Saturday, September 1, 2018


By Sri Sandip Dasgupta

Welcome to the Janmashtami edition of our electronic magazine.  As we celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna, let us reflect on some of the teachings of our Master, Sri Sri Babathakur.

In the words of our Master, when we invert the word “Dhara”, it becomes “Radha”.  Dhara represents the flow of our thoughts from oneness to manyness – He is asking us to reverse the flow of our thoughts towards the One God that is within each and every one of us – the Lord Krishna that is in each and every one of us. That’s what happened to Radha -- that’s why Radha became unified with Lord Krishna.

Our Master has reminded us on many occasions that the Gods that we see in temples have been made by man and that we’re busy worshiping those man-made Gods.  We offer the best of foods and garlands to them and we pray to them. While reminding us that the real God resides within each and every one of us, Sri Sri Babathakur has let us know that He will be much happier if we were to offer food to the Narayan residing within us (my interpretation is that he is referring to the Daridra Narayan, who is in need of food in this apparent world).

In the bhajan, “Krishna Bhaja Maana”, he has clearly asked us to recognize the Krishna amongst all of us, and love each other as if we were to love Lord Krishna.  This will remove any sense of hatred, competition, rivalry amongst ourselves and make our lives peaceful.

So on this Janmashtami, let us pray to our Master that we start internalizing his teachings and practicing them in our daily lives.

Joy Babathakur! Joy Babathakur! Joy Babathakur!

Believe in the Reality, not Relativity

by Sri P.C. Lahiri

At a gathering of a few like-minded people, the discussion centered around the topic of human belief system. It all started when one amongst us talked about a practice being followed in Solomon Islands of the Pacific.  Villagers bring down a big tree that is difficult to cut (but still needs to be cut) by collectively cursing it for one month at a stretch. This combined negative energy gradually saps the life out of the tree and it falls down.

There are some non-believers who ask for a tangible scientific proof. My purpose is not to get into any controversy but to just dwell on the power of our belief system. I have seen a few children and adults who just love gardening. They share a very close bonding with the plants and trees which gets reflected in the way they handle their garden, i.e. just like the way a mother would handle her baby. Out of the three such cases I have personally known for some years, not one has had any problem with plants dying due to extreme weather conditions, prolonged absence of the caretakers (when they are out of town), accidental jolts or hits to the plants etc. In one case, the child keeps talking to the plants as if they are her playmates. All of them have a beautiful and attractive garden. Just walking through those gardens changes the mood of the visitor, particularly when the caretakers are walking alongside and introducing the plants in their own inimitable loving ways.

I had heard from the Master (Prajnanpurush Sri Sri Babathakur) about a few refined qualities of Subratada’s father (husband of Bombay Maa).  When he would walk close to the plants, they would lightly sway even without breeze; and if he would stop by the side of a plant and extend his hand, then the leaves would droop down and settle on his palm to soak in the vibrations of his love. He would caress them, sweetly talk to them and then very lovingly ask them to go back to their places and the leaves would sway back to their original positions. It may sound like a fairy tale, but it came directly from the Master based on something that He had witnessed Himself. If at all there is the need of any proof, then there can be nothing better than the proof of a living example who demonstrates by his/her own life-actions the existence of a deep inner and outer relationship between two life forms¾ humans and plants.

A book “Biology of Belief” by Dr. Bruce H Lipton explores in detail how the human cells that we are made up of, receive and process information. Our subconscious mind is far more powerful than our conscious mind. It decides most of the things in our lives according to the beliefs it has.  Consequently, despite our best efforts, sometimes we find it extremely difficult to change an old unpleasant habit. It happens because the habit is so deeply ingrained (in researchers language¾ programmed) in our subconscious mind that powerful efforts of conscious mind hardly make a difference. Dr. Lipton and his team of researchers have gone on to prove and conclude that our genes, contrary to the prevailing view, are not fixed, immutable and outside of our conscious control but are controlled by signals that come from outside of our cells, i.e. the environment of the cells. Hence, any change in cell’s environment shall change the cells behavior and genetic characteristics. This means that we can change ourselves just by making powerful changes in our belief system by transmitting strong positive messages through our thoughts.

Self-realized rishis centuries ago had said that “you are what you think” and this dictum is often repeated in the modern day world for material gains in various walks of life. The focus of Dr. Lipton and all such researchers and followers all over the world is to try and discover a way to better health, living, relationships, discharge of duties & responsibilities, and do away with the many ills one faces in day-to-day life. All in all, to help create a better world and life; not the Ultimate Eternal World & Life which has no pain or death.  Through the research of genes and cells (that are related to life forms in the outer world), they have arrived at a methodology for humans to change themselves in order to become happier and prosperous. To that extent, it is a step forward and laudable. One may keep saying to oneself that he/she is healthy, wealthy, happy, successful, prosperous - and develop a habit of believing and simultaneously putting it in practice at all times. It then will gradually get programmed, followed by visible results.  But a time will come when old age will set in, with the gradual deterioration of both the entire outer and inner system. It is a natural process which will apply on anything and everything that has appeared in this universe, whatever might be its belief system. None of the above belief systems take the mind beyond nature. All these auto suggestions or beliefs, how-so-ever strong they might be, are a function of the mind to ask for something which is within the domain of nature. Suggestions of health, wealth, prosperity, outer peace and well-being of all are within the domain of nature. Till the programming of the mind is to not go beyond mind and nature, it will remain under the principles of nature subject to deterioration, decay and death. But how can the mind be programmed to go beyond mind? Scientists and researchers will have to start looking for long term solutions and seek answers to the query¾ what next?  

A day will come when scientists like Dr. Lipton, out of extreme longing for what next, shall get a Self-realized Guide who will unfold the Truth of the unlimited wealth within and guide them to It, step by step from the outer to the inner, to the Central and finally to the Transcendental.  August proclamation of a Supreme Self-realizer of the present day and age to get permanent relief and take ultimate care of all maladies and contradictions¾ think and think that you are Pure Consciousness and nothing else. Think that you are the Master of nature, not its slave. Think that you are not conditioned and limited. Then you shall become the unconditioned, unlimited and the Eternal One as It is verily your True Nature. You will become what you really are, and not what you presently believe yourself to be. These directions can only come from a Perfect Scientist of spiritual nature who has realized the Permanent Existence of the Reality within and without, and the actual non-existence of the apparently existing mind and nature. The very foundation of the theories and discoveries of the material scientists is false - for there is no real existence of mind and nature.  Only a perfect spiritual Scientist can declare (based on His direct realization) that you are falsely considering yourself to be under mind and nature through relativity - but that you are the Master of both, as you are the Reality Itself.

Small Sayings with Great Power

by Smt. Susmita Devi

Sadguru Sri Sri Babathakur very appropriately formulated some east-to-remember aphorisms as means to implant definite attitudes in the minds of devotees so that they pop up instinctively whenever needed (even as one goes along with the hustle and bustle of daily life).  He called them 'formulas'. 

I have over and again made a note of several of them.  For example, my first one was 'Fourfold A' (accept, adjust, accommodate to reach the Absolute). I greatly appreciate how much subtle knowledge can be conveyed in such few words.  The subsequently listed aphorisms are internet messages gathered from a friend.  For example, a similar formula of 'A' picked up from the internet goes:  "It is simple to make someone happy.  Just give them Attention and Affection".

I assume many spiritual seekers consciously use such aphorisms extensively, because long lectures are difficult to remember for common people, for whom the mind is greatly preoccupied with daily struggles to make ends meet and care for the family. I recently became aware that the electronic media could help, and some were noted to enhance my understanding/awareness and enable me to expand the mind capacity. The basic training of Sri Sri Babathakur has helped me often in life, and the following quotations may also be absorbed in the spirit of generosity of the Divine Knowledge transformed to easy aphorisms

  •  If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule: Never to lie to yourself
  • Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness
  • You are strong when you know your weaknesses, and beautiful when you appreciate your flaws
  • You are wise hen you learn from your mistakes
  • Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times - if you only remember to turn on the light
  • However Many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you don’t act upon them? The greatest advantage of speaking the truth is, that you don’t have to remember what you said
  • Happiness can’t be traveled to, owned, earned or worn. It is he spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude
  • Peace begins when expectations end
  • Humility is the ability to give up your pride and still retain your dignity
  • A person can become so determined to destroy another person, that they become blind and end up destroying themselves
  •  When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening, that’s where your power is
  • Never forget the powerful resources you always have available to you: Love, prayer and forgiveness
  • I’m thankful for my struggle, because without it, I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength (Alex Elle)
  • Intuition is the GPS of the soul
  • Something will grow from all you are going through, and it will be you
  • Don’t let your loyalty become slavery. Know when to let go and never compromise on self-respect (
  • Never think that what you have to offer is insignificant. There will always be someone out there that needs what you have to give
  • A truth can walk naked, but a lie always need to be dressed (Kalil Gibran Rumi)
  • It is not important in life, that who is ‘ahead’ of us, or who is behind us. What truly matters in life is who is with us
  • Talent is God-given – be humble

It is rather difficult to be truly humble and wise, for the little self (ahankar) easily rebels when put in harness.  As long as the inherent ego dominates, we are often humbled by others. However one must practice/absorb/remember the above aphorisms in daily life to develop a more Sattvic attitude in the midst of the hassles of daily life. I have a copy of these aphorisms put up in a visible place that I pass several times in the course of a day to help me remember. Pick one or two of these aphorisms to memorize daily.

Democracy and the Practice of Religion

by Sri Ajit Halder

The two words in the title namely, Democracy and Religion, are words of profound significance. These are talked about a lot by the general public and widely referred to by the media. Believing that it will facilitate our understanding of this paper’s motto, we present a formal definition of each of the two words right at the start.

(1)  Democracy is a versatile word, and it influences both the thinking and the life style of the majority of world’s population.  For our purpose, we initially offer the conventional definition of democracy (which relates to the rule of the majority, ensured by choosing the government through free and fair elections held with the citizens electing their representatives).

(2)  Religion may be defined as a cultural system of beliefs and rituals that help to uplift humanity to spirituality. The ritual practices may include prayers, study of sacred scriptures and pilgrimage to holy places.  Its adherents form into a moral community called a religious group like the Hindus. In essence, Religion teaches us how to make the best use of present life to elevate jivaatmaa, the human spirit, to reach Pramaatmaa, the Supreme spirit.
     It should be noted there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely is a democracy or a religion.  However, the two principles mentioned above are intimately linked because they impinge upon individuals as well as community life with the sole objective to ensure a decent, righteous life style.  It is known that Democracy influences Religious practices, and that Religion guides the unblemished behaviour of community members living under a democratic system. Therefore, in the following paragraphs, further elaboration on the two terms will be presented.
The word Democracy is derived from the Greek word Dēmokratía, literally meaning "rule by people” and stands for a system of government where the citizens cast their votes to elect their representatives as the members of a legislative body which form a government. We now turn our attention to the broader concepts of Religion.

Religion provides systematic answers to questions like:  ‘What is the main purpose of human existence?’ or ‘Is there a superior sense of life?  As a faith principle, it acts as a tool to place followers in harmonious relationships with both their own selves and with others in the world.

Often we are confronted with the question - ‘Are Democracy and Religion compatible?’  Put it another way, this query takes the form - ‘Does democracy interfere with religion?’ Liberal democracy allows everyone to practise their faith without government interfering with the religious aspirations of the citizens. Further, in a liberal democracy as we have in India, citizenship is not dependent on adherence to an official religion. Religion, therefore, is not a constitutive element of citizenship.

So far, an extensive discussion on Democracy and Religion has been provided. Now we present some thoughts which guide members of a community to lead a decent, religious life lived with dignity.  For this to be realized, we need spiritual guidance in life acquired by reading scriptures like the Upanishads, the Gita and mythological texts for enlightenment of the mind.

Scriptural texts are widely discussed and studied for the enrichment of the human spirit.  When we study scriptures, we do so as passive readers.  However if we sit at the feet of a guru to listen to his discourse, we are in direct contact with the provider of wise counsel.  We therefore wish to emphasize that spiritual advice received by those who are devotees of a guru have a real advantage over those who read only scriptures.  We note that by reading the sermons and listening to the discourses preached by a religious guru, the devotees will be ethically benefited. 

Many of the members of Saccidananda Society were blessed and privileged to listen to Sri Sri Babathakur’s sermons.  For those who were not so fortunate, nothing to despair; the spiritual message of the Prajnanpurush are available in print as well as in video recordings and on the Internet.

We begin with his sermon that touches on the need for having a religious guru and we quote:

‘Obeisance to Sadguru who is Existence, Consciousness, Bliss, Love and Peace Absolute; who transcends all distinctions; who is everlasting; perfect, without form and qualities; and who is established in His Own Self. Guru is God and God is Guru, hence He is the Essence or Substratum of all.’   Sri Sri Babathakur

Another sermon dwelling on a similar theme goes like this: ‘Obeisance to Sadguru whose words reveal the essence of Truth/Reality of Supreme Brahman/Atman, dispel Maya, the darkness of ignorance, bestow the Bliss Absolute to the seekers of liberation and give peace to the heart of those whose intellect has become restless, unstable and bewildered due to the delusion of ignorance, and Who discloses the Supreme Reality, the essence of Knowledge of Oneness, perfect identity of Self and Brahman the Absolute.  I bow to the Sadguru who is the Absolute, everlasting and pure. He is indeed the whole universe. He comprises Brahma, Visnu and Siva in His Being. He is the highest God, the God of all gods and goddesses. He is the only Lord of all creatures.  Hence there is no God without Guru and no Guru without God. God is Self and Self is God. Guru is God and Self and vice versa. Guru is Divine-Self personified.’     Sri Sri Babathakur 

The next sermon of Prajnanpurush is the ultimate saying: ‘by the complete Knowledge of the Self I-Reality, a man is sure to have liberation’.  

Here is one that prepares the devotee to derive moral benefit from the guru’s message: 

Guru is the embodiment of infinite mercy and love. He imparts right knowledge of His disciples. Before that He unfolds them the Science of self-discipline. Without the perfection of self –discipline and control of mind or intellect, disciple cannot grasp rightly or properly the instructions of Guru. One, with the perfection of self-discipline and perpetual control over mind or intellect alone, is entitled to follow and understand perfectly the ‘Science or Knowledge of Oneness’.    Sri Sri Babathakur 

And lastly, the highest thing that a human can hope to achieve in life is the attainment of a moral and spiritual level where he/she can never deviate from the Truth.  The attainment is marked by a feeling of oneness with every being on the Earth.  This is God-realization, and lovers of God merge themselves in God.

We feel sure that by being attentive to the wise sayings of Sri Sri Babathakur, we will reach our goal of making our life spiritual and achieve salvation (Moksha, i.e. release from worldly sufferings).