Do not put garbage in the jewel box

Q: Is there life after death? They say there are seven births. Are the seven births clubbed with the human birth or after human birth?

Guruji : There is life after death. We will have to come back. We shall keep coming back. There is nothing like seven, it can be any number.


I tell you humiliation is very good. It is humiliation which expands your capacity; it makes your vessel bigger. It is humiliation that makes the I dissolve, makes the ego go away, and you become simply like a child. Do you know, you can never humiliate a child because it is hollow and empty! But when we become somebody, when we hold on to some idea about ourselves then we feel that, ‘Oh it is a humiliation.’


Human life is worth the celebration. It is worth getting rid of all these things that we put in ourselves. What we do is put garbage in the jewel box. It is not the jewel box that is in the garbage can, but we are putting garbage in the jewel box. We simply have to remove it. Just realize that you are pure love. It is because we are conditioned to think that we have sinned and are sinners, that we are so hard on ourselves. And since we are so hard on ourselves, we don’t recognise the beautiful qualities, and the gifts, that we already posses. Each and every one of us have come to this beautiful planet with abundance of beautiful qualities; somehow we simply don’t recognize it.


“Everyone wants what they can’t have. But if you begin to love what you have, you won’t need anything else.”


 “Stop worrying about pleasing others so much & do more of what makes you happy.”

Om Namah Shivay

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Becoming Defenseless

Whenever a boundary is broken, it creates some fear. The fear creates dislike. This dislike puts us back in the boundary. And to keep yourself in the boundary, you put forth defences. When you try to defend your position, it is such a stress, isn’t it? And every time you try to defend your position it makes you more and more weak.

On the path, people even use the Knowledge as a defence against criticism! Don’t use Knowledge as a defence.

The Knowledge is like an umbrella for you – a shelter, not a weapon. Of course, sometimes “Don’t use Knowledge as a weapon” becomes an excuse not to be in Knowledge! 

I say, drop all your defences. Anybody can make a mistake. Even you!

Don’t defend your mistakes. Just accept them and move on. When you are totally defenseless, that’s when you’ll be strong.


Just have this deep faith that only the best will happen for you. So what if right now there are some difficult times to face? Face them with courage and a smile.


Q: When should one stop engaging with the world and be free completely?

Guruji : While engaging in the world you should feel the freedom.

When you sit for meditation that is when you should completely disengage from the world. And when you come back to activity, then you should have keen awareness. Develop that mindfulness and keen awareness.


Wherever wisdom is coming from, we should honor and appreciate it. If we honor the wisdom, there cannot be extremism, fanaticism and terrorism


Q: Is it necessary to match horoscopes for a good marriage?

Guruji : Check if the horoscopes are correct or not. Sometimes they are manipulated to suit someone’s needs. If you like someone in all other aspects, and everything seems okay, then it’s fine, you should go ahead and marry the person.

Om Namah Shivay

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Vasistha: In the Creator there is no memory of the past since he had no previous karma. He does not even have a physical body; the unborn is of spiritual substance. Mortal beings have two bodies, as it were, one physical and the other spiritual, but the unborn Creator has only the spiritual, since the cause that gives rise to the physical does not exist in him.

He was not created, but he is the Creator of all beings. Surely, the created (like a bracelet) is of the same substance as that of which it was created (gold). The Creator’s thought being the cause of this manifold creation and the Creator himself having no physical body, the creation, too, is truly of the nature of thought, without materiality.

A throbbing arose in the Creator whose thought had spread out as the universe. This throb brought into being the subtle body (made of intelligence) of all beings. Made only of thought, all these beings only appeared to be, though they felt that that appearance was real. However, this appearance thus imagined to be real, produced realistic results or consequences, even as sexual enjoyment in a dream does.

Similarly, even the Creator (the holy man of the story) though he has no body, appears to have a body. The Creator is also of a dual nature: consciousness and thought. Consciousness is pure, thought is subject to confusion. Hence, he appears to come into being (arise), though he does not so arise. He is the intelligence that supports the entire universe, and every thought that arises in that intelligence gives rise to a form.

Though all these forms are of the nature of pure intelligence, on account of self-forgetfulness of this, and of the thought of physical forms, they freeze into the physical forms even as goblins though formless are seen to have forms on account of the perceiver’s delusion.

The Creator, however, is not subject to such delusion. Hence, he is always of a spiritual nature, not materialistic. The Creator is spiritual; and even so, his creation, too, is in reality spiritual in essence.

This creation is causeless. Hence, it is essentially spiritual even as the supreme being, Brahman, is. The materiality of the creation is like the castle in the air, an illusory projection of one’s own mind – imaginary.

The Creator is the mind; mind or pure intelligence is his body. Thought is inherent in the mind. The object of perception is inherent in the perceiver. Who has ever discovered a distinction between the two?

Om Namah Shivay

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You don’t need a lot of money to lead a rich life

Don’t compare yourself with anybody, this is also important. ‘Oh, that person can sing but I cannot sing’; ‘That person is intelligent but I am not’, no! You have everything inside you. At different times different things will come out, just have patience.


It’s nice to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s also important to make sure you haven’t lost track of the things that money can’t buy.


You don’t need a lot of money to lead a rich life. Good friends and a loving family are worth their weight in gold.


If a tense person is around you will find tension. Anybody who is around a tense person will also feel tensed. But a person who meditates, he spreads his influence around him, it is more pleasing more clam more loving.


“At the end of the day, you will not remember the person with the beautiful face, but you will remember the person with the most beautiful heart and soul.”


“Love someone not because they give you what you need but because they give you feelings you never thought you needed.”

Om Namah Shivay

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Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara-2

* To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.

* My inspiration is Robert Browning’s poem “Abt Vogler.” My father used to read it to me. It encourages us to make big art, not small scribbles. It says to try to draw a circle so huge that there is no way we can finish it while we are alive. All we see is an arch; the rest is beyond our vision but it is there in the distance.

* Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it. If a child has a toothache, and you start playing a game together, he or she immediately forgets the pain. Hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients: We all want to have fun. At St. Luke’s we have music and animal therapies, and art classes.

* Don’t be crazy about amassing material things.Remember: You don’t know when your number is up, and you can’t take it with you to the next place.

* Hospitals must be designed and prepared for major disasters, and they must accept every patient who appears at their doors. We designed St. Luke’s so we can operate anywhere: in the basement, in the corridors, in the chapel. Most people thought I was crazy to prepare for a catastrophe, but on March 20, 1995, I was unfortunately proven right when members of the Aum Shinrikyu religious cult launched a terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway. We accepted 740 victims and in two hours figured out that it was sarin gas that had hit them. Sadly we lost one person, but we saved 739 lives.

* Science alone can’t cure or help people. Science lumps us all together, but illness is individual. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to their hearts. To know the illness and help people, we need liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones.

* Life is filled with incidents. On March 31, 1970, when I was 59 years old, I boarded the Yodogo, a flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and as Mount Fuji came into sight, the plane was hijacked by the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. I spent the next four days handcuffed to my seat in 40-degree heat. As a doctor, I looked at it all as an experiment and was amazed at how the body slowed down in a crisis.

* Find a role model and aim to achieve even more than they could ever do. My father went to the United States in 1900 to study at Duke University in North Carolina. He was a pioneer and one of my heroes. Later I found a few more life guides, and when I am stuck, I ask myself how they would deal with the problem.

* It’s wonderful to live long. Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one’s family and to achieve one’s goals. But in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.

Om Namah Shivay

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To be held up at any stage is an obstacle to further progress – it simply means one has stopped advancing.

While engaging in meditation, one should think of oneself as a purely spiritual being (cinmayi), as Self-luminous, poised in the Bliss of the Self (atmarama), and in accordance with the Guru’s instructions, try to concentrate on one’s Ista.

The young man previously mentioned (the one who used to have visions) was intelligent, and therefore able to understand this sort of reasoning. As a result, the spectacular experiences ceased, and he now attends to his meditation and other spiritual exercises in a very quiet, unobtrusive manner.

Later, when the conversation again reverted to dhyana and asana, SRI MA said:

Look, if you spend hour after hour sitting in a certain posture, if you become absorbed while in that pose and are unable to meditate in any other, it shows that you are deriving enjoyment from the posture; this also constitutes an obstacle.

When one first starts practising japa and meditation, it is of course right to try and continue in the same position for as long as possible. But as one approaches perfection in these practices, the question as to how long one has remained in one posture does not arise; at any time and in any position – lying, sitting, standing, or leaning over to one side, as the case may be – one can no longer be deterred by any-thing from the contemplation of ones Ideal or the Beloved.

The first sign of progress comes when one feels ill at ease in anything but a meditative pose.

Nothing external interests one; the only thing that seems attractive, is to be seated in one’s favourite posture as long as possible and to contemplate the Supreme Object of one’s worship, plunged in a deep inner joy.

This marks the beginning of single-mindedness, and hence is a step in the right direction.

Yet, here great prominence is given to posture.

If one stays in that position as long as the inclination lasts – confident that the Beloved can never do one harm – and if one is able to remain fixed in it, then the posture becomes of overwhelming importance.

This only shows that one is nearing perfection in the practice of asana. Standing, sitting, walking in fact, any gesture taken up by the body is called an asana. It corresponds to the rhythm and the vibration of body and mind at any particular moment. Some aspirants can meditate only if seated in the pose indicated by the Guru or formulated in the sastras, and not otherwise.

This is the way to proficiency in meditation. On the other hand, someone may begin his practice while sitting in any ordinary position; nevertheless, as soon as the state of japa or dhyana has been reached, the body will spontaneously take up the most appropriate position, after the manner that a hiccup happens involuntarily. As one’s meditation grows more and more intense, the postures will of themselves correspondingly gain in perfection. When a little air is pumped into a tyre, the tyre will be flabby; but when it is filled to capacity, it remains completely stable in its own natural shape. Likewise, when real meditation has been attained, the body feels light and free, and on rising after meditation there is no fatigue of any kind, no pain, numbness or stiffness in one’s limbs.

Om Namah Shivay

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How do I identify that what I am doing is wrong (adharma)?

There is no such thing as big seva (service) or small seva. The fruits of both are the same. Do service as much as you are capable of. Put all your energy into it. Whatever service you do within your capabilities will bear good result. The feeling, the intention behind every seva is important.


Q: Devotees who visit the Tirupati temple donate their hair as offering at the shrine. Also, in India there is a tradition of shaving off one’s head when a dear one passes away. Why is this so, and what does shaving off one’s head have to do with our mind and our actions?

Guruji : This is more of a conventional norm that has become a tradition over the years. It is not prescribed as mandatory by our scriptures anywhere. There are two aspects to any ritual in India. One is that prescribed as a norm or a social convention, the other is that which is mentioned and prescribed elaborately in our scriptures, which becomes tradition and for which the scriptures also narrate the benefits of practicing that particular ritual or practice.

For example, many people wear collared T-shirts. Why is the collar there and what is its purpose? In winters, in the foreign countries, people fold the collar up and protect themselves from the cold, and in the summers, people loosen the collar so they feel a little cool.

The English began this, and slowly everyone else adopted the same style. So it is just a custom, that’s all. There is nothing more to it.


Q: How do I identify that what I am doing is wrong (adharma)?

Guruji : There is something that pricks you, ‘Oh no, I should not be doing this’. That is adharma.


Q: Thousands of volunteers worked hard to spread voter awareness in the country. So what project to pick up now?

Guruji : The Happiness Program. We all should create waves of happiness. You know, the sign of a good friend is that after you sit with your friend, you feel uplifted when you leave the friend. Your problems should appear very small. Then that is a good friend.

If you go and sit with somebody, talk to them for half an hour, tell them your problem and when you come out of there, you feel heavy and feel your problem has become much bigger than what you thought, then that is not a good friend.


Know the reason of your unhappiness. If you remove it, then there will be happiness. Meditate and you will find out.

Om Namah Shivay

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