आराम: कल्पवृक्षाणां ....

(Discourse given by P. P. Bapu on 29th June 2006 on Ramraksha at New English High School, Bandra)

HARI OM

The number of people completing one hundred and fifty Ramnaam books is rising steeply. Those who are lagging behind should not consider themselves as tortoises but should remember that they too have the limbs of the hare except that their speed is that of a tortoise. They should note this difference. Hari Om !

"आराम: कल्पवृक्षाणां विराम: सकलापदाम |
अभिरामस्त्रिलोकानां राम: श्रीमान् स न: प्रभु:।।''

Aaraamaa kalpavrukshaanaam viraamaa sakalaampadaam |
Abhiraamaastri-lokaanaam Ram Shrimaan sa na Prabhu || ”

Aaraamaa kalpavrukshaanaam’; truly, just as I told you the last time, in the upcoming verses of Ram-Rakshaa; Sage Budhkaushik clearly unfolds everything to us. ‘Aaraamaa kalpavrukshaanaam’. Kalpavruksha (wishing tree) means such a tree which fulfils any desire that is wished for, as soon as it is wished while sitting underneath the shade of this particular tree. Every mortal desires to own such a Kalpavruksha. Every being wants such a Kalpavruksha. Moreover, it does not matter to him even if he does not find such a tree but he feels that his fantasies, desires should be accomplished as per his imaginations. Hence, every being is somehow always in search of some Kalpavruksha or the other to get benefited by way of a Kalpavruksha.

We have heard the abhanga Naaraliche zaadaakhaali…” (Beneath the coconut tree…). Coconut tree is a Kalpavruksha. “…Baisataa niwaant(…sitting leisurely) - Truly speaking everyone is actually sitting beneath the Kalpavruksha. Now, this is the Kalpavruksha that every being has propagated in his own life with his own imagination, for implementing his own ideology to enjoy the fruits of his own ideas. Every being sits leisurely underneath the Kalpavruksha that he nurtured with his own imagination, for his own ideology and for obtaining its fruit. Fantasy; we keep fantasizing since childhood. Why are we apprehensive while accepting a new thing or while rejecting the old thing? We just keep imagining. We often hear an adage in Marathi, “Pudhachyaas thech maagachaa shahaanaa” (One avoids stumbling by seeing others stumble; meaning, a wise person learns from others’ experiences); this saying is ignored totally. We do not become wise from others’ experiences; at the same time we do not learn from the experiences we have had in the past. This is because, after the initial hindrance, the damage soon gets concealed behind the forgetfulness and we are prepared to get more jolts one after the other. However, there may be a few who give up their efforts due to the injury; ‘Goodness!’ Now I cannot sustain; this is an indication that now I should not venture again; I should remain dormant!’ This should never be the attitude. But what promotes this attitude? Through the belief that I was walking and I stumbled. What if I stumble again? This means there is always a play of imagination of the positive and the negative. We begin imagining things even much before actually appearing for the exam; ‘That I have stood first in the Board exams, people have come to felicitate me, my children and my brothers whosoever they are.’ As the exam approaches, the extent of imagination goes on increasing. ‘Will the paper be such? Or such? Will these questions come in the paper? I am answering all the questions that I have studied without pausing; there is no question out of the syllabus that I had prepared for.’ The next moment, ‘Goodness me; all those questions that I remember only have been asked.’ ‘I have secured these many marks and I shall pass; or I shall fail.’ The entire energy that is being utilized in this imagination is futile because nothing can be derived out of it.

Imagination is a good thing. It’s not wrong to imagine. But in what way? That depends upon how we utilize it. When we use the ability to imagine for deciding the fruits of our actions, it becomes our enemy. Our imagination becomes our enemy when we predefine the results of our actions without doing anything at all or when we utilize our imagination for our own self for gaining the fruits. However, when our imagination is based on truth, reality and deep study just as the scientists who saw birds flying in the sky and thought to themselves, ‘could man fly some day?' Then they caught a bird, dissected it and studied the internal structure whereupon they realized that there are air sacs on either side of its lungs which enable the birds to fly because it reduces the body weight and the wings facilitate its flight. This study led to an analysis whether such a situation could be attained in human beings. No it cannot be. Then can wings be attached to human beings? Just mere attachment of wings would not be sufficient. Then what the scientists did was to make huge air balloons akin to the air sacs within the bird’s body. Those we call as hot air balloons. These huge balloons were attached with a huge casket below which could carry human beings up in the air. This means, here a human being strove hard taking into consideration reality and truth which led to the discovery of aeroplanes and thereby man could fly at a much higher altitude and with much faster speed as compared to the birds. However, when man only imagined that ‘I will beget wings through acquisition of some magic, or Siddhi (charisma) and I will fly in the sky,’ no man in India or rest of the world succeeded in discovering the aeroplanes because that was a futile imagination; an utterly faulty one. This did not lead to any progress. But when he studied the reality and accepted it as a human being would, that ‘These are my limitations and if I want to fly like birds then what is it that I should imbibe?’ Thinking thus he strove hard to gain success. We used to write an essay in school, ‘If I could fly!’ This is all right; it is good in a way for enhancing imagination but cannot be put into practice.

Some where its time for a newlywed bride to add to the family, the mother-in-law has certain notions about ‘How my daughter-in-law should be. She should be obedient in every way, must pamper me with her service, how much ever I scold her, she should not retort, she should be able to pass every test that I put her through, she should shoulder all my responsibilities, she should massage my feet, and nod to every yes and no of mine. That’s all!’ What does this mean? All that the mother-in-law requires is a puppet in her hands. She requires a robot that will execute every order of hers as per her commands.

Whereas, what does the daughter-in-law want her mother-in-law to be like? As per her imagination – ‘The old lady should quietly chant the Ramnaam and sit in a corner without coming in my way. It’s as simple as that! She should not suggest or impart any wisdom to me. I will behave as I want; she should not object to that. And she should forget that this groom of mine is her son too!’ Such is her expectation, that she should forget the son she painstakingly raised for 25-26 years. And the mother-in-law expects that the daughter-in-law should forget that she has married her son to spend an entire lifetime with him and expects her to think that she has married the mother-in-law instead.

The groom expects his wife to be pristine, ‘Who does not take any decision without his consent and listens to him alone. She should be beautiful, so that people know how beautiful my wife is. At the same time, she should not look elsewhere. Even if she does, he’ll ask ‘who were you looking at?’ Remember, men too are envious just as women; only that they do not have contenders! However, a man cannot even bear to imagine his wife looking at someone else and even if she does so by mistake, he fumes with envy. Moreover, ‘She should have a virtuous demeanor along with a modern look so that while moving about in the society we can boast that we are modern. Apart from this, she should carry out all the household chores adroitly. She should also be willing to go for outings whenever asked for and be ever ready for anything else. Everything should be literally tailor-made, just as I want it to be.’ Means, here there is no mother-in-law and daughter-in-law or husband-wife relationship. At every juncture how should the boss be? He should be lenient, should not bother even if we are not punctual at work or roam around ignoring work, and be granted leave whenever asked for and will cater only to all our pleasures.

What does the boss expect of the employees? ‘A task worth forty Rupees should be done in thirty, should work for ten hours instead of eight, and on top of it, if I scold him he will listen quietly.’ Hence, if we take into consideration any relationship, we realize that we tend to fit in everything or the person before us in a particular idea that we have in our minds. And when that person or the incident does not fit in as anticipated, a man becomes unhappy, angry and furious. Thus we realize that when there is a discrepancy between two things, two people, two incidents, the main reason behind it is the imagination minus the reality.

Suppose, there is a vegetable vendor and a milk vendor, rather a fruit vendor. The fruit vendor goes to the vegetable vendor and enquires, ‘what is the cost of the vegetables?’ He says, ‘a hundred rupees per Kg.’ Then this fellow bargains, ‘sixty is okay, it’s available for forty over there.’ Then after much negotiation he agrees at eighty. Then what will happen if the vegetable vendor goes to the same fruit vendor to buy fruits? Now there is a role reversal. The seller is now the buyer and the buyer is the seller. Again the dialogue is the same but the direction is different. This means, the two people are same but their relativity changes. This results in a conflict. Thus, if the conflict takes a different course and at different intervals, then they have a different direction altogether. When the giver is the taker and the taker is the giver, what is expected here? Here, there is no difference whether it is a vegetable vendor, fruit vendor, milkman or a goldsmith. This is a matter of views between the seller and the buyer. The seller wants to sell his things at maximum price whereas the buyer wants to acquire it at a minimum price. This is a human transaction. But this is why there is less relation with the reality and such people get cheated. See, the people who were cheated in scams such as Sheregar etc. and other thousand schemes, why did they get cheated? It is because they were engrossed in fantasies and imaginations and deplored the path of reality. They were told ‘one thousand rupees will grow into two thousand rupees within three months and two thousand into four thousand.’ First one or two installments are received regularly thereafter, when one or two millions are deposited, nothing is procured. Why did this happen? Because the reality was denied. We should first understand that that what is impossible is made possible only with God’s intervention. Man alone cannot achieve it. We have certain affinity and greed which leads us to imagining things and we tend to believe that what is unreal. And when we get cheated we say to God, ‘God what have You done?’ Did God hold your hand and say ‘invest your money here!’ God has not given intellect to you alone but to everyone. The person who knows which thing is edible and which is not; definitely understands everything. However, since we harbour greed, we tend to daydream like a certain Sheikh Mohammad about converting ten million bucks into twenty; and twenty into forty. ‘I shall do this and I shall do that’ attitude which eventually leads to nothing and we end up sitting in the house, groaning. Why do we end up in this situation? Because we stray away from reality and wander after greed, lust and Shadripu (six foes of mankind) with the help of our imagination. Hence, we realize that this Kalpavruksha of our life has proliferated to a great extent because remember the reason behind it dear folks! What I have told you. There are three states of mind, three conditions, three parts, three displays; or whatever you may call it. One is the outer mind, one is the inner mind and one is the Vivek (discretion). The outer mind is Brahmadev (Lord Brahma) Himself, an aunsh (fraction) of Brahmadev. Vivek is the aunsh of Vishnu while inner mind is Bholanath. He is Bholaa (naïve). He is an aunsh of Lord Shiva. And how is He? He is Mahaa-Dev (great God). He is enormous. As a particular thing enters our inner mind through our outer mind, again and again and yet again, that thing eventually becomes as enormous as the inner mind.

See, for instance, you begin reading Ram Raksha for the first time. Even ten words take a long time to be read. Even if we decide to try reading this small little Ram Raksha completely, it takes about twenty to twenty-five minutes. Then gradually we by-heart it and after learning by-heart we just recite it; we are not attentive. Our attention wavers somewhere else. But the Ram Raksha continues. This is because Ram Raksha becomes steady in our inner mind; but in that part of the mind, where it does not elaborate but becomes steady. Anything that enters the inner mind becomes enormous. The fear which when enters the inner mind through the outer mind becomes difficult to shed. Similarly, confidence too, if enters the inner mind, becomes extensive and augments furthermore. The one who does not succeed in the inner mind does not succeed in the outer world. One who lacks peace within does not attain peace in the outer world. One who does not experience joy within, cannot derive joy from the outer world. Remember this first of all! Because all that happens in the outer world is palpable symbolic representation of the incidents happening within your mind. It’s the outer mind that imagines. What is the job of the outer mind? To see all that happens and try to comprehend it with the help of the intellect and contemplate over what is required and what is not. Similarly, thinking about what is desired, what is not, what to see and what not to see, what to hear and what not to hear is decided by the outer mind. However, the Vivek in both these is Vishnu. Imagination originated from Brahma- i.e. Brahmadev. We have been told several times by all the Sages that not to worship Brahmadev in the Kaliyug (era of sufferings). If at all one wishes to worship the Brahmadev, then only that Brahmadev who is seated in the lotus-naval of Lord Vishnu should be worshipped as he is connected to Lord Vishnu in that position. This means, Vivek is reality meaning truth. This means you can use the imagination that is pertaining to reality, truth and Vivek; you are not authorized to use the rest of the imagination. Perhaps, it is not meant for you. When you avail the benefit which is actually improper; this can cause harm. Here’s where ‘Sunderkand’ comes to our help.

When Ravana kicks Bibhishan; as told in Sunderkand, Bibhishan goes up to him and clearly warns him with, ‘Ravana, you are wrong. Return Seeta.’ But Ravana is delirious. He does not yield. Ravana kicks him and says, ‘Go, and prostrate before Ram and teach Him your prudence. Bibhishan goes flying and tells everyone, tells Ravana, “Ram satya sankalp Prabhu sabhaa kaalbas tori” i.e. ‘O’ Ravana, Ram satya sankalp Prabhu’ i.e. Ram is the only true resolve that takes the shape of reality. None other’s resolve can become reality. Hence, you who are imagining existence without Ram; without truth, is a Kaalbus i.e. one who enters the mouth of Kaal (time). I can see your entire court, your subsistence, your entire paraphernalia assemblage, your friends, your people and you entering the mouth of Kaal. This shows that satya sankalp means ‘all that God created when there was nothing in the world was based on the imagination. This means imagination is the prowess of God. Only His resolve becomes true. We are but human beings. We humans should admit that we can derive only momentary pleasure with the help of imagination. We can never attain true eternal joy, true happiness, true prosperity, true strength and true verve from it. However, God has prescribed us with study and observation which enable us to attain whatever we want. Samarth Ramdas has told us at several junctures, ‘Kelyaane hoat aahe re, aadhi kelechi paahije” (if you try doing only then will you succeed, hence do it first), “Yadnya to Dev jaanaavaa, antari dharitaa bare” (remember, offering oblation to sacred fire is God); but who cares? We continue to imagine things. While walking along the road you must have observed people gesticulate. As if they are talking to someone. They are imagining things like ‘I will reply him this way and that way and then this will happen and that will happen.’ These people are not crazy. They are as wise as you are but so absorbed in their imagination that they stray away from the reality. And as said by Bibhishan, Ram is one and only satya sankalp and hence every human being should carefully bear in mind that when there is a resolve in the mind, there arises a vikalp (antithesis) to it. Action and reaction are equal but opposite, i.e. the action and reaction always being opposite to each other and corresponding. Hence, when there arises a resolve of imagination in your mind the resultant vikalp is of the same magnitude which does not allow your resolve to become reality. Whereas, there is no such thing as an opposing vikalp for the resolve of Ram, because who else is as powerful as Ram? Who else has the power as much as God? Then call Him Ram, Krishna, or by any name you please! But there is no one who can challenge the power of the one who is God Almighty, the creator. Hence, no one can contradict His resolve; even if the entire world comes together and creates vikalp against God’s resolve, still their vikalp will be much smaller than God’s resolve. Hence, we should realize that ultimately in whose direction will the resolve turn? Towards the direction of Ram i.e. in the direction of God. This is why every mortal should hold the Charan (divine feet) of Prabhu Ramchandra, Lord Krishna and Sainath and also adorn every word of theirs in the heart and instill His name in the mind and carry out the study and observation, thinking, implementing ideas and execution of the mission. And forego that part of imagination; resolve namely ‘What fruit I will or will not receive is upto God to decide.’ Finally, it will be as per God’s will He will decide it; I will not interfere with it.’ And this very thing has been told several times by Krishna in Gita too; ‘Nishkaam Karma-Yog’ (dispassionate deeds) as we call it. We are afraid of this term. Ram exemplified the same thing with His own demeanor. Bibhishan too conveyed the same just as Hanumant did. Several Saints like Dnyaneshwar, Tulsidas, Purandardas right upto Tukaram told the same thing. Still, these Kalpavrukshas of our minds do not cease to grow as they are Kalpanavruksha (imaginary tree). We regard them as Kalpavruksha but actually they are Kalpanavruksha. We must recognize the difference between the Kalpavruksha and the Kalpanavruksha. What seems to us as Kalpavruksha is in fact a Kalpanavruksha not Kalpavruksha because the word ‘Kal’; what does it mean in Sanskrit? It means to diminish i.e. to go on decreasing, to discontinue or to deteriorate. Hence it is Kaal (time or period). The term Kaal is comprised of the word ‘Kal’. ‘Kal’ also means Kalpa. The term Kalpana (illusion) is also made of ‘Kal’. The word Kalpa is made of Kal and Alpa; from the individual words Kal and Alpa, from their cohered existence not amalgamation or combination. Made from coming together i.e. momentary or short-lived phase. Lightning flashes in the sky and disappears. The lightning did emit light but will it be seen the next moment? No. For that I must hold some lantern in my hand or else a torch. Here, we will understand that Kalpa is one such thing that is momentary and how in turn is Kalpana? It merely is a representation of the momentary happening that seems to be temporarily real but is not. Hence, Kalpana is that what is momentary, short-lived, and temporary and that too we assume that it exists but does not actually exist. Therefore, Kalpa too is ephemeral.

See, four Kalpas have passed, ten Kalpas have passed, a hundred Kalpas have passed; passed means went by! Since they have already passed means they were ephemeral and how is the Kalpana as compared to it? It is also ephemeral but basically it is an ephemeral illusion. What's more, we keep looking for mirth in this illusion; we keep looking for joy in this Kalpavruksha. Hence, the true joy stays away from us forever. This is why Sage Budhakaushik tells us how this, “Aaraamaa kalpavrukshaanaam” means this Kalpavruksha i.e. the ephemeral Jeevanvruksha (life tree) which is the “Aaraamaa kalpavrukshaanaam” the Kalpavruksha of every mortal i.e. the Kalpanavruksha present within every mortal has the resolve of God over it. While giving birth to every mortal God bestows upon him the merits of the past two births and the sins of the past two births along with a resolve. Just as we say that God has ordained us with a fate that at four years of age this will happen, at seven years that will take place, at eight he will rape a woman or at nine he will steal; remember, God does not preordain any such thing. Whereas, what God ordains is His resolve that this person’s attitude in the past birth was such and such and his past sins are such; his past merits are such. Hence what should he do to enhance these merits? God gives him new birth with this resolve. After regaining new birth when we stick to God’s resolve, we attain bliss in life. Otherwise also remember, it is God’s resolve; so it will be accomplished; no one can come in its way. Instead when we oppose God’s resolve, it will still attain fruition as no one can hinder it but in turn we undergo sufferings. Because remember one simple thing – suppose there is a horse carriage and you are sitting in it; you have harnessed the horses at the rear end of the carriage; what will happen in that case? Suppose, you are now in a bullock cart and what would happen if you harness the bullocks at the rear end of the cart instead of the front end? Tell me what will happen? If you harness the bullocks on the opposite side they will pull you to the opposite direction but if tied properly, they will definitely poke you with their horns and make you fall. Right? Because when they begin to run, the cart in which you are seated; will lose equilibrium. We must take into consideration this simple fact. We lead our life similar to this. Because we think God has granted us the freedom and He does not come and reprimand us daily hence its okay and this will be allowed. And we see it go on like that. We behave as we want and do not see God admonishing us. Or we get to see few other people who behave as they want and still remain hale and hearty. We feel God does not exist and even if He exists; does not punish anyone; and that we have to face punishment after death. But we must understand it does not happen that way. We all want real joy, happiness, peace, contentment and prosperity in life. But we must be aware that the first thing we have to do is to discard our illusions. Will have to discard ‘I want this result, that consequence, I will get this benefit that advantage, I will do this then I will do that’ and tell God, “I will work hard, You provide me with the strength to work hard, give me the intellect and suggestions, spank me if I err, hit me but God keep me on Your path i.e. let my life proliferate as per Your resolve.” That very moment the true Kalpavruksha of God becomes activate. A part of your inner mind begins to become Chitta (soul). Because of God’s resolve and your bhakti towards God; a part of your inner mind gradually becomes Chitta. And this Chitta under the influence of the intellect and since one part of mind is in God’s hands; the part that goes in God’s authority becomes Chitta. Everyone has this Chitta along with the human mind and God’s mind. That God’s mind is ‘Ramsatya sankalp Prabhu’ i.e. ‘Aaraamaa kalpavrukshaanaam’. ‘Aaraamaa kalpavrukshaanaam’ means an orchard of Kalpavruksha, a garden of Kalpavruksha. God’s mind that everyone possesses is actually a garden of such real sankalp-vrukshas; i.e. a garden of Ram’s own sankalp-vruksha. But when can we obtain fruits from it? Only when even a slightest of our inner mind gets converted into Chitta. Until our inner mind exists as inner mind and even a part of it has not yet converted into Chitta, we cannot taste the fruits of Ram’s resolve. We only continue tasting the fruits of our own actions which means we taste the fruits of flaws, sins or the merits of our good deeds. But how much ever great our merits be just consider how infinitesimal they are as compared to God’s one graceful gaze. A tale of Lord Indra prevails. We learn that He carried out 108 Ashwamedh Yadnya (auspicious rites). We know Sage Vishwamitra who meditated for one thousand and eight years or one million eight years. Inspite of accumulating such great merits they experienced a down-fall. They were admonished. They incurred a plethora of misfortune over themselves. They had to face misery. Whereas we also get to see the Saints who inspite of undergoing a life full of ordeals enjoyed a blissful life. Consider our Kings. They too were pious. They too were bhakta. Many people comment as to who does bhakti? Only cowardly and timid people. On hearing this; one tight slap should be administered and we should say, ‘O’ foolish one! Do not blurt like a senseless person. The most revered Gurugobindsingh Maharaj and his two sons aged five and seven did not yield in inspite of their burns and the bleeding nose-eyes and the torture meted out to them for a forceful change of religion. Were these children not brave? And are these people considering the bhaktas cowardly; brave by themselves. Who is brave? Only the bhaktas. Rana Pratap who struggled throughout his life in forest was an ardent bhakta of Lord Eklingji (Lord Shiva). Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj initiated his realm with merely sixteen soldiers. He fought wars; was accompanied by sixteen compliances of similar age called Mavlas. Later, he established his own Hindu Kingdom. He was an avid bhakta of Goddess Jagadamba and was always modestly devout at the Charan of Ramdas and Tukaram. Weren’t all of them brave? The queen of Zansi, Nanasaheb Peshve and Tatya Tope who witnessed the freedom struggle of 1857, participated in the first freedom struggle with a handful of people and all those who laid down their lives were ardent bhaktas of Lord Ganesha. Were they not brave? Vasudeo Balvant Fadke chanted God’s name until he breathed his last; was he not brave? Wasn’t Lokmanya Tilak brave? Mahatma Gandhi, who just wore a loin for clothing; had immense faith in Ram, he considered Ramnaam as the only power and denied wearing anything else even while going to meet the British queen. Was he a coward? Was Bhagatsinh a coward? He continuously chanted ‘Wahe Guru’ until he met his end. This is what we should realize! Those who try to contradict us by saying; only cowards are pious; only cowards need God, should be sternly told that out of the maximum courageous, brave and competent people born in the world, at least 99.95% were religious, pious and devout. They accomplished extraordinary feats. This is what we should understand. Dnyaneshwar was harassed by the people of his village. They pelted stones at him, starved him. Tell me does anyone know the names of all those? No, only Visoba Khechar is known why? Because though Visoba Khechar caused him agony; he submitted to Dnyaneshwar the moment he realized everything and took to the path of bhakti and later became the Guru of Namdev. The rest of the people who harassed Dnyaneshwar became extinct in the cavern of time as ‘Sabha kaalbas tori’. We should remember that only Visoba Khechar became immortal due to Dnyaneshwar, Dnyaneshwar’s mission, Dnyaneshwar’s grace and reached the position of a Guru because of Dnyaneshwar. In life, we do not achieve anything by merely chasing the illusions, logic and doubts. We must realize that collecting any amount of sand from the shore will not yield any pearls. We must also realize that even if anyone thinks that Goddess Lakshmi rose from the ocean and hence he will keep looking for Her in the ocean all his life; then he will succumb to death; rather than finding anything worthwhile. This is sheer grunginess, insanity and we must be assured that the religion never inspires us to do such a thing. Hence, it is our duty to execute our responsibilities, work harder, think study and observe but it is not our job to presume what reward we will get in return. The moment we shed this, and begin our work; that too with firm faith in God, that very instant the aunsh of Ram that is present within each one of us begins to convert a part of our inner mind into Chitta and then we get to taste the fruits of the real Sankalp-Vruksha; the fruits of Ram’s resolve. ‘Aaramaa’; one of the meanings of this word is an orchard where trees thrive, grow, blossom and bear fruits. Another meaning of aaraam is where everything is contented, peaceful, vivacious and speedy. Not just speedy but swift where there is no fatigue and no obstacle. We sometimes say ‘Let us rest a bit’ but here this aaraam is different. Here there is a situation where there is capacity of executing the responsibility, accomplishment of the responsibility and rest involved in it. Rest and responsibility are not diverse things. Reward and efforts are not dissimilar. What does this mean? Aaraam means such a place where sorrow, incompetence, ineptitude failure, defeat have no place.

‘Aaraamaa kalpavrukshaanaam’ is a place where such Kalpavrukshas are present. What are the Kalpavruksha of such a place like? Just as the place they grow in; and what is that place? It’s Ram. God is the only ‘place’ in the entire world where all the rival forces and the different kinds of merits and demerits dwell together with bliss. And only He can give us both the things. Humans always desire such contrasting things. For instance, a housewife thinks that her husband should earn plenty of money but how? Only between 10.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. She does not approve of his long working hours saying ‘you are always ignoring me; what good is such money; and keeps brooding. Another woman whose husband does not earn says, ‘why do you eat my brain sitting in the house? Instead why don’t you go out and earn some money and deck me up with jewelry?’ In the end both are crying. Hence, we will realize that humans always want both the things. The wife wants the husband’s money and his time but she does not understand that it is not possible to get both. She understands but does not comprehend it. This is the case with every human; not only with the women folk. That is one’s condition is like the English maxim, ‘He wants to have the cake and eat it too.’ It’s like they want to hold the seed in hand and want to grow a tree without sowing the seed. How can this be? We should understand that this is not possible. Hence, when we humans want such opposite things, we cannot get them with our own efforts. ‘The Football World Cup is on and my exams are approaching. I want to study and watch the match too.’ How can both these be possible? Definitely not. ‘Studying is appropriate for me; I will not watch the match.’ This resolve is essential. How? By thinking of God and saying, ‘God, give me Your strength because my mind constantly thinks of watching the match.’ Truly, you have to overcome this. I cite my own case. My son Pouras secured 91% marks at ICSE tenth standard and 92.50 at the twelfth level. Because of the good score he readily got admission for the medical course. But he had resolved the day he entered the tenth standard; he did not just imagine but resolved that ‘today onwards I shall not play any video games or cricket.’ And really, he did not even glance at these even once since then. Why was he able to resolve this? This is because everyday before leaving the house, he chants God’s verse without which he does not even begin his day since his childhood. On entering the exam hall, before taking the question paper in hand he joins his hands in prayer and calmly before all the students, chants ‘Ghorkashtoddharan Stotra’ or the last five stanzas of Ram Raksha. He is not bewildered as to ‘what the other students may say’. The children of only top class people study in ICSE; all wealthy. Right? But still he does not hesitate. He calls his mother ‘Aai’ and father, ‘Baba’; does not say mummy or dad. He recites the ‘Ghorkashtoddharan Stotra’ before his exams and is not bashful about doing so. Moreover, he is not ashamed of applying the ‘Udi’ (sacred ash) on his forehead before stepping out. He never tells his mother, ‘Don’t apply Udi or apply in an invisible way.’ He does namaskar (obeisance) to his mother before going for exams. His mother applies Udi to him that he dons to the exam hall without saying, ‘Aai, what will the other children say? Apply here so that no one can see.’ He does not do that. And remember his mother too is very strict about this. However, every parent should become this strict to inculcate values in their children. When any new thing is brought in the house, his mother tells him or Shakambhari; our daughter to place that thing; be it a pair of new clothes or even a compass box, before the deity and apply Udi to it. Not to use it unless this is done. However hungry they are; they never skip reciting ‘Vadani kaval ghetaa…’ (A verse recited before meals as if offering oblation to God) either in Marathi or Sanskrit. Then even if he goes to a five star hotel for a party; he does not bother what other people may say while he recites the Shloka (verse) - ‘Annagrahan samaye smartavya naam Shrihare | Bhavati sahaj havanam anaayaasam hinaannaa | Jeevanam jiritejya anna hi poornabrahma | Naitar udarbharanam jaaniyaat Yadnya karma|’ (a Sanskrit version of the former verse) by joining his hands and only then does he begins his meals. He is not embarrassed. I am not saying this because he is my son; I have not instilled any values in him, but his mother has. Shakambhari too does that and I am proud to say so because I want you to become proud parents too! But for this, the mother has taken pains; ‘This must be said every time why to feel shy? If people mock at us let them. Why should we feel shy?’ Then be it in a five star hotel or while eating a simple snack like ‘vada-pav’ (Indian burger), he will not take a bite unless he has recited the verse. What is achieved because of this is that a variety of thoughts stop coming to his mind. By remembering God before the exam, he is sure that ‘No matter what the question is; it will come through the medium of the verse.' Even while studying he first utters, ‘Hari Om’ and then pays obeisance to God only then does he begin his study. This is a habit they have inculcated. This increases their concentration. This is a fact. Now Shakambhari has passed the tenth with ICSE. She secured 90% marks. Is this because Bapu has done some magic? No. Remember, it’s their own efforts along with a huge victual of values from their mother; that ‘Not to be bashful about doing this.’ Truly, we must convey this to our children. We should feel shy only to do wrong deeds. Why feel shy to apply God’s Udi while going out? Let people laugh if they want to. No one comes to the aid if we forget any answer in the exam; only Udi helps. We must understand that God alone helps. The Udi alone can remove the fear from the mind as also the Charan-Sparsh (touching the divine feet) of God. Not these friends who mock at me. And who can instill these values? If parents begin to feel shy in the first place then children too will feel shy about applying Udi while going out. Nothing doing! If we are wearing a locket; we are not flaunting it and will not try to show off. Why to feel shy? Yes, we believe in God hence let us wear it. Let people say anything. Because they are going to say what they want. So we will wear it without any inhibitions. Because they are going to say what they like. No one will come to your aid; everyone has experienced this. My dear children, if you have ten relatives; ten friends. Do one thing; take leave from your office for a month and spread the news that you have been sacked from your job and that you have lost all your money to gambling, you are a mere beggar with a huge debt and wish to stay with all your relatives. Remember, no one will entertain you for more than two days. No one will even lend you five paise. Even the so called blood relation, thick friends will run away giving excuses. However, when they are sure that you have ten million rupees; ten billion rupees they will say; ‘Oh, you want five thousand rupees; here it is.’ He knows you can afford to return. Then what is wrong in being generous? Remember, until and unless one is not burdened, till then all the relations can be maintained. But remember, God is the one who never shuns you even if you are penniless, the whole world shirks you, ignores you and humiliates you; still he never disowns you. It’s you who deny God. Do not leave Him in any situation. Do not imagine things about God. It’s most erroneous to imagine things about God. Hence, it is a must to read works such as Sai Satcharita. Do not imagine things about Baba. Instead of wondering how Baba is; gain knowledge about how Baba’s bhakta were by studying His life. We will read Sai Satcharita, but why? For knowing when Saibaba was pleased with His bhaktas? How was He pleased? Because if we behave as those bhaktas did then our Sai will be pleased with us. Therefore why just imagine things about God? Whether God was such or such? And which caste did Baba belong to? In what way are you concerned; tell me. Why do you want to know whether Baba was a Hindu or a Muslim? Baba was Baba; Baba is Baba; and Baba will remain Baba. We must know that we dare not segregate Baba in this way. Instead of harbouring qualms about God, we must read His life and the life of His bhaktas. Tell me about Vitthal; do you have the work on Vitthal’s life? Today, millions will go on the occasion of Aashadhi Ekadashi. There is work on Ram’s life, on Krishna’s life; as to where He was born, what happened? We do not know where Saibaba was born but He resided in Shirdi for sixty years as per the History i.e. life work. What History does Vitthal have? Only that bhakta Pundalik called the child form of Krishna and He came running at dusk. It was the time when cows return to their sheds. The dust that rose due to the cattle hoofs smeared His body and He became Pandurang. He remained standing with His hands on His waist atop the brick that Pundalik offered Him; that’s all. Still why is Vitthal loved by innumerable beings? Because of the life of His bhaktas; only because of the life of His bhaktas. And we can see the life of these bhaktas. Even today, we can watch the movie ‘Tukaram’. Even if you see it umpteenth time you will not get bored. Those who get bored watching ‘Tukaram’; regard him as a fool. Only ‘Aaraamaa murkhaanaam’ i.e. an idle foolish person will be bored. Because the person who enacted the role of Tukaram became so unified with the character of Tukaram that even after concluding the shooting of the movie he did not utter anything else other than the words ‘Shri Hari Vitthal, Jai Hari Vitthal’. In this way the bhakti of Pagnis (the actor) went on increasing. This is why we get convinced that Tukaram was like him. This tale may be a bit contradictory to the History but not with the reality. This is what we must realize. Vitthal has no life as such. His life is wee bit. It’s from the life of the bhaktas that we understand that He cleaned utensils for Janabai, washed her sarees. However, tomorrow if a woman says, ‘wash my sarees;’ then remember Goddess Rakhumai is there to spank her. Because Janabai did not call Vitthal to wash her laundry; she just continued doing bhakti. She expended every moment of her life for the cause of Vitthal. It is then that Rakhumai must have suggested Vitthal with ‘O’ Dear one, please go; why just stand passively with hands on waist; see how much our child toils. Go and help her.’ 108%. This is the life of Vitthal that we must know. This is why we must read all these books. Not for acquiring knowledge but for enhancing bhakti. For the progress of our bhakti. We have to read in order that we perform bhakti in a better manner; to do bhakti efficiently. Because by mere reading also the words gradually seep into our mind., Truly, suppose if you decide to read the Sunderkand daily, or one chapter of Sai Satcharita daily and your attention wavers which results in skipping a few verses; just do not worry! If you have the time; read them again or else proceed further. First accept that ‘I am an ordinary human being, a normal bhakta not a great scholar or a Yogi-bhakta. I cannot achieve utmost concentration. Whatever I read is mine. It’s God’s ceaseless grace that I have the opportunity to read the Sai Satcharita.’ Remember, it’s God who decides not to shower His grace on someone whom He does not allow to tread His path. 100%. This is ordained by God, ‘Someone who has done such deeds in the past birth that he should not at all remember My name; he should not have faith in Me.’ It’s only then that a person becomes an atheist. Remember no one becomes an atheist by choice. When God decides that since someone’s ego has burgeoned and he needs to be given a check, God on His own stops His remembrance. This is when man is born as an atheist or becomes one if he had earlier been a believer. God decides that this person has now become egoistic he should therefore be side-tracked. He then leaves no support for him. Remember, we may be anyhow; a sinner, foolish, thief, cunning, lustful, faltering but still if we are in awe of God and have some bhakti and love for God and are assured that He is the supreme of all then you can consider that you are lucky. That your luck has not yet abandoned you. However, the day you feel that God does not exist, God is not judicious then you should know that now you have lost it all, and has no one to fall back on. We must understand, ‘Niraadhaar aabhaalaachaa Toch bhaar vaahi’ (He alone fosters the forlorn sky). Mere imagination does not render support; only truth lends support. Now, just imagine that what I have told you several times in the past. Suppose you wish to go through a forest from one end to the other; all alone with wild beasts around. Tell me how you will go. You will not go unless it is absolutely necessary. You will go if the need be but how? Your tongue will become paralyzed and if a tiger does come in front of you at a farthest distance of two thousand feet; you would drop down in a daze. Even before the tiger eats you; you will become flat. But suppose if I give you a gun and say that the bullets shooting out of this gun never miss the target. If you just say ‘tiger’ and hold the gun anyhow the bullets will kill the tiger. That instant the fear leaves your mind. Even if the tiger passes by; you do dare to go ahead because of the gun in your hand. Then suppose, after reaching the other end of the forest I tell you that there was not a single bullet in the gun. What difference does it make? Right? But you had the gun and My word. But you should have faith in that word then things can be achieved. But suppose it’s the other way round; you have the gun which is loaded with bullets but do not know how to operate the gun. Then of what use is the gun to you? Even before you could aim at the tiger it would have you safely tucked inside its stomach. Right? This means, we are not benefited by mere array of words, games that the imagination plays and that what is not truth. There is only one truth in this world, God and for human’s God’s bhakti. Today, we have seen only the first element of the verse, ‘Aaraamaa kalpavrukshaanaam’ which means dear friends do not chase these illusions, these Kalpavrukshas. Try and win over Ram in whose land these Kalpavrukshas cultivate. He continues to love you. Learn to accept His love. You have to increase the length and breadth of your rucksack and darn the wholes if any to accept His love and we should realize that it can only be achieved through bhakti and seva.

We are listening to this beautiful ‘Sunderkaand’ of Pipa which enlivens every word of it. We can literally see Sitamai sitting and Hanumant kneeling before Her saying, ‘Ramdoot mei Maa Tu Janaki | Satya sapath Karunaanidhaan ki | Bhare bilochan neer |’ We can literally feel that tears must have trickled down Hanumant’s cheeks. While saying ‘Kahehu Taat us mor pranaamaa |’, Sita must have said to Hanumant, ‘Sab prakaar Prabhu Poorankaamaa |’ that my husband Ramchandra is Poornakaam (accomplishes anything entirely). The prayer that Janakimata Herself did was ‘Deen Dayaal birudu sambhaari | Harahu Nath mum sankat bhaari |. This was the message sent to Prabhu Ramchandra and through whom? Through Ram-doot (Ram’s envoy). But we forget that he is not just Ram-doot he is Janaki-doot (Sitamai’s envoy) too. He brought Ram’s message and ring to Janaki and took back the jewel from her hairdo to Ram. This is why Maruti (Hanumant) alone is such who moves freely from God to bhakta and from bhakta to God. We must realize that he is Ram-doot as well as bhakta-doot. If we think we require an agent to go to God then why gather around useless quacks? Make this Hanumant your agent. Because he is willing to become bhakta-doot just as he is Ram-doot. He is Ram-doot and bhakta-doot hence which is the name most dear to Hanumant? ‘Sita-shoak-Vinaashini’. Sita was residing in the Ashokwan (forest of pine trees) and was sorrowful. Eliminating the grief of Sita grieving in the Ashokwan; is definitely greater than the Ashok tree and the Ashokwan. We must realize that it must surely be an orchard of ‘Aaraamaa kalpavrukshaanaam’ i.e. a garden of Kalpavruksha. How strong must the envoy be who freed Janakimata; living in the Ashokwan of her grief?

Ravana’s queen Mandodari tells him, ‘Jaasu doot bal barani na jaai | Tehi aaye pur kavan bhalaai |’. ‘Jaasu doot bal barani na jaai |’ means ‘Ravana, note that if the master of this envoy whose strength cannot be described comes, what will be the condition of this kingdom?’ We too are told the same thing by our Mandodari. Mandodari means the inducting self defense that harnesses our ego. Every human being has this gut feeling or self defense mechanism which suggests that Dear fellow, God exists! He is watching everything. Do not leave Him. But our ego chases the Shadripu and ignores our Mandodari. Thus, the being tries to grab God’s authority thinking, ‘I shall acquire my fruit. I shall decide my fruit, I should get like this.’ We try to seize Ram’s Sita. Authority and power are Ram’s strength that we try to plunder and thus we become Ravana. No; we do not deserve that. We cannot do that. Janaki is our Mother. Ram is our Father. We do not wish to become Ravana. We wish to become Bibhishan. What message has Lakshman sent to Ravana in Sunderkand? He has given audacious message that ‘Either you give up ego, greed, envy and submit to Ram as your brother has done or get scorched by the fire of Ram’s arrows along with your descendants.’

O’ mortal, you have only two alternatives; that of Ravana or Bibhishan. No other way, don’t choose Ravana’s path. When we tread the path of illusion, when we abandon Ram, we have to go on the path of Ravana. Though we may dwell in the kingdom of demons, if we submit to Ram as Bibhishan did; then remember that what Ravana accomplished after sacrificing his ten heads was acquired by Bibhishan by just prostrating before Ram in reverence. Ravana had to offer his ten heads into a Yadnya to get the kingdom of Lanka and to acquire strength but still he did not become immortal. Whereas always remember that Bibhishan became immortal; and was also crowned the king of Lanka only because he placed his head on the Charan of Ram with utmost faith.

HARI OM

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