Sadguru (Dr) Mukul Gadgil’s guidance to seekers on spiritual practice

Sadguru (Dr) Mukul Gadgil
Many seekers of Sanatan Sanstha who had not progressed spiritually despite performing spiritual practice for many years, were fortunate to attend the satsang of Sanatan Sanstha’s Sadguru (Dr) Mukul Gadgil by the grace of Sachchidananda Parabrahman (Dr) Athavale.

Sadguru (Dr) Mukul Gadgil patiently listened to the difficulties faced by these seekers in their vyashti sadhana (Individual spiritual practice) and samashti sadhana (Spiritual practice for the spread of Spirituality) and guided them. The main points of the guidance are mentioned in this Article.

1. The importance of behaving freely

1A. The more the mind is unoccupied, more the communion with God : Due to our personality defects such as expectations, not accepting situations, drawing conclusions and so on, it often takes time for us to get out of a situation. Excessive thought is given to it. Arguments and counter-arguments go on in the mind. At such times, one should free the mind by talking to someone or by confessing to God. The more the mind is unoccupied, more will be the communion with God. We should focus on keeping our mind constantly in the thoughts of God, and ignore external distractions. We should let go of ourselves and remain in the Divine flow. No matter how many obstacles we face, we should keep moving ahead.

1B. Sachchidananda Parabrahman (Dr) Athavale asked me about the same word over three days, and through this, He taught me not to hesitate nor be shy of asking repeatedly so as to perform complete satseva : Once Sachchidananda Parabrahman (Dr) Athavale was sitting next to me. He asked me how to spell a Marathi word. I replied to Him. On the second and third day too, He asked me the same question and then added, “I am asking you repeatedly, no ?” He had done this to teach me that if we do not understand some aspect, we should feel free to ask repeatedly. Do not feel shy nor hesitate with the thought how you can ask repeatedly. Don’t protect your image. If we do not understand something, we will make mistakes in satseva (Serving the God Principle). While performing satseva, we must ask our co-seekers; because everyone’s intellect and the way of thinking is different. When the efforts are united, the result of the satseva is better.

1C. Sachchidananda Parabrahman (Dr) Athavale asks others while performing any activity, because openness leads to perfect satseva and reduction in ego : Sachchidananda Parabrahman (Dr) Athavale asks others while performing any activity. We learn more about any activity from others. This leads to perfection in the task being performed and reduces the ego. If He can ask, why don’t we ? Once He asked me the Marathi spelling of the same word thrice. He is so open while asking. We should feel free and light.

1D. Speaking freely requires the creation of a sanskar (Subtle impression) on the mind, and taking autosuggestions makes the subconscious mind aware

Question : I know the importance of speaking freely. I have also experienced the disadvantages of being not speaking freely. When someone tells me to speak freely, I do get an urge; but practically, it does not happen.

Sadguru (Dr) Gadgil : One should constantly try to cultivate the habit of speaking freely. The intellect knows this; but since this sanskar has not been created on the subconscious mind, the associated action is missing. For this to happen, give autosuggestions to the subconscious mind. The internal progress is necessary.

2. How can we increase our bhav ?

A. While performing any activity or satseva, have the bhav (Spiritual emotion) that it is God who is suggesting.

B. See how every action can be associated with God.

C. Closeness with God is essential. Hence, call Him while performing every satseva. Keep Him informed about every action.

D. During meal times, try to pray with every morsel you take. This will increase your communion with God.

E. It is important to pray and express gratitude continuously. This will awaken your bhav.

F. Always have the bhav that God is doing everything.

G. We should also try to awaken the attitude of surrender in ourselves.

H. We should not keep our mind unoccupied; instead, it should remain engrossed in bhav. We should evaluate our actions every 30 minutes.

3. Points on the efforts required to increase the spiritual practice of the subconscious mind

3A. Efforts to reduce doership

1. There should be immense gratitude that God is always helping and He is the One who gets everything done.

2. When you cannot decide, ask God. At that time, the first answer you get will be correct. If you ask God with intense faith, God will answer. If He does not, ask a co-seeker. There is God in the co-seeker too.

3B. Pay attention to the sacrifice of the mind : Pay attention if sacrifice of the mind is taking place or not while performing satseva. Constantly watch yourself (introspect) while speaking, performing any activity. Keep a track of the reactions and expectations that arise in the mind and make efforts to avoid them. Gradually, the mind will become pure.

3C. Due to the fickleness of the mind, repeated efforts for spiritual practice are required, and God helps when one makes efforts : We want to perform spiritual practice; but when the mind is fickle, spiritual practice does not get performed easily. One has to make efforts to perform spiritual practice. In 2005, I started trying to connect chanting with my breath. I used to pray to God repeatedly – ‘Let me be able to connect chanting with my breathing’. I used to pinch myself. It took me 1 year to achieve this.

3D. If you increase gratitude to maintain the state of bhav, you will be able to constantly remain in communion with God and this will result in spiritual practice of the subconscious mind

Question : Before starting the satseva or during the first stage of the satseva, I can experience bhav; but when I think intellectually of performing faultless satseva, the intellect takes over and the communion is lost. How can I avoid this ?

Sadguru (Dr) Gadgil : One can maintain the state of bhav even while performing satseva. Enhance gratitude to maintain communion with God. Seek God’s help. Remember that it is God who gives us every thought, and hence, perform everything as your spiritual practice. If while performing satseva you get some new thoughts, ask God if they are correct. Keep asking God constantly, ‘What can I do to make the satseva better ?’ Enjoy the spiritual experiences you have had during the satseva, as also the Anand (Bliss) in learning. Share the spiritual experiences and lessons learned during satseva, so that you become comprehensive. This will lead to spiritual practice of the subconscious mind.

4. What should be done for perfection in Guruseva (Serving the Guru) ?

4A. Efforts to be made so that satseva is not performed mechanically : Often, those who have been performing spiritual practice for many years but have not progressed spiritually, say that they perform satseva mechanically.

The solution is to keep a track of aspects such as – ‘What is God teaching me as I perform this satseva ? How to seek help from the seekers around ? How to overcome the monotonous nature of the satseva ?’ The remedies in this context are given ahead.

4A 1. God does not suggest all the things in the satseva at once, instead does so little by little; hence, if you follow the path suggested by Him in the satseva, it will be completed easily : Many of us think about how to proceed in a particular satseva when it is new; this makes satseva seem difficult. However, if we realise that God keeps giving us hints, we obtain Anand. This should be the attitude while performing any satseva. God does not suggest all things at once. He suggests little by little. When we practice God’s suggestions, He will suggest aspects of the next stage. Thus, we keep finding the path of the higher stages, and the satseva gets completed easily. Hence, we should have faith in God and obey Him.

4A 2. If there is a learning attitude while performing satseva, it will lead to obtaining Anand, and consequently, eliminate the monotony in the satseva : If there is a learning attitude while performing satseva, then Anand is obtained from it. Anand obtained thus generates enthusiasm. Therefore, even if it is the same satseva daily, there should be a longing for what can be learned from it.

4A 3. It is necessary to keep asking God for suggestions of subsequent stages while performing satseva, and when we share our learning with others it doubles our Anand : We should not remain content with what we have learned. We should constantly ask God and keep learning. If we start sharing our learning with others, our Anand will double. It is not that we conceive new ideas immediately every time we perform satseva. This requires surrender. Once this happens, we develop yearning for perfection in satseva.

4A 4. If we understand the underlying reason for the changes suggested by the guiding seeker, we will develop yearning for perfection in satseva and also get help from God : Many times the guiding seeker says one thing about a satseva one day and something else about it some other day. We should study why there was a change in the way it is perceived by him. If you do not understand this, ask him. At the end of the day, there should be no doubts in your mind. This will generate a longing for perfection in satseva, and when longing is generated, God’s help will be obtained.

While performing satseva, attention should be paid to awakening of bhav, spiritual practice of the subconscious mind, increase in yearning and reduction of ego.

4B. Trying to attain perfection in satseva with mutual help : Seek help from others about aspects of satseva that you cannot manage. Instead of thinking that only you know about some action or a satseva, you should seek help from others with you and complete it. You should try to attain perfection in satseva with mutual help.

4C. What to do if there is a difference of opinion with the co-seekers during satseva ? : Sometimes we have one opinion about a satseva and our co-seeker thinks about it differently. At such times, we withdraw and act according to the opinion of the co-seeker; but at times, the thought that our opinion was more correct, keeps going on in our mind. At such times, we should pray to God and ask Him what is more appropriate. Thereafter, if we think that our opinion is more correct, then make the co-seeker understand it by giving him adequate reasons. This will eliminate the difference of opinion. Even after this if the co-seeker does not agree, the opinion of a neutral seeker should be sought; but, under no circumstances should the issue be left pending. Otherwise, that thought will remain in our mind and we will be unable to concentrate in the next satseva.

4D. Striving to make every action Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram (The Truth, Divine and Beautiful) : If whatever we are doing only amounts to ‘completing’ a task and not performing satseva, then we should constantly try to transform it into satseva. We should try to perform every activity in a Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram manner. Every activity of Sachchidananda Parabrahman (Dr) Athavale is Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram. When we commence a task, we should start by thinking how He would have performed it.

4D 1. Sachchidananda Parabrahman (Dr) Athavale teaches that even a photograph taken as a sample should be good : Once an experiment with photos was going on. Sachchidananda Parabrahman (Dr) Athavale said, “Let’s take a sample photo”. When the photo was clicked, the inner vest of a seeker was seen in it. He then pointed out the mistake and said, “Even if a photo is clicked as a sample, it should be done properly. Every action of ours should be perfect and we should develop the habit of working in this manner”.

Thus, He impressed upon us the importance of performing every activity properly.

4E. Getting satseva performed from others in a perfect manner

4E 1. Do not be dependent on others in the adverse times : Do not be dependent on others for anything in the adverse times. Do not leave anything to others. Follow up continuously. We are at the doorsteps of the adverse times, so be careful and cautious.

4E 2. Understanding the problems of co-seekers and solving them, praying to remove their obstacles in satseva and encouraging them helps develop closeness : Although we have the responsibility of a particular satseva, we should be able to get it performed from other seekers not by authority, but by Priti (Unconditional love); only then we will be able to get it done as expected by God. To get the satseva performed with Priti, one must first develop closeness with them.

Ask the seekers what difficulties they are facing while performing satseva, whether they have any personal issues. You can also pray for the removal of obstacles faced by the seekers during satseva. Ask about their welfare every now and then. Encourage them. If they make mistakes, explain to them in a convincing manner. This will help in making the satseva perfect, beget Anand, and develop closeness with the seekers. We need to have the emotion of gratitude constantly towards the seekers. When we have this attitude, God will also help.

4E 3. Efforts to remove obstacles in satseva performed by co-seekers help develop love for humanity and in turn expansiveness : The obstacles faced by co-seekers in their satseva are not easily removed. This requires tremendous effort. If you try to do so, the obstacles will be removed and you will also develop a love for humanity, which means becoming expansive. If we desire all-inclusive development, such should be the direction of our efforts. Additionally, this will help seekers develop Priti for us.

4E 4. While giving satseva to seekers ensure that Guruseva is not affected; if the seekers are suffering from distress caused by negative energies, understand their difficulties and advise spiritual remedies : If satseva is given to a seeker and he is not able to perform it due to distress caused by negative energies, it will affect the Guruseva. Hence, observe the seeker; find out if he is suffering from distress caused by negative energies, why is he not able to perform it. If we solve his problem by advising a spiritual remedy, it will help develop closeness with that seeker, and the satseva will also move towards completion.

4F. Performing Guruseva well increases the yearning for spiritual practice and also leads to our spiritual progress

4G. It is necessary to write down points learned during satseva daily, assimilate them and convey them to everyone for the benefit of society : Points learned during the satseva should be noted down daily. Later, we must understand them better, contemplate on them and imbibe them; besides, we can also seek clarification on any doubts about the satseva. These points should be conveyed to everyone for the benefit of society at large. Everyone will benefit and it will verily amount to our samashti sadhana.

(To be continued in our Next Issue.)

If you increase gratitude to maintain the state of bhav, you will be able to constantly remain in communion with God !

If there is a learning attitude in satseva, it will lead to obtaining Anand, and eliminate the monotony in the satseva !