“… Should we give up Pooja and all other acts of worship?”

September 18, 1992 

Some students had gone in the front to present Swami with a card expressing all the students’ gratitude and joy at being blessed by Swami by His Divine visit to the Hostel. Swami saw the card and said, 

Swami : Thank you? Tank you? Tank you! I am not ‘Tank You’. I am ‘Tank of Love’. 

Bhagavan then finished Darshan and came straight to one of the elders and said, 

Swami : Today, there is not a single day without a Bandh (strike). Everyone wants to organise a Bandh. Why does not anyone understand the inconvenience caused to the people? Patients cannot be taken to the hospital; many important tasks cannot be fulfilled. The best thing to do would be to levy a heavy fee on the sponsors of the Bandh. No one will then come forward with the idea of a Bandh anymore! Your organisation started as a religious organisation, but now it is full of politics only! Anyway, what is this you are all doing? Why don’t the concerned parties come to a mutual understanding and solve the matter between yourselves? 

Devotee : Swami, we have agreed on many things. But the government always disapproves and obstructs. 

Swami : How can anyone obstruct when you both agree on something? If the bride and bridegroom are willing, the marriage can be performed even in a police station without a priest or a temple! If you both parties have really come to a beneficial understanding, the government will also see the point and agree! 

Devotee : Swami, You must tell… (Swami cut him off and said…) 

Swami : Me? Tell what? I do not wish to involve Myself into politics. My only intention is to take care of all creation - ‘Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu’. My only aim is to make everyone happy. I do not take sides. I do things to make everyone happy. Why do you think Ravana, Shishupala, Hiranyakashyap and others of their like were killed? It was for everybody’s good. Whatever I do, I do it for everybody’s welfare. (Changing the topic) Why did you not come yesterday? It was a very good programme. (To students) Are the boys all happy? 

Students : Yes, Swami. Very happy! 

Swami : (To a Devotee ) Yesterday I was talking about how Kama, Krodha, Moha and Lobha lead man to develop enmity with God and bring total ruin.(Swami then narrated the examples from Ramayana, Bhagavatha and Mahabharata to illustrate how Ravana, Hiranyakashyap and Duryodhana were ruined due to their vices.) These sacred texts are all ‘Acharana Granthas’ Texts which are read and practiced). In my view all sacred texts - Bible, Koran, Guru Granth - all of these are ‘Acharana Granthas’ only. What is the use of rituals and blind reading of these texts? One must practice them. Merely thinking of Bangalore is of no help. It is only by going there that some benefit might arise. 

Devotee : Swami, then should we give up Pooja and all other acts of worship? 

Swami : I never said that. I only said that mere rituals would be of no help. Rituals must be accompanied by the practice of sacred truths as well to give some benefit. Fish cannot survive without water, but water can exist without fish, isn’t it? What is real spirituality after all? It is not the rituals that you speak of. It is the killing of the animal qualities within us and rediscovering the Divinity within. It can be obtained through Acharana only, not just Parayana. Here, in our Institute also, boys are taught more of practical knowledge than mere bookish knowledge. 

(To a Professor) Our boys are taught to speak softly and in low voice here. 

(Speaking in general about the Super Speciality Hospital) 

The biggest disease is the disease of fear, not the heart disease. But here, villagers and small children are also now smilingly declaring, ‘‘Tomorrow is my operation’’. There is absolutely no fear. In our hospital, people are given milk, ice cream and fruit juice. Seeing the beds so neat they refuse to sleep on them lest they be soiled! They sleep on the floor despite being told that the cots have been specially provided for them. People find it hard to believe but actually, in our hospital, operation is on the first day, eating idlis on the next day, and the third day discharge! We aim at only giving them a good health. They are forced to leave the hospital because waiting list is very long. We have just finished 1,000 cases and there are thousands more waiting. We are shortly starting Urology Department also. We are now having a machine that can do away with operations to remove kidney stones. In a matter of minutes, it will powder the stones, so that it can be flushed out with the urine. This does away with surgeries which are time consuming! 

Swami then introduced an elderly gentleman from Australia and said, 

Swami : In India, even if people get a little old, they tell, ‘I am so old. Let me do my Pranams to God from here itself!’ But this person is determined to come here and has come. A strong determination is needed to achieve anything! 

At the end of it Swami had spent close to an hour outside with the boys. It brought a blissful evening session to a close with the song sung by a student from the 8th standard- “Entha Hai, Entha Hai, Eenadu… (Oh what a joyous day it is today!)” 

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