Talks on Vibhishan Gita in Bloemfontein (7-9 February 2014)

Devotees of the Bloemfontein Hindu Association(BHA) were extremely honoured to host Pujya Swami Abhedanandaji for a 3-day talk. The discourses by Swamiji were held in the mandhir located on a farm which is 10km away from the Bloemfontein city and home to beautiful Brahmin cows and swans. More than 40 people attended the talks which were held on the 7th, 8th and 9th of February 2014. All meals were lovingly provided by members of the temple association.

The portion discussed by Swamiji was that of Vibhishan Gita. Swamiji described the scenario where Lord Ram is standing barefoot on the battlefield ready to fight Ravan who is heavily clad in armour. Vibhishanji enquires from Lord Ram as to how he is going to win the battle. Swamiji highlighted that Lord Ram replies that to be victorious in life requires another type of chariot, that is the chariot of righteousness. Sometimes we think that the experience of victory is having the experiences that we wanted example, getting the job we wanted, living in the house he wanted, etc. but the real experience of victory is cessation of all sorrows, extreme joy and fearlessness. The outside success is not 100% in our hand but to build chariot of success inside ourselves is in our hand.

Pujya Swamiji explained that the two wheels of the chariot are courage(sauraja) and fortitude (dhiraja). Swamiji elaborated on the meaning of courage which is the ability a person has to think that he can do big and great things in his life. It was re-iterated that we all should know that we are meant for bigger and higher things and that our goal should be so high that it gives us alot of inspiration. If we don’t have something for which we can die, then we will never have the joy of living or being fearless. It was discussed how Hanumanji is the epitome of courage who had the ability to die for some higher cause.

In courage, there are 3 factors. They are 1) thinking big 2) planning and resources and 3) working hard to achieve that goal. Swamiji re-iterated that if a person doesn’t have courage, then he is not a go-getter, he has no zeal or passion. There are always risks involved in courage. One who cannot take big risks cannot go ahead in life. In spiritual life, if someone sets high goals, works for it, plans then he can definitely do big things. Even to conquer any bad tendency requires courage.

The other wheel discussed is fortitude or patience. It was described how the ability of not losing hope, to have the tenacity to hold on, when the thinking capacity is still intact when situations are not in my control and to possess immense tolerance is called dhiraja. It is not always possible for things to go as we want but patience or fortitude brings acceptability of any circumstances. Life tests our maturity and the bigger the person, the more the powers of anticipation and fortitude he should have.

Swamiji explained that in dhiraj, there are 4 factors i.e. following/obeying the words, having tolerance, living a life of dharm and being humble. Courage(sauraj) without fortitude(dhiraj) is short-lived and dhiraj without sauraj is laziness. It was beautifully illustrated by Swamiji that for any role, courage and patience are required in infinite measure.

Swamiji also elaborated what the flag and sign of the chariot represent which is truth(satyam) and good conduct(sheel). Satyam – The truth of a person is the sign of what he is. The flag is what he represents. Sheel is very good conduct- that through which we know a person. We are known not by what dress we use, the car we drive or the family that we come from. We are known by what we follow at the level of mind, sense organs, emotions and notions.

It was mentioned that many people have the misconception that speaking the Truth with the mouth is called Truth but the scriptures have said living a life of dharm is living a life of truth. Dharm is the one which expresses through a person’s words, character and lifestyle. When dharm expresses then we say it is the truth in his life. The source of dharm is understanding the satyam described by the scriptures in the intellect. Dharm expresses mostly through a person’s speech. If one has to lie, then it is an indication that something is not right eg. Intention or attitude, etc. Dharm and satyam are very closely related. Dharm is that which holds peace of mind, security, peace of mind and makes a person secure.

Swamiji talked about how every action won’t give joy, security in the future. Our scriptures have prescribed particular actions that a person should perform. Dharm holds together   and anything which breaks is adharm. If we don’t live the truth, family and relations will break. Another point discussed was that success does not only come by hard work, talent and intellect. Unless one gets opportunity as well, then he won’t get success and opportunity comes by past good actions. Dharm alone gives us security, joy and opportunity. Swamiji also described the four feet of dharm. They are sat, tap, dhan and daya(truth, austerity, compassion and charity)

It was mentioned by Swamiji that there can be no real equivalent translation of sheel in English. The closest definition is that of good conduct. Sheel is the syrup in which words are dipped in nectar before spoken . It was explained by Swamiji that the harshly spoken truth is not the full truth. In truth, there is the sat-cit- anand aspect. Sheel without satyam is deception- lovely but without truth. Sheel is that capacity so that truth is more acceptable. The bitter truth shouldn’t be said because it has the hatred aspect and our own ahankar is mixed. Sheel is the most charming aspect of anybody’s character is a conqueror of hearts.

The person who has sheel is stable in his moods, he has a high level of acceptability, accepts his faults and tries to improve himself. He sits in other person’s heart and finds out how he would be feeling in that place. He is sensitive to dharm, God ,the scriptures and the society. Five examples of people that didn’t have sheel in Ramayan were dicussed. They were Bali ,Manthara and Kaikei, Kaagbhusundi, Parashuram and Ravan.

Swamiji also talked about how Ramji’s sheel is exemplary and is highly glorified. There was nowhere that Lord Ram spoke without sheel. Lord Ram set the standard how a person should behave with elders and the people younger than him. With elders, we should have humility (vinay). The four things that we should follow when interacting with elders is 1) obey, 2) express gratefulness, 3) accept that I am wrong 4) serve. In sheel if a person doesn’t become small and helpless then he won’t get the grace. While interacting with the younger person, the elder person should have alot of compassion. Compassion is the acceptability with imperfection of somebody who is lesser evolved. Elder person gives opportunity for the other person to grow and protection.

Devotees of Bloemfontein expressed their heartfelt gratitude to Pujya Swamiji for the divine discourses that they had over the weekend. Swamiji along with His entourage of 15 Durban devotees thanked the BHA( Bloemfontein Hindu Association) for their warm hospitality and their hard work into providing a wonderful spiritually uplifting weekend.

Categories: Gyan Yagnas