Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Beloved is Shree Krishna of Vrindavan

Our Ishta dev (the chosen form of God we worship) is Shree Krishna, who performs sweet pastimes in the groves of Vrindavan.  It is natural to be curious as to why one should accept Kunj Bihari Shree Krishna as one's Ishta dev?
Let us consider whom all we can be devoted to and make as our Ishta dev.  It can be human beings, the celestial gods, demons or the Supreme Lord.  Amongst them, it is better to worship humans than to worship demons, who are in the mode of ignorance.   Better than just any human, is one's own mother, father, son, daughter, etc.  Better than them are the celestial gods like Indra, Varun, Kuber etc.  But, all these three kinds of personalities are under the influence of Maya.  If we worship any of these as our Ishta dev, the result will be endless wandering in the cycle of 8.4 million species of life.  We will neither get rid of sorrows and pain, nor attain eternal happiness.  These divine goals will only be attained if we make some Divine personality as the object of our worship. 
Now, in the spiritual realm, whom can we consider as our Ishta dev?  First is the impersonal, formless aspect of God, which possesses no qualities.  This impersonal aspect of God is chosen by the gyanis, who worship the attributeless Brahm.  However, in Kaliyug very rarely does anyone possess the qualification for worshipping the formless Brahm.  It requires hard spiritual practice and immense control over the mind.  Arjun, who was a master archer and had rejected even Urvashi, the celestial beauty, admitted in the Bhagavad Geeta:
chaṁchalaṁ hi manaḥ kṛiṣhṇa pramāthi balavaddṛiṛham |
tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ manye vāyoriv suduṣhkaram  ||
"O Shree Krishna! This mind is very unsteady and wavering.  I have been defeated by its flickering nature.  Its speed is faster than air."  God replied, "Yes Arjun, You are right.  However, with the selection of the correct path and surrender to the right form of God, we can attain our goal."  Arjun replied, "There are two aspects of God - Impersonal or Formless and Personal.  Whom should we make our Ishta dev, or chosen form of God for worship?"  Shree Krishna answered, "Arjun! For humans to follow the path of gyan and meditate on the formless Brahm is impossible."  Tulsidas ji clearly stated:
kahat kaṭhin samujhat kaṭhin sādhan kaṭhin vivek |
hoy ghuṇākṣhar nyāy jo puni prayooha anek ||
"The path of gyan is difficult both to explain and to understand.  To practice it is even more difficult.  It is next to impossible to attach the mind the formless God, Brahm as our ishta dev.  And if by chance we make Brahm as our ishta dev, then the final result of this practice, Brahmanand (the Bliss of the formless Brahm) is inferior compared to the Bliss of the personal form of God.
The scriptures say that even if we add seventeen zeros next to one, and multiply that with Brahmanand, it will not be equal to a tiny fraction of Premanand (the Divine Love Bliss of the personal form of God).  Such is the pleasure in the Divine Love Bliss of the personal form of God, Shree Krishna.
It is extremely difficult to worship the formless Brahm, as firstly one has to meet the strict criteria for entrance to the path of gyan. Secondly, the actual practice on the path is even more difficult.  And if someone starts following this path, it will stop at atmagyan, or the knowledge of the self. 
Hence, we do not have to consider Brahm as our chosen form of God for worship.  Now let us go higher than this.  Let us consider which Personal form of God we should choose as our Ishta Dev.  We have Maha Vishnu, who has four arms, and is also a Form of God.  He is known as the Lord of the Vaikunth abode.  He sits in a very serious mood.  The Mahapurushas, or Saints, of shant bhav worship Him.  The demons killed by Shree Krishna go to this abode.  Maha Vishnu neither performs any pastimes, nor has any associates.  The devotees only have His Divine vision.  They do not relish the Bliss of any leela.   Maha Vishnu is a form of Shree Krishna, but the Bliss in that form is less.  Sweeter than that is the Bliss of Shree Krishna in Dwarka.  There, the almightiness and opulence of God is slightly hidden.  But even there, the highest Bliss is not present.
In one pastime, Shree Krishna showed his Universal form to mother Yashoda.  She thought, "He is God. I am committing a sin by considering Him to be my son.  I scold Him, tie Him with a rope."  God noted her feelings.  God thought, "Now, mother really knows My identity.  What will happen? She will start worshipping me like others.  She will not consider my as her son."
vaiṣhṇavīṁ vyatanonmāyāṁ putrasnehamayiṁ vibhuḥ |
Shree Krishna called yogmaya, His personal power, and made mother Yashoda forget everything.  She then said, "What was I thinking?  I have become mad in my old age.  My memory has become weak.  He is my son, and nothing more than that."  She forgot that Shree Krishna is God.  Therefore, the Bliss of Vrindavan is the greatest of all.
In the abode of Braj, everybody including Shree Krishna's friends would forget that He is God.  They would play with Him, fight with Him and tease Him.  Everyday, the gopis abused Shree Krishna by calling Him a flirt and a loafer! This is how they used to address the Supreme Brahm! Shree Krishna would forget His Godliness and become their eternal servant.
In the material world, a woman always seeks a husband who will provide her the best comforts and keep her happy.  She wants an IAS officer or a millionaire.  If she doesn't find such a groom, that is a different issue.  And after getting married to that person, she gets sorrows and pain, that is again a different thing, but every girl has this dream and thinks that her husband should be the best and everybody should respect him.
Shree Krishna has many forms, but the one who performs loving pastimes in the groves of Vrindavan is the sweetest of all.  Hence, Shree Krishna from Vrindavan is the form of God we should worship.  Our Ishta dev should be that form of God which gives the highest Bliss.
Translation of lecture  delivered by Shree Maharajji

Sunday, May 6, 2012

How to recognize a true Saint- Part 4

Now, for recognizing a true Saint, we will be discussing some direct evidences, some signs, which are generally seen in a Saint's behavior.
Now we will discuss some direct evidences and notable specialties of a Mahapurush, or a true Saint.  In recognizing a true Saint, we should be very careful regarding a few things.  For example, a genuine Saint does not grant any kind of material objects to people.
A Mahapurush never gives worldly things to people.  This is a very important point to think carefully.  In the world, cheaters play a fake act of granting material gains, like wealth, son, etc. to take advantage of people.  In the material realm, ninety percent of the people desire worldly things.  These desires are often fulfilled by people's own prarabdh, or destiny.  When people visit a fake saint and wish for a material thing, if that desire is fulfilled, people think that it was due to the blessing they received from that saint.  
Just imagine, a Saint who understands the transitory nature of the world and has attained God, why will he give material things to people?  If he does that, then is he a Mahapurush or a demon?  Not even God can grant a person worldly gains, if it is not destined for him.  In Mahabharat, Abhimanyu's uncle was God Shree Krishna Himself, his father was the great Saint, Arjun, and the person who conducted his marriage was God Ved Vyas.  Yet, they could not save him from being killed in the battle.  Then how can a saint change the destiny of an ordinary person?  In our country, there is always a story of a so-called saint who has made the impossible possible.  Just imagine, if this kind of a thing would happen, then everybody in this world would have attained the Divine bliss of God.  That so-called saint who claims to make the impossible possible would only have to wish it, and all souls would be released from Maya.  However, even a God-realized Saint cannot make a resolution that souls attain God and be liberated from Maya.  The Saints are ready to take physical and mental abuses from the world, then why haven't they graced us spiritually?  It is said in Mahabharat:
nābhuktaṁ kṣīyate karm kalpakoṭi śhatairapi
"Even the great personalities have to experience what is written in their destiny."  Then how can we expect Saints to change our destiny just by their blessings.  And if someone pretends to do so, that person is not a genuine Saint.
However some people argue that a Mahapurush is: par upakār vachan man kāyā.  According to Ramayan, God is causelessly merciful, and desires the welfare of others.  So, if He fulfills their material desires then what is wrong in it?  Yes, it is true that sometimes God and Saints break their rules and grant material things to devotees, but history bears the fact that this was only for people who surrendered completely to God.  It was for just a few of them.  Secondly, even if a Saint or God grants some worldly thing with a special intention, he also gives the soul a special power so that the soul does not get attached to that thing. 
According to the Saints, while practicing devotion, we should keep contact with the world only to the extent that is necessary for the survival of this body.  This is for the reason that, our mind does not get entangled with the material world, and can concentrate on God freely and easily.  Kunti also asked for this wish from God, "O Shree Krishna! Give me sorrow and pain, so that due to the lack of material pleasures, I can chant Your glories.
The second point to note carefully is that a Mahapurush never reveals any miracles or displays any siddhis, or supernatural powers.   We get into the trap of fake saints who perform miracles of a material nature. 
There are mainly five types of siddhis.  The lowest of all is called as tāmas siddhi.  This power is practiced by the lowest kind of people and the result of performing this siddhi is hell.
The second kind of siddhi is rājas siddhi.  This type of siddhi is exercised by people to protect themselves.  This siddhi also keeps you within the bondage of Maya.
The third siddhi is sātvik siddhi.  It contains siddhis such as: aṇimā, laghimā, garīmā, prākāmyā, and others.  With these siddhis, a person can come to know the thoughts of other people, can take many forms of body, can become invisible, and can perform many impossible tasks.  We might be fooled into considering this kind of a person to be God.  However, we should stay a thousand miles away from such kind of people because they are still under the domination of Maya.  Hence, if they are not able to free themselves from the clutches of Maya, how can they do welfare for others?
The fourth siddhi is spiritual siddhi, which is called mukti, or liberation.  A person who acquires this siddhi gets liberated from the bondage of Maya, but with this siddhi, our own personality or individuality gets destroyed.  Just like a river, which flows into the sea and loses its identity, in the same way, we will always be deprived of the Divine Love Bliss of God.  So, we should be very cautious with this kind of siddhi.  The great spiritual teachers have referred mukti as a witch:
bhukti mukti spṛihā yāvat piśhāchī hṛidi vartate |
tāvad bhakti sukhasyātra kathambhyudayo bhavet ||
"As long as bhukti, or worldly desires up to the attainment of Brahmalok, and mukti, or the desire for liberation, resides in our heart, until then, devotion can never enter our hearts."  Therefore, those who are intelligent, reject this siddhi too.
as vichārī je param sayāne mukti nirādari bhakti lubhāne (Ramayan)
The fifth siddhi is Divine Love, which is the ultimate attainment.  In this kind of siddhi, a person not only gets freedom from material bondage, but also relishes the ultimate Bliss of Divine Love and receives it till eternity. 
You must have understood by now that we should be very alert and careful with the four siddhis and make attainment of the fifth siddhi as our goal of life, which is the attainment of Divine Love.  We should be far away from the person who performs miracles otherwise we would drift away from our aim of life.
Generally, people have a fear that a saint may curse them.  But this is against the kindhearted nature of a Saint.  We will now discuss how soft a Saint's heart is.
Our history is filled with instances of people misbehaving with a Mahapurush, and being cursed in return.  For example, the four brothers Sanat, Sanandan, Sanak, and Sanatan, who are known as Shaunakadik Paramahans and considered as the top most Mahapurushas, cursed Jai and Vijay to turn into demons.  Jai and Vijay were also Mahapurushas, but due to a small mistake, had to turn into demons.  An ordinary person always fears of being cursed by a saint.  If a Mahapurush can curse great personalities like Jai and Vijay, then what chance does a normal individual have?  Does a Mahapurush bless or curse a person with reason or without a cause? No, it is not so. 
A genuine Saint neither gives false blessings nor does he curse anyone.They follow the principle, "nindā stuti ubhay sam".  It means that they treat criticism and praise alike, so there is no question of cursing anyone. Moreover, the Mahapurush knows that an individual soul is ignorant and is bound to commit transgressions.
na kaśhchinnāparādhyati
"As long as a soul is under the clutches of Maya, it cannot remain without committing sins."  That means that before God-realization, the soul will only commit sins.  A true Saint knows this fact.  So, how can he possibly be angry with anyone?  Saint Haridas was beaten up by burglars so badly that he was bleeding heavily.  But, Saint Haridas prayed to God saying, "O God! They are ignorant.  They are not at fault.  If you love me, then please accept my prayer and purify their minds."  Just imagine, in spite of such a painful condition, the Saint has a kindhearted nature!  If someone says that there is historical evidence of Saints cursing people, what does it mean?  It denotes that there is a deeper meaning behind these acts.  It was done for the benefit of that individual or as a message to human kind, and not to harm anyone or that person.
In the same manner, a Mahapurush does not give blessings to anyone.  These days, so-called saints put their hands on people's heads and narrate long prayers of worldly blessings to cheat people.  It is just ignorance and foolishness.  But, it is true that a Mahapurush wishes only the welfare of the entire universe, as he has become complete in himself and does not desire anything for his selfish needs.
In recognizing a Mahapurush, the strongest evidence is that by seeing him and associating with him, our mind begins to get naturally attached to God.  Nevertheless, the extent to which the mind gets attached to God differs from person to person.  When you keep needles in front of a magnet, the ones which are made of pure iron get attracted to the magnet faster compared to the impure ones.  Similarly, purer the heart of a person, faster is the degree of attraction towards a Saint.
This is the reason why in history, some souls surrendered immediately by just looking at the Saint, and attained the Divine Bliss of God.  Others had a lesser level of surrender, and some people just abused the Saint.  Yet, the one who abuses the Saint will also be elevated spiritually, as he hears about God from him.  And when the mind is detached from the world, the knowledge given by the Mahapurush will bear fruit and lead him to the correct path.
Another direct advantage is that a Mahapurush can solve practical difficulties and clear doubts faced by a devotee while practicing sadhana, or devotion.  It cannot be solved by a theoretical scholar  Instead, mere theoretical learning without practical realization creates more confusion and increases doubts in a devotee's mind.

Furthermore, if there are doubts in the mind, one cannot practice devotion properly.  Thus, only a Mahapurush who has attained God and has thorough knowledge of scriptures can remove the doubts of a devotee, which arise on the spiritual path.  This is because the Mahapurush himself has undergone and experienced these difficulties and situations earlier.  
Another direct evidence of a genuine Saint is that his heart is full of Divine Love which sometimes manifests outside in the form of ashta saatvik bhav, or Divine Love emotions.
Ved Vyas ji says:
evaṁvrataḥ svaprīyanāmakīrtyā jātānurāgo drutāchitta uchchaiḥ
hasatyatho roditi rauti gāyatyunmādavan nṛityati lokabāhyaḥ (Bhaagavat 11.2.40)

staṁbhaḥ svedo'tha romāñchaḥ svarabhedo'tha vepathuḥ (Bhakti Rasaamrit Sindhu)
In remembrance of his Beloved, a Mahapurush becomes motionless like a tree, perspires abundantly, the hair on his body stand erect, his voice chokes, his body trembles, the color of his skin changes, he sheds tears and becomes unconscious.  These are the eight signs of Divine ecstasy.  By seeing these emotions, one can predict the profound depth of Divine Love in the heart of a Mahapurush.
In this manner, by associating with a Saint for some time and by considering these signs, a Mahapurush can be recognized.  However, we cannot be certain that we can recognize a true Saint, as it is said in the scriptures that with full faith and by the Grace of a Mahapurush only, one can recognize him.  It is impossible to recognize him with the material intellect.  By misunderstanding just one act of a Mahapurush, a soul could commit spiritual transgression leading to its downfall.
Thus, with faith and by the Grace of God and His associates, one can recognize a true Saint.  And, once you find a Mahapurush, you should do complete surrender to him in every possible way.  One should unite the mind and intellect with that of a Mahapurush.  Just by doing so, we will be able to attain our goal of Divine Bliss.  At the same time, we will go beyond Maya forever and relish the unlimited Bliss.
In this way, with the Grace of a Mahapurush our spiritual journey begins and during sadhana, or devotion, the Guru protects the devotee at every step.  And in the end, once the heart is purified, he bestows Divine Love causelessly.  According to the rules of spiritual realm, God does not have the right to bestow Divine Love directly to a soul.  That is the reason why the descension of God, Ved Vyas strictly declared that there is no personality higher than the Guru.
nāsti tatvam guruḥ param
In this way, guru tattva, or entity called the Guru, is highly respected and is non-different from the Ultimate Entity.  One cannot express the greatness of the glories of such causelessly gracious and merciful personality, even in endless lifetimes.
Read part 1 | 2 | 3

How to recognize a true Saint- Part 3

Now let us throw some light on the question: How should we recognize a true Saint?  Though, one who dares to judge a Mahapurush is as silly as a child studying in kindergarten and trying to judge the capabilities of a professor, however, since infinite lifetimes many individual souls have recognized a Mahapurush and have achieved their goal by surrendering.  Therefore, on the basis of perception, interaction, and scriptural evidence, we will have to surrender to a Mahapurush.  By following this rule, infinite souls attained God and therefore, we also have to follow this rule for attaining our goal of life.  We do not have to get disappointed because if someone can do a job, then everybody can do it.  It is proved.
In earlier lectures we have learnt that, in general, there are two types of Mahapurush and two types of cheaters.  A true Saint is one who is saintly from inside and acts worldly from outside.  Our history is filled of such Mahapurushas.  Prahalad, Vibhishan, Dhruv, Pundrik Vidyanidhi are some of the examples of such Mahapurushas.  The second kind of Saint is one who behaves saintly from inside as well as outside.  Their external behavior is also saintly and they live like Saints.  Soordas, Meera, Kabir, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and all Jagadgurus come under this category. 
On the other hand, the first type of cheaters is one who is worldly from inside, but acts like a Mahapurush from outside.  It is extremely difficult to identify such cheaters.  And the other type of cheater is like an ordinary worldly person, who is visibly worldly from inside as well as outside.
To recognize a true Saint we should always keep one thing in mind.  We should not accept anyone as a Saint on the basis of someone else's words.  But only after carefully understanding, one should accept a Saint to be a true Saint. 
guru kare jāni ke govind rādhe |
pānī piye chhani ke jñānī batā de || 
                             (Radha Govind Geet -2118)
Because, suppose you have accepted someone as Mahapurush on the basis of someone else's words and later on that person say, "I had seen that saint.  He is a cheater."  Then your feelings about that saint will change and you will be deprived of the benefits from that Saint and will harm yourself.
Now arises a question: How should we recognize a Mahapurush? Generally, three types of nature are seen in a Mahapurush.  What are these types and what are the different kinds of signs, we will read in the next edition.
You must be aware of the fact that ninety percent of the people in this world accept a person to be a Saint merely for the fulfillment of worldly desires like blessing them with wealth, son, etc.  If the arrival of a Saint at a materialistic person's home brings him good fortune, then that person starts praising the Saint by saying, "He is a descended Divine soul.  He is God Himself."  People accept this statement to be true.  This results in immense faith in your heart towards that Saint.  But during the Saint's next visit to that person's home, he suffers material loss due to his own karmas.  Then, that very same person's faith is shattered.  He starts criticizing the Saint, and is not even ready to accept the Saint as an ordinary person.
However, the Mahapurush, or Saint, does not have a clue that this person accepted him as God, and later thought of him to be a devil.  On the basis of fulfillment and non-fulfillment of worldly desires, people judge and criticize true Saints.  Due to this reason, they themselves commit naamaparaadh, serious spiritual transgression, and others who accept their opinion also become a part of this spiritual transgression.  In this way, far from attaining the Divine Bliss of God, people lose whatever we have gained in the spiritual realm.  And they end up committing sins and lose this precious human life.
Therefore, we should never accept a person as a Saint based on someone else's words, even if it takes the whole lifetime to recognize and accept someone as a true Saint.  According to the scriptures, it is better to be late in finishing the work in perfect form, than to be wrong.  Moreover, we cannot progress properly on the path of devotion without the guidance of a true Saint.  And, it is also said in the Shastras that if someone is devoted to a fake saint, then the Guru as well his disciple attain hell.  Thus, the most important task,before surrendering to God, is to recognize a true Saint.
In general, there are three types of behavior seen in a Mahapurursh:
1.  Baalavat, Simple and innocent as a child - This kind of Mahapurush has a simple and innocent heart like that of a child.  He likes clear and straightforward talk and behavior.  He is neither affected by abuse nor pleased by any praise.  In fact, a Mahapurush is pleased when one abuses him.   A man abused Lord Buddha the whole day.  Then, Lord Buddha said, "This person might be tired, give him something to eat and drink.  He will get some energy back and start abusing me again."  Hearing this, the man who was abusing Lord Buddha was shocked and remarked, "My abuses did not affect him at all."  He then bowed down in front of Lord Buddha.  Lord Buddha said, "If you give something to a guest, and he does not accept it, then with whom will that gift remain?"  The man replied, "It will remain with the giver."  Lord Buddha said, "So, you showered me with abuses, but it was of no use to me, so I did not accept it.  If you would have recited something about God, then I would have accepted it.  So, with whom will those abuses remain?"  Hearing this, the man who abused understood the truth and asked for forgiveness.
Tulsidasji says:
nindak niyare rākhiye, āṅgan kuṭi chhavāya |
nit sābun pānī binā, ujjval kare subhāya ||
"The person who criticizes should be given a place in the courtyard of the house so that by his abuses, we will continuously test us, and we will realize how much pride is within us."
We recite prayers in front of God saying, "O God! Nobody is as sinful and evil as I am, please bestow Your Grace and Mercy upon me."  But the moment we come out of the temple and someone calls us, "You are an angry person, you are a fool!" we are ready to fight with that person.  Usage of abusive language is such a seed that grows rapidly, but a saint is like dead soil, where no seeds can grow and all abuses go waste with no effect.  Abuses and criticism never affect him.
2.  Jadavat, uncivilized, oblivious of the social conventions of this world - The actual state of a Mahapurush is beyond the material world.  Because, his world is the Divine realm and he is not from this material world.  The mind of a Mahapurush is constantly absorbed in the Divine Bliss of God, while bodily he wanders in this material world.  Hence, sometimes he is not conscious of the social norms and conventions of this world, and his behavior appears to be like that of a madman.
3.  Unmattavat, like a madman, without bodily consciousness - The Bhagavat states:
evaṁvrataḥ svapriyanāmakīrtya jātānurāgo drutachitta uchchaiḥ |
hasatyatho roditi rauti gāyatyunmādavan nṛityati lokabāhyaḥ ||
A Saint possesses the treasure of Divine Love.  It is the ultimate and highest attainment amongst all achievements.  It is the power through which devotees enslave God and make Him dance to their tune.  However, it is the nature of a Mahapurush to hide that Love. But sometimes, during the remembrance of his Beloved God's Name, Virtues, Pastimes, and Chantings, it becomes difficult to hide or control it, which causes his love to manifest externally.  He forgets that he is present in the material world, and starts dancing, sometimes crying loudly, laughing, singing, and jumping.  In this state, a Mahapurush behaves like a madman.  The scriptures mention the various states of these Divine emotions, as ashta satvik bhav.  By these bhavs, or Divine emotions, we can predict the depth of Divine Love within the Saint's heart.  From external appearance, this state of the Mahapurush is similar to a madman. 
Continue reading in part
Read part 1 | 2

How to recognize a true Saint- Part 2

Why can't a Saint perform any action after God-realization?  This is because firstly, the goal of every action performed is the attainment of the Divine Bliss, which a Mahapurush has already achieved.  Therefore, there is nothing left to be achieved or accomplished thereafter. That is why, if nothing is to be achieved then why would a Saint perform any action?  Secondly, if he performs any action i.e. good or bad, then it will be a cause of bondage.  Therefore, having freed himself from all the bondages, why would a Saint engage in such actions again?  Thirdly, before attainment of God, Maya is the controller of the soul and after God-realization, God governs and directly controls the soul.  Hence, every action a Mahapurush performs, is governed and inspired by God.  All the actions of the Saint are performed by God.  
Therefore, every action of his is respected and honoured, as God becomes the governor of the Saint and directs his every action.  For example, a driver drives a car.  If the car meets with an accident, the car is not to be blamed as it is a material object.  It is the driver that is to be blamed and punished.
Hence, there is no need for a Mahapurush to perform any good or bad actions.  Yet, why does a Saint appear to perform such actions? What reason does he have to perform actions thereafter?
All the scriptures and Saints say that a God-realized Saint does not perform either good or bad actions.  This is because, after God-realization, all the actions of that soul are governed and inspired by God Himself.  The soul becomes eternally absorbed in the Divine Bliss of God, and God performs all its actions. 
sadā paśhyanti soorayaḥ tadviṣhṇoḥ paramaṁ padam
Now, if we assume that a Mahapurush, Saint realizes the presence of his beloved God in every entity and experiences His Divine Bliss all the time, then souls under the influence of Maya can raise a question.  The question is: if Mahapurushs realize God everywhere and are beyond Maya, then why did so many Mahapurushs in history rule kingdoms for thousands of years, fight wars and have children?  Dhruv, Prahalad, Prithu, Vibheeshan, Arjun, Yudhishthir, etc. all did this.  When they were God-realized, how and why did they perform these worldly actions?  Is there anything more left to do after God-realization?  Does any desire arise in their mind?  Are there any desires left after God-realization?  Moreover, their actions are so immense and colossal that a person under Maya does not have the power to make such desires, or fulfill them.  
The answer to this question is:
hari harijan ke karya ko, kāraṇ kachhu na lakhāya |
par upakār svabhāv vaśh, karat kārya jag āya ||
The one and only reason behind any action of God and Mahapurush is the welfare of humankind, which is their nature.
The Vedas state:
poorṇamadaḥ poorṇamidaṁ poorṇāt poorṇamudachyate |
poorṇasya poorṇamādāya poorṇamevāvaśhiṣhyate ||
God is infinitely complete and fulfilled in Himself.  Hence, if you remove a part out of an infinite entity, what is taken out is complete, and what will remain is also infinite and complete.  So, there is no question of any selfish motive behind the actions of these God realized Saints, who have achieved their goal and are completely fulfilled.  Since before God-realization, a Saint had been under the influence of Maya, like us, he is familiar with our sorrows and pain.  That is why he wishes that the individual soul should also attain God, and experience the same unlimited Divine Bliss that he is experiencing.  Thus, with this praiseworthy desire of welfare of all living beings, a Mahapurush performs all types of actions, with the single aim of well being of all souls.  
Those actions may not be comprehensible to everyone, and the world could oppose such actions.  But because of the aim behind these actions is solely the welfare of human kind, those actions become praise worthy.  Even the most intellectual cannot comprehend the actions of a Saint.  This is because these actions are performed by a Divine power called Yogmaya, which is a special personal power of God.
Just as we cannot listen through the eyes, since hearing is not the subject of the eyes, similarly, we cannot grasp divine subjects with our material mind, because God as well as the Saints are not the subject of the material senses, mind and the intellect.  This is the reason why from infinite lifetimes we have never understood many Saints who descended on this earth.  That is why we have never benefited from them until now, and not attained our goal.  We tried to judge and observe them though our material minds.
In the case of Mother Parvati, who was overcome by Maya, Lord Shankar clarifies: "O Parvati! You have neither doubts nor ignorance.  You are not under the influence of Maya.  Nevertheless, you pretended to be misled by Maya, as your intention was just to warn people not to apply their material intellect to the Divine actions and pastimes of God."  If they do so, they will harm themselves.  In order to teach this lesson to us souls, Mother Parvati herself applied her intellect and showed, "Look what happened to me.  You people do not make this mistake."
In the same way, after reading about the examples of Garud and many other Saints, we will find that all these acts were done just for the welfare of humankind.  Hence, the Vedas say that one should imitate only good actions of a Saint and nothing else, otherwise it can lead to downfall of a person.  
Just like Lord Shankar drank Halahal, the most dreadful poison, and was designated with the title "Neelkanth," but if we try to imitate this action and drink even a drop of poison, we will surely die.
Therefore, we have now understood that the actions of a true Saint are Divine, and hence, beyond the comprehension of the material intellect.  We have to obey his instructions, which will result in the purification of the heart. Then, he will bestow his Divine grace and power with which we will be able to know God and relish His Divine Bliss.
Thus, we now have to recognize a true Saint, so that by surrendering to him, we can achieve our goal of life.  Otherwise, we will never be able to attain Divine love of God.  This leads us to question, that when it is impossible for even Lord Brihaspati and Goddess Saraswati to recognize a true Saint, then how we will recognize him? If we are not able to recognize him then we will never attain our goal?  Will we always be under the clutches of Maya?
Regarding the definition of a Mahapurush, we have understood till now that a soul, who has attained God, and whose actions are performed by God's will, that soul is called a Mahapurush, a true Saint.  Also, it was proved by all the Vedas and Scriptures that there is no difference between God and Mahapurush, because all the actions of the Mahapurush are performed by God.  In fact, for a devotee, Mahapurush is the most important because it is only through a Mahapurush one will attain all the spiritual knowledge related to preliminary stages of sadhana, devotion, and without whose guidance, the individual cannot even take a step forward towards God.
āchāryavān puruṣho hī veda | (Chhandogyopaniṣhat 6-14-2)
Because all the scriptures as well as Saints have told various kinds of paths to achieve the supreme entity - God.  Finding solutions to the innumerable Upanishads, Puranas and differences of arguments of learned scholars, and understanding their correct meaning and selecting the best path is impossible even for Lord Brihaspati and Goddess Sarasvati.  So how can it be possible for an ordinary person?  Only a Mahapurush knows the correct and most suitable solution for an individual, and can direct the individual towards the correct path.
We already know that since infinite lifetimes, we are making a continuous effort for the attainment of the Divine Bliss of God.  During endless lifetimes, we might have walked towards God but surprisingly until now, we have not attained that eternal bliss.  The reason for this is that we never surrendered ourselves to a true Saint.  Whereas, there is rule in this material world, that only by following the instructions of a teacher, we attain knowledge about any subject.  If we follow half of the instructions of our worldly teacher and apply our own intellect to the rest of it, then we will never be able to progress to the next class.
When we are sick, we follow the instructions of a doctor.  Otherwise, we know the consequences of not following the full instructions.  In the same way, since countless lifetimes we applied our material intellect in the deep and intense subject called God, and because of it, instead of moving forward in the spiritual realm, we kept on moving backwards.  That means our downfall has been continuous.  According to the Vedas and Shastras, God-realization is the easiest work in this world.  There is no hard work in this. Yet, we have not attained our supreme goal till now.  The reason behind this is that we have not accepted a Mahapurush to be a Mahapurush.  And if we do not realize a true Saint to be a true Saint, we will never surrender completely.  And without complete surrender, we cannot move forward towards achieving our goal. 
Continue reading in part 3
Read part 1

How to recognize a true Saint- Part 1

In the last lecture (Importance and role of Guru)  it was explained that every individual, whether Indian, American, Chinese or Canadian, young, old, male or female, performs various actions only with the aim of attaining happiness.  The Vedas say that, even the most learned scholars cannot know God, because God is beyond human intellect.  Although the Vedas are filled with knowledge about God, nobody can understand the Vedas even after infinite lifetimes, as they are God's voice, and hence Divine.  
Therefore, Ved Vyas states: 
tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śhreya uttamam
śhābde pare cha niṣhṇātaṁ brahmaṇyupaśhamāśhrayaṁ (Bhagawat)
This means, "To know God, one has to surrender to a genuine spiritual master."  
The Geeta states:
tadviddhi praṇipātena paripraśhnena sevayā
"One who desires to attain the Divine knowledge of God, will have to surrender to a true Saint who has thorough knowledge of the scriptures and also has practical experience of God.  Question him with a sincere mind and serve him with dedication."
The Ramayan also says:
guru binu bhavanidhi taraī na koī
Hence, we understand that the Vedas and all the other scriptures together state that, without the guidance of a Guru, one cannot know God. 
So, how do we recognize a genuine Saint or a Mahapurush? 
It is very difficult for an ordinary person to determine whether a soul has attained God or not.  Because like God, a God-realized Saint can only be known by a Saint of the same level.  Just as God cannot be grasped by the material senses, the mind or the intellect, similarly, a Mahapurush cannot be identified by the same senses.  Nevertheless, a Saint has to be recognized by perception, interaction, and scriptural evidence, otherwise no one would have ever attained God until now.
In general, there are two types of Saints and two categories of 'fake' Saints that should be understood, before solving the problem of recognizing a Mahapurush.
1.   The first category of Saints is the one who have attained God, and they have complete knowledge of God.  Their behavior is simple and according to the notion of Saints.  Hence, it is easy to recognize them.  In other words, they appear to be same from outside as well as inside.
2.  The second category of Saints were Mahapurush from inside but appeared and acted as worldly persons from outside.  History bears evidence to the fact that most of the Saints belonged to this category.  Because, we usually judge others by external behavior, it becomes difficult to recognize such Saints.  It is the nature of Saints:
gopanīyaṁ gopanīyaṁ gopanīyaṁ prayatnataḥ
They hide their love, their true identity, and perform worldly actions called Leelas.
3.   Now, the first category of worldly people are those who are worldly from inside and perform worldly actions from outside.  These types of people are the most common in this world, and we do not get cheated by assuming that they are Mahapurush.  They can easily be identified.
4.   The second category of cheaters is one who is worldly from inside but acts like a Mahapurush from outside.  They give discourses on Vedas and Shastras, they dress up as Saints, and have disciples also.  It is extremely difficult to identify such cheaters because we normally judge persons by their external behavior.
So, now we have to understand the people who are true Saints or Mahapurush, and the ones who pretend to be saints.  Since we have not been able to identify these two types of personalities till today, we have not found a true Saint.  You may say that the one who is truly a Mahapurush, can never be worldly from outside.  It is a well-known truth that, after attaining perfect knowledge of God, one can never be overcome by Maya, lack of knowledge, and ignorance.  
But our history is filled with Saints who performed many worldly deeds.  We have had great Saints like Prahalad, Dhruv, Janak, and Ambrish who after God-realization, ruled for millions of years.  Hanuman and Arjun fought a war, killed crores of people but were experiencing the Divine Bliss of God from within while performing those actions.  It is a well-known truth that from the very moment a person attains God, he can never come under the clutches of Maya again.  The Vedas say:
sadā paśhyanti soorayaḥ tadviṣhṇoḥ paramaṁ padam
A Saint always experiences Divine Bliss eternally.  If that eternal Bliss, eternal knowledge is snatched away one day, why would one strive for it for many lifetimes?  Just like a grain of wheat or rice loses its power to germinate forever when roasted, similarly, after God-realization, one is liberated from Maya forever.
Historically, in spite of being beyond Maya, Saints acted as if they were under Maya. In Satyug, we have the example of the creator of universe, Lord Brahma.  He had four sons, who were eternally liberated souls. Once, they were on their way to Vaikunth.  At the entrance, they were stopped by the gatekeepers, Jai and Vijay.  The sons got angry and they cursed Jai and Vijay to turn into demons.  Just imagine, an eternally liberated soul is so absorbed in the Bliss of Brahm that he neither sees, hears, or thinks other than the self.  So, how come they saw Jai and Vijay and in spite of being beyond Maya, cursed them in anger?
We have now understood that to attain unlimited happiness, i.e. God, we have to first surrender ourselves to a Saint who has attained the Divine Bliss of God, and has complete knowledge of Him.  That means, we have to recognize a Shrotriya Brahmanishth Mahapurush (Shrotriya means one who has full and thorough knowledge of the scriptures; and Brahmanishth means one who has practical experience of God).  By surrendering to such a Guru, attaining our goal becomes easy.  But if we try to understand God merely through our intellect, we will not be able to know Him even in infinite lifetimes, because God is not a subject of the human intellect.  Thus, let us throw light on the entity called Mahapurush, or Guru, else our journey towards God cannot begin.
Earlier in our discussion about Mahapurush, we learnt that it is extremely difficult to recognize a true Saint because his external behavior is different from his internal personality, and our intellect only judges by observing external behavior.  We have had great Saints like Dhruv, Prahalad and Ambarish, who were beyond Maya from inside, but they performed worldly deeds.
In Satya Yuga, the four sons of the creator Lord Brahma who were eternally liberated souls and constantly realized Brahm everywhere, cursed the two gatekeepers of Lord Vishnu in anger.  Once a soul is liberated from Maya, no Mayic thought can enter that person's mind.  Then, how can a person who is liberated from material bondage and God-realized be overcome by anger?
In Ramayan, there is an episode where Lord Ram is in search for His wife Seeta in the jungle.  Parvati could not understand this.  She thought, "God is omnipresent, He experiences neither union nor separation from any one, and is ever Blissful by His own self.  He is neither sad nor happy by being separated or united with any one."
kabahooṁ yog viyog na jāke |
dekhā pragaṭ viraha duḥkha tāke ||
Again she says, "How is it possible for the formless and omnipresent God to take a personal form?"  Even a simple, uneducated person would not get this kind of doubt.  Everybody knows that the soul is formless, but takes a personal form (body) and keeps revolving within the 8.4 million forms of life.  Similarly, God, who created this universe by just smiling, can definitely take a personal form.  
So, to clear her misunderstanding, Parvati assumed the form of Seeta, in order to test Shree Ram.  However, the All- Knowing Lord Ram saw her and recognized her immediately.   He addressed Parvati in the form of Seeta "O Mother". 
Similarly, when Lord Ram was performing His leela of being bounded by the Naagpaash, or rope of snakes, His eternal servant, Garuda was watching the event.  He was confused and thought, "By just taking the very name of God, the individual soul becomes free from the bondage of material actions, deeds and relationships.  Then how can God Himself be bound by the ropes of a mere demon?"  
He then approached Kaag Bhushundi.  He said, "Maya has bewildered you.  It is not surprising.  Even great personalities like Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva come under the clutches of powerful Maya."
Now think about the Braj Gopis who are considered to be the supreme amongst all classes of Mahapurush.  Lord Brahma performed severe austerities for sixty thousand years to attain the dust of the lotus feet of the Gopis but was unable to attain it.  These Gopis are giving birth to children.  Arjun, even after attaining the knowledge of 'The Geeta' got infatuated with Naagkanya and had sons.  Arjuna and Hanuman, who felt the presence of God everywhere and at all times, killed people in war.
All examples above are of Saints who behaved like worldly people from outside, although they were, in fact, eternally liberated and ever-Blissful personalities.  An ordinary person who is under the influence of Maya can never understand the actions of these Saints.  He understands that a Mahapurush can perform only righteous deeds.  It is difficult for him to comprehend that  a Mahapurush can also perform unrighteous deeds without his mind getting absorbed in that action.  Saints do this with a power called Yogmaya.  We souls who are under Maya cannot understand the actions of Maya. 
In reality, a Mahapurush, or Saint, is a person who does no work whatsoever, either righteous or unrighteous.  Just as a seed gets destroyed with the appearance of a sprout, and flower with the emergence of fruit, in the same manner, after the attainment of God, a Saint is no longer in need of attaining anything, and becomes self-contented.
Continue reading in part 2