Yagna on ‘Shri Ram – Your Hero Of Dharmic Life’ – Sep 2015

Discourses held at Sydenham Sanathan Dharam Vishnu Mandir from 23rd Sep till 26th Sep 2015, organized by Chinmaya Mission of South Africa and Sydenham Sanathan Dharam Vishnu Mandir

(Gyan Yagna conducted from 23rd Sep till 26th Sep, 2016)

Key Points from the Discourses

Day 1

Day 1 Talks based on “Shri Ramcharitmanas”

In his inaugural talk, addressing a rapt audience at SSDVM Temple, Swami Abhedanandaji unravelled the hidden meaning of a rather simple word “Dharma”. He also took everyone into the unfathomable depths of Shri Ram’s character which resonates Dharma in totality. Below are a few memorable lines from Swamiji’s satsang.

1) Everyone’s life has situations that are beyond control. Many situations provoke our inner hidden negativity like anger, fear, greed, jealousy, and have the power to tear us apart. It is only through “Satsang” that we learn how to respond aptly to all kinds of circumstances. Satsang is the medium through which right thoughts and tendencies are formed, helping us remove our mental blocks and master every situation. “Dharma” is the collection of all such powerful thoughts that establish unshakeable values and convictions in our mind to face external situations.

2) “Dharma” (righteousness) should not be mixed or confused with “Upasana” (worship). Ravana was a great worshipper (Upasak) but he was also a big sinner and “Adharmi”. Upasana helps the seeker within us to evolve and surrender to the Lord. It melts our heart for the Lord. But Dharma alone helps to rein in our thoughts, words and actions, by controlling them in the face of situations, hence preventing our downfall.

3) The great “Manu-smriti” enumerates ten attributes of Dharma. Lord Shri Rama is the embodiment of all those attributes. He is Dharma personified.

4) The first attribute of Dharma is “Dhriti”, which is the ability to foresee the fruit of any action, and thus respond keeping the future outcome in mind. Dhriti directs us to refrain from doing any action which may cause pain in future. It is the unflinching capacity to please the Guru or the Lord, by bearing the pain of resisting a wrong desire. Dhriti gives us the inner courage to face situations that shatter our ego, or drop our attachments for a higher ideal.

5) It is the “Dhriti” of Lord Rama that He was able to accept the exile of 14 years, to obey the words of His mother, and to protect His father’s integrity. It is the Dhriti of Shri Rama which also enabled Him to act as a connecting bridge between so many people around Him. His calm and benign nature acted as a bridge between Sage Vasishtha and Sage Vishwamitra, helping them to overcome their age-old differences. Due to his Dhriti and humility, Lord Rama was able to win over Parshuram Ji merely by speaking softly. Shri Rama also acted as the bridge between Shri Lakshman and Shri Vibhishan as they both had opposite point of views before crossing over the ocean. Lord Rama honoured suggestions from both of them and thus infused mutual respect.

As Swamiji reveals more about Dharma and Shri Rama’s character, we will bring snippets of his satsang to you daily for the next three days.

Day 2

Day 2Talks based on “Shri Ramcharitmanas”

Swamiji’s enamoring discourses continue on the second day of yagna at SSDVM. Some of the highlights are as below,

1) Absence of ‘Dharma’ in life causes a split in an individual’s personality, a gulf between how we see ourselves and how we want portray ourselves in front of others. This gap is called “compromising” on our ideals and our “Dharma”.

2) “Forgiveness” is one of the vital attributes of Dharma. An unforgiving person suffers within his own mind for other’s mistakes. Forgiveness is the characteristic that makes the mind hooked onto higher pursuits in life, and makes the mind free from the self-afflicting thoughts of anger, hatred and revenge. The world is a cluster of imperfect situations & people; hence one must cultivate a forgiving attitude.

3) The fragrance of Dharma in Lord Rama’s life emanates as forgiveness at multiple instances. As a son, he forgave his mother Kaikeyi despite all the injustice she did unto him. As a king, He forgave Sugreeva when he did not rescue Mother Sita as she was abducted and taken by Ravan. Again, Shri Ram forgave Sugreeva when he got intoxicated with power after killing Baali, and forgot his promise to Shri Ram to begin the search for Sita ji. When Vibheeshan took refuge in Lord Rama, there was no anger in Shri Ram towards Vibheeshan who had not even visited Sita ji in Lanka during her captivity. When Shri Ram met Vibheeshan, He warmly embraced him with all his love. Such was the ocean of forgiveness and Dharma in Lord Rama’s character

4) In Ramcharitmanas, King Dashrath depicts a seeker who is ‘with desires’, while King Janak depicts a seeker who is established in Brahman & is ‘devoid of all desires’. Goswami Tulsidas ji advises us that either become a seeker ‘with desires’ (sakaam like Dhashrathji), to have Lord Ram as our son, because from a son alone one expects support & solace for lifetime. Or become a seeker ‘without any desires’ (nishkaam like Janakji), and have Mother Sita (devotion) as our daughter because devotion alone takes us to the Lord !

5) ‘Knowledge’ (Gyaan) & ‘Devotion’ (Bhakti) are equally important for moving ahead in ‘sadhana’. Without knowledge, real devotion cannot be developed, because to be a devote or a lover one needs to know the beloved. And without devotion, the sense organs that are constantly attracted towards the sense objects keep running in the world demanding love & support; and thus the Lord with form is needed to curb the sensual instincts such that one derives all joy from the Lord alone.

Day 3

Day 3 Talks based on “Shri Ramcharitmanas”

On Day 3 of the Yagna on “Shri Ram – Your Hero of Dharmic Life”, Swami Abhedananda continued to sprinkle the bliss of satsang upon all listeners. Few magical pointers from today’s satsang are:-

1) ‘Dharma’ liberates us from past thoughts while ‘Adharma’ bears the burden of past thoughts. Adharma is the root of ego-centric desires, and such actions bind us forever. Dharma alone releases us from the bondage of action.

2) All of us have various roles to play in life. A disturbed or troubled person is one who does not play his role in accordance to Dharma. Lord Rama is a perfect example of Dharmic living. He played a variety of roles; be it as a son, a king, a disciple, a husband, a brother, a manager or a leader; and yet He executed all his roles in an impeccable manner, treading the path of Dharma. Those who wish to achieve perfection and joyfulness in their life, should study the character of Lord Rama with utmost sincerity and devotion.

3) Joy in any relationship comes only when both individuals perform their Dharma. Joy of being an elder is in protecting the younger, and joy of being the younger is in surrendering to the elder.

4) As a disciple, Lord Ram followed ‘Shishya Dharma’ of the highest order. Fear of losing the grace of Guru brings the disciple closer to his Guru. A sincere disciple pleases the Guru and obeys him in all ways, such that there is no obstacle in receiving the Lord’s grace flowing through the teacher.

5) Devotion is the art of discovering the Lord’s hand and His doer-ship in all situations. The world will always offer us a variety of experiences, but one should have the unflinching devotion to interpret those situations as God’s ultimate will for the betterment of the devotee. In the face of insult, see an opportunity to test your ego. When faced with neglect, check the bigheartedness of your heart whether it can continue to love unconditionally or not. Every situation is an opportunity for our betterment. God’s love for us expresses as imperfect situations outside, giving an opportunity to chisel our personality within.

6) Loving means “Giving blissful and conducive response”, which only the Lord can give! A devotee is able to love God only because he gets conducive responses from God.

Day 4

Copy of DSC_2847Talks based on “Shri Ramcharitmanas”

In the culminating session of the Yagna, Swami Abhedananda coloured everyone with the compassionate Blueness of Bhagwan Shri Ram. The depth of Lord Ram’s character is hard to fathom, but with Swamiji’s earnest efforts everyone was able to take away several pointers for their personal contemplation and practical application. Here are some of those gems for us to preserve…

1) The Dharmic life and character of Shri Ram should become our personal “manual for ideal living”. He clearly demonstrated how to cultivate – a mind that is established in composure, words that are powerful yet polite, and actions that are resolute. Thoughts, Speech and Action are the instruments of our own disturbance or peace. It is up to us, how we nurture and employ these instruments in our life.

2) Dharma is often confused with being religious. Dharma as expounded in our scriptures has two definitions – one meaning is “That which holds us” (Dharayate iti Dharmah) and another meaning is “That which one must hold on to” (Dhriyate iti Dharmah). By following your Dharma alone can you gain the trust and love of others. This trust and love that you receive, is the seen or visible fruit of Dharma.

The unseen fruit of Dharma is in having ever-conducive situations or favourable people and things around you.

3) One of the beautiful aspects of Lord Ram’s nature is that He never owned any action that He performed. Never did he undertake anything out of his own wish or will. There was always a prompter of His actions, and it was someone bigger, or more revered in the form of His Guru. It is important to know that only when we are able to drop our desires, then alone the Lord expresses through us for greater accomplishments..

4) The ultimate fruit of Pooja, is in the mystical confluence of a devotee’s thirst for the Lord and the Lord’s thirst for his devotee. Love and fulfillment are possible only when both, the Lord and the devotee have a yearning for each other. The sole purpose of Pooja is to make the Lord yearn for your attention, and become thirsty for you.

5) When a devotee is ready to drop his insistence and ego in front of the Lord, then the Lord accepts the devotee as he is, even with his limitations; and eventually brings the devotee closer to Himself.