A lecture by the Supreme Master Ching Hai
at Fremont Hindu Temple, CA, USA, on November 25, 1993.
(Originally in English)
Thank you that we have the opportunity to see each other and also to have a devotional day to God, in whatever form and name we may call this Supreme God Head. I have to thank you and all of the people who have made the effort to push me here, because otherwise I wouldn't do anything. (Master laughs.) So every time I have a chance to give a lecture or to be in a gathering, I will be again thankful and thankful, cause then I feel that I am doing something right. If nobody demands or requests or pushes me into this kind of work, then I won't do anything. Yes. And I also don't feel anything about it. I mean I don't feel regret or I don't feel remorseful that I don't do the job.
I don't know why such a beautiful job I never desire to do. I don't know why. But every time I do it, I feel it's good, you know? It's good that I should do it, but then I never desire to do it again. Then somebody push me out to give a lecture, then I am grateful again that I will do it. Do you know what that is? Must be laziness, I think. (Laughter) I really don't understand myself. People just say that, "When you are enlightened; you are Master, you are supposedly to know yourself." But I must confess that I don't know! (Master laughs.) I don't know. I can just equally be happy stay home and sleep. (Master laughs.) So I really don't know. But when I am here, I am very happy and grateful that I am here. When I am in bed and sleep, I am happy and grateful that I sleep. But I truly am grateful that you have pushed me to come here and you know, I feel just good, very good, that probably I become a little bit useful.
Also a temple is useful, that we can gather together and have a nice devotional day to the Supreme God. Or do you just came for lunch? (Laughter) No? I didn't make a mistake, no? You came for God, right? (Yes) Okay, good, then you are entitled to lunch later. (Laughter) Surely if we don't have spiritual food, it doesn't matter what we eat; it will never satisfy us, mentally and physically. Therefore, we keep getting hungrier and hungrier, again and again, and even we eat a lot of nice food and vitamin we still get sick and sometimes distressed and indigestion. In the Bhagvad Gita, it is mentioned that the food which was prepared for offering to God first and then we eat it, should be very nutritious and full of blessing for us. If, however, we prepare the food just for personal satisfaction then we truly make mistake. And that will give us a lot of dissatisfaction, and sometimes trouble, indigestion and all that. Actually, in the Bhagvad Gita it says stronger than this, very strongly, like: "You eat in sin if you don't offer first to God." So it's not me who spoke like that; it's Krishna (Master laughs.)
Now, everything is the same; it's not only food. All of you know the Bhagvad Gita or not? That is the book of wisdom of ancient India. It is about five thousand years old. Yes, it was spoken by the Supreme Master of that time, Krishna, the beloved black beauty. (Master laughs.) His complexion was dark, you know, like many Indian people, but he was so beautiful and handsome that people call him "heartbreaker". It's also because he breaks everybody's heart when he leaves. (Master laughs.) And wherever he goes, people love him, adore him and make offering to him, just following him madly. I hear that he had about seventy thousand wives, no, sixteen thousand wives. Well, the Indian people, sometimes they exaggerate things, (Master laughs.) but he must have a lot of followers. It's not really wives, you know, disciples. Probably mostly were women, because probably he was very handsome, I hear! I wasn't there. Maybe I was there but I forgot. (Master laughs.)
So the Bhagvad Gita is the record of the teachings of the Master, Krishna. You can find much wisdom and guidance in this book. I still look at it from time to time. I still do, yes, because it is very beautiful, concentrate and wise. Sometimes you get solace and calmness by reading that book. If you truly understand and digest it, it is a wonderful masterpiece of wisdom. Many of the masters of the past have connection with the Indian law, therefore we could not not to mention India and the Bhagvad Gita. Even Milarepa, do you know? The great yogi of Tibet. Even that great yogi of Tibet, his possession consisted of a pot and the Bhagvad Gita. Now, in that book it is mentioned that not only the food that we should first prepare in the spirit of offering to God before we take it, but also everything else we do in life must be an offering, must be a sacrifice, to the Supreme Spirit. In that case we will never reap any bad or any good result out of that, because bad result or good result bind us to this material world. Even if sometimes we cannot help ourselves, we lose our temper; we get angry, and we know we shouldn't. And then sometimes we feel very very sorry for a long time, after our anger has already subsided.
But, I tell you, forgive yourself. Forgive yourself anytime. Whatever you do, just make offering to God and let it be, whatever the outcome, because we are not the body anyhow. We are not the action. We are not the doers of anything in this world. Even if we are; suppose we are the doers, we still have to forgive ourselves. Forgive ourselves when we make mistakes or when we cannot help with our habits, like anger or sometimes greed and sometimes lustful thoughts, because these things also arise from circumstances. It's not truly the Self; it's not truly the soul that desires all these things. So we always have to try again and again, and forgive ourselves after all, I mean, above all. Because the inside is God, the Supreme Wisdom, we can't scold it; we can't abuse it; we can't be rude to it. You understand what I mean? So if we are angry with ourselves, we should be angry only with our habits, our accumulated habits. Or we should blame the situation also, not to blame the Supreme Wisdom, the real Self because the real Self never err, never make any mistakes.
Suppose we are even the doers and we are in society like this, sometimes we get angry. It's not always our fault. Most of the time it is not. Sometimes everything can make us angry. For example, you work in a company and you work with the wrong personal, right? Whatever you tell him, he just doesn't understand. Or he understands but he does the other way around. He just makes you angry and angry. Even you forgive him again and again, he repeatedly does that. A very small thing, even a small thing irritates our minds and makes us feel miserable. So it is good that we know that there is something else above the mind and above the body. The body is composed of only material substances, like earth, water, iron. Well, our iron inside is much enough to make a few nails. Do you know? (Master laughs.) And water, earth and maybe fire, the vital fire so that the body would be warm and all that.
The mind is consisted of what? It's just a collection of all kinds of information, bad and good. It is just like a computer, whatever you program it, and when you push the button, it comes out the same, right? One of our fellow practitioners, he has an electric organ, and he programs it into different musical rhymes, and he can play it again from the cassette. So the same thing with our brain. It would be empty; it would be absolutely blank, just like a brand new computer, until we start to record things and information, and sometimes good, sometimes bad. If we happened to record the good information and when we want to make use of it, then the good information come out. If we happened to record the bad information, then of course the bad information comes out.
So now, to meditate, to pray to God or to study the holy scriptures is just a way to reprogram our thinking, our way of life. Because we reprogram it in a good way, the result that comes out is always good, or at least not as bad as before, or at least not all bad. Even though we can't help to record some more bad information daily, the number will be less than before, right? It's because we keep recording good things, like we meditate; we meditate on God name, we meditate on God power and we get the God power coming tHRough us, filling us with joy, virtues and goodness. Then even the bad information comes in, it has no room, and also maybe minimized. And because of the goodness and the powerful energy from God, tHRough meditation each day, we will be able to dilute or maybe digest completely any information that is harmful to our minds and our souls. That's why we cannot not to meditate! We cannot not to study the holy scriptures.
Many people don't like to study holy scriptures, why? Because they don't understand. So I hear that many of the holy men from churches, or from temples, they complain that the young people or the people of today do not like to study scriptures; do not like to study holy book. It is because most of the holy scriptures are too profound, too sophisticated, too deep, sometimes too difficult for the modern man, for the layman to understand. But we have one solution, first, we have to open the understanding power, then we can understand the Bible or the scriptures. Anything you get into your hands, any book, you will be able to understand. I also could not understand much of what is said in the Bible or in the Bhagvad Gita or in the Buddhist scriptures or in the Lao Tze books and all that. Kon Tze and Lao Tze book I read. I understood somehow but not as profound, not as deep, as I do now. After our power of understanding is open, the wisdom is made to be useful again, then we can understand many things.
So if we do not understand the scriptures, and the best thing is first to get enlightenment. Enlighten means you open the power of understanding, and then the heavenly light, Godly light, will shed all understanding upon any object that we wish to study. So that's why even now in college, people teach the students many kinds of meditations, at least to calm their turbulent minds. And if they have a better meditation, the good kind of meditation, which can even open the seat, the door of wisdom, the power of understanding, then so much better for them. Therefore many of the students who study in college but at the same time meditate, they find it easier to master any subject that they want to study. And they are always very good at school. This is a fact that everybody knows by now.
Why is there reincarnation? It is because we do not know the real Self and we chase after the container of the Self. Therefore we chase after one to another. For example, the water in the sea is all one. If we happened to put it in a cup, or we put a cup into the sea like this and then we seal it, then the water in the cup is separated from the ocean. But as soon as the cup is broken, it become one with the ocean again. And if the water inside the cup is attached to the container and then after it's broken, it goes to seek another cup. Then it will forever be separated with the ocean. Similarly, our real Self is not contained in this body, never! It's because it's all pervading, and this is just one of the station, one of the things, that contain a little bit of ourselves. Therefore, when we broke this limitation, we will be one with the whole. We don't have to break the body to go out, (Master laughs) there is a way to go out. For example, we don't need to break the cup to free the water in the cup; we can just, you know, where it is leaking or there is a hole somewhere, and so even the cup is still there and the water is still inside, but at the same time the water is in and out all the time and connected with the whole ocean.
Similarly, our cup here, the body, has a hole, and it is blocked. It's made blocked so as to keep the soul, the water of life inside, but we can open it. Similarly some of the cups, you know, are all made like this (Master takes up a cup.) but there is a hole in the bottom and then they use a plastic cover to cover it, right? Or sometimes medicine bottle also. We just take a little cap, plastic cap or something, and then we can connect with the content inside. So there is a place where we can be connected with the whole Universe while still keeping this instrument, the body. That is the third eye center, the seat of wisdom, the seat of the soul. If it is opened, by any mean at all, by our own perseverance, power of desire for liberation or tHRough a master, then we will be connected right away with the whole Universe, with the Most High, which is all over the places. The power of the Most High is not only contained in this body but it's in the air right now. It's everywhere. It's in every blade of grass and the leaves of the trees, in all Creation. It is easier to open it if we have an experienced guide, you know, who has already been connected with the whole Universal Power. Then he is very powerful because he doesn't use individual power anymore. He uses the whole Universal Power, because he is already connected. Just like the water in the cup, even though it's still in the cup but it's always connected with the ocean water tHRough the hole; and there is always fresh water coming in and out, even though it is still contained in the cup. Therefore a master, or an enlightened person, is like that. The initiated person is the one who has this connection, has the button open, and the master is the one who realizes the Universal Power.
Even though we all have it, the master is the one who realizes it. It's just like if two persons have the same amount of money inherited from the father, but the one who knows it, who knows where it is can use it. The other one, even though he has it but he puts it somewhere or he never knows where it is, can he use it? He cannot! Similarly, we are all the same, but if we know where to use our Universal Power, then we will become masters of ourselves, masters of our destinies, and we can lead many others to become masters of their own destinies as well. Otherwise, even though we are equally great, we don't know our greatness and that's a waste of time. Therefore, we have to come back again, again and again in search for this treasure, until we find it, then our journey ends. Very simple! We are here to search for this forgotten treasure and we never give up until we find it. That's why our lives are never satisfactory because we always know there is something else, something greater than what we have right now. We always somehow know that we are not this container, the flesh, because after we so-called die, the body is still there but we cannot move; we cannot do anything; we cannot love any person; we cannot open our mouths; we cannot do anything at all! That means we are not the body. Something in the body is there to make the body move and work while we are living. Something in the body left when we die, so we cannot move any of our bodily instruments. So somehow we know; very deep in our hearts we know. Well, I know! I don't know if you know. (Master laughs.) Do you know? You must know.
That's why sometimes when you have time, when you are in trouble especially, you sit down and you don't want to be with anyone; just want to be alone. Then you think, and then you feel better and better, because you thought there is something there, something that sometimes comforts us in silence. I used to be like that before I know the Quan Yin Method. I used to pray a lot. I pray to Buddha and I pray to Jesus. I am afraid that one of them cannot hear. (Master laughs) So I pray to anyone I know. Sometimes I pray to Krishna, Hindu God. (Master laughs) There is no Hindu God; there is only God, actually. Just sometimes God resumes an Indian form or a Chinese form, so we call this Hindu God or Chinese God, actually there is no such thing.
So sometimes when I was in deep sorrow, before I know the Quan Yin Method, I prayed very deeply, just to be alone; not to pray very loud, but to truly lament inside. Then I felt like something lifted me up, and I felt so soothing and so smooth and I felt that there was nothing to worry about. That is the time when we realize that something is greater than life; something is always there to listen to us.
Most people pray, and they say they don't have any response. It's because they don't pray deeply enough. That is why we have more response when we are in deep sorrow because we are truly sincere at that time. We pierce tHRough all the layers of pretending of hypocrisy and we pierce tHRough our false self and we get in touch, somehow, even briefly, with the true Self. That is when we get the response. But I suggest that we don't have to wait until we are in deep sorrow to do this. That would be too traumatic. Yes. We have a better way to do it. We practice it even when we are not in sorrow; that would be better.
We practice before we die; that would be better. So when we die, it is just like walking from one room to the next. No problem! And we can walk out forever. We can break the whole cup and be united with the whole ocean, or we can keep it; we can seek another cup in order to satisfy someone else's longing or to help someone else. It's like the master, sometimes the master reincarnates again and again, into different bodies, in order to help mankind. Some masters just like to enjoy Heaven, enjoy Nirvana and never want to go back again. Some masters never, never ever incarnated on this Earth, with no intention to do so. Some masters incarnates again and again in order to help the children who are suffering, who have the great treasure but don't know how to use it; therefore, being very poor, poor and miserable.
In India people appreciate the masters very much. They worship the master even more than God because of this reason. They say, "Oh, if both the master and God appear right now, I would only worship the master. I don't care about God." (Master laughs.) It's just a kind of adoration and gratefulness to the master. Actually, they worship the master because of God; they worship God because of the master. Without the master, they don't know that true God exists or not. Yes. Without God power, the master is also nothing, understand?
So we all come from God, whether masters or not masters. The master is the one who knows God, and the non-master is the one who doesn't know God yet, but they still have God; they are still from the same. I told you about the story of the cup, the ocean water in the cup. So at the time of initiation, you know already, the button is pushed open so that we can get in touch, somewhat, to God, at least for some moments. Then we continue to do that everyday, until we completely realize that we are one with God; there is no separation.
You see, there are many things that the initiated persons understand and know, but it's difficult to put them into words. Me also. If nobody demands anything from me, I would not even think of God. Do you know what I mean? He is just kind of always standing around or He is just inside me. So I don't even think of Him. I don't talk about Him. I don't miss Him. I don't seek Him anymore. Just for other people's sake I talked about God. I talk about these things. Sometimes it's difficult for me to talk about God. Maybe that's the reason why I don't desire to go for lectures or anything like that, because I am just satisfied wherever I am and whatever I do. The initiated people are mostly like that. Many of them have this satisfaction right away at the time of initiation and continue forever.
Some of them have to wait sometime to realize that they have found the treasure. Why is it so? Some people's curtains are thicker than the others, because we are obstructed by intellectual understanding and by many of the knowledge that we have accumulated during our lifetime, and we are proud of it and cling to that. That's why we have forgotten that we are greater than this knowledge, greater than the Ph.D. certificate, greater than the name that we are proud to have, like Dr. so and so, or such and such position. We are greater than this, greater than any king on this Earth. Sometimes we don't even realize that we have this ego and that we are trapped into this ego, the Maya net. We don't even realize it until we practice more and more. And the more we practice, the more we realize that we are obstructed by our own habits, by our own collections of garbage, of a lot of nonsense thinking.
Similarly, everyday we are busy with our daily work and we busy with our worldly knowledge and we think we know that much, this much, and then we forgot that we are the great ones. We know more than that. We know above all these things, including these things. Now, the greatest power, the great wisdom, is so big like that, for example, so great, so pervasive, and then we use that great wisdom just to understand a little bit of the worldly knowledge, for example, the medical knowledge or the lawyer knowledge or anything, and then we cling to that. The whole wisdom we use just to pay attention to this corner of the knowledge. Therefore we forgot the whole. Do you understand what I mean? That's it. And we thought that we are very great already, we are this doctor and that Ph.D.. I don't mean to talk about you. I said "we", meaning including myself. Sorry!
So now we think we know that much. We are beautiful. We have this and this certificate and that. In fact, we lost the whole 99.9999 percent of our great wisdom just to pay for that much worldly knowledge. In the end we have nothing because this is ephemeral; this knowledge will change. We know many medical definitions or many medicines have been proved outdated and then replaced by another. Or scientific facts have always been changed, removed and replaced by another idea, and then it would be replaced again and again, as mankind progress into a higher consciousness. Therefore, it doesn't matter how much knowledge we gain from this world or from the brain power of research, we will never have the whole thing, just one little point in the Universe. Just like the water in the cup is proud that he is so big and he doesn't know that he is the whole ocean, you know? When he is connected with the whole ocean, he became the ocean. I guess you understood what I say.
Q: Master, why Krishnamurti said, "Gurus and religion are crutch?" So he
refused to be their crutch for his students.
M.Why didn't you ask him? I am not responsible for anybody else's teaching. Everyone has his own independent thinking and philosophy, provided he keeps it for himself. Probably what he meant is that if you are too attached to religious dogma or to any teacher at all, then you will be handicapped. In that sense he is correct. The teacher or the master is not the one on which you lean, but from which you gain experience and wisdom and then you walk yourself, Okay? Most of the time if a teacher is worth his salt he should teach the student this way. Do you know what I mean?
But never mind! Even then, if a student of any master should feel that he is not yet able to develop himself, then he can pray to the master, in the initial stage of his spiritual practice. Later when he grows up, he just automatically drops the master. It's just like a person; not everybody can walk straight. I need an umbrella to walk; my legs are weak sometimes. But when my legs are okay, I don't need it. Yeah? Somebody, sometimes they are naturally born handicapped or accidentally handicapped, and then they need the crutch. It's okay with him. Can you just kick him out? And say, "You don't need the crutch. It will make you dependent!" Understand? (Yes.)
So we cannot just say like this, black and white; to say that the master, the guru or the religion are no good absolutely for people. It's good to someone. Right? If you don't need it, it's fine. If you need it, stay a while until you don't. So I don't preach anything extreme. In my opinion, religions are also very good for many people. At least they learn the virtuous way of life. They fear God. They fear the law of cause and retribution, and many people became good. I tell you the truth. But, as long as we know that this is not the ultimate. Do you know what I mean? Yes, not the ultimate, just like, for example, the master, in the physical body is not the ultimate, you know? The ultimate is inside the master, and inside you! THRough the master you will find the ultimate. That's fine! If you have not found it yet, you can rely on the master, to help and carry you for a while, and then you can walk. It's fine. But there is no such thing as extreme as to tHRow everything altogether. Is it not so? (Applause)
Q. Master, how long have human beings been on this earth?
M.Wow! I have to count with my fingers. (Laughter.) Do you know how long? What for do we know how long? It's enough to work everyday! It's been a long, long, long time. Some have reincarnated. Some have been liberated. Some come back again and again. So if you want to count this, it's difficult. You can say, aeons has past.
Q. Does one have to give up all other teachings, gurus, etc. when initiated
by Master Ching Hai? If one doesn't become initiated, can one still pray to
Master Ching Hai and receive Her blessing?
M.You don't have to give up your teachings and your teacher; I told you already; nor religion, you don't have to give up religion neither. For example, I am initiated; I still talk about Bhagvad Gita. I still talk about the Bible, the Buddhism and all the things, all the masters, even past masters. So I didn't give up anything! I just enrich myself with more wisdom, more knowledge from different masters, past, present and maybe future. The future masters, you can meet in the higher sphere because they have not yet descended on Earth, but while in meditation, you can see the future masters as well and learn from them. So you lose nothing; you only gain. Okay? If you are not initiated and you pray to the so-called Master Ching Hai, I don't know if She helps you or not? You have to ask Her at that time. (Master laughs) Maybe She does; may be She doesn't. It depends on how sincere you are and your karma.
Q. Master, when I meditate, I cannot keep my mind concentrate at here. It
runs all over the place and it talks about all kinds of different subjects.
How do I concentrate and meditate better?
M.Is that the initiated or not? (MC: Are you an initiate?) Because I would answer differently. Who asked that question? (Somebody answers: Yes.) That's why we have to go to group meditation. Because the concentrated power will help us, and we have to take time; some people can concentrate right away; some people take a longer time. I have mentioned previously in the lecture. Also forgive yourself. The situation in this world is not conducive to our tranquil meditation and calm thinking, but try again and again. In this world, we have an advantage, that because this world is so difficult for us to practice, God's blessing is with us many folds. So we walk one step and the Master Power will walk a hundred steps to help us.
If we are in Heaven and practice, it's not that lucrative. Therefore in Heaven if you want to practice, it takes a longer time. For example, here we practice one day it is equal to one hundred days in Heaven. That's why many devas, heavenly beings, they like to be incarnated into human bodies, in order to practice faster. It's because here we have all kinds of rubbing force, like karma and situation and disaster and war and suffering and happiness, all these mixing. It's a kind of a high degree fire to forge us. These fires will forge us into a strong, useful tool for ourselves and for the world.
While we are practicing here, we have also the opportunity to help our fellow beings and, therefore, we gain more merit as well. For example, you meditate alone at your home, so you have only one personal merit. But, if you, tHRough your effort or tHRough your eloquence, you offer your place, for example, for a hundred persons to meditate, then you have a hundred more merit to add up to your personal merit. So you have a hundred times more quicker, you understand what I mean? Or you get another hundred persons to come in to get initiation, these merits are also yours. Because after all we are one, the more we connected with more people, the more expand we become and the greater we become, in terms of merit. Mathematical wise speaking, it is like that.
So it is better than in Heaven. In Heaven everybody is having a good time and so they take it easy. They don't have the motivation behind them to push them to concentrate. That is why I say when you are in deep sorrow or when you are despair you pray better, and sometimes you meditate even better. At that time you remember the master more; you say, "Oh, Master, please, please, please ..." (Laughter.) And then you get better experience that day, bigger light, stronger sound or feel more elated, more near to God. So it is good to practice in this world even though it is difficult.
I am happy that many of our fellow initiates practice very diligently. Some come to the center just to look around but later... Well, they don't look around that long because everybody closes their eyes. So they feel embarrassed after sometime and they also close their eyes, and then they see something inside, instead of looking at pretty girls outside. So there is a very good advantage of having a temple or having a center, where people come together and do the same thing, concentrate and one-pointedness thinking of God; that helps very much. So you take your time. You can look around for a while, and then when you are fed up with it, you close your eyes and meditate with all the people. Okay?
The mind is always having trouble to be controlled; that's why we have to practice everyday. Otherwise, I would tell you, "Get initiation and you are the Buddha." No more work! Right? It is because our habit is long term. It has been many thousands of years of time, maybe more! So to take one lifetime to clear all these is hard work, but it's worth it. Or you want to stay here a thousand more years to continue to do that? Well, it's fun! So that is why I tell you to have to meditate longer time, two and half hours or tHRee hours, because the first twenty minutes is struggling. Just go on, go on with it and after about twenty minutes, it begins to settle down. After half an hour, you begin to enjoy, and forty minutes, you are gone. (Laughter)
Q. For what purpose has mankind been created in this life form? Is there any
humanlike life in another planet in the universe?
M. Yes. There are human lives in other universe, in other planet. And for what purpose? I don't know. That you have to ask the Creator when you go up there. I never ask Him why, cause I don't ask many questions. I am kind of a quiet person. (Master laughs) Okay.
Q. How do we know to liberate ourselves from suffering, painful emotions, at
the right time when we want so bad to let go of the lives, the circumstances
around us? But it's so hard to see tHRough because of the people we are
attached to, and know that there is more to life itself than just ourselves
and love of someone else we couldn't let go?
M. I told you, just forgive yourself and try again. Sometimes in some circumstances we are able to control ourselves, but with some great effort, and some other times we don't want to control ourselves or we can't control ourselves. In either way you just do what is good for you at that moment. Okay? Don't worry much about the emotion. It is only the waves on the surface of the ocean. It is not the ocean's fault. It is the wind. It is the rotation of the earth that makes the waves. So the ocean cannot blame itself all the time, and says that he makes waves, he makes troubles for the boats and he makes trouble for the people, etc. He cannot help himself. The ocean cannot help herself or himself. Is it him ocean or she ocean?
MC. Whatever You want to call it.
M.We never know. Well, let's make it a she because I am Ching Hai. Ching Hai means "pure ocean". Actually in India they name it Vishudananda. I think I have to change my name into Indian name now to attract more Americans. (Master laughs) The other day one of the American disciples said to me, "Oh, all the Americans like Indian teachers only, so that's why You don't attract so many of them. You attract only the Au Lac people and the Asian." I said, "Okay! Why don't I change my name?" He said, "Do You have an Indian name, by the way?" I said, "Yes, I do, Vishudananda." (Master and the audience laugh.) That's the translation of my name. Anything "Ananda", Da Da Da, will do. (Laughter.) Sounds very much Indian. (Applause) Now you may call me, Ananda, Vishudananda. It sounds very Indian, right?
Q. How do we attain inner peace or happiness in everyday life?
M.Slowly. After initiation, the more wisdom, the more this peace and grace from God we receive, the more peaceful our lives will be, but only if you don't become a master. I can't promise you a peaceful life if you want to be a master. But if you are a disciple, everything perfect. (Master laughs and audience applaud.)
Q. Dear Master, I always make the same mistake that I don't want to make. I
feel there are two of me inside, one good and one bad, how can I stop this?
M.Well, maybe that's the balance proportion in your life that you need to learn. Actually we can't be too good all the time. You will break! Yeah? You see the man in the circus, when he walks the rope, he has to walk this side, that side. You know what I mean? One time he dips in this side, the other time he is siding to this side. Otherwise, if he walks just like this, he will fall down. This life has two sides anyhow; one is positive, and the other is negative; one is happiness, and the other one is misery. Sometimes we can't help ourselves to dip from one side to another. It's okay! Forgive yourself. Try if you can; if not, forgive yourself. Alright?
Do other things in contradiction to that, to counter attack this habit if you think it's bad. For example, if you are normally very stingy; don't want to give to people, now force yourself to give. Every time you want to take, you give instead! So next time you dare not want to take any more, because every time you want to take, you lose the business! (Laughter) For example, if you want to take one dollar, then force yourself to give two dollars. So next time you dare not to want any more! Or if you normally like to look at other woman besides your wife, so every time you want to do like that, just go home and look at your wife. So next time you are fed up, and you don't want any more. Maybe you try it. (Applause.)
Q. Some religions are saying the end of the world is coming. What is the
true meaning of this saying?
M.No religion ever says that!
Q.Only the CHRistian Religion, right?
M.What? CHRistian religion says so?
Q. I mean, the Bible.
M. The Bible doesn't say that we end at 2000. The Bible just have some revelation about some kind of destruction of the world, but that is one man's experience only. And we, some of the people, sometimes have this kind of experience. When you enter into some kind of destructive past, when you have seen it before in your previous life, and now you saw it and you thought it would be this time for this Earth. It is not true. Maybe you see the end of the other galaxy, the other planet, and you mistaken that for this world. Or sometimes you see it in the past, mistaken for the present time. Sometimes you see it in the very, very, very remote future and you miscalculate the time; you think that it is now. That is why many prophecies never come true.
Just recently somebody in Keeth has predicted the end of the world and she shifted tHRee or four times. Supposedly it should be on Friday, then Friday was holiday, so it became Sunday, then on Sunday it never came. (Applause) But never mind, the end of the world comes when we die anyhow, so make preparation for that day. Be prepared so that when we leave this world, we go with God, instead of going with the angel of death. That would be the end of our world.
Q. What is the relationship between compassion and mindfulness?
M. Mindfulness means you concentrate well. Compassion means you love other people. Compassion, you have mercy, you love other beings, love animals, love people. You don't want to harm them. You want to help them when they're in need. That is compassion. Mindfulness is the concentration degree you get when you meditate.
Q. Earlier You said that if when you open your mind to the Universe, then you
can gain the wisdom, knowledge and will be able to understand any book. My
question to You is, "What if you were born with not so bright a mind? How
can you be able to learn the knowledge from the Universe once you open your
mind?" Learning new knowledge would take time and hard work. For me, in
the past I had tried to learn to become a professional person. I failed
because I am dumb. Can You show me the way?
M. Not being able to learn in school doesn't mean you are dumb. Maybe you lack courage, maybe you lack good teacher, good friends or good circumstances, or maybe you lack patient. Some people learn quicker; some people learn it a little bit slower. But that doesn't mean you are dumb; doesn't mean you are stupid. Not to know your own great wisdom is the true stupidity. (Applause.) So I invite you to come for the initiation and get to know your greatness, then you will understand many things. It is because everything I say is just a big mouth, talk too much. Anything without experience is just advertising. It doesn't matter how much I tell you the orange juice in my cup is very good and is very nutritious and good for you and a lot of vitamin C, and you drink it, it quenches your thirst. But if you don't ever come and drink it, it doesn't matter how much I say, it is all big mouth. Do you know what I mean? It's nonsense! Talk too much. So the best thing is just to drink it. Get enlightenment! (Applause.) Any Living Master Will Respond To Our Prayer
Q.I feel lost. I have searched and searched but have not found Home, that is
what I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to do. How does one find
Home here on Earth?
M.Get enlightenment. Home is very near. It is next to you. It is nearer than your skin. But if you don't have the light, you can't see it. You can't see things in the dark; it doesn't matter how near. You might have a feeling about what it is, but you don't see it; have to have the light. The light of God will shine on everything you want to search for, including Home. But this is all abstract speaking, really you have to have experience, and that comes only with diligent practice after initiation. You know how to practice and you do it and then you realize day by day.
Q. Why is it that after so many years of religious teachings and past masters
that the world has not gotten better but much worse?
M. It is because the past masters cannot teach you. You have to look for a present master, who can answer your question, help you when you are in doubt and take you by the hand back to the Kingdom of God. We need a person to person contact, not the past lives. Just like it doesn't matter how great the beauties of the past; you cannot marry her! She cannot produce any children to you; cannot produce the love feeling that you have with a living wife.
Q. I was taught in my fundamental CHRistian church that we were to pray only
to God, not to Jesus, not to virgin Marry, not to the angels, not to anyone
or anything but only to God, the Father of Jesus, the Creator of the
Universe. Why then are people praying to You as a master, or to any master?
M. I don't know. That's their problem. (Master laughs.) Just like before, somebody asked me if he doesn't want to get initiation, that means he doesn't want to get direct contact with God, can he pray to Master Ching Hai? What can I do about that? Well, if she prays, she gets the response, so she continues to pray. But I always advise that you go for initiation, and get contact directly with God and pray directly to God. That's the best way. But if somebody don't want to choose that way and want to choose the second way, easier way, no vegetarian, no two and half hours meditation, no rules, nothing, just want the benefits, then she will pray to whoever give her something. And it happened that probably she prayed to Jesus or Buddha and didn't get any help, so she prayed to Ching Hai. When she gets help, she keeps praying again. People are like that; they like profit. Yeah! (Applause.) You know, the truth is that any living master will respond to our prayer.
But then when that Master passed away, people continue to pray because they learned that from their parents, from their ancestors. They continue to pray and they forgot the difference between a living master and the past masters. So they continue to pray to the past masters and sometimes they blame that they don't help them. But, actually, when you pray to any master that means you pray to God anyhow. Do you know what I mean? Because the master is connected with God, you just pray to God. What is there inside except God? You think you pray to Ching Hai? Who is Ching Hai? When you think of her, who is she? What is that? Only God resides in her body; nothing else there! So you pray to her and she is connected with God, then it's the God that you pray to, understand? (Applause)
MC.. He would like to know if it is so wrong that he separates his parents
for a good cause, because one of his parents does not allow the other one to
practice meditation. And he would like to know if his action is related to
karma? And if he practices this meditation, will that correct the wrong
action of separating them?
M. Never mind, you should let time take its course. And whatever concern your parents, you don't worry. You don't worry because the time will come when things will change. If you try to force the issue before time is right, you incur some trouble and sometimes you incur, of course, the karma.
Q. Master said that water in the cup is the same with water in the ocean,
but because of our egos which separates water of the cup from the ocean. Is
it right that meditation means making a hole at bottom of the cup to have the
water merge with the ocean?
M. Initiation means that. Yes! Open the connected hole and so the water can come in and out all the time. So the water in the cup is the water in the ocean, and the water in the ocean is the water in the cup. Yes. Everyday when you meditate, it's just like water flowing in and out all the time, making it fresh so that the water in the cup does not become rotten.
Q. How should one meditate?
M. You meditate the way you want. If you don't know, you come for initiation and we help you, okay? Actually you should not ask me any question at all! Because it doesn't matter how many answers you have, what's the use? The best way is that we get enlightenment and know all the answers, or we get to the state where we don't care for any answers at all. And then we set ourselves free, forever, from any inquisitiveness, from every desire to know things. That is the time when we know everything. Whatever we need to know we will know right away, and whatever we don't need to know we still know it, but inside, we don't use it. Understand?
Q. My husband has a terrible skin disease, for eight years already. I love
him very much and I have tried many ways, doctors, medicines, religion,
meditation and hope to cure his disease.
M. All kinds of meditation as well?
MC.Yeah, meditation too.
M. He meditate, himself?
M. Or the wife?
MC. It doesn't say. But it's getting worse and worse everyday. Now every
time I look at him, my tears fall. And even worse, I began to dream about
other man when I am so sad. Am I bad and disloyal? How can I cure my mind
and my sadness?
M. No! You are not bad. Just the situation is bad. She forgot to mention that if her husband meditates or she meditates. Her husband should meditate and pray for himself.
Q. Is God a person, a being, a supernatural entity or what?
M. All that, all that and more.
Now, everyone when we have sickness, we should try to first accept it; secondly, try to find a way to cure it. There must be some way to cure things. Above all, we have to pray to the Supreme Power to help us. We pray, but pray deeply. Sometimes the diseases are caused by past karma, past reaction, past retribution, that we have done something wrong or harmed somebody else's appearance, therefore now we have to reap this result. But after sometimes, if the karma wears off, then it begins to get better. There are many ways to cure skin disease. I have seen many people with a lot of very bad looking skin, but they still have a cure for it. So maybe you didn't search enough. You have to ask for many more ways to do it, or tell your husband to pray himself, or meditate.
I cannot guarantee you that initiation will cure your disease, or your husband's disease, because I don't want to attract people to come to our group just because of the physical condition. That is not enough to liberate you, because we are still clinging to the material instead of wanting God, the giver of all things. Once we truly want God, He will give. If we only want things, you know what I mean? Sometimes He gives, sometimes He doesn't. That's the trouble.
In India there was a story about a king who liked to give all his things to his subjects. So he arrayed all his treasure around and told everyone to come and take whatever they like. And people took diamond, took gold or took treasure, took antique cups and all that, and then everybody was happy and went home. One girl only, she didn't want nothing. She just walked straight up to the king and she said, "Are you also a gift? (Laughter) I only want this gift." So, of course, the king was very surprised and happy that somebody wanted him for his sake, not the things that he gave. Of course, the king married her and then everything belonged to her, no? (Laughter) Yes. (Applause) The story is like that. Do you know the story? And there is another story to prove it.
He meditated all the time in the Himalayas, deep in the meditation, never stirred. But some of the gods in heaven were afraid that he didn't have a wife, so he would not pass down other generation, the holy seed or something like that, the sacred bloodline, so they worried very much, because he was so holy and they wanted to have another generation of this kind. So they sent out a beautiful, beautiful fairy. Her name was Parvati. She was very beautiful and her figure was enough to make all the men fell down. But she couldn't stir him. She tried all her best to kind of dance around him or make all kinds of things, but he never stirred out of meditation. So finally she was fed up, so she went to the other side of the mountain, a little bit longer way, selected a mountain range and she sat there and meditated. She said, "Now, all this is nonsense! I meditate on God and I get liberation and eternal bliss. That's better than to chase a man who is like a stone, and have no feeling, nothing!" (Laughter) "And me, so beautiful like this and he never stirs!"
She was fed up, angry and frustrated, so she went to the other mountain, Mountain Kailash, which is the most famous and holy mountain according to Indian belief. It is very high and it has also a very beautiful lake in the vicinity, called Mansarouar. So she stayed there and meditated, and after sometime she attained the blissful state. So Shiva, suddenly, during his deep meditation, he felt something stirring him. There was some very strong, powerful feminine energy. It was kind of disturbing him. Not disturb, also disturb but made him feel good and still excited somehow. So he opened his third eye, had a look and said, "Wow! There's a beauty over there." So that was how the romance started. You know the rest. So that's the power of meditation, the power of God. It even makes the god stir. Do you know what I mean? It made the most ascetic yogi excited. (Master laughs.) Well, if you want to get a husband, it maybe a good advice. (Laughter.) Actually, when you don't want it, you get it.
Parvati was trying her best to charm him but she did not succeed because she tried with the ego, with the limited power of possessiveness and mundane thinking. But when she became holy, her attraction became different. Why? Because his vibration was very holy, his standard was very high. If she used her mundane vibration and energy to attract him, how could he come down? You know what I mean? You have to be at least equal in order to attract the opponent.
Actually it's like that. Many people have no attraction before, then suddenly after initiation and meditate for sometime, they begin to attract people. You know, not necessarily physically, just attract them. They just love them and they just want to be near them. It is because of your vibration, your loving God energy. You cannot conceal it. It just radiates out and then attracts people like magnet, because the souls in themselves are also Godlike. So they just feel attracted to you, the same that people are attracted to the masters, but that is by no means a crutch. It is just a self attracted to a higher self. So after sometimes they just realize that both of them are one. Therefore, who is there to get the crutch? Who is there to rely on whom? So actually that is also the answer to that question about master and religion are crutch. It depends. Okay? So, have lunch! (Applause)