Poojya Swamiji 78th Birthday Message
Updated: Jul 3
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR BELOVED SADGURU PUJYA SRI APPAJI, our Mother, Father, Best Friend, Spiritual Teacher and Guide, favourite Divine Bhajan singer and Musician, Healer and much, much more....!
His 'tithi' Birthday is Tuesday 2nd May, and we can celebrate online with Sri Appaji through viewing and participating in many pujas and sevas via Avadhoota Datta Peetham, www.facebook.com/sgspage/videos and be further blessed!
Sadguru Datta makes a 'bad situation' good for us devotees in many ways
Sri Swamiji has been blessing us in many different ways during the difficult times of Corona virus lockdown. True to His name as 'Datta Sadguru', He has been giving of Himself online every day and night too, sacrificing time, energy and even health, just for the sake of comforting, uplifting, guiding, motivating and inspiring us devotees, and non-devotees too! Pujya Sri Appaji and His successor, Pujya Sri "Bala" Swamiji, Sri Datta Vijayananda Teertha Swamiji, have both been performing many special pujas, and satsanghs, including Sreechakra Puja, special Festival Pujas, such as Sri Jayalakshmi Jayanti, NarasimhaJayanti, Hanuman Jayanti, which we were blessed to witness and participate in online! We enjoyed taking part in ' Guess the Bhajan', and many testified they felt that Sri Appaji was 'phoning them when He was speaking to the winners! What divine joy! Another boon is the Datta Kriya Yoga International online, which countless devotees, including foreigners, never want to miss, so beneficial are the lessons by the teachers, guided of course, by Sri Appaji!
In addition, He has conducted Bhagavad Gita Pravachana, and Guru Gita Pravachana on Bhakti Tv, reaching out to the wider community. Now His focus is on Mahabharabhata in His inimitable, mesmerizing style! All the while devotees were and still are privileged, to render services especially via Annadana by Mysore Ashram, to the needy and to policemen and health care professionals and volunteers. Our donations for the pujas and different projects of our Sadguru are used for such selfless seva! We cannot thank Him enough for motivating all local and foreign Ashrams to help their local communities, wherever and whenever possible, within safety limits, during Corona lockdown! Let us strive to take our Sadguru's teachings to heart by actively showing our appreciation. How? Not only through the various sponsorships, but also let us try, if we miss the Live sessions, to still keep Sri Appaji happy with us , by making time to go on the Datta Peetham website afterwards to view them. He is revealing many secrets in Mahabharata these days! A thousand humble Pranams to Sadguru's Lotus Feet! Jaya Guru Datta! Jaya Sri Ram! Jaya Hanuman!(THDM)
SRI SWAMIJI'S MESSAGE after Pratyaksha Pada Puja, 78th Birthday Festival, 26th May 2020, His English Birthday.
Happy birthday to you all. It is not my birthday, it is your birthday. 78 years have completed and the 79th year starts tomorrow. 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 (buddhi), 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.
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. Some clothes (bodies) have a long shelf life, may be 100 or 120 years. And then it is over. One has to get ready to shed this body and take on another body. Where is the question of birthday I do not understand. Lord Brahma has given us a lesson called birthday.
Everyday is a birthday.
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 learned, practiced 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.
Each birth is different, and we have different names, live in different houses and have different parents. We may be born in different countries and may be born as humans or animals depending on our karma. If you rise in your births, you may perform good karma. If you fall, you may perform bad karma. Once you get a lower birth, you take many births as various animals, insects etc., and go through a big circle of births again. Sri Sankara Bhagavadpada says this cycle of birth and death is a big circle. 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. What is the way to escape? Sadguru’s grace and protection helps some jeevis escape the wheel just as some grains escape the grinder. However, only one in a million escapes. That jeevi (bonded soul) attains what you call liberation (moksha) or Vaikuntha.
How does one escape?
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 – may be. All this is explained in the Upanishads and in Vedanta.
There is only one Dharma even though people refer to Dharma (as religions) by different names. The various names only to refer to the different practices. Our Dharma is only one – Satya Sanatana Dharma. You must follow this Satya Sanatana Dharma (timeless, ancient Dharma founded on Truth) to understand how to escape this illusion (maya) and this wheel. That is why we call this happy birthday.
All jeevis are constantly suffering in this wheel due to their karma. We are all caught in the wheel of time that never stops. Once we are caught in that wheel, it continues to grind beings endlessly. God has made this creation such that there are no brakes on this wheel. There are countless beings and species – all like puppets – stuck in this wheel. It is not God who is spinning the wheel, we are getting stuck and unable to extricate ourselves. This is like a labyrinth created by God. We learned how to get stuck, but not how to escape. We 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. We only learned half of what we needed to know. Sometimes, either due to embarrassment or due to over confidence, a student claims to have completely understood the solution to a problem that is still halfway through to the conclusion. As soon as the teacher walks away, the student may consult with his classmate for the solution but will not get the authoritative answer that the teacher alone can provide. We should always seek guidance from the one who teaches us, not from the people next to us. The teacher may have commended that student’s sharp grasping skills the previous day, making the student too proud and reluctant to acknowledge he did not fully understand the day’s lessons. The teacher too may have mistakenly assumed that the student understood the lesson because he was bright. The student now gets stuck in that wheel that is impossible to get out of (just as bonded souls are stuck in the wheel of births due to incomplete knowledge).
Do not complain that God gave us so many births. It is only for our benefit that he did. We should be grateful that He is giving us so many opportunities because, perhaps in one birth, we will escape from this wheel. We should understand the trick to get out. It is impossible to get out of this wheel in just one birth. Some ask me if they can get liberation (moksha) right in this birth. How is that possible? You just got started. 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. Saint Jnanadev prayed for recurring births because he enjoyed chanting the names of god. Such Sadhana would not be possible in Vaikuntha. Even though one is forced to exit Vaikuntha when the merit is exhausted, Jnanadev did not want the lapse in chanting divine names if he were to attain Vaikuntha.
Some stubborn students will attempt the exam a second time because they are not happy with the 99% they scored. They want to score 100%. But in the second attempt, they end up only scoring 80%. This is akin to how people gamble out of greed and end up losing everything they won. It is an indication we are stuck in the wheel. First treat your fickle mindedness. You must search for a doctor to treat this. 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 that only to get rid of you. That is when you must win (and steadfastly hold on to the Guru).
I am happy that the 78th birthday is being celebrated in a simple manner. I have been wanting to keep it 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. Four categories of people are suffering the most: Migrant laborers, farmers, students and businesspeople. Farmers are committing suicide. There is no need to do that. I already mentioned that this birth is precious and will not come back. Be brave and fight. Students do not need to worry. You will have exams later anyway. Use this time to get more thorough with your lessons. Businesspeople can recover and resume their business by treating the current situation as another business impacting issue. Many businesspeople are doing okay, only a few that depend on day-to-day business for survival are suffering. Many businesspeople are still getting business as there is demand for their goods. Several government and non-governmental organizations are rendering great help. They are feeding the hungry regularly. Only a relatively small number starved for a few days, but they too were able to get food after a couple of days. It is said that the human body has the strength to survive on water for five days.
The infections will rise in June-July because people are getting out and mingling without the necessary precautions, assuming they will not get infected. 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, or a health minister, or doctor or you chant the Guru Gita or are stupid as a donkey.
The virus can infect anyone.
The virus 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, filing oceans with plastic, letting smoke into the air and thereby preventing rains and causing acid rain and poisonous atmosphere. In the quest for progress, man has destroyed Nature mercilessly. That is why Nature has revolted and is happy at least for a few days. Without a single car on the road, without smoke in the air, the trees seems to be dancing in joy. River Ganga was pure only north of Hardiwar, but now we see cleaner Ganga waters downstream as well. Crores of rupees were spent to purify Ganga waters in Kasi previously, but to no avail. It only took forty days during lockdown for the waters of Ganga to sparkle. If Nature decides to, it can accomplish anything. Factories are shut, so there is no toxic waste flowing into the rivers. Nature has fixed the problem itself since man could not. Man tried to devour Nature, so Nature is now devouring man. We are all living in fear. Swamiji wrote a long time ago in the Life History book that all traditions will change in 2020. Swamiji predicted then that the ancient tradition of our seers would make a comeback.
We can win over this
Many used to be offended when asked to keep distance from Swamiji or when asked to cover their mouth while talking to Swamiji. No one heeded back then because they felt mingling that way and being social were modern and fashionable. I am telling you all this just to remind you that our ancient traditions were well thought through. Previously people did not want to wash their feet when they got home. They even ate in their shoes and slept in them. School kids who were asked to place their school stuff away from other items would only negligently throw the items inside the house. Now, they do not. They are afraid of losing their lives. 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.
Therefore, atleast now, protect yourself. Do not sit close to each other and do not use each other’s phones. Do not touch even a family member’s phone if you do not have your own phone. And even if you lose your phone, do not borrow another’s phone. The virus is transferred via objects such as phones, cameras and other personal items. Wash your mask every five days or so. Clean your shoes. Eat Sattvic food and wear clean clothes. Swamiji has been saying all along that we can win over this if we observe due caution.
This virus has changed our lives and our world and created fear. Who knows what other frightening diseases we will see in the future? If we followed the ancient traditions, we would not have faced this day. We placed no value on life. If you do not take enough care to protect your life, you will lose it. Citizens of some countries that protested the lockdown got out and mingled with each other and paid for it with their lives. Now, they are all sheltering in place. Italy is an example. Many went on strike to protest the lockdown. When the lockdown got lifted in response, the infection spread and many people died. When kids sneezed, people used to say "Bless you", now they say "Get away from me!" The virus gets out through the sneeze and infects everyone around.
Swamiji has sent his blessings and messages in India’s major newspapers. Do not forget to tune into the channels that are carrying Swamiji’s messages. Follow the government’s instructions and the rules put in place by our ancients. I know you are said you cannot be here for birthday celebrations. Celebrate birthday at home. May God bless you. On June 2, we will gather again for birthday (lunar calendar birthday).