Saturday, September 16, 2023



By Sri Sandip Dasgupta

Welcome to the Janamashtami edition of our e-magazine.

In this editorial, I would like to present our Master’s view of sin as revealed to him in His Sadhana – and as expressed by Him on March 28, 1988 in New Delhi.

Sri Sri Babathakur begins by stating that when we lose our Apon Bodh, i.e., when we lose our connection to our I-Reality, then jealousy and malice begin to dwell within us. This results in separation and change within our own Reality – and becomes the cause of our own suffering.

That is why Sri Sri Babathakur terms this as sin – the greatest crime against our own Self. According to Him, a sinner is one who goes against his own Self (which is Absolute in nature and hence does not have any duality).  In such a state, the individual opposes himself; although the individual is really residing in the Absolute I-Reality itself – he has forgotten about it.  Such a sinner holds on to his limited, Individual-I in life and his mind imagines many concepts – as a result, he misses the unitary bliss and love of his I-Reality!  This results in hatred, sense of division, confusion and bewilderment within his mind.

Sri Sri Babathakur went on further to cite the super-sensitive behavior of the touch-me-not vine.  This vine immediately withdraws itself, whenever it comes in contact with an external object.  The Master urges us to have a completely pure mind which is not biased and prejudiced, and is not preoccupied by imaginary thoughts of duality.  This will enable the mind to be eternally immersed in the Knowledge of Oneness.

So, let’s dwell upon the Master’s words and live a peaceful life with the Knowledge of Oneness.

Joy Babathakur! Joy Babathakur! Joy Babathakur!


God and Guru

by Smt. Mandira Lahiri


School education instilled the significance of prayers in me and my brother. Our teachers taught us the importance of following the right path, staying away from committing sins, owning up to and making amends for wrongdoings, helping the poor etc.  A lot of stress was laid on righteousness and for it to be embraced under all circumstances.  Being born to devout parents the environment at home was also very spiritual.  My paternal grandmother used to attend Satsangs and Sai Bhajans regularly.  I accompanied her on several occasions. I learnt quite a few of them and loved to sing along with the rest of the devotees.  I would observe her every morning and evening, sitting in the puja room and praying.  Often, she would call me to the puja room and make me sit beside her, tell me to close my eyes and feel the peace that was all around us in the puja room.  After doing as directed for a little while, a happy feeling would surround me….so much so that I would not like to open my eyes.  Many a times I would go on my own and repeat the practice.  Most of the evenings I would find my parents immersed in deep meditation.  Often, I would catch them talking animatedly about their Guru.  Later I got married into a family where all of them were ardent devotees of Sri Sri Anandmayee Maa.  Visitors who were fellow devotees would come home for Bhajan sessions and Satsangs.  All conversations in the house were centered around Sri Sri Maa.  The vibrations of all the Maa-talk and Guru-talk not only helped to maintain a healthy, happy and peaceful atmosphere at home, but also illuminated our lives at every step.

After Sri Sri Maa left her mortal coil, there was a period of lull.  But very soon we had the good fortune of coming in contact with Prajnanpurush Sri Sri Babathakur.  His teachings and His words have been a blessing for all of us, and shall remain so forever.

In the book ‘Science of Oneness’ Sri Sri Babathakur says, ’Guru is the Truth of Being and becoming both. So, he is your life’s essence.  That is, he is your Being and He is your becoming. It has already been said in the Guru Mantra that Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Maheshwara and Guru is verily Para-Brahman.  Salutations to that Supreme Guru.

Guru Brahma means gross Cosmic Being; Guru Vishnu is subtle Cosmic Being; Guru Maheshwara is causal Cosmic Being; and Guru Para-Brahman is the Transcendental One, the Absolute, of which the individual is an inseparable part and not a separate one.  So, you cannot be separated from the Divine Laws and Principles, though you have forgotten that.  Bubbles arising in the ocean cannot be separated from the ocean.  It is impossible for the bubbles to exist without the water itself as their substance.  Water is the substratum of bubbles, ripples, foams, waves of the ocean.  So also, you have the consciousness as the Eternal Substratum.  Even the little child has the same Divine essence as its soul.  To saintly people, there is no difference among things, between one another.  But it is you who has forgotten your True Nature and make the difference.  Why?  Because you are not aware of that ‘Oneness’, the underlying Essence of life.  From the outer view or outer appearance of a garland or a necklace, the inner string which makes the garland cannot be seen.  But if you want to know and see it, you should remove some beads and some gems set in the garland and then you can see the underlying string.  So is your Self which is the underlying Essence of life.  Guru makes you conscious of this and Himself merges in that Self.’

In another excerpt from the same book, He elaborates on the functions of a Guru---- ‘He takes away your ignorance, your sufferings, your mistakes, wrongs and sense of duality, and imparts instead of all these, the ‘Science of Oneness’, the ‘Knowledge of Oneness’, the Realization of Truth, Self, God as One. Oneness is Eternal.  It is not created by anybody. God is not an object of creation nor is a creator Himself.  He is the essence of all.’

In ‘Nectar of Wisdom’ he reiterates---- ‘It is Divine Grace which is the essence of all power, Essence of all understanding, all knowledge and the essence of all blissful and peaceful awareness of Truth.  You shall know that you are in the Divine, you were in the Divine and you will always remain in the Divine.’

Sri Raman Maharshi in his book “Talks” says, “---- Isvaro gururatmeti (God is the same as Guru and Self…).  A person begins with dissatisfaction.  Not content with the world, he seeks satisfaction of desires by prayers to God; his mind is purified; he longs to know God more than to satisfy his casual desires.  Then, God’s Grace begins to manifest.  God takes the form of a Guru and appears to the devotee; teaches him the Truth; purifies the mind by His teachings and contact; the mind gains strength, is able to turn inwards; with meditation it is purified yet further, and eventually remains still without the least ripple.  That stillness is the Self.  The Guru is both the exterior and interior.  From the exterior he gives a push to the mind to turn inwards; from the interior he pulls the mind towards the Self and helps the mind to achieve quietness.  That is Grace.

Hence there is no difference between God, Guru and Self.

The essence of mind is only awareness or consciousness.  When the ego, however, dominates it, it functions as the reasoning, thinking or sensing faculty.  The cosmic mind being not limited by the ego, has nothing separate from itself and is therefore only aware. This is what the Bible means by---- I am that I am.

The ego ridden mind has its strength sapped and is too weak to resist the torturing thoughts.  The egoless mind is happy in deep, dreamless sleep.  Clearly therefore Bliss and misery are only modes of mind; but the weak mode is not easily interchangeable with the strong mode. Activity is weakness and consequently miserable; passivity is strength and therefore blissful.  The dormant strength is apparent and therefore not availed of.

The cosmic mind, manifesting in some rare being, is able to affect the linkage in others of the individual (weak) mind with the universal (strong) mind of the inner recess.  Such a rare being is called the GURU or God in manifestation.”

Presenting an excerpt from the book “Sri Ramakrishna, Holy Mother and Swamiji” written by Swami Tathagatananda----“Sri Ramakrishna, the Avatara of the modern age, is the incarnation of Love. He is the living God Satchidananda. According to Sri Ramakrishna, ‘It is God alone who incarnates Himself as man to teach people the ways of love and knowledge’ (The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, pg. 359).

The Master says, ‘And we see God himself if we but see His Incarnation. …. If you seek God, then seek Him in man; He manifests Himself more in man than in any other thing.  If you see a man endowed with ecstatic love, overflowing with Prema, mad after God, intoxicated with His love, then know for certain that God has incarnated Himself through that man.

There is no doubt that God exists in all things; but the manifestations of His power are different in different beings.  The greatest manifestation of His Power is through an incarnation.  Again, in some incarnations there is a complete manifestation of God’s power.  It is the Shakti, the Power of God, that is born as an incarnation.’ …. Swami Vivekananda said, “Feel like Christ and you will be a Christ; feel like Buddha and you will be a Buddha.  It is feeling that is the life, the strength, the vitality, without which no amount of intellectual activity can reach God.”

During my school days I came across the following couplet of Kabirdasji that wonderfully and succinctly expresses the greatness of a Guru:

“Guru Govind dou khare, kakey lagun paye,

balihari Guru apne, Govind diyo bataye.”

 Undoubtedly, the Guru holding your hand is a magical experience.  He takes you through all the crests and troughs of life in a smooth and balanced way. In other words, he helps us to complete the journey of life in a joyful and sane manner.  He is there with us forever – and even if no longer physically present, is ever alive for His devotees through His words and teachings.

I shall sign off with the following lines from Guru Gita:

‘Blinded by the darkness of the world I was.

He who opened my eyes

With a stick of collyrium of Knowledge.

To him I bow down, my Guru, the adorable.’


Two Sanyasis


The following is a transliteration by Sri Ramen Basu of a story narrated by Sri Sri Babathakur (appearing in Swajnaugrahasudha Vol. 2, pages 166 through 172).


To make the general reader understand the difference between the indicators of inner purity versus those of outer purification, Sri Sri Babathakur narrated the following beautiful story of two sanyasis. 

 Two young sanyasis of an ashrama set forth on a journey to a far-away place.  By evening, they had arrived at the banks of a river.  They had to cross that river to reach the other side.  A strong current raged through the river.  It was a winter evening, and there was no ferry service available.  The side of the river where the two sanyasis stood, was desolate; no other soul could be observed.  Across the river on the other side, villages could be seen at a distance.

The evening was darkening gradually.  The two sanyasis made up their minds to cross the river, swimming.  Thinking thus, they began preparing themselves to dive into the water.  They had not carried many belongings with them.   Just as they were about to enter the water, a beautiful damsel in distress approached them saying that tonight, she needed to be on the other bank of the river on a special errand.  No ferry service however was available, and she also didn’t know how to swim.  She very humbly begged the sanyasis to help her.

Both the sanyasis were ready to swim across the river anyway. The elder sanyasi was called Saccidananda.  He was not only a good swimmer, but also strong and healthy.  Without much ado, and not wasting any time he said to the lady – if you hold on to me tight, I should be able to help you get across the river.  The lady gladly agreed to it. All three of them stepped into the river together.  

The current of the river was very strong and the water very cold.  Both sanyasis had to struggle hard against the strong current to get across the river.

The lady did not know how to swim.  Afraid of the cold water and in fear of drowning, she clung tightly to the body of Saccidananda all throughout the river crossing.  Saccidananda easily swam across the river with her, and arrived on the other bank. The other sanyasi followed Saccidananda, and reached the other side of the river as well.

As soon as they got to the other side of the river, they started shivering with cold.  The wet clothes wrapped tight around their bodies further intensified the feeling of discomfort caused by the cold and revealed the physical form of the three.  Stepping out of the river, the lady approached the sanyasis to convey her sincere respect and gratitude.  Referring to the timely help she had received in crossing the river under the most inopportune of circumstances – she tearfully took the hand of Saccidananda and expressing her gratitude, kissed it.   Afterwards thanking them again with gratitude, she bade farewell and left.

Both sanyasis gathered some dry leaves to light a fire.  Sitting by the side of the fire, they warmed themselves and dried their clothes.  Then the companion sanyasi asked Saccidananda – how can a renunciant sanyasi like you tolerate being continually hugged tightly by a beautiful woman for so long?

Saccidananda responded to the query – Do you still remember still that incident?  That incident left no impression in my mind.  Being helpless, she asked for help, and I helped her.  There’s nothing more to it.  The incident ended and so it has left my mind.  Are you still thinking about it?

The story ends here.  I am however going to enumerate on the inner significance of this story which is of great significance to you.

Both were ashramites, young sanyasis. The condition of their mind was restrained by the strict rules, codes of conduct of the Sanyas-ashrama, and their austere ways of living incorporating self-control, celibacy etc.  The high level of ethical principles of discipline and ideals that are central to the Sanyas-life serves as the basis of respect that the householders have for sanyasis. Unless life is not led per the strict rules of the sanyasis, it is impossible to maintain the righteousness of a renunciant.  To transcend material temptations, attachment and delusion, a sanyasi has to observe and maintain strict rules, and there are some special prescripts and prohibitive regulations for them.  Sanyasis have to maintain many strict rules such as exercising self-restraint, following the instructions of the science of ethical principles perfectly, maintaining lifelong celibacy, renouncing the company of the women, etc.  The lives of sadhus and sanyasis are regarded as the ultimate ideal of the spiritual life by others.  If they break the rules and regulations of self-restraint, celibacy and mental disciplines, they can no longer remain a sanyasi in the true sense.  To become a saint is hard, to maintain saintliness is even harder.

Maintaining the characteristics of a sadhu or a sanyasi is a special requirement for spiritual life.  But its absoluteness is perfected only when all kinds of rules and regulations are adhered to in all respects, and they are to overcome all kinds of reactions of the innate nature; otherwise, the cause and effect in life are not possible to overcome for some persons.  Before that, some may take a vow of sanyas and begin to lead the life of a sanyasi, striving sincerely for perfection and attaining the goal of merging with the absolute.

The supreme purification and perfection of life remain hidden at heart; from the outer behavior of a sanyasi, it is very difficult for ordinary person to understand that.  Success and failure, perfection and imperfection are matters of one’s inner expressions and consciousness.  Hence only a perfect and liberated person can be aware of another perfect and liberated person in all respects; the ordinary person cannot.  The imperfect person can be seen everywhere, but seldom does one meet a perfect person.  Again, an ordinary person is not even aware of these matters unless he/she is also zealous about rectifying his/her own demerits and faults.  In general, the indicators of imperfection are finiteness, attributing adjuncts, and the perception of difference owing to duality and the habituation of finding fault within others. The indicator of perfection is liberation from all of these attributes, i.e., the total absence of all these demerits. Only when the Sadhaka becomes continually conscious of the Truth Itself, does it become possible for him to become devoid of all demerits, faults and impurities, as well as become eligible for Self-Knowledge.

Saccidananda, the sanyasi was established in Self Consciousness in all respects.  Hence, he was free from all modifications of the inner sense.  He was aware that the Self is pure, enlightened, a free Witness.  Whatever happens, are no doubt matters of the inner moods of the mind.  When that mood is removed, then that incident becomes extinct from the memory and its importance or characteristics cease to exist.  In Self Consciousness, the sense of individuality does not remain.  Hence, the individual’s perception of difference or separateness, doership, enjoyership, sense of duality and plurality cannot remain in the Reality of Witness Consciousness.

The second sanyasi was not established in Self Knowledge.  Hence, he could not erase the mood of that incident completely from his mind. So, in his case, doubt, fear, and reactions arose in the mind naturally.  He required the strict rules, spiritual discrimination, dispassion and renunciation to protect himself from his own perceptions of right and wrong.  But his perceptions were established on the basis of social and Adhyata dharma, which are inimical to absoluteness and the attainment of perfection.  The rules and regulations of the ashrama can truly help the person who follows the path of absoluteness and perfection; for him these cannot be transgressed.

Here it becomes very apparent that the impure and the imperfect sanyasi could not approve the outer actions and the effects of his companion sanyasi Saccidananda, who was pure, enlightened and all-perfect.

Now the question may arise – what does one mean by ‘pure mind’?  The pure mind is devoid of the idea of space-time, effect and cause.  Such a mind is verily united and identified with Self Consciousness.  Consequently, that mind becomes the free channel for the revelation of the Supreme Divine Experience, Bliss, and the Illumination thereof.  Therein Saccidananda Love, i.e., the One without a second Reality reveals spontaneously, and is self-evident.

On the other hand, an impure mind comprises predominantly of tamo and rajo gunas and remains associated with the lower nature of the seer and the scene, and the idea of agent and enjoyer.  That mind is connected with space, time, effect and cause; its attachment to sensual pleasures, desire for the results of action, illusory concept of the sense of individuality, and the perceived difference of one from others, remain.  Instead of True Self Knowledge, the mind thinks or assumes the image of worldly existence to be real.  The longing for the attainment of the transient, non-divine, impermanent, false objects or things, and hankering for attainment of name and fame remain in that mind.  Those who have a pure mind and intellect are free from dual and pluralistic ideas, and can become easily entitled to the Absolute Brahman-Atman, the One without a second Consciousness.  The impure mind and intellect are unrestrained, restless, arrogant, doubtful, and are unable to discern the unity, harmony and equanimity within the diversified, changeable worldliness.  Consequently, the mind has to always confront the inner and outer reactionary effects in life. The mind has to experience sufferings for its unrestrained actions and thoughts.  Here is the fundamental difference between the well-restrained, pure, spiritual, divine mind and the ordinary mind or the mind of the sadhaka.

Through this story, the difference between the two sanyasis can be been clearly made out through their words and conduct.  This has been expressed from the outlook of the Absolute Swanubhavasiddhi, free from the influence caused by very subtle discrimination and skillful intellectual argument. The significance of the story has been expressed from the viewpoint of the One without a second Consciousness in the light of Self Conscious Awareness.  The purpose of the story – i.e., to make the you aware of the fact that the One without a second Knowledge which for all time and in all conditions is the True nature of the Supreme Divine Amritattva – has been expressed beautifully and perfectly through the three human characters and two natural objects so that it could be easily understood.

The story was presented from the viewpoint of the query asked, and to make the subject matter easily relatable; special importance had to be given to the five subjects.  These five were the three humans, a river, and a boat. The essence of ‘All Divine for all time, as it is’ is within these five Tattvas.  Only Sadguru by the light of His perfect Realization, compassion and blessings can cull and present to others, this Essence of the Tattva for the attainment of the Knowledge of Knowledge of the Supreme One without a second Tattva of Brahman-Atman.

The sanyasi named Saccidananda manifests the True nature of the Self, which is perfectly well-controlled and at onement with the Absolute that He has attained through firm faith and Sadhana in the One without a second Knowledge.

But the second sanyasi’s innate nature for lack of restraint and purity of mind was not established in the Supreme One without a second Reality.  His sadhana of the Supreme Tattva and the One without a second Knowledge was of a far inferior quality compared to the Jnanasiddhi of the first sanyasi.  Hence as a sadhaka, it was not possible for the second sanyasi   to approve of the action and the conduct of his colleague.  He had doubts and ignorance in full measure.  His sense of individuality was attached to agency, enjoyership and other material objectives.  Hence, he became distorted and embarrassed by the influence of objective norms and sense perception.

The young lady here was the object of knowledge which remains always connected with the agent and experiencer according to the rules of affection and attachments of the lower nature. A person of Self Knowledge always remains free from desire, anger, greed, delusion, fear and modifications of the inner sense, alternatives, and the effects and manifestations of the idea of duality and plurality in all respects.

Now let me narrate from a different viewpoint, the significance of the subject matter of this story, listen attentively –

The young lady of the story is none other than corporeal image of Maya.  To the Realized Person of the Param Tattva and Amritattva, Maya has no effect.  However, the hypnotic influence of Maya is always very pronounced amongst people of the material world, those who are impure, or those who are beginner sadhakas.  To the supreme perfect souls, Maya is merely a delusive, captivating medium who fails to cast her magical spell on them; in fact, she obediently serves them as well.  The Self-realized Knower of Truth remains absorbed within Himself.

Per the infinite, incomprehensible, semitic ideas and philosophy of Paramatmadevata, i.e., the Lord and the Master of this profound blissful world drama, Maya is Satanic; however, Maya is not the Absolute evil that she has been portrayed to be.  Ishwara and His Energy are not different, but identical.  Ishwara Himself is the divine One without a second Tattva and Vijnana; His power of manifestation is His Swabhava.  In both aspects (i.e., in His manifest and unmanifested forms), He is verily Himself.  The power of manifestation thereof is His Prakriti.  The One without a second Tattva is Being and Becoming both; Transcendent and manifest both; corporeal and incorporeal both; devoid of attribute and replete with attribute both, formless and with form both; impersonal and personal both; and beyond that is also He Himself.  This is the right Darshan and Realization of ‘Nityadvaita’. 

The river with the strong current included in the story is symbolic of the ocean of relative existence of Avidya-Ajnana-Maya. No ferry-boat was included in the story.  So that boat is the symbol of blessings and grace required to cross the river of Ajnana; that was implied in the story because the sanyasi Saccidananda Himself was the corporeal image of Ishwara and Guru. He is Self-perfect and the substratum of all, both the refuge and refugee of all.  He is sans duality.  He is the One without a second. Hence, He does not need any other support.  He as Ishwara- Guru Himself here was the living refuge of His brother sanyasi and the young lady.  Prakriti is not essentially a hindrance to Him; Prakriti is the self-effulgent light who is always His obedient and devoted attendant.  She is the Supreme love, affection, radiance, light and principle of ethics Itself of Swabhava and the non-dual True nature of Paramapurusha i.e., the One without a second Paramartha Devata.  The Swarupa and Swabhava Shakti of the non-dual are complimentary and supplementary.  Any spontaneous and self-evident manifestation or revelation within Him is not something separate and apart from the non-dual.  This is a matter of Self Conscious Awareness, and not of inference.

The underlying five Tattvas of the story have been described based on the original outlook of Direct Experience i.e., from the central and fundamental outlook of non-dual Self Conscious Awareness.  The Brahmatman Jnana or the One without a second Knowledge is called the third eye or eye of Wisdom.  It is obscured and unmanifested within the ordinary person.  However, by the supreme grace and blessings of the Paramatma Guru or the Divine Being, this eye of Wisdom is opened i.e., gets revealed.  Only then does the self-surrendered, obedient and dedicated devotee gets the best chance to attain unity and identity with Paramatma Devata in Absolute Consciousness.  This results in being eternal established in the Absolute Saccidanandaghana Brahmatman Itself, and the life of the aforesaid devotee becomes ever-free, gratified and established in the Amritattva.  In this manner Sadguru Brahman-Atman Itself embraces within Himself His Own self-surrendered best entitled Bhakta, Yogi, Jnani disciples and makes them One’s Own and then reveals in them the Absolute eternal, enlightened, free Self Consciousness Itself perfectly.  On the bosom of the non-dual Reality does the non-dual verily appear. The modifications of duality i.e., the momentary amorous play also forever gets merged.

Here ends the presentation of the significance of the story.  All your queries are answered here within. Now you all think about the inner significance of the story in your mind specially and realize the identity of the implied meaning of the story accurately.  You will see that the possibility of any further new questions won’t be there.   When the Realization becomes Self Conscious Awareness, then all questions are resolved. The underlying Tattva of the story was beautifully presented to you in the light of Self Conscious Awareness suitably for your understanding.  The Sadhaka has to find out the underlying implied meaning of the story by repeatedly reviewing, and accurately assessing all the incidents and their significance.

The hidden essence of this tale or story must be carefully cultivated and repeatedly practiced.  If you gloss over it like a novel or the script of a play, you can never become aware of the mystery hidden within the story.  From the viewpoint of information, the meaning of the sum total of the words of the story is conventional, but from the viewpoint of Self Conscious Awareness, this story expressed the Paramarthik Tattva i.e.  the outlook of the eternal One without a second Realization.  From the outlook of the One without a second Consciousness, the effect and cause of dual consciousness remain unmanifest.  This unmanifested state is the Param Avyakta i.e., inactive and seedless Avyakta.  The unmanifested state of duality is the causal seed-state.  That is the ground of nescience and ignorance – the balanced state of rest of the aggregate nescience.  There are two effects of ignorance i.e., Maya Prakriti and Avidya Prakriti.  In association with Maya Prakriti the immutable Brahman-Atman reveals or manifests as the Lord of the creation, and the same Brahman-Atman in association with Avidya Prakriti manifests or reflects Himself as the living universe.  Both the living universe and the Lord in association with Maya are dual. Beyond ignorance, i.e., beyond Maya and nescience, is the self-radiant One without a second, the Supreme Pure Saccidananda Brahman-Atman.  The Realization of non-dual Consciousness is verily the Realization of Amritattva, Realization of Absoluteness, Supreme Freedom and Peace Itself.  In Him is the Paragati of the embodied being and its establishment in Bhuma Tattva.