Thursday, June 13, 2024

Welcome to the Buddha Purnima issue of e-Sanai

by Sri Sandip Dasgupta 


Welcome to the Buddha Purnima edition of our quarterly spiritual magazine.  On Mar 17, 1988 Sri Sri Babathakur had beautifully explained the importance of regular Satsanga in our daily lives. In this editorial, I will try to present what the Master had explained to the audience.

He took the example of a piece of wooden log. If it’s completely dry, it’s ready to be lighted immediately; the fire will enter the log immediately and it will produce the heat that is intended. However, if the log has moisture within it, then we will initially see smoke which will make it difficult for us to sit next to the log (leave alone producing heat from burning the log). We then have to expose the log to a fire for a long time before all the moisture evaporates. Once the log dries up, then we can light a fire and enjoy the heat from burning the log.

Our Master has likened a Samsari who is full of desires to a moist log.  When such a person comes in contact with a sadhu, he cannot benefit from his association with the sadhu because his mind is full of desires. The individual then tends to run away from such a sadhu.  So, how can the desires be removed? The individual needs to be constantly in the company of sadhus and listen to the sadhu’s words so that the mind is purified. If he goes to a sadhu after his mind is purified, then he will be able to understand the sadhu’s words readily. The sadhu’s sadbhava will enter his mind readily.

Now, how do we apply this to our daily lives? Although our Master has given up His mundane body, He has given us huge volumes of discourses (uploaded on YouTube) and books (published by Saccidananda Society) which are readily available.  Let us make it a point to listen to them regularly and purify our minds, so that we can follow the path given to us by our Master.

Joy Babathakur! Joy Babathakur! Joy Babathakur!

Three Inspiring Stories

 by Smt. Mandira Lahiri

There were two monks in India, walking from one village to the next, begging for alms. One day they came upon a young girl who was crying to herself near the banks of a river.

One of the monks approached her and asked, “Sister, why are you crying?” She said, “Do you see that house on the other side of the river? That’s where I live, and early this morning I waded across the river without any problem. But now the water has risen, and there is no boat anywhere near to take me across the river.” “Don’t worry, I will take you to the other side.” said the monk.  He picked her up and carried her on his back safely across the waters to the other shore. Thereafter, the two monks continued their journey to the next village. They walked in silence for several hours, when suddenly the second monk spoke up and said, “Brother you have committed a terrible sin. We have taken a vow of chastity, never to touch a woman. Didn’t you feel pleasure and a strong sensation when you touched that woman?” The first monk replied, “I left her behind two hours ago, but you, apparently are still carrying her with you.”

Once upon a time there was a yogi who was famous for his accomplishments and austerity. He owned only two loin clothes — one was to wash, and the other to wear. He visited the capital of the kingdom and his fame reached the ear of the king, who politely invited the yogi to his palace.  The king greeted the yogi with due reverence, showed him around the palace, and took him to the treasure vault, where he had enormous amounts of jewels and gold. He said to the yogi, “Take whatever you like of my treasure; it is yours.” But the yogi proudly declined, stating, “Worldly possessions don’t mean a thing to me. All I possess in the world are these two loin clothes.” The king was impressed and said to the yogi, “Please stay with me for a day or two and teach me the secret of your great detachment and wisdom.” The yogi accepted his invitation. A servant showed him to a bare room, where he could spend the night. In the middle of the night there was an awful lot of noise. Somebody threw open the door of his room and shouted, “Run for your life! The palace is on fire.” The yogi dashed out of the room. There were flames and smoke in the hallways, and people were running. As he was rushing out into the night, he saw the king in his robe next to him. And as he looked back at the palace going down in flames, the king said to the yogi, “Well there go all my jewels and treasures. But I don’t care, you have taught me that possessions don’t matter, and that all one needs is a simple garment.” Hearing the words, the yogi suddenly turned and started running towards the burning palace. The king didn’t know what the yogi was doing by running to certain death. So, he ran after him and caught up with him, “What are you doing? Have you gone mad? You are sure to meet certain death in the flames.” The yogi turned towards him with fear and worry on his face and said, “My loincloth, my other loincloth, I left it in the palace, I must save it, it’s all I have.” And the king suddenly laughed, “You are willing to give up your life for your puny loincloth? And you are teaching me about detachment and being free of possessions!”

Narada was a yogi so accomplished that one-day God Vishnu appeared before him and said, “Narada, I grant you any wish you may have. Just tell me your wish, and I’ll make it happen.” So, Narada said to Vishnu, “All I want is to understand Maya, the power of illusion.” Vishnu sighed, “That is very difficult to do. Is there nothing else you want, money or power, or some divine pleasure?” Narada however insisted, “That’s all I want.” Vishnu said, “All right then. But it’s a lovely day, so let’s take a walk while I explain this to you.” They were walking among the hills like two friends, looking at the magnificent snow-capped mountains in the distance. The sun was shining very strongly, and Vishnu stopped beneath a shady tree and said to Narada, “It is hot and I’m very thirsty. So, before we go into this, could you perhaps fetch me a glass of water from that cottage down there? I’ll wait here.” Narada said, “But of course, Lord, I’ll be right back.” Narada trotted off and knocked on the door of the cottage. The door was opened by a beautiful girl, whose beauty captivated Narada as she invited him into her house.  He met her family, and they invited him to have lunch with them.  Before he knew it, Narada had fallen in love with the young girl. They invited him to stay the night and eventually he married the girl. They had children and led a happy and prosperous life. One year the monsoons were stronger than ever. It kept on raining day after day, flooding the fields and sweeping away the houses. As the waters kept rising, Narada took his wife and children by the hand, the youngest on his shoulders, and together they tried to save their lives by climbing on top of the roof. But the children, one after the other, were swept away by the raging waters. Just when he was attempting to pull his wife onto the roof, she also was engulfed by the flood. Narada felt utterly devastated by this total loss of everything he cherished. He was hanging on to dear life and, in his despair, he fervently started to pray, “Please, Lord, help me in this misery.” And through the roar of the water came Lord Vishnu’s voice, “And where is my glass of water?”

In the book ‘Nectar of Wisdom’, Prajnanpurush Sri Sri Babathakur narrates an incident from His childhood which goes this way — when His body was very young, His father had taken Him to an open-air theater where a mythological play was to be performed. The play had started very dramatically, and the boy had taken keen interest in it. Just before the last intermission, the hero was killed and was removed from the stage. During the intermission, the boy needed to urinate and went outside the circle of spectators to do so. Standing there, He saw the hero deeply engaged in conversation with the heroine who was smoking (at that time all the actors were men).

The boy was very surprised to see the dead hero alive, for he had been so engrossed in the play that he had taken it for reality. He shouted at the top of his voice: “Oh father the hero is not dead and the heroine is smoking!!”

The father heard the boy shouting and came up to him, pulled the boy very roughly by the ear and scolded him loudly, for the boy’s behavior had embarrassed him. The other boys tried to defend their friend by pointing out that he had done nothing but spoken the truth. The father then stopped scolding his son, and both returned to watch the end of the play.

If I sum up the morals of the three stories and the anecdote from Sri Sri Babathakur’s life, it will be more or less as follows — we spend most of our time on this earth like deluded beings because of our strong sense of otherness. Our desires and attachments pull us down all the time! We come under the spell of Maya. Meaningless mental chatter goes on in our minds which dictates us to do things that are so short-lived. The only way out is to dwell on our Higher Self — listening to our Sadguru Sri Sri Babathakur’s divine words will make that happen. All the filth and muck will be washed away, and our Real Self will shine forth which shall lead us to eternal happiness.


Glory of the Self


The following is a transliteration of excerpts from pages 119-120 of Brahma-Atma Vidya Vol 2 by Shri Ramen Basu

1)      I can never be without the I. Consciousness can never experience Its absence.

2)      Consciousness can never be bereft of Consciousness, Self can never be without the Self, I can never be without the I.

3) There is no Consciousness other than the Consciousness, there is no Self other than the Self, there is no I other than the I. Differently speaking, it is said that Consciousness except the Consciousness, Self except the Self, I except the I; again, Consciousness beyond the Consciousness, Self beyond the Self, I beyond the I— all these verily are self-contradictory statements.

4)     I do not know such I— this is a a self-contradictory statement. I am saying to the I itself that I do not know I. I am verily saying— who am I, I do not know. I am verily I. No need of waiting to know the Self.  Self verily knows the Self; if that is not so, then how can I say I Acceptance of the Self leaves no room for further knowing the Self.

5)         Listen you all to what I say for one and all— is there any such person my dear who says I has no existence, there is no I?

6)          Who says I am not there, I am not there— who says this?

7)          How can I say I am not there, unless I am there?

8)        Whether I know or know not, I say or say not, I accept or accept not, I remain verily I, there is no second.

9)        Whether you know or know not— how does it matter? You do not remember your childhood now; does it mean that you are not there now?

10)      Everybody says I, I; there is no doer-enjoyer-experiencer without I.

11)      The nature of I, the essence of I, is known to I alone and none else. The real Identity of I is verily I and it is always revealed by I itself.

12)      I am within I, no other entity is there. I-Reality, the essence of all Reality, is ever revealing in the heart of all.

13)      The I that is there in this I, is there in one and all.

14)      I of I and I of you, the I of all is the I of I.

15)     All in I, I in all; I am all, all verily I am.  One who says, ‘I and mine’ and ‘Thou and thine’ is verily that I.

16)      I is the mother and father of I, I is the Guru and disciple of I, I is the Master and attendant of I, I is the becoming and Being of I, I is the creator and preserver of I, I is the alternative of I, I is the son and daughter of I, I is the friend and ally of I, I is the object of knowledge and the knower of I, I is the fulfilment of I.

17)      I exist eternally alone in the I-Existence. I has no duality. The identity of I is verily I.

18)     The experience of affirmation and negation exists in I-Consciousness.

19)      I in I, I of I, I from I, I for I, I by I, I with I, I to I, I on I and beyond and beyond I.

20)      (a) I from I is the child-I; (b) I by I is the disciple-I; (c) I with I is the I of Being and becoming i.e., the I of Spirit and matter; (d) I for I is the I of Love Divine; (e) I in I is the Knowledge-I; (f) I perfectly unified and identified with the I, is the I of the Wisdom Absolute.