Talks and Writings 

Mini Discourses     A lot of work.

Under this heading you will find excerpts of discourses and talks given by Sri Sri Sri Svami Purna Maharaj. It is estimated that there will be a different talk every other month.

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Excerpt from: Managing the World Crisis

Nowadays much political talk is about global warming and global poverty.  The vast majority of the world population is poor and starving. Yet all the suffering, pain and torture people inflict on each other in ignorance is created by them unnecessarily. That is my point: only when ignorance is removed can enlightenment follow, and a return to the golden age.  As long as ignorance prevails, however, there will be more exploitation, engendering more ego, then again more exploitation, followed by ever more suffering, and more pain.  Only if ignorance is removed, will ego and exploitation also vanish; the mighty ‘I am’:  King, Queen, Prime Minister, President, this, that and all the other labels people have attached to themselves and their environment will cease to exist. 

One well known man I met explained to me that he had made a lot of money in his life and yet he felt empty and unhappy.  Fortunately for him he was able to realize that his was a spiritual emptiness and this realization offered him a chance to change. He was aware that he could only feel rich when spiritually fulfilled.   But how many truly wealthy people realize that their unhappiness is related to their spiritual poverty?

When we make the statement:  “I am this, I am that” then a mountainous ego makes its appearance followed by a huge façade and this creates ever increasing gaps between people.  However, if following Vedantic teachings, people can instead say “I am Brahman (Aham Brahasmi) the Ultimate, and Absolute– and so are you, (Tat Tvam Asi)” Such statements can only be made on the purest level.  When, on the material level - on the basic human level - you say: “I am this or that”, then you create an ego like a balloon, which, filled with air, only needs one pin prick to deflate it.  The world has a puffed up ego and when you do not realize who you actually are, then that ignorance leads to a totally distorted perception of what is and who you are.          

Your perception is important, how you perceive and how you discriminate. Once your perception is right, there will be no problem.  It is like mathematical calculations; you cannot be half right and half wrong.  So once you get your numbers right, all is right and all is well.

The world is going through many crises. People need to learn to talk to each other, to communicate within cultures, and belief systems.  The world is a global village today: events in any part of the world are noted everywhere else.  You are exposed to the world and there is no escape. You cannot hide, you cannot escape and you are cornered. You need to have debates and face the Truth although many people in the world are governed by their fears. You may have held a belief for most of your life and suddenly it is proved wrong, highlighting your ignorance. Since it is the nature of things to change and to be in transition and evolution you have to examine and re-evaluate everything continuously. 

In a recent article in Time Magazine someone raised the question: ‘Do we need religion?’  Until recently no one really wanted to deal with this topic.  It seems that there is some interest now to examine our believe system.  We need many new definitions and clarification including God.

The world is at a critical stage and so far people have avoided key topics. In future there will be no other choice but to discuss human understanding of all kind of issues.  During an open debate a lot of things will emerge.  Vedanta encourages you to question:  Why are you here, what is your purpose, why are you doing anything?  Use your physical faculties to examine these questions. Contemplate: what are we all doing to each other today, what do we want and why? 

To reach a solution there has to be a universal debate; everyone needs to participate, not just a select few.  In the meantime you should find your own solution.  Look at whatever problem you may have before anyone else has to tell you.  It is better to be your own teacher rather than someone else having to tell you what to do.  Become your own true teacher where you can apply the knowledge.  Secrets and formulae have been given to help you become self sufficient. Such ‘secrets’ are actually fundamental human rights; they are not trade secrets which are closely guarded to prevent financial loss. In spirituality however, there are no financial concerns, there is no money. The only currency is caring love.




The Last Resort

It is important for the human being to question life, to find out. The need to grow out of present situations without getting stuck is an ongoing process of growth. Often this can take place very quietly, barely noticeably; then suddenly all is new, all is changed. There may be new insights, new understanding, new attitudes … growth has taken place without disturbance.

Yet at other times, there is a constant fight, both without and within. The fight against one’s lower self goes on all the time. Eventually, often after much struggle, pain and suffering, growth does take place. Karmic situations will always happen; life can present you suddenly with great fortune or seeming disaster. But if you are prepared for whatever might happen; if you are ready to apply mind and effort to do everything possible to handle the situation calmly and efficiently, you will avoid feeling like a victim. However, if all fails, if you feel overwhelmed by events and situations there is always a last resort: Prayer.

Prayer is a state of opening yourself to higher vibrations, to a power that is not bound by your own human limitations. You do the talking, releasing the pent up energies, opening heart and mind spontaneously, trusting that your plea will be heard and understood. Yet you do not force yourself to pray – you have to be in the right frame of mind, not motivated by religious dictates and dogma. At the same time you have to ward against laziness and excuses.

It is good to engage the mind in something positive, something that appeals to the mind. Dogmatic imposition does not open the gate for further growth. If dogma and unbending discipline take over, the freedom to explore and find out is gone. Discipline is essential, but do not become its fanatical slave. Rather balance discipline with flexibility. When there is interest combined with practice prayer becomes a joyful experience.

There are some militant preachers who insist that prayers need to be recited out loud to be effective. In answer to such beliefs let me quote the mystic poet Kabir: “Why make such a noise … is God deaf?”

Then what can be considered the best kind of prayer? How about giving God the responsibility of taking care of you, saying: “You do what is best for me”?

This attitude will prevent you from figuring and analyzing, from scheming and bartering for what you feel you want or need. Instead you are appealing to someone who is fair. You take refuge; and once you have taken refuge, you do not have to repeat it again and again. You have handed over your difficulties and the responsibility now lies with GOD.


Concept of the Guru and the Phases of Time  

From the beginning of human existence the cycles of celestial bodies have always played a large role.  Early man was necessarily attuned to the seasons as well as to the changes of day and night with its recurring phases of light and dark.  Over time the cycles of sun and moon were used to determine time, eventually creating calendars that calculated the cycles of sun or moon thereby providing a concept of time.  In some cultures the calendar was based on the moon phases, later others focused on the cycles of the sun.

The Indian calendar for instance is calculated by the moon phases – 28 days of one cycle are divided into 2 parts – 14 days are called ‘paksh’ one waxing and one waning phase of the moon.

The full moon has a very prominent place in India; each full moon has some spiritual significance and is always considered a positive force, unlike the traditional meaning in the Western world where werewolves and Dracula legends have given the full moon a highly negative connotation of prevailing dark forces.

The full moon of July/August is Guru Purnima. This is the day dedicated to the Guru, the teacher, and preceptor. The term guru literally means “dispeller or remover of darkness”, the one who brings light into your life, removing confusion and ignorance and bringing clarity and knowledge.  You need to learn to recognize the Sat Guru.  However one should avoid negative influences that cause conflict.

The concept of the Guru in India goes back to the beginning of time, to the time of creation.* It is a unique concept, given to the world by India. The relationship between guru and disciple is strictly spiritual and divine, not worldly, not material, quite unlike the relationship to your family and friends.

There are few things in this world which are as distinctive in the human civilization; these are aspects that should be preserved, kept closely guarded and maintained. That is the model of guru. Humans can have a collective guru as well as an individual Guru, preceptor, guide, or teacher. It is a beautiful tradition and it is said that without a Guru  you are like a tree without fruit, a river without water, a field without crops and a garden without flowers - in other words: barren.  That is the purpose and the importance of having a Guru in your life. You are in this body to learn and grow! Your mother is considered your first guru; when you have evolved enough to be ready for the final guru: the Sat Guru, he guides you across the vast ocean of eternity; He is the One to take you to your ultimate destination.  Yet before you are ready for this step, you must go through various “gurus’” training.

Anyone can have an ordinary Guru but to find the Sat Guru is very difficult indeed.  The Sat Guru will only appear when you are qualified and ready for the final steps.  Otherwise you will neither recognize, nor value or benefit from him.  Of course you can also “graduate” from the school of an ordinary guru and join the “University” of the Sat Guru.  There is an Indian proverb: that says: “Drink water only after filtering out any impurities”....  

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Laws of Nature and Laws of Men

It is sad that there is a tendency to forget the wonderful bounties Mother Nature has given to us. The elements of nature contain powerful and life-giving energy which is within us and around us.  The majority of man-made laws are contrary to the laws of nature throughout the world and most individual practices therefore are equally contrary to the laws of nature. When the individual practices of the laws of men are not aligned with the laws of nature then anything designed by men will fail.  Man has to align his practices according to the forces of Nature.

Ultimately natural forces will always prevail. We had mentioned that some people in the US, concerned where the trend of politics was going, tried to establish a “Natural Law Party”.  It may not be easy to overcome stereotypical thinking, but when all man-made laws are aligned according to the laws of nature, then things will work very much better on Planet Earth. When you develop a childlike attitude to the natural forces, Mother Nature will take good care of you.

There is a story of Kali, the personification of the most destructive energy of Mother Nature. Kali also represents the highest form of transformation, the Absolute itself. She received her name because she devours Kala (Time).

The tale goes that at a time when the world was threatened by overwhelming negativities and the abuse of Mother Nature – in the analogy of demons - Siva had had enough and he asked his wife Parvati to destroy the demons to save the world. Thus Parvati transformed herself into Kali, ferocious in appearance and unleashed her terrible anger on the demons until there were none left.  Kali’s anger was so intense; she became so intoxicated by her aroused fury that the entire humanity was in danger of being destroyed. Something had to be done. Several High Beings decided to approach Lord Siva to deal with Kali’s anger, pleading:  “We cannot manage the anger of Kali, we request you to contain Kali’s forces.”  Lord Siva was also concerned, thinking her anger being so much more powerful that she may not even recognize me in her state as Kali. He decided to lie himself down in the path of Kali -  and as she was passing, she stepped on her Lord Siva.  Startled and looking down, she recognized Siva, her anger evaporated and she became Parvati again.

It would be prudent to heed the analogy: When you become infused with a childlike attitude of complete innocence and trust you are protected, but when you are ruled by ego, you will be destroyed.  It is ego itself that destroys you.  There is no one who has survived with a prominent ego. Look at history; especially look at the so-called “mighty and powerful”.

A book has been written called “Untergang” (Downfall) that focuses on the last days of Hitler.  He had changed history yet the book illustrates the complete disintegration of Hitler in mind, body and soul.  It shows how helpless he became in the end when he could see no way out but to instruct his companions to take his life. There was no option left for him.  In the end he was totally helpless.  It was the same with Napoleon – left on St. Helena, unable to help himself; the only pleasure he had was to play with the children of his Guard.  There are countless examples, in history as well as in the present, of the destructive force of individual ego gone rampant.  

To rephrase: before the power of natural forces all creatures are nothing, yet especially when the human ego will feed you with thoughts that you are powerful, beautiful, smart, and so on, endowing you with countless wonderful attributes which are nothing but a veil, that veil will keep you locked in illusion.  Ego will tempt you with the appearance of countless characteristics that might appeal to you.

On the spiritual path there is only one thing you can give to your Master and that is your ego – you give your ego by being humble and He/She will free you from your ego, but as long as you are the victim of your own ego, you will get nowhere.  In fact, you are getting progressively weaker as time goes by. Then the thought enters:  I used to be so strong, what ever happened?

At one time you may have been able to “kick” people, to assert yourself, but now one kick can knock you down.  This is the effect of time: once you were powerful and now you are weak.  However if you have prudently gathered the spiritual force, you will always be strong. Spiritual force does not diminish and will maintain your strength.

Those involved in the performance of arts for instance have a tendency to worry about age; they live in constant fear of ageing, particularly in the western society which only admires the slim, the young and the beautiful.

Many governments would prefer you to be “gone” after retirement when you are no longer productive in the job market. Then they could avoid having to pay the pension.  It seems that no one really wants the retirees.  This is cruel, but it is the reality of the world we live in. You need to be aware of that, and this is why you have to develop your own strength.  You need spiritual strength; you need to recognize the true energy within you, the true light and the true life. Your true life, the force within you, is the Ultimate Force.  That force is part of you.  You have both light and dark forces within you; you have both, shadow and light, a light side and a dark side.  That duality is within you and part of you.  But it is up to you to decide which one you choose. Both sides are powerful. The power of light is the real power, whereas the dark side is always the destructive side.  Once you can recognize the natural forces within you, you will also appreciate nature as part of you, integrated within you.




Time and again I have been asked about initiation.  There are so many different ideas that there is as much confusion as there are wild concepts about the subject.  What is the actual meaning of initiation?

Like anything else initiation has been commercialized.  It seems that everyone is giving it and bestowing everyone receiving it with instant ‘mastership’ and ‘guruship’.

In the spiritual marketplace a lot of forces are available, especially in North America: you pay the required amount of dollars and maybe in a few weeks you get a certificate and you can start practicing.  That is the tendency in modern times.  Almost everything is used, utilized and/or exploited for commercial use.

There are many stages and aspects of initiation. For instance, conception is a form of initiation; birth is a form of initiation and each stage of life presents another form of initiation.

In addition, however, both spiritually and traditionally, initiation has great meaning.  Although there are many stages and endless aspects, in the spiritual sense initiation takes place when the true Guru imparts the sacred knowledge to the worthy disciple.  He initiates you into the path of spirituality.  For that matter, when any Teacher decides to give secret knowledge to a disciple or student that is initiation.  You could compare spiritual initiation to giving the secret of atomic power to a student.  Thus, any secret knowledge, formula, tools or keys imparted to a student to enhance knowledge and understanding regarding the mysteries of life, joy and bliss, is initiation.

Initiation is a course on various levels.  Sometimes I am asked what I can offer, what I can give.  Well, it is never a question of what I can give, but what and how much you can handle, process and implement. To what extent are you capable of digesting, applying, experiencing, and living the sacred knowledge?  Have you purified yourself in body, mind, ego and emotion to be able to handle that kind of powerful energy?  I have spoken many times of the subtle body being the transformer for the high spiritual energy to be manifested by the individual. Only once you have purified the subtle body with its four entities: intellect, mind, ego and emotion, will the divine light and knowledge be able to shine through into your consciousness.

Some people are satisfied with little and do not want more responsibility.  By way of example, someone may have a salary of five hundred dollars and is satisfied with this. He does not want to handle more, although his possibilities of earning more are endless.  I am using this example because people can relate to money. This is a very real example. The same person, when placed in the position that would bring five thousand dollars, does not want that responsibility.  Money is also power of a different kind and requires responsibility and wisdom and can equally be misused.  The point is: how much knowledge, energy and power can you utilize, handle or integrate for your own balanced growth?  I always allow people limitless opportunity to grow and learn mentally and spiritually.  The question is: Can you handle it? The sky is the limit.  Space is infinite, so is power, so is energy and so is life.

There have been countless examples of humans who were given sudden power.  The problem is that when you are given that kind of power and if you are unprepared or your motivation is selfish, there can be misuse, even corruption.  History is full of people who were given power and have misused that power: Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon – to name but a few. 

The question is always: how do you use such tremendous force or energy? It is for that reason that the true Master will not initiate unless the disciple is prepared and fit for handling this kind of power.

In the area of initiation there is something called shakti path.  It is the act of bestowing spiritual power upon the disciple when the time is right and when the disciple can be considered fit and worthy to receive. When the disciple can hold the powerful energy and not misuse it, it can happen that he wakes up and suddenly is filled with power.  The disciple may have the power to convince people, to persuade, to heal, to give and to make people strong and to get what he wants. That is shakti path; you may say something, make some kind of a statement or request and everyone will comply without question.  Shakti path is like power falling upon you – like apples from a tree.  Mystical power is amazing.

A spiritual initiation is a mystical experience.  It is private and individual, rather than collective. You should keep that energy confidential as it is sacred and secret.  You should preserve and utilize this power to further your own spiritual advancement.  The same applies when you are being given a mantra.  When a sacred mantra has been given to you personally; it should not be disclosed to anyone.  It is for the individual and it is confidential.  Therefore, spiritual initiation may be regarded as a rite of passage that takes the aspirant from one level of functioning and from one level of consciousness to the next.