Learn to Care For The Environment - From Within

Yesterday, the World Environment Day‬‬ was celebrated across the world. Only the ones who are unpolluted from within can take care of the environment. If someone’s mind is polluted with anger, aversion, hatred or greed, how can that person clean the environment? A greedy person won't be concerned about the welfare of the environment. He will be busy doing his work.
Today, pollution in the environment is caused due to greed. See, if a person is angry all the time, his vision becomes clouded and he never finds anything right outside. When the vision is distorted, the outcome of whatever work he undertakes will be similar. The person who is full of anger, his actions are followed by regret. This is for sure. You see within your own lives, whatever you have done anything in a state of anger, haven’t you regretted it later? It has to happen. This is because anger is not the right state of mind.
I am not saying that you should not get angry. But whenever anger comes, it should not stay for more than a minute in the mind. Then, it’s not pollution. But when anger stays for long in our mind, it creates pollution. You see, you eat a banana, after removing the peel if you leave the peel on the table, it does not create any pollution. But if that peel stays at the same place for two to three days, then it creates pollution.
When you eat a chocolate and you leave the wrapper at the same place for 4-5 days, it creates pollution. This accumulation of the garbage is pollution.
Sometimes anger is needed in life, it can get work done. But when it makes a place within us, then it creates pollution. It pollutes our vision. Our work starts getting affected and we are filled with regret. Then there is hatred, which is solidified anger.
A person who has hatred can never be sensitive towards the environment. The Nature and the environment are very delicate and sensitive. In order to grasp their delicate nature we need to have sensitivity within ourselves. The one who has this fluidity and simplicity within, can be sensitive towards the environment.
The environment is our first body out of the ‘Panchakosha’ (five bodies or sheaths). The environment is the first sheath. Then comes the body made of blood and bones. The second kosha is the Pranamaya kosha (breath). Third is Manomaya kosha (mind). Then comes the Vignaanamaya kosha (intellect), and fifth is the Anandamaya kosha (bliss).
I believe that the environment is our body. How is that? See, if the air is polluted then your body cannot live. If the air is poisonous, the how will you survive? Therefore, it is the first body.
We should clean up the pollution within our minds first. There are some people who say that The Art of Living has created pollution, it has become a fashion now. They say that The Art of Living should clean the environment. We said we will clean the pollution from the minds first. The one who says that The Art of Living has created pollution, their vision is polluted. Clear the vision and you will see that we have not created any pollution.

Significance of Pujas, Homas, Yagnas, and Chanting in Today's Life

There are two types of knowledge - Para Vidya and Apara Vidya. Apara Vidya includes homas, yagnas, and mantras (chants) and Para Vidya includes meditation and grace. Death can be postponed through Apara Vidya, while immortality can be attained through Para Vidya. That is why both are required in life.

Para Vidya can be attained only through grace. This does not mean that we have to perform the yagnas ourselves. It is alright if we just sit in the yagnas with some devotion in our heart. E.g., when we want to fight a case in the court, we don't fight it ourselves. What do we do? We sign the papers, and give the case to a lawyer who knows the rules, and fights on our behalf. Don't we do this?
Similarly, we only take the sankalpa in yagnas; the rest of the work is done by the knowledgeable pundits, who do the chanting and the rituals. But the benefits of yagnas is only when there is a meditative atmosphere!

Have you noticed, there is such a big difference in the pujas that happen here and at other places? Pujas happen in so many temples, but people don't go into meditation, they don't meditate. When you don't meditate, then the puja has no impact. That is why it is written in the Vedas, "Yo jagara tam richa kamayante, yo jagara tam u samani yanti", which means -- the Samaveda mantras run towards those who are awake in their consciousness, who do sadhana, who meditate, and do kriya; mantras work for these people.

All of you must have attended pujas and satsangs earlier. Did you start enjoying them after you started doing Sudarshan Kriya or not? Many of you have started enjoying bhajans (devotional songs) after doing kriya and meditation. Do you know why? This is because, when your consciousness has opened up and you have experienced the inner space, then you immensely enjoy the mantras and bhajans.

Similarly, when you heard the Samaveda, many of you started feeling meditative. This is because wherever meditation happens and where a Guru is present, there is a significance to the yagnas and homas happening there.

We should follow a bit of rituals but we don't need to get involved in it deeply. Did you understand this? If you don't do certain rituals correctly it can also have the opposite impact. That is why it is important that only the people who are well trained conduct the ritual.