Saturday, May 18, 2019

Welcome to the Buddha Purnima issue of e-Sanai

by Sri Sandip Dasgupta


Dear fellow seekers,

Let me begin by recapping how we got this blog started. 

In one of our meetings with the Master, He emphasized the importance of the discussion of spiritual topics regularly amongst the devotees.   He also asked us to begin a hand-written magazine that could be informally circulated amongst devotees – where anybody and everybody could express their thoughts about spiritual matters.  This would benefit co-devotees who may have similar queries in their day-to-day life.

Given the onset of the digital age, we quickly realized that circulating a hand-written magazine would not be practical – however, a blog would be a very efficient way of reaching out to devotees. This led to the formation of the e-sanai blog, which is published quarterly. 

On this auspicious occasion of Buddha Purnima, we are requesting devotees to do the following:
  • Come forth with articles/contributions to the blog on a regular basis.
  • Broaden the circulation base by referring your friends and family. You may send their email addresses (with their permission of course) to sanai.na.editors@gmail.com
And let me be permitted to reiterate our Master’s august proclamation “All Divine for all time, as It Is”. 

If we can remember this teaching of His, day in and day out – we won’t need any religion whatsoever to find God – for the Master is categorically stating that the same Universal One is present in everybody, including our own self.

If we can remember this teaching, then there will be no mud-slinging like the kind being seen in today’s pre-election scenario.  There will be Universal love amongst each and every one of us.  The Master has referred to this as the only panacea in today’s age. 

If we can remember this teaching, we will not be trying to downgrade anybody, there will be no sense of competition.

Joy Babathakur! Joy Babathakur! Joy Babathakur!

           

A Play of the Self - A tribute to Smt. Susmita Devi

by Sri Ramen Basu


Susmita Devi passed away on January 25, 2019.  I recall Sri Sri Babathakur (hereinafter referred to as the Master) stating that one goes to the green room for the next act when one passes away. Only the Master knows best. 
   
Susmita wrote an autobiography of her life where she ended her story with the bhajan she used to often sing - Jai Guru Jai Ma Om Brahma Atma Saccidanandaghana Akhanda Bhuma…. a revealed bhajan of the Master. All through her life in India, she arduously practiced to qualify herself in the integral path of jnana, bhakti and karma through the worship of Mother Goddess Kali as her Ista. She built a temple of her Ista in her home, after she compiled the words of the Master in the book titled ‘Nectar of Wisdom’. 

She adored the Master as Maa. This is why, perhaps, the love and compassion of Maa manifested in the game of her life. She was the founder of a school for the poorest of the poor in a remote village of Purulia, India.  Now that school - by the name of Ramakrishna Vivekananda Ideal School - is being run smoothly by her associates. She also ran a vacation home for orphan children in Rajarhat, Kolkata. Thus, the glory of the Master spread through her karma in life.

As a husband and fellow traveler, I had many pleasant memories living as well as working with her. I became aware of many of my shortcomings during our talks on spiritual and worldly matters of life.  She always helped me in rectifying myself.  It was as if a spiritual guide was by my side at home.  I remember the Master telling me that you should always listen to her for I speak through her mouth.  She was a sincere honest seeker and did not burden the Master to solve her mundane problems even when she suffered great physical pain and mental sufferings during her lifetime, accepting it as her karma, and she got to learn from those experiences.  I learnt from her positive approach towards life and also from the unflinching faith she had on the Master, as the indivisible form of the Guru is exemplar to me.  May be that is the reason why Master did not allow her continuous physical presence besides Him; instead He made her try to implement His teachings which she compiled in ‘Nectar of Wisdom’ through actions and introspection in the later stages of her life.

We all know how she was aware in her own mind that the words of the Master must reach international audience. Her zeal was amply rewarded by the Master in letting her publish His words which were penned down by her in His company in two volumes as 'Nectar of Wisdom'-1 & 2. Later on, Saccidananda Society published the two volumes together at the direction of the Master which she herself composed, edited and gave to the press to print. It is a unique diary, for the content of the book shows how the Master transforms His western devotees, who have no knowledge of Vedanta philosophy - the shruti vidya, by verbal testimony and demonstration of a divine life. It is a good beginner for graduating to the book ‘Science of Oneness’ and in understanding the profound depth of the phrase ‘I-Reality’ (an original coinage of the Master) which He propounded later in His immortal treatise ‘Knowledge of Knowledge’ Vol. 1 & 2.

Till her last days of life, she kept on sharing her thoughts in e-Sanai for she could feel the spiritual needs of the western audience given she had directly experienced that kind of life before coming to India.  She also encouraged and inspired the good intention of the devotees of the Master for spreading His words in the West.

Not only did she learn by heart ‘The sportful dramatic sameside game of Self-Consciousness’ - one of the august proclamations of the Master, she consciously strove for Its manifestation in life. She always expanded herself in many services for humanity after imbibing the training received from the Master, thus fulfilling the meaning of the word Brahman - the ever revealing One.

For the love of the Self a husband loves his wife, we heard it from the Master. In our case, I cannot help quoting the blessings of the Master on marriage from Nectar of Wisdom.  ‘Usually the individual self or ego can’t overcome the sense of duality and in duality two partners are needed for the play. That is why one requires a consort, though it is the very same Self-Consciousness playing in both the female and male body. When the two unite in harmony, the spiritual and material aspects are fulfilled because of the exchange of ideas, desires and aspirations, and ambitions in life can be shared....’

We used to read together and discuss how we can manifest His teachings in our lives. Our gratitude knew no bounds feeling the showering of Grace of the Master through His words and the remembrance of His holy company. 

I end this article with a poem of Susmita Devi from Nectar of Wisdom.

The Most Precious Self
(A poem to Guru)

Grace was showered in plenty
As drizzle on dry land.
Mind drank the Grace as land the rain.
Now mind knows only to play with
Thoughts of love, by love, for love.
Making a lovely mosaic
Of Love. 

Words of Guru are of highest potency,
Spoken or unspoken.
Yet, why so surprised, oh mind!
Can’t you grasp the simple idea that
Self is manifesting Itself. 

A lonely child may play all the roles
Of a get-together play,
Changing only voice and hat
According to impulses
From desire for enjoyment. 

So do you, oh mind, full of treason,
Changing ideas incessantly
Giving no chance
For constant loving thoughts
Of Self, by Self, for Self
The only Reality. 

Do use your tool fully, wholly
Most precious Self
In whatever way You please,
For your Divine Game
In all Its surprising glory. 

Let the state of mind remain
OM HARI OM
A sonorous outcry in silence
Within, without, beyond
All apparent manifestation. 

Her life was an inspiration to me for she heard the call of the flute and left everything she possessed in material life of the West and sat at the feet of Sadguru to realize herself.  I want to share with you a secret.  She told me once that ‘Ram you did not care for me while I was in the body but you will eulogize me when I am gone’.  I do not deny that I am the posthumous admirer.  May the self of the little Susmita merge in the Paka Ami or the ‘I’ of the Master and find Peace Absolute in this present incarnation.    

Thus, ‘ALL DIVINE FOR ALL TIME AS IT IS’ manifested in her life as the game of the Self-I in a novel way.   

Guru Om Tat Sat

The Science of the Absolute (Part 1)

by Sri P.C. Lahiri


‘The Science of The Absolute’ is an original coinage of Prajnanpurush Sri Sri Babathakur (the Master). Its imperative significance for me arises from the fact that the Master began with the Absolute, always remained in the Absolute and ended in the Absolute day in and day out.  Its deviation never happened. This was depicted in His every action/inaction, normal day-to-day talks, discourses, behavior and demeanor at all times. A perfect Soul who is established in The Absolute, i.e. He who is perfectly unified and identified with the Absolute, shall never deviate from the path of the Absolute.

How is it possible for a soul who is present in flesh and blood, in this mundane world of innumerable variations and contradictions, to be entrenched at all times in the Absolute which is One without a second? If it is possible, then how does it happen? This is a very pertinent question that comes to our mind as we do not meet and deal in life with an absolutely perfect Soul. The Science of the Absolute figures in here. Science here is that methodology or technique or way, by the application of which, the Knowledge of the Absolute can be perfectly applied in every sphere of life. Merely having any knowledge is not enough. One must know the perfect way to apply it whenever needed. The knowledge of “right application of knowledge” is science. I heard this definition of the word “science” from the Master and then when I mulled over it, I realized the true significance and extreme depth of the definition. 

Here I am reminded of an incident narrated by the Master that dates back to the times of the Ramayana. Rishi Vishwamitra came to king Dasharatha with a request to take young Rama to kill the extremely powerful asuras (demons) who were making the life of hermits and sages miserable. Rishi Vashishtha (a Self-realized Soul who was perfectly established in the Absolute) was the Guru of the family of Dasharatha. He asked Vishwamitra to wait, and instructed Rama to bathe in the river Sarayu next morning before sunrise and come to the king’s court ready to spend the day till sunset. The court was open to all the noblemen as well as recognized men of quality and knowledge. As the proceedings began, Vashishtha directed Rama to ask him all the questions that came to his mind.  Rama’s questions started from the very mundane and moved on from there day after day. These question-answer sessions went on for six months from sunrise to sunset till Rama reached the last question - “who am I”. As soon as he heard the answer, he went into samadhi (deep trance). Vishwamitra was infuriated as he thought that Rama had left the body and would not come back from this deepest of trances (nirvikalpa samadhi) which signifies Self-realization. Vashishtha asked him to relax and said that one who can send Rama to the ultimate state of Being, can also bring him back to the mundane world.  Vashishtha went into a trance and brought Rama back. After his return Rama prostrated before his Sadguru and said that he now was aware of everything and requested his permission to leave with Vishwamitra to complete the task in hand.  Vashishtha said no.  Rama was a little puzzled and Vishwamitra was again very upset as to why permission had been denied even though Rama was now fully ready.  Vashishtha said that now he will ask Rama the same questions from the first to the last, and Rama will have to give the right answers. Rama successfully completed this question-answer session in the reverse role giving all the answers almost instantly, thus completing the whole process in a short time. When Rishi Vashishtha was asked why this reverse session was at all needed? His answer was that in the first session Rama acquired the Knowledge of the Absolute and in the second session he acquired the Science of the Absolute, i.e. the Knowledge to apply that Supreme Knowledge in life. Thus, the cycle gets completed and the disciple then can be termed as a perfectly Self-realized Soul who is fully established in the Knowledge of the Absolute by being unified and identified with It. Perfect Knowledge of the Absolute is inclusive of the the Science of the Absolute. A soul of the caliber of Rama also forgot his real identity on arrival in the mundane world but because of his very high caliber, realization revealed in Him in only six months of constant association with his Master. High caliber in the present context means an absolutely ready soul who not only has the capability of listening to his Master with rapt attention and unwavering concentration for hours, but also is able to simultaneously assimilate the meaning of each and every word that emanates from the lotus lips of the Sadguru. There were many other highly learned, elevated and recognized souls in the king’s court throughout this period of Sadguru-disciple conversation but none of them were able to reach the pinnacle of realization.

In this context I am reminded of what Master often presented as an example. It is an example related to steel production at the Tata steel plant at Jamshedpur, India.  When molten steel, fresh out of the giant converters, travels through the specially constructed canals, because of extremely high temperature its color turns white and one cannot look at it with naked eyes.  If water is poured on it then the readiness of that state of molten steel is such that it would soak in the whole of it in a flash, not a drop will spill out. Such has to be the readiness of a true follower; only then will he/she be able to soak in each and every word of Sadguru as Rama did and be able to fully justify his human birth in the true sense of the term.

Now is there a process to achieve this state of readiness?  Master says yes. The easiest and the most effective process in the present- day world is to follow the principle of ‘all-acceptance and all-embrace’ which is nothing but the Science of the Absolute. How? Pat comes the answer - by the wholehearted acceptance of your own Self and the Self all as the undivided Absolute; and live with this acceptance at all times.  If we find it very difficult, then we can draw many lessons from the life of the Master and at least make a beginning. In the next issue of E-Sanai I will try to present what I saw in His company and what I heard from Him; the lessons I tried to draw from them and finally apply in day-to-day life to find joy. Despite many limitations of mine, I was able to find lot of joy and ease in life by just making an effort to sincerely follow some easy behavioral patterns demonstrated by Him and a few easy directions given by Him.

Submitted at the lotus fee of the Master.