Excerpts from Shri Vitthal Uvach by Kinkar Vitthal Ramanuja

Filling the Spiritual Wallet

Q. When Thakur was in the body, a catchphrase, ‘charge the battery’ was quite prevalent. What is the import of this pithy expression?

A. Sri Sri Thakur used to say, ‘your battery charge is over, you have come to recharge it.’ He meant he could charge you spiritually with renewed energy. This charge is inspired by the Chitshakti Vilas (Play of Consciousness) of the Satguru. Remember I had spoken about Swami Muktananda Giri sometime back? It’s well known that in his presence the devotees had varied mystical experiences.

There used to be an attendant of Muktananda Giri; he would clean the Master’s toilet. He would often lapse into meditativeness and faint in the toilet with a surge of divine emotion. This is the fruit of service to the Satguru. You see, I have been touring around for a long time now, Indore, Ujjain, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Udaipur, Jaipur, Kota, Pushkar and so on. Now I must get back to spiritual practice. I need to re-charge. When I meet so many people and they expect that I give something to them, I must give it to them. But I must have it in the first place. My wallet is empty now. I need to earn something so that I can distribute it to the people. I must engage in sadhana!

Daily Practice Itself Is The Path: How will you walk on the Path?

You just won’t until there is a tangential upward movement. Say you have punya karmas, good deeds, in your stock and you lead a dharmic life. That’s good, very good. It’s the level of a good human being – good life, good ideas, good company, good thoughts. But this is not enough. You need a more uplifting thrust to reach the Divine. It will come only from the Guru or a holy person.

Those who walk slowly are those who don’t have what we call adhara. On the other hand, those who move fast are those with good adhara. If the adhara is good, then it is easier for a seeker to walk on the path of spirituality because it comes naturally to that person. For those who do not have good adhara because of the past karmas, there is a struggle. But they too can get there with reasonable effort.

When one gets the Guru Mantra, it is an elevation in one’s life. This is a level above being a good human being. You’re initiated because you have good adhara, and you also get good adhara because you get initiation. With diksha and the adhara, a path is automatically charted for you to reach the ultimate. Mark this, the day you get diksha, a straight path, a straight line gets etched. It’s a line that starts from you and reaches straight to God. Do you realize that?

To do what the Guru has asked you do at the time of diksha, that is the Path. There is no other known trail or path that can lead us to the ultimate destination. Continuing your daily prayers (Guru Japa, singing Hare Krishna Naam etc.) will ensure that you are on that straight line, moving towards Him. The moment you stop daily sadhana, daily prayers, there is a break in the straight path. Suddenly the path blurs from your sight. You feel as though you are in a haze, in a mist. Your life undergoes a complete transformation, your thoughts change, your life changes. Your faith starts wavering. You just don’t see any path ahead. You’ve indeed lost your way. How surprising is this! Until you were doing your daily prayers, japa etc., you had the path and now suddenly it has become inaccessible. How? Understand this. Your vision, your faith, is nothing but your daily practice. If you are regular in your daily practice given by the Guru, the vision becomes clear and you make progress. But a break, an interruption and irregularity in daily practice can make you stop moving forward. So, keep your prayers going, uninterrupted. The more, the merrier!!”

Q. People get to see Thakur in their dream when they are not initiated or even if they are, they are not very regular with their japa. Then why aren’t we getting to see Thakur?

A. These people have done many punya karmas (good deeds) in their past life and they are reaping its benefit now. However, this stock of accumulated punya karmas will get exhausted in a few years perhaps, or maybe in this lifetime. They will have to chant the mantra to get fresh punya karma. You are chanting now, you too will get the fruit in the future.

Q. Maharaj, some people say that one should listen to one’s heart? Now, I am confused, should one listen to one’s heart or one’s mind? I ask this because they say God lives in the heart?

A. Listen, heart talks in circles, it’s fickle. You should never listen to the heart. The heart you are talking about is an emotional thing, it’s a sense organ; it is not the heart that the scriptures speak of. The senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and the soul is even higher than the intelligence. You get this in The Bhagavad Gita. So, don’t listen to the heart, listen to the buddhi (intellect).


Q. Why is doing prayer on the asana recommended?

A. Asana has the power of the Guru invested in it. This piece of woollen blanket carries Guru’s kripa and Guru’s shakti. It is a place where all your japa vibrations will get accumulated. In the initial stages of sadhana, asana is a must. As far as possible, keep the asana clean. Don’t wash it with water; dry it in the sun after dusting. Washing with water can drain the spiritual energy from the asana. If it tears, you can attach another asana to it with wool.

Q. What is the requirement to sit and do japa on the asana, can’t we do it while we are on the move? Especially since it’s fine to chant Naam while walking, working etc. all the time?

A. You see, when you have your proper meals, you sit down and eat. But you can have snacks while walking and talking, isn’t it? It’s the same here. Japa is like having a meal, Naam is like having snacks. If you like, you can sit down and do Naam, in that case it will become your meal. But japa will have to be done in a seated position on the asana. Besides, the asana has Guru shakti– thus it assists your kundalini to awaken faster.

Q. Is there so much power in japa on/ in the asana?

A. Of course. Try and sit in padmasana (lotus posture) for an hour or half an hour and see for yourself. Thakur used to say you will have to give three hours out of the twenty four hours to God. He told me, “Recite Gayatri mantra 1008 times daily. God has given you twenty four hours, give three hours from these to God.” This happened a few days before my final B.A. examination. I followed his advice, though people mocked at me. They said, ‘Has anyone done well in the exams by wasting time in praying? You may as well use that time for studying.’ But I paid no heed, I studied, and I prayed too. The result? Well, I secured a first class first by following Guru’s instructions.

Q. I am unable to focus during my japa? What should I do?

A. Don’t worry about focus. It will settle itself as you progress.

Q. Which is the best asana for japa/ dhyana?

A. Sthira sukham asanam. It has to be ‘a steady, comfortable posture.’ This is what Patanjali says. Sit in Padmasana if it’s possible, or Siddhasana, Baddha Padmasana or simply Sukhasana. If you can sit in asana for three hours at a strech, the asana is said to be siddha. That means you have realised the posture. Padmasana, Siddhasana, Baddha Padmasana or simply Sukhasana. You see, these are standard asanas in which you could be comfortable if you have a long sitting of let’s say from one hour to three hours. Every other position is good enough for some time and then it begins to hurt. Lying down on one side with your neck supported by the hand, this way, that way, anything of that sort will hurt after a while. If you’re in any of these four postures, it won’t hurt.