26 Feb, 2014, Shivratri, SSS Ashram: The ancient sages, with eyes on the supreme goal of human life, divided the sojourn of man on Earth into four stages. The first phase of Brahmacharya involves laying the foundation for one’s entire life through tapas, study of scriptures and following the commandments of the Guru. At the end of this phase those who have gained burning discrimination and detachment by the force of their previous samskaras devote themselves one-pointedly to drawing the consciousness inwards from the nine sense orifices and leading it to the tenth door or what is called the path of sannyasa. Those not ready yet for this steep ascent take the more mild route to the same goal on the path of grihastha or household life, followed by vanaprastha and culminating into sannyasa.
Times have changed and today majority of us go through formal education in schools and colleges. Yet, the desire for the Divine is an eternal desire and cannot be kept buried long by the clay of mundane attractions. In a few daring seekers who can stake all at the table of life this desire reaches its crescendo and they take the plunge, keeping aside all vacillations of the mind. Sadhvi Yoganjali Chaitanyaa and Brahmachari Guru Chaitanya had been avidly followed their respective paths. Maharaj Ji discerned them ready to take the next step and initiated them into Sannyasa. Alongside three aspirants who had been serving for some time now in the ashram and had gained sufficient clarity and resolve to dedicate themselves to the supreme goal were graced with Brahmacharya by Maharaj Ji.
Maharaj Ji clarified that Brahmacharya, contrary to popular notion, is not mere celibacy. It is a dedication, a sincere, firm resolve to keep the supreme goal, supreme in life, even at the cost of bodily, material comforts. The three pillars of this life are tapas, study of scriptures, obeying the commands of the Guru.
The initiated disciples later shared that this initiation wasn’t just a change into a new attire, as it might appear to the onlooker but something significant inside them had changed, by grace of Maharaj Ji.
Maharaj Ji’s discourse on Shivratri too became a discourse of initiation and invitation to all: the invitation to take the plunge, take the leap, from wherever one is. The reason why one is not able to take the leap is because of the variety of thoughts in one’s mind. But Maharaj Ji asked if a snake falls into your lap then would you think why the snake fell, is it poisonous or not? You would simple throw it away. Similarly, the more one delays the more one gets caught in the tricks of the mind and the ego. So the message to all on this Shivratri, marked by the Initiation of Sannyasins and Brahmacharis was: Make the Leap!
You can view the photostory of the event here.