Swamiji begins this discourse by discussing spirituality and its purpose in human life. He tells us that there is no end to spiritual growth. The capacity and dimension of the mind is unlimited. Spiritual pursuit transforms the mind and intelligence and the mind becomes more and more unaffected and expanded. As a seeker advances in spirituality, his mind is freed from all delusional clinging and he becomes content, peaceful and desireless, says Swamiji.
Swamiji says that in human life, there is constant activity. Bhagavad Gita is asking us to transform all actions into Yajna by doing all activities without desires. This Yajna can be done by anybody living anywhere in the world. It is universally applicable, emphasizes Swamiji. It incorporates an attitude of surrender and selflessness in a devotee. The activities of Yajna, Dana and Tapas always have a purifying effect on the seekers.
The act of dana expands the mind and promotes fraternity in the society and the egocentric mind expands to accommodate all. Quoting shlokas from the 17th chapter of Bhagavad Gita, Swamiji explains Tapas in great detail. Tapas purifies the mindset of a seeker and his resolve to walk on the path of auspiciousness becomes firm.
Slokas Discussed: 18.4 and 18.5
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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.
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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.