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Way to Improve Sadhana #4

Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2012 20:49:37 -0500
Subject: Way to Improve Sadhana #4
From: Sanjay


~  Part 4 ~

(This is the 4th letter in this series. Links to the prior three letters are appended below. - Eds)

"[In the dogmatic religions,] they ask their god to (a) make our religion successful in battle, (b) grant our people wealth and prosperity, (c) make us the chosen ones, (d) get my daughter married, (e) help my son get accepted into law school, and (f) there are so many requests that dogmatic worshipers place upon their lord." (From Way To Improve Sadhana #3)


Here are some key reasons why one should never place mundane requests before Parama Purusa:

(a) Mundane things are temporary, i.e. just fleeting objects, which can never bring lasting happiness or permanent satiation.

(b) What you ask for, He will grant. So if you request for something mundane then naturally you will receive that worldly request, and not any spiritual gain.

(c) When approaching that Supreme Entity, one should ask for something great like devotion. One should not ask for silly mundane or transitory things.

Here is one famous story that brings this entire teaching to light.



Baba says, "One day, Yájinávalkya fell seriously ill. His two wives, Maetreyii and Kátyáyanii, attended on him with due care and affection. It is a fact that some men are ordinary and some are extraordinary. Similarly, some women are ordinary and others are extraordinary.

After recovering from his illness, Yájinávalkya said to Kátyáyanii, “I would like to give you a present. What would you like?”

His wife replied, “Let me see I’d like some new clothes, some new jewellery, in fact, so many things.” And she made a long list of all the things she wanted.

Yájinávalkya bought everything she asked for and then asked Maetreyii, “What would you like? Clothes, jewellery, or any other valuable thing?”

Maetreyii remained silent.

Yájinávalkya continued, “Just a little while ago, Katyáyánii said she would like some new clothes, jewellery, and so many other things. What would you like?”

Maetreyii replied, Yenáham námrtasyáḿ tenáhaḿ kim kuryám. “What will I do with things which will not remain with me permanently? Of what use are the objects which will not establish me in immortality? The expensive clothes I wear today will be torn in a few days. The jewellery I wear today will no longer be fashionable tomorrow as the designs change from age to age. A certain design was fashionable in my grandmother’s day, another one in my mother’s day and yet another in the present day. No design is permanent forever. It’s nice of you to offer me such things, but none of them will remain with me. I will have to leave them all behind when I depart from this world; so what use are they, and why should you tempt me with them?”

Yájinávalkya then asked, “Please tell me what you would really like.”

“If you can,” she replied, “please give me that thing which will remain with me permanently, which I’ll be able to preserve forever, which will establish me in immortality. I don’t want anything else.”

Then Yájinávalkya gave her a number of instructions, upon which a major part of Rájá Yoga is based." (Ananda Vacanamrtam - 7, Discourse 142)

Humans beings do not know what they need. In that case, people wrongly ask Parama Purusa for mundane things. Such is the case of Kátyáyanii in the above story. With that mind-set, people ask for all kinds of worldly desires: To marry a particular person, or request a particular job, or social status, only to watch those things crumble into the sea. Doing thus, they only invite more problems for themselves. It is just like how a child desires to touch fire - having that desire fulfilled brings pain and suffering. Same is the case with those who put forth requests that are fleeting and transient in nature.

We should always set our aim toward the spiritual realm and ask for more and more devotion. We should pursue the path towards moksa - permanent relief and salvation. That is neatly exemplified by Maetreyii's request in the above story.


As sadhakas, we are to ask Parama Purusa for devotion - not any other thing.

Baba says, "What should we ask from Parama Puruśa? He already knows what the individual and collective needs are. He is associated with each individual through His “ota yoga” (yoga of association), and with the entire universe through His “prota yoga” (yoga of pervasive association). Remaining in the midst of all, He gives instructions to all. He knows better than anyone what their own needs are. So what should you ask from that entity who knows your needs better than you? In my opinion, nothing because He thinks about you more than you think about yourself. He understands you more than you understand yourself. However, if you do wish to say something, you should say, “Sha no buddhyá shubhayá saḿyunaktu.” “Let Him unite our intellect with the Supreme Benevolence because the moment we forget Him we move even further away from Him and virtually become animals in human form. And the moment we think about Him we become supreme in human form.” (11 November 1978 evening, Kalikata)



PS Intro: This song teaches us that initially the devotee thinks that Parama Purusa has come in his close proximity due to his own long penance and deep sadhana; but later on the sadhaka realises that Parama Purusa did not come due to his own long penance and sadhana but rather because of His
own divine attribution - His causeless grace. This very idea Baba has taught us in so many discourses: In the higher realm of spirituality sadhakas do not get anything by their own efforts. They receive everything by His divine grace. In the higher aspects of sadhana His grace is everything. Human beings do sadhana just to please Him; and, without His grace, nothing is possible.

"Kato tapasya' pare, tumi esecho, dhara' diyecho..." (PS 2836)


Baba, I have been waiting so long for Your auspicious arrival. Finally, after so much penance, by Your grace You have come close and allowed Yourself to be held. Baba, for so many ages You gave me hope of Your coming and You made me shed so many tears while waiting for You in longing. Baba, after countless days & nights, after such a long time, You have kept Your promise. Baba, You have graced me by coming to me.
Baba, I could not dream that You would ever come close and lift me on Your Lap. I could not imagine that one day You will bask me in Your divine effulgence. Baba, by Your sweet grace that which I could not conceive of has happened: The sweetness of divinity has descended. O' Mohan, the most charming One, You have graciously come close. You have become mine and made me Yours.

Baba, You always play Your divine liila. You never listen to any of my sincere pleas or any of my earnest requests. Even after hundreds and hundreds of attempts, I could not sway Your heart to come to me. Then in the end, by Your own sweet will You Yourself came, saturated with the pollen of love, and allowed me to hold You. Baba, this is nothing but Your causeless grace; I understand that this is Your karuna' - Your infinite compassion.  

Baba, You are grace Personified, with Your own divine attributions You grace everyone...

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