Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 16 Aug 2023


English »   Malayalam »  

Swami answers questions of Ms. Thrylokya

(A brief Satsanga took place between Swami and Ms. Thrylokya on phone as given below.)

Ms. Thrylokya asked:-

1. Is doing good deeds important and not God Himself?

[Paadanamaskaaram Swami, You told that if the human being does only justified deeds avoiding unjust deeds, God is pleased. In that case, doing good actions is important and not God. Please explain about this point.]

Swami replied:- It is correct that God is pleased with your good actions especially when you simultaneously avoid bad actions. But, God is more important than justice and good actions because God is the protector of even justice. Unless you keep God as the ultimate in your brain, you may slowly neglect God by thinking that God is bound to justice in giving good fruits. This is also correct, but the good fruits obtained by justice are only temporary pleasures of heaven because your good deeds are related to temporary human beings. If you do the deeds of worship, prayer, devotion, service and sacrifice to God, you will get the permanent abode of God as permanent fruit. When a permanent good fruit is available, why should you worry about temporary good fruits? In doing good deeds like serving all human beings, the fruit is temporary heaven (Kṣīṇe puṇye martyalokaṃ viśanti- Gita). But, in the service of God, you are serving devoted human beings, which is also service to humanity.

If you confine to serve the entire humanity as meritorious deed, you will get temporary heaven after death and while living here, you may get a powerful political position since you will be supported by majority of voters in elections here. The reason is that in this good deed, there is no context of God, which is called pure Pravritti or pure service to humanity or politics. In pure Nivritti, you may serve pure human beings, but they are not only pure but also devotees. Apart from the service to pure devotees, you are serving God and His divine programs also. If pure Pravrutti is followed, God is neglected gradually and a stage may come in which you refuse even the existence of God, becoming an atheist. Puurvamimamsakaas believed only good actions and their related temporary good fruits to be enjoyed here and in temporary heaven and slowly became atheists (Devo na kaścit bhuvanasya bhartā, karmānurūpāṇi puraḥ phalāni). Shankara, the Uttara Mimamsaka, condemned this in a very long debate with Mandana Mishra and established the permanent importance of God while advising strongly not to do unjust actions. Dharmaraaja gave more importance to justice by not speaking a lie in war even though God Krishna advised him to tell the lie. Hence, Dharmaraja went to heaven only and not to the ultimate abode of God, called Brahmaloka.

2. What is the advice to a householder, who is unable to solve family problems?

[Swami, I found one householder who is unable to solve problems of his family and is suffering a lot. What advice shall I give to him?]

Swami replied:- The headship of the family brings ego due to which he is unable to get the support from God. If God helps him, he will feel that he was able to solve the problems due to his personal talents. This brings more strength to his ego and he will be spoiled. You advise him about this point and ask him to pray God telling “From today onwards, You are the head of this family and I am one of the members of this family only. As a head, it is Your will to solve the problems of this family. In fact, even my personal problems are at Your feet since You are the head of this family and since I am also one of the members of this family”. You tell him to submit this prayer to God and live with such faith only. I am sure that the problems of His family will be solved immediately.

3. Does this not come under the aspiration of some fruit in return from God?

Swami replied:- Your question is purely in Pravrutti and not in Nivrutti. In Pravrutti, the devotee loves his family as well as loves God. Such type of devotee is called ‘Aarta’ devotee as said in the Gita (Ārto jijñāsu rarthārthī). In this lower stage, we cannot apply the principle of highest Nivrutti. Every lower state is surrounded by a defect as said in the Gita (Sarvārambhā hi doṣeṇa).

4. Is a person interested in materialistic benefits greater than one trying to know God?

[In the above shloka quoted by You, the order is Aarta (suffering with a problem), Jijnaasu (trying to know about God) and Arthaarthii (interested in getting some materialistic benefit) is the increasing order of devotion. In such case, how a person interested in getting the materialistic benefit is greater than the person trying to know about God?]

Swami replied:- The interpretation of this verse is given by some people as you spoke above and this brings misunderstanding. Artha means not only materialistic benefit (Purushaartha), but also spiritual benefit (Paramaartha). Therefore, you shall take the second meaning for the word ‘artha’ so that this misunderstanding gets removed and now, the order in increasing importance becomes justified. Jijnaasu means the devotee trying to enquire the information about God. Arthaarthii means the person, who attained the complete knowledge of God and is praying to God (being in the second step called theoretical devotion or Bhakti Yoga) for help in spiritual progress. Hence, Arthaarthii is certainly greater than Jijnaasu, who just entered the first step called Jnaana Yoga. The highest person told in this verse is Jnaanii or the person, who completed the third step, called karma yoga, (practical devotion) doing service and sacrifice to God without aspiring for any fruit in return from God. Devotion with aspiration for fruit in return is confined to the first type of devotee only, called Aarta, who is in the initial state with defect.