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HOW IS ONE'S LIFE-PARTNER HELPFUL IN ATTAINING SALVATION?
Posted on: 26/07/2020

[Shri Bharat asked: Swami! I have heard this verse, “Dharme ca arthe ca, kāme ca mokṣe ca….” This verse is explained to every couple who is getting married and it means that the husband and wife cooperate with each other in matters of righteous activities, in financial matters, in matters of love...

Swami replied: Performing religious rituals is called dharma. Earning for the welfare of the family is called artha. Pacifying the biological need for sex is called kāma. Mokṣa means liberation or salvation and it refers to the path of spiritual knowledge and devotion to God, which leads to the liberation...

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SOLUTION TO OVERCOME NEGATIVE THOUGHTS
Posted on: 25/07/2020

Shri MRK Sai (USA) asked: When I pray to God, some negative-abusive thoughts come to my mind by force and disturb my concentration on God. How to get rid of such negative thoughts?

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Do not think about those negative ideas again and again because if you think of them, you are giving unnecessary importance to such ideas. If you care for such ideas, they will come again and again to your mind. If you care for a guest, the guest will visit you again and again. If you do not think about those ideas and neglect them, they will not come to you again. If you neglect a guest, the guest will not come to your house...

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SPIRITUAL PROGRESS OF SENIOR CITIZENS
Posted on: 24/07/2020

Dr. Nikhil asked: Padanamaskarams Swamiji! A large number of senior citizens today have sufficient time and energy to work on their spiritual growth. They have already fulfilled their family responsibilities. Most of them have some retirement savings in addition to their grown-up children to look after them. Apart from some health issues, they are sufficiently strong and healthy to dedicate themselves to the spiritual path of learning spiritual knowledge, developing devotion...

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Actually, the tradition is that old people, who retire from their profession are expected to concentrate on learning and propagating spiritual knowledge by entering into the naprastha and saṃnyāsa āśramās. In the first stage in life, which is brahmacarya āśrama, people get professional...

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MESSAGE ON GURU PURNIMA DAY
Posted on: 20/07/2020

[Several devotees came to Swami on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima on 5th July 2020. Swamiji gave the following discourse. He also answered many questions posed by devotees.]

O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! There are three components in the preaching of spiritual knowledge: (1) The preacher of knowledge, (2) the quality of the knowledge and (3) the receivers of the knowledge.

Every human being is a receiver and is authorized to hear any topic of the spiritual knowledge and hence, this component is not very important. The first two components are very very important. The knowledge should be formulated by the Satguru, who is the incarnation of God. Such formulated knowledge should be propagated by the disciples of the Satguru and the disciples propagating the spiritual knowledge of the Satguru are called Gurus. While learning the knowledge from the Satguru...

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WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ABOUT THE SEVERAL SO-CALLED SADGURUS THAT EXIST NOWADAYS?
Posted on: 20/07/2020

[This question was posed to Swami on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima.]

Swami replied: The word ‘sat’ in Sadguru (Satguru) means not only God in human form, but also a good Guru elaborating the concepts of the Sadguru with more suitable examples, for further clarification. Sat not only means God, but also good work (Praśaste karmaṇi tathā …—Gītā). A Guru explaining exactly the concepts of the Sadguru with more suitable examples is also a Sadguru. Slight deviations, which do not damage the original concepts in any way, are negligible. I find most of the so-called Sadgurus only explaining human psychology ...

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IS IT RIGHT FOR PEOPLE TO DONATE MONEY TO GOD VENKATESHWARA AT TIRUPATI FOR GETTING THEIR PROBLEMS SOLVED?
Posted on: 20/07/2020

[This question was posed to Swami on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima.]

Swami replied: Certainly, it is not the correct way. If you always follow justice, no problems will attack you since the problems are nothing but the punishments given by the same God for your sins. Such behavior of people is just like giving a bribe to a corrupt officer for getting some unjust work done. But there is a spark of merit in giving the bribe to God for getting the unjust work done. That spark is that the devotee is approaching God and not an unjust human being for help. The defect is common to both the devotee...

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WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOD AND MONEY? WHY DO PEOPLE SAY THAT EVEN GOD IS IN MONEY (PAISE MEIN PARAMATMA HAI)?
Posted on: 20/07/2020

[This question was posed to Swami on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima.]

Swami replied: Regarding the relationship between God and money, there is the correct angle as well as the wrong angle. Unless we examine both angles separately, we cannot arrive at the right decision on this topic.

Correct angle: Theoretical love is only based on words and mental feelings. Somewhat better love is rendering service (karma saṃnyāsa). The Gītā says that the best true love is proved by the sacrifice of hard-earned money and beyond it, there is nothing else. The Gītā says that knowledge is better than doing action blindly. Theoretical love, which is expressing love through words, songs...

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WHY WAS A GREAT DEVOTEE LIKE SUDAAMAA SO SEVERELY POOR?
Posted on: 20/07/2020

[This question was posed to Swami on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima.]

Swami replied: When Kṛṣṇa was studying in the school of Guru Sāndīpani in Ujjaini forest, Sudāmā was His classmate. Kṛṣṇa was thought to be an ordinary human being by everybody including Sudāmā. One day, the wife of Sāndīpani gave some roasted bengal gram-seeds as a snack to Sudāmā who was going to the forest along with Kṛṣṇa to collect firewood. She told Sudāmā to share the snack with Kṛṣṇa. But Sudāmā ate the entire snack all by himself, secretly, without giving Kṛṣṇa his due share. This is like earning money...

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WHY DOES GOD GIVE MORE IMPORTANCE TO FOLLOWING JUSTICE IN WORLDLY LIFE (PRAVRUTTI) THAN DEVELOPING DEVOTION TO HIM (NIVRUTTI)?
Posted on: 20/07/2020

[This question was posed to Swami on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima.]

Swami replied: Nivṛtti means the personal liking of God towards a devotee, in which God even suffers for the sake of His devotee, transferring the fruit of the devotee’s sin onto Him. Certainly, nivṛtti has higher value than pravṛtti (Nivṛttistu mahāphalā). But God gives more importance to pravṛtti, which is following justice and rejecting injustice in worldly life, than nivṛtti, which is developing a personal bond of the climax of love with God. A person produces children...

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WILL THE GRACE OF GOD HELP US EVEN IF WE ARE NOT ADOPTING HIS ADVICE?
Posted on: 20/07/2020

[This question was posed to Swami on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima.]

Swami replied: We go to a doctor with immense faith on him that he will certainly cure our illness. The faith was correct and the doctor gave the prescription recommending a very good medicine. Without purchasing and taking that medicine, will our illness be cured by the grace of the doctor, merely due to our immense faith in him? Similarly, when God shows...

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HOW DO YOU JUSTIFY THE MARRIED GOPIKAS, WHO DANCED WITH KRISHNA, REACHING THE HIGHEST GOLOKA?
Posted on: 20/07/2020

[This question was posed to Swami on the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima.]

Swami replied: A prostitute dances with some person, leaving her legitimate life-partner for the sake of earning money, through the path of injustice. The prostitute may give that money to her issues, parents etc. This means that the prostitute could overcome only one worldly bond, which is the justified bond with her life-partner and all other worldly bonds are intact! The case of the married Gopikā was different in that, she sacrificed...

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DEFINING BASIC NEEDS AND EXTRA WEALTH
Posted on: 19/07/2020

[Ms. Amudha asked: Dear Lord! Om Shri Datta Swami Namaḥ! Dear Lord, kindly enlighten me by answering my queries. Swami, I am grateful for all Your grace. One of Your discourses mentioned about the “extra money” which people earn and which should be given back to God in the form of donations. How can we define the basic needs in life and what is extra money? Kindly enlighten me on the above questions. Yours obediently, Amudha.]

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Generally, food, clothing, shelter and the medicines required to cure illnesses are treated as the basic needs for the simple living of a person of high thinking. These basic needs differ from the view of one person to another. The length of the list of basic needs depends upon the person’s view of worldly life. If the knowledge of God...

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RECOGNIZING ONE'S SPIRITUAL STAGE
Posted on: 18/07/2020

[Shri Yogendra asked: Namaskaram! After my visits to Pithapuram and Kuravpur, 9 months ago; I started chanting “Digambara, Digambara, Śrīpāda Vallabha Digambara” most of the time. But a lot of troubles started in my life over the past 7 months. They included my health issues and my mother’s paralytic attack, 7 months ago. So, the question that rises in my mind is, am I going in the right direction? Please guide me. Yogendra.]

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! You have caught the feet of God Dattātreya, who is famous for testing the devotee. Actually, He already knows where the devotee stands and hence, no tests are necessary for Him. The tests are conducted only for our knowledge; so that we can realize the real level where we stand. Upon realizing where we stand, we can start our spiritual journey...

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DEVIATION HELPS DEVOTION
Posted on: 16/07/2020

Shri Bhagat asked: Jai Guru Datta, Gurudeva! Gurudeva, You are Lord Datta. You are omnipresent and omnipotent. Then why is Your māyā imposing disbelief on me? Why am I unable to believe, even though You are the one who is taking care of everyone and everything in the universe. A child strongly believes that his mother and father will do and give anything and everything to him, to the best of their ability. The child develops such faith after several situations...

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Sage Nārada says in the Bhakti Sūtrās, while defining bhakti (devotion), that when a person has devotion, the person will feel extreme mental pain upon deviating from the path of devotion...

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IS PROPHET MOHAMMAD MENTIONED IN THE VEDAS?
Posted on: 12/07/2020

Shri Anil asked: Padanamaskaram Swami! By quoting some verses from the Veda, a muslim devotee wants to claim that Prophet Mohammad was mentioned in the Vedas. The verses mentioned by him from the Veda and the corresponding interpretation given by him are given below. I request You to kindly grace us with Your opinion on these interperations. This muslim devotee says that the prophecy mentioned in the Atharva Veda, Book 20, Hymn 21, Verse 6, describes the well-known battle of Ahzab or the Battle of the Allies, during the time of Prophet Mohammad. He also says that the enemies’ defeat in the conquest of Makkah is mentioned in Atharva Veda...

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! By the extreme grace of God, we are blessed to believe in Universal Spirituality. So, we must encourage such interpretations that bring unity among religions. The differences and contradictions between world religions is spoiling the peace of the world...

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WHY SHOULD ONE LOVE HUNGER, SICKNESS AND DEATH?
Posted on: 12/07/2020

Shri Anil asked: Swami! Could You please explain the following conversation between Prophet Mohammad and a devotee? Prophet Mohammad asked Abu Dhar Al Gifariy, “What do you love in the world?” Abu Dhar replied, “I love three things in the world (a) hunger (b) sickness and (c) death. The Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, asked Abu why he loved these three. Abu Dhar replied, “I love hunger because it softens my heart. I love sickness because it lessens my sin. And I love death because it makes me meet my Lord.”

Swami replied: The essence of this conversation is that one should not worry about difficulties and problems in life. If one introspects carefully, one finds that difficulties are more beneficial than happy incidents in life. During difficulties, one’s mind is very active. The person gets deeply attached to God and is devoid of the most damaging ego. During happy incidents, one is self-satisfied and gets...

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HOW COULD SOULS BE DIVIDED INTO CASTES WHEN THEY HAD NO FREE WILL IN THE BEGINNING?
Posted on: 12/07/2020

Shri Anil asked: In beginning of creation, there was no free will and everybody obeyed God’s commandments just like robots. In that case, can we assume that there was no caste categorisation based on one’s profession and qualities, in the beginning? Since there was no free will, how could one choose one’s profession among the four professions pertaining to each of the four castes?

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! This question appears due to the basic confusion in understanding the term ‘free will’. Here, free will only means the free will to deviate from the path of good qualities to the path of bad qualities. The free will to deviate from one good quality to another good quality is not the free will referred...

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HOW CAN THE VEDA BE TRANSLATED INTO OTHER LANGUAGES WHEN CERTAIN WORDS CAN BE INTERPRETED IN DIFFERENT WAYS?
Posted on: 12/07/2020

Shri Anil asked: Swami, You have mentioned that the Veda should be translated into regional languages so that devotees can understand the meaning of the recited verses. But, as I understand from Your knowledge, the correct sense of statements requires the interpretation of certain words as per rūḍhi, which is convention alone...

Swami replied: While translating the Veda, both the rūḍhi and yogarūdhi senses of words need to be kept in mind. Translation should be based on proper conclusions drawn regarding the meaning of the statements. It should not merely be based on a word-to-word translation. So, before translating the text, a detailed discussion of the concerned concepts should be done, which will allow...

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WHY DID JESUS INITIALLY SHOW THE FEAR OF CRUCIFIXION, BUT REMAIN CALM LATER ON?
Posted on: 12/07/2020

Shri Anil asked: Swami, You preach that when God comes here in human form, He enjoys even misery, just like happiness. But, in the Bible, it is mentioned that just before the crucifixion, Jesus underwent tremendous mental agony due to the forthcoming crucifixion. It is said that He sweated blood due to that intense tension. Why did Jesus not enjoy that agony and keep a smiling face? However, during His trial in the court and during the actual crucifixion, He kept silent. Why was there this difference in His behavior?

Swami replied: In the Human Incarnation, there are two components: (1) the God-component and (2) the human being-component. Before His arrest, as Jesus was praying to God, it was the human being-component that prayed to God, requesting Him to avoid the crucifixion...

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WHY DID JESUS NOT PREVENT JUDAS'S SIN AND SUICIDE?
Posted on: 12/07/2020

Shri Anil asked: Judas was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus. He was entrusted with financial matters. However, in the end, he betrayed Jesus so that the soldiers could identify Jesus and arrest Him. Even though Judas was associated with Jesus; why did this great sin happen through Judas? Also, why did Jesus not save Judas from his suicide?

Swami replied: The case of Judas reveals the state of a devotee who cannot be reformed through normal devotion. He was acting in the role of a devotee to betray Jesus. His suicide revealed his reformation on seeing the love and kindness of Jesus, as He prayed to God to excuse the sinners for their ignorance. Judas represents the middle state of devotion, which is neither...

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