by Sri B N Narasimha Murthy.
“Yatha Deve Para Bhaktihi Prakashante Mahatmanaha”
This is the last shloka in from Shvetashvatara Upanishad. It says, that the one with Para Bhakti is the only one who qualifies to understand the meaning of the Upanishads. Para Bhakti is Nishkama Bhakti. It is loving God for the sake of Love alone, with no expectations of any returns from Him. The Upanishad says that He must be as devoted to his Guru as much as towards God.
We are the fortunate ones to have God Himself as our Guru. We have the unique opportunity where Swami personally holds our hands and guides us. We must be eternally grateful to Swami as He is here with us in the subtle form even after shedding the mortal coil. The world has seen many spiritual leaders and Gurus. We are indeed fortunate that He teaches us by inaugurating school buildings, prayer hall complex and such wonderful structures that help us focus in the formless and ultimate reality that is Swami. We must have full faith in Swami, which is very important. When He was in the physical form, we believed that He is God. So, how can it change after He shed that body?
All education like degrees and diplomas are similar to cook books as they can’t satisfy our hunger. The true cooking that can satisfy us is bhakti alone. How can one identify a Sathguru? By the following characteristics:
The last aspect, Prathiba Samvardhana or fostering the talents in His disciples is what we have been witnessing ever since Swami started His group of institutions. Year after year, batch after batch, we see students giving amazing performances at such impossibly short notice. The brass band boys have prepared for the band in just 25 days, which is normally next to impossible.
Swami loves Rama Katha. The Prashanthi Nilayam and Brindavan boys have performed it many times in the presence of Swami. And here in Muddenahalli, Swami has picked two boys and guided them personally. Since 1983, I have seen how Swami personally guides the drama boys and is very particular about how it must be rendered. Initially, I was very apprehensive about how the Muddenahalli boys will perform, as they have some trouble with spoken English. It is purely the inspiration of Swami that guides them to write the drama scripts, render the songs for which they compose the lyrics themselves and dazzle everyone with their performances on the final day.
A few years back, there was a skit based on the life story of Shri Madiyal Narayan Bhat. It was his devotion and sacrifice that has made possible this institute today. Swami has personally told me many times that it was neither His Sankalpa nor ours that these projects are fructifying in Muddenahalli. “It is Narayan Bhat’s Sankalpa. I am just fulfilling my promise to him”, Swami had explained.
It is the child-like innocence that attracts Swami towards everyone and everyone towards Him. The children have a pure heart and easily connect with Swami. Hrudaya Dharma is more important than the logic of the mind. Consider the cases of Bheeshma in Mahabharata and Vibheeshana in Ramayana. Bheeshma, in spite of being fully aware of Dharma and Adharma, chose to side the Kauravas. Vibeeshana, on the other hand, followed Hrudaya Dharma and joined the side of Rama where Dharma lay.
Samanya dharma is when you follow your mind, there is no conflict of Dharma and Hrudaya Dharma is when there is a conflict between two goods, and we choose the higher good. In case of Bheeshma, he followed Samanya Dharma or the usual dharma, where he chose his gratitude to the kingdom. However, in case of Vibheeshana, he could have chosen to show gratitude to the kingdom but it would have conflicted with the higher Dharma, which is being on God’s side. So, while Bheeshma followed his mind, Vibheeshana answered the call of heart. And we all know what happened in the end!
Therefore, it is my humble prayers to Swami to bless us all with the clarity to follow our heart and not mind.