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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 20

Nimesh: Why does everyone call you Bapa?

Swamishri : We became Yogi Bapa’s, so because of him, everyone calls us Bapa. You know that everyone calls Yogi Bapa - Bapa? It’s like that. However, we are not Bapa but we are servants. By Yogi Bapa’s blessings, people call us Bapa.

Siddharth : Where is your home?

Swamishri : Our home is Akshardham. We all have to go to Akshardham; that’s our true home. All these houses will fall down some day. They are temporary. In Akshardham everything is calm even if there is a hurricane or heavy rainfall! The sun doesn’t burn, one doesn’t even feel hot; in fact nothing happens. That’s what type of house it is. There we just do bhajan and please Shriji Maharaj.

Brijesh : Do you ever talk with Shriji Maharaj?

Swamishri : We remember Maharaj everyday. We do talk to Him, but how? We do bhajan and sing kirtans, but we always keep God with us. That’s all we have to do and that’s all we have to think. He hears us. If we pray to Him, He listens to our prayers. If you do it with pure bhakti and love from the heart, God hears everything we want to say to Him.

Mitesh : What is the most memorable incident in your whole life?

Swamishri : That I met Shastriji Maharaj and Yogiji Maharaj. To do bhajan of God is the most important incident in our lives.

Yogesh : We have to live in two different worlds, Satsang and society, as in school and friends. But we cannot balance our lives between the two. How can we find a balance?

Swamishri : We come here in Satsang and yet we also have to work with our friends. But if we are to remain unaffected by the outside environment and keep Satsang firm then we need a guru. He will help us balance our lives. You all come here to the kishore and yuvak mandal. So if you get more involved here, you will be less influenced by the outside world. The more we stay in contact with Satsang, the less our friends outside will be able to influence us. Then we will be able to study better and even make new friends in Satsang.
In brief, if we find Satsang, find a true guru then our lives will remain balanced. A guru looks after us in all matters, ‘How often do you come to Satsang? How often do you go out elsewhere? Have we become influenced by the outside world?’ If we can love him as much as he loves us, and develop atmabuddhi with him, our lives will remain balanced.

Aastik : Swami! We come to the temple regularly and do bhajan-bhakti. But we still experience pain and misery in our lives.

Swamishri : As your name is Aastik, you won’t have any problems. If one keeps faith in God, everything works out for him. We must be firm that ‘this is God’, that only God gives us happiness, and even in times of joy or pain, God only does what’s best. If we keep such beliefs then we’ll be happy.
Those who do not worship God and who do not come to the temple may appear to be happy, but that happiness is only on the outside. What does Gunatitanand Swami tell us? ‘Poisoned sweets taste nice in the beginning but afterwards they’ll kill you.’ Similarly, worldly pleasures such as eating at restaurants, drinking in bars, going to parties or to the cinema all seem like fun. A rich man may drive an expensive car but if he doesn’t believe in God, then in his heart he will be burning. He’ll always feel miserable.
We travel all over the world. We’ve met millionaires, billionaires and even they have problems! With their children, with their wives, in fact they have many types of problems. Only those who have met God and His Saint are truly happy. Narsinh Mehta had nothing, but he had met God and so he was happy. Buying a nice house or being promoted to a high position is not happiness. In fact these things only create more misery for us. We have seen many men in that state.
Mirabai was a queen; nevertheless she renounced her kingdom and all the worldly pleasures and went to worship God. In Shriji Maharaj’s time, many discarded the worldly pleasures and came to Him to become sadhus. If there was misery in worshipping God, why would they all come here? But they had realised that true happiness lies only in God.
When you go to school wearing a tilak-chandlo, some may insult you. And yet nobody ever insults a man who is drunk! Whenever we try to do good deeds, we will always face opposition. But we shouldn’t give up the road to God. So what if there are hardships? Ultimately there is happiness. Those people are ‘enjoying' themselves now, but ultimately they will be miserable. At the end of their road is suffering, not redemption. So we shouldn’t let go of our dharma for the worldly pleasures we see outside - even if we have to suffer. The Pandavas suffered. Dada Khachar suffered. All great devotees have had to suffer but as they kept faith in God their names have become imprinted in history books.
Even if we may get only a small amount of money, earn it by honourable means. Live according to dharma. Money obtained by cheating and adharma will never make you happy.

Yogesh : How can we keep more faith and trust in Shriji Maharaj and you?

Swamishri : When do we trust a man? When we realise his greatness. Then we see him as honest, respectable and honourable, he does no bad deeds. And when he says something, we readily believe him. So if we can first realise his greatness, understand his life and his mission and if we can see divinity in him, then we will be able to trust him.
Millions worship Lord Rama. They have faith that he is God and that he never did any wrong in his life. They believe that his only aim in life was to redeem everyone. Only then do people worship him! God and the Satpurush want to redeem everyone. Yogiji Maharaj tells us, ‘We should never eat out. Never watch films or plays. Never do wrong, never steal...’. Why did he tell us these things? Because you are young, if you develop such bad habits from now, you will end up in trouble. But if we are keen to please him, then we will do as he says and thus we will be happy. We’ll also be able to trust him.
We trust our teachers in school, don’t we? We trust them because we know that they are learned and we can attain knowledge from them. So we study the way they tell us to. In the same way, God has divinity, He has good qualities and He wishes good things for all. He is beyond this world. That is why we should keep faith in Him to experience happiness.
In short, if we can realise His greatness then we can trust Him; if we can trust Him, then we will be redeemed.

Toast Master : We have met an ideal guru but his disciples should be ideal too. How can we become ideal?

Swamishri : We have met an ideal guru. But only if we follow his agna will we become ideal. And if we don’t obey him, how can we ever become ideal?
If he tells us not to watch TV and we still sit down to watch it, what will become of us? If he tells us not to eat out and then we go and do just that, how can we become ideal. Ideal means ideal! We must do only as he says and nothing else. Have we ever told you to stop eating? But don’t eat meat. Drink as much as you like, drink water or soft drinks. That other drink (beer), that’s not good for you. We become overexcited by taking abuse inciting substances, then we go around and abuse other people. In such a state do we have control over what we say and do? But if we experience the ecstasy of God, we can become ideal.
Narsinh, the 500 paramhansas, Yogiji Maharaj - they all experienced the ecstasy of God; therefore they lived tension-free and happy lives.
So children, all of you should stay away from intoxicating substances (drugs). You may get a ‘kick’ from them but afterwards you suffer withdrawal symptoms. In fact, you shouldn’t eat anything from outside such as restaurants or amusement parks.
Secondly, if you want to excel in your studies and earn a degree, then you must stop watching TV. But just by us saying, ‘go child, you’ll become perfect won’t help you, achieve anything.
Satyakaam Jabali went to a guru to attain knowledge. Instead his guru sent Satyakaam to graze his cattle. What if your guru tells you in college, ‘go and clean the toilets’, you’d say, ‘do you think I’ve come here to clean toilets?’ But Satyakaam had decided to do whatever his guru commanded. We should never question any agna. We will be enlightened only if we do not doubt his words. In this way Bhagatji Maharaj followed Gunatitanand Swami’s agna without ever questioning him. Thus if we can realise the importance of agna and follow it, we will become ideal.

(21 July 1994, Los Angeles)

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