When will you be born in the West?
I will not be born in the West. If I am born at all, I will be born from the womb of a mother who will tell me at the moment of birth, “O son, you are pure, enlightened and beyond the maya of the world. I give you sannyasa; you will not marry!” Shuddhosi, buddhosi, niranjanosi; samsara maya parivrajitosi. I pray to God that I get a mother like this. I do not want a mother who would like me to get married and lead a normal worldly life. Ek Niranjan, Do Gadabad, Teen Latapat, Char Chaupat, Alakh Niranjan. This means: “One implies purity; two implies trouble, three implies complication and four means foolishness.”
I am also performing karma. In fact, what I am doing is a preparation for the next life or birth. This life is as it is. By the grace of God, I have had a good guru, good friends, good opportunities and a favourable environment. I have also had the grace of Saraswatiji, Lakshmiji, Durgaji, Brahmaji, Vishnuji, Shankaraji and all the other gods and goddesses. They have given me a lot, and I have also been spending whatever I have received from them. But:
Fold, fold your bedding quickly,
March on for the forward journey.
Do you consider this inn of the world
As your own dwelling place?
So, God has told me, “Now, you have to accumulate your own earnings. Get up and fold your bedding. Stop your present journey. You have mistaken this worldly inn for your home. This is not your home; you have to leave it.” After all, how long can you stay in a hotel? This world is a hotel for you; you have to leave it one day. The longer you stay in a hotel, the more rent you have to pay. It may be five hundred dollars or five hundred rupees. You have wrongly considered this worldly inn to be your home. Kabir has said:
You are not to stay here,
This is quite a foreign land.
This world is a folded piece of paper,
It is dissolved by a few drops of water.
This world is a garden of thorns,
By getting entangled, one is sure to die.
This world is bushy and thorny,
It quickly catches fire and one is sure to burn.
Kabir says: O brother sadhu,
The name of satguru is the real destination.
The breath has to stop sometime. When a man dies, the breath stops either while inhaling or while exhaling. So, the last breath should be the awareness of the mantra. If I do not die in Vrindavan, Mathura or Jerusalem, it does not matter; the important thing is the awareness at the last breath. The Bhagavad Gita says (14:12–15):
If the body meets death at a time
When sattwa is predominant,
The soul leaving the body,
Goes to the holy world of the wise.
Meeting with death in rajas,
The soul is reborn among those
Who are attached to action.
Dying while in tamas,
He is born in a womb
Having little consciousness.
I am confident that this will happen. There are thousands of people in India and abroad who include me in their prayers. They pray: “Lord, please help Swami Satyananda.” The prayers of these people will not go in vain.
There is something called the last breath. What should a man’s thought be at the time of the last breath? Everybody has a last thought. You may not be aware of your first thought, because you were not totally conscious at that time, but there is certainly a last thought and a last breath. There is certainly a last action also, such as drinking water, doing japa, going to the toilet, talking to somebody. What should my last act, my last thought and my last breath be? Why, it should be God’s name, because that thought determines our onward journey. Tulsidas has written:
Birth after birth the munis keep trying:
Still the name of Rama
Does not come from their mouths
At the time of death.
—Rikhiapeeth, 19 November 1994, first published in Bhakti Yoga Sagar Vol. 1