In the previous episode we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on an important aspect of “Dharma” called “Smaranam” and how significant is it to constantly practice it regularly. We had witnessed that the meditation process requires loads of persistence and perseverance to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is important that we should not give up in the middle, just because we’re unable to control our mind’s wavering. It is tough initially and our mind keeps roaming around everywhere. But it is important that we do not give up our attempt at this point by being upset with ourselves. The more our mind is wavering around, the more persistent we should become with our attempts. We should remember this always as we move on.
With this point, we commenced discussion on the next two important aspects of “Dharma” called “Seva” and “Ijjya” wherein Sage Sukhaachaarya explains that we should render our services to the society in such a way that our actions should be of immense benefit to all the people. For instance, if we’re having the ability and financial strength, we shall initiate the process of digging ponds, wells, etc. so that the entire locality gets benefited with uninterrupted water supply. Also, we might initiate and contribute to building temples, maintaining existing temples and reinstating their past glory, etc. This would again enhance the growth of our “Sanaatana Dharma” and increase the awareness amongst people. Also, if we’re a bit more wealthy, we can initiate some important “Yaagas”, “Homas” and such spiritual practices, which would be immensely beneficial for maintaining peace and harmony of the world. All these activities wherein we’re performing spiritual practices for the benefit of the world contribute to the important aspect of “Dharma” called “Ijjya”.
We concluded the previous episode with a series of questions in this context – How can we do all these “Homas”, “Yagnyas”, etc. on a large scale, given our financial constraints, etc.? Isn’t this only for wealthy people? Why should we do all these rituals and how will these rituals benefit the world? Let us look at the answers for it today.
We can look at it in two different dimensions here. One is of course, doing these spiritual practices on a larger scale – It is always said that if a prayer is conducted in a mass, or when many people come together unitedly to pray to Bhagawan, it gives exponential benefits, as compared to praying on an individual basis. When we come together, we always do it for a common cause, isn’t it? There would be no selfish or personal motive behind it. In most of the occasions, we come together to pray for world peace and harmony. All of us pray together to Bhagawan, seeking His blessings for the world to be prosperous, wherein the basic needs of all the living beings in the world are taken care of duly. In special and unique occasions like the one which we’re facing currently, the world should unite together from wherever we are, to pray that the all of us should get rid of this life-threatening COVID-19 disease that is currently plaguing the whole world! Normally we come together at a particular place and offer our prayers or spiritual practices, but of course, given the current situation, we shall keep praying from wherever we are, at our respective homes. This, as mentioned above, has immense benefits to the world and it definitely has the strength and power to change the situation from bad to good. We should have this confidence and faith on Bhagawan as we pray together.
Another dimension to look at this is that, this aspect of “Dharma” called “Ijjya” encompasses not only the “Homas”, “Yagnyas”, etc. performed at temples on a mass level, but also the regular spiritual practices that we offer to Bhagawan at our respective homes. (“Nitya-Anushtaanam”). In other words, whatever small spiritual practices we do – Like for instance, performing our “Sandhyavandanam”, regular chanting of some excerpts from the Vedas, Upanishads, Puraanas, etc. or even chanting our “Mantra” every time, etc. – All of these contribute to the aspect of “Dharma” called “Ijjya”.
This is the reason why we repeatedly keep stressing and emphasizing that we should never miss our daily routine of prayers. Whatever spiritual practices we do every day, we should make sure that there is continuity in it. We should be consistent in our approach and this is very important. The reason why we’re emphasizing on the continuity part is that, when we perform spiritual practices, the positive vibrations that evolve from our dedicated effort would invoke and awaken the “Devatas” (Invisible beings) that are associated with that particular spiritual offering. We should understand that every spiritual practice is associated with a particular “Devata” and when we offer the spiritual practice with all our devotion, this would certainly invoke that “Devata” associated with it. The blessings of these “Devatas” is what we should acquire and these blessings open the door for us to reach Bhagawan. If we continue doing the spiritual practices regularly, the “Devatas” associated with these practices would all assemble at the place where we’re performing it. They would wait for us to perform the practices. If for whatsoever reason we’ve to miss doing the spiritual practices for one day, the “Devatas” get disappointed and upset and this would in turn transform into negative vibrations over time. This is what we’ve to understand today.
Thus, the purpose of Sage Sukhaachaarya highlighting this point called “Ijjya” is to create the awareness amongst all of us that it is important to perform our spiritual practices on a regular basis without a break in the middle. Of course, if for unavoidable reasons we’re unable to perform them, it is fine. But this cannot be taken as an excuse to stop doing what we’re supposed to do! So for today, let us understand the significance of the two aspects of “Seva” and “Ijjya” and let us wait till the next episode to move on with the next narrative of Sage Sukhaachaarya! Stay tuned! 😊