Question 1: Can I chant the mantra silently in my mind so I don’t attract the attention of others?
Answer: Yeah, you can do that. But you should also find a time and a place where you can chant out loud. See. In other words, your prescribed number of rounds on your beads should be out loud. And, certainly, kirtan has to be out loud. And also a lot of times we’re too worried about what someone else may think, “Oh, they won’t like it or they’ll think I’m strange” But there’s all kind of people saying all kinds of stupid things, and they don’t care what people think. And remember, when we do this meditation, God is pleased. And if you chant out loud, then other living entities can hear it and be benefitted. Whereas if you chant silently, they can’t. But, of course, if your boss is there beside you, probably you don’t want to chant out loud.
Question 2: Is there love between a man and a woman in yoga? What is it?
Answer: Of course, in yoga, true yoga, there’s love between everybody. But it all starts with love for God. And then you love all other living entities. In human bodies, male and female, animal bodies, plant bodies. All-encompassing love. And also, in a spiritual relationship you love the person, not the body. Of course, there’s love, there’s spiritual love in spiritual relationships.
Question 3: What reasons prompted you to take up meditation? What is your goal in life?
Answer: I was looking for something deeper, some deeper meaning to life than just the external material activities. I knew there had to be more than this. And I had a good material life. I was living in Hawaii, surfing, living for free. So it wasn’t like I was suffering, wasn’t like I was saying, “God, there must be something more than this!” I had as an ideal material situation as you could ever have. But I still knew there must be more. So I began to look. And my desire and journey took me to meditation. First silent meditation and then mantra meditation. And the goal of life is to actually come to this true perfection of yoga – loving relationship with the Supreme Lord through pleasing my spiritual master.
Question 4: What should I do if I do not know what teaching to choose? To remain a Christian, say prayers in the morning and evening or to choose an eastern teaching, say mantras, do meditation? Or is it almost the same?
Answer: Yeah, that’s a decision you have to make. You’ve heard the Christian teachings, you’ve heard something of this teaching. You have to consider both very carefully and then make a decision. But remember, you want to choose a path and a teaching that gives you the most complete information, has not been changed at any point, it’s still the same pure teaching. It gives you information and knowledge about who you are, who God is. It gives you very clear information about how to please God. It gives you a practice that cleanses and purifies your heart and will make it so you develop love for God. And never forget that Lord Gauranga was the Supreme Lord Himself. And He Himself practiced mantra meditation and taught others.
Question 5: Are you sure this information can be given to everyone? What if someone will suddenly understand it in the wrong way? After all, it’s mysterious knowledge.
Answer: Not mysterious. It’s just very clear truths coming directly from the source of all truth. And everybody can hear it. Will everybody understand it, accept it? That’s an individual thing. See. Any speaker of the truth will speak that truth. But that doesn’t mean that everybody who hears it is going to understand it and accept it. Everything is a mystery until you have knowledge. Don’t forget that just a very few years ago, around 500 plus, a little more, it was a mystery of what was on the other side of the ocean. People thought the world was flat, and if you went too far, you fell off. You see. That was a mystery, too. What solved the mystery? Knowledge. So knowledge is the cure for mysteries.
Question 6: What did these practices give you personally?
Answer: Same thing it gives you if you practice them. Peace, understanding, happiness, a new direction in life. See, just many wonderful things. And ultimately, the most wonderful thing: love for God.
Question 7: How did you find your spiritual master? Or did he find you?
Answer: By God’s arrangement, as is always the case. It’s said, “By the mercy of God, one gets guru. By the mercy of guru, one gets God.” That’s not only unique to myself. It’s also for everyone. God knows our heart, our desire. And when we want to know the truth, then He arranges it so we find a perfect person to teach us the truth.
Question 8: Yesterday you said that there are paths leading down. What are they? Mantras, yoga – is it the way to go up?
Answer: You mean after all I’ve said you don’t know if mantras, yoga goes up or down? Have I been that unclear? I hope, not. Yes, there’re many paths that lead down. Many paths that are popular today. But in forth the idea we’re all God, and therefore we can live a hedonistic life because we’re God, we can do whatever we want. A very popular philosophy. Well, that leads down. See, it’s the opposite of the truth. There’re many teachings like that. But mantra meditation, as I state it again and again, and again, leads you to the highest perfection of life.
Question 9: After yesterday’s lecture I was going back home and right in the centre of the city I met some young people walking a young сheetah on a leash, it was wonderful. And now the question is: at what age did you start practicing yoga?
Answer: First, next time you see this сheetah, tell him, “Haribol!”
I’ve started yoga when I was 26.
OK. So, thank you very much. HARIBOL!
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