Satsang in the UK
21st July 2022
Be you to have mental health
Question: A couple of years ago, when I had a chance to meet you, I asked a question- How to remain sane and peaceful in this type of world, where everybody is fighting for their own existence and their presence? You replied, “Don’t expect anything and you will be saved”. Since then, I have been trying to follow your advice and it’s very difficult. This is to let you know that I am trying. But I am a human being and eventually fall into the trap again.
But today, I would like to ask this. As we see all around the world, mental health is quite a dominating topic. Not only for adults, but for children as well. What do you think about this and how can we empower children and adults? In light of that, is emotional health more important or mental health? Are they different or are they related? Kindly explain.
Mental health and expectations
Mohanji: Yes! It is neither easy nor practical to live without expectations completely. We do have expectations. That’s natural, but be aware that you have expectations. The expectation is not just towards other people; it’s towards the self (us) too. We tend to expect beyond our capacity, and we suffer. Outside we create artificial enemies, we fight them, we lose, and we suffer. Thinking another person is an enemy, we start fighting. That’s probably our prejudice at work.
But when we don’t have expectations, we allow another person to be that person. They are unique beings. They are fine as they are. And we look only at the beautiful side of each interaction with another person. Every interaction has a meaning, a reason, a culmination; some have longevity, some don’t. Both are okay.
The expectation is not only towards a situation or a person. Many times our expectations are towards ourselves. Unfortunately, we pretend a lot, and we suffer. We have to be natural. We have been natural as a child. But as we grew up and became seeming adults, we became unnatural and we started wearing masks. But there’s nothing to prove in the world. Even if you prove it, people who do not like you will not accept it. Hence it is better to be natural.
When you are natural, you are authentic. When you are authentic, you are appreciated. Your authenticity will be appreciated. Maybe not always in your time, but future generations will appreciate you. All the legends, all the great people whom we respect today, have been authentic. They were called great people because they were authentic. We do have that thing in us to be authentic. That’s to do with acceptance. Hence, instead of expectation, accept your authenticity, accept others’ authenticity, and we will be having a good life.
Emotional health and mental health
The next part – There is no segregation between emotional health and mental health as far as I can understand. This is happening because of the ownership aspect. The stress is on ownership. Even a trauma of life, we own it. We own many guilts, many regrets. Owning it means we hold it. This is causing all sorts of deficiencies or imbalances. But if you follow the path of acceptance of each situation, and each relation, we can move on. Many times, what I have seen in trauma care is that the abusive situations are reinforced through discussions, etc. When the situation is repeatedly discussed, they remember it all the time, and it goes deeper and deeper in layers. I would say – just leave it. Take on the next step and move on.
I was addressing a police conference where I said, “We should have much fewer policemen and much more counsellors. If we start counselling in schools, from that level as a small child, we can understand what they are going through and we can support them, counsel them. If we can teach them how to handle or manage situations and take them further, there will be no criminals in the world. Most of the people who are unstable in the world have been created. Either we denied them their natural expression or we didn’t recognize them. So, mental health management has to start early, from school days, when they are young children.
One teacher in Dubai was telling me – A small child in her class, about 5 or 6 years old, didn’t want to go home after school. During the parent-teacher meeting, the teacher informed the father of this child that this kid is showing a different behaviour. The teacher then came to know that the child does not have a mother and hence the child is looked after by the father’s sister in their house. The father could not spend time as he is busy. The sister’s family is looking after the child well, but the child doesn’t feel any love and hence he doesn’t want to go home. Imagine how this child will deal with the world when he grows up and becomes an adult? In every stage, if we are able to guide a child, guide a person, then we will not have criminals in the world. Most of the people who are unstable have been created because of neglect, or probably we never looked at them, we never saw them.
Emotion is one expression and is one of the entertainments of the mind. Emotional stability can come only with maturity. When a person is stable, you see all the emotions coming and going, but there will still be stability. Then our habits which are created, are all related to emotions. Today everything is externally oriented (like Soap operas, winning in games etc.). There is nothing that is internally oriented. Hence, on one side, there is no internal stability – which means we are not connecting to ourselves or feeling ourselves, and everything is connected to external objects. We consume a lot from the external and expect internal stability which is unnatural. That’s probably not going to happen. The system has to support it.
Recently, when I was speaking to one of the mayors of another country, I heard another phenomenon – that there are a lot of men who are on the verge of suicide in their place because of the loss of jobs. Given they are men and are expected to take care of the family, with no income and all associated factors, they can’t handle it. They are unable to do anything about it, and they feel helpless. So, they are on the verge of suicide and hence counselling is happening.
This situation is because our success quotient is connected to something external. We are not giving any room for understanding our internal stability. Internal stability is definitely possible through acceptance, through awareness and also looking for contentment. If a person is fully focused on fulfillment and contentment, the type of job he will choose will be what is natural for him, effortless for him. And that’s the right job. Not a job that will fetch him a lot of money but no contentment. He will choose a job that makes him happy. In such cases, he will be doing the job even at the time of Covid or lockdown, because he likes to do it and he loves it. We love to do an activity that suits us, that which makes us feel good. Otherwise, we will have excuses not to do it. These are the fundamentals.
I was told that 7.3 million gurukuls were closed during British rule. In our gurukul system, we were always empowering the talents of the people, and they were good. Arjuna (from the Mahabharata) was a good archer, so he was trained in archery. Bhima was good at something else, and he was trained in that. Like that, you were trained in what you’re good at so that you will never have an imbalance. There should be a totally different mindset or thought process to bring forth that stability in this world. I think we can.
Awareness to be able to discriminate and save yourself
Question: In the Bhagavad-Gita, Lord Krishna talks about three modes of nature – the mode of goodness, the mode of passion and the mode of ignorance. To save ourselves from so many situations in the world that are going on, is it important to be aware of them? For example, say I suddenly find myself in a place where gambling is taking place. Should we be prepared for my mind to be able to say to me, “This is a place of ignorance or passion; get out of here”? If we are aware of these three conditions, would it be helpful in facing so many challenges that you suddenly find yourself completely unaware of?
Mohanji: Definitely yes! No doubts about it. Being aware always helps us. Most importantly, our orientation plays a major role in where we go, what we like to do or what we are connected to, etc. We connect to somebody or something as per our orientation. Nothing forced is forceful enough. Because if you force something, it’s temporary. I always tell people, “Children should never be forced. Understand the frequency of the child and let it navigate through its own channel, just like us”.
For example, if a person is oriented to gambling, he will get attracted that way. If it is not his orientation, even if something is great or amazing, they will not feel anything about it. So, all of us are driven by our orientations, and that’s our authenticity. Hence, it is definitely important to be aware of what the repercussions will be when you borrow money or when you lose money in gambling and how it will impact your daily life. It is like we have statutory warnings on cigarette packets; even then, smokers smoke. A person who really wants to smoke will do it.
The root cause or the emphasis on any addiction or any action is suppression. They might have suppressed something in another life, and it becomes a predominant act in this life. We do not know what happened in their last life and hence we don’t really understand the reason for this addiction. You can see born addicts in people, they can’t come out of their addictions and they completely destroy their life. The intensity of suppression is the cause. In the karmic path, this is always the case. When you deny or you suppress long enough, it manifests as the most predominant reason for existence, and that comes forth. Awareness really plays a major role here.
In every lifetime, there is a God-given opportunity to connect to consciousness. We don’t usually take it. Our spirituality quotient is sometimes only based on sensations. Like, “I did pranayama, I had a great sensation. I had a great feeling.” That’s about it. But we don’t talk about realizing the energy inside which runs the show. We are only worried about the manifestations, as a light or an air conditioner or a television, then we say we are happy with the manifestation. We don’t really consider the electricity that powers these manifestations. We don’t consider electricity unless there is no power. Similarly, until we die, we do not consider the existence of the energy inside.
In every lifetime, there is a God-given opportunity to connect to consciousness.
Temples – places of rejuvenation
Today, a lot of people have identified various methods of connection to consciousness and there is a revival going on. But please understand, there is nothing external, for that matter. With external god, you have to please externally. However, in our temples, in our system, this education was very clear. It is all about activation. None of the temples is only for worship; it activates you. It activates all the senses. When you go to temples, you close your eyes and connect to the third eye and pray, we are rejuvenating that aspect of energy inside. Listening to mantras through ears, we rejuvenate that aspect of energy in us. Through fragrance, through incense sticks and through the viboothies (sacred ash) and sandalwood, we activate the senses. Likewise, we drink something, eat something like prasad etc., we activate that aspect of energy.
There is a lot of purification, activation, rejuvenation happening in temples. It’s not places of worship alone. Also, everything directs to something which is of a higher nature. So, when you constantly connect to something of higher nature, the lower drops off. What drops off is permanent. What is suppressed is not permanent. Suppression is postponement. What drops off from your system will not come back because you are done. You don’t need it anymore. Hence it is important that we systematically connect to a higher consciousness. When we connect this way, the things which are of gravitational nature drops off, and it elevates us to higher levels and that’s permanent. That’s where we should guide people to.
What to ask yourself every day
Question: If there was one question, we should be asking ourselves every day or every week or every month, what should that question be?
Mohanji: ‘Who am I?’ We always say that we are the personality, but what is activating the personality, and where is this personality when I am sleeping? It is good to ask such self-exploratory questions. We should contemplate – like the same electricity that is in a light bulb gives a different effect; when it goes to the television, it gives pictures; goes to the washing machine, it washes clothes; it goes to the refrigerator, it freezes food. What is this electricity after all? We should ask the same question – this thing (energy/ soul) in a human body behaves differently; goes to a tiger’s body, behaves differently; goes to a cow’s body, behaves differently. In every body, it creates a different effect. What is this thing? Hence, asking “Who am I?” is a good question.
A “question–answer–satisfaction” cycle
Question: As a follow-up question, some things I can partially answer, but what do you recommend or do when you don’t have answers?
Mohanji: We don’t have to get direct answers all the time, but the track will be right. Sometimes a question by itself is enough, and the answer comes to you at the right time. Understand, when we are expecting an answer, it’s usually from the mind level. A ‘question–answer–satisfaction’ cycle is not enough. Transformation should happen. The right answer should be so transformative that you’re not the same anymore. When a question becomes a pain and you really seek an answer, that answer will be transformative, and you will not be the same after that.
‘Question – answer – satisfaction’ is not the solution here. Because we are getting many things from books today. I don’t think anybody is enlightened because of that. I like the Rumi story very much in this regard. Someone went to a Guru and asked, “Tell me what I should do to become enlightened?” The Guru said, “Throw all these books into the water and come back”. Understand that eating a lot of concepts completely blinds you.
It is important that we start connecting to ourselves and realizing ourselves. For that, the step is acceptance. As I explained in the previous question on expectations, when we have acceptance of ourselves, when we are connecting to ourselves, and when we develop self-love, the expectation level to the outside world will be less. Because we do not see differences, we see only karmic beings walking and talking. You see yourself in them. There will be nothing to expect and we will be moving on with everybody. Then it’s companionship; it’s a collaboration. If you really start connecting to yourself, you will explore yourself better and that will happen automatically. You will watch yourself with wonder; then it’s a different life.
Otherwise, we are looking at ourselves critically because we are comparing ourselves with somebody, and we never understand ourselves. We should never compare; another person is another person, and their plus and minus are their problem. We are ourselves. I am not saying that we should be selfish and greedy. We need to understand that all people are unique, and they have their relevance on earth. They have their space, time, and relevance: respect it. When you respect yourself, automatically, you’re respecting the entire world. In that mode, we don’t need a lot of things from them; we are happy with just a smile or love. Even if that’s not there, we will not be unhappy.
Transcribed by Rakshitha VS
Proofread by Geetha Suryanarayan