This booklet is dedicated to Pandit Bhairo Persaud, whose quest for knowledge and commitment of Sanatan Dharma has been and continues to be
an inspiration to the hearts he touched while he graced this earth.
He was born on June 21, 1913; the second son of Pandit Chatterpaul and Lachminia of Batchelor’s Adventure, East Coast Demerara,
Guyana. Pandit Bhairo Persaud studies Sanskrit under Professor Mahatam Singh and in 1957 he was recognized as a Sanskrit Scholar. His adult
life was greatly influenced by the teachings of Swami Sivananda of the Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, India. In his later years, he was blessed to
have received personal guidance from Swami Sivananda’s disciple Swami Jyotirmayananda. He died on August 9, 1994, in Toronto, Ontario,
Our Father taught us many things in our lives; lesions that we hold close to our hearts. With these lessons, we’ve gone many places,
met many people, and done many things. But of all the things we’ve done, and of all the things we are, we are most proud that we are our father’s
children. Our Father was a man of unswerving principles and unrelenting disciple. As we look at his life, and the man he was, we hope that we
would demonstrate the sort of strength of purpose that was our Father’s hallmark.
We are grateful to our Father for many things, but are most grateful that he lived long enough to see each of his children grow into
caring parents and compassionate individuals. We are grateful also that he lived long enough to witness the lessons that he and our mother
instilled in each of us take root and help us develop into the people we have become. Our father drew many circles in his life; he drew in many
people, and offered them his experience, his strength and his hope. He gave his love and support without condition, and rejoiced in the success of
those he loved.
As children, we always admired our father’s commitment to working to support his family and his commitment to self-effort. He
taught us that Life is not defined by the world around us, but is truly spiritual and infinite, and that the dearest essence of Life, ideals like Beauty,
Love, Truth, Purpose, and Peace were the most important qualities to cultivate.
He will always be a light to guide our lives as long as we grace this earth. Our Father had a favourite prayer that we would like to share
with you in his memory:
From your wife, Khubia; your children - Betty, Gajaindri (Lily), Pulsastya, Bhagwandai, Endra, Vidya, Leela and Leekhant (Prakash);
your loving Grandchildren.
The perennial search for happiness continues in spite of the rapid technological advances of the latter half of the 20th century. Improvements in
the standard of living world-wife have not produced the results anticipated by those championing the cause of materialism.
Although materialism has no doubt contributed significantly to man’s worldly comforts, it addresses only his physical needs. Being a
highly developed psychological being, man needs emotional satisfaction. Being highly intellectual, he is restless and impatient with
imperfection. Most importantly, because he is a spiritual being, he yearns for fullness, the peace that comes from enjoying a state of equilibrium
or rest. The downside of materialism is that it burdens man with endless anxiety and an insatiable desire to possess more and more, to acquire, to
aggrandize and to live in slavish attachments.
The Kathopanishad tells us that the Creator has made man with his sense organs turned outward and so he lives generally at the level of
the senses. Man seeks to find fulfillment and happiness in the world outside, from external sources, from toiling for and finding temporary
gratification for his needs, mental urges and intellectual cravings. All of these take him away from his own inner equilibrium, resulting in the
current alarming statistics claiming that more people are killed by worry than by work.
When we realize that success has not delivered the peace of mind or internal fulfillment we need, we heed the clarion cry of all
spiritual masters from the days of the Upanishads to our own times. Their message is to re-direct our search from the external to the internal, for
true and lasting happiness can come only from within. As Jesus Christ himself said, “Seek ye first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness (within)
and then all things will be added unto you.” (Mathew’s Gospel 6:33)
In the Srimad Bhagavad Gita Sri Krishna tells us in his dialogue with Arjuna about the staircase that leads down to the three gates of
hell: kama (desire), krodha (anger) and lobha (greed) (Gita 16:21). Viewing the same subject from a positive perspective, the great scripture
Yoga Vasistha introduces us to the four gates to “heaven” -the Vedantic Palace of Liberation. As Sage Vasistha commences his teachings to
enlighten Rama, he tells Rama that the Palace of Liberation has four gates. The gatekeepers at these gates are shama (serenity), santosh
(contentment), satsanga (good association) and vichar (spiritual inquiry. In order to enter this Palace, one must befriend at least one of the
gatekeepers-and then friendship with the others will automatically unfold.)
The discussion of the Four Gatekeepers at the Palace of Liberation in this booklet is drawn from Sri Swami Jyotirmayananda’s
lectures on Yoga Vasistha at his ashram in Miami, Florida. Swamiji uses illustrations, examples, parables, and his all-pervasive wit and humor to
convey great spiritual truths so that they make an indelible impression on the mind and remove doubts and misconceptions.
Careful reflection on these teachings of Yoga Vasistha can bring a complete transformation in the human personality. This teaching
nourishes the soul and awakens a yearning for freedom and an exquisite peace unknown before.
We hope and pray that this booklet will help in your search for happiness and fulfillment. May God’s choicest blessings be yours
Brahma Sutras (81)
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