Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December 2010 Full Moon


There are some of you looking shocked that I'm here. Besides that, I just want to tell you something very disturbing. I went to see my doctor yesterday and while I was sitting in the waiting room, I could hear this telephone conversation that was very disturbing. All the people that called were Indians begging the doctor to admit their mother or father into hospital for the next two weeks. This is something that is pathetic. They want to entertain themsmselves for the next few weeks that's why they wanted to admit their parents. I could not believe that anyone could do that to their parents. You really have to be insane – something in your brain is not right. You don't have brain matter. You have worms.

And then, after that, I was requested to buy some stuff so I went into Gateway. But I normally go to the entrance where Game is so that parking is quick. But I could not get into Game. What was fascinating was the fashion. The fashion was fascinating. How can mothers and daughters dress alike, and wear these funny outfits? How can they can walk next to each other and everyone mistake them for sisters? So I'm driving back and thinking maybe I should start this thing called 'spiritual fashion'. I know some of you will follow. On a hot summer day, boiling, thirty degrees you wear boots and you're suffering – in a short skirt. And when you remove your shoes at the end of the day everyone around must run for cover - and we call it fashion.

It's strange that the very people that I see come here to the temple. Why you can't dress the way you are here? I still can't understand. People smile when they see me walking with my dhoti raised and I'm comfortable like that. I raise my dhoti and I feel comfortable and walk freely but you laugh and nudge the person next to you but, really, it doesn't bother me. But, as I said, what I saw today was not fashion. It was a disgrace. If you want to go like that, disaster is not far. You must be thinking, 'what does fashion have to do with disaster?' It has to do with rape - and that is a disaster. Today's headlines were, 'Rape Victim Saved by SMS'. Think about it. Our rape in this country is so high, third only to New York and Boston.

So, anyway, when I walked in here tonight I got a shock. Where were all of you during the last few months? In twelve months we've never filled this place like this. This is called 'Christmas Darshan'; 'end-of-year Christmas Darshan'. You just missed it. Today's the 21st so you can have a party on the 25th. Had this been the 24th, there would be only half of you here because we would disturb your braai tomorrow. But, really, this is what should be happening every month. You should come here and get this darshan. If you missed the darshan of Saturday, you missed the biggest darshan the Gayathri Peedam has ever given. If you missed it on Saturday, you missed a big one. Some of you were here from 2am until 3pm – nearly burned the building down, but it doesn't matter – they were here.

I don't know how much more to emphasise that we need to make this connection with God. For twelve months I've been saying it. This is the last month I'm saying this. You won't see me in pournami or service for the next six months. I'll only be here in January and March as a special request, but at other pournamis you won't see me, 'till you can connect with God. I have failed miserably to connect you with God. I've tried and tried and tried, and the more I try the worm is getting bigger, out of control. I'd like to tell you something. When you come here, if all of you can be like Suren – there are others - but Suren is a perfect example – you'd be connected. But we want to get involved in unnecessary issues. You must come here for one person, for the grace of God – forget the grace of Guru. Enjoy that grace of God, feel that grace of God. I have somebody who's really felt energies here. They have been associated with Sathya Sai Baba for many years and they felt this energy here. What happens to you all? Tell me. It's because your focal point of concentration is not there and that should be God. God should be your point of concentration, but we miss the boat. For some of you this Gayathri Mata is called once-a-month Gayathri Mata. I won't see you then. The next time I see you all will be the 19th of January. Nobody comes during the week or for service – only Jane can't cook prasad for all of you, she'll burn it but it doesn't matter. Burnt is better than no prasad. We're going to conclude now.

Wishing you a merry Christmas and prosperous New Year. I will see you on the 18th of January. I'll be in India and Sri Lanka with some devotees. I'll pray for you that you'll connect with God. I've stopped praying for your good health. I'm just praying for you to connect with God.

This is the Peedam diary for 2011. If you want one give your names to Lalitha and she'll make arrangements for you to have one.

On 31st December at 10am, we start reciting the Gayathri Mantra into the new year. Speak to Tejananda and he'll make sure you can be in that prayer – he'll tell you how much it will cost for you to be there.

This Friday evening after service there will be a one-hour Christmas meditation.

Then on the 18th of January I need twenty names who are willing to carry Thaipusam Kavady. But you must have transport. It's not here. Kavady starts at four. It's a Thursday, at a temple where Tejananda is the chairman and we want to support him. If you give him your twenty names we'll be very very excited for you.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dedication and Purpose

Dedication. If you not going to have it, you are not going to make it. What does it mean that we will 'not make it'? Everything should be regarded as service for God. If teachers go to school and just do their jobs, then they are just doing their work. But if they do it for God then they have dedication and love for our work. How are you going to be a dedicated person?

Here is a point on dedication: I know this devotee whose every word was 'Swami Murugesu'. Then, after Swami's Mahasamadhi, every word from her lips was 'Swami Shankarananda.'. She then went to Australia and ended up married to a Christian. She sent me an email with reference to a Bible verse from Matthew, which states that if you mention God's name in vain then you are a heathen.

The strange thing is when a Christian is in a pickle, he is quick to make Jesus and God personal – and they call out, 'Oh my God, Oh Jesus'. Only then is God very personal.

But with us God is very personal, you can hold the Shiva – you can see the Shiva. When people give up this sanatan dharma, this beautiful religion, then they attack the very religion they came from. This devotee was so dedicated, that she wrote 1 469000 times, likit japa 'Om Kriya Babaji Nama Aum'. So what happened to her dedication? This is what I ask myself:. The Gita clearly states that even wise men make mistakes. Those like us who follow are the wise. We are the wise men. She used Babaji to get her bait. She will soon receive that which is to come from using Babaji to get her way. This will come back faster than a boomerang.

We lose our reason when we come here - for being here and coming here. Then we get lost. Then we get caught up in the jealousy and questioning of people's relationships with Gurudev. When you get here you have a purpose. Now you have lost that purpose – there is this worm that is eating away at everyone and it is the worm of jealousy. When I see you at the beach I am your friend, but not at any time will I be your Guru and you the disciple. What I can do is my masters work in my room.

Our teenagers are telling lies – you see something and they lie to your face. People love and respect Gurudev in Stanger and there is no jealousy and anger between them there, not like others as here in Verulam. From now on, Babaji and Yogiar will guide you from the picture above the chair of Gurudev. You were taking up my time, now I can do my work. When you make the Guru's business your business then you will definitely lose your purpose. Paramahansa Yogananda met Babaji at the Mela. Babaji said, 'you are wasting your time here, go to the west'.

We had a devotee here by the name of Krish, who would sit there where Andre is sitting, and sing Muruga songs. Best you move or you may leave as well. He was in India with me where he said he has now met his master and no one can get in his way. No one can move him. His master is now Swami Shankarananda. He spent twenty years with his past master, where he went and spent some time in Australia and got initiated. After death His master then sent energy to him, and his master sent him to me, Swami Shankarananda. Then Swami Amitananda came here and gave a discourse. When Swami Amitananda came, Krish left the ashram. He dropped the electronic drum off at the ashram, said he had a sick mother and would not be coming for awhile. He told lies while within the Mother's energy. He then spent time with Amitananda. What happened to the instruction from his master that he was guided to me? He came here to become a Swami, but it did not happen for him so he left. That's what he wanted. We do not understand what it means to be a swami.

People here have lost their purpose. They get caught up in the spider's web and now spin their own webs. They became orphans. Work to get the dedication, to get that love for God. When I go to Sri Lanka on the twenty-seventh, they are already getting ready for Gurudev.

Go and work for it and get enlightened. I only came down to service tonight for two reasons: Mahavishnu asked as it would be his last service before going back to varsity. When Gurudev gets back he would have left for varsity. And some visitors came from Kimberly, so whilst sitting in my room, I thought it rude not to come and be there for them.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Triambagam

Whatever we do in life, if we have no interest then it's wasted. I saw you just throwing the samaghri in the fire and not reciting. This is the last Triambagam. If all of you could put in the same energy ... but there is so much disinterest.

The time has come to make a decision. I've given you twenty-four months. I give you this time for Triambagam but you are disinterested. If only you know how much benefit you can get from Triambagam, but you're all looking up at the rain. For your information the Gayathri Peedam has divine sequences in pooja. One of these is rain. It drizzles before the start of a pooja and rains afterwards. It took six hours of preparation today and there's such disinterest. The kids carried all those blocks and built the hawankund and I made them do it again until it was perfect for God. If you show no interest in God, He's not going to be interested in you.

As I was walking round watching everyone tonight, I realised the time has come to stop Triambagam. This is the thirteenth Triambagam, a good time to stop. If you want to continue with it next year, ask Tejananda Acharya. Its easy for you to throw samagri with no interest. The time has come for us to make this connection with God. There's no other time. You don't find the time in your normal day to connect with God so we make time for you the ashram, but you fail. When you come, don't come for the grace of God and Guru, Just come for God. Your guru is the biggest idiot because he started all of this. We don't put in the devotion and love, but we want God. Some people aren't here but when their child is sick, then they only come. I'm just disappointed. Some of the men just walk around and don't even help the ladies. Everyone must work together. So, no more Triambagam. One person who will miss it is Dean. He came and told me that it was a powerful prayer. But do we all give this prayer the same importance? You expect to just throw and Guru will do the rest. My appearance will be non-existent as of now. I can't carry on doing this. Everytime it's the same discussion. I'm not going to be the loser. It's just energy-sapping and I don't want to do it any more. Make your commitment to God – but that you can't do. There's a time in life that everything must come to an end and that time has come for me. Many times I think of the same issues. The masters are not applauding. They are saying 'told you so'.

Tejananda pushes me to do the prayers but people come here for other reasons. I want all your children to know one thing: I'm not blind and I know exactly what is happening and that has to stop today. Tonight was the cherry on top. I'll pray for you in my own time and space. When I do something I look for those who need it most and let them do the pooja, but they are going to lose out because of some of you. So connect with God and carry on from there.

* * * * * * *

Your guru has a thing called ‘feeling’ and his greatest desire for all of you is to connect with God. He doesn’t desire your money, your house or your car, but that each one of you should connect with God and every time, he tries to take you to God … connect with God. That’s what your guru is telling you.

I’ve been warning you all that you’re going to lose a pearl. You’ve just lost a pearl. This is it. The only thing that is going to bring your guru back is your commitment. You cannot continue hurting your guru and thinking you can get away with it. It’s not going to work like that. Your guru gave you his life. He didn’t ask you anything, just to connect with God. To some of you this is a big headache - that you have to come here to make this offering.

It’s unfortunate that it has to come to this, but your sincerity will be determined in the next few months. There are some of you lovely people here. Your guru loves you dearly. Others, your guru loves you divinely. What have you done? You have not made that connection. Your guru is dying in front of you, moment by moment, and you don’t even take that opportunity to connect with God. Think about it. What you’ve lost is very divine - if I have to say it. The other rishis will say the same thing

Sad for you all. We are happy about this that your guru doesn’t have any more stress. Your days of guru and God are over. Your days of God only are left. Your guru knew yesterday that he won’t be here for your pournami. He felt the energy that he’s not going to be here for your pournami. He felt it yesterday. You set the energy

You know, there’s a temple in a place called Rambodha. It’s a Hanuman temple in Sri Lanka. Many times I connected with God there. You know why? ‘Cause I had this innate desire to connect with God.

[Swami asks Jagadambal to bring the Augusthiar statue.]

What can I say? I can’t say anything. Conclusion is conclusion. Stop is stop - can’t go another step. The only thing I’ll tell you here and now is that I love you all dearly and you are the most beautiful people I’ve met. Can you imagine how much more beautiful you’d be if you made that connection with God. I’m trying to tell you that, you know. You need to come right first, all of you. Connect with God, what else can I emphasize? Connect with God - that’s what I’m telling you. But you won’t connect with God, so there’s no point. If you don’t want to connect to God, there’s no point in praying. So you may all eat now.

[Swami places a plate of food in front of the Agasthiar murthi. Everyone eats. Swami asks for all left over food to be mixed into one pot - dahl, potato, rice and herbs. Swami then dishes out the mixed food and serves to everyone personally.]

So you are just fortunate that you had astral Prasad. There’s still some in the bowl there. I’m sure you’re tired, after work, no? If you want to leave, it’s no problem. This might be the biggest event in your life, this Prasad. If you have any questions you can ask. We can make some discussion.

Devotee: Can swami please describe doubt.
Swami: You can only have doubt if you have an experience of the same thing, an impression of the same thing, or a perception of the same thing. If you’ve never seen a car moving and somebody tells you about a car moving, then you’ll not have doubt. But if you saw the car was stationery and somebody told you it was moving, then you’ll have doubt. On the spiritual journey doubt is set by the mind. It’s one of the things about the mind that can stop your journey. It’s one of the modifications of the mind. Doubt. And once you set doubt, you’ve set yourself into a problem because you will find it very difficult to find room for reason. Doubt will set you in a corner where there is no reason.

One of the worst things you can do is doubt anything that your elders, spiritual masters, gurus, whatever you call them – anything they say you should not doubt as they’ve been through a series of experiences and know what they’re talking about. Once you have doubt, you have an obstacle and, because of that doubt, you’ll keep going back to the one statement that created the doubt. It’s like carrying something in your mind, and when you carry something in your mind, nothing else can fill that space. For example, all of you today, especially those that are fasting saltless for Saturday’s prayer, the whole day you’re thinking about salt. That is the truth. So nothing else could go in the mind but that thought. Doubt works like that. Once it occupies the mind it leaves no room for anything else.

So that is doubt, and it is basically something that comes from being judgemental. And being judgemental is very significant in doubt. Once you create doubt, your journey will not go as smoothly as you want it to go. It is like eating an orange. If you think that peeling the orange is quite an effort, you’ll never eat that orange – unless someone else does it for you. But your mind is occupied with the process of taking a long time. Doubt works like that. It occupies the complete mass of your brain where nothing else matters. But it’s definitely not right … and you miss it. You’ll say, ‘He’s definitely not God-loving,' and when a God-loving person comes along you miss the point. Do not doubt; always reason. Reasoning is better than doubting. If somebody tells you that one and one is three, you’ll doubt that because you have reasoning to tell you that one and one is equal to two. Doubt can cause you to lose everything you have in life on the spiritual journey.

Devotee: Swami, when one experiences a modification of the mind, is it best to push it away, or leave it and wait for it to pass?
Swami: The only reason you have a modification of the mind is because you have an impression and therefore you need the modification. You don’t know that sugar is sweet until you taste it. And when you’ve tasted it, you know it’s sweet even if you don’t taste it again. So, if you clear your mind, you won’t have these modifications of the mind. Pushing them away is no good. They’ll come back. Work them out.

Devotee: Why is it so difficult for us to let go?
Swami: Actually, change is always difficult - any kind of change. Wanting to give up meat is a change. Something has to be found to replace the meat. So we find soya. Soya reminds you of meat because your mind is saying, ‘I can have that because it tastes the same’. So you have it to bluff the mind. But you have not become a vegetarian in the mind, only on the outside. In the mind you are still eating meat. Otherwise, why do you buy chicken-flavoured soya? Why don’t you buy soya beans instead? Because they have no meat flavour. We bluff the mind continuously. It’s sitting quietly, saying, ‘Right, I’ve had my quota of meat for today’. Those soya nuggets taste just like chicken so the mind is satisfied. Very few people like soya beans. They tell you the taste is terrible – no flavour. Modification of the mind is an important aspect of this journey. Patanjali mentions this in the yoga sutra. That is what we lack. As soon as we can modify the mind we can connect with God. But we have not modified the mind yet. We’ve still got these impressions, these perceptions, and as long as we do, in the mind’s eye, we’re not going to change.

It’s eleven o’clock so those who want to leave, feel comfortable to leave. Don’t think I’ll shout at you. Those who remain will remain here till six in the morning.

Devotee: Swami, can Triambagam heal nature?
Swami: It can heal anything! It can even charge a flat battery, said with the right intensity, yet tonight there was no intensity, just a boring process.

Devotee: Does healing energy every vanish?
Swami: Yes it does. All the energy goes to the solar plexus. The energy is stored there as such, and as it dissipates. Chakras, subtle body thus refer chakra back for ease of healing work. Falling asleep in a prayer breaks the continuity of the energy field. Some people sleep, sleep, sleep, and they enjoy the world. Some run, run, run, and experience the world. Others just sit, sit, sit, and experience the world. They are called yogis. It is weird how he who just sits can experience the whole universe. Yogi is just a four-letter word for someone who sees all. Simplicity is spirituality, and spirituality is simplicity.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Year-end message

(A page with the following message was handed out by Swami to everyone present.)

All the happenings and experiences of the year 2010 will soon be memories. Some will bring a smile, some laughter, and others tears and anger. Whatever it is it should remain in 2010. Do not get caught in these, especially if you pursue a spiritual journey. Leave the sadness of 2010 behind; leave the disappointments of 2010 behind. Just look forward. Just look forward to many opportunities and joys in the near and distant future, to learn, to grow to emotional and spiritual maturity, but beyond all this to awaken to Self Realization, and inspire and guide others to the highest good.

For yourself during the next few weeks until 1 January 2011, meditate until your mind is calm and your awareness is clear. Set goals of what you need to accomplish and the experience in 2011 and in the future. Set out plans and routines of how you are going to attain this.

Meditate to attract these circumstances and experiences. During all this time keep a focus on maintaining a positive use of the senses. This will make you receptive to the plans set out.

Know this: when in prayer daily, I pray with you. I pray that you are in oneness with God, so that you are spiritually awake, happy, healthy, prosperous and freely expressive.


Discourse
As you can see, this message is about the few days we have left before we enter 2011. The message says we will have many memories of disappointments, sorrows, joys and bliss. It says, leave that behind and look forward to more bliss. At the bottom it says, ‘know this: when in prayer daily, I pray with you that you are in oneness with God, so that you are spiritually awake, happy, healthy, prosperous and freely expressive’. And daily I pray for each one of you hoping that somehow you become what is written there, what is noted there: spiritually awake. I think that is the most important aspect of this journey.

Everyone has a goal on this spiritual journey. Some people want to be transcendentally elevated, others want to find God Each one has a goal. And in 2011, let us start to realise these goals. We are saying over and over, ‘I want God, to feel God’. What is the self? We can only ask these kinds of questions, but if we don’t make the choice to more forward towards these questions, we’re not going to go anywhere.

Many have already decided to have a bad 2011. Let 2010 be buried in the cemetery of the past. Carry it not in a bin-bag as baggage and, if you can do that, your oneness with God, your spiritual awakening, won’t be a task - it will be like spreading butter on bread, as smooth as that. And always remember that when you spread butter on bread you have on one side a thick layer, and on the other side a very thin layer. What we are looking for is that thin layer. The thick layer is the physical body. What we are looking for is that One that diminishes with that tip of a needle. And once you find that Self, 2011 will be for you joyous, divine and spiritually enlightening, and you’ll be elevated continually. I’m going to try my best to give you the best in the next twenty-four months. Those who are here will attain, will achieve, be happy and joyous. Those who miss it will really miss it. Many things happen here. When you leave then it all happens. For those that have left, you have missed out. So, that is the importance of trying to be in this enclosure for as long as you can. You’ll enjoy every moment. You’ll enjoy this unique oneness with God. You’ll enjoy this beatitude of the Self … you’ll enjoy. And once you enjoy that, you’ll really need nothing else in this life. Everything else in this life, the end of it brings you misery. But by this, (devotion) you’ll be spiritually awake, and the end of it will bring you only joy, joy, joy. That is all you need.
Hari om.

Questions
Devotee: What kind of healing was Guru doing just now?
Swami: It was Hong Shong. It’s a reiki technique that masters don’t teach because it will be misused. If I have to charge I’ll have to charge, like 150 dollars, and it works instantly. But we never teach, it so don’t even think of asking me. If you know the Gayathri mantra, you’ll know the technique. Breathe in, hold your breath, breathe out, hold your breath, four breaths. Place your hand on the person’s head and do that four times. On the fifth time, raise your hands above the head, there should be an energy between the head and the hands. If there’s no energy you’re doing something wrong. That energy removes the headache. We don’t teach it because of misuse. By misuse people will charge money for it. All the masters in India teach everything they know and never get anything back for it. Some swami charges 510 000 dollars in India, just to teach you about death, a seven day workshop. Only when we are a hundred percent sure, we’ll release the knowledge. That’s why we like to teach children because we can teach them properly. Adults already have some other perception in their heads. When Yogiar was here he asked everyone to write what they are going to do with the yoga. One lady said she would teach the yoga and charge money. He told her to get out. He had charged everyone only R5.

Devotee: If masters charge an excessive fee, are there any karmic consequences?
Swami: Yes, lots of consequences. They charge cash and don’t pay their dues to the government. Karmically, it comes back. Many of you are telling me that I shouldn’t be paying SARS any money, but I still fill in my forms and pay. It’s my due. I drive on the same roads. I have all the facilities everybody else has. Why shouldn’t I be paying taxes? If you’re a politician, your karma won’t be finished in a hundred lifetimes because you’re always bluffing people, and every time you bluff somebody who thinks you’re going to do something you don’t intend to, the karma adds up. If you voted someone into government, and that person rapes somebody, it’s karmic for you too. It’s like when you steal something and sell it to a third person - the end-user. Karma works like that. You know, we were talking about the butchery. The karma is in the user because they create a market, a demand. Don’t think, ‘the butcher killed the sheep, I can eat here’. He killed the sheep for you. If all of you became vegetarian there would be no butchery, and no slaughterhouse. That is the big cycle of karma. We need to be guarded so as not to get caught in the cycle.

Devotee: What is the yantra that was being energised earlier when we were dancing? Does it lift the energy of the room, or heal?
Swami: That is a Sri Chakra meru. A meru is, basically, three-dimensional, not a flat surface – it’s a Sri Chakra pulled from the centre up. The Sri Chakra has the greatest energy in this material universe, and if you do what Sundrie and Nirvana did you’ll also fall down. What happens is that you become one with the meru’s energy, and the energy of the meru is dynamic. If you put the shivalingam there instead, you’ll merge with the lingam’s energy. The energy will be so much you’ll fall onto it. The body is too small for that vast energy. No matter how big the body is, the energy is too much. Size doesn‘t matter when cosmic energy takes you over. It just explodes within you and you fall. If somebody else came to dance and they were open, broadminded, they would also have fallen.

Devotee: Is there a way to expand the body so it can hold more of that energy?
Swami: You can’t expand your body, but you can know the Self which has the ability to contain all the energy. The Self has the ability - the body doesn’t, so you need to start to know the Self and absorb the energy to the Self more than to the physical body. And you must be able to see a body. Last week Sunday I had my body in five places here and I was seeing it in those places. That is what you must be able to do with your body. Then you become free. But we only want to get involved with this gross body, this matter, this mass. And as long as we are doing that we’re going nowhere.

On Wednesday I had a massive angina attack. I couldn’t breathe, was coughing, had hiccoughs. I was scared and I told Tarryn that I was having a heart-attack. I was really scared - not to die, but that I wasn’t near home. If I die I want to die with my masters around me, in this kind of environment - in my kripa. But I took my pump and everything, and was ok. I still went to Stanger but it was bugging me the whole time. Because I enjoy watching Yamaraj (the lord of death), I sat up until two o’clock thinking he’s coming. I enjoy him because he’s one of those few divine energies that people are terrified of, and yet he’s full of jokes. He plays a lot of jokes with you when he comes. He’s not as bad as people make him out to be.

Devotee: Gurudev, you said earlier that when we know the soul we can utilise that energy from the meru to direct it to the soul. How?
Swami: You can contain it using the soul, then you won’t fall. Chaitanya Mahaprabu did that across the whole of India, just singing ‘Hare Krishna’. So we all, some time, must want to become Chaitanyas, not Mahaprabus - that’s the greatest title, greater than mahatma even. ‘Mahatma’ means ‘great soul’, but higher than that is mahaprabu. His title is mahaprabu. If you go to the Hare Krishna organisation they call everybody ‘prabhu’ - it means ‘soul’.

See, our problem is, if I told all of you all seated here, no exceptions, to come here (to the ashram), get dropped off here. Send your cars back, right now and, for the next twelve months just follow me – and whatever I ask you to do, you do with me. If I’m walking around the world, you walk with me. But you’ll worry about your mother-in-law smashing your car, or your wife using your credit card. All those thoughts will stop you. The mind works like that. After forty-four years, I can safely say that I’m ready to walk - but it took forty-four years. From the age of fourteen I’ve been battling with this stupid life. It’s the greatest battle. All great people come and say that the highest birth is the human birth. I say that the greatest curse is the human birth because the want doesn’t stop. We don’t know what enough is. There’s never enough in the bank account. If you’re poor you’re striving, if you’re rich you’re striving. Retirement means you’re closing your eyes and going to bed. When you die, you expire – your last breath leaves you. So we can’t do that, we’re not ready. In twenty-four months time I don’t know if you’ll be ready. I told you just three weeks ago, until now I’ve had not one person approach me and ask, ‘Where do we start? What do we do?’ We start at the beginning. But what is the beginning? We don’t know the beginning. If we knew, we wouldn’t be here. That’s why we’re here but we can’t keep saying ‘where?’ We’re trying to see the beginning with our physical eyes and it’s not going to work.

You know, we all have instinct, somewhere in our system, and we also have spiritual instinct from childhood. Many of you say you don’t know how to get there, ‘We don’t know the way, hold our hand’. Let’s take a child for example. A child is born. The mother places the mouth of the child on her breast. Does the mother have to show the child how to drink, or does it come naturally? It comes naturally. Spirituality is like that. It’s a very natural process learned from your last lives and it will be there in your next life, and the next one. It will only not be there when you stop it - when you realise that this is where you want to go, and this is how you’re going to get there.

Don’t set goals you can’t attain. Set realistic goals. Have two sets of goals, long-term and short-term. In 2011 you may want to learn the important verses of the Bhagavad Gita. That is attainable. Once you start to mentally recite the Bhavagad Gita, and to energise yourself in that manner, then your long term goal is possible because the Bhagavad Gita is only a manual for mankind on how to live in this state of dharma. So if you can learn how to live in this state of dharma, then your long-term goal is nothing; you can even bring it forward. But for many of you seated here, your long-term goal is death because only upon death will your kundalini move. You’ll kick three times then gone, finished! Those three times you’re kicking, you’re sending the kundalini up your spine. You’re not going to say, ‘wife, son, baby, lovey, darling’ – you’ll be in a state of fear that you’re going to leave all that. Your soul exits your body according to your attainment, through your third eye or your crown chakra. Some people think the soul exits through the birthmark. What if you have a birthmark on your bum, does your soul exit through your bum? Then, if we believe the birthmark is from a wound that killed you in your last life, you must have been running away from the cops and they shot you in the bum. Birth marks are just samskaras from your last life. Some people don’t have birthmarks. Others have one over half their face. Maybe that person was weak in school and the teacher slapped him and he died.

So we must find the soul and start to live in the soul. That is called self-realisation. Realise the soul, and then from there you’ll attain. It’s not difficult. We only make it difficult. It’s so simple, it’s unbelievable. But because it’s so simple and because we live a complicated, advanced life, the simple things seem difficult.

Devotee: Do our past lives catch up with us in this life? If we reach a certain level on our journey in our last life, does it affect us in this life?
Swami: You can miss a complete lifetime and continue your journey in another lifetime. Let’s take a simple example. Let’s take Yogiraj. First of all, before he was born, I knew already. I gave Deeps and Praths a prediction of his life. He’s born to them for a specific reason so. I already know why he’s born, why we gave him such a unique name, what his purpose is. So as he grows the intensity of his spiritual journey is fluctuated by his parents - they can change it. Slowly, they can decrease his eagerness to follow the journey, then he loses out and lives his life. After twenty-five or thirty years, the realisation hits him and he’s looking for a guru all over the world. Eventually he comes back to where he was asked not to go. As much as he has a past life with me, as much as I know the life he has with me, I have to start him from the beginning. So there’s two chances: first is that I might live for his full lifespan and teach him properly. The second chance is that five years into getting to know the guru, the guru leaves him because of his karmic consequences of not following. But the intensity of those five years are the same as a whole lifetime. This is not the first time you and I are in a musical association. Other lifetimes we were doing the same thing: singing His name, and you were playing behind me. Play the flute and see if anything happens to you. Blow it and see what happens to you. Automatically, the soul switches to where the flute is and you’ll want to play the flute only. Understand? That is the intensity. It can mess up your present life as well. That is why I don’t get you involved. I avoid telling you who you were. Last life’s ownership starts in this life. For example, ‘Oh, Guru, since I was your wife in the last life, why am I not your wife in this life?’ Trouble and jealousy starts. It’s the same with Deepak, the same with Suren. Everyone has some association. Right up until now, many of you have not tapped that association yet, and I’m not going to show you how. You need to live your own life. When you tap into that, then I’ll take it further. It is a very difficult and slow process.

Somebody asked, not so long ago why some people come to the ashram so late in life. Everything has a specific reason. If Shobha had not known my guru, Brother Haridas, she would not have known me. Just before he left his physical body, in the astral plane he put her hand on my hand and told me to take over from where he left off. He set the energy for that in the astral plane. Some of you were carpenters in your last life. If I point out who you are, you’ll believe you were carpenters in your last life because you’ll find in this life you’ll be battling. There’s a curse upon carpenters because they made the cross upon which Jesus was nailed. You look around you and see carpenters. They always battle. Can’t change this life – and if you married a carpenter, even worse … so we can’t say that about I.T., about computers. They weren’t sending messages with computers in those days. They used to use pigeons; no telephone.

Devotee: What relationship did our children have with us in our past life?
Swami: It’s not about the relationship you had with them, but what karmic consequences you have with those children. For example, if you have XYZ as karmic consequences, you’ll find a child with X, Y and Z to work through the karma, and most of the time it is somebody you knew in another life. For example, take Dean and Jo – they are extremely close to me. Ashok – close to me. Deepak, Suren, most of the yoga students - very close. We have different relationships but my relationship with Dean is not the same as that with the yoga students. My relationship with Ashok is not the same as with Dean. So if someone comes here with an AK47, shoots us all and we’re all born again, we’ll meet under the same circumstances where we’re sitting like this having a discourse and listening. Deborah and Andre are not here by chance. The soul understands what is happening, the body doesn’t. Andre brought Deborah. Do you think she’s here by chance? Do you think she knows Andre by chance? No. Everything is a sequential event that happens.

You are all like pegs on a huge wall. This peg says ‘Andre’, this one says ‘Deborah’, this one says ‘Tarryn’. This one peg says ‘Guru’, and around Guru there are a lot of pegs. Then one peg is pulled out moved. That is how it works. It’s like the old telephone exchange. You ring, ring, ring, and they ask you, ‘what’s your party line?’ Then they’ll call you back with a special ring so you know it’s for you and you answer the phone and they connect you. If they connect you in the wrong place by accident, you’ll talk to the wrong person. Same with life, you can be the father, mother or child in the wrong family. Therefore you’ll find sometimes that among a violent tribe, you’ll get one person who’s calm, honest doesn’t want to steal, who doesn’t eat meat. Why? That’s a mistake - wrong plug. And that mistake happens.

When my youngest brother was born we moved into a new house in Stanger. The people who moved out moved nearby. When my brother was a little baby, maybe four or five days old, all of a sudden everyone started screaming in the house. It was about ten o’clock. I must have been about nine years old. We all got there and the baby was dead, not breathing. My mother was crying, father was upset and shouting at God. Then all of a sudden my brother was alive again. So, just after he came back to life, we heard screaming in the neighbour’s house. The next morning we see lots of cars there and find out that the man in that house died. We did some homework and found out that he used to sleep exactly where my brother was sleeping. So, mistakes happen.

IMAGE: Yoga students dancing around Sri Chakra Meru

Friday, November 26, 2010

Guru on His Life

Forty-four years ago I was fourteen years old. I used to do strange things when I was young. I can remember what I did at three and four. When I was born the doctors were shocked. They couldn't see my face because my hair was so long it was over my face and down to my bum. The doctors cut off eight inches. I didn't realise the significance of this. When I was five I knew things that today kids only know at fourteen. I knew about life at five - I knew about the 'stork'. I was born with my past life memories. I used to watch everyone playing with the spinning top but I never used to play. I didn't know how. When people were talking, the adults say that kids shouldn't listen to the conversation but I could understand what they we're talking about. At fourteen, we lived in wood-and-iron house. People used to come and steal the wood. One day at I saw a cloud and a man was walking naked out of the cloud. He would come and stand by the window. He seemed big but was the size of the window frame. I'm thinking: “Who's this man?” He had a can in his hand like Agasthiar. He said, “I'm your guru”.

I told my mother and she said it was nonsense. So she went and told my father (he was a barman and used to come home late from work) that I didn't play with the other kids, I didn't eat properly. Mom was making breyani and Dad called me to drive with him to go to Doctor Christopher. He told me that some people hallucinate sometimes. We got to the doctor and went inside. The nurse takes out a card. My dad spoke to the doctor. When I asked him why we were there, he said I had heavy temperature the previous night. We went into the doctor's room and he told him my story. Dr Christopher was Christian and said that I must see a psychologist.

So my dad took me to hospital and they put me in a cage, like a cot with a lid. Then the ambulance took me to the mad hospital. I didn't complain. I didn't know why I was there. My mother was fighting with my dad about it. The next morning at the hospital they gave me some hot water and told me it was tea but I told them it wasn't tea. Then they gave me a cup of Ellis Brown and told me that was tea, trying to convince me that there was something wrong with me. After that they phoned doctor to tell him that I was fine and they sent me back to St Aidens Hospital. My ma came that night and when she saw me in a cage she started screaming so loudly that she woke everyone up. She was screaming that “even our dogs don't go in a cage ...”. She was shouting, kicking and rolling on the floor. The staff had to medicate her to calm her down. I told my dad that I was fine. After that I never told anyone about my experiences.

So, when I was about seventeen I became critically sick. I didn't go to school for a hundred-and-twenty-six days. I had an injection every day and stayed in bed. Eventually it subsided. My guru came back while I was sick and told me not to discuss my experiences. Shortly after this I was riding in the back of a van with my uncle. The van was a Dodge Fargo and my grandfather was driving, when a car flew past us too fast. I thought to myself, “He's going too fast, he must crash and somersault”. And then he crashed and the car flipped and I was too scared to think after that. 11.30pm was the time when my Guru would come to visit. When he visited me that evening he said, “Good experience you had today. You're going to have more experiences.”

My parents took me to see my first guru, Narainswami, for a blessing because I was writing matric. He told me that when he died all his energy would pass to me. He was very powerful. I'm thinking to tell him that I already have the powers. Then I finished matric, went oversees, came back home, and I din't go to visit him. He had given me a locket containing some salt from the moon. When I was given six weeks to live a couple of years ago, I gave the locket to Seelan and forgot about it. Oversees I forgot about the locket, having fun with fast cars, girls and discos. I used to run my own disco but we never had alcohol there. I met Tammy, got married at twenty-seven and my guru died when I was thirty-six. On the day he died, I collapsed at 4.15pm. My eyes were rolled back in my head. My mom and dad went to see my guru about this only to be told that he had died at 4.15pm, when he had transferred all his power to me. So I thought I'd test it. There were queues of people outside my door for healing. People in wheelchairs walked again. But I don't do that any more. Ashok was my camphor-man. I would rattle away astrology. It was so powerful that murthis used to move. One guy came for help but he lied to me. Ashok put down the tray with the camphor and I told the man not to lie but to tell me the truth. Then the Hanuman murthi jumped into the fire. The man was terrified and told me the truth.

We have that Shivalingam. We could not pick it up so we rolled it to the door. Everyone was looking at the 600cm high pedestal wondering how we were going to get it up there. I went to the back and spoke to my guru and then they picked it up without any effort. Lots of stories I can tell you. One day the car stalled on me and eventually went dead at the Umgeni off-ramp. The battery was dead and there were too many people around. I opened the bonnet and did reiki for the battery and the engine. The workers on the side of the road were looking at me like I'm mad. Then I sat in the car, turned the ignition and it started first-time. The workers were jumping up and down.

After the age of fifty-five and up until sixty-five, there is more energy at the crown chakra, so it is easier to meditate when concentrating energy at this area. Youngsters are restless so we ask them to concentrate on their breathing during meditation. From the tip of the nose to the bridge of the nose.

A devotee asks: What is the relationship between thought and energy?
Swami answers: Thought is energy. Thought will always manifest. Maybe not today, but some time, whether you like it or not. Thought is energy. Energy is manifested from thought. If you kick someone: thought, energy, action. Thought can come from many things. As you grow, you store things in your mind-bank. A child is not born with hate, he learns it. You look at people's character. We are born innocent but we don't die innocent.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Special Message

On card you've been given, there's a story written about a man who gave what he had. He gave everything he had including unconditional love. One day in the future it might mean something to you.

Masters and sages like to teach from the astral more than the physical plane. It seems very sad, but its not really. I was in a similar situation in 2001 when I sent devotees this message. Those devotees are no longer here so I'm sending it to you new devotees. It's about each one of you. You will find one line in there for you. Keep it for when you're feeling down and unwanted. Read the card to pick you up.

On this journey we meet many kinds of people. We must be able to adapt and adopt. If we can't, we shouldn't be here. The journey is more than that. We try to create a 24/7 energy for you each Friday to last until the next Friday. You'll meet all kinds of people on your journey, some good and some bad. By these things we judge others. But on a spiritual journey we shouldn't have judgment. We had a harmonium player here once, called Appa. He looked like me. One day Tammy asked him to take his shirt off so she could iron it because it was creased. He said, "What's the point of ironing the outside if the inside isn't ironed?". You are comparing others to your standards. If your journey is non-judgemental then it will be beautiful. We should create a situation of brotherhood and sisterhood. Each of us must see the others as family and not members of an organisation. Sri Prabuphada said, “I have a dream to build a house with one nation, one spirit”. But our sense of judgement wants to be better than others. I'm saying this because we lack brother- and sisterhood. The children don't have this problem, only the adults. So, all of you, we need to develop this sense of brotherhood and sisterhood.

The most precious gifts from God are sharing, caring and giving. We can't do any of these if we judge. That is what this is all about. Having that love can take you beyond this physical plane. Try and transcend. It can only be done if you have purity. You must see everyone as yourself. There's no difference. Let's create brotherhood and sisterhood and continue to another level. There'll be some changes here at the Gayathri Peedam from Sunday. You can see the structure built outside. Babaji Pooja will be at ten on Sunday morning and Pournami at four in the afternoon. We have a guest speaker. Please come.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mahanavagraha

The Gayathri manthra without the first line, ‘Om Bhur Bhuva Swaha’ is actually called the Savathri Mantra. And with the ‘Om Bhur Bhuva Swaha’ added it’s the Gayathri Mantra. ‘Shankara’ is derived from the story of Lord Shiva when he was meditating in a sea shell. That’s why we use the word ‘shank’. It comes from the word ‘sank’ and means ‘shell’.

This is the last Mahanavagraha for this year and, really, if you missed this one you have a long wait for the next one. This may create problems for you in the new year. As I said to some people this morning, I have received the predictions for 2011 in my meditation and they are not looking good at all. The financial graph will be on a downward scale for the whole of 2011. That is why we need these prayers. When you find excuses not to do them, you’re digging your own grave and covering yourself. This is an important prayer. 2011 is not looking good. This will be the trend right up to 2012. By that time we hope to have a new generation, a new beginning. If we do have, we’re lucky; if we don’t we’ll have a problem. Those people who have done all these poojas and have remembered God continuously, you have a chance of a new world, a new beginning. Some of you think I sit here and do this to earn money. I do this for you. Those that were with me last night will realise that I’ve been sitting in this chair since seven o’clock last night and I didn’t sleep a wink. I was here, getting instructions and setting up the kalsas. All is done for you, so I expect you to regard this prayer as your own and really be sincere within yourself and, once you are, you’ll be able to reach God and receive what God gives. So that is why we’re doing this the way we - are and I’m giving everyone a chance. I didn’t call the children up because it won’t affect them financially. We’ll do the hawan that concludes this part, then the nine kalsas, wash the murthi, dress the murthi, do the offering then we’ll come back and do this pooja.

You know, Deepak is here at the gate, just to tell you all, when I look at you all, so many of you here, I feel inside me a sense of disappointment. I’ll tell you why. Daily, I have a maximum of four hours sleep. You can call any time. At five o’clock in the morning you’ll get me on my phone. If you call me any time in the night, even at 12 o’clock, I’ll answer. I’ll never tell you that I’m sleepy. I may say that I’m tired, but not sleepy. The maximum amount of sleep we should have is four hours. Forget that the teacher told you eight hours, that’s for them. They rest at school then they rest at home for another eight hours. Really, you must start to train your body. We have twenty-four hours. In twenty-four hours we need to do three things equally: worship God, maintain the household and do our normal duties. If you take three divided by twenty-four, it will give you eight hours. So for eight hours we should be remembering God alone. For eight hours we should be earning money, with eight hours left for sleep and family. I’ve got yogis here, real yogis. I think I have to call them spitting-bug yogis. If you are doing yoga, the maximum amount of sleep is four hours. Your basic sleep should be two hours. Just the word ‘sleep’ makes some of you sleep. That is why we are having so many health conditions. We are sleeping too much. The Bhagavad Gita tells us that he who eats too much or too little, or who sleeps too much or too little, is not a yogi - he’s a boghi. He who sleeps all the time is a roghi. The rule is to have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, at supper like a beggar. You follow the rule eat like a king, eat like a king, eat like a king, and sleep like a king's dog, one way. You need to adjust yourselves, especially these young ones. Look at Alexei. I thought he was making Kali trance, one swing, nodding off. He’s fifteen, and already he has a sleep problem. Ashok is awake, he didn’t sleep the whole night. Oh yes, he fell off the bench. He only yawned five times. Steven is laughing. Steven saw us working and went to sleep in the van. When he realised it was uncomfortable, he rushed his wife home and had a nice sleep.

Vanakam everyone. That brings us to the conclusion of the mahanavagraha pooja and the Shankara pooja. One thing I can tell you, when you go home you’re not going to sleep. When you go now, except for some people from Ottawa, you’re going to be wide awake. I know why you’re hungry, too. You didn’t have breakfast. We’re providing you with lunch. Nothing extravagant: about four pickles, dahl, brinjal, broccoli, vegetable fried rice, panneer butter masala… why are you laughing? Because you’re hoping it’s true. We have goddess, Annapoorna, here all the time in the form of Angi, always ready to cook for you with love, devotion and divine dedication. So please partake of the meal before you go.

Tomorrow we’re going to Ladysmith for sacred mantra chants. I don’t know how many of you are coming with us. We’re going in a group. We'll have a fun day, chant mantras, dance and sing. So if you want to come with us and enjoy being merry before Christmas, please join us. But let me know so that we can make sure we either leave at the same time or meet at a certain point.

You can go anywhere, to any temple, they won’t give you the opportunity of washing the murthis the way we do. They believe that only the priest is allowed to wash the murthi, and only married people. Sometimes they go further and say only married men can perform the ritual. At the Gayathri Peedam, we don’t have those rules. If you have divinity within you, if you love God and are here sincerely with devotion and dedication then you can do it. We have three or four females doing the abishegam at the temple here for Babaji, for the Shiva Lingam, for the Mother’s shrine, and for this shrine; and they are all fine. Nothing happened to them yet and Shiva didn’t marry them yet. That’s the story. If you are female and you wash the lingam, then you are married to Shiva; and Shiva grabs you. He’s a funny god, that one, if he does that. There’s no such thing. If you are destined to get married, if your karma is such that pain is part of it, then you’ll get married; really. And if your karma is such that you shouldn’t have that kind of pain then you won’t get married. And some of us get married, and then we get unmarried after a couple of years. Why? Because we can’t handle the pain. There’s no rule in any book that teaches ladies cannot wash the lingam. Some of the greatest saints in India were female. Aveya and Mira were female. They were great and their devotion to their worship was greater than that of males. So don’t let people tell you stories – all those who washed the lingam last night between eleven and midnight, you are the fortunate ones. Most of them were female. And they were here early this morning. They were nicely energised when they got home. If you washed and your husband didn’t wash, then you fall off to sleep in the prayer.

So enjoy the meal, thank you very much for being part of this prayer. It means more to you than to me. It means more to me that you did it. Those who missed it - you missed out a big portion of 2010. As it comes you’ll see why I’m saying this; and as you progress you’ll see why I said this. God bless you . Enjoy your meal. Vanakam, Hari Om. Namaskar.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shakti Reverence

No matter how much you worship Mother Shakti, you will not benefit if you take your wives for granted. It is because of their shakti that their husbands are successful. Today we think marriage is a business partnership. Without that Shakti energy, men are nothing. Some of you think to yourselves, ‘But I have an unmarried friend who prospers’. Yes, because he takes care of his mother. When you were born your mother gave you shakti energy. When you are married your wife takes over. When you are old your daughter-in-law takes over.

You can pray to Shakti or Gayathri for twenty years, but if you raise your hand to your mother or your wife, all your praying will be worthless. As from today, the third day of Navarathri, let's look after our wives. Until you share your future plans with your mother or wife, they will not bear fruit. Even praying to Shakti in the temple is worthless if you don't revere you mother or wife at home. We don't have to be perfect but we must do things correctly. Ashok cleaned the temple yesterday because we're having visitors. Cleanliness is next to godliness. We should be able to eat off these floors.

Soon we're going to have the ladies doing the abishegam. I just need some ladies to volunteer. You'll be the only ladies in the world to do this. No other temple allows ladies to do abishegam. You need to take ownership. I need six ladies.

Sometimes you get angry that I shout and scream at you. It’s because of my blood pressure and things aren't how they should be. I'm an engineer. We didn't put the stop on the chariot. If it doesn't fit we're going to be running all over on Saturday during the procession.

So, I went to Parangapatti Babaji’s birthplace. I got something from there and those of you who get a dot, if you’re staying here tonight for initiation I hope that, like me, you don't sleep.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Gossip and Commitment

You know, success in anything is determined by the power behind what needs to be attained. When I travel alone I have lots of time to think and many thoughts have come to me during my travels. Lately, I have been thinking about absenting myself from Friday service and Pournami pooja. There are many reasons for this, two of which I will explain now.

Firstly, gossip is rife here. I knew what was being discussed in Cowies Hill last week. That, for me, is disastrous. When two people are talking and somebody secretly texts somebody else, and that text comes to me by error – believe me, it's no error. None of you know me beyond the physical body. That is what helps you all – not this physical body. Gossip is like rust in a car and it will spread and destroy the car. So, this is my first problem: that we are still gossiping. We must either take the gossip route and stay out of the temple; or take the divine route and stay in the temple. This is very important.

My second reason is the youth. They have become like their parents: full of excuses. They have too much homework, therefore they can't do this or that at the ashram. But they will be at a family function or a friend's party. Priority is not being given to the spiritual journey and to God. And that means that I have failed in my duty with all of you. There's no exceptions here. I have failed in my duty to lead you, and to take you to another level. And the only reason I've failed is because I am too good to you.

I need to concentrate all my energy in a place called Batticaolo. What I've been telling you for some time has come true now. There are two places: one is called Viyonia and the other Batticcalao. I'm giving you a taste of not having me here for a long time. Until I have commitment from everybody, I won't be in service. When you give me the commitment that this centre will be run like an ashram – that is, everybody – I will come back. I just went away for ten days and you failed miserably in many of the things that needed to be done. Ten days - imagine if it was six months. You didn't only fail me, you failed my Master. And that to me is the biggest burden in failing me. If you failed my Master it means that I failed him too. So, there it is. Because I'm going to Joburg now, I had to tell you this and you need to know this. As of now, on Fridays, until I can get one hundred percent commitment – no deviation – I'll start coming back. I'll just sit in my room. I'll tell you one thing, if I switch off, I switch off. Just ten days ... and the gossip – and the youth not following. The twins never did their ashram homework. Their excuse is that they have school work to do. I think for me excuses are signs of failure. I have never found an excuse in my life not to do something. I've always found a reason to do it. And here we have them full of excuses. Then you'll tell me you're writing exams. The journey is not like that.

When I'm finished with you you should know the Bhagavad Gita but I can't do that because you don't have interest. You should know Patanjali's Yoga Sutra but you are lazy. You sit in front of the TV and watch all those rubbish programmes, and your mind becomes like the programmes: rubbish. You need to take a cue now because I'll be leaving just now, and from there you tell me what you want. I have been really disturbed in these ten days. Very disturbed. Some of the things I heard from Sri Lankan devotees about Verulam, about the ashram – I almost fell on my back. In that time that you gossip, rather do japa. In that time of texting all those people, do japa. You'll be closer to God.

When I went to Batticalo, somebody told me something; I went to Thumbleville two girls told me something else. I couldn't deny it because it happened here. You know one girl said to me: “Swamiji, I don't know how the South African devotees look at you because I have been told in contact over this texting and facebook that you can be a very miserable man.” I am hard, but not miserable. I have never been miserable to anybody. I'll tell you what kind of a man I am. I was driving from Durban the other day, somewhere at the Phoenix turn-off, when I had a strong feeling to call Avesha so I phoned Ashveer. Nobody answered but he phoned me back and I asked how everyone was doing. He said that everything was fine but Avesha had a car accident – and he gave me all the details. I was really tired, but I went and saw her and made sure she was okay. That's how miserable I am. How can I be a miserable individual, tell me? I don't want to tell you all the other stories because you will fall off your chairs, I promise you. I insult you in front of everybody. That is my way of teaching – to reduce your egos. That is how you learn. If I take you over there and insult you, you won't learn anything. That is something I won't change. Please, just give me your commitment. Carry on with your service. If I can get the commitment from every one of you that you'll take this ashram to the next level then I'll come back.

So, I'm always tired. This is not true. Did I ever complain to any one of you that I'm tired, or do I sit here until midnight with you. Maybe I said I was tired once or twice when I've just come back from India on a Friday evening – so you decide what you want.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Karma

So we have karma and we all get entangled in it. What is it and why can't we overcome it? When I was growing up there was an advert for Peter Styvesant cigarettes. It said ‘after action satisfaction’. It’s the same with karma, but the satisfaction belongs to others. We create barriers and become rude to others who want to use our property. Karma comes from ‘kar’, meaning ‘action’.

You have bad and good karma, like cholesterol. You can have good bad cholesterol, and bad good cholesterol. We don't know how to do a good deed anymore. We are very judgemental. This is karmic. The Hindu custom has many practices that result in bad karma, and we get caught because we believe they are correct. We do them over and over again. If we had two karma cards, one good and one bad, our bad card would have more credits.

Today we had a prediction of 10.10.2010. In five year's time this ashram might be under water because we have created negativity for ourselves. Today Babaji selected those who are going to take the teachings from here.

We only know what satisfies us personally. We don’t want to know what satisfies others. There might be two bread rolls left in a dish, and three other people in the queue beside yourself, but you'll take the last two rolls. There's a teaching that you should not take a second helping until everyone has eaten. Being rude to your seniors or elders is karmic, but we think we can tell the teacher what we want because our father is paying fees. Kriyamanakarma is immediate karma. For example, if all the teachers went on strike, when they went back to school, they might find that the students are on strike. It’s a vicious circle. That is why the youth movement has been started here at the ashram, so they don't get caught in your karmic actions. We’ve become delinquent parents. We have no control. You bring your children here and we sort them out. Everything you do, say or think is karmic. Once a month we have a spiritual darling's picture up on the wall. For example, Premananda won't go on the wall this month because he didn't listen. He didn't follow an instruction. He asked me if he must give the dogs food before he left. I said yes, but he didn't do it. We will apply kriyamanakarma here.

Clinton is also very strict. Again even this youth growth is dependent on your, the parents, actions. There are too many excuses to not bring your children. One couple left us but they told some devotees they left because the temple separated their family. Don't blame the temple for your faults. Anyone who uses one vulgar word towards their guru, swami, pandit, master, whatever, will bleed from the mouth before death. This is not a curse. The Book of Manu teaches this.

I'm asking you to give them time, let them come. The youth movement is putting together a magazine called Akhanda Sadhana (continuous devotion) and they can only succeed if you give them your guidance, encouragement and support. We have people from the same family who are divine and well-mannered, and others who are bad mannered and rude. This is the fault of the parents. Failing in your duty as a parent is karmic. Your children should learn the scriptures from a young age. We need to make that change.

You know Raja? As soon as Melissa plays ‘waka-waka’ on the cellphone he stars dancing, wiggling his bum. In six months time his parents are going to be in trouble. When you look at Shanti and Tarryn, they are reading and reciting with the other children, even though it’s not their language. But they do it. Clinton is a good teacher. Clinton, myself and Ashok could go to India, and Ashveer could easily take over the temple prayers while we’re away. Tarryn, Nirvana and Karl could perform a complete Babaji prayer. They were praying here at two o’clock this morning.

I'm sure if I come to your house and visit your children’s bedrooms there will be posters of Shakira and Michael Jackson on the walls. When I first went to Pingala's room that's all I saw. Now she only has my picture. I'm worried now, because Warren wears a t-shirt with the words ‘Shankarananda Rocks’; and Desika buys me a t-shirt with the words ‘hunkarananda’ on the back. Then Melissa, my daughter, calls me ‘the undertaker’ when I'm angry. You’re all laughing at your own errors. So let us get our children in order. Let us not have any karma.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Navarathri

These are the colours required for Navarathri Saris: there must be three red for durga, three yellow for Luxmi, ad three white for Saraswathi. All this smoke is from the synthetic clothes we wear. If we had cotton saris we wouldn't have this problem. We shouldn’t be wearing unnatural fabrics.

By tenth day of Navarathri we should be pure in thought. The reason for the flag is for us. We are saying that from this moment we going to conquer and destroy our negative aspects. On the tenth day we’re supposed to take the flag down, but here we don't because I know you will all go back to being negative. You should come here every day, pure in thought, for the nine days.

We have destruction in our lives. God created natural disasters. Humans in South Africa have created a natural disaster. We are not thinking of God the way we should be. If every muscle, every nadi, vibrated in God, we would never have to worry. My doctor told me that I'm a walking time-bomb and gave me a long shopping list of medication. I'm ready to go when the Mother wants to take me, be it in five years or in fifteen. No, not twenty-two years. That's too long. We can call God whatever we want. Shiva means ‘light from here to there’. Gayathri means ‘light from the sun’. If you don't have love and devotion for God in your rituals, you are wasting your time and your camphor.

One day a worker decided to move his desk from his office to the passage. His associates thought he was losing it. Then he moved his desk to just outside the restroom. And, finally, he moved his desk to the restroom by the toilets. Eventually, someone had the courage to ask him why he had done that. His answer was that the loo was the only place where people actually knew what they are doing. Like that, you must know what you are doing when you pray.

The Bhagavad Gita teaches that we must have evenness of mind. We must come to the ashram in that state. We can offer even a twig with devotion and God will accept it. Are we prepared to give a twig? No. What will other people say? There are two words that Brother Haridas used to use: Atma Sudideni - purity of the soul, the atma, the self. Do not want what others have. Be happy with what you have. We do this navarathri pooja so that, by the tenth day we will all have one single thought: ‘I love God and God alone, unconditionally and universally’.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Questions answered

A devotee asks: We’ve had some extreme temperatures, what will the effects be?
Swami answers: Sunstroke. You leave an air-conditioned room and go outside. The body cannot adjust so quickly. Why do you get jetlag? You are going into year cool office at sixteen degrees, then going outside to forty-one degrees. You need to do Surya Bhidana Pranayama to overcome this. Surya means heat. Block your left nostril and breathe only through your right nostril. You will be able to handle the temperatures. Your guru used to do it on the quiet. It is not part of your kriya but it is good. To awaken your kundalini you need nadi sadhana - clearing of the vessels - and you will have great joy with your muladhara kundalini chakra movement.

A devotee asks: How do you take a positive situation from a negative situation?
Swami answers: A journey begins in the mind. If you want to go to the shop you have to think about it first. Think of going to the shop before going there. Think positively and you will get positive results. Think negatively you will go lower. Positive is higher. It’s the same on the spiritual journey. We need to think it first. The mind can lead you to destruction or to construction. Have you seen your mother clean a cabbage before she cooks it? She cuts off the top. You skin a banana and come to a soft spot so you break it off and eat the rest. Like that, pull it out. We cannot forgive and forget. We do not have the faculty to do both. The inflictor, once seen, will bring back the pain. We cannot do this as long as there is garbage in the back of our minds. It is not in our nature. Attitude is gratitude. A good attitude will get you gratitude. A bad attitude will get you no gratitude.

A devotee asks: What’s the secret to a happy marriage?
Swami answers: The secret to a happy marriage is a stupid husband. Ask Warren. He will tell you. Or else teach your wife to chew a nice gum. As long as there is conversation in the marriage, there is always one-upmanship. There are always two achievers.

A devotee asks: What is the cure for ladies going through menopause?
Swami answers: Annaloma viloma pranayama combined with the Boat pose and Vittel asana. If you do those two poses during menopause you'll have less pain and stress. Tablets are not good for your system. If you have a small headache you're in the medicine cabinet, yet the body will heal itself. You have Panadol everywhere - pop, pop, pop. In the end you'll pop out of here. Menopause is not a sickness or a disease. It is a process. Sometimes men go thru it too and they're very irritable.

A devotee asks: How can we lose weight?
Swami answers: Soak four roots. One from a lemon tree, one from a beil tree, from a pepul tree and a neem tree. Put them all into one container. Boil it and when it’s cool drink it every day if you can. You’ve never tasted anything so terrible in your whole life, but in seven days you’ll lose weight. You’re not conscious of plant life, but you are conscious that you’re overweight. The disaster won't excuse you because you’re overweight so why worry about it?

A devotee asks: How can we aid Christians? What mantra can we offer them?
Swami answers: They suffer from system rejection. As soon as you talk about this, their system rejects it. It is good to take someone else on your journey, but if they're going to slow you down it’s not worth it. There's a reason Mother Gayathri chose you. You don't try and convert anyone. Sanatan dharma has no act that teaches we must convert. Recite your mantra and they will follow if they want. Somebody was part of this organisation for many years. He was walking in the street one day and was asked for directions to the temple, and he said, “…down there by the robot is where the chappie is…” Not Guru, ‘chappie’. Your Guru has learned a lot. What makes you think that someone you value is not going to hurt you? All individuals on this planet have the potential to hurt. You might think that you’re gentle and peaceful, but when you walk, you tramp on the ants.

A devotee asks: We talk about unconditional love, but how do we get rid of the pain when someone hurts us?
Swami answers: It all depends on our definition of pain. You might forgive and not forget or vice versa, but you don't have the ability to do that. When you see the person who caused you pain, the pain comes back. If you remember the abuse, you'll walk in the opposite direction. If you're excited you'll go towards them. We have this garbage that we carry around. As long as it’s there, you're going nowhere. Attitude is gratitude. If you don't have a good attitude, nobody will show you gratitude. What is human nature? ‘I must be above him…’ That is how you live. You always have to be better than everyone else. When we visited Swami Murugesu, Nereen and Jane took a walk from the ashram to a waterfall up the road. Swami asked where they were and he sent everyone to find them. Eventually they came back and Swami let them have it for going without telling him.

A devotee asks: In which country will the natural disaster be?
Swami answers: Not in the east. You will have an earthquake in South Africa. You can't run to the bank and make a quick withdrawal. There's also going to be a volcano that hasn’t erupted in five hundred years, in the ocean. There will be big problems in the next eighteen months. When you go from here, you'll think ‘this strange fellow comes and takes my Guru’s nice body and talks all this nonsense…’ Let’s close our eyes and recite the Gayathri Mantra seven times.

(encounter)

Natural Disasters

We are going to have another disaster; a very serious natural disaster with hundreds of thousands of people becoming homeless. And it’s all to do with your treatment of this land, of Mother Nature, of animals. Do not look to the east. We, ourselves could be sitting on a time-bomb that could explode at any moment without warning, and we will be sitting ducks. It could be an earthquake or such-like. Also in 2011, unemployment will be so high that theft will be the only way many will survive. This is all to do with your karmic consequences and treatment of Mother Nature. But you are fortunate. You can recite the Gayathri mantra and save yourselves.

Think of yourself. When last did you plant a tree? Or did you cut down a tree? Yes, you did cut it. Every time you do that, you are chopping off the links of life, getting closer to destruction. Our delinquent children will be beyond control. That is going to be the next disaster where the worst will come from something that you have not experienced. What are you going to do about this? Gurus mean nothing to you. There are many aspects of this life and yourself that you don't know of. Some think their guru is their friend. Obedience and reverence are two things that you need to give your guru. Then your journey and the beatitude of being with God will be easy. For the system to function, you must have both. Not one or the other.

But it is too late. You cannot undo those things you have done already. Look at your past. Analyse it and be careful about it. All of you are at fault. You have created a market for the tree and for slaughtering. So, since you created the market you are victims and the pain is upon you. What are you going to do about it? You can't do anything because you’re already too caught up in the race. Because you have a short time, enjoy it. Run all over the road. You can run and die, or be knocked down. But you can do something about it.

Every home should have a Sri Chakra Meru (A meru is a sri chakra pyramid.). Use it in worship on Fridays with Kumkum (red tumeric), and in three months you will see a difference and improvement. The Sri Chakra is a very powerful part of our worship and a big part of sanatan darma (righteous living). With the Sri Chakra Meru you can recite any mantra. It has many associated deities. Recite the mantra twenty-seven times on Fridays between four and six in the morning. No other time. Keep the meru separate if you eat meat, away from meat. The meru is kept flat. Navadanam is food. Eat raw food. You do not need cooked food. The Sri Chakra Meru is now centering its energy so that the when the change-over happens for the new generation, those with this focus will benefit. The Sri chakra meru is in panchaloka (five metals). This is the best. I know what you’re all thinking that we’re going to sell them to you. Unfortunately, there's no merus here. The most powerful instrument in today’s pooja (prayer) is the Sri Chakra Meru. Your guru has a big one. Somehow you should get your own meru and worship with it.

Are you always rude to year guests? You should become the humbler person to a stranger. Do any of you know what this means - you sitting and looking at this ugly face? It means one astral being has chosen to visit. But you get up and leave rudely. This is the reality. Everything else is illusion. Your guru will be extremely disappointed. He's riding the lowest ebb with you right now. You are all gifted, but you don't know the meaning. A gift is not given unexpectedly and without purpose. A gift is something given for you to use. One person being rude means everybody is being rude. What can I say? This is one of the best setups for a mahasamadhi shrine. One statement of reprimand brings all the laurels down. Carry on being rude and you'll have nobody to talk to, listen to or bow to. What can I say when a divine personality walks among you and you’re more interested in your phone? We don't wait. Darshan is here and now. I am the greatest strength of your guru. You must follow the teachings of your guru. Always make the person in front of you bigger than you. Rudeness is our downfall; rudeness by action, speech and walking out whilst an astral being is present. You’re too busy talking on the phone.

Deenadayalan, stick on this wall ten posters, to say, ‘no cellphones allowed’. They must be switched off. You are spending a lot of time on your cellphone, leaving the pooja. Whoever is caught answering their cellphone, their phone will be confiscated. That's also rude.

(encounter)

Friday, September 24, 2010

On Swami Murugesu

Swami is always shown seated in photos, so people don't know his height. When I arrived at the airport to visit Swami for the first time, I looked for someone who would be showing my name on a sign. There was a guy with my photo and my name upside-down. I went with him and on the way he asked me why women shouldn’t clean the temple lamp at certain times. At dinner, out comes this small man from another room. I just touched his feet and an electric shock went through my system. He told me to eat something that looked like spaghetti, spring hoppers, and some samber like dahl - the worst tasting thing. He said he’d take me to the Kandy botanical gardens.

Afterwards, in the car he said, “This wasn't a wasted trip. Nature is in your journey”. Back at the ashram everyone was running around. I slept in the room next to Swami’s. On our next trip the ghosts started worrying us. Dean and I used to sleep in the same room. One night when Dean was sleeping, I saw the packet of biscuits moving by itself. I think Dean also saw it and closed his eyes. Then I realised he was wearing earplugs so he couldn't hear me screaming. Swami told us about the ghosts and the cottage that used to be the house of Ravhana’s soldiers. At night we could hear them marching. One night I couldn’t sleep so I went to the lounge to meditate. Reg, Joey and Saila were staying with us at that time. They were afraid of the ghosts and I could hear one of them saying they should fetch my shoes to put outside their door to frighten the ghosts. Reg came to get my shoes from the lounge and saw me dressed in white. He ran out, screaming, back to his room, the three of them holding each other, terrified. They thought I was the ghost.

Swami lived a simple life on a hilltop. He brought about peace, harmony and love. A man so small in stature, yet within him he had the power to dissolve the whole universe. That Guru Swami Preceptor, the God within, I remember to this day. A parcel of books arrived for me in 1995, from a man I had never met. One of those very books, The Great Science and Power of Gayathri, you received today. May every one of you who reads that book find some happiness, some joy in it, that you may walk the walk and talk the talk.

Swami spent a long time, many months, with different swamis and gurus in the Himalayas. One, his favourite was Swami Gnanananda Giri, who lived for at least four-hundred years and attained mahasamadhi in the 1960s. Gnanananda Giri was so powerful but he was a mere 1.2 metres in height. His disciple, Haridas Giri, visited South Africa and taught the mantra of his Guru, the Om gnanabdagiri namaha mantra. The same should apply to you on your spiritual journey, but there's no dedication. Too many of you come to temple only once a month. Then when your quota is finished you don't come again until the next month. I've said many times that today is very special to me. I am crazy enough to be seated here with all of you, even after you damaged my kitchen and destroyed my finances. But then I am crazy.

Go out there and find yourself guru - not me - and hold onto him for dear life. There are many gurus. Once you have your guru nothing on this physical plane will affect you. I get an SMS message once a week: ‘Love you, Guru. Miss you, Guru. Love you, guru’. Others only love their guru when he gives them something. When your guru gives you a mantra you should recite it continuously and let every molecule of your being resound in his name. But you can't do that. You're too caught up in this life. Swami asked me why I wanted this spiritual journey and he wished me luck. But I've received no luck yet. Every time I get my sixteen people, one of them misbehaves. Then I get another sixteen and the same thing happens; one misbehaves. Go find your guru. Paramahansa Yogananda told his guru that he was tired and wanted to leave. Sri Yukteswar told him to go, and Yogananda traveled all over India visiting many gurus and swamis. But at the end he realised the purity and genuineness of Sri Yukteswar and returned to his guru. I'm not saying that you must make your guru more important than your parents. They are the most important faculty in your normal life. Your Guru is the most important aspect of your spiritual life. No guru will teach you things that are not ahimsha, yama or niyama.

Swami Murugesu has definitely experienced God and seen God in the form of Kali. One day Swami went to Brindhaven to Gnanaguru. While he was sitting in prayer he heard music and felt the vibration of dancing footsteps. When he looked down, there appeared in his lap a sari from Radha, Krishna’s consort. Swami Murugesu communicated with Agasthiar who would tell Swami to go with Paragrama, another disciple, to the forest where there were many wild animals, especially wild elephants. When Swami arrived at the place, he was told to stop. There were wild elephants there and he wanted to run away, but a voice told him to wait. The elephants made a circle of protection around Swami so that he could dig for herbs in safety from other wild animals. So, today is the anniversary of Swami’s samadhi. That chain you see around Swami’s neck was given to me by swami forty days after his death. Most of you have not had the opportunity to meet Swami physically. Let’s share our first experiences of Swami Murugesu.

“On my first trip to Swami, I was so surprised to see a tiny man. He served us personally, seeing to it that we had everything. On my second trip we were initiated and I got to know Swami better.” (Mrs Naidoo)

“All I can say is that when Guru used to speak about Swami I didn't feel the connection. Then once, when Swami was visiting, I wrote a letter saying I would love to visit him, even though in my mind I didn't think it would be possible. When I saw Swami for the first time I felt as if he knew everything. During the initiation I didn't want to be initiated. I was taking photos and the next thing I remember, I was sitting, holding swamis hands and being initiated.” (Manogrie)

“I met Swami in 2003. It was my birthday. I didn’t know what to expect. He was so welcoming and took care of all of us. He took us all over Sri Lanka even though his health wasn't so good. The following year I went back to Sri Lanka, and every year after that. Three month’s before Swami’s mahasamadhi, I saw him again on my birthday. On my second trip I had better chance to speak to Swami. Ashok and I were staying in a cottage near the ashram and I was telling Ashok that I wished to stay there but I have a family back in South Africa. When we reached the ashram Swami asked me a question: ‘When God calls you, will you go back and ask your husband if you can go?’ I phoned him often and visited every year. (Nereen)

“We had always heard Guru talk about Swami. On our first trip we arrived in Sri Lanka. We conjured up an image of this great swami but when we arrive, there was this small person with tiny feet. He said to me: ‘So you’re the disciple of your Guru?’ He was the most sweet, divine individual.” (Dean)

“In 1998 we met Swami personally. He arrived on the 21st March. We were running around getting things ready. A year before that Guru had gone to Sri Lanka for the first time and told us about Swami.When Ronnie, Paul and I were traveling to the airport to meet Swami, we were so excited that we composed a song which kept us together for a long time. And when Swami arrived we all sang the song: ‘Swamiye murugesu, you are the light in our lives. The children of Gayathri love you, Swamiye Murugesu’. That was the song we composed.We hired a bus to take the devotees to the airport to meet Swami. It was three weeks of splendour, sharing every minute traveling with Swami to different places. We took Swami to the school where I teach. They couldn't believe his simplicity. Everyone who was at the school at that time has since benefited. The highlight was Swami’s initiation of all the devotees. I was the only one not initiated. Notwithstanding that, I was initiated after kumbabishegam, which was great. Meeting Swami a few years later in Sri Lanka brought back many memories of his first visit to South Africa. I must say that every moment we spent with Swami, we relished.” (Ashok)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dedication, Devotion and Love

There are three important factors in life, on the matter and spirit planes. These are dedication, devotion and love. You need all three to enter the spirit realm and that's where we fall short. Coming and sitting here, singing, is devotion. Yoga is called bhakti; Some Christians are happy-clappers. Dedication is ‘to be a part of’. Many of us lack that. Devotees just come here, do their bit and go.

Divide your day into three. Eight hours for sleep. Eight hours for work. Eight hours for God. Coming here on Fridays is your appointment with God. If you don't make that appointment, He won't charge you if you don't arrive, but you'll lose out on a lot. When it comes to love, our love is limited. It’s always … ‘I love because …’ As soon as you have a ‘because’, you have a limitation. Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita says, “Surrender to me totally”.

Then we presume the guru doesn't think we have a business to run and he calls us at odd hours. I don't call devotees to the temple for me, but because you have a duty to perform. What is the difference between duty and desire? Duty happens from within. It was Arjuna’s duty to fight, according to Krsna. Desire is whatever you want that gives you temporary joy. We need to cultivate those three but we worry too much. Worry is like a banyan seed and, once you nurture it, it can outgrow you. One of the simplest ways to get close to God is to chant, for example chant Om Nama Shivaya. I have the children writing a-hundred-and-eight likit japa every day. If they don't, they lose out on something. So I'm asking you to cultivate and nurture these three things: dedication, devotion and love. And you'll find yourself to be another person. Someone asked me why there are so many religions. I asked them why there are so many cars. Each person has a different requirement.

Devotee asks a question: What is the difference between religion and spirituality?
Swami answers: Religion is blind following. Spirituality is logical. Why wait to attain liberation at death when you can attain it now? It’s so easy. Don't think that because you are Hindu that you’ve attained anything. You have to make an effort. Scriptures were not created by man. They were inspired by God for man. Can you tell me 'I surrender'? No, you can't. That means you must give everything away. Hinduism gives you all opportunities. The Bhagavad Gita gives us one-hundred-and-eight ways to reach God. At the end Krishna says, “Just remember my name, that's all”. But all we can think of is money. A student hopes the teacher doesn't arrive. Where does our misery come from? We create it, not God. We get joy out of it. Can we say we've had enough? No, because we don't know what enough is. We need to know what enough is. Paramahansa Yogananda said that we need to have money in the bank for a rainy day. On the spiritual journey, when you give, you get. Make it God’s responsibility to sort out your problems.

We are like monkeys, jumping from tree to tree; from priest to priest. When you don't get any joy from one, you move to another. Why? Because you don't know what you want. The spiritual journey is not about shopping. It’s about you and your oneness with God. It’s about what you can become. Your thoughts should be divine. You are your thoughts. If you want a son and your wife has a girl, you get upset because it’s not what you want. Our misery is based on our limitations of devotion, dedication and love. Many have convenience-based anger to get out of doing things. They will be far from attainment. What do you think about when you're alone? Money? Material things? Do you think of God? Each day have a material and spiritual accountability session? Ask yourself: what spiritual thing did I do today? A man who is wealthy, but who has not served humanity is a poor man.

Each of you is atmic, so you are godly. But, like rust, you have contaminated your godliness with your parents’ beliefs. Even rust can be cleaned. By the chanting of mantras we can awaken the spiritual body, so get your devotion, dedication and love going, and start chanting; even if it’s just the word ‘amma’, and you will attain.

To still the mind you have to shake it, like a tree with ripe fruit. The mind is still when you have the ability to receive and contain. For example, because we play music when we meditate, the mind stills. The mind isn't empty, it’s just still. Continuous meditation will help to destroy negative karma. At the age of fourteen I didn't know what meditation was, but I would sit still. To meditate at any time you must have no mental reflections, no anger, no joy. You must have evenness of mind. Evenness of mind is a state of no emotion.

Hari om. God bless you.

Friday, September 10, 2010

On Apaji Swami

We were in Bangalore. I called Swami Amitananda and he said, “Come now!” We left the next morning. There's only one other person I've met who has seen God, and Apaji has seen God. There’s no two ways about it. He waited for me until two o'clock while I sat with Swami Amritananda. Apaji came out we greeted each other. He doesn't speak but his devotees knew what he wanted. Anyway, we met and the first thing he said to Amritananda in Tamil was, “Tell him I will go to South Africa if he takes me”. People were stunned because others from the USA had sent him tickets and he wouldn’t go there. He reminds me so much of Swami Murugesu. The devotees sat there with me until midnight. We didn't even notice the mosquitoes. He sat in his rocking chair and asked if anyone had questions. No one wanted to leave. He has definitely seen God.

The next morning when we left he asked me to stay. He wanted us to stay over that night but we knew there was no room. These are rare opportunities. I’ll say it again: if you want to meet a man who has seen God, he has. He lives simply; sleeps outside. He did many things while we were there that his devotees say he doesn't usually do. So if you’re all in partnership with me, we'll bring him and Amritananda to South Africa.

So just now I'll tell more experiences to the lucky ones who stay. Tomorrow is Ganesha Pooja from 6am to 2pm, and Navagraha at two o’clock. Poornashuti (complete cleansing) Ganapati Abishekam is tomorrow. To do this pooja we need a very special shell, and we found the very shell on this trip. We even met the man who found the shell. It opens on the right. We also found another shell for blowing.

To follow the master you have to become an idiot. If you have mind intelligence, you cannot hear. So why do we put our hands together when we pray? We are joining ourselves with God. Why do we go clockwise around the temple? Because most people are right-brained. Why do we turn aarti three times, three times, three times? The first three times are for Brahma, then for Vishnu, then for Shiva.

A devotee asks: What's the difference between spirit and soul?
Swami Answers: Some schools will tell you they are the same, others that they are different. Spirit is the activation of the soul. We can't say his spirit left his body. Think of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. What is the difference between power and energy? They are the same thing. Power is force times velocity. Spirit is force or energy. Without the force there won't be any power. That is how you look at spirit and soul.

A devotee asks: When Swami has an encounter that takes over Swami’s body, what is it that takes over, the spirit or soul?
Swami answers: It is the spirit. Is it correct to say that each person has a soul and a spirit? Yes. So, without spirit the soul cannot exist. Spirit is the force behind the work, but prana is like the lever in exerting the force. When the soul goes into another body, what happens to the spirit? The spirit will still remain in the body.

A devotee asks: When we offer the panda (rice ball) to the fire, who is it actually being offered to?
Swami Answers: Fire is regarded as the mouth of God. Fire consumes. So when we make that offering it is to whatever deity, whatever aspect of God, we are praying to at the time. When you are dead you are cold. When you alive, you are warm. God am the life in every existence. Fire is considered life, so we offer the rice ball to God through the fire. That is why when they did pittarpak (offering to the ancestors) the idea was right but the method wrong. We don't know where our ancestors are. In the olden days a plate of food was offered to the fire, not left outside like today.