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Divine Knowledge Of Vedas And Vedic Scriptures - II


As part of the enlightening series of discourses on Divine Knowledge of Vedas and Vedic Scriptures organized by Neelu Sharma at the Sarva Dev Mandir in Oxford, MA, Siddeshvari Devi Ji discussed Mind: Best Friend or Worst Enemy and Guru (Part II).

Mind:  Best Friend or Worst Enemy

Scriptures say that mind is the reason behind bondage as well as liberation.  Shri Krishna says, “Of all things that are difficult to control, I am the mind.”  (Bhagvatam, 11.16.11)  

Arjun says, “The mind is very restless, forceful and strong.  It is more difficult to control the mind than it is to control the direction of the wind.”  (Geeta, 6.34)

The mind is the only worker, for the soul is a non-doer.  The mind contains within it an unlimited stock of actions performed in countless lives we have lived as humans.  The mind contains all senses within it, and this is why we see, hear, taste, touch and smell the world even in our dreams.

There are many diseases tormenting the mind, such as anger, greed, hatred, pride, envy, hypocrisy, attachment and desire.  Scriptures identify ‘Desire’ to be the most damaging of these diseases.  Desire is a product of Attachment, and attachments arise when we repeatedly think of persons and objects to be source of unlimited happiness.  

Is there happiness in the world?  Scriptures say, no.  If there were, then the following would happen.

1.    Everyone in the world would be happy.
2.    At all times that happiness would be experienced.
3.    There would be no greater happiness than the one being experienced.

Scriptures say that God is the source of the happiness our mind is seeking.  This should be told to the mind again and again.  Eventually, the mind will look towards God for happiness, and desires would be lessened.


Scriptures say that Guru is the gateway to God.  The definition of the word ‘Guru’ is ‘one who destroys the darkness of ignorance and bestows light of knowledge.’  Vedas and Vedic scriptures declare emphatically that the individual soul cannot attain the Supreme Soul without the guidance of the Guru.  God declares in scriptures that He descends to earth in the form of the Guru.  (Bhagvatam, 11.17.27)

Guru must fulfil two conditions: 

1.    He must possess complete theoretical knowledge of Vedas and Shastras so that he may impart knowledge of God to the seeker.
2.    He must have a practical experience of God so that he may take the seeker to God.

Precautions in recognizing a Guru:

1.    Guru does not give worldly blessings; He gives knowledge of God.
2.    Guru cannot grant instant spiritual experiences by placing his hand on someone’s head.
3.    Guru does not give mantra*; He teaches how to practice spiritual discipline.
4.    Guru must not be judged by external factors such as age, gender, caste, height, or the color of clothing.
5.    Guru must not be judged by the number of disciples he has.

Signs of a Guru:

1.    The knowledge imparted by him answers the seeker’s questions and dispels his doubts.
2.    The closer one comes to the Guru, the more he begins to love God.
3.    The spiritual discipline recommended by the Guru brings about internal changes within the heart of the seeker.
4.    Guru displays signs of divine ecstasy as disclosed in the Bhagvatam and Bhakti Rasamrit Sindhu.

*In the ancient times, a disciple acquired scriptural knowledge from the Guru in the Ashram and on the basis of theory he practiced devotion.  The practice of devotion rendered his mind more and more pure.  When the heart was completely pure, the Guru would breathe a sacred mantra into the disciple’s ear.  The significance of giving mantra was that the Guru was taking away the disciple’s maya and granting him God-realization.  The mantra, therefore, was given after the purification process was complete, not in the beginning of spiritual practice.

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