Darshan In California On Study Of The Scriptures
August 13, 1977 pm:
[Bapuji chants Radha Krishna]
My beloved satsangi brothers and sisters, lovers of God and Guru, the lectures or discourses that I am giving here, I am giving with very specific intention. Only the discourses that could be directly helpful in your life, those are the subjects that I am presenting to you.
Today I am going to discuss svadhyaya, means the study of the Scriptures. Svadhyaya is included among the yamas and niyamas. The meaning of svadhyaya is to repeat the name of the Lord and also study of the Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, and study them and reflect on it and practice it. In Bhagavad Gita, the svadhyaya is included in the tapas of the speech, or the discipline of the speech. Svadhyaya is the highest tool for the individual’s growth. Maharishi Patanjali also has indicated about svadhyaya in his Patanjali Yoga Sutras.
In the beginning of the chapter of Kriya Yoga, he is indicating that tapas, austerities, svadhyaya means the study and reciting the name of the Lord and the study of the Scriptures, and offering oneself to the Lord, or surrender to the Lord, are the important tools to the spiritual growth. From this point of view, the svadhyaya is very important aspect of the spiritual growth.
In Kriya Yoga there are three major tools; one is tapas, another is svadhyaya and the third is surrender to God.There is another subtle meaning of svadhyaya also. To study one’s own self is also svadhyaya. Within that all the spiritual knowledge of the whole world could be included in the study of the self.
In India, brahmavidya, the knowledge of God, or Brahmin, is considered to be the mother of all knowledge. That is why within the study of brahmavidya comes the svadhyaya. In the study of the self, the thoughts about who am I, who is God and what is this whole universe about, where does it come from? These are the subjects that are pondered upon.
So entire spiritual knowledge or the philosophy can be included, or is within these three questions. These three questions are who am I? Who is God? And what is this whole universe about? One cannot find the answer as to these from books. For that, one has to have Kayavarohan. The meaning of the word means to descend into the body. Now you all live in the Kayavarohan. Now you enter into the body. That is the real meaning.
That means entering into the consciousness, get closer to the soul. It is very appropriate that if you believe that everything outside is ignorance and there is knowledge in the interior aspect of the Atman. In order to unlock the secrets of the Atman, first, or realize the Atman, one has to purify the body first, then the mind. Here under the svadhyaya, the repetition of the name of the Lord is recommended, and that is intended to purify the body and the mind.
When we want to clean the clothes, we use some form of chemicals for the soap. Similarly, for the purification of the mind, the repetition of the name of God is the key. In Indian Scriptures, there are many different essences given. One is Rama essence, Hari essence or Brahma essence… means juice, but here it means essence.
The question is how can be attained the essence of Rama, Hari or Brahma. That is attained through the repetition name of God or mantra. When the repetition of the name reaches to its climax, as soon as you repeat the name, the nectar begins to trickle from the top and that is known as the nectar of immortality, amrit. That is the life of life of man. So it is also called the Atman. So in Indian Scriptures it is said that the Lord is the nectar immortal.
The meaning of the word amrit is Atma or God. So when the sadhak reaches to very high state of his sadhana, he received this amrit, nectar of immortality. That is the mantra siddhi, and through that the purification of the body is immediately in effect and also in turn it purifies the mind and through that the Divine body is attained.
There are different stages of that Divine body. Just like in the film you will see one scene of a city and all of a sudden it turns into woods. It doesn’t change this body that fast. All of a sudden, the gross body is dissolved and the new body comes in right away overnight No, it doesn’t happen that way. It is gained gradually.
So the repetition of the name of the Lord is within the svadhyaya. In India, they say the mantras of Veda by chanting of those mantras. Also, one can affect the, one can receive the amrit of the nectar. In science, in it, means it is understandable. So when the prana and apana, both of them rise upward fully, and when they reach to the thousand petalled lotus, then amrit the nectar begins to trickle down in the mouth.
At the time the Veda mantras begin automatically and this is what is known as anagahad [?]. I will show you a little bit how they are, so get ready…Om Nama Shi…[Bapuji chants] Bapuji was just demonstrating that he really went in. You must know that. And also, as he started chanting, I think that the nectar was flowing so much into his mouth, I think, did you notice that you had to gulp it. That is the stage he is in at this time, he is receiving nectar.
When the repetition of this name happens alone in the presence of God, spontaneously and wholeheartedly at that time, the nectar begins to flow into the mouth. That nectar is the form of God. That is why in India, chanting the name of the Lord is given to the people, and this is considered to be one of the greatest Graces of the Mahatmas on the common people. The name of the Lord is like a footpath. If you walk on it gradually, you come to the higher level.
The name of the Lord is like a footpath. If you walk on it, gradually you come to the highway. Among the many Gods and Goddesses that are established in the Temple of Kayavarohan, one of them is the greatest brahmacharya of bhakti, known as Naradmuni. He is schika [?]. Schika is the little hair is left here. His hair is staying up there. That is the sign of udarita [udhavareta?]. All the energy is flowing up there.
And in his hand there is vina, the stringed instrument. On that, he continuously chants the name. In India, he is the great Master who spread the knowledge and teachings of chanting the name of the Lord. He is the highest acharya. So he is the one who has indicated this as a tool for average person, and he saw that for an average person, what should we give him that he can easily digest and practice it.
So he gave him the repeating of the name. One can chant this name while cooking, while bathing, while working, while walking. There is no condition which is unsuitable for chanting the name. But sometimes we are very shy or afraid to lose our credibility when we chant the name outside in front of others.
America has grown much and has given up such shyness or the disgrace feeling about chanting the name. They are really very bold in this area. I am not really falsely praising you. But in such work, such a boldness is necessary. The repeating of the name is the highest tool. Such svadhyaya could be easily practiced by everyone. After chanting of the name, the Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita, should be studied and it should be recited.
This should be practiced. This is the specialty of the Scriptures. The presentation of the Scriptures is such that it is not limited to any nationality or any samskaras. The thinking is so open and wide which can be a universal question as to what is life? Then, what is this universe that we see in front of us and who is this God, the maker or the creator of this universe? These are the questions that are treated in the Scriptures.
There, there is no other discussion. They are such that they can be useful to any nationalities. So, first of all, anyone who wants to follow this path, they must understand the tools of bhakti, tools of karma and tools of jnana. We talked about the highest individual. So, those who do not have the ability or capacity to study such Scriptures that are very difficult, they can begin their sadhana with bhakti, devotion. In bhakti, it begins with faith. So it does not disrespect anyone. So bhakti looks at knowledge and the karma, both with great respect.
Only that jnanis and yogis create the trouble, because they have more of ego. The satsanga pranam that Bapuji explained laying down like a stick, bhaktas can do that with great ease. The jnana yogi, his neck has to be pushed a little bit in order to bow down. In order to lower the head of the yogi, you have to have a wrench or a screwdriver. But when the yogi reaches to the highest and a Ghana reaches to the highest, he does all the satsanga pranam completely. But until the full knowledge has come, they stay straight.
Those who are learned and those who can also understand karma, they should study the Scriptures with peaceful, very peacefully and quietly with deep reflection. In Indian Scriptures, it is said that we should listen to the Scriptures, not just read it.
There is some meaning behind this. Any individual who is educated, they can read the Scriptures, but they cannot understand it. But he has to listen to it through the mouth of a person who knows the secrets of it. And this is why it is said that you must listen to the Scriptures, not read it.
So the studies progress this way, that if you study the Scriptures during the earlier stage of your life, then they are useful at the end of your life in guiding you. So in the middle stage we get the opportunity. At the earlier stage, you study it. In the middle, you get an opportunity to practice it, understand it a little better. And then, when you reach the highest, it becomes more and more revealed.
It is better to begin the good beginning of life if it begins with the study of the Scriptures. I feel that the small principles that children can understand, they could be given to children from the childhood. If they do not understand it, give them such samskaras or lifestyle so that they will gradually understand it and digest it. This mantra of Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu… that mantra.
In India, even children know how say those mantras, because they hear them often. This way they receive the samskaras as impressions. The Scriptures are not simply to be read, they are to be pondered upon and deeply reflected upon. I was in the field of literature from my very early childhood, so I loved the books very much. In a day I used to complete a book of one, two or three hundred pages, every day.
I was there in front of the library before they opened the door. So nobody would get irritated with me, I used to help the person who used to open the door. I used to help him sweeping and cleaning the library so they won’t feel irritation towards me because I was coming so often. I used to help even the librarian.
So there was a rule that you can keep one book at a time and keep only for ten days, at the most. And it was very rarely that somebody will borrow the book and bring it back next day, but I used to do that regularly. I used to read a lot. If I started reading a book at night, it will be morning. So my sister and my mother, they used to get angry with me.
At night, if I am reading with the kerosene lamp, my mother would come and either she would blow out the lamp or lower it so that I would fall asleep. Not only that, but I used to start reading book right from the library all the way to home. Only my steps would be here, there on the steps. That was a big marketplace in between my home and the library and I used to bump into many people when I was going home.
Even when I was eating, I used to have my book open on the side, and I used to eat and read. When my mother used to give me a slap on the cheek. Put it down! So much love I had for the books. But at that time, I was simply reading, that’s all. Now I can not read. See, when I read one or two sentences, I go so deep and it becomes so interesting, the inner understanding begins, then I can’t read anymore.
Particularly, this was taught to me by the philosophy books or the spiritual books. In Darshanshastra even one idea if you read it is so complicated that it takes you hours and hours to deeply reflect on it, to really get any essence or meaning out of it. Now you don’t have to go that deep. You can be on the surface. That is all right. But do look into the books a little bit, Scriptures though.
From that you will receive the light of wisdom. We can say that the Scriptures are the suns of knowledge, or wisdom. So to reflect deeply on these Scriptures is very much like worshipping the sun. Worshipping the Gayatri mantra. That knowledge will make our path full of light and guide us. So, today this way I am concluding the discourse on svadhyaya in short.