Yagna on ‘Shri Bharat Sharanagati’ – Part 2 July 2017

Talks on “Shri Bharat Sharanagati” – Part 2 – by Swami Abhedananda

(Gyan Yagna conducted from 1st July till 6th July, 2017)

Key Points from the Discourses

Day 1

Swami Abhedananda started the July monthly Gyan Yagna on the topic ‘Magic of Surrender’ by beautifully describing the oceanic qualities of Bharatji’s character which set the benchmark for all devotees to follow. We bring you a few extracts from the Day 1 talk:

Source of misery – Outer problems or Inner flaws

  • Nobody’s life is perfect. Everyone has to face one or the other issue in life, be it related to health, or job, or spouse, or money or something else. We think that these issues are the source of our sorrow and misery, but the real source of our sorrow is not external, rather it is internal. We lack the right understanding about the situations, we don’t know what should our priorities be in life; we have lack of faith, we have complexes, we have shortcomings like anger, hatred etc.
  • We must analyse our lives to find out what thoughts we must entertain and what thoughts we should get rid of; and this is where Shri Bharatji’s character serves like a mirror for us. There are many qualities in Bharatji’s character for us to emulate in our own humble capacity.

Bharatji’s Character

  • Nirabhimanta (Egolessness):
    • Bharatji’s egolessness was such that when he came to know that Nishadraj was a friend of Bhagwan Ram, Bharatji left his chariot and ran towards Nishadraj and embraced him. Being an outcast, people used to avoid even the shadow of Nishadraj but Bharatji embraced him saying, “He, who has been touched by Bhagwan Ram, is purified.”
  • Joy of the Lord:
    • For Shri Bharatji, the joy of Bhagwan Ram was of the highest priority, everything else came later. Contrary to Bharatji, for us, our own selfish joys are most important in life. We work for our office, spouse, children etc., but we don’t work for the Lord. As devotees, we should be alert like Bharatji that all our interactions, reactions, speaking, walking etc., all our actions should please the Lord.
  • Identification with the Lord:
    • Bharatji was completely identified with Bhagwan Ram’s joy and sorrow. When sage Bharadwaj assures Bharatji that even if he had accepted the throne no one would have blamed him, Bharatji replies and says, “I am not unhappy because people would accuse me; I am unhappy because my brother has to go through various hardships, wandering from forest to forest, because of me.”
  • Deenta (Humility):
    • Bharatji had a lot of deenta. When he was asked to take the kingdom by his Guru, Bharatji said, “The effect is generally harder than the cause. The iron is harder than mud, and so the one whose mother is so hard, the child would be harder. The moment I will become the King, the whole earth will split.” Such was Bharatji’s humility!
  • Dispassion:
    • Bharatji’s dispassion was such that, when all the people of Ayodhya were lost in the grandeur in Bharadwajji’s ashram which had lot of riches and luxuries (riddhi and siddhi), Bharatji even though surrounded by everything was lost only in the thoughts of his beloved brother Ram. His vritti of Bhagwan Ram never diminish at all.

Path of Love

Bharatji had only one love and that was for Bhagwan Ram. Purer we are, more single-pointed love we will have for the Lord. As a servant of the Lord, when one is ready to go through pains, then Lord’s heart melts for him. The path of loving the Lord is the path where the devotee has to leave everything and dissolve himself completely in the Lord alone!

Glory of Bharatji’s seva

Bharatji had a lot of samarpanam (surrender) towards the Lord. He had no individuality of his own. When Bharatji’s love was seen by the devatas, they showered flowers and brought clouds all along the whole path where Bharatji walked.

Goswami Tulsidasji says that, all the beings (insects, animals etc.), whoever saw Bhagwan Ram (going through the forest) became qualified to know the Self, but when they saw Bharatji walking on the same path, all those beings got the knowledge of the Self. Such is the power of the virtues humility and surrender, which Bharatji possessed in immense measure!

Day 2

On the second day of the monthly yagna, Swami Abhedananda unearthed many gems from Bharatji’s deep character. He also explained how such a gentle Lord protects his devotees vehemently, and why does He favour his devotees over non-devotees. Read on some extracts from the day’s discourse to understand these principles…

Becoming a Saint

  • The purpose of satsang is to invoke in us the desire to become a saint, one who is devoid of anger, expectations, hatred etc., and has single-pointed love for the Lord. Hearing about the saints and their glories, one day we may also become a saint. If we rub a magnet with the iron, that iron also becomes a magnet. Let us rub our mind with the character of Shri Bharatji, one of the greatest saints of Ramayan, and try to bring his humility and deenta in us.
  • Bharatji’s character is like an ocean. From the top of the ocean you cannot see what is inside inside, but only if you dive-in you can determine its depth; similarly, only when we dive in the character of Bharatji, we will know the depth of his character.

Lord alone protects His devotees

  • At one point in Ramayan, the devatas requested their Guru, Brihaspatiji, to change the mind of Bharatji through Maya, so that he may not reach Bhagwan to convince Him to come back. Brihaspatiji smiled and replied, “One whose master is the Lord of Maya, how can you delude his mind through Maya? The nature of Lord Ram is such that, if anybody does wrong to Him, He does not get angry; but if anybody does wrong to His devotee, then that person is burnt.”
  • If one has a relation with the Lord and if he loves the Lord alone, then no one can manipulate or harm such a person. We are not protected by our money, or talents, or our family, or our educational qualifications. Only two things protect a person: following his dharma and having faith in Ishwar.

Is Lord partial or impartial?

Bali and his wife Tara had an argument when Tara requested Bali not to fight with Sugreev quoting that Sugreev had taken refuge in Lord Ram. Bali said, “Lord is samdarshi (impartial). He is not the one who favours someone and does not favour others. He only gives fruits-of-actions.” But the truth is that, Bhagwan is not the same for a devotee and for a non-devotee. As is the heart of a devotee, and as is the heart of a non-devotee, so is Lord’s behaviour.

As the Karmaphal-data (giver of fruits-of-actions), He is impartial; but in front of His devotees, He is ready to take any form or do anything to fulfil their desires. It is to fulfil the desires of Yashoda Ma and Gopis & Gopas that Bhagwan took the form of Lord Krishna. Whatever sankalp a devotee has, Bhagwan fructifies it faster. This is the glory of the devotees.

Devotion of Shri Bharatji:

It is said when Bharatji chanted Lord Ram’s name even the stones melted. Bharatji never took the Lord’s name mechanically; his whole heart, his whole body and his whole mind chanted the Lord’s name with deep love and intensity. He had a lot of pain for Bhagwan. More is the pain in chanting the Lord’s name, faster the Lord comes in our life. Unless we have pain for the Lord, we will never have joy of meeting God. When somebody is thirsty he asks only one question, where is water? Similarly, Bharatji had only one desire, “May my Bhagwan Ram be very happy with me wherever He is.”

Day 3

On the third day of the monthly gyan yagna, Swami Abhedananda expounded further on the many great qualities of Shri Bharatji; serving as shining examples of devotion and dispassion for all us all. Below are a few gems from the discourse :

Purpose of Human birth

  • While living in this world, we are so much involved with our actions that it never strikes us what should be the goal of our life, what should be the state of our mind, and where should we reach before we leave this body? Before this birth is over, we should do something so that either we don’t have the next birth or our next birth is better than this birth.
  • This birth we missed many things, we made many mistakes, and wasted our time in useless pursuits. We didn’t please the Lord as much as we should have. Bharatji’s character tells us what should be our desire in life. Bharatji is demonstrating to the ordinary mortals what kind of mind we should have and how we should think about the Lord.
  • Human birth is not meant for acquiring money and fulfilling sensual desires, rather it is meant for performing religious activities and for attaining liberation. We keep running after impermanent goals such as money, family, job etc., but that goal which is most important and permanent, we don’t care and dare to achieve it. Bharatji’s character tells how Lord should be important in our life, how we should have longing for the Lord, how we should crave for Him, how we should offer ourselves to Him.

Shri Bharatji’s Love for Bhagwan Ram

  • As Bharatji started walking towards Chitrakoot, he was thinking about Bhagwan Ram and was going into bhaav-samadhi. He was getting so overwhelmed that it was difficult for him to walk and talk because of intense remembrance of Bhagwan Ram. When Nishadraj pointed towards the mountain where Ramji was staying, immediately Bharatji fell flat on the ground and prostrated. One has to be very humble to love. Love requires the emotion ‘I will die for you, and not just once, but I can die many times for you.’
  • It is very easy to have bhaav for son, daughter, spouse etc., but it is very difficult to have bhaav for the Lord. When you think the Lord as your own, then you will have a lot of emotions and love for Him. Bharatji had ‘my-ness’ only on the Lord.

Traits of a ‘Sadhu’

  • When Ramji was informed by the tribal people that Bharatji was coming towards him, Ramji got little worried thinking that what will he do if Bharatji asks him to go back. But Ramji’s worry didn’t last long because he thought, “Bharat is a Sadhu. He won’t force anything upon me. He will never make me leave my dharma.”
  • A sadhu is the one wants that nobody should be disturbed because of him. A sadhu is never hard towards anybody. He has no anger and expectations from anyone. A sadhu is the one who keeps giving even though he receives nothing in return. A house is made by a sadhu only and not by money. The edifice of any big organisation or institution is a sadhu alone.
  • A sadhu is not just the one who leaves his house and lives in solitude, but a sadhu is the one, who even being a grahasth (householder) can give a lot of love to everyone unconditionally. A sadhu is the one who contributes the most to the society because he is pure and selfless.

Who is not intoxicated by Power?

  • When Lakshmanji, in his leela, accused that Bharatji got intoxicated by power and is therefore coming to fight with Ramji, Ramji consoled Lakshmanji saying, “It is true that it is very difficult to not get intoxicated by power, but only those who have not served the saints or have not done satsang get intoxicated by power. Bharatji is like a milky ocean (Kshirsaagar) which cannot be curdled by squeezing a lemon into it. He can never get intoxicated.” Because Bharatji’s source of joy was the Lord residing in his heart, he did not enjoy the external power.
  • What satsang does is that it makes us realize that everything belongs to the Lord and we are just His representatives. We have to play our roles, do the work of the Lord and go away. Satsang reiterates that we are not very important and will be reduced to just a heap of ash in sometime.

Day 4

On the fourth day of the Monthly Yagna on “Magic of Surrender”, Swami Abhedananda continued to sprinkle the bliss of satsang upon all listeners. Few magical pointers from yesterday’s satsang are shared below…

Are we thirsty for God?

We rarely understand and realise that Lord is the biggest need of our life. We have thirst for money, power, family etc., but we don’t have thirst for the Lord. Thirst for the Lord alone takes away our thirst for the world. Shri Bharatji is the manifestation of thirst and seva of Bhagwan Ram.

Bharatji’s character cleanses and purifies our mind because it depicts how our love should be for the Lord and how we can make our heart soft for the Lord.

Love of Lakshmanji & Love of Bharatji
Both Lakshmanji and Bharatji are very lofty and exalted characters of Ramayana. They both are great in their own manner. Lakshmanji was very possessive about Bhagwan like a mother is possessive about her child. It was not a negative right (adhikaar) but a sweet positive right that he asserted on Bhagwan Ram. His possession is to bring out the glory of Bhagwan Ram.

In Bharatji’s love, the right (adhikaar) was not there, but deep surrender (samarpan) was there, that ‘whatever you will say I will do it’. Bharatji never had any insistence in front of Bhagwan Ram; he never asserted his right on Bhagwan. Both these characters are a matter of inspiration and invocation of grace for us.

Surrendering to Lord’s sandals
Bharatji says before meeting Bhagwan Ram, “Bhagwan may accept me or He may reject me, but I would always be surrendered to the Sandals at the feet of the Lord.” It is the sandals that take all the pain of the feet; all the pricks by thorns and stones are taken by the sandals. Moreover, the sandals do not have any sankalp of their own, they go wherever the feet take them. So here, Bharatji says, “I am born to take away the pain of Bhagwan Ram.”

How many of us think that, ‘I am born to take away the pain of Bhagwan or to give joy to Bhagwan’? We are so much occupied by giving joy to ourselves that we forget the joy of Lord. These are the golden words for the ones who want to serve. Those alone are happy who are serving someone higher.

Ram Rajya in Bharatji’s heart
When Bharatji was approaching Bhagwan Ram’s ashram in Chitrakoot, he felt that there was ‘Ram Rajya’ around. What a person sees outside depicts what he is like inside. Outside ashram appeared like ‘Ram Rajya’ to Bharartji because inside him there was ‘Ram Rajya’.

Inside the heart of Bharatji, the king was ‘discrimination’ and the minister was ‘dispassion’; the soldiers were ‘Yam and Niyam’, and the queens where ‘peace and beautiful intellect’. This was the inner state of Bharatji where the king had defeated ‘delusion’ and established ‘Ram Rajya’.

This depiction by Tulsidasji implies that in our lives too, the king should be ‘discrimination’ who has surrender to the Lord, and the minister (the one who advices us in all matters) should be dispassion, and not passion or attachment. And we should follow Yam and Niyam (the dos and don’ts of life) because that alone protects us from falling down. And lastly, our intellect should be beautiful like a queen because the whole charm of a person lies in his thoughts which are dedicated for the Lord.

Day 5

The beauty of listening to satsang is that you keep craving for more. This was the lingering emotion in the minds of all devotees as they reveled in Swami Abhedananda’s discourse on Shri Ramcharitmanas. Here are a few memorable take-aways from Swamiji’s satsang…

Ram-Bharat Milap : Meeting of Grace and Love

  • In Ramchartimanas, Goswami Tulsidasji has beautifully depicted the meeting of Bhagwan Ram and Shri Bharatji. It is said when Bharatji reached Ramji’s ashram in Chitrakoot, Bharatji fell at the feet of Bhagwan Ram and called His name. When Bhagwan Ram heard Bharatji, He got-up in so much rush that His bow, arrow, and angvastra, all fell down. It is said for a Kshatriya, the falling of bow and arrow is inauspicious, but that day Bhagwan Ram was as if, defeated in love of Shri Bharatji.
  • Bhagwan Ram lifted Bharatji and embraced him. At that time, everybody became very emotional, even the birds of the forest started crying and the stones started melting seeing their love. In essence, the meeting of Bhagwan Ram & Bharatji was the confluence of kripa of Bhagwan (grace) and prem (love) of Bharatji. It was the meeting of two thirsts – the thirst of Bhagwan Ram to shower grace upon Bharatji and the thirst of Bharatji to give a lot of joy to Bhagwan Ram.
  • When one desires to give joy to the infinite, it becomes his devotion. When all our love gets directed towards the Lord, we become a saint like Shri Bharatji.

Bhagwan Ram’s meeting with His Mothers

  • When Ramji saw mother Kaushalya, mother Sumitra and mother Kaikayi, He first approached mother Kaikayi and offered His pranaams. Ramji placed His head on mother Kaikayi’s feet inspite of everything that she had done. Mothers Kaikayi felt extremely embarrassed, but Ramji held her hand and said, “Oh mother, what happened was God’s will, you are totally innocent. Please don’t blame yourself.” Such was the glory of Bhagwan Ram! It is a ‘sadhu’ alone who gives honor to the one who disrespects him.
  • Seeing Ramji meeting Kaikayi first, Mother Kaushalya didn’t feel bad at all. Mother Kaushalya was not upset because her heart was already one with Ramji. Such was the greatness of Mother Kaushalya!

Bhagwan Ram – Edifice of the Vedas

  • The Sanatan dharma has come from the Vedas and the one who is the edifice of Vedas is Bhagwan Ram. It was Bhagwan Ram who established the value system of the society; He demonstrated how one should love and respect the elders, how one should live a life of commitment by following ‘ek patni vrat’ (vow to have only one wife); He demonstrated how Puja and other rituals should be performed sincerely and regularly.
  • It is said that Bhagwan Ram performed ‘shradda’ (ritual to express gratitude towards the ancestors) for Dhashrathji. Bhagwan Ram demonstrated that rituals are very important, and one should not shun them. But yes, ritual should be known with philosophy. Swami Vivekananda used to say that ritual without philosophy is superstition and philosophy without ritual is madness.
  • Bhagwan Ram, through His conduct, demonstrated what the glory of Guru is and how one should be totally surrendered to his teacher. When such values are sustained then only the culture, the society and the people are protected.

Shri Bharatji’s Dilemma

  • Tulsidasji says, when the night approached and everybody was fast asleep, Bharatji couldn’t sleep and he was lost in deep thinking as to how he should approach Bhagwan Ram and request Him to come back to Ayodhya. Bharatji thought, “My brother shouldn’t be in the forest, He should go back and rule Ayodhya. I can’t see Him sleeping on the floor and eating in His hands. How do I persuade Him? I am so small; how can I say anything in front of my Guru, and in front of the mothers. Heavier than the Kailash Mountain is the dharma of a servant. How can I force Bhagwan Ram? I don’t know what to do!” Bharatji’s thought process shows how extremely modest he was, and how much love he had for Bhagwan Ram.
  • It is extremely difficult to serve and love. Serving requires big sacrifices. There is only one thought in a lover’s mind and that is, “How can I give joy to my beloved? May all sorrows come to me, but the one whom I love, not an iota of sorrow should go to him!”

Day 6

The mesmerizing satsangs on Shri Ramcharitmanas came to a blissful conclusion as the devotees were treated with yet another spiritual delight by Swami Abhedananda. Here are some of the key highlights of the enlightening satsang of Swamiji.

Living for ourselves v/s living for the Lord

  • We are not born to desire the world. More one desires the world, more the world disappoints him. All relations in the world become a source of burden, sorrow and liability in due time. There is no person, no situation that has given us constant calmness and peace. One should not be obsessed with the world, with any person or event or situation. There is too much pain in this world because of our attachment and aversion.
  • We are not born to give joy to ourselves, but we are born to give joy to someone higher. Bharatji’s character is a depiction of how our life should be, how we should see our God and Guru, how we should give joy to them. His character is not just for listening and appreciating, but for assimilating.
  • Shri Bahratji’s character inspires us to move towards the Lord; it tells us how to fulfill our living. Let us go to Bhagwan Ram with Bharatji.

Lord alone is the Supreme Controller

  • When Bharatji went to Vasishthji to take advice on how to approach Bhagwan Ram, Vasishthji described Ramji’s glory by saying, “Ram is the holder of all. He is the controller of all. He is the one who is the bridge between the scriptures and the common people. Birth of Ram is for the whole world. Bhagwan Ram is the follower of the words of Guru, father, mother, and He is the killer of all the wicked people. What is right, what is love, what is absolute, what is non absolute, no one knows better than Bhagwan Ram. Brahma, Vishnu, Shiv, Sun, Moon, Maya, Jeeva, Karma, Time, everything is under Bhagwan’s control. Whole world is ruled by Bhagwan only.”
  • Tulsidasji has mentioned all this glory of Bhagwan so that we realize that whatever things happens in our lives is as per Lord’s will and not as per our will. And thus we should completely surrender to the Lord. Whatever Bhagwan does, there is always some goodness hidden in that.
  • Vasishthji then advised Bharatji that, “Oh Bharat! You and Shatrughan can be in the forest, and Ramji and Lakshman can return back to Ayodhya.” When Bharatji and Shatrughanji heard those words, they got very happy.

Shri Bharatji’s sacrificing heart:

  • After listening to Vasishthji’s advice, Bharatji said, “I will live in the forest for the whole life if Ram bhaiya can go back to Ayodhya. I will go through all the pain but my brother should not go through any pain.” A relation is good only when there is sacrifice involved from both sides. Sacrifice alone is the soul to any relationship.
  • To love is very difficult. Loving requires a very big heart. Bharatji was an extreme lover of Bhagwan Ram. For him to leave Ramji even for a moment was difficult but he was ready to go through the pang of separation so that Ramji did not have to go through any trouble.

When everyone went to Ramji to request Him to return to Ayodhya, Ramji said He shall do whatever Guruji instructs Him to do. Then Vasishthji said, “Oh Ram! You know everything; you are residing in every heart. Please tell what is right. Please hear from Bharat what everybody wants and do that which is as per the Saadhus (Saadhu-mat), and as per the society (lok-mat), and that which is politically correct (nripa-mat) and that which is as per the scriptures (nigam-nichori).”

The above implies that in our life too, while doing any action we must consider the following criterion:

  • Saadhu-mat: We must act after seeking blessings of the saints because by their blessings alone we will have the right knowledge and the grace of God
  • Lok-mat: We must do that which is supported by the society
  • Nripa-mat: We must do that which is politically correct and supported by the King (or the government)
  • Nigam-nichori: We must act as per the scriptures because without the blessings of the scriptures we won’t know what is right and what is wrong


During the whole conversation, Bhagwan Ram was happy to see that Vasishthji was very pleased on Bharatji. At that time, Ramji describes the glory of Guru-bhakti and says, “Those who love the feet of the teacher, they are the most fortunate in all the three worlds.”

  • True fortune is not having a big house, or a big car or a lot of wealth but true fortune is to have love for the feet of Guru. If Guru is happy, he will bring God to you.
  • Guru-Bhakti is the gomukh of Ganges from which all the great qualities emerge from a person. Every great quality such as sacrifice, service, jap, tap, puja, dhyan, bramhacharya, knowledge, all emerge only from Guru-Bhakti. Even if a student is dull, he can become brilliant by the grace of the Guru.
  • Fortunate are those people who live with the teacher and who surrender to their teacher, because such coincidence comes only after many births. Guru is the one who holds the key for all our happiness and devotion. All hidden treasures open in a person’s life if he is endowed with Guru-Bhakti.