Friday, March 30, 2012

On Surrender, Cellphones, and Sanatan Dharma


All of you have a small card in your hand that was given to you just now, about the Bhagavad Gita versus the cellphone. If you don't have one please come and get one. Its also a bookmark so you can see it all the time and be reminded that the Bhagavad Gita is more powerful than the cellphone. I took the time to get these printed so you can have it with you in your wallet or purse all the time, read it and remind yourself that the Bhagavad Gita is more powerful than the cellphone. You can live without the Bhagavd Gita, but not without the cellphone.

We claim to be Hindus, followers of sanatan dharma. But nowhere on our person do we carry any scriptural identity that tells people that we adhere to sanatan dharma. We don't come to the temple with our Bhagavad Gita, and yet when you look at other religions, Christians are proud to carry their bible. Whenever I see a Christian walking with his black book, it reminds me of when I was in school. Every week my name was in the black book. Even the Moslem is proud to carry his Quran, all covered so your eyes can't see it.

But today we have a cellphone, an ipad, and we are proud to show those, but we'll never take out a Bhagavad Gita in public, so as Hindus we are a disgrace to sanatan dharma. Maybe we can follow the teachings of this DIY manual for man. It teaches you very casually, very subtly, how to surrender. It doesn't come with any harsh words, but in every chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, you'll find the word 'surrender' more than fifty times. If you read the Bhagavad Gita, eventually the only word you'll remember is 'surrender'. It's the most beautiful word.

We are always in turmoil, we don't surrender. We always want to take things an extra next step. We always ask why, when and how. But in the Bhagavad Gita, there's a word more beautiful than any other. Surrender. This is the most beautiful time to surrender. It is Ramayan week. Sunday is Ram Naumi. There's no better time to surrender than now. Start surrendering your thoughts, the modifications of the mind. And when I say surrender them, I mean when they appear, just ignore them. But we don't do that. Why? Because we're Hindus.

Today I had the most beautiful day in twenty years. I was in mouna, silent fast. Do you know how beautiful it is not to speak to anybody? Really, everybody just looks at you. They look so funny when they speak, and you are not speaking. Then you realise how funny you can be when you are speaking. We need to take time off in our lives to relax this mouth of ours. Swami Sivinanada says that every Thursday you should do mouna to your guru. Be silent every Thursday. Don't talk to anybody. You don't have to do it on a Thursday. You can do it on a Saturday or Sunday. But then you say you can't because you can't talk to your friends.

I screamed and shouted at some devotees and one of them took it to the next step and sent me an email saying how disappointed she was. We're not used to that because we want to be in charge. In the Gayathri Peedam I am in charge. I'll scream, shout and run without clothes if I want. That's my business. If I shout at you, I have a reason. If I scream I have a reason. But you will take it the next step. You won't leave it and let it lie. When sleeping dogs awake they can bite you badly. We need to understand that we must not take anything to the next level. Just let it rest and see how beautiful your life will be. But we don't know how to surrender, so it plays in our minds over and over again. Still, we carry on. We don't know when to rest, when to say, 'Thank you, I'll zip it now'.

I asked a child why they spent all their money? She tells me 'It's my business'. One thing I'm telling all youngsters here, is that you are your mothers business. Get that in your head. Whether you're married or not, there's no such thing as 'mind your own business'. There's no business like mothers' business. All of you are mother's business. The mother will ask you at any time. You cannot tell her 'None of your business,' because those lines are like a boomerang. They'll catch up with you. They'll come back so fast that you'll be saying 'I shouldn't have'. Do you understand?

The cycle of karma will catch up with you in this life. Kriyamana karma – in happens in this life. So please, whoever you are, whatever you decide in life, one thing you do not do is hurt your parents. This is sanatan dharma, the scriptural teachings of Hindusm. Mata, Pita, Guru, Deva. No other religion teaches you that. The Guru is left out in other religions. Mother, Father, Guru, God. And only the mother knows who you are, and only the mother can point to the father. She could point to anybody as your father and you have to accept because you don't know who your father, is but you'll know who your mother is. That bond is there. She can say, 'That man sitting under the tree is your father'. As you grow your father will take you to school, introduce you to your guru. And your guru will introduce you to God.

What is God? God is success. Once you are successful, you learn about God. You learn how to pray in school. Most of you leave home and you don't know how to pray. They teach you that in school. In sanatan dharma 'Mata, Pita, Guru, Deva' is held in the highest esteem. No matter who your guru is, he comes after your mother and father. He's the one who will direct you to God. Some people are fortunate the guru is their father as well. They sit on the lap of their father and guru, one-time. They are lucky.

So in sanatan dharma we teach you all these things. I started with the Bhagavad Gita because it is really such a simple book, yet such great value comes from it. The insight from the Bhagavad Gita is unbelievable. Don't worry about reading chapter one because you'll close the book. Read from chapter two. Read it like you would read a story, like you are having a dialogue with Krishna, and see how you'll enjoy this book.

The cellphone thing really bothers me a lot. We give our children cellphones. When the mother or father cannot control the child, they hand them a cellphone. By some serious coincidence he presses the wrong button and sees things he shouldn't be seeing - and contamination starts. Don't give your child a cellphone. You won't listen to me, but you are going to be the losers. I'll be sitting here and saying I told you so. Don't give your children cellphones.

One thing I can tell you there's one child who used to get good results in school, but after they got a cellphone, only bad results. Some kids have two cellphones in case one gets a flat battery. So take the cellphone away. Cellphones are no good. It's the worst thing your children can have. I'm telling you this because we had a situation here. Through the cellphone we lost one of our young devotees, who left us and disappeared. The day I took the cellphone away, that evening she left home because the cellphone was the connection. Understand? Cellphones are no good for children. But I know what you'll do. You'll give your child a cellphone and say, 'Don't take it to the ashram. Don't let guru see it'. I know how you mothers think. You think 'space for me' so you give them a cellphone and leave them at the Gateway. For some reason some people get caught. Everybody gets caught.

Hari Om.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ramayan Week

Hari Om.

I think you all know that Ramayan week starts today, so all of you should be reading the Ramayan. And why is it so important to read the Ramayan? In the Ramayan you'll find a situation that is very difficult for the modern householder to maintain. That situation is of the ideal wife and ideal husband. But if we read the Ramayan, we might have some reflection, or we might reflect something from the Ramayan.

On Sunday next week is Ram Naumi, and on that day we will be doing our Ramnaumi Pooja. Go home and read the Ramayan. Read how Hanuman treated his guru, Sri Ram; how Sita treated her husband; how Ram treated his wife. There's no point in us proclaiming that we are Hindus, that we practise sanatan dharma, if we don't follow our scriptures.

They tell us clearly that this ideal situation is what brings about bliss in any partnership, union and home. It's not only between Sri Ram and Devi Sita. It is also between Sri Ram and Lakshram; how two brothers from two different mothers could see a perfect reflection of each other; and yet today we cannot stand side-by-side with our brothers and sisters because we have all this commotion. But we still claim to be followers of sanatan dharma.

Everything that Sri Ram wanted to be done, Hanuman didn't even think about; he just did it. That is what we're talking about: the way we live; our way of life. And it goes further to the soldiers who listened to Sri Hanuman, without even thinking that they might not be able to do certain things. They just believed in Sri Hanuman's devotion to Sri Ram, that whatever Hanuman said, would be done because he had the power of Sri Ram. Even until this very day.

Sometimes you go round saying Sri Ram, Jay Ram, Sri Ram, Jay Ram. The only person who will respond to that is Hanuman. He will come running when he hears Ram's name. What we are doing in the ashram? As you sit here, some of you are guilty of it – you come to the ashram and you listen, talk and pick up gossip, and take the gossip. You add your own flowery language, then give it to someone else. They take it, add their frills, and it grows in to a big gossip.

When Sri Ram came to hear of some gossip from the market place about how Sita came to be in the Kingdom of Ravana when Ravana didn't do anything to her, he didn't know whether to believe it or not. He was just the ideal husband, not God incarnate - nothing like Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna was a total incarnation of God. Sri Ram was here to teach man how to live. He questioned Sita and she said she would prove that nothing happened, and she went into the fire. If we say something, we must be ready to prove it. Anything that is the truth, you should not be afraid to discuss. That is the teaching of the Ramayan.

So if you have a Ramayan at home, take it out and dust it off. Dust doesn't need spiritual elevation – open the pages and start reading. Some of you have books at home to show off that you have them: Hari Krishna books, Purana books, Bhagavad Gita. No point in having it if you didn't turn the pages. It is so important to turn the pages of the book. If we read one page every day, we'll finish a book. It's not difficult. I know some of you say you can't read because you're working or you're tired. But you can sit in front of the television and watch nonsense programmes. But to tell you to read one page ... one page of the Ramayan is nothing. How many of you don't have the Ramayan? Hands up. I don't have any to give you.

Marriage is not about love, its about how the relationship grows. It's not about love at all. Two people who are not in love can marry and have a fantastic relationship and grow that.

Hari Om

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Special Healing Prayer

What you saw earlier this afternoon is very unique on the spiritual journey. To have a footprint of somebody you revere as your guru, leader or teacher, is very unique in the sense that should I leave this body, you will have what came directly from my feet. Those who do reflexology will tell you that all energies are seated under your feet. That's why sometimes in temples you'll see two footprints with a red line in the centre. This means these are the most vital parts of the human body: under the feet, and the spine. And then we are taught by our masters that you should touch your guru's feet. The only reason they do that is so you can absorb the guru's energy.

I'm going to tell you a story. When I first went to meet my guru, my master, Swami Murugesu, this was new to me. I didn't know what to expect. I learned from the North Indian devotees that you prostrate when you see your master. I was going to see a huge man. I had only spoken to him on the phone, and he sounded big. When I landed in Sri Lanka I was collected from the airport and taken straight to Swami and, all the way there, I hoped he would be up to my expectations.

When I arrived at the ashram, I saw a person virtually close to the size of a midget. He realised I was thinking that he's a small bugger – that's exactly what I was thinking – and I prostrated at my guru's feet. When I touched his toes he discharged a voltage. If I had to explain it in electrical terms, I would say it was twenty-seven-thousand volts, or 27KBA. I stood there frozen, no part of my body would move. It was a jolt that cannot be explained. And, ever since, I realized that's where spiritual masters dissipate their energy from, the feet or the palms.

Some masters will raise their hands, like Satya Sai Baba. In the latter stages of Swami Murugesu's life he would raise his hand and he wouldn't allow you to touch his feet. And when the time comes that you're not allowed to touch your gurus feet, is when having a footprint makes sense. One thing you need to understand is that when you are stopped from touching your guru's feet, it means he's ready to leave his physical body at any time, in an hour, or two hours, ten years or thirty years – that's what it means.

So, when we weren't allowed to touch Swami's feet, he would raise his hands and wave. When he was critically sick in hospital in India, we were travelling to Johannesburg and, on the way I got a call that Swami was critically sick and I needed to go to India. So I organised at ticket while we were travelling, and I left on the Monday. I went to India and my guru was lying in a coma, with all the life support machines around him, and I realised that is the reason we weren't allowed to touch his feet - because he didn't want us to absorb any negative energy from him.

Swami had an aide by the name of Rani. Nobody here matches her in any way in serving the guru. She did everything from bathing him, dressing him, taking him for a walk, everything. She didn't get married because she wanted to spend all her life with Swami. At the hospital she said to me, 'Tell Swamiji you're here'. So I said, 'Swami Shankarananda is here from South Africa'. His eyes opened a little, he raised his hand, touched me on my brahmanadi (crown chakra), dropped his hand and passed on.

So I find that I am very blessed in many aspects of the guru-disciple relationship. And I used to travel to Sri Lanka once in six months. Those times were the most delightful times in my life. I'd literally run to my guru. As others were still getting out of the bus, I was already sitting by my guru. You must have that eagerness. It's not about being a new devotee, or an old devotee, or coming here before someone else, or coming here and touching my feet. You can touch my feet wherever you are. And now Dean and Jo made it easy, with prints of my feet so you can touch my feet in your house.

The second part of today's event is much more unique than the first. In the sense that it was the first time hawan, abishekam and crystal healing were all done together. It's never been done here before. We used special healing crystals from Tibet and Nepal with unique healing power. Secondly, out of agni, always comes cleansing. If you do agni in your house, you're cleansing your house. Therefore you found that we put a lid on top of the hawan and let Satchu stand in the centre of the hawan with the fire still smouldering underneath. He was absorbing the energy and the healing potential that comes out of the agni. The agni isn't only impregnated with ingredients, but with mantras. Some of those mantras that Seelan recited, he shouldn't have recited but he did. He was instructed by me not to use them again. We need permission from the masters to use them. It was for a good cause and reason, for something that will benefit somebody and some family.

We did not touch Satchu with the crystals. If Satchu had touched any one of those stones, his condition would have worsened. So all of you who go and buy theses crystal beads like you're big swamis, if you have an incurable disease, like leukemia or any kind of cancer, it will spread faster. It's been proven that clear quartz crystal is a good crystal to use only if your health is perfect. If you have any doubt about your health, don't even touch it. So, therefore, we didn't allow the touching of the crystal.

Now I'm going to tell you about my experience today when the abishegam was being done. This is for all of you to digest and enjoy. I already spoke to Dean because he walked me into the house. I had a playful event with Anandamayi Ma. It is strange as she someone I never think about, and for the whole abishegam, she was showing me hand signs and teasing me. For me, that is good. I know my healing will be successful. If you want to know what Anandamayi Ma looks like – she looks like Mellisa. But I didn't see Mellisa.

Anandamayi Ma is called a human goddess. She is the most beautiful spritual being that the earth has ever seen. Nobody comes anywhere close to her. Nobody. Suren, Warren, and Deepak had the honour of going to her ashram, into her room, in Varanasi. And they will tell you that when you walked in there you could feel something, the energy was so beautiful. So Anandamayi ma was with us today, healing all of you as well. So that is good.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Understanding Ahimsa


One of the first aspects of Patanjali's eightfold steps of yoga is yama, the first rung of the eight rungs of the ladder of yoga. And the first aspect of yama out of its five aspects is ahimsa. Himsa means 'killing', 'injury', 'rudness', hurting by thought or word. A-himsa means 'non killing' and being polite to everybody.

In this spiritual journey ahimsa is regarded as the highest, and in yama, ahmisa stands out very strongly. Yet we, as individuals who have lost our identity in the process of this life and this journey, can stand out and live a non-ahimsa life, during this transition period on earth. And why do we do this? Because the second verse of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra says 'Yoga is the modification of mind afflictions'. We do it because we have not modified the mind afflictions. We have not destroyed them. So we go around hurting people, killing, causing injury: mental injury, physical injury. Yet we stand out and we want to be recognised as 'the society of Hindu dharma' or Hinduism. We want people to think we follow sanatan dharma. That means righteous living. Dharma is good. We don't live one day of our life righteously, yet we have such a beautiful religion. We go around injuring, hurting and killing.

I'm not trying to make you vegetarians here. Don't get me wrong. I'm trying to make you aware of the fact that you've lost your identity. Ramana Maharishi asked himself at the age of seven: 'Who am I?' And he could not find an answer. By pretense he experienced a state of depth and realised that this body is only here for enjoyment on the physical plane. There is no transition to this body. Nobody can tell me that their body is getting better daily. All of you will say daily that your body is worse than yesterday. When you get up, you've got some pain somewhere. Yet, if you live in the soul, the atma, the jivan: jivatma, we would not have a situation like this.

As Swami Rama says: 'The most beautiful time to enjoy the spiritual journey is during Kali Yuga...' Because in this yuga you're given the chance to integrate the physical, material and spiritual. In the days before this they had to stay away from society and family to do sadhana. In Kali Yuga you're given the opportunity to do sadhana by integration. That is: to carry on with your daily life and enjoy a spiritual journey. But we don't because we are so accustomed to Western society's style of living, whether on a farm, in a town or a city, there's no difference. Somewhere along the line Western culture, the Western disease, has started to destroy our lives and our sanatan dharma.

The most beautiful religion in the whole universe is that of sanatan dharma. Which other religion in the world allows you to pray to a stone, to identify the stone as God's creation? To pray to a snake and identify the snake as God's creation? Which religion in the world prays to a bull and identifies the bull as God's creation? Only Hinduism. Every other religion, especially that of China, eat everything else. Hinduism is saying 'ahimsa'. Beautiful isn't it? Ahimsa.

You know there's a story called Little Buddha, And in Little Buddha, a man was dragging a goat he wanted to slaughter; and the goat was laughing and laughing. The man was upset that the goat was laughing, so he gave it a few slaps, pulled it, and when he was about to slaughter it, it started to cry. And he asked it why it was crying? The goat told him that he would be a goat in his next life and he was crying because the man didn't know that. Wise men know that we should not kill to sustain this life.

In Genesis it says clearly, 'I filled the earth with vegetation so that man can toil the earth and live off the earth'. It says that grass is created for grass-eating animals, and meat animals have been created for meat-eating animals. I'm not here to convert you, but to make you aware that we don't have lesser beings, and we don't have higher beings. We are creating lesser beings by saying the animal is a lesser being. The animal is not a lesser being. Animals can do things that we can't do because we don't have the mental faculty to do them. If I asked you to just jump up into that tree, you'll tell me you can't because you aren't a monkey. But in other ways we behave like monkeys. Our thoughts are everywhere except where we should concentrate them.

So, coming back to ahmisa. In this kali yuga, as Christians will say on the day of judgment, 'You'll be weighed, and according to the scale you'll go to heaven or hell'. What is it that they're going to weigh? They're going to weigh your Christian and your non-Christian; your good and your bad. In Hinduism we've created a word for that called karma, but we use it incorrectly. Karma is good and bad and we need to enjoy our current karmic state without creating more karma for our next life. So when we come back in the next life we don't need any paving, we just carry on with what we were doing in this life, spiritually.

So the first aspect of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra is ahimsa. The second aspect is satya. I will discuss that next week. This is what we call a series. Why do I want to do this? Because, as Hindus, some of you seated here have never heard of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, so I want to touch on the main aspects.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dedication to Paramahansa Yogananda

Hari Om

On this day in 1952 Paramahansa Yogananda left his body, and for twenty-one days his body was kept without decomposition in Los Angeles, and because of our Kriya Yoga (and other reasons) we always remember this day at the Gayathri Peedam. So today we will observe that special day in the lives of thousands of people. It is believed that more people today know Paramahansa Yogananda than anyone else in this world. His book Autobiography of a Yogi is used as an English textbook in eighty-two universities in America. And if you sit in an airport anywhere in the world, you'll find that somebody walking past you has also read it. It is one of the most powerful books written in the English language. If that book does not change who you are, there's no other book that will change you.

The seventh of March 1952 was a very sad day at Self Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles and at Yogada in Ranchi, North Bengal, when their great master gave a discourse, a lecture, and the photograph you see there is the photograph that was taken one hour before he took samadhi. Even in that photograph you see in his face signs of peace only. And before he went to his last lecture he told Daya Mata, his closest aide, that it was going to be his last lecture. That was his last moment. But the most unique thing about Paramahansa Yogananda was that for twenty-one days after his death his body did not decompose. It was exactly the way he left it, remaining in a state of peace, bliss, tranquility and love. So that is who we're going to remember on this day, Paramahansa Yogananda. A great sage who left India, went to the West and transformed America to what it is now.

I was listening to satsang last night by Pappaji. He quoted Kabir. He said, "That which sees cannot speak; and that which speaks cannot see". I think that refers to many of us seated here. He's talking about the worm, rust, corrosion in any organisation: gossip, because 'it that sees cannot speak' - the eye sees but the eyes cannot speak. 'It that speaks cannot see' - the mouth speaks but cannot see. We are caught in these circumstances. We have not seen anything but we speak about it. Instead of getting involved in idle gossip we should get involved in his name. Saying his name, we'll find ourselves much more at ease, mentally, than anybody else around us.

Buddha was walking one day and a young man came past him and said: 'Why do you speak about God when you know nothing. You should shut your mouth. You are useless'. Buddha carried on walking. Then Buddha said to him: 'Why do you speak unnecessarily? God is not yours to speak about. If you buy a gift for somebody and don't give it to them, whose gift is it?' The man said, It's my gift'.
'In the same way you are trying to give me your anger but I'm not taking it, so whose anger is that? It's your anger'.

We should not retaliate. We should just go into silence. I've found that silence is the best medicine for anything. Because you don't take the discussion to another level. We always take things to another level, and when it gets out of control we get stressed. The one who is in silence has no stress. They carry on with life like nothing has happened. It is you who will stress and stress. What is the stress? 'Why is he (or she) not retaliating?' And we think, 'Why can't I be like him or her?'. But we always get caught in the crossfire.

Sometimes we have issues and we take them to other devotees. That defeats my purpose. Then I have no purpose here, so if you confide in another devotee, prostrate at their feet and make them your guru. Simple. I have a purpose and my purpose here is to point you in the direction . Forget me swearing and insulting you at another time. Always remember this is the most important moment – now. There's no more important moment. Forget about tomorrow and yesterday. Tomorrow will become today tomorrow. And today becomes yesterday tomorrow. See how beautiful it is. Yet we'll get stuck in tomorrow, or yesterday, but we never get stuck in the moment. You know when Maitreya made his appearance in the ashram on the 19thFebruary. it was just our gift that he did. And why? Because we were the fortunate ones to be seated here having full concentration on the lingam. We weren't worried about anything else. We were just getting the energy from the lingam.

Do not get caught up in loose talk because you'll still be there where you started. The person who told you the stories might pass you, and you're still sitting in the stories, wondering if they're true. Ask the guru yourself and he'll tell you. Don't let other people tell you because that's something the guru won't do. If the guru wants to tell you something he'll call you and tell you straight. Don't get caught up in unnecessary talk.

Right now the shortest thing we have is called life. Nothing is shorter than life. So, while it's such a short thing, why don't we remember God for that time. It costs you nothing to say 'Sri Ram Jay Ram', 'Namashivaya', or 'Hare Krishna'. But you know why? We are Hindus and, as Hindus we are different. A Moslem will wear their garb to Gateway. If I ask you to come to Gateway in a punjabi you want to take it off in the car. If you're ashamed then convert. But you can't become a white. Then live as a Hindu. If I go to Gateway in this dhothi, many of you won't come with me because you're embarrassed. This is Indian garb. What you're wearing is Western. Ask the ladies to come to Gateway and they must run to the room and change - 'Nobody needs to see me in a punjabi in the Gateway'. You walk in Gateway and see the white women wearing punjabi tops, and they're quite comfortable. But Indian women want to wear western attire. We should change.

SADTU went on strike yesterday. Let us go on a Punjabi and Indian strike. Do you think you'll come and join me? I might have five people. But if I tell you to come in your brand-name jeans you'll all come. We are ashamed to wear Eastern clothes. Karl and I can walk in Gateway as we are dressed now. We have done it before. But you won't do it because you are a Hindu with Western garb. You go to Chennai (those that travel with me know) and it is difficult to find an Indian woman in pants and a top. North India is Western. That's where all these things are coming from. If you go to Goa you'll think you're in Cape Town. So we must be able to accept who we are.

This body is just a body. Nothing more than that. What's more than that is called the atma. And the atma tells you 'I don't need a facelift, I don't need to be adored. I don't need to wear the best outfit, for I am who I am. I cannot be cut or destroyed, married or divorced. My union will continue for many lifetimes, thousands, millions'. And when you're an old soul, then you're ready to leave this kind of situation. You are ready to go onto the next level, and that is the astral plane, permanently. If you're a young soul make your changes now. You know whether you're an old or a young soul. Make your changes now, for the time is coming when changes have to be made.

You know, we had a very small cyclone here and everybody was panicking. People weren't going to temple in case they got stuck in the cyclone. When the big one comes your home won't be safe, so where will you go to? I told you in December that we would have cyclones in February. Only you can make changes to this planet by living righteously.