P. P. Bhaktaraj Maharaj

     
 

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Words of wisdom

Knowledge is obtained by faith and dedication retained by devotion and abandoned by Self-deception.

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Teachings of P.P. Bhaktaraj Maharaj



Placing one's head on the saints feet means surrendering one's intellect.

- P. P. Bhaktaraj Maharaj


- The Path Of Chanting -

1. The importance of chanting
After I became enlightened that the basis of all knowledge is chanting God's name, I was rid of all doubts.

Chanting of God's name is superior to the Vedas as the I Vedas are derived from the name Omkar (an indicative of the
Supreme God). Hence, the study of God's name i.e., chanting is more important than the study of the Vedas, Upanishads, Geeta,
etc. scriptures. Ajapaajapa (automatic chanting) is more important than chanting willfully.

2. Other spiritual paths and chanting
It is said that 'Chanting is the only way (to make spiritual progress) in the present era of Kali'. Fall madly in love with chanting because, God's name itself is everything. Why is so much importance given to chanting ? God's name was there before we were born and will remain even after our death i.e., it is eternal. Even though the paths of knowledge, yoga and devotion are different, chanting is the basis of all the three. It is through God's name only that a seeker following the path of knowledge acquires knowledge. As a yogi goes on chanting, his mind becomes steady and he attains a super conscious state (Samadhi).

3. The special feature of chanting
Continuity in spiritual practice is possible only with chanting. Chanting is both the means and the goal. The seed of God's name is the destroyer of ignorance. Hence finally only the Knowledge Absolute and bliss are obtained from it.

4. How does chanting work ?
Following the rules and observations (yama-niyama) of yoga may take a very long time to control the stimuli arising in the impressions in the subconscious mind, since there are millions of them and to remove even a single impression also takes a lot of time. So instead of trying to remove these impressions, which are the part of the Great Illusion (Maya), trying continuously to become one with God (Purusha or Brahman) is of greater importance. This is easily achieved through chanting. The various constituents of the Great Illusion {Maya} such as the conscious mind, subconscious mind, intellect, etc., function according to their qualities. Hence, instead of wasting one's spiritual practice in trying to fight with these, if one utilizes it in seeking God (Purusha or Brahman) i.e., trying to become one with His name, then the goal is achieved earlier.

5. The benefits of chanting
5.1. Internal Purification
The sun destroys the excreta and also the odour within it. So also the spiritual energy generated by chanting destroys the internal impurities.

5.2. Development of devotion and faith
Chanting gives bliss and increases the spiritual energy. Whenever there is spiritual energy, devotion, faith, etc., develop automatically.

5.3. Loss of ego
When one is adopted by someone, one has to change one's old name to a new one to inherit his property. In the same way to acquire God's blessings, one has to forget one's own name (ego) and change over to His name i.e., one should get so much absorbed in chanting that one forgets oneself and gets united with it.

5.4. Serenity (Shanti)
In the beginning chanting gives happiness, but later once blending with God has occurred, instead of happiness one experiences bliss and a sense of serenity. Pronunciation of the word 'aananda' (happiness) is difficult. As against that the words 'Shanti (serenity) and 'sukha' (bliss) can be pronounced easily. (Baba uses the word aananda to indicate happiness and sukha indicate bliss, contrary to the way they are used by others and the way they are used by us in this book elsewhere.)

5.5. Perfection
One can achieve perfection at the Guru's feet. So also it can be acquired when one surrenders to chanting. Chanting itself is the un manifest Guru principle.

6. Types of chanting

6.a. The name given by the parents and the name given by the Guru
6.a.1. The name given to us by our parents is given to the body and it arises from the Great Illusion, whereas the name given by the Guru for chanting arises from God principle.
6.a.2. One believes that the name given by one's parents is one's own, owing to the repeated impressions on the mind. I n the same way one should feel that God's name given by the Guru for chanting is one's own by chanting it repeatedly. The name given by the Guru shows that one belongs to someone (Guru principle). So forgetting the name given by the parents, one should come to believe that God's name is one's own.
6 A 3. A son carries on the name given by his parents. Similarly a disciple carries on the name given by his Guru. (H. H. Anantanand Saish used to call Baba both His disciple and son. Hence, He carried on His Guru's name in both aspects. The Guru named His body arising from the Great Illusion as Bhaktaraj and internally kindled the awareness of the name of the Guru principle).

6.b. One's favorite God's name and the name given by the Guru
Question : What is the difference between chanting one's favorite God's name and chanting the name given by the Guru ?
Baba : While chanting one's favorite God's name, it carries some amount of ego. As against this in the name given by the Guru for chanting there is no ego. Moreover, as there is blissful energy in the name given by the Guru, spiritual progress is faster.

6.c. The name given by the Guru and the Guru's name
Question : Instead of thinking about the name given by You for chanting, I remember You and chant Your name.
Baba : Doesn't matter. Continue it. {God's name and Guru's name are not at all different. They are one and the same.) Even if one chants the name of the manifest form (saguna), still it is not different from the un-manifest (nirguna) as that too contains blissful energy

7. The modes of chanting
7.a. A rosary
Question : Why does the rosary (used by Hindus) have one hundred and eight beads ?
Baba : Desire, anger, greed, attachment, pride and jealousy are the six main obstacles. At any point of time not just one but two of these obstacles may be dominant. Thus the six combinations of each obstacle viz., 1. desire, 2. desire-anger, 3. desire-greed, 4, desire-attachment, 5. desire-pride and 6. desire-jealousy are possible. In this manner thirty six subdivisions of the six obstacles occur. These thirty six subdivisions may be predominant in any one of the three components - satva, raja or tama e.g., desire-anger-satva; desire-anger-raja; desire-anger-tama, etc. In this way 36 x 3 = 108 further subdivisions occur and every bead of the rosary represents such a subdivision. The chief bead (merumanee) remains separate although it is a part of the rosary. Thus the rosary has 109 beads and the spiritual emotions generated in each bead arise from the nine-fold devotion (navavidhaabhakti).

7.b. Where should one chant ?
Instead of sitting in one place and chanting, it is better to chant while carrying out all the day-to-day activities. This is a higher form of spiritual practice, as for one it is continuous and secondly, the seeker while doing the daily routine i.e., while still in the Great Illusion continues to chant and hence, is beyond the Great Illusion Remaining in constant contact with God in this manner under all the circumstances, is called the state of being in contact with God all the time (sahajasthitee).
May I continuously chant
Your name 0 Lord Govinda ?
(Holy song : When will you come, 0 blissful one ?)
Once Baba asked a person to chant in the toilet, because during defecation only one thought is in the mind which is how the expulsion of fasces will occur !
In all the states think of Lord Shreehari
He alone will make you happy.
(Holy song : At the root of happiness lies sorrow)

7.c. Chanting in the company of saints
Chanting in the company of saints occurs automatically owing to their spiritual energy. Hence, the ego of practicing spiritualism i.e., 'I am chanting1 does not develop.

7.d. Concentration, contemplation and chanting
When chanting is done only by the conscious mind, it involves voluntary effort. Hence, concentration incorporates some degree of grossness. As against this, with continuous chanting an impression of chanting occurs on the subconscious mind and its purification occurs. On account of this one begins to experience a continuing relationship with God's name {This is referred to as contemplation) and this itself will have to be referred to as a spiritual experience.

8. Breathing and chanting
8.a. Chanting along with breathing
One lives because of breathing and not because of chanting. Hence, it is important to focus one's attention on breathing and to synchronies chanting along with it. The rhythm of breathing should not be according to chanting.

8.b. The benefits of chanting along with breathing
8.b.1. Now-a-days since the environment is polluted by undesirable thoughts, they enter the mind along with inspiration and lead to mental illness. In the same manner useless thoughts also enter the mind. When one chants along with breathing, the proportion of the undesirable and useless thoughts entering the mind decreases and hence, one feels that one has had ah exhilarating experience.
8.b.2. Concentration on breathing involves constantly living in the present. As against this thinking of other things means thinking of the past or the future. It is absolutely necessary that a seeker lives in the present. Hence, it is necessary for him to concentrate on breathing.
8.b.3. In the path of devotion while chanting even if one visualizes God, still duality persists. On the other hand, when one chants along with breathing, there is no vision of God and the seeker goes directly towards non-duality i.e., becomes one with God's name.

8.c. The signs of progress
As the attachment to the body decreases, ritualistic bathing, worshipping, etc., automatically begin to decrease. In the same way, as the psychological tendencies decrease, chanting automatically decreases. Hence, while chanting along with breathing, in the later stage, chanting ceases and one concentrates only on breathing. At this stage one monitors the breathing just as an observer and is only aware of one's existence.

9. The obstacles during chanting
9.a. Doubts about chanting
Incidence : Many seekers practicing chanting sometimes start feeling that they are unable to chant and feel like giving it up. The following advice was given by Baabaa to one of His disciples in such a situation.
Baabaa : You say you will stop chanting, but is it something which you can give up ? ft is a lifelong companion, it is the devotee's real self. It is the Absolute Truth and Knowledge and it is that Absolute Purity which will wipe off the bondages of destiny and liberate us from the compulsion to perform and lead us to the pure saatvik state. Hence, one must not even think that one will quit chanting. I am just an ordinary person, but many sages, who blended with Him after leading many to salvation, did so with the might of chanting. Did they fall prey to this doubt? The doubts about chanting are like the froth of the buttermilk, where will it go? Surely it will blend with the buttermilk. What you have written is a misconception that doubts about chanting trouble you. The God's name which I have is the very same you have. The doubts hover around it and lead to frustration. Finally the doubts give up and again there is a great attachment to chanting. When you experience this you will know.
'The Lord who is Mine, is yours too.11 have not kept anything separate from you. You should always experience this. A saint's quote goes as follows, 'You did not keep me separate from You.' So if He has not kept Me away, then why should I make such a discrimination? I am a servant of a devotee, so please do not think like that. Things gradually change with time. Even God could not escape the changes taking place with time

9.b. Day-to-day life and chanting
9.b.1. Question : If one does chanting all the time, how will one be able to carry out one's day-to-day activities ?
Baabaa : I do not think that chanting i.e., thinking of God hampers anything. When chanting is done willfully by the conscious mind, initially the daily activities may become a little difficult, but later on when the subconscious mind begins chanting, there is no hindrance to the daily routine. Hearing chanting in the state of an observer implies simultaneously hearing God's name and chanting along with it. Similarly, it is possible to do daily activities and to chant simultaneously.
9.b.2. Question ; When 'chanting is everything' gets impressed on the mind, one does not feel like doing other activities such as managing the Trust or running a hospital, a school, etc., as suggested by You. What should one do then ?
Baabaa : Though the body is in this world, the mind remains at God's feet. One should be able to practice this. For that while doing all these activities, keep the mind on chanting.

10. The path of action and chanting
10.a. Rituals, the path of action and chanting
Question : Although chanting is the highest form of spiritual practice why in our ashram is the idol worshipped and on the festive occasions why are special rituals performed ? And why do You say that Our trust should build a school, hospital, etc.?
Baabaa : I do, so that every seeker is able to carry out whatever is necessary for him according to his spiritual level and path of spiritual progress. For that a place of worship, a school, etc., are made available to him.

10.b. Action, chanting and God
Carrying out actions while chanting is better than offering the result of an action to God. However, thinking that God Himself is doing the action according to His wish i.e., thinking that everything occurs according to destiny or owing to God's wish, is the best.

10.c.The result of action and chanting
When one is chanting there is no ego involved. Hence, whatever is done during chanting is done without a motive, so it becomes only a mechanical or automatic action. Hence, one does not have to face the consequences of that act. When chanting stops, ego surfaces again and one has to endure the result of that action.

10.d. Meditation and chanting
10.d.1. Question : Which is superior - meditation or chanting?
Baabaa : Chanting is superior to meditation. Meditation gives an experience of a dead body. The other experiences obtained during meditation are not dependent on the spiritual level. However, the experiences of one who chants are indicative of one's spiritual level. Meditation is an artificial state whereas through chanting one attains the state of being in contact with God all the time (sahajaavasthaa),
10.d.2. During meditation the ego is present minutely, owing to the feeling that 'I am practicing meditation', whereas in chanting one feels that the Guru is getting the chanting done, so no ego develops, instead it gets destroyed.
10.d.3. Meditation is not continuous. A seeker practicing meditation gradually comes back to the working state, whereas a seeker practicing continuous chanting is continuously 'awake' i.e., in the state of being in contact with God all the time (sahajaavasthaa).

10.e. The thoughtless state and chanting
Question : Which is more important of the two - thoughtlessness or chanting?
Baabaa : Thoughtlessness involves unawareness of both internal and external phenomena. It is not very proper, as in this state very subtle impressions come to the surface sometime or the other. When one concentrates on God's name these impressions do not surface. Hence, chanting is better than the thoughtless state.

10.f. Being an observer and chanting
Chanting is more important than remaining in the state of an observer, because with the latter duality is always present, but with chanting the seeker can attain non-duality.

11. Loving chanting like the Gopees
One will realize the truth behind Baba's statement 'Chanting means real happiness and forgetting chanting means real unhappiness.' When one contemplates about the importance of chanting, one realizes the benefits and the experiences obtained through chanting. The Gopees loved Lord Krishna so intensely that even if they forgot Him for a fraction of a second they would get restless. Baba, Who has always intensely loved chanting once prayed in a holy song that He should experience 'forgetting chanting is the greatest sorrow.'

12. Baba's quotations on chanting
12.a. Chanting should be continuous
Breathing continues when one is ill, laughing, etc. In the same way chanting is not related to worldly happiness or grief.

12.b. Spontaneity in chanting
Instead of concentrating on chanting, spontaneous chanting is more important. Spontaneous chanting is automatic and does not involve any willful effort. Through the waves of the ocean the love grew
The mind has steadied on ft and the body is soon forgotten.
(Holy song : In the golden shell)
Action and chanting
Remember the principle (i.e., chanting or God) and then do anything!

12.c. Knowledge means chanting
The only knowledge My Guru gave Me was that of chanting.

12.d. Recognition by the name
Many people do not know you personally, but know your name. Hence, to prove your identity you have to show your identity card bearing your name!

12.e. The seed of name
The very nature of the seed is creation. When one sows a seed, it grows into a tree. Similarly once the seed of God's name is sown, it leads to omniscience.

12.f. The Great Illusion and chanting
The best way of saving oneself (from the Great Illusion) is by chanting.

12.g Chanting and spiritual energy
The devotion to chanting itself is the Guru's strength.

12.h Name for name's sake
The name is also for name's sake.

 

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