Guru Purnima, which fell on July 31, 2015 was celebrated at Nashik, where the Walk of Hope was on a day of rest. In the morning, a thousand or so people gathered in the morning at Dadasaheb Gaikwad Auditorium in the city centre. A blood donation drive was also organised and many donated their blood before the Satsang.
Sri M addressed those present:
“Akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākāram vyāptam yena carācaram
Tatpadam darśitam yena tasmai śrī gurave namah
(Which) pervades the entire unbroken form of the circle (of creation), moving and unmoving.
To that beautiful and benevolent Guru through whom that state was revealed (to me), salutations.
Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheshwara
Gurur Sakshat Parabrahma Tasmai Shree Guruvey Namaha
The Guru is Brahma(The creator), Lord Vishnu(The preserver, and Lord Shiva (the destroyer)
To that very Guru I bow, for He is the Supreme Being, right before my eyes.
Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu – May the entire universe be happy”
“I will speak in Hindi, not in English. First of all, my namaskars to all of you. Bhaiyaji Joshi is here; namaskars to him and his associates.
This is Guru Purnima. Therefore, I will speak mostly on the connection between the Guru and the disciple. It is called Guru Purnima because the real guru is like a full moon. It is so because cool light emanates from him, not the fiery light that comes from the sun. It is said somewhere that when moon-beams fall on calm waters, go deep and touch oysters, pearls are created. I do not know if this is a scientific truth or not. This is how it is with the Guru.”
“I do not feel that I was qualified in any way to be a yogi. When Maheshwarnath Babaji blessed me by keeping his hand on my head, something happened. I cannot explain it to you; this boy, who ran away at the age of 19 to the Himalayas, when he came back after 3 years, he was not the same, there were many changes in his brain and in his mind. One cannot go back after experiences like that, one can only go forward.”
“I got such a Guru. I am not talking about Sri Guru Babaji, I am talking about this life of mine, I am talking about Maheswarnath Babaji. I spent time with him; I learnt from him, I listened to what he said with attention, I practiced what he told me to do. With this, I feel, that there were some experiences. I do not know if you believe me but it is so.”
“WhenI was 9 years old, Babaji met me, and he kept his hand on my head and blessed me. He asked me, do you remember anything. I said I do not. He said that it is okay and I will remember when it is time. Then, when I was 19 years old and wandered here and there and finally reached Vyas Guha – he was there. He stood up and, when I looked at his eyes, I felt that these were the eyes that I saw when I was 9 years old. I could not say anything. I just stood there.”
“The first thing he said was, Ghoom Phir Ke Pahunch Gaye (after your wanderings here and there, you have finally reached.) I said, Babaji, I am now here, I will not leave your feet. He smiled and said, Dekha Jayega (we will see). Like that, I wandered with him. He walked in front of me and I walked behind him. There was no banner, no publicity – it’s published in today’s newspaper that we are walking on this padayatra. He did not have a flag. He walked alone and I walked behind him. Never once did I walk in front of him. I understood that he was an ideal guide.”
“Once we were in Uttarkashi and we were sitting there by the Ganges, we were having an informal satsang – not like this with microphones – he asked me suddenly, what do you think of yourself? I said that I think of myself as your dog. He then said that is fine, but do not wag your tail too much. I said, I wouldn’t wag my tail, only when you say it should, it will wag. So, after 4 or 5 days, he said that you would have to do this work of spreading the message about India’s samskaras, ancient philosophy and culture. I said vehemently ‘Babaji, I cannot do this work.’”.
“I did not even know the sadhus who came to meet him. I told him that I liked to stay in solitude. He then reminded me of the words I had said earlier that I was his dog. I replied ‘Okay, I will do what you say’. He said a time would come when you will walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. I said that I would remain in the Himalayas with you; I have no interest in doing that. He said I had to do it. I replied Aadesh. He said many people would walk with you. At this,I was shocked! I said I would walk alone; I cannot walk with many people. He replied‘what you say will not happen, what I say is going to happen, you will have to endure it’. I responded saying okay, may it be so.”
“So, many years passed. I wondered who would come with me. Three years ago, I was with a very good friend of mine; he is here with us, he’s sitting somewhere; he does not speak a lot. I told him I am going to walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. He did not ask any questions; he said, I will come with you. Like this, many people came forward and said, I will walk with you. They have full freedom to go whenever they want. But if one walks, it must be understood that there will be difficulties and those difficulties will have to be faced. If one walks, one has the blessing of Babaji. It is like this.”
“Many people who joined at the beginning are walking till now. We started from Kanyakumari on 12th January because this is the sangam of three oceans and also it was the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. We went to Vivekananda rock where he meditated and found his life’s mission; we garlanded his statue and started from there. I believe that if we have blessings of these great Gurus, we will reach Srinagar. Many people have said that there are such dangers in walking this way. I say to them, let there be danger, we have to walk. So, we will walk. Walking slowly, we will reach Srinagar. I will not say anymore about this yatra.”
“I will speak about the relationship between me and Babaji—the guru-disciple relationship. First of all, do not think that you are like me and I am like Babaji. There is no comparison between Babaji and I, he was incomparable, I can never reach that place. And, the kind of disciple I was to him, I feel it is very difficult. What he used to do, I used to do. If he had told me to jump in the river, I would have jumped in the river; I was ready. This cannot be with everyone. People think! It is okay. Think as much as you want! But I did not think. This is the thing about me, I am mad.”
“Only when one is mad, can some work be done in this world. The world does not affect someone who is mad. Look at a mad person on the railway station. Does it matter to him if you praise him or blame him or give him money? He is lost in his madness. If one drinks of, what we call Ram Ras, even once, then the person does not remain normal anymore. If there are more of such people in this world, it will be a better place. So, we are inviting you all to be a part of this madness. There was a Sufi who said, Akal ke madrase…. This surrender is not easy, only after one contemplates, does this kind of surrender happen.”
“Surrender is not that which happens when one fails in the exam and runs away; if so, one comes back very quickly. Or they go away somewhere and then ask for a money order to be sent. This is not sanyas. Sanyas is not leaving the world; not changing the dress. Read the Bhagavat Gita and find out what sanyas is. Stay in the world and do your work. Serve others. I know many such people who have served their whole lives, they have spent a lifetime in service. I say to you to think about these things.”
“I will share one or two experiences that I had with Babaji and then end my talk. What I am about to tell you is not there in my autobiography. It will come in my next book. Just because I am sharing these experiences now, please do not think you do not have to read it. Please pick it up and read it.”
“There are one or two things – do not think that such beings as Maheshwarnath Babaji do not know about you. They know everything about you. They know very well if you have or have not surrendered. One should tell the truth. It is better to say I hate you when you are really feeling that rather than say I love you, that is much better because it is the truth.”
“It was his belief that his photograph should not be taken. He knew I was a painter – I like to paint but what to do, I get no time now – he told me that do not take my picture nor paint my image. I told him once — there is a photo booth in Rishikesh, please have a picture taken. He refused. I then hit upon an idea – my mind did not work very well at that time and I had spent only 2 years with him – that I should get a photographer from Lakshman Jhoola to take Babaji’s picture. If you go to Lakshman Jhoola, you will see many photographers standing there; they take your picture and give it to you in 2 hours, even now one can find them there. So, I became friends with a Gharwali boy and told him that we have to take my Babaji’s photograph.”
“I gave him details of where and how the picture should be taken – where Shivanand Swami used to stay – not the ashram, but the kutiya at the other side of the ghat. I told him that, in the evening, we would be there for the Satsang. It will be easy to spot him, he is tall and fair, he will stand out. I told him that he should come in a boat from the opposite direction. ‘When you come there, you should not smile at me or show any sign of recognition – do not show in any way that you know me. Just go there, take a picture quietly and leave.’; these were the instructions I gave him.”
“So, I went there that evening. I was thinking that Babaji would know and cancel the Satsang. But that did not happen. We went and sat at the ghat and Babaji started talking. That day, we were talking about Kathopanishad. I was waiting and waiting and it became dark. I told him, Babaji it has become dark. He said, it was dark yesterday also. But I did not see the photographer. After some time, when it got even darker, Babaji said to me –‘Let us leave, your photographer friend will not come’. I prostrated before him, I said, I am sorry Babaji, I will not repeat this mistake again. So, Babaji said, ‘It is okay, but that photographer will not come, so you can sit for some time.”
“We sat there for some more time and he gave me a beautiful lecture on photography. He explained to me what a photo is. He told me that when light falls on an object, when it is reflected and captured, that is a photo. He told me that even if the photographer friend came to me and tried to take the photograph, he would not be able to do so. He then asked me, what if I have the capacity to ensure that the light that falls on me is not reflected back – how will a photograph be taken then? I said, yes Babaji, a photograph cannot be taken in such a case. He then told me, close your eyes for an instant and open them again. And when I did that, I saw a black shadow for a split second, just a black silhouette.”
“Still, my curiosity was not exhausted. I went to the photographer the next day. The moment he saw me, he did namaskar and said, do not do this again. I asked him what happened and he narrated to me the happenings of the previous day. He said that he started in a bus but halfway here, the bus had a flat tire; so he got down and started walking, saw an Ambassador car coming towards him and asked them to take him with them. They agreed. They started again but soon, the car’s axle broke – it was the first time the axle had broken down in his life, the driver said. At this point, the photographer thought, there must be something else to it and took the next bus back.”
“Like this many years passed. I live in Madanapalle, it is a small village in Andhra Pradesh; it is three hours away from Bangalore. Many years had passed. Babaji had taken samadhi. I thought that we do not have Babaji’s picture. I thought there must have been a reason then why he said no picture of his should be taken. Now, there should be no harm. So, I fixed a paper and started painting with Indian ink. I really liked it. It was the month of May and it was summer. It was hot; I felt it would be good if the painting gets some sun. I thought I would keep it in the veranda, eat something and have a nap while it gets dry. I did that.”
“I woke up suddenly; it was raining very heavily. I thought how is this possible; it never rained in the month of May in Madanapalle. And, not only rain, there was heavy thunder and dark clouds. I went running downstairs and found that the picture was completely washed out. I do not know if you will believe this or not – the rain stopped in ten minutes and the sky was clear again!”
“When I started writing the autobiography, I felt that I had mentioned Maheshwarnath Babaji everywhere but there wasn’t any picture that could be published. The book would go to so many people – how did he look, they would ask. So, I sat down with an artist in the school and we made a picture. It is the one you see here – he wasn’t blue, he was quite fair. We made the picture and sent it to the publisher. Everyday, I had the doubt that something would happen and the picture would not be printed. But, nothing happened. I asked the publisher if the picture came and he said, it had. I was very happy, I felt that it had finally been sanctioned.”
“When one is with a Guru, one should know that the Guru knows better about you than you know yourself. Sometimes, I saw that even before I had a thought, he knew. Everyone is not like this. This is the Kali-Yuga. One should be very careful, there are more gurus than shishyas. But, there are such gurus still.”
“When Babaji took samadhi, I told him, please have some marking there, so people will know there is a samadhi. He said there are so many museums in this world, and one more is not needed. I know where it is but no one else does. There are such yogis who do not care about name and fame in this world, they do not even think of it. They are like magnets, if a piece of iron goes near it, it automatically becomes a magnet. But, before that, the accumulated rust of ages must be removed. If that does not happen, it won’t do any good to remain near the magnet. All our sadhana is to remove this rust. The instructions of the guru are only to remove the rust.”
“The easiest path is the path of service. Many think, while in tamoguna, that they are in sattvaguna. But, it is not so. To get to sattvaguna from tamoguna, one has to go through rajoguna. Rajoguna is activity – movement. Sadhana is to rouse one up from sleep. Swami Vivekananda used to say Arise, awake! Shushupti and Turiya are not one; they are different. That is why the way we live is very important. When one lives for another, when one serves another, then one will move towards sattvaguna. Spiritual life is not a license for a lazy life. Work should be done on the outside and on the inside.”
“It is my experience – this has been said in Bhagavat Gita – Arjuna asks Lord Krishna in the 12th chapter, who is your greatest devotee. Lord Krishna mentions three qualifications for that. The first one is Samniyam-yendriya-graamam – the one who has control over his senses. Normally, our mind is such that it runs after the sense organs. There has to be control so that the senses remain under the control of the mind.”
“The second one is Sarvathra Sama Buddhayaha – the one who is even minded in all situations. Thulya Nindaa Sthuthir Mounee Santhushto Yena Kena Chith- in praise or in blame, one remains the same. The world is such that if someone says good things about one, one is very happy. However, if someone criticises one, there is depression and anti-depressant tablets are needed. A Yogi is one who does not listen to opinions. He knows what he is. All worries can be dropped and one can live freely in this world.”
“And, actually, the one who criticises you is doing you some good. There is that Lata Mangeshkar song Mithi mithi baato se bachna zaraa…. The one who criticises may actually be saying a truth. Babaji used to say to me that if someone calls you an idiot, why do you get offended? Have a look in the mirror, you may be an idiot.”
“So, this balance of mind is needed. Happiness and sadness, praise and blame should be considered as the same’.
“And thirdly, Sarva Bhuta hite ratah – One should have the welfare of all beings in his heart, not only human beings but all beings. If one understands this deeply, then I do not feel that anyone would consciously hurt another being for his food.”
“If one lives his life following these three things, then one can live in happiness. Happiness is an inner thing; it does not depend on the outer. There is the Fakir who sits under a tree, who has no possessions, who sits with torn clothes and has a begging bowl. What do people go to him for? He hasThat. He is close to the paramatma. I will tell you a small story and end this.”
“There was a yogi by the name of Tapasviji Maharaj. He was the Maharaja of Patiala. Once, he wanted to expand his kingdom. In those days, if one wanted to do something like that, one had to take permission from the Mughal emperor in Delhi. So, he went to Delhi and met Bahadur Shah Zafar, he was the last Mughal emperor. He said, I need your permission; I need your help to expand my kingdom. The emperor asked him two things – firstly, if I send a Pathan general with you and he takes over the conquered area, will you be able to face him? Secondly, here is a Fakir sitting under the tree in the courtyard – go and have a look at him – and then tell me who is happier. The Fakir or the Emperor… whose face shows more happiness? He saw and he felt that the Fakir was happier. He left and did not come back. No one knew where he had gone.”
“Many years later, the next maharaja of Patiala set out on a pilgrimage of Badrinath with his retinue. On his way, he was told in Rishikesh to take the blessings of a yogi who sat near Lakshman Jhoola. They went there and found a yogi with matted hair sitting in a cave. They told the yogi why they were there and the yogi said Tathaastu – may it be so. As soon as he spoke, the maharaja felt that it was his brother. He said to the yogi, please come back brother and resume your rule, take the kingdom, I have taken your place only because we did not know where you were. The yogi said, what did you just call me now? His brother said – Maharaj. The yogi added, when I am the Maharaj of the entire universe, what will I do with a small kingdom of Patiala?”
“This whole universe, this is in the heart of every being. What does this mean? This means that every person, be it a man or a woman, is a walking temple. What does this mean? This means that just as we worship in the temple, just so we should also worship human beings and that is through service. If one does that, one’s mind will be purified and one will progress on the spiritual path.”
“Three thousand years ago it has been said in the Vedas – Ekam Sat, viprah bahuda vadanati – the truth is One but the wise call it by many names. If this is understood, then India will become strong. It is very important that India be strong. If you all stand together,then India will be strong. A day will come when people will come, like they did in the ancient times, for knowledge and wisdom to India. This is my message. I do not want to say anything more.”
“I thank all of you. Namaskar.”