Friday, June 28, 2013
(Below is a continuation of the post The Secret to Great Strength)
A great scientist called Professor D’Hoore had come here to the Ashram. He is a Scientist and an expert in physics. He said that this Universe is held together by three forces. If there were two forces instead of three, the world would have collapsed. These three forces together constantly keep the Universe stable.
He showed this by drawing a model. Just as a ceiling fan has 3 blades, these three forces together keep the Universe in balance. Like the blades of a windmill, when one goes up, the other two blades come down, then it rotates and the one that was up comes down and the other two go up, and so this movement retains the balance. In the same way, when there are three forces present together, only then can something operate continuously, otherwise it is not possible.
In a pendulum clock, the pendulum swings between two points only, and it continues to swing as long as it is wound. Once the winding gets over, the pendulum stops. But these three forces act at equal distances from each other and hence keep the universe in balance.
So he said that this world is held in balance by these three forces, which is why it has continued to exist all this time.
I said that Lord Krishna has said the same thing in the Bhagavad Gita.
Lord Krishna says that, ‘The three gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are all born from Me, but I am beyond them and not influenced by them’.
In the next verse, He says, ‘Tribhir guna-mayair bhavair ebhih sarvam idam jagat. Mohitam nabhijanati mamebhyah param avyayam’. (7.13)
Moha (attachment) cannot know My true nature.’
Attachment means having a limited vision. A mother gets so attached to her child that her vision for the child becomes very limited. This is the difference between love and attachment. Attachment only gives pain. It promises happiness but in reality does not give any happiness. Having a desire for happiness but experiencing misery is what attachment is.
Lord Krishna says, ‘I am endless (avyaya) and I am eternal. This is what others do not know’.
All misery comes from attachment. All the feelings that you experience are a result of the three gunas. But does this mean that we should just discard them all away? No, this is not what He is saying here. The three gunas are important.
He explains in the next verse, ‘Daivi hy-esha guna-mayi mama maya duratyaya. Mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te’. (7. 14)
He has said a very astonishing thing here.
Often people blame the world (for their own circumstances) and want to run away from it. They think, ‘The world is bad, it is dirty and corrupt’. Such people have never read the Bhagavad Gita. And even if they have read it, they have not understood its true message. Lord Krishna says, ‘These three gunas come and go, yet I am untouched by them. I am eternal and untouched. I am as I have always been’.
So misery cannot diminish your being in any way, neither can happiness expand it. You are the constant, eternal Self - untouched both in times of misery and happiness. In this same way, many feelings arise in you, such as anger. Anger rises in you as a storm and then goes away, but you remain as you always are. You (as the Self or Consciousness) do not experience any loss. Yes, your body experiences some pain and misery because of it. But the Chaitanya Shakti(Consciousness) within you neither diminishes due to sorrow nor does it expand due to happiness. This Chaintanya Shakti is what Lord Krishna is.
Here, Lord Krishna addresses Himself by saying ‘I, Me, My’. You should not see any difference between God, the Guru Tattva (subtle divine element or principle) and theAtma Tattva (the Self or Consciousness). They are all one.
So here, He is speaking to Arjuna and referring to Himself by using words like ‘I, Me, My’. That ‘I’ is not only Lord Krishna, it is our own soul as well, and it is Paramathma (God) as well. It is not a person who is speaking here, rather it is the power of Divinity that is giving this knowledge. And the same power of Divinity is also listening to this knowledge through Arjuna (here, representing the individual Consciousness).
This can also be understood in another way.
You are eternal, but you are not aware of this, which is why you get carried away by storms of emotions – like misery, happiness. This is because you are caught up in attachment. It may be attachment towards your children, your husband or wife, your friends, or toward wealth, or anything else.
It is because you are caught in attachment, you are not able to recognize your true Self. In such moments, your situation seems to be so big to you that you are unable to see anything else.
For example, one whose mind is feverish about money can think of nothing else. He cannot think of his relationships, his friends and family, not even his own health and wellbeing. Such a person ends up losing everything because of being stuck in attachment.
Brothers fight among themselves because of money. Children fight with their parents because of money.
Even attachment to religion brings misery. All suffering happens because of attachment. Lord Krishna says, ‘Those who are deluded by such attachments, they are not aware of my true nature. They forget that I am eternal and untouched. I (as Pure Consciousness) do not expand or diminish because of anything. I am the supreme power behind everything, but people do not realize this’.
So does this mean that in order to attain God, one should not engage in relationships or be a householder? No, not at all. You are not supposed to abandon your responsibilities and run away from home. Just understand that everything that happens, happens because of the influence of the three gunas.
Lord Krishna says, ‘You should also not curse the three gunas, because they are Divine, they belong to Me and are born from Me. This entire creation and everything in it is born out of Me, so how can you curse it, when you know that it is born out of me and me alone?’
For example, if you curse a picture, you are actually cursing the artist who has created that picture. Honouring Nature is honouring God, because Nature is born out of God and remains in God.
May 11, 2013
(Below is a continuation of the post Walk The Path of Truth)
Then comes the next two verses, ‘Bijam mam sarva-bhutanam viddhi partha sanatanam. Buddhir buddhimatam asmi tejas tejasvinam aham. Balam balavatam ch-aham kama-raga-vivarjitam. Dharmaviruddho bhutesu kamo 'smi bharata-rsabha’. (7.10 & 7.11)
There is a seed present in everyone. Every person who comes to this world brings something with him (quality or gift). These are some innate qualities (seeds) in each person that does not change.
Many times you will hear teachers say, ‘Only if the quality is present in the student can I develop it.’
You can only grow something when you have some seeds to begin with. If there is nothing to begin with, how would you be able to develop those qualities?
So Lord Krishna says, ‘This seed that is present in every Jiva (living being) has been there since time immemorial, and it is not something new. It has no beginning and no one knows exactly when it was sown. I am this seed present in all living beings (bhutanam). This is what you should know because every living being, every creature has a seed present inside them. Just as this seed is present since time immemorial, so also all the kivas have existed since time immemorial’.
There are three things that are thought of as both Anaadi (without a beginning) and Ananta (without an end).
One is God, the second is Jiva (here meaning the individual soul or consciousness) and third is Prakruti (Nature).
The Apara-prakruti has been present since time immemorial. It is the same for God and for the Jiva. So the creation is like a circle (vritta); a circle has no beginning and no end, yet at every point there is both, a beginning and an end.
Lord Krishna then explains further, ‘O Arjuna, if you see an intelligent person, do not think that he has acquired his intelligence all by himself. I am the intelligence of the intelligent’.
This was a very clever thing that the Lord did. Where ever the mind can possibly get caught up or attracted to, Lord Krishna brings Arjuna’s mind back from all of those places to focus on Him again and again.
We get very influenced by intelligent people. We think, ‘This person is so intelligent. His intellect is so sharp and he is so knowledgeable’. In this way we start praising that person. So, to bring the mind back, Lord Krishna says, ‘Wherever you see such brilliant intelligence, know that it is Me. It is a manifestation of Me alone’.
By saying this, He brings the mind back to focus on Him. It means that wherever you see sharp intelligence, know that it is Krishna and it has come from Krishna. When you know this, your mind cannot stray anywhere (for it will find everything to be a form of Lord Krishna and stay focussed on Him).
In the same way, He says, ‘I am the Tejas (glory or brilliance) of the powerful. I am the glow you see on someone’s face. I am the strength that you see in a person who is unaffected by cravings’.
One can draw strength even from Dvesh (aversions) and hatred. Such people appear to be very strong. But I am not that. Terrorists and violent people appear to draw great strength from hatred. But Lord Krishna says, ‘I am not that strength (drawn from negativity)’. Terrorists walk with such feverishness. They terrorize others and show off their strength. But such strength is not free from kama (desire) and raga (craving). Where there is craving, there is aversion also. Those who engage in a display of their strength out of cravings are foolish.
Also, people driven by feverish desires appear to display unusually great strength. This is what is usually seen in the world today. People driven by feverishness project themselves as very strong, but such strength is of no use.
Strength that comes out of feverish desires is very superficial, only on the surface. This strength is hollow from inside. There is deep fear in the minds of such people. And one can never be strong when there is fear inside.
One who is not connected to his own consciousness can never be strong. A person who is not connected to his centre and is not aware of his being, even though he may display great strength on the outside, inside he is hollow with fear.
Similarly, strength that comes from hatred and demonic tendencies is also hollow from within. There is a saying, ‘Dwitiya dwai bhayam bhavati’. It means the presence of two (duality; here meaning not being united within oneself) is the cause of fear.
People who have not united with the consciousness within themselves (antarmukhi) and have not turned inwards to the Self, such people can never be called strong. And when one is filled with cravings and feverishness, they can never go inward and unite with the Self. It is only when one becomes centered within oneself that great strength dawns. Such strength is free from the negativity of craving and feverishness and is beyond them. That alone is true strength. This is why Lord Krishna says, ‘Wherever you see such pure strength, know that it is Me’.
Now you might ask, ‘Lord Krishna has said that great strength comes only when one is free of cravings and feverishness. Are all desires bad then? Is having desires wrong, or having a wish for everyone’s wellbeing also wrong. Does that mean that one should not have any desires at all?’ No, it is not so.
Lord Krishna says, ‘I am all those desires that do not go against Dharma(righteousness of duty). All the people who acts in accordance with Dharma and follows their Svadharma (one’s nature or duty that one is responsible for), the desires that arise in such people is Me and Me alone’.
You all might have experienced this: At times when you act upon a desire that arises in your heart, you find that it uplifts you and others as well. Everyone is benefited by it. Such desires are the manifestation of God.
When we act in accordance with Dharma, we cannot commit anything wrong. Moreover, along with Dharma, desires also do arise. But such desires are divine in nature (inspired by divine will).
That is why it is said in the Vedas, ‘Tanmeya manaha Shiva-sankalpamastu’ (May desires benefiting everyone arise in the mind). May I have auspicious desires that benefit everyone. May I have the desire to move towards the truth, and towards all that is auspicious.
Now, the desire for truth is also a desire. If we want to progress higher in life, that too is a desire. Having a desire for everyone’s wellbeing is again a desire. You cannot celebrate festivals without having auspicious desires (for everyone).
You cannot walk even a step in your life without desires. Desires are present behind every action you do in life. There is a cause behind anything you do in life, and the cause is desire. So what type of desire should it be? One that is not in conflict with Dharma but in accordance with it. So Lord Krishna says, ‘I am all those desires that are in accordance with Dharma’.
You all must have experienced this sometime, where you acted upon a desire and the result turned out to be just as you expected, and many people also got relief from your action. There are some desires that arise in you, when you act on them it brings peace and comfort to you and everyone around you. Desires that do not create any conflicts in the mind and are not against Dharma.
Any action of yours that goes against Dharma will prick you inside. It will keep troubling you from within and you will feel, ‘Oh, I think I have done something really wrong’. Your conscience will tell you this. But when you act in accordance with Dharma, then you feel relaxed and at peace.
‘Ye ch-aiva sattvika bhava rajasas tamasas cha ye. Matta eveti tan viddhi na tv-aham tesu te mayi’. (7.12)
Lord Krishna says, ‘O Arjuna, the three gunas, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas are all born from Me. But neither am I in them and neither are they in me, yet they have all come from Me. This is what you should know’.
This is a very strange thing. Lord Krishna says, ‘I am not governed by the three gunas and neither do the three gunas reside in Me, yet they have come into existence from Me alone’. There is a great scientific truth behind this. When you go deeper into understanding this, you realize that when you become a witness to the play of the three gunas, you become separate from them all.
So He says, ‘Though they (the three gunas) are separate from Me, yet they are an extension of me’.
I wear the cloth on my body but I am not the cloth and neither am I a part of the cloth. This example comes closest to understanding this.
Just like how we wear clothes on our body, but we do not become our clothes and neither are we a part of the clothes, yet the clothes belong to us. Have you understood this?
Lord Krishna says, ‘It is I who has created these three gunas (the cloth), and they belong to Me, yet I am not influenced by them and neither do they reside in Me and I am also not these three gunas. So, O Dhananjaya (another name for Arjuna meaning conqueror of great riches), you too should become a witness to the three gunas. You should understand them to be a part of My divine nature. They have been created by Me and it is I who upholds them, yet I am not these three gunas’.
Just like how you have different pieces of clothing for different parts of the body, shoes for the feet, inner clothes and outer clothes for the body, a turban for the head, in the same way all gunas have their own distinct qualities.
Now if you try to keep you turban on your feet, or wear hand gloves on your feet and the socks on your hands, it simply won’t work. Each piece of clothing has its own distinct place and cannot be worn anywhere else.
So Lord Krishna says that, ‘Each of the three gunas have their own distinct qualities and their own place, and they have all come from Me, yet I am not these. So do not go looking for Me in them, for I am beyond them’.
Do you know what Lord Krishna is doing? He is retrieving Arjuna’s mind from all the possible places that it can get attracted to, and bringing it back to focus on Himself. That is why there is both knowledge and science involved in this, and this is what is unique about this discourse.
So using this Vishesha Gyaan (special knowledge), Lord Krishna repeatedly retrieves Arjuna’s mind from anywhere it can get attracted to and pulls it back to Himself. It means He brings the mind back inwards to focus on the consciousness.This is the job of the Guru and the responsibility of the disciple.
So wherever one sees great strength, one should recognize it as belonging to God, and not of the person who displays it. Wherever one finds beauty, one should not think of it as belonging to the person but recognize God behind that beauty. There can be no beauty without God. That is why it is said, ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’. That is, wherever there is Lord Shiva (God), that is where there is beauty and truth.
So by saying this, Lord Krishna frees Arjuna’s mind from every possible attraction and pulls it towards Himself.
Krishna means attraction; it means one who attracts everything to Himself. Freeing the mind from all possible places it can wander towards out of attraction and bringing it to the centre – this is what Lord Krishna is. So wherever you see someone glowing like a Tej-punj (glowing with spiritual grace), know that they are deeply in love with Lord Krishna, which is why they draw everyone to themselves. It means withdrawing the mind from the world of diversity that is due to the three gunas, and bringing it back towards the pure consciousness within. This is a very unique step and an astonishing science.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
May 10, 2013
In the seventh chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna begins by saying, ‘Maiyy asakta-manah Partha yogam yunjan mad-ashrayah. Asamsayam samagram mam yatha jnasyasi tach-chrnu.’ (7.1)
He says, ‘By keeping all your affection on Me, and practicing the path of Yoga as described by Me, I shall now explain to you how you can know Me completely’.
Here, aasakti means affection, and ashraya means that which we depend on. There is affection (aasakti) towards those who we love, and there are those whom we depend (ashraya) on. And that which we stay connected to is called Yoga.
So here, Lord Krishna includes everything. Your heart and your mind, both are engaged.
For example, your job is different from your hobby. There is aasakti (meaning desire or affection) towards your hobby, but you do your job because you have to. So, doing your job regardless of what may be, is Karma Yoga (the path of performing one’s duty). While we do our job because we have to, our affection is somewhere else, or towards something else.
So here, Lord Krishna begins by saying, ‘One who has his total affection on me, who is dependent on me, who is constantly devoted towards uniting with Me through the practice of Yoga (as described by the Lord Himself), and who is free from doubts; how such a person can know Me and My true form completely, I will now explain that to you’.
Lord Krishna told Arjuna many times, ‘Just focus on Me alone, and not here and there’. Why did he say this so many times? It is because Arjuna was so dejected and troubled by his doubts.
Only one whose doubts have disappeared can attain knowledge.
Usually we think it is the other way around. One who receives knowledge is relieved from all his doubts. Here, there are two things.
First, one who gains the knowledge is relieved from all doubts – this applies to the material world; it is limited.
The other is, one who is freed from doubts; meaning one whose Prana (subtle life force or energy) is very high, becomes capable of understanding knowledge at a deeper level. Such a person is one who truly knows.
We often think that our doubts can be resolved by questions and answers, isn’t it? But it is actually not so. Answering one question leads to ten other questions in the mind. One pair of question and answer gives rise to ten other new questions, and then this chain of questions and answers continues endlessly, but the doubt does not go away.
The very reason we ask questions is to clear our doubts. But here, Lord Krishna is saying that only one who is freed from all doubts is capable of knowing (the truth).
Doubt means that your Prana has not blossomed fully; it has not reached its peak. The Prana has gotten stuck somewhere in the body.
When you are full of Prana, all doubts automatically disappear. That is why when you are very happy, there are no doubts in your mind. When you are deeply in love, no doubts arise in you.
Doubt means that you partially believe something, and you partially disbelieve it also. If you disbelieve something completely, then there is no doubt, and if you believe something completely, then too you will not have any doubt at all. So a doubt arises when you both believe and disbelieve something.
Now, how can one be free of all doubts and know something completely? This is what Lord Krishna talks about.
‘Jnanam te'ham sa-vijnanam idam vaksyamy asesatah. Yaj jnatva neha bhuyo 'nyaj jnatavyam avasisyate’. (7.2)
He says, ‘This is very deep knowledge (jnana), but there is a science (vigyana) to it also. This is what I shall tell you now, after knowing which nothing more remains to be known’.
Lord Krishna says, ‘There is nothing that I will keep from you. I am giving you the complete knowledge’.
He does not say that I will tell you one part of this knowledge today and the remaining part tomorrow. Usually music teachers and maestros do this. They give the knowledge part by part, in a very miserly manner. They will teach you two lines of a song and will ask you to practice it and come the next day. Then they will teach you another two lines and make you repeat the practice.
They will teach the Pallavi (the main thematic line of a song in Carnatic music) part of the song on one day, and theAnupallavi (the short version of the main line) the next day. So they do not teach the student fully. They keep testing the student many times before giving the complete knowledge. But here, Lord Krishna does not test Arjuna because He already knows everything (about Arjuna); so there is no need to test.
Anyways, Arjuna is already depressed, so what is the use of testing him further. So He tells him, ‘Do not worry. I will tell you everything and leave nothing out for you to know’. And He says that this knowledge is so vast that after knowing this, nothing more remains to be known further.
When a student is told that he is going to be given very deep knowledge, then he becomes alert. Just by hearing this, he stands in attention, and his hairs stand on end with anticipation. Then he listens carefully with full attention. That is why Lord Krishna adds this line before going further.
If someone tells us something casually, most of the time, we do not even listen to them attentively. But if they tell you, ‘Come here! I have a secret to tell you’, then you instantly respond by saying, ‘Yes, yes! What is it? Tell me’.
You become fully attentive in that moment. Does this happen to you or not?
It may be a very ordinary thing they may want to tell you, but before that if they say, ‘Listen! I have a secret I want to tell you. It is very urgent’, then you become very alert and attentive, and are completely ready to listen.
So in the same way, here the Guru (Lord Krishna) is preparing the disciple (Arjuna) to listen to Him attentively. Otherwise the Guru keeps on speaking and the disciples go off to sleep. This is what usually happens.
Many times, we go to a session to listen to deep knowledge, but we come back saying, ‘Oh! The knowledge was so high that I could not understand anything. It all went above my head’. Do you know why this happens? It is because we simply do not listen. Our mind is so full of worries all the time; either our own or that of others around us. We are not able to live without worrying. And if there are no problems, then we create problems for ourselves. We find a thousand reasons to get worried.
In the next verse, He says, ‘Manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye. Yatatam api siddhanam kascin mam vetti tattvatah’. (7.3)
Out of millions of people, very few will walk the spiritual path and make efforts to gain knowledge of the truth. Very few will follow the path of Yoga.
In those days too, the state of spirituality was the same.
Mahabharata happened then, and even today it is happening. Only earlier it took place on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, and today it is happening in our parliament.
Delhi is just a 100 km away from Kurukshetra anyway. The only difference today is that the Gita is not being recited there.
If you observe, there is a Kurukshetra happening in every house today (referring to a state of moral conflict).
So Lord Krishna says that out of millions of people, very few will walk the spiritual path, and of those few who follow the spiritual path, fewer still are able to realize Me and know Me completely by my true form (Tattva).
The rest of the people come, just listen and go away without grasping anything. Only a few rare people are actually able to know Me by My true nature (Tattva-jnana: here meaning knowledge of the deepest principle or element).
This is a great secret. And what is the Tattva that He is speaking about here? He explains this in the fourth verse:‘Bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva cha. Ahamkara itiyam me bhinna prakrtir ashtadha’. (7.4)
He says, ‘Do you think I am only this physical body? No! I am Earth, I am Water, I am Fire, I am Air and I am Space. I am the Mind, Intellect and the Ego. These are the eight types of energies, that is me, and I call these my Apara-prakruti(eight types of nature or modes of expression of the Divine in the materialistic realm). I am all eight of these. I am present in every particle of this Earth, and in every molecule of water.
Water is present everywhere – in the Earth, in the sky, in the air and in the sea; it is everywhere.
Do you know, 60% of your body is composed of water? So all these people sitting here today are nothing but many litres of water (laughter).
If you weigh 60 kg, then nearly 36 kg of your body weight is nothing but water. So each person is like an earthen pot, filled with water. Similarly, 15% of your body is made up of the air element. Your body also has the earth element and all these are bound together by the fire element, and that is where body heat comes from. So there is heat in the body due to the fire element.
Then, Lord Krishna also says, ‘I am the mind, intellect and the ego’.
Many times people come to me and say, ‘Gurudev, I want to get rid of my ego’.
What is it that you want to get rid of? Ego too is a form of God, so just let it be there. The ego seated deep within you is also a form of the Divinity.
He says, ‘All these eight types of nature are present within you, and they are all nothing but different forms of Me’, this is what Lord Krishna says to Arjuna. You are not your mind. You are not your intellect. You are not your ego. So what remains then?
In the next verse He says: ‘Apareyam itas tva anyam prakrtim viddhi me param. Jiva-bhutam maha-baho yayedam dharyate jagat’. (7.5)
Besides these eight types of nature which are collectively called the Apara-prakruti (Apara means that which is related to the material world), there is another Prakruti (energy) which is much higher, called the Para-prakruti. Everything in creation is upheld by this Para-prakruti.
That which has taken all the form that you see in the world; that which is the cause of all that is happening in the world, the reason behind the Sun shining and the Moon rotating is the Para-prakruti. It is the primary cause behind all that is happening in the material creation.
So Lord Krishna says to Arjuna, ‘In the absence of the which, no living creature or human being, neither the Earth, the Universe nor this entire creation can exist; that Tattva, i.e., the Para-prakruti is me. That which cannot be seen, yet it is, and is the basis of everything that exists, that Para-prakruti is me, and this is what you should know’.
The entire creation rests upon this Para-prakruti, which scientists today call the Dark Matter and Dark Energy.
Scientists today say that the Sun is round like a sphere only because there is tremendous amounts of pressure of energy from all sides. And the energy in this empty space around the Sun is much more powerful than the Sun itself. It is just like how you see a bubble inside a bottle of water. Why is the bubble round in shape? It is because the water around it is exerting pressure from all sides.
That is why, any object that appear round in shape, is only because of the pressure of the energy present in the empty space (which is unseen) around the object, and which is a thousand times more powerful than the object itself.
All this empty space that you see here, is not actually empty. It is full of energy which is called Dark Energy and Dark Matter.
It is said, ‘That which is unseen is true’. This is because all that you can see, is a very small part of what actually is.
All the stars and planets that you see in the sky are very small compared to the invisible energy in the empty space around them, which is much more powerful than the stars themselves. So this is what scientists today have spoken about, and the same thing was told by Lord Krishna.
He says, ‘I am that Para-prakruti that holds the entire creation, and which this creation rests upon’.
So Lord Krishna is that Dark Energy that scientists today refer to. The word Krishnaalso means dark in colour.
That which cannot be seen is the basis of everything, and that which we can see is actually nothing! (Laughter)
Whatever we can see – the trees, the flowers – are a very small part of what is. It is the manifestation of the Apara-prakruti. But this Apara-prakruti is contained within the Para-prakruti that cannot be seen. So Lord Krishna says both these things.
For example, you cannot see the consciousness that is present within you. But you can perceive the projection of your consciousness in the form of your mind, intellect and the ego. Isn’t it?
So this is what Lord Krishna means when He speaks of Tattva-jnana: (knowing the creation in terms of its underlying principle or Tattva, i.e., the Divinity).
The speciality of Indian spirituality is that it has never dismissed science. In fact science has always been given equal importance in Indian spirituality.
This is why it is said, ‘Tattva-jnana’, first understand this creation as the manifestation of the five elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. By understanding this knowledge (Apara-prakruti), you can then understand the higher knowledge of the Para-prakruti. This is what Tattava-jnana is.
Even God has been identified as a Tattva or a fundamental principle. That is why Indian spirituality is a combination of spiritual knowledge and scientific principles.
(Note: The discourse was given in Hindi. Above is a translation of the orginial talk.)
May 08, 2013
I am going to give you a challenge. Are you ready to take up a challenge?
Say ‘Ka’ without saying ‘Aa’. Can you do that? You can’t do it. You cannot say ‘Ka’ without saying ‘Aa’.
Okay, let us try ‘Ga’, or ‘Cha’, without ‘Aa’. Can you do it? No!
This is how the consonants and vowels are arranged in Sanskrit language.
AA II UU RiRi LiLi E Ai O Au Am Ah – these are vowels. The consonants are, Ka Kha Ga Gha Na, Ca Cha Ja Jha Na, Ta Tha Da Dha Na, Ta Tha Da Dha Na, Pa Pha Ba Bha Ma.
You cannot say the consonants without a vowel. Got it?
When you say ‘Ki’, ‘E’ has to be there.
This is so scientifically arranged, that is why Sanskrit is called Deva Bhasha; the language of the Gods, because it is aligned with nature.
When you say ‘Aa’, it is creation, everything opens. When you say ‘Uu’ it continues, and when you say ‘Mm’ it closes.
How is a sound generated? This has been explained very beautifully by one of the Rishis. When the self, conjoining itself with the intellect, again joins hands with the mind. That enhances the heat or energy in the body, and that energy moves the air through the voice box, and sound is generated.
So how does sound get generated, this is so beautifully and scientifically said.
This knowledge is not just for the heart or just for the head. It is a perfect combination of the head and the heart. That is the spiritual wisdom.
Also, if you observe the musical notes, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni, it all corresponds to the tune of particular animals. Sacorresponds to the tune of peacocks. Re to cows; Ga to goats; Pa to nightingales; Dha to horses and Ni to elephants. Though elephants are so big, their sound is very high pitched and very small.
So each animals’ sound is what the musical notes are – Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa.
In the same way, consonants are arranged with the animals. Ka and Cha, relates to the birds. Birds make only these two sounds, except parrots and mynah; when we train them they can speak the whole language.
Then comes Ta and Tha, these consonants relates to amphibians. The amphibians in the water and on land, like frogs and other animals, they say Ta and Tha.
Only mammals are in the last set of consonants, i.e., Pa Pha Ba Bha Ma. Goats, sheep, cows, they all make these sounds.
So the way the consonants are all arranged is so close to nature. Nobody made this, it is a gift; or downloaded. TheVedas are called Shrutis because no Rishi wrote it intellectually, so he did not take credit for it. He simply said, I went deep into meditation and I downloaded it; I heard it. So they are called Shrutis; that which was heard in deep meditation.
Sanskrit mantras are what was heard in deep meditation. This is what is said.
Expand all Q&A
Gurudev, what is Anugraha? How and when can we receive it?
Sri Sri: Anugraha means grace. Nothing is possible in life without anugraha. When you receive a lot without making efforts for it, then it is said that you are blessed with anugraha. Do you understand what I am saying?
Usually you work hard at your job and then receive your salary. So you say, ‘I have earned my money’. But if someone gives you a gift, you do not say, ‘I have earned these gifts’. Can something that is earned be called a gift? No. You receive gifts without any efforts. So when you receive a great gift or an award that you feel you did not deserve, then that is called anugraha.
When we receive something that we are not deserving of, or which exceeds our capabilities, then that is what is called Grace. When we see that in our life, we have received far more than what we deserve or are capable of, then gratitude dawns in us. We become thankful, complaints disappear and abundance grows.
A person who is grateful never experiences lack of anything.
Who experiences a lack in life? One who thinks that ‘I am so capable yet I got nothing’.
Once there was a person who wanted to become the Prime Minister. He did not even have the capability to oversee a herd of donkeys, yet he wanted to become the Prime Minister. Now what do you say to such a person? His complaints will never reduce. He will be full of them. Being grateful means all your complaints in life simply disappear.
When you have this feeling in your heart that you have always received more than what you asked for, or more than what you deserved, then deep gratitude arises in you. When there is gratitude, there will never be a lack of anything in life. For such a person, whatever he wishes for will keep getting fulfilled.
Now you might say that this is quite difficult. Yes, it is difficult. It is never easy to achieve something. But when you take one step towards this, you will find that it is very easy.
Gurudev, it is said that speech is of four types: Para, Pashyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari. What is their significance in Sadhana (spiritual practices)?
Sri Sri: This conversation that we are having now is what Vaikhari is. Human beings are capable of interacting only by using this Vaikhari mode of speech. It is said, ‘Chatvaari vaak parimitaa padaani taani vidur braahmaanaa ye manishinaah. Guhaa trini nihitaa neaengayanti turiyam vaacho manushyaa vadanti.’ (Rigveda Samhita (1.164.45)) So human beings speak to each other using the fourth type of speech. The other three: Para, Madhyamaand Pashyanti are used in communications which are at a much deeper level, where no language is used.
A state in which no language is used, yet the entire essence is understood completely is called the Para Vaani.
After death, when a person leaves his body, he also drops his ability to communicate using language. At that state, he simply observes all that happens, and by observation he gains knowledge. This is called Pashyanti (derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Pashya’ meaning to see or observe).
The Madhyama mode of speech is in-between the states of Para and Pashyanti.
Many times it happens that someone is speaking in a language that you do not know, yet you are able to understand what they are trying to say. Madhyama is such a state. For example, when the child is in the mother’s womb, neither has the child seen the mother, and nor has the mother seen the child. Yet they understand each other completely. There is no exchange of language in that state, then too, communication happens that is beyond language. This isMadhyama.
That is why this entire creation is called as the Hiranyagarbha (meaning the Golden Egg or Golden Womb). We are all present inside this Cosmic Womb and do not know what exists outside it.
Just like how the mother knows the child within her womb but the child does not know the mother; in the same way God knows us yet we do not know Him. That is why He is referred to as Agyeya (that which is ever-present but is unknown). You can never know the Divine, but you can experience it. And how can you experience it? By reposing in yourself. So Para Vaani is that speech in which no language is used, and it is also beyond feelings. In Pashyanti we communicate using our feelings also.
When we go into deeper levels of Consciousness, every sense organ of our body becomes capable of performing all functions. That means the functions of all the five senses happen through one organ.
So in such a state, by a single touch you are able to feel, see, taste and also gain complete knowledge about the object.
So every organ becomes capable of performing all the functions of the five senses (see, smell, taste, hear, and feel). So when the Panchendriya (five senses) dissolve and become one (sense organ), then that state is the state of Para-Chetna (pure Consciousness). That is the speech of Para Vaani.
That is why it is said, ‘Jaanat tum hi tum hi ho jaaye’ (when the knower, knowledge and the known all become One). That is why we say, one who is deeply devoted to the Lord becomes the Lord himself. Similarly, one who has attained the knowledge of the Brahman becomes the Brahman. In such a state, the lover, the beloved and the love are not separate from one another. They all dissolve and become one. This is the state of Para Vaani.
When you think of language, then there has to be one who speaks and another who listens. Two are needed for this (meaning a sense of duality). This is where you need Vaikhari. Vaikhari means the diversity that is present all around you. That is why there are so many languages in the world, and not just one. But there is only one Para Vaani, and everything is contained in that.
In Para Vaani, even before a word is formed you have instantly understood the meaning. So words are not needed at all.
All this appears very technical to understand. So when you have a scientific outlook, then it is easy to understand.
Gurudev, neither Mirabai (a great female saint of India and a devotee of Lord Krishna) nor Sant Tukaram (a great saint from Maharashtra in India) had learnt classical music. Yet they are remembered even today for their bhajans (devotional songs). I also do not know how to sing. Please tell me if I will ever get a chance to express my devotion.
Sri Sri: Yes, of course! It is already done.
A flower never asks or waits for a chance for its fragrance to spread. Where the flower is, its fragrance will spread, that is inevitable. So wherever there is love and devotion, it cannot be hidden from anyone.
See, love is something that cannot be hidden. You cannot hide love, nor can you express it fully. Every time we try to express our love, we feel we have not been able to express it fully, and this is the problem of every lover. No matter how much they try to express their love, they find it is incomplete.
Gurudev, we have heard such beautiful knowledge from you over the years. But I am not able to implement it. What should I do?
Sri Sri: You are stuck in making efforts to implement the knowledge. Just relax. You do not need to do anything! Everything is happening by itself.
Monday, June 24, 2013
May 07, 2013
Questions & Answers
Please talk about surrender?
Sri Sri: What is it that you have to surrender? Anyway everything belongs to the Divine already. But when you think that something belongs to you, then I say, ‘Let go’. When you are holding onto something so tight, that is when I say, ‘Hey, relax’. Relaxation is called surrender; it is nothing else.
If something is bothering you in your head, offering that botheration is surrender. It is just like offering aahuti (the act of making prayerful offerings to the sacred fire). So whatever bothers you or troubles you, offer that as aahuti to the Divine.
That which you cannot handle by yourself; that which has become a burden for you; that which you are tired of carrying on your head, just put it down and let go! That is what is meant by surrender.
Otherwise what is there to surrender? Your body belongs to God. Even your mind belongs to God. Everything belongs to God. But you think it belongs to you. So just let go, relax and smile. Letting go, relaxing and smiling is what the meaning of surrender is.
In Buddhism, it is said ‘Buddham Sharanam Gachhami’, which means whatever burdens you cannot handle by yourself, offer it to Lord Buddha, or offer it to God, or offer it to the Guru, or offer it to anyone who is dear to you. This is for you to feel that there is someone who belongs to you and is very dear to you, and you are very dear to them.
I will give you an example.
A child, when it knows that mother is at home, it feels so comfortable. The child will roam about here and there and play happily. But when the child does not see the mother, and mother has gone somewhere, then it starts looking for her and starts crying.
Though nowadays the children actually become happy when they find that mother is not around! (Laughter) Then they can do even more mischief. But this happens when the children grow a little older.
Small children often keep a watch to see whether mother is around, isn’t it so? One eye will be on the mother. This is because the child feels comforted to know, there is someone for me, who is sitting there.
Nowadays parents leave their children sitting in front of the television (to distract the children so that they do not bother the parents). This is very harmful. Children should not watch television because it is very taxing to their brain.
Often parents put on some cartoon show on the TV and make their children watch. This is not good because it causes so many impressions to be formed on the child’s mind, that the child becomes so dull. Many children are not able to count, and develop disorders like the Attention Deficiency Syndrome. It is common in America today.
What is Prana? I only know that it is subtler than the breath. Has science discovered something in this field? Are there other dimensions of our life that science also agrees to?
Sri Sri: : Yes.
I was recently reading this book called The Proof of Heaven, written by a neurologist. He writes about his experiences when he went into coma. He died clinically and had an out of body experience, and so he has written about his experience, and it is exactly what we have been saying.
He saw a big light and said that the name of this light is Om. He has no idea of Indian spirituality, but out of his own experience he said, it is known by a sound called Om. And it is so peaceful and so loving.
He describes exactly what the Gita says, ‘Urdhva-mulam adhah-sakham’. The roots are above and the branches are below (to signify that your origin is the Divinity; the consciousness. That is your roots).
He had this experience of going into the roots, and then going beyond the roots into the dark space, and then beyond the dark space into the Hiranyagarbha (the source of the creation of the Universe, or the manifested cosmos in Indian philosophy), what has been said in the Upanishads to be The Golden Egg; it is like a womb of shining gold.
People who have NDEs (Near Death Experiences), they have all experienced what has been said by people in this country for thousands of years. This is so interesting.
Also, the author is an atheist; he never believed in any religion or anything. He was a hard core scientist, and the book talks about how he found through his experience that the other world is so much more real than this one that we see.
This is what we have heard in all the Darshanas (Hindu philosophy is traditionally divided into six schools of thought, or Darshanas, which accept the Vedas as supreme revealed scriptures). It begins like that.
See, the knowledge that we gain through the five senses is inferior to the knowledge that we gain through the intellect. You see the sun setting and the sun rising, but the intellect knows that the sun is neither setting, nor rising.
So like this, knowledge of the senses is inferior to the knowledge of the intellect. But knowledge of something beyond the intellect; intuitive knowledge, knowledge from the pure consciousness is even superior to intellectual knowledge.
Intellectual knowledge can be proved and disproved, but a discovery which is beyond the intellectual calculation is something very different.
Dear Gurudev, in one of the knowledge sheets you have mentioned, the Guru is not a person but a presence. How do I see my Guru as a presence and not as a person?
Sri Sri: Every human being, what are they, the body or the mind? If they are the body, then when the spirit is gone, why it is that no one cares for the body. It is the spirit that we value. Try to see the spirit as separate from the body.
What is subtle ego, and how does one overcome it?
Sri Sri: Subtle ego is when you have the feeling that ‘I have no ego’. When you feel that ‘I am the most down-to-earth and humble person alive’, then that is the subtle ego.
See, if you find that there is some ego in you, never mind, just keep it in your pocket. If it is there, let it be there. It is alright. Why do you want to get rid of it?
If you try to get rid of the ego, then that will become another big problem for you. Because then you will say, ‘See, I have overcome my ego!’ Then that is the subtle ego.
You cannot overcome ego by destroying it. Just be natural. Ego dissolves in the naturalness of your being.
Gurudev, why do you suggest a Sharnagat (one who has surrendered everything and taken refuge in the Divine) to take a Sankalpa (firm resolve to take action)? How is this possible? We don’t need anything except you. Then why take a Sankalpa at all?
Sri Sri: We never compel anyone to take up a Sankalpa. And you are never asked to take a Sankalpa for small things. Your small wishes and desires anyway get fulfilled, is it not?
Everything does happen anyway. So when things are happening, instead of keeping small ambitions, you should aspire for something bigger. You should think for the nation and think of the betterment of the world. This is what it is.
Usually you just have small little desires for yourself. You should take up a bigger Sankalpa, one that is beneficial for everyone. This is what is said in the Sanatan Dharma (another name for Hinduism from the ancient days), ‘Tanme Manah Shiva Sankalpa Mastu’, which means, may my mind always have a Sankalpa that is beneficial for everyone.
Gurudev, you often say that ‘Sahaj miley avinashi’ (meaning: By being natural, one can effortlessly attain the Divine). Along with being natural, we also need a broad vision. How do we broaden our vision of life?
Sri Sri: You have desire to know more, that itself is good enough.
Gurudev, is it necessary for two people to think alike to fall in love? Can there not be love along with differences of opinion?
Sri Sri: See, you have something else on your mind, and you are asking something else. If I give you an answer, you will use that answer in some other way. I am not going to get caught into these traps. If you are clever, even I am clever.
I will share an incident with you.
Once I was at Paris airport and was passing through airport security. There were a lot of people seeing me off, some 200-300 people. Now this one lady came; she must have been in her late 60’s. She came to me and showed me a ring on her finger, and asked me, ‘Is this necessary?’ I just saw the ring with a stone on it and said, ‘No, it is not necessary’. And then I left for New York.
Two days later her husband called me and asked me, ‘Gurudev, did you ask my wife to divorce me?’
I said, ‘No’.
The man was around 70 years, and the two had been married for around 40 years. Both of them are devotees. He said, ‘Gurudev, I know you will never say that, but my wife has sent me divorce papers, because you have said that there is no need to be married’.
Then I asked him, ‘Let me talk to you wife.’
She said, ‘Gurudev, I showed you my wedding ring and asked you, ‘Is it necessary?’ You said ‘no’.
So after that incident, even I have become very clever and cautious of what I say! (Laughter)
I will not just say anything in answer to your question, otherwise your mind will start thinking all sorts of things. Like in the story, the woman wanted to divorce the husband, but asked me for my consent by showing me her ring.
Nowadays, people wear all kinds of stones. I tell you, you don’t have to believe so much in stones and all that. More powerful than any stone is your consciousness. Do not give so much important to stones. You are much more powerful than any stone.
Gurudev, you have given me more than what I deserve. I feel that whatever I do for you, it is nothing. It is my wish that you demand something from me.
Sri Sri: Yes, you be happy and make everybody happy. There is so much work you can do in this world. Spread knowledge, spread smiles and spread happiness. This knowledge is so beautiful and so relevant. See to it that this knowledge reaches many more people.