Shri Datta Swami

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WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PRAVRUTTI, NIVRUTTI AND YOGA?
Posted on: 03/09/2019

[Reply to a question by Dr. Annapurna] Pravṛtti is worldly life, which is related to the behaviour of one soul with other souls in society. It is the social behaviour of the soul, in which the soul is expected to keep society happy, or at least, not cause unhappiness to society. Nivṛtti is purely a personal matter related to the spiritual upliftment of the soul. Pravṛtti aims at the welfare and development of society, whereas nivṛtti aims at the personal welfare and personal development of the soul. Nivṛtti is based on pravṛtti because if society is not happy, the individual cannot be happy and cannot work towards self-development. Pravṛtti is the foundation and nivṛtti is the castle built on it. Yoga means meeting with someone...

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IS THERE NO USE OF RITUAL SACRIFICES INVOLVING THE BURNING OF GHEE IN THE FIRE?
Posted on: 03/09/2019

Shri PVNM Sharma asked: These days, people perform ritual-sacrifices or yajñas by burning ghee in the physical fire. You have told us that there is not the slightest use of such sacrifices and that instead, they cause pollution. Could You please explain the same in greater detail?

Swami replied: There are three types of fire and they are: (1) Laukikāgni or bhautikāgni, which is the fire produced by burning sticks, (2) Vaidyutāgni, which is the fire produced through electricity and (3) Devatāgni, which is the fire of hunger in the stomach. This hunger-fire has been called Vaiśvānara in the Gita. In any ritual-sacrifice (yajña), the first two types of fire are only instrumental in cooking food and they are known as yajña sādhanam. The instrumental fire is only meant to cook the food and not burn it. The third type of fire, which is the hunger-fire...

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COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN THE THREE ITEMS THAT ARE PART OF THE PROCESS OF KNOWLEDGE?
Posted on: 03/09/2019

[Reply to a question by Shri Phani] Swami replied: There are three items that are part of the process of knowledge and they are called the tripuṭī or the triad of knowledge. (1) The first is jñātā or the knower. It is the soul learning spiritual knowledge from the Divine Preacher or Sadguru. (2) The second is jñānam or the knowledge explained by the Divine Preacher. It is the subject-matter in the process of knowing and it pertains to all the three items in the triad. (3) The third is the eyam, which is the item that is to be known. It is ultimate goal and, in the context of spiritual knowledge, it is God or the Divine Preacher Himself. The knowledge can also be classified in to four categories based on the object of the knowledge (jñeyam)...

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CONVINCING THE ADAMANT ATHEIST
Posted on: 28/08/2019

Shri Phani asked: How can we discuss and convince atheists, who are very adamant in their views?

Swami replied: Such adamant behaviour of atheists is the result of the aversion that they have held in their mind towards spirituality and spiritual people for a long time. The reason for their aversion is the hypocrisy of theists who have been secretly doing sins while pretending to be righteous externally. These atheists are able to identify such hypocrisy and they react emotionally. Unfortunately, their emotion is misguided since they blame God, holding Him responsible for the hypocrisy of the theists. They should blame the sinful theists and not God. The atheists think that if the concept of God itself is removed, the hypocrisy based on God will be eliminated from its root. This conclusion of the atheists is quite foolish. Firstly, by removing the concept of God, the quality of hypocrisy is not removed. Secondly, the problem of sin increases even more since the public loses all fear and starts committing all types of sin...

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WHEN GOD IS UNIMAGINABLE, HOW CAN WE SAY THAT GOD PERVADES ONLY THE AWARENESS OF THE INCARNATION AND NOT THE BODY?
Posted on: 27/08/2019

Swami replied: When the God who pervades the awareness or the body of the Incarnation, is unimaginable, even the mechanism of His pervasion is unimaginable. We are only assuming a certain mechanism of pervasion as if God is a finite imaginable item. Such assumptions are made to explain deep philosophical concepts to people in a manner that is easy to understand. We are not actually sure whether God pervades the awareness (energy) or the body (matter) since we cannot directly perceive the unimaginable God. But, based on what we perceive, we are making inferences regarding the mechanism of pervasion, assuming the pervasion to be an imaginable process. When Krishna lifted the huge hill on His tender little finger, we infer that the unimaginable God...

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WHEN ISVARA IS NOT ALL-PERVADING, HOW CAN HE BE SAID TO POSSESS THE WORLD AS HIS EXTERNAL BODY?
Posted on: 27/08/2019

Shri Anil asked: In the context of Śrī Rāmānuja’s Viśiṣṭādvaita philosophy, You have said that creation is the external body of Īśvara. But You have also rejected the idea that God is all-pervading. Could You kindly resolve the seeming contradiction?

Swami replied: If you are in your house, you do not pervade all over your house. Similarly, the soul, which is main seat of awareness, exists in the body. But it does not pervade all over the body. At any given time, the sun is at one place in the sky. Only its light pervades all over the sky and earth. The lamp is located at one place in the room and only its light pervades all over the room. The soul, which is the main seat of awareness, lies in the body. But some general awareness pervades all over the body. This concept was well-explained by Rāmānuja. All the above examples are imaginable. The unimaginable God need not pervade all over the world in a physical...

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WILL THE RECENT REMOVAL OF ARTICLE 370, BRING ULTIMATE PEACE TO KASHMIR?
Posted on: 27/08/2019

[Reply to a question by Shri Anil] Swami replied: The ultimate solution, not only for the Kashmir issue, but also for all similar cases, is the propagation of Universal Religion, which is based on Universal Spirituality. The differences between religions are only based on external diversity. We must unite both Hindus and Muslims and in fact, the followers of all religions, through Universal Spirituality. The problem can be solved very easily when spiritual concepts are propagated and are well-established in the minds of people. People should be convinced that following justice brings God’s grace and following injustice brings the anger of God...

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WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD’S MIRACLE OF SPLITTING THE MOON INTO TWO?
Posted on: 27/08/2019

Shri Anil asked: Given below is an excerpt from the Quran, Chapter 54, verses 1-8. The Hour has come near, and the moon has split (in two) - And if they see a sign, they turn away and say, “continued magic.”- And they denied and followed their inclinations. But for every matter is a time of settlement- And there has already come to them of information that in which there is deterrence – Extensive wisdom – but warning does not avail them- So leave them, O Muhammad. The Day the Caller calls to something forbidding - Their eyes humbled, they will emerge from the graves as if they were locusts spreading - Racing ahead toward the Caller. The disbelievers will say “This is a difficult Day.”

Swami replied: Here, moon represents the mind and the splitting of the moon means the splitting of the mind resulting in the state of doubt where there are two equally-strong and opposing concepts. A miracle can be done by both God and Satan. We cannot identify God only through a miracle. Only when a miracle is supported by excellent spiritual knowledge, does it indicate God. The atheist considers the miracle to be magic...

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WHEN PROPHET MOHAMMED SAID THAT ALLAH IS A LIGHT, WHY IS CALLING ALLAH A LIGHT NOT PERMITTED?
Posted on: 27/08/2019

Shri Anil asked: When someone asked Prophet Mohammed “Have you seen thy Lord?”, the Prophet replied, “He is a Light, how could I see Him?” There are several other references related to Allah and light in the Quran, such as “His veil is the light”; “You are the Light of the heavens and the earth (wa man feehin) and whoever is in them”; “So believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Noor (light) which we have sent down (i.e. the Quran). And Allah is acquainted with what you do.” But some Muslim devotees say that calling Allah a Noor (Light) is not permissible. It is shirk, which is the sin of worshiping anyone or anything besides God.

Swami replied: Allah is the absolute and unimaginable God, called Parabrahman in Hinduism and Jehovah in Christianity. Allah cannot be any imaginable item in the imaginable creation. Mohammad was a Human Incarnation like Krishna in Hinduism and Jesus in Christianity. The ‘light’ mentioned here is the knowledge with the help of which you can see and distinguish items. Hence, the Quran is the light or divine knowledge...

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DID ALLAH CREATE ALL BEINGS FROM CLAY, WATER, OR SOME OTHER FLUID?
Posted on: 27/08/2019

Swami replied: This is the subject of the evolution of living beings from the inert water and inert earth. The fluid is nothing but the cytoplasm or protoplasm of living cells. This subject can be better-understood...

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WHAT DID JESUS MEAN BY DEVOTEES EATING HIS FLESH AND DRINKING HIS BLOOD?
Posted on: 27/08/2019

Swami relied: The words like flesh, blood and bread only mean the personality of the Human Incarnation. Eating and drinking means loving God-in-human-form to the climax. All these words are symbolic...

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WHAT DOES JESUS MEAN BY 'MANY ROOMS' IN THE BIBLE, JOHN14:1-4?
Posted on: 27/08/2019

Shri Anil asked: Given below is an excerpt from the Bible (John 14) for reference. 1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe in Me as well. 2 In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going away to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.

Swami replied: Many rooms means many levels of devotion. It means that devotion must be developed step-by-step in the case of ordinary devotees. A blessed devotee, who had attained a high level devotion in the previous birth, may be reborn in this birth and continue from the same high level of devotion in this birth and may rise to higher levels. You cannot compare the high level of devotion attained by that devotee...

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MAHASATSANGA ON KRISHNAASHTAMI (PART-2)
Posted on: 26/08/2019

This is the second part of the two-part discourse given by Swami to several devotees who visited Him on the auspicious occasion of Krishnāṣṭami. This part is meant for those interested in logical analysis, especially for Prof. J. Prasad, who was among the devotees, who visited Swami.

1) How can God be unimaginable when He can be known through scripture, inference and experience?

When God is known from inference and scripture, God cannot be said to be unknowable or unimaginable. It is also said that God is known by experience alone (Anubhvaikavedyaṃ Brahma). Experience is possible only in the case of known or knowable items. In view of this, how can we say that God is unimaginable?

Swami replied: You have referred to ‘knowing’ God through inference, scripture or experience. But such ‘knowledge’ of God is only confined to knowing the existence of God. It does not mean knowing the nature of God. We experience the shock given by an electrified wire. With the shock, we have only experienced the existence of electricity and not the nature of electricity. Electricity is a stream of flowing electrons, which we have not experienced. From the shock that we experienced, we can infer that electricity must exist in the wire. We have not inferred the nature of the electricity. The testimony or ‘word’ of reliable persons...

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MAHASATSANGA ON KRISHNAASHTAMI (PART-1)
Posted on: 25/08/2019

This is the first part of the two-part discourse given by Swami to several devotees who visited Him on the auspicious occasion of Krishnāṣṭami. This part (Part I) is meant for all devotees, while the Part-II is highly technical and is meant for scholars. Among the devotees who visited Swami, was Dr. J. Prasad, Professor of Sanskrit at the Central University, Hyderabad, who specializes in logic or Tarka Śāstra. Also present, were Kum. Meenakshi, Shri Kishore Ram, Shri Hrushikesh, Kum. Purnima and others. The devotees posed several questions to Swami, which He answered in...

1) Why are miracles shown only to certain blessed devotees and not to others?

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! A doctor adopts different treatment methods to cure different patients depending on the specific needs of each patient. He might give oral tablets to a patient who can digest the medicine. He might give an injection to another patient who has a weak digestive system, so that the medicine directly enters his bloodstream. The reason for second patient’s poor digestion might be that he had already...

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KRISHNA’S ESSENTIAL MESSAGE
Posted on: 24/08/2019

[Krishnāṣṭami] Shri P.V.N.M. Sharma asked: Several preachers say that when a devotee’s devotion ripens, the God who the person worshipped grants self-knowledge (ātma jñānam) to the devotee. This self-knowledge leads to self-realization (ātma sākṣātkāra) in which the devotee realizes that the soul itself is God. Can you please explain this point?

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! This is a very important question. Its answer will automatically be realized once the background knowledge related to this question is clearly understood. There are some crucial points that constitute this background. The analysis of these points will reveal the essential message given by Krishna in the Gita and will also provide the answer to your question. Let us consider these points...

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SPIRITUAL EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS
Posted on: 19/08/2019

Shri Kishore Ram, Shri Hrushikesh and Kum. Purnima asked: Is it not necessary to introduce spiritual education in schools, at least in the present time?

Swami replied: There are two stages in spirituality, which is the subject of God: (i) Pravṛtti or worldly life and (ii) Nivṛtti or spiritual life. For worldly life (pravṛtti), spiritual knowledge of a basic level is sufficient. Spiritual knowledge pertaining to pravṛtti mainly contains the concept that the omnipotent God exists and He punishes sinners even if they succeed in escaping from the police and the courts of law. That much knowledge about God is sufficient to develop an in-built resistance towards sin in the minds of human beings. This in-built resistance to sin controls sin at its root and is far more effective than external control. External controlling agencies fail to control sin in society because the agencies are made of human beings, who themselves have become corrupt. The in-built control is based on the most fundamental concept that the omnipotent God actually...

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TWO CONFUSIONS IN HINDUISM
Posted on: 18/08/2019

1) Shri Kishore Ram, Shri Hrushikesh and Kum. Purnima asked: There are two common confusions people have about Hinduism. The first is theoretical and the second is practical. The first is regarding Śaṅkara’s theory that every soul is God. The second is about the practical behavior of Krishna, since He stole butter and danced with the Gopikās. How do we resolve these two?

Swami replied: The greatest confusion arises when you combine these two confusions mentioned by you. As per Śaṅkara, the soul is God, which means that every human being is a Human Incarnation or Lord Krishna Himself. If every human being feels that he is Krishna and starts behaving like Krishna—stealing others’ wealth and dancing with illegitimate partners—the confusion reaches its climax! We have to understand both these confusions independently...

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TAMING THE BLIND RITUALIST
Posted on: 14/08/2019

Shri Hrushikesh asked: Dear Swami! You had given a discourse on December 18, 2018, related to Vedic recitation, in reply to some previous objections raised by Mr. Sid Pat. The same was communicated to him and he has responded with a long and critical response which is given below. I request You to kindly enlighten us with the truth.

Sid Pat wrote: All right. So, your answer to my objections is as verbose as the article to which I objected. Not only has it not answered any question, but by going tangential to the questions and answering things that were never asked, it shows the struggling of sailors in a sinking boat that has too many holes to plug than there are hands on it. I will just take the 1st and 2nd reply to demonstrate how all the arguments given simply aim to further the anti-Brahmin narrative to sound modern...

Swami replied: I had said that the inert sound energy cannot do any miracle because sound is an item belonging to the imaginable domain. It cannot have the unimaginable power needed for doing a miracle. Moreover, it is inert and cannot even think, in order to perform a miracle. Also, all vaidika rituals are done only for getting miraculous results. For example, the Putrakāmeṣṭi ritual (yajña) is done to get issues...

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WORLDLY AND DIVINE ILLUSIONS
Posted on: 13/08/2019

Shri Buchholz asked: Is it true that God wants this world to run peacefully? Every thing happens after God’s almighty will. Therefore, things are exactly as God wants them to be. Mokṣa is just liberation from the world of māyā—not from the will of God! In the Śāṇḍilya Upaniṣad (Chapter 3), it is said that Maheśvara, who is black and yellow, reigns with avidyā, mūla prakṛti or Māyā, who is red and black and who coexists with Him. So, Mahāmāyā is a higher form of Pārvatī! It solves māyā up.

Swami replied: The unimaginable God (Parabrahman) becomes the first energetic Incarnation, called Īśvara through mediation, which means, by merging with the first created energetic body. Mahāmāyā is the unimaginable power of the non-mediated Parabrahman. The same unimaginable power or mahāmāyā exists with Īśvara and is called as māyā. Parabrahman and Īśvara are one and the same, after all. Similarly, mahāmāyā and māyā are also one and the same. The difference is only in the possessor of the power in the sense that the non-mediated God, Parabrahman, is unimaginable and invisible...

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INCARNATIONS HIDE THEIR DIVINITY
Posted on: 12/08/2019

Shri Bharat Krishna asked: Namah Shivaya Swamiji! I have some questions in my mind, which I will try to explain below. I request you to kindly clarify my confusion. After reading many of your discourses, I have understood that God is totally unimaginable. There are two components in the Human Incarnation: an ordinary soul who is an extraordinary devotee of God and God Himself. You have also mentioned many times that you are such a devotee of the unimaginable God who exists in yourself. Since God is unimaginable, even you cannot see him or imagine him. But you do pray to God, right? Even you have to pray to some form...

Swami replied: The concept of Human Incarnation is very very complicated because you are dealing with a two-component system appearing as a single phase, like an alloy of two metals. The alloy appears to be a single metal unless you observe it through a powerful microscope when you find out that there are two separate components at the atomic level. You can understand this clearly. But when you take the Human Incarnation...

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