Japa during Navaratri


Speech made  during Autumn Navaratri, on 24 september 1987 at Shri Sarveshwari Samuh, Ganesh Pith – Parav –Varanasi

Respected mothers and dear brothers, today on the sacred day of Autumn Navaratri I ask that on that day any special seminar hasn’t been scheduled. I tell you that, as you left your factory work, your farm work  and your housework, now you are free to listen to my speech, much as it may be useful to you, and to dedicate your time to the prosperity of your country.

Today, free from these occupations, having this hartal (day off work to celebrate a religious feast or anniversary) been fixed, we have collected money. So I, too, will be able to go on making high speeches to you, while you go on depriving your children, your family, your society, your country of their rights and you will go on doing that.

This is a simple speech: we aren’t willing to give our kids their basic rights which would be due to them. They should have right to be fed and maintained, to education and to game and amusement to which their age drive them; but we don’t do that at all! Many women almost torture their children, they clasp them to their breast, but then they refuse them, by pushing them away, and so they deprive them of this right, too; what a heavy cruelty they make!

I have come to become a devotee of the Mother, to make a sacred rite and, next to Her, to know my duty; which is our duty? Our children, our relatives, our friends and mates have right to our love, to our affection and to receive a lot from us, but we don’t do that at all! Where will our bad character, which makes a person prone to cruelty, let us find help and solace on this earth?

Maybe I think I’m a good person, I’m honest and lucky, I can get everything but I cannot forgive my soul that keeps reproaching me: “O ill-intentioned, trampling on other people’s rights, taking happiness away from others, how can you expect to live happily?”

Today, on the occasion of this Navaratra, I want to address the prayer ‘Vande Sarveshwari’ (I hail you, o Sarveshvari) to you.

“On this sacred anniversary, I address my respectful devotion to you, so that may family, society and nation recognize sacrosanct rights to the children, the elderly and the young of our country and live in peace and happiness. O Mother, give them wisdom!  May their relatives and parents live in peace and happiness, by leaving dislike, grudge and hate. This is an essential need for our fellow countrymen and countrywomen, for the society and for the whole world.”

Venerable Aghoreshwar tells an event that shocked him while coming back from Gaya: “It was the first or second week of July, when I saw a cloud over there and I thought that cloud could bring the rain but then I noticed that right from that side a big flight of vultures was going down on a village; from Punjab to Assam these voracious vultures devastate one village after another and then flying from Andhra Pradesh to Bihar what a lot of raids they make! This a clear sign of their hostility towards us; but we received hundreds of displays of fond generosity, what a lot of affection and love, what a lot of joy and happiness, our fellow citizens, our relatives, our wives gave us! But we think if it as sign of weakness. What a lot of affection, what a lot of love our Gurus have shown us by whispering Mantra in our ears and what a lot of joy they have given to our hearts!

But today our body has taken the form of hate, dislike, envy and burns horribly in fire. Painful troubles due to heavy social disparities in our country can do nothing but drive us to address our fervent worship to Mother Baghvati: ‘O Mother, why am I shown these social differences? I hope for nothing from the propitious vision of this reality, may it be good or bad! What I see through my eyes and what I listen to and learn from the others only gives me anxiety; therefore today great people who hope for our good are ‘gentlemen’ and also mahatmas (great souls) and, although they are ‘freed’, they cannot say anything freely; they are so busy that any time they say something, even about a brother of theirs, it rings always like this: ‘He is suffering and sad, this is what he misses and needs’. But for themselves they say nothing but: ‘O Lord, my life is short, so I have not very much time to dedicate to all the actions I have to do, as a good man I would like to live showing compassion and mercy towards everyone and everything. As long as I stay on this earth, after promising to myself to try to avoid sin, I don’t want to live tainting the other with my sins, nor I want to trample on their rights’.

Brothers, this is exactly how saints, gentlemen, good persons think;  this is exactly their way of thinking and reflecting; if I have some faults, I cannot, nor I want to speak about that, I cannot tell it, since there are persons who understand these speeches as if they were from a diabolical mind, so I’d better not speak about it. Maybe I’d better keep these things for myself, hide at least most of them, although I cannot figure out the effect of all this. I would like to say many things, although I cannot get the right moment to do it. The persons coming for Puja are making good use of their time, this morning I saw many people sitting in an asana (yoga position), a I could stroll for a full hour and, while walking and looking about, I could notice it; I am striving to empty my mind, to think of it, but as I was living in the ashram I saw that, meditating, I didn’t place the little bowl for ‘Achamani’ (to feel one’s palm with water and then drink it) because I didn’t have it or because I was unaware of its importance.

O brothers, whether there is water in the bowl, whether there is mango leaf, keeping the leaf with your left hand, for three times, using your right hand, drink water, this is called bhutashuddi. The aim of bhutashuddi is to nullify the past karma we have accumulated.  O Paramatma, nullify every bad action I did through this body.

By saying ‘Om tat sat’, you do ‘Achamani’; the aim of Achamani is to purify the mouth; after that, do ‘Pranayama’, called ‘Vayushuddi’, for a while (inspiration, retention, expiration). Bodily prana arrives in the vayu (the air we breath), so by holding your breath (prana) with your left hand, breathe out slowly with your right hand, this vayushuddi has to be repeated three times; if you haven’t time, do that only for a moment; inspiration time has to be tripled during retention and doubled during expiration, do everything three times. Bhutashuddi, Pranashuddi and then Achamani again, saying: ‘Atmatattvam shodhayami svaha, Pranatattvam shodhayami svaha, Viryatattvam shodhayami svaha, Gurutattvam shodhayami svaha, Shivatattvam shodhayami svaha’ (I purify – shodhayami – Atmatattva svaha; and the same for the other tattva), so you do the purification. It doesn’t matter if you do it before or after; there is no rules which oblige you to follow a set sequence, so you can follow the normal order or the reverse order. After that, do ‘Digbandhan’, snapping your fingers, as you don’t have the little bell. Because of poverty and of lack of means, I bring water inside purva (terracotta bowl) and I’m doing Achamani with the mango leaf, you too have received it, while I could have it only when I found a bowl (purva). After doing Achamani, I did Digbandhan and after that Japa; anything Guru told, you don’t have to rack your brain to know what we have been given and in which conditions and in which mood.

Remember Bhagavadgita saying: ‘Yaghyanam japo yaghyah’ (Japa is the rite of rites), then start repeating your Mantra. Mala is composed of 108 beads; heigt beads are for the debt towards your Guru, your father, your Deva, your mother, your country and the authority ruling the country; from whichever family I come from, even to it I am in debt, and even to anyone who feeds me, I will be always in debt. By repeating Japa eight times, this eight beads are dedicated to the above-named persons; there are the remaining hundred beads whose repetition represents ‘Sankalp’, either for ten thousand and for one hundred thousand japas, and concluding the repetition ten times, make the fire sacrifice (Havan) called Purashcharan.

We won’t be able to do havan ten times, as we don’t have much material, and it requires also a lot of time; therefore let’s repeat japa ten times; if there aren’t means enough, by repeating the japa, make havan ten times; make all this for your satisfaction, for your favourite devata (Ishta), for your calm and your happiness, but not to make someone suffer, nor to causing one’s death, dismissal or restlessness. O supreme soul (Paramatma), absolutely not for this. If I think and behave well, I will be well; if I think badly and I mean harm the others, I, too, will feel unwell.

O believers, you will probably understand my words about Japa and Puja, and speaking of the flower in the vase, you pick it and give it to Gurus: ‘I offer Guru’s sacred feet the flower in the vase’; for his feet and his lotus hands it was offered. You shouldn’t think: ‘I bring the flower I picked, I offer something someone else has brought, by taking other people’s things I make a good impression’. I have only this body of mine, I left old and worn-down things for you.

O Bhagvati, give me wisdom and good ideas, let me see and be close to good people who understand other’s people rights as well as theirs. As long as I live see to it that I am never weighed down by cares and that in this world in turmoil and on earth I may never listen or see anything you don’t like. I don’t know in what different ways you are forced to behave, maybe on the basis of the situation of the country, the time and also the conditions of society; even if we do like this, I don’t understand.

‘I am very cunning, I live controlling everything, I always manage to get off, I have full command of everything’, so I feel myself obliged to reject firmly this hateful ways of thinking and acting.”