Katha Chopais

Sumiri so naam ram gun gatha | Karau nai raghunathahi matha ||
Sadar shivahi nai ab matha | Barnau bisad ram gun gatha ||

Remembering that Name and bowing my head to the Lord of Raghus, I proceed to recount the virtues of Sri Rama.
Reverently bowing my head to Lord Siva, I now proceed to recount the fair virtues of Sri Rama.

Katha Translations

  • Bapu firstly spoke about the beauty of Oman. He said that the yajman’s son asked him today about his first impressions of the country. Bapu said Oman is a blessed country. Bapu also paid his respects to the Sultan of Oman.
  • He then mentioned that Gujaratis used to ask him when he will do a katha in Muscat, but they would get mixed up and call it Mustak. So he decided on this as the subject of the katha – Manas Mustak. The word mustak means the head, including everything from the eyes and the mouth to the brain.
  • Two eyes, two nostrils, two ears and one mouth – these are the seven sopaan of Manas, the seven kaands. Sopaan means ladder, step by step.
  • In katha, even if u don’t put your mind (mann) to it, even if your wisdom (budhhi) cannot come to a decision (nirnay na kar payi), this does not matter. Just listen with prasannataa from inside, and from outside with happiness, excitement (utsah). Man aur chit prasanna lekar yahaa ana. Ghelcha se nahi – utsah se.
  • During katha, sit wherever you find space. If you want to sit on chair and stretch your legs, that’s also fine. Eat well and sleep well before katha so that u don’t sleep in katha. All I want is for you is to come prasanna. Only listen to as much as u enjoy. If you don’t want to listen to more, then leave without disturbing anyone.
  • Bapu mentioned that people in Muscat start work at 730am and finish by 130pm, after which they go home, rest, and then spend time going out with wife and kids. Bapu said he likes this. In this life we just work work and work… What is life about? He is not condoning laziness or suggesting that people should be lazy, but he is referring to the enjoyment of life. If you don’t have time to be happy then what is life?’
  • You should not think that you will be able to attain heaven (swarga) by listening to katha, but in katha, you can feel (anubhav) swarga. There’s nothing more heavenly in this world than sat-sang. Not with foolishness (ghelcha) but with deep satisfaction (prasannata).
  • Bapu relayed a story of a mouse, who said to a baba that he is scared of cats. So the baba turned him into a cat. Thereafter, a dog came, and the cat said again that he is scared of the dog. So the baba turned him into a dog. This went on from etc cheetah.. Until the baba told him, “I won’t change you anymore because your heart is still of a chuha.” Bapu said that if only we change from mice to Ganesha. He has come across just a few people in katha who have turned from mice to even Shiva.
  • Someone asked what the differences and similarities are between a lottery ticket and a wife. You can keep buying a lottery ticket, and there is always the possibility that at some point you may win… but with a wife…
  • In rajkot university, a student asked Bapu, “You go to katha; what kind of make-up do you do?” Bapu answered, “My work isn’t about make up. It’s about wake-up. What can katha not do?”
  • There are many poojas we can do but what is even more significant is to live by what they represent:
    • Ganesh pooja – this is vivek ki pooja
    • Surya pooja – Living in the light (prakash)
    • Gauri/ Durga pooja – Living with faith (shraddha)
    • Shiv pooja – doing as much of others’ praise (kalian) as possible – this is rudra abhishek. Do abhishek on the shivling of your shradhha.

      Bapu also gave an example of rudra abhishek- when our eyes fill with tears because of someone else’s happiness: There was a boy sitting on the edge of the train and shouting away in happiness. It just so happened that there was a newly wed couple in the same cabin who were trying to privately enjoy themselves. They were getting annoyed with the boy and requested the boy’s dada if he would ask the boy to stop shouting. But the dada wasn’t responding. When it started raining, the rain started falling on the couple because the boy had of course kept the window open, at which the couple became even more frustrated. After hours of asking the dada and much frustration, the dada finally told them that the boy had been blind his whole life and just yesterday, through means of a new technology, he got vision for the first time. Before he had only heard the sound of wind and rain and trees. Now, he was able to actually see nature with his own eyes. The couple, on hearing this, began to cry.

  • In life a sadguru is necessary. When you get sadguru’s karuna drshti, your paap goes. There is no uniform to a sadgruru – can be in any form. Don’t ever ask your sadguru for anything, especially sampati, or for moksha, or for bhakti. Guru is mukti, guru is bhakti, guru is sampati. Only ask one thing if you want to, ‘hum tumhe shaayad bhul jaaye, tum humse nahi bhulna’ – we are wordly people, even if we forget you, please you don’t forget us.
  • Ghelcha and kachbo story – A boy was very fond of a tortoise (kaachbo) and used to spend a lot of time with it. One day he found it dead on the shore of the river and was sorely upset. Once he told his family, they decided to hold a very big funeral as they knew how close he was to the tortoise. They were planning to do it in such a way as though a it was a human being and part of the family. When they went back to the shore with the boy, the tortoise was no longer there. The boy looked for it and found the tortoise alive. The boy said to his father that we should kill the tortoise as we have made such big arrangements. His father, being wise, said we don’t need to kill the tortoise, we need to kill the foolishness (ghelcha).
  • Valentine’s day isn’t just one day in Ram Katha; it comes everyday.
  • Mastishk/ Mustak – even this is a granth because it is seven kaands of the Ramayana.
  • Bapu said that just like he can’t see all the sites and everything there is to see while he is in Oman, but he can visit some of the important places such as the Grand Mosque, which he visited yesterday, we may also not be able to understand the full body, but if we can understand just our head (mustak), then we will know the most important parts.
  • He then expanded on what he mentioned yesterday about the seven doors (dwaar) of the head (2 nostrils, 2 ears, 2 eyes, 1 mouth) representing the seven kaands of the Ramayana:
    • 2 eyes – one eye is the Bal Kaand and the other is Ayodhya kaand
      • Svadarshan / Nijadarshan – everyday, once you’ve done everything spend some time doing nija darshan – self introspection. Don’t look only at your faults. With your good deeds, you can nullify any bad deeds.
      • Sabdarshan – Bal kaand
      • Samadarshan
        • being able to see equality eg speaking to a driver or someone who works in your house with respect from the heart. Right now, in some houses, manatva ka apman hota hain.
        • Need samtaa – are we in this world only to earn money? The Vedas have said to earn with two hands and give with four hands.
        • Example – a man was leaving from home to go to the mosque and realised that he was too far and would be late for namaaz. He saw a boy crying on the street, and instead of namaaz, decided to stop the boy from crying.
      • Sattadarshan
    • 2 ears – one ear is the Sundar kaand and the other Lanka kaand (shubha shravan karna – that is kaanka sadupyog)

      Sundar kaand – whatever the characters were saying were sweet (mithi) good (achhi) things eg what Hanumanji said to Sitaji, what Trijataa said to Sitaji

      Lanka kaand – a very jagrut kaand aur lanka kaand vishudh karta hain – purifying. There is shravan in Lanka kaand, things that are sweet to hear. Shubh shravan karna – listen to good things.

    • 2 nostrils – one is Ayodhya kaand and the other Kiskindha
      Kiskindha kaand – Breathe in the khushbu of God. Tyaag ka ek mahek hoi – it is shown that there is a scent of sacrifice smelt.
    • Mouth (mukh) – uttar kaand – Less events (ghatna) and more speech from the heart.
  • 7 tirtho no snaan chhe Ram Charit Manas no paath.
  • If you have anger, then you have no need for an enemy as anger is your biggest enemy.
  • Bapu said he hasn’t even started relaying the Ram Katha. He is only saying things from the surface. We are still paddling. We haven’t even gone into the water yet
  • Gauravse uncha rahe, garva se nahi
  • Bapu remembered Rabindranath Tagore’s quote ‘Where the head is held high.’
  • The saarthakta of the head can only be achieved by bowing down to the charan. This is the bhakti maarg. There is no worth (kimat) to solely keeping the head up with pride if someone doesn’t put their hand on your mustak. If you want to ask God for anything, ask him to put his hand on your mustak.
  • There are three types of sparsh
    • Those that are younger touch the feet of elders
    • Those that are equals hold each other’s hands
    • Those that are older put their hands on our head
  • Kiskindha kaand – Sugriva and Baali. Both their atmakathas are in this kaand. There are many atmakathas in the Manas. The atmakatha of Sanpaati and Jatayu is also told in Kiskindha kaand.
  • Dedicating food (Arpan)
    • Bapu recalled Dongrebapa, who held Bapu’s katha around 40 years ago. When Dongrebapa ate, he took his food in a patra, put everything together and then added water to the mixture of food. Putting water in food, one would think it becomes entirely tasteless, but he ate it with such enjoyment as though it was the tastiest food. A sadhak doesn’t think he is eating food; he considers his food as Brahma.
    • Eat with bhiksha vrutti (bhiksha haro, nira haro). In the Manas it is written ‘Tumahi nivedita bhojana karahi, Prabhu prasaada pata bhushana dharahi…’ Bapu recited and sang the verses from the Manas.
    • Dedicate (arpan) everything from food to clothes to Thakurji ki charano, to the charan of God.
  • Bapu spoke about sleep – to sleep as much as you can but at the right time. How can you expect the youth to get up at 3am and to do mala? That pushes them away from dharma. Now the youth are coming closer to dharma. So give your children freedom (samyak swatantrata). The more freedom you give, the less your children will break maryada. If you give freedom from the heart, then you will get that much maryada in return. Bapu gave a recent example of this. While in Junagadh for Shivratri, a mahatma came to see him and stopped smoking. But Bapu, wanting to give him freedom to do as he wishes, told him to smoke. After a few refusals, he finally did start smoking. This is an example of how maryada can be gained by giving freedom.
  • Prem ka jal viswas ki bhumi par jita hain. Wherever prem is, you know beneath that there is viswas. Prem bharosa ki bhumi par tikta hain – Love lasts on the ground of faith.
  • People of the bhakti marg are not part of the crowds (bhir). Mira, Narsih Mehta etc were not part of the bhir. Prem bhir ko kubul nahi karte hain. Bapu then quote Kalhil Gibran – Children are not yours, but they come through you. Give them their freedom, let them study what they are interested in.
  • What to wear on the head:
    • Your agna – your command (maalik ka hokum)
    • Parmatma ka haat – the hand of God
    • Pavitra vichaar – pure thought like the Ganga (suvichaar ki Ganga dhara)
  • The Manas says to always keep three things on your head:
    • Guru – Keep your Guru on your mustak. He will not let us think wrongly. Sadguru ki bhumika adabhut hain – when he has his eyes open, understand he is here, in the present, but when he closes his eyes, know that he has reached somewhere miles and miles away.
    • Muni – In your road to your Sadguru, if you meet a mahapurush on the way, then give that mahapurush respect. Get satya from wherever you can. Just because your sadguru may not reply to you, call you etc, he might be thinking of you from far away. Guru is not furniture that you can just change.
    • Janaka – samasta shastro ke nata hain. Shaastra, Veda, Gyan, Samaj, Savdhani – keep these on and keep free from fear (bhay). Knowledge (gyan) which is free from fear is Janaka. His biggest sampada is bhakti (Sita) and bhakti teaches you to always give.
      Only due to these three can you bow your head down.
  • On your lips, have the name of God; in your heart, hari ka dhyaan (dhyaan = tad linataa)
  • Bapu quoted Amir Khusro:
    “Muje durse meri guru ki khushbu aati hain. Muje gulab nahi chahiyen, muje mehek chahiye.“
    Translation – From far, I can sense the khushbu (scent) of my guru. I don’t want the rose, I want the mehek (luring smell).
  • Kabandha – ek mansikta ka naam kabandh. Some people just don’t see the good. They see the dosh even in omething good. That person is kabandh. The bhakti marg is very hard.
  • The youth should do pranaam to their elders in the house when they wake up and before they sleep. By doing this, four things will increase:
    • Ayur – life
    • Vidya – knowledge
    • Yash – fame
    • Balam – strength

    Even if your ayu doesn’t increase, the prasannata in your life will. Your mustak is for ashirwad.

  • Whatever you eat or wear – do it with dedication to God, Krishna bhaavse. Whatever fruit you get, don’t let go of it, but dedicate it to Krishna. Arpan karna, then it will become anant guna.
  • Nishtha and pratishtha are the two mustaks of viswas
  • Kabandh – one who has no mustak
  • We are all Shiva tatva and our son is purushartha (= karma/ karmayog). No one can live without purushartha. We may not know we are Shiva. We all forget out swaroop. And if we remember it then we become kritakritya, and once we are kritakritya, our purushartha samapta ho jata hain. Katha can make us kritakritya.
  • Bapu said that all he wants is the prasannata of all his shrotas (listeners). If they are all prasanna, then he will be kritakritya
  • 6 mustaks of purushartha:
    • Prathakaran – Analyse situations and assess whether or not its good for you.
    • Abhyas – repeat it, keep at it
    • Sahaj – Be yourself
    • Prasannata – whatever happens, my prasannata won’t go. Do work, cooking, everything, with a smile, with prasannata.
    • Whatever you do, do for others, so you can give to others. purushartha is for paramarth not for selfishness. Always give 10% of earnings to needy in the country in which you earn or wherever you see need. It must be 10%.
    • Saunshay ka nash ho- to kill all our doubts (sandeh)
  • Everyday as many times as you can, recite the Gayatri Mantra
  • Someone asked Bapu why the katha is called ‘Manas’ Mustak. What is the meaning of Manas?
    • Manas – because it is Ram Charit Manas. The abbreviation of this is manas.
    • Manas – also means hriday, dil, heart
    • Manas – can also be mann, mind (mansikta)
    • But mainly it means hriday – this is shankar mahadevka hriday. We are listening to shankar ka dil ki katha – the katha of Shankar’s heart.
  • So Manas Mustak can mean –
    • Dil or dimaakh ke bichme setubandh – the bridge between the heart and mind
    • Dono ko Jorne ki ek Saatvik anushthaan
    • Hriday aur buddhi ka samyojan
  • This is a Sammillan, not sammelan – where people meet, join and interacted rather than just a gathering
  • Different ways of saying things, explaining and giving commands:
    • Aadesh – mustak pradhan
    • Updesh – anugraha pradhan – guru tells you to do eg swadhyay, read a good poem, study..
    • Sandesh – kartavya pradhan
  • Don’t forget your mul bhasha. Speak any other language, but don’t forget your mother tongue. Give respect to the dressing of your home country. Wear whichever clothes you like, but don’t forget your traditional dressing.
  • If one is dirty and one is clean, the light will shine out from the clean light. In the same way , parmatma is everyone’s hearts, but the purer you are, the more the light will emanate from you.
  • Mustak – word has only featured once in manas. But there are many other words for head that have appeared repeatedly in manas (matha, shir, …)
  • Manas mastak ka saptak
    • Sa – sahas – himmat, taking risk, build up courage
    • Re – rekha (keep the borders large – these things are not bandhans – dhyan rakhna chahiye – just as in a dance the dancer does not fall off the stage
    • Ga – garal – Converting vish to amrit
    • Ma – mann – does a lot of anuman (what you imagine). There are four reasons why your mind becomes unbalanced: utsah (over-excitement), pakshpath (biased), aagra (insistence), aahaar (food).
    • Pa – pal
    • Dha – dharma
    • Ni – nind
  • 6 things ka anusheelan (appropriate use etc):
    • Aahaar (food) ka anusheelan – Ayurveda says half stomach should be filled with food, quarter with water, and a quarter with air
    • Sharir ka anusheelan – Looking after the body; rest is welcome after hard work
    • Indriyo ka anusheelan – controlling the senses
    • Ichha ka anusheelan – you need to have desire – Ichha and manorath
    • Shwaas ka anusheelan – breathing in the right way. Do yoga if you find a good teacher.
    • Mann ka anusheelan – the mind
  • Continuing from saregama yesterday:
    • Pa; par – not mera mera (mine, mine) all the time, to stop thinking about nij (myself) but to also start thinking about par (other). This is the sur of sant – mera jo ho na ho, dusro ka kalyan ho.
    • Dha – dharma – if something happens in the house then forget about it. Instead of cursing your daughter-in-law, your sasu, your husband or anyone, and then sitting in the mandir, do aarti of your sasu, daughter-in-law etc. See bhagwan in them.
  • Four purushartha on the head:
    • Taal – moksha, sanyaas, nirvaana
    • Baal – kaama
    • Bhaal – artha
    • Gaal – dharma – Nishkaam dharma and Sakaam dharma
  • The subject is not to do dharma, it is to be dharma
  • The shape of a person’s face – from this can be inferred their gun kathan.
  • Guru is not a bulb, he is a powerhouse
 
  • Lips – associated with love eg mother kissing her child, child having milk. The two lips also represent ‘Ra’ and ‘Ma’.
  • Tongue – associated with truth. Living between 32 teeth. No bone so no akkarness (stiffness). Sharanagati, ek sharan.
  • Teeth – associated with karuna. They are akkar (stiff). The whole shobha of the face is accenuated by the teeth. A person without teeth looks odd.
  • There is respect for sultan here- the kind of respect that is rare for a ruler. The way a son loves his father. The mountains here remind me of Girnar.
  • Jesus Christ said to love thy neighbour. Live in your house with pyaar, mohabbat.
  • Don’t have so much fear for doing paap. It’s not good to do paap, but if you do or say anything wrong, then this can be forgiven.
  • Give others respect while you’re doing mala. Naam me dubo – drown in the name of God. But don’t ignore family and others.
  • When someone asks Bapu if hwe wants to do bhagwan’s darshan, he said he does not need to do Bhagwan’s darshan  as he is seeing bhagwan in the eyes of these youth, in the eyes of the poor etc.
  • 32 lakshan of Guru – below are only a few:
    • Guru is not vishay lampat
    • Guru feels more dukh (pain, sorrow) seeing others’ dukh than that person who has the dukh himself
    • Who doesn’t have any hatred towards anyone. An enemy cannot even appear in his heart.
    • Bhitarse vairagi haun
    • Never says anything harsh
    • Only one mamta – charan
    • When you go to Guru, you receive only happiness

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