Satsang with Mohanji during 2015 Kumbh Mela Pilgrimage in Nashik, India – Part 2
Participant: I have one more question about being a vegetarian. I am very fond of non-vegetarian food. From time immemorial, nature has classified wild animals like lions, tigers et al to be carnivorous and elephants, goats et al to eat only grass. However, the human body throughout has consumed everything, vegetarian and non-vegetarian – be it somethings that swims, flies or walks. This has been so for a very long time. We hear that our teeth and intestines are not properly designed for non-vegetarian food, yet we have consumed it. Now, we are learning that eating non-vegetarian food creates blockages in our spiritual journey. With due respect to all Gurus, my question is that if this is true, then nature should have classified it at the very beginning itself. Why was it not done and what does it mean?
Mohanji: Look at the variety of human beings and observe their awareness. Some have very high awareness and some have very low awareness. Those who destroy, kill or torture have very low awareness. Their frequency is low and so is their operating level.
Then there are saints and people like Gandhi and Tagore, who only talk about peace and love. Thus you see the variety, and how different they are. Most people are greedy. They want to capture and conquer, and are not sensitive. I say this is because this is the preliminary or elementary understanding we should have.
When humankind started, maybe millions of years ago, it was evolutionary. It’s not that one man started living and the whole of creation began around him. Then another level of creation happened because it was evolutionary, and it was also guided by various factors. There is an intelligence level where guidance can happen. Beings of other zones also communicate and help them with life. Thus an evolutionary growth happens. They practise what they see.
The understanding level of an average animal is that of a two or three-year-old child. If you look at all the animals, they feel fear, love, they like connecting to you, and they like to love. All animals operate in that plane.
However as human beings we have grown further with different levels of awareness, and the result is the Vedas and Upanishads. We started going deeper into life and have learnt from nature.
If you observe animals you will notice that when they feel hungry, they hunt. If they are not hungry, they will not care. Likewise, nature has its own system of balance. Various beings control other species in a certain order. Human beings are the only ones who do not seem to understand this. Now, whether killing is good or bad depends on how it happens. Controlling a being, keeping it confined and suffocated and then finally killing it is not good, because the agony factor is there. E.g. with a mother cow anxiously protecting her newborn baby from being separated from her.
Agonised, she cannot protect it. You can watch the separation sin.
Suppose there is a herd of deer and a lion becomes hungry, and starts to hunt. The deer know that one of them will have to die. They choose amongst themselves, and when all the deer are running in one direction, one of them turns to the other direction and that one is killed. So when there is an element of sacrifice, there is not much pain. Don’t you feel better when you sacrifice? However if somebody victimizes you, or forces something on you, you don’t feel nice. Say you had a very nice dish to eat and were about to eat it when a poor person came in. You were not obliged to give it to him, but you decided that he deserved the food more and gave it to him. That person was happy because he had not eaten in many days and you also felt good. Thus the sacrifice you made enriched you, made you better. This is similar to the forest scene, where one animal takes care of its herd and feels it is alright to give up its life. Thus there is an understanding and collaboration between the species, within nature. Human beings do not have that. We do factory farming, we control and manipulate growth, we control species, we torture them, kill them, and so on. This is why we ask that you do not involve yourself in this chain of activities, which spreads negativity.
To look at it from another aspect, Sri Rama was non-vegetarian, Sita was non-vegetarian, and you can see Agastya had eaten meat. In those days, most of the Kshatriyas were non-vegetarians. If you read our scriptures, our saints have eaten meat, so it’s not that kind of a taboo. However when you were hungry and you ate with “bhaav” or feeling of gratitude, it was OK at that time. Today, we don’t have that. We are insensitive to nature. Hence we advise you to stay away from it. Human beings are a species who can connect to something much higher than what they are operating from. Any food that you consume, which has pain and agony attached to it, pulls you down, and makes you heavier. So, on one side you are trying to grow through spirituality to higher realms, and on the other side, whatever we do, pulls us down. So it is conflicting. That is why we say that it is not so good.
How do you become a vegetarian?
Spontaneously, through awareness. That means that at one point in time you will not be able to eat it because your energy level becomes so high that you can’t eat anything which contains pain, agony or suffering. It starts disturbing you, and at that point in time, you start staying away from it. Then it will not come back, because you are already elevated and your food habits elevate you further. Then you will not go back and start over. It’s very unlikely. We need a level of awareness to understand this though.
We are habit oriented, my grandfather, my father, myself, and it goes on. Thus habits are transferred. Habits come partially from heredity, and partially from society. Everybody is doing it, so it’s ok. However sometimes you choose to become the odd person and say that it’s not ok. We see that there is something seriously wrong with the whole system and start talking about it. That strength arises from within and we are not afraid of the others. We will stick to the truth and speak only the truth. When I was in the USA, I was being interviewed on television and I spoke about the killing of one-day or two-day-old calves! Eight million calves are killed every year in the United States of America alone.
I was talking about the cruelty and was told that if I spoke about all these issues, I could be very unpopular and people may not like me. I said that’s ok. It is not a problem. If I lived for only one day, I would like to speak the truth and live it. Tomorrow if people do not like to see me because I told the truth, I am happy, because I lived the right life. Thus we need to speak the truth in every situation so that within, there is no pretense and we are absolutely clean. We have no control over what others think about us, they can interpret it in any way they like, but if we are bound by it, then we have a problem. If we worry about popularity, we will have to compromise. How much will you compromise? How far? And sometimes the difficult thing is that if you lie, remembering the lie becomes a problem! With truth you don’t have to worry. However if you are lying, you have to remember the lie!
Human beings are impressionistic. We saw animals hunting and wanted to try meat. Then of course the food industry gives you all sorts of ideas. If you do not eat enough protein, you will have health issues. They never state that beans and other legumes have much more protein than meat.
Then they bind you to a taste. “Aha – Pizza Hut, amazing! Once a week, we must go to Pizza Hut, or McDonalds!” They bind us through taste. We are bound through two white things, sugar and salt. These are two main factors between you and enlightenment! It is because we are bound strongly to the earth by these, that we are not able to cut across and go further. That is why most saints have one meal a day, bland, with neither salt nor sugar. Then slowly they make it two meals a day. It’s very difficult. We are habituated from childhood. All these packets of crunchy snacks contain large amounts of salt. They are addictive and control you. So it is for sweet snacks also. Other addictions like smoking or drinking are manageable, and you could probably come out of them. However with the addiction of salt and sugar, these are silent and you wouldn’t know that it is a problem. We don’t even think about it. Aerated drinks have a lot of sugar, and we are consuming it without our knowledge. To counter it we choose diet or zero calorie drinks, but they are equally bad. Though the sugar level may be different, it is a wasted food. It slows down our digestion. However today in every fast food outlet, this is free. You buy a pizza, and you get this Cola for free. In any case you are dying, so you die faster!! (laughter)
The food culture/industry has bound us and we should not be thus bound. Imagine if you were not fussy and were fine with whatever came your way, then you would not be bound by choices. Just imagine the freedom! What comes to you is good for you, i.e. the food that comes to your table is your medicine, as the Upanishads say. That means, you eat whatever comes to you. Then you reach a level where you are not bound by taste. Shirdi Sai Baba used to wander. People would give him various eatables, and he would put it all in one bowl, mix it and eat it. It had all the flavors of life – salt, sugar, sour, etc. So he would mix all aspects of life and eat it. But we cannot do this. This is because we are taste bud oriented, we are bound by it, and we program our life to suit our taste buds.
Did I answer your question? The reason is that we have levels of evolution, some are of very low frequency. They do not understand, and are habituated and passive. They go about life in a ritualistic way, and believe that ”My elders were doing this and hence I follow it. We have all always eaten meat.” In fact I was reading today that God asked Abraham to sacrifice that which was most valuable to him. He was very close to his son, and hence decided to sacrifice his son. On that basis, animal sacrifices are happening now.
Animal Sacrifice misunderstanding
Participant: In our temples too we used to sacrifice lots of animals. What is the connection then?
Mohanji: Let me explain. Goats or cows are replacing sons. These animals are not inseparable from us. A goat is very valuable to the goat’s mother. However for a human being, it’s another being and doesn’t matter. In the cartoon I read, God says, “I asked you to sacrifice that which is very important to you. When you give me what is most precious to you, you detach from it. It is meant to teach detachment, so that you come closer to me, but here you are sacrificing somebody’s child. How are you interpreting my words?” Now coming to the animal sacrifices, a lot of things are connected to certain superstitions. Superstitions are very powerful, never underestimate them. Human beings have had insecurity since birth.
What is the main insecurity? Death. The second is failure, and the third is society. There are numerous insecurities. Death is a big problem. We wonder, if I am doing all these things to accumulate wealth and if I die, what happens? So we don’t like to die and we try various ways to beat it. Second are our failures. What will I tell my father if I failed? Right from childhood, we are afraid to fail. We never teach children that failure is a good lesson for them so that they can prepare better.
I was talking to a girl. She prepared for the Indian Administrative Services. She did very well, passed all the tests but failed the interview. She was devastated and she stopped talking to her family and friends. One of her aunts wrote to me and asked me to talk to her. I was traveling and hence sent a message on Facebook asking how she was doing. She opened up to me and said that it was devastating. I asked, ”Why was it devastating for you?” She said, “Everything was OK, until the interview. Why did I lose in the interview? Why did I not get into the Administrative Services? “ I said, ”The answer is in your question. After the failure, how did you handle it? Peacefully with maturity, or with immaturity and insecurity?“ She said, “With immaturity”. I said, “You cannot handle failure yourself. How can you manage thousands of people? When you become a collector, you will be responsible for a State or a District. You cannot even handle your own life, how will you handle others? This is why you failed. You have to understand, you are not eligible. Where is your eligibility? It’s in your ability to handle a situation peacefully. Situations will come and go. This is certain. Everybody faces situations. It has to happen. It is human existence. However how you handle it, shows who you are. If you want to become a Collector, you should definitely be able to handle yourself, at the least, at the minimum! If you cannot even handle a small failure, how will you handle a large number of people?” She understood. I told her. ”You created a lot of problems in the home, because of your failure. Patch it up now. You have created insecurity in the home and this is what you need to sort out right now. If you do, then you are successful in the first level. That means that you have managed your home well. First learn to manage the home well before you try to manage society.“
What do people do? They go to a temple and say, ”God please don’t let me fail. I will give you something.” This is how we talk to God! As if God is sitting there saying give me something, I will do something for you!!
Participant: We are giving – Rs 10 or Rs 5?
Mohanji: There is something else here. When you go to a Guru or God, there is a Dakshina. Dakshina in that context is surrender. It means you part with what is valuable to you. You surrender it to a Guru or to God, so that it’s a commitment. This is an old system. Do not confuse this with what we do at a temple. That is bribing! We tell God, I will give you Rs. 10, show the currency (M waving an imaginary note), provided you give me Rs. 1 million! (laughter) God doesn’t need money anyway, so it’s alright! So this is a type of bribing that’s happening all the time, and it is frustrating for God. He probably thinks, this idiot is coming again with all his money, here he comes!!! (laughter) This insecurity has also been supported by certain greedy priests. They may unnecessarily ask you to do a Pooja, in order to protect yourself from some calamity that they predict!!
As I said earlier, God has no form. We created Gods with forms for our needs and gratification, not God’s! We are not doing anything to please God, we are doing it for ourselves. Further, we created a God who needs blood! It’s as if he ordered, ”Kill animals and give me blood, then I will give you something!” Do not underestimate the power of superstition. People kill their own out of superstition, and this is triggered by those who need money. I was watching a movie in which a person goes to an astrologer who knows nothing, but is posing as one. He has a lot of rings near him and a board saying that if one were to wear the ring he would become rich. Many queue up. One of them asks him,” If I wear this ring, will I get a lot of money?” The astrologer says, “If you wear this, you will have a ring and I will have a lot of money!” (laughter) Society thrives on insecurity! People say that they believed in a Guru or Master and were cheated. Again, this happens because of insecurity. Why should you be insecure at all? What is spirituality? Being secure, with what you have. You have created a form, a structure, an identity, a constitution. What is there to be insecure about? One need not be Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone, right? We can be ourselves. We need not be someone else. There is no need for comparison, or to prove something to the world. Even if you did, there is no assurance that the world would understand you.
We need to understand the modus operandi in many cases. Some of these sacrifices were supported by the traders of leather and meat! They gave large bribes to the priests and Government officials to continue animal sacrifice festivals. Hundreds of thousands of animals were brought and slaughtered and the beneficiaries were the leather and meat industry. Most of the priests were bribed! Is this spirituality?
Scriptures allow symbolic sacrifices where ones are required. We can use a cucumber, apply red vermillion color on it and cut it. Pooja will be complete. However in this temple, they insisted on animals, because of the money involved, not out of Bhakti! If we dig deeper, we understand the details. Most people coming to the temple were probably illiterate and they only understood fear. If someone were to foretell a large problem for the family, even if a child hurt his knee, they would wonder if it was because of the prediction! They started looking at everything in a negative manner. Very soon, they would probably sell everything they have and buy a buffalo for the sacrifice. Once this is done they believe life will be good.
No true Guru or God is dependent on any sacrifice or food or any such thing. They have crossed over all these requirements to reach a state where they are absolutely fine just as they are. So when we believe that Sai Baba or some Master asks for something, understand that it is our creation. Baba is completely self- sufficient. Otherwise, how could he deliver to so many people in this world? He and other Masters do so because they have attained self-sufficiency. However we don’t accept it. If we say, Baba did ask me, it’s just manipulation. If indeed Baba spoke with you, you would have attained peace.
Your frequency has to increase so that Baba can speak to you. Furthermore, once you actually communicate with Baba, Jesus, Krishna or Buddha, you will not stoop down to a level where you ask for something. It is impossible, absolutely impossible! This is so because now you do not feel compelled to even meet people or talk to them. There is so much Shanti inside. Every cell inside has melted and you are in peace, a level of Samadhi! At that point you would not want something small from others.
When a saint asks you to wear something, for example, when Yukteswarji wanted Yogananda to wear a particular object for some time, it is different from the above. The Guru would have considered a higher objective and might be delivering it to you in this manner. Do not confuse this with asking for money or some such favor.
Exploitation happens when there is insecurity. Of the seven billion people on this planet, would anyone say that they have no problems? They might say that all is going well, except for one issue. That one problem is enough to create more. In a comedy program, someone asks a fake astrologer, how his future will be. The astrologer predicts that the next five years appear bleak, and that the person might even be reduced to begging on the streets. Worried, the person wants to know how it will be after the five years. The astrologer quips, he will just get used to it after the five years!!! (laughter)
The only way to counter insecurity is to have firm faith. Where would you place this faith?
Fundamentally, primarily, in yourself! You are not born bound. Mind has bound you! You are not bound by birth! Observe a small baby. Notice its spontaneity. When it wants to cry it will, when it wants to eat food, it will cry and indicate that and when it is happy, it will play. There is no binding. We are bound only by the mind. Your freedom is of utmost importance to you. It is your birth right. So the fundamental is faith in oneself.
Then, faith in the continuity of life which we call God. It does not matter which God or Guru we believe in. A Guru is a mirror. The Guru’s objective is to show you to yourself, not to carry you along. This is true for a real Guru, not Acharyas. Acharyas are preachers, who talk and guide you. However a true Guru is one who is connected to the Source and gives you only your image. This is your true image, not the mask. The world only sees your masked face, because we always pretend. We try to adjust to society and don’t reveal our real selves to anyone. We hold secrets and in some ways even that is beneficial because otherwise the world would have more garbage! The guru sets you walking on a path and if you need further guidance, he will guide you. If you do not need guidance, you do not need a Guru. Every river reaches the ocean, sooner or later. There is no way you can speed it up. Just as a river flows at its own pace and finally reaches the ocean, so you will also finally merge with the ocean whichever path or method you follow. This is certain and definite. The pace or speed of travel does not matter, because again this is a question arising from the mind. The mind wonders if it is the right track. Say you are not on the right path, is there anything you can do about it? You would still have to lead your life as it is! And then we need to understand, we are in the right path. A wrong path is one that binds you and makes you suffer, because you are supposed to be free and happy. If you are happy with what you have, are good and kind by nature, if your constant expression is that of non – violence and you are living your everyday life, then everything is absolutely fine. Nothing more needs to be done.
When we talk about being manipulated by Gurus, understand that it came about because of your insecurity and desire for sensations. We are greedy and to satisfy that greed, we agree to do poojas. I have received calls where priests have said I have done this Pooja for you and please pay so much! We do not have to do all this because God is never insecure. The only Pooja I recommend is one where at least three times a day, we offer whatever we eat to the Gurus, to God and to your ancestors. Do so in your language, not in Sanskrit or through mantras. The food becomes Prasad and is good for your stomach too. This way we are expressing gratitude to all the deities, Gurus and ancestors and it does not take much time, maybe about 30 seconds. You do this in your mind and your connection is direct, not through a priest or a Guru.
Again, if you are connected to a powerful Master like Shirdi Sai Baba his presence and the energy level will elevate you, just as your shirt smells pleasant when you are in a fragrance filled room. When you are in the proximity of a powerhouse, you will also start changing. Because of the proximity, the energy starts shifting within you. That is why I say, for every true Master, the presence is more important. Shirdi Sai Baba said the same thing, “My Master, my Guru was great, but he taught me nothing. Right from morning till evening, I looked at him and I got everything.”
Transcribed by Vidya Rajagopalan
Proof-read by Caroline Moscato