. . . GURU KARUNAMRUTHAM
Sa rasavati iti Saraswathi
The one with Ananda is Saraswathi. Of all the Rasas (emotions), Ananda is attributed to Goddess Mother. That is why in Sri Yantra, the chakra in which Goddess Rajarajeswari resides is called Sarvanandamaya Chakra. There are many examples in the scriptures that conform that when you are joyful, you are with God. From the Vedas, Anando Brahma (God is Bliss) and from the Bhagadvad Gita, Rasovai saha (the Paramatma is blissful). The problem is most of the time our joy tends to be dependent on external forces. Therefore, what we need to strive for and experience is independent joy or swatantra aananda. We need to tell ourselves, “I am joyful, because it is my nature.” I am the sole purveyor of my happiness. In fact, Saraswathi, Lakshmi, Gouri are also the forms of Ananda. There are many forms of joy. Real knowledge is blissful joy. Lakshmi is the joy we get in enjoying every precious moment of our life given by Mother to us. Gouri is the joy which we get by sharing our joy. There is also joy in sacrifice. We have to challenge ourselves to experience this joy continuously. Every life consists of pleasure and pain. We may define pleasure as the feeling of contentment when things are going as per our wish and pain as the opposite. Often our mind tends to focus on the painful part of our life this shadowing the pleasurable part of our life.
Dushta doshepi vishaye mamatva Krishna manasa?
In Durgasaptasati, the King Suradha asks the Saint, “Why does this ignorant mind always focus on those issues which cause pain to us?” We need to train our mind to focus on joy. For example, when we are surrounded by beauty in nature - luscious greenery, murmuring wind, chirping birds, animals trying to communicate in an unknown languages, the rhythmic crashing of waterfalls etc, the ignorant mind focuses on issues that are out of its control instead of enjoying all that the surroundings have to offer in the present. By focusing on the past, the Jeeva is pulled into a whirlpool of pain. Therefore, we need to train the mind to focus on joyful things. To the standard philosophical question of “Is the glass half-empty or half-full?” let us all answer with a resounding “half-full!” Moreover, the best Sadhaka will realize that even the empty portion is not truly empty. Let us feel that half of the glass is filled with milk and half with air.
I am often asked, “I recite Lalitha Sahasranama many times, so why do I still have so many problems while others who are not spiritual are enjoying wealth and fame?” To this I answer: We need to remember what being blessed truly means. Wealth and fame are only external attributes. In fact, the one who is truly blessed is the one who is content, peaceful and happy. With every recitation of the name of God, and every beeja (syllable) of mantra, we are cleaning our inner self and preparing it for the ultimate realization. While stotras sing praises of God, they are not recited to please God, as often misunderstood. They are meant to invoke inner joy. Experience the joy in reciting stotras.
Antharmukha samaradhya bahirmukha Sudurlabha
When you worship Goddess Mother in a ritual, do you feel that you are worshiping yourself? If not, please start doing that. All the names in Lalitha Sahasranama are intended to awaken your inner self. You are not addressing someone else but yourself. When you understand this, your puja room becomes a heaven of joy or to be more precise whenever you think of Her, you get joy. Let our joy not depend on spouse/child/parent/friend. Let us be responsible for our joy by swatma rati, enjoying the inner self. Look at the infant, who takes pleasure in simple by moving his/her hands and legs, and by looking at some object whether or not he/she understands the object. Such should be the state of a sadhaka. When there is no analysis of the world, you get absolute joy.
Paropakarartham Idam Sareeram
The Bhagavadgita says, this body is meant to serve others. Let us now focus on the joy in giving. The Sastras say 10% of our time and money belongs to community and if you don't follow this rule, it results in dosha called “Asteyam” which is one of the Pancha Maha Patakas (Five Great Sins). We need to make experiencing the joy in giving and making others joyful a habit. Like a mother who feels so much joy in giving life to another Jeeva despite the discomfort for nine months in carrying her baby and the immense pain during delivery. Such should be the joy of helping others. Then, any amount of pain undergone will become a pleasure. In fact, when the person who receives help from you, wishes you well, it is much more powerful than the 30 million devatas blessing you. People will come and people will go, but nobody is there to remember them, when they are gone. Let us strive do such a unique Dharma, that generations after generations remember us forever. Let us not confine great characters like Sibichakravarthi, Dana Karna, Satya Harishchandra only to books. Let us embody them by following their principles and actively looking for opportunities to help someone. If we approach life with this outlook, don't you think it will be filled with everlasting joy?
To be continued …