Yagna on ‘Shiv Manas Puja’ Sep 2016

Talks on “Shiv Manas Puja” by Swami Tejomayananda

(Gyan Yagna conducted from 1st Sep till 5th Sep 2016)

Key Points from the Discourses

Day 1

The atmosphere in the Chinmaya Shivam Ashram got divinely charged and miraculously elevated as Swami Tejomayanandaji commenced his discourses on Shiv Manas Puja on the first day of Yagna. Numerous devotees who attended were treated with a sublime and mentally invigorating satsang. We bring to you some of the gems from yesterday’s talk…

dsc05421Manas Puja – Its Real Meaning:

  • Shiv Manas Puja is a very beautiful composition of Bhagwaan Adi Shankaracharya. The literal translation of Shiv Manas Puja is ‘Mental worship of Lord Shiva’. ‘Manas’ means something done at the level of mind.
  • The word ‘Manas’ has many implications:
    1. One meaning is – Performing Puja of Lord Shiva with our whole mind involved in it; not just doing it mechanically or ritualistically. That is called as ‘Manas Puja’.
    2. The other meaning is – If there is a person who doesn’t have all the material dravyas (offerings for Puja), then also he can worship if he can conceive the offerings in his mind and mentally offer those to the Lord. The beauty of this is, even by doing so the Lord accepts the offerings.

The mental level worship is more difficult than physical level as it requires a very quiet and focused mind.

Puja means worship, but now multiple questions arise as, who is worthy of worship? Why worship? And How to worship? Once we start inquiring step by step many interesting things will come forward. We will now address these questions one at a time.

Who is worthy of worship?

  • All of us worship someone. We worship someone either because of their age, wealth, power, position, fame, knowledge or righteousness. If someone has these, even in limited measure, he is respected immensely. Think of the one who has got all these things in infinite measure permanently!
  • Now the question is, is there anyone like that? So the answer is, if someone is there with limited, that limited only indicates the presence of infinite. The existence of the part proves the existence of the whole.
  • So the existence of an individual itself is the proof of the existence of the total. That is the idea of total wealth or total power, and that one, who wields all these in totality, in infinite measure, that one we call as God.
  • The infinite Lord, who has got everything in infinite measure, it becomes His own nature. So our Altar of worship should not be someone who is limited, but someone who is infinite. That is the definition of Bhagwan!

Who is Bhagwan?

  • Bhagwan means the One who has all fortunes, He is of the very
    nature of all fortunes! Lord is said to be ‘Shatgunaaishwaryasampanna’, the one who has got the below in totality:
  • – Aishwarya: Lordship, ruler-ship, power and position
    – Dharma: Righteouness
    – Yash: Fame
    – Shree: Lakshmi, wealth, grace and beauty
    – Gyan: Absolute Knowledge
    – Vairagya: Dispassion
  • Another definition of Ishwar is – The one who is capable of creating the whole world (Srishti), who has the ability to sustain it (Sthiti), and who alone has the power to dissolve it (Samhaar). He is the one who does Anugraha and Nigraha i.e., give blessings and also disciplines everyone.
  • Bhagwan is the ‘Karmaadhayksha’ and the ‘Karmafaldata’, the one who presides over karmas (actions) and the results of karmas (fruits-of-actions).

Brahman & His Infinite Power:

  • In the Upanishads, the word for ‘Ishwarah’ is ‘ParabrahmaParmatma’ who is self-existent (Swayambhu). From that alone, the whole creation comes. With reference to creation, that Parmatma is called the Creator.
  • When the world was not there, at that time there was only ‘pure being’. The pure being with no trace of creation is called Infinite existence, and that Infinite is called ‘Brahman’. The Brahman has His own inherent infinite power which has many names such as Shakti, Maya, Prakriti etc. This Shakti doesn’t exist independent of Brahman. Great poet Kalidas said very beautifully, “the relation between Bhagwan and His power is like the word and its meaning.” Can we separate the meaning from the word and the word from the meaning?
  • The Brahman endowed with His inherent power is called Ishwarah. ‘Ish’ means ‘to rule’ and one cannot rule without the power of ruling. So when Ishwar creates then He is called the creator, ‘Brahmaa’. With reference to the sustenance of the whole creation, the name that is given is ‘Vishnu’. With reference to dissolution, he is called ‘Rudra’ or ‘Shiva’. And thus the trinity, Brahmaa, Vishnu, Mahesh, but in essence are One alone!
  • An interesting thing is that you cannot create anything without changing. Without destroying some form, you cannot make something else. So in that act of creation, something is destroyed and the earlier form goes away. Therefore, Brahma Parmatma alone is called the Ishwarah and Sarweshwarah.

Invoking the Lord:

  • In Shiv Manas Puja, first we have to see whom we are worshiping. Lord is represented in different idols, made up of different materials. But in the idol we invoke the presence of the Lord and then we worship the Lord.
  • Swami TapovanjiMaharaj once said, “When someone goes to the temple, he doesn’t say – Oh stone, I do namaskaar to you.” Even though he knows that the idol is made up of stone or marble or wood or clay, but he doesn’t see the material, he sees the Lord because he invokes Lord’s presence.

To find out more about ‘Why to worship and how to worship?’, please look forward to our post tomorrow of Day 2 of Swamiji’s ongoing discourses!

Day 2

Pujya Swami Tejomayanandaji continued to enrich the devotees with his lucid explanation on the second day of the Yagna on ‘Shiv Manas Puja’. Below are some of the memorable takeaways from the discourse, which we all can apply in our daily life.

Day 2Lord Shiva’s Form:

1) Lord Shiva, who is of the nature of consciousness, has a very wonderful form. About His form, Tulsidasji has given a beautiful description as,

  • He is the one on whose left side is Mother Parvati, the daughter of Himalaya. She is Lord’s Shakti and is always with Him.
  • He is the one on whose head is Gangaji. The etymological meaning of the word Ganga is ‘the one who sings the glory of Ganga or worships Ganga; then she leads the devotees to Bhagwan’. Gangaji represents ‘Ram-Bhakti’ and since Lord Shiva gives maximum importance to Ram Bhakti, hence He has put Ganga on His head. Another most practical meaning is that one should keep his head cool.
  • Lord Shiva is the one who has crescent moon on his forehead and snake on His chest and all over the body. Putting on snakes as ornaments, represents that He is fearless. It also indicates that Bhagwan holds the pair of opposites; one is the snake which is poisonous and death-giving while other is the moon which emits nectarine rays and gives life. He is the Lord of death as well as immortality.
  • He is Neelkanth (blue-necked), which shows that the Lord is the most compassion (karunanidhi) and at the same time mighty.
  • Lord Shiva is decorated with Vibhuti all around which represents that one day our body has to become ash and so we should rise above our body attachment and identification.
  • He is most auspicious and His glow is like that of the shashi-chandrama i.e., most pleasant.

2) This is the Sagun Saakaar Rup of Bhagwan and we must try to imbibe these qualities in us to the best of our ability and if we cannot imbibe all of them, we should become a devoted servant of the Lord.

Who does the Worship & Why?

  • We have seen that Lord alone is the one who is most worshipful. Now the next question is who does the worship? The ‘Jeeva’ (an individual being) is the one who does the worship; he is the Pujak, the Aradhak. But who is a Jeeva? Tulsidasji says that Jeeva is the one who is ignorant about the Lord, Maya, and about his own self. He is limited in every sense – his body, mind, knowledge, strength, status, everything is limited.
  • Such a Jeeva, whom should he worship? If this limited Jeeva is in trouble and he goes to another limited Jeeva for help, how much help would he get? One helpless cannot help another helpless. So the part has to worship the whole, not another part only. Jeeva, being the part of the whole must remain in tune with the whole. And if he recognizes that whole, the Lord & reveres, respects and worships Him, then the power, Knowledge, strength and everything of the Lord is then available to the jeeva.
  • Lord Shri Krishna says in Gita, “those who worship the centers of limited power, they surely get some power, but still they remain limited. But those who worship Me, they come to me.” Bhagwan Shankaracharya says, “Even though the efforts are the same in pleasing an individual and pleasing the Lord, but the result is very different.”
    The Jeeva must worship only the infinite Lord; then only he will have success, happiness and completeness in life.
  • This worship should be an expression of the Jeeva’s gratitude towards Bhagwan. One Mahatma said nicely, when somebody gives you a wristwatch, you say thank you but who gave you the wrist? Our attention never goes to simple things. The giver of all that we have, our body, our mind, our intellect, our life, our pranas, our talents, our potentials etc. is God only and when we receive so much from God, shouldn’t we express our gratitude.
  • Everything in the world belongs to Bhagwan only and we offer that back to Him in worship. So what did we offer? Actually it is not the object. Even though the object belonged to Lord, we hold onto the object as ‘My’. So this offering is the offering of our possessiveness.
  • The Lord gives and forgives but we get and forget. That is our nature but still the Lord keeps giving. Gurudev used to say, “You may give without love but you can never love without giving.” And once we love bhagwan we feel, what we can give, because everything belongs to Him only. The only thing that belongs to us is our ahankaar (ego). That we must surrender.

Does God want to be Worshipped?

  • Bhagwan is well established in His own glory, He doesn’t need, doesn’t want and doesn’t expect our worship, but, it is our need and our love and when we worship, the joy is ours.
  • When we perform the Puja, then after the Puja the same murti looks different. When we worship the Lord, the joy, happiness, peace that we experience is our real Prasad.

Why Idol Worship?

Even though we understand the IshwaraSwarupa, there are so many aspects of that. One aspect of Bhagwan is NirgunaNirakaarSwarupa (formless and attribute-less). Meditation on that is also called worship. If one is unable to do that, then the other form of Bhagwan is called Cosmic form. It is called Viraatrup where you think of the whole world as the form of God. If one cannot conceive whole world as Bhagwan, then we come to the Ishta Rup. Ishta means, that form of the Lord, which is dear to us. Therefore we start, the Ishta Rup Murti Puja (Idol worship of the Ishtadevata). In the murti, we install the Keerti (glory) of Bhagwan and then worship it.

How to Worship?

Worship is done in different steps and that is called, Sixteen Upacharas. Upachara means formal way of worshipping. While doing the upchara, we must think that Bhagwan has, as if, arrived in our home. So we welcome Bhagwaan, request Him to sit down, wash His feet, hands, give something to drink, then give Him a bath, after bath we offer Him vastra (clothes), offer aabhushanam (ornaments), perform rajopachar (entertain the Lord) etc. This is how Murti puja is done. If we cannot do Murti puja, then mentally we can offer the Puja to the Lord. All these upacharas when done in mind is called Manas Puja.

Stay tuned to find out more about these upacharas as is beautifully indicated in ‘Shiv Manas Puja’…

Day 3

On Day 3 of the yagna on ‘Shiv Manas Puja’, PujyaGuruji Swami Tejomayananda continued to sprinkle the bliss of satsang upon all listeners. Few magical pointers from yesterday’s satsang are presented below –

Day 3Essentials for Puja:

  • There are three main factors in Puja – Pujak (worshiper), Pujya (Altar of worship) & the Act of worship. First we inquired that the altar of our worship can only be Bhagwan and then we saw that the Jeeva is the Aradhak.
  • Now our topic is how to do Puja. We should first focus our mind on a particular form of the Lord which is dear to us and then worship Him by welcoming Him and offering various dravyas (puja offerings) with total faith, devotion & love.
  • If someone is incapable of offering the material dravyas then in his mind he can conceive the form of Lord and offer all the upcharas, the formal ceremonial worship at mental level.
    How to perform Mental Worship?

Below are the steps that are mentioned in Shiv Manas Puja where we offer various dravyas to the Lord with the sankalp of our mind:

  • Avahanam – Welcome the Lord by saying, “Oh Lord! Please come. I am offering this Puja to You.”
  • Asanam – Once the Lord comes, then we must offer a seat to Him; a royal throne studded with precious stones and gems. We should think that Bhagwan is actually coming and sitting on the throne.
  • Snanam – Offering cool water to Bhagwan.
  • Vastram – Next step is offering clothes to Bhagwan which are divine, celestial silken clothes.
  • Abhushanam – Offering the most precious ornaments to Bhagwan, which includes beautiful necklace, bracelet, earnings etc.
  • Chandanam – Next upchara is offering sandalwood paste which is very fragrant, mixed with musk (kasturi).
  • Pushpa – Offering variety of flowers to Bhagwan like lotus, rose, jasmine etc.
  • Bilva-patra – Lord Shiva is worshipped with Bilva-patra which represents many things such as going beyong the three guans, Sattvagun-Rajogun-Tamogun, or the three states of being, Jagrit-Swapna-Sushupti.
  • Dhupam – The next upchara is offering fragrant incense.
  • Deepam – Showing the lamp. The lamp represents the light of knowledge. In the light of knowledge when we recognize the Lord then all our distress and sorrows are gone.
  • Naivedya – Then the next upchara is offering food to Bhagwan. ‘Oh Lord, in a plate of gold, studded with nine kinds of gems we offer ghee and delicacies which is made from milk and yoghurt, various kinds of fruits and juices and immeasurable varieties of vegetables.’
  • Jalam – Offering water to the Lord and edible kapur.
  • Tambulam – Next we offer the betel leaf (paan) made with our minds.
  • Rajopachaar – Entertaining Bhagwan and giving Him all the comforts. The various offerings in Rajopachaar include a royal umbrella, a pair of royal fans, a special mirror etc. Then there is instrumental music, vocal and dance that is offered. Bhagwan likes to listen to the four Vedas, so one shloka from each are also chanted during the Rajopachaar.
  • Sashtangampranatihi – We fall prostrate at the feet of the Lord. ‘Sashtanga’ represents complete surrender of our ego.
  • StutirBahuvidha – Once all the Puja is done and Bhagwan is happy at that time, we may pray to the Lord or sing the praise of the Lord.

All these things that are offered are only conceived in our mind. This is called Manas Puja. In the mind, we feel the presence of the Lord and then we offer everything.

Glory of Puja:

  • At physical level if we are doing puja, then our mind must be there, but we find it very difficult because the mind keeps wandering. So Tulsidasji has said very nice thing – one is called ‘Nema’ meaning ‘discipline’ and the other is called ‘Prema’ meaning ‘love’. In discipline, I take a vow to perform the Puja every day whether my mind is involved or not. Love cannot be forced but discipline can be forced. Even if one waters the plants every day, the bond of love is created with the plant. Similarly if we do Puja every day, we discover love and devotion within.
  • Even when Puja is done without knowing everything, then too Lord gets pleased. Tulsidaji says that if you chant the name of the God, knowing its glory or not knowing its glory, you directly go to the Lord (beyond all heaven and hell).
  • Beauty of Rajopchaar: In this wonderful method, all the priests who have studied different Vedas, they get a chance to offer their services; all the musicians, dancers, poets etc. everybody gets a chance to please the Lord. Whatever talent you have, whatever you know, with that only you worship the Lord. Thus every devotee gets a chance; and the beauty is that all this is offered in our mind.

Our Relationship with God:

  • We worship God but have we thought how is the God related to us? Do we look upon Him as our Master, or as a father? We should look at Bhagwan, not as just as a Murti but with some relationship. The best bhaav that we can have is ‘daasbhaav’ (servant of the Lord).
  • In the beautiful verses of Shiv manas Puja, Lord is called as ‘Dayanidhe’ which means that the Lord is the very treasure of compassion (daya). How does Bhagwan shower His daya? If we read the word ‘daya’ the other way it becomes ‘yaad’ which means remembrance. So when we keep on remembering God, His grace & His love then God showers His compassion.

Day 4

On the fourth day of the yagna, Pujya Swami Tejomayananda lovingly described at length the various ways and levels of puja that one can offer to the Lord. Few golden nuggets from his discourse are as below:

Name, Form & Essence:

Each object in this world has got three aspects: Form (rup), Name (naam) and the Essence (swarup). For instance, there is a gold necklace where the name ‘necklace’ is given to a particular form and the substance is gold, which is the essence of that necklace. With perspective of a human being, there is a physical form, and then there is a name, and the essence is the ‘Jeevan tattva’ (life or chaitanya).

In the same way for God, ‘God’ itself is the name, or we what we call Ishwara, Parmatma, Ram, Krishna, or Shiva. God’s form is ‘Ashtamurtibhrat’, i.e., it has eight limbs namely Space, Air, Earth, Water, Fire, Sun, Moon, and the living beings. All this put together is the cosmic form of the God. The essence of God is ‘Sachhidananda’ (Existence, Consciousness and Bliss).

The three equipment (Body, Speech & Mind):

  1. Just as God has three aspects – Rup, Naam and Swarup, similarly we have three equipment as – body, speech and mind. Bhagwan Raman Maharshi says that the three aspects of Bhagwan should get attached to the three equipment of the Jeeva. With our body, we must worship the form of the God; our speech must be engaged in chanting the name & the praise of the God; and our mind must think about the God.
  2. The interesting part is that while performing the worship of God, our body, speech and mind, all three are involved. Even if we do the worship mechanically, some part of our mind has to be present there. But if we really worship with focused mind then Puja becomes the easiest sadhana.

Day 4How to develop Bhakti bhaav?

  1. First start with ‘Puja’. In the beginning you may not enjoy, and the mind may wander, but still do it. Progressively, the mind starts getting absorbed. That is called Pujanam where all the three equipment are involved.
  2. Second is ‘Japa’ which is the function of speech. Its nature is to repeat the same name, the same mantra, be it ‘Ram Ram’ or ‘Om NamahShivaya’ or some other name. While chanting the name, your mind becomes single pointed. Japasadhana is subtler than Puja because only speech and mind are involved; body is not that much involved.
  3. Third is ‘Chintanam’, where you contemplate and meditate on the form of God only with the mind. This is the subtlest sadhana. The lesser are the support of the equipment, more subtle the sadhana becomes, and more difficult it is to perform.
  4. In order to develop devotion in our heart and to become a devotee, we will have to do bhakti sadhana; one must remain in the atmosphere of bhakti and do Puja, Japa and Chintanam. If we do these consciously then the mind eventually becomes so subtle that it will automatically go into Samadhi awastha (state of meditative consciousness).

Levels of Puja sadhana:

  1. There are three levels in this sadhana. First is the Murti Puja i.e., invoking the presence of God in a Murti (idol) and worshiping it. Then slowly, through satsang etc., we come to know that the Ishwar, whom we are worshipping in a particular Murti, that Bhagwan is in the hearts of all beings and all things. Thus the whole cosmos is His form; the Sun, Moon, all the Jeevas – human beings, animals, plants, birds, everything is Bhagwan’s form.
  2. Then the next level of Puja is where you recognize the presence of God everywhere and worship Him. Serving the world with the bhavana of worshipping the Lord, that is Puja, where you may give food to the hungry, offer money to the needy, give encouragement to someone distressed etc. The greatest Puja is seeing God everywhere. Saints like Naam Dev Maharaj and SantEknaath are the epitome of such highest level of devotion to the Lord.

Meaning of ‘Om NamahShivaya’:

  1. ‘Namah’ means salutations or prostrations. So, the simple meaning of ‘Om NamahShivaya’ is ‘I prostrate to thee, Oh Lord Shiva!’ The deeper meaning is all that is auspicious is called Shiva. All the great virtues & values of life such as faith, devotion, dispassion, inquiry, love, compassion etc., all are auspicious. So ‘Om NamahaShivaya’ means ‘I revere and respect all these virtues which brings auspiciousness.’
  2. Shiva also means Chaitanya i.e. pure consciousness. ‘Om NamahShivaya’ means realization of our oneness with the Lord. It is the japa that will take us to that level.

Puja by a Devotee:

  • When the mind of the devotee is highly purified, subtle and enlightened, then Bhagwan reveals His nature to the devotee. The devotee thus declares, ‘Atmatvam’, ‘Oh! Lord You are the Atma in my heart’. The Chaitanya within is Shiva swarup only!
  • In Shiv Manas Puja, there are various wonderful things said about a devotee:
    1. ‘GirijaMatihi’ – it is said that a devotee’s mind is Parvatiswarup. The implication is that, when Parvatiji was doing tapas for Lord Shiva, many people came to disturb her, but she remained totally devoted to Lord Shiva alone. In the same way, our mind should remain dedicated to Parmatmaswarup, not getting attached to worldly things.
    2. ‘Shariramgriham’ – The body of a devotee itself is like a temple and Parmatma lives there.
    3. ‘Puja tevishayopabhogarachana’ – whatever a devotee perceives through his senses, everything is offered to the Lord. When Chaitanya is present in the body only then everything can be perceived, thus everything in essence is offered to that Chaitanya alone. Whatever a devotee perceives in the world of objects that becomes his Puja.
    4. ‘NidraSamadhisthitihi’ – this implies that for a wise man or a great devotee, sleep itself is mediation because he has reached such a state of realization.
    5. ‘Pradakshinvidhihi’ – wherever a devotee goes, Bhagwan is there all the time, in the front, back, left, right, everywhere, so wherever the devotee walks that itself become pradakshina.
    6. ‘StotraniSarva giro’ – whatever a devotee speaks, that is stotra of Bhagwan. One cannot speak without the presence of Chaitanya. So not only whatever a devotee speaks but also whatever he hears is Bhagwan’sstuti.
    7. ‘Yadyad karma karomishambhotavaaaradhana’ – Shambho means ‘auspicious being’. Whatever action a devotee does, every action is Lord’s worship. Thus a devotee need not do anything special. When a devotee looks at this world, eats something, does any action including sleeping, all that is his Puja only. This is called divinization of the entire life!

Day 5

Pujya Swami Tejomayanandaji concluded the Yagna with a wonderful elucidation of the last verse of Shiv Manas Puja. Indeed, the Lord is the most compassionate one to forgive us inspite of all our mistakes & shortcomings. We are pleased to share with you Guruji’s concluding advice from the final day’s satsang…

Advancing in Devotion:

  • In Bhakti shastra, it is said that our idea of God in the beginning is of someone who is very far away, somewhere in the seventh heaven or so, and we say, “I belong to Him.” But when our devotion really grows then the far away God appears close and we say, “Oh Lord! I am Yours. I am Your child, Your servant.” Thus the reference as third person becomes second person and we feel the closeness. Eventually a point comes when we say, “Oh Lord! You are my own self”. Thus the reference as second person finally becomes first person.
  • The beauty here is that even though we realize that Parmatma is our own self, we remain surrendered to Him as His servants. Thus our Altar of dedication and our Altar of worship is the same God.

Asking for forgiveness from God:

  • In the last verse of Shiv Manas Puja, Bhagwan Shankaracharya, after having worshiped the Lord, asks for forgiveness from the Lord. It is said, “Oh Lord! Oh God of Gods, the most auspicious One! The very ocean of compassion, the victorious One! Please forgive me for all the mistakes that I have done with my hands, feet, body, speech, ears, eyes, and the mind.”
  • What really is this forgiveness for? It is for ‘Apraadham’ (offence or wrong doing). ‘Raadh’ means to worship, to revere, and ‘Apraadh’ means opposite of that i.e., not to worship, not to regard. There are two types of Apraadh – (i) Not worshipping the one who is worthy of worship; that is an offence, and (ii) Second Apraadh is to worship those people, or values, or ideals who do not need any worship. Unworthy is respected and the worthy is not respected, both are offences.
  • Surdasji says in one of his songs, “Oh Bhagwan! Who is more wicked and crooked than me? I am a sinner. You gave me this human body which is the most evolved body but I forgot You.” He calls himself ‘Namak-haraam’, an ungrateful wretch. “I gave up the company of Your devotees and became slave to those who had nothing to do with You.”

Day 5Sins committed through hands:

  • Bhagwan has given us hands which are meant for giving. The ornament of hands is not bracelet, but it is ‘seva’ (serving) and ‘daan’ (offering donatoin). Donation can be of money, clothes, or food, or knowledge, or if we don’t have anything to give, then we should give time.
  • The Apraadh that we have done with our hands is that the hands which are meant for achieving the highest purpose of life, they are not used for doing purushartha, or seva or daan, rather they remain involved in doing unpleasant and unholy actions.

Sins committed through feet:

Our feet are meant for – rushing towards the person who is in need, or they are meant for going & visiting different pilgrimages where Bhagwan had played His leelas. The Apraadh that we have done with our feet is that these feet which are meant to go to satsang, or temple, or to help someone, instead they go for worldly enjoyments.

Sins committed through speech:

  • Speech is one of the most important instruments of a person. Sweet words please everybody, including the plants and animals. Physical injury gets healed quickly but injury done through harsh words is hard to heal.
  • Always remember that when you speak sweetly, you should not back-stab later. Our thoughts must be of love, kindness, affection and when we speak, the same must be expressed through our words. There should be oneness between our thoughts and words.
  • That speech is called ‘speech’ in true sense which sings the glories of the Lord and brings out the beauty of the Lord. Kabirdasji says, ‘That speech and mouth which does not sing God’s glories, it is full of dust only.’ At worldly plain also, our words should be such that we are able to console, encourage, empower, inspire, motivate others and not discourage, or demoralize or hurt their feelings.

Sins committed through body:

  • This whole human body is meant only for ‘Upkaar’ i.e. it is meant to serve. The beauty of the body is not the makeup but what seva it does. Through this human body we can put efforts to liberate ourselves from all bondage of the world but when this body is used for indulging, drinking, smoking, drugging etc., then that is a sin.
  • With healthy body only one can pursue knowledge and do spiritual sadhana. The Lord has blessed us with this body which is a ‘Sadhandham’; one can get Dharma, Artha, KaamMosha, Bhakti, Mukti, everything with the body. Therefore not utilizing it so, is a sin.

Sin committed through actions:

If one does the right Karma (actions), then ‘Nar’ (human being) can become ‘Narayan’ (God). In Vedant it is said, Karma is meant for purifying our mind. When we perform the Karma, at that time we should foresee what will be its consequences. We should know which karma is going to release me, which karma is going to bind me, which karma will be really in the service of people and Lord and which karma is wrong or bad.

Sins committed through ears & eyes:

  • We have wrongly used our ears in hearing about scandals, scams and gossips. The sin of ears is to listen to these utterly useless things which create lust, passion, and desire in our mind and shake our belief in the scriptures & God.
  • Bhagwan enters our heart only through the gateway of ears. In Bhagwat it is said that if we don’t listen to Lord’s katha, our ears are like the snake-hole. What we can do, what we should do, what is the goal of life, what is the means to achieve that – all these are understood only through proper listening. The beauty and ornament of the ears is to listen to the nectarine kathas of the Lord, which will create love and devotion in our hearts.
  • About Gopika it is said that their eyes longed to see the Lord. Eyes are given for that purpose alone, but we just keep watching movies etc. We have got time to watch and listen to everything which is not necessary, but when it comes to Bhagwan, we have no time. What a big Apraadh (sin) this is?

Sins committed through the mind:

The sin committed through mind is nothing but emerging of thoughts such as greed, lust, jealousy, hatred etc. while interacting in the world. Wherever we go, whatever we feel, whatever we do, it should be such that the mind is always filled with auspiciousness. Gita says that whatever your faith is, according to that your thought will be, and as are your thoughts, so you become.

Sins committed by not following the dos and don’ts:

  • Wherever we go, there are always some injunctions, some dos and don’ts. But if we don’t do what we are supposed to do and do what we are not supposed to do, then that is Apraadh.
  • When we become conscious of our actions, then we must learn that whatever we have, the physical body, organs of actions, sense organs, mind, all must be employed in the service of God and developing love for God. So we have to think, whether a particular karma or perception, is it going to help us develop love for God or take us away from God. If it is bringing near then it is good, but otherwise it is Apraadh (sin).

One thing very beautiful about Bhagwan is that even if we do something wrong and go to Him honestly and say ‘I have done many things wrong, please forgive me’, then Bhagwan doesn’t remember our past, He simply forgives us. Bhagwan not only forgives but also clears us of all our sins. Bhagwan is ‘Karunabdhe’ (the most compassionate one). So even if we have done wrong, we must go to the Lord but remain honest!