śrī mahāganapate namaḥ
śrī sarasvatyai namaḥ
śrī pādavallabha narasimha sarasvati
śrī guru dattātreyāya namaḥ
Yesterday, until this time, we were stuck in the Hanuman Chalisa traffic at Rajahmundry. About 17 acres of land on an island was covered by a pandal. The sand hillock was made even, like a field, by the Vanara Sena comprising of volunteers from 5 surrounding villages. They had been preparing for the event for the last 1 month. With support from local bodies, the police and others, people camped at the island – lived there for the last 1 month preparing the place for yesterday’s event. They cooked there, showered there – practically lived on the island in preparation of this Maha Yagna. The program was a grand success. Swamiji sang continuously for almost 5-6 hours. My voice is now not good. Usually, Sundara Khanda parayana or small extracts from Sundara Khanda are explained during Hanuman Chalisa. But yesterday, Sundara Khanda was explained in its entirety. The people were very fortunate. All of them sang along. All of them know Hanuman Chalisa.
2 ears and 2 eyes are not enough to absorb the joy of such an event. Food was served in packets to about 50000 people by the volunteers. SGS was printed on the bag. Only biodegradable material was used in packaging the food. People were very happy and exclaimed that no one has ever narrated and sung Hanuman Chalisa along with Sundara Khanda like Sri Swamiji does. It is so special!
I can barely speak now, but how I sang Hanuman Chalisa is a miracle. It’s Hanuman’s grace.
About 3 months ago, Hanuman Chalisa mass chanting was held at Hyderabad. It was an event of enormous scale. About 40000 people had gathered. It was rainy season at that time. I indicated to the organizers that it may rain. But they were very certain that it would not rain.
Varuna deva would not relent. It poured very heavily. I told them to sing 5 times and that it would stop raining. People drenched in the rain and still chanted Hanuman Chalisa.
Did any of you come from Bangalore for the event? Looks like you stayed back thinking it would rain. Many of you could have come yesterday, it was a Saturday. Don’t miss such events in your life. There are direct flights to these places. The joy of physically experiencing such an event does not come when you watch the program live. It will forever remain etched in your memory. When you close your eyes, you will recollect such miraculous events.
Our lives should progress by recollecting the good that has happened. The negative experiences should also be recollected as a caution, so mistakes are not repeated. But good experiences give you joy, and you must recollect them more often. When the next good event occurs, that becomes part of your memory and you can reminisce the newer event.
You must help one another and move forward in life. Give up anger. Live harmoniously and treat everyone equally, with love. God then helps you, otherwise you will only see hardships at every step.
In Mahabharata, we see that Dhritarashtra caused so much trouble for the Pandavas. The Kauravas cheated the Pandavas in the game of dice and exiled them. Pandavas had nothing left with them. Kauravas even tried to kill the Pandavas – they were so hellbent on destroying the Pandava clan.
Mahabharata is a great guide for life. We must read it throughout our life. Mahabharata doesn’t end. Jokingly, we usually use Ramayana in the context of something that doesn’t end. But it is not correct. This is true in the case of Mahabharata. Every stage in our life, we experience Mahabharata. We may not be having the same names as of Pandavas or Kauravas. But our lives are very similar.
Dhritarashtra betrayed the Pandavas. But Yudhishtira chose to forget this and cared for Dhritarashtra. Only Bheema expressed his displeasure of having to tend to Dhritarashtra and Gandhari. He felt they were unnecessary burden and cruel people. When the entire war ended, this couple lost all their children and had to take refuge in Pandavas.
Many ask why Pandavas had to go through so much trouble and injustice despite Krishna being on their side. Each one of us must go through the grind for as long as it is destined to last and experience it. When it’s time, the bucket of sins fills up and then they experience the results of it.
Even in governments and judiciary, things take their own time. The incident that happened in Delhi caused such an outrage [Nirbhaya] as the four perpetrators are still not executed though the crime was committed 7 years ago. Why does such a thing happen? Those accused – their time is yet to come. They still have lifespan. Their pot of sins is still filling up. For the grave sin they committed, they should have met with death immediately. This just means that they still have time left.
On the other hand, the criminals in Hyderabad were executed immediately. Their time was up.
We are impatient. When their time comes, they will meet their end. We are very restless that such criminals are living happily. But God is teaching us two lessons here – patience and forgetting enmity. Finally, we come to a point when we say, let God’s will prevail.
Every night we go to bed with anger within us. We curse others that though they are cruel, they have not been punished. Many of you haven’t slept peacefully since the time the hanging of the convicts was postponed. Their family’s health is impacted worrying about this. They are losing their mental stability. Sometimes I watch news on TV, while watching the discourses. Many ministers come to ashram. I see the news sometimes to see what these people do. Not that I’m immersed in the program. I continue working on my iPad.
I can focus best when there is a lot of noise around. There should be children making noise, vehicles honking and birds screeching around me. Nowhere else will you find birds making as much noise as our birds in ashrama do! No one can stay in such a place! People will go mad! First, they scream for food. Our volunteers rush and serve the customized food for each type of bird. This is not like hostel food! All have specific diet – some are to be fed only seeds, some eat only fruits. While you feed one, the rest are screeching at the top of their voice! By the time they provide food for the last one in queue, the first one would have finished eating and it again screeches now as its happy and wants to digest the food! I like meditating in a market! It is very difficult to turn the mind inwards when there is so much commotion around.
Despite having caused so much agony to the Pandavas, Dhritarashtra and Gandhari were given refuge by the Pandavas and they lived with them. Dharmaraya ruled the kingdom as though he was only a deputy and the real king was Dhritarashtra. He was such a Sattvik person! Not everyone can be like him. All treated Dhritarashtra with compassion except Bheema.
There was a situation where each of the brothers were to meet Dhritarashtra individually and offer their condolences for the death of his sons. Krishna got a solid glass idol of Bheema made before this gathering. It was extremely strong. It was customary in Kshatriyas to greet each other with a hug followed by a prostration. Everyone kept asking Krishna why only Bheema’s idol was made.
Each one greeted Dhritarashtra in this way. Next was Bheema’s turn. When he went close, Dhritarashtra said he was eagerly waiting to meet Bheema. Just when Dhritarashtra was about to hug Bheema, Krishna pulled Bheema aside and pushed in the idol. The idol was very much like Bheema. When Dhritarashtra hugged him, that the idol was crushed into pieces! He was so filled with so much anger towards Bheema as he had killed his son Dhuryodhana. All the pent-up anger and hatred burst forth with such an intensity that the idol was broken into pieces! Nothing happened with Arjuna or Dharmaraja though. His angst was entirely against Bheema. Dhritarashtra was very evil-minded. No amount of advice ever changed his mind. He developed anger and hatred against anyone who talked bad about his sons. He was angry with Krishna and Vidura. He would never listen to any noble words. He only believed that his children were the greatest. When the end is near, such ignorance envelops. They become very foolish. It is akin to pouring water over a stone. Vedanta, moral words are not liked by the foolish. They cannot accept any Upadesha. There are many people like this, with the Kaurava buddhi – possibly, one in every household. It could be a man or a woman in the family. They are very stubborn, and their only aim is to defeat or put down others.
Anger in Mahatmas lasts only a moment. They are considered as Uttama (those who are superior or noble). The mediocre class hold on to their anger for a day. Overnight, they forget their anger and let go. Swamiji’s anger lasts only minutes. I forget it immediately. I don’t hold any grudge inside. The world discriminates, but Swamiji does not. I treat everyone alike, even if the other person dislikes Swamiji. Just because the other person has no respect or love for Swamiji, it does not mean that I will reciprocate the same. I want that person too. What is the difference between the two of us if even I behave the same?? People around me, out of their human nature, discriminate such people. But, I do not. I have no enmity against him. It is his fate that he entertains feelings of enmity towards me. But I have no fate or destiny. I don’t harbour any such negative feelings.
The abject never let go of their anger. It stays with them for life. They take every opportunity to express their anger – give up talking to the other person also. They are very lowly.
We are born in this world to live harmoniously. There may be some circumstances that lead to bitterness between people. But it should be forgotten immediately. We must all unite. Just a smile is also enough – excessive affection is not necessary. But encouraging thoughts to harm the other person like strangling him or wishing for his downfall is very heinous!
You think of strangling another person, while you can’t even squeeze a banana! You cannot crush a pappad in one go! Why such anger! You must let go. Have patience. God will teach others a lesson if they have done wrong. Be patient. Develop forbearance.
Dhritarashtra developed this kind of enmity towards Bheema. Krishna just lightly nudged the idol in front of him. Dhritarashtra exclaimed, “Oh Bheema! I had been waiting to meet you for a very long time. Finally, here you are!”, and he hugged so tight, that the idol was crushed and broke into pieces!! This old man was so powerful, and all his anger showed in his strength also!
Bheema, in a shock then thought, “Oh Lord, every night I cursed this man before going to bed. I might have been dead by now, if he had managed to come to me while I was asleep! Oh! Krishna, All the while I was thinking that I was the strongest and I was instrumental in destroying the Kaurava army with my mace! All my arrogance is now destroyed. My mother would have been left with 4 sons only had this old main laid his hands on me!! I would have been dead by now! I should not mess with this old man! I will stop cursing him. Even if I wish to express my displeasure, I will do so from a far of distance so I can escape!! “
Bheema bowed to Krishna for having saved his life and decided he will keep away from Dhritarashtra. He also made up his mind to stop talking ill of him. The lord can decide his fate.
Bheema said, “All these days I was thinking why Krishna got my idol made. But today, when the idol was getting crushed, I could feel the cramps in my stomach, I could feel the churning!! I felt as if my ribs were breaking! He had such powerful arms! This old man had a lot of hatred towards me! He probably overheard me criticising him as well.”
In olden times, if I became angry, my father would strip me and make me sit on a hot rock. I lived in Anantapur – a place that is known for severe summers and dry heat! The rocks become so hot there, that you can make chapati and dosa without a stove! These days you talk of Solar heaters; they were already prevalent in Anantapur in those days! The Lord has already placed these solar heaters there! Electricity is not needed for cooking.
The moment I sat on the rock, it would burn so much that I would run from there. I would get beaten if I got up from the rock, but that was so much better than the pain from the burn! All the anger would immediately vanish in that pain. It was a very good punishment. I gave up anger.
When something more intense than our anger is experienced, then our anger automatically subsides. If some madman is screaming and some one shouts louder than the him, he automatically becomes silent in a state of shock! This silence may last a couple of hours.
Dhritarashtra was a blind man. He couldn’t rule the nation. Though he was incapable due to his blindness, he was still treated as a ruler. The Bharata Bhoomi then was one large expansive land mass, unlike the separated continents today. Iraq, Iran, Sumatra and other islands were also part of the land. Ruling in those times was not to exercise power, but to care for people.
To obtain the Lord’s grace, we must observe some rules and follow austerities. We must practice Yoga in the morning. These practices benefit our body, our homes and our country. That is the reason Swamiji has put forth the sankalpa of perform Anagha Vrata crores of times. If you had planted an Audumbara tree earlier, and cared for it, it would have grown well. You’ve neglected it. There should have been Parijatha trees also here. Just putting a sapling in some place will not work. I have explained the system now. Get big plants from farmhouses and plant them in multiple places. Performing Vrata under the Audumbara tree benefits 100-fold. If you chant Hanuman Chalisa once while looking at a Parijatha tree, it gives the benefit of chanting it 100 times – it can be counted as 100 chants for each person. Similarly, if the vrata is performed in a Goshala, on a mountain, along a riverside or a naturally formed lake, or in a place having a minimum of 5 plantain tress, the counts can be multiplied by 100. You don’t have plantain trees also here. It was there earlier. Bangalore volunteers and children are not paying attention to gardening. Not only volunteers, even matru mandali should help in nurturing plants here. There must be a Tulasi vana also. You’ve planted only decorative plants. Don’t remove them right away! First make all arrangement to plant these varieties I mentioned. Then, you can clear the decorative plants. Procure all the sapling and soil first. Don’t remove all the existing plants first and leave it barren. Remove all the soil – its mixed with construction debris. Replace it with fertile soil with natural manure and mix it with sand. Then you see how soon the plants will grow! The planter boxes near Guru Nilayam have no plants! They have just become a wall to lean against while chatting! I got this done hoping you will grow nice plants. But you are only resting your elbow and speaking over the phone!!
Plant the species that can grow in shade in this area. You get some flowering plants and put them all along the compound. The staff of ashrama also should also care for plants. The neighbours here have such beautiful gardens in front of their house, but ashrama has no garden. Plant flowering plants, Tulasi, jackfruit, plantain trees, coconut trees around the compound. Plant 8-10 Parijatha trees. You can experience the pleasant fragrance while singing bhajans. The only smell around here now is of vade. From the time I sang, ‘vade male haakuve’, I have forgotten the smell of Parijatha. Its only Vade here! There is a mention of Parijatha also in the bhajan, but you are only remembering Vade! Why have you not planted Parijatha? I am going to come back very soon just to see the plants. I will go around and see what you’ve planted. Even if some plants do not survive, it is ok. Plant more. There was such a beautiful Audumbara here earlier, but you insisted and got it removed for temple expansion. Now getting back a tree like that is not easy. I asked you to plant another one in a different place and you put tiny little plant that has barely grown! The tree that I had planted grew so well. The one you planted has only 2 leaves left and that also you pluck for worship. All that’s left is a small twig! Go to a farmhouse, get big trees, bring some for Mysore ashrama also. Get dwarf varieties of plantain trees. “Paarijaatha taru moola vaasinam, bhaavayaami pavamaana nandanam. Kadali vana nivasa” – Hanuman resides in Parijatha and banana trees.
Dattatreya resides in Audumbara tree. Both these trees must be present in this Kshetra. Make arrangements for it. Everywhere you want car-parking space and vade! Don’t you have anything else! What have you don’t to protect your tradition? In future, how will you show a Parijatha tree or an Audumbara tree to your children? It will be so nice to show them to children and narrate Hanuman stories. They will develop respect towards these trees.
Will you fix the garden here? Raise your hands and promise. All of you must also grow Parijatha and Audumbara as Bonsai in your homes. Many devotees in Hyderabad are growing these plants in small pots too. They are also growing Amla (gooseberry tree). These plants are our real friends.
Do not miss Shivaratri! It is very special. This comes once in 117 years. It removes affliction of Saturn for all nakshatras. All of you must come and perform Abhisheka in Swamiji’s presence. Its not about coming in the day and going. You must come and spend the night there. You can leave early the following morning.
Jaya Guru Datta