Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 11 Oct 2003

     

MEANING OF GURU DAKSHINA

The Proof of Real Devotion: Guru Dakshina is the money offered in the service of God. Money is the fruit of work. Therefore, money and work are inter-convertible forms. In the Gita, donating money is called as karma phala tyaga and donating work [your voluntary efforts in God’s mission] is called as karma samnyasa. Both these put together are called as karma yoga or seva (service). One can do service by doing both or any one of these two according to one’s convenience. Only this service proves your real love (bhakti) to God. In front of service, the expression of feelings and meditation by the mind and the prayers by the mouth are like pickles in the plate without the central item i.e. bread. One can eat the bread without pickles, but without bread, only the spicy pickles cannot be eaten. If only pickles are eaten, it will burn the stomach. We are giving only pickles to God. That is why He is not responding to our chantings of His name. Anybody will respond if he is called out by name even once. But you are calling God lakhs [hundreds of thousands] of times by His name. Yet, He is not responding even once; not even to say “Hello”. This shows the anger of God. If a prostitute calls somebody by name, the person will not respond since his prestige will be lost in respectable society. Similarly, God is not responding to us because if He responds, His prestige will be lost among the sages and angels.

Many devotees are really like prostitutes because their devotion to God is only to get some benefit from God. In order get some material benefits, these devotees spend money for God. Astrologers, priests etc., are exploiting people and are earning money in the name of the supernatural powers of the planets and deities. The money of the devotees is being wasted and stolen. There is only one God in all the deities and planets and all the supernatural powers in creation belong to God alone (Bheeshodeti—Veda). That God comes down only in human form, to this earth as said in the Gita “Manusheem….” He does not come in any other inert form. The Gita condemns the worship of inert forms like statues “Bhutejyanti….” The statues are useful only to have a vision [visual respresentation] of the past Human Incarnations (Drastavyah—Veda). Only the present human form of God is to be worshipped. Worship again does not mean mere words and feelings, but it means participating in His mission through service. His only mission is to spread divine knowledge and devotion in this world and to uplift everybody.

This Guru dakshina, which is to be given to God in human form, is to be given according to one’s capacity and devotion. Of these two, devotion is more important. In the construction of the sea-bridge (varadhi) for Lord Rama, the monkeys were putting big stones in the water and a squirrel was putting small sand particles, according to their respective capacities. Both the stones and sand particles were drowning in the sea. The monkeys were disheartened and stopped their work, but the squirrel did not stop the work. It thought “Whether I participate or not, the work of the Lord will not stop. Let me do whatever I can do for the Lord. The Lord does not require even the bridge to kill the demon Ravana. He can kill the demon just by His will. This is only an opportunity given to me to participate in the Lord’s work and get salvation”. Lord Rama patted the squirrel on its back; not the monkeys. So, while participating in His service, do whatever you can. But do it with full faith in Him.

Some rich people approached Me. Each of them was saying that he alone will fund this mission. Swami told them, “Let all participate and let all get salvation”. The aim of Swami is not the money required for this work. If that alone were My aim, I could have accepted the donations of rich people. The aim of Swami is that all should participate practically and get the grace of God. My aims are:

  1. World peace.
  2. All should get salvation and hell should be closed.

Swami does not need any money for His personal purposes also. He is an expert in coaching students for IIT entrance exams (chemistry) and lakhs of rupees will rain on Him if Swami continues in that line. But Swami has sacrificed everything for the sake of saving humanity from ignorance and misleading paths. Every rupee donated by the devotees will be used to publish this divine knowledge in all languages and distribute to all the people in the world.

Today several fraud preachers are spoiling the spiritual field. They do not know what and why they propagate. They propagate the knowledge which is already there in books. They have no other work to do. They have failed in all lines of business and have therefore taken up this line of spiritual business. They are blind people leading the blind followers and all of them will fall in the well. The Veda says the same “Andhenaiva….” Swami is happy even if they earn money as long as they can show the right path explained in the scriptures to people. Propagation is actually needed when there is a new knowledge. Shankara propagated His knowledge since he discovered the Advaita theory. Several disciples of Shankara further propagated it. Those disciples are teachers; not preachers. A preacher should show new and true dimensions.

Swami’s Devotees

Several devotees have participated in this mission of Swami and they are working very sincerely by sacrificing their work and money. Datta blesses all of them. But let Me tell you about one devotee called Ajay. Ajay means ‘undefeatable’. It is true that nobody can defeat him in devotion. He spends all his leisure time for God’s work alone. He has sacrificed all his savings [amounting to lakhs of rupees] for God’s work. He has two kids and he has still some loans to be repaid. His salary is about Rs.20,000/- per month. Yet he donates about 1/3rd of this montly salary for God’s work. One day he thought, “Swami is giving sweet fragrance to several devotees. What about me? [Can I get it too?]” Immediately a whirlpool of sacred ash (vibhuthi) surrounded him for one hour with a sweet fragrance. Datta expressed His grace in this way. Let me tell you about Smt. Gayathry and her husband Mr. Chandra Sekhar (Kuwait). They do not have any trace of selfishness in their thoughts. Their two daughters are also of the same nature. The entire family is a bunch of four flowers with the sweet fragrance of sacrifice. The husband and wife donated Rs. 55,000/- already and they send Rs.10,000/- per month as Guru dakshina. Both of them always press Swami for doing more and more service. Swami is very much pleased with their sacrifice. This family was in Kuwait and when the Iraq war was about to taken place and the family was trying to escape to India, Swami delayed the war by His will. The moment they landed on the airport in India, the war started.

Shri. V. Sudhakar (U.S.A.) met Me three to four times at Vijayawada. He was worried about a legal case. Swami told him that he need not worry about his case and that he should think about the propagation of the divine knowledge of Swami. Yet he was constantly worried. Swami assured him again and again that He would solve the problem. Swami selected him for His service because Sudhakar’s mind is crystal clear and he is a very sincere person. He was connected with Swami in his previous births also. When he was going to USA from India, Swami told him, “I am Lord Rama. I will not break my word. I am sending Hanuman with you. Hanuman will solve your problem and come back”. As soon as he reached USA, his problem was solved. He is participating in the propagation of Swami’s knowledge sincerely. His sister Smt. Gayatri is also doing the propagation sincerely. Swami told her, “I know you are very sincere and I am very confident of your service. So I am giving the certificate of your service now itself”.

Smt. G. Pushpa got a photograph of Swami decorated as Lord Venkateshwara. I told her that this photograph responds to materialistic problems and the photograph in which I was decorated, as Lord Dattatreya responds to spiritual problems. She prayed to the picture of Lord Venkateswara that a particular problem should be solved on that day. It was solved. On another occasion she accidentally locked the door and did not have the key. She prayed to Swami. Immediately Swami responded and the door was opened by some person. Swami appeared as Lord Panduranga to her in a dream. She talked with Swami on the phone and wept mentioning the divine vision. She and her husband are very pious devotees and will do the work of propagation with full devotion. Shri. G. Rama Murthy (USA) is another pious devotee, who is interested in this service of Lord Datta.

There are several other devotees who are participating in the mission of Swami in a similar fashion according to their capacity. Swami has just given a few cases as examples. In this mission, devotees are participating without aspiring for anything in return. This is the main point because such type of participation alone results in the formation of a true and permanent bond of love with God. In such a relationship, God protects you and gives you whatever you require, without asking. God knows everything and one need not ask God for anything.

The Main Purpose of Temples

The main aim of the temples is to show the beauty of the past Human Incarnations to the devotees through statues. Beauty is one of the sixteen divine qualities of God. It is just like seeing the photograph of a person who is no more in this world. Just as we maintain the photographs of our loved ones who have passed away, by wiping the dust from the photographs, the statue in the temple should be washed and maintained by the priest. But you do not offer food etc., to the photograph. The statue should be carved in the most beautiful way, so that the eyes of the devotees are fixed on the statue; attracted by its beauty. This is the first stage called as ‘vision’ as told in the Veda “Drashtavyah”. The second stage as told in the Vedas is “Shrotavyah” which means that the devotees should know about all the other divine qualities of God from the priest. The priest must quote all the scriptures and explain the divine qualities. Now the devotees enter the third stage as told in the Vedas “Mantavyah” i.e., the mind of devotees is absorbed in God. Then they enter the fourth stage “Nidhidhyasitavyah” as told in the Vedas i.e., they sit in the temples for some time immersed in devotion.

But what is happening in the temples today? The devotees fix their eyes on the statues not due to attraction but due to fear and desires. They think that by such constant vision, God will be pleased and grant them boons. If the vision is due to the attraction towards the beauty of God, He will certainly be pleased. Since God knows everything, He cannot be misled by your misleading vision. The priest washes the statue and decorates it. But he is not doing the next step properly. He is chanting the hymns in Sanskrit. Neither the priest nor the devotees know their meaning. When the meaning is not known, the mind cannot be fixed [on the Lord]. The scripture says “Anarthajnaha” i.e., there is no use of mere recitation of Vedic hymns without knowing their meaning. So the priest is doing unnecessary chanting. Apart from this, the priest is doing some more unnecessary tasks like the lighting of the lamp and burning perfumes and camphor. Neither God nor the priest enjoys these tasks. These unnecessary things increase pollution. Only some merchants are benefited. Suppose a devotee spends about Rs. 10/- for buying a coconut for worship. The priest gets half of the coconut and sells it to a nearby restaurant for a rupee. About nine rupees are wasted. The devotee does not get any result out of this wastage.

The very purpose of going to a temple should be to develop devotion to God, so that a true and permanent bond with God is formed. You should not go to the temple with any desire. Prepare yourself to suffer the result of your own sins. If you pester God, He will postpone your sins, and you have to suffer in future with interest. Your future life will be miserable. Instead of this, if you develop devotion without selfishness, God will be pleased and will get you released from your sins. He will come down in human form and suffer, by taking your sins. Except for this one way, there is no other way to avoid the suffering of your sins.

Let the priest take all the ten rupees from the devotee as Guru Dakshina and perform his real duty, which is explaining the divine qualities of God. Let the devotee come to the temple with only such an aim. Let all the unnecessary worship like lighting lamps, burning perfumes and camphor, offering flowers and jewels, breaking coconuts etc., be stopped.

The statues in the temples are in human form, which indicate that God comes only in human form. The Shiva Lingam in the temple is in the shape of a wave. Energy is in the form of waves and best energy is life-energy. The best form of life-energy is man. Thus statues and Shiva Lingam indicate that God comes in human form. Some people are performing [the ritual of] ‘initiation of life’ in statues (prana pratishtha). Such efforts are useless because the statue does not become a living being. This ‘initiation of life’ is supposed to be done before doing the sixteen services (shodasha upacharas) [1]. This means that the sixteen services can be done only in the case of a human form and not to inert bodies. Therefore, these services need not be done to a statue in which there is no life, since the life-initiation ritual does not actually bring life into it. The sixteen services are like ‘avahanam’ (invitation), ‘asanam’ (offering a chair) etc. In fact, these services are meaningful in the case of the Human Incarnation of God and are of no use in the case of statues and photographs. The Human Incarnation, the priest or great devotees of God can be worshipped by these sixteen methods of worship. While carving the statue, garlands of flowers and jewels can be carved on the statue itself. This will stop the business of flower merchants and will end the robbing of temple jewels by thieves. The purpose of light is to remove darkness and there is no need of a light during daytime. There is no need of keeping the statues in dark rooms. Perfumes and incense are burnt to prevent mosquitoes and insects from bothering the human form of God; they do not serve any purpose in the case of statues. In the Vedas all these sixteen methods of worship are not mentioned. Only the service called ‘naivedyam’ is elaborately described under the name ‘ijya’ or ‘yajna’. This consists of the preparation of food and offering it to the human form of God. The first choice is offering it to the Sadguru, who is the Lord that has come down in human form to uplift the world. The second choice is a Guru who is a scholar of the scriptures and explains all the virtues of the Lord. The third choice is a poor devotee. The last choice is a beggar who is incapable of earning his food. In the case of a beggar, devotion must be imparted to him after giving food. Donating dakshina (money) according to one’s capacity and devotion must follow the yajna. The scriptures say “Adakshinahato yajnah” which means that offering food (yajna) must be followed by the donation of money (dakshina). Both yajna and dakshina are the sacrifice of money (karma phala tyaga) alone because the food offered is also a form of your money. This is very important as the Veda says, “Dhanena tyagena…” i.e., only by the sacrifice of the money that you have earned, can you attain God. By such sacrifice alone does the real colour of the devotee’s love for God come out. The Veda says ‘Na karmana’ i.e., without the sacrifice of money and work, there is no use of prayers and rituals. The first choice is the best because the Sadguru uses your dakshina only for uplifting the world. Even after taking your food, He spends His energy in preaching.

How to Recognize the Human Incarnation

All the following characteristics must be present in the Human Incarnation. Even if one is absent, it is not the complete Incarnation of Lord Datta. A swan is recognized by its white colour, two wings, red nose and red feet. If any one of these four characteristics is absent, it is not a swan. The divine characteristics of the Human Incarnation are:

  1. Satyam jnanam anantam (Veda). This means that He will preach true and infinite knowledge.
  2. Sarvajnah (Veda). This means that He quotes from the Vedas and Gita at every step of the preaching. The Veda says that He is the author of all the Vedas (Asya mahato). So He should quote from His own scriptures. He is also the Lord Krishna who told Bhagavad Gita. So He quotes from the Gita.
  3. Anando Brahma (Veda). This means that He is Bliss. In His presence itself, one gets bliss. His preaching carries the bliss.
  4. Raso Vai sah (Veda). This means that He is the embodiment of Love. He loves all living beings that includes even birds, animals etc. He loves all people irrespective of nationality, religion, caste, sex, age etc. As the devotion of the devotee increases, His love for the devotee also increases. Thus, there is no partiality.
  5. Sa Satyakamah (Veda). This means that He has all the supernatural powers. But He will not exhibit them with egotism, and show them off. He also does not exhibit them for fame or to increase the number of His followers or to do business with devotees. Those who deserve, get divine visions. Sometimes, He performs miracles to generate the devotion. Realized people serve Him even without the miracles.

If anyone of these five qualities is absent He is either an Incarnation of the radiation of God (Kala Avatara) or a partial Incarnation (Amsha Avatara). The fifth characteristic is present even in demons and so that alone cannot be the characteristic of the Incarnation.

Arjuna, Krishna and Hanuman

Before the Mahabharata war started, Arjuna was on the ground falling at the feet of Krishna. Krishna was on the chariot. Hanuman was on the flag [2] above, Lord Krishna.

Arjuna represents the below-average person, who is not doing his duty i.e., he had refused to fight the war due to the illusion of family bonds [3]. The war was like the job of a person (Arjuna) to earn money (his kingdom). Arjuna was avoiding his duty—not due to extreme devotion—but due to the blind attraction towards family bonds. Had Arjuna left his duty due to devotion, Krishna would have fought the war on behalf of Arjuna. In that case, God even fulfils the duties of the devotee. So, the Lord preached duty (karma) in the first chapter of the Gita.

Krishna represents jnana yoga (knowledge), bhakti yoga (devotion) and moksha yoga (salvation). Krishna represents these three levels. Jnana yoga means the identification of Lord in human form. Krishna repeatedly said that nobody could recognize Him. The reason is that man does not recognize God present as another man, due to jealousy and ego. One in millions alone, can get rid of jealousy and ego and can recognize Him. This was said in the Gita. The present Human Incarnation is important. Hanuman was firmly fixed in the devotion of the past Human Incarnation i.e., Lord Rama, and did not agree [to be devoted] to the present Human Incarnation i.e., Lord Krishna. But Krishna convinced Hanuman and Hanuman became the devotee of Lord Krishna. Similarly the present people, who are firmly fixed in the devotion of Lord Krishna, should realize this point and should become devotees of the present Incarnation. This jnana yoga is difficult because even great scholars slip here.

The next level is bhakti yoga. The love for the Lord should be the only bond. All the other bonds with money and family members should exist without a trace of love [4]. Only by such love (bhakti), is God achieved. The Gita says the same as “Bhaktya tvananyaya labhyah”. The devotion will be naturally followed by the detachment from other bonds. If you taste divine nectar, you will not relish coffee at all. The Gopikas and Prahlada are real devotees. The Bhagavatam describes such devotion. This devotion is born from knowledge and also grows [intensifies] by knowledge. When Lord Krishna’s existence was known from Narada, devotion was generated in the heart of Rukmini. As more and more knowledge of Krishna was received, the devotion increased and Krishna was achieved due to that intense devotion. If one still feels like going for coffee, it means that he has not tasted the real divine nectar; he has tasted some other drink in the name of divine nectar.

The formless and statue-forms of God are such drinks in the name of divine nectar. The next level is salvation, which means the detachment from other bonds and reaching the Human Incarnation (sayujya). Kaivalya means the existence of a single bond with God alone. Such kaivalya means living with the Human Incarnation. Sayujya means only meeting and seeing Him. The Yadavas [5], Balarama, Lakshmana and Hanuman were blessed with kaivalya. Sometimes kaivalya may bring negligence as in the case of the Yadavas. The Yadavas did not follow the advice of Krishna and drank wine and killed each other. But Lakshmana and Hanuman did not develop such negligence even after the long-standing association with God. Krishna and the Bhagavad Gita represent these three levels.

The last and the fifth level is karma yoga represented by Hanuman on the flag of the chariot. Karma yoga means service, which was done by Hanuman without any selfishness. Such sacrifice is the real beauty and therefore, the Sundara Kanda is the name of the chapter in the Ramayana, which describes Hanuman’s service. Sundara means beauty. The beauty referred to here is the sacrifice, which is the internal beauty; not the external beauty of the monkey-form of Hanuman. After returning back from Lanka, Hanuman looked very beautiful and Rama embraced Him. Hanuman did service that was more than expected by the Lord. The Lord only wanted to hear the news of Sita. Hanuman brought the news of Sita, killed several demons there and even burnt Lanka. The Gita explained the practice of Hanuman.

Hanuman is seen above Lord Krishna, which means that God becomes the servant of His servants. Radha was also kept in the Goloka above His head. Hanuman and Radha are the two eyes of God. Radha is love and Hanuman is service. The proof of love is service. Radha is the academic year and Hanuman is the final examination. The first level, karma looks like the fifth level, karma yoga. A dumb fellow looks like a silent sage. Both look similar, but the first level is the earth and the fifth level is the sky. In the first level, the work is done for selfish gains and in the fifth level, the work is done for the sake of the Lord. The first one is a bad smell and the fifth one is a sweet fragrance. A monkey jumps when a banana is offered. Hanuman jumped over the sea for the sake of the Lord and could not be attracted by the bananas offered to him. The monkeys flattered Hanuman for the sake of the work of the Lord [Before Hanuman jumped over the sea, he was praised and reminded of his fantastic powers that he had forgotten till that point in time]. But now people are flattering Hanuman through the recitation of the Sundara Kanda for fulfilling their selfish desires. Hanuman is God in the form of a monkey. Every monkey is not God. Garuda is God in the form of an eagle. Every eagle is not God. Examples of God in human form are Rama and Krishna. Every human being is not God. After reciting the Sundara Kanda, one should be inspired to do service for the Lord. Without doing service for the Lord, what is the use of reciting the Sundara Kanda several times? There is no use of reciting a recipe-book daily that describes the preparation of food items, instead of actually cooking.

Hanuman fought for the Lord. Arjuna fought for his personal victory. Therefore, there are temples for the worship of Hanuman and there is no temple for Arjuna. Lord Krishna advised Arjuna to fight for the sake of the Lord since the war can be treated as the mission of the Lord for destroying injustice. If Arjuna fought with this view, the first level would get converted into the fifth level and Arjuna would appear on the flag. On the other hand all the work of Hanuman was for the sake of Lord alone. He became the future Creator (Brahma). You can at least do your work and also participate in the work of God partially. This is the level of Arjuna, who is called ‘Nara’ i.e., the ordinary man. Arjuna fought with both the views i.e., to attain his kingdom and also as a servant of God in His mission of establishing justice and destroying injustice through the war. If all your work is only for yourself, you will be born as a demon, bird, animal etc. Such people worship God, only for their selfish ends.


[1] The traditional sixteen-step worship of God, which involves steps such as welcoming, seating, bathing, feeding, etc.

[2] Hanuman decided to assist Lord Krishna with the battle of Kurukshetra by residing on the flag of Arjuna’s chariot.

[3] Due to Arjuna’s overattachment towards his family members like Bhishma and his cousins and his teachers like Drona, he refused to fight the war. He would not fight even though he knew fully well that they were siding with injustice and it was his duty to fight against them.

[4] The bonds with one’s family and money should be retained for the sake of fulfilling one’s duty (pravritti dharma). However, one’s heart (true love) must be for God alone. 

[5] The Yadavas were the relatives of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna was born in the Yadava dynasty.