I am very grateful and much honored to be among all of you this evening. Thank you Vivek, for making this possible. And thank all of you for coming, with your permission I’ll speak for few minutes.
I would like to tell two similar stories, that very much personified a universal teachings that thoughtful people have pondered and practiced over the ages. Prioritizing integrity and values within one’s life. Especially in today’s world where there is such fast life, such stress demand, and along with it comes temptations. That we really stand back to reflect on what really is, of true value in life. I remember years ago sitting on the banks of river Ganges, in the Himalays watching the current rushing by and thinking how, if you are in the river, you really tossed around. You have no much time to think about anything else except the next wave that hitting you. But if you are sitting on the bank you can observe the river with detachment. Similarly when we become took cut off with external activities in the demands of life. Sometimes we miss the point, where we are really going.
First story I would like to tell is about very famous lawyer in the United States of America. He was born in Saint-Louis, became came a prominent – (8:15), later went to Chicago. His name was Ezi Eddy. Have you ever heard of him? You will never forget his name, when you hear this story, at least I hope. The story special to me because a very special part of this story took place, I am the street that myself and my family lived on for the first four years of my life, – (9:04) street. So when Ezi Eddy went to Chicago he was already very highly established and very wealthy. He made connections with the mafia. This was the time when mafia controlled Chicago. Its prominent leader was Alkapone (9:29). Alkapone saw the power of the legal capability of Ezi Eddy and had him and protecting him from any type of conviction. They could not touch Alkapone for any crime. One of the imbalance important reasons was because Ezi Eddy was such powerful and super genius lawyer. Due to this he was giving huge sums of money. He had a beautiful mansion with state almost black long in the city of Chicago. He had three children. Especially his son, he gave him everything, every toy he could want. If he wanted any vacation to anywhere, he gave it to him. Wanted to flying planes, he was willing to by a plane, he was giving him anything. One day he came home and saw his son, just laying on a couch and eating – (10:55) nuts. He was thinking, I am giving my son all these things, but there is one thing I have not given him. A father who is sharing a proper example. I am making millions and millions of dollars protecting Alkapone and the mafia. All they are exploiting, corrupting, and murdering innocent people. He came to the conclusion that really a value in his life was to show a sacrifice to teach his sun, what is integrity? what is value? And he approached the FPI and the internal revenue service and became chief witness against Alkapone and the mafia. He knew the codes of the book keeping and crack them all and gave intimate information, he was the key witness responsible for putting Alkapone in prison for income taxivation. He knew by doing this most likely he would be murdered. A few years later on – (12:37) street. This was just 10 years before I was born. The street where I spent the first four years of my life, while he was driving his car, a black sedan pulled up, two man with high powered rifles shut him dead. He knowingly, willingly gave his life to give his son a sense of integrity and value.
Now there is a similar story. This happened during World War II in the specific the United States may be with fighting against the Japanese. There was an aircraft carrier called USS Lexington. Thousands of soldiers and pilots were abroad. They were being attacked by the Japanese air force. There was different different directions bombers were coming to destroy the ship. Meanwhile there was a particular pilot, his name was Bouch Ohera and he was fighting against these people who were coming to destroy the ship. And most of the planes he was fighting with – down and he had to go another direction and he was going direction, he saw nine bomber from the enemy in a VAV formation coming to sink the ship in the middle of the specific ocean and nobody had time to get there. He as him against all nine and he attacked them and he was shooting shooting and he was only shooting shooting and shooting single handedly. He shut down five aircraft care bombers, damaged two of them. Some others were dropping huge bombs but they could not get close the ship and ultimately he went so wild with his bravery singly handedly, he did not have to do that. That all the others flew away. When he came back to the ship the USA Lexington, the gun man from the ship, because the ship did not even know these bombers were coming towards them, their ways to down. They were absolutely unprepared. And the gunman from his ship shut at him and he landed and came down and told the gun man. You ever do that again, I am going to tell your authority. And he was considered one of the bravest acts and sacrifice and heroism in the history of the World War II. He saved thousands and risked his life. He was the first person in USA air force in that war to get Congressional Medal of Honor, giving to him personal by the president of United States of Franklin De -. Now what is interesting and please listen carefully.
Boucher O’Hara who had airport one of the largest airports in world whose name is Drafter. He was the son of Ezi Eddy. The sacrifice that his father made the willingness to be killed to show his son the values and integrity in proper example. It was that they molded his son to leave such a sacrifice and be such a hero and save thousands and thousands of lives.
I remember when I was sitting in the bank of Ganges. Actually I was sitting on a rock inside of the Ganges. I watching the current flowing and I was thinking how at each moment the sorrels, the ripples, the foam of the river is creating artistic master pieces. But as soon as the master piece appears, it disappears instantly. Our nature is like that. Everything in life is appearing and disappearing simultaneously. Time is so mysterious. As soon as second comes, its gone. And at the same time our life span, the life span of the world, the life span of the universe is going with it. We cannot see it. We cannot feel it. We cannot touch it. Time is so mysterious. But yet everyone and everything is always totally under influence like the surface of Ganges. But if you go deeper down, the current is always flowing. So similarly if you look at life below the superficial changes that are coming and try to focus on truth. We find that current of truth is forever. It flows through every great religion; it inspired every great and truth philosopher throughout the ages. Srimad Bhagavatam in the brahma sutra, “janmädayo ‘syatah” that absolute truth is from whom everything emanates. This is the Vedas definition of God, from whom everything emanates. Who is the creator, maintainer, and in whom everything is merged to rest. That truth is within all of us. The Bhagavad-Gita “mamaiväàço jéva-loke jéva-bhütaù sanätanaù” that we are all spark of the god. Like the sun ray is the spark of the sun. The nature of that spark is the nature of god in an infinitesimal particle size. And what is that nature? Unconditional, selfless, love. The most fundamental need of every living being, whether a man or woman, black or white, brown or red, yellow or whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated. Whether an American or Pakistani, Israeli or Palestinian, Russian or African, what ever we may be. The most fundamental need of all of us is to love and to be loved. And without that even if you have everything else that can be no real fulfillment of the heart. Pleasure may be there for mind and senses. The real fulfillment can only be found within our heart. And that fulfillment of the heart for everyone is love. Why is it that we all have this in common? The Bhagavad-Gita explains the nature of the soul, the nature of every soul, that force that sees through the eyes, hears through the ears, smell through the nose, touches through the skin, thinks through the brain, loves through the heart, that spark of consciousness that origin of life within all of us, its nature is to love god and to experience the perfect love of god and we are all looking for that in so many ways. But until we find within ourselves, it’s essence. That can be no real a true fulfillment. Because love for god manifests in our lives as compassion. Compassioned for every living being. But love is awakened within our heart that can be no discrimination. Because in the spiritual plat form we are all equal. On the material platform none of us are really equal. We all have our own unique condition.
On the spiritual platform the Bhagavad-Gita explains
brähmaëe gavi hastini
çuni caiva çva-päke ca
That one who is actually learned in the sense of understanding their own essence, such a person sees everyone with equal vision. Whether they are priest, brahmana, a business person, man or woman. Whether they are rich or poor. Whether they are human, cow, an elephant, or a dog. One sees the spark of life everywhere. One sees sacredness. One sees a part of god in everything. Because everything is god’s creation. Today the environment the ecological problems that are looming over us. Because we are not honoring with gratitude what god has given us, mother nature. Nature is like our mother. She is providing everything to nourish us, to sustain us. You cannot just take from your mother without honoring, respecting and giving back. This is one of the ten commitments to honor mother and father. Nature is like our mother too and all living beings are like her children to exploit it, do not reply to us. She is causing great problems. The basis is spiritual problem. A lack of proper perception and appreciation of the creation around us and all living beings. So what Ezi Eddy did, he is really an example not only for his son, Boucher O’Hara but for the whole world. He made the ultimate sacrifice for our purpose that felt for his more important than everything else. He knew by testifying against Alkapone. He was going to die. He was only in his 40s. He knew that all of his millions and millions of dollars and all the big unbelievable favors and all of the protection that he had that nobody else could possibly get. He would lose at all. But that was small sacrifice to show his son, something that he could be proud of an example. That was his way of showing love. Love is selfless. This is the universal supreme civil of all spiritual paths to awaken that in herein love that is within us. To live by values by which we could cultivate that love and be an instrument of that love in all our interactions within this world. Within the Vedas the chanting of mantras helps to awaken that love. We chant this mantra “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”. That is the purpose. By performing pujas, by offering prayers, by associating holy people, we priorities the awakening of that virtue within our self. Recently I was with some wonderful people that I love very dearly. Now they are very old. Extremely debilitated by old age and disease. Really they cannot do anything anymore. And the same day, I was getting phone calls about a 20 year old girl, who I know well, who has cancer under chemotherapy, and a 21 year old boy in Italy, who I know very well, he is in his second series of chemotherapies because he has deadly cancer. Then I was reflecting a couple years ago a five year old girl within our congregation had cancer and went through the chemotherapy. Then I was thinking about these things as I was looking these two very old people. It has to happen to everyone and in one way or other, inevitably and eventually. What is really important? During the time of life what we actually can do something. What values to relieve behind for the world? What example to gift to our children and to the world around us? What we had actually done to develop our love and show our love for god and for humanity for all beings? Really that all their matters, because whatever money we make, whatever fame and power we acquire, whatever political successes we may have, essentially its all like those waves, ripples, and foams on the surface of the Ganges. Its all coming and going. But to happened to that truth. That is the greatest success of life. Thank you very much.
AM: Today Vivek and some of his senior managers came to our temple to get blessings for new name for their company or something like that. I am no so expert to understanding all these technicalities. I’ll be discussing this. He was saying that they went to four different temples. They went to Siddhivinayak Temple, Swaminarayana temple, Farshi fire temple, and into our temple to get blessings. Yes. Because they wanted to sanctify what they are doing. I connecting with the divine. We were reflecting at that time that when we were approaching from our religious prospective. There are many ways to do so. One is god make this successful, so I am wealthy, so I am healthy, so I am powerful, so that I can do so many things for so many people, or we can approach God this is an offering for you, please guide me, inspire me to use this according to your will not my will. And we all have that free will. That’s what differentiation between human being from the lower species, free will. We never see a vegetarian dog unless the master only gives him rice. You never see a vegetarian tiger, you never seen cows or dears are catching rabbits and eating them. Because the lower species they simply act according to their instinctive nature. They have no choice. But a human being can be anything she or he wants. Because we have free will. That’s the most sacred gift of god, given to us, is free will. But because it is so precious along with it comes a huge responsibility. Because the lower species are not responsible for anything they do. If dog runs cross across the road in India, a cow or buffalo cross across the road against red light they get a ticket by the police. But if a human does the police will not corrupt, they will give a ticket. You can say why you giving me a ticket, you did not give the dog a ticket to. The police man will say because you know better the dog does not. So with free will comes responsibility. We can question who am I? Where I am coming from? Where am I going? Why am I suffering? What is the purpose of life? How to achieve it? Who is god? What is you have to do with me? These are questions that a human can ask and the laws of karma. The Bible says as you so social you rip, which is basically the law of Karma. The law of thermodynamics for every action there is equal and corresponding reaction. Same principle or as a sense – (38:44) where I am form, what goes around and comes around. The Vedas explained it very scientific contests. Whatever we chose to do, we will get reaction. We have a choice to get an airplane to London or not. But once you make the choice and get on that airplane and the airplane take off, do you have your choice to going? But if you say I have my free will I do not want to London. So similarly we have free will of what we once do it, we have no choice of what the reaction going to be. That is how the laws of nature work. Now the essential dynamic purpose of giving us free will is to chose selflessness over selfishness, humility over arrogant, charity over exploitation, love instead hate, forgiveness instead of vengeance. And to choose these virtues is to do the will of god. Real wealth is within. One could be a millionaire or billionaire not be happy at all. There is no real foundation, you can build a massive beautiful sky scraper but you do not have a proper foundation a big storm is going to make at all – (40:47) to the down. So our fulfillment in life, any situation that comes upon us that is negative according to our interpretation, could cause our entire fulfillment in satisfaction to come crumbling down. Unless we have strong foundation and what is that foundation. Our connection to that divine, our connection the truth and that connection comes by using our free will for this purpose, that will rather than my will. To put aside our own selfish greed, lust, envy, anger, arrogance, to an instrument of god’s will. And this is the mystical essence of every way in spiritual tradition. Whether you a Jews, Christians, Hindus, Farcies, Muslims, sheiks, or atheist, whatever we may be the tendencies is when usually the masses follow the principles of using god for me. God is there for me. When I need something God is my order supplier. Our guru maharaja was say, when the communist in Russia try to break people’s religious spirit there was a lot of poverty and they would say, ask god for bread. And people were asking out for bread but they did not get bread. They said now ask the communist party for bread. They said dear communist party give us bread. Immediately they would bring a bowl of bread truck would come. They give them all as much as bread they wanted. So that they said which is better? What is god doing for you? People did not ask as where is the communist party getting it from? So the tendency is god is for me. Hari bol. And that’s alright. That what I need, let me ask god for it. When I am in danger, let me ask god to help me. When I want success, let me ask god to help. That’s good. Because we are recognizing a superior divine power above ourselves. But in every great religion, there is a mystical essence which goes beyond that. Which most people miss and that is the meaning of love. Love is not to take. Love is to give. God I am yours. We told these two stories in none of themselves do not enlighten spiritual stories of Boucher O’Hara and Ezi Eddy but they are very. Did you define that story useful. It shows even on this level of this world the higher values is to fulfillment of selflessness rather than selfishness of living for others rather than just living for my self. There is a deeper fulfillment. Because it is love to be an instrument of god’s love, is the greatest prayer that any one can offer and this –(45:48) quoting from the (45:48) sight of the principle, when I was in 13 years old. It deepen into my heart because it seems so absolutely upset from what appeared to me to be the way people of all the religions I knew are approaching god. I never thought in this way. Everyone was god give me, god give me, god give me. But here he is saying what can you give to the god? That’s the higher principle. And on the foundation of his wisdom he shared with me, I found that same essence in all the great religions of the world. Is that answer you question?
QD: Maharaja I know possible making a little excuse but I think this will benefit a lot of us. You know everything that you mentioned, the connection to the love it happens momentarily in day to day life and when we connect to love and this compassion and then one actually take a practical example. Okay, takes the attitude of forgiving or takes the attitude of giving frequently at least I and many of us may be find is that gets they cannot want the jobs is just like a child, who sees I can get away you know doing these things with this person, lot of us actually – remained we dot that. So especially when you are performing rules and you see that other colleague or other competitor or the other person etc. the tick that advantage and that is where that connect frequently gets lost. Like you gave the example of the river and so the challenge that I frequently find is, how do you keep getting that connect and that strength back? Because one is like fighting constant battle of getting back to that point of love or compassion.
AM: You sound like Arjuna in the first chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita. The Bhagavad-Gita was spoken in this setting. Krishna simultaneously instructing Arjuna to be humble, to be forgiving, be not to be none possessive, do not be attached to success or failure, honor or dishonor, victory or defeat, but to be attached to the higher truth. And at the same time is telling Arjuna to fight the war. Is that seen like a contradiction? Arjuna is actively protecting Dharma, but internally these with principles that he was cultivating. We can be forgiving internally and personally but it does not mean we are stupid. It does not mean we are weak. Humility is not a weakness. Humility is actually the greatest strength in all of creation. Because when you are humble, you have all the power of god behind you. When you arrogant, you have own power and that’s it and may be some people around. And that power can bring no inner fulfillment. So in business, humility does not mean that you are selling a product and you put hoardings of all over Bombay that actually everybody else who is making this product, their product is better than mine. I advise to buy their products because mine is the worse the rest. That type is humility, it is not a humility it is foolishness. Do you have to do in business in the sense of trying to succeed? But it should be in the integrity. It should be with value. Whether you are the politician or business people or financer or farmers or swamis or teachers or mothers, whatever we may be, we should be defending dharma. Yes. That means we are performing our work, the best we can and utilizing whatever success we are gaining from it. Not only for myself and my family’s real benefit and real values. But for our greater family of humanity and our greater family of all living beings, we are utilizing what we are gaining for higher principle in a spirit of compassion. And we are not unnecessarily cheating and we are not unnecessarily vengeful, we are not trying to destroy people. We are trying to be successful in an honest and dharma. That’s why Bhagavad-Gita teaches us and that’s why we can forgive or we could be humble or we could be dynamic, and we could be really successful on a foundation of Dharma and values. Is that answer your question. In a day to day sense how to be enforce it. Just as we need physical strength in order to live with integrity day to day we needs spiritual strength. Physical strength we have to eat and sleep. Its not the you eat and then you will think next year I’ll eat again. You will be weak. You have to eat everyday. And you have to eat not just fruit, if you really have to strength. So similarly we need spiritual nourishment on a regular basis and we get that spiritual nourished through regular satsang like to night. Discussing these high spiritual and most essential topics and by making our home a holy place. We will get some quality time every time everyday to our chanting of God’s names, through our prayer, through our puja, through our satsang that nourishes us spiritually. It purifies us, inspires us and empowers us. And if we do this regularly for the right purpose to be instruments of divine will then as we are, put through our child and tests some tribulations on a daily basis. We will have the strength and we will have the wisdom to deal with it. Because we have that foundation that will energize on a daily basis. That’s very important. It does not happen automatically. Its not that in India there is cricket, in Europe there is football, and in America there is baseball, all these different sports. Its not that you become a champion by just going into the field and playing a champion match. Every athlete is training, practicing, and working practically everyday to prepare for that champion match. So if we expect that we are going to have this high state of consciousness in our work place. Its not going to happen, unless we practice and trained and develop these higher virtues by hearing and by our spiritual practicing. Its easy to do it, when there is no serious temptation or serious risk. Yes, anybody could be dharmic as long as it is profitable. But what about there is a great risk of loosing? What about there is a great temptation, I could get so much more if I do it with this other way. I can gain so much, if I act more cruelly rather than compassion. Will we stand that temptation? Only for well practiced, well nourished. You see human life is not about just passing a test, it is about passing the final exam. You could win a battle and lose the war. Better to sacrifice the battle to win the war. We hate to try to see life in its whole picture not just this happening, this happening and this happening. That is wisdom to keep focus on the whole picture of my life, and what is really valuable, what is sacred. What do I really want to achieve? What when I die, which is inevitable, do I want to live behind for the world? And what is my relation with god?
QD: Whether it’s a business contact or to a scientific contact or any other contacts. It is the people who decide that I want to do this, whether it is for the purpose of proving it to one those selves that one can or whole passion for doing whatever the endeavor may be. And it is that should whether it is entrepreneur or research or medicine. I do not mean to be specific to any field. But the point is that it is that passion to do something to prove it against all adds. Whether to oneself or to the contacts in which on is. Is what makes a lot other things that you enjoy and release other sufferings that humanity faces broadly speaking? That is essential to all modern progress. How does one bring reconcile with that almost self centered or blind single mindedness persuade of one particular goal with humility that you described. Because where you often that single minded persuade requires either a certain self belief or call in other words ego or a certain arrogant that comes from saying I can do this. It is essential to the endeavor very very often. Because most two these are achieved either against – and then to listen to the examples that you told earlier about being humble or have humility that it is not I but seen I am an instrument of higher power. I would like your views on how to be reconciled?
AM: Thank you. All of these questions receiving are very sincere and insightful. Thank you all. We were discussing trying to see the whole picture and not isolating apart from the whole. Passion is extremely valuable and productive to the whole picture, when it is connected to compassion. If it is separated it could be,(what of the some of the sayings) “penny wise pounds foolish”. Look at the world today, yes scientifically, logically, through medicine, on so many labels. There is immense strive of progress, which potentially can be so useful to the world. The scientific and technological progress, unless 80 years is probably a thousand times more than in the past two thousand years. Yes. When my father was a little boy and still leaving he is 85 years old. There were no telephones. Only very very special people had a telephone and then you have to cranked it. And you cranked it for while you get to speak to the local operator and then you give her a number and then, she somehow or other connects with a local. This was a local call. In it such sometimes which take days or weeks to get the operator make the connection. That was 80 years ago. Now look the only cellular phones, you know even what to speak of local operator. You just say my home and you are sitting in New York City and the phone rings in Bombay and your wife answers, yes, your husband answers, such progress. There were no televisions when my father was there. There was only movie but there was no sound. There was just some music playing. You do not hear any talking. There was a major brake through. They were called talkies. We could actually hear somebody’s speaking in movie. Now look at the special affects of Hollywood and bollywood in everywhere else. The cars, the airplanes, in those days there was no planes, hardly the military use planes and only the wealthiest possible people go on airplanes. Even I was young our trips even long distance we went by train, that’s in America. When I was young, that’s no old. There are only four stations on black and white television. Now there is hundreds. And medicine, cure for small – (01:06:01), so many epidemic diseases. – for polio. My father he never had head of a computer. When I was young, one computer would be the size of the entire room. Now people carrying around their pockets. Strives on progress in so many ways. But is the quality of life better than then. According to statistics especially in America because where I an from the quality of life is not better. Crying and its not the disease are less. We cure one disease, because of the way of we living so many other diseases start coming. And according to the world health organization the most debilitating the all diseases in the 21st century is going to be mental illness, depression, and suicide. Is the quality of our life better will all of our progress. No it is not. It used to be that person was just have a family own store close by. Was it so really rich, was it so really so poor by live with family. Now hours and hours of going on trains and through traffic jams or flying all over the world and being separated from one’s family. And Everything just to make a living. Is the quality of life improving? Yes, they were used to fire with stones, then later on with bows and arrows, then later on with guns. But by our marvelous technological scientific progress we created nuclear bombs. There is a sing that man has never made weapon that he does not use. Is the world better place today? Pakistan has bombs pointed right here this house right now. And we have with them. And Russia and America have bombs pointed all over the place. Just one person presses buttons and all the terrorisms and all the cancer and all the heart disease and all the depression and mental illness. Science technology and all of these forms of progress are wonderful providing their built and foundation of human values. The ecological system is actually more dangerous than everything else we are talking about. The solar ice caps melting and the global worming creating all kinds of havoc of weather conditions. What’s our future? And because of all these situations, one of the biggest problems the world is facing near future according to geologist is water shortage. I have read by people who know a lot that now we are fighting over oil, in future there may be wars over water. This is the affect of our exploitation of mother nature, the ecology. So yes, we made strive on progress in certain levels but the whole picture is worse than that ever been. So the passion for progress, the passion for achievement, all these wonderful breakthroughs were making through science medicine business and all these other things should be built on a foundation of dharma of value of seeing the whole picture and creating better life fulfillment both in this life and beyond. We have to connect our knowledge to wisdom. Knowledge without wisdom can be extremely beneficial in the short run or very dangerous in very long run. So yes, we should be passionate to do our work the best we can. We should also cultivate the values that will help us be instruments for lasting benefits to ourselves and our family into the world. But the good news is whatever we do the soul is always eternal. Ultimately is un face by any of these and to realize that essence within us.