What do we get upset with? We don’t get upset with the birds, or the clouds, or with Nature. We don’t get upset with the environment. So, what do we get upset with? We get upset with the people around us. Our enemies upset us and our friends upset us as well. Our mind gets stuck either in our friends or in our enemies. We either think about our friends or we think about our enemies the entire day.
People become our enemies even when we have not done any wrong to them. Many people have had this experience. We didn’t do any wrong to them; neither did we misbehave and still they became our enemies. This is very surprising!
We think, ‘Oh! Why has he become my enemy? Until yesterday he was my friend.’ In the same way, we do not do any special favours for some people, yet they become our close friends. That is why I tell you, this is some astonishing and mysterious Karma – how some people become our enemies and some our friends.
So what should we do? We should place both our friends and enemies in one basket, and just become empty from within and be joyful.
All these happenings (people becoming friends and enemies) are run by some law and we don’t know how and where it comes from. We just can’t say when someone’s feelings towards us will change and whether it will be in our favour or not in our favour. We just can’t say. That is why we should place absolute faith on our Self, on God, and not on friendship and enmity.
We should not waste our time thinking about friends and enemies. This does not mean you distance yourself from your friends, or that you stop making new friends. That is not what I am saying. Friendliness should be in our nature; love should be in our very nature. We are love after all!
When someone comes and sits beside us, we do smile at them and exchange a few words. This does not mean you think, ‘Anyways, who is a friend or who is an enemy, there is nothing to share with anyone’, and you walk around with a gloomy face being angry with everyone – this is not a sign of wisdom. This is ignorance and foolishness.
We must interact with everyone around us but at the same time be centred from within. Do you understand?
When we are centered, then we will not feel sad, angry or possessive. Then we will not have disappointment of any kind. Otherwise many times what happens, we become sad – ‘Oh! Look, I made him such a good friend and today he does not even talk to me. I did so many favours for him and he has turned against me!’
By thinking all these thoughts we waste the time we have in the present. We should not do this, Okay! It is futile to search for a true friend in the world. Befriend the Truth (Divine) and the World is yours.
Once upon a time, there lived a Master and disciple and they were doing a lot of social work helping the poor and caring for the needy. On rainy days when they could not travel, they would go to their small hut and rest. One day, after finishing their work, they returned home. When they arrived, they found that a big storm had damaged it and only a little portion was left, where they could hardly sit.
When the disciple saw this, he became very angry with God.
He prayed and asked God if He could not have saved one small hut for them. That they had not asked Him for anything! They just had that one hut for shelter and He did not even save that! He further said that they had told everybody that God was very compassionate but now he would have to take back all his words since he did not feel that He was compassionate at all! And he had stopped believing in what he had been preaching. He asked his guru how he had said that God was all-merciful. Where was the mercy? He was making them suffer. He had said that they were the children of God. Was He really taking care of them?
The Master’s reaction was the exact opposite.He was so happy. He started dancing and singing more bhajans. He said that God was so beautiful! He had saved a little portion of the hut for them. The storm had been so severe that the whole hut could have been destroyed. At least God had preserved a corner for them. At least, both of them could sit there. God was so kind and wonderful. He was ever so grateful to Him. So the Master felt even more grateful and started dancing.
Gratefulness is that deep quality in our very nature the has to be enlivened by us. Stop thinking about enlightenment. Just start being grateful.
Find every little opportunity to be grateful and then you will see that you will abide in your Self. This is enlightenment. And all the other things –knowledge, etc. would follow. You will find yourself present all over. But the first step is ‘being grateful’. We can’t take everything for granted. If you start taking things for granted, gratefulness will die in us. To be grateful is our very nature.
Abhishekam is a process to get into meditation, the way the water flows, similarly, knowledge flows into the mind. This is not done for Shiva, this is done for ourselves; to meditate. When we do Rudra Abhishekam everybody gets a good meditative experience. Shiva exists in the five elements, would he get happy when you pour water? No! But when we do it with reverence and feeling, an environment is created and when we chant, its vibration gets absorbed into the water. It is scientifically proven that chanting this Mantra restructures and improves the crystalline sequence of water.
When Om Namah Shivaya is chanted it changes the structural nature of the water crystals, manifesting an incredibly beautiful sequence. When we use bad language, the structure gets distorted. You should check out the website, “Secrets of water”, it shows how water absorbs our feelings. Doing Abhishekam is like a tradition The chants are so beautiful; we pray that our bodies be strengthened, our minds be strong; there should be mellowness in the environment, water, ocean, thoughts, villages and everywhere. We should sit for Abhishekam with this desire and thought. It is not even important to do all this, just sitting and listening to the mantra is enough. The point is turning inwards, listening to the Japas and mantras. Meditating is a lot more important than doing the Abhishekam. Doing is not important but going within us is.
Doing the Abhishekam creates an environment. For example on Diwali we feel different because we light lamps, clean the house, which creates an environment. So this is similar to how we celebrate festivals a few times a year.
Don’t waste food after offering it to God, don’t let it go down the drain. Milk, honey, curd, grains can be collected separately and used. It’s not okay if you waste food when it can feed people.
This ancient practice of the Rudrabhishekam, with the chanting of mantras, has been happening since thousands of years. It creates such a deep resonance in our consciousness, because our consciousness is very ancient. The chanting and the pooja creates a very positive environment, and its purpose is to cleanse any negativity in the atmosphere
Once upon a time, the Devas began to feel that the whole world was theirs, so a Yaksha went to challenge them. The Devas sent Agni, the energy of the fire element to the challenge and to see who this Yaksha was. Agni said, “I can burn anything, I can transform anything.” So the Yaksha threw a blade of grass in front of Agniand challenged Agni to burn it, to transform it. However, Agni could not do anything. Agni affirmed again, “I am Agni, I am Chatur Veda, I am somebody.” That particular divine energy limited itself to be somebody, some particular energy. So what happened? Its power got diminished. It did not identify itself with Brahman, with the cosmic energy, but considered itself as a particular type of energy, a particular individual. It limited its power and capacity.
The lesson here is practical: Do not underestimate anybody. Do not think that you are the only intelligent one, and do not underestimate any challenge even if it comes from ‘beneath’ you.
Agni went back to the other Devas, defeated. So they sent Vayu, the atmosphere, but even the wind was not able to lift the blade of grass. Then Indra, the lord of mind, the lord of all the Devas was sent. A Yaksha could not be seen through the eyes, nor felt through the skin or touch. The previous two Devas could not find out who this Yaksha was, but Indra, the lord of the mind, went close to the Yaksha who transformed himself into the beautiful divine mother. The Indra consciousness came to the kundalini spirit, the Mother Divine energy. The Devi, the mother divine energy, is a symbol of compassion, of submission, of sensitivity, of beauty. The lord of the mind surrendered to the mother divine, she reminded him that the victory of Brahman is the victory of everything. Only then did the lord of the mind, when enamoured by the divine, discovered who the Yaksha was, and what Truth is.
With the help of the mother divine, all the Devas could understand that all this is Brahman. The experience of the Devas comes as a flash. In one moment they come to you, then disappear. This is called daivi loka, the world of the Devas. You may experience a few moments of that energy, before it disappears. You are in Brahman all the time, but the Devas, the Devi energy, the higher levels of consciousness can be perceived like a flash, like lightning. In the blink of an eye, experience comes and disappears. It is just a glimpse, it comes and it disappears.
This is the world of gods and goddesses, but that is not it. The spiritual world is a step further, where the mind simply dissolves. It is a gift to you. This very knowledge is a gift to you. This very awareness is a gift to you. The very awareness that you are part of the whole, or that the whole is part of you, is a gift. The very fact that you are able to even hear that this is Brahman and the universe is made up of only one, is a gift.
The Vedas say charaiveti, charaiveti, “Keep moving”. When you do yoga and meditation, when you do charity, when you do good work, when you do have a good heart, miracles will keep happening in abundance.You have the ability to bless others. Do not think that this is your victory, like that Devas. Or else you will not be able to lift even a blade of grass.The infinite consciousness is using you as an instrument, making all these things happen in the universe. See that one in all. That is your victory. That is the victory of Brahman, that is acceptance of Brahman, and that is Brahman accepting you.
The celebration of Guru Purnima is to remind you that you need to reflect on the truth that – you are light. It is to refresh your knowledge and revive your emotions.
A celebration revives the emotions, rejuvenates the spirit and reminds you of the knowledge. This is the purpose of a celebration. Though this is there all the time, an occasion is needed to bring them up.
You see, the ocean has water all the time but when the full moon rises, the tide become higher. In the same way, a celebration reminds you that – you are the light, you are beautiful, loving and kind. It refreshes the knowledge and revives the emotions. Emotions need revival time and again, and that is what the celebration of Guru Purnima is about.
You are part of an ancient tradition from millions of years. You are a drop in the river of wisdom, and on Guru Purnima day, you remember this, you reflect and rejuvenate yourself! All that it needs is just remembrance. That brings the feeling of gratefulness.
In Sanskrit, there are two names for a disciple 1. Antevasi – one who resides inside the Guru 2. Kara Kamala Sanjata – a student who is born in the hands of the Guru, and natured by the feelings and knowledge of the Sangha (the company of good people).
So, Guru Purnima is a celebration to remember that you are the light of the world and for the world.
There is no good light and bad light. Light is light! So, don’t be too serious – be light!
If you think you are dull, your Guru is brilliant. If you think you are brilliant, your Guru is irrational. If you think you are irrational, your Guru is irresistible. If you complain, your Guru gets tougher. If you are perfect, your Guru is imperfection personified.
Do you still want to have a Guru? It is inviting all sorts of trouble!
Whether to be a student or a Guru, sometimes you have no choice. I didn’t want to be a Guru but by default I am. If you keep teaching someone something, you become a Guru. You can deny it as much as you want, but you still remain a Guru because the Guru Principle flows through you.
We are so fortunate to have access to the ancient tradition and to the knowledge which is so amazing, so complete, so scientific and so life transforming. It is so beautiful! Just look back and see, suppose you had not learnt any meditation or didn’t know about this knowledge at all, where would you have been? This one thought can stir you, wake you up and refresh you. This is what the celebration is about!
All celebrations on this planet is around some great event that happened on the planet. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Every celebration – whether it is Eid, Buddha Purnima, Janmashtami – is associated with an event. Similarly, in your life you celebrate wedding anniversaries, birthdays, thanks giving, etc., they are all connected with events.
If there is one celebration which is beyond events, but focuses on the essence of life that is Guru Purnima. It focuses on the knowledge and the wisdom. Celebrating the wisdom in life is Guru Purnima, and it is attributed to the tradition of Masters.
Having said all that He had to, at the end of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna, 'Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam sharanam vraja, Aham tvam sarva-papebhyo mokshayishyami ma shucah' (V 18.66).
Drop your religion or any other belief you have, and take total surrender in me. O Arjuna. I shall liberate you of all your sins and sufferings.
Religion is like soap. But just because you have washed you clothes with an expensive soap worth 100 Rupees, you will not say that ‘Oh, I am going to keep the soap on my clothes because it is such an expensive soap’. You have to wash it off.
There comes a stage when one moves above such attachments and entanglements in life (here referring to religion), and becomes Sharanagat - surrendering totally to the Lord, with this deep feeling of devotion that 'O Lord! I am yours and yours alone'. This is what has been explained in this verse.
Lord Krishna had to say this to Arjuna, otherwise, no matter what knowledge He gave to Arjuna, he would just get stuck with it and not let go.
If Lord Krishna would advise Arjuna by saying, ‘Do it this way’, then he would simply follow and do only that much. So that Arjuna does not get stuck, in the end, Lord Krishna said to him, ‘Drop every religion or belief and simply come take refuge in Me. You cannot liberate yourself from your sins. I shall free you from all your sins and sufferings, so simply come to Me’.
Suppose you commit a wrong deed and you go on repenting saying, ‘Oh! I have committed such a wrong deed. How can I be free from it? What do I do?’ You cannot liberate yourself from your sins by making efforts. This is why Lord Krishna says, ‘I am ready to bear all your sins and sufferings, so just drop everything and come and take refuge in Me’.
When the five elements governed by Lord Shiva (Panch Mahabhoota – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether) united with Shakti (Pure Consciousness), Lord Kartikeya was born.
Shiva is called Panchaanana – Lord with five heads. These five heads represent the five elements in Nature. When these five elements united with the sixth: Chaitanya Shakti(Pure Consciousness), they gave birth to the Shadaanana (six headed), also called Lord Kartikeya. You can understand this in terms of the Kundalini Shakti (the primordial, dormant yet potent energy said to be present in a coiled form at the base of the spine).
We have seven chakras (energy centers) within us. When the energy surges through the six chakras and stabilizes at the sixth chakra – the Ajna chakra (present in the middle of the eyebrows), it blossoms as Lord Kartikeya (symbolism of the Guru Tattva -Principle). The Ajna chakra is the place of the Guru Tattva. It is where the Guru Tattva blossoms and manifests itself. And that Guru Tattva itself is Kartikeya Tattva.
Lord Shiva is the un-manifest Divinity, while Lord Kartikeya is the manifest. So you can think of Lord Kartikeya as symbolic of the Kundalini Shakti.
There is a story about Lord Kartikeya from the Puranas.
When Kartikeya was a young child, His father, Lord Shiva asked him to go and study and receive education from Lord Brahma. So Kartikeya went to Lord Brahma and asked him, ‘Please tell me the meaning of Om.’ Lord Brahma said, ‘First learn the alphabets! You are directly asking for the meaning of Om.’ Kartikeya said, ‘No, I want to know the highest knowledge first – Om.’
Now Lord Brahma knew all about the alphabets, but he did not know the meaning of Om (the primordial sound). So Kartikeya said to Lord Brahma, ‘You do not know the meaning of Om, how will you teach me? I will not study under you.’ And Kartikeya went back to his father, Lord Shiva.
Lord Brahma told Lord Shiva, ‘You alone can handle your son. I can’t handle him. If I say this, he says that. Whatever I say, he says the exact opposite of that. I won’t be able to teach him. So you decide what is best and handle him.’ Hearing this, Lord Shiva asked Kartikeya, ‘What happened son? Lord Brahma is the Creator of the entire universe. You must learn from him.’
To this Kartikeya replied, ‘Then you tell me, what is the meaning of Om?’
Hearing this, Lord Shiva smiled and said, ‘Even I don’t know.’
Kartikeya then said, ‘Then I will tell you because I know the meaning of Om.’
‘Then tell me the meaning since you know it’, said Lord Shiva.
‘I can’t tell you like this. You have to give me the place of the Guru. Only if you put me on the pedestal of the Guru can I tell you’, said Kartikeya.
Guru means he has to be on a higher position or platform. The teacher has to sit on a higher place and the student has to sit down and listen to him.
How can Lord Shiva find a seat higher than Him, for He is the highest and greatest of Gods? So then Lord Shiva lifted the young Kartikeya on to His shoulders. And then in the ear of Lord Shiva, Lord Kartikeya explained the meaning of the Pranava Mantra(Om).Kartikeya explained that the entire Creation is contained in Om.
The Trinity – Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are contained in Om.
Om means that everything is love – unbroken and unshakeable love is Om. This is the essence and also the secret of Om that Lord Kartikeya narrated to Lord Shiva.
Upon hearing this, Goddess Parvati (Mother of Lord Kartikeya, and an incarnation of the Mother Divine) was elated and overcome with joy. She said, ‘You have become a Guru (Swami) to my Lord (Natha)!’ Saying this she addressed her son as Swaminatha, and ever since Lord Kartikeya also came to be known as Swaminatha.
So in this way, Lord Kartikeya assumed the position of the Guru and explained the meaning of Om to Lord Shiva by sitting on his shoulder. So the essence of the story is this –
the Guru Tattva is placed higher than Lord Shiva himself!
Sthita-prajanas (2.55): What are the signs of a centered, stable personality?
Then Krishna explained: prajahati yada Kaman, sarvan partha mano-gatan, atmany evatmana tustah, sthita-prajanas tadocyate (2.55). The one who has overcome all desires, prajahati yada (2.55). One who just drops all desires, sarvan partha mano-gatan (2.55).
It’s natural that the mind harbors desires. Desires don’t ask your permission, they just drop in and they stay. When they drop in and stay, that’s when they create trouble for you. When they drop in, you see them off. Prajahati yada Kaman, sarvan partha mano-gatan (2.55). If desires don’t come at all, there is nothing for you to get rid of. You can see them off. In this verse, Krishna clearly said how to say goodbye to the desires, which keep arising in your mind. They have to come, so they come and you say goodbye to them.
One who is satisfied, content with oneself, he is the one who is centered, who is enlightened. One who is not hanging onto desires and crying over them, just takes them as they come, and says, “Okay, fine, goodbye.” That any desire shouldn’t arise in life is also another desire. You can go on that trip, “Oh, I want to get rid of all the desires!” Do you know what the ancient saints and Gurus used to say? “When sunlight comes, a candle has no meaning.” You don’t have to blow out the candle, just bring it into the sunlight; the candle will lose its significance by itself. Similarly, if you have a greater vision in the mind, the small desires will lose their significance. When they lose their significance, it’s as good as you saying goodbye to them.
See, we don’t desire for the Highest in our life. What we really desire is – make a phone call to somebody or correcting some misunderstanding or we turn some proper understanding into a misunderstanding. This is all that we are engaged in. All that our thoughts hover around are really unimportant, insignificant things but they appear very big. This is what is called Maya – illusion. How to get over these things? It is a skill. Prajahati yada Kaman, sarvan partha mano-gatan, atmany evatmana tustah, sthita-Prajña tadocyate (2.55).