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Swami Dayatmananda Post-Aarthi Talks : 9th July 2017


Swamiji began his talk on describing the significance of today, 9 th July 2017, which is Gurupurnima day. He said
there are 4 reasons today is special :-

1. This is the day allocated for the worship of the Guru.

2. It is also known as Vyasapurnima, in acknowledgement of sage Vedavyasa, the first Guru, or Adiguru.
Vyasa literally means “editor”, so Vedavyasa means editor of the Vedas.
3. In the olden days, before global warming took hold, this was the day that the Amarnath yatra started
in the midst of summer.
4. It was also the day when wandering monks stopped at a place for 4 months due to the onset of the
rainy season, called Chaturmasya. During this period, (July to October), the monks would teach local

Vedavyasa’s Legacy

There are 3 foundational scriptures of Hinduism (called

Prasthanatriya) :-

● Brahmasutras
● Upanishads
● Bhagavad Gita

Previously the Vedas were only readily accessible to

Brahmins and some Kshatriyas – Vyasa ensured it was
brought to ordinary people in simple language. Vyasa
clarified doubts people had in the Vedas by explaining
to people that there were no contradictions as they
were just different expressions of the same truth. This he did in the Brahmasutras (sutra = that which indicates
the way to….Brahman) so there would be no confusion in the minds of people.

Vyasa also enabled simplification of the Vedas by writing the 18 Puranas (Ashtadasa purana). There are in fact
36 puranas (18 major – Mahapuranas and 18 minor- Upapuranas). The Puranas are divided into 3 parts – those
that extol the greatness of Vishnu (Vishnusampartikapurana), those that extol the greatness of Shiva
(Shivapurana, Skandapurana, Lingapurana) and…3rd Purana??

But every Purana points out that there is no difference between Vishnu, Devi etc – they are such that people
can have their ishtadevata through different Puranas. This is the greatness of Hinduism – different names of
Gods and Goddesses are just forms of the One God.

The Mahabharatha is also known as the 5 th Veda (Panchama Veda). It is said that “whatever is elsewhere is in
the Mahabharata and whatever is not in the Mahabharata is not anywhere else”. It is sometimes said that just
2 parts of the Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita and the Vishnu Sahasranamam contain all the philosophies
that we need.

Scriptures & Saints

The definition of a scripture is that it is the “expression of the experience of a God-realised soul”, whose will
belongs to God. They have surrendered their individuality to God. We all have individual realisations, “I am
this”, but the moment we remove that and say “I am universal” then our will doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to
God. In some minds, the Divine Will inspires them to pass on their knowledge. For example, when Buddha got
enlightenment, it is said he danced around the Bodhi tree for 14 days in ecstasy – the tree is not enlightened
by the way!

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Swami Dayatmananda Post-Aarthi Talks : 9th July 2017

Every saint is a confirmation that “God exists and I have experienced it”. So a scripture is also nothing but the
expression of a saint – both their experiences of God and the sadhanas they have followed. For these souls,
the Divine Will inspires them to pass on their knowledge.

The scriptures also reveal to us :

- Tatva – what is the real Truth?

- Purusatha – why should we have this Truth experience? And only human beings want to know this Truth.
- Hita - the way to reach God, the path.

But people in general do not say they are searching for God – but they do say they are searching for happiness.
Now, another characteristic of saints is that they are always joyous, whatever the external circumstances. So
should we not correlate our search for happiness with the life and approach of saints who are always happy?

As human history tends to forget the teachings of saints from yesteryear and people have doubts, God is
reincarnated again and again to reaffirm that God exists. They will live the life as prescribed in the scriptures
and reconfirm that if we follow the scriptures then we will also get happiness. Hence we must have faith in the

Characteristics of Incarnations

Whenever an incarnation appears on earth, 4 things happen :-

1. Their name becomes a mantra

2. Their form becomes a Ishtadevata (object of meditation)
3. Their life becomes a scripture for the present age
4. GPS starts ! ( Guru Parambara System)…an organisation will start. Unfortunately however, sectarianism
starts and there will be splits and the organisation degenerates till God reincarnates again. Just as GPS
guides us, so will the incarnation.

Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Ramakrishna, Chaitanya are all incarnations that are worshipped and become
Ishtadevatas. Whereas Sankaracharya, Madhvacharya, Ramanuja have great influence and followers but are
not worshipped.

Krishna Reference

The Bhagavad Gita which is Krishna’s main scripture is mainly a logical, philosophical book. Whereas another
influential scripture regarding Krishna is the 11 th stanza of Sri Bhagavatam (Sri Krishna Udhavasamadha) – this
is a pure devotional scripture on Krishna’s life.

Udhava – I don’t live anywhere, I live where my devotees sing with devotion.

Valmiki / Rama story

In Valmiki’s Ramayana, upon exile, Rama does not meet Valmiki, only Sita does, whereas in Ramcharitamanas
version, Rama meets Valmiki. A beautiful story :-

Rama upon leaving Ayodhya, had to cross the Ganges and meets the boatman Guhaka.

Rama : “ Guha – please take me across.”

Guha : “ Yes Swami – but on one condition, I must wash your feet thoroughly.”

Rama, very innocently : “ Why?”

Guha : “ Because, my Lord, I heard that your feet touched a stone and became a woman. Now already I have
one wife, if my boat also becomes a woman I will have 2 problems – I will have lost my boat and will have an

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Swami Dayatmananda Post-Aarthi Talks : 9th July 2017

extra burden of another woman to look after, so

how will I survive? So please let me wash your
feet and you can sit in my boat and we are all

So Rama crosses the Ganges safely and meets

Dhandakarinya (Valmiki).

He asks the great sage, “where can he stay in

this place for 14 years with his wife and

Valmiki counters this with : “ First you tell me

where You are not and then I will tell you where
you can stay!”, indirectly acknowledging that
Rama is God.

Then it is described in Ramachitramanas, “Oh

Rama :-

- dwell in that place where the people are never satisfied however much they hear of your stories, they are
not happy for it come to come to an end so they want to continuously listen to your stories,
- dwell in the hearts of those people who never wish any worldly objects except devotion to your Lotus
- dwell in the hearts of those people who do not cherish lust, anger, greed, pride, delusion etc
- in the hearts of those people who, like a cow who has given birth to a calf is always thinking of her
newborn, always are thinking of others, that is a fitting place for you to dwell.”

The above characteristics are in essence those we need to develop for God to come to us.

Ashtalakshmi story

There was a king who was very truthful and also prosperous – in every way he was like a saint. But he
committed a sin. That night he had a dream and a beautiful woman came in a dream and said to him, “ you
have committed a sin and I must leave you.”

King : “ Mother, who are you and why must you go?”

Devi : “ I am Dhanalakshmi and I must go”.

In this manner, Vidyalakshmi, Vivekalakshmi, Bhagyalakshmi…7 Lakshmis leave. Finally the most beautiful lady

King : “ Mother, who are you?”

Devi : “ I am Sathyalakshmi.”

King : “ Mother – let all the other Lakshmis go but I cannot leave you – I cannot let you go because I cannot be
untruthful! Then Sathyalakshmi relented and the moment she said that, all the other Lakshmis returned.

The moral of this story is that good qualities and bad qualities are like thieves – they stick together!

Hindus believe that without Guru, we cannot progress in spiritual life. If there is conflict between God and
Guru then we should respect the Guru but then there wont be any conflict.

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Swami Dayatmananda Post-Aarthi Talks : 9th July 2017

Presiding Deity of any Place

The presiding deity is always the Divine Mother. In Varanasi it is Mother Annapurna. At the start of the
Saundaryalahari :-

“Siva Saktyaa yukto yadi bhavati Saktah prabhavitum” - if Shiva is not joined with Shakti then he cannot even
do his function. Same with Vishnu/Lakshmi and Brahma/ Saraswati.

Actually Brahma is Saraswati…how? Brahma who is 4-headed represents the 4 Vedas and is the application of
the Shakti (Saraswati).

Sri Ramakrishna had a divine vision of Varanasi of what happens when a Jiva dies there … Shiva only utters the
Taraka mantra but it is totally useless unless the Divine Mother (Mahamaya) comes and cuts all the bondages.
The meaning of this is that Shiva tells us we are Brahman (Taraka means that which saves) but the jiva cannot
be released unless the Divine Mother gives that understanding. The analogy is like getting a visa for entry to
another country!

The last line of the Gayatri mantra also reinforces this :

“ Dhiyo Yonaḥ Prachodayāt” : I meditate upon you oh Divine Mother !

Vidyamaya & Avidyamaya

What is this understanding – it is Vidyamaya. If we can through our daily life learn to become wise, then
Avidyamaya is not necessary. But Avidyamaya takes us through the path of suffering so that one day this
suffering will wake us up – this is called preparation. Hence Avidyamaya is not our enemy.

This is a key tenet of Vedanta philosophy – every spiritual development has 2 parts –
understanding/preparation and practice. That which falls under understanding/preparation is called
Purvakanda or Karmakanda and that when we are ready and we practice it in our life, it is called Jnanakanda.

Our Preparation (Purvakanda)

Sri Ramakrishna quoted from Sri Ramanuja works – specifically his Brahmasutra bhasya which is called the Sree
Bhasya. There it is said that every devotee must develop 7 qualities :-

- Viveka : Purification of the body through Sattvic food and cleaniness

- Vimoka : Freedom from Kama and Krodha
- Abhyasa : Continuous practice of the presence of the Antharyamin
- Kriya: Five-fold duty and it includes Vedic recitation, sacrifice, benevolence and tapas, also duty towards
guru, the forefathers
- Kalyana: Consists of the practice of truth, integrity, daya and ahimsa
- Anavasada: Freedom from despair due to disappointment and being cheerful and finally
- Anuddharsa: Absence of exaltation (i.e. avoiding extremes).

Unless a person develops these 7 qualities, he is not fit to enter into the second stage. This preparatory stage is
called the Purvakanda of the Vedas.

There are two parts of karmayoga :-

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Swami Dayatmananda Post-Aarthi Talks : 9th July 2017

1. Sakama karmayoga (don’t want spiritual life but want worldly desires).
- We can accommodate worldly desires by either ignoring or following the scriptures. The scriptures
themselves have two parts – vidhi (do this) and nisheda (don’t do this).
- But as we do commit sin, if we have repented, then it is called Pratyavayapapa – sins of Omission and
Commission (not doing what we should do and doing things we should not do!).
- So what is the way forward : when a person understands I am the cause of my own suffering and I want to
get rid of it, then comes prayaschitha (atonement). Prayaschitha literally means how to get back that state
of mind before I committed the sin (chitha = mind), this comes out by doing penance, mantras etc.
- Avidyamaya therefore is not enemical to us, it is our Mother, Maya is there to lead us slowly and gradually
to God.
- This is the philosophy of Samkyayoga – that like a loving mother, it leads each Jiva from a state of
ignorance to wisdom but through ups & downs. This was the key understanding that Sri Ramakrishna gave
in understanding the true role of maya.
- This is also supported by the Bhagavad Gita :
o “daivi hy esa guna-mayi (it is divine power, my power)
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te”
- But we can still develop whilst having a householder’s life – how to love (expansion of oneself), how to be
equanimous despite ups & downs then we have growth.

2. Nishkama karmayoga (want only God but we still do our worldly duties).

Arthi – these represent the 5 elements

1. light
2. water
3. cloth
4. flower
5. chamara

The symbolism of Arthi is that the whole universe belongs to you and I (made up of these elements) also
belong to you. When we understand this properly then that is the real worship of God and Saranagati will
come. So this Avidyamaya is not our enemy, she is a mother who is like a schoolteacher, teaching us so many
lessons slowly, she is making our understanding deeper. Once we reach that state, then vidyamaya takes over
and we live with those mahavakyas.

“iti iti neti neti” : often translated as “this..this and ..not this…not this” can be interpreted as “iti .. iti” meaning
taking a positive path or path of bhakti or devotion whereas “ neti ..neti” can mean the path of knowledge.
Both paths lead to the same goal, neither is superior. This is what Sri Ramakrishna preached – follow the path
that is most suited to you, not the path that appeals to you.

“ Jato mat, tato path”….as there are a number of beliefs, there are a number of ways…who will tell us which
path is suited for us…that is the role of the Guru.

Guru – Disciple Relationship

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Swami Dayatmananda Post-Aarthi Talks : 9th July 2017

The Guru sometimes is harsh with disciples in order to teach them a lesson. Every Guru wants to set his
disciples free so that they are not dependent on them for all matters.

What is true Guru Dakshina – it is not giving fruits, money etc but when the Guru gives a mantra which is like a
seed. When the disciple sows it and looks after it, it gives 4 fruits – Dharma, Artha, Kama & Moksha. When the
disciple attains moksha, only at that time does the Guru become free of your burden, until that time it is his
responsibility to help you ….that is true Guru Dakshina.

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