Thursday, February 27, 2014
A True Act Of Service
So many people were hesitating to sing freely when the Satsang was going on. Satsang means to be able to sing openly and freely with all your heart. One who is not shy is one who truly attains God. (Laughter)
There are two things in life for which you must not hesitate: one is singing, and the other is having food! (Laughter) If you shy away or hesitate from either of these two, you will be at a loss. But you must hesitate from getting angry, from cursing others, or criticizing them. This is what our Indian culture and tradition says.
The secret of life is this: do what you say and say only what you do.
There are three things that we must necessarily imbibe in our life, and these three things are what I would emphasize upon: we must have purity in our hearts, clarity in our mind, and spontaneity in our action. Our thoughts must be clear and sharp. We must not have any hesitation in doing what we have to do; think carefully and intelligently and then act. When our heart and mind are pure, then everything starts happening in our favour. God is within us, not anywhere outside.
(Devotees in the audience offer a turban, flowers and fruits to Gurudev, out of which Gurudev accepts the turban but asks the flowers and fruits to be given back to the devotees)
Do not bring me flowers. If you offer flowers to me, then I will think that you are telling me, ‘Gurudev, you have not blossomed fully’. If you want to convey this message to me, then give me flowers.
Also, do not bring me sweets and fruits, because that would mean you are trying to say, ‘Gurudev, you should become sweeter’. I am already sweet, isn’t it?
I want you all to be happy, and keep smiling. I want love to be kindled in everyone’s hearts. This is what I want for every one of you. Have love for everybody around you, and do not have any hatred or ill-will against anyone. This is what our Indian culture is really all about.
It is all about the unique art of being able to accept and embrace everyone with all our heart. India is the one and only place where this unique art, this unique quality of being able to embrace everyone lovingly took birth. This is the great quality of our culture. Do not let it slip out of your hands. Do we not have to save and secure our cultural heritage? How many of you here agree with me? Raise your hands. (Many in the audience raise their hands)
Today by the Grace of God, the tradition of having Satsang and meditation has reached every corner of the Earth. I had been to a place near the North Pole where there is no sunrise for nearly two months in a year. I went there in November and casually asked a person, ‘When will the sun rise?’ He replied, ‘Gurudev, the next sunrise will be in February’.
But even in such a place, people were singing bhajans and doing kirtan (another word for Satsang).
Similarly, when I went to a place very close to the South Pole called Tierra del Fuego. The people there were singing in Satsangs, doing Sudarshan Kriya and meditating. They met me and said, ‘Dear Gurudev, our lives have been totally transformed. We have experienced such a great change in our lives ever since we started doing the Sudarshan Kriya and meditation. This is such a wonderful thing’.
So we have to keep our hearts pure, and have clarity and sharpness in our mind. This is why we practice Yoga and meditation, so that the quality of our life improves and whatever we wish begins to happen. And it will happen. That power is within us.
God will always give us what we need. There might be a slight delay sometimes, but you will get what you need for sure. This is the kind of faith you must have. Then whenever you take any Sankalpa in your heart, it will surely get fulfilled. But when would that happen? That can happen when there is purity in your heart, and your life is filled with devotion, and when we are ready to act with awareness.
We always keep doing for our own selves, but we must also do something for others around us. That is when good merits come to us in life.
We have such a glorious heritage in this country. Look at all the saints that have been in Maharashtra. They have such beautiful names. This is a land of saints, and it is from here that a wave of transformation will rise to cover the entire country. That wave will help remove immorality and negativity, and re-establish Dharma in our society once again. It will help bring corruption and malpractices to an end. People will feel love for each other once again and there will be no hatred or negativity. Such a positive environment will be created in our country once again, and it is already happening. So I feel that such a huge wave of transformation is going to rise from Maharashtra.
We need to enhance our paatrata (meaning the capacity to receive Grace or blessings). And that can happen when we engage in Seva (service).
Service to God and towards your country are two sides of the same coin. We need to do something for our country today. How many people here are ready for this? Raise your hands (Many in the audience raise their hands enthusiastically).
Every day we must contribute one hour for the country, meaning that we contribute seven hours in a week for the nation, and for the society. When we serve the society and the nation, our work and needs will start getting fulfilled automatically. So this is very important.
One also needs to relax, meditate and sit in silence for a little while every day. We all need to imbibe this art. Once in a week you all should gather together and sing bhajans. You should meditate in groups, and then you will see how everyone’s energy increases. When our energy increases, all our wishes and desires get fulfilled, and we easily get cured of any diseases or ailments.
Recently, a scientist from the University of Norway published a research paper on this. In the paper, he explained that by practicing Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya and meditation, our genes get transformed. This is a very remarkable finding. You can go and check this out on the website for yourself.
The importance given to blessings and meditation since times immemorial in this country has a very scientific basis, and is not based on false beliefs or superstitions. Doing regular Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya and meditation brings so much happiness in your life.
I see that depression is spreading like a disease in so many places, due to which there are many suicides also happening. When people come to the path of spirituality and get engaged in service for the nation, then there will be no more depression anywhere. This is what I want – an undying smile on the face of every person in this country, whether they are young or old. It used to be so in the earlier days.
Four things are very necessary in our life – Bhakti (devotion), Shakti (power or strength), Yukti (intelligent action) andMukti (freedom or liberation).
India has been a free land and always will be. When people act intelligently, and have faith in themselves, then the country grows stronger and progresses.
In the ancient days, India was a land free of corruption, injustice, and malpractices. Today we see that India is surrounded by fire (troubles or difficulties) from all sides, whether it is from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal or Sri Lanka. We are so strong yet we are surrounded from all sides by challenges. It is like how a peacefully sleeping lion is constantly troubled by the little creatures in the forest.
Even a small country like Maldives which has a population of just 3.5 lakhs does not heed to what India says, and continues to insult our country. Just look at where we were once upon a time, and where we have landed up today. At the international level, we will have to reconstruct a positive and strong image of our country once again.
We need to strengthen our country from within. We should not allow our country to become like some poorly cooked mixed vegetable dish!
People are getting caught up in their personal greed and are pulling each other down. This should not happen. We must all dream a vision of a strong and self-reliant India. How many of you believe this? (Many raise hands in the audience)
You all should brainstorm on what we need to do to achieve this. One thing that needs to be done is there should be 100% voting during the elections in our country. Everyone should vote. We do not have any other power except our vote. We should cast it wisely and judiciously.
All of you should come together and take up some service project. How many doctors are present here today? I want all the doctors here today to take a sincere pledge – that in the year 2014, you all will conduct at least three free medical camps. The government alone cannot do everything for us. We all have to unite together and work for everyone’s betterment, only then will the change start to happen. Otherwise what we usually do is keep blaming one person or the other for the poor state of affairs in the country. You should think strongly about what it is that you can do for the country.
The Art of Living Foundation centres here will help you all in every way possible to set up the medical camps. Our teachers will assist you and tell you the places where these camps can be set up. All you have to do is be there and spare some of your time; say on one Sunday of the month.
I would also want to make an appeal to all the lawyers present here to take up three free legal cases. Take up three cases for people who are poor and who are waiting for a long time to get justice.
I would urge all the school teachers present here to teach three, or even ten poor children for free. Will you all teach them? Give those children free tuition. Help them bring out their talents and skills.
Seva does not just mean going and distributing free bread among the poor. It also means enabling a person to become self-reliant to stand on his own feet. This is what is important. Educate the people to not get carried away with the petty offers or false temptations made by those who mislead them for their own personal gains – like they will be given food, money, free television sets, etc. Tell them to pay attention to programs that help them become self-reliant and stand on their own feet, rather than those in which they are misled by such petty and false offers.
Tell them that if someone offers them money, they should take the money but not join hands with the wrong people. It is their own hard earned money with which those people are giving back them and cheating them with! (Laughter)
We need to get rid of corruption and criminalization. We are the foremost country of the world in spirituality and we have the power to bring about waves of happiness for the entire world. I strongly believe that if all the youth today unite and walk together for the cause of the country, we can bring about the change that we dream for India in just three to five years.
Today, I am going to give all of you a mantra to chant. Will you all recite it?
Before every meal that you have, just chant ‘Annadaata sukhi bhava’ (May the giver of this food be blessed with peace and happiness).
I want that Vidarbha becomes green once again, just like it used to be 200-300 years back. For this, we all will have to work together. Both prayer and action will have to go hand in hand to achieve this. Change will not happen by just sitting there and praying. Neither will it happen by just working tirelessly. Both need to happen together. When you combine prayer with proper action, then you will see that Vidarbha will rise once again, and there will be a green revolution here.
In no other country of the world, other than India, are cows being slaughtered in such large numbers and their beef being sold for consumption. Today, we are exporting 650 lakh tonnes of beef from India. In fact one even gets subsidy from the government for this. Such a situation has arisen only recently in the last 10-15 years.
The cattle wealth of country is steadily disappearing day by day. We should not allow this to happen. We must safeguard and secure the Indian cow by every means possible.
A modern day country like Brazil is importing Indian cows for milk, because they have found that the quality of the (Indian) cow’s milk is equivalent to that of a mother’s milk. So we have to rescue our cows. Should we not do this?
We have to save the cattle wealth of our country, otherwise a day may come when the word milk will only be seen in a dictionary. How many of you agree to this? We must all take this pledge that - whichever government comes to power, we will force it to save the cattle wealth and put an end to cow slaughter, and to the export of beef. Do you all agree?
From the time of our independence, today our cattle wealth has reduced to just one-fifth of what it was back then. We have to increase our cattle wealth.
Today, our country is going through a crisis. There is so much inflation everywhere, and our industrial growth has fallen very badly, to -2%. First we have to improve and strengthen our economy. We all must rise and work together. Let us all strive to bring about a new spirit of devotion, knowledge and service. Will you all promise me this? How many of you will take this promise?
See, whatever personal troubles and difficulties you have, give them all to me. You be happy and only worry about the country. Leave your little worries aside and work for the country.
I want the youth of our country to take trainings for different skills and get employed. No one should be unemployed. There are so many employment opportunities in our country. They should all actively pursue these opportunities.