Sunil R P Sethi
City was on festivity. Streets were decorated and there were big hoardings welcoming Swami Prakash to the city. He was visiting city personally after 12 years though his followers had been following his teachings and listening to his recorded sermons on television. For last 7 years he was in meditation and had not spoken a word and he has chosen his city of birth to speak for first time after long meditation. His followers are spread all over the world and may be more than 5 millions. Everyone was curious to listen to Swami Ji for his words of wisdom.
He arrived on the day and was taken in a huge procession to Prade Ground where huge crowd of not less than 50 thousand people had come to listen to the Son Of City who had risen to be one of the top spiritual leaders of the world and who had his communes and Ashrams throughout the world and who had done so much for his city. A small insignificant city some 30 years ago is now centre to education for whole Northen India and also Industrial hub, thanks to the extensive works done by society of Swami Ji. His follower Seth Jamna Dass had started Construction of his huge Diamond polishing plant which will be commissioned next year and will change the development scenario of Prema Nagar which most of population wants to change to Swami Prakash Nagram but Swami Ji always refused .
Sitting on dias, Swami Ji choose two small kids from crowd to sit on his either side , one boy and one girl. They would share Dias with Swami Ji for rest of day or as long as they can sit. It was great honour bestowed upon the kids and a learning and transforming experience. They knew from that day onwards their life will change as also the way people would take them.
After his Discourse on spiritualism and the ways of religion to realise God , Swami Ji invited public to ask any question to him. That was the highlight of the function his followers always waited for. These interactions always lead to getting instructions from the Master himself about the way to live life and experience God while living normal life. The first person to ask questions was Nilakant, a university scholar and social worker who had insatiable hunger of God Realisation. He asked “What is Religion Swami Ji?” . Smilimgly came the answer ” Any thought process which brings you to path of Self Realisation, of understanding the reason for taking birth, of appreciating way of life.” Further question was ” Can we understand God without religion?”. Swamiji answered with his well known grace ” You don’t need religion at all to understand God or Godliness. God Realisation is much beyond religions . It’s personal effort where everything has to evaporate except Realisor and the Realised. Religion only put you on path . It’s starting point but beyond that religion has little scope. In fact great men and women who started different religions are best examples of finding GOD without religions. It is again not necessary that you can always start with religions only. Start can also be through personal effort though a bit difficult but at the same time if a person gets immersed in Religious Dogmas , he will also not reach anywhere beyond a mere start. Religion is great distractions .”
Anandi, a housewife was next to stand up to ask her questions . She had been a dutiful wife and mother and hardly could get time even to go to temple regularly. She asked with folded hands ” Swamiji, Can I realise the Truth only by doing my duties towards all relations and to rest of humanity ?”. Swami Prakash Ji replied ” Living a righteous life and performing duties towards all is necessary to be good and useful and, in a way, is a best preparation for purifying yourself before entering House of God which dwells in all of us , but merely being good wife or mother or human being won’t be sufficient to know the Truth. While you do good to all, be good to yourself too by investing in yourself . Find time to understand yourself and through it you will understand the whole Nature and existence”. Anandi had tears in her eyes. Her Swamiji could so easily read her inner turmoil. With folded hands she sat down having found her way of salvation.
Yusuf was next to stand up . Yusuf was a butcher and had remained in jail for about seven years in a murder case and had transformed after joining Swamiji. ” Does God love those persons aksi who have committed Crime ?”, he asked . Swamiji understood the inner fights of Yusuf and replied ” God is more like mother than father. He doesn’t abandon HIS children even if children want to forget Him . For Him all are equal . Victims as well as assailants but everyone has to pay for his wrongs . You have to atone for the crime committed and come clean thereafter. There is nothing like getting amnesty after committing crime. No amount of going to religious places or performing any procedure provided by so called religions will wash away the stains of crimes . Whether you go to Kashi or Kabba or Jersulam or Kailash , your deeds will follow you always. You are carrying the burden on your mind which is with you even after death . But if you change and be good that will surely lessen the punishment “. Yusuf asked ” What about punishment a person get from Courts. Isn’t it punishment enough ? ” .Swamiji replied ” That is punishment to body . Who commits crime ? Body or mind or both. What about punishment to mind ? That can be done only by changing mind for good or your mind and soul will continue suffering even after death . ” Yusuf had one more question ” Swamiji, a butcher different than a Priest in the eyes of God ?” Reply came ” This is a brilliant question Yusuf. Many have doubt on this. I say to you there is no difference between two in eyes of God . For Him all are equal and same . You can continue with your profession but act with mercy and not hatred . Even when you are killing an animal as part of your way to earn don’t leave compassion out of your mind . God requires pure mind not bodies . A priest who looks after Temple or Mosque or Curch or Gurudwara but with unclean mind which is infested with vices and malice is worst creature for God”.
Next in line was Murli, a software engineer and a self proclaimed atheist who believed in Charvak way of philosophy, the belief in materialism only , the world existing as the parameters of Nature leaves no other option. There was no God as there was no necessity to create Him. He stood up and asked with a voice boasting of Self Pride more than faith, pride that he knew more than other and with a desire to make Swamiji realise that Murli had better knowledge than Swamiji ” Don’t you think we created God and not Vice Versa ?”. Swamiji was equally comfortable and replied ” You may not be incorrect though I cant say you are correct. Ultimate aim for existence is to understand the purpose of existence and if concept of God can help you in that I don’t find anything wrong in that. Besides, even if I believe in materialism as Mahrishi Charvak taught and which is now followed by most of world across all religions, I am still left with one basic unanswered question “Can there be Creation without A Creator ? Can there be effect without A cause ? You believe in science so believe in Laws of Motion of Newton. First law us on principle of Inertia. Things don’t move unless a force is applied . Whether you call that force Nature or God it will mean the same. Name is not important . Even if you change names the Truth of a creator will always remain staring at you . Murli was speechless. He still asked , first time with folded hands ” Swamiji where am I wrong ?”. Reply came ” Knowledge is to know not to boost . When you get knowledge use it to improve yourself and not to tell others that you are superior. Don’t try to become different . It’s good for a leaf to flow with stream to reach Ocean, if you be different you will be pushed to shores and will rot there.”
Rishi, student in College was next to stand up . He was studious and had always stood first in studies and besides was also given to sports with cricket as his passion . He had been following different sects, absorbing best of all but still not satisfied. He asked ” How should we treat our Parents?” Answer was ” Same way you want to be treated by your children when you will grow old.” Next question ” And how should we treat our Children ?” And answer ” Same way you always expected your parents to treat you “. Rishi had come prepared with his volley of questions. He asked ” How should we treat friends?” Swamiji said ” Treat them with love and regards and value them greatly. You chose them and not accident of your birth. Don’t make any promise which you can’t fullfill and don’t test them unless very necessary”. Rishi asked ” What about strangers ?” Answered Samiji ” Meet them with humility. You should have straight and not stiff neck . It’s always good to bow and be flexible “. Rishi had one last one ” When should we leave truth and speak lie ?” Swamiji said ” Though generally keep your life simple and straight where you don’t need to tell lie but if your lie can help general good and speaking truth in situation will create harm to others , it may be resorted to without saying a word more than what is required.”
That was end of session One. Time for lunch. Everyone else with Swamiji , who gave his fingers of either hands to two kids who would get honour to have food with him .
(The author is Senior Advocate)
Sunil R P Sethi