This world is not our permanent abode. It does not belong to us; it is an alien land. This is not the real home of the jivatma, the individual soul.
Yes, this is a foreign land. You are just a visitor here for sixty, seventy, eighty or ninety years. It is like going to a foreign country for some months or years. I came here on a visit in 1923. After completing my visit in this foreign land, I have to return to my original home. Our home is the abode of God. I came to Rikhia on 23rd September 1989. Day and night were equal on that day. Of course, wherever I have lived has been full of blessings; no place has been inauspicious for me. That is proof of God’s benign hand. I remember four places. The first is my ancestral home where I was born and brought up, the second is my guru’s ashram in Rishikesh, the third is the Bihar School of Yoga in Munger and the fourth is this Alakh Bara in Rikhia. All four places have been auspicious, full of grace and revelation.
In all these places I received some spiritual experience. This is due to the grace of God; it has nothing to do with my luck, fate or fortune. What is fate? It is nothing. Have you seen a conch shell? It is the skeleton of an animal, but Brahmins blow it. Even the Vaishnavas blow it and feel dignified or glorious in doing so. The dignity or glory which is given to the conch shell is certainly due to the grace of God. Otherwise what would be the fate of that conch shell? It is just the skeleton of a conch. Therefore, one’s own fate or luck is immaterial. Man’s own fate is nothing but a mixture of pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow.
Life is a combination of laughter and sorrow, birth and death. This is applicable to one and all. However, when God showers his grace, each and every place becomes auspicious.
—Rikhiapeeth, 14 December 1994, first published in Bhakti Yoga Sagar Vol. 2