Why should one undertake efforts to awaken collective spiritual emotion?

Contents


1. Attempts to awaken spiritual emotion in society

Spirituality teaches that each one of us has to repay four debts namely, unto God, sages, ancestors and the society. Teaching society to undertake spiritual practice is one way of repaying the debt unto society. If appropriate spiritual practice is undertaken according to the influence of time, one can derive maximum benefit from it. According to the influence of time in the Kaliyug (era), spiritual practice for the sake of society is 70% important while individual spiritual practice is 30% important. Thus for individual spiritual progress, it is important to draw maximum individuals in society towards Spirituality. This is true service unto the Absolute Truth (satseva). Along with individual efforts for awakening spiritual emotion, if efforts are made to enhance spiritual emotion of society, that is to augment the spiritual practice of society, then this itself is spiritual practice for the sake of society. One can make efforts to achieve this on the following three planes. Some examples given below will help one to understand this point.

A. Family

  • One’s conduct in the family should be ideal. In fact, the family members should perceive that one is a seeker through one’s behaviour.
  • All family members should be looked upon as forms of the Guru, e.g. if someone falls ill he should be nursed as if one were rendering service unto the Guru.
  • Efforts should be made to make every family member a seeker.
  • Every event should be viewed from the spiritual angle, e.g. if a birthday is to be celebrated in the family, instead of cutting a cake, etc. according to the Western style, it should be celebrated in the spiritual tradition with the ritual of offering lit lamps (aukshan) to the one whose birthday it is.

B. Neighbours, relatives, etc.

  • One should try to impress the concept of spiritual practice upon neighbours, relatives, etc. both, intellectually and through display of good conduct.
  • Efforts should be made to make them undertake spiritual practice inspired by the sattvik (sattva predominant) and happy atmosphere in one’s home.
  • One should participate in auspicious events in their homes and help them to celebrate the events according to Spirituality.

C. At the workplace, business, etc.

  • One should display good conduct and be understanding towards one’s colleagues.
  • Colleagues should be convinced about the importance of repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name and spiritual practice. If feasible, one should propagate Spirituality there as well, e.g. after office hours or during lunchbreak one may conduct satsangs (spiritual meetings) for those interested in Spirituality. They should also be explained the importance of offering money for The Lord’s mission.
  • If possible, strips with the Names of deities, sattvik pictures of deities, etc. should be pasted at the workplace. This helps to make the atmosphere sattvik.

2. Sojourn of Seeker(compiler) in awakening spiritual emotion (bhav)

Though faced with difficulties in spiritual practice, Seeker always harboured an intense motivation to acquire the grace of the Guru and also had a constant yearning to increase her spiritual emotion towards Him. Since well channelised efforts were coupled with faith, it helped greatly in enhancing her spiritual emotion towards the Guru. Given below are the efforts put in by her to awaken spiritual emotion both, in herself as well as in others.

2.1 Journey from the ‘Weekly Prabhat’(news paper) to the ‘Subtle section’

A. Before I undertook spiritual practice I was very emotional in nature. As my spiritual practice grew, my emotional nature gradually decreased. Forgetting all other worldly relationships, I was attracted towards the holy feet of the Guru.

B. The emotional nature helped me to blend with the Guru (His individual form) but made it difficult for me to blend with His collective form, that is to get along with other seekers. This was the biggest stumbling block in my spiritual practice.

C. Though I constantly became aware of this obstacle, I found it difficult to overcome it. Instead of making conscious efforts to overcome this, I would surrender unto the Guru and weep saying, ‘I wish to change this and win Your grace but I cannot find the way’.

D. Once when working for the ‘Weekly Prabhat’ (news paper) at the Phonda ashram (hermitage) of the Sanstha , I spoke to H.H. Doctor about this obstacle in my spiritual practice. So He explained, “The channel of faith in Dr. Savita is – Dr. Mahesh to Dr. PP but in case of Mrs. Mangal, it is from Mrs. Mangal to Dr. Panduraj to Dr. PP. As a result there are expectations, failure of expectations, reactions, upsurge of other personality defects, etc. These pose as obstacles not only in your individual spiritual practice but also hinder your spiritual practice for the sake of society. Personality defects are the biggest stumbling blocks in spiritual practice done for the sake of society because when reactions erupt as a result and are voiced, they obstruct the spiritual practice of others. Discuss this with Dr. Durga Sawant (one of the chief seekers in the spread of Spirituality of the Sanstha) and find a means to eliminate it.”

E. After deep contemplation, I realised that I had to drop the middle step of Dr. Panduraj and develop faith directly in the Guru and began making efforts to establish this. Like the trapeze artist from the circus, I had already let go of one hand from the swinging bar (I had devoted all my time to Spirituality) and was working for the Guru’s mission but was not undertaking spiritual practice in such a way that the Guru would hold my other hand. This made me feel as if I were suspended in midair. Though my worldly attachments had vanished and attachment for the Guru’s mission had grown, as I had not merged with the Guru’s collective form, I was not bestowed with His grace.

F. With the conviction that Dr. Durga Sawant was ‘the Guru who would give direction to my spiritual progress’, I sought his guidance regarding spiritual practice and made a firm resolve to listen to whatever counsel he gave. Dr. Durga Sawant first taught me how to analyse personality defects which were obstacles in my spiritual practice for the sake of society. At that time I was rendering service in the editorial section of the ‘Weekly Prabhat’ (news paper). I changed my behaviour as guided by Dr. Sawant. Harbouring the feeling of gratitude time and again, I kept only one goal of ‘self-improvement’ in front of me.

G. I found it cumbersome to overcome personality defects. As a remedy, I began to listen to the Marathi songs from the play on the life of Saint Gururaj and analysed the incidents in it to create an impression on my mind. This enhanced my motivation to work for the Guru’s mission day-by-day.

H. The efforts I put in to eliminate personality defects began to bear fruit gradually. I began to feel love for other seekers and was able to behave with them according to their spiritual level. I could also develop a rapport with them. This endowed me with Bliss (Anand). At the same time my repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name grew and along with it, the motivation to expand the mission of the Guru.

I. Once I felt that I should have a photograph of the Guru’s holy feet. So I asked a seeker doing photography to take one such photograph. She replied that we should do it only with H.H. Doctor’s permission and certainly not without His knowledge. When she asked Him, He said, “No one is deserving of keeping this photograph in his temple at home yet. So let us wait for the appropriate moment.” This enhanced my motivation to be deserving of a place at His feet, even further.

J. In August 2001, as black magic was done on the Sanstha, it was troubled by distressing energies. H.H. Doctor suffered the most. I would get apprehensive on seeing Him. Though I knew I could do nothing to help Him, yet the thought that I should help Him cropped into my mind time and again. When I asked H.H. Doctor if I could do something He replied, “Only other saints can alleviate this trouble.” Then He narrated the story of how Karna had wasted his weapon which he had preserved to kill Arjun, to eliminate Ghatotkach and added, “We should not commit a similar mistake. If we utilise the energy obtained from spiritual practice undertaken over the years to overcome my distress then no energy will be left to carry out the further mission of propagation of Spirituality.”

K. Later other seekers in the Sanstha too were affected by distressing energies. Once again during conversation with H.H. Doctor He said, “At first, distressing energies troubled only Me but now they have found My weakness (the feeling that every seeker in the Sanstha should evolve spiritually) and hence have started harassing them but I will not keep quiet anymore.” This sentence which He uttered gave a new turn to my life. For nearly a month and a half, due to this trouble, H.H. Doctor’s vital energy (pranshakti) had dropped to 30%. With such a low level, one can die at any moment. Despite this, He did not make any attempts to change His condition. All the same, when seekers were affected, considering them as ‘My seekers’, He began to give them spiritual therapy. That night I was sleepless wondering what I could do for ‘His seekers’ so as to please Him and contemplated deeply on it. After that, my mind would constantly think of doing something for others.

L. I developed an intense motivation to do something and sometime thereafter I got the opportunity to serve in the ‘Subtle section’. (The ‘Subtle section’ consists of seekers who administer spiritual therapy to help seekers troubled by distressing energies.)

2.2 Increase in motivation to expand the Guru’s mission when rendering service in the ‘Subtle section’

A. To alleviate the problem of distressing energies, eleven ‘Panchamukhi Hanumatkavach’ sacrificial fires (yadnyas) were performed in the Phonda ashram (hermitage). Around that time, I too was severely afflicted with distressing energy. Despite the physical distress, the perseverence to augment the Guru’s mission and to serve Him grew more and more. In fact, I was happy to be troubled because it indicated that I was rendering service unto the Absolute Truth (satseva).

B. When I planned remedies to help seekers afflicted with distressing energies, the latter began to attack me on a larger scale. Despite this, I was determined to undertake this service even at the cost of my life.

2.3 Development of the attitude to learn in order to carry out the Guru’s mission

In July 2002, my mother had an attack of hemiplegia. I had to stay with her in the hospital for 8 days. Thinking that God had given me yet another opportunity to learn something new which would help me in the Guru’s mission in the long run, instead of remaining dependent on the nurse, I learnt how to do Ryle’s tube feeding, sponging, etc. The days I spent in the hospital were Blissful because I felt that I was doing something for the Guru’s mission.

2.4 Inspiration from the Guru to augment His mission as a result of my intense motivation

A. During meditation, I realised that H.H. Doctor was guiding me on how to expand His mission and obtain His grace continuously.

B. Often He would suggest solutions to problems from within. Other seekers also experienced this.

2.5 Enhancement in faith in the Guru

A. Sometimes after giving therapy to seekers afflicted with distressing energies at Dhamse, Goa, I would lose my vital energy (pranshakti). On some such occasions when feeling drained out, if the distressing energy within a seeker manifested itself then I would not hesitate to help him. Then I would feel a great deal of energy coming to me from the Guru. This is how my faith in the Guru kept growing.

B. In 2002, distressing energies made imprints in H.H. Doctor’s room and bathroom in the Phonda ashram (hermitage). This was an indicator of the growing influence of distressing energies and the combat against them. When these imprints appeared in the Dhamse ashram as well, instead of feeling frightened we were convinced that our service unto the Guru was in the right direction. In fact, the determination to face anything fearlessly became stronger and faith in the Guru grew.

2.6 Expression of gratitude unto the Guru at every step

A. Realising that the service I was rendering in the subtle section was actually beyond my capacity and that the Guru was getting it done through me, I would constantly express gratitude unto the Guru.

B. Observing the motivation to augment the Guru’s mission in seekers who had come to the Dhamse ashram to get rid of their distressing energies, I developed immense love for them. From within, I would feel grateful to the Guru for choosing me as a medium and giving me an opportunity to render service unto them.

2.7 Remembering the Guru through different acts in day-to-day life

A. My day begins with mental worship of the Guru’s holy feet. Whenever hymns (arti) are sung in the ashram, I imagine that I am doing the ritualistic worship of the Guru’s holy feet and singing a hymn in His praise. Often this helps in awakening spiritual emotion.

B. At breakfast when eating foodstuffs which I like, I realise that four times a week H.H. Doctor eats krispies soaked in milk. Formerly I disliked krispies but now recollecting this I am able to enjoy them.

C. Throughout the day I recollect the different gestures and movements of H.H. Doctor.

2.8 Considering even casual conversation of the Guru as His command

A. In 1995, before H.H. Maharaj renounced His body, I along with a few other seekers had been to Panhala in Kolhapur to pay obeisance to Him. Those days I had been losing a lot of hair. Hence to arrest further hair loss, Dr. Panduraj has advised me to cut it and make it shoulder length which I complied with. Another seeker had cut her hair even shorter. During conversation, H.H. Doctor casually said, “Women say they cut their hair for convenience but actually it is done for fashion.” Thereafter I never cut my hair again.

B. My daughter Aparna was fond of music and art since the age of 5 years. I wished to enrol her in a class imparting training in these subjects. Once when speaking on a different topic, H.H. Doctor casually commented, “Children in some families are born as seekers and are talented in drawing, music, etc. When parents train them in those fields, they excel and attain fame only in that and do not evolve spiritually. Such children should be drawn towards spiritual practice.” Learning from this statement, instead of sending my children to a class to improve artistic talents, I directed them towards Spirituality and concentrated on enhancing their spiritual practice. As a result, they excelled in different artistic spheres without attending special classes for the same.

2.9 Preservation of items connected with Doctor and gifts received from Him

  • I have got all letters written by H.H. Doctor to me laminated and have filed them.
  • When H.H. Doctor sends parcels with my name written on it with His handwriting, I cut it out and preserve it. I have stuck one such cut-out onto my writing pad. Some seekers who do not know whose handwriting it is experience white light emanating from it. (White light is a symbol of purity.)
  • I have preserved the pencils used by H.H. Doctor. Seekers experience energy from them.
  • I have preserved the seat and handkerchief used by H.H. Doctor during the sacrificial fire (yadnya) in the Dhamse ashram (hermitage). These objects constantly remind me of the presence of the Guru.
  • I ritualistically worship the slippers used by H.H. Doctor. Often, whenever distressing energies trouble me, I have experienced that I acquire energy emanating from that holy footwear (paduka). [On the day the sacrificial fire was held in the Dhamse ashram, when all other seekers were asleep at 3 a.m. I placed this holy footwear at the site of the sacrificial fire and along with my ten year old son, Kedar ritualistically worshipped them. Then wrapping the slippers in a beautiful cloth, I placed them under the table where the photograph of H.H. Maharaj has been placed.]
  • To derive sattvik (sattva predominant) frequencies, I keep a white towel used by H.H. Doctor with me. Whenever I experience any kind of distress, I place it over my pillow before going to bed.

2.10 Learning through H.H. Doctor’s praise

A. H.H. Doctor would praise me as service in the subtle section had begun to occur smoothly. Though I would feel happy temporarily, I would soon remind myself that this was a ‘a dangerous department’. I would analyse the points praised by the Guru and contemplate on how to teach them to others. This helped to view the praise neutrally.

B. I am constantly aware of the vast energy of the Guru which is instrumental in my rendering this service which is beyond my potential. In reality however, H.H. Doctor tells others, “Mangal did this” ! This impressed upon me the need to inculcate the divine quality of ‘doing everything and yet remaining aloof’. I also learnt to praise others and began to encourage them.

2.11 Making the children independent by teaching them to develop faith in the Guru

When solving various problems of my children instead of using psychology, I tried to resolve them on the spiritual plane. By impressing upon them how H.H. Doctor constantly takes care of all of us in different ways, I made attempts to enhance their faith in the Guru. As a result, no matter what the situation is, the children no longer fear anything, instead they themselves find a way out. Whenever my son Kedar is troubled by distressing energies, he himself prays to H.H. Doctor and finds out the Name of which deity to repeat (chant) so as to alleviate the distress.

2.12 Some unique spiritual experiences regarding H.H. Doctor

A. ‘Let service as per the expectations of H.H. Doctor occur through me and when performing it may there be dissolution of my mind, intellect and ego, is the prayer that I began to make constantly. Consequently, I obtained numerous spiritual experiences in which I acted first and then received a telephonic message from H.H. Doctor to do exactly what I had already done.

B. I have kept a seat for H.H. Doctor in my room and I always perceive that He is seated there.

C. Once when H.H. Doctor was out of station, I placed my japamala (Hindu rosary) on His chair in His room in the ashram for a whole day. Thereafter whenever I held the mala, I would slip into meditation.

D. Sometimes after doing spiritual therapy, one’s vital energy (pranshakti) reduces. When this happens merely speaking to H.H. Doctor on the telephone for a minute or two restores this energy.

E. If exhaustion sets in when administering spiritual therapy to others and I touch H.H. Doctor’s holy footwear placed at the site of the sacrificial fire (yadnya) for sometime and repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name, then I perceive sattvik (sattva predominant) energy entering my body through the fingers.

F. H.H. Doctor had presented a toilet soap to my children. When troubled by distressing energies if they used that soap, they would experience divine consciousness (chaitanya).

G. If I eat the foodstuffs sent by H.H. Doctor as holy sacrament (prasad) after giving spiritual therapy to others then my exhaustion gets alleviated.

H. Once I dreamt that H.H. Doctor gave me the mala worn around His neck. However I saw myself distributing every bead from that mala to seekers severely afflicted with distressing energies.

2.13 Efforts to awaken collective spiritual emotion

H.H. Doctor had entrusted me with the service of treating seekers afflicted with distressing energies. So, besides the goal of getting rid of their distressing energies, I had also kept the objective before me of developing spiritual emotion (bhav) for the Guru in them, rapidly. Some efforts made by me in that direction are given below.

A. Various methods to develop mental strength amongst seekers to combat distressing energies

  • I encourage seekers severely afflicted with distressing energies to enhance their spiritual practice by telling them, “It is because the Guru is paying constant attention to you that He has sent you to the Dhamse ashram (hermitage). If you put in efforts then He is bound to bestow His grace on you.”
  • During satsangs (spiritual meetings), I explain what H.H. Doctor wishes to teach seekers through the distress experienced by them. This enhances their determination to augment spiritual practice by enduring the distress.
  • So that seekers perceive the support of the Guru, I placed His holy footwear in the temple next to the site of the sacrificial fire. I also kept the holy water (tirtha) from the daily ritualistic worship for the seekers and many benefitted from it a great deal.
  • I tell distressed seekers how enriched with energy the holy sacrament of foodstuff sent by H.H. Doctor is and offer it to them. This helps them in developing a combative attitude towards the harassment by distressing energies.
  • When a seeker is tormented by distressing energies to an extent beyond his tolerance, I ask him to sit on H.H. Doctor’s chair or the mat on which He places His feet (when He visits the ashram in the subtle form) and repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name. The seeker then experiences a surge of energy from H.H. Doctor.
  • One day, Miss Sakshi(aged 3 months) suddenly developed a lot of distress. She would not stop wailing despite all efforts. Finally I surrendered her unto H.H. Doctor’s holy feet (in the subtle form) and pleaded with Him to take care of her. The next moment Sakshi slept on my lap peacefully.

B. Increasing seekers’ faith in Doctor by explaining the importance of Doctor and His guidance to them

  • I narrate incidents of the time spent in the holy company (satsang) of H.H. Doctor in the past decade, His teachings and the spiritual experiences He has endowed me with from time to time.
  • I also narrate a spiritual experience of an inmate of the ashram to all seekers immediately and try to impress upon them that these spiritual experiences are a bestowal of H.H. Doctor’s grace and are a source of encouragement to make further spiritual progress.
  • H.H. Doctor conducts regular satsangs for seekers at the Phonda ashram. I record these and play them for those seekers in the Dhamse ashram who are unable to attend these meetings.
  • If a seeker is mentally disturbed then I tell him to listen to H.H. Doctor’s guidance from an audio cassette. Consequently his distress decreases a great deal and his repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name which earlier was not occurring properly begins to occur smoothly.
  • I continuously remind seekers how H.H. Doctor helps us in varied ways and through different media.

C. Augmentation of seekers’ attitude to learn and encouraging them

  • Seekers from different centres of the Sanstha visit the Dhamse ashram (hermitage). I tell seekers staying in the ashram to narrate their spiritual experiences and the new things that they have learnt with respect to spiritual practice, to these new seekers.
  • Mrs. Gadkari could not ring the bell as required during the ritual of moving lit lamps amidst singing of hymns (arti). So instead of ignoring the issue, after the ritual I myself taught her how to do it. This increased her self-confidence tremendously.
  • H.H. Doctor had gifted me an idol of deity Durga. I told every seeker to view it in the subtle dimension. Once when footprints appeared in front of the place where the holy footwear of H.H. Doctor were placed, I told the seekers to take a subtle reading. The objective behind this was to train them to study the subtle dimension because eventually Spirituality is a subtle science and correct answers in subtle experiments augment the faith of seekers in Spirituality.
  • I hand over my japamala to other seekers so that they perceive the sattvik (sattva predominant) frequencies in it. I advise them to increase their repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name which in turn will help in making the frequencies of their malas sattvik.
  • Since H.H. Doctor made the seekers serving in the subtle section aware that He was operating through their medium, they rendered their service seriously and thereafter they made efforts to correct the defects in their personality.
  • When giving seekers homemade medicines for cold, cough, indigestion, acidity, etc., I resorted to simple methods such as praying to the Guru, sprinkling holy ash (vibhuti) onto the medicines before giving them to the seeker, holding the medicine in the hand and repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name before giving it to the seeker, etc. Thereafter the need for medicines of seekers reduced markedly. As a result, seekers were convinced about the importance of prayers and spiritual remedies.

D. Use of varied techniques to awaken spiritual emotion

  • Once during group meditation in the ashram, I perceived the subtle presence of H.H. Doctor and hence started keeping a chair for Him. Thereafter several seekers perceived that H.H. Doctor had visited the ashram and was sitting on the chair.
  • Sattvik idols of Lord Ganapati are being sculpted by the ‘sculpture section’ of Sanstha. I got only the feet of the deity made for myself and kept them in the ashram. I began to render service after offering obeisance to them. Thereafter other seekers emulated me. Several seekers would perceive them as the holy feet of H.H. Maharaj and H.H. Doctor and their spiritual emotion would get awakened.
  • At meal times when all seekers come together, if H.H. Doctor’s favourite foodstuff is discussed then when eating that item seekers are reminded of H.H. Doctor.

E. Efforts to make seekers ‘ideal’

  • I prepare a timetable for seekers everyday and monitor their repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name, prayer, service, etc.
  • I conduct satsangs (spiritual meetings) for seekers everyday so they share with one another what they learnt from the viewpoint of spiritual practice, what were the shortcomings, etc.
  • I organise special satsangs for seekers rendering special service related to periodicals, drawing, sculpture, etc.
  • I offer individual guidance to seekers to make them ‘ideal’.

F. Teaching parents about their children

  • I narrate the spiritual experiences of my children to seekers who are parents so that they too teach their children to undertake spiritual practice and make them independent.
  • I try to convince parents that the spiritual experiences of my children and theirs are because of the grace of H.H. Doctor and are bestowed as a means of expressing His praise.

F. Getting a spiritual experience that the Guru Himself is making me guide seekers: A prayer that ‘May I be able to appropriately guide seekers who have come to the ashram (hermitage) so as to alleviate their problems and so that their spiritual practice occurs maximally’ would be recited by me constantly. That is why I do not plan the topic that I will discuss with seekers. If I plan it then at the last moment, new concepts enter my mind. Once before talking to a seeker, Sadhika I prayed, ‘Lord make me speak whatever is necessary to eliminate the obstacles in her spiritual practice’. Thereafter what I spoke was completely different from what I had planned to speak. However this created a positive effect on her.

 

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