The Missing Piece: Why Your Spiritual Practices Are Not Working

Are you feeling frustrated with your spiritual practices? Discover the missing piece in your spiritual practices and unlock its full potential.

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What is the difference between Veda and Upanishad?

Upanishads are part of the Vedic corpus. The Vedic corpus can be divided into two parts: Mantra bhaga and Brahmana bhaga. The Mantra bhaga is also called Samhita. It contains praises of Devas, unraveling of the mysteries of the universe, and history. They are in the form of Mantras. The Brahmana bhaga contains 1. Vidhi - procedure for conducting yajnas. 2. Aranyaka - about upasanas and 3. Upanishad - the essence of Vedic knowledge.

Which Vamsha did Shaunaka Maharshi belong to?

Shaunka Maharshi belonged to the Bhrigu vamsha.

Quiz

Which subject is the book Ashtadhyayi connected to ?

You may be observing dharma, many rituals, practices such as going to temples, chanting stotras, doing puja, giving dana. Why are they not giving you results? They are all good, prescribed methods. But then why are they not giving results? After some time, why do you feel that it is a waste of time? Bhagavata has a clear answer for this. Shloka number 8 of Chapter 2 of the First Skandha. धर्मः स्वनुष्ठितः पुंसां विष्वक्सेनकथासु यः।....

You may be observing dharma, many rituals, practices such as going to temples, chanting stotras, doing puja, giving dana.
Why are they not giving you results?

They are all good, prescribed methods.
But then why are they not giving results?

After some time, why do you feel that it is a waste of time?

Bhagavata has a clear answer for this.
Shloka number 8 of Chapter 2 of the First Skandha.

धर्मः स्वनुष्ठितः पुंसां विष्वक्सेनकथासु यः।
नोत्पादयेद्यति रतिं श्रम एव हि केवलम्॥

Rituals, dharmic practices unless they generate an eagerness in you to know about the greatness of Bhagavan, they are just a waste of time, waste of effort.

Rituals and practices are just means.
The goal is developing interest in Bhagavan.

Always have this clear in the mind.
It is not that those with bhakti do puja and chanting.

You do puja, chanting, you go to temples to develop bhakti.

You may not be able to comprehend this because even those who do dharmic practices, they may not have tasted bhakti.

They may be doing it out of tradition, habit, fear, pastime, show off, or want to get something- a good job, marriage, house, children.

No matter what the reason is, unless eventually it leads to eagerness to know the greatness of Bhagavan, it is a waste of time.

It is like driving a car with no fuel in it.

You are turning the steering, changing gears, pushing on the accelerator, but the engine is dead.

Do it for hours, the car is not going to move an inch.

So, this is a clear yardstick.
A clear test.

You may be observing religious practices, spiritual practices for twenty five years, thirty years, but if you have not developed eagerness to know about Bhagavan, know about his greatness, then it means you have just wasted twenty five years, thirty years.

This is what Bhagavata says.

Through the next two shlokas Bhagavata is making one point very clear.

Bhagavata will not give you wealth or enjoyments.

Bhagavata is not for the body.
Bhagavata is not for attaining material prosperity.

If that is what you want, better stop listening.

Because Bhagavata considers these as very low level, inferior aims.

धर्मस्य ह्यपवर्गस्य नार्थोऽर्थायोपकल्पते।
नार्थस्य धर्मैकान्तस्य कामो लाभाय हि स्मृतः॥
कामस्य नेन्द्रियप्रीतिर्लाभो जीवेत यावता।
जीवस्य तत्वजिज्ञासा नाऽर्थो यश्चेह कर्मभिः॥

We have already seen this earlier.
Observance of dharma such as self-control, practicing honesty, performing yajnas and pujas can they lead to acquiring wealth?
They may.
There are specific mantras and rituals in the Vedas for this.
So, obviously they can.
Since it is part of the Vedas, it is dharma also.
It is not adharma.

But Bhagavata says, ignore them.
Go for the ultimate goal.
Keep Tatwa jijnasa as the purpose of your life.
Jijnasa means inquisitiveness.
This inquisitiveness itself is interest in Bhagavan, interest to know about Bhagavan.
The first step of Bhagavata dharma.
Then comes listening and them developing bhakti.
We will see the meaning of Tatwa jijnasa later.

Don't go for the kind of dharma which will create more and more wealth and comforts around you.
They are not assets, they are liabilities.

Ignore such dharma and go for what will make you light.
Go for dharma that will allow you to take off like a free bird as and when you want.

If wealth is there, use it for observing dharma.
Feed people, plant trees, dig a well in a village where there is no water.

But don't take it forward.
Connect wealth to dharma.
Don't connect wealth to getting pleasure or comforts.

If you think that it is wealth that is giving pleasure to your body, that is wrong.
If it is wealth that is giving pleasure why is it that a wealthy old ailing man does not get pleasure from his body.
In spite of the wealth, his body is giving him pain and discomfort.
Wealth and pleasure are unrelated.

Money can sometimes get you objects that can stimulate pleasure.
But that doesn't necessarily give you pleasure.

Bhagavata says this is all a mess.

Get out of all these.

These are not going to take you anywhere.

Target the ultimate goal, which is moksha, being one with Bhagavan.

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