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' Have Fun And Play Your Part '

As long as you are in the world playing a part in this big drama, use the makeup and costumes, but don't get caught in your part. Have fun and play that part until the curtain falls.
Many people finish their part even in the midst of the drama. Once their part is over, they make their exit. Then they don't come back to the stage again. On the world's stage, many of us finish our job and leave, but the drama continues. Maybe the hero, the heroine and the villain will continue throughout, and be the last people to leave the stage. In the meantime, many extras come and go. We are probably all extras. Remembering this will help to keep the ego a little bit soft.

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' Silence '

The person who really experiences the Truth will be more silent than others. Silence is the edge of the experience. To be humble, to be as quiet and silent as possible, is a sign of great wisdom. Wise people don't speak much. Just a few words here and there is enough. They don't need to say more than that. People learn just by seeing them and by sitting in their presence.

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' God Is Not A Fool '

Question: How can we develop service as an instinctive, natural habit in our lives?

Sri Swami Satchidananda answers: By knowing that you are always serving. You don't need to develop anything. Simply know that you are not doing anything other than serving.
God sent you, and He must have had a purpose for sending you. He is not a fool. He will use you to fulfill His purpose. When He is not using you, you should not think, "Oh, I am no use at all. I am just sitting and doing nothing." That means that you forgot who is in charge. Your attitude should be, "Maybe God is just not using me now."
We are all tools in the hands of God. He brought us here to be used and He is literally using every one of us. It is God's energy that is in us. God is using me to say these things, and God is using you to listen. In a way, God is speaking and God is listening. It's not that I am in any way a great master, literate and enlightened, and you are all fools. No. It is simply that on this dramatic stage God is having me sit here and say something, and He is having you sit there listening. I know that it s God making me sit here and making you sit there. If you don't know it, that is the problem.

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' It Is Something Super '

You should have a close personal relationship with God. That's why sometimes it's easier to have a personal representation of God than an abstract one. You can communicate better, you can look at the face, you can garland Him, you can feed Him. God is nameless, formless, abstract; you cannot simply go and hug space. That is why most people need a symbol. It can be whatever pleases you. Develop your relationship with that. Marry yourself to that representation of God. Think of it day and night. Treat that as your inseparable partner. Once you develop that kind of relationship you will soon begin to see that God is always there next to you. Even if you forget sometimes, He will remind you, "Honey, I am here. Don't worry.
Devotion cannot be compared with any other approach. It is something super. When you develop that kind of devotion you rise above all doubts. You feel the presence always with you, and you feel that you are totally protected. Develop that kind of devotion by your constant remembrance of the Divine.

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' You Can Influence Your Surroundings '

You can build up your strength to the point where you are not influenced by your surroundings; in fact, you can influence the surroundings instead. You can change the environment if you have the strength of mind; but even if your mind isn't that strong, you can still have the strength not to be affected by the environment.
Learning not to be affected is an important step. If you are influenced by a situation, how can you change it? If fifteen people are crying and you go there and join them in the crying, you have simply added one more miserable person; you have not done anything to benefit those people. Instead, if you are really strong and can maintain your own equanimity, all the fifteen people will be benefited by your strength.

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' Rest At The Top '

Wherever you are, whatever you do, have discipline in your life. Discipline your mind, discipline your senses, discipline your body. When we want a big reward, we have to pay a big price. Nothing comes easily. Even for a few minutes of ego gratification for climbing to the top of a mountain, so much effort is needed. How many months of great difficulties will you have to undergo to attain such a goal? How many times will you slip, get up, start, slip, get up, start again? At last you stand there at the top, plant your flag, and say, "I conquered Everest." You may have conquered Everest, but you can never rest there. In ten minutes you even have to come down. For that ten minutes' joy you worked so hard, you followed so many disciplines. Then it's over.
In the spiritual life, however, once you get to the top, you have reached Ever-rest. You do rest there, and you won't have to come down. You can even pull others up as well. But there are no shortcuts. A great price must be laid to reach that great goal. What is that price? Leading a selfless life.

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' We Are All Learning '

Let us not deny anybody just because he or she follows a certain path or doesn't follow a certain path. Ultimately we are all learning. If anyone is interested in knowing what practices you are doing, talk about it; explain how you have benefited, but don't try to persuade another to do, the same thing.
That is what is meant by the Biblical saying, "Ask and it shall be given." You don't have to go and teach anyone. If someone asks, simply share what you know. If that person wants to do the same thing, fine. If not, if he or she wants to follow another path, that's fine too. With such an attitude you will learn to love everyone, respect everyone, and there will be harmony in your life.

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' That Is The Best Victory '

When we win a war, it is a one-sided victory. A true victory should be for the benefit of everyone. If it is your victory alone, you may win the war now, but your enemy will be waiting for another opportunity to fight and be victorious over you. How can you call it a real victory if you still have an enemy somewhere?
Instead, make your enemy your friend. That is the best victory. Such a victory is only won by non-violent means, by trusting and by showing love.

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' Both Have Lessons To Learn '

If you want to give some advice, your first duty is to look and see if that person will accept it, if he or she will be benefited by your saying something. If the person gets upset, it shows that you don't know how to say it gently in the proper way. In that case, you learn something from it: "Ahh, I made her angry. I should have known how to present the problem. It is her problem, but I have to learn how to present it in the right way. Maybe I put it bluntly and that is why she got upset." There are things for you to learn also. If your intention is to help someone but you fail to make him realize that you are helping him, it's your mistake. You can't blame him for that.
The giver of the help should remember certain things about how to give constructive suggestions. Stop and think, "Is this the right moment to discuss this? Am I presenting it in the proper way?" If you positively know that the person is not in a mood to receive it from you, wait until another time or start very gently. Then give that person time to think about it. Maybe at the spur of the moment the ego will come and say, "How dare you tell me that!" But when you go away, he or she will try to apply your advice. Remember there is a giver and a receiver; both have lessons to learn.

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' Anything Can Roll Down '

If you cannot control your ordinary, earthly, human nature, you are not going to realize the spirit. Control the tongue, control the eye, control the flesh, control the food. Why? Because we are rising above nature so that we will not be controlled by it. It should be under our control. Every discipline in life ultimately gives you strength to transcend the limitations of the senses.
A stone easily rolls downhill. Anything can roll down; but to bring something up is a difficult task. We are trying to raise ourselves up. If you throw something up, it comes back down. Why should it come back? Because the natural gravitation pulls it down. In the same way, our minds and bodies are constantly being pulled down toward the earth and we are trying to change that. We want to get the help of a rocket to go past the gravitational pull.
That is why we have all the disciplines. Without discipline, this ascent would not be possible at all. Even if one wire is loose or one conductor is weak, a rocket launch is postponed. We are all trying to launch our rockets. The mind is a rocket. The body is the launching pad. Your mind must be well-fuelled and well-tuned, and then you must set fire. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, zero! Launch yourself. Once you go beyond the gravitational pull, you transcend the mind. Realization comes only when you have a proper launching pad (body) and proper rocket (mind) to help push you beyond the gravitational pull.
At this point, the analogy ends, because you are not really launching yourself from here to somewhere else. Everything happens right where you are. Right here you can master the forces that pull you down. You don't have to shoot off somewhere, but you do have to discipline the mind and body. Only then can you command nature.

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' Utilize Your Love '

Question: When we feel an extra surge of love from within, what can we do to keep that love flowing instead of being blocked up inside or focused all on one person?

Sri Swami Satchidananda: When you feel that extra surge of love, you have hundreds of opportunities to share it.
If you see a withering plant, immediately go and tend to it, take the weeds out, give it some nourishment and water. If you notice a pebble or a piece of glass on the road, love the person who would get cut by stepping on it and pick it up before anyone is hurt. You can show love to plants, to the road, to people, to animals. Let everything that is in your presence make use of that love. Be nice to all. Do something beautiful.
Let your love be a universal love. That is true love. Always do something good for all others, not just for people. When I say others, I mean even a little plant or a stone. Pour your love onto all those things.
Concern about the feelings of others and the happiness of others is real love. It's unfortunate that love is often limited to something physical. That's not love at all. Love is concern for others, doing good to everyone and everything. Utilize your love for the benefit of the Creation.

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' It Is All You, You, You '

The more you think of yourself - "What can I get?" "How much can I gain?" "What should I wear?" "What should I eat?" "What should I do?" "I! I! I!" - the more karma comes to you. We cannot avoid karma already accrued, but we can avoid the new ones by not doing anything for our sake. By always feeling, "Everything is being done through me by God. I am not doing anything for selfish purposes. I am doing everything for the sake of others, for the benefit of humanity in the name of God." That way all your actions become selfless service, karma yoga. You do not create any new karma that way.
You cannot exhaust all the accrued karma in one lifetime. You come only with what you can burn out in this life. When that is over, another group of karmas will come and you will be given another birth. Until all of it is exhausted, you will take on bodies. If you are lucky enough not to create any new karma, one day everything will be exhausted.
There is one way that it all can be burnt - all past, present and future karma. That is when you totally put yourself into the hands of God and say, "I am not the doer, I have not done anything. It is all You, You, You. You do whatever You want. It's not even my past karma. I made a mistake in thinking it was mine. I know it is all Yours. I simply put the label 'mine' on it, so I am suffering. Now I realize no action, and no reaction, was ever mine."
That is the ultimate realization. When you realize this, you rise above all the karma. You feel that you are not doing anything, and that you have never done anything. It's true. We have never done anything ourselves; we have no capacity to do anything ourselves. It is God who does everything.
So don't ever say, "I did it. That's mine. I earned it. "Instead say, "God, it is all You. Even the thought is Yours. The energy is yours, functioning through this instrument. Nothing belongs to me. I am Thine, all is Thine, Thy will be done."
If we realize that, and if we live up to it, then no karma will ever bother us. We don't need to worry about anything.

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Nothing will bother you if your relationship with it is correct. Pain becomes evil because you don't like it. Nothing will bother you, no one will bother you, nothing will harass you if your attitude is right. What is the right attitude?
You should understand that no pain will come to you unless you do something to deserve it. Pain is not really that gracious; it will not just come by to visit. No. If we deserve something, whether good or bad, it will come to us. If we don't deserve it, nobody can hurt us. No pain can come to us. Deserving means we have done something wrong and through that pain we have to purge it out. Pain is a sort of purgation. Even if the whole world comes forward to give you pain, it cannot if you do not deserve it. But unfortunately we don't accept it that way. We simply say, "Ohh, I am all innocent. This guy just came and hurt me." It's wrong thinking. Pain has no interest in coming to you unless you have invited it. Understand the purpose of the suffering, and accept it.

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' We Don't Lose Anything '

Don't think that you can do everything just by your own capacity alone. Know that there is a higher power, a grace, to help you; but you have to sincerely ask for it. Unless you ask, you won't receive it. Just by asking, you are opening yourself to that power. It's not that God is waiting for you to ask; God is not miserly. He is already giving, but we do not always receive.
The process of asking is itself opening; you cannot even ask without opening. So open your heart. Even if you can't open your heart to people, open your heart to God; then you will know how to open your heart to people also. Pray sincerely and trust in a higher power, trust in God. Many, many more things are wrought by prayer than the world dreams of. Let us believe in sincere prayer.
What we can achieve by ourselves is very little, but what we can achieve with the help of God is very great. We don't lose anything by giving ourselves to God. As the great saint Manickavasagar said, "I gave myself to You, Lord, and in return You gave Yourself to me. Who is gaining? With me You are not gaining anything. Just a useless thing, incapable of doing even a little. I'll be a burden to You, one more stomach to feed. But with You I can do many things. If I have You, I have gained everything in the world. So You see, though You call it a fair business deal, You are really losing."

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' You Should Always Choose Peace '

When anything comes to you, first ask yourself, "Will I be maintaining my peace by getting this, or will my peace be disturbed?" Ask that for everything. People you would like to be with, possessions you would like to acquire It doesn't matter what you want to do; strike that against the touchstone of peace. "Will this rob me of my peace?" If the answer is "Yes, you must choose peace or the other thing," you should always choose peace. If the answer is, "My peace will not be disturbed by it," okay, you can have that and still have your peace. That should be our aim.

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' Remember God's Unseen Hand Always '

An individual's act is nothing but a part of a cosmic act. It's not that you are acting. You are made to act. Somebody made you with a purpose. Know that somebody has made you, somebody is making you work and somebody is going to make you stop. You are free to remember that or not. That's all.
If there is a request in our prayers it should be, "God, You are doing everything. Occasionally I think of that, I know it, but very often I forget it. I know that You are the one who makes me forget also; but please don't play that trick on me, because when You make me forget, I become egoistic, I become miserable. So please don't have fun with me like this. Help me to remember this always. I don't know if it is just for Your fun, or if You are testing me. I don't know why You are doing all this. All I know is I go through sufferings when I forget that. I have had enough of that suffering. Please help me to remember." That should be our prayer. To recognize His unseen hand always.

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' Without That, Nothing Is Going To Make You Happy '

You might have the entire world at your feet, all the money, all the material things, all the friends, all the name, all the fame, all the crowns; but unless you have peace you don't have a worryless life. What is the use of having all these things around you? Shun them. Care more for your peace than for these. Without that peace, nothing is going to make you happy. If you have peace, even without having anything else, you will be happy. That's what you call contentment. Accept God's will, "Whatever has to come will come. What will not come, will not come. Why should I worry about it?" I know some of you might say, "Then should I not do anything?" You should do something, yes. And if you allow yourself to be handled in that way, you will have plenty to do. You'll be doing much more than anyone else. At the same time, you'll be totally relaxed. Don't think that relaxation or peace comes by not doing anything. No. You'll be put to even greater use.

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Life is always a challenge, always! Many times you will feel like giving up. Why shouldn't you give up? Facing the challenge is difficult, giving up is easy. But where is the guarantee that you won't face the same challenge somewhere else or even a bigger challenge?
When you are facing a difficult situation, there are two approaches you can take. One is, "Let me stick with it. Let me stay put and face the challenge, try to understand it, learn the lesson, and rise above it." It really takes alot of strength, alot of courage, alot of confidence to do that. It takes total faith in a Higher Will.
If you cannot develop that kind of strength, you can just walk out. You are not really making a big mistake by doing that. But remember one thing: A challenge was placed in front of you, you didn't want to face it and you are running away. It's alright. If you really cannot do it, if you have struggled for a long time, and if you weren't strong enough and you failed, it does not matter. Don't keep fighting against the current. Maybe you are not strong. Swim in a little shallower water. But know that although you are running, you are not escaping. The same kind of challenge will come there also, in a little different form. Why? Because difficulties come to make us strong. It's true. Life is an obstacle race and a challenge has been presented to you. I would recommend that you first try to face it with all your heart and strength. Find the ways and means to do it.
Only if you are really positive that you cannot do anything more, that you really cannot continue - "I'm getting weaker and weaker and weaker, and I have to take a little time to get my strength back." - okay, then take a break.
The strength that will enable you to overcome every obstacle is the strength and confidence that comes from total faith in God. When you have that kind of strength, nothing is impossible to achieve. You don't have to run away from anything.

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We should learn to use everything for good. God never made anything bad in this world. He made a rose, and next to the rose He made a thorn. You should know to take the rose and not put your hand on the thorn. The thorn has its purpose also; if you take away all the thorns, the rosebush will die. You need both the rose and the thorn. True knowledge is knowing how to use everything properly and for the benefit of all.

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' Unchanged and Eternal '

Nothing is permanent. An hour ago you walked into the room. Now you are an hour older. Soon, you will be one day older, one month older, one year older. Mother Nature’s qualities are ever changing. But behind the ever changing is a never-changing principle: Names and forms change, but the SPIRIT remains unchanged and eternal.

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' Ultimate Help '

On a pilgrimage you learn to depend on a higher source. You learn that you cannot depend on anything else for your safety or for your peaceful life. All other things, though they are around, can only help you to a certain extent. They are limited. The ultimate help comes from the God within.

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' Did You Pray With Total Faith? '

God knows your breaking point. His purpose is not to break you. No, not at all. You simply don't know your own strength. You may think, "I've reached my limit. I can't do any more." If you couldn't do it, God would not be putting you into that situation. God knows you better than you know yourself.
Unfortunately He can't help you if you have doubt. Doubt and faith don't go together. If you have complete faith, nothing is impossible. Nothing. That kind of faith will not grow in an impure, selfish mind; so learn to be selfless. Trust in God and say, "Whatever I deserve, God will give me. Whatever I don't deserve, God will take away. Whatever l need, God will keep with me. The minute the need is over, He will remove it." If we have that kind of total trust, we will always maintain our peace.

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Who is the richest person?

The one who wants nothing.

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' The Real Spiritual Experience '

Living and working together as one beautiful family with total love is God. People often ask me, "Why is it that I've been practicing all these years but I haven't realized God? I haven't had any experience." I don't know what it is that they are looking for. Do they mean they haven't been lifted off the floor a few inches? They haven't had any hallucinations? That's not the kind of spiritual experience you need. You may have some nice visions; you may see lights, hear sounds. But what is the benefit to others? Real spiritual experience means moving around with a smiling, loving face. That is spiritual. To see the spirit in others and to love everyone; to rise above these little differences of the lower nature and bring harmony wherever you are.

If you can't live harmoniously with others, what is the use of other spiritual experiences? Ultimately, everyone should love you. Keep that in mind: "I will live the kind of life that will make everybody love me, and I will love them." If that happens in your life, you will know that you are growing spiritually.

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RECOGNIZING the ADIYOGI


The Adiyogi brought the possibility that a human being need not be contained in the defined limitations of our species. There is a way to be contained in physicality but not to belong to it. There is a way to inhabit the body but never become the body. There is a way to use your mind in the highest possible way but still never know the miseries of the mind. Whatever dimension of existence you are in right now, you can go beyond that – there is another way to live. He said, “You can evolve beyond your present limitations if you do the necessary work upon yourself.” And he gave methods as to how to evolve. That is the significance of the Adiyogi.

Before I fall dead, I want to make sure that His contribution to humanity is recognized across the world. We are in various stages of doing this. One thing is we are building Adiyogi shrines. It is a twenty-one foot tall bronze Adiyogi with a consecrated linga in front of Him. It is a powerful space. The first one is coming up in our ashram in the United States, in Tennessee.

Everybody on the planet should know that He is the one who offered this science to the world. In the last five to six years, four major books were published in Europe contesting that yoga did not come from India, but is the evolution of European exercise systems. If they write another ten to fifteen books like this, that will become the truth. Whatever you read in your textbook as history, you believe is the truth. It is not, I am telling you, it is just written by some vested interest largely. So if they write twenty-five to fifty books like this in the next ten to fifteen years, after some time everyone will say yoga came from United States or from California, or that Madonna invented yoga. It is not a laughing matter, it can easily be done. There are people who are willing to write anything. Some very famous books are saying this. Dan Brown, in his book Angels and Demons, says yoga is an ancient Buddhist art. Gautama is only twenty-five hundred years, Adiyogi is fifteen thousand years. Now you say Gautama, tomorrow you will say Madonna. If you write a few books that will become the truth. So I want to make sure, before I am dead, that everybody should know yoga came from Him, nobody else but Him.

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Whether a man venerates God as the supreme Being
or he exposes his own ego as unreal and shuns it,
the result is the same
—he goes beyond all delusions into eternal life.

Life honors such a one.

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