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Swami Chinmayananda Spiritual Guidance Based On Hindu Religion Texts

Spiritual Guidance From Swami Chinmayananda based on Hindu religion texts.

Swami Chinmayananda on the meaning of Namah

It is an ancient tradition that stemmed forth from the Vedic period that gave us the word ‘Namah’. In the passage of time, it came to be interpreted as prostrations or salutations, Namaskar.

In its virginal meaning, it was a term that came in vogue by the spoliation (lopa) of a term that is repeated very often in the Vedic rituals, as the pundits chant the mantras and offer the oblations to the sacred fire:

‘Agne Idam Na Mama’ “O Lord Fire! (This what I am offering is not mine’).

This term ‘Na Mama’ (not mine) expresses the mental attitude of the devotees; everything belongs to Thee O Lord – I am only offering to Thee what is already owned by You. This spirit of total dedication, complete surrender, and supreme selflessness is that which is expressed by the term ‘Na Mama.’ This ‘Na Mama’ became ‘Nama.’

When this term came to be oft repeated by the mass of people the term got ‘defaced.’
This ‘Na Mama’ became ‘Nama’; the middle ma appears to have got lost in the stampede of centuries, in the cascade of general conversations.

Thus when we say ‘Krishnaya Tubhyam Namaha’, we mean nothing is mine O Lord, everything is Thine and I thus totally surrender to Thee my beloved Sri Krishna.

Swami Chinmayananda
(Source: Introduction section of Glory of Krishna published by Chinmaya Mission, Mumbai)

Why Controversy Should be Avoided Regarding Nature of Truth?

Vain disputation and discussion should not be entered into. (Narada Bhakti Sutra 74)

A devotee must not indulge in controversial discussion. Such discussions will not benefit others.

The nature of Truth is such that it can never be proved by argument alone.

By argument, neither an atheist can prove ‘there is no God’, nor can a sage prove that ‘ there is God.’

It is only in the inner experience as we lift ourselves from the limited, little hide-out of our intellect, when we disengage it from its bondages with the objects-emotions-thoughts, and rise to the heroism of a greater living, only then, released from this tiny well of existence, can we have at least a vague suspicion of perhaps a possibility of the existence of a greater Reality.

So long, as we are embedded in the flesh, hibernating in the midst of sensuous sorrows and Vasanas, basking in the brilliant warmth of some intellectual fireworks, or remaining encrusted with the prison-house of the body-mind-intellect, nothing can be understood or experienced of the Truth. Since nothing can ever be proven by arguments, let us leave them – let us live the path – that in itself becomes its own unquestionable proof. (This explanation to the Sutra is by Swami Chinmayananda.)

Swami Chinmayananda Thoughts on Violence and Nonviolence

No single work in our classics has gained such a wide influence on our people as the Bhagavad Gita: and in, this century, no other single message had such a universal appeal to our countrymen as the single line – Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah – Nonviolence is the greatest Dharma.

This line in its overemphasis, has sapped both initiative and energy in our millions, and, instead of making us all irresistible moral giants, we have been reduced to poltroons and cowards. And banking on this cowardly resignation of the majority, a handful of fanatics have been perpetrating crimes which even the most barbarous cave dwellers would have avenged.

Let us for a moment go to the original sacred verse and investigate the significances of the moral precept: Ahimsa Paramo Dharmah. This is the opening line of a stanza, and the very next line reads: Dharma himsa tathaiva cha. "So too is all righteous violence."

By the over-emphasis laid on non-violence we have come to witness the pathetic situation of today. When will we learn to fully interpret our Vedas, scriptures and Upanishads. If only we all learn that dharma-himsa is equally noble as ahimsa.

Indeed, non-violence is the supreme policy to be adopted by man to foster enduring peace in the world; but there are certain dire moments in the life of individuals, as of nations, when we will have to meet force with force in order that justice be done.

To every individual his mother, wife and children are the nearest dependents and to guard their honor and life is the unavoidable first moral duty of each head of the family. This is an obligation whether the victim be a member of the majority or of the minority class within a country, province or city.

In the battlefield, when violence is rampant, it is the dharma of everyone to meet that maniacal violence with determined, restrained, violence not only in self-defense but also to convince the aggressive vicious few that 'it rarely pays to be violent.'

Swami Chinmayananda on Materialism

Materialism is wonderful no doubt, but it burdens man with endless anxiety and craving to possess more, to acquire and aggrandize and to indulge in slavish attachment.

This is natural, for an individual who seeks his fulfillment and happiness only in thoughtless intemperance, in toiling for and reaching the temporary gratification of his physical passions, mental urges, and intellectual hungers.

Is it not a fact that in recent times more people are killed by worry than work?

Man in his present misconceived civilization has learned to waste himself and his precious time in the inevitable trifles and tensions that beset his life. But to the attentive and the vigilant, life is a glorious opportunity with possibilities to reach the perfection of civilization.

Words of Encouragement – Swami Chinmayananda 

Be strong – not merely a physical strength of a bull – but the subtle vitality of a calm mind diligent in its application, consistent in its logical thinking, replete with a will to win over all negative tendencies that poison and weaken the mind.

Declare yourself Non-Victim. Many have in them a sense of I am a victim of hate, ill luck, destiny, sorrow, disaster etc. Stop it all. Roar the truth. I am the child of Bhagavan. He cannot ever deny me.

Introspect daily.
Detect diligently.
Negate ruthlessly.
Substitute wisely.

In all worthwhile undertakings, there will be risks of failure, of disappointments, of even disaster. To face them all with inner poise and firm faith is to discover the glory of final victory.