Mohanji’s Satsang in Mumbai, Part 2
Date: 30th March, 2015
Venue: Life Positive Soul Space
M: No no, I answered all your “stupid” questions on mail also, so let it be direct.
Q: As I understand, spiritual evolution or growth for liberation has nothing to do with materialistic things. And materialistic desires are always endless. But there are needs and wants in this life by human beings which can be satisfied only with material things. So does acceptance of this situation, as it is, put you into the correct spiritual track? Or does non-acceptance of the circumstances and working towards a better materialistic life make you spiritually regressive, or more greedy or selfish?
M: Who said this is a stupid question? Why you framed it before uttering? This is what we do, you know. We buy the frame in advance and then try to put the picture. If the picture is bigger than the frame, we cut the picture, we don’t change the frame. This is not a stupid question, this is a good question. Don’t underestimate yourself; I never underestimated you. You are a soldier (to someone on the side – “he’s a military man”).
You know, first of all, who’s deciding all this. Do you think you have that kind of choice? It’s a flow. Life is a flow, mostly predetermined. The thing called destiny – from your first heartbeat till your last heartbeat: done, decided. You will take birth at a particular time and you will die at a particular time; nobody can change it. I’ve written a story about it (In Search of The Precious – 3)
A DESTINY STORY
When Mahakaali came, she saw one avadootha. Kaali said to him, “I want to give you a boon.” The avadootha said, “I don’t want your boon.” Kaali said, “No no, I am a goddess, and if I see a man, I give a boon.” The avadootha said, “I need nothing; I actually don’t have any needs.” But Kaali insisted on giving a boon, so he said “OK, give me one year more life.” She said, “No, I cannot do that. You already decided your fate before you came here; I cannot change that.” Then he said, “OK, give me one year less life.” Kaali said, “I cannot do that either. This is chosen, predetermined, destiny. You have to live your life as per your agenda”. Then he said, “One month more? One week more? One day?” Kaali said ‘No’ to all these questions. So he said, “Basically you have no power, so don’t give me a boon,” (loud laughter in the room).
So Kaali said, ”No no, you ask me something which I can give you.” The avadootha had elephantiasis on one leg. So he told her, “This leg is suffering for too long, so now please shift this to the other leg,” (laughter in the room). Note that he never asked for healing, you see.
Can I change this track, can I opt for that? These are all our mind projections. You are here now – this is your only reality. Even if you wanted to see Dhoom-3, it is not possible. Because you are here now. You have to listen to my bul.$..t. (loud laughter). There is no other way.
Now, spiritual path is part of you. There is nothing called spiritual path which is apart from you. You cannot create another path which is not yours. Spirituality is a kind of training, where you are trading your worries for emptiness, for peace. We use various methods for it – we go to temples, we go to gurus, we go on the knowledge path, we go chanting, seva, anything you like. So that at the end of the day, you become empty, you become purified and you become peaceful. This is spirituality. Ultimately, when you have no more desires, you don’t come back. This is what we are talking about, right?
In this mode, OK, I go materialistically – 10kmph speed, 100kmph speed. Do you think you can speed up like that? It depends on the road and on your car, and your capacity. This was chosen before. And it is happening at a time. What is happening right now is only happening right now. Tomorrow I’m in Delhi; I can’t speak to you, except on the phone of course. But this is the situation – we are here now. I am talking, you are listening. Between the “talking” and the “listening”, there is an essence called karma. Why I’m talking what I’m talking and why you’re listening to it is because of the karma. There’s no change to it. We have a notion that we can go material for some time and then we go spiritual for some time. Which is better? There is nothing like it. Everything happens at the right time in the right ingredients.
That is why I said it is not a bad question. You got the point?
M: Ask again, ask more.
Q: I have a follow up question. Whatever is this framework of destiny, how does free will play a role?
M: Let’s say you decide to make a house. You want a 21-bedroom house, a very big house. You tell the architect – here’s the money, this is what I want. In the middle, there should be an area with the sun coming down, on one side there should be a swimming pool, one bedroom should face a particular side… all these things, you tell him. Now it’s the architect’s job to make the design. He made the design and you approved it saying, “This is good,” and you give the approved blueprint to the builder. Builder started building it, and the house is built. Your money is spent, you are happy. Now if you want to change it, what would you do? You have to spend again, if you have that kind of money. Or you have to wait till a particular time when you can either sell it or you can change it over. This is exactly how life is. Your blueprint was done before your birth, the whole tapestry of life was decided. There is no free will amount later. That’s why the saints always say – you have power over destiny, provided your agenda changes. This changes sometimes. Kuppuswamy became Swami Sivananda. At one point in time, the same body, this path ended, another path began. And it completely deviated the whole track. And there is a fulfillment there. This is over – the commercial world is over, and the spiritual world opened up. That is a total deviation. This is possible, in the same body. But that is not possible as long as desires are getting built up.
So the house is an example of how you make your life. So where is the agenda coming from – it is pre-birth. After your death, before your birth, you decide, “This is what I want in life.” So many times, your decisions are going not so good, because the ingredients are like that, your data entry is like that. A person who says, “I don’t want to see this world, I don’t want to see,” will become blind in the next life, because he keeps projecting the image of not wanting to see. So subconscious takes it literally – “this person doesn’t want to see,” so that goes into the blueprint of not wanting to see. Again, in the next life, he is born blind. This is how the cycle goes. This is non-understanding. What you utter, “I hate this, I hate that,” those people will get those things. Some people criticize, some judge – all these things are detrimental because you are keeping those impressions inside. Everything in the elementary level is impression. That becomes an expectation, that becomes a concept, and that becomes a reality. This is how it’s evolved.
Q: Do you have to be religious to pertain to spirituality?
M: No way. Religion is like a broad guideline. This is based on various people’s various experiences and a path is created. So for a normal person who doesn’t know where to go, can use the methods or activities of religions, or guidance for a certain result. But they are broad guidelines.
Spirituality is totally individualistic. You need to grow beyond any religious ritual to be spiritual. And how is that? It is internal exploration, not outside. Basically all religions tell you to go within, to love, to be kind, to be compassionate, to do charity. This is all good. But you have to evolve it yourself. Normally what happens is that people say, “Our religion has said this,” and they mechanically do a ritual. Nothing will happen, it is just entertaining the mind. “Oh, I went to the temple, church or mosque. Now I’m happy.” That’s it, but is there any inner transformation?
The whole idea about spirituality is silence within. Complete shanti, peace within, “Whatever happens outside, I am not affected.” Here, we are affected by everything. We have opinions, we judge, we indulge in criticism, we censor, we suppress. Then there is nothing, I mean, we’ve understood nothing. Religion is good, as long as there…I would say, even books that way – you can pick up something from a book. See, you can only eat as much as you can digest. Knowledge is also the same – you pick up something which you can digest and convert to experience. Otherwise it’s just knowledge sitting and people think, “I know so many things.” But what’s the use of that? When we die, it’s anyway all gone. But you can pick up something which will help you in the journey and experience it in its time. This is OK, this is very good. So books can be used as a guide and move on.
Q: What is confusing the state of the soul during birth?
M: Soul is not confused during birth. It is completely neutral. Birth is like releasing a car into the market. Another body coming into the world. But soul is just travelling, it’s going on. All the shocks are sitting in the constitution, or in the consciousness level. That is where all the impressions are stored. Otherwise the soul has no confusion. Soul is never confused, it is pure. Soul is a vehicle, soul is a carrier. In a way, it is like the petrol in your car. Soul has no interest in your destination, it just helps / aids the journey.
Q: Is it like the engine in a car?
M: No, engine has a role in the journey, engine is your brain. It propels your movement, but soul aids your journey. We drag soul into everything, you know. Soul will be laughing – look at what this fellow is talking (laughter). Just imagine all these things from the standpoint of the soul., “Look at this person thinking, all nonsensical thoughts. Because… You know, what is he doing? “
Q: Continuing the Kuppuswamy story, so was there a blueprint for him to become Sivananda?
M: Yes, there was. Blueprint is always there. Otherwise what happens is that at certain points, you edge towards a soul where you are available for dharmic activity. And then the soul is given back to the body. That is not a karmic life. That is a dharmic life. For the sake of preservation of dharma, you continue in the body. That has happened to many people; their expiry date was over, but they continued.
Q: Does that also happen if you don’t have any more desires?
M: Not necessarily. Desires are different. Even if you don’t have any more births or desires, sometimes you see, that is why some people get connected to powerful Masters and then they may say, “I might as well serve you”. So their life is extended just for the sake of serving. That happens, but then their whole awareness is there, they have a clear picture.
Q: When you say the blueprint is already decided – the start, the end and also the journey, does that mean that its not very important to work hard on whatever we’re doing in our daily life, to have aims and ambitions. Because everything is pre-decided. So how does this fall into place?
M: That is exactly what I was telling him. Even an activity is propelled. We do not know, unless you check astrology or something, what comes next. There is a surprise element in everyday life. That surprise element is connected with the mind and hope etc. and that propels you. Like, “I want to make money, I want to do this.” These thoughts are sprouting from a desire – “I want to make money, I want to enjoy this meal, I want to go to this place.” All these things are going on, they are sprouting from desires, or karma. So karma is what propels you. So if you want to sleep more, procrastinate, not do anything – that is also propelled by karma. Some people get very depressed when the astrologer says that for the rest of your life, you are doomed (ha ha). Then suddenly something happens in their life and they get totally rejuvenated. Then they will prove the astrologer wrong. The astrologer was wrong anyway (laughter). But what happened was that this was triggered by the force of destiny. So whether you want to work hard, or you want to sit idle, this is part of the agenda. That is not changeable. A particular information comes to you at a particular time, and that triggers an experience. And that experience provoked a certain emotion in you. And that emotion worked for sometime. And then that emotion went away – anyway emotion never stays for ever. Then you start doing something else. This all goes on and on. So if you have hyper-action in your life, it is chosen, you will not be able to sit idle, you can’t change that. It happens. One way or the other, it gets triggered.
Q: People and situations happen in your life. And there’s this thing that they mirror what is inside. So if I am facing again and again a particular situation, where I’m feeling a thing, I’m feeling angry or frustrated…
M: Yes, that is a pattern, you’ve kept a pattern.
Q: And there is something in me which is mirroring outside. Is that true?
M: Yes, correct. You have collected a pattern. That’s what I said – impression. Impression is the first level. As I said, if I say “monkey”, you remember the picture and the characteristics of a monkey in your mind, when I just use the word. Like that, every time you are collecting impressions. So some people say – “All gurus are bad.” Definitely not. Who’s good, who’s bad? How do we know?
So these impressions are stored and we make them into concepts. We have made expectations, we have made certain theories in our mind. This is what we are manifesting. This is why being fluid is very important. A situation is not the same, time is not the same, people are not the same. Continue to flow. Even the same set of people in a different situation could be different. So we need to be fresh at every point in time. If you say, “This is how my life happens,” then you will be forced to continue that way.
Instead you choose, “OK, this is all happening, this is all projection of my own mind. There is no good or bad that way. Life is flowing,” and then you continue to act on that. Life definitely opens up. Even if it doesn’t open up, you will have lesser impact of it. Even if nothing is changing (which is unlikely), if it doesn’t impact you, you are immune. You are free.
Q: I will be a bit more specific. If I feel at any point of time that the situation doesn’t allow me to be free, to be the way I am, what I want to express, what I want to do, if I am not allowed to do that, if I feel that I can’t do that, I feel restricted. There are times in my life – and this is a pattern I’ve noticed, it’s coming from some impressions, I know this is a pattern, but I don’t know how to help myself.
M: Look, you cannot change the situation. Now it is night. I cannot make it morning, right? You have to use the situation as it is. This is unchangeable. But your approach can be changed. Being in the situation, being in the particular environment, with a particular knowledge, with a particular set of people, you choose to be objective. For example, this is what I could do and this is what I’ve done. I could have done better in a different environment, but I will do that later. So objectivity comes into play. When you are objective, there is no pain. You have done what you can.
If you could have done better, you would have done better. But you could not do better because the environment wasn’t helpful. See, I am sailing towards the east, but the wind is towards the west. I slow down, I cannot change the wind. Suddenly the wind changes direction, my ship is faster. Something like that.
So you need to use the environment to your advantage. With awareness. You need to be aware that this is the environment and this is OK. You’ll not kick yourself. Otherwise what happens is frustration, anger, and then you give it to somebody else. This is a cycle which happens.
You just say, “This is the best I can do,” and do your best. Maybe other people will offer their opinion that you didn’t do this well, etc. But that is their opinion. They didn’t understand the wind. They may say, “You should have reached earlier.” But that was impossible. So you do as per your capacity, as per your full capacity with full conviction without judging yourself or others, plus the lack of ownership, no ownership. You surrender whatever you do at the feet of the Lord – “Narayanaayeti samarpayaami” and then you do your best. So that karma does not get accumulated.
Q: What I am hearing is that there is a huge amount of illusion of choice that we have. Things actually happen. And that’s why you used to say – become more aware, so that you can allow things to happen. So I wanted to ask – nowadays I am finding it more and more difficult to meditate. Is meditation one way to increase your awareness?
M: Meditation is useless if you can’t meditate. (laughter). See, something is of value to you only if you can use it. So if you cannot meditate, accept that as your reality. It is not necessary to do anything which is not practical. See, you couldn’t meditate today. Doesn’t matter. That doesn’t diminish you or increase you. We need to accept spirituality or anything else as practical. In life, everything should be practical. “I’m able to meditate more today,” no problem, meditate. If you cannot meditate, don’t meditate. But one thing you can still do – Practice awareness. Feel yourself. Watch yourself. Witness yourself. Decide that no word will come out of your mouth without you being aware of it. Decide that no activity will happen from you without your mind being present with it. That is meditation, practical. If you do that in all your waking hours, you are fine. You’ll see how your awareness grows. And as your awareness grows, you will be meditating all the time. Perpetual meditation. This is the way to go.
Sitting down in meditation is possible. See, first of all, you are faking most of the meditation. During meditation, what are you doing? Your mind is going elsewhere, you are sitting here. This is what I am saying. You are real only when your mind is present here. Rest of the time, you are not real. Mind is elsewhere, and body is here. Only when body and mind are aligned, that is the time you are actually living. You are living only when your body and mind are together. Otherwise I am talking, your mind is elsewhere, what is the use? It’s all wasted, isn’t it?
I think we spoke about this earlier. Your practical time with me is when your mind is with me. Even if your body is away. We talked about it. The real time you are spending with me is when your mind is connected to me, not when your body is near me. This is the truth. So if you cannot meditate, its not a handicap. First of all, don’t have concepts that, “I must meditate.”
Some people send me messages, “Mohanji, I am ashamed to come to you because I don’t practice your meditation!” I said, “I am not asking you to meditate anyway. Why are you ashamed?” I never bound anybody with anything. This is not my path. I say, “The meditation is available. You want to meditate, you meditate. If it helps you, do it. But basically it’s your growth.”
Spirituality is an individualistic thing. You cannot absorb it from another person. You can probably take a cue. But if you follow someone else, if he jumps into a well, you’ll also jump into the well. That way, it will not work. You need to adapt it to your thing. You bought the cloth, you stitch it as per your size. This is the way it should happen. So spirituality is like an ocean. You take the water from it as per the utensil you have. And use it, so that there is no guilt, no fear, nothing. There is no need for any of this…
Q: No judgement.
M: Yes, no judgement. And never do anything because Mohanji said so. Mohanji can say anything. Can you do all those things? That is not the point. The point is whether it is suitable to you. Anything for that matter. In life, if you decide like that, life will be much more free. You will learn to say ‘No’ to many things. Otherwise, you would go, “This man is saying many things. It is important, I must listen.” Not so. The point is, does it suit you? Can you do it? For example, if I am giving a great curry and meal, which is amazing, you know, like royal family stuff. But it doesn’t suit your stomach. What will you do? It can be anything like this, you know. This is the thing.
Understand: spirituality is you. Not a part of you. It is nothing outside of you. It is you. Then the whole answer comes. The right answer comes to you. The right guru comes to you. This is what I always say, “The guru that appeared to you is the guru for you.” Why? Because if you chase, what will you chase? First of all, you do not know which standard you are going to enter. The guru knows. We always want to enter the post-graduation standard. But we haven’t completed the 10th class. One guy was saying, “I wanted admission in IIT, but I didn’t complete my 10th. They didn’t give me”. I said, “Beautiful” (laughter). He said his biggest ambition was to be in IIT, but he couldn’t overcome the hurdle of 10th . This is how it goes. (laughter)
Audience: We can request you to give a double promotion. (laughter)
M: The guru can get that (ha ha).
It’s like that – in one comedy programme, one guy is sitting on the side of the road with a lot of amulets. It was written that if you wore that amulet, you would attract a lot of money. And there was a queue of people standing to buy this. You have to tie it on your body and you will get money. So one guy was asking, “So if I wear this, I will get a lot of money?” The seller says, “You will get nothing, but I already got money.” (loud laughter). This is the way we are!
Doctor says that you should jog for one hour. So we get somebody to jog and we sit at home. Spirituality has become like that. You pay the money to the guru or to the priest and say, “You please talk to God and get that for me.” (laughter). It never works like that.
Recorded and transcribed by Madhusudan Rajagopalan