Letter 93

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12th February, 1947
Today, I reached the hall at about 3 p.m. Bhagavan was at leisure, answering questions asked by some devotee. One of the questions was: “Swami, they say that japa and tapa performed in the presence of Bhagavan yield greater results than usual. If so, what about bad actions done in your presence?”

Bhagavan replied, “If good actions yield good results, bad actions must yield bad results. If the gift of a cow in Benares yields great punya (virtue) to the donor, the slaughter of a cow there result in great papa (sin). When you say that a little virtuous action done in a holy place yields enormous benefit, a sinful action must likewise yield enormous harm. So long as the feeling that you are the doer is there, you must face the consequences of your actions, good or bad.”

“There is the desire to discard bad habits but the force of the vasanas is very strong. What are we to do?” that person continued.

There must be human effort to discard them. Good company, good contacts, good deeds and all such good practices must be acquired in order to eliminate the vasanas.
As you keep on trying, eventually with the ripening of the mind and with God’s grace, the vasanas get extinguished and efforts succeed. That is called purushakaram (human effort). How could God be expected to be favourable towards you without your striving for it?” said Bhagavan.

Another person took up the thread of conversation and said, “It is said that the whole universe is God’s chidvilasam and that everything is Brahmamayam. Then why should we say that bad habits and bad practices should be discarded?”

Bhagavan replied, “Why? I will tell you. There is the human body. Suppose there is some wound inside it. If you neglect it, on the assumption that it is only a small part of the body, it causes pain to the whole body. If it is not cured by ordinary treatment, the doctor must come, cut off the affected portion with a knife and remove the impure blood. If the diseased part is not cut off it will fester.

“If you do not bandage it after operation, puss will form.

It is the same thing with regard to conduct. Bad habits and bad conduct are like a wound in the body; if a man does not discard them, he will fall into the abyss below. Hence every disease must be given appropriate treatment.

“Bhagavan says that sadhana must be done to discard all such bad things, but the mind itself is inert and cannot do anything by itself --- Chaitanya (Self) is achalam (motionless) and so will not do anything. Then how is one to perform sadhana?” someone asked.

Bhagavan replied, “Oho! But how are you able to talk now?”

“Swami, I do not understand that and that is why I ask for enlightenment,” he said.

Bhagavan replied, “All right. Then please listen. The mind which is inert is able to achieve everything by the force of its contact, sannidhyabala (strength of proximity) with chaitanya which is achala. But without the aid of chaitanya the inert mind cannot accomplish anything by itself. Chaitanya, being immobile, cannot accomplish anything without the help of the mind. It is the relationship of avinabhavam, one dependent on the other, and inseparable. That is why elders discussed this matter from various angles and came to the conclusion that the mind is chit-jada-atmakam. We have to say that the combination of chit (Self) and jada (inert) produces action.” Bhagavan has written nicely about this Chit-jada-granthi in his “Unnathi Nalubadhi”, verse 24, as follows: The body does not say ‘I’. The Atman is not born. In between, the feeling ‘I’ is born in the whole body.

Whatever name you give it that is Chit-jada-granthi (the knot between the consciousness and the inert), and also bondage.

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