Are you and me the same?

Q: Are you and me the same? Please explain!

Guruji: The subtler one goes, one finds the unity. But in the gross, this body is different and that body is different; this body’s needs are different and that body’s needs are different.

On the physical level if you see, we are not same at all. You have long hair and I have a little less hair. You have different tendencies and I have different tendencies. In this way, on the physical level, we are all unique. We are not at all the same. If we were the same, both our thumb prints would work on an iPhone, but that does not happen. On my iPhone, only my thumb print will work, nobody else’s thumb will work.

So, on the physical level, each one of us is different, and we cannot be the same. It is impossible to be the same. But when you go deeper and deeper (subtler and subtler), to the level of the Self, we are all the same because there is only one big life force that is there in the Universe.

The whole Universe is one organism. Just think about it: your body has millions of cells, and they all have their life cycle. Everyday there are dead cells coming out of your body and new cells are being born, but still you are one person, isn’t it? In the same way, the whole Universe is one organism (body) and each one of us is like a cell; everyday many are being born and many are dying. So the whole Universe is one organism, and that one organism is called Brahman.

Brahman is the whole Universe as a living entity. It is not a she or a he, or it could be both. Just like life force, is it a he or a she? Is electricity a he or a she? It is both and neither.

An embryo, is it a he or a she before it manifests? It is just an embryo. Like that the whole Universe is one life force, and in that sense, we are all the same.

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Raksha Bandhan

This full moon is dedicated to the seers – the Rishis. It is also called the Raksha Bandhan. Bandhan means bondage, Raksha means protection. A bondage that protects you. Your bondage to the knowledge, to the master, to the truth, to the self, all save you. A rope can be tied to either protect or strangle you. The small mind and mundane things can strangle you. The big mind or knowledge saves you. Raksha Bandhan is that bondage that saves you.

You are bound by your bondage to the Satsang. Your bondage to the master, to the truth, to the ancient knowledge of the rishis, and that is your saviour.

Bandhan is bonding and bonding is essential in life. Let the bonding be divine in a life free from bondage.

Om Namah Shivay

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DASHAVATARS OF LORD VISHNU-2

⇒ Krishna Avatar – Lord Vishnu in the form of a Cowherd’s Boy
The eighth avatar, Krishna, along with his brother Balarama, appeared in the Dwaparyuga to kill the demon king, Kansa. Lord Krishna conveyed the message of love and humanity to the world. Krishna told the epic poem Bhagavad Gita to the warrior Arjuna ,in which he acclaimed : ”Whenever Dharma, or the situation of law and order, is endangered on this world, I incarnate onto this world to re-establish Dharma, law and order, and to protect the Sadhus or saints and to destroy the evil elements of the society.”

⇒ Buddha Avatar – Lord Vishnu in the Form of Buddha
The ninth avatar, Mahavira Buddha, appeared in the Kalyuga, to teach the lesson of following a middle path in life. ”Buddha” means ‘the enlightened one’. He taught that all sorrow comes from attachments and desires, so it’s better to curb all attachments in order to remain happy.

⇒ Kalki Avatar – Lord Vishnu on Horse
The tenth Avatar, Kalki, (“Eternity”, or “time”, or “The Destroyer of foulness”), is yet to appear on the earth. And it is expected to appear at the end of Kali Yuga, the time period in which we currently exist, which will end in the year 428899 CE.

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Q: Guruji, Please give your special message for ‘Christmas’.

Guruji: The Christmas tree is pointing upwards and its branches grow on all sides, and we all have that capacity to blossom to the fullest of the human potential. At the time of year when no tree bears anything, the Christmas tree has many gifts to offer and it is evergreen throughout the year. A Christmas tree bears the gifts and the lights not for itself, but for all. The gifts you are carrying in your life are for others. You offer the gift of service to anyone one in need, and you will wonder how your needs are being taken care of!

In the Bible, Jesus said, ‘Unless you become like a child, you cannot get into the kingdom of heaven.’ The whole world is one family, so it is necessary that we live with naturalness and simplicity; only then life blossoms. The second thing is, the wall that we erect between ourselves and others needs to be demolished. Drop all inhibitions between you and others. From your side you drop inhibitions. Go on and shake hands. This is what kids do. However, as we grow up, we tend to lose that. We create a wall between us. We bring formalities between us and forget our naturalness.

All those who are grown up physically, but want to be a child again, or think you are one, just go for it! Don’t worry about what others think about you. If the world calls us crazy, let them say, but you be happy. Be in the present and be natural. What is most important in the world is innocence along with intelligence. The innocence of an ignorant person has no value. Similarly the crookedness of an intelligent person has no value. What is most valuable is innocence and intelligence. Innocence and intelligence should go together.

Om Namah Shivay

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Holi – Bright Colours

Q: Please tell us about “Holi”.

Guruji: The ‘Holi’ festival is a very fun-filled and popular occasion in India. People play holi with Chandan and colored water. This festival is celebrated around early March each year. People believe that the bright colors represent energy, life and joy. Huge bonfires are also burnt in the evening and people worship the fire.

There is a famous story associated with the festival:
An asura king, Hiranyakashyap, wanted everyone to worship him. But his son Prahalad was a devotee of Lord Narayana, the king’s sworn enemy. Angry, the king wanted Holika, his sister to get rid of Prahalad. Empowered to withstand fire;
Holika sat on a burning pyre holding Prahalad on her lap. But it was Holika who was burnt, Prahalad came out unharmed. Hiranyakashyap symbolizes one who is gross. Prahalad embodies innocence, faith and bliss/joy. The spirit cannot be confined to love material only. Hiranyakashyap wanted all the joy to come from the material world. It did not happen that way. The individual jivatma cannot be bound to the material forever. It’s natural to eventually move towards Narayana, one’s higher self. Holika stands for the past burdens that try to burn Prahalad’s innocence. But Prahlad, so deeply rooted in Narayana Bhakthi could burn all past impressions (sanskaras) and joy springs up with new colors. Life becomes a celebration. Burning the past, you gear up for a new beginning. Your emotions, like fire, burn you. But when there is a fountain of colors, they add charm to your life. In ignorance, emotions are a bother; in knowledge, the same emotions add colors.
Each emotion is associated with a color – Anger with red, jealousy with green, vibrancy and happiness with yellow, love with pink, vastness with blue, peace with white, sacrifice with saffron and knowledge with violet.
Lift Your Spirit with Joy of Color. Knowing the essence of the festival, enjoy the day with Wisdom.

Om Namah Shivay

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Akshya Tritiya

Q: Tell us about ‘Akshya Tritiya’. I was wondering if this day happens every year?

Guruji: Today is celebrated as a very auspicious day in India. It’s called Akshaya Tritiya. It is related with many stories. One of the stories is that, on this day the Ganges (a holy river in India) came to Earth to purify mankind.
It is every year. Akshaya Tritiya is the third day after the new moon. Fifth day after the new moon is when Adi Shankaracharya was born.  The main knowledge of Adi Shankara is only one thing, everything is perishable. Thoughts come and go, feelings come and go. One day everything disappears. But you are the light that stays forever. It is also associated with two instances of Lord Krishna.
What happened is, once the five Pandavas, (the five brothers from the Mahabharata epic) and their wife were in exile. At that time a saint called and said, ‘I am going to have food with you.’ When the message came, they had no food. They had already eaten and had kept their pots away. The lady, Draupadi (the wife of the 5 Pandavas) prayed to Lord Krishna. At the same time, Krishna came to their house and said, ‘Oh I am very hungry.’ When he came in, he saw that there was only one grain of rice stuck to the pot. He picked that one grain of rice and ate it, and turned the pot into an Akshaya Patra. Akshaya Patra means that which never finishes.
When the saint came with 400 people, Draupadi could feed all of them  from the same pot. The more she took from the pot, the more would come from it. It would never go down. So it is a common expression in India to say, ‘This is an akshaya patra’, which means it always keeps giving.
The other story is, Krishna had a friend who was very poor. His name was Sudhama. Sudhama means a good place, or a very benevolent place. So, one day his wife said, ‘We are living in such poverty and Krishna is so rich. Why don’t you go and get something from him. He is such a close friend.’ Sudhama said, ‘Okay, I’ll go, but I can’t go to a friend empty handed. I have to take something’. So his wife packed three handful of puffed rice in a scarf and gave it to him. It is like rice crispies.
When Sudhama goes to Krishna and Krishna welcomes him, and washes his feet. The story goes that they were such good friends and in the friendship there was so much love that Sudhama forgets to give the rice to Krishna and also forgets to ask him for anything. He came to ask him for a favor but he could not ask him anything because he was so overwhelmed with love. They were so close that he forgot to ask. He could not ask. He could not even speak.
When he was about to leave, Krishna asked, ‘Hey, you have brought me something? Give it to me. I know your wife has sent something. Why are you not giving it to me. Come on, give it.’
Krishna took the rice and he ate one handful, then he ate the second handful, by that time his wife Rukmini came and said, ‘I want to take the third one’. While all this was happening, Sudhama left without asking him for anything. When he reached home, he found his house flooded with riches and gold. That’s the story.
So, people today buy gold and they gift each other. Today if you get anything, it will always grow. You gift, or you buy, it all grows. That is the belief. Like that there are some more stories also. But right now this is good enough.

Om Namah Shivay

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Janmashtami: A New Perspective

Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. Ashtami is significant as it indicates a perfect balance between the seen and the unseen aspects of reality; the visible material world and the invisible spiritual realm.

Krishna’s birth on Ashtami signifies his mastery of both the spiritual and material worlds. He is a great teacher and a spiritual inspiration as well as the consummate politician. On one hand, he is Yogeshwara (the Lord of Yogas — the state to which every yogi aspires) while on the other, he is a mischievous thief.

The unique quality of Krishna is that he is at once more pious than the saints and yet a thorough mischief-monger! His behaviour is a perfect balance of the extremes — perhaps this is why the personality of Krishna is so difficult to fathom. The avdhoot is oblivious to the world outside and a materialistic person, a politician or a king is oblivious to the spiritual world. But Krishna is both Dwarkadheesh and Yogeshwar.

Krishna’s teachings are most relevant to our times in the sense that they neither let you get lost in material pursuits nor make you completely withdrawn. They rekindle your life, from being a burnt-out and stressed personality to a more centred and dynamic one. Krishna teaches us devotion with skill. To celebrate Gokulashtami is to imbibe extremely opposite yet compatible qualities and manifest them in your own life.

Hence the most authentic way of celebrating Janmashtami is knowing that you have to play a dual role — of being a responsible human being on the planet and at the same time to realize that you are above all events, the untouched Brahman.

Imbibing a bit of avadhoot and a bit of activism in your life is the real significance of celebrating Janmashtami.

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Q: In Ashtavakra Gita You ask us to rest and that after many lifetimes we have come home. What is that rest?

Guruji: Listen more in Ashtavakra, as you listen you relax, repose. Meditation is the deepest form of rest.

Om Namah Shivay

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Message on Christmas Eve

This time of the year when it is cold and nature is still and silent and it is darker, nature has less and less activity. Then in the middle of this springs celebration. See, when sun is there, there is so much activity. But at the time when there is very little sun, nature is sleeping, everything has gone into hibernation, the animals are quiet. In that still and quiet night, springs a celebration with lights, with joy, with love, and that is Christmas. So it is an outer symbolism for inner phenomenon. Inside also when you are still and quiet, when you are hibernating, then comes up from there a message of love. Stillness brings the message of love. In activity you are outward looking, in stillness you are inward looking. Love springs from looking inside.

The little mind is like the child. It is always dependent. And the big mind is like the mother. The individual self sleeps in the lap of the universal self. And that is the heavenly peace. Heavenly peace is not outside somewhere, heaven is when the small mind is in the lap of the big mind. When small mind is away from the big mind, then there is chaos, confusion, hell. Then the small mind starts crying and runs to the big mind, the mother, then it sleeps in heavenly peace. That peace is real peace. Holy, is when the mother and child are together. When you put the small mind in the lap of the big mind, that is meditation. Mother and child in heavenly peace is meditation.

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A Christmas tree bears the gifts and the lights not for itself. Similarly, all the gifts (Talents) you are carrying in your life are for others. Anyone who comes to you, offer them your gifts. When you show kindness, your true nature comes into play. Also remember that like how christmas tree leaves are ever green despite storm or snow, your life is evergreen and your spirit is eternal despite personal and social grief.

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Celebration is the nature of the spirit. Any celebration has to be spiritual. A celebration without spirituality does not have any depth. And silence gives the depth to celebration.

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Q: What is your message for Christmas?

Guruji: You are the Christmas tree that points upwards with branches on all sides. At the time of year when other trees are barren, you are green with many gifts to offer.

Om Namah Shivay

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Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, make the Divine your valentine. See the Divine in your valentine and make the divinity your valentine. Have the same love for everyone, with different flavours. You cannot behave the same way with everyone, but you can love all of them. Love transcends behaviour and etiquette.

Abiding in the Self, you become the valentine for the whole world. Spirit is the valentine of matter and matter is the valentine of the spirit. They are made for each other. If you hold on to matter and do not respect the spirit, then matter is not pleased. If you honour the spirit, then you will care for the world, and when you care for the world, it will take care of you.

Keep your heart in a safe place; it is too delicate. Events and small things make strong impressions on it. A precious stone needs a setting around it – gold or silver – to hold it; in the same way wisdom and knowledge are the settings that will hold your heart in the Divine. To keep your heart safe and your mind sane, you cannot find a better place than the Divine. Then the passing time and events will not be able to touch you; they will not create a scar.

Often, you do not know how to respond, or feel obliged and bound, when someone shows a lot of love. The ability to receive genuine love comes with the ability to give love. The more you are centred and know by experience that love is not
an emotion; it is your very existence, the more you feel at home with any amount of love expressed in any manner.

There are three kinds of love. The love that comes out of charm, that which comes out of comfort and divine love. The love that comes out of charm does not last long. It comes out of unfamiliarity or attraction. In this, you lose the attraction fast, and boredom sets in. This love may diminish and bring along with it a fear, uncertainty, insecurity and sadness.

The love that comes out of comfort and familiarity grows, but it has no thrill, no enthusiasm, joy, or fire to it. For example, you are more comfortable with an old friend who is a familiar person rather than with a new person. Divine love supersedes both the above. It has an ever present newness. The closer you go, more charm and depth come to it. There is never boredom and it keeps everyone on their toes.

Worldly love can be like an ocean, yet an ocean has a bottom. Divine love is like the sky which is limitless. From the bottom of the ocean, soar into the vast sky. Ancient love transcends all these relationships and is inclusive of all the relationships. Let love be. Don’t give it a name. When you give it a name, it becomes a relationship, and relationships restrict love.

Often, one experiences love at first sight. Then as time goes on, it decreases, decays, turns into hatred and disappears. Ancient love never decays. Although its mortality rate is high, love dies very young. After a few days, weeks, months, or years, it dies. In society, you say love is never a tree, it is a seasonal crop.

When the same love becomes a tree with the manure of knowledge, it becomes ancient love that goes from lifetime to lifetime. That is our own consciousness. You are not limited to this present body, this present name, this present form and the present relationships around you. You may not know your past, your ancientness. But just know you are ancient, that is good enough.

Pain goes with love. Because you love someone, even a small action can hurt you. And in hurt, you feel very delicate, very deep. Love also creates the same sensation. Separation creates the same symptom. If you don’t love somebody, you will never feel hurt by them. Understand and accept this. Then that hurt will not turn into a sore feeling. Rather, that very hurt will take you deep into dispassion and meditation.

When love glows, it becomes bliss; when it flows, it is compassion; when it blows, it is anger; when it ferments, it is jealousy. Let love be. Don’t give it a name!

Om Namah Shivay

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