Weekend Programme with Mohanji ‘Return to Yourself’, Serbia, 3-4 Oct, 2015; day 1, part 3
The photo of Mohanji reflecting Hanumanji. It was taken in the USA when our USA family asked Mohanji to bless them on Hanuman Jayanti.
Q: Are devotion and service the same?
A: They are interconnected.
Q: Could you tell us a few examples about devotion and service? And could you tell us the story of Dipaka?
A: I’ll use the example of Hanumanji. He was serving Lord Rama, but his attitude was that of devotion. Whatever he was doing, he never felt that he was doing it. Real service is when you do not count your service. The moment you think you are doing a favour to somebody, that’s not service. If you start counting your charity, make a list and tell everybody; it’s not service any more. It’s like a favour. Service is a kind of surrender where you feel blessed that you can serve others. That is the right service. Otherwise people say, “I’ll write this cheque for you, do whatever you like.” That is an activity, not real surrender or service.
When your attitude is of surrender (whatever you do is for the sake of God), service becomes devotion. Nobody becomes enlightened through service, but they can become extremely purified through service. When you become very, very pure, you will either get into devotion, or acquire more knowledge to connect to the higher, thus leading to liberation.
A STORY OF DIPAKA
There was a great disciple named Dipaka. He was serving one Guru who had a few other disciples. One day the Guru called all the disciples, and said, “Through my practices I reduced almost all my karmas. I have only a few sins left, which I want to finish in this life, so that I become liberated at the time of my death. For removing these sins, I must go through certain suffering. So I am going to Banaras to contract a disease called leprosy and suffer for 12 years. Then I will be ready for liberation at death.” Dipaka said, “Master, why don’t you give this to me? I will suffer on your behalf.” Master scolded him, “You did not understand my teachings! A person’s karma cannot be transferred. This is the basic of karma. But if you want to serve me while I am with this disease, you can come. Otherwise you can stay here.”
They both went to Banaras, and the Guru contracted extreme leprosy. His body disfigured and puss came out of the body emanating a foul order. Someone with a terrible disease also get a terrible mood. Even though Dipaka was taking care of him and doing everything possible, his Guru was always abusing him. Dipaka was always quiet, he did everything possible to clean the house and his Guru- he washed him, bathed him, removed the puss and begged for food. Beggars can’t choose food, so whatever he received through begging, he brought to his Guru. When the Guru saw this food he would say, “I can’t eat this food, what dirty food it is!” and he would sometimes throw the food away. Dipaka would go again, beg and bring other food. It was a very tough situation but he never protested to his Guru. He obeyed everything, surrendered completely and performed his duties with full respect and reverence even though his Guru was abusing him every day.
Banaras is a place for worshipping Lord Shiva with a very big temple called Kashi Vishvanath. That’s a very, very powerful temple. Lord Shiva was watching this combination of extraordinary disciple and the very abusive Guru all the time. He appeared to Dipaka and said, “I have never seen any disciple like you. You are very patient, without expectation or anger, surrendered completely to an abusive Guru. I would like to give you some blessing. Ask me what you want.” Dipaka replied, “I want nothing for myself. If you can heal my Guru, it is ok. Wait a minute, let me talk to my Guru first and I’ll come back to you.” So he asked Shiva to wait! He went to the Guru and said, “Shiva has come. Can I ask him to heal you?” The Guru abused him again, “Are you fed up of looking after me and that’s why you brought Shiva? I don’t any support from anybody! You know very well that karma has to run its full course and if it is partially done, I have to suffer again in another life. I am not coming back. You go away.” Dipaka went to Shiva and said, “My Guru is very angry. I don’t need any blessing, please go.” Shiva was sad because whenever he came, he gave something to people. This man never wanted anything. He told another powerful master Maha Vishnu, “In my town, there is a disciple who has such a powerful personality. He is not affected by anything. He is very peaceful, he is serving an abusive Guru and I have never seen anybody like him on earth.” Maha Vishnu also went to see Dipaka. As soon as Dipaka saw Maha Vishnu, he prostrated at His feet and said, “Please, I don’t need any blessing.” HA HA .
(Laughter in the audience)
Lord Vishnu said, “I have to give you something.” Then Dipaka said, “If you want to give me something, give me more devotion to my Guru. If I lack something, please fill that so that I can serve Him better.” Maha Vishnu was happy because at least he could give him something unlike Shiva. He blessed him and he left.
Even though Guru was far away, he knew what was going on. He later asked Dipaka, “So Maha Vishnu met you? Just by serving me, you brought all these Gods to you, who people usually take years to connect and bring. You have become bigger than anybody on earth in devotion. And you will be known much more than me because you have already grown much bigger than me. I release you. I liberate you.” He crackled his fingers and in the blink of an eye, the disease has gone. He said, “I actually have no disease. I just helped you in liberation.” He blessed him and left.
A STORY OF SRI VASUDEVAN
I’ll also tell you a real story. I always visit this place near Bombay. There is a small room with the presence of Bhagavan Nithyananda, and two Nath Gurus, Machidanath and Gorakhnath.
An 84 year old man, Vasudevan has been serving in the small temple for many years. He just washes the place and keeps the deities ready. People rarely visit the temple. This man is unbelievably powerful.
One day somebody gifted him a book in English about Bhagavan Nithyananda. He wondered, “What will I do with this book?” And in the evening Bhagavan Nithyananda came to him in a dream or in real, and said, “Give this to Mohanji.” He asked, “How will I meet Mohanji? He is always out of India.” Next day I reached there. He said, “Yesterday I was thinking how to see you and you came.” I said, “You were not thinking. You were pulling me! HA HA.” I was there during Kumbh Mela in September.
His mind is totally empty. Every thought is powerful. Do you know how he prays? He doesn’t pray in detail, he is very old. He says, “Oh, Lord Krishna, I haven’t seen you for a long time. Now my eyes are very weak, when will I see you?” And Lord Krishna appears. He not only appears, but leaves His impression on the wall. So it’s not imagination. He becomes excited like a child. If you go there and ask him, “Where did Lord Krishna come? Where did masters appear?” He will be very happy to show you, “Come here, I’ll show you.”
While I was sitting there, Hanumanji was meditating in the temple. He said, “You know, this is where he was sitting.” And there is an impression of Hanumanji on the wall.
This time when I went, he could not even stand upright, he was bent. He was taking a bucket of water and cleaning. I asked him, “How are you lifting it?” “No, no, no, this is ok, I am serving God. I have no pain.” I know that he cannot walk and is full of pain. There is sacred ash emerging there. He keeps all the ash, and if any person with any ailment goes and says, “Please pray for me,” he will use the ash and it’s guaranteed to heal. I sent many of my followers there just to demonstrate to them what devotion is. Masters come to you not for the countless chants but for the purity of your heart.
I told some people, “Get him some nice clothes” since he wears torn clothes. When I met him next time, he kept all these clothes there. I asked him-
Mohanji: Why are you still wearing the torn ones? Where are other ones?
Vasudevan: Mohanji, don’t send me good clothes, I was afraid to look at them, because if I wear all these, people will think I am a rich man. You take it.
This time also he gave me a lot of clothes.
Mohanji: Don’t give me all these clothes, I have clothes.
Vasudevan: No, I kept them for you, take it.
Mohanji: I can’t take all these clothes, there are too many.
Mohanji: What will make you happy, if I take all these clothes, or if I leave it?
Vasudevan: If you take all these clothes, I’ll be very happy.
Mohanji: Ok, then give them to me.
He is an amazing man but local people don’t even know him. His neighbours have no idea who he is. When I visited him this time, he told me how at night some people threw stones at him. Being partially blind, he couldn’t see who threw stones. No stone hit him. I asked him, “Did you tell the police or anybody?” He said, “You know, that’s the beauty of karma. If somebody throws stones, it is their problem, not mine.”
He said, “We should not even think bad about anybody. When they throw stones, they also take the karma. We should not be worried.” His eyes showed that he has just a few more months maybe. One person came to him while I was there. I asked, “So you have an assistant now?” He said, “No, he is a spy. He came to check how much money I am earning.”
There are various people like him but not visible to us. You cannot estimate the power of a master because if you start analyzing, you lose him completely.
When I told the story of Dipaka, I suddenly remembered this man. Unfortunately after his death, this temple will probably also wither. If you just tell him my name, he would start crying- there is so much love, he doesn’t know what to do. I met many masters like him but they are not in the public light. You hardly see them, but if you want to experience real love, you have to meet such people.
Q: How can I hope without expectation?
A: I would say that expectation is a stronger binding. Hope is like an inspiration. Yet both tricky expressions of the mind, like two sides of a coin. When you have hope, it automatically goes to expectation. When you have equanimity of the mind, you will neither have hope nor expectation.
Q: What about sankalpa? (intention)
A: It is the substratum, having its root in impression. We are collecting impressions. Now when the people look at me, they have an impression of Mohanji. This impression is processed in individual minds. This impression could be close or faraway from truth. Not all sankalpas are pure and true.
A HANUMANJI STORY
Hanumanji makes Lord Ram yawn
This incident is from the Ramayana at the time when Lord Rama had been crowned king upon his return to Ayodhya after the war in Lanka. His paramabhakta or prime devotee Hanumanji was as always by his side, continuing to serve him with deepest devotion.
The other bhaktas or devotees, however, were getting more than a little peeved and annoyed with Hanumanji. He was so prompt and attentive in noticing and fulfilling every little need of Lord Rama, that it was impossible for anyone else to get an opportunity to serve Him! So they discussed among themselves as to how they could enter the picture. The plan was to go to Hanumanji and tell him kindly that they were henceforth relieving him of all duties. But he would naturally protest since his very reason for existing is service to the Lord. So they told him that they were assigning to him the single but very important duty of snapping his fingers every time Lord Rama yawned. He just had to stay out of everyone’s way by sitting outside the royal chambers. They claimed that this was a very important job, because of the common belief that if the fingers are not snapped at the time of yawning, the lifespan of the yawner is reduced!
Hanumanji agreed. But the problem was that sitting outside, he would not be able to see Lord Rama’s face to determine when he was yawning. So his clever solution was to keep snapping his fingers continuously. That way when the Lord did yawn, he would not miss it.
And it so happened that Lord Rama could not stop yawning! People started wondering and getting worried, and the Lord himself commented that he couldn’t stop the yawning. So they had no choice but to beg Hanumanji to come back inside and resume doing whatever he was doing before.
If devotion is perfect like that of Hanumanji, the master melts. There is no way the connection can then break, there being no substitute for pure selfless service.
Transcribed by Biljana Vozarevic and Geeta Iyer
Proof-read by Aviral Srivastava