Satsang in Gurgaon, March 2014, Part 2
Devotion Happens when Awareness Grows
Q: How would you define devotion, Swamiji?
A: Devotion is something which happens when your awareness grows. It means you understand the entity or the object of your devotion as the supreme. It flowers in the heart. It happens to you. Then it is fine. But devotion as a colloquial term is just like one cow follows other cows. And it also depends on the constitution. Like, if you are more of an emotional nature, devotion is easier for you. If you are of an intellectual nature, Jnana Yoga is better for you. Ideally, devotion is something which happens with awareness. Then it’s a flow. Bhakti Yoga is the best path to reach the infinite more easily. Jnana Yoga is always difficult because you always have an object outside of you which you compare with and will never understand. Through bhakti, you can nullify yourself, and you can become the deity, the object of your devotion. So, devotion is actually a product of awareness. The more aware you become, the more surrendered you become. Because you detach from your physical constitution, mental constitution, intellectual constitution and you are one with the universe. Hanumanji is a great devotee, one of the greatest devotees the Earth has ever seen. You must have heard that Hanumanji told Rama, “Body-wise, I am your servant. My mind is close to your mind, your wish is my command. But soul-wise, you and I are one.” This is the awareness of a devotee. With that awareness, you become Rama. Hanumanji had a tough time too. When Rama was sending Sita to the forest, many people were against it in the court. They tried to influence Hanumanji saying that the king was not doing the right thing. Hanumanji said, “I trust that my Lord knows exactly what he is doing, and he has much higher awareness than me. I am nobody to question him.” He kept his devotion intact. That is why there are more Hanumanji temples today than Rama’s temples. Because he became an epitome of devotion. He did not sway with people’s thoughts or people’s opinions.
Q: Mirabai is another example…
A: Yes, of course. Mirabai was born to be a devotee.
Q: What is the difference between conditional devotion and unconditional devotion?
A: Conditional is from the mind. Unconditional is beyond the mind. Mind cannot hold the state of unconditionality. That’s why I wrote on my Facebook wall today, “Awareness and unconditional love are related. As awareness grows, unconditional love happens. If unconditional love grows, awareness happens. They are married to each other. One leads to the other.” Unconditionality automatically happens when awareness grows. You will not love something for the sake of something else. You love because you like to love. It makes relationships easier, not only between human beings, but also with God.
Q: Certain people go to temples and ask and wish for certain things. Is that a creation of desire?
A: That is the creation of the priest. 🙂 Our system is influenced a lot by the priests. First of all, we don’t know the Vedas, we don’t know the mantras, and we think these are something great. Secondly, we make a transaction with God. We think that God is sitting there expecting our money. First of all, God has nothing to do with money. God is within you. The moment we start having a God outside of us, we have problems. Then so many things come in between. We will be pulled to do certain things. This is good for the priest. Recently, when I went to a temple, I had an argument with the priests. I asked them, “Do you think you are Brahmins?” Everybody was quiet. I decided to counter them head on. I said, “Why are you asking for money? Money should fall on your lap if you are good enough. You should be selfless, you should be existing in sattwa bhaav, to serve, not demand. You are looking for outside benefits and you call yourself a Brahmin.” Because you are existing in an energy plane, everything will happen to you – not only money. But we need to understand that there is no guarantee that any of the rituals satisfy God or make changes. But mantras have power. Mantras are a configuration of words which invoke certain things within you, because they work on certain parts of your system. Just as each chakra has a particular flavour and there are certain words attached to those that correlate them. Similarly, there are certain patterns and methods. When mantras are chanted, it cleanses a lot in you, it invokes certain qualities in you.
Invoke Divine Qualities within You
Q: So mantras are visibly for within, not for without?
A: Not for without. Because if you chant a devi mantra, it invokes the devi within you.
Q: Well, our concept is usually that enlightenment will happen, rainfall will happen, this will happen, that will happen.
A: No, it’s all within you and if you see, there are some old pictures where you can see there are deities positioned in various parts of the body. Various parts of the body have different flavours, even gods are created like that. Each organ, each part of the body, each pancha prana, pancha bhutha, pancha kosha – all these things have flavours (bhaav). Everything has bhaav, so associated gods have been created. But unfortunately, we get stuck watching on the outside instead of watching on the inside. Hence, we lose touch with ourselves.
That is why in the past, they would ask you to chant the mantra from your stomach centre and not from the throat. This is because you invoke from inside. If you chant from the throat, it is only noise pollution.
Invoke Deities Before you Eat Food
That is why I gave some simple techniques yesterday so that you can invoke all the deities before you eat the food. I am not telling you to go to the pooja room, etc. I tell all my people that all poojas start with invocation of Lord Ganesha. Hence, we should offer whatever we eat first to Lord Ganesha. And then offer it to your Kul Devatas (your family deity), then to Naag Devatas who are an important and integral part of our system responsible for education or knowledge, well-being and relationship. Then offer it to the Ishta Devatas (your favourite deities). Then Pitra Devatas (your ancestors). Then Guru Devatas (your Guru and the Masters). So offering the food to these five plus Lord Ganesha takes about thirty seconds. You offer it three times every day. Offer it mentally and visualise or imagine that you are handing it over to them and they are happy. Then consume the food. It becomes prasad (consecrated food). Many, many problems can be sorted out with this simple practice.
When you offer food to the masters, deities and ancestors (Lord Ganesh, family deities, Naga devatas, favourite deities, masters, ancestors, etc), do not consider that you are doing a favour by offering it to them. It is not a privilege for them to have your food. Everything belongs to them anyways. Instead, it is a privilege for you to have that food consecrated by them. So when you offer food to the masters and deities, keep that feeling that you are lucky to have that food because of their grace. Their grace got translated as your deserving level. Everything we eat, everything we wear, every place we sleep, every information that we receive, every event, every bit of awareness, every relationship, every emotion, everything is given. It is all given. The core of actualisation is grace. So if we maintain the attitude of gratefulness for everything, then there is no accumulated baggage based the usual cause and effect mechanism. Hence, when we offer the food to the masters, deities, ancestors, bear in mind that it is definitely their grace that has brought us the food that we eat. You are consuming the food that actually belongs to them. So in reality, it is their favour towards you rather than your favour towards them. This is the true attitude of surrender. This is surrender with awareness. Every moment will be a moment of fulfilment. Gratitude will coat every breath. Grace will flow.
There is no guarantee for it when you go to the temple and do pooja. Temples have power because it is Prana Pratishtha. Particular mantras are chanted and energy is invoked into the idol of the deity. The connection is usually from our third eye to the third eye of the deity, and from our anahata (heart chakra) to the anahata of the deity. This is the motion when we pray in the temple. So, there is definitely the reason, the purpose. Shiva lingam is powerful.
Q: Basically, it raises the vibration when we are there.
A: Correct. You can’t say that no temples are … that is why we go to pilgrimages, etc. But if we go there with expectation like you said, “Please give me one million, I’ll give you ten million rupees.” This is a transactional thing which we tell God. That is non-understanding.
Q: …belittling us.
A: It’s total ignorance. But if you do ‘trikala’ pooja three times, like temple pooja, and offer whatever you eat, see the difference. See how things change. Yet, I look at it like that, it should be effortless for you. Wherever you are you can close your eyes and do it. If you are in a restaurant, that’s fine, one prayer. And this is enough. None of the deities are demanding. Understand that. Why Naag pooja happens only once a year? There is no demand from them, they only look for acknowledgement. But we make it complex, ritualistic. This is our insecurity. Naag Devatas never ask you to do pooja. They are satisfied with pooja once a year. Kul Devatas only ask you to light the lamp. But we are not even lighting the lamp! That is where the problem is. Your father, mother, your boss in the office… you are dealing with many people every day. They are all different, having different demands. Like, you were born in a particular family. You chose that family. You chose those parents. You chose the lineage. So you have to give gratitude to them This is basically the expression of gratitude only.
Q: Is it expression of gratitude to God in them? Because God is one…
A: It’s all God. But if you theorise it, or if you try to intellectualise the thing, what happens is the grace is stopped. Well, I understand offering from the heart. But when you start analysing the whole process…
Q: Now I’ve started analysing 🙂
A: Yes, where is it coming from? Either ego or intellect. That is exactly the blocking factor.
Q: Is it because my family lineage, ancestors have been praying to that, keeping in mind their love for that particular god?
A: Usually, maybe one of your great-grandfathers invoked the deities and brought them to the house, and installed them, like family members, and said, “Take care of my family, we’ll worship you,” but it has not been handed down properly. This is how it happens. This is how many houses disintegrate after five generations. It’s… Normally a family grows two generations, stabilises two generations, then declines two generations. Or sometimes, if you are like, three-three-three generations. It’s like that. This is because complacency takes in, then you start selling things or ignoring. Prana pradishta has a meaning, like there is a deal, you are in a rented house, you sign an agreement with the landlord saying, “I will pay you this much money, so that I can use your facility.” Now you decide, “Ok, there is no need to pay every month. I’ll pay once in two months.” Then the deal is broken, isn’t it? Then he may come and harm you, or say, “Get out of that place!” Like that, every deity you worship or brought forward, has an expectation attached. You created that expectation when you brought the family deity. Every house had a deity in the past. Some inherited deity, too. E.g. When there is nobody to do pooja in one house, they bring the deity to another house. This has also happened in the past. If you look at the history, you will know. Then if you do not attend to them or take care of them, then calamities start. Many problems happening in today’s families are because of that blockage. Because the energy flow is blocked! There was a grace flowing. Shirdi Baba used to say, first you go to the temples you want to go, then you come to me. Somebody told him, “You are everything.” He said, “No, go there where you wanted to go first.” Why did he say so, as everything is one? Then Shirdi Sai Baba would have solved it. That is not so. Because human creation has an expectation attached, and also a particular constitution attached. Respect that constitution. That’s where the point is.
Among five aspects of existence, one is Kul Devtas, then the lineage, parents, ancestors. Then, third, Naag Devtas who are almost like teachers, they taught us a lot of structures and systems of dharma. But we harm them. We never take care of them. Fourth, gurus are important, and finally, fifth, your favourite deities which you acquired in this life. Because it helps you, because you love…
Multidimensional Operation is Possible and is Real
Q: Yoganandaji mentions different kinds of galaxies, rajasic, tamasic and sattvic. He said that we are in a rajasic galaxy. As we are now, as I understand time now, in relativity, at this particular time, there is a simultaneously sattvic galaxy going on. Or does the manifestation happen in sattvic galaxy when the Sathya Yuga starts?
A: Do you mean whether your particular constitution is happening in another galaxy, or galaxy is happening?
Q: Is another galaxy happening at this point of time?
A: There are numerous galaxies happening, millions of them, not just one. We wouldn’t even understand it. It’s too big for the brain to understand the function. Brain has limitation. It’s not easy. This is definitely rajasic and I would say more of a tamasic galaxy. Lazy. Action is not for the sake of improvement, action is for the sake of greed. So where is the fuel? Tamas is the fuel. Black gold (petroleum) is tamas. God has given us three fuels. One is sun, second is air i.e. wind, third is water. But we chose to dig the black gold. Black gold is created under the Earth as a lubricant. Like there is a lubrication in a car, in a shock absorber. If there is no lubrication in the shock absorber, every time there is a whole, your back will break. So there are earthquakes, and there is fire underneath which has come only until this area, and it will come out as a volcano and will finish it off. But now the lubrication is removed, so it directly affects the continents. We’ve done enough damage to the Earth. It’s a shame. Yogananda is a very good man. He wanted to pacify people, don’t worry, you are rajasic. But I would call it tamasic because of the laziness and greed, look at the whole world.
Q: But he said that this is the world in which you can achieve the fastest spiritual growth.
A: That’s absolutely true. You have options here. Play the games the way you like. Each individual is a different constitution. It is definitely true.
Q: In the first part you said, that my constitution exists here as well as somewhere else?
A: It is sometimes true, but not always. Because there have been creations which are multiple dimensions. But you need to be detached from this dimension to be elsewhere. Like, Babaji is multidimensional. To achieve that, you have to have less dependency on your physical form. But if you are too intent on your physical form and the things around you, it is very difficult to have a multidimensional operation. Naaga Loka is real. There are very highly evolved entities who have helped mankind since generations. They live in deathless states, they live in immortality. But why aren’t we able to see them in real form, as real beings, but only as snakes is because our capacity is only this big. They chose the form of snakes in order to be left alone. Still we destroy them. We took their land, we took their property. Looking back we have nothing to be proud of. We’ve been destroyers out of ignorance, greed, and also others’ opinions.
There are Various Types of People
Very few people are Krishnas, they are like Krishna, who are aggressive and use the intellect, they have plans and can execute them. They have that capacity. And their heart is benevolent. There are very few such people in the world, but a few are enough. They can influence quite a lot of stuff. Those are the people who lead people to liberation. Their intent is good. Whatever they do is good. They are extremely intelligent, and their operating level is intellect and they mean good for the people, so people evolve into higher dimension.
In the same way, there are aggressive bad people. Not the dictionary meaning of ‘aggressive’. By aggression I mean using the intellect. By passive, I mean using the emotion. So people who use the intellect for their personal benefits, or personal gratification, always bind and control people. They pull them down and make them invalid, so that they can get their job done. There are many people like that. You can see people in conglomerates, and many dictators, they are all people who have used people for their purpose, not for the higher evolution. Like, what is justification for killing two million people? And in a very ruthless way, like taking the children, saying they will put them in a children’s place to look after them and then kill them. How do they do it? Very selfish…
Then there are passive good people. They are good by nature, but they are emotional. They can only follow. They cannot lead. There are many like this. Even institutional managers are very good people, but extremely passive, but cannot lead a team. They might be doing a job, they are also unselfish, but they can’t be effective. There are many like this. They can be put in a place where things are pretty stable, and they will just run the show.
Then the passive bad. Passive bad are emotional bad, like Dushasana (in Mahabharata). Tell him to kill a man, and he’ll go and kill a man. He wouldn’t even ask his brother, “Why should I do this?” They are passive just by nature. There are a lot of people like this. They drink alcohol, they beat women, they don’t take care of the children, they do so many things in the world.
That is why Upanishads say there should be sadam, dhanam, bhedam, dandam, four ways of handling people. One is that you can tell certain people, “Look, this is not right.” They will understand. Some people need to be scolded. Some people need to be bribed, which means to give them a gift and say do this. Some people have to be beaten, to be given a kick. That is exactly what Krishna did. But we blame him today.
Q: But these people are all ignorant.
A: They don’t know they are ignorant.
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