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  1. If it is established that there is one Supreme God, who is He? How can we find Him among the multitude of gods described in the Vedas and Puranas? There is a possibility of confusion in identifying this Supreme Godhead. The Gita has clearly stated who that Supreme God is and solved our difficulties. ANtvÄu )l< te;a< tÑvTyLpmexsam!, devaNdevyjae yaiNt mÑKtayaiNt mamip. antavattu phalaÕ teÿ&#732;Õ tadbhavatyalpamedhas&#732;m dev&#732;ndevayajo y&#732;nti madbhakt&#732;y&#732;nti m&#732;mapi -- VII-23 (By worshipping lesser gods you obtain perishable fruits. By worshipping Me you obtain permanent bliss.) So says Lord Krishna. From this, it is clear that Vishnu does not belong to the category of lesser gods and that He alone is capable of giving liberation to the aspiring souls and that He is the Supreme Lord of the whole universe. In the Gita, in many places, clear distinction is made between the worship of lesser gods and the worship of Lord Krishna and it is said that devotion to Lord Krishna alone leads to salvation and eternal bliss. From this it is clear that Sri Krishna or Sri Hari is the Supreme God. In the eleventh chapter of the Gita, it is said that Sri Krishna is Himself Vayu, Yama, Agni and Varuna and it is clear from this that these different names are nothing but the names of the Supreme God Himself. The Godhead who is the creator of the whole universe, who is full of auspicious qualities, who is free from all blemishes and who is independent is the Supreme God. Atae=ze;gu[aeÚÏ<indaeR;<yavdevih, tavdeveñraenam> ato'þeÿaguõonnaddhannirdoÿaÕy&#732;vadevahi t&#732;vadeveþvaron&#732;ma× (The One who is replete with infinite virtuous qualities and free from blemishes Himself is called the Supreme Lord.) Thus does Sri Madhvacharya describe God. There is one Supreme God and under His orders all the other gods carry out their respective, allotted duties. This Godhead permeates all objects in a similar and sentient form and is thus responsible for the inherent nature and behaviour of objects and it is because of this all names and forms are considered existing in the Supreme God Himself. We can contemplate God in whatever name and form we like provided we do not forget the basic principle that God is infinite and full of auspicious qualities. In Hinduism there is no room for confusion in the multiplicity of names and forms of the Supreme God as to who is the Lord of all gods, who pervades the whole universe and still stands beyond it; all names and forms are merged and He can be described by any name and in any form. Such an all-inclusive conception of the One Supreme God is found in Hinduism and by sincerely praying to such a God one should pursue his salvation.
  2. Action that is performed as a sacred duty and as a dedication to God who is independent, all-powerful and omnipotent, alone is true action. Such an action which is performed as a sacrifice does not conduce to bondage. There are many ways of performing sacrifice and Sri Krishna describes these in the fourth chapter. ÔVyy}aStpaey}a yaegy}aStwapre, Sva Xyay }any}aí yty> s<iztìta>. dravyayajñ&#732;stapoyajñ&#732; yogayajñ&#732;stath&#732;pare sv&#732; dhy&#732;ya jñ&#732;nayajñ&#732;þca yataya× saÕþitavrat&#732;× -- IV-28 @v< b÷ivxa y}a ivtta äü[ae muoe, kmRjaiNviÏ taNsvaRnev< }aTva ivmaeúyse. evaÕ bahuvidh&#732; yajñ&#732; vitat&#732; brahmaõo mukhe karmaj&#732;nviddhi t&#732;nsarv&#732;nevaÕ jñ&#732;tv&#732; vimokÿyase -- IV-32 Actions performed with the sole purpose of pleasing God without desire and attachment, themselves are sacrifices. The sannyasis are not supposed to offer oblation to fire and perform sacrifice. But the sacrifice advocated in the Gita is open to all persons. The intense devotion of yogis, the sense-control and breath-control practised by the yogic aspirants and the intense study and lesson of the pundits are all sacrifices in one form or the other. Even the sense delights enjoyed by the organs are a form of sacrifice. zBdadIiNv;yanNy #iNÔyai¶;u juþit, þabd&#732;d&#376;nviÿay&#732;nanya indriy&#732;gniÿu juhvati -- IV-26 (Some sacrifice the objects of sense, such as sound, etc. into the fire of the senses.) Even our physical frame is a means for serving God and for that the body should be kept in a fit condition by partaking of good and wholesome food and thus, even eating without attachment becomes a form of sacrifice. As a mechanic oils the machine in order to make it work well, in the same way the jnani thinks of his body as a machine and feeds it with conducive food. In this case there is no scope for excitement or perversion of the mind. Eating food or any other routine activities of life done in such a healthy frame of mind are counted by the Gita as but versions of sacrifice. In the Chandogya Upanishad the whole life is called a sacrifice. A holy person's life, in which all the activities of life are dedicated to God, is itself a supreme yajna. Wherever there is selflessness, wherever there is dedication, there is the essence of a yajna. It is but natural to call a holy person's life yajna since the very texture of his life is woven with such dedication. There is an important place for dakshina in a yajna. Without it, the yajna is not complete. In a true sort of life, truth, mercy and compassion are dakshina, says the Upanishad. Because of these virtues our life becomes full and consummate. The Upanishad describes death as avabh®tha (Av-&w), culminating holy bath, The real jnani engaged in perforAing these duties, is not afraid of death. He welcomes it with open arms as a great boon. The karmayogis joyously embrace death to fulfil the supreme perfection of life even as a person performing yajna spiritedly yearns for the avabh®tha (Av-&w) bath. Thus the Gita has shown us the true import and significance of sacrifice in its most comprehensive meaningfulness. The Gita has taught us by diverting us from the voluptuous life and the narrow circle of life described by a sense of 'I' and 'mine', to live a life for the sake of others and in a spirit of dedication to the indwelling Lord of the world. To the ignorant people who think that yajna means pouring ghee into the sacrificial fire to attain worldly pleasures, wealth and even heaven svarga, the Gita has given a wider significance to the term. Even as Sri Krishna has revealed his infinite form to Arjuna during this discourse, the Gita has shown us here the infinite dimensions of yajna. In the usual yajna an animal is sacrificed. But in the sacrifice preached in the Gita, what we have to sacrifice is our beastly egoism and selfishness. Like the sacrificial goat the selfish man goes on crying me me (me me) "mine, mine". Our life has become a grazing ground for such a beast. #dm* mya lBximd< àaPSye mnaerwm! idamadya may&#732; labdhamidaÕ pr&#732;psye manoratham -- XVI-13 (I have gained this today; I will again gain another later.) #hNte kam-aegawRmNyayenawR sÁcyan! ihante k&#732;mabhog&#732;rthamany&#732;yen&#732;rtha sañcay&#732;n -- XVI-12 (They try to gain lots of money through unfair means to satisfy their sense desires.) They always hanker after whatever they see in the world and they want to possess everything they see around them. "Today I have this, tomorrow I must have that. That is how it goes on." They multiply their wants. They stick to their positions of power by hook or by crook and for this they do not hesitate to commit even the worst of crimes. We see such deplorable people all around us. Unless we adhere to the teachings of the Gita in our day-to-day life we cannot cleanse this dirt from our body politic. Sacrifice your selfishness, dedicate all that you possess to God and perform your action as a worship for the good of mankind. This is the sacred sacrifice. This is true worship. àat> à-&itsaya<t sayaidàatr< twa, yTkraeim jgÚawtdStu tv pUjn<. pr&#732;ta× prabh®tis&#732;y&#732;nta s&#732;y&#732;dipr&#732;taraÕ tath&#732; yatkaromi jagann&#732;thatadastu tava p¨janaÕ -- Pancha Ratra Whatever we do from dawn to dusk is nothing but a form of worship of God. Gita does not advocate our going to church or temple once a week or once a day just for a short time and then for the rest of the day carrying on our sinful activities. Religion should pervade our whole life. Religion should not only be treated as a part of life but as its very soul animating all its aspects. The day-to-day, mundane life should not be isolated from the spiritual and moral life. The day-to-day life, led in a spirit of dedicated service to God in honesty and with a desire to do good to others, itself can become religion. The story of Tuladhara narrated in the Mahabharata is a fitting illustration of this point. The Brahmin boy Jabali was puffed up with pride because of his learning and spirituality. He heard a voice from heaven taunting him that the merchant Tuladhara was superior to him. He then went to Tuladhara and found him sitting in an unpretentious way in front of his pair of scales. Even while he was hesitating to seek his advice, Tuladhara himself explained the reason for Jabali's coming over there. Jabali, utterly surprised, enquired of him the secret of his great insight. Then Tuladhara said: "I am an ignorant man devoid of learning or any occult powers. The scale which I hold in my hand every day is my teacher. In my business I do not cheat anybody. It treats all customers alike, be he a child or an old man, be he a relative or a stranger. It is due to my honesty even like that of the scale that I have acquired this spiritual power." AÔaehe[Ev -Utana< ALpÔaehenvapun>, adroheõaiva bh¨t&#732;n&#732;m alpadrohenav&#732;puna× Without enmity for creatures, or with very little of it, Tuladhara explains his honest efforts to carry on his business without harming, as far as possible, anybody. In this life everybody has to engage himself in some business or the other but he could perform it with a sense of fairness and justice, is the great lesson we derive from the example of Tuladhara. This parable is one of my most favourite parables. The story contains the total truth and ideal of life. The story best exemplifies how religion can permeate every day life and how straightforward and practicable religion is. A spirit of sacrifice and dedication to God are the twin principles which will elevate our mundane activities into a form of sacrifice. That we should sanctify our lives by such activities is the central teaching of the Gita.
  3. All actions should be performed as a Yajna in a spirit of service and sacrifice. Every man born in this world should engage himself in his stipulated duties as a token of gratitude to God and this will keep the wheel of the world moving. We are indebted to God every minute of our existence in this world. The earth, air, fire, water and ether are His gifts and we live by them. The deities that preside over these elements and the gods that control them provide us with the food and drink and activate us. In return for all these bounties enjoyed by us minute by minute, we should realise that we owe Him duties and whatever we do, we should dedicate that to Him, as the Lord of this universe. No mortal or society has such a sway on the whole Universe. $zavaSyimd< sv¡ ... ... ... &#376;þ&#732;v&#732;syam-idaÕ sarvaÕ ... ... ... -- Ishopanishad 1 There is only one supreme Lord over the whole universe. He is Shri Hari. All the things in the Universe are His. How can we partake of the bounties of nature unless we perform our stipulated duties as humble offerings to God? Even the richest man has no right to any of the worldly things unless he too performs his duties in a spirit of dedication to God. On the other hand, even the poorest man has every right to take, within limits, whatever he wants from God&#8217;s Universe by performing his stipulated duties. The same idea is expressed in the Isavasya Upanishad. k&#8230;vRÚeveh kmaRi[ ijjIiv;et! ... ... ... kurvann-eveha karm&#732;õi jij&#376;viÿet ... ... ... -- Ishopanishad 2 An individual uses his private property for himself and for his family. To increase his profit he exploits others. In this way the power of some individuals or a party or a group increases, which may lead to monopoly. If the idea that the ownership of all means of production rests neither with the individual nor with the Government but with God, then it will be good both for the individual and the Government and both will prosper. In this way good deeds multiply. If God is the only Lord of the Universe and if His law rules the world, we become his humble and disciplined subjects. We then engage ourselves in actions which not only please God but also serve His other creatures. In this way only we can repay Him. We get food from Him, and in return we should give Him offerings. Puranas say that gods are starved when dharma and karma are at a discount. The Lord and the other lesser gods do accept all our offerings however humble they may be. zu-< ipbTysaE inTy< nazu-< shir> ipbet!, þubhaÕ pibatyasau nityaÕ n&#732;þubhaÕ sahari× pibet Gods get nourishment so to say by the noble deeds performed by people on the earth. Goodness grows in this world only by the performance of noble deeds. If noble deeds diminish, goodness suffers and godly spirit slowly disappears. Then calamity overtakes the land. Therefore as a token of our gratitude we should offer to God only such things that please Him. Dedicated services formed selflessly is the best offering which man can give to God. This will increase the godly spirit and create a favourable and efficacious atmosphere throughout the world.
  4. We are under the impression that performance of daily ritual and prayer and other obligations according to the varNaashramadharma are the only duties enjoined on an aspirant. Besides the duties like the study of scriptures and others enjoined specially on each caste (varõa v[R), there is another duty that is required to be performed by one and all, irrespective of the caste (varõa v[R) to which one belongs. That is social service. One of the important duties to be performed by an aspirant is the service of humanity in several ways. Our heart should be moved by the sorry sight of hunger, misery and sickness, wherever they may exist. God is within everyone of us and if we perform social service unselfishly remembering the indwelling God, He will be pleased. tSy àaPyupkare[ àItae -vit kezv>, tasya pr&#732;pyupak&#732;reõa pr&#376;to bhavati keþava× -- Gita Tatparya (The Lord Keshav is pleased by the good he does to living beings.) An aspirant should carry on this social service side by side with his devotion and prayers till his enlightenment. Performance of social service is not optional but mandatory. This duty is as inescapable in our spiritual life as payment of taxes in our mundane life. This is the tax we pay to the Almighty. One who evades taxes is not a worthy citizen. So also, if we evade social service to the poor and the sick we shall be avoiding the payment of the taxes to the Supreme Lord of this world. Could we ever hope to be the worthy citizens of this creation if we do not serve the One Lord by serving the needy and the poor? nana jnSy zuïU;a ktRVyakrviTmte>, n&#732;n&#732; janasya þuþr¨ÿ&#732; kartavy&#732;karavatmite× -- Gita Tatparya (We should serve all, as an obligation like the payment of taxes.) Sri Madhvacharya has pointed out in the above sloka of the Gita Tatparya the indispensability of social service and the holy significance behind it. This is the statement of an ideal favourite with me. There are many people who perform meticulously the duties prescribed for them by their caste but they are completely indifferent to their social obligations. They think that taking part in social activities only diverts one's attention from God and that an aspirant should not waste his time in such things but spend his whole time in prayers and meditation. They have restricted the message of karma by limiting it to the professions passed on to them from the caste system and the activities of telling the beads and other daily rituals. According to Sri Madhvacharya the Gita emphasises that individual prayers and meditation should be performed side by side with service to humanity. Vedanta does not teach us to turn our face away from society; on the other hand, we should realise how it lays down a constructive programme which, if performed in the true spirit, paves the way to individual as well as social advancement. There are two categories of people in the world. To the first category belong the people who spend all their time in prayer and meditation and do not care for society. To the other category belong people who are fully engaged in social welfare activities but have no time for God at all. The lives of both these types of people are incomplete and imperfect. Prayer without social service does not make for true religiousness while social service without a prayerful attitude is not service in the true sense of the term. Both are aspects of one and the same thing. Both are in fact complementary like two faces of a coin. If we do not realise this we shall be like the proverbial blind men who touch only the tail of the elephant and say that the whole elephant is like a rope. Religious leaders should realise the importance of social service and social workers should perform their duties selflessly in a prayerful attitude as a dedication to God. Once upon a time a group of Sadhu pilgrims were returning from Benaras and as usual they were carrying the holy Ganga water with them. They were supposed to carry the holy water to Rameshwaram and pour it there. On their way they had to pass through the Rajasthan desert and there they found one thirsty camel on the verge of death. The Sadhus no doubt felt compassion and pity for the dying animal but the thought they were helpless as they had to carry their holy water to Rameshwaram. But one of them thoughtfully poured the holy water he was carrying into its mouth and saved its life when the others objected to his wasting the holy water meant to be poured at Rameshwaram. But the Sadhu replied that he saw God in this camel and the pouring of the water into this camel's mouth and saving its life was the greatest worship of God. God is not far away from us. He is in side each and every creature ready to receive our offering. Prahlada has preached in the Bhagavata that a special kind of worship lies in identifying Him inside all the fellow-beings and serving Him through them. We should not forget God when we are engaged in social service either. There is a goal behind everyone of our activities. This goal should be the worship of God who is immanent in all the creatures. If this goal is not there, then various worldly and selfish motives find their way and goad us to do social service either for fame or prestige and make our service artificial. All activities which are not performed as a dedication to God yield only temporary results, however seemingly beneficial they may be to society. %ÏredaTmnaTman< uddhared&#732;tman&#732;tm&#732;naÕ -- VI-5 (One should try to redeem oneself by oneself (or by the grace of God).) According to the Gita only he who is engaged in karmayoga or selfless action is eligible for dhyanayoga or meditation. Meditation leads to God-perception and that in turn leads to liberation. Thus the key to our salvation is in our own hands. The soul is our precious possession and it is our primary duty to take it out of the cycle of birth and death which is full of misery, and make it enjoy eternal happiness. This must be achieved by our own efforts of the mind. mnyev mnu:ya[a< kar[< b<xmae]yae>, manayeva manuÿy&#732;õ&#732;Õ k&#732;raõaÕ bandhamokÿayo× (Man's mind alone is the cause of his bondage or release.) Our mind is the instrument of our rise or fall; it can be our dearest friend or foe. With one and the same key we can either lock the box or open it. Similarly the mind can lead either to bondage or to liberation. If the key to our salvation is in our own hands, then why can't we work for it with all enthusiasm. But the mind is like a huge elephant. If it is properly trained it can work wonders; if it is untrained it can easily crush us. If we have control over our mind, it is our greatest asset. But an untrained and uncontrolled mind can become our greatest enemy and throw us into the whirlpool of life. We must be very careful in this respect. Our friend and foe are both within us. Thinking that our enemies are outside, we unnecessarily look at them with hatred and jealousy. Once upon a time a selfish devotee prayed to God: "Oh God, let your arrows shower on my enemies." Immediately he found these arrows piercing him all round. He got perplexed and asked God again; "Oh God, I only asked that your arrows be showered on my enemies and not on me. Please do not miss your target." God said: "My aim is correct. Your greatest enemy is within yourself. In answer to your prayers I am destroying your enemy. This parable shows that our enemy is within us and we should conquer it first before we can think of turning our hatred towards others around us and thus waste our energy. Our primary duty therefore is to control our mind and work for spiritual advancement. To achieve liberation through meditation, mere control of mind is not sufficient. God's grace is also necessary. If we pray to God with great devotion and perform our prescribed duties, the act bestows on us the strength of mind necessary for concentration and meditation. Without His grace we can achieve neither meditation nor realisation. ymevE; v&[ute ten l_y>, yamevaiÿa v®õute tena labhya× -- Kathopanishad 2:23 (We can realise God only if He chooses us.) If God is pleased by our devotion and righteous actions He gives us liberation. On the other hand if we displease Him by our unrighteous action and unsocial behaviour, He will punish us. Therefore to please God we should lead a disciplined life, following the rules and regulations laid down by Him. Such a life is necessary for the progress of the soul. A deep-rooted persistence in duty, control of mind and God's grace, with these three we should start treading the path of dhyanayoga. http://www.dvaita.org/shaastra/gita/gita_sara/
  5. From Karmayoga to Dhyanayoga: For self-realisation there are two chief means. One is through action and the other through meditation. The science of action has been explained at length so far. In this sixth chapter the science of meditation is expounded. Only after having practised karmayoga, the constituents of which are renunciation of desire and right action, and become a yogi and a sanyasi should a person take to the practice of meditation (dhy&#732;nayoga Xyanyaeg). Our pursuit is complete only when we have achieved a state of steadiness through karmayoga and then the direct vision of God. Karmayoga is the chief instrument for the purification of the heart which is necessary for dhyanayoga, prior to God-realisation. Without practising desireless action and acquiring purity of heart we cannot jump at once to meditation. We should go step by step. If we try to jump across too many steps in one leap we may trip and fall. That is why every aspirant should try to inculcate karma-yoga which is preparatory to meditation and realisation. The spiritual attitude which neglects service and duty is least helpful to our progress. http://www.dvaita.org/shaastra/gita/gita_sara/gs-008.html
  6. 1)I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details. 2)Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind. 3)My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind. 4)The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge. 5)Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. 6)The scientists' religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection. 7)There is no logical way to the discovery of elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance. 8)The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. 9)The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious; It is the source of all true art and science. 10)We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods. When the solution is simple, God is answering. 11)God does not play dice with the universe. 12)God is subtle but he is not malicious. 13)A human being is a part of the whole, called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest-a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. 14)Our task must be to free from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. 15)Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. 16)The man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life. 17)Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. 18)Only a life lived for others is a life worth while. 19)The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. 20)The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books---a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. 21)The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity. 22)What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. 23)The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. 24)To know that what is impenatrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties - this knowledge, this feeling ... that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself amoung profoundly religious men. 25)The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man. 26)True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness. 27)Intelligence makes clear to us the interrelationship of means and ends. But mere thinking cannot give us a sense of the ultimate and fundamental ends. To make clear these fundamental ends and valuations and to set them fast in the emotional life of the individual, seems to me precisely the most important function which religion has to form in the social life of man.
  7. 1. What is the nature of world ? According to Sri Madhvacharya Sri Narayana is the supreme. He is full of all divine attributes and free from defects. The world consisting of prakrti (Nature), sentients and insentients is absolutely different from God. It is real and dependent on Him forever. All the functions of the world take place under his aegis. He is ever independent. The personalities of all Demigods and Jivas right from godess Lakshmi are mutually and essentially different. There is also gradation among them. The essential difference in their nature continues even after liberation. 2. Why has God created this world ? According to this system God has created the world to enable jivas to achive the manifestation of their innate nature and to facilitate the self-evolution of worthy ones. The world creation is a benevolent and pleasurable act of God. The God has under taken the world creation only on account of his benevolence for jivas and with the sole purpose that jivas should secure release from the endless bondage and to facilitate jivas to practice the prescribed course of emancipation and thereby achieve self evolution and God-realisation. 3. How to achieve self evolution and God-realisation ? The world created by God is not illusionary, but real. Therefore in thisreal world we must do our duty on the foundation of devotion to God; develop virtues such as truth, sympathy, sacrifice, philanthrophy, non-violence, honesty etc which sustain humanity and world; do the prescribed duties and social service as a service to God without expecting any reward; ascending gradually to higher levels; attain purity of mind; make devotion to God more and more firm by means of hearing, contemplation and meditation; achieve the realisation of God dwelling within us and finally attain the divine self bliss by grace of God. Concentration of mind on God is the essential requirement for the practice of meditation. And this concentration requires extreme affection and continuous love for him. It is the experiance of one and all in the world that one can think of an object with concentration only when he loves it. Our love and affection to God should be solid to make our mind continuously flow towards Him. The devotion which is love and affection in God gradually grows stronger and stronger in proportion to the seeker's contemplation of His virtues. Ultimately he will become fit to meditate upon Him continuously. 4. What is the nature of Jiavas or Soul ? Jivas are not created by God. Jivas are beginningless and yet subjected to a sort of creation. Their personality and nature are beginningless even as they are and therefore are inseparable from them. Jiva and his personality are as much inseperable as light and its effulgence. Personality and nature of Jivas are of different types and they differ from one jiva to other. They alone are the guiding factors of mundane life of Jivas. Jivas experiance vicissitude of various degrees in accordance eith their mutually different and innate personalities. God stimulates the essential nature of jivas and gives energy and inspiration to various tendencies that are consitent with their innate nature. But He is neutral in respect of this essential difference. 5. What is the place of God in the functioning of the World if Jivas are indipendent ? Though the nature and strength of Jivas are inbuilt, any activity on the foundation of these two requires the investment of God's energy and stimulation. They remain mute in His absence. Therefore though God is not respensable for the diversity in creation, He is indispensible for the world activity. 6. What are the five fold differences ? According to the Madhva school of thought the supreme Lord Vishnu, Jivas who are his servents and worshippers and the world which is a field of spiritual accomplishment are real and therefore it is necessary to understand them in their distinction. When we analyse them five fold differences can be discerned. They are: 1. Difference between God and Jivas. 2. Difference between God and insentients. 3. Difference between Jivas and insentients. 4. Mutaual difference among Jivas. 5. Mutaual difference among insentients. These are known as Panchabhedas. A correct knowledge of the world is possible only when there is knowledge of these differences. The knowledge of these differences enable us to understand God, Jivas and insetients distinctively and in turn we will be able to understand the world correctly. Moreover Jivas have imposed upon themselves many attributes of insentient mind and body. They have also imposed upon themselves many attributes of God like independence. Consequently they seem to identify themsleves both with the supreme God and the insetients. As a result they are on the wrong path. With the knowledge of five fold differences they can clearly distinguish themselves from the insentient mind and body and also from God. Then they can clearly know there place in the world, the relation between themselves and God and also between themselves and insentient entities.This knowledge will inspire them to follow the right course of action. 7. What do you mean by liberation of Soul or Jiva ? Jiva is different from mind. But he has mistaken passion, hatred, happiness and sorrow which are the modifications and attributes of mind to be his own. Being attached to things that are not actually his, he has been subjected to mundane sorrows and perversions. By realisation of God, Jiva will get the experiance of his real form and his false knowledge will be dispelled. As a result he will be released from sorrow and calamity. The worthy Jiva, who has forgotten the essential bliss of his own on account of an attachment to what is not his, will be, by the realisation of God, released from his false form and will attain his own real form - the beautiful personality of knowledge, bliss and individuality. Dedicated to Lord Sri Krishna
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