When an ordinary person dies, then it is called as death. We say, “that person passed away”. In the case of an enlightened person, we do not use such a term because there is no such thing as death for him. Therefore, we use the word, Mahasamadhi. The difference is, the ignorant person dies, leaving only his physical body. The Jeeva is still there with the desires or vasanas or karmas.
Therefore, the Jeeva has to take birth again, so the cycle of birth and death has not ended. “Sakaamabhirjaayate tatra tatra”. But in the case of a wise person, “na tasya praanaah utkraamanti atraiva sama vileeyante”. In his case, Pranas do not depart from here to take another body. Actually, he is Swaroopastha. He is ever in his own Self.
Our Pujya Gurudev was an enlightened person, a realised soul, Swaroopastha. Even while He was living here and working with us, at that time also He was dehatita. He had risen above the body consciousness. Those who have lived with Him know that.
So, His is a Mahasamadhi — Total abidance in the Self only. If you have read His messages, one or two are very striking. At one place He said, “If you are born, you must die. But do not die while living. Live after you are dead.” Even after this death, you still live. You never die. Whenever we hear of a death, we generally ask, “How did the person die? What happened?” Swamiji said, “Do not ask how he died. Ask how he lived.”
You also must have heard of somebody dying for an ideal, sacrificing his life, saying, “I will die for it”. It is said, “It is easier to die for an ideal than to live for it.” Living is very difficult because it is a continuous process. Our Pujya Gurudev lived that life, dedicated to the ideal and that is why this so called death cannot be an end to His life or work or teaching or anything like that.
We are sitting here, offering our worship and this occasion must become a source of inspiration. Inspiration to live that great life is what is going to sustain us, the entire organisation, and the community. So, we all pay our respects through rituals and worship. That is one aspect.
The second aspect is our firm commitment. In the present days, what people lack is commitment, even in their ordinary life and work. Students join schools and colleges, but they are not committed to learning, as such. The whole emphasis is more and more on getting grades, degrees, marks and percentages. Even when they find a job, there is no commitment, as they are looking for some other opportunities, other places; and nowhere are they satisfied. At least committed to their married life ? Even there, there is trouble.
Then they take to spiritual life. Is there commitment there? There also, the shopping mentality continues — from one centre to another, from one Guru to another, from one Mantra to another, etc. There is no commitment. Unless we have that, we cannot progress.
Now, as we have assembled here today, I take this opportunity to say a few things that are in my mind. Pujya Gurudev gave His best to us. Now it is our duty to give our best. What are we going to give Him? That is a question we all must ask ourselves.
After Pujya Gurudev’s Mahasamadhi, our Mission members all over the world remained very united and fully supported the Mission work and, that is why the Mission has grown in all parts of the world. I personally thank one and all for extending their full support to the organisation as such, Pujya Gurudev’s work and also personally me. Without everybody’s support, work cannot go on.
Now the Chinmaya Mission has already completed 50 years of its existence. The question now is, where are we going? When a great person establishes something with a great vision, then that work goes on, but after that person’s departure, what happens to the organisation or work depends very much on the devotees and followers.
Once I was at Sidhbari with Gurudev. Somebody asked Him, “You are building so many centres, Institutions, etc. What will happen to them after You go?”
He said, “I felt like doing all this, so I have done it. After me, if my disciples and devotees want to keep it, they will keep it. I am not bothered. I did what I wanted to do.” He was a Karma Yogi. He had no attachment to anything.
The question we have to ask ourselves is, will we allow all these things to wither away, and only keep crying? If we are truly devoted to Him, we must stand up and keep on working. That is what will satisfy Him, because after all, His work was for the benefit of each and every individual. If I do something, it will be for my own betterment. So, the important point is, have we understood his Vision? Have we understood the entire Mission? Are we fully identified with the whole Mission? Then, are we ready to work?
In order to achieve all this, we are now embarking on a great project called Chinmaya Vibhooti. This is not going to be another centre, school, hospital or a social project, but something different. Chinmaya Vibhooti literally means the ‘Glory of Chinmaya’. It also means, ‘the Glory that is Chinmaya’. We have acquired 50 acres of land in a village called Kolvan, which is between Lonavala and Pune. Some time back we had the Bhoomi Pooja there and I think some of you were present.
What is this project about? One objective of this project is to pay our homage in a concrete form that is visible. All of us are studying Vedanta and working for all our local centres in various capacities. That is one aspect. But something visible is required.
Chinmaya Vibhooti is a tribute to Pujya Gurudev from all the disciples, devotees, members, well wishers and beneficiaries of His work. He does not need it, but we need it. We must express our gratitude.
The second very important objective is, to keep the Vision glowing. If the Vision is lost, we know what happens. If in my day -to – day life I lose my vision — my eyes, it is so difficult to carry on with life. The Vision is very precious and that must be kept alive and glowing. How are we going to do this?
Sometimes, these objectives look very abstract. To achieve them takes a lot of effort and that is what we are going to do at Chinmaya Vibhooti:
One very interesting aspect and the real heart of the project, is the depiction of Pujya Gurudev’s life, work and teachings through multi – media. Nowadays there are so many technological developments, which will make this possible. The whole place will be called the “Journey With The Master”. From His birth onwards up to His Mahasamadhi, all the work that He has done, and His Vision, will become clear as you go through the entire journey. His life, work and teachings will become clear and that itself will become a source of inspiration. That is Number One.
Number Two: All over the world, we have Chinmaya Mission centres, and all members are working voluntarily. They are involved and serving the community in various ways. Some of them are involved with Balavihars, some with Yuva Kendras, some with Bhajan groups, Vedanta courses, schools, hospitals and social projects. There are many grassroot activities and also many projects serving the society. The Sevaks and Sevikas of these activities have got the inspiration, devotion, dedication and readiness to work. What we always need is training. That is why in all companies they have constant programmes of training because training brings efficiency. We must know what we are doing. For example, if we are teaching Balavihar children, we must know what is the goal or objective of the Balavihar. What to teach, how to teach, how much to teach is a skill. And therefore, here we will make an international training centre for all Sevaks and Sevikas of all our activities and projects.
Number Three: We will make this a camp site. The requirements of camps are different. For the various camps that we hold, many a times we have to make do with makeshift arrangements. But this will be something permanent.
Also, as the Mission grows, we need to have national conferences. If you take our schools only, there are thousands of teachers who are teaching now. So, we need a place where conferences for teachers can be held, for national, international and world – workers’ conferences of the Mission. We need an auditorium with all facilities, with a minimum capacity of 2,000 people.
Then of course, office administration, kitchen, dining hall and a place for people to stay, like hostels and cottages. We will also build some cottages meant for meditative retreats. So, people can live in silence, alone and in solitude.
There will be a Ganesh temple. The land is such that there is a road, a plain and slowly it goes upwards to a hill. On that, we will have a Ganesh mandir, because Pujya Gurudev started His work from a Ganpati Temple. Ganesh is the God of Knowledge and our Mission is founded on knowledge only. Of course, at the foot there, I want to have a small shrine dedicated to Hanumanji. From the road up to the hill, it will be a 1.6 k.m. walk. Some people like walking and they can go walking.
I have yet another idea — which is not very clear to me at the moment, but we are speaking about it to people and soon our dobts will get cleared — that is, to have a park there. You may have heard only of ordinary parks and amusement parks. But what we are going to have is an ‘Enlightenment Park’. Don’t ask me what it is, because I have to enlighten myself on that ! Some thoughts are there. It will be very interesting. Now, this is in general, an idea about the Vibhooti.
My main objective is, on the occasion of Pujya Gurudev’s Mahasamadhi, we must become aware of His Vision. What was His life, work and teaching? His life was dedicated to Truth. His work was to touch the life of people, to bring that inner transformation. And those who came in His contact are not the same any more. They have changed. What was His teaching? His teaching was, “You change.” He always said, “We Can, We Must.” This is very simple. Do not complicate the matter.
Do I have your support? I and you are one and, that is, our Chinmaya Mission. Whatever we do is for our own growth and spiritual happiness. What we have inside us, that only can we give to others. If we ourselves are miserable, what happiness can we give others? We must discover the fountain and source of happiness in our hearts.
Today, I also take the opportunity to tell you something about our All India CHYK. They are doing really good work. You had seen the presentation on “Awakening Indians to India” the other day and you all were moved by it. That is a time – bound programme, but there is a more serious programme, the Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP).
Remember, living for oneself is nothing great. There is a beautiful subhashita:
Yasmin Jeevati Jeevanti Bahavah So Atra Jeevati. Vayaamsi Kim Na Kurvanti Chanchvaa Sodara Pooranam?
That means, that person in whose living, thousands of people live, that person alone can be called as a living person. He is the one who lives – one whose life is such a great inspiration to everyone. And such a person will be he who lives for everybody. We all are seeking happiness.
A Mahatma put it very beautifully. He asked, “You want happiness? Then make someone else happy.” That is the secret of gaining happiness. Otherwise, the birds also fill up their bellies. Everybody lives for oneself. From where do we start this?
This YEP idea is to give at least two years of your life to the service of the society. If one cannot give the whole life, dedicate at least two years. This program is such that we invite applications from boys or girls who have completed their college graduation, to give two years of their life. Vaman Bhagwan went to Raja Bali and asked for land measuring only three footsteps. We are not asking for three — only two years.
We go on complaining, the community, the nation and the world are going to the dogs. But who is throwing it to dogs? All the time, the politicians are easy targets for us to criticize. The politicians are doing this and that. Politics is dirty. So, you are the only clean man ! This is a very negative attitude. We must do something. Whether you enter politics or not, somewhere you have to start. So, the program is that these students who apply for this course, even to serve, they must have some training before that. Therefore, the training will begin on 24th September, 2003 – for four months.Awakening Indians to India’s Glory.
Classes will be held on various aspects of life in which spiritual, cultural, science, technology, etc. will be covered. These people will be taught how to serve. After four months of training, they will be sent to different places and looked after. They don’t have to pay the fees for four months and when they work for two years, the Mission will look after them. They have to just work and work for the cause. That will depend on their aptitude, ability and all that.
People are worried because that is their second nature. Their worry is, ‘what after two years? ‘By that time all job opportunities would have dried up. I will be already lagging behind’. So, we promise that you will get your job and placement. Try. Now people are so afraid – you promise but will you really give jobs? How little faith we have ! That is the greatest tragedy in man’s life. He has no faith in anything.
We are going to have this training course at our centre in Kolhapur. There is a beautiful centre. We will be doing it for the first time. So we do not know exactly how many people will join and how it will go. But it’s a very good experiment. We will learn many things from it. Those who are in this age group should come forward and join the course. Others, at least support it. Suppose you are running a factory or have a company, you can say, OK Swamiji, I will give a job to two people in my company. Or I will give this much donation for this training . In so many ways we can help. Someone said, my work is in another country. There are people dying to go there. Give him that job in Germany or France or elsewhere !
I had read a beautiful sentence that I would like to share with you — Do what you value and value what you do. When you value something, do it. When such a great project and plans are there, do it. And when you do it, value it. When I do a job and look down upon myself, what respect will the other man show me? You have to give beauty to the work. Sukarmi kurvanti karmaani. Karmas are there, but the beauty comes to that karma by your performance and the goal to which it is dedicated.
So this is a very great program. Please come forward to support and participate in that in different ways. This much is enough.
We have derived great inspiration. We are all beneficiaries of Pujya Gurudev’s love and compassion and kindness and knowledge and what not. I deliberately don’t speak more about Him because then I will not be able to speak. I invoke His grace and blessings on each and everyone so that we also live a noble life of sacrifice and service, of spiritual growth and happiness and become positive contributors to society.