Happy Birthday Appaji
'Na Guroradhikam....'Lord Shiva Himself states this more than once to emphasize the greatness of Guru: "Indeed there is none superior to Guru!" (Sri Guru Gita) Jaya Guru Datta
Only recently we experienced the blissful thrill and great spiritual upliftment of chanting/listening to our Sadguru chant the Guru Gita online!
It is a wonderful boon and blessing to devotees, indeed, not only in Trinidad but the world over, that Adi Guru Sri Dattatreya took birth as Avadhoota Param Pujya Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji, our Sri Appaji! He was instructed at first by His mother and Guru Sri Jayalakshmi Mata to seek those who are related to Him by going abroad and firmly but affectionately bring them back to the Dharmic Path! We humbly recollect some of His recent words as we celebrate His 79th birthday.
In His Message after Pratyaksha Pada Puja, last year in Mysuru, for His 78th Birthday Festival, our Sri Appaji said: “Happy birthday to you all. It is not my birthday. It is your birthday….This is only the body’s birthday. We have neither birth nor death. We only change bodies like we change clothes. When our clothes get worn out, we get new clothes. Similarly, this body is like a shirt. This body is filled with so many things like sense organs (indriyas) intellect, kama(lust) krodha (anger), lobha(greed), moha(delusory attachment, Mada(arrogance), matsarya(envy). Good karma begets good clothing (body) in the next birth whereas bad karma begets bad clothing.”
What is a birthday?
“This body is only a puppet. Lord Maha Vishnu, who is Paramatman, is the puppeteer who is playing the puppets. This puppet show has everything including the puppets’ families. Each one’s birth is determined by his karma…. One has to get ready to shed this body and take on another body. Where is the question of birthday I do not understand. …Birthday is an opportunity given by the Creator for you to judge your good and bad karma. You can look back to review how many good deeds you performed, how much you learnt, practised and experienced on the spiritual path. You can then calculate a budget for your next year’s karma performance. That is why every day is a birthday. After you learn a good spiritual lesson, practice that lesson before you move to the next lesson. That is a birthday….”
Fight and conquer Samsara(Wheel of Bondage of Birth and Death)
“If you rise in your births, you may perform good karma. If you fall, you may perform bad karma….you take many births as various animals, insects, etc., and go through a big circle of births again….how does one fight and conquer this wheel (of Births)? We can fight this kind of wheel with the help of Guru. The wheel of birth is a gigantic Dharma wheel that spins ceaselessly. We are all caught in this grinder-like wheel.”
Choose one path, practice strictly and remain humble
“What is the way to escape? Sadguru’s Grace and protection help some jeevis escape the wheel just as some grains escape the grinder. However, only one in a million escapes….How? You perform good karma, undertake good practices and choose any Yoga like Bhakti Yoga or Jnana Yoga—but remain humble and maintain a strict practice. Then, perhaps you may be able to escape in one birth—maybe!....Our Dharma is only One—Satya Sanatana Dharma. Follow this timeless, ancient Dharma founded on Truth to understand how to escape this illusion/Maya and this wheel. That is why we say “Happy Birthday….”
“It is not God who is spinning the wheel; we are getting stuck… and are like Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna who only heard half the technique, and therefore only knew how to enter the labyrinth in the Mahabharata battle, but not how to get out. We lacked the patience to listen completely.”
Sadhana is Liberation
“…Those who insist on attaining liberation in this birth itself will need to endure a greater number of births. Simply keep doing Sadhana (spiritual practice). That is itself liberation. Do so much sadhana that you forget about liberation. That is when you attain liberation. Forgetting liberation does not come from memory loss; it comes from enjoying Sadhana so much that you do not even think about liberation…. You must search for a doctor to treat your fickle-mindedness. That doctor is the Guru. As you continue getting treatment to remove the infection (of fickle-mindedness), it seems to spread even faster. Impatience gets the better of the person who finds his difficulties multiplying rapidly despite seeking the Guru’s guidance, and he lets go of the Guru. That was the Guru’s play only to get rid of you. That is when you must win (and steadfastly hold on to the Guru!)”
“I have been wanting to keep it, (Birthday Celebration), simple for a long time, but it is only happening now. Did the world have to go through so much difficulty to enable this event to be kept simple? It is God’s Grace that all this is happening. He is the cause of everything. I wanted to be in the Ashram for 3 months. If it were not for the current situation, it would have been impossible for me to stay in one place for so long.”
“Everything happens by Lord Datta’s Grace.
The invisible microscopic Coronavirus has changed our lives…Some farmers are committing suicide. There is no need to do that….Be brave and fight….Several government and non-governmental organizations are rendering great help. They are feeding the hungry regularly…."
"The police thought they were immune to infections but they are now infected too. Is the virus afraid of the police? No. It does not matter if you are big officer, health Minister, or doctor or if you chant the Guru Gita or are stupid as a donkey. The virus can infect anyone. It is not afraid of anyone. But we should be afraid of the virus. That is the situation man has been brought to. Otherwise, man was ruining this planet, recklessly felling trees, polluting rivers, filling oceans with plastic, letting smoke into the air etc….If Nature decides to, it can accomplish anything….Man tried to devour Nature, so Nature is now devouring man….”
Observe disciplines of ancient traditions
“Swamiji wrote a long time ago in the ‘Life History’ that all traditions will change in 2020, and that the ancient tradition of our seers would make a comeback….Our ancient traditions were well thought through….School kids who were asked to place their school stuff away from other items would negligently throw the items anywhere inside the house….That is why our elders had put these rules in place—just to save Prana. Another name for ‘Prana” are the rules our ancients gave us. Karma depends on the rules you follow. The jeevi follows its karma and Prana follows food(annam). They are all inter-related.
Observe all hygienic protocols
Therefore at least now, protect yourself. Do not sit close to each other and do not use each other’s phones. Wash your masks, clean your shoes, eat sattvic food and wear clean clothes….”
“Celebrate Birthday at home.
Do not forget to tune into the channels that carry Swamiji’s messages, and use Social media to watch Live Programs daily. May God bless you.”
(Now Ashthadasha Shakti Peetha Charitra is going on daily, paused for Narasimha Jayanti Celebrations, then will resume). Sponsor feedings, pujas, homas, send donations on dattapeetham.org, as they are going towards not only Ashram maintenance, but feeding of hospital and police officers now, in addition to the needy.
'Sri Gurushiva evasah' Guru is Shiva, i.e. the One Parabrahman, who is beyond the three Gunas or temperaments, that is, Dattatreya the Absolute, Supreme God! (Sri Guru Gita).
To our beloved Sadguru Sri Dattatreya, Sri Appaji, we can only offer all our love and devotion in thought, word and deed at His Feet! Sri Guru Datta!