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Be Human First

You can’t be inattentive in a Vedanta discourse by Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha. He uses every artifact in the armoury of a teacher to instill into the listener a little of the fascination he has for the philosophical insights he had gained from the book. He polishes each nugget of truth, makes them shine and you are dazzled by the erudition of the teacher.

No wonder he has won an admiring clientele all over the globe in his travels covering the US, the UK, Canada and the Near East.

He uses religion to reform man and believes that spirituality is of use in our everyday world; in the dim and bustle of the market place and not merely in temples and puja rooms, in rituals and ceremonies.

"If you divide the human life into two compartments like material and spiritual you will be a vedantic criminal. You are sure heading for a punishment which your own mind and heart will impose on you sooner or later," he warns in his book, Dear souls become humans first!

He has been able to motivate people into examining their inner urges and aspirations, work upon them leading them to "progressively higher levels of lovingness, refinement, wisdom and fulfillment."

There is need for many bhoomanandas to rid religiosity here of its many superstitious practices, corruption, arrogance and fanaticism. May his tribe increase!

The swami from Kerala believes that when people get a proper understanding of religion their sense of contempt, and revolt will vanish. "If you hate anyone or anything in that very process you are hating the Creator himself. Is not all by him? … Before you decide to hate think deep and well.

Religion, he feels is mostly misunderstood and misrepresented. For instance the cry of ‘detachment.’ All the talk of detachment or vairagya is borne out of a disgust of worldly ties and obligations. He feels both concepts of attachment and detachment are bad. "One is pregnant with the guilt of excessive desire for the things of this world. The other is tainted by the hating of the world, the people and the things in it.

Functioning from his headquarters at Narayashrama Tapovana in Thrissur, Kerala he has initiated mass movements to stop some of the derogatory practices prevailing in the name of religious festivals. His ashram launched a campaign against the singing of lewd songs during the Kodungallur Bharani festival and also ended the barbarous practice of thookam in Elavoor Puthankavu temple. Besides, these movements have created willingness among the people to subject traditional practices to rational analysis.

His interactions with professional bodies have increased in the past few years indicating a greater interest and perception among management experts in personality development through spiritual instruction. The swami from Kerala has also been conscious of the increasing demand from north for a centre in Delhi. The UP Housing and Development Board has allotted a two acre plot in Vasundhara (Ghaziabad district), 20 Km from Connaught Place. This Centre for Inner Resources Development will have an assembly hall, library, residential accommodation for 60 persons and other ancillary facilities at an estimated cost of Rs 228 lakhs.

(For details please contact Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha, Venginissery, P.O. Parala, Trichur district, Kerala 680575, Phone 342363)