We are in Hartford, Connecticut. Guru Poornima celebrations are in full swing. A few hundred people are now in silence, in the Art of Silence course. Guruji is here.
Here is my transcript of what Guruji said in satsang yesterday… starting with:
Look around and see who is not smiling… Now for the next few days, you take care of them.
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Q: Guruji, I sometimes get outraged at injustice happening around me, but there is also a need to use love and understanding.
A: When many sticks are put together to make a broom, they are much more effective in sweeping a large hall than they would be individually. As a sangha, you can achieve more, whether it is for service or for justice. Work in groups. This is very important. Injustice is there. Your work is to turn it around. In Chinese, there is only one word for crisis and opportunity. If you can only see the problem, you will be in frustration; this is no good. Work with the group, see what you can do.
In many parts of the world, in Africa and Asia, there is a lot of corruption. Money is required for everything. When the sangha stood up against corruption, we did a lot. Our youths refused to pay. When they see this conviction, it’s refreshing even for the officers. They are also human beings after all. For our Ayurveda projects, we needed ten different licenses, which people said would take two years to get. We applied, and said that we are not going to give any bribes, we are prepared to come here 50 times if necessary. Within one month they had all ten licenses!
Fight against injustice but not with anger. Fight with a calm and serene mind. Even in the Bhagavad Gita that’s what it says. Yogastha kurum karmani.
Q: My father recently passed away. How can I know how he is, where he is, and what he thinks of me?
A: Those who have passed on to the other side, they shower blessings on you. They don’t judge you, and they have no concerns about you, they know you will be taken care of.
Q: Guruji, on one hand desires need to be dropped, but is it okay to have a desire for liberation? When will it get dropped?
A: Yes it is okay to have a desire for liberation.
Q: If God is within us, why does God not guide us all towards good deeds alone? Why is there so much crime and violence in the world?
A: Imagine a movie with no villain, only a hero who is eating, sleeping, and generally hanging around with nothing to do! Will you watch such a movie? Opposite values are complementary. Thorns and petals both exist. You have the choice to pick up either the thorns or the petals. God is there within, sometimes sleeping and hiding, sometimes awake and dancing. After some sadhana, God is awake, He is rocking. Awaken the God and Goddess in you (yes they are gender-sensitive). A stone does not feel, but a living being does. Waking the Godliness in you is essential. This is why there are hymns sung in the morning in India… wake up and bless us, o lord. On one level it sounds ridiculous. It is the parents’ job to wake up the children, but in this hymn the human beings are singing to the Gods to wake up and bless the creation. This is a paradox, and in this paradox is hidden a deep secret of existence.
Q: Why does love always come with attachment? Is it possible to love your partner and still be dispassionate?
A: Attachment brings pain. But nothing comes without pain. We came into this world in a lot of pain. The process of taking birth is a very painful process. For nine months we were comfortable, and suddenly the ocean around us disappeared and we had to come out! Attachment happens when your focus is not on the being, but it is outside. Wanting to control, possess and hold on, this brings pain. When we are relaxed and content, then love transforms to bliss. Demand and control only bring pain. Wisdom along with love is the answer.
Q: How to control my anger?
A: Anger is because you love perfection. Create some more space for imperfection around you. Make a list of all the things you consider to be wrong. Then have people around you do everything on that list! And when you get angry, just observe that sensation — how your teeth are clenching, how the mind becomes. Take a few long deep breaths… and see if it changes. But I have no experience, since I never had this problem. So my advice may not be authentic. You should ask some others here. Many here will tell you, they say after regular practice of sudarshan kriya, anger comes down. How many people have this experience? (Many hands went up.)
Q: Guruji, what is the whole point of this life? We are born, we study, we work, we come into a lot of competition, and then eventually one day we die. I am losing interest and passion for life. Please help.
A: Haan good, you are on track. What you are saying is like our intro talk. Imagine we live for 80 years. Out of that, 25 or 30 years we simply sleep; 10 years we spend in the bathroom. Another 10 years we are stuck in traffic. And so many years we spend being sad and miserable. Ultimately only some two or three years we spend in prayer, service, etc. Good that you are thinking along those lines, you are definitely on the right track.
Q: Guruji, what to do when a loved one is diagnosed with a potentially terminal condition?
A: Bless them. Carry on. Sing, dance, meditate. If you think too much about the illness, it pulls down your energy. Medical attention is also required. But have the faith. A turnaround can happen any time. There is divine grace that is present with you. Anytime anything is possible.
Q: Is it possible for all of us to get enlightened?
A: Definitely. Anytime! The seed is there. It can sprout any time. It can become a big tree anytime.
Q: Guruji, for 15 years I’ve been with the same job, and my boss doesn’t respect me at all. Should I quit and start my own business? Please give me some direction.
A: (with a smile) Choice is yours, blessing is mine.
(Then Guruji played around with a baseball cap, and put it on his head. He asked the crowd:)
In America you wear the cap upside-down, no? Backwards… Why do you wear it backwards? Oh because it is cool?
Q: Guruji, the knowledge of the Vedas contain the truth and laws of nature. Is modern science also a part of this body of knowledge?
A: Yes. Knowledge is infinite. Many scientists of modern age, they are the rishis of today. They explore the universe. All are to be honored, whether ancient or modern. Today’s quantum physics discoveries are startling, there is so much similarity to Vedic knowledge. Dark matter, string theory, all present in the ancient knowledge. Dr. Durg (sic) the physicist, he has told me that whenever he is giving a lecture, he feels as if he is speaking the Vedanta. That the whole universe is made up of one substance, not two. This is Vedanta. That there are three things… trigunatmika. With two qualities, there is no stability. Three qualities are essential for the existence of the universe. Ancient rishis and modern physicists both say the same thing.