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  1. Caste-system: Manmade or God-made? Discourse Podcast Dr. K. V. Prasad (USA) asked: In the Gita, God Krishna said in the verse “Cāturvarṇyam...” that He is responsible for the caste system and yet, not responsible for it. What is the meaning of this mutual contradiction? Swami replied: In this verse, the first two lines say “Originally, I have created the caste system based on qualities and deeds (Chaatuvarnyam...)”. The word ‘Srushtam’ indicates the stage at the very beginning of creation or sṛṣṭi. The next two lines of this verse say “Even though I am responsible for this caste system, I am yet not responsible for it (Tasya kartaaramapi maam...)”. On careful analysis, we can resolve the mutual contradiction seen in this verse, which is that God is responsible and yet not responsible for the caste system. In the beginning of creation, God created the caste system based on the classification of qualities and deeds. Souls interested in preaching spiritual knowledge to society were called braahmanas. Souls interested in fighting to protect justice were called kshatriyas. Souls interested in doing business and distributing commodities were called vaishyas. Souls interested in agriculture and public service were called shudras. Since the soul’s qualities and the consequent professional work done by the soul, are the basis of the caste system, caste is not decided by birth. It is decided by the possessed qualities and the resulting deeds performed by the soul. Any person born to anybody can come under a particular caste based on his or her interest, acquired qualities and resulting deeds related to the specific interest. God says that He is responsible for this original caste system based on qualities and deeds. Then why did God say that He is not responsible for the caste system? The word caste in this context does mean the same caste system described above, which is based on qualities and deeds. What He means exactly is that He is responsible for the caste system based on qualities and deeds, but He is not responsible for the caste system based on birth, which appeared in due course of time. The original quality-based caste system had degraded to the birth-based caste system due to people’s misunderstanding. If Lord Krishna had meant that He is the establisher of the quality-based caste system, and at the same time, He is not responsible for the same quality-based caste system, it would inevitably be a self-contradiction. It would mean that God is mad! Since the omniscient God can never be mad, it must mean that a different type of caste system had evolved later on, for which He said that He is not responsible. The new caste system that evolved, was based only on birth, and not on the soul’s qualities and deeds. According to this subsequently-evolved caste system, the child of a braahmana was accepted to be a braahmana, irrespective of the child’s qualities and deeds. What is the reason for the evolution of this new caste system based on birth? There is a valid reason. Any quality is always imbibed by a child from its surroundings. The atmosphere in a braahmana family is congenial to acquire the qualities and deeds corresponding to a braahmana. Moreover, the parents are also very much interested in inducing their qualities into their child. Hence, the soul imbibes the qualities of a braahmana from the parents from its very childhood. This makes it appear as if a braahmana always produces a child who grows up to become a braahmana in quality. This is a coincidence that makes us think that a braahmana produces a braahmana child through the transfer of genes which carry the qualities from parents to the child. But this is totally wrong since genes carry only physical characteristics and certain mannerisms; not the soul’s qualities. The qualities are always imbibed by the soul only from the surrounding atmosphere. The qualities corresponding to a certain caste, appear in a soul from its childhood since the child is surrounded by all family members belonging to the same caste. They provide a congenial atmosphere for developing the qualities corresponding to that particular caste. As a result, the soul develops qualities and interests corresponding to that caste. It misleads us into thinking that the child acquires the qualities of the caste due to his or her blood relationship with the members of that caste. In reality, it is only the effect of the congenial atmosphere provided by the family for the imbibing of those particular qualities. This misunderstanding of caste based on birth and blood relationships can remain only as long as the children born in a certain caste continue to express the qualities corresponding to that caste. When exceptions are observed, that is, when a child expresses qualities that are completely different from those of its family and caste, analysis is required to find out the truth. The actual truth is that the caste system is based only on the imbibed qualities and corresponding deeds, and it is not based on birth or blood relationships. Bhuurishrava was born in the family of pot-makers or shudras but he became an excellent Vedic scholar. The surrounding atmosphere of his family was not at all congenial to his special interest and quality. Yet the surrounding atmosphere could not influence him to develop an interest in making mud pots. Such strong special qualities appearing in a soul come from the soul’s previous birth. They can be very strong and might not be affected even if the child is born in a family with a completely different atmosphere. These strong qualities too were imbibed by the soul from the the surrounding atmosphere during its previous birth. During the time of the Mahabharata, the braahmanas who were conducting a ritual sacrifice in the Naimisha forest were sages. They knew the true concept of caste. Hence, they elected Bhuurishrava for the post of Brahma, which is the presiding authority for the ritual sacrifice. The sages were great scholars who knew the truth. They were never misled by the superimposed concept of caste by birth. They did not reject Bhuurishrava believing him to be of the shudra caste just because he was born in a shudra family. Sage Gautama declared the young boy Satyakaama Jaabaala to be a braahmana and selected the boy as his student to teach him spiritual knowledge. Satyakaama’s biological father was not known, so his caste based on birth could not be determined. Gautama’s identification of the boy as a braahmana was based on Satyakaama’s quality of speaking the truth, which was in accordance with the actual quality-based caste system as created by God. Sage Raikva called king Janashruti a shudra even though the king was born to kṣatriyas. The word shudra comes from the root ‘shuk’, which means worry or sorrow. So, a shudra is a person who is filled with materialistic worries. Janashruti was filled with materialistic worries, so sage Raikva called him a shudra. It again shows that sage Raikva followed the original God-given caste system based on qualities. So, in the verses from the Gita, God says that He is the establisher of the original caste system, which is based on the soul’s qualities and deeds. He later says that He is not the establisher of the subsequently-evolved birth-based caste system, which was developed by misled souls. Thus, the apparent contradiction is resolved.
  2. Is There One God or Many? Discourse Podcast Shri P.V.N.M. Sharma asked: Why are there different Gods in Hinduism whereas there is only one God in other religions in this world? Swami replied: Hinduism, a micro-world that represents this macro-world. This is because, Hinduism itself is made of several sub-religions, which resemble the different religions in the world. This macro-world is one unit created by God. Within it, Hinduism is one sub-unit followed by some people. So, you cannot look at the world and Hinduism as separate units. After all, Hinduism, other religions and the whole world are created by only one single Entity called God. The original absolute God is unimaginable since He is beyond space and time. He constitutes the unimaginable domain. For the sake of understanding, it can be said that the unimaginable domain includes the unimaginable God and His unimaginable power. But in reality, both the unimaginable God and His unimaginable power are one and the same. This is because, once we say that an item is beyond our imagination, we cannot say whether it is one or two. So, even if we speak of many unimaginable items, they all refer to the single unimaginable item or domain, which is God. When the Veda declares the monism of God. i.e. when it says that there is only one God, and when it rejects the plurality of God, it is referring to this single unimaginable domain. Statements like “Ekamevaadvitiiyam Brahma” and “Neha Naanaasti Kimchana” are examples of the above. The unimaginable God and His unimaginable power (maayaa) are one and the same, whereas God’s imaginable power is different from Him. It has undergone modification to become creation (prakruti) or it appears to be creation. How the unimaginable God possesses an imaginable power, which is different from Him, is unimaginable. Such a wonder is possible only due to His unimaginable power! Our logical analysis and entire knowledge are limited only to this creation, which is the imaginable domain. Hence, it is a waste of time to think about any aspect of the unimaginable domain. This world, which is the imaginable domain, has plurality. The plurality supplies different media for the unimaginable God for His expression. It enables Him to enter into various selected human devotees in order to become Human Incarnations of God. The human devotee becomes a medium for the entry of the unimaginable God. Thus, God has incarnated in this world in different regions in different times to establish the different religions in the world. Of course, the unimaginable God does not directly enter any medium. At the very beginning of creation, the unimaginable God first created subtle energy or space. He created the first form or body out of that subtle energy and entered into it to become the first Energetic Incarnation. This first energetic form became the first medium of God. This first mediated form of God or the first Energetic Incarnation is called as Datta or Eeshvara in Hinduism and Father of heaven in other religions. There is no trace of difference between the unimaginable God and the first Energetic Incarnation, except that the former is unimaginable while the latter is imaginable. The energetic form of Datta is visible to energetic beings in the upper worlds. For humans on earth, Datta is invisible but still imaginable. The first Energetic Incarnation, Datta, is also eternal like the unimaginable God; i.e. both have no end. The only difference is that Datta had a beginning from the point of view of His energetic medium, while the unimaginable God has no beginning. It is this Datta that enters a selected human devotee to become a Human Incarnation. The unimaginable God is permanently present in the energetic medium of Datta. That Datta, containing the unimaginable God, enters into the physical medium of a human devotee. Thus, the unimaginable God is equally present in the Human Incarnation. God incarnates in human form on earth in every human generation. The human media into which God Datta enters each time is different as a result of the plurality that is inherent in the imaginable domain. In other words, one Incarnation looks different from another Incarnation. One Incarnation may appear in a place where people follow say Hinduism, while another Incarnation may appear in a place where people follow a different religion. The Incarnation’s external dress, language, and manners will naturally be according to the culture of the place where He has appeared. This enables Him to mix freely with the people He has come to preach and uplift. But these differences are only external. From the point of view of the first Energetic Incarnation, Datta or Father of heaven, present in each of them, all Incarnations are one and same. From the point of view of the unimaginable God present in all the Incarnations too, they are one and the same. Thus, all these different mediated Gods are actually one in essence. If you look at the medium, which is part of the imaginable domain, there is plurality. If you look at the internal God Datta or the unimaginable God present in all of them, then there is only one. This truth applies equally to the sub-religions within Hinduism or the different world religions. This analysis is the fundamental basis for bringing unity among the sub-religions of Hinduism and among the various religions in the world.
  3. Human Incarnation a two component system
  4. How to Overcome Selfishness Through Spirituality | Shri Datta Swami | #UniversalSpirituality
  5. QUALITIES OF ANGELS, HUMANS & DEMONS PART 1 Qualities of Angels Humans & Demons Part 2
  6. Click the picture for watching the videos Career choice & Worldly happiness-I Career choice & Worldly happiness-II
  7. MEANING OF PARABLE OF WORKERS Kindly click the below video for watching it
  8. Nervous Energy—The indestructible soul? Kindly watch the below video by clicking it
  9. Karma, Afterlife & Rebirth 2 - Concrete Evidence! Karma, Afterlife & Rebirth 1 - Why Don’t Scientists Accept? Will students participating in divine service be compensated? Does God come in the form wished by the devotee? 9:50NOW PLAYING Is spreading spiritual knowledge in Kali Yuga practical? Brahma Loka Comes to Shri C. B. K. Murthy Divine Knowledge: 2 Science and Spirituality Divine Knowledge: 1 Universe and Unimaginable God
  10. WHAT EXISTS BEYOND BOUNDARY OF UNIVERSE? For intellectuals Note: This article is meant for intellectuals only Reply From Shri Datta Swami to Questions from Mr. Anil God exists at the boundary of the universe. However one can never reach the boundary. That means that God is not achieved. Then atheist may argue that since he is not reaching the boundary practically then God will not even exist there at all. Swami Replied: The boundary means one item on one side and the other different item on the other side. Boundary of the ocean means water on one side and the different soil on the other side. If on both sides water alone is present, it is no more the boundary of the ocean. If soil alone is present on both sides, it is no more the boundary of the soil of earth. This universe or cosmic space (composed of matter and energy and also some drops of awareness in the forms of souls, embedded in bodies of matter and energy, called as human beings scattered here and there) is endless to the unclothed eye, to the sophisticated equipments like telescopes and even to the imagination of mind. Therefore, we say that the boundary of this cosmos is endless and unimaginable. Since the cosmos is imaginable in the core up to its edge, we can say that even the edge of the cosmos is imaginable, which is made of the same matter and energy (even the soul is a specific form of energy and hence, comes under the category of energy only). Therefore, the boundary is not unimaginable because there is no difference between the core and the boundary in their materials. The unimaginable boundary of the cosmos means that the point where it ends is not imaginable making the cosmos endless. Therefore, you have to accept that the ending point of the cosmos is unimaginable, which naturally must be totally different from the imaginable cosmos (like soil differing from water). If the ending point is also imaginable, it is not the boundary of the edge of the cosmos. It means the cosmos is still continuous. If you say the ending point of the ocean is again water only, it means the sea is continuous and the boundary is not reached. Therefore, the essential criterion for the end point of the imaginable cosmos must not be imaginable again and must be unimaginable in which case only we can say that the imaginary cosmos ends there. You must say that the end point of ocean is not water, but, should say that it is the soil, which is totally different from the water. Hence, the boundary of the cosmos has imaginable nature on one side and the unimaginable nature on the other side like the boundary of ocean has water on one side and soil on the other side. Hence, you have to accept the existence of unimaginable nature on the other side of the boundary of this imaginable cosmos. Infinity of Cosmos Due to Unimaginable God on Other Side Any imaginable item must be finite as we see in the imaginable cosmos or world. Hence, the imaginable cosmos composed of imaginable and finite items must be also imaginable and finite. But, this imaginable cosmos is infinite since its end cannot be reached. On one hand, you say that the ocean is imaginable and finite and on the other hand you say its end is not reached! Both these arguments mutually contradict each other. The best solution in this critical juncture is that to agree the finite nature of the imaginable cosmos having imaginable end as the inherent concept of this imaginable cosmos. In such case, we must reach the edge of this cosmos. Yes. We agree that it should be reached basing on the inherent imaginable nature of cosmos. We say here that the end of the cosmos is not reached not because of violation of its inherent nature, but, because of the unimaginable nature of the other side, which cannot be reached. I illustrate this with an example. You stand before Me at a point after 10 feet. As I travel towards you, suppose you also go back subsequently maintaining the same 10 feet distance between us. This 10 feet distance becomes endless not because of the absolute elongation of the distance, but, because of your relative backward movement. If the 10 feet is maintained constant due to the elongation of the gap between us, I do not reach the end of 10 feet due to the infinity of the gap itself due to its constant expansion. But, it is not so. I do not reach the end of the gap because you relatively move backward. If the gap really (absolutely) expands, it is the absolute characteristic of the gap. If you move backward, it is the absolute characteristic of your backward motion by which alone, the relative expansion of the gap appears as the absolute phenomenon of the gap. Similarly, the universe does not constantly expand in the absolute sense. It appears as if it constantly expands because I cannot touch the other side of its edge being unimaginable in spite of My continuous journey. Therefore, the infinity of the gap or the infinity of the cosmos due to constant expansion is only a relative concept and not the absolute concept. The credit of infinity goes to the other unimaginable side (God) of the edge and not to this imaginable side (cosmos) of the edge. This means that the cosmos is infinite or the boundary of the cosmos is unimaginable due to the existence of unimaginable God on the other side of the edge. Beware, the above simile given by Me should be confined to the concepts presented by Me here, because extension to more concepts is controlled by the limitations like: both of us are imaginable items in the simile and in the compared concept one is imaginable and the other is unimaginable. Generator & Effect: (God-Space) — (Lump-Pot) — (Fire-Smoke) If the other side does not contain the unimaginable God, in such case, this imaginable cosmos itself must be infinite. You have already proved in the cosmos that any imaginable item is finite and therefore, the cosmos imaginable up to its edge must be also finite and should not be infinite. The characteristic existing in the micro-level cannot be thrown out at the macro-level. If one litre of milk is white, 100 litres of milk must also be white. If you say that the cosmos is infinite, you contradict the capability of your own science. Hence, there is no other way than to accept the unimaginable item (call it as God just as a name) on the other side of the edge of cosmos so that the infinity of the cosmos is linked to the unimaginable God and you can maintain the concept of finite cosmos also side by side. This situation creates a picture of a stream of smoke coming from the fire. The smoke is compared to the cosmos and the fire is compared to unimaginable God. Since fire and smoke are imaginable, you can touch the fire on travelling some distance along with the smoke. If the fire is unimaginable, you can never touch the fire and due to the relative concept, you have to make endless journey along the smoke. Here, fire is the generator (cause) and the smoke is generated product (effect). This brings cause-effect relationship between God and cosmos. The smoke cannot exist in the fire and similarly, the cosmos or space cannot exist in God since nothing can exist before its generation. Due to the absence of space in God before its generation, God must have no spatial dimensions and must be beyond space. This makes God unimaginable since anything beyond space is naturally unimaginable. This cause-effect relationship proves the unimaginable nature of God due to the absence of effect in the cause before the production of the effect. This is a simultaneous advantage to prove that God being beyond space is unimaginable. This is the naturally consequential conclusion. Once you have established that God is unimaginable, nobody including atheist can say that God is non-existent. If God is non-existent, the other side of the edge of the cosmos is not unimaginable, which means that the imaginable cosmos is constantly continuing. This means the imaginable cosmos is inherently infinite. This is the failure of logic and science because no imaginable item is infinite. The pot is not in the lump of mud before its production and the smoke is not in the fire before its production. One important point to differentiate these two examples is that mud is in the pot after production of pot whereas fire is not in the smoke after its production. The mud-pot concept can be seen in the entry of God into a human being as human incarnation. Except this one concept of human incarnation, God does not enter into this world like the non-entry of fire into the smoke. Joint Wall Either Between Two Sites or One Side of Site Only Opponent: How do you say that the boundary of cosmos is unimaginable when the core and edge are imaginable? Shri Swami: To clarify this point, I have already told that though the edge is also imaginable like the core, generally, the boundary line indicates the joint line between two imaginable areas. If you stand on that line like a cat, you belong to both sides. Now, this idea is applied here to the joint line between imaginable and unimaginable domains and the line belonging to both sides can be called as imaginable or unimaginable boundary. If the boundary line is in the imaginable domain only, and if you stand on such line, you will be stated standing in this side area only. In the first case, the joint wall is between two sites, half in this site and the other half in the other site. In the second case, the joint wall is entirely in this side site only. Therefore, if the joint wall is in this side site only, the joint wall can be called as edge of this side site. If the joint wall is in both sites, this side half of the wall alone is the edge of this site. Remember, the edge of any site can be totally the joint wall or partly the joint wall. This means that the edge of one site need not be always the total joint wall (if joint wall occupies both sites). Now, the boundary representing the joint wall can be taken totally as the edge of cosmos or can be taken partly as the edge of cosmos. If the boundary exists in both sites, the edge of one site is only half of the joint wall. In our concept one site is imaginable and the other site is unimaginable. Now, you can ask that how the joint wall (joint line) can extend into unimaginable site since we see the joint line only between two imaginable sites. This objection can be ruled out because the joint line is half imaginable and half unimaginable. This side half is seen by us and that side half cannot be seen and hence that side is the assumed half line. There is possibility of existence of assumed lines in science also. Expansion of Space Impossible Opponent: In the above simile of 10ft gap between two persons, the other person can move back infinitely provided the space is infinite. In the concept, how you can say that the space is finite? Shri Swami: Since you are taking the space in both concept and simile as common item, both simile and concept become one and the same as far as this point of space is concerned. Hence, this problem in the simile is the same problem in the concept also. Hence, I told you that you have to take the simile in the only point expressed by Me without crossing the limits of simile. If I said that your face looks good like moon, you have to limit the face and moon as far as the point of good looking is concerned only and which alone is expressed by Me. You should not cross the limits of the simile and say that the black spots present in moon must also exist in your face! Similarly, you have to take the simile as far as the points only expressed by Me. You cannot touch God compared to the second person in simile (being unimaginable in the concept) and the gap does not expand except the other person only moves back in the simile (the unimaginable God not touched by us in the concept is the backward motion of the other person in the simile). The unimaginable nature of God is compared to backward motion of the person. Inability to touch both is the common concept. By this, you should not mistake that God also moves back like the person. Coming to the common problem of infinite space or gap in the concept as well as in the simile, you have to take the backward motion of the other person (simile) as our inability to touch the unimaginable God (concept). The aim of this is to establish that the backward motion of the other person/ the inability to touch the unimaginable God is the absolute concept where as the expansion of gap/space is relative concept. Relative concept means that which is not real but appears as if it is real. The expansion of space is impossible because for the expansion of any item, the space that is different from the item is required. Then only we can say that the item is expanding in space. If you make the space as the item to expand, there should be another different space to allow the expansion of this space. Here, you can say that the universe expands constantly in the space. But, the space being the subtle energy, the problem of expansion comes to the space also since cosmos is also energy and since matter in it is also energy. Hence, you have to accept the universe/cosmos/space as energy only. By this, the expansion of space/cosmos in space becomes impossible. Opponent: The space is subtle form of energy and is infinite. The cosmos consisting of gross forms of energy like matter, radiations etc., is a different form. Now, we say that the gross form of energy (cosmos) is constantly expanding in the infinite subtle form of energy (space). There is no need of speaking about unimaginable God beyond space and hence God is non-existent. Shri Swami: 1) The cosmos contains not only gross forms of energy like matter, radiations etc., but also subtle form of energy which is space as the very basis of cosmos. The space in the cosmos is also divided into finite forms occupied by the finite forms of matter and gross energy. The space exists in both the cosmos that expands and also in the infinite space in which the cosmos expands. Since the space is one and the same on both sides, how do you explain the expansion of space (in the cosmos) in the infinite space since both are the same subtle forms of the same energy? If the space in cosmos does not expand in the infinite space, the matter and radiation also cannot expand because the space exists in both. 2) You have not shown the edge of the cosmos, which expands, from which point, the infinite space exists. If smoke expands in space, I can show you the edge of the smoke during the process of expansion. In such case, it is only your assumption that the cosmos expands in infinite space. Therefore, if you say that the space is infinite, it means that the cosmos is also infinite because space is a part of the cosmos. The cosmos is said to be made of five elements of which space (Aakasha) is the first component. If you stop with such infinite cosmos, ignoring the unimaginable God beyond cosmos, it is not a logically possible concept because all the components of the cosmos become infinite and the cause-effect relationship between them cannot exist. But, you find the mutual inter-conversion of matter & energy and energy & awareness. In such case, there must be a final cause of the ultimate cosmic cause (space or subtle energy). The cause of this ultimate cosmic cause (space) must be unimaginable since the space as a product cannot exist in such final cause, which (final cause), therefore, must be unimaginable. You cannot say that space itself is the final cause. The reason is that since space is subtle energy or energy and since energy is generated from matter, energy or subtle energy or space cannot be the final cause. The final cause should not be the effect of any other cause. In the inter-conversion, energy is cause in conversion of it into matter and the same energy is effect/product when matter is converting into energy. The final cause should always stand as cause only in all situations and should never be the effect/product of any other cause. Hence, the space requires the necessity of its final cause. Even though the cosmos is finite because of the finite characteristic of all its components, it appears as if it is infinite due to its relative concept as explained above. The visible part and the invisible part of cosmos (invisible part appears to be infinite by appearing as if it exists, due to relativity with respect to the unimaginable God) should be one and the same as far as the constituting components are concerned. In such case, the visible part of the cosmos also must appear to exist with reference to the unimaginable God. This means that the total cosmos appears as if it exists due to relativity with respect to God. Hence, the entire cosmos is non-existent in absolute sense with respect to the unimaginable God. But, the same cosmos absolutely exists with respect to all its components, especially with respect to its component called as soul, which alone can recognise the existence and non-existence. The cosmos is existent in the angle of the soul and is simultaneously non-existent in the angle of God. If the angle is not mentioned, it can neither be said existent nor non-existent and is called as Mithyaa by Shankara (Sadasat Vilakshanaa Mithyaa) and the same is the theory of relativity of Einstein. Einstein clarified this in excellent way: The space-component of cosmos is never absolute but only relative or geometrical that exists between two objects and disappears when all the objects (matter and gross energy) disappear. This shows that space is only relatively real with respect to matter and gross energy and is never absolutely real. The dissolution of space means the dissolution of the entire world i.e., everything other than non-relative God. When the space disappears, the situation is unimaginable, which is unimaginable God. Hence, Einstein gave the proof for unimaginable God beyond space. Einstein feels that space is nothing. Space disappears when matter and energy disappear since space relatively exists with respect to matter and energy. We have taken a different version that space is something as it is subtle form of energy. In our way also, when matter and energy disappear, the subtle form of energy (space) also disappears. Thus, disappearance of space along with matter and energy is the resultant common concept in both the ways. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website:Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  11. How can we explain our lack of vengeance to others, when a person is wronged before you? [Shri Anil asked: Padanamaskaram Swamiji! With regard to Your discourse dated February 25, 2020, on retaliatory sins, I present a case before You for Your kind advice: Person A harms Person B. Suppose this is a case of retaliation in which A harmed B in return for a previous harm done by B to A, in the previous birth. How can one console B after the incident, if B does not believe in the concept of previous birth? B expects B’s relatives to take some action against A since A harmed B in front of B’s relatives. But B’s relatives might not be taking action against A, as per Your advice, thinking that it might be a case of retaliation. At Your Divine Feet. Anil.] Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! In the case of harm done by a person to you in retaliation to a previous harm done by you to that person, the circumstances will be such that you cannot take any action against your opponent. Even the relatives of you and your opponent will keep silent due to some misunderstanding. From such practical circumstances, you have to infer whether the case is of retaliation or of a fresh sin committed by the person against you. If it is a case of retaliation, there is no other way but to pacify your desire for revenge. The desire for revenge arises in your mind because you misunderstand a case of retaliation to be a fresh case of harm done to you by the person. When the desire for revenge arises, surrender to God is the only thing advised. With it, your desire for revenge will be pacified to a great extent since you will be hoping that God will punish your opponent some day or the other in the future. This is like the first-aid treatment for your revenge-wound. When the opponent does not face any punishment even after a long time, you might think that either God does not exist or that even if God exists, the opponent might have flattered and pacified God with his worship. However, if you know the concept in the background that retaliatory sins are not punished, you will finally understand that the case was not fresh, but that it was retaliatory.
  12. How does Bhagvan (God) secure and protect dharma in this world? Swami replied: In your question the word ‘how’ is obscure. Does it mean the procedure of cooking the food or the tools and utensils used for cooking or the food ingredients used? I will take it in the sense of the procedure and answer your question. God is unimaginable and there is no possibility of even imagining God. God punishes unjust people and thereby maintains justice in the world. But since this ultimate giver of the punishment is beyond our imagination, a direct proof of perception is impossible. But God delivers justice through different human beings. He merges with the corresponding human beings temporarily and ensures that the criminal is punished. He merges with the police officer to ensure that the case is correctly investigated and that the criminal is caught. Then, He merges with the judge so that the appropriate punishment is given to the criminal. Then, finally, God merges with the jailer to make sure that the criminal does not escape from the jail or even from the death penalty when applicable. This process of temporarily merging with any required human being to punish injustice and protect justice is the procedure of how God protects dharma (justice) in the world. When God temporarily merges with certain human beings they become a certain type of Human Incarnation of God called an Aveśa Avatāra, which is a temporary Incarnation. A criminal may try to escape punishment here on earth. But the wheels of justice, which are protected by God, grind surely, even though they may move slowly.
  13. Is the corona virus the result of karma? [A devotee asked: Guruji, You are giving the highest knowledge. Jai Guru Datta! Is karma behind corona virus? Why is it spreading to all countries? In the Mahabharata, the karma was borne by the people who supported both the parties which were at war with each other. Now, why is the world bearing the karma, when people are far away from each other and have no relationships with each other? Please Lord Datta (Datta Swami), I beg You to protect world from the corona virus!] Swami replied: Were there no deaths before this corona virus epidemic? If we eliminate this corona virus, will all deaths stop? Is it not a meaningless question? When the time of death comes, there are one crore (10 million) ways of implementing death to a soul. This does not mean that you should not take all the necessary scientific precautions to prevent yourself from catching the infection. You must always concentrate on your effort in any issue. We do not have such a high level of devotion that we will be protected by God, irrespective of our practical effort. There are hardly one or two devotees, who can be protected from death by God. Even in those rare cases, the devotees are not willing to escape death. It is God who interferes and protects them from death because there is still some remaining divine work that they are supposed to complete in the world. Our level of devotion is low and hence, we are not able to have 100% faith in God. So, we should act only as per the extent of our faith. In other words, we should take all the necessary precautions. Even if God appears before us and promises to protect us, right after He disappears, we will begin to doubt whether what we saw was real or an illusion. Hence, God also preaches to us only as per our level of devotion. In the Gita, God said that we have to put in effort to the extent of 80% and depend on God only for 20% (Daivaṃ caivātra pañcamaṃ…—Gita). Does it mean that God is expressing His inability to grant you 100% protection? No, not at all! God has the ability to protect you 100%, even without any practical effort from your side, such as the scientific precautions to prevent infection. But your nature is such that it cannot reach that level of faith. You can, at the maximum, reach 20% faith. Hence, God only preaches what we can follow. There is no point in preaching to us, something that exceeds our level of faith and devotion since it is beyond our capacity to follow it. Several people have phoned and asked Me this same question. I posed the same three questions to them as I have posed to you at the beginning of this message. In addition, I told everybody that they should recite the following prayer: Dattātreya bhavāneva, bhavāneva gatirmama. (O Lord Dattātreya! Only You, only You are My path.) -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  14. SATSANGA ON SHRI RAMA NAVAMI - PART-1 Part-1 of spiritual meeting (Satsanga) that took place between Swami and several devotees on the day of Shri Rama Navami: Shri Veena Datta: What is the difference between astrology and devotion to God? Swami: Astrology gives a list of bad effects during a period governed by a bad planet (Dashaa). From this list, which specific effect will be faced by a specific person, can only be told by God’s grace, which is obtained through devotion. For example, astrology gives a list of bad effects that a person might face during the period of Saturn, which include, theft, paralysis, accidents and so on. Suppose two persons approach you and both are passing through the period of Saturn. As an astrologer, you may predict that one person may become the victim of theft but the person may instead suffer from an attack of paralysis. The person will say that you have failed in your prediction. To the other person, during his period of Saturn, you may predict that he may suffer from a paralytic attack. But he might not get a paralytic attack. Instead, a theft might occur in his house. He too will say that you have failed in your prediction. Both these affected persons might even say that astrology itself is false. So, you need to understand that based on your knowledge of astrology, you can never predict which specific effect will be faced by a specific person. Astrology only enables you to predict that some good or bad effect will be faced by the person during a certain time. It is even possible for you to be able to predict the specific effect, provided you have the grace of God. The grace comes through devotion. The ability to predict the specific effect for a specific person is called as the ‘purity of word’ or Vaakshuddhi. It can only be obtained by the grace of God. Hence, the practice of astrology should be associated with the worship of God. The medical degree, MBBS, means the study of medicine as well as surgery side-by-side. If you have a headache, it can be cured by a simple painkiller tablet prescribed by the doctor who is an expert in medicine. But if you go to a surgeon, the surgeon will say that your head must be operated upon to find out the reason for the headache! If you get the grace of God through your devotion, there is no need of studying the astrological scriptures. As per Vedic astrology, a human being, in his or her life, passes through the periods (Dashaas) of each of the nine planets, one after the other. Each planet may be good or bad for a person based on the nature of the planet as described in astrology, its placement in the person’s birth-chart and the person’s zodiac sign. Therefore, the period of each planet is also good or bad for the person. The so-called good planets deliver the results of the person’s good deeds while the so-called bad planets deliver the results of the person’s bad deeds. The period of each planet is further sub-divided into the sub-periods (antar dashaas) belonging to each of the nine planets. Each of the sub-divisions are further sub-divided into even smaller sub-divisions (vidashaas) of the nine planets. In this manner, there are several levels of sub-division of these planetary periods. The long span of the period of a good planet is generally good for the person. During this period, the person generally receives the fruits of his or her good deeds done in the past. But even during this generally good period, the person also experiences both good and bad results corresponding to all the nine planets, during their respective sub-periods. Similarly, in the generally bad period of a bad planet, the person also experiences both good and bad results from all the nine planets during their respective sub-periods. This sophisticated arrangement of planetary periods and their sub-periods made by God, ensures that the person never experiences continuous happiness or continuous pain. Continuous happiness for a long time invariably leads to boredom. Continuous misery for a long time becomes unbearable. Frequent change prevents boredom and provides maximum entertainment to the soul. The sub-periods of all nine planets within any planetary period ensure that the person enjoys both good and bad fruits of his or her own deeds in an alternating manner. It is like enjoying sweet and spicy dishes alternately in a meal. If the meal contained only sweet dishes or only spicy dishes, the meal would not be enjoyable. The combination of the two alone gives maximum enjoyment. The Divine Father has made this wonderful alternating arrangement of delivering the good and bad fruits of the deeds of souls for the sake of their maximum enjoyment. He wishes that His children always remain happy. This alternating cyclic arrangement of the fruit of the soul’s deeds is called the karma chakra. God rearranges the good and bad fruits in this alternating manner. A soul might have committed a number of bad deeds, one after the other and a number of good deeds, one after the other. But the fruits are not delivered to the soul in the sequence in which the deeds were done. If all the bad fruits were to be given to the soul, one after the other, the long continuous misery would become unbearable for the soul. Similarly, the long continuous span of enjoying the all the good fruits, one after the other, would become boring. Hence, God rearranges them in an alternating manner in the form of the planetary periods and sub-periods. Thus, every bad fruit is followed by a good fruit and vice versa. But when we face miseries, we do not want to bear them. The miseries are actually the results of our own bad deeds. On the order of God, the so-called bad planet is merely delivering the results of our own bad deed to us. But we, somehow, want to escape from the bad results. So, we worship God and force Him to remove the miseries and grant us happiness. Our demand is a violation of justice, which God never permits. But the kind Father also wants to satisfy the praying souls who are His own children. So, He postpones the present miseries to the future and prepones some future happiness bringing it into the present. The praying soul experiences immediate relief from the miseries and the enjoyment of some happiness. But there is big disadvantage in disturbing the original arrangement of the fruits of deeds in this manner. The postponed miseries grow in value due to interest, while the preponed happiness reduces in value; similar to the premature withdrawal of an investment. Even though such interference provides temporary relief to the soul, it is not in the soul’s long term interest. But God allows such interference in the cycle of deeds only to help the soul in developing some devotion to God. Upon developing devotion, God expects the soul to work towards permanent reformation. Otherwise, by such repeated postponement of misery and preponement of happiness, the soul may face a life full of continuous misery in the future. We sometimes find such people whose life is full of misery and not even a bit of happiness, in spite of their devotion to God. The sum of the periods of the nine planets is 120 years since the average life in older generations was 120 years. This human lifespan is called Purushaayusham. Whatever may be the actual lifespan, the cyclic arrangement of the planetary periods, each consisting of several levels of sub-periods, is never affected. What I mean is that even if the average lifespan of a human being were to become as short as one hour in the future, the arrangement of the planetary periods and sub-periods would not change. In fact, this arrangement applies even to the souls present in the bodies of worms that might actually live only for an hour. Astrology is only an associated part of the spiritual knowledge since the nine planets are the executive forces of God. God is the author of the divine constitution which stands as the basis for the divine administration. To be Continuued.... Click here for Part-2 Click here for Part-3
  15. SATSANGA ON SHRI RAMA NAVAMI - PART-2 Part-2 of spiritual meeting (Satsanga) that took place between Swami and several devotees on the day of Shri Rama Navami: Shri Ajay: Please enlighten us about the Human Incarnation and His devotees. Swami: Shri Paramahamsa said that He would prefer to be an ant (devotee) rather than being sugar (Human Incarnation). He said so, even though He was a Human Incarnation of God. The ant eats sugar and enjoys. The sugar, on the other hand, gets eaten and gets no enjoyment. The lack of enjoyment means inertness. So, Paramahamsa rightly selected the inert sugar in this simile. Based on this basic concept, a devotee should never aspire to become a Human Incarnation. A certain devotee might be forced by God to become a Human Incarnation to carry out His work, which is the special divine program meant for the welfare of the world. Even ordinary human beings like a devotee more than the Human Incarnation. This is because the devotee is exactly similar to them whereas the Human Incarnation is different from them and is special. Due to the natural ego and jealousy in every human being, no one likes to see any specialty in another human being. Miracles need not be considered to be the speciality of a Human Incarnation alone. Even a devotee can perform miracles by the grace of God. In fact, even a demon can perform miracles by the grace of God. Demons obtain miraculous powers from God through their rigorous penance. People feel a repulsion from the Human Incarnation in the form of ego and jealousy. The basic reason for this repulsion is that the Human Incarnation is considered to be God. They do not feel this kind of repulsion from a devotee since the devotee is not considered to be God. In fact, a true devotee never wants to become God unless God forces him to act in the role of God. In a movie, an actor played the role of God and got a remuneration of one lakh rupees. In the same movie, another actor played the role of a devotee and was paid ten lakh rupees in remuneration. Hence, it is not the role played that brings value. It is the capability of acting that brings the value. God enters the human body of a devotee to become a Human Incarnation. The human devotee serves as the medium for God’s entry. But the value of that devotee, who has become the medium in the Incarnation, comes due to his or her devotion. The fact that the devotee is acting in the role of God does not bring value by itself. Other devotees around the Human Incarnation must always follow the path of monism of Shankara. It means, they must believe that the Human Incarnation is God Himself. In this sense, monism is good for devotees and it gives them good results. But devotees must be careful in not applying the concept of monism to themselves! They should never think that they too are God. In contrast, the human being-component in the Incarnation must believe in the dualism of Madhva. He must never think that he is God. Instead, he should think that he is merely a servant of God and that acting in the role of God is his service to God. This dualism gives a good result for the human being-component in the Human Incarnation. Arjuna doubted how Krishna could be God. So, he asked Krishna how He could have preached to Surya, the sun-god, in the beginning of creation. As far as Arjuna knew, Krishna was born quite recently. Parashurama, who was a temporary Incarnation (Avesha Avataara), thought that he was God Himself. As a result, he got insulted by Rama, who in spite of being a complete Incarnation (Purna Avataara) never thought that He was God. Even Krishna never said that He was God except to Arjuna when He was preaching the Gita to Arjuna. The devotee must be capable of accepting the monism between the human medium and God in the Human Incarnation without repulsion. To such a deserving devotee, the Human Incarnation may declare the truth. There are other devotees who are in the middle level. They are only partly capable of digesting the truth. Such devotees sometimes even praise the Human Incarnation as God by their words. But internally, they are not completely capable of accepting the same truth without repulsion. In response to such half-hearted praise, the Incarnation must keep silent with a smile. He should not confirm His identity with God. Finally, there are devotees who do not have any faith in the Human Incarnation. To such devotees, the Human Incarnation must say that He is only an ordinary human being. The Human Incarnation, being God, knows the actual level of the devotee before Him. So, He always behaves suitably. No matter how devoted the devotee claims to be, his true level of devotion is never hidden from the Human Incarnation. To be Coninuued... Click here for Part-1 Click here for Part-3
  16. SATSANGA ON SHRI RAMA NAVAMI - PART-3 Note: This article is meant for intellectuals only Part-2 of spiritual meeting (Satsanga) that took place between Swami and several devotees on the day of Shri Rama Navami: Shri Phani: How do you correlate the vivarta vaada of Shankara with the parinaama vaada of Ramanuja? Swami: Vivarta means an apparent modification whereas parinaama means an actual modification. Water appearing as a wave is an example of vivarta. Milk getting modified to curd is example of parinaama. In fact, scholars call only parinaama as a modification. In the case of vivarta, the word ‘modification’ cannot actually be used. Standstill water itself appears as a wave when some kinetic energy is imparted to it. There is no actual modification in the water at all! But we can still use the word modification in sense of the different appearance which is the result of the association of the water with kinetic energy. We can define modification in terms of a change of qualities. In the case of water and the wave, the water remains the same, chemically. There is no change in its qualities as in the case of milk turning to curd. But even in the case of milk turning to curd, the change in qualities can be attributed to the association of the unseen bacteria. It means that the milk does not change its qualities on its own. The unseen bacteria are responsible for the change of qualities. With this deep scientific background, we can differentiate between apparent and real modifications. The basic point in this topic is that the concepts explained above deal with items of the imaginable domain and their relationships with each other. It is only a scientific discussion since science only deals with the imaginable domain. There is no reference to the unimaginable domain. Of course, we cannot discuss about the unimaginable domain itself since it is beyond logic. But the present topic is of the creation of the world from the unimaginable God. It is the discussion about the relationship between God, the unimaginable entity and the world, which is an imaginable entity. We can naturally discuss about the relationship between two imaginable items. We can never discuss about the relationship between two unimaginable items because one can never define more than one unimaginable item. If we attempt to define two unimaginable items, they ultimately become only one unimaginable entity since divisions or numbers cannot be imagined in the unimaginable domain. Similarly, no relationships can be imagined in the unimaginable domain since a relationship requires two items. The present discussion is a discussion about the relationship between one unimaginable item and another imaginable item. In understanding the relationship between two items, the knowledge of both the items is essential. You cannot say that this lotus is produced from an unimaginable source. The lotus is understood to be a flower. But its source, which was said to be unimaginable, cannot be understood. Hence, we cannot understand the process of production of the lotus from that unimaginable source. In short, the relationship between an unimaginable item and an imaginable item becomes unimaginable. Both vivarta and parinaama are concepts about the relationships between imaginable items like water and a wave or milk and curd. These concepts cannot directly apply to the relationship between the unimaginable God and the imaginable world. Logic is only the study of items existing in the imaginable domain (world) and their relationships with each other. You are an imaginable item existing in the world, who cannot cross the boundaries of the world. Then, how can you take this imaginable world in one hand and the unimaginable God in another hand in order to study the relationship between the two? To hold the entire imaginable world in one hand, you have to first stand out of the boundaries of world, which is impossible! Gaudapaada says that the world is not born (Ajaati vaada) at all from God. He says that the world is non-existent to the core. The soul is a part of the world and Gaudapaada is also a soul, So, as per his own theory, he was also not born at all! He has no existence whatsoever! His theory is correct with respect to the unimaginable God before God created the world. At that time, the world was actually not born (Ajaati) and had no existence. In contrast, Ramanjua says that the world is existent to the core and that it is born from God. He is correct because he is a soul who is a part of the world. For a soul, the world is equally existent and equally real as itself. The imaginable world is born from the unimaginable God. The world is different from God. So, considering this to be a case of real modification or parinaama is justified. But parinaama between worldly items requires the association of a second item. For instance, milk requires the association of bacteria to transform into curd. In the case of the creation of the world, the single unimaginable God created this imaginable world without the association of any second item (Ekamevaadvitiiyam Brahma—Veda, Mattah parataram kinchit naanyadasti—Gita). God is the Cause and the world is the product. The product is real and it is different from the cause (God). Form this point of view, it is acceptable to call it a parinaama or a real modification. But from the point of view of the Cause, which is the single unimaginable God who remains alone without any other second item, calling it a parinaama is not acceptable. In order for it to be a case of parinaama from the point of view of the Cause, you have to say that God is really modified into the real and different world, even though there was no other associated item. This was possible for God due to His unimaginable nature or unimaginable power. It means that in the case of God, parinaama is really possible due to His unimaginable nature and not due to mere worldly logic. The end result is that the parinaama in the case of unimaginable God is an unimaginable parinaama. A similar argument applies to Shankara’s vivarta too. Even for the apparent vivarta modification, the association with a second item is essential. The water must be associated with kinetic energy to become a wave. Without the associated kinetic energy, the standstill water cannot become a wave. The qualities of water in the standstill water and the wave of water are not different. Yet, we can say that the wave of water is different from the standstill water in its shape and form. Since the product is different from the cause, we can call this too as a modification. The difference between the water and the wave is only in one quality, which is its form. The modification is only physical. There is no chemical change. So, such a modification is very weak and it can be called as an apparent modification. Whether it is the parinaama of Ramanuja or the vivarta of Shankara, the process of generation of the imaginary world from the unimaginable God is certainly unimaginable. When the Creator as well as the process of creation is unimaginable, one cannot state with certainty the existence of the product (world) with respect to the unimaginable Creator. The world, which is the product, was non-existent to God before creation (ajaati). After creating it, it exists either in very strong state (parinaama) or in a very weak state (vivarta) as per the requirements of God so as to give Him entertainment. Existing in a strong state means existing as something very real; as something that cannot be changed easily. Existing in a very weak state means existing in a somewhat unreal state, like a thought, which can be controlled or changed easily. Such a weak existence can be treated to be a negligible existence. It can even be assumed to be almost like non-existence. Existence is called Sattaa whereas non-existence is called Asattaa. Negligible existence, which is almost like non-existence, is called Mithyaa. All these three states are possible for the world as per the requirement of God. The world created by God can exist in a strong state as different from God. Such existence is also required whenever God wishes so for the sake of His entertainment. In that case, the parinaama of Ramanuja applies. But this parinaama is an unimaginable parinaama and not the worldly parinaama. A non-existent creation, which is non-different from the creator cannot give any entertainment to the creator. If creation were non-existent and non-different from God, we would have to accept that God is just like an incompetent-imaginable human being. God as the Human Incarnation in this world is entertained by this real world that is different from the Incarnation. It is just like any human being who is entertained by this real world that is different from the human being. When God is performing miracles, the world is very weakly existent for Him. Since the world is different from God, it provides entertainment. Also, since it is weakly existent, it can be changed as per His will, which becomes a miracle for us. In this context, Shankara’s vivarta applies to the world. But it is an unimaginable vivarta and not the worldly vivarta. A creation that is different from God, but is equally existent as God, cannot be changed by Him. In that case, no miracles would be possible. Then God would not be able to surprise any devotee with a miracle for the sake of establishing the unimaginable nature of God. In that case, we would have to accept that God is just like an incompetent-imaginable human being. God as the Human Incarnation in this world is entertained by this very weakly real world that is different from Him. The word mithyaa can be applied even in the philosophy of Rāmānuja by saying that the world is real for soul and unreal (non-existent) for the unimaginable God before He created it. Since it is not possible to bring the angles of the soul and God together, one cannot decide for sure whether it is real or unreal. Mithyaa is defined by Shankara for broad application in this sense of uncertain reality (sadasatvilakshanaa). Neither parinaama nor vivarta can be applied to an unborn and non-existent world (ajaati) before it was created from the unimaginable God for the very first time. Subsequently, the world is repeatedly dissolved and then re-created in a cyclic manner. Gaudapaada’s philosophy of an unborn non-existent creation (ajaati vaada) cannot be applied to the state of creation before it is re-created after a dissolution. This is because, the world is not completely destroyed during the dissolution. It is maintained in a non-exhibited subtle state (Avyaktam) during dissolution, only to be re-exhibited in a gross state. In this way, all the three philosophies, Advaita, Vishishta Advaita, and Dvaita, can be correlated on the topic of God and His creation. The philosophy of Madhva in this topic is exactly similar to that of Ramanuja with a few differences. Madhva says that God is only the intelligent cause and not material cause of the world. He agrees that God has full control over the world. But He says that the material cause of the world is prakruti (nature) which exists separately. So, as per Madhva, prakruti is an independent entity that exists along with God. One possible doubt arises here. Let us say that one Human Incarnation is performing a miracle in one place in the world. He is treating the world as having a very weak existence in order to perform the miracle. At the same time, in another place, another Human Incarnation is being entertained by the world, treating it to have a very strong existence. How can these two contradictory views of the same world held by two different Human Incarnations be reconciled? How can the same world exist strongly as well as weakly at the same time? Do we reconcile this contradiction by treating one part of the world as strongly existing and another part as weakly existing at the same time? Actually, that is not necessary. Anything is possible for the unimaginable God due to His unimaginable omnipotence. There is no need to assume the world to be existing strongly in one part and weakly in another part. For the same unimaginable God present in the two Human Incarnations the two contradictory views of the world can certainly coexist. The unimaginable God identifies with the two different human media to become two different Incarnations. Through each of them, both these contradictory wishes of the unimaginable God are fulfilled at the same time. A false serpent superimposed on a rope can appear to be a real snake. This is similar to the case of spectators who feel the magician’s illusion is real. Simultaneously, the rope can appear to be a false imaginary snake to the same God. This is similar to a person imagining a false serpent on a truly existing rope. For the unimaginable God, both these options are possible. He is the absolute truth, whereas world is non-existent. It can appear to Him as a relative truth with either a strong or weak existence. The world cannot be another absolute truth, otherwise God could not have generated it, dissolved it, or changed it during its existence. In a fundamental sense, the world is non-existent to the unimaginable God, who has an absolute existence. In contrast, for a soul, the world actually exists. This is because the soul is a tiny part of the world. This non-existent world may appear to have either a strong or weak existence as per the desire of the unimaginable God. In both cases, the world is non-existent before the unimaginable God in a fundamental sense. Click here for Part-1 Click here for Part-2
  17. Discourse Podcast Shri Kishore Ram remarked to Shri PVNM Sharma: It is very difficult to stay free of the aspiration for any fruit in return from God while doing service to Him. Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! The point here is not to achieve this state of being free of the aspiration for any fruit in return with effort, but to attain this state in a natural and effortless manner. Take the case of our love for our children. Our love for them is real. We practically serve them and we sacrifice our money for them without expecting anything in return from them. Our practical service and the sacrifice of our money to them proves the genuineness of our love for them. The service and the sacrifice can be said to be our practical love for them. We do not even expect anything from them in return and continue our practical service and sacrifice to them even if they behave badly with us. This aspiration-free real love that we have for our children is natural. It is not produced artificially by effort. We should feel such aspiration-free real love for God naturally. Such love arises spontaneously when we are impressed by His divine personality, which becomes known to us through spiritual knowledge. If we have to make efforts to develop such love for God, it not real and natural love. Instead, such effort is linked to our aspiration for some fruit from Him. It means that our real and natural love is only for our children. It also means that we are lying in our prayers to God when we say that God is above all worldly bonds for us or that God is higher than anybody or anything! We can fool any human being by telling lies, but not God! Let us not say that it is impossible to love God without expecting anything in return. The word ‘impossible’ is an utter lie since we certainly love our children without any expectation. Would anyone believe if I were to say that I can lift a hill only in Mumbai and not in Delhi? If it is impossible, I should not be able to lift the hill in any place. But if it is possible in one place, how can I say that it is impossible in another place? So, we should frankly admit that we have real love only for our children and not for God. Our unreal love for God is based on the aspiration for some fruit in return. Such aspiration-filled devotion for God is either prostitution-devotion or business-devotion. In the former type of devotion, we try to achieve practical boons from God in exchange for our words and mental feelings of devotion. Thus, prostitution devotion is expecting practical boons from God in exchange for our theoretical devotion. In the latter type of devotion, we try to achieve practical boons from God in exchange for some practical service and the sacrifice of some money. Thus, business devotion is expecting practical boons from God in exchange for our practical devotion. We cannot say that even our devotion to our children is based on the aspiration for some fruit in return, such as the aspiration to be served during our old age. This is not true. Even if our children refuse to serve us in our old age, we neither change our will written in their favor nor do we keep silent if they require any urgent help from us at any time. At the most, we may scold them for their ungratefulness. But our true love for them, which is practically proved through our service and sacrifice for them, never changes! We are afraid of the risk in serving God and sacrificing our wealth to Him without the aspiration for any fruit in return. We think “What if God does not help me in my time of need? All my efforts in serving Him and the wealth sacrificed to Him would be for nothing!” This is the exact point where we slip from the path! We have total confidence in our children, who are mere human beings, but we do not have even a bit of confidence in the omnipotent God! Our children are human beings having very little power, while God is omnipotent. You think that the omnipotent God will not help you even though you have shown your love for Him practically through service and sacrifice. It means you are assuming that God is ungrateful! How did you assume that God has such a poor character? Sometimes, our grown-up children are ungrateful to us. Even though they are capable of rendering service to us in our old age they do not serve us. They do not reciprocate the real love that we have for them. The reason for their lack of real love for us and the resulting ungratefulness is their ignorance. Due to ignorance, they have directed their real love towards other blind bonds instead of us. In other cases, the grown-up children might have difficulties of their own. Hence, they might be incapable of practically reciprocating our real love towards them. Thus, souls could be ignorant or incapable of rendering service to us in reciprocation. But the omniscient and omnipotent God has no reason to unnecessarily avoid helping us in our difficulties. It is true that sometimes He does not help us and remains silent even when we are facing difficulties. The reason is that difficulties reform the soul and improve one’s devotion to God. Unless we are reformed, we will continue to rotate in the endless cycle of sins and punishments. So, God’s decision is always the best. Whether He helps us in our difficulties or whether He remains silent, it is for our greatest benefit. In whichever way He responds, He is always helping us. We should establish a relationship with God based on real love. In real love, one does not keep accounts. There is no balance sheet, no debit and credit. If you keep accounts between you and God, it is not real love, it is business. Such devotion is called business devotion. Real love is not based on keeping accounts and such real love is eternal. Draupadi cried for help when she was being declothed in the royal court. God Krishna supplied unlimited saris to her without keeping accounts. Earlier, when His finger was cut, Draupadi, without hesitating, had torn her sari and used the piece of cloth to bandage His finger. If God Krishna had kept accounts, even after adding a lot of interest, the piece of cloth could never have become more than one sari! The young son gives his salary in the hands of his mother. The husband gives his salary in the hands of his wife. The mother or the wife looks after all the needs and comforts of the son or the husband respectively. No account balance sheet is maintained for the amount of the salary handed over and the amount of comfort provided. No party aspires for any fruit in return from the other party. We should establish such a bond of real love with God. The mother or the wife is not omnipotent and might not be capable of providing all the comforts needed by the person. Both are ignorant and might not even be able to understand the person’s requirements each time. But God is omnipotent and omniscient. Sometimes, when the omnipotent and omniscient God remains silent even when we are facing difficulties, we should realize that there must be some very important valid reason for His silence. In such situations, His silence is undoubtedly in our best interest. In this real love, which is not based on an account balance sheet, our love should be really real. What I mean is that our love should be real both inside and outside. A certain devotee tried to develop such real love for God. He served God and sacrificed his wealth to God without aspiring for any fruit in return. Later, when the devotee faced some difficulties, God kept silent. This devotee said to God that he had expected unlimited love from God in reciprocation of his unlimited love for God! This statement made by him shows that his love for God was real only externally. Internally, it was unreal! We must have real faith in God because He is omniscient. He knows our requirements even without our asking. He is omnipotent to meet any of our requirements, unlike other human souls. We have full faith in the ignorant and powerless humans, who are related to us. But we do not have even a bit of faith in the all-knowing, all-powerful and infinitely kind God. Is it not the height of blind foolishness?
  18. Soul’s Freedom And Salvation Discourse Podcast Dr. Nikhil asked: Padanamaskarams Swamiji! I have two questions related to Your discourse given on December 23, 2018. I request Your kind clarifications on the same. Your servant. Nikhil. Question-1: I feel that that only God is completely free; not souls. The freedom of the soul is always restricted by several internal and external factors on earth. So, it cannot be called as total freedom or the freedom to act in all directions. The restrictions by the internal and external factors put tremendous force on the person’s mind and influence the person’s decision. The choices made by a person are largely determined by these various forcing factors. Hence, in spite of knowing and wanting to do the right thing, a person may often be forced, by the internal or external factors, to do the wrong thing. Duryodhana’s statement from the Prapanna Gītā (Paṇḍava Gītā) clearly brings out this internal force acting on a person’s mind “Jānāmi dharmaṃ na ca me pravṛttiḥ jānāmi pāpaṃ na ca me nivṛttiḥ ॥ 57॥”. Arjuna also says something similar in the Gita “Atha kena prayukto’yam pāpaṁ carati puruṣaḥ”. Lord Krishna answers Arjuna “Kāma eśa, krodha eśa rajoguṇa samudbhavam”. Lord Krishna’s words point to the internal factors which force the mind of a person in choosing an action. Similarly, there are strong external factors too. They might be related to the influence of other people such as other people forcing a person to do something. They may also be related to external situations such as poverty or life-threatening situations, which force a person to act in a certain manner. So, I feel that the human being is never free to decide. The so-called freedom or free-will of human beings is a highly constrained freedom at best. In any case, there is at least some relative freedom for those souls on earth who have got a human birth. But in the upper worlds, especially in hell, there is absolutely no freedom. Their freedom is taken away and souls must suffer. So, there is only physical force and zero freedom in hell. Also, animals and plants on earth are completely pre-programmed and have hardly any freedom. God clearly uses physical force on souls, to punish them in hell and sometimes on earth too for their intense sins. Could You kindly clarify how souls could be said to be completely free in this world and the upper worlds and that God never uses any force? Swami replied: The word freedom used by Me in the earlier discourse does not mean the absolute freedom possessed by God-in-human-form as described in the Veda (Aapnoti svaaraajyam). Such absolute freedom exists only in the case of God and no soul can even imagine it. The freedom enjoyed by a soul presently is limited by several factors as mentioned by you. But the freedom granted by God to the soul in the present age is greater than the freedom enjoyed by souls in the Kruta Age. The basic fact that is common to all ages is that the freedom of the soul is highly limited compared to the absolute freedom of God. This basic fact has nothing to do with the little freedom given by God to the souls at the end of the Kruta Yuga. This little freedom given by God to souls is further limited by the factors mentioned by you. But these factors are the results of choices made by us, souls. God did not create these factors to restrict the freedom already given to the soul. We were given full freedom to choose our actions by God. God gave us ample advice on choosing our actions through the scriptures, devoted messengers, and Human Incarnations. Through them we were warned that choosing wrong deeds will give rise to such negative factors, which will restrict our God-given freedom. Actually, God did not want to give souls the freedom to choose negative actions. But souls deeply yearned (craved) for complete freedom. So, He gave them the freedom to choose even the negative factors if they wanted. But He strongly advised them not to select such factors by repeatedly blowing these warnings into their ears! If this freedom to choose the negative were not given, the state would be the same state of strict discipline as in the Kruta Age. Even in this strict discipline of the Kruta Age, when the freedom to choose the negative was absent, the freedom to choose anything good or positive was present. To explain this more clearly, we can say that in the strict discipline of the Kruta Age, we were advised to eat any good fruit. But we were restricted from eating any poisonous fruit. After a long period, we got bored with the strict discipline and so to satisfy us, we were given the freedom to eat any fruit that we chose, including poisonous fruits. Along with this new freedom, repeated advice was given to us to eat only good fruits and not eat any poisonous fruit. In spite of all the excellent advice given by God, the granted freedom caused us to eat some poisonous fruits. It led to the inevitable punishment, suffering, and the restriction of our God-given freedom. Note that this freedom to choose the negative was our desire. Even though God gave us this freedom, as an antidote, He gave us more than sufficient advice to avoid bad and negative things. This completely frees God from any blame. On one side, we blame God for giving this freedom to choose the negative. On the other side, we criticize God if He does not give us that freedom! God showed the best balance by giving us our desired freedom while simultaneously giving us a strong warning about avoiding the misuse of that freedom. Still, we manage to blame God! In that case, we should suggest a better way than what He did! Why was bad created? One question immediately pops up. Why did God create negative or bad fruits? Why did He not create only good fruits? The reason is simple. Good and bad are relative. Can there be good without the relatively bad? Can there be day without night? The recognition of the positive requires the presence of the negative. Leave God’s creation aside for some time. Do we prepare our meals without any hot dishes? Do we produce movies with only pleasant scenes, without a single tragic scene? Is there any game where there are only winners and no losers? If God had created creation with only good and no bad, we would be the first to blame God for creating such a meaningless one-sided creation! Hence, God planned creation consisting of sattvam which is good qualities, and rajas and tamas, which are the bad qualities. This plan of creation is just like the storyline of a movie which is fixed before the production of the movie. Kruta Yuga the childhood of humanity The Kruta Age was like the childhood of souls. Parents take complete care of the child, without giving any freedom to the child so as to protect it from bad factors. As the child grows into a youth and an adult, he or she aspires for full freedom. The youth wants the parents to only provide good advice and not force him or her to do anything. God did exactly what good parents do to their children. Some grown-up children listen to their parents’ advice and enjoy peace and happiness in their lives, whereas some grown-up children do not listen to their parents and end up in problems. Do you blame the parents or the grown-up children for their mistakes? If we blame God for the sins and suffering of souls it is exactly like blaming parents for the mistakes of their grown-up children. When parents are not expected to control their grown-up children using force, how can we expect God to control souls using force! If all grown-up children in the world were not listening to their parents, there would at least be a possibility of thinking that there might be something fundamentally wrong with the system. If all the students in a class were to fail, and not a single student were to pass, it might point to a possible defect in the teacher. But we know that there are several grown-up children who listen to their parents’ advice, and there are several students in any class, who pass the examination with a distinction. Even in this worst age, which is called the Kali Age, there are several good devotees, who totally surrender to God. They follow His divine scriptures which are properly explained by His devoted messengers and His Incarnations. There is a chance that the human parents and teachers might be defective or wrong. But the omniscient God can be never defective or wrong. Even then, God never tells us to follow His advice blindly. He wants us to logically analyze His words thoroughly. This is the last statement told by God Krishna to the soul, Arjuna in the Gita (Vimrushyaitadasheshen—Gita). God has already given us a powerful intellect to analyze and decide what is good and bad. He also clearly preaches to us again and again regarding the fruits of good deeds and the fruits of bad deeds. Coming back to our starting point, in the Kruta Age, the souls were acting, speaking and even thinking as per the direction of God given to them through the divine scriptures. They were like babies in the hands of their parents. With reference to that disciplined state, I had said that souls were given full freedom to choose their actions by God in the subsequent ages. The full freedom given to souls means the maximum freedom that can be given to souls. As such souls can never have absolute God-like freedom in any of the four ages. In the Kruta Age, the souls were like robots working as programmed by God. They did not have the full freedom to act as they chose. So, God took the total responsibility for their thoughts, words, and deeds. After a long time, the souls were very bored with that perfect and total discipline. It is just like a child on growing up becomes reluctant to follow the strictly enforced discipline of his or her parents. Neither did the souls want the absolute freedom of God nor did God give His absolute freedom to the souls. The full freedom given to souls, means the maximum freedom initially granted to souls. Later, souls, using this very freedom, chose bad deeds which reduced their freedom and caused suffering to themselves. In the beginning, when God asked Adam and Eve not to eat a specific fruit, both were following the order of God strictly like robots. In this initial stage, all souls, both males and females, lived in strict discipline as per the laws given by God. After a long time, they got bored of their disciplined life. God understood their feeling of boredom and gave them the freedom to think, speak and to do whatever they liked. God strengthened the faculty of their intellect. The mind is the mental faculty that brings in doubts or different alternatives. It starts an internal debate (Samkalpa vikalpaatmakam manah). The intellect is the mental faculty that analyzes the various options to arrive at correct conclusions. When logical analysis starts, it is called intelligence. The expected result of the logical analysis is the right conclusion (Adhyavasaayaatmikaa Buddhih). The mind and intelligence did not have much work in the Kruta Age. Later, God gave freedom to the mind and intelligence of souls after which they started working very hard. The mind is not that important since it only starts the basic doubt which is needed for analysis. But intelligence is very important. When its analysis is wrong, it arrives at a wrong conclusion. When the analysis is correct till the very end, it arrives at the right conclusion. Intelligence is the driver and the individual soul is the owner of the vehicle as said in the Veda. Whether the journey will be safe or will end up in an accident is in the hands of the driver. Hence, God started His preaching of the Gita with buddhi yoga or Saamkhya yoga, which is related to the analysis done by a sharp intelligence. A father, seeing his children getting bored at home, proposes to take them outdoors on a picnic to entertain them by providing a change. The careful father instructs the children on the precautions to be taken during their outdoor stay. Similarly, the careful God gave freedom to souls but along with it, He also gave them the scriptures containing several precautions to be taken during one’s life. God also explains these instructions and precautions to every generation through His devotees and even by personally descending as an Incarnation. After that, God does not bear the slightest responsibility for the actions of the souls. The effects of food on the body and mind We are talking about the force used by God to influence the thoughts, words, and deeds of souls in the Kruta Age on earth. Earth is called Martya Loka which is a karma loka. It means that it is a world in which souls choose their own actions. It is only in this world that above-mentioned little freedom is possible. The upper worlds are called bhoga lokas in which the soul is destined to enjoy the fruits of its actions without the slightest freedom to alter the fruit. Hence, we need not touch the upper worlds in which there is not the slightest possibility of getting even a trace of freedom. In this karma loka or earth, during the Kruta Age, all human beings ate only the prescribed food, which helps the soul in thinking, speaking and doing good alone. The state of the soul was like that of a hospitalized patient, who has the restriction of eating only the prescribed food. Food is said to influence the physical state of the body as well as the thoughts and the state of the mind (Annaanuruupaam tanuruupabuddhim, Kaaryam nidaanaaddhi gunaanadhiite). Today, after getting freedom from God, human beings can eat any type of food. They can speak and do anything they want. If required, they can even do things that they want secretly! But the scriptures, the preachers and finally the Human Incarnations always exist in every generation to give souls all the information with full clarity about merit and sin. The ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it! Freedom can be enjoyed while simultaneously taking the necessary precautions of avoiding sin. The freedom allows you to do any type of meritorious action. Within the boundaries of meritorious action, there is a great variety of actions that one can do. Meritorious actions are like sweet, mild and good food which is called Saattvika aahaara. One has the freedom to choose any such good food for good physical and mental health. Hot and spicy dishes are like sins. You must take precautions to avoid all types of hot and spicy dishes in order to maintain good health. There are actually several saints who eat only sweet and mild food in limited quantities. They totally avoid hot and spicy dishes. The majority, like us, chooses to eat some spicy dishes too since God has given us the freedom of choice. Would you not criticize God if He had not given this freedom to us? Further, you may avoid sin and do only meritorious deeds. But if you do the meritorious deeds with the aspiration for heavenly enjoyment, here is a warning for you. It is like eating sweets which causes diabetes. Avoiding sins and doing meritorious deeds must be associated with true devotion to God. The devotion is like preventive medicine. It prevents the disease. The type of food we consume affects our mind. The qualities inherent in the food we eat produce corresponding qualities in our minds, which force our decision-making. But we must clearly note that it is we who are responsible for these forces acting on our mind arising from the qualities in the foods consumed by us. After all, we use our freedom to choose what we eat. God has given us intelligence and has also described the effects of different types of foods in the scripture such as the last chapter of the Gita. We had the freedom to choose any type of good food. Yet we also chose some food that is not good. Thus, we see that within certain limits, we have full freedom. We can similarly analyze the association with good and bad people. We have the freedom to associate with bad people just as we can choose bad food. But we can also use our intelligence and follow the divine instructions given by God. With right analysis, we can select the company of good people which is like good food. Among good people, we have full freedom to select any type of good people. In the Kruta Age, souls only had the freedom to choose any type of good company. They had no freedom to choose bad company. Later on, God even granted the freedom to choose bad company. Some souls used that freedom, chose bad company and got spoiled. For that one cannot blame God because He always preaches to us all about good and bad without any partiality. In the first half of the verse quoted by you, Duryodhana says that he knows what is justice and what is injustice since he has learned it from his preachers. But in spite of it, he is not able to practically follow justice and avoid injustice in pravrutti. This is the state of the soul in the Dvaapara Age, which is the state after getting freedom from God. The preaching of his preachers had removed the Aaavarana, which is theoretical ignorance in his mind. But the practical effect of the ignorance, called Vikshepa was strong in his mind due to the bad company chosen by him. Since he had received correct knowledge from his preachers, he cannot be excused. He had full freedom to choose his company and he had chosen bad company. Their bad influences on his mind caused him to go on the wrong track and commit injustice. The Cunningness of Duryodhana In this first half of the verse, it appears as if Duryodhana is being frank in admitting the truth that his bad fate was the result of his own choices. But the second half of the verse reveals the cunning nature of this villain. He says “Tvayaa Hrushikesha! hrudisthitena, Yathaa niyuktomsmi tathaa karomi”. It means that he will act as per the order of God sitting in his heart. But he addressed God as ‘Hrushikesha’ meaning the Lord of the senses of his body (Hrushikaanaam indriyaanaam Eeshah). The Lord of the senses is actually the individual soul. The Veda explains this using an analogy of a chariot. The body is the chariot and the individual soul is its owner. The intelligence is the driver, the senses are the horses and the mind is the reins that control the horses. Souls in the Kruta Age were completely under the control of God. The individual soul which is the owner, the intellect which is the driver, the reins which are the mind, the senses which are the horses, and the chariot which is the body; were all under the full control of God in the Kruta Age. Since God is the controller of the senses of human beings in the Kruta Yuga, it is justified to call Him Hrushikesha, which means the controller of the senses. But after the Kruta Yuga, the situation has changed. In the case of any normal human being, it is the intelligence that controls the whole fate of the soul. God is not responsible for the soul’s fate since He has given the soul the freedom of choice. Right knowledge learned by the person, followed by the right analysis can take the person on the right path to his or her salvation. The clever villain that Duryodhana is, he addresses God as the Lord of his senses so that he can dump the total blame of the injustice and sins done by him on God! The two halves of this verse make a very strong hybrid misinterpretation. This misinterpretation is generally adopted by almost everyone in this Kali Age to justify their sins and put all the blame on God. Mental forces result from our own choices The main point is that one should never blame God for giving freedom to souls. In the unfortunate situation of bad forces acting on the mind, one should realize that the bad forces are the results of his or her own choices. The truth here is that God has given full freedom to souls in a limited sense. The person makes his own choices, which have inevitable results that are also known to him. The negative forces in his mind are these inevitable results of his own choices. Knowing that fire burns, he still puts his finger in the fire out of his own choice. Then he blames the fire, God and all the other factors influencing him! When the truth that fire burns is well-known to him and the negative factors influencing him are also the results of his own choices, he has only himself to blame for getting burned! Does any grown-up adult blame his parents for not forcibly preventing him from putting his finger in the fire? Yoga can turn bad into good You acquired bad qualities by your own free will. Yet God has preached yoga to you. Yoga is the special talent of using your intelligence (buddhi) to analyze and find out the good sides of sins. This good side of the so-called bad deeds can be adopted. The analysis also helps you identify and avoid the bad sides of so-called meritorious actions. This special talent of analyzing and appropriately choosing deeds is the special talent or yoga preached by God in the Gita (Yogah karmasu kaushalam). The person who attains this talent can use his intelligence to turn the sin into merit. He analyzes the good and bad sides of the so-called bad deed and adopts only its good side. For instance, if you possess the quality of anger, which is generally considered to be bad, you can analyze where the use of anger is good and where it is bad. Anger can be used to condemn injustice and control your children and students from going on the wrong path. This is the good application of a bad quality, which makes it good. Similarly, even if you possess lust, it can be excercised in the case of your lawful spouse to generate issues. Even if you are greedy and selfish, you can use that quality to avoid donating your money to an undeserving receiver. Controlling anger, lust, and greed is mainly stressed in the Gita since these three are the main gates to hell. You need not attempt to remove your bad qualities. They have been acquired over several births and have solidified inside you like a huge hill. It is impossible to eliminate them. All you can do is to divert the bad quality to its good side. It will reduce the pressure that the bad quality puts on your mind since any quality gets exhausted when the corresponding deed is done. God also warns you to be careful of the attraction for merit. Merit also has a bad side. Donating to a deserving person is a good deed that brings merit. However, donating even to a deserving receiver, with the aspiration for some good fruit is bad. It is the bad side of the merit. If you donate to the good receiver without any aspiration for fruit in return, it will help you maintain the same attitude when you worship God. In the Kruta Age, lust towards one’s lawful spouse to produce children was considered meritorious. But having lust even after producing children was considered sin. So, sages controlled their sexual life after producing children and such a stage in life was called as Vaanaprastha aashrama. In that stage, the husband and wife looked upon each other as brother and sister! Of course, there are small changes in the definition of justice or merit in every age. This is done to accommodate the changes in the overall atmosphere of human society. But these changes are small and an outright sin remains a sin in all ages. In the context of lust, the maximum relaxation that can be given in the Kali Age is that avoiding sex with anyone other than one’s lawful spouse itself is the highest merit! Intense lust for one’s lawful spouse even up to one’s dying day need not be considered as sin! Being peaceful and silent is said to be a good quality. But keeping silent towards a horrible sin in spite of having the ability to control it is bad. Bhiishma and Drona committed a huge sin by keeping silent while the villainous Kauravas attempted to take off the clothes of Draupadi in the royal court. So, we see that God has revealed this talented path of yoga even for the souls who are trapped under the influence of the bad sides of good qualities! Can any human being having even the slightest trace of humanity still blame God? Was John the Baptist Fully Reformed and Saved? Discourse Podcast Questoin-2: You had mentioned in the previous discourse that John the Baptist, was like good fertile soil with good seeds, but he could not hear the preaching of Jesus. You also said that this John had received the rain of God’s grace in his generation and was already saved. That is why he was able to recognize Jesus as a Human Incarnation of God. I am confused whether these statements refer to John the Baptist or John the disciple. If they refer to John the disciple there is no problem. But if they refer to John the Baptist, then there is a contradiction. Before Jesus arrived, how can it be said that the Baptist had received the grace of God? The grace of God is basically the divine knowledge preached by the Incarnation. But the Baptist never learned divine knowledge from Jesus. Then naturally, it is not possible that the Baptist was saved. If the Baptist was already saved, he must be fully-reformed. If he was fully-reformed, how could there be an un-canceled pending punishment for him? The Baptist was not an Incarnation to bear the suffering of devotees upon himself, like Jesus. This means that his death sentence must have been the punishment for his own sin. It means that he was not fully reformed and saved. Swami replied: John, the baptizer of Jesus, was another contemporary Human Incarnation. It is like sage Vyaasa, who was another Human Incarnation along with Krishna. The births of all these Human Incarnations were miraculous. Sage Vyaasa was directly born as a grown-up boy as soon as sage Paraashara met with Satyavati, the unmarried mother of Vyaasa. John was born to a very old barren lady and Jesus was born to an unmarried girl. While Krishna was born, Lord Vishnu, the Energetic Incarnation, appeared before His parents. After the birth of both Krishna and Jesus, wicked kings in their respective places and times, killed several children in search of both. Both Krishna and Jesus did several miracles. Both preached wonderful spiritual knowledge in the form of the Gita and the Bible respectively. When John was to be born, a divine angel told His father that God is sending this messenger to preach about the concept of reformation of the soul. Baptism was the external symbol of this reformation. Like sage Vyaasa, John also lived in a remote forest. John was very bold due to His strong faith in God and so He criticized a king for committing the sin of unlawful sex. John’s idea was that the king should repent and withdraw from the sin. For his bold criticism, He was imprisoned by the king. The king was actually not willing to behead Him since he recognized Him to be a divine messenger. But the king was trapped by negative influences which forced him to commit such a horrible sin of killing a divine preacher. Even in the case of Jesus, the Roman officer, before whom the trial of Jesus was conducted, could not find any fault with Jesus. But he was trapped in the plot of the priests of the temple, and was forced to order the crucifixion. As Jesus suffered the sins of His devotees through the crucifixion, John also suffered the sins of His devotees through His horrible punishment. Every divine messenger is an Incarnation of God. The difference between actual Incarnations like Krishna and Jesus and so on, and divine messengers like Vyaasa, Madhva, John and so on, is very small. In the case of the Incarnation, God actually merges with the soul, whereas in the case of the divine messenger, He remains very closely associated with the soul. Shankara and Jesus declared that they are God. Shankara said “Shivah kevaloham. Jesus said “I am the truth and the light” It was the God who had merged into them who spoke those words through them. The human being components in the Incarnations did not want to speak such words. No devoted soul, be it the soul in an Incarnation or a messenger, aspires for monism with God. God Himself merges with the specific soul and speaks about His identity, suppressing the desire of the devoted soul acting as His medium. Balaraama was an incarnation of Adishesha, who is a very close servant of God. But he is considered as one of the ten Incarnations of God. It is like an honorary degree granted to a person or a conferred IAS officer. There is not the slightest difference between a messenger of God, a son of God and an Incarnation of God. The three represent the dualism of Madhva, the special monism of Ramanuja and the perfect monism of Shankara respectively. In fact, the Incarnation of God Himself expresses each of these three states based on the extent of ego and jealousy of His disciples. If the disciples have very high ego and jealousy, the Incarnation says that He is only a messenger of God. If the disciples’ ego and jealousy is moderate, He says that He is the son of God. If the ego and jealousy of the disciples is negligibly small, He reveals His oneness with God. Even the divine messenger saves His disciples by undergoing the punishment for their sins. The Incarnation is a homogeneous mixture of God and soul, like an alloy of gold and copper. The messenger is a copper rod welded with a golden rod. In both cases, if the gold is heated, the copper also becomes hot. In both cases, the human being-component suffers by the will of God. God, who is represented by gold in the analogy, is invisible and in fact, unimaginable. So, the heating of the invisible gold can only be expressed through the heating of the visible copper. In other words, we cannot see the unimaginable God. But upon witnessing the suffering of the the human-component of the Incarnation, we realize the fact that God suffers for the sins of His devotees. Here, it is very important to note that God suffers for the sins of only His real devotees. He does not suffer for the sins of all humanity. Emmanuel is the one who suffers for the sins of only His real devotees.
  19. Worldly Duties or Divine Service? Discourse Podcast Shri Hrushikesh asked Swami through Shri PVNM Sharma: One of my friends said “We have to do worldly work to support our families, so we cannot dedicate ourselves totally to the work of God”. I request You to please respond to his comment. Swami Replied: If this point of your friend were valid, the conversation between Krishna and Arjuna in the Gita would have been as follows: Krishna: O Arjuna! Give up this worldly work of fighting to win back your lost property and kingdom. Become a saint and propagate My spiritual knowledge in this world. Arjuna: How can I withdraw from this war? I need to get back the property earned by my father in order to support my family. If I completely dedicate myself to Your work, would I not be doing an injustice towards my family? In fact, the real version of the Gita is the reverse. Arjuna wanted to withdraw from the war. He was fighting the war to regain his lost kingdom, so, fighting the war was his worldly duty. Krishna forced Arjuna to do his worldly duty, which is essential in pravrutti or worldly life. Krishna never said that Arjuna should withdraw from the war and dedicate himself to doing the work of God in this world. Arjuna’s wanting to withdraw from the war was not for the sake of doing spiritual work or nivrutti. His reason for wanting to withdraw from the war was his blind love for his grandfather, teacher and other relatives. He wanted to avoid having to kill them even though they stood for injustice. All of them had been responsible for the injustice done on several occasions including the attempted undressing of Draupadi in the royal court. Some like Dusshaasana were the direct doers of injustice. Some like Duryodhana were the indirect doers of injustice. Some like Shakuni and Karṇa were the promoters of injustice and some like Bhishma and Drona were the supporters of injustice by keeping silent when they could have prevented it. Arjuna was ready to withdraw from a war that was justified. His wanting to withdraw from the war was due to his blind attachment to his elders and relatives, and not for the sake of his spiritual effort or God’s work. So, Krishna objected and told him to fight the war. Even if Arjuna had said that he wanted to withdraw from the war for the sake of doing spiritual work, Krishna would still have objected. If Arjuna had really wanted to withdraw from the war due to his interest in spiritual work, he could have done it before going to the battlefield. But before reaching the battlefield, he was motivated to fight. Only after reaching the battlefield, he saw all his respectable elders and beloved relatives standing together as his enemy. It kindled his blind attachment for these worldly relationships. His intellect was clouded due to the attachment and he failed to analyze their defects. This was the reason for his wanting to withdraw from the war! Service and Sacrifice Benefit the Soul; not God Your friend has made God out to be a helpless person requesting the help of others to do His work. As if God cannot do His own work! Why would the omnipotent God need the help of powerless human beings? Your friend’s wrong thinking is the result of his ignorance of God’s omnipotence. In fact, God never asks anybody to help Him in His work. Even if He advises devotees to participate in His work of propagation of spiritual knowledge in this world, it is only for their spiritual welfare. The propagation of His spiritual knowledge strengthens the concepts in the devotee’s mind due to repeated revision. It leads to the reformation of the devotee who is propagating the knowledge. By advising certain blessed souls to participate in His work, God is only providing an opportunity for them to rise higher on the spiritual path. This progress on the spiritual path is a permanent attainment that follows the soul in every birth. On the other hand, pravrutti is the work related to one’s worldly bonds and is confined only to this birth. In fact, God never advises souls to proceed on the path of nivrutti, which is establishing a strong personal bond with God. Nivrutti is the path discovered by the devoted souls themselves. It was not introduced by God. In fact, God discourages the path of nivrutti by creating several difficult hurdles which serve as acid tests to prove the deservingness of the soul. The only path introduced and encouraged by God is pravrutti. It is the path of protection of justice and the rejection of injustice in worldly life. His entire focus is only on pravrutti. He introduced worldly and heavenly benefits for following justice. To discourage sins and injustice, He also introduced punishments in this world and in the upper world. God descends into this world in the form of Incarnations for this very purpose of establishing pravṛtii. In that case, how can anybody blame God for supporting nivrutti at the cost of pravrutti? In fact, God created this world having all the souls and gave them the commandments to strictly follow pravrutti. Souls are supposed to strictly follow justice and avoid injustice in their worldly life. God remained as the unimaginable domain, aloof from this world, which is the imaginable domain. It is just like parents staying aloof from their grown-up children after helping them settle down in life and giving them proper instructions on leading a happy life through discipline. Had these souls followed the instructions of God and maintained the balance of society perfectly, God would never have had to visit creation. He would have been happy simply to see all souls living together happily. This point answers the question of atheists, who ask why it is even necessary for human beings to think about God in their worldly life. If souls could have lived happily following the discipline necessary to maintain the balance of the society, there would have been no need for souls to think about God. Old parents, staying aloof from their grown-up children, are not interested in unnecessarily visiting the homes of their children as long as the children are leading a disciplined and happy life. When the children break the discipline and create havoc in their own lives and in society, the parents rush to their homes to set things right. They come to the homes of their children to solve the crisis created by the children and not to get free food or service from their children. Now, human parents are ignorant and they are not omnipotent either. In fact, they themselves might be in need of financial and other help from their children. So, it is possible that they might visit the homes of their grown-up children expecting some help. But God is omnipotent and does not require any help from souls either in terms of service or in terms of money. The service rendered by a devotee to God is called karma samnyaasa and his hard-earned money offered or sacrificed to God is called karma phala tyaga. Both service and the sacrifice of hard-earned money together are called karma yoga. Karma yoga or service and sacrifice of money are not needed by God at all! In the case that the parents are strong and healthy and are also financially well-off, they need neither service nor money from their children. In spite of that, if the children serve the parents and give money to them, it is due to the children’s love for their parents. The service and the money given are the practical proof of the mental love they have for their parents. God is like these strong and rich parents who do not need anything from their children. Unfortunately, some clever children exploit this point, saying that they do not serve their parents or give them any money since the rich and strong parents do not need any of it. These grown-up children are missing the point. The service rendered to the parents and the money offered to them is not because of the need of the parents. It is the proof of the real love that the children have for their parents. Many people in the world also think in the same manner about God. They too must understand that service rendered to God and the money sacrificed to Him is only the proof of one’s real love for God. Your friend’s comment is like that of a son, who says to his poor and dependent parents living with him in his home “If I serve you and spend my money on you, how can I look after my family towards which I am duty-bound?” The comment is completely out of place for the context of God and souls. The case of God and a soul is similar to that of rich and strong parents who have been caring for and financially supporting the son and his family from the beginning. So, whatever service the son renders to such rich and strong parents and whatever money he sacrifices to them, is not because they need it. It is only the practical proof of his real love for them. Thus, your friend’s thinking, which is also the thinking of a lot of other people, is based on an illusion and ignorance. It is God who has been helping and supporting the devotee in all possible ways. He needs nothing from souls! The love that the devotee has for God is in the mind. It is theoretical. It cannot be seen. A person may falsely claim that he loves God. Therefore, proof becomes necessary. Service and sacrifice of one’s hard-earned money to God are the practical proof of real love for God. They are called karma samnyaasa and karma phala tyaga respectively, and they are the proof of devotion. They can be said to be practical devotion. Of course, the devotee can practically prove his theoretical devotion either through service or through the sacrifice of money. Service is work done for God. It is the sacrifice of one’s energy for God. Money is said to be the fruit of one’s work since we earn money in return for our work. Offering money to God is the sacrifice of the fruit of one’s work to God. Service or karma samnyaasa represents the sacrifice of energy. Karma phala tyaaga represents the sacrifice of matter since money stands for matter. Since both energy and matter are mutually interconvertible, service and sacrifice both constitute karma yoga. Both are equivalent and a person can do any one or a combination of both as per one’s convenience. Service is convenient for a renounced saint who does not earn or possess money. For a householder, a combination of the two is usually convenient. Since he earns and possesses money, he can sacrifice some money. In addition, he also has some spare time in which he can serve God. The extent to which a devotee should do this karma yoga is told as “yathaa shakti, yathaa bhakti”. This means that it can be done as per one’s capacity and as per the depth of one’s devotion. In this regard, it is very important to realize this essential truth and keep it permanently in one’s mind: God never needs any service or from souls, He never forces anyone to sacrifice anything to Him and He never has any intention to cheat any soul. The service and sacrifice are entirely voluntary from the side of the devotee who is totally free to choose. True and False Devotees and Incarnations Discourse Podcast A false devotee is one who tries to escape from the practical service and sacrifice to God. He exploits the fact that the omnipotent God is not in any real need of service or sacrifice from petty human beings. A true devotee is one who performs the practical service and sacrifice to God along with pure theoretical devotion. He completely surrenders to God in both theory and practice. He proves the theoretical devotion in His mind by practically serving God and sacrificing his money for God. A false incarnation is a glorified beggar. He cheats devotees by saying that they must do practical service and sacrifice to him for the sake of their own spiritual welfare and not because he needs it. A true Incarnation never aspires for anything from the devotee since He has absolutely no need. He accepts the service and sacrifice of the devotee in the interest of the devotee so that the devotee may be truly uplifted on the spiritual path. There are two perfect matches. The first is the true devotee and the true Incarnation and the second is the false devotee and the false incarnation. When the true devotee meets the true Incarnation, the devotee is benefited. When the false devotee meets with the false incarnation, the false incarnation is taught a good lesson. Let us also see the cross-associations. When the false devotee meets the true Incarnation, only the false devotee suffers a loss. No loss ever comes to the true Incarnation. When the true devotee meets the false incarnation, the true devotee gets cheated if the devotee is not capable of doing a proper analysis in order to recognize the true Incarnation. Just as the Incarnation tests devotees, the devotee must also test Incarnations. Tests based on sharp and intelligent analysis are needed on both sides. The customer tests the golden ornament before purchasing it from the jeweler. The jeweler also tests the currency notes given by the customer to see whether they are genuine or fake. Krishna began His preaching of the Gita with the concept of buddhi yoga , which is sharp analysis using one’s intelligence. He even ended His preaching highlighting the same point of thorough analysis (Vimrushyaitadasheshena...). This intelligent analysis must be used to test the Incarnation. The devotee must never blindly accept the knowledge given by the Incarnation. He must accept it only upon being fully convinced after a thorough analysis. Identifying the Incarnation of God How to identify a true Incarnation? Generally, people identify an Incarnation by His ability to perform miracles. People are attracted to these miracles since they are useful to solve their worldly problems. But the worldly problems are confined only to this birth. Such people realize their blunder only in the last minutes before their death when there is no time for rectification. Miracles can be done even by devils. They get miraculous powers from God through rigorous penance. The main problem with miracles is that they increase selfishness in the devotee. The devotee develops the habit of exploiting the power for solving worldly problems and getting worldly benefits. But the usefulness of these miracles is limited only this birth. Unfortunately, the selfishness developed in the devotee as a result of the miracles prevents the divine grace from working on the devotee and spoils the spiritual growth of the devotee. This is a huge loss which affects the soul in all future births. Miracles are useful to deal with scientific atheists or atheistic scientists. These are people who do not believe in God but who are capable of objective and patient analysis. They are people who accept proof and are capable of changing their opinion in the face of contrary evidence. There is no need to attempt to change adamant atheists because they will never change even if they experience miracles. They lack the ability to conduct an objective analysis or change their opinion in the face of contrary evidence. Similarly, silent pure scientists are satisfied to study only science and are not capable of inquiring about anything beyond science. There is no need to show miracles and attempt to change them either. Miracles are useful to the devotee to solve the worldly problems of the present birth. But they increase the devotee’s selfishness. Eating sweets serves the purpose of temporary pacification of hunger, but it increases the risk of diabetes! The best identification of an Incarnation has been told as the true spiritual knowledge given by Him. This divine knowledge helps souls progress in worldly life (pravrutti) by establishing justice and peace. It also helps souls progress in spiritual life (nivrutti). This true spiritual knowledge is described in the Veda as “Satyam jnaanamanantam Brahma” and in the Gita as “Jnaaniitvaatmaiva...”. Why has the true spiritual knowledge been given such total importance? The reason is that it helps in giving right direction to the soul for its temporary welfare in pravrutti as well as permanent welfare in nivrutti. A person usually has a strong fascination for worldly bonds of money, spouse and child. Driven by this fascination, he commits sins in the world. The true spiritual knowledge diverts a person’s strong fascination from the worldly bonds towards God. Thus, it prevents the person from committing sins. Then the person naturally avoids punishment in this world and in the afterworld. This is the contribution of spiritual knowledge to a person’s worldly life. As the person advances further and further in the same true spiritual knowledge, in course of time, it brings the person closer and closer to God. The person gets the opportunity of not just becoming a Human Incarnation, but also the master of God. Becoming the Human Incarnation of God is attaining monism with God, which is the goal of the monistic philosophy of Advaita. The goal of the dualistic philosophy of Dvaita is to surrender to God as a devoted servant. But God out of love treats such a surrendered devotee as His own master. Thus, the goal of dualism is higher than the goal of monism. Of course, both these fruits are given by God only to those devotees who do not aspire for any fruit from God. Hence, attachment to God is the essential starting point for success in pravrutti as well as in nivrutti. It is the railway ticket purchased right up to Delhi which represents the goal of nivrutti or spiritual life. It allows you to break the journey at the intermediate station which is pravrutti or worldly justice. If you learn spiritual knowledge, develop theoretical devotion and practice practical devotion to God, you have purchased a ticket right up to the abode of God, which is known as Brahma Loka. You can break your journey for a very short time at the intermediate station which is heaven or Svarga Loka. But if you only do good social service you have purchased a ticket only up to the intermediate station called heaven. With it, you can stay for a longer time in heaven, but you will have to return to earth thereafter. If you consider the attachment to God as nivrutti, then this nivrutti is essential from the very beginning of pravrutti. The attachment to God leads to a simultaneous detachment from worldly bonds. In the first stage of pravrutti, the attachment to God is only partial. The partial detachment from worldly bonds due to the partial attachment to God enables a person to follow the path of justice in pravrutti. The attachment to God grows and becomes complete in the latter stage of nivrutti. Both partial and full attachments to God can be called as nivrutti. Thus, spiritual knowledge, which is the starting point for developing attachment to God is the essential requirement for both the worldly path of justice and the spiritual path of devotion.
  20. Scriptural Authority For The Cancellation Of Sins Discourse Podcast Shri Kishore Ram asked: Is there authority from the scripture regarding the cancellation of pending punishments by reformation, especially in this Kali Age? Some of my friends are asking for scriptural authority on this point. Swami replied: This concept is based on logic and hence, it is valid in any age because the logic of the concept is beyond time. The logic is as follows. The meaning of reformation is that the soul passes through realization, repentance and finally non-repetition of the sin in practice. What is the aim of the punishment for sin? It is not revenge or breast for tat! It is only to create fear in the mind of the soul so that the soul does not repeat the sin. But mere punishment without giving spiritual knowledge can only bring fear in the soul; not realization. In the absence of realization, there is no question of repentance and the non-repetition of the sin in practice. Of course, due to the fear, there will be a temporary avoidance of the sin. The non-repetition of sin is most important since it is the final practical step. Therefore, the soul is punished for its sins here on earth as well as in hell so that the soul does not repeat the sin at least for some time. After being punished in hell, when the soul is reborn on earth, its tendency to commit the sin is greatly reduced. As the child grows, it learns from its surroundings. Based on these external influences, the child picks up different qualities. But generally, the soul picks up qualities that are matching with its own inherent qualities. These inherent qualities have been accumulated by the soul over numerous previous births. As a result, in each birth, the soul usually develops a nature matching with his or her own inherent qualities. A change is possible only when the soul receives the true spiritual knowledge preached by the Human Incarnation of God. Such spiritual knowledge may bring total or partial reformation in the soul depending on how intense the soul’s inherent qualities are. To speed up the reformation, God uses a combination of fear through punishment and realization through spiritual knowledge. It is like administering antibiotics along with vitamin B-complex to a patient so that the weakness caused by the antibiotics is overcome by the vitamins. The simultaneous exposure of the soul to both spiritual knowledge and the punishment for its sins is very essential. The punishment creates fear and weakness in the soul. The spiritual knowledge not only brings some strength to the soul overcoming the weakness but it also gradually brings permanent reformation in the soul. This is the basis of the divine system of God for managing and reforming souls. It involves these two simultaneous efforts of punishing souls for their sins and preaching spiritual knowledge to them through divine Incarnations. Now, the main point is the cancelation of the soul’s pending punishments upon attaining total reformation. This cancelation is perfectly justified by logic since the aim of the punishment is basically to bring about the reformation of the soul. By instilling fear in the soul, it prevents the repetition of the sin by the soul temporarily. The non-repetition of the sin is the final step and the practical proof of reformation, which is achieved through punishment even if temporarily. So, it is clear that the intention behind the punishment for sins is only the soul’s reformation. But spiritual knowledge is far more effective in reforming the soul. Reformation attained through spiritual knowledge is permanent. When permanent reformation has already been attained by a soul through spiritual knowledge, what is the use of punishing the soul further in order to bring temporary reformation? The aim of the punishment was never taking revenge against the soul for committing the sin. The aim was only the soul’s reformation, which has already been achieved in a permanent manner through the spiritual knowledge. So, the pending punishments for sins already done, get canceled. Actually, the file of these pending punishments is kept in an inactive state in hell as if in cold storage. It is never activated again as long as the reformed soul stays reformed. So, it is important that the soul remembers this point and does not go back to committing sins, thinking that the file of its deeds has been totally destroyed! Importance of Logical Analysis There is a reason why I explained this concept on the basis of logic. The powerful logic behind the concept itself is the strongest scriptural authority. When such strong logic exists, no separate theoretical quotation from the scripture is needed. If strong logic to support a concept is absent and it is only supported by quoting the scripture, it must be rejected. If it is not logical, it should be treated as some insertion in the scripture. Such inserted wrong concepts should be rejected. There is no need to feel sorry about calling such an insertion in the scripture as an insertion. In fact, knowingly treating a wrong insertion in the scripture to be genuine is very bad. It is said that if you are bitten on your finger by a snake, you should immediately cut off the finger without any foolish attachment towards it or else the poison will spread all over your body and kill you (Anguliivoragakshataa). A certain concept from a genuine scripture like the Veda or Gita might be accepted by others to be genuine. But if it is proved to be wrong upon analysis, it must be rejected. One must leave foolish and blind attachment towards the scripture in favor of the truth. Logical analysis is greater than the scripture. Please do not think that I am criticizing the divine scripture by lowering its value. I have to say this because your blind fascination for the scripture, setting aside logical analysis, must be condemned. I am not criticizing the divine scripture. The wrong concept is not genuinely part of the genuine scripture. It is only an insertion made by an ignorant person who wants his wrong concept to be accepted by people like you. He inserted it in a genuine scripture so that people will accept it without question. He is exploiting the position of sacredness given to the divine scripture. You must realize one basic point: How can God, the author of the divine scripture speak such illogical wrong concepts? Such wrong and illogical concepts were definitely not told by Him! This one point makes logical analysis occupy a higher place than the scripture. The logical analysis reveals what is actually spoken by God and what is inserted by ignorant or crooked people in the scripture. The purpose of giving this entire background is to emphasize the point that a concept supported by sharp logical analysis itself is the scripture. Whether such a concept is found in the divine scripture or not is not important. In any case, there is always the possibility of insertions and corruption of any scripture, so accepting any statement from the scripture without analysis is foolish. Scriptural Authority This concept of the soul’s reformation is genuine not only based on logical analysis but also on the basis of the divine scripture. It has scriptural authority. The Veda says that a certain soul got rid of all its pending punishments (Apahata paapmaa) and that the sins done in the past cannot bind such a soul (Na karma lipyate nare). The Gita told by God directly, reveals this concept more clearly. God says that the realization attained through the fire of spiritual knowledge burns all the deeds done in the past along with their fruits (Jnaanaaginih sarvakarmaani bhasmasaat kurute...). The Gita praises this spiritual knowledge as the boat to cross the river of sins (Sarvam jnaanaplavenaiva vrujinam samtarishyasi). In this context, Shankara says that all the pending punishments are cancelled except for the present ongoing punishments (praarabdham). The reason for His statement is that total and perfect reformation of a soul is impossible due to its strong human tendencies. Some imperfection remains, which requires the continuation of the ongoing punishment for rectification. It is for the same reason that the file of pending punishments is never burnt to ash but instead, is only kept in an inactive state, as if in cold storage. It is almost equal to burning it completely. However, if a blessed soul attains total and perfect reformation, the omnipotent God burns the file of pending punishments including the ongoing punishment. If the reformation is absolutely real from the side of the soul, nothing is impossible from the side of the omnipotent God! This reformation resulting in the cancellation of the pending punishments is true in every age and in all times. This concept has become most significant in this Kali age since now sinners constitute the majority of humanity. During the Pongal festival, everyone wants to purchase new clothes. To attract customers to their shops, shopkeepers announce special discounts as a Pongal bumper offer. But customers should never forget that in spite of such high discounts and offers, the shopkeeper is smart enough to never undergo a loss. Similarly, God Datta has also announced this special bumper offer in this Kali age! Reformation Through Realization Observe this approach of preaching spiritual knowledge. A single question is answered and that single concept is thoroughly explained from all angles until the recipient gets full clarity. This approach is the best in this Kali age since the majority of human beings has fallen to very low standards of spiritual knowledge. A single concept preached with a clear and detailed explanation brings full satisfaction to a soul of any standard. This is one extreme end. The other extreme end is to simply mention many concepts without giving any explanation. The middle path is stating many concepts with brief explanations of each concept. The first extreme end is the Gita, in which God answered every question of Arjuna with clear and complete explanations. The other extreme end is the Upanishads, which merely state many concepts briefly without any explanation. The middle path is studying the Upanishads with the brief commentaries given by the three divine preachers. The Gita was told at the very end of the Dvaapara Age so it was the preaching meant for the Kali age. The three divine preachers wrote their commentaries on the Upanishads in the Kali age. The Gita serves the purpose of preaching to the majority of humanity while the Upanishads with the commentaries serve the purpose of a minority of scholars in the Kali age. However, the Gita is suitable for the whole of humanity. So, even scholars are advised to study the Gita since the Upanishads with the brief commentaries might sometimes be misunderstood by the scholars. Thus, detailed explanations which give complete clarity are necessary for every human being in the Kali age. -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  21. Requesting An Incarnation For A Miracle Discourse Podcast Shri Shashi Kopparthi asked: How to connect with and experience you Swami? In this age of Kali, choosing a guru is very difficult. As you said, many gurus like Satya Sai first did miracles to attract people and then imparted spiritual knowledge. I was looking for a living guru who can guide me. Can I get some miraculous experiences from a guru like you so that I can accept you as my guru? Shashi Kopparthi Swami replied: I am just a human being like you without the slightest capability of doing any miracle. I happen to be the human being-component of the Human Incarnation of God Datta and that is only because He selected me for the purpose. His mission is the welfare of the world of devotees which is achieved by spreading true spiritual knowledge. The essential qualification to become the human being-component of the Human Incarnation is that one should never aspire for being selected by God for this purpose and attaining monism with God. This is the necessary qualification for the entry of God Datta into any human being. After becoming a Human Incarnation, a second qualification is necessary to maintain God within oneself throughout one’s lifetime. This second qualification is that one should never allow the ego to grow when one is praised by devotees around. If the human being-component becomes egotistic, God Datta will quit such a Human Incarnation and the human being-component will remain as a mere human being as in the case of Parashurama. Externally, the human being-component in the Incarnation should not reject the praise of surrounding devotees. It should only reject the praise internally to save itself from the rise of the ego. The reason for not rejecting devotees’ praise externally is that it is necessary for the devotee of the Human Incarnation to have a monistic view of the Human Incarnation. The success of the devotee is in maintaining an unshakable faith that the Human Incarnation is identical with God. This is the true Advaita. If the devotee develops a dualistic view of the Incarnation, that is, he or she thinks that the Incarnation is different from God, the devotee is lost. Hence, in the interest of the spiritual welfare of the devotee, the Human Incarnation has to keep silent on hearing praise from the devotee. All that the Incarnation can do is to keep a smile on the face! If the devotee adopts dualism towards the Incarnation, it is a terrible loss for the devotee. Similarly, if the human being-component of the Incarnation adopts monism towards itself, the human being-component faces a terrible loss since God quits it immediately. This is a very tricky and difficult situation of a reversible equilibrium between the human being-component in a Human Incarnation and its sincere devotee. It is due to this tricky situation, that Shri Paramahamsa said that He would prefer to be an ant and enjoy sugar rather than becoming the sugar and getting bitten by ants. God is like sugar and the devotees are like ants. So, He meant that He would prefer to be a devotee rather than a Human Incarnation of God. The Life and Miracles of Swami The owner of an institution selects a candidate for a job, who is already trained in the required work. If a trained candidate is not available, then alone does he think of selecting an untrained candidate and giving him the necessary training. When an experienced candidate is available, the owner does not waste time in giving training to the inexperienced candidate. Similarly, if a devotee suitable for a specific divine program is available, God selects that devotee to become a Human Incarnation for the purpose of that specific divine program. I had a lot of interest in spiritual knowledge since childhood, perhaps, due to some strong connection with spiritual knowledge from my previous births. I feel that God Datta selected me even when I was in the womb of my mother because later upon growing up, I had heard from my mother that while she was pregnant with me, she would regularly see temples, mosques, churches and Buddhistic shrines in her dreams. The dreams were an indication of my future divine program of Universal Spirituality. Another supporting miracle was that without studying Sanskrit from anybody, I became a deep scholar of Sanskrit scriptures and a poet in Sanskrit. I began composing verses in Sanskrit spontaneously. I wrote about a hundred books in Sanskrit on the correlation of the commentaries of the three divine preachers, Shankara, Ramanuja, and Madhva, by the age of sixteen years! Later, I became a Professor of Chemistry in a reputed engineering college in Vijayawada and worked for my livelihood while dedicating all my leisure time for God’s work. I propagated divine spiritual knowledge in the form of my books to Sanskrit scholars, who were extremely few in number. One day, I performed a special worship to Lord Shiva asking Him to give me poverty and all sorts of difficulties so that I could progress fast spiritually. I asked this in spite of my heavy worldly responsibilities of having a large family. The kindest Lord sanctioned my prayer immediately! Later on, God Datta appeared as Shri Satya Sai, another contemporary Human Incarnation of God and asked me to propagate divine spiritual knowledge full time. He promised me that He would take care of all my worldly problems. I left my job and entered this divine program full time. A little while later, God Datta appeared to me at the holy place called Shrishailam and merged in me. Just before merging into me, He conducted a severe test by asking me to jump from the top of the hill. He said this since I was singing a song composed by me, which says that I will even give up my life for Him if He asks for it. I jumped from the top of the hill at once, but He quickly caught hold of me. I shared this brief background with you to reveal to you that I too am just a human being like you. Any human being has the chance of becoming a Human Incarnation if God selects him or her. Every person, including the human being-component of the Human Incarnation, is only an ordinary human being. Everyone has the chance of becoming a Human Incarnation and that chance is based purely on the will of the omniscient and omnipotent God alone. The Human Incarnation is not greater than the greatest devotee. In the Incarnation, God Datta and the selected devoted soul merge perfectly like gold mixing homogeneously with copper to form an alloy. Here the invisible God is like gold and the visible human being-component is like copper. It is the case of monism. In the case of the greatest devotee, the invisible God remains closely associated with the visible human devotee. It is like a golden rod welded with a copper rod, which is the case of dualism. The excellent true spiritual knowledge radiated by the Human Incarnation comes only from the invisible God-component and not from the visible human being-component. Similarly, the miracles are also exhibited only by the invisible God-component and not by the visible human being-component at all. Your request for a miracle has been received by God Datta. If He feels that it will help you in your spiritual progress, I am confident that He will accept your request. I am just a postman between God Datta and you. If a miracle is not going to be useful in your case, He will not respond to your request. When I started the propagation of spiritual knowledge, several miracles were shown by God Datta through me for about two to three years in order to overcome the starting trouble in the divine program and for picking up initial momentum. But slowly, I found that the devotion of devotees shown towards me was only to exploit the divine miraculous powers for solving their worldly problems. This is not healthy for devotees. It increases their selfishness, which, in turn, opposes the divine grace from falling on them. So, I submitted a special prayer to God Datta to stop the miracles since the mission had already picked up some initial momentum by then. I prayed to Him to do miracles only in the case of real devotees to help their spiritual progress. One day, Smt. K. Padmaram, a devotee from Ramachandrapuram, phoned me saying that I had not shown any miracle to her directly. I was in Vijayawada then. She requested me to show a miracle to somebody in Vijayawada at once and have that person call and reveal that divine experience to her. I scolded her over the phone for her foolish attraction to miracles and told her that even demons and devilish souls exhibit miracles after having attained miraculous powers from God through rigorous penance. I told her that the true spiritual knowledge alone is the identity mark of God since it is true knowledge alone that gives the right direction to the soul in both the worldly and the spiritual path. I did not know that God Datta had accepted her request. I came outside the house and was walking about in the front yard. Just then Smt. Rama, a neighbor who had arrived from Singapore and who did not know me at all, saw a radiant wheel rotating behind my head. She was terribly shocked. After some time, on my instruction, she phoned to my devotee and told her about her divine experience. Surprisingly, at the same time, another devotee located in my native place, far away from Vijayawada, also saw this divine miracle. This lady-devotee was possessed by a deity called Shri Lakṣmi. The possessed lady called the daughter of my sister, Smt. Bhargavi, and told her that her uncle, which is I, had shown the divine radiant wheel called Vishnu Cakra behind my head in Vijayawada. My niece immediately called me asking why I had not shown any such miracle even to a close relative like her. I replied that even I could not see that wheel myself! Since the wheel was rotating behind my head whenever I turned my head around to see it, it would also turn along with my head to remain behind my head!
  22. A DREAM SYMBOLIZING A DEVOTEE’S LIFE Dr. Nikhil asked: Padanamaskarams Swamiji! I had a dream about You which was highly symbolic but am unable to understand its meaning. I feel that You were giving me some deep message through it. In the dream, You visited our home in Coimbatore. It was a joyous occasion and surprisingly, You were in Your early fifties! Devi and Arsha took You to the balcony and were showing You something. You suggested that we could plant something in the open space to the northeast of the house and make arrangements for watering the plants. I was initially reluctant since it would take up too much time and I wanted to use all my spare time for Your work. But I agreed since it was Your wish. Then You pointed to a stream flowing behind my house. There is actually a stream behind my house, except that it is always dry. The stream in the dream, however, had plenty of water. We all went to the stream and took a boat ride in it. We headed upstream and reached the origin of the stream which was a circular pool which had springs of water underneath. The plants around it had withered and dried. The spring-water was not very good either. You asked what had happened to all the good plants and I replied it was due to a recent policy of the university. I got off on the left bank of the stream, near its origin, to explore a suitable place for all of us to spend some time. I realized that the place on the stream-bank where I had got off was part of a beautiful school campus. It was probably a holiday and so there was nobody around except a few essential personnel. But I soon realized that I was trespassing there. I wanted to get out of it but there were tall grilled fences and gates. I somehow managed to enter a building but could not find a way out. I also realized that by then You and the others had started moving downstream in the boat. I wanted to quickly come out of the campus, onto the road that ran parallel to the stream and then join You further downstream. But I was trapped. Finally, I found a way to the main gate of the campus which had a security office. I did not want to create a disturbance for trespassing on the property unintentionally but I also needed to ask for directions to the road so that I could catch up with You. So, I decided to boldly approach the main gate as if I were a visitor who had come there for some official work and was now leaving the campus. Just then, I realized that I was barefoot. Probably, since I had got off from the boat, I was not wearing any footwear. I was hoping that the security officer at the gate would not notice it. Luckily, he did not notice it and he gave me directions to the road. I walked hurriedly and reached a shopping area. I was tired and was looking around for something to eat. Just then someone told me that right next to where I was, there was something like a temple or an ISKON center, where I could get something. As I approached it, they dropped a packet of food and a packet containing the Gita from a window above. They said that it is their usual practice to support spiritual people with both food and spiritual knowledge. I do not remember what happened next in the dream since I might have woken up. Although the dream began with Your visit to my home in Coimbatore, the school campus where I was trapped and the place where I got the food packet, seemed somewhat like the USA. During the dream, I was in a lot of emotional turmoil. I feel the dream carried a lot of meaning and was related to my life. I would be grateful if You could kindly reveal its meaning. Your servant, Nikhil Swami replied: There are two types of dreams. The first is when strong feelings of this birth or previous births arising from the subconscious state appear in the form of dreams. Such dreams are worldly matters. The second type is when God sometimes, gives a message useful for a person’s spiritual life in the form of a dream. Such dreams are observed in the case of some devotees. Your dream belongs to the second type. In such dreams, symbolic representations are generally used. I represent God Datta in your dream. It is just a representation and nothing else. The age of about fifty years indicates the matured state of the preacher giving his message. The age of fifty also indicates the junction between the earlier phase of a person’s worldly life and the latter phase of spiritual life. It represents a balance between pravrutti and nivrutti. The northeast direction or corner is called īśānya and it represents the abode of God Shiva, who is the source of spiritual knowledge (Jnaanam Maheshvaraat ichhet). As per Ancient Indian Science of Architecture (Vaastu Shastra), which is the ancient Indian science of architecture, this corner is where the source of water should be located. Hence, a well is always dug in the northeast corner of the property. Water represents knowledge, which washes away the dirt of ignorance. Drawing water from this corner indicates learning spiritual knowledge from the human form of God. The plants in your dream had grown to a certain stage after germinating from seed. They represent human beings who have progressed to a certain stage on the spiritual path. Their quest for true spiritual knowledge is represented by the plants’ requirement for water. The advice of watering the plants is essentially, the advice to propagate spiritual knowledge. The dry stream behind your house indicates the absence of the water of true knowledge. It is located behind your house, which means it represents your past. It refers to the early part of your life, in this very birth, when you lacked true knowledge. Later, you saw the stream filled with bad water, which is wrong knowledge. Wrong knowledge is also the absence of true knowledge. A stream full of bad water lacks good water. Hence, it represents ignorance. It is equivalent to a dry stream, which has no good water and which represents the absence of true knowledge. The source of this stream was a pool having several springs underneath, which indicates a whirlpool of illusions. Several springs of bad water indicate several wrong preachers preaching wrong knowledge. The proof that the water was bad was that the plants around the pool were not flourishing at all. It indicates that the devotees spoiled by the wrong preachers can never flourish in the spiritual field. It represents the present state of the world. You commented that such a situation arose due to the wrong policy of the university. The university here means the highest level of knowledge, which is thought to be the monism of a soul with God. This concept of monism, that the soul is already God, is misconstrued and is responsible for the pollution of the water of spiritual knowledge. Hence, you were asked by God to go and check-up the situation. You went to the basic level of the university, which is the school-level. The basic concept, which is the foundation of the spiritual path is that of the perfect dualism between the soul and God. It means that the soul is eternally and permanently separate from the unimaginable God. The school campus represents the basic level in spirituality where this concept should be firmly established. Finding the world in this bad state, spoiled by the preachers, you went to the school of preaching spiritual knowledge to rectify the situation on the instruction of God Datta alone. The school without proper personnel represents the system of preaching without proper guides. This defective system is protected by grills and gates, which represent the blind traditions in line with the monism of Shankara, which lack correct analysis. They were so powerful that you were trapped in those traditions for some time. Finding you in the grip of that blind school of preaching, the Divine Guide left you for some time so that you could come out on your own in due course of time. The school represents the unreal dualism that has descended from monism. The followers of the misconstrued monism or Advaita, believe that essentially, they are God already. They feel that at present, they are unable to realize their monism with God due to the effect of ignorance. So, in order to purify their mind of the effects of ignorance, they temporarily practice dualism. It means that such devotees basically believe only in monism. Their apparent belief in dualism their practice of it is just a tool to attain monism. The school in which you were trapped represents this unreal dualism. Since you were trapped in such monism, without your knowledge, you lost your chappals (footwear). Chappals protect you at every step on the spiritual path. The two chappals are the true belief in the dualism between God and the soul, and the total surrender to God with devotion. You were sent to rectify this defect of false monism and you yourself got caught in it. It is what made you lose your protection at every step, which is represented by the chappals. Your original intention of selecting the school campus for a spiritual debate was good since the school campus represents the basic concept of true dualism between a soul and God. God left you since you were trapped in the false monism, which presents an unimaginable attraction for any soul. The philosophy is so attractive because, according to it, you become God just by knowing that you are already God! Fundamentally, you were a perfect dualist as long as you were with God like your family members. But you got trapped in the attraction to monism once you left God. You got trapped even though you had left only on the order of God to rectify the wrong philosophy of monism hidden behind a false dualism. The temple of Krishna indicates the concept that monism is true in the case of a specific devotee selected by God for His entry, and that such monism should not be generalized to every soul. You recognized the concept of the Human Incarnation of God and got rid of your worldly miseries as well as spiritual ignorance. This was represented by the food and the Gita that were offered to you. The food packet given to you and the school campus represent your life in the USA. The temple of Krishna represents your transformation into a true dualistic devotee without even a trace of aspiration for monism. This present state makes you perfectly fit for perfect monism whenever God wishes to do some divine work through you. This entire dream represents your present life. It was shown to you by God Datta for your spiritual welfare and is an indication of the infinite grace of the kindest Lord, God Dattatreya, on you. Now, you have become perfectly fit to carry out the divine work of God Datta. This is the final essence of your dream, which is to be taken in positive sense alone. True Devotion Is Impossible Without Dualism These Advaitins speak about fundamental monism on one side and they also speak about true devotion to God on the other side. But their devotion and worship of God is simply unreal! They believe themselves to be God and their devotion is only a tool for attaining the purity of mind as advised by Shankara. How can true devotion to God ever result without the faith in the fundamental dualism between God and the soul? In fact, monism, which is thinking that you are already God, is the height of ego. In the lowest level of the spiritual path, which is like the school-level, this theory is used to attract ignorant atheists towards spirituality. It is like attracting ignorant children and encouraging them to attend school by offering them some chocolates. In this level, the effort is only to convert atheists into theists, which is taking the person from the lowest level to the immediate higher level. Since the ego of the atheists is at a hundred percent, they will never accept spirituality if it is told that they are not God. The teacher teaching in the school might actually be the greatest professor, but he can do nothing more at this stage. Shankara was undoubtedly the greatest spiritual preacher, but at that stage, nothing more can possibly be achieved than converting atheists to theists. The next stage is the special monism of Ramanuja in which the soul’s ego has reduced from a hundred percent to an intermediate value. The soul with this partial ego can then accept a partial oneness with God. He can accept that he is not God but is a part of God. This intermediate stage is like the college-level in spirituality. The final stage is the dualism of Madhva in which the soul’s ego has reduced to almost zero. He can accept that he is completely different from God and is a devoted servant of God. To satisfy the remaining trace of ego in the devotee, a trace of similarity with God is maintained, in that both God and soul are said to be awareness. This stage represents the postgraduate level in a university. In the same university, a level higher than postgraduate studies, which is the level of research, has been invented by Datta Swami. At this level, the student must eliminate even the negligible traces of ego. As per this highest theory, there is absolutely no comparison and no commonality between the imaginable created soul and the unimaginable Creator God. The greatness lies, not in Datta Swami, but in this invented highest research level. God Datta only happened to reveal this highest level to Datta Swami. I appreciate you for frankly expressing the hypocrisy that you felt in your dream regarding the chappals, when you pretended to be an official visitor to the school! Such frankness in exposing one’s own defects is the first step in real spiritual upliftment. Generally, ego prevents us from revealing our own defects. We tend to only reveal our merits. I know very well that you do not possess any hypocrisy or ego. You only appear to possess both for the sake of the welfare of spiritual devotees since you are standing as their representative like Arjuna. Arjuna asked questions in the Gita for the sake of all the devotees in this world and not for his own sake. You have been cast in such a role by the Director, God Datta, in this world-film produced for the welfare of spiritual devotees. You have acted well in your role and I have also acted well in My role in answering you. As an actor, you are far greater and more valuable than Me for God Datta.
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