Let us now see the efforts undertaken by Miss Swati Gaekwad (at spiritual level of 63 % in October 2016) to evoke spiritual emotion
‘Generation of spiritual emotion in the self is solely dependent upon our yearning for God realization, center of devotion for God getting created in the subconscious mind and our actual spiritual practice. When actions are altered, thoughts undergo change and vice versa. Based on this principle, if you continuously perform actions at the level of mind and intellect, it helps in quick generation of spiritual emotion. Given further are actions to be performed for generation of spiritual emotion.
1. Recollect your objectives when you begin to feel depressed
If you feel depressed with the feeling that your spiritual practice is not occurring as expected, try to recollect what your objectives were when you commenced spiritual practice. Once you do that, your enthusiasm will increase and the fatigue in your mind will vanish. At this stage you can ask your mind a few questions at the level of spiritual emotion. Given further is one such example.
Question : Why has H.H. (Dr.) Athavale brought me to the Ramnathi ashram ?
A. For being able to render seva unto the Guru relentlessly.
B. To derive bliss from learning by remaining in the company of gopa-gopi (Cowherd and milkmaid) seekers
C. To enjoy bliss by remaining in the company of Saints.
D. To create self-awareness about defects and ego and to make fast spiritual progress.
E. To acquire God as fast as possible by enhancing virtues.
F. To enjoy continuous bliss.
G. To forget oneself and to experience God continuously.
H. To learn to experience God in living and non-living creation.
I. To be able experience bliss continuously.
J. To release oneself from the cycle of birth and death
K. To participate in the mission of establishing a Hindu nation.
2. Asking right questions to our mind to increase its positivity
In order to reduce defects and ego, one can ask questions to one’s mind that will help increasing positivity. Given below is an example to this effect :
Question : What kind of Swati will H.H. (Dr.) Athavale like ?
A. One with optimistic mind set (one can prompt the mind that the virtue exactly opposite of one’s defect is what H.H. (Dr.) Athavale will like)
C. Taking the initiative, performing seva with yearning and dedication.
D. Rendering seva wholeheartedly and with spiritual emotion.
E. Accepting mistakes wholeheartedly and frank attitude.
F. Learning from mistakes.
G. Being in happy state all the time.
H. Possessing unconditional love for everyone.
I. Helping others willingly.
J. Participating wholeheartedly in the happiness of others.
K. Remaining in constant communion with God and being in a spiritual emotion of gratitude and surrender.
L. Steady-minded and introspective.
If you list the virtues you are lacking in or deficient in along with your name in the above format, then it will become an autosuggestion given to the mind at the level of spiritual emotion.
3. Giving right perspective to the mind to remove negativity
Sometimes when we observe various qualities in seekers, we feel upset because of absence of these virtues in oneself and this also triggers a sense of jealousy towards those seekers in our mind. Our defects and ego pose an obstacle in the path of learning from other seekers. At such times you will feel better after giving the following perspective to the mind.
3A. As seekers and Saints are mentors from the
school of Spirituality, it is important to benefit from their virtues
We are students when we study in a school or college and also have to face examinations. In order to get the direction on accurate methods to solve questions asked in the exams, we always take help from the teachers or the notes. As a result we get answers easily and it does not put undue stress on our brain. Similarly, in this school of Spirituality, seekers and Saints are our readily available guides. By studying their appropriate actions and perspective, we get to learn how to speak and behave in an appropriate manner. Hence we should learn to derive benefit from their virtues. By giving the mind this perspective, with the desire to learn, the mind becomes positive and enthusiastic.
3B. Resolving conflict in the mind and increasing enthusiasm by making efforts to
solve the problems of defects and ego with the help of God in the school of Spirituality
Only after commencing spiritual practice, the process of training the mind commences. At first God creates several situations to create self-awareness about our defects and ego. Though at times there is a conflict in accepting the situation, gradually God prepares our mind for it. Once we are able to accept these aspects, God creates situations of next level showing us the process of the mind at the subtle level. Sometimes when we are unable to overcome a situation we feel why is God doing this to me ? We get a flitting thought ‘I am taking all the effort from my side but why is the situation not overcoming’ ? During our school days we have learnt to solve small problems. At first even those were difficult but instead of getting dejected we continued to put efforts and learnt to derive a sense of accomplishment from solving them. Later we are expected to solve difficult problems. With practice, even the problems which we felt complex initially, suddenly become easy to solve and our mind derives happiness by solving them. Over here, this is a school of Spirituality and the questions to solve here are of different nature. God who helps us in solving them is also with us. It is with His help that we should get happiness from solving issues of defects and ego and that itself is our spiritual practice. Once we start thinking in that direction, the mental conflict decreases and the enthusiasm of our mind increases. It helps us to get out of a situation at once.
4. Remember the praises showered upon us by H.H. (Dr.) Athavale
Try to recollect the praises, even the small ones, showered upon us by H.H. (Dr.) Athavale and His words. Actually His praising of our worldly actions are meant for our spiritual practice. With this spiritual emotion, one is able to maintain continuous communion with God.
H.H. Bhakataraj Maharaj (H.H. Baba) would appreciate food items brought by devotees and would tell them that He liked the food items. The purpose of this was that the seeker should remember Him whenever he prepares this food item again. H.H. (Dr.) Athavale too does this. (Those seekers who have not been blessed with the Holy company of H.H. (Dr.) Athavale should always think whether their effects and actions are worthy of His appreciation. This should be a constant thought occurring in our mind. This will help in increasing our inclination towards sattvikta and every action to be perfect. This also helps in maintaining the communion with God.)
5. When performing various actions throughout
the day, recollect moments spent with H.H. (Dr.) Athavale
I try to derive bliss by remembering moments spent with H.H. (Dr.) Athavale. I was fortunate enough to be able to perform gross seva of H.H. (Dr.) Athavale. I remember those moments when performing the same actions again today, for example while cleaning the room, washing clothes and putting them out to dry, cleaning the wash basin etc. When performing each of these sevas in His company, He had advised me few things, I derive bliss by remembering those incidents.
(Those who have not been graced with this opportunity, should have the spiritual emotion that they are performing each and every action for H.H. (Dr.) Athavale and should think on the appropriate methods to perform these actions that would make H.H. (Dr.) feel happy. By doing so one can derive happiness through these actions as well.)
6. Recollect memories associated with
various objects used by H.H. (Dr.) Athavale
Blue chairs, mirror, cupboard etc. used by H.H. (Dr.) Athavale have been kept in various places. If you happen to see any of them try to recollect memories of Him associated with these objects.
7. Implement the points taught by H.H. (Dr.)
Athavale when committing mistakes, elsewhere as well
I remember the mistakes I committed when rendering seva in the room of H.H. (Dr.) Athavale and I make every effort to apply what He has taught me during those incidences, elsewhere as well. (If we introspect on the learnings we derived from our mistakes, we too will be able to apply these learnings elsewhere.)
8. Praying when performing daily chores
8A. When looking at oneself in the mirror
God let me see You in the mirror in place of myself, may my mind remain engrossed only in You.
8B. When combing hair
Gurudev please teach me how to make a sattvik hairstyle as per your liking.
8C. When applying vermilion
O Devi let me be able to imbibe Your Principle through the medium of this vermilion.
8D. When drinking water
Gurudev let me drink water with the spiritual emotion that I am drinking tirtha (Holy water) from Your Holy feet and may it purify me internally.
8E. When eating snacks and lunch
O God, let me eat this food with a spiritual emotion that it is Your prasad (Holy sacrament). Let me be able to eat every morsel amidst chanting. May the energy derived from the prasad be utilized to render seva unto Your Holy feet.
8F. When climbing stairs
Every step has been touched by the Holy feet of the Guru (H.H. (Dr.) Athavale), because of which the steps are in a spiritual emotion of gratitude. I pray to be able experience that spiritual emotion.
8G. When rendering seva
O God, despite not being capable and deserving of this seva in this adverse period, You have made seva available for me to render at the Holy feet of the Guru. Let me always remain grateful for this and let me be able to perform it wholeheartedly, to the perfection. Let my defects and ego be overcome though this seva and let my virtues be enhanced. Let this embodied soul be moulded as per your expectations, soon.
8H. If extroversion rises by thinking of defects of some seeker
O Gurudev, You exist in that embodied soul in the form of virtues. Let me be able to view you in that seeker in the form of his virtues.
8I. When you get a thought that a co-seeker is in a teaching mode
Learning from the seeker is my spiritual practice. Considering this let me learn from that seeker as per Your expectations.
8J. If your attention is diverted to others’ behaviour and speech
O God, just as Arjun fixed his attention only on the eye of the parrot on the tree, in similar way, no matter what the behavior, speech of another is, let me be able to focus on whatever I need for my spiritual practice. Let my attention get fixed only on my spiritual practice and not on circumstances and modes of behavior and speech of others.
8K. Irritability arising from expectations from others
H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj has advised ‘whatever you see is your duty’ but I am unable to comply with this. Performing the appropriate action is my individual spiritual practice and to make others perform it appropriately is my spiritual practice for the sake of society. If you make efforts with this spiritual emotion then it will help in your spiritual practice.
I became irritated due to my expectations that co-seekers living in my room should keep their drawers of the cupboard neat, and clean the room regularly. Therefore instead of keeping expectations I should perform these sevas on my own. With this awareness I tried to perform those sevas. Due to my defect of being shy, I was unable to tell my co-seekers about their defects. I was able to overcome my shy nature with the thought that telling co-seekers to do those sevas was my samashti spiritual practice.
9. If you get thoughts of self-praise
O God all my actions – laughter, speech, walk, etc occur because of You. Let me remember that they are meant only for You. Even small actions and movements of mine occur because of You, hence let me remain in constant spiritual emotion of surrender. I exist only because of You. If you are not there, then my existence will have no meaning. Let me feel gratitude for Your presence within me. You alone can destroy my ‘I’ness and merge this embodied soul into Yourself.