Gurudev Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya
( With this issue we start serialising revised English version of Gurudev's autobiography in Hindi - Hamari Vasiyat aur Virasat )
THE NEED FOR AN IN-DEPTH
SURVEY OF MY PRESENT LIFE SOJOURN
There is always an inquisitiveness to know about the lives of persons who have made a mark in their specific fields of action and endeavour. It not only satisfies our curiosity but offers clues and guidelines towards the resolution of the problems of life. Be that as it may, biographical narrations are always entertaining, engaging and valuable in imparting insights and inspirations.
Friends have often been making queries about my life but I have generally put off answering such queries because outwardly visible events of my life are there for all to see as an open book. People have a propensity for magic and miracles.
Numerous persons who have come in close contact with me as serious spiritual aspirants have been benefited by the divine grace working through me and they consider me a siddha purusha (an enlightened soul). They are keen to know abut the secrets which have made my life a benediction and a blessing. In fact, the secrets will remain a secret during my lifetime as I have imposed a ban on their disclosure. If anybody wants to really know about my life story he should, at first, understand its underlying philosophy.
Those searching for something truly mystical and out of the ordinary will probably get new direction from my way of life.
Although, there has been nothing ostensibly magical in this life, there is much that is substantial, which can help in understanding the real nature of spirituality (Science of the Sprit) and its definitively positive results. Being ignorant of its real nature, people are misled, they get disappointed, lose faith and regard spirituality as mere pretension or sham. Majority of the people these days consists of those covert atheists who at one time had turned to formalistic religion enthusiastically but did nothing beyond following some mechanical rituals. Later, joy and zeal disappeared from these lifeless routines. How could faith be retained when whatever was held forth as culmination of these religious pursuits did not ever materialise?
My life story can act as lighthouse for genuine seekers of Truth. It is a way of life adopted by a rational and a realistic person and there is nothing obscurantic and pretentious in it. Stigma of failure cannot also be attributed to it. Persons who seriously try to understand that there could be a true path to attain the goal of soul-awakening, who do not fall into the trap of illusion of short-cuts, would not meet with disappointment and disillusionment. Had such persons read my story, understood the spiritual philosophy underlying it and followed the process of self-growth prescribed therein, it is certain that the number of such misled and confused persons would have been far less than what it is today.
There is another category of persons who are realistic and at the same time are endowed with insight. They wholeheartedly believe in Rishi traditions. They concede the supremacy of spirituality (Science of Spirit) over the physical sciences which deal with the working of apparent phenomena and are inquisitive about its real nature. Every fruit vendor says that her plums are sweet but the truth or otherwise of the claim is determined after actual testing of the fruit.
When righteous people act together towards righteous ends, the result is bound to be good. Thus, those who want to understand the nature of spirituality of the Rishi traditions will greatly benefit by the in-depth study of my way of life.
The whole of my life of the past sixty-three years since the age of 15, has been spent for this very purpose. The results are there for everyone to read like an open book and to be convinced that the right path must have been pursued to get these astoundingly sublime results. Such a sunlit path can be profitably followed by others. It is hoped that those who are drawn towards self-knowledge and the life-transforming power of spirituality, who want to see its re-effulgence, who want to test theories on the touchstone of the actual proof would find the perusal of these pages (truthfully narrating the process of my own self-growth) rewarding.
There is nothing peculiar or fascinating in my outer life apart from certain turning points, which are being published here. There is no scope in it for magic or miracles or for hopping and jumping about by way of fun and frolic. I have been spending my time single-pointedly in a well-organised and well-planned manner. Therefore, those looking for a march of glittering pageant of stimulating events will be disappointed. However, those interested in the verities and mysteries working beneath the foam and froth of the surface events will get a glimpse of the perennial unbroken tradition of the flow of spirituality and they would be able to understand the underlying causes of success and failure in life.
The only reason which causes disappointment in the field of religious worship, which has defamed spirituality and made it ridiculous, is to consider formal ritual as everything and to pay no attention to the inner cleansing and refinement.
My outward actions and activities are like those of any ordinary person but they directly originate from the bedrock of Spirit and release the spiritual splendour and energy (brahmatejas) which bestows the capacity to accomplish something worthwhile and of decisive importance for the good of all.
There was no purpose in describing in detail the various events of life, except to satisfy some curiosity.
What really mattered were the inner vision and steadfastness of faith which acted as manure and water for nurturing the tiny seed to grow into a mighty tree. In fact, it is the radiant personality of the devotee (sadhak) that infuses life in sadhana and mere performance of rituals is nothing but a pastime.
Ram of Tulsi, Hare Krishna of Soor, collective singing of devotional songs by Chaitanya, songs of Meera, Ramakrishna's worship of Mother Kali, did not become radiantly alive for these devotees merely by their ritualistic worship. Innumerable persons act in an absurd and mechanical manner; what they get is nothing but ridicule.
When Valmiki changed the pattern of his life, he became illumined even by doing japa in an incorrect, reverse manner. Ajamil, Angulimal, Ganika and Amrapali were hardly literate but they had moulded their inner lives in conformity with spiritual ideals.
It is rather a sad irony that people these days mistakenly assume that they have embarked on the path of self-realisation merely by uttering some words, performing certain rituals or making certain offerings to the Deity.
They never try to transform their thoughts, character and attitudes in the light of the Indwelling Spirit which is a must for spiritual progress. I have always been cautious not to allow this falsity to enter into my way of sadhana. This path is realistic, practical and easy to be followed by and beneficial to the common mass of humanity. My way of life should be studied keeping this in view.
( To be continued.......)