A small boy likes to play with guns and he says that he wants to become a dacoit when he grows up. No matter how much you convince him, he’ll tell people this. Or he’ll say he wants to be a truck driver, driving around at full speed. If you tell him sternly that at the party tonight, say you want to become a doctor, he’ll say fine and repeat that at the party. Intellectually he understands that his father thinks that a doctor is better than a truck driver, but deep inside he knows that a dacoit or a truck driver is more fun. When this child grows up, he doesn’t want to be a dacoit anymore. He finds a role model in the environment around him, and thinks that he wants to become like so and so. That is the first gyan. When he grows up further still, his decision changes further, now he wants to be an IAS officer, hotshot executive…more gyan. He’s growing up, right?
There is no synonym for the word ‘gyan’ in English or any other language. It is not intellectual knowledge you gain from books, which have several limitations. Gyan can only be gained through a Guru who gives it to you in a certain technique, which is beyond the scope of your five senses. Wisdom, too, is part of knowledge. The power of…deduction. You can see the parameters, determine things and give solutions. So you are wise.
One of my friends had this compulsive habit of putting on strong smelling cologne before going out. One evening, he was taking me out for dinner and before I left, I put on some cologne. As soon as I stepped into his car, he reacted, rolling down the windows, “What have you put on? What is this? You’re choking me.” I told him, “You have been doing this to me for the last two years. Now you have grown up.” He didn’t even notice the fact that he hadn’t put on any cologne that night, and that he had stopped for a while now. Also, he was addicted to his drink and now he’s not able to take one sip. He called me in the middle of the night from some party; he’s in all these big circles, and said, “Bhaiyya, I’m standing here with this glass in my hand. I don’t know where to throw it.” His wife, a doctor, was stunned with the change. I never told him to stop anything.
Yet another student of mine, a very intelligent girl, works as a CA for an MNC, top bracket. She told me about this guy she was having problems with, “I just can’t let go of him and he’s ignoring me. I call him up all the time and he brushes me aside”. I asked her if she would do what I told her to, and she said ‘yes’. I gave her a simple practice and told her not to call him. (She had various apprehensions: ‘He might go away’ etc.). She did what I said and one day she said smiling, “He’s gone. No more of him”. She continued the practice and two months later she called me, “This guy is calling me day and night and I just don’t want to talk to him.” I told her, “Today, you have grown up. You have the gyan of getting over what is plaguing the maximum population — emotional congestion. Now when you do get involved with somebody, it’ll be for a higher cause, not for a lower cause, not for some stupid emotion of yours.” Today she’s a sensible, mature, happy individual…
Gyan forms the basis of human civilisation, it has been tried and tested for several million generations… And we are talking about a language that is a hundred thousand years old, not a few 100 years old. The world calls us barbarians; they say humans were monkeys jumping around the trees. Anyone who understands the Vedas will say, as Sir John Woodroffe said, “Your ancestors were definitely monkeys. Not mine. My ancestors were those men who have given the knowledge of the Vedas to us, the philosophies, the dictum of peace.”
Can an uncivilised barbarian ever think of shanti? Has this country ever done aggression in the history of its existence? Never. Why not? Because our principles, our culture, our ancient philosophies are civilised. A civilised person is someone who thinks beyond the needs of himself or herself. A barbarian is someone who eats, sleeps, breathes, and lives for himself alone.
There was a student of mine. I’ve taught her certain arts in intricate detail. She became very anxious to preach it, popularise it, go around and teach it. I told her not to, but she didn’t listen. So she left the group. She travelled to the West and met somebody there who spoke about me as a great gyani, gave her a few questions he wanted answered (I had been referred to him by several others). The lady came back to India and joined the group once again. She was with me for three years and she still needed that to come back.
Why this need for approval from anybody — to be stamped by some non-Vedic somewhere who has no idea about what yog is?
I meet people from all over the world and they ask me lots of questions. I got this message about one Guru who was going to the US to give everyone Diksha, and this chap on the web was collecting the booking fee, etc… I wrote a simple e–mail to him, ‘The whole principle of yog is to get you out of maya and this Guru is drawn by maya to you. What do you intend to achieve out of this joke’? The answer I got was, ‘Thank you for opening my eyes’.
Lord Rama did not tell the Guru to come to his palace, He went to His ashram, lived there, and no one can be greater than Lord Rama, right?
The Guru cannot come to you, you have to come to the Guru, otherwise the art will lose its efficacy. The system and the foundation work on the basic principle of the ancient Guru-shishya parampara… But here, the gurus are seeking shishyas in the West, even flying out to them…Are we blind to allow this? Can’t we see that these are not gurus; they are clever businessmen selling smart ideas? And to take a step back, how can you sell something that is not yours to begin with?
There is a vedic shloka: ‘idam namam’ (it’s not mine). When it’s not yours, how can you sell it? You can only make an effort to present it at best. A yogi would never go to anyone, people come to him…We are teaching celebrities and high ups, but I don’t go to them, not because of ego, but because it is the way this art has been designed, and I want to follow the art in its purest and highest form.