Monthly Archives: April 2023

Significance of Vishu ~ Swami Chinmayananda

[Excerpts from a letter written to a devotee by Swami Chinmayananda]

The Lord is ever guiding each of us through fit doses of experiences, in order to awaken us from our fearful dream of samsar to the realisation that WE ARE IN HIM ALREADY! Pain is His kindest means to wake us up the quickest.

Do you remember those Vishu-days of your child-hood, when parents and relatives with the best of intentions almost “tortured” you to wake up and have the Lord’s Darshan and gain “the VISHU – KAI – NEETAM”? To the one sleeping, even while knowing that the KANI-DARSAN is grand, and the KAI-NEETAM(loving money-tips) a pleasurable gain, at the moment of the early dawn, the one so lovingly trying to wake him up would seem a “torturer” indeed!

So do we consider Him as a monstrous, cruel, blind, heavenly Power as He gives us painful jerks in life to awaken us to the KANI and the KAI-NEETAM. On realising Him alone shall we understand that He is the most kind, soft, wise Power residing ever in us, which alone is His heaven. At the very touch of discomfort you have woken up and have got ready for the Darshan. This is the end of all the unpleasantness of the festive VISHU-DAY !

Now surrender yourself completely, entirely, unto Him who has awakened you, and keep the eyes closed tight! Let not the worldly charms and false values enter thy recognition even for a second. Till you get His Darshan, through the blindening lights, you should look at nothing else. Close the eyes tight and call out for Him to guide you to the seat of DARSHAN. He will help you by hand. He shall warn you of each threshold to be crossed, each turn to be taken, each impediment on the way to be avoided!! The completer the surrender, the easier you shall reach the KANI !!

As we have thus in the Vishu Kani, mainly three stages, viz., the WAKING, the REACHING and the DARSHAN, so too, in spiritual progress, there are three well-marked out stages, viz., the WAKING,the PASSAGE and the EXPERIENCE.

When a Jiva gets ripe in the welter of millions of lifes’ bitter experiences (or at least surely incomplete joys) and gains in the present embodiment a deep dispassion at the mere touch of an incident, the individual Jiva has “Awakened” and is ready to be guided to the Seat-of-Vision. You have come to this stage. Now please enter the second stage; the Reaching (of the Kani) or the “Passage” in the spiritual pilgrimage.

…….to one who can, like Mira, forget herself in her Prem for Him, the Murali-Manohar, even a Kalpa is but a second for a Bhakta living in her self-forgetful Divine experience of the life in Him!! Love (Devotion) is the noblest of Paths, and Upasana (Kirtan, Japa, Dhyana, Swadhyaya etc.) can lead us to the next stage of Pro-gress, the Darshan (of the Kani) or the “Experience” of the Absolute Truth. All Srutis are unanimous on this point. The very construction of the Vedas, (first Karmakand and then Jnanakand) is a clear declaration of this fact.

All Sadhana “purifies” the Inner Instrument—the apparatus for all investigations, enquiries, cognitions, and experiences.

You have been “awakened”. Surrender now completely to the Guru. He shall guide you to the seat of KANI-DARSHAN. Don’t open your eyes, till He allows you and commands, “open and see!!” Step by step alone can we accomplish a climb! Mile by mile we must cross to reach the SANNIDHI !!

Sri Krishna Govinda Hare Murare! Hey Natha Narayana Vasudeva!!


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Rituals: “Objective Dramatisation of the Subjective Art of Self-perfection” ~ Swami Chinmayananda

[Excerpts from letters and articles by Swami Chinmayananda]

Ritualism is a Demonstration. Vedantic Sadhana demonstrated in actual practice is — RITUAL.

Rituals are an objective dramatisation of the Subjective Art of Self-perfection. They are means to a greater end; but a majority of us have come to confuse the means to be the fulfilment in themselves. Rituals have an elementary purpose, without which nothing higher is possible; but to continue wasting the entire life in mere ritualism, would be a terrible wastage. Rituals are conceived and prescribed to help bring into expression the correct attitude (bhavana) of the mind — which is the goal of all spiritual practices. However great the ritual, and however strictly it has been performed, the performer can only hope a comparative success and can reach, at best, only a mid-station in his voyage to Truth!

A seeker should, in his initial stages of sadhana, follow the rituals diligently — it is not merely a faithful and blind performance, but a regular practice which is continuous, intelligent, fresh and cheerful. Rituals followed as a routine lose all their potency. A routine in itself cannot constructively re-create a developed human personality. It is only a deliberate intelligent training of the head and heart of an individual, gained through diligent “abhyas” that can bring about the desired effect. A dull habit, or an inert routine pursued under the blind force of a dead faith is ineffectual and quite undesirable as a measure in the spiritual revival of an individual. 

Rituals have a place in the spiritual sadhana. Rituals in themselves cannot and will not lead a seeker to his goal. An act, however noble, cannot in its result procure the Eternal, the act being itself a finite one. Rituals when performed with devotion and without any desires for their fruits have a unique capacity of integrating the personality of the seeker. When a seeker has practised for long the ritualistic worship, he develops, by his life of self-control, concentration and purity, more and more in his capacities of the mind and intellect. These are to be brought into full play in the study of the Jnana-kanda — the Upanishads. 

In ritualism, when the divine acts are pursued with an intention to gain the fruits thereof, the individual, in proportion to his diligence and acquired mental strength, comes to enjoy the fruits, but the same ritualism, when pursued without a demand for the fruits thereof, result in an efficient integration of the upasaka’s inner personality. All ritualism is only to prepare the seeker for higher and higher meditations.

Ritualism has deep significance and suggestiveness. One who does not know the exact implication will only be following the routine process of chanting and doing the prescribed action without benefiting himself and feeling any sense of inspiration. Upanishad is very insistent and the Vedas with equal emphasis, roar that without a correct knowledge of, not only the rules of the karma but also the full significance of it, ritualism has no effect at all. Therefore, it is the “intellectual faculty” that is the true performer of all Rituals.


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