Sookti by Parama Pujya Swamiji on the mindset for worldly vs. spiritual activities

  • 01 Nov 2021
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Jaya Guru Datta.

oṁ namo hanumate namaḥ
oṁ ayiṁ hrīṁ śrīṁ śiva rāma anagha dattāya namaḥ

I am happy many are doing mantra daana. I asked you to do it with the hope that you will. Happy birthday to those who are celebrating today. At the end, I will wish that God give you all the strength to face difficulties.

ajarāmaravat prājño vidyāmarthaṅ ca sādhyet
gṛhītaiva keśeṣu mrtyunā dharmamācaret

The wise person should learn all knowledge believing that old age and death will not come to him. Many people think it is too late in their lives to learn new skills or knowledge. That is very wrong. So, you are saying that you are going to die soon. That is inauspicious talk. You must never think you are too old to learn something. You must instead think that you will live a very long time and learn a mantra or a skill or the Bhagavad Gita or other scriptures. If you wish to learn the Bhagavad Gita, believe that you will be alive until you finish it. You will then certainly be healthy and will live long. But if you believe you are going to die soon, you will. Similarly, the man who wishes to earn a certain amount of wealth in his life must do so and fulfill the purpose of his birth. Wealth in this context refers to money as well as the wealth of education. Education protects you in all ways. Also the money you work hard to earn comes useful. So, you must earn believing that you will live a long time.

But, when you observe dharmic actions, you must act as if death is around the corner. You must undertake dharmic deeds immediately as if you are not going to live long. You must not postpone dharmic undertakings believe you will live long. Observe the nuance in Dharma in this sookti. You must make the sankalpa to do the dharmic deeds immediately believing that you will leave the planet soon. This sookti also teaches us that all our life, we should walk the path of Dharma.

There is a lot of difference between worldly life and spiritual life. Sage Appayya Deekshita was a musical saint like Tyagaraja and Shyama Shastri, and was very renowned in the Advaita realm. He authored hundreds of books on the knowledge of Vedanta. Yet praising God, he said - it is true that You are without form and attributes. But the joy, relish, and satisfaction in worshiping the form (saguna upasana) is not present in worshiping the formless (nirguna upasana). How can we gain happiness in worshiping the formless? We cannot comprehend the formless. But when we worship the form, we can see the form which talks to us (we should believe that God talks to us). We offer Him food (whether or not he will really eat the food), give Him a bath, put Him in the cradle, decorate Him, etc. But in worshiping the formless, we cannot offer such services. So, worshiping the formless is bereft of the joy one gets in worshiping the form

It is the eternal truth that life is like a water bubble. But one with faith that he will be alive the next moment and therefore continues working on the task will live until tomorrow. Otherwise, the person will achieve nothing if he thinks he is going to die the next moment. Therefore, in the present moment, duality is greater than non-duality. We all know that nothing is permanent, and everything will get destroyed in due course. Yet, we build big homes, get married, etc. Therefore, this sookti teaches us that Advaita Vedanta is helpful at the end of life, but not at the beginning of life. There is no doubt that we should ultimately gain the Advaita mindset, but when the toddler is learning new words, what is the use teaching Advaita/non-duality?

Say there is a great physician who is also great at Vedanta and is filled with dispassion. If a sick person went to him, the physician should treat him for the illness and wish that he live long and enjoy life with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He should talk like an atheist and encourage him to live long. Whether or not that patient will live long, he will gain the courage to live. But it would not be right if the doctor preached Vedanta and said - this medicine may or may not work, this body is a heap of diseases, it is impermanent, why do you grieve for this trivial body? Just pray to God! You will have a peaceful death.

So, while gaining knowledge and earning wealth (money and education), one must believe one will live a long time. He must believe – I am eternal and will remain an eternal witness as long as this creation exists. That gives mental strength. But can one who believes he will die the next moment be able to learn or earn anything? No. As long as one has the ability to, one must dharmically earn as much as possible. It is when one has wealth, that one gains respect in society. dhanamūlam idam jagat it is said. One who is constantly afraid of getting older and dying will achieve nothing. He is good for nothing. He will just eat twice a day on someone else’s earnings. He will resign to just living in a place of charity or some pilgrim places where he can get food for free. What is the use always thinking one is going to die soon? The wise man should firmly believe that birth/death will not approach him. Even though this is not true, he must believe this. At the same time, when doing dharmic deeds, one must believe he will die any moment and finish those deeds immediately.

This sookti teaches us that satkarmas, charity, worship, obligatory duties should all be done immediately. Keep your charities closely guarded secrets. One hand should not know what the other is doing. In fact, you must be embarrassed when your name is announced. The praise and fame that come with publicizing charity will destroy the fruit of charity. Therefore, this sookti teaches us for the present day and age that dharmic deeds must be done immediately but earning money and education must be done believing one is eternal.

I pray to Lord Datta to give you the strength to face difficulties. On the day of Deepavali, we are doing Gau Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Homa, Sri Chakra, etc. All of you should participate. I am happy many are participating in Gau Puja. Many have done Gau Samarpana (offered a cow to Swamiji). We are clipping the name of the donor and family to the cow’s ear. If the cow for some reason does not live long, we will find you another cow as a replacement. But the calf will not belong to you. There are 37 devotees who have become patrons like this. We are building shelter for cows with the funds from the patrons. Many old and disabled cows are also being cared for. Some of those cows gave milk to Swamiji too. So, they are mothers to me as well. So, we will place them where they can be cared for well. On the 4th, everyone must do Gau Puja.

Cow should be our national animal. Let us all resolve among ourselves that the cow is our national animal. Gau Mata is like a mother. She gives us milk, curd, ghee, butter and her products are also used in many medicines. Even if you do not drink cow’s milk, you indirectly consume its products.

The cow should not be killed nor should cow slaughter be encouraged. We should not encourage the use of beef. Within the next 10 years, there will be very strange diseases and deaths. Beef should be forbidden. It causes ill-health. Tell your friends as well. Swamiji specially blesses those who have done Gau Dana and Gau Samarpana to be happy and be blessed. Gau Samarpana is the biggest charity. Attend all Puja programs on Deepavali day – November 4. I will do Gau puja in the morning and then do Sri Chakra Puja. Do not miss this most wonderful event. Jaya Guru Datta. Sri Guru Datta.