Gurupurnima | 19 July 2016 | Evening Satsang by Sri M


Sri M began his Gurupurnima address with a customary chant.

Brahmanandam parama sukhadam kevalam jnanamurtim
dvandvaateetam gagana sadrusam tatvamasyadi lakshyam
ekam nityam vimala machalam sarvadheesaakshibuutam
bhaavaateetam triguna rahitam sadgurum tam namaami.

“First I bow down to the Guru. Then you bow down to the Guru. Today, being Gurupurnima, I don’t want you to just come, listen to me and then go back home. I want to give you something concrete, so that you take it home and practice it. Till a few years ago, I … English lo sonna poruma, somebody told me in the morning Tamil lo pesango. Sir.. Tamil.. Paarango. Yeppadi, inga tamil teriyandaga neriya irakaranga. And he is a schoolteacher, as if he doesn’t know English. So, what did I say??”

“Few years ago, I was very strict about giving Kriya to people and when people came, I used to stall because I wanted to be sure it does not become a cheap thing. In my case, it is easier because you don’t pay anything and when you take something that you don’t pay for, people don’t take it very seriously. We are accustomed to pay. If you don’t pay, it is not serious. Must be something available cheap so he is giving it away to people. That is one thing. What people don’t realize is when they actually take Kriya, they pay for it with their lives. Once you take, there is no escape, you can’t get out. Somehow or the other, it will pull you back. Unless you reach a stage where you are completely free. Can you hear there? So I was very reluctant, since I was also instructed to be careful and so on.”

“Then hundreds of people started, not openly, crying inside the house – we did not get Kriya, what is this.. and so on – forgetting that you have to first follow some rules and regulations before you start the practice of Kriya. Then I decided; when people come for Kriya, give them the Guru Mantra. You don’t know how much it is important but in the whole process of Kriya, which is our parampara, the Guru Mantra is very important. Without the Guru Mantra, you cannot step into Kriya. So, when people came for Kriya, especially for the first time, I always explained to them, “Listen, Kriya is not some magic which you snap your fingers and everything is over, it’s not that. You have to work hard, you have to practice, and you have to do many things. I explain, but still people say Kriya. They think once you take Kriya and go home, you are already in Moksha. That is not true. You have to practice. And Kriya is not the only way to salvation, this also I explain to people. There are many ways to reach the highest and Kriya is only one of the ways that is given to us in the parampara. It cannot be that there is something specially selected for a few people. It is impossible. So, it is not like that. I always ask people, what Kriya did Mirabai practice? Nothing.. Sheer, true, sincere devotion took her to where she had to go. That is the Bhakti part. The gyana part, Thiruvannamalai is not very far from here. What Kriya did Ramana Maharishi practice? I am not saying we all are Ramana Maharishis, but what Kriya did he practice? Nothing. So it is not that if you want to go forward, you have to practice Kriya. It is not like that. Please understand. Those who come and say, ” Oh, I didn’t get Kriya, I have been coming for so many years.” So what happens? Nothing happens, everything is fine. Maybe you are not ready for it. Maybe it is not required. Leave it to me. I am not one who converts people from this to that. So if you are already doing some devotional practice, I don’t want to you to shift and say, “Oh, I have to practice Kriya.” However, Kriya is my parampara, so I would definitely defend it, in the sense that it is a good practice. If done with complete attention and devotion, it can certainly move you on the path. But when you take Kriya, it doesn’t mean that you should not be doing anything else.”

“Like somebody said, “I am practicing a particular kind of Kriya now called ana-pana. I said, ‘so what?’. There is one difficulty, Sir. I asked what that is. We are not allowed to go to temples. I said, do you love to go to temples? I love when I go to temples and my heart opens. Then I said, dump the ana-paana. So when you come here, I don’t say don’t go here, don’t go there. Of course, cut down sitting in the temples where they sell bottled spirit, but generally. You can go to temples, you can go to churches – if you are a practitioner of any religion, you can continue the practices as long as the practice does not cause injury to other living beings and when I say living beings, please include human beings. Really! Who builds goshalas? Cows or human beings? So, are human beings important? So when you say living beings, don’t leave out human beings – that is what I mean. Human beings are evolved to do certain things, so they are very important part of evolution. So, we have no such restrictions. You may be worshipping the formless, okay. You may be worshipping forms, okay. No problem.”

“You know about the chapter on Bhakti Yoga – the 12th chapter, the Gita. We are going to do the 12th Chapter at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Bombay. I don’t know the date, I forgot. Arjuna asks Krishna, who do you think is the greatest of Yogis, the greatest of bhaktas? I hear people say that someone who worships the Supreme, Ungraspable, Immeasurable, Formless, and Supreme Reality as Brahman, are they the greatest of rishis? Or the greatest of bhaktas? Or the greatest of the yogis? Or are the people who worship you as you are, looking after you, who among them are greatest of Yogis? Can you tell me? If you say, I will accept it. Krishna says that is fine, there are great yogis who worship the Supreme Being as the formless, almost unreachable and so on. But it is not so easy to do that for most people. We are all form-oriented people. To use Vedantic terminology, we are all people who dependent on naama and rupa. All of us. How do we recognize each other? If you are formless, can I recognize you? No. I recognize you because you have a form and you have a name. So when I say “Ambika”, it is a name. Then that form is there in front and so I say – haan, this is Ambika. So the naama is connected to the rupa. Or when I see somebody here, I may forget the name, but I see the roopa and I say haan, Manish. Then as soon as I say it clicks, oh.. what is the naama.. Manish.. or Gita.. She is looking from there with glasses. So, we are so dependent on this name and form. Suppose we are all made, we had the same shape, how will we recognize each other? Or we had the same names? So it is so important for most human beings to have some concrete thing to give attention to. It could be a form, or a symbol, or it could be sound. Something is required.”

“Before we jump into this sea to swim, it is good to try the small ponds or swimming pools in your house, preferably with a life belt. So, these are the life belts. There are people whom I know will say, ” No, No, we are quite advanced.” Okay, very good, I always bow down to you. So, we only think of the formless Supreme. Okay fine. And what do you do when you get up in the morning? In front of your washbasin. Whose form is that? Yours. If you don’t have that form, you have to worship your own form. So we are still caught in form. Check for gray hairs to pull out. Have the eyebrows grown out of control? Any hair coming out of the nose? What do you do? We are so concerned. Three more wrinkles have come today. You might think men are not vain. But they are very vain. Have you seen any women carry combs in their pockets? See men… Not only that, after combing…one hair has slipped out of place… So, we are caught by form and name and thinking of suddenly jumping into that is not easy. So therefore, what I am trying to say, that if you are already there, then fine. Okay, since we are not generally, please go to temples if you feel like it. It’s wonderful, enjoyable, and beautiful. I love to go. And don’t think because somebody is practicing Kriya, he should not go to temple. No, no, no. If you are not already been going and if you are accustomed to going to a mosque and bowing down in front of nothingness, that is also fine with us. There is no problem here.”

“If you don’t want to call God Eshwara, and you want to call God God, that is no problem here. So Kriya is not meant for any small narrow system or situation. It’s meant for all, provided they want to find some way the energies that are generally wasted and dissipated in the human system. You know why we can’t have one pointed attention? Because our energies are wasted. There are 1008 nadis in the human system, according to yogic anatomy and physiology. Most of the time, our prana is working through these nadis. The only nadi that is neglected is the shushumna, which is in the centre. So the idea is, the practice of Kriya – whether you are a bhakta or a yogi or a gyani – the practice of yoga is meant to gather these energies, the prana from all the nadis and bring it into one place. When it comes to one place, when I say one place, it’s like one pointed, gathered together, and then there is tremendous energy. When that energy happens, then you move forward. Otherwise, it’s lifeless. You sit for meditation, but you would rather watch TV. Do you show the same enthusiasm as you watch your favourite program, “Veer pandyain katta bomman” as you are meditating? No. So Kriya is meant to gather these energies together, which have been dissipated. That’s about it. It has come from a source, which we called Sri Guru Babaji – the source which has been there for ages and which we believe continues to be there, to guide people on the spiritual path, not only in Kriya, but also on all spiritual paths. I have myself been witness to somebody going to Babaji and asking him to initiate into Kriya, when he said there is no need for you. You are already doing something, so do it. Do it with complete attention. But, the person said – I need guidance. Babaji said, I will guide you. The person then said, I need blessings. Babaji said both hands on your head. So don’t mistake. I am also saying this because once people take Kriya, they think they are some elite. I am different from others. Why?? Don’t come near me. There is nothing like that.”

“What you have to examine is how the mind has developed. Have we become kinder? Have we become tranquil? The test for a yogi is stitha prajna. Test for a yogi is can the mind remain tranquil, calm and peaceful even in the midst of different circumstances. Do you suddenly feel glorified when somebody praises you? Will you feel depressed if somebody says you are a bloody fool? In both circumstances, tulya ninda stutir mouni, it’s from the Gita. The mouni or the yogi doesn’t care for ninda or stuti. It’s the same thing. How does it matter? What matters is your inner essence, which is a part of the divine and which is so for everyone. So if somebody insults you, think that it is God in that human form, pointing something out to you. Saying watchout, this is where you go wrong. He may not realize it, but… So, that is Kriya.”

“And there are several Kriyas. In the Kriya yoga of Sri Guru Babaji itself, there are 108 Kriyas. Of which, poor Shamacharan Lahiri Mahasaya was given three and we are also continuing with that much only. It’s enough. There is no need to go into all the 108 Kriya. So, the major thing is, if you take Kriya, or you are on this path of devotion, or if you don’t want to take Kriya, it doesn’t matter. Why I am saying this is after hearing so much demoralizing talk about it, somebody may not want. That is also fine. Great. I am happy. One thing is important – you need to have love and devotion to the source from which it came. Without love and devotion, any Kriya becomes a mechanical practice. Do you think God is such an idiot that he can’t differentiate somebody is a good person who is not doing any Kriya, while somebody else is a terrible fellow, but every morning he sits and does Kriya? Is God such an idiot saying this fellow breathes up and down fast, so I will give him some moksha? The other guy works the whole day in the paddy field, comes home and looks after his family. He is not allowed. This is not possible. It rebels against this complete system of divine justice. I am not saying, you should not breathe in and out. If you stop breathing, you are dead. But think about this carefully. There are qualities to be developed of which devotion is most important. Without devotion, without prem, body becomes a smashan (graveyard). Jaa dhad prem na sancharai, so dhad jaan smashan. Jaise khaal lohar ki, saas let bin pran. So said Kabir. This means the bellows of the blacksmith also make phuss phuss. They don’t have any life. I am sure many young people haven’t seen the bellows of a blacksmith. Nowadays, they don’t exist. They are leather bags with handles and then the air comes phuss phuss stoking the fire. So, devotion to the source from which Kriya has come is most important before you do Kriya and therefore, in our parampara, we have a Guru Mantra ……”

“That also I was very reluctant to give. I didn’t know how much respect would people give to it. But I think now the times have changed. We can’t hold it like that. So we have so many people sitting here. I just want to broadcast it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t do or if you do. And some harm comes, it can come to me, I don’t care. I will use Kunti’s words; bring all troubles on my head. You know that story, no? When Krishna leaves for Dwaraka, he asks Kunti, what blessing do you want from me. Tell me now. Because I am going away, so I can immediately grant it and go back. So, there is a dialogue in the Bhagavat. First, Kunti says please stop all this drama. I know you quite well. Can you imagine somebody talking to someone who is considered to be a Purnavatar? I know you. Don’t try all this drama on me. You started the war, and you ended the war for us. You were with us so we won and all that we know. We also know that you are usually with people who are poor and suffering like Kuchela. But that you joined with us who are rich and well-known families, that itself is a great thing. This is all your drama so don’t do all that. You asked me for a boon. Yes, I want to ask you for that. What is that? Bring all the miseries and pains of this whole world on my head. That’s the boon I want. Even Krishna is a little taken aback. What the hell? But why? Generally, it is only when the trouble comes when we call on you. So when troubles keep coming, I can keep calling you. I am 100% sure that when I call you, you will come. So I am always seeing you. That’s all I want. Well we cannot pray like that. We are not Kunti, okay. When one trouble comes we will start running and say please take back that one.”

“Ramakrishna Paramahamsa used to tell a story. A very old person used to go to a Bhagavati Temple and pray. There were a lots of people standing around so she wants everyone to know how she had renounced the whole world, and doesn’t care about anything. “Devi, why have you kept me here? Please take me away..” Just mainly for the daughter-in-laws to hear because she always carried the cupboard keys. Please take me away. So the priest got fed up one day thinking what is this woman, such a hypocrite. So he went and stood behind the image of the Goddess. There were many hands, so two more you can’t make out. She went and said please take me away. Why are you keeping me here? Vango, he said. Come. I think in some airport there is a south Indian restaurant called “Vango” which means “come” – that is what I am trying to explain. Come. You can guess what happened. She ran for her life. Who will look after the grandchildren?, she asked. Now why did I say this? I forgot. Nobody from North India knows why you are laughing. So, therefore, what I am trying to say let me come to the point before it. Clouds are gathering… don’t worry. So, devotion to the Guru. Not this, to the Supreme source.”

“Sri Guru Babaji and the mantra of Sri Guru Babaji are important and what I was trying to say is no more am I reluctant. I am going to talk about it now. I am going to open it up. At least, you will take something home when you came here for Gurupurnima, instead of hearing philosophy and going back. Practice is important. So, please listen carefully. If you are doing any other practice, you can still do it. But start with the Guru Mantra. The practice as we do, which has been given to us in the Parampara, is to first sit comfortably, away from the kitchen so that the smell of laddus doesn’t waft in and disturb you. Wear comfortable clothes, and don’t wear tight ones. First visualize with closed eyes in the centre of your body, in the chest, in the heart center. When I say heart center, we are not talking about the physical heart that pumps blood, we are talking about the heart of the matter, which means the anahat, here in the centre. In yogic terms, that is called the hridaya. Hri Daya – that from which compassion flows. Visualize in its centre a beautiful, white, blooming lotus. On the top of the lotus, think, visualize that there are two padukas – Guru Padukhabhyam – two little padukas kept on the white lotus. You know what is a paduka, I hope. Padukas are the wooden sandals that, in those days, only the vipraas, those who knew knowledge used to wear. And, they used to walk thak thak thak, so the term thakur came from there. So visualize two padukas, a pair because if I say one they will think of one paduka, if I say two, they will think two pairs of padukas. One pair of padukas. No, you have to be very careful. No, I am not joking. There are all kinds of people. After three days, they will say I had both the padukas, but one went away. So, one pair of padukas on the top of the Lotus in such a position as if somebody is walking towards you. Not away from you. Done? Have you placed the padukas? We will practice afterwards for a few minutes. Then, put both your hands here. As if you are holding the padukas with your hands. Must be a perfect Parvati hold… full. Then, your eyes are closed. Chant this mantra holding it. “OM HREEM SHRI GURUBHYO NAMAH”. Please don’t chant KREEM. Yes, so sit and chant in your mind. Not loudly. Chant ‘Om Hreem Shri Gurubhyo Namah’ with your complete attention, with total devotion, asking for help so that you may reach the best and highest. Don’t count. Chant for five minutes, ten minutes. Then take you hands off. Forget about the lotus, the padukas. You can say its still here, doesn’t matter. Shift your attention from that. Bow down and touch your forehead to the ground and say once ‘Om Hreem Shri Gurubhyo Namah’. This is the Guru Mantra.”

“Now I have broken a rule and given it to you. Chant daily at least once. If anybody has taken Kriya, chant before the Kriya. Or you can simply chant it in the morning before you start any other practice or japa or whatever. And if it becomes a practice, keep it in your mind whenever possible. When you go out also, just chant a few times; you don’t have to put your hands together, you just chant. And in an emergency situation, if you think there is no help and you need help, say I have flown off a car in Chintamani, put your hands on your heart and say ‘Om Hreem Shri Gurubhyo Namah’ a few times and ‘Babaji, please do something’ and carry on.. Got it? So I don’t know what will happen but ———-.”

“You know the story of Ramanujacharya? When he was a young man, in Sriperambadur, he was taught by his Guru about this great mantra, which will lead one, anyone, to Vaikuntam. “Namo Bhagvate Vasudevaya.” Or “Namo Narayanaya.” But be careful; don’t give it to everybody. This is to be given only to those who are qualified, the aptas. So the young man asked the Guru, that is true, but suppose I give it to somebody who is not an apta, what happens? Nothing, he will also reach Vaikuntam, but you, because you gave it to the wrong person, will have to go to hell hundred times. He said, okay fine thank you. In about half an hour, people came and told the Guru, hey this young man is on top of the hill and he is calling everybody – all and sundry come, I am going to give you the mantra. You can reach Vaikuntam. So everybody came and took the mantra. So they went to report this to the Guru. So Guru called Ramanujacharya, and asked what happened. He said I don’t mind going to hell hundred times, but they will all go to Vaikunta. So the Guru told his disciples, this is why he is going to be my chief disciple. Now, you see I also have an excuse.”

“So, shall we sit for a few moments before the Dhuni starts and chant the mantra for a while. I will chant once. First, you visualize and then I will chant once and then you continue the chant in your mind. You don’t have to chant loudly, because who knows somebody might be hiding there and listening. So, first start with closing your eyes, then visualizing the white lotus, put the padukas – traditionally we think of the padukas as silver padukas – but it doesn’t matter. You can, if you like, you can have it with rosewood it does not matter. And, then put both your hands, close your eyes and sit. And then, I will chant once and then you continue in your own mind. When it is over, I will call you, don’t worry. ” Om Hreem Shri Gurubhyo Namah” Hari Om Tat Sat.”

“When you sit in front of Dhuni, since you have taken the Guru Mantra today, try to chant it in your mind.”

Evening Satsang by Sri M


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