Infinite Ways to Infinite Bliss
Excerpts from the discourses/writings of HH Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji of Chennai, India.**
It is natural for birds to fly in a cluster and animals to move about in groups. Man searches for company wherever he goes, be it to a recreation spot or to a place of worship. He even gives up the idea of going if he finds no company!
Who are sadhus? Sadhus are those who wish to sing the Lord and speak and listen to His stories. They wish to do only this and nothing else! They are indeed bhagavatottamas (true, great devotees) and a company with such men is called a satsang. It is this that Andal refers to in Tiruppavai – “koodi irundu kulirndhelor empaavaai”.
Dhyana (meditation), yoga and penance are performed in solitude sans company, but bhakti requires company, as that is the nature of sadhus – they find like-natured people. They don’t nurture hatred for the worldly; they just avoid them. Performing bhajans for half an hour and doing worldly banter for six hours does not make it a satsang. Instead, the devotees should depart as soon as the bhajans are over. Don’t introduce money business in a satsang. Those in a satsang may try to win the favors of the wealthy – such people don’t long for the Lord, they go after the wealthy.
A thousand people doesn’t make a satsang, even with four people, a satsang should remain a satsang.
Just like one can feel the shock when he goes near a high-voltage wire with wet clothes, Maya is waiting to catch hold of man. So one has to be careful!
There was a sage by name Saubari, who did penance for thousands of years under the sea. But when he came out of his samadhi and opened his eyes for a split second, he sighted fishes blissfully swimming through the waters along with their offspring. “Oh! I have wasted my life without growing a family and living with progeny,” he thought. Instantly, he came out of water and got married! King Bharata, another great renunciate, who had given up his kingdom, pleasures, power, friends and family, was toppled over by a new-born deer!
Beware! Wealth, power, fame, pleasures – all are Maya. Give it a little place and it will trounce you. The Lord is the only Truth. Don’t waste this rare human life. Every night, while going to bed, shed tears that you have wasted a day without seeing the Lord. Don’t settle for the life of hell after this life. Don’t get captured in another birth. Possible or impossible, willing or unwilling, willfully or mechanically, keep chanting the Divine Name of God stubbornly. That is the only way out!
Don’t get into philosophical debates. Why do you concern yourself with analyzing if someone is a mahatma or not? How does that bother you? Sincerely cry to the Lord seeking His grace to perform Nama Sankirtan without laziness. Don’t let go of Him until you attain that. When the Divine Name is constantly on your lips, that is enough.
A person who has slightly missed his way en route to an unknown city will inquire and put himself on the right path. Likewise, at times, the strength of the senses may lead you in the wrong path, but correct yourself and put yourself on the right path. Stop advising others. Stop looking at the merits and faults of others. The Almighty will take care of the world.
Keep a log of how you spend the day right from dawn to dusk and when you read the log at night, you will understand how much time you waste in a day!
Based on a Tamil article by Sri Swamiji, Madhuramurali magazine, Aug 2008
**Any discrepancy/lapse in this translated version is the sole responsibility of the person/s who translated the work from Tamil into English.