Serving Selflessly Brings Receiving: Serve, serve you parents, serve other beings

Experience-based contributory articles:

Serving Father and Mother is a way to attain Liberation via the divine mercy: Buddhia Baba

- A reflection of my Guru’s teachings by Ganeswar Rath, Baimundi Marg, Cuttack. 24-Dec-2011

[Prologue: The following discourse is a recollection of Baba’s words, spoken on different occasions, compiled here in one context. It describes the importance of serving one’s parents as a way to receiving divine mercy and also discusses some essence of yoga. Also, the Odia version is given below, which was published earlier in a newspaper. The English text includes some further explanation. Please note that interpreting from native to another language may result in slight loss of information.]

In the book “Bhakti Taranga” (Waves of Devotion), which is a collection of Baba’s devotional songs in a transcendental state of love towards God and Guru, revered and affectionate saint Baba Sri Buddhanath Das had indicated succinctly about the time of leaving his mortal body. He mentioned there, that by the year 2006, Ninth month, Sunia Tithi (a specific day in lunar calendar) his physical body won’t be there anymore. Sri Achyutananda Das via his Shunya Pothi (Oracle) and Tera Janma Sarani (a book), and Sri Arakhsita Das in his Bhaava Manjusa, have written that Baba Sri Buddhanath Das is their disciple Sri Ram Das (former life). In his thirteenth birth, he will be known by the name Buddhanath and will take birth in Telasara (a village) near the confluence of two rivers, the Devi and the Gobari, and will establish an Ashram in Garoi from where he will fulfill the tasks according to his Guru’s divine instructions.

Baba left his body on the Bhadraba Shukla Dasami Tithi (a day according to lunar calendar), before the Sunia Tithi, and immersed himself in the Universal consciousness. While being in his mortal body, the way he removed selfishness and eradicated ego from the devotees, delivered affection and blessings, now also from Shunya he continues to do the same and never fails in his undertakings. If we devotees can completely surrender to him and have unconditional love for him, we can receive his blessings, for he is an emblem of Truth, Peace, Compassion, and Forgiveness and a realized and spiritually liberated Master. His words never fail. Before leaving his mortal coil, His Holiness has said:

Ee Dehara Haada

Ee Dehara Hāda Jahin Rahiba, Juga Juga Jāen Kathā Kahiba,
Jagatra Kalyāna Bārata Deba, Biswāsi Bhaktanka Dukha Hariba

Where the Bone of this body remains buried, Shall it be communicating from within there
While giving information for the welfare of the society, and will be removing sorrows of the faithful ones ...

Baba shows understanding and respect for all the religions and spiritual paths. The path he follows is Lord Jagannath path, which comprises the principles of “Truth, Peace, Compassion, Forgiveness and Love” and the path of action includes “Love, Affection, and Serving the Guru and Parents”. If we follow his teachings and act accordingly, we can also purify ourselves in this mortal body and fulfill the very purpose of our lives. Antaryami (one who knows other’s heart) and Trikaldarsi (one who sees the past, present and future) Baba used to advise his disciples and devotees to serve their parents.

In his words, “If you ignore your parents and go to a Temple, Church, Mosque, or Gurudvara with offerings, the supreme Lord won’t be happy with you. The creator has made all the beings and things in the Universe along with our parents who in turn bring you to this world. A mother keeps the offspring for 10 months (in lunar calendar) inside her body, then feeds the baby with her own body vital fluids converted to milk and father does a lot of sacrifice for the upbringing. If you despise someone’s child, very likely the parent will not like you. Likewise, if children ignore their parents, who are also God’s children who bring you to this Earth, you will not receive the divine mercy and blessings. If we would like to receive God’s grace and blessings then we must also serve and show affection to our parents, who are the living God. Show affection and serve your parents and Guru, your needs will be fulfilled via them by the God himself. If we happen to become out-of-way (metaphoric), he will bring us back to the true path; If we fall for bad food (metaphoric) he will give us proper nourishment; if we get trapped in wrong doings, he will show us how to perform righteously.”

Why is that? What is the little secret behind all this? Is there a little spiritual truth behind all this (the secret of creation is so deep!). He further continues that even if the parents die, as long as the children are alive, the parents are still alive; a part of them is still alive. In your body only, Father, Mother, and Guru (your Jeeva Atma) are ever present. If you are alive, they are alive. If we can serve, love, and show devotion to the Guru, the Father and the Mother present inside our own bodies, the spiritual offerings will be received by the Ananta Vishnu (the supreme Lord). So what is the meaning of serving them inside our own bodies? How can that be done? Instead of serving them, we continuously keep on attempting to torture them. This is because when we are enslaved by negative and evil feelings (anger, jealousy, greed etc.), we become someone else, not the true self, by being out of our minds and control. We cannot, at that time, think clear what is justified what is not, what is good what is not, what truth is and what is not. As a result of these negative feelings, bad food, undisciplined lifestyle etc., the blood and internal organs get affected by self-releasing poison, increasing cholesterol and blood pressure and other complications and in turn we, unknowingly, also torture the Parents inside us. Because of the increased anxiety (over aroused sympathetic system in clinical terms which increases irregularity in vasoconstriction and vasodilatation, heart rate etc.) we are unable to use our wisdom properly, intelligence is temporarily inhibited, our luster and character degrades and ultimately we become Gurudrohi (a person who is ungrateful to Guru).
In other words:
  • if we see bad things, our Guru and Parents are punished
  • if we listen to bad things, they are punished
  • if we think bad things, they are punished
  • if we consume unhealthy things, they are punished
  • if we speak evil things, they are punished...
It was not without a reason that Mahatma Gandhi had the figures of three monkeys, “See no evil, Speak no evil, Hear no evil”, may be in a different context. But this essentially is the secret of Yoga. Keep yourself pure and healthy (spiritually, mentally, and physically), in turn you are also pleasing the spiritual essence inside you.

Baba used to say, “People so many times cause pain to Guru and parents, but Guru and parents never curse in return; they pray to God to protect you when you are in trouble and wish you stay in happiness. Mother and Father, no matter what, want good for their children. So recognize and hold to this truth and act accordingly.”

He adds, “The way the Sun and Moon continue to provide light, so the parents and Guru keep on giving their blessings. As in a sack of onion, one may not hold sugar for too long and adequately, we are unable to receive and hold to the blessings. Blessings are finer than water and air (in a metaphorical way) so we cannot hold it for long. There is no lacking in their giving, what is lacking is how we receive and retain it. To illustrate this, imagine having some cotton, a little bit of water and a huge basaltic stone separately under a mid-day Sun and then bring them back home after a few hours. As we know and will see, the heat energy is dissipated within a short time from one material and will be retained on another one for a longer period. To be able to receive and keep Guru’s blessings for longer periods, you have to make yourselves like the material which retains the heat for longer period, unlike the cotton. Therefore, with the thread of affection and feelings, mend your body (in a spiritual sense) and you will be able to receive and retain the divine energy and blessings. Do not get upset with your Deity, Guru, or Parents and thinking and saying that they deliver to others but not to me. First rectify yourself and then see the results. Learn the essence of Truth, Peace, Compassion, and Forgiveness and practice these qualities in your life. With adequate feelings, feel and recite the name of the Lord in your heart, He, The greatest Boatman and Coxswain (in a metaphorical way), will sail you safely out of this world of pain and suffering towards the material and spiritual liberation.”

In one of his spontaneous songs (translated from Oriya), described elsewhere, he sings: Tame your ignorant mind

And with the virtues of “having served” and devotion
There is nothing impossible on this earth
If you are bereft of the virtues of “having served”
God is never yours

This is how serving and receiving is related
We can get to God by serving
This “serving” at the end is only for “receiving”
Do this “service” with your whole heart

With the virtues of serving goes on the creation
And there is nothing on the other side
And whoever achieved these virtues of having served
Is able to cut through and remove all the ill-lucks
And the mankind will be your friend
And, on his lotus feet put your heart, put your heart
And on his lotus feet put your heart ...

After biological death, the human soul (Jeevatma) which is a part of the Supreme soul (Paramatma) immerses eventually in the Sun; the Sun is the reflection of the brilliance of God. It does not immerse right after but goes through phases, and eventually it immerses in the Sun. What is left behind is the Ring (the ring of Karma; Karma Balaya). It stays for a while in the former home, then around the home, and eventually goes away. Similarly, the birth takes place according to the past Karma, at the will of the Almighty. And The Sun is the source of all lives. This is also the reason why water is offered to the Sun, water is offered to our ancestors, and water is offered to God (Jalarpana in Sanatan rituals). Sun receives nothing but water and Jalarpana is a way to give offerings to the Sun and our ancestors. So, Where is God?

Shunya Shunya Mahashunya
Mahashunya Pare Niranjan
Niranjan Pare Jyoti
Tan Madhye Parambrahman

God is all pervading but his presence is realized by the Yogis, when they, through devotion, service and Tapasya (highest form of prolonged meditation), pierce through the rings of Shunya, Shunya and eventually the Mahashunya (The Great Nothingness out of which everything has originated!).

This has been written in a simplistic way but of course it’s easier said than done. The path is sharper than the edge of the finest knife and thinner than the finest thread. Temptations and distractions are numerous and the path eventually is only one. One has to get past the six major spiritual hindrances (Kama - desire for mundane, Krodha - anger, Lobha - greed, Moha - delusion of belonging, Mada - extreme egoism, false confidence and arrogance, & Maathsarya - jealousy) along with other subsidiary ones and kill the twenty five enemies (25 prakriti; human properties of lesser level). This is also how one spiritually serves the Father, Mother, and Guru inside oneself. Then the yogi drives his mind in the Banku Nala (the wind channel), where he hears the sounds of flute (vamsi) of Alekha within the twelve fingers’ space (Naada Yoga). Gradually he knows the spiritual attributes of Atma, which further has five categories: Jnyana Atma, Dhyana Atma, Tattva Atma, Jeeva Atma and Parama Atma. If one fails to recognize Atma, all pilgrimages and study of the scriptures are futile. As the crops starve due to lack of rain, all wisdom and meditation become ineffective due to the ignorance about Atma. A Siddha (realized soul) knows which Atma belongs to which Atma and how they are hid in Pranava Omkara. The pinda (body) constitutes of eight Dhaatus. When one realizes this, the water overflows the rim. When the pond is full of water, Lotus blossoms and the bees buzz around being excited with the honey drops, and produce the primordial sound. Concentrating on such sound, the Munis and Yogis get liberation. One must fixate the mind into that Dhvani (sound) [extracted from Shunya Samhita]. The yogis sacrifice everything and their effort is directed only either to serve others or to reach God and nothing else. Like in an Onion, there are many layers, so are the vices of the body and the mind. After all the layers are removed, the innermost dry core is left which has no taste. Yogis peel off each layer of the Onion-like worldly-bondage and pierce through the six chakras and fixate their mind on the Pranava Omkara (primordial sound) sitting in the Shunya Mandir (temple of the void) and then only get what they are looking for.

These were some of the recollections of Baba’s words and his Guru Sri Achyuta’s writings and we must remember and act on Guru’s words to realize the Atma and seek God.

A part of the above artcile was published in a local Odia Newspaper (Samaja), given below:

24-Dec-2011, Gania, Cuttack

Pita Mata Seva