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.


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.


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.