The 15 second trick that saves you from making bad decisions

I want to share a little story with you. There was an executive who said that he was very upset with his boss. So he wrote a very nasty letter to his own boss. He signed it and decided to send it out after his meeting with me. 

When he mentioned this to me, I gave him this idea, that before signing any important paper, take a 15 seconds gap and just be still and reflect. 

So he did it, and he later said, “Gurudev, I did not send that letter that I had written, and it saved me a lot of embarrassment. And it saved my job as well”.
Taking that little time, that 15 seconds gap, can make a big difference. You can do this several times during the course of the day.

As children, we used to play this game called ‘Statue’. We would be running and playing and someone would say, ‘Statue’, and we had to stand still. Have you played this game? This is one of the brilliant things to do to bring the mind to the present moment. And of course, meditation is very important. A few minutes of meditation keeps your mind like a clean slate to take on a new load of work.

7 ways to clear your mind of negative thoughts

Get Busy
When you recognize a negative thought, get busy. If you simply sit, you will keep thinking a lot.
Improve circulation in your body
If your head is filled with too many thoughts, lie down on the floor and keep rolling and you will see the circulation in the body improves. When circulation improves then the mind feels better. That is the reason they do shayana pradakshinam (a form of worship done by rolling on the floor). Experience it and see how there is a change in your mind.
Shake hands with negative thoughts
If you keep resisting negative thoughts, and try to push them away, then they will follow you like a ghost. Shake hands with your negative thoughts. Tell them, ‘Come here and sit with me. I will not leave you’, and you will see how they quickly disappear. Thoughts are scared of you.
If you get scared of negative thoughts then they will control you. But if you shake hands with them, then they will disappear.
Pranayama and Meditation
They are very effective and instantly calm your mind down.
Intestinal Cleansing
If you are bombarded with too many negative thoughts, know that something must be wrong with your bowel movement. Do Shankh Prakshalan (intestinal cleansing). That would also help.
Move Around
Get up, do your exercise, sing, dance, do yoga, meditation, pranayama; all these will help.
Become a witness to your thoughts
You cannot stop a thought or know a thought before it comes. And when it comes, it also goes away immediately. If you are a witness to the thought, it simply drifts away and vanishes. But if you hold on to it and chew on it, then it stays with you.Thoughts come and go, but that which is the basis of thoughts – is the atma (soul). And that is what you are. You are like the sky, and thoughts are like clouds. This could be the nearest example one can give. Clouds come and go in the sky, but can they disturb or limit the vastness of the sky in any way? No, not at all.
So when you fly above the clouds, when you go beyond the clouds, you see that the sky is untouched. It is the same, it is unchanged. It is only the thoughts which keep moving. This is what happens in meditation. When you come into Sakshi bhaav, i.e., when you simply become a witness to the thoughts.
We do not have to attach ourselves to the thoughts. That is foolishness. Whether they are good thoughts, or bad thoughts – they come and go. You are far above and beyond all this. This is called the Vihangam Maarg – it means rising above thoughts and seeing that you have nothing to do with these moving thoughts.

Attention! Calling all Doctors

There is a lot that a doctor can do. You can do research. A doctor’s words carry a lot of importance for people, like the gospel truth. You should tell people, “Come on, sit and meditate for some time”.
You can encourage people towards a stress-free state of mind and a stress-free life. You can give them talks on how to prevent diseases. I want neurologists to talk more about meditation and also give tips to people on what type of food they should eat and how they can maintain the nervous system better so as to not get into neurological illnesses. 
I want liver specialists to tell people how to keep the liver healthy. We would like doctors to hold camps in rural areas. You can write some simple books or make simple handy pamphlets or leaflets describing how one can maintain healthy function of the kidney, heart and the liver. All these are very vital internal organs but people do not know how to maintain them, and how to detoxify them. People do not know what to eat, how to eat and when to eat.
Doctors should raise their voice against unethical practices in Medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. So many malpractices are happening in the pharmaceutical industry today. You must raise your voice against them.
Till about June last year (2015), the World was made to believe that butter is very bad for heart patients. Two years ago, a Vaidya from Mumbai (a doctor proficient in Ayurveda and other holistic healing therapies) had come to meet me in the Ashram. He was an elderly saint from Rishikesh and was having heart problems. The doctors he had consulted told him to not take butter or any fats in his diet at all. Allopathy had prescribed him not to take any fats. But when he consulted an Ayurvedic doctor, they told him, “Dear Sir, you should have butter and Ghee (clarified butter)”.
The allopathic doctor on the other hand would have a sarcastic smile on hearing this, thinking to himself, “This man does not know anything”.
Last year they discovered that butter has Vitamin-K and it does not do any harm to heart patients. Then this discovery also appeared on the cover page of the TIME magazine, that Butter is actually good for you. Research today has shown a completely different picture about Cholesterol. There has been so much hype and drama about Cholesterol. Today the doctors say that Cholesterol is actually good and there is nothing wrong with it. There is a whole different theory that has come up around this.
So, we should not think that Medical Science is the final and ultimate truth. It is a continually evolving and growing science. No doubt, you need to respect and follow it, but this is why today, Holistic Medicine is gaining importance and has found a strong voice everywhere.
Here, Dr. Nisha from our Ashram knew so many people diagnosed with Cancer to whom many hospitals had said that they cannot treat them and there was no way. They came here and underwent many processed, and many people have become healthier. With the regular practice of pranayama, meditation, Yoga, proper food and mind-set, and through Ayurveda, they have got very good results. We have to take towards holistic medicine.
So as doctors you can all do so many good things. You can recommend holistic medicine to people and also educate them about it. If you see, food habits, especially in North India is very bad. In the North, people mostly consume potato, tomato and brinjal very often. The nutritional value in the food consumed there is almost zero. The endurance power of the body amongst our youth is so low. It is only about 20% endurance. There is no energy among our youth; which is why we are so backward in sports.
At a time when China can win 50 medals, we become happy and jubilant if we even get one medal in any sporting event. Getting a bronze medal in the Olympics too is a big thing for us. Why is this so? We have not taken proper care of the health of our youth.
Just inspect and see how much starch do you eat? When you consume rice, potato, etc., it is all starch. Other nutritional vegetables are not being promoted very well. As doctors you should educate people about this. Tell them to have more of okra, green beans, and more of green leafy vegetables.
Where was tomato used in our ancient and traditional cooking? Today in every house you see people using tomato, potato, brinjals and onions in cooking. That’s it. There is very little nutritional value in these four vegetables. Yet we find that predominantly people eat more of these instead of other vegetables. And for these vegetables also, people usually boil them and then eat them after throwing away the water used for boiling these vegetables. By throwing away the water, they also throw away all the nutrients and minerals extracted in the water. As doctors you will really need to inform and educate people about all this. Tell them what they should eat and drink and how they should do so. This is why we suggested establishing a Meditating Doctors Association.
Many times we partnered with AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) in New Delhi to organize such informative programs and sessions. Last time, 600 research papers on Sudarshan Kriya were presented in the last conference. It was one of the most widely written about topics.

Changes required to become Free

Pick up any Seva project and work sincerely for it, you will find that inertia disappears. Do more Pranayama and meditation. If you feel it is difficult to do it alone, then ask two to four people to join you and do pranayama together.
Usually we may find it a bit boring when we are doing Yogasanas and Pranayama all by ourselves, but when few others also join us then it becomes more enjoyable and interesting. Then it does not feel like boredom or a compulsion.
Our ancient sages have said, “Ekas tapasvi dwir-adhyayi”. Whenever you need to practice something, then always see that two to three people join together to practice it. Then it becomes good. For example, during exams, people often find it difficult to study alone. Isn’t it? What do studious children usually do during examinations? They form study groups of three to four people and study collectively. But then they also chat a lot during the studies as well! They lose track of time when they get into chatting and conversation, and then suddenly remember that the exam is near. So they leave the chatting and get back to their books. I know all this. Many students here must be thinking “Oh, how does Gurudev know all this?” Isn’t that what you all are thinking? This is what is going on in your mind, isn’t it? I am monitoring everything.
So we must do all these practices with a group. Then you will see there won’t be any inertia.
See, three things can help you get rid of inertia:
1. Fear
2. Greed. If someone tempts you by saying, “I will give you One Lakh rupees if you do this practice for 40 days”, you will do it so sincerely, taking care that you do not miss out on even one out of the 40 days promised. In fact you end up doing it for 42 days! Two more days just to be sure you have not missed the practice target.
3. Love. When you fall deeply in love with some work or something, when your interest becomes so focused and total towards something, then you do that so whole-heartedly and sincerely. All our Yuvacharyas (youth leaders) are doing such excellent work in Maharashtra. During drought and troubled times in many villages in Maharashtra, so many youth leaders joined hands and went from village to village to work and support the people. They began many river rejuvenation projects and also cleaned up many rivers there. They have done so much wonderful work in such a short span of time.
Our volunteers have managed to revive 25 rivers all by their own initiative and dedication. They took very little help and support from the Foundation, the rest of the infrastructure and resources were wholly contributed by them. So when you find passion for something in life, then also the inertia simply vanishes. 
You know, life needs passion and dispassion – both. And in between life also needs compassion. You must extend compassion to yourself and also towards others. Sometimes in the name of discipline we trouble others and also ourselves. This is not right. Sometimes we get so engrossed in what we are passionate about that it disturbs others around us, and we also get troubled by it. This is why compassion is equally necessary.

Journey back to the Source

There is a story about Silence. Once there was a Guru who had four disciples, who were observing a period of silence. In the evening after their meditation, the four disciples were taking a nature walk; just as we do here in the Ashram.
Now, it is usually a habit to go around in groups instead of being alone during these walks. So, all four of them decided to walk together. When they came to a point, one of them said, “Wow, The weather is so pleasant, and there is such a beautiful sunset before us. The environment is so peaceful”.
Hearing this, the second disciple said, “My dear, you have broken your silence by speaking”. The third disciple saw this and remarked, “I am going to complain to Gurudev about you two for breaking your silence”.
The fourth one said “I am the only one here who is maintaining a really good silence.”
During Silence, we should not do such things. Silence is bringing the mind together. It is about collecting and steadying the mind which is scattered. When you sit idly, you will see that your mind runs off in so many directions, it is scattered everywhere. Gathering the mind and retrieving it back to the centre is silence. Silence is moving the mind away from all external actions and influences that one has due to what one may have heard, or seen, or smelt, or experienced, and focusing one’s sight and attention to the centre, to oneself.
Silence is not just about keeping quiet all the time. No, silence means that one need not read or write anything as well. Silence brings enormous strength, and when you are in silence, you should keep smiling. For many people, silence means keeping a long serious face. You do not need to do that. Give a smile to yourself. Smiling at yourself is silence. Silence involves cutting off from all that is around us for a while; cutting off from the world we have been living in and getting back to the central point of our existence.
When you are observing silence for the first time, there will be restlessness, and all sorts of thoughts, worries and concerns may come up on the surface. Regrets may come, many plans and ideas may also pop up in the mind. You just keep them all aside. It is alright for that to happen. When it happens, you do not need to fight or struggle with it. Just agree with them all and say to yourself, “It is alright. I will look into it after coming out of silence”, and come back to the centre.
I know it is very difficult for the first time, or maybe even the second time when you are observing silence. It is because you are so used to activity all the time. As soon as you wake up, you are engaged in activity till you get so tired that you want to just fall asleep. Some people do activity even in their sleep too! That is a different issue. What I am saying is: we have not known rest properly. Silence is a way to go deep within and find the deepest rest.
You can write down all your wants, your botherations and put it in the basket during the course. Do not worry about anything that is bothering you. I tell you, it will be taken care of. That is why you need a Guru to go into Silence, to go deep into meditation and also on the path of spirituality, because you cannot go into silence properly with all your problems, botherations and other things that trouble your mind.
Your Gurudev will tell you, “You do not need to worry about your botherations. I am with you. I will handle all your problems, you simply relax, meditate and go into silence”. When you get this assurance, you feel comfortable. Then it becomes easier for you to go into silence.
In Buddhist monasteries, you must have seen the image of Lord Buddha sitting peacefully in meditation with one hand raised in Abhaya Mudra.
If you go to any temple, you will find that the idol of the deity is seated with one hand in Abhaya Mudra, which means to say “My dear, do not worry and drop all your fears. You need not struggle with your fears and worries. Drop everything here and just relax”. This is an opportunity for you to be happy and go peacefully into silence.
That is why, before you go into silence or before you start your meditation, write down any botheration that arises and put it in the basket. If there are any wants, desires or questions that you have, write them down and put it in the basket.
We keep one more basket for you to express gratitude. On the last day of the course, many participants come forward saying, “Gurudev, we do not have any botherations or questions as such. But we do have wonderful stories to share. We feel so grateful at the end of this course. What do we do to express this?”
So I said, “Okay, we will also keep a gratitude basket in the course. Each one of you have many good things happening to you, and I know how deeply grateful you are for it. You can write your gratefulness and put that also in the basket. This is the way to go into silence".
When you spend time alone with Nature, with plants, trees and animals, you will see that you do not get too many thoughts in your mind. But when we see someone’s face, then suddenly cravings and aversions arise in us. Nature never creates or incites cravings and aversions in us. It is only people who do so. This is the time for you to be with Nature – with your own nature, and also with Mother Nature outside. Do not make signs when you see people. If it is very urgent only then you may communicate using a bit of sign language, otherwise maintain your silence.
Another thing that I want to tell you is: Just look back at everything that has happened in your life till now. Is it not like a dream? You went to school, grew up and went to college, and so on. Whatever has happened in your life till this very moment – does it not all appear to be a dream?
Whatever happened has happened and is over. It does not exist anymore. You arrived in the morning today, then had your lunch and then came to attend satsang. Just reflect on everything gone by till now. Has it all not dissolved and disappeared in the waves of time? It is all gone. After some time you will retire to your rooms, and you will come to the session tomorrow and day after, and then you will eventually return to your homes. In this way, another 10 or 20 years more will pass by. Does it not all look like a dream? Just wake up and see.
Whatever money you have earned till now will remain safe in the bank, but one day you will die and pass on. People will cremate your body and offer the ashes into the river Ganga. Or people will bury you in the ground, and after the last rites they will all return to their homes. That’s it, the story will come to an end. This is surely going to happen, there is no escaping this truth. Life is going to come to an end one day. There will be some happy days, there will be some unhappy days, but anyway life will be finished one day or another. When you realize that everything is going to be over one day, something within you wakes up. It will not be tomorrow, it has to be at this very moment, right now! You have to wake up now, this very moment, and see – that there is something in you that is the eternal peace, which nothing can shake or destroy. The deep seated contentment, joy, love – all that springs in the present moment. This is very important.
When Self-knowledge dawns, there is no worry, there is no more conflict or duality in the mind. There is no bondage of aversions or cravings anymore. Then there is only joy, and bliss in every moment, and one experiences deep love all around.

The Key to Happiness

It's better to be a joker, than to be too serious. Have fun in the world. The short time we’ll be on this planet we should make ourselves happy and others happy. What is there to brood over?
And if you feel things are insufficient - people can keep feeling insufficiency throughout their life. You know, even billionaires feel insufficient because they have big debtYou have a billion dollars, and then you put that into some factory or industry to multiply it. In order to do that you borrow more money. And then it all goes on, and you feel so burdened with so much of loan on your head. You come to square one. So it is very strange.

People who do not have anything, sometimes, they look much more happier than the billionaires on this planet. Billionaires are burdened I tell you, really burdened and afraid. Many of them are under such pressure.
I’m not saying that you should remain a poor person, or anything like that. No, I want you to understand that you must de-link your happiness with your status, with your wealth, with your post or with your position. 
Happiness has nothing to do with your position in society, your position in the world, your position in your company, or wherever you are. Happiness should be de-linked from all that.
You should make it a habit to be content and happy. It’s just a habit, that’s all. Unconsciously it gets into our mind, so unconsciously we start being unhappy. Though there is no reason to be unhappy, it has crept into your subconscious mind, “Oh I am unhappy". Or we keep complaining, “This is no good, that is no good, nothing is good, nothing is okay, I don’t like anything”. We need to be cautious about this sort of negativity. We need to guard our mind and our consciousness from being swept away by this sort of negative tendency.
We need to cultivate santosha (happiness). “Come what may, I am going to be happy”. This is what it is. A strong powerful person is one who is happy, not one who has a lot of money. If someone says, “I have millions of dollars”, ask them, “So what. Are you happy?” Ask this question, “Are you exuding happiness? Then I call you a real millionaire - no, in fact a trillionaire. Otherwise you’re good for nothing".
It is because some negativity or unhappiness has crept into your subconscious mind, you say, “I don’t like this, I don’t like that".
Who asked you what you like and what you don’t like? You go on declaring to everybody, “I don't like this, I don’t like this”, and you look very foolish. Someone looks at you and thinks, “Oh my god, this guy is a little off”.
Nobody is interested in what you like and what you don't like. You don’t need to declare your likes and dislikes. You declare to yourself, “I am going to be happy, come what may. Nobody can disturb or take away my happiness”.
You don’t need to say it out to anybody, but you have to have this conviction. Then you feel the inner strength coming up, and a smile in you that stays on forever.
In the beginning it may not stay forever, but it is there most of the time, that is good enough.
This can become another problem, “Oh I wanted to be happy all the time, but I became miserable sometime”. Never mind. Don’t become unhappy because you became unhappy. That becomes a chain reaction. You know, like you didn’t want to be angry...
Often this happens with young mothers. They don’t want to be angry at their kids, so when they get angry at the kids, they get angry with themselves because they got angry at the kids. “Oh I am so bad, I am angry at myself because I got angry at the kids”. Come on! Sometimes it is alright to be angry at the children. It’s okay. Mother’s anger is like a vaccination for kids. Mother’s scolding is like a vaccination, so that they become strong. Then they can sustain the anger they face from society -- from their colleagues, from other kids in the school. Otherwise children may become so vulnerable and so weak when we bring them up with that tendency.

Even if one creature goes missing, the Earth would not be able to sustain itself.

Every creature on this planet brings down a particular electromagnetic wave on the Earth. And even if one creature goes missing, the Earth would not be able to sustain itself. There is snake, mouse, lion, cow, cat, fish and so many others, and each plays an important role in maintaining the balance on this planet. That is what scientists say today.

According to the was of nature, everything radiates energy. In Indian mythology, every god or goddess is associated with a vehicle in the form of animal or bird. The understanding behind this is that that particular animal or bird brings down the associated vibration on the Earth. For example, through the means of tiger, the vibrations of Mother Divine or Goddess Durga descends to the Earth.The goat carries the planet Mars’ vibration, crows carry the vibration of planet Saturn (God Shani), bull descends the vibrations of Lord Shiva, and the mouse that of Lord Ganesha.
The Nature has created these animals according to its own rules. Wherever these animals may be, the corresponding vibrations are available to us through them. And this is the logic behind various native cultures worshiping different animals and birds, connecting divinity with everything. Our ancient Rishis (Saints) have also said the same thing, that each Angel or Devata descend in the form of an invisible energy on a particular type of being. It sounds scientific too. Of course, we can’t specifically say which animal brings down which vibes, because a lot of research needs to be done on this.
In the middle ages, people never understood that butterflies have very specific things to do. If there are no butterflies, food cannot be grown. People with less knowledge question what butterflies have to do with having more food. In the US, when the pesticides were spread, they never considered butterflies or insects as an important phenomenon. So what happened? All the butterflies disappeared! Now they are bringing butterflies in containers and leaving them in the fields so that pollination can happen and food can be grown. The quality of food suffers a lot when pollination does not happen. So, from an ant to an elephant, everything has a role to play in this planet.
When the Vishalakshi Mantap (Meditation hall at the Art of Living International Center, Bengaluru, India) was built, we never thought of keeping the statue of ‘Nandi’ (the bull) in front of the hall.
One gentleman came and said, “Gurudev, one of my relatives in America wanted to build a temple there but now he is no more. So we ordered this Nandi and Nataraja (Lord Shiva) statues, we are not able to keep them at our home because it is so big. Could you please keep it here?”
So he kept the Nandi in front of the hall and the Nataraja on the stage.
Few days later, there was a satsang in Mumbai (India) where there were beautiful swan statues. Someone got those swans from Mumbai and kept it here.
Next, somebody brought a Garuda (Eagle) statue. It was a one ton statue brought from Indonesia by ship.
I never planned this; these vahanas (vehicles of the Divine) came on their own.

In the Guru Peetha (the high seat of learning), all the three vahanas of Brahma (Swan), Vishnu (Eagle) and Shiva (Bull) came and sat in our Vishalakshi Mantap on their own and in perfect sequence.

Need for Action when it's all Maya

Once Adi Shankara said that the whole world is all illusion, everything is maya, it is not real, it is dream-like. Just now, wake up and see, all that has happened until this moment, is it there anymore? It is all gone, everything. This morning, when you had breakfast, is it not like a dream for you now? Just think of this morning, is it not like a dream? It’s all gone. Could this be a dream? Just project your mind on the future. You are going to go sleep, and then come back tomorrow, this is all like a dream.

Another 10-20 years will pass, one day you will be under the ground or as ashes, everything will be done. Is it not like a dream? That is what Adi Shankara was saying - life, the whole universe is all made up of one thing. He was talking Quantum Physics.

Do you know what Maya means? It means that which can be measured. This whole world can be measured. Thus, whatever you can measure is all temporary, it is not permanent, because measurement is always relative. You may measure something here, you measure the same thing on the moon or in another space, it will measure differently. Vedanta said the same thing, what science says, millenniums ago.

Once, when Adi Shankara was walking, a crazy elephant started chasing him, so Shankara ran for shelter. Someone asked him, "Why are you running, the elephant is Maya, it is an illusion!"
Do you know what he said? He said, "Yes, the elephant is an illusion, my running is also an illusion". So, different levels of reality exist. You need a dream gun to shoot a dream tiger, from a real gun you cannot shoot a dream tiger.

I am tempted to share another incident. There is a very well known psychic and astrologer who came to our program one day. On the second day he came with bandages on his legs. When I asked if he got into an accident, he said, "No, I didn’t go anywhere". At night, he saw a dog or a tiger in his dream, and kicked the wall so hard to run away from the animal, that he woke up with a fractured leg. The psychic had a fractured leg the next morning when he tried to kick the dream tiger with his real leg. So be careful on that count, okay?

Pain vs. Suffering

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. You have heard that before, right? Pain is nothing but an intense sensation. Yet, do not justify or encourage pain. Some people start justifying and encouraging pain, and that is where masochism starts. You need to stay clear of masochism, and that is why I would say if pain comes, it has come due to some karma, that's it, move on.

The principle of karma is such a healthy thing to save the mind. It's such a good vaccination for the mind. When you say karma, then you are able to let go and move on, otherwise you brood over whatever has happened in the past,and you try to link things with some cause.

If you look back, whatever you thought as cause is also an effect, it is not the cause. Every time you fix something as the cause of an effect, you have erred. You have seen that it is not true; it has not stood the test of time. No cause has stood the test of time because every cause is an effect. This is the spiritual way. When you think in this direction and go deeper to the ultimate cause, you find that there is only one thing that is the cause of the entire existence. With this one realization, your peace can never be taken away by anybody or any incident on the planet; nothing can move you if you know the cause!

That is why there is a beautiful verse in Sanskrit,"Tasmai nama parama karana karanaya", Shiva, you are the cause of all causes, the grand time that is beyond time, otherwise we keep going round in this cycle of karma.

Yes, it can be little confusing if you don't pay very keen attention to what I am saying. One is karma, i.e., cause and effect. Another is going beyond karma; how do you get out of the cycle of karma? Are you getting this? You have to ponder on this once more. This principle of karma is a big blessing for you to let go and move further.

Sooner or later, disciple and master are bound to meet

Once upon a time, Gautam Buddha visits a town. The entire town gathers and is waiting to listen to him, but he goes on waiting. He keeps looking backwards at the road, expecting a little 13 year old girl to come. He happened to meet her on the road and she had told him – “Wait for me. I am going to give this food to my father at the farm, but I will be back in time. Don’t forget, wait for me!”

Finally, the elders of the town said to Gautam Buddha – “For whom are you waiting? Everybody important is present, you can start your discourse.” Buddha replied – “But the person for whom I have come so far is not present yet and I have to wait.”

Finally the girl arrives and exclaims – “I am a little late, but you kept your promise! I knew you would keep your promise because I have been waiting for you since my first memory as a child, when I first became aware… I think I was four years old when I first heard your name. Your name was enough to ring a bell in my heart. And since then for ten long years…I have been waiting!!!”

Buddha responded – “You have not been waiting in vain. You are the person who has attracted me to this village.”

At the end of his discourse, that little girl was the only one who goes to him and says:  “Initiate me. I have waited enough, and now I want to be with you.” Buddha replied “You have to be with me because your town is so far out! I cannot keep coming again and again. The road is long, and I am getting old!”

In that entire town not a single person came up to him be initiated into meditation, other than that little girl.

At night as they were getting ready to sleep, Buddha’s chief disciple Ananda asked Buddha “Master, before you go to sleep I want to ask you one question. Do you feel a certain pull towards a certain space… just like a magnetic pull?”

Buddha replied, “You are right Ananda. That is how I decide my journeys. When I feel someone is thirsty…so thirsty that without me, there is no other way for them… I have to move in that direction.”

Master moves towards the disciple and the disciple also moves towards the master. Sooner or later they are bound to meet. The meeting is not of the body, the meeting is not of the mind. The meeting is of the very soul!

It is like when you bring two lamps close to each other; the lamps remain separate but their flames become one.

10 Mystical Facts About Lord Ganesha

The ancient rishis were so deeply intelligent that they chose to express Divinity in terms of symbols rather than words, since words change over time, but symbols remain unchanged. When we worship Lord Ganesha the qualities that he represents get kindled within us.
Gana : Signifies the ultimate truth that  this existing world is nothing but a collection of molecules. This is called as ‘Gana’ (collective form). Our own body is a ‘Gana’. It is made up of flesh, blood and bone marrow. Thus the Lord of all 'Ganas' is Ganesha.
Elephant-head: Signifies authority, endurance, strength and courage.
Mouse as a vehicle: Signifies the mouse nibbling away at ropes that bind. Just like a mantra which can cut through sheets and sheets of ignorance and carry even an elephant through.
Big Belly: Signifies generosity and total acceptance.
Single tusk: Signifies one-pointedness.
Upraised hand : Depicts protection.  
Lowered hand : Signifies endless giving and and also symbolizes the fact that we will all dissolve into the earth one day.
Riddhi & Siddhi wives of Lord Ganesha: Signifies that both Riddhi (intelligence) and Siddhi(enhanced abilities) go together with wisdom. Lord Ganesha is considered to be the Lord of Wisdom.
Ankusha and noose :  The Ankusha (the goad/stick that is used to prod an elephant awake) signifies ‘awakening’ and the ‘Paasa’ (the noose) which signifies control. Together they signify that with inner-awakening, a lot of energy is released which can go haywire without proper guidance (control) .
Modak: The ‘Modak’ in Ganesha’s hand is the attainment of the ‘Ultimate Bliss’.

Lord Shiva relieved Indra of his sins

There is a temple on the southern end of India, it is called Thanumalayan Temple, and it is in a town called Suchindram. That is where Indra (leader of the mind) became pure. Now, the concept of Indra is very astonishing. Indra has 1000 eyes, that means, 500 people together create a collective consciousness (something like a mob). That is the minimum, then it can go on in multiples of 500, but 500 is the minimum to create a collective consciousness. If you see the mob psychology, all the crime on the planet is due to it. Individual people are not creating a crime, it is the mob that is creating havoc on planet Earth. One person can be changed, but to change a mob is difficult.
Our senses are called Indriya, our mind is called Indra, and the collective mind is called Indra. So when the collective mind does a lot of sin, and the sin has to be relieved from the collective mind, then a wise person was needed.
The mythological story goes that — Indra had committed many sins and then he met with a Guru at Suchindram. Shiva came in the form of Dakshinamurthy and relieved Indra of all his sins, and so Indra became pure. This is the story, and the message of the story is so apt — if a wise person’s instructions are followed, it purifies the mob, then the mob can be stopped from engaging in violent or unruly activity.
So in the temple they have a 5000 year old tree, and it was under this tree that Indra was purified. This is not a phenomena that has happened once, it is happening all the time. In a purer atmosphere, with wise people around, people’s minds change and become more and more humane in their behaviour. This is a symbolic story, but most people don’t know its significance.
If you see the TV serials, Indra is always doing wrong things and you wonder how he can be doing such things. Indra means collective consciousness and collective consciousness always indulges in sin and to cleanse the sin, a wise person is needed. That is why it is said, “Guru ke bina gati nahi”.

Souls of the Dead

People who are dead and gone, don’t think they have simply disappeared. They are still there. They are present. The Being is present. The soul. The body has dropped. The body has separated from the mind and the soul. But the soul is present all over, but without any activity. They can’t act without a body. 
So be fearless! The souls of the people who are dead will not come and disturb you. They cannot disturb you. They have no interest to disturb you. 
It’s like, in a match, in a game, a person becomes ‘out,’ and they go out of the playground. And they become just spectators. Like baseball. They leave the field, but they are very much there. They sit there and enjoy, watch. Sometimes they say, “Oh, I should have done better.” They don’t come in and do anything to you. The players who have gone outside the playground will not come and help you to make a goal or will not come and obstruct you in your goals, in your play. They’ll simply be there as a spectator. In the same way, all those people who have passed away from this world, they remain outside as spectators. They have no action. So be fearless. None of them can do any harm to you. 
They can’t do any good nor any harm to you. They have no interest in it, because it’s all a game. They simply sit and watch. Sometimes they feel compassionate towards you or think how nice it would be if somebody had told you about it being a game. It’s not a war field here. You could take it a little lighter.
A baseball game happens and you will find millions of people commenting how much better they could have done, what they should have done, and have some sympathy towards them. But none of those comments really in any way matter to those who are playing. In the same way, all the people who have left the body, and we’ll also do the same thing. We are here with the body and talking and gossiping and worrying and crying and laughing and all this. One day we’ll just drop this body, but we will all lift up and be somewhere else. We’ll be outside the playground and watch. “Okay, let them play. We’ll see what they are doing.” 
But when they see that somebody has made a goal, they yell and cry and laugh and clap, just like young kids. A person who makes the goal is not yelling or crying or shouting, encouraging, but you’ll find all that shouting and joy and encouragement from outside the playground. This is what exactly happens, when you rejoice in love. All these ancestors are full of joy and enthusiasm. 
The ancestors rejoice when a person blossoms fully on this planet in Divine love.  Every drop of gratitude in you brings great joy to your ancestors.  It says the seven generations in the past and the seven generations in the future get liberated, if you get liberated, if you become free.