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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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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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