June 15, Kila Raipur. It was the first day of 4th month of Nanakshahi (Punjabi) Calendar—Sangrand of Asharh, time for monthly satsang at Harisar Ashram, Kila Raipur. It is considered auspicious in Punjab to start the month by listening to its name from a realized saint or Guru, therefore, hundreds of devotees from all around Punjab gather at Harisar Ashram to listen not just the name of the month but the instructions about how to make this month another milestone on the journey towards ultimate truth. The satsang starts at around 10 am with bhajan-keertan (devotional songs and prayers) and at around noontime, pravachan (spiritual discourses) start. The holy Sikh scripture, Gurubani, provides brilliant commandments for all the twelve months in ‘Baarah Maha’. The gist of them all is that this world is but temporary and hence cannot give happiness to anyone, therefore, one must seek God, the ultimate source of happiness. However, God or the supreme consciousness, the eternal and infinite being cannot be confined into any limits of name or form and hence our senses and intellect cannot perceive God as it is. The only way to communicate and connect with God is through God-men or the realized saints and therefore, one must seek the guidance of holy saints to live a righteous life and achieve its purpose.
Sadhvi Yoganjali Chaitanya Puri, present Head of Harisar Ashram and President for the ashram trust board, explained the commandment for the month of Asharh or Harh in her discourse quoting Gurubani. She said, “The month of harh is indeed very hot but as savan (rains) is approaching next, refreshing breeze is not infrequent. However, the one who has no shelter cannot be soothed and suffers the scorching heat. Similarly, life becomes very harsh and excruciating for the one who doesn’t take refuge in Lord’s name and wanders in the terrene expanse of sensory pleasure instead. Worldly chase only adds to the heat of anger, greed, hatred, lust and alike. By running after the perishable worldly objects and achievements and giving utmost importance to them, such a person not only defies the divine providence but disconnects with the divine grace—life energy—centred within. Blinded by the ego, such person doesn’t recognize the source of life, the all pervading God and squander the precious human life. It is only with the help of a true saint—Guru in human form—that one can get over these impediments and attain salvation. Once our mind is free from the clutches of worldly attraction and devotes completely to the lotus feet of Lord, even the heat of harh becomes soothing. Remember, as long you try to combine your spiritual aspiration with worldly desires, it will only add to your ego or create chaos. It will be like mixing molasses with manure. Therefore, deliver your worldly duties unselfishly and give priority to spiritual evolvement i.e. give priority to sadhna over entertainment, to satsang over parties, and to sadguru over the world. In short, LET YOUR GOAL BE GOD AND CONSIDER the WORLD AS ROAD.”
Afterwards, Swami Suryendu Puri Ji talked about the reason why we often fail to evolve spiritually or fall short in testing time despite attending satsang and performing sadhna on a regular basis. He said that the main hurdle is our arbitrary and irresponsible behaviour. Spiritually is all about turning our mind and prana inward to connect with the universal spirit that is centred in our body. This inner journey cannot progress unless we go beyond the limits of our senses and intellect, as they cannot perceive even the physical world completely then what to say about the subtlety of the inner realm. Moreover, our mind is such a trickster that it takes no time in deluding us. Therefore, it must be brought under the command of Guru and disciplined. We play double standard, we don’t hesitate to take biggest of the risk for worldly gain but when it comes to satsang-sadhna, we find an excuse saying God/Guru doesn’t will so and that’s why I couldn’t find time for time. We may fail numerous time in worldly business, but we never give it up, however, we don’t bother to pursue our spiritual practice (naam-sadhna) just because our mind doesn’t cooperate. This wayward behaviour is the biggest hurdle on the spiritual path. As an old saying goes- to live a meaningful and content life, we must put God on the first place, world on the second and ourselves on the third and last.