śri mahā gaṇapate namaḥ
śri sarasvatyai namaḥ
śri pādavallabha narasimha sarasvati
śri guru dattātreyāya namaḥ
Happy Guru Day. Today is Thursday - Guru Day. We observe so many different days such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day etc. Every week we have Guru Day. To earn Guru’s blessings, we performed Sadguru Paduka Puja. We are all very much blessed to have Pujya Swamiji in our lives. Without Guru and His blessings, you cannot attain wisdom. With Guru’s help, you can achieve anything. Just as without a mirror, you cannot see your own eyes, without the help of Sadguru, you cannot gain wisdom. To get his blessings, we need to follow His words. Guru Pada Puja is nothing but following His words. If you follow Guru’s words, you will have Guru’s blessings. Our Pujya Sri Swamiji’s message is “Be good, do good”. Be good means always think good and help others. That is Pujya Swamiji’s message. If you follow His words, you will definitely earn His blessings.
There is a wonderful Shiva Stotra – vārāṇasī purapatiṃ bhaja viśvanādham. This is not just praise of Lord Shiva. There are so many things we need to understand from a stotra. We think we earn God’s blessings because we praise him. Of course, it is necessary that we praise the Lord, but there are so many other aspects in a stotra. We praise and remember the story of the deity. If we are chanting Ganesha Pancaratna stotra, we are remembering Lord Ganesha’s story, his deeds, and how he protected his devotees and blessed them. But we should learn something from the stotra.
In this stotra from viśvanādha aṣtakam, “vārāṇasī purapatiṃ bhaja viśvanādham”, who are we praising? We are praising viśvanādha – one who is the protector of this universe. viśva is universe and nādha is the king who protects, not just one who simply enjoys his kingdom. viśvanādha is one who takes care of this universe and protects everyone. That is our Sadguru. Everyone has the desire to see his form and his face. We want to see how he acts, how he speaks and how he smiles. We want to see Him. That is why he came in the form of a Sadguru.
In viśvanādha aṣtakam, there is a wonderful verse –
āśāṃ vihāya parihṛtya paraśya nindāṃ
pāpe rathiṃ ca sunivārya manassamādhau
ādhāya hṛt-kamala madhya gataṃ pareśaṃ
vārāṇasī purapatiṃ bhaja viśvanādham
How you need to offer worship is described here in this verse.
āśāṃ vihāya – Before you begin your ritual of worship, you need to take a resolve to let mind be stable without wandering here and there. Concentrate and then offer worship. First do sankalpa and then offer worship. Without sankalpa, the Puja will give no fruit. In this stotra, Sage Vyasa says to not desire anything.
We offer worship because we have so many desires. The nature of worship is such that desires will automatically be fulfilled. Why ask? If you eat, your hunger is automatically satisfied. Similarly, if you worship with devotion, you will automatically get the fruit. You do not have to do anything else. But we forget this. We have so many things in our mind when offering worship. That is why the mind always wanders here and there. That is its nature.
āśāṃ vihāya says to not desire anything. Why do we desire? Is jealousy good or bad? Jealousy is not bad when you understand the nature of jealousy. You need to understand the feelings in your heart. You have to study yourself before you study others. Why are we jealous? We are not jealous of the President of America. We are jealous of those around us we know. Why? We are not jealous of achievers in a different country. We in fact read about them. But we are jealous of our neighbors and colleagues who achieve something. Why? Because we want to be like them. Jealousy comes from desire. Your mind is asking to achieve something. Do not get stuck in jealousy. Move forward. Examine yourself. Why are we not jealous of someone that achieved a lot and died recently? Why are we not jealous of someone that recently took birth. Jealousy is rooted in desire. But if you try to become like that person, that is not jealousy. If you stop becoming like him, that is jealousy. The next step in jealousy should be to become like that person.
I will take myself as an example to explain. I was jealous of Appaji’s singing. How can you be jealous of your Sadguru? Is that good. Sometimes. That is because you want to become like your Sadguru. I struggled within for many days because it was not a good thing to do. You can listen to Swamiji’s bhajans, you can praise him, appreciate him, but how can you be jealous of Sadguru? I could not ask Appaji. I had to solve this problem. This was my problem. Then I thought about it more. Why did this feeling arise in my mind? I churned this feeling of jealousy in my mind and realized it was because I wanted to sing. This is a good desire. All desires are not bad. If you are asking for good health, that is not a bad desire. But you need not do that all the time. You want to sing, go ahead and try to start singing. Why are you shy? I answered myself and started singing. Then, slowly, that feeling of jealousy disappeared from my mind. So jealousy can sometimes be good.
It is good to have a dream. If you do not have a dream, you will not wake up. You wake up because you want to fulfill your dream. Let your desires be good. āśāṃ vihāya – letting go of desires – is very tough.
parihṛtya paraśya nindāṃ
nindā means abusing or blaming someone with bad words. That is not good. This is saying that one should not blame others when offering worship.
pāpe rathiṃ ca sunivārya manassamādhau
While offering worship, do not let bad thoughts enter your mind. Your practice starts from there. Your prayer room is like a lab. We start our spiritual life there. Keep Sadguru in your mind.
ādhāya hṛt-kamala madhya gataṃ pareśaṃ
Your heart is like a lotus. Lotus grows in a marsh. But the Guru is in the Lotus. In the lotus of your heart, seat the Sadguru. Guru Gita starts with this. Worship the Guru in the lotus like heart. Whatever worship you offer externally, think of the Sadguru in your heart. Think of this as the Guru day message. Today is a very auspicious day. Appaji is always with us in a subtle form.
May the Guru bless everyone today. Does anyone have any questions?
Question: Can we chant a mantra not given by the Guru with the same japamala that we use to chant Guru mantra?
Answer: You can use the same japamala for all mantras. But use the japamala only for chanting mantra.
Question: What is the relationship between body and Atman? What happens in sleep?
Answer: Your question has the answer. There is no relationship between the Atman and body. The Atman only inhabits the body. It is like a dweller in a house.
You should tell me where the Atman is when you sleep. How do you feel when you wake up from sleep? You are happy. That is your real state – in the deep sleep state. You are happy when you have no bondage – which is why God gave us the deep sleep state of sushupti. That is your true state. You must think of being in that state when you are awake too. That is why we follow Sacchidananda – so we can be in that bliss.
If you are traveling in a vehicle, what is the relationship between us and the vehicle? Same is the relationship between body and soul. We should us the body as a vehicle to reach your destination.
Question: What is the significance of sankalpa? Doesn’t god know what we want?
Answer: Sankalpa is not for God. It is for us. God knows everything. Have we realized that He knows everything? No. If you realize, you do not need any sankalpa. We are not in that stage. We have not realized that God knows everything. That is why we do sankalpa.
A good sankalpa is “Sri Parameswara Muddisya, Sri Parameswara Preetyartham”. But when you chant “ayurarogya aishwarya abhivruthyartham, that is a seeking of desire, not sankalpa.
“With this good deed, let God be satisfied. I am doing this karma to please him”. That is good sankalpa you have to do. Then he knows what to give and how to bless you. That is good sankalpa. Jaya Guru Datta.