This discourse series by Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha was part of the Gurupoornima Retreat held at Narayanashrama Tapovanam, Kerala in the year 2020. In this talk, Nutan Swamiji explains in detail the meaning of Shanti Pata, chanted at the beginning of the study of Kenopanishad.
Swamiji describes Shanti Pata as a self addressed prayer - for our evolution and ultimate fulfilment, so that we can realize our divinity in full. The mantra when chanted with great focus and emotional association, will generate sattva guna in our inner being and help us to easily assimilate the knowledge and realise it.
The upanishads, through its declarations and exhortations, try to take our focus away from the fragmented objects of the world and fix it on THAT which is beyond all objective properties - which transcends even the subject-object distinction. It fixes our attention on the Ultimate reality which is not perceptible to the senses or even the ordinary mind. Swamiji explains that ultimately this Truth has to be identified by our mind, which is purified by constant rumination on the Truth!
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Narayanashrama Tapovanam, an Ashram located in Thrissur, Kerala, embodies the unique tradition of Guru-shishya Parampara, disseminating Brahmavidya (Science of Self-knowledge) through regular classes, satsangs, and above all, through learning in the association of a realized spiritual master.
Those days, there were many rats staying in various pockets of the tiled roof. My room had a very low ceiling and I could even touch the roof tiles. At night, I would see big, big rats running around just near me.
I got back to my daily chores, but the scene remained in my mind – the old man’s wrinkled face, his gleaming eyes, the contentment he enjoyed, his refusal to accept more than ‘his minimum needs’! How many of us can take such a stand?
Bhakti is not so much in the worship with flowers, garlands, lamps or incense sticks. Neither it is in chanting His names and praises. It is verily in living and acting according to the wish of the Lord, pleasing Him, imbibing qualities and attitudes that He wants us to imbibe.