Nomenclature of the Absolute (pg 19-22)

We require a solution for the various problems of our life. We are liable to be interrupted and troubled by foreign relations and potential discussions and also to meet different contending ideas and thoughts from outside. So we require Divine instruction for our purpose. We are assured by the song of the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna, "Sarvadharmaan parityajya" etc. [3] The essence of this declaration is 'Depend on Me'. "You will not have to repent for such submission. Whatever you have acquired up to this time, leave aside and come up to Me; I will dictate to you what course you should adopt". But lest we should not feel assured by this, and lest we should think that we are going to be deceived by such persuasive dictation and so try to follow some other source of instruction, Shri Krishna has already sung another song to assure us: Yehpyanya-devataa bhaktaa yajante [4]. The Lord says, "If you take the initiative to suggest a course you are liable to be instructed by such sources which will prove to be ineffective in the long run because I am immanent in the universe and there is no possibility of avoiding Me. I am the source of all existence. I am full of knowledge, I am endowed with the infinity of bliss". We can have no better instruction from elsewhere, which can give a more dependable and complete idea of the real goal. The whole thing, the exact entity, could not be realized if we took a course different from what Shri Krishna has dictated. Shri Krishna is the Fountainhead of all energies; all sorts of energies - even the opposite and conflicting energies - are stored in Him. He is "Akhilarasamritamoorty". We have heard His song, Ye yathaa Mam prapadante. [5] We are actuated by the influence of Rasa, We require pleasant sensation. But we should see that our particular predilection is directed to a definite purpose.

A person who tries to be a goswami is careful not to engage in those activities that are harmful to his spiritual development. For example, he refrains from taking intoxicants (including all sorts of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and so on); from having illicit sex; from gambling; and from eating meat, fish, and eggs.

Shri Krishna is the emporium of everything. In the Gita we are given a clearly marked and exact situation of the human soul and its relation to the phenomenal existence of His Prakriti. We have seen that there are two prakritis Para and Apara. Jivas are known as Para Prakriti. But Jivas, being infintesimally small, can come under the clutch of Apara Prakriti - can be overpowered by the deluding potency. Jivas can also dissociate themselves from this undesirable situation. How can this be? We have got the solution as to how to get rid of this shackle in the shloka Mameva ye prapadyante" etc. [6] By the use of the word "Mam" we see the object is singular - the personality is fixed. The Lord sings, "I can set you free from the clutches of the present activity of measuring things through the senses. I can show Myself fully to you when there will be no necessity of exercising your senses. I have set the engine of the three 'gunas' for the purpose of entrapping the less intelligent people. But when they listen to My dictation they see that they can easily manage to get rid of this trouble by submitting to Me, to Me alone." There is no other alternative for getting rid of our measuring temperament. We are now equipped with senses which are incapable of leading us to the Truth. We are liable to be deluded by the influence of Maya, and Maya is but a trap. If we want to avoid that trap, we are to submit to Him unconditionally. So 'Prapatti' is the essential thing which means full submission.

We can exercise our senses but such exploits will not do any good to us in the long run unless we submit to Him leaving aside whatever we have acquired up to this time. We are simply to surrender to Him. When we simply depend on Him, He will give us such facilities as will enable us to make quick progress. We are assured that we need not take the empirical course through our senses. Though we have the inclination to acquire knowledge through our senses, our attempts are often frustrated. Our empirical activities often fail to make much progress, for we see that whatever we have acquired by our empiricism calls for more and more additions or subtractions when we pass along the rolling tide of time. We think we have acquired a good deal of knowledge in our thirtieth year, but soon we find that knowledge inadequate when we reach the fortieth year. Again if we live for ten years more, we will have to revise our knowledge again. In this way living for any number of years will not serve our purpose, it will not make us wise. We come to the inevitable conclusion that all sorts of empirical knowledge is quite useless for the purpose of gaining the whole truth. We should, therefore, be 'prapanna'. We should simply submit, and that submission should be attended with everything we have acquired. Whatever we have acquired must be given up considering that we will be helped by Him. But if we have no such confidence in Him, we cannot part with our acquired things. We will be making a sad mistake if we conjecture that the Lord, in the long run, may have nothing to confer on us, and that by giving up what we have acquired we will get into trouble. We forget that He is the Absolute.

If a person engages in the process of bhakti yoga and yet continues to engage in activities that are detrimental to spiritual progress, his spiritual progress will be very slow. This does not mean that a person must be completely free of all bad habits before he can even begin the process of bhakti yoga. For example, in the Philippines, one teacher saved many young people who were addicted to heroin and other drugs by teaching them the process of bhakti yoga. It took some time before they could completely give up all drugs; but eventually they did.

He is the emporium of everything. We need not be doubtful of His assurance that He will never fail us. We have got a free will which we can exercise. But we are not expected to imagine that we are independent. We are bound to accept that we are dependants. If we make a careful enquiry into the nature of phenomenal objects and sift them, we will fail to get anything which can give us that sort of satisfaction, relief and poise which the Fountain-head of all things can give us. So the Gita tells us that submission to the Supreme Authority, Shri Krishna, is the only thing wanted; and by such submission our desired ends will be fully and duly fulfilled. The question is how in spite of the measuring temperament which stands against our purpose that submission is to be effected.

After Sambandha comes Abhidheya which signifies how to reach our coveted place, what course one should adopt for the purpose of achieving our objects. That is Abhidheya, and Abhidheyas are a good deal in number. They are classed by some authorities as 64, by some as 9, and by some others as 5. Though there are multifarious courses to adopt by means of which we can love the All-love, the Absolute, these methods are classified into 64 or 9 or 5 divisions. Of the 64 divisions, 5 are the principal ones, and with these five divisions we are to deal. These are: (1) Bhagavata shravan, Bhatgavata Kirtana, Bhagavata Smaran, (2) Shri Hari's Anghri-Sevanam, (3) Mathuravas, (4) Satsanga, company of sadhus and (5) Shri Harinama Sankirtana.

Mathuravas implies having our eternal abode in Mathura, the holy place where all knowledge is permanent. Shri Harinama Sankirtana is chanting ceaselessly the Transcendental Name. Archan is done in 5, 16, and 64 upacharas for which purpose we are given some Archa in the form of Vigraha, (Painting, Figure or Icon) and we have to worship this Archa with some mantras. All material things are spiritualised by the influence of dedication. When we dedicate worldly things to the Object of our worship, we need not think that they have got any material value to be enjoyed by us. All sorts of mundane temporary associations have to be eliminated before anything can be offered to the Object of worship. This is called Bhutashuddhi. The Object of worship being spiritual, spiritual things are to be offered by a spiritual actor through spiritual activity. Material things are not welcome by the spirit and we should not bring any material thing before Him. If we do so, we would be considering Godhead as one of Nature's products, but that is not the case. He should not be considered as an object in the ordinary phenomena. All the objects of worldly phenomena serve our purpose, but Godhead is not an Object meant to serve us. He is the only Object of adoration, or worship, and all services are to be offered to Him.

Sometimes a person is still addicted to cigarette smoking or meat-eating. If he follows the process of bhakti yoga, then gradually he will be able to give up such habits. It is a question of tasting a higher taste. If a person engages in the process of bhakti yoga, he will gradually begin to taste the higher spiritual happiness, and he will be able to give up all vices naturally. After he gives up such bad habits, then his progress will be very rapid.

We should not demand anything from Him, even as we obtain cheques or notes which can be cashed at need in our Banks, for our purpose. He is not our servitor. It is we who are His eternal servitors, and we are to offer our service to Him without expectation of getting anything in return. If we demand anything in lieu of our services that would be considered as a bartering deal. When we got to a bania shop we get some articles for which we pay some price. That sort of transaction is out of place with the Absolute. With the non-Absolute we can have such transaction; but it is ridiculous to import such transactions in our association with the Absolute. Banik-vritti is not necessary. We should be always offering our services to Him and not receiving any service from Him. We are not to expect Godhead to serve us in any capacity. He need not come to us as worldly parents do. We find that such demands as Dhanam dehi, rupam dehi, jayam dehi, dvisho jahi etc." are made often by a class of people who style themselves as Shakteyas. Our prayers should not be to that end. We should not pray: "Give us this day our daily bread." We must not expect Godhead to attend to our call. Throughout the whole world we find such wrong ideas. Devotion should be our principal aim, and not karma or jnana.

There is another injunction in the Sermon on the Mount, "Don't take God's name in vain". Yes, we should not take God's Name for the purpose of gaining some end. If we merely wish to serve Godhead and implore Him to receive our services, that would in no way infringe any such rules as were dictated by Christ. He has forbidden us to take God's Name in vain. That is true. We should not ask Him for anything just as we ask our suppliers to furnish things for our use. We have simply to submit. He is the best judge how to look after us. We do not know how good will come to us. We cannot examine the merits and demerits of things by our present acquisitions. It is not possible. We should always be ready to submit to Him unconditionally. All other ideas except this are not regarded as Bhakti by true religionists. In the Gita we find three divisions. The first six chapters are for karmins, the last six chapters are for the Jnaanins and the intermediate six chapters are for bhaktas.

Many people practice tai chi, chi gong, and so on with the aim of keeping their bodies fit for a long time. There is certainly nothing wrong with keeping one's body fit—indeed, it is one of the aims of yoga—but unfortunately, many such people are trying to run away from the inevitable death of the body. Some mystic yogis strive to keep their bodies alive forever—but that is not possible. Even if one was the greatest yogi and could keep his body alive for thousands of years, that still is not forever.

So the middle portion is the principal part of the book. The Karmakanda and Jnanankanda are not the real essence of the book, they are but its accessory paraphernalia and not its heart. So bhakti or devotion to Godhead should be the principal object of all religions. Bhakti should be considered nitya, that is permanent and constant. "The Supreme Lord is unconquerable." Our strenuous efforts or empirical knowledge cannot give us the facility of bringing Him within our sense-perception. The devotees have no faith in either of these processes, yet they can, by their devotion, manage to accommodate Him within their hearts. We are to throw off all exertions for acquiring knowledge, and leave aside all our explorations of knowledge. We should not mind giving up all that is not wanted. We need not pose ourselves as intellectual giants. But we should always be energetic in our devotional purpose. We are not to have any confidence in the two systems of karma and jnana, or accept the results derived by these two methods. We should be devotees. Aural reception should be sufficient for our purpose. We should hear from the lips of the adepts who are constantly busy in offering their services to the Absolute. They have the power to guide us into channels leading to the love of the All-Love.