Path to progress and development goes through the rocky terrain of adversities. The person who fears difficulties in life cannot aspire for advancement. The sole meaning of progress is reaching the height. In order to do this, ardent efforts are required, unlike that needed for walking on the planes. On the other hand, no special efforts are required for moving down the slope; neither much time is spent in the process. If out of two people one is told to move down the slope, while the other is made to move uphill, we would find that the person moving upward would take four hours in covering the distance covered by the person moving downwards in just one hour. Also, the former does not need to put in any special efforts, while the latter would be found sweating profusely.
Adversities are natural companions on the path to progress. If this would not have been the case then everyone in this world would have become great; no one would have been ordinary or downtrodden. Overpowering the adversities is progressiveness.
What is the difference between a human being and an animal? The human being is progressive and progress-loving creature while an animal remains in the same state from beginning till the end. It does not know anything about progress. It does not have the wisdom of understanding the adversities, fighting them and protecting itself from them. It could only sense the danger through its fear instinct, under the influence of which it runs away, hides or dies fighting. When its fear instinct inspires it to run away it does that, and when it directs it to fight, it fights till death. This action is not decided by the brain. It cannot fulfil its duty after profound contemplation. Fighting the danger or facing it does not involve its cowardice or valiance.
The special attribute of a man is that he performs his actions after contemplating on them prudently. One who does anything under the impact of impulses and frenzy should be considered to be in the category of animals. In spite of appearing as a human being from outside, he is still an animal from within. The aspiration to progress is a divine attribute of man. Thus, it is the duty of a person who considers himself as a human being that he should endeavour to make more and more progress in his life.
It is certain that the path to progress goes through adversities. Therefore, every person who aspires for progress should attain the ability to understand the adversities and how to overcome them.
What are difficulties? Difficulties are those adverse circumstances of life which create obstacles in the path of the person moving towards his goal. These circumstances could be either manmade or created by nature. The former category includes those impediments which one person creates in the path of the other due to competition, envy, abhorrence or arrogance; and this may take the form of trickery, forgery, deception, criticism, betrayal, opposition or controversy. The latter includes the sudden mishaps or accidents. Such type of obstacles could come in the life of any person at any point of time. Therefore, one should be ready at every moment to face them.
There could be numerous types of challenges. It is not always possible to predict about them in advance; neither is it possible for any person to be prepared for every type of upheaval beforehand. Therefore, it would be wise to find out a way through which any sort of threat could be dealt with successfully. The sole and best remedy for this is – our attitude.
It is the attitude of the person through which he perceives his foes as companions and vice versa. It is the consequence of his perspective that sometimes the benefit could appear malefic or evil may seem to be noble. It is his outlook due to which sometimes he gets perplexed even by ordinary events; while at other times, he remains at ease amidst grave afflictions. All the conflicts regarding the virtues / vices of others are mere reflections of an outlook of a person. They do not have their independent existence. If a person could develop an outlook of equality then all the afflictions would be eliminated on their own.
Many such situations come in our life when our heart becomes agonized. Under such circumstances, one’s actions lose enthusiasm while grief fills one’s heart; and only hopelessness and adversities appear before him. But, such a state is harmful for the person aspiring for progress. Such a regressive atmosphere adversely impacts both - his time and potentials. Those who want to move forward should be happy, joyful and zealous at every moment.
All the hardships which could be seen in the world are the mere consequences of our perspective. When we are in darkness, the entire world appears dark. On the other hand, when we are in light, the world appears to be radiant. If our attitude towards our foes could become amiable, then the envy, hatred or abhorrence we experience on seeing them would vanish away and consequently, our inner joy and elation would remain uninterrupted and we would be protected from the loss experienced in its absence.
The same thing implies to circumstances and adversities. When we consider the hardships as our opponents and adopt an indifferent outlook towards them, we get gloomy and impatient as soon as they appear before us. This disturbs our mental balance and we are unable to find their solutions. In the absence of any solution, the adversities begin to impede our path to progress.
If we could keep a positive perspective towards difficulties and consider them as the divine instruments for making us more attentive, alert and dynamic, then we could use them to our advantage.
Positive attitude is the greatest benefactor of man. It can be attained only when the person begins to consider every activity taking place in the world as the will of God. One who greets favourability and hates adversities can never progress in his life. One who expects only favourability in life is bound to wander in the wilderness of failures. One who becomes the worshipper of favourability from his heart and mind and spares no room for adversities should always be prepared to become haphazard after being moved by the occurrence of adversities. Those who are happy in favourability and complain in adversities keep on moving back and forth like a pendulum; they cannot make any headway in life. Therefore, we should follow our duty and believe that every incidence occurring in the world is the will of God.
By doing so, there would be no instance of being gloomy or depressed. One who remains balanced in every situation and is free from grief, anxiety, fear and agony certainly reaches the peak of progress. This perspective of everlasting happiness may be developed by keeping immense faith in God and considering every incidence occurring in the world as His will.
God does not discriminate between a son and a daughter. Only persons of crude mentality do so. Women should refuse to listen to the biased views of any person who says that women have no right to do Gayatri Sadhana. They can worship it and also perform Yagya. Keeping in view the fact that they remain busy throughout the day, a brief routine of Gayatri Sadhana, including Yagya, convenient to all women is being presented here.
Most of the housewives are extremely busy in the morning in cleaning work, preparing breakfast and doing other daily household chores. In the morning the children go to school and male members have to go out for work and everybody is in a hurry. Most of the household work in the morning has to be done by the house-wife in the morning, although daughters, elderly ladies also give a helping hand. Morning time, therefore, does not suit most of the women-folk for Sadhana. In the evening also there is a similar pressure of work on them. Keeping all these factors in view, the time between 12 noon to 3 pm. appears to be most convenient to them for performing Anusthan-Sadhana etc. Of course, they can perform Jap of one mala in the morning after taking bath.
If they happen to do mental Jap while cooking meals there will be good effect on all the persons who will take that food. Regular Jap should be suspended during the period of menses. Mental Jap can, however, be performed in all circumstances. Women who put on Yagyopaveet should replace it by a new one after the period of menstruation.
If women are enthusiastic about maintaining holy atmosphere in the house, it will have salutary impact on other members of the family, who will feel automatically inclined to lead virtuous lives. For this, by way of daily routine, members of the family should not only greet and salute the elders daily in the morning but they should also bow in front of the picture of Gayatri Mata placed in the family worship place and chant Gayatri Mantra five times.
In the evening, after the members of the family are free from their meals etc., the children should be entertained by reading over to them inspiring stories published by the Gayatri Mission, folders etc., which they can easily understand, so that mind and emotions are oriented towards virtuous life. To inspire the elderly members, Pragya puran, published in four volumes, should be read over to the whole family daily like Geeta and Ramayan. This programme can be continued for months. After finishing one reading the process can be repeated again and again.
Keeping in view the fact that people are extremely busy these days and there is general lack of faith and devotion, religious routines which are interesting to all can be adopted. Being masters of the kitchen, women can easily accomplish this sacred task. At the time of preparation of food, the first chapati should be divided into five morsels and chanting Gayatri Mantra each morsel should be offered in the fire along with some ghee and sugar. The tradition of Yagya is an integral part of Indian culture. This process of offering bread-pieces in the fire is symbolic worship and keeps the sentiments of sacrifice, (Yagya) alive in us. While feeding a suckling child, mothers should do mental Jap of Gayatri Mantra. It will be good if they meditate upon the luminous God, Savita.
The meaning of Gayatri worship is to regard God as Mother and sit in her lap. Of all the relations in the world, the relationship of mother and child is most loving and intimate. With whatever devotion we turn to God, He responds according to our faith. When the devotee visualises God in the form of Mother and sits in her lap he gets affectionate response accordingly.
The qualities of love, affection, compassion, tenderness, generosity are, by nature, found in greater degree in women than in men. Rishis have, therefore, been worshipping God in the form of mother since days immemorial and they have directed every person having faith in religion to adopt this easy and safe path of Sadhana.Gayatri worship is supposed to be the daily religious routine of every Indian.
Whatever may be the system of sandhya vandan, Gayatri is an essential element in it. One may or may not perform Gayatri Sadhana for a specific worldly or spiritual purpose but he is guilty of neglecting his religious duties, if he does not perform daily routine of Sadhana.
Daughter and son both are beloved children of the mother. Man and woman are both equally dear to God. No impartial and just parents discriminate between their children on the ground of sex. God has provided facilities for performance of religious duties and Sadhana for self-realization both to man and woman. This is but appropriate on the grounds of equality, justice and impartiality and is proved by logic as well.
This simple truth hardly calls for debate and dispute. It is gratifying to note that in the recent past, wise and farsighted eminent person’s men have been trying to abolish evil customs of the dark middle ages. They have started realizing that India will not be able to regain its ancient glory so long as women are not liberated from the iron grip of narrow-mindedness in which they have been encased since the middle ages.
The story of Kumari Kalyani
There has been considerable discussion amongst the scholars of Kashi on the controversy whether women have a right to chant Ved-Mantras.
A girl student named Kumari Kalyani wanted to seek admission to a course in which Vedas were taught in Banaras Hindu University. The authorities refused to grant admission according to the prevalent belief on the ground that a woman, according to Shastras, had no right to chant Ved-mantras.
This controversy continued for quite a long time. A paper “Sarvadeshik” published several articles in support of the right of women to study Vedas while the other paper “Sidhanta” took an opposite view. A deputation of Arya Samajists met University authorities and there was prolonged discussion on the subject.
Ultimately, the University appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya in which several Vedic scholars were included. The committee, after a thorough study of the shastras, gave a finding that women have the same right as men in respect of Vedas.
Mahamana Malviyaji, who was considered as the standard bearer of Sanatan Dharma, announced this decision of the committee on 22nd August 1946.
Kumari Kalyani was accordingly admitted to the course in which Vedas were taught and it was finally decided that henceforth women would have the right to study Vedas and there would be no discrimination on grounds of sex.
Nobody can say that Mahamana Malviyaji and his learned colleagues could be hostile to the tenets of Sanatan Dharma. Their devotion to religion is well-known. What can be said about the wisdom of those persons who still persist in saying that women have no right to worship Gayatri when this controversy has been settled once for all by eminent persons like Malviyaji?
The names of several learned women of the ancient times are still famous. References are found in Vedas about several women rishis being authors of several Ved-Mantras. It is, therefore, the duty of all social reformers to follow in this respect the decision given by Malviyaji who has been a rishi of the present age.
Women have always been accorded high respect in the Indian culture. They have been regarded more pious than men. They are often addressed as devi. Girls are named as Shantidevi, Gangadevi, Dayadevi. The word devi is thus often annexed to their names. Girls are adorned not by degrees etc. but by their inherent God-given feminine virtues.
Gods and great personalities are often known through the names of their wives. In various names like Sitaram Radheshyam, Gaurishankar, Lakhyaminarayan, Uma-Mahesh, Maya-Brahma, Savitri- Satyavan; women, have been given precedence over men.
All thoughtful and wise persons have regarded women more prominent in respect of virtues like chastity, loyalty, mercy, compassion, service, sympathy, love, affection, generosity, devotion etc.
Women have, in general been given prominence and respect in all religious and spiritual pursuits. If one goes through the Vedas it will appear that not only rishis but several wives of rishis were also seers to whom Vedic hymns were revealed. How could the great God who is kind-hearted, just and impartial discriminate between man and woman who are his own children?
There is ample evidence which proves that, like males, females used to perform Yagya. They were experts in Yagya technique and religious learning. Several women used to guide their fathers/husbands in this respect. Ida had told Manu that she would do avadhan on fire in such a way that he would get worldly riches, pleasures and respect and attain heaven.
Adi-Shankaracharya had to enter into a spiritual debate with Bharati Devi. Her exposition of the scriptures was so marvellous that even eminent scholars were wonder-struck. Shankaracharya was unable to answer her profound questions and had to seek one month’s time to respond. In Shankar Digvijaya (3/16) it is written that Bharati Devi was well-versed in all the Vedas and other scriptures and branches of Knowledge. None excelled her in knowledge.
How can a ban now be imposed on study of the scriptures by women? If there had been such a restriction in the ancient times, how could there have been women who could have philosophical debates with persons like Yagyavalkya, Shankaracharya etc..?
In fact, in those days all men and women had equal opportunities for studying the Vedas.
A person can proceed rapidly on the path of soul growth and self-realization through devotion of the Goddess Gayatri the supreme creative energy of the divine. It endows its devotee with true wisdom.
A subtle, uninterrupted current of divine energy starts flowing through the inner being of the devotee, cleansing his intellect, mind and emotions of the perverse, perverted and dark thoughts, feelings and desires.
The effect of sincere and steadfast Gayatri Sadhana is swift and miraculous in purifying, harmonizing and steadying the mind and thus establishing unshakable inner peace and a sense of joy-filled calm even in the face of grave trials and tribulations in the outer life of the Sadhak.
Gayatri Sadhana bestows extra-ordinary benefits on the devotees. Many persons have performed Gayatri Sadhana under my guidance and I have myself been a witness to the material and spiritual benefits achieved by them through this Sadhana.
The reason is that they get true discriminative wisdom as a divine gift in the light of which all infirmities, complications and difficulties, which make people unhappy, worried and miserable, are solved.
Darkness has no independent existence of its own. It is nothing but absence of Light. In the same way, unhappiness is nothing but absence of knowledge. Otherwise, in this orderly creation of God, there is no shadow of sorrow or suffering. God is Sat, Chit, Anand; embodiment of Supreme Truth, Pure, Awareness and Divine Bliss.
Human beings suffer because they choose to aimlessly wander in the wilderness of ignorance - forgetting their true identity as Divine sparks. Otherwise, birth in a human body is a great boon, which even the gods covet, because it is the only means through which a soul can attain self-realization, the fount of unalloyed Bliss.
The Sadhana of Gayatri is worship of supreme Knowledge. It is my personal experience and firm belief that those who worship Gayatri will never be lacking in spiritual enlightenment and worldly happiness.
The following is the translation of Dr Chinmayji's speech. The video can be found at the end.
Friends, this is an auspicious occasion of Vasant Parva—Param Pujya Gurudev’s spiritual birthday. The day Pujya Gurudev started his spiritual journey. If we look at Bhagwan Buddha’s life, three significant events happened on the same day—his birth, his great nirvana, and his self-realization. Gurudev had almost similar association with Vasant Panchami. We all have gathered here on this sacred, divine and auspicious occasion. With a sincere hope that Param Pujya Gurudev’s blessings, favour and grace shower in our life of all of us; that Mother Gayatri’s mantra, its tatva-darshan (its core message) and thinking which Gurudev wished to see integrate into our character; that such a fervour emerge in our lives, let us all chant Gayatri Mantra together. Gayatri mantra is the mantra dedicated to Bhagwan Surya (the Sun). It has three steps, each of which inspires us to ingrain tejas, ojas and varchas (spiritual energies). We should certainly chant the mantra but let us express it from the deepest core of our character and with such devout thoughts and feelings that its utterance can kindle energy, warmth, intensity, divineness and purity in our life as well as our character; and inspire us to follow righteous intellect and righteous path. With these thoughts and feelings, let us all chant Gayatri mantra together keeping our body still; calming down our mind and sentiments; preparing ourselves to be able to understand and ingrain what is about to be said.
All the fellow notables on the stage—Respected Kapil Mama Ji, Respected Om Prakash Mama Ji, Respected Pramod Bhatnagar Mama Ji, Arun Bhai Saheb, Dinesh Bhai Saheb; and our Gayatri Pariwar workers, brothers and sisters from various regions who have gathered here under the divine protection of Param Pujya Gurudev and Param Vandaniya Mata Ji at this pious venue of Shantikunj.
The last two years have been Gayatri Pariwar’s Yuva Kranti Varsh (Youth Revolution Year). The purpose of celebrating these years was to reach out to those people whose way of thinking, life purpose, their thoughts and feelings reveal genuine youthfulness. When our inner feelings become dormant, our youthfulness will also become dormant or get vanished. Losing youthfulness doesn’t mean getting older in terms of age or years. Getting older by age is not a misfortune. There is none in the world who has ever been born with a blessing from the Almighty that his or her body would never ever grow older. Ageing and ailments are among the inescapable rules of Nature. Anyone who has been born will have to go through ageing. Getting older by age is not a misfortune. However, if one grows older by mind—giving in to negative thinking and outlook; lack of interest and enthusiasm; lack of purpose; starting to look at society, life and future with some kind of pessimism as to what would happen to society and what would happen to their life; and our thinking and outlook becoming capitulated by negativity. Friends, it is that kind of growing older, the ageing of the state of mind, the ageing of outlook which is no less nuisance. Just imagine of someone having lost hope, aspirations, enthusiasm, interest, happiness and outlook for life. Then whatever age the calendar hanging on the wall may be showing, he or she has really grown older by the state of mind. However, if the hopes are still alive, and both the purpose and the direction of life are preserved and being taken care of, even death cannot take away your youthfulness. Then you are youthful in real sense. Gurudev has said, “One who has lost from the mind point of view, has really lost. One who has won from the mind point of view has won everything.” If a person is youthful in his thinking, he is young. Gayatri Pariwar is fortunate that it has succeeded in reaching out to them who are young by their thinking; whose thinking is as strong as steel; whose purpose or goals are high and resolute; and whose intentions have still preserved purity, goodness, greatness, commitment, truthfulness and noble feelings. If you too possess such inner feelings, you should feel assured that your youthfulness is still alive. I salute your youthfulness and especially of those who are working in various regions of India being part and parcel of Gayatri Pariwar. I salute them from the bottom of my heart. The reason being, youthfulness is one of the few selected fortunes of life that not everyone gets blessed with. The value of good fortune will be meaningful only if a person is able to appreciate it in time as well as value the time. If we don’t value the time, then my friends, the fortune will come and go away and we won’t have anything apart from regrets. The value of fortune is only when the person appreciates the value of time. Today, anyone among you who aspire to do something good for society—I am not talking for everyone, I am taking for only those who have heart to do something good for society— who have active youthfulness; who have passion, enthusiasm and eagerness to do Gurudev’s work; I would say that the current time is urging you to appreciate the value of time. What is it begging? That the current glorious moments when we are here today, we are living, we are lucky to have a life—let us disregard our life for a moment—aren’t going to be repeated in the entire history of humanity. Their names will be scripted with gold in the history who appreciate the demands of these moments; study Gurudev’s plan thoroughly; and transform their life style, the way of thinking, outlook, inner feelings, contemplation and everything else to meet the demands of time. Your children and grandchildren will thank you and will revere you. They will say that people are looking at them with great regard because their parents, their grandparents were highly distinguished people who understood Mahakal’s plan, read Gurudev’s plan well in time and committed themselves to tread that path. People will respect their children and grandchildren saying that their parents, their grandparents were great people who were fortunate to work alongside Gurudev. Only those who are able to understand this plan. Those who cannot, those who remain engrossed in their fancy and fallacy would themselves regret and so will their progenies. What can be said about them? Their children and grandchildren would say that their parents, their grandparents had an opportunity to be Gurudev contemporaries, to meet him, to be with him, to talk to him; and they had an opportunity to join hands with Bhagwan but in spite of all these, why they didn’t made a right choice; why didn’t they take right decision at right time; why didn’t they make their youthfulness worthwhile? Friends, these moments of Vasant Panchami are the moments of making our individual youthfulness worthwhile. You should look at today’s Vasant Panchami thinking that everyone among us should go from here making their youthfulness worthwhile. What does it mean? You should read Pujya Gurudev’s literature if you wish to know how youthfulness can be accomplished. Every line of Gurudev’s literature isn’t any less than a blazing inferno. It can create a full-fledged revolution if it ingrains deeper into someone’s life and character. On this occasion of Vasant Panchami, I will cite four or five books. You are here today. You should take these books along. Keep them with you all along just like Geeta, Upanishad, Puran and read them regularly. It is essential that you must read this literature, these thoughts if at all you wish to know Gurudev’s thinking and to understand the plans. The first title is Mahakal aur usaki pratyavartan prakriya (Mahakal and His method of transformation). Long ago, a nail pricked in Gurudev’s feet which caused an abscess. A doctor came to see Gurudev in Mathura. He said he would have to make a cut to drain the pus. He said he didn’t bring his tools but would bring them along the next morning. He asked Gurudev if he would take medicines as it was going to be very painful. Gurudev asked him not to worry about medicines as the God would make all the arrangements. The doctor saw Gurudev at 9pm and came back with his tools at 5am the next day. Between 9pm to 5am, Gurudev sat down writing a book titled Mahakal aur usaki pratyavartan prakriya. The book was written in one night! If you read this book, you will find that its each letter isn’t any less that a blast. If you read it well, its every word would create such a blast in your personality and give such a profound inspiration that the person wouldn’t rest until doing Gurudev’s work. I would like to see someone who you come across and claims that he or she read the book and then went to sleep. That is not possible. If you read Gurudev’s book and especially this one, you will not be able to sleep. You will feel that you must start doing Gurudev’s work straightaway. The second book Praivartan ke mahan kshan (the great moments of change), Samasyaye aak ki, samadhaan kal ka (Problems of today, solutions for tomorrow), Hamari Yug-nirman Yojana (Our plan of creating a new era), Navyug kaa Matyaavtaar. I would urge you to take these five books along. You will get to know, listen to and understand two things if you read these five books. What are they? That Gurudev has spelt out—in these books, these thoughts— the full map, the full layout, the full sketch of the today’s world as it is and tomorrow’s world that we are going to witness. You will come to know everything about today’s world, tomorrow’s world, the world after thousand years. People may ask how they can be sure whether what Gurudev has said would be true or false. Friends, Gurudev isn’t a bhavishya-drastaa (the seer who sees and tells about future). Gurudev is a bhavishya-shrashtha (one who creates the future). The former can see but the later creates. If you study Patanjali’s work, he says that there are three types of proofs to verify something. In the seventh verse of the first chapter, Patanjali says, pratyaksha anumaana aagamaah pramaanaani.... You can verify in three ways whether something happened or not. The first one is pratyaksha (seeing something yourself), that you saw something happening. If there was a fire that you saw, you will be able to say that it really happened. You saw it yourself. The second yardstick is anumaana (making an inference). If you see smoke emitting from a window, you would guess that there may be a fire in the building. The third way is aagama (information from a trusted source). Someone you trust, someone you regard highly tells you not to go to a particular place as there was a fire. There are three measures. Patanjali says that there are three measures to know whether something happened or not— pratyaksha anumaana aagama. He says that there is one more measure—ritambharaa cha pragyaa. If you have created something yourself, you will have no doubt about it. Friends, the world, the society, the culture, the civilization that is going to be the reality in future, isn’t something that Gurudev saw, like Nostradamus did, but has actually been created by Gurudev himself. Gurudev organized all the building blocks from bricks, cement, concrete and everything else that were needed to make the future world. If you wish to know tomorrow’s world, you should read Gurudev’s literature. If you read these books, you can infer from every single word; you can make a guess about what sort of tomorrow’s world, tomorrow’s civilization, tomorrow’s thinking, tomorrow’s outlook are going to be. No one should cast a doubt. You will yourself get to know about it if you read these books. What other things you can come to know by reading these books? Friends, you can read the principles of having everlasting youthfulness from these books and these thoughts. Gurudev hasn’t spelt out these principles but Gurudev has said what the principles of living a life were. The principles of living a life are same as the principles of youthfulness. Someone who accomplishes life can accomplish youthfulness as well. You can regard this as Newton’s law of gravity. There are three things that Gurudev has written which I would like to share with you. One, Gurudev has said that if someone wishes accomplish his life, the first thing that is needed is to appreciate is the value of time, the value of current time. What we should do in the current time we are living in? For this there are three further things that we need to know—the value of time, the course of time, and the hints given by the time. The first thing is the value of time. We don’t appreciate the value of time. There is no facet of life where we can accomplish anything without knowing the value of time. You go to a doctor. You have a common cold and cough. If you consult the doctor in time, you will get treated very easily. You may recover taking paracetamol tablets. If you delay it, the illness may worsen into pneumonia, you will then need to be hospitalised and given antibiotics. If you consult at right moment, you will get right treatment. If you go early, you may recover taking ordinary tablets. If illness worsens, spreads throughout the body, becomes a cancer, the person may need a surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and so on. Friends, you should understand the value of time. Some of you may be engaged in farming. If you try to grow the crop in the autumn which can actually only be grown in the spring, you wouldn’t get anything. The crop wouldn’t grow even if you got the seeds from America or London. Time is valuable. If you try to get a 28-year old person admitted in a nursery, the teachers will laugh, the pupils will laugh. You cannot bring him to the nursery for studying as his time has gone by. You should take him somewhere else. Neither study not marriage can take place once the right time has passed by. You won’t get a train ticket once it has already departed. A person can transform his life if he understands the value of time. The first thing that needs to be taken care of is to appreciate the value of time. The second thing is to know the course of time, the directions of the wind of change. Today’s need is to change the thinking and the outlook of individuals. It wouldn’t make any difference whether you believe in it or not but the world is slowly leaning towards morality, idealism and positivity. You need to take the heed and understand the hints well in time. There is a lovely narrative from Maharshi Shri Arvind’s life. Maharshi Arvind gave details about his previous lives in one of the evening dialogues. You may not believe but Maharshi Arvind said he was born as Napoleon Bonaparte. There is a vast difference between both personalities. One was the king and that too an arrogant one! And the other was Maharshi Arvind, who reached the pinnacle of spiritual growth. He said that when he was born as Napoleon Bonaparte, he made a mistake that he didn’t recognize the course of time. Bhagwan’s directions for him at that time were to relinquish everything and go somewhere else during his exile on St. Helena. He said he just stayed on doing nothing else except waging war. He had to pay the price for not recognizing the time. The first thing is the value of time, the second, the course of time and the third, the hints given by time.
What hints the God is giving to us? We need to know them and act accordingly. We need to follow Gurudev’s message. Keshav Chandra Sen was a famous thinker and a contemporary of Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa. If you read Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa’s kathamrita, leelamrita (life stories), you will come to know about Keshav Chandra Sen. He was a great personality. Even Queen Victoria came from London to meet him in Calcutta. He was the founder of Brahma-samaj. These days, no one is familiar with Brahma-samaj but most people know Ramakrishna Mission. Keshav Chandra came to see Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Narendra (Swami Vivekanand) was also there. When Keshav Chandra glanced at Narendra, Ramakrishna smiled. He said, “Narendra has the Sun burning within him and you (Keshav Chandra Sen) have a ray.” After Keshav Chandra had left Narendra queried Ramakrishna about what he said. Narendra said “Keshav Chandra Sen is someone whom even Queen Victoria visited and I am just a poor man who is wandering around.” Ramakrishna said, “Keshav Chandra Sen isn’t recognizing the time but I am. In the coming days, you will become Vivekananda and no one will know Keshav Chandra.” And that is the reality today. You all are aware that no one knows Keshav Chandra Sen but everyone knows Swami Vivekananda. Keshav Chandra Sen said so many big things about Brahma-samaj and its activities to Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna asked Keshav whether he had received any directives from God about what he was doing. Keshav Chandra said he didn’t receive any directive. Ramakrishna said, “Then your Brahma-samaj wouldn’t progress. I have received directives for what I have been doing.” If you see, when Gurudev published the first issue of Akhand Jyoti, it was written on the third page that, “If Akhand Jyoti, the Yugnirman Yojna were the programmes led by human beings, they would cease to exist at the end of this issue. If it is the plan commanded by Bhagwan, it will carry on day and night for years and forever, even after my departure.”
Friends, the first and the foremost point is to recognise the importance of the current time. I would urge you all. You are here on the auspicious occasion of Vasant Panchami. Don’t depart from here without recognising the significance of time, the course of the time. The winds of change which you cannot see are drifting towards Gurudev. You may feel that you don’t see anything happening. Nothing is going to happen here. All the happenings are taking place in the divine world. If you are able to see them for yourself, you won’t rest even for a moment without doing Gurudev’s work.
Friends, the first thing you need to do is to recognise the importance of the current time. The second thing is to develop inner capability to meet the needs of the time. Even an average individual can accomplish big feats if he develops such a capability. Have you heard about Vikramaditya? He was an ordinary youth who used to wander around aimlessly. He had no means to earn his livelihood. Once he went to Ujjaini. He came to know that its king had died without any heir to the throne. The secretaries of the state made a public proclamation that whoever wishes to, can become the king of the state. Many people tried, even got crowned as a king but died the same night. Vikramaditya expressed his wishes to be a king. The secretaries tried to discourage Vikramaditya saying that he was still a young man while others who came forward to be the king were all elderly who wouldn’t mind dying after becoming a king. They warned him against becoming a king as he was still young. Vikramaditya insisted on becoming a king and he did become the king. He believed that the place must have been cursed by a deity or a demon. He cooked various types of delicacies, set the table and sat down hiding behind the throne holding his sword. Agnivetal, Indra’s commander in chief, turned up at night. He ate the food and got thrilled. Vikramaditya emerged from behind the throne. Agnivetal asked him to make a final wish before he kills him. Vikramaditya asked when he was destined to die. Agnivetal replied that he would die at the age of hundred years. When Agnivetal put his sword on Vikramaditya’s neck, Vikramaditya told him he wouldn’t be able to kill him as he was destined to live hundred years! Agnivetal got stunned to find that Vikramaditya was a clever person. Then Agnivetal told him some stories which you might be familiar with. They are known as Vetal Pachchisi, Simhasan Battisi. These are the same stories we know as the stories of Vikram and Vetal. He became well-known as the great King Vikramaditya.
An individual should develop the capabilities to meet the needs of the time. Friends, you have to recognise the time but you must also develop capabilities to match its needs. Was Hanuman Ji any less strong when he was born? At the age of four, he set off to swallow up the mighty Sun thinking it to be an apple! But when cursed by the divine beings, the same Hanuman Ji —whom we know as Pavan-putra (the son of Wind God) or Marich and we sing the praises of his extraordinary might and heroic acts— started hiding about being frightened of others. Gurudev has mentioned in his lecture. When Bhagwan Rama and Lakshmana came to meet Hanuman Ji for the first time on Rishyamukha mountain, he was so frightened of the warrior brothers thinking that they might kill him. He appeared in the guise of a Brahmin so that the warriors wouldn’t attack him. Hanuman ji approached Rama with fright. And just imagine how the same Hanuman Ji developed such power and strength that he started flying across the ocean, lifting big mountains, roaming around tying mighty Ravan to his tail, and so on. Where did he get those strengths from? That was the result of recognising his inner potentials. I would say to each of you, to at least recognise your inner potentials before you depart from here. You have come to the divine place of Shantikunj. Have we come here to live an ordinary life? Have we gained human life only to do small things? You haven’t come here to listen to a lecture or a religious discourse. You can do these things at hordes of places across India. You have come here. You should at least recognise your inner potentials, your inner divinity, and your greatness before you go. Friends, I am urging you to first recognise the direction of time. Second, you should recognise your inner potentials.
And the third principle Gurudev gave us is that only an individual—who recognises the time; develops his capabilities; joins in Bhagwan’s mission and sincerely contributes his efforts— can be regarded youthful and successful in life. The one who has so much dedication, confidence and faith that this is Bhagwan’s work and he wouldn’t mind even if he has to face a loss. That I am ready to tolerate any damage at personal level. If it is God’s work, I am ready to sacrifice my life. It needs faith and dedication. In Valmiki Ramayana, Adhyatma Ramayana, there a lovely story. When a bridge was being constructed across the sea, Nal, Nil, bears and monkeys were writing Rama’s name on the stones and throwing them in the sea. The stones would start floating on the water! Bhagwan Rama had a divine plan. He thought to test them out. He asked everyone how the stones managed to float on the water. Nal and Nil said they were writing Rama’s name on stones and that simply made them float on the water. Bhagwan’s name are making them float on the water. Rama asked whether the stone would float if he himself throws it in the water the same way. They said it definitely would. Rama wrote His name on a stone and threw it in the sea but the stone went under the water! Nal, Nil and everyone else started panicking about. How a stone thrown by Bhagwan could get sunk? Everyone looked towards Hanuman Ji with a curious glance. Hanuman Ji said it had to be the way it happened. Hanuman Ji said, “Rama’s name has such a power that it will make a stone float if Rama’s name is put on it. Whoever gets connected to Bhagwan’s name are definitely going to sail through.” Rama asked how the stone thrown by him the same way got sunk. Hanuman Ji said, “The one whom you abandon is surely going to sink. One who gets connected to Your name is definitely going to float and the one whom You have abandoned is undoubtedly going to sink.” Friends, when Bhagwan abandons someone, then his deliverance isn’t possible.
On occasion of auspicious Vasant Panchami, you should go from here with three thoughts. It is my polite appeal to all of you. It doesn’t matter however old you may be, whatever kind of life you may be living, whether you are from a city or a village, from India or abroad, you should go from here appreciating the current time. The winds of change are blowing towards Mahakal. The winds of change are blowing towards Gurudev. The only definition of youthfulness is that an individual recognises the time; develops inner capabilities thinking that it is God’s work for which we must develop the strengths of idealism; creates the outlook of faith, trust and dedication that we can join in and work together in Bhagwan’s mission. The God can sacrifice Himself for them, who succeed in doing so; who are able to recognise Bhagwan; and are willing to contribute their effort.
You can scan through the history. The God tests for only one thing. He would come at awkward time and would demand awkward things. The God would never demand big things. He would come at awkward time and would ask for awkward things. Sudama was a poor Brahmin. His wife urged him to go to his childhood friend Krishna who was then the king of Dwarika and get some treasure from him. Sudama went to Krishna to beg but on the contrary, Krishna started demanding something from Sudama. He asked Sudama to check what he had in his pockets. He had two fistful of cereal. Krishna asked Sudama to hand it over to him. Sudama could have refused to give it saying that Krishna was the king of three worlds while he himself was a poor man suffering from hunger. Instead, Sudama willingly handed it to Krishna. In return, Krishna made Sudama the king of the three worlds. If you read Bhagwat, there is a lovely story. When Sudama was born, the Goddess of destiny ordained that he would not have any wealth throughout his life. When Sudama was crowned to the kingdom of three worlds, the Goddess of destiny expressed her displeasure to Bhagwan. Bhagwan asked the Goddess to check Sudama’s destiny once again. Bhagwan rubbed his hand on Sudama’s head where his destiny was written. When the Goddess read again, she was surprised to find what was written. That Sudama was certainly destined to have wealth. Not what she had scripted that he would never get wealth!
Bhagwan always takes a test first. You might have heard this story about Durvasa’s visit to Draupadi’s house. Durvasa had sixty-thousand disciples. When Durvasa met Duryodhan, he played a cunning trick. He fed him with very good delicacies thinking that when he has eaten enough he will ask Durvasa to bless him. Duryodhan offered him a grand hospitality but with bad intentions. Durvasa used to lose his temper very easily. When he finished eating, he got so pleased that he asked Duryodhan to ask for a boon. Duryodhan said, “My brother Yudhisthira is a noble man who lives in the forest. I wish you go to his house as well and have a dinner. It will make Yudhisthira very happy.” Duryodhan had cunning intentions in his mind. He knew that Yudhisthira had nothing to be able to feed Durvasa and his sixty-thousand disciples. Durvasa being temperamental will curse Yudhisthira if he fails to offer him hospitality. Durvasa arrived at Yudhisthira’s house. His wife Draupadi was in a dilemma as she had nothing to feed them. He had only a grain of cereal left in the pan. She begged Bhagwan for a help. Bhagwan did come but instead of helping her out, Bhagwan asked Draupadi to give him food as he was very hungry. Draupadi gave the last grain of cereal to Bhagwan. Bhagwan said to Draupadi that the last single grain of cereal would get her a desired boon.
Bhagwan comes at awkward time and asks for awkward things to test whether you are ready to relinquish it to him. Bhagwan went to dying Karna and demanded his golden teeth. Bhagwan went to Bali, who was cursed by his Guru, and demanded his kingdom of three worlds. Bhagwan comes at awkward time to test whether you are capable of giving. He wouldn’t ask for big things. Bhagwan asked for small things like some sand from the squirrel (of Ramayana), the leftover berries from Shabari, butter from Gopis, staves from the cowherds. Those things would cost from 5 paisa to 4 Rupees only. Bhagwan doesn’t crave for things. Bhagwan desires our inner feelings. Bhagwan will be willing to carry you on His head; to elevate you as high as the sky; to make you the king of the vast kingdom spanning from the sea to all the nooks and corners of the world; if you are ready to hand in whatever that has been demanded by Bhagwan. The only condition is your readiness to hand in. When Bhagwan comes to you, you should be ready to give whatever you have. That is the only condition (that must be fulfilled) when Bhagwan comes to us. Rabindranath Tagore has written a very lovely story. Once he was standing with a bag of cereals. A monk came to him. Bhagwan came in the guise of a monk. Rabindranath hesitated when the monk demanded cereals. He could have given away the whole bag of wheats but he chose to give only a fistful of wheats. The monk smiled. When the monk touched wheat grains given to him, they turned into gold! Rabindranath has written a poem. If he had a realization that day, he could have had given the whole bag (to turn all the wheats into gold). Now I am wandering around with that bag but cannot find Bhagwan anywhere.
The same way, my friends, you have come here to Gurudev today. Don’t just think of handing in only a fistful. If you wish you can turn your entire life into gold. If you wish, you can turn your entire character into a paaras (a philosopher’s stone). You can rewrite your life. You have come here, don’t go from here having only small wishes fulfilled. You shouldn’t befall to the misfortune that the one bit of your life turns into gold and the rest remains as it was! You have come here; you should go from here making your entire life holy. Friend, this is great fortune. And Gurudev has knowingly offered this great fortune these days. You should note this down emphasizing it in the bold or in underlined text, that tomorrow’s world is going to the world created by Gurudev. When Ashwamedha series was going on, each and every individual wished to join Gayatri Pariwar.
The current time is the time of test knowingly put in place by Gurudev to test the depth of individual’s faith, trust and dedication. These moments may one day visit us again any time—to me and to you. The flag of Gurudev’s thoughts will be hoisted at every door steps, on every platform, in every parliament, in every place. You all are indeed going to witness that. But before that, Gurudev is going to prune the weeds. Those who has any deficiency in faith, trust and dedication need to move their address somewhere else. Only those are going to stay on who have come to Gurudev with total faith, trust and dedication.
Friends, I have shared all these matters with such a feeling that you have come here, you should depart accomplishing your youthfulness, recognising the time that is changing. It doesn’t matter that you cannot see it but the time is changing very fast. There are so many things happening around in the world that you cannot see. Can you see the earth revolving around its pivot? Do you see oxygen entering our body without which we cannot stay alive? Can you see the message going from one mobile to another? There are so many things we cannot see. However, that shouldn’t mean that they are not happening. With love or force, through persuasion or pressure, the world will come back to the place which Gurudev has decided. We need to get prepared for that. We need to join hands with and work for Pragyavtar. Mould our character to meet the demands. Pragyavtar is demanding only one thing that everyone be blessed with righteous intellect. There is no lack of intellect. But there is lack of righteous intellect. All corruptions, scams, wars, violence etc. are done by people who don’t lack intellect at all. Among them are even those who have received degrees from Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge and so on! If they lacked intellect they would have been committing small thefts or if they had little bit more intellect they would have been trading human beings. Humanity isn’t deficient from intellect point of view. It has intellect but lacks righteous intellect.
Friends, it is the need of the time to bring the humanity that has gone astray at the moment, on right path. Who will do that? You will have to do that. This task is there for good hearted devoted people, voluntary workers, those who can sacrifice, who are engaged in spiritual austerity. It is not for paid people. It isn’t possible to accomplish Yugnirman through paid workers. Friends, this task is only for good hearted people, for voluntary workers. If someone has a desire for money, fame, position, they have the whole world at their disposal offering those opportunities. They should go there, giving up Shantikunj; They need to give up Gayatri Pariwar; because Gurudev has made this Pariwar only for good hearted people, for voluntary workers. Friends, you have come here, you should go committing yourself to recognise the time, develop your inner capability, develop those sentiments that we will not rest in peace until we don’t accomplish Gurudev’s mission. You should take along the thoughts I have given you, the Gurudev’s books which I told you, study them with conviction, be the integral part of those thoughts and mission which Gurudev wishes us to be. You have come here. Please don’t go away empty handed. Go from here having a resolve, purpose, pledge and determination in life; a conviction to transform your character; a resolve and dedication to offer your personal ahuti or contribution in this maha-yagya. Do not return empty handed.
One last time, with these parting words, I am appealing you that you have come here, you should go from here accomplishing your youthfulness. Vasant Panchami the festival to remind all of you— who enjoys youthful from mind, thoughts, outlook, inner feelings point of view —that the body can get older with years but the mind cannot. The mind gets older only when it harbours negativity. Today, it is necessary to refill positivity, new energy, warmth, resolve, determination within you. We wish that each and every one of you departs from here having accomplished inner youthfulness; with a resolve to recognise the demands of current time; with a resolve to develop inner capability, to be a genuine worker and genuine disciple of Gurudev.
Navratri is a festival to worship Shakti (power, strength) and acquire it through spiritual practices or sadhana. This year this festival commences on 21st September, 2017 and concludes on 29th September, 2017. The nine nights in this sacred period bestow special energies and so are called as Navratri. Historic significance is attached with these nine days as our scriptures have described a large number of divine events that unfolded in this period.
Navratri is a festival of sadhana. Param Pujya Gurudev has stated two specific facts about sadhana: (i) sadhana leads to attainment of extraordinary powers, and (ii) sadhana cleanses the inner self. Sadhana is an ascetic practice which is performed in a number of different ways, but each of its form has the same goal – to attain purity and refinement. The more one purifies and refines oneself, the faster he moves towards attainment of divine powers and inner-fulfilment. But on the other hand, if someone takes up sadhana to attain powers without adequate efforts to refine oneself, then the impurities in his mind and character cause great harm and lead him to destruction.
Pure milk, when put into an unclean, dirty utensil also becomes dirty, and unfit for drinking. Similarly, if an unworthy, undeserving person attains divine powers, he doesn’t utilize them for any good purpose. He misuses them and then these powers, in place of benefiting him, cause him great harm and lead him to destruction. So, in spiritual domain, efforts should be directed primarily towards self-refinement. As the level of refinement of the aspirant reaches higher and higher dimensions, the divine powers associated with these dimensions naturally come to him. For this very reason, before daily worship purification rituals are done so that our mind, speech and inner self get refined, and we become deserving and worthy of retaining the power and energy received.
We have accessed many domains of energies through technology, but we are not able to put them to good use because of lack of refined thinking. There is much pollution inside ourselves, which emerges out in the form of various kinds of mental and physical ailments. Likewise, at a larger scale, this inner pollution has also contributed to pollution of Mother Nature. Our thoughts and emotions are manifested in our actions. Thus in order to control outer pollution, apart from many approaches (that are being adopted to control it) we should put in efforts to control the pollution of thoughts. And the only way to remove pollution and purify thoughts is by performing sadhana. A perfect time to take quick steps in sadhana is during Navratri.
The period of Navratri falls four times in a year–Two direct Navaratri periods during the lunar months of Ashvin and Chaitra and two indirect during the months of Ashadh and Magh. During all these Navratris significant changes take place in Nature as seasons gradually change over sequentially from summer to rainy, to autumn, to cold, to winter and then to spring. These changing seasons affect our bodies too. To be able to bear these changes and adapt the body for the new season we need to make changes in our food habits and life style, and practice abstinence. The training and discipline needed is received through the spiritual practices prescribed during Navratri.
Exponents of our culture have associated all our festivals with some form of spiritual sadhana so that we can make ourselves capable of soaking in special flows of cosmic energy during these festive periods, cleanse ourselves of all the dirt and impurities, and make our body, mind, and soul strong, pure and proficient.
During Navratri primordial power of Supreme Soul is worshipped in the form of nine Goddesses. These are – (i) Shailputri, (ii) Brahmacharini, (iii) Chandraghanta, (iv) Kushmanda, (v) Skandmata, (vi) Katyayini, (vii) Kalratri, (viii) Mahagauri and (ix) Siddhidatri. These nine forms of the primordial power are also nine dimensions of consciousness, which a spiritual aspirant begins to access as he undergoes the cleansing process of the inner self. The focal points of these nine forms of power lie within the subtle body in the forms of chakras which get awakened during spiritual sadhana.
In the first dimension of consciousness, the mind of the spiritual aspirant gets seated in the muladhara chakra. Sadhana primarily starts from this dimension. Shailputri is regarded as the mother Goddess (presiding deity) of this dimension. Shailputri stands for the power which emerges by breaking free from inertia. By performing sadhana in this dimension, a seeker’s mind gets awakened as its inertia gets quelled. The mind becomes honest, non-deceitful and earns victory over enemies of worldly desires, anger etc.
In the second dimension of consciousness, a seeker’s mind gets rooted in svadhishthan chakra. The presiding deity of this dimension is known as Brahmacharini. Brahma stands for the all-pervading, ultimate element of existence and charini stands for one who stays within. This means Mother Brahmacharini is the one who is completely engrossed in the ultimate element and performs penance with diligence. Mind fixated in this dimension gets entrenched into penance and begins to receive grace of the Supreme Soul.
In the third dimension of consciousness, the seeker’s mind gets rooted into the Manipur chakra. The presiding deity of this dimension is Chandraghanta. By Mother Chandraghanta’s grace, sound came into being for the first time during the creation of universe. By performing sadhana in this dimension, the seeker begins to hear divine sounds and then gets entranced into supreme bliss.
In the fourth dimension of consciousness, it is the anahata chakra in which the seeker’s mind gets seated. Kushmanda is the Mother Goddess of this dimension. When this universe did not exist and darkness pervaded everywhere, then this Goddess through ‘Ishat’ laughter created the cosmos and received the name Kushmanda. Entering Her realm, the seeker attains divine cosmic powers.
In the fifth dimension of consciousness the seeker’s mind gets seated in the vishuddhi chakra. The presiding deity here is known as Skandmata. She is the Mother of God Skand or Kumar Kartikeya. In this dimension all the desires of a seeker get fulfilled.
In the sixth dimension of consciousness, the seeker’s mind gets established in the agya chakra. Mother Katyayini is the presiding deity of this dimension. In the lineage of Maharshi Katya (Katya Gotra) who was son of Maharshi Kat, was born as Maharshi Katyayan. He undertook great penance and pleaded Universal Mother to be born to him as his daughter. It is said that when Mahishasur began to wreak havoc, then by combined grace of Lords Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, Mother Katyayini took birth as the daughter of Maharshi Katyayan. In this dimension, seeker’s mind gets filled with energy and is able to terminate all its inner distortions.
In the seventh dimension, whose Mother Goddess is Kalratri, seeker’s mind gets seated in sahastrar chakra. The exterior form of Mother Kalratri is extremely fearsome, but She always bestows grace and benevolence. In this dimension seeker’s mind suppresses all the distortions of mind.
By entering the eighth dimension of consciousness, seeker’s mind gets rid of all its defects and receives grace of Mother Mahagauri, who has a fair skin tone. When all distortions of mind are got rid of, the inner being of a seeker also becomes clean and refined, and attains worthiness of receiving divine grace.
In the ninth dimension of consciousness seeker attains the grace of Mother Siddhidatri who bestows all divine powers. In this dimension the seeker attains complete fulfilment and attains all the divine powers of the universe.
In the journey through all these nine dimensions, the nine syllables of Gayatri Mantra lend a terrific support and refine the consciousness. Navratri sadhana thus forms a process of refinement of all the nine dimensions of consciousness.
Matrishakti Shraddhanjali Nav-srijan Mahapurushcharan (a nine-year worldwide spiritual undertaking to pay homage to Vandaniya Mata Ji Bhagwati Devi Sharma)
This year, a unique spiritual endeavour has been communicated by the subtle spiritual world to be put into action by our vast Gayatri Pariwar. Everyone knows that from 1946 to 1994, Param Vandaniya (Extremely Revered) Shaktiswarupa Snehsalila (the fountainhead of power and pure love) Mata Bhagwati Devi Ji joined hands with her revered divine being Pujya Gurudev Shriram Sharma Acharya to accomplish extraordinary feats as the patron of Gayatri Pariwar. In 1994, she withdrew from her physical existence to merge into Pujya Gurudev’s causal existence. The centenary of Vandaniya Mata Ji born in 1926 is fast approaching. The 4th day of the dark half of Ashwin month which falls in September 2026 will mark the 100th year of her birth. In her memory, we, her children, have undertaken to carry on a gigantic spiritual endeavour for nine years and commemorate its completion in 2026. This collective endeavour that would bring about a worthy change in the era will start from the Gurupurnima of 9 July 2017 and end on 29 July of 2026. Millions of people will take part in it.
Everyone may be aware that the year 2026 will witness three historical coincidences. 1. Vandaniya Mata Bhagwati Devi Ji’s Birth Centenary; 2. The Centenary of lighting up Akhand Dipak (which was lit up by Pujya Gurudev on Vasant Panchami of 20 January 1926) and; 3. The Centenary of Shri Aurobindo’s Bhagwat Siddhi Diwas (24 November 1926) and the year when he proclaimed he would continue uninterrupted spiritual endeavour until 1950. By the time this colossal spiritual endeavour is concluded, the number of existing 120 million devotees of Gayatri Pariwar participating in it will double up by new devotees joining in and will thus make the arrival of a new era achievable and clearly visible.
All the participants will take part in three types of spiritual routine the way they can which are Upasana (daily worship), Sadhana (constant efforts towards self-development) and Aradhana (serving humanity). It will have three phases of three years each. The first phase is being announced through this editorial. This is just the preliminary announcement of the first three-year programmes. They will be further reformed at the end of three years for further announcement for the period of 2020 to 2026. With the help of youth power, women power and Pragya parijans in general, we will be able to join up entire India in this programme. Youth power refers to the youths who have been constantly joining during ongoing Youth Revolution Movement (2016 to 2018). There are so many newcomers who are raring to do something and be part of this grand campaign of change. The women empowerment movement too has enlisted many new members who were so far only restricted to looking after kitchen and household duties. They are joining up through the programmes run by women groups (Mahila Mandals), Bal sanskarshala (value based learning for children) and swadhyaya (joint study of Pujya Gurudev’s literature). They also include a big section of intellectual women who have attained higher education in last ten years and playing a leading role behind the scenes. Among Pragya Parijans are those who have been associated with the Mission for many years having been initiated in Gayatri mantra as well as those who have been influenced by Mission’s programmes. Different programmes tailored to each of these three categories have been devised for next three years.
There will be three types of spiritual endeavours in the first phase of this plan (from Guru-purnima of 9 July 2017 to Guru-purnima 5 July 2020)
1. Upasana: Everyone will practise an Atmabodh sadhana (self-realisation routine) everyday on waking up in the morning. You should wake up before the sunrise and will contemplate that each day is beginning of a new one-day life. For about 5-10 minutes, you have to think that you have to do something new in today’s one-day life. Note it down in your spiritual diary. Before going to bed at night, you will practise Tatvabodha sadhana (awareness about the elemental truth) that it is the end of one-day life. For about ten minutes, ask yourself about the tasks you were supposed to do today but couldn’t do and may have to be postponed to or can be done the next day. Note it down in your diary. Meditate on your preferred deity, feel at ease and go to sleep.
In addition, you should chant 5 malas of Gayatri Mantra (would take about half an hour) or write Gayatri mantra 50 times or say Gayatri Chailsa 5 times after having a shower. You should do at least one of these or if possible, all of them at any time from the morning to the evening. In adtion, you should practise either Pran-sanchar sadhana meditation (15 minutes) or Panchakosha jagran meditation or the meditation on three bodies. The directions of these meditation in Pujya Gurudev’s voice will be provided from here. The day should be concluded with Tatvabodha sadhaha—each night representing a death or the end of one-day life. This routine will followed continuously for next three years. This will enable every single devotee to chant 1,82,500 mantras per year (5,47,500 mantras in three years). The aggregate of all the devotees will be colossal.
2. Sadhana: This will involve s regular Swadhyaya or thorough study of good books to equip ourselves with positive thoughts all the time. It will start in India and across the world and can be done in groups of 10 or more. The following books authored by Pujya Gurudev have been chosen for swadhyaya in groups:
1. Who am I? (1940); 2. Twenty-five Krantidharmi booklets (1985 to 1990); 3. Prana Shakti eka divya vibhuti. Vangamaya 17; 4. Jivan Devta ki sadhana aradhana. Vangamaya 2; 5. Upasana Samarpan Yoga. Vangamaya 3; 6. Manav me devatva ka uday. Vangamaya 54 and; 7. Yug Parivartan kaise aur kab? Vangamaya 27.
At personal level, we should regularly read: Yug Nirman Satsankalpa; Apne Anga avayavo se; Gayatri ka Suryopsthan; Achetan, Chetan, Super-chetan man. Vangamaya 22; Chamatkari Visheshtao se bhara Manviya mastishka Vangamaya 18. In addition, one should observe fasting once a week, Contempation for self-analysis and self-refinement, undertaking small vows (Anuvrata); regularly practise four self-controls (of sense organs, thought, time, money).
3. Aradhana: The following projects involving raising awareness, constructive activities and challenging unworthy things have been decided for youths, women and Pragya parijans in general:
1. Youths will visit universities, colleges and other educational institutions to hold discussions on various topics from Param Pujya Gurudev’s literature and have discussions. They will choose topic from Pujya Gurudev’s literature and hold sessions involving discussions and debates. The plans of actions will be decided.
2. Holding sessions of extensive dialogues and discussions on Scientific Spirituality. This could include workshops on various topics from Pujya Gurudev’s work on integrating science and spirituality. We should enlist the help of teachers and professors of various subjects to conduct the sessions. This will provide scientific basis to various spiritual beliefs and also help in making various scientific inventions to conform spiritual principles. Building bridges between these two will allow to change the atmosphere (of conflict which is perceptible now). This will be further elaborated in the forthcoming issues.
3. Making all out efforts at developing youth groups at local and regional levels. The initiatives of Youth Revolution Year from 2016 to 2018 will be expanded further. We should strive to join up youth from every section of society.
4. Coaching classes for University students to run tuition classes.
5. A massive campaign to train youths to promote Yoga so as spread it to every household. DSVV graduates will help in this campaign. This will happen throughout the country. Sessions on Yoga Science, Yoga Therapy and Yoga training will be organised.
6. Our aim should be to expanding the growth of youth groups (inn villages, towns and cities) by at least 5 times. Weekly meetings should be regularly organised. All youth groups must be officially registered. They should keep away from mainstream politics and rather contribute their efforts to building of the nation.
7. Make a list of constructive programmes. Send a report every three months.
1. Pujya Gurudev’s literature should be installed in schools, girls’ school, colleges and universities. Women will hold discussion sessions on various topics from Param Pujya Gurudev’s literature.
2. Girls talents development sessions will be organised. They will help in building their confidence, enhancing their understanding about our Mission and developing their talents and potentials comprehensively.
3. Women Yoga training sessions will be organised at various places.
4. Women will be given training in defensive martial arts, taekwondo, self-defence and civilian defence.
5. Professional women bodies will encouraged to help in projects of serving humanity. Women groups should grow by at least five fold every year. Motivation sessions will also be held.
6. Mata Bhagwati Vastalya Yojana will have some helpful activities for community in which will have women have key roles. Women will run Bal Sanskar Shala. Its number should increase manifold. They should be run by women.
7. Women Awakening Campaigns will be spearheaded based on the driving force of compassion and empathy (Samvedna), good values (Sanskar), personal safety (Suraksha), self-reliance (Swavlamban) and empowerment (Sashaktikaran). Progress reports should be sent every three months.
They are the core of our organization. There should be area wise systematic organizations of parijans.
1. They should actively engage in the activities of our Mission. We should make devoted efforts to increase their numbers fivefold at the end of the first three years.
2. Their main role will be in propagation of Pujya Gurudev’s literature. They will help in holding book fairs at various places. One thousand new books will be published from material extracted from Vangamaya (the collection of Pujya Gurudev’s life work) and Kranti literature written since 1995. They will be pocket sized booklets and will be easier to promote.
3. Gram Teertha Yojana (Making each village as good as a pilgrimage place): Establishing Sewa Prakalpa (charitable help units). Various schemes from Chaupal Swadhyaya (people gathering in small groups and studying Mission’s literature together) to Cleanliness drive.
4. Pragyapiths, Shaktipiths and Chetna Kendras will take up responsibility to be 100% efficient. They should take up various projects and bring them to completion.
5. Well organised system for promotion and distribution of Akhand Jyoti, Yug Nirman Yojana and Pragya Abhiyan. Increase their readership by at least three times.
6. Qualitative development of Bhartiya Sanskriti Gyan Pariksha curriculum. To increase the number of student taking the examination to 10 million by 2020.
7. Massive campaign to propagate Pujay Gurudev and Param Vandaniya Mataji’s speeches far and wide so that it reaches every household.
Guru Purnima is celebrated every year on the full moon day of the lunar month Aashad to strengthen spiritual bonds between Guru (spiritual teacher) and Shishya (disciple). It is difficult to tell for how long Guru Purnima is being celebrated in our country. But we can certainly tell that Guru-shishya tradition and the glory of Guru are as old as our Indian culture. This festival is also celebrated as Vyasa Purnima in the honor of Sage Veda Vyasa. This year Guru Purnima or Vyasa Purnima is falling on July 9, 2017.
In the history of India, Maharshi Veda Vyasa was the first person who collected, compiled and composed the entire repository of knowledge. This way he gave our country rich heritage of noble thoughts and a treasury of knowledge. Guru-shishya tradition played the pivotal role of disseminating that knowledge across generations. When wet clay is put in a mould, it takes the shape of the mould. Life of a Guru is such a mould in whose imprint many lives are carved out. If the mould is good, then the disciples that are shaped by them also turn out to be good.
The tradition of Upanishads thrived in India. The term “Upanishad” derives from the Sanskrit words “upa” (near), “ni” (down) and “shad” (to sit) — so it means “sitting down near” a spiritual teacher to receive instruction. In ancient India, whatever knowledge disciple gained by sitting at the feet of Guru was termed as Upanishad. Whenever a disciple sits near Guru, Upanishad is a natural outcome. This has happened many times in the modern era too.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the saint of Dakshineswar used to sit in the temple on the banks of Ganga. His disciples would gather around. Some of them were bachelors while some were householders. In that gathering, some used to be elderly people, some of them elites and some family men. There would be some light fun, conversations and a flow of eternal knowledge. A disciple of Paramhansa, Mahendranath Gupta, also known as Master Mahasaya, compiled such sagacious conversations under the title ‘Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrit’(in Begali).
Sri Aurobindo had a few selective disciples with whom he spent his evenings. He met these people even during his years of solitary sadhana. Nirodbaran, Nolini Kanto Gupta, Manilal were among them. There would be many discussions and conversations that were pregnant with occult knowledge. Nirodbaran was a good doctor and he was the one who compiled these conversations under the title ‘Talks with Sri Aurobindo’
There are many types of relationships. Some are related to our physical body, e.g. mother, father, brother, sister etc. Some relationships take birth from emotions; e.g. wife-husband, friends etc. However, there are relationships which take birth from the depths of soul. They are termed as soul-kinship or spiritual relationships. One such relationship is that of Guru and disciple.
A guru understands his disciples in totality. This is the only relationship in which a person is understood so holistically. Others will know a person, but in bits and pieces. A mother understands her child, but she cannot do so completely because when her child grows into youth, his personality changes so much that a mother might wonder if he is the same child she nurtured. The relationship between a wife and husband is very deep. They understand each other very well. Even then, there are instances when they might find themselves as complete strangers. It is only the relationship of Guru and disciple that the Guru understands the disciple completely. His understanding is not superficial. He knows his entire personality, his chitta and samskaras too. In addition to this life, he also knows the past lives of the disciple.
Purnima or Full moon signifies the quality of giving completely and receiving completely. In this context Saint Kabir says – ‘kahat kabir mein poora paaya’. Only a person who can give completely can receive completely. If you hesitate to give, then there will be a problem in receiving too. In this world, people believe more in getting than giving. But one should remember that those who do not know how to give cannot receive. Sri Aurobindo has written that intense aspiration, self-consecration and total surrender are the principles behind the relationship between guru and disciple.
Emperor Bali was performing a series of Ashwamedha Yagyas. He had completed ninety nine of them and the hundredth was in progress. Lord Vamana (Incarnation of Lord Vishnu) went in the form of a short-statured Brahmin and asked Bali for three steps of land. Bali smiled looking at the dwarf Vamana and his feet. Bali’s Guru, Sage Sukracharya however warned him to check what he was granting and to whom. He also said that Lord Narayana had come and what tests he might put forth was to be seen. Bali responded that it was indeed a great fortune that the Lord himself was at his door and was asking for something. Sukracharya did not object to this emotion, though he was not happy. The goal of the Guru is to facilitate the meeting of disciple and God. So, when the Lord came to the kingdom of Bali, he granted three steps of land. Bali was free from attachment and was a responsible king too. However, he still had the ego that he was a great philanthropist. When Vamana measured heaven and earth in two steps, he asked where to place his third step. Bali offered his head because that was the source of ego. So, in the third step, Bali gave his ego and the Lord took his ego.
Goswami Tulsidas says - bandau guru pada kanj kripa sindhu nararoop hari – Hari takes human form as Guru and lives amidst us. But we cannot see God with our naked eyes because he is formless. This formless God comes to teach us in the form of Guru. He guides us so that we may realize our true self, removes our ignorance, identifies our weaknesses and hones our personality. We just need to take one step towards him and he will awaken us and illuminate us. We are leading our life almost unconsciously. There is no awareness. We are merely bound by the raw threads of relationships. We have forgotten the strong and everlasting relationship of that of the soul. Guru teaches us, warns us and reminds us of our life. He reminds us of our relationship with our soul. He tells us about the pinnacle of human consciousness. He presents us with the example of his own life - A life, a personality, a pure consciousness, so pious and pure that it is very rare to find in the world. The Guru says – ‘See, if this can happen to me, it can happen to you as well. I have received the grace and I have understood, so can you. You do not need to run around, you just need to be where you are and be aware.’
There are only two doors to knowledge – intellect and love. Through the door of intellect, we understand the world and through love we understand the supreme God and Guru. The guru we see externally, when installed in our heart becomes the Sadguru. As long as his presence is merely outside, he is known as guru. When his presence is felt in our life, our breath and our heart, he is never separate from us. He is within us. He is present within us as the source of all knowledge and emotions. We will never lack anything after that. Only a person who can become a disciple like this can understand the Guru. When the disciple surrenders himself more and more, then the Guru’s presence is felt more and more within the self. If we can achieve this, then we have truly celebrated Guru Purnima.
Apart from the significant physical and medical applications like purification of the environment, curing bodily ailments and augmenting vitality and physical potentials, yagyopathy is also found to be of immense use in treatment of psychosomatic disorders and psychological and psychiatric problems. The domain of mental ailments, though invisible is much wider and intense than those of the varieties of bodily diseases. Almost the entire human society is suffering from these in one form or the other. The roots of over 90% of the somatic diseases too lie in the hidden folds of the patient’s mind. Confusion, illusion, fear, suspicion, fury, excitement, whimsical attitude, etc are common mental deficiencies that are often found in most of us to some extent. If left unchecked, their persistence and silent growth turn an otherwise normal fellow into a sort of cranky or ‘half-mad’ one. Depression, insomnia, and varieties of puzzling psychiatric cases and insanity are more painful than the bodily sufferings. Accidie, aboulia, amnesia, dullness, inefficiency, etc are offshoots of mental illness of some other kinds that lead to sufferings like poverty, backwardness, insult, negligence, scorn etc.
The gamut of psychological and psychiatric ailments appears to have grown many-fold in the recent times. In spite of advancement of medical sciences and technologies, there is no effective remedy for any kind of mental problem or deficiency. Pain-killers, tranquilizers, steroids are tried frequently for somehow giving some kind of ‘relief’. Soon their ‘magical’ effect is lost and puts the patient in greater mental (and also physical) suffering. The current practice of giving carbon dioxide based therapy and electrical shocks in case of psychiatric disorder are also far from being effective and scientifically perfect. Here again the side-effects owe high risk. The treasure of scriptural knowledge and the results of experimental studies on yagyopathy offer it as a light of hope with great potentials for mental treatment and enlightenment.
The sublimated vital elements and herbal medicines inhaled in Yagya first reach the brain and then to the lungs and other parts – the gross as well as the subtle components, of the body. Thus, it has a direct healing effect on brain-born diseases and complexities. The body absorbs the heat of its sacrificial fire and inhales – through the skin-pores and respiration – the vapours of sublimated herbs. This elevates the level of free radicals – antioxidants, and negative ions and thus upon reaching the brain and the nerves eliminates the major cause of mental tensions. The specific energy currents educed by yagyagni and mantra sakti have significant remedial effect on the disorders and diseases ranging from headache, migraine, cold to mental dullness, intellectual deficiencies, depressions, insomnia, intemperance, epilepsy, schizophrenia and varieties of manias.
The unique impact of mantra sakti in yagyopathy is of paramount importance. The configurations of special syllables in mantra and the Vedic patterns of chanting them during Yagya are derived from absolute research (by the rishis) on the deeper sciences of - gross and subliminal sonic vibrations, music and consciousness. The collective chanting of mantras in adept rhythm in front of yagyagni magnifies the mantra-sakti exponentially and expands the mantra-vibrations to unlimited heights in all dimensions. The superimposition of sound waves generates immense power in ordinary case too; there are many familiar examples that illustrate this fact in day-to-day life. The soldiers are advised to disrupt their march-fast while walking over a bridge; else, the vibrations produced by their joint footsteps would shake and might even break the bridge. The synchronized tunes of sound can break a glass cup; at greater intensities it can even quiver and crack the mountains. The explosive sound of dynamite often creates a tremor like vibrations in distant areas too. Such loud sounds in the nearby places are also found to cause abortions and sudden heart failures. The shrilling sound of a bugle kills the microorganisms on its way. The special tune of siren sparks new courage and enthusiasm in the hearts of warriors. The magical effects of music in increasing one’s potentials and creative talents and its therapeutic applications are also well known.
The power of sound in mantras is far more refined, intense and deep. Apart from the gross impact of the specific patterns of sonic waves generated by mantras, the mantra-sakti is also endowed with the limitless subliminal force of the spiritually enlightened consciousness of the sadhakas and yajakas. This spiritual effect is intensified by the purity of the mind and heart, devout determination and shraddha of the latter. The esoteric science of mantras was so advanced in the times of yore that mantras were used as weapons and missiles; in transmutation of a sick and dying body into a youthful, strong one. Mantras used to effectuate timely materialization of the curses and boons of the rishis and great sadhakas who had attained mastery in this supernatural science.
The Yagya-energy induces unique force in expanding the effect of mantra-sakti almost instantaneously. The modern science affirms three basic streams of energy indwelling in Nature – sound, heat and light. Of these, the velocity of heat and light is unimaginably greater than that of sound. In the process of Yagya, the natural conjugation of the enormous heat and Yagya-energy with mantra-sakti and the collision of the superimposed sonic waves of collective mantra chanting with the quivering flames of the yagyagni induce infinite speed and amplification of the mantra-sakti and help it expand up to cosmic domains in feasible time.
Soft voice of a person is amplified and made audible to thousands of people around and at distant places with the help of loudspeakers via the power of electrical energy. The electromagnetic power enables the voice of a person reach every corner of the globe through the wireless radio signals. Television enables such transmission of photographs and three-dimensional images too. Similarly, the energy of yagyagni works like the ‘amplifier’ and ‘transmitter’ for the sonic waves of mantra. The mantra sakti expressed by the spiritually purified voice of the sadhakas (yajakas) thus works like a Sabdabhedi Baña and induces intense impact deep inside the minds of people participating in the Yagya. Its divine vibrations spun a sublime aura of spiritual and sonic energy in the distant surroundings too and generate a unique ambience of blissful enlightenment and peace.
The splendid compounding of mantra sakti, Yagya-energy and intrinsic determination of the awakened inner self of the yajakas during the process of Yagya erects a sublime furnace... that melts and evaporates the vices of the participants. It burns out their insidious instincts, evil tendencies, other mental weaknesses and aberrations including – erogenous passions, excitements, anger, jealous, hatred, fear, anxiety, whims, tensions, etc and refines and calms down their minds. Simultaneous with this refinement, there is a compensating energizing elevation and moulding of their mental body that enables enlightened development of their personality and arousal of their hidden talents and brilliance. Yagyopathy offered by accomplished sadhakas and experienced yatis thus appears to be offering the elixir for total health.
The effects of yagya are not confined to the removal of atmospheric pollution and medicinal purification. It is only the gross facet. The sublime effects are more intensive and amazing – prominent among these is the parjanya.
Parjanya implies sublime showers of streams of vital energy and spiritual strength from the cosmic layers (higher space). As the natural fertilizers add to the potency of soil, the unique confluence of mantra-shakti, thermal force and sublimated herbal energy in yagya also elevates the vital energy in the atmosphere while purifying the air. This praña is dissolved in the air. We inhale it with oxygen by inner determination during the deep breathing yoga-exercises of prañayma. The flow of fresh air in the morning is found to be rich in prana. The larger the scale of yagyas and longer their duration, the greater would be these sublime and gross effects.
The parjanya generated by yagya augments the level of prana in the air. This effect is dense around the yagya and is also pervaded in the wider space and continues to expand with the flow of air with the process of yagya. If we pour some oil drops in a pot containing water, soon the oil would spread on the entire surface of water. In a similar way, the energy of yagya expands all around in the open space. Its praña is also dissolved in the rain, enshowered through the energized space and thus gets absorbed in the soil and the crops and vegetation. The soil irrigated by it is found to be more fertile and the grains, fruits, vegetables grown there are tasty and have higher nutritious potency. The milk of the cows, which graze the grass grown on such land is also of excellent quality. Drinking the milk and eating the fruits, vegetables energized by yagya increases our stamina, resistance against infections and diseases, our vital power, courage and mental trenchancy.
In fact the cosmic flow of praña is omnipresent in the subliminal realms of Nature. This is what enables all activities, movements and evolution. Because of its presence, all creatures are called praña. This is the source of our vital strength. If it were present in substantial amount in the body, a visible lean and skinny fellow would also be very strong and healthy. Its elevated levels are expressed in mental radiance, intellectual trenchancy and talents. Its alleviation on the contrary, would turn a chubby, fat, visibly healthy chap rather weak, lethargic and dull. Reduction of this subtle energy in the plants and trees would diminish the shining beauty of flowers, potency and nutritious power of the fruits, vegetables and grains. Decreased levels of praña in the air, despite substantial amount of oxygen would lessen its vitality. Even deep breathing of this otherwise ‘fresh’ air would not have desired healthy effects. People living at such places are found to lack vital strength, resistance and mental trenchancy. The parjanya educed by yagya compensates for this deficiency.
The parjanya of yagya energizes the surrounding atmosphere with intense flow of cosmic praña. The holy Gita mentions this as the ‘rain’ of parjanya – generated by yagya, which is enshowered from the sublime domains in cosmic expansion and which sustains the life and vigour of all living beings and induces new zeal and delight in every dimension.
In order to get an idea of the various chemical changes which take place, it is essential to know the various substances offered in Yagya.
Wood has to be dry and free from dust, insects and worms. The wood is cut into small sticks of varying lengths called Samidhas according to the size of the altar or Agnikunda.
The principal types of wood used are the following:-
I. Sandal-wood (Santalum Album) II. Agar and Tagar wood (Aquilana Malaccensis and Valeriana Wallchii) III. Deodar (Cedrys Libani) IV. Mango (Mangifera Indica) V. Dhak or Palash (Butea Frondosa) VI. Bilva (Aegle Marmelos) VII. Pipal (Ficus Religiosa) VIII. Bargad (Ficus Bengalensis) IX. Shami (Proposis Spicigera) X. Gular (Ficus Glomerata)
In addition to wood, various Havishya or Havan samagri are offered in Yagya. This can be divided into the following four groups:
(B) Odoriferous Substances:
These are - saffron, musk, agar, tagar, chandan, illaychi, jayphal, javitri and camphor.
(C) Substances with Healthy Constituents:
These are clarified butter (ghee), milk, fruits and cereals like wheat, rice, barley, til, kangu, munga, chana, arhar, masur or peas.
(D) Sweet Substances:
These usually are - sugar, dried grapes, honey or chhuhara.
(E) Medicinal Herbs:
These are used as per specific requirement. Some common herbs are; Somalata or Giloya, Brahmi, Shankhpushpi, Nagkesar, Mulhati,Red Chandan, Baheda, Sonth and Harad.
Now-a-days Havan samagri is readily available in the market consisting of the following substances in a crude powder form: Saw dust of sandal-wood and pine wood, the agar and tagar wood chips, kapurkachari, gugal,nagarmotha, balchhaar or jatamansi,narkachura, sugandhbala, illayachi, jayphal, cloves and dalchini.
Products of Combustion
At the outset, it can be said that the interpretation of process of combustion in a Yagya in a physical scientific terms is rather difficult due to the following reasons:
(i) The properties of substances which are used are vastly varying; (ii) The conditions under which combustion takes place remain unspecified. The products of combustion depend on the following
Factors like:- (a) The nature of substances used and their proportions, (b) Temperature attained, (c) Controlled supply of air, (d) Interaction amongst the various products formed.
Vapourization of wood: Besides complete combustion of cellulose material of wood, it is also subjected to vaporization. This happens due to the way Samidhas are arranged in the Agnikunda, the conditions of temperature and air supply which prevail in it.
Steam Volatilization of Odorous Substances: The temperature attained in the Kunda varies between 250°C and 600°C, while in actual flames it can go as high as 1200°C to 1300°C. The boiling points of volatile constituents get diffused over in the surrounding atmosphere. Also when cellulose and other carbohydrates undergo combustion, steam is formed in copious quantities by the combination of hydrogen of organic substances with the oxygen. This is how the substances like thymol, eugenol, pinene, terpinol etc., are carried over in the surroundings and the aroma of a Yagya can be smelt even at a considerable distance. In addition to steam, smoke is also given out in copious quantities and solid particles existing in a highly divided state offer sufficient surface for mechanical diffusion. Thus smoke also functions as colloidal particles for diffusion of volatile aromatic substances depending on temperature and direction of the wind.
Combustion of Fatty Substances: The fatty substances used in Yagya are mainly ghee and other fatty substances of vegetable origin. Ghee helps in rapid combustion of cellulose of wood and keeps the fire alight. All fatty substances used are combinations of fatty acids, which volatilize easily. The combustion of glycerol portion gives acetone bodies, pyruvic aldehyde and glyoxal etc. The hydrocarbons produced in the reactions again undergo slow combustion and as a result methyl and ethyl alcohols, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, formic acid and acetic acids are formed.
Photo-Chemical process: When all the volatile substances are diffused in the surrounding atmosphere, these are further subjected to photochemical reactions in the sunlight. This may be the reason why it has been recommended that Yagya should be performed in the presence of strong sunlight. These changes occur in the ultra-violet and other short wavelength regions. The products of fumigation thus go photochemical decomposition, oxidation and reduction. To some extent even CO2 is also reduced to form aldehyde as follows: CO2 + H2O + 112,000 cal. = HCHO = O2
From an environmental angle, reduction of CO2 produced in Yagya as above and liberation of oxygen cannot be overemphasized.
The industrial wastes, rapid urbanization, deforestation, air and water pollution, disturbances in the ozone layer - formation, radioactive waves etc., have destabilized the human, animal and plant life cycles. The ecological imbalance caused by these acts of ‘civilized men’ has resulted into disastrous threat not only to human survival but to the life as a whole on our planet. Till recently it was accepted that research into science can furnish answer to all of man’s problems. Today we find increasing number of diseases including malfunctioning of body organs due to increasing severity of pollution in the atmosphere. Ozone layer depletion has been causing ailments like sunburn, skin cancer, cataracts and weakening of the immune system. Viruses are becoming drug-resistant and showing consistent growth trends.
Experimental studies show that the incidence of physical ailments, sickness and disease are reduced in the houses, where the Yagya (Agnihotra) is regularly performed because it creates a pure, nutritional and medicinal atmosphere. It renews the brain cells, revitalizes the skin, purifies blood and prevents growth of pathogenic organisms. Agnihotra is basically a healing process. ‘Heal the atmosphere and the healed atmosphere will heal you’- is the Modus Operandi. Purification of environment through the constituent electrons of the substances fumigated in the Yagya is an obvious effect of this process. The observation of some distinguished scientists is noteworthy in this regard.
Dr. Hafkine has mentioned that - “mixing ghee and sugar and burning them creates smoke which kills the germs of certain diseases and secretion takes place from some glands related to the wind-pipe, which fill our heart and mind with pleasure. Sugars present in Havishya have great power to purify the atmosphere. It kills the germs of T.B., measles, smallpox and cow-pox, remarks Prof. Tilward. According to Dr. Shirowich, a Russian scientist has remarked that (i) Cow’s milk contains great power of protection from atomic radiation;(ii) Houses having cow-dung covered floors enjoy complete protection from atomic radiation; (iii) If cow’s ghee is put into Yagya fire, its fumes lessen the effect of atomic radiation to a great extent.
The medicinal fumes emanating from Agnihotra have been observed by researchers in the field of microbiology to be clearly bacteria lethal in nature. These eradicate bacteria and other micro-organisms, which are the root cause of illness and diseases. This must be the reason why the incidence of physical ailments, sickness and diseases becomes less in the households, where Agnihotra is regularly performed. Even without going into detailed chemical bacteriology, it can be stated that performance of Yagya leads to purification of air.
Removal of Foul Odours
Under steam volatilization, the various volatile oils get diffused in the surrounding atmosphere along with steam and smoke. Since these oils have distinct good smell, the foul odours are automatically replaced. This aroma can be experienced easily in the surroundings when Yagya is performed due to diffusion of substances like thymol, eugenol, pine, terpinol and oils of sandal-wood, camphor and clove.
Removal of Bacteria
The partial oxidation of hydrocarbons and decomposition of complex organic substances produce formal aldehyde which is a powerful antiseptic. It is also interesting to note that germicidal action of formaldehyde is only effective in the presence of water vapour which is also produced in large quantities in Yagya. The use of formaldehyde spray for disinfecting of walls, ceiling etc., is common and such a spray is automatically produced when Yagya is performed.
The oxidation of hydrocarbons also produces formic acid and acetic acid both of which are good disinfectants. Use of formic acid for preservation of fruits and that of acetic acid in preserving vinegar is a common practice. The antiseptic and antibiotic effects of fumes of Yagya have also been examined by conducting suitable experiments on rabbits and mice and it has been established that fumes emitted in Yagya are powerful antibiotic. Agnihotra ash purifies and cleanses the water making it fit for drinking.
Removal of insects
There are non-bacterial parasites like flies, ringworm, dice, fleas etc., which are harmful to living beings but immune to bactericides. Such insects are generally immune to ordinary reagents; however they either get killed or are driven away, when they come in contact with the fumes of volatile oils like camphor diffused in the environment.
Effects on Plants and Vegetation
The disinfection of air is not only useful to animal life but also helps plant’s life, though the bacteria responsible for diseases in both may be different. The aromatic substances during Yagya get diffused in the air and offer protection to plant life against harmful organisms. This ensures healthy plant growth. Agnihotra’s atmosphere and ash can be used as adjutants in the ‘Natural farming’ methods - also known as the Agnihotra farming methods. It is a holistic concept of growing plants in a healthy atmosphere and maintaining ecological balance by performing Agnihotra (Yagya) in the middle of the farm and using the Yagya - ash as a fertilizer. It is not only safe and productive but also holistic in its approach towards the environment.
Role of CO2 generated in Yagya
Consignment of the wood and other organic maters to flames has been always controversial because of generation of CO and CO2, as well as the increase in consequent ‘green house’ effect. It had been argued that performance of Yagya also produces CO and CO2. It should be noted here that the way in which the Samidhas and Havishya are burnt in Yagya is a process of slow combustion at higher temperature. The burning of coal in factories or in the household fire involves rapid combustion, where oxygen is sucked in large quantities and enormous CO2 is emitted. However, in the slow combustion taking place in the process of Yagya, small quantity of O2 is utilized & a meagre CO2 is emitted that poses no threat to the environment. In fact, whatever CO2 is generated it is readily absorbed by the surrounding vegetation and the CO2 cycle is strengthened.
The other important aspect is the fact that CO2 produced in Yagya is not always free CO2 but it remains mixed with other aromatic oils and antiseptic products. It therefore, acts as a vehicle in transporting such products to distant surroundings. The use of CO2 as a cerebral stimulant to assist the patients suffering from lack of ventilation is common in medical world. Its use to control and cure many mental disorders is also known to medical science. Small amounts of CO2 inhaled by the persons performing Yagya acts as a stimulant and more and more aromatic fumes are inhaled which help in curing mental disorders. Particularly effective results with respect to the elimination or reduction in radiation were achieved through Yagya’s fire and ash. These observations are made by Dr. L. Maela Anatoninhowska of Poland after using P.S.I. techniques.