Satsangs from Serbian Retreat with Mohanji, 9-14th May, 2014
Q: If we look at the East and the West, and compare, we see complete harmony, yin-yang. In the previous years, the East was considered spiritual, and the West was considered material. Now this line is definitely shifting. There is industrialisation, materialization, in the East and more and more people turning to spirituality in the West. How do you explain that?
A: The East was not spiritual per se. There was a big difference in consciousness, or awareness. For example, Pilgrim fathers went to the USA and systematically destroyed the local people. This is lack of conscience, consciousness and awareness. There was complete destruction of the available tradition.
This was not the East. In Mongolia and those tribes there were conflicts, destructions and devastations. If you look at Hindu philosophy, the subject of tolerance was very important. If you read what I have written about the Siddha of Himalayas. In Siddha of Himalayas and the Farmer’s Son parents are transferring the knowledge to the children. The maintenance of the level of consciousness was happening in every family. Every family put together becomes the society. Meanwhile the conquests, capturing and killing were happening in the West. So the material interests or the interests of certain nations over others, etc. were continuously happening. And this spilled into India, too.
But today, the world is ruled by media so there is uniformity of lack of consciousness. To give you an example of Bodhidharma, a great saint and a great personality. We might compare him to Leonardo da Vinci.
The Story of Bodhidharma
Bodhidharma was asked by his guru to go to China and spread the teaching. This was probably in 5th or 6th century CE. So he left for China. That time, division of the countries was not as clear as it is now. He reached China to one of the villages of China, and just before he arrived, the village priest or the astrologer predicted, ”The devil will enter this village.” So when he came, they thought he was the devil and threw him away. So he lived in the forest. Soon afterwards, there was an epidemic like smallpox and people were dying. This is what the astrologer actually meant. The devil was a disease. But people looked at it literally, and they threw him away, ha, ha. What they used to do whenever somebody used to get ill, they would take them and leave them to die in the forest. They wanted to prevent spreading the disease. There were small children as well as elderly people. And Bodhidharma healed everybody, sitting in the forest. The village population became half. And the half of them were in the forest. Then after some time, Bodhidharma came to the village again. The people became very agitated, ”This man has come back again!” So he had a long shawl, he opened the shawl, and a few children emerged- some of whose parents were still alive. From behind, all people previously thought dead, returned to the village. Then they accepted Bodhidharma as a great doctor, healer. He was living in the village, treating people for their diseases, but he never actually displayed his full potential.
Next there was an attack on the village from a king and his army. Bodhidharma heard the sound of the slaughter in the village and he came out. By the time he came out, there was a crowd and only space for one foot. He started fighting standing on one foot, one toe and won the war. He had various powers like controlling the wind to create rain and storms, and saved the whole village. He is the founder of Shaolin temple. He settled the war for self-protection, not to fight, conquer, defeat, but to protect. This is the tradition of tolerance.
After some time he decided to go back to India, so he said, ”I’m leaving.” They all decided, ”We can’t send him off, we need him.” Because all of us are selfish that way. We like to keep good things with us. So they told him, ”Don’t go!” He said, ”But I have to go.” So when they gave him food, they mixed poison in it. He said, ”This food has poison.” They said, ”Yes, but we need your body here in our place.” He said, ”Aha, no problem.” He ate the food, left the body, they kept the body.
These are real stories. I am telling you these so that you can look at the consciousness, see the level of operation. Even now we are in a hurry to conquer, capture, say ”This is mine”. Ownership is very strong. But there are people who are highly powerful, yet they need nothing from you. This consciousness is slowly, slowly spreading.
This consciousness can happen anywhere- country is no barrier. Especially in today’s time, when the information is travelling faster than before. People are getting information, people are getting awareness, receptive people are getting the right teachers, and they are evolving. I would say that concentration of the level of consciousness is spreading into a larger periphery.
The same philosophy applies to Babaji’s guru, siddha Bhoganathar, whose samadhi is in the south. He is supposed to be in jiva samadhi (still alive). He was in China when many people said he was Lao Tzu. He is the founder of Kaya Kalpa, the preservation of youth. There are certain treatment methods in Ayurveda where they preserve the youthfulness of the body. The story goes that he was coming back with five disciples, and along the way he gave everybody one tablet. He said, ”This is my latest discovery, have it.” They were all pretty old by the time they were coming back. The moment they had the tablet, they fell down dead. Dead means unconscious. So the fifth one threw the tablet and ran away. Because people may think that he killed all these people. He went to the village and said, ”My guru and all his disciples are lying dead. Come and help me!” When they all came, they saw nobody there and at a distance there were five young people walking. This guy lost the opportunity. He had no faith. Then they came back to India.
So various methods of Ayurveda, astrology, martial arts are all products of great saints. They meant it as a medium for enhancement of existence, not for torture, capture, killing, binding. The wrong usage happened much later.
It is a good sign that awareness is growing. Yet many people are still searching, only entertaining the mind. If you want to find the truth, you must go beyond the mind, intellect or ego. But again, mind traps you back with this awareness. The Nath tradition says we should flow like a river. Just accept things as they come. Like Upanishad says, ”The food that comes to your table today, is the medicine for you. That may not be the food you chose, but accept it at that level. Perfect acceptance, zero resistance. Zero subjectivity. Be in tune with life. Be here, now, in the present. These are simple methods, but many people are getting trapped in rituals. Rituals done unconsciously are as useless as even smoking or drinking.
If the mind is present in any activity, it has value. If the mind is absent, no value. Likewise, you have to go beyond the mind to touch the realms of relativity, reality, truth. What is happening in India is the height of commercialism. India is growing as an economy. They want to sell everything including spirituality. But spirituality is not a tangible commodity so people can get easily disillusioned. For example, doing spirituality for the last fifty years, but nothing happens. This is very common. Because people sometimes do not know what they are looking for. Once you are clear what you are looking for- as I said yesterday, liberation – single-pointed, one word. Or you say, inner silence. Perfect silence. Stillness of mind. With these clear definitions, you will reach your destination.
Instead, people are looking mostly for sensations, e.g. ”I had this experience, I felt good today.” Tomorrow if you don’t have the experience, you change the guru. This is what happens, right? When you can’t change, better to change the guru! You know, this is again the play of your mind. In general, the world is appreciating higher things, but many people do not know what they are looking for. So they get stuck with the local mind, and get arrested there.
Many times in the Himalayas, I’ve seen people stuck with fake/manipulative gurus who bind people using fear. The people from abroad get fascinated by certain lifestyles. Eventually they become drug addicts or fearful or trapped and can’t escape. I always tell people, ”Be very careful.” Because all that you see at the beginning are mostly fakes. Like if you go to Shivananda ashram or ashrams which were established by great masters, there is nothing to worry. They have a system, an order, and will never manipulate you. But if you go to the new people who are eager to make money and capture, this is very, very important to understand. I always say it is safer and better to go to known places, which is much better. In 2010 Biba and I had an experience in Kumbha Mela, we went to Rishikesh. We ended up staying in a tent 8 km away. I asked about the price. They said, ”12,000 rupees (150 euros).” I agreed. When we reached, they said 12,000 rupees per night! Completely different equation! For a tent and a common toilet! Each time you go you have to clean it first, ha, ha, we were cleaning toilet more that we were going, ha, ha. We paid of course, but we don’t calculate like that, you know. Once they get you, then they milk you. The funniest thing was that we didn’t know the roads as we were visitors. They said, ”Don’t worry, we are all going together, one group with a flag so look at the flag and walk.” And we walked. And at Kumbha Mela almost million people come to one place at one point in time. If you lose the way, you don’t know how to get back. So it was a very scary situation. We all helped each other and we were going. As per the system, first Naga Saddhus have to take a bath. So we were behind the Naga Saddhus, maybe a thousand naked saints, splashing in the Ganga. When they returned, we followed them. Then the saint who took us said, ”I’ve already taken a bath.” And he walked away! Ha, ha. The whole effort was to take a bath, and in the end he said he had taken a bath in the morning! I told Biba, come, rush, and we just poured water on our head, and we came out. Because if you don’t follow him, you don’t know how to go back! Ha, ha. It was such a ‘great’ feeling. After so much money and effort, we were going to take a dip in the Ganga, at the right auspicious moment, and we were missing it.
That is also a good occasion to see saints. We saw one man standing on one leg. He stands on one leg only. So I befriended and sat with him for some time and asked, ”How do you go to toilet?” He became angry with me! He said, ”Go away!” Ha, ha.
His disciple liked me and told me privately, ”He is only standing when people are coming. When people are away, he sleeps.”
You can see many examples… like, first time when I went to Haridwar in the early 2000s, I saw one saint jumping into the Ganga and floating up in lotus position. At that time another saint was with me. So I asked him, ”Where did he come out?” You know, if he went this way, he would reach Bengal! Ha, ha, ha. It’s not easy to come out of the river! Then he said, ”Don’t worry, on that side he will come out.” There are certain siddhis which they practised. He is levitating and he is floating, and people give money. See, understand one thing. If you have a siddhi, if you do not display it, that is your strength. If you have to display your siddhi all the time for a living, there is a mind at play. You attain something, but you are still insecure, which means you need to show something to some people, to attract money.
So when you go for Kumbha Mela, etc, I’m the devil’s advocate, asking the questions they don’t like, ha, ha. But these are the real points. Why do you have to display something to people? What are you trying to attract? If you have a need to display something to attract people’s attention, that means you are insecure. People get attracted to some siddhi because they think, ”This is what I’ve been looking for.” Then they are manipulated tremendously because people fall for powers, not for consciousness. At this Kumbha Mela, perhaps some of you have seen, one person was making money.
The Story of a money-maker
This was on every TV. Such a human crime, media was after this. One guru was sitting at one place, and producing a lot of money. Everybody saw it. He became famous over night. So many people were following him, ”Please teach me to make money!” and also every TV channel covered it.
Q: Was he creating real or fake money?
A: One of the primary principles of dharma is that we are not supposed to use anybody else’s money. We are not supposed to steal, we are not supposed to manipulate others for our money. But if somebody gives us money legitimately, we can use it. A business buys something for 10 euros, sells it for 12 euros. This is legitimate. Otherwise, if someone knowingly gives you money, it’s yours. But the moment you start playing with it, or using your powers for any kind of production, there is always a problem attached to it. It cannot be legitimate. When I was addressing the group in Mumbai, many people asked me this question. This was soon after the trip. ”Mohanji, what is your take on this miracle?” I asked one question, ”Who has the right to produce money in the country?” The government. If this man earned one million legitimately, hid it under his bed and produced it outside, it’s a beautiful magic show to make you happy. Like, they take a hat and a rabbit comes out. Or you keep money in the house, and using some entities you teleport the money here and produce it. This is definitely possible, again it should be legitimate money and it is ok. If he is actually making money, he should be imprisoned for running the parallel government! He is producing the money because he needs money and he is doing what Indian government is supposed to do.
One guy was inside the jail. Another guy asked, ”Why were you jailed?” ”I attended a speech of a minister, and then they caught me and put me into the jail.” The other guy said, ”Nobody will jail you for listening to the minister! You must have done something else.” He said, ”The minister said, ‘All you people should not depend on the government to give you jobs. You should find your own jobs, you should make (earn) your own money,’ So he started printing money himself. The police said this was not acceptable. So he said, ”My only fault was that I listened to the minister’s advice.” Ha, ha.
My point is never get deluded with any of all these gimmicks or some display of siddhi or magic. If you are connected to the path of Shiva, until you become Shiva, nothing else matters. Even if you get powers in the path, you have to ignore them. Because that could be your binding. You may be eager to display it and attract others. This is very dangerous. You may get stuck with this for a full lifetime or even longer.
Another trap on the spiritual path is people try to have powers. They do so many things to earn powers. And if they don’t earn powers in legitimate way, they contact the dark side for powers. Then they are trapped for life and beyond. In the dark path, minimum requirement is surrender your soul to them. You are a slave. In the bright path, it is liberation of the soul. This is the fundamental difference.
I always say, ”Please be very careful who you are dealing with. If you go to places like Himalayas, you can see many people, you can get fascinated with so many things, but always be very clear what you are looking for. If you are looking for liberation, never settle for anything lesser than liberation. Zero binding. Any person or a situation or a path which tells you, ”If you do not do this ritual, you will have a problem,” understand it’s a binding. The real richness is in the richness for which you don’t need money. I’m not against money, I love money as an energy, but I’m saying you should understand money and have maturity about it. You can surely do whatever is legitimate so that you are peaceful, but at the same time, whenever there is an urge for powers or certain siddhis, be very careful. Because then you are walking a thin line. You can fall anytime. Sometimes you can’t return back- you have to keep moving ahead. That is why people move from one trap to another trap the whole life and beyond. The darker path is the path of zero free will. The moment you commit your soul to it, then you are controlled completely. The brighter path is the path of complete liberation where free will is totally respected. So guru of the white or the bright path will never say, ”You must do this.” He says, ”If you like, I’ll help you. If you don’t like, you can have your free will.” But on the dark side, there will be insistence, ”If you don’t do this, you’ll have a problem.” I would say that if meditation binds you, it’s also a binding. You should be liberated at every point in time. But if you like to meditate, meditate. Your free will, your destiny path is yours. And this is 100% to be respected… In our spiritual path, we have to be very careful. To keep ourselves purified all the time, it’s not easy. We have to have clear vision to know exactly what you are doing or where you are going. The problem is there are ‘spiritual vampires’, people who use bright symbols such as Babaji or om, to manipulate
Normally a person cannot understand. There is a big temple of Babaji in one such person’s ashram. So people think that this is ok and they call him Babaji because of ”Autobiography of a Yogi”. There was a feature film, a long time ago, about a person who became sixty or seventy, and he contacted a saint. He said, ”I want my youth back.” So he taught him a very negative tantric method, where he can bring his youth back. He marries ladies and brings them, like a devils worship. And suddenly the youth is swapped. The other person becomes old and he becomes young. It’s like a boring horror film with no substance. But this is similar, to the trapping of consciousness while the predator thrives. These predators are also trapped but they don’t mind. It’s the suffering people who have a problem.
Q: How does Babaji permit that?
A: Your soul permitted your coming here, right? You never talked to your soul. In the white path, it’s always free will. You take care of your own karma. In the dark path there is manipulation. Your soul never interfered in your journey until this last fifty years or so. The same way Babaji, Shiva are the souls, 100% neutral. They never interfere. The moment you surrender, they take care of you. But they will never come and say, don’t do this, no, it’s not like a school teacher with dos and donts. Babaji will never interfere. That person will get results of his action. They have certain spiritual power with which they can manipulate your mind. I said, ”I’m not connected with that at all nor I want to.”
Q: Is it like a sort of hypnosis?
A: It is like hypnosis. One of my devotees who went to such a place said, ”When that person talked, I felt your fragrance Mohanji. I was so happy, it was just like attending your programme.” I said that was definitely not my programme.
Q: Mohanji, can you tell us about your meetings with positive, real, live gurus. Which of them impressed you most and why?
A: There are many gurus I liked.
I really loved Sathya Sai Baba for his kindness and unconditional love. I consider him as an avatar.
Then, currently living Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi– I consider her as an avatar. Because I deeply feel that motherhood is extremely important in today’s world. We are suffering because of greed and ego. We need a lot more love in this world and she is an epitome of love. I have a lot of respect for her, she is definitely in the white path. Then I sincerely appreciate Mooji, I think he is definitely a guru which the world needs now. And you might have read my experience with Babaji 1, 2, 3, but I would never like to boast about it, because this is his will, not mine. There is also Shirdi Sai Baba, whom I could meet personally, and cherish. Meeting him was one of my best shifts in my spiritual life. Then I travel in the astral plane and talk to various gurus there. Many of you have seen me in that plane and we have worked together.
Physically speaking, there is one old, normal saint who lives in the Shivananda ashram. He doesn’t have any disciples, but he has played some role in my life. I met him in 2001 after Ammu’s death and he said, ”Do something for the children of mother Earth, you will have eternal peace.” That time, I had no plan or no inclination to start any charity organisation; because I was withdrawing. But eventually a charity organisation happened. So it was like a prophecy from his side. I meet him very often.
Once I stayed in the Shivananda ashram. This swamiji arranged a room for me. That was next to the cave where Lord Dattatreya meditated. Now they closed it because of some illegal activity, like people having alcohol, etc. inside the cave. Or they found somebody making love inside the cave… Not everybody appreciates the sanctity of the cave. But I still like to be near that cave where Dattatreya meditated, so I stayed there a couple of days. But my problem was, at 7am they ring the bell for breakfast. If you don’t reach there till 7.15am, you don’t get breakfast. Then at 11am, they ring another bell for lunch. So I had to skip my breakfast, then I skipped my lunch, too. Then I told swamiji, ”I won’t stay here because I’m starving.” Ha, ha. Then swamiji said, ”Don’t worry. Come to my room. I will keep food for you.” It would be 9 am by the time I meditated and then would go to swamiji’s room, for my food. Then he said, ”Mohanji, you can’t hide for long. People will start recognising you.” I joked with him, ”Swamiji, let me hide as long as I can.” When people recognise, I’ll come out. His words became reality. People started coming to me. I never went after people, before or now. I don’t canvass. He is not a preacher, he wouldn’t take any classes, but for me he had a deep connection. Another time he said, ”In the years to come, you will explicitly express Shiva. Fire will come through your eyes.” And almost a year later, I had a vibhuti experience- Shiva experience. And eventually people started connecting to my eyes. We printed the cards with eyes. This was all spontaneous, we never planned it. And he told another person, ”Mohanji operates through his eyes. When he looks, he transfers.”
Then there is Vittal Babaji. Babaji said I should have an ashram within their ashram Kurvapuram (4-hour drive from Hyderabad. If you go there, you will automatically slip into meditation, there is such silence. For me it is a huge honour- Babaji himself creating a place to stay. This time when he came for the installation of the Shirdi Sai statue in the temple, Nandita Singh asked him, ”Why did you give Mohanji the title Raja yogi?” Because it’s a big title. He said, ”There is like a spiritual market now. I will not explain to you what the raja yogi is, because tomorrow a lot of people will say, ‘I’m also a raja yogi.’ But understand he is a raja yogi because I can see.” And then from his own phone, he showed the picture to Nandita where on Datta’s idol, my face has come. That picture was put on the Facebook page. Actually it was not supposed to be put, but somebody put it. Then Nandita asked, ”How did Mohanji’s face come there?” Babaji said, ”Ask him.” When he came to Bangalore, he said, ”I never allow anybody to sit next to me, but Mohanji can sit next to me, because he is equal to me.” And then his disciples started calling me. So I said, ”I am very ordinary, he is Babaji, so follow him.” I just excused myself. I don’t want to have any pretensions or any baggage in this life. I like to remain as pure as possible, so that I can deliver purity. So what I do is I look everything objectively with a lot of gratitude, but at the same time, I refuse to carry weight.
(Two months later, on 18th July 2014 Mohanji wrote:
“Vittal Babaji attained Maha Samadhi. I am on my way from Dharamsala to Sree Vallabha Puram. Babaji walked into my life almost two years ago. I have always followed my inner guidance in spirituality discreetly. Nobody initiated me or gave me any spiritual titles until then. As you know, I love to meet spiritual saints and whenever I go to them, I go empty and receptive. As soon as Babaji saw me, he said “Ah! Here is a precious diamond! From today onwards, you will be known as Raja Yogi.” He removed a ring from his finger and put it on mine. This was kind of approval of my stature or authentication. We connected deeply. He became my spiritual father and guru. He represented the golden tradition of Lord Datta. He always insisted on me sitting next to him which he never allows anybody. If I was a spiritual orphan, he made me belong. He gave me a home. I have always walked alone in life and I was never afraid. He reinforced me. I met him last month. I asked him if I can withdraw from public life and stay within to be without. He said “Not yet”. He understood my pain of violated stillness and said, “I will talk for you to people, if you feel tired of the superficial.” Thus he was ready to support me as if I were his own son. He even commissioned making my own exclusive space in Sree Vallabha Puram. Before leaving, he hugged me. I can never forget that hug. So much compassion and love. He autographed and handed over his English copies of Guru Geeta and Guru Charitra. He also asked me to address the people from my new abode at Dharamsala on Guru Poornima after handing over a big picture of Sai Baba. When I had to go to Mumbai to do Praan Pratishta of Sai Baba, I spoke to him on phone and took his permission. That was the last time we spoke. I have been like an orphan, finally finding a home and unconditional love from Babaji. I cherish the same feeling still. He hugs, he protects and he supports. I prostrate at his lotus feet with full humility and the love that I am capable of expressing. My humble salutations to a great soul. M.” Watch Tribute to Vittal Babaji)
Then there is an 82 year old saint within Vasishta cave on the Ganges, Shri Chaitanyananda Saraswati Maharaj. We have a heart-to heart connection. There are many actually, but my own friends are very old…
The translation makes the story a bit elaborate and the flow is interrupted. Biba adds her own story, ha, ha. But let me tell you honestly. When she met me I was not even talking to people. After almost two or three months she realised I was doing a job. I was a CEO of a company, so she asked me, ”What do you do for a living?” I said, ”I’m the CEO of this company.” So she never realised I was doing a job. There was nothing to talk. But after she joined me, haha…
B: It was contagious, it’s all my fault, ha, ha.
P: The power of talking, ha, ha, thank you Biba. Biba discovered you.
M: Yeah, absolutely. In fact, actually in one of the communions with Sai Baba I asked, ”Why are you sending a woman to me now?”
B: Oh, god…
M: He said, ”She will be the front who speaks, and I will be the power behind.” If left alone, I would never even meet people. Because I have no interest. I’m absolutely fine without any… ha, ha.
P: Anyone of us.
M: … any activity. I love people. Honestly, if I look at other people, I see myself. Because a part of me gets reflected. So I don’t see a different person, I see myself in fact. That is why I can love unconditionally. I do not put any conditions on my relationships. So this way I have to be honest that I love everybody. But I’m silent by nature.
I’m not comparing, but I’m telling the same concept. The story says, ”Shiva will be a yogi god, he is happy. When he married Parvati, the world became aware of that knowledge. Most of Shiva sutras, shaivism are his conversation with Parvati. I’m not Shiva, just Mohanji, but this is relevant. When she organised the first programme, there were forty people. Today, how many thousands… What did we do for it? People are connecting and coming. This is what I like.
When Parvati meditated for Shiva, Shiva came in disguise as a hunter and told Parvati, ”Why are you craving for this man? He doesn’t have a home, he wears ash on his body, he has a snake around his body, and he wears elephant’s skin for covering his nakedness. He becomes angry very fast, and he sometimes gets attracted to women, and he is not at all a suitable husband for you. You should marry somebody who is decent, normal person.” But Parvati said, ”I want only him.” Likewise, I told Biba, ”You will never have a normal married life, if you marry me. Because I will never be in one place. I will do things which are to be done. I am completely objective in my approach. If something has to be done, I don’t care about anything else, I’ll do it. So if you start putting in the social perspective or the perspective of the acceptance of life, it will be completely bizarre. I said, ”Think well before you marry me.” We had a discussion like that. I said, ”You may be married to me in terrestrial terms, but a lot of people are already married to me, ha, ha… in consciousness…
…The more aware we are, the less we need meditation. Be bold enough to discard what is not yours, such as required emotions, situational emotions or certain inherited characteristics. For example, you might feel you should behave in a particular way in a particular situation. It may not be true- we may just be habituated to behave in that way. Likewise, understand each activity and discard what is not yours or what you don’t need. That is a huge cleansing process; you will see emptiness emerging in three months, six months, growing over time. In the path of Shiva, in the path of dissolution, if you discard what is not yours, then what is yours will be very lean and manageable.
Q: How do we recognise what is not ours and what is ours?
A: By observing ourselves. When you start observing your thoughts, words and action, automatically things will go like emotions we acquired. In normal life we are like a sponge, absorbing everything around us. We get agitated when we watch a fight between two people. But the moment you start observing them, the input will be much less. It is all about being in the present. And understand the old principle of Upanishads- when the student is ready, master appears. He or she may not look like what you have in the mental picture. It is your free will to choose any guru or path, but walk till the end of the road; follow it till the last bit. If stopped halfway, disillusionment happens. If anything binds you, run away, as fast as possible. If anything liberates you, hug and don’t leave. You should stay liberated, and if you can, liberate the other person, that’s fundamental. If people cling onto you, that means you are not doing the right thing.
Secondly, you are only supposed to do within your capacity. You cannot change all the beggars in the street, because that is the government’s job. Individually, you have limitations. You could join hands with the government if possible. But understand, you are supposed to do only within your given capacity.
Thirdly and most importantly, any act of kindness cannot be subjective. It has to be objective. You should understand and act. It is not that ”I became emotional, so I remove my clothes and give them! They may sell the clothes and buy alcohol. We have to be objective and do what the situation requires. Emotional acts of kindness never, ever lead to the right situation.
We had a system in the place where I come from. Every night before you close the front door, somebody from the house goes to the gate, and shouts, ”Is anybody out there hungry?” If there is somebody coming in, you have to feed them before you close the door. People sometimes cannot afford food and will be waiting outside. They will be given whatever food you can afford. I don’t know whether it’s done now because people are always consuming fast food etc, so they may not be cooking at home, but, usually, when you are cooking at home, I feel this is a great thing to do. That you will not close the door when there is even one person hungry outside. It’s a great act of kindness.
Recorded and transcribed by Biljana Vozarevic
Edited by Aviral Srivastava