to an end.  The desire to attain God is not harmful.  It is praiseworthy and should be enhanced manifold.  Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says, "Divert anger, greed and desire towards God and increase its intensity. The more you increase the intensity of these feelings towards God, the more your heart is purified."
yā anurāgī chit kī gati samujhai nahiṁ koy,
jyoṁ jyoṁ ḍoobai śhyām rang tyoṁ tyoṁ ujjval hoy
When the intensity of our love for God increases, the heart and the mind are enlightened.  They are purified. This is the reason why God-realized Saints say :
he dev he dayita he bhuvanaika bandho, he Kṛiṣhṇa he chapala he karuṇaika sindho
he nātha he ramaṇa he nayanābhirāma hā hā kadānubhavitāsi padam drishor me
In this verse, the devotee is expressing his intense yearning, "O God! When will I be able to see You?"
What is the criteria to judge if we are progressing in our devotion? The answer is that, we must note our love and longing to meet God.  More the longing, the closer you are to your goal.  
There was a Sufi saint called Farid.  When people asked him how to reach God, he used to take them to the river and ask them to take a bath.  He then used to jump into the water along with the other person.  Faridji would then forcefully immerse the other person's head into the water for about half a minute.  The person would struggle, but he would not release him.  He would only let him go after a minute.  When the person came out of the water, he would be highly relieved to breathe fresh air.  Faridji would ask, "What happened?"  The person would answer, "If you had kept me in the water for another moment, I would have suffocated and died."  Faridji would say, "This is the answer to your question."
"You will be able see God when you feel that, without God's vision, your life airs will leave your body."  God and Guru are waiting for you to reach this stage.
Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj has said: 
darde dil itanā pasand āyā use, ki maiṁne jab ki āh usane vāh ki
This means, "My Divine Beloved liked the pain of separation so much, that when I exclaimed "Aah!" (in separation) he appreciated, "Waah!" in satisfaction."  Our heart and mind gets purified by this pain of separation from God.  In the last line of our daily prayer, we say:
he jīvandhan! Ab to tumhāre prem ke binā yaha jīvan mṛityu se bhī adhik bhayānak hai
This means: "O My soul Beloved!  Without Your love, this life has become more horrifying than death."
Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj says that he knows we will not be able to develop such deep sentiments in the beginning.  But at least we can do roop dhyan meditation.  With sincerity, we should pray to increase our longing for God and make it our goal.
.... To be Continued
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