Swamiji beautifully describes how the ancient seers of our land, through exceptional reasoning and their own direct experience - realized the universal and transcendental nature of our identity. Through subjective experiments, they discovered that the whole universe, including the individual body-mind personality is only a play in Consciousness - our Real identity.
This is the truth the entire Vedanta dwells upon, in order to transform our minds from an egoistic-selfish dimension to the universal-transcendental dimension. While acting in the world as well as in our thoughts, we are always guided by our own likes and dislikes. By holding on to these likes and dislikes, we are actually negating our infinite dimension.
Swamiji enlightens us that in the ultimate sense, the practice is not to become anything new or different - it is only to realize our unlimited nature!
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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.