Talks from Paramahamsa Vishwananda
during Just Love Festival 2020
4-6 September, 2020
Paramahamsa Vishwananda gave several inspiring talks during the event this year and we wanted to share them all with you!
Day 1: Opening the Just Love Festival
Jai Gurudev, everybody!
So, welcome to the fifth Just Love Festival. Compared to the other Just Love Festivals before, this one is a bit different. Nevertheless, you will still have fun and happiness the same way.
First, we have to be happy and grateful to the authorities to allow us even to celebrate in a small way Just Love here. There are so many places that are still in lockdown, and still people can’t really move around. So, we have to be happy about that. And also, we have to, of course, follow the rules which we have applied. Especially the masks. If you don't have one, we will charge you 100 Euros!!
So, what can I say? Enjoy and be happy.
Jai Gurudev, everybody!
Jai Gurudev, everybody!
That is Giridhariji’s blessing and grace…This year we will not be able to distribute the panchamrit to all of you, like every year, but you will receive it in the prasad later on.
One thing I was thinking about: look how beautiful the weather is, how merciful He is! Every other Just Love Festival we had rain. This year He is looking after us with His big eyes.
You know, there is this word ‘Bhakta Vatsala’. When we do the praises, we say ‘Bhakta Vatsala’ [which means] Bhagavan Krishna who is looking after the welfare of His devotees. When we look at the life of Lord Krishna, we see that His life was not for Himself. His life was for others. So, He was Himself the example of that love. He didn’t desire anything for His sake. Whatever He did was for the sake of love. When we analyse His life, we see the lilas that He performed were just to show His affection.
Somebody asked me a question. All the gopas and gopis, they were all around Krishna, no? So, why could they not recognise Him as being the Supreme Lord Himself? It is simple. You see, if they would have recognised Him to be the Supreme Lord, they would never be able to have this affection towards Him. There would be a big distance. If you know somebody is very high [in rank], there is automatically a big distance.
Krishna didn’t come here to create a distance between the people. He came to bring everybody to Him. He wanted everybody’s affection. He wanted this relationship to be very close. That’s why, even in spite of doing all these lilas, He cast His own maya upon them so that they would forget, just like that.
Krishna didn’t come here to create a distance between the people. He came to bring everybody to Him.
Just imagine, somebody lifts a big mountain for eight days…would you forget about that? A little problem in your life you can’t forget about, and somebody stands in front of you and lifts a mountain with a little finger, you would never be able to forget, no? But yet, they all forgot about it. Five minutes later, the gopis and gopas went on with their lives. Why do you think that was? Do you think He was craving for attention? Do you think He was looking for name, fame, glory? No, He was not looking for that.
He comes as a reminder of that Love which everyone holds deeply within their heart. That Love which very often we don’t want to see because it scares us. Love is very frightening. Everybody wants to love. How many really want to adventure into love? Nobody wants to adventure into love, because what you will see first? You will see, ‘What will I lose?’ You don’t see what you are gaining. You like the drama of a selfish love. You like the drama of a finite love. But the infinite Love is very difficult. For that, one’s mind must completely surrender. But how would one’s mind surrender if one’s mind is so attached to so many thoughts? Hmm? ‘How should my life should be? How should I be? How must everything be?’
You see, you are very segregated in your mind. There are like drawers, you know. Every society has its own drawer. Your parents have their own drawer. And you yourself have your own drawer inside of your mind. You don’t see that here the heart is calling. Can you hear the heart? No, you can't, because you are so preoccupied with your mind that you don’t perceive it. So, Bhagavan comes as a reminder of that love, and says, ‘Look, I am in your heart.‘ That’s the only reality.
All this reality that you perceive with the mind, all this is passing by. It’s like a dream. You know, when you are in a dream, it appears so real. You are enjoying your dream deeply. But when you wake up, that dream doesn’t last forever. How beautiful that dream was, does it last? It doesn’t last. So, you know very well that true happiness is not in the thing that you think it is, but yet, you crave it, you long for it. ’If I am not happy now, I shall be happy in my next life.’ You even look forward to a next life! So, you are already planning your future life not knowing what tomorrow will be.
That’s why Lord Krishna said that you are meant to work, but you are not meant to attach to the result, because you don’t know what the result is of everything that you do. You may have a plan, but if He has decided differently, that plan will not be how it is. How many times in your life have you had projects? All kinds of projects, no? You had great projects for this year. And then Bhagavan said, ‘Okay, Covid will come.’ And your projects changed.
So, remind yourself constantly of Love. Remind yourself constantly of why you are here. The goal of a human being is to attain Divine Love, nothing else. This is who you are. In essence you are that. But if you want to limit yourself, then you will just be the limitation of what you have planned inside of your mind. But Bhagavan is continuously reminding you, 'If not in this life, it will be in many other lives.' You are eternal, as He is eternal. And your soul longs only for that spiritual life itself.
Remind yourself constantly of why you are here. The goal of a human being is to attain Divine Love, nothing else.
He has graced you for that, He has called you for that. Don’t let fear rule over your mind. Let what you have inside of you awaken, and trust in why He called you. He is ready to pour His affection and Love, but are you ready to receive it? This is a question.
I was doing abhishekam, and I was thinking: a Shaligrama is Bhagavan Himself. There are two things that you can just take from nature and worship: that is the Shaligrama and Tulsi. There is no need to do any prana-pratishta, there is no need to do any ritual for that. But all others (you have Shiva-lingam, you have Devi murti, you have anything) you have to do the prana-pratishta, which means the infusing of the life force into that. So, that Shaligrama is Bhagavan Himself. We say that the Supreme Lord Himself is in that. So, I was asking myself, so if He is the Supreme Lord Himself and we are worshipping Him, everything that touches Him must be infused with that blissful state which He is. But why does that not happen? There is a big barrier between that. It is that mind. But if we would be in the heart, that explosion of Love would immediately take its effect. So, that is a reminder of what Love is. Love is something that keeps growing, there is no limit to Love. It’s not the love that we understand here, you know, but it is something that is growing constantly.
So, in the satsang I was saying that, we can look at the Ganga at Gaumukh, no? At Gaumukh, the Ganges is very small. But where the Ganges enters the ocean, Sagar Ganga, it is 40 kilometres wide. It’s like a sea and it’s called Sagar Ganga. So, it is similar to love in our life. Love starts always small, but we should allow love to flow. So, as it is flowing, it will grow on its path. But if you put a barrier there, like they did with Yamuna Maharani, then you will stop the flow. So, allow that current of love which you hold inside of you to flow. You don’t know how many years you have. Don’t think that you have many years, and then you will do it afterwards. No, the moment is now.
And let Him assist you in your daily life. Like He was a charioteer for Arjuna, He also wants to be your charioteer. He also wants to guide you back to Him, because you come from Him and you will go back to where you belong. You don’t belong to this reality. As much as you say, 'Yes, I belong to this reality', you are fooling yourself. You belong to Him and sooner or later you will go back to Him. And the choice is up to you, whether you want to go fast when you have that grace now, or you want to wait some time.
Jai Gurudev, everyone!
Enjoy the Just Love Festival. And it’s funny, you can’t dance really. But let your heart dance. That nobody can really stop.
Giridhari Lal ki…Jai!
Day 3: After Giridhari Abhishekam
Jai Gurudev, everyone!
Yesterday it was wonderful to see all of you just sitting and freezing outside. Even when Sati was telling you all to sing and dance, I understand it was a bit cold. So, now it’s nice weather, but still you are quiet. You see, in life very often whatever we do we have a certain degree of fear inside of us. We are not sure, no? We adventure into life being unsure, but yet, we expect a result which is great, perfect. We are in this world and everything is temporary. Nothing lasts forever, but yet, we long for permanent things. We think that we will be here permanently. And in that game we weaken ourselves. Like it is said, who can really make you weak if you don’t allow it? Nobody can do that. Most of the time you make yourself weak by being negative, not about the world outside, but about yourself first. But of course, we look for some other person to put our own negativity on and say, ‘Yes, it is like that.’
It is like iron. Can anything destroy iron? No, nothing can destroy iron but its own rust.
When we take a boat…the boat is surrounded with water. Isn’t it? Does the boat sink? The boat doesn’t sink. When will the boat sink? When water goes inside, then it will sink. What you allow to enter inside of you will become your reality. If you allow positivity to enter, that will become your reality. If you allow Love to be in your life, your life will be wonderful. But if you allow misery to be in your life, your life will be the same.
The path of bhakti is a path of Love. Every moment of your life you are reminded to become strong. Why? Because this is your relationship with Him. If He is with you, nobody can harm you. But if you stand alone, if you stand in your own negativity, then everybody can harm you because you are harming yourself first.
It reminds me of a story. Once, when Abraham Lincoln became President of America, there was a banquet and it was his first speech. And among all the people, there were some aristocratic people, some very rich people, and when they saw him, they said to him, ‘Aren't you the son of a shoemaker, the one who makes shoes? Your father has been making shoes for me’, one of the people said.
Abraham Lincoln didn’t just say, ‘Okay’, because they were saying it in a very arrogant way. What he said was, ‘Yes, I am proud of my father being a shoemaker. Of course, he was making shoes for you. He was making shoes for many of you. Do you have any complaint? I am also a shoemaker and I also know how to make shoes. If you have any complaint, I will make some shoes for you.’ So, he didn’t allow people to trample upon him, and that became his strength, that become what he represented.
The same in your life: what do you represent? Do you represent your weak point, or do you represent your strength? Again, nobody can harm you, nobody can attack you, nobody can do anything to you unless you allow it to happen. So, be strong, knowing that God is with you, and what I say always: fill your mind with what Lord Krishna has said in the Bhagavad Gita. The Gita is not just a book. You will find each one of you in the Gita. It’s about your own life. Understand it and really be who you are.
Jai Gurudev, everybody!
Day 3: Closing the Just Love Festival
Okay, Jai Gurudev, everyone!
So, like we said, this year this JLF was different, but nevertheless it was wonderful. The team, Bhagyshri, did a good job together with all, everybody, you know, a big team, all the residents here, actually, were continuously busy.
You see, in spite of what is happening to this world, we have to keep our spirit high. We have to be positive, and we have to be, above all, joyful, happy. Don’t let yourself be dragged down by everything that is happening. People die, yes. They die every day, you know. We can’t sit there and cry. Life carries on. Or will you stop living because of that? You will not stop living. You have to live, and you have to live in joy, in happiness.
That is your spiritual path. Wherever you go, spread that happiness to others. Don’t spread your sadness. Don’t spread your negativity, your misery. It is there, yes, sooner or later it will be finished. No? Just like a wave, it arises from the sea and it will drop back again. First wave, second wave, third wave, waves of love! Eh, Aaradhaka, that’s the Waves of Love, no? To keep reminding people that this world is the world of happiness. This is the world that is so dear to Bhagavan that He manifests Himself here. When we look at the shastra for example, when at the beginning of the Bhagavatam, for example, you see Mother Earth runs to take shelter and asks for help from Brahma. Brahma could not help her. She went to Shiva, but Shiva could not help her, so she was brought to Sriman Narayana.
Like that, this world, which is our mother, wants all of us to be happy. But for us to be happy, we also have to care about nature, we have to care about the animals, we have to care about each other. If we don’t learn to care for each other, then we will never be happy. How we treat each other and how we look at each other is very important because Bhagavan is not the one who is living 'up there'. He is the one who is living inside of each one of you. And that’s why He is calling, you know: to awaken that wave of divinity inside of you, to claim back your inheritance of who you are truly.
But if you choose to be normal, then of course, like I said in the satsang, He is eternal, He will wait. You are eternal, you will carry on. How would you run away from that cycle? You can’t! You have to go only one place, and that’s to attain Him, whether you stick to that cycle of birth and death continuously or you take shelter of Him and be free from that. And for that we have to turn towards each other and rise with that.
There is this beautiful anecdote. You know, when we look at the sunflower… Look at Jagannathji, He looks like a big sunflower. When you look at a sunflower, the sunflower is always turning towards the sun, no? It receives its light. But then the question arises: When it’s raining, where does the sunflower turn? …Eh?…Bhagyshri says the sunflower gets confused…Some of you said that it looks down. Actually, the sunflowers don’t look down. They look at each another. When it’s raining, when it’s cloudy, the sunflowers turn towards each other and give each other that warmth, that light. Like that, you see, bhakti reminds us of that. Devotion, love, all your good qualities remind us that we are living in this world, but we have to give what we have inside of us.
This world is full of dirt. Do you want to hang onto that or do you want to hang onto the most wonderful gift that God has given you: love inside of you? All of you are devotees or followers, so you are all on the spiritual path. That means you have something great inside of you. So, let’s turn what you have inside of you towards the world. It doesn’t mean that you have to go to a person and look at them and say, ‘I am giving you love.’ Many people will think that! And say, ‘Guruji has said I have to give love right now.’ If you go stand in front of people and start staring at them, then they will think a bit differently of you!
That consciousness which you have inside of you is easily connected to all beings through your thoughts, through your heart, through your positive thinking. That contributes a lot for this world. So, let that awaken inside of you.
What you have received during these three days, for example, and what you receive on your spiritual path, is not only for you. You see, when you try to keep joy and happiness only for yourself, it will fade away. Many have tried it, but they lose it.
So, open up your heart, open up your mind and let this love which is ‘Just Love’ flow through you.
Jai Gurudev, everybody!