Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 09 Oct 2003

     

WHY DOES INDIA SUFFER WITH POVERTY?

Swami Vivekananda cried loudly looking at the sky, “Why is India, with such rich spiritual knowledge, suffering with poverty?” Only Lord Datta can give the answer to this question. Today, the answer is given. Any country means its people and their mentality. The mind decides everything and the action follows accordingly. If the mentality is analyzed, the action and its fruit become clear. Almost all the foreign countries are blessed with wealth, except India. So the mentality of all the people in this universe is different from the mentality of Indians. This difference in people’s mentalities is responsible for the difference in God’s attitudes towards various countries, in blessing all the countries in the world except India.

Let us compare rituals (or ceremonies), which are considered as worship of God. In every ritual, the essence is to praise the Lord and develop devotion. This brings universal equality in the rituals. Otherwise, if you say that God can be worshipped only by such and such a hymn, God becomes prejudiced since that hymn is restricted only to a certain region. When the Lord is pleased, He will bless the person performing the ritual [1]. In India, does anyone know that a ritual means worship of God? Let us take the marriage ceremony as an example. Indians think that once the ceremony is performed, the couple is bonded. For such a bond, even the marriage registrar’s office will do. Then what is the use of the ritual performed for so many hours? The hymns are uttered in Sanskrit and neither the priest nor the couple, know the meaning of the hymn. The priest does not explain the meaning of the hymns. Moreover, the [literal] meanings have inner meanings, which only end in praising the Lord. It is the foremost duty of the priest to explain the inner meaning of the hymns to the people and make them devotees of the Lord. This is the main aim of the ritual. By the time the marriage ends, the couple should become devotees of the Lord. The devotion developed, not only bonds the couple but also brings the blessings of the Lord to them. For a mere marriage, a marriage registrar’s office will do instead of the tradiational ritual. Actually, many people nowadays are thinking this way and youngsters are following them.

In other countries, prayers are sung by people in their mother tongue. As a result, those people can at least understand the [literal] meaning of the prayers. But there also, the priest should explain the inner meaning which alone can bring divine knowledge and devotion to the people. The situation in India is worse since the meaning of the Sanskrit prayers itself is not understood. A priest [in India] should be a scholar in Sanskrit. Mere recitation of the Sanskrit hymns is of no use. The Shastras say that there is no use of mere recitation of the Vedic hymns (Anarthajnah…). People have even started using a tape recorder for playing the recordings of the hymns. The reason is that people think that the ritual is a mere recitation of hymns. The Gita says that knowledge is more important than the action of the ritual (Shreyan…). The aim of the priest should be to make people into devotees of the Lord. This main aim has been completely lost. Making people into devotees is also the mission of the Lord, when He comes as a Human Incarnation. So, priests are the real helpers of the Lord in His work. But when the main aim behind the ritual is lost, the life of the ritual is lost. Today, the main aim of a priest in performing rituals has been reduced to getting some money for the labour of the recitation of some hymns. For the people, their main aim is to simply finish the formality!

Purpose of Gathering At Rituals

For a ritual, several people are invited, so that they also become devotees by that ritual. But now, people are attending the function as a formality, only to bless the couple. Can a human being bless another human being? By attending the ritual, all the people there should become devotees and get the blessings of the Lord, if the ritual is done in the right sense. If the priest performs the ritual in the right sense, the Lord will bless him, the people attending and also the country with immense wealth. The rituals are paths to develop divine knowledge and devotion. They are not mere formalities or paths to earn some petty money. Today, Lord Datta is advising all Indians to rectify this mistake and please the Lord so that He will bless India with wealth.

Let us take good things from the West not only in science, but also in spirituality. Let us not be egotistic that we are the masters in spirituality. The Lord never likes egotism. Good is good and a diamond is a diamond in any country. All the human beings are one; they all come under one category called creation. The second category is the Creator, who is also only One. People are burning food, ghee etc., in the fire in the name of sacrifice [2], which only leads to pollution. Kapila, the Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, criticized this practice as mentioned in the Bhagavatam [3]. The actual yajna is giving food to a deserving hungry person. The Veda says that this deserving person is a devotee or the Human Incarnation of the Lord. He is considered to be the fire (Vaisavnaro Brahmanah…) [into which the food is to be sacrificed]. The Gita says that the Lord is in the form of the hunger-fire in the stomach that needs food.

Lord Krishna, who was hungry, came to the wives of the sages and asked them to feed him with the food that was to be offered in the fire-ritual.  The wives of the sages willingly gave the food to Him. Thus, Krishna taught the real sense of the fire-sacrifice. Previously, Lord Krishna had discouraged the fire-sacrifice to Indra [4], for the same reason. All the Gods live in the Sadguru as said in the Veda (Yavateervai devatah...) [5]. So offering food to the Sadguru is like offering food to all the Gods. The Sanskrit word ‘agni’ (fire) comes from the word ‘agri’ (first), which means that the Sadguru is to be fed first. Fire is only an aid to cook the food. It is this Sadguru, the Human Incarnation of God, who is called Agni. He is the one who stands as the Witness of the marriage; not the inert fire [6].

True Interpretation of Gayatri Mantra

Another misinterpretation is about the Gayatri mantra [7]. Women and some other castes were prohibited from chanting this mantra. It is also said that no hymn (mantra) is equal to Gayatri. Does this not lead to blaming God of injustice? In fact, Gayatri does not mean a particular hymn. Gayatri means ‘the sweet tune of a song’. Mantra means, that which spontaneously attracts the mind and makes you want to chant it again and again. Any sweet song about God that attracts the mind, making you want to sing it repeatedly and brings about the protection of God, is called as Gayatri (“Gayantam…manantam”). Even a cinema song, slightly modified in the name of God, can be a ‘Gayatri mantra’. For e.g., replace the word ‘sanam’ (darling) by ‘Hare’ (Lord Vishnu) in the famous cinema song “Churaliya hai tumne…sanam” and sing it for Lord Vishnu. Since you are singing the song spontaneously without any force, it is a mantra. Gayatri actually is the name of a poetic meter; not a deity, since it is said “Gayatri chandah”. Singing the Gayatri takes you near the Lord, because He likes the Sama Veda (songs) as told in the Gita “Sama Vedosmi”. Upanayanam, the ritual in which the Gayatri is first revealed [to a young student] means ‘taking you near the Lord’ (upa = near, nayanam = taking…through the song). So, the real Gayatri is with women and other castes only who sing about God.[8]

Indians are blessed with lot of spiritual knowledge and devotion. Both these are like side-dishes in a meal. The main item, which is the bread or rice, is lost in India. The main item is karma phala tyaga (as said in the Gita). It means the sacrifice of money, which is the karma phala (fruit of the work). Indian scholars have interpreted the meaning of karma phala as meditation or the chanting and singing of songs. So, you meditate or chant some hymns and at the end simply say, “I have sacrificed the fruit of this work to the Lord!” In response to your meditation and good pronunciation in the recitation, the Lord blessed you with good intelligence i.e., as the work, so the fruit. This type of intellectual interpretation is only due to your greediness. Indians connect their heart, from which love flows, to their children. These connection tubes are large and very long. Their bonds with their children are very strong and extend even to their great grand children. Hence, their heart is empty [9]. They connect only their intelligence to the Lord, which is why they play such tricks.

Present Scenario of Worship in India

The only straight test for love is the sacrifice of the fruit of your work (money). In the West, family bonds are very weak and the love stored in people’s hearts is diverted to the Lord. See how much money they sacrifice for the work of the Lord! They even fund Indian spiritual centers. Is it not a shame to Indians? The foreigners consider that the Lord is the same in all religions and so they fund Indian centers too. They ask their children to earn and live on their own after a certain age. But in India, people are even worried about their heirs in the coming ten generations, and they go on storing money for them. When you love your children, you get happiness, which is selfishness alone. It cannot protect your children. If you love God, God can protect your children and that is your real love for your children. Can your love give longevity to your children? Only God can give longevity. Indians do not want to sacrifice even a rupee for the Lord. But they want to get blessings of the Lord. They want to please the Lord by mere mind and words and get real money from the Lord! For this purpose, they follow all their intellectual tricks to please the Lord. They eat the food and say that the food is offered to the Lord. For this, they have exploited the Advaita philosophy, which says that man is God. The aim of that philosophy is to say that a particular man, like Lord Krishna, is God. The philosophy has been extrapolated to include every man.

Showing food to statues is another trick. Offering food and money to a deserving person is the actual karma phala tyaga in this context. Statues are meant only to see the form of the Incarnation of the Lord in His absence, just like the photograph of your son who is elsewhere. A Guru criticizes the student but not with a negative view. His aim is the rectification of the defect and the Guru’s criticism brings subsequent benefit to the student. This criticism of Indians is done by Lord Datta only to rectify their mistake, to make India rich and to get India blessed with immense wealth and prosperity.

The Right Way of Approaching Guru Datta

The Veda says that God is true and infinite knowledge (Satyam jnanam anantam…) and Guru Datta is that God. So Datta always speaks the truth; whether you like it or not. This is the reason why Datta did not become famous. But now Datta is becoming famous since people are realizing the importance of the truth. The effect of the truth is permanent and real.

Generally, the approach of people to God is a sort of business. If you have a problem or you want something from the Lord, you approach God and bribe Him with money. But people are very alert with God! They pray to God Balaji in Tirupati, “Let this work of mine be done. Then I will do such and such worship or I will offer so much money to you”. This shows that people even doubt God. They do not have enough faith in Him to offer something to Him before their work gets done. This attitude cracks the very foundation, which is the faith in the existence of God. Another approach to God is like a beggar, who comes to the door and praises the house-owner (donor) for getting food. The beggar describes his poverty and pitiable condition. This approach of a beggar is similar to the approach of a devotee in which the devotee only tries to please God with prayers and meditation without offering any money. The inner consciousness of this sort of rich devotee will be like this, “God may exist or may not exist. If God exists, let me please Him with my prayers alone [not by offering money]. Because if He does not exist, and if my work succeeds due to my own effort, then I would have foolishly attributed my success to God and I would have unnecessarily offered Him money”. A poor man approaches God like a beggar. That is well-understood. But even a rich man also approaches God like a beggar through his prayers because he doubts the very existence of God in his sub-conscious mind. A thought in the sub-conscious state is very subtle and is not perceived by the mind. So he does not agree to this point. But Lord Datta knows even the subtlest thought and so He analyses it.

Offering money to Lord Datta as Guru Dakshina is really appreciable because it is practical sacrifice, which is the real test for love. You really love your wife and children and so you are giving your money to them. If you really love the Lord, you will give your money to Him. Money is called ‘karma phala’ in the Gita i.e., the fruit of your work. The sacrifice of that money is called karma phala tyaga, which is stressed throughout the Gita.

But offering money to the Lord as a bribe for getting some work done is the worst aspect. The Ishavasya Upanishad (Veda) says in the very first hymn, “All this money belongs to the Lord. Take the minimum required. If you have taken extra, return it to the Lord”. The Veda further says, “Return it to the Lord with shyness and fear because you have stolen it. The extra money taken by you was not permitted by the Lord”. So, you have to offer Guru dakshina (money offered to the Lord) without aspiring for any result from it. [Or else] the stolen extra money will bring you all problems.

The Veda also says, “Return it to the Lord with love (Shradhaya deyam)”. This is the best aspect and a real permanent bond is created with God. In that case, there is no account [between you and God]. When you give your money to your son or daughter and he or she serves you in your old age, do you maintain an account for it? You never analyze, whether the money given by you, is equal to the service given to you or not. Nor does your son or daughter analyze it. You have given whatever money you could give. He or she served you to whatever extent he or she could serve. Similarly, offer Guru Dakshina to the Lord with love. You will form the real and permanent bond with the Lord. Whenever you need some help from God, He will do it with love to the extent required by you.

When the finger of Lord Krishna was wounded, Draupadi tore the edge of her new sari and bandaged His finger [10]. That was her Guru Dakshina and only that much was required by the Lord. She forgot about the incident because she had never aspired for anything in return. Even when Dusshasana dragged and tried to pull out her sari, she cried loudly for Lord Krishna but she did not mention about the service that she had given Lord Krishna. Had she mentioned, that small piece of sari [that she had sacrificed for Lord Krishna] might have become a full sari at the maximum, even if the interest had been compounded. But since her sacrifice was done without aspiring for anything in return, and there was no feeling of maintaining an account in it, Lord Krishna multiplied it infinitely, which was required in that situation [11]. Requirement [of the situation] is the criterion of love.

So, the Lord is a wonderful bank! You should offer your extra money as Guru Dakshina with love and forget about it; without aspiring for anything in return. When the need comes, Lord will multiply it infinitely to the extent of your requirement. One rupee offered by a poor man is equal to one lakh rupees offered by a rich man, because the requirement of your status decides the extra you have taken.


[1] The basis and the goal of every ritual or ceremony performed in every religion or culture, is to please God and develop devotion. As a result, all rituals, irrespective of their methodology, language etc., are equivalent from the point of view of their common goal to please God and develop devotion.

[2] Yajna or ritual fire-sacrifice.

[3] The Bhagavatam or the Bhagavat Purana is one of Puranas. The Puranas are secondary scriptures of Hinduism, while the Vedas are the primary scriptures. The Puranas have stories of various Incarnations of God and of the lives, and spiritual efforts of great devotees. As a result the, the Puranas can be considered as practical scriptures, since the deep concepts in the spiritual philosophy of the Vedas, are brought down to practical life by the divine Incarnations and the devotees.

[4] Indra is the king of the gods and angels in heaven (Swarga Loka). All the gods and angels, including Indra are servants of God in His divine administration. Swarga Loka is not the abode of God (Brahma Loka or Satya Loka). Swarga Loka is only a place of where souls who have done righteous deeds enjoy temporary pleasures before falling back to earth.

[5] All the gods, angels and previous Incarnations of God are present in the body of the present living Human Incarnation of God. He alone is true knower of the Veda and the only true Brahmana. Taittiriya Aranyakam 15.9.

[6] The Hindu marriage ritual revolves around the ritual-fire (agni). The fire is said to be the witness and the sanctifier of the marriage. The implicit assumption in this is that the inert fire represents God. However, the true meaning is that the Sadguru is the Fire who is the witness and sanctifier of the marriage.

[7] A mantra is any hymn from the Veda.  The scriptures insist that the Gayatri (divine song) must be sung/recited daily. A certain hymn from the Veda, which is more accurately known as the Savtri mantra (hymn on the Sun-god), is commonly thought to be the Gayatri. Males of the upper castes alone are allowed to recite this hymn.

[8] By tradition, women and people of castes other than the Brahmin caste (priests) are not allowed to recite the so-called Gayatri mantra (which is actually the Savitri Mantra). They are only allowed to sing devotional songs. However, since the so-called Gayatri mantra is not the real Gayatri Mantra and the real Gayatri is singing devotional songs, the real Gayatri is with women and people of other castes.

[9] Their heart is empty when it comes to loving God.

[10] During the Rajasuya Yajna performed by Dharmaraja (the ritual to declare his supremacy as an emperor) in the epic Mahabharata, Lord Krishna’s finger was injured by the Sudarshana Chakra (divine discus of the Lord) after killing the abusive Shishupala. This is when Queen Draupadi, the wife of Dharmaraja, tore her sari to bandage His wound. 

[11] After the Pandavas (the five brothers and husbands of Draupadi) lost to the Kauravas (their wicked cousins) in the game of dice, as per the conditions of the game, they became the slaves of the Kauravas. Dusshasana, one of the Kauravas, dragged Draupadi into the court and tried to declothe her. But Lord Krishna rescued her by providing an infinitely long sari, which would never come to an end. Dusshasana got exhausted in trying to pull away her sari and failed in declothing her.