Saturday, August 24, 2019


by Sri Sandip Dasgupta

Welcome to the Janamashtami edition of our e-magazine! In this editorial, I will write about a couple of things that our Master mentioned to his devotees on Mar 11, 1988 at New Delhi.

Sri Sri Babathakur cautioned devotees that the path of Dharma that we follow is incorrect. We spend most of our time on day-to-day activities, in our Samsar -- and then offer a flower at the end of the day to the Lord.  This will not lead us to the Lord that we are seeking. This is kind of a luxury.

According to him, the path of Dharma requires our mind to be completely focused on the Lord – in everything we do, in everything we say, in everything we think, in everything we experience and so on.

To help us remember this teaching, he pointed out that when we invert the letters in the word “Dhara”, it becomes “Radha”.  Dhara represents our mind which is constantly running towards manyness – away from Oneness.  If we can collect all our thoughts and invert the Dhara, then we become like Radha – 100% focused on Lord Krishna.  That allowed Radha to attain Sri Krishna. That is the right path of Dharma.

He further went on to point out that if we have to make progress on the path of Dharma, we have to give up our sense of ego, our sense of individuality, our myness. To remind ourselves, he asked us to use a litmus test everyday and ask the question if my sense of myness has decreased.  If the answer is yes, then we are making progress. If the answer is No, we need to try harder.

So, on this auspicious day of Janamashtami – can we all make an attempt to follow the path of Dharma as explained by our Master?  And don’t forget to use the litmus test daily – to make sure we are making progress.

The Science of the Absolute (Part 2)

by Sri P.C. Lahiri

This is the 2nd part of 'The Science of the Absolute' article, the first part of which was published in the 2019 Buddha Purnima issue of e-Sanai.
We are on the topic of simple practical use of the ‘Science of the Absolute/Science of Oneness’ in daily life by following the revelations and specific directions of the Master. As a first step, the Science has to be intellectually understood leaving no doubts in the mind of the seeker. The next step is to clearly understand the directions and methodology of Its daily use. These two steps can be covered by regularly listening to the Master, directly in His presence, with rapt attention. If the physical presence of the Master is not available for whatever reason, then one must read the Master’s revelations or listen to His recorded discourses with utmost concentration followed by proper rumination.  For the listening to be really effective, no other thoughts should play in the mind.  After listening to the Master if we do not ruminate or chew the cud, then the words of the Master do not reveal within. Wet matchstick cannot be lighted. It has to be dried up by the application of heat. Rumination over Master’s words generates heat within, which in turn purifies the inner being. This is the heat of Wisdom which gradually burns all ignorance.  A question came up after the first article on the above topic from a person with a strong scientific background that what is so special about this science?  The same procedure has to be followed for the proper learning and understanding of any other science.  Yes, there is no doubt that one has to be attentive for the clear understanding of any science, but this is the ‘Science of all other sciences’ which means that after knowing this Science thoroughly no other science need be known. The Knowledge of the universe with all its innumerable variations and applications reveals spontaneously from within – hence there remains no need to know anything whatsoever from the outer world or from anywhere else.  Knowledge Absolute revealed of Its own accord from within the Master, without the help of a Guru or scriptures or lectures of other masters.  Does such a Mother of all sciences exist - is a big question for a newcomer.  The answer is Yes.  How do I know it?  ‘Follow with rapt attention what is revealed by this One (pointing to Himself)’, is the clear indication given by the Master.  Whether one actually follows the Master’s directive is left entirely to that individual. There is another important point to be kept in mind by the follower.  Once the decision is taken by the follower to resolutely follow the Master, he has to clearly understand the path/steps to be followed.  It has to be followed exactly as laid down by the Master. Time and again we have to remind ourselves that our effort is to follow and imbibe the Mother of all sciences, knowing which nothing else is left to be known in this universe and beyond. Constant reminder will keep us on our toes and ensure that our awareness does not slack at any time.

Master has time and again told one and all that the ‘Science of Oneness’ or the ‘Science of the Absolute’ is not at all easy to understand and assimilate. A torch has been given to you all with a light ‘that can pierce the darkest region and illuminate life from within and without’, but if you misuse the knowledge revealed here or use it by attributing customary worldly meaning to it, then all will be lost. Without right use of Right Knowledge, it does not remain Right Knowledge. While I am writing this, not only am I trying to revise my lessons but also trying to identify the wrong use committed from time to time due to the slackness that sets in on the heels of lapses in awareness.  Conventional knowledge practiced over the years often raises its head and leads me astray. In such times of feeling of guilt, Master as always encourages us that no matter what, move on. Never degrade yourself. You are the Supreme Self but have simply forgotten your True Nature. When you fall, get up, dust yourself and move on.
‘Right Knowledge has to be first acquired, then prossessed, and finally be rightly used.’ 

This is the exact directive from the Master. Once we embark on the path of acquiring Right Knowledge, we have to be careful that we do not mix it up with the conventional meaning of right knowledge. The directions of the Master have to be understood the way they have been revealed and explained by Him - not the way we understand through our common knowledge. What are the baby steps to acquire Right Knowledge.

Do not find fault with others or delve on the faults of others, always try to identify your own faults and work on them.  Talk about the good qualities of others, do not talk about your own qualities, i.e. no self-aggrandizement. When we praise the good qualities of others, then we become open-hearted, generous, liberal - and our own lower qualities reduce. We become receivers of virtue, instead of the other way around. As soon as we find fault with others, let us not forget that the same fault has first appeared in us. It will stay with us even without our knowledge, till we make a conscious effort to get away from it. If we are able to gradually become good quality identifiers and receivers, then one day all the evil shall be wiped out from within, and only virtues shall remain. Then one day by the Grace of Self-Guru (Atmaguru) the seeker becomes free from all qualities (good or bad) or goes beyond qualities (gunatit) to merge with his/her True Self to be a perfectly liberated Soul.  Such appearance of Self-Guru can be in a personified form or from within purely as an experience par-excellence (Swanubhuti). 

Give to others only what you like or love. Preach only that which you follow or are trying to follow sincerely. The underlying essence of what has revealed in the Master is that in reality only the Absolute exists which plays with Itself alone the sameside game of world drama in exuberance of Divine Bliss. To realize this Supreme Truth within us, a baby step is to make a conscious effort to treat others like your own self. What one finds unworthy of eating should not be offered to others, what one finds unworthy of use should not be offered to others, treat others the way you want others to treat you and so on and so forth. In India we are having floods in many states. Citizens are organizing relief measures all around India. Many of us offer help in such causes with a feeling of helping the needy and often try to pass off items which are rejected as unworthy of use. This has to stop. Internally and externally, we have to deal with all the affected persons as we would expect others to deal with us in our times of distress. It may sound difficult to some of us. The difficulty is only because we are not used to thinking and behaving that way. As a seeker or a follower, we have to change our old habits. This is only the first step towards the final state of realizing perfect unity within and without. In this state, distinctions, divisions or demarcations cease to exist. There remains no difference between the giver and the taker. 

Do not demand love/sympathy/empathy/respect from others. There are two angles here. Demand or expectation arises in us as a return gesture. I did so much for so and so, he should at least do this for me. If the return gesture does not happen, there is heartburn and negativity. In effect, I have handed over the keys of my peace and well being to someone else. Should I do it? This analysis is from the standpoint of a sensible person. From the standpoint of the seeker of Science of Oneness, the analysis is even deeper. In the state of Oneness (the ultimate aim of the seeker), who demands what from whom, how can the demand be raised, and why should he demand in first place – all become irrelevant when there is no second entity. So, if the seeker has to attain that ultimate state, then the sooner he sheds the burden of expectations and demand, the better it is for him/her. 

To be continued……….

Spiritual Tidbits

by Sri Ramen Basu

This morning a friend of mine from US has mailed me an article by Tim Roberts on gratitude. It is about a person who is suffering from Parkinson’s disease. All of a sudden his heart’s door opened, and he felt gratitude towards every living being around him.

Similarly one never knows how grace manifests in life. Those who for once come in contact with Sri Sri Babathakur are automatically and spontaneously blessed.

Those who were not privileged with His physical presence, will find His articles, books, and discourses to be of equal value. He says He is not the gross body but the indivisible Absolute –Ahamdeva, the I of all I’s. Just have faith in Sadguru’s words and plunge deep into your own heart.  
I am recollecting some advices given in general to all during His evening discourses at Fern Road in the year 1995.  May these help you on your spiritual path:

1.      Be calm and steady
2.      Be unattached and alone
3.      Do not intermingle socially very much
4.      Be careful not to indulge in the pair of opposites too much i.e. duality
5.      Pure Consciousness is non-dual One
6.      Get rid of your old habits of desirous thoughts and behaviour.
7.      Please focus your mind on the discourses and books published here.
8.      You will reach me through My words.
9.      Just get immersed in My words.
1.      If one cannot spiritually discriminate between the Self and non-Self, unconditional surrender is needed.

      The glory of Sri Sri Babathakur is unbounded; we cannot but sing or utter His words.
May the lives of all readers get inspired by His words – with this prayer, this article is submitted at His lotus feet. 

As a Guest of my Landlady

by Sri Ajit Halder

The word ‘Landlady’ in the title of this article has been used to mean a woman who rented out rooms in her house to provide boarding and lodging to overseas as well as British students studying away from home.  During my student days spent in Liverpool and in my initial year as an academic at the University of Salford, I stayed with landladies.  This article is my acknowledgement with gratitude of the kind and caring service I received from the landladies during my early years in England.  I begin with my memorable experience of staying with the Liverpool Landlady.

Many years ago on a cold, misty November evening, I arrived in the city of Liverpool, This was my first visit to that city, and I came to join the University of Liverpool to do research for a PhD degree program. I was a complete stranger to the city having no ideas where to find accommodation for the night. The taxi driver took me to several hotels located close to the university but I was disappointed failing to find any hotel accommodation that evening.  This happened because Princess Margaret, the sister of Queen Elizabeth, was in the city that day and all hotels were full with guests who came to the city to welcome the popular Princess. I really felt dejected by the failure to book a hotel accommodation. 

Noticing my worried look, the taxi driver by way of comforting me said, he knew of a home where students lived, and assuring me, he said he hoped to find a place for me in that house.  He drove me to that address, and thanks to the driver and luckily for me, I was offered bed and boarding by a kind-hearted landlady who owned that residence.  I spent some memorable years with that gracious landlady in Liverpool. I am also grateful to my other equally benevolent landlady in Bolton from where I commuted to attend to my university service in Salford.  I will tell that story later.  Let me begin with my Liverpool landlady.

We addressed our landlady as dear Nelly, her full name was Miss Eileen Tully.  She came from a farmer’s family in Ireland. She was a woman with rural charm and simplicity, and looked after me with fond hospitality.

In that house lived another five young Indian undergraduates who were studying business management in a local college. I enjoyed their companionship that greatly helped me to overcome the sad feeling of leaving my dear ones back at home in Kolkata.

I was indeed fortunate that I stayed in Nelly’s house and enjoyed a worry-free, student life, for Nelly offered me food enough for my survival and a comfortable living accommodation. Her support made it possible for me to concentrate fully in my research investigation, complete my work and achieve my objective of gaining a doctorate degree.  I cite here one incident to show how much Nelly cared for me.

One morning, I was preparing a cup of tea. Being unmindful for a moment, instead of pouring the water into a cup, I poured the kettle-full of extremely hot water on my left hand.  Nelly was watching television sitting on a sofa, her usual seat not far from the dining table. Noticing my predicament,   she shouted: ‘Halder has burnt his fingers, Halder has burnt his fingers’.  Uttering these words, she jumped out of her sofa, picked up a whole cake of butter from the butter-dish and began rubbing my hand with it.  I felt a great relief from the agony of a burnt palm and received the caring attention of a motherly figure like my landlady Nelly.

I quote another incident which showed how much Nelly cared for me. Every Sunday morning, I used to go to a local newsagent to buy a copy of the Observer newspaper to learn what was happening in the wide world and also to enrich my vocabulary by reading news reports and magazine articles presented in elegant English by eminent feature writers.  One Sunday, as usual, after purchasing the newspaper I was returning to Nelly’s place when on the street I was confronted by Pranesh, one of the co-dwellers in Nelly’s house.  He told me he was sent by Nelly to look out for me on the street as Nelly was very worried that I had left the house without eating my breakfast. She was concerned that with an empty stomach I would feel weak, be unsteady on my feet, might fall down on the icy snow covered street and hurt myself.  I came back to Nelly with Pranesh, and seeing me safe and sound she was much relieved.  Nelly was very kind and considerate to me, and I owe to her a great deal of my ability to successfully complete my research work in the university.

After obtaining my PhD degree, I secured an appointment in the academic department of Salford University and moved to Bolton from where I commuted to my work place in Salford.  I rented one flat owned by a remarkable lady who I affectionately called her ‘Mutty’ - meaning Mother in colloquial German.  Her full name was Mrs. Katherina Davidsonas.  Hailing originally from Latvia, Mutty was a widow and the mother to her only child, Mary (who lived in a nearby town).  Mutty rented out the spare rooms in her house to Indian and Asian students studying at the local college.

From Bolton, I became used to my daily travel routine to Salford by train and found my university job satisfying and academically challenging.  I made new friends among the other residents in Mutty’s place.  I found they were co-operative and friendly which made my stay in that house very pleasing indeed.

Mutty served me evening meals and I had to prepare my breakfast.  One morning I was late in getting up and my first lecture was at 10.00 AM.  I had hardly any time for cooking breakfast and then walk up to the Bolton station to catch the 9.20 AM train to Salford.  I dressed up, collected my lecture notes in a portfolio case and started to step down the staircase towards the ground floor front door.  Mutty heard my footsteps, realising that I was leaving home without eating my breakfast, she rushed to the front door and blocked my passage so that I could not leave the house.  She told me in a firm, assertive tone: ‘Adit (her way of pronouncing my name Ajit}, if your mum were here, she would not let you go to work without eating your breakfast. Go and sit at the table, I will prepare your breakfast, and you will have to eat it before you leave my house’.  I had to obey her order; so I sat patiently in a chair and ate with delight, a portion of cereal with milk in a bowl and fried eggs on toasts, all that food she prepared for me.  Mutty sat next to me and watched me finish eating breakfast which tasted much nicer than my own preparation. As I was waiting for the breakfast to be served, my mind travelled five thousand miles away to my Mum in Calcutta and I sitting here in Bolton, visualized as if my Mum in the guise of Mutty, was cooking breakfast for me.  I thought Mutty of England acted just like what my Mum would have done for me in a similar situation.  Mothers like my Mum and Mutty are similarly loving and caring persons to be found all the world over.  Each one of them represents the inimitable qualities of motherhood.

I thanked Mutty immensely for her kind consideration shown to me and then I rushed to the station.  I reached the station platform just in time as the train was approaching; I boarded my train and reached the university in good time and was able to give my lecture scheduled for that morning.

I wish to add that when my Mum came to visit me in 1989, I took her to meet Mutty in Bolton and it was a wonderful get-together of the two grand ladies, one was my own Mother and Mutty, my adopted mother of Bolton.  Sadly, both mothers are no more in this world but I treasure the sweet memory of them chatting together in Mutty’s parlour which remains ever fresh in my mind.

I now narrate a touching account of visiting an ailing lady, Miss Hilden who lived a few doors away from Mutty’s Bromwich Street premises.  Some Indian students studying at the local Technical College lived under the care of Miss Hilden who was their Landlady.  I used to visit her lounge, meet fellow Indian students for friendly gossips and enjoyed listening to Miss Hilden reminiscing with passion, the heart-warming stories of her experience of the fond relationship she developed with her student lodgers of past years.  Miss Hilden was a spinster, a lonesome woman who enjoyed the company of her guest students that largely filled the emptiness of her life.

I treasured my acquaintance with Miss Hilden so much so that even after I left Bolton to live in a flat close to the University of Salford, I made efforts to gather news about her wellbeing through my friend Sunil Gupta who continued to stay in her house.  One day, Sunil phoned me to say that Miss Hilden was seriously ill and had been admitted to the local hospital.

I took the earliest opportunity to pay a visit to Miss Hilden and on the following Saturday afternoon, Sunil and I went to the Bolton Hospital to see Miss Hilden.  We stood at the doorway of the ward where Miss Hilden was an in-patient.  The duty nurse seeing us waiting at the door, approached us and wanted to know which patient we came to visit and also our names.  We mentioned to her our names Sunil and Ajit and told her of our intention to see Miss Hilden.  Hearing this, she pointed her fingers towards the window on the left side of the room and said: ’Miss Hilden is over there on that window-side bed’.  The nurse then told us to wait until she came back after informing Miss Hilden that Sunil and Ajit had come to visit her.

The nurse while leading us to Miss Hilden’s bed commented: ‘Look at her now, it’s amazing, as soon as Miss Hilden saw you two, she rose to sit up;  until now, she was lying down on the bed, sleeping most of the time’.  As we were walking towards Miss Hilden’s bed, we heard her exclaiming in excitement: ‘My boys have come to see me’ certainly to give other inmates the happy news of our coming to see her.

Miss Hilden died a week later and when I received that sad news from Sunil, I felt at the bottom of my heart that our visit surely brought to her a quantum of joy and helped her forget her suffering for a moment at least.

I have discussed my happy recollections of landladies who so kindly cared for me during my early years of residence in England. I can unhesitatingly say that their kind hospitality contributed greatly to my achieving success as a research student and as an academic.  I think rightly that like me, hundreds of foreign students leaving own homes found new homes and achieved their goal under the care of landladies in England.  So my tribute to landladies includes their (i.e. the foreign students’) grateful appreciation of the hospitality they all enjoyed from their landladies.

I found landladies to be lonesome persons.  They needed company, and the young lodgers in their homes offered the conviviality that to a large measure filled the gap in their lives.  So the Landlady Culture benefited both the landladies and their student-lodgers.

Landladies by providing shelter and company to foreign students succeeded in promoting international understanding and harmony among nations, thereby achieving more than all the utterances made by politicians and the legislations passed in the British Parliament to foster universal harmony.