In the Bhagavad Gita, we read “vasudeva sarvam”. That indwelling One is All. There is no other in relation-to, or conditioned-by. What do we mean by the indweller, the indwelling force? One of the many ways, the word “vasudeva” is translated in Bhagavad Gita is the “indwelling deity”. This is closely related to the word “vasu”, meaning, “all places”, for all places are dwelling places of divinity. Vasu is also the “hamsa”, that swan of the universal prana dwelling every-where in every-thing. Vasu-mana is also one of the thousand names of Shiva in the Mahabharata. Vasu-mana means beautiful mind, a mind that dwells as light in Being, and therefore, Vasu is the beautiful, light-filled, indwelling force.
Friends, I am making this recording at the ashram in Rishikesh at the bank of the Holy Mother, Ganga. Just across the river I often hear the sounds of wild peacocks. And just two nights ago I heard the great trumpeting of a tusker, an elephant we had seen walking around and eating the vegetation. At this time, 4:00 a.m., this place is magic. And I think of all of you who are deprived of such peace that comes to me when I spend some time here. Solitude to me becomes a tangible, palpable force - a force that keeps me company. When I am here, I do not want to move; I do not want to go anywhere. And then my thoughts run to you - and a certain call comes forth from within my heart and mind. Perhaps it is the Guru Spirit that is reminding me that I should do my duty towards you, as my Gurudeva has so generously done towards me within the tradition.
Yoga which unites everybody in silence and meditation now unites the people of China and people of India. Walking on the footsteps of all those great immortals to whom I have paid homage, I come to you to revive in you that tradition of discovering the inner serene silence through yoga. Yoga is not a system of physical movement. It is a system of silence and stillness from which the movement expresses itself. It is this yoga to which I invite you to enter within yourself. It is the subtle yoga, not the yoga of the body but the yoga of inner self.
A friend, thus, is one who starts off out of a sentiment of affection; grants benevolence without seeking a return or an acknowledgment; slowly shares the same space of awareness, awakening of same level of consciousness and the realization of the Transcendent; at each step encouraging the friend to keep on the path, not to slip into apathy and darkness and confusion; serves as a solar beacon to light up the friend’s path and helps to stabilize him permanently into a clarity and pleasantness of the mind. Su-hrd, mitra, sa-khaa.
This particular observance that I am requesting our Gurudeva's discipleship to undertake this year has the purpose of bringing about peacefulness within each mind, radiating first into the personal family, then into the entire Guru family AND then into the larger global family. The normal rule is that while such an observance is going on there should be no controversial or confrontational thought. Not even one thought, leave along a word or action on the part of those who are undertaking such an observance.
Very good. I love that question. The body of an organization or a family or a nation is its structure; the mind is the degree of awareness of its mission; and the breath is the life you put into it. Then you can elaborate on that theme. The structure is the body. The awareness of its mission is the mind – and the mind of a thumb is not different from the mind of a nose in your body. A thumb doesn’t say, “Hey, I have a mind of my own. I’m not going to help you.” In the organization, in the family, that [unity of vision and purpose] happens. [There is] that mind – and then [there is] what you do with it out of compassion. The word “love” ceases, stops. If there is only one, who will love whom?
The word Guru is used in many, many different contexts in India. Nowadays anybody who teaches you anything is a Guruji. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which as you know is the most important text of the yoga philosophy, which is the bible of the yogis, says that God is the Guru of even the most ancient ones, of the earliest one. So it’s very confusing. You hear about all kinds of Gurus nowadays. You know my definition of a Guru in America? Anybody who can touch his nose to his toes advertises himself as a great Guru, great teacher. Is there some kind of a certification to make you a Guru? Maybe you can have a university degree or you can have some kind of test or you’re a dues paying member of the Guru association or something. What makes you a Guru? When The Beatles became disappointed with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, they said, “Well, in India a person becomes Guru by same process by which you become a popular rock band in the west. You develop a following.”So what is a Guru and what is the test of being a Guru? What is all this Guru business anyway? It’s very difficult to start somewhere, to find somewhere to start the discussion on this subject. As I said the word is used in so many different contexts.
How can I write down words of prayer and teach? That is not prayer. Prayer is something you either have in you or you don't have in you. Who taught the first man to pray? In which school of literature did the writers of the psalms of David learn to compose poetry? Who critiqued their poems? Who edited them and said they were ready to publish? Who taught them? They had less of the world literature to draw upon historically at that time. Yet what came out of their hearts and their mouths became immortal literature because there was prayer in them. Indeed, prayers that have flowed out of them have been read by others to follow a model.