Concentration is essential on every path.
MESSAGE FROM SHRI SHIVARUDRA BALAYOGI MAHARAJ - November 10, 2002
Dehra Dun Ashram in India: Situated at the foot hills of the Himalayas, with a background of beautiful green trees and mountains, - The Dehra Dun Ashram, established by Shri Guru Maharaj Shivabalayogi in 1972, is an ideal place for meditation sadhana, with its peaceful atmosphere. After a beautiful one hour meditation at the Feet of Baba Shivarudrabalayogi, devotees heard Baba talking on meditation and spiritual values and dharma.
Baba said, "Dhyana is important in every path. Even spiritually also, whether you are going on the path of bhakti and worship or any other method, your attention, concentration of the mind, is essential. Even if when you want to serve the humanity physically also - like serving and helping the poor and needy, the handicapped, the terminally ill people, and so on - your service gets converted into sadhana only when you are able to offer all your services to the Supreme Being, God. Offering to God means not simply through an utterance of words through your mouth. It should be sincere and your attention should be (mentally) on the Divine Guru, God. My Father, the Divine Guru has always said that, "I (the Divine Guru) will test for your sincerity and real devotion. I will test your ability to focus your attention on Me (the Divine Guru)." So dhyana is important. Otherwise you will end up becoming more egoistic and arrogant, and everything will be simply a show business and it will take you nowhere.
"Even in the bhakti path also, unless you are able to focus your mental attention on My Father, The Divine Guru, your Worship or bhakti will be useless. Say you go to a place of worship or even at your home, you offer prayers, flowers, incense, etc., at all times it is essential that your mind's attention is on the Divine. Otherwise such a prayer and worship will be a waste of time and energy. Your attention on the Divine Guru is dhyana meditation. In bhakti you are trying to imagine the Divine Guru and in the process you always limit, because mind can not show the Divine Guru absolutely. This is because what it (mind) does is only through its own imagination and imagination can not be absolute. Just like you cannot measure the space and you can not even imagine the space as it is, absolutely. So even in bhakti path also your devotion will be completely successful only when you are able to loose all imaginations and become single-conscious and single-pointed. After this is possible, when you are able to surrender totally without any imaginations, then the Divine Guru will drink your ego and take you up.
"Many people start meditation (trying to meditate) and abandon saying, "It is very difficult and not possible." In bhakti also the rule is that you should be able to concentrate your attention. There shall not be any other thought in your consciousness. Then (when you find yourself having other thoughts) do you stop worshiping? No, I don't think so. You will continue worshiping in the hope that one day God, The Divine Guru, will shower Grace. In the same way, when you sit to try to meditate, if you find it difficult, do not abandon the practise. Be determined, once again, though it is very difficult, it is not impossible. Your faith in the name of the Divine Guru can work wonders. So, Faith and Devotion go together. If you have Faith, you will be Devoted, and if you have Devotion, you will have Faith. Without the other, one will never be there. If you try and meditate regularly, you will automatically develop devotion, knowledge, wisdom, sincerity, contentment, well the most elusive - peace. You will become conscious of your Real Self, that is Immortal.
"For faith, concentration and to be conscious of the Divine Guru, let me tell you the Story of Saint Kanaka Dasa, who lived in South India, in what is now the state of Karnataka, about 500 years ago, during the reign of Vijayanagara Kings:
"He was a cowherd boy, innocent and honest. One day when he was on the outskirts of his village with his buffalos, he saw some scholars worshiping God nearby underneath a tree. Attracted, the boy went and from a distance, with all his humility, prostrating before them, prayed to them to teach a way, so that he could also worship and know God. The learned scholars out of false pride and arrogance laughed at him and said, 'Your friends and companions are buffalos. What worship can you learn to know about God?' When the boy repeatedly prayed and requested, they, out of cunningness, told the boy, 'OK, let us see what you can do. Go and sit under the tree and repeat "Buffalo, Buffalo".' Laughing they went away. The boy, with all his innocence and total faith, considering them to be his Gurus, went and sat under a tree and with all devotion and concentration started repeating "Buffalo, Buffalo". The legend has it that the god of death, Yama Dharmaraja, appeared before him sitting on a buffalo and guided him as a torch bearer. By initiating the boy into the name 'Keshava', one of the names of Lord Krishna, ultimately he became a Realized Soul by doing Tapas. He came to be known as Kanaka Das.
"Under the guidance of Lord Yama, the death-god, the young boy adopted Saint Vyasa Theertha as the Guru, who was a well known Saint of that time. In the Guru's Ashram, other students always felt jealous of Kanaka Dasa and always held him in derision. One day, the Guru thought of teaching a lesson to those other students who always made fun of Kanaka Dasa. By giving one banana to each of the students, including Kanaka Dasa, the Guru said, 'All of you listen. Today all of you go out and eat this banana where nobody would be watching you eating the banana and come back before sunset. Whoever comes first, finishing the banana, would get first prize.' All the students went and one by one arrived after finishing the banana. After all had arrived, Kanaka Dasa had not yet arrived. Students were waiting impatiently with gossiping and making fun of Kanaka thus, 'Oh! The venerable Guru gave such a simple task of eating banana, with nobody watching. This idiot Kanaka could not fulfil the Guru's orders.' One said, 'Hey! The Guru wanted to test our wisdom and certainly this Kanaka has failed . The Guru will definitely expel him from the Ashram.' Finally after the sunset, Kanaka Dasa came and placed the banana at the feet of The Guru. He begged for pardon saying, 'Venerable Master, ever since You ordered in the morning that we should go and eat this banana where nobody watched, my Lord, this humble servant of Your Holiness failed in the task that You entrusted, because, Master, I tried to the best of my ability to eat without being watched. But wherever I went and tried at the places where nobody else watched, to my amazement Oh! Gurudeva I saw everywhere Lord Krishna, the Supreme Being was watching me, with all His smiles. Hence I failed because I could cheat everybody else but not God as I saw HIM watching from the depth of hearts'. All other students were stunned at this and felt terribly ashamed. Then the Guru ridiculed them by saying, "Look at Kanaka Dasa. When you all were wasting your energies in gossip and jealous acts, this humble disciple of mine was busy paying his attention, dhyana, on the All Pervading Omnipresent Supreme Being'."
After Babaji's talk, the devotees chanted some mantras with Baba Maharaj and after some beautiful bhajans, devotees sang aarathi to Shri Gurudeva SHIVABALAYOGI and Baba Shivarudra Balayogi. Later free food Prasadam was served. Baba has conveyed His love and blessings to all devotees.
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