Those guided by impulses and instincts wander about the world like drunkards, devoid of discrimination between right and wrong, true and false. The overpowering influence of these animal impulses makes them forget the dire consequences of yielding to them. They have no shame or fear; instead, they simply revel in the search for worldly pleasures, in the accumulation of comforts, and in the sheer enjoyment of luxuries. For those plunged in these impulses, the intellect is a useless, functionless possession. By constant pursuit of sensory pleasures, the impulses become hardened, and they strike deeper and stronger roots.
That is why the advice has been given in the Gita to give up the fruit of one’s actions. The impulses become stronger because the fruits are always kept in mind whenever actions are performed. This makes people proud and conceited, and they try to thrust their pride in the faces of others. The impulses enslave them, and under their influence they stoop even to the lowe...
When the sage Suka heard this answer, he said, “King! Since your heart is merged in Shyamasundar, the Lord Krishna, I’m pleased so much that you can ask me all the questions that trouble you. I’ll give appropriate answers and explanations. I’ll thrill you and heighten your yearning for Shyamasundar, the charming Lord with the complexion of dark rain-heavy clouds.” Parikshith puts ten questions to Sage Suka Parikshith was delighted at these words. “Illustrious preceptor, what qualifications do have I that entitle me to put questions to you? Instruct me as you think best; tell me what I most need during these critical days; teach me what is most beneficial, most worthy of attention, most important. You know this more than I. Discourse to me, regardless of my asking and desire. Of course, doubts pester me on and off, since I am bound by the temptations of delusion and ignorance. When such arise, I’ll tell you my doubts and misgivings and receive from you curative explanation...
The true devotee will always be dwelling in God. The true devotee has no time to know or feel welfare or worries.
Attaining the Lord is the one and only idea in the mind. It is hard to understand this nature, except by examples. A small child runs about in fear shouting, “mommy, mommy!”, searching for its missing mother. The mother takes the child in her arms and places it on her lap. The child stops crying and is free from all fear. But can the child calculate and find out the difference between its previous state and its present relief? No. Nor is it necessary to do so.
Also, the one who seeks always to serve the Lord will immerse themself in God when the glorious chance comes. In that Presence, no anxiety or trouble can disturb a person. Anxiety and trouble pester only until the moment of attainment; then, all attention is diverted to the experience. The past struggle and travail are forgotten.
Therefore, aspirants and devotees must ignore and forget all the thousand troubles th...
Education is necessary for both men and women. But education for women has to be in accordance with their special needs. Educated women are really the promoters of dharma for the whole world. Parents must also cooperate in equipping women with proper education. Women should not be given freedom in certain matters. I will not approve of their being given such freedom. They must be made into ideal women; their education must be so shaped.
Unbridled freedom is destructive of dharma, and it also harms the woman herself. Mixing in society without any discrimination produces ruinous results. Of course there were educated women in the past, but they never gave up their dharma, they never forgot the goal of Atmic dharma. Education (vidya) must be built on the basis of discrimination (viveka). Sulabha, Savithri, Anasuya, Gargi, Nalayani, and other such models of chastity, devotees of the Lord like Meera, yoginis like Chudala, all were born in this country of God (Bharatha-desa) and strengthened...
You may master a billion fields of study, but if you have not cultivated the attitude of detachment, the mastery is of no consequence.
Sharing with others, serving others, this is the main rule (sutra) of spiritual knowledge (vidya), its genuine expression. Education is rendered noble when the spirit of service is inculcated. The service rendered must be free of the slightest trace of narrow selfishness. But that isn’t enough. The thought of service should not be marred by the desire for something in return. You have to perform the service as you would perform an important sacrifice (yajna).
Just as trees don’t eat their fruits but offer them to be eaten by others in an attitude of detachment; just as rivers, without drinking the waters they carry, quench the thirst and cool the heat from which others suffer; just as cows offer their milk, produced primarily for their calves, in a spirit of generosity born of renunciation (thyaga), to be shared by others; so too, those who have acq...
Q. To get the fortune of escaping birth and death, elders say that yoga is very important. What yoga are they talking about?
A. The Yoga-sastra declares that certain postures have to be utilised in order to remove the ever-widening circles of mental agitations and purify the mind - also to steady faith, to establish spiritual wisdom (jnana), and to arouse the spiritual power that is latent in people (kundalini sakthi).
Q. It is said that yoga has certain auxiliaries or parts. How many are there, and what are their names?
A. They are eight parts in all: control of the inner senses, control of the outer senses, sitting postures, breath control, control of the mind, concentration, meditation, superconscious state (yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi).
Q. If liberation (mukthi) is to be attained, do all these have to be practised to perfection, or is one of them enough?
A. Oh, liberation can be won if the first two, control of the inner and outer senses, ar...
Janaki was amazed at the sight of the monkeys and others, as well as the way in which they were decorated and dressed up. Just then, Valmiki the sage reached the place, evidently overcome with anxiety. He described to Sita all that had happened. He loosened the bonds on Hanuman, Jambavan, and others and cried,
“Boys! What have you have done? You came here after felling Rama, Lakshmana, Bharatha, and Satrughna.”
Sita was shocked. She said,
“Alas, dear children! On account of you, the dynasty itself has been tarnished. Don’t delay further. Prepare for my immolation, so I may ascend it. I can’t live hereafter.” Sita pleaded for quick action.
The sage Valmiki consoled her and imparted some courage. Then, he went with Kusa and Lava to the battlefield and was amazed at what he saw there. He recognised Rama’s chariot and the horses and, finding Rama, fell at his feet. Rama rose in a trice and sat up. Kusa and Lava were standing opposite to him.
Valmiki addressed ...
Some ascetics who heard the story of the curse from the lips of the King were so incensed at Samika’s son that they declared he must be a fake, an unworthy child. No child born of a sage of Samika’s stature would ever pronounce such a devastating curse for such a trivial misdemeanour. He must be an ignorant fool or a madcap, they guessed. How could the curse emanating from such a one take effect?, they asked. The king can’t come to harm as a consequence of his curse, they affirmed. They tried to convince the king that he need not fear on that account. Many argued that the king had no reason to take the curse seriously.
The curse is a boon, not a punishment
But the king was unmoved. He replied to them with folded hands, “Your thinking and speaking on these lines is prompted by sympathy and kindness toward me. But I know that the wrong I committed is not light and inconsiderable. Is there a more terrible sin than casting insult on those deserving reverence? Besides, I’m the kin...
Thousands had gathered in the palace quadrangle. Their grief was immeasurable. Meanwhile, the minister went in and aroused the emperor, who had fallen unconscious on the floor. He made him sit up, placed him in position, and told him that Sita, Rama, and Lakshmana had come to talk with him. Rama already stood near his father, speaking words of soothing love. Dasaratha’s grief knew no bounds when he saw Sita and Lakshmana.
He embraced Rama closely and fell on the floor. Anguish choked his throat; he pressed his hands on his chest and tried to suppress the agony. Sita and Lakshmana couldn’t look at the suffering emperor.
Lakshmana saw Kaika standing by with an air of authority. His eyes became red with rage, and he looked daggers at her, as if he would kill her on the spot. But he controlled his anger and cooled his emotion, watching Rama’s serenely calm face. Kaika said, “Rama! You are plunging your father into deeper grief! The sooner you leave and reach the forest, the quicker...
An unheard-of event in Ayodhya
It was the practice for messengers from the court to travel through cities and villages all over the empire and report personally to the ruler the information they had gathered during their secret wanderings. Rama listened to these communications, as his predecessors used to do.
One day, a messenger who had come on this duty approached Rama with strange hesitation; he prostrated before Him, and, rising up, stood mute and trembling on one side. Soon, he recovered confidence and courage and addressed Rama. “Maharaja! Listen to my words! Pardon me for bringing these words to you. A washerman was quarrelling with his wife. He was heard admonishing her. “Fie on you!”, he shouted. “Do you take me to be Rama? Get out of my house. How can I accept you? You lived for a long time in another person’s house; get out of here!”.
These words struck Rama’s heart like an arrow. He couldn’t sleep that night. Toward midnight, he sat up on his bed and thought...