śrī mahāganapate namaḥ
śrī sarasvatyai namaḥ
śrī pādavallabha narasimha sarasvati
śrī guru dattātreyāya namaḥ
With immense devotion, we have worshipped Mother Lakshmi today. Padmavati means Lakshmi. We are having the darshan of Goddess Padmavati in 3 forms of Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi & Maha Saraswati. Lakshmi Puja has been performed since the times of Krita and Treta Yuga. Indra and other gods worshipped mother goddess and relieved themselves of bodily afflictions and from diseases of this material world. This is mentioned in various Puranas. If Lakshmi’s grace is present, Saraswati’s blessings follow. Saraswati and Maha Durgi grant the energy (Shakti) – energy to move around, energy to speak, energy to eat. Durga Parameshwari blesses us with the energy that is necessary to perform any action (Karma). The power for speech, ability to think, to run our family, to protect our assets – for these, we need Mother Saraswati’s blessings.
We need some education. From this education, we gain knowledge. Knowledge leads to devotion. Devotion leads to dispassion. Dispassion leads to liberation. We must compulsorily make an attempt to gain this knowledge – just a little bit. Each one of us must try to understand what Puranas are, what Ramayana and Mahabharata teach us, why we must learn prayers by heart, why we must engage in worship daily – we must know the significance of these actions. We need this knowledge.
In the worldly matters, we still need the knowledge to read and sign. Someone may come to us with some papers and get our signature. If we are not able to read and understand, we can be misled and deceived. We need education for this. Somehow all these years have passed. People who are greater than 65-70 years, who are not literate or do not have the minimal knowledge have somehow lived their life. Many of them have also been victims of forgery. Others have cheated them of their property. Many have you have faced such difficulties and become disappointed and depressed. It has been a cause of great agony in your lives. Some of you did not learn to read and write. It is very much necessary. You must become literate. There is no age bar to gain knowledge. You don’t have to comment that you are already beyond 70 and you do not require this knowledge.
The day you begin to learn, you become a student. This has nothing to do with age. The mind is always 3 years old. If you try, it is possible to learn. There some devotees that have memorized Bhagavat Gita entirely but are not literate. There is a lady by name Sarojamma who sweeps the ashrama streets. She is about 50 years old. She is cannot read or write. But she won a gold medal in Bhagavat Gita recitation! There are many people like her even in America. They can barely speak clearly. Even today I can’t follow when Sarojamma speaks. I need to ask the boys around me to repeat. I can’t understand her Telugu or Kannada. Such a person learnt Bhagavat Gita fluently. She is like Kalidasa. There are many such old women among the devotees who have learnt all the 700 stanzas of Bhagavat Gita by heart! They have done this to get the certificate and gold medal from Sri Swamiji.
That is why I’m telling everyone here to learn Bhagavat Gita. You begin with one shloka, you will feel like learning the next. That is the greatness of Mother Gita! To learn Bhagavat Gita, you need strength. This strength is granted by Mother Goddess Durga Parameshwari. Then to buy the book, or to wear a common uniform for chanting, you need the blessing of Mother Lakshmi. Everything in this world works if there is Lakshmi. Where there is Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswati also resides. Where there is Saraswati, Durga Parameshwari resides. Thus, it is important to pray to Mother Lakshmi in whatever capacity possible. Every year you are celebrating Lakshmi Jayanthi here. It gives me immense happiness. This is your temple. This belongs to everyone in Mysore. You’re celebrating this as a big festival. I was supposed to travel today, but it was postponed to tomorrow so that I could participate in the Lakshmi Jayanthi festivities. But we have also had to cancel all the programs due to the Coronavirus situation. We are now only talking of masks! It has not affected India as much, as we have better resistance. We are like demons ourselves! If the virus attacks, it will meet with death!! It won’t affect us. One or two people who have less resistance, who do not consume the right kind of food, and who are not strong will be affected. We are all fit and strong! We finish all the prasada that is offered, we automatically have a lot of resistance! Hence, this epidemic will not impact India. The virus cannot survive in high temperatures. Only if people from other places travel and bring the disease into the county, it will impact. Not otherwise. About 70-80 years ago, people in China did not have food to eat. At that time, it became very difficult to supply food to the citizens. All the crops that were grown were severely destroyed by insects. Lakhs of insects infected the food grains. These people in China consumed the food along with the insects as it if were a snack! The crop was lost. The president then made an announcement that people can kill and consume any animal. If you go through the history, you will find these facts! They began to consume all sorts of insects and creatures to stay alive. They would even take the worms from the drains and consume them! They developed a lot of resistance. Then they started growing crops again slowly. The weather in China is extreme in different regions – some places are dry and barren deserts. Other places are extremely cold. The crops don’t grow easily in these regions. Only few places in the city could grow something. This is the reason pollution is also very high in China. Their military would apparently squeeze live snakes and drink blood! They would eat bats raw! This is demonic. They eat scorpions. I visited a city in China for 2 days. Such things are not seen much in the city. They insisted I go the villages with them. I felt very sad looking at their ways there.
They then started growing crops and the government directed that the people can consume grains now as the situation got better. But eating creatures had become a habit! They would eat even rats and bandikoots. No wonder we are seeing diseases like Corona. SARS also originated in this country. Maximum deaths are happening in these countries. Those who are rearing cattle must be very careful. Research shows that consuming chicken, beef and meat leads to cancer. The poultry is not reared naturally. They are given chemicals and grown artificially. When this enters our body, it leads to cancer. Those who have low resistance are affected easily. It is not easy to ward of these diseases
Every day consume one pod of Garlic. Swallow it, do not chew. It will improve your resistance. Take a few drops of Eucalyptus oil in a cotton ball and smell it frequently. Do not sit close to people who are coughing. Always cover your mouth with a cloth when coughing, yawing or sneezing. The virus spreads through droplets. Wear a mask when you move about in public places. If others have cough, it will prevent you from catching the virus. Even if you keep a lemon close and keep smelling it often, it will help stay safe. These help defend against the virus. Keep your house clean. Clean the vessels well and wipe it dry. Do not allow used vessels to sit in the sink. Even if it will take 10 minutes more, make sure you clean the vessels each night. Change bed sheets every two days. You don’t change the sheets until you die! It would have become so thick with all the dirt! Even the pillows are so dirty and smelly. Change the covers every two days. The blankets must also be changed frequently. When you walk out the bed in the morning, the dirty smell from the bedspreads follow you!
Wash your shirts after one use. Just dipping it in water and putting it to dry will kill a lot of germs. The sarees should also be washed in water after use. Water and soap can clean a lot of germs. Some germs are killed by exposure to air, few are killed when put out in the sun, some other are killed when ironed. But we don’t do any of this! We just use the clothes and hang them on the hook and use them again! We are very lazy! I don’t want to talk more about it! You don’t wash your inner wear even for 2 months! You must wash them daily.
Wash your hands well and eat with your hands. Don’t use spoon. There are many advertisements now that show how to wash hands! Avoid eating in groups for the next 15-20 days. Do not speak with food in your mouth! Don’t spread diseases. Maintain distance between people. Do not do Jai kara with food in your mouth! All the food in your mouth will land in other’s plates. This is very wrong! Many of you use the same glass to drink water. You are all very close friends! You have a lot of attachment! The attachment spreads diseases! On this Lakshmi Jayanthi day, we are speaking of Corona! Let’s pray to God that this disease goes away. Spend 10-15 minutes in sunlight. The virus resting on your body surface can only multiply when it enters inside the body either through your nose or mouth. It is a parasite. Those who have cold and cough must isolate themselves. Else, they will brand you as infected. Some of you say, you never fall sick. You only get cough and cold twice a year. And each time it lasts 6 months!! These are the people who consume a lot of cold substances. Don’t take anything cold immediately. Place them out of the fridge for a while and let temperature rise a little bit. Then it will not affect you. May God bless you with health, wealth and knowledge. May you be blessed with good strength to do seva by Lakshmi Mata. Next year, for Lakshmi Jayanti, let us perform Rathotsava in a small way within the ashrama precincts. Remember that all those who have gathered here from Mysore are all ashrama members. You develop this feeling of belongingness. I already consider all of you as ashrama members. This ashrama, this temple, the Lord and Mother goddess belong to you! On Vaikuntha Ekadashi, about a lakh people had queued up for darshana. This temple is for you. There is a special reason for this temple. I will narrate that another time. This is not for extorting money from people. This place is a miracle. Today we have worshipped Padmavathi Lakshmi. I have seen the list of all sevakarthas. I bless you all. You will be given prasadam by the priest now. Please collect them. Be silent. Perform pradakshina to mother goddess and Lord Venkataramana.
Jaya Guru Datta