Miscellaneous Discourses

 Miscellaneous Discourses


 Swami Niranjananandaji



We are endowed with many physical, mental, and psychic facilities in order to take upon ourselves the mission we have set upon when we were in the real, true, state of our being. The state of being now that we are enjoying here is only a modification of out true state of being.

We set upon ourselves a mission, and then according to the mission. We have taken upon ourselves the needed Paraphernalia, the body the mind, the senses. Whatever we want we have taken upon ourselves to fathom this, the Truth, the Reality as it is, as it seems to be. Not that we do not know the reality, but that we do not know that we know the reality, that is the whole thing. That is the game. We pretend that we do not know. Unless you pretend you don’t know, you’ll embark upon the mission to know, to fathom. That’s the whole game.

In the process, what has happened is, though we have come out of that darkest region of ignorance. Yet we have fallen into that other pit of ignorance. We have subjected ourselves to the ignorance. Ignorance often modifies itself into a promise, hope, guiding into the pitfall; misguiding what we call guiding. That is the reason why we are all in a state of confusion. Because we think that we have followed, we thought we do not know, so we go in order to find out what we do not know. We go to the sources which we think will enlighten, and unfortunately we meet with the failure, and keep on running from pillar to post until our heads break their bones.

That’s what the situation is. We think other than what we are. Thats is the greatest ignorance. We have been entertaining the idea that we have grasped; we have been misled. If you can turn within, and go deeper into yourself, even one-third of that you involve in the material world, you will strike something, the gold mine of understanding, the knowledge, the knowing. You will start knowing, which is quite different from what you think you have been experiencing outside as “knowing.” Then, that will lead to hope, real hope, the joy of being there at the right time, and the right place. We have not done that, we have fallen into the wrong hands. We have taken the wrong road getting nowhere. That’s what has happened. We have been confined because we have not been able to be strong. We have neither faith nor hope in ourselves.We have become courage-less, cowards. That is the reason why we are paying heavy penalties in life.

Life is short. Average is 74 years in America, and elsewhere it 32 years. So, within that what can you accomplish? People have accomplished a great deal. For 2,000 years people have not even been able to understand what they have gained in 31 years. Look at Jesus. Look at Shankaracharya. Look at all those great people. They have lived for only 32 years and what a shame we have not understood them and what they have done. We have been trying to understand the interpretation of that they have done. That interpretation often seems to be a misinterpretation. That is the reason why we have not been able to reap any harvest in spite of all our struggle. We have been led into wrong hands. We have been bound by a lot of these, what they call themselves, teachers, the masters, soothsayers.Talking about the future without knowing the future. Talking about the past without knowing what the past was. They themselves are in a confused state along with us, and we still follow them.

That’s the whole problem, we are all capable. My friends, turn you gaze within; everything is within. You are the master, you are the student.You open your eyes within, open your ears with, see the vastness within. Then, you don’t run hither and tither. Your salvation is within.

What is Salvation? Understanding, knowing the fullness of knowledge; that’s the salvation. Beyond salvation is what only you have to experience. We have been misled. We have been victimized by the desires and passions of the others who call themselves the masters, the guides. That’s what has happened. We must find a true teacher. Once you are sincere, faithful, you are led into them, they will come to you. Wait, don’t run. At the right time the right thing will happen.

What happens is, how are we to know who is the right, who is the wrong custodian of our lives, our mission, our everything? To whom should we surrender and entrust our life, to whom we should not? He is the teacher who takes full responsibility and guides you in spite of full resistance without seeking any reward in return. He is more interested in you and your welfare than his own welfare. That is a teacher. And, he is not a teacher, she is not a teacher, the one who tries to hold you back from your progress.

It is the duty of a teacher in a primary school to teach you the A, B, C’s. I salute them; they taught me A, B, C, but he never held me back, he didn’t say, “I taught you A, B, C so stay with me for all the eternity.” No, he said, “My son I have taught you A, B, C, so make use of these A, B, C, go ahead.”So, I left him and went to the next grade. So, with the A, B, C, I started putting them together, C as in cat, M as in mat, R as in rat. Is it a sin to have gone passed the teacher who taught me A, B, C, and to the teAcher who taught me to make words out of those syllables? Then, he said, “My son, you have learned how to use C as in cat, M as in mat, R as in rat, now go on and learn more” and he pushed me to another teacher. These are all great teachers. You should bow down to them. They never held us back. They were interested in me, they pushed me further and further. So that teacher further taught me how to read, how to write, how to compose. So also did every teacher throughout.

Maybe in our lives we come across so many teachers. Everyone is helpful.Anyone who pushes us further and further, they are the great ones, they are true. Though he taught me only A, B, C, his knowledge was not only A, B, C, it’s far beyond A, B, C. But, he gave me only that because it was only what I needed and that my capacity to understand. Now as I increase my capacity to digest, to understand, and my receptivity, then I was led to another teacher. Anyone who pushes you further in your progress is the right teacher. Anyone who holds you back, pulls you back, takes you into the deeper and deeper dungeon, “Don’t do this,” “Don’t experience this, Don’t question.” These are the stupid teachers who are detrimental to your progress. They are not your guide.

If I do not know, I should be able to tell you, “My son, I do not know, you must go to some other people who know. Then, when you know, please come and tell me too, I’ll be happy.” That should be the spirit of the teacher. Only such people can be our teacher. Under them, you can go to any depth, fetch everything in this world, there is nothing which is beyond. But, unfortunately in this Iron Age, the delusion, Maya, has spread Her sheet of delusion which has blinded us. We have become deaf to the right music, and we have closed our eyes to the right sight. Still. we think we are great.

Now, this is the time that you must regain your independence, become independent. You have learned your A, B, C’s, you have written, you have gone far beyond that. You are great, each one of you are he masters of the future, in each one of you I see that Light. Within your own capacity, within your own circle, you can shine. You may not be suns now, but you are not less than the moon, your light brings lots of joy and happiness to the other souls. Their joy will bring you greater joy, the greater the joy, you will try to do greater things, and the greater the joy, greater light, brighter light. It is all within yourselves. Seek and realize.

Try to take a few minutes each day to look deep within yourself. Don’t depend on anything. Depend on God. Whether you know or not, He is the Light, He is the Hope, He is the Guide, and He is the Goal. You may not see Him, He sees you. That is more important. You may not touch, you may not know where He is, but He can touch you. He knows all about your whereabouts. He can embrace you. Have faith, be strong, don’t be a coward. You are capable. There are masters taking care of you. You will never do wrong even if from the social point of view it is wrong. We are human, God knows we are human. The right time, the right master will do he right thing for you. Don’t fall into the wrong hands. Don’t fall into the pit. Exert, brighten yourself. You are all made to be great ones, you are the hope of the future, my friends.You are all there, you will all be there. God be with you. Let you be successful in your spiritual endeavor. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji


Let us sit together. It is a covenant between the two parties, the teacher and the taught. They all gather under the tree beside the hermitage. Every time they meet together they repeat what they have forgotten. Let us try to live together, sit together, discuss together. By discussion we learn, the more we learn the more we grow. You get knowledge, let us share that knowledge. Grow, let us all grow and shine forth together. Let us become wiser and wiser together. Let us grow. Let our wisdom grow. Let us not grieve, grieve not. Let us not experience any kind of sadness. Let no pain, sorrow, fall upon us. Let there be peace, peace, peace. Peace within, peace without, peace everywhere. That’s the whole beautiful covenant. These are more essential. What happens if you do not sit together and try to understand together? You will never grow. It will be like pouring honey on the piece of rock, neither party will get any benefit, both will lose. So this is an understanding.

The teacher who has seen is humble and wants to share. He doesn’t mind these inconveniences, nothing. He is happy because that is one thing he can freely give; it doesn’t cost anything though it is costliest. Master gives and the students who have the receptivity, who equally are humble, who are equally receptive, will receive and benefit from the master’s sharing of knowledge. As gladly and with all the pleasure one gives, there must be a party equally humble and receptive. If not, in between there will be a slip. It is a waste. So thus, once this foundation is established then the rest of the things are all natural. They grow together, they shine forth together, they reach the goal together.

That’s what it is, the fullness of knowledge, the only basis on which you realize. That’s basis of life, and it’s that which brings you peace. It’s that knowledge which can establish peace. In spite of turbulence on the surface when you go deeper there is always the deep, cool peace. The peace that is the purpose of life. So the whole purpose of life is what often we say, God realization; we want God. We have been trying for all this eternity, we want God. What is God? What is God? So when Moses went to visit Mount Sinai, he got the message. He said God gave me the commandments. Who gave? Did he see? Did he paint Him? Did he say how He was? In the movie you can see, they show a beautiful light, a blinding light, that’s all. He spoke in Hebrew. Did He speak in Hebrew? What about those people who spoke in English? What about those people who spoke only Creole? What about me? I don’t understand any other language than mine. Language is not a barrier for God. Person is not a barrier, He can speak through the straw if He wants. He can make a straw stronger than any other element in the world, and He can make the strongest element the weakest. Ramakrishna said he saw God. But he could not explain. Nor hundreds of others. They all realized God and they all said, “Oh I have seen God and I have played with God, and all that.” Should we doubt them because we have not seen Him, and may have seen God? No, that takes us nowhere. Each one of them are great ones; we should always humbly salute them and pray for their blessings. It doesn’t matter. The conception of God differs from each other. It is personal. God cannot be defined, as such it is a story to condition the experience of God.

What matters is our preparation. God is not the problem. The problem is ourselves. We have conditioned ourselves and we condition everything: “If God does not come in this way, I do not accept Him.” God doesn’t care. We have put conditions, we have made ourselves so conditioned that we don’t even see when God comes and sits on my lap, I don’t see him. Even if He comes and shakes hands I don’t know Him. Because we have a preconceived idea as to what God should be. God can be anything. That’s the whole problem. Because otherwise God can send the messages, He doesn’t need a messenger. At the same time French, British, Indian, all kinds of people knowing only their language can come together at once and all will understand the message in their own language. Just because they say what they heard, it doesn’t mean God spoke to them only in that language. He spoke to them in a language, a speech which each one of them understood in their own language, that’s all.

So God doesn’t involve in that. He is far beyond that. He raises everyone above and then conveys and everyone receives, then comes back. They failed to say in what language He said because language is not a thing. It is true each one of us can see God in our own light in our own way. That’s the thing each one of them, the ancient ones, have seen as Moses saw God, Rama, Krishna and there are saints and sages who danced with God. There are saints who played with the Lord as a child, who kept God on their lap and changed diapers. There are Yogis who sat still as a rock and experienced, attained something ; say, “Bliss.” Far within they were so active, full of joy, full of light, you could see. What were they doing? They were visiting God, God was visiting them, there was a communion. How? In what way I cannot tell you. So that’s what happens, that’s the whole reason why we say God cannot be defined. God is far beyond the definition. Is He an Abstract? Yes. Is He an Adjective? Yes. Is He a Noun? Yes. Is He a Pronoun? Yes. He comes like a fly. He comes like a dog. He comes like an elephant. He comes like a man. He comes like a sick man, woman. He is free. He manifests on whatever He chooses. If He becomes a man does He become like a man? He manifests in the man. He manifests in the tree, in the nature.

In order to experience Him as He is, remove that condition, don’t condition Him or yourself. Say, “Lord, no matter how You come, no matter who You are, mother, father, or child, or whatever You be, I don’t know. When you come, help me not to reject you.” That should be our prayer. Our prayer should be “Oh Lord when you come let us not reject.” After all, as a man I am full of ignorance. It is likely that I may pass when You come, please don’t do that, enlighten me at that time. Let me recognize and behold Thee.

So it is true, whatever the form He has appeared in, in the past, He can reappear in the same form or may change later. It’s all true. That’s the reason why God and truth is not different. God is truth, truth is God. God is love and love is God. Everything is the manifestation of God, that’s the reason why we say. Try to understand it’s not God’s problem. He is available now. He might be smiling now as we are discussing about Him. He is happy, He is joyful that we are talking about Him. It’s all right, but we cannot see, we cannot feel because it is not His problem, it is our problem. We are not prepared.

The problem is our preparation, receptivity, we are still skeptical. Still we think, “Oh I am this, I am that, I cannot see God, I cannot feel God. It is that which is keeping us away from Him, away from Her, away from It,” whatever It is. Prepare yourself, wash off all your stupid suggestions. Keep yourself clean, become humble, become innocent. Don’t show off your egotistic wisdom. Be humble. Accept yourself as what you are, don’t try to pose yourself as something other than what you are. God has made you in the way that He wanted you to be. But prepare from within, prepare yourself, prepare the altar inside so that He will occupy the altar and shine forth.

So that’s what the message is. God can appear in any way. You can experience God, you can see God, you can behold God, you can touch God. The same thing happens when you sit in meditation and enjoy. Some people say, “I saw God in a dream.” Some people say, “I saw God as I was walking in the forest.” Some people say, “I was drowning and I saw God lifting me up, I am here.” Do we doubt? No, we have no right to doubt. If at all we have a right, we have the right only to believe, because God can do wonders. Because we don’t have faith or faith is lacking it doesn’t mean that others’ faith is short of what it is. I should be happy if I am not capable of receiving God, at least my friends have. So let us serve them. By serving them we will be serving God because God accepts service through them until we are prepared, until we have a house for Him to come and sit in our hearts.

We are all homeless, we don’t have homes. Let us try to remember this. Let us remember this and prepare ourselves. Be humble, don’t make a big show. Don’t be proud of what you are and where you belong to, what group you belong to, what religion you belong to, neither of them has helped anybody at this time anyway. You have to work on your own, you have to walk your own distance on your own feet and why waste time. Those who want to do it let, them do it. You are enlightened people, you are all special, you are all chosen. Get ready to receive the Beloved. Let us all sit together and in one voice we shall sing, we shall all become one in receiving the Lord and share the bounty. He is our greatest bounty.

Swami Niranjananandaji


I have been thinking. A thought came to my mind. What a beautiful thing it is to meet here on Saturdays and spend some time in holy union. This place has been given to us on Saturdays for our purpose and it need not have been given to us. They are much more than willing, they are happy, jubilant to let us sit here on Saturdays and pray, enjoy, and leave some holy vibrations. This is a church. This is a Christian church, but we sing in Sanskrit the name of Rama, we take name of Krishna. What a joy it is. In the name of this church, this place, is unity, Unity Church. What a lofty idea these people have. What a lofty idea. They exclude none, but include everyone. That inclusion, that idea itself is holy, so holy. It shows the maturity and understanding of the religion and its purpose. Most other religions are so self-centered and stupid. They practice all kinds of stupid ideas. They rip the whole humanity to pieces. But this is one which is trying to build everything together, putting everything together. What a lovely idea.

What happens is they are trying to weave a beautiful strong rope, so that we can hold on to that rope and climb into the heavens in the unknown heights. The heavens of beauty and joy and understanding. A rope is made up of several threads. Each thread added makes the rope stronger, thicker, and adds lots of strength, so that everyone can hold on and go, climb. The Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, and the Jews, everybody can come here together, sit together, pray together, in one voice, and with one heart. Nobody’s hurt by this, nobody suffers. I have experienced whenever I go out, whenever I see any of the people belonging to this church, when they look at me, look at us, they wave, they smile, what a beautiful smile, innocent smile. There is a true feeling, it is not a crafty or cunning, political smile. It is the heart that opens up when you look at them. See these are the signs of realization. Anyone who founded this must have realized. Unknowingly they must have struck gold.

In this process what a great thing has been achieved. That’s what it should be. Each thread makes the rope stronger. You are always grateful to the people who conduct this organization and share it with us. My wife comes here on Sundays. She enjoys it. She comes and tells me how joyful it is. She is very shy to go anywhere, she never wants to go anywhere, but this is one place she has decided to come. It makes me happy. So these are the things which matter in life.

The purpose of religion is this, to bring together. No matter what language you speak, no matter what shape you give it, and when you pray, how you sit down and how you pray, it doesn’t matter. What it matters is to bring together your own self first and your neighbors and friends and relatives, whole world together next. That’s the purpose. In these days religion is a vague word. That’s the reason why no religion has been able to lead anyone anywhere. They’re so narrow and breed all kinds of doubts. This is the time when we need more lofty ideas like unity. Religion has no meaning nowadays. What is religion? What is its purpose after all? Not just to question our thinking. Let us all join together in building this institution, but it’s not an institution, it is our home. We may die, we may be buried, but we still live in here, in these vibrations, in this light, in these rays of light. We continue to enjoy, experience. But if you cannot, at least we may spread, share things with others. Once you are unified here, when you are here, whether you are here in the physical form or not, it doesn’t matter. As I told you we never die. We think we die, we think we are born, it’s only a question of thought, and again we think, “How can you say it is a thought, because we can feel it?” but you can feel it even when it is not there. Even when our body is not there still you can feel that you have a body. Even when you don’t have money, don’t you feel that you are rich? How many times people have thought they are kings. It’s a thought. Let us all feel grateful to all these people who have allowed us to sit here and spend a few hours together, and enjoy, experience. Let it grow, let it grow, let it grow.

Swami Niranjananandaji


Since you have been present in all planes of consciousness, in all planes of being, when you want to redeem yourself, when you want to withdraw, you have to walk through all these planes. This movement is very subtle. If you seek freedom, you want to get rid of this bondage of belonging to all these planes. If you want to get freedom, you have to free yourself from the vital, physical, psychic, and mental, planes. Then only you can say, “I am completely free.” Otherwise you will not be free. You might be free from vital, but not really free. You might appear to be free from vital because you are impotent or some other reason. You may be incapable of acting on that plane. That does not mean you are free. It is not a renunciation, not a freedom.

Another example: although you do not have eyes, you do still feel that you want to see. Just because in an accident you have lost your eyes, it does not free you from the desire of seeing. So you are involved there. Just because you may be deaf, it doesn’t mean that you do not want to hear. You still have the desire to hear. You always make all efforts to hear in spite of having lost your ears. So also, the tongue. You have become dumb, but still you feel like talking. You go to the extreme extent to talk, but still you cannot. But still you hold on to the desires to do it. So that means you are not free. You are still involved there. So you have to free yourself. You have to work there also, on the vital plane, also on the senses. So there you will find you do not know how to withdraw yourself from them. You are incapable. You are not able to realize your supremacy. You have made yourself weak, so you have to grow stronger. You must grow stronger than the senses, if you want to withdraw from the senses. You must grow stronger than the mind, if you want to withdraw from the mind. You have to grow stronger than your own physique if you want to withdraw from the physical. You have to grow to strengthen your Will, your Supreme Will.

That is the reason why there are many paths in yoga leading us to gradual freedom. Along with yoga, we have to do upasana, vrata, yama and niyama. All that strengthens your will. Without will you cannot achieve any degree of freedom. Though it seems to be very easy when we talk, it is not at all so easy when it comes to doing. We have to understand it. Strengthen our will. In order to strengthen our will, we will have to do many things. We do Puja, we do fasting, we do service. All these things are the means of strengthening the will. If you want to conquer yourself (there is no question of conquering, really, but still, if you have to use a word, then use conquer), you have to conquer hunger. Hunger is a bondage. It is a thing which really binds you. It is a vital movement. It ties you down by way of habit. If you are used to eating at 11 every day, at 11 o’clock you become hungry and whatever you do, ultimately you yield. If you are trying to free yourself from this habit of hunger as a yogi, suddenly you remember at this time: “Oh, I am a yogi. I am practicing to control hunger. I must control it. No, No, I don’t want to eat now.” The more you do not want to eat, the hungrier you become. There is a reaction there, so you yield. Why? Because your will is still weak. You are weak willed so you cannot win over that urge. In that case, you must prepare yourself. Say, “Whatever happens, at the most I am going to die now of hunger. I won’t mind it, but I am not going to eat “The moment you make a decision not to eat even at the cost of your life, it is the same as strengthening your will. Make a decision. “I am not going to eat in spite of all this.” All right. It may cause you a little bit of upset for a day or two, but then, later on, at 11 o’clock, there will be no hunger. So! You have freed yourself from that particular slavery.

It is also the same in other involvements. So on the vital plane you have to work like this. Have to strengthen your will. The more you try to do it, the more you are involved! The day you make a decision not to eat meat, that will be the day when new, fresh meat will come home. You feel like eating. It needs a lot of discretion, it takes a long time for you to learn to think and say to yourself, “All right, I will eat it tomorrow, I don’t need to eat today.” The mind starts reasoning out, “I should eat it today. I’ll start not eating meat tomorrow. Why not? It doesn’t matter.” Etc. No! It is a rule. No means no. Whatever happens.

Also the same case if you see a dress, you need one. X puts on a new dress of a new fashion. You also feel like buying one for yourself immediately. That is the movement of the ego, the desire of the mind. And you forget that you have already got plenty. Now you have to take a decision: “I don’t want to please my ego like this, fulfill my desires like this. I am not going to buy any more dresses unless I wear out all my dresses that I have.” Thus you try to control the desire but unfortunately, the next moment there will be a woman with a new dress and you are tempted. You feel, “Oh, this is only one, this is the last time that I will buy, and the next time I will not buy.” Thus you start slowly yielding. This is no good. NO! No means no whatever happens.

So, these are the tricks. Instead of reasoning out in order to escape from strengthening the will, you must reason out in order to strengthen the will. I have many clothes, why waste money? In these days of inflation, why create a new market? Why spend money? I don’t want it. I am happy with what I have. Just turn away from that at that moment .

You must remember this as well. Turning away is not a freedom. It is a weakness. Stand there, reason out, and test your own self. No means no. That’s all. Similarly, oppose it. I want to meditate. At the same moment as you think of meditation, all your memories surface themselves. Or many unhealthy thoughts come. Things you wanted to forget will come in order to take you away from mediation. It is at that time that you have to think again, I am going to meditate. I may not meditate, I don’t mind that, but at least I am not going to be involved in these thoughts. I am sitting. And sitting and shall continue my effort what ever may come.

If you are not doing Puja, worship, nothing happens. You are free. The moment the day and the time comes when you decide to sit for Puja and meditation, that is the day when your guests will come. A guest whom you may not have seen at all after so many years. He will come now! Or some urgent work will come which you may not neglect. You will have to do it. It is a test. Whether it is important, or the meditation is more important, or Puja is important.

If you take to meditation, whatever happens, let the whole world go to dogs! Think, I have chosen this moment, I will do it, that is all. “This offering unto God pleases God. I have chosen this moment, I must do it, I will do it.” Do it, do it;— that is all! It may happen twice, thrice. Later on, once it is known that you are strong enough, exactly at that moment, even if you are busy, suddenly you will be free. Just spontaneously it happens. That itself helps you. That is, you must concertize your will. That is the most essential thing in yoga.

The vital — the moment you want to think of meditation or something it starts trying to hamper. You wander all over the world, nothing happens. The moment you think of going to Church and to sit there for meditation or think of Jesus, your body doesn’t want to go there. Legs feel tired. Your mind doesn’t want to think of Jesus. “Oh, I am so tired, I cannot go. I cannot meditate.” So you decide not to go. Strangely, immediately after five minutes, if a man calls you to go for a picture or movie, you are ready to go. Every time that you think of the Divine, there is an anti-Divine force working against it. The moment you subjugate yourself to the anti-Divine forces, they give you everything that seems to be happiness. Every sort of happiness that seems good. The vital-physical energy, none of these things are going to help you for a spiritual life. But the moment you think of this Divine, the anti-Divine forces will come and attack you. If you forget about the Divine, no anti-Divine forces will come upon you. You are made free. But are you free? Is it not a false notion of freedom?

This notion of freedom does not help you to progress. All that you seek is your progress, your expansion into consciousness, your freedom. It does not happen unless you involve. The moment that you involve, you have to face all these controversial things. Detrimental forces working against your own purpose. So, before that, you have to create this will. That is the reason we program fasting, and this and that, so that you may grow strong enough and be in readiness to utilize your will when it becomes necessary.

And again, about the physical. The moment you want to sit in mediation, there will be tension somewhere. You will feel that, “oh, there is tension here.” You can sit nor stand. If you sit for half an hour fore meditation, not even for a few minutes will the physical cooperate. So you must try to exercise will. Do all that exercise, and then say, “Now I have done sufficient (Asana) now, whatever happens I’m not going to get up.”

Do you get pain and all that? Yes, yes. It happens. Because physical wants you, like a naughty child which always seeks mommy. Doesn’t want to leave. But the child wants mother for nothing at all. It just goes on hovering around. Similarly the body needs you. Body doesn’t want to get lost. That is more attached to you than you are to it. Body enjoys you more than you enjoy your body. So, it knows that without you it cannot exist and enjoy. Also there are anti-Divine forces and other forces which are working through the body, it may not be the body itself. There are forces that become detrimental whenever you try to meditate. Meditation is a process by which you realize higher aspects. Once you establish yourself in a higher plane, you will no more want to entertain anything in the lower plane, to which these things belong. You may no more want them, but they want you. So they just try to pull you down, to involve you in the lower nature which always works against you. So here you will like to exert. At the most, what happens? Let us see. Supposing my knee pains, when I sit. How long does it pain? May be for half an hour. It may make me think that it may not work tomorrow if I persist. It doesn’t matter. Once or twice, then later on there will be no pain. It will say, Oh, this will not do. My mom does not seem to give in. I cannot in any way deter her progress.

If there is a disease, that is a different thing. You have to deal with disease, take remedial forces and get rid of it. That is a different story altogether. I’m just talking about when there is no disease. I’m talking about forces. See, disease itself is a force, a detrimental force. So at that time you must be well enough to deal with the disease first and you should not exert too much there. You must know when and how to strike at it. You must be a Warrior there. You must wait for a weak moment and hit hard so that they may die. They may not attack you again. And even in yoga, wisdom is the key word.

You cannot, just because of will, just because I told you to do these things, you cannot just then do it. You must know when to do it, how to do it and to what an extent. For, after all, you are dealing with an inert object. There is no intelligence. So you must know how to deal with that. Because you are not cutting it off, you want to utilize it. All that happens is it doesn’t obey you, it doesn’t care for you. All that you must do is to make it possible for them to obey you and make use of them. That is all. But there you must be very intelligent and you must be wise.

Then again, the mind. Especially the mind. All these things you can do by exercise and all that, then you come to the mental plane and it becomes hopeless. You will never know the movement of the mind.

And you have to wait again. So you must take things as they come, understand them, involve yourself consciously, and once you know what it is, leave it. By itself it goes away. There are many things in the world. All things do not come to you because it is not necessary. Only things that are necessary come your way, as if unasked for, they come, to give you the experience. They are more keen about you than you yourself. As a yogi, you don’t turn and run away. You do not think in terms of giving up these things in the name of austerity and renunciation and so on. Nonsense. It is a hypocrite who has to run away from the world. It is a coward who has to run away from the world. It is not a hero. A yogi is a hero. He stands like a rock and faces every thing that comes to him and analyzes and knows. Thus he grows from degree to degree in freedom. As he goes on growing in knowledge he goes on becoming freer and freer. That is the reason why there is no question of renouncing anything in this world. There is nothing called renunciation. All that you have to do is to understand that.

Involve with this world. After all, world was created for your own sake. Very often I hear this: “There is no meaning in this world.” Had there been no meaning in the world neither is there any meaning in your own self. The reason is, there is a meaning which we have not been able to understand. That’s all. Just because we do not understand the Nature, we don’t understand Her work, we cannot just hate the world. Nothing is bad here in this world. God has been very kind. God has created everything that is good. Even the poison is good. Even the thorns are good. Nights are good, days are good, stars are good, moon is good, rocks are good, everything is good. Is there anything bad in any of these things? Nothing. It is my own ignorance. I don’t understand them nor their ways and purpose. Where I don’t understand, I just throw it out. And when understanding dawns in me, I feel sorry for having done so. And I have to wait for I don’t know how long in order to get it again in order to experience it again. I have missed a great chance in my life!

So constantly you be aware, involve consciously. If you want to involve in the world, involve consciously with this motto of just involving in order to know because knowing is more important in your life for your good, for your freedom. So every action has a meaning, every involvement will enrich you, so thus the life becomes full. It is integral yoga. Integral yoga means right action with right understanding for the soul purpose of gaining spiritual growth.

Yoga seeks fulfillment every time you involve in action. Every action of yours will have a definite meaning, a direction. You must. Because you have to take work from your physique you need not subjugate yourself the physical, but you must definitely have control on your physique, in order to do that, you must make it strong. Thus, you will grow stronger and at the same time, since you have to take work from the body, you don’t starve it. Make it strong, a healthy body. And just because Mind troubles you, you don’t throw away mind. Fill the mind with good thoughts and plenty of healthy thoughts so that mind become strong and good and nice and cooperative and there is nothing to throw away.

So also the senses. Everything is given to you by God in order to experience through them and know for yourself and explore the creation, the life. You have to fix up the extent to which you involve, why and how and all that. These are the questions for which you can make an effort to find out answers for yourself.

Skill in action is yoga. Yoga means skill in action. Skill is to know why you want to involve, how far you have to involve, why and when, where and how. When you use your own discrimination in all your actions then there will be no question of giving up any of them.

In a family if you do yoga there may be people who may not like it. Alright, you accept it. Here neither you want to lose the people who do not want you to do yoga, at the same time, you do not want to give up yoga. You must continue to do your work, yet you must continue harmony. What should you do? They don’t like yoga because it is none of their business.

Because the yoga interferes with them. They don’t like yoga, your doing it may disturb them. That is the reason they don’t want yoga. So if you can avoid this, they don’t care. They are least interested whether you do yoga or not, so long as they have you for themselves. Give the devil its share! And maintain peace without any loss!

So these are the things which you must decide for yourself as to how you can utilize your time and skill. Action is necessary, and behind every action your intelligence is necessary, discrimination is necessary. If you can involve in the world, the world is an open book. Nature is an open book and each line you read, you know, and you grow. So thus you have to assimilate situations. There is nothing to give up. Everything is to be made use of in the right direction with the soul purpose of growing into the spiritual consciousness — towards freedom!

Things which we do not need, God has not given us. He has given cows the horns. He has not given them to us because we do not need them. He has given four legs to the quadrupeds. He made us the bipeds. All these things are planned. So God is so kind that He has made you perfectly in order to facilitate your growth. Unfortunately, ignorantly, we have not been able to do any good of it. Understand this and make use of this. Now that we think of yoga, involve ourselves in yoga, it is high time that we must try to understand this. And, pray to God. Prayer is one thing to do when you are a failure when you cannot understand, when you cannot think, when it is all too much - all that you have to do is retire in spite of all that and think and call God. “Oh God, help me.”

After you have done the physical yoga exercises, you have made the whole awareness available to you. Then all that you have to do is just plunge into the mental plane. The mental plane is only thoughts. At the time when you dwell within that area, you will be thinking. You will be very active. You will know how your mind is working there. Then you are still there in the mental plane. Now you are just there, watching every movement of your mind in that particular plane of consciousness. How the thoughts come and from where they come, watching everything that happens. You are a witness there. But at this time you are never in the body. You will not have any physical consciousness. That is a beautiful experience, a beautiful moment. Once you allow the mind to function, it starts functioning more in its own way. That is a reason why you select an object as a focal point of all the thoughts for meditation in order to arrest the movements of the mind. To meditate on the abstract needs a lot of practice. It can be done only in the advanced stage. Prior to that you can keep either Jesus, Buddha, Rama or Krishna, or even a light or plant or whatever it is as a focal point for your meditation. The moment that you look at them, you go on thinking of them, thinking how beautiful they are, of what they are made, every thought pertaining to that object. Then the whole chain of thoughts is diverted towards that object. Slowly the thoughts move towards that object and merge in it. And at the last moment, all you do is to forget your own self. You merge yourself. Once you merge yourself, there will be no thought of the object. Since there are no thoughts of the object, there will be no object. All that you feel is thoughtlessness or mindlessness.

That is the reason that you cannot tell about that experience. You can experience, but you cannot talk about it, because there was no mind there at the time of experience. Where there are no thoughts, there is no mind. So long as you keep yourself away from the object, there will be thoughts, the connecting link between the object of meditation and you. Once the last thought dissolves, you become one with it. Once you become one with it, there will be no mind, no thought, so you cannot convey the experience. That will be the state of equilibrium or Samadhi. This is only the beginning. Here you have become one with the object. And that is not all there is. Thereafter, you will have a real moment in spirituality. That is the real beginning, the moment beyond Samadhi. The end of all this yoga, the end is the beginning of your real journey into the unknown. The unknown of which you cannot talk, of which you cannot know, about which you cannot express. It happens somewhere beyond the region of the mind. It happens on a very high, high plane, where mind cannot penetrate, mind cannot understand. The mind cannot see it at all, so how can it express this? Whatever you want to express, you have to express through mind. The mind is incapable of understanding it, so the mind cannot express it.

What are we? What am I? What am I? Am I the mind? Can mind be without me? No. What am I? The body? There is something which, when it goes away, the body is then buried. I am not buried. The body is buried. It is the end of the body, but not of me. So, I am something separate from that. That is, the consciousness. I am the consciousness. The Supreme consciousness that pervades the whole body. So long as I want, the body exists. But when I want to withdraw, in the course of meditation, I may lose the body consciousness. Even if somebody comes and cuts your neck, you will never know it, because you are not in the body then. So, that is your consciousness. Because of your consciousness, the body exists for you. So you are not the body, but something which causes the body to exist, that is the consciousness.

And also we shall see about mind — you are not the mind. You make the mind. You shine in the mind. It is you who make the mind for your own sake. So, you are not the mind, but cause the mind. If you withdraw from the mind there will be no thought, no mind. You are neither the mind nor the body, So, you are nothing but the consciousness. That is what we call Being. My Being means my consciousness. My consciousness is not somewhere else. That is not so. It is everywhere. It pervades from here, the crown of my head to the tip of my toe. Spreading myself - I work out in all the planes of being. The vital I am; the physical, I am; the mental, I am; psychic, I am. It is that “Me” that is more important. For the practical reason, for the purpose of communication I identify myself with so many things externally because of ego. But that “Me.” that “I” is devoid of ego. There is no ego there. When you mix yourself with the mind, identify yourself from the mental plane, and you say, “I am so and so.” Then you identify with something other than your own self. That is ego. Because of ego you have a name, an identity, but all that is not a true being. That is a false being.


Q. How essential is it to have a Guru or spiritual teacher to make real progress?

However you seek a spiritual teacher, a teacher is a teacher. He cannot work for you. You may have to do the work for your own progress. At the most, spiritual teacher will explain to you what he did in his own life and what made him to be what he is. If you also want to become so, he tells you what you can do, what you must do is left for your own self. Because all that a teacher can do is inspire you. There are other methods of shakti pat and all that. There are methods of raising your mental status to a particular plane so that the teacher comes in contact with your mental status and work upon it, but that will be a subjugation. You will be subjugated by him. Wherever he is, he is able to work thorough you but he will never allow you the independence. And he can play havoc because he can stop your progress if he is displeased! He can leave you. Then you will never make any progress because you have offered your mind to him. You have lost control of your own mind in the process. And he controls it. That is a silly idea.

Guru is one spiritual teacher who has understood the values of freedom. Freedom of movement, freedom of action. In the way that he gives this to you, he will be your spiritual teacher. When he knows, loves his freedom, he knows the value of it, how can he dare to withhold the progress or withhold the freedom of his disciple? So he is a good teacher, he is a real teacher who just helps you to be free, more free. Even if you want to attach yourself, he makes you free by giving you fullest knowledge, filling in you the spirit of freedom and confidence and hope and thus he will inspire you. He will give you the impetus and watch. He will be watching, lending his hand whenever needed. It is a silly idea to say that one follows the other in this world.

There is nobody — my Sivananda — he never followed his Guru. And we are not following Sivananda. Sivananda is my guru because he inspired me. He gave me a home. He gave me confidence. He gave me love. He gave me everything I needed, like a mother. But Mother’s love can make me grow. But Mother’s love cannot keep on pumping me every moment. It creates a certain favorable atmosphere in which I can blossom, go on, grow. Spiritual teacher does only that much. Helps you to grow by yourself.

Don’t you be in a hurry. Everything shall happen. If you are patient enough, if you have faith and hope, wait: at the right moment the right thing will happen. When opportunity comes to you, you don’t reject. That care you must take. When it comes, don’t reject. If you reject, you may have to wait for all the eternity again. To the degree of your preparedness, the opportunity will be round about you. Prepare yourself to seize that opportunity to grow!

We go to a Guru because he has struggled. He knows the path. But every movement that you go forward, you will be wiping off your footprints in the past, you must remember. In sadhana each one has to find one’s own path. Every time that you make a step forward, you will be wiping your footsteps away behind. You will not leave a single footstep while traveling towards God. That is the reason whey there is no single path. Everyone who treads it, it is a new path, and each one will have to make one’s own path and tread.

All that it is is: since I have done it, I tell you so that it may inspire you. It is possible. Yes, all that I do, yes, it is possible for you also to do. It is true. I did it and I got it. That means to say that it is possible for you also to do your own sadhana and find it. There is no certificate that I can issue. It is not a ticket. I certify that it is true, that’s all as a guru. And you will do it.

And there are grades of gurus. Grades of Gurus depends upon to what plane of consciousness he belongs. True guru is one whose consciousness is one with the whole universe, the cosmos. That is the reason, without imposing any of his own thoughts, he will just allow you to grow by yourself. He helps you to grow by yourself. Because he can work very freely, he can identify himself with you and when he identifies himself with you, he can make you free. He can watch you very clearly and help you to grow. It is only a third-rate guru who says you must leave your path and come to my path. That itself is proof that he has no path of his own. He lags in experience! He has not tread anything. Each one would have to tread one’s own path.

In my life I did the same thing. I just surrendered to Mother. I told Mother, told God, I am not prepared to accept any human being, I see only weaknesses. If a weak man were to lead me, why should it not be my own self? So God, if you are keen about my progress and myself, I just surrender. I don’t want to do anything. If you are keen, you please take hold of me and lead me. If not, I am prepared to die, for all the life I don’t care. And, everything happened. Mother took care of me, Mother led me smoothly through all hard struggles. At every juncture, at every right moment, right things went on happening. It is happening still. I am not proud of it but humbly state the fact. And when it does not happen, I am not sorry about it, because I am in her charge. That is one way of doing, just surrender completely, raise your hands and accept your weakness, but be strong enough to say, “O Mother, if you want you can do it, if not, I don’t care.” And She will do it.

Q. Did you have a spiritual calling or did this just come about by itself? (Your life.)

There was a strong undeniable prompting from within. Intuitionally you start feeling from within that there is a call. Call is an experience for which you don’t have any explanation. There will be an experience, some movement within yourself which is strange to you because you are not used to it. That is the beginning of it. It stimulates your thinking and it stimulates your understanding. It takes time. Once you understand it, you know that it is a call. And you know how to adjust yourself, how you have to respond.

It will not leave you in rest at all once that movement starts working within you. It will never allow you to rest unless you know it and start yielding.

Q. Are your garments always this color, orange, and does that signify anything?

It should signify the sense of renunciation, that is having no attachment. I have the greatest attachment to my cloth anyway! It shows that I am not interested in any of the mundane life. I am just trying to achieve a great height in spirituality. I am trying to devote myself to that cause. I am hitch hiking! I am going this way, please don’t distract me, don’t try to pull me down. If you can help, help, but don’t pull me down. It is an announcement, telling everyone what I do and I am up to. It shows, Oh! He is a sanyassin. This means he is not interested in this life, he is practicing spirituality so let us not bother him. That is one thing.

Second thing is, it signifies the realization. It is the color of the earth. Usually we color our cloth with a piece of stone that is available in India, so that exactly symbolizes the earth. Earth stands for the highest forbearance and renunciation. Like a mother, it loves everyone. It accommodates everyone. It bears injury and insults every day. So, I am expected to be like that, but I don’t know how far I am that I immediately react to everything!

Q. How did the realized Masters of India like Ramana Maharishi, how did they present themselves to the devotees?

They don’t impose, they just inspire, because they identify themselves with every soul that goes to them. Must remember, all souls do not go to one master. Each soul has its own master. You must remember that a group of souls since a long time, since several births, develop or evolve under one master. And every time those souls recognize the master wherever he is, whether the souls were born in America, or Africa, or New Zealand. They all gather either in India or somewhere wherever the Master is. In any form that you think of Him, he appears. He shall positively respond. Have faith.

He appears to you in the way that you seek him. So either as Mother or God or Jesus, Krishna or Rama, it does not matter. You just call and say, I am helpless, I cannot decide, please help. I need a little more help. He hears. He helps. He just involves along with you so that He may help you to come out of that situation. That God is very kind. The world holds a definite meaning. It is a beautiful thing to be here in this world with all the paraphernalia around us. So, let us understand this world and everything in it, our own self, our own instruments, and then involve ourselves with an understanding, with a good heart and good intentions. Then everything will be fine. The whole kingdom of heaven we will find it here. If you don’t find it here, nowhere else you will find it. If you don’t find God in your house, you cannot find God anywhere else. If you do not find peace in the house where you live, you cannot find the peace anywhere else. Where you are, peace must be there. Where you are, everything else shall be there.

Many people ask me: “I want to go to India.” Why should they go — to starve? There is a drought. You have to starve if you go to India. Don’t think that only India monopolizes in God. Only thing is, people in India might have seen God - but the same God is here in America, verily. The eyes that see God there in India will be the same eyes that are required to see God here. We don’t have these eyes, so we don’t see. It does not mean that just because we don’t see, there is no God here. God everywhere, God is here and same God is there! So, all that we need is to do what they do to meet Him. The eyes that they have to see Him is what you should try to have to see Him with.

In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna reveals himself in his true form. It is impossible to see for a common man. So Krishna says, “Before seeing me as I am, I shall give you the eyes which can behold me. So take this.” That is wisdom. We cannot see God through these eyes, we can only feel. “Feeling” is the eye! That which gives you the feeling, the experience of God, is the eye. So God says, I give that eye through which you can see me. So He grants him that understanding, the ability to see him through it. So when he sees, he sees to his amazement - Krishna is not Krishna at all, He is God. He is vast, He is eternal. So, that is the eye that we need. If we want to have that eye, we must do what Arjuna did. What he did was: Surrender! “Oh God, I surrender to your will. I thought of solving all my problems myself. My God, it is beyond my capacity. So I just surrender unto you humbly. Please take hold of me and see that what is good for me, you please do.”

Then Krishna took charge of him. When he took charge of Arjuna, he redeemed himself completely of ignorance! It was necessary for Arjuna to grow. When he understood what it was then to do as God directed him to do, he was prepared to go and to fight. It is an involvement. It is necessary, it is sanctioned by God. It was God’s will! Had Arjuna not fought, he would not have grown. So, thus, we have to understand the world. We have to do everything. If it comes to sleeping, sleep - do

Unto the Master,
Swami Sivananda, The Saint of Himalayas


as a mother nourished me,

as a father guided me,

as my master (guru) lead me

into the light and Secrets of life,

as my “Ishta” who delivered me,

And as a friend heard my heart and

never used a word to hurt me,

who fondly called me “Niranjan.”

Unto His holy feet, I bow down in


And shelter my soul in their shadow.

Swami Niranjananandaji



Not until we get ourselves freed from all kinds of conflicting opinions and conditions that we are going to reach the highest. Up till now we have evolved because we were free. We were free because we were just evolving from nothing, in the darkest regions. Where only His intervention, it is His grace, it is He who passed through pushing and pulling us through each one of the stages, that we have come here. As I was talking the other day, we have seven regions, seven stages, even in evolutions. It starts right from the darkest regions, “Andhena tamasavritah”: “Where there is nothing but pitch darkness, no intellect, nothing but complete inertia.” Zero level of understanding.

From there we have evolved by His grace. From helplessness, to what we think today, we are almighty, we think we can win the whole world. We can think all of that. Up to now we have evolved, so at that time, because we were free, we resigned ourselves to the will of the Divine, so the Divine took responsibility. So now He lifted off His shoulders the responsibility and put it on us, He harnessed us. He said, “Well my children, this is enough, now enlighten yourselves. If you need me you have to work hard for me, those other days are gone. I have given you everything you need that you are deprived of. On the contrary, had I deprived you of all these faculties I evolved, shared with you, maybe you could have shot through and gone beyond the fence, but now that is not the way. Now from here after, my children, you have to work hard. I gave you the mind, I gave you the senses, I gave you the shape of the body you need, I gave you the intellect, I gave you the power of discrimination and you have to know what you want to do and do it. Don’t expect the evolution to go faster than you make an effort. If you want to go faster, make an effort, do things the right way. Stay here as long as you want, you are free. Boarding and lodging is provided. If you want to be homeless, you may be so. If you do not want to be, make an effort.”

So we are just somewhere in the middle range of the evolution. We have passed through many. If you close your eyes and go back and try to recover yourself, if you have not forgotten the way which you have evolved, go back and you will realize you have had nerve shattering experiences. Of which you have forgotten, and you have forgotten how you felt it then, but you will feel it now, the experiences that you had to undergo to be what you are today. If you think, you have gone through a lot, and have been successful. You were successful not because you fought and you worked but there was sense of resignation, meekness, humility. Not knowing yourself was helpful there. When you did not know He knew you, He lifted. Zillions and zillions of us were there and still we were identified, He lifted us one by one, the Divine is so graceful.

We were here long before we started understanding; we developed our intellect, we developed our senses, we developed our reasons, understanding. We saw several things and we created several problems for ourselves. In the process of doing we have done many undoings, that’s the result.

Now slowly as intellect starts developing, side by side ignorance also develops, just like the knife brings a carrot just to show you how to cut. So the Lord put on one side the ignorance and on the other side the intellect. Now we are endowed with all this paraphernalia that was necessary, all this paraphernalia was not necessary then but it is necessary now. Whatever is necessary has been given. We are not deprived of anything, if you close your eyes and enumerate, all that are given to us for our march, to our goal. What a grace, what a grand and great Lord that has given us everything. Some that we want, some that we don’t want; He said everything is here.

“Now, all this time you gave freedom to me, I will offer everything to you Lord.” That is what we are doing, we pray every day, we pray and we turn our gaze within. So long as we are weak, we have to pray, we have to draw the help from the supreme source, which responds to our prayer and we become the recipients of that descending divinity. It is a certainty to the degree of our opening and susceptibility, we become stronger and stronger, and we are going to evolve further, we are going to fight our ignorance. After all, what is ignorance and what is all this? From one point of view they are only there frightening us; the moment that you touch they dissolve, but we are afraid to touch. That fear is the complex that is stronger than our wisdom now. We are afraid to touch that ignorance, but the moment you touch it, it will dissolve. But we don’t want to touch, we are afraid. We have lost our faith in ourselves, we have lost our confidence in ourselves. That truth in the knowledge of truth, the reality of our being.

God gave us everything, but we have forgotten a lot of it. Now the time has come, we have to realize. Open the bags and find out things. Things will happen. Grace is coming, it is pouring down, keep your hearts and mind open. This is the stage which is a very horrible stage. We are neither able nor unable to accept, because our ego is so full, in spite of our weaknesses we feel so strong without knowing our own weaknesses. We are not willing to offer, and accept the Divine help, though it is available. That ego has to go, we have to be humble. Receive the help, utilize it, grow. Once you get out of this chaos then you will behold the twilight on the horizon. It will be easier once you get over this state, then the future stages are easy. You will enjoy that, all those stages are beautiful until you reach beyond.

Hope for that, keep that in view. That will give you the strength to fight here, not otherwise. Don’t involve in stupid gambling. Be truthful to yourself, you are creating more and more problems, you are weaving a net for yourself to be caught in by constantly poisoning your own mind, your own unsubstantiated opinions, your own thoughts. Don’t do that please, don’t do that. Thank you .

Swami Niranjananandaji


We want to spiritualize ourselves. What is the meaning of spirituality and why is it necessary? We are born, somebody clothes us, somebody feeds us, somehow we live and somehow we die. So we have been seeing this happen everywhere with everyone, every creature in the world. So why worry about all these things? Why are we? Are we crazy pursuing something which is not tangible? Why? After all, what is the purpose of this life, one life, life of everything, every creature? If you keenly observe, what do they do? What are they trying to be? What are they in pursuit of? Something which seems to be more particular, more purposeful. The search for joy of soul, the bliss.

Seeking the bliss is the very nature of the life, of every being. Whether it be in the parasites, whether it be in the cancer causing element, or in the bacteria, whatever. You take anything from an ant to an elephant and the most intelligent people that we think we are. What are we doing? We are in pursuit of bliss, how to be blissful. Physically, mentally, psychically, in all the spheres of our life, in all the planes of our being, of which we do not know anyway. In all the planes of our being we try to establish ourselves in a blissful state. That’s what we are trying to achieve. We are utilizing our physical abilities to do that, our mental faculties to do that, and use all our sensual ways to do that.

But unfortunately that which we seek is not dependent on all these things, but still we are trying to seek that through all these instruments, paraphernalia, which we are endowed with. But unfortunately that which we are seeking has a meaning far deeper within ourselves, our unidentified pure self that realizes that bliss, it is only happy when it realizes that. But as it is mixed up with our ego here, identifying ourselves with all these things, we try to seek that here, in this limited world, conditioned world and so meet with very little success.

All that we see is joy, we get joy, maybe we get a temporary fulfillment because it is all dependent. What we seek, what we fulfill. Seeking and fulfillment, they are all dependent on each other here. But that which our soul, our being seeks, in spite of all sorts of our endeavor, to fulfill that seeking of the self we marry, we have children, we work, we go to movies, we do this, we do that, we have vacation, we do all kinds of things. We say, “Oh, How we enjoyed it,” but the next day, we fall sick. Where was that, where is that enjoyment now?

So all these things are dependent on this limited scope of the being as identified with the external world. Neither your senses, nor your sensual objects, nor physical objects, nor the mental, could ever tally with what we seek within. That which is not dependent. To obtain that neither your senses, nor your physical, nor your mental abilities are necessary. They don’t take of you there, only you can go there, only you can experience that. Rest of them are all enjoyment; your body, your mind, your senses, they enjoy, they tell you that it is pleasure. When you die they also die. But this of what I am talking to you, that which we seek, we continue to pursue even when we don’t have a body, we don’t have a mind, set of senses. But still it continues even in a form because that bliss that we seek is not dependent on anything but itself, and is obtainable only by your unconditioned pure eternal being.

When you are ready, you are unalloyed, you are free. Then you seek, you become one with that bliss, and you enjoy the bliss. That is not dependent on anything, and you do not depend on anything too. Enjoy that bliss. But anyway its presence is just like a fire somewhere else, sun is far away, but still we feel the influence of it. That’s what it is.

What is joy? Joy is the shadow of that immense bliss that is always pervading everywhere. Like the reason why we don’t see the sun but we enjoy the light and enjoy the warmth, through our senses, our body, our mind, and all that. But unfortunately since we are dependent on our body, mind, all that, so long as we have that, we enjoy that. When we don’t have that, we cease to experience that.

So, in the past our great ancient seers and seekers for whom we always are grateful, found out how we must give up these terrestrial means of seeking and fulfilling the pleasures of the senses. Instead of wasting your energy and trying to please yourself and your senses, fulfill yourself with these objects which are temporary and are not eternal, try to give up this process and adopt a process that leads you in to the other sphere of experience — bliss.

Try to give up all of these things and concentrate all of that energy towards obtaining that which is eternal. Once you contact that bliss, once you start allowing that bliss to pour into yourself, then you and the bliss entangle in that experience, then the life ceases. The purpose of life, the very purpose of life ceases. Neither the body, nor the mind, nor the life, nor the death, nor the birth, nothing does matter, because you have established yourself in that eternal state of Bliss.

Why do we seek that bliss? That bliss is capable of taking you away from that state of death and birth, capable of taking you away from all these temporary entanglements, limitations. It takes you away from there. Because it is the product of having realized yourself, it is that bliss, that bliss and the realization of yourself is not different. You will experience that bliss only when you realize yourself, and you will realize that self only when you withdraw yourself from all these externalities.

That is impossible for the present. Slowly and steadily as you grow, to the degree of your withdrawal from the external, seeking the pleasure and the joy, and concentrate and turn all these things within and direct towards seeking that eternal bliss, you will succeed. Then once you establish yourself in that bliss, you are the blessed one, and there ends all your physical, mental, and psychic endeavors. Then beyond that what happens is only you can experience. You can experience, but you cannot tell. Because you will have nothing to tell. How can you communicate when all your senses freeze? Even if you communicate, there is no reciprocal instrument to receive in the external world. That’s the reason why we coin the words joy and pleasure.

We try to experience and enjoy the results. But should we forgo that? No, rightful, lawful, enjoyment of this world is also a part of our endeavor in seeking. As I often tell, what we see and what we seek is the same, as what we see is the shadow of what we seek, that this whole universe that we see, though it is transient, though it is temporary, yet is in the shadow of the reality we seek. It is and it is not. It keeps on moving and keeps on changing. Why should it change? It’s the very nature of the universe. But still it is the shadow of that non-changing eternal reality, the truth. A part of which in fact we are. That’s the reason why when we seek far within us we have not lost that touch. It is that which makes us perturbed. We are not this but we are something else, we do not know what we are. We want to know. Are we not happy? In spite of all this happiness still we are not happy. Because you will not be happy unless you strike that deal with your own self, that is the reason why while we are enjoying the external life, even that can be a means to enter into that blissful state too.

That’s the reason why we can convert the external experiences into internal concrete experiences too. You have to change the attitude, you have to change the means, and the meaning of those experiences. Try to give a shape and understanding; these things would help. We sing, we dance, we work, we eat, we sleep. All these things are necessary. But all these can be converted into that process of reaching that highest state of bliss by changing your attitude.

I sing. Is it to please my ears, please my self? No, it has a meaning why I sing. What should be the singing? I smell. Is it just to please the nose? No, there is something very subtle in it. So also the touch, sight, all these things. All these paraphernalia are important and their objects are also necessary, and when we change our attitude the meaning of our experiences in the senses and their objects also change. Once it changes it is sufficient for you to strengthen your will, strengthen your intensity to reach the goal.

The sight that you see, instead of seeing something ugly and commenting on that, why not we see the beauty? Convert it into the beauty, the divinity. What you see is all divine, what you hear is all divine, what you touch is all divine. You are in the external world, it is a state that you create for yourself. Once that happens, then whether you are internal or external, the experience continues to be the same. Then you’ll not be sorry when you lose your sight, eyes, all such things. Because you have already transpired the external experience into the internal one. So even without the eyes you can see, even without the ears you can hear, all these things happen. Thus, even when you lose your body and you are dead, still you are alive. Your process keeps on continuing. Establish yourself in that state of blissful experience.

So many times our scriptures tell us without any explanation, “If you want to be happy as you are happy here, try to obtain the passport, the visa for the heavens.” What is heaven? So most of the scriptures, when they talk about it, say that heaven seems to be the ultimate desire one can have and work life out for. If you find an entry into the heavens that’s the end of it, that’s all. What’s the heaven, why do we want it?

The man living in a village wants to go to a city. When he goes and sees that hell of a problem there, he wants to go to another city. From there he wants to go somewhere else. So changing the place from one place to another, changing the place doesn’t help. You have to change yourself where you are, from where you are. What is the Heaven, what do you get in the Heavens? More pleasure, more beautiful dancers, more wine to drink, lots of time to sleep? I don’t know whether there is any golf courses. All that you see is more pleasurable, and more of it, and once your time is up you will be kicked out of heaven anyway. “Your time has come, my friend, you have done all good things, qualifying you to come here. All right, now you have to vacate the room. You have to go back again from where you came.” That’s what The Keepers of heaven say to you. Again you must start from scratch. There is no insurance that you will start with a higher note again.

So Heaven is not our goal, Heaven should never be our goal. Heaven should be a passing phase. We are not seeking that heavenly pleasure, that same pleasure is here, though not so intensified. The same senses are there, same eyes, same ears, same music. Do you want that to continue, only instead of here, there? — No.

So many of the times when they say Heavens they don’t mean that Heaven where it is pleasurable. But they mean it is the company of God. Who is God? That which is blissful, that state which is not obtained in any place or time, or it is not a causation. So that Heaven is out of the question. We are not trying to get or reach that Heaven, we don’t care for the Heaven. Nor those people no matter how they reached, no matter how beautiful they are, we are not worried about them, what we have here they have there, maybe more intensely.

What we seek is from where there is no return. From Heaven we come back. But far beyond that, nobody knows the phone number or the address. For that you have to remove yourself from all of these entanglements and try to create your scope of achievement, a single vision, you must compute everything into one single vision of seeing only that. From where there is no return, where I identify myself with nothing but myself, “Me,” as it is said of that blissful state which doesn’t depend on the senses, the mind, or the body, or anything. For that there is no space, there is no cause, there is no time, it is an eternal state. It’s an eternal state of being not the becoming, the rest of everything else is the becoming, from one life to the other endlessly. This journey goes on for an endless period of time, reaching nowhere. But you can reach there now if you want, this moment, by strongly withdrawing from everything, and in one narrow passage you can shoot your self up into that eternity. It needs your will and preparation. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji

Simplicity and innocence, these are the virtues in the spiritual life. That innocence functions only when the ego is absent. Even an inkling of ego removes that innocence. So long as you are innocent, that’s when God says He will take care of you.

Innocence in one sense means when you have shed all of your responsibility on the shoulders of the Divine. You want nothing, you ask nothing, you are guided by the hands of the Divine, you don’t complain, you meekly submit yourself into the Divine, happiness, joy, suffering, and pain, whatever it is. Death, birth, nothing affects you. Once it is done, you are free from your personal responsibilities.

It is very unfortunate that we cannot be innocent in the world, in the world of this Maya. Everyone is in a race to become more intelligent, and more independent. Thinking one can depend on oneself without knowing what the “self” is. We have to use the word self, but not the “Self.” If you depend on the higher, Supreme “Self," then you become innocent.

What is the “Self?” So self dependence in the sense that you are dependent on that false self, the pride. So long as you are proud and all that, that is the sign of ignorance. In the absence of innocence, it is the ego that works and not the innocence. Innocence is what we need to enable us to realize and surrender unto the Lord and reap the benefit thereof. “Salvation.”

One cannot surrender, it is very hard to surrender. We can talk about surrender the whole life, but we cannot surrender because we think too much of ourselves. If somebody thinks too much, that is one hundred percent, maybe somebody thinks fifty percent, or twenty five percent of themselves, even point zero zero zero one percent of ego, pride, will deprive you of being innocent, and that will hold you back from being taken care of. That’s what it is. It’s very very difficult in this world.

But there is a way, much more than this intellectual gambling. There is wisdom, innocence and wisdom, they go hand in hand, those who are wise, they are innocent. Innocent doesn’t mean they’re fools, it is not foolishness. Innocence is a sign of fullness, fullness of wisdom, beautiful wisdom fullness of knowledge.

The wisdom is when you have understood the whole thing, and found out the futility of everything else, but that which saves you is the self, that higher self, Atma. So it is not, surrender is not the sign of weakness, but it is the fullness of knowledge, the understanding, the wisdom. Because the sum total of all experience is to negate the dependency on this intellect, the physical, the mental, the psychic.

But to be independent is to become dependent upon the Divine. So by depending on the Divine whom we call God is not depending on something else, but your higher Self. You give up your lower self, your being in the lower plane of consciousness, and rise and offer yourself into higher consciousness, where ultimately it is depending on your own Self, that is self dependence.

Self dependency means you depend on your higher Self. That is, when you become completely devoid of your dependency on your intellect, your abilities, mental, physical, and all the other strengths, but to understand the limitations of all these things, try to rise above all these things, and enter into the field of wisdom, and the region of wisdom, and there you become completely nude, and devoid of all these things, and all these paraphernalia, and you become quiet, pure Self.

It is at that time you realize you don’t want to be anymore independent, the broken off self, but you want to unify yourself, so we become dependent then. Surrender becomes complete, and then once it is done, you don’t need anything else, so we become automatically innocent. Innocence is devoid of all this ego and everything, you don’t need all these things in order to survive in this world.

We need lot of practice and patience, understanding. For every word, for every stupid thing, we keep on fighting in this world. We think we know, but we don’t know. We do not know that we do not know. So we are the victims of this ignorance, and we are in that whirlwind of ignorance, and we are drawn deeper, and deeper into it. There is no escape.

Where even when there is a chance to escape, we don’t escape, we are the worst possible candidates for higher life. So God gives us several opportunities in our lives, he opens several cracks in the wall so that you can escape, but we don’t, we don’t. We boil, but we don’t want to get out and breath the fresh air, fresh air of the divine breath, breath of love, and courage, and strength, we don’t. We are so engrossed in our own self destroying ego, God pity us.

One day, as God knows of our predicament here in this ignorant world, He will help us, but you have to be ready to accept when the call comes. Several calls have been made and missed, when the next call comes, don’t be deaf, don’t be dumb, be ready. That’s what we are trying to do. All our efforts here are not to miss it, but if we make an effort to miss it again, pity thy self. God bless you again! Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji


Science is a different exercise though the central purpose is to unveil the reality. See in our case, what happens is, we have accepted certain things, though we have not realized, though we do not know, still we believe in the words of those who seem to have realized. That’s all. We say, in order to be understood, that one who is realized is one who we believe has achieved, or established oneself in the truth. We don’t know what the truth is in the first place, so if one claims “I have established in the truth so follow me.” then we blindly follow, because we don’t know if that one is really established in the truth. Thus we are conditioned, and we are not heroic enough as to make an effort to deny them, yet we should be very respectful in accepting them. So we may not accept the statement, but we may not deny it. You see, following means you are accepting them and their beliefs, we need not follow. And we do not, but if it is truth, you may traverse it yourself, you can travel, repeat the same steps. That’s the whole life, what’s the life’s purpose after all, you see? So you keep busy in search of Truth.

Mind that we have to make our own efforts to find the truth, and you will find. As I told you, truth doesn’t seem to exist in one particular way, it doesn’t present itself in the same way every time, it is multifaceted. Though truth is not changing, the perception of truth changes, your approach, your endeavor, and all these things change. You hold onto a green spectacle, and you see it (truth) green, and you hold onto yellow glasses and you’ll see it yellow. But truth is the same, and it’s beautiful to know. If Jesus talks about truth and Ramakrishna talks about truth, and elsewhere some other people talk about truth, we cannot deny, yes they have seen through their glasses, but their glasses are different from my glasses. They are seeing what they are seeing, what they are seeing is true, maybe true, but the explanation, exposition of all that may be different. If I say, “Oh yes, I am also going to see the same thing you do,” I fail, I may be a failure. Though my failure doesn’t mean what they see is untrue.

You may be rejecting the truth because you condition yourself. If I say it is red, you want to see it red. But by the time you see it, it may be yellow, because you are wearing a yellow glass. See, you do not know. Thus, the perception of truth may vary. That’s the reason why we have to establish ourselves in our own path, and we need not feel guilty about not following anybody. We have to appreciate each other, whether one is intelligent, or ignorant, or smart, or scientist, or saint, or criminal, we don’t care, because what is it after all? Saints also die, criminals also die, scientists also die, sages also die, you see? We should put that on a bumper sticker “Everyone Dies.” That’s good. But where are they? Can you shake hands with them? If they are living on we understand the meaning of living!

Maybe he cannot do the same trick, leave cookies and milk during the night, and the next day it is gone, so long as you have a child you accept, yes, he came with a long beard, and he ate that, and blessed us. So when you realize, when you grow up, you will laugh at your own self. But you don’t stop it, you continue that, that’s what is happening in our case, even after realizing the truth, people are not allowing us to find out our own truth. If you take the masters, whom we follow, they didn’t follow anybody, each one was independent. Take Sivananda, take Jesus, take anybody, they owe their respect, they bow down to their masters, but they never followed them. Nobody followed anybody.

That’s why I follow Sivananda. Whom did Sivananda follow? After having learned the ways to search for Truth, he embarked upon his own, that’s what he told me. That’s the very reason why I am like this, I am very independent. Because that’s what he said. A lot of things he told me, but all of those made sense. He knew my spirit. He used to call me many things. So I am proud that my master recognized, or realized what I was, he realized my weaknesses, my strengths and all that. So as soon as I became a monk he told me, you must pursue your path, if you stay here it will not be realized, you’ve got a goal. Go to Himalayas, or go Kashi, wherever.

So I did that, to the great satisfaction of myself. It was good. So I used to go to the ashram, and nobody bothered me in the ashram. Like the wind, I would go there, leave whenever I wanted. So that’s what the element was.

There, in the Aurobindo Ashram, I became of my own choice very dependent on Mother. It was more, we bonded ourselves to Mother so much, though She did not bind us, we bound ourselves. We wanted, there was a pleasure in being under the direct guidance, or supervision of the Mother. So there was great pleasure from Mother. See every day, every time we eat, every time we stand, we used to say oh Mother, what does Mother say? Does She say so? Does She accept this, does She? You see? So that is a lack of independence. Maybe I must have lost a little, but Mother also advised me. When somebody approached her asking permission to take me away in order to run their school institution. This is where Mahatma Gandhi used to rest, it was a great institution. They wanted me to go there, so Mother said, “Your purpose is there, go.” So I went there, from there I went to Sivananda, all kinds of things happen anyway. So what happens is, each one of them, did they follow, whom did Aurobindo follow, whom did Mother follow, whom did Sivananda follow? They’re all masters, they all had masters.

We say Dattatreya Dattaguru, he is the greatest yogi, every yogi bows down to him. He said in his life he had twenty four teachers. He learned everything from the prostitute, from the cow, from the dogs, butcher, and so on. See, at the time when you want to learn, there are ways of learning. If you don’t want to learn, even the greatest master cannot teach you. So he opened himself, he learned, all that made him a great yogi.

See, acceptance is more important, and what we accept then we have to realize. That’s that reason why we have plenty of paths, billions and billions of paths, each one is a path. It is true that everyone cannot tread the same path, because in the spiritual, in the seeking of truth, what happens is every time you put a step, you are wiping off the foot from behind, you never leave a footprint. We think, Oh I see a footprint, so I follow, no. Wherever you put a print, that’s it, there’s nothing like going back. That’s the reason why Sri Aurobindo also says once you become a human you will never go back in the evolution. See, we have evolved. We have come from what we don’t want to be again, it’s upward movement always. Once you become a human, you may stop over there, if you don’t make an effort, see, and if you try to be a perfect human, then the next step is to become divine yourself, it’s a natural promotion.

What is the difference between the human and the divine? — the ignorance. Slowly as you grow, as you are on your way, try to be perfect. We talk about perfection, nobody knows what it is anyway, so try. We think that as humans, we are to believe this, this, this, that’s the whole confusion now.

 Swami Niranjananandaji


Though it is often very difficult to gauge the state of spiritual evolution in any one person, it often reveals itself if you have a keen sense of observation; you can find out, you can feel it, you can see it. There is no one who does not have that spiritual evolutionary state. It may be minor, it may be major, lower or higher, somewhere. It is in each one of us; for is it not a fact that God abides in each and every being in this universe? Without His presence nothing can exist, nothing moves, nothing can happen. As such, if He is the opening balance, just because you cannot see Him, it does not mean He is not there. He is there, but we do not see Him, that is the whole opening balance for understanding. Then, as one thrives in the path of spiritual evolution, that which covers or shields the view for us thins down, we will start looking at that indweller.

So, that thinning down is the process by which one starts revealing, and others start seeing. You may not have any explanation for why you feel better with one, or see one as being good or bad, worse, or best person, or whatever it is. All these things, if you can think, if you can start wondering what makes me think he is a good man, and what makes me think he is a bad man, and what makes me think this or that, why? The difference and the cause is the revelation from the spiritual growth within each one of us. That is what it is. Once you start accumulating this experience, you will start identifying and shaping a conception — you will start developing a conception as to what you must call good, what you must call bad, what you must call low and high, all these things. In spiritual judgment it does not mean that we lower somebody and lift somebody, no. It is just for our own sake, it is a guess, a gauge. There is no judgmental decision about it, but it is for our own study.

Thus when you come to certain persons, whatever one looks like on the surface, it does not matter, one may be handsome, one may be ugly, it does not matter. But once conceptions, or a revelation of ideas, or talks, or works, or ideologies, once all these things are put together, we learn a lot. We start learning, not only do we start appreciating one’s own highs or lows of spiritual evolution, but that opens up our eyes, our mind, our heart. The idea of charity, the idea of this, that, and help, and all these things are the development of this conception. Why do you want to help, why do you want to save, why do you want to do this and that, do all these things.

So, in the spiritual life the same eyes, and the same ears, same hands, and same legs, still what they do is different. Because the purpose is different, the means are different. You walk the walk, you talk the talk, live the usual life, but as a spiritualist your walk and talk have a meaning and a direction. It reveals yourself, it reveals your innermost feelings and spiritual growth. All these things, so that is what it is. Many people start organizations and bring their motives as a fundamental purpose for which the foundation is laid. If you study that, you will understand why certain groups of people want to do what they are doing; in order to do it, what are the qualities they posses? What a great thing. On one side there are organized crimes, they also have an organization; and on the other side there is also a great charitable hospital which wants to save people. There is one who wants to construct a library; one who wants to open a kitchen where anybody who is starving can come and eat, and without even a “thanks” you may go. All these things show the level at which they are living the spiritual life.

But nothing is perfect when it comes to expression on the outer surface. The means are inadequate to express the innermost spiritual status, including the organization that Mother Teresa — may peace be upon her — has built, why? She could have built a palace and lived there. No. She could have had an army of servants to attend to her, no. She instead did that to everyone, the lowly people. Why? What a great heart that shows. Is she beautiful? She is an old ugly woman, so short, but the whole world falls at her feet, why? Not to that frame, but that which is vibrating in her, which we can feel, but which we do not intellectually understand. We feel that far deep within there is a vibration, that there is a sympathetic vibration, but we cannot explain it.

The other day I was thinking about how I am a Hindu, and how I was brought up in a particular culture, a particular frame of mind; of course, now those frames are all broken into pieces. So, to an extent still there is a trace of it; I am a Hindu, I am a Swami. Swami means a stauncher Hindu. All these things, and I am expected to devote my thoughts and actions like a Hindu; everything has been guided by my perceptions which have been handed over to me like a Hindu, my masters, my teachers, my father, all these people have done that. But, it has been replaced by my own understanding and experience; that is much more important to me than anything else.

On the other side, I was thinking about the Unity Church where we sit. If you go to a Catholic church they do not even allow you to repeat Ram. There are places where you are not allowed to do anything other than what they want you to do. In many places, they do not even allow others; for example, some orthodox Muslims will kill you if you even go near. Lots of instances have happened where others do not even allow you to go. So, they have things like this; but still I thought, I am a Hindu, I take the name of Ram, I take the name of Krishna and all that. Unity Church members know that I am a Swami, and that I am expected to lead my people into what I have experienced, and the way in which I have lead my life. But in spite of all this, the people who are devoted completely to Jesus: Jesus is God, Jesus is the way, Jesus is the end, Jesus is the means, everything. In spite of having that conviction, and having devoted all of that time in accepting that conception and conviction, it is for their own progress that they have built that church, but still what a great thing it is for them to allow us to sit there when on Sunday they say, “Oh Jesus,” and the next time we say “Oh Ram.” Their ideology of tolerance, their idea of oneness, that brotherliness, all these things that are their conceptions of not only believing in what they believe, but also appreciating others in their belief, and then shaking the hands of others and bringing them to join and sit together, to eat, enjoy, experience. What a great idea.

So, the other day I was meditating and all of a sudden it occurred to me what a great joy it is, because a lot of people do not even understand this conception of unity. And that unity is a big word, it is not a political slogan, but a spiritual identity. In one house, if four people are there, they are not the same, but they still live together, do they not? What do we do on Thanksgiving at Unity Church? We all sit together, and once the day is over, we are all gone and nobody knows where we go, what we do, but still we all come together to identify each of ourselves with others and try to find our oneness there. We’re all one. That oneness is the most beautiful conception; it is the highest conception of spiritual evolution.

It is easy to separate, divide, and break into pieces, and say I hate this, and I do not like this. That is easy, but to accept everything and bring everything together — to say yes, you may be bad, you may good, you may be poor, but you are me; you are rich, but you are me; we are all one. Just because money is in this pocket and not over here, it does not mean it does not belong to me. Wherever it is, I am rich. It does not matter where the money is. It does not matter if I evolve as a spiritual teacher as a Hindu, or a spiritual teacher as a Christian, or a Muslim. It does not matter. Ultimately, what have you realized? That God according to your conceptions, or this God according to others’ conceptions? God is God. Your conception, your perception, your reach, your method may differ, but that should not divide us.

They divide us so long as we are blind, so long as we are narrow minded. But, they have that unity which is the highest spiritual realization. It is built by whoever built it, whoever had this realization and built it; we should always glorify them. What a great idea! They are pursuing it, and those who have accepted that, and are pursuing that, we should appreciate even more. They did not say, “Oh, this is some madcap idea somebody built,” no. They are thriving, they are enjoying. When I go there, they say, “Swami, they love you.” Why should they love you? They can go the other way around, they could say, “He is not a Christian, why should I share with him?” No, on the contrary, they come and talk to me; what a great joy it is. Great joy.

I was talking with Henry and this idea came to me of what a great thing this is, it is like a great jar of honey. It does not matter who puts their hand in, they taste that honey. Those who do not, stay away and complain. They neither put their hand in, nor do they enjoy, nor do they taste. But, that is what they are doing. All of those who are there have put their hands into that jar of honey. They are enjoying it. That is the unity, the meaning of unity. What a great thing it is. I have always admired them. They admire us too, even though we are only a few people there on Saturdays, they always praise and tell us how great they feel on the next day there. Vibrations, wherever you sit, wherever you do things, you think. You are thinking those vibrations, it vibrates the whole atmosphere there. Wherever it is, whether it is a home, church, shop, wherever it is, it does not matter.

That is like some years ago. Susie, who runs the Halcyon Store, was also telling me how she feels, and that is the reason why they are allowing us to sit here on Tuesdays. So, for no other reason except to create that, because we enjoy it, we want to be the source of that vibration. So, once we feel that, we can build our own house and live there, right? We will build first, and then we will live there. That is what we are doing wherever we go. Thus, that idea is the sign of that spiritual awakeness, that spiritual height to which they have evolved. If not, then these ideas would not have come. Those great ideas could not come. These ideas come only as a matter of having achieved, and then no ideas come except for ones like this: universal, great, love, peace, all these things. Thank you very much.


We have been very fortunate in this life, for we have been witnessing many beautiful things. If we can open our eyes, we can see; if we can open our ears, we can hear. If we keep our heart open, we can tremendously feel that grace, that love, that kindness, and that which we have been seeking throughout all our numerous lives. But, unfortunately, ignorance is so strong it doesn’t allow us to open; we easily become victims of the dark forces. We are susceptible to their tricks, that is the reason why we have not been able to make the most of the available light, that beauty. In our short life it is rare that we witness a lot of beautiful things like this. We always think in terms of sadness, but we should think in terms of happiness, joy.

The other day when we heard, it was a shock, an unbelievable shock that Mother Teresa, the holiest of the holy, the best manifestation of the Divine Love and grace, passed away. But, we should always remember two things. Commonly we are happy in celebrating the birth of somebody, even the birth of a cat. The birth of a kitten in a house, or a bird, a cow or even one of our own species always brings happiness, and we are always saddened when they die. So long as we don’t know what birth is, and what death is, it is customary to express our sadness. But is it sadness? Because of our attachment to the body, to the frame, without which we cannot recognize, without which we cannot behold and feel, we suffer immensely from the loss of that instrument. That is the reason why we are saddened, not because of the other thing.

We have lost the means of seeing through to that form of divinity, that is the whole saddening thing. Sadness should be when we cannot recognize one’s greatness when they lived, sadness should be there, not when one passes away. For is it not a fact that we have seen Jesus who did His work and then passed away? Krishna came and taught the whole world as to what life is, and what its purpose is: to be skillful in this life in order to swim across this ocean of woes. He died, He passed away. Rama, about whom we sing every day, passed away too. Buddha passed away. My mother passed away, everyone passes away. I am also going to pass away one day.

So, it should not be a source of sadness. That is the reason why in my country, and in my culture we always celebrate the departing time and day of the great people. Like my Swamiji, yesterday was his birthday, September eighth. We don’t celebrate the birthdays of these saints, but the passing away. Why should we celebrate on a grand scale about the passing away of a saint? It is not the passing away, it is not the death that we celebrate. The whole meaning is this, why are we born? We are born in this world because we have to work, we have to pay back, for whatever we have done. It is the cause of that ignorance that we are born. We have come here in order to reap the harvest of our actions, which we did in ignorance. One act of ignorance multiplies; in order to repay that we have to be born several times. Is it a pleasure, is it a happiness that we are born? Even if you consider it as a source of happiness, alright, many people are born and die, who cares? But through the life what did they achieve, and what did they do? For themselves and to the others, that is more important. Billions of people have died, we don’t celebrate that, but when a great one dies we celebrate, because they became the light, they became the medium for God to do His work through. So they lose their identity and become one with the divine. They lose their individual identity, they will have no purpose, nothing, but survive only for the sake of the divine. They become a means for the divine to work through, that is what one does. Not only do they pay their debt back, but they become a medium for the divine to work through in this world. So that is a great joy, and they are never born again. They emancipate themselves into the divine, that is the final beatitude.

Should we celebrate the death or the birth? Birth is also a source of enjoyment, but compared to the death in which we see the pinnacle of all endeavors passing through this life, becoming one with the divine light, that is more important than the life. That is why we celebrate the death on a grand scale, nobody wants to miss that chance of celebrating. That is why we all used to meet in the Ashram; thousands of people used to come from all over for Swamiji’s anniversary of his death. That is the day we worship him. So we should remember, it doesn’t have to sadden one.

That is what Mother Teresa said, don’t become attached to my body; I’m here today and tomorrow I’m not. But, it’s enough if you come only once and establish that contact, even if you are far away, that contact is always maintained. That is my experience too. Baba also says the same thing. Everybody says the same thing; this frail body has to go, but they don’t go. It’s a great joy. We had amongst us an unseen ray, like an invisible ray. She was blessing us, she was healing us, she was doing it without our own knowing, and we are all recipients of her grace, her love.

I told you the other day of my experience in Bombay. In my life, I saw Mahatma Gandhi once, and Mother Teresa once; that is enough. I told you my experience, of how to prove that Mother Teresa was not a body, was not a frail little dwarf, but a great manifestation of that Divine Light. She wanted to bless me with her light, I think, that is why even when I was far away it was as if I was beaten on the head: “Fool, turn around and see, I am here.” I turned, and low and behold my eyes were filled. That sight has never passed from my memory, because it was such a beautiful aura, beautiful light, divine light. That simplicity, unless there was that simplicity I could not have seen that light. Beautiful light. So that was the light, like an x-ray; these people work like that. It’s enough.

Everybody on this planet and elsewhere must have received her grace, still we continue to receive her grace. The body is gone, but she is not gone. She was not a goner, she will always be here. In one way or another all these divine persons continue to work. How simple she was, the more I hear about her actions the more I revere her. The other day they were talking about Mother’s greatness. It seems an Archbishop went to Calcutta and stayed with Mother. She was anointing people’s wounds, deep wounds, horrible wounds, with love and without any emotional upset or anything. The Archbishop of course didn’t want to soil his cloth, his well ironed holy robe, and he told Mother: “Mother, I wouldn’t have done that for even a hundred thousand dollars.” So that reveals his feelings, and Mother replied “Neither would I. I am doing it for Jesus.”

She had completely identified herself with Jesus, that divine personage has become Jesus herself. She has invited and housed Jesus in her heart, not only in her heart but in every part of her: her mind, her soul, her body, her senses, everything was occupied by Jesus. When she talked, when she walked, when she did everything, that glorious beautiful Jesus flowed through her. Jesus is a feeling, it’s a love, it’s that service, all these things. That man who was an official from the Vatican, who cares.

Just the other day I was talking to someone about how on American Airlines another great man had an interaction with an airline stewardess. He was more worried about his well ironed holy robe, and he was so egoistic he said: “Do You know who I am? I’m this and this and this. . . ” Who cares, how can these people even talk about Jesus. She talked less of Jesus, but worked more as Jesus. She was far beyond the religions, or nationality, or gender. She didn’t want anyone to become Christians, she didn’t do things to make people become Christians. Anyway they were dying, sick, and in what way could they care whether you call them Christians, or Hindus, or Muslims, or Jews, who cares. All that they wanted was that treatment, that dignity that she gave them. She didn’t want, she didn’t care; the people went for baptism, that is all. Such a person, such a divine light was she.

It is our fortune that at least we saw her, like the comet Hale-Bop once in 1200 years it comes and we saw. Like that we are fortunate, though many of us may not have seen her, it doesn’t matter, she has touched your heart. The moment that you think, “Oh, Mother did something like that, I too should do that.” The moment that you think like that she has already blessed you, she has already been with you.

So, there’s an endless joy about these people; when they lived, they brought joy, and when they’re gone, they have left a great bundle of joy. It’s a joy, it’s a spiritual joy, it’s an investment, it keeps on growing. She has converted so many thousands and thousands into her joy. Her work no billionaire could do, no Raja could do, no monarch could do. Just a frail small short nun did all these things. She could not have done this had she not invested herself in Jesus. She completely merged herself in Jesus, so Jesus used her for this tremendous work.

What was that work? God, nothing but God; she saw God everywhere, that is what she said. In anointing that person, she saw it was God she was serving. That is what my master also said. Many times many people said, “Why are you initiating all these people, Tom, Dick, and Harry’s? You do not know who they are. Why do you bring all the criminals and everyone into the Ashram, why do you?” In his view there is no criminal, there is no nothing, it is a passing phase. Everyone has to pass through life. So unless somebody supports them how can they grow? How can they grow? That is what my master said: “At least I have taken them away from the society, let the society be, I am prepared to deal with them.” Everybody turned out to be good, see.

That is what Mother Teresa also did. We are fortunate to come across all these people, these great ones, we should learn from them, covert ourselves, imbibe and spread their word, enthuse others to do the work of them. It will be a great joy, it will be the worthwhile thing to do. Any day that we talk about Mother Teresa, it is a fortunate day, it is a great day. Anytime that we talk about our master, Sivananda, Baba, or Dattatreya, or whoever it is, it’s a great joy. That is why we sing; we sing so that even subconsciously sometimes the singing goes on far deep within. Even without our own knowing, we will be enjoying it. We do not know why we are enjoying. We are happy; why are we happy? We do not know, that is what happens when you keep on repeating their names and begin to understand them.

When Arjuna asked Krishna, “Oh Lord you say we must always worship You, we must always be in Your company, but where are we to find You? Where are You?” Krishna said, “Arjuna don’t think that I live only in Heaven, I’m not in Heaven alone. I am in every heart of those who are devoted to Me, anyone who is devoted to Me their heart is Mine. By serving them, they’ll be serving Me.”

So the same thing with Mother Teresa’s heart, it’s full of God, and anyone who worships Mother worships God. Anyone who offers their salutations and respect to Mother, they do it to God. She was nothing but a manifestation of that divinity; her heart was full of God. We are happy to worship her, and it doesn’t matter as somebody was asking, are they going to anoint her or canonize her as a saint? Who cares for the canonization? It is stupid. A saint is a saint, that is all. Who cares if they certify her as a saint, they can even certify some Tom, Dick, and Harry as a saint, and are you going to worship them? It seems that the other day in the church they showed some movie of Saint Francis of Assisi, I like Saint Francis of Assisi so much. In the ashram we used to enjoy talking about him, we used to talk about him, and we used to enjoy. So his very name we used to enjoy. He was such a mad man, madcap. Was he a madcap? He loved God so much, he loved Jesus so much he gave himself up to Him. Like a madman, he walked through the snow to build a temple; all that he did, why? Not so the poor would have to bow down and kiss his feet; he was an ordinary man. Just like Jesus and Mother Teresa, these are two shining stars that I always adore.

When I learned about Saint Francis of Assisi, oh! I used to enjoy. We were all Hindus, why should we give that high place to people from Christianity? No, they were Gods, they revealed God. My master revealed God, Mother Teresa revealed that same God. The same thing with all the saints. They are all the great people, they don’t have any bondages, they don’t have any limitations, they belong to everyone. But not everyone belongs to them, they don’t feel they belong to them, that is the whole thing. Muslims came to my master, Hindus came, they all became monks, they progressed. They are not Muslims, they are not Hindus, they are not Christians, they are not any of those things. They must have been born there, they must have had faith in that in the beginning. But as they progressed they realized that all those divisions must fall. They fell, that is the reason why we all worship them. Let us all try to follow them, follow in the sense that we imbibe their efforts. Let us be enthused, let us try to do the same things that they did, that is all we can do anyway. That is the thing that we are all trying to do, and our efforts will be hastened, and our hopes will be stronger. Our faith will be solid if we can learn anything from them, let us behold them, hold them fast unto our chest. Worship day in and day out, in one way or the other it doesn’t matter. Thank you very much.

 Swami Niranjananandaji

So often there are duties, and I have to talk about it all. I want to talk about whether the death of these people makes us sad. Why do they make us sad? Why does their death make us sad, and their birth bring us joy?

Whenever God incarnates, we celebrate because that Divinity has manifested for our gross eyes to see, and for our gross ears to hear their words. We can touch, feel, talk, hear, and all that. So, that is a joy, because that unknown has become known, unseen has become seen. The untouchable has become touchable, all these things. That should be the celebration. That is the reason why we celebrate Siva’s birthday (in India I’m talking about), and we celebrate Rama’s birthday on a grand scale, and Hannuman’s birthday, and Dattatreya’s birthday. Everyone of them, whom we consider Gods are incarnations of the same divinity. But none of us in India, so far, have celebrated the death of Siva, or death of Rama, or death of Krishna. But, we celebrate Buddha’s death.

So, they distinguish between God incarnating in his full form or full force or semi-force, and those others who are born who recognize the Divinity, or work for the Divinity, who will imbibe the qualities of the Divinity. Those whom we call saints and sages, we don’t usually celebrate the birthday because we don’t know when they were born. Even if we know, we usually don’t celebrate their birthday, unless WE know for sure, like in modern day ashrams where they keep track of all that. But usually when these people die we celebrate, we celebrate their death because the cause of birth of a human body is ignorance. Why are we born? In order to pay back what we owe, the actions and reactions about which we have talked previously. One action leads to a series of actions and reactions. So it is that which causes us birth and death and to be born and to be dead. So long as we are attached to the work, so long as we are attached to this material world or actions, our feelings, and all our emotions are the sources of attachment. Once you are attached to any of these, it will cause your birth.

So, that is the reason why you have to cease all of your attachment to every small thing in this world in order to become free. Until you become free, you do not identify with the Divine, and you do not become one with the Divine. That is the reason why they are called saints and sages. They are all 70 or 80 percent on sale, but still that small percent is their attachment. That attachment, though it is good, whether you are tied with a rope or a golden chain, it restricts your freedom, right? So even an attachment to wanting to do good, or wanting to be good, or “I am the Son of God,” even that is attachment.

I saw a movie of Mahatma Gandhi years ago. At that time I told you, that humility, sometimes it becomes exhibitionism, because hidden far deep within is that ego, “Oh, I am nothing, I am just a slave.” So you are trying to hide that you are not a slave; you know that you are doing things, but you try to hide that. You are trying your best to hide it, that is all. But even that humility becomes a source of attachment, because it is a product of that ego. Whether you say, “Oh, I am what I am!” or “Oh, I am nothing,” it is the two extremes but still it is the same piece of wood. One is the handle and the other is the pick, or whatever it is; it has the same properties. That is the reason why, with detachment, whatever it is, let it be. I am good, I am bad; who cares?

See, I do not want to certify, produce a certificate, I am good or I am bad, I am this or I am that. Even that is an attachment. But here, I am not trying to put down anything. It is a great joy, but we have to understand because we are on the path of spirituality. We are not seeking anything but the Truth, but the Reality as we think, we feel. See? So in all these sayings.

You should know Ramana Maharshi was a great saint. Saint, I did not say God, saint. Saint means 99% purity, all the divine qualities they imbibe. God did that. God loves, I presume. I just presume God loves so, I love. Why do you love? Because God loves. You see, I want to punish the bad one. Why do you want to punish the bad one? Because God punishes the bad one. You see, so like that, what happens? You try to mimic the Divinity, so thereby it actually becomes part of your nature. Your nature converts itself into divinity by force. You are forcing your nature to imbibe those qualities, replace those things. So you become. Who knows whether God loves or doesn’t love? If God loves, why should people die? Why should people have cancer? Why should children drink water and die? He should say no. Is He not attached? No. Neither is He attached to good or bad. He is there. He provides a field for whatever you want to do: dance, sleep, swim, anything. “I have provided for you the world,” so whatever you do, it becomes an attachment in this world. That is the reason why God does not attach Himself.

When He becomes Rama, He attaches, because without attachment, He cannot be one amongst us. See, the cause of Rama is also a story. Why He became Rama, why He became Krishna. Why Rama had only one wife and Krishna had 1600 wives, why? It seems monkeys all around Rama; all the young monkeys loved Rama so much. See, their passion was enraged. So, Rama said not in this birth; see, I am devoted to only one, it is Sita. So, with Krishna all the monkeys became gopis; so, all the gopis became His lovers. And Buddha: once Gautama was so much attached to a deer, He loved that deer out of sympathy, out of that devotion, out of love, all that. He thought it was great. But, He loved it so much that He became a deer in the next life and He was shot. That is why He said, even that is an attachment. Attachment to anything — good, bad, ugly, whatever it is. Attachment is an attachment is an attachment. That is why God does not have an attachment.

We, in order to please ourselves, and please the Divine, say, “Oh God, You are a great lover.” Who knows if He is loving. Why should I go to the hospital to get my heart open? Does He not know I love him? Where is the reciprocity? No, I do not expect God to save me. God did not create me, God does not destroy me. He enjoys. He knows I am neither born nor dead, for I am a part of Himself. I am a particle of the same ocean; me and my Father are one. If I die, God also dies. Does God die? No. So, do I?

Being a part of His, I do not die. This shirt, just because you throw away the shirt, does it mean that you are gone? It is an outer cover. Go deeper and deeper and deeper and what is that? You are there, as I told you. Even if you throw away this gross body, you still have the subtle body with which you move in this world because you have to pay the creditors. You cannot escape them.

For every action there is a reaction. As reaction, you will have to be born. If you want to be reborn, you have to continue the journey; it is a single journey. It is a play, that is all. You are acclimatizing; you have a camp, you are sleeping, and you are waking up, and you are walking. You have to do, you have not reached your destination. On the contrary you are going hither and tither instead of going to your destination. So, with subtle body you enter the gross body again and establish yourself, hand, everything.

I told you how all these people, you go, and then it takes a time for all of them to come and establish in the body, all the clerks, all the departments. See, senses, the mind, and they, all those people, we are open for the grand opening. This is the grand opening. That is what we say, “Oh! One year’s birthday and second year birthday,” etc. Slowly, they all started working, and then you become a full teenager. You become a full blown thing and then you start working. That is the reason why up to a certain age you are not responsible for your actions. Your parents have to take that responsibility; that is what they say, but no matter what, your actions are your actions. You see?

So that is an attachment. That is the reason why God, when He is born, He is not born. That is why He is called Swayambu. He creates Himself by Himself; it is neither the action nor the reaction because He is not attached to the action or to the reaction. You see? So, He is detached completely. He neither loves nor hates nor kills nor saves. But we presume. Sai Baba was asked, why need you not save your mother. He said, I do not deal with nature. It is the process of the nature. When the time comes, everybody has to go. Why did you not save? Many people say, “Oh Baba saved.” If Baba saved, after one year, he dies. Why did He not save a second time?

So, God does not involve in the working of the nature. It is a separate department altogether; it is a different branch, executive branch. He makes the principles and all that, and creates the nature — “All right, Mother, go ahead, make My day. I will go and sleep, and You will see, I do not recollect.” That is all. God, you did that; I don’t recollect. He never did it, so you do it and you enjoy it, that is all.

So these things we should understand as spiritualists. See, we are part and parcel of the Divine. As Divine, we are far deeper within ourselves; we are not attached to anything. We need not be attached; it is all on the surface. I am attached: he is my son, he is my father, he is a friend, he is my enemy, and all this. All bunk, nobody is an enemy. In Gita, it says you are the enemy of yourself and you are the friend of yourself. You reflect yourself, that is all. Nobody is an enemy, nobody is a friend; it is you. If you are a friend, you are a friend. If you are an enemy, you are an enemy. You go to your enemy and ask, “Who am I?” “You are my enemy.” Why? Because you are treating him as an enemy. If you are satisfied he is an enemy, he is going to satisfy you that you are an enemy, and both of you are enemies. Say, “I am a friend.” “Who am I?” “You are a friend my friend.”

So, like that, we should understand the differences between the manifestation of the divine incarnations and the saints. It is today’s criminals who can become a saint tomorrow. He has gone through the process. God does not go through the process; He is and He is gone, that is all. He comes and goes at His will. Others have to qualify; we have to evolve right from the deepest state, where it is deep darkness. We have fallen into that. See, we are not incarnations, we are subject to the evolutionary process. We have chosen that path. That is the reason why we become involved in bhakti and yoga and this and that. For God? No. He is sought after, He does not seek anything. He is sought after. We all seek Him. Ask him, “Do you seek, Ethan?” He says “Who is he?” See, he seeks himself. There is nothing else to seek because he is He. Because we have decided we are Ethan or Karl, or I am Swami and I am a fool, I am wise, I am this, I am that. That is why you have to seek God. God does not say that you are Ethan; God does not say, “He is Jim,” but says, “I am Me. Where am I? I am everywhere, I am in everything; I may not be everything but I am in everything.”

That is the status of God; He appears and disappears. His appearance for us is the birth, the disappearance is the death. That is all. For us, it is a process. God need not evolve; we have to evolve. He comes as He is and He goes back as He is. If He wants to incarnate, He will incarnate. If He does not want, He will not. We do not even know whether He is a He or a She. In order to please you, maybe, because just like you want to put on the dress of a king, or you go and stand in front of the mirror and put on the grand clothing: “Oh, I am a king.”

Like that, in order to do the same thing, to give you pleasure, maybe God appears as you want. It is your own Self; you want to see yourself as that, so He says, “All right, it is your own reflection.” God becomes your own reflection. You are the reflection of God so your will becomes His will. When you completely merge yourself mentally, physically, psychically, merge completely in Him, then you become a part even while you exist as a separate entity. You are a separate entity, but still you have a bridge, you have a rapport. If God wills, we will be all right. So, I do not say, “I want you to be will.” Say, “If God wills.” Though you are a part of it, you do not have to take upon yourself the responsibility of taking it. You want to throw that responsibility on God, because it is a greater source.

See, so all these things are subject for thinking, if you have mind to think it. Think! Sharpen your intellect. The spiritual intelligence is different from the gross intelligence. As I told you often, sharpen your intellect; it is a process of discrimination. For discrimination you need intellect. Ultimately, the end of discrimination becomes wisdom. In wisdom there is no discrimination. Everything is the same; there is no discrimination. And discrimination leads you to wisdom from intellect. Product of intellect is the discrimination, and that will lead you into wisdom. When you achieve the wisdom, then there is no more discrimination. You do not discriminate; all that you see is God, all that you see is the Divinity, all that you see is this. What you say is not from the mind. You do not calculate; the mind has to calculate, plan, dispose, correct. In the wisdom, this is what I say, that is all. Will you please explain why did you say that? There is no explanation. It is the mind which has to explain, and mind does not know. You see, what goes in the upper chamber, the lower chamber does not know, so how can the upper chamber come and give a press conference; it is lacking the knowledge. Wisdom is independent of all this.

So that is what happens when saints and sages rise to that stage where they become devoid of this ego. This intellect, this gross everything, that is the reason why you see there is a level, there is a stage between becoming Divine; once they become Divine, there will be no more attachment, nothing. But still, because of that attachment, I want to do good, I want to do this, I want to see Jesus in this, I want to see Rama in this, by serving Them myself. Why do you want to serve God? You are God. You don’t see God in yourself. Why do you want to sleep on the floor? God doesn’t want to sleep on the floor and get cold. No, That is the gross body they are dealing with. One thing in themselves, they are split, me and mine, the body is mine, but me, I belong to God. If body wants to belong to God, let it do the penance, that is all. Because body also, each and every molecule has to evolve and go back to its source. The source of all the sources is God.

We think the dirt, this, and that, becomes something. What is nature? Nature is. From where did the nature appear? In the nature what we see, from where did they appear? So the source is only one source, that is what it is. It is like inspector Gargitt, open the whole thing, only one suitcase, that is all. The airplane is there and when he wants an airplane. He goes and he wants to climb. Have you seen it? It is like that. Everything comes from one source. It is the magic.

So, the difference between the saints and sages and the divinities, they imbibe slowly the quality. So they try to throw away all these limiting adjuncts. The body they sacrifice in the process of serving, and all that. They lose that attachment slowly and steadily. And intellect, “You ask too many questions.” They say, “You go and study somewhere. Go!” They do not want to bother about answering. How many saints have given press conferences? Day in and day out, there will be a hundred press people in the White House and we read the paper in the morning. That is their product. How many saints have given how many press conferences, and how much have you read? You do not even know when they were born or died. They are born and dead silently, but their aura: Oh boy! It is we who are absorbing whether we want it or not. That is the reason why, if you become conscious and receive consciously, you will grow. If not, still, like the sun whether you want it or not, He shines forth on you. Anyone who walks, it shines on you. If you do not want, have an umbrella, that is all. See? So that is the way of the saints and sages. That is why we celebrate the life of sages. Because they have proven that it is true. By your efforts, you can achieve the heights in the spirituality. It is not a fake, it is not something which is beyond your limits, and it is approachable. What is approachable by me is approachable by you. What I have achieved is possible for you to achieve.

In order to show that, the saints are amongst us. Though they can retire and remove themselves from this, they do not. They like to have a little attachment so that they will be forced to stay with you so that they can redeem you also, along with them. It is a part of them. See? When my foot is stuck in the mud, I don’t leave my foot and walk away. What do I do? I have to remove my foot also to walk right. That is what it is. They consider you as a part of them. That is the reason why they do all this, all these actions. It is so beautiful. On one side, you can see the beautiful aura, beautiful Divinity there shining forth, for which we have no explanation. But the work that they do, you can do, I can do. They love, you can love. She ties the bandage, you can also can do it. She invites poor people, you can also do it. All those things. By doing this, what happens is that you too can become what she became. That is what it says, in order to prove. If not, she would have gone and lived in some cave. There are so many people sitting idle in their rooms.

She could have done it. See, that is what my master also did. There was a time when the maharaja, the king of that place to whom the whole Himalayas belonged, had to wait 3 or 4 days to see my master. He never came out. And later on he started serving all the people who are in the caves. He said they are more important to me. For it is later on, when he has achieved the whole thing, then he came out: let me spread the message. We were lucky, had he not done this, I would not be here. I would have been washing some cars in India, most likely, or sweeping some street, who knows? It is he who made us what we are, so we are grateful. He need not have done it. So these saints and sages are of this kind. They are divine and at the same time they belong to this material world, to an extent maybe 1% maybe .99% .09%, who knows?

That is all, it is that much, even that much is too much. See, so that is the reason why it saddens us when they are gone. Our ideal, our support, our example, is gone. So whom should we look to? See? That is the reason why we are saddened. But, at the same time we should be happy that their presence has proved that Divinity is a fact, God is a fact. And when a small frame of her could achieve that height what could we not do? We could do greater things but it doesn’t mean that we must go to India and serve only the poor and all that. That is a process. There are so many other processes by which we can achieve the same thing.

There are things watching, the greater eyes. A great example is Janaka, the father-in-law of Rama. When he was king someone said, “The palace is burning.” Janaka said, “What is burning? There is nothing to burn. If it burns, let it burn.” He was completely detached. Though he was a king, he was completely detached. Whether you are a saint with all the things and detached, or you are a king and detached, detachment is the same thing. You see? You become Mother Teresa and detached completely and offer yourself to God. Or being a king, you remove everything and then offer yourself. Both of them are the same, you see?

So, I will let you think for yourself, argue with yourself and try to strain your mind in this aspect. Why? You want to. I didn’t cry. I felt loss of Mother Teresa. Yes, maybe tears rolled. But the same tears, when I saw her, rolled also. It was warm and it was cold because there is attachment. You see? Rama, I love Rama. We sing Rama. We are attached; all these things are good. There is a process; instead of attaching to small things, attach yourself to that which gives to you. Instead of attaching yourself to a piece of rock, you attach yourself to a plane. When the plane lifts off you are also lifted off and you go off to places. If you are attached to a stone you go nowhere and you will also rot. Is it not so? That is what happens. Attachment is a process of reattachment, too, so long as we do not know. So, instead of attaching somewhere else, let us put our attachment somewhere here, like Mother Teresa, doing this, but without this duality. She said, “I am not doing, I am not doing to you, I am serving Jesus. It is Jesus who gives me strength.” That is what she said. So, Jesus she serves, and Jesus gives her the strength. Who is serving whom? Jesus is serving Himself through her. Her own statement, just like Jesus said, “Me and my Father are one.” It is putting the same thing in a different way. Jesus gives me strength to serve Jesus in everybody. You see? So wisdom is there. Intellectually, we gamble, “Oh, this is this, this is that.” You go to my mutt (we call mutt monasteries, big establishments). We (Christians) have one pope, but we (India) have so many popes. You go there (India), the same bureaucracy is devoid of the spirituality which we talk. See? So that bureaucracy is the reason why she said I am not going to stay in the Church. I want to do this. This is what I want, freedom. So the Pope said, “All right, go. Go ahead.” See what a great thing it is?

So, thank you very much. Think of this, think whether we should cry or pray to God that her presence, appearance, and disappearance should encourage and provide impetus and lead us. She is not dead. She is there because she is attached to good. She is attached to people. She is attached so much, she wants to see. She loves so much. So she is not going to be free unless we all do something. See? Establish yourself in that consciousness, then she will be freed. Even if you help one poor man somewhere, sometime once in your life even that is sufficient for her. You have done what she wanted, and her blessings will be there. And her blessings is the greatest thing; it is a million dollars worth. So (not that it is of monetary value) I would like to say it is valueless, a billion dollars also constricts.

One single blessing of hers is great, so she never dies. These saints and sages, they are never dead. They are always there. The same Divine appears in their name, in their frame, that is all. If you want to catch hold of Him, catch hold through her, through my master too, it does not matter.

Saint Francis of Assisi, that is another thing. I rejoice whenever they talk about Saint Francis of Assisi. Like Saint Francis of Assisi, we have so many other saints in India. They were like mad, they were like this, and far within they were like children. So innocent, so detached, so full of, not even, I do not want to say love. They did not love; they are completely detached. But, that Bliss, Bliss is the right word for that; they were so full of Bliss. Bliss doesn’t mean love. There is no love involved in Bliss. There is no action involved in Bliss. Thank you

Swami Niranjananandaji


There is a regular text of prayer, “Oh Lord who is our Father, our Mother, and our Brother, Thou art our best Friend.” Now who is our best Friend, the best Brother, who is the best Mother and Father? “Thou art all the knowledge we wish to posses, and Thou art the Wealth, and Thou art the Best of all the best.” That is what the prayer is. That means everything is provided by God. So when we think of God, we superimpose upon that entity all the qualities that are ascertained, and called by that name, to suit to our taste, or as we find it easy.

So one of them is Thou art the Father. What does the Father do? As father, what are you doing? You work hard, and supply everything; you take care of the whole family.

Merely bringing stuff home is not a thing, if you can bring the whole world into the home, but it should be made use of for the right purpose at the right time, and all these things. So that is executed by the Mother. Mother is the executress, and Mother is the sole proprietor of the whole management administration. Without Mother you can just imagine what will happen to this world. Without Father, we cannot become orphans, but without Mother we can definitely become orphans.

For our progress in our world, what is it we need? We need a master, we need a teacher, we need somebody to give us an impetus, who initiates us into the unknown future of knowing. There are things to be known, and things to be unknown, things to be cultivated, and things to be uncultivated. One step we take, and we go elsewhere, one step the other way takes us somewhere else.

The mother is the first and foremost master, the teacher, the guide, both the spiritual and mundane. It is she who takes care of us, right from the beginning, bearing us, conceiving us, changing our diapers, and initiating us into the future unknown world, world of knowing, knowledge. Always she takes pride whenever we learn, and she makes everything. She is always compared to the earth — earth never complains, does She? We kick Her, we dig Her, we hurt Her, but still She doesn’t complain, does She? Same way with the mother, mother doesn’t complain.

These days they kill the children, they are not mothers, they are possessed by the demons, and this is the mother. Mother is close, even when God manifests either as Krishna, Rama, this or that, it doesn’t matter how, He bows down to the mother. With the father he may care less. Of course he respects, but for the father it is always a few percentage less. But to the mother, one takes off his hat, one is prepared to sacrifice oneself for the sake of the mother. Mother is something which is very rare, very super.

I remember, a long time ago, when I was one of the directors for a film; I was a young lad at that time, maybe twenty. There was a famous actress, a very well known Indian actress; she had married just like Elizabeth Taylor, she too had married two or three times. She was pretty, she was good, she was famous and rich, everything was alright. On one of the days when I had finished my rehearsals and was resting, she came by (we used to sit and talk) and I think she took me and my friend to her house, and we had tea. While talking she brought up the subject of money. She told us what she did with it. She used to take cash instead of checks. She used to take all that money to her mother and offer it at her feet and salute her. That was her custom. She brought everything, whatever she earned, whatever she did, and offered it to her. So we were surprised that she, such a great lady, a very famous lady, and she is saluting, and falling flat at the feet of this wrinkled face and dried out person called “mother.” Then after a moment of silence, she opened her mouth and addressed my friend Nataraj, “You know in this world we can have as many fathers as we want, but mother, only one. Only one mother you can have, and if you miss, you miss for life. The one, in whose womb you took your start, the one who bore you, who brought you out into this world to be whatever you are now, it is she. So, that is the reason why I don’t want to miss my mother. I don’t want in any way to miss an opportunity of serving her to the best that I can.”

So that was the statement made by that actress. That struck me so much, mother, what a great thing. God manifests in that motherhood. See? Motherhood is not merely a frame made of some elements that came together and then it vanishes, that is not the case. It is the divine manifestation in the mother, that is the reason why she cares for you. When nobody cares for you, why should she care? Nowadays things are happening right? Soon we shall forget about mothers. Soon mothers will forget about the children, I think, if things go on like this. In the dark ages, everything can happen. There’ll be no rule, no regulation, no morality, no sanctity. But there is the mother, whatever it is, whether one recognizes it or not, mother is very rare. Only one mother in the world you can have, and if you miss, you miss her forever. So, let no one miss that opportunity when offered.

I remember I lost my mother when I was six or seven. I used to cry even when I was thirty five. I remember I used to be with my aunt, and I used to sleep outside alone, I used to like liberty, freedom and solitariness, and in the night they say I used to sit down and cry, and they used to come out and soothe me, and ask me about it. I was hesitant to talk about it, but nevertheless, my pain was always there. Because mother is the first thing, whenever you have news to break, get a certificate, get an award, get A’s, get all that, or did something good whom do you go and tell first? Through the back, and running to the kitchen and you say, “Mom, this is what I have done.” She hugs and kisses you, she appreciates that. What a great encouragement that is. Father says alright, alright, you did good, that is all. But mother, no, she takes it as if she got the award, she enjoys it multifold. She becomes one with you, she is the only one who can be a part of you; inevitably, she’s one with you, one with us. She is the one who shares our pain, joy, success or failure, without any reservations.

We have a pain; somebody has kicked you in the back and you fell down hurt. Whom do you go to? Whom do you call first? Not dad, he is on tour. It is the mother, though nowadays even the mother is on tour. To whom do you go or call first? Mother. It is the mother from whom one hug means you forget all the pain. All your pain will vanish once you are in the embrace of your mother. That is the magic, that is the best therapy. These days we have lots of crime, lots of teenage problems. Why? Mothers have not understood their part, and children are not made to know the value of mother. Our social order has changed to such an extent that in between this we have brought that damn nuisance that is money. Money and the standard of living, and all that nonsense. When there is no love, when there is no comfort, there is nothing, no humanity. What kind of standard of life is it? Why should you live at all if the standard of living is this? When you go to shop and try to give the value right, if it is six cents more you say no, it should be only five dollars and six cents, it should be this, it should be that, you pay and you are happy in the world. Why do we not then give that value to our mother, or father, or brother and sister? We don’t give. That is the reason we are like orphans, in spite of having everybody around. At seventeen, we say, “Oh, our child is leaving us, he is taking an apartment.” Why? Don’t you have a house? It has become a regular thing somebody started. Before that where were the children? Children used to be together. One used to depend on the other. There used to be love. In unity there is strength — united we stand, divided we fall. We are falling because we are divided.

Age doesn’t matter, I remember there was a bank manager. He was really hefty and tall and 40 or 45 years old. We were children and used to run around and our mothers used to call us “children.” And this man was also called by his mother, who was about seventy or eighty at that time, “Child come here,” and he used to go, meekly. I used to say, “He is such a big man, see, he had a special door to come in and out, he is such a hefty man, and tall and all that, (he’s older than forty or fifty now,) and he is still called a child, and he goes.” We used to laugh, we used to call him child also, and he used to enjoy that.

See, for a mother, no matter who you are, whether you are a king, or a pauper, whether you are a worker or whatever, between a mother and child, whatever the bondage is, it is precious. It is the same cord, whether it is between the king and the queen, or the prince, or the pauper. You see, whoever it is. Even the dogs and all the other animals have this common bondage. Have you seen a lion cub? Have you tried to meddle with a lion’s cub? It will pounce upon you. It doesn’t care about you so long as you don’t go near the child; if you do, it is prepared to sacrifice her life, but she will protect the child.

So that is the whole story, and once in the Mahabharata there is an incident. You know, I don’t know whether any of you know Mahabharata, it is a great epic, where two sets of cousins fight for the kingdom, you see. One has a hundred and one brothers, and a few sisters, and on the other side there are only five people, and on the side of the five, Krishna is a support. Krishna is a manifestation of the Divine, He is an Avatar, incarnation, He was there. So anyway it doesn’t matter, anyway He tried to — just like Bosnia, Balkan situation — Krishna tried His best to bring peace to both sides. He said you take forty-nine and he’ll take fifty-one, or you take fifty two and him forty eight, or whatever it is. “No, we will take all or we will war.” Then He said alright, and they fought. Some people joined and it was a big war. And because the Lord was on the side of the virtuous, that is the five brothers, they won. Everything was silent, all the dead bodies were scattered. In those days there was nothing like using the rocket, and pounding on the civilians. The place was decided, conditions were all laid out about the war and it was waged between sunrise to sunset, that is all. Once the conch is sounded, everybody should stop fighting. See, it was survival of the fittest. Then they used to go to the enemy camps to meet the relatives they knew, because the next day who knows who will be there and who will not be there. So they used to go to the opposite camps. Nobody shot anybody; they talked, came back, then in the morning again they were there as enemies. So that was the condition. Anyway, no matter under what condition they fought, they fought and they all died.

So Gandhari was the mother of all these hundred and one bad, stupid sons. After all, in spite of all that, she knows they are her children right? They are all born to her. She came and saw them all scattered and she was crying. She went under the tree, and she was crying and crying. She was cursing Krishna, “It was You who did this, and You should have saved them,” and all that. So Krishna was also going round. He is the Lord anyway, He knows, so He came there because she is the aunt of Krishna. He said, “Mother it’s alright, I’m sorry. I know you are hungry. See slowly you are losing your voice. You don’t even have the strength to cry. I have brought you something to eat; please eat.” She said, “No I don’t want to.” After some time, Krishna said “Alright. I’ll go,” and He took the food also with Him, and hid behind a tree. After some time she could not cry anymore because she had no strength and she was hungry and wanted to eat something. And look, there was a crow eating a piece of flesh from her own sons, and she was trying to run to that crow and pick that piece of flesh. Krishna came to her and said, “Mom, I told you don’t starve. If you want to cry, cry the whole life, it doesn’t matter, but you must have strength to cry. So for a mother, whether they are good or bad, children are always children to her. See, this is your child. You see, you are a mother, they’re all children. See? She is also there. She has five or six children. They suffered. Your sons tortured them the best they could. Still, they survived and came back. But still your sons didn’t share the kingdom which was not theirs to start with. They got whatever they deserved so we cannot help it.” Then He gives a long lecture to what the connections are. As long as we live in this world, we have to have that attachment. Attachment to what? Mother, father, everything is there. We have to recognize it, we have to enjoy, experience everything, because we are not out of this world, we are within the framework of this world. That attachment is necessary, and that attachment is binding.

Especially this attachment of mother and child is like the attachment between the master and student. Though they seem to be separate, they are one. Masters do not progress without the initiated disciples, and the disciples cannot progress unless the masters bless them. So there is an attachment and there is also a detachment. They work on a certain basis. See? Each one is the means for the other and they know that. That is how father, mother, everybody’s relationship is the same, it is only temporary. In this life we are mother, father, everything. Who knows where my father was last time, the last birth? If you can believe in births and rebirths. Where was your mother, where was she? Your own mother must have been your granddaughter. Who knows? Your own father must have been your own son, or maybe daughter. Who knows? We can know but we need not know. But in this world due to attachment, wherever you go, once you are tied, no matter, you fall, and just roll down and go far. But still that rope is there, just like climbers have it around their belly.

So wherever you go, that attachment will drag you. If you are born there, somewhere, somehow, after a hundred years, or three births, still those souls will gather together, that attachment will hold fast. It is so subtle. See, we will never miss each other anyway until the final beatitude, if you can achieve that. So until then, the bondage between the disciple and the master, the mother and the child, friends, all these things are bound. It is so subtle that wherever you go it is like a festival. This world, some seen, some unseen, some far above, some beneath, it’s all spread all over. You miss your son here, and you go over there and cry, “Oh where are you Ethan?.” “I am here Dad.” He is there and you are there; then you go and eat something, and you go somewhere, and alright, “We’ll meet there,” and you come there again, then you scatter again. So that is the whole play in this world, that is how we are all coming together. Why should we come? Why should we, only five people, come here? Why should we come only on Tuesday now? Who asked you only to come on Tuesday, why not Wednesday? Everything is preplanned. We cannot believe, but it is true.

So to Gandhari, later on, Krishna explained the subtlest possible planes and everything. You can see the blueprint there. How many times you are going to be born? When you are going to be redeemed? When you are going to, everything is done. That is the reason why I always tell you if you feel you are not making progress, do not think that you are not going to make progress, if not today, tomorrow. You are sleeping, sleep. It doesn’t matter. When you are awake you start walking again. So there is always hope. Hope is always there. No matter what, you might be a bad man, good man, blind, or limping. It doesn’t matter what you do, you are going to reach the zenith. You are going to go, you will never stop. See? In the blueprint you are somewhere there and you will reach the fruits, the ultimate goal of life.

So all this is planned, the bondage between mother and father. Though it is temporary, now you are the mother and now you are the son. Who knows what you were in the past. Maybe you were something, and she was something, and maybe you wanted to be her son. “I wanted to know how I would enjoy having you as a son.” You said, “Yes alright let us try.” So that is the reason why we are born. Maybe she wanted to know, “Oh I want to be your mother, is it alright?” Maybe you were friends. You wanted to enjoy each other’s company as you are so much attached. So you wanted to experience what it would be like if I become mother, and you become son, or you become mother, and I become son, whatever it is. There is an arrangement and we come and enjoy, that is all. Once that experience is complete, we are on our way, “Bye, see you.” That is experience, and next whatever you decided depends on what kind of attachment you developed in this present. The present is the basis, the foundation for the future. Whatever you try to decide now will be a foundation for the next. As you do not know, this is the superstructure that we see. What we see now, what we enjoy, what we experience is the superstructure that we see. We do not know the foundation, how deep and how wide, what is carrying this superstructure of life here. So that is a mystery because we don’t know. It is not a mystery when you go down into the earth and see the foundation.

So this fact, philosophy, comes to help us here to understand. And if you have developed the spiritual understanding, you can even understand it better, feel it, experience it — the truth of this coming together, and passing through and parting again. Once we understand this, the value of this attachment and detachment, we don’t grieve. That is when Arjuna tells Krishna, just before the war starts, “Oh Lord I want to see who are all there to fight with me. I want to choose the best and the strongest to fight. I want to know, please drive my chariot there from where I can gaze at them and decide.” Lord said, “Alright my son, come on.” He saw everybody there, and he said, “Oh boy!” He saw his cousins, his nephews, and relatives, his teachers, the very teachers who taught him how to hold the bow, now he has to fight them. “Oh boy.” Then he came and started crying, “Oh Lord, I am not going to fight. Don’t you see, how can I kill those people who are my grandfathers, those who are my masters, those who loved me, and right from my childhood protected me, brought me up? You want me to shoot at them. No. I am prepared to die. I don’t want this kingdom. Why this nonsense. I don’t want it.” Arjuna lived with Krishna for a long time and never recognized him as Lord. He was arrogant and full of ego, but this sorrow brought him down and he said, “Lord, please accept me as your student, please enlighten me. What is truth? What is not? I have lost my power of discretion.” Until then Krishna never said a word of teaching life and beyond.

That is the true master. A true master doesn’t stop you by the ropes that you are entangling yourself in, in a net. “Each attachment is a bondage and like that, your son, your father, your mother, your uncle, and this and that, how many? You cannot get rid of any attachment. And you are creating so many attachments, and each attachment is going to hold you back. For all the eternity you’ll be bound, you’ll be born, and reborn, and suffer like this, cry, seek, die, again get reborn, because you’ll be attached. So now, because you are my companion, you are my cousin, I am here. It is good that you are being instructed by me, you are fortunate. Now give up that attachment. You must give up that attachment and fight, and once you fight you fulfill your Dharma. That is according to whatever you were born you’ll be fulfilling your duties. That is the main purpose of your being here. Once you finish that duty, you are redeemed. Then, whatever you want to do you can do. Once you lose that attachment, then you are free. When you are free, you will at once rise, you can become a saint, you can become whatever you want to be, not until then. Now this is the time to fight, get up and fight.”

So at that time He talks about attachment in a few words. But when you think about it, it means a lot. When I lost my mother, I cried because of her physical absence. I always even now, every morning when I sit for meditation and I offer my prayers, I pray for her, no more as a frame. I don’t even have a picture of her. I was sad because at that time, I could not even afford to take a single picture of her. Now, I can take my children’s picture, a number of them. But my mother’s picture I carried in my memory for a long time; even that is dissipating. I still love my mother and offer my prayers because still there is that attachment. Is that attachment binding? No. Your attachment to your master, your mother, your father, it will not be attachment, but it is a love. Love is redeeming. But is it an attachment? Love doesn’t have attachment. Love is pure. Love is the recognition, you understand. Attachment is different, attachment with love is different, it does not bring pain. When it is pure love without attachment, even in the absence of that person, you feel the presence and you enjoy it. You may not physically hold it. You may not embrace, you may not shake hands, you may not touch, but still there is that memory, the spring of that love. That joy is immense. It is not because of attachment, I cried because of that attachment then. Once the Mother said in the ashram to a group of people, “Wherever you are, there I am, don’t spend your time for three days just to come to see me. The frame is here now, and tomorrow it may not be here. Don’t attach yourself to this frame, but attach it to me. Not only in this life, but for lives together. That is not a bondage, that is oneness, that is strength, that is a glory.” But attachment is temporary, it becomes a bondage. Love for God is also an attachment. It becomes an attachment when I am a Christian and I want only to see Jesus, and I am a Hindu and I want only Krishna, and somebody says I am Allah and I want only that abstract entity. It is my attachment to that stone, and my attachment to that Krishna which I created, you see. But remove all those things, what is that? It’s an entity, the God. We think Krishna is God, the frame. No. God is in that frame too, but without the frame also God can exist, does He not?

So it is to God that we belong to, God we love, and to God that we attach ourselves. Even if we think that we are attached, still the fact is we are not attached for the reason we are part and parcel of the same entity. We may not know, but the Divine knows. That is the reason why you are all divine particles, we are all the chip off the same old block, no matter whether or not you know. By that, our attachment to God doesn’t bring in problems, it doesn’t bring in trouble. Even while you are sacrificing your life for the sake of God, it doesn’t bring unhappiness, but happiness. You sacrifice everything, you give away everything, you become a recluse, you become a pauper. But why? For the sake of God, for the sake of the Divine. You detach yourself from this world in order to attach yourself to God. That is not an attachment. It is belonging to whom you belong to, rightful owner, rightful cause, rightful thing. Even otherwise, when you are verily the part and parcel of the same, where comes the question of either attachment or detachment? All that is simply an imaginative statement.

But here in this worldly matter, the material world, our connections become attachment. It is that which is bondage, it is that which binds you, and becomes a source of all problems. That is why we have to discriminate. As a mother, what is mother, I told you what mother is, that love, that devotion, that support, that courage, that source from whom we derive all these things is the mother. Mother is always there, father is always there. That entity, that principle is always there that sometimes manifests in the frame of the mother and the father, in the master, whatever it is. But by that, attaching to that, you are not bound. But the frame, when my mother died, I cried so long as I did not know, I was attached to that frame. I wanted to hug, but whom should I hug, because there was no frame. But now I know my mother is always there. It is her blessing, it is her company that still keeps me happy in spite of all my hanky panky things. Still I am protected, guided, lifted. By whom? By that great Entity. So that Spirit, that Truth, always takes care. So if you love, you have to love. With attachment, yes, for a while we have to have that attachment, but that attachment will also vanish slowly as you understand. As you grow up that attachment will go. But, by our attachment what happens is our attachment hurts the other party too. “Oh my son used to love me so much, how can I die, how can I leave him?” No, you must say, “Mom, I can survive, you have brought me up, you have given me courage, you have protected me, you have given me education, you have done everything. See, you must remember that I always love you, and always you are there, and I am always there with you no matter where you are, it doesn’t matter where you are.” See? So you must create that confidence in her too, the mother. You aren’t going to die, I am not going to die, never die anyway. We are not the dying entities. We are living entities. We will always be together. Here, there, wherever we are. Death is for the cowards and the ignorant; for the wise there is no death. The “real” being never dies anyway. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji

I was invited to address students in one of the collages in Montreal. A teacher in philosophy wanted me to address the students, so I accepted and went. It was a new experience for me. Colleges in India are different. They have discipline, a lot of discipline. But here when I was taken to the cafeteria, I think, or gym, someplace, there was a big platform. The students were all scattered; they were smoking and doing all kinds of things. I asked myself how can a student smoke? That was a new experience to me, you see, but that is what it was. So I leaned down on the platform quietly without any other actions, just sat and withdrew myself. Soon I enjoyed that peace and tranquility within myself and I wanted it to radiate. It took a few minutes. All of a sudden all the noise was subdued, and nobody had told anybody. They extinguished cigarettes. They all pulled their seats together. Soon the group grew from twenty or twenty-five to a full hall. I don’t know from where they came. It was nice. I was inspired and I was happy to see all the young faces; always I love them. Rapt attention. I had not spoken yet — I have a big mouth anyway. I had not opened it. They were quiet, and the professor got up. He came on the platform and introduced me.

At that time I was not wearing this clothing; I was wearing a dhoti, a small short sleeved shirt, and one small piece of cloth on my shoulder. I started repeating my usual prayers, slokas or invocations as they are called, invoking all my masters, and the Divine; I have a few names. Then I addressed the students. I thought I would finish in about fifteen or twenty minutes, but it took nearly an hour and a half, or so. None left the hall. It seems they got interested in whatever I was saying.

I asked them for questions, whatever they wanted to know. Someone in the audience posed the question “What is mystery?” I don’t know if anything is a mystery anyway. It was interesting. I was interested in answering that; I took that question. I told them that it is a mystery to everybody, but it may not be a mystery to me and people like me, because what is mystery? Mystery is ignorance of the fact, not knowing about the things. You see? You see and you do not know, it is a mystery, but once you know, it is no longer a mystery. You see? So God-realization is a mystery because we have not realized God yet. Achievement in yoga is a mystery because we haven’t achieved it. Whatever we have achieved doesn’t pose to be a mystery. While it may be a mystery to the whole world, it may not be a mystery to one who knows about it. So it is ignorance. So as you think about your ignorance, the mystery is being solved piece by piece. Then by the time you grow up there’ll be no mystery — mystery is not a mystery at all.
There are people who have written books and books on mystery. They have made big money out of that — that’s the mystery — creating a mystery. Instead of solving the mystery, we are creating the mystery that makes money. Not solving it because solving the mystery doesn’t pay any money while in creating mystery there is a lot of money. I have not tried it yet. So that was interesting.

When I was a child I used to wander around. Some people used to tell fortunes, forecast things, and all that. We used to discuss these things as children; we used to say, “See, the other day he told that, it happened. See, it happened did it not?” Later on we knew that it had already occurred; we didn’t know but he knew. Just like Columbus said that God will be mad if the Indians didn’t give him and his entourage food. But, he knew there was an eclipse to take place at a particular time; he frightened all the Indians. They were surprised, so they went and got all the food and gave it to him. It was a mystery. So that was what happened.

So there is nothing like mystery, but it is a mystery so long as we do not know. And on that a lot of people make a big thing out of nothing, but that shouldn’t be, a mystery doesn’t have any spiritual value. Spiritual value is only the ignorance that shows the moment you accept mystery as mystery, it shows that you do not know. But when you make an effort you will know, and when you know, it doesn’t remain a mystery. Once it happens, you should keep on trying to know. Then as you keep on trying to know, all the mysteries that you think as mystery will be solved, one by one. It starts unveiling.
It is also the case with God. God-realization is a mystery. That’s the reason why people like me walk around, talking about it, and when I talk, people think, I am this, I am that, all kinds of things. And also there are people that back bite. So what happens is God-realization is also a mystery so long as you do not know. Once you reach that goal, once you start entering into that sphere of experience, then you know that there’ll be doubt, there’ll be skepticism, you accept, you don’t accept, all these things. It’s a mystery, it’s not a mystery, it’s a confusion, a state of confusion occurs. All the other mundane things can be solved by your intellect, by your senses. But, especially this God realization creates a confusion. This mystery, the mystery to know God, the mystery of all the mysteries, is to know yourself and your relationship to God. Who is God, what are you, and what is the relationship? What is it? So it is a great mystery, it remains a mystery. It is going to remain a mystery because what happens, as I told you before, all the mundane life, whatever it is, today or tomorrow by intellect you can penetrate through and solve that mystery, whether it is physics, chemistry, astronomy, or this, that, or whatever it is, whatever it is you can solve, you can know. Your intellect is capable of bringing in an answer, solving the mysteries. But especially when it comes to the master of all mysteries, it is hard because the solution doesn’t lie in the intellect, the physical or the mental or psychic levels. It is far beyond that.
It is not that nobody experiences God, that nobody knows God, but nobody knows that they know God. In their lives, or in their previous lives, somehow, at some time or the other, one has experienced the beauties of God, the touch of God. Now there is no one who has not been able to receive that beautiful, gratifying touch of the Divine. But as it pertains to a different plane of consciousness, one cannot understand it, one cannot explain it because they do not know. They cannot repeat again and again that experience even if they wanted. They spontaneously tap into it once and it’s gone. They cannot even retain it except in the memory and there hardly.

So that’s what happens. It happens at a particular plane of consciousness, and the deeper you go into that, you completely dissolve yourself. That’s why those who have reached or stepped even into the outskirts of the divine experience tend to disown this physical, mental, and psychic existence. That’s why they look to be mad, they look to be furious, they look to be this, they look to be that, they look to be imbalanced, they seem to have lost a screw somewhere, all kinds of things. They are ridiculed, called names, but does it affect them? No.
So in order to solve this mystery, you have to consciously raise yourself to that plane of consciousness. As I told you, you means you, me, whatever it is, we are all complete. In order to be complete, we should all realize that we are whole, whole and entire. Existence is not only in the physical, the psychic, the sensual, and vital elements, but beyond that. See? Many people talk about aura, you know that aura they talk about: you emanate certain light. So similar to that is your consciousness which is very thin. You are doing two things at the same time: you are everywhere and you are holding on to only a part of your being for a specific purpose of yours. You can let go and become one. Like the air in a bottle, it cannot be captured after the bottle is broken, the air everywhere. Like that, you are everywhere.

So for a purpose you have contained yourself here. As long as your purpose is to continue, you continue to be contained. Then there’ll be a time, whether you like it or not, whether you want it or not, whether you make an effort or not, there’ll be a final time when one hammer will bring all the bottles down in a great earthquake, a spiritual earthquake will make all the bottles fall down and release that which the bottles contain. That’s what we call Pralaya — annihilation of the whole present state of the universe to prepare for the next.

So at that time, everyone is saved, everyone is as though there’s nothing like saving. Who saves who? Everyone is saved already. At that time you lose the huge burden of this body, mind, the senses, the comforts and pain, and sorrow, all these things. A big rock, you are relieved of this rock, all these are disseminated, dissipated, everything is gone; all that remains is you. You were, and you are, and you shall be the consciousness in its pure state.

So from that point of view a lot of other explanations can be obtained. How you wonder when a person tells you on such and such a date, in such and such a year, you’ll be doing such and such a thing, what happens, and all that. Then it happens. How did they know? Nobody can tell you how. How does it happen, premonition? Especially ladies are endowed with an intuitive faculty. That’s the reason why they can guide the family — or even nations. If a family has to survive, become purposeful, and carry on, it is that wisdom, unknown source of wisdom that is the property of the female aspect of life, that guides the whole moment. It is that which can guide if we are ready. But most of the time we aren’t. We treat them as if they are nothing. So naturally it is a curse upon men; that’s the reason why men struggle hard. Women have a very high intuitive faculty functioning in each one of them. Some exercise it, some don’t. So if you allow them to bloom and take heed, what they speak becomes a scripture. They can guide, they can guide their children, they can guide their husband, they can take care of the family in a beautiful way. But unfortunately we have not been able to reap that, so it’s a mystery. It is that intuition that can cause you the premonition.

Here, in this place, we are controlled by the time which we divide into tomorrow and today and yesterday, the future, past, and present. So we are subject to sunrise and sunset, the movement of the earth, the movement of all these things; we are all subjected to so many things. So we have to go by these divisions, these superimpositions, because we are contained, we are confined here. So, at a given moment in the process of solving that great mystery, as you make an effort, you raise yourself. You slowly unshackle yourself. As you unshackle yourself, you become more and more free. As you become free, you become lighter and lighter, you rise into a higher plain of consciousness, and without your own knowing, if you’re honest, have purity of mind, purity of senses, you will be in possession of that power of foreseeing things and events. That purity means to extricate yourself from the threads that are tying you down to this ephemeral world; that gluing — unglue yourself.

If you lead a life of that, you slowly become unburdened, detached. You become lighter, the weight falls. Instead of centripetal force, it becomes centrifugal, instead of it pulling you, it will push you out; slowly you will get out. Instead of going down and down with the weight, as you cut off the weight, you will rise into a plane, a certain plane of life which is beyond the control or influence of this time, or beyond the reach of this space, or causation, where none of this nature, natural things, can take place. It is beyond that, you belong there too. As you grow freer and freer, and lighter and lighter, instead of living here, you will start living there. You may have your foot here, but your head is there. You see? So at that time, you’ll be reaching that state of timelessness, causelessness, spacelessness. At that point there is nothing like time. If you want to measure it or explain a sense of time, there is only one tense, there is no future tense, there is no past tense, there is a constant present tense, nothing else.

So when you reach there, you see everything at the same time. You’ll be seeing the past, future, present at the same time. What you call present is present. What you call past is present. What you call the future is present. You experience that, you stay, you live. But, still you have a foot here. When you come back sometimes that influence is there. You bring that and it is that which sometimes makes you utter things unconsciously. So that becomes, if it is past, people will think, “Oh how does he know the past?” If it pertains to the future, they say, “See he predicted. You see?” It is nothing but present, constant present, that’s from where it comes. There is no tense. When you reach there, you will know it.

And a lot of occultists force themselves there in order to make money and all that. They lose that power very soon, you cannot deal with it. The moment that you go there, those keepers there know that you didn’t qualify to enter, you are a gate crasher. There are huge persons there, one kick and you’ll fall down, break your head, break your neck, you see. What do they call them? At bars they have two strong persons outside, bouncers. They’ll just bounce you out, that’s what happens.

So qualify yourself, then there’ll be no mystery. That’s the region of God, that’s the region of your own Self. You belong there. You are a citizen, nobody questions. Raise yourself. That’s one of the things. Many things are there. It’s beautiful when you experience it. When you come back, you want to admire and go back, when you are there, you don’t know where you are, you’ll be at home.

So there’s nothing like mystery, it’s the ignorance, and lack of experience, lack of perseverance, lack of attempts, a lot of unsuccessful attempts, if there were any attempts at all. All these things cause us to think of the things as mysterious because of our own ignorance. As the ignorance thins down, we will start seeing things as real. We will start becoming one with that mystery itself. So long as you are away from the mystery, it looks like a mystery. By dissolving it into yourself, or you dissolve your own self into the mystery, then there’ll be no mystery. You’ll become a mystery to others, but there’ll be no mystery to you. That is the whole story of the mystery. Thank you very much.
Swami Niranjananandaji


As I told you earlier, I was going to sing a couple of Swamiji’s own bhajans; he loved this. And as I sang that today, I felt as if I was in the presence of my master; such a great joy it was to sing along with him. When he sang, he sang with all his heart there. He wanted us to sing like that, so if you know the meaning of that, you enjoy still more. That is why I would like to explain what it is.
The first one was Agadabum Agadabum Baje Damaru. Agadabum is only a few syllables that the drum makes, bum bum. See, the drum makes the sound, bum bum. Agadabum Agadabum is the sound that the drum makes, which is the drum Shiva holds in his one hand, damaru. Damaru is twin sided drum, small drum, I do not know what you call that in English, I will try to find out. He plays the drum; it will have a two sided drum and there will be a thread with something at the end, and when He moves — dum dum dum dum — that is called Agadabum. Agadabum Agadabum Baje Damaru. Baje means it plays. When the damaru, that instrument, is played producing the sound bum bum bum bum, that is called Agadabum. It means continuously playing dum dum dum dum dum on either side, Baje Damaru.

And to this rhythm that is produced by this drum: “Nache Sada Shiva.” Sada Shiva means ever auspicious. Shiva, you know Shiva by now. Nache means dances. Shiva is dancing to the rhythm produced by the drum, the sound of which is Agadabum. Agadabum Agadabum Baje Damaru Nache Sada Shiva Jagadaguru. Jagadaguru is a supplement qualifying Shiva. Who is Shiva? Jagadaguru. Jagad means the whole universe; you know guru, the master, master of the whole universe who is Shiva. He dances to the tune of the damaru which produces the sound of Agadabum Agadabum Agadabum. Agadabum is the sound to which that universal teacher, the teacher of all the teachers, the master of all the masters, dances. That is what it is — Agadabum Agadabum Baje Damaru Nache Sada Shiva Jagadaguru. Then the second line will be Brahma Nache Vishnu Nache Nache Sada Shiva. So looking at this dance, all the trinities start dancing. Who are the trinities? Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Brahma Nache, Vishnu Nache, Nache Sada Shiva. Kappar Leke Kali Nache. Kali is the consort of Shiva. Kali is one of the aspects of Parvati, the consort of Shiva when She is enraged about the demons causing disturbance to the saints and sages who are worshiping the Lord, She takes on a horrific posture in order to punish them and to save those devotees and the whole world. She is the One whom Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa worshipped and talked to. Such is Kali, about whom I had a vision, there, when I was in Calcutta. So, that Mother, when She dances in Her posture as Kali, has a Kappar. Kappar is a begging bowl. The bowl I showed you the other day in my garage. That is the begging bowl Swamiji gave me to beg my food, for my survival. Now, I am buying my food and eating. You see, I did it in Kashi, I used to go to houses, beg my food, and go to Ganges and eat. All that I did, ok? Anyway, that is called Kappar Leke Kali Nache. So, the Mother Kali also dances holding that Kappar in Her hand.

Nache Mahadeva, and again we bring Nache Mahadeva. Mahadeva also dances with Parvati. When Kali dances with kappar, that bowl, and Shiva also dances, so everybody dances. So, also, we all dance. If you think we are all Shivas, we are all dancing. Dancing means to express that state of bliss. When you are blissful, you dance. Once you are merged in that aura, in that light, once you are in that consciousness, you forget everything and automatically you spring to dance. Dance! My heart throbs. What does it mean my heart is dancing? Where do you see dancing? No, it is a feeling. That is what happens when you meditate deeply, you enjoy, you dance. You dance in order to enjoy. You enjoy when you sit for meditation. Far deep within is where you see Shiva. So that is the first bhajan I taught you today:
Agadabum Agadabum Baje Damaru
Brahma Nache Vishnu Nache Nache Sada Shiva
Kappar Leke Kali Nache Nache Mahadeva
Agadabum Agadabum Baje Damaru
Nache Sada Shiva Jagadaguru
Did you all understand?

The second one was philosophical, it is the most spiritualized, and it is meant for meditation. When you sit for meditation you can keep on repeating this:
Shivoham Shivoham Shivoham Soham
Satchidananda Swarupoham.

Aham means me, who am I? Shiva! Soham means me. Who am I? Shiva. Shiva means — not the Shiva with the snake and all that — Shiva is the spiritual aspect of that bliss, of the consciousness, and of the auspiciousness. Shiva means auspiciousness. Satyam Shivam Sundaram— when you go to Baba, Baba’s ashram, it is written Satyam Shivam Sundaram. Satyam means truth, Shivam means auspiciousness, and Sundaram means beauty. These are the main aspects of the divinity.

So Shiva means auspiciousness. Who am I? I am that auspiciousness; Shivoham Shivoham Shivoham Soham. Soham, that I am. Am what? The Brahman, that aspect which is neither born, nor dies, which is the eternal, the existence, knowledge and bliss pervading everywhere, which is untouched, which is unpolluted, which cannot burn, which cannot be drenched, which cannot be dried. All these are impositions on that: that which is imperishable, unborn, and undead, that aspect. What is that? Brahman. Soham, that One is what I am, since that One is Shivam, that One is auspiciousness. That auspiciousness is what I am. Soham, I am That. That means Shivam, auspiciousness.

Satchidananda: Sat, the Truth; Chit, the Consciousness; Ananda means Bliss. Knowledge, truth, consciousness, and the bliss: Satchidananda Swarupoham. I am That, I am the manifestation of That, I am the manifestation of that truth, knowledge, and the bliss, Ananda. Ananda means bliss, Sat means the truth, Chit means knowledge or the consciousness. Satchidananda. Swarup means the manifestation. It is what I am. That is what you should keep on repeating when you meditate so that you will know that you are other than what you think you are.

“I am Ethan.” “I am Ethan.” then you will become Ethan. If you think you are God, you are God, you will become God. “I am something else,” “something else,” you become something else. So, this is the point of concentration in meditation: “I am the blissful self, I am the auspiciousness, I am the truth, I am the consciousness, I am the knowledge, I am the bliss. That blissful self am I, that truthful self am I, that consciousness or knowledge is what I am. I am the auspiciousness, that is what I am.” So keep on repeating that. Then you become that.

See, Mother Teresa thought what she was and that is why she became, that is, what she thought she was she became, what she has become. That is what we saw, but what made her is what this is. She thought, “I am the servant of Jesus, I am serving Jesus, Jesus in me, Jesus in others, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” and that is what she achieved. She established rapport within herself, in meditation.

So these are the points. If you think why Swamiji taught this to me because he practiced that, he enjoyed it, he realized it, that is why he taught us. So when we become monks, we are given initiation. We have to stand in the cold Ganges and repeat a lot of things. It is at that time certain mantras are given to us, only Swamiji can give us, only when we renounce all this in Ganges, we have to say, we have to disconnect all ourselves, offer the final oblation in final settlement of our mundane obligations to our kith and kin. We have to give oblations to ourselves, instead of my child giving to me, since I did not have a child, I had to give it to myself. When I go there it will be available when I am hungry, so the oblations, everything, it is a ritual. Then, beyond that ritual is what Swamiji gives me, that mantra. We have to repeat it, meditate all through our lives, we have to do it. Swamiji gave us a mantra that is given to us only when we become dead to this world; that is, when we are detached completely from this mundane existence.

So like that, one by one, what Swamiji taught, we will explore. It is a joy to talk about him. At least, by means of this we can remember him, and enjoy his presence. See, we separate ourselves completely and evolve and become one again. God, He appears and disappears, but He does not change. When He comes here, He knows. Rama knew who He was, Krishna knew who He was. That is why He told Arjuna, “You do not know who you are. You do not know, but I know how many times I have been born. You do not know how many times you were born, but I know how many times you were born. That is why I am Krishna and you are Arjuna.” Since He knows, so, it doesn’t make a difference whether He is here in this form as Krishna or without form as “Brahman.” Do saints know that? Saints, if they pursue this knowledge, then they know, but they need not know. If they know, they do not want to be conscious of that, because it may give even a little chance for the eager ego waiting to pounce upon them. They know it. So, they do not worry about it — nevertheless they establish themselves in that highest Truth. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji


If you are capable, you can meditate without the help of any assistance by the repetition of any mantra, name, or whatever it is. But, unfortunately what happens is our own confidence sometimes hampers our real progress. We think we can do without repetition and the mind takes over. We may never know how the mind creeps in. See, we want to keep the mind busy elsewhere so that we can be without the interference of the mind. Then, you can go deeper into the other aspects of experience. So, for that, these bhajans help. When we sing the bhajan, it brings the mind to one pointedness. We are there, but the mind also should dissolve itself. The mind should not be kept alive there, but we cannot do that unless we have a strong will. So, the best thing is that while we’re doing the breathing, and we’ve got so many bhajans, we can take any of them. The simplest is Om. Repeat it. Fill the mind with it, and let there be no other thought except what you put in the mind. So, make the mind completely engaged in what you want the mind to do.

So, you fill the mind with Om, or Om Jesus Om Jesus Om Jesus Om, or Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaya, or whatever it is. These are mantras. These are mantras that can control the mind. They can take the mind away from you so that you can be free to engage yourself in inner processes. So, when you repeat whatever bhajan you enjoy, keep on repeating them in your mind.

Sometimes when you are trying to do that, there are other thoughts that will overcome your repetition. At that time you can sing aloud so that the ears will also engage in dealing with that. So, singing and repetition will help you engage the mind. We are nonviolent, so we won’t say kill the mind, we’ll say still the mind, or dissolve the mind. So, slowly you will realize. Keep on doing that and without your own knowing neither there’ll be repetition nor there’ll be mind, because you’ll be somewhere in that silence, there in that arena where you experience your own. Nobody can say what it is. When you come back, you’ll say, “Oh, I was repeating, what happened?” You do not even know you have stopped the repetition, because as long as the mind is available, you have to deal with it. When there is no mind, then there is no repetition, it is dissolved. That’s the reason why we sing aloud.

Singing silently is the best thing. That’s what I used to do. I never wasted a single minute in those days. I used to take a long walk after school, even during school. I used to keep beads in my pocket, and all day I would count it; all those things are gone anyway now. So, I always used to keep it with me and enjoy myself. Sometimes I never knew where I was going. I would leave my house for school and go right on by. Throughout the night I used to walk sometimes. I could not sleep, so I used to enjoy in a particular state.

So, this name, this repetition helps keep the mind away. It’s a great deterrent. That’s the reason why these mantras and bhajans were made. If you know the meaning of the syllable, then the mind can also engage in the thinking of that. If you know the meaning and can form a mental picture, that also keeps the mind engaged. Then there is harmony. The mind is not a deterrent. In one way it will help you. You must take help from that. Otherwise you will have to fight with the mind: “I cannot concentrate.” “I cannot do this.” “I cannot do that.” “No, I can!.” You must find the means by which you can say, “I can.” So, these are all the means.

In the breathing exercise I told you about, one who controls the breath controls the mind. One who controls the mind can control the whole world. That’s what the sages have said. Breath is very important. Have you seen people with asthma? They cannot concentrate. They cannot think. They cannot talk. They are scattered all over. Why?

So, it’s the breathing. They say there’s a pattern that takes place when we’re breathing. Sometimes we breathe only through the right nostril, and sometimes we breathe through the left nostril only. Sometimes it is both nostrils. So, if one nostril is choked, then you cannot concentrate. That’s the reason why we have to do the first exercise I taught you that cleanses the whole thing. You can do it one hundred times, two hundred times, it doesn’t matter. Do it until you can see that the whole thing is clean. Then, you control the breathe by making it go through the right nostril or the left nostril. After all this, you take the Kumbaca: that is holding the breath and relaxing. That will alter the whole process. You’ll be concentrating on the breath, the repetition, and the mind, and all these things will be helping you.

During Pranayama, you must be breathing through both nostrils when you sit for meditation. Afterward, whatever happens happens. But, at that time until you reach a certain point of concentration, when you involve in that, whether it is Jesus, or Rama, or whatever it is, you must identify with whatever you want to submit yourself. Once that happens, then breathing doesn’t matter. Breathing will become slow, the rhythm will be very slow; and many times people may not even think you’re breathing, because when you lie down in meditation, the process will continue. The body will be lying down instead of sitting. So, because your process of meditation is continued, your breathing will become slower and slower because there is no activity. You are not there. So, all at once you come back, and you start breathing normally. You start breathing normally when you know that you are away from your process.

So, these are the means. It takes time. People say that in five minutes you can sit in a corner, do it and finish it. It’s a process is all. If you know the technique, you can do it in five or ten minutes. You can do all these things and it becomes a habit. Even five minutes of deep meditation is sufficient to keep you floating on that blissful state for the whole day. That is more important. It doesn’t matter how long you sit, how long you meditate. The quality is more important than the quantity. You need not sit for one hour, two hours, whatever. Determine, “I am going to sit for this many hours.” Make it a length you can reach, and then do it so at that particular time you will be deeply engrossed there. And, then at the time when you leave, you will leave and come back, because it’s a predetermined route, a predetermined exercise of will. That’s like what I told you: if I want to get up at two o’clock, then I get up at two o’clock; if I want to get up at four, I can get up at four; if I want to get up at four twenty three, then I get up at four twenty three.

You must engage the mind according to your own needs. Usually, you go according to the mind. You see? Oh, someone, something, told me to do this Swamiji, so I did it. No. You must tell the mind what to do. That’s the whole weakness now. That’s the reason why on Saturdays those who are interested may come. But, not only there, they must continue at home. I never believe that, “I never have time, I never have time.” They have time for all the other things. Priority, your priorities. You want it but you do not want it also. So, the things will also happen similarly. It doesn’t matter. If you can’t spare half an hour out of twenty four hours for this purpose, then the whole thing is doomed you see? Thank you very much.

Swami Niranjananandaji


It is difficult to experience what to talk of as long as we are not prepared; then it becomes simply a talk. There are ways in which we talk, and there are ways in which we experience. If not, it becomes an empty talk. We talk first and experience next, or we experience first and we talk next. All these things are necessary to understand. Many times people say that it is easy to talk. Ask a politician; it is easy for them to keep on talking. It does not mean anything, but they keep on talking. Ask a spiritualist. They measure their talk, what to talk, what is it worth talking. Talking is to express, the expression is talking. How to express. How to express what he feels, what she experiences. So, what we are talking about is something about what we experience. How are we to express the experience? Experience of what?

It is hard to put into words what you experience. Sometimes I completely blank out about what to talk, how to talk, why to talk in the first place. It is beautiful to experience. Experience what? Your own self, the self. All that we are in touch with in this external world is all this material, but today it is and tomorrow it is not. We behold it as if it lasts long, for all the eternity, and we try to attach ourselves to it and keep on. Once it is gone, we are disappointed, we feel that we have lost everything, and we shrink, try to find out something else, or do the same thing, keep on repeating. So as spiritualists, this is not what we are attached to, this is not what we want to experience, nor this mundane life, nor these mundane objects, but that which lasts for all the eternity by which experiencing we need not experience anymore. That is you, me, whether you call it, me or you, it does not matter.

The consciousness, the supreme state of bliss, mind cannot grasp, senses cannot feel, words fail to express, words become inadequate to express completely. That is what we try to experience, the supreme state of bliss; it is a serious matter, meditation is a serious matter, and it is easy too. The question is if you put in all your labor, prepare yourself, jump into that, it is easy; that is what you want, what you seek, that is what you get. If not, even if there is one thing less, you don’t experience it, you simply shut your eyes, and sit down, that is all. You must feel that you have gained something, you have come in touch with something. That is what it is. I know all of you are sincere and would like to experience. Without your own knowing, you are experiencing it; you may not be able to express it, it does not matter. So, for another three weeks I will not be here, next week I will be leaving for three weeks. All of you will have to come together and experience, continue to experience, and enjoy. Wherever I am, I will be with you all the time, anyway; we are all together. You are not the physical existence, we are not the mental imagination; we are the truth, we are the essence, we are the spiritual entity, we are always — neither we were nor we will be, but we are always the Truth Absolute, Knowledge Absolute and the Bliss absolute. Do not forget this.

Karl’s question — “When you see Buddha on the road kill him, which is a reference for watching out for authority or questioning authority, be it spiritual or mundane, and it is being overused, of course, to justify people going off blindly. Could you talk about the context of his quote? The way I assumed it to be is once you have reached a certain state of awareness, by killing the Buddha, if you kill Him, you have reached a point where there is no duality. That is, the killing of the Buddha is enlightenment, but I may be wrong in that.

Swamiji’s reply. You see, we should distinguish between the mental state and the spiritual state. See, what happens in the spiritual state is different than what happens in the mental state. So long as you are attached to that mental state, then you cannot experience that; unless you give up that attachment to the mental state, you will never go beyond it. If you want to go there, you have to sacrifice this, you have to give up your attachment to the mental state, then only you can experience the spiritual entity. See, that is what it is. Killing means the giving up, kill the mind we say. How are you going to kill the mind? What does that killing signify? Giving up the attachment to that, ignore it, give up and make way for the other experiences. That is all. So, you need not find out Buddha to kill. What is Buddha? Nobody can kill Buddha anyway. No sir, it means find Buddha. Kill means it is artificial, one who pretends to be Buddha. Nobody can kill Buddha. Until you reach the final beatitude, you have to give up the lower one for the higher one, you have to kill the lower one in order to achieve the higher one. Killing means giving up the attachment, you must get rid of that attachment. The thing sticking to your feet, you have to remove that sticking element, wash your feet and walk on. That means give up your intellectual conceptions to the wisdom that your own first hand experience results. Thank you all of you.

Swami Niranjananandaji


Brahman, Siva, and others, even Vishnu, surrender to those people with spiritual powers. See, they are great. That is the greatness of Vishnu and all these Gods, they make their own children strong and then surrender to them. They need not to, but in order to tell the world, if you become my devotee, if you become strong, I will be subservient to you. Though I am a master, still I will be subservient. All my wealth will be yours. All my force will be yours. This is because of love, not strength. With strength you cannot win me, but with love and devotion you can make me subservient. That’s why they say the Rishis were great, because they surrendered and all that. By that being true, they gained the upper level and all that.

When Brahma is there, nobody is beyond Brahma. But, when He manifests, He falls from His lofty heights where He has to struggle for His position among these great giants of wisdom. The Rishis were great giants and should be always respected. Some were humble. Others, if you didn’t respect them, they could take you out, turn you into pulp. Brahma must have done something wrong, maybe He was with Saraswati, and didn’t come out. A particular Rishi said to him, “Well, if You didn’t come to see me, nobody will come to see You, You will have no temple. It is the temple where they come to see You. Now, there’ll be no temple. Now, go!”

Question: “Brahma can’t change that?”

No, He cannot, because that Rishi is stronger than Brahma. Brahma has reduced Himself into a qualification, as anybody else. Rishis are the topmost, it is they who gave us the Vedas. It is they who opened our eyes into the facts, the Truth. It is they who told us what is Brahmin, what is Vishnu, what is this, and all that. It is they, because they know. It is they who can even tomorrow say there is no Vishnu, and we’ll believe. So, Vishnu is afraid of them too.

You see, there are no secrets. What that means is, that even if you are a great supreme power, with love and knowledge you can become a giant. There is nothing which can supersede the knowledge. It is that knowledge that identifies you and qualifies you, and all that for whatever you are. If that is not the case, who will care? How could I know what Rama is? What Krishna is? Have they not told us what it is? And, who saw Krishna? Who gave us Krishna? That place, that high place, it is the Rishis. Through the Rishis, and through these wise people, the great people, the Lord works.

Question: “So then the Rishis just change their mind, and no one will worship Brahma?”

Yes, we’ll have to do it. Just like our administration, they can’t keep on punishing all these Rishis, just because they can do it, because it is their jurisdiction. See, now even the President is being investigated. So, he falls within that jurisdiction. Right? Though he’s a President, he falls himself into that predicament. So, Brahma also fell into that predicament. See, Rishi is an independent counsel. He issued a subpoena and He didn’t come; so he said alright come on; now you’ll get no temple. It has saved us a lot of money anyway. Also, it is customary for us to take some coconut, and fruit, and also to put some coins, so that saved us lots of coconuts.

No, it’s alright. It doesn’t matter, because the Bhagavad Gita says, “No matter what God you go and salute, all that is diverted to one center, it is that Brahman.” It is God. So, whomever you salute, that salutation is to Him because He is everywhere. So, He tells Arjuna. Arjuna yells, “Where are you, Lord? You say you are everywhere. Where are you? I don’t see you.” “Oh, my friend,” He says, “You don’t see me? I am in the core of everybody’s heart. That’s where I dwell. I dwell in the hearts of every being, and sitting there in the core of their hearts, I spin the whole world like a top. See, like the wheels of a machine, I run the whole world. I make the whole world move while sitting. Who causes you love? Who causes you hatred? Who causes this, and that?”

That’s the reason why you’re not responsible. That’s why the Lord said, “Hate the sin not the sinner.” Because you are nothing. You are incapable of doing anything unless He prompts that, it is He. If you want to punish, punish Him. Nobody can dare touch Him. Who are you punishing? You are a victim, see?

So, it is He who prompts you to be either a saint, or sinner, or whatever it is. You cannot claim to be a sinner, you cannot claim to be a saint, unless He makes you what He wants. He can choose. He chose Arjuna to be His warrior, and he warred, and won. But, at the same time, after Krishna passed away, the same Arjuna was beaten by a few robbers. One who could win the whole great war of the world, could not save himself from a few robbers, hardly even robbers. Then he realized, “Oh, my Lord what ego!” In spite of Krishna’s grace, he could not sustain, he could not absorb, it was like pouring oil on a rock. That’s what it is. In spite of being in the company of Lord Krishna Himself, for whom the whole world was crying, “Krishna, Krishna, Krishna!”, and he was a relative, he was alright. But, still he could not absorb. That’s the reason why as long as Krishna was there, it’s alright. But, once Krishna was gone, He said, “Alright, his ego will eat him.” He was beaten by robbers, and he ran away to Yudhishthira, his eldest brother. He asked, “What did you do, what happened?” He was ashamed, he said this is what happened. Yudhishthira said, “See, this is the ego. See, now you realize whose company you were with, the Lord himself! As long as you were there, surrendered to Him, nothing happened to you, even those arrows and nothing could touch you. But, here a few ordinary gangsters could beat you? What a shame.” Like that, it’s a simple story, but there’s a lot of meaning here.

So when I’m here, I’m not responsible. When you surrender yourself unto God as I told you, once you surrender unto God, it is His responsibility. He will make you whatever it is. If He wants you to be a fool, be a fool. So long as it’s His pleasure, so long as it pleases the Lord, I’ll play any part He wants me to play. I don’t care for the world. I care for my Lord. If that was the case, we’d all be saved. We don’t. We are more worried about our intellect, and wanting to supersede everybody else in the world, though we are dumb. So, we think we are intelligent, and we want to win, and we get into trouble, you see? That’s what is happening. So, whatever the Lord wants, let Him do it, let it be. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji

What is God? What is His address? What is His nature? Whether It is a He, She or It or What? So each one contradicts. If I accept that It is a He, then what about others who say It is a She, as they have experienced as such? Not only It is a He or a She, we have even seen the manifestation of that divinity as an “It” too. So, is It an It? In order to avoid all this, It is called Brahman, the primordial substance, principle: the prop support of everything, known, unknown, existing, non existing, tangible, intangible, everything. So, that which is the prop support is called Brahman.

Brahman manifests in everything, either as He or She or It, whatever. We can realize that Brahman only through something. If not, we would never have known. Only through a certain agency can Brahman be realized. So, that Brahman, or that Principle of which we are trying to find, experience, and enjoy, is everywhere, but still far beyond our reach. Even our imagination cannot reach there. Our imagination has its own limit. For after all, what is imagination? It is the product of your mind. The mind itself has its own limitation. It is only through the means of imagination that we even start to get a trace, and then we start computing our experience. Our imagination becomes materialized, becomes solid; then we realize, “This is this.” So, imagination is not to be lightly negated. So, how are we going to meet with Brahman? Ultimately It materializes, or one who constantly meditates, or is immersed in thoughts of Brahman, becomes Brahman Itself.

The concentration, what happens, that intense concentration on something, that one thing, detaches you from all the other involvements, all the other things. As all the other things are being detached, you grow in your attachment to that Brahman, or God, or whatever it is. So, slowly what happens is that you, what you are thinking of, the thought, all these things become one Absolute, and then at the end — what happens is — neither is there a thinker, nor the thought, nor the object of thinking.

So, ultimately, if you think of Jesus, remove everything, detach yourself completely, immerse yourself in the thought of Jesus, you’ll become one with Jesus, and it has been experienced. In Bavaria, Germany, Theresa Neumann, on every Friday, used to go into trance and experience Oneness with Jesus. And, she used to bleed at the spots where Jesus bled, the Stigmata. Paramahansa Yogananda went and saw; he could visualize what was happening. She would become one with Jesus, and Jesus and herself became one, and whatever happened to Jesus, happened to her; it is not a phony rubbish tale, but it is an experience, it is a true fact. So often we come across people, the saints and sages, while sitting here, they’ll be talking somewhere, and in another place they’ll be doing something, and still they’ll be here, talking, doing what you think they are doing. How? Is it a mystery?

The other day I was talking about mystery. It is not a mystery, those are not normal people; they appear to us as human, but they are beyond our comprehension. What are they? They are super human beings who have transcended general human limitations. By constantly meditating, that’s what the yogis do, constantly thinking of that. Detaching everything they become one with that. Once you become the whole, once this drop becomes one with the ocean, you are everywhere, you’ll be touching all the corners of the universe, won’t you? You’ll be touching all of the beaches everywhere.

Similarly, once you merge yourself in that Brahman, that entity, that principle, you’re at once, wherever Brahman is, there you are. There is no place, there is nowhere where there is no Brahman, it’s all the Brahman. Brahman is intangible: we cannot see, we cannot touch, and whatever we see is the manifestation of Itself. Unless it manifests, we cannot even imagine it, we cannot even see. Through this, what we see, what we touch, all these things, it passes through. It is there, it invests itself, it manifests itself; that’s the reason why it’s temporary, not permanent. Only Brahman in Its pure state, existence, knowledge, bliss, state of equilibrium, it is always in that state. But in this, when it appears, that which appears also disappears; that’s why we are all temporary, though we are the manifestation of the same Brahman.

We are all Brahman, there is nothing which can avoid the existence of that Principle. It is that Principle which is far deep within us. It is the motivative power, it is that which controls the whole thing. So, what happens, as I have been telling you, due to our wrong identity, holding onto that identity, and acting stupidly, we miss the reality of our real being. We cannot go introvert, we cannot go, see, feel It. Once you do this, then all the extrovert appearances disappear. What you see is the whole unmanifest existence, that existence: endless, vast, beautiful. Only you can experience, you cannot touch, you cannot feel, because you have become one with It. So, what happens is that such people, those yogis, those siddhas, accompli shed ones, the great ones, they have dismantled this tangible existence within which, the framework of which, they seem to be in existence but are not. They have already unshackled themselves. They have mingled their individual self, Atman, into the Universal Self, or the Brahman. Now, they are everywhere, they are here as well as there, they are now, and also they are in tomorrow, and they were yesterday too. They are beyond the bondage of time, space, and causation, as the Brahman is.

So, by virtue of becoming one with what they accomplished, then by that result they are at the same time everywhere. That’s the reason why sometimes you’ll be talking, they might not be hearing you at all, or they might be hearing, but at the same time they pretend, you cannot, you doubt whether they are here at all, blank eyes, maybe they appear to be deaf. No, they are hearing you, at the same time they are hearing others also, they are seeing you, they are seeing others also; they are here, and they are everywhere else.

So, while they are talking to you, they might be doing something else. Sai Baba was sitting there in Shirdi, Sai Baba, he was a poor fakir — fakir means a recluse, pauper, poor, beggarly. But he was a king, Lord of the lords. So, he was sitting near a fireplace. Those people are always near a fire; it is a symbol of purity and power. So, he was sitting, talking to his disciples, sometimes laughing, and explaining certain things. Suddenly, he put his hand in the fire, and pulls it out. Nothing happened to the hand. People said, “Baba,” and Baba said, “In a remote village, a child fell into the fire, so I pulled him out.” They asked, “How can it be? He is here and how can he do that?” So, he left. But, later on it came to be known that’s what had happened. The child fell into the fire but was miraculously brought out undamaged. It is a miracle. Do you think it is a miracle?

For them it was a miracle, for the people who are watching, it was a miracle. Is it a miracle since we know both sides? It is the play, it is the natural thing for Baba. You cannot hide, you cannot backbite, you cannot talk behind the back; they may pretend they don’t know, but they know. That’s why a man who had wanted to shoot himself, had hidden a gun, how many miles away, six, seven hundred miles away. So, when he went to fetch the gun to kill himself, there was no gun, he was surprised. What happened? While he was searching, Baba sent a telegram, this present Baba sent a telegram, “Don’t worry, your gun is with me.” It was in Sai Baba’s room. When the man came at last to see Baba, He told him, “Why do you want to be a coward? You can fight; you are much stronger than the elements that are fighting you. You need not kill yourself. You have your wife and children.” Then He blessed him, and sent him back.

So, all these things, even in the material life, can happen. The material world is nothing, but it is also a part of the whole thing. Like a bubble, you see the bubble, but still it is a part of the ocean — even when it disappears it still remains in the ocean. So, that’s what it is.

So, within this bubble, we are doing all kinds of things. So, it is that which makes wonder, it’s a simple fact. Yes, we are taking it easy, we are not intensifying. We’re all stupid — we think we are doing a great job, without doing a great job. That’s the reason why we wonder at others, though it is possible for us to become the same thing at which we are wondering. We can be participants. We have not become participants because we are not sincere and serious; we are not contemplating, we are not concentrating. We are like frogs jumping, hopping from here to there; we never stay put. At this rate, we can fool ourselves that we are doing a great job, just like the tortoise who thinks he’s traveling the fastest, but compared to the eagle, which can go several thousand times faster than it, the reality is self evident. We should take to our wings and fly, instead of sitting idle, and then talking, gossiping, backbiting and doing all kinds of stupid things. The more you think about that, the more you want to do that, you then will become that.

Like I told you, if you think that you are God, you are kind, merciful, and loving. You are not the body, not the senses, but you are that Supreme Divine Self. Start with thinking about that, and ultimately you will become that, because you are that. You don’t become, you will realize what you are. As you have been thinking, “I am man,” then you are man. Think the other way around, and you’ll become that; you will realize what you are. So, that’s what we should be doing. Instead of that, we have been thinking of a lot of other things. It is easy, it is approachable, attainable. Now, it doesn’t take time, time is no factor there. Faith, perseverance, preparedness, and that intensity is all that is required.

When Narada, a great heavenly saint, was passing by (he is a liaison between the worldly people and the divine) he saw a man. That man approached Narada. He was a sickly person. He said, “Sir, can you tell me how I am going to get rid of all this?” “By seeing God, that’s the only way; only God can help you.” He asked, “What should I do to see God?” Narada said, “If you really want to see God, sit under this tree, meditate, and sing his name. Do this.” He said, “Yes sir, I will do it.” Narada was leaving, and the man asked, “Sir, how long does it take?” Narada looked at him and said, “Oh, you want immediate redemption?” He thought he was from America, in no time, he wants everything ready-made, “My son, you are sitting under the tree, right? You count all the leaves there. Each leaf is a year. As many leaves are there, so are the years that you have to sit and meditate.” Narada thought the man will be disheartened. The man closed his eyes and said, “Lord thank you so much.” And to Narada he said, “At least after these many years, you are sure that I am going to meet God?” And to himself he said, “Now, I don’t want to waste any more time, so I will start right away.” He sat. The intensity was so strong that the effort immediately brought the result. God appeared and said, “You have passed, you have passed all these years. What is time after all. You went beyond time the moment that you exercised your will, and intensified your effort. Now ask for your favor and I shall give it to you.” Don’t count the time, make it “NOW!”

People haven’t reached God in a second. But, it is true that people have reached who have not even lived five or three years on the face of this Earth, too. Also, it is true that some have lived for a hundred years and have reached. There are people who have been dying thousands of times, and still they have not opened their eyes; it’s a wonder. When are they going to reach God?

So, it all depends upon the intensity. We don’t prioritize because we don’t see the importance or the necessity. He is intangible. We cannot see our own selves. Nor can we see the reality in the existence, yet somehow we feel something somewhere in the corner of the mind that makes you feel, “Ah, yes, maybe this, I must do this.” You are answering to that call, but the intensity has not developed yet; only a few can intensify. Corresponding to your degree of intensity, perseverance, and faith, you will realize. Once you realize, you will be everywhere. There is nothing to do beyond that, everything ceases. There’ll be no wonder, and you’ll be a wonder. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji


Someplace in L.A. there seems to be a swami with a group; they wanted me to go and give a talk on the twenty-third of October, in San Pedro. The Swamiji was speaking in Hindi, and I haven’t spoken Hindi for a while. So, it was nice, and I don’t know who gave them my number, or how he came across my number. Because I am living incognito, I want to be just a normal person, doing normal things, so that the rest of my life would be normal. Life has been abnormal, and subnormal sometimes; that’s not normal. I’d like to see what normalcy is. I was wondering. So, while discussing, he wanted to know what I could talk about. “I don’t know, because I don’t know what to say, you see. So, what do you want me to talk about?” I asked. He said, “I want some subject, so that I could announce,” and all that. I thought for awhile; I am not an expert in any branch of anything anyway. So, it is too much to assume that I know. Anyway, I said in that case, I can discuss about yoga. Then he wanted to know what I did, and all that. I said, I have a small class, a few people, we sit together, and we meditate. He must have thought that I have a whole universe following me, I don’t know, he didn’t say that anyway. So, he wanted to know what I could talk about. So, in that case I said, “Let us keep yoga as the subject.” “Then in yoga, what branch?” he asked. I want to talk about the whole tree of yoga, not the branch. You see, I want to talk about the foliage, the branches, the shoots, the trunk, and the roots, everything. Then I told him, I cannot distinguish between one and the other. And since he spoke in Hindi, I knew that he knew something about that, or he may know everything about that, I am nobody to measure anybody’s knowledge.

Then I told him that it is hard for me to distinguish one from the other when you take it as a whole. If I talk about Jnana, the yoga of knowledge, then you cannot attain that Jnana unless you have that devotion, it then also becomes Bhakti, Bhakti yoga. See, Bhakti yoga and Jnana yoga go together And while doing so, you have to involve the body; you have to have the control on the body, the mind, and the senses. You’ve got to control all that. So, that involves other yogas too. See? How can you define? And I told him about Sri Shankaracharya, the greatest, who lived for thirty two years, just like Jesus. In thirty two years, he traveled the length and breadth of India four times, and he established the branches of his monastery. Right on the top of the Himalayas, and in the South, and in the East, and in the West, all that. He wrote, and what he wrote in a few years of his life time even after thirteen hundred years we have not even been able to digest it. Still, pundits, the great learned people, are learning about what he wrote, commenting variously.

Just like Sri Aurobindo, who is another great one, who has written volumes on various subjects and it is not easy to understand. Just because it is not easy to understand, does it mean that we cannot understand? Just ask Karl. He will tell you that he has to crush quite a lot of grass just to have an ounce of juice that keeps you healthy. That’s what it is. Sri. Aurobindo has said, everybody has said, Shankaracharya, who wrote the basis for our Hinduism on Veda and Upanishad, is a great man. He wrote comments on the Brahma Sutra, what is Brahma. So, if you keep on reading, you don’t feel like sleeping, you don’t feel like putting the book down. So, I celebrate; how could he do all that in thirty two years? I have not been able even to type one single line for a few years.

So, it’s yoga. And such a man cries for Mother, “Oh, Mother help, without You, how can I survive? How can the world survive?” He praised Mother, he praised the Lord Shiva. The man who wrote about Atma, the Brahman. Brahman is genderless, colorless, all this. You see! And the one who knows all about this, he still personifies all of this into Shiva, and Shakti, and Krishna, and everybody. He was one of the greatest poets. So, in that case, shall we take him as a yogi, or poet-seer? What branch of yoga was it? See? He was a master of devotion, he was a master of knowledge, he was a master of this and that.

And the culmination of yoga is what? The emancipation. The purpose of yoga is to bring the unknown and the known together, to fuse the individual self with the indivisible self, as one. The drop becomes the ocean. That which causes that is yoga, the culmination of the yoga. So, that once you establish yourself, or achieve that highest goal of all this yoga, then you become one with all that force, that tremendous force. Once you become one with that force, there is nothing that you can’t do, and nothing can move you. You are the greatest will, you are the greatest force, you are the greatest, you are what you are. From being, you cease to become. From becoming, you start being. You establish yourself in the being, and you no longer become. Once you achieve that, what happens is, we are called accomplished yogis, siddhas, those who have accomplished the highest achievement. For them, there is nothing left to seek; they can move the mountains. They can bring change, just like it is happening now in winter these hottest days, and during hottest days we’ll have the coldest season. Anything can happen, but at will they can do that. They can change and unchange, they can create, they can destroy, they can do anything that they want, at their will. But they never do it. Just like Brahman, God, He can destroy in a moment, but in spite of all the sins, He doesn’t care. Because He doesn’t involve in it, nothing can touch Him, He has a thick coat of teflon, nothing attaches to Him. He is only a witness. He doesn’t participate, or at least it seems like that. So like that, these people, once they have accomplished all that there is nothing they can’t do; but, they don’t make a big show. Never do they assume anything. They remain very simple and innocent.

In order to achieve a certain force, they have to do certain things. Some, once they get it, oh, they become so egoistic, they burn in their own ego, and they lose both. The same endeavor could have brought them greater knowledge, and greater progress; but, they spent all that in achieving one blade of grass. That will burn and bury them. All their endeavor is lost. I have seen a number of them when I was in Kashi and elsewhere. People used to flock there because their word used to be the truth and all that. Then, all of a sudden, they are not there any more. In a few years, where were they? See, that’s what happens among these people who misuse the forces. All these forces are byproducts; they’re only byproducts of the process of yoga and tantra.

Tantra, mantra, yantra, all these things can produce many of these accomplishments. But, if you stick to those accomplishments, and you are attached to them, they will ruin you as they have ruined others; it will start with you first.

That’s the reason why masters always have said not look at those byproducts. Always, the dark forces try to yield you these byproducts to distract you from the real purpose, even before it is mature, so that you will be attached to them and not progress. Anti-divine forces always toss things to us. I don’t know whether you know the story from Atlantis, of the stubborn girl. She thought she was the fastest runner in the world, so she said, “Anyone who beats me in a race, I will marry.” Nobody won. But a wise man came by, and said, “I will.” He went and bought three golden apples. While running, he threw one golden apple and it attracted her; she went to pick it up, and meanwhile he was gone. She caught up with him, and again he threw one more. Then, by the third one, before she could catch up with him, he had already crossed the line. That’s what happens, we lose. The dark forces throw all kinds of apples in our way; if we run, we cannot win. You see. That’s what happens; that’s the reason why we are not even to identify with those achievements.

Naturally, things happen. There were great Siddhas, the masters of accomplishments. There was a great saint. So, like a rock he was sitting; there was nothing he could not do. He was naked, and he was going on the train. The ticket collector asked him to get out. He was removed forcibly. He sat outside there, that’s all. The train wouldn’t move. That train is still there; it is in the ashram. They have donated that train to the ashram. It didn’t move, and somebody said, “You fool, why are you playing with him. Just because he is naked, do you think he is a nobody? You go, apologize, and bring him into the train.” Then, they all went, apologized, brought him back, and the train moved. There are many people still living who saw that. It seems he held a high voltage wire and pulled it. There was something wrong with it, he pulled it, and nothing happened to him, not a single mark. Why, why not? I cannot even touch this one hundred and twenty volt. In India, I used to touch two hundred and twenty volt. I was shocked many times, this time if I get shocked I will be gone. So, that’s the accomplishment! This is the story of a great saint who very recently lived in Bombay, called Swami Nityananda, the master of Swami Muktananda.

To seek his blessings there used to be a huge line of people outside in the hot sun. He used to be sitting looking askance, that’s all, nothing happened. Was he uncompassionate? Because people, you know in India it becomes hot. When it becomes hot, it is sultry, saltish weather. If you want to know what hell is, it is that. All around where he lived were salt farms. When the wind blows hot over the salt, you know what happens, you yourself become salted. You just scratch and you get a handful of salt. And, in such weather, the people braved to carry small children. They wanted nothing; just to seek his blessings for themselves and the children and offer their respect, love and devotion. It’s that tradition even to this day.

I remember the wife of a friend of mine who went to seek his blessings. He didn’t care whether one was rich or poor; everybody has to come in the line. So, that lady was waiting for a long time. She was pregnant, also. When she came, he looked at her, he sympathized, “I know that you have been waiting too long there, I have been seeing you.” And he blessed her and sent her home. So, he was sitting there; so, how can he see this lady a quarter of a mile away? Just like the other day, I told you what Sai Baba did. See, they are everywhere, omnipresent. We talk about omnipresence, not on T.V.; it is there. And are they only here, do they see things only here? No, the whole planet is in their hands.

And Baba, I think I went to him once a long time ago, I think it was his birthday or the night of Shiva. So, thousands and thousands of people had come; I was also there, too. On that day, nowadays he doesn’t do it though, he used to materialize the lingams, the precious symbol of Shiva. So, on that day when he materialized it, he showed all the nine planets going around and round in that one. So, we saw it; it is not a joke, it is not magic. And he used to say, all these things are common. Don’t be enamored by this miracle; it is for those people who are skeptics, who don’t believe. Not for those people who believe. You believe in higher things, so you should not be enamored by this. You are the one who can see the world and admire the beauty of this whole creation. You are one with God; you may not know, but you are. But those people who denounce, who do not know, who are ignorant, it is to change them. If they are attracted to this, it will bring them into the main stream. They will also try to remember, and grow into the spiritual life.

Anyway, he has stopped. Previously, he used to materialize many things, this and that, watch, and all that. Somebody asked, “Where is the receipt for this?” “You want a receipt?.” and he produced a receipt immediately there; it was bought in Switzerland just a few minutes ago. “You can keep this receipt.” he said. So, it is not difficult, because the whole world belongs to them, they are the world, see. So, none of these things should matter anyway.

So, what happens is, the purpose of this question is, we are confined, we have been conditioned. So, like a race horse, our eyes are covered to see only in one direction, and we go only straight, one way, that’s all. We don’t see what’s either way, that’s the reason why we miss a lot of things. And, in the name of yoga many people have mislead the population, especially in the West. Many people, even my own friend, he used to come here. He was the one who inspired me rather to come here; he gave me the first five hundred rupees to buy my first ticket, he is my best friend. He teaches yoga; he calls it yoga anyway. We have argued a number of times, though we are very good friends. Yoga means what? Standing on the head, bending your back? Instead of sucking your thumb, sucking your toe? What? What is yoga? What? So that is a part of that; it’s a discipline, it’s a part of the discipline.

See, it’s called Astanga yoga, the yoga of the eight limbs. That yoga that walks on the eight limbs Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi. These are the eight parts of that yoga. That is the traditional yoga, Patanjali yoga. So, he has written the sutras and aphorisms which guide you into what you should do. It’s a beautiful treatise, beautiful, and he was a great accomplished yogi who devoted his time in giving you the discipline. See, you must eat well, and eat nice food. You want to eat only that much, and all that, and what you should eat, and when you should eat, and all that. That is surface yoga, a part of the yoga. Then comes you must speak truth; you must not injure anybody, non injury and all that. Third, then is Asana, how to sit. He didn’t say you have to bend your back, and all this. Anything that can hold you for a long time during meditation — you have to sit right, comfortable, so that your mind can be focused on a particular thing, and not on the pain of the body. So, any posture that holds you for a long time is called Asana. So, now because of the education, it became a great attraction, bending the body and all that.

Oh, Indian yogi has come, and he does that, see! I used to teach that myself, so I cannot blame them; I also used to do that. That was my profession in those days. I used to teach in my Ashram, I was in charge of that class. So anyway, now I don’t do much, and I’m growing fat too. So, that is alright. So, nowadays, some universities have yoga. That’s not yoga, that’s a part of the yoga, part is not the whole. By doing the Asana, you’re not going to achieve anything but a physical fitness. Putting the water on the stove doesn’t mean that you have cooked the soup. Where are the vegetables? Where is the salt? Where are the other ingredients? So, what happens is what a lot of people do is, “Swami, I have been doing yoga for the last ten years.” So what. What are you doing? Still you are smoking. Still you are drinking and all that. “Yes, Swami, I went to India, and I went twenty times there. I paid this much money and I learned.” “What did you learn?” “To stand on my head.” “You can’t even stand on your two feet and walk straight, and you’re standing on the head? Alright, that’s good.” “And then I’m doing this and that.” “Alright, it’s good. But it is in conjunction with what?” “Oh, if you do this, it will increase your sexual urge, and your sexual satisfaction in one of the magazines I read.” I said, “Oh, what a degeneration. What have we done? Those unwise people have done for the sake of money have misrepresented yoga and misled the innocent people. That’s what they have done.”

There were times when the people were really interested in achieving something really spiritual. Slowly, what happened is people think, well, I pay him twenty dollars, and he teaches me once a week, that’s all. There’s no relationship between the teacher and the taught. One is selling, one is buying, that’s the whole thing. Then they say, “Alright, I have paid him money, I have learned. Now I will teach because I have paid that much money, now I want to make money.” You ask the doctor why do you charge so much money? “I have paid this much money to become a doctor, so now I have to make money.” That’s what it is. I have paid this yogi this much, and I have learned, now in my turn, I have to collect that much money, right. I have borrowed and I have done all this, and now I will do that. So that’s how it is started. But now, people think that all yoga means is standing upside down; this has made the whole thing upside down anyway.

So, that’s not it. If that’s the case, I am not a yogi; I don’t want to bother about yoga at all. That’s not it. Yoga means anything that you do: write, read, eat, sleep, talk, do anything, that’s yoga. Yoga is what? Yoga is the process by which you achieve what you have set upon to achieve. You achieve, you make a little effort for the little achievement, and you achieve it. And slowly you enlarge it, and you have to accomplish more; ultimately the goal is to realize Brahman, God, or the real Self. You have to know subtle things. So, it involves many physical, mental and psychic entities. And you engage in work, you accept a process; you process it in order to achieve what you have set upon. That whole process is yoga.

Yoga cannot only be on the physical level, but on the vital level, on the psychic level, on the mental level, and on the supramental level we have to work. It is not merely working on one level, topsy turvy, standing on your head, and say, “Oh! I am a great yogi; I have done this.” No, that’s not the case; it’s a part of it. You can’t say it is all, but it is only a part. But, what about supposing you don’t have two legs, they are amputated, does it hold you back from doing yoga? Does it take you away from your realizing God, realizing other things? Can you not meditate, can you not do other things? So, it is not inevitable. You see? So like that, there are many things that we have to think of when we talk about yoga. Don’t come and say, Swami I am doing yoga, please don’t say that, you’ll hear something from me that you may not like. Yoga doesn’t mean we don’t know what yoga is. If you know it, you would never have said that you were doing yoga, because you do not know in the first place: somebody told you what you are doing is yoga, so you believe.

So, yoga is what you are all doing. You want to be nice, you want to be great, you want to be rich, all these things are there. In order to achieve that, you are doing many things. When you are going to work, all you have to do is change your attitude. Keep on doing what you are doing, change the attitude; then you will see. You keep on changing the color of the same thing. You don’t change anything, but it keeps on changing; the results are different. Same action, same thing, but the results will be different. You are buying a different definition for your actions, your process, attitude. Same with eating, “Oh Lord, I am eating because of You.” Not, “Oh pizza, I like it, it’s tasty so I eat it for myself.” No, “I’m eating it for Your sake, I am eating it so I will please You, because You are here in my heart, You hear, You see, You feel, You do everything, it is You. In order to please You, I put on the good clothes. I have a wife, I have children, all this is for You, it is Yours, I’m nothing.” Your wife doesn’t come and sleep with you when you are dead, your children don’t come and say daddy give me the five dollars. Nobody comes, and at the earliest, after three days they want to bury you and come back and have a party. That’s the state. So, for whose sake am I having all these things? “Oh Lord it is for You.”

All you have to do is change this, that’s all. You are doing the same thing; you have not stopped anything, you are doing the same thing as you have been doing. But, all you are doing is, from the bottom of your heart, change the attitude: “Oh Lord it is all for You, for Your pleasure. In order to satisfy You, it is my devotion. This is how I know I must please You, that’s all. If You know another way, then tell me and I’ll do it, but so far this is what I have.” So, put that there and you will see every branch, every leaf, every bud in your tree of life will change its color. Your love for God, your devotion for God, your surrender unto that highest divine for whose sake you have been living, and doing all these things. That one attitude, that one change of attitude in life will change the aroma of the whole thing. That’s all you have to do. You need not make a big show.You need not grow a beard, you need not do this, you need not put on different garb like me. You need not do anything. Simple, it’s a simple life.

Life itself is yoga. You have to succumb to the pain, and joy, and this, and that: health, cold, hot, everything. Are you not tolerating this? Then what makes you different if you jump into the fire once and then into the ice next? It doesn’t make you a yogi. You’re all yogis, you’re all born yogis, all that you have to do is realize it, and inject that attitude into it, and give it a meaning; then it becomes the same thing, the same thing becomes something else. It is easy. At the same time, don’t try to fool yourself, just because somebody said this is not yoga — yoga is something you must do like this or that. No. Whatever you are doing, it is yoga, on one line. On the other line, if you say I am doing Patanjali yoga, then you must do Patanjali yoga. Are you doing exactly what Patanjali told you? As I told you: Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, then Samadhi. Samadhi. Try to understand what yoga is and practice to the extent you are capable of and I assure you God will help you on your way to achieve whatever you have to. God Bless you. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji


It is our problem; there is not anybody else who can be the solution. We always depend on somebody else for the solution. We go to lawyers, we go to x-y-z asking the solution. It is our problem, no matter how many times in the magazine they give you a puzzle and say, look for the answer on page eighteen. We have no patience, we have no intention of endeavoring; it isn’t pertinent, so we don’t find the answers. So we go to somebody else, a neighbor, and he will have seen page eighteen, and he comes to you and tells you. And oh, you see, he is a great man. He could solve my puzzle.

That is the type of involvement; what a quagmire of confusion and ignorance in which we have fallen. That’s the whole problem. We are there in that quicksand of confusion and ignorance. Every time that you make a move, you go deeper, not up. You go deeper downward, and not upward. That’s what is happening in our lives. Nobody can save you, nobody. So long as you think that there is someone else who can save you, you are doomed, doomed. Nobody can save. You are capable of saving your own self, you have to save your own self. If you are drowning, somebody else who knows swimming cannot. One who knows swimming will go to the beach. But you are drowning; you must swim or you will drown. That’s the whole truth, that’s what it is.

My friends, today we are in dire confusion. We think, we are identifying ourselves with, and thinking of ourselves as weak, as strong, as men, as women, as children, and dying, all kinds of things, all kinds of super impositions. This has become like the thread that is tied around the ball. When you open the ball, you will see the cork, and yards and yards of thread; that’s what is happening. For, in the center you are there. You are what you are. You are what you are seeking. Just like the musk deer chasing after it’s own smell, it doesn’t know that it’s itself which is producing the scent — it runs after that scent. That’s what we are doing. You are in the core. You think that you are miserable and you are miserable, you think that you are bad and you’re bad, you think you are good and you are good; it doesn’t matter. It is you who has to decide as to what you are, what you want to be. It is you who creates that confusion, and it is you who must find out the solution. That’s what is intended. We are not what we think we are. We are what we are.

Go deeper, go deeper; instead of viewing yourself from the external world, turn your gaze within, and go deep and see what you are. Are you what you think you are? You are not thinking as to what you are, but you are what you think you are. Am I confusing you? You are the divine being; you are the same light that you seek outside. You have covered yourself with all these confusions, superimpositions, so how can you see yourself? If I cover my heart with my hand and say I cannot, it is my own hand which is covering it. I cannot see the same way. You have covered yourself, and you cannot see your own self. You must come out. No one can help you. No one can bring you out. That is the whole condition, the whole covenant.

What are we after all? Are we different than what we seek? We seek our own self, we are seeking our own selves. But what has happened is we have been conditioned and confused by people like me. You are a sinner, you are a fool, you are this, and you are that. We have accepted it. Once we accept, we try to meditate on that. See, he called me a fool. So, I must be a fool. Am I a fool? Yes, I think I am a fool. That’s why he called me a fool. I am a fool. So, you are meditating on fool, and you ultimately become what? — a fool. Because, you have accepted it. I say you are bad. So, you accept it. Once you accept it, you are bad. In order to prove it, you become really bad. That’s what has happened in our lives.

Never get influenced that way, my friends. As Jesus said, “I am the Son of God,” we’re all sons of God; we’re all children of God. Who is God after all? One thing you have to remember: in the name of God, they are frightening you. I frighten you if you don’t give me money, if you don’t entreat me. I am a Swami, I am a holy man; if you don’t do this, God will punish you. It’s all nonsense. God doesn’t punish; you punish yourself if you want. Why? After all, what is God? Who is God? Where is He, She, or It? What are you? What is your relationship with that which you call God? Who is God?

Just like for spending, you keep a dollar in your pocket. The rest of that money, you keep in the bank. You have lost that money, you spent that money, you need money, then you seek. You go to the bank, then you withdraw your money. Whose money is that? It’s money, that’s what it is. You are a dollar, you are out in the bazaar, in this material world. So, now you are thinking of God. He is a million dollars there. A million is too defining. So, you are bankrupt; you want money and you are calling for help. You want to withdraw, that’s all. You are a dollar out of that million that you have kept there. You have forgotten that’s what you are.

You are away from that great sun, great light. Don’t believe it if anybody were to say otherwise. You think for yourself. You try to reach your own self. That’s what we all did. I should not say that. I too thought that others would save me. Ultimately, everybody told me what to do, and nobody did it for me; I had to do it. They gave me maps, they gave me the lunch pack, somebody bought me shoes and somebody bought me clothes; they bought me those items, but the journey I had to do. I did my journey. And, when I reached the peak, lo, what a great joy it was! It’s what the material world can do. Everybody can give you, equip you, but the rest you have to do for yourself. Don’t depend on anybody else. Depend on your own self.

In the spiritual life, if I can help you, you can help yourself. What are you and what am I? We are the same. Nobody can help. Those who think they help you are fooling you. It is like a blind man appreciating the beauty of the others, and the blind man is addressing the deaf, admiring his beauty; and the deaf is trying to tell the blind man what a beautiful world it is. That’s what. We are seeking help, that’s what is happening. What a shame it is: we call ourselves Hindus, Christians, this or that. We devote ourselves in being a true Christian, a true Hindu, a true Buddhist, a true this or true that. Nobody is true to anything. If they are true, they must be true to themselves, each one. Ultimately, what do these people do? Since the moment we came into contact with these thoughts — I am talking about the eternal truth — what are we? These people are misleading, we are all misleading these people; I am also mislead, but thank God.

So, all that I can say is, it depends upon you. You are not a Christian. You are not a Hindu. You are not a Buddhist. You are not anything. If you want to devote, devote, it’s all right. But, it’s only a social organization. You want to be in the society. You want to call yourself something. You want to put on something, put on a big show. Alright, be that, but far deep within everybody tells you the same thing. We are helpless, we cannot do; you have to do it yourself. God is a pathless land. You have to tread your own path. You have to make your own path and walk, because it is your own self. So, it is easy. If you want to confine yourself into somebody’s thoughts, somebody’s things, enjoy it.

That’s what I told you every time you think you go deeper and deeper. Just like a drowning man tries to hold onto even a blade of grass that floats by. You try to do that. The same effort you had to put into learning to swim. You will learn, you will not drown, you’ll swim. If you think the straw will help you, you will drown and take the straw also with you. An archeologist may find you some time later and count your chest bones. Don’t do that. You’re all saviors yourselves, you’re all the same. That current which is passing through all of us is the same current. Maybe you are a night lamp, maybe someone is a hundred watts, and maybe someone is a thousand watts. But, it’s the same current; it depends on how much you want to draw, and shine, that’s all. The current is the same; it’s not different. We are all bulbs. If you come in contact with that current, then you will at once shine. If not, you’ll be lying there. Thank you very much.

Swami Niranjananandaji


In yoga, there is a divine energy, the Kundalini. She seems to be dormant, sleeping. At the Muladhara, which is the basic plex, chakra. So, in order to coax her to awaken, people do all kinds of things so that she would rise, awaken, open her hood and pierce through all the plexus, the subtle spiritual junctions. Progress towards Sahasrara, the thousand petaled Lotus, that is the crown of your head. When she does that, she provides lots of spiritual enlightenment, beautiful experience; all that is true. But, so long as you decide that you are the body instead of thinking that you are in the body, if you start thinking, stand outside instead of inside thinking I’m the body, then there is the Kundalini, the spirit, which has to awaken. Then, you have to do all kinds of things.

That’s called Yoga. In Yoga we call it Hatha Yoga. It’s only a concentrated effort to bring the physical environment under control, that’s it. We have seen many people doing all kinds of things: twisting this leg, twisting this and all kinds of things. All that is true. I have many people doing all kinds of things: standing, sitting, sleeping, and so on. But still, spiritually, where are they? Has it awakened the Kundalini; has it awakened anything? But, at the same time, I have seen to my good fortune people who do nothing but sit down in the corner of a temple or in the village under a tree. They don’t hurt anybody, or bother anybody; they retire. They sing, sing, sing, sing, madly. If they cannot, they cannot, sing. They sometimes sing, sometimes dance, or silently lie down. But, what they speak is wisdom. They can do miracles without anyone’s knowledge — they are that fund of spiritual force that nobody can recognize. They didn’t stand on their head. They didn’t stretch this leg, that leg and twist the tongue; they didn’t do anything. They obtained the highest order to obtain. People do all kinds of other things as I told you.

So why? What happens? As I told you, we are living in the dark age, the beginning of the dark age, the first part of it. We have passed through the other regions where there was purity; purity of every molecule, that which formed our body, our mind, our senses. It was not that dense, not that dark. It was light, beautiful. They spoke truth, they did virtuous things, they did all those things. So, every molecule was charged with that, it was powerful. The mind substance was much more than intellect, and the physical aspect of it was pure, and their habits, eating, sleeping, were meaningful and purposeful. That was the age when nobody hated anybody, nobody killed anybody; it was not necessary, everything was beautiful.

From that age, we developed slowly the second, third, slowly all these things became polluted. It was their strength; as they become weaker and weaker, the dark forces took over. Where it was one hundred percent pure divine force at work, to ninety eight percent, and eighty five percent, and seventy five percent; A +, A, A-, B+, B, B- C, C- class. Now, in the dark ages what happens is, all that we embody ourselves with is the least spiritually charged molecules surrounding us. That’s the reason why we have to work harder and harder. But still, the harder you work, the harder it gets. So, that’s why the easiest method is to take hold of what remains, whatever the percentage of the pure molecules that are left in the body, the mind, the senses and vital. Gather them and wisely take them into your bosom. Start cleaning up and allowing them to grow by themselves. Provide an environment where they can grow. They can outgrow this darkness.

So, they found out the best thing is to withdraw, go deeper, turn within. Instead of starting from outside, turn within, and then be silent; don’t make a show. Don’t make anything. Let the ego, everything, keep away. They are so subtle; they can chase you out. Don’t do anything. Go, sit awhile, be yourself. Then what? Try to communicate with the Divine. How? By singing, by repeating. By dwelling on the Name, or Form, or whatever it is, no matter what way. Either you give shape or you don’t give a shape, color or no color. Whatever it is, try to embody yourself with that divine force. Let that divine force takeover whatever is left of those beautiful pure molecules, and it will grow. Once you start growing from the inside, then all the other things are pushed about. Again, in spite of belonging to this dark age, you’ll be living in the light age, Satya, age of truthfulness. You can live in the light age.

That is the reason why they don’t do any of these things. Instead of growing from the outside to inside, they start from the inside to outside. That’s the reason why, when I say do the breathing and all that, it’s simple, don’t make a show; it’s not strenuous.

Again, when I ask you to concentrate on the Ajna. This is the Ajna Chakra, the center of the will. When you contact that, what happens is that instead of pushing it from outside, from the bottom, you’ll be directly pulling it. You’ll be pulling the energy. You’ll be awakening the Kundalini energy, and it is easier. You need not undergo all sorts of things in order to pass through this. You stay on the top and pull the rope, and you will draw the water instead of pushing it. Going into the well, whether you want to go deeper into the well and bring a glass of water, or tie a big container and pull it. You’ll get plenty of water. That’s the whole process which I didn’t want to tell — I wanted you to understand, so that you know what you are doing. That’s the easiest.

In yoga, the eight limbs of Yoga, we need to have purity of mind, purity of food, purity of life. But, we don’t have; we don’t have time. It’s a twenty four hour job. Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and then Samadhi. In order to get Samadhi, you have to undergo all these things. Each one is an aspect by itself, huge, occupying the whole life. Yama, Niyama, you have to discipline yourself.

Discipline on what? Every aspect of yourself, physical, mental, vital, psychic, and each one of them has different aspects. So if you keep on doing that, is it ever possible? In those days it was possible because the whole structure of society was different, atmosphere was different. Now, it is not so.

So, are you deprived of elevating yourself to that? No. It’s always available, it’s always there; it’s the wisest thing. Be external if you want to be, but dive deep inside. Don’t make a big show, but try to feel your being inside. Try to locate, try to realize. Let it grow; fertilize it with your love, with your devotion there. Let nobody see within that fence; let it grow. When it grows taller, stouter, stronger, then it doesn’t matter. Nothing can break it, even the elephant cannot shake it. That’s the whole process; there’s nothing secret about it.

Those ages when we could do all that; asana we used to do. I spent the whole day concentrating on one aspect, other aspects. Still, you do not have time to do all that. I didn’t. I could not in spite of all my efforts, but to an extent I was able. Later on, when I started drawing the water, I could draw a full pot instead of full glass!.

Mother is always kind, she is always available. Take one step and She will push you another seven steps. So, have confidence in yourself. Try to be sincere and serious, and you will reach the goal, reap the harvest. God be with you. Thank you

    Swami Niranjananandaji


It is that attachment which is necessary to survive in this world, to pursue our purpose here, in this life, that is, to experience our own creation in this world. In the pure state of being, you are one with the Divine whom we seek now. It is a game. We keep ourselves, we individualize ourselves, and run away into a corner and try to see, peek, then run, catch and become one. That’s what is happening. So, in that state of oneness, we will — so strong is the will. So, even before the will is completed, the whole thing is created. In a subtle way, it takes time to become gross. That’s why if you want to just know what the seed element is, the outline sketch, in the subtlest possible way the whole cosmos is created. Slowly, it becomes physical, it takes time, slowly, slowly. I have not seen the cosmos yet; that creation never ends. The will is so strong. What we have seen, what we see perishes, what we see exists, is nothing compared to what we have not yet seen. It’s so vast. So, in order to experience our own creation in the other sense, from one point we create and from another point we come back in order to know. So, we are in the process of knowing now. In order to know, you have to have that attachment with everything in this world, with everything. This body is even our own creation. Evolution itself is a never ending problem. So, you can see how the process of creation is not yet completed, and will never be completed.

Our experience will never be completed to some extent. Our experiences and our fulfillment of those experiences which have been completed, though it seems final, is but one part. That’s what we have decided to do. When we do it, then the final chapter is read and we are gone. So, it doesn’t mean that things end there. For us, it is the end, but for the world, it is still a beginning, an early dawn. So, we have to have our attachment to the body, the food we eat, the art we see, the music we like to hear, our kith and kin, our passions, our love, our disappointments, our pain, everything; everything is necessary. There are zillions and zillions of things with which we are attached. It is not an easy thing; it is not a simple thing that Oh! one is born. The moment one is born, even before the birth, one is attached to something else, and it expands in a subtle way everywhere.

What happens in Bosnia, I am attached to that. Somebody kills somebody, I am attached to that. Those feelings, all that in subtle ways, we are all connected with everything. So, we expand ourselves, spread ourselves so thinly. Now it takes time to penetrate into everything, in the subtlest things, in the grossest. And, this happens in a short time, short span of life. Now, the time comes when we have to leave. See, the body, this instrument, doesn’t last long. Even your attachment, before it is completed, the time comes when you have to go. It is not easy, you are spread, you have grown your roots everywhere, hair roots everywhere. Now you have to go, you have to pull, withdraw the whole thing; it’s not easy. Anyway, it is inevitable that you have to go, and you will go. Even if you go, the rules are there.

So, that’s the reason why the other day I was explaining how long it takes; why when death occurs, we say, “Thank God he has redeemed himself, no more suffering, no more pain.” Who told you that? Death is not the final stage, the final state of freedom from pain and merry making. So, that attachment continues. Once you go, once you leave this world, you try to detach from it as much as possible: pull, push. It takes time. As I told you, it may take a few days, to a few months, to a few years even to accept that I am dead. It is not easy to accept that I am dead. Even when I am separated from my body I’ll still be running, walking, talking, doing all the things. If you have the equipment to see, you can see. So, it is not a wonder, it is not a great thing to see that.

What happens is that we keep on after we depart. We enter into a final, rather a subtler plane of consciousness. As this is the gross universe, there is another universe where all these things in a subtler way exist too. From where I try to communicate, talk, do things, I survive there for a while, for some time. Maybe for a year, maybe for a few days, maybe for a few years, maybe moments. You pull and push, and all these things. As I told you, the gross body is not the only body. We have several bodies. Before we enter into existence, we enter into several stages. The final so far is the present, then the reverse, from the gross into subtler, subtler, subtler. So, as you go from shell to shell, plane to plane, you detach more and more, and you become lighter and lighter. The final stages are when we are very unattached, very little attached, and you don’t exist in this gross and subtler bodies. It takes time before you annihilate all kinds of bodies, all kinds of attachments. Lo and behold you become complete. It takes time; it takes process. You have to prepare. So, there is a method of knowing, a method of seeing, a method of communicating with all such things anyway.

So, that’s the reason why we do many of these ceremonies. As I told you, each ceremony has a special vibration, its chanting and the meaning of the vibrations. Those who chant enter into subtler worlds. Wherever I am, I am communicated with, and I am pacified. I am made to know in a beautiful way, with presents and with offerings, a peace that makes me understand in that stage slowly and steadily; and you offer all those things to carry them further and further. It takes time for me to realize that yes, this is true.

I don’t have the body that I utilized. Now I have this body. With this body I cannot work there. I should be a Roman while I am in Rome. But, I cannot be an Italian in England; I’ll have trouble. It is hard to be an African in America. It is hard to be American in Iran. So, I must become one with them with a beard and a turban in order to survive. So, I have prepared myself to enter into the plane where I decided I was qualified. There, I sit down comfortably with others. Sometimes even there, there are quarrels, skirmishes. You’ll be tired there, too. You can decide from there, with that pure consciousness, for that time being, you can program yourself, “What am I going to do now? What did I do? These are the things I did, now what am I going to do in order to fulfill my purpose?” So, you make a decision, and from there you can see your passage where you can get through, get into this. Because the gross body is essential; and coming into this gross world is necessary even until the last moment.

This is the laboratory. The gross world is what gives you all those experiences that are necessary to carry you forward there. It is here that you gain all the knowledge there. As I told you, you have the instrument. But, in order to utilize that instrument you have to come here. You have all the senses, but in order to utilize them you have to come here; the objects are here. So, you come here, experience different aspects, gain, and go back. So, as you do things here, as you progress here, you enter into a subtler and subtler world there. See, it grows as you expand, as you become subtler, as your experiences become subtler, you start fulfilling your experimentations in this world: experience and knowledge and all that. So, your sight becomes more subtle.

There is a corresponding development in about seven stages. Then comes the final stage, and even then when you are born here, you are born like a saint, nearly completely detached; with little bit of attachment in order to survive is all. In the final preeminent stage you recognize less attachment, less care, all these things. That’s the final saying, “Bye bye!” to this world which gave experiences and helped one to gain one’s own freedom. So, in order to be grateful, one comes back for the last time and says everything. It is easy because right from the birth, that one great soul has not developed any attachment. Complete isolation right from the beginning. Like a sun, one shines. For any duration that is necessary for one to survive here, they survive and live quietly. For them, most probably, they don’t do any ceremonies at all — no ceremony. Because once they leave, it’s a direct flight with no break anywhere. So, where are you going to catch them? You aren’t going to catch them.

So, once he leaves here directly, he goes into the final beatitude. That’s the whole journey; that’s beautiful. Until then, it’s necessary, that attachment’s necessary; that detachment’s also necessary. Slowly, as strongly and widely and subtly you attach, slowly it diminishes, also. It takes time. So, all this is, really speaking, a jiffy compared to that eternity which only the soul knows. If not we measure time by seconds and minutes, days and weeks, years and all that; we say a thousand years, million years, zillion years. Who cares how many years? That has no meaning when you enter there. So, that timelessness — no time equals nothing. That’s the whole story.

So, these ceremonies are all designed from that point of view: to help you to attach yourself, to help you detach yourself, and to try to help you understand the corresponding life here and there. So, you are from here, but free yourself to that extent where no ceremony is done. Also, these ceremonies last for a while, that’s all. Afterwards, the soul doesn’t exist in one plane. It has to move, keep on moving, and it becomes limitless. That is, it becomes one with the whole. Until then, either here in the gross world or in the subtle world, we have to carry on our work. Thank you.

    Swami Niranjananandaji


Though it is a fact that we need guidance on the path that we have chosen there are many things that we have to meet with, too; guidance comes. Often we miss, often we reject due to our own ignorance, due to our own ego, mostly our ego. So, that’s the reason why in spite of all our efforts we fail. We say guidance is necessary, although it’s our own efforts that will bring in the achievements. Simply, our efforts don’t do any good because efforts in what direction? Where? How? Why? All these things are necessary to be known, and should be known only to those who have traveled, suffered, achieved, and stand supreme. That’s when we call them masters, the teachers.

Often we think we should be independent, that’s true. We should be free; that’s true. We have to embark upon our own. All that is true. That is at a stage after having understood, known, having been instructed into and having been given that impetus. Then you know in what direction, how, when to do what. Then you are free. You should be free. You have to put in your own efforts. If you want to climb a coconut tree, somebody can help you up to their height, up to what their hands can reach. Beyond that, you have to climb on your own. If you loose, you will fall and break your neck. Your efforts are necessary. Before that, instructions are necessary. It is that; that is a crucial thing, the instructions. It is then that we are expected to train ourselves. It is then when we are supposed to prepare ourselves devoid of ego.

It is that ego, it is all those weaknesses that will come to the surface when you go to a teacher, when you go to a master. You think, “Oh, he looks like me,” or “She looks like me, how can he or she help me? I am very smart, I am intelligent, I am all this. So how can it help?” All these things will cloud you due to your own ego. Things seem like they are simple; you should know they are not that simple. They don’t hang a bow or a plaque and say, “I am a master, please come and I will instruct you.” That’s the reason why Krishna says to Arjuna, “Hey! Arjuna, if you want to know, if you want to learn my friend, you have to forget what you are. You think you are a great warrior, you think you are a very smart intelligent fellow, you are strong. All that is true. But, that is nothing before the knowledge you have to achieve.”

In order to do that, you must go to the teacher with all humility. You must remove that feeling that you are great, that you are all these things. Keep it safely in your closet. Go there as if you are nothing. Go with an empty heart, with empty mind. Go and fall at the feet of the master, surrender. Then sit down humbly at the feet of the master. Then once you feel comfortable, feel that you have devoided yourself of your ego, and feel that you are humble, then there’ll be an atmosphere, then there’ll be a clear way, a rapport established between the master and you . Unless you are humble, unless you are devoid of your ego, you cannot establish that rapport. Once you establish that rapport, then you make inquiries, then you ask questions. Asking questions is the right of a student, not simply to quench your inquisitive thirst, but it must come from the heart sincerely to know so that you would understand, and then you must serve.

Service is most important. It is the service that kills that ego in you, and as that ego diminishes, you become a part of the master. What he knows, you will start knowing by serving. By serving, you purify yourself, you prepare yourself — prepare your heart, prepare your mind, prepare your body, prepare everything — so that you may absorb that vibration, so you absorb that knowledge.

Sometimes, the master doesn’t talk; they look at you, that’s all. All that they do is join your sight, look deep into yourself, allow you to look deep into the masters eyes. Their toes, their eyes, their fingertips, and their head, these are all very important things for communicating, especially the eyes. They look deep into you; that’s enough.

So, you prepare yourself and ask questions. You cannot ask questions without serving the master. He must be ready to answer. You cannot say, “Hey! You are a teacher, come on and tell me this.” Who cares? “Get out of here!” is what he says. No, that’s why Krishna says: humility, service, and then question. Then, the answers will come spontaneously. There’ll be a rapport, there’ll be understanding. You become slowly the part of the master. The master will embrace you as a student, as his disciple, as his own. Then, he will start instructing. That instruction is not available in any other pretext, in any other way. That’s the reason why Krishna waited until the war came to the forefront to instruct Arjuna. When he realized, “I am nothing. Oh Lord, please instruct me.” Then He said alright, now I will tell you. It had its affect. All those years before the war, He never instructed him. He never bothered to. He waited until that one psychological moment which prepared Arjuna to accept.

Thus, we have understood all those things, but still we hang on more to our ego than to the master. We bow to the master and say, “How am I going to be a better master than you master?” Tell me, let me challenge the master. The master will say alright my friend, and in one kick he’ll throw you out of bounds. Let us not do that, let us be humble, let us prepare ourselves. It is in our own interest. Masters may act funny; they have nothing to gain. They are beyond this material seeking, so they need not worry about it. We are not judges; the moment that we start judging, we lose that contact. It starts rusting. The rapport breaks. Then you’ll be neither here nor there. You’ll be lurking somewhere in the darkness. So, that’s when we partake in the spiritual life. In the spiritual life, we should be far above the material plane. Whether you be a king or a pauper, whether you be ugly or beautiful, strong or weak, it doesn’t matter. All these things don’t qualify you. Your qualification is to devoid yourself of your ego and prepare yourself, prepare to serve and accept; start getting instructions. That’s more important. All the rest is unimportant in the spiritual life. That’s what my master said, that’s what my master’s master said, that’s what my master did, that’s what we did. We are enjoying that, and every word of the master was proven. We always waited eagerly for what master would say. He would look deep into our eyes and say something. It use to give us a shock, the whole body used to be full of that vibration. What a joy it was to sit at the feet of the master. What a great love that we enjoyed. We are still enjoying his grace and love. In simple words he spoke. It looks simple, and in the spiritual sense what a great enlightenment. Thank you very much.

    Swami Niranjananandaji


    A fact in the life of the spiritual seekers is that the more they try to divert themselves towards the Divine, the more they come across the play of these dark forces. They’re always at risk. More often we ask this question, too. I am becoming more and more simpler. I am becoming more and more devoted. I am more and more surrendering myself to God. But still, why are these dark forces around me; trying to penetrate me? Why? So, it is their duty.
    You must remember that these dark forces are a creation of that same God. They’re nature. It’s their duty. They can do nothing except what they are doing: they cause obstacles, physically, mentally, psychically. We should be very careful. We should always avoid playing into the hands of the undivine. But at the same time, since we are endowed with that ignorance, in spite of our efforts to avoid, we still fall into the anti-divine forces. But, you should also know that all these are necessary if you want to realize the supreme divinity, and His grace. All: from the time that you raise your hands and say, “Oh Lord I am yours, let thy will be done,” until the end. To the degree of the intensity with which you surrender and try to evolve into that space where you belong to the path of realization, you will feel that hand that takes care of you. The harder it becomes, the stronger you have to grow. In order to grow stronger, you have to pray and be receptive. You will be frightened; it will be frightening. The journey is not all smooth in the beginning, because you are not accustomed to that path; and that’s the only path that you have to make and journey on.
    As I told you, God is a pathless land. Nobody has left a path for anybody else to travel. They can only talk about it. So, you are cutting a path for yourself, and it is hard. There are all kinds of forces there. When they are disturbed, they are enraged; they try to frighten you, try to bite you. But, let me tell you this, they can come near but they cannot touch you. They cannot do anything. They can create that fear in you, that fear makes you weak, and makes you think that you are hurt. You are never hurt, for you are in good hands. Once you surrender, once you belong to God, it is God’s responsibility. Once it is known, whatever happens, happens to this body, maybe to this mind, and the senses, but not to me. That’s one reality where nothing can destroy you, nothing can hurt you. You’re hurtless. As a part, you feel isolated, lonely; that’s the reason why you want God. God is full, part of which you are and you want to join back. So, you can become the whole. That’s the whole thing here.
    So, since you are the same spirit, same part, a chip off that same old block, we should remember no harm can come to you, nothing bad can happen. Even when Jesus was crucified, what was crucified? Was it Jesus who was crucified? What was hanging on the cross? Was it Jesus? It was the body. So, what was the body? It came, and so it has to go. But, Jesus is an eternal property, an eternal truth. So also, are all these saints and sages. Even to this day, they are there. And, what about you? You are in no way inferior to anybody, anything. We’re all the same. Just because they have realized earlier, doesn’t mean you will not, that you are different. You are different in one sense. You have not realized, not understood and not felt. You have not opened your own eyes, you cannot see. If you have not opened your fist, you cannot hold it. You are still sitting idle. That’s why you cannot walk, can’t reach. That’s the only difference.
    So, this body, this mind, as long as they are there, they attract all these anti-divine forces. They survive on them. If you allow them to make a home there, they will; if you don’t, they will not. In spite of all that, they may touch your body, but they cannot touch you. Once you isolate yourself, withdraw yourself, it doesn’t matter what happens to this body, mind, or senses; they’re all gone. They, after all, have to be fed back into nature. It’s a raw material; you have to go back. It doesn’t matter.
    But, even these dark forces are guided by a certain principle, and they have a purpose. They do that, but don’t go beyond that, so never be afraid of that. If you open your eyes and see, all around there are so many things you can find moving around. But, you are passing through, you have passed all the way. Confidence and hope, it’s all that faith. Never shirk or doubt; keep on plodding. There will come a day when you reach that zenith. You will reach from where there is no return. Thank you very much.

Swami Niranjananandaji


    Our devotion should be untainted and one directional. There is another school of thought that says it doesn’t matter; you need not do that. You can accept all forms, all colors, all shapes. Try to see the one thing in everything, only one thing in every shape, every color, and then it is the same. It will connect you to the same things. God pervades everything, everywhere in everything. Though we see the modifications, Unmodified Presence is still there. It doesn’t matter.
    So, once a man was very much devoted to God. He used to attend all the meetings, conferences and talks. He used to run around, very sincere of course, but he was not very convinced. So, he believed in the form of mother, and he said, “Mother is God.” He fed mother and worshiped mother. Then next, he went to Rama; he went to Siva. So once he fell down, and he thought all these people would help. Nobody came to his help and he was sad. Then Vishnu’s wife, Lakshmi, she saw all this and asked her husband, “Why did you not go; he is so nice, and he’s a devotee of yours? He always used to offer things, and he used to pray at your temple. Why did you not help him?” “Oh, I see, I didn’t know; I thought that since he used to go to Siva’s temple, that Siva would help him. Then, she immediately picked up the phone and called Parvati, “He asked for your husband’s help, why didn’t He help.” Siva said, “Yesterday, he was in Rama’s temple, so I thought Rama would help.” Rama’s wife called somebody else and thought Ganesha would help. So nobody helped; everybody thought the other one would help. So then, he was enlightened.
    So if you confuse yourself, if you divide your devotion, what happens is, nobody helps. Each one thinks the other will help. So, you must stick to one. It doesn’t matter what. I respect everybody, but I hold on to one, one permanently, one solidly. I hook on to one thing, then I play with all the others. So that’s what it is. If you are a Christian, hold onto Jesus, Jesus is everything. It doesn’t matter what, He is the savior, He is everything. But, it doesn’t mean you have to disrespect other things. Rama is great yes, but I am a Christian, I have to run to my Jesus. I respect Rama, I respect Siva, everybody. The same thing, there are devotees of Vishnu, hold on to Vishnu, Vishnu is their God. But, they cannot afford to hate or disregard Siva, you see? Like that, that’s one thing.
    There’s another school that says it doesn’t matter, they don’t care for all the other things, they say, yes, Jesus is great, and Rama, and everybody. In everything ,they see the same thing. So, it is holding onto the same thing. It doesn’t matter, see. I go down to the church and bow down to the alter; I say it is Jesus, but I see the same thing when I go to the temple and bow down, and I see the same thing elsewhere and I bow down. So long as I see the same thing in everything then it’s ok. Then, if you start seeing them as different, you are dividing it. Then, you start keeping one up and one down, one here and one there. So, you are divided: your faith becomes pieces, like a mosaic, you do not have a clear picture. That’s why they say, you must develop that vision of seeing the same thing in everything, then you are safe. When you fall down, it will be one thing that comes, either in the form of Siva or Ganesha, it doesn’t matter. It is the same thing that will come to help you. If you don’t have that vision and treat everything as a separate entity, then each entity will think the other entity will help and you are gone. You see? That’s why when we say Siva and all those things, they each produce the same intense feeling. It is like a product which is sold in Argentina under one name, in India under another name, and under other names in other places, but the name doesn’t matter. The essence is the same thing.
    So, that’s what it is when we sing the different names and different modes. It doesn’t matter. Our faith is still the same central focal point, that divinity can assume any shape it wants, any color it wants, and it can be colorless and shapeless, too. It is that entity that we try to behold in everything. It becomes monotonous, so we change the name, shape and colors. But, the substance is still the same, we enjoy the same substance, it doesn’t matter. That’s the spiritual outlook of all these things. If you belong to a religion, if you belong to other cults, you are conditioned to such an extent as to whether it is true or false, whether it has any meaning or not, you succumb. So, in the spiritual field there is nothing like conditioning. If you come to India you will see Hindus going to Muslims’ shrine, Muslims worshiping Hindu shrines, and others going elsewhere. Because all that they saw was the same Divine at work. So, they bow down to the contents and not the collectors’ bottles. They enjoy the spirit in it.
    That is what the true spiritual life is. The spiritual life is to accept and involve in identifying and accepting the divinity in everything, everywhere. It doesn’t matter in what form or what color, or what shape it comes. It doesn’t matter. If you do not have that, then it is very hard. It takes a very long, long time. You will be moving in circles. So, it is better to understand this part.
    Also, far deep within ourselves, as I have been telling you a number of times, you must avoid the wrong identity. So, it would be a beautiful experience to identify with the Lord, but so many times we identify ourselves with the pain of the world, or joy of the world, happiness in the world, and suffer or experience joy. It is fluctuating in our lives, because we participate, we become one with that, and whatever happens there, we experience. We have understood that we are not the body, but still we are in the body. Though we have understood it, we have not established or convinced ourselves. So when you feel pain, who is being pained? Who enjoys the pain? It’s a pain. Do you enjoy or experience the pain? Or, do you watch the pain in the body? How many times do we not say, “Oh, I am taking a shower.” Are you taking a shower? Do you need a shower? You are washing your body, your body is taking a shower. You never say, “I have a pain here.” Where is here? It’s the body; you are not the body.
    So, you are in the body, you are a witness there, but you are not participating in the pain, in the process. If there is a pain, then it is a pain in the body; it is the mind which experiences and you are watching. Just like when you open the window, and watch things happen. There is a fight, somebody falls, somebody hits, somebody cries, somebody laughs, all these things. But, are you there? You are not participating in any of that, you are just a witness. The same thing here in the body, what happens is, the body is born, the body is dead, body gets pain, it gets joy, many things happen, but nothing happens to you, absolutely nothing. You carefully think and watch, and if you remove yourself even if the hand is cut, you will never know, because it is not you. You are not the body. Body is cut, but are you cut? You are not the body, you are in the body. You leave your home and go on vacation; let them spray the pesticides if they want, it doesn’t matter, you are not there. It’s the same thing. It’s like what anesthesia does, it takes you away; if you separate yourself from the mind, the mind will stop. So what happens is, if you force that separation, you will never feel because the mind doesn’t feel. But you can watch. It doesn’t effect you, it’s a good thing to know. You can experience anything, you can experience all this. So, the body is different, and what happens to the body doesn’t happen to you: pain, sorrow and all these things. Because, they are the means to experience this creation, the world, that’s all. Even without creation, you are there, happy; you are what you are.

    Whether there is a world or no world, you are what you are; you are the Eternal Truth, you are the Existence. This material creation is not a part of you. It happens and you watch; you are a witness as a life separate from the original being. That is Jiva, the individual soul as we are called, individual units, that we feel we are, only witnessing things. If we lose this individual identity, then what happens is, we are one, one which doesn’t change. Under no circumstances does it change; it is eternal. It doesn’t become; it has not become. It is beyond the effects of the time and causation. Nothing affects it; it is beyond time, space, and causation. It has no name, no shape, no color, nothing. It is everywhere. Even everywhere is a meaningless word. What is everywhere? It means a condition, you see? Even everywhere itself is a condition, so are you a condition.
    It is very difficult to define. We can define ourselves, because it is easy. But, to define what is beyond is very hard, the mind is incapable of defining what is beyond. Defining is a property of the intellect. You see, it is beyond the intellect and cannot be defined. If you cannot define it, you cannot behold it, you can’t experience it. Even if you are experiencing it, you cannot define it, because it is beyond definition. That’s what makes it difficult; none of you are ignorant. Everyone in this world is enjoying it, but hardly anyone, only a few people, know what it is. Nothing can exist without that Presence, but it is hard to identify that Presence. I can see and feel, I can define this Presence, all that. But, I cannot see my own self. There is nothing to show me what I am. Only I can know myself, and there’s nothing which can tell me what I am. Neither the mind nor the zillions of philosophies talking about it have penetrated. None have come out with one solution of how to know myself. You can only know yourself, nobody else. You cannot define it, you cannot do anything. It is really hard. Otherwise, many books and publications would have redeemed you long ago. It is very hard. It is simple, but it is hard.
    See, it is very simple. Mentally this body, this mind, the senses, all these things undergo all kinds of things, and far deep within, somewhere, I am watching all these things happen. Sometimes I involve, and when I involve, I become that. When I become that, I participate in the experience of either the pain or the joy. If not, I don’t even know what is happening. Not that I do not know, but I may not bother about it. I don’t care what happens, that’s all. That’s the reason why if you watch the lives of these great saints and sages, sometimes they are mad, they act as if they don’t exist. Sometimes they act as if they are very much in the world. You cannot figure them out. That’s why you call them mad, crazy; you call them all those things. But, all those definitions are for us, not for them. They are what they are. But sometimes they involve and sometimes they do not involve. But, on a smaller scale, that is what we have been doing, sometimes we do not feel the pain in spite of it being painful. It is later that we realize, “Oh, there was something.” Then, when you realize there was a cut, you start feeling the sensation and say, “Oh, yes it hurts now.” Why did it not pain then? Because you weren’t there.
    So, you should remember that you are not always there, sometimes you are on vacation. If you are on vacation, even if somebody breaks your door, you do not know. Only when you come back will you realize that you have lost something. That’s what happens in our lives, too. So consciously, you can separate yourself, or unconsciously it happens. Consciously you’ll be aware, you’ll be awake and you can enjoy it. But it needs practice, it needs plenty of internal situations that you have to create for yourself — extricate yourself, differentiate, discriminate, all these things. You see, you have to cut all that off or cut through all that and put yourself so that you’ll be detached. So when you want to go, you can go; and when you want to come, you can come. But unfortunately, you have become part and parcel of the whole thing. So you grow along with the body, you grow along with the mind. So, you have spread yourselves. So, now it is your turn. If you are capable, you can scrape yourselves off of the walls and bring all that together, and make yourself separate.
    Then you will see, you will like yourself better. Neither pain nor joy, none of those things, you are always blissful. That bliss which doesn’t depend on anything, that is the very nature of your being; it is the very nature of yourself. That bliss cannot be obtained by anything but yourself. It is not a product, it is a state of being. It is what it is. Nobody can define that bliss. The joy we can define because it is a condition of the mind, but that bliss which I am talking about is not explicable. You can only enjoy it for yourself. Neither your mind can enjoy, nor your body, nor your senses. Without that body, you can have that bliss; without the senses, that is what you obtain. When you enter that deep state of equilibrium where nothing exists but yourself, you are the One and only One. So, we shall drive on to that. Thank you very much.

Swami Niranjananandaji


    When I was undergoing a series of experiences, and had disciples, I had close friends who took care of me. I couldn’t take care of my body, mind, senses, nothing. I couldn’t even open my eyes. I know because I couldn’t see anything but that beautiful light all around. And, in that state I used to move around. Sometimes I would have contact with others who had reached a certain stage in their spiritual life. We felt like meeting and I told my friends to take me to one of them. And lo, he was waiting for me there. We were happy to see each other; we could communicate, we could understand each other. Without a word we could understand each other — without a word we could understand, hear, talk, without opening the mouth. He was a great man, though people knew him as an ordinary individual. He was very well respected, and we became very good friends; his devotees were all around. He used to talk at night; we couldn’t sleep because of the joy, the joy of being in his presence, with all kinds of his blessings.
    Sometimes families would bring a member to him. They would be possessed by the departed ones, the homeless ones, the hopeless ones. All of a sudden, they would act in such a way that they would speak a language which they never knew; they would do some things which they could never ordinarily do. All these things used to frighten their families. They would bring them, we would to sit there, and he would want my assistance. What assistance? So, the moment the possessed one came into our presence, they would start crying, whoever it was, and would cry saying, “I want to go, I want to go,” and go. Sometimes there were hard ones; he had to use his strength. But he was a very strong person. He would give a blow to the base of the spinal cord that ordinarily would injure; there would be no injury, nothing. And that was the last time that person would ever be possessed. So thus, it went on for a while.
    Then of course I left the place. I came back and went on my way. He used to come to me often. So, what I mean to say is that people who are possessed we often would ask, “What is that possession?” “How does it happen?” As I often have told some of you, each of us has a tenure to be here: seventy years, eighty years, a hundred years, four hundred years, whatever. And people came to him for things, seeking his advice, and also people who were possessed. Wherever he went, day, night, there we were so engrossed in that experience of having the company of each other.
    Until the natural death occurs, we have to live. Suicide is stupid. It is stupid to be afraid of the suffering and try to get rid of the suffering. Suffering is a part of life. If you identify yourself with what is suffering, then you suffer.
    Suppose x has something. If I am in the company of x, does that pain hurt me, do I feel the pain? I know that pain is there, but do I feel it? No, because it is his. Similarly it is so with the body, as I have been telling you. We are not the bodies, not the minds, not the senses, and all these things happen on the physical, mental, and vital planes. It’s only from these planes that those spirits, whatever kind they are, can attack and can make their house. So what happens is, you have to live as long as you are expected to live, whether in a state of joy, or a state of pain, a state of confusion, a state of whatever it is. You have to. If you try to cut it short, you will still be here; it will be horrible.
    Now, I have a mouth to tell you. If I talk, you can hear me. I can express myself; you can understand and sympathize, or you can share my joy or whatever. I have something of importance I feel like parting with, disseminating, I talk; you hear, you respond. All these things happen. I want to shake hands, touch, hold, all these things. But because you have a body, a mind, senses, all these things, you have the means to express yourself. And all of a sudden you lose these means, but you do not know that you have lost them. You are unconscious of what you have lost; you still think you have your body, mind, and senses. You keep on thinking, you keep on doing everything as if you have them. But unfortunately, you are dead before you are expected to be. If you live to the extent that you are expected to live, then when you part, it is safe, steady, and at once you are born elsewhere. Your soul takes whatever the soul has decided it wants, or your soul can take a vacation and decide what to do, and it will do it.
    That’s the reason why at the end of some lives some become quiet. They become passive, they get retired. People will think, “What happened? He’s quiet, he was so active.” And all these things. What happens is the soul withdraws itself from influencing all the other things, it withdraws itself as you do in meditation. It knows now that the time has come, it looks to the calendar, the last day is marked, and it thinks, “Well, what next? What am I going to do? What do I want?.” So, it will try to make a calendar for the next life it is preparing. It takes its time, prepares. Once that date comes, it quietly leaves this house and says, “bye bye,” that’s the end of it. It goes and finds out the means for what it already prepared. Then it will find out the means it is capable of and once again start the next phase. This is the natural phenomenon of the soul.
    But instead of dying and leaving the body and all this paraphernalia at that destined time, something happens, accident, or war, or whatever the calamity, instead of seventy years someone dies at forty. What about the thirty years? So, it has to spend thirty years other than where it would have gone. So, neither that soul will be here nor elsewhere, but in a state of confusion. As I told you, the soul is forced abruptly to leave all these means. But you should also know our body is not only the gross body that you see, but every part of our body has a subtle body too. Just like you put on one glove before you put on the real glove, whatever you call that. Like that there is a subtle body that follows the life, that follows the individual self wherever it goes, until the final beatitude, until it reaches the extreme end beyond which there is nothing. Until then, it lives, it carries with it the subtle body in which it has every corresponding part, corresponding senses and so on.
    So what happens is at that time it thinks it has a hand, it moves but nobody sees it. It is a subtle element, but only the individual self knows, but nobody else. It talks but nobody hears. When it moves nobody sees. Sometimes it will get enraged. It wants a reaction, but there is no reaction. It is painful, and it is talking to you about the pain, but you are enjoying, you are having a party, it becomes enraged. That’s the reason why all of a sudden something happens — the vase on the table is thrown. What happened? Who threw it? How did it happen? All this, all these things happen. It depends, the nature of that soul doesn’t go away for that period. It will have its own anger, it will have its own temperament, its own actions, everything. If it is evil, it is evil. If it is saintly, it is saintly. Good, it is good. All these things happen.
    I remember my grandma used to tell me a story. In a village there was a daughter-in-law who was very fond of the people there. She loved everybody, everybody loved her, and all that. But unfortunately when she was getting the water from the well, she slipped and fell down. So every evening people could see her, her soul coming out and sitting there, and crying. Because she could not do anything, she could not help, she could not do anything. She loved everybody, but now she could not. They could hear the crying, she didn’t do anything bad, but she cried. But of course after a while it became a famous thing, even it was published, and lots of people came to test.
    There was another case. There was a stretch of about four miles or so. If you are going by in the evening a person would come and ask for a cigarette and a match to smoke, but had no head. No head, but people have seen it. Now it is vanished, it is not there. Most probably it was a military person, that’s what they said. That was when I was ten. I used to hear and I read about some of those things in magazines. They were trying to find out what it was. Every evening people could see it. People were there who saw it, and people who gave a cigarette too.
    And I remember in England there was a case. A man was going to a meeting. His car was smashed, but still at exactly at the time of the meeting he was there. He participated in the meeting, and it was on the news that the car had crashed and he had died, and all that. At home everybody was upset, and they were calling and all that. But it was known: all these people when they heard that he is dead, they couldn’t believe because he was there with them. But, of course, for a short time. That happens because of the will; as I told you that attachment can play wonders. Because he was very serious about that meeting, so he was there. With his subtle body he could be there and make his presence felt.
    That’s the reason why when one dies sometimes it is immediately burnt; sometimes they keep it for three days. There are two reasons. One of the reasons is this. All of a sudden it is possible that one can go into deep sleep in meditation, also it happens as I told you the other day when we were walking at the church. That’s the reason why people who are in the spiritual seeking have their disciples or somebody to take care of them, so that when they are gone out of the body, anything can happen to the body, and when they come back and there is no body, they’ll be very upset. Sometimes when people are dead, it seems like death, but often it’s a deep sleep. The soul can go into deep recesses. And then all of a sudden after a few hours, or sometimes a few days they can come back. So they have to wait. And also in our culture there’ll be eleven days where ceremonies are done slowly one by one releasing ceremoniously, in a subtle way convincing the soul that definitely you are dead, the body is gone, everything is gone, you can withdraw yourself. Withdraw your subtle self from every part, pack your suitcase, and a small lunch. Now it is time for you to go. Be happy, find another place, and we loved you all this time, and we will continue to love whenever possible, now please go. That’s what the ceremony is.
    So what I was telling you yesterday is, we talk about these ghouls, and we talk about these witches, we talk about all these things. This is all a play. It is in the subtle plane that a lot of things happen. If you’re afraid, they’ll pounce upon you. For the great ones, for those who are pure, for those who have surrendered unto the Divine, as I told you, they can scare you, they can frighten you, but they dare not touch you, they dare not do anything. Even otherwise, today, Halloween, is the day of celebration whenever we think of them we should pray, we should make them understand that we all love them. Just because they are dead, it doesn’t mean we don’t know them. We may not know them, but they were here, and they have the experience, they know what it is, and now they are dead, now they cannot. But we always try to, if they are there, if they want. We will talk a few words of love and joy to them. Sympathize with their situation. Those who are gone, naturally they are gone. They are born somewhere, they are enjoying the diapers again.
    But what about the others? They are stuck. Neither can they take a new life, nor can they come back to the old. It is there that they need sympathy and love. Though we cannot see them, let us all pray together for their welfare in whatever stage they are. It is hard, it is a very hard situation there. So let God bring peace to them. They are not bad. They are undergoing hardships. With our wishes, our well wishes, and God’s interference and blessings, they will pass through that stage also and the next will be to their benefit, and they’ll be well taken care of. That’s what it is.
    So, life is a serious matter. As long as you are ignorant of it, that’s all right. But once you start knowing, you will shudder if you are not prepared. So euthanasia: if you are afraid of the suffering, in the next birth you will have to pay, you’ll have a bonus point also for this. If you go, it may be heavier. Who knows? If you go, maybe you’ll be stronger like this, or weaker like this. But that pain and sorrow, whatever you have had to suffer here, experienced, or enjoyed here, out of your own will, if you leave it here, it will grow. At that time who knows whether you can bear it. Now is the chance. You have friends, you have doctors, you have others, that sympathy. They may not carry your pain, but they’re there to sympathize, divert it so that it would help.
    So, the same way, Sai Baba’s relative died, sister, mother, someone. Somebody said, “You have saved so many, why not them?” He said, “Death is inevitable, so those whom I saved had little life left. Maybe a few more months, a few more years, a few more things.” Just like a battery. In India, batteries are very costly. So, when the battery was dead, we put it in water over night; the next day it would work for a few more minutes. So that’s once or twice, then we have to throw it away anyway. Thus, he put the soul in water for a while. But nobody has saved anybody, it’s inevitable. That’s inevitable. Even Sai Baba himself is hoping to go and become something else right? He knows the truth.
    So, can one be saved from anything? So whatever you can do, you can do before that. After that, nobody knows what will happen. Life is precious. No matter how you try to experience, analyze, enjoy. Don’t be afraid of the pain or sorrow or whatever it is, opinions. Who cares? Don’t be afraid, it is your life. You should squarely face it one way or the other and smoothly enter into the other phase, whatever it is. That’s what it should be, never try to run away.
    Here is another example, and one of the greatest things about Dattatreya, one of His incarnations. I’ve been to his place and had a beautiful experience. When he lived, his sister went to him and she was sick, she was terribly sick. She went to him and asked the same thing, “My brother, you have been saving the whole world: people come with sickness, and they go back healed. These poor people come, you make them comfortable, and they go. All these things. And you have seen me day in and day out suffering, and I never asked you for help. I’m suffering, I cannot breathe, I cannot do any of these things. But you never raised your hand and removed even a part of that. Why?” He smiled and said, “Sister, look, this time you are born to me as a sister, you are in my presence, you are within my influence, within my aura. That’s the reason why what should be a mountain of pain, you are feeling like a molehill. Even that molehill is a big mountain for you. But I can see what it should have been, but it is not. But now because I am here, I am supporting you to bear it. You do not know that, but I know it. Supposing I remove it, alright, I’ll keep it, and next birth do you know where you are going to be born? Do you know where I will be? Will you be my sister again? You don’t know. At that time, you cannot expect me to be there. At that time, you’ll have to draw upon yourself all these things again. All these things are not going to let you go. You have earned it, and you have to eat it. You have cooked it and you have to eat it. You have burnt it and now you have to eat it. It is your Karma. See it as what you have earned, and you have to spend it; you have to enjoy. So there is no way. But in my presence, what you are suffering, suffer to the best extent and finish all this so that in the next life you will be free of all these things. But if you want, I can remove it and see that none of these things attack you. But, in the next life, it will be hard because you will have no support. At that time all these things will become like a huge mountain and you’ll have to undergo a lot of pain. What do you want?” So she said, “Thank you very much brother.” That’s what it is.
    Life is full of all these things that we do not know. A little pain and we are sorry. We have to endure. Maybe it is human to take medicine, take all these medicines. It’s a coincidence that medicine and an end to your suffering come together. Then you say, “Oh, medicine cured.” If so, why should medicine not cure everything? Anyway, I don’t want to create that doubt in your mind. I too take medicines. Do whatever we humans think we have to do, the rest of the things leave it to God, and enjoy, experience, whether it is pain or joy. The Gods are with us, so let us be grateful to God. Thank you very much.

Swami Niranjananandaji


    To prepare ourselves for the meditation in the beginning what happens is that you have to deal with the mind. Mind’s property is to think. So for thinking, you have to provide matter, substance. So, that is the reason why before meditation we try to sing, try to make the mind go in one way, and give food for the mind. While singing, if you know the meaning, the mind will start thinking in that process; mind will travel in that direction. If not, what will happen is it is like a fork. That mind will start thinking of the past, and movies and whatever you did. Whatever it is, it has it’s own way. The other way is that you want to go in your direction, so it will be a disturbance. You cannot concentrate, you cannot meditate, you cannot go deeper, you can’t achieve anything. You should be one pointed. The mind should merge in your efforts instead of you merging yourself in the mind. That is the reason why many of these mantras, this singing and these names, have become predominant in meditation. After some time, you may not need it; the moment you want to meditate, you can cut off the whole thought process. When you don’t feed the mind, mind dies by itself. Then you are free at once; you are like water, just like the fragrance that spreads at once all over. Like that, your spiritual efforts will at once be effortless and spread everywhere. The whole being is merged in that spiritual experience.
    So, we should be careful. That is where we have to be cautious; for meditation, there will always be a fork whether we want to go mind’s way or take the mind in your way and leave it there.
    So, thoughts — that is the reason why we sing for a while. We keep on singing and when we become silent, it is the mantra you must keep on repeating silently within yourself so that mind should not be given even the slightest scope of deviating from what you want mind to do. That is the reason why these repetitions is called mantra. Mantra means it is that which takes you across the ocean of this mind, this is called mantra. So, mind is capable of drowning you in its own juice, which is suffocating. So this mantra doesn’t allow that to happen. So instead of mind polluting you, you will be sanctifying your mind. Once mind understands, sanctifies and experiences, then mind either cooperates or it keeps quiet and you will be without. Once without any disturbance or detriment from the mind and once the mind understands this, the mind cooperates and all the senses cooperate. See, by making the mind understand and by feeding the mind with these divine thoughts, these vibrations, mind will control all the other senses and divert all that energy towards that mind. If not, your energy is drained, and a lot of things, you become weak. Have you seen when you think people have become desperate, become weak, all these things? Why? Because they are drained of their energy. The thinking is not a small thing, it draws a lot of energy. That is the reason why those who meditate do not bother about other things, because they do not want to drain even a single bit of energy elsewhere than to the process of meditation and experiencing. Meditation is like climbing a steep mountain; you need a lot of energy. Once you go there, it is beautiful; all your tiresomeness will go away, you will enjoy. When you come back, you are refreshed because it is a downhill. You come back with that experience. You will feel your body, your physical, mental, psychic and vital with that experience. Even the flavor of that will make the whole physical, senses, vital, everything, enjoy. Once they are used to that, they will always cooperate; whenever you want, they will help you, they will do it.
    So, that is one thing we have to remember. And usually before meditation, if it is possible, you must stretch and make all the dormant parts become active. Activate everything so that they release the locked energy that you need. See, once you stretch, make all those dormant parts active, then they release the energy. You need that energy. That’s the reason why we do lots of stretching and all those things. Then how are you going to stretch your mind? So breathing exercise is necessary. What we do is just few times, it only takes a little time. We have not been able to conduct a series of workshops. If you are serious, those who are serious and want to do it, then we may plan something sometime. If not, we’ll keep on doing this for all the eternity. So, breathing exercises, different various exercises will affect the various parts of the being, the whole of this physical being, especially the mind. How are you going to stretch the mind, remove that affliction? Mind is controlled only by the breathing. So you control the breath, breath will control the mind, and then once the mind is controlled, everything else will be easy. It’s a simple process.
    So all these things should be given their due value and assimilated, bring them all together and then reap the harvest — it is a process. There are others, it is one way to do it physically and mentally this way, or else there is a direct approach also, just like ready-made. Now, we live in the age of ready-made things, everything is, “Put it in hot water, and it is ready to eat;” that is the type. If you are strong and capable, directly you can act upon all these things. Instead of building it from the bottom to the top, you can pull down all these things from the top mostly. So, that is directly to affect the mind. That needs a lot of patience, strength, and time. Once you achieve that, then it is easy and everything else will calm down. Instead of building it from the bottom, we will be starting to do it from the top.
    There is another way, completely distract, remove that and start engaging yourself in that in such a way that it will overtake all the other faculties, functions of all the other faculties. Like bhakti, you need not do anything. All that you do is love and engage in that; involve in that, immerse in that. Once you are immersed in that — you know, sometimes when the bees attack, what people do, they dive in the water, right, they swim under water in order to avoid the bees— like that, bhakti, you dive deep in that love of God, and none of these bees will attack you. That sounds easy, singing the name of God, talking about Him. Completely, always merge in that, physically, mentally, every aspect. Engage in that so you need not do any special thing, but it will become natural just like driving, or riding a bicycle; it becomes second nature. So it becomes like that, that is what it is. These saints and sages, about whom we sing, those people sang completely merged in the spirit of God. See? So they completely became one, they completely emancipated themselves in that love of God, in that consciousness. They become one with it. Then, they forget the body, the mind, everything. We see, we hear them sing sometimes. We may see them dance, we may see them do anything, but for them they are not there. It is the body which is jumping but they are not there; it is the reaction that the body dances. Singing, all these things, is an effect of what they are experiencing there in that state of trance. So that is another way.
    All these things are necessary to understand according to your ability, according to your needs. You have to consider a lot of things: your time, your efforts, your intensity of seeking that you want. Or, just because X wants you too want, or whether you want it, all these things are to be considered. Once you consider all this, then you choose the path, the means. God will help you. There is always a helping hand available there. They are watching, as I told you a number of times. Even a little effort on your side will draw lot of help from above: the recipient of a lot of help for successful efforts that we do. Thank you very much.

Swami Niranjananandaji


    We were discussing the other day about philosophy, how it is philosophy, why, and what is the necessity of philosophy. Is philosophy a necessary aspect of life? Philosophy was born along with the thoughts. The moment that thoughts were, that very first thought was the seed for philosophy. What is philosophy? It’s a mental process, a thought process. As I have often said, there’s no mind without the thoughts, and it is the thoughts, the series of thoughts. Those thoughts may or may not contain the essential truth. But at the same time, whatever it is, there must be truth or else nothing can exist. That’s the reason why a lot of thoughts come and go. They never stay. Those thoughts which contain truth remain embedded. Impregnated with truth, they stay.
    How can we impregnate our thought with truth? There are false philosophies, and there are true philosophies. True philosophy is that which contains the aspect of truth, and that aspect of truth which has been experienced and established. The other one is faith. Or, you can say it is a guess. It may be or it may not be, because philosophies are thought and thought processes do not have any particular end unto themselves. Living itself is a philosophy, and during the life we keep on thinking. Even the madman thinks, even the criminal thinks, even the saint thinks.
    Why do they think? It’s the very nature of the mind. If not, it shrinks and it dies. That’s what happens when you reach the highest and culminate your life. At the pinnacle of your achievements — for there the mind is no use — the mind automatically falls off, it dies. Because you don’t need the mind, you don’t depend on thoughts. So you don’t throw any thoughts, and there will not be any sustainers for the mind: mind shrinks, dies, becomes nothing because you act from a different point in life. At your will you can do and undo things. You don’t need a thought process. So, these thoughts come together, and a lot of those thoughts become philosophy.
    And when we go far into the past, we can see how these philosophies developed. On one side, people have developed the philosophy: “What is life? Why are we here? And why are all these things around us, the trees plants, fruits, nuts, animals, weak, and strong, all these things? Why? It is for my pleasure, because I am an intellectual. I am an intelligent animal. Amongst animals I am intelligent. So what I should do is make use of it, all these things are subservient to me? I must enjoy them, that’s why they are there.” So that was their thoughts, that was their philosophy. They formed this bunch of thoughts. Why? Why am I here, why are these things here, what is the relationship, and all these things. They came to a conclusion in their own minds and said it is this. So, one branch of philosophy cultivates a thought process in the direction of this way: “Eat drink, sleep, have sex, all these things. Beg, borrow, steal, do anything.” After all, in life I am born, and I am going to die. All that I am endowed with is an opportunity between the birth and the death, so make the best of it. Who knows where you are going after death? There is nothing, no life after death anyway. And before birth there was no life, I am here. So I’m not going to do anything after death, and I didn’t do anything before my birth, so let me do. What? Eat, drink, do all these things. Beg, borrow, steal. But make everything available and enjoy to the extreme.
    So those philosophers produced lots of things, many other things. We talk about Karma Sutra, this, and this, all kinds of philosophy. That’s a big philosophy, it’s accepted as Hindu philosophy too. And they deny God. Where is God? What is God after all? There’s nothing; life is short, make the best. Eat, drink, sleep, do all this, this, this. Don’t worry about it, none of it, don’t worry about hell, and heaven, don’t sin, nothing, nothing, but do this. That’s one thought process. And it’s been there for time immemorial. And people are practicing that.
    And at the same time, there was another group: “No. all this is given by God. God has a purpose. There is somebody else, God, which you may not see, but He is there. You may not touch, He is still there. He’s there, He’s governing the whole world. So we should respect Him. And it is all His creation, so we have no right to destroy. And, sparingly use, and all these things.” This is another philosophy.
    There is one which denies something, and there is one that accepts, and both the philosophies developed, and people followed. Somewhere, someone puts a seed, and people keep adding to that, and then they form their own rituals and all that. This is only a thought process; that’s all. But there is another philosophy that comes, that comes not before, but after having experienced. None of these people have experienced, but they are only guessing, just guessing. And then, there is the other kind of people who, the moment there is a thought they want to analyze it. Know whether it is right or wrong, true or untrue. So, they burn fires. I don’t know, somebody says it burns, someone else says it doesn’t burn. Alright, the third party says that it may burn or it may not burn, so let me go and put my finger in it and say oh yes, it burns. Then, how does it burn? What is my reaction? Everything he analyzes, and then he comes out with experiences and a philosophy. When you see a fire, don’t put your finger in it; it burns. When it burns it has this effect, all these things: you may lose your finger, you may suffer, this will act upon your pain, and this, this, this. Then that philosophy is developed, finger burning philosophy. Then what he says is true. Right? Because it comes and is born out of one’s own experience. The others are guessing. It burns. How does it burn? Do you know? It burns, I know that, but that’s all; it burns. Others, it doesn’t burn. Have you tried? No, I need not, I know.
    See? This is what is called Yoga. Yoga developed out of frustration of developing only dry philosophy. Dry philosophy like Marx started; that communism was a philosophy. We have economic philosophy. On one side we ruin our country, and on the contrary there may be some economical philosophy which may yield the wealth. That’s why we have politics, all these things. Philosophy is everyone has their own philosophy. And, to what extent there is a common thought, they come together and it becomes a group philosophy. See? Thus, the nation, all these things. Jesus never had a philosophy; he was a Yogi. He did directly. But then on what He said, the others started building up their philosophy. Like Hindus, what did they do? It developed in thousands and thousands of years. Each one has come up with a philosophy and experienced; whatever that experience was they added. Even today, Shankaracharya said, “There is Brahman, the ultimate nameless, shapeless, but ever-existing-force; that Force which is called Brahman, or Atma, Paramatma. There is that, and out of His will all of these things became, and all this.” It’s a philosophy, alright. Then as such, what are we? What is our relationship? So, we are also part of Brahman, and we are individuals. Though we are individuals, we are a chip off the same old block. There is absolutely no difference. Though we have hands, God may not have hands, still He can do things. And we have eyes, we see; God may not have eyes, but He can still see. All these things, so it is great. We are dependent upon our senses and all these things for our progress and all that, but for God, He is independent. He can be by Himself but we cannot be — without mother and father I cannot be born. But, God can incarnate Himself. He doesn’t need anybody, anything. So all these things, this is one.
    And me and my father are one. That’s one philosophy. And then out of the same school there was a departure. They said no, no, no: I am only little, I can do only little thing. I can only throw this much rock, and I can only carry this much rock, and I cannot do this, and I can only live for this much, and all that. I have birth and death, and all these things. How can I compare myself to God? God is eternal. Am I eternal? I have a birth certificate, and my children will have my death certificate, too. You see? I am held in between two certificates. And how can I call myself God? Am I God? No, no, no. I may appear like God. God loves and I too love. God helps. I too can help. And, He lives and I too have life. I can do things like God, but I cannot be God. You see, I may be like God, but I may not be God.
    That is duality. God is separate from me. But, I may look like God but I am not God. So, we have for eternity, I am what I am. I am not going to be God. God cannot become me and I cannot become God. God remains God and I remain I. It is my duty as a weakling to pray to Him, and to get His help, and I offer and subjugate myself unto God. He is the Overseer. So this is a thought. And for both of them, one who says, “Me and my Father are one,” or “I am the Son of God,” whatever they say, these are the two. But still they have that truth. It is based on their own experience. One is an experience which is culminated, it has its own results. But, the other one is still in the process. But still, it has come out of the truth; one who has the truth which is already experienced.
    And there was another one. I may be God, I may not be God, but still I may have things which are given by God. God may not have money, He doesn’t need money. But I need money. See?
    Then there came Buddha. He said, these stupid people in the name of God, in order to offer to God, whom they have not seen at all. Somebody told them about God and they believed. And, somebody said in order to appease Him, cut the animals — animal sacrifice, human sacrifice, all these things. No, no, no. Stop it, stop it! Every life is valuable, every life has it’s own truth. Don’t hurt anybody, non injury. Don’t say untruths, it’s all silly. There is no God, no life. It’s only souls; we’re all souls, with big holes anyway, we’re all souls. See, animals, trees, me. We have to live in harmony, don’t injure. We have no right to injure others. We have to all live harmoniously and grow. But after death, we’ll be reincarnated, over and over again. And what is the end? There is no end. It’s endless. It doesn’t merge in anything anywhere. You are the soul, that’s all. So even Atma: there’s no Atma as we say Atma and Paramatma, soul out of which we have come, and we are going back, merge ourselves. No. We are individual. You are the soul and you’ll remain a soul for eternity and keep on doing this. Keep on doing good, and you’ll die, you’ll be born again, all these things.
    They go after that one boy. He is their leader now. One American boy: see he was a Buddha, and so he was born here and now he has gone back. They didn’t find me, I wanted to go because I am tired of this life anyway. Unfortunately, they didn’t recognize me. So like this, even you have your philosophy. You have your philosophy, don’t you? This is my philosophy: I have a private life Swamiji, I don’t want to do anything, no. See, this is my philosophy, this is the way I’m doing it; who cares? This is what it is; I am convinced that this needs to be done on my part. So, this is my philosophy. See? So, philosophy is one thing, but whether that philosophy holds water, that is to be tested only by a yogi. A yogi is one who comes out with a thought — usually he doesn’t because by that time, the thoughts have ceased. That’s the reason why no yogi has created a philosophy. But around that yogi, the philosophy has formed. It doesn’t touch him, but a few yards away from him the thing’s started. That’s the reason why all kinds of untruths gather around in philosophy.
    So, we should always separate the philosophy about somebody from that somebody. If you want to know, directly approach and know. If you want to know what Jesus said, He is available. Have you not read that bumper sticker, “Jesus Lives,” you call Him and He will answer. He has a cellular phone always in His pocket. You call and He will immediately answer. If you’re interested, He will answer. If you are open, if you love Him, if you accept Him, open your heart and you’ll get your answer. He may not speak in Hebrew or English; He will talk to you in a way that you can understand. That’s the right way.
    And the rest of them? Send me money. That’s only their philosophy, that’s what Jesus said. See, in the name of the church you can do wonders, and give all that money to church, and church will take care of you. Forget about me, that’s what will happen. That’s the philosophy, church philosophy. Hindus have that philosophy. Buddhists have that philosophy. Buddha said something and now He is gone. Now amongst Buddhists, there are quite a few parties. Each one has their own philosophy. They’re all Hindus, they’re all Muslims, they’re all Christians, but absolutely there’s no base. They took, they depended on something and then they fell apart. Now it is disconnected, ultimately it is disconnected, but still they are holding on. When the ship is wrecked, each one will hold a piece of wood and float; there is no ship, it is broken. They are holding onto the piece of wood in order to survive, that’s what it is.
    The philosophy, the true philosophy, is that which you experience yourself, and out of which thoughts come. Whatever you express that becomes a true philosophy because it is established, you have experienced it, you know it. So thank you very much

Swami Niranjananandaji.


    Recently, my nephew visited me. He was discussing his dismay that one of his uncles would become a Swami. He saw me in the morning at meditation, or prayer. In the course of talking, I was explaining to him what the consciousness was and all that, how we are a part of the same consciousness and all that. So he asked me, then if the consciousness is the same, then to whom are you praying, why are you praying, Why? If the one I am praying to is the same as me who is praying, then why should you pray to yourself? Why? Then if you have already known that you have the same consciousness, then why are you praying? Why? That’s a good question. Prayer doesn’t mean asking. We pray and the general idea means that we ask, supply a long list of items, oh Lord I want this, I want that. Then, I become a beggar; God becomes the master. I beg and He gives. Then I come and get, or I may not get. So, if the giver and the taker are the same, then why should there be the asking?
    So, I had to tell him that prayer doesn’t mean the asking. We don’t ask; we don’t pray from that sense. The prayer is to identify and strengthen that identification between the higher self and the lower self; I, being the small party, separated particle of the same. I have limited strength now as a separate entity. I need the same strength as the Great One in order to pursue all these things. I lack several things to be the same, so I seek the Higher. Until I reach, I will always try to establish that relationship, the oneness, the identification with the higher Self, Self of my own. I do not want to forget; I do not want to be separate. But, whatever the purpose for which I have become separated, I know I cannot remain separate all the time. This separate arrangement is how I have the life. As I have explained to you many times, I am here to see my own creation, my own imagination, my own play. I want to experience, experiment, know. Right from the dense ignorance, right from the point of not knowing to the point of knowing, which we call liberation. I tie myself in order to experience the ignorance. I enjoy the growth of knowledge, accumulation of knowledge by way of experience. I break that knot, untie and fill myself. From that bitty part I become the whole.
    So, that identification I would like to keep refreshed, in order to remember, in order to pursue. In order to realize that oneness with consciousness, I sit down, try to establish what I have established. I would like to secure it, continue. That’s what I do when I sit for prayer; I don’t ask. There’s nothing to ask, what is there to ask? So, prayer should be spontaneous, it should come from the heart, it should come from within. It should be establishing the identification, that is the strength, that is our release. The weak desires the stronger. There is always a disparity between the will and the desires. Keep on desiring; we cannot fulfill the desires because the will is weak. So, we seek all these fulfillments, all these things. That’s why we sit down and try to charge our battery from the Highest. All those manifestations are mine, my own manifestations, all that glory is my own glory. All that is around is mine. I should confirm it.
    At the same time, I should also try to realize my role here, my purpose here, my beginning and my end — how long, how short, where, and how, and why and when. All these things come up. I read my books. I do and I don’t, I don’t ask and I don’t demand. There is nothing to ask, and there is nothing to demand. Whatever is necessary, it is all there.
    So that was a short talk. So then we were talking about, as we often discuss here, the intellect and the wisdom. We lack that understanding; we have mistaken the mental aspect of that part, the intellect. We are glorified only by our intellect. How happy we are to think that we are very intelligent. We think that we can depend on our intellect, and it is that intellect that will solve all the problems. Without knowing it, every time it solves it causes more problems. It announces our ego; egocentric persons are more dangerous to the world than the egoless persons. That ego, that pride, all these things become thicker and thicker, and they’re all the part of ignorance. So all those people who, if you can see around us, are doing a lot of dangerous things to this society, criminals, they’re not dumb, they’re intelligent. Their extreme intelligence becomes perverted; perverted intellect will lead them to misuse their power of intellect. But at the same time, intellect can be great when it is used the right way and to a limited purpose. Intellect is a great boon and also a great curse.
    That’s the reason why when you find the persons who have gone beyond, have realized the limitation and the fruitlessness of the intellect. So, they give up that intellect, they go beyond the intellect and depend on the wisdom, the product of intuitive prayer. They directly act from there. That’s the reason why their actions, their responses in this world are different than ours. We think and depend on our intellect, and try to make a huge thing out of nothing. There those people who keep quiet, and when they want to act, just act. Their actions are not even understood, neither their silence, nor their inactivity is understood by the active intellect. The product of intelligence is doubt. Doubt is necessary in one way. It is that doubt that motivates you to seek. But at the same time too much dependence on only that doubt will dissolve, will eat you away.
    Sometimes it is necessary to give up doubt, and start from somewhere as we call faith. For an intelligent man faith doesn’t mean anything, why should I have faith? I would like to test, I would like to know, then I will see. Still I can believe. So, it is a long process. So, intelligence is different from wisdom, though we have to be intelligent in this world and seek a job in order to have a livelihood. Wisdom doesn’t work; wisdom doesn’t pay you money. But intelligence pays. But wisdom is capable of utilizing intelligence, if it wants. A certain percentage of wisdom and intellect in alliance could be a good material to use for our progress. But we should be careful. Thank you very much.

Swami Niranjananandaji


    We were talking about the change of time when we see good things and bad things. Sometimes we see the bad things more and sometimes we see the good things more. Does it convey something of importance? Talking about dark ages, what is the Age? What are the Ages we were talking about? Is it a Dark Age? So, we see a lot of crime, birth, death, and many unholy things occurring. That’s what we were talking about.
    So, what is this Age? What does it mean? It may mean several things to several people, but to us it is nothing but the same thing going round just like we have days and nights. Light in the morning and the light is lost in the night. There is darkness, but it is the same thing. If there is no light here, then there is light on the other side, that’s all. It will be tomorrow again, and we’ll see it. It is an eternal thing.
    Similarly the Age, it’s only what we think of, but it is Nature. Nature is eternal. We’re all subjugated by Nature. We all exist and perish within the framework of Nature, Who rules supreme in this process. Nature doesn’t change. That is the nature of Nature: It doesn’t change. But, sometimes the components of Nature become dense somewhere, and sometimes dissolved, diluted or thin. Accordingly, we see changes: this good, this bad, this death . . . So long as Nature exists, all these exist, because Nature works through these things. It is Nature’s way of doing things. But as I told you, it comes and goes. It has to keep on moving. Sometimes they all have a meeting. They gather together all the bad and all the good things; all of these It keeps on and on and on. It’s a cyclic thing. So it has happened several times, and it continues to happen several times. That’s what we say whenever we see that process, we call it the Age. This is the Dark Age, this is the Brute Age, this is this, that is that. It doesn’t matter; in order to recognize it, we say that.
    But, this is one of the times like that, it is coming. It has not come; it is just coming. It’s only telling us to be prepared, we are coming. Just like a fog comes, stays, then it goes. But it is hard. It is hard to bear. For those who are good, it is hard for them to bear the bad. Those who are bad, they welcome it. For they find an alliance. So, things come and go. It is a message and the spiritualists as scientists, they watch, they understand, they know. They take it easy, they do not complain. They stand stiff with their glasses on so that they can see. All these things reveal the nature of Nature. They study Nature, they understand. They see It as the process of understanding the Truth. Nature is a part of the Truth, and by knowing Nature, we understand the real Truth. It opens.
    On the contrary, at the end, what we understand is that all of this is false; all of this seems to be, but it isn’t. What is bad, what is good, what is all this, what is Nature? So long as we stand under what is happening, our sheet, and look up, things will change. But once you rise beyond, once you go through that, pass through that, go down and deep, go higher and higher and look down, you’ll see nothing. It all disappears slowly. It appears only from here because of our ignorance, for the lack of understanding, knowledge, knowing, experience. So long as we are in that position, in that not knowing status, all these things do mean something, and it’s a study, it’s a process that you have to know. It’s painful; pain is also meant to be known. Unless you know what pain is, you do not understand the other side, the painlessness.
    Just as I told you, these are all the dualities. You have enjoyed the goodness, so we don’t like to experience or welcome the other things. So life is half done; life is not full without knowing the other part. That’s the reason why the cycle; it always comes — good things once, bad things once. So good things, sweet things attack; next time the pain. The joy of birth, and the sadness of death. But as you stand aloof, watch without involvement, and try to, as a seeker, allow it to go by, you’ll learn a lot. When death comes, you die. When birth comes, you are born.
    As a third party, if you are conscious at the time of the death and the time of birth, you will realize there’ll be a day when you’ll do that. Be sure of that; you’ll realize what it is. All these things will give you the greatest knowledge; it will be redeeming. There is no redemption unless you know that. As long as we know that all these things will happen, these things are in our favor. That’s the reason why we are born. That’s the reason why we are here, the reason why we are breathing, eating, and living, in order to know. When it comes, let us study it, let us understand it. When it goes, let us be prepared for the next. It’s all cyclical.
    Nature doesn’t do anything but guide. Nature provides us a vast scope to know and understand our own choice. Let us not be afraid of the bad things or be attached to good things. Good, bad, everything comes full circle. We have to come far; we have to go beyond all these things. We are in a stage where we have to experience this; we will do it. Unless you do it, you are not going to go a step further. Whether you like it or not, you have to experience it. You have to know it. So know it consciously, that is the redeeming point. Unless you consciously experience it, that experience doesn’t give you the knowledge. You suffer, but you don’t make use of that suffering because you are not conscious of it. You keep on complaining. You can’t complain; you have to understand. Then that provides the knowledge. Just be conscious, you must be there. Let us do that. It is Nature. Nature provides all these things: joy, happiness, sickness, birth, death, all these things. These are all the components of Nature. We have taken upon ourselves the bondage of Nature. We have submitted ourselves to Nature. We are telling Nature to lead us, so Nature is doing Her job with cooperation. Not by fighting against Nature, but only in conformity with Nature can we progress here. Because we have voluntarily adopted it. Let us be courageous to face all of Nature. Every time you understand or try to understand, let us be grateful to Nature for having provided these experiences, these things, so that we can experience, we can grow. We shall grow. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji


    The other day we were discussing God. God is not a subject to be discussed at all. If you like, you accept; if you don’t like, you don’t accept. It doesn’t matter; either way, it doesn’t hurt God. What happens is that those who accept God, they accept. But at the same time, I would like to know about God. Those who do not accept, they are saved from even trying to know. You must know and then try to accept, or you must accept and then try to know. Both ways are open. Most of us do accept and then try to know. For them, knowing is a second priority. If they know, that’s alright. But if they do not know, it doesn’t matter; but still they continue to have faith. Ultimately, faith will lead them to know one day. What happens is that we should be careful in one sense. In the process of knowing, we try to know too many projections, too many. It doesn’t matter. What happens is knowing. It is that knowing. Though we have faith, it is that sense of knowing that drives us towards achieving.
    In the process, it is likely that we may not know the form at all. We may not even know the color at all. We may not know the fragrance at all. But still, because of our faith we’ll be enjoying, experiencing, moving faster towards God. Knowing is a secondary thing, or it becomes a secondary thing. But still, God is what we want to know and so we struggle. That struggle is enough. That struggle is necessary to know. So ultimately what happens is that even without your own knowing, when you have reached a particular stage, when you have seen the light of God and you are experiencing God, you are full of God; all of a sudden it dawns.
    Who cares? Why should I know God? Why should I want to know the shape, the color, and all these things? It’s all minor; it’s not necessary at all. That idea is not out of frustration, but out of that wisdom; without any reason, it dawns and that seeking of the form, color and all this. As I told you, it is to please that query in the mind. It is in order to satisfy the intellectual gaze that we struggle.
    In this process we would be moving. Your faith is capable of driving you more, more, more! You will have already dropped yourself into that ocean, ocean of bliss, ocean of experience. You might be experiencing now. Once you have entered, without knowing, whether you know or not, it doesn’t matter. When you have fallen into that, then all these desires, all these seekings slowly diminish. You are full, you are full of it. Your heart is content, and you are content; at that time you cease to seek anymore. You may not have seen the shape, you may not have seen the color, you may not have touched. It doesn’t matter. But you have dissolved yourself, your consciousness, into that supreme consciousness, that ocean; the drop has already mingled with it.
    So, that’s one thing. The second thing is you may not have progressed even a single inch. But still, the mind says well I’ll try to make this fellow think: You want to see God? Yes, alright; you want to see God, huh? Well, what type of God do you want to see? Go to the library and see, select. Oh yes, this is good; this seems to be good, an old figure, with beard, or no, clean shaven with a crown, or maybe this, that, oh yeah, why not this. So then, the mind starts projecting all these forms. What color pleases you? — that color, all that. Also in order to prove it, they say X, Y and Z has talked about it. X, Y and Z has realized it, has seen it, so it must be true. Since it is true for him or her, it must be true for me, too. So, I’m not less than anybody else, any of those, why not try. Yes, let me see. I want to see this. Yes, this is this color, this is this. So, mind wants to please you. It wants to hold you back for itself.
    So, it starts projecting, and you’ll reach somebody’s experience. Those people who write — real people, real experiences — want to write in order to strengthen your will, your faith and your impetus. It is true that if you persevere, you will reach. That’s what I have done. Keep it up. In order to encourage you, they write; not in order to project superficially in order to make you feel that you have. But unfortunately, the mind plays all kinds of tricks. It makes you feel, oh yes, I have realized this, I have seen this, yes, yes, yes, I saw it. Oh! I saw it in this dream. I saw it in this. Oh! I don’t know, I am in peace with myself. I have seen Swami, I have seen God, I have seen Him walk before me. Now I know. So then you will lose. Your faith is ended there, and you’ll feel that you have seen, so everything shrinks. Ultimately, at the end, what happens is that you give up your efforts, you give up the true efforts and all that. Then you are dried. Then the result of having achieved it, whatever should happen, doesn’t happen. Then you are still unsatisfied, there is no satisfaction. There is nothing, nothing, nothing. You say, “Well, what happened?” You’ll take a long time before you realize that it was a false image, a false color; it was the mind that was projecting all this. It is not true. Again, you’ll have to start seeking here and there. But at that second round, what happens is doubt takes root. Whether it is right or it is wrong, once I have been bitten now what can I do? Whether to accept this or to accept that. So, this will have to be worked out. It will be harder, because once doubt takes root, it’s very hard to remove it. Mind controls you with that doubt in you. You must be careful.
    So in order to do that, try to be free from all these things. Don’t put impositions on yourself. If you are honest, if you are desirous, accept God as He or She is, as God is. As I have told you a hundred times, maybe more, God can take any shape, any color, any time, anywhere, anyhow. He is beyond any body’s conditions. Don’t condition. God will be pleased. One thing. Second thing is, if it is true that He has appeared like this, this, this, yes, it may be true. It is true, too, because of your love, because of your faith, unflinched faith. What happens is that it’s not your conditioning. But in order to please you, because you want to please, you want to realize God, and enjoy His presence, even through your eyes, ears, and hands.
    See, you’re attached to your body, mind, and all these things, but still you’re more attached to God. You have given ninety percent to God, and ten percent, even that percent, ten percent you cannot give up, and God calculates, yes, well it’s alright, ninety percent’s not bad, maybe A-, but still I’ll please him. So, God pleases you. In what way does it please you my friend, this way? Alright. You want to see Me with a beard and all that? Alright. Now later on, well maybe you want to see Him this way? Alright you want to see Me this way? Alright. It doesn’t matter; the effect is the same, the purpose is the same, everything is the same. So in order to please the devotees, in order to further strengthen the will and faith, God plays His tricks too. That trick is better. It is redeeming, where succumbing to the tricks of the mind is rather binding.
    So first of all, don’t have any conditions, don’t have any desire for shape or color. Be prepared to be accepting, and to surrender, and offer yourself at the feet of the Lord. If at all you want, develop that love, dedication and faith, and dictate terms for God, I want to see you this way, it happens. God is kind enough; He is loving. The truth is, He doesn’t lose anything by changing His things, appearing or disappearing. It doesn’t matter to Him. He’ll do it. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji

Bhajo Radhe Govinda
Gopala Tero Pyara Nama Hai
Gopala Tero Pyara Nama Hai
Gopalatero Pyara Mani Hai

    Bhajo Radhe Govinda Gopala Tero Pyara Nama Hai. Gopala — Go means all the cows. He was a cowherd. Krishna was from that family, those who took care of the cows. So, Gopala, Pala means one who takes care of; Gopala, one who takes care of all the cows. Also, Go means, again, all the senses, one who shines, one who takes care of all their senses. See, that also means the same. Gopala Tero Pyara Nama Hai. Tero means your, it is a Hindi word. Pyara Nama — Pyara means beloved, very loving, Pyar means in Hindi love, very loving. Nama means name, it is a very sweet name, very loving name is what it is. Gopala, Govinda — Krishna, all these names are Pyara Nama Hai, Pyara means very loving names. That is the reason we are singing Gopala Tero Pyara Nama Hai, Govinda Tero Pyara Nama Hai, Gopala Tero Pyara Nama Hai. See? Bhajo Radhe Govinda.
    So, a great man is asking all the people to sing this name, sing the name of the Lord who takes care of your senses, one who shines forth in all your senses, and also the one who has taken care of all the cows. See, just like in Christianity, we use the name lamb, they use cow, one who takes care of all of us, we are all cows. You see? So, He takes care of the whole world. Pala means one who takes care of. So Gopala Tero Pyara Nama Hai, Bhajo Rhadhe Govinda Gopala Tero Pyara Nama Hai. This is one thing that we sang.

Raghu Pati Raghava Raja Ram
Patita Pavana Sita Ram
Sita Ram Jaya Sita Ram Sita Ram Jaya Sita Ram
Raghu Pati Raghava Raja Ram
Patita Pavana Sita Ram
Sita Ram Jaya Sita Ram Bhaja Pyretu Sita Ram

    See, and Raghu Pati Raghava Raja Ram. Raghu Pati, Raghu Pati, Raghu Pati Raghava Raja Ram, Raghu Pati Raghava. See, Rama was born in the clan of Ragu. Ragu is one of the individuals who started a clan and he was born into that clan, Ragu. Raghu Pati — Pati means important, important man. Raghu Pati Raghava, one who is born, the same thing. Ragu means the same thing, Raghu Pati, one who ruled in the clan of Ragu, and Raghava, one who is born in the clan of Ragu is called Raghava. Raghu Pati Raghava Raja Ram, king Ram, Rama the king. So, Raghu Pati Raghava Raja Ram, Patita Pavana — Patita Pavana, one who coverts all the sinners into saints, bad people into good people, everything inauspicious into auspicious. The very touch, you know in the story it comes when He touched the stone it became Ahalya. Ahalya was turned into stone by her husband because she had seen, admired someone else other than the husband, so he cursed. So, she was relieved of being a stone by the very touch; and also in the life of Rama so many people were converted into being good. See, Patita Pavana, Patita, one forsaken, Patita means one, those who are forsaken, Pavana, one who makes them auspicious, one who makes them all great. See, just like making dirty people into nice clean people, one who removes all the sins of the people and makes them pure. See, Raghu Pati Raghava Raja Ram, Patita Pavana Sita Ram. Sita’s husband, the consort of Sita, is called Sita/Ram.

Ishwara Allah Teronam
Sabako Sanmati De Bhagavan

    Ishwara Allah Teronam, your names are many out of which we chose Ishwara. Ishwara means Ik, means to rule. Ishwara means one who rules over the whole universe. Ishwara — Shiva is called Ishwara. Ishwara Allah — Allah is the name for the Moslem conception of God. See, Ishwara Allah Teronam, that is to say by whatever the name we call, it doesn’t matter, we have many names. Some people call You Ishwara, some people call You Allah, some people call You this, that, it doesn’t matter. Because, especially in India, Moslems are a minority.
    In order to please both the Moslem and Hindu communities and bring harmony, they formed this bhajan. Ishwara Allah Teronam, Ishwara Allah Teronam, Sabako Sanmati De Bhagavan. De Bhagavan, that is Oh, Lord. Bhagavan means Oh, Lord. Sabako means for everyone. Sanmati means wisdom, right discrimination, power of discrimination, right power of discrimination. Sabako Sanmati De Bhagavan — give, endow everybody with the right discretion and wisdom, Oh, Lord. Ishwara and Allah are names of Yours and You are born in the clan of Ragu, and You are the Lord of the Ragu clan. Such one is Rama, so we pray to Rama, that’s what.
    Raghu Pati Raghava Raja Ram, Patita Pavana Sita Ram. One Patita, forsaken, completely gone bad, a sinner, innermost, one who can remove all the sins and make him pure, that is called Patita Pavana. Pavana means sanctifying. One who sanctifies the sinners. See, that’s the whole thing. This is from the bhakti point of view.
    In bhakti, they call themselves, oh, I am a sinner, oh, Lord, I am this, I am that, I am that. But in Vedanta, that doesn’t hold water because whom are we talking about? Externally, we are men, women, white, black, all these things are true, but far deep within for a knower of the truth what is it? It is nothing but the consciousness that does not have anything. It is teflon like, nothing sticks to that, it cannot be a sinner. You see? It cannot be a sinner, that is the reason the Lord said, “Hate the sin but not the sinner.” because how can we hate the sinner? Sinner is far away, nothing touches that sinner. Whom you call sinner? Sinner is the embodiment, hands, eyes, all these things, but anyway in order to make ourselves low in front of the Lord and to invoke His Grace, we have to call ourselves sinners, “Oh, Lord, we are all sinners, please come and help us.” So even the purest man calls himself a sinner; that is to show his humility, just to show humility, that is all. It is a false humility, but still it is a humility. It is a way of praising the Lord, making the prayer; Lord is greater than everyone else, I am a sinner, I am lowly, and all that, you are great and all that, that is all.

Swami Niranjananandaji


    Often, we have discussed what we are. When we address ourselves, what are we? Once we try to know what we are, then we will know why the activities we have undertaken make sense. We do not understand why we do certain things in life. Why? You should know that no activity is without any meaning. Unfortunately, as we live under the spell of ignorance, we have not been able to explain the activities. So, we draw many conclusions about the activities. We comment, we try to talk about it without knowing what it is, because we do not know ourselves. And, all those activities are necessary to maintain that self.
    When we say, “we,” “I.” What am I? Am I the body, the gross lump of flesh and pile of bones? Am I that one? Next, I can think; I have a mind. So, am I the mind? I see and I do all these things; I hear, I walk, I run. So, does that mean I am the senses? So, what am I?
    As I often tell you in the beginning, we are neither the body, nor the senses, nor the mind. But, we are in them and we are not them. We are in them as the consciousness, as that supreme consciousness, that awareness. Even awareness is a product of that self. The consciousness which pervades, which manifests, it need not take on the body, it need not take on the senses, it need not take on the mind. It can exist by itself, and do all these things and plenty more without the help of this gross existence. But still for its own purpose, it has manifested itself into this, into the body, mind, and senses. All these things are paraphernalia.
    So, that self has identified itself with the flesh, the blood, the body, the shape, the color, all the other things, multi multi million facets, facets of this life. It’s everywhere, every nook and corner, every molecule is invaded by it, pervaded by it. That’s the reason why everything is active, everything is living. We say living organism and dead organism, and all these things. That which makes it live, that life, is what we are. As we have invested ourselves in all these things that we don’t know, we are ignorant of the way in which we pervade in all these things. We cannot understand as long as we are under the spell of ignorance which is necessary to act in this world. As long as that is the case, we cannot understand. We do not know how we got into this, but some of you are tired of it and you want to get out of it. So, that makes it necessary for us to know how we came here. Unless we know how we came here, we cannot get out of here. You see? So, now, every activity is on all these basis — the gross, subtle, on the physical, on the mental, on the vital level and takes place sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously.
    The work is going on in order to extricate ourselves from this involvement. From this involvement we are trying to extricate ourselves, because it is time to get out. We are tired of it. Or rather, we are disgusted about it because we have lost our freedom. Freedom is our nature. That vastness, free, vast expansion is curtailed, which is unnatural, all these things. So for a while, due to the density of the ignorance, we tolerate it. Now the time has come in the course of the evolution that somehow the ignorance seems to be growing thinner. As it grows thinner, we start thinking, seeing things; and once we see ourselves there, we try to extricate ourselves. That’s what we are trying to do since we have become pervasive in all the planes, like the physical, the mental, and vital planes. If you want to get freedom, if you want to be free, if you want to get that original state of our being, you have to extricate.
    It’s not that easy. In spite of dying, we cannot become free. Death is not the freedom. Death doesn’t give you freedom. Conscious withdrawal from all these engagements, all this involvement is only the way to freedom, not otherwise. We are under the impression that once one dies, one becomes free. That’s not true; that’s not the case. On the contrary, you may get more involved after your death. We are not there to see, and only you know what it is. So, it may not be that easy. So, death doesn’t bring the solution, it doesn’t help us to extricate. So consciously, we should make an effort while we are alive. In that state, as I told you, in between death and birth, in that state you cannot do anything. You should be born in order to act. Those activities are necessary. It is they who give you the knowledge. It raises your consciousness as you become more conscious of yourself with more understanding and knowing. That not knowing, that ignorance, product of ignorance that causes not knowing, that becomes thinner and thinner. That feeling that I know becomes stronger, denser. As you start going “I know, I know, I know,” at that same time “I do not know” becomes nullified. You grow in knowledge.
    In order to do that, we have to engage in all kinds of activities when we are asleep and when we are not asleep. When we are dreaming, when we are not dreaming. We are engaging the physical in our activities, we are engaging the mind in our activities, with the senses, all these. The purpose of engaging all these things in our activities is one thing. To know and extricate ourselves, to withdraw from involvement. Simply by withdrawing from the physical doesn’t give you freedom, because you are still lurking in the subtler plains. The senses, the mind, you are there; how are you going to extricate?
    That’s the reason why we always say think positively. Just like when it’s rusted or the screw doesn’t turn, you apply Rustollium, leave it, then it comes out easily. That’s what those activities are. So, that rust-remover is the prayers and the singing. Putting all those beautiful good thoughts into the mind so that mind becomes full of that. It is that which releases that bondage, that involvement in the mind, the mental plain. Slowly, you withdraw from there. When you start filling the mind also with the same thought as you are engaged outside, even without withdrawing from the mind, even if you are involved with the mind, it becomes still, a great thing. Whether you are in the mind or not in the mind, it doesn’t matter because you are equalizing that freedom, that joy.
    So, we are freeing the mind with those thoughts as we actively involve the physical, the senses in the service. So, all these things, every small thing that we do has a meaning. Every activity is diverted towards something, towards the achievement of something, that’s what it is. Achievement is this, complete cessation, withdrawal from this engagement. We have played our game alright. Now it is time, but it is not that easy. We are attached so much, we want to leave this world and become free, and become what I am. At the same time, I have enjoyed so much this world, it is hard to leave it, too. So, we are just removing a peg by shaking, pulling, and pushing. That’s what it is. All these activities are subtler. There are subtler activities of which we are not conscious at all. It is taking place. On the gross, on the outside too, you can see that you are making an effort consciously. So, all these things will join together and make your efforts greater. As it intensifies, as all the activities intensify, corresponding to the degree of that intensity, we become freer and freer, and you’ll feel lighter and lighter. And then, you’ll find a joy for which you’ll have no explanation. All that you can do is enjoy experience, but you cannot explain. Because as I told you, all these things are beyond the guessing of the mind. The mind is incapable, the intellect is incapable of finding or even fathoming what it is. Only you can feel it, you can enjoy it, but you cannot explain it. That’s what it is. Thank you very much.


    Before reaching God, first of all we should know what it is to reach God, the hidden part of our own greater being. That is God. What is God? Since we have been limited with this conception that we are different from God for a long time, it has become a practice, because we are conditioned to such an extent, to distinguish between God and ourselves. As if we are separate from God, and God is something somewhere doing something else. So, we should feel that we are separated, we should pray and do all this. So, we continue that tradition. It’s not a bad tradition, but at the same time people can unwisely exert effort if you don’t know the spirit of it and the limit to which we can exercise that. If not, you’ll be conditioned to such an extent that you’ll never ever go beyond that. For eternity, you’ll be so bound by this ignorance that you’ll be here.
    So, all that we see is only a part of that consciousness. And by enjoying this, it does not mean that we are not enjoying God. By being a part of this does not mean that we are not a part of that. So, we should understand that we are still a particle that we do not want; we want to be whole. That’s what it is. So, that part is called God, of which we are just a part. We are not happy to be a part, and we want to become one with the whole so that we can become whole again. We don’t want conditions that keep us thinking that we are different, that we are not Gods, that we are not the consciousness and that we are not a part of that. No. But anyway, we have to convince the mind and all the others to whom we have become subjects, to whom we have become servants. So, it is dependent upon us to make them know, reassert our position, make them know that we are what we are and that they are what they are. They should do what they should, and we should do what we should do that we are not doing.
    That’s the reason why there’s a lopsided life here. That’s what it is. You have been continuously doing it for a long time. The suffering doesn’t begin and end in one life; it may, not that it cannot. But, in some it happens, while in others it continues for a long time. Depending upon the intensity of the efforts, willingness to accept, and daring efforts to face all kinds of hardships to establish one’s faith, and try to experience it. It takes a long time. So, depending upon what I said earlier, if you are endowed with that intensity, daring, perseverance and all that, it may happen immediately. If not, it may happen slowly. It takes a long time. So in that case, often you must have heard me say; for lives together, we have taken several births. Several times we are dead. So, we are continuing that. Every life, we keep on adding, choosing something, adding something, and slowly, just like a boat, we go four feet ahead, and one foot backward. That’s what we have been doing. So now we have to intensify this effort, continue. So death doesn’t disconnect ourselves from our efforts, and birth is not a new beginning. You see, several times we are dead, and several times born, but still our efforts are continuous even in that stage when neither you are born, or you are dead, you continue to struggle there. Efforts are always there.
    So now, when you are alive, when the wisdom has dawned, when you’re endowed with a good physique, mind and senses, make the best use of them. If you can blend them all together harmoniously and hold them under your thumb, then with their help too, you can progress faster and faster. So that way it will be easier.
    Let us put together all our efforts in doing what we are doing. God is always there to help us. For we are not even for a fraction of a second away from God, nor are we out of touch with God: we are always one with that divinity. As I told you a number of times, it’s that illusion that makes us think we are lowly, that we are martyrs, we are this or that. So, what makes us think this way is the same thing that will make you think the other way, that we are not the weaklings, we are the strength. We are not the body. We are beyond the body. We are conditioned, and all those things. So we have succumbed to this conception, and we are endowed with all these things. You turn around and start thinking, start making an effort to know and you’ll be nearer. You’ll never feel lonely, you’ll always know that you’re never away from God.
    God is within us, we are within the God. When you remove this shell, you’ll see that we’re all one. We are all the Eternal Being. There are no beings, but there is only one being, part of which we all are. Let there be no doubt. Let us enjoy ourselves by being individuals like what we are so that we can sing. About whom are we singing? About our own selves. Who is enjoying? — our own Selves. For whom are you singing? — for your own Self, for our own Selves. On one side you think you are trying to sing to please God; and on the other side, when you Realize, you will see that you are the one who is pleased also. We are the pleasers and the pleased. That’s why in this world we always try to do nice things, sweet things, because it is ultimately we who receive it, we who enjoy it, it is we. On one side we give, and on the other side we receive. So, if you do bad things, you will receive bad things there too. When we go up to a shop, we buy the best fruits, and the best things; when it comes to giving it to God, we go get some change and give fifty cents in the box. We see what cheap fruit is available so we can give it to God. Ultimately to whom are you giving? What you give, that you will receive; that’s not a hoax that’s a truth. Always you should give the best to God. By giving the best. you’ll receive the best. For there is not a transaction between two, there is only one. You are the giver, you are the receiver, you are the enjoyer. Never forget this. Thank You.


    Once you become the whole, you are everywhere, you are everything. You are the whole. That’s the fulfillment of this individual life. God is not separate; that’s the reason why people say God is nowhere else than in your own heart. If He’s in my heart, then tomorrow they are going to see. I want to ask my heart doctor whether he saw. In a sense, it’s a way of saying God is nowhere but here, within you. You are the God.
    You hesitate to call yourself God because people have conditioned you in such a way that if you call yourself God, God will punish you. See, there will be a curse: you may lose your eyes, you may lose your health, you may lose your property, you may lose all these things, you may die — all this fear. Out of fear, we are not prepared to call ourselves God, though we are God. They accept it when you say we are a part of God. But whether you are a part, gold is gold, whether you are this much or this much, gold is gold. So why not just call this gold. So if you say God, then people say, “Oh, he is a stupid man, he calls himself God.” So out of that fear, we are not prepared to accept. We don’t act like God anyway. We aren’t Godly anyway. So whether you accept it or not, you are a small unit, and you are looking to reinvest yourself in the bigger unit, that’s all. That’s the full realization. In between the whole history is there: the whole world, and all kinds of things that we are doing, hanky panky things. That’s what it is, it’s a process. It’s a simple thing; that’s God.
    But don’t accept God just because you are afraid of Him. No, are you afraid of your own Self? No. So you need not be afraid. Nothing is a sin. It is not a blasphemy to say you are God. Maybe you are not full. Ultimately you are going to be full. You realize that you are a part of the whole. As long as you think that you are small, that separate unit, you hesitate to call yourself that. Once you are in the process, and you are already there towards that, then you will realize that you are the one whom you are seeking. It is the ignorance that makes us think that we are not what we are. It has been suggested that we are not what we are, and we have accepted. See, our minds have created, our society has created, my parents have created all this confusion in me. You are a son, you are a daughter, you are a son-in-law, you are a daughter-in-law, you are this, you are that. You are black, you are white, you are from this nation or that nation, all these things. So, you have accepted all of these things. But you are not ready to accept if I say you are God. You are not prepared to accept. If I say you are a fool, you will say, “Yes sir.” That’s what it is: the whole fun is that we are prepared to accept all the other things. So, this is a process that only a spiritualist can initiate you into, give you the courage, show you the mirror, pull you by the hair to put your head down into the river and say, “See, ‘this is what you are.” Then you realize, “Yes, I am a lion.” then you will start your own growing. That’s why there are so few people growing today, because it is only they who saw themselves in the mirror. They realize that they are not what others have said. They are what they are. You see? So, that’s what we must do. That’s what we are all trying to do. Any other questions?
    Q: “Swami, Dan was talking about the power of love, and when I was with Sai Baba (I went there for a little while) people would say God is love, and love is God, and man and God are one. That was a Bhajan they sang. So love is a tremendous power. Do you have to have the paraphernalia and the teacher? And, won’t God come to you Itself, if you love?”
    Swamiji: After all, what is love? Love is also a force. As the sun is a force. It does something. Fire is a force. It does something. Similarly, love does something, doesn’t it? Love does something. So that’s the reason why if I can call fire a God, and wind a God, and elephant a God, then why not love? Does not love affect us. Hatred is also a force. That’s why in the eyes of God there is no love and no hatred. If you accept love, then you must accept the hatred which you don’t want.
    Love is what? What happens is, love is not beyond all these things. When we talk about God and love, that is just a different aspect. Usually when we talk about love, we mean passion, and it is that which creates hatred. Passion, which we call love, is what ultimately leads to an opposite result, hatred. That love is God because God doesn’t create any hatred. That love is a unifying factor. Even the simplest possible man, whom we condemn and reject, is accepted there. God accepts even them. That love is blind; that’s why we say that love is God. Not the other loves, the other mistaken loves. That love is God. Don’t say, “Love is God,” and then embrace somebody on the street. They’ll smack you on the head. You see, our love is a physical love: I love my museum, I love my art and I love my garden. That love is an expression of my appreciation for enjoying experiences of all these things. But, that love of which we are talking about for God, that is a blind love, which covers and encompasses the whole universe. Whatever it is, there is no sinner and there is no saint. Everyone is a part of that. That universality. That love is God. If you love like that, you are God. Because only God can love like that. Even one who brings a gun in his pocket to shoot you, even them you embrace, you don’t run away. So that kind of love, forgiveness, kindness is love. Forgiving is love.These are all the branches of the same love.
    God doesn’t punish, we always say God will punish you. That man should be kicked out fast, because God is not here to punish. How can He punish Himself? I am not capable of doing anything wrong unless He wants me to do it. Because I think I do it, I am punished, that’s all. Neither can I do good, nor can I do bad, unless it is His will. Complete surrender will eliminate that responsibility. You should throw all that responsibility on God, onto the bigger side of yourself. Once you do it, you’ll be free of that responsibility. Then you will see that whatever you do, it will be right because God doesn’t do anything wrong anyway. Even if God kills, it is right because God has a purpose in killing, that’s what we justify. How many times has God not killed? If there is a scab on me, do I not remove it in the same way that God does? But, that’s called killing. When God does it, we say, “See! He killed them in order to save the other one, because one has surrendered, one was a devotee. So to save the one who surrendered, He killed the other one; it was justified.” If I kill, I’ll be shot, it’s justified. You see, all these things happen.
    So that love, that kindness, pertains only to the Divine. That’s why we attach that importance. God is love means that all encompassing love and kindness. That is God. What is the other question?
    “If you are God, and you love God, and you know God sent someone, or God comes to you, if God comes to me, I wouldn’t notice. I haven’t got the faculties, so He can’t come to me like I expect Him. He isn’t going to come to me as a hovering light or anything. I think God came to me and He’s you, and sometimes He comes to me and He’s somebody else. Because those are the only forms I can perceive.”
    See, that’s what it is. We are not able to understand God, and know God. And we are missing Him even while we are shaking His hand because we have conditioned ourselves. We have said, “God is like this.” Bible says, “God is like this.” Baktivedanta has said that Krishna must be like this, and Krishna is God. So only if you see Him, is it God? Then Jesus has said, this is the type of God, and He must have a long beard, and a sword in His hand and all that. But if that’s not there, don’t accept because that’s not God. So, we are conditioned. Hindus don’t like the Christian God, and Christians don’t like the Hindu Gods, and all of us don’t understand Allah. All this confusion — forget about all of this. As I told you, Who is God? God doesn’t come; we start opening our eyes and beholding It, that’s all. God doesn’t come. From where should He come? He’s a homeless man. So He wanders everywhere, He’s full. There’s nowhere He doesn’t move, there’s nowhere where He is not. As consciousness, He is everywhere. There’s nowhere where He’s not.
    So in that case, what does it mean when we say God will come to you? God doesn’t come to you, but you open your eyes and realize. You realize what God is, and you start merging in that, removing all that which creates the differentiation between the whole entity and yourself. On the big vast canvas, you make a circle. You remove all that circle, what will happen? Do you see yourself there anymore? We are all small circles and squares, and all that. So start cleaning that up and you are there; you are one with the canvas, you are one with God.
    From where would God come to you, or where should you walk into God? That’s our way of telling you, that’s all, because the mind cannot understand a lot of things. Even if I tell you in some other language, you cannot understand. That’s what happens. So the mind has its own limitations, and we must understand all this before we can enjoy these things. That’s the reason why we have to say God will come to you, you have to walk to God, and all these things. It’s all words. The truth is that God is everywhere, He is looking after us. How can He look after all that if I suppose God is also like me having two eyes? And by this time He must have glaucoma in his eyes. He’ll not even be looking at me. So what happens is that He is here. Here means He is Everywhere, but I am not seeing Him. I don’t see or feel Him because my eyes are filled with filth. So clean up. As I start cleaning up, my vision becomes clearer and all my feeling instruments become rustless, and you’ll have a contact. You will be a good conductor, you’ll start feeling Him, you’ll start seeing Him, you will start hearing Him, and ultimately what happens? You’ll realize it is your own ego, echo. You are hearing a voice, His voice becomes your voice, your voice becomes His, and that means you are becoming one with that. There is no difference, there is no differentiation.
    So, it is that ignorance which is keeping us aloof from that. I am this, I am that, I have accepted. So for all the ages I have accepted these limitations. So instead of it being a soft thing, it has become a hard core. So I have to chisel it just like the German wall, or Chinese wall because it has become so thick and so ancient. So you have to work your way out in multifarious ways in order to break down that wall which separates you. Once it is done, you are one with the God. That’s what realization is. God is everywhere; that’s the reason why It’s in the sun and moon. So It modifies, Its force modifies Itself. Its presence doesn’t mean that It stays in one status; no, it’s a modification. In different ways God is present everywhere. Without Its presence, table cannot be table, neither can it retain its utility, it’s color, its shape, nothing. From wood we cut it, and make it into a door. Door doesn’t work, then we cut it down and burn it, and it burns. When it burns, it becomes charcoal, it becomes ash. See, it goes on modifying. Ash becomes again a part of the Earth. Part of the Earth becomes something else. So, nothing is lost. Why? Because nothing can be lost. Because where should it go? One way or the other everything is here, and it shall always be here. Resources are the same. Nothing is lost.
    Q: So, everything is just consciousness? Then where is God when the will alters the consciousness to a different vibration which manifests as all these different things?
    Swamiji: The will is the hand of the consciousness. If you don’t have consciousness, you don’t have will. Will is the force of the consciousness. That’s why consciousness itself is the force. There’s no distinction when it works. Will is the product of your consciousness.
    Q:Then will is the first product of consciousness?
    Swamiji: Yes, you must have consciousness first. A dead man cannot have a will, why? There is no consciousness.
    Q: I read in the Upanishads that when you put your consciousness into your heart, you will hear God because you can’t be bothered by your senses there. That’s also where it said your consciousness goes when you sleep.
    Swamiji: Because we are extroverts, we are missing the chance. Our ears are capable of hearing only the things from outside right? Rock music. We can’t hear the soft beautiful music from inside. Also, we can see only movies on the big screen, but we cannot turn inside and see. We are extrovert, and we are so used to that and it’s a powerful conditioning. We are conditioned by these things so much that we miss that beautiful melody. That’s the reason why in meditation we say you need to withdraw yourself. That means let the senses be, let the body be, let everything be. When they’re all asleep, you’ll be awake, and when you are awake you can see everything yourself. What your eyes cannot see, you can see. What your ears cannot hear, you will hear. Because you don’t need the eyes to see yourself, you don’t need your ears to hear. Because it is not an external thing that you are seeking. It is internal, very subtle. In order to know that subtlety, you must become subtle too. So, removing all these things one by one, all that remains is what IS you. When you are alone, you can hear yourself: it is your music, it is your vision, it is your own. Externally, you are a son, you are Ethan, you are all this. But far deep within, you are neither a son, nor a father, nor anything, you are what you are. There is no difference between your father and you, or your mother and you.
    Q: So I’m a manifestation of a desire of God?
    Swamiji: It’s all just differentiation. On the canvas, you can make anything; it doesn’t matter. But when you wipe it off, all that that remains is the canvas. We are all pictures on the canvas, is all.
    Q: Swami, I know a lot about meditating and removing attachment while we are conscious, but what things can you do while you’re sleeping?
    Swamiji: When you are sleeping, you do nothing, but things happen by themselves. We’re endowed with three states of consciousness. Waking is one state, sleeping is one state, and dreaming is one state, half asleep. So, in the dream state you are separate from the body, without your own knowing you’ll be traveling all over and doing lots of things of which you do not know. When you’re awake, you’ll never know what you did in the deep sleep because deep sleep is where your consciousness separates itself from the material being. At that time you are not conscious; your mind doesn’t know, your senses do not know. That’s the reason why you do not know, because you call yourself you. You are the means, the man with the body and all these things. When you are asleep, the body and all those units will fall apart, and your consciousness does what it wants to, like expand itself. It is very stealthy, very sneaky. Then sometimes when you wake up you think. “I feel so nice and I don’t know why.” It’s because of those influences. Even though you can’t see the fire, you still feel the warmth. If I feel the warmth, then there must be something somewhere right? So it influences even the body, the mind, and the senses when your being, consciousness, experiences something and does something. When it comes back and occupies your empty room, then even the mind and other things are flabbergasted. They say, “Something happened, but I don’t know what.”
    In meditation also we sleep, we go into deep sleep, but we are conscious there. Consciously, we make an effort and we realize. That’s why when you come back from a deep meditation, your body and everything is fresh. You will feel comfortable, you are exhilarated. You are not awake externally, but internally you are. It happens spontaneously there and here it happens slowly. You know all the stages, but the mind doesn’t know.
    Q: So what happens when you are dreaming?
    Swamiji: When you are dreaming, you are awake there. What happens is just because you can’t do certain things in the waking state, you do them in the dreaming state as a fulfillment. It is in contrast to the waking state where you cannot do a lot of things. So, instead of doing them outside, you do them inside. Your desire goes into deep subconscious levels, and because there is too much going on it doesn’t have an opportunity to fulfill itself. When you are half asleep what happens is that all your other activities have ceased, so your desire takes that opportunity to wake up. Whatever is there in the deep conscious comes to the surface and acts.
    See, you must remember that far beneath your eyes there is another set of eyes. Far beneath everything, subtle forces are there. These things are there which make the eye see. By itself, it doesn’t see. There is that subtle force, that subtle body. There is a body within the body. That’s what I was mentioning when we were talking about Jim’s grandson. You see the soul comes first, and then comes the mind, and the hand, and everything that has to deal with those things. In spite of having a hand, it doesn’t move unless that presiding officer comes to the hand and says, “All right, lets move;” then the hand starts moving. So, that subtle body is there even in your sleep while the physical body is laid down. Then it goes deep below, and at that time you still act. And, that is the dreaming state.
    But the physical body has to be aware, because it has all those memories. That’s what happens when it eventually settles back down in the physical body, and you are awake. It has that experience still, not the body but the subtler body. See, the subtler body is still partly settled in the physical body; then, the physical body has these experiences without any explanation. See, if you cry in the dreaming state, then in the waking state you can see the tears. It acts. There’s a lot of things that I don’t want to explain today, but if you do certain things in the dreaming state, it affects your waking state also. That’s so you can see, and faintly you can even remember what you did in the dreaming stage because there is that small thin connection. But what happens in the deep sleep stage, you will never know. Any more questions? Thank you, and I think we have enjoyed our session, and it was good. I appreciate all of you having come. It is good that we are growing into a family of seekers. That’s good. I appreciate that you stayed with me the other day. I know you were tired, I was tired. The whole world was tired, but you never complained and were so kind. I appreciate that. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji


    Often, we have discussed what we are. When we address ourselves, what are we? Once we try to know what we are, then we will know why the activities we have undertaken make sense. We do not understand why we do certain things in life. Why? You should know that no activity is without any meaning. Unfortunately, as we live under the spell of ignorance, we have not been able to explain the activities. So, we draw many conclusions about the activities. We comment, we try to talk about it without knowing what it is, because we do not know ourselves. And, all those activities are necessary to maintain that self.
    When we say, “we,” “I.” What am I? Am I the body, the gross lump of flesh and pile of bones? Am I that one? Next, I can think; I have a mind. So, am I the mind? I see and I do all these things; I hear, I walk, I run. So, does that mean I am the senses? So, what am I?
    As I often tell you in the beginning, we are neither the body, nor the senses, nor the mind. But, we are in them and we are not them. We are in them as the consciousness, as that supreme consciousness, that awareness. Even awareness is a product of that self. The consciousness which pervades, which manifests, it need not take on the body, it need not take on the senses, it need not take on the mind. It can exist by itself, and do all these things and plenty more without the help of this gross existence. But still for it’s own purpose, it has manifested itself into this, into the body, mind, and senses. All these things are paraphernalia.
    So, that self has identified itself with the flesh, the blood, the body, the shape, the color, all the other things, multi multi million facets, facets of this life. It’s everywhere, every nook and corner, every molecule is invaded by it, pervaded by it. That’s the reason why everything is active, everything is living. We say living organism and dead organism, and all these things. That which makes it live, that life, is what we are. As we have invested ourselves in all these things that we don’t know, we are ignorant of the way in which we pervade in all these things. We cannot understand as long as we are under the spell of ignorance which is necessary to act in this world. As long as that is the case, we cannot understand. We do not know how we got into this, but some of you are tired of it and you want to get out of it. So, that makes it necessary for us to know how we came here. Unless we know how we came here, we cannot get out of here. You see? So, now, every activity is on all these basis — the gross, subtle, on the physical, on the mental, on the vital level and takes place sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously.
    The work is going on in order to extricate ourselves from this involvement. From this involvement we are trying to extricate ourselves, because it is time to get out. We are tired of it. Or rather, we are disgusted about it because we have lost our freedom. Freedom is our nature. That vastness, free, vast expansion is curtailed, which is unnatural, all these things. So for a while, due to the density of the ignorance, we tolerate it. Now the time has come in the course of the evolution that somehow the ignorance seems to be growing thinner. As it grows thinner, we start thinking, seeing things; and once we see ourselves there, we try to extricate ourselves. That’s what we are trying to do since we have become pervasive in all the planes, like the physical, the mental, and vital planes. If you want to get freedom, if you want to be free, if you want to get that original state of our being, you have to extricate.
    It’s not that easy. In spite of dying, we cannot become free. Death is not the freedom. Death doesn’t give you freedom. Conscious withdrawal from all these engagements, all this involvement is only the way to freedom, not otherwise. We are under the impression that once one dies, one becomes free. That’s not true; that’s not the case. On the contrary, you may get more involved after your death. We are not there to see, and only you know what it is. So, it may not be that easy. So, death doesn’t bring the solution, it doesn’t help us to extricate. So consciously, we should make an effort while we are alive. In that state, as I told you, in between death and birth, in that state you cannot do anything. You should be born in order to act. Those activities are necessary. It is they who give you the knowledge. It raises your consciousness as you become more conscious of yourself with more understanding and knowing. That not knowing, that ignorance, product of ignorance that causes not knowing, that becomes thinner and thinner. That feeling that I know becomes stronger, denser. As you start going “I know, I know, I know,” at that same time “I do not know” becomes nullified. You grow in knowledge.
    In order to do that, we have to engage in all kinds of activities when we are asleep and when we are not asleep. When we are dreaming, when we are not dreaming. We are engaging the physical in our activities, we are engaging the mind in our activities, with the senses, all these. The purpose of engaging all these things in our activities is one thing. To know and extricate ourselves, to withdraw from involvement. Simply by withdrawing from the physical doesn’t give you freedom, because you are still lurking in the subtler plains. The senses, the mind, you are there; how are you going to extricate?
    That’s the reason why we always say think positively. Just like when it’s rusted or the screw doesn’t turn, you apply Rustollium, leave it, then it comes out easily. That’s what those activities are. So, that Rustollium is the prayers and the singing. Putting all those beautiful good thoughts into the mind so that mind becomes full of that. It is that which releases that bondage, that involvement in the mind, the mental plain. Slowly, you withdraw from there. When you start filling the mind also with the same thought as you are engaged outside, even without withdrawing from the mind, even if you are involved with the mind, it becomes still, a great thing. Whether you are in the mind or not in the mind, it doesn’t matter because you are equalizing that freedom, that joy.
    So, we are freeing the mind with those thoughts as we actively involve the physical, the senses in the service. So, all these things, every small thing that we do has a meaning. Every activity is diverted towards something, towards the achievement of something, that’s what it is. Achievement is this, complete cessation, withdrawal from this engagement. We have played our game alright. Now it is time, but it is not that easy. We are attached so much, we want to leave this world and become free, and become what I am. At the same time, I have enjoyed so much this world, it is hard to leave it, too. So, we are just removing a peg by shaking, pulling, and pushing. That’s what it is. All these activities are subtler. There are subtler activities of which we are not conscious at all. It is taking place. On the gross, on the outside too, you can see that you are making an effort consciously. So, all these things will join together and make your efforts greater. As it intensifies, as all the activities intensify, corresponding to the degree of that intensity, we become freer and freer, and you’ll feel lighter and lighter. And then, you’ll find a joy for which you’ll have no explanation. All that you can do is enjoy experience, but you cannot explain. Because as I told you, all these things are beyond the guessing of the mind. The mind is incapable, the intellect is incapable of finding or even fathoming what it is. Only you can feel it, you can enjoy it, but you cannot explain it. That’s what it is. Thank you very much.
Swami Niranjananandaji


    Before reaching God, first of all we should know what it is to reach God, the hidden part of our own greater being. That is God. What is God? Since we have been limited with this conception that we are different from God for a long time, it has become a practice, because we are conditioned to such an extent, to distinguish between God and ourselves. As if we are separate from God, and God is something somewhere doing something else. So, we should feel that we are separated, we should pray and do all this. So, we continue that tradition. It’s not a bad tradition, but at the same time people can unwisely exert effort if you don’t know the spirit of it and the limit to which we can exercise that. If not, you’ll be conditioned to such an extent that you’ll never ever go beyond that. For eternity, you’ll be so bound by this ignorance that you’ll be here.
    So, all that we see is only a part of that consciousness. And by enjoying this, it does not mean that we are not enjoying God. By being a part of this does not mean that we are not a part of that. So, we should understand that we are still a particle that we do not want; we want to be whole. That’s what it is. So, that part is called God, of which we are just a part. We are not happy to be a part, and we want to become one with the whole so that we can become whole again. We don’t want conditions that keep us thinking that we are different, that we are not Gods, that we are not the consciousness and that we are not a part of that. No. But anyway, we have to convince the mind and all the others to whom we have become subjects, to whom we have become servants. So, it is dependent upon us to make them know, reassert our position, make them know that we are what we are and that they are what they are. They should do what they should, and we should do what we should do that we are not doing.
    That’s the reason why there’s a lopsided life here. That’s what it is. You have been continuously doing it for a long time. The suffering doesn’t begin and end in one life; it may, not that it cannot. But, in some it happens, while in others it continues for a long time. Depending upon the intensity of the efforts, willingness to accept, and daring efforts to face all kinds of hardships to establish one’s faith, and try to experience it. It takes a long time. So, depending upon what I said earlier, if you are endowed with that intensity, daring, perseverance and all that, it may happen immediately. If not, it may happen slowly. It takes a long time. So in that case, often you must have heard me say; for lives together, we have taken several births. Several times we are dead. So, we are continuing that. Every life, we keep on adding, choosing something, adding something, and slowly, just like a boat, we go four feet ahead, and one foot backward. That’s what we have been doing. So now we have to intensify this effort, continue. So death doesn’t disconnect ourselves from our efforts, and birth is not a new beginning. You see, several times we are dead, and several times born, but still our efforts are continuous even in that stage when neither you are born, or you are dead, you continue to struggle there. Efforts are always there.
    So now, when you are alive, when the wisdom has dawned, when you’re endowed with a good physique, mind and senses, make the best use of them. If you can blend them all together harmoniously and hold them under your thumb, then with their help too, you can progress faster and faster. So that way it will be easier.
    Let us put together all our efforts in doing what we are doing. God is always there to help us. For we are not even for a fraction of a second away from God, nor are we out of touch with God: we are always one with that divinity. As I told you a number of times, it’s that illusion that makes us think we are lowly, that we are martyrs, we are this or that. So, what makes us think this way is the same thing that will make you think the other way, that we are not the weaklings, we are the strength. We are not the body. We are beyond the body. We are conditioned, and all those things. So we have succumbed to this conception, and we are endowed with all these things. You turn around and start thinking, start making an effort to know and you’ll be nearer. You’ll never feel lonely, you’ll always know that you’re never away from God.
    God is within us, we are within the God. When you remove this shell, you’ll see that we’re all one. We are all the Eternal Being. There are no beings, but there is only one being, part of which we all are. Let there be no doubt. Let us enjoy ourselves by being individuals like what we are so that we can sing. About whom are we singing? About our own selves. Who is enjoying? — our own Selves. For whom are you singing? — for your own Self, for our own Selves. On one side you think you are trying to sing to please God; and on the other side, when you Realize, you will see that you are the one who is pleased also. We are the pleasers and the pleased. That’s why in this world we always try to do nice things, sweet things, because it is ultimately we who receive it, we who enjoy it, it is we. On one side we give, and on the other side we receive. So, if you do bad things, you will receive bad things there too. When we go up to a shop, we buy the best fruits, and the best things; when it comes to giving it to God, we go get some change and give fifty cents in the box. We see what cheap fruit is available so we can give it to God. Ultimately to whom are you giving? What you give, that you will receive; that’s not a hoax that’s a truth. Always you should give the best to God. By giving the best. you’ll receive the best. For there is not a transaction between two, there is only one. You are the giver, you are the receiver, you are the enjoyer. Never forget this. Thank You.

Swami Niranjananandaji


    We often talk about God. God, the word God, becomes only a means of identification. For, indeed, what we mean by God is that entity which cannot be identified without being involved in the shape, color or form. That’s the reason why we call it God. For, we have to perceive that entity through our eyes and ears, or touch with our hands and feel and experience in that way. That’s the reason why we have made that entity into a form, given a name, color, all these things. It is thus that we have to know God. So we call it God; we identify it as God. Buddha is God, Jesus is God, Brahma is God, Krishna is God. We realize, we recognize God with a beard and with a couple of eyes, powerful eyes. And the other one with a beautiful, sober, somber face, all these things. So, it is great; it is really great that merciful God has reduced Itself into the form, the color, imbibing qualities, all these things, in order to facilitate us to realize God.
    This is the beginning of our trial in realizing God. Once we merge in this shape, color, and quality, and all these things, then God will take the realizer into the real state of fact about God where there is neither color, shape, quality, nor any other attribute, nothing. It’s a vast experience, true God, which cannot be explained. Only one can enjoy; enjoy that bliss of being one with God. That’s why it is called Brahman. Brahman is not a name. It doesn’t have a shape, it doesn’t have a color, nor any other quality. It is neither restricted or constricted nor conditioned by time, space, or cause. Thus we have to understand when we talk of God, what we mean by “God.”
    We take the beginning of realizing God as the end, and fight. This God is good, this God is bad, this God is dead, and so on. We have to give up that. As yogis, we have to realize that God is an entity that has mercifully, in order to facilitate us, voluntarily takes upon Itself a shape and color, and makes Itself available within the framework of time, space and causation. In order to reach that true state of God, we have to go beyond all these things: beyond the name, beyond the shape, beyond the color, beyond all such things; then, you merge yourself. Because the moment that you give a name, you are restricting, conditioning. The moment that you give a shape, once again you are conditioning. And again, the moment that you pile upon attributes, you are once again conditioning. And once again, you are restricting it by the time: Jesus was 2000 years ago, Buddha was 2500 years ago, and Rama was 10,000 years ago; Krishna was 5000 years ago, all these things.
    Then why are we singing the name of Krishna and Buddha? So what we really mean is that entity which is beyond time, cause, and qualities had appeared with a mission and disappeared when it was done. The all merciful Lord kills. God destroys too. So, how can God be merciful? So, we should understand, we should go beyond all such things. Then only will you realize what God is. It is That which we are seeking that can only be experienced, enjoyed. You can merge yourself into That, lose yourself. Once you lose yourself, you can lose your own identity, your name, conditions. All conditions will be destroyed everything is destroyed there. All that remains is One, you and God; and ultimately it’s only God since you remain no more “you” but merged in God and lose individual identity.
    So, we should realize when we say God, what do we mean by God? Don’t stop there. Don’t stop at the door. Go! It is vast! Enter into that. It is limitless, far deeper. So vaguely, we call that entity as God; try to find, establish the conception of God. The real conception of God is far beyond all these conceptions. So, because we have decided to reach, approach God through our eyes and ears and all human endowments, we have reduced God to that state, brought Him into these conditions. Mercifully, the Lord has allowed Himself to be conditioned. It doesn’t matter, just a touch, just one contact and you are gone. In order to provide that touch, provide that facility, God has reduced Himself into names, forms, color and attributes. His one intention is that you must get in touch with Him; once you are there, then it doesn’t matter. You are a goner there. God will take you away there into Himself. Until then, we have to understand that what we call God is not limited. For everyone God is approachable, and we have to accept everyone’s conception of God. Ultimately, that is the beginning, and ultimately, they will all be merged in there. One single entity, nameless, colorless, timeless. Until then, you have to accept It in whatever the way It comes. Thank you very much.

Swami Niranjananandaji


    The precious morning, it is very precious for those seekers, for those serious and sincere seekers. Mornings and evenings are best; they never forsake the opportunity to sit in meditation, or sing the name of God.
    What does singing the name do? What does the singing do? As I told you some other time, in the past when things were easy, less population, less greed, less needs — they had a lot of time at their disposal. People used that time for seeking deep within, and expand what they sought within to stretch outside. So within and without, there was always that harmony of being one with the self. Then, they achieved and left a legacy; they left the records. What they did in those days without any technology, we cannot do even with the highest technology. We are even enamored by how they did that. They traveled in space, they went deep inside the very core of this world. They broke open the secrets of the abstract, and they brought us the Truth as Truth is. But in spite of all the technology available to us now, we have not been able to achieve very much. That is, the people of those times were different; their attitude, their purpose of life, their sense of endeavor, and their goals were different.
    That’s the reason why they could do it. Now, many of us do not have goals. Our efforts are so weak, so fickle, and so stupid that we cannot achieve even a little. Can we blame our selves? No, that’s the law, the law of Nature. It’s the changing, constantly changing; it keeps on changing. It brings in that time which I was talking to you a while ago. After a period of time, it brings in a darker period, like the one in which we are now.
    So at that time, they could, at will, concentrate, go deep in meditation, penetrate; they could extricate themselves from the environment. They could free themselves at will from these bondages, they had the greatest will. But those days slowly diminished; the world became a place for all kinds of weaknesses. That’s the law once again; those changes took place, and it started affecting the efforts of the people too. So, now what we are trying to do is understand what they did. More than doing what they did, we are trying to understand, and even that to a very small degree we cannot even fathom what all they achieved. What a glorious period that was! But, even in trying to understand what they did, people have been talking about it for centuries and centuries, but still they can’t even understand.
    So just like they say, Satya Yuga was a great period. And, as I told you, we have entered into the dark ages, the first part; and even in the first part, it is the earlier phase. Though it looks horrible, be prepared. But, the worst happens to those who are afraid. And those who are afraid of the light, the sinners, those who do the antisocial, as anti-divine forces, they are to be afraid — not the people who are simple hearted, devoted, purposeful. They are always in the same age. Dark periods and changes all take place for the beings that are not endowed with that spiritual aspect of life; all of you are endowed with that. You are all great, of that let their be no doubt, to a lesser degree or greater degree. In the water, you are wet whether near the beach or the center of the ocean. It doesn’t matter; you are still great. I am happy to be amongst you all.
    So what happened? In those days everything was available, the time, space. The things that were necessary were all available: good food, little but pure; the atmosphere was free for breathing and bending and all these physical and mental exercises. For all these developments, there was opportunity and capability. Now, we cannot breathe. If you breathe as we used to breathe in those days, you will die, pollution; it is even hard to live with normal breath. How can you have that too? I can teach you many things, but that would hurt your lungs today. We don’t have purity. Still, what people achieved in those days can be achieved today, now. If not one road, as I told you, there are many roads to reach God. Each one has a road. Each of you have a path. Each has to make one’s own path and reach. And if one is desirous, one can make one’s path and reach. Absolutely, there is no doubt of that.
    So, they devised if you cannot go to God, call God to you. That’s why Ramakrishna, that great one, used to say about the monkey, “The monkey jumps from one tree to another; the child, the baby, has to hold on. If it loses its grip, it falls down and dies. But, the kitten doesn’t do that; the kitten says, “meow, meow,” and the mother goes and picks it up safely and puts it somewhere else, in a safe place.” So, that’s the analogy Ramakrishna used to give. So in those days we took upon ourselves the burden of all that, running towards God, and it was possible. Now, we are weak, our minds are polluted, and it has also become physically impossible. There is no time, there’s no energy left, nothing.
    So with all those thoughts in our head, still we have to pursue and we have to reach. God is kind. There was a time when He was relaxing, and people used to go, and run to Him. Now, He knows everybody is suffering from spiritual polio. Now, He runs to the people. All that you have to do is call Him. Singing His Names is calling Him, that’s all. So in the Dark Age, that’s all we can do with the little effort we have, with the little breath, life, lifespan. We say, “Those people lived for five hundred years, one thousand years, it is not a surprise.” But today, when somebody lives for a hundred and twenty years, we take their picture, put it on the front page, and say, “See, he is the oldest.” There were old people all over the world then. So that’s the status. We are in a short span of life, short of breathe, short of everything, what can we do? So that’s what it is.
    If you cannot do that, get up. You need not walk around, you need not dance. Sit down, sit in a place, it doesn’t matter. If you don’t have a watch, don’t worry. Sing, sing aloud. What happens is if you sing, your mind is engaged through the ears. If you have something in front of you, concentrate. The eyes are engaged, ears are engaged, by clapping and all that, hands are engaged; everything is engaged. Physically, mentally and psychically, you are engaged. Once, all these things are engaged, in that sound, that vibration, what happens is you, as I told you, withdraw from every molecule where you have invested yourself as awareness; you extricate yourself from the worldly existence automatically. When they are engaged, when you give a piece of sweet to all these — your eyes, ears, and all these senses, and keep the mind busy — they don’t harass you, they don’t bind you. Then, at that time, you release yourself, you are off duty. You are not harassed anymore; you are not confined. You are free without your own knowledge; without your own knowing, you’ll be flying into that space were you’ll meet the Lord, where you’ll meet your Beloved.
    Without your own knowing, after a while you come back. All of a sudden you realize neither are you singing, nor are you seeing, nor are you hearing. Everything seems like, what happened? Where was I? You remember your singing all right. Singing stopped, everything stopped, what happened? That’s the state, that’s what happens. During the meditation, all those things will be very spontaneous without any efforts. That’s the reason why we sit. Not to please anybody, not to reap anything except the fruits of this process.
    That’s called Bhakti Yoga, devotion. Devotion is to forget ourselves, and to involve in the other self, the higher self. To seek the help from the Divine, and offer ourselves at the altar of the Divine. Surrender everything. In Bhakti Yoga, surrender is one of the key words. The key element of Bhakti Yoga is surrender. That which is impossible, as Aurobindo says, you can become a master of, but to become a slave is impossible. So, with that little ego, it is eating away, and we don’t know what surrender is. The moment that you surrender, it is that surrender, one who knows how to surrender, it is that one who can command. It’s only a good soldier who can become a general. You cannot become a general as a first time soldier. In that order, we should be devotees. As devotees, we should surrender ourselves to the higher element of God. Offer ourselves physically and mentally and vitally. And then, we share the life as a gift from Him as if He is giving us His grace. We should be grateful for whatever He is giving us. We are sharing this world. We are sharing the food that is available, we breathe the air, we drink the water. All these things because He has given us.
    We can say no. It is available, so we drink. What is God giving? Nobody is giving anything to anybody, that is true. But the truth far behind that is, it is He. You can starve. What happens if there is no rain? What happens if the air is withheld, all these things? So we should be grateful. We should learn how to surrender. Surrender doesn’t mean that you have to sell your house and everything, and throw it in the sea. No, no, the attitude. It is the inner attitude that helps. That’s why we say, “Oh Lord, thank You for giving us today’s bread.” He didn’t come and deliver it. You know that it was on sale, and you went and bought two loaves of bread; that’s what you are eating. So in what way did God gave it to you? No, it is the attitude, the inner attitude has to change. If you change that attitude, the whole life, the whole outlook of life changes. Along with that many things automatically happen. Every chip falls where they belong in the puzzle of the spiritual seeking, everything falls into place.
    One thing, one single thing, is surrender. The second is change the attitude. Even in surrender, what do you do? You don’t go and fall; all that you do is from within. “Oh Lord, I am Yours, everything is for You. I live for You, I eat for You, all these things I do for You, and I have nothing except You. It is for Your sake that I live, and die, or whatever it is. Please make use of my will, that’s all.” The rest of the things you do, you marry, you get children, you live, you are happy or unhappy; all these things you have to fight out in this world anyway. But that one attitude that is, “You oh Lord” gives an authorization to the Lord to take hold of us.
    Once you offer yourself, and God has accepted you, it is His responsibility, whatever it is. We support, we are happy, whatever it is; we are sinners, we are saints, it doesn’t matter. We are not concerned; it is His responsibility. Let Him prove Himself. We offer ourselves, that’s what it is.
    That’s the reason why we sing; all these things happen when we surrender. We sing because He is great. When we accept that He is great, it means that we are smaller than He. That beats the ego. Ego is slowly hurt by that and gets small, and weak. We accept this fact. And all these weaknesses, all these things, they are evaporated in one single change of attitude, that I have offered myself unto the highest God, nothing else, but God. One who is the Lord, who is almighty, who is all powerful, all merciful, all kindness. It is that entity to which I have surrendered. That one attitude, that one single aspect would beat all the other things, all the inferiority complexes that I may develop.
    Why? I am a man. I can think. I can do things. Why should I want God? I don’t want, I don’t care. This is the product of ego, but that ego can be shattered. It is hard to play games with the ego; ego is very subtle and very hard. The best way to deal with ego is this: in a subtle way we also offer ourselves to God, and let God take hold of us. He will cleanse us, He will remove all those obstacles. He gives us strength from within, and guides us home. He will put us in the right place, at the right time, for the right thing, and things will happen. They call them miracles. It is not a miracle. Once you offer yourself, to the degree of your surrender, and to the degree of your acceptance, and to the degree of your preparedness, God provides everything whether you go to kindergarten or the high school level; wherever you belong He puts you there. Then, He will develop you into whatever He wants.
        So, let us believe in that. We are all believers; we accepted God for ourselves. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji

    The central purpose of all our efforts is to control or divert the mind. Some people have said later, “kill the mind.” “still the mind.” Others have said, “divert the mind.” keep the mind in diversion so that it stays away from you. When it is away, you can do what you want. In the absence of the mind, you can travel a lot, you can travel high and far. All these are simple things. The only importance is that the mind is fickle and active all the time. Mind by itself doesn’t do anything. It is like a blotting paper; it blots all kinds of things that it comes across: good, bad, ugly, the divine and undivine, whatever. So, in order for the mind not to absorb things which are detrimental to us, they tell us to keep the company with the good; don’t join the company of the undivine because they pollute the mind. Either you keep company of the great ones so that you may derive good thoughts, holy thoughts, constructive thoughts, or keep in contact with the objects that would influence the mind. That’s the reason why many great people shun company, not with any other intention but this intention, not the person. Like Jesus said, hate the sin but not the sinner. So the mind stuff is like the curl of the dog’s tail: however you try to straighten it, it doesn’t straighten, it will come back to it’s own. Instead of trying to straighten it, let it be. Keep away from the curl. That’s the reason why they always say keep away from the company of all kinds of politics and things like this: they pollute.
    For no reason you want to be good, but still you cannot be good because you are influenced; your mind is influenced. As I often told you, it is the mind that controls all the senses. We have no control on the mind. Unfortunately as I often said, we have lost the control of the mind; we have become subservient to the mind. So, mind controls the senses. As the mind absorbs the thoughts, the thoughts are processed. Once the thoughts are processed, they are executed by the senses. And you know that when the senses take orders from the mind and act, then the results are there. And, the results are either good, bad, ugly; it is you who suffers until the day that you distinguish yourself from them. But, unfortunately that is far off. So, the wisest thing is to shun them; be honest within yourself. You are the witness; nobody else watches. We are the witness for our own self.
    So, what happens is, that mind that pollutes us, if it doesn’t have anything else to do, it goes and digs into the garbage can to find out something. See? It doesn’t sit quiet. That’s the way of the mind. Mind does that. It doesn’t allow you to be quiet even for a second; that is its nature. The mind’s nature is verily that. Because we have become subservient to the mind and mind’s agents, the senses, we have been tossed up and down from this goal to that goal. That is what’s happening. That’s the reason why we have not been able to achieve anything in spite of what we want to be. Whatever we want to be, we cannot be because of this subtle state of our position of being subservient to the mind and it’s allies.
    In order to get rid of this situation, you must try to exert on the physical, the mental, and the vital planes of your being to get away from the clutches of this mind. It is that which is called Yoga. Yoga means to get rid of the mind and it’s afflictions which affect us. So long as we are attached to the mind, we have to suffer.
    So, once wisdom arises to exert control, somewhere in the core of your being you’ll know that you are not a victim of the mind. Then, within the process of yoga, instead of you becoming the mind with several aspects, efforts, and endeavors, you slowly and steadily establish yourself as a master of the mind instead of being a slave to the mind. That’s the whole purpose of Yoga. Yoga is to overcome that subservience to the mind and establish yourself as the master. So, bending backward and forward, and standing on the head, these things, they help tire the mind and the body.
    Thus, we approach from one side. Even in one yoga itself, some people approach right from the top. They start influencing the mind, trying to directly approach the mind. No matter what, they are bullies. They try to control the mind, or go into the mind and capture it, and all that. But it is so subtle, it is hard. Many people have failed, and in the notion that they have controlled the mind, they have lost themselves to the mind again. So, the other way around is to slowly but steadily be conscious, and start with the physical, the vital, the psychic. Slowly you develop so that you are there watching them and trying to influence them.
    So, assert. And while doing all these things on the outer side, it’s all outer, what we are doing is physical, bending and stretching, and bending, and twisting and all that. All these things are on the outer. Because what happens if you do not have hands, there is nothing to twist. If you don’t have legs, there is nothing to bend. If you have broken your back, there is nothing to bend. Does it mean that you have overcome your mind and have become a great Yogi? No. But, it is for those who have them; it is for those who have to deal with it, it is for them. But one assertion is this: I am not the body. Unless you have this notion and have conditioned yourself that it is not me, I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am not the senses, I am not the vital, or the physical, or the psychic. But I am what I am.
    What am I? Until you know what you are, you do not know. But, you are other than any of these things. You know the mind, you know the hand, you know the senses; you know all these things, so none of them you are. Because if you observe yourself, you can very well see that you are not them. You say, “my eyes.” “my hands.” “my mind.” Who is that “My” then? If you are the eyes, then you will never say “my eyes.” If you are the body, then you will never say “my body.” Are you the body? You are not the body, that’s the reason why you say “my body.” So you are other than the body, you are other than the mind, other than the heart, other than everything else. But, you don’t know what you are. So, this is the starting point from within.
    So, it’s a two-pronged attack. From within you have to assert, and concertize that notion that I am not the mind, I am not the body, I am not this. I am not subservient to the mind. I am not subservient to any of these. I am what I am. Whoever I am, it doesn’t matter; I’ll realize later. So, from within you must have this. That will give you the strength to deal with the outside.
    I am not the body. What happens at the most if I do this? I will die. I’m not dying anyway; it is the body that dies. First they bury you and make money. Then, again remove you, throw the body away, and then put somebody else in there. That’s what is happening now because we attach too much importance to the body. We attach too much importance to all these stupid things. That’s the reason why we are attached to that.
    So, mind plays an important thing here. It says, oh yes, it is important; your body is important. So how many people are not worried about that? Even after they are buried and they are throwing it away. All these cemeteries, I read about it in the paper, they throw the bodies out; then they are fighting and crying, oh he is gone. He is already gone, she is gone already. The bone, everything is dead, then why worry about this? You did not care when they lived, why do you want to worry, at least you are deprived of that. So, we attach so much importance even when it is dead. Such an attachment; it is that attachment which keeps us bonded to the mind. Mind takes great pleasure in holding onto you through all these things — attachments. Attachment to the body, the mind, you own thoughts, your own things, all these things, it is so subtle. Thank you

Swami Niranjananandaji


    The state of being that we are now enjoying here is only a modification of our true state of being. We set upon ourselves a mission, and then according to the mission we have taken upon ourselves the needed paraphernalia: the body, the mind, and the senses. Whatever we want, we have taken upon ourselves to fathom this, the truth, the reality as it is, as it seems to be. Not that we do not know the reality, but that we do not know that we know the reality; that is the whole thing, that is the whole game. We pretend that we do not know. Unless you pretend that you don’t know, you’ll never embark upon the mission to know, to fathom. That’s the whole game.
    In the process, what has happened is, though we have come out of that darkest region of ignorance, yet we have fallen into that other pit of ignorance. We have subjected ourselves to the ignorance. Ignorance often modifies itself into a promise, hope, guiding into the pitfall, misguiding what we call guiding. That is the reason why we are all in a state of confusion. Because, we think that we have followed. We thought we do not know, so we go in order to find out what we do not know. We go to the sources which we think will enlighten, and unfortunately we meet with the failure, and keep on running from pillar to post until our head breaks its bone. That’s what the situation is. We think other than what we are. That is the greatest ignorance. We have been entertaining that we have grasped, we have been led.
    Into each one of us, if you can turn within, go deeper. As you go deeper into the material world, even one third of that, if you can dive deeper into yourself, you will strike something — the gold mine of understanding, the knowledge, the knowing. You will start knowing, which is quite different from what you think you have been experiencing outside. Then, that will lead to hope, real hope, the joy of being there at the right time, the right place.
    We have not done that. We have fallen into the wrong hands; we have taken the wrong road. Getting nowhere, that’s what has happened. We have been confined because we have not been able to be strong. We have no faith in ourselves. We have become cowards. That is the reason why we are paying heavy penalties in life. Life is short, average is seventy four years in America, and elsewhere it is thirty two years. So within that, what can you accomplish? People have accomplished a great deal. For two thousand years, we have not even been able to understand what they have gained in thirty one years. Look at Jesus, look at Sankaracharya, look at all those great people. They have lived for only thirty two years and we have not even been able to understand them even after two thousand years. What a shame we haven’t understood. We have been trying to understand the interpretation of what they have done. That interpretation is often misinterpretation.
    That is the reason why we have not been able to reap any harvest, in spite of all our struggle. We have been led into wrong hands. We have been bound by a lot of these, what they call themselves, teachers, the masters, soothsayers. Talking about the future without knowing the future. Talking about the past without knowing what the past was. They themselves are in the confused state along with us, and we are following them. That’s the whole problem. We are all capable my friends, turn your gaze within. Everything is within. You are the master, you are the student. You open your eyes within, open your ears within, see the vastness within. Then you don’t run hither and tither. Your salvation is within.
    What is salvation?: understanding, knowing, the fullness of knowledge. That’s the salvation. Beyond salvation is what only you have to experience. We have been mislead, we have been victimized by the desires and passions of the others who call themselves the masters, the guides. That’s what has happened. We must find a true teacher. Once you are sincere, faithful, you are led into them, they will come to you. Wait, don’t run, and at the right time the right thing will happen. What happens is how are we to know who is the right, who is the wrong custodian of our lives, our mission, our everything? We surrender to whom? Should we do that? To whom should we not?
    He is the teacher who takes full responsibility and guides you in spite of full resistance without seeking any fulfillment in return. He is more interested in you and your welfare than his own welfare. That is a teacher. And he is not a teacher, she is not a teacher, who tries to hold you back from your progress. What will happen? It is the duty of a teacher in a primary school to teach you the A B C’s. I salute them, they taught me the A B C’s. But he never held me back; he didn’t say, “I taught you the A B C’s, so stay with me for all the eternity.” No, he said, “My son, I have taught you the A B C’s so make use of these A B C’s; go ahead.” So, I left him and went to the next. So with the A B C’s, I started putting them together, c as in cat, m as in mat, r as in rat. Is it a sin to have gone passed the teacher who taught me A B C’s and to the teacher who taught me to make words out of those syllables? Then he said, “My son, you have learned c as in cat, m as in mat, r as in rat, now go on.” and he pushed me to another teacher. These are all great teachers. You should bow down to them. They never held us back. They were interested in us, they pushed me further. So that teacher further taught me how to read, how to write, how to compose — so with every teacher. Maybe in our lives we come across so many teachers, everyone is helpless. Anyone who pushes us further and further and further, they are the great ones, they are true. Though he taught me only A B C’s, his knowledge is not only A B C’s, it’s far beyond A B C’s. But he gave me only that because it was only my capacity to understand. Now as I increase my capacity to digest, understand, my receptivity is open to another teacher. My other teacher teaches me.
    Anyone who pushes you further in your progress is the right teacher. Anyone who holds you back, pulls you back, takes you deeper and deeper into the dungeon — don’t do this, don’t experience this, don’t question. This is the stupid teacher who is more detrimental to your progress than no guide. They are not your guide. If I do not know, I should be able to tell you, “My son, I do not know. This you must go to some other people who know. Then when you know, please come and tell me too. I’ll be happy.” That should be the spirit of the teacher. Only such people can be our teacher. Under them, you can go fetch everything in this world; there is nothing which is beyond. But unfortunately in this iron age, the delusion of Maya has spread her sheet of delusion which has blinded us. We have become deaf to the right music, and we have closed our eyes to the right sight. Still, we think we are great.
    Now this is the time that you must regain your independence, become independent. You have learned your A B C’s, you have written, you have gone far beyond that. You are great, each one of you are the masters of the future; in each one of you I see that light. Within your own capacity, within your own circle, you can shine. You may not be the suns now, but you are not less than the moon, your light brings a lot of joy and happiness to the other souls. Their joy will bring you greater joy. The greater the joy, you will try to do greater things. And, the greater the joy, greater light, brighter light. It is all within yourselves.
    Try to take a few minutes every day to look deep within yourself. Don’t depend on anything; depend on God. Whether you know it or not, He is the light, He is the Hope, He is the Guide, and He is the Goal. You may not see Him; He sees you. That is more important. You may not touch, you may not know where He is, so He can touch you. He knows; He can embrace you. You may not have faith; be strong, don’t be a coward. You are capable. There are masters guiding you. There are masters taking care of you. You will never do wrong, even if from the social point of view it is wrong. We are human, God knows we are human. At the right time, the right master will do the right thing for us. Don’t fall into wrong hands. Don’t fall into the pit. Exert, brighten yourself. You are all made to be the great ones; you are the hope of the future, my friends. You are all there, you will all be there. God be with you. Let you be successful in your spiritual endeavor. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji


    We have often discussed the nature of this world. What is this world? The world means what we see and what we can imagine. These are two things that both combined together are called world. That which we can physically see, that is substantial. Though it looks like it is limitless, it has its own limitation; and far beyond that, it extends into that which we cannot penetrate physically. So, we have to penetrate through our own imagination. So, these two things make us feel what we imagine and what we see and feel in this is world.
    So, we are part of this world. But, is it the right conception, is that all of the world? So, just imagine for a while that this world we see bound by water and the land, that which exists, the trees and mountains and all these and all the others keep changing; one goes down, then comes up and so on. This is one unit. Though to the physical eye we have come to know there are several like this. Once, those who lived in the West thought that this is only the universe and it took them a long time to realize this is only a tiny spot and there is something else. It took them a long time to realize, yes, yes, there seems to be China and India. There seems to be something else. Then they started realizing many more things, so they looked at the stars and the moon. So, our limitation stretched beyond that limitation and our zenith reached beyond that, beyond our planet to the next and next and so on. So if you keep on going on like that, where is the limitation? Where do you put the line and say that is it? Can you do that? It is limitless? What is limitless?
    So, that which is part of what we see and what we imagine is limitless. We call it limitation because that is the extent to which we can go. Ask those who have given up, who haven’t gone beyond because they are limited. Our eyes, our legs, our whole being is limited. So, what this limited being perceives is also limited. That’s the reason why we talk about limitation.
    So in order to find out, let us start from ourselves. Throw away all of these things, limitations. In order to achieve that, you will have to go through a process in which you can understand yourself. Try to isolate yourself and understand your own nature and compare your own nature to what you have drawn upon yourself that makes you think you have a limited scope, you are a limited being, you have a limitation. So once you understand that, you can extricate yourself. Then what happens is you see the limitations. But where is that limitation? Limitation forms an area within the limitlessness. It’s only imagination. Limitation is only imagination. That’s what you will understand once you try to get out of this limitation which makes you think you are limited. That’s the reason why you are always constricted. You do not go because you are always saying, “Oh, this is the best I can do; this is what I can do.” Thus, we have limited our own selves; we have become constricted. We are somewhere “there” and the process by which we try to understand that and come out of it is called yoga, the process which helps us realize that limitlessness.
    Our own being must first come out, then you will understand, “Oh, we are one with that which has absolutely no boundary.” At once you will realize all that you call limitations, all that you called this planet and the next planet and the next solar system, several solar systems, the whole universe and all those things. You will laugh at them, because where are they? They are within your own self. You are the limitless, Limitless-Truth-Absolute. You are the absolute.
    So, in our wrong conception that is influenced by our own limited being here, we have been going round and round and round. We have passed many times the same spot many times. We say it is vast. We say it is big. We say it is limitless. We conceive the idea of limitlessness. Once we are tired of reaching that, once by chance you tumble over that, you will realize, “Oh, that is not the limitation. This is not it. It extends beyond.” At that time you will start thinking, “Oh, it is limitless; this universe is changing every second, every fraction of a second.” But, you will be talking about limitlessness without having known or felt the limitlessness. Because even when you call it limitless, you must remember you will be moving within your own sphere of limitation. Because you will be moving so fast, so many times, and the nature of it keeps on changing. Changes are so subtle and you are subtler still, so you’ll be moving around within that limitation and you’ll be running over the same spot from where you start several times. Without even knowing you are crossing the same thing again and again, because you are constantly moving and the things are changing. You will come to an idea, “Oh, it is limitlessness.” I say once again, wrong conception. It is a delusion. Limitlessness is when you get over these limitations, all limitations: mental, physical, psychic, and then become nude, completely nude, devoid of all or any influence on you. You become pure, absolute. Then at once, you are there with what is that consciousness, that light, which is not subject to any of these limitations. It is vast. Vast means you can’t even imagine, mind cannot reach. That’s why they say, “God says that is My space from where you do not come back.”
    You do not come back, because where do you go? First of all, in order to come back, you keep on going and going; and are you going? No, you feel as if you are static. You become one with oneness. You become one with what is the limitless consciousness. That is limitlessness. That’s what we all are. But unfortunately, we are trying to measure that limitlessness with what we have, the yardstick of our own limitations, even to our own imagination. Far better than your eyes and senses, the mind can take you far beyond the imagination, but still the imagination cannot even reach that limitlessness. Unless you become one with that limitlessness, whatever it is you may call it, God you may call it, consciousness you may call it, hundreds of things, by a thousand names, it doesn’t matter, that’s what it is. Anything which helps you to reach that salvation, to get out of all this, is yoga. That I told you, to become one with that limitlessness, whatever it is.
    Once you become one with that, that’s what you are. That is the salvation. Once you have become that, you will never become anymore. We have already become. From becoming, we will have to achieve a status of being what we think we are, the being. So, it has a limited meaning, what our being is, that far beyond this all kinds of becomings — becoming and becoming and becoming. We should stop and go back to the remote origin from where nowhere, no center, nothing; words cannot express that. Only you have to make an effort, try to reach, realize. Any kind of effort that helps you to get over all these things, and reach that, is called yoga. Yoga doesn’t mean only standing on your head, because anything that leads you away from these limitations and takes you into that limitlessness, that which brings you salvation as you call it, that which brings you closer to the gate, the place of achievements, all achievements, the pinnacle of your life’s ambitions, that process is called yoga.
    So yoga itself cannot be contained to only one aspect of life. Our life is vast and spread like a design on a big sheet of glass which is complicated. It is beautiful, but at the same time it is complicated. It has gone everywhere. Try to untangle the thread from the sewing box and you will understand. Very often we get tired of untangling and we start cutting it piece by piece. It is like this, the life is like that. So that’s the reason why the process is tedious, it needs perseverance and hope; you should never have dejection or disappointments. You have your own limited faculties — intelligence, physical, mental, and limitations. You are a victim of all these limitations; within that you have to work on slowly, you have to build strength. So, that’s the reason why Mother has said you must not grow lopsidedly but as a whole. You must have a strong physical, strong mind, strong senses, and strong will. Put together, all these make you completely strong, and it’s only with strength that you are going to get over this.
    You’re not going to fight this world. Very often we talk about this, “Oh, we have to fight this anger, we have to fight this, and this, and so on.” By fighting, we are succumbing to those with whom you are fighting. There’s no fighting. We have to be wise, understand, and get over slowly and steadily. There is no hurry. Very often in almost all the religions, they talk about the time, “Oh, time is passing; come on, be quick.” Yes, that’s true, when you belong to this world. When you have decided not to belong to this world and go beyond, there is no difference between what you have to achieve and what it is, because ultimately what is that which we seek? The limitlessness is passing through you and the limitations. Right?
    Limitation is only part of the limitlessness. Is it by itself a different thing than what we see, these limitations? No. So, it is passing through consciousness; it is everywhere, even in the changing world. Everything is within us. What is within us is without us, and what is within and without is encompassed by that which we seek, which we try to become. What we seek to become is what it is to be. Being, that’s the process. That’s the reason why in yoga, we slowly try to work on each layer. Establish, work out, extricate yourself slowly and steadily like we try to remove a plant from the soil. It has all the hair roots. We have to slowly pull one by one, if you want to transplant. Slowly and diligently, that’s what we have to do. We cannot at once pull this and that, because then you will be suffering. We are here. We have been here for a long time compared to our knowledge. So, now we have decided we want to transplant ourselves elsewhere. So, we have to pull all the roots, slowly, diligently; that’s what yoga is. That’s why Arjuna is told, “Skill in action is yoga.” Skill in action, any action, it doesn’t matter —sleeping, talking, walking. Slowly, those final moments show how diligently you have been working on those things, on those aspects. Once you are out there, then it is easy for you to fly into that space.
    So yoga doesn’t mean that you only have to bend backward and forward. If it’s an action, it’s a yoga; but each action brings out each result. What is the result that you seek? In order to achieve that result, what do you have to do? In order to do that, what you do is yoga: conquer. Very often what I see is people who try to do yoga, they start talking. They go to a seminar or a few classes, paying twenty dollars an hour and then come out and say I have conquered. I am going to conquer; each time you think you are conquering you are being conquered. That very ego that you have conquered, you do not know. While you are trying to hold it, you are being held behind; you are being pulled back. Conquering is not the word; there is nothing to be conquered. By understanding each thing, you are conquering it. If you want to conquer, you must understand it. Once you understand, it is the conquering. There’s no fight; there’s no fight absolutely.
    So we will continue this talk about yoga once in a while. It’s vast; it is interesting. It’s nice. There are many misconceptions about it. We have made it so cheap, and so we are still under the impression. Slowly, we will try to understand. When we understand, we will realize. When we realize, we will start doing the right thing for the right purpose. Then we will start reaping the right fruit. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji


    Once there was a dry season. There was a scarcity of water everywhere. So a man in search of water took the advice of his friend and went to an engineer. He told the engineer, “My friend has said you are an expert in finding water, you seem to be a water diviner. Please let me know where I can find water.” He said, “Well, to get water you need to dig 100 feet and then you’ll strike water.” He came back and started the digging. One day, he dug about five feet; then he became tired. The next day he went to market, and said well it is time; by the time I get home it’ll be too late, so I had better dig a few feet now. So he dug another two feet there. Then he went on and dug elsewhere. So he had dug 100 feet: five feet here, ten feet there. Then he went back to the engineer and said, “You told me if I dug the 100 feet, I would strike water. I dug 100 feet and even more, no water.” The engineer said, “Okay, come and show me.” So he took him to all the holes, and said, “See 5 feet here and five feet there, and then they all add up to 100 feet or more.” The engineer said, “ Oh my gosh, I have never come across a client like you. See, I should have told you to dig one hundred feet in one place to get water. He said, “ I didn’t know that.”
    That’s what happens in our lives, especially our spiritual life. We meditate every day for years, and we keep on singing every week. We keep on doing many things but, how come we don’t experience what we expect to experience? We have not struck water yet, why? That’s what the story is. We should be persistent, we should have a timetable; regularity is necessary. Do little, but do regularly. If you want light continuously, there must be contact to give you light. In the same way, we must have contact. Persistently, we must keep on practicing, then you’ll get somewhere. If you keep on practicing haphazardly what happens is, the efforts are there, but they don’t yield anything. Your efforts are appreciated, it’s good. But it doesn’t yield the result, because it is not dug in the same place. So, we should always remember that.
    Do little, it doesn’t matter how much you do it, but do it consistently. That’s what every teacher has taught, what every master has taught. Especially my master, he told us many times, “You need not sit in meditation for two hours today and tomorrow, and then take off for the holiday, and then start again on Thursday.” Once you get into this Circle, once you are drawn into this habit of meditation, be sure to arrange a consistent time and place. Select a corner in your house, a small place with one sheet or small mat. If you decide to do it at 6:00 in the morning, then every morning at 6:00 you’ll be drawn there. The moment you get there, you will be drawn deeply into meditation. You’ll enjoy it, you’ll see it.
    So, it will help. It’s like digging the well in one place. That’s what I did in my life. I’m not telling you anything about what I did in my life — I drank the sweet water. That’s the reason why I’m telling you to dig in one place. I never allowed anyone in my room; I went there only when I had to go there. I made it into a temple. So, what happened is the moment I went there, I entered into deep meditation. Because we’re creating that vibration there, that magnetic field of spiritual environment. It’s helpful, sometimes even when you are dejected, even when you are lethargic, you force yourself. You have to create a little will. The moment you go there, it’ll draw you. The moment you sit there. You’ll be drawn into deep meditation. And when you come out you’ll say, “It was good I went there.”
    Always remember that anti-divine forces won’t allow you to continue in seeking the spiritual heights. You must be very careful. That’s why the super intellect, the discriminative, should be exercised there. You shouldn’t say, “No meditation today, I’m tired.” I use to be tired too, but it didn’t matter. I had to force myself. I did everything and it yielded results. So we must try to select a place, select a time. Then someday it will take over. You retire there at that place, and at that time, and they’ll take over. They’ll help you. Even if you go there when you’re not in the mood, the moment you go there you’ll get into the mood. It will supersede all your moods. So try this.
    There are many of things when we talk that look like a contradiction. It is not a contradiction, but in the context that we talk it is very important. Often we talk about giving up things, the when and why, and under what circumstances. Giving up of what? In one sense we talk about giving up, and the other sense we talk about accumulation, all these things. People will be confused about all these. So, it is conflicting if you don’t understand what context it is said in. So, all those things are necessary because, as I told you just now, we must select a place, time. Just to try and make a habit of that. So it is binding. If it is not binding, you may subject yourself to the will of something else. In the beginning, it becomes necessary to subjugate ourselves to all these things. Once you get over this, then no matter where you are, you can meditate. Napoleon Bonaparte would take a nap just on the horseback for a few seconds, or may be a few minutes. But, he could wage a war throughout the day or night. That’s the will. So, once you develop that, you’ll stay in that particular state. That’s called Samadhi. It becomes as natural as driving. Not drunk driving, but driving. It becomes like second nature.
    The same way with many of the Saints and Sages. They ask us to meditate, but we never see them meditate. They tell us to sing the name of God, but we hardly see them singing the name of God. They’ll be sitting like a bump, because we see the outside not the inside. They have done all that all day long that we are talking to you about. Because, you are at the stage where they were, a long, long time ago. Now, they have reached a stage where they have withdrawn into themselves, where they need not do anything. There’s nothing to do. Because there is neither mind, nor body, nor senses, nor anything to achieve, nor anything to give up — none of these things. They have become just like dried coconut in the shell. You see, it is not attached to the shell. It is freed. That is the reason why you don’t see them singing, dancing; you don’t see them do anything. They tell you to do this, and do that, and do this. Unless you ask, they don’t even tell you. Until you are ready to go there, you will not even meet them. So when you meet them, you don’t feel like asking, because without asking they have already answered. Whatever question arises, he opens up the book where you find your own answer also in their presence. It is that capacity that makes them what they are.
    So, you will also reach that stage, if you go through this process. Later on you need not sit in one place. You need not sit at 6:00. That 6:00 becomes 6:00 all the time. Every place becomes the same place. So under whatever the condition, or whatever the circumstances, you’ll still keep on doing that once you reach that stage. So, in order to reach that stage, you must make an effort now — sincerely, regularly. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji     PURPOSE OF LIFE

    When a man thinks of the objects, attachment for them arises; from attachment desire is born; from desire anger appears. From anger comes delusion; from delusion loss of memory; from loss of memory the destruction of discrimination; from destruction of discrimination he perishes.

Bhagavad Gita, 2: 62 & 63

    Our one single purpose of life is to realize God. In what way, as I have said so many times, it doesn’t matter. Whatever the way others have talked, the ultimate purpose of our life is to realize what God is and what our relationship with God is. Why do we want God, if at all we want God? If it is only the sole purpose of this life, why God, why not something else? The beauty is, even if you take the purpose of your life is to seek something other than God, but still what is that something? There is nothing without God’s presence in one way or another.
    So God, what is God? Since we do not know what God is, whatever we seek seems to be God; that is the whole purpose. That is the reason why we see in the past process of the evolutionary age, many people tried to do many things. It has become a part of their culture; different cultures in different places at different times have started doing many things. Some worshiping stone and some worshiping stars and some worshiping water; offering something and taking something and imagining, making use of the mind and its power. All these things, all acts, if you analyze, it becomes clear there is something which everyone of us has been seeking without knowing what. That is the reason why the people who have found an answer have told us it is God. And it is indefinable. The more you try to define God, the more you start denying God because God is something which cannot be defined. If you start defining, you will be confining Him. He is beyond confinement, so He cannot be defined.
    So, that is the very reason why if a hundred people say, “We saw God,” and each one gives a different structure of God, we have no right to doubt or reject them. And yet, you may not see God in the same way, you may find in your own way; you will come out with another structure of God, and say, “This is God”; all that is true.
    Since God is not confined, being beyond definition, God is everywhere. In everything, God can modify in a zillion ways, inside and outside; except God, there is nothing. What we see, what we feel, what we know, what we do not know, what we touch, what we don’t touch, what we see, what is in existence, what is not in existence; substratum of all this is nothing but God. It is God that manifests everything. Everything derives its reality, its sustenance, from that one single source, which is God. And God is everywhere, in everything. As we talk now, God must be hearing and laughing, nay most probably smiling.
    So from that point of view, that’s what all the religions, though they confine you to some ideology, try to talk about God, ultimately they fail to lead you anywhere because in order to know real God and meet God, your independence is more important. That’s the reason why you have become an individual; if not, why should He not have made a hundred people a group and one bunch. He did not; each one of us is independent.
    Freedom, your thinking, your actions, your experience, everything is individualized. And your reach, approach to God and experience with God is also individualized. So long as you think that you have to follow something and somebody, and you want to reach the same thing in the same way, you will be a failure. God is a pathless land and you have to tread your own path. Every time you make a print and lift the foot, the print vanishes; nobody can follow, nobody. That is the wonder, that is the beautiful thing.
    And it is certain, let me assure you this, none of you is going to be deprived of meeting Him. Let me assure you that; it is the guarantee. His love and His compassion knows no bound; the more you seek Him, He seeks you all the more. Let us have that faith and pursue in our own way. Don’t be cowed down, don’t be discouraged, don’t get disheartened. It takes a long time; time is no factor for those who believe in what one is doing when you have confidence in your efforts. Patience pays.
    That is the reason why many people have talked about many of faiths. I was an orthodox Hindu, and I tried in those orthodox ways too. I read some scriptures too, I heard elders telling me many things, “If you want God, you must give up everything.” First, I was taught that I must work hard, I must learn, go and do things, educate myself, take a job, do something, get rich, make money. That is the way; that is what the life is. And as I grew in that line, then another thought came by, “No, ultimately what is this life after all, where does the money take me, where does this fame take me, where do all these will lead to, no, then what is the purpose of this life? God.” So they didn’t tell me what God was. Anyway, they told me that the purpose is you must seek God. All right, how? When they said, “Oh, you must do this, do that, do something else.” No, you need not. That is what I say today. At that time, I accepted, you must do what freely you feel like doing in all sincerity to attain that goal of realizing God.
    In the earlier days, the people told me that I must accumulate wealth, name, fame and such things, and I must become worldly and material. Later on, it turned out to be that I must start giving up things. Whatever I have, I must “Tyena tyektena bhunitah.” only those who give up will enjoy God, the ultimate bliss. All right, I started giving up things. What did I give up? Ultimately, I said I gave up everything as I told you a story, after I became a monk, the winter came and I was shivering. I went to my Master and told Him I want a sweater. He asked, “What did you do with your sweater?” “I gave it away.” and he laughed and said, “Stupid man, you don’t know what a monk is, monk means from within, and not without. This is the body, and the body has needs, whether you are a monk or not. Nature doesn’t care whether you are a monk or a child or a old man or this or that, whatever, it doesn’t matter, cold is cold, winter is winter.”
    What to give up in the first place? Is it not foolish to even think of giving up? In order to give up, I must have. So, there must be something which belongs to me. What belongs to me? I, myself, do not belong to myself. I belong to God. I, myself, do not belong to myself, and what else can I give up? Neither it is a fact that I accumulate, nor is it true that I give up. There is nothing like accumulation or giving up; there is nothing like giving up. What it is first of all, I don’t have anything of mine in this world; everything is His. I am borrowing it. He has allowed me to wander in this beautiful garden of His. Anytime, He may say one kick and I will be out of the garden. So as such, what are we to give up in order to seek Him? It is He who has given us all these beautiful worlds!
    And also life, just see, look at your own life. We cry day in and day out, I want this, I want that. Why? It doesn’t belong to you; if it was belonging to you, you should have had it. It doesn’t belong, that is the reason why you want it. You have a desire for that, and in spite of that all of your desires are not fulfilled because you have a right to desire, but you have no right to fulfill it. That is, fulfillment comes from somewhere else. So what you deserve is already given to you; that is all you deserve. You are born here; you have come here for a particular purpose and whatever is necessary has been given to you. Much more than that, it is foolish to ask.
    That is the reason why contentment is most reasonable, not giving up, giving up is a wrong attitude. We cannot give up anything. But, in the sense of attachment, yes, that attachment should be towards God, and detachment towards the material world. From that point of view, giving up makes sense. Don’t have attachment to things; if it comes, comes, goes, goes, who cares. From that point of view giving up means something — giving up attachment to desire.
    I struggled for a while there. I have to travel, I must have money. I cannot work; monks do not work. They are nonproductive organ of the society, and lazy buggers. So, what to do? All these questions arose, I have taken a vow of poverty, and now I want to travel. Why not I walk? No, because I want to be there early. All kinds of things, it is such a knotty problem; simple, simple life we make complicated by ignorantly thinking without knowing the inner meaning of these dictums. When they said “give up.” it means giving up the attachment and be content. Be content and give up attachment, and your life will be calm and quiet, and you will have a lot of time to think of God, and work out. That is the reason why monks are expected to give up everything. And they do have faith in God, and God gives them what they deserve. What?: Food, a little food just to sustain the body, water, they always live by the unpolluted, at that time, rivers were pure an unpolluted, now everything is polluted. Some bottled water, and a place to lie down when tired or sit under a tree and meditate No charge!
    So, he is a monk who goes down, according to the scriptures, “Ganga bahta bhala, Sadhu chalta bhala.” this is all a seeker needs: the vessel to beg a little piece of bread, and the sky is our cover, and beautiful garden, the Mother Earth. And there are trees, sleep under the tree. Who cares? No rent, you need not pay mortgage, nothing, you are happy. So, that was at that time; now, they will arrest you if you sleep under the tree. You have no right even to lie down under the tree, and still we want God, and we are in God’s hands!
    So, we have made ourselves so complicated; we have made our life so complicated and seeking has become a problem, all these things because our mind is full of this confusion. Simple, it is a bunch of simple facts we have made it into a big problem. So that’s where people, especially the religions, all the religions, every religion, make use of the simple hearted people as the targets. Instead of helping them to reach God, they are putting them down, and confining them to this material world. See, they are going down, and they are going down along with all those people who hold on to them.
    Each one of you should be your own religion. What is religion, after all? It has a definite meaning; it has only a definite purpose. Purpose is to lead you; anything that doesn’t lead you, you should give up. Do you keep a scorpion in your pocket? It doesn’t help you, it stings you. That’s what it is. Each one of you — religion is what leads you unto God, your own heart. Ask. You will form your own religion within your own heart. Follow that and it will lead you; by following others, you are following them. And they go to hell, and you will also go to hell. By following yourself, even if you go to hell, it is your own hell.
    So, unless you are daring enough, that is the reason why in all our scriptures they say you must be a hero, you must have that heart, you must be a strong person in order to pursue God. God will come down to only one who is strong enough, who can face all these odds. And it is simple, very simple. You need not complicate your life at all; all that you have to do is clear the whole thing, and start with a clean plain white wall. You can see the projection there; that is all that you have to do. Your love, your attachment, everything is God; involve God in everything, in every activity, every thought, and it will be His responsibility, and He will lead. He will never try to mislead. He will never try to do things that doesn’t help you to reach Him because His force will be there.
    So thus, we have to understand. It is simple, and also, what is God? Why do we want God? We are talking about something which, without knowing, asks what is God anyway? Why do we want God? We should remember, all that we seek is some fulfillment. What is that fulfillment? For the mind, there is some fulfillment, something yes, for the senses, some fulfillment, for the physical, there is something which is a fulfillment, but for my soul, that indweller, the bliss born of union with the Divine Father — one God!
    We talk of joy, joy to the world. What is joy? Joy is a mental status. It is just a mental status. And it is easy to be joyful now and next minute you have a pain. But when you think of that bliss, bliss doesn’t depend on anything; joy depends on things, it is a by product. But bliss, by itself it is self-effulgent. And it is that bliss which is the very nature of God. God, what is God? You can say bliss. Bliss is God; bliss which doesn’t depend on anything, which is everywhere. Seek and you will have it. And as a part of that universal bliss, this indweller understands, knows. I do not know as a man, but that which makes me a man inside, it knows what it seeks; it seeks itself, the bliss. It is only the bliss which gives the contentment to my soul, and rest of them is all joy. We say joy, joy, give me joy; all right, joy is a temporary mental status. That’s all. You go and eat pizza, and by the time you reach, you will be searching for that bottle. You want acidity, you want anti-acid. Where comes the joy? Bliss is not that. Even under great pain, physical pain, mental pain, any kind of pain, still I can enjoy that bliss. I can be in a state of bliss. That never can be disturbed. But if you go deeper inside, meditate, go deep, and establish yourself in yourself, identify yourself with yourself, and once you establish that state, you will be the blissful self no matter what. Outside, you pretend as if you are suffering. But far within, you are laughing when people ask, “Are you suffering? How are you?” You laugh. But far within yourself, you have immersed yourself in that ocean of bliss.
    That is the reason why I seek God: the drop wants to join the ocean, to become one with the whole. The bliss, that is what we seek; the bliss is the very nature of God. And as a part of That, we as the chip of the same old block, we also like to have the bliss. While seeking the bliss, the material world offers you a small crumb, and you stop and eat, and get stomach ache, and lie down again and make another effort. That is what we have been doing. We are being born, try, fail, die, reborn and try again; that’s what we have been doing. Now, there is an opportunity. Decide, try, it is simple; it is very simple. Simplest things are very costly these days. You don’t need anybody, you don’t need any book, you don’t need money, you don’t need anything; all that it needs is “You.” You are unavailable. Everything is available, and you are unavailable; that is the reason why you are not getting to the point. Make an effort, and I assure you that everyone of you will reach God in this very life, maybe in one day you can reach if you want. Time is no factor. Let God help us all to realize. Unless He reveals, we cannot know anyway. We shall pray to God to reveal Himself, and let us get prepared. Be prepared. Thank you.

Swami Niranjananandaji



    The other day as we were talking, it is a two pronged attack on ignorance. Until we are relieved of ignorance, it is impossible to be redeemed. Redemption is nothing but the removal of that ignorance which has made us to wrongly identify with all these perishable, impermanent entities, though we are not. There is nothing like we, there is only I. “I” seems to look like “we.” One seems to be many, that is all; it is the reflections.
    In order to remove that ignorance, there is a two pronged attack. One is to understand. What does cause this ignorance? — fear, not understanding. In order to remove that, what we have to do is to know, knowledge; we have to understand, know. Once you start knowing, then naturally that fear of not knowing vanishes by itself. So knowing, that is the reason why we read the newspaper, we go to library, we go to talks, we buy CD’s, and we buy tapes; and we hear either by way of songs, or by way of poetry, or by way or art, by way of anything. The purpose is this — to know, to understand. It is the fundamental basis for our progress toward redemption.
    After a long time, after having put in all sorts of efforts in knowing, you will come to know. You will come to know that, “Oh yes, that is right, I have come to the conclusion that I am not what I think I am, but I am something else. That is right. I am not a man, I am not a woman, I am not a beast, I am not this, I am not that. I am not that which lives today, and dies tomorrow. No. That is not my nature. Then, what am I?”
    And it is not a thing to be understood only by the theory. Theory gives you an understanding as to what you should “know,” but it doesn’t make you know. It will only tell you what to know. But, it doesn’t make you know. In order to know, you have to experience it. That is the second part which only yoga can do. Yoga is nothing but a process by which you experience what you have to know. Knowing is one thing, and becoming exactly that is another thing. It is that yoga which brings you in touch with your own Self.
    So, this is the two pronged attack on this ignorance. Once it is done, you are free eternally. Neither are you born, nor are you dead. When you are not born, how can you die? That state is called the Abode of Supreme Consciousness — Parabrahman, exalted Brahman, the highest plane of consciousness from where nobody comes back. Once you merge yourself, you are eternally there. But, as we discussed, immediately everybody does not go there. Depending upon the state of experiences, they travel through several phases, several states of consciousness, though not immediately.
    There are people who go, but unfortunately, one in a zillion. The rest of them will be lurking in one of the seven planes of consciousness. But, they are far superior than what we are here. They have a greater freedom, greater understanding. They are there; that is the reason why they extend their hand in order to lift us also there. It is their grace, the “unseen hands.” And from there, there are other people, there are other stages; so like this, it is a long journey. Once you leave, it is hard to know which plane, how you are going. But in meditation, through yoga, you may go through and come back, but you may not stay there in that plane. In order to stay there, you have to progress here. There are many stages, many things that you have to undergo. Once you are on the move, it is a complete move. Slowly, but steadily, but definitely, you will be moving. One thing is here, leaving this station, that’s all. Once you leave this station, it will go; it is on its own way at a certain speed.
    But the whole knotty problem is leaving this station with which we are engrossed in this material world. That is where yoga helps. We have to conquer, we have to extricate ourselves right from the physical, the mental, vital and the psychic planes of being here. “I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am not the senses.” It is not easy. We can say. Saying is what we have learned, so that is the jnana part. Now to immediately do it, extricate ourselves, and experience is the yoga part on the first stage. Once you know “I am not the body, I am not this, I am not that.” identify yourself with your own Self, keep extricating yourself and identify yourself with your Self, that is the beginning. That is enough.
    But then, why am I here? So, it is 8 carrot, then 10 carrot, then you become 20 carrots, then you become 22 carrots, and then 24 carrots, and then pure gold. You become completely pure. When you become pure, you will be one with what we say, Parabrahman, Unmanifest Divinity. That is what you become. And once you become That, nobody can identify you, and you cannot be identified at all. You will be one of the rays of the Sun, Sun of that Parabrahman, but we cannot distinguish one ray from the other.
    And we know many such great ones: there are great rishis, and great saints and sages. They are all there in all the stages, in all the planes of consciousness. You will see them as you march through them. Each stage is a beautiful stage. They are hospitable. Everywhere you go, you are welcome. They know that you have made it, you have struggled. They have struggled to reach there, so they know, they realize. They become so hospitable, keep you safe, happy. And “there” is nowhere; at your own will, you can move in all those stages. Here, you are bound; there, you are free. You can stay, you can go; you can go and come back and go. All those things happen, and all those things are possible.
    So like that, there are great yogis. Of all the yogis, we call Dattatreya the foremost, whose birthday falls one of these days, the full moon day. Is it full moon today? No, tomorrow. So, it is already there in India, so it will be here tomorrow. So, on this day he was born. And, when we talk about, especially Dattatreya, Datta means having given himself the trinities; treya means three, trinities. Trinities, they have given themselves to us in the form of that great yogi: Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara. These are all the manifestations of the Unmanifest Divinity. As an Unmanifest Divinity, it doesn’t do anything; it is status quo (static). It is an immovable, Purnamadah. It is full; It doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t move anywhere. Where should It move when It is everywhere? So, It doesn’t do anything.
    In order to do, It has to move Itself into manifestation, It has to divide Itself into three: creator, sustainer, and destroyer. So, these are the three aspects which manifests as Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara. Each one of them organizes their offices, their administrations. Thus, this Nature, because when we come to this Nature, there is too much red tape. In order to reach anything, you have to please each and every one, that is what the Vedas, all the scriptures say, “You have to do this ritual, that ritual, this, that, in order to please this and that.” And all kinds of things are here in this Nature; in this manifested world, everything is here.
    So, in order to extricate ourselves, and to guide us, these trinities became one as Dattatreya in a peculiar way. There were rishis in those days; there were no monks as in modern times, only rishis. They guided the whole society from the king to the pauper; everybody bowed down to them because they were the authority on everything, spiritual as well as mundane subjects. Everybody went to a rishi’s ashram for 12 years and learned, graduated from there; until then, nobody married. That was a different system anyway.
    So, Atri was a great rishi. These are all Vedic rishis. The Vedas were not written by one man; it is a contribution of many whose names are not mentioned, but some of them we know. Atri is one of seven primordial rishis that God created as Krishna told Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. So, Atri was a great rishi; he lived in a hermitage, and he had his disciples and he had his wife. Her name was Anasuya, “Anasuya Nandana Om Om.” Nandana means the son, the beloved son of Anasuya. Anasuya means the one who is devoid of jealousy; that is the meaning of Anasuya. She was the wife, and wives were so much devoted. They loved their husband and worked without any complaint.
    So, there was Narada. I think I talked to you some time ago about Narada, the celestial rishi, who is very fond of traveling all over; he is an exalted rishi. He has a free pass wherever he goes, nobody checks him. He can directly enter into the inner chambers of Brahma, Vishnu, or Maheshwara, anywhere. Nobody can stop him; that is his status. Also, he was very mischievous; he was very fond of causing some constructive trouble in order to bring about some principle. It was not his purpose to create that problem without a divine purpose. So, he went to all these wives of the head persons like Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara. He said, “Oh, you think you are the prettiest, and you are more devoted to your husbands. There is one lady down there on Earth, and nobody can beat her. She is so much devoted. You cannot find a single thread of fault in her in being a wife: no jealousy, no hatred, nothing, not a single complaint.” So, they became jealous, all the three great ladies, Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati. They took the phone and called each other, “Hello, did you hear this fellow telling me about Anasuya? Yes, yes, he told me too. What shall we do? We will send our husbands and check it out. All right,” they said.
    They did not talk when their husbands came home. “Oh.” they thought, all these three people, great Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara, “Oh, this is something. Let us ask. Why are you not talking?” “Oh, come on, there is nothing to talk about.” “What, tell me what.” “Oh, it seems, are you not happy with me? Are you not happy with my service, devotion?” “Oh, you are all right.” “But Narada was here, and he was telling them that there is one lady called Anasuya, the wife of Atri, and there is nobody to excel her in being a devoted wife. Will you please check? Until then don’t talk to us.” “Oh, my goodness! Ok. I will do so immediately.”
    Then these three people took the phone, and said to each other, “Did you hear what my wife was telling me?” “And my wife also told me.” “My wife also told me.” “All right. Come on, let us have a meeting.” So, they met in a coffee bar and talked about what to do. “Come on, let us go.” They took the first plane and came to earth, and found out the address. They saw, “Yes, she is.”
    Because after all, what are Vishnu, Brahma, and Maheshwara? They are enlightened beings; they are not ordinary. They are the very manifestation of that Parabrahman, the very knowledge itself. “We cannot play tricks on this lady; she can ruin us. What shall we do? Let us try; let us see.”
    Every morning, Anasuya used to wash the feet of her husband, and keep that water in a bowl. She used to drink that water. She used to serve him with total devotion. So, Atri was out; he had gone on an errand. So, these three people came like mendicants, as guests, “Oh, we are hungry, we want to eat.” Anasuya said, “Oh, nobody is turned away from this house without being fed. Oh, please wait, I will cook.” “No, no, no, we have some strict rules to obey.” “What?” “We have our own food; doctor has told us to eat only this. We have this channa dal, millet, made of steel, and you have to cook this.” She saw and said, “Oh my, it is my test.” She said, “All right, oh Lord.” She went inside and prayed to her husband, and put it in the water she had saved after washing his feet; and it cooked.
    She brought it, “It is ready.” “Oh, we have another principle. The one who serves us should be naked.” In those days, there was no cabaret. So, woman never exposed herself except to her husband. “Now my husband is not here. How can I do that?” She went inside and shed tears. They said, “We are hungry, if not we will go, we will go to the next village.” She said, “Oh Lord, it is your test. All right.”
    Then, she thought up a plan, “These are three big people, right? If they become babies, what will happen? I can feed them.” So, she brought out the water with which she had washed her husband’s feet. “All right, please sit down.” And she sprinkled it and immediately made them babies. She took them on her lap, and fed them.
    One day passed, two days, three days, Atri came and he learned about this. He said, “Oh, let them be like this.” So, he neglected, and said, “All right, feed them, that is all.”
    One day, two days passed, and one of the wives of the Trinities was eager to know, what happened. Then, Narada came again. “My husband has gone and he has not come back for the last two weeks, all the three of them.” Narada came in search of them and saw what had happened to the Trinities; he laughed, and laughed, and laughed. “Oh,” he said, “you have beautiful children, Anasuya; oh, you are blessed, all right.”
    He went back and told the Trinities’ wives, “Your husbands have become babies there.” “Oh?” they asked, “What happened?” Then, he explained what happened. Oh, they started crying. They all came running to her, touched her feet, and said, “Oh please, give us our husbands. Anasuya said, “We did not know who they were. We did not know. I did not know they were your husbands, so I do not mind giving them back. Take your husbands.” “You have to make them what they were.” Then Anasuya said, “On one condition, all the three of them should remain here for the sake of the people.”
    So, she sprinkled water and they came back. Then as a favor, having been pleased with what she did, they said, “We will be eternally your children.” So, they all, all the three spiritually combined together. That is how Dattatreya became one.
    All the three spirits became one, and practiced under Atri all the yoga. It is Dattatreya who taught how to worship the Mother. In addition, it is he who taught us that learning should have no restriction. You can learn from anywhere, from the prostitute, from the butcher, everybody, anything. Watch, there is something to learn — learn. That is how you can enrich yourself. This is the way. That is what Dattatreya taught us.
    And, in his life, he became an Avadhut. Avadhut is one who is beyond the shackles of any dharma; any, no religious, or any mundane rules can touch him. They are beyond all that. That is the reason why Hindus, Muslims, all the casts worship Datta. To worship Datta, there is no cast system. He is beyond the casts, and he doesn’t do any ritual or anything. He is beyond all that because he has no desire; he wants nothing. And, he is Eternal; he is always there. He is the greatest yogi. It is he who opened up the eyes of all the people into this yoga which he taught. So like this, if you worship Dattatreya, you are worshiping all the three trinities.
    It is his birthday today. And, when I was in India, every year I used to come back from the Himalayas, and conduct this ceremony in which all the musicians and others used to come to participate and later on, I came here. That is all. When you are able to do it, do it. When you are not able, let God be pleased. Since I learned about it on the Internet, they said on such and such a date it would happen. All right, then I said since I know, why shouldn’t I talk about Him. Whenever we talk about Him, it sanctifies me and my environment. By hearing about Him, you are also blessed and become recipients of His grace.
    His grace is always there. He is One; he is available to everyone: poor, rich, prostitutes. Anybody, can reach Him. So, here it is the same. He is the same incarnation in Sai Baba, and Akkalkot Swami Samartha Maharaj, whom I served. And there are so many incarnations of Dattatreya. He is always there, and Shirdi Sai Baba was his avatar. And this Sai Baba is the incarnation of that Sai Baba, so logically he is also Dattatreya. Sai Baba has said that he will reincarnate 60 miles from Bangalore as Prema Sai Baba. So thus, he is amongst us; he has been eternally with us.
    Where there is yoga, where there is talk of yoga, where there is talk of spiritual things, Dattatreya is always there whether you know it or not, whether you recognize it or not, it doesn’t matter. His presence is always there. So thus, we are grateful to that great Dattatreya — Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara in One. This is one yogi, it is this one yogi who fits all sizes. From the child to this, there is no particular way in which you have to worship him and seek his blessings. Merely singing his name, merely trying to contact him is enough. Try to see him; trying to seek his help is enough. He is always there; he is so flexible, and easily available.
    At the same time, he is severe. He wants you to be serious. Once you talk about yoga and you accept it, you must do it. You cannot play tricks with him. He is a great entity. It is good that we are talking about him. So, let his grace be upon all of us. Let us try to adhere to the principles of Dattatreya and achieve what he has achieved. Thank you very much.
    So, next week is Christmas. Wish you all Merry Christmas, and we will be meeting before the New Year. So those who may not be available at that time, let me in advance wish them all a Happy New Year. Then, we will wait for wishing for a New Millennium. We have seen through many millenniums. Since we are conscious of it, let us enjoy. Unconsciously, we have spent so many millenniums anyway. One is not different from the other anyway. It is all spiritual. It is trying to fraction the time. Time itself is a conception. It is a dimension. There are too many dimensions that we are talking about. I read, last time I think I talked about it, they have discovered about 11 dimensions. So, from 2 to 3, 4 to 5, now they have come to 11.
    So, it has taken these million millenniums to recognize 11 dimensions. So, how many more dimensions are there? Really speaking, there is only 1 dimension. Having known that 1 dimension, you will know all the other dimensions. You are always everywhere. It is not the atom, it is all this, and they say it is this string. That’s what they have been saying since time immemorial. What is this life? There is something which is — that is what Krishna also says, “Sutre Mami Gana Iva” (That is how I am, I am the thread holding all the beads). You see? Ok. Thank you very much, all of you. Thank you.

    Swami Niranjananandaji Two

    The other day we were talking about those twenty-four Masters. More than the Masters, it is the disciple who should be understood. Though He’s a great Master, He continues to be a student. That’s why He became a great Master. One who thinks he is a great Master ceases to be a great Master because he ceases to learn. It is that learning which makes a Master a Master. When the learning ceases, the Master ceases to exist as a Master. Like a traffic cop, he goes nowhere; he stays there.
    So, especially the history of Sri Dattatreya, He is immensely important for any seeker. Especially in the spiritual world, there’s no better ideal to follow than Sri Dattatreya. Any idol that we choose to worship is nothing but one, that is Sri Dattatreya. He’s for both for those who accept the manifestation of the Divinity in the human element and one untainted, uninvolved in this creation, unmanifest. In both these fields Dattatreya excels. He belongs in both places. He is and He is not.
    First of all, He’s a full avatar, just like Krishna. He’s the incarnation of all the three great entities of whom we often have talked about, Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Each their duties differ; but in Dattatreya, they are all combined together.
    Apart from that, He’s a great ideal for us, because as seekers of Truth, He is in the forefront of us; we are all following them. Often I tell you, “Nobody follows anybody.” But here, wherever you go, He’s there. You don’t follow, He’s there. You don’t find the others. That’s why you don’t follow them. They are gone. They don’t leave their footprints. But here, He’s there. You turn left in order to avoid Him, He’s there; about turn, He’s there; right turn, left turn.
    That’s why He’s called Digambara: all the sides, directions, are his clothing. That means He’s pervading in every nook and corner. That’s the reason why we cannot avoid Him; even if you avoid, He knows you. Especially for the seekers of the Truth, He intervenes; He’s very keen about it. Especially when you take to the life of meditation and yoga, without your own knowing.
    Often I have told you that there are so many saints and sages hovering around, working for our benefit, guiding us without our own knowing. They don’t need us to understand them through the mind. They know us as we are; so, they guide us. Dattatreya is the main purport there. So, He’s a great guide in the spiritual life.
    What made Him great is not merely because He is a manifestation of all those three elements, but He showed us the way. If you want to learn, you have to go out all the way; you cannot be selective. In each and everything, there is a possibility that you have to learn. You cannot forego anything to learn: pain, joy, blemishes, all these things. So, you cannot learn only from the good, you have to learn from the bad, too. You have to learn, not only from the roses, also from the dirt. So, all these things happen. That’s the reason why, in order to make us know, don’t close your eyes. Don’t close your ears, keep on learning. Open your eyes and see things; don’t shut your eyes, don’t shut your ears, that’s what He means to say.
Also you were talking about why it is not in logical order (referring a question regarding the order of Dattatreya’s insights), there’s no logical order in learning; as it comes, you see? If you are walking in the street, you cannot regulate the traffic, you cannot adjust what you do not want to see. So, as it comes you have to learn. A Sadhak goes out and accepts things as they come and tries to open and learn. That’s what it is. That’s what He wants to make us know. Don’t wait, don’t scheme that I have to learn after this, after physical chemistry, after geography, after history, no. Whatever comes, you learn. Everything enriches you. It doesn’t matter; knowledge is the same from whichever the corner it comes. It is that knowledge, the cream is the same, whether you derive it from x, y, z.
    That’s the reason as He moved on and came across in the day to day life, He learned; that’s what He mentions. There’s no logical order; there need not be any logical order in learning. You have to be open all the time to learn. That’s what He tries to make us know. So, He cannot say, “Oh come on, you are tired, you come afterwards.” “I want to learn this. You come later.” No. You may miss it; don’t miss. As it comes, try to open your eyes, ears; offer yourself as a student and learn. That humility, that simplicity and that receptivity are all the qualities one has to have. That’s what Dattatreya shows.
    He’s a great Lord. He need not have learned. The world has to learn from Him, because He’s a Teacher. World has to seek a Teacher and He offered Himself as the Teacher; and, in order to lead all the Teachers, He showed us the way. If you want to be a Teacher, this is how. If you want to be a student, this is how; both are in Him. There’s a great, great student; we have to learn as students. And, what makes a Masters is also the element of being a Master; one who continuously tries to be a student is the greatest uplifted Master, the Teacher. Teacher ceases to be a Teacher if He stops learning. That’s what He means to say.
    It is not only twenty-four sources; He has learned from several sources. Each one defines something for which He understood and that’s what He wants us to understand. So, let us all try to imbibe that spirit of learning from Him. And, the moment that you talk about Him, the moment that you remember Him, His presence becomes very much felt. He’s one great yogi. You can just feel; others you have to think of, but here you can feel Him, feel his spirit, feel his touch. That’s what I have experienced in my life and He’s a great guide. All of you will be guided by Him, undoubtedly. You’ re already blessed by Him anyway; do not turn away from Him, learn more about Him. Thank you very much.

Swami Niranjananandaji Three

    In life, when you embark upon this path, path of seeking, we learn a lot. Learning becomes an essential part of life and it is only that learning that ultimately relieves us of ignorance. And that’s the reason why, always it is said we should not try to avoid anything in this life because it has come to you. You didn’t invite it but they have come to you, they have come to you with some message, some knowledge, something to tell you. Try to know why it has come. Don’t fight, don’t try to eliminate, don’t avoid. We have to avoid certain things, of course, and for all that you have to be very cautious. That’s the reason why in yoga it is said, you must have a right power of discrimination, what to accept, what not to accept, what to hear and what not to hear. So, you should be careful when things come. It is that which makes you a great yogi.
    Yogi is one who has accomplished. In the beginning he is called a seeker and at the end he is called a Sadhu, accomplished yogi. Yogi in the beginning is called Sadhak, seeker. So, seeker doesn’t resist anything; he or she tries to use her or his power of discrimination and tries to understand everything, anything and everything. That’s the reason why very many times you will see the seekers keep on asking questions. They want to know, but some of them are so vague nobody wants to answer, that’s all. But, there is that trying to know. That’s what makes one ultimately a great accomplished yogi.
    The greatest yogi we were recently talking about is Dattatreya. He’s already an incarnation of all the three aspects of the Divinity. Was there anything else to know? No. But yet once, even the Divinity falls into the womb of the Nature, everything will be natural. He is also bound by the rules of the Nature. He doesn’t overstep any of the principles, rules and regulations, constitutionally Nature. That’s one great thing that we have to learn, whether we study Rama, Krishna, Dattatreya, or for that reason Jesus, or any of these great incarnations anywhere in the world. They never trespass the limits of the Nature because they have to obey. If they do not obey, who will obey?
    So, though there is nothing to know, Dattatreya has expressed, “I learned all these things from all these sources.” He has illuminated twenty four sources of his knowledge but it is not merely twenty-four; each one just follows.
    It is night, we will sleep; by the time we open our eyes it will already be day. And, we enjoy it, the time, by the time we are tired and again night falls. So what does it mean? Whether it is day or night, nothing is permanent. If it is day, you have to expect it is short; if it is night, it is short too. Also in the life, whether it is joy or sadness, none of them are permanent, that’s what Krishna tells Arjuna, “All these things come and go; bear it. Bear it; it will make you stronger.” So all these things come and go, that’s all. Whether the night or the day, they are not permanent, it keeps on changing. So also in your life, if you are unhappy today, tomorrow you are happy. If you are happy today, maybe you’re unhappy tomorrow. In this life, if you’re happy next life, who knows what will be? Nothing is permanent here, nothing is static; everything keeps on changing. So, as a part of this, you’ll also be changing. You are a part of the Nature. You cannot stand still when the Nature is moving, you have to move because you are also part and parcel of the, just like if you move your hands also move. If your hands move, your head also moves along with you. If you take one step, the whole body moves; anything that belongs to body.
    Similarly what happens is when the Nature is moving as part of the Nature you are also moving. Here is a small unit so we can know; but in the Nature, we cannot know. It’s a vast thing; moment is so slow, you cannot even feel it. Nevertheless you are changing, too. You cannot avoid changing. That’s the reason why I was fifty years old, seventy years old; I was a baby, now I am an old. I am living; I am dead. What does it mean? You are participating in the movements of this Nature. So thus if you have to learn, you have to keep your eyes open, ears open; and everything will contribute, especially, there’s nothing that we have to reject in this world.
    Everything is a source of knowledge; it is enriching you. That’s what it is: Madukurarty. Madukura means the bee. Madu means honey. Maduttara means one who makes the honey is bee. What does it do? It doesn’t distinguish from one flower to the other, all that it wants is that honey. Whether it is red flower, white flower, whether it is here or there, whether the top or the bottom, it doesn’t care; it goes miles together in order to collect it. So also, a seeker doesn’t distinguish between the sources in order to know. Even from the bad people we have to learn. Even from the wisest we have to know. We have to know everything and then use to discriminate. Buy everything; keep what you want. Throw away what you don’t want.
     So thus, we have to have that tendency of a bee; we have to learn. Madukary, all the Sannyasis, the recluses, they are called Madukary. Madukurarty means, they don’t go to one house and eat what they are given; they go to several houses and mix all the offering. They don’t have a choice, they should not cultivate their taste, “Oh! This is good, this is not good, this is hot.” No, whatever people have given. They take little here, little there, little here, and mix it all up and share it with others. As I’ve told you a number of times, a part of it goes to the river, a part of it to be Buddha’s, and the rest you eat it after putting it in the water three times. Madukurarty means collecting from each house and not asking what you want; take what they give you.
    So these are all the sources, that’s what it is. Dattatreya came and he revealed the strength of His yoga and what a yogi becomes and what yogi can do and what makes yogi a yogi. Why? He need not have done all this. There was a purpose.
    He knows that everyone is a seeker. The moment that one falls into this Nature and develops a tendency to be a human, until then you’re all right. Once you have your mind and senses, all these things change the perception and all these things, then you become conscious of yourself. It is at that time the struggle starts. What am I? Who am I? Why am I here? You’ll start feeling strange things, all these things. At that time you need some guidance; you need guidance, you need help. In order to provide all those things these realized people, the Divinity with all the kindness and love come. And they come to gather their own part; we are all part and parcel of the same Divine. They come to collect their own parts and keep them safe; keep them in good position and good shape. That’s the reason why they incarnate very often, not once, not twice; we enumerate only a few, like major ones. But amongst us, there are so many of them.
    To certain degree, maybe ten percent, fifteen percent, twenty percent, eighty percent manifestation, you find; they are called God men, Godly people. Why are they called that? Because you see that manifestation of the Divinity there. They are mixed with that human nature, that’s why. So, we have to learn.
    It’s a source, as Dattatreya says, these are the twenty-four sources for Him. Dattatreya is the greatest source for us now. If we do not follow Him, do not understand Him and do what He did, nobody is to blame but ourselves. For this you create humility, simplicity and certainty in our life, and we prolong our journey. You are sure to reach your goal, if you can understand and try to imbibe the teachings. It is worth meditating on Dattatreya. Dattatreya is the greatest source, source of all these sources. Wherever Dattatreya is there, there is the Mother. He is cause for the worship of the Mother. Dattatreya and the Mother. Mother is the Nature.
    He is the great yogi that knows all about the Nature. So if you take shelter under his guidance, definitely you will seek benefit of Mother’s grace too. So by doing this, you’ll be hitting two targets at the same time.
Thank you very much.

Swami Niranjananandaji


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