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Shri Hans Ji Maharaj

Part 2

Shri Hans Ji Maharaj was Prempal & Satpal Rawat's father.

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Part 2: Content

As I Saw Maharaji
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj - A Divine Personality
Yogiraj Param Sant Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj
Shri Maharaj Ji on the Gita

As I Saw Maharaji

(Page 36-41)
The year was 1950. Being a school going boy I was in my ignorant but innocent teens. Life's mystery had not yet revealed itself to me. I was as nature made me, not yet led away by the distractions of life. Passing from adolescence into young adulthood filled me with the natural urges and aspirations of a young man. But before I could succumb to any material lures, I found myself under the guidance of Shri Hansji Maharaj. It was by sheer coincidence or goodluck that Maharaj Ji's grace fell upon me. It reminded me of a couplet from the Ramayana when Bibhishan said to Hanuman:

"Ab Mohe Bhya Bharosa Hanumanta."

"Oh Hanuman ! Now I have firm belief in the fact that one does not get the company of the Saints without the grace of the Almighty".

Shri Maharaj Ji was a flash of light and the embodiment of love. I fell in love with him at first sight. I found in him the fruition of all my hopes and expectations. My sense of love and respect for Maharaj Ji was natural and spontaneous. I felt as if I was his kith and kin. My natural adoration and love for him increased as the time went on.

As a child I was religiously inclined and God fearing. My father tells me that when I was quite young I would sit in meditation with the implicit faith that God would grant me everything. This spirituality in me unfolded and found its proper channel under the careful direction of Shri Maharaj Ji.

I approached him with a child like faith and he received me like his own son. One was in a mood to take, the other was in a mood to give. Blood relations are ephemeral. They break with the break of life. But the relation of the Guru and the disciple transcends human relations, and are based on eternal bond of the jiva and God. Every individual soul is destined to achieve salvation through the grace of a living Guru. Shri Hansji Maharaj was my spiritual guide who helped me through the maze of life, my friend who stood by me in days of depression and a loving father who cared for me more than even my worldly father could do. I used to murmur in ecstasy sometimes in those blissful years.

"Thou art my Mother, Thou art my Father
Thou art my brother, Thou art my friend,
Thou art the deity of all deities,
I bow to thee, I bow to thee."

Those were impressionable years of my life when I could be easily molded into any pattern of life, and I was fortunate enough to find the company of Shri Maharaj Ji - a master mind to train and guide me on to the path of righteousness. I learnt the fundamental values of life by his example and preception.

Time passed, the years rolled on and Shri Maharaj Ji became the mentor of my life. I can vividly recollect that other than school, my whole center of attraction was Shri Maharaj Ji. The very news of his arrival at Delhi set a wave of joy within me and I would rush to have his darshan at the kothi where he used to stay during his visits to Delhi. There was some charisma about him - a halo around him, an aura which inspired an awe and reverence in those who approached him. I found an extraordinary group of people in his company who were living examples of sincerity, devotion, selfless service, humility and comradeship. Under his guidance his devotees practiced and perfected all these human abstract qualities. The very presence of Maharaj Ji electrified the atmosphere and made the "premies" to excel in virtue.

Shri Maharaj Ji's company and satsang interested me so much that I became oblivious of my other worldly duties. It became of paramount importance in my life, consuming all my time and energies. It was soon resented by my parents and relatives. They feared that I was going off the track. So restrictions were placed upon me and I was not allowed to attend satsang so often. This only further whetted my love and longing for Maharaj Ji. Once I slipped away stealthily to attend satsang and was engrossed in it for the whole night. The next morning when I went back, I was scolded by my parents and warned to be careful in future. Like a helpless boy I fell on the feet of Maharaj Ji and cried ``Make me Thine". The expressive eyes of Maharaj Ji graced me with his blessings. It was a most memorable incident in my life and further cemented my relations with Maharaj Ji. Henceforward I came very close to Shri Maharaj Ji who directed me in every walk of life and whether it was a domestic problem or the question of my education, he became the final word. In him I confided and on him I relied. I followed his advice knowing it was the only proper course for me to follow. Without his guidance I would have easily been misled into the worldly distractions that most young boys fall into. Maharaj Ji's constant contact was an unfailing prop which supported me whenever I faltered or weaknesses overcame me. In the year 1953 birthday celebrations of Shri Balbhagwan Ji came. I was in a state of excited anticipation all the way from Delhi to Hardwar. The moment I entered the gate of Prem Nagar I was transported into another world where the mind forgets itself and peace and love abound. Upon receiving Shri Maharaj Ji's Darshan all fatigue from the journey was forgotten. The beauty of Prem Nagar its natural surroundings and the entire setting inspired me with a feeling of elevation. It was the first time that I had been to Hardwar. I had never known an Ashram of such proportions as Prem Nagar was, the True home of Shri Maharaj Ji. An Ashram is great and magnificent only because it housed a great soul who built an ashram for the convenience of householders and men of the world to assemble and listen to the holy discourses and learn the knowledge of God. It is a human folly to forget the creator and remember only the creation. Thus with the passage of the time the ringing call of those great souls is buried deep under the material creations which have been built around them. Shri Maharaj Ji always taught us not to commit this blunder and to put emphasis upon the right value. During the celebrations of Bal Bhagwan Ji's birthday we breathed the air of love. The band of premies who came to Prem Nagar filled with joy and sustained by this divine display of love left dismayed feeling the shock of leaving the Divine company and entering the world of normal reality once again. Parting from Shri Maharaj Ji was something unbearable for all of us.

My college education was purely a commandment of Shri Maharaj Ji. The invisible hand of Maharaj Ji was always there, shaping my life in the direction he envisioned for me. I followed him having an inherent faith in his guidance. I learned the art of Karma Yoga by applying his instructions in my day-to-day life. From his love I was able to rise above mundane interests and act for the welfare of others rather than for myself. These were my formative years in this new art of life. Again and again Maharaj Ji would stress this idea, "What a poor life if one lives only for oneself. Great are those who live for the enlightenment of others." He inspired me to give satsang in English. I remember how once I went to Roshanara Bagh and began speaking in broken English. At first there was no one to hear me but the trees. But after some days people gathered together and listened and passed strange comments upon me. Some thought me mad, others crazy, some laughed and a few encouraged me. Soon I found that the audience was growing and I was being listened to attentively by many. My confidence grew. At one occasion when I came before hundreds of people attending a function where some very important leaders were to give an address the people asked me to speak. I was allowed to speak for 5 minutes. It was a maiden speech for me but luckily by the grace of Maharaj Ji there was a loud applause. The leaders did not wish me to continue but the people demanded that I be allowed to speak. I was praised so much that perhaps my poor head succumbed and grew a bit larger. Returning home I pondered over my performance. What had happened to make me so fearless and convincing, I did not fully understand. Later I realised that it was Maharaj Ji who was speaking through me and I was simply his instrument for disseminating the knowledge of God.

When I appeared for my B.A. final, I went to Maharajji for his darshan in Prem Nagar on the eve of Baisakhi. The very moment I touched his feet he gave me an Agya to join M.A. This was a difficult agya for me as my parents did not wish me to continue my studies but desired that I should begin a career. I put my difficulties before Maharaj Ji, but he immediately said, ``There are a hundred ways of the mind, forget about them, do what I say." Despite all my limitations, on the last day of admission I was drawn to the college and joined M.A.

The years that followed were very difficult for me. I was exposed to the influences of a Western Education. The college atmosphere conflicted with the values I had cherished under Maharaj Ji. My personality clashed with that of the other students; they were extroverted while I was introverted, they were somewhat arrogant, while I was meek and shy. They had cultivated Western mannerisms, excelled in cricket and went to many films, all of which I shunned. Consequently I soon developed an inferiority complex and blamed Shri Maharaj Ji for my difficulties in adjusting to this new world. I felt that while he had taught me the true path of spiritual wisdom, he had neglected to prepare me for worldly life and its "knowledge." I knew nothing of the competitive, superficial world of society, and therefore could not cope with it. My mind was divided between the material and the spiritual, and I doubted that the two could successfully be brought together. I wondered if a man could be "successful" in the world and still remain spiritual.

When I cleared my B.A. Final I went to Maharaj Ji for darshan at Prem Nagar in Hardwar. The very moment I touched his feet he gave me the commandment (agya) to join M.A. This was a difficult agya for me to fulfil as my parents did not wish me to continue my studies but desired that I should begin a career. I put my difficulties before Maharaj Ji. But he immediately said, "Unsettled mind thinks of in a hundred ways, forget about them. Do what I ask". In my moments of indecision I approached him to find a ray of hope out of the darkness of life. At the last day of admission I found myself again in the college for my higher studies. The years that followed were very difficult for me. I was exposed to the influence of Western education and new values cherished by the students. The college atmosphere conflicted with the values I had cherished under Maharaj Ji. It created a split in my personality and I developed inferiority complex. The path of pleasure was the path followed by most. But the company of Maharajji taught me to follow the path of happiness. I could not excel in the things in which most of them excelled. They were extroverted while I was introverted. A constant struggle was going on within my mind between the things temporal and the things spiritual. Maharaj Ji's satsang gave spiritual comfort to my distressed mind and slowly and gradually by his grace I started developing a healthy attitude towards life and artfully harmonised the material and the spiritual aspects of life. Maharajji was an inexhaustible source of knowledge and inspiration for me. He taught me the art of positive thinking. Shri Maharajji was man of strong will. He had unflinching faith born out of action in the values he believed. Hear him hundred times but you will find the stress on the same values. His faith in those values was born out of experience. He was never tired of saying eternal truths which comprised his discourses. Truth he experienced and truth he preached.

Shri Maharaj Ji was a master mind. Being a yogi he could use nature as a tool. He could be as soft as butter and stern as iron. He was equally marvelous in kindness and in wrath. His anger broke like a strong gush of water over persons who held on to vanities and eccentricities. Once at Koteputli I saw him reprimanding a Mahatma whose attitude was a little willful. Thus angered it seemed as if the earth trembled. In a moment he was serene again, calm like the ocean. Mysterious he was and unfathomable were his ways. The finite mind cannot understand the activities of the Realised Soul. All their activities are divine which transcend mind and intellect.

It was Maharaj Ji's personality that impressed me the most. His cheerful disposition, his strong conviction and bubbling confidence would elevate anyone who came in contact with him. He fought against ignorance with the sword of spiritual knowledge. He praised the natural man, the innocent and the humble, his being became a shelter for the shelterless. He was frank and straightforward and loved simplicity of heart. He was very critical of pretension in religious matters and would condemn the so-called religious gurus who for their selfish motives had vitiated the basic principles of religion. Once when some people had entered into discussion with Shri Maharaj Ji he simply said . ``God is beyond your mind and intellect. Therefore whatever we say about God just on the basis of our reading or thinking is not correct. Let us have first the realisation of God and then talk about Him."

Shri Maharaj Ji was not at all concerned with the different terms used to denote the all-permeating Truth. Once Maharaj Ji spoke with the Russian Ambassador in Delhi on this subject. The Ambassador said, ``I have no faith in God. We Russians don't believe in God." Maharaj Ji said, "Do you believe in peace ?" The Ambassador replied in the affirmative. Maharaj Ji explained that the words we give to name God are immaterial. What is important is the realisation of the ultimate Truth which ushers in peace within. Therefore God can be termed as perennial peace even as Gandhi said that Truth is God. The real peace in the world can only be established by dissemination of the spiritual knowledge. Maharaj Ji held many peace conferences. Once in Delhi there was a wonderful demonstration with lakhs of people marching and praying for world peace.

Shri Maharaj Ji's love for the poor was proverbial. He shunned the vanities of the rich and the aristocrats. He used to call the idle rich the Mill of rubbish. Once Maharaj Ji and Guru Golwalkar were together for sometime in the Kothi of Mayor Hansraj Gupta in New Delhi. Shri Maharaj Ji asked in all humility: '`Since you are the Guru according to our Hindu traditions I request you to explain to me what is that Avyakt Akshar which Lord Krishna revealed to Arjuna." Guru Golwalkar frankly replied." I am not Guru in that sense and it is only saints like you who can unfold that knowledge to others. I have no such realisation, though I read the Gita."

The last two years of Maharaj Ji's life were the most splendid years of my life. I saw divinity manifested in him. In Bombay wearing Pitambri and the crown He danced for hours on the stage among 'premies". The world seemed to disappear and the divine bliss of Maharaj Ji entered into the hearts of all. He left indelible imprints of his personality on the many who came into contact with him. I am but one of them.

Shri Hans Ji Maharaj - A Divine Personality

(Page 42-45)
A person who can guide other people from darkness to light, is worthy of being called a Guru. A person who can take one from spiritual darkness to light by a proper Divine path and in the shortest span of time deserves to be called a Satguru.

The path to salvation shown by Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj is not only the easiest and very best but is also the shortest one - the one which requires the least paraphernalic arrangements. It is a simple and austere path unlike the glamorous paths shown by others. It is the perennial path shown by the seers of the truth and saints of the time.

Laying stress on the importance and need for a Guru is as uncalled for as saying the sun rises in the east - but for those who yet do not feel that the Guru, or the selection of a Guru is necessary, let me just point my finger westward towards England and the United States. If a Guru was not needed why then suddenly did the young folk of these countries turn to India, and set out in search of a Guru? I do not say that they have been wise in their selection, but, it is better to try and seek rather than waste life in material pursuits. He who dives deep into the ocean of life finds the Gem, while he who sits on the bank and weeps finds nothing.

After realising the importance of having a Guru in one's life, we must set about searching for him. Many paths lead to this search, but only when God blesses us are we fruitful. Here I would like to quote some of my own experiences. I was very anxious to achieve a Guru, to know the truth and was seeking high and low for Him. I also set my mind on two or three persons at different times in the span of two years of my search but the way their true selves were disclosed to me just previous to taking their mantras can be called nothing but a blessing in disguise. When at last I did get the opportunity of hearing the discourses of Maharaj Ji's Mahatmas, even before the Updesh, a light was switched on somewhere inside me. My conscience at once told me, "This is the real thing. The quickest and easiest path. Here was the road to salvation." After the "Updesh", there remained no streak of doubt in me. I knew, this is the simplest way to reach my Lord, who will caress and pet me when I am sad, encourage me when I am depressed, scold me when I intend to misbehave, and all in all be my Torch- holder through life.

It was a very short period when I got to stay near him, but it was ample to leave an everlasting impact on me. Once it was decided that Shri Maharaj Ji would be coming to this Maya-nagri, it was as if I was caught in a trance. I, who was never away from home late, who never discussed religion with anyone, that timid self was never back before midnight, always talking here and there and everywhere trying to put in my humble efforts in the arrangements. At last Maharaj Ji was arriving at Bombay. I was quite eager to go to receive him as it would be my first glimpse of Him. The plane arrived, steps were put, people alighted and lo ! there was the hallowed figure of His Graciousness at the head of the steps. Time stood still and all else ceased to exist. There were only he and me. Eyes refused to wink, lest they miss the divine darshan. Yes, at that moment it appeared there was some sort of Power filled with love oozing out of his eyes, hypnotising me. I had met many Mahatmas before, but that was a novel experience, and of its own accord the head bowed in reverence to this Supreme Power.

When he smiled, the whole environment lightened, bloomed like a flower. His smile had the power of winning hearts. Yes, when he smiled, it was as though the world smiled. People would be awed by the brilliance around him. All his devotees bathed in his peace but no sooner did his brows go up then all would shiver. His wrath would befall on mischievous devotees or upon those who made incorrect remarks on the Truth.

When he spoke, his speech had the power to penetrate deep into the hearts of his audience. Though he spoke in a few words, his speech would ring in the ears of the listeners long after the discourse was over. His language though simple, would impress even the learned. He did not use any bombostic language, but the result was bombastic. At times when his rage would be too great, merely sincere devotion shown by the devotees for the Name and Divine light would make him again loving and serene.

Maharaj Ji was a divine personality. His very presence created an atmosphere of Love and Peace. His complexion, which was fair added with a pinkish touch, was enhanced by the lustre of his deep penetrating eyes His long ears added grace and beauty to his Yogic look. His soft, curly, greyish hair falling on his shoulders added grace and tenderness to his already tender mouth. He had a well-built body and his whole appearance emitted rays of divinity all round him.

He was a lover of Truth and his "Upadesh", to my opinion, is the eternal truth. I had not the opportunity to go deep into other religions, but on the basis of those, glimpses that I had, I feel this Gyan alone is the Truth. All religions have been built on this Truth to suit man's temperament at various times. The different religions are not for all mankind, but this Gyan is the Truth preached by Christ, Mohommad, Ram, Krishna and others in their life. While preaching this Truth, they had to undergo many ordeals and it was only after their departure that the world realized their importance. In the same way Maharaj Ji had to undergo many ordeals to bring this Gyan to the common man. His preaching has been for all mankind, be he of any caste or creed.

His message to the people was "know the Truth". Approach whosoever is able to give it to you. That should be the aim of your life. But do not believe on hearsay, only believe when you see. If you do not come across such a person in life, come to me, I shall bring light to you. Remember, lectures and glamour confuse us. He used to compare the cause of spiritual darkness to a cataract on the mortal eyes. He would say, "I am a specialist to remove it."

I have started understanding religious books better since I have received his knowledge. I have read over and over again with a deeper understanding and interest those portions which before I detested to read. For instance, the Holy name and the Divine Light are spoken of clearly in the Bible. In the Koran, they are called the Pak Nam and Nur-e-Ilahi. In the Ramayan, Tulsidas Ji has laid more stress on the Name than Ram himself. If we see other religious scriptures, we shall find basic stress is the same everywhere. In the Gita also, Lord Krishna has advised Arjun to concentrate on the immortal Word. After giving him the power to see inwardly, Krishna blessed him with darshan of His true self which was "Lusterous Light."

There is only one Supreme Power, known by different names and ways in different religions. As in Christianity, in the word GOD, 'G' stands for Generator, 'O' for Operator and 'D' for Destroyer. But all these three put together are God, the Eternal Light, the Supreme Power, the Knower of all. In Hindu religion, the power is vested in three; Brahrna, the Generator; Vishnu, the Operator; and Shiv, the Destroyer. These three together govern the world, but are also under the Supreme Power, The Divine Light. This also points to the fact that all religions are basically one. Maharaj Ji always stressed this point. He would always condemn leaders of other religions who take people astray from the Truth and confuse their minds by giving wrong interpretations.

Modern world gives materialistic knowledge, but it is said, if there was no God, we would have to invent one. It is only the knowledge of God which can give peace of mind and not material possessions. The soul is immortal and only the body covering it withers. As we discard certain clothes, so the soul discards the body only to get a new one.

The spiritual power never diminishes but is transferred from one to the other. So the power of Shri Maharaj Ji is ever existing, and is now in the form of Shri Santji Maharaj.

Yogiraj Param Sant Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj

(Page 46-54)
The Three appellations of Yogi Raj, Param Sant and Sat-Gurudev, which his innumerable admirers in this country, as well as elsewhere, bestowed upon Shri Hansji Maharaj, succinctly sum up the personality of the man, who was one of the greatest benefactors of humanity.

As a Yogi Raj, Shri Hansji Maharaj showed the path whereby an individual could bring the forces of nature under his control. As Param Sant he demonstrated the mode of transformation from animality to humanity, and thence to divinity. And as Sat-Guru, Shri Hansji Maharaj made it known to all that the Kingdom of Heaven was within. To attain Peace one need not look expectantly either to the United Nations, or any other human organisation.

Yoga is an ancient Indian art as well as science. Its scope is vast and comprehensive, its potentiality, being immense, covers all branches of human activity and thought. The knowledge of Yoga, according to the Bhagwat Gita, was first imparted to the Sun, who then passed it on to Manu.

Top most secret of Nature

From this premise, Shri Hansji Maharaj culled out one of the top-most secrets of nature. Manu, it will be noted here, stands for the mind-stuff. The sun, occupying the central position in our universe, with so many planets and satellites moving round it, constitutes, the principal source of all life-giving activities, termed by the ancient seers as "Prana". This solar structure is also to be met with the mind of an individual, along with the five sense organs and five senses of action. Even an atom of a matter, with the Proton at the centre and electrons revolving around it, provide evidence of universality of the same solar structure. Thus Shri Hansji Maharaj indisputably reiterated the universal truth, embodied in all religious scriptures of the world, that the ingredients of the two principal components, which the so called raw materials of our universe, are the "Prana" (Life-breath) and the "Mana" (Mind).

Even some western philosophers and scientists today are tempted to take the view that the manifested creation is mental in origin. During sleep, human consciousness, which is synonymous with such words as "Atma" or "Gyan", sometimes becomes aware of a dream world, which originates within the mind, and remains there as such, through the dream stage. The experiences of the dream world are as much ephemeral, as those of the waking hours. Indian philosophers, have, therefore, termed both the states of experiences, as illusion or "Maya".

Control of the mind

The four Kriyas or the four-fold technique taught by Shri Hansji Maharaj furnishes the easiest method of mind control. Ordinarily, the control of the mind is a stupendous task. Many have given it up as well nigh impossible.

The human mind, Shri Hansji Maharaj admitted, was indeed powerful and not easy to be brought under control, but when it is harnessed to the equally powerful "Prana", it becomes easier to subjugate it.

Lakhs of people, who were initiated into the mysteries of the "Raj Yoga" testify how an extrovert mind can be changed to an introvert mind, bringing into view the wonderful panorama of the inner working of nature, to the aspirant. Shri Hansji Maharaj claimed, and rightly too, that the knowledge, he was thus imparting was the same, which some five thousand years back Lord Krishna imparted to Arjuna, which enabled him to comprehend the universe as an integral whole. The Vishwa-Rup (Universal consciousness) which Arjuna was shown with the help of the "Third Eye" can be seen and comprehended by any other person, provided he is told where the "Third Eye" (Gyan Chakhshu) is located and how to open it.

The "Third Eye"

The "Third Eye", which is situated between the two eye-brows, at the tip of the nose is a nervous plexus, where the three principal nerves of the body, namely, the Spinal Chord (Sushumna), the Ida (left sympathetic nerve) and the Pingla (right sympathetic nerve) converge, as distributory canals for the flow of the "Prana" or the life breath. This spot is directly connected with the gravitational field of the universe, and exhibits two characteristic motions - the "Prana" (Attraction) and "Apan" (Repulsion), in the shape of inhalation and exhalation. The sages of the Upanishadic period termed this vital spot the Agya Chakra, where the mind is focussed, as it provides a window to see the wonderful working of Nature in all its subtlety. That is why Agya Chakra is known as Gyan Netra or Shiva Netra.

Indian Cultural revolution in the offing

How to open the "Third Eye" in man - How to see the dazzling light brighter than a billion suns, within the Self - How to merge one's soul into God, even while existing in a physical frame upon this earth ?

Param Sant Sat-Gurudev Shri Hansji Maharaj was the founder of the "Indian Cultural Revolution".

Thought process in man are hard to alter, but Shri Hansji Maharaj practically demonstrated the technique by which it is possible if one adopts his method known as Raj Yoga.

India has always been a land of saints and seers. From time immemorial holy men have lent sanctity to this sacred land.

Saints occupy a position far superior to gods. They are akin to God himself.

Like the Holy Prophet of Islam, Yogi Raj, as Shri Hansji Maharaj was known to his innumerable admirers, pointed out the wretched folly of idolatry in the face of the tremendous laws of day and night, of life and death, of growth and decay, which manifest the power of Allah and attest to his sovereignty.

The Yogi Raj was not bound by the limits of nationality or time. He belonged to the Universe. His life and teachings inspired men to see the Kingdom of the Heaven (Bible), the Kab'ah - Place of Worship (Holy Koran), the Light of Inner Consciousness (Gita) within the being and not anywhere outside.

Raj Yoga - the technique, which the great Yogi Raj described, has endowed lakhs of persons with the "Third Eye", with the help of which they are able to realise the glory of the brilliant light which is within the self.

Many Britishers, who witnessed the phenomenon truly described in Churchillian words as "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."

But scientists are never satisfied with beauty and grandeur alone, they want an explanation - and this they have yet to find despite hectic brain wrecking.

Astronomy's newest mystery, at present, is the source of quasar energy, which vibrates, and sets up radio waves and resonances in outer space. This has been identified with what had been described in the past by the Indian seers, as "Prana" - , the vital energy, which sustains the universe.

"Prana" is the power of the inner consciousness, or the supreme intelligence, which controls and directs the affairs of the universe.

Biologists will tell us a similar story, so far as control and arrangement in a living organism are concerned.

They find the greatest efficiency in the formation of physical bodies.

The blood corpuscles of the human body are of just the right shape and size to do the work for which they are made.

The same holds true of other organs, parts and particles.

In the world of insects we need only to examine the honeycomb in a beehive, among thousands of other objects, to find the same perfect arrangements and similarity. Every one of the millions of beehives throughout the world are constructed geometrically, with the greatest precision, to give the greatest efficiency.

"If this and a great deal more does not indicate the intelligence of the one Creator, the control and direction of the one supreme God, I surrender what little claim I may have to being a scientist" - Thus observed an American Scientist, when asked how to solve the riddle of life.

"Chetan" - the conscious stuff, according to Yogi Raj provided the clue to the "Name" and "Form" of God.

The way to witness the "Name" of the Supreme Intelligence and see his "Form" with the help of the "Third Eye", is to take recourse to "Raj Yoga".

What is a "Sanskar" ?

Impressions formed on the mind by the impact of external objects on the five senses of knowledge (Gyanendriyas) are known as "Sanskars".

"Sanskars" are formed in the mind in two stages. In the first, we perceive a thing through the sense organs and then we experience it.

"Sanskars" are like seeds, which, under favourable circumstances, again begin to thrive, and thereby become fresh sources of knowledge.

The Sub-conscious mind (Chitta) is like a store house of "Sanskars".

When we receive knowledge through the senses, it is perception. When we imbibe knowledge, without the sense perception, it is realization.

Memory is a form of "Sanskar".

"Sanskars" play a very important role in moulding the thought pattern of man, his conduct and behaviour in this life and also here-after.

Scientists have accepted "Sanskars" as the basic premise of how to properly train a child.

Thought Pattern.

The Biblical statement, "Train a child in the way be should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it," has proved itself to be very true. Man's thought pattern is hard to alter. He is to a large extent a product - and sometimes a victim - of his upbringing. Most children brought up in a certain set of beliefs will continue to adhere to them. If brought up in an atheistic society, they are likely to remain atheistic. If brought up Christian, they are likely to remain Christian.

Just because one has been taught to accept a certain set of beliefs doesn't necessarily prove those beliefs are right, even though he feels they must be. This must be accepted as a basic premise.

Knowledge of "Prana" alone can solve the "riddle of Life".

Continuity of life depends on the movement of breath alternately in and out of the body.

A normal human being takes 21,600 breaths in 24 hours.

Any obstruction, either in the process of inhalation or exhalation, even for a short while, results in death.

All the functions of the body, including circulation digestion, etc are dependent on the intake of air, its retention for a while in the lungs, and finally its expulsion, thereby keeping the cycle of life-breath continuously in motion.

In fact, every breath, comprising inhalation (Purak), its retention (Kumbhak) and exhalation (Rechak) is a unit of life.

Duration of our life time is determined by the number of breath one commands.

Breath regulates body temperature, as an efficient air-conditioning machine.

The movement of the breath provides the supply of "Prana" the vital energy, which keeps the 1ife process going.

"Prana" is the power of the conscious stuff (Chetan) which provides the key to the riddle of life.

This vital energy of the conscious stuff (Chetan) is still a mystery to the scientists, who are impressed by this perpetual physical miracle that runs its course through the brain and the rest of the nervous system. In the views of a noted American physiologist about the theory of vitalism, it is suggested that there is some force, in addition to the known physical forces, which is necessary for life, but it is still eluding modern scientists, in as much as they are not conversant with the Art and Science Yoga.

Mystery of Life.

Speaking of the brain, that possesses unbelievable abilities, yet little more is known of its physical basis than that it can initiate and conduct electric-like charges which in turn produce chemical changes. But its numerous functions - who can explain or account for them ? It is responsible for co-ordinating all muscular activities and controls even the most basic bodily functions such as respiration and heart beat. It contains memory and holds thousands of mental images available for instant recall.

Is there any physical explanation of the integrating and problem-solving ability of the brain, or of reason and common sense, of motivations, desire, and serenity ? The appreciation of an aesthetic quality such as beauty, the comprehension of a spiritual reality such as love, the consciousness of self personality development all are functions of this same small mass of protoplasm. But who can explain them on a physical basis - or even at all ?

Among the many complexities of the body is the intricate control of the myriad chemical reactions continually taking place, some of which cannot be duplicated outside of the body. The buffer systems which neutralize the acids of digestion and of exercise, maintain the optimum conditions for metabolism. Antibodies form to fight off harmful invaders and may confer immunity. These antibodies are specific for each disease, just as the structure of the chemicals composing the protoplasm is specific for each individual. Each human being therefore possesses a chemical distinctness. Who was it that brought this about ? Certainly not mere man.

And think of the heart. This tireless organ responds to ceaseless demands throughout a life-time. It also possesses a mysterious rhythmicity which allows it to beat even though all nerve attachments are severed - a highly important fact in cases of accident. Where do we go with this perpetual physical miracle ? How do we explain it ?

These marvels of bodily function are very closely associated with the mystery of life itself, a mystery that scientists and philosophers have vainly wrestled with to know. Much is known about the characteristics of living protoplasm and of the intricate chemical reactions continuously taking place, but we lack adequate definitions. There is a theory called vitalism, which suggests that here is some force in addition to the known physical forces necessary for life, but, in the first place, the theory is held in disrepute by many scientists, and secondly it too does not explain the real essence of life, nor does it explain by known and measured phenomena the direction and purposefulness that is apparent in the growth and development of every living organism. What is the organizing and directive force in embryological growth that causes a small mass of un-differentiated cells finally to produce the complex arrangement of an adult ? It is Karma, according to the Yogi Raj.

Thank God, I am not resting my dying head upon speculations. I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.

Ajapa Gayatri

Like all his predecessors, in the long line of saints, seers, Mahatmas and prophets, who appeared on the Indian scene during its long history, Shri Hansji Maharaj discovered the mystery, behind Ajapa Gyatri, which is the essence of the Vedas, the "Ulta Jap", by whose practice Balmiki, the author of the Ramayana turned from a dacoit to a saint, "Tarak Mantra" or "Shiva Mahamantra", which Lord Shiva himself used to distribute, in Varanasi, his abode in the plains.

Japa, or to apply the mind uninterruptedly and without a break, to a particular object, according to the great Yogi Raj provides the only panacea for all the evils of the mind. Japa practice purifies the mind and brings it under subjugation of the aspirant.

But, Japa, which the Yogi Raj recommended, was unlike the one, ordinarily resorted to by a spiritua1 aspirant by means of moving beads of a glossary with the aid of fingers, or mechanically repeating a particular mantra or name of the Almighty, either loudly, or ruminating over it in mind.

Unlike other modes of Japa, as embodied in the scriptures, the aspirant in the practice of Ajapa Jap is simply told to confine the attention of the mind on the "Flight Of Hans" within the nasal apertures (at the top of the nose), merely as a conscious subject. "Hans" is a mysterious sound movement which is the subject matter of Para-Vani; the source of all spoken and written language and can be understood by the grace of a Satguru.

(The first edition of the previous paragraph was slightly different, and was revealing the topmost secret of the teaching: "Unlike other modes of Japa, as embodied in the scriptures, the aspirant in the practice of Ajapa Jap is simply told to confine the attention of the mind on the "Flight Of Hans" within the nasal apertures (at the top of the nose), merely as a conscious subject. "Hansa" is a mysterious sound movement, and so are the other two famous Vedic Mantras - the "Om" and the "So-Ham". These three top-most Mantras of the Vedas are the subject matter of Para-Vani ; the source of all spoken and written language.)

As author of Hans Yog Prakash, Shri Hansji Maharaj demonstrated how the practice of Ajapa Jap could kindle the Divine Light within, which dispels the ignorance of man as to the reality of his own self. For a spiritual aspirant, anxious to know the nature of the spirit that animates matter, the practice of Ajapa Jap, or Ulta Jap, Mahamantra, which are all synonymous terms, is a "must". It is beneficial not only during this life, but also in the life-beyond.

In Bhagwat Gita, Lord Krishna also suggested the same thing, namely, what should be the frame of the mind, and where is it to be affixed at the time of death.

Shri Maharaj Ji on the Gita

(Page 55-70)
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj was the greatest yogi of his time. His grasp of the Gita was phenomenal. Though he used to quote almost all the scriptures, the Gita was his base book which he usually emphasized in his spiritual discourses. Despite the fact that I had read most of the important commentaries on the Gita, it was still a puzzle for me and its intrinsic meaning remained hidden. It was only under Maharaj Ji's discipleship that the esoteric meaning of the Gita became clear to me and the deeper philosophy discussed in it became understandable.

In 1956 Shri Maharaj Ji gave many discourses on the Gita and elaborated the philosophy of the Gita systematically. My interest in the Gita went on increasing. The more I read the Gita the more I realised that this book, though widely read, is rarely understood. The real meaning of the Gita and its true importance is so deep, that none can understand it unless explained from the mouth of a spiritual preceptor. There may be numerous commentaries on the Gita, but to realise its true meaning the instruction of true teacher is necessary.

The first and the second verses (slokas) of the 9th Chapter used to trouble me. I could not understand what that knowledge was, which Lord Krishna imparted to Arjuna.

"This Knowledge is a sovereign science, a sovereign secret, supremely holy, most excellent, directly enjoyable, attended with virtue, very easy to practise and imperishable."
(Sanskrit quote)

The knowledge referred to in the second verse (sloka) was of course, a mystery to me, and I pondered deeply over what it could be. After reading so many commentaries, I found my confusion more pronounced. It was only through the Grace of my Satguru that this confusion was removed. After I had received this "Raj Vidya" from Guru Maharaj Ji, I decided to write a letter to President Radhakrishnan and Dr. Karan Singh to ascertain whether they were aware of this knowledge, called the 'mystery of mysteries' in the Gita. It was to my astonishment that even such great scholars were unable to specify the true meaning of (slokas) of the Gita dealing with Raj Vidya, the third eye, and the Virat Swaroop. My reverence for my Guru increased and I became convinced that only a yogi of Lord Krishna's status can bestow the practical knowledge that is described in the Gita.

This conviction was further strengthened by the 34th verse (sloka) of the fourth chapter which reads as follows:

"Attain this knowledge by all means. If you prostrate yourself at the feet of the wise, render them all forms of service and question them with a guileless heart again and again, those wise seers of Truth will unfold that Knowledge to you."

(Sanskrit quote)

Therefore, I realised that what had been imparted to Arjuna by Lord Krishna can not be learnt by reading the Gita, but only by serving a spiritual preceptor, endowed with the knowledge of the self (Brahm Veta Guru) and getting direct knowledge from him.

And so, in order to offer to the public the revealed commentaries on the Gita by Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, emphasising the practical aspect of realisation of the truth here is given translated version of Shri Maharaj Ji's discourses on the Gita.

There are different views regarding the philosophy discussed in the Gita. Some great commentators, such as Shankaracharya, interpreted the Gita from the view point of Vedantism and advocated that the Gita supported the path of pure contemplation and renunciation. Others think that the main theme of the Gita is:

(Sanskrit quote)

that the individual has only the right to act but should not desire any reward or result thereof. Tilak in his 'Gita Rahasya' held that the main theme of the Gita is Karmayoga, or the skill in performing action, according to ones duty and status in life in a desireless manner, and without attachment.

Shri Maharaj Ji, however, used to emphasise one important aspect of the Gita, which has been ignored by others; "Remember me and fight." The entire philosophy of the Gita is hidden in this most important commandment given to Arjuna by Lord Krishna. There is no denying the fact that the Gita emphasises desireless action as well as renunciation, but the question is what is the technique to practise them. How can desireless action be performed? When does one know that his actions are being performed desirelessly? What change occurs in a man on that day when he actually begins performing desireless action? Great religious leaders, statesmen, and experts on philosophy have praised desireless action, exhorting the people to work for the benefit of society without any desire for reward. This is stressed in the Gita since it is only through desireless action that one can attain 'Moksha' and release himself from transmigration. If the Jiva becomes involved or enmeshed in Maya and performs actions, motivated by the desire for reward, it shall remain bound to the circle of birth and death. The need for the performance of desireless action is thus evident, but what is important is to know how to perform it. We must know the technique through which such actions can become practicable. We must understand how desireless action can be performed and what transformation takes place in us when we actually perform desireless actions.

If the performance of desireless action is natural with man then it would not be necessary to ponder over these questions and to press the people to perform it. By temperament, man is motivated by desire to perform actions for his own selfish purposes and also keeps the reward in view. Therefore, man must be taught the technique, whereby he can perform actions desirelessly and selflessly. After having learned the technique of Karma Yoga it is only natural that there will be a tangible transformation in the attitude and actions of the Jiva.

Shri Maharaj Ji often used to criticise the prevalent method of surrendering actions unto the Lord by saying, "Krishna Arpanamastu", I surrender my actions and the results thereof to Lord Krishna. If by merely uttering such a mantra man can be saved from the consequences of his actions, it should follow that we can cure ourselves from the pangs of hunger, for example, by verbally surrendering one's appetite to God. From practical experience we can vouchsafe that with such Mantras nothing is achieved, and they are merely a self-deception, fit only for man's imagination. To substantiate his thesis Maharaj Ji often used to narrate the following story showing how Janaka became a Karma Yogi and surrendered all his actions to God.

In the Silver Yuga there lived a great king called Janaka to whom the Gita has referred as the model example of a Karamyogi. In spite of being a great king, he was called Janaka Videhi, or one who has transcended body consciousness. He performed all his kingly duties in selfless manner. What is important for us to know is how King Janaka was able to achieve God consciousness. What method did he adopt to acquire the state of mind, where he became free from all opposites. Being a householder and a king he had to perform all types of worldly activities, but how did it happen that his actions become desireless. The story goes that once Janaka felt restless and because of his worried mind could not sleep. He tossed and turned until he finally dozed. He dreamed that his enemies had conquered his whole kingdom and he ran to the jungle to save his life. He felt terribly hungry, and in a certain village he begged from a Brahmin for some food. The Brahmin woman said that there was no cooked food in the house but offered him rice and dal to cook for himself. The king accepted these foods and attempted, with great difficulty, to cook it. Being a king he was not accustomed to this type of work and was experiencing great discomfort. After some time, he succeeded in cooking the food, but before he could eat it, two fighting bulls dashed his meal on the ground. The king was badly shocked at the misfortune and began weeping bitterly. With this the king woke up with a start. He realised that he had been merely dreaming, and he began to think, what is all this ? A few moments before he had been a beggar, crying for a mere mouthful of food. Now he realised that he was back to being the great king of Vidarbha who enjoyed all the luxuries of life. He remembered vividly his state of being a beggar. And now he was living the life of a king. Which of these two states of mind was true? Was he a king or beggar? While being a king is he dreaming, or is his state of being a beggar an illusion ? The questions made the king so pensive that he wanted nothing but to know the truth of the matter for himself. Therefore, the next day he made a proclamation to his people that whosoever could satisfy the king in his question would receive his entire kingdom.

Therefore, a huge building was constructed for the purpose of receiving those who were willing to answer the king's question. A gatekeeper guarded the door allowing entry only to those who wished to attempt to answer the question. Inside, there was a high throne for the one to sit who could satisfy King Janaka with the answer to his question. That seat of honour was reserved for him who the king took to be his preceptor. Either sides of the throne were lined by seats for the contestants. Whoever approached to answer the question was warned that if the proper answer was not given a punishment of imprisonment would follow. The great learned men of the time congregated in the hope of answering the king's question.

The king's question was, "Is this true, or is that true ?"

Everyone tried in his own way to give a satisfactory answer to the question by such answers, "the world is untrue, only Brahm is true". But these superficial answers did not shatter the doubt of King Janaka, and so one contestant after another were taken away to the prison.

In the city, there lived a small deformed boy by the name of Ashtabakra, whose father also had unsuccessfully answered the king's question and had been imprisoned. One day his playmates teased him by saying that he was the son of a prisoner. This touched his heart and he returned home to find out the truth of the matter. His mother told him the whole story and said that his father would only be released if the proper answer to the king's question could be given. Young Ashtabakra said that he would release his father, and so determined, set off for the King's court. He entered the court boldly, full of confidence that he could satisfy the king's doubt. At the sight of so young a child, appearing to answer the king's question, all the sages who had gathered on the occasion began to laugh.

Ashtabakra went up the throne and seated himself there. Because of his disfigured appearance and his youth, the whole court laughed at him. But he laughed back and said, "O King, why have you called this meeting of people who like a cobbler see only the outer form of my skin and are ignorant of inner spirit. How can they, who laugh at my appearance, whose vision is only skin-deep, answer your question ? The King and the court were shocked to hear such a description from the young child, regarding the gathering comprised of learned scholars. But Ashtabakra went on to say that these so-called religious teachers had but bookish knowledge of God and the soul. They were not able to perceive truth beyond the external body. None of those present was a seer of the Truth because an enlightened soul is one who visualises the same soul in a cow, elephant, dog as well as in a Brahmin. It is only the body, which is fair or dark, thin or fat, but not the soul. Just as sugarcane is knotted outside but inside the juicy fibres run smooth and straight, so the outer appearance of human beings may vary, but the inner soul remains the same. Janaka was satisfied by this explanation, and so, according to that procedure, the Kings minister stood to read out the King's question. But before the question could be read, Ashtabakra interjected with his objection that if this were the King's question, then it must be the king himself who should read it to him. The King came forward in a most humble manner to ask "Is this true or is that true ?".

Ashtavakra replied, "Neither this is true nor that is true."

Now the king was astonished, and begged to know, what was the reality. Ashtavakra replied that is only the Holy Name and the Divine Light which is true and permanent and all permeating. To realise the ultimate truth some read books, some perform penances, but none of those methods lead to the realisation of the truth within oneself. If you are very eager to know the truth you must make obeisance for it.

Janaka was ready to surrender everything in order to attain the knowledge of Truth. He offered Ashtavakra the entire kingdom but Ashtavakra told him it was only his vanity which believed the kingdom to be his own personal property. He said, "Even your father and grandfather claimed to be the owner of this kingdom. But neither the kingdom nor the members of your family can be truly called yours. The king then surrendered himself as the price to be paid for this truth. Ashtavakra accepted this offering and imparted to him the mysterious knowledge of the Holy Name, asking the king to meditate upon it, fix his mind upon it at all times and to perform his duties as king. Thus did Janaka receive knowledge which made him able to perform actions desirelessly by fixing his mind on the Shabd Brahm within. By the practice of the Shabd Brahm he was able to gradually disconnect himself from the body and attain Supreme Consciousness. It is only by knowing the Holy Name of God (Shabd Brahm) and constantly practising it that man can get detached to worldly objects and render himself fit for the performance of the desireless action. The central theme of the Gita is performing one's duties by fixing the mind on the inner self-effulgent Light and unmanifest Word. "Mamanusmar yuddhyacha" . . Remember me and fight. We must learn the technique of meditation which can be performed at all times even while fighting in the battlefield. The duty of a soldier is quite arduous. He has to be on the defensive and the offensive at the same time. All external forms of meditation are useless as they cannot be performed while one is engaged in the battle. When Arjuna threw down his bow in the battle field in depression and said that he would prefer begging and taking alms rather than winning a victory by killing his kith and kin whatsoever dialogue took place between him and Lord Krishna constitutes the Gita. We find Arjuna in the beginning of the book in the grip of confusion and dejection, desirous of renouncing the very idea of war but Arjuna after listening to the discourses of Lord Krishna and getting the knowledge of the Raj Vidya is able to wage a war to protect Dharma. Arjuna wanted to renounce actions and become a non-doer because he feared the sins he would accrue from his actions. Lord Krishna explained to him that no one can be free from sin simply by giving up action itself. For example, if Kshatriya runs away from the battlefield he is considered to be irreligious and a sinner. One generally performs actions impelled by his nature and temperament and according to his status in life but can escape the sin of doership if done with a desireless frame of mind while established in Yoga. Lord Krishna unfolded to Arjuna that method or technique of Yoga which if practised frees one from all types of sins rendering the actor a non-doer even while in the midst of hectic activities. The Gita expounds the knowledge of the Yoga called Raj Vidya. We as human beings must knew that Vidya for ourselves if we want to perform actions desirelessly.

Both good actions and bad actions bind the individual. After enjoying the fruits of good actions in what may be called heaven, one has to return to the earthly world again. For our bad actions we must suffer punishment. One is called the golden chain while the other is called the iron chain. Just as a dirty cloth cannot be cleaned by washing it in dirty water, so actions and their fruits cannot be annulled by performing more actions. It is only through the performance of actions while focussing one's mind on the Avyakt Akshar (unmanifest Word) that one can save himself from the consequences of actions. Without the grace of a teacher there is no true knowledge, Without True Knowledge there is no salvation for the Jiva. All external forms of meditation which cannot be performed at all times do not lead to salvation. The knowledge of the physical sciences is only useful while one is alive. What we want to know is, what is that knowledge which Lord Krishna gave to Arjuna which can release us from the constant cycle of births and deaths and free us from the chains of actions. We kindle a lamp to remove the darkness and the difficulties that we face because of it. Just as at night when there is pitch darkness nothing is visible but with the dawning of daylight, everything becomes visible, similarly one should perform actions in the knowledge of Divine Light to save oneself from the staggering repercussions of actions performed in the darkness of ignorance.

Maharaj Ji stressed that it is only through the practice of Yoga, that is to say, focussing one's mind on the Holy Name, that can free one from the binding force of actions. Performance of this yoga has no unsalutory effect on man. Even a little practice of it will entitle one to attain the human frame again and again until perfection is achieved. This most sacred yoga is above virtue and sin because it is subtle, eternal, and makes the mind steady. It is neither affected by the three gunas nor by maya.

Just as a lamp placed in a windless room lights the whole room so the limited and the finite mind becomes enlarged by identifying itself with the infinite Divine light.

Therefore, a man with a discriminating faculty follows only this, the most accepted, beneficial and rewarding yoga and becomes desireless in his actions.

The man devoid of discrimination and the knowledge of this yoga wastes his life in other pursuits. Men with limited vision practise rituals according to the shastras and waste their life in yajna and fire oblations, worshipping only the elements of nature, They are always worried about the results of their worship just as a gardener plants trees in a garden in order to be able to enjoy its fruits. So those of short vision perform rituals only to attain the fruits. Thus they are bound to desire and are born again and again in order to fulfil these desires. Such people do not know the art of desireless action, and suffer the good as well as the bad results of their actions.

Persons dominated by animal nature believe that the pleasures of the senses are the highest type of enjoyments and do not recognise any higher type of pleasure worth living for. They never think of absolute truth in their own life nor do they feel an urge to know God and worship Him. Such people never understand the greatness of a Mahapurusha. They are not more than animals who waste their precious human life in the pursuit of sensuous pleasure. The human body is the means for realising the Divinity, but foolish are those, who waste it for the pleasures of the senses. It is the supreme irony that man wastes this golden opportunity given to him in the pursuit of lesser values. Just as a hungry man labours hard to buy food, but then sells it to earn money and remains hungry himself, so an individual wastes his human frame, the gateway to salvation, by practising rituals in order to gain the passing pleasures of the heavens. One who is bound to the pleasures of the world moves in the three gunas and never overcomes them. The really intelligent men should not follow the gunas (or modes of nature) but should be devoted to the yoga which can provide him with spiritual bliss. The discriminating man will devote himself only to that which can give him knowledge of the true Self. Different people pursue different paths conditioned by their own nature. The wise men will follow only that path which leads to self-realisation.

Most people do not consider the importance of virtue or sin. They are enslaved by the senses when they perform actions and thus remain involved in the sorrows and miseries that result from those actions. A true devotee, however, does not desire to enjoy the worldly pleasures and develops an aversion for them, due to an understanding of their true nature. Those who are settled in the self, behave humanly towards all without a desire for profit or prestige and perform actions which are in the interest of all. Just as the sun gives light to all so a realised soul gives knowledge of the self to all and saves them from the sorrows of life. A realised karma yogi has a natural grace over all creatures while the karm kandies, immersed in the nets of desires are filled by their own ego and try to involve others in the net of rituals for worldly attainments. Such karma kandies can never be detached from worldly affairs. Realised souls, on the other hand, rise above the pairs of opposites and take bliss in the self. This is why Lord Krishna exhorted Arjuna to become a yogi, saying, that one who has no control over the mind and the control of the senses can neither be a yogi nor a Sanyasi. Therefore, concentration of mind and the control of the senses are the essential prerequisites for achieving a balanced state of mind.

This state of mind cannot be achieved without meditation. Even those engaged in the practice of the Holy Name may think that they have relinquished all passions and sensual pleasures, but desire for them still lurks in the subconscious mind. If kindled, this can flare up into a great fire and do considerable damage. That is why constant vigilance concerning the worldly pleasures must always be practised. Just as the cut branches of a tree may sprout again so the submerged desires rise from the sub-conscious to the conscious if given incentive. Therefore, the attractions of the world must be renounced with a determined mind. Just as one drop of poison is sufficient to kill a man, so even an iota of passion can undo all the progress attained from previous efforts. If we keep the mental tendencies immersed in yoga then even the desires for sense pleasure may gradually die.

When the sense pleasures are well controlled and the mind well settled in the Lord's name then only may one feel that there is a strong foundation for truth. Just as a tortoise stretches its limbs and contracts them within his shell as he wills, so one who attains bliss can control his senses and cause them to obey him at his will.

The knowledge of yoga referred to above is nothing but the Holy Name to which the yogi is aware of at all times while forgetful of the sense pleasures. Metaphorically it is said in the Gita that he is sleeping over these pleasures while the worldly man sleeps over the Brahmanic bliss. Just as the ocean remains serene in spite of the waters of many rivers and streams which flow into it, similarly a yogi with a settled mind and determined intellect is not ruffled or affected by the sense pleasures. He is well fixed in the self, above the opposites, therefore even if his sense organs are busy with the sense pleasures they do not cause any stir in his mind. Just as the rays of the sun and the moon are not polluted by touching the earth so the consciousness of the yogi is not strained by the sense pleasures because they do not leave any impression upon his mind. He is always self contented finding a never-ending source of happiness within himself.

There are many types of sadhus and karam kandies in India who wear saffron clothes or remain nude, living in the forest. None of these exterior classifications can make them a real saddhu or a yogi. For a yogi is essentially one who meditates on the real name of God and whose mental tendencies have been immersed in the all permeating divine light.

If one is concerned with evil or destructive actions in this world he should certainly not be encouraged. But the seeker after truth must be continually awakened to the path of meditation, for therein lies his hope of salvation of this very life, in this very body. He should concentrate his mind upon the self, thus fulfilling the commandment of the Kathopanishada, "Awake ! Arise ! stop not till the goal is reached." Thus does one cross the darkness of sorrows and enter into the region of supreme happiness. The vigilant devotee is beloved of God. Once Hanuman was asked by Lord Rama what his relations were with him, Hanuman said, as for as bodily relations were concerned, he was Rama's servant. But in regard to the jiva, an unbreakable bond existed between Lord Rama and Hanuman. In the viewpoint of the all permeating divinity, Hanuman and Rama were one. The real devotees are those who, having been blessed with the true knowledge imparted by a Tatvadarshi, (realized soul) talk about this yoga amongst themselves, meditate upon it and serve their guru desirelessly. God is beyond death, while Maya is itself death, therefore to cross Maya we rest in God. But God can only be realised by the constant and unflagging practice of the Yoga in the form of Holy Name and Divine Light revealed by a realised Guru. Just as pure ghee is all-permeating in milk, still it is invisible' so God is all-permeating in this cosmos, but Cannot be seen with these eyes. Just as milk is first turned into curd which is churned to produce ghee, leaving a residue of uncreamed milk, so the jiva by meditation on the real name of God breaks the knot between self and maya and remains in a state of void. The method by which we can pull our mental tendencies out of the mud of this world is called yoga, or bhakti.

The world is the practical manifestation of the three gunas and the five elements. One who worships these five elements can never know any truth beyond them: It is only through the grace of the Guru that this all permeating cosmic energy in the form of light and Name can be known. When one is constantly focussed upon this light and rises above the three Gunas and the elements. Lord Krishna said to Arjuna: "I am in you and you are in me. We have taken many births but I know my previous lives while you are in ignorance of them. I am not bound by maya, but you are. This is why you are ignorant of the truth and suffer births and deaths. When you concentrate your mind on this inner Divine light and Name you will be disconnected with maya and will escape the circle of birth and death, becoming free and blissful."

If this knowledge of the Raj Vidya which was transmitted to Arjuna by Lord Krishna is transmitted by anyone in modern times there exists no difference between the present giver and Lord Krishna because he had said there is no difference between himself and a jnani "A jnani is my own self. He who is devoted to a jnani, has reverence for him and serves him with love and devotion, he is my devotee in the real sense."

The Satguru is the real Jnani, because he has the power to impart the Raj Vidya to others. There are so many religious teachers who are traditionally called Gurus, but who are not qualified for the status of a guru. They only instruct people in different types of mantras with varied potentialities of power, or recommend the counting of beads. Such Gurus can never lead the jivas to the highest goal. They are not able to open the third eye or the divine eye through which the knowledge of the all-permeating God is revealed. The world is never devoid of a real teacher. From time to time great souls have incarnated themselves in this world to lead man from darkness to light, from mortality to immortality and from worldly pleasures to spiritual bliss. Only those are benefited who approach them, receive the knowledge, and obey and live according to the commandments of the Master. The Guru is a reforming agency for the disciple. He yokes him to desireless service. In ancient times an aspirant had to serve the Guru for many years before achieving spiritual knowledge. Only one who has bodily and mentally surrendered himself to the Guru, positing him as the highest object of worship can find perfection in that most purifying and eternal knowledge. Just as a heap of refuse can be burned by one single match so accrued sins can be burnt away by the spark of spiritual realisation given through the grace of the teacher.

A Guru is a perfect jnani. Just as the darkness of the night can only be dispelled by the dawning of day, so the darkness of the ignorance can only be removed by a preceptor.

The Gita describes the world as an inverted tree with the roots being upward and the branches spreading downward. By watering the roots the whole tree flourishes, while if only the branches are watered the tree becomes dry. God is the seed of the world, and if one meditates upon his Name a great love is generated towards his creation. The unmanifest Brahman cannot be served and worshipped. It is very difficult to focus the mind on the abstract Brahman. That is why the path of pure contemplation is difficult to tread. The path of bhakti, which is love and devotion for the manifested divinity in the form of the Guru is easy to practise and enjoyable. It is only through the manifested Brahman that the unmanifest can be realised.

In today's society people do not know the real meaning of bhakti which is devotion and meditation. While ignorant of the true knowledge of Brahman, they still call themselves jnanies. They are only hypocrites and deceive themselves and others. By devotion they mean the worship of the idol of their deity. The devotees of Lord Rama and the devotees of Lord Krishna and bhaktas of other sects adapt different modes of devotion to suit their own beliefs and tastes. But, Lord Krishna in the Gita talks about the Ananya bhakti, or unbroken devotion. The modes of devotion practised by these people cannot remain unbroken. They can not constantly worship their statue. Therefore, this cannot be the true method of devotion. The Bhakti yog which is referred to in the Gita is that which every individual can perform at all times and in every state of mind. It is an independent path to realisation, and no social or political boundaries can affect it. It is beyond the senses. A man who constantly performs this mode of devotion can attain realisation even while performing different types of action.

In sloka 1 and 2 of chapter 4, Lord Krishna says, "this science of yoga is eternal and everlasting. I imparted this very knowledge to the Sun who imparted it to Manu..." In ancient days, to learn the science of yoga, the disciple served the teacher for their entire life. In quest of this very science Nachiketa sacrificed all worldly pleasures and requested yama to unfold the secret to him. Today this knowledge of this yoga is decreasing and its true essence is a mystery for most of the people. Nothing else can lead to perfect happiness but the knowledge of that eternal yoga.

In chapter 4, sloka 3, Lord Krishna says to Arjuna, "The same ancient Yoga has this day been imparted to you by Me, because you are My devotee and friend, and also because this is a supreme secret."

There are two types of God incarnations. One is called Nimitt, and the other Nitya. The avatars are all Nimitt incarnations while the saints are Nitya. The Nimitt avatars are born for a specific purpose while the saints work to transform society through divine knowledge. It is not only by destroying sinners that mankind can be made peaceful, but by changing the demoniac nature of the human being which will naturally result in a better society. "Hate the sin and not the sinner."

What is karma, vikarma and akarma, or action and non-action, is a very involved theory. Even the great scholars fail to understand it. The technique for performing action which leads to the release of the jiva man does not know. That very knowledge was unfolded to Arjuna by Lord Krishna and was also given to Janaka by Ashtavakra. If we could obtain this knowledge through books then everyone who reads the holy books would be realised. But it is not so. The holy books only sing the significance and the greatness of the divine knowledge.

Some believe that knowledge imparted to Arjuna by Lord Krishna is no longer possible to be able to be received in this world. The answer to this comes from Krishna himself, for he has defined this knowledge as eternal and all permeating, saying that there will never be a time when this yoga will not be available to the true seeker of God. Our job is but to find a realised soul who can impart this knowledge to us; and endeavour to become worthy of his knowledge. It is only by making propitiations to such a realised soul and serving him with a guileless heart that one can receive even now, the knowledge of Avyakat akshar, or the unmanifested word of God. Self devised devotion or worship of gods and goddesses will never lead to emancipation.

The truth called Brahma is to be realised within. But as man is not aware of what is true devotion without a true Guru, he practises various modes of devotion according to his own liking. To know Brahma is the true knowledge and meditation upon him is true devotion. This knowledge has been called para vidya, or spiritual knowledge. Just as the seed should be sown in tilled earth, so it is only through internal preparation and by service to the Guru that we may be in a position to be given para vidya. There are so many mahatmas wearing saffron clothes who teach a certain method of devotion and gather disciples. They have only commercialised religion in order to make trade in it. The true Guru and the divine knowledge can not be purchased by material goods. It can be attained only by intense longing and reverential devotion to the teacher.

The Gita emphasises the importance of the Brahma vidya saying, even the sinners of sinners will find release through this knowledge. It wipes out ignorance in the same way as the sun removes darkness. The brahma vidya cannot be attained through the senses. The mind can easily be controlled by this knowledge and peace thereby attained. But one who has no faith in this knowledge and entertains doubts or does not practise it meets with failure. A sceptical man enjoys happiness neither here in this life nor hereafter. "Shradhawan labhate gyanam" "Only the men of faith attain knowledge."

There is a prevalent point of view today that since human beings have different temperaments and natures they can follow different methods which are best suited to them in order to realise God. But this is an erroneous idea based on false understanding of scriptures. When the ultimate objective is to realize the all-permeating God, which is one for all how can there be different methods to reach it ? It is an inward path, it is meditation on the unmanifest Word of God, or focussing the mind on the self-effulgent light. The way of the Word leads to the realisation of God. If we do not go inward to find God we shall never find Him. One who does not know the inward path only performs external modes of worship without controlling the mind is a hypocrite. True devotion needs no outward signs, neither a tilak on the forehead nor wearing saffron clothes.

Arjuna was confused about the different paths of which Krishna was discussing such as Karma Yoga and Sankhya Marg. These are the two traditional classifications for the two possible paths to be taken by the householder and the ascetic. Since these two ways seem to be made for different types of people in various stages of life, Arjuna wished to know which of the two paths was superior. Krishna explained that the difference is superficial and that the knowledge that he had imparted to Arjuna was a natural path, practicable for both the householder and the sanyasi. Since the ultimate goal of all human beings is to realise God it is not important what position one holds in life, for nothing hinders one who wants to realise God. Furthermore, the true sanyasi is one who renounces the desire of sense pleasures and not the forest dweller. It is preferable to be a practitioner of karma yoga for it is the highest attainment to be able to live in the world and still remain untouched by it. For a real seeker of truth there is no difference between the sannyas marg and the karma yoga marg. No sannyasi can completely cast off actions. What is important is to perform actions while immersed in the yoga.

For obtaining perfection in yoga one has to meditate. Lord Krishna advises the seeker of truth to sit in a comfortable posture, to concentrate the mind and control the functions of the mind and the senses and to practise Yoga for self-purification. Lord Krishna advises, "Shutting out the thoughts of external sense-enjoyments with the eyes fixed on the space between the eye-brows, having equalised the Prana and Apana breaths flowing within the nostrils, he who has brought his senses, mind and reason under control, such a contemplative soul intent on being free from desire, fear and anger, is ever liberated."

It is only by the practice of Raj Vidya that a seeker of truth attains a balanced frame of mind and becomes a non-doer. Thus, a realised soul while touching, smelling, eating and speaking is not involved in the preception of the sense objects. Only the senses play in the sense objects. The devotee remains as a spectator. The yogi, while sitting in "the frame with nine gates" is merged with God and sees the world as a mere spectator. Neither good nor bad actions bind him. The meditation on the Holy Name has more power to destroy sins than sins have to destroy man. After all, why do we meditate ? If meditation is a remedy or a treatment to be followed for a cure of a particular malady of mind we must see for ourselves whether we are cured of illness or not. If we are not cured, then something is wrong with our mode of devotion. Therefore, know the true Name, which will cure the malady of mind.

The all permeating consciousness is very subtle. It cannot be perceived through the sense organs. The eyes cannot see it, the tongue cannot taste it. That is why the knowledge of the real cannot be found in any external or sense bound method. One must know where to concentrate the mind and how to achieve desirelessness and detachment. Until this detachment is achieved the question of desireless action does not arise. Without desireless action there is no attainment of God. Thus unless and until the mind and the soul are made one, there is no peace, no knowledge and no bliss. This is only possible when one receives the knowledge from a yogi like Lord Krishna and surrenders himself to his commandments like Arjuna.

Preface | Part 1 | Part 3
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