free and single.
These three words best describe
the mentality of todays youth.
They are at a delicate transition
in their lives, expected by society
to be responsible and yet by that
same society trusted with
sponsibilities or allowed to think
for themselves. It is a period
where they have to leave their
childhood dreams and accept the
realities of life. If we can learn to
trust them, to respect their views,
to treat them as the young adults
they are - and at the same time
still love them as we did when
they were children, then may be
they will be able to accept these
realities and take on the task to
improve the world we live in.
If not, they may rebel against
society and in effect, against us.
We can see Swamishri preparing
yesterdays children to become
A man once said, When in Rome live as the Romans do. It
may seem to be a fair statement, but the fact remains that even if
one lives as the Romans do, he will never be a Roman.
Born and brought up in a foreign land, many Satsangi youths are faced
with the perplexing question - Who am I? Because they
are citizens of another country and are taught to love that country,
they naturally feel aloof from India and its way of life. Yet, there
is always a deeper calling within them, a realisation that I
am different, that there is more to their identity than just
their place of birth and their passport. Knowing virtually nothing
about their religion and its principles, they are strangers to themselves.
Swamishri explains practical living for today and helps escape the
If there is a God in this world, then why are so many people suffering?
Swamishri : Mans actions are such that because of them he
experiences joy and pain. God does not create hardships, they are
man-made. We get into difficulties because of our weaknesses. If
you are a diabetic and you still eat sugary foods, you'll suffer,
wont you? Our scriptures teach us what we should and should
not do. But if we dont follow them, then its our own
fault. The government has made a law that one should stop at a red
traffic light. But if we dont stop, well have to suffer
the consequences. Niyams are devised so that we can live life conveniently
and peacefully. That is why God has commanded us to follow niyams.
If we dont practice them in our lives, we will be miserable.
That is not Gods fault. If we watch TV instead of studying,
will we pass? No, It's over. Fail. Similarly niyam means
niyam. They are essential. How vital is the sun? God has given him
the agna! No-late, and we can see, hes never late!
God has devised niyams for mans benefit, but man doesnt
follow them thereby creating his own problems. So you see, it's
not God who creates hardships for anyone.
Then why are people who dont come to the temple wealthy and
those who do come regularly and follow their niyams not well-off?
Swamishri : Thats true, but men who obtain their wealth by
immoral means are never at peace in their hearts. He may have an
aeroplane and he may travel around the world in it, or he may have
an expensive car, a big house and everything, but he wont
be happy in his heart. We have met millionaires and billionaires;
none of them have peace of mind.
A thief may think Im doing well but what happens
when he is caught? Thats why wrong is always wrong and right
is always right.
Outwardly they appear to be happy but they dont have spiritual
fulfilment. Although we have never hurt others, by Gods wish
we still face hardships because He wants to purify us. Since we
have become Gods, He protects us so that we never forget Him
(in worldly pleasures). By following dharma we can attain harmony
in our families, our society and our country. We should realise
that, If I help him then I will attain peace, but if I kill
him then even if I have all his wealth, I wont have peace
of mind. Because Ive hurt him, because Ive destroyed
him Ill be destroyed too. By keeping this in mind, we
will never hurt anyone.
What do we need? The one who has given us teeth to chew will give
us food. It doesnt matter if we dont have a car or a
big house. We dont need them. We should earn by our own labour,
while staying in our dharma, but not by deceit. If we hurt someone
to obtain something, then in the end we will suffer for their pain.
One who follows dharma and does Satsang becomes happy. When we obtain
knowledge and understanding we will realise that this talk is true
and that those who do wrong are not really happy. We should have
a firm conviction that if we follow Gods niyams, then we will
not be miserable, but fulfilled.
In the Shikshapatri it is written that if we dont follow all
the rules, then we are considered as outcasts from this Satsang.
Although we are trying to follow as many rules as we can, are we
still considered as outcasts?
Swamishri : The rules of dharma are not to restrict us but to uplift
us. Thats why whatever is written in the Shikshapatri is true
and eternal. Its good that you realise your deficiency. If
you cannot follow all the niyams, then pray for strength to be able
to do so. Gunatitanand Swami has said, If a man wills, he
can achieve. Our soul is very powerful. Man wanted to go to
the moon and he got there, didnt he? So if we resolve to follow
our niyams, we will be able to do so. If we gain strength from God,
we will be able to do so. Fair enough, you may make a mistake once,
even twice but you should persevere. Then you are not considered
to be an outcast. When are we outcasts? When we lose faith. So even
if you make mistakes, keep on trying to follow the niyams.
If we see God and His Saint in a dream, is it real or is it just
Swamishri : It is possible to have darshan in a dream. God and His
Saint enable us to see Them in our dreams, in real life and spiritually
(with knowledge). They give us darshan for the benefit of our soul
and to inspire us. Our faith is reinforced by such darshan. Some
men are transformed by darshan in their dreams and they become great
devotees. It cannot be called an illusion, only grace.
How can we solve our problems? By dhyan or by prayer?
Swamishri : It depends upon our faith. If we keep faith and do either,
we will find a solution. We should think, The prayer I am
offering is sincere. The God I am praying to is true. Anyone
can see God and hear Him, but faith is required.
But our faith withers. It is the age of science so we expect our
problems to be resolved in an instant. Edison discovered electric
meaning `electricity', correct? How much effort did he make before
he discovered it! And we have only just come here and want to become
Brahmarup right now! But we need continuous prayer and faith. God
does everything if we have faith in Him. He will make us Brahmarup.
The youths thanked Swamishri. As he got up he told them...
Swamishri : Think over what has been said here. Todays society
is such that we all have problems. But we should aim to be good
and do bhajan. It is great that you all attend kishore mandal. Keep
it up and Yogiji Maharaj will be pleased. We may make mistakes but
we should learn from them and progress. We have not come here because
we are tired or because of any health problems. We are overjoyed
to see you all here, determined to progress on this path. Thus we
are not tired, just happy.
(1994, Mt. Poconos, New Jersey)