The Inspiration of the Teacher
The following talk by Shri Anandi Ma was given in CT on July 1, 2012 as part of the Guru Purnima celebration. The photos in this article are from the Guru Purnima celebration in Antioch, in June of 2012.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
By simply being in the presence of the One, when the mind comes to that state of complete consciousness, the state of complete bliss, to that form of ultimate peace and bliss, my guru, I bow down.
The saints, the rishis, the sages, all the gurus and masters are constantly showering their energy and grace for the welfare of disciples and humanity for infinite time periods, inspiring people, leading them towards their welfare and the attainment of the absolute goal. For me, the presence of Guruji has become an infinite source of both energy and inspiration. Even currently His energy manifests in a very tangible, conscious form to help disciples and others. That conscious aspect of the energy is continuously emerging like a fountain, with the spontaneity of that infinite energy. Guruji Himself had an experience of that energy and we hear about it in His own words in His book, Message to Disciples:
“I met a saint who taught me some hatha yoga, but I gave it up as I observed that he himself had no peace and tranquility of mind, and even if I become an expert hatha yogi it would not serve any purpose. I wasted many years swinging between hope and despair, and at the same time the desire to achieve real peace was gaining momentum.
“After the lapse of some time I remember that one night, while sleeping in a meditative posture in a temple, I visualized Swami Shri Vivekananda. As I had seen his photograph in childhood, I at once recollected that he was a great mahatma, and Shri Ramkrishna Paramahansa had made God visualization possible for him. At his sight I started weeping and emptying the agony of my heart and said, Swamiji, what should I do? I’m very unhappy as I cannot concentrate. Listening to me he laughed heartily and said,“Do not worry, everything will be all right.” He disappeared after pressing over my forehead as if I had a headache. In a second I felt that my body and mind had become very light. A few days after this episode I came across Raja Yoga, a book written by Swami Vivekananda, and I read it umpteen times as I had become unbelievably fond of that book. Previously I had studied Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, but I couldn’t understand them properly, but after reading Swami Vivekananda’s comments on the same, it became crystal clear to me. I felt as if I was deriving inspiration from the same, and that since then, my real sadhana, began.”
Next January 12, 2013 will be the 150th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s birth, which will be celebrated in India and the world over. Before he left his body, he stated, “I have given tremendous material for human welfare, which will continue to inspire for at least the next 150 years.
He always said, “Keep on practicing, keep on practicing, hold onto the practice day after day, month after month, year after year, don’t stop and the day will come when the goal will be reached and God will stand in front of you.”
“Arise, awake, stop not until the goal is reached! Spirituality is not for the cowards. Strength, strength is my religion, and religion is not for the weak.”
Such were his words; he was a very inspirational and fiery speaker. But this is what needs to happen and people are still motivated by those words. There are thousands of beautiful quotes that come; these are some that Guruji simply loved and often told disciples to live by.
Last winter while we were traveling in India doing programs, there were huge posters in the streets with many of Vivekananda’s quotes and photographs, and people were very motivated by them, very excited about doing something more spiritual for themselves. After that exposure, those words were rekindled in the heart and mind, and as I woke up every morning those words popped to arise, to awake, and not to stop until the goal is attained. As these words began to resonate, many memories of times with Guruji came to me, and it was quite distinct and clear that Guruji used to say similar things. He always said, “Keep on practicing, keep on practicing, hold onto the practice day after day, month after month, year after year, don’t stop and the day will come when the goal will be reached and God will stand in front of you.”
Vivekananda’s work, his life, and of course his words were extremely powerful and inspirational, and there is a lot that could be talked about, but here are some of his sayings which I would like to read. They will hopefully inspire us to do something more for ourselves.:
“Let us perfect the means, the end will take care of itself. For the world can be good and pure only if our lives are good and pure. Therefore, let us purify ourselves, let us make ourselves perfect.”
“When we cease to see evil, the world must end for us, since to rid us of that mistake is its only object. To think there is any imperfection creates it. Thoughts of strength and perfection alone can cure it. Do what you can. Some evil will inhere in it, but do all without regard to personal result. Give up all results to the Lord, then neither good nor evil will affect you.”
“The less the thought of the body, the better; but is it the body that drags us down? It is attachment, identification, which makes us miserable. That is the secret: to think that I am the spirit and not the body and that the whole of the universe, with all its relations with all its good and all its evil, is but a series of paintings, scenes on a canvas, of which I am the witness.”
“Do not blame any supernatural being, neither be hopeless and despondent nor think we are in a place from which we can never escape unless someone comes and lends us a helping hand. That cannot be, says the Vedanta.”
“We are like silkworms; we make the thread out of our own substance and spin the cocoon, and in course of time are imprisoned within it. But this is not forever. In that cocoon we shall develop spiritual realization and like the butterfly come out free.”
“The time was right for one to be born, one who in body would have the brilliant intellect of Shankara, the wonderful expansive infinite heart of Chaitanya, one who would see in every sect the same spirit working, the same God, one who would see God in every being, one whose heart would beat for the poor, for the weak, for the outcast, for the downtrodden, for everyone in this world inside and outside India, and at the same time whose grand, brilliant intellect would conceive of such noble thoughts as would harmonize all conflicting sects, not only in India but outside of India, and bring a marvelous harmony, the universal religion of head and heart into existence.
“Through thousands of years of chiseling and modeling, the lives of the great prophets of yore come down to us and yet in my opinion not one stands so high in brilliance as the life which I saw with my own eyes, under whose shadow I have lived, at whose feet I have learned everything, the life of my guru, Ramkrishna Paramahansa. He was a triumphant example, a living realization of the conflict and conquest of lust and of desire for money. He was beyond all ideas of evil and such men are necessary for this century. Such renunciation is necessary in these days when men have begun to think they cannot live a month without what they call their necessities and which they are increasing out of all proportion. It is necessary in a time like this that a man should arise to demonstrate to the skeptics of the world that there yet breathes a man who does not care a straw for all the gold or all the fame that is in the universe.
“Once more he has come to help his children. Once more the opportunity is given to rise, to fall in India. India can only rise by sitting at the feet of Shri Ramkrishna. His life and his teachings are to be spread far and wide, are to be made to penetrate every pore of human society. Who will do it? Who are to take up the flag of Ramkrishna and march for the salvation of the world? Who are to stem the tide of degeneration at the sacrifice of name and fame, wealth and enjoyment, nay of every hope of this or other worlds? A few men have jumped into the breach and sacrificed themselves. They are a few. We want a few thousands of such as they, and they will come. Glory unto him on whom falls the Lord’s choice.
“Now in this life let us infinitely spread his lofty character, his sublime life, his infinite soul. This is the only work, there is nothing else to do. Wherever his name will reach, the veriest worm will attain divinity, nay he is actually attaining it. Whoever will be ready to serve him, no not him but his children, the poor and the downtrodden, the sinful and the afflicted, down to that very worm, who will be ready to serve these, in them he will manifest himself. Through their tongue the goddess of learning herself will speak, and the divine mother, the embodiment of all power, will enthrone herself in their hearts.”
“The Lord is always with me. Follow me if you will by being intensely sincere, perfectly unselfish, and above all by being perfectly pure. My blessings go with you. In this short life there is no time for the exchange of compliments. We can compare notes and compliment each other to our hearts’ content after the battle is finished. Now do not talk. Work, work, work.”
By hearing these words, the energy is vibrating through all the pores of my body; I’m getting goosebumps. It’s as if a volcano of enthusiasm is bursting and I feel like coming to each and every one of you and taking you by the shoulders, and shaking you up. Now, now, now at least, please wake up! Utilize the priceless gift that Guruji has given and make that firm resolve, that determination, to reach the goal.
Now, now, now at least, please wake up! Utilize the priceless gift that Guruji has given and make that firm resolve, that determination, to reach the goal.
That’s what Guruji’s motto in life was, karu yamaru, do or die, don’t stop until that happens.
This year it will be the 134th anniversary of Guruji’s birth, so we also are not too far from that 150th year. But we do not have to wait until that year to start working harder to become more aware and awake. We can start now from this moment.
I have also the same deep level of determination that Vivekananda had for his guru, Ramkrishna. Over the years with Guruji, living with Him, under His shadow, we have seen that what Ramkrishna had, Guruji also had the same, 110 percent, with no expectation for name, fame, or gold, but simplicity. So with that same profound, deep level of my own experience, with that same thumping of my foot and hand, so to say, I can vouch that the same is true for our guru.
It was a divine request or order from Lord Ram that he should come here to reach those people that appeared in a vision and help them evolve. The only thing that Guruji was constantly concerned about and worked for was the welfare of the disciples, the welfare of humanity.
The exact experience, which Vivekananda describes about Ramkrishna, exactly the same I can say many of us have had with Guruji. Guruji wasn’t interested in anything external. He was completely detached and removed from everything of a worldly nature. He was never even interested in accumulating a lot of disciples; He always said he wanted ‘quality and not quantity’. With that as a basis, he never cared for money, he never cared for name and fame, he never cared for many ashrams, but the key factor was just how to take that even one soul to Godhood again.
A few years ago we were traveling in America with Guruji and met another spiritual teacher also travelling here. He said, “Your guru is unique and great.” Guruji didn’t care for anything, so why did He come to America? Most teachers would come here for name and fame and money, but He didn’t want any of those. So why did He come here? We correlated why he came here with His experience of death, which many of you have read about in Death Dying and Beyond. It was a divine request or order from Lord Ram that he should come here to reach those people that appeared in a vision and help them evolve. The only thing that Guruji was constantly concerned about and worked for was the welfare of the disciples, the welfare of humanity. He never made any tall or false claims regarding what he taught or what this path had to offer. He never gave big talks. He did say very firmly, however, that “whosoever will follow what I ask them to do, if they practice what I ask them to do, then whatever I have achieved, they will achieve the same. I have become Dhyanyogi, so you also will become a dhyanyogi. Before I leave this body I will prepare one hundred dhyanyogis.”
Once He said that India is the land of dharma, of the right path to follow, but the land of action, was the United States.
His prescription for his countrymen who had been demoralized by colonialism, was to borrow a page from the West. He said it starts with the can-do spirit of Americans! And these were also the words of Swami Vivekananda, his formula, when India was still not free from British rule. Indians, he needed to wake up and adopt that spirit of the West.
What I am trying to say is that you need the union of dharma and karma, the East and the West. The blending is what will bring the true fruit, and that is what Guruji was also trying to do–unite the aspects of the West, learning dharma, and the East, learning karma. Then the beauty of realization can unfold. Then, as the saying goes, the goal becomes fragrant.
I have been working with you for the past thirty-six years. Now you have to really wake up, be strong, be firm, make that resolution that I can do and I must attain realization, and use all the gifts that Guruji has given. Explore them to reach the goal and help others.
And through your body, through you mind, in your spirit and heart, live as Guruji lived, and become a Dhyanyogi.
It is the inspiration of the guru and the perspiration of the disciple that brings realization. So on this Guru Purnima I offer my prayers to the great masters, to Vivekanandaji, Ramkrishna, and of course our guru and all the masters of the lineage, that they take an asan, a seat in your heart, and that they inspire you to walk the path of truth, and that before your soul leaves this body you attain unity with that absolute truth and principle. While the soul remains in this body, may it always be inspired to do good and positive actions for yourself and for the welfare of others.
Sarve bhavantu sukhinah Sarve santu niramayah Sarve bhadrani pasyantu Ma kascid dukhabhag bhavet Ma kascid dukhabhag bhavet Om Shantih Shantih Shantih Shri Ramachandra bhagavan ki jai! Sadaguru Deva ki jai!