Friday, March 28, 2014

Be conscious of the Divine

Hari om.

When we come to temple, I think we should have our focus on just one aspect of the temple and that is to come to prayer. I don't think we should worry about who's here, and who's not here. Because that's not what you come to temple for. We should be coming here for other reasons – divine ones. You come here so your pure awareness merges with your material awareness, so you can attain states of consciousness that are beyond this realm. And that is what we should come here for. This is not a place where we come to socialise, to have satellite groups. This is a place of worship so let us keep it like that. I don't like it when matters that are not temple issues become temple issues.

You need to understand that everybody makes mistakes. Nobody sitting here has never made a mistake. If you didn't make a mistake then you are an idiot because the fact that you are here means that you grew by mistakes. Mistakes in this lifetime are experiences that we learn from. Everybody makes mistakes so let them find solutions and find themselves.

In Patanjali's Yoga Sutra he says that when dhyanam, dharana, and samadhi are focused together, it's called 'samyama'. That is the state we should be in. We shouldn't be identifying with our body or the body next to us. This is how I wish everybody could live. We can live and accumulate possessions on the material plane, but we should not be attached to them. The day that it is decided you have had enough of worldly matters, you will leave your body. But you take nothing with you, only your experiences. These are experiences that create your next samsaras. Your karmic consequences in your next life are the experiences you take from this life.

In the short time we have left, let us develop divine experiences rather than living in our mental patterns and habitual practices. Let us live in divinity, in God. Let us live in the gurus. It is very important in this life and in this present time. The most important thing is to be conscious of the Divine residing in some unseen Cosmic realm. And that can only be experienced after you leave your physical body. Any experience prior to that is for a selected few who have not let any obstacle come in their way. Patanjali goes further to say that these are all modifications of the mind, and we must live away from these mind factors. Mind can be a master, or a slave. You decide what you want your mind to become. If it becomes your master you will slave all your life. If it becomes a slave, you are a master all your life. The mastery of the senses is the most unique principle. In the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, it is mentioned in book three that dharana, dhyanam and samadhi unite and take you to the state of sanyama, pure consciousness, ultimate truth. And we need to go to that ultimate truth. It is very important. If you don't attain that in this life, you'll be back here doing the same thing you did in this life in your next life and carry on like that, being born in this material plane to suffer the consequences and colouring of this material plane.

You are just a unit of pure consciousness, and in that single unit of pure consciousness, you must find the Self. It is very important to find the Self. Not the physical self that you bath, dress and make up, but the deeper, greater, purer, higher Self that lies within you, called soul, or atma. As Paramahansa Yogananda said: 'In the inner altar of the being is Ishwara'. Find that Ishwara. And that is how Sivabalayogi came to be. He lived in that Ishwara. He was a great individual who lived in modern times right up to about 1990.

So, please, let us come here for one thing. Attaining self-realisation should be your key thought and focus in this life, this journey and in this space.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Miracles, mysteries and magic

Hari Om.
One day Khanniah Yogi (Swami Murugesu's guru) told Swami and another student to go to the shop with a list. The shop is maybe 300 kilometres away, and there are no cars. He says he wants them back in two hours, gives them a piece of copper and says, 'hold this in your palms, when you think you should open your eyes, open them. When you open your eyes you'll be there'. They did that and opened their eyes in front of the shop. The coin had changed to gold. They bought what they had to buy, put the change into their palms, closed their eyes, and when they opened their eyes they were back with Khanniah Yogi.

There was a man in Stanger. His name was Uncle Jack. At his house water was coming out of a coconut. So I went to see this, to check it out. Water was really coming out of the coconut. I went home, still not satisfied. Then one Sunday I went there again and no water was coming from the coconut. I'm thinking, 'What happened? God must've closed the tap'. Meantime we were there too early. The water tank hadn't been filled yet. Today Uncle Jack has an amputated leg.

Something that has always bugged me about a man who stayed up the road. He was one of the selected few who always received things from Sai Baba. One day he got a Rolex watch. On the back was engraved, 'made in Switzerland'. How come that is so perfect? It's a factory-processed watch. We have to be logical. If you have a watch, with nothing written on the back – in a natural form, that we can accept as a miracle. But when the miraculous item is processed like that you've got a problem.

There are so many mystical things that have happened that I can tell you about. My uncle's daughter was sick. He's a Sai Baba follower, I'm not. Many years ago I didn't do astrology but I used to look into a bowl of lit camphor and tell you things. When my uncle was there, while that camphor was burning Sai Baba appeared. They saw it. I saw it. It was darshan for them. So, in this room here where I sit, I've had a full vision of Jesus Christ. I'm not going to come out and make a big din about it. If anybody knows, it's Ma and the children. I don't tell everybody because it's my personal experience. Tomorrow if sugar candy falls from the ceiling in my house I won't tell anybody. I don't want everybody to come there. I don't want my house to be a shrine.

On another trip to see Swami Murugesu, on the way up the mountain from Columbo to Nuwara Eliya, at a remote place the driver said, 'Swami told me to stop here and have something to eat'. It was at restaurant that is always closed, and he had no cellphone or any other visible means of communication. We went in and the table was set for exactly the right number of people. We were puzzled as to how Swami had contacted the driver and our host at the restaurant. When we reached Swami it was midnight. He was sitting up waiting for us and asked if we enjoyed our meal.  That's how Swami operates. He will send someone, and instruct them mentally what to do.

One night we had a ghost experience - and this is something that I won't forget. We stayed in a separate place about eight hundred metres from the temple. Dean and I were sleeping in the same room - and I always laugh when I tell this story. I had a lot of biscuits in a pile on a chest of drawers. I was lying on my bed counting the biscuits when I saw a whole packet of biscuits moving by itself. I looked over to Dean who had his eyes closed and his headphones on. Meantime he must have seen the biscuits and not wanted to look. In the morning we talked about it but didn't want to tell the other group. Meanwhile they also had an experience they weren't telling us about. We got to the ashram at about eight in the morning, and Swami said, 'Today I'm going to tell you some ghost stories'. We're thinking, 'How does he know about ghosts and all?' He said, 'Where you're staying there are lots of ghosts there'. He told us that Meganathan, Ravana's son, stayed there where we were staying, and his army was there. That night I was looking out of the window and there was an army outside, all on horses. It's no joke. We stayed all day in the ashram and at nine at night we had to walk back. Nobody wanted to get up and go. Swami put a black dot on all of us. It's the first time I've seen everyone so afraid, holding onto each other. One girl, Jennifer, she was picked up from her bed in the night, and thrown onto the floor. She told us the story. So Dean and I thought we'd pull a fast one and play a trick. I said to him, 'I'm going to go and meditate'. So, I'm sitting next to the boys' room, on the settee against the wall, and I can hear the others in their room saying, 'Bring Guru's shoes and put them by the door'. Eventually Reg decided he would be brave and get the shoes. I was wearing a white kurta top and white pants. Reg walked maybe four steps into the room, saw a white thing sitting there, screamed, and ran back to the room, jumping on everybody. We had fun. They didn't trouble us after that. At certain times during the night we could hear complete drums, the sankh and the noise of the army. Dean and I would sit up and listen.

There are two things you have to worry about when traveling in India: diarrhoea and spewing. There's no warning for either of them. On another trip there were eighteen of us and I told all of everyone, 'Don't even brush your teeth with the water'. I told Indran who was traveling with us to only use bottled water. But he worked for a medical aid company so he thought he was a doctor. Anyway, we left the hotel in Chennai to go to the airport. We were standing in the queue with me in front and the other eighteen travelers behind me. Indran had brushed his teeth and used tap water. He messed everything in the airport, his clothes, shoes, everything. There was a pool everywhere, so Krishnee took him to the men's room and washed him. She had to take off all his clothes and wipe him down. His wife even ran away. And, believe me, in India the cleaners don't come at the time of your accident to clean up.

We had this guy, Reg, travelling with us to visit Swami. Reg worked at the university and he wanted to come with us to India. So we went to Sri Lanka and he travelled with us. When we were there we would all eat together at the same table with Swami. Swami would dish out the food for every body and then for himself. When Swami dishes up you can't tell him to stop when you think there's enough food on your plate. He'll stop when he thinks there's enough on your plate. After we had finished  eating, Swami gave Reg, Dean, Ramona, Saila and his wife, blocks of sweetmeat that shook like jelly. We saw Swami buying them in Katrigama at a store. He gave one to everybody but not to me because I'm diabetic. There was also a German devotee staying at the ashram, and eating with us. While everyone was eating their sweetmeats, we watched the German take a fly out of his month, put it down on his plate, and continue to eating the same sweetmeat. At that moment Reg spewed out all his food, everywhere. Poor Ramona had to clean it up. Reg didn't even have time to go to the basin, it all came out one time.

One time, on the same trip, we had a small difference of opinion so everybody ganged up against me, only Dean was with me. Everybody else was against me. We had a small issue in Haridwar. Anyway, everyone else decided they were going to eat without us. They didn't ask Dean to join them because he was with me. They didn't take Nereen either because she was sick and stayed in her room. It was quite late when we went to go and find them and have something to eat ourselves. Meanwhile they went and ate fish, chicken, and I don't know what else. The Next morning we had to leave at six. Then it was eight o'clock, nine o'clock, eleven o'clock, and we were still waiting for them. All those who had eaten at the restaurant the night before were rushing in and out of the toilet like pistons of a machine. That was one of our worst trips. After that I no longer take big crowds to India with me.

One night we were travelling from Kerela to Chennai. Dean was on the same trip. The tour guide  told us there was no way we could make it to Chennai in one night. We would have to stop in Salem and leave for Chennai the next morning. But I said, 'I want to go tonight'. He said it was impossible and he wasn't going to drive. I insisted that I wanted to be in Chennai that night. It's usually a twelve to fourteen-hour drive, and we left early in the evening. It was dark already. The tour guide was driving but he was fast asleep. When he opened his eyes at midnight we were in Chennai. He said, 'How did we get here? Impossible. Can't be Chennai'. That is something that I don't think we'll forget in a long time. We did a fourteen hour journey in five hours. Lots of magic.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Does God get angry with us?

To those who are new: this is a mahameru. It's something that the priest class kept for themselves. Any priest from Sri lanka or India will have a small glass container with a mahameru inside and they keep it for themselves. They don't share it with you because then you won't use their services. But you can also have one. We just have to wash it on a Friday, offer kumkum to it, and and recite the Gayathri mantra, or any mantra you are comfortable with, and it will increase your prosperity. There are some devotees here who will give testimony to that. It's something we should all have in our homes, and we should offer to it every Friday, abstaining from meat and alcohol, for good prosperity. It's not good if you do the pooja for Sibaya or Suncoast. It won't work. You have to put some effort into it. Pressing the button at Sibaya is no effort – just one movement of your arm and then that machine makes a big noise. This is a Sri Chakra Mahameru. When you look at it from the top it looks like a sri chakra. From the side it looks like a meru. Anything that is raised is called a meru. Anything that is extraordinary is called a maha meru. And because it looks like a sri chakra we call it a 'sri chakra maha meru'.

I was asked a question: does God ever get angry with us? It's a thought-provoking question, with all the things we do to avert God's anger. So I pondered and thought and meditated on the question. And God said, 'I don't get angry with you but I express my distress by giving you floods, storms, tsunamis, hurricanes, and tornadoes. I'm expressing my distress, but I'm not angry. And we are going more and more into these difficult, uncertain natural calamities. We have all these things happening to us and now we even have a plane that mysteriously disappeared. I really thought Sundrie and Warren were on that plane because they didn't come to service on Friday. All these things are happening and science is having a difficult time trying to keep ahead of everything. But our great rishis have given us all these predictions in the Nadi. If you look at the Agasthiarmuni Nadi it will give you the exact date and time of our next calamity. All our disasters have been happening according to it. Our rishis have given us ways of avoiding disaster. One of the ways they said is to pray. What is a prayer? Prayer is not what you do in the morning, 'Om nama Shivaya' three times, put the ashes on your head and think you've done your duty. No, prayer is about crying out to God. We need to cry to God and show Him that we are communicating from our deepest selves.

The time has come for all of us to start praying sincerely, madly, and intensely. It is time that we should be in love with God. Everything that we do in this life, and I've mentioned a hundred times already – is focused around our cell phone. Our whole life revolves around that small gadget. I think the person we should go and attack now is Alexander Graham Bell for inventing the first telephone. Today we are in a mess because of it. As long as we centre our lives around that gadget called the cellphone, your whole life's journey is a waste. What is this life's journey about? It is about seeking God. And to attain the grace of God and – I say to you always – go and find yourself a guru, and hang onto him for dear life because he always sees the light at the end of the tunnel. And he's the one who, through Gods' grace, through Gods' divine energy, can guide you out of your worst situations. And your worst situation is right now in 2014, not anywhere else. Forget about 2015 and 2016. The uphill is only going to be after 2020. Until then it is downhill, and this is the worst time.

We need to pray intensely, madly and sincerely. But we are praying without devotion and dedication. It is just a habit, something we developed as we grew up: light the lamp in the morning; go outside, poor the gel on the janda; come inside – 'I've done my duty'. It doesn't work like that. We need to recite mantras. Through meditation and mantra your body can be healed continuously. Financial problems can be healed continuously. Nobody seated here can tell me they don't have some problem – emotional, material, financial or physical. And we have problems so we can become aware of God, so we can remember God. You accidentally kick the wall and say, 'My God!'. Your child falls and you say, 'Oh, my God'. For the moment He's your God but you forget Him when your child stops crying, and He become just 'God' not 'my God'. Become personal with God, fall  in love with God, be with God continuously. Many of you are thinking that you do that, 'Yes, we do all that', but is there any devotion and dedication in it, or is it just lip-service you're performing? Is it from inside of you, from your deepest self, that temple within you? Does it come from there? These are the things you need to think about and that are affecting you in this life. But we are destroying everything in our path just to be successful in life, physically successful.

Success can only be measured at the spiritual level. On the physical level it is only attainment, not success. You strive and attain. But if you do sadhana, spiritual practice, what comes out of it is success. And every day you get closer to God. We cannot be buried if we have not seen God or felt His energy. Then you have wasted your life. And 2014 is the ideal time for you to seek God. Because as we get deeper into the year, our problems will become stronger and worse. And we can make the change by worshiping God. Rituals are necessary so don't let anybody tell you they aren't. They are the feet to spirituality. Without them you can't walk the spiritual journey. They are a necessity on the journey. If you want to follow the journey you need to start.

Read the Bhagavad Gita – it is the ideal book to attainment. It talks about how we can find ourselves. In Timothy (4.15), in the Christian Bible, it talks about meditation. Every religion in the world talks about the same Eastern philosophy. And that is to find the Self. That's all. And once you've found the Self, stay with the Self and your journey will be one blissful occasion filled with eternal peace, joy, bliss and love. And from that you can say, 'I've seen God; I've felt the vibration of God; I'm in the presence of God'. Other than that you cannot say you're experiencing God, or anything. The pure sadhaka of God, the pure devotee is one without hate, brutality, violence, lust or greed. That is a true sadhaka, a true devotee of God. 

The faculty of the mind should be rearranged. We should have mind without a mind. The sad thing about the mind is that it is the master of bringing back the past at the most difficult times. And you need to control that master and reduce those past memories. Do not let the mind activate your past in any situation. Then you can regard yourself as a child of God – and that you are close to God. But as long as you have material mind and no spiritual mind you are not close to God at all. So 2014 is the year for you to make that change and attain peace, beatitude of being in the presence of God.

Hari om and God bless you.

Friday, March 14, 2014

God is not an option

You must be wondering why we are having this strange happening – abishekam for the Mother. There are times in your life when you realise how selfish man is and I think that a realisation dawned upon me in the recent past weeks: that selfishness is the greatest aspect of our being. Many of these abishekams have been done by different people and we become so accustomed to them doing the abishekam that we don't realise it is even being done and that the Mother is being dressed. And when those individuals decide they don't want to do the abishekam any more, we get into a fix. It's pournami on Sunday and abishekam has to be done, so we decided that in future on the Friday before pournami all of you will do the abishekam and then we're not relying on any one person to come. If you don't come it's your loss.

We accustom our lives to such an extent that materialism is a chief aspect, and spirit, God and religion are just options. And we live as if God is an option. Everything else around you is an option except the truth, and the truth is God. You don't have to go to Edgars. That's an option. You can go or not. But you don't have to pray or do a ritual – that is not an option at all. That should be the main aspect of your being. And if you truly, madly and sincerely strive, you will attain that ultimate state of Being. But you don't have the state of Being, you have the state of physical being. As much as we worry about the physical body, it is something that is absolutely useless. Let's take an animal like a cow. You kill a cow and every part is used, including the dung. Nothing goes to waste. That is why the cow is revered to such an extent. None of your physical bodies are worth anything when you die. Even the worms in your body will leave it at the time of death. Know that to be the truth. But if you know God you don't need to worry about the body because that supreme bliss, that eternal state of joy is what you will experience day in and day out. Nothing will matter to you.

The East has given to us everything. Max Muller was asked some time ago: 'If you needed wisdom, if you needed evolution, if you needed to know the self, where would you look?' And he answered, 'I would look to India'. And what do we do? We don't care about the possibility we have. We have great possibility because we can evolve. Evolution is part of being. but we don't want to evolve. We don't respect our parents or our mother, and I think last week I spoke about how important our mother is in our lives. But I don't think it went into many of your heads. Many of you think, 'This guru is good at talking. He opens his mouth and some words come out, and he thinks he's done a good job'. We are turning far away from God, spirituality, Self and being.

As of now abishekam will be done by all of you like this, and dressing will be done afterwards. I'm not going to go on my knees any more and ask you to do abishekam. I did it for too long. The beauty, the energy, and the positive attitude that you will attain by doing abishekam for the Mother is something you will not get anywhere else. So you need to sincerely do the abishekam. I want all of you to experience the beatitude, peace, love and joy of doing abishekam. It makes you a different person.

Hari Om.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The most important person

The most important person in our lives who we should not neglect at any time is our mother. At different times when cash is difficult and flow has ceased, she was the one who picked a few bones from the fridge, and some fat she had saved, put it with some vegetables, and made a most delicious meal in difficult times.

I say this because many of us get married and we start to neglect that significant part of our lives, of our existence, called 'Mother'; the most beautiful person in our lives. When nobody can heal the pain, not even a doctor, she would sit beside you the whole night, keeping watch because she is called Mother. And when we start to neglect that most beautiful individual in our lives believe me, as soon as the tears of your mother hit the ground, your life will start to go in the worst direction possible because she's the one who gave you the breath you breathe; life so that you exist. She is the most beautiful person in our lives. And very nicely, and very conveniently, man has called her Mother, because no other name would suit this beautiful individual.

We all have mothers and the only time we know what she is worth to us is when she ceases to exist. Even at the age of sixty-one I have a great yearning for my mother because she is the most beautiful person in this whole world. Nobody,  not your wife, not your children, can replace that beautiful individual called mother. Her mere existence is prana to you. Remember that. And every success in our lives is only due to the joy of our mothers, nobody else. And to the young ones, especially the young ladies, remember that when you marry, you marry 'into', you don't marry 'out of' a family. And with it comes your second mother. Enjoy that second mother. There's only one way to enjoy her: understand that you are her child and have entered her home as her child.

I had a fantastic relationship with my mother-in-law, and I talk about this often. Because in my worst times, my most difficult times, she's the one who brought joy to us. 'Till this very moment my boys and I talk about this, and we laugh about it because she used to do the strangest things to keep us happy. One of the things she used to do without fail is buy us a five litre tub of ice-cream – my children will tell you. It came to a stage when we all used to look forward to the ice-cream because she used to do it with such joy. And the only reason she could do that was because she's called Mother. I'm emphasising this word 'mother' because nothing in this world replaces a mother – nothing. You can try anything you want, you can have all the money, all the cars in the world, everything you want but if you don't have a mother you have nothing.

The reason she's so important is because in the Law of Manu it has been stated that when a girl child is born she's taken care of by her mother and father, but more her father. When the child grows to a certain age – eighteen, nineteen, or twenty – she's taken care of by her husband. And when she gets older and her husband is deceased, she is taken care of by her son. This is the Law of Manu that cannot be changed. You'll find that daughters are closer to their father, and sons are closer to their mother. That is because of the Law of Manu. When they get old it is our responsibility as children to make sure that they are comfortable in this life – and especially the mother. This is very important. 

Maybe three or four months, or ten or twenty months down the line, you'll understand why this discussion was on this day. You'll understand it then – why I talked about mothers today, the very essential part of our lives: mother. And when we lose them we miss them. When we have them we don't care about them. That is how the mind works. This is the message on this day, on the samadhi of Paramahansa Yogananda: that a mother is the most important aspect, the essence of everyone of us here. The fact that we breathe is due to our mother.

Hari Om and God bless you.