Lord Datta is “smartr̥gāmī sanōvatu“ – He is pleased when we merely think of him. Chanting his name is enough - He is very pleased. Other gods are pleased when we offer rituals and worshipful services to them, but Lord Datta is pleased when we heartfully just chant His name. He bestows everything we ask for. We are all karma beings, always asking for things we should not be asking for. When we are bestowed those things, we ask for more. Lord Datta loves bestowing boons. He adores even more, those that have nothing to ask for.
None of the worshipful services are expected by the Lord. The birds in the Ashram chant Lord Datta’s name like it is their breath. The moment they see Swamiji they start chanting “Datta” “Datta” “Datta” repeatedly. It is best to not seek any boons from Lord Datta, for it is such devotees He adores more. We should make Lord Datta's name our breath. By chanting Lord Datta’s name, we are saying - I am offering my being to you. You are mine, I am Yours. I will not let go of You, You should not let go of me.
That is the kind of relationship we should have with Lord Datta. Say to Lord Datta – Bestow on me whatever You wish. Just give me enough strength to worship You. We neglect to worship the Lord when we are dejected or when we are elated. During dejection remember that Lord Datta alone is our true friend. Everything else may be lost, but Lord Datta alone is always with us. "Your name alone is eternal. Whatever I have lost are things attached to this body. You alone are attached to this mind”. We should inculcate such a mindset. "Please help me never to let You go, let me realize You are everything, let me never blame You when things go wrong". "All happiness are Yours, I offer them to You"
That is the real offering to Lord Datta. Practice making every breath chant the name of Lord Datta. Datta is Lord Rama, Krishna, Shiva, Mother Goddess Bhagavati, Brahma etc. He is the entire creation. Lord Rama, Krishna and all great souls worshiped Lord Datta because he is the form of all Gods. All Gods are in Him, the great souls know this. So rather than worship each individual god, you can worship Lord Datta in whom are all Gods. It is not good to ask for worldly comforts and desires that you already have and that you will leave behind when you pass on. Why are you crying over worldly things and clamoring for more worldly possessions? Pray for devotion, a steadfast mind, kindness towards others etc. That is real worship that Lord Datta likes. Lord Datta is very happy when you feed a hungry soul even for one day.
He likes sharing of knowledge, donation of food etc. He teaches us the way to do all this. Study Datta Darshanam to understand how to earn Lord Datta's grace, and how to conduct yourself in a way that pleases Him. Many are sitting at home and lamenting not being able to attend Datta Jayanti festivities. Most that are present here are Ashrama residents, the very few that are also here are those that needed to be here; I know what they need. You are all my family members, so do not worry.
Many may wonder why we are beset with this difficult situation, why this disease, what sin did we commit, how we can rectify this, will this go away quickly, why did the world become like this? One mistake we are committing is our reckless abuse of Nature. So many are impacted in various sectors - financial, agricultural, industrial, education, religious institutions etc. What is the use of blaming this disease on someone? It will only deepen our sorrow and animosity. This really was not up to them, it was beyond them. This is the Lord's intent. This is the way of God to teach us a lesson. After Covid-19, many activities came to a halt. We are also seeing fewer flights, fewer cars, fewer trains, fewer buses etc. Now Nature seems to be bouncing with beauty once again. The scientists too acknowledge this. The swans, birds and fragrant flowers are brightening nature, and there is very little sound and air pollution. The scientists were advising for a long time that we occasionally minimize the use of motor vehicles and other pollution causing agents, but very few were actually doing it. It needed many more people to stop using vehicles, to stop fuel emissions etc. for some time. There was too much pollution. During the Covid lockdown, nature seemed beautiful and refreshed. Did we ever see Nature so clean and fresh? So, Lord Datta Himself is teaching us a lesson to protect Nature. Wash your hands, wash your feet when you return home. How many of you do this? You walk into the house with your shoes, drink tea and coffee and even go to bed in those shoes. Look at the kind of death during these times. Not even relatives can see the dying in the final moments.
The second mistake we are making is the violence we are inflicting on other beings. God has given us so much to eat, but we still want to eat other living beings. There will also be a time in the future perhaps when humans will eat humans. Rather than put old parents in senior homes, they might simply kill and eat them in the future. Feticide, killing women etc. are a sin.
Are not your sisters, mother, wife also women? Why do you abort the female fetus? Man and woman are equal.
You did not heed when I asked you to maintain distance, now you understand. Now, we have grown fearful of physical proximity. God has taught us a lesson - maintain distance, eat in moderation, protect nature, stay clean. Coronavirus has changed our lives. We are getting rid of some bad habits. We used to party recklessly on weekends. We can now use that money for more noble and meaningful causes, like Swamiji's charitable activities.
People used to shop sales and simply hoard. What use is that sale? A woman bought 25-30 pressure cookers because they were on sale. People buy shoes on sale and hoard them. People used to spend their money trying new restaurants, watching all the new movies the moment they hit the theaters etc. God has taught such a good lesson through this disease. You did not listen when Swamiji told you. Now, God is balancing our actions and we are also saving some money.
Someone asked when this virus would go away. From the day we observe discipline this disease will go away. If we start today, it will go away today. Wear a mask, wear a helmet when you are out driving. More people have died due to not wearing a helmet, than due to Covid. Do not worry about losing hair due to wearing a helmet. At least you will not lose your life. Every devotee, from today, wear a helmet even if you are a pillion rider. The rules for our safety have are already in place. There are also emission standards as well as rules against drunken driving. We just do not follow them. Now we are being punished for all that. Pray to Lord Datta for forgiveness and protection and a quick restoration of normalcy. So many wearing a mask cannot live without one now. They are so used to wearing a mask, that they need to be reminded to take off their mask. Followers of Jainism wear a mask at all times, and you used to laugh at them. Now, we are all wearing a mask just like they do