Seeing Beyond Anger

Live Q&A from Germany
Shree Peetha Nilaya Ashram

Today's Satsang from Paramahamsa Vishwananda answers questions about how to see the Divine in someone who is angry, the power of our spiritual practices compared to past yugas, the effect of keeping secrets, and the stories of one's ishtadev.


Jai Gurudev! Welcome back again!

Today, you see how the weather is: rainy, cloudy. But it’s so nice, actually you can smell really the freshness, the earth. When you go out on the balcony, you can smell the earth itself. It’s really a nice smell.

This morning I was watching the movie on Srila Prabhupada again. If you have not watched it, it’s really a wonderful movie because it gives you a different perspective of Srila Prabhupada. And, actually, very inspiring to see a 70-year-old man reaching America with practically nothing, and building up his movement in the time of hippies, trying to teach them a different culture, and bringing Krishna to these people. It’s really amazing to see how he built up what his guru had wished for him. You know, it took him 30 years until he went to America, and it’s amazing how the word of his guru really resonated inside of him. When he was there, he had a heart attack and the devotees were praying, and he prayed to his guru maharaj and said, ‘I have come here to do your will, to do your what you have asked me, to bring Krishna to them. And if you wish that I stay, I will stay, I will carry on.’ And of course, that mission was still young and Bhagavan graced him for that. And another moment which was very wonderful was just before he passed and when he was saying, ‘I came to your country, I came to America with just a cymbal, and now you all are chanting the Name of Krishna, and I consider this blessed. This was my life purpose, I have fulfilled what my guru maharaj had asked of me, and I have fulfilled my dharma.’

What other great joy is there, that satisfaction that you have really fulfilled your life purpose itself. Such a blessed soul and a great soul, and very inspiring, actually, because it gives you a different perspective of Srila Prabhupadji.  It was very touching.

How can we see the Lord shining through a person who makes us angry or who is violent towards us?

Look, it is very difficult, because of what you have programmed your mind to see. You see, when you look at the person in front of you, even if God resides within him or her, automatically what that person has done to you will react on it. You will not feel great joy to see that person. You will not feel enthusiasm to be around such a person, but, actually, it is a challenge which you put towards yourself.

Like there was a saying that Jesus said, ‘What’s the use of loving those who you love already?’, because you will not understand what is love. If somebody has harmed you and somebody is really difficult to be around, actually, it is a challenge which God has put to you to see how much you can bear it, and how much you can challenge yourself.

If that is stopping you, which is right there, then how would you be able to transcend that?  So, what you have to do, is not that easy, but sometimes you have to remind yourself of what is inside of that person. That what is inside of the person, that atma that is inside, is the same inside of you. Of course, we don’t see it in that way when you are angry, when you feel that the person is irritating you, but reflect upon that, reflect what is the lesson behind that. 

You see, I’ll tell you something: more you see such a person, the more you get angry, the more the anger inside of you will accumulate, and the more it becomes difficult to handle. Because the mere thinking of that person will put you in a state of stress, nervousness and, really, anger. Are you changing, really? No, you are not changing.  So learn, first, to ignore the person. I’m not telling to accept the person straight away as they are. First learn to ignore the person. Even if it is there and the person is irritating you, just be as if the person doesn’t exist. Even if they are talking, just block your hearing or just go and do something else. You don’t need to become the same as that person is. The best is to walk away or just ignore the person.

It’s like in your life, for sure, there are things which were irriating to you and you have learned to ignore it and move forward with your life. Does that thing that was irritating you still trouble you? No, it doesn’t. The same thing with people. You see, if you sit there and entertain their delusion, of course, you are taking it with you. 

So, how you are, in the company of the people that you keep around you and you really treasure - because you see, when you say somebody is nerving you, making you angry, that means you are taking that negativity from that person or you are seeing that person as a negative aspect, so you are taking that negativity and make it yours.  when you take that negativity and make it yours, automatically, you will get angry with it. Actually, you are not angry really with that person; you are angry with yourself, because you are acting in that way. You see, it is for that sake of the Self, we also act in that way.

In the Upanishads it’s said that whatever we do, we do it for the sake of the Self. That anger also happens in the state of the Self. Because you have taken that negativity from that person upon you, of course, you start to act the same way.  So, the best is to ignore it. After some time, by ignoring it, it will become so natural. Even if that person is talking, ‘vaya, vaya’, and the person is irritating you, you will not get irritated by that, because you are not taking what he is giving you. Because if you take what he is giving you, then you are participating in that. Then you will get angry.

And how can we see the Lord shining through that person you see?  Firstly, you are seeing only the outside of the person. Of course, you will not yet see the Lord. If you have not seen the Lord seated inside of yourself, how would you see it? Of course, logically you know about it, because you have read about it, you have heard about it, you know about it. But, still, you are so focused on the negativity of that person. This is what you have to change. Stop focusing upon the negativity of that person. Focus firstly on the Self, the One which resides within that person. When you focus on that which is residing, knowing that what is residing again in that person also resides inside of you, you know: that atma which is inside of you is the same atma inside of them, then it will not affect you. Then you are not taking something which is outside, but you are looking at something from deep within, because deep within, your atma doesn’t have enmity towards anybody.

 So, you can try this, it will help you.

In the past yugas, it seems that whenever somebody wants something, he just does a yagna and it is done! Are today's spiritual practices like OM Chanting and Atma Kriya Yoga as powerful as then? Can OM Chanting today really heal someone physically?

Yes. You see, there are so many experiences of people who have been healed through OM Chanting. Because we are working with the universal vibration. Of course, like you said in your question, the yogis would do a yajna and then straight away their things would be fulfilled. But this is wrong, because they are doing a yagna for a specific purpose, you see? They are doing a yajna for a very selfish motive. Very often, they were doing these sacrifices for a selfish motive, and of course, the result will be also selfish. Do you think people get satisfied when whatever they ask for, they get? No, they will never be satisfied.  

It’s different when we talk about OM Chanting, because nobody likes to suffer, so when you do OM Chanting, of course, it’s releasing that vibration; it’s releasing and transform the whole karmic aspect inside of the person. You see, when we do OM Chanting, very often people think that, ‘Okay, yes, we just go there and just chant OM.' No it’s not. You know, what is happening when you are chanting, when you are in a circle and the OM Chanting is being conducted? It’s not just that you are chanting, it’s not just like, ‘Let me go there and have fun’. No, there is such a great amount of energy. Of course, you are working with a primordial sound itself, and that amount of energy which that generates, of course, can transform everything. 

But don’t expect that it will happen in one go, because you must have faith. First, like I always say, faith is very big and very important element in that. Because very often people say, ‘You know, I’ve been doing it. I did one time, two times, but still I don’t feel anything’, or, ‘Nothing happened.’ Because people expect a magic wand. They want something, here, you get it. If God would fulfil that so easily, you would take it for granted, you would not really appreciate it.  You see, when you are doing OM Chanting, everything is possible. All the wishes, all the desires that you have, everything has the capacity to be fulfilled and to manifest. But you must believe in it. You know. Not just go and do it for the sake of fun.

When I decided to give the OM Chanting technique, because it is a such an old technique that had been forgotten in this world, the rishis and yogis, were also very joyful for that.  That’s why when you are doing that, you have the blessing of all these great beings also there, and these beings are there for only one thing: that you attain the Lotus Feet of the Lord; that you grow spiritually. Of course, they will cure your illness, they will make things happen inside of you, make you feel the presence of the Divine so that you can open up to only one reality: to attain the Feet of God. There is nothing else.

And yes, many healings. I don’t know whether Swami Pritala or Jaigopal is writing, about it, but there are many, many, many healings. You know, I have some pictures also people have sent me and many other things.

How does keeping secrets affect one's life and what is their role?

Keeping secrets? Actually, keeping secrets has two roles, actually. One affects one’s life, no?  First, why does somebody entrust you with the secret? Somebody entrusts you with the secret because they feel close to you, they trust you, they believe in you. So they tell you, they open up their heart, they share the most intimate things which they have kept inside of themselves with you. And, of course, normally that secret you should treasure, because you should really honour that friendship, that trust which someone has given unto you. Betraying that trust will make yourself the worst kind of person.

And the other kind of secret: you see, if you have a dear friend who has something dear, to that person and yet, like I said to you due to that trust he gives you that secret, for you it’s easy. You can just treasure it inside of you and honour that, like I said, that trust which that person has given you.

But for a person to have the secret let’s say you have a certain secret, what does that do to you? Firstly, it will make you restless. It makes you nervous, because always inside at the back of your mind you know you are hiding something. Let's say it is a personal secret for yourself, you can’t tell it to everybody, and of course, you feel that pressure inside of you, that inner stress inside of you, of, ‘How can I, share it?’. That’s why people entrust somebody else with a secret, because once you have taken that which is creating a pressure inside of you, you have taken it out of you. It’s not that you have taken that pressure and given it to somebody else, because that person, even if that person knows that secret, that person will not have that same stress as the person who is holding that secret.

So, what does it do. It is making you stress firstly, and, when it makes you stress you don’t feel at ease. It’s true, everybody has their own personal things. It’s not that you have to tell everything openly to everybody. You have your personal things that you keep for yourself, but you just need to relax with it.  You should not put a name to it. 'Oh, it’s a secret that I have to hide, because if somebody finds out, that big catastrophe will happen. No, no, you don’t need to put stress to it. Because one thing, you have a secret only when you are doing something wrong.

Look, big, big businessmen, rich people, whatever, they all have secrets in their life. Why do you think they have secrets in their life? Because they know deeply they are doing something wrong and they have to hide it. You see, the amount of energy that one has to have to hide a secret is a lot actually, because first you have to lie, and lying as you know very well, doesn’t stay on the same story all the time.  So, you have to be a very good liar to be able to keep telling the same story all the time. You see, when you lie about something, your mind doesn’t register it and soon or later you forget about that story that you have tell. Then what happens? You know what happens? Then you tell another story. And to the same person you tell two, three stories, then what happens? There is stress completely. So, you know you have done something wrong. You have tried to keep something hidden, so you don’t feel at ease with yourself.

You see, very often people become so unhappy about it. They become unhappy and they don’t feel free in their life. It’s not bad to have certain personal things that you yourself know about yourself, and you keep it and you just need to relax with that.  It’s different; like I said everybody has a little secret of their own, and it is not a sin or there's a big thing about it.

If somebody has entrusted you with something personal, learn to keep it due to that trust and to that relationship that the person has with you. Get to know about that deepness of that trust which somebody has placed inside of you. That’s why it is not really a secret, but it is an entrusted idea which has been given to you to look after. 

Trying to know more about my ishtadev, I search online and find many stories that seem made up or contradictory to other stories. Is any story useful, even if it is fake, or should I only focus on the real ones?

Who is your ishtadev? Look, your question is a bit vague because you don’t really mention anything of what you want to ask, but what I can imagine, is that you are asking which story is real. Look, what you have to do is to concentrate on your ishtadev, whether the story is real or not real, you will never know. It is history. What has happened in the past is there, but what you can do is take any of these stories, and take the essence of that story from it, you see? And when you take the essence of that story, then you will grow into it, you will build your relationship towards your ishtadev, and it will not really affect you.

You see, of all the stories that I have been telling, some are made up stories, but they teach a deeper truth and there's a certain meaning inside them. They are representative of a certain quality which is imbibed inside of you, and these stories also are an inspiration, so that you can truly build your relationship towards your ishtadev. Take that in that way and build that relationship with your deity like this.

Okay, Jai Gurudev!