This body we live in is our palace, complete with all its gates to the world. We look after it well, ensure its needs are met, even decorate it best as we can. But we almost never pay heed to the Master of the palace, our real “I”. Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha provides crucial direction in understanding our true identity, the Self.
Unlike the body, our real identity is unborn (and therefore undying). It is free of all convolutions, absolutely straightforward like pure light. When we go within, we dissociate from our ever-changing palace, and be firmly established in its unchanging Master. Only then can we joyously dance through life fully in tune with the fundamental rhythm of Nature, just like our enlightened Spiritual Masters.
Kathopanishad 2.1.14, 2.1.15, 2.2.1
Part of Chāndogyopaniṣad 7.1.3
Bhagavad Gita 8.10-8.13
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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.
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.