Drugs vs. Divine – Dusshera Discourse

October 24, 2012: The 3 day kriya yoga camp merged into the celebration of Dusshera. No external Ravanas were burnt, but especially powerful messages were unleashed to destroy the one hiding within. Many speakers spoke on the occassion, many beautiful compositions were sung. Below we have shared a translated version of Mahayogi Swami Buddh Puri Ji’s discourse on the occasion. (Please click here to listen or download this discourse in punjabi.)  Yes, it was indeed Drugs vs. Divine. Ultimately, there is no competition. If only one gets one glimpse into the latter, the malicious drugs lose all their dubious attraction. But in any case, increasing intake of drugs, especially among the youth, is a burning problem in Punjab and elsewhere. There is an urgent need to address the issue. Maharaj Ji did so quite eloquently from the stage of Dusshera. Quoting from the powerful composition of the warrior-saint Guru Gobind Singh Ji (Tenth Sikh Guru), “Chandi Ki Vaar”, Maharaj Ji said that what man needs is shakti (power). How man seeks it from drugs, and fails and ultimately a narration of his own experiences in Badrinath which clearly bring our the victor between drugs and Divine. It is afterall, as Guru Nanak Dev Ji states, Naam Khumari Nankaa Chari Rahe Din Raat.

Today the Navratras (nine-nights) have ended and it is the day of Dusshera. But we cel­­­ebrate Dusshera forgetting the Navratras. This is a very big folly. In Dusshera, the “dash” means ten. Dusshera arrives if the nine-nights have been lived; if the navratra-sadhana has been performed.  The Navratra sadhana is the sadhana of Shakti. Navratri-sadhana is the practice of the night, or the practice in which one remains awake in the night: the night of ignorance. Yes, though there may be light outside, but even that is darkness, if one cannot find his way in that; though our feet may run a lot in the external world, still that is darkness, if they tremble, stumble, and pain as they move.  We do a lot, and yet do not succeed – the meaning of success is getting happiness. Due to this darkness, we get stuck in the bog of attachment. The storm of anger wells up in which we can’t make sense of anything, again, due to darkness. We go on walking on the thorns of love and hate owing to this darkness. Owing to greed we go on running, arms spread and though nothing comes our way, we go on running – because of the darkness of ignorance. The practice to awaken from the darkness of ignorance is the practice of Navratri. When does one get the ability to do this practice? That is when one gets connected to shakti or power (energy).  Thus, the sadhana of Navratri is the practice of Shakti, Shivaa, Durga, Bhagvati. Gurbani, especially the Bani of Guru Gobind Singh is the Bani of Shakti – “Pratham bhagauti simar ke…” (First, remembering Bhagvati…). Bhagvati means Shakti. “Deha Shivaa Var Mohe Ihe, Shubh Karman Te Kabhu Naa Daron” (The Power residing in me, give me this boon, that I may never fail to do commit myself to pure and noble action). We are afraid – “I can’t practice.  I can’t do tapa. I can’t do sadhana” – we do not have shakti. We have not done the sadhana of Shakti, and therefore we keep on stumbling in the dark.

The attainment of Shakti is synonymous with the attainment of bliss. Where does shakti come from? How do we connect with it? Shakti manifests from the Blissful Nature of the Supreme. Without shakti there cannot be bliss too. This temple (Tripur Shivaa Peetham) is being built. It is our hope that it will be complete by next year. This temple has been built to worship shakti, to awaken shakti. The Upanishads also say, “Nayamatmaa balhinenlabhyah” –The Lord cannot be attained by the weak and the undetermined. In the Gita, the Lord says, “Shudram Hriday Daurbalyam Tatvotisht Parantapah”– Leave this weakness, O Arjun, brought on by your attachment, and rise. This is the sadhana of shakti. This is what we are discussing today.

We will speak a few lines from “Chandi Di Vaar”. Many would be knowing these lines. In them is depicted the beginning of Creation, its expansion, the destruction of the demons, and the celebration of Dusshera. So it goes as follows:

Khanda prathme saaj ke, jin sabh sansaar upaayaa
Brahma Vishnu Mahesh Saaj ke, Kudrati khel Rachaye Banaaya
Sindh parbat medni, bin thambaa gagan rachaayaa
Sirje daano devte, tin andar baad rachaaya
Tein hi durga saaj ke, daitaan daa naash karaayaa
Taiton hi bal Raam lai, naal banaa Dehsir kayaa
Taiton hi bal Krishan lai, kesi Kans pakar giraayaa
Bade bade muni devte, jin jug tan taayaa
Kinhe tera anta naa paayaa.

In these lines, the mysteries of creation, expansion and its dissolution – the principles of the Upanishads and shastras, have been stated. The first thing is Khanda prathme saaj ke – first of all Khanda was decorated. The World has not manifested yet. In such a state there is no Sun, no Moon, neither day nor night, neither angels nor demons, nor animals, plants – nothing has been created. From our perspective it is all darkness. But when a practitioner sees into this, behind this darkness there is the Akaal Pursha or Shivshaktyatmaka Param Shiva. In such a state, Shiva and Shakti are not separate – both are united. In such a state of Wave of Bliss arises – “I should become many”. From that Bliss, Khandaa manifests. What is the meaning of Khandaa? What we understand to be Khandaa is a symbol, made by us. How can Creation manifest from it! “Khandaa” is formed when the sound of “aa” is joined to “Khand”. Another word is Akhand which is one Whole, Indivisible, Homogenous. When the Shiva and Shakti separate, the “Akhand” becomes “Khand”. But it is “Khandaa” here: “aa” is the first sound and depicts “aananda” or bliss. Where there is the wave of bliss, there is power. The Absolute decorates Himself (Herself, Itself) with bliss and separates into the form of shakti, and this entire world is the work of shakti. Then Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh are manifested. Note: three kinds of words have been used in the verse above: upaayaa, banayaa, saaj ke. All of them imply making something. But there are subtle differences. “Saaj ke” means that the Absolute is making from Himself. Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh are three immense waves rising from the ocean of bliss or the ocean of power. The mistake to thing one bigger than the other, is the result of our imagination, which is stuck in duality.  Once these powers came into being, the play of creation gets started. How? Earth, Oceans, this entire creation of five elements – both subtle and physical come into being. One aspect of creation is the place and other is the jivas that live in the creation. Then two opposing powers come into being: the angels and the demons. In fact, the shastras tell that first the demons were created. And still though they are opposite, the Creator linked the two together. If the two were separate from each other then the work of creation could not go on. If you throw a brick from the top, it would just go on falling and falling, and nothing could be made out of it, without the obstruction given by the ground. The nature is built from opposites. Even in an atom the electron and the proton are opposite in nature. Similarly, the two opposing energy streams: demons and angels. If there were only demons, then there would be only bloodshed. If there were only angels, they would be devoid of any opportunity to rise higher.

On one hand there is destruction and dissolution, on the other hand there is creation.  Until a seed dissolves itself, it cannot become a tree. Something is made, the other is destroyed – this is how the world expands. But there is a balance between the two. This balance is created by Satoguna (the quality of Truth, Virtue). If the demons denote Tamoguna, the angels denote Rajoguna, then Shakti or Durga is the Satoguna that balances them and in this way, it advances the work of creation ever onwards. The Ganges comes from above, in its way it finds so many rocks and boulders. How would that sweet sound emanate, how would the beauty and force of Ganges manifest itself, if not for these rocks and boulders! So, there is no need to criticize anybody, just go on playing your role.

If someone says that Ravana was a troublemaker; he did much evil to the Brahmans and Tapasvis, we must then realize that Ravana was also the cause of Rama’s coming to this plane. The purpose of Rama’s coming was to increase Brahmanatva. Where lied Rama’s power? He was connected to the Rajoguna and Satoguna of the Absolute, and has he advanced the tamoguna was forced to advance as well. However, if within us we carry tamoguna, there is no power or shakti in us, then we will blame Ravana.

This may be difficult to understand, but greater the obstacle, greater is the opportunity to rise higher. Yes, no Ravana troubles animals; no troubles for drunkards; one who is already fallen deep into the abyss, who is there to pull them down any further. Only he who wishes to rise up, faces obstacles, and greater is the obstacle, higher would he be able to rise. And he, who would fall down, would realize and feel the pain. He should then worship Shakti; this would give him power and he would go on rising upwards. There is no easy way. Our problem is that we want our paths to be clear, to offer no obstacles. But unless obstacles are there, wherefrom would we get power! Yes, we may fly in a plane, but what is the fun, if we feel nauseated in doing so. Fill power within yourself. Become an airplane yourself.  If we will try to fly on wings of someone else, then we are bound to suffer. The external impediments and suffering are in truth, an excuse to awaken the power within.

What is the way to awaken the power within? The saints have already told that. Even Rama and Krishna obtained power from the Absolute and gained victory over their adversaries. And which is this Absolute? It is that, meditating upon whom, for many thousands of years, the great siddhas too could not measure His vastness. So, it is not about worrying that Ravana is there; it is about awakening the power. As much sadhana as we will go on doing, the power in us would go on awakening.

Now, Ravana also worshipped Shakti. But how is Shakti to be worshipped? Let us not talk about Rama. Let us talk about Ravana. Because, the main thing is about defeating Ravana. Ravana did great tapas lasting thousands of years. His tapas were done using fire, in fact sitting in fire, making one, his body and the fire. He is said to have ten faces. We take them to denote the ten orifices in the body. Through each of them he kept assimilating the fire within. The source of inner nectar also opened up. He kept on filling each of the orifice with the inner stream of nectar. All nine of them, except one, for he did not open the Tenth door and merge into the Supreme. He did not dissolve his ego. He saved his ego. Such great penance, but he saved his ego, that he didn’t give up! And because of this, even after doing so much sadhana, receiving so much shakti, he got on the road to downfall. In what way? The story of his downfall is important.

Wherever there is ego, there is ‘mine’ and ‘thine’. Wherever there is ‘mine’ and ‘thine’, there is selfishness. He came into the company of the demons – who knew only the pleasures of senses and were by themselves an aggressive race. The story of his downfall starts from here. What was the first step? The food that he took became impure. It started from alcohol, then he took to eating meat and committed many bad actions. He indulged in captured in someone else’s wife. He walked on the path of adharma. Such a massive power was destroyed starting from the impurity of food.

We had thought of today’s discussion in reference to a special context. The satsangis gathered here should know, that despite so much tapasya, Ravana fell down, owing to bad company and the first result of that is indulging in intoxicants. These days, drugs have become quite common, not only in Punjab, but almost everywhere. Apart from alcohol, there are so many kinds of them today, and they are dangerous. People say that maybe eating meat is wrong for it involves killing, but what is wrong in drinking alcohol! It makes one light-hearted. And the argument given is that it is also used in medicines. True! In medicines it is only 1-2% by composition and above that who eats medicines? The ill and the diseased! So it means that we already consider ourselves to be diseased.

Some time back, a mother came to us with her son and pleaded for help, to put some sense into her son. Then she softly told, as if with much burden and guilt, that her son had started consuming alcohol. We know the boy. We asked him the reason. He said slowly, “I do not earn much.” We said, “But how do you think you will earn more by drinking alcohol, the amount you earn now would rather decrease!” Yes, man takes to intoxicants to forget his pain, his misery. There are various other kinds of intoxicants too – wealth, power, prestige. These spoil the mind, the ego, but the other kind of intoxicants, not only spoil the mind, but even play havoc with the body. They say, we will stay within the limit. That can be true when taking medicines, but if consumed openly, there can be no limit. The intoxication would only increase. Trying to ease pain and misery by consuming intoxicants is just like being a pigeon which on seeing a cat, closes its eyes and thus thinks that there is no cat. In this way, the pain only increases.

Say, a man is going on a road. If someone pushes him, he will become angry with that person. If someone not only pushes him, but throws him in a drain, then he would be willing to kill that person. If he has a little land, and someone comes and forces him to give him a part of that, he would go to court and fight. If someone spoils the beautiful relation between him and his wife, then he will be considered an enemy. But when the feet of a drunkard tremble on the road, and when he falls in a drain, he enjoys it. This is a dangerous. A man can give up all his land and becomes a beggar, but will not leave the bottle of alcohol, which he considers to be his greatest friend. The home has become a battlefield, the wife is leaving, but the bottle of alcohol, he cannot leave.

One even realizes how his life is falling apart, and yet he cannot leave the intoxicant – this is how dangerous it becomes.  We think some drugs, like opium, give power. But this is like the situation of that weak horse, who goes onwards for a while when whipped, but with every whip, ultimately he goes on becoming weaker. Similarly, when the whip of opium hits the body, it works for sometime, but then the body goes on demanding more of it. Drugs overstimulate the brain, leading us to think that we are getting some new heavenly thoughts. But whatever taken to its excesses, only spoils. Inhaling tobacco, ultimately spoils the lungs. The body fluids begin to dry up. Digestive system is spoiled. Alcohol overstimulates the liver. The increased supply of blood to liver comes at the cost of other body organs. Ultimately, they fail to work. Those who leave it sometimes, do so because otherwise they will simply die. But once they get well, they take to it again.

This is how downfall of Ravana started. And then the mind becomes outward bound and then it goes on and on. We think that by keeping some fasts or doing japa etc. we will overcome the sins. But that is not going to happen. We are talking about power. The intoxicants give a false power. If we really want to gain power, then worship shakti, drink the real alcohol. “Jitne nashe utar jahin parbhaat, naam kumaari nanaka chari rahe din raat” i.e. all kind of intoxication will evaporate in the morning, except the intoxication of the Lord’s name which intoxicates throughout the day and the night.  Try it. It is a positive intoxication; it strengthens the mind and the body and gives heat and power to rise above big obstacles.

We remember an old incident. We were in Badrinath and it was winter. The temperatures used to drop down to -300 C. And there are no heating provisions, there is no electricity. The special kriya that we are doing these days in this camp, we used to do that. Once we went a little far and met some ITBP soldiers.  We asked them how they survived the cold. They told that they had a manual heating chamber, and the government supplied them with a superior quality of alcohol to keep warm. They inquired about us in turn. We told them that we did not have a heating chamber, but also had a very superior kind of alcohol, better than theirs. It is the alcohol of Lord’s name. And it is no mental imagination, but even in those conditions, when we practiced that kriya, we used to sweat. The body used to become warm, light, and refreshed. And not only the body, but even the mind, prana and the intellect! Through Name, we get that power. Today is Dusshera. Give up this cheap quality of intoxicants. Learn the way to drink the true alcohol, which brings lasting power. If that power is awakened then there is bliss, and care-freeness. Then we will not be bobbed down by any circumstance. No matter how many Ravanas or Kansas come. They will only become the means to increase our power within.

As long as creation is there, Ravana and Kansas are going to be there. Angels will also remain and the two would be connected together. But the only thing to remember is that we are to go on rising up and above. Do not think that the obstacle should not come. Do not hope to get an easy, cheap path. Obstacles are the part of creation. Wherever you are stopped, know that there is weakness within. To fill yourself with determination, try to awaken Ma Durga, Bhawani, Shakti, Naam within. Celebrate such a Dusshera. Then not only this, but many lives will be fulfilled. Please click here to listen or download this discourse in punjabi.

Sangat at the culmination of the Raam-Dhun towards the end of the program