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Three Bits of Wisdom from Gajanana Maharaj

Various qualities are necessary to carry on worldly transactions efficiently. But there is one thing which far surpasses all these qualities taken together, and that is strong good sense which is natural and not acquired. By reading we can at the most obtain useful and varied information, but to make proper use of that information at the proper time requires natural good sense and intelligence.

When Will I Attain the Goal?

time passing–When will I attain the goal?

More from our series “Wisdom of Sri Gajanana Maharaj of Nashik”

Q: When will a sadhaka reach the ultimate goal of human life?

My friends, such doubts are bound to assail the mind. To entertain various doubts and misgivings is quite natural to the mind. As long as a person is alive, his mind will always be full of thoughts, good or bad. Hence it is futile to wait till the mind abandons all mistaken thoughts and doubts. People who think that they will not be able to make any progress in spiritual matters until this inflow of thoughts is stopped should pay particular attention to the following illustration.

There are bound to be innumerable waves on the sea. If a person thinks that he will swim in the sea when all these waves are stopped, will he ever be able to swim in the sea? He will surely come to know that the waves will never stop and he will never be able to swim. Similarly, every person who wants to follow the spiritual path should not wait for the disappearance of all thoughts, but should start the contemplation of Soham and try to keep his mind fixed upon it. He should not allow his mind to be diverted from it by the waves of thoughts.

As long as a person identifies himself with this body these doubts and thoughts are sure to assail him and cause disturbance. A sure way to escape from the clutches of these thoughts is to develop the feeling that we are not the body. It is the nature of mind to carry on the continuous play of thoughts. The mind (manas), the intellect (buddhi), and the chitta are all inside us. Buddhi is the power which enables us to determine or discriminate. The mind is always fickle and moving from one idea to another, and when the mind concentrates upon something it is called chitta. A sadhaka, therefore, should concentrate upon Soham and thus turn his mind into chitta. If he continues this practice for some time, his mind will gradually gain in calmness and ultimately will become one with Soham and with the inherent, everlasting bliss which is the real nature of Soham, and thus his chitta will become chit (consciousness). Once this stage is attained, that person will experience unlimited joy. Such a person is easily able to identify himself with all persons with whom he comes into contact, and with all circumstances in which he finds himself placed. His peace of mind is never disturbed, and he is always immersed in everlasting and unchanging bliss. He attains the goal, and the real purpose of human life is fulfilled.

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What Is Atmajnana?

What is Atmajnana?

More from our series “Wisdom of Sri Gajanana Maharaj of Nashik”

Once a gentleman who had a long conversation with me, said, “Maharaj, you have explained to me the meanings of avyakta, samadhi, dhyana, prarabdha, sanchita, and kriyamana. I have been enlightened on these subjects, and have clearly understood them. I know Sri Jnaneshwar has said that all skill and all arts are useless. There is only one thing: that is jnana (knowledge of the Self).

“I have not clearly understood what is really meant by Atmajnana (knowledge of the Self), Atma Sakshatkara (realization of the Self), and spiritual progress. I know that all things cannot be properly explained by mere words, or wordy explanations so as to carry conviction beyond doubt. Still, words seem to give at least an approximate idea of the thing, though they may fall short of carrying absolute conviction with them. Lord Sri Krishna has said, ‘Oh Arjuna, all actions are useless without the knowledge of the Self.’ Please explain the matter in a way that I can easily understand it.”

Myself: “You have put a very nice question. I like your questions. I shall try to explain the matter as best as I can. But why should I take the trouble for nothing?”

The gentleman: “If I understand the matter thoroughly, I shall by continuous repetition of the Soham mantra, with your grace, obtain the knowledge of the Self. Will this satisfy you?”

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The Unmanifest (Avyakta)

Gajanana Maharaj on the Avyakta

More from our series “Wisdom of Sri Gajanana Maharaj of Nashik”

The power of the Avyakta is such that it will more than suffice for solving all possible difficulties in your worldly life

If you repeat the Soham mantra in your mind, by continuous practice your mind gets concentrated upon it. The concentration may be called dhyana. If this force is uninterruptedly stored up in your heart, be sure that you have obtained the goal of human life.

Somebody might say, “We have carefully listened to what you have told us. But what would be the use of all this for solving the practical difficulties of our actual life in this world?” No doubt this question is very important.

If your difficulties remain as they are, all this effort of japa and concentration would be useless and good for nothing. But I say this with all emphasis, that once you get the experience of the Avyakta, in any way or by any method, the power of the Avyakta is such that it will more than suffice for solving all possible difficulties in your worldly life. There is no necessity of your trying anything else for that purpose. You should only try your best to obtain the experience of the Avyakta by any method you like. Once that is done, you will get such a power that it will either drive away all possible difficulties which beset you, or all difficulties will automatically disappear.

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The Road to Happiness

road to happiness

More from our series “Wisdom of Sri Gajanana Maharaj of Nashik”

Every human being is ceaselessly trying to acquire happiness

Every human being is ceaselessly trying to acquire happiness or to increase his share in it and to avoid pain, or at least to lessen it as much as possible. But the experience is just the contrary. He is ever feeling the lack of something and is always plunged in misery. Things which are pleasant in the beginning end in sorrow, and misery is always on the increase and gets the upper hand.

As man does not really understand wherein lies his happiness, he passes his days in the vain hope of securing happiness some time or other. Death catches him in its grip while his search for happiness is still going on. People do not profit by the example of their companions and fellow-beings, and so continue the same search and follow the same path. They, however, do not stop to think wherein lies real and lasting happiness.

A man, if he thinks deeply about this, will come to know that all things in this world which appear pleasant are perishable and false like a mirage. They either cause pain or increase the pain which is already there. No one, however, acquires this insight. On the contrary, everyone is entangled more and more in this snare of misery and finds it difficult to see a way out of the maze.

It is therefore necessary that some royal road should be pointed out so that people going by that path might root out this unending sorrow and pain and reach the destination where there is everlasting peace and happiness. I am putting before the world my experiences in order that people might find an easy, short and sure way of reaching this goal of everlasting happiness.

When you get experience for yourself, you will be sure that you are on the right path.

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Meditation and Samadhi: a Modern Nath Yogi’s Insights

gajanana maharaj on meditation and samadhi

Wisdom of Sri Gajanana Maharaj of Nashik

The difference between meditation and concentration

Some persons do not understand the difference between meditation (dhyana), and concentration (ekagrata). Suppose a person sits and repeats the Soham mantra mentally. A few minutes later someone asks him, “How did you feel? Had you any thoughts? Was the flow of thoughts going on as usual, or was there any difference? How was the japa going on?”

When such questions are asked the aspirant appears to be a little confused, and is usually found to answer in the following manner: “My mind was quite calm. Not a single idea arose in my mind. The japa was going on in an undisturbed manner. I was enjoying peace. But my mind was not concentrated. I could hear the sounds and movements taking place about me.”

It is a common idea with ordinary aspirants that as soon as they begin meditation of the mantra Soham their mind should become concentrated and they should enter into the state of samadhi. It is a laudable wish, no doubt, but it is out of place at the time. Because when the person begins to meditate upon Soham, he does not need to get concentrated at once.

He is repeating the japa of Soham in so he may be able to meditate properly. The main idea in meditation is that while the japa is going on there should not be the flow of other thoughts disturbing the repetition of the mantra. Our mind is naturally fickle. It is very difficult for it to concentrate itself upon one idea.

In the case of some aspirants, however, owing to some practice done in the previous life they get concentrated as soon as they begin meditation.

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