Transcript of a lecture given by Swami Hariharananda, a disciple of Swami Rama of the Himalayas, at the Museum of European Art in Clarence, New York.
My brothers, my sisters,
I've come from the Himalayas.
Last September I was in Taiwan, and early in the morning, at 6 a.m. Ma Tapasya Bharati, one of our tradition and a disciple of Swami Veda, came to see me. She was very upset and crying -- that's when I found out about the tragedy in New York City.
We, the monks of the Himalayas have assembled later on in the caves and monasteries and started to discus where the mankind is going.
We feel that it is our duty to help humanity. We reached certain conclusions, and tonight I want to tell you about it.
We came to the conclusion that if we can spread the message of meditation of the Himalayan tradition to the world, this is the only thing that can save mankind in the future.
What is it -- do you want to know what is meditation?
Do you sincerely want to do effort and to know what is meditation, what is inner peace? And how we can bring that inner peace to whole mankind?
Do you want to know? Will you go with me into deep meditation on this first night here, and then we talk?
Are you ready?
Because if you are not ready -- if God is ready, if scripture is ready, if guru is ready -- but if YOU are not ready, then nothing can be done!
Your readiness is needed.
I will ask of you only 70 breaths, that's all. 70 breaths.
And if you like, during my 3-day visit here in Buffalo -- you can come and do a lot of meditation with me.
I can take you into deep, deep meditation. For me it is a challenge, because I am a monk of the Himalayas.
I practiced meditation for about 32 years of my life. This is practical experience that I can give you.
If anybody wants Self-realization, this is my challenge: if he's ready, I'm ready.
Actually, people want to KNOW about meditation, they do not want to DO meditation ...
Just like they want to KNOW about swimming, they do not want to JUMP into the river ... this is the main problem that I came across, wherever I have visited across the world.
I have gone to many places since I came to America for the first time four years ago. Back then I knew only a few words of English, and it was almost impossible for me to speak in English.
I was to give people some teachings, but I was not in a position to do so, because of the language problem.
After I returned to India, I thought that was my one and only chance. But I do not know what people saw in me, and the following year they sent me tickets again, and I came a second time.
And the same thing happened again and last year I came for the third time.
I'm not a scholar, I'm telling you, I'm just a monk from the Himalayas, and I never thought that I would ever come to America! Never, never -- this is a miracle of my guru, Swami Rama of the Himalayas, that I'm here.
And again this year people sent me tickets, and I am to go on a big tour across the United States, Canada, then to Trinidad, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Holland, Germany and then back to our ashram in Rishikesh in the foothills of the Himalayas.
But this time, I'm in a little better position to express my thoughts about what I want to tell you.
My dear friends,
let us go back to the time when the first man appeared on the earth -- he was completely naked in the forest, with no books with him.
How did all these books come to people?
From where did the scriptures come? From where did Vedas come? From where Koran? From where the Bible?
This is a mystery .... everybody says that these are God-creations... but who is God?
Don't you think that this God has become a big problem for you now?
Because in the name of God people are fighting and killing one another: some say that Allah, someone else says that Bhagavan is great -- but people are dying all over the world!
I was born in Karachi, Pakistan and I have seen the partition of my country into Hindustan and Pakistan. Millions of people died at that time ... I lost both my parents at the age of eleven. I have become a 'rolling stone' of this world ... and I am still rolling and now I came here to Buffalo.
Back then, I also used to sit in a calm place, and think about why are people fighting? Why don't we let Allah, Rama, Krishna, Mohamed, Jesus -- all of them -- fight it out among themselves, and we humans can watch them fight and see who wins, and then we can say 'yes, you are the great God'...
At that time I was just a teenage boy, and my thinking was limited at that time.
This forced me to think about 'What is the truth?' And these were my thoughts about this:
The first man -- Manu, Adam, whatever you want to call him -- surely, this was a burning question for him: "From where have I come? And where will I go? What is the truth? What is my destiny?"
It was a burning question for that first man -- and whom to ask? Allah? No book was there, he was illiterate at that time, there was no alphabet and no language at the time! Think about that, certainly he could have gone mad thinking about all this, because nobody else was there ... and he started crying, no doubt.
And in the same way, for me personally, this whole life is like a 'question-answer book'.
Here are the questions, and the answers are hidden at the end of our life.
So, the same thing happened to this first man. When these questions became burning questions to him, he started crying, "Who am I? From where have I come?"
And he went inside, to the center of his consciousness, and from within the answers started to come to him.
And that man, by smrti and shruti, memories and by learning, by studies, by working, this knowledge was passed on to others from generation to generation.
The blood that is flowing through our bodies today is the blood of that ancient ancestor who was born first, and we are his descendants.
If I you ask the age-old riddle, whether 'the egg came first or the chicken came first' ... there is no end to it; you can keep asking all night and all day -- there is no answer!
If you sit under a tree, and contemplate that every tree bears fruit, and every fruit has seeds inside -- every seed has the beginning of a new tree in it! This is life.
Suppose I sit under a tree, and take a fruit in my hand, and I say that I see two trees -- one here, and one in my hand -- I don't think this is wrong to say, is it? Because this tree is here, and if chance is given to that seed, it will grow, and another tree will appear.
Now we can ask this: did the seed come first, or did the tree come first?
This is the question, and there is no answer.
Actually, this whole creation has come from unknown to known.
All creation came from the sky -- from space.
According to Yoga Shastra, all creation came from unknown to known.
You see, this whole body is made up from space, air, fire, water and earth. And by the five elements you can reach to the Almighty, or to the center of consciousness quite easily.
I live in Rishikesh now, and the town of Haridwar is in the distance of 25 km from Rishikesh.
I used to say to people, 'If you want to go to Haridwar, there are milestones on the road -- you can see "Haridwar 10 km", "Haridwar 5 km", etc. That meants, there is distance of 5 km to Haridwar.
If you get a little closer, it is 4, 3, 2 km ... still you have not reached Haridwar.
But where there is Haridwar, you will see zero.
Actually, this is the ultimate.
Suppose we are sitting here, and go inside. Close your eyes, and closing becomes zero.
'Oh Nature, this is the beauty of yours -- that you are the Infinite, and if one is taken from you, you still remain Infinite ...this is the beauty of yours!'
And this is the truth.
And if we add more to Infinitey, again it will remain Infinity.
And if we subtract from zero, will still remain zero.
And from one zero, millions of zeros came out -- and this is the life.
And meditation is the art to become zero.
We in this room are breathing people, exhaling and inhaling. But the Cosmos is also exhaling and inhaling.
Suppose we have 30 candles. When we light them, there are 30 lit candles, and we will see fire. If we extinguish them, where does the fire go?
It is the same with water. Water comes down as rain -- from where is the water coming? Do you think that the water is coming from the sky? Wrong! All this water is coming from the sea. You can say that the water went to the sky and is falling down on us, but one day it will reach the sea again.
Again, the same thing: if we collect all the earth of the world, we cannot separate it.
Space is one -- air is one -- fire is one -- water is one -- earth is one. So, why are we two?
And about the religions which teach us to hate and kill one another -- I don't think that is religion!
If we think only about the last 100 years, how much killing have we faced? We faced World War I, the revolution in Russia where millions were murdered, we faced World War II, we faced the revolution in China, we faced the war between Iraq and Iran, they are still fighting in Israel and Palestine, there was war between India and Pakistan, you have seen this bin Ladin -- what was bin Ladin's concern with America and the towers?
What does it all mean? It means that man is going to continue this killing day by day!
What can we do about this situation?
This is the message of the sages from the Himalayas:
"What is this human being? If we contemplate it, then we find out that this human being -- you are yourself God.
You are the children of God.
You are the seed of that tree, which is then God.
This is a true thing I'm telling you: God is not anywhere outside.
Become awakened, become Self-realized!
This is the difference between you and God: you are a sleeping God, and God is an awakened man.
Nothing more, nothing less.
And you will realize this Self by meditation.
How your whole life will change! It will bring you inner peace, if peace is to be in the future for mankind.
Otherwise, what can we do? When I first came from India to America four years ago, I saw that you have nice roads, eat good food, live in nice houses -- you are fine people, civilized.
You people have fixed your target purely on material things; for humans, this you made a big progress, no doubt. But at the same time, you people have made many, many blunders. Scientists are saying that this whole world could be destroyed 7 times over with the nuclear bombs you have.
Why cannot we cultivate all this energy to save this world? This is a burning question for humanity!
You see my friends,
the ancient teachers who came before to teach mankind, they all faced many troubles: Jesus came, but we crucified him. Today we are crying, but people killed him.
Mahatma Gandhi came, and other great teachers came, and we killed them all.
And now we think about that: no, no that is not right! We should do something, because this is the only way to save the world.
My brothers and my sisters, this is all I ask from you -- 70 breaths. That's all.
Please give sincerely your 70 breaths, and I promise you that you'll get an inner peace, and you will say, "ah, today we have gone into deep silence, we felt great peace today."
Because I'm telling you, if you have never tasted sugar, you will never know what is sugar. I can give you a good lecture about sugar, but that is not sugar ... only by tasting sugar will you ever know what is sugar.
Are you ready? Sit in posture, like this ...
Are you ready? Sit in posture, like this ...
Transcript of the meditation session, handout sheets and an audio or video tape can be ordered from the Museum. Contact John Zavrel at: