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A child is like a sapling. In the

beginning, as he establishes a

foothold in this world of adults

he spreads his branches out

wide in all directions. He

questions about and everything.

‘Why this?’

‘How does that work?’, ‘What is

over there?’. He does so hoping

to reach the sky which of course,

is the answer to everything.

In his innocence he doesn’t

realise that the sky is still well

beyond his reach. If his questions

are not answered with love and

patience, we make break his

tiny, fragile branches, and his

eagerness to learn about life and

understand ‘Why?’.

With a broken spirit the

child grows up to be a man with

little eagerness in life. He has no

branches, thus disabling him

from reaching out to others, and

most important, he has no shade

to protect the next generation of

saplings from the scorching sun

which is the bad in our society.

Swamishri always has time for

children. Not just to play with

them, but also to guide them

and teach them. His answers

reflect patience and concern.

He takes them seriously

because he takes thefuture

seriously. And so, through his

answers we can see him -

‘Sowing the seeds of our future...’
    Swamishri With Children
    Question 17

San Jose Balaks : How did you become everyone’s guru?

Swamishri : I am not a guru. We are all servants, disciples. The only real guru is one who is Gunatit. Because of his agna, we are doing all this.

What is the secret of studying well?

Swamishri : If we can concentrate while reading, then we will become the best. If we can concentrate in class and learn what is being taught, then we will not have to revise so much afterwards.

Have you experienced God? How can we experience God?

Swamishri : By the grace of the guru, but not by our own efforts. The guru beholds God. He is associated with God. So if we follow his agna, develop affection for him and believe him to be our atma then we will have darshan of God.
The Vachanamritam tells us that to have darshan of one’s own atma and that of Paramatma, one must develop intense love for the Satpurush. We cannot see God straight away. If we can realise that to have darshan of the guru is the same as having darshan of God, then it will not matter if we see God or not.

How can we deal with failure?

Swamishri : There will always be times in our lives when we fail. But if we do as the guru tells us we can find a solution. If we have strong faith, we won’t get depressed or have any doubts. Otherwise in such circumstances people may let go of Satsang and stop their bhakti. We should not question, ‘Why do we get hardships?’. Instead we should realise that ‘by God’s wish they come and by God’s wish they will go’ and in the meantime we should endure it. If we get happiness, then it is by God’s will and if we get misery it is also by God’s will. Hardships come to improve us; bearing that in mind we should endure them.

We all have heroes such as cricketers and singers. Who was your childhood hero?

Swamishri : Since I was small I wanted to become a sadhu to please Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj. What good can those other heroes do for us? Instead, by worshipping them we go to hell! Have they ever come to talk to you? ‘Hi friend, how are you? Are you happy? Are you sad?’
That’s why our guru is our true hero. Our guru is our path to God. A hero is one who helps us here and in heaven. Gunatitanand Swami is our hero. He teaches us both how to live in society and how to attain redemption. (Then jokingly) You are also our hero, aren’t you!?

How do you still enjoy the bliss of Akshardham while in this world?

Swamishri : Even though we are here, we believe ourselves to be the atma. So we enjoy God’s bliss. We don’t feel worldly pain or pleasure. We all have to realise ourselves as the atma. Slowly we will be able to do so. What is the Bal and Kishore mandal for? To enable us to experience such bliss too. Just as before you went to school you had no knowledge. And yet today you’re an engineer! You made the effort to study; now do you regret it? Thus when we attain the knowledge of the atma, our minds won’t be drawn towards this world, and we won’t be worried if we don’t get any new possessions. And in everything we do, eat, drink, sit - we’ll experience God’s bliss. We also get such bliss by doing bhajan and Satsang.

(14 July 1994, San Jose)

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