Nishkam Pravrutti Marg: The Path of Selfless Service, part 1

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What is the motive of a human life?

AhAra-nidrA-bhaya-maithunam cha
samAnam_etat_pashubhir_narANAm |
dharmo hi teShAm adhiko visheSho
dharmeNa hInAH pashubhiH narANAm ||

Aahar means food, Nidra means Sleep, Bhaya means Fear, Maithuna means Intercourse.
The sensation for food, sleep, fear and intercourse are common among the human and the animal. Dharma is the only thing that distinguishes the human from other animals. Without Dharma the human too falls in to the category of animals by his way of his life.

What is Dharma? Normally the word Dharma is translated in to English as the Religion. Religion means a kind of faith in God or way of worship. But fundamentally the definition of Dharma is much wider than this. Dharma is not only the way of worship or some belief or faith. Dharma means the code of conduct, the way of life.

I often say that the Sadhana (Spiritual Practice) is not just restricted to what you do in front of your altar. Sadhana is no just some rituals and chantings, the whole life is a Sadhana. The word Sadhana means the practice that helps to obtain Sadhya (The Goal). Even if the goal of a devotees life is the God, he cannot ignore the creation of the God because every creation carries the signature of the Creator.

However a person may live, he cannot be free from performing actions. One performs action mainly in three ways :

Kayena : By body
Vaachena : By speech
Manasen : By mind

Those who apparently lead a life of ascetic order or in seclusion are also not free from performing Karmas. Remember that denial of social responsibilities is not the state of detachment. It is purely escapism. Such Sadhakas only end up far away from the God. The biggest hurdle a Sadhaka faces is from her or his own self. I will tell one very interesting experience during my journey in to Himalayas.

Like it happens with the most of the Yogis I too was fascinated by great Himalayas. In my early youth at the age of abour 20 years I had travelled through the great Himalayas in search of self. I will write in detail about it some other time. Here I am writing about my meeting with a Yogi whom I met during my quest.

He was a Bengali gentle man in his late forties. We will call him Bengali Baba. He had been living in a small cave like shelter of rocks which was covered with some wood available in Himalayan region. When I reached to his small Aashram I was quite tired and had not talked with any one for many days. So was very happy to see a hut like set up from a distance and also felt that this must be an opportunity to see some great sadhaka because this place was far away from any small village or agricultural land. But as I had experienced earlier many such secluded shelters were abandoned so may be this place too can be empty.

Nevertheless I decided to advance towards this place. If it was abandoned then also I had an opportunity to stay there for a couple of days, may be more if it suited me to do my sadhana. Wind was blowing very hard. By now my body had developed an inner system to survive in to this climate. As I reached closer I could see a human figure coming out of the place and stood there looking towards me. As I got closer I saw his figure more clearly. He had a considerably good height and a fair complexion. He had grown quite a big beard. Even I had a small beard now. Physically he looked very fit and was standing with a straight spine. I could understand that he must be practicing Hath Yoga Asanas regularly. Only some graying hair in his beard exposed his age. As I reached at an ear shot distance I shouted aloud “Jay Bhole Nath” which he responded very calmly with “Jay Bhole Nath”.

During all these days of my travelling in Himalayas I had happily understood that here all sects ended in to acceptance of the Supremacy of Bhagavan Shri Shivji. No need to look at the Tilak to greet. Tilak or no Tilak, it was always “Har har Mahadeva” or “Jay Bhole Baba” or “Jay Shiv Shambhu”. So symbolic it is. Like most of the great rivers of India originate their roots in Himalayas, sects originated their root in the God Supreme, the Lord of Mercy, Bhagavan Shiv. As people living in planes created their identity like “from the region of Ganga or Yamuna” later on all identifying themselves as “Shaivas, Shakts, Vaishnavas and so on”. No one bothers to reach the root, neither of the rivers nor of the faith.

As I reached closer he looked at me with quite astonishment. “You look very young” he said. I smiled. He welcomed me and asked me to sit down any where I want. I thanked him and sat down. It was a wonderful place naturally created by the placing of some big rocks. It looked like a cave but was not a cave. It was covered with some wooden branches to safe guard the inhabitant from snow storms and heavy winds as I understood. He observed me carefully. I smiled. My body must have looked like a house of wounds because I had just recovered from frost bites before a few days. All extra fat had vanished. I had not looked in to a mirror for weeks now so difficult to describe my own self in that condition. All I could tell about how I must have looked was by the way my hands and legs looked. I have yet not found words to describe limbs in such rotten condition. The only positive thing I can say about my physical condition then today is “I was feeling more energetic than ever.” It was because of the medicinal herb given by that unknown sadhu with big jata whom I whom I had met before few weeks.

I used to eat it bit by bit every day as instructed by that Jatawale Babaji (Holy man with Jata ) as he had a very big Jata ornamenting his head. He had given me a small cloth bag full of this herbs and told me that “ this will last till the end of your journey” and still there was much of this herbs, so I could understood that I had to go a long way further.

To be continued...

by Guruji Shri Shriyogeshvara