This is a talk delivered by Poojya Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha at the “Srimad Bhagavata Tattva Sameeksha Satram” in Kerala.
Swamiji extols the powerful, brilliant Srimad Bhagavatam as a unique text of devotional Excellence. He says that although it is a fascinating narration of Sri Hari and his exploits, the emphasis is on unfolding the imperishable Truth, the substratum of all that is transient. Saying that the human body is enlivened by that imperishable Supreme Consciousness, Swamiji exhorts the listeners to delve into That.
Srimad Bhagavatam, which is a Mahapurana, emphasizes the fact that inner redemption lies in purifying the heart by removing all its impurities and preparing it to install the Lord there.
Giving various examples from this unparalleled scripture, Swamiji cautions everyone not to ask for anything from the Lord except for devotion.
Quoting from Nimi-Navayogi Samvada, Swamiji proceeds to analyze and discuss devotion and devotees. He says that the first kind of devotee sees the Lord only in the idol and worships the idol with all offerings, to the exclusion of everything else. The second level of devotee makes no physical offering but has a sublime mental attitude of love for God and all his devotees. The Supreme devotee is one, says Swamiji, who installs the Lord in the heart and binds his feet with cords of love. He makes the Lord reside forever in his heart. This should be the aspiration of all seekers, concludes Swamiji.
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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.