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  2. GOD IS MOST DESERVING OF YOUR LOVE The involvement in this world is inevitable. The consequence of such involvement is stress, which is also inevitable. We may succeed in getting the fruit of the stress or we may not succeed in it. The bullet is shot but hitting the bird is not certain. The present Yoga [detachment from the world and remaining in one’s own awareness or Atman] is just a sleeping pill for a short time and it is in no way different from deep sleep. In fact deep sleep is better than the present Yoga. The reason is that in the present Yoga, the nervous system functions at a minimum level because awareness of oneself [awareness of the awareness alone] still exists as in the case of thoughtless self-meditation. In deep sleep, even that pure awareness disappears and the nervous system takes complete rest. In any case, the immediate involvement in the world is inevitable. In such Yoga you only have peace, which is the absence of misery; but that is not bliss. Such peace is not equal even to materialistic happiness. When you are in self-meditation and if someone tells you that you have won a lottery of a crore [ten million], you clearly experience distinct materialistic happiness. It is also common practical experience that one is unable to stand firm in the state of self-attainment through self-realization. The reason for this is, if you remain in the self and thereby detach yourself from misery, who will suffer the misery in your life cycle, which is ordained as a result of your past sins? The results of the rest of your past deeds which have to be enjoyed [or suffered] by you in the future cannot be cancelled suddenly. The force of the divine law governing the cycle of deeds is stronger than the self. The divine law is in the hands of God alone. The divine law will drag you into the world for the sake of the punishment. Only God can save you from the misery. The word Yoga actually means your meeting with God in human form. If you remain in the self without proceeding further to God, thinking that the self is God, you are doing a sinful deed. You are in no way different from an atheist who says that there is no God other than the self. At least to enjoy the result of this sin, you have to be dragged out. If you divert this inevitable stress [of involvement in the world] to service in the spiritual field, God will protect you in both this world and the upper world. This is a one bullet-shot that is sure to hit two birds. When God takes care of you, there is no chance of uncertainty. For you, solving all your problems in the world is not certain in spite of hectic stress [stressful effort]. Therefore, it is far better to divert the inevitable stress and involvement to the spiritual service of God. You do not have complete faith in God. Atheism imparted by the external environment is hidden in you without your knowledge. You are in daily association with people who always put self efforts with partial faith on God and this injects such an attitude into your brain. Hence you do not have full faith on the word of God. You will always estimate your success based on worldly factors. In reality, you do not have confidence on the super power of God, which can produce an ocean of sweet water in a desert. In practical situations, your faith in God and the extent of your theism is tested. Wise people, who say that self-effort is the main component and that God’s help is a minor component in any action, often cover up such deficiency in your faith. But when all the doors are closed, you will be worried about the possibility of success assured by God. Then you will put effort to open one of the doors so that God can help you through that door. This is utter foolishness on your part, because you think that God cannot help you unless some door is opened. God can even enter through the wall to help you, if all the doors are closed. Thus keeping full faith is important in the practical situation. Complicated Cycle of Deeds The Gita says that the concept of the cycle of deeds is complicated (Gahana karmano Gatih…). The action or deed by itself is inert without the intention of mind and has no result. When you are walking on the road, an ant may be accidentally killed under your foot. There is no sin for this deed because the intention of mind (samkalpa) is not there. Suppose you have an intention to kill the ant and subsequently kill it. This is a deed associated with mind and hence will lead to full punishment. Suppose you have the intention to kill the ant but somehow the deed was not successful due to the miraculous escape of the ant. Then you will have half of the punishment for your intention. Since the effect of your intention was not received by the ant, the other half of the punishment is cancelled. Therefore, action without intention has no fruit. Action with intention has full fruit. Intention without action has half the fruit. Why should you enjoy half the fruit for your intention when the action never materialized? I will give you a small example. A daughter-in-law is serving her mother-in-law or father-in-law. The service is inevitable. If the service is done with good intention by treating the father-in-law as her own father or mother-in-law as her own mother, good fruit in heaven is fully enjoyed. Suppose the daughter-in-law serves them sincerely due to the unavoidable circumstances but scolds them with hatred in her mind, what is the result? The good fruit in heaven is reduced to half and half bad fruit is received in hell for the bad intention. The good fruit of a good deed can never cancel the bad fruit of a bad deed. Fruits of goods deeds and bad deeds have to be enjoyed separately. If you create a provision to cancel a bad deed by doing a good deed, everyone will commit sins under the influence of emotions and then will try to cancel the sins later on by doing good deeds. Therefore, when priests say that by doing a ritual, all your sins are destroyed, it is the climax of ignorance. No good deed can cancel the bad deed. The Kauravas had ninety nine per cent sins and one per cent good deeds. They went to heaven first to enjoy the little good deeds and later went to hell to enjoy all their major bad deeds. The Pandavas were vice-versa and hence went to hell first and then to heaven later on. In both cases, mutual cancellation of the results of good and bad actions was not seen in the Mahabharata (Swargarohana Parva). Now, I pity the daughter-in-law who sincerely served the in-laws but went to hell simply for the sake of her bad intention. The daughter-in-law who did not serve her in-laws and also had a bad intention goes to permanent hell. The daughter-in-law who served her in-laws sincerely but had a bad intention in her mind goes to both hell and heaven separately. The daughter-in-law who served her in-laws with good intention, thinking of them as her own parents goes to permanent heaven. The daughter-in-law who has a good intention in her mind to serve her in-laws will somehow serve them directly or indirectly and will not go to hell. Suppose a bad intention has come into the mind, but the intention is not materialized and nobody is affected practically in the world. Certainly there will be a partial punishment for this mental sin in hell. How to get rid of this mental sin? Only the powerful divine knowledge at the level of the intelligence can smash mental sins. The intelligence alone can control the mind. The intelligence is strengthened by the divine knowledge which is injected by the Sadguru. The mind is strengthened by repetition of sins and temporary experience of false happiness. When the divine knowledge is intense, the mind is purified and at a stage of climax, even the results of previous sinful deeds are smashed (Jnanaagnih sarva karmani—Gita). Divine knowledge at its climax makes you surrender to God and leads you to getting involved in practical spiritual service in the mission of God, without aspiration of any fruit in return. In such a stage, God attracts all the results of your past sins and suffers for your sake. This technique of God is not known to you. Somehow you are relieved from all mental sins and also from all the results of previous sinful deeds. The mental sins are cancelled by the divine knowledge. The results of previous sinful deeds are cancelled by the interference of God that results by the climax of divine knowledge. Therefore, when service is inevitable, better do it with good intention too so that you will not receive partial punishment in hell unnecessarily. This does not mean that I am encouraging you to do the sin fully and get full punishment. Rigid Dharma for Sweet Love You have to follow the constitution written by God strictly in this world as far as your behavior towards other souls is concerned. Here, justice [Dharma] must be followed and injustice must be discarded. Only in the case of God, can you overlook even justice for the sake of God which cannot be a sin in that particular case. For the sake of God, you can overlook any other soul including your own self and this shall not be a sin. In fact, it is the Best. If you do not overlook justice for the sake of God, it shall be a sin. But this special case (Nivritti) cannot be extended to one’s behavior with other souls (Pravritti). God establishes justice in this world very seriously (Dharma Samsthapanarthaya—Gita). But the same God in the same Gita finally says at the end that one should violate even Dharma [justice] for His sake (Sarva Dharman Parityajya…). This is not a contradiction at all. You must follow justice and discard injustice in your behavior towards other souls in this world. But when you realize God, you have to sacrifice even justice for the sake of God. This is a point of contrast. The more powerful the villain, the more powerful will be the projection of the hero. The firmer the rules of Dharma, the greater is the love expressed for God by violating such Dharma. Therefore, the firmness and rigidity in the establishment of Dharma is directly proportional to the love expressed for God in violating such Dharma for His sake. Let us take the example of the unclothed Gopikas saluting to Krishna. According to Dharma, a lady cannot come unclothed before a male. It is against justice and leads the lady to hell for punishment. Apart from this threat of hell, a lady is characterized by lot of shyness and no lady can overcome the shyness in such a situation under any circumstances. In the case of the Gopikas, this violation of justice and shyness might have been done because Krishna was God. For the sake of God, justice can be violated and even shyness can be overcome because God is the Creator and is aware of everything in this world. This is one excuse in the case of the Gopikas’ violation of Dharma and shyness. But there is a similar example which is even more serious. Shri Manikya Prabhu[1] was an incarnation of Lord Datta and Smt. Subbamma was His topmost devotee. Other devotees were jealous about her. One day the Lord called her by name while she was having a bath. Subbamma came running into the court in which all the devotees of the Lord were sitting. She was completely unclothed and did not even wear her sari to avoid delay in following the order of the Lord. All the devotees were astonished. The Lord threw a cloth on her and asked her to go back. She went away. The Lord looked at the faces of the devotees which were bent in repentance. This sin is a more severe test than the sin of the Gopikas. Here Subbamma stands unclothed not only before the Lord but also before all other human beings for the sake of the Lord by crossing her shyness and justice. The Gopikas stood unclothed only before the Lord. When the Lord faces the exceptional devotion of such topmost devotees, He is immensely pleased. Such immense pleasure is the aim of this entire creation and the establishment of justice is the background in contrast. If Subbamma was used to coming out unclothed on the call of any other person, then there is no specialty when she came out unclothed on the Lord’s call and Subbamma would simply be called a mentally deranged lady. In such a case, the background will not serve any purpose to God. Other souls deserve your love only in a limited way, controlled by the rules of justice. But the Lord deserves unconditional love and kindness from His devotee. If you realize the truth by taking away the layer of ignorance acting as a stage of this divine drama, you will be surprised to know that anything sacrificed by you for the sake of God, was given to you by God alone. He gave something to you and forgot that that it belongs to Him. He also covered you with His delusion (Maya) so that you will think that this something belongs to you. Now the drama of sacrifice is enacted over the stage of this layer of ignorance by which both God and devotee forget the basic truth. Now when the soul sacrifices that something to God, both God and soul enjoy the sweet love of sacrifice based on the concept of donor and acceptor. Realized scholars pierce through the stage of ignorance and find out the truth that, that something belongs to the Lord alone and the whole drama is just for the enjoyment of the sweet love of devotion between God and the devotee. If you compare God with other souls who love you just for the sacrifice of something which belongs to you (in the relative sense) and that their love for you is only for their selfish happiness, you can realize the difference between God and your beloved souls and the deservingness of God to your boundless love. [1] A great mystic saint and yogi (1817-1865) , hailed as an incarnation of Lord Dattatreya and has several devotees in India. Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  3. GOD, MIRACLES AND ATHEISM [Smt. Shrutakirti from Hyderabad revealed her Divine experience as follows: “On December 24th 2006, I slept with some worry and I got a divine dream in which Swami walked into my house. He was radiating a light brighter than the light of a thousand suns. Every footprint of Him was shining with a pure golden color. Swami consoled me and preached Divine Knowledge. At the end Swami told me that He was giving a proof for the reality of His entrance into the dream. Then Swami told me that if I verified the calendar of 2007, the star (constellation, according to Indian Astrology) on 21st May 2007 was Punarvasu. This statement was repeated three times by Swami and then He disappeared. I awoke early in the morning and told about the dream to my husband. We had not yet purchased the calendar for the New Year (2007). My husband rushed to our neighbor and brought the calendar to verify the truth. We were extremely surprised to see the name of the Punarvasu star on the 21st of May 2007. Even the composer of the calendar could not have guessed this. I immediately phoned Swami and told Him about my dream. Swami said to me, ‘Any proof from a dream will be treated only as a dream and cannot be realized as the truth in this world on waking. Some days ago I told you that I am coming to your house on a particular day. On that day there was a profuse scent of lotus flowers in your house, which was absent outside the house simultaneously in every direction. That was a proof for My entry into your house in your waking state. If I exhibit the same scent in your dream, it is not a real proof because it becomes a part of the dream and will be treated as unreal along with the unreal dream.’ I immediately phoned and told about this experience to all the devotees of Swami”. Following is the divine discourse given by Swami regarding this incident]. If the human incarnation materializes matter, you say that it is a magic trick. If the Lord gives divine visions, you will say that it is an illusion of the eye. You know that Smt. Bharati saw the divine vision of Lord Datta. She put her finger in the bright radiating wheel revolving on My finger to test the possibility of an illusion of the eye. You know that she immediately fell down and was unconscious for a long time. You know that the doctor also stated that her heart and body had been subjected to a shock by high voltage electricity. Her finger also remained stiff for three days. In spite of all this, doubts still remain in your hearts. Now analyze this small proof in the dream. Even though it is small, it is most perfect from all angles. You know that Shrutakirti is very innocent and ignorant. How can she tell this [the exact constellation on a particular day] even in her waking state? Perhaps some mathematical genius may be able to tell this after doing some calculations and such calculations are impossible in the state of a dream. Miracles cannot satisfy atheists, who are always ready with alternative interpretations. But what sort of interpretation can they give for this? Of course, one should doubt everything and everybody, and should analyze intensively to find out the truth. But there should be a full stop even for analysis. Miracles are the yardstick of ignorant people to measure the Divinity of the Lord. I stayed in the house of Smt. Bhavani for two years. She would always ask Me to tell her the thought that was going on in her mind at that time. That was her yardstick to measure My Divinity! I told her that even an evil person who has mastered a type of black magic called Karnapishachi could reveal her thoughts. But she insisted on it every day. One day I told her that I would tell her the thought in her mind once, provided that she does not insist on it again. She agreed and I revealed the secret statement that she was thinking in her mind. She was very happy. But the next day she asked again. She thought that I might have correctly guessed the previous statement in her mind just by coincidence. Suddenly her third son, who was upstairs in the house, came down shouting at her for such a foolish test. He was roaring since Kalabhairava had possessed him. There is no end for the doubts of doubting Thomas. Miracles indicate the existence of unimaginability. The unimaginability is God and its existence indicates the existence of God. The unimaginable power is the source of the miracle. The source of that power is God. That power may or may not give the address of God in a person who exhibits the miracle. But the miracle gives proof of the existence of that power in that person. The power gives the indirect existence of God elsewhere. Therefore the miracle is an indirect proof of the existence of God but not the direct proof of the address of God. Black magic is also a power of God, which is given to Satan. Satan and his followers are sufficient for atheists to prove the existence of superpowers and thereby the existence of God indirectly. Let the atheist cross the miracle of a demon first. The theist should be above the level of these miracles and should try to achieve Divine grace of God through spiritual knowledge, devotion and selfless service through sacrifice in the Divine mission of the Lord. If a post graduate student forgets the alphabet, what to do? Similar is the case of the theist who wants miracles as proof. The theist requires correct guidance by correct spiritual knowledge of that standard. Therefore divine knowledge alone can be the proof of God as per the Veda. The exceptional quality of the divine knowledge (PRAJNANAM) is the spontaneous proof. You can experience the highest quality of the knowledge available and there is no need of any testing procedure for that. How do you select the Miss World? You experience the spontaneous beauty directly and there is no need of instruments to test her beauty. You select the top most beauty available in the competition. If you say that some greater beauty may exist somewhere and at some time in this world, the result of the competition can never be declared. Only ugly sadists will say this. The Gita says that the possessor of such topmost knowledge that can give the most perfect guidance to the souls is God Himself (Jnanitvatmaiva…). The importance of Divine Knowledge is only due to the importance of correct guidance in the spiritual path. For this the exhibition of miracles is not required. The exhibition of super powers through miracles is needed only for the low level of atheists and to punish the low level devils. When a high level police officer is invited to address the students in a college, he goes there in a normal civil dress. When he has to deal with criminals, he will be there in the police uniform. Even there, he will send his subordinates in uniform to deal with the criminals. But he will not send his subordinates in uniform to address the college. Similarly God comes to preach Divine Knowledge and sends His subordinates to exhibit miracles. Since the majority is in the lower strata, miracles have to be exhibited widely. Hence God gives the super powers even to devils. The miracles include even the miraculous experiences in the life of any one, which prove the existence of the unimaginable God. Miracles and knowledge are the two requirements of people here in the lower and higher levels respectively. Generally God Himself meets the requirement of the higher level [by giving knowledge]. Liberated souls who are the servants of God, generally meet the requirement of lower level [by showing miracles]. Debate with Atheists Today atheists met in a conference in this city and talked as they liked. I can answer every point raised by them provided they are not rigid conservatives of atheism and have an open mind to accept the truth. Atheist: There are 33 crores [330 million] of deities in India and yet poor people are suffering. Swami: There are several teachers in a school who teach classes equally. Why are all the students not of equal standard? The cloud rains the same water drops. Why does one drop fallen in the pearl shell become a pearl and another drop fallen in a mud pond become mud? The Creator is equal to all but the creation has differences by its own nature of merits and defects. Are there no differences among people in foreign countries where there is only one God? The 33 crores of water drops (deities) have the same content of water (God). Due to the association of different materials, some drops became pearls and some became mud. The difference in the deities is due to the superimposed varied nature of human beings[1]. You have indirectly indicated the inevitable differences in the nature. Atheist: Religious exploitations have led to the misery of poor people. Why should there be golden ornaments and jewels on statues in the temple when poor people are suffering? Swami: I agree that there is some religious exploitation done by selfish priests. But these exploitations are not of such magnitude to cause the poverty of some people. Politicians and rich people are responsible for the poverty of those people. Even terrorists are attacking such rich people and not the priests. You are diverting the main issue to the wrong direction of a minor negligible issue. Your main issue is the negation of the existence of God. It is one of the paths in philosophy and hence Sage Vidyaranya[2] gave a place to the philosophy of atheism proposed by Charvaka. But now you are trying to get the support of poor people by such a diversion. Now you are no more a philosopher but you are a politician. Actually you are harming the poor people who live peacefully with pure devotion for God. Their devotion is excellent and God is giving them peace and a lot of happiness. Rich people are not blessed with such peace and bliss due to their impure devotion. Money is not the single criterion of life. Religion is doing social service along with devotion to God so that suffering people get blessings from God. Take a patient of cancer or AIDS. Your social service cannot change his worry. Only the concept of spiritual knowledge and devotion can console him completely. Sometimes the grace of God may even give a permanent cure. Society is peaceful to a large extent based on the belief in God and the fear of hell. Now if you remove these concepts, society will end in chaos. Thus you are finally turning into an anti social element. If atheism spreads, corruption, killing each other etc. will go to the climax. All rich people will kill all the poor people and perhaps you want to remove poverty in that way! Even rich people and politicians are controlled to a large extent due to their belief in God and hell. You want to remove that too and fully support rich people! How can you say that hell does not exist? I cannot show hell to you but can you show the absence of hell by taking Me to the end of this space? In the case of equal probability, it is better to be safe and believe in the existence of hell. You have criticized the golden ornaments and jewels on statues in the temple. The statue is a representative model of God to give a strong impression in the minds of ignorant people. The concept of God has several sociological uses like giving confidence, peace, happiness, controlling sin etc. God is the poor man’s heaven, which cannot be purchased by rich people. You are criticizing the material used in the model, which is building up this most important concept. A villager says that the materials used in building experimental models that convey scientific concepts is a waste and that material can be used to feed the poor instead! Why do not you criticize the heavy jewelry of rich ladies and highly expensive functions, which have no representation of any useful good concept? Why have you conducted your conference in a highly expensive five star hotel? Atheist: Spiritual knowledge uses no reason and perception. Hence we do not believe in it. Swami: There are several things, which are beyond reason but their existence is experienced through inference. This is accepted even in science due to the inefficiency of measuring techniques (refer to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle). Work is a form of inert energy, which is neither energy nor the machine and nor the motion. But it is inferred by the final effect. The limit of space is beyond even imagination and reason. Life comes from food (matter) and matter comes from energy. Energy has no cause. Do you not believe in the existence of energy, which has no cause? A boy loves a girl even though she totally rejects him. This is a factual case even though reason does not exist in it. If love is the reason, then the reason of such love is absent and the question returns to the original state. Again love is abstract, which is invisible but inferred from the above case. All these points are created by God to give the information about Himself that He is unimaginable and that His existence is only inferred through experience. This does not mean that space, love or work (awareness) are God. They indicate God by giving indirect information about God. Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  4. The word Samkranti [Sankranti] means complete transformation. The sun diverts itself from south to north [from winter solstice to summer solstice]. The south is called as Pitriyanam, which indicates the strong bond of love of parents. This is the strongest among all worldly bonds. The north is called as Devayanam, indicating the bond with God. This festival represents the diversion of love from the world to God. This festival is also called as Pongal which means a sweet prepared by boiling rice with milk and sugar. All these three ingredients are white indicating purity. Rice indicates service. Milk indicates spiritual knowledge. Sugar indicates devotion. When pongal is finally prepared, only rice is seen. The milk and sugar penetrate into rice and such penetration is Samkranti. This means that knowledge and love exist internally in the service. For example when you are serving your child, the knowledge that the child belongs to you and the love for your child exist in your service. Without knowledge and love, there cannot be service. Service is like the plant coming from the seed. Knowledge is like water. Devotion is like fertilizer. The water and the fertilizer penetrate into the plant and both make the plant grow into a big strong tree. The tree alone yields fruit. The fruit cannot be achieved by just the water or fertilizer or by both together without the plant. The plant also cannot be born from the seed if the earth does not supply water and minerals as fertilizer from the soil. If you do not identify your child, no love is born. Without love, service cannot be born. Therefore without knowledge there cannot be the birth of devotion and without devotion there cannot be the birth of service. Without service there is no fruit. Brahma indicates knowledge. Vishnu indicates devotion. The dancing Shiva indicates action or service. Lord Datta indicates these three associated together. Hanuman served Rama in Rama’s personal matter. Hanuman knew very well that Rama was God and this knowledge was constantly maintained in his service. His devotion to Rama was at its climax in his service. When Sita was not found, he wanted to commit suicide. This shows his love for Rama in the service. As per the Valmiki Ramayana, you can always find the knowledge and devotion of Hanuman in his service alone. You can never see Hanuman involved in [philosophical] debates on God or singing songs on God. He is always seen in service to Rama throughout the Ramayana and his knowledge and devotion always exist in the service simultaneously. The whole essence of his knowledge was only identifying the contemporary human form of God. The whole essence of his devotion was only serving practically such a living human form. Sundara Kanda means the beautiful part of Ramayana since it describes the selfless service of Hanuman to the living human form without aspiring for any fruit in return. You have to read the Sundara Kanda only to learn this aspect. But people are reading it for getting success in their selfish works! Hanuman did not accept even a garland for his service in the end. Such selfless service based on the spiritual knowledge learnt from the Sun-god and devotion learnt from his mother, yielded the topmost fruit of becoming Brahma (God). Such selfless service integrated with knowledge and devotion is the nishkama karma yoga of the Gita. Service is work and hence is called as karma yoga. Work is energy and matter (money) is also energy. Hence work and matter are one and the same. Therefore both sacrifice of work and the sacrifice of the fruit of work (money) come under karma yoga or seva yoga. The sages were always busy with knowledge and devotion to God. They did not do any service to Rama practically even though they identified Rama as God. The water and fertilizer without the plant could not yield any fruit and they had to take another birth as the Gopikas to get salvation. Hanuman got the topmost divine fruit in that life itself since he did not stop with knowledge and devotion. He extended his knowledge and devotion into service. The moment you recognize your child it is jnana yoga. Immediately love is generated and this is called Bhakti Yoga. Spontaneously you start serving your child and this is karma yoga, which is nishkama karma yoga since you do not aspire for any fruit in return. In the case of your child, really no fruit is achieved. But in the case of God, for the same selfless service, unimaginable fruit was given to Hanuman. Here the transformation of knowledge into love and service is spontaneous in the case of your child. But in the case of God, why is the transformation incomplete? I mean, why do some stop at knowledge and why do some others stop at devotion? The reason is that their knowledge itself is fully wrong in not generating devotion. If the knowledge is partially wrong, devotion is generated but not service. If you identify God as formless, it is fully wrong knowledge and hence no devotion is developed. If you identify God in human form, but worship statues of such human form, devotion is generated but not service. If you identify the living human form of God, service is generated. When you fully identify your child, the knowledge is fully correct and love and service are generated spontaneously. When you have a doubt in the identity of your child, your knowledge is partially correct. Then the love that is generated will not really transform into service. Service always includes correct knowledge and full love. The formless God results in no expenditure of your work and money. The statues result in partial expenditure like cleaning (sacrifice of work) and repairs (sacrifice of money). The living human form of God has lot of recurring expenditure like feeding Him every day etc. The essence of sacrifice is deciding the right concept of God. The Advaitin is very clever and says that he himself is God and feeding himself everyday is accounted in the recurring expenditure incurred for God. The human form of God (Sadguru) alone can give the fully correct knowledge that transforms into devotion and service spontaneously. When you are diverting the service or practical devotion from the world (family and society) consisting of living human beings, towards God, that God must also be in a living human form. Then alone can the service like feeding etc. be diverted practically from one side to the other. If your world contains only pictures or statues of your forefathers who are not alive today, then you can divert your service of cleaning the statues of your forefathers to doing the same for the statues of God. The diversion of service should be in the same phase i.e., either all in living human forms or all in the forms of statues. There cannot be diversion of practical devotion from one phase to the other phase. Suppose you have offered ten kilograms of food to a statue of God and offered half a kilogram of food to your son. You cannot say that you have twenty times more devotion for God as compared to your son. Here the comparison is not in one phase. If God comes in human form, will you offer half kg of food to Him daily as you are offering to your son? Therefore the proof of the diversion or transformation can be in a single-phase system only. Hanuman left his living mother and worshipped Rama while He was alive. He did not leave his living mother to worship a statue in the temple or to meditate upon the formless God in a forest or to serve himself, feeling that he is God. The Gopikas left the bonds with all living forms (parents, in-laws, husbands, children etc.) only to worship a specific living form, Krishna, who was alive in their time. One should also note that Krishna was not related to them either. If you understand The Ramayanam and the Bhagavatam, it is sufficient since these are practical demonstrations of the entire spiritual knowledge. Even [service to] the living human form of a devotee is sufficient to please God. The Lord came as a devotee to Shaktuprastha and to the parents of Siriyala to test their ability to divert their service from family bonds to a representative of God. I assuredly tell you that if you serve a real devotee, God is more pleased than receiving the service Himself. I doubt about the truth of Myself being the present human incarnation but I can assure you without any trace of doubt that all my devotees are the best devotees of God. I cannot assure salvation for worshipping Me but I assure in the name of God that if you serve My devotees, salvation is a must [one will certainly achieve salvation]. The human form of God conducts severe tests as you can see in the case of Rama. Hanuman is the most sacred bachelor and the topmost saint. People of such level look down on the householder considering him to be of an inferior level. Rama was a householder and showed blind love for Sita by running after the golden deer to satisfy her. He asked Ravana to return Sita back to Him. He said that if Sita were returned, he would go back without harming Ravana. In that case, Ravana would have continued his torture of good people. This shows that Rama was ready to sacrifice the welfare of the entire world for the sake of Sita. Rama exhibited the climax of blind love but Hanuman continued to think of Rama as God. Rama became helpless and wept when faced with several problems. Hanuman saved Him through miraculous deeds. Any observer will conclude that Hanuman is God and Rama is his devotee. But Hanuman always declared that Rama is God and that he is His devotee. In the end Rama honored all those who had helped Him, with rewards, except Hanuman. Anybody in the place of Hanuman would have shouted at Rama. But Hanuman tore his heart to show Rama in his heart. Tests in Practical Service All the tests by conducted by God were only in the matter of practical service. God did not test anybody by asking the meaning of a hymn from the Upanishads. He did not test anybody in their ability to sing devotional songs. Only the sacrifice of work and the fruit of work were tested and both these together form service. Clever people try to divert the right issue to a wrong issue and claim salvation. They think that the divine test is in taking a cold water bath in the morning, chanting the name of God by counting the beads of garlands [rosary], number of days they fast by eating ten times the usual amount of non conventional food, doing breathing exercises, running away from the home and taking the saffron cloth to earn money and fame etc. Based on these self-decided tests, people evaluate themselves and declare their own results! They declare themselves as the district collectors by fixing their own norms for the qualification of the IAS degree [Indian Adminsitrative Services]. Polished shoes, tucked in shirt, tie around neck, belt around the waist etc. are their norms for getting the degree and the subsequent post! Worldly bonds are found to be blind and foolish on analysis as compared to the pious bond with God. The essence of all worldly bonds is only the love for the means to achieve selfish happiness as per the statements of the Veda and the Gita (Atmanah Kamaya…—Veda; Ye Hi Samsparshajah…—Gita). Any soul in the world loves the other soul for the fact that the other soul is an instrument in giving him self-happiness. If the other soul gives him constant worry, then enmity and hatred replace the love. The medium of happiness is always money. Among these worldly bonds, the wealth linked with children is strongest. You can find the two extreme ends of this aspect in Dhritarashtra and in the parents of Siriyala. Dhritarashtra could not give even five villages [to the Pandavas] even though God was directly asking. [He wanted the entire kingdom for his own cruel son Duryodhana although it rightfully belonged to the justice-loving Pandavas]. This is a climax of blind love for one’s children linked with wealth. On the other hand, the parents of Siriyala killed their son to satisfy the desire of a devotee. The bond with God is excellent and is beyond words if properly analyzed. He has given human birth, long life, wealth, family etc., in spite of your most undeserving file of qualities [your file of past deeds and resulting qualities]. Still you say that this favor is done to many souls commonly. If you analyze your previous life, there are several miraculous experiences in which God rained undue favors on you. If you are a real human being, tears should flow down. If you remove the layer of ignorance on which you are dancing, you will be surprised to know that you and all your beloved souls including your materials are just the modifications of His power. In fact there is no real meaning of your sacrifice. It is only an apparent test of your practical love towards God. It is only a test of your attitude and feelings towards God because in the basic reality you have neither gained anything from the world nor lost anything through sacrifice to God. In fact you have lost your things through sacrifice to the other souls who exploited you as a means for their selfish happiness and do not even recognize you in the upper world. You are doing sins like corruption, looting good devotees etc. for the sake of your so-called beloved souls. The illusion of your ignorance about the true spiritual knowledge is so strong that you are as blind as Dhritarashtra in failing to show practical love for God even after recognition. You cannot even dream about the word ‘salvation’. Your first step should be to catch the Sadguru who will give sight to your eyes through the surgery of preaching spiritual knowledge. If you climb this first step, the final fruit is spontaneous since His spiritual knowledge is an escalator. The spiritual success of Hanuman is simply due to the Sadguru, Sun-god, caught by him. Hanuman learnt the spiritual knowledge from Sun-god who is the radiator of the intelligence or the analytical faculty as said in the Veda. Hanuman adjusted himself to the convenience of the Sadguru in receiving the spiritual knowledge by moving his face constantly in a circular way. All this means that you should take all the pains in receiving the spiritual knowledge from the Sadguru. The Sun represents the Sadguru and the radiation represents spiritual knowledge. Arjuna saw Krishna as thousands of suns in the cosmic vision. Krishna said that His first student was Sun-god. This means that Krishna (God) is thousands of liberated souls in spiritual knowledge. This means that Hanuman received the knowledge-cassette of God from His student and developed to such a highest state! Arjuna heard the knowledge directly from God, but he forgot the Gita by the end of the war and asked Krishna to repeat it. Therefore some devotees who have heard the knowledge directly from Me ask me to repeat it by next day. Some devotees might have read My books given by My devotees and may reach the state of Hanuman. Therefore, the Samskara or the level of maturity of the receiver is responsible for the final success. All hear the same spiritual knowledge from the Sadguru, but only a few succeed and this is due to their already attained level of maturity. Both the quality of the spiritual knowledge and the maturity of the receiver are important. The drop should be a water drop and the receiver should be the pearl shell to form a pearl. A conch shell cannot turn the water drop into a pearl. Similarly, a particle of dust fallen in the pearl shell also cannot become a pearl. Swami Answers Anil Q) What are the different samskaras that should be turned to God other than family bonds? A) The essence of all the samskaras is love, which has the potency to materialize into service. Theoretical love, which cannot materialize into service, cannot be a Samskara. Various feelings of attachment made of this practical love are all the Samskaras. Q) Will a person suffering with madness due to a great sin done by him, be aware of his pains while in the state of madness? A) A mad person is often insulted and sometimes is subjected to beatings and even electric shocks in the hospitals. All such things give pain to him and he experiences the pain. Therefore, madness is a punishment for sin. Q) Does attaining perfect health through yogic exercises violate the law of karma? [Some people by personal effort in doing yogic exercises attain perfect health. Then this may contradict the cause and effect of karma, since one is destined to suffer, but due to his effort he is overcoming that suffering?] A) The person who gets good health by such exercises is benefited, which is also a part of the implementation of the fruits of deeds. God arranges the fruits of good and bad deeds alternately, in the life cycle and this point removes the above objection. Q) Is sin relative or absolute? A) When a good soul suffers due to your behavior, you get sin. Therefore, sin is absolute in its fundamental sense. Q) You have said that attachment to souls and other things are the root cause of diseases. Then what about bacteria etc? A) Attachment leads to tension and anxiety, which is the root cause of several chronic diseases like heart attacks, hypertension, etc., which have no involvement of bacteria. The bacterial attacks are due to the effects of sins. Q) In the Bible it is told that unless you are born of water and spirit, you will not enter the Kingdom of God, what is the meaning of this? A) The spirit and water indicate the Knowledge given by the Sadguru like Jesus, Krishna etc., which cleans your soul from the dirty ignorance so that you can be a citizen of the kingdom of God. Then by your service you will become an employee of the King and slowly you can become the Son of God and finally, God in human form. This means that Knowledge is the basis and the Sadguru is the source of such True Knowledge. Q) Why are only external beauty (form of matter) and good qualities (forms of awareness) considered to be unreal by the Lord? Isn’t devotion also a quality? A) Matter and qualities based on the bond with God attain reality because God is the absolute reality. When these are based on the relatively real worldly bonds, these become temporary. A temporary item is always unreal according to the theory of Shankara (Yadanityam…). Q) How can light be both a particle and a wave? [Question posed to Anil on a discussion forum: Datta Swami claims to be Nostradamus’s great genius. He also claims to be Christ re-incarnated. To be the Great Genius and rectify science and religion He must surely know the answer to this simple question.] A) You have to study quantum mechanics and wave mechanics in advanced science and this point is clearly proved. A photon is treated as a particle of light, which is in the sense that it is a quantum. The dual nature of an electron of being a particle and wave has already opened the way. The quantum of light may not have mass, but the quantization is considered to be supporting its particle nature. Einstein’s photoelectric theory is to be studied in detail. Q) Whether family bonds are temporary or not, why should we not embrace them? [Question posed to Anil on a discussion forum: What if family bonds are not temporary and we retain those bonds after death? Alternatively, what if they are indeed temporary but there is no after-life. Even if they are temporary and there also is after-life, does it mean that we should not embrace these bonds? Shouldn’t we love our children and parents?] A) The love in the family bonds with respect to an outsider in the society is justified as far as the field of world (Pravritti) is concerned. When God enters into this field (Nivritti), these bonds become unreal. With reference to the absolute God, the bonds with the relatively real world are unreal. The merits of the bond with God are to be understood by analysis and experience, which is widely discussed by Me. Jesus told that one couldn’t be His disciple unless one hates even the family bonds. This should be understood with reference to God only and not as a general statement. Q) How can we believe that family relations are our vehement enemies because we have not seen our previous births? [The Yoga Vashishtha says that our family members are our enemies from past births and are now put together with us so that they can take their revenge from us or get their payback (Runanubandha rupena…)] A) Today there are several practical examples in the entire world to show the existence of previous births and the field of para-psychology has been established. Children are enemies and this is stated in Hinduism and this correlates with the statement of Jesus who asks us to hate these bonds because hatred comes only in the case of enemies. Q) Is the mind different from the soul and body? A) The soul is pure awareness like the lump of gold. Mind, which is a bundle of feelings, is like a bundle of golden ornaments. The strong feelings form the subtle body and the soul is the causal body. Awareness is only a special work-form of inert energy. The gross body is matter, which is another form of inert energy. Therefore, all these three (soul, mind and the gross body) are inert energy, which is created by God and form the basis of creation. Q) Who is ‘Maitreya’ who claims to be Christ re-incarnate? A) You have to decide the human incarnation of the Lord based on the spiritual knowledge radiating from Him. The sun is recognized by light. A solar battery operated lamp, which also emits light, is a partial sun because the light of the sun and the light of the lamp are qualitatively the same although they differ quantitatively. Therefore, a partial incarnation of God, charged by the power of God, is also qualitatively God Himself. The quantitative difference need not be discussed because sometimes the devotees of lower level require only a partially true knowledge. You have to decide the incarnation of God from the quality of the spiritual knowledge forgetting the quantitative differences in the same spiritual knowledge. If the spiritual knowledge is darkness and ignorance, you have to reject such a person since he will be the incarnation of Satan. Therefore, you have to decide the incarnation of God based on the quality of the spiritual knowledge. The name, form and external culture are only the material of the cup, which cannot decide the material present in the cup. If the material in the golden cup is Satan like salt water, such a gold cup is an incarnation of Satan. If Divine nectar is present even in an ordinary ceramic cup, you have to take the cup as an incarnation of God. If the cup is full of the Divine nectar, it is a complete incarnation of God. If there is only a little nectar, it is a partial incarnation of God. Therefore, Nostradamus stressed mainly on the material inside the cup, which is Universal Spirituality and science. The external physical signs like three seas, Thursday etc., should be neglected. You have to decide the Great Genius of Nostradamus based on the knowledge radiated by such A Genius. You pay for the material inside the cup and not for the material of the cup, because you can swallow only the material present inside the cup and get benefit from it. [1] The 33 crore deities correspond to similar mental tendencies that people exhibit. The One compassionate Lord takes these varied forms to suit those varied tendencies [2] A great saint who lived in the 13th century who propounded a treatise discussing various philosophies including atheism and Buddhism Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  5. PEACE, BLISS AND LIBERATION The Lord comes in human form in every human generation. All people may not recognize Him. Only a few devotees can recognize Him and get the benefit of liberation form these worldly bonds. The human form of Lord has no obligation to see that every body recognizes Him. Of course, He will try His best to give His identity and to reveal Himself slowly according to the speed of digestion of the devotees. The teacher comes to the class and teaches the class impartially to his level best in view of the capacity of digestion of the sitting students in the class. Some attend the class very carefully and get a first class. Some attend with less care and just pass. Some do not attend and fail. The student is responsible for the final result. Similarly, some recognize the human incarnation as the Lord. Some recognize the human incarnation as a blessed devotee. Some treat the human incarnation as an ordinary human being. For this variation, God is not at all responsible. Suppose, the teacher comes to a class in one year and does not come to next batch of the same class, it is injustice on the part of the teacher to favor one batch and not the other batch. Similarly, the human incarnation cannot favor only one human generation by direct contact. There is no greater devotee than Hanuman and the Gopikas. Both have worshipped their contemporary human incarnations alone, who were Rama and Krishna respectively. Hanuman did not worship the statues of Vamana or Parashurama who were the past human incarnations or the statues of heavenly energetic forms like Vishnu, Shiva etc., or even the formless God. After completing the learning from the Sun-god, He did not say that He was Brahman already but He became Brahman finally by serving the contemporary human incarnation. The present Advaita scholar is the reverse of this. He says that he is already Brahman and never became Brahman! Hanuman did not go to temples and pilgrimages, never chanted any mantra, never did any penance etc. He simply recognized the human incarnation in His generation and served Him in whatever way the Lord required. The same Hanuman lived after Rama till the next human incarnation came. During the time of the next incarnation, Krishna, Hanuman was still worshipping Rama in His mind. But Krishna corrected Him and made Him a devotee of the contemporary incarnation again. Similarly, the Gopikas did not worship statues of a past human incarnation like Rama or statues of Vishnu etc., and did not do anything except worshipping their contemporary human incarnation by offering butter, by dancing with Him etc. These Gopikas reached the highest Goloka. The Gopikas were the ancient sages who wrote the Upanishads, which form the basis for Advaitins. Even as Gopikas, they retained their previous knowledge about God and hence they cannot be treated as illiterate (Mahatmya Jnana—Narada Bhakti Sutra). The Pandavas who recognized their contemporary human incarnation but could not do total sacrifice for the Lord due to limitations of justice [they cared for justice more than God], could go only up to heaven. Every devotee in Hinduism has digested these three epics thoroughly and their essence very very clear. What more proof is required for the concept of the contemporary human incarnation than this? Everywhere in the Gita, the worship of Krishna was stressed, which means the worship of the contemporary human incarnation. The worship of the living human form of God is far better than worshipping energetic forms and worshipping dead human forms (Devan Deva Yajo Yanti Pitrun Yanti Pitru Vratah—Gita). The word ‘Pitru’ here can be taken as the past human form of God who was the real father of the soul [‘Pitru’commonly means dead father or ancestor]. Jesus referred to these living people who worship the past dead forms as dead, because they should go to the past in the same state of dead to get the effect of contemporary human incarnation (Let the dead burry the dead…). Artificial Goal and Path One cannot argue that it is impossible to please God in human form by such total sacrifice of work and the fruit of work. This argument is not correct because one can do such total sacrifice for the sake of one’s children. One is unable to do it only in the case of God. If it were really impossible, it would have been impossible in the case of the children too. People want the highest fruit through the easiest path. Hence, they have changed the very goal itself. Suppose it is very difficult for you to travel to Delhi. But you want to go to Delhi. Then, you name a nearby village as Delhi and reach that Delhi. Now you are satisfied that you are in Delhi. You will say that there is no Delhi other than that village. Generations pass and after a long time, that petty village stands as Delhi. People do not even know of the existence of the real Delhi. But the truth is that that the petty village can never be Delhi and no matter how many people for how many generations are living in that petty village, they are not the citizens of Delhi. This is the power of truth and the incapability of tradition. People want the grace of God by mere theoretical devotion like prostitutes, or want the grace of God by investing some work or wealth like businessmen. The difficulties in selfless service and in sacrificing work and wealth without aspiring for any fruit in return to the contemporary human incarnation, lead the people to invent a new comfortable God with a comfortable path. This new God is formless or a statue and the path is theoretical meditation or theoretical devotion with sacrifice of a little work in one’s leisure time or with the sacrifice of little wealth to escape tax problems [escaping income tax by making tax-deductible donations]. The new path is laid out with their own new conditions, which are possible to do with some difficulty so that they too can claim that the path is difficult. For example, taking a cold-water bath early in the morning in winter, is one such new condition, which is not possible for all people. Some people can do this and feel that they have satisfied the concept of the path to God being full of difficulties. The actual path is full of thorns [practical sacrifice] and nobody can travel on it to God but they can travel on it in for the sake of their own children. Now a new path is made for the new goal and the path is artificially made to contain some small pits. Now crossing these pits on the new path is the difficulty in the path to God. Somehow, some people cross these pits and have the satisfaction of traveling through a path filled with difficulties. Such selfish, clever misinterpretations of the long blind tradition have harmed souls. Even a soul, which is capable of traveling on the thorny path, is not aware of the real path and the identity of the real goal. Even such a capable soul is misled into traveling on the false path filled with small pits and reaching the petty village called as Delhi. Such a capable soul should at least have the knowledge of the right path and the right goal. For this purpose alone, are the true path and true goal revealed today in My divine knowledge. The truth will attract only very few gems. The fraud will attract many gravel stones. If I had wanted only the majority of gravel stones, I need not preach this divine knowledge any more, because there is sufficient fraud already established by the blind tradition. One should not be afraid of the thorny path, which alone is true. One should constantly try to travel on that true path. If the soul is constantly trying, God will help the soul by sanctioning any number of future human births with a congenial atmosphere and one day or other the soul will certainly reach the true goal. This is better than reaching the false goal through the false path in this very human birth itself. But remember, the effort should be really sincere and not a cinematic act. Illusory Goal of Advaita The Advaitin preaches Atma Yoga to get rid of both happiness and misery. It is a no-profit-no-loss business, which not even a fool would do. Such Atma Yoga denies the existence of God other than the self and this greatest sin generates continuous punishment to be enjoyed by the soul. When the punishment is to be implemented, you cannot escape it by limiting yourself to a state of non-involvement. The powerful divine Maya will catch you and drag you out for delivering the punishment. If the thief hides underground without any involvement with the world, the police will search for him, catch him and impart the punishment to him. The final result of Atma Yoga is becoming an inert stone but one cannot become even that stone if there is a balance of sin [remaining to be suffered] and the sin is endless in this case. Hence, there is no chance of becoming even a stone through Atma Yoga. However, if you are so fond becoming a stone, you have to worship the Lord who is the controller of your self. Then, no sin is generated. When the previous balance of sin is exhausted by punishments, you can become a stone by the grace of God. Such a state represents the state of deep sleep where the soul has no awareness and remains as a lump of inert energy alone—in eternal peace. If such a state were the highest, God too would have remained in that state without this creation. Perhaps, you are wiser than God for having this better state, which is not realized even by God! In your opinion God has foolishly created this world to have full enjoyment through full entertainment based on full involvement in the world. State of God When you become a liberated soul through selfless service to God in human form, you will attain the same state of God—of full entertainment in the world based on the full involvement. In such a state you will enjoy both happiness and misery like sweet and hot dishes in a meal or like comedy and tragedy in a cinema or like winter and summer seasons in the world. You may think that you have come to know this clue [of how to enjoy bliss] and that you can start enjoying the world like God forgetting God once again. You may think that God is no more necessary since the clue of enjoyment is now known. Then you will become the Bhasmasura [a demon] who tried to burn Lord Shiva after getting such a power from Lord Shiva Himself. Such ungratefulness to God again generates sin and in order to undergo the punishment for that sin, Maya will drag you to the lower level of normal human beings. As long as you are in the selfless service of God, you will always be with God in human form in this world to derive bliss from the entertainment continuously. If you go far from God due to egoism and jealousy by crossing the mark of the circle of His closest devotees, the thousands of hands of Maya will bite you like black poisonous serpents. To become a liberated soul, one need not exhaust the results of all his deeds to be enjoyed by him. There is no need of the transfer of sin to God in this case. Such transfer of sin only protects the closest devotee before liberation. In the case of the liberated soul, the existing balance of sin can be enjoyed by himself through the divine clue [of how to derive bliss and entertainment in both happiness and misery]. If the devotee gets this clue from God and maintains His grace through selfless service, one can be liberated in any moment in this very human life. You need not worry about the balance of the results of his previous deeds. This worry has no validity because the moment you become a liberated soul, you are going to enjoy the balance of the results of your deeds also as a part of the world to be enjoyed like that in the future. Anyway he is going to enjoy both sweet and hot dishes in a restaurant outside his house. He can enjoy the sweet and hot dishes left over in his house also in a similar way. Therefore, Jeevan Mukti (liberation while living in this human life) is possible for anyone at any time. It is just like seeing a part of the movie on your television in your house, and seeing the next part of the movie in a theatre (assuming that the size of the screen is same) outside your house immediately. The story of the movie is a continuous stream. Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  6. Last week
  7. Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: { Allah created one hundred (parts of mercy) and He distributed one amongst His creation and kept this one hundred excepting one with Himself (for the Day of Resurrection).} It was related by Tirmidhi Narrated Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbor. I command you to take care of the women, for they are created from a rib and the most crooked portion of the rib is its upper part; if you try to straighten it, you will break it and if you leave it will remain crooked, so I command you to take care of the women." Narrated Abu Dhar (RAA) that he heard the Prophet (SAW) saying "If someone accuses another of Fusuq (by calling him Fasiq, a wicked person) or accuses him of Kufr (disbelief), such an accusation will revert to him (the accuser) if his companion (the accused) is innocent." Bukhari 1/2 القرآن فيه تناقضات! منصور في حوار مع زائر الجزء الأول 2/2 القرآن فيه تناقضات! منصور في حوار مع زائر الجزء الأول https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7K7XshNqnI&t=10s
  8. Career or the Propagation of Spiritual Knowledge? [Dr. Nikhil said: Swami, I am unable to concentrate much on the propagation of Your spiritual knowledge due to the pressure of my job. The concepts of Your spiritual knowledge are really amazing and deserve propagation. But the results of the propagation activities are not seen due to my insufficient attention to the propagation.] Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! The job is the basic stage on which both the dramas of worldly life (pravṛtti) and spiritual life (nivṛtti) can be enacted. If one has a good lot of property, then thinking of leaving the job can be justified. It is also justified, if one does not have a family to take care of, like Śaṅkara, Vivekananda etc. But, having entered into family life, one should not go back. Even Arjuna tried to withdraw from the war, before the war began. He did not try to withdraw from the war after it started. Moreover, worldly life is essential for an ordinary soul, even though the soul is interested in the spiritual life. Worldly life, including having a job and so on, provides variety in life. A change is needed, now and then, for a person involved in spiritual activity. While you are eating sweets, a hot dish becomes necessary, now and then, to provide a change. The point is, whether you are eating sweets continuously and using the hot dish only as a side-dish or whether you are continuously eating hot dishes and using the sweet dish as a side dish. So, what matters is, whether your main activity is worldly life and you are using spiritual life only as side dish or whether your main activity is spiritual life and you are using worldly life only as a side dish. Of course, worldly activity is very much essential to support you and hence, you must be mainly engaged in the worldly activity and use spiritual activity as a side-dish. But, in course of time, the worldly activity becomes a very easy routine activity, due to your long experience. This is called as yoga (Yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam—Gita). Until you become skilled in worldly activity, you have to concentrate mainly on the worldly activity. At any stage, try to do your best for the propagation of spiritual knowledge, which is God’s work. You need not bother about the result of your work because, God is not bothered about the result of your work. God can achieve the result, just by His will, in just a fraction of a second. Hence, God does not aspire for the result of your action. He only sees whether you have full sincerity and full dedication in His work, as much as possible. It is only for testing your interest, sincerity and dedication to His work, that He has assigned the work to you. He has not assigned the work to you for the sake of any result. His service is not like target-oriented marketing job. His service is only dedication-oriented. Hence, you should never worry about the result of your work done for God. If God Rāma had wished, Rāvaṇa would have turned into ash and Sītā would have stood by His side, in a fraction of a second. All the drama of building the bridge on the sea was done by Him only to test the dedication, devotion, sincerity and interest in the hearts of the angels towards Him. As you know, the angels were born as monkeys to serve God. The occasion was only an opportunity meant to prove the sincerity of the angels towards God. It was not actually about building the sea-bridge, at all. Among knowledge (jñāna yoga), devotion (bhakti yoga) and service (karma yoga), knowledge is the most important. The jñāna yoga or knowledge is like the right path along which your vehicle is moving. It is the most important aspect. The actual movement or journey of the vehicle is karma yoga and the speed of the vehicle is bhakti yoga. If the path is wrong, both the journey and the speed of the vehicle totally go waste. God is incarnating, again and again, to remind the devotees about the right path, because devotees often slip from it due to the influence of wrong guides. Preaching the right spiritual knowledge is the main program of any Incarnation of God. The director of an institute gives right direction to his staff, so that the institute can progress in the right way. Hence, the director is the most important person and he holds the topmost postition. In every generation, God incarnates because the direction once given by Him is frequently misinterpreted and twisted by wrong preachers (Sa kāleneha mahatā, yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa—Gita). Whenever devotees slip from the correct path due to wrong interpretations, God incarnates to redirect them to the correct direction (Tadātmānaṃ sṛjāmyahaṃ—Gita). Hence, God said in the Gita that the propagation of correct spiritual knowledge gives Him immense pleasure (Jñāna yajñena tenāham…—Gita). Everywhere in the Gita, God has praised the propagation of the correct spiritual knowledge, which is greatly needed in every generation (Nahi jñānena sadṛṣaṃ…, Sarvam jñāna plavenaiva…, Sarvaṃ Karmākhilam…, Jñānāgniḥ…, Śreyān dravyamayāt…etc.). Every time and everywhere, everybody is putting in a lot of effort for attaining devotion and performing sacrifice and service. Hence, there is no need to propagate devotion, service and sacrifice. Only the missing correct direction needs to be propagated. So, Śaṅkara, Rāmānuja, Madhva, Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, Vivekananda, Jesus, Buddha, Mahavir, Prophet Mohammad etc., worked only for the propagation of the right spiritual knowledge and they became the most beloved devotees of God. All these preachers were actually Incarnations of God acting in the roles of devotees. A devotee can connect more freely with another devotee. If the Incarnation expresses Himself as God, that free connection with the devotees will get suppressed. Hence, all the Incarnations of God always act as devotees and as ideal examples for other human devotees to follow. Rāma was the topmost Incarnation because He never exposed Himself as God, but instead, always behaved as an ideal human being, without doing any miracle.
  9. Who are the destroyers of the soul mentioned in the Esavasya Upanishad? Shri Balaji asked: Respected Swamiji, Could You kindly clarify the third verse of the Īśāvāsya Upaniṣad? The verse, “Asūryā nāma te lokā…ātma hano janāḥ”, is a warning, describing the the fate of the slayers of their own souls (ātman). Who are these destroyers of the soul (ātma hanaḥ)? Is it just people who fail in the path of worldly justice pravṛtti as said in the first verse, “Tena tyaktena buñjīthā ma gṛdaḥ kasyasvit dhanam” or does it also extend to people who do not strive for niṣkāma karma yoga as said in the second verse “Kurvaneha karmāṇi...na karma lipyate nare”? Sincerely, Balaji Swami replied: The people mentioned in the first verse are the same people implied in the second verse. The second verse is the extension of the first. If a person commits suicide (destroyer of the soul), such a person will fall into a dark hell forever. Human life is the most precious life granted by God. It is a chance given to the soul to develop spiritually. The person who ends his own life is rejecting and destroying the gift of human life given by God and is insulting God. The reasons for committing suicide are mainly worldly and are the most stupid reasons. Millions of human generations have passed and millions are yet to come. The stupid soul gives unnecessary and meaningless importance to the petty issues of this illusory world and puts off the life-lamp, which is mainly meant for earning the grace of God. Suppose a person is travelling in a train to a city where he has to face a job-interview for a very high position. In the train, the person gets into a quarrel with a fellow-passenger over a seat. The person gets very emotionally upset and jumps out of the train and kills himself! Does he have even a trace of wisdom? Such a person is the king of bloody fools, who gives the topmost importance to silly issues, forgetting the topmost issue, which is the main aim of human life! Apart from cases of suicide, a person (soul) who spends his entire lifetime on worldly issues, without ever thinking about God, is also committing suicide, in a sense. Such people too can be said to be killing their souls (ātma hanaḥ). These are the kind of people that are mainly referred to in this verse. By merely thinking about worldly issues, they are ruining the main aim of life, which is spiritual development. Thus, the verse is related to both ruining one’s spiritual life as well as committing suicide. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website:Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  10. How can we confidently answer difficult people who impose false beliefs on us? [Shri Balaji asked: Respected Swamiji, Namaste. Many times, when we meet strangers, they might act like good persons. Sometimes, they might even pretend to be great devotees, just to fool others or due to their ego or over-confidence. Perhaps, some of them might even be genuine and might have the best of intentions. But in a short meeting, it is difficult to know the reality of people. So, usually, I end up giving the benefit of the doubt to them and assume they are good. But if these persons are elders, they sometimes try to dominate us by getting angry or threatening to curse or not give their blessings to us. Sometimes, I hear elders threatening that all spiritual practices done by younger people are of no use unless they get the blessings of their elders. How does one handle such difficult people? Also, how does one develop one’s intuition to understand people’s real nature or intention? How can one fearlessly give a strong response, even when they try all kinds of tricks to dominate and subdue younger people? Sincerely, Balaji] Swami replied: Every person is an individual soul with an ego. The ego makes the person think that he or she is preaching true spiritual knowledge or a true philosophy. The person also expects others to become his disciples and accept and follow him. It gives pleasure to the soul. No one wants to always remain a disciple and receive knowledge from a divine preacher. It makes the person feel inferior to become somebody else’s disciple. This mentality makes people behave as if they are preachers and preach their own philosophy to others. They want to preach to others, at least for some time before they die. That is why you find many elders, especially when they are old, wanting to preach to others. This itch (kaṇḍūti) to preach to others and turn them into their disciples exists in almost all souls. However, this does not automatically make their preaching true. Shri Paramahamsa once asked a preacher “Did you get permission from God to preach this type of spiritual knowledge?” Neither age nor the experience of the preacher make their preaching true. Generally, people quote longstanding traditions as the authorities for the spiritual knowledge they preach. But Śankara said that no matter how many centuries darkness has existed in a closed room, it instantly vanishes with the first ray of sunlight from an opened window. The darkness cannot claim its right to remain in the room, just because it had existed in the room for so long. It has to exit the room, the very instant sunlight enters. Similarly, the false ignorance must vanish as soon as it faces true knowledge. It does not matter even if that false ignorance has existed for generations together or the preacher is very old and experienced. Śaṅkara was a young man of about 30 years, when He performed the funeral rites for His mother, in spite of being a saint. Since He had broken tradition, He was severely criticized by the priests at Kāladi (His native place), who were much older than Him. But Śaṅkara retorted to them “Your foolish traditions do not apply to Me since I follow true knowledge. Your arguments fail before Me as a knife meant for cutting vegetables fails to cut a stone (Śilāprayukta kṣurādivat…)”. The general rule (dharma) is that a saint shall not perform any rituals related to any family member, because he is supposed to have given up family life for the sake of God. But Śaṅkara was the only son of His widowed mother and she had made Him promise that He would perform her last rites. It was on that condition that she had allowed Him to become a saint and carry out the divine mission. Śaṅkara’s divine mission on earth was of critical importance for mankind. So, in His specific case, the general rule had to be amended. The general rule was superficially amended for the emergency, while maintaining its subtle essence (Āpaddharma-dharma sūkṣma). The elderly priests only had superficial knowledge, whereas, Śaṅkara knew the essence of the true knowledge. The essence of all rituals is that souls should pray to God for protection. People’s egos get hurt when their long desire to preach to some disciples fails. This especially happens when very young people try to reveal true concepts to their elders. To remove the ego of such elders, Śaṅkara said in a verse that the preacher is very young and His disciples are very old (Vṛddhāḥ śiṣyāḥ gururyuvā). Śankara lived only for 32 years, and yet became the Preacher of the world (Jagatguru)! Never yield to false concepts, if you thoroughly know the true concept. To satisfy the ego of elders, you can act as if you are yielding. If you sense ego and rigidity in a person’s arguments, you too should remain firm on your true ideas. Externally, you can act as if you are yielding to the person. You might perhaps succeed in finding the non-existent horns of a rabbit, but you can never convince a person who is rigid about his ideas, irrespective of what his age is. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  11. Is the resurrection of Jesus false? Shri Ahsan Habib, Dhaka asked: You have said that Jesus did not die on the cross and that, with the help of His disciples, He escaped to India, where he died at the age of 85. So, does it not mean that His resurrection was false? Swami replied: What do you mean by resurrection? If it means rising from the dead, there is no problem in saying that Jesus was resurrected after three days. There are different versions of the life of Jesus. As per one version, Jesus died on being crucified and rose from the dead again. Then, after His resurrection, He travelled to India and lived for many decades, during which He interacted with many Indian philosophers. Finally, at the age of 85 years, the inevitable death of His mortal body took place and the tomb of Jesus exists in the Himalayas, even today. There is no audio-video recording of the life of Jesus which can be treated to be the accurate record of His life. Whatever most people think is true about the life of Jesus is also one of the versions, which is based on someone’s writings. But it is also claimed that the writings of the disciples of Jesus have been modified by the Church. In that case, all the various versions regarding the life of Jesus have an equal probability of being true. We can accept any version that does not conflict the divinity and spiritual knowledge of Jesus. If the version that Jesus lived in India after His resurrection is bringing Hinduism and Christianity closer, why should it not be accepted? There is another version that Jesus did not die on the cross due to His miraculous power. Written records mention that when Jesus was thought to be dead on the cross, a Roman soldier pierced a spear into His side, to confirm that He was dead. Since Jesus did not react in pain, He was believed to be dead, after which He was brought down from the cross and moved to the cave. But it is also mentioned that blood gushed out from the injury made by the spear. Blood does not gush out from a dead body, when it is pierced, as per medical science. Hence, some people believe that He was not dead when He was brought down from the cross. He remained in the cave in an inactive state and rose on the third day as stated by Him before His crucifixion. He had spoken of the church being destroyed and rebuilt in three days. The word ‘church’ in His statement denotes His divine body and the reconstruction of the church in three days meant His rising from the dead. Surviving the crucifixion, remaining in an inactive state for some time and rising on the third day, were all certainly possible for Jesus, who possessed God’s miraculous power. In fact, anything is possible with the miraculous power of the unimaginable God, who had merged with the human body of Jesus. With the miraculous power of God, it is very much possible that Jesus did not die on the cross. It is also possible that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. It is even possible that Jesus died at the age of 85 years and subsequently, began to appear to devotees in an energetic form to devotees all over the world. There is also no reason to reject the version that Jesus, with His living physical body, ascended to heaven. The unimaginable miraculous power of the unimaginable God who had merged with Jesus, allows any of these possibilities to be true. There is no need to condemn any of the above versions or even any other version, as long as the version does not contradict the divine power and divine knowledge of Jesus. There should be no objection to the claim that Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day also because prior to His crucifixion, Jesus had already resurrected a devoted follower, Lazarus. It proves that Jesus possessed miraculous powers. If He was capable of raising others from the dead, it is not hard to believe that He was capable of rising from the dead Himself. Whether He died on the cross and rose after three days or He did not die at all, there is no doubt that He was seen by His disciples alive, in physical form, after three days. Thomas even touched the wounds where nails were driven into His hands to confirm that it was indeed Jesus who had risen. There is agreement between all versions, on this point that Jesus was seen alive, in a physical body, on the third day. The next question is whether Jesus exists even today in a living physical body. In the long time from the resurrection to this day, I do not think there has been any case, other than that of Thomas, when the existence of Jesus in a physical body was confirmed. Whenever Jesus has appeared to anybody, He has only appeared in energetic form and not in human form. The soul enters an energetic body after the natural death of the human body and this is the divine law of God’s creation. At the time of the crucifixion, Jesus was about 32 years old. After the resurrection, He probably lived in the physical body upto the age of 85 years. Then, as per the divine law of creation, the mortal body died and He was buried in the tomb, which is seen even today in the Himalayas. Interestingly, there are records of Jesus being with His parents only upto about sixteen years. Then He left home and returned only when He was about thirty years old. In this period of fourteen years, He did a lot of penance in association with several sages in the Himalayas. The Hindu scripture, Bhaviśya Purāṇam, speaks about the arrival of Jesus in India after His resurrection. In this scripture, Jesus says to king Śālivāhana “I am the Son of the Lord and I was born to an unmarried woman. I have propagated spiritual knowledge in a foreign country…”. (Īśa putraṃ ca māṃ viddhi, kumārī garbha sambhavam, mlecchadharmasya vaktāram…). You can find the influence of Hindu philosophies on the spiritual knowledge preached by Jesus, which is in line with His long stay in India. Jesus said that He is the Truth and Light, which means that He is God Himself. This is the philosophy of monism (Advaita). Jesus said that He is Son of God and this concept belongs to the philosophy called qualified monism (Viśiṣṭa Advaita), which is an intermediate stage between monism and dualism. Jesus also said that He is the messenger of God, which indicates perfect dualism (Dvaita). In the philosophy of dualism, the soul is different from God and is said to be a servant of God. But the soul referred to in the philosophy of dualism is not an ordinary worldly human being. The servant or messenger of God stands at a very high level of spiritual progress, far above ordinary souls. These three philosophies existed in the Veda and corresponding statements can be found in the Veda. The philosophy of Jesus, which matches with the three philosophies of the Hindu Vedic religion is reflected in the three famous statements of Jesus: (1) I am in the Light (dualism), (2) The Light is in Me (qualified monism, which is an intermediate stage between dualism and monism) and (3) I am the Light (monism). | Shri Dattaswami | Shalivaahana Iishaputtram cha maam viddhi, kumarii garbhasambhavam, mlecchadharmasya vaktaaram =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  12. Was Jesus Christ Lord Krishna Himself? Shri Ahsan Habib, Dhaka asked: Hello, I was reading your article about the Incarnation of God. I wonder, what if, Jesus Christ was Lord Krishna Himself! Could you please explain your point of view? Kind regards, Ahsan Habib (Sabuz), Dhaka. Swami replied: All Human Incarnations of God, belonging to all religions, are one and the same, since the unimaginable God present in each of them is one and the same. But it does not mean that Krishna is Jesus Himself. The unimaginable God is like the gold metal from which various ornaments are made. From the standpoint of gold, both the golden chain and the golden bangle are one and the same. But from the standpoint of the design of the ornament, the bangle is different from the chain. Thus, there is an internal unity in the external diversity. The messages given by all Human Incarnations appear to be different because the cultures of the followers to whom they were preaching, were different. But the internal essence of all the messages is one and the same. With that said, there are also certain external similarities between Krishna and Jesus. Both Krishna and Jesus had some connection with domesticated animals in the early parts of their lives. Krishna, right after His birth, was taken to a family of cowherds, where He grew up rearing (bringing up) cows. Jesus was born in a stable (shed), among domesticated animals. In both cases, the devilish kings killed newborn babies in the town, in an attempt to kill Krishna and Jesus respectively. Both Krishna and Jesus performed miracles initially, to attract devotees. Both preached excellent spiritual knowledge. Both met with a cruel death in the end. Krishna was shot dead by a hunter, while Jesus was crucified. But these external similarities are not of much importance. All Human Incarnations of God preach excellent spiritual knowledge, which is essentially one and the same. That knowledge is given by the same absolute unimaginable God who has merged with selected human media, to become the Human Incarnations. The same electric current passes through different devices causing different effects. In the bulb, it causes the bulb to glow and give light. In the television, it shows television programs, which involve a display of moving images as well as sound. In the fan, it causes the rotation of the fan, leading to a circulation of the air. Thus, even though the functions differ, the internal force carrying out these different functions is the same electricity. Similarly, different Incarnations descend on earth to carry out different divine missions, as per the requirements in each time. But the essence of the spiritual knowledge preached by them is the same. It involves common concepts such as the concept that God exists and that He punishes sinners and rewards the doers of good action. The ultimate Preacher, preaching through the various Incarnations is the single unimaginable God. You can have any number of imaginable items, but only one unimaginable item can exist. Even if you try to imagine multiple unimaginable items, they all finally result in a single unimaginable item, which is the unimaginable God. That single ultimate unimaginable God alone exists in the different human media (bodies) of the various Incarnations. The external media follow different cultures, speak different languages and give different examples in their preaching to suit the different cultures. But the essential spiritual knowledge preached by them is common since it comes from the unimaginable God alone. If this main point is realized, all religions are correlated and there will be world peace. Every religion says that their God created this entire earth and humanity on it. If the Gods of each religion were different, there would be several earths containing several different human races. But unfortunately, there is only one earth with only one humanity on it. This proves that all mediated Gods mentioned by different religions are internally, the same unimaginable God, who has created this one earth, having this one humanity on it. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  13. What is the duty of a woman in the world? Smt. Rupa Murthy asked: Padanamaskaram Swamiji! I really admire your different perspectives and the underlying meanings of Your discourses. I have a few questions, which I have presented below. My questions are related to a woman’s duty in this world. What is most important in a woman’s life? Is dealing with a toxic relationship considered great? Or is being a mother considered great? Or is pursuing a career great? A woman can successfully manage all such roles together, only if she finds a proper life-partner and a supportive family (in-laws), which is almost not possible in today’s life. No mater how many achievements a woman may make in her life, she is treated well, only if she becomes a mother. I am not able to figure out why marriage and kids are given so much importance in a woman’s life. Being a career-oriented person and seven months pregnant, I am not able to enjoy my motherhood, due to all such questions. Are all these questions arising in my mind because of the situations I am going through? Is this a test of God? Am I on the correct path? I am entangled in all these thoughts and am confused. How can a woman balance both motherhood and her career, with minimal support? Please help me and remove my ignorance, Swami. Regards, Rupa Murthy] Swami replied: God is the basic support of both worldly life (pravṛtti) and spiritual life (nivṛtti). Several confusing questions have surrounded you like several tigers surrounding a cow in the forest. If you want to solve all these conflicts and worldly issues, you must surrender to God totally and develop immense devotion to God. It alone will channelize your mind in the proper direction. Marriage and children are important, not only for a woman, but also for a man. To rectify family problems after getting married, one must be devoted to God. God will certainly help. One must be careful before selecting one’s life-partner. But having selected one’s life-partner and having started one’s married life, intense devotion to God alone is the path to solving family problems. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  14. How can one remain happy and ethical throughout one's life? Kum. Amudha asked: Dear Swami! How can one remain happy in one’s life even in difficult times. How can one be good and ethical, at all times? At Your Divine Feet. Amudha. Swami replied: The only way that your wish will come true is when you accept the existence of God and develop devotion to Him. Devotion is developed when you come to know the true details and divine qualities of His personality. If one is always inspired by God and is certain that God will punish sinners, one will stay away from sin. As a result, one will remain free of misery. This is because, misery or stress is only the fruit of sin. If you hurt a good person, it is sin. Also, if you remain silent and peaceful towards a bad person, even though you are capable of controlling him, it is a sin. If you avoid sin, God’s pleasure will reach its climax. Such a life leads to nivṛtti. When all your responsibilities are taken by God, you will be the happiest person in this creation. You will enjoy continuously, throughout every birth of yours in this world. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  15. Is it alright for vegetarians to consume mushrooms? Shri Manikanta asked: Padanamskaram Swamiji! Are mushrooms considered vegetarian food or non-vegetarian? Please enlighten us on this point. Manikanta Swami replied: The main issue is to ensure that the food you eat is not obtained by causing an animal to suffer the agony of being killed. Mushrooms are fungi. Scientists do not classify fungi as either plants (botany) or animals (zoology). We even consume foods containing bacteria such as curd from milk. Mushrooms do not exhibit pain and suffering as an animal or bird does, when it is killed. Therefore, mushrooms can be consumed as food. They contain a lot of proteins and other nutrients and are even good for diabetes patients. Since they do not exhibit the pain of death and they are good for health, there is no sin in consuming them. Plants do not have a nervous system to feel pain and hence, vegetarian food is free of sin. Bose suspected that awareness might exist even in plants. Goddess Pārvatī even gave up eating the leaves of plants during her penance and hence, was called Aparṇā. Jains even wear masks to avoid germs from accidentally entering their noses and mouths and dying. But we need not go to such a micro-level. If we follow non-violence at the macro-level, it is sufficient. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  16. How can one distinguish between God's plan and human free will? Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: Swami, can you please enlighten us regarding the difference between God’s plan and the free will of mankind. Can you extend the same concept of God’s will to various human actions like deforestation and killing of animals resulting in the extinction of some animal species like gorillas, etc? Swami replied: It is said that anything that happens, happens only by the will of God, due to His omnipotence. But this omnipotence of God cannot be exploited by us and twisted in wrong directions. If a person kills somebody and says that the murder happened by the will of God, since everything happens only by the will of God, the judge will say that he too is giving a death sentence to that person by the will of the same God! Even when the omnipotent God comes down as a Human Incarnation, He follows the traffic rules while walking on the road. He does not stop all the traffic by His omnipotence until He crosses the road! He can prove His omnipotence by stopping the traffic, but He will be criticized for being a mad and egotistic administrator of the world! Killing any bird or animal is the greatest sin, unless your life is in danger because of it. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  17. Is human colonization of Mars, God's plan or human ambition? Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: Nowadays, we are hearing so much about scientists trying to study the planet Mars, as a possible planet to host human life and other life forms. There are many theories where they are predicting that humans will, one day, live on Mars. There is a saying I have heard since childhood, “Without Lord Śiva’s order, even an ant will not move a step”. So, is this human colonization of Mars, God’s plan? Or is this just human ambition, which could possibly lead to their own destruction? There are conflicting opinions regarding this. Swami replied: There are living beings on the planets already, but the living beings are energetic beings. They are souls living in energetic bodies, which are not seen by us with our eyes, due to the will of God (māyā). Even if we go to Mars and live there, there will be no interference of the energetic beings with us. Even on earth, when we go near burial grounds, ghosts, which are also energetic beings, pass through us without any interference. Sometimes, ghosts even live in our houses without any interaction. Ghosts appear and interact with us only by the will of God. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  18. How can Hindus explain the multiplicity of Gods to people of other religions? Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: One of my Christian friends asked me “Why does Hinduism have so many forms of Gods and Goddesses? We have only Jesus Christ. Muslims have only Allah. Buddhism has only Lord Buddha and so on. How can one keep up with so many forms? Are you supposed to just pick whom you like and focus on that form”? How should I answer such questions? Swami replied: The above question regarding the multiplicity of Gods in Hinduism itself contains the answer because the questioner asked “Are you supposed to just pick whom you like and focus on that form?” Hinduism is a micro-model of the macro-world. What you see in the world, you also see in the Hindu religion at a micro-level. In the world, you have picked up the form of Jesus since you liked it and you are focusing on it. Did you ask other people in the world, “Why are there so many forms of God existing in the world when Jesus alone is God?” Some other person has picked Allah, who has no form. Some other person picked Buddha. Note that even Allah is a mediated form of God because the unimaginable God entered in a medium of formless light. The external form chosen by the devotee is as per the devotee’s personal taste. The external form does not merely mean the physical features of the body. The external form includes the internal mental qualities, in the case of the Human Incarnation of God. Both the body and the qualities constitute the external form because the internal form existing in any Human Incarnation of God is the same unimaginable God. Human Incarnations differ in their external forms in terms of the physical features and the colour of the body along with the mental qualities. But the internal unimaginable God in all of them is one and the same. If you take two ordinary human beings, God does not exist in them. In that case, the body is external and the mental qualities are internal. But in a Human Incarnation, God exists in the human medium. God is internal and both the body and the mental qualities become the external medium. Of course, the noble qualities are commonly present in all Incarnations, but their modes differ. There are three modes, which are sattvam (peaceful), rajas (active) and tamas (dormant). Human beings differ in their tastes for these modes. The divine qualities present in an Incarnation can be expressed in any of the three modes mentioned above. So, when I said that the internal qualities in Incarnations differ, it means that the modes differ. Rāma was very calm and peaceful, whereas Krishna was very dynamic. But both have the same divine qualities. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  19. Is plastic surgery done to improve one's physical features, a sin? [Reply to a question by Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli] Swami replied: Plastic surgery might become essential for professional reasons. A beautiful film actress got plastic surgery done to make the tip of her flat nose a little long and lean because she has to act in beautiful roles. For ordinary life, it is not necessary since real beauty is about the person’s internal qualities. It is not about the external body. Do you know that Hanumān is called the most beautiful (sundara). In the Rāmāyaṇa, the chapter called Sundara Kāṇḍa is about the efforts of the most beautiful Hanumān. Love based on internal qualities is always eternal. Love based on external beauty fades away in old age. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  20. Is euthanasia or mercy killing wrong or a sin? Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: Is euthanasia or mercy killing wrong or a sin, particularly in the following cases: Case 1: Sometimes, a cancer patient at the hospital is told by a doctor that, with a lot of effort, they can prolong their life by 6 more months or a year, at the most. But the patient opts for no more suffering from chemotherapy or any other types of medical interventions and choses to lead the remaining life in doing what he or she likes. The patient chooses not to fight for living a little bit longer and instead, makes peace with his or her upcoming death. Is this wrong? Should patients always choose to fight as hard as they can, to survive? Are such patients supposed to accept this suffering as a consequence of their previous birth sins and go through it, so that nothing is carried forward to their next birth? Case 2: If a patient is in a coma and their family is asked to sign the papers to end the patient’s life, by removing the life-support system, is it wrong if they do so? Nobody knows whether the patient would have ever come out of the coma or not. Some people cannot afford the medical bills of keeping the coma patient alive. Can humans decide in such a case whether or not to end another person’s life? Case 3: Some people who own pets, chose to end their pet’s life because they cannot bear to see their pet’s suffering. But is it acceptable to God if a human being goes to a vet and ends the pet’s life? Or should a pet owner let the pet suffer? Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Under such circumstances, which of the various possibilities gets chosen depends on each individual case. The option that finally gets chosen is based on the specific nature of the sin done by the soul, either in the past birth or sometime back, in the present birth. As per the Gita, the individual soul is born everyday and hence, every day can be considered to be a new birth, in case you do not believe in rebirth. If the judgement of God is that a soul should experience mercy killing, it will take place. If the judgment of God, based on the soul’s sin, is that the soul should continue to suffer without mercy killing, it happens so. We cannot make a generalization that is applicable to all the souls because souls commit different sins, in different lives and that too, with different intentions. The nature of the punishment for a specific sin is an exact reflection, of how the sin was committed and it has the same kind of twists as the sin. The punishment given to one soul differs from the punishment given to another by a very narrow margin since a similar marginal difference exists in the way the souls committed the respective sins. It is said that Mahatma Gandhi once advised the mercy killing of a cow since it was having a complicated delivery and was suffering immensely. People say that, as a fruit of that intense sin, he was also shot dead. Intense deeds yield fruits in this birth itself. The analysis of the soul’s deeds and the soul’s qualities in the form of intentions, is very very deep and very very complicated. There are several subtle interfering parameters involved. The correct judgement can only come from the omniscient God. Whatever finally occurs in each case, should be taken as the final conclusion of God. The cycle of deeds and punishments is deeply complicated as told in the Gita (Gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ). The right decision in each case, is not as simple as you had expected. It is highly specific to each individual case and requires an analysis of the three dimensional network of several subtle parameters, some of which are seen and some of which are unseen. Whatever finally happens, is always as per the sharp analysis and decision of God. We can make some approximate inferences about what actions the soul might have done in the past, when we analyze the final judgement of God. So, we can infer the action based on the final result, but we cannot decide, what the right result should be for a certain action, due to our extremely limited intelligence. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website:Universal Spirituality for World Peace ) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  21. Are gay relationships acceptable from a spiritual standpoint? Smt. Priyanka Seethapalli asked: What is your take on legalizing gay marraiges? It is already legal in some states in USA and we see many gay couples who are even raising children together. There are some people who say that all gay people will be condemned to hell and parents disown their own children when they come to know that their children are gay. There is so much social taboo and shame in accepting gay people. Swami replied: Any inborn defect in this life is only the fruit of some sin done in the past lives. A person who mocks at a eunuch, is born as a eunuch in his next life. If the eunuch is reformed in this birth and becomes a strong devotee of God, God will remove the defect and bless the soul even using His miraculous power, if needed. The case of a gay person is highly unfortunate because God created a difference between males and females, so that both can engage in legitimate sex in order to give birth to the next generation. The continuity of the human race is the sacred mission of God and hence, legitimate sex is treated to be holy. It is even depicted on the walls of temples and praised in the Veda (Prajātantuṃ…) and in the Gita (Dharmāviruddhaḥ…). Homosexual attraction is possible as in the case of male sages who were attracted by the astonishing beauty of Rāma. So much was their attraction to Rāma that they wished to become females and embrace Rāma. But remember, the sages only wished to embrace Rāma. They did not wish to have sex with Rāma. Their desire was fulfilled by God when they were reborn as the female Gopikās in their next birth. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  22. Is it sin for a rape victim to abort the fetus? [Reply tp a question by Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli] Swami replied: Rape is the sin of the rapist and not the sin of the raped lady. There is no need to have an abortion, provided the husband of the lady agrees. The unborn child in the womb of the woman is not a sinner. So, why should it be killed? If the lady does not want to raise the child herself, she can deliver it and give it for adoption in an orphanage run by a charitable institution (anātha āśrama). =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  23. Is it right or wrong for a person to change the gender they are born with? Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: Nowadays, due to medical technology, transgenders are going through surgery and hormone injections to attain the physical features of the gender they wish to have. Some of them feel trapped in the body of the gender they were born with and they are willing to go through whatever is needed to change their gender. Swami replied: Gender is, in no way, connected with the soul. It is only related to the external gross body. The change of gender is a subject only related to worldly issues and not to spiritual issues. In view of the souls, there is no difference in gender. All souls belong to only one gender and that is female. God alone is said to be the male (Puruṣa) in the sense that He is the Controller of creation. All the souls, including the rest world, are said to be female (prakṛti) in the sense that creation is controlled by God. Of course, this Controller-controlled concept is based on the trend of the old generations, when men used to be the controllers of the family. This is not the trend of the present generation. When Tulasi Das told Meera that females were not eligible to enter his asylum, Meera asked him “Are there males among souls too? So far, I used to think that Lord Krishna alone is male”. Tulasi Das fell at her feet and became her disciple. Till then, Meera was a disciple of Tulasi Das! =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  24. Is it good to donate our organs and choose electric cremation instead of traditional cremation? Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: Is it considered wrong if someone chooses to donate one’s organs and go through electric cremation after they die? Is it alright in terms of skipping the traditional way of being cremated? What all rituals should their family members follow before and after electric cremation? Swami replied: Donating organs after death is a meritorious deed and not a defect or sin. The cremation rituals have nothing to do with the absence of an organ in the body. Since the entire body is destroyed, the presence or absence of an organ is meaningless and the rituals are not affected by this, in any way. People with half-knowledge and half-ignorance speak their own poetry (imagination) to confuse the public. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  25. Why do some souls remain on earth as ghosts instead of crossing over? Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: Why do some souls haunt places on Earth instead of crossing over? We hear stories where some people can even see these ghosts. Some spirits even try to enter living human beings and cause them harm. I heard that some harmless spirits just wander around for years. How come those souls did not face any judgment after 10 days of their death? Also, how does a soul transform into an evil spirit and why do evil spirits harm people? Is having complete faith in God to protect us, the answer to preventing these spirits from approaching us? Swami replied: There is no difference between ghosts and persons who have extreme attachment or fascination to worldly things. It is only due to their extreme worldly fascination that souls enter invisible energetic bodies called ghosts, after death. They continue to wander in this world untill their fascination gets pacified. Such a judgment is given by God to the soul having extreme worldly fascination, on the 10th day after the death of the soul. Such ghosts or spirits occasionally enter us and cause harm to us only by the will of God. It is a form of punishment given by God to us for our sins. In the absence of the divine will to punish us in this manner, ghosts usually go their own way and we go our way. How can you worship God to avoid ghosts, when it is only by the will of God that the ghost is troubling you to punish you for your sins? If you worship God, God will come to you in human form and preach the spiritual knowledge required for your reformation. Once your soul is reformed, the sins are cancelled and the ghost will automatically leave you. After understanding this entire procedure, we can say that our worship to God removes the ghost. But usually, the intermediate step of the reformation of the soul through spiritual knowledge goes unmentioned and unnoticed. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  26. How are souls in animal bodies judged by God? Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: The fate of some herbivorous animals is decided by birth itself since they will be killed and eaten by some carnivores. A carnivorous animal, by nature, is designed to hunt, kill and eat other animals. So, how is the judgment done for animals? Also, once an animal or any creature dies, do their souls get energetic bodies that are of the form of that same animal? Do they also have wait for their judgment for ten days, like human souls? Swami replied: Once a soul enters the cycle of births of animals and birds, they generally continue to have the same attitudes in the same forms. A tiger killing a goat is reborn as a goat and the goat is reborn as a tiger. It is just like the butcher killing a goat is reborn as a goat and the goat is reborn as a butcher, in the next life. This cycle is very dangerous since it generally continues forever. As far as the soul is concerned, there is no difference between human beings and animals. The rules are one and the same. After death, the soul of the animal enters an energetic body (subtle body), which is of the form of the same animal. While undergoing punishments in hell, the soul in the energetic animal form also realizes like the soul in a human form. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  27. Do sinful souls, who are born as plants and animals, ever get another human birth? Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: I have read in one of your articles that some souls are born as fish and trees to train those souls regarding sacrifice. Once that birth is over and God feels that the soul has indeed learnt its lesson, are they born as human beings again in order to give them a second chance at having a human birth? Swami replied: Sinners who have used their qualities greed and anger in the wrong direction to commit sins are born as trees. In those births as trees, the souls are quite peaceful, which helps them subside their anger. They also learn to sacrifice their fruits to human beings, which pacifies their greediness and anger. These punishments are given in extreme cases. Once they attain reformation, they are again given human births, depending on the judgment of God. This routine cycle of souls operates mechanically. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
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