(Extract from a Guru Poornima satsang from the 1980s)
Let us make the best of this opportunity to realize God. Repeating the names of God with the tongue while having other thoughts in the mind will not help you in any way. But by sincerely doing spiritual practices, you will be able to surrender fully to God and because of your practice ego, jealousy, arrogance and selfishness will gradually diminish and vanish. Useless and meaningless conversations do not help one to progress on the spiritual path.
Someone who takes to the spiritual path needs to have immense patience. He or she should be able to bear any type of insult. Worldly people do not understand the qualities of such a person and so they insult him or her. What should one do in such a circumstance? The spiritual person should wait patiently, unmindful of the bad words, for they know that the other person is ignorant and will one day realize their mistake. At such times the spiritual aspirant would do well to simply “be”.
A person may be ripe in age and endowed with knowledge but what is the use of all this if they cannot surrender to God’s Lotus Feet? We may possess wealth, status, education, material goods and a palatial house but all these are useless without love for God. We take nothing with us when we die.
We do not give proper consideration to matters of real importance. We become slaves to praises and kind words. Some speak lovingly with a smiling face and we believe they are full of love. We are unable to identify true love and so are deceived. Our minds are caught up in the spider’s web of illusion. We cannot distinguish the true from the false and cannot fathom even our own hearts and feelings. Wake up! Do not be misled by mere words. Love should spring spontaneously from the heart. God is truth! God is love! It is great to be born as a human being!
When you look at a statue of our Divine Mother, Athale, if you could only understand her power and glory! Did not Mother Kali speak to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa? The energy in such shrines speaks to very few. A soul’s understanding of that energy is spirituality. If you have faith then the deity in such shrines will speak to you. However, if I say that I speak to the Divine Mother, people will laugh and say that I am mad because they do not have the capacity to believe or understand that she can speak to us in this way. We live in a world of gossip and so how can we expect the Mother to speak to us?
Are we realizing God? No, that is difficult with our limited knowledge. Can we use our sixth sense? No time! Do you think of the Divine? No time! Do you go to the temple? No time! Then when will the time come? We only have the time to think of God or go to pray at the temple when problems and sicknesses come. You should become aware of your faults and ask for divine pardon and help in order to correct yourself. (…)
In many ashrams women are not permitted to do abishekam and pada pooja, but this Ashram permits women to take part in these sacred duties. There is no rule to say that they cannot, yet still they are rarely allowed to do so. Although women have the patience and ability to do these religious ceremonies, they have not been given the chance. If they had been forbidden to do this, Sister Nivedita could not have served and helped Swami Vivekananda in his great mission; the Tamil saint Karaikkal Ammaiyar would not have become one of the 63 saivite saints of Tamil Nadu and Auvaiyar would never have composed her meaningful Tamil poetry in praise of God. By their exemplary lives they have shown us to what heights women can rise on the spiritual path. This is the greatness of womanhood! People generally do not have the ability to understand this.
If your mind is pure you need not be afraid of the criticism of others. There is no need to be nervous, confused or unsteady. (…) I shall end with my blessings to all, both here and around the world.