A View of Santhigiri Ashram

A View of Santhigiri Ashram
Lotus Parnasala and Sahakarana Mandiram , Santhigiri Ashram, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Advance by Doing Good Work

Advance by Doing Good Work
 Guruvani - The Sacred Words of Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru
  (Translated from the original Malayalam)

The religion I believe is of friendship, fraternity and truth. Neither my aim nor my desire (is) to blindly believe and proceed to the path of self-destruction, remaining divided. There are rays of love in all people; I wish that all people live in happiness. I do my individual work with that aim. I wish to bring you to my path, which has been the outcome of my austerities. I consider it as one of my aims.

Now let me clarify what are my ways. Today, our society is completely polluted. Divided it stands and it is advancing towards the depth of total destruction every moment. Nobody has an idea where to go or in which direction. The scenario of all people confusedly looking at each other is usually seen. What is the solution for this? That is what is to be found out. Numerous people are being ruined facing many sorts of difficulties; they go about without hope suffering from chronic diseases that are incurable; financial instability stares at many people. Thus, I see around me a huge crowd of disturbed human society. They do not have any idea about what to do. Sisters and Brothers! You who consider human birth as a curse, I have only one thing to say: I am ready to give you my strength.

What is the strength in me? I know many among you will ask this question. I will tell you in detail. My strength has been earned from never-ending self-denial. I performed austerities for that for several years. I underwent sacrifices for that. Those sacrifices made me what I am; made me different. You might have the desire to know from where and what it is. That is only natural. Before clarifying that, I wish to take you to our tradition, to the core of Indian spirituality.

When we just peep into the spiritual excellence of India, we see that a small group of great sages had worked for the goodness of humanity. They highlighted our Hindu culture from time to time through their austere life. Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and others were the brightest rays of that tradition. The majority of the people had not been able to follow their path. Let us leave it at that and come to our state, Kerala.

Here, three eminent sages were born. In that, first comes Sankaracharya, running down to our memory. The other two are Sri Narayana Guru and Chattambi Swamikal. Their blessings have always been benedictory to our little Kerala. We are seeing its stirrings. However, as ages pass by, many changes are taking place in the minds of the people. A situation has been created that makes it difficult to pass through the ages, keeping unshakable faith in the teachings. There is no use blaming anybody for it. It happens and it can happen.

Today the necessity of providing guidance to the people at particular time periods is much more. That only can give them peace. There had been such guidance behind the existence of Christianity, Islam and all. Several people define it in numerous ways and patterns and describe it in different aspects. Today people have become unable to hang on to old dictums. The revival of different sects is a consequence of this.

It does not end there. It will exist as an unending process, as long as men are on the face of this earth. There are modifications of different types in every religion. However, it is not that change would occur in their fundamental teachings. Nevertheless, what I point out is that it would be modified according to the times.

In this background, I invite your attention to the problems of Hinduism. Hindu religion exists as a great tree. It has many branches; there are branches in those branches too. Thus, all those exist there infirmly and without a coherent relationship. A lot of things have to be said about the problems of Hinduism. I believe that what has been formed in me today is the result of years of thinking on this. I could see and experience many things.   

 All those are incidents of long suffering that melt the heart. My conscience was hurt thinking about the decadence of our society. Through that pain, through that sorrow, I could develop a unique inspiration. When I was only a small child, I was struck down by its impact. I stepped into many places for a clarification. I understood many things. At the end of it, I began the journey towards my goal. The sacrifices that I underwent to achieve that goal are what made me what I am today.

It was a time when caste divisions were dominating. That period is not imagined, but was being experienced directly. When I saw that, a fire was raging in my mind. There were many occasions when I thought that I would be burnt in that fire like dying ashes. There I found a person. I became his disciple. I could learn many things from that Guru. You should not misunderstand when I say that I could learn only because of my power of endurance. I had to endure a lot; had had to wander about. There I had not at all the thought whether I would succeed or not. There was only one aim; the effort was for that. In the end, I found that.

Didn’t I tell you about the polluted customs of the society?  There I have some more things to say. That is about the Aryans who came here. They were giving commandments. According to those commandments, ‘those poor people’ fought; they were made to believe that they were powerful. These poor people were enthralled by it. The remaining communities were seen as unworthy beings and if they were seen (in front of them) instructions were given to crush them. These people continued to do those ‘valiant actions’. As a result, all the other communities were suffering it. What could be done?

Under this circumstance, it was not possible for those depressed classes to organise themselves. Those people who were living suppressing their pain were cursing. Do you know whom that curse hit? Those who imposed those wicked actions and those who carried them out! With that, our communities began to be degenerated. When several groups in Hinduism fought with one another, all communities were getting ruined. These poor people had not known this. We see that process in the political field also; power is gained after making people clash with each other and destroying them. Like that, it was there in our Hindu community also. As a consequence there is a big group of people here who have slipped down to ruination.

Those people who got the curse upon them, and another group who were termed as backward and thus marginalised! I see these two groups here around me. Both these are getting convinced that what they have done was wrong. Now what they want is progress; an ascension from the lower steps. What is necessary for that?

It is here I assertively say that a path should be cleared for them. If you go by that path only, you can get freedom from this sin of yours. I know any number of families who are plunged in suffering; I am ready to give them my strength. Several people have approached me till now. I have only one advice for all of them: advance with your good work, seek remedy for sins. Seek the advice of Gurus for that.

When I say about the matter of Gurus, I have another thing to remind you. Today, Marvaris, Gujaratis and Sikhs are leading a good life in North India. Several among them are industrialists; they are leading a wealthy life. There are Gurus who guide them, and they move the pawns of life according to the guidance of their Gurus. There is big success in their life because of it. This you know without my telling.

In that way, in the Hindu community also, Gurus are ready to give guidance. However, our people should be prepared to know and respect them. My belief is that we can attain a good future in that case.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Relevance of a New Incarnation of God

Gurucharanam Saranam

The Relevance of a New Incarnation of God

It is often said by the Hindus that just like all rivers merge with the ocean at the end, so too all worships reach the One Supreme God. ‘Truth is One, but the pundits mention it in many ways’, says the Vedas too (Ekam Sat Vipraah Bahudhaa Vadanthi). However, Lord Krishna mentions in Bhagavat Gita that the souls of those who worship deities go below the deities, those who worship the evil spirits go below them… Krishna advised worship of the One Supreme Almighty God.

A society without spiritual unity falls apart and that is what has befallen the Hindus as well as others. Hindus are the most spiritually divided among all religions with thousands of sects. Christianity too has hundreds of sects followed by Islam and Buddhism in which too there are dozen/s of sects. No doubt, the world has lost its spiritual unity. The prophets, seers and sages had foreseen this and prophesied a spiritual renaissance through a divine incarnation in this age. Sadly, not their followers realize this.

Millions of people follow Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism. However, none of them can claim a universal status. How can any non-universal religion hope to lead humanity? Can we make others swallow religion by force? Yes, we can fertilize the mother earth with human flesh, the Al-Qaida way, but the love of religion should spring from a fresh spiritual fountain, not from the stagnated spiritual pool of the past. There lies the relevance of a new incarnation of God and a new spiritual movement.

Another error in the spiritual thoughts is the Vedantic teaching that everything is ‘illusion’ (maya) and the ‘Self’ of man is the Supreme God, as expressed by the saying ‘Aham Brahmasmi (I am God), which causes misunderstanding among the ordinary folks. Great seers only can realize the truth of Vedanta. It is wrong to equate the individual soul with the Supreme God Almighty. We are only part of the Supreme, said Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru.

Thirdly, the myriad forms of caste and class hierarchies, which treat few people higher than the rest based on birth, skin color, learning, wealth, profession and so on. This high and low hierarchical ideology has given birth to a society of people without self-respect and straight character. These practices and concepts are against the will of God. If these errors continue, it would lead the society to further spiritual disintegration and social disunity.

Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru said that only through the creation of a global Organization that works beyond the confines of caste, class and religion and which is established in human love and righteousness the world can be rightly guided. Such an Organization should function under the guidance of an Omniscient Guru from whom guidance in all matters including the knowledge of past, present and future could be known. It includes matters related to every aspect of life and governance of a nation. Such a Guru only can guide humanity to spiritual uplift as per the evolving time span, with the belief in One Supreme Almighty God and a uniform spiritual practice.

Santhigiri is the source of such a spiritual guidance. By aligning with the ideology of Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru, the world can resurrect itself from the crisis of spiritual stagnation.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Proposal for a Global Spiritual Rebuilding

Gurucharanam Saranam

Proposal for a Global Spiritual Rebuilding

The Cosmic Spiritual Order

The life of man is painted on the cosmic fabric. Without this universal screen, there is never the possibility of life. The ancient seers understood this divine truth and adored nature. According to Satapata Brahmana, the sacred text of India, there are eight divinities that make the world inhabitable - they are the fire, the earth, the air, the space, the sun, the sky, the moon and the stars. The Vedas stipulate that a man should purify these cosmic powers by observing his spiritual duties. 

Spirituality is the bond of man with himself and the cosmos; it is not simply limited to a particular faith. Spirituality touches the whole edifice of the universe, the units of which are mutually connected. The seers of India describe the origin of the universe thus:

‘Only God existed in the beginning. He thought let me become many. He created the worlds. The sun and the moon He created. He created the earth, mountains, oceans, and all living beings in it. When He created all the worlds, He wanted to create a Protector for this world. With this intention, He divided Himself into a Male and Female. The Male was known as Manu and the female Satarupa’. 

The concept of Prakriti and Purusha originates from this cosmic division.  Purusha represents the presiding eternal God Consciousness, which expresses itself through the medium of Prakriti, the manifest Nature. Therefore, God and manifested nature are one inseparable entity. Right spirituality is that which understands and sustains this cosmic unity.  

Our solar system has come into being from the sankalpam (conception) of Manu, the First Born of God, comparable to the Adam of Christians. Manu is the progenitor of human race, who has many aliases such as the Purusha, Hiranya Garbha, Virat Purusha, Iswara, Adi Guru Etc. It is for this reason cosmic time is calculated in terms of Manvantara (after the name of Manu), which is the period of a Manu. Within the times of fourteen such Manus, the purpose of creation is fulfilled. No other religion has recorded the process of creation as scientifically as the sages of India.

However, with the passage of time, the importance of Manu was lost in Indian spirituality.  Manu, the progenitor of human universe was brought under Brahma, Vishnu and Siva, the trimurti gods in order to elevate their spiritual status.  It was a major deviation from the spiritual order of Manu. As per the Manvantara order, spiritual guidance comes through the seers and sages in the Manu lineage who manifest in accordance with the cycle of yugas and whose spiritual vision rests on the monotheistic concept of God. 

Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru informs that the trimurty system was instituted in later ages to initiate a correction when a spiritual error occurred in the Manu order. This error occured in the third chaturyuga of the present Manvantara of Vaivasvata Manu. (Chaturyuga means an age quartet consisting epochs of satya, treta, dwapara and kali). The trimurty system came into force in the seventh chaturyuga. We are now in the Kaliyuga of twenty-eighth chaturyuga, which means that twenty-one chaturyugas comprising several millions of years have gone by since this spiritual deviation. This information is not available in any scriptures. This has been revealed to Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru from the Light of Supreme Brahman during His struggle to find out the truth behind humanity’s spiritual fragmentation.

The Present Spiritual Scenario

What was once the glorious Sanatana Dharma became degenerated into the worship of thirty three billion gods ranging from all types of evil spirits to several brilliant gods, angels and deities in the heaven. Religion now became heaven oriented and not evolution oriented. God has not created human life for enjoyment of heavenly pleasures. The purpose of life is evolution of the soul or liberation. That is the Will of God in nature. After the spiritual disorder in the Manu lineage, people became oriented towards terrestrial pleasure lured by the boons from the deities.  

Apart from the innumerable deities, now the people had one more deity for veneration - the priests. This new temple oriented religion dictated caste rules and instituted separate rituals for different sects. Tantra, mantra, exorcism and performance of miracles (siddhi) became the order of the day. With the appearance of Trimurty system, Hindu religion was split into three major sects– Vaishnavism, Saivism and Sakteyism.

Thousands of other mutually conflicting sects followed. There were different gods for different castes and sects. Strict punishment used to be meted out for the violation of caste rules. The door of spiritual enlightenment was shut before the majority. The spiritual fragmentation of India was complete. The soul of India was mutilated with the dividing ideologies.

Generally, this is the status of other religions too in the present period. There are any number of sects in Christianity, Islam and Buddhism. A spiritual stagnation has set in. The ‘Jnana’ path (the wisdom path of the sages) has been neglected and so too the voice of the sages who came in the world from time to time. Mythical tales were fabricated to show great spiritual masters, such as Krishna, Buddha and Mahavira, who opposed the ritualistic religion, as avatars of trimurty. We must understand that today’s disunity and corruption in the psyche of Indians is the result of this deviant and mangled spiritual past. In the subsequent ages, a spiritually and politically fragmented India lost its freedom to outsiders.

Spirituality, therefore, influences the destiny of a nation and its people. Spirituality is the root of a nation. Today if India has become culturally and spiritually rootless, it is because India has neglected its spiritual inheritance. The rise and fall of civilizations, even their total disappearance is caused by such spiritual deviations and cataclysms.

How Spiritual Practices Affect Nature and Environment

Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru said that when the injustices and the corruption of humans become unbearable to nature, the divine law of karma causes havoc in nature. 

‘Do not forget that the world is established in Truth’, Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru said.
The present disturbances, violence and disorder in the world along with the problems of climate-change, earthquakes and other natural calamities are only the outer manifestation of spiritual stagnation. It is the time for the thinking community to recognize the spiritual structure of the universe and the impact of spirituality on man’s life in the society. 

The ancient sages say that this is the time of seventh Manu, which means we are in the middle of the present world cycle. There is half more to go. We should believe that there is any number of solar systems. A hundred and four solar systems have been seen in vision in Santhigiri Ashram. Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru informs that ours is a moderate system among these and there are also constellations to be seen among them. Constellations are realms where souls of great merit reside. God has created each solar system with a specific nature to it. 

Guru informs that there are many other solar systems bigger and more powerful. There are solar systems very different from ours. Each has a different nature. Ten such solar systems make up one unit. A solar system is controlled by many constellations. It may be construed that the constellations are watching over all these. Like the field of attraction between the earth and other planets of this system, there are fields of attraction among these constellations also. Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru says that the merits and demerits of a specific solar system decide the attraction among planets and between planets and constellations. 

Influence of Karma and Dharma on Nature

According to Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru, ‘sin and beneficence are the only content of karma (action). The residue of action – of both types – accrues in the world in the collective. According to the preponderance of either, the earth’s attraction towards malefic or beneficent heavenly bodies varies. This attraction could result in either destruction or sustenance. If the attraction is negative it is possible that the atmospheric tension itself can cause conflagration and create havoc in the earth system. Or else freezing temperatures might result and life thus might be exterminated. There may be some upheavals and destruction. If the attraction is towards a beneficent constellation on the other hand, there might be initial disasters but eventually a better way of life’. 

Therefore, we should understand the unalterable and eternal relation of God with nature, and along with that, the consequence of our actions – karma and dharma. The ancient sages worshipped nature as the very physical body of God. Whatever exists here, living or non-living, is pervaded by God, says the Isavasyo Upanishad. (Isa Vasya Midam Sarvam, yat kinchit sa chara charam) 

Dharma is the Will of God ingrained in nature, as a seed in the fruit. It is Dharma, which propels the souls to live righteously and evolve spiritually. Every soul thus evolves to its divine status expanding through different spiritual dimensions and in the end reaches the imperishable source of Creation, i.e. God. This wisdom relating to the soul is known through the Gurus, who come as spiritual authorities from time to time. This was the ancient spiritual method of India, which was known as Sanatana Dharma.

Another aspect of Indian spirituality is the concept of yuga dharma. Every yuga has a unique focus and method in the matter of spiritual evolution. In the Satya yuga, the spiritual method was dhyana (meditation), in Treta, it was yajna (sacrifice), in Dwapara it was archana (offerings) while in Kali yuga it is naama samkirtanam (chanting the name of God). 

Owing to the evolutionary progression of yugas, it is not chanting the names of gods and goddesses of earlier ages what is effective and what is envisioned here. In the Kali yuga, mankind can evolve to higher spiritual possibilities beyond the deities and experience spiritual bliss of a higher nature. It is possible through the glorification of the name of the spiritual authority that manifests in this age. That spiritual authority will have surpassed all heaven oriented ideologies and worship pattern related to the past ages. 

There are different evolutionary spiritual skies (akasa) related to humans, ancestors, deities, seers, sages, and of the Supreme Light. Spirituality in the world especially that of India has not progressed beyond the level of deity worship causing general spiritual stagnation and backwardness. This has caused decadence in the spiritual evolution of souls and that of ancestral spirits. Such spiritual retardation affects not only our life, but the planetary system too. 

We should remember that great souls like Krishna, Buddha, Mahavir, Jesus Christ or Prophet Mohammed tried to lift humanity from this spiritual fall by showing that only the Supreme Almighty God is qualified for our reverence and worship. When human souls are associated with lower spiritual entities and evil spirits they manifest equivalent evil qualities and lesser capabilities. The physical debilities and deformities and the poverty of majority of people and the general moral decadence are the result of misplaced spirituality, not lack of spirituality.

Three Spiritual Errors of India

Out of the three major spiritual errors of India, one is the reverence of deities including evil spirits, which is wrongly interpreted as equivalent to the worship of Supreme God Almighty. It is often said quoting Bhagavat Gita that just as all rivers join the ocean at the end all worships reach the One Supreme God. However, in the same Bhagavat Gita Krishna has mentioned that the souls of those who worship the deities go below the deities, those who worship the evil spirits go below them and only those who worship Me, come to Me, the Supreme Lord of the Universe.

The Second error is the Vedantic teaching that everything is ‘illusion’ (maya) and the ‘Self’ of man is the Supreme God, as expressed by the saying ‘Aham Brahmasmi ( I am God), which causes misunderstanding among the common people. It is wrong to equate the individual soul with the Supreme, as we are only part of the Supreme, said Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru.

Thirdly, the caste system, which treats few people higher than the rest. This ideology, based on the hierarchy of high and low people, has given birth to a society of people without self- respect and a straight character. These practices and concepts are against the will of God.  If these errors continue, it would lead the society to further spiritual disintegration and social disunity, causing peril to life on earth.

Proposal for a Global Spiritual Rebuilding

Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru said that only through the creation of a global Organization that works beyond the confines of caste, class and religion and which is established in human love and righteousness, the world can be rightly guided. Such an organization should function under the guidance of an Omniscient Guru from whom the rights and wrongs in spiritual practices could be ascertained, including guidance in all matters of governance and social life. Such a Guru only can guide humanity to spiritual uplift as per the evolutionary requirement of yuga dharma, with the belief in One Supreme Almighty God.

Santhigiri is the source of such a spiritual guidance. Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru is that Omniscient Guru, whom the Supreme Almighty has entrusted with this mission. By aligning with the ideology of Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru, India along with the rest of the world can resurrect itself from these spiritual wrongs and become the rightful heir to a world spiritual renaissance.