In this talk, Ma, elucidates how the instructions given by Guru Adi Shankaracharya are so relevant and applicable even in these times for both renunciate seekers as well as householders.
Ma with her melodious chanting of a verse from Vivekachoodamani awakens the mind on how to be focussed on our real identity. Elaborating on the first verse of the text, Ma gives the various practical instructions to keep the mind pure, desireless and expansive. Ma details how all Karmas are to be performed as a worship to God-- with no motivation, no ego or possessiveness. Ma cautions us to be so watchful of the mind and never to fall in the trap of complacency.
Elaborating on how subtle desires can trap even the most ardent seeker, Ma narrates the incident of how the renunciate disciples of Adi Shankaracharya also had jealousy and competition amongst themselves. Ma exhorts all, to never fall prey to these subtle impurities, to be focussed on the Goal of life and to keep on nurturing Viveka and Vairagya by being in Satsanga.
Ma says that it becomes easy to follow these instructions of Shankaracharya, when one is in the association of a Realized teacher. Ma chants various verses on Guru Bhakti and guides us how to develop Guru Bhakti, considering Guru to be God incarnate. By this process, the focus of all worship shifts from the invisible God to the visible manifest Guru. Ma speaks about how easily a seeker is able to progress in his path by means of Guru Bhakti.
Verses Discussed: (Upadesha Panchakam—1 and 2)
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Narayanashrama Tapovanam, an Ashram located in Thrissur, Kerala, embodies the unique tradition of Guru-shishya Parampara, disseminating Brahmavidya (Science of Self-knowledge) through regular classes, satsangs, and above all, through learning in the association of a realized spiritual master.
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Those days, there were many rats staying in various pockets of the tiled roof. My room had a very low ceiling and I could even touch the roof tiles. At night, I would see big, big rats running around just near me.
I got back to my daily chores, but the scene remained in my mind – the old man’s wrinkled face, his gleaming eyes, the contentment he enjoyed, his refusal to accept more than ‘his minimum needs’! How many of us can take such a stand?
Bhakti is not so much in the worship with flowers, garlands, lamps or incense sticks. Neither it is in chanting His names and praises. It is verily in living and acting according to the wish of the Lord, pleasing Him, imbibing qualities and attitudes that He wants us to imbibe.