March 16, 2002 (Friday)
Swami came out after the evening interviews.
Swami : P. V. Narasimha Rao (Prime Minister of India, 1991-1996) is coming tomorrow. Yesterday, he was acquitted by the Court. He wanted to come directly from there. He did not want to drink even water till he comes here.
Prof. A. K. : Yes, Swami. He had to undergo so many problems. He had to suffer a lot.
Swami : When you are on the right side, the victory is yours. Yes, it will take some time, but ultimately the truth prevails. Satyameva Jayate (Truth alone triumphs). Previously, he was the Education Minister (Government of Andhra Pradesh), then he became the Revenue Minister and finally, he became the Prime Minister. He is an ardent devotee of Swami.
Swami then elaborated on the differences among people. He then said that people have lost faith in God. Asked whether idol worship should be done or not, Swami said, “It is necessary and nothing wrong in it.” He then gave the analogy of the finger and the kerchief. Swami said, “When you want to show something on a kerchief, you point your finger in the direction. Subsequently, you look at the kerchief and are no longer interested in the finger. In the same way, the idol will lead you to the Divine. It is not the stone or the idol which you should concentrate on. Even in the country, people are divided into different segments. People fight over God. If a Vaishanvite (devotees of Lord Vishnu) hears the name of Shiva, he would immediately close the windows of his house, and the same is true with Shaivites (devotees of Lord Shiva). Even Vaishnavites and Shaivites are divided. In Vaishnavites, there are people who keep Naamam (mark on the forehead) in a ‘V’ shape and others in a ‘U’ shape. Once, on a temple elephant’s forehead, the Naamam was kept in a ‘U’ shape instead of the ‘V’ shape. There was a dispute regarding this among the two sects and the case went upto the Supreme Court. The elephant died before the Supreme Court gave its judgment.”
Swami then asked a teacher which God he worshipped. The teacher replied that they worship all Gods. Swami then said, “Indian culture is Sanatana (ancient and eternal). All other religions came up recently. Christianity also came up recently. Even in Christians, they are two types, Catholics and Protestants. Initially, there were only Catholics, but few of them protested most of the time. So they were called as Protestants.”