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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. Relation Between Astrology And Vaastu Dr. Nikhil asked: People generally treat astrology to be the subject related to reading horoscopes prepared based on the date and time of a person’s birth. Vāstu Śāstra is treated to be the subject dealing with architecture. Is there a relationship between astrology and Vāstu Śāstra? Swami replied: Astrology (Jyautisha Shaastra) is the subject dealing with bright planets and stars since jyotiḥ means a bright light. Astrology is said to be a subject consisting of five parts (panchaanga). As per one classification, the five parts of astrology are tithi, vaara, nakshatra, yoga, karana. Tithi is the date as per the lunar calendar. Vaara is the day of the week. Nakshatra is the constellation (star). Yoga is a calculation related to the positions of the sun and the moon and karana is the duration of half a lunar day. These five aspects can be seen in the astrological calendar called panchaanga. As per another important classification, the five parts of astrology are jaataka, gochara, muhuurta, vaastu, and parihaara. Jaataka means the horoscope prepared based on the date of birth, the time of birth and the place of birth of an individual. Gochara is the horoscope built from the name of the individual applied to the running planetary transits. Muhuurta is an auspicious time calculated. Vaastu is the principles of architecture. Parihaara is the worship of God and doing charity to the poor for pacifying the bad effects rising from the first four parts. Astrology partly involves astronomy, which is related to the imaginable domain. It is also partly the subject involving the deities of the planets and stars, which is related to the unimaginable domain. Thus, astrology is a mixture of the study of the imaginable and the unimaginable domains. The eclipse of the sun and the moon is an imaginable astronomical event. The points in space where the eclipse occurs are associated with the deities Rahu and Ketu, who deliver the fruits of the bad deeds of souls. The delivery of the fruits of the good and bad deeds of souls is a matter related to the unimaginable domain. Similarly, Vaastu is also a mixture of architecture, which is related to the imaginable domain and the effects of the stars and planets, which is related to the unimaginable domain. Vaastu says that there should be a beam after a span of twelve feet (Dvaadashapade parighaa). This is an aspect of civil engineering to ensure the strength of the structure. Vaastu says that for any room, the star calculated by Navavarga Ganita should be good. This calculation involves multiplying the carpet area of the room in square yards by eight and then dividing it by twenty-seven (Bham ashta bhaiah). The remainder is noted. Out of the twenty-seven constellations (stars), the one corresponding to the remainder is the relevant star. Vaastu also says that the door of the house should be fixed in the position of a good planet. These points are related to the deities of the stars and planets (jyotih) and are based on the unimaginable domain. Thus, we see that Vaastu is indeed a part of astrology. Paaraasharii, Jaimini Sutraas, Kaalaamrutam etc., are the scriptures of astrology. A climax devotee of God need not bother about these stars and planets since God is the ultimate controller of the deities of the planets and stars. Even spiritual knowledge, which is the subject of God can be called as astrology (Jyotisha Shaastram). This is because in the Veda, it is said that God is the ultimate brightest light that illuminates these stars and planets and gives power to their deities (Param jyotirupasampadya…, tasya bhaasaa sarvamidam vibhaati).
  10. How according to you is Islam the greatest religion? Dr. V Jaganmohan asked: Would you please enlighten us on the following: How is Islam greater than any other religion? By Islam, do you mean the ideology as developed on the teachings of the Koran, Hadis, and Mohammed? Thanking you, Sincerely, DrVJ. Discourse Podcast Swami replied: You must be knowing that in Hinduism we do some special rituals called vratams to worship God. Some examples are the Satyanaaraayana Swami Vratam, Varalakshmii Vratam, Nandikeshvara Vratam, Mangala Gauri Vratam and so on. You must have observed that a common verse is read out in each of these rituals. The meaning of the verse is that this ritual is the best of all rituals (vrataanaam uttamam vratam). How is this possible when the superlative degree must be used for only one in a given group? You can say that this student is the best in the class. You cannot say that every student in the class is the best. This is the underlying doubt in your question. The answer for this reasonable doubt is that you must first know that God is the greatest as said in the Veda (Na tat samah) and in the Gita (Mattah parataram...). The common object of all the above rituals and forms of worships is the same greatest unimaginable God existing in different divine forms. From the point of view of the common God who is the greatest, every worship becomes the greatest. Similarly, all religions are like different roads converging to the common center, which is the greatest God. Hence, every religion is the greatest. We should get rid of all fanatic behavior towards our religion. It causes us to look upon other religions as inferior to our religion. Every religion says that God alone created this earth and humanity on it. If the Gods of different religions were different, there would have been different earths. But unfortunately, there is only one earth. So, we are forced to accept the existence of only one God! The God of the other religion is also the God who created us and the God of our religion is also the God who created them. There is only one God and one created earth! The external names and forms of the same God differ from religion to religion, but the internal God is only one. If you disrespect the form and the name of the God of another religion, you are disrespecting the God of your own religion. Do you respect a person only when he wears a certain dress and disrespect the same person when he wears another dress?
  11. Is it wrong for a born-Hindu to pray like a Muslim? Shri Hrushikesh asked: Dear Swami, One devotee asked the following question. Your servant, Hrushikesh. Discourse Podcast [I was born into a Hindu family. But I have been following Islamic mode of prayer. Everyone says I have left my dharma. Have I done something wrong? My husband says a woman should follow her husband’s dharma and that if she can't, she need not pray at all. All she has to do is serve him and he is her God and that she needs no other prayer. My husband insists that following Islamic mode of prayer is wrong when its not his dharma. Most of my Hindu friends have left me They say if i want them back i have to give up my Islamic mode of prayer. Some people are totally behaving with me as if I were a jihadi. One said I bear every sin of killing done by a terrorist. I am still the same person. I don't hate Hinduism. It is just that I like the simplicity of Islam. The philosophical part of me still follows Vedanta. Surely I am looking at Islam through my Vedantin mind. I don't call myself a Muslim. For me the term Muslim is not a religion. Its meaning just means one who surrenders. Guruji please answer the questions below eagerly waiting for your answer. 1. Guruji if in a personal journey do opinions of others matter? 2. Guruji am I wrong? Because my husband said a wife can’t leave dharma of husband so he said I can't pray Islamic way. Is my husband right in saying this? My calling is Islam.I follow my heart..is it wrong? At your Lotus feet, Anonymous] Swami replied: Certainly, you are not wrong and certainly, all others who say that you are wrong, are wrong. There is no trace of doubt in this declaration. You have not changed your religion by following certain modes of prayer belonging to another religion. Any mode of prayer belonging to any religion is correct and good. You are not criticizing the modes of worship of Hinduism. If you do so, you too can be said to be wrong. Not only can one adopt any mode of worship, but one can also pray to any form of God belonging to any religion, based on one’s personal liking. The different forms of God of various religions are not different since the one and only God exists in every one of them. When this is the truth of even the forms of God in different religions, then what to speak of the different modes of prayer in religions? You can adopt any mode of prayer of any religion if you like it. This is the basic right of every person in the Universal Religion, which is based on Universal Spirituality. The Universal Spirituality is the basic universal knowledge or philosophy. The one God, who created this entire creation and who is the kind Father of all humanity, preached the same common universal knowledge to people in different places and times. The Universal Religion is the universal practical path of worshipping that one God and maintaining justice and peace in the world. The mode of worship is a part of culture and the variations in it are a matter of personal choice. The spirituality and religion are thus the theoretical and practical parts of the spiritual path and both are universal. Universal Spirituality and Universal Religion have been established by God Datta now through this Datta Swami. Earlier, Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa had experienced the unity of all religions by practicing every religion for some time. Shankara had similarly, established the unity of all the sub-religions within Hinduism. Shri Shirdi Sai Baba and Shri Satya Sai Baba too had established the unity of world religions. Every religion will lead a person to the same God. So, conversion to another religion is the biggest foolishness that any devotee can do. When all roads lead to the same center, is it not the height of foolishness to leave your road and laterally cross over to another road that leads to the same center? Good times for this entire world are very near. This Universal Spirituality and Religion will bring tremendous unity among all religions. You said that you are following the philosophy of Hinduism. In the spiritual knowledge or philosophy there is no name of any religion since knowledge is always universal. Parents take complete care of their children during their childhood. The efforts taken by the parents for their children is service, which is also known as the sacrifice of work. Finally, the parents also transfer all their wealth to their children through their will. This transferring of the wealth is called the sacrifice of the fruit of their work since wealth is the fruit of work. So, the sacrifice of the parents for the sake of their children in terms of the sacrifice of work and the fruit of work is complete. Yet most parents save some wealth for their own old age believing that they will live until they become old. They feel there is a risk in sacrificing their entire wealth to their issues while they are still alive. There is a possibility that if their children are not good, they might not take care of the parents in the future when the parents become old. Sometimes, even if the children are good they could be incapable of serving their parents due to some unfortunate circumstances. The case of God is different from one’s children. God is not bad; He is extremely good. He is also never incapable. In fact, He is omnipotent. Another important difference is that while one’s children are seen with one’s eyes, God is not seen. There is insecurity for those who depend on the children who are seen by their eyes. But there is complete security for those who depend on the unseen God. Ignorant souls only believe in perception. Giving more importance to their unreliable children who are seen, they shower their real love upon the children. The proof of real love is karma yoga. The sacrifice of work and the fruit of work together are called karma yoga. It is the proof of real love since we practically serve and sacrifice our money only for those whom we truly love. Ignorant people truly love only their children and so they do this karma yoga only for their children who are unreliable. They do not truly love God and they do not do karma yoga for Him even though He is supremely reliable, just because He is unseen. Real devotees are the ones who believe in God through inference. They believe in the unseen, unimaginable God by observing His miracles which are visible but unimaginable. Inference, of course, includes perception since the miracles are perceived. This mentality of the majority of human beings is the climax of blind ignorance. Such blind ignorance is actually not based on either perception or inference but is based only on solidified worldly fascination!
  12. Swami answers devotees' questions 1) Can You please bless me to translate Your books to Indonesian? Shri Guna Darsana asked: Om sai ram. Jay guru datta i have finished translate the books of divine discourse of Swami volume 1 to indonesian. I need blessing of Swami, so i can do more with this translating. I am verry glad if Swami can advice me for propagate it to serve Swami mission. SWAMI, PLEASE BLESS me, thanks you, jau guru datta, omsai ram Swami replied: You are doing very good work, which is liked by God and God is giving blessings to you through this Datta Swami. 2) May I have the golden opportunity to serve You? Shri Sathyamoorthy Renganathan asked: Residential disciple at Ashram. Pranams. May Adiyen know if I shall have a golden opportunity to be with you in Ashram serving you please in a favourable climate like June or July 2019 being a senior citizen living in Tamilnadu ji. By, Sathyamoorthy Renganathan Swami Replied: I am very happy about your proposal. Let us do the service of God, the Creator. Let us not get attracted only to creation without remembering its Creator. The beauty of creation should remind us about the beauty of the Creator. 3) Why should we use only the right hand for doing good things? Smt. Lakshmi Lavanya asked: I am left handed. I am facing many obstacles in using left hand. I want to know logic behind it. While worshiping god, while crossing door, i unknowingly use my left hand and left leg, is it really wrong? By, K Lakshmi Lavanya Swami replied: These points are very simple and negligible before the spiritual knowledge, devotion, and service to God. 4) Could You please heal my father-in-law who is suffering from severe health problems? Shri Sreenivas asked: prayer & healing request dear swamiji, paada praanam, my wife's father mr.sriman narayana aged 69 yrs is suffering from liver cirrhosis due to which has gone weak, lost weight, not fluently speaking, indigestion, swamiji by your healing power touch all the organs & heal him completely. swamiji with your grace & compassion heal him. paada praanam, sreenivas, By, Sreenivas Swami replied: Pray to Lord Subrahmanya. He will help you.
  13. Is it not better to donate our earned money to God rather than saving it? Shri Hrushikesh asked: Dear Swami, I have a question about the Karma phala tyaaga and karma samnyasa. I have heard the statement "Nityam sannihito mrutyhu". Death always faces us and can occur any time.in that case what is the point in saving for retirement? Why can't we donate the saved income to God. Esavashya upanishad also says that even the earned income should be used for the basic needs and rest should be given to God. Saving one's earned income is also considered to be a theft. I request you to kindly enlighten us how to apply this in our lives. Your Servant, Hrushikesh Discourse Podcast Swami replied: What you said is correct and noble. This concept is like the sky. Everybody cannot jump and reach it. Only a very few blessed souls can reach this concept preached by the Eshavaasya Upanishad. When our life is not certain, we have to see both possibilities, which are that we might have a long life or a very short life. We have to be prepared for both these possibilities. After preparing for the possibility of our long life, we can sacrifice the remaining efforts and wealth for God’s work. Only a very few exceptional devotees do not care about this possibility and surrender everything to God. Such exceptional devotion is not possible for everybody. Most devotees do not even show ordinary devotion, which is surrendering their extra wealth and efforts to God after first taking care of their old age needs. How can they even think of such exceptional devotion, which needs full practical faith in God? The Eshavaasya Upanishad speaks about the normal devotion which is applicable to the majority of humanity. It involves taking care of oneself till the end of one’s life and sacrificing the excess to God (Tena tyktena bhunjiidhaah). While earning, one should avoid earning sinful money at any cost (maa grudhah …). Sinful money brings problems later on in one’s life and fills one’s old age with suffering. Sinful money can be digested by donating it for God’s work. It does not mean that one should go on earning sinful money for the sake of God’s work. This point applies only to the sinful money that has already been earned. Such sinful money, when kept with oneself, destroys one’s future generations. Hence, it should be donated for God’s work which includes helping the poor. Mere social service is good, but it is not the best. The best is to do God’s work in which social service is a part.
  14. Is God not to blame for the boredom of robot-like souls? Discourse Podcast Smt. Bindiya Chaudhary asked: Upon reading a recent discourse, some questions have arisen in my mind and are confusing me. You have said that souls can never have absolute God-like freedom in any of the four ages. Since, in the Kṛta Age, souls were like robots working as programmed by God, God took the total responsibility for their thoughts, words, and deeds. But after a long time, the souls were of living in perfect and total discipline. Now, I am thinking that if in the Krta Age, God had full power over souls and controlled everything including their thoughts, then how could souls have developed the thought of boredom? It means that God himself must have implanted the thought of boredom in them as well. Or was it that it was God who was actually bored and wanted to let souls be free? What is the purpose of first unleashing a dog and then trying to bring it back in the house by its own will? Shat shat pranam to Swamiji who is the almighty God himself and is helping us souls rise in the spiritual path by his enlightening discourses. Any amount of love and devotion to him is insufficient and I am thankful to him from deep within. Thank you Swamiji. Swami replied: While clarifying your doubt, we must carefully understand the comparison of a human being with a robot. If God had not given any freedom to human beings, there would hardly be any difference between a human being and a robot. For some time, let us think that God did not give any freedom to human beings, which was actually the condition during the Kruta age. In the Kruta age, human beings were exactly like robots in the sense that both act as per the information available to them. But there is a slight difference between the Kruta Age-humans and robots. The Kruta Age-humans got information directly from the external world. Robots, on the other hand, get information only from the information-chip inserted into them by the scientist who designed them. The scientist, after all, draws information only from the external world. So, the information fed to the robot is indirectly from the same external world. Thus, at this point, the difference between Kruta Age-humans and robots disappears. In the case of the Kruta Age-humans, no scientist inserted any information-chip into them; they themselves filled it with the information directly grasped by them from the external world. The robot, however, is dependent on the scientist to feed information into its information-chip. Leaving aside this matter of detail, the Kruta Age-human, who did not possess freedom, is exactly like a robot in the aspect of acting as per the information available. As time passed, the Kruta Age humans felt bored. Robots, of course, never get bored and can go on working mechanically as per the program in their information-chip. This again is another difference between a human being and a robot. A robot plays a game of chess using the ‘intelligence’ programmed in its chip by the scientist. It merely executes actions based on the various possibilities of moves in the game. The Kruta Age-human being was also just like the robot playing chess. Based on these similarities, it was stated that human beings in the Kruta Age were just robots. Considering the large number of similarities, it was stated that human beings in the Kruta Age were robots in the sense of a metaphor. Saying that a person is like a lion is a simile, while saying that the person is a lion is a metaphor. Both the simile and the metaphor indicate similarity between two items, while also acknowledging their differences. Neither the simile nor the metaphor suggests an identity between the two items compared. But in the case of a simile, the differences between the two items compared are larger than in the case of a metaphor. Once God gave freedom to human beings, after the Kruta Age, the differences between human beings and a robot increased. The robot continues to play chess based on the program in its information-chip whereas the free human being does not play as per any fixed program or policy. The freedom given, allows the human being to freely choose to follow its information-chip or not follow it. This freedom creates a huge difference between a free human being and a robot which never has any freedom. It is due to this freedom given by God to humans that God can never be blamed for the wrong choices made by human beings. Human beings alone are responsible for their own choices. If human beings had continued to be like robots, which never have any freedom, then God, who is like the scientist, would be held responsible for the behavior of human beings. Also, there is no need to blame this freedom given by God. In spite of giving this freedom, there are some human beings who still continue to follow their information-chips like robots. All human beings have not exercised their freedom. All have not deviated from the policy of behaving as per the information chip. Had all human beings deviated, it would be correct to blame the freedom and its Giver. But after granting this freedom, some human beings deviated from their programmed behavior while others did not. Hence, you cannot file a damage suit against God for granting this freedom. If upon granting freedom to human beings, all human beings had universally deviated from the programmed behavior, your advocate could have argued your case. But due to the absence of any such uniform behavior, you cannot support your case with arguments. In that case, your damage suit will be disposed with no costs!
  15. Why is Islam associated with violence, meat-eating and other defects? Shri Anil asked: Padanamaskaram Swami! Suraj Advaita asked the following doubts in a forum and is seeking their clarification from You. Kindly give Your reply. At Your divine feet, Anil. Why is Islam causing problems everywhere? Why is the Quran so negatively written? Why does Islam allow meat-eating, when Sanatana Dharma does not allow it? If meat eating is sin, why are Muslims allowed to eat meat? Is Islam the Devil’s religion? Also, please let me know what things on your channel I should propagate? I have read most of your articles and I have liked them. Where can I find all your articles? Discourse Podcast Swami replied: Sin is sin irrespective of the religion a person follows. No divine scripture allows any human being to follow sin. But when a certain sin is inevitable and when no single person can change it among the people belonging to a certain religion or region, the divine scripture neglects for the time being. The scripture, in its preaching, concentrates on the control of other sins at least. Even in Hinduism, non-vegetarian food is consumed by people belonging to several sects. You cannot blame Muslims alone for consuming non-vegetarian food since non-vegetarians are present in almost all religions. There are several good and bad qualities in every religion. You should not blame any specific religion for non-vegetarianism since it is found in almost all religions. Even in Buddhism, which is famous for non-violence, people consumed non-vegetarian food right from the time of Buddha. Except for Jainism, non-vegetarianism has always existed in every religion of the world. Eating non-vegetarian food is a sin because it involves the killing of animals and birds to obtain their meat. There is no sin in merely eating non-vegetarian food if it does not involve the killing of harmless creatures. Eating non-vegetarian food obtained from naturally dead animals is not considered to be sin. Kaapaalikas in Hinduism eat the meat of naturally dead living beings and it is not counted as a sin. Hence, eating either vegetarian or non-vegetarian food is not a sin directly. Eating non-vegetarian food becomes an indirect sin due to the killing of animals for their meat. We should not provoke quarrels among the followers of religions by finding faults with other people’s religions. Faults are present in all the religions in one form or another. Such fanatic behavior must be avoided to bring peace to this world. An atom of goodness in us appears to us as a mountain while the mountain of badness in us appears to us as an atom! In the case of others, we reverse the policy: an atom of badness in others appears to us as a mountain and the mountain of goodness in others appears to us as an atom! Such biased behavior results in quarrels among religions. Actually, we must look at things in exactly the opposite manner. We must see an atom of badness in us as a mountain and a mountain of goodness in us as an atom. Similarly, we must see an atom of goodness in others as a mountain and a mountain of badness in others as an atom. By looking at things in this manner, we can avoid quarrels, not only with other religions but also with all our fellow-human beings. Such behavior is the basis of bringing peace in our family, in our city, in our state, in our country and finally in this entire world. If there is any human being who is trying hard to bring peace in this world, God likes that person to the greatest extent because God wants this world, created and maintained by Him, to run peacefully. Anybody violating this main aim of God becomes the object of His terrible anger. In Hinduism, people kill animals in a ritual called yajna, which means sacrifice. But the Veda clearly says “Manyuh pashuh”, which means that the ‘animal’ to be killed is the rigid, animal-like foolishness, which makes a human being follow blind traditions without analysis. As a symbolic representation of this concept, it is suggested that the flour of useless non-germinating grains be shaped into the form of an animal and that form be cut with a knife. The form of the animal made out of flour is called a Pistapashuh. This practice of cutting the flour-animal exists in the sacrifice or yajna which is performed with knowledge. Such a yajna is called ishti. But people who were fond of non-vegetarian food exploited this concept by replacing the flour-animal with an actual animal in order to justify the killing of animals for meat. Such people will not stop killing animals for food even if the Veda orders them to stop. For the sake of such people, the Veda introduced the concept of offering the meat to God after killing the animal. That way, the killer is at least introduced to the concept of the existence of God. He is reminded of the concept that all his sins, including this one, will inevitably be punished by the unimaginable God. The punishment is delivered to him in an unimaginable way so he can never escape from it. In the procedures of such yajnas, the Veda describes the killing of the animal only as an inevitable incidental step. It does not mean that the Veda is ordering you to kill the animal. The description of killing the animal is being included in the procedure since, due to your taste for meat, you will kill the animal anyway and you will not stop even if the Veda orders you to stop killing. We should be clear that the Veda is not encouraging people to kill animals. When the sin is inevitable due to people’s hard-to-change habit, the Veda is temporarily allowing it, with the hope of changing the habit in the future. After killing the animal, at the very least, people can offer the meat to God before consuming it themselves. It will strengthen the concept of God in people’s minds. Once the concepts of God, His unimaginable omnipotence and His punishment of sins are firmly established in their minds, changing their habit of meat-eating will be easier. So, the Veda contains descriptions of even the inevitable killing of animals, which is incidental to offering the meat to God. The blind ritualists (Puurvamiimaamsakaas) take these incidental descriptions of the killing of animals in the procedures of the Vedic sacrifices as orders given by the Veda to kill! In this context, Shankara clarified that the Veda is only stating the incidental step of killing, which you will do anyway and that it is not ordering or encouraging you to kill (Jnaapakam na tu kaarakam). So, one can never put the blame of this sin on the Veda! Similarly, the Quran also states the incidental step of killing the animal, while describing the procedure of offering the meat of the animal to Allah (Bismillah). These people who are in the habit of eating meat will not stop killing animals for their meat even if the Quran orders them to stop. So, you cannot blame the Quran for supporting the killing of animals. If you blame the Quran, you will have to equally blame the Veda too! The intention of the scripture is only to temporarily follow the rigid ignorance of people who kill animals so that the crucial concept of God as the Punisher of sins can be established. Once this concept is established, controlling these people becomes a lot easier. The same God revealed both the Veda and the Quran and hence, the concepts of the two divine scriptures cannot be different. Using this analysis, every human being in this world must develop Universal Spirituality, which is based on one God as the single Source of all divine scriptures and religions. Spirituality means the theoretical knowledge or philosophy. Religion is the practical path of worship of God and maintaining justice in the world. Upon understanding Universal Spirituality, each one must join the Universal Religion, while staying in one’s own religion.
  16. GOD IS MOST DESERVING OF YOUR LOVE The involvement in this world is inevitable. The consequence of such involvement is stress, which is also inevitable. We may succeed in getting the fruit of the stress or we may not succeed in it. The bullet is shot but hitting the bird is not certain. The present Yoga [detachment from the world and remaining in one’s own awareness or Atman] is just a sleeping pill for a short time and it is in no way different from deep sleep. In fact deep sleep is better than the present Yoga. The reason is that in the present Yoga, the nervous system functions at a minimum level because awareness of oneself [awareness of the awareness alone] still exists as in the case of thoughtless self-meditation. In deep sleep, even that pure awareness disappears and the nervous system takes complete rest. In any case, the immediate involvement in the world is inevitable. In such Yoga you only have peace, which is the absence of misery; but that is not bliss. Such peace is not equal even to materialistic happiness. When you are in self-meditation and if someone tells you that you have won a lottery of a crore [ten million], you clearly experience distinct materialistic happiness. It is also common practical experience that one is unable to stand firm in the state of self-attainment through self-realization. The reason for this is, if you remain in the self and thereby detach yourself from misery, who will suffer the misery in your life cycle, which is ordained as a result of your past sins? The results of the rest of your past deeds which have to be enjoyed [or suffered] by you in the future cannot be cancelled suddenly. The force of the divine law governing the cycle of deeds is stronger than the self. The divine law is in the hands of God alone. The divine law will drag you into the world for the sake of the punishment. Only God can save you from the misery. The word Yoga actually means your meeting with God in human form. If you remain in the self without proceeding further to God, thinking that the self is God, you are doing a sinful deed. You are in no way different from an atheist who says that there is no God other than the self. At least to enjoy the result of this sin, you have to be dragged out. If you divert this inevitable stress [of involvement in the world] to service in the spiritual field, God will protect you in both this world and the upper world. This is a one bullet-shot that is sure to hit two birds. When God takes care of you, there is no chance of uncertainty. For you, solving all your problems in the world is not certain in spite of hectic stress [stressful effort]. Therefore, it is far better to divert the inevitable stress and involvement to the spiritual service of God. You do not have complete faith in God. Atheism imparted by the external environment is hidden in you without your knowledge. You are in daily association with people who always put self efforts with partial faith on God and this injects such an attitude into your brain. Hence you do not have full faith on the word of God. You will always estimate your success based on worldly factors. In reality, you do not have confidence on the super power of God, which can produce an ocean of sweet water in a desert. In practical situations, your faith in God and the extent of your theism is tested. Wise people, who say that self-effort is the main component and that God’s help is a minor component in any action, often cover up such deficiency in your faith. But when all the doors are closed, you will be worried about the possibility of success assured by God. Then you will put effort to open one of the doors so that God can help you through that door. This is utter foolishness on your part, because you think that God cannot help you unless some door is opened. God can even enter through the wall to help you, if all the doors are closed. Thus keeping full faith is important in the practical situation. Complicated Cycle of Deeds The Gita says that the concept of the cycle of deeds is complicated (Gahana karmano Gatih…). The action or deed by itself is inert without the intention of mind and has no result. When you are walking on the road, an ant may be accidentally killed under your foot. There is no sin for this deed because the intention of mind (samkalpa) is not there. Suppose you have an intention to kill the ant and subsequently kill it. This is a deed associated with mind and hence will lead to full punishment. Suppose you have the intention to kill the ant but somehow the deed was not successful due to the miraculous escape of the ant. Then you will have half of the punishment for your intention. Since the effect of your intention was not received by the ant, the other half of the punishment is cancelled. Therefore, action without intention has no fruit. Action with intention has full fruit. Intention without action has half the fruit. Why should you enjoy half the fruit for your intention when the action never materialized? I will give you a small example. A daughter-in-law is serving her mother-in-law or father-in-law. The service is inevitable. If the service is done with good intention by treating the father-in-law as her own father or mother-in-law as her own mother, good fruit in heaven is fully enjoyed. Suppose the daughter-in-law serves them sincerely due to the unavoidable circumstances but scolds them with hatred in her mind, what is the result? The good fruit in heaven is reduced to half and half bad fruit is received in hell for the bad intention. The good fruit of a good deed can never cancel the bad fruit of a bad deed. Fruits of goods deeds and bad deeds have to be enjoyed separately. If you create a provision to cancel a bad deed by doing a good deed, everyone will commit sins under the influence of emotions and then will try to cancel the sins later on by doing good deeds. Therefore, when priests say that by doing a ritual, all your sins are destroyed, it is the climax of ignorance. No good deed can cancel the bad deed. The Kauravas had ninety nine per cent sins and one per cent good deeds. They went to heaven first to enjoy the little good deeds and later went to hell to enjoy all their major bad deeds. The Pandavas were vice-versa and hence went to hell first and then to heaven later on. In both cases, mutual cancellation of the results of good and bad actions was not seen in the Mahabharata (Swargarohana Parva). Now, I pity the daughter-in-law who sincerely served the in-laws but went to hell simply for the sake of her bad intention. The daughter-in-law who did not serve her in-laws and also had a bad intention goes to permanent hell. The daughter-in-law who served her in-laws sincerely but had a bad intention in her mind goes to both hell and heaven separately. The daughter-in-law who served her in-laws with good intention, thinking of them as her own parents goes to permanent heaven. The daughter-in-law who has a good intention in her mind to serve her in-laws will somehow serve them directly or indirectly and will not go to hell. Suppose a bad intention has come into the mind, but the intention is not materialized and nobody is affected practically in the world. Certainly there will be a partial punishment for this mental sin in hell. How to get rid of this mental sin? Only the powerful divine knowledge at the level of the intelligence can smash mental sins. The intelligence alone can control the mind. The intelligence is strengthened by the divine knowledge which is injected by the Sadguru. The mind is strengthened by repetition of sins and temporary experience of false happiness. When the divine knowledge is intense, the mind is purified and at a stage of climax, even the results of previous sinful deeds are smashed (Jnanaagnih sarva karmani—Gita). Divine knowledge at its climax makes you surrender to God and leads you to getting involved in practical spiritual service in the mission of God, without aspiration of any fruit in return. In such a stage, God attracts all the results of your past sins and suffers for your sake. This technique of God is not known to you. Somehow you are relieved from all mental sins and also from all the results of previous sinful deeds. The mental sins are cancelled by the divine knowledge. The results of previous sinful deeds are cancelled by the interference of God that results by the climax of divine knowledge. Therefore, when service is inevitable, better do it with good intention too so that you will not receive partial punishment in hell unnecessarily. This does not mean that I am encouraging you to do the sin fully and get full punishment. Rigid Dharma for Sweet Love You have to follow the constitution written by God strictly in this world as far as your behavior towards other souls is concerned. Here, justice [Dharma] must be followed and injustice must be discarded. Only in the case of God, can you overlook even justice for the sake of God which cannot be a sin in that particular case. For the sake of God, you can overlook any other soul including your own self and this shall not be a sin. In fact, it is the Best. If you do not overlook justice for the sake of God, it shall be a sin. But this special case (Nivritti) cannot be extended to one’s behavior with other souls (Pravritti). God establishes justice in this world very seriously (Dharma Samsthapanarthaya—Gita). But the same God in the same Gita finally says at the end that one should violate even Dharma [justice] for His sake (Sarva Dharman Parityajya…). This is not a contradiction at all. You must follow justice and discard injustice in your behavior towards other souls in this world. But when you realize God, you have to sacrifice even justice for the sake of God. This is a point of contrast. The more powerful the villain, the more powerful will be the projection of the hero. The firmer the rules of Dharma, the greater is the love expressed for God by violating such Dharma. Therefore, the firmness and rigidity in the establishment of Dharma is directly proportional to the love expressed for God in violating such Dharma for His sake. Let us take the example of the unclothed Gopikas saluting to Krishna. According to Dharma, a lady cannot come unclothed before a male. It is against justice and leads the lady to hell for punishment. Apart from this threat of hell, a lady is characterized by lot of shyness and no lady can overcome the shyness in such a situation under any circumstances. In the case of the Gopikas, this violation of justice and shyness might have been done because Krishna was God. For the sake of God, justice can be violated and even shyness can be overcome because God is the Creator and is aware of everything in this world. This is one excuse in the case of the Gopikas’ violation of Dharma and shyness. But there is a similar example which is even more serious. Shri Manikya Prabhu[1] was an incarnation of Lord Datta and Smt. Subbamma was His topmost devotee. Other devotees were jealous about her. One day the Lord called her by name while she was having a bath. Subbamma came running into the court in which all the devotees of the Lord were sitting. She was completely unclothed and did not even wear her sari to avoid delay in following the order of the Lord. All the devotees were astonished. The Lord threw a cloth on her and asked her to go back. She went away. The Lord looked at the faces of the devotees which were bent in repentance. This sin is a more severe test than the sin of the Gopikas. Here Subbamma stands unclothed not only before the Lord but also before all other human beings for the sake of the Lord by crossing her shyness and justice. The Gopikas stood unclothed only before the Lord. When the Lord faces the exceptional devotion of such topmost devotees, He is immensely pleased. Such immense pleasure is the aim of this entire creation and the establishment of justice is the background in contrast. If Subbamma was used to coming out unclothed on the call of any other person, then there is no specialty when she came out unclothed on the Lord’s call and Subbamma would simply be called a mentally deranged lady. In such a case, the background will not serve any purpose to God. Other souls deserve your love only in a limited way, controlled by the rules of justice. But the Lord deserves unconditional love and kindness from His devotee. If you realize the truth by taking away the layer of ignorance acting as a stage of this divine drama, you will be surprised to know that anything sacrificed by you for the sake of God, was given to you by God alone. He gave something to you and forgot that that it belongs to Him. He also covered you with His delusion (Maya) so that you will think that this something belongs to you. Now the drama of sacrifice is enacted over the stage of this layer of ignorance by which both God and devotee forget the basic truth. Now when the soul sacrifices that something to God, both God and soul enjoy the sweet love of sacrifice based on the concept of donor and acceptor. Realized scholars pierce through the stage of ignorance and find out the truth that, that something belongs to the Lord alone and the whole drama is just for the enjoyment of the sweet love of devotion between God and the devotee. If you compare God with other souls who love you just for the sacrifice of something which belongs to you (in the relative sense) and that their love for you is only for their selfish happiness, you can realize the difference between God and your beloved souls and the deservingness of God to your boundless love. [1] A great mystic saint and yogi (1817-1865) , hailed as an incarnation of Lord Dattatreya and has several devotees in India. Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  17. GOD, MIRACLES AND ATHEISM [Smt. Shrutakirti from Hyderabad revealed her Divine experience as follows: “On December 24th 2006, I slept with some worry and I got a divine dream in which Swami walked into my house. He was radiating a light brighter than the light of a thousand suns. Every footprint of Him was shining with a pure golden color. Swami consoled me and preached Divine Knowledge. At the end Swami told me that He was giving a proof for the reality of His entrance into the dream. Then Swami told me that if I verified the calendar of 2007, the star (constellation, according to Indian Astrology) on 21st May 2007 was Punarvasu. This statement was repeated three times by Swami and then He disappeared. I awoke early in the morning and told about the dream to my husband. We had not yet purchased the calendar for the New Year (2007). My husband rushed to our neighbor and brought the calendar to verify the truth. We were extremely surprised to see the name of the Punarvasu star on the 21st of May 2007. Even the composer of the calendar could not have guessed this. I immediately phoned Swami and told Him about my dream. Swami said to me, ‘Any proof from a dream will be treated only as a dream and cannot be realized as the truth in this world on waking. Some days ago I told you that I am coming to your house on a particular day. On that day there was a profuse scent of lotus flowers in your house, which was absent outside the house simultaneously in every direction. That was a proof for My entry into your house in your waking state. If I exhibit the same scent in your dream, it is not a real proof because it becomes a part of the dream and will be treated as unreal along with the unreal dream.’ I immediately phoned and told about this experience to all the devotees of Swami”. Following is the divine discourse given by Swami regarding this incident]. If the human incarnation materializes matter, you say that it is a magic trick. If the Lord gives divine visions, you will say that it is an illusion of the eye. You know that Smt. Bharati saw the divine vision of Lord Datta. She put her finger in the bright radiating wheel revolving on My finger to test the possibility of an illusion of the eye. You know that she immediately fell down and was unconscious for a long time. You know that the doctor also stated that her heart and body had been subjected to a shock by high voltage electricity. Her finger also remained stiff for three days. In spite of all this, doubts still remain in your hearts. Now analyze this small proof in the dream. Even though it is small, it is most perfect from all angles. You know that Shrutakirti is very innocent and ignorant. How can she tell this [the exact constellation on a particular day] even in her waking state? Perhaps some mathematical genius may be able to tell this after doing some calculations and such calculations are impossible in the state of a dream. Miracles cannot satisfy atheists, who are always ready with alternative interpretations. But what sort of interpretation can they give for this? Of course, one should doubt everything and everybody, and should analyze intensively to find out the truth. But there should be a full stop even for analysis. Miracles are the yardstick of ignorant people to measure the Divinity of the Lord. I stayed in the house of Smt. Bhavani for two years. She would always ask Me to tell her the thought that was going on in her mind at that time. That was her yardstick to measure My Divinity! I told her that even an evil person who has mastered a type of black magic called Karnapishachi could reveal her thoughts. But she insisted on it every day. One day I told her that I would tell her the thought in her mind once, provided that she does not insist on it again. She agreed and I revealed the secret statement that she was thinking in her mind. She was very happy. But the next day she asked again. She thought that I might have correctly guessed the previous statement in her mind just by coincidence. Suddenly her third son, who was upstairs in the house, came down shouting at her for such a foolish test. He was roaring since Kalabhairava had possessed him. There is no end for the doubts of doubting Thomas. Miracles indicate the existence of unimaginability. The unimaginability is God and its existence indicates the existence of God. The unimaginable power is the source of the miracle. The source of that power is God. That power may or may not give the address of God in a person who exhibits the miracle. But the miracle gives proof of the existence of that power in that person. The power gives the indirect existence of God elsewhere. Therefore the miracle is an indirect proof of the existence of God but not the direct proof of the address of God. Black magic is also a power of God, which is given to Satan. Satan and his followers are sufficient for atheists to prove the existence of superpowers and thereby the existence of God indirectly. Let the atheist cross the miracle of a demon first. The theist should be above the level of these miracles and should try to achieve Divine grace of God through spiritual knowledge, devotion and selfless service through sacrifice in the Divine mission of the Lord. If a post graduate student forgets the alphabet, what to do? Similar is the case of the theist who wants miracles as proof. The theist requires correct guidance by correct spiritual knowledge of that standard. Therefore divine knowledge alone can be the proof of God as per the Veda. The exceptional quality of the divine knowledge (PRAJNANAM) is the spontaneous proof. You can experience the highest quality of the knowledge available and there is no need of any testing procedure for that. How do you select the Miss World? You experience the spontaneous beauty directly and there is no need of instruments to test her beauty. You select the top most beauty available in the competition. If you say that some greater beauty may exist somewhere and at some time in this world, the result of the competition can never be declared. Only ugly sadists will say this. The Gita says that the possessor of such topmost knowledge that can give the most perfect guidance to the souls is God Himself (Jnanitvatmaiva…). The importance of Divine Knowledge is only due to the importance of correct guidance in the spiritual path. For this the exhibition of miracles is not required. The exhibition of super powers through miracles is needed only for the low level of atheists and to punish the low level devils. When a high level police officer is invited to address the students in a college, he goes there in a normal civil dress. When he has to deal with criminals, he will be there in the police uniform. Even there, he will send his subordinates in uniform to deal with the criminals. But he will not send his subordinates in uniform to address the college. Similarly God comes to preach Divine Knowledge and sends His subordinates to exhibit miracles. Since the majority is in the lower strata, miracles have to be exhibited widely. Hence God gives the super powers even to devils. The miracles include even the miraculous experiences in the life of any one, which prove the existence of the unimaginable God. Miracles and knowledge are the two requirements of people here in the lower and higher levels respectively. Generally God Himself meets the requirement of the higher level [by giving knowledge]. Liberated souls who are the servants of God, generally meet the requirement of lower level [by showing miracles]. Debate with Atheists Today atheists met in a conference in this city and talked as they liked. I can answer every point raised by them provided they are not rigid conservatives of atheism and have an open mind to accept the truth. Atheist: There are 33 crores [330 million] of deities in India and yet poor people are suffering. Swami: There are several teachers in a school who teach classes equally. Why are all the students not of equal standard? The cloud rains the same water drops. Why does one drop fallen in the pearl shell become a pearl and another drop fallen in a mud pond become mud? The Creator is equal to all but the creation has differences by its own nature of merits and defects. Are there no differences among people in foreign countries where there is only one God? The 33 crores of water drops (deities) have the same content of water (God). Due to the association of different materials, some drops became pearls and some became mud. The difference in the deities is due to the superimposed varied nature of human beings[1]. You have indirectly indicated the inevitable differences in the nature. Atheist: Religious exploitations have led to the misery of poor people. Why should there be golden ornaments and jewels on statues in the temple when poor people are suffering? Swami: I agree that there is some religious exploitation done by selfish priests. But these exploitations are not of such magnitude to cause the poverty of some people. Politicians and rich people are responsible for the poverty of those people. Even terrorists are attacking such rich people and not the priests. You are diverting the main issue to the wrong direction of a minor negligible issue. Your main issue is the negation of the existence of God. It is one of the paths in philosophy and hence Sage Vidyaranya[2] gave a place to the philosophy of atheism proposed by Charvaka. But now you are trying to get the support of poor people by such a diversion. Now you are no more a philosopher but you are a politician. Actually you are harming the poor people who live peacefully with pure devotion for God. Their devotion is excellent and God is giving them peace and a lot of happiness. Rich people are not blessed with such peace and bliss due to their impure devotion. Money is not the single criterion of life. Religion is doing social service along with devotion to God so that suffering people get blessings from God. Take a patient of cancer or AIDS. Your social service cannot change his worry. Only the concept of spiritual knowledge and devotion can console him completely. Sometimes the grace of God may even give a permanent cure. Society is peaceful to a large extent based on the belief in God and the fear of hell. Now if you remove these concepts, society will end in chaos. Thus you are finally turning into an anti social element. If atheism spreads, corruption, killing each other etc. will go to the climax. All rich people will kill all the poor people and perhaps you want to remove poverty in that way! Even rich people and politicians are controlled to a large extent due to their belief in God and hell. You want to remove that too and fully support rich people! How can you say that hell does not exist? I cannot show hell to you but can you show the absence of hell by taking Me to the end of this space? In the case of equal probability, it is better to be safe and believe in the existence of hell. You have criticized the golden ornaments and jewels on statues in the temple. The statue is a representative model of God to give a strong impression in the minds of ignorant people. The concept of God has several sociological uses like giving confidence, peace, happiness, controlling sin etc. God is the poor man’s heaven, which cannot be purchased by rich people. You are criticizing the material used in the model, which is building up this most important concept. A villager says that the materials used in building experimental models that convey scientific concepts is a waste and that material can be used to feed the poor instead! Why do not you criticize the heavy jewelry of rich ladies and highly expensive functions, which have no representation of any useful good concept? Why have you conducted your conference in a highly expensive five star hotel? Atheist: Spiritual knowledge uses no reason and perception. Hence we do not believe in it. Swami: There are several things, which are beyond reason but their existence is experienced through inference. This is accepted even in science due to the inefficiency of measuring techniques (refer to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle). Work is a form of inert energy, which is neither energy nor the machine and nor the motion. But it is inferred by the final effect. The limit of space is beyond even imagination and reason. Life comes from food (matter) and matter comes from energy. Energy has no cause. Do you not believe in the existence of energy, which has no cause? A boy loves a girl even though she totally rejects him. This is a factual case even though reason does not exist in it. If love is the reason, then the reason of such love is absent and the question returns to the original state. Again love is abstract, which is invisible but inferred from the above case. All these points are created by God to give the information about Himself that He is unimaginable and that His existence is only inferred through experience. This does not mean that space, love or work (awareness) are God. They indicate God by giving indirect information about God. Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  18. The word Samkranti [Sankranti] means complete transformation. The sun diverts itself from south to north [from winter solstice to summer solstice]. The south is called as Pitriyanam, which indicates the strong bond of love of parents. This is the strongest among all worldly bonds. The north is called as Devayanam, indicating the bond with God. This festival represents the diversion of love from the world to God. This festival is also called as Pongal which means a sweet prepared by boiling rice with milk and sugar. All these three ingredients are white indicating purity. Rice indicates service. Milk indicates spiritual knowledge. Sugar indicates devotion. When pongal is finally prepared, only rice is seen. The milk and sugar penetrate into rice and such penetration is Samkranti. This means that knowledge and love exist internally in the service. For example when you are serving your child, the knowledge that the child belongs to you and the love for your child exist in your service. Without knowledge and love, there cannot be service. Service is like the plant coming from the seed. Knowledge is like water. Devotion is like fertilizer. The water and the fertilizer penetrate into the plant and both make the plant grow into a big strong tree. The tree alone yields fruit. The fruit cannot be achieved by just the water or fertilizer or by both together without the plant. The plant also cannot be born from the seed if the earth does not supply water and minerals as fertilizer from the soil. If you do not identify your child, no love is born. Without love, service cannot be born. Therefore without knowledge there cannot be the birth of devotion and without devotion there cannot be the birth of service. Without service there is no fruit. Brahma indicates knowledge. Vishnu indicates devotion. The dancing Shiva indicates action or service. Lord Datta indicates these three associated together. Hanuman served Rama in Rama’s personal matter. Hanuman knew very well that Rama was God and this knowledge was constantly maintained in his service. His devotion to Rama was at its climax in his service. When Sita was not found, he wanted to commit suicide. This shows his love for Rama in the service. As per the Valmiki Ramayana, you can always find the knowledge and devotion of Hanuman in his service alone. You can never see Hanuman involved in [philosophical] debates on God or singing songs on God. He is always seen in service to Rama throughout the Ramayana and his knowledge and devotion always exist in the service simultaneously. The whole essence of his knowledge was only identifying the contemporary human form of God. The whole essence of his devotion was only serving practically such a living human form. Sundara Kanda means the beautiful part of Ramayana since it describes the selfless service of Hanuman to the living human form without aspiring for any fruit in return. You have to read the Sundara Kanda only to learn this aspect. But people are reading it for getting success in their selfish works! Hanuman did not accept even a garland for his service in the end. Such selfless service based on the spiritual knowledge learnt from the Sun-god and devotion learnt from his mother, yielded the topmost fruit of becoming Brahma (God). Such selfless service integrated with knowledge and devotion is the nishkama karma yoga of the Gita. Service is work and hence is called as karma yoga. Work is energy and matter (money) is also energy. Hence work and matter are one and the same. Therefore both sacrifice of work and the sacrifice of the fruit of work (money) come under karma yoga or seva yoga. The sages were always busy with knowledge and devotion to God. They did not do any service to Rama practically even though they identified Rama as God. The water and fertilizer without the plant could not yield any fruit and they had to take another birth as the Gopikas to get salvation. Hanuman got the topmost divine fruit in that life itself since he did not stop with knowledge and devotion. He extended his knowledge and devotion into service. The moment you recognize your child it is jnana yoga. Immediately love is generated and this is called Bhakti Yoga. Spontaneously you start serving your child and this is karma yoga, which is nishkama karma yoga since you do not aspire for any fruit in return. In the case of your child, really no fruit is achieved. But in the case of God, for the same selfless service, unimaginable fruit was given to Hanuman. Here the transformation of knowledge into love and service is spontaneous in the case of your child. But in the case of God, why is the transformation incomplete? I mean, why do some stop at knowledge and why do some others stop at devotion? The reason is that their knowledge itself is fully wrong in not generating devotion. If the knowledge is partially wrong, devotion is generated but not service. If you identify God as formless, it is fully wrong knowledge and hence no devotion is developed. If you identify God in human form, but worship statues of such human form, devotion is generated but not service. If you identify the living human form of God, service is generated. When you fully identify your child, the knowledge is fully correct and love and service are generated spontaneously. When you have a doubt in the identity of your child, your knowledge is partially correct. Then the love that is generated will not really transform into service. Service always includes correct knowledge and full love. The formless God results in no expenditure of your work and money. The statues result in partial expenditure like cleaning (sacrifice of work) and repairs (sacrifice of money). The living human form of God has lot of recurring expenditure like feeding Him every day etc. The essence of sacrifice is deciding the right concept of God. The Advaitin is very clever and says that he himself is God and feeding himself everyday is accounted in the recurring expenditure incurred for God. The human form of God (Sadguru) alone can give the fully correct knowledge that transforms into devotion and service spontaneously. When you are diverting the service or practical devotion from the world (family and society) consisting of living human beings, towards God, that God must also be in a living human form. Then alone can the service like feeding etc. be diverted practically from one side to the other. If your world contains only pictures or statues of your forefathers who are not alive today, then you can divert your service of cleaning the statues of your forefathers to doing the same for the statues of God. The diversion of service should be in the same phase i.e., either all in living human forms or all in the forms of statues. There cannot be diversion of practical devotion from one phase to the other phase. Suppose you have offered ten kilograms of food to a statue of God and offered half a kilogram of food to your son. You cannot say that you have twenty times more devotion for God as compared to your son. Here the comparison is not in one phase. If God comes in human form, will you offer half kg of food to Him daily as you are offering to your son? Therefore the proof of the diversion or transformation can be in a single-phase system only. Hanuman left his living mother and worshipped Rama while He was alive. He did not leave his living mother to worship a statue in the temple or to meditate upon the formless God in a forest or to serve himself, feeling that he is God. The Gopikas left the bonds with all living forms (parents, in-laws, husbands, children etc.) only to worship a specific living form, Krishna, who was alive in their time. One should also note that Krishna was not related to them either. If you understand The Ramayanam and the Bhagavatam, it is sufficient since these are practical demonstrations of the entire spiritual knowledge. Even [service to] the living human form of a devotee is sufficient to please God. The Lord came as a devotee to Shaktuprastha and to the parents of Siriyala to test their ability to divert their service from family bonds to a representative of God. I assuredly tell you that if you serve a real devotee, God is more pleased than receiving the service Himself. I doubt about the truth of Myself being the present human incarnation but I can assure you without any trace of doubt that all my devotees are the best devotees of God. I cannot assure salvation for worshipping Me but I assure in the name of God that if you serve My devotees, salvation is a must [one will certainly achieve salvation]. The human form of God conducts severe tests as you can see in the case of Rama. Hanuman is the most sacred bachelor and the topmost saint. People of such level look down on the householder considering him to be of an inferior level. Rama was a householder and showed blind love for Sita by running after the golden deer to satisfy her. He asked Ravana to return Sita back to Him. He said that if Sita were returned, he would go back without harming Ravana. In that case, Ravana would have continued his torture of good people. This shows that Rama was ready to sacrifice the welfare of the entire world for the sake of Sita. Rama exhibited the climax of blind love but Hanuman continued to think of Rama as God. Rama became helpless and wept when faced with several problems. Hanuman saved Him through miraculous deeds. Any observer will conclude that Hanuman is God and Rama is his devotee. But Hanuman always declared that Rama is God and that he is His devotee. In the end Rama honored all those who had helped Him, with rewards, except Hanuman. Anybody in the place of Hanuman would have shouted at Rama. But Hanuman tore his heart to show Rama in his heart. Tests in Practical Service All the tests by conducted by God were only in the matter of practical service. God did not test anybody by asking the meaning of a hymn from the Upanishads. He did not test anybody in their ability to sing devotional songs. Only the sacrifice of work and the fruit of work were tested and both these together form service. Clever people try to divert the right issue to a wrong issue and claim salvation. They think that the divine test is in taking a cold water bath in the morning, chanting the name of God by counting the beads of garlands [rosary], number of days they fast by eating ten times the usual amount of non conventional food, doing breathing exercises, running away from the home and taking the saffron cloth to earn money and fame etc. Based on these self-decided tests, people evaluate themselves and declare their own results! They declare themselves as the district collectors by fixing their own norms for the qualification of the IAS degree [Indian Adminsitrative Services]. Polished shoes, tucked in shirt, tie around neck, belt around the waist etc. are their norms for getting the degree and the subsequent post! Worldly bonds are found to be blind and foolish on analysis as compared to the pious bond with God. The essence of all worldly bonds is only the love for the means to achieve selfish happiness as per the statements of the Veda and the Gita (Atmanah Kamaya…—Veda; Ye Hi Samsparshajah…—Gita). Any soul in the world loves the other soul for the fact that the other soul is an instrument in giving him self-happiness. If the other soul gives him constant worry, then enmity and hatred replace the love. The medium of happiness is always money. Among these worldly bonds, the wealth linked with children is strongest. You can find the two extreme ends of this aspect in Dhritarashtra and in the parents of Siriyala. Dhritarashtra could not give even five villages [to the Pandavas] even though God was directly asking. [He wanted the entire kingdom for his own cruel son Duryodhana although it rightfully belonged to the justice-loving Pandavas]. This is a climax of blind love for one’s children linked with wealth. On the other hand, the parents of Siriyala killed their son to satisfy the desire of a devotee. The bond with God is excellent and is beyond words if properly analyzed. He has given human birth, long life, wealth, family etc., in spite of your most undeserving file of qualities [your file of past deeds and resulting qualities]. Still you say that this favor is done to many souls commonly. If you analyze your previous life, there are several miraculous experiences in which God rained undue favors on you. If you are a real human being, tears should flow down. If you remove the layer of ignorance on which you are dancing, you will be surprised to know that you and all your beloved souls including your materials are just the modifications of His power. In fact there is no real meaning of your sacrifice. It is only an apparent test of your practical love towards God. It is only a test of your attitude and feelings towards God because in the basic reality you have neither gained anything from the world nor lost anything through sacrifice to God. In fact you have lost your things through sacrifice to the other souls who exploited you as a means for their selfish happiness and do not even recognize you in the upper world. You are doing sins like corruption, looting good devotees etc. for the sake of your so-called beloved souls. The illusion of your ignorance about the true spiritual knowledge is so strong that you are as blind as Dhritarashtra in failing to show practical love for God even after recognition. You cannot even dream about the word ‘salvation’. Your first step should be to catch the Sadguru who will give sight to your eyes through the surgery of preaching spiritual knowledge. If you climb this first step, the final fruit is spontaneous since His spiritual knowledge is an escalator. The spiritual success of Hanuman is simply due to the Sadguru, Sun-god, caught by him. Hanuman learnt the spiritual knowledge from Sun-god who is the radiator of the intelligence or the analytical faculty as said in the Veda. Hanuman adjusted himself to the convenience of the Sadguru in receiving the spiritual knowledge by moving his face constantly in a circular way. All this means that you should take all the pains in receiving the spiritual knowledge from the Sadguru. The Sun represents the Sadguru and the radiation represents spiritual knowledge. Arjuna saw Krishna as thousands of suns in the cosmic vision. Krishna said that His first student was Sun-god. This means that Krishna (God) is thousands of liberated souls in spiritual knowledge. This means that Hanuman received the knowledge-cassette of God from His student and developed to such a highest state! Arjuna heard the knowledge directly from God, but he forgot the Gita by the end of the war and asked Krishna to repeat it. Therefore some devotees who have heard the knowledge directly from Me ask me to repeat it by next day. Some devotees might have read My books given by My devotees and may reach the state of Hanuman. Therefore, the Samskara or the level of maturity of the receiver is responsible for the final success. All hear the same spiritual knowledge from the Sadguru, but only a few succeed and this is due to their already attained level of maturity. Both the quality of the spiritual knowledge and the maturity of the receiver are important. The drop should be a water drop and the receiver should be the pearl shell to form a pearl. A conch shell cannot turn the water drop into a pearl. Similarly, a particle of dust fallen in the pearl shell also cannot become a pearl. Swami Answers Anil Q) What are the different samskaras that should be turned to God other than family bonds? A) The essence of all the samskaras is love, which has the potency to materialize into service. Theoretical love, which cannot materialize into service, cannot be a Samskara. Various feelings of attachment made of this practical love are all the Samskaras. Q) Will a person suffering with madness due to a great sin done by him, be aware of his pains while in the state of madness? A) A mad person is often insulted and sometimes is subjected to beatings and even electric shocks in the hospitals. All such things give pain to him and he experiences the pain. Therefore, madness is a punishment for sin. Q) Does attaining perfect health through yogic exercises violate the law of karma? [Some people by personal effort in doing yogic exercises attain perfect health. Then this may contradict the cause and effect of karma, since one is destined to suffer, but due to his effort he is overcoming that suffering?] A) The person who gets good health by such exercises is benefited, which is also a part of the implementation of the fruits of deeds. God arranges the fruits of good and bad deeds alternately, in the life cycle and this point removes the above objection. Q) Is sin relative or absolute? A) When a good soul suffers due to your behavior, you get sin. Therefore, sin is absolute in its fundamental sense. Q) You have said that attachment to souls and other things are the root cause of diseases. Then what about bacteria etc? A) Attachment leads to tension and anxiety, which is the root cause of several chronic diseases like heart attacks, hypertension, etc., which have no involvement of bacteria. The bacterial attacks are due to the effects of sins. Q) In the Bible it is told that unless you are born of water and spirit, you will not enter the Kingdom of God, what is the meaning of this? A) The spirit and water indicate the Knowledge given by the Sadguru like Jesus, Krishna etc., which cleans your soul from the dirty ignorance so that you can be a citizen of the kingdom of God. Then by your service you will become an employee of the King and slowly you can become the Son of God and finally, God in human form. This means that Knowledge is the basis and the Sadguru is the source of such True Knowledge. Q) Why are only external beauty (form of matter) and good qualities (forms of awareness) considered to be unreal by the Lord? Isn’t devotion also a quality? A) Matter and qualities based on the bond with God attain reality because God is the absolute reality. When these are based on the relatively real worldly bonds, these become temporary. A temporary item is always unreal according to the theory of Shankara (Yadanityam…). Q) How can light be both a particle and a wave? [Question posed to Anil on a discussion forum: Datta Swami claims to be Nostradamus’s great genius. He also claims to be Christ re-incarnated. To be the Great Genius and rectify science and religion He must surely know the answer to this simple question.] A) You have to study quantum mechanics and wave mechanics in advanced science and this point is clearly proved. A photon is treated as a particle of light, which is in the sense that it is a quantum. The dual nature of an electron of being a particle and wave has already opened the way. The quantum of light may not have mass, but the quantization is considered to be supporting its particle nature. Einstein’s photoelectric theory is to be studied in detail. Q) Whether family bonds are temporary or not, why should we not embrace them? [Question posed to Anil on a discussion forum: What if family bonds are not temporary and we retain those bonds after death? Alternatively, what if they are indeed temporary but there is no after-life. Even if they are temporary and there also is after-life, does it mean that we should not embrace these bonds? Shouldn’t we love our children and parents?] A) The love in the family bonds with respect to an outsider in the society is justified as far as the field of world (Pravritti) is concerned. When God enters into this field (Nivritti), these bonds become unreal. With reference to the absolute God, the bonds with the relatively real world are unreal. The merits of the bond with God are to be understood by analysis and experience, which is widely discussed by Me. Jesus told that one couldn’t be His disciple unless one hates even the family bonds. This should be understood with reference to God only and not as a general statement. Q) How can we believe that family relations are our vehement enemies because we have not seen our previous births? [The Yoga Vashishtha says that our family members are our enemies from past births and are now put together with us so that they can take their revenge from us or get their payback (Runanubandha rupena…)] A) Today there are several practical examples in the entire world to show the existence of previous births and the field of para-psychology has been established. Children are enemies and this is stated in Hinduism and this correlates with the statement of Jesus who asks us to hate these bonds because hatred comes only in the case of enemies. Q) Is the mind different from the soul and body? A) The soul is pure awareness like the lump of gold. Mind, which is a bundle of feelings, is like a bundle of golden ornaments. The strong feelings form the subtle body and the soul is the causal body. Awareness is only a special work-form of inert energy. The gross body is matter, which is another form of inert energy. Therefore, all these three (soul, mind and the gross body) are inert energy, which is created by God and form the basis of creation. Q) Who is ‘Maitreya’ who claims to be Christ re-incarnate? A) You have to decide the human incarnation of the Lord based on the spiritual knowledge radiating from Him. The sun is recognized by light. A solar battery operated lamp, which also emits light, is a partial sun because the light of the sun and the light of the lamp are qualitatively the same although they differ quantitatively. Therefore, a partial incarnation of God, charged by the power of God, is also qualitatively God Himself. The quantitative difference need not be discussed because sometimes the devotees of lower level require only a partially true knowledge. You have to decide the incarnation of God from the quality of the spiritual knowledge forgetting the quantitative differences in the same spiritual knowledge. If the spiritual knowledge is darkness and ignorance, you have to reject such a person since he will be the incarnation of Satan. Therefore, you have to decide the incarnation of God based on the quality of the spiritual knowledge. The name, form and external culture are only the material of the cup, which cannot decide the material present in the cup. If the material in the golden cup is Satan like salt water, such a gold cup is an incarnation of Satan. If Divine nectar is present even in an ordinary ceramic cup, you have to take the cup as an incarnation of God. If the cup is full of the Divine nectar, it is a complete incarnation of God. If there is only a little nectar, it is a partial incarnation of God. Therefore, Nostradamus stressed mainly on the material inside the cup, which is Universal Spirituality and science. The external physical signs like three seas, Thursday etc., should be neglected. You have to decide the Great Genius of Nostradamus based on the knowledge radiated by such A Genius. You pay for the material inside the cup and not for the material of the cup, because you can swallow only the material present inside the cup and get benefit from it. [1] The 33 crore deities correspond to similar mental tendencies that people exhibit. The One compassionate Lord takes these varied forms to suit those varied tendencies [2] A great saint who lived in the 13th century who propounded a treatise discussing various philosophies including atheism and Buddhism Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  19. PEACE, BLISS AND LIBERATION The Lord comes in human form in every human generation. All people may not recognize Him. Only a few devotees can recognize Him and get the benefit of liberation form these worldly bonds. The human form of Lord has no obligation to see that every body recognizes Him. Of course, He will try His best to give His identity and to reveal Himself slowly according to the speed of digestion of the devotees. The teacher comes to the class and teaches the class impartially to his level best in view of the capacity of digestion of the sitting students in the class. Some attend the class very carefully and get a first class. Some attend with less care and just pass. Some do not attend and fail. The student is responsible for the final result. Similarly, some recognize the human incarnation as the Lord. Some recognize the human incarnation as a blessed devotee. Some treat the human incarnation as an ordinary human being. For this variation, God is not at all responsible. Suppose, the teacher comes to a class in one year and does not come to next batch of the same class, it is injustice on the part of the teacher to favor one batch and not the other batch. Similarly, the human incarnation cannot favor only one human generation by direct contact. There is no greater devotee than Hanuman and the Gopikas. Both have worshipped their contemporary human incarnations alone, who were Rama and Krishna respectively. Hanuman did not worship the statues of Vamana or Parashurama who were the past human incarnations or the statues of heavenly energetic forms like Vishnu, Shiva etc., or even the formless God. After completing the learning from the Sun-god, He did not say that He was Brahman already but He became Brahman finally by serving the contemporary human incarnation. The present Advaita scholar is the reverse of this. He says that he is already Brahman and never became Brahman! Hanuman did not go to temples and pilgrimages, never chanted any mantra, never did any penance etc. He simply recognized the human incarnation in His generation and served Him in whatever way the Lord required. The same Hanuman lived after Rama till the next human incarnation came. During the time of the next incarnation, Krishna, Hanuman was still worshipping Rama in His mind. But Krishna corrected Him and made Him a devotee of the contemporary incarnation again. Similarly, the Gopikas did not worship statues of a past human incarnation like Rama or statues of Vishnu etc., and did not do anything except worshipping their contemporary human incarnation by offering butter, by dancing with Him etc. These Gopikas reached the highest Goloka. The Gopikas were the ancient sages who wrote the Upanishads, which form the basis for Advaitins. Even as Gopikas, they retained their previous knowledge about God and hence they cannot be treated as illiterate (Mahatmya Jnana—Narada Bhakti Sutra). The Pandavas who recognized their contemporary human incarnation but could not do total sacrifice for the Lord due to limitations of justice [they cared for justice more than God], could go only up to heaven. Every devotee in Hinduism has digested these three epics thoroughly and their essence very very clear. What more proof is required for the concept of the contemporary human incarnation than this? Everywhere in the Gita, the worship of Krishna was stressed, which means the worship of the contemporary human incarnation. The worship of the living human form of God is far better than worshipping energetic forms and worshipping dead human forms (Devan Deva Yajo Yanti Pitrun Yanti Pitru Vratah—Gita). The word ‘Pitru’ here can be taken as the past human form of God who was the real father of the soul [‘Pitru’commonly means dead father or ancestor]. Jesus referred to these living people who worship the past dead forms as dead, because they should go to the past in the same state of dead to get the effect of contemporary human incarnation (Let the dead burry the dead…). Artificial Goal and Path One cannot argue that it is impossible to please God in human form by such total sacrifice of work and the fruit of work. This argument is not correct because one can do such total sacrifice for the sake of one’s children. One is unable to do it only in the case of God. If it were really impossible, it would have been impossible in the case of the children too. People want the highest fruit through the easiest path. Hence, they have changed the very goal itself. Suppose it is very difficult for you to travel to Delhi. But you want to go to Delhi. Then, you name a nearby village as Delhi and reach that Delhi. Now you are satisfied that you are in Delhi. You will say that there is no Delhi other than that village. Generations pass and after a long time, that petty village stands as Delhi. People do not even know of the existence of the real Delhi. But the truth is that that the petty village can never be Delhi and no matter how many people for how many generations are living in that petty village, they are not the citizens of Delhi. This is the power of truth and the incapability of tradition. People want the grace of God by mere theoretical devotion like prostitutes, or want the grace of God by investing some work or wealth like businessmen. The difficulties in selfless service and in sacrificing work and wealth without aspiring for any fruit in return to the contemporary human incarnation, lead the people to invent a new comfortable God with a comfortable path. This new God is formless or a statue and the path is theoretical meditation or theoretical devotion with sacrifice of a little work in one’s leisure time or with the sacrifice of little wealth to escape tax problems [escaping income tax by making tax-deductible donations]. The new path is laid out with their own new conditions, which are possible to do with some difficulty so that they too can claim that the path is difficult. For example, taking a cold-water bath early in the morning in winter, is one such new condition, which is not possible for all people. Some people can do this and feel that they have satisfied the concept of the path to God being full of difficulties. The actual path is full of thorns [practical sacrifice] and nobody can travel on it to God but they can travel on it in for the sake of their own children. Now a new path is made for the new goal and the path is artificially made to contain some small pits. Now crossing these pits on the new path is the difficulty in the path to God. Somehow, some people cross these pits and have the satisfaction of traveling through a path filled with difficulties. Such selfish, clever misinterpretations of the long blind tradition have harmed souls. Even a soul, which is capable of traveling on the thorny path, is not aware of the real path and the identity of the real goal. Even such a capable soul is misled into traveling on the false path filled with small pits and reaching the petty village called as Delhi. Such a capable soul should at least have the knowledge of the right path and the right goal. For this purpose alone, are the true path and true goal revealed today in My divine knowledge. The truth will attract only very few gems. The fraud will attract many gravel stones. If I had wanted only the majority of gravel stones, I need not preach this divine knowledge any more, because there is sufficient fraud already established by the blind tradition. One should not be afraid of the thorny path, which alone is true. One should constantly try to travel on that true path. If the soul is constantly trying, God will help the soul by sanctioning any number of future human births with a congenial atmosphere and one day or other the soul will certainly reach the true goal. This is better than reaching the false goal through the false path in this very human birth itself. But remember, the effort should be really sincere and not a cinematic act. Illusory Goal of Advaita The Advaitin preaches Atma Yoga to get rid of both happiness and misery. It is a no-profit-no-loss business, which not even a fool would do. Such Atma Yoga denies the existence of God other than the self and this greatest sin generates continuous punishment to be enjoyed by the soul. When the punishment is to be implemented, you cannot escape it by limiting yourself to a state of non-involvement. The powerful divine Maya will catch you and drag you out for delivering the punishment. If the thief hides underground without any involvement with the world, the police will search for him, catch him and impart the punishment to him. The final result of Atma Yoga is becoming an inert stone but one cannot become even that stone if there is a balance of sin [remaining to be suffered] and the sin is endless in this case. Hence, there is no chance of becoming even a stone through Atma Yoga. However, if you are so fond becoming a stone, you have to worship the Lord who is the controller of your self. Then, no sin is generated. When the previous balance of sin is exhausted by punishments, you can become a stone by the grace of God. Such a state represents the state of deep sleep where the soul has no awareness and remains as a lump of inert energy alone—in eternal peace. If such a state were the highest, God too would have remained in that state without this creation. Perhaps, you are wiser than God for having this better state, which is not realized even by God! In your opinion God has foolishly created this world to have full enjoyment through full entertainment based on full involvement in the world. State of God When you become a liberated soul through selfless service to God in human form, you will attain the same state of God—of full entertainment in the world based on the full involvement. In such a state you will enjoy both happiness and misery like sweet and hot dishes in a meal or like comedy and tragedy in a cinema or like winter and summer seasons in the world. You may think that you have come to know this clue [of how to enjoy bliss] and that you can start enjoying the world like God forgetting God once again. You may think that God is no more necessary since the clue of enjoyment is now known. Then you will become the Bhasmasura [a demon] who tried to burn Lord Shiva after getting such a power from Lord Shiva Himself. Such ungratefulness to God again generates sin and in order to undergo the punishment for that sin, Maya will drag you to the lower level of normal human beings. As long as you are in the selfless service of God, you will always be with God in human form in this world to derive bliss from the entertainment continuously. If you go far from God due to egoism and jealousy by crossing the mark of the circle of His closest devotees, the thousands of hands of Maya will bite you like black poisonous serpents. To become a liberated soul, one need not exhaust the results of all his deeds to be enjoyed by him. There is no need of the transfer of sin to God in this case. Such transfer of sin only protects the closest devotee before liberation. In the case of the liberated soul, the existing balance of sin can be enjoyed by himself through the divine clue [of how to derive bliss and entertainment in both happiness and misery]. If the devotee gets this clue from God and maintains His grace through selfless service, one can be liberated in any moment in this very human life. You need not worry about the balance of the results of his previous deeds. This worry has no validity because the moment you become a liberated soul, you are going to enjoy the balance of the results of your deeds also as a part of the world to be enjoyed like that in the future. Anyway he is going to enjoy both sweet and hot dishes in a restaurant outside his house. He can enjoy the sweet and hot dishes left over in his house also in a similar way. Therefore, Jeevan Mukti (liberation while living in this human life) is possible for anyone at any time. It is just like seeing a part of the movie on your television in your house, and seeing the next part of the movie in a theatre (assuming that the size of the screen is same) outside your house immediately. The story of the movie is a continuous stream. Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  20. Career or the Propagation of Spiritual Knowledge? [Dr. Nikhil said: Swami, I am unable to concentrate much on the propagation of Your spiritual knowledge due to the pressure of my job. The concepts of Your spiritual knowledge are really amazing and deserve propagation. But the results of the propagation activities are not seen due to my insufficient attention to the propagation.] Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! The job is the basic stage on which both the dramas of worldly life (pravṛtti) and spiritual life (nivṛtti) can be enacted. If one has a good lot of property, then thinking of leaving the job can be justified. It is also justified, if one does not have a family to take care of, like Śaṅkara, Vivekananda etc. But, having entered into family life, one should not go back. Even Arjuna tried to withdraw from the war, before the war began. He did not try to withdraw from the war after it started. Moreover, worldly life is essential for an ordinary soul, even though the soul is interested in the spiritual life. Worldly life, including having a job and so on, provides variety in life. A change is needed, now and then, for a person involved in spiritual activity. While you are eating sweets, a hot dish becomes necessary, now and then, to provide a change. The point is, whether you are eating sweets continuously and using the hot dish only as a side-dish or whether you are continuously eating hot dishes and using the sweet dish as a side dish. So, what matters is, whether your main activity is worldly life and you are using spiritual life only as side dish or whether your main activity is spiritual life and you are using worldly life only as a side dish. Of course, worldly activity is very much essential to support you and hence, you must be mainly engaged in the worldly activity and use spiritual activity as a side-dish. But, in course of time, the worldly activity becomes a very easy routine activity, due to your long experience. This is called as yoga (Yogaḥ karmasu kauśalam—Gita). Until you become skilled in worldly activity, you have to concentrate mainly on the worldly activity. At any stage, try to do your best for the propagation of spiritual knowledge, which is God’s work. You need not bother about the result of your work because, God is not bothered about the result of your work. God can achieve the result, just by His will, in just a fraction of a second. Hence, God does not aspire for the result of your action. He only sees whether you have full sincerity and full dedication in His work, as much as possible. It is only for testing your interest, sincerity and dedication to His work, that He has assigned the work to you. He has not assigned the work to you for the sake of any result. His service is not like target-oriented marketing job. His service is only dedication-oriented. Hence, you should never worry about the result of your work done for God. If God Rāma had wished, Rāvaṇa would have turned into ash and Sītā would have stood by His side, in a fraction of a second. All the drama of building the bridge on the sea was done by Him only to test the dedication, devotion, sincerity and interest in the hearts of the angels towards Him. As you know, the angels were born as monkeys to serve God. The occasion was only an opportunity meant to prove the sincerity of the angels towards God. It was not actually about building the sea-bridge, at all. Among knowledge (jñāna yoga), devotion (bhakti yoga) and service (karma yoga), knowledge is the most important. The jñāna yoga or knowledge is like the right path along which your vehicle is moving. It is the most important aspect. The actual movement or journey of the vehicle is karma yoga and the speed of the vehicle is bhakti yoga. If the path is wrong, both the journey and the speed of the vehicle totally go waste. God is incarnating, again and again, to remind the devotees about the right path, because devotees often slip from it due to the influence of wrong guides. Preaching the right spiritual knowledge is the main program of any Incarnation of God. The director of an institute gives right direction to his staff, so that the institute can progress in the right way. Hence, the director is the most important person and he holds the topmost postition. In every generation, God incarnates because the direction once given by Him is frequently misinterpreted and twisted by wrong preachers (Sa kāleneha mahatā, yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa—Gita). Whenever devotees slip from the correct path due to wrong interpretations, God incarnates to redirect them to the correct direction (Tadātmānaṃ sṛjāmyahaṃ—Gita). Hence, God said in the Gita that the propagation of correct spiritual knowledge gives Him immense pleasure (Jñāna yajñena tenāham…—Gita). Everywhere in the Gita, God has praised the propagation of the correct spiritual knowledge, which is greatly needed in every generation (Nahi jñānena sadṛṣaṃ…, Sarvam jñāna plavenaiva…, Sarvaṃ Karmākhilam…, Jñānāgniḥ…, Śreyān dravyamayāt…etc.). Every time and everywhere, everybody is putting in a lot of effort for attaining devotion and performing sacrifice and service. Hence, there is no need to propagate devotion, service and sacrifice. Only the missing correct direction needs to be propagated. So, Śaṅkara, Rāmānuja, Madhva, Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, Vivekananda, Jesus, Buddha, Mahavir, Prophet Mohammad etc., worked only for the propagation of the right spiritual knowledge and they became the most beloved devotees of God. All these preachers were actually Incarnations of God acting in the roles of devotees. A devotee can connect more freely with another devotee. If the Incarnation expresses Himself as God, that free connection with the devotees will get suppressed. Hence, all the Incarnations of God always act as devotees and as ideal examples for other human devotees to follow. Rāma was the topmost Incarnation because He never exposed Himself as God, but instead, always behaved as an ideal human being, without doing any miracle.
  21. Who are the destroyers of the soul mentioned in the Esavasya Upanishad? Shri Balaji asked: Respected Swamiji, Could You kindly clarify the third verse of the Īśāvāsya Upaniṣad? The verse, “Asūryā nāma te lokā…ātma hano janāḥ”, is a warning, describing the the fate of the slayers of their own souls (ātman). Who are these destroyers of the soul (ātma hanaḥ)? Is it just people who fail in the path of worldly justice pravṛtti as said in the first verse, “Tena tyaktena buñjīthā ma gṛdaḥ kasyasvit dhanam” or does it also extend to people who do not strive for niṣkāma karma yoga as said in the second verse “Kurvaneha karmāṇi...na karma lipyate nare”? Sincerely, Balaji Swami replied: The people mentioned in the first verse are the same people implied in the second verse. The second verse is the extension of the first. If a person commits suicide (destroyer of the soul), such a person will fall into a dark hell forever. Human life is the most precious life granted by God. It is a chance given to the soul to develop spiritually. The person who ends his own life is rejecting and destroying the gift of human life given by God and is insulting God. The reasons for committing suicide are mainly worldly and are the most stupid reasons. Millions of human generations have passed and millions are yet to come. The stupid soul gives unnecessary and meaningless importance to the petty issues of this illusory world and puts off the life-lamp, which is mainly meant for earning the grace of God. Suppose a person is travelling in a train to a city where he has to face a job-interview for a very high position. In the train, the person gets into a quarrel with a fellow-passenger over a seat. The person gets very emotionally upset and jumps out of the train and kills himself! Does he have even a trace of wisdom? Such a person is the king of bloody fools, who gives the topmost importance to silly issues, forgetting the topmost issue, which is the main aim of human life! Apart from cases of suicide, a person (soul) who spends his entire lifetime on worldly issues, without ever thinking about God, is also committing suicide, in a sense. Such people too can be said to be killing their souls (ātma hanaḥ). These are the kind of people that are mainly referred to in this verse. By merely thinking about worldly issues, they are ruining the main aim of life, which is spiritual development. Thus, the verse is related to both ruining one’s spiritual life as well as committing suicide. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website:Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  22. How can we confidently answer difficult people who impose false beliefs on us? [Shri Balaji asked: Respected Swamiji, Namaste. Many times, when we meet strangers, they might act like good persons. Sometimes, they might even pretend to be great devotees, just to fool others or due to their ego or over-confidence. Perhaps, some of them might even be genuine and might have the best of intentions. But in a short meeting, it is difficult to know the reality of people. So, usually, I end up giving the benefit of the doubt to them and assume they are good. But if these persons are elders, they sometimes try to dominate us by getting angry or threatening to curse or not give their blessings to us. Sometimes, I hear elders threatening that all spiritual practices done by younger people are of no use unless they get the blessings of their elders. How does one handle such difficult people? Also, how does one develop one’s intuition to understand people’s real nature or intention? How can one fearlessly give a strong response, even when they try all kinds of tricks to dominate and subdue younger people? Sincerely, Balaji] Swami replied: Every person is an individual soul with an ego. The ego makes the person think that he or she is preaching true spiritual knowledge or a true philosophy. The person also expects others to become his disciples and accept and follow him. It gives pleasure to the soul. No one wants to always remain a disciple and receive knowledge from a divine preacher. It makes the person feel inferior to become somebody else’s disciple. This mentality makes people behave as if they are preachers and preach their own philosophy to others. They want to preach to others, at least for some time before they die. That is why you find many elders, especially when they are old, wanting to preach to others. This itch (kaṇḍūti) to preach to others and turn them into their disciples exists in almost all souls. However, this does not automatically make their preaching true. Shri Paramahamsa once asked a preacher “Did you get permission from God to preach this type of spiritual knowledge?” Neither age nor the experience of the preacher make their preaching true. Generally, people quote longstanding traditions as the authorities for the spiritual knowledge they preach. But Śankara said that no matter how many centuries darkness has existed in a closed room, it instantly vanishes with the first ray of sunlight from an opened window. The darkness cannot claim its right to remain in the room, just because it had existed in the room for so long. It has to exit the room, the very instant sunlight enters. Similarly, the false ignorance must vanish as soon as it faces true knowledge. It does not matter even if that false ignorance has existed for generations together or the preacher is very old and experienced. Śaṅkara was a young man of about 30 years, when He performed the funeral rites for His mother, in spite of being a saint. Since He had broken tradition, He was severely criticized by the priests at Kāladi (His native place), who were much older than Him. But Śaṅkara retorted to them “Your foolish traditions do not apply to Me since I follow true knowledge. Your arguments fail before Me as a knife meant for cutting vegetables fails to cut a stone (Śilāprayukta kṣurādivat…)”. The general rule (dharma) is that a saint shall not perform any rituals related to any family member, because he is supposed to have given up family life for the sake of God. But Śaṅkara was the only son of His widowed mother and she had made Him promise that He would perform her last rites. It was on that condition that she had allowed Him to become a saint and carry out the divine mission. Śaṅkara’s divine mission on earth was of critical importance for mankind. So, in His specific case, the general rule had to be amended. The general rule was superficially amended for the emergency, while maintaining its subtle essence (Āpaddharma-dharma sūkṣma). The elderly priests only had superficial knowledge, whereas, Śaṅkara knew the essence of the true knowledge. The essence of all rituals is that souls should pray to God for protection. People’s egos get hurt when their long desire to preach to some disciples fails. This especially happens when very young people try to reveal true concepts to their elders. To remove the ego of such elders, Śaṅkara said in a verse that the preacher is very young and His disciples are very old (Vṛddhāḥ śiṣyāḥ gururyuvā). Śankara lived only for 32 years, and yet became the Preacher of the world (Jagatguru)! Never yield to false concepts, if you thoroughly know the true concept. To satisfy the ego of elders, you can act as if you are yielding. If you sense ego and rigidity in a person’s arguments, you too should remain firm on your true ideas. Externally, you can act as if you are yielding to the person. You might perhaps succeed in finding the non-existent horns of a rabbit, but you can never convince a person who is rigid about his ideas, irrespective of what his age is. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  23. Is the resurrection of Jesus false? Shri Ahsan Habib, Dhaka asked: You have said that Jesus did not die on the cross and that, with the help of His disciples, He escaped to India, where he died at the age of 85. So, does it not mean that His resurrection was false? Swami replied: What do you mean by resurrection? If it means rising from the dead, there is no problem in saying that Jesus was resurrected after three days. There are different versions of the life of Jesus. As per one version, Jesus died on being crucified and rose from the dead again. Then, after His resurrection, He travelled to India and lived for many decades, during which He interacted with many Indian philosophers. Finally, at the age of 85 years, the inevitable death of His mortal body took place and the tomb of Jesus exists in the Himalayas, even today. There is no audio-video recording of the life of Jesus which can be treated to be the accurate record of His life. Whatever most people think is true about the life of Jesus is also one of the versions, which is based on someone’s writings. But it is also claimed that the writings of the disciples of Jesus have been modified by the Church. In that case, all the various versions regarding the life of Jesus have an equal probability of being true. We can accept any version that does not conflict the divinity and spiritual knowledge of Jesus. If the version that Jesus lived in India after His resurrection is bringing Hinduism and Christianity closer, why should it not be accepted? There is another version that Jesus did not die on the cross due to His miraculous power. Written records mention that when Jesus was thought to be dead on the cross, a Roman soldier pierced a spear into His side, to confirm that He was dead. Since Jesus did not react in pain, He was believed to be dead, after which He was brought down from the cross and moved to the cave. But it is also mentioned that blood gushed out from the injury made by the spear. Blood does not gush out from a dead body, when it is pierced, as per medical science. Hence, some people believe that He was not dead when He was brought down from the cross. He remained in the cave in an inactive state and rose on the third day as stated by Him before His crucifixion. He had spoken of the church being destroyed and rebuilt in three days. The word ‘church’ in His statement denotes His divine body and the reconstruction of the church in three days meant His rising from the dead. Surviving the crucifixion, remaining in an inactive state for some time and rising on the third day, were all certainly possible for Jesus, who possessed God’s miraculous power. In fact, anything is possible with the miraculous power of the unimaginable God, who had merged with the human body of Jesus. With the miraculous power of God, it is very much possible that Jesus did not die on the cross. It is also possible that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. It is even possible that Jesus died at the age of 85 years and subsequently, began to appear to devotees in an energetic form to devotees all over the world. There is also no reason to reject the version that Jesus, with His living physical body, ascended to heaven. The unimaginable miraculous power of the unimaginable God who had merged with Jesus, allows any of these possibilities to be true. There is no need to condemn any of the above versions or even any other version, as long as the version does not contradict the divine power and divine knowledge of Jesus. There should be no objection to the claim that Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day also because prior to His crucifixion, Jesus had already resurrected a devoted follower, Lazarus. It proves that Jesus possessed miraculous powers. If He was capable of raising others from the dead, it is not hard to believe that He was capable of rising from the dead Himself. Whether He died on the cross and rose after three days or He did not die at all, there is no doubt that He was seen by His disciples alive, in physical form, after three days. Thomas even touched the wounds where nails were driven into His hands to confirm that it was indeed Jesus who had risen. There is agreement between all versions, on this point that Jesus was seen alive, in a physical body, on the third day. The next question is whether Jesus exists even today in a living physical body. In the long time from the resurrection to this day, I do not think there has been any case, other than that of Thomas, when the existence of Jesus in a physical body was confirmed. Whenever Jesus has appeared to anybody, He has only appeared in energetic form and not in human form. The soul enters an energetic body after the natural death of the human body and this is the divine law of God’s creation. At the time of the crucifixion, Jesus was about 32 years old. After the resurrection, He probably lived in the physical body upto the age of 85 years. Then, as per the divine law of creation, the mortal body died and He was buried in the tomb, which is seen even today in the Himalayas. Interestingly, there are records of Jesus being with His parents only upto about sixteen years. Then He left home and returned only when He was about thirty years old. In this period of fourteen years, He did a lot of penance in association with several sages in the Himalayas. The Hindu scripture, Bhaviśya Purāṇam, speaks about the arrival of Jesus in India after His resurrection. In this scripture, Jesus says to king Śālivāhana “I am the Son of the Lord and I was born to an unmarried woman. I have propagated spiritual knowledge in a foreign country…”. (Īśa putraṃ ca māṃ viddhi, kumārī garbha sambhavam, mlecchadharmasya vaktāram…). You can find the influence of Hindu philosophies on the spiritual knowledge preached by Jesus, which is in line with His long stay in India. Jesus said that He is the Truth and Light, which means that He is God Himself. This is the philosophy of monism (Advaita). Jesus said that He is Son of God and this concept belongs to the philosophy called qualified monism (Viśiṣṭa Advaita), which is an intermediate stage between monism and dualism. Jesus also said that He is the messenger of God, which indicates perfect dualism (Dvaita). In the philosophy of dualism, the soul is different from God and is said to be a servant of God. But the soul referred to in the philosophy of dualism is not an ordinary worldly human being. The servant or messenger of God stands at a very high level of spiritual progress, far above ordinary souls. These three philosophies existed in the Veda and corresponding statements can be found in the Veda. The philosophy of Jesus, which matches with the three philosophies of the Hindu Vedic religion is reflected in the three famous statements of Jesus: (1) I am in the Light (dualism), (2) The Light is in Me (qualified monism, which is an intermediate stage between dualism and monism) and (3) I am the Light (monism). | Shri Dattaswami | Shalivaahana Iishaputtram cha maam viddhi, kumarii garbhasambhavam, mlecchadharmasya vaktaaram =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  24. Was Jesus Christ Lord Krishna Himself? Shri Ahsan Habib, Dhaka asked: Hello, I was reading your article about the Incarnation of God. I wonder, what if, Jesus Christ was Lord Krishna Himself! Could you please explain your point of view? Kind regards, Ahsan Habib (Sabuz), Dhaka. Swami replied: All Human Incarnations of God, belonging to all religions, are one and the same, since the unimaginable God present in each of them is one and the same. But it does not mean that Krishna is Jesus Himself. The unimaginable God is like the gold metal from which various ornaments are made. From the standpoint of gold, both the golden chain and the golden bangle are one and the same. But from the standpoint of the design of the ornament, the bangle is different from the chain. Thus, there is an internal unity in the external diversity. The messages given by all Human Incarnations appear to be different because the cultures of the followers to whom they were preaching, were different. But the internal essence of all the messages is one and the same. With that said, there are also certain external similarities between Krishna and Jesus. Both Krishna and Jesus had some connection with domesticated animals in the early parts of their lives. Krishna, right after His birth, was taken to a family of cowherds, where He grew up rearing (bringing up) cows. Jesus was born in a stable (shed), among domesticated animals. In both cases, the devilish kings killed newborn babies in the town, in an attempt to kill Krishna and Jesus respectively. Both Krishna and Jesus performed miracles initially, to attract devotees. Both preached excellent spiritual knowledge. Both met with a cruel death in the end. Krishna was shot dead by a hunter, while Jesus was crucified. But these external similarities are not of much importance. All Human Incarnations of God preach excellent spiritual knowledge, which is essentially one and the same. That knowledge is given by the same absolute unimaginable God who has merged with selected human media, to become the Human Incarnations. The same electric current passes through different devices causing different effects. In the bulb, it causes the bulb to glow and give light. In the television, it shows television programs, which involve a display of moving images as well as sound. In the fan, it causes the rotation of the fan, leading to a circulation of the air. Thus, even though the functions differ, the internal force carrying out these different functions is the same electricity. Similarly, different Incarnations descend on earth to carry out different divine missions, as per the requirements in each time. But the essence of the spiritual knowledge preached by them is the same. It involves common concepts such as the concept that God exists and that He punishes sinners and rewards the doers of good action. The ultimate Preacher, preaching through the various Incarnations is the single unimaginable God. You can have any number of imaginable items, but only one unimaginable item can exist. Even if you try to imagine multiple unimaginable items, they all finally result in a single unimaginable item, which is the unimaginable God. That single ultimate unimaginable God alone exists in the different human media (bodies) of the various Incarnations. The external media follow different cultures, speak different languages and give different examples in their preaching to suit the different cultures. But the essential spiritual knowledge preached by them is common since it comes from the unimaginable God alone. If this main point is realized, all religions are correlated and there will be world peace. Every religion says that their God created this entire earth and humanity on it. If the Gods of each religion were different, there would be several earths containing several different human races. But unfortunately, there is only one earth with only one humanity on it. This proves that all mediated Gods mentioned by different religions are internally, the same unimaginable God, who has created this one earth, having this one humanity on it. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: Universal Spirituality for World Peace) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
  25. What is the duty of a woman in the world? Smt. Rupa Murthy asked: Padanamaskaram Swamiji! I really admire your different perspectives and the underlying meanings of Your discourses. I have a few questions, which I have presented below. My questions are related to a woman’s duty in this world. What is most important in a woman’s life? Is dealing with a toxic relationship considered great? Or is being a mother considered great? Or is pursuing a career great? A woman can successfully manage all such roles together, only if she finds a proper life-partner and a supportive family (in-laws), which is almost not possible in today’s life. No mater how many achievements a woman may make in her life, she is treated well, only if she becomes a mother. I am not able to figure out why marriage and kids are given so much importance in a woman’s life. Being a career-oriented person and seven months pregnant, I am not able to enjoy my motherhood, due to all such questions. Are all these questions arising in my mind because of the situations I am going through? Is this a test of God? Am I on the correct path? I am entangled in all these thoughts and am confused. How can a woman balance both motherhood and her career, with minimal support? Please help me and remove my ignorance, Swami. Regards, Rupa Murthy] Swami replied: God is the basic support of both worldly life (pravṛtti) and spiritual life (nivṛtti). Several confusing questions have surrounded you like several tigers surrounding a cow in the forest. If you want to solve all these conflicts and worldly issues, you must surrender to God totally and develop immense devotion to God. It alone will channelize your mind in the proper direction. Marriage and children are important, not only for a woman, but also for a man. To rectify family problems after getting married, one must be devoted to God. God will certainly help. One must be careful before selecting one’s life-partner. But having selected one’s life-partner and having started one’s married life, intense devotion to God alone is the path to solving family problems. =============== -By Shri Datta Swami (Visit our website: www.universal-spirituality.org) Universal Spirituality for World Peace
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