śrī mahāganapate namaḥ
śrī sarasvatyai namaḥ
śrī pādavallabha narasimha sarasvati
śrī guru dattātreyāya namaḥ
āpadāmapa hartāram dātāram sarva sampadam
lokābhi rāmam śri rāmam bhuyo bhuyo namāmyaham
ārtānām ārtidātāram bhītānām bhītanāśanam
dviśatām kāladandaṁ tam rāmacandraṁ namāmyaham
namaḥ kodanda hastāya saṁdhīkruta śarāyaca
kanditākhila daityāya ramāyapannivārine
rāmāya rāmabhadrāya rāmacandrāya vedhase |
raghunāthāya nāthāya sītāyāḥ pataye namaḥ
janmady asyā yato ‘nvayad itaratas carthesv abhijnah svarāt
tene brahma hrda ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat surayah
tejo-vāri-mrdam yatha vinimayo yatra trisargo’mrśa
dhāmna svena sadā nirasta-kuhakam satyam param dhimahi
Jaya Guru Datta Sri Guru Datta
Today we are in Datta Sannidhi due to Datta’s grace and our previous merit. We are collectively worshipping him today. Individually observing austerities such as Japa (chanting divine names), Tapa (penance/austerity) benefit only the individual. But if the same is done collectively, it benefits the entire world including the individual. This Samoohika praarthana or collective prayers and performing vrata in groups is very valuable. Singing bhajans in groups gives 100-fold benefit.
All of you chant “Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Siya Rama”.
If only one person chants alone, he gets the count of just 1. Now there are about 100 people here. So, each person gets the merit of chanting the mantra 100 times! This is the power of chanting in groups as mentioned in Narada Bhakti Sutra. If you feed 5 people, the merit of annadana is not limited to the one who provided food, but also to those who partook the prasada.
If 100 people are fed, the benefit of performing annadana to a 100 people is accrued by the person performing the annadana and by the 100 people who consumed the food. There is satisfaction of having had a good meal. They will say ‘Enough’ after they have had their full.
On the contrary, if you give Rs 100 to a hundred people, they will not derive the same contentment. They may even exclaim that they should have been Rs 1000 since the person is so happy! I would have bought something else. Even if they are given Rs 1000 or Rs 10000, they will still crave for more! “Is this man going to take all his money to the graveyard? Why can’t he give us a few lakhs?” Such is the attitude of people!
But there is contentment in singing the names of God and in annadana. Off late, the westerners have acknowledged the significance of singing the Lord’s names. In Pandarapura, there is a practice of dancing and singing Viththala’s names along with cymbals. Irrespective of the affluent backgrounds, they all practice this tradition of joyously dancing and singing the names of God in Maharashtra. But our people are very shy to sing Bhajans and to clap to the rhythm! This is because we have no faith in Bhajans, we have no faith in group singing! We are only looking at the watch thinking we want to attend some other program elsewhere. It never occurs to us that this is the most important program in life! Not all, but many people are like this. They have no satisfaction; they want to keep roaming about.
If someone is singing beautifully in a concert, these people sit in first row and comment, “This is no big concert! Three days ago, there was such a wonderful program, it was as if the gods had descended from the heavens to listen to it.” They speak loud enough for the artist to hear and they will feel very discouraged.
While we eat, we complain about the food and say, “What kind of a vegetable is this! This rasam is no good!! Udupi rasam is incomparable!” The people who are serving the food hear these comments and will feel like pouring the entire bucket of rasam on top of this person’s head! If I’m in their place, I would certainly do this! We should do it! We criticise while eating, while listening to music. Some go to a temple and wonder who spent money on the temple renovation. This man would not have contributed a rupee towards it! Had he contributed to it, he wouldn’t speak such words; instead he would say, “I wish I had contributed more; they have done such a marvellous job!”. Such people will develop a mindset to contribute to such causes more instead of spending that money solely on their wants. On the other hand, those who never participate in such activities only worry about the income of the temple; they accumulate more sins! This is Lord Datta’s plan! Those who come to this temple and speak such words attain the sins of the noble ones that contribute to the temple. Datta keeps distributing the sins this way!
There is an adage in Kannada, ‘MaaDidavara paapa, aaDidavara baayalli.’
Sins get attached to those who speak of other’s sins.
As you serve more and contribute more, you are become cleaner and purified. You should not pay attention to other talks. If you show interest in such conversations, the sins continue to remain with you. It is such a game! So, you must not pay attention to other’s criticism. We must focus on our work and do what we can. If we cannot help, we must at a minimum, not criticise!
This family of Sri Deekshita (the temple priest) is very close to me. His mother always considered me as Bala Datta and would bring savouries for me! She participated in Navaratri and Datta Jayanthi programs and wished to make a room for Sri Swamiji in this temple. But the funds did not come forth. This was a cause of great concern to Shri Deekshith. I told him not to worry and that Datta would get this work done himself. You have a pure mind, you don’t worry. The room will be done, the temple will get a concrete roof and the temple will run magnificently. Sri Swamiji, in the aspect of Datta, told him these words a long time ago. Accordingly, the temple with a very powerful Yantra has been consecrated here.
All have various desires. We are humans, with never-ending desires. Till the end, we wish for something or the other. We wish for something and say that we will die peacefully, if this one wish is fulfilled. Every single person has such desires.
Many people are not peaceful until they own a home. Many others spend their lives in the court! Courtaya Namaha! Some others – Operationaya namaha! Hospital namaha! Their life just revolves around this. They will not chant the name of God at all! They are forever stuck in this bondage; worry about children! This is such an illusion! This is our baggage we have accumulated through our Karma across births! We should not worry so much about this throughout the life! When you cross 50 years, you must consciously try to focus more on God, on a spiritual life!
In Shastras, there is a story about man’s lifespan. Originally, he was given only 40 years as the life span and he had to complete all his duties and fulfil his desires in this span. If a person lived even for a day beyond 40 years, he was considered very lucky. One strong, courageous and devout man once thought, “What can I accomplish in these 40 years span? If I get an opportunity to meet Brahma, I would like to ask him.” He kept repeating this thought every single and finally Brahma felt that he should appear to him. Brahma gave this man special powers to come to Brahma’s darbar! This man was indeed very fortunate! No one spoke though! At this moment, a dog came to the darbar and complained to Brahma that it has 40 years life span. The dog didn’t want such a long life amidst humans. The human expects me the guard the house at night. But if I bark when he’s sleeping and there are thieves, he beats me! If I bark, it is a problem! If I don’t bark, that is also a problem for him! I’m fed food eaten by others! It requested for the lifespan to be shortened to 20 years. At this time, the human jumped and requested for those 20 years life span to be transferred to him! Brahma agreed and granted additional 20 years. Now human’s life span became 60 years. The human was hoping that someone else would come along similarly. Next, a donkey arrived there. The donkey also complained of the difficulty in living with humans who are always insulting it. I am tired of slogging for the human, please take away 20 years from my life. Again, the human jumped and asked for these 20 years to be added. Actually, the donkey came first, the dog followed. Next, an owl appeared there with its sorrow. “Oh Lord, if I perch on anyone’s house, they vacate the place. They fear my howls! They even scold children at home saying not to sit like an owl! Dogs, donkeys, owls – all are scolded and looked down upon by the human in life. I don’t want 40 years of this kind of life, please take away 20 years.” Immediately Brahma granted these 20 years also to the human who was still waiting there. Then the man was very happy and left.
Till the age of 40 years, a human, lives like a human – he works hard, gets married, tries to get a good name in the society. This entire span is like a real human – he studies and gets good qualification. He likes and respects his parents as well. He wishes to do good to the society too. All this happens within the 40 years span. After 40 years, his life span from the donkey starts – he works like a donkey! Only working continuously to make more bank balance; sometimes earns wealth in an unrighteous way and hides it. The entire focus is on making money and working like a donkey. This continues until he is 60. After 60, his speed reduces a little. Now he lives the life of a dog who is always barking on family and friends in his attempt to protect and safeguard the wealth he has earned. He shows a dog’s mindset. Children take away some part of the wealth, his trusts friends also run away with the money. Wife demands a share and doesn’t listen to him. Nothing is more important than money in this span. Next start the owl’s span! He can barely hear. He only sits in one corner with no cognisance of the happenings around.
Think about this! (Sri Swamiji asks Prasadanna what age-slot he is in). I’m now always scolding everyone to keep them on track. This is the dog’s span – it indicates Datta tattva.
If we practice now, from grihastashrama (the householder phase) we can then move to vanaprasthashrama (the hermit life). This story can be told in another context of Baalya avastha (childhood phase), grihastashrama, followed by vanaprasthashrama and then to move towards Vairagya (dispassion).
Owl is indicating Vairagya (dispassion) state. You don’t worry about property and wealth at this state. Let your children worry about the wealth. You will not be disturbed if the son wishes to sell some property. If you speak otherwise at this juncture, you will lose your child’s love, and they will put you in an old-age home. If you have money, you can hire people to care for you – there are such facilities available today. We must go towards Vairagya. For this to happen, you must practice chanting God’s name now. In Bhagavata, Ajamila chanted the name of God. He was a very cruel person. He was a great sinner. But when he died, along with the Lord Yama’s attendants, Lord Narayana’s attendants also came – just because he took the name of Narayana – his son, before breathing his last. Yama’s attendants confronted saying Narayana was the name of his son, he didn’t intend to remember God. He wished to see his son in the last. It is important to give children good names – names of God. But we name children as ‘Tubelight’, ‘Apollo2’,’Apollo3’ as if they were rockets! On the other hand, scientists are giving better name to the rockets. We claim that we are born in a certain Dharma, in the lineage of great worshippers and scholars who have built temples, who have chanted Ramayana many times! What have you done? Nothing!! What will you get if your grandfather did! If you don’t follow their footsteps, what is the use? If your ancestors read Bhagavata multiple times, it means there is some Tattva in it. You attempt to read and understand. Parents must teach this to children. You must teach who a Guru is.
You teach children only computers. When you grow old and are frustrated with life, this knowledge of computers is not going to give you peace of mind. If you had listened to spiritual discourses, learnt shlokas, or even practiced music or learnt an instrument like Veena, Violin or Tabla, playing it will give you relief! In deep sorrow, when you sing or chant the shlokas or play an instrument, you feel much better. You sing the glories of God or chant names hundreds of times – Hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare, hare Krishna hare Krishna Krishna Krishna hare hare – your mind becomes calm! This will happen only when you practice now, while your mind is stable. Then you can move towards Vairagya state from grihasthashrama and vanaprastha. The last is Sanyasa – that is not required. If you develop a state of detachment, that is sufficient. Else, your mind will only focus on the body pains. Your body is growing old. The parts are worn out. We cannot hear as well as we could earlier. We cannot sit for long hours. We can’t eat as much as we used to earlier. There is a decrease in love at home because the bodily problems are a lot more. When illness haunts the body, dispassion automatically sets in. You lose interest in seeing your great-grandchild. Though the mind may be happy on seeing the child, the body does not cooperate. And hence, you lose interest. Earlier you would like to have a separate room in the first floor. Now you ask for something more accessible in the ground floor – even if it is small. You are not able to climb the stairs now. Before we reach such a state, we must accumulate merit. Do not show disinterest in worshipping God, and in performing Anagha Vrata. Don’t give lame excuses that Lord resides in your heart! God exists everywhere. Why should I go to a temple? Why don’t you do the same when it comes to food? Imagine you have eaten idly, had lunch and coffee. This, you will not forego! You want to eat 4 idly and a lot of sambar! Why can’t you eat mentally? Only food you want to have physically, but worship alone, you want to do in your mind!! Will you mind be steady even for a second? It is very fickle! Without visa, it can travel to America! Mentally, you can visit any place. You worry about unconcerned things. Its sheer curiosity! If you hear someone met with an accident, with great curiosity you enquire what happened. If you’re told that the person is safe and only sustained minor scratches, you are disappointed that its not exciting and nothing major happened!! Why do you need these conversations? I don’t understand your mind. Will you go and help the person who met with the accident? No, you simply vacate the place. But your curiosity remains. You want to know about everyone else in the town, but your own daughter is probably going around with some guy and is also married. Then you cry over it. Why are you more curious about your neighbour? In olden days, when any marriage proposals were discussed, the neighbours used to be enquired to know the character of the girl or the boy. And they would give a detailed account!! We have great prestige about our family. There is a dead donkey in your plate, but you complain about a fly in another’s place.
Pray God that you don’t commit such mistakes. Worry about your mistakes. You will have to journey alone. Your watch or the new TV you bought will not follow you. Your beautiful body – Miss Shimoga or Mr Shimoga, your beautiful body will not come with you. The body has value, only as long as Shiva resides in it, once Shiva leaves, it becomes Shava (dead body). You call it a corpse!! You don’t even refer to it by the name of that person! ‘Sat’ left the body. Then the body is not respected. This is life. Think about it. That is the reason, Garuda Purana is read so you become conscious of your way of life. You must keep your senses under control. You’ve been given a chance. This body is a great instrument (it is a Kshetra). Use it properly. Don’t be immersed in worldly problems. Don’t sail with only these thoughts of the worldly life. ‘Samsara Dukhamaya, Shareera Rogamaya’ (worldly life is filled with sorrow, body is full of ailments).
Recently a 90-year old woman had come to me praying for health! She didn’t pray for the ability to chant God’s name. I asked her why she wants good health at this age. She mentioned her grandchild is coming from America. She wants to see him and spend time with him!
No grandchild, no wealth, no authority will follow you after death! As long as you are alive, be helpful to others in the society. Some great man built this hall and today, you are able to have spiritual guidance from Guru. May that soul be blessed! You must do such tasks!
“Oh! A great Guru is visiting this place today. Let us come together and arrange for Annadana.” Entertain such thoughts! These will stay with you! This is important in life. You must not hesitate to do good work. Learn to sacrifice. Perform charity. But do not entertain ego while doing charity! In Mahabharata, despite being close to Krishna, Dharmaraja became egoistical that there is no one who does greater charity than him. Krishna realized this and felt he must correct Dharmaraja. Krishna was like a laundry man cleansing the Pancha Pandavas of internal impurities. One has to merge in the 5 elements. There must be no trace of impurities/sins left. That is Krishna’s tattva. When you surrender to Guru, in myriad ways, He tries to remove sins of his disciples. You wonder, “Why did Swamiji say this? Why did He do this? Why did he scold me? Why didn’t he look at me or smile?”. Remember that this is all for your good! You cannot understand this. “When Swamiji came last time to Shimoga, he very affectionately patted my back and said, “How are you Narayanarayare?” This time he just walked past me; did not say a word!” This is also for your good!
Last time I patted your back. That was also for your good. But you can never understand. Krishna was close to Pandavas and was continuously working to cleanse them of their sins, For Arjuna’s sake, Krishna worked so hard. Each time Arjuna made a vow, Krishna stood guard. For Bhima, he struggled. Else, Bhima would have died much earlier. Even for Draupadi, the Lord worked hard. Pandavas did not possess the devotion Draupadi had. He granted her Jeevanmukti (liberation). You must read Mahabharata, listen to it! You must understand the essence of it. If there is a Ramayana pravachana going on, you say, there is Ramayana at home every day, why go to the discourse again!
There is Mahabharata at home! This is very wrong!
In you, there is no Ramayana! There is only Karma! If there was Ramayana in you, you would all reach the Lord’s abode! You only have Karma accumulated across lives!
There is not much time! If I take up a topic, it will surge forth like floods!
May Datta bless you all. Come to the temple when you can and engage in little seva. Keep up the practice of Datta Bhiksha. It is very dear to Swami. Feed few people, Lord Datta will be pleased. He likes Namasmarana. Stand before Him and sing “Digambara Digambara Sri Pada Vallabha Digambara, Jai Guru Datta.” Dattatreya is the form of Vishnu. Sing Vishnu Bhajans. Think of Lord Shiva. For knowledge, pray to Lord Brahma. This is a wonderful Datta Kshetra. The idol is small, but is greatness is magnificent! Come to Mysore also. Thousands of people come to Mysore. Come leisurely. Stay peacefully. Don’t come like you visit a hotel. Stay for a day in Guru’s abode. You go to Chardham. What did you learn there? Nothing! Instead you lose your slippers or watch and crib about it at every given opportunity! Not one person says that the impurities in his mind vanished after the Chardham pilgrimage! On the contrary you claim you better understood the attitude of people that travelled with you. You talk nonsense!
“I too travelled to Manasa Sarovar. I have also bought a Mercedes car!” – This is your ego! “I know that Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji! He was my neighbour earlier! I am a senior devotee” What did you get from this association? Do you know? Did you undergo any transformation? Did you change your ways? Are you in the path of liberation? Oh, but you know him very well!! You are all like stones in river Ganga! These stones did not drink a drop of Ganga a single day! They were in Ganga all along, only eroded and worn out! For 40 years, they stayed in the river! Similarly, there are people in Swamiji’s association for many years, but have not imbibed any of his teachings in their daily life. Even today, you feel sad, you argue and fight, you lie – what is the use? How many of you can say I learnt to be peaceful, I learnt these lessons from my Master! This Andhra devotees say, but not Kannada devotees. That is one reason I travel there so often. There are 20 big centres there and lakhs of people follow Swamiji. People who converted to Christianity are coming back. They wear Swamiji’s dollar and badges proudly. But here people shy away. Shimoga is a Vedic place filled with believers. It should be revived. I bless you all. If any one person also felt pinched by today’s talk, that is good for me! I will think that you will change for the better. It makes me happy. If you felt pained, it is good! Remember this talk! You will remember me. I will not say, don’t feed bad. It is for your own good!
Jai Guru Datta
Sri Guru Datta