It is already day nine of Ati Rudra Yaga. Many of us have been here nine nights already. So many of you left everything behind and stayed here in Kasi. Of course, it is not easy to leave from here at a moment’s notice like it would be from Mysuru. Do not calculate how much merit you got from visiting Kasi or the various temples here. "I was asked to stay for 9 nights, but I stayed for 3 months. What do I get?" You should never ask such questions. There is no certification for staying here. I have said many times before that nectar has no taste. If it has a taste, it is not nectar. Because it is has no taste, it is hard to get. Similarly, because the Lord is invisible, it is hard to find him. So, how should you find him? With a heart full of devotion and with penance, the Lord will appear to you in the form you visualize Him in. Nectar is the same way. One can generally describe the taste of things that are consumed such as sweet, sour, salty etc., but cannot describe the taste of nectar. The fact that they are alive is proof they had nectar. Similar is the case of association with the Guru. When someone asks you what the proof is of Guru’s grace, you should tell them, "The fact that I am here and talking to you is only due to His compassion. Otherwise, I would not be here today. Regardless of whether my past was easy or difficult, it is the Guru’s grace that is enabling me to talk to you now.”
All the Gods drank nectar, but they are unable to describe the taste of nectar. The Gods say that the fact that they are alive despite repeated attacks by the demons is proof they had nectar. They may have had their limbs cut off during battle, but the limbs reattach themselves. God’s grace is like that. People may ask you what Swamiji gave you? Tell them, “The fact that I am withstanding all these difficulties is due to Gurus' grace. I now have the strength to boldly face life’s challenges, however big they may be. I can withstand any extent of dishonor. I am not affected by heat/cold and other dualities”.
You can tell them you learned sacrifice, devotion and knowledge. Tell them how your mind is peaceful. Does money buy you peace of mind? Can it buy you happiness? No. Let people know that you learned a charitable nature. “I used to struggle to do charity. Now I do it happily. Swamiji taught me to fight the battle of life with dignity. I know that one day all difficulties will disappear. How else can I explain to you what Swamiji gave me?”
A devotee told me this morning that she was visiting Kasi for the first time. Doctors had instructed her to always be in an air-conditioned environment, since she was otherwise prone to infection. But she happily conveyed to Swamiji that she was in Kasi last three days without air-conditioning and was fine. She felt she learned about Swamiji’s greatness from this incident. Even moving from one room in her house to another would give her problems, but she was happy in Kasi last 3 days. She said, “Many healthy people are wearing masks, but I do not even need one. I even walk behind vehicles emitting smoke, but I am okay. People used to be afraid of visiting Kasi, but I am not. I am closer to death anyway”. She was comfortable in Kasi and said her resistance to infection improved. I wanted her to share her story with you all, but she had to return from Kasi this morning for her next course of medication. We all need that strong devotion. We should all strengthen our physical immunity and resistance. There are so many people who live in dirt for over 90 years, but are healthy. But we pay a lot of attention to the body’s needs and always give it comforts. We treat it very tenderly. We want a good room, good food, good breeze etc. You cannot always get good stuff. When you are here, you might get a cold/cough etc, but after 5-8 days of nursing minor sickness, you will be fine whether you take medicines or not. Many people that visited Kasi continue to live here. They are all fine. Difficulties are like that too. You should boldly face them. Ignore the difficulties, but pretend you are affected just to appease friends and family. Let those around you give you courage. It is good when even non-believers console you and ask you to go to Swamiji.
There are many Datta devotees who are totally dispassionate. They just put on a pretense for their relatives, otherwise, those relatives might criticize Swamiji. A devotee and his family followed Swamiji stubbornly for couple years despite setbacks and difficulties, praying that they want to build a temple for Swamiji. After two years, Swamiji relented and let them build a temple. Swamiji needs to examine their hearts and make sure they are ready to render that service. They have tremendous blind love for Swamiji. The man sold their wealth to build the temple. He wanted to have no other deity in the temple, except Swamiji. The man and his wife were so stubborn, I had a hard time convincing them to have other deities. The husband recently died of a heart attack. I spoke to the wife. The wife was so brave. She said she would do the service he was doing. She prayed to Swamiji that He be there for her just as He was there for her husband. She had this brave conversation even while the husband’s body was still at home. The son called Swamiji and said he was concerned his mother was immersed in sorrow. I had asked the mother to pretend sorrow for the sake of the family.
It is hard to cry every time someone visits to offer condolences; just cover your face and pretend to cry. Visitors may lament that God was unjust in taking away the person. God never does injustice. No matter what happens, never blame God. Whatever is destined will happen. There is no other way. That is the law of Dharma. The number of days you are in Kasi, the number of days you are on earth is pre-ordained. You cannot stay a day longer than that on this planet. Of course, there is nothing wrong with lamenting the loss of dear ones. It is human nature. But blaming God when you lose a loved one is a big mistake. You might say “Swamiji, how did this happen despite Your presence?”. “Yes, that is what I do. That is my job. I will give each what they need”. This is not what I am saying, it is what Lord Yama is saying.
Rama's incarnation took on a physical form, therefore, it had to end. Krishna's incarnation, no doubt a complete incarnation, also vanished. We saw the physical form of Lord Krishna with our sense organs, so the physical form had to go. God's form has no attributes. When there is a visible form, it will always vanish at some point.
Kasi is the Deva loka (Gods’ world) where all the 333 crore Gods reside. Even during dissolution, Lord Siva protects the city by holding it up on His trident. People like to visit Kasi for a certain number of days; some come to Kasi to breathe their last here. Even a single night in Kasi can remove sins. Spending three nights in Kasi removes the sins of seven lives and gives Vaikuntha. Spending nine nights in Kasi removes future births in the mother’s womb. It is in our karma that we are ready to take birth as soon as we die. And we are ready to die soon after we are born. We are stuck in this cycle of birth/death. That is why, spiritual sadhana and devotion to Guru are very important. Staying in Kasi helps you get out of this cycle. This is Lord Shiva’s boon.
There are millions of Shiva Lingas in Kasi. Every deity consecrated a Shiva Linga here. Kedar Khand is one of the most prominent regions of Kasi. Those who offer worship in Kedar Khand will attain liberation. Skanda Purana says that even though you are the only member of your family here, your entire family attains liberation. Such is the power of this place. Only yesterday, Swamiji said that your presence here is a single seat ticket. You alone benefit from your actions. I only said that out of love and remorse that others could not be here. But I declare now that the entire family benefits from your stay here. Many of your faces had fallen yesterday hearing Swamiji say that you alone will benefit. Your remorse is necessary. Many flew down here immediately yesterday hearing what Swamiji had said. I know many of you are watching this program live on the Internet. I am saying today that everyone in the family will benefit. Your family members present here petitioned on your behalf and you will all get blessed. I am giving that judgment today. Therefore, buy the malas (rosary) and distribute to the people you know. Go back home and do Kasi samaradhana. Celebrate a little festival at home. Invite people, sprinkle pure ganga water on them. Cook good food for your guests. Worship Siva and Mother Goddess. Do Anagha Vratam. That is real Kasi Samaradhana