Please click here for the Telugu Version of the Question and Answer Session
Jaya Guru Datta. Sri Guru Datta. Sri Maha Ganapataye namah. Sri Saraswatyai namah. Sripada Vallabha Narasimha Saraswati Sri Guru Dattatreyaya namah.
This year the Guru Purnima was celebrated very well in Dallas. In Dallas a very big Hanuman temple construction is being planned. People here are very fond of the ‘Monkey God’. They have great faith in Hanuman. They call him Anjaneya and Sanjeevini. They want to build him a temple.
For the past 10-12 years with a lot of effort the Dallas devotees have been getting all the children together in summer camp and conducting classes for them. They are actually running a school on weekends for all the NRI children who have migrated here from India. They are being taught our culture and the fine arts. Since there are a lot of Indians here they feel the need to have a temple.
25 years ago in West Sunbury, near Pittsburgh, an Ashram was established in a wooded area, where 3 large rocks were found which have the divine vibrations of Lord Dattatreya. It has become a well-known Ashram. It is called JDRC or Jesus Datta Retreat Center. A Universal Prayer Hall has been built there where not only Christians but people of all faiths gather together to pray. There the Silver Jubilee Programs were also organized.
In Baton Rouge, a Datta Temple has been built. Many Hindi and Gujarati people also gather there. Like this, in several small centers also programs were being conducted. Because it has been 25 years since all this has started here, I happened to come here now. Many Indians have migrated here that is the reason why I visiting this place so many times. They miss their home. They cannot stay. Yet they cannot leave. The future of their children is in confusion. Such people feel very relieved to have Swamiji come here and converse with them in their own mother tongue, be it Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, or Kannada to give them comfort and solace. There are many English people also who have joined the group.
Actually the people who built the old Ashram (JDRC) are all Americans, the Amish. They themselves have built the ashram and the Guru Nilayam for Swamiji, all constructed with wood in an area of about 26 acres. The forest there is being preserved. Programs were being conducted there also. So to attend those Swamiji happened to come here. Around the same time the Guru Purnima Celebrations also took place in a wonderful manner.
1. What is Guru Purnima?
There are many disciple-devotees. One of them asked the question. Guru Purnima means, remembering and offering worship to the lineage of the Gurus. This is not a recent phenomenon that started in the present era. Even since the Krita Yuga (very ancient times) Dattatreya was considered the founder of the lineage of Gurus. With the passage of time, during the different Yugas (eons), such as in Treta Yuga, Lord Rama and King Dasaratha had Sage Vashishta as their Guru. There are many such examples. Then in the Dvapara Yuga(epoch), Lord Krishna accepted Sage Sandeepani as his guru for his education. This tradition of following the lineage of Gurus is something wonderful. The one who initiated us into this tradition is Sage Vyasa. Vyasa is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Many Puranas and Upanishads (ancient Indian scriptures) have mentioned this. Many foreigners have done research on this topic and have even found that there is a scientific basis to this tradition. That Sage Bharadwaja has given us the science of Aviation, is itself a definite proof for us. Vyasa has handed to us this valuable information.
There is research being conducted to find out what the Vedas contain. It is being pursued. The German people have discovered the science that is hidden in the Vedas. In the past our people thought the Vedas were worthless and threw away the palm leaf scriptures. The Germans took those scriptures, translated them, and have discovered their immense scientific worth. We all have to understand and remember the value of our heritage.
The significance of Guru Purnima consists of worshiping the lineage of the Gurus, worshiping Sage Vyasa, and each one worshiping their own Guru and that Guru’s immediate lineage. This applies only to those who are accepted as ‘disciples’. Even those who are first generation disciples may follow this tradition. Those who have been following the Guru-worship tradition for several generations in their families may observe this, as well as those who are beginners, and who do not even know their own family lineage. Even if they are scientists today and all that they know is what they have learned now, but are interested in following this tradition, may receive spiritual initiation and begin this tradition now of worshiping the lineage of Gurus.
2. Who is Guru?
The Guru is one who dispels the darkness of ignorance and bestows the light of spiritual knowledge. The two syllables, Gu and ru are very powerful and significant. Every syllable of our scriptures is very important. Sage Vyasa has blessed us with those. So on the day of Guru Purnima one’s Guru is offered ornaments and is happily worshipped. That is the philosophy behind it. When you personally experience it, you will learn more about it.
3. In this Kali Yuga, in the present day, is there a need for a Guru?
Some explanation has already been given. Not just in this present age, it has been established that even in the Krita Yuga, this Guru tradition was there and it has continued through the following Yugas, Treta and Dvapara. Among the Saptarshis, the seven great Sages, people chose their own individual Gurus.
4. ‘Why is the lineage of Dattatreya important?’
Dattatreya, in spite of Himself being an incarnation of Lords Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, instilled the Guru principle in every single living being. He sowed the seed of the ‘Guru’ feeling in every individual. Not just in Kali Yuga, in any Yuga, one cannot do without a Guru. Even if you are not interested in spiritual initiation, even to learn a trade, you need a Guru (a teacher). Without a Guru or a teacher, one cannot learn anything. Even Saint Thyagaraja expressed this sentiment in his song….. knowledge pursued without Guru is futile. A Guru is most essential not only for spiritual upliftment but also for the acquiring worldly knowledge. You need a tutor. You need a model. Even to learn driving, you need a teacher. Even to sign your name, you need a teacher to teach you how. It can be declared that without a Guru, nothing can be learned.
5. Why is this Guru tradition established?
The Guru tradition came into being on its own. It is not something that one has deliberately created and set in place. A person does not become a Guru by earning a certificate. Who gives it? Does the government certify? No. This question itself is irrelevant. To one who is seeking spiritual enlightenment, a Guru is indispensable. The Guru, his Guru (parama Guru), and his Guru (paratpara Guru) are revered. Even to learn a trade, a Guru (an instructor) is required. You talk about a lecturer, a professor, a reader, a principal! The same principle is followed here. To a spiritual seeker it becomes evident who the Guru is, and his worth. He is independent to choose what he wants and what he does not want. A Guru is very necessary for the disciple to obtain spiritual knowledge, for him to remain at peace, and to benefit those who have made material progress but are lagging behind in spirituality. Not just in Kali Yuga, in any Yuga, a Guru is very essential.
6. What is Veda?
How can I answer this question in a word, in a second, or in a few minutes even? Veda is the combined treasure house of everything that has been expressed in any language, consisting of all knowledge, worldly and divine, justice, law, and all sciences of all time! What every culture is practicing today has been originally translated from the Veda. That is what is being followed in different languages and cultures.
7. Why is it necessary to study Veda in a Veda school?
What is wrong in learning the Veda in a Veda school? Veda is not something that one can master in 3 years. Even medicine one cannot learn in 4 years. It takes 8-10 years to specialize. If a secular field requires so much time to master, think about the Veda! At age 8 if a child starts, he will complete learning one section by the time he is 21 or 24. It takes countless lifetimes to study all the Vedas and to master them all. There are stories in our scriptures that explain this. Veda is divine knowledge. The reason that it has to be studied in a Veda school is that it is important to protect the minds of the students from other worldly distractions because the world is filled with temptations that may steer their minds away from their serious studies. It is just like some schools require the students to stay in the hostel. It is like restrictions are observed in an operation theater to prevent infections. The children’s minds are susceptible to catching infections.
Why did Rama and his brothers leave the kingdom and go to study in the forest in a residential school, sleeping on the ground, bathing in cold water, and eating roots and vegetables? They left the comforts of the palace for so many years. Why? It helped them in later years when Rama had to live in exile in the forest. This was good training for him. It prepared him to live under any conditions.
When they focus, the children learn the language and the essence of the Veda much better. You may wonder whether the Veda students are deprived of secular education. Not at all. Their memory is so well developed that other subjects are easily grasped by them. In one year they can write their exams to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in English. Such is their competence. Veda is learned by rote and repetition. Not from books. It is only in the present day that Veda is getting printed in books. Traditionally it is only passed on orally from guru to disciple. Such is the Veda. That is all I can tell you now. You try to understand.
8. Don’t the Veda students need training in worldly subjects as well?
Definitely they require social and worldly skills. It is not that every Veda student becomes an ascetic. In the olden days, during the days of Sandeepani, it used to be so strict that the moment the student noticed that the food was not tasty, by commenting on lack or too much salt, he would be expelled from school and sent home. The moment the focus shifts from Veda studies to palate, it was understood that the student life was now over and the boy had to take up the responsibility as a householder. Thereafter he would move on to life in a forest and then on to becoming a mendicant, going through the various stages in life.
9. Is Veda taught only to Brahmins?
There is no such restriction. Whatever any student desires to learn is taught in our Veda school as per the set syllabus.”
10. Why build so many ashrams? Why not staying at a place spread the message of Righteousness (Dharma)?
Yes. Good question. To build temples in their own location, and to make the local people responsible for maintaining the spiritual tradition and integrity is the purpose behind doing this. Don’t think that everything is kept under our control. Every Ashram is autonomous with its own local President, Secretary, and Accounting section that reports to the government. Just to oversee the proper operation I am required to go. I may or may not continue to make such trips in the future.
11. Why do you go to so many places?
Don’t question why I go. Do you realize that each and every home needs to have a temple? Every home should have a room for worship, prayer and spiritual contemplation. When there is no peace of mind I tell people to go and meditate there. I tell them to read good books there. I tell them to chant the Guru Mantra there. It is a place that gives peace.
12. Why should every home have a temple? Why can’t there be just one temple where everybody worships?
Yes. There can be a common temple. Let everybody congregate and worship there. That has its own benefit. It is only when multitudes of celestials prayed together that Vishnu incarnated as Rama to protect the world. It is only when in unison devotion is expressed, that the vibration is experienced by us within ourselves. Not that God listens only then. We should be able to listen to ourselves. Many times we cannot hear our own words. We have to react to our own vibrations. In order to learn to go inward, we have to observe these outward rituals also. To protect our minds from getting fragmented, when there is a prayer room at home, we go there to sit and pray.
Regardless of how many ashramas there are in the world, it is just not enough. We need more and more and more. That is our thinking and belief among our devotees and disciples.
13. Why don’t you carry out your preaching staying right here?
Is it not easier for me to go to address a hundred people than for a hundred persons to come here to me? Just calculate yourself, whether it is more beneficial for a thousand people to travel to come here or for me to travel to where the thousand persons are. There it is possible for four thousand more to come and join the group.
14. Do Gurus require air-conditioned cars and rooms?
Why? Don’t Gurus require air-conditioned cars and rooms? Is his not a human body? Does each and every social worker or public servant who represents the people do humanitarian work giving up everything and wearing simply a loin cloth? Are Gurus not human beings? They also follow essential human principles. Not out of a personal desire. They have descended in a human form for the sake of their disciples. They do not have specific desires.
15. Why do you travel in a big car?
Somebody gave a big car. So we travel in it. Also we can travel faster. If I go in a horse carriage will I be able to travel fast? To travel to another city from Mysore or Hyderabad, if I take a small bicycle, will it be possible to get there? It helps us to reach the destination faster. By an airplane we get there even faster.
16. Why do you need an air conditioned car?
Why do you eat a chapati (flat bread)? Why do you take meals? What kind of questions are these! Because this is a body, and to maintain it some small conveniences are required, and that way for a longer time this body, which is also like a disciple, can serve others. With a health point of view it is done. Is it proper to say that in a cold climate, all the disciples will keep themselves warm, but the Guru should remain without warmth to shower blessings?
What we consider as necessities in life, the same food that we eat, we are asked to offer to God also as Naivedyam.
17. Why offer Naivedyam?
Does God eat it all? He doesn’t. Huge vessels full; He doesn’t eat it. Right? If we offer to Guru, the same way, he also doesn’t consume it all. He distributes to all of us. But we show to God and we eat. No God really eats. Out of a feeling of gratitude to God for giving us the ability to put in the effort to earn our food, we place before Him the food before we eat it.
Why do you have to offer food to God? Why does a Guru wear warm clothes in cold climate? Why does the Guru wear light clothing during summer time? What kind of questions are these? Just give it some thought. For every human being, for each being that takes a human form, Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, everyone did whatever was required to protect and care for their body.
Why did Swami Vivekananda travel to foreign countries? Why did the Buddha travel everywhere to preach his philosophy, just like so many others? Many came to India to teach their beliefs. Did we stop them? We respected them just like others respect us now.
Tameka Devam Sharanam Vrajaamaha. Regardless of how many faiths and divine incarnations there may be in the world, God is one. He has many names, yet He is one. We are declaring that. In a church, in a mosque, in a temple, we say. We say Archana, they say prayer; others say Namaaz. It is good. What is wrong in that? The different lineages people follow in their worship. We also worship the same way. Some people say that an idol should be kept for worship. Some believe that idols are not necessary and the mere chanting of OM is sufficient. What is wrong? Whatever means of travel is convenient for each individual, that mode is what they will adopt. In the olden days, people traveled by boat. It used to take 4-7 months. Now we have the convenience of aircrafts. What you pay for a boat if you now pay for your flight, it takes you there faster. In India to this day there are those who will only travel by train to go from one place to another. There are those who only travel in their own car. To this day, there are people, you might have seen, who walk all the way to Kasi (Varanasi). There is nothing wrong. They have the strength. So they walk. Tirupati-Tirumala hills people climb on foot, those who have the strength; those who do not, ride in a car. What is wrong with that? To reach their spiritual goal, to understand its essence, it is being taught in so many different ways.
Read the Bhagavadgita. You will understand quickly the truth about God, some people say. There are those who say that the study of Guru Gita alone is enough. Whatever is the path or mode of the journey, the destination is the same. ‘I take refuge in the one and only God.’ God is only one. That should be remembered well.”
18. Who are devotees? Who are disciples?
I will tell you one thing since you have asked. We travel by bus or we travel by plane. The person sitting next to us for 6- 10 hours becomes our friend suddenly. For how long does the friendship last? Till his station arrives. We exchange addresses. We share the food. We promise to keep in touch by telephone. It never happens. What are they to us? Friends, Co-travelers. Bosom friends are different. They will their entire belongings to their best friends. When the friend is in trouble, they put themselves through hardship. Such are true friends who are willing to even give up their lives, although they shouldn’t. Friends and true friends are different. The same way, disciples and devotees are different.
19. Why does Swamiji use music?
When one has a stomach ache, he does not care about which doctor, which medicine, which guru, or which mantra. All he wants is to get well soon. That is how he feels. There is nothing wrong in that. Swamiji uses his soothing music to give as a solace, as a supplement to be taken in addition to regular medical treatment. That is what he tells people. He does not say that with his music the diseases will get cured. He never said that with this Kalyani raga, the stomach ache will disappear. It was never said and it can never be said. Don’t think that I discovered this Nada. This is the ancient Raga Ragini Vidya (a celestial science of music healing). That is what I practice. What is wrong with that? The scriptures contain many stories as well as recent studies where good harvest resulted from good music, or that all the cows yielded more milk because of music, or that the flowers blossomed better with music, or that with the Deepaka raga lights were lit. These are all not cock and bull stories. These are true stories. They are not stories. They are facts. To this day scientists are experiencing these results and are continuing with their experiments. Swamiji also says that appreciating is not sufficient, you must participate and experience. Nada is necessary for everyone. It does not belong to any religion. It is not that Nada cures diseases. It speeds up the recovery through developing better concentration. It promotes the healing properties of the medicines that are being consumed to speed up recovery. This viewpoint must be firmly registered in your minds.
To return to the topic of devotees and disciples:
Devotees are those who have just come to attend. Sometimes there may a hundred thousand people. Will they all become devotees? No. There are many who enjoy the music program and go on their own way. There are those who think about it more and wonder about the novelty of this music.
Those who come with a serious determination and faith, and who receive spiritual initiation and follow with a family lineage are considered to be disciples. They are disciple-devotees. They do not demand anything from Swamiji. They merely seek blessings from Swamiji. They simply inform that they are going to be operated upon or that they are going to some other event. They simply inform me before they go.
Devotees make instant demands. Right away they need an interview. At once they want their problems to be solved. That they have come to me is itself an obligation for me? Is this fair? Am I going to be charged just for seeing them? Am I going to be charged just for their arrival? Why did you come? What made you come? You come again and again. May be you benefited. May be you did not. Let it be.
Following the famous poem/adage in Telugu, one should at once leave a relative who does not help in time of need, a horse that does not move when mounted, and a deity that does not fulfill wishes. Why have you not left then? Why have you come back? There is something that you need. You are greedy. The moment you feel that this God, this Guru is not going to bless you, leave him at once! You have the freedom to do so. Why do you hesitate?
You eat some food. You get a stomach ache. Would you then eat it again? You won’t. Will you?” Why have you come here? When you did not get what you wanted, why do you come here again and again? Let it go!
What it means is that somewhere deep within your heart, you find a certain attraction or you have a certain selfish need and so you come with your demands. You are still only a devotee, you are not a disciple.
I have disciples who are from three generations. Their grandfather, their father, they, and now their children also are introduced to Swamiji. I give them moral support for them to acquire a good education, for them to be good citizens in the society. Is this wrong? Both boys and girls come close to me, calling me ‘Thathaji (grandfather), or Appaji (father).” They have so much devotion, so much love. They come close to me with so much faith. I pray to God always that I should give them proper food, proper answers, proper guidance.
When sometimes people come to me in a critical situation, I tell them, “Go to the doctor” or to get a second opinion. I tell them to have firm faith in God, if in fact they believe in God. It is not a question of having faith in me. Have faith in God. Chant Hanuman Chaleesa. Chant Datta Stavam. If you are devoted to Mother Goddess, remain as a good devotee of Mother Goddess. If you are a devotee of Lord Venkata Ramana, be a good devotee of the Lord.’ That is what I tell them. I don’t tell them to ‘Leave everything. Remove all photographs. Don’t go to the doctor. Just chant my name, Sachchidananda, Sachchidananda, Ganapati.’ If they truly believe, perhaps this advice will really benefit them. But they do not have such faith. They are not disciples yet.
Those who are disciples will not ask. They will just inform Swamiji that they are going for a surgery that day, or that they are applying for a job, and they pray for blessing. When their efforts don’t succeed, they only express their gratitude that Swamiji has given them the strength to endure the situation. They express confidence that they will somehow overcome the situation. This is about disciples. I have already spoken about devotees.
Devotees are like people you meet and say ‘hello’ at the bus stand or on a plane. They come and they go. They hear that some Swamiji has come. So they come to pay a visit. I also know about them. I tell them that I give them blessings. That is the end of their story.
I don’t say that to my disciples. ‘How are you? How are your children? How come I have not seen you lately?’ That is it. That is what I say to them. My speech with them is different. That is why everyone must strive to become disciples. They must try to become disciple/devotees, instead of coming as temporary devotees who complain that their tasks have not been accomplished, in spite of their faith. How have you shown your faith? Is your mere presence a mark of your faith? Is your gift of ten rupees as you bow before me a mark of your faith? Is your offer of a coconut as you bow in front of me a mark of your faith?
What is faith? If you ask the devotees who have become disciples, then you will understand. Why are they coming to Swamiji for thirty years? Why are they following Swamiji since 1966? Why do I have faith in my mother, my father, and my grandfather? If you ask me, you will know how I feel about them.
Do you know that I was born in a no-man’s land? I was born in the river Kaveri. The tribals brought me up to the ground. I was not born in this village or that village. I was born in water like the God of Fire. That I was born while my mother was deep in meditation, and that as a newborn infant I was brought ashore by the tribals, you will know if you read my Life History. Then you will not entertain these doubts. Please read a little bit. Now I have a plan to build a school for those tribals.
When I grew up, I did Madhukara Bhiksha (begged for alms as an austerity), although my father owned agricultural lands, and was an influential man. I did not take from him. I did not want to. My mother taught me this. She instructed me that I should never take anything from anyone and that I should live on my own earnings.
I did Madhukara Bhiksha in Proddutur for four or five years. You know what Madhukara Bhiksha is. I would beg for food from 10-12 homes, collect it all and first distribute it to the handicapped mendicants at the Siva temple who had no hands or feet, who cannot go on their own, and then to bathe and eat the one fistful of food, the morsel that were left, and then run to school.
In the evenings I would go to the places where huge trucks and buses were parked, to collect four Annas (a quarter of a rupee) a day to pay the tuition fees for at least four poor students in the Municipal School before paying my own school fee. It was my desire. I was fulfilling my mother’s instruction to me. My view is that I should never be indebted to anyone.
20. For the devotees who place their faith in you, do all desires get fulfilled? What effort do you put in, to satisfy their desires?
Is this a market to satisfy desires? Desires are born one after another. May be one who does not give birth to desires can be satisfied. But how can desires be satisfied to one who has a heap of desires?
The Guru principle helps one to achieve a state where there are no desires at all. Teaching to live in contentment is the Guru principle. Giving the strength to endure the difficulties that arise is the Guru principle.
What do you think the Guru principle is? Do you think that the Guru principle is there to satisfy desires? Today there is one desire. Tomorrow there is another desire. The day after tomorrow there is yet another different desire. It keeps going like that. Do you think that for each question you allocate one desire, and for each desire you pay so much money? No. It is not like that.
The true desire (the desire for Truth), when you have, then you may ask the Guru that he should be prepared to satisfy it. That gives real bliss, inner bliss. You may ask for that. You may ask for the inner understanding in this lifetime of the real Truth.
Everything else you can earn yourselves. You can get a house, you can obtain a job, you can earn money, and you can get married and look after children. All this. But what is not available, pray to the Guru to grant you that. Would you ask for that? Among the disciple/devotees there are many who ask for that; but not the devotees who come with desires. That is why I tell them, ‘I will not satisfy your desires; but you go to those who can fulfill those desires for you. If you want your result, if you want a cure for your disease, go to a doctor; if your mind is ill, go to a psychiatrist; if you have incurred a loss in your business, consult a friend.’ Like this I give answers to help them to satisfy their desires, and send them away. That is all. If you complain that your desires are not fulfilled, my question is, ‘Why have you come to me with desires?’ If you really have placed such firm faith in me and I have let you down, then you should leave me at once. Why have you not left me? You could have left me. Why do you keep holding on to me? That is not nice.
21. While other Gurus teach the Bhagavatam, the Ramayana, and the Bhagavadgita (the Hindu scriptures), you sing and play music to your devotees and tell them that their diseases will get cured. Is this true?
When did I say that my music cures diseases? You people think that. You say, ‘Guru maharaj ki’ (jai). Guru is king? How can guru be a king? He is a King of the Guru principle. The same way, how can diseases get cured? How can that be? ‘The severity of the diseases may reduce. Concentration will improve’, is what is said. Not that the diseases will get cured. How can diseases get cured? Who will say that? If you just tell yourselves, will that really happen? It is not like that.
22. Other Gurus teach Ramayana and Bhagavatam. Why don’t you?
Who said I don’t? You perhaps never listened. My entire life I taught the Bhagavatam. May be you don’t know. Just mention the name. If you watch Gemini TV, you will know. Since 14 years, from the beginning to this day Swamiji’s programs is been broadcast, from the Ramayana, from the Bhagavatam, seven-day discourses, they have been showing. What have you listened to? What have you watched? You only watch what disturbs the mind. What have you watched that gives peace to the mind? Tell me. Have you watched Eenadu TV? Every day since two years, early in the morning they show for 5-6 minutes. Have you seen? No, of course not. You have no time. You don’t get up that early. You only wake up between 7:30 and 9 in the morning. What you watch after you wake up nine O’clock is all that is shown? All these we have to make a habit of watching.
That is why Swamiji publishes the Bhakti Mala magazine in 6 languages. Do you know that? Of course, you don’t know. You think that it is a garland made with devotion, Bhakti Mala. You don’t even know that it is a magazine. 35,000-36,000 people read it. Do you know? You are not a member! How would you know?
You have come with gripes to express. You are not interested in the Guru Tattva, the Guru principle. You are interested only in looking at the buildings and the cars and questioning whether I need such mansions to live in or such cars to ride in. Do I live alone in that mansion? So many people reside there.
Only such things are visible to you that during the Birthday Celebrations the wearing of crowns, and ornaments. Yes. I wear those during the Birthday Celebrations. But on regular days also, even ordinary crowns, even those made with leaves, whatever is offered, he accepts. Poor thing.
That particular day, we respect the Guru principle. On the birthday of our child, do we not dress her up in a dazzling long skirt that she cannot even carry, decorate her with a floral braid and all kinds of ornaments? The same way, the Sadguru whom we adore, we wish to see in the form that is described in the Guru Gita in his full splendor. After all, we cannot see Lord Vishnu Himself. So on that special day, the disciple/devotees indulge in their happiness by decorating their Guru to their hearts’ content. What is wrong in that? There is nothing wrong.
Sometimes even the disciples/devotees offer me crown that are only gold or silver plated. Have I not worn them? Have I not worn brass ornaments even? This is not proper.
You accuse that I sit in a chair. You will next accuse me of speaking with my mouth. That is how ridiculous this is! From tomorrow I have to speak with my nose, to please you. Because you think that a Guru has special powers and must use them.
Many of the Gurus who have special powers don’t move around in this world. They live in the Himalayas. Even I wanted to go away to the Himalayas. But I am bound by my mother’s command that I have to abide by some restrictions and have to move around in this world. I cannot escape that. My mother is my Guru, after all. I move about. Any number of prostrations offered to her will not be sufficient. It is by her grace that with good health I am about to travel about so much. Otherwise what would be my fate, at my age, in my circumstance! If I am staying for so long, it is by her sheer grace. Is it not?
In 1964-1965 when I wanted to go away to the Himalayas, all the elders made me stay back. They have all passed away now. They are not here to endorse this. I bow down to them all. I don’t know why they have kept me here. I don’t know when they will call me.
I don’t know to this day how I was born in water, and how I grew up going begging for food from house to house.
23. How can you become a Swamiji after having been a Postman?
What a question! It is like asking how your neighbor who was in a small position rose to be president. People rise as per their ability. Why not? By their effort, they rose to such great heights. How can you comment like that, just because someone you knew has risen to a high position and became president?
I am a postman even today, not only then. Even today I carry the complaints of my devotees to God. I have no promotion. I will always remain a postman. I like it. When someone comes to be with sorrow, even if I cannot remove their sorrow, offering them solace is my sole duty now. I offer them comfort.
In foreign countries, when there is an accident or a hurricane, and people have their houses washed away, the government steps in and offers aid. Counselors offer them courage to cope with the calamity. There are many such facilities in place. Only thing is, such people are not Gurus there. But the people who head such services are looked upon with respect.
Here as individuals we set up such service activities and carry them out. What is wrong with that? Why don’t you regard this also as an organization that offers comfort and solace?
You may question why Gurus have to run establishments such as orphanages and homes for destitute women. Our motto is to welcome and help those who come to us in times of trouble. Not only spiritual knowledge but giving other kinds of help as and when needed is something that we do, and we demonstrate to our disciples and the devotees who have become disciples. ‘My child, I am doing this service. It will be nice if you do it also.’ What is wrong if my disciples feel, ‘Since my Guru is doing this, I too should follow his example and render some humanitarian service.’? Because I got into it, they also get involved. If I don’t do it, they also will not do it.
24. Why should I perform Srichakra Archana daily for 2-3 hours, as if I have nothing else to do?
I do it to stimulate the interest in those who follow me that they also should follow this discipline and maintain this tradition. That is the only reason. Why do I need all this otherwise? It is enough for me. It is all done. Every day I do my prayer in my heart. But if I say it out loud, my disciples will also say the same thing that they are also praying inside their hearts and there is no need for rituals. With a determination that I have to teach them to do it physically, I get into it and perform it.
Do I need to attract towards me the deaf and the mute, the disadvantaged? I see God in them. We all simply have to do it. Whatever God has given us, we have to share it with others.
For that I am accused of taking money. What, do I eat the money? Even what is edible, I am not able to eat. Do you think I can eat currency bills and coins? So I give whatever I get to the needy. This is like a bank. You are all giving to them indirectly. This is just a channel. I am like a cashier in a bank. If you criticize him, will he remain? He will leave.
The disciple/devotees have the strong faith that what they place at their Guru’s feet will be properly utilized. That is why they give with reverence and devotion. That is why we have set up a scheme. I work like a secretary to all my devotees. It is not others who are serving the Guru. The Guru is serving all others. I am happy to clear your doubts. If you have more doubts, I will arrange for yet another session to answer more of your questions. These are words that I am sharing with my disciple/devotees. JGD SGD Harih Om Tatsat.
JGD I am back because I left out one question. I have come back to answer that.
25. Where are you going from here?
I am going to Trinidad. In Trinidad a huge Anjaneya statue was intalled. It has become a great tourist center now. People who had migrated there 175 years ago are so happy to see me. They feel that India has arrived there. They chant, ‘Jai Hanumantha’. From there I am going to visit the highest waterfalls called Angel Falls in Venezuela. There I will meditate for one whole day praying for world peace. Do you know who is arranging this trip? You will not believe it! It is Christian disciples. They are great devotees. They are mad about my music. From there I am going to visit Brazil. The visit is also being arranged by them.
One other thing, I forgot to address.
26. Why do you take money for Pada puja?
If I don’t accept money, then can I just survive on fruits, coconut, and flowers? ‘You have to do community service, you have to feed the poor, you have to help the disadvantaged, and you have to maintain the Veda school’, you say, and expect these things of me. What is wrong if I take this money and distribute it for all these purposes? I don’t understand. Then how will I feed those people?
In that case, don’t ask me to serve society. I said that I do it to help my devotees to serve as a model for them so that they do good things. I am not converting the whole world into a hostel. I am telling them to run their homes as hostels.
When the disciple/devotees offer on their own accord as a gift to their Guru with love, I accept and put that money to good use. They have the faith that it will be properly utilized.
27. Why don’t you at least have Sri Bala Swamiji give discourses on the scriptures?
This question itself is wrong. At least you have asked. If you have heard him at all even once, you would know that, that is all that he does. His activities are limited to that. He is in Nuzivid right now giving discourses during his Chaturmasya Deeksha.
May everyone be blessed. May the temple in Dallas be built soon. May all the people who have gathered there benefit from it. May the school for the children flourish.
May the Jesus DRC with its Universal Prayer Hall make good progress. May the Datta Temple in Baton Rouge also progress well. Many people have come close to me this time. Many of them are Americans. May the Lord of all forms who is also formless, Lingam aakaasha roopam, may He protect us.
I will definitely try to have Sri Bala Swamiji give more discourses on the scriptures. There are other disciples also who are carrying out instruction in various topics. The Kriya Yoga teachers are spreading the knowledge of Kriya Yoga very effectively by holding classes at various different locations. Please join the classes and learn Kriya Yoga.
You may make fun of me that I have kept the ashram like a museum with Bonsai Garden and the Vishwam Museum. You may make fun of my free food distribution (annadaanam) program. If you come there and visit you may realize the benefits from all these programs. You will see how the Ayurveda medical tradition is being promoted, how social service projects are being conducted, how medical camps are being held, how medical services are taken to villages that have no medical facilities, and how during calamities significant help is being rendered.
May all those who are supporting the Rs.5/- a day program that is helping society, be blessed. May their wealth increase. You think I am doing an advertisement? Why not? Are there not so many such advertisements on television? You get this yantra to obtain so many millions or you get this mantra to obtain this windfall. All that I am requesting is for five rupees a day with which we build homes for the poor and we help victims of flood. What is wrong with that? There is nothing wrong.
This Datta Peetham is a service organization. I am a servant. Remember that always. If you think of me as a Guru, that is fine. If you call me grandfather, that is also fine. You call me king, Lord, or brother. There is nothing wrong. In spite of my beard, many call me ‘Mother’. What is wrong with that? God appears to different people in different forms. May everyone be blessed. I once again bless everyone. Jaya Guru Datta. Sri Guru Datta. Who knows? I may return in winter time. Jaya Guru Datta.