Guruji leads everyone in chanting 'Vitthala'

Sunday morning prayers at The Ashram
Shree Peetha Nilaya, 2 December 2018

Jai Gurudev, everyone!

I will ask you for just 10 minutes to just chant ‘Vitthala’. Close your eyes, chant ‘Vitthala’.

There is a secret in this Name, actually. You see, there has been a research done on the Name 'Vitthala'. Very often, people who are suffering from heart problems, their doctors prohibit them from doing deep physical exercises. You know, in India just before Kartik or during Kartik, in Maharashtra especially, the people all walk to Pandharpur, where Panduranga is. So, throughout Maharashtra they walk. Normally for all these years this has been done. And how do they start walking? They always wait for a sign. Actually, at the samadhi of Sant Dnyaneshwar, you will see the picture there. Sant Dnyaneshwar is one of the prominent saints in Maharashtra and during this time, the people wait for the sign and the sign is that.

You see, on the temple there is Kalash, like you can see here in the Moolashtanam inside, the little temple on the top, there is like a flower, no? You see? So, this is Kalash, actually. So, these Kalashes are fixed. Also, in Pandharpur the Kalash up on the temple is fixed. But the day on which Sant Dnyaneshwar gives the blessing, the kalash moves. You can see it on YouTube. So, this is the sign. The Kalash literally moves left and right. But normally it is fixed. It’s so high up. So, this is the sign that they receive to start the journey towards Pandharpur. And throughout the journey they chant ‘Vitthala, Vitthala, Vitthala’. It has been proven that people who are sick, normally can’t do this pilgrimage on foot; it lasts for two weeks. In some places, it lasts for a whole month, but when they reach Pandharpur, they are fine. Nothing has happened [to them]. Why? Because they have been chanting ‘Vitthala’.

You see, the sages gave to the bij mantra of the heart ‘tha’. And when you chant ‘Vitthala’, the word ‘tha’ is there. So automatically by chanting the Divine Name you are also keeping your physical health healthy. The same with 'Radha'. Radha is opening up your spiritual heart. So, if you practice even just 10 minutes of chanting 'Vitthala', that will keep you healthy. So, these 10 minutes chant Vitthala, Vitthala’. Okay?

‘Vitthala, Vitthala, Vitthala, Vitthala, Vitthala, Vitthala...’

[after chanting] So, chant this just 10 minutes every day; it will keep your health perfect, it will keep your mind perfect. It will increase your devotion towards the Lord because you are chanting His Name. Like Bhagavan Krishna explained in Chapter 12 of the Gita, when Arjuna asked Him the question, ‘Who among the devotees do You prefer? Who is closer and dearest to You?’ Of course, you know, Bhagavan doesn’t have any preference; those who have devotion to Him of any kind, He welcomes them. But He said, ‘Those whose minds are surrendered to Me constantly, those are dearest to Me.’ So, you see, on the bhakti path, it is very simple, you know, to attain that Grace. Of course, others also attain that Grace, but differently. Some choose it in a hardship way, but some choose it in a more loving and easy way. Which, I believe all of you like easy things. So, that’s why, you see, He has infused Himself fully into His Name, and the more we are absorbed into our service to Him, the more we become transformed, the more that Love inside of us awakens.

Bhagavan said, ‘Those are dearest to Me whose minds are surrendered to Me through their devotional practice, through constant remembrance of Me’. Bhakti is like this, you see. The more we are serving, the more that service becomes part of our life, the more it grows. It is like when it is raining, what happens to the rivers? Normally the rivers are very little, no? The stream is flowing, the river is flowing, but when it’s constantly raining, the river is flooded. So, this analogy of the river flooding: the more your devotion is towards God, the more you absorb yourself into your devotion towards God, the more you start to flow with His Love. And that flowing, you know, that tremendous stream of Love which you become, when you meet Him that Love finds its place. Very often people think that, ‘Oh, you know, if I’m doing so much, what will happen?’ Have you ever noticed the river when it meets the sea? When the river is flowing towards the ocean, how strong the river is! But when it meets the sea, the river becomes calm because the waves of the sea break the flow of the river. So, automatically the river becomes calm. But that doesn’t affect the flowing from the beginning. Previously at the beginning of it, or in the middle of the river, the river is still flowing the same way, but it becomes calm only when it meets the ocean. Such is bhakti also. Your bhakti must flow, your devotion, your Love must grow, you must be flooded with Love.

Here again I will remind you, Love is not what you understand of love. Because what you understand of love is a limited love. But Love in itself is not limited. If one has found true Love, one will realise that Love is ever-growing. That’s why I take this analogy of a river that is flooded. When one is continuously fully absorbed in devotional service, that Love will transform you into that flooding river of Love until the Lord Himself gives Himself to you. And when the Lord reveals Himself to you, then you enter into His blissful state. So, this is what that Divine Name of the Lord does. It’s not just a random name. His Name holds the eternal bliss in itself. His Name holds this unconditional Love of who He is and He is ready to shower it, to give it to you. But to receive that Love one must be ready. If you are not ready, He doesn’t.

Talk about Vitthala - Paramahamsa Vishwananda

Often I have heard people say, ‘Why I can’t feel Him? Why He doesn’t show Himself to me?’ He IS already inside of you. The essence of who you are is only Him, but you see yourself different, you see yourself as being separate, you know. You don’t see yourself as one. And when you see yourself as separate, then you can’t serve Him. Then in place of thinking of Him, you will constantly think of yourself. Then the ego will rise. We are separate from Him, but our mind should be fully absorbed in Him. So, like that, He reminds us that He is the most caring and most loving and we have to transform ourselves to become like Him, because it’s only Him that lives within us. There is no one else other than Him. And that you realise, when you realise that you are here to serve Him, not to serve only your pride and ego. As long as you think that you are here to serve your pride and your ego, He will never reveal Himself. Even that love itself will be different. Then you will have different understanding of love.

So many people ask me, ‘When will I meet my soulmate? Oh, Guruji, make me find my life partner’, and so on. I am giving you the life partner, I am showing you your soulmate; do you want to hear it? No, no, you don’t want to hear that. Look at all these saints. They have experienced Him for them to be able to express that. Earlier Bhavani was singing, ‘Chinna Chinna...’

So, in my understanding this means He is coming slowly, slowly, no? So, step by step, He reveals Himself, but in a very shy way, not in a very prominent way. He is very shy because He likes to enjoy your relationship to Him. And this is a beauty of love, you know. If He just reveals Himself, and you are not ready, you know very well how the human mind is, you know. The human mind is very greedy and very selfish and very ungrateful above all. The human mind likes to take, take, take and it forgets. So many people I have seen who have received so much Grace, but because it has been easily given due to their karma, it is also easily forgotten. So, Bhagavan is very clever. That’s why He doesn’t reveal Himself. He comes step by step. The more you purify yourself, the more you cleanse yourself, the more the mind comes into the state of surrender. That’s why He said in Chapter 12, ‘Those whose minds are surrendered constantly to Me.’ That’s what He wants. He wants your mind constantly focused upon Him.

Vitthala painting in the temple at The Ashram

But what do we do? We focus our mind on ourselves. Our Self, yes, if you know your Self. But what we think of ourselves is the thing what we have on the outside, no? What we are wearing, how we look on the external side, that’s what we call ourselves. But that’s not who you are. So, that’s why you take just 10 minutes with yourself and your Beloved; not much.

You know, when you are in love you have lots of time to give to your loved one, no? So, how come when you are in love, you have full time for that and when that love diminishes, you don’t have time anymore? You see, it’s not about anybody else. It’s about you. Understand that. If you want to find peace, if you want to really grow spiritually, if you want to grow also materially in anything, it’s about you knowing yourself so that you can give yourself to Him in every moment of your life. If you look for that love or understanding or peace in somebody else, you will not find it. You will find it when you take time with yourself and Him. And that’s not much. Just 10 minutes, sit with Him, forget everything, just chant. Forget your worry, forget your husband, wife, children, everything. That 10 minutes is between you and your Beloved Lord, the soul and Paramatma. You will see that your life will transform, it will get much better. Your worldly things will get much better. So, try it and see.

Jai Gurudev!