Why are we here?

First, (we are here) to ask this question, and second, to find an answer to it! Many live their whole life without even asking the question, ‘Why am I here?
Wake up, ask this question, and pursue to get an answer. Do not be in a hurry for the answer. The answer falls into your lap at the right time, so keep asking. 
No books will answer this question, because this is the question of ‘life’. Your life itself is an answer
Every day, if you ask, ‘Why am I here?’ then all the unnecessary things fall off, and the right things come up. However, before asking the question (why am I here), ask, ‘What can I do for this world, before I exit? Anyway, I am here!’ 
This may be a better question to soothe you in those moments when you feel nothing is enjoyable, or everything is meaningless. 
When you feel sad, depressed, suicidal or unhappy, at that moment you should say, ‘Let me stop thinking about myself. Let me see what I can do here. Anyway, one day I must go. Before I go, let me do something good here. Where am I needed? Who needs me? Where can I help out?’
These questions can bring some intermittent relief in between. 
So do some service (seva). When you do some seva, you make others happy, that vibration of bringing comfort to others souls will bring you merit that will help you realize who you really are.

What is heaven and what is enlightenment?

You still have a lot of time left to know about heaven! There is no use in knowing about heaven now otherwise there will not be any excitement left when you actually get there!
But it is important to understand enlightenment now. When you feel content you are enlightened. When everything feels like a dream you are enlightened. Just tell me, whatever has happened so far in your life, does it not seem more like a dream? You went to school, then college, got married, so many events took place in your life, all that is like a dream now. Isn’t it? Now you are sitting here among so many people, does this not seem like a dream? After today, many days and many years are going to come and pass and eventually we are all going to die, then will it not seem like a dream?
If you look into the past or the future or if you decide to wake up to the present everything will still feel like a dream, you will realise you are separate from the events you see and experience. This is enlightenment/ liberation. And when you feel free you feel happiness and where there is happiness that place in nothing short of heaven.
Doesn’t this place feel like heaven! We are not those who go to heaven but those who create heaven where we are! We bring heaven to us!

The Shiva Tattva

“Shiva doesn’t have a body, he was never a person at all. To symbolize the unfathomable, the infinite divinity, and to make it comprehensible for young people, for children and others, they made a form. In fact, there is no form to Shiva.
Shiva is a principle (tattva) from where everything has come, everything is sustained in it, and everything dissolves into it. Shiva is the space, it is the consciousness. There is no way that you can even step out of Shiva at anytime because Shiva is the summum bonum of the whole creation. That is why Shiva’s body is depicted in blue because blue signifies the sky; the all pervading infinity which has no limits, and no shape.
The consciousness which is bliss and innocence, the consciousness which is the bestower of dispassion – is Shiva. The whole world is moving in an auspicious rhythm of innocence and intelligence – that is Shiva.
The permanent and eternal source of energy, the eternal state of being, the one and only one – is Shiva.”

Dealing with cancer

A change of life style will be helpful. When you go to bed, make sure you put off all your electronic devices, your iPhone, iPads, WiFi, put everything off when you go to sleep. It is not good to have so much of electronic vibrations all around. 
Often, you eat things which are not correct. If you don’t meditate enough, then the body takes its toll. Eat proper food, at the proper time. Take TriphalaChyawanprash. Use turmeric; all these are anti-oxidants that should go into the body.

How does one help a drug addict

You have to do all that you can to get him out of it.

Yukti (skill), shakti (strength), priti (love); with love, skill and through some force, somehow, you must help him to get out of it.

The best thing is to put them in a rehabilitation home. There are many other rehabilitation centers all over. Take him to such a center, make him do the Sudarshan Kriya. If he learns the kriya and pranayama, it makes a big difference. Many people have left drugs and alcohol when practicing the Sudarshan Kriya.

Customs, superstitions and science

You need scientific experiments to be conducted to prove or disprove any custom. Unless an experiment is done, you can’t say whether a custom is wrong or right.
For example, in traditional homes, before going to the toilet, people would tie the sacred thread around their ear; many times this looked absurd. The explanation given was that maybe the sacred thread is long, hanging down too much, tie it on the ear, so it does not get caught anywhere.
However, a scientist in New York published a study which stated that the back of the ears and the ear lobes are connected to the bowels. So when the ears are squeezed, the blood pressure comes down and the bowel movement is better.
So the custom does have an impact on the system. This is why you cannot say that it is superstition; although at one level it was a superstition, on another level, there was a scientific validation to the practice.
Similarly, people thought the use of turmeric in food, and washing vessels was also a superstition! In a lot of the food preparations, they would put a Tulsi (basil) leaf on top of the food after it was cooked. 
Scientists in the eighties targeted turmeric for a long time, saying, ‘Oh this is just color, pigmentation; it has no big value, there is nothing sacred about turmeric, it does not add any value to the food.’ By the nineties, scientists discovered that turmeric is the best antioxidant.
The Ayurvedic Vaidyas (physicians) said that turmeric acts as a vayasthapan, i.e., a process that stops aging; but nobody believed them. MBBS doctors would say all this is nonsense. Later, scientists proved that turmeric is very good for health; it even stops cancer. So, you cannot discard any practice unless it is proven wrong.
Again, I am saying that we have to keep an open mind; maybe it is proven right at one time and disproved later on.
There was a big wave in this country that peanut oil is very bad. In South Indian homes, they would use only peanut oil and gingelly oil (sesame oil). A company that wanted to promote palm oil said coconut oil is bad; these other oils are bad; palm oil is the best oil. Suddenly everyone started using palm oil.
Now research has disproved that, and found that groundnut oil, i.e., peanut oil is very good, it is the best; they sing the glory of peanut oil. In fact, people used groundnut oil here for centuries, millennia! In Tamil Nadu, gingelly oil is called Nalla ennai, i.e., very good oil. It is supposed to do so much good to our system.
Since the oil market had to import all that Malaysian palm oil to India, some researchers made these sorts of stories. The research was funded by the company, and it created a wrong impression. So, the research conducted should be authentic, and we should keep our mind open for further research. In the future, if another research comes up and says this is wrong, we should not hold on to it, we should be ready to embrace it.
The beauty with the ancient Ayurvedic System is that it is time tested for 5,000 years! That is why tradition cannot be overlooked. Having said that, many times tradition has been interpolated; a lot of things have been kept in the name of tradition.
For example, people say you should apply hot kheer (rice pudding) on the body of a small baby, then the child will grow well; or dangle the child upside down for a few minutes, maybe some God will be pleased or something; these are all stupid things. These practices are very remote; maybe some people follow these practices in the name of religion in some villages; it is ridiculous.
I am not saying that we should follow all that tradition is saying; simultaneously, you cannot totally discard tradition; the middle path has to be chosen.
If someone has passed away or a child is born in the house, they have sutak, i.e., they are untouchable for ten days. This would be practiced by very close relatives. They won’t celebrate anything or go to anyone’s house; no one will take or eat food from their house. 
What is the reason behind this? Whenever someone dies, people are overcome with such grief that the vibration of their grief is in their homes, in their atmosphere, so they are free from all obligations, that is all. It is not that if you touch somebody, something will happen to you. It is just the vibration for ten days is like that, filled with grief.
Suppose someone has no grief! If someone was sick in the family for a long time, when they die, the family is happy. They say, ‘Okay, well he got liberated, I am happy for him and I am happy for myself.’ Then there are no negative, depressive, sad vibrations, because they are happy for them! Everybody has to go some day!
Similarly, when a child is born people are very excited, too happy; even then the vibrations are not calming. So people say at such times also one is free from all obligations. But, people stretch it to such an extent that it does not appeal to your intellect.
When the menstrual cycle happens a woman is supposed to take good rest. So, it is just to keep that barrier, to tell women not to get involved in any work, that this tradition is maintained. It is to let women just rest, sleep, relax, read, do some knitting or whatever. Otherwise, when women start working, they do too much work.
About the rice and cooked food; in the ancient days, cooked starchy food was sticky. It would usually overflow from the pot. You touched the pot and then touched anything else, everything would become sticky. If you touched the food, it would stick to your hands, so it would be better to wash your hands; this is the reason. Today you don’t touch it by hand, you use spoons.
In those days, the hygiene consciousness was so good; so when you touched starchy foods, you have to wash your hands. They would even keep fruits separately. However, someone should do research on these customs.
Even the Jews have a similar tradition; if you touch milk, then you don’t touch meat; they have certain rules. 
The Japanese also have such customs; orthodox Japanese people keep separate set of cups and vessels for guests; they have a separate cupboard in which the guests’ washed vessels are kept. They don’t use the guests’ vessels and they don’t let anybody else use their vessels either. I was very surprised to see this in Japan. Even in India, some people used to follow this tradition of keeping their cups and plates separate. In Japan, this is very prevalent in the traditional family homes and in monasteries.
Many of these habits do not have a scientific background, or reason for it, then we should stop practicing them. If some practices are there, we should see if it is good, or at least do some experiment in that direction.

Why are the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer?

My observation about poor people is that they are poor not because God has punished them to be poor; it is liquor that has kept people poor.

A labourer earns almost the same as the average white collared job person in the city, but he spends two-thirds of his earnings on liquor, so he remains poor.

The second reason for poverty is laziness. Even today if you see a poor boy or girl, if they strive hard, they can really come up. There are many examples of people from the bottom of the pyramid really rising to the top. You need that zeal, will, and enthusiasm to do it; many times people lack this. The lethargy has to go away.

One needs to have a proper mindset to come out of poverty. And I tell you, it is more self-inflicted, rather than someone getting into it with a victim consciousness. People say, ‘I am a victim, somebody has money, I don’t have it!’ 

Why you don't have it? It is because you have not worked for it. 

Of course, there are other sides to the picture where people are being exploited, and that is also not correct!

Dealing with a deep-rooted secret

How does one deal with a deep-rooted secret that cannot be spoken of to anyone? If you speak you lose everything and everyone. You see the consequences? Then why do you do something when you are not going to get anything out of it?
There is something called confession. Now, you can’t go and confess to any Tom, Dick or Harry, but you can confess to a wise person who keeps things in confidentiality. This is maintained in churches also; there is a cabin in the Church where you can go and make confessions, so even the priest does not see who is talking to him. When you go and confess, then from that little window, the priest gives you a remedy, so that you feel uplifted.
That is also why you are here, to become hollow and empty. You write your botheration, put it in the basket, and feel free.
Whatever unpleasant event has happened in the past, is finished. It is gone. Why do you cling on to it, and make your present and future miserable? So write, and let go!
If you feel that there is some benefit in saying, or if by not speaking out, it is going to harm other innocent people, then speak up, with compassion towards others, so they don’t get into a trap. But if saying it is not good for anybody, then there is no point in raising such issues and dwelling on it. Confess to a wise person, just one person, or write it and give it away to the Divine, and be free!

If a person feels hurt by the Divine where does one go?

There is nowhere to go! It is impossible that the Divine hurts you!
There is a beautiful couplet in Kannada that we used to learn in school. It says, the more you squeeze sugarcane, sweeter is the juice that comes. The more you cut a diamond, the more it shines. The more gold is hammered, put in fire, the more it shines. The more you grind sandalwood, the more its fragrance spreads.
Nature puts you through many different tasks and tests, and you come out shining from it all. You must remember that nature will not give you a burden which you cannot carry. 
God first measures the tail and then puts it on the animal, so it can easily wag its tail. Just imagine if a rat had the tail of an elephant, which it cannot even lift! 
Nature is very intelligent, it only gives you that problem which you can handle.

Where to get the courage to face fears

Know that you are not alone, and there is a universal power that loves you, and is with you. When you remember that you are being loved very dearly, fear vanishes. All your troubles begin because you don’t believe you are being loved very dearly. That is where the whole problem starts, and you start behaving in ways that pushes everybody away. You create misery for yourself, because you doubt yourself. Am I good enough? Am I being loved? Does God love me or not? Do people love me or not? These sort of doubts.

Just take it for granted that you are loved and liked, even if you’re a buffoon. Even if you are a clown, you are loved and enjoyed. People like you however you are.
Just move on, don’t sit and spend too much time worrying about yourself, examining yourself, and re-examining. Just take up a commitment and do what you need to do, and take deep rest with dispassion. 
Three things are essential, PassionDispassion and Compassion.

When you have passion, you don’t worry. When you don’t have passion, that is when you sit and worry. Hesitation comes when you lack passion. Without passion, life loses all its charm and you slip into depression. Passion is essential; invoke the passion. 
Not only passion, dispassion is also essential. People tell you that you should be passionate, but I say you should also have dispassion. Dispassion is often thought to be a depressed state of affairs. People look very depressed and think this is dispassion. This is a completely wrong understanding. 

Dispassion makes you centered. It keeps your smile and equanimity. It keeps the intellect sane and emotions balanced. When you have dispassion you will stop complaining about anything to anybody. The world is the way it is, you won’t complain about people or situations, and you won’t complain about yourself. That is dispassion. 
Many times we complain about others, including the ones we love the most. We make the other person defensive, or make them give explanations. It is such a headache! 
Initially I used to get swayed by this. People would say, ‘You don’t look at me’, or ‘You don’t talk to me’, or ‘Are you angry with me’, my goodness! These days I do not answer such questions. If you think so, let it be. So be it. Never mind! When you get beaten up a little bit by your own emotions, that makes you strong somewhere. 
It’s all just a matter of wanting attention. You give attention and they are alright. Just like babies – if you don’t attend to them they throw tantrums just to draw your attention. Have you noticed this? When you have guests at home and you are busy talking to them, that is when the children want to show you their paintings. They have already shown it to you ten times. But when you are having an important discussion, they come and disturb you! You wonder that this child was quiet, what happened all of a sudden! 
We have not grown up from that stage, we always want attention from people. And for this attention we create tension for the others. 
So with dispassion, you neither have attention deficiency, nor do you have any tension. You won’t sit and crave for attention. Dispassion is essential. 
One more thing that is really beneficial is compassion. When you have compassion it propels you, it motivates you. When you have compassion for those who do wrong, you don’t feel hatred or bitterness towards them. Compassion greases passion and dispassion, and balances them out.

How to become free from a sense of doership?

Just keep doing, don’t worry about it. 

I think you have too much time to sit and think, 'Am I the doer or not?' Just do what you are supposed to do.
Every action has a reward; pleasant, unpleasant, or mixed. There are only three types of rewards. When you act, that action brings you some positive reward, or some negative reward, or some positive and negative reward. The effect of all these rewards stay only for some time. So the wise will not worry about it.
In every action there is something positive and there is something that is negative. An action cannot be 100% perfect. Focus on the positive things that develop out of an action. And don’t worry about the effect of the action, just keep moving. 
If you have done a wrong action, that has taught you a lesson not to repeat it next time. If you have done the right action, it encourages you to do many more of the same right actions. 
If you find that in the action you did, there are some things that you could improve, then you can always improve on that. 
Just move on, don’t say, 'I am the doer', or, 'I am not the doer'. Anyway no one is a doer in one sense, and in another sense, yes, you are the doer, because inside of you there are two. 
There is a beautiful story in the Upanishads which says, 'On the tree of this universe, there are two birds sitting, one is enjoying the fruit, the other is just watching, like a witness'.
So, there is one aspect of you that is not doing anything, that is much bigger. And there is one aspect in you that is doing everything. Both are present in you
Now you might ask, 'How?'
On one level, you find that you are changing. Your thoughts are changing, your emotions are changing, your body is changing. Yet at another deeper level, there is something in you that is not changing at all; it is the same. So it is not one or the other, it is both together simultaneously.
When guilt eats you up, or pride takes over your head, then you should understand that you are not the doer. Do you get it? 
When you do something very good and you say, 'Oh I did it, I did it', that too makes you unhappy. Doing something good also make you unhappy because you do so much and then you say that nobody recognizes you, nobody listens to you. 
So not being recognized for your good work makes you miserable, and if you do something wrong, that too eats up your spirit and creates a sense of guilt. When such things happen, know that you are not the doer. Be a witness then. 
People who have committed the biggest crime on the planet, somewhere deep inside, they think, 'Hey, I didn’t do it, how did this happen'. They feel surprised and shocked, and they feel that they are not the doer, it just happened. If you talk to the biggest criminals on the planet, you will see that they find themselves being caught by an (criminal) act.
Same way, someone who has done some excellent work, they also feel that it just happened; everything fell into place. That non-doership is an experience in itself.
When you have to do things, then don't say, 'Oh, I am not the doer.' Don’t go into that mode. It will only tear you apart. If you have to focus on some work, focus and just do it. 
I am not a doer, is an experience, sometimes it just dawns on you. And it is also a reminder to you when you are reeling in guilt, or in arrogance.

Three things are needed to achieve what you want...


1. Real intention - There should be a real need to have whatever it is you want. Our wants keep changing, but if it is our need, we will get it. The want has to become our need.

2. Self effort - One has to put effort for whatever you want. You can’t simply sit, and keep wishing, ‘I want this, I want that!’ Have you put your effort? Has the want become your need? Have you worked towards it? Have you put your 100%? That is necessary.

3. Time or karma - If karma is there, the time is right, you will get it! Suppose, I wish to see the moon now, on a dark night. No matter what intention I put, how can I see the moon now? I have to wait for another 15 days to see the full moon. On the new moon day, if you are wishing for the full moon, then you have to wait. If you plant a pomegranate tree today and say, ‘No, I want the fruit now!’ Come on, you have to wait for another three years! The pomegranate tree will give you fruit only in two to three years. So, time or karma is a factor.

Intellectual vs. Emotional

There are two types of people in the world:
One type are called bhaav-pradhan: They are those who are driven purely by their feelings (meaning those who give great importance to their feelings).
The second type is called gyaan-pradhan: They are those who are driven by fact and logic, and act on the basis of knowledge, i.e. those who go by facts and knowledge and base their actions on reason and knowledge.
Some people’s feelings are very strong, and they are very emotional about everything around them. On the other hand, some people are natural thinkers. They think, weigh the pros and cons of everything and then act in a particular situation. Both of these (feelings and knowledge) are very important aspects of a person’s life, and both are necessary.
If you only rely on your feelings and not knowledge, you soon get misled and get carried away by them. On the other hand, if you only think and act without any regard to your feelings, then your life loses enthusiasm and becomes so dry. There is no juice left in your life then.
So you have to nurture both the head (the seat of logic, intellect and knowledge) and the heart (the centre of feelings and emotions). You have to combine them together to move ahead in life. This is how you can bring fullness to your life.
The main point to attend to is this: some people rely more heavily on the intellect and logic, while some are driven more strongly by their feelings and emotions. If you approach people who are driven by their feelings, and speak to them about surrendering and love; all this will appeal to them very greatly.
But if you go to a scientist, i.e. an intellectual, driven by fact and logic, and talk to him about love, surrender, etc., he will not be able to understand. He will say that there is some emotional or chemical imbalance in your mind! The scientist will say that your endocrine glands are over-active and secreting too many endomorphine hormones.
So people like this are driven purely by knowledge and intellect, rather than feelings. They perceive everything through the lens of knowledge. Yet even they are essentially devoted to the same Tattva, the one pure Consciousness.
A scientist will tell you that everything in this world is made up of one thing only. It is all composed of one and only one element, or principle. It is that same one principle that has manifest into so many diverse forms in creation.
To understand this, we can take the simple example of a banana. Do you know how many varieties of bananas exist in the world today? In South India, you even get red bananas. Have you ever seen a red banana? Then we also have green bananas which are small in size. They are called elaichi bananas. Now, they are essentially all bananas only. But each has a different size, color and flavour. 
The same goes for apples as well. You can find so much varieties in apples. There are yellow apples, green apples, red apples, etc. The apples you find in Shimla are so different from the ones you find in Kashmir.
So you can see so much diversity in flowers, fruits and vegetables around you. The same is the case with human beings also. There are so many different kinds of people. No two persons are alike. Every person is unique and different from the other, and they have different behaviours, feelings and emotions. In the same way, they all possess different kinds of knowledge and different thoughts also.
Lord Krishna says, 'Jnana-yajnena cha-apy anye yajanto mam upasate. Ekatvena prthaktvena bahudha visvato-mukham'. (Bhagvad Gita, 9:15)
Everything you see around you is a play of diversity of this one Consciousness only. This you should know and believe firmly. You should honor this diversity. You can prepare so many kinds of dishes from the same flour. From the same flour, you can make bread, naan (a special type of Indian bread), samosa (an Indian savory snack) and also halwa (a common Indian sweet preparation).
In the same way, there is only one God whom different people worship in different ways. There is only one Truth, and one Divinity; it is only the ways of worship that are different among different people. Now if we start expecting that everyone should behave and work like us, then that would be very wrong.
You know, there is so much terrorism in the world today because some people think, ‘Everyone should follow my way; everyone should work and behave like me. What I say and do is right, everything else is wrong’. People who say this are the ones who spread fear and terrorism in the world today. And they do this out of ignorance. This is why we need a Gyaan Yajna today, i.e. to spread knowledge to more and more people and dispel ignorance and negativity.

Achieving all four aspects of Purusharth

Both Artha (wealth and material comforts) and Kama (desire or passion) arise in life from time to time according to one’s needs. Fulfilling those needs to sustain one’s life, yet not getting entangled in too much greed or lust is the responsibility of Dharma (righteous action) and Moksha (liberation from suffering).
The main goals of our life are Dharma and Moksha. In the course of our life, from time to time, we have to engage ourselves in the pursuit of Artha and Kama. Enjoying them but at the same time not getting caught up in it. This is why we should engage in those action that are in alignment with our Dharma, and refrain from those actions that go against Dharma. The same goes for Artha also.
Life cannot run without any one of the four aspects of Purusharth.
In the course of life, you must have Moksha as your supreme aim; adhere to and uphold Dharma at all times, and you will see that your pursuits for both Artha and Kaama will also give good results in due course of time.

Making relationships work

You are right for your partner when you can adjust. Relationship means adjustment, it is giving. 

You give what you can to your partner and wait for them to give back to you. If you are demanding from the others, the relationship is not going to last long.
Demand destroys love. Love is always about giving. Known that you have come here (on the planet) to only give love and demand love from anybody. Demand and blame destroy relationships.
Just imagine yourself in their situation. How would you feel if someone doubts your love for them, and you have to make an extra effort to make them believe that you love them? Is it not a burden?
Learn to praise your partner and uplift a situation instead of blaming and finding fault. Uplifting your partner should be your commitment . Then you are the right person for anybody, and everybody will love you when you don’t hurt them intentionally. 

Be open to correction and changes, and have the patience to listen to criticism. 

You have to be patient to take criticism. 

See your partner beyond his or her words and actions.

When someone comes home after a long tiring day at work, it is normal for them to feel exhausted and frustrated. So you should understand their situation and give them the space/freedom to express their genuine feelings of frustrations, anger etc.  When someone is in labor pain, and if you say, ‘Don’t deliver, keep it, keep it, keep the baby inside.’ What can they do? How long can they keep it inside? Somewhere they have to explode. You should allow them to express and let go of all their stress that they have carried all the day. 

Understand why your partner is upset or unhappy then your relationship will work. 

If you are understanding, you will allow them to tell you everything that happened and you can uplift them! But if you expect them not to tell anything and be nice to you 24/7 and find fault with them all the time, then relationships do not work!