Saturday, September 27, 2014

Navarathri Chariot Procession

This is our 18th Navarathri procession. Over the period of 18 years many have left, some have stayed and those who have stayed have had the dedication, devotion and determination to take this organization to where it is now. There’s somebody here who deserves accolades for this period and that is Saras Singh. She used to go door to door to get money to build this structure. She had strength behind her. She would tell them, “If you don’t give me a donation I’m an attorney, I’ll take you to court”. She has made this structure what it is today. Also, the structure would not be completed as it is now without other important people like Strini Naidoo who has donated large sums to the ashram even today. Tubby Reddy has also made great contributions to the organisation. And here we are 18 years later. And when Rose Ma hugged me at her home just now she said, “This is your 18th year, Guru”. On the 27th of September 1996 we started this.

With all that said, I think we have to congratulate ourselves for today's event. To the co-ordinating committee, Desika, Vishnu, Tashi, Bhavta – I think they’ve done an excellent job. This program is being followed by about 140 000 people online. That credit goes to Seelan who records everything live on the Peedam internet webcam. And Sundrie and her team – I think they really did a good job. And I think we can’t forget the strenuous practice you had for garbha – we didn’t’ have it because nothing happened. We have to say thank you to Neeta for that.

As you know, the temple is now complete. Those who didn’t see the new temple now please make an opportune time to see this. Thank you goes to Mahavishnu, Don, Athish, Mervin, Deepak – they’ve put money and time into finishing the temple. It was only completed because Athish started navagraha and after that gave me sleepless nights – he had a mantra: “When are you going to do the temple? When you going to do the temple?” I waited until 108 rounds and then we started. Somebody else who very tirelessly contributed a lot to making sure the completion of the temple was a success, is Jagadambal. You know I’ve been married for 32 years and I did not know that Tammy could blow up balloons until today.

If I missed any of you it’s not with intention. All of you, thank you very much, really. Whether I will be sitting and saying this again to you next year only God knows. I love all of you. Thank you very much for being here. Today the wedding would not be in that vibrant feeling that we had if it was not for one individual who assisted. This individual spent some years with his guru in India and today he assisted with the wedding and that is Vimal – thank you Vimal. I have a present for him:  a rudraksha with 62 faces.

Also we have to thank Steven for all that he has done. You don’t know what he does. And also thank you to Ashok and myself. If anyone wants to say anything, this is the time to say it. If anybody stresses me out in this temple its Jane. She finds nothing, forgets everything, and she brings me coffee wen I’m expecting to taste tea. We can start with service. God bless all of you and I love you very much.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Swami Murugesu Mahasamadhi Pooja

On this day Swami Murugesu left his mortal body. While we’re waiting I just thought maybe I should tell you about a few experiences I have had, and some devotees have had, with Swami Murugesu.

Ashok and I were touring India with Swami and one of the temples on our tour list was Thirupathi. It is one of those temples where you have to camp outside for 3 days beforehand in a queue to see the murthi. And when you come in front of the murthi they throw you across, literally – not even a second. Swami said we were going to see this temple. When we got to Thirumalai Swami had an ingrown toenail and had surgery without anesthetic so he was in a lot of pain. We drove up the 16 km mountain called Thirupathi and Swami booked us in a guesthouse. Ashok and I were massaging his feet. All of a sudden he said to Ashok that he must go and shave his head now. That was at 11.30 pm so we had to go and find a barber for Ashok. I asked him if I must do it too and he said, “No, not you”.

So the next morning, at 5 o’clock he woke us up and said he would not leave the guesthouse because he was in so much pain. We were there all the time and he got us up in the morning at 5 and he told us the car was waiting and we must go to the temple. I dreaded the trip. I know that even if we went there at 5 am we would only get there at 6pm. A man arrived and said that Swami sent him. He didn’t have a cell phone. I looked at Ashok and Ashok looked at me trying to figure out how Swami had contacted this man. Anyway, he’s the chief director of the Thiruputhi temple. We didn’t know that. He took us inside and said we could sit and meditate as long as we wanted to. He closed the doors. We were the only 2 people sitting in this temple when you usually don’t even have a second in front of the murthi. Anyway, we meditated and when we were finished he told us to stand on one side, about 3 metres away form the murthi. And he said, “Tell me when you want to go”. We said we wanted to go and when we got back to the guesthouse Swami said, “You enjoyed sitting by the murthi and meditating?” At that time I didn’t understand all this and I thought he had some contact with the temple head.

Later on we were driving and Swami said, “Are you hungry?” We said we were and Swami said we would stop at a restaurant. I’m thinking we must not stop at any of the restaurants on the roadside. But we stopped at a roadside restaurant. The table was black with flies. While you are eating the flies are eating with you. I was really feeling sick, I don’t know about Ashok – but he asked for a second helping. Anyway we got in the car – the hooter didn’t work all of a sudden so the driver said he had to stop somewhere because in India they cannot drive without the hooter. They’ll take a chance without brakes but not a hooter. Swami told him that, “Shankarananda will fix it”. We open the bonnet and there a simple wire had come right out, the bolt and nut were there but the lug was sitting outside. I didn’t think anything, but I just fixed it. Everyone thought I was a great engineer except Swami. So we get back to Chennai and I came back home.

On another trip, Dean was there, Ramona was there, there were 18 of us, Joey was there. Dean and I were sharing the same room. How many of you are frightened of ghosts? So when I used to go there to Sri Lanka, because I wasn’t used to the food I used to take a lot of biscuits. Remember in the olden days we had a mirror with chest of draws? There was one like that there. I was sleeping by the biscuits and then I saw one biscuit moving but nobody is carrying the biscuit. I look at Dean and he’s sitting with his headphones on and his eyes shut – he must have already seen it. I fell off to sleep. In the morning Dean and I were discussing it. He said he saw it too. I went to the girls and asked them how they slept. They said they slept fine, meanwhile a ghost threw one of the girls from the bed onto the floor but she thought she fell out of the bed. They didn’t say anything. We walked to Swami’s house and when we got there he said, “Today we’re going to talk about ghosts”. He can do anything. He gave us so many experiences.

One day swami was staying with us and he came in the house without a shirt. We gave him a shirt we had just ironed and he put the shirt on. The next minute he put his hand in the pocket, took out some money and handed it out to everyone. We didn’t know where Swami got the money. It was 500 rupees. That’s all he took out. This is the man that I used to call Guru, my swami, my everything. To those who did not meet him, you’re not going to get a chance to meet a man of this calibre He was simple, he never spoke about what he did.

One day we were in the ashram – his house was near the ashram. The whole day he was with us in the ashram talking about this and that. Then we were called to eat. Before we went, Swami took a deep breath and told us exactly what was on the table. When we got there on the table was exactly what he had said would be. This is the swami we were so fond of. Ramona was so fond of him that she didn’t want to get on the bus. She hid behind a pole. Luckily I counted everyone. Of that trip only 3 of us remain here at the ashram. The others have all disappeared.

One of the most powerful forms of worship is guru worship. The strange thing about guru worship is that, whether the guru is here or has left his body, he will still come to help protect and guide you. I have a very unique family, not my Gayathri Peedam family – my real family. Ma follows Agasthiar, Seelan follows Sivabalayogi. Melissa follows Swami Murugesu, Vish and Tashi follow Babaji. So you shouldn’t restrict your family to follow what you follow. They should follow what gives them that energy, that peace. Guru worship is the most unique worship that has been given to us by the great sages and saints. And how did this come about? The first guru is Lord Shiva and, directly or indirectly, we worship Lord Shiva, not as a guru but as God – he’s your first guru. After Lord Shiva we have other gurus. One powerful guru was Parashara who had the power of traveling from earth to all the planets, get the attributes of the planets, then come back down – not in a spaceship, this was 5000 years ago – come back down and write the astrology books. He wrote about the 9 planets long before western civilization knew there was anything out there. They still thought the world was flat. He is the most powerful guru, the astrology guru. He has the most powerful and accurate astrology. Only one man has come close to Parashara and that’s the founder of KP Astrology. At any time of the day he could tell you what would happen at an exact time.

So you can have more than one guru. Many people say you can’t but you can. You go to school you have a geography teacher, a physics teacher, a maths teacher. You can have a yoga guru, a spiritual guru, a ritualistic guru to teach you all the rituals, and many such like that. So don’t think you can only have one guru. But there is only one problem with that. Many people become fanatical about their gurus. It is not like Manchester United. Don’t even get involved in that fanatical behavior. If you worship a guru, worship without the fanatical behavior. I’ve seen it in many organisations where the guru had such a place that they became fanatical. “Swami this, swami that, swami said this to me, said that to me,” – once you become like that you’re fanatical. My guru has taught me that I should just remember him continuously and he will make everything possible for me. He makes everything possible for me. I won’t look for another guru in this lifetime. I still have my guru. Therefore today we remember my guru leaving his body. And the saddest thing about that is that he touched me on my forehead just 2 hours prior to that. He was in a coma, I had just arrived in India and Rani, one of the devotees who’s been with Swami all her life (she runs our ashram in Colombo for me and is very dedicated) said to him, “Swami Shankarananda is here”. He left his body sitting in a lotus pose and was buried sitting up in the ashram in Nuwara Eliya.

Swami likes cheese. If Melissa counted the squares of cheese today she will find that one is missing. He has made that promise to me that whenever I remember him and place cheese by his murthi, he will definitely come and take the cheese. How do I know he loves cheese? One day he said that he wanted pizza with double thick cheese. As we walked out Rani said to us, “You can buy the pizza but no cheese at all. The doctor said no cheese.” We went to the pizza shop and told them no cheese. We saw the cook prepare it with no cheese, bake it, and he gave it to us. I asked Vishal, “How does someone eat a pizza without cheese?” There’s something wrong with Rani Amma. Anyway, we go to the hospital – Swami was in a private unit, like a house. So we go in there, we give him the pizza, he opens the pizza in front of us – it had double thick cheese on it. Vishal and I just looked at each other. Last week I was with Vishal and we were talking about the same thing. He still asks how the cheese got there. So whenever we do any kind of pooja for swami we must place the cheese by his murthi. Swami was given the title of maharishi by 216 saints just 18 months before his samadhi.

No day passes without me thinking how funny my guru was, and how he used to teach his nephew’s son to swear, vulgar words, in Tamil. He told this child to tell the people those things and Swami would sit and laugh. We have his cup, the last kurtha and dhoti he wore. You can see them. When I come back from Sri Lanka again I’ll bring back the original sandals he wore. Talking about sandals, there’s another guru that Swami knew and washed his feet. His name was Gnanananda Giri. Swami spent some time with him and Gnananda Giri also came to South Africa in 1990. He took samadhi in 1994. He stayed in South Africa with Mr TP Naidoo.

Swami had a pair of sandals and he told one of the devotees from Malaysia to take the sandals in a box and to deliver them to the Gnananda Giri Foundation in Malaysia and he wasn’t to open the box even if customs asked him. Swami opened the box, showed him the sandals inside and then closed it. The devotee went to Malaysia and when he arrived customs insisted that he let them open the box or they would lock him up. When they opened it, only cobras came out of the box. The customs officials ran out of the office into the road. 

Then, when I went to Malaysia after Sri Lanka, Swami told me to take the sandals and give them to the Gnananda Giri foundation. He said, “Don’t worry, nobody will stop you”. I carried them through the airport and nobody stopped me, as he said. I got to Malaysia, went to the Gnanananda Giri Foundation and was shocked to see how popular Gnananda Giri was in Malaysia. Thousands of people were flocking just to see his sandals. Now why are sandals so important? They say at the lotus feet of your guru is the most powerful energy you can attain. So Swami carried those sandals for 26 years, and after 26 years, 5 years before his samadhi he gave them to the Gnananda Giri foundation. Now that foundation is blooming and they have one individual who’s passed on in 1998 – by the name of Haridos Giri, and he also had a lot of power. One day he walked right into the Ganges and never came out. He told the people he was going to another world below the Ganges and wouldn’t be back. Until now they haven’t found any trace of his body. He also came to South Africa and stayed with TP Naidoo.

I’m never finished with God’s work. It brings me the most powerful energy, joy, and beatitude. And this beatitude can last within us for days to come, we can experience the joy 24 hours, and in that joy we can find God. And God is the only entity in this life of ours to sustain us during this difficult time. I leave you with this thought: only God can make you happy in your sorrowful times. Only God can make you feel painless in your painful times. And only God can make you smile when you want to cry. Remember this for now and forever. This day, each one of you should remember to be the most beautiful day in your life and in that beatitude, remember that God has entered you totally tonight. You have this one union with God at this moment and that union with God you should not for a moment allow to be interrupted by your social life, in your happy life, in your disturbed life and in your difficult life. Do not let it be interrupted. For finding God is not easy, and you have found God now, and in that finding enjoy. Enjoy this moment, enjoy this hour, and enjoy this now. For this now is not going to repeat itself. I leave you with that thought.
May God bless each one of you. Om.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Come and be protected

Hari om
You know that on the 25th of September we’re starting Navarathri. And you’ll remember I’ve said that it is the most appropriate time for Navarathri pooja because many of our difficulties will be borne away during this period. Whatever you do, don’t miss any of the 9 days. It is for your benefit. We’re not telling you to come here with money and make an offering. We’re asking you to be present here. You don’t know on which day you’ll get darshan from the masters, and you must be here. The sad thing is that many of you miss darshan because as soon as service is finished you decide to sit in your car and go. It is sad that some of you who deserve that experience are not here.

During Navarathri you should not have any excuse to not be here unless you are working during that time. These 10 days will help you, 9 plus 1. I know they will help you. And also during those 10 days, one morning we’ll dedicate just for the businessmen so you can also benefit in that time. Those talismans I spoke to you about, the kavicham that costs R4000, we’ve managed to get them in a cheaper silver. They will only manufacture 17. Those will also be part of the business pooja and you can have what is left after that. They are for protection, they are very powerful, ancient, and have special mantras, poojas, done for a period of 9 to 21 days, depending on which kavicham we’re using. I will do the poojas myself. They will be available after we know the number of business people who will partake in the pooja, and the balance will be available on a first-come-first-served basis. No pre-booking so don’t ask me to keep one for you.

Also, to help you, Dean and myself are deciding to make some bracelets – for your protection. This is an astrological bracelet designed by Paramahansa Yogananda, and he suggested that everyone get one. We’re busy in the process of having these manufactured here in South Africa. The stones have changed a bit for our current times. Here we have a pearl, a yellow sapphire and a red coral stone. When they are ready we will let you know and you can wear one. You wear it on the top of your arm under your sleeve and nobody can steal it from you. It is protective. The ones we are making will be a bit wider than this one, and will be on a special band. This is for your protection. The money we get from this will be for the cost of the item.  The only thing I request form you during this time is to pray and not miss service. Don’t miss. You’re only going to bring disaster upon yourself. God only helps those who help themselves. So, please, don’t miss any pooja.

At the end of the day I get nothing out of this besides satisfaction. My satisfaction is to see every one of you not hurt on this journey. Please come for every pooja. Don’t think because you go to the gym and do weights that you won’t get sick. It doesn’t work like that. You can have petrol and oil in your car but your car will still break down. As I sit here, I took all my tablets, a whole bottle of cough mixture, so I’m a little bit drowsy but I’m here because you’re here. I expect all of you to be here for each day of Navarathri. Don’t tell me you have a project. If you want to be in the top marks for your project, be here – and I’ll show you what Navarathri can do for you.

Hari om.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Pournami discourse

Hari Om.
One of our devotes passed away this weekend. Please, can we have a minute’s silence. The person is Kuben Maistry who has been a long-standing devotee. He is the brother-in-law of Manogrie. I just want to tell you something I thought I would never experience in this lifetime. One of the spiritual requirements is that when somebody is very sick, if they give rice to a religious organization, or to a sadhu, they receive 50 years of moksha (liberation). We’re talking about a handful of rice. I’m sure you will remember when I kept telling you there was this individual who did not come downstairs to eat for 2 years. For about a year he has been fine: driving, visiting family. On Friday he spoke to his whole family, had his meal, and before his wife could come and take his plate away he was already gone – no sound, no nothing.

Why I’m telling you this is that many of you might not experience this because you don’t know when you’re going to die. But Kuben knew because just 2 weeks ago he donated 50 kg of rice to the ashram. He’s attained this peace and our only prayer this evening is that from the tranquility of heaven he guides his 2 sons and their wives so they don’t have any suffering and pain. This is just a teaching that has come all of a sudden. And another thing, on Friday while I was still in India, while we were going to buy some stuff for Steven, I was thinking that I should go and see Kuben so nobody can tamper with his will. The same Friday evening he passed on. In the time that I’ve known him he has always done good. To his family, we wish them well on their new adventure because now it is a team of 3 people, not 4 people.

Times are really bad. A small plane came down in the ocean. We are going to have these disasters continuously. This is going to carry on. You are going to have problems in your health, your prosperity, your wealth. Life for everybody right now is at the lowest ebb. It’s not going to get better in a long time. Hold on to what you’ve got and keep your reserves. You are going to run short.

When I was in India – I’ve been talking to so many spiritual beings – I spoke to my astrology guru and some other prominent astrologers and they quoted exactly what I’m saying now. There’s very little that anybody can do. We’ve messed it up big time and we can’t correct it. But one thing they said to me was that there is a stone called Onyx, and even a small piece on your body can protect you and make sure nothing bad can happen to you. You have to wear it around your neck. I managed to get some, very few pieces. I don’t want any money for it but you have to put some kind of donation in the box. As long as you make a donation, it will work. Please just take one.

Also, it’s the right time right now for us to discuss Navarathri because only the Mother can save us. During the 9 days of Navarathri, I humbly request you to put all your other appointments aside and make this appointment – you’ll see what it will do for you eventually. It’ll really give you peace. This is a humble request. I’m not instructing you. You know your life, and your future. But right now in my life the only most important thing is God, and God only. Because it’s not only you, it’s everybody – including myself. We’re going through very difficult times and only the Mother can make things happen for us. Some of you think pournami is an apartheid thing – for casual attendance. At the beginning of the year you have a calendar so you can’t say you didn’t know the dates. Anything that comes up on that calendar should be kept to. The only reason I came back from India yesterday is because pournami is today, otherwise I would’ve come on the 9th. It is that important. So I’m asking all of you – I know you have stories, we all do. You have to take your child to classes, swimming, or tennis, you can do all that but don’t do it between 6.30 pm until we’ve finished. Those of you who keep the 9 days, you’ll definitely be blessed. You’ll see the importance. I think it will be the last time that many of us will be joyous. The goal post has not shifted. It’s still the 15th of March for Cancer, Leo, Gemini, Taurus and Libra. For everybody else it’s Jan 2016. It doesn’t mean that Gemini, Leo and the others will be okay – just that the worst will be over. You don’t even need a 4-wheel drive you’ll need a 16-wheel drive. Leos, you’ve just entered the worst time in your life. The transit happened last night. Everything is now sitting in Leo and it’ll stay like that right up to January 2016.

Coming back to the Srimad Bhagvatam, it’s been predicted, in canton 12, chapter 2 – go and read the prediction and see. In South Africa our numerology doesn’t look good for us, or for Iran or Kashmir, or for many people, and many of you here too. So you have that factor also. If your numerology adds up to 9 and if you are a Leo, even a 16-wheeler won’t help you. But to give you peace of mind, there’s only one direction and that is to God and God alone. Forget your other appointments. Those people owning businesses, really, your tough time is now. And if I speak to each one of you you’ll tell me the same story: that you have never been at this point any time in your business life. Cancer will become like a headache. So, again, you need to worry about that. The onyx is one stone you can wear – according to the masters I have spoken to. It’s here in this box. It’s not the money that I want – it’s protection for you but you have to have a transfer. Just put one around your neck. Put it on your chain and it’ll give you some kind of relief from all the difficult times ahead of you. Don’t think you’re somebody that will never get into trouble. God takes a long time to give to you but only a second to take away from you. It is for you to be very careful with your finances, your health, and your driving.

Hari om.