Friday, June 24, 2011

How to Know God

Hari Om.

How to know God. This is something that's been bothering me for some time now, but somehow we need to know God and we need to find a formula somewhere in our divine mathematics, and create a spiritual equation to find God.

Many people have given you many different ways to find God. Some swamis teach you how to levitate and in they say 'Get up, get up, up, up, up! And they want to find God. God cannot be found in movement.

In Psalms 46 verse 10 it says 'Be still and know that I am God'. That means you should be still, not jumping all over like a chicken without a head. That's what's happening, and South Africa has become a haven for Swamis to come from India, a great haven. And when they come from India we flock to see them. We listen to them and we still remain the same. That's the sad part. I've not met anybody enlightened because he went and listened to some swami from India. I was listening to a recording the other day that said, 'Only the first five minutes of a talk is what you remember, and after that you remember nothing because you're not interested'. You only look interested. Looking interested and being interested are two different things.

So how do we know God? Where can we find God? How does God look? The Bible says man was created in God's image so God must look something like us. He created man in His image, so each one of you resembles God. Then why can't we find that God in the people around us? It's because when we see the people around us we try to look for their faults, how to bring the person down, even in our praises. How often have you heard somebody say, 'That's a beautiful dress you've got on,' or, 'a beautiful sari'. What about you? You spent one hour on your face and they comment on your dress! Why didn't you do a good job? Because you don't know how to glorify God. If you knew how to glorify God you'd be beauty personified. But you only know how to glorify the physical body, therefore people don't even see you, they see your dress, your pants, your glasses, whatever.

So how do we find a way of knowing God? Does anybody know? What's the point of having a japa bag with one finger sticking up like a hold-up and reciting 'Hare Krishna, Krishna Hare,' for thirty years and you never see Krishna. For thirty years you're calling this man and he has not even given you a speck of enlightenment. So we're doing something wrong. Looking for God in the wrong place.

To find God you need to shut your eyes, close your mouth, and dive deep into yourself, the deepest you can. Forget every existence in this universe: your family, the building. Just Be. And in that time you'll find God. But we can't just Be. All of you seated here can't just Be. There's an itch or a scratch somewhere, but we can't just Be. Why? We have too many sons of the blind king in our head. And those sons keep coming to you and telling you things while you have your eyes closed. Get rid of the blind king and his sons. How do you do that? By reciting the Gayathri Mantra.

The Gayathri Mantra has twenty-four tatvas (divine elements or sounds), not one. 'Sri Ram Jay Ram Jay Jay Ram only has seven tatvas.. 'Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare, Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare,' only has five, and it is powerful. The Gayathri Mantra has twenty-four tatvas. What does that make it? Most powerful. Recite the Gayathri Mantra 'till you become transcendental, 'till you leave this physical body, 'till you have no body. But do you think you want to do that? As soon as you have no body you are lost. You are too attached to this body, and as long as you are attached to this body you're going to get nowhere.

Paramhansa Yogananda said: 'To know God, dive to the innermost altar of your being, and there seated will be Ishwara, God'.

We all need to know God. God is the only happiness that we have. Everything else is apparent happiness. We have this apparent happiness that we live every day. But we need that absolute happiness, and that is to know God, the truth. God is the truth. Can the truth change? No. God can never change. Whether you're Christian, Hindu, Islamic, whatever, even if you have no religion, God does not change. There is nobody in this whole universe who does not believe in God. Nobody. You cannot point out a man to me and say he doesn't believe in God and he can't tell me he doesn't believe in God. The fact that he says 'I don't believe there is a God,' means he knows there is a God, he just doesn't believe it. God is there for all of us. The same God, the same energy. We need to go inside and enjoy that God.

Hari Om.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Purpose of Life

Hari Om.

So, what's the purpose of this life? What's our purpose here? Our purpose in this life is to become a jivan mukti. And we've failed miserably to become that jivan mukti. What's the meaning of jivan mukti? It means total liberation of the self. And why can't we become jivan muktis? Today, Sujana, the little baby girl who runs around here during service, stayed over and I was playing with her for most of the day. I looked at her and said, 'she can become a jivan mukti'. Why? Because she doesn't have a mind. She didn't ask for her father, or cry for her mother. She just was.

There's one factor called the mind that stops us from becoming jivan muktis. The only reason the mind affects us is because the mind is controlled strongly by our sense of ego, which does not allow our mind to function in any other way. And our ego is so big that some of us drown in it. Others suffocate in it, because the more egoistic we become, the more idiotic our behaviour is. We lose all sense of logic and intelligence, and we follow this thing which seemingly makes us better than anyone else, and this ego stops us from becoming jivan muktis.

When I said jivan mukti just now, you heard one lady laugh here. The only reason she laughed is because it is most difficult for women to become jivan muktis, They have too much mind. The emotions and heart rest in the mind. All human beings are supposed to have a connection between the solar plexus and the medulla oblongata, but women have everything connected to the mind. Therefore you'll find there's a limited number of female jivan mukis. You can count them on one hand. Why? Because women work from emotion and not logic. Many of us are married here – we are a victim of tears. As soon as you see the tears you give in. That's emotion. Not logic.

So we want to become jivan muktis, but we don't want to give up this thing called ego. What does ego stand for? Enlarged Growth of the Oblongata. Because your mind is also there it's so big. If you look, you'll see there are more women here in service than men - so they're going to catch me in a corner afterwards (laughs). Give up your mind and all the stories you carry in your mind. Give them up. I have a saying: just worry about today, worry not about tomorrow because tomorrow will become today tomorrow. Take every day, second, minute, hour, as it comes.

We have a habit of living in expectation. And then when the expectation is not fulfilled we are a wreck, a nervous wreck. Live without expectation. Live as though you're walking into town. Do you watch your steps? No, you don't even know you're walking half the time. Your right leg goes, your left leg goes. It's automated. Live like that. Your legs are in total rhythm and you don't have control of that. There's no mind involved. It just happens. And that's the rhythm we all need to get into to become jivan muktis.

So our purpose in this life is to become better people. Are we becoming better people? No we are not. We always have something negative to say about somebody or something. Always. I can speak to any one of you and after a long discussion you will have spoken about somebody else. There's no exception to the rule. Somehow, some name will come into the discussion. We live like that because we live in the ego. Our ego is based on many aspects of our lives. The house we live in, the clothes we wear, our car, our profession - all that creates is opportunity for our ego to get bigger and bigger. And as long as you have that, your jivan mukti state is decreasing. We always have to make a comment, and most of the comments you make are sarcastic. But it doesn't matter. Don't let people affect you by their nasty comments and nasty remarks. Just smile and carry on.

Do you know why people make nasty remarks and nasty comments? Because they are reflecting themselves on you. They are trying to justify themselves, so they reflect themselves by making comments about you. Stop accepting it by fighting back. Change. Let us all become jivan muktis. You're staring at me like it's an impossible task. Already you've failed. Let us all become jivan muktis. You are afraid of it because you don't have evenness of mind. Your mind is telling you that you're going to fail.

How many of you here want to become jivan muktis? You are halfway there. You are a jivan, a being, a Self. To liberate the Self is to give up this physical self. When I say you must give up this physical self, what I mean is don't get caught with glorifying this physical self. It's nothing. Life is so short. Before you know it, it's ended. Look at those four young kids coming from work who had an accident. All four died here at Ottowa. All died, aged 24, 22, 26. Think about it and we still want to go and glorify this body. It's useless. Right now one of the bodies is lying in a mortuary for a funeral tomorrow. Can that body get up and look in the mirror and do all the glorifications for the funeral, then get back in the coffin? No it can't. The self is missing. It's that self that can make you a jivan mukti.

If I die tomorrow, you'll all come here. Not one of you will ask Seelan, 'Is Guru here?' You'll ask Seelan, 'Did the body come'? That will happen to all of you, whether it's your father or your mother. Think about it. The moment the Self leaves the body, you are just a body to everybody – to your wife, your husband, your son, your brother. They all look at it as one of the most useless things, yet we glorify it. Every minute of the day, we are busy. If we don't have one of those small mirrors, we've got lip ice, or something. That is because we have this thing called ego. And as long as we have this we're not going to run away from glorifying this body and making this body the most beautiful thing there is. And when it comes in contact with fire in the cremation hall, it's nothing. But we'll glorify it. Because that is the only thing that gives us some kind of justification that 'I'm beautiful'. Beauty doesn't lie in all this. Beauty lies in the self, the inner self, the greater self the bigger self. The self within. As Krishna says, in the Bhagavad Gita, 'All beauty is beyond me'. What does that mean? This is not beautiful at all. This is just temporary. Tomorrow morning you're not the same person. You have one more crease added to your face and you try to cover it up. So, every day this body is getting older and changing. So when it's changing there's no reality.

What is the definition of reality? Anything that doesn't change, the eternal truth, Self. I am not real because when I was younger my hair was black. After I met you all, it's grey. Every morning it takes me longer to get out of bed because there's more pain in the body. So if I am changing I'm not real. I am an apparent reality, a changeable reality. So we need to get away from this concept of 'I am real'. This body is real and if you've got one more crease, you add a little more foundation. We must change from that. The only difference, when you're younger, is that creases are painful. When you're older, there's no pain. So why do we worry?

Let us now get rid of this thing called ego. Start slowly. If I have to start I'll go to my room and write the word 'ego' on my mirror – the three most powerful letters – and every time you go there, you'll leave the mirror and start to look at the other self - the self that will make you a jivan mukti. That is the self. Or write on your mirror, 'This is not me'. And see how you can change your life.

You want to know how you can change? Kill the mind. How do you kill the mind? Start with your taste. Kill your tastebuds. Have no taste. Then go to the other senses. When you go now, I'm going to put a box there at the gate. Put your ego inside. Don't put your name - I don't want to know who you are - and start to live life simply.

Simplicity is the ultimate spirituality. You can't have ego and be spiritual. It won't work because somehow the ego becomes bigger than you. So I'll leave you with that. What is the purpose of this life? It is to become a jivan mukti.

Hari Om

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Special Sani Navagraha Pooja

Hari Om.
What you experienced today is just for you. The chance of seeing it again is not going to happen. Enjoy the energy and I'm sure you'll experience some different emotions. Just enjoy that because it's not going to happen again for a long time. This must be after twenty years. Enjoy that energy that went through your body.

What they're going to do now is padio pooja, washing the feet. After that we'll have some bhajan.

It is believed by the great seers, nothing that was written in the last hundred years - actually it was written 5000 years ago - that after every major pooja the greatest energy you'll get is from your guru's feet. So all the disciples in the olden days used to wash their guru's feet. And why don't all of you get a chance to wash? Some devotees think they're forced to wash the guru's feet. That negative intention is no good for the guru. So we have the same people washing voluntarily all the time, unless some devotee requests to do it on their birthday. Normally children will come in the morning of their birthday and wash the guru's feet.

So how do you know that your prayer today was answered? We had that slight drizzle and then it stopped. Only then do you know that even God is happy about your prayer and those are God's tears of joy. It has nothing to do with what the Fifa chairman said. When he opened his big new place in Geneva it was pouring with rain so he said, 'It doesn't matter if God is upset when we open this place. Even during rain soccer has to live'. And now it's hot there and he's battling to live. Am I right? So that's why I'm saying 'tears of joy'. It's because we did this prayer properly and I think everyone of you is blessed today. So were going to resound the name of the Lord once more this time in bhajanayoga If Brother Haridas was here that's what he would say. In bhajanayoga we're going to resound His name. I won't take long. I know that for some of you from 4 o'clock to 8 o'lock is a long time to pray. But before I start I have one short story to tell you from my son. I want to tell all of you because it's important to know.

His lecturer asked him, 'Mahavisinu, tell me how many hours do you sleep?' He thought he was going to show his lecturer a point so he said, 'I sleep for 8 hours at night and 2 hours in the day time'. The lecturer said, 'Not good. If you have a history of diabetes in your family it means you will become diabetic'. I'm telling you this because some of you sleep for fourteen hours! When I told the yoga students that I sleep for four hours they thought I was crazy. So Vishnu asked the lecturer how much we should sleep for and he said, 'Anything from one-and-a-half to four hours. Fours hours in bed resting and one-and-a-half of those hours for sleep'. This is a lecturer in a medical school.

I'm telling you this because I'm an example of dying slowly - a perfect example. Every day my body is telling me another sloka and its not any better than yesterday's sloka - ya ya ya yama. Do you understand what I'm saying? It's worse than having cancer. With cancer the doctors give you three or four weeks before you die. With diabetes they can't tell you. They just give you these tablets and tell you to take them. So don't get diabetes. I carry two pens in my pocket. Everyone passing me thinks I'm a clerk but those pens are my injections.

You get up in the morning with diabetes and every day this is what happens to you. On the first day the front of your toe will be in pain. You think it's nothing. On the second day the back of your toe is in pain. On the third day, the side of your foot, then your whole foot, then slowly your knee, then your hip, finished. You have to take a chair to the toilet. You don't want to go there. So from today, on this lovely day of the lunar eclipse, take a vow to sleep four hours a day only. Really, I have practised it. Too much sleep is really a problem. Start to a sleep maximum four hours a day. Try it. The Bhagavad Gita says, 'He who sleeps too much, he who eats too much, is not a yogi'. I'll add to that: he's a boghi, and when he eats more than too much he's a roghi. You don't want to go that route. You're not diabetic yet. There's a medication called Chromium. All of you go and get that. It prevents you from getting diabetes.

So please, I just wanted to tell you this story because diabetes is very, very uncomfortable. You kick something and worry until it heals. If you have an open would you worry 'till it heals. Just now I had a red mark on my toe and I got Nirvana to check. It was just kungum. I was scared, really. So, please, if you want to consult with Vishnu I'll charge you all later. Don't get diabetes, it's worse than cancer. With cancer you know when you're going to die. With diabetes you know you're going to die but you don't know when. One good thing about diabetes - as soon as you see chocolate you forget you have diabetes. Mine is different as soon as I go behind a sugar truck my sugar goes up.

Before we do aarthi, many of you here, or some of you here seated here, received special pavitrums from Swami Murugesu, and I see that u don't have them on. I see only Jo and Saras have them on. Its very, very important that you have a pavitram in special poojas, if the guru gives you a pavitram - and in many cases it was given by swami murugesu. Its a very special, it has great significance for this kind of pooja and if you received one from the guru you're very lucky. Thats why I stopped giving thiings, I say 'wear this' all the time and you throw it away.
Hari Om

Click Here to view images from this unique Sani Navagraha pooja.

Friday, June 10, 2011

On Sacrifice

Hari Om.
There are three very import aspects in our life. And these three very import aspects that I'm going to talk about are the easiest way to get to God; the easiest way to accept God. God is not attained by sacrifices as many of us know. We want to sacrifice for every little thing. Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, 'It is by your sacrifice that you can become dear to me'. He doesn't mean to literally sacrifice any creature. It means sacrifice your self, your mind.

My very first guru, Gurudev Narayansami, used to do many sacrifices in his life and none of those sacrifices gave him any joy. He would tell God continuously that he wanted to be a healer of an extraordinary status; that he would not charge anybody any money. He would do these services for free. And God would say to him, 'I need a sacrifice'. And he would sacrifice and get no joy out of it. He did not attain what was supposed to be given to him by God but he continued to sacrifice. Then one day in his frustration he said to God, 'Stop playing games with me. I need this power'. And God said, 'I want sacrifice'. And he said to God, 'I've given you so many sacrifices already. What else do you want? My whole family?' God said, 'I want you to sacrifice your eldest son'. And he did. He did that and he served five years in prison for the murder of his son. Now, are any of you here prepared to do that? Sacrifice your child? No, we won't. We will never do that. And the only reason is because we love our children. We have an attachment to them. That's why we don't do it. When a father murders a son and a son murders his father, they have no love or attachment between them. They have nothing between them.

Your attachment and love for your child causes a point you can't think beyond - that everyone else is wrong and you are right. You won't sacrifice because you have this intense focus, attachment and love for this child which is yours. But, should a priest tell you to go and sacrifice a chicken, a goat or a pig, you are quite happy to do that. And the only reason you're happy to do that is because you have no love for the creature – nothing at all. It doesn't live in your house. You've only had it for four hours - it has just come from wherever. To you it means nothing. To many who attend the function it means a sumptuous meal. I'm not going to argue that our parents and ancestors did this prayer - because they had the most powerful mantras ever. They could recite a mantra to bring rain in two seconds. We don't have those people like that any more who can nullify the consequences of that sacrifice. You get a maharaj, a priest, a pandit, and when its time to sacrifice he hands over to you. He's too scared to tell you he doesn't know the mantras to nullify the karmic consequences of killing that animal.

My mother used to sacrifice. I come from a family that sacrifices and I'm going to tell you a story of why I refuse to sacrifice. I was about twelve years old and our neighbour in Stanger - I lived in Stanger - was doing what is known as Amman prayer (we call it porridge prayer) and they were sacrificing. At twelve years of age, I enjoyed meat, and chicken was my favourite. So I was watching them sacrificing and at the top of my head appeared a huge hand that turned my head away from watching the sacrifice, and I collapsed. Now when I think about it, that was God telling me I was not made for that. This is not a story, it was a personal experience. I've already had the experience of the touch of God telling me not to sacrifice. I was carried to the house unconscious for, maybe, six hours. So there must be something not right in the way we pray. Not in the way our ancestors prayed – we are so weak in comparison to them. We are the weakest link to our ancestors. We know nothing. Our ancestors knew everything. We've changed so much. Don't get caught in that karmic consequence. If you have a parent at home who is equal to your ancestor, living a long time, then follow for as long as they are here. They have not taught you how to do it.

There are only three words that can stop rain. And three words can bring the rain down again. But they are so powerful and intense that if you say them, it won't work because there's a way to say them. Do we have those people who know those mantras? We don't. So, therefore, we need to look at the whole thing and see where we're going wrong. Why are our children having problems?

I was in Sri Lanka when I got a call, or when I remembered that a certain devotee's niece might be dying of cancer, and I was standing in front of the seven metre tall Hanuman statue in a place called Rambara, a Chinmaya Mission ashram, and it is a principle that whenever I go to Sri Lanka I visit the shrine. If I don't it's a miserable trip. So, on this occasion I looked at the statue and said when I go back home I must get positive answers. And when I came back home I got positive answers. No sacrifice was needed, just strong faith, devotion and love. Faith, devotion and love. Faith in your dedication. Once you have those three, whether we believe that God exists or not, everything will be possible. Do not doubt. And we lack this. We lack this sense of belief that God is there and as soon as we come to the weakest point in our life we blame God. We blame God when we are down and we never praise God when we're up. I've not heard anyone say, 'By the grace of God I'm a millionaire. But when that millionaire falls down they say, 'What has God done to me?' Why? Because we don't have dedication, devotion and love. We need to have all three to dedicate the time to be with God, to have a sincere devotion towards God with the greatest and most intense love. Only then, whatever we want in life is possible - only then.

I've been bankrupt in life. When Tammy was still arguing about why we should pray so much when we couldn't make ends meet, I was sneaking out to do prayers at other people's homes. That has brought me to where I am today. Our karmic consequences are ours, and only by praying to God will you be able to work our those karmic consequences for your benefit. I'm not making this statement for you to give up the way you pray, don't get me wrong. My mother sacrificed all her life. For fifteen years before she passed on she was blind. And I argued that every day of my life for fifteen years. 'What did the sacrifice do to you, Ma? You sacrificed all your life, every prayer, and for fifteen years you've been blind'. Do we understand this? I realised afterwards the prayer has caused her blindness. She was blind to the prayer as well. When I was telling them not to sacrifice they would argue with me. When they did sacrifice I would go out and come back when it was finished. I didn't die yet. Everybody said I would have a miserable death because I didn't respect my ancestor's pooja. But I didn't die yet.

We must be bold and strong enough to accept the Bhagavad Gita as a testament. Take one book and make it your God. See the Moslems, they only have the Koran. The Christians only have the Bible. What do we have? You name the book, we have it, for every letter of the Alphabet. It's called 'the ABC of Hinduism'. Why? Because we want to know everything. Read the Bhagavad Gita and somebody will tell you the Upanishad is better. So you read the Upanishad and somebody else will tell you to read the Puranas. Take one book only. I only talk to you about the Bhagavad Gita. You know why? It is the only Hindu book written without errors. Where you cannot point a finger at anything that is said there. You take all the other books and you can get into trouble. All eighteen chapters are repetitions of the first chapter. Whatever they tell you in the first chapter is in other chapters too. It's the most powerful book. Take it and read it. If you have any doubts or questions in life, open to the pages of the Bhagavad Gita.

I'm going to tell you a story that happened in the Drakensberg on our retreat. Some of the students were playing a game from the Bhagavad Gita where you think of a question, then flip the pages of the book and the answer will be there on the page you land on. This is something that was taught to the world by Mahatma Gandhi. Clinton and all of them were playing. Deepak came along and asked, 'What time will I sleep tonight?' They flipped the pages and it said, 'Those that sleep too much are tamasic.' Now, you see? It said, 'He who sleeps too much...' For those that sleep too much, it's no good. And for those who sleep too little, it's also no good. You must have equal sleep. That is the power of the Bhavagad Gita. You must test it. Try and get one with one verse per page.

So, make the Bhagavad Gita your book. That's all. If you want to know who you are flip to the Bhagavad Gita it will tell you at any time.

Hari Om