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Question & Answers with Shri Paramhans Swami Adgadanand Ji Maharaj

(Excerpted from Jeevanadarsh Evam Atma-anubhuti)

Q. What is the culmination of Bhajan?

Answer: The name breathes the nature, Bhajan means ‘Bhaj +Na’. Meaning thereby ‘not to run’. The culmination of Bhajan are achieved when the modifications of mind become stable and stop wandering. When they totally cease, the climax is reached. The moment the mind is placed in such a state, God Himself lifts the devotee up. He manifests Himself and submerges him in Himself and thus grants him elevation to spiritual enlightenment.

Q. Is it possible to meet God?

Answer: Yes, very much! He does meet. If a man really desires it and deserves it, and is worthy he would end his life, if He does not meet God. He granted me this state by directly meeting me. Our material mind cannot explain it. When the musical sound of Rinik Dhinik starts and the note born of breathing becomes comprehensible, then the devotee’s mind shuttles on it constantly, and there is singular experience of God talking to him as we talk with each other. When the sound and breath get unified, He becomes as visible as an image in a mirror. This is all the result of intuitive experience. Your doubt that God does not meet, is the talk of academicians. This phenomenon can fully be understood only when God starts guiding us from the core of our heart.

Q. I intend to proceed for pilgrimage, but on hearing you I gather that the value of pilgrimage is intrinsic not extrinsic. Kindly, tell us what is the importance of outer pilgrimages?

Answer: You see, every devotional activity starts from outer world and turns to the inner one. Since all the human beings are connected with outer world, so there is no provision to reject the outer pilgrimages. When God very kindly turns us to the inner most pilgrimage, the importance of the outer pilgrimages naturally drops down. The ‘Manas’ mentions it as follows:

जेहि दिन राम जनम श्रुति गावहिं, तीरथ सकल जहां चलि आवहिं
(Manas, 1/33/6)

The day, the descent of God (Ram) happens in man’s heart, all the pilgrimages appear in the heart in their full splendour.

Since the importance of the inner world is greater, the outer one loses its value. Saint Kabir says:

तीरथ गये ते एक फल, सन्त मिले फल चार | सत्गुरु मिले अनेक फल, कहें कबीर विचार ||

Saint Kabir says, so after a lot of thoughts and musings, as a result of visits to a place of pilgrimage, the virtues and vigour of a man increases (darshan, touch, charity); the thoughts inspired by people who have done penance there trickle down into you naturally. Tirthas being the places of penance of great saint, purifies the environment there. Since the saints have achieved self-realization at such places, through the practice of the restraint of mind, the place is more surcharged with the atoms of divinity than the atoms of sensuality. When we meditate there, the wandering of our mind stops and mind easily becomes stable than at our homes. If we happen to meet a saint at some place of pilgrimage, we are instantly rewarded with the four kinds of boons: Dharm, Arth, Kam and Moksha. However, if a Sadguru happens to meet there, we get unlimited boons and blessings. The Mahapurushas conquer Maya, personified as nature or matter and merge with the Supreme Being who is infinite and illimitable, who becomes accessible.

Q. Is it not possible to perform Bhajan at home?

Answer: At home you can earn spiritual virtues and vigour through Bhajan, but it cannot lead to final emancipation. One should go on doing worldly duties and Bhajan with the same devotion and intensity, till one reaches the final end. As one practices God Himself disentangles the devotee from the bounds of home. We think it is impossible to renounce our home but when God becomes favourable everything becomes easy.

Q. Whether the history of the battle of ‘Mahabharat’ is doubtful?

Answer: There is no doubt that the battle of the ‘Mahabharat’ was fought. The enlightened sages have compared that battle with the struggle between a soul and the natural forces. If the battle has not taken place, how that could be referred. Hence, the ‘Mahabharat’ or the ‘Geeta’ are not mere historical accounts. These scriptures are written with dual meanings; they show a path of ultimate salvation and ultimate good to the humanity of the world. Perhaps, this is the ultimate attainment for the human beings.

As a matter of fact, every religious or spiritual scripture is created with two different intents. The first is to keep alive the events of history so that, the future generations can draw lessons to make their life full of accomplishments. Besides, these scriptures show how one should act or behave with their parents, brothers, elders and even teachers. Nevertheless, that is not the ultimate accomplishment of those scriptures. Although, by virtuous way of life a platform is created for a happy and contented life, the attainment of the ultimate good or realization of the Supreme Divine is not possible.

The second intent behind creation of these scriptures is to inspire the soul on the spiritual path and enable awakening of the spirituality within. In order to emphasise their teachings, the enlightened sages refer to the events of the divine and historical accounts. This helps the seekers to understand and imbibe the spiritual teachings within them. For this reason, the great sages have amply indicated practical aspects of life amidst narration of vivid and seemingly fearful events. This way, these scriptures explain and inspire seekers to get freedom from the cycle of birth and death and attain ultimate salvation.