Sunday, October 30, 2011

Be faithful to your path

When Swami Murugesu was alive, we had 5000 devotees in Sri Lanka on the day he took samadhi. And now we have barely have 800 devotees. They have all taken to other organisations.

The same thing happened in the Divine Life Society. When Swami Sahajanananda passed on, there were immediately problems in the organisation and membership dropped.Why is this happening? The answer is very simple. All these people - devotees of Swami Murugesu, Sahajananda and even Sai Baba - follow a man.

Too many of you are coming here because of me. You should be coming here because of Gayathri Ma. I don't want an internal struggle when I leave, where everyone wants to be the boss, and to be better than the other person. You must come here for my guru or for Mother Gayathri only.

I'm telling this so you can go home and think about it, and change the way you think. We are all thinking wrongly and following a man. He can only show you where to go but if tomorrow I leave this body, the numbers here will dwindle to nothing. No one will want to take instructions from anyone else.

But if you come here for one purpose – to get the energy and blessing from Divine Mother – then we won't have that problem. I'm not saying don't follow the guru. But don't make the guru the centre of everything, so that you can't function when the guru takes samadhi.

I see this sometimes when I'm away. It is not good for an organisation. Functioning should continue at the same pace no matter who is in charge.

Friday, October 21, 2011

What has to be will be

Hari Om.
What has to be will be. What has to happen, what has to be attained, will be attained.

Many many moons ago, I was barely 13 years old, I was sitting with my father and he was having a general discussion with me. Only now when I sit back and think, do I realise how nicely he told me how to live this life. He called me 'Dad'. He said, 'Dad, in life you can't have everything. Know that'. We were poor, battling – I had just finished washing the car on a Saturday, the rims, the polish. I had started at six o'clock in the morning.

My father taught me that there's only one thing in life you must know: what is not yours can never be yours. What you can't have, don't even bother trying to attain. I'll give u an example. If you take a drum, smear it with oil and roll it down the mountain, not all the dirt will stick. Only that dirt which is supposed to stick will stick.

When I was held up in Gateway Shopping Centre for 8000 Rand, I thought about that. It wasn't for me. The guy had a gun and I'm still important. So in this life you must live like that. We can't have everything, but what we are supposed to have we will have. No matter how you try not to have it. For example, somebody close to me had a baby. When she was pregnant she went to the gynae who said, 'We must terminate the pregnancy because the baby has Down's Syndrome'. The next day they gave her some tablets and she thought she was fine. After all that the baby was still born – with Down's Syndrome.

What you don't want, if you have to have it, you will have it. I know somebody else who was on 100% guaranteed contraception. The following month she was pregnant. There are certain things you don't play with in nature. So now, because of the type of contraceptive, the baby was affected during the pregnancy. It was born without an earlobe and one nostril was up here so they did plastic surgery.

Many people think if they don't want it, we can just go and abort it. When they play the game they are masters at chess. But if your master wishes it for you, then you'll have it – always.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dedication to Brother Haridas Acharya

Hari om.

Some twenty-five or twenty-six years ago I had the opportunity of meeting an individual very much my junior, but whose spiritual attainment surpassed many people that I have met in my lifetime. And we spent many, many weekends together; many days; outings. We travelled the length and breadth of kwaZulu-Natal. And his name was, or he was very lovingly called, Brother Haridas. And today we remember him on this 12th of October. For on this day he left this mortal plain, his physical body, and took his abode in the astral, cosmic plane. And I find that Brother Haridas has left a legend at the Gayathri Peedam. I cannot say much about others but I know here at the Gayathri Peedam he has left behind a beautiful legend in the short time he spent with you and me.

I remember when we used to travel to Richards Bay on a Saturday to do Ram bhajan in Brackenham, and we'd finish at about 1.30. I would drive all the way to Tongaat to take Brother Haridas home, then drive back to Stanger, or sometimes to Eshowe. But there was no pain or tiredness in our driving for he would sing all the way, tapping on the dashboard or on the roof of the car; and he'd sing to Krishna most of the time.

To the Gayathri Peedam and to the Shankarananda family, Brother Haridas has left behind a great love, a great peace, and above all he has left behind a great togetherness. I think that one of his greatest desires was to see people together, be it people he met for the first time in the congregation, or his own family. He had this unique calmness when he taught. He used to say to me, 'It's not one hundred percent, say it again'. Then many years later I learned of Babaji whose guru was exactly like that. No matter what Babaji did his guru would say it's wrong. And then he would do exactly the same thing and his guru would say it's right. I used to feel the same way and sometimes would think that Brother Haridas had ego, and wanted me to say it in his voice tone. Many years later I realised we had the same relationship as Babaji and Bhogar.

He's not gone in the sense of never-to-be-remembered; he's gone in the sense of this physical plane. But wherever he is, he's guiding each one of you that have followed him. And sometimes I see him sitting in my meditation and it gives me great joy, that I could have a glimpse of my master, my guru, and because of that the Gayathri Peedam will continue to observe this day, even if it's after my lifetime. This day will never be erased from the calendar of the Gayathri Peedam.

So we dedicate this pournami, a unique pournami, to Brother Haridas Acharya.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Navarathri 2011

I have seen so many smiling faces since the start of Navarathri. I'm thinking that maybe the bhajan was different, maybe they're really enjoying the bhajan... Then a voice in my head said, 'No. Tomorrow they are breaking fast'. So, you happy faces, don't do it tomorrow. Leave it until Saturday: nine days and nine nights.

Some of you were here every night during Navarathri. Others had to travel from Umkomaas by the bush, and Scottburgh by the beach. To you I say thank you very much for making these nine days so exciting. To mother Shobha, I don't know where she picked all the musicians from, but thank you very much. Every group entertained us.

So tomorrow what happens? We go back to exactly what we were doing ten days ago - our normal routine of fighting, anger brutality, greed and selfishness. That's what will happen. Can't we take this another nine days? Feel this peace for another nine days? You know, we think that if we come to service once a week, we have satisfied the requirement of the Hindu Sanatan Dharma. But, actually, we have not.

Just as we eat daily, just as are happy and party daily, so we need to pray daily, and our prayer should be in the same proportion as one-is-to-one-is-to-one, or two-is-to-two-is-to-two, or-three-is-to-three-is-to-three. Not five-is-to-one-is-to-zero, or five-is-to-one-is-to-one. If we party for eight hours, we should pray for eight hours. If we sleep for eight hours, we should work for eight hours. Prayer is not sitting in front of a murthi ringing a bell so your neighbours know that you're praying. Be engaged in divine sadhana, in religious books. Whenever I see our young Hindu girls they are carrying a People Magazine. It's the fashion, and they'll show you the cover when they're walking past. But if you give them a Bhagavad Gita they will put it in their bag so no one can see it. Why?

Hindu Sanatan Dharma is the most beautiful way of life ever given to man by God. Everything about it is directly from God. The Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita, Talsidas' Ramayan ... The people who wrote these books were not saints but when they sat in meditation they engaged with God.

For the nine days of Navarathri I pray that you engaged with the Divinity of God. For nine days you may have fasted, but in that you have also shown your brutality through pens and paper, said things to each other that you shouldn't say during this time. If anybody asks you, you say you're fasting for Navarathri.

Let's take this to another level. Swami Shankarananda and his White dancing elephants and Indian warriors don't stop. At one o'clock tomorrow morning they will leave for Port Elizabeth. You must have this love, just to say the name of God. When they were singing, the name of Ram was resonating. That is what we need - to resonate in the name of the Lord. It's not about how you pronounce His Name, or whether you're in harmony. It's about being with God. Navarathri is not a nine-day band contest at all. No groups are better than others. There's no better group when you come to do God's work. Nobody is better than anyone else. Everyone does God's work to their best ability. God does not reprimand the child that tries to repeat his name. You don't get reprimanded for saying it wrong. Don't let people tell you that if you don't pronounce God's name correctly you will be punished. They have gone to schools to learn how to pronounce the words. You haven't. If you pronounce the names of God the way you think is correct, and with love for God, God will accept your prayer.

These nine days were about that, and about Luxmi, Durga and Saraswathi. I had hoped that all the raksha and asurik forces had left you. But no, some of you showed me those forces today. Why? Because they're there within you. You never let them go in the first three days of Navarathri, when you were focusing on Mother Durga. So where's the success in this journey? You won't have any success if you have any of those forces.

In the Bhagavad Gita, what did the blind king ask? He asked, 'What are the Pandavas and the Kuruvas doing?' How many sons were there? One hundred. Those one hundred sons are the asurik forces within you. Brutality, greed, violence, hate, lust, selfishness ... And once we have those asurik forces within us, divinity is lost.

Another thing that we all have that disappears during the nine days of Navarathri is ego. But it will be back again tomorrow. How will it start? 'Our organisation was better than yours because we had nine groups for nine days...' That is the ego. Ego is the biggest destroyer of your divinity. We should take these nine days and mirror them for another nine days, then carry on mirroring them all year. Nobody will laugh at you.

So the nine days have finished today. We have concluded. To many of you, the nine days means you've done your quota for nine weeks so we won't see you for the next nine weeks. It doesn't work like that. When you say, 'Ram,' Hanuman must be here because His name will resonate. When we say 'Durga,' you must be able to enjoy the force of Duruga. That is why the sages gave you nine nights for Navarathri.

Come next month, all the candles, all the lights, all the braais will come out. Companies will start to have braais for year-end. So already the Hindu sages and saints were too smart. They said, 'fast and relax your body for nine days'. That is what they did. Most of the Hindu prayers are done in the second half of the year. Even Purtasi was set in such a way that you can fast for one solid month and give your body enough rest so that you will survive when you abuse it over the next two months. The easiest way is become vegetarian. See, those who are laughing are thinking, 'You're joking, Guru'. But that's the truth. Become vegetarians. I can go to any temple any time of the day, month or week because I'm a vegetarian. I don't have to say to myself, 'God won't know that I've had two scrambled eggs and bacon'. The fact that the thought is in your consciousness, means that God already knows.

Hari om.