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WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR THE FAMILY OF A PERSON WHO RECENTLY DIED DUE TO COVID-19?
Posted on: 22/08/2020

[Shri Anil asked: A person known to me died suddenly due to COVID-19. He was doing a small scale hotel business. He had some financial debts and was not settled properly. Now after his sudden death, his family is staring at huge debt burden beyond their capability. The two children do not have any job. Due to COVID, they are also being isolated in self-quarantine for the time being. Swami, Your advice will be valuable at this difficult juncture for that family.]

Swami replied: You pray to God for their protection. Since your heart is good, there is a hope that the kindest Lord will answer. Kindness...

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PLEASING LORD KRISHNA
Posted on: 18/08/2020

[Krishṇāṣṭamī Message, August 11,2020] O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Today is Krishṇāṣṭamī and we have to please God Krishna. Can we please Him by mere prayers and songs (bhakti yoga), without practically following (karma yoga) the instructions given by Him (jñāna yoga)? He has instructed us through the Gītā regarding how our behaviour should be with people in the world (pravṛtti) and how our behaviour should be towards Him (nivṛtti)? We cannot please a wise king by merely praising him, without following the rules and regulations framed by him. In order to please God Krishna, we must first know His philosophy, which He has preached through the Gītā. Only then can we identify and follow the path to please Him and attain His grace. Today, all of us are forgetting this background and are simply involved in His praise and worship...

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SPIRITUALITY FROM CHILDHOOD OR IN OLD AGE?
Posted on: 09/08/2020

Dr. Nikhil asked: In Your message on June 30, 2020 to Shri Yogendra, You have recommended that a person’s education be comprised of only professional education that enables one to earn one’s livelihood. You have recommended leaving spiritual education to the end of a person’s life, as a post-retirement activity. I request Your kind clarification on this point...

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! What you said is perfectly correct, word by word. But My angle of dealing with this topic was based on the trend of the major lot of ordinary people in the present Kali age. The present trend is that the government is not insisting on spiritual education in childhood and certainly today, education is fully...

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WHY CAN WE NOT LOVE GOD AS NATURALLY AS WE LOVE OUR PARENTS?
Posted on: 08/08/2020

[Shri Bhagat asked: Jay Guru Datta Guru Deva! Gurudeva You are Lord Datta! You are Omnipresent and omnipotent! Then why is Your māyā imposing on me so that I am not able to believe? But You are the one who is taking care of everyone and everything in the universe. A child strongly believes that his mother and father can do and give anything and everything to him, to the best of the parents’ capacity because some things need money, while for other things, the loving care of parents is sufficient. Our belief in our parents is strong because we have experienced their care and help in many situations from birth. Although souls are unable to love You, You love everyone in the universe, without expecting anything in return since they are Your children.]

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! God is called Datta. The word datta means an adopted son. It does not mean an adopting father. There are several types of sons like the aurasa or the biological son...

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IS KILLING MOSQUITOES AND NOT MAINTAINING THE BODY IN GOOD HEALTH SIN?
Posted on: 07/08/2020

[Smt. Tinku K. asked: Jai Guru Datta! In pravṛtti life, I have to take care of my body. It is my dharma and if I do not take care of my body it is a sin. I read one of Your discourses in which You said that, to maintain a healthy body, one should sleep for at least 6 to 8 hours between 9 in the night to 5 in the morning. But Gurudeva, in my home, there are so many mosquitoes and because of them, I am unable to sleep at night and in the afternoon also. I am just able to sleep for 4 or 5 hours per a day. Also, there is a risk of getting different types of fevers due to mosquito bites. So, in this situation, is it a sin to kill mosquitoes? Is not sleeping properly to maintain a healthy body also a sin? Please give me knowledge in this situation Guruji.]

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! One day, a devotee visited Shri Rāmakrishna Paramahamsa. Paramahamsa was busy searching for bedbugs in His cot and killing them. The devotee was surprised to see this. Paramahamsa told him that those bedbugs were troubling Him when He would sit on His cot for meditation upon God. He further told that He would even violate...

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WHEN DOES THE SOUL ENTER THE BABY IN THE WOMB? IS THE TIME OF BIRTH, WHEN THE BABY'S HEAD IS FIRST SEEN OR WHEN THE BABY COMES OUT FULLY?
Posted on: 07/08/2020

[Smt. Priyanka asked: Padanamaskaram Swami! When does a soul enter a mother’s womb? And does that soul in a foetus remember its past life throughout the 9 months, until it is born? Does it remember all the previous births or only the previous one? And do they forget the moment they are born and have their first cry? Also, I keep hearing different things about when to record the time of the birth of a baby. Some say it is the moment when you see the top of the head itself. Some say it is when the head fully comes out, while others say it is when the whole body comes out. What should we note as the time of birth of a baby? At Your feet, Priyanka.]

Swami replied: You must concentrate on the points that are very much needed for your spiritual efforts and you can neglect the points which are not useful for the spiritual effort. One person asked Śaṅkara about the number of years that have passed...

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SHOULD DEVOTEES ASK GOD OR DOES HE PROVIDE WITHOUT ASKING?
Posted on: 07/08/2020

[Smt. Priyanka asked: Padanamaskaram Swami! There is a saying in Telugu, “Adigite gaani amma annam pettadu”, which means, “Until you ask, your mother will not give you food”. I fail to understand this concept. I feel a mother will always ask her children, if they are hungry and offer food at correct times of the day. Taking this concept, does this apply to the relationship between a devotee and God as well? Should devotees ask for certain things from God? Does God wait till that person approaches Him to ask what the devotee is seeking for? God knows everything about every person, including their wishes and desires since He is omnipotent and omnipresent and resides in the heart of His true devotees. Can you please explain when it becomes important or necessary to ask God anything? Or does God Himself give the devotees what they need or want, when it is the right time? At Your feet, Priyanka.]

Swami replied: The mother takes care of her children in childhood. But when the children grow into adults, she neglects this point, especially on some occasions. Suppose a grown up son or daughter comes home in the evening. The mother assumes that her child must have already had lunch. So, the mother does not ask her child, whether he or she has had lunch, unless the child specifically discloses...

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WHAT IS THE JOURNEY OF A SOUL AFTER AN UNTIMELY DEATH?
Posted on: 07/08/2020

[Smt. Priyanka asked: Padanamaskaram Swami! Sometimes I wonder what the soul of a person goes through in a sudden death situation or akala mṛtyu. Do they also wait for 10 days like any other soul for judgement and go to respective worlds accordingly? Some people fall sick and get the time to eventually prepare for death to come, to make peace with the fact that they will die soon and they get to even make arrangements...]

Swami replied: There is nothing important in the nature of death. It is just the liberation of the soul from this gross body (sthūla śarīram) to enter the new energetic body (sūkṣma śarīram) that is arranged by God to go to the upper worlds. Souls leave this sub-world called Karma Loka (Earth), which is a material world and they go to enjoy the fruits of their good and bad deeds in heaven...

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CREMATION AND DEATH RITUALS
Posted on: 02/08/2020

[Smt. Priyanka asked: Padanamaskaram Swami! Can You please explain in detail how a death ritual should be performed in the correct manner? Also, if someone chooses to go through electric cremation, how should the family member proceed with all the rituals? Some people have desires such as their ashes being spread in specific locations as well. Is there any significance as to where their ashes are spread? Are there some ideal locations one should select? I hear that most people chose to immerse the ashes in the Ganga River. I also hear that extended family members living anywhere in the world should also not touch anything or anyone for 13 days or take a head bath on the 13th day. What all rituals should the extended family follow and what is the significance of doing so? Similarly, can You please explain how death anniversaries should be performed and if the son /daughter of the departed family member follow a specific ritual on each death anniversary throughout their life? At Your divine feet, Priyanka.]

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! In our traditions, the truth established by the sages, is sometimes diverted by some of our egoistic and ignorant ancestors. So, the present form of the tradition is like an iron rod covered with rust, as said in the Gītā (Āvṛtaṃ jñānametena jñānino nitya vairiṇā). We have to remove the rust by our sharp analysis and discover the original rust-free iron rod. We should at least be aware of the truth, even though, sometimes, we have to follow the rusted tradition...

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SWAMI ANSWERS DEVOTEES' QUESTIONS
Posted on: 31/07/2020

1. Can You please help me get relief from the ringing sound in my ear?

[Shri Sastry Teerdhala asked: Can I ask Shri Datta Swami to bless me for getting relief from the buzzing or ringing sound in my ear, which is affecting my health? I am unable to perform my mantra japam because of the constant ringing sound.]

Swami replied: Pray to God Datta. Your prayer will be answered...

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WAS LORD DATTAATREYA MARRIED OR WAS HE A BACHELOR?
Posted on: 30/07/2020

[Shri PGK Murthy asked: Sir, when I was reading the Anuśāsana Parvam of the Mahabharatam, I came across a statement that Nimi and Śrīmat were the son and grandson of Lord Dattātreya (Datta), respectively. Could You kindly shed some light on this, as I am of the view that Lord Dattātreya had no family. Regards, PGK Murthy.]

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Firstly, you should remember that several people can have the same name in a single generation itself. But in the specific case of Lord Datta, He married Goddess Anaghā and had eight sons. When God comes down in human form, He follows the natural path of humanity...

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COULD YOU PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND MY DIVINE VISION OF LORD SHIVA AND PAARVATI?
Posted on: 30/07/2020

[Shri Martin Evind asked: Dear Swami, Pranams Some years ago I needed to make a decision about renting an office space for natural healing therapy. Wanting to have some clarity about this decision, I sat down to meditate. Sitting there being fully aware of my surroundings while my eyes were closed, an experience appeared of Lord Shiva sitting with Parvati by his side. He sat staring blissfully while she had her arm around his waist pulling herself closer to him even though there was no space between them. I viewed this completely unexpected vision in awe and amazement. Suddenly l was viewing the divine couple from behind, and saw a younger male devotee with shaved head, golden skin and aura standing before them. He was unknown to me. Your comments on this would be a blessing to me. Thank you. Pranams, Martin Evind ]

Swami replied: This vision reveals God Śiva with Goddess Pārvatī. The person with the shaven head was Ādi Śaṅkarācārya, who was the Human Incarnation of God Śiva. He had descended on earth to establish the existence of God when this earth was fully filled with atheists like Pūrva Mīmāṃsakas...

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WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SALVATION AND LIBERATION?
Posted on: 29/07/2020

[Shri Lakshman asked: Pada Namaskarams Swami, In a forum one person was mentioning that by salvation re-birth cannot be avoided but by liberation it can be. So what is the difference between salvation and liberation? Please enlighten me. At the lotus feet of Swami, Lakshman]

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Salvation is a synonym of liberation. Both mean attaining freedom from bondage or slavery. Salvation conveys the same meaning as liberation, but it is a term that is specifically used in spiritual knowledge. Similarly, love and devotion mean the same, but the word devotion is specifically used in spiritual knowledge. It is the same old wine in a new bottle. Love for God is specifically denoted by the word devotion just like liberation from the world is denoted by salvation. These specific terms...

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FOR SOLVING WORLDLY PROBLEMS, SHOULD DEVOTEES PRAY TO THE HUMAN INCARNATION OF GOD OR TO ENERGETIC FORMS AND IDOLS?
Posted on: 29/07/2020

[Shri Balaji asked: Namaste Swami! Kindly clarify on the following incident in Sai Satcharitra: “A devotee of the Divine Mother, Shri Kakaji, was troubled by worldly circumstances and did not have peace of mind for a long time. On praying to the Goddess, She directs him to meet Sai Baba. By mistake, Kakaji goes to the Trymbakeshwar temple of Lord Śiva, thinking that Lord Śiva is the ‘Baba’ mentioned by the Goddess. He does a lot of prayers there, but without relief to his problems. Then the Goddess corrects him and directs him to meet Sai Baba in Shirdi. Kakaji goes to Shirdi...

Swami replied: A Human Incarnation like Krishna, Sai Baba etc., is the most relevant form of God for a human being living on earth. An Energetic Incarnation like Viṣṇu, Śiva etc., is most relevant to energetic beings living in the upper world. God descends on earth in a human medium for the sake of uplifting human beings. The same God also simultaneously remains in an energetic medium for the sake of energetic beings. The God in any Incarnation is one and the same. Only His body...

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WHAT IS THE AIM OF GOD AND MOTHER NATURE WITH REGARD TO THIS CORONAVIRUS AND THE DEATH OF THOUSANDS OF PIGS IN BALI?
Posted on: 27/07/2020

[Reply to a question by Shri Nyoman Gunadarsana through Shri Phani.] Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Coronaviruses have existed in bats for a long time. They have only recently been found to spread rapidly in human beings. In most cases, the medicines used for cold, cough, fever etc., can be used to treat it. Death usually happens when the lungs get damaged. However, there are also many people who are positive (infected), but are asymptomatic. These people are a major cause...

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WHAT SADHANA SHOULD I DO FOR PROGRESSING IN MY MATERIAL AND SPIRITUAL LIFE?
Posted on: 27/07/2020

Swami replied: Practical devotion alone gives the fruit, which is pleasing God and attaining His grace. Knowledge and devotion are theory, which is also essential because practice is generated only from theory. Knowledge is like water, devotion is like manure and practice is like the mango plant. Only the mango tree bears the mango fruit. No mango fruit will appear from water alone, even if you have hundreds of water-tanks. No mango fruit will appear...

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DOES THE INCARNATION ALSO FEEL WORLDLY STRESS?
Posted on: 27/07/2020

[Kum. Thrylokya asked: Padanamaskaram Swami! My doubt written below may reflect my jealousy towards the Human Incarnation, but I sincerely want to follow You. Recently, I applied for a job, which had three rounds of selection. Before attending every round, I felt very stressed. I wish I knew the future. If I had known the future, I would not have been so stressed. I could have just prepared calmly, without any mental...

Swami replied: The Human Incarnation is perfectly God because the original absolute unimaginable God (Parabrahman) has merged with the human being which is the medium. The Human Incarnation is thus a homogenous mixture of two components...

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INSTEAD OF ANALYZING CREATION, IS IT NOT BETTER TO BEFRIEND THE CREATOR AND ENJOY THE FRUITS OF CREATION?
Posted on: 26/07/2020

[Shri Bhagat asked: Jai Guru Datta! Could You please explain the essence of the story "Count not the Leaves, Eat the Mangoes”? Two friends went into an orchard. One of them possessing much worldly wisdom, immediately began to count the mango trees there, the number of leaves and the mangoes each tree bore, to estimate what might be the approximate value of the whole orchard. His companion, however, went to the owner...

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! There are two types of owners of mango gardens: (1) the intelligent owner who recognizes that you have actually come for the mangoes and not to make friends with him and (2) the dull owner, who cannot recognize your intention of getting to the mangoes...

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WHY AM I GETTING MANY ODD DREAMS INCLUDING THOSE OF SNAKES, AND LORD SHIVA AND PAARVATI, FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS?
Posted on: 26/07/2020

[Shri Mattapalli Bharat asked: Swamiji, I do not know how to start this, so let me come to the point. I do not know how You will take this, but seriously, I am literally getting confused with how to deal with it. For the past 3 months, I have been having numerous dreams. I will describe them and I request You to explain why I am having...

Swami replied: When a soul is travelling with one leg placed in the boat of materialism and the other in the boat of spirituality, the soul gets such mixed dreams of worldly affairs and devotion. You need not worry...

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EVEN THOUGH GOD IS BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANDING, CAN WE AT LEAST UNDERSTAND THE HIGHEST DEVOTEE OF GOD?
Posted on: 26/07/2020

[Shri Bharath Krishna asked: Namah Śhivaya Swami! I understand that there is no way I can understand You (Unimaginable God). One can only understand how God interacts with the world, but can never understand God Himself. Now my question is, if there is a devotee like Rādhā, existing today, who is at the climax devotion towards God, is it possible to understand such a devotee, at least?]

Swami replied: The original absolute God is unimaginable because He is beyond the three dimensional space to which our thinking and imagination is limited. The Veda says that God created space before...

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