Jaya Guru Datta
śrī mahã gaṇapataye namaḥ
śrī sarasvatyai namaḥ
śrī pādavallabha narasimha sarasvati
śrī guru dattātreyãya namaḥ
kṛṣṇaṃ vande jagadgurum
I am very happy to see all these children nicely chant the Bhagavad Gita. Swamiji conveys His special blessings to the children. Learning the Bhagavad Gita is very easy. Sage Vyasa and Sri Sankara Bhagavadpada made the Bhagavad Gita very easy for us. We have great faith in the Bhagavad Gita because it is the direct message from God. I always remind you that the entire world, scientists and great leaders, social workers and even atheists have great faith in the Gita. Learning the meaning of the Bhagavad Gita transforms our lives. We do not need to go after anyone to be successful. It is enough to chant the Gita and learn its meaning. The Guru is in our home, in our hearts and in our Atman as Maha Vishnu. He came to us as Guru Datta and propagated the principle of Guru and Datta. The Guru was born first and then was born the entire human rice. God first gives the cure and then the disease. It is our bad luck that we do not understand this. Poison was born before nectar. But Lord Shiva was born before the poison. Poison has a cure in Lord Shiva - He is death to death. He is Mrityunjaya - the conqueror of death.
Lord Krishna gave us the Bhagavad Gita in Dwapara Yuga because He knew that in Kaliyuga, we will suffer in various ways and will become slave to the six vices. He knew we would be submerged in the ocean of samsara, trapped in the wheel of samsara and stuck in the tree of samsara and the anger, grief, poverty, illness and misery it brings. We are always submerged in grief. Ten minutes of happiness is followed by ten days of grief. There is more grief than happiness. Before a bowl of nectar emerged, an ocean of poison emerged. Lord Shiva singlehandedly swallowed the poison. During the churning of the ocean, many objects were born in the ocean and each was taken by a deity. Goddess Lakshmi, Airavata the mighty elephant and various treasures were born from the ocean and the deities fell over each other to claim them. They also struggled to get the nectar, but no God could consume the poison. Lord Shiva alone could. That is why we say "Shiva Guru". He is the one who gave the Guru Gita to Mother Parvati. All these students who learned the Bhagavad Gita should learn the Guru Gita before Swamiji’s next visit.
Guru Gita dispels grief. Bhagavad Gita removes all problems. The Guru Gita was given by Lord Shiva to Goddess Parvati. Bhagavad Gita was given by Lord Krishna not just to Arjuna, but to all the world. From great sage Vyasa to Sanjaya to Hanuman, all the great souls heard the Bhagavad Gita as it was being given by Lord Krishna. All the Kauravas and some Pandavas were unfortunate to miss it. In a way, the blind king Dhritarashtra also was fortunate as he heard the Bhagavad Gita from Sanjaya. There were many great kings there who were devotees of Krishna, but they missed the Bhagavad Gita too.
Swamiji recently published a 3-volume set of Bhagavad Gita. Everyone must have a copy of the book. The book set is a great treasure, it is like an insurance policy that will protect you. We did not print many copies. If we had a commercial mindset, we would print ten thousand copies, but we only wanted the book sets in the hands of devotees. Even if you cannot read Telugu, keep a copy, you will wish to read the book one day. The book is amazing, it has answers to common questions as it does to the tough questions. All questions and doubts regarding Bhagavad Gita have been addressed in these books. Having the books is like having Lord Krishna at home.
Swamiji is here despite His busy schedule because of the number of Bhagavad Gita children here. Encourage children to learn the Bhagavad Gita. You read the Bhagavad Gita book as well. Do not worry that Swamiji is not doing interviews, the answers you need are in the Bhagavad Gita. Arrange for Parayanas at your homes home with 9 or 18 or how many ever children you can get. Give the children a break after nine chapters. Feed the children and if possible, give them some clothes as gift too. Everyone can do this. Swamiji will be there (invisibly) when you do this. Encourage new children to learn the Gita. I went to New Jersey because there were 400 children learning the Gita there. We must propagate the Bhagavad Gita. Gita is also being taught in an Arabic school. This should put us to shame.
We are all on the spiritual path. We are born in the lineage of great saints. You are all happy here, but despite all the comforts, some problems are unavoidable. Do not give excuses for not learning the Gita saying you have no time, or cannot wake up in the morning, or that you cannot memorize or that you eat non-vegetarian food. You can very well remember what your husband or mother-in-law said to you 40 years ago. You still curse person who gave you a cheap sari decades ago. You remember all that, but cannot remember the Gita? You only give excuses for not learning the Gita.
(Pujya Swamiji pointed to a boy and said) This boy was dozing off, but continued chanting the Gita. Look at his memory power! How can they not ace in their studies?! If you cannot learn the Gita, atleast have your children learn the Gita. If you have no devotion, atleast pretend devotion for the kids' sake. Slowly, you will develop devotion too.
You must speak your mother tongue at home. You learn plenty of English in school anyway; you must speak the mother tongue at home. Attend Satsangs regularly. Participate in Divya Nama Sankeerta. Put your children in Bala Datta classes online and in person. In Dallas, Bala Datta started with just five children and now there is no room to accommodate the massive number of kids. They are planning to build more rooms for Bala Datta classes. Swamiji blesses that Austin become that way too. You can have a small branch here. You can teach kids music, arts etc. Keep the weekends busy with these good activities. You can rent some space to carry out these activities for kids. I am not recommending new places for Ashramas these days, but I am doing for this city since there are many devoted kids here. There are many senior devotees here too who have been following Sri Swamiji for three decades or more.
The Lord will protect you. Sometimes, we get disappointed that despite being such staunch devotees we have problems. My father would tell me a shloka and a story in this regard.
This shloka ananyāś cintayanto māṁ ye janāḥ paryupāsate teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ
yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham (9.22) from Bhagavad Gita says that the Lord protects those who incessantly contemplate on Him.
A man used to always think of God. He got food by picking up grains that fell to ground during harvesting. One day, it rained and he found no grains. He would sometimes chant hymns of blessings in front of homes and those householders would give him some food even though he did not beg for them. That day when it rained, he did not even get alms from those households. Disappointed, he returned home with severe hunger pangs. He put the family to bed, giving them just water. He woke up in the middle of the night, angry with the Lord and with the Bhagavad Gita. The man opened the Bhagavad Gita book to this shloka and slashed the pages repeatedly using a big needle. He was afraid his children would die of hunger. He was angry that he got no food despite his staunch devotion. He went out for food again the next day, but got nothing. Later that day, when the man was still out, a trader's son brought home a lot of provisions - enough to last atleast two months – saying his father sent them the provisions. The wife invited the boy in for some food, but the boy refused to eat showing her his bloodied tongue and saying it was slashed by someone the previous night and that he was unable to eat or drink. The wife felt sorry and learned the boy's name was Krishna. She asked him to come back again. The boy left. The wife used the provisions to cook a meal. The man came back home with an empty bowl, angry with God. He saw the wife cooking and asked how she got so much food. The wife told him about the boy who gave them plenty of provisions. The husband asks if she made sure she fed that boy; the wife told him about the boy's tongue being slashed the previous night. The man realized what happened and wept bitterly. He lamented that the Lord did not give him Darshana, but instead gave Darshana to the wife who was not even devoted to the Lord. We should understand this very clearly. God will always protect the ones who contemplate on Him. But we should pray to him with utmost faith, dedication and devotion.
Do not just mechanically do what the Guru/Lord asks you to, waiting for the fruit of the ritual or for the result promised. You must forget the problem and praise the Lord. The more tora you tie to Lord Hanuman, the more pradakshina you do in His temple, the more you praise Him, the better for you. Dallas is very close to here, you can go there every time Swamiji visits. The Hanuman temple there is wonderful. All of you attend the Sahasragala Parayana event. Even if you have a branch here, you must not forget the main center in Dallas. You have donated a lot to Dallas. Continue to do so. That is the reason Swamiji is here. Hanuman sent me. I came here to see the children. You all should participate in Bhagavad Gita MahaYajna too.
May you all find the answers to your questions in the Bhagavad Gita.