Sunday, April 29, 2012

Traditional Customs: from theory to practice

O Learned and Devoted Servants of God, [April 27, 2012 Evening] The Gita says ‘svalpa mapyasya dharmasya…’. It means that something is better than nothing. Based on this point, our traditional customs are built up, which should not be mocked as illogical and blind. Our tradition says that you should offer any food or drink to God before you enjoy it. Offering to God is theoretical and not practical. You should not say that the theoretical step is useless. Offering to God develops your theoretical devotion to God. Of course, theory does not yield any fruit. But, theory on constant theoretical practice of offering in long time at least has a chance of generating the practical offering. The theory follows the soul even after death, which may result in practice in the next birth. Practical devotion yields real fruits, but theoretical devotion leads to practical devotion in course of time. Without theory, there is no practical. The practical sacrifice is very difficult for the ordinary human beings without the ripening of spiritual knowledge. The offering of food to the statues and photos generates the theoretical devotion, which in course of time results in the practical offering of food to some deserving person in the name of God.

God exists in the human incarnation. God also identifies Himself with the devotees and therefore, there is no difference between God and God’s devotee. God is also pleased when you offer the food to hungry poor people in the name of God. The offering of the food to the statue may look like cheating because the food is not really taken by God. But, it has its own good side. It develops the devotion to God in the mind of devotee. It is the beginning stage of devotion. Any action in the beginning stage is associated with defects as said in the Gita (sarvaarambhaahi…). In spite of the defects, there is the good angle that every development has to come from its beginning stage only. Beginning is inevitable for the development. Therefore, the beginning should not be criticized and mocked, which may give negative effect. The devotee may be discouraged and the development of his devotion may be arrested. At the same time, if the devotee sits in the beginning stage only for a long time, constructive criticism can be given so that the devotee enters the practical devotion without further delay. Your criticism should uplift the devotee. It should not degrade the devotee from the beginning stage itself.

The devotee may not practically sacrifice the food, but, such devotee is better than an atheist, who neither sacrifices nor at least offers the food to God. The atheist may practically offer the food to some hungry poor person without the name of the God. He is rewarded with a temporary stay in the heaven. A devotee may not practically sacrifice the food, but offering it to the God is certainly a beginning step for the permanent upliftment. Therefore, a devotee with theoretical devotion is better than the atheist with the practical sacrifice. Certainly, by the grace of the God, the devotee also will enter into the stage of practical sacrifice as said in the Gita (kshipram bhavati dharmaatmaa …).

At the lotus feet of Shri Datta Swami

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Serve Incarnation or Devotee or Poor in God’s Name
O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,[April 25, 2012] Worship to God in human form can be digested only by human beings, who have completely conquered their ego and jealousy. Devotees of highest level can only reach this level of maturity of divine knowledge. Most of the human beings cannot reach this level and therefore, only energetic forms of God are prescribed for them. But, energetic forms are not available on the earth to receive the service of the devotees because such forms are prescribed only for the upper worlds in which souls in energetic bodies live. Therefore, only inert photos and statues of such energetic forms are served by most of the devotees in this world. Even photos and statues of past human incarnations are not inconvenient because such photos and statues are not alive human forms. As far as the inert statue or photo is concerned, it is immaterial whether it represents the energetic form of God like Vishnu or past human incarnation like Rama. In any case, only the non-living material is being served. Service of such inert materials is waste because the service rendered by the devotee is not received and experienced by the inert material. But, there is no other way to develop the devotion to God in the case of ordinary human devotees.

The alive human form is not acceptable and the alive energetic form is not available. Only inert photos and statues representing the alive energetic forms or past human forms are the inevitable way left over. Serving such inert statues and photos is not to be condemned because such service develops the devotion of the devotee. But, one should be careful to see that there is no wastage of useful materials in serving such photos and statues. You can wash such photos and statues by water since plenty of water is available. You can use flowers to decorate the photos and statues since such decoration develops the attraction of the devotee towards God. You can put a light before the statue or photo provided there is darkness. It is not wastage since light is required in the darkness even otherwise in the absence of statue or photo. But, burning the oil for the lights in the day time is condemned. The oil is also food material, which can be used to pacify the hunger of hungry living beings. You can use perfumes because such perfumes create a pleasant atmosphere, which can be enjoyed by the people sitting near the photo or statue.

Wastage of milk, etc. in bathing the statue is not necessary. Instead, you can offer the milk to the statue and use it to pacify the hunger of hungry living beings. Ignorant people pour the milk in the abode of the snake, which becomes waste. You can donate anything to the poor people in the name of God so that the donation is associated with the development of devotion. When you save the life of a hungry person or remove the tensions by donations, you are saving the life and giving peace so that the poor person may worship God in future. Therefore, donation to a poor person in the name of God is always appreciable. Donation to a devotee is also good because God lives in the devotees as per the Bhakti Sutra of Sage Narada (Tanmayaahite). God lives in the human incarnation and also lives in the devotees. Therefore, service to devotees, is as good as service to human incarnation. Service to poor people in the name of God also pleases God because you are helping them to develop their devotion in their future stabilized lifetimes. Hence, service to human incarnation, service to devotees and service to poor in the name of God are appreciable since God is pleased by such service.

At the lotus feet of Shri Datta Swami

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Neutrality to Happy & Misery is not Yoga, but enjoying Happiness & Misery is Yoga

O Learned and Devoted Servants of God, [April 14, 2012] The bliss of God is said to be continuous without any interruption. This means that God is in continuous state of joy derived from continuous enjoyment. The Veda says that God created this universe for the sake of enjoyment through entertainment. This creation contains both happiness and misery altering continuously. The creation is completely in the hand of God. If God enjoys only the happy scenes, God could have created this creation with continuous happy scenes only. Anything continuous leads to boring, which is the misery. Therefore, misery is inevitable even if the happiness is continuous. Hence, the creation contains alternating happiness and misery. Hence, the deduced concept is that God enjoys both happiness and misery and therefore, His joy is continuous.

People pray God to remove misery and give happiness. People do not know that the continuous happiness bores and becomes misery. Lack of the true knowledge in this concept is the only reason for such prayers. This is the path of majority. The path of the so called scholars is Yoga, which means the path of forced neutrality in happiness and misery. If you say that the equality of neutrality in both happiness and misery is Yoga, which is the state of God, it is wrong. God need not create happiness and misery and try to be neutral in both without enjoying anything. In such case, God could have created only the neutral scenes continuously without happiness and misery. In such continuous neutral scenes, God can be neutral without any effort. Unnecessary effort is required to be neutral in happy and miserable scenes. For the soul, the creation is not in its hand. Hence, the soul has to put the effort to be neutral in both misery and happiness. But, in the case of God, He need not be neutral by putting effort since God can create the continuous neutral scenes only.
 Enjoying Happiness & Misery is Yoga

Lord Krishna enjoyed the praise of Dharmaraja and His enjoyment is indicated by the smile on His face. Immediately, Shishupala scolded Him continuously. Lord Krishna kept the same smiling face indicating that He enjoys the misery also equally. Therefore, the equality of enjoyment in both happiness and misery is Yoga. Yoga does not mean the equality of forced neutrality in both happiness and misery. If neutrality is Yoga, the Lord could have kept neutral with silent peaceful face indicating His detachment from both happiness and misery. Therefore, the Yoga preached in the Gita as the equality is the equality in enjoyment in both and not the equality in neutrality in both. The Gita is generated by the Lord Krishna. The real interpretation of the Gita can be found out from the practical life of Lord Krishna. Without verifying the theory of the Gita in the practical life of the Lord, scholars are fighting with their theoretical interpretations of the Gita.

If you can enjoy equally happiness and misery, you can attribute yourself to be God, which is the Advaita as preached by Shankara. You need not worry about the power of creation, rule and destruction of the creation in intervals by God in this context because it becomes irrelevant. The reason is that the ultimate aim of creation, control and destruction in the interval is only the process of enjoyment of the creation. The Veda says that God created this universe because He was bored. Hence, the ultimate goal of God is only to enjoy the creation and not to exhibit His power of creation, control and destruction of the universe. A person harvested sugarcane and mirch. He crushed the sugarcane and prepared the juice. Similarly, he crushed the mirch and created the hot dish called chutney. There are two cups of sweet juice and two plates of hot chutney. One cup and one plate are enjoyed by that person. He is drinking the sweet juice and tasting the hot chutney now and then in the intervals. He is enjoying both continuously. Any single dish bores if enjoyed continuously. That person offered another cup of juice and another plate of chutney to you. If you can enjoy the sweet cup and the hot plate similar to that person, you are totally equal to that person. The labor put by that person in harvesting sugarcane and mirch and the labor put by that person in preparing juice and chutney are irrelevant in this context. All the labor is aiming only at the final enjoyment of the juice and chutney. Since the ultimate aim is equal in both the persons, both are equal. Similarly, the labor put by God in creating, controlling and destroying this creation now and then, is ultimately aimed at the final continuous enjoyment of the creation only. If you enjoy the creation continuously like God, you have totally become God and the power of creation etc., goes into the labor only, which is irrelevant. The Gita says that we should enjoy even the death, which is the climax of the misery and this is found in the practical life of the Lord. He was with smiling face even though the blood was flowing continuously when His foot was hit by the arrow.
Human Being takes Hidden Negative Side
You must realize the positive side of everything to enjoy it. Everything has positive and negative side. The greediness has both positive and negative sides. Due to greediness if you eat less, your health is maintained. This is the positive side. The negative side of the same greediness is not giving food to a deserving person. Similarly, charity has both positive and negative sides. The positive side of charity is to donate to a deserving person. The negative side of the charity is not to donate to a deserving person. God created everything with the positive side only. You are taking the hidden negative side of everything and blaming God for creating negative items in this world.

Ego is the most dangerous disease, which can spoil even the human incarnation. Both Parashurama and Rama were human incarnations. You can treat the human incarnation as God and this is Advaita (Monism). In fact, God lives in the human being and therefore, the reality is Dwaita (Dualism) only. As long as human incarnation realizes the Dwaita, God maintains Advaita. Rama always told that He is an ordinary human being and thus, maintained Dwaita throughout His life. Hence, Rama was always treated as God and Advaita was maintained by God throughout His life. When Parashurama thought that he has killed all the devils, God separated from him and he was insulted in the hands of Rama, which is the exhibition of Dwaita by God. Therefore, ego can spoil even the human incarnation and hence, one should be very careful about the ego till the last minute of his life.

At lotus feet of Shri Datta Swami