Sri Maha Ganapate Namaha
Sri Sarasvatyai Namaha
Sri Padavallabha Narasimha Sarasvati
Sri Guru Dattatreyaya Namaha
Bhajan: śrīkarā dhīkarā
We are praying to Lord Ganapati first. Lord Ganapati is the Lord of all obstacles. That is why if we pray to him, all our obstacles will be removed. Everyone knows this, but sometimes we forget to pray to him and end up facing difficulties. You must pray to Lord Ganapati first in all situations. If you are praying for auspiciousness at home, for victory or for good health, first pray to Lord Ganapati so your worship does not encounter obstacles. Your spiritual practice (sadhana) will not have any obstacles. Otherwise, the mind gets fickle. Often the body is mechanically engaged in worship while the mind is wandering elsewhere, occupied with anxieties and worries about children, grandchildren, court cases and other situations. The worship continues mechanically. If you can clear your mind for ten minutes and offer your worship with purity, that prayer will be fulfilled. Your tasks will be fulfilled. But you have no stability. The body is here, but mind is elsewhere. How will that yield any results?
This habit also becomes the reason for ill health. You eat like animals, but your mind is immersed in sorrows elsewhere. Therefore, the food you eat does not turn into the nectar of life energy needed for the body. While people continue to eat, their mind is immersed in sorrows and anxieties. That is why people become unhealthy. They do the same with sleeping as well. They get into bed and weep, enveloped in terrible grief. Eventually, they will leave their mortal coil in grief. That should not happen. Have a clear separation. Grief will go on, ignore it and move on. Do not give a place in your mind for grief. Immediately teach the mind the lesson and the cure it needs and let go of sorrows. What is the use of carrying the sorrows in your mind? Precious time is lost, and your problems do not go away either. One day, you will go away. All the people you grieved over are on their own journey. No one is here forever and no one is related to anyone. Everyone has his/her own journey. Why should you hanker after them and bother so much? Whatever has to happen will happen. You must be brave enough to let things happen and experience karma. If you think grieving over your problems will solve them, then grieve. If you are seeing good results due to your grieving, go ahead and grieve. Cry for an hour every day. Drink coffee and cry. Eat and cry. Sit under the fan and cry. Cry on. Let us see if the problems go away. They will not. They will go away only when it is time for them to go away. You have to experience the karma. You have to pay for your sins. The more you worry about your sons, daughters and daughters-in-law, the more time you are wasting. They have their own responsibility towards their lives. They have to face their own karma. Can you solve their problems? Assure me you can solve their problems by crying, and you can cry as much as you like. Give up food, water and sleep and just grieve. Let us see if the problem goes away. The problems will not go away. You will have to go away to the hospital and they will have to grieve over you.
No one should cry over others. Everyone has to experience his/her karma. Show them (the grieving) the right path, teach them courage to face situations. Give them examples. Fill them with mental strength as much as possible. Use your intelligence to find a solution to the problem. If you instead cry all day, your eyes get swollen and you will lose your eye sight. If you continue to cry, you will have a heart attack. If you grieve further, you invite kidney stones. Continue to grieve and you will lose your kidneys entirely. Then, you will be in a hospital. Then, you will need to grieve over yourself. What about your sons and daughters you were grieving over? Now, you care more about your own grief. But you were grieving over them all along. Your grief has come about due to grieving over them. That is why sorrows leads to diseases. We should not invite sorrows. Do not give room for sorrows. To prevent all this from happening, we worship Lord Ganapati.
We prayed to the Lord, “O Lord Ganapati, please protect me. Please remove all my obstacles. Please remove the grief in my mind”. Even when praying, we should first pray to Lord Ganapati. Pray to the Lord before undertaking any task.
ādi-deva namastubhyam prasīda mama bhāskara |
divākara namastubhyam prabhākara namostute
The moment we open our eyes, we need light to see. What is the use of opening our eyes in darkness? We will be enveloped in darkness despite having eyes to see. What is the meaning of opening eyes in darkness? In spiritual terms, darkness indicates ignorance and opening the eyes indicates knowledge. In the absence of light, you cannot see even with your external eyes. The light that is visible to the external eye is from Sun God. While being visible externally, the Sun God also awakens knowledge within. We need knowledge of the Self, not just external worldly knowledge. Worldly knowledge is not as important as knowledge of the Self. We can gain worldly knowledge easily from the newspaper, television and from talking to others. But we should open our inner eyes. The external eye opens on its own. Only when we open our inner eyes do we gain knowledge. We open our external eyes for the sake of this body. But the inner eye lets us go anywhere in the world. We can fly, have a mental dip in all the holy rivers, see anyone in the world and travel anywhere in the world. To open our inner and outer eyes, we should pray to Sun God.
Bhajan: saptāśvarūḍhaṁ nakṣatramālaṁ
Since yesterday, we have been talking about the fact that Sun God bestows health. Sunlight removes all diseases. There are many people that stay indoors without any sunlight. They do not even see the sun through the windows. After 80 years of age, their body will become the abode of all diseases. All their wealth will pass on the doctors. The doctors too have worked hard to earn their degrees, so it becomes our sadhana (spiritual practice) to nurture those doctors. After treatment we get well temporarily and again fall sick. That is why you should let sunlight fall on your body at dawn, noon or dusk. Whether you are traveling in cars or buses, let the sunlight fall on you. Do not block sun rays with a sunscreen. Energy from the sunlight that falls on one part of your body is distributed to the entire body. Keep the window open slightly to let sunlight in. Some homes have shut out sunlight as they are built to Vastu specifications. Craze for Vastu is on the rise these days with people obsessing over Vasu specifications.
If God gives you a bigger shoulder on your body's north, do you chop it off to make your shoulders symmetrical? If, on the east, your nose is too long, do you squish your nose to make it stubby? If on the other hand, your nose is stubby, would you pull it out with pliers to make it sharp because you believe the nose should not be stubby? Or, do you cut off the nose entirely and replace with a plastic nose? Is that possible? This is God’s creation. You must accept it. You must not go against it. When you have already built a house, try to make small adjustments to fit in with Vastu, instead of demolishing and rebuilding the entire house. Are you going to use the street as a bathroom if Vastu says that you cannot have a bathroom in your house? Or will you start using the neighbor’s bathroom? They may let you in for a day or two, but not after. What will you do then? What will you do if the Vastu expert says you cannot have a bathroom in the house? This happened in Vijayawada at a home in Patamata. Their neighbors did not let them use the bathroom after two days. They began using the public municipal toilets. This family had a beautiful marble house but they would use municipal toilets instead. Is this what Vastu is about? Does it make sense to go through so much trouble to demolish the entire house and rebuild it. I went to a house the other day. It was very difficult for me to even enter the house. It was supposedly built to Vastu specifications. They had demolished the original house due to Vastu and rebuilt it. Vastu has driven away all peace. People are sleeping outside their house because of there are supposedly Vastu issues in the house. Even when it rains, they are simply using umbrellas, but continuing to sleep outside. Why even build a house? Rent a house instead. If you complain of Vastu issues in a rented house, the owners will drive you away. That is our state of affairs these days.
We should accept the natural state of creation and not work against it. Let difficulties that come naturally, come. Bodies will of course invite diseases. Samara will invite grief. Is there a body that has no disease? Is there a household that has no death? Is there worldly existence (samsara) without grief? This is natural. You must breathe with the nose God gave you. If you are bored of breathing with your nose for 40 years, can you stitch it up closed and breathe with your ears? You have nine doorways in your body, can you choose anyone to breathe with? You must work with what God gave you.
Today, we are all singing bhajans. Why should we do sing bhajans? What is the benefit? Everyone asks this question. Why do you eat? How much should you eat? What is the benefit? Why should you breathe? What is the benefit? But you never ask those questions. You breathe to live. You eat to protect and nourish your body. Otherwise, you will not live. Sleep, hunger and thirst are a natural part of God’s creation. We work hard and undertake a lot of struggle to quench our thirst and satisfy our hunger and get good sleep. We are protecting ourselves with these daily struggles. The same applies to Bhajans. Singing Bhajans is a very easy path for spiritual practice. Every household must sing the divine names of God. Many households are embarrassed to sing bhajans. They lack devotion, have no time and will not sing bhajans. They will make time to watch TV series, but they will not sing bhajans. They do not see a benefit in singing bhajans. At least, the TV series lets them laugh and cry with it. And they can always catch up with neighbors on the episodes they missed. Once upon a time about twenty years ago or so, there was a TV series on the story of Ramayana. People in villages gathered to watch it. They would break a coconut on the TV (to show their respect to Ramayana). They did not attain liberation, but the TV set surely did.
Before going to bed every night, one must sing bhajans. It is a very easy means of worship in Kaliyuga. It is difficult to stabilize the mind on other paths. I mentioned earlier that the body mechanically performs worship like a tape recorder or a puppet, but the mind is elsewhere. Does the tape recorder get liberation? Does the puppet attain liberation? No. Only the man with a soul has the opportunity to attain liberation. If we want liberation, we have to sing God’s praises for at least ten minutes each day. Even to this day people in Maharashtra including even wealthy officers, politicians etc. will not go to bed unless they sing bhajans. Those people are so used to it that they will not go to bed without singing bhajans. If they miss a day, they encounter some problem at home. We must make this a habit too. Light the lamp and sing bhajans. You can sing simple bhajans based on the divine names of God. You can sing “om namaḥ śivāya” or sing the rāma tāraka mantra or the śodasa mantra or aṣtākṣari mantra “om namo nārayaṇāya”. You can sing the simple old songs sung by your grandparents. Let go of all inhibitions and sing. Immerse your mind in God and go to bed and you will find that would have had sound sleep that night. No grief would bother you. If you make this a habit, you will feel the void the day you miss it. You must make this a habit. Everyone must make it a habit to go to temple every week. Make it a habit to offer worship there. If the temple is close enough, visit every day. It is good for the body and good for the soul. We must shed all inhibitions and embarrassment and cultivate the habit of singing the praises of God.
Many are too embarrassed to wear Tilak on the forehead or to sing bhajans or to offer prostrations. Many people do not wear a Tilak on the forehead. Are you not ashamed to call yourself a Hindu? If you are a Hindu, you must wear the Tilak. If not, I’ll have to ask you what your name is to determine your faith. Sometimes I have to ask a person for his/her name when I do not see a Tilak on their forehead. Shame on you if Swamiji has to ask you your name. You must wear the Tilak on the forehead with vermilion (Kumkum) or holy ash (vibhuti) or Angaram. At least use the stickers. Wear a sticker daily. Many stick them back to the mirror at the end of the day so they can always stick it back on your forehead easily. If you place the Tilak on the forehead, bad energy will not enter the body and the energy from your third eye (Ajna cakra) will not get dissipated. Many people get tired and exhausted quickly because they do not wear a Tilak. Their face lacks the radiance. It is as if a dog licked their forehead clean. I have no qualms. I do not care if leave me and go away. Please wear Tilak on the forehead. Be recognized as a pure Hindu. Those who are applauding are the ones who did not wear a dot on the forehead. You are commending yourself. Please do wear the Tilak. Everyone must have the Tilak on their forehead tomorrow. Many men are not wearing the Tilak either. Volunteers should walk around the ashram and give everyone Tilak to apply on their forehead. Those who do not wear the Tilak should not be sitting here for bhajans tomorrow. If you vacate your seat, two other people can sit in that spot. I do not care if you are a distinguished personality or a celebrity or a powerful politician. I do not care whether you are young or old. Do not enter the Ashram without a Tilak. Tomorrow morning, the volunteers should walk around the give everyone Tilak. If not, I will do it myself. Give them vermilion or holy ash or Angaram or sticker. Devotees can also look around and give Tilak to the people around you. Put the Tilak on their forehead and bless them. Even if you are big donors, you must wear a Tilak. There is no other way. This is a rule. This is Lord Shiva’s command. Otherwise, you are not a Hindu. You can instead take on a name like Robert or Allauddin. You will have no right to use your Hindu name. Tomorrow, you do not enter the Ashram without Tilak. And if you get Tilak from someone, give them a rupee in exchange. It is a great sin to get Tilak for free.
Bhajan: prasannān̄janēya! prasīda prasīda