The Mother Divine
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By Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath
Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath
“A” (v)

“I am the body”—this (i.e. taking the body for the self) is called Ne­science (avidya) sin. All miseries and troubles, the cycle of lives (samsara) originate from the identification of the self with the body. The self that lies beyond the gross body, the subtle body and the causal body is the true self of man.

So long as man does not attain a realisation of that self and does not realise the truth that he is not the body, his miseries and the transmigration of his soul will not come to an end.

How can a man realise his true self? The preceptor imparts the sacred formula (mantra) to the disciple out of compassion for him and as the disciple goes on repeating the mystic formula in his mind the self is revealed in his heart as Naad (the non-generated Sound), Jyoti (the non-generated Light) and Vindu (the point) and the sense of the identity of the self and the body disappears and he is immersed in joy. He attains liberation even in his mundane life and ceases to utter such foolish expressions as “this is my body”, “this is my wealth”, “this is my house, my property” etc. He lives as a free being even in this world. The ‘mine’ with a limited boundary ceases to have any meaning for him. He comes to realise that the world is the embodiment of the Deity worshipped by him and as such is to be served and not to be enjoyed by him, and realising this he attains peace of mind.
He sees God wherever he casts his glance, and everything appears to be divine.

What happens is this. When the preceptor imparts the sacred formula (mantra) to the disciple the body of the latter becomes one with that of the former. The space, air, beasts and birds, worms and insects all con­stitute the body of the Lord. The scriptures (shastras) declare that there is nothing in the world which is not the embodiment of God. “Vasudeva (God) is all” (Vasudevah sarvam). God has said, “I do not pass out of the sight of a man who sees Me everywhere and also sees everything in Me, nor does he pass out of My sight” (Yo mam pasyati sarvatra, sarvatra mai cha pasyati).

Broadly speaking, men fall into three categories, viz., those who are in bondage (baddha), those who are trying to attain liberation (sadhaka) and those who have attained liberation (mukta).

The ordinary man in bondage feels anguish when he broods over the fact that he is attached to his family, his wife and children and that he is not trying to attain liberation. He constantly thinks that though he has got everything which he wanted there is still something which he has not yet got—something more which he does not yet possess. He realises that worldly pleasure and peace endure only for a very brief period, nobody knows when they will vanish and he always broods over the possibility that his young educated son may expire any moment or that his wife may pass away any day disrupting the family. Considering all this he seeks the help of a preceptor in order to attain abiding joy. The preceptor who is God Himself transmits God in the form of the sacred formula (mantra) into the mind of the disciple through his ears, decorates the exterior of his body with the sacred mark (tilaka) and other things and the disciple is transformed into a seeker (sadhaka) and begins to repeat the sacred formula (mantra) in his mind.

A look at the apparel of a man discloses whether he is in bondage or is a devotee. Constant reference by a man to himself and to what belongs to him and fine dresses are signs of a man’s bondage. When the disciple surrenders himself in thought, action and speech to his preceptor and is determined to live as a seeker (sadhaka) the Divine Mother wakes up and begins to sing. Fine dresses and shoes to which he was accustomed, delicious dishes which he relished and the merry life which he lived in the past have no longer any attraction for him. He listens only to the enchanting music of the flute blown by Sri Shyamasundara inside his heart. He becomes free even when he is in the world and looks upon every man and woman, bird and beast, worm and insect as the embodiment of the Deity worshipped by him.

“Sri Krishna (God) appears wherever he casts his glance.”
Yatra Yatra netra pade
Tatra tatra Krishna sphure.

He sees God at every place within the range of his sight. The sacred formula (mantra) repeated by him dissolves. God who is Love appears before him, draws him towards His bosom and absorbs him. The journey through the succession of eighty lakhs of lives comes to an end. So long as his body remains he shows to other people the path along which he himself has travelled and which has led to his supreme happiness. When his bodily life comes to an end he goes to Vaikuntha (the Abode of the Supreme) and becomes an attendant of the Lord.

But (says a disciple) you never spoke of these things to us in the past. Are not the sacred marks (tilaka) on the forehead and the rosary (mala) mere show? What’s the use of these things?

No, they are not mere show. They also have their use. The sacred marks and the rosary are the symbols of servitude. When people see the sacred mark on the forehead of a man they will at once come to know that he is a servant of God — a pilgrim on the path of devotion.

The preceptor waits for the proper hour. There was devotion in your heart on account of the deeds performed by you in your previous lives.

Sri Gurudeva arranged for the installation of Gopala at your instance and brought me to you. You got to love me. I spoke to you of topics of supreme importance today in order to attract you closer to myself.

There is one form within whom the sounds, “Jai Guru” and “Om Guru” have been coming out continuously for the last 42 years and 21/22 years respectively without pause for a second or even a fraction of a second. How merciful Gurudeva is!

The Preceptor, the Mantra and the Deity seem to be different from each other at first but they are fundamentally one. The preceptor impart­ing the mantra to the disciple takes possession of his body. The body of the disciple becomes one with the body of the preceptor. He cannot then even utter the words ‘I’ and ‘Mine’. He says ‘this servant’ and ‘This servant’s’ instead of saying ‘I’ and ‘Mine’ respectively.

The world belongs to God. We are His servants. We first offer to Him whatever we earn and then take the remnant of what He leaves to us.

One who eats and drinks anything without first offering it to the Lord eats or drinks human excreta and urine respectively. Annam vistha payo mutram yadvisnoraniveditam. We ought to eat and drink everything only after first offering it to the Lord.

The Great Grand preceptor (parapara Gurudeva) Sri Sri Madha­vadasji Maharaj said to our Grand preceptor (parama Gurudeva) Sri Sri Damodardasji Maharaj, “Go to Bengal and preach the Bhagavata religion there”, He (i.e. Sri Sri Damodardasji Maharaj) said, “In Bengal the creed of Sri Gouranga is predominant. Everybody there is a devotee of Sri Krishna. We impart to our disciples only the mantra associated with Rama (Rama-mantra)—what am I to do?”

The Great Grand preceptor (parapara Gurudeva) said, “You have my permission to initiate into Krishna-mantra. Impart Krishna-mantra also to disciples and preach Bhagavata dharma. It has been the custom of our order to purify the disciples by means of the rosary (mala), the sacred mark (tilaka), the name (nama), the sacred formula (mantra) and posture (mudra)”.

The Grand preceptor (parama Gurudeva) was a very clever man. Anticipating that the enlightened people of Bengal might be scared away by rosary, sacred mark, etc., and refuse to accept the mantra he imparted mantra without a word about mala and tilaka. My Gurudeva put this question to him, “I do not know the rules by which this religious order is guided. How am I to carry on?” He replied, “You are versed in the Shastras. Follow the instructions laid down in the Shastras”. Gurudeva belonged to a family of Smartas (followers of Smritis) who worshipped Vishnu, Maheswari, Surya, Ganesha and Siva. Sri Sri Gurudeva initiated his disciples in sacred formulae associated with these Deities and advised us to follow suit. He did not ever deprive anybody from his grace, no matter whether one was a Muslim, a cobbler or a Hadi.

All is God. All is Gurudeva. He has taken possession of what I hith­erto called ‘I’ or ‘My body’. This body belongs to Him. I am His servant. It is only as His servant that I act in this world which belongs to Him.
He is everything, He is everything, He is everything. Everything be­longs to Him, everything belongs to Him, everything belongs to Him.

Bliss! Bliss! Bliss!