The most precious thing mankind needs today is God’s grace. Happiness, sorrow, disease and poverty are all part of life. Grace is different. All the saints had to face suffering and they accepted it. Whenever the Lord’s grace is present, there is always happiness and peace. That is why our rishis and munis found the way to obtain grace.
Finding the right sadhana is not like getting a job, starting a business and earning money. You may want to practice sadhana and achieve something, but spiritual life is entirely dependent on God’s grace, not on personal effort. You can keep on practicing yoga, but nothing will bring you close to God except His grace.
I realized we are dependent on grace after practicing spiritual life for many years. I tried everything possible. On January 19th 1983, I resigned from the institution. In September 1988, my mission being fulfilled, I left the work, responsibilities, friends, disciples, money, everything that I could consider my accomplishments. I went to practically all the siddha teerthas or holy places in India. On July 14th 1989, I returned to Trayambakeshwar. I surrendered and laid down my arms like a defeated soldier, but I wanted amnesty from God.
Again I spoke to Lord Mrityunjaya, my ishta deva. I said, “What am I to do now? I have nothing to do with yoga or preaching any more. I am a sannyasin, a free bird. I have no more missions to perform. I came to you in 1963 with a request. You fulfilled it. I gave you a promise and I am fulfilling it at last. Now tell me what to do and hereafter I promise to do only what you tell me.”
That night a deadly storm raged within me. A voice pronounced, “Twenty-one thousand six hundred.” The instruction was clear. It meant I was to do continuous japa twenty-four hours a day, fifteen rounds per minute, nine hundred per hour, 21,600 per day. I made a decision, “Satyananda, you are not operating on your own. You know many things, but now do only what God says.” I made this final decision.
Everything happens according to its own destiny. At Trayambakeshwar I faced the problem of where to stay. On September 8th, 1989, Swami Sivananda’s birthday, the voice came again, saying, “Chitabhoomi,” which means cremation ground. In India, mythologically and historically, there are two cremation grounds, Shiva’s smashanbhoomi in Benares, and Sati’s chitabhoomi in Deoghar. I saw everything as clearly as on a television screen. I described the vision to Swami Satsangi. She went to Rikhia on the 9th and on the 10th she was shown this land. The title was struck on the 12th, and on the 14th the property was purchased. On the 23rd I came to Rikhia.
To know exactly what God means, you have to ask Him. You have to pray to Him, “God, show me the path and be kind enough to lead me on to it. I have no mental, physical or moral strength. I am nothing, you are everything. I am a car without a driver, a chariot without a charioteer.” This is the only way. It is God who guides me. He has guided me from childhood.
On January 14th 1990, I made a sankalpa to do 10,800,000 rounds of japa. It took me three hundred days. At the end, the voice came again, “Take care of your neighbours as I have taken care of you.” It is practically the same as Christ’s message of “Love thy neighbour.” After coming to Rikhia I discovered my relationship with God. Now whatever I do is God’s commandment.
When you leave everything to God, you will have great joy and satisfaction. You were born through the grace of God. You live by the grace of God. It is by the grace of God that you start thinking about spiritual life. It is through the grace of God that things happen in your life, both good and bad. Whatever happens is His prasad.
We want from God what we want, not what He wants. That is why everybody is unhappy. Suffering makes a man, enjoyment makes him weak. That is why the saints suffered. Christ suffered throughout his life. So did Sri Rama and Sri Krishna. These great men, prophets or incarnations of God with miraculous powers, who could control the elements and their destinies suffered because suffering is the salt of life.
Only when you enter the furnace can you become gold. Sorrow and suffering are my friends, not my enemies. Happiness comes to destroy me. I am telling you this from the depths of my heart. All spiritual seekers must understand that God is the source, the only support. If He wants you to do sadhana, do it. If He wants you to enjoy life, enjoy it. If He wants you to suffer, suffer. Become His servant. A servant has no choice. This is the purpose of the human incarnation.