Guru Purnima, which fell on July 31, 2015 was celebrated at Nashik, where the Walk of Hope was on a day of rest.
There was an early lunch and, in the evening, the padayatris gathered at Vishvas Gardens on the outskirts of Nashik city for the main Guru Purnima program. There were more than 500 who had come together for the occasion. The setting for the program was in a large covered space by the Godavari River, now overflowing due to heavy rains. Even as they sat down, rains started and there was a nip in the air. They huddled close together not for warmth but because they wanted to be as close to Sri M as possible – this being such a special occasion. It was a different thing that there was a loud speaker and one could hear very clearly even if one sat at the rear.
Sri M addressed the gathering thus:
“Ekam Nityam Vimalam-Acalam Sarva-Dhii Saakssi-Bhuutam
Bhaava-Atiitam Tri-Gunna-Rahitam Sad Gurum-Tam Namaami (Salutations to the Satguru)
Who is One without the Second, Who is Eternal, Who is Stainless and Pure,
Who is Immovable, Who is the Witness of the Intelligence of All Beings,
Who is Beyond the States of the Mind, Who is Free from the Three Gunas; Salutations to that Satguru.
Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu – May the entire universe be happy”
“So, English or Hindi? First of all, namaskars to all of you. You all have come here to Nashik for Gurupurnima. We usually have our Gurupurnima in Madanapalle but, sometimes, it happens here or there. This time, the padayatra is going on so we thought we will have Gurupurnima in Nashik; it is the place of Panchavati, Trimbakeshwar is on our right. Trimbakeshwar is the place of Trayambak. When we say that mantra Om Traymbakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushti Vardhanam – that Trayambak is in Trayambakeshwar.”
“I thought that Kanta Prasad Mishra will sing and we will listen to him. But, they have told me to sit here and speak. So, I will say a few words and then, we will listen to him. He has come from Benares and is our good friend. I think of everyone as my friend. All these in front of me are my friends. I am not ready to call anyone my disciple because this is kali yuga and there are more gurus than disciples.”
“What my Guru told me, I will share that with you. My guru, Maheshwarnath Babaji, taught me one thing – to keep alive the knowledge that he gave me. It is said in the Vedanta that when one gets Brahma saakshaatkaar, one will not need to go after any other knowledge. This is assumed by many that after that, there is nothing to be known. It is not so. I do not know anything about architecture, about micro biology, etc., one will have to talk to experts.”
“Once a brahmachari went to Ramana Maharishi. Ramana Maharishi was alive then. So, he went there and by himself assumed the practice of silence and kept silence for three days. For three days, he did not eat food because he was not speaking and nobody offered him food. He got very angry the fourth day. He wrote on a paper, it has been three days since I am here, I see that you are feeding monkeys, but nobody has asked me about my hunger, I am in silence. He handed this paper to Ramana Maharishi. Ramana Maharishi used to break his silence only now and then. He said, how am I to know that you are in silence, if you asked for food you would have had it, and secondly, this hall does not have CCTV, if you wanted food you should have asked.”
“This means that one should be ready to learn anytime. When the mind is developed, one should be ready to learn anytime. When the mind is developed, there is space to learn. When there is space, there is the chance of something being added. Otherwise, how can it be added?”
“Do not worry – I do not know what you are thinking, sit in peace and happiness. You will feel you are safe that I have said these things….”
“Actually, you are not safe.” (Everybody breaks into rapturous laughter)
“That is why, as my friends know, sometimes they are thinking red but say it is white. When the mind is quiet, there is only the ‘One-mind’. We are different because our mind is enmeshed in desire. Take that away and there will be no difference between you and me. It does not mean that this ‘one-mind’ knows everything. Yes, this is there that the yogi has such concentration and one-pointedness that if something has to be learnt, he learns in two minutes.”
“Second, it is Guru Purnima – do not accept anyone as a Guru, just like that. Let some time pass, let two or three years go, do not accept him that soon. Why? What criteria is there to accept him as a Guru? Some people accept Gurus on very arbitrary ideas – because his nose is long, for example. Sometimes the Guru may not be that graceful. You all know that Mandukya Maharishi wrote the Mandukya Upanishad. How would the face of Mandukya look – you all can picture that.”
“Do not go for this outer attraction. If you do that, then you will not be able to walk on the spiritual path, on the inner path. That is why, spend two or three years before you accept him as your Guru.”
“You all know about Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. He is considered a great avatar. Swami Vivekananda was his prime disciple. I do not need to say anything about him. Sri Ramakrishna loved Swami Vivekananda so much yet Swami Vivekananda tested him so much. The guru used to say that I do not touch money; I am unable to touch money. So, once Narendra – Swami Vivekananda was known by that name then – tested him, even I cannot do this. To test him, if he told the truth or not, he placed a coin under Sri Ramakrishna’s mattress.”
“So, Sri Ramakrishna came and laid down on the mattress. He got up because he could not sleep, wandered around and laid down again. He got up again and wandered again for some more time. After doing this a few times, he summoned Narendra and said to him, maybe someone kept money under the mattress, go check. Swami Vivekananda fell at his feet in tears and said he was sorry and would never make such a mistake again. Sri Ramakrishna said it’s fine while adding that he had not committed any mistake.”
“That is why, do some seva first for two or three years. By seva, it does not mean that you press my feet or do any such sort of thing – there will be nothing of my feet left if you do something like that all the time! This is not seva. Seva is to do your sadhana. Seva is to listen to what he says intently. Seva is to bring change in your life. This is Guru Seva. It is easy pressing feet. It is difficult to practice yama-niyama and other disciplines”.
“It is not to say that one should not press the guru’s feet. If there is pain, do that also. But do not think that by holding on to his feet, all your sins will be washed away. That is not going to happen. If that were so, what is the function of the Guru? If one is such that he is in evil company – in dursangha – all the time and commits evil acts, thinking he is free to do whatever he pleases to do, and then he comes to a guru and holds on to his feet, the fruits of his action will not go away, they will still remain. What the Guru says he will have to do, only then will itwork out.”
“For the Guru, nobody is bad or good. To him, all are equal. I was talking about Maheswarnath Babaji. He gave many directions about the future. He once told me that when my autobiography comes out, many people will come to me. I told him, what can I do sitting with so many people. And second, what is the use of so many people coming to me. Sometimes, such people who have committed many evil actswill come. There are very few who are good. What am I to do when such people come? They will touch my feet, what am I to do?”
“Babaji said, look Madhu, why would anyone go to a doctor if he does not have a disease? Only one who has disease goes to the doctor. That is why, the one who has disease, make them yours first. Later on, when the good ones come, they will become okay on their own.That is what he said.”
“I consider all of you as One. I may be in the middle but we are all one. We should all walk each other home, holding each others’ hands.”
“There should be no competition – that I am closer than you to the Guru, that is nonsense. Also, this is a body. It will be here for 20 or 25 years more; I am not calculating, please, but this is a body. After some time it will go, then what will you do?”
“If you listen to the teachings and live your life in a particular way, a time will come – it is not necessary that it be in this life – when you will become like me. It does not mean that you will have a long nose.” (Laughter). “The way our mind is – you will also reach that state, that is our message.”
“I pray on this Guru Purnima, for everyone who is here, that you reach that place where we need to reach with the grace of Sri Guru Babaji. This is my prayer on this Guru Purnima. There is no other prayer.”
“That is why, live in togetherness, live a certain way and do your practices. If you do this, then you will become a yogi.”
“You will think that I reached this stage in one life. It is not so. It has taken many lives to reach such a state. Please follow the teachings. Who knows if someone is here whose last life this is? Do not be discouraged even if there are still 100 more births to go. Keep this in your mind, that I may reach That which is the Ultimate in this life! This is what Guru Seva means. If you do this hundred percent, then you will go forward with much power. The more purposefully you do it, the more you will advance. Grace is there, if there was no grace you would not be here.”
“There is the blessing of Maheshwarnath Babaji, there is the grace of God. I am only a spokesman; that is all. I am empty, that is why you can listen to me well. If you fill a flute with dirt, there will be no music. If the flute is empty, then music comes of it. Keep this in your mind – I am zero, I am the smallest of the small – bring down the ego. All rest will be okay.”
“Serve as much as you can. If you meet someone who you think is spiritual, serve him well for some time. And, see if he is asking you for a cheque or not. If he is, then search for someone else. A spiritual guru is not there to take; he is there to give. There is nothing that he needs – sometimes he has a house and a family, sometimes he is alone – that varies from Guru to Guru. But, he needs nothing from you.”
“There is no demand from you but this – faith and patience. Like, it has been written in Shirdi. If this is there, then one need not stand in Shirshasan for ten hours. Of course, you can do it if you wish to but it is not needed.”
“The change that is there in the mind happens because of sincerity, because of one-pointedness, because one leads a pure life, because of the practice of disciplines and because one lives a certain way.”
“This is my message for Guru Purnima – wherever you are, in whatever birth you are – I pray that the hand of Maheswarnath Babaji be there on your head. And, the blessings of Sri Guru Babaji be there on you.”
“I conclude this now. We will listen to Kanta Prasad Mishra, he has come all the way from Benares. I do not want to say anything else. If there has been some mistake, please forgive.”
“Namaskar and thank you.”
When the Satsang ended, the air was palpable with a different kind of energy—all sat enveloped in peace.
Then, Sri Kanta Prasad Mishra sang devotional songs for about an hour or so. Sri Kanta Prasad Mishra is a highly acclaimed Hindustani classical singer. He, accompanied by his retinue including his son, mesmerised the crowd with a scintillating performance.
The dhuni was lit later by Sri M. He had a chimta and the trishul- emblems of the Nath Tradition – those of the Nath order carry these. All devotees lined up and, one by one, prostrated before their Guru and received his blessings. Dinner soon followed. Everyone left gradually. The padayatris went to their resting spot. Others left to catch buses, trains, and flights back to their destination.