Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale : The very first Holy text I wrote in 1987 was cyclostyled; that too was in a scientific language, where the subjects were explained with the help of charts, comparative studies, percentages etc., which are normally not found in texts on Spirituality. Later too, my technique of writing remained the same. Was this because I am a student of science? Or did God get it done through me to suit the present Kaliyug?
“In all their Holy texts, H.H. Dr. Jayant and Dr. (Mrs.) Kunda have presented the theoretical and practical aspects of the science of Spirituality from all perspectives. Since these Holy texts are based on personal experiences, they inspire even the ignorant to undertake spiritual practice, and strengthen the faith of seekers on the path of Spirituality, worshippers and devotees. Being pleased with H.H. Dr. Jayant and his wife Dr. (Mrs.) Kunda’s humble and devoted seva done in a true disciple spirit, H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj bestowed on them abundant supreme spiritual knowledge and devotion. As a result, H.H. Dr. Jayant established Sanatan Sanstha. The centres of the Sanstha are spread far and wide and are engaged in spreading the eternal, true knowledge of the science of Spirituality in scientific terminology in a perfect manner.”
As a part of their individual sadhanä (Spiritual practice), several seekers deliver lectures or conduct satsangs (Company of the God Principle) in various places on behalf of Sanatan Sanstha. Since the subject of Spirituality is very vast, seekers often find it difficult to select the exact topic to be covered at such lectures or at the first satsang. This Holy text is, therefore, written for their guidance. It is hoped that it will also be useful to those who are unable to attend such lectures and satsangs.
A majority of the people are uninformed about the exact kind of sädhana they should perform from amongst thousands prescribed in the scriptures. Consequently, those not performing sadhanã, as well as those performing sãdhana inappropriately, benefit little by merely listening to information on Spirituality. On the contrary, their faith in Spirituality may begin to waver as they do not get anubhutis (Spiritual experiences) due to inappropriate sadhana. Many people who religiously attend kirtans (Please see Glossary) and pravachans (Spiritual discourses) in places of worship such as temples think that they are performing sädhana. Similarly, those who read or study religious texts consider that they have attained a fair amount of knowledge on Spirituality. In both the cases, however, this is not true. Those attending such kritans and lectures or reading such books mostly do so as a pastime or as a hobby. They never really perform sãdhana in the true sense. Sanatan Sanstha organises lectures and satsangs so as to make all aware of what exactly is meant by sãdhanã and how to perform it in the correct manner.
The duration of our lectures is one to one and half hour. This Holy text is written entirely as a handbook to the satsangs. To highlight the part which could be suitably included in the introductory lecture, a line has been drawn alongside the contents and that particular point has been indicated with an asterisk in the ‘Contents’. The duration of weekly satsang too is approximately one to one and half hour. The entire content of this Holy text can be covered, in suitable parts, over the weeks that follow. Once that is done, the topics included in the Index of the Volumes of the Science of Spirituality’ can be taught sequentially at satsangs and lectures. We are deeply indebted to H.H. Bejon N Desai of Nashik for His valuable suggestions in the translation of this Holy text and His grace towards our endeavour.
We pray unto the Holy feet of Sriguru that atleast may a few individuals make efforts to understand sãdhanã mentioned in this Holy text and actually commence sadhana
Those who are spiritually curious and fellow seekers Namaskar (Greetings) ! On behalf of Sanatan Sanstha we extend a warm welcome to each of you.
At the outset, let us get acquainted with the Founder of Sanatan Sanstha, the subject, the authority of the Founder on the subject that will be discussed, the importance of this subject, the manner in which it will be discussed, the type of audience who will find this satsang useful and the overall outline of the satsang.
Founder: H.H. Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale is the Founder of the Sanstha. After securing His degree in medicine, H.H. Dr. Athavale pursued further studies in United Kingdom from 1971 to1978. There, he conducted research on hypnotherapy and presented valuable research papers at various scientific conferences. After returning to Mumbai in 1978, He began His medical practice as a hypnotherapist and continued His research work. In 1982, He founded the ‘Indian Society for Clinical Hypnosis and Research’ and commenced the publication of a journal on the subject. Along with this, He also conducted workshops on hypnotherapy for doctors and laymen in various parts of Bharat. After doing research as a hypnotherapist for 15 years from 1967 to 1982, He realised that nearly thirty percent of the patients did not recover with the usual treatment regimens and that some of them recovered on visiting Holy places like Gangapur, paying respect to Saints or after performing certain religious rituals like Naryan-nagbali (A rite performed for liberation of ancestors souls). He also realised that there exists a science which is far too superior to medical science (physical and psychological) and that is the science of Spirituality. Then, in 1982 He became a theist. Due to His spiritually curious nature, He began an in-depth study on the science of Spirituality and got His doubts clarified by visiting various Saints. He Himself performed sadhanä and wrote a Holy text on the science of Spirituality in 1987 with the view that apart from His patients, humanity at large should benefit from the knowledge He had acquired. His mission of writing Holy texts is going on relentlessly even today. (More information about the Founder is given on the inside cover under the heading Introduction to Compilers’.)
Sanstha : In 1988, H.H. Dr. Athavale commenced free-of- charge workshops on Spirituality in Mumbai. Later, He founded the ‘Sanatan Sanstha’ with the blessings of His Sadguru H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj of Indore, in order to facilitate the spread of Spirituality. The Sanstha conducts over 1000 weekly free-of-charge satsangs in Bharat and overseas in various languages.These satsangs are organised in several villages and cities.
Today, there are hardly any cassettes in which the composer, lyricist and singer is a Saint Himself. However, the audio and video cassettes of H.H. Bhaktaraj Maharaj released by the Sanstha have this distinctive feature. Since these cassettes contain Shabda-shakti( Energy of words), Nãd-shakti (Energy of sound) and Chaitanya (Divine consciousness) generated due to the high spiritual level of the Saint, they have proved to be 100% effective. The Sanstha has produced audio cassettes of discourses by H.H. Dr. Athavale on sadhana clarification of doubts on Spirituality and kshãtradharma sadhana (Spiritual practice of protecting seekers and destroying evildoers) in various languages. Besides these, Holy texts and booklets on Spirituality as well as texts about reinstatement of the Divine Kingdom and defence are also published by the Sanstha. The Holy texts containing Knowledge received directly from God are a unique feature of Sanstha’s treasure of Holy texts. For information on other sãttvik (Sattva-predominant) publications and products of Sanstha and various campaigns launched by it, kindly refer to the information brochure of Sanatan Sanstha.
Importance of pravachans and satsangs
Several people listen to stories, discourses, lectures on Spirituality and read Holy texts as well. However, the science of Spirituality knowledge of the ‘Infinite’. As such, the endeavour to understand it shall go on eternally. With regard to Spirituality it is important not merely to understand the theory, but to realise its significance in one’s life and to actually perform sädhana so as to experience it. In brief, it is important to ‘jive’ Spirituality. Spirituality is a science which can be learnt through practice and anubhutis (Spiritual experiences). However, one will not get anubhutis without actually performing sãdhana. Hence, today we will mainly discuss what is meant by performing ‘individual sãdhanã’.
Speaker: Reasons for our turning to Spirituality
To most people going outstation as a part of the mission to spread Spirituality, shuttling from place to place, staying in hotels at times and spending thousands of rupees on all this, additionally incurring expenditure of several thousand rupees on printing of Holy texts and other material, conducting satsangs free-of-charge for others despite incurring expenses or our organising discourses in various places, may appear as absurd and impractical. They are not wrong. But then, this is not a worldly endeavour. We are seekers of Spirituality. If you perform sadhanã and acquire Anand (Bliss), then our aim will be fulfilled. We have no worldly expectations from you, since our Guru is capable of giving us everything. The reasons for our undertaking the cause of spread of Spirituality are as follows.
A. We undertook the mission of spread of Spirituality obeying the directives of our Guru and as service unto the Absolute Truth. In short, we turned to the cause of spread of Spirituality as part of our own sãdhanã.?
B. In accordance with a quote from Sri Dasbodh (A Holy text written by Samarth Ramdas Swami) - ‘Share with others all that you know’, we want to share with you all that we have learnt. Sharing with others what one knows is the very nature of human beings. Even a little girl at play feels like teaching her doll something !
C. Swami Vivekanand has said that Dharmadan (Teaching about Righteousness) is superior to annadãn (Offering food) or to prandan (Saving someone’s life) or to vidydan (Imparting knowledge). Since today’s society is drifting away from Dharma, undertaking the mission of spreading Dharma to introduce it to the real concept of Dharma is a superior mission.
D. The state of society today is like ‘an elephant and six blind men’. Lot of people from the society are trying to define God or Dharma in their own different way. One of the motives here is that they et adequate Dharmashikshän (Education on Dharma).
E. We come across many people who despite performing sadhanã such as study of the Veds, chanting (God’s) Name millions of times, repeated chanting of the Gayatri mantra or embarking on thirty to forty pilgrimages to Holy places like Pandharpur, have made hardly any spiritual progress. This is because they select sädhanä which appeals to their mind but are unaware that it is not suitable for them; hence, it is absolutely necessary to recommend appropriate sadhana to those who are interested.
F. There are many people in society who perform sadhana; but do not think about how to perform sadhana of progressively higher stage. It is because of performing the same sädhanä for years togeather, that they have become like the ox of an oil mill that keeps going around in circles. Spirituality, when considered as curriculum, has different grades of primary - like the first to the second, from the second to the third, then the secondary, followed by college and at last the graduation. Only if this happens, the spiritual progress is fast. Society needs to be taught how to perform sadhana of progressively higher stages.
G. Several people in society have wealth, cars, bungalow etc., yet are far from happy. Presently, due to the materialistic progress made by science, a whole lot of mediums that impart happiness are available: yet the happiness provided by them is temporary.
Science is unable to impart eternal happiness, meaning, Anand (Bliss). That Spirituality is a must to attain Anand, is an aspect many people in the society to understand. This needs to be impressed upon society.
H. We have seen several people who misguide others proclaiming themselves as Gurus, without being eligible to do so. As a result, many seekers face a set-back, meaning, their lifelong sädhanä iswasted. We wanted to spare atleast a few from such spiritual loss.
I. In Spirituality, understanding the implied meaning has great importance. Thus in addition, our aim is to teach how to comprehend the implied meaning of spiritual literature. Lifelong repeated readings of some Holy texts such as Dnyanehwari (A Holy text by Saint Dnyaneshwar) for instance, without understanding the implied meaning, proves to be futile. When someone was told, ‘Do not talk to anyone, chant God’s Name’, he questioned, “Then how will I be able to appear for an interview for a job ?“ He had not understood the implied meaning of the statement ‘do not talk to anyone’ which actually meant ‘do not indulge in unnecessary chatter’.
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