Spiritual Facts

1. What is the nature of world?
Sri Madhwacharya tells us that Lord Narayana is supreme. He is full of all divine attributes and absolutely free from defects. The world consisting of and sentient jeevas and insentient prakrti (Nature) is entirely different from God. It is real and dependent on Him forever. All activities of the world take place under his aegis. He is ever independent. The entities of all other gods and Jivas are distinct. There is also gradation among them. This essential difference in their nature continues even after liberation.

2. Realizing God
The world created by God is not illusionary but real. Therefore in this real world we must do our duty on the foundation of devotion to God; develop virtues such as truth, sympathy, sacrifice, philanthropy, non-violence, honesty etc which sustain humanity and the world; do the prescribed duties and all actions as a service to God without expecting any reward; attain purity of mind; make devotion to God more firm by means of hearing, contemplation and meditation (Shravana, Manana and Dhyana); achieve the realization of God dwelling within us and finally attain the divine bliss by the grace of God. Concentration of mind on God is the essential requirement for the practice of meditation. This concentration requires a high level of sustained devotion or Bhakti. It is the experience of one and all in the world that one can have undiluted focus on an object only when one genuinely loves it. Our love and affection towards God should be firm to make our mind continuously flow towards Him. This bond should gradually grow stronger till it occupies the entire mind to the exclusion of all other thoughts. It is only then that one could be deemed as fit to meditate on Him.

3. Total control of God over all Jeevas
Though the nature of Jivas is inherent, any activity requires God's will and inspiration. Without these, the Jeeva is as good as Jada (Inanimate). The Shrutis say that without His will not even a blade of grass moves.

4. What are the five fold differences?
The Madhwa school of thought tells us that the supreme Lord is Vishnu, Jivas are his servants and totally dependent on Him. This world is real.
There are five fundamental differences which should be clearly understood, before we can assimilate the Truth (Tatwa).

The Pancha Bhedas or the five differences are:

  1. Difference between God (Deva) and Jiva (Sentient being)

  2. Difference between Deva and the insentient (Jada)

  3. Difference between Jiva and Jada

  4. Individual difference among Jivas

  5. Difference among Jadas

These will enable one to know one's standing in this world and the level of possible interaction among the different categories.

5. Art of performing (Karmayoga)
All of us want happiness always and no sorrow at any time. In this world, it is always a mixture of happiness and sorrow. If we had full control on our own lives, we would have managed to corner all happiness and drive away all the sorrow. Our best-laid plans go awry for no apparent reason. Of course, we can always rationalize after the event as to why things happened the way they did. The next time we take care of that contingency which caused the glitch and make our scheme "fool proof". But again, something else happens, which we had not or could not have anticipated and things don't work out the way we wanted them to. This should set us thinking. Is there something else beyond us which determines what should happen?! We cannot accept it. But, after many a fall, in spite of very best efforts we are reluctantly compelled to accept this fact. After this realization, our mind set changes or rather re-orients itself. Our new mindset still makes us plan things meticulously, but with a difference. It is conditioned to take the result in a more balanced fashion. If it is a success, it will thank the unseen power beyond us. If it is a failure, it will allow us to view the case more objectively. It takes away the despondency from our thinking and put more objectivity. This, you will all agree is an excellent attitude which will make us more productive, and more positive. In essence it will make us realize that it is our duty to do our jobs sincerely and put in our best efforts and not get too emotional about the result. The next stage is to fervently pray to that Supreme Power to give us success after putting in our best efforts and present it to Him as our offering. If our efforts meet with success, thank Him for giving us the opportunity to serve Him well and for getting the thing done through us. On the other hand, if it is not a success, we will accept the result with the same humility and take it that it was not His will. This is what our elders called "Arpana Bhava" that is, all our actions should be dedicated to Him as our offering. Our attitude should be "Naham Karta, Harih Karta" which means, "we are not performing this action, Sri Hari is (through us)". If this frame of mind is cultivated, it would gradually take away a major part of all the unnecessary tension, bickering, hatred and jealousy, from our lives. We will be more positive and we will find that the people with whom we interact are more cooperative. Try this for a starter.