Ganesh Chaturthi – Satsang | Mohanji
Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all of you!
As I’ve already said in one of the videos I made, this very auspicious day is a great reminder that we have a possibility of a proper aspiration: to be aware of the cosmos, being always aware of cosmic consciousness. Lord Ganesha’s head represents supreme awareness.
The story of how Ganesha happened
Ma Parvati once felt she needed a bodyguard, a God, to guard her place while taking a bath in her pond. She didn’t want anybody entering that space. So, she created a boy with the dust from her own body and told the boy, “You guard this space; nobody should enter.” He stood guarding it when Shiva came there. Shiva is Parvati’s husband, so he has the right to enter. But this boy did not know Shiva, so he blocked Shiva and said, “Stop! Don’t enter!” There was an argument and a fight, and in that fight, the boy’s head was chopped off by Shiva.
When Parvati came out, she saw that her child had been beheaded, and she was upset. She told Shiva, “This is not good. This is my creation, my son. How could you do this?” So, Shiva said, “I didn’t know that.” Now don’t think that Shiva is so dumb not to know these things. Of course, he has that awareness. But there was a purpose behind it.
Parvati said, “Do something about it.” Shiva then sent his ganaas, or his army, and told them, “Fetch the head of any being that is sleeping with its head towards the north. Get the head of the first one you see.” The first one they saw was an elephant. Chopping the head off that elephant, they brought that head, and it was fixed on the boy.
So, what happened here? Now forget about the story. Ma Parvati created a being – a living being from dust. What are we? We, too, are living beings made out of dust. When a person dies and when the body is burned, what is that which remains? Ashes. Where do they go? Back to the earth. So, in the same way, Ma Parvati created a living being from dust.
What did Shiva do? Shiva created a deity out of this; that means from a normal existence to a supernatural existence. How is that? An average person, like all of us, uses two levels of intellect, or intelligence at two levels.
The first level is when we use intelligence to assimilate what we collect from the world. That is acquired knowledge – knowledge which came from schools, religions, teachers, and parents. We use our brains to assimilate and understand and practice that acquired knowledge. This is one part of our intelligence.
The other part of intelligence is logical. Nobody teaches us, but we figure it out; we try to understand. We use these two aspects for existing on earth. Human nature rests only in these two – the acquired knowledge and the logical mind.
But what did Shiva do? There’s a third possible aspect which is awareness – awareness of consciousness. What is consciousness? The energy behind every creation – the source aspect. We have that power. We have that capacity to know the source – to perceive the source, to understand and to experience the source.
There is nothing called the mind. When you realise the mind is an illusion maintained by material or memory, then you are enlightened.
We have that capacity. That capacity is represented by the elephant’s head. Why an elephant’s head? Because it’s the largest mammal, the larger head signifies a larger brain – a larger awareness. The largest mammal on earth is an elephant (not the blue whale, which is in the ocean; earth here means land).
Who is Lord Ganesha catering to? Beings of the earth. So, to signify the potential of cosmic consciousness, an elephant’s head was placed on this boy’s body. He became a deity. This is very, very important to understand. Ma Parvati created a human being or a being which looked like a human, and Shiva turned him into a deity. That’s a big shift.
That also says that we, too, have that potential. Usually, when we connect to Lord Ganesha, it’s for removing obstacles. But He also represents supreme awareness – awareness of supreme consciousness. Supreme consciousness very simply ispure energy – brighter than a million suns. From that brightness came creations. All creations came out of energy – pure, raw energy. That’s the theory of atomic science (nuclear bombs), right? When an atom is dissected in a particular way, raw energy is released. This is the opposite of it. When raw energy is conglomerated, it becomes an atom. That awareness means you are that.
Please remember: if you do not experience, you do not know. By knowing, nothing will happen. We are happy with the theories. We are happy with the concepts. But what does a spiritual path say? Experience – when you experience, then what you speak is authentic. Experience has a lot of value.
Mostly this is not explained; it’s only the story which is told. Many people ask the question, “If Shiva can rejuvenate or can give rebirth to a body like a human being, why did he have to use an elephant’s head?” Isn’t it a logical question? The reason is – he didn’t intend to make another human being. He wanted to make a deity who is a representation of supreme consciousness.
That’s how Lord Ganesha became Shiva’s child. Earlier, it was not Shiva’s child. It was Parvati’s creation, not Shiva’s child. But when Shiva gave him the life of a deity, he legitimately became Shiva’s child. Shiva has two children: Lord Ganesha and Lord Muruga. Lord Ganesha represents Shiva’s supreme consciousness aspect as being aware of the entire consciousness, the entire world, and the energy behind the whole creation.
The significance of Om (Aum)
Muruga represents the knowledge aspect. That’s why Muruga explained to Shiva the meaning of Omkara. Father is Omkara! See, it’s like though you know your body has weight, do you feel the heaviness that you carry? You wouldn’t even know you have body weight until you step on a scale. Like that, what you are, you don’t know. So, Shiva wasn’t even aware of what he consisted of. Muruga said, “You are Omkara. You are Om (AUM).”
The significance of Om (AUM) is that it’s the frequency generated out of your consciousness – the murmur or vibration. Before creation, the frequency was formed from still and unmoving pure consciousness. The frequency started happening with the intense murmur of A-U-M. That frequency intensified, and it became the five elements. That’s how creation started.
So, these three aspects created those dimensions. Five elements happened. From the conglomerations of the five elements, matter happened. From matter came forth space, and then time happened. If there’s no space, there’s no need for time. Time is the measurement of space – from here to there, that’s time. The whole cycle happened with AUM, with the first sound. That’s what Muruga told Shiva, “Look here, you are that.” So, sometimes, somebody has to tell you, right?
When Hanumanji reached the edge of India and realized that Sita was sitting on the island across (Lanka), he said: “That’s it. I can’t go. I am done.” Then Jambavan and others started singing Hanumanji’s praises and told him, “You’re not ordinary. When you were a small child, you went to catch the moon and the sun.” That made Hanumanji realize that he wasn’t ordinary, and he jumped up. When he pressed the mountain behind him with his feet, the mountain shook, and he shot up. He had the powers of the ashta siddhis and nava nidhis already. But until somebody says it, this is not remembered.
We all need this (reminder). We all need somebody to tell us who we are. But actually speaking, all the potential sits in us, not in another. Everybody has that potential, but we need to be told in order to be aware. That’s why the job of all the teachers and masters is to show you yourself. There’s nothing else to do other than to show you to yourself and say, “Don’t follow me; follow you. Connect to yourself and realize your self.”
Self-realization is the realization of whatever is already sitting in you. You’re not getting anything from outside. You don’t realize anything outside. It’s about realizing the essence or the truth that already sits in you. When that truth leaves your body, it is called a dead body. When it sits in you, we call it life.
What’s the importance and significance of today (Ganesh Chaturthi)? Simply that we are being aware that we have the right and the potential to realize cosmic consciousness – who we actually are. The path is awareness. So, saturated awareness is Ganesha – he is fully aware. You’re going nowhere (the truth already sits in you).
Today you’re not supposed to see the moon, right? If you happen to see the moon today, you’ll have defamation for a full year until the next Ganesha Chaturthi. That’s what they say. Why is it said like that? The story is funny. Ganesha was having food, and when he was finished, he had trouble getting up because he was a fat man. When he did get up, he fell down. But that’s not the story. The story is that the moon saw him struggling to get up and laughed. It simply means that when you make fun of something, you’re making fun of yourself.
Everybody is you. You can see forms and say, “That’s this person; this is a bird, an animal. This is a fish.” We can decide on forms and talk about forms. But inside the form, what’s it? You have the washing machine, the dishwasher, the refrigerator, the electric lights – all these things at home. What’s inside all these? Electricity. We don’t see the electricity, do we? We see the expressions of electricity, and we say, “Oh, that’s a washing machine. This is a refrigerator.” We are always almost deluded.
Imagine a refrigerator saying to a washing machine, “Your job is dirty. You have to wash clothes.” But that’s exactly what we’re doing in society; we call somebody lesser or somebody higher. That’s the illusion that has to be eradicated. Why? When we stop comparing and when we stop segregating, what do we get? Oneness.
You and I are one. That’s the awareness. That’s why you shouldn’t make fun of anybody. There are all types of people, all different in orientations, driving forces or tendencies, and vasanas (inclinations). They are all born to fulfil their own set of desires.
We created the desire, we are fulfilling the desire, and we are being proud of this desire! This is all us. This whole drama is created by us. We fulfil the drama, we play the role, and then we are happy about it. The show goes on. Yet we say somebody is good or somebody is bad.
So, this is a warning. When you see the moon – one year of defamation, what’s it actually telling? Don’t judge anybody. Don’t judge anybody because we don’t know what sort of karma they have brought. They’ve all come to fulfil unfulfilled desires; they created a body. Can we say this is okay and not okay? What rights do we have? We have no right. We’ve no right to say somebody is better or somebody is worse. We have no right to say this is okay.
There’s only one thing right to say: no violence. Ahimsa. Why? Because the price (of not adhering to ahimsa) is very high. When you hurt, harm, destroy or kill somebody, the price you pay is very high because then you cut short somebody’s karmic flow. Nobody has the right to stop anybody. Free will – free will is absolutely a truth.
You don’t have free will when you take birth. Why? Because you made the roadmap for the whole journey. We call it destiny. You already made the roadmap from birth to death, so you can’t change that. But you can change it when you lose interest in the basic mundane stuff and start connecting to consciousness, the source aspect, which is inside of you. The source is inside us. We don’t need to go searching anywhere. We don’t even need a guru. We don’t need anything.
But these reminders are great so that we know why and where we are going. Our tendencies will also become very, very clear in our minds. “Why am I thinking like this? Why do I like this thing, and why do I not like that thing?’’ That’ll become very clear to us and also that this is my story. Accept that story.Be happy with that story so that your total acceptance takes you to the next level.
Total acceptance of yourself – Not of another person. We are eager to accept another person thinking that man will keep quiet now. Not so – if you can’t accept yourself, you can’t accept anybody. We all have weaknesses; we all have strengths. This is a mixture. Now when we look at only the weaknesses, we lose.
The importance of mooladhara chakra
Question: Why is it said that Lord Ganesha is in the mooladhara, the lowest-positioned chakra?
Mohanji: Moola-aadhara is the basic (moola) platform or the basis (aadhara) of everything. What’s the basis of everything? Consciousness – pure consciousness. Pure consciousness is pure energy, and the conglomeration of pure energy is matter.
What’s your soul? Pure consciousness. Your soul, the energy inside you, is not interested in your journey. It’s not interested in where you go or what you do. It’s not interested in your emotions. Who is interested in all of this? The mind. Which mind? The waking state mind.
The soul is completely detached, just like the petrol (gasoline) of your car. The petrol is absolutely not interested in your journey, right? It’s not interested in the destination. It’s also similar to the electricity in this house. Electricity is not interested in which gadget it gets to use. Sometimes the electricity will go to the bulb, and sometimes to the washing machine, or to the refrigerator. It has no problem. The nature of the soul is the same. The soul is not interested in your karmic journey, in your emotions, or in your ownership. It just activates.
So, moolaadhara simply means the basic aadhara or access/platform where He (Ganesha) sits. What is Ganesha representing? The basic source – that source created you. That source maintains you; that source will dissolve you. When you’re done with your life, when you leave the body, the source becomes itself, right? But why does the source come back then? Because of another set of unfulfilled desires/karma. You are bringing them back, not that the soul wants to come back! The soul has no interest. If left alone, the soul will happily join the ocean of consciousness.
Lord Ganesha is the positioning and the basis – the source. If you’re able to connect to that source, you are able to connect to your soul – simple.Since the source is stable, your life will be stable, isn’t it? They say if your moolaadhara is stable, you have a strong will, and your life is stable. Why do they say so? If the foundation is strong, you can build a lot on it. If the foundation is not strong, you can’t build many storeys above. Ganesha is the foundation.
Foresight and our personality
Question: What’s foresight, and how do I get it?
Mohanji: Well, foresight is connected to awareness. When you become aware of yourself, you can see beyond. Why can’t we see beyond?
Number one – because we are addicted to our personality in this life: “I am so and so; this is my name, and this is my form. This is what I am in society. This is my qualification. This is my profession.” We are binding ourselves again and again with many threads, and because of that, we can’t see beyond.
Our normal life starts and ends with our identification – what we are in this life, and we are proud of it. We have insecurities connected to it. “Oh, if I lose this, I lose everything.” Not so. Actually, you acquired all this when you came here in this life.
So, foresight is always connected to awareness. The fundamental awareness is that you are not the personality. How do you know? I could be lying, right? How do you know you’re not just the personality? Because you have a dream state.
You have a dream state which is a very active state. In the dream, you could be Donald Trump also, isn’t it? In reality, of course, you can’t be because he’s already taken. But in a dream, you can be anybody and experience that particular frequency or awareness or that space.
The dream state is a real state. It’s real because there, too, we have experiences, but the experiences do not have the finite boundaries of the waking state. In this waking state, the fundamental boundary is your personality. In the dream state, you have no boundaries. You can be anybody. You could be a soldier or an astronaut. You could be in any place or in any space. The dream state is real.
When you start getting addicted to the personality of the waking state, you start pushing that to the dream state too. That means your dreams will be an extension of the waking state.
This happens to us, right? Tell me if I’m wrong. I would like you to challenge me, please (laughter). Don’t just accept all that I say. This is fundamental to the spiritual journey. You should question. If you didn’t understand or if you didn’t agree, you should speak because this should wake you up. Don’t just accept it. I could be wrong. How do you know I’m always talking correctly? I am a human being. We should always think: “Is there a ‘right’ in it?” It should be pitched with your own experience. This is the point here.
If whatever we speak doesn’t have the basis/foundation of experience, our words will be weak words – very, very fragile. But if there’s experience behind them, there’ll be power when you speak. There’ll be strength, and that can transform people.
Have you understood the difference? When we have experience behind our speech, it has the power to transform. When we do not have experience, and we read a lot of books, we might say, “Krishna said this; Buddha said that”, and we also repeat what they said. That only means we don’t know because it’s only a theory. It’s only a concept. We haven’t experienced it.
Many times, concepts block progress because we are eating concepts, and we are happy just with books. That prevents us from the experiences that transform; concepts block. When we are eating only concepts, and we are satisfied with them, it doesn’t translate or transform into an experience. We should be hungry for experience. Experience is truth. It’s your truth. It cannot be another person’s truth. It’s your truth, and the whole journey of spirituality is personal truth. It’s not a borrowed truth.
Borrowed truth doesn’t exist. It doesn’t work. So, everything – foresight, backward sight (laughs), past, present, future, all these things become clearer when your awareness rises. When you become awareness, it really shows.
Question: How can we look into the eyes of a person and be able to know what’s going on in his or her mind?
Mohanji: That’s very simple – mind reading and all those things. There are so many books and so many people teaching that. I don’t teach that (laughs). I don’t know why we should read somebody’s mind. We only see garbage, right? You have plenty of garbage already. Now, if you take somebody else’s mind and keep it also in your pocket, it can turn into prejudice and start changing you. Why do you need that?
I don’t really believe in encroaching into anybody’s territory. Let them be themselves. We should be peaceful; we should be happy with everybody. You be yourself. I’ll be myself. We love each other. As long as we stay away, we are full of love. When we come close, then all the fights happen (laughs). When we are away, far away, there’s a lot of love! The secret of good existence is detachment.
Question: How do we pick ourselves up when we feel blocked?
Mohanji: Well, the whole idea of a ‘block’ is only a product of the mind because life always moves. There’s always change; there’s always movement. Destiny never stagnates. Please remember these words: destiny never stagnates. The same thing can repeat over and over again, such as a particular relationship matter that can be repeated in life. But that’s not stagnation. That’s because you are stuck to that particular truth in life, so it keeps coming back.
But destiny never stagnates because what you experienced at age five and what you experienced at age fifteen are totally different. You’ll never get age-five experiences back at fifteen, will you? At the age of twenty or thirty, what you experience is definitely not what you experience at the age of ten. Where’s your age ten experience? Somewhere inside you. You are all ages until you are dead inside. There’s no way we are stagnating. But the mind makes us feel so:“Nothing is happening, nothing is moving.”
So, what should you do then? Look around. There are so many people who don’t even have access to all that you have. Try to help them. Try to add more light to their lives. What happens, then? Your self-esteem improves. When your self-esteem improves, when you become the life of many people, when you become the world to many people, your self-esteem improves. Entire blockages are removed. How? We become more bright; we start shining bright.
We start to shine bright, and that brightness will reach a lot of people. You’ll become the world to many, and they’ll love you. You’ll love yourself. It works. That’s why karma yoga has a lot of value. Along every path, enter into karma yoga whenever you feel stagnated. Why was the Kumbha Mela created? So that all the masters who are sitting and meditating in the Himalayas can come down to a particular place at a particular time for the same thing – karma yoga.
Adi Shankara told the masters, “You all are acquiring so much sitting in remote places in the Himalayas. You should share it.” So, they asked the question, “What’ll we share? We have nothing.” Shankara replied, “You have everything. Spiritual wealth.” Spiritual wealth is immeasurable. Because you can’t really measure it, you don’t know how much you have. You can measure money and property, but can you measure spiritual wealth? You can’t.
It’s great wealth! So, Adi Shankara said, “Share that.” They asked, “With whom?” He said, “With the most eligible.” They asked: “Who’s the most eligible?” Adi Shankara replied, “Those who are empty.” They asked: “Where do we find them?”
See, you cannot share with somebody who is already full, can you? If somebody brings a glass filled with water, what can you pour? You can’t pour water into a glass which is already full. So, the great saints asked, “Who do we share with?” Shankara said, “People who are eligible, empty.” Empty means receptive. The saints asked, “Where’ll we find them?” Shankara said, “Go to the Kumbha Mela. They’ll come. You’ll go there, and you’ll find them. Give it to them.”
That’s the basic story behind why the Kumbha Mela is happening. It’s not to see all the glitter and people wearing saffron and “jatilo mundi lunchita kesha” (Mohanji is referring here to Verse 14 in Sanskrit from the Bhaja Govindam, meaning only the physical appearance of an ascetic). Not that. This is not to see the show. It’s to get transformed. How will you get transformed? Go there empty. Expect nothing.
When you have no expectations, you get everything. When you have expectations, you may get that thing, but again and again, you’ll say, “Oh, stagnation – I’m feeling stagnated again. I got this thing, yet there’s something more.” Each time – all the time.
How do you know you are spiritually mature? Absolute silence inside. What’s silence? No thoughts; no thoughts are happening. You’re still and peaceful. You’re completely empty, still and peaceful. Then you’re not looking at people. You’re looking at yourself – in many.
All these signs happen when you are spiritually stable and mature. So, the whole Kumbha Mela experience was created, and that’s why most of the masters go there. They trade there. It’s like a carnival. You do trading. What do you trade? Your emptiness to full potential, and those who are full, they give it to those who are empty.
It’s complete socialism! (audience laughing) There are no ‘haves and have-nots’ after the Kumbha Mela, right? Everybody will ‘have’. This is the answer: enter into karma yoga; stagnation will die. There’ll be no stagnation. Help the helpless.
Read part 2 and part 3. You can watch the full satsang here.
Transcribed by Nada Raković
Proofread by Geeta Iyer