In this discourse, Swamiji explains that most people are not suited for Jnana Yoga, the path of reflection and contemplation. They must opt to follow the path of interactional sadhana, Karma Yoga. Both paths lead to the same goal.
Discussing in detail the path of Karma Yoga, Swamiji says that one must transform one’s attitude towards work so that it becomes a yoga, free of clinging to the objective results.One must develop samatva and eliminate raga-dvesha as well as desires. Raga and dvesha reside in the senses, mind and buddhi and they tend to cover the Soul knowledge.
The sadhana or pursuit is to first establish the intelligence on the Soul. Then, using intelligence as a guide to the mind, one must sublimate the senses and thereby transcend raga-dvesha.
Swamiji points to the four paths for Sadhana, as presented in Bhagavad Gita.
1. Develop samatva
2. Have Yajna vision-- all activities to be performed as an offering to God.
3. Transcend Gunas (The Rajo guna and Tamo Guna to be transcended by developing Sattva Guna, then transcend that too).
4. Surrender - total reliance on the Supreme.
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Narayanashrama Tapovanam, an Ashram located in Thrissur, Kerala, embodies the unique tradition of Guru-shishya Parampara, disseminating Brahmavidya (Science of Self-knowledge) through regular classes, satsangs, and above all, through learning in the association of a realized spiritual master.
Those days, there were many rats staying in various pockets of the tiled roof. My room had a very low ceiling and I could even touch the roof tiles. At night, I would see big, big rats running around just near me.
I got back to my daily chores, but the scene remained in my mind – the old man’s wrinkled face, his gleaming eyes, the contentment he enjoyed, his refusal to accept more than ‘his minimum needs’! How many of us can take such a stand?
Bhakti is not so much in the worship with flowers, garlands, lamps or incense sticks. Neither it is in chanting His names and praises. It is verily in living and acting according to the wish of the Lord, pleasing Him, imbibing qualities and attitudes that He wants us to imbibe.