What is a true shelter? – Summary Divine Discourse on 16 November 2016
Among all types of species in the world, human birth is most precious. Adi Sankara, based on the precious nature of human life, had said that there are three most coveted which will lead us to obtaining God’s grace – One, human birth, two, desire to know the Truth or God and three, the company of the great realised ones, the Divine personalities.
A lot of devotees have come to this place from many, many countries, Not only that they have reached this Ashrama, they have also reached the Ashraya, which means the Divine shelter. What is the greatest shelter? The company of the godly persons. Just because you build four walls and put a roof on your head, it does not become a shelter. The true shelter is gaining the company of the Divine personalities, which will definitely lead us to attaining Divine grace. When you are under the shelter of Divine grace, no problems or adversities can halt you.
Therefore, if you have the shelter of Divine grace, in spite of all the problems you face, you can have a smooth journey. These three things you can attain only by Divine grace only; not by your self-efforts. The greatest opportunity is that among 84 lakh species of life present on earth, you have taken birth as a human being. Not only that, you also have an aspiration to know what is Truth – you are putting in efforts in quest of Truth to know whether you are the body or the mind or the Atma.
We get lot of young people not only from India, even from abroad. The women delegates had to undergo lots of difficulties the last time because there was no specific shelter for them. So, I asked that a shelter be built for them this time. All our people cooperated and did their best to make it come true. I do know that all the facilities and comforts are not there in this particular shelter. But this is called ‘Anandashraya’; it is not ordinary shelter, it is a shelter of bliss. To think that it is only a building is a big mistake. When we know that it is a shelter of bliss given to us by the Divine grace of Swami, then you forget all the problems which are here. When a person is filled with bliss, pain will not matter. Once you attain equanimity of mind, you will not bother about ups and downs. Therefore, we should recognise the fact that we have not come here for physical pleasures or physical happiness or mental happiness; we have come here for perpetual happiness. A person who goes after pleasures can never earn Vidya or education or knowledge. One who goes after wisdom and knowledge leaves all the pleasures. That is the difference between a Vishayarthi and a Vidyarthi – a man or a boy who goes after pleasures and one who goes after wisdom.