Friday, June 29, 2012

Fathers' Day

As we grow we forget our fathers who have given us this ideology of the cosmic world that we live in. And yet, in times of difficulty, in times of lowest ebb, this father stood by his children who now have wings and have not come to wish this father happy fathers' day. I've been father to all of you, and I pray that I can be father to all of you in the future as well. But God's decision, and the masters' decision will always supersede my desire and ideology of being father to you.

What is it to be a father? It is to be there at the most difficult times, in the most joyous times, when you're at your highest ebb, and at your lowest ebb. Fathers should only worry about their children and that's what I've done for all of you. I've made a point of being there for you and, if God grants me, I make a pledge to be there for you in the future, but it's all in his hands. This whole life is in his hands.

This is a very unique fathers' day because I turn 59 next month and I'm expecting to have an even better bash at 59. This is my 89th trip to India - that's a lot of trips! And on my 89th trip I find it the most joyous ever. I didn't even realise when I selected the 17th, that it was fathers' day because it's not on the Hindu calendar. Everything seems to have fallen together for me today. It's father's day, I'm leaving for India, and your glorious, joyous, happy farewell.

In this journey we meet many kinds of people: good people and bad people. We meet people who we like and people who we dislike. We meet ambitious people and lazy ones. We meet them all in this life. But it is not for us to judge who we meet. We don't have the power to judge because all our judgment is by perception, based on what people have told us to judge on. The Bhagavad Gita says we must have evenness of mind, and that is why you're all with me today - because of my evenness of mind. I treat each one of you differently, but with evenness of mind. When I say I treat each one differently, I find links with some of you from my past life so treat you a bit differently from those who have just joined me in this lifetime - they need more nurturing. So you'll find I nurture some of you more than others. It's also a father's duty to care more for his slower, weaker and not so well children, even in wealth, health and in mind. All fathers do that and I do the same thing for I am your spiritual father, and the spiritual son of Swami Murugesu. His presence is here today so you have the opportunity of meeting the most beautiful presence today. Jai Guru.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Leave a Legacy

Just as the days are getting shorter, each of our lives is getting shorter – mine faster than many of you seated here. This is a journey. We have to come, and we have to go. And on this journey I found that one individual has never, at any time when I was leaving for India or Sri Lanka, refused any of my requests in the most difficult times, in the busiest times, and somehow he found a way to get my job done so I could take things to Sri Lanka or India. And really, it's very difficult times nowadays, for all of us financially as well. And I found it fitting that, before I leave to India on Sunday I should leave something with this individual, so that some day when I'm no more I can be remembered by this. The person I'm talking about is no other than my son, Dean. I know, Vishnu nearly ran too. He said, “What happened? Dad changed his tune today”. It's just something we have to think about.

None of us seated here can guarantee that tomorrow we are going to greet each other again. Therefore, I said that humility is the best way. When you leave this plane, it's not how much you leave behind, not what structure you leave behind, it's the legacy that you leave behind. You must leave behind a legacy. We don't remember Sri Ramakrishna, Sivananda and Swami Murugesu for the structures they left behind. We remember them for their legacy.

If each of us could leave behind us a legacy regarding charity, forgiveness and humility, then when you leave this body, the speech-maker at your funeral cannot lie about you. You know, when any one of you dies, no matter how bad you were, the speech-maker will stand there and say, “Lying here in this coffin is the mortal remains of the most beautiful person the earth has ever seen. He leaves behind four children, six nephews and thirteen aunts,” because we can't say anything good. But if you leave behind a legacy, they can talk about your legacy. They can't say, “Here lies the mortal remains of an individual who leaves behind him 25 buildings and 13 wives...” – no I'm not talking about Zuma. We must leave behind us a legacy.

As Babaji says, “Death I laugh at. I fear not death”. Yet everyone seated here has a fear of death. One day we're going to die. How do you know it'll be painful if you've never experienced it before? How can you be afraid if you've never experienced it? But we are. Death is inevitable. When you took your first breath, you were registering to take your last breath, determined by how you breathe while living. Leave behind a legacy.

Hari om and God bless you.

Friday, June 15, 2012


You've heard, many times, the statement, 'to get respect you have to give respect'. I think many of you have heard that before, and many think that it applies between guru and disciple as well. Yes it does. And if you don't give your master, your guru, respect, you won't get respect from God. This is true.

Respect is a most important aspect of this existence. We need to respect, firstly, our elders – and when I say 'elders' I'm talking abut mothers and fathers, uncles and aunts. We need to show them the utmost respect. It's because of them that you have some direction in life. They have set and created a path for you. It might be a spiritual path, or a material path, or one of accumulation, but they have created this path for you to take to another level.

It's the same with gurus. They have created a spiritual path for you to take to another level. You cannot sit and sing, “Om Guru,” all your life. You'll go nowhere. You need to start walking that path, take your first step. This is very important on this journey. It is the most unique journey in this life, and on this journey every bit of respect adds to your spiritual journey. Your humility, your love, your forgiving nature – all this is part of respect. Once you respect our elders, your gurus, and your masters, God will shower everything upon you.

We have people seated here who have the utmost respect for their gurus. They can tell you that, both materially and spiritually, they are short of nothing. Why? Because God has given them both aspects of life: pleasure and pain. And how do you handle the pain? Take it and convert it to pleasure. It is very important, absolutely important. When I say 'pain', I'm talking about your material accumulation. How you take that and use it on the spiritual journey makes it a joy, not a pain any more. And that comes with respect. Charity is part of respect. Because we respect those who need the charity, we give charity to them. Charity is respect, and we need to have this respect all the time. Not one moment should you have your guard down with respect. Between mothers and sons, daughters and fathers, there should be utmost respect.

I think our present society has made no room for respect towards our parents. This is the society that we all live in – where respect does not exist. Fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, are in constant argument – all the time. The only reason we do this is because we do not respect each other. But respect goes further than that – to our religion. Hinduism demands respect as part of dharma. Hindus respect humanity so much that if a Christian is on his deathbed, a Hindu will not try and convert him to Hinduism, but instead will let him leave his body as a Christian. Sometimes I wish other religions would show the same respect toward Hinduism. It is lacking because of all of you, because you do not show any respect to the religion of sanatan dharma. You need to show that respect by following the scriptures.

Marvelous scriptures have been put together by great saints for our reading, in this 21st century of kali yuga, and yet we ignore all these scriptures. In the Bhagavad Gita, chapters 14 and 15 talk about how you can gain this respect by losing the attributes of nature, the modes of nature. And another thing Krishna talks about is humility. We have Patanjali's Yoga Sutra which also says that, even in yoga, respect is important. Then you read the Ramayan, where Hanuman showed the utmost respect to Sita and Ram. Everything in Hindusim is based on the great ideology of respect. Yet, in this society now, we are delinquent children with no respect. It has failed between teachers and students, between teachers and seniors. Why? Because we grew up in homes that did not nurture the tradition of respect in sanatan dharma – the most beautiful tradition of any in the world.

In the olden days, if you saw an elder you would put your palms together and say, “Ram Ram”. Today we put our knuckles together and say, “Hi”, to our fathers, our mothers, our sisters and brothers. We don't know how to respect any more? I went to school to complain and the principal stood there and said, “Hi,” and raised his fist. I thought he wanted to fight with me. This is true. See how we are moving – away from igniting that beauty within ourselves called sanatan dharma - righteous living. Just think about it.

I get SMSes daily, and emails daily, from mothers and fathers about their children's behaviour. Why? Because we have failed to teach our children how to respect others. So how will they respect you? Respect is the most important aspect of this religion, of sanatan dharma. Remember that. Hari om and God bless you.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Meditation for students

It's that time of year when the children begin their exams, and the outcome depends on the child's ability to retain whatever they've studied. One simple technique of retaining what you study is called meditation. Through meditation you can retain everything you have studied and write your exams successfully. Meditation sounds like a very difficult process, and you're right, it is very difficult. But it is only difficult if you carry garbage in your mind: greed, lust, brutality and violence. Because we are so committed to the cellphone, our minds are only looking down, and not up. We're looking down at the cellphone for a message, whether we're driving, walking, in a meeting, or with friends. We always have the cellphone ready to reply, to answer. Yet, if you meditate there are greater messages.

First of all, with meditation you can retain whatever you studied. All that we do in life is breathe – that's the only thing that keeps the body going. Pranayama is a technique of how to breathe, and if we breathe correctly, train our body to breathe correctly, then we will be able to retain whatever we study.

What does it mean to breathe correctly? You think you are living, so you must be breathing correctly. Prana is required to maintain the body. We should be taking fifteen breaths each minute, that is 900 breaths in an hour, 21600 in 24 hours. But we are not breathing like that because we have such an active life. We are racing our breath. For example, when you have an accident, you are in shock and breathing heavily, so you give wrong information to the policeman because you are not thinking properly. If you slow your breath, you'll think properly and speak sense. So breath is a very important. We are supposed to breathe 15 times a minute. If you breathe like that from the time you are born, you are guaranteed to live 100 years.

So, if you breathe properly then you can retain more information. This is very important. I don't understand why they don't teach yoga in schools. They should have it as a subject in school where they teach you how to do asanas, breathe, meditate and study. Yoga is the best technique to study. And yoga is very important in our lives. We don't know that, yet the westerners know that. You go to America – every third shop in San Francisco is a yoga studio. The whole of America is doing yoga. We are Indian. We don't do yoga. Do you know why? We think it's our birthright, that we are yogis at birth? It doesn't work like that. We need to do yoga. Take one aspect of yoga – pranayama – and master it. It's difficult if you don't breathe properly. Slowing your breath slows your thoughts, which slows your actions – and results in greater retention.

Just now a student came to me and said he doesn't like maths so he didn't do well. It doesn't work like that. No such thing. You are not doing what you are supposed to do. In grade nine I failed mathematics. I didn't like it. But when I finished matric I had an A for mathematics. I realised I had the ability but just wasn't doing the right things. Once you start doing the right things you'll get As. He's studying with his friends and got a C. He was studying and he got a C ... imagine if he wasn't studying. Or maybe his friends weren't studying – they were jolling. A university student said maths was difficult. But if they were studying properly it wouldn't be so tough.

Instead of waiting for your cellphone message, get a message from the Bhagavad Gita. This is a bad topic for me. We gave our kids the cellphone and with that we lost our children. You might not realise it but you'll know it later. Because they have so many other activities on the cellphone, do you think they're interested in studying? They lock their bedroom door and you think they're studying. They're BBMing. Not good.

So this is what we are giving you at the Gayathri Peedam: all the children who get an A aggregate for their end-of-year exams, the temple will give you R750 in cash. I think that's a good challenge. What do you think? I'm giving you a challenge. It doesn't matter what grade you're in. From standard three to standard twelve, university students and part-time students. We'll give you cash. You can go and buy yourself another cellphone. For an A aggregate, not a single symbol. What is an A in grade 12? 80 to 100%. Now, there's a second part to this challenge: if you don't get an A aggregate, all of you must give me R750. I think that's a fair deal. Speak nicely to your parents. The money doesn't go to the temple. It goes to me. Deal?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Celestial Therapist

Hari Om.

You know, on Saturday we did a special Navagraha Pooja and, because three planets were in alignment last week they will have a negative effect on many of us, and that negative effect can last another eight to twelve months for any individual. So we had some devotees who were here and did the pooja. But what about the rest who didn't do the pooja?

I always try to keep everybody in mind – I try my best so that you are not affected by negative alignments of the planets – especially if you are in business. The alignment of these planets can bring about financial difficulty. And to those people who have health issues, the planets can bring about a worse condition in their health. So we're going to do this pournami pooja in light of that, so that all of you seated here can benefit at least a little from Saturday's prayer.

I know some of you didn't come to Navagraha because we had a prayer on the 5th of May and to do it again on the 2nd June was too soon for many of you. I'd like to inform all of you that whatever we do here, our calendar was already set in November last year for this year's prayers. And according to the masters, when the calendar was set we had to do navagraha shanti on the 2nd of June as well. So it has nothing to do with being too soon, but how it's going to affect each one of you. We'll do today's prayer in light of that so that those who didn't do the navagraha shanti on Saturday can get some similar benefit from today's prayer.

Also, I find more and more parents talking to me about uncontrollable children, and I find this now becoming a burden even to the ashram. We have to curb this at some point, somewhere, and I'm not going to feel shy when I have to do my bit in curbing it. I'm informing all of you – especially the youngsters seated here giving your parents a hard time. I can make your life a real misery. There's a great Hindu teaching, 'mata, pita, guru, devam' – even before God, before your guru, before your father, is your mother. And I want you to have that not just in your mind – have it engraved in your brain – that the most supreme of everything is your mother.

Some of you really treat your mums badly and they come to me. Really, if my mother was still living she would be my gem. Only when we don't have them do we understand what it is not to have them and how it can affect our lives. So please, the next parent who complains to me, their child will be in big trouble, real trouble, with me. Sort yourselves out and listen to your parents, especially your mother. Listen to her. Your father doesn't spend as much time with you as your mother does so listen to your mum – she knows. She's like a celestial therapist. She's not just any individual. She's unique in all she does. She's not just an ordinary therapist, she's a divine therapist. The times when you don't have food she'll pluck some herbs, put some bones and give you a sumptuous meal. Your father can't do that. You must therefore give her the greatest reverence. How you treat your mother now is how you're going to be treated by your own children one day.