Mahasatsang at Patna, Bihar
The only purpose of my coming here is to tell you that the Divine exists and loves you very dearly. There is a couplet in Hindi: “Jo ichcha kariho manu maahi, prabhu prataap kachhu durlabh naahin”, which means that “With God’s grace, whatever you wish for will not be difficult to obtain”. This is a proven fact. However, you must first have the faith that the Divine exists. The Divine is omnipresent, which means that the Divine is within each one of us. The Divine is eternal, which means that it exists now, right this moment. We just need to have this faith and relax. There is no need to put any effort. Vivek (Discrimination), Vishwas (Faith) and Vishraam (Relaxation) - these three are important.
Whenever there is chaos, start a kirtan (devotional song) and the chaos will settle down. This is what happened when the country was trapped in turmoil. What did Mahatma Gandhi ji do then? He went to many places and started organising satsangs. Everyone started singing, “Ishwar Allah tero naam, sabko sanmati de Bhagwaan”, and the country was woven into one thread. The chaos and the turmoil were transformed into a revolution. Even today we require this. There is a need for a peaceful revolution in this country. Where there is ignorance, injustice, scarcity and lack of hygiene, that place requires a peaceful revolution so that the ignorance is wiped out, people stand against injustice, scarcity will end and cleanliness would reign over the place. Only kirtan can bring this revolution. Whenever this country was overcome by a problem, the sages, the intellectuals and the mahatmas (great souls) of this country came forward and gave the country a new hope.
Today, we are again standing at that crossroad, where the country essentially requires a wave of spirituality. What does spirituality mean? Sitting somewhere for a while and doing kirtan? No, my dear! Spirituality (Adhyatma) means the feeling of oneness. “Atmavat Sarva Bhuteshu Yah Pashyati Sa Panditah”. One who sees everyone in himself and himself in everyone will be called a spiritual person, a devotee. So, what does spirituality mean? It is a blossoming of this feeling of oneness. “Nobody is a stranger, all are my own”; if this feeling awakens in us, then it is spirituality.
Belongingness should increase. Where belongingness ends, corruption begins. Till this date, not a single person has been corrupt with his own people. He can’t do it. If corruption has increased so much, it means belongingness has ended. Misconduct, malpractice and corruption are not something one does with one’s own people. It is done with people who are not one’s own. Yes, we need a strict law for this, but I don’t think that law alone will remove it. I believe that law should be there, but the citizens should wake up. If we all wake up, we can remove corruption. Violence can be eradicated.
I read this morning that naxalites killed around thirteen to fourteen people. I had called out to them just yesterday. We had gone to the naxal-hit region yesterday, to the Aurangabad district. I was told that around four to five people will be surrendering today, but due to some unavoidable circumstances, they couldn’t. I congratulate those youth who, out of ignorance, had joined the naxalite movement and now understand that violence will not solve the problem. I want to tell you that these are brave boys, who are putting their lives at stake to perform penance in the forests. Their eyes are filled with tears and their hearts are pained only for the reason that they want poverty and caste discrimination to be wiped out from India and all enjoy equality. However, the path they have adopted is not right. That is why I keep telling them and also told them yesterday that they should forsake the path of violence and come forward; for we are with them. Even I want to see India at the top, the number one country. I want to see it as the mightiest and the best nation of this world.
The Art of Living has completed thirty years. Wherever you go, you will witness the spirituality of India. On 20th November, when I went to the last city of the North Pole, Tromso, I asked them when the sun will rise here. They said, ‘20th January’. It is dark for two whole months. The sun doesn’t rise during those two months. The population there is sixty thousand. Even in such a place, one thousand people sit together to chant ’Om Namah Shivaya’, meditate and do pranayama. They have experienced a change in their lives. Similarly, if you go to Tierra del Fuego, a city close to the South Pole, thousands of people are doing pranayama, meditation and sudarshan kriya. They are benefitting from this.
I am saying this for one reason- This spiritual knowledge is India’s gift to mankind. However, we don’t respect this knowledge. We need to do it now. We are not giving it the due respect it deserves. If we start giving it the due respect it deserves, this land where Buddha, Mahavira, Mother Sita, Janaka and Ashtavakra were born will once again regain its glory. There was a time when Magadha, Patliputra (now Patna) was the capital of India. However, it was lost somewhere during the motion of the wheel of time. Once again, the citizens of this place will awaken, reminisce its heritage, the youth will forsake the path of violence and achieve great heights.
I also wish that there will be hundred per cent literacy in Bihar. I congratulate the team of Nitish ji (Chief Minister of Bihar) and Modi ji (Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar), for I can see a remarkable change here as compared to the last time. People in the villages are happier than before. However, we still have a lot to do, and a lot of things to work on. Literacy level should increase and people should be able to walk fearlessly. There isn’t so much fear now but we have to work a lot to start walking on the path of progress. There have been many hardships and we have emerged out of those circumstances with courage. Don’t lose courage; march forward with courage and I am very sure that Bihar will emerge as a strong state in India.
All of us here will have to take a pledge: we will neither give nor take bribe. If somebody is into this habit of taking bribe, then I would like to request them to take a year’s break from it, just for me. Take this pledge for just one year that we will not accept bribe. No problem if you have to bear some losses. However, it will benefit you a lot in the sense that you will be bestowed with blessings. All the givers must take this pledge for a lifetime and all the acceptors, if they are a little hesitant, then they must take the pledge for at least a year. We will create this atmosphere in the society. Law is the cure for this illness. But it is the work of spirituality to prevent the illness from attacking us. We need to remove ignorance and then stand against injustice.
This caste discrimination that we practice is not mentioned anywhere in the scriptures. Lord Shiva was called an untouchable, a member of the Dalit group. Around a thousand rishi-munis (great saints) have been produced by this nation, and only a few were from the forward class. Many of them were from the backward classes, from the Dalit group. It has been said ‘Janmana jayate shudra, karmana jayate dwija’. Your caste is decided by your deeds (karma), not by birth. All the castes are equal and each has been respected in this country. We forgot that. When we need a good doctor, we don’t ask his caste or religion. This also happens in the case of lawyers. Only when politics comes into picture, we talk about caste. Also, when it is the matter of one’s means of livelihood and the marriage of one’s daughter, caste is discussed in villages. We should remove caste from these three fields; livelihood, daughter and politics. Then India will progress at a very fast pace and emerge as the topmost nation. And women should be respected. A country where women are subjected to atrocities will never progress. This is very important. Stand against injustice.
We should all contribute something for the environment, and also for the farmers. There is no proper planning in our country. The price of potatoes skyrocket sometimes and then come down drastically. The farmer is the most affected. They have to put in a lot of effort and yet they don’t have any hope. When I was in Gaya and also when I addressed a rally of farmers in Maharashtra, I was told that if a boy is engaged in farming, nobody wants to wed their daughter to a boy involved in farming. This is the condition as told by them. If the farmer is happy, then the crop that he reaps out of that happiness keeps us in good health. If the farmer is not happy then our health will deteriorate.
All those who haven’t read Gita must read it at least once. It has seven hundred shlokas. Einstein, one of the greatest scientists of all times, said, ‘My life is transformed after reading Gita’. Mahatma Gandhi used to read it every day. I’ll share an instance with you, probably nobody knows it. My Guru, Pandit Sudhakar Chaturvedi had been with Mahatma Gandhi in Rewara Jail. He had been with him for forty years. He is the knower of the four Vedas (and hence conferred the title Chaturvedi). The day when Kasturba Gandhi died, Mahatma Gandhi came out, tears rolling down his eyes and spoke to Pandit Sudhakar Chaturvedi (who was known as ‘Bengaluri’ back then). Mahatma Gandhi ji said, ‘Bengaluri, read out the second chapter of Gita today. It is the day to test your Bapu (Gandhiji was fondly known as Bapu, which means Father), whether I am Stithapragya (Stable intellect) or not’. So he read out the second chapter; ‘stitha prajna shyaka bhasha samadhisthsya keshava, sthitadhih kim prabhasheta kimasita vrajet kim (chapter II Verse 54)’. With eyes closed, he listened to the verse, and tears started rolling down his eyes. He said, ‘Today is the testing day for me. And with the support of Gita, I am able to bear this grief’. All those who haven’t read it must read it once. It will take a week at the most.
Gita has discussed everything, about mind, about the different types of food: Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic; and about our nature. If you give some work to certain people they will procrastinate it. Others will say that they can’t do it. We can see the different types of mind-sets. One mind-set is that if you assign them some work, they’ll say, ‘Yes, it will be done!’ This is a sattvic attitude (Dhruti). Then there is a rajasic and tamasic attitude. You will be able to recognize as to which type of attitude you have. When you are assigned a work, whether you are excited to do it or you ignore it, is a test of your personality. This is called ‘swadhyaya’ (Introspection).
The Art of Living (Part 1) course is based on five principles. Opposite situations are natural in our lives. We must keep ourselves balanced in those circumstances. We must not get depressed in times of sorrow and too excited in times of happiness. We must make an effort to balance our mind. This is the first point. The second is, accept people as they are. We want everyone to abide by what we say. Does this happen? This is never possible. Every person has a different way of thinking. So this is the second point, accept people as they are and then make an effort to transform them. In the very first place, you dictate, ‘do what I say!’. This happens in every household. This results in tribulations in every household, between husband and wife, between brothers and sisters, between mothers-in-law and their daughters-in law, and between father and son. This struggle of not being able to understand the other person can be solved by spreading knowledge. Millions of households have recognized this fact and have witnessed transformation in their lives.
Thirdly, when we commit a mistake, we say, ‘what can be done? It just happened’. We feel helpless. However, when others commit a mistake, we see an intention behind it. This is not correct. We need to throw some light on this fact. The fourth point is that we shouldn’t be a football of others’ opinions. Let others say what they want to about you. There are people who criticise those who do great deeds and then there are also people who support those who do wrong deeds. We shouldn’t base our lives on the opinions of others. The fifth point emphasises on living in the present moment. Forget the past and plan for the future but live in the present moment. These are the five tattvas (principles). And with the help of these tattvas, we delve deeper into meditation and then realise that ‘I am a fountain of love’. In every particle of my being, it is that Om which is resonating. We realize this through experience.
I would request you to do one thing today. You should make two lists, the first list for your needs, and the other for how many responsibilities you undertake in life. If your responsibilities are lesser than your needs then you will lead an unhappy life. But if your needs are lesser than your responsibilities, then you will enjoy a happy life. Another secret that I have is that if you don’t want anything for yourself then a mystical power will arise from within you such that you will be capable of fulfilling others’ wishes as well. When you do not want anything for yourself and then if you bless someone, their work will be done. During Navratri, in our country, we worship little girls (referred to as kanyakas and the worship is called kanya pujan) on Ashtami. Do you know why we do this? This is because there is a glimpse of God in the mind of the child, in their innocence. Shakti (Energy, the feminine aspect of Divinity) resides there. Everyone has this Shakti, but our desires, wishes and tensions have enveloped it. If you ask kids as to what they want, they will effortlessly reply, ‘I don’t want anything’. It is a spontaneous reply from them. That state when you don’t want anything, then the blessings that flow out are bound to materialise. That is why you go to the elders and to the sages to seek blessings from them for they don’t want anything. ‘I don’t want anything for myself. May everyone be happy and well’. When people have this state of mind then their blessings will come true.
I have seen millions of people enjoying a scarcity free life as they take just one step in this direction. Ignorance, injustice and scarcity are washed away. Then comes cleanliness. We should be clean from inside, keeping our hearts clean and also keeping our environment clean. There are many people here who don’t even clean their wash basins regularly. Why doesn’t this thought of keeping our houses clean strike us? And even if people keep their houses clean, they will throw the trash on the roads. They will not keep the roads clean. If each one of us sitting here devotes two hours of our time every month in keeping Patna clean, then Patna will shine even more. Just devote two hours on the first Sunday of every month.
We started our first such campaign in the city of Jalna, Maharashtra. One person from every house came out with a broomstick in his hand, and within three hours, that city turned so beautiful that even the mayor was astonished. He said, ‘even such things can happen in society!’ And then, before the Commonwealth Games, when the government surrendered to not being able to clean Delhi, five thousand volunteers of The Art of Living came forward every day in different localities of Delhi to clean the city. The campaign, ‘Meri Dilli, Meri Jamuna’ (My Delhi, My Jamuna) made a lot of difference. I told them, if we take one step in this direction then nature will take ten steps. I said I want to see fish in the River Yamuna. It had become a river of garbage. In Mathura, as people drew water with their hands from the Yamuna, all they could see was insects. Five hundred trucks full of dirt were taken out from Yamuna. And who did this? It was done by us- satsangis (People who participate in Satsangs), sadhaks (People who do Sadhana). And after that, the flood that followed brought fish to River Yamuna. Nature cleaned it even more through the flood. I would say that if all Patnaites (residents of Patna city), as a seva, spare two hours every month for the society, we will be able to clean the city. This was the fourth point, removing filth. So these were the four points: ignorance, injustice, scarcity and filth which need to be removed. This is called satsang.
What is required for a cell phone to function properly? You need a SIM card, a charged battery, and within the network range. These are the three things; faith, intellect and relaxation. Sitting quietly and meditating for some time is relaxation. There is no delay in experiencing the Divine. If you have these three things, you will develop a link with the Divine.
Today, surrender all your problems to me. I want to see a smile on your face that never withers. Spend your entire life smiling. Give me your troubles and whole-heartedly engage yourself in seva, sadhana and satsang.
I was in America, a month and a half back. I met a scientist there who had researched on the word, ‘Om’. He said that he had recorded the chanting of Om and found that it has the same frequency as the rotation of the Earth around its axis. That is why from ancient times, whether it was Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Hinduism, or even Shinto and Taoism, respect is given to this word ‘Om’. It is called ‘Anahat Naad’ (Sound produced without contact). And if you meditate deeper, you will hear this ‘naad’ (Sound) automatically. Islam and Christianity have been using it as ‘Amin’ and ‘Amen’, in a slightly different way. Om has a very crucial role in keeping the mind silent.
I have always been saying, ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, one world family! It was India that propounded this idea. When China first welcomed me, they said, ‘Guruji! No matter how our administration is now, India and China has had a very old relationship. Buddhism first spread to our country from India and philosophically we are very close to each other’. This is how they welcomed me. They said that human values were decreasing there and so they wanted me to come and open up our centres there as well.
When the Prime Minister of Iraq invited me, a journalist came along. He asked the prime minister as to what he wants from India. The first thing he said was that we want India’s spiritual force, spiritual knowledge from India. ‘How peacefully you live, people from different religions, different cultures and communities, that is your asset and that is what we want in our country also. We want that energy. Those people from our staff, who have done your pranayama, sudarshan kriya and meditation, always keep smiling. They are always happy and always ready to face challenges of all kinds. There is so much enthusiasm in them. I want to make everyone like this’. Secondly, he said that he wants the industrialists of India to come to Iraq and drill out oil. He wanted to give it to them instead of America. And thirdly he talked about IT (Information Technology). He wanted India to give training to people in IT. The youth of India are renowned for their IT skills and they wanted their youth to be the same. Then, he sent fifty youths from their country to Bengaluru to get them trained so that they become messengers of peace. They were trained for a month and a half. People from Morocco took training for three months. Then they started teaching people all over and now thousands of people are meditating, doing pranayama and yoga and are benefitting from it. Even you people should do yoga and asanas for short intervals.