Anarth Nivritti (part 1) | Sri Vinod Babaji Maharaj

Anartha means obstacles in the path of Bhakti. There are four kinds of Anarthas : 
  1. Dushkriti jaata Anartha 
  2. Sukriti jaata Anartha
  3. Aparadha jaata Anartha
  4. Bhaktyuttha Anartha

1. Dushkriti jaata Anartha: means obstacles that are the result of our bad deeds of this life and previous lives. They come in the form of diseases, disappointments, quarrels, loss and tragedies. As soon as you start engaging in bhajan, someone comes and starts quarreling with you for insignificant issues. Or, you have a new neighbor who is constantly arguing with you. If that was somehow taken care of, then you have family members quarreling in your home. If that was somehow subdued, you have a new disease. Now, run to the doctor every now and then, no time for chanting. One after the other, small and big issues crop up so that the sadhak is not able to engage in bhajan with determination and progress forward. But there is one good thing about Dushkriti jaata Anartha, that is, the sadhak becomes unattached to his body and the materialistic world. He realizes what a house of diseases and obstacles this body is. And yet, there is another disease to deal with and our mind is constantly distracted by it from bhajan. Therefore, the sadhak develops detachment from the body, the world and all the attractive things in it. He refrains from association of materialistic people and doesn't give much importance to bodily pains and pleasures. If a sadhak continues to chant Harinaam with determination, the stock of Dushkriti jaata Anartha diminishes. If he leaves or slackens his grip on bhajan, Maya will attract him and put him on the cycle of rebirth. Since we have endless stock of Prarabdha, and are still creating new karma through our material ego, it is not viable to diminish the stock of Anartha/Prarabdha only through bhoga (accepting the karma). By chanting Harinaam with faith and devotion, we set fire to the stock pile of Anartha. Therefore, we experience a lot of struggle physically and mentally, but a sadhak must remember that this is just the pile of Anartha burning. Don't give up chanting Harinaam, and eventually, Anarthas will diminish. But it is very difficult to tolerate the burning experience. It is not possible without Harinaam. Naam Prabhu burns the Anarthas and cools the heart.

2. ‎Sukriti jaata Anartha: As Dushkriti jaata Anartha diminishes, the pile of Anartha isn't finished. Now the good karma of innumerable births follow and create such obstacles which the sadhak doesn't even recognize as Anartha! It looks like it is the effect of honest Bhajan, but rather are only obstacles. People start recognizing the sadhak as 'a pure devotee' and 'Maharaj ji'. Out of faith, people want to serve the sadhak and make his bhajan 'better'. So they provide him money, facilities, call him to prestigious meetings, show respect to him in public, etc. The sadhak gets attracted to name and fame, harbours false ego about being a great sadhu and gets more and more attached to his body through the facilities provided to him. The attachment to family and home was iron chain while attachment to the title of 'Maharaj ji' and its facilities is gold chain. Both can be binding for the sadhak. But the Sukriti jaata Anartha is more dangerous than Dushkriti jaata Anartha, since it feels good and tempting. Dushkriti jaata Anartha causes indifference to samsaar, while Sukriti jaata Anartha causes temptation towards false ego and bodily attachment.

3. ‎Aparadha jaata Anartha: This type of Anartha is even more dangerous than Sukriti jaata Anartha. When we commit an aparadh to a Vaishnav, we loose a bulk of our spiritual energy and fall from our spiritual standards, thus causing an obstacle in our Bhakti path. The indications of Aparadha jaata Anartha are losing interest in chanting Harinaam, lacking devotion, build up of ego and pride, considering oneself a great devotee, lack of respect for sadhus, a state of false satisfaction and lack of yearning for Prema bhakti, etc.

It is not easy to recognize an elevated soul. One day, one ordinary man in kurta and dhoti, who looked like a day labourer, came to the ashram. As I sat beside him talking, I felt very pleasant and experienced a flow of Harinaam running through me. At first, I didn't want to believe it, since the man wore no tilak nor did he have any japa mala. I thought it might have happened just due to Radharani's desire. But I noticed the same thing happening whenever I went near him. I was amazed. At night, the person stayed in the ashram. I went upstairs to sleep. At midnight, I woke up and saw him roaming around in the ashram and chanting. He chanted all night. Later he told me that he was an engineer. He had even worked in Germany and France as engineer. Somehow he developed acute detachment from material life and started chanting Harinaam day and night. But nobody could ever know that by seeing him, he looks like a simple grihastha. We think a great sadhu means a big fat man with big dreadlocks, long beard, broad tilak marked on forehead, big tulsi bead kanthi in neck and white or saffron colored clothes. But these are not the attributes of a sadhu. Even Grihasthas can be elevated souls. What are the attributes of a sadhu?

"Mahantaste samachitta prashanta vimanyava suhrida sadhava je"

Meaning: Those are highly enlightened souls who are indifferent to the dualities of life, calm and undisturbed by the six enemies lust, anger, greed, etc., compassionate and well wisher of all living beings.

Samachitta means one who sees God in all living creatures. Therefore, they respect everyone and never expect anything in return due to their consciousness as a servant of their Ishta. Amani (never expects respect from anyone) and Maanada (gives respect to all). Prashanta means one who is indifferent to pleasure and pain, respect and disrespect, etc. Such a sadhak's mind doesn't get deterred from the contemplation of Radha Krishna by external circumstances. Vimanyava means lack of anger. We get angry at the slightest hurt. Someone described our shortcomings and we immediately became angry. A little discomfort of the body and our mind only thinks 'why aren't enough fans here?'. Some people say 'I cannot tolerate injustice'. How do you tolerate injustices inside yourself? Why don't you punish yourself for your injustices first? There was a sadhu who used to keep a sickle with himself always. He promised to himself that if he ever got angry he would kill himself with the sickle. He decided to punish himself for causing injustice to others (since everyone experiences pleasure and pain according to their past actions, then why should we become angry on anyone?) Therefore, one must promise to himself 'I will never cause injustice to others'. Don't see what others are doing. When a person feels he is about to get angry while talking to someone, he should immediately leave the place. Later, when your mind has quietened off and the other person has also centered himself, you can talk to smooth things over. But at that point of time, you could have said something with anger boiling inside you, the other person sensing that would reply something in similar fashion and things will escalate into a fight. This is why anger is our biggest enemy. Suhrida sadhava means one who is well wisher of all and respects all.

Other qualities of a sadhu are detachment from material things, niskinchan (never asks for anything from anyone), never collects things more than that needed for his survival, sees his Ishta in every living creature etc.

To be continued...

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