Why are spiritual experiences discussed during satsangs?

Spiritual experience

Contents


1. Some unique spiritual experiences about spiritual emotion (bhav)

At the satsangs (spiritual meetings) conducted by the Sanstha, spiritual experiences of seekers are discussed. The reason for this is as follows. The theoretical information delivered there only helps those curious about Spirituality to believe in it whereas spiritual experiences help to augment their faith. One gets inspired to undertake more spiritual practice with the faith that God will endow one with spiritual experiences. A seeker can also learn from the spiritual experiences of others. It is with this very objective that different spiritual experiences have been elucidated in this point as well as elsewhere in this holy text with regard to spiritual emotion. Often a spiritual experience in one seeker is repeated in another. This establishes that there is a science behind the spiritual experiences. Thus a spiritual experience of a seeker given in this holy text may also have been experienced by other seekers. So also, spiritual experiences other than those given here may also have been experienced by several seekers. However as they are voluminous, all of them cannot be accomodated in this holy text. All spiritual experiences in the context of spiritual emotion are given in separate holy texts on spiritual experiences.

2. Teachings on awakening spiritual emotion

2.1 In the waking state

Maharaj(Saint) subtly teaching about spiritual emotion, in the waking state: On 26th September 2002 after my morning bath, I was offering obeisance to the picture of Baba [H.H. Maharaj]. Just then Mr. Anand arrived with flowers and told me to offer them to Maharaj’s picture. I felt overjoyed. The flowers were of different types. I tried to sort out the different flowers and place them before Baba’s picture. Though I had begun this task with a prayer, H.H. Baba said, ‘Baby, your spiritual emotion today is not as usual’. This hurt me. So I prayed wholeheartedly again and amidst repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name offered the flowers in front of Baba’s picture. I offered the rest of the flowers to the other deities and wherever there were strips of the Names of deities. When I came to pay obeisance to Baba’s picture once again, He said, ‘See how well you did it now !’ – Sadhika, ashram

2.2 In meditation

A. Doctor’s assurance to a seeker during meditation about augmention of his spiritual emotion: On 18th October 2002 during meditation, despite the absence of an object of meditation, I experienced a lot of Bliss (Anand). When H.H. Doctor made a statement that ‘warrior seekers had to enhance their spiritual emotion (bhav)’, I realised that it was meant for me as well. I was very restless as I wanted this to happen quickly. This was unconsciously causing apprehension in me. During meditation I asked H.H. Doctor, ‘I feel intensely that my spiritual emotion should grow but I am getting tense about it. What should I do?’ and H.H. Doctor replied, ‘Do not worry. Everything will occur by itself.’ This lessened my anxiety and I experienced Bliss. – Sadhak

3. Awakening of sattvik (sattva predominant) spiritual emotion due to seekers

A. Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion after getting an intuition about the arrival of a seeker: One day as I waited at the bus-stop to go to college, suddenly a trax approached me. It reminded me of Mr. Athlekar and I wept. This had never happened to me before, after seeing a trax. After returning home in the evening my mother told me that Mr. Javlekar had arrived in our town ! – Sadhika

B. Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion in a seeker and perceiving herself to be performing the actions of other seekers at a get-together of seekers: A get-together of seekers was arranged at Karad on 23rd April 2000. I was allotted the responsibility of organising the programme of narrating spiritual experiences. Though I too could participate in it, I did not feel like doing so. Instead, I wished that Miss Amruta would narrate hers. On behalf of the local centre of the Sanstha she was felicitated there. At that time, I felt as if I were being felicitated. As I heard her spiritual experience the Bliss that I enjoyed was far more than what I experience when I narrate mine. My ego had become expansive at least for the sake of one individual.

     From 16th to 18th May 2000, I accompanied Mr. Athlekar on his Ichalkaranji-Kolhapur tour. The spiritual experiences that I got at Ichalkaranji are as follows. As Mr. Jathar jotted down the points I felt as if I were doing it. As Mrs. Koli conversed on the telephone I felt as if I were doing it. When Mrs. Magdum asked a query I felt as if I myself were asking it. I felt that Mr. Athlekar should explain the table on ‘Spiritual practice according to the class (varna) and the spiritual level’ to her. The next moment Mr. Athlekar told her that a Brahman (priest) has 60% desire to make spiritual progress. After the occurrence of all these incidents, my spiritual emotion for the Guru grew so tremendously that I was overwhelmed and speechless. This state lasted for approximately 15-20 minutes before I returned to normal. – Sadhika

4. Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion due to the spiritually evolved

4.1 Through touch

A. Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion on placing my head on Doctor’s feet: On 1st November 1997, H.H. Doctor arrived at the residence of Dr. Charudatta Pingale at around 12.30 p.m. There my desire to offer obeisance by placing my head on His holy feet was fulfilled. Sattvik spiritual emotion was awakened in me the moment my head touched His holy feet. For a few seconds I experienced Bliss and felt extremely pleasant. – Sadhika

B. Repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name commencing spontaneously, awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion and experiencing divine consciousness (chaitanya) and Bliss (Anand) after looking at the galvaniser machine touched by Doctor: A galvaniser machine belonging to Mrs. Aditi Joshi was placed in the bedroom of Dr. (Mrs.) Nanda Sawant in the ashram (hermitage). When H.H. Doctor entered that room to experiment on distressing energies, He touched the machine along with other objects over there. The next day that machine was packed in a box and sent to Sangli.

     Mrs. Aditi Joshi from Sangli district experienced the following after looking at the device.

  • Tears flowed from her eyes on opening the box.
  • She experienced Bliss.
  • The machine which she earlier perceived as devoid of divine consciousness (chaitanya) was now enriched with it.

     Dr. (Sadhika) from the same ashram experienced the following after looking at it.

  • The moment she opened the box, her repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name occurred spontaneously.
  • The machine appeared more radiant and enriched with divine consciousness than before.

4.2 By a discourse

Developing goose-flesh and entering a state just prior to meditation during Doctor’s discourse: Despite absence of chilly weather on 15th November 1997, when listening to H.H. Doctor’s discourse I developed goose-flesh. I was also yawning continuously. As I left the venue of the discourse the yawning stopped. – Sadhika

(Before entering into a meditative state from the waking state some people start yawning. – Compilers)

4.3 By a holy vision (darshan)

A. Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion after a vision of Doctor: After H.H. Doctor arrived at Pophali on 2nd January 1997, Mr. Nalavade introduced seekers from different centres to Him. I too was invited. Though I offered obeisance to H.H. Doctor, I was speechless. All of a sudden my ear lobes became warm, my whole body became light and I felt as if I were floating in air. – Sadhak

B. Perceiving the affectionate touch and words of assurance from H.H. Doctor before the discourse, perception of Doctor’s countenance as expansive and radiant and awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion during the discourse: When I got the pleasant news of H.H. Doctor’s discourse to be held on 16th November 1997, I realised that it was a golden opportunity dawning in my life. Though I was elated I was also apprehensive about whether I would reach there in time for the discourse due to our scheduled trip to Rajasthan. My mind was riddled with doubts. No matter what, I should not miss H.H. Doctor’s discourse and the opportunity to pay obeisance to Him was what I felt. My repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name was going on. When in this restless state I felt an affectionate pat on my back trying to cool down my upset mind. Then I heard a voice saying, “I will not leave without meeting you, if not this time some other time, but I will certainly meet you.” I looked around but saw no one. Throughout the journey I repeated (chanted) The Lord’s Name continuously and the trip which was supposed to conclude on 18th or 19th ended on the 15th itself and we returned to Ichalkaranji. I was waiting for 16th November to dawn. Though I had lost the opportunity to render service, the chance of having the holy vision of a saint was no less important. I reached the venue long before the discourse began. I was very eager to see this saint. Then this extremely fortunate moment of my life arrived. His vision was such that I had never seen before. His countenance appeared expansive, divine and radiant. Thereafter I was unable to understand the reason why I began to feel like crying uncontrollably. Tears swelled in my eyes and I had to stuff a handkerchief into my mouth to prevent the sobs. This state and restlessness persisted for quite some time. Thereafter just as a stormy sea suddenly becomes tranquil, my body too became extremely serene and all these feelings ceased. Even today once in a while, H.H. Doctor’s face suddenly appears before me and the mind bows to Him in obeisance. Sometimes I also get restless and feel like crying aloud without any reason. There is only one goal in my mind – when will I be liberated? When will I attain the Final Liberation (Moksha)? – Sadhika

4.4 Due to the presence

Sattvik spiritual emotion remaining awakened for the entire week during Doctor’s visit to the district: It was only two months since I had begun repeating (chanting) the Name of my family deity when I got an opportunity to serve at H.H. Doctor’s programmes in Sangli. On 18th November 1997 from 6 a.m. onwards I was getting goose-flesh every two to five minutes. This continued till the completion of H.H. Doctor’s Sangli tour which lasted for a week. – Sadhak

4.5 By watching a video cassette

Weeping and feeling gratitude for Doctor on seeing His holy vision for the first time on a video cassette: When I saw H.H. Doctor on the video cassette for the first time I could not stop myself from crying. It continued for about 5 minutes and was totally beyond my control. I was really overcome by gratitude. – One seeker

4.6 By seeing a photograph

Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion on seeing Doctor’s photograph and perceiving that He is speaking: A seeker gave me a copy of H.H. Doctor’s photograph which I kept in our showcase. Once when looking at the photograph amidst repetition (chanting) of the Name of my family deity, suddenly tears started flowing from my eyes. I also felt as if H.H. Doctor were conversing with me. – Master Hemant , Children’s moral education class

4.7 While reading, by a holy text

Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion when reading a holy text compiled by Doctor and at other times as well: I was preparing a discourse with points 1 to 4 from the book ‘The Disciple’. I read the sections a second time. As I read the sentence, ‘However, since the Guru imparts knowledge of the soul principle (atmadnyan) no matter how much one does for Him, it is still far too little’ I was full of gratitude for the Guru and felt like weeping without any inhibition. [My basic personality being introverted I rarely remember having cried but ever since I began repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name, I have cried on several occasions. Most of the times these were tears of Bliss (Anand).] This incident was followed by expansive love for others, especially for God (and the Guru). – One seeker 

4.8 By repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name

State of spiritual emotion when repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name, looking at Doctor’s photograph and when thinking of Him: On 14th March 1998, in the morning when bathing, my eyes swelled with tears. It would happen to a greater extent when repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name. Even merely remembering H.H. Doctor, thinking about Him or seeing His photograph would make my eyes swell with tears which would increase in intensity. I experienced a lot of Bliss at that time. Tears flowed uncontrollably. This continued for about 20 to 25 minutes. – Sadhak

4.9 Through remembrance

A. Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion and experiencing a state of thoughtlessness on remembering Doctor: After Gurupaurnima, I no longer experienced the Bliss that I felt for several days. I now felt very serene. My eyes would swell with tears after remembering H.H. Doctor. Throughout the celebrations and for 2 to 3 days thereafter I remained in this state and in between also experienced thoughtlessness. Often I would be totally unaware of what was going on around me. – Sadhika

B. Awakening of spiritual emotion after becoming aware that Doctor Himself was serving seekers through me: Once as I stood with a plate of food in front of a seeker in whom a distressing energy had manifested the thought that crossed my mind was, ‘See how much H.H. Doctor loves this seeker. He is standing in front of her with a plate of food.’ It was as if instead of me, H.H. Doctor Himself was doing the task and tears swelled in my eyes. – Sadhika

C. Spiritual experience of Doctor coming for lunch when one harbours such a spiritual emotion and Doctor speaking to me: On 15th October 2002, the day of Dasra, I offered food unto God. At that time, I perceived that H.H. Doctor was none other than God and that he would manifest simultaneously that day in four places, viz. the four ashrams (hermitages) of the Sanstha at Phonda, Devad, Thane and Sion. I know that my Guru eats lunch at about 12.30 p.m. If food is not served to Him on time then after lunch time elapses, He hardly eats. Keeping this in mind, I quickly cooked for Him from 12 noon to 12.30 p.m. and was totally engrossed in it. Then I served the holy sacrament (naivedya) in two plates for H.H. Doctor and H.H. Maharaj because the latter led the former to Absoluteness, who became my Guru. I then informed Mr. Dinesh Shinde about the food being ready. Mr. Shinde requested me to offer the food myself. The moment I stepped back into the kitchen, I became aware of the presence of H.H. Doctor seated in a chair to eat. ‘I’ stood next to Him to serve Him. About 15 seconds later, H.H. Doctor told me to go about my chores and that He would help Himself. It was only then that I realised that ‘I’ had been standing there to serve Him. – Sadhika

4.10 Spiritual experiences during meditation of seekers having spiritual emotion

A. Aura of flowers surrounding Doctor seen in meditation by a seeker, after a prayer unto Him: On 11th January 2003 during meditation, I perceived red and white flowers alternately sticking onto the body of H.H. Doctor. I prayed to the flowers not to trouble H.H. Doctor in this way. That very moment, an aura of the flowers formed around H.H. Doctor. – Sadhika

B. When praying to Doctor in meditation, seeing His feet and hibiscus flowers falling onto them and the seeker cutting their stalks to prevent them from hurting Doctor: On 12th October 2002, I was repeating (chanting) the Name of Lord Ganapati. All of a sudden, the thought whether my repetition (chanting) was reaching The Lord entered my mind. I recollected that on the previous day we had been told that if we offer the repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name unto the Guru then He delivers it to The Lord. So I prayed unto H.H. Doctor to deliver it unto Lord Ganapati. At that point, I saw the holy feet of H.H. Doctor and red hibiscus flowers falling onto them. These flowers had long stalks which would hurt H.H. Doctor’s feet. So I prayed that they first fall in my hands so that I could shorten the stalks and then offer them unto H.H. Doctor’s feet. As I offered one flower, the previous one would vanish from there. This continued for half an hour. During this period, tears continuously flowed from my eyes and my eyes felt cool and serene. – Sadhika

C. When a seeker doubted during meditation whether her heart was deserving of Doctor’s presence, her getting a vision of Maharaj and Doctor seated on a carpet of flowers therein: On 13th October 2002 during meditation, I felt that I should request H.H. Doctor to assume a seat in my heart despite a chair being reserved for H.H. Doctor in the meditation room. The next thought in my mind was, is my heart pure and clean enough for H.H. Doctor to assume a seat in it? That very moment I saw yellow and red flowers being spread in abundance all over my heart and H.H. Maharaj and H.H. Doctor sitting on them. – Sadhika

D. Awakening of spiritual emotion during meditation after a prayer for Doctor due to realisation that the Gurus in the hierarchy are keeping a watch over Him: On 18th October 2002, I was meditating at the Ratnagiri ashram (hermitage) at about 7.30 a.m. During meditation, I entered H.H. Doctor’s room and placed my head on His feet. The moment I did that I realised that He was not well. Usually after worshipping His feet by repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name, I would go to the Dhamse ashram to pay obeisance to the deities there but that day I just could not let go of H.H. Doctor’s feet though I was well aware that I could do nothing for Him. Then I fervently started praying unto H.H. Maharaj (the Guru of H.H. Doctor) and H.H. Saish (the Guru of H.H. Maharaj). After sometime, I was overwhelmed realising from within that They were all keeping a watch on Him. It also dawned upon me that other than acquiring His grace, there can be no other mission or objective in life. His grace bestows one with everything in the world. If one achieves everything in life but not the Guru’s grace then it is all in vain. Ever since, when repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name or meditating I cannot leave His feet and go elsewhere. Whenever I think of The Lord’s Name, I realise that I am at the feet of H.H. Doctor. – Sadhika

E. Awakening of spiritual emotion after realising that Doctor was teaching me during meditation: On 11th October 2002 at 10 p.m. during meditation, I realised that a combat with distressing energies was going on outside. I prayed once again so that I could meditate with concentration and also that my prayer should reach H.H. Doctor and that I should get a vision of His holy feet. Yet H.H. Doctor did not come. Then I prayed, ‘May things occur as Your wish.’ Thereafter I felt the presence of a tremendous benevolent energy. From within, it was suggested that I should repeat (chant) the Name of Lord Maruti. When I complied, Lord Maruti assumed my place. I could perceive His tremendous effulgence. I was not distinct from Him. But I wondered why H.H. Doctor had done this and what He wished to teach through this. At that moment, I thought about Kolhapur and H.H. Doctor uttered ‘Dr. Surendra’ (the Sanstha’s in-charge of propagating Spirituality in Kolhapur). Then all of a sudden during meditation I began to cry. When I prayed unto Lord Maruti, He took me to Kolhapur and in the meditative state itself, spiritual emotion was awakened within me. – Sadhak

F. Doctor telling me during meditation that He would speak to me when I begin repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name with spiritual emotion: On 17th October 2002 during meditation, H.H. Doctor said, ‘If you wish to converse with Me then repeat (chant) the Name of Lord Ganesh with spiritual emotion.’ After doing so, a red light from my head advanced towards the picture of H.H. Maharaj and then H.H. Doctor began to converse with me. I realised that H.H. Doctor was experiencing distress. Later I learnt that that day at the Phonda ashram (hermitage) in Goa where H.H. Doctor resides, the attack by distressing energies had grown. – Sadhak

G. Due to spiritual emotion, Doctor proving to a seeker during meditation that her repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name was being delivered unto Lord Shiva by causing her subtle body to travel: On 11th October 2002, when in the Dhamse ashram, I was told to repeat (chant) ‘Om namaha Shivaya’. When repeating (chanting) it during the meditation hour in the afternoon, I saw myself entering H.H. Doctor’s room as usual and offering obeisance unto His holy feet before I began repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name. The thought that crossed by mind then was, ‘How can I offer red flowers and tulsi leaves unto Lord Shiva?’ Then I noticed that my worship platter had large white lotuses in it ! With repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name each time, I would offer one flower unto H.H. Doctor’s holy feet. The next thought in my mind was, ‘Is it appropriate to offer these flowers which grow in the muck to H.H. Doctor?’ From within, the answer that I received was, ‘Offer the lotus of Your heart’ and lo and behold, there was a beautiful lotus in place of my heart. I offered it at H.H. Doctor’s feet with intense spiritual emotion. Just then I wondered whether the repetition (chanting) I was doing was reaching Lord Shiva and looked upto H.H. Doctor. Though I did not speak a word, He smiled sweetly and pointing upwards said, ‘See for yourself’. When I did so, just as a rocket leaves the ground at high speed I began to rise. Despite travelling at such a high speed, there were no bodily movements. I cannot tell exactly where I reached but there from above there was a continuous flow of serene yellow light descending. I bathed in it and then automatically felt assured that my repetition (chanting) was being delivered to Lord Shiva. (I wonder how I was convinced of this when normally I analyse everything with my intellect.) – Sadhika

5. Awakening of spiritual emotion (bhav) due to deities

A. Awakening of sattvik (sattva predominant) spiritual emotion through prayer: I prayed to The Lord to manifest Himself and instantaneously experienced an internal upsurge of devotion and love. – One Seeker

B. Losing awareness of the body before offering obeisance to the family deity, awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion while offering obeisance and repetition (chanting) of Her Name occurring instead of hymns (arti): It was our first visit to the temple of the family deity at Tuljapur after coming to know that She was our family deity. As I stood in a queue waiting to pay obeisance to Her my repetition (chanting) of Her Name was going on. Gradually as the queue moved ahead we approached the entrance. At that time my repetition (chanting) of Her Name began to occur rapidly. I was not aware of when the people ahead of me in the queue moved 5 feet ahead. It was only when the other devotees behind called out to me that I came to my senses. I entered the temple and consecrated Her idol by sprinkling water (abhishek). I then came out and thinking of H.H. Doctor, offered obeisance to the deity. The Bliss that I experienced when I saw Her idol is indescribable. My eyes swelled with tears. After the ritualistic worship (puja) the priest asked us to sing a hymn (arti) in praise of the deity which I began as I knew it by rote. I somehow managed to sing the first two lines but thereafter instead of the hymn I began rapidly repeating (chanting) the Name of the deity. – Sadhak

C. Subtle fragrance emanating from the picture of Lord Datta, awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion by repeating (chanting) His Name and seeing the deities Brahma, Shrivishnu and Mahesh conversing in the picture of Lord Datta: Once I perceived fragrance emanating from the picture of Lord Datta. As I repeated (chanted) ‘Shri Gurudev Datta’ seated in front of the picture, no sooner had I finished half of the first turn of the mala (Hindu rosary) than all of a sudden I began to sob. The tears that fell on my left hand were cold. As I reached the eight and ninth turn of the mala, the idol of Lord Datta in the picture appeared to smile at me. I too smiled. Thereafter Brahma, Shrivishnu and Mahesh separated from the idol and began to discuss something loudly and pointing towards me, laughed aloud. The Bliss (Anand) which I experienced after repeating (chanting) the ninth turn of the mala is beyond verbal description. – Sadhika   (Sattvik tears are cold and while tears of grief are warm. – Compilers)

6. Awakening of spiritual emotion due to Sanstha

6.1 Sanstha Prabhat

Awakening of sattvik (sattva predominant) spiritual emotion by the Sanstha Prabhat: As usual, on waking up in the morning, I opened the door to see if the ‘Daily Sanstha Prabhat’ had been delivered. Just then I saw a seeker of the Sanstha coming to deliver it. When I held the Gurupaurnima special issue in my hand, I experienced something quite unusual. As I browsed through its four pages, I experienced a different kind of Bliss and felt pleasant. As I kept it on the table, unknowingly I folded my hands in obeisance. Perception of the divine consciousness (chaitanya) in it brought tears to my eyes. The same spiritual emotion which was awakened within me when I offered the ritual of waving lit lamps (arti) unto H.H. Anand Maharaj last month, was aroused once again. – Sadhak

6.2 Demonstration of the spiritual practice of protecting seekers and destroying evildoers (kshatradharma)

Awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion during a rally demonstrating the spiritual practice of protecting seekers and destroying evildoers and feeling assured about the destruction of evildoers: The display of karate and stick (lathi) fighting was held at the December 1999 rally for the first time. After seeing the rally, I just could not control my sobs. My eyes swelled with tears again and again. My ears became hot and there was goose-flesh all over my body. This is the first instance in my life when I have been aroused by patriotism. I could perceive a great deal of divine consciousness in the atmosphere. The faith that evildoers would be certainly destroyed was strengthened further. – Sadhika

6.3 Ashram (hermitage)

A. Developing goose-flesh and hearing war songs (kshatragit) when viewing a photograph of the model of the Sanstha ashram: When I saw a photograph of the model of the Sanstha ashram made by Mr. Patil, a seeker of the Sanstha, in the daily Sanstha Prabhat, I developed goose-flesh and heard the lines ‘there is no injustice or corruption here’ and ‘all are one here; none is great or small’ from the war song ‘Hail Sanstha, Hail Sanstha’, ring in my ears (as if an audio cassette were being played in the ashram) and my eyes swelled with tears. Though I had developed goose-flesh and experienced divine consciousness (chaitanya) when I had looked at the photograph of the model of the ashram (hermitage) in the souvenir, seeing the picture of the model in the daily induced more goose-flesh in me. – Sadhak

B. Overcoming exhaustion after arrival at the office of the Sanstha Prabhat and perceiving the ambience there to be akin to that in a temple: We reached the office of the Sanstha Prabhat after travelling by bus continuously, without any sleep for two days. We were exhausted as we had been sleepless. The moment we stepped into the office we felt as if we had entered a temple. There was a lot of purity and sattvikta (sattva predominant atmosphere) there. This pleasantness got rid of our exhaustion instantaneously and we began to feel fresh once again. – Prof. Shrikant Bhat, Akola

7. Awakening of spiritual emotion at a saint’s tomb / temple

A. Seeker being able to see the state of spiritual emotion in another seeker at a saint’s tomb (samadhi) despite his eyes being closed: I was travelling to Sangli along with my wife and mother-in-law. On the way we halted at the tomb (samadhi) of the Saint to pay obeisance. When we reached there it was time for performing the ritual of waving lit lamps (arti) and singing hymns. Unexpectedly I was endowed with the opportunity of performing it by the priest. As I performed the ritual with my eyes shut, I could clearly see  mother-in-laws serene face. When I opened my eyes in amazement, I saw tears rolling down her cheeks due to awakening of spiritual emotion (bhav). – One seeker

B. Perceiving that a seeker is accompanying me at the Ramnathi temple in Goa, so also while travelling and awakening of sattvik (sattva predominant) spiritual emotion: When I went to the Ramnathi temple, I felt a surge of spiritual emotion and tears started flowing from my eyes. At that time I sensed the presence of one seeker with me and realised what they must have experienced at the Gurupaurnima of 1993. – One seeker

8. Awakening of spiritual emotion during Gurupaurnima

A. A vision of H.H. Maharaj, awakening of sattvik spiritual emotion and the holy water tasting like the water from the ritualistic worship of the holy feet of H.H. Maharaj: We were allotted the service of performing ritualistic worship of the Guru at the Gurupaurnima of 2000 A.D. As the worship began, I alternately saw holy visions of H.H. Maharaj and H.H. Dr. along with their holy feet. This induced goose-flesh all over my body and my eyes swelled with tears. After completion of all rituals, we began singing hymns amidst waving of lit lamps (arti). My husband was waving a lamp lit with five wicks in front of the top of the temple rather than the photograph of Baba. When I whispered to Him and asked about it, he said he could see Baba. After completion of the concluding ritual in the ritualistic worship (uttar puja), I offered my husband the holy water from the metal pot (kalash). After partaking of it he said, “At the Dhule Gurupaurnima, I had partaken of the holy water from the feet of H.H. Maharaj and that tasted exactly like this.” – Sadhika

B. Seeing Doctor actually sitting in front of me and performing the ritualistic worship of His holy feet (padyapuja) with spiritual emotion as the audio cassette of ritualistic worship was being played at the Gurupaurnima celebrations: As I heard the audio cassette of the ritualistic worship of the Guru, spontaneously my hands got folded in obeisance and my eyes closed. Thereafter I did not perceive anyone’s presence around me. I felt that Doctor was seated in a chair clothed in a white kurta and that I was performing ritualistic worship as per instructions given in the cassette. – Sadhika

9. Awakening of spiritual emotion due to trees, flowers, etc.

Seeker experiencing that even plants and flowers were experiencing Bliss (Anand) from sattvikta (sattva predominant nature): On 13th April 2003, Dr. (Mrs.) Nanda Sawant had delivered a discourse at the Shrirang centre. After it concluded, as she was waiting to leave for the Thane centre of the Sanstha, I perceived that the flower buds behind her were bending forwards to touch her. After the buds touched her, the twig containing the buds appeared very Blissful. My eyes swelled with tears. This incident taught me for the first time that even flowers and plants too acquire Bliss and divine consciousness from sattvikta. – Sadhika

 

Why do distressing energies trouble seekers undertaking samashti sadhana?

Contents


1. Examples to indicate seeker’s sojourn towards God realisation

Special features of Sanstha’s ‘Subtle section’: Sanstha undertakes a social mission, that is of propagating Righteousness (Dharma) in society. As a majority of seekers of Sanstha strive for the sake of society (samashti), presently many of them are tormented by distressing energies. The reason for this is as follows. Distressing energies generally do not trouble those undertaking individual spiritual practice because those energies are not bothered if a few individuals undertake spiritual practice and attain the Final Liberation (Moksha). However spiritual practice done for the sake of society inspires many people in society to undertake spiritual practice. When this happens, the sattva component in the atmosphere starts increasing and the tama predominant distressing energies are consequently troubled by it. It is therefore that they start harrassing seekers and pose obstacles in their spiritual practice for the sake of society. For protection from distressing energies, it is absolutely essential for seekers to repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name continuously along with spiritual emotion. It is also imperative that the seeker should have a lot of spiritual emotion towards The Lord. However, an average seeker does not have that much spiritual emotion for God and so his repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name too does not occur along with spiritual emotion. Such seekers are easily troubled by distressing energies. Sanstha has set up a ‘Subtle section’ with seekers having a greater potential to perceive from the subtle dimension and to combat distressing energies so as to protect other seekers from distressing energies and to eliminate spiritual obstacles in the path of propagation of Righteousness (Dharma). Seekers in this section, pray unto The Lord with spiritual emotion and repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name with intense spiritual emotion and yearning. They ask The Lord questions during meditation and repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name as advised by The Lord. When they repeat (chant) His Name, The Lord assumes forms of various deities according to the requirement to destroy the distressing energy and does so.

Every seeker will certainly be curious to know how seekers from the subtle section have developed such intense spiritual emotion for The Lord. That is precisely why the biographies of some seekers from the subtle section with regard to their spiritual emotion for God have been described in brief below. This will teach us the indepth subtle introspection of every event in life carried out by them so as to develop spiritual emotion for The Lord.

2. Mrs. Jaya Shrivastava, Subtle section

A. Even as a child, I always wondered whether the obeisance I offered unto God actually reached Him: In childhood I loved to read stories about deities. At times I attended kirtans (spiritual discourses along with hymns in praise of The Lord) with my grandmother. Whenever I offered obeisance unto God I would wonder whether it actually reached Him.

B. During telephonic conversations, my mother-in-law constantly kept me informed about the Sanstha and advised me to repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name: Within a few years of my marriage, that is since July 2000 my in-laws commenced spiritual practice. At that time they lived in Mumbai and I at Boisar in Thane district. Despite my mother-in-law repeatedly telling me over the telephone about Sanstha and advising me to repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name, I was unable to do it.

C. Elimination of all doubts about Sanstha after seeing a subtle vision of Doctor’s smiling face despite repeatedly calling Him a ‘fake saint’ and the vision disappearing once I accepted His true form: In August 2001, when I was visiting my-in-laws in Mumbai, a bhandara (festival of distributing food for a spiritual purpose) had been organised at their place. When I looked at a photograph of H.H. Doctor kept there, I thought that like several other holy men He too must be a fake. That night when I slept with my daughter in that room, I had a vision of H.H. Doctor’s face. He was smiling at me. Though I kept telling Him that He was a fake and did not even offer Him obeisance, He continued smiling at me. Finally I surrendered unto Him and accepted that He was genuine. It is only then that the vision of His face disappeared. Even since I have never had any doubt about the Sanstha.

D. A discourse delivered by Mr. Aakash Joshi, a chief seeker of Sanstha undertaking the spread of Spirituality creating a good impact on my mind: It is the discourse delivered by Mr. Prakash Joshi that impressed the concept of Spirituality onto my mind and that of my husband. It inspired us greatly to undertake spiritual practice.

E. The first holy vision (darshan) of Doctor generating spiritual emotion within me: When we visited the Sansthaashram (hermitage) in Goa in September 2001, we saw H.H. Doctor for the first time. I was overwhelmed with His first holy vision. It seemed as if I had found something which I had lost.

F. The Lord teaching me to do every task as spiritual practice after praying unto Him to teach me to do it: Since September 2001, I undertook full time spiritual practice at the Sanstha ashram in Goa. I began to pray to The Lord ‘Teach me to undertake every task as spiritual practice.’ Gradually The Lord started teaching me everything and then I started becoming aware that doing any task to perfection is itself true spiritual practice.

G. Prayer occurring unto The Lord to bestow me with spiritual knowledge and blend me with His Name and to always keep me at His holy feet: In December 2001, gradually I began to perceive everything in the ashram as mine. Once H.H. Doctor told me, “Music itself is your spiritual practice.” So, thereafter I would ask H.H. Doctor queries about music everyday. When He would reply to my queries, I would feel grateful towards Him and feel overwhelmed. The prayer that I would constantly recite from within would be, ‘Lord, make me merge into Your Name by bestowing me with spiritual knowledge and always keep me at Your holy feet’

H. The Lord teaching me to render service with spiritual emotion (bhav), through the medium of other seekers: Since August 2002, I have been making gradual attempts to inculcate the virtues of other seekers in the ashram within me. This constantly kept me Blissful. One day I asked God, ‘Lord from whom should I imbibe the quality of spiritual emotion? In response The Lord asked me to learn it from Miss Sushma , Miss Aparna and Miss Prachi. I began to study their facial expressions. As The Lord unravelled the secret of rendering service with spiritual emotion to me, I kept learning. Gradually my repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name increased. When repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name, I would see blue and yellow light before me.

I. The Lord granting me the opportunity to serve in the ‘Subtle section’ and my being able to perceive God in every seeker: By the grace of The Lord, in September 2002, I had the opportunity to render service in the subtle section. I was able to surrender every act unto God. Conversation with Him began to take place from within. I also started perceiving the presence of God in every seeker while talking to them. In fact, my prayer to The Lord became more often than my repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name. I learnt several things from H.H. Doctor. The desire for God realisation also grew. Whenever I shut my eyes during prayer or otherwise, I would see a blue and white circle. At times, I would see these circles even when the eyes were open. Slowly, God began to teach me how to ask questions and seek answers from Him.

J. The Lord endowing me with an opportunity to serve in the ‘Ego assuaging section’: In November 2002, while stressing on the need for seekers to lower their ego as soon as possible, H.H. Doctor said, “We are going to publish a booklet on ego. So, make some compilation on it on the computer.” When I sat down to compile them on the computer after praying to God, several concepts spontaneously emerged in my mind and I typed them. A discourse was compiled on this too. On several occasions, I have experienced that a mere resolve of The Lord is sufficient to accomplish a task.

K. Being able to draw pictures of ghosts after a prayer: In April 2003, despite not knowing how to draw, when I prayed I was able to draw sketches of ghosts spontaneously.

L. Getting the greatest spiritual experience of that of The Lord teaching me quickly to do everything: As I performed any task as soon as I was told by H.H. Doctor, The Lord began to teach me things instantly. This is my greatest spiritual experience. I pray unto The Lord to grant me the opportunity to learn something new continuously and to teach other seekers to undertake holistic spiritual practice.

3. Miss Aparna Barne, Subtle section

A. Curiosity about deities and saints and repetition (chanting) of the Name of Lord Shiva since childhood: My father always told me stories about deities. I liked reading holy verses (pothi) as well. Since twelve years of age, I would contemplate on where God was, what He looked like, what I had to do to merge with Him, etc. Using my intellect, with the intention of realising God, I began to repeat (chant) the Name of my favourite deity, i.e. Lord Shiva since childhood. I was curious about how people attained sainthood, Their mission in life, whether I would be able to achieve sainthood, etc.

B. Feeling that ‘H.H. Doctor is The Lord that I was thinking about for so long’ after seeing Him for the first time at a public discourse: We were financially not well-off. Since childhood I would narrate everything to The Lord. My brother attended satsangs (spiritual meetings) organised by the Sanstha. He would advise me to repeat (chant) the Name of our family deity. However since Lord Shiva was my favourite, I did not follow his counsel. When my father expired, for eight days and nights I repeated (chanted) the Name of our family deity. After a fortnight, I attended the public discourse delivered by H.H. Doctor at Bicholim, Goa. The moment I saw Him, I knew He was The Lord I was thinking about. I was sure I would find everything at His feet. Prior to this, I had neither seen a picture of H.H. Doctor nor heard of His Name.

C. My repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name occurring smoothly after this vision of Doctor and development of an attitude of learning from other seekers after beginning to stay in the ashram (hermitage): Ever since I saw H.H. Doctor, my repetition (chanting) of my family deity’s Name occurred smoothly. Within a month, the Sanstha started satsangs in our village. I felt as if The Lord had begun them for my sake. I received further spiritual guidance from Mr. Suraj Joshi. In the beginning I got opportunities to deliver the ‘Prabhat’ to subscribers, to set up bookstalls of the Sanstha and to propagate Spirituality along with other seekers in order to conduct any programme organised by the Sanstha. Since I would be away from home to render service, my family began to oppose these activities of mine. Thereafter I was endowed with the opportunity of serving in the ashram at Goa for eight hours everyday. Although I did not know anything about the service there, I always harboured the attitude of learning from the other seekers in the ashram.

D. Family opposition to my spiritual practice and my prayer to The Lord being answered in the form of receiving permission from my mother to serve The Lord: As I would remain outside home while rendering service most of the time, my family began to oppose this. They had a meeting and decided to stop me from all such activity. However when I prayed unto The Lord, my mother gave me permission to render service.

E. Feeling the presence of divine qualities in every seeker and realising that The Lord is teaching me something through the medium of that seeker: When rendering service in the ashram, I would perceive the qualities of The Lord in every seeker and would become aware that He is teaching me something through the medium of that seeker. Dr. Sawant gave me further guidance in spiritual practice. In the ashram, I was allotted the task of looking after the reception counter. When doing this task if someone lost his temper with me, I would converse with H.H. Maharaj whose photograph was in the room. At that time, I would feel as if I were narrating everything to none other than H.H. Doctor.

F. Intense faith in God that He will ferry me across through service alone and also sensing that this ashram is akin to that of ancient sages: Through little incidents H.H. Doctor taught me how to undertake spiritual practice. I would constantly remain aware that this is a divine mission and that H.H. Doctor was getting this task done from me. That is why no matter what the nature of the service was, I was always in Bliss (Anand) when doing it. I firmly believed that it is through this service itself that God would make me progress on the spiritual path. My spiritual emotion towards all the seekers was the same as it was for H.H. Doctor. I would feel that we seekers in the ashram (hermitage) were indulging in spiritual practice in a group just as the ancient sages did in their times.

G. Doctor advising me that my motivation to realise God should increase and my harbouring the spiritual emotion (bhav) that God is teaching through every incident: Once H.H. Doctor told me that my motivation to realise God should increase. This taught me how I needed to develop the attitude of learning. It is The Lord Himself who provides guidance and gets a task performed from oneself. God only expects one to make efforts. That is why I harboured the spiritual emotion that The Lord Himself teaches me through every incident.

H. Divine consciousness (chaitanya) from The Lord entering through the Sahasrar chakra of the kundalini (spiritual energy) and Doctor telling me that my human life has been fulfilled by joining Sanstha: As I was able to render service amidst repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name, I experienced Bliss continuously. Once during meditation, I experienced that my Sahasrar chakra in the head opened and divine consciousness began to enter through it. When I narrated this to H.H. Doctor He said, “Your life has been fulfilled by joining Sanstha.” At that time, I prayed to The Lord to perpetually keep me at His holy feet.

I. Opportunity to serve in the ‘Subtle section’ of the Sanstha and my prayer unto The Lord to grant every seeker, the opportunity to learn so as to evolve spiritually: By the grace of The Lord, I got an opportunity to serve in the ‘Subtle section’. My prayer unto the Guru would occur spontaneously as per the need of the seeker. H.H. Doctor sent me to the in-charge of the ‘Subtle section’ in Sangli, Dr.(Sadhika) to learn. There I learnt how spiritual practice for the sake of the society (samashti) should be done, how to speak and behave with distressing energies, the nature of the saviour and destroyer forms of The Lord, etc. My earnest prayer unto The Lord is to teach me something new through every incident and to grant every seeker similar opportunities so as to make spiritual progress.

4. Miss Prachi Rathi, Subtle section, Goa

A. Liking for deities since childhood: I liked deities a lot specially Lord Ganapati and Lord Shrikrushna since childhood. [All seekers of the Sanstha repeat (chant) the Names of these two deities to nullify the black magic done on the Sanstha.] I loved to hear and read stories about deities and developed an intense desire to see God. After reading stories about saints, I would wonder whether I too would be able to have such intense devotion for The Lord.

B. Habit of praying since childhood: I used to pray since childhood. In the beginning, I would pray for myself, then my family and later on after I began spiritual practice I began to pray for other seekers too.

C. Habit of behaving as per other’s wishes: From the very beginning, I was habituated to doing things as others wished and not as per my own wishes.

D. Feeling that God is doing everything for my sake when satsangs (spiritual meetings) were commenced near my residence: Though I had faith in God, I did not like to attend satsangs. Once when visiting my relatives, they coaxed me to attend a satsang which was being held in a temple quite far away from their residence but I refused flatly. However for some reason, the venue was changed suddenly to a Ganapati temple just two minutes away from their residence. Once again they asked me to attend the satsang. Then I thought, ‘God has shifted the venue of the satsang nearby only for my sake. God is doing so much for me but I am not even looking at Him!’ Ever since, I started attending satsangs regularly. After attending satsangs once or twice, I developed a liking for them.

E. An opportunity to serve Doctor in the Goa ashram and His guiding my spiritual practice appropriately: After attending a few satsangs, I received further guidance in spiritual practice from Mr. Prakash. At first, I got a chance to serve at the bookstalls of the Sanstha and to propagate Spirituality along with other seekers to organise any programme of the Sanstha. Thereafter, I got an opportunity to serve in the ashram at Goa full time. I harboured the attitude of learning from other seekers, since I did not know anything about that form of service. When H.H. Doctor started living in the ashram, I got an opportunity to serve Him. It is at this point that true spiritual emotion was generated within me. H.H. Doctor Himself guided me further in spiritual practice appropriately. He taught me how to learn through minor incidents.

F. Prayer unto Doctor to perpetually keep me at His holy feet and to enhance my attitude to learn: If someone shouted at me when rendering service, I would feel hurt and weep. I would however narrate all this to H.H. Doctor in my mind and ask Him for strength to endure the grief. I would also pray to Him to always keep me at His holy feet and to make me develop the attitude of learning new things.

G. Spiritual emotion for H.H. Doctor: Sometimes I would sit all by myself and recollect H.H. Doctor’s conversations and behaviour. I would think about a funny incident through which He tried to teach me something and smile to myself. When talking about Him I would get overwhelmed. I could never find enough words to narrate to others what I wanted to say about H.H. Doctor.

H. Not feeling inferior while performing any kind of service: I never felt inferior when rendering service of any kind. On the contrary, I would be aware that I would make spiritual progress only through the service allotted to me according to God’s wish.

I. Feeling unhappy that I had troubled The Lord Himself if other seekers were disturbed by my behaviour: If other seekers were adversely affected because of any of my mistakes, I would feel unhappy as if I had troubled The Lord Himself.

J. Feeling Doctor’s tender touch on my head when rendering service and my eyes swelling with tears on remembering Him: When serving H.H. Doctor, unless I did a task to perfection, I would feel dissatisfied. My mind constantly became aware of what I had to do to win the grace of H.H. Doctor and to progress spiritually. No matter how hard I worked all day through, I would be enthusiastic about still rendering more service. When doing so, H.H. Doctor’s affectionate hand would fondle my head (subtly) and thinking about Him would make me cry.

K. Perceiving every seeker as a miniature form of The Lord and Sanstha to be one big family: I had the same spiritual emotion for other seekers as I had for H.H. Doctor. I always felt that ‘Every seeker is a miniature form of The Lord and Sanstha is one big family. All the seekers in that family are my siblings. I am a part of that family and The Lord has drawn me into it.’

L. God endowing me with further knowledge due to constant prayer to The Lord: I always perceived myself as a medium when performing any task and The Lord Himself as the doer of everything. We are mere puppets in His hands and our movements are manipulated by Him. Whenever I began a task, I would pray unto The Lord to get it done as per His expectations. With time, The Lord would suggest how to pray unto the Guru, how my service would be effective, how to establish a rapport with seekers, etc. As I kept praying unto The Lord constantly, He went on imparting me with further knowledge.

5. Miss Sushma Mane, Subtle section, Goa

5.1 Love and faith for God since childhood

A. Contemplation and worship of God since childhood: Since childhood, I loved listening to stories about deities. I would get so absorbed in them that I would literally forget myself at that time. I loved God very much. I often wondered what He looked like. I would fight and talk to Him because of our poverty. It is since childhood that I have been worshipping God.

B. Even as a child, feeling that I have no one other than God and that He alone can do everything: I believe that I have no one other than God. Only He can do everything for me and that I should do exactly as He desires. If I were rude to someone, I felt it would hurt The Lord. If family members fought, then God Himself would punish them is what I always felt in childhood.

5.2 Motivation to undertake spiritual practice

A. Intense motivation to undertake spiritual practice after reading the holy text ‘The Disciple’ published by Sanstha: When studying in class XII, I commenced attending satsangs (spiritual meetings) conducted by Sanstha. Then, I was not very convinced about the importance of spiritual practice. I was only aware about repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name. Since I loved studying, I read the holy text ‘The Disciple’ published by the Sanstha. When I read about how a disciple should behave, what qualities he should inculcate in himself, how the Guru assists him in life, etc. my spiritual emotion of gratitude for the Guru increased and I cried. This was followed by augmentation in my motivation to undertake spiritual practice. I made a firm resolve to make great efforts so as to become a good disciple. It is at this juncture that my spiritual practice began in the true sense.

B. Having the singular objective of spiritual practice just as Arjun saw only one eye of the bird which was his target: When I tried to devote all my time to spiritual practice, my mother opposed me a lot. She began to make me aware of my duties. But I yearned to do spiritual practice. My state was akin to Arjun seeing only one eye of the bird, his target.

5.3 Spiritual emotion for God

A. Feeling affectionate towards my mother despite her beating me for returning home late at night and harbouring the spiritual emotion (bhav) that God Himself was giving me the strength to endure all this: My mother was opposed to my spiritual practice. Once I attended the discourse delivered by Mr. Prakash Joshi (a chief seeker of the Sanstha propagating Spirituality). Since I came home late, my mother beat me up. Yet I did not feel anything about it and felt that it was God who was giving me the strength to endure all this.

B. Surrendering my worldly duties which my mother was making me aware of, unto God: When I tried to devote all my time to spiritual practice, I had to face stiff opposition from my mother. She began to make me aware of my duties. So I prayed unto God, ‘I wish to do only spiritual practice. I do not want anything else in life. Since You are the doer and caretaker of everything in the universe, I surrender all my duties unto Your holy feet.’

C. Harbouring the spiritual emotion that everything will be well by the grace of The Lord despite severe opposition from my mother towards my practising Spirituality: Since I rendered service unto the Absolute Truth (satseva) every evening after work, I would reach home only by 9.30 p.m. When I returned home, my mother would reprimand me saying, “You neither work nor render service towards God. Stay at home alone.” My mother’s resistance towards my spiritual practice was growing. On the other hand, my resolve to devote all my time to Spirituality was becoming stronger. I would narrate every encounter of mine with my mother to The Lord and weep at His feet. At the same time, every moment I harboured the spiritual emotion that God was testing me and He alone would do everything.

D. Strengthening of the spiritual emotion that ‘other than God, no one will help me’ to become a full time seeker because of lack of help from others: After a few days I was removed from my job. Even at that time I would pray, ‘I do not desire any worldly pleasures. If only I get a chance to render service unto the Absolute Truth then it will be equivalent to all the worldly pleasures in the world.’ Time and again, I told all the seekers from Bicholim that I wished to become a full time seeker. However the seeker in-charge there did not pay any heed to my requests due to my mother’s opposition. This augmented my spiritual emotion that none other than The Lord Himself would help me.

E. Feeling that The Lord is testing me when rebuked by another seeker: Once, despite a seeker reprimanding me, I did not feel upset. On the contrary, I felt that it was God Himself who was scolding me and testing whether I could continue spiritual practice in these circumstances as well. I would tell The Lord, ‘I am Your servant. Anyone who tries to boss over me is my master.’

F. Feeling that even for development of the awareness that God is getting everything done from oneself, one needs to be that much devoted unto Him: The only place where one can seek shelter is the holy feet of The Lord. To realise that actually God is the doer, that He is getting everything done from oneself, one needs to harbour that much devotion unto Him.

5.4 Seeing God in others

A. Feeling love for my mother as a form of The Lord, despite her rebuking and beating me because I went to render service unto God: Though I had intense yearning to become a full time seeker from within, my mother wanted me to take up a job. I would undertake the task of searching for a job, as service unto the Guru. In fact, I would pray to God for a job in Bicholim (the seeker resides at Bicholim). The motive behind that prayer was to get free time after my job so that I could undertake the task of propagating Spirituality. Though outwardly I was searching for a job, inwardly I knew all along that I wanted to only undertake spiritual practice. People who had started searching for jobs later than me would find them but I remained without one. When I would return home jobless, my mother would rebuke me severely saying, “Your destiny itself is bad.” Since I harboured the spiritual emotion (bhav) that my mother was also a form of The Lord, no matter how much she reprimanded me I always felt affection for her.

B. Harbouring the spiritual emotion that The Lord Himself was allotting me various tasks in the form of different seekers: When any seeker allotted me a task, I would feel that The Lord Himself was asking me to do it. I would also feel that The Lord was allotting it to me knowing that I would certainly do it.

C. Feeling bad and crying that I had insulted The Lord when I was rude to someone: If occasionally I happened to speak harshly to a seeker, I would feel deeply hurt and cry from within thinking that I had insulted The Lord Himself.

5.5 Spiritual emotion towards the Guru

A. Constantly praying unto The Lord to make me sing the glory of my Guru all the time: I constantly pray, ‘O Lord, please do not let me talk about my worldly happiness. May I only praise my Guru. May my eyes see only my Guru’s form.’

B. Avoiding talking to Doctor so as not to trouble Him despite knowing fully well that doing so would eliminate my distress as experienced earlier: On 6th May 2003, I attended the annual religious festival (jatra) of deity Lairai at Asnoda in Goa. From the very next day, I developed physical distress. On many occasions before, merely speaking to H.H. Doctor had relieved me of such physical pain hence I secretly wished that He would phone so that I could speak to Him. Finally I did telephone Him but did not get the connection. Then from within, The Lord spoke thus, ‘I endow you with energy through My subtle form and take care of you through My gross form in the form of seekers. What else will you discuss with H.H. Doctor ? He is busy with His vast mission for the sake of society.’ Two days later H.H. Doctor telephoned Miss Prachi. At that time I felt, ‘I have a terrible cold. I can barely speak. Will not the Guru, my God be distressed by my speech ? Since He will not be able to comprehend what I speak, it is best not to unnecessarily waste His time.’

C. Harbouring the spiritual emotion that every moment belongs to the Guru and that I am able to live this moment only because of Him: There is only one thought in my mind, ‘Every moment belongs to my Guru. It is because of Him that I live hence I should utilise every moment constantly for His mission alone.’

5.6 Gratitude towards God and seekers

A. Feeling grateful to God for granting me the opportunity to serve Him: When rendering service unto the Absolute Truth (satseva), I would feel thankful for it as I was not assured of receiving a similar opportunity the following day. That is why when offered any service, I would grab the chance to do it. Each time out of gratitude to The Lord for giving me the opportunity to do service, I would cry.

B. I would tell The Lord that all my thoughts, knowledge and detachment (vairagya) were a result of His grace: Once when repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name, I felt, ‘Lord, You dwell in my conscience (antahkaran). You alone grant me worldly and spiritual experiences. All my thoughts, knowledge and detachment are because of Your grace. Please remind me to repeat (chant) Your Name all the time. May I perform every task according to Your will and Your command.’

C. Feeling grateful to The Lord for being able to serve seekers: I have offered everything unto the holy feet of my Guru. This loving countenance of The Lord makes me feel that I have found everything in the world. Every moment I pine for His love. Seekers are forms of The Lord and being able to serve them is my good fortune. Hence I constantly harbour a feeling of gratitude towards God and seekers.

5.7 Prayer

A. Praying that everything should occur as per The Lord’s wish even in childhood: When I was a student of class VIII, my younger sister fell down from the staircase. Everyone had given up hope of her survival. But I lit a lamp and prayed to The Lord, ‘May events occur as You wish. You are the bestower of life. We are mere puppets in Your hands who dance to Your tune. We will do as per Your bidding.’ By the grace of The Lord, my sister recovered from her illness.

B. Praying unto The Lord that may my mind pine for Him, just like a fish out of water: I prayed unto The Lord, ‘O Lord, I desire nothing in this world other than You. Being able to serve You is equivalent to all the happiness in the world. If You call me ‘Yours’, my life will be more than fulfilled. Just as a fish struggles out of water, may my mind yearn for You with Your remembrance. May it only get thoughts of spiritual practice. I offer all my worldly affairs and the rest of my life unto Your holy feet.’

C. Prayer unto The Lord to retain my spiritual emotion and devotion for Him even if He forgets me: The prayer that I unconsciously made unto The Lord was ‘O Lord, it does not matter if You forget me. I will not mind if You do not give me anything or always give me grief but please retain my spiritual emotion (bhav) and devotion for You.’

D. Constant prayer unto the holy feet of the Guru that He should get service done from me as per God’s expectations: All the time the subtle form of The Lord keeps vigil over me and does everything for me. It is only when tears would roll down my cheeks that I would realise the amount of spiritual emotion that I harboured for God in my mind (antahkaran). A continuous prayer which would occur unto the Guru’s holy feet would be ‘Please get service done from me as per God’s wish’ because eventually the Guru has to bear the brunt of all the careless mistakes we make.

E. When severely ill, a prayer unto The Lord to eliminate all the attachments and desires for my physical body: When I was severely ill, I was suffering a lot. Although I was quite motivated to render service from within, I could not do it. Then spontaneously a prayer unto the holy feet of The Lord began to occur, ‘O Lord, do not keep any attachment or desire for this physical body in me. May my death occur Blissfully while serving You.’

5.8 Blessings from a saint

A. Parulekar Maharaj’s telling me that Doctor Himself would do everything for me and that I would be able to realise God even while living in society: H.H. Parulekar Maharaj from Sindhudurg district told me, “H.H. Doctor Himself will do everything for you. He loves you as much as you love Him. He endures all your grief. You have a lot of knowledge. Later in life, you will receive knowledge from the God principle and utilise it for the sake of society. You will realise God even while living in society.”

5.9 Spiritual experiences

A. Not feeling distressed despite being tired when rendering service unto the Absolute Truth by harbouring the spiritual emotion that it is the Guru’s directive: Once I was very restless and tired and not in a mood to do any service. Sadhika told me that we had to prepare khir (a sweet delicacy prepared from milk). Though indisposed, perceiving it to be the directive of the Guru, I obeyed and did not experience any distress.

B. Events occurring as desired

  • Experiencing Bliss at the first meeting with Doctor and fulfillment of my desire to become a full time seeker: When harbouring the strong desire to become a full time seeker I happened to attend the thread ceremony of the son of Dr. Pandurang Marathe (one of the chief seekers of the Sanstha propagating Spirituality) where H.H. Doctor had come. The moment I saw Him, I felt very eager to offer obeisance to Him. Making a firm resolve, when I touched His feet in obeisance, I experienced immense Bliss. I was feeling like crying with the vision of the manifest form of God. H.H. Doctor asked me, ‘What do you do at home ?’ At that time, I wept and told Him, ‘I want to become a full time seeker but my mother does not allow me to render service’. It was at this juncture that He bestowed His grace upon me and I got the opportunity to render service at the Madgao centre of the Sanstha.
  • The Lord fulfilling my desire to live in the Guru’s home: When residing at Madgao, I used to attend satsangs (spiritual meetings) at the Phonda ashram (hermitage). Then, I used to think how fortunate the seekers working in the Phonda ashram were because they could learn directly from The Lord and could also get a holy vision (darshan) of Him everyday. Once I happened to go to the Phonda ashram to render service in preparation for the Panchamukhi Hanumatkavach sacrificial fire (yadnya) to be held there. I wished to spend the night in my Guru’s home there but due to lack of place, I was sent to another seeker’s house. I wept because this desire of mine was not fulfilled but then I realised that a seeker’s home was also my Guru’s. Because of my intense desire to live in the Guru’s home, very soon The Lord gave me the opportunity to render service in the Phonda ashram.

C. Events occurring according to the prayer

  • Realising the examination questions in advance due to a prayer unto The Lord: I used to study hard both in school and college but I could not remember it. I would tell God, ‘I am studying but You are the one who gets the answers written appropriately from me.’ I would realise the questions which would appear in the paper in advance and study accordingly.
  • Getting an opportunity to render service despite opposition from my mother, after praying to God: After my class XII examinations, my mother’s opposition to my spiritual practice grew. She refused to send me out to render service. Then I would pray to God. Then all of a sudden, she would change her mind and would allow me to go. After some time, she would oppose me once again.
  • The Lord helping me through the medium of seekers after praying

    1. The Lord applying holy ash (vibhuti) to my forehead through the medium of a seeker when I had a headache: Once when I had a terrible headache, I prayed unto The Lord. The Lord in the form of Miss Radhatai applied holy ash to my forehead and caressed my forehead. I was overwhelmed because the realisation that God in His subtle form takes care of even small details in our lives, dawned upon me.

    2. Feeling exhausted while rendering service alone and The Lord sending me another seeker for assistance: Once I was alone in the Madgao centre of the Sanstha to render service. There was no one for assistance. I thought to myself, ‘The Lord has given me this opportunity. Perhaps I would not get such an opportunity again.’ I prayed to God that though I wished to serve Him, it was beyond my physical capacity and asked for strength to render service. Just then The Lord, in the form of Sadhak reached there.

  • Being able to cook after a prayer: After I came to stay at the Madgao centre of the Sanstha, I was endowed with the task of helping Sadhika in the kitchen. In the beginning, I could not cook. However the prayer that The Lord Himself is teaching me and getting service done from me began occurring spontaneously and unknowingly I was able to render various kinds of service appropriately.
  • Prayer unto Doctor bringing absoluteness in my service: When I came to stay in the Phonda ashram, at first I got an opportunity to serve in the kitchen. This was the first time that I was serving in such a big centre. Initially, I was unsure if I would be able to do everything. Once looking at me H.H. Doctor said, “You will gradually learn everything” and I did. Within a fortnight, the responsibility of managing the entire kitchen came to me. Besides learning, this included teaching others. At that time, the prayer which I spontaneously recited unto H.H. Doctor was, ‘I am an ant, I am ignorant. You are the one who is actually doing everything. Please get this task done from me.’ I would soon get the spiritual experience that my prayer had reached H.H. Doctor because thereafter, I would be doing that task perfectly in a planned manner.
  • Becoming aware that repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name was occurring even in my sleep as per my prayer: I have a great motivation to serve The Lord and hence feel like doing so even at night. However, since other seekers are asleep, I too have to sleep. So I pray unto The Lord to get spiritual practice done from me during sleep too and I realise that my repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name is going on in sleep.

D. Premonition about father’s death: I would get a premonition about an impending illness or death in the village. When in class X, about five days before the death of my father, I knew that he would experience severe distress and die and this is exactly what happened.

E. Spiritual experience of the existence of God

  • Experiencing the existence of God and telling Him, ‘I am an orphan without You’: Once I realised that The Lord was lovingly stroking my head with His hands. He was taking away my tears and blessing me. So I said to Him, ‘O God, I am an orphan without You.’

F. Spiritual experiences during meditation

  • The Lord advising during meditation to sleep under Doctor’s bed when ill, receiving energy in the form of rays from Doctor and also seeing a vision during meditation that Doctor and deities are taking care of me during my illness: On the night of 9th May 2003, I had high fever. (H.H. Doctor was out of town since 26.4.2003.) When meditating, The Lord told me to sleep under H.H. Doctor’s bed. He said that would endow me with energy and would lower my temperature. I complied with these instructions. I perceived that at that time, H.H. Doctor was sleeping on the bed and transmitting energy to me in the form of rays. This was followed by a vision during meditation in which H.H. Doctor was putting me (in the form of a baby) to sleep in the form of my mother. He stroked by head affectionately. This was followed by assumption of my mother’s form by the seven deities. Every deity was eager to place me on Their laps and gave me medication. In fact, all of them earnestly took care of me.
  • Seeing two seekers along with me as babies and Lord Maruti combating distressing energies holding these babies against His abdomen, during meditation: On 6th May 2003, I along with Miss Prachi and Miss Aparna from the ‘Subtle section’ were immensely troubled by distressing energies. During meditation, I saw a vision in which all three of us were babies crying for energy, just as babies do with their mother. Lord Maruti had drawn all three of us onto His abdomen and was combating the distressing energies.

G. Perceiving Doctor’s bed to be His physical body and feeling the Blissful frequencies emanating from different objects in His room: On 26th April 2003, H.H. Doctor was out of town I was sitting in His room with my head resting on His bed. At that time, I perceived the bed as the physical body of H.H. Doctor. I felt as if the bed were my mother and I were a child on her lap. I perceived H.H. Doctor caressing my head gently like my mother. The other inanimate objects in His room seemed to express the Bliss (Anand) that they experienced when rendering service and are narrating about their service unto H.H. Doctor.

H. Spiritual experiences suggestive of spiritual progress

  • Spiritual experiences of the existence of God from time to time due to the spiritual emotion (bhav) that I am doing everything for God alone and feeling certain that I would progress spiritually: Due to the spiritual emotion that I am doing everything in life for God alone, I began to feel the presence of God from time to time. I began to realise that it was He alone who was getting the repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name and service done from me. I wished to blend with Him as soon as possible. Since I am in the Sanstha, I firmly believed that The Lord would make me a saint
  • On developing intense gratitude for God, His telling me, ‘Child, you are walking on thorns but I have placed My hands under your feet’: Once when reciting the Shivakavach (holy verse), I wept bitterly from within because I felt that The Lord had given me so much that even offering my life for Him would not repay His debt. Irrespective of the number of births we take, we will never be able to repay The Lord. We do not have anything to offer Him, yet He has drawn us so close to Him. At that juncture, from within my conscience (antahkaran) The Lord spoke, ‘Child, though you are walking on thorns, My hands are under your feet.’
  • The Lord telling me that He is within me: One day I did not see the manifest form of The Lord. I questioned The Lord why this had happened and He responded, ‘I am already within you.’
  • Realisation of the importance of my bodily organs when I prayed to God on my birthday and His telling me that my body now belonged to Him: On my birthday, my gratitude for God grew and I had a thought, ‘O Lord, may these eyes get a vision of You alone. May this mouth always repeat (chant) Your sweet Name. May these ears hear only Your Name and that what is taught at the satsangs (spiritual meetings). This body is meant to serve You. This mind is devoted unto Your holy feet.’ At that juncture, I prostrated before The Lord completely. Then The Lord said, ‘Child, now your body belongs to Me and I Myself am getting service done through it.’

I. Seeker getting as much energy and divine consciousness (chaitanya) as another seeker who was obtaining it by speaking to Doctor, through her subtle body which entered that of the latter: On 8th May 2003, when Miss Kavita was speaking to H.H. Doctor on the telephone, my subtle body entered her body. Thus I could hear everything that H.H. Doctor was telling Kavita and obtained the same amount of energy and divine consciousness as her.

5.10 Offering gratitude

The Lord has given me so much that I will never be able to repay my debt unto Him. He is both my mother and father. I have no one other than God.

 

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.

 

Performing every activity as a service unto the Guru

Contents


1. Service

To awaken more and more spiritual emotion for The Lord or the Guru through the medium of service, one has to make efforts on the following three planes – 1. Action, 2. Thought and 3. Attitude.

1.1 Action

A. Every action can be done in the following four manners:

  • Service: Rendering service merely with the gross body.
  • Complete service: Carrying out actions with the help of the physical body, mind as well as intellect.
  • Absolute service: Carrying out actions by surrendering the mind, intellect and ego at the Guru’s feet, that is, not taking doership for one’s actions.
  • Service of the Guru: Expressing gratitude after completion of service which is rendered by offering the mind, intellect and ego at the Guru’s feet and as per His expectations.

     How a service can be done in the above four manners will be understood from the example of making chapatis in the ashram’s (hermitage) kitchen.

  • Service: Making chapatis
  • Complete service: Making chapatis while repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name by using the mind and intellect.
  • Absolute service: Harbouring the spiritual emotion (bhav) that I am not making the chapatis but The Lord / Guru is getting it done from me, when preparing chapatis.
  • Service unto the Guru: Praying unto the Guru ‘You get the chapatis done through me’ at the very commencement of service. Making the chapatis in a manner expected by the Guru along with repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name. Expressing gratitude on completion of service.

     For every service to be carried out with spiritual emotion, it has to be done as service unto the Guru as explained above.

B. One should not act as if one is doing some work as it does not amount to rendering service unto the Guru nor does one experience Bliss (Anand) from it. Rather, one should harbour the spiritual emotion that one is rendering service unto the Guru, e.g. if one is allotted the service of chopping onions and potatoes then one should harbour the spiritual emotion that one is doing so in order to make the holy sacrament for God and cook for the Guru and seekers.

C. Generally, the more the thought about God is unclear and ill-defined, the lesser is the act likely to awaken spiritual emotion. As against this, the more clear and well-defined is the thought, the act is more likely to awaken spiritual emotion, e.g. carrying out an act as service unto God. Further if one carries out an act with the spiritual emotion that the Guru is actually standing in front of oneself and observing everything, it is even more beneficial. A disciple rendering service in this fashion is called an internal disciple.

D. One should associate the act one is performing with a previous act rendered with spiritual emotion, e.g. if one has to render service of cleaning a room then it should be carried out harbouring the spiritual emotion that it is the temple at home itself.

E. Harbour the attitude that ‘I am a servitor’ : The following examples will illustrate how Dr. (compiler) served his Guru, H.H. Maharaj in various ways.

  • After arriving at the ashram (hermitage), he would offer obeisance to H.H. Maharaj and then proceed to clean up the ashram.
  • When seated near H.H. Maharaj, Doctor would press His feet. This he would do lovingly and gently.
  • Doctor would constantly pay attention to every word that H.H. Maharaj said. If H.H. Maharaj asked anyone to fetch something then Doctor would himself get up and go to bring it.
  • When H.H. Maharaj would go to the toilet, Doctor would open the door for Him and before He returned, he would dust His seat and rearrange the pillow. He would wait to wipe H.H. Maharaj’s feet with a napkin after He returned from the bathroom and would sit only after Maharaj had assumed His seat.
  • Whenever there was power failure in the hermitage (math), Doctor would fan H.H. Maharaj with a hand fan all the day through.
  • In the evening when H.H. Maharaj would get up to leave the hermitage, Doctor would go ahead of Him and place His slippers before Him.
  • In the night no matter how late it was, till H.H. Maharaj gave Doctor permission to leave he would neither budge from there nor ask whether he could leave. Only after H.H. Maharaj asked him to do so would he leave.
  • Doctor would familiarise himself with every item in the hermitage, e.g. the dustbin, broom, electrical switches and other items of daily use.
  • Doctor would behave as if he were a part of the hermitage.

F. Harbour the spiritual emotion that every object used in service is a means to render service, e.g. the knife used to chop vegetables is a tool to render service.

G. Make complete use of the intellect when performing an action: One should use the intellect to the fullest to comprehend the importance of every act from the viewpoint of service, to understand the various aspects of service unto the Absolute Truth (satseva) and to perform a task with minimal errors within the shortest possible time span. ‘योग: कर्मसु कौशलम्‌ ।’, meaning undertaking any task with perfection (absoluteness) is yoga and yoga is blending of the embodied soul (jiva) with The Supreme God (Paramatma).

H. When rendering service, one should make efforts to imbibe divine qualities: If one wishes to merge into God then one can do so by blending with His varied divine qualities, that is by imbibing them. To cite an example, one quality of God is thriftiness. Dr. (one of the compilers) utilises papers used on one side and even soiled ones instead of brand new ones for writing His holy texts and preserves the brand new ones for other important tasks such as computer printouts. Thus He also prevents wastage of soiled papers. If one uses everything obtained by The Lord’s grace thriftily then He assists the mission even more.

I. Generally in the initial stages, one should render service which is feasible and can be done properly. Then one derives the satisfaction that one has rendered service well and gets the inspiration to do service of the next stage.

J. Often one is unaware of one’s latent potential. Hence, one should render service a little beyond one’s capacity. Only then does one experience the energy that The Lord endows to render that service to perfection.

K. Service rendered unto the Absolute Truth should be devoid of expectations.

L. One should constantly harbour the spiritual emotion (bhav) that ‘I am a messenger of the Guru’ while preaching Spirituality and that I am delivering the message / teaching of the Guru to the audience.

1.2 Thinking

This is the inspiration behind an act, e.g. if thoughts are sattvik (sattva predominant) then the actions resulting from them are sattvik too. Efforts to be made to alter thinking so that one is able to render service with spiritual emotion are given below.

A. From the viewpoint of awakening of spiritual emotion, service unto the Absolute Truth is 10% important while service unto the Guru is 50% important. It is not possible for each one to serve the manifest form of the Guru. So, if the unmanifest form of the Guru, that is His principle is served considering it to be service unto the Guru then it assists in awakening spiritual emotion (bhav) faster. To develop this when rendering any kind of service or helping seekers, one should think that ‘one is serving the Guru’. Some spiritual experiences listed below will highlight the importance of this.

  • An appropriate thought from within eliminated my doubts about service and stopped the pain in my hand: In December 2001, on one morning at 11 a.m. a seeker, was lying down as she was feeling unwell. As I rolled out chapatis with the rolling pin in the kitchen, my left arm began aching. The thought that crossed my mind then was, ‘seeker is asleep. Why are you making chapatis alone?’ The next moment I realised that this thought was not mine, it was inserted in my mind by distressing energies. So I told my mind, ‘O mind, no matter how hard you try to create doubts in my mind I am aware that a part of my Guru exists in every seeker, so I will serve them.’ No sooner did I get this thought than my arm stopped aching. – Sadhika
  • Experiencing Bliss instead of distress when washing the clothes of a seeker afflicted with distressing energy because of spiritual emotion that the Guru’s clothes were being washed: Once when washing the clothes of a seeker in whom a distressing energy had manifested itself, I prayed unto the Guru, ‘Get this task done from me as if I am washing Your clothes instead of those of the troubled seeker.’ Consequently, when washing those clothes I did not experience any distress. On the contrary, I experienced so much Bliss which I had not experienced even when washing my own clothes. In fact, after the task I felt fresher than before. It seemed as if I had not done anything at all. – Sadhika
  • Getting the holy vision (darshan) of Doctor while rendering service unto non-seekers, assuming it to be service unto the Guru: Hira asked me to serve two plates of food to labourers working in our property. When preparing the plates of food, the spiritual emotion that I harboured was that I was preparing the plates for the Guru. At that time, I could actually see H.H. Doctor in the plate and tears flowed from my eyes. – Sadhika

B. When rendering service of any kind, one should constantly remember the Guru or God. The spiritual experiences cited below will prove the strength which lies in this.

  • Constantly thinking that H.H. Doctor was by my side was sufficient to rid me of my fear.
  • The simple thought that ‘the Guru will visit the ashram (hermitage) today’ is sufficient to spread divine consciousness (chaitanya) in the entire ashram. – Sadhika, Subtle section
  • Feeling afraid that a distressing energy is going to advance towards me and God giving me the foresight to offer obeisance to it while holding the japamala (Hindu rosary) in my hand thus giving me courage: On the night of 18th December 2002, before going to bed I closed my eyes to recite a prayer. At that time, I realised that there was a lady in the living room who was advancing towards me. This frightened me and I opened my eyes. The box with my japamala was in front of me. At that moment I felt that I should offer obeisance to her along with my japamala. As I did so, my fear vanished. It is God who inspired me to hold the mala in the hand. Whenever I recollect this incident, it gives me courage. – Sadhika

     This demonstrates how remembering the Guru or God when rendering any kind of service proves beneficial. A seeker with this kind of spiritual emotion is blessed by The Lord with a corresponding spiritual experience.

     Seekers severely afflicted with distressing energies being blessed with a vision of Doctor, H.H. Maharaj and other deities when they rendered service harbouring the spiritual emotion that Doctor was with them: Several seekers in the Miraj ashram severely afflicted with distressing energies were allotted the task of cleaning the ashram. Since H.H. Doctor visits the ashram in the subtle form everyday, they harboured the feeling that H.H. Doctor was with them when rendering service. This enhanced their spiritual emotion and they were able to pray time and again. Consequently everyday they began to see H.H. Maharaj, H.H. Doctor and all the seven deities in Their subtle form bestowing blessings on them. Thus the belief that they would triumph over the distressing energies developed in them and they began repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name with perseverence and within two days the distressing energies in them left. – Sadhika

     When rendering any form of service specially when propagating Spirituality, often merely thinking of the Guru eliminates the distress caused by distressing energies. That is precisely why before performing any task, one should contemplate on a deity or the Guru and then proceed.

C. When rendering service if one harbours the spiritual emotion that one is serving the manifest form of the Guru or God, God rewards one with a corresponding spiritual experience.

     Seekers severely afflicted with distressing energies getting varied spiritual experiences upon harbouring the spiritual emotion that the pictures of deities were actually Their holy feet: Once in the Miraj ashram (hermitage) we were supposed to shift the meditation room. When shifting the pictures of deities, the seekers severely afflicted with distressing energies were told to imagine that they were carrying the holy feet of the deities instead of Their pictures and on complying they had spiritual experiences accordingly. Some experienced subtle fragrance, some felt the presence of H.H. Doctor with them while others felt the presence of deities in the meditation room. – Sadhika

D. When rendering service one should not think that ‘I am rendering service’ but should constantly harbour the spiritual emotion that the Guru / God is getting service done from oneself.

E. Constant introspection on whether one has served so as to appease the Guru improves the quality of service.

F. If one contemplates on the Guru’s mission continuously then one’s actions occur as per His expectations.

G. The more sattvik (sattva predominant) one’s thoughts are, more is the divine consciousness (chaitanya) in oneself and more sattvik are the actions resulting from them. That is why one should constantly make efforts to harbour thoughts about the Absolute Truth (Sat). One also gets the benefit of internal satsang (holy company) if one recollects the spiritual concepts told by the Guru / other spiritual guides.

H. When rendering service, one should not allow wrong reactions or doubts about others to enter one’s mind because if one’s reactions hurt other seekers then the grace of the Guru is not bestowed upon oneself. That is why it is always advisable to practise devotion as a servitor (dasyabhakti).

1.3 Attitude

Trying constantly through action and thinking to render service with spiritual emotion (bhav) gradually makes service possible with spiritual emotion and it gets incorporated into one’s attitude. To inculcate this attitude in the self as soon as possible besides service unto the Guru and His mission, one should view everything that one does in day-to-day life as service and make an attempt to do it with spiritual emotion.

[The holy text ‘Biography (Charitra) of Maharaj’ in Marathi published by the Spiritual Sanstha gives examples of how H.H. Maharaj served His Guru with motivation and spiritual emotion. Details on service unto the Guru are given in ‘Science of Spirituality : Vol. 3 – The Disciple’.]

2. Holy company (satsang)

Satsang means ‘company of the Truth’. ‘Sat’ refers to sattva predominance. Awakening of spiritual emotion occurs rapidly in a sattvik environment. It is faster in the company of saints than in that of seekers.

3. Sacrifice

Offering something to God or the Guru is sacrifice. A true disciple is one who sacrifices his body, mind, wealth and even his life for the sake of the Guru. Awakening of spiritual emotion occurs faster in such a seeker.

4. Spiritual love (love without expectation)

Love being an emotion, is not a part of spiritual emotion. Spiritual love without expectation (priti) however is a component of spiritual emotion. The basic difference between love and spiritual love is the presence and absence of expectation respectively. Generally in worldly life, one expects something or the other from the person one loves. Spiritual love on the other hand is loving every creation of The Lord, without any expectation. Spiritual practice helps in the generation of spiritual love. To augment spiritual love one should practise the following.

A. Constant concern for others: The more one thinks about others, the less is the attachment for the self and the more expansive the mind becomes. Expansiveness of the mind is feeling spiritual love for others. Some examples in this context are given below.

  • Sadhika(compiler) had to constantly give spiritual treatment to seekers afflicted with distressing energies. She would contemplate on how to devote twenty-four hours of the day to this service and in this process could not even fall asleep.
  • I was smearing the courtyard with cowdung. When Krushnadada saw me doing this, though he too was working in the hot sun he gave his cap to me. – Sadhak
  • Every morning in the ashram (hermitage) I pray thus, ‘May all of us seekers working in the kitchen make spiritual progress’. Since I constantly feel for others, even if the holy sacrament (food) gets over before I eat, I do not feel upset. On the contrary, I feel happy seeing other seekers enjoy it. If at times it does not suffice for the seekers then I feel that I lack in rendering service unto the Guru appropriately and that I am not worthy of rendering service and I surrender unto the Guru. In my prayer I say, ‘I have made a major mistake. Please forgive me. Please prevent me from making this mistake again.’ – Sadhika

B. Sacrificing oneself for others: One should perpetually try to find an opportunity to serve the seekers with whom one lives.

C. Preventing generation of reactions about other seekers in the mind: Maximum obstacles in spiritual practice arise from generation of reactions about others. At times, their expression hurts the sentiments of other seekers. Reactions are bound to occur in the human mind but with spiritual progress, the number of reactions generated in the mind decreases. Even if they do arise, instead of falling prey to them one can control them. If anything is occurring against one’s wishes one should analyse the event or action as given below, to reduce the intensity of the reaction. If a reaction is not allowed to generate at all then love for seekers develops faster.

Subject: Task of setting up a bookstall of the publications of Spiritual Sanstha
Incident: A chief seeker feeling that seeker ‘A’ did not come to render this service despite being called.
Reaction in the mind of the chief seeker: Seeker ‘A’ is irresponsible, is not motivated to render service, etc.
Actual situation: Exactly when scheduled to leave to set up the bookstall, ‘A’ had guests from another town. His relatives (who usually are co-operative and allow him to render service) on that day forced him to remain with the guests saying that otherwise henceforth they would stop him from rendering service. Since the telephones in his area were out of order he could not communicate this to the other seekers.
Frame of mind of seeker ‘A’: A feeling of guilt in the seeker’s mind as he lost the opportunity to serve the Guru’s mission.
Effects of expressing the reaction: Later when the chief seeker met ‘A’ and expressed his reaction, the latter was even more discouraged and due to the depression many days of spiritual practice were wasted.
Introspection required when a reaction arises: The chief seeker should have thought thus – Is this seeker always irresponsible ? Is he really lacking in the service attitude ? Does he pose as an obstacle in the propagation of the Guru’s mission ? Does he have any worldly problem which prevents him from rendering service ?, etc. These thoughts help in controlling reactions.

D. Since the Guru / God exists in each one of us, if we hurt someone we are actually hurting the Guru / God is the awareness we should harbour.

E. If a seeker commits a mistake, he should be made aware of it and at the same time he should be loved as much as the other seekers.

F. Often one tends to pay attention to the defects and not the virtues of a seeker. Ignoring the defects, one should appreciate the good qualities of a seeker and should make an attempt to inculcate them in oneself.

G. Seeing the presence of the Guru in others, we should love them just as we love the Guru.

H. Just as Saint Eknath quenched the thirst of a donkey by offering it the holy water of the Ganges which He had fetched from Kashi, so also one should learn to love animals, plants and non-living creation.

5. Learning

H.H. Maharaj has said, “Only the curious one is deserving of knowledge”. One should constantly learn to generate spiritual emotion in oneself. One can learn to enhance spiritual emotion through study, spiritual experiences obtained by oneself and others, from other seekers having spiritual emotion and saints. It is more beneficial to learn it from seekers having spiritual emotion and saints. Since it is not possible for everyone to learn this from saints, it is more feasible to learn it from seekers having spiritual emotion. If one is motivated to learn then The Lord too teaches through different media. This holy text gives examples at various junctures about how one can learn from seekers and spiritual experiences.

Commencement of awakening of spiritual emotion from the grief of being unable to attend a workshop on awakening spiritual emotion: After hearing about the spiritual experiences of seekers with respect to awakening of spiritual emotion, I too felt intensely that such spiritual emotion should develop within me. On 14th October 2002, I asked Sadhika for an appointment in ashram (hermitage) so that I could discuss this with her. She said I could visit her between 17th and 20th October. On 17th October when I asked her again as to whom I should meet there, she said that since H.H. Maharaj was at the ashram for the next two days and she would be leaving for Karnataka thereafter, I could talk to her only later. I felt very upset because I could not go to Ashram(hermitage) to develop my spiritual emotion. Later Sadhika told me that she had spoken to H.H. Doctor about what I felt and that He had said, “Good, spiritual emotion within him has been awakened !” She also added that this effect would last for 9 to 10 days. Ever since, my spiritual practice with respect to spiritual emotion acquired a different perspective. – Sadhak

6. Attempts to awaken spiritual emotion when performing worldly tasks besides spiritual practice

Worldly actions, the attitude towards the results obtained from them and the experiences obtained when performing these actions prove useful from the viewpoint of awakening spiritual emotion. In the beginning, there is a qualitative difference between actions done as spiritual practice and those done in worldly life. So at first it is easier to awaken spiritual emotion through actions done with respect to spiritual practice like ritualistic worship (puja), singing hymns (arti), repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name, rendering service unto the Absolute Truth (satseva), etc. Will even a seeker who is indulging in full time spiritual practice be able to do these tasks continuously throughout the day ? Certainly not, because in day-to-day life he has to do personal tasks such as bathing, taking treatment for an illness, doing household chores, caring for ill family members, etc. These restrict his actions pertaining to spiritual practice. Similarly, if attempts to awaken spiritual emotion only during actions related to spiritual practice are made then it poses a restriction to awakening of spiritual emotion. Hence one should perform every task as spiritual practice or with the spiritual emotion that ‘I am the servitor of the Guru’, then the entire process of awakening spiritual emotion is enhanced. Some examples cited below will show how a seeker staying at home can make efforts from this viewpoint.

  • Instead of sticking to the concept of ‘me and my family’ one should become expansive and harbour the spiritual emotion that one’s home is itself the Guru’s ashram. If one behaves as if the Guru is living in the home (ashram), one can actually feel His presence there. Besides, more thoughts about the Absolute Truth (Sat) are generated. This helps in creation of sattvik (sattva predominant) frequencies in the house.

    Feeling enthusiastic upon tidying the home with the spiritual emotion (bhav) that it is the Guru’s ashram and absence of exhaustion after doing it: When I had gone home for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations I decided to clean the house. Before beginning, I recited a prayer unto the Guru thus, ‘Let me clean my house harbouring the spiritual emotion that it is Your ashram (hermitage). Please get this service done from me.’ That day despite cleaning up the entire house I did not feel tired. On the contrary, I felt happy doing the service and fresh as ever thereafter. – Sadhika

  • One should mentally offer one’s home to the Guru and then look after it with the spiritual emotion (bhav) that one is its trustee.
  • One should perform all household tasks as service unto the Guru, e.g. cooking, washing clothes, tidying rooms, etc.
  • If one uses every object in the house as a belonging of the Guru, then one handles it with care. Besides because of this, the presence of the Guru is felt.
  • One should remember the Guru while eating and harbour the spiritual emotion that the meal is the holy sacrament (prasad) of the Guru and water is the holy water (tirtha) from His feet.

7. Comparative importance of actions

Actions to awaken
spiritual emotion
Importance
%
Actions to awaken
spiritual emotion
Importance
%
1. Ritualistic worship 5 9. Sacrifice 10
2. Prayer 30 10. Spiritual love
      (priti)
10
3. Gratitude 10 11. Learning
   A. Through study

   B. Through spiri-
     tual experiences

   C. From a seeker
     having spiritual
     emotion

   D. From saints

10

10

30

30

4. Repetition (chant-
    ing) of The Lord’s
    Name
30
6. Holy company of
    saints
30
7. Service 10
8. Service unto the
    Guru
50

(Divine Knowledge received in the meditative state by Dr.)

 

What is the importance of prayer as spiritual practice?

Contents


To awaken spiritual emotion rapidly, initially one needs to make constant efforts at the level of the mind and intellect.

1. Ritualistic worship, singing hymns, etc.

To develop spiritual emotion towards a particular deity, first one has to develop love for that deity. Worship of its manifest form by performing ritualistic worship (puja), singing hymns, etc. helps to develop love for the deity faster than repeating (chanting) its Name, that is worship of its unmanifest form. That is precisely why ritualistic worship, singing hymns amidst the ritual of moving lit lamps (arti) before a deity, etc. prove to be beneficial for awakening spiritual emotion in the initial stages. This process can be hastened if one observes the guidelines given below –

  • Every deity is a specific principle. Based on the spiritual principle that a specific energy is associated with a word, touch, form, taste and odour, when the form of a deity appears, its principle accompanies it. An idol or picture of a deity attracts the frequencies of that deity as well as transmits them. As a result, the frequencies of the deity are spread all over in the surrounding atmosphere and not concentrated only in its idol or picture. Hence one should place an idol or picture of a deity which will attract maximum frequencies of that deity in one’s temple at home. Similarly, if one performs ritualistic worship of a deity following all the norms of worship meticulously with the spiritual emotion that the deity exists there itself, the frequencies that the worshipper gets from the deity will be greater.
  • The five-fold ritualistic worship (panchopchar puja) consists of offering the deity sandalwood paste (gandha), flowers (pushpa), frankincense (dhup), a lit lamp (dip) and holy sacrament (naivedya). One should first understand the science behind performing a ritual and only then perform it, e.g. a particular flower has the ability to attract maximum frequencies of a particular deity, that is red flowers attract the Ganesh principle. One should offer flowers to a deity bearing this principle in mind.
  • If pictures of deities or strips of their Names have been hung or pasted anywhere else besides the temple at home, maintaining the spiritual emotion that deities are present there as well, those pictures should be kept clean and offered incense and obeisance.
  • One should realise that instruments in the hands of deities are not merely ornamental rather they have a specific meaning, e.g. Lord Ganesh ties distressing energies with the noose in His hand.
  • Recitation of verses and hymns are means of glorifying a deity. Since The Lord likes praise and is compassionate, if hymns and verses are sung with spiritual emotion (bhav), He is appeased. Since these hymns and verses in praise of God have been compiled by saints and evolved souls, they are enriched with divine consciousness (chaitanya). Besides, when a saint compiles this, His resolve (sankalpa) and blessings that devotees should benefit by reciting it accompanies it. Hence, a worshipper derives worldly and spiritual benefits from it.

    One definition of a hymn (arti) is ‘that which is sung with earnestness (artata)’. Some spiritual experiences narrated below will depict how spiritual emotion is awakened in a devotee who prays fervently, imagining The Lord to be in front of him and how he experiences the God principle.

    A. Spiritual emotion for H.H. Dr. becoming predominant in the mind when singing hymns (arti): On 16th October 2002, what I experienced when singing hymns at the Devrukh ashram (hermitage) in the morning was quite unusual. As I sang every line of the hymns in praise of Lord Shrirama and Lord Maruti, I could actually see the image of the deities. Finally I sang the hymn ‘Jyot se jyot jagao’ (meaning ‘Light one lamp with another’) from the bottom of my heart. At that time unconsciously I prayed, ‘We are helpless children seeking refuge at Your feet. You alone can make us evolve spiritually.’ In fact, I wished to weep before the photograph of H.H. Doctor. Thereafter I experienced a feeling of Serenity (Shanti). – Sadhika

    B. Emission of light from the hands of H.H. Dr. in His photograph, towards seekers: On 16th October 2002, as I sung the hymn ‘Jyot se jyot jagao’, I saw a photograph of H.H. Doctor bestowing blessings. In reality, there is not a single photograph of H.H. Doctor of this kind. I saw a yellow light surrounding the entire photograph and sattvik (sattva predominant) yellow rays emanating from His hand bestowing blessing traversing towards the heads of seekers. I could also perceive something over my head. – Sadhika

    C. Experiencing that ‘God exists where there is spiritual emotion’ and getting a vision of Lord Shrirama, Lord Maruti and Doctor while singing hymns: On the morning of 20th October 2002, during the ritual of waving lit lamps (arti) in the ashram (hermitage), a lot of spiritual emotion was awakened in me. When singing a hymn in praise of Lord Shrirama, I felt as if Lord Shrirama were in front of me. When singing that of Lord Maruti, I saw Lord Maruti’s colossal form. Similarly when singing the hymn ‘Jyot se jyot jagao’, I perceived H.H. Doctor to be before me and my inner flame merging with that of H.H. Doctor. After the ritual concluded I felt very Blissful. In the evening however, I could not sing the hymns with spiritual emotion, therefore I felt unhappy and begged H.H. Doctor for forgiveness. – Sadhak

    D. Obtaining a vision of Lord Shriram and Lord Hanuman on the right and left foot respectively of H. H. Dr. and a vision of H.H. Dr. offering arti to His Guru, H.H. Maharaj in place of me: At the ashram , on 10.10.2002 when offering arti in the morning and evening, I could clearly perceive myself in H.H. Doctor’s room at the Ponda ashram offering arti at His holy feet. As I sang the arti hymn in praise of Lord Shriram, I saw Shriram on His right foot and myself offering arti to Him. When the arti to Lord Hanuman began I could see myself offering arti to Him on H.H. Doctor’s left foot. Simultaneously I could visualise all the events described in the artis. Later as I sang the arti hymn ‘Jyot se jyot jagao’, I saw H.H. Dr. in my place offering arti to H.H. Maharaj seated on a bed in the state of the God realised soul (Shivadasha). – Sadhika

         (God endows such spiritual experiences to enhance the spiritual emotion towards saints. This will be understood from the vision of deities on the feet. – Compilers)

    E. Recitation of the holy verse Ramaraksha with the spiritual emotion that it is being recited to Lord Shrirama, imparting a unique experience of Serenity: On 13th August 2002, when reciting Ramaraksha I perceived that the prayer was being received by Lord Shrirama though He was far away from me. I could actually feel Him advancing towards me. H.H. Doctor (Lord Shrirama) resides within me. I was reciting Ramaraksha with the spiritual emotion that it is for Lord Shrirama. For a minute I could perceive the sattvik (sattva predominant) state of the Satyayug (era). The feeling was extremely pleasant and serene. – Sadhika

         (The spiritual emotion in the seeker is that the Guru Himself is Lord Shrirama – Compilers)

    F. Perceiving that the hymn that I was singing was reaching The Lord and perceiving the presence of Doctor constantly thereafter: On 16th October 2002, when singing the hymn in the morning in the Devrukh ashram (hermitage), my mind had become concentrated. From within I was feeling that the hymn was reaching the deity and that it was bestowing blessings as well. Ever since, I continuously perceive the presence of H.H. Doctor in the ashram and experience immense Bliss. – Sadhika

    G. Seeker getting a vision of Lord Shrivishnu, Lord Viththal and Doctor when reciting the holy verse, Ramaraksha and perceiving herself as deity Sita (consort of Lord Shrirama): On 19th September 2002, the moment I began reciting the holy verse, Ramaraksha in front of the temple at home, I saw Lord Shrivishnu upto His waist, in midair. Then I forgot that I was Mahananda, instead I perceived myself to be deity Sita, the Divine Energy of Lord Shrirama. My attire was like that of deity Sita. While reciting the Ramaraksha with every letter, word and sentence that I spoke, I was describing Lord Shrirama, His ideals and qualities. I also perceived the intense yearning with which deity Sita had beckoned Lakshman to come to Her rescue. Amidst repetition (chanting) of ‘Sitayaha pataye namaha’ meaning ‘I offer obeisance to deity Sita’s Master’, She was offering obeisance to the Earth, Her mother. The moment I offered obeisance unto Lord Shrirama while repeating (chanting) ‘Shriramachandracharanam sharanam prapadye’ meaning ‘I surrender unto You, O Lord Shrirama’, I saw a vision of H.H. Doctor in my heart with folded hands offering obeisance unto Lord Shrirama. The next moment I saw Lord Viththal standing with His hands held on His waist. I could still feel the presence of deity Sita after completing the recitation of Ramaraksha and experienced Serenity (Shanti). – Sadhika

         (This is the temporary state of attainment of Sayujya Mukti, a form of Liberation. Sita being the Divine Energy of Lord Shrirama, She is merged with Him. The fact that the seeker perceived herself as deity Sita means she merged into Lord Shrirama Himself. – Compilers)

Just as ritualistic worship with five substances (panchopchar puja) is performed to charge an idol or picture of a deity with the frequencies of that deity, so also if one wants to attract frequencies of God or the Guru and make Him operate through oneself then one has to offer prayers and undertake repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name, remain in holy company (satsang), render service unto the Absolute Truth (satseva), sacrifice oneself for the Absolute Truth, etc.

2. Prayer

Praying with spiritual emotion

2.1 Origin and meaning

The word ‘prarthana (prayer)’ is derived from two words ‘pra’ and ‘artha’ meaning pleading fervently. In other words, it is asking The Lord for something with intense yearning. Prayer includes respect, love, pleading and faith. Through a prayer a devotee expresses his helplessness and endows the doership of the task to God.

2.2 Importance

A. Protection from distressing energies: Since the mission of Spiritual Sanstha is directed towards spiritual upliftment of society, currently distressing energies are obstructing this process and tormenting seekers. Repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name and prayer are the only two weapons that seekers can use to combat this. Some spiritual experiencies given below will illustrate how God protects from distressing energies if one offers Him prayers with spiritual emotion.

  • To enable rapid manifestation of the distressing energy present in a seeker and to help him to acquire the energy being transmitted from God, seekers belonging to the ‘Subtle section’ of Sanstha use staring in the eye therapy for seekers afflicted by distressing energies. In this therapy, the affected seeker has to gaze into the eyes of the seeker from the ‘Subtle section’.

    1. Distressing energy leaving a seeker after her prayer to God during the staring in the eye therapy: On 28th February 2003, when one Sadhika from the ‘Subtle section’ was doing the staring in the eye therapy, I prayed unto The Lord thus, ‘May my entire attention be focussed here. May all my energy be utilised to combat the distressing energies within me and teach them a lesson permanently. Let them become aware that they will not be able to do anything.’ After the prayer, I perceived that one distressing energy left me and another one manifested itself. – A seeker

    2. Distressing energy leaving a seeker after her praying to the seeker doing the staring in the eye therapy on her: When Sadhika from the ‘Subtle section’ was doing the staring in the eye therapy for me, I fervently prayed to her, ‘O Aparna, only you can save me. Bestow your grace upon me and liberate me as soon as possible so that I can do spiritual practice. Purify all my seven bodies and my entire existence and make me eligible to undertake continuous spiritual practice. Do not allow the distressing energies to take away the energy generated from my spiritual practice. All the distressing energies have not left me yet, please drive them away.’ The moment I finished the prayer, a distressing energy named ‘Asaf’ left my body and another manifested externally. – A seeker

  • At times during the staring in the eye therapy sessions or group repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name, distressing energies or benevolent energies within a seeker manifest themselves and converse with seekers from the ‘Subtle section’. The manifest distressing energy then conveys how distressing energies have planned to disrupt Sanstha’s mission either in a challenging fashion or as information. The manifest benevolent energy on the other hand imparts information to seekers on how to enhance their spiritual practice.

    1. Prayer by seekers from the ‘Subtle section’ unto Doctor and Doctor’s constant presence amongst them preventing distressing energies from taking away seekers afflicted with distressing energies.
         Sadhika(Seeker): What did you do last night ?
         Distressing energy: Last night you disrupted our entire plan. Ten of us (distressing energies) were supposed to enter the ashram (hermitage). Others were supposed to remain at a distance and offer assistance. You have taught all of them (seekers from the ‘Subtle section’) to eavesdrop. So, you know our plans beforehand. We will take away all of them (seekers afflicted with distressing energies). We were supposed to receive external assistance but because you muttered to the one (H.H. Doctor) in the photograph, they (distressing energies from outside) could not enter the ashram. You had put filth (banners of Prabhat) on all of them. That one (Sadhika) is not allowing us to take them away. She was muttering [repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name] even in her sleep. She (Sadhika, Subtle section) too was accompanying her. That is why despite being a big gang we were unable to take them away. The one in the photograph (H.H. Doctor) is always with them. So we are unable to do anything. [Distressing energies are unable to utter the Name of H.H. Doctor, The Lord’s Name or words like repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name, prayer, Prabhat, etc. because of the divine consciousness in them.]

    [The above information was imparted by a seeker when the distressing energy within her manifested during group repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name on 9th January 2003. – Sadhika]

    2. A benevolent energy’s advice on what prayer to make unto the Guru to prevent distressing energies on the ground from troubling seekers.
        Vina: How far into the ground can you penetrate ?
        Benevolent energy: The earth has plenty of energies including spirits (pishach). However I can actually see Mother Earth. The small embodied souls following the Path of Distressing Energy (aghori) dwelling on Her (Earth) trouble you (seekers) by drawing out all your vital energy (pranshakti). That is why you experience problems such as cramps in the legs, exhaustion, etc.
        Vina: What is the remedy for this ?
        Benevolent energy: Create an armour around yourself. Pray unto the Guru and ask Him to protect you and to walk with you.
    [This information was imparted by a benevolent energy which manifested in a seeker in the Ashram ashram on 31st March 2003. – Sadhak]

This shows the immense prowess of prayer.

B. When a seeker endows the doership of an act to God or the Guru, a seemingly impossible task is easily accomplished by the Guru’s grace.

C. Benefits occurring at three levels, viz. action, thinking and attitude

  • Action: As a consequence of prayer, an action is performed with spiritual emotion and less errors are committed. Thus service unto the Guru occurs as per His expectation.
  • Thinking : So long as the mind is active, thoughts will continue. They pose an obstacle to dissolution of the mind. Useless thoughts also cause wastage of energy. Prayer is an extremely useful tool to prevent this. Prayer reduces worry and enhances contemplation.
  • Attitude : A prayer done with spiritual emotion initiates the process of contemplation upon prayer within a seeker and this assists him to become introverted.

D. Assuaging the ego : Since while praying we plead before The Lord, it helps to reduce the ego faster.

E. A seeker repeats (chants) the Name of his deity of worship with the aim of realising God. Only if accompanied by intense motivation for God realisation and spiritual emotion will the Name repeated (chanted) reach The Lord. Saint Tukaram Maharaj would be so engrossed in repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name that He would become oblivious of the world. One rarely finds someone who repeats (chants) The Lord’s Name with such intense spiritual emotion. However, a prayer along with the repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name helps in generation of spiritual emotion and to reach the repetition (chanting) to The Lord. Some spiritual experiences in this context will illustrate the importance of prayer.

  • Repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name reaching Lord Ganapati after a prayer: On 4th September 2002, I began repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name without a prayer unto Him. After fifteen minutes I realised that I had forgotten something. Then I realised that though I was repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name, it was not reaching The Lord. Then I prayed and thereafter perceived that the Name was actually reaching The Lord. – Sadhika
  • My repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name not reaching the sacrificial fire after a wrong prayer and it getting rectified after making an appropriate prayer: I attended the Panchamukhi Hanumatkavach sacrificial fire (yadnya) at Karad on 29th March 2003. As per instructions in the ‘Daily Prabhat’, I prayed that the sacrificial fire may occur without any obstacles and then began repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name. After undertaking repetition (chanting) for four minutes, I realised that it was revolving around me. Though the feeling was very pleasant, I wondered why this was happening. The next moment I realised that I had made a wrong prayer that the energy generated from my repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name should be utilised for the procession of repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name (namdindi) instead of for the sacrificial fire. So I made a prayer afresh and restarted my repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name. It was then that I saw my repetition (chanting) traversing towards the sacrificial fire in four rows. – Sadhika

    Every ten minutes one should pray unto The Lord asking Him to accept one’s repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name.

F. Having committed a mistake, if one makes a prayer and surrenders unto The Lord or the Guru then They forgive one for the mistake.

2.3 Types

A. Prayer with expectation (sakam) and without expectation (nishkam)

  • Prayer with expectation (sakam): This is done for fulfillment of worldly desires, e.g. wealth, progeny, worldly pleasures, etc.
  • Prayer without expectation (nishkam): This prayer means surrendering oneself unto God or the Guru without any objective. A prayer made in the context of spiritual progress or the Guru’s mission is always of this type.

    In the former, the one praying remains extroverted while in the latter, one becomes introverted. Prayer with expectation is inferior while that done without expectation is superior.

B. Individual (vyashti) prayer and prayer for the sake of society (samashti): Individual prayer is one which is made to augment one’s individual spiritual practice. Initially a seeker should make this kind of prayer. Once the prayer occurs with spiritual emotion, the seeker can pray for other seekers and the society at large, e.g. for propagation of Righteousness (Dharma). This prayer is for the sake of society. Such a prayer inculcates expansiveness in a seeker. He begins to feel love for others and his spiritual practice for the sake of society is also augmented.

Seeker devoid of spiritual emotion should not pray for the sake of society for the following reasons

  • Such a prayer made for the sake of society proves useless. Hence the seeker merely wastes his time. If he uses this time for individual prayer or spiritual practice, it will be more beneficial to him.
  • If prayer for a specific reason is made, it can also prove harmful, e.g. if one prays for elimination of a distressing energy troubling a particular seeker or that obstructing propagation of Righteousness then the distressing energy can attack that seeker.

2.4 What should one ask for in a prayer?

Since the Guru or God always says ‘So be it (तथास्‍तु)’, one can ask Him for different things that one needs in spiritual practice. For continual bestowal of His grace, service unto the Guru should also be continuous. One should ask for the following for service unto the Guru to be good.

  • That service may occur along with repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name.
  • That service unto the Absolute Truth (satseva) may occur as per expectations of the Guru.
  • That when serving the Absolute Truth one may be able to sacrifice all, that is the body, mind, wealth, intellect and ego.
  • For repeated opportunities to render service unto the Absolute Truth and for strength and benevolent intellect to accomplish those tasks.
  • After completion of the task, a wholehearted prayer should be made to express gratitude for being able to accomplish it.
  • As spiritual practice grows, a seeker should experience the presence of God in all living and non-living creation. To develop the spiritual emotion that the God principle exists in all living and non-living creation rapidly, prayers prove to be useful.

The primary seeker prays to the Guru for strength, benevolent intellect and motivation to serve the Guru as per His expectations. As a seeker makes spiritual progress, the prayer that he should make unto the Guru is suggested to him from within.

2.5 To whom should the prayer be addressed?

An average seeker should pray to his deity of worship while the one who has been blessed by a Guru should offer prayers unto the Guru.

A. Seekers in the elementary stage (30% to 40% spiritual level) should pray to both the Guru and to various deities according to the need, as given below.

B. Seekers in the intermediate stage (40% to 55% spiritual level) should offer prayers unto the Guru, different deities according to the need and everything that assists a seeker in spiritual practice.

    Importance of praying to the tools

  • Tools such as the conch, bell, lamp, etc. used in ritualistic worship (puja) are worshipped before worship of the deities because they make it possible for one to worship God. Besides, with the passage of time a devotee gets the spiritual experience that God exists in them as well. Non-duality is established between the tool (e.g. conch, bell) and the target (God realisation). According to this principle, if one has spiritual emotion for a tool utilised for spiritual practice then most certainly at some point one experiences the God principle in it. This was experienced by a seeker with respect to the japamala (Hindu rosary) as given below.

    1. Inner guidance about divinity in the japamala: On the morning of 30th August 2002, as I sat with the japamala in my cupped palms and was about to begin repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name, I had an intense thought, ‘O japamala you are my tool of spiritual practice. If not for you, I would not be able to repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name’. The next moment I wondered what a tool meant and the affectionate and peaceful response that I got from within was, ‘Whatever one uses, whatever is useful in crisis, whatever is beneficial to oneself, a weapon or whatever one uses in combat is a tool.’ Ever since, before beginning repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name with a japamala, I offer obeisance to it as I consider it as a deity and since then the japamala appears more sattvik (sattva predominant). – Sadhika

    2. Japamala of a seeker getting transformed into the ‘deity of the japamala’ and telling her so by appearing before her: On 19th December 2002, as I lay down on the mattress before retiring for the day, I realised that I had not offered obeisance to the japamala. Just then I saw the deity of the japamala standing to my right. (The box in which I keep the japamala was next to my head on the right.) She spoke thus ‘I am the deity of the japamala. I have been transformed from the japamala into a deity.’ At that moment my japamala said from within the box, ‘I have been transformed into a deity’. Then I offered obeisance to Her. – Sadhika

    3. Seeker feeling dejected because the deity of the japamala had the prowess to protect her alone but was relieved after realising that She (deity) would be able to protect all seekers in the ashram (hermitage) after her ritualistic worship (puja) and obeisance increased : On 21st December 2002, before I began repetition (chanting) around 9 a.m., I offered obeisance to H.H. Doctor. When the repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name was in progress, I saw the deity of the japamala standing in midair. Offering obeisance to Her I said, ‘O deity, instead of being happy I am sad because You protect only me. Please protect all the seekers in this ashram.’ She then responded, ‘I do not possess such prowess. I am unable to protect even you totally.’ It was then that it dawned upon me that as I enhanced my ritualistic worship and obeisance to the japamala, the potential of its deity would grow.’ – Sadhika

  • If one undertakes a task after offering obeisance to the tool which one will be using in the task then the tool assists in the task. A spiritual experience elucidated below is in this context.

    Chopping of wood occurring spontaneously without trouble after offering a prayer unto the Guru, the wood and the axe despite my not being habituated to doing this task: I was not habituated to chopping wood at all. When learning to chop wood, I became breathless, developed sores on the hands, etc. The next day, I began the same task after praying to the Guru, the wooden log and the axe and lo and behold, I was able to do the chopping of wood easily. – Sadhak

  • Just as Lord Datta chose twenty-four Gurus as well as subordinate Gurus, each one for the quality which He possessed and imbibed that quality conducive for spiritual practice from Him, so also can we from different objects, e.g. just as a pen strives selflessly to write books for others, so also we should sacrifice ourselves selflessly all the time, for the Guru’s mission without any ulterior motive.
  • Once a seeker learns to see the God principle in different tools utilised in spiritual practice, gradually he is able to view it in everything. This assists him in realising the God principle in living and non-living creation.

C. Seekers in the advanced stage (with a spiritual level of more than 55%) should pray only to the Guru.

2.6 Stages of prayer

After realising the importance of prayer, initially the number of times that one prays needs to increase. Initially, prayer is just a repetition of words, devoid of spiritual emotion. Later however, it improves qualitatively, that is it is done with spiritual emotion. Stages in praying are given below.

First stage: Here prayer has to be done with effort. It is beneficial to fold hands in obeisance (namaskar) and pray because it helps in quick generation of spiritual emotion. Once the impression of prayer is created in the subconscious mind, it can be done mentally with spiritual emotion, without folding hands. Here, prayer has a specific purpose and specific words. The feeling that ‘I am praying’ is intense.

Second stage: Once one gets used to praying and it occurs spontaneously at regular intervals, contemplation on it commences. One begins to realise that prayer is conversation with the Guru. Now it does not follow a fixed pattern but occurs wholeheartedly. The spiritual emotion here is that one is pleading to the Guru.

Third stage: Here one feels that the Guru is in front of oneself and that one is prostrating at His feet, surrendering and pleading before Him. One does not need to compose the prayer, words flow spontaneously.

Fourth stage: With passage of time, prayer occurs spontaneously without effort along with repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name as the impression of prayer is already created in the subconscious mind. It is also full of spiritual emotion. During the prayer, one recollects the Guru’s form, feet, gestures, etc. Even the words in the prayer are suggested from within. In fact, The Lord Himself suggests the prayer from within, according to the situation. The example cited here will illustrate this. One Seeker renders service at the ashram (hermitage). Once he was asked to blow the conch during the ritual of waving lit lamps (arti) amidst singing of hymns in the ashram. Since he did not know how to blow the conch he prayed to the Guru to get it done from him and was able to do so par excellence. The same day he had to wash the toilets in the ashram. As usual, before commencing the task he made a prayer unto the Guru. Then he regretted for having troubled the Guru for a mere task. So he prayed that the service he was doing may occur in a manner expected by the Guru.

Fifth stage: In this stage, prayer occurs with the sole spiritual emotion of complete surrender unto the feet of the Guru. Often prayer is devoid of words, it consists only of the feeling of gratitude. One is aware that ‘I exist for the sake of the Guru, He is my everything’. In the initial stages of prayer, gratitude has to be expressed separately, but in this stage one experiences that they are one.

2.7 Spiritual experiences as a consequence of prayer done with spiritual emotion

A few examples of how The Lord helps when one prays with spiritual emotion are given below.

  • Less injuries when rendering service after praying unto Mother Earth: When rendering service of masonry, digging, gardening, etc. in the ashram, I would pray thus to Mother Earth, ‘O Mother Earth, You will be hurt when I render this service. Please forgive me and get service done from me to perfection.’ After I started making this prayer, I noticed that abrasions, injuries, etc. which I sustained when rendering service decreased. – Sadhak
  • Enhancement in the potential to render service and no exhaustion despite rendering service when in physical distress: One Sadhak and I work in the masonry section of the ashram. On 3rd February 2003, I was entrusted with the task of mixing sand and cement and handing it over to three seekers doing masonry work. Before beginning the task, the prayer I made unto the Guru was, ‘Make me aware that I am in a team of four seekers and that I am not alone in this task.’ By the grace of the Guru, I was able to mix cement and sand and hand it over to the other three synchronously. Despite suffering from a backache, when rendering service I did not experience any pain. – Sadhak
  • An ill child seeker was able to deliver a speech in school eloquently after a prayer he made unto Saint and Doctor: On the day of Gurupaurnima of 2002, my son Saurabh, a student of Std. V was supposed to deliver a speech in his school. It was an excerpt from ‘Blessings of saints’ taken from the ‘Gurupaurnima Mahotsav souvenir’ of the Spiritual Sanstha. Though he was well prepared with the speech, two days prior to the function he had a terrible cold and had to swallow repeatedly. He was terribly upset as he felt he would be unable to speak. On the day of Gurupaurnima, when he left for school in the afternoon he had a terrible headache due to cold. When he was summoned on the stage to speak, he closed his eyes and prayed unto H.H. Maharaj and H.H. Doctor thus, ‘Please make me speak well’ and began. It is only when he heard the thunderous applause that he realised that he had spoken well. When his headmistress and other teachers praised him immensely, he told them that he had taken this excerpt from the souvenir of the Spiritual Sanstha and that he had been able to deliver it well with the blessings of H.H. Doctor. – Sadhak
  • A decrease in errors after offering them unto The Lord and making a prayer that they may not be committed again: I often told others to point out my mistakes to me but if they did, it would generate doubts in my mind and result in committing more mistakes. Then I began to pray thus, ‘If H.H. Doctor exists in everyone, then He is within me too. Then how can I afford to make mistakes ?’ and my efforts to prevent recurrence of mistakes started. Once when someone pointed out my mistake at the satsang (spiritual meeting), I sobbed miserably. Thereafter I decided to surrender all my mistakes to God and to take care that I did not commit them again. I prayed to the Guru to remind me of this time and again. That day was spent in extreme happiness. Due to constant repetition of this prayer, the number of mistakes I make has reduced markedly. – A seeker, Goa
  • Dogs stopping their barking after a prayer unto them: When in the ashram I was entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the domesticated animals there. My first job was to clean up their kennel. When I began this, the dogs started barking at me. The prayer that came spontaneously to me then was ‘All of you are servitors of the Guru. Today I have been endowed with the task of serving you. So let me do it.’ No sooner did I say this than the dogs stopped barking and I could release them from the leash. I also did not feel averse when cleaning up their excreta. – Sadhak
  • Perceiving the presence of Doctor due to the spiritual emotion of offering

    1. On 20th October 2002, while making a prayer before dinner I perceived that I was offering my meal unto H.H. Doctor and standing in front of Him with my hands folded in obeisance (namaskar). – Sadhak

    2. On 21st October 2002, as I drank water first and then tea in the evening, I felt as if I were doing so after actually offering it unto H.H. Doctor. In fact, I perceived H.H. Doctor releasing energy from His hand bestowing blessings into my glass and myself drinking it. – Sadhak

  • Seeing the holy verse Ramaraksha in the heart after praying unto Doctor and it being recited in the Madhyama mode of speech (vani): On 15th August 2002, when I was reciting the Ramaraksha in front of the temple in the kitchen with my eyes closed, seekers were passing by me. I earnestly prayed unto H.H. Doctor mentally. ‘O Lord Rama, You are in my heart. You Yourself are reciting the Ramaraksha through me. As I said this, I could see the lines of the Ramaraksha in my heart. I continued to recite the Ramaraksha seeing those lines. Since then whenever I recite the Ramaraksha, my entire concentration is focussed on my heart. I recite it with the spiritual emotion (bhav) that my Lord Rama is within me. If even for a moment my attention gets distracted away from my heart, I cannot say the Ramaraksha. After completing its recitation, I do not feel that I have said it in the Vaikhari mode of speech. I feel as if it is recited spontaneously through me.’- Sadhika

2.8 Errors in a prayer

A. Offering prayers to overcome worldly problems: Seekers should certainly pray to the Guru to guide them appropriately in overcoming certain exceptional worldly problems which pose obstacles in their spiritual practice. However they should not ask for solutions to other day-to-day problems because this unnecessarily wastes spiritual practice and draws the seeker away from his prime objective of God realisation.

B. Praying unto the Guru without making proper use of wilful action (kriyaman): Wherever possible, one should use wilful action and not trouble the Guru unnecessarily by making a prayer. Once in the ashram (hermitage), a hymn (arti) audio cassette was being played to generate more spiritual emotion. Realising that it was not sounding alright, I prayed unto the Guru for help. No sooner did I pray than it began playing properly. Actually for several days it was lying around unused. Since it was of inferior quality, it was my first duty to check that out. But without doing so, I immediately prayed unto The Lord. Due to mistakes made by seekers in their wilful action, God had to waste His energy to rectify them. – Sadhak

 

How is spiritual emotion distinct from faith?

Contents


1. Definition and meaning of ‘bhav (spiritual emotion)’

In our day-to-day life, while carrying out every action, we are always aware of one’s own existence as it is deeply ingrained in us. All events occur or are experienced in relation to this awareness itself. Spiritual emotion is replacement of the ‘I’ in one’s life by the awareness of the existence of God or the Guru with equal intensity. An intense awareness about the existence of God or the Guru in any form, carrying out day-to-day life activities based on this feeling and experiencing life based on this background is referred to as spiritual emotion (bhav) towards God or the Guru. Absolute development of this awareness is the presence of this awareness in all the three states, i.e. waking, dream and deep sleep.

‘A saint lives with His mind (antahkaran) full of The Lord’s love. He feels immense closeness for The Lord. This itself is spiritual emotion. Spiritually evolved people preach that the best method by which an embodied soul (jiva) can realise God is through the development of spiritual emotion for Him. Spiritual emotion for The Lord is beyond verbal expression and all concepts related to spiritual emotion. When spiritual emotion is generated, the embodied soul remains constantly engrossed in The Lord. In the life of a saint, pure humanity (meaning prudent selflessness) and pure divinity (meaning faith in the true self in the absence of desire) coexist beautifully. In fact, the inspiration behind Their humanity arises from Their surrender unto The Lord. Saints never turn away from society due to Their selfless nature. They mix with society so that all may experience Their Bliss and contentment.’(1)

2. Belief, faith, spiritual emotion and devotion

To comprehend the importance of Spirituality and to undertake spiritual practice, first and foremost one requires belief. Belief is generated from verbal information. When spiritual practice is undertaken on the basis of this belief, one obtains spiritual experiences. Only after getting spiritual experiences does one develop faith. As a result, spiritual practice gets augmented. With the augmentation of spiritual practice, one gets spiritual experiences of a higher level. In this way, as faith, spiritual practice and spiritual experiences grow, spiritual emotion develops and finally one gets the spiritual experience of Self-realisation, that is a state of Bliss. ‘Neither are merits protective nor demerits destructive, but only spiritual emotion is the saviour because merits and demerits are merely illusory concepts. (Brahman alone is the Truth, the rest is all the Great Illusion (Maya).’ Illusion has no real existence. Spiritual emotion however is not imaginary but the reality, that is Brahman (God). Spiritual emotion is always of the nature of Brahman. Some equate spiritual emotion with faith but this is incorrect because faith is of three types depending upon the three components (namely sattva predominant, raja predominant and tama predominant) while spiritual emotion is beyond the three components (trigunatit). A disciple exists in the form of spiritual emotion which gradually expands and eventually goes beyond it. The Guru is beyond spiritual emotion. Hence it is said – ‘भावातीतं त्रिगुणरहितं सद्‍गुरुं तं नमामि’ (Meaning : I offer obeisance to the Sadguru who is beyond spiritual emotion and the three components.) – Saint

One can define devotion (bhakti) thus. The one who is not separate (vibhakta) from God is a devotee (bhakta). This is a state of non-duality (advait). Devotion is that energy which eliminates duality. Spiritual emotion (bhav) lies in between faith (shraddha) and devotion (bhakti).

3. Difference between spiritual emotion and emotion

‘Spiritual emotion is a state of the subconscious mind (chitta). Thus spiritual emotion may be said to be a state of concentration of the subconscious mind generated by merger of the quality and the one possessing it. Emotions (bhavana) on the other hand are the attitudes of the mind. Desires and emotions are small and big waves arising in the mind.’ – Saint

Tears are an indicator of both emotion and spiritual emotion. Shedding tears out of grief is emotion while flow of tears upon remembering the Guru or God is spiritual emotion.

4. Components of spiritual emotion (bhav)

Components of
spiritual emotion
Importance
%
Components of
spiritual emotion
Importance
%
1. Prayer 20 5. Bliss 30
2. Gratitude 10 6. Serenity 10
3. Service 10 7. Others 10
4. Spiritual love
(priti)
10 Total 100

(Divine Knowledge received in the meditative state by Saint)

Of the components of spiritual emotion given above, prayer, gratitude, service and spiritual love (priti) [love without expectation for others] are the components of spiritual practice while the other two components, Bliss and Serenity (Shanti) are its results. Intellect is not a component of spiritual emotion hence spiritual emotion is always innocent. The Bliss that one experiences after awakening of the eight sattvik emotions or the Serenity that one experiences after meditating upon God is because of these components of spiritual emotion. For the sustenance and growth of the last two components, it is necessary that the previous components should be present in the seeker’s attitude. To encompass these components in one’s attitude, as per the norm that ‘attitude changes with a change in behaviour’, one should strive at the level of the mind and intellect. How one should strive in this direction is given below.

5. Importance of spiritual emotion

5.1 Spiritual emotion means presence of God

  • 1. न काष्‍ठे विद्यते देवो न पाषाणे न मृण्‍मये ।
        भावे तु  विद्यते देवो, तस्‍माद्‌भावो हि कारणम्‌ ।।

    Meaning: God does not exist in a wooden, stone or mud idol. He exists in spiritual emotion, that is why spiritual emotion is important.

  • 2. भावीं देव कीं देवीं भाव । दोहींचा उगव करुनी दावा ।।१।।
        भाव थोर कीं देव थोर । दोहींचा निर्धार करुनी दावा ।।२।।
        जंव जंव भाव तंव तंव देव । भाव नाहीं तेथे देवचि वाव ।।३।।
        एकाजनार्दनीं भावेंचि देव । लटिकें म्‍हणाल तरी हृदयी साक्ष पहा हो ।।४।।
                                                                      – एकनाथ महाराज
  •      Implied meaning: Explain to me whether God exists where there is spiritual emotion or if spiritual emotion originates where there is God. Tell me with certainty what is superior, spiritual emotion or God. As long as there is spiritual emotion in a particular form, God exists in that form. The greater the spiritual emotion, greater is the spiritual experience of God. If there is no spiritual emotion, God will cease to manifest. That is precisely why Saint Eknath says with the grace of His Guru Janardanswami that God exists where there is spiritual emotion, rather that spiritual emotion itself is God. If anyone disbelieves this, then he should see what spiritual experience he derives in his mind (antahkaran) in this regard.

    5.2 Spiritual emotion is evidence of God’s unconditional love (priti)

    निष्‍ठावंत भाव भक्‍तांचा स्‍वधर्म । निर्धार हे वर्म चुकों नये ।।१।।
    निष्‍काम निश्‍चळ विठ्ठलीं विश्‍वास । पाहों नये वास आणिकांची ।।२।।
    तुका म्‍हणे ऐसा कोंणें उपेक्षिला । नाहीं ऐकिला ऐसा कोणीं ।।३।।

    Meaning: A devotee’s duty is to harbour wholehearted spiritual emotion towards Lord Viththal. The true secret of devotion is to harbour this spiritual emotion with a firm resolve constantly. Devotees should have firm faith in Lord Viththal without expecting anything in return. They should not wish for the support of anyone else (Lord Viththal should be their sole support). Saint Tukaram says that He has not heard that a devotee who harbours such spiritual emotion has been ignored by The Lord.

    5.3 Results according to the spiritual emotion

    मंत्रे तीर्थे व्‍दिजे देवे दैवज्ञे भेषजे गुरौ ।
    यादृशी भावना यस्‍य सिद्धिर्भवति तादृशी ।।
                       – श्रीगुरुचरित्र, अध्‍याय ९, श्‍लोक ४८

    Meaning: Each one benefits from a mantra, a pilgrimage, a priest (Brahman), deity, astrologer, vaidya (an ayurvedic practitioner) and Guru as per his emotion (spiritual emotion) with respect to them. – Shrigurucharitra, chapter 9, verse 48

    6. Importance of spiritual emotion from the viewpoint of spiritual practice for the sake of society

    Spiritual emotion is just as important for spiritual practice for the sake of society (samashti) as it is for individual (vyashti) spiritual practice. The reasons for this are as follows.

    ‘Spiritual practice according to the influence of time’ is one of the basic tenets of spiritual practice. Repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name is the best spiritual practice in Kaliyug and the spiritual practice of protecting seekers and destroying evildoers (kshatradharma sadhana) is the best for the kaliyug part of the Kaliyug (era). Repeating (chanting) the Name of The Lord is individual spiritual practice while the spiritual practice of protecting seekers and destroying evildoers is that done for the sake of society. Today, because of hooligans, corrupt politicians, traitors of the country and Righteousness (Dharma) and other evildoers, society, the country and Righteousness are deteriorating. The spiritual practice of protecting seekers and destroying evildoers is to eliminate evildoers and then reinstate a Divine kingdom. As per the need of the hour, it is imperative that each one should undertake this spiritual practice. [Importance of the spiritual practice of protecting seekers and destroying evildoers and details on it are given in ‘Science of Spirituality : Vol. 1 E – Spiritual Practice of Protecting Seekers and Destroying Evildoers (Kshatradharma Sadhana)’.]

    This spiritual practice consists of a combat on two planes. Fighting evildoers will be at the physical level. However it has merely 1% importance in the entire crusade against evil. The real fight is at the subtle level. Evildoers and seekers are like puppets. The former is controlled by distressing energies while the latter by God. So in the true sense, this is a fight between God and the distressing energies. Since this is a battle between Righteousness and unrighteousness, righteous individuals, that is seekers are naturally troubled by distressing energies. These energies obstruct the spiritual practice of seekers and the mission of propagation of Righteousness. Since seekers repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name and undertake spiritual practice, The Lord comes to their rescue in fighting distressing energies. Seekers receive energy transmitted by The Lord but only partially. When spiritual emotion of seekers and injustice in society reach a peak, all of God’s energy becomes operational. This reiterates how important it is to augment collective spiritual emotion. The Lord will certainly keep up His promise as per His assurance ‘न मे भक्‍त: प्रणश्‍यति’ meaning ‘My devotee shall not be destroyed’. But for that one has to be His devotee. Only the one who has spiritual emotion (bhav) can become His devotee. As per the saying that ‘God exists where there is spiritual emotion’, The Lord rushes to the rescue of only those seekers who have spiritual emotion. The example cited below will illustrate that the assistance that a seeker receives from God is in proportion to his spiritual emotion. Sanstha participates in different activities with the objective of creating awareness about Righteousness in the society. This includes organisation of processions of repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name (namdindi) in different places. It has been noticed that in places where seekers had great spiritual emotion, there were fewer obstacles from distressing energies. On the contrary, where seekers lacked spiritual emotion, the distress was more.

    Once when a distressing energy manifested in a seeker, it had a dialogue with a seeker from the ‘Subtle section’. At that time, the distressing energy narrated how important it is that spiritual emotion should be generated among seekers, as given below.

    The distressing energy advising, ‘Increase your spiritual emotion as advised by H.H. Doctor so no one will be able to trouble you’.

    Dhiraj (seeker from the ‘Subtle section’): What else should we do?
    Distressing energy (angrily): Increase (spiritual emotion) what your Baba (H.H. Doctor) has told. He does so much for you all but what do you all do?
    Dhiraj: We make efforts to do likewise. When will you leave her (the afflicted seeker)?
    Distressing energy: I can leave her only if she increases that (spiritual emotion). I will leave her if Baba (H.H. Doctor) comes but will possess her again later. When that (spiritual emotion) in you increases, no one (distressing energy ) will be able to come. You are all alive because of your Baba’s (H.H. Doctor’s) grace. He Himself will augment that (spiritual emotion) in you. Has He not told you to increase that (spiritual emotion)? Then has it increased? No, is it not? Then why should He shoulder your responsibility when you die? I will tell you our plan of action. It is like this – either increase that (spiritual emotion) or die! I am telling you very clearly. It will be like this! Only those who increase that (spiritual emotion) will survive while others will die. The deceased will come to our world.

    (A distressing energy which manifested in a seeker in the ashram (hermitage) gave the above information. – Sadhak)

    Before commencement of the Mahabharat war, Lord Shri Krushna had assured Arjun, “I have already slain the Kauravs; you are but an instrument for the slaying.” In the same way, after The Lord destroys the distressing energies, seekers will have to commence the task of destroying the evildoers on the physical level. The seekers will have to harbour the spiritual emotion that this battle is actually the ritualistic worship (puja) of The Lord. When eliminating evildoers, if a seeker harbours the spiritual emotion that he is offering flowers at the holy feet of The Lord, that is if it is performed with spiritual emotion then the action will become a non-action (akarma karma) and no give and take account will be generated with the evildoer.

    7. Types of spiritual emotion (bhav)

    • Stambha (remaining motionless)
    • Sved (sweating)
    • Romanch (bristling of hair on the body)
    • Vaisvarya (tremulous voice)
    • Kampa (tremor)
    • Vaivarnya (becoming pale)
    • Ashrupat (tears flowing from the eyes)
    • Pralay-cheshta nirodh (fainting)

    Tears flow from the eyes of most seekers when the ritual of moving lit lamps (arti) amidst singing of hymns is performed or when they remember their Guru / God or recollect different incidents pertaining to Them. This can be classified as ashrupat, out of the eight types of spiritual emotion. When all the above eight signs are seen simultaneously, it is said that the eight-fold sattvik spiritual emotion (ashtasattvik bhav) has been aroused.

    8. In whom is spiritual emotion awakened?

    The spiritual level of an average person is 20% while that of a saint who has attained the Final Liberation (Moksha) is 100%. For spiritual practice to occur smoothly only because of spiritual emotion, the spiritual level of the seeker has to be at least 50%. Similarly, to awaken spiritual emotion through spiritual practice, the minimal spiritual level required is 50%. To attain this level, one needs to repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name, remain in holy company (satsang) and render service unto the Absolute Truth (satseva) constantly. (To make a judgement about one’s spiritual level grossly, refer table ‘Spiritual practice according to the spiritual level’ in ‘Science of Spirituality : Vol. 21 – Introduction to Spirituality’.) Even after awakening of spiritual emotion, to maintain it one needs to keep doing one’s spiritual practice.

    9. Obstacles in awakening spiritual emotion

    The three main obstacles in awakening spiritual emotion are ignorance, doership and ego. Ignorance is related to the form and qualities of The Lord and His mode of functioning. Doership pertains to the feeling that different incidents in life occur due to someone else or oneself and not due to God. Ego is the feeling that ‘I am distinct from God’ and it is the greatest obstacle in awakening spiritual emotion. The more the ego, the less are the chances of developing spiritual emotion. Another disadvantage of having high ego is the possibility of being afflicted with distressing energies. It also becomes easier for distressing energies to trouble others and obstruct propagation of Spirituality in society through the medium of a person with high ego. Defects in personality also prove to be an obstacle in awakening spiritual emotion. Sometimes benevolent subtle energies from the nether region (bhuvalok) who help seekers, project thoughts about spiritual emotion or sattvik (sattva predominant) thoughts but they get cannot be imbibed due to excessive defects in personality.

    Once any one of the three obstacles, viz. ignorance, doership and ego gets destroyed in the true sense of the term, the other two can be overcome quite easily. Efforts made to overcome these obstacles stepwise are attempts to awaken spiritual emotion (bhav).

    10. Stages in the efforts made to awaken spiritual emotion

    A. Generation of spiritual emotion : Generation of spiritual emotion in a seeker lacking in it is next to impossible and can occur only with the grace of the Guru.

    B. Awakening spiritual emotion : This is the process of awakening the dormant spiritual emotion within a seeker.

    C. Augmentation of spiritual emotion : These are attempts made to enhance the existing spiritual emotion.

    Reference:

    [1]. Santanche Atmacharitra, Second edition, September 1989; page 7; K.V. Belsare, Tridal Publications, Near Prarthana Samaj, Mumbai 4.

     

    Why should a prayer be augmented with an expression of gratitude?

    Contents


    1. Gratitude

    God is the creator of the universe. We too are a part and parcel of the universe. So both, the universe and we were created because of God. All events in the universe followed thereafter. These include me, my happiness and unhappiness, intellect, actions, my family, country, religion, spiritual practice, etc. Thus whenever one thinks about the self and / or the world, unconsciously harbouring awareness of God or one of His forms and offering the credit for even this awareness to God, is termed as gratitude. Prayer is actually a synonym for surrender. This act of surrender is completed only after the expression of gratitude. The Guru Himself is God for a seeker who has been blessed by the grace of a Guru or for one who is practising Spirituality according to the Path of the Guru’s Grace (Gurukrupayoga). Hence it is but natural for him to harbour more gratitude towards the Guru.

    1.1 Importance

    • Reduction in ego: Gratitude is a means of offering the doership of an act to God / the Guru; hence it helps in reducing the ego. Often seekers forget to thank God for anything occurring as wished in a prayer or after deriving Bliss (Anand) from rendering service. A seeker can also develop subtle ego about getting spiritual experiences or experiencing Bliss. It is therefore important to offer the credit for a spiritual experience or the experience of Bliss to the Guru.
    • In expressing gratitude, one offers the result of an action unto God. Since the result of the action is sacrificed, the action becomes a non-action (akarma karma) and no give and take account is generated. Thus the chances of a seeker getting entrapped in the cycle of birth and death are reduced.

    2. Repeating (chanting) the Name of The Lord

    According to the Path of Devotion, this is the very foundation of spiritual practice. The Lord’s Name is The Lord Himself. That is why the easiest mode of being in constant communion with The Lord is repeating (chanting) His Name continuously. ‘Science of Spirituality: Vol. 6 A – Path of Repeating (Chanting) The Lord’s Name (Namasankirtanyoga)’ explains in detail the importance of The Lord’s Name, what should be done to repeat (chant) it continuously and effectively and its various other aspects. One may get the impression that one develops spiritual emotion (bhav) for The Lord by being in constant communion with Him through repetition (chanting) of His Name. Often however, repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name occurs just for its sake without spiritual love for The Lord. This kind of repetition (chanting) does not help much in developing spiritual emotion for God. That is precisely why repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name should be done along with spiritual emotion. The ways and means of achieving this are given below.

    2.1 Importance of repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name with spiritual emotion

    • Only if repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name is done with spiritual emotion does it reach The Lord.
    • Repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name done with spiritual emotion provides protection from distressing energies.

    2.2 Efforts to repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name with spiritual emotion

    • A prayer should be made unto the Guru / God to make one repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name with spiritual emotion.
    • Just as one thinks of someone one loves or something one likes repeatedly and very easily without any effort, e.g. a lover thinks of his beloved or a mother of her child so also, the mind should be conditioned to love God. Once one begins to like or love God, one remembers His Name easily and experiences Bliss on repeating (chanting) it. Later repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name becomes a way of life.
    • Imagining The Lord’s form time and again makes it easier to love Him. That is why when repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name, if possible one should place a picture of the deity within one’s visual range. To make the atmosphere more sattvik (sattva predominant), one should affix strips of Names of deities in the room where one is repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name.
    • One should harbour the spiritual emotion that God / the Guru is getting the repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name done from oneself.
    • If one uses a tool such as a japamala to repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name, considering it as a deity, one should offer obeisance to it before commencing the repeating (chanting).
    • Repeating (chanting) should be interlaced with meditation because the two qualitatively enhance each other.
    • One should listen to an audio cassette on repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name off and on.
    • One should listen to audio cassettes of devotional songs (bhajans) composed by saints and to Their spiritual guidance off and on.

    2.3 Spiritual experience of repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name along with spiritual emotion

    Experiencing indescribable sweetness while repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name along with spiritual emotion and perceiving the presence of the Guru / God when repeating (chanting) in that way: Since 25th October 2002, I sensed a qualitative change in my repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name. Though I did love to repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name earlier as if it were a hobby, since 25th October 2002, the subtle change which occurred is beyond verbal description. First of all I consider myself extremely fortunate for being able to repeat (chant) The Lord’s Name. Just as a mother derives happiness merely by calling out again and again to her baby by its name despite it not understanding the language, so also I experience pure Bliss merely by repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name. The Name seems invaluable. I feel like repeating (chanting) The Lord’s Name continuously without cessation. I also constantly perceive the presence of the Guru / God. Consequently, on one hand I feel quite safe and self-confident and on the other, extremely humble.

    3. Practising the nine-fold devotion (navavidhabhakti)

    The aim of a seeker following the Path of Devotion (Bhaktimarg) is to generate intense devotion unto The Lord. To achieve this, it is beneficial to put into practice the various types of the nine-fold devotion namely, listening to praise of The Lord (shravan), singing praises of The Lord (kirtan), remembering The Lord (smaran), service of the holy feet (padsevan), offering (archan), offering obeisance (vandan), devotion as a servant (dasya), devotion as a friend (sakhya) and narrating everything to God (atmanivedan). Among these, the first three types help to generate faith, the next three are related to the manifest (sagun) form of The Lord and the last three are internal spiritual emotions.

    3.1 Types of the nine-fold devotion

    A. Listening to praise of The Lord (shravan): This form of devotion includes listening to the qualities, victories and glory of The Lord with faith. It also means listening to the Guru’s teaching (knowledge).

    B. Singing praises of The Lord (kirtan): Singing the praises of The Lord amounts to this kind of devotion. Narrating the knowledge one has gained by listening to the Guru’s teachings to others as the situation demands and inspiring them to behave as per the Guru’s expectations is devotion of this kind.

    C. Remembering The Lord (smaran): Constant contemplation upon the Name – virtues – divine play (lila) of The Lord and remaining engrossed in them is this type of devotion. This includes constant remembrance of the gross form of the Guru or God through a picture / idol and that of His subtle form through repetition (chanting) of The Lord’s Name. If one harbours the spiritual emotion that every breath one takes, every task that one has done throughout the day has been possible only because of The Lord or that one is living every second only because of The Lord then one will remember Him throughout the day. This is the true expression of this devotional form. Kunti from the Mahabharat had asked for unhappiness so that she would remember The Lord all day long. However without asking for unhappiness if one makes attempts as above then this devotion will develop quickly.

    D. Service of the holy feet (padsevan): In this form of service, one literally serves the holy feet of The Lord or performs ritualistic worship of His feet. Service unto the Guru’s feet means harbouring the spiritual emotion, ‘I am a servitor of The Lord’. A Guru has greater attachment for a disciple who worships His subtle form, that is the Guru principle than one who worships only His gross form. Propagation of the Guru’s mission in the best possible way is true service unto the Guru’s feet.

    E. Offering (archan): Ritualistic worship (puja) of The Lord with devotion and respect is called archan. Installing a picture of the Guru in the temple at home or worshipping Him mentally are incorporated in this kind of devotion.

    F. Offering obeisance (vandan): This form of devotion constitutes meditating upon The Lord after completely surrendering unto Him. This includes praying with spiritual emotion, so that it reaches God.

    G. Devotion as a servant (dasya): In this form of devotion, the devotee considers The Lord to be his father, mother and his everything and he himself to be The Lord’s son or servant. Lord Maruti is an excellent example of this type of devotion.

    H. Devotion as a friend (sakhya): In this form of devotion, a devotee believes God to be his friend or sibling who shares his happiness and unhappiness. So, no barrier of any kind exists between the two. As spiritual emotion towards the Guru grows, there is a corresponding growth of respect and gratitude for Him. This makes it difficult to view Him as a friend. Only a rare seeker with a spiritual level of more than 60% is capable of remaining devoted in this way. Devotion of Arjun towards Lord Krushna is an unparalleled example of this.

    I. Narrating everything to God (atmanivedan): This devotion is the ultimate and supreme step in the Path of Devotion. Here, the devotee explicitly narrates everything good or bad, external or internal to The Lord and surrenders completely unto Him. One should narrate daily to the Guru about everything, all of one’s actions, obstacles faced in one’s spiritual practice, doubts in the mind, etc.

    3.2 Comparative importance of the nine-fold devotion

    Type Importance
    %
    Type Importance
    %
    1. Listening to praise of
    The Lord (shravan)
    10 6. Offering obeisance
    (vandan)
    40
    2. Listening to tales
    praising The Lord in a
    poetic form (kirtan)
    15 7. Devotion as a
    servant (dasya)
    50
    3. Remembering The
    Lord (smaran)
    20 8. Devotion as a friend
    (sakhya)
    60
    4. Serving of the holy
    feet (padsevan)
    25 9. Conversing with
    God (atmanivedan)
    65
    5. Offering (archan) 30