Parama Poojya Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji, a rare, Self-realised Spiritual Master, outlines the path to Perfection, which every soul must tread eventually. The Scriptures declare that without the guidance of the Guru, a True Spiritual Guide, Self-realization is impossible for the disciple.
The Divine Wisdom of Sri Swamiji as revealed in these discourses, is easily recognized to be in the age-old tradition of the Great Sages and Saints of all time. Here the importance of the Perfect Spiritual Master is explained. So too are how to recognize such a Master and precisely how to approach the Master as Guru.
The questions and answers reproduced here provide valuable insights, not only with regard to the nature of the Guru, and some of the methods He uses to help His followers, but also the correct attitude the disciple should adopt in this venture. His teachings will help the disciple to recognize the major pitfalls to be avoided, the most effective and speedy aids to be adopted and the hardest obstacles to be over come before he reaches the final goal of life.
Over the years, Parama Pujya Sri Swamiji has given many outstanding yet simple messages. Needless to say, these messages have always contained the essence of the Holy Scriptures — the Vedas, Sastras, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads and Ramayana — without the apparent ambiguity of the originals. In addition, His teachings are always steeped with His own vast Spiritual Knowledge and experience.
While many of these discourses have been received by large audiences in formal settings, there are numerous instances where small groups have benefited from an informal tete-a- tete. Devotees have always relished the latter form because of its personal touch.
Sometimes the devotees grasp Swamiji’s messages instantly and at other times, slowly. It all depends on the degree of their faith, intelligence and capacity to follow the Master. In the end however, His message is loud and clear for those who are ready to recognize it. We all have the capacity to fulfill the selfless goals of the Master, but it is only for us to try to do so. As Sri Swamiji has said:
“God-realisation needs a one-pointed mind and plenty of effort. Mere wish or desire does not carry one far. A Guru can, in His wisdom, set the pace and the path of the disciple and keep him going towards the goal of Self-realization”.
This book is an attempt to bring some of Sri Swamiji’s lucid messages to you, Dear Reader, so that you too may be enriched in the same way as those who were fortunate enough to receive them in person.
What is Satsang? Sat Sang means good company or pure friendship. Friendship to whom? Friendship to Guru, your Guru, Swamiji and friendship to the spiritual children of Swamiji. You are all spiritual friends and children who wish to come closer to Swamiji. How to get closer to Swamiji? By being His good children, good spiritual children. All of you must think, meditate, talk and concentrate on Swamiji, your Guru. Then only your Guru will come closer to you. If you have bad thoughts, this is karma and it will push you away from Swamiji. Who loses? Only you lose. You must always remember this. If you walk one step towards Swamiji, Swamiji will walk ten steps towards you. So, in Satsang you must do Guru chintana. You can do this by meditating on the Guru, worshipping the Guru, chanting the Divine names of God, end by so many other ways. Worship or pooja is nothing but physical concentration. You are physically worshipping so that the mind can be in concentration on the Guru. Every action in the pooja has a tattva — principle and a meaning. Every physical offering you male to the Saduguru Sri Swamiji represents your subtle offering to Him. The Sookshma Shareera of Swamiji is always present near you during such worship. Patram and Pushpan and Phalam, Toyam like these, there are many offerings you give physically to the Sadguru.
What are Patram and Pushpam and Phalam in the spiritual sense? They are nothing but the mind, body and soul of the worshipper. The devotee offers these physical offerings like leaves, flowers, fruits and water to God or Sadguru at the physical level. At the spiritual level, because Swamiji is present at the time of pooja, you must make a spiritual offering also. What is this spiritual offering? It is your mind, body and heart. When you place all these under His Divine feet, Swamiji will receive you in an equally spiritual way. You must surrender yourself to the Guru. Unless this self-surrender or Poorna Anugraha is complete, blessing from the Guru i.e. Swamiji cannot be expected. The tears of joy that roll down from your eyes when you experience Swamiji’s Divine presence in you and in all others, is the Toyam or the water that you physically offer while worshipping. You must perform pooja to Swamiji not only at the physical level, but at the spiritual level also.
You may be worshipping the Guru in the right way, but have you tried to know even a little of who is a Guru? To put it in words that will be easy for you, we can say that Guru is a friend, philosopher and guide. How is Swamiji a friend? You are all living in a world of materialism. There is a lot of Kali Prabhava in this world. Kali Prabhava means unsteadiness. There are many means for you to choose temporary pleasures and ruin for yourself the chance of obtaining the more permanent happiness. For people living in such atmosphere, Swamiji is a friend, for He mixes with you like a child, a mother and a brother. He talks to you, laughs with you and jumps with you. Is He doing all this with full concentration? No. He is Himself always in Sahaja Samadhi — eternal meditation. Externally, to please you He acts like you. By this you are attracted towards Him. You become friendly. You see Him and follow Him everywhere and hear His words. This is the first step. He introduces Himself to you in this friendly way, keeping your distant goal in view — the goal to make you as pure as you can withstand.
How is Swamiji a philosopher? After attracting you towards Him, Swamiji slowly, even without your knowledge at certain times, starts cleaning you. It is like peeling a coconut of all its fibres. It is a long task and a hard one also. He plucks off the fibres and impurities, again and again and again. He tells you in simple words the essence of Manava Dharma — universal brotherhood. Sometimes He even does things that would seem strange to you. You must realize at such times that He knows better than you do, what is best for you. Once you surrender yourself to Him completely, you must stop asking questions again and again. These questions only bring you more questions and no answers. Sometimes, your karma will bring these questions to you. At that time instead of asking question to the Guru Himself and seeking His Divine solution, some people ask more and more questions and get into confusion. Even a good child of Swamiji, a Sadhaka, after much service to the Sadguru, and after moving closer to Swamiji, if he lets these questions confuse him even for a moment, he will come back to his original state. He will have to work hard again to get to the state he first was in before thinking about something and getting confused. So be careful. It will be in your own interest that Swamiji will be giving every direction. You must realize that you are His follower. Once you are a follower, you just have to follow
How is Swamiji a guide? After drawing you closer to Him and after telling you the essence of Sanatana Dharma in a way you can understand, Swamiji begins to guide you. Do this, do not do that, and so on. Even in the smallest way you have no right, as His spiritual child to go away from His path. Only when you bind yourself to Him in this strong bond of love and devotion can you progress spiritually and get very good guidance from Him.
When the Guru does so much for you, what do you do in return? Look to Swamiji as your mother. Feel the loving care He gives you and experience it. Every one of you should feel the same way, you are all alike. There can be no difference in you. You will be united children and your Mother, Swamiji, who is the incarnation of the Goddess Mother will be happy. This universal love in all of you will itself draw Swamiji closer to you. Remember that Swamiji is Bhakti Adheena-.bound by devotion. This bond of devotion that you generate by your love for Swamiji and to all His spiritual children will itself bring you closer to the Sadguru. The more you try to attract Him spiritually, the closer He draws you towards Him. You will thus be closer to Swamiji in mind, heart and deed. Do you need a greater Satsang? There are thousands of Swamiji’s children all over the world who are worshipping Him in such a way, with all their concentration and heart. They know for themselves the experiences gotten out of such worship of Swamiji.
You have to grow some more still but at least you are growing, some slowly, some quite fast. As Swamiji peels you like the coconut, others will also join. They will also be peeled of their fibres. Finally, all the fibres will be removed. But what is this? We have a hard shell after removing the fibres for so long you may ask, ‘What is this, Swamiji? Such hard work for this black and hard result?”. Swamiji will smile at you and say, “do not go fast. Only half the job is completed in removing the fibres. This is the easier half. The more difficult half is yet to come. You have to crack the hard shell”. The fibres were your impurities like jealousy, anger, greed, lust etc. Now the final black, hard shell is to be removed. What is this? This is your ego. Everybody says, “I did this, I helped him, I Built this...” So many I’s. All of this is the result of ego. When this person full of ego dies, he can never say, “I have died”. That time everybody else will say, “HE HAS DIED”. Where is the “I” now? You must remember that unless “I” is removed, you can never taste the sweet nectar in the coconut, nor can you eat the sweet coconut.
Similarly, unless you remove all the negativity in you by surrendering to the Sadguru Swamiji, and listen to His words to get rid of your ego, you can never experience Swamiji’s sweetness completely You will get, no doubt, a little sweetness by being close to Him physically, but it is only when you are dose to Him mentally and in His heart also that the real and full sweetness is tasted. This must be your goal, and you must do your best to receive from Swamiji all you can get: Try to peel off the fibres in you fast. Then Swamiji will crack the nut and the hard shell so that you can taste the sweetness inside. Remember also that the ego, which is so strongly stuck in you, will not leave you so easily and soon. You have to surrender to the Sadguru completely and then only he will remove it.
Swamiji prays that by the grace of the Divine Guru Lord Dattatreya, you may prosper and lead a more fruitful life.
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