Katha Chopais

More man prabhu as bisvasa | Ram te adhik ram kar dasa ||
Ram sindhu ghan sajjan dhira | Chandan Taru hari sant samira ||

I have this conviction in my heart, my lord, that a servant of Sri Rama is greater than Sri Rama himself.
While Sri Rama is the ocean, the wise saints are like the rain-clouds; or (to use another metaphor) While Sri Hari is the sandal-tree, the saints represent the winds (that diffuse its perfume).

Katha Translations

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The path of devotion (bhakti marg) is impossible (asambhav) without trust (vishvaas).  In fact, devotion is created by trust.

The path of knowledge (gyan marg) and yoga (yog marg) have specific methods and particular means (saadhan).  As well, they both give importance to direction (deeshaa).  However, the path of devotion does not follow any particular means (nisaadhantaa) and gives importance to one’s state (dashaa).

Just like there are 10 directions (deeshaa) (north, south, east, west, north-east, north-west, south-east, south-west, up and down), there are also 10 states (dashaa) in the path of devotion, trust and nisaadhantaa.

The 10 states (dashaa) in the path of devotion, trust and nisaadhantaa are:

  1. Abhilaashaa / Manorath – When a devotee wishes for something yet whole-heartedly leaves the outcome to God.  Should one’s wish not be fulfilled, then devotees believe that the outcome was not in one’s best interest.
  2. Chintaa – Worrying for God’s well being, not for the well being of one’s self.
  3. Smruti / Smaran – Remembering God.
  4. Vyaadhi – The sadness or sorrow felt in the love of God.
  5. Oonmaad – Being filled with and/or drunken by the nectar of love.
  6. Pralaap – To shed tears and cry.
  7. Goon kathan – Seeing good qualities of the one you have faith in.
  8. Jadtaa – The firm belief that God’s compassion will enable certain outcomes to occur in one’s life.
  9. Oodvaig – When the mind and body are both anxious.
  10. Asaiyatha – To have intolerable love.

Devotees choose the above 10 states.  Who then can be called a devotee (daas)?  The Ram Charit Manas gives numerous descriptions of who can be called a devotee.  One such description of a devotee is given in the following couplet (chaupai):

Mor daas kahai nar aasaa |  Karahi to kahahu kahaa bisvasaa ||

The above couplet questions the trust and faith of one who is known as a devotee of God yet has desires and wishes of other people.  Thus, a devotee is known as one who doesn’t have any desires or wishes of others (aash na kare), just from God.

A second description of a devotee is one who never worries of getting destroyed (naash). A third description is one who never gets disheartened (oodaas).  A fourth description is one who has firmly surrendered (dradh ashrai).

On one hand, Lakshman shows his independence by stating that he is a devotee, yet on the other hand says that he is dependent (at the feet of Ram).

From this, it is apparent that one characteristic of a devotee is to remain dependent (paraadheen) and never attempt to be independent (svaadheen).  In fact, to remain dependent on one’s God, Sadguru, scripture (shastra) or aphorism (sutra) is the true form of being independent.   Even though a master never wishes or makes his devotee (sevak) be dependent, a devotee himself experiences great pleasure in being dependent.  This dependency becomes a sense of security and comfort for the devotee.

When this dependency (aadheenta) occurs, a devotee’s heart (hriday) is freed (mukt) of 5 hindrances (baadhaa).  These are:

  1. vichaar – both good and bad thoughts
  2. vikaar –  distortions
  3. vishaad
  4. vibhav – ill feelings towards others
  5. vilas – luxuries in excess of what we need

Another characteristic of a devotee is one who is remembered by God.  This can be seen when Bharat asks Hanumanji if Ram has ever remembered him.

In Uttar kand, Ram states that his devotees (daas) are extremely beloved to him.

The question then arises whether or not a devotee has to abide by any rules (niyam) or laws (kanoon).  Devotees should follow 3 things, listed in order of occurrence:

  1. vivek – discrimination between right and wrong
  2. dhairya – patience
  3. ashrai– taking shelter

The next question arises as to how the above three can come into a devotee.  Discrimination (vivek) comes from religious activities (satsang), patience (dhairya) comes from discrimination (vivek) and taking shelter (ashrai) in a firm way comes from patience (dhairya).

Insulting (tiraskaar) an individual is actually insulting God since God is in everyone.

Ram sindhu dhan sajjan dhira | Chandan taru hari sant samira ||

There are 7 oceans on this Earth.  Since Ram is referred to as an ocean in the above couplet (chaupai), then Ram is the following 7 oceans:

  1. kripa sindhu – the ocean of kindness
  2. karuna sindhu – the ocean of compassion
  3. sheel sindhu – the ocean of good qualities
  4. gyan sindhu– the ocean of knowledge
  5. sukh sindhu – the ocean of pleasure
  6. daya sindhu –  the ocean of mercy
  7. kshama sindhu – the ocean of forgiveness

One who follows many spiritual or religious means (su-saadhan) (ie. jaap, penance (taap), reading scriptures (paat), etc.) gets kripa after some time (der se) because one’s arrogance and pride shields it from coming sooner.

One who doesn’t follow any pure spiritual or religious means (ku-saadhan) (ie, with ill-feelings, pride, and jealousy) get kripa that destroys (maar) those impurities.

One who doesn’t follow any spiritual or religious means (nis-saadhan) gets kripa with love.

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After Ram’s marriage when Sita came to Ayodhya, there was a lot of wealth (samrudhi).  The question then arises as to why sorrows (dukh) came in the form of why were Ram, Sita and Lakshman being sent into exile in the forest (vanvaas)?  With the grace of God (kripa), we all have wealth, peace and happiness.  It is when we desire for even more that this could result in some sort of exile (vanvaas) in our lives.

Devotion (bhakti) is not attained by force (jabarjasti).  By force, one will only attain its shadow, not the real form.  Instead it is attained by the grace of God (kripa).  It is important that children not be forced towards devotion.

Ram does not consider anyone’s caste; rather he only takes to heart one’s feelings and devotion.  Tulsidasji’s Bhakti Sutra (aphorisms of devotion) describes 9 forms of devotion:

  1. Sant sang – keeping the company of saints
    In Bapu’s opinion, a saint is one

    1.  whose end never comes (jiska aant naahi).
    2.  who  does not fight /oppose, is not stubborn (jise kisike saath taant nahi),  accepts any     circumstances (sthithi) and has no insistence to requirements.
    3. who does not want a prestigious position (jisko kahi mahaant nahi hona hai).
    4. who prays and does social service (seva) with happiness and feelings (aanand- bhav)
      (bhajan khaant se karai).
  2. Katha prasang main ras lena- enjoying the nectar of God’s discourses
    The highest form of a listener (uttam shrota) is one who does service to others (seva) as well as listens to discourses (katha shravan).
  3. Guru Charan Kamal Seva – doing service of one’s Guru’s feet
    This is to be done without any arrogance (abhimaan).  A Guru is one who your heart embraces and one who feels like your own. Whatever your inner voice (antakaran) says, you should do – if you go against it, considered anyashrai. Leave pride (abhiman) and do service (seva) – “seva guru ki agya anoukul ”
  4. Bhagwans Gun Gaan – kapath chorkar – without deceit. “A kathakar should not take any money for katha,” said Mahaprabhuji- (e.g. from networking it becomes a business). Even when Bapu started kathas he never asked an amount for his katha.
    Kapath – using someone else’s ideas /sutras under your name.
  5. “Mantra jap mam dhrd vishvasa”-  with guru mantra with total faith (bharosa)
  6. “Sayam niyam se varatna /rehna”  – To be careful what to eat and drink
    Children should study well, but keep vivek in company , food  and drink
    “bahut pravruti se nivruti” make time for family
  7. “Sab main Hari Darshan” – see God in everyone.
    “sant” is greater than God
  8. ”jatha labh santosha” – Contentment in what we receive/result
    Even in your dreams, you should not look at anyone’s faults – Bad feelings to others’ success.
    Looking at other people’s faults, we are causing significant loss for ourselves.
  9. “Saral jivan”- simple life without cheating and deceit (chhal kapath)
    Do not take too many opinions – follow what your soul says or someone awakened who only has your good interest. Live with Gods faith – “bharosa”

-“Hanumanji ne lidhe Sugriv ko Ram mile”/ “Sant ke madhyam se jiv ko bhagwan mile”
– Hanumanji “prassan” on the way to lanka – Sunderkand “prabhu mudrika meli much mahi”
-If you keep something in your mouth (sweet or pan) you will become fresh, awake and happier. Just like that, if you have worries or are depressed, then take “hari nam – prasan”
-If you don’t have faith (shraddha) in a Sadhu, it is  acceptable, but don’t do “apradh”  towards a sadhu.

Summary for Manas Mahaprabhu Katha

  1. “Dhradh Ashraiy Rakhna” – but  not from “pralobhan – pratishtha –bhaiy”
    – with entire feeling, heart inspired , from inner faith towards our God, strong faith/following,
    irrespective of which religion. Dhrad ashraiy is important for all.
  2. “Seva – Jitni  hosake seva”- as much as possible whilst maintaining your duties/responsibilities
    “Aahetu seva, thakur ke prassanata ke liye” and Family, children etc. all a part of God –“ prabhu ke aang”
    Without arrogance (abhiman) – Sneh se Seva for pleasing God (prabhu prassanatta) – for God’s happiness and not self gain.
  3. “Hari nam ka smaran” –remembering God’s name. “Sahaj ho”- as much as possible
    “nisadhanta” –  “Bharosa rahe – “Krishna nam rahe”
    “Prabhu nam smaran” – Any name that your heart says “Sahaj gati pakro”
    “Krishna seva – Krishna ashraiy –Krishna smaran”

II  Yaha kalikala ne sadhan dhouja, jog jagya jap tap vrat pooja  II

II  Ramahi  sumiri , gayiea ramahi, santat suniya Ram gun gramahi  II Tulsiji – Manas

Sansar ka vehvar nibhaiyainge aur hari ko payenge – The 2 wheels life runs on

Sansar se bhage firtai  ho – bhagwan ko tum kya paoge ;  Eis lok ko na apna sake-us lok main bhi pastaoge.