Does Karma exist ?

Yes, karma definitely exists. There are two types of karma.
The first type of karma is that which gives results immediately. For example, if you were to place your hand in fire, will it burn now or will it burn tomorrow? It will burn as soon as you place your hand in it! But if you were to plant a mango tree today, will you get the fruit today itself? No, you will get it after many years.
So similarly some Karmas give you the fruit immediately, while some Karmas after maybe a year or maybe a few years. If your grandfather set up a factory by working hard long ago, and you are enjoying the fruits of his hard work now, it has taken one generation for the profit to start coming.
Similarly some karma you will face the consequences of immediately and some you will face after some time has passed.

If you only had ten days to live on this planet, what would you want to do?

We have lived today’s life. Be happy today. And tomorrow’s life will begin with the next sunrise. And the next day’s with the next sunrise……!
If you only had ten days to live on this planet, what would you want to do? Sit and think what your priorities are. Are you worried about your relationship? In ten days you are going to go away, kick the bucket! Are you worried about your property? Are you worried about your friends and foes? Are you worried about what you are going to eat, your eating preferences? What are your preferences? Ten days to live of your life, and what are you going to do? We keep living as though we will live forever.
We hang onto things as though they will be there forever. We forget the sense of time and life –the flow of life. Isn’t that our only problem?

You’re so concerned about your relationship.

A girl didn’t smile at you or a boy went with somebody else! What are you worried about? Where will they be? People are burned down with this sense of relationship. People are burned down with things about friends; wasting precious life and time. A friend of yours behaved badly with you and hurt you.
What actually hurts you is your foolishness. Let them behave the way they want! But you want everybody to be on your railway tracks. You have set railway tracks for people, and you want everybody to walk on those tracks. The moment they give you a surprise, you say you never wanted that in your life. How can you get over it? What do you want to get over? Just wake up and look! Neither of you are going to be there long! You will both be under the earth in no time.
You won’t even be able to recognize this body. And if you continue to live like that, nobody will even take your name. Nobody will even know you existed on this planet. Anyway, even if they do, it has no meaning for you, does it? Where are you to begin with? You feel that one person did this to you and another person did that. That they did not smile at you, or that they smiled at you. That they said something good; they did this…where is your freedom? We carry such stupid things with us wherever we go! A doormat can remove the mud from your feet, but if you carry mud in your head. What can remove it?
Contentment is what you need! If people have behaved well with you and been friendly to you, thank them for what they have done for you. Don’t become a burden on them. The whole world needs to understand this; the entire world is burning out for nothing! Every moment put yourself into knowledge. Everybody should be immersed in two or three hours of sevā (service).
If we look for what we do not have and there will be no contentment. I would like you to be contented in your mind, in your heart. Don’t have feverishness or craving for it!

A glimpse of Satya Yuga, the Golden Age

What do you think we are doing? Are we not having fun? Are we not happy? Look at everybody’s face, everyone has a big smile. If someone does not then they are simply shut off for a little while.
There is such nice sattvic food, that brings more harmony and uplifts your consciousness. There is some knowledge, some singing and dancing. So this is Satya Yuga where there is absolute harmony. Even in silence you can move around, nobody is compelling you to speak anything.
Do you feel nice being in silence and being with everybody? How many of you feel nice? See you cannot be like this in the outside society. If you are silent, they will poke you and ask you, ‘why are you silent?’
I heard of a particular gentleman, he was just standing and one of his friends passed by and asked, ‘Why are you standing here?' He said, ‘Why, can I not stand?’
He sat on a chair on the street and then someone came and said,‘hey, why are you sitting here?’
He said, ‘Okay, I am going to walk’, and when he was walking they asked, ‘Where are you going? Why are you walking?’ He said, 'Let me run', and he was running and another person asked him, ‘Why are you running?’
Then he said, ‘Oh my God!’, and he started crying and then someone came and asked him why he was crying.
He said, ‘Oh God, this world, they don’t let you sit, they don’t let you stand, they don’t let you walk, they don’t let you run, they don’t let you cry and for everything I do, people ask, why do you do this.’
But here nobody bothers why you do what you do. You have total freedom of being in silence. If you are talking, people ask, ‘Why do you talk so much?’ And if you are silent, people ask, ‘Why are you silent’. Here nobody asks but they simply love you. They are there for you. 
Everything happens and everything goes on without having to utter a word. That is Satya Yuga. Your wishes get fulfilled even before they arise, there is water even before you feel thirsty, and that is Satya Yuga.
Treta Yuga is you feel thirsty and then water comes immediately. Dwapara Yuga is you feel thirsty and you have to make an effort to get water and Kali Yuga is you are thirsty and you make all the efforts and you don’t get a drop of water.

Understanding Prana

Prana is already there. Prana and breath are linked but they are not the same. There are five main pranas and five subordinate pranas in the body. We will go into detail some other time. 

They are linked to breath; they are linked to the atmosphere and they are linked to vibrations as well. That is why we say this food has positive prana, this food has negative prana, and this food has neutral prana. 

Prana is energy. 

Unfortunately, there is no translation for the word ‘prana’ in English. 

Prana is linked to energy and linked to the space you are in. It is also linked to food, to the breath, to vibrations and energy in the body. So prana is not just breath. It is much more.

Don't hang on to the past

There is no way you are in satsang and you are depressed!

See sometimes this is what happens when you go to psychologists. They give you an idea that you are depressed. And then you put this idea into your mind, ‘Oh! I am depressed!’

So you are reaffirming something which is not a permanent thing. No mental state is a permanent state. So you are trying to reinforce and reaffirm, ‘I am depressed’ even when you are not.

You start saying ‘Yes, I am depressed’. 

This is the danger when people who do not know anything about the mind, about the psyche and about meditation or consciousness, give advice in the name of psychology. It is such a miserable thing.

I have seen relationships between parents and children get spoiled by psychologists and psychiatrists. A child had such a good relationship with his parents but after some consultation or counseling with the psychologists, something happened, and he started hating his own parents.

There was a businessman here at the ashram for the past one and a half months. He came all the way from Paris. This person had a sleeping disorder. He was given so many medications.

Usually for sleep doctors give a dose of ten milligrams; this man was taking a hundred and fifty milligrams. Ten times the normal dose of the medicine. He looked like a zombie and kept having panic attacks and his whole system was bad.

I told him, ‘now, I want to take away all your medications.’ We took away his medications and he said, ‘but, I don’t sleep’. Our doctors attended to him, all our teachers attended to him. He was snoring loudly and when you snore loudly, it means you are sleeping. After snoring for four hours he wakes up and says, ‘I did not sleep. I have a sleeping problem.’

The doctors who attended to him said, ‘Guruji, he snored so loudly!’

But this gentleman had this idea, I have sleeping disorder so I have to take this medication. Without this medication I cannot sleep.

Sometimes, you have this idea, whatever doctors say is absolute truth. Like the placebo effect. Doctor says, ‘Take this tablet and you’ll be fine’, and you take a sugar pill and say, ‘Ah! This is very effective’. A sugar pill can take away your headache.

If the doctor tells you, ‘you suffer from deep depression’, you take it in your mind and in your heart. You say, ‘I suffer from depression’.

Your mind is like a river, it is changing all the time. That is what Lord Buddha said, ‘your mind is like a river’.

All the ancient people who studied consciousness have said, ‘You can’t take a dip in the same river twice’. So, don’t believe you are the same person. Your mind is changing all the time.

Be in the present moment, now! Now! Now!

Bury the past and move on. Where is the depression? Your depression is because you are hanging onto the past or you are over-ambitious. You have the capability to manage a school but you want to become the Prime Minister of the country. Then depression comes when you feel you cannot achieve it.

Don’t hang on to the past or don’t be too feverish or over-ambitious about the future.

There is no disparity between Advaita and Dvaita

Madhvacharya has spoken about ‘Dvaita’ and Adi Shankaracharya has spoken about ‘Advaita’. ‘Advaita’ is like quantum physics and ‘Dvaita’ is like chemistry.

In chemistry you say there are these many isotopes or you refer a periodic table where they categorize all the different elements. But if you go to a quantum physicist, he will say, ‘it is all just wave function’. A periodic table does not exist for a quantum physicist. He says everything is only atoms; wave functions. 

Both are right. Chemistry has its utility and physics has its reality.

It is really brilliant what Adi Shankara has said and it is equally very interesting what Madhvacharya has said. 

He said, ‘everything exists at their different levels and at that level it is good.’ 

On a practical note, Madhvacharya emphasised on love and devotion. For love you need two and in devotion you need someone to surrender to; a higher power to surrender to. So this is a practical thing that Madhvacharya said, ‘surrender all your troubles and difficulties’.

Adi Shankaracharya said, ‘Hey! Just wake up and see it is all nothing’.  

That is what Lord Buddha also said.

Lies spoken in business

In business, one can speak lies to some extent, as much as there is salt in the food. If you speak too many lies, you are likely to get into trouble. And if you do not add any salt, you will not be able to eat the food. So if lies exceed a certain limit, things can go seriously wrong. 

While selling a product, knowing well that it is a second grade product, you pass it off as first grade or high quality product even though you have no idea whether it is or not, is okay.

It has been said that for a religious person, a Guru, a Saint and a teacher, speaking lies is absolutely prohibited; it doesn't happen anyway! For a king, a little bit of lies is acceptable, and for a trader, a little bit more lies is okay. 

So a trader can speak that same amount of lies as there is salt in the food.

Living in a de-centralized world

When people are educated in ethics, then a de-centralized world is a result of it. It will be a spontaneous outcome of it when people are very spiritual. This is what is said in the ancient Indian scriptures as well. 
There was no need for a king at all at a time when everyone was living knowledge because everybody did their job. There was no need for police, soldiers or an army and no need for even businessmen because there was everything in abundance in every aspect of life. 
But when that is not the case and when there are differences in the world on all levels; on a social level, economic level, political level, religious level, and on the level of education, then these hierarchies happen.

There is a scripture in the ancient Vedic tradition that codifies, what is one’s duty and what is one’s authority.

It says, don’t exercise authority, but there is duty for every one of us to do. So if everyone does their duty, then there is no need for one to control anything.

But when people fail their duties, authority comes into power. This is a natural phenomenon.

In Costa Rica, there is no police. If you remember, a few decades ago there was no violation of traffic rules or any crime in Bengaluru or Mysore. About forty to fifty years ago, there was no need of police. You would hardly see a policeman here or there. This was not too long ago. Forty to fifty years ago, Mysore had only one hotel. Every home was a guest house. People would throw open their homes for guests. Guests would come and stay free of cost. They would serve them and treat them like Gods. They would cook for them the best of the foods and offer it to them. And whatever gifts they receive, they wouldn’t agree to take anything. People would put tents on top of their homes and put beds in them so that anybody can go and stay in anyone’s house.

Today, that has completely disappeared. It is not there because of crime. People are afraid to open their doors.

So, that type of moral and spiritual strength when it dawns, authority turns into personal duty.

When crime elevates, authority comes, and authority in turn creates more crime.

This is a vicious circle that happens.

People who control everything, they become the cause of everything that is being generated in the society. At the same time, you can't do away with authorities if there is crime in the society.

But the question is who gets to be the authority? 
Democracy is the most beautiful thing to have. But misuse of democracy is when criminals get elected to parliament and they become the law makers. The one who breaks the law becomes the law maker of a setup.

Dictatorship is even worse as there is no accountability. But parliamentary democracy has this big problem. Votes can be bought by money and other favours and with muscle power. 
So we need to look at the system. Every system has got something good in it and some serious flaws.

Anarchy can take over if authority is reduced. Authority can stifle the freedom of people and hamper progress if it is not in the right perspective, right dosage and right hands. 
When authority falls onto an anarchist or when there is lack of any authority for a socialist, then they can’t do anything.

Sometimes, lack of progress in some of the third world countries is due to too much parliamentarianism.

To make a road it has to go through the parliament and pass through many levels because nobody wants to take the authority and take the responsibility and act. Everything is postponed or there is a sort of tendency to procrastinate. Things never move.
So, a strong leader is essential.

At the same time what is really needed is wisdom. Being in service of people rather than thinking one has an authority over the people.

Whether it is a business man, politician or an officer, they all should bear this in mind, including spiritual and religious leaders. If they think they have control over people, they have authority over people then it is a disaster. They would cause more harm than good to people.

Many times the religious head of a particular group gives a whip and says you all must vote for this particular party or these particular people. This is very wrong. It is robbing people of their freedom. Many times in the North East if you want to conduct a yoga course there, the head of the religious institution has to give a permit for the yoga course to be conducted. And if they find out that the people are doing yoga, then they create so much guilt in them. ‘You are a sinner; you are going to satanic things.’ This should not be done. 
That is why in ancient days, and ancient people in this country had a very different approach. They never emphasized authority. They only spoke about ‘tyaga’, renunciation. 
Many times people ask me, why is there not one pope for Hinduism like you have for Catholics or Islam, for the whole nation. I said, the structure itself is such that it is very different. It is not like one authority; it is an inspiration.

No one had to give me a title; you are a saint from today. It all happens by one’s action. When you walk the talk, you become an inspirational model.

Nobody gave Mahatma Gandhi an authority but his life itself became an inspiration for many to walk the path.

Same with Aurobindo, nobody told Aurobindo, ‘From today you have this authority’. No! But his words had such an impact on so many.

Rise and fall of civilisations

The wheel of change takes over. 
When autumn comes, the leaves change colour and in winter the leaves drop from the trees, but the tree remains. In the same way, in Kaliyug there was a downfall. It happened to almost every country. 
If you watch the global scenario, India was at the top at one point of time and then it collapsed. Before that, Mongolia was at the top and Mongolia collapsed. Mongols had gone all the way up to Europe and then they came to India as well. 
Then India was shining once upon a time. India’s influence went as far as Peru in South America. There were Shiva Lingas and statues of Ganesha found in Mexico. India’s influence also went till Australia, New Zealand and Japan during the Mahabharata time. India was all over the place. 
The Canadian province, Nova Scotia (Nav Kosha) was mentioned in Mahabharata. ‘Nav’ means nine; ‘kosha’ means the measurement of time. There is nine hours difference between India and the Canadian province Nova Scotia. 
California was called Kapilaranya. When it is day in India, it is night in Kapilaranya. That is what the scriptures would say and today California and India has exactly twelve hours time difference. 
So once upon a time this civilization was present all over the world and then it shrank.
After that England came. A small little country from north of Europe and its influence spread throughout the world. As far as New Zealand to Canada and through America. The whole of Africa was taken over. Then the influence of England also started shrinking and today it is only with England. 
There was a time when the sun would never set in the Kingdom of UK. But that also lasted for a few decades. 
At the same time, the Portuguese were colonising the whole of Brazil. Spain colonised the entire Latin and South America. All their local languages disappeared and the Spanish language spread over the entire continent of South America and Central America.
So time has its own rhythm. These things come and go.

Understanding and experiencing God

Unless you have experienced it, you cannot understand it. 

You simply have heard someone say it. 

But that is okay. Keep it at the back of your mind and just live simply and naturally. Know that the highest flowering in life is being in love and acting through love. 

You may not feel love all the time and everywhere. Many times we try to feel love as an emotion. Love is not an emotion, it is our very existence. 

So, ‘God is love’ should not be taken as being more emotional.

You have just heard somebody saying you are God, okay let it be! Just go through your experience. You are nobody, you are an expanded awareness; know that much. 

First understand what you are not then what you are comes to you spontaneously.

What should I do as a believer when people criticize my Guru, my religious book or my belief?

Just give a big smile.
Tell them you smile at their ignorance. That one comment does more work than getting angry at them.
If someone says something against what you hold dear, say 'I pity your ignorance.' That is all. What can you do? You can’t change someone's wrong thinking by force. They won't take it.
In those situations, sarcasm is the best way to handle it. Your sarcasm goes like an arrow into their mind and breaks the barrier which they might have created for themselves. 
Tell them, ‘I feel sorry for your ignorance’ and that is good enough. 

Purifying the heart, soul and body

All actions that are evolutionary and all that supports life. Selfless dedicated service. 
Not that I do some service and think what do I get in return? No, that is not called service. Seva is an act done without wishing for something in return. This act is very important. Seva purifies our karma. 
There is a proverb in India, ’a spoonful of ghee (clarified butter) on the rice purifies the rice.’ You know why? This is because if you eat rice just like that it digests very fast and becomes sugar very quickly. Many people who eat rice like that, they become diabetic. 
A cardiologist told me, anytime you take cereals; you should have a little bit of fat with it. A spoon of ghee on top of it slows down the digestion. It becomes complex carbohydrates and helps to balance the sugar level in the body and that helps a healthy heart function.
That is why the ancient people had said this, ‘a spoon of ghee purifies the rice.’
Knowledge purifies the intellect. How many of you experienced that knowledge purifies the intellect? All the anger, cravings, aversions about other people, everything disappears.
Music purifies the emotions.
Charity purifies money that you earn. At least three to four percent of what you earn should be given away in charity. If all that we earn we spend on ourselves, it is not considered pure money or good money. Charity purifies the money and then you can enjoy the rest of the money. Otherwise the rest of the money just goes in hospitals and other things. 
Prayer purifies the heart. Meditation purifies the soul.
Ayurveda, triphala purifies the body and cleanses the bowels. We keep stuffing food into our system all the time, but once in a while we need to purge the system. Four or five tablets taken at night before going to bed, in the morning your stomach is all clean.
So Ayurveda, yoga, pranayama and exercise purifies the body. Pranayama purifies the whole system, the body mind complex. That is why after Sudarshan Kriya you feel so clean. It cleanses you of all the karma, it brings that clarity.

Praising the fool benefits society!

A fool who is pleased might stop doing harm and start doing useful work.
In this sense it is wise to praise a fool; it helps to motivate him. So your praise is meaningful when it is directed towards a fool.
A wise man by his nature will continue doing good work because his attitude does not depend on someone’s praise or blame. So it serves no purpose to praise a wise man because your praise will have no impact on him.
There are three types of people – the wise, the crooked and the immature.
The wise man continues doing good work whether he is scolded or praised.
Crooked people need to be praised to get them to do good work.
And from time to time immature people need to be both praised and scolded for them to do something good.

Seeing God

Do you want to see God? How many of you want to see God? It doesn’t take much time. Stop seeing the world. If you see the world, you can’t see God. Either you can see God or you can see the world. You can’t see both. You have to choose one. 
If you want to see God, I’ll show you right away. Stop seeing the differences. Stop seeing the world.
Quantum physics can show you God. Know that this all is one, that everything is made up of One. It is an illusion that there is this person and that person. It is an illusion that there is this object and that object. All objects are made up of One.
We are like in a hologram. One light beam makes the hologram. It appears to be an object but it is not an object, it is just light’s play and display. This whole universe is a play and display of light which appears to be different. There is nothing but God on this planet. 
If you sit in a movie show, whatever you see on the screen is just light passing through, that’s all. Light is passing through a running film and appears to be different things, different people and different incidents.
Like this, the whole world is a play and display of one consciousness. There is no matter and there is no energy. There is no you, there is no me, there is no this, there is no that. It is all just One. That is it! You sit still. 
In the Bible it says, ’Be still and know that I am God.’ It is the mind that sees the differences. The intellect perceives the differences. Transcend the intellect and be still. There is only one thing.
You can’t say One, because to say One, you need to have two. If you say something is complete, then you have to be outside of it and say it is complete.
The ancient people were so brilliant that you would be amazed. They said, non-dual, there is no two. To say One is wrong. Only two can say it is One. That there is no two is the best way to express it. That is what is called advaita (non-dual) but dvaita means dual.
This is like pure science, like quantum physics. You can experience, you can know it, but in practical life, you have to come one step down. You have to acknowledge the duality, the multiplicity in creation. 
The table, chair, roof, door, is all made up of wood here and that is a fact. But you can’t use the chair for a door and a door for a chair. From that level, you have to operate in duality.
So the Periodic Table in chemistry is also true and quantum physics is also true. Both talk about the same matter.