High quality of pooja and high quality of devotion can come only if you train your body through yoga, train your prana through yoga and train your mind through yoga – chitta shuddhi, prana shuddhi, bhutha or tattwa shuddhi has to be there. If you sit for pooja without bath, without changing your dress, without attending to the daily calls but with a loaded stomach, how would you feel? In the same way, you must take care of your mind. You take bath, change your dress, you do everything, but you do not understand that if the mind is not properly fixed, all the pooja is fruitless. Whatever pooja you do, it does not bear any fruit because you have attended to non-essentials and you have not attended to the essentials. Mind is the basis. If you do pooja, if the mind is one-pointed, Bhagavan darshan will be there. It is for this that you and your children must practise yoga and learn pranayama.

Prepare for your pooja

I will tell you another secret. Many times people say that it is very difficult to control the mind. Yes, it is difficult to control the mind for one who has no yukti, no technique, no trick. You can control an elephant, so you can control the mind also, but there is a yukti, a trick – pranayama. Before pooja, if you do pranayama for 15 minutes with pooraka, kumbhaka, rechaka – 15 minutes of pranayama, you can go through the whole pooja with a calm, quiet and steady mind. Pranayama at once controls the mind and therefore you must learn asana and pranayama. What is asana? You have seen Lord Shiva sitting in padmasana? Yogis sit in either padmasana or siddhasana. When you bend your spine, it creates tensions in the brain. It is not good for the spine, for the heart, stomach and brain. Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita (6:13):

Samam kaayashirogreevam dhaarayannachalam sthirah;

Samprekshya naasikaagram svam dishashchaanavalokayan.

Let him firmly hold his body, head and neck erect and perfectly still, gazing at the tip of his nose, without looking around.

The body, the head, the neck must be in one line. Not only your back, your head and your neck should be in one line. Sri Krishna says ‘achalam’. Achalam means should not shake. You should stay 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours, 5 hours and then you must fix your mind here.

Nasikaagram svam, fix your mind on the nose tip. Dishashchaanavalokayan, do not look here and there like a monkey. Do not look to the right, to the left, do not look up. This is the position. This you cannot do because your body is not trained. In order to train the body and muscles you will have to do surya namaskara, pawanmuktasana and a few asanas which you can learn. Practise asana for six months, one year, then sit in padmasana for one hour. You can read the Gita, you can do pooja, dhyanam and arati. You will see that in three to four months’ time, your anubhuti, experiences, will change.

This is the first benefit of yoga which comes to our daily religious practice through asana and pranayama. Dhyana means thinking of your ishta devata only – not also, only. Dhyana means attention, one pointed awareness. If your ishta devata is Sri Rama, he should be there. His photo, his murti, his vigraha, his image, must be seen by you as it is outside. The difference between external and internal must be finished. The mandir should be in your heart. If the vigraha of the ishta devata is in the mandir, it should also be in the heart. If you can see it outside, why can you not see it inside? You cannot see it because you have only outer eyes, not inner eyes. You can see the inner Rama, the inner Krishna and Vishnu only with inner eyes, and those you do not have. In order to develop the inner eye, you should concentrate on trikuti or bhrumadhya, the point between the two eyebrows, the seat of the third eye of Shiva. In the Bhagavad Gita Sri Krishna said (8:10):

Bhruvormadhye praanamaaveshya samyak

Sa tam param purusham upaiti divyam.

You must fix your mind on bhrumadhya; then you will see the light.

Do asana, pranayama and dhyana to improve your religious practices. Many people do pooja even without bhakti. They do it because they have to do. If they do not do, Bhagavan will get angry. They want to do it just like they want to go to office on time. That is called dharmic vyatha, religious fear. Do not be afraid of God. He is your atma, your soul. He is your everything. What is the use of fearing him? You can fear everybody else. You can fear your husband, wife, or children. Do not fear God. Even if you do not do pooja, he would not get angry because he knows this fellow is getting lazy. Now this is the first important point.

Help yourself

The second important point that apart from your pooja and religious life, you have so many sicknesses in the family. And what do you do? In olden days, grandmothers knew some sort of home made remedies and they used to give it. Now that is not done anymore. So, now there is the doctor. Doctors give you some medicines. You get better for a few days, and again you get sick. Then you go to another doctor. You get a little better and again you get sick. Now this chakkar goes on throughout your life. If you have ten members in the family, you have to make a compulsory visit to the doctor or hospital every now and then.

Yoga has a science called yoga therapy and many people who have been practising have found that for most diseases one suffers from, yoga can help immediately, completely and totally. This migraine, pain in the waist, sciatica, peptic ulcer and retroverted uterus, prolapsed uterus – they are nothing. They can be cured, just like asthma and colds. From this viewpoint too, the practices of yoga are so helpful for the householders. You should not say that yoga is only for sadhus, for brahmacharis, vaishnavas, or for those who do not eat meat. Yoga is for sick people. Yoga is for unsound people. It is for restless people. It is not for healthy people.

You can make use of this science of yoga therapy and some of you must get proper training of asana, pranayama and shatkarma so you can help your neighbours. This is the greatest help you can give in this colony where there are one hundred thousand people. I am telling you that most of the people will be sick. They never keep healthy. If you can teach yoga to them and help them, they will be all right.

For example, neti kriya: take some tepid water, put it into a lota, pour the water into your nose and let the water come out. It is a cure for almost one hundred sicknesses, more than one hundred. Another example: take some tepid water, 3 to 4 litres and first thing early in the morning, drink it and vomit it out. Your migraine, acidity, gases, cough will be gone. What more do you need? You have not spent one more naya paisa and more than that, it cleans your stomach.

Diseases like asthma, bronchitis, migraine can be cured instantaneously by the practice of surya namaskara. You know surya namaskara is a combination of twelve exercises which girls and little boys should do. What a fine memory, what a fine brain they will have. They will not take much time to study their books. In short, I give you a glimpse of how yoga can help you in perfecting your religious practices and how it can help you in curing and treating yourself and your family.

Don’t forget

This human life has been given to us with a special purpose. You have not been born as human beings to just eat, sleep and produce children. That is your side activity. The main purpose for which you are born is to awaken the shakti in you known as kundalini shakti. The purpose of human birth is that and there is no other purpose. After getting this birth and so much of knowledge, awareness, satsang and so many scriptures and sages like Ramana Maharshi, Sri Aurobindo, Satya Sai Baba, you still somehow miss the real point along with the obligations of your grihastha dharma. Along with your grihastha dharma, while fulfilling the obligations of your own desires, you must practise some sadhana for your awakening, and that sadhana you must take from a Guru, not make it on your own. Have satsang, then go and approach a Guru and tell him, ‘I want to practise yoga for higher things’. If he is capable, he will give you the way. If he is not capable he will say, ‘Look here, I do not know that much. Please go to somebody else.’

In Bihar, in every village, even illiterate women know nada yoga. The farmer woman who collects cow dung, who sells milk and curd, practises nada yoga. You know what nada yoga is? Close your ears and hear the inner sound, close your ears and go into dhyana and then you will hear birds, murali, mridangam. So many things you will hear called anahat nada. You can hear music and that is called nada yoga. The women practise kundalini yoga. They know all about chakras, where kundalini is and how she wakes up and what happens. They know where ajna chakra is because for them the purpose of human life is certain.

All of you who are born in India have the rishis, munis and mahatmas as your ancestors. You belong to some ancestry, either Parashara gotra, Yagnavalkya gotra or Bharadwaja gotra. You do not belong to Mohamed Rafi gotra or the Lata Mangeshkar gotra. You belong to Parashara Gotra. You are the children of rishis and munis, not ordinary householders. You have such a clear cut and most illumined background, that knowledge flows through your veins. Why have you forgotten it? What has this modern culture to give to us? It has given everything to westerners. We have to purify it. It has given enough to the westerners who have nice houses, centrally heated rooms, motor cars, security yet you see them sleeping on Benares or Agra station waiting rooms. What happened to them? They have everything, then why do they like this life? Because modern life has given them a kick. Adhunik jeevan, modern life, has given them such a kick that they do not want it anymore even if they have to sleep on the platforms of Benares railway station. Even if they have to use the most dirty latrines of third class waiting rooms, they do not mind, but they do not want the kicks of modern life.

You want kicks now. Before you get kicks and this disillusionment, it will be much better that you set your mind right and revive your senses and your sankalpa.

Adi Shankara says that three things are very difficult to obtain which are the means to the attainment of the grace of God. If you want to obtain the anugraha, the grace of God, you must obtain these three difficult things:

  1. Manushyatwam or the human birth, a human body, human intelligence;
  2. Mumukshutwam or the desire to become liberated;
  3. Mahapurusha samshrayaha or association with an enlightened person.

If you have got these three things which are so difficult to obtain, you are definitely qualified to receive the grace of God, but for that, do not squander this property.

Once a housewife sent her servant to the market with ten rupees. She said, ’Go buy lady fingers, potato, eggplant and onion.’ The servant went to the market and forgot what he had come for. He went to the theatre and the circus. After the circus, he went to some club. The lady wondered, ‘I sent the servant at 10 o’clock and he has not returned. It is 5 o’clock now.’ She thought perhaps he had gone away with the money. She thought, ‘The children are going to come back and I must cook for them.’ So she took some money and went herself to purchase the vegetables. While she was in the vegetable market, she found the servant wandering around. She asked him, ‘Hey, what happened to you?’ He said, ‘Nothing.’ She said, ‘But I sent you to buy vegetables.’ He said, ‘Oh, I had forgotten completely.’ The lady asked, ‘What were you doing the whole day?’ ‘Well, I went to the circus and the theatre.’ ‘And where is the money?’ ‘I have spent everything.’

So all of you here are the servant. The housewife is still waiting and I have come on her behalf to tell you, ‘Why have you not come back after purchasing the vegetables and where is the money?’

7 February 1982, Neyveli House, Lignite Corporation, Tamil Nadu