Questions And Answers With Swamiji- Part-2

January 16, 2018   

7. Swamiji, which are the different methods of spiritual enlightenment? Is it necessary to have a Guru?
The scriptures give us different options. Apart from japa yoga. Threr are jnana yoga, bhakthi yoga and karma yoga. A person can choose the one that suits his or her temperament. He or she can also practice a mix of all the three. Japa yaga results in shedding the I ‘Me’ and ‘Mine’ attitude. When you worship and meditate on the Ishta Devatha or the chosen mantra. You feel an identity with the supreme Being you develop tyaga and vairagya manobhava, that is a feeling of renunciation and going after material objects. Similarly, jnana yoga or the path of knowledge brings about higher levele of awareness and understanding. He or she start becoming atma svarupa. Bhakthi marga is the path of devotion. Here is very essential for every person is karma or action there is a great stress on being service- minded and helping out others in distress.
Talking about the Guru, He or she has a very vital role to play in helping us in our spiritual pursuits. A guru, with his experience and wisdom, guides us on to the proper path. A really qualified guru is a tapasvi. He or she should be adhyayanasheela constantly in search of knowledge. The guru should speak the virtuous path and set an example to the disciple. Surrender to such a Guru helps us shed our ahamkara or arrogance. This aham is the root of all undesirable actions. However, after a certain stage, knowledge it self will become a guru. There is no need to depend on the guru forever.

8. Swamijji, you have been conducting koti mahayajnas in different centers. What is the significance of conducting such homes and yajnas?
Homes and yajnas have great significance since the Vedic times. The offerings made during these sacrificial rituals carry cleansing properties. They purify the surrounding environment. Disease bearing germs and harmful substances are destroyed. In the ancient days, homes and havans were also used to cause rainfall.
Moreover, homas and yajnas mean mass participation and are done through collective efforts. They bring about ekata or brotherhood, harmony, mutual respect and service orientation among people. Prayer is very essential for every human being. Apart from personal and individual prayers, collective prayares seeking universal good are also a must collective prayers are there in all religions. Christians have their congregation and masses. Muslims have their group prayers. These collective prayers supplement individual prayers . Rishis of yore prayed in isolation and solitude discovered the mantras, tested thire efficacy and thereafter passed them on to the public for thire prayers.
Homas and yajnas relate to collective prayers or praying in proups. Praying in groups has great shakthi, a kind of multiplier effect. Koti mahayajnas also help me in bringing people together and creating and spreading awereness about the significance of Gayatri.
9. How can Gayatri Japa and Gayatri Upasana transform our lives?
Human life is a precious gift for all of us. According to our scriptures, as a human being, there is a commitment to seek mukkthi or liberation. Every individual should strive to wards that. It is jnana or higher knowledge that leads us towards liberation and Gayatri Upasana is the pathway to brahma jnana, the supreme Truth. Gayatri Mantra is a prayer that bestows men and women with higher intellect. It purifies our thoughts and infuses adhyatma shakthi.
Gayantat Trayate iti Gayatri. It is called Gayatri because the mantra protects us from evil tendencies. It guides us on the right path. It develops deva guna or virtuous and sattwik qualities in us. One who meditates on Gayatri Mantra sincerely and regularly acquires a divine character. He or she gains good health, good mind or good thoughts and good intellect. The veil of maya or ignorance is removed through Gayatri Upasana. The person committed to Gayatri japa stays focused on the higher purpose of life.
Gayatri japa is of three Kinds: vachaka japa, upamshu japa and manasa japa. Vachaka japa means chanting the Gayatri Mantra loudly with correct pronunciation. Not only the person chanting the mantra. But also those who aer around, can hear the mantra. Upamshu japa relates to the soft utterance of the chanter of the mantra. Manasa japa or mentel prayer is the best among the three japas. Gayatri mantra has tremendous transformation power. Pray to Gayatri regularly and see the transformation or positive changes happening to you.

10.Swamiji, in the present day busy life, people may not find much time for doing japa or meditation. What is your advice to them?
The concept of prayer and meditation can also change with the changing times. It may not be possible for everyone to observe austerities and spend much time on prayers. One should meditate according to one’s convenience. Ideally speaking, Gayatri japa should be done at the Brahmi muhurtha, that is, between 3.30 and 5.30 in the morning, before sunrise and in the evening, before sunset. The shakthis emanating from surya impact us very favorably during those early hours in the morning.
Those who cannot do the japa at those early hours should practice the prayer or meditation at fixed time every morning, preferably before sunrise. One should chant the mantra silently, with the help of japamala or rudraksha (string of beads), and with full understanding of its meaning and significance. It should be a manasa japa or mental prayer, done silently, for it is manasa japa that brings tanmayatha or single minded devotion and helps in manonigraha or conditioning of the mind. Gayatri japa should be done for about 15-30 minutes at a fixed time every day and gradually increased depending on the convenience and conviction of the person concerned. I am personally in favor of doing gayatri meditation in the morning and evening, or even at night even after sunset. After all, sun never sets. Whatever practice one follows, shraddha or sincerity is very important in doing Gayatri japa. Gayatri mantra can be chanted by any one at any place and any time. All that is required is sincerity and faith.