Sri M begins his Satsang in Belgavi at the SGBIT auditorium, Belgavi, Karnataka
The august gathering at the SG Balekundri Institute of Technology auditorium, Belgavi, Karnataka
It was a day of rest for Walk of Hope yatris in Belagavi (Belgaum)—where they camped at the S G Balekundri Institute of Technology. The day was spent in a flurry of activity - some visited the city while some visited the Ramakrishna Math, some did laundry in the common bathrooms and others caught up on sleep. It was a relaxed atmosphere all around.
The only common program scheduled for the day was the evening Satsang with Sri M in the college auditorium. About four hundred or so people gathered there for the Satsang.
Shri Siddharama Swamiji of Rudrakshi Math graced the occasion. The satsang was rescheduled from 5.30 to 6.00 pm as it started to rain at around 5.00 pm.
In effect, Sri M’s address started only by 7.00 pm; the delay provided an opportunity to the gathering to enjoy watching the rain, while people chatted over cups of tea or sat quietly.
Sri M addressed the gathering thus,
“Akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākāram vyāptam yena carācaram|
Tatpadam darśitam yena tasmai śrī gurave namah||
(Which) pervades the entire unbroken form of the circle (of creation), moving and unmoving.
To that beautiful and benevolent Guru through whom that state was revealed (to me), salutations.
Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheshwara
Gurur Sakshat Parabrahma Tasmai Shree Guruvey Namaha
The Guru is Brahma (The creator), Lord Vishnu (The preserver, and Lord Shiva (the destroyer)
To that very Guru I bow, for He is the Supreme Being, right before my eyes.
Loka samasta sukhinoh bhavantu – May the entire universe be happy.”
“Namaskara! Namaskara to Shri Guru Siddharama Swami of Rudrakshi Math, Dr. Ajai Kumar Singh, Principal of this school, other dignitaries and my good friends. Unfortunately, beyond 'namaskara', my Kannada is not that good. I could understand what Swamiji said just now, I understood most of it. Yesterday, I spoke in Hindi but let's talk in English today since I think most people understand English here.”
“Now, Swamiji said some things about me. That is just fine. But, I am standing before you; I am an ordinary human being. I eat, I sleep, I will also die. So, in that aspect, we are all One. I might have had some experiences because of the blessings of my Guru and the sadhana.”
“After reading the autobiography and the newspaper reports, please don't have any ideas about me beyond that, except that I am a human being just like you, I have to breathe for my survival, I have to eat, and I have to sleep.”
“And, I was also born from the womb of my mother, like all of you. And one day, I will go into this earth. The message of Manav Ekta Mission padayatra is that in spite of belonging to this profession or that profession, this religion or that religion, this ideology or that ideology, we should not forget that we are human beings. In fact, this is not my philosophy; this is an old wine in a new bottle.”
“All great teachers have said that we must not forget that we are human beings. You might be thinking that you are different. You have the right to believe, to have your own private faiths, to have your own ideologies, but let us not forget the fact that you are human beings, and let nobody make you forget this fact that you are human beings. Let nobody turn your mind.”
“Think that, ultimately, we are all from a mother's womb. Nobody falls from the heaven and ends up on this earth. That, in itself, proves we are human beings. We have our good points, we have our bad points. Everything is present in a human being. The idea in spiritual life is that we have to increase the good points and cut down on the bad points; this is sadhana. You need not necessarily be always sitting down in one place but it is required. Without spiritual experience, whatever act you do will ultimately be selfish; therefore, it is required.”
“Once you touch ‘That’, then the idea is to share it with others. Babaji told me, when I was meditating in a cave in Uttarakashi, that if you mediate for 24 hours a day, for 30 years in a cave and when you come out of the cave and you don't hear the cry of a hungry child, all your 30 years of sadhana is a waste - 'koi fayada nahi hai' - there is no use. The purpose of meditation and spiritual understanding is not to contact angels and travel in your astral body and things like that—that has become a business nowadays.”
“The foundation of spiritual practice, its essence is that you develop love and compassion towards your fellow beings. You know that Swami Vivekananda came and stayed here. He was unknown at that time, it was only when he went to the west and came back that people started hearing about Swami Vivekananda. He walked anonymously at that time but wherever he went, people recognized his greatness. Once, when he was travelling through some part of Maharashtra, he got the news that one of his close friends had died. When a man told him that one of his old friends had died, he held that man's hand and started weeping. The man asked, ‘Why are you crying like this? You are supposed to be a sanyasin.’Swami Vivekananda asked ‘Did I work so many years to make my heart into a stone? Is that the qualification of a sanyasin?’”
“So, one of the results of spiritual understanding is that you stop hating anybody, hating anything. Have love and affection towards others and consider humanity as one whole - not 'hole' but whole. If this doesn't happen, I don't think that there is any purpose to a spiritual journey. But the basis has to be there, understand that, otherwise, we may do social reforms but we may not be stable inside.”
“Babaji taught me many things, I learnt many things. I learnt different forms of sadhana and then he said, “Go back, stay in the world and talk to people.So I came back. Once, I told Babaji that I was his dog and he said go, so I said all right. When I said I am his dog, he said 'dum jyada mat hilana' - don't wag your tail too much. I try as much as possible not to shake my tail. So, this is what I am!”
“When Babaji sent me home, there were two things which he wanted me to do. One, he wanted me to go within and understand the true Self, which is the light of universe itself and two, transfer that light into action for doing good to others and convincing them that they are all One. These were the two tasks given to me. I did the first one for many years because I was still not complete when I left Babaji; it took me many years of sadhana to understand that there is an all pervading light in everyone.”
“Even though the Upanishad says–‘Angushta matrah purusho antaratma sadaa janaanaam hridaye sannivistah’ meaning There is this Atman, the Purusha, as large as a thumb in the centre of one’s Being, it is symbolic. It is not that the Atman is located anywhere; it is probably located in every cell. And it is part of the whole thing that pervades the cosmos, as the Upanishads say –‘Ishyavasyam idam sarvam..’ - there is nothing where ‘That’ is not there.”
“Now, to understand ‘that’, purification of the mind is required. You cannot touch ‘that’ without it. You cannot just breathe and get there, otherwise the blacksmith's bellows also breathe. The pure good light is essential.”
“For a long time, I was not aware of the wonderful happenings that took place in the12th century Karnataka. Then, as I started travelling through Karnataka, through different mathas and meeting Swamijis and reading the Vachanas, then I started to realize that the teachings are already there and I don't have to bring anything new. Whether they follow it or not, I don't know.’
“There are these simple rules given in Veerashaiva teachings. I can say it from the Vedantic point of view but I am saying it from the Veershaivite perspective because we are standing here, in Karnataka, where in the 12th century, Basavanna started something. He said that lead a simple life, don't steal what belongs to others, and don’t kill. Babaji told me that there are two ways to kill, one is to actually kill somebody the other is to kill a person with words - sometimes that hurts more; If you tell somebody who considers himself wise that he is a fool, his life is spoilt, at least for one hour. That hurt is not easy to remove; it is very difficult to get rid of.”
“You can get rid of it only if you realize that in this vast universe, you are only a speck of dust. Compared to the vastness of the universe you are nobody, you are zero, and so why are you upset if somebody calls you a fool? Suppose, I don't know English language, how does it matter, it is simply one sound - 'fool'. We give meaning to words and carry it in our hearts and then we suffer.”
“Lead a good life and don't hurt others. Don't let emotions run your life. Of these, anger is one of the biggest things. When you are angry you are mad, you do not know what you are doing. I was reading a translation of the Vachanas. Basavanna says that when you are angry, it is like setting fire to your home, it will burn first, the other fellow's house may not even burn.”
“So, yama-niyamas are important. It means not to cause injury, not to steal, not to tell lies, not to act in wrong ways, not to hurt others, considering oneself as the smallest in humble terms. Is there space within you to receive the light? Otherwise, we have picked up so much rubbish and rubble that even if light wants to come inside, there is no space. We have to become zero. We are so full of prejudice; we block everything out which we think is not alright; it may not be so.”
“If this process of emptying ourselves, making ourselves into a small zero is undergone, then probably we will understand the big Shunya. It is called Shunya not because it is not ‘nothing’ but because there are no words to describe it. If there were words to describe it, they would have given those words.”
“In fact, in the Upanishads, the Rishi says,‘Na vidhyona vijaaneemo yathaitad Anushipyat’ meaning ‘how am I to teach this to you which the words cannot describe?’. For that, humility, truthfulness, non-injury and of course, sadhana is required. Just as we eat our food, the soul also requires food. Therefore, you have to set the time when you can sit down and do your sadhana, because that is when the mind becomes quiet and also there are glands in your internal system that get activated.”
“And, for that, various sadhanas are required that you have to learn from your teacher. Also, your day-to-day life should be in accordance with these. Can you believe that there are people who tell lies twenty four hours a day and want to find the Ultimate Truth? Is that possible? Not possible! Every day they kill and they want to find peace. Is that possible? We have to be practical in these matters.”
“Therefore, this walk is also two-pronged. It is an outward yatra where we meet people, we go to mathas where religious teachings are imparted, we interact with students and tell them not to let anyone convince them that they have come from Mars and someone else is from Earth. And the other yatra is the internal journey by which you do your sadhana and figure out how it reflects in the outer journey.”
“Believe me,everyone can experience the truths, which are given in the ancient texts, in real life. But you should be ready to lead a proper life and practice and have some patience. That is all that is required. It is not as if someone wrote something after taking ganja and left it like that. These are actual spiritual experiences that someone had. You can't have it just like that; you can't have it on drugs. For this, you need purification of the mind. All these sadhanas that the Swamiji was speaking about, all these are basically to purify the body and mind.”
“After this, you have to practice what is known in the yogic terminology as Raja Yoga and not simply by reading the theory that you are a part of Brahman. There is a particular branch of Raja Yoga, which is called Shiva Raja Yoga. Most of the centers are located in this area. So, this is what we are trying to do.”
“When I meet people, I tell them that there are ways by which you can get there. When I meet big people, I tell them that there are ways in which you can make the outside world better. When these both go hand in hand, then I think we will be very happy.”
“And, I think this message of unity going from India is so very important. That is so because everybody has been welcomed from ancient times in this country; nobody has been told to 'go'. This is such a big ocean where so many streams are converging, and you cannot actually measure the streams.”
“You must understand that I am 66 years old. I am not feeling weak because of my diet and my practices. Still, this body will go. Is this the age to walk till Srinagar? From the practical point of view,one may say no but I am saying yes. This is Babajis' agya – his order, and I am fulfilling it. I am sure, with God's grace, we will reach Srinagar in 2016 April. And, after reaching, we will see if our hope is fulfilled. We can't tell you right now if it is possible or not. From what I have seen till now, it looks as if a breeze is blowing with a fragrance of unity. We are sowing the seeds and, after some years, the tree will grow if it is properly watered and beautiful flowers will carry the fragrance of unity, of love and affection—first in this country and then elsewhere. As the Vedas have said, Loka samasta sukinoh bhavantu- may the whole world be happy.”
“Thank you very much.”
Following this Satsang, the assembly dispersed.The padayatris went back to their rooms and those from the city returned in the dark since there was a power cut after the Satsang.
However, there was power on the college campus. Dinner was served soon which the school authorities once again organized – a break again from the routine. After dinner, the padayatris chatted for some time and turned in for the night. Post rains, there has been a proliferation of insect life in the living quarters and, for some, it meant spending most of the night keeping these away!