I have to tell you all something about yajna. All of you have come from far-off countries, far-off places, and you must understand very well that you are participating in a very important event. This event is not only historical, it is not only spiritual, it is also ecological. It has many dimensions. People from the West and people from Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi or Patna must remember that they have come here to participate in a very important event called yajna, in which the spiritual powers are invited and invoked – spiritual powers which you cannot see, which you cannot touch, just as you cannot see or touch your thoughts, but you can feel them, if you are ready for it.
You have come here to be in touch with, in communication with those spiritual forces which are all around the cosmos, all around creation. Just as air is all-pervading, electromagnetic forces are all-pervading, and oxygen and nitrogen are all-pervading, similarly the spiritual powers, the spiritual forces, the divinities, the devatas, are all-pervading. They are here. They are always around you – always. They are with you in France, they are with you in Italy, they are with you in Bulgaria, they are with you in Greece, they are with you in Delhi, they are with you in Bangalore, they are with you wherever you are. But you can’t feel them. Why can’t you feel them? Because the necessary atmosphere in the mind and in the environment is not created.
If everybody starts shouting now, you won’t be able to hear me. If everybody in this assembly starts crying and wailing, will you be able to listen to me? No. You will be able to listen to me only if everybody is quiet. In the same way, the divine powers, the spiritual powers, the devatas and the divinities can be felt only if the environment is peaceful, if everything is quiet. Quietness within, not outside. There has to be quietness, stillness, tranquility, peace, relaxation, shanti. And in order to create such an atmosphere, the yajna will help you – it has helped you. You will be going back home with the blessings of these spiritual powers.
In the future, wherever there are yajnas, you should definitely spend some time there. And if you have any yoga program, whether in India, or in Bulgaria, China, Japan, France, South Korea or anywhere else, along with yoga there has to be a yajna program.
Yajna is the most ancient tradition of mankind. It was man who discovered fire and realized the utility of fire. Elephants did not, tigers did not, lions did not, birds did not. Only man realized the utility of fire and could make use of it. It was he who was the discoverer of fire, agni. When man realized agni, he took a very big leap in evolution. That was the beginning of a new era in man’s existence. Therefore, in India the first mantra in the Rig Veda starts with: Agnimide purohitam yajnasya devam ritvijam; hotaram ratna dhatamam. The first word was agni, not Om.
After fire, the next thing that man discovered was grain. And he was so thankful, so obliged, so grateful, that he offered the first grain into the fire. This is the history of yajna as far as man is concerned. So all of you are very fortunate to be present here at this yajna. You must feel it. Every time there is a yajna you should come here. We will have it every year.
The kanyas of Rikhia have successfully organized two yajnas. The first one was Sat Chandi yajna, the second one is Mahamrityunjaya yajna. Both these yajnas were successfully managed by the kanyas and batuks of Rikhia. You have all been a witness to this. Rikhia is not like Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata or Delhi; it is a very small village where I came twenty years ago. These children had not even been born then. Twenty years ago, at 12.00 noon on 23rd September I set up my tent on the adjoining property. None of the old men from that era survive today, maybe only a handful.
The feeling and attitude that has germinated in these children is one of sadhana and yoga. If you cannot see and appreciate the dexterity, perseverance and selflessness with which these children have conducted the two yajnas, what can I do? Food is cooked for tens of thousands of people, the serving of meals continues, the distribution of prasad continues, the kirtan-bhajan continues. These children don’t just sing simple school prayers. They sing the classical prayers chanted in the monasteries of sannyasins, in the ashrams of jagadgurus. They chant the prayers, mantras and hymns sung in the assemblies of learned pandits and saints. This means that there is genuine potential hidden within these children.
There are hundreds of thousands of villages with such children throughout India. They are the future of this country, but there is no one to look after them. Their fathers drink, smoke, gamble, steal and womanise. They don’t care for their children. These children have been born by accident. Today all of you are gathered here, so I won’t mince words.
The duty of parents is to live like sannyasins and raise their children properly. These children are your future. After marriage, these girls will go to another home. Not as mere brides, but as ambassadors. They are ambassadors of refined culture. Whatever good or bad they have learnt here in the ashram they will take with them to their new homes.
I know how careless and irresponsible you parents are. Drinking liquor in the middle of the night! If drinking and gambling were all you wanted to do, why did you marry and beget children in the first place? You should have just stayed with the prostitutes you visit. You’ve ruined the life of a woman, a child, this society and this nation.
Children should be given the right samskaras. Until they can realize their potential, until proper arrangements are made for their food, clothing, recreation and education, your future can never be bright. You will never receive the grace of Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. After all, what will Lakshmi do in your house? You don’t even have a proper toilet or bed to offer her!
Rectify your life from today itself. Today is Margasheersha Poornima. Margasheersha is considered the best among months and today is the best poornima. Let go of all your vices and bad habits in the name of your children. Make a solemn resolve that you will not indulge in those vices again, and that you will never beat your wife again.
Just a few days ago, the daughter of a well-to-do family got married here. A kanya asked her, “What will you do if your husband beats you?” She replied, “Beats me? Does he have the guts to do that!”
Today, when you go back to your homes, ponder over what I have said. Visiting the temple and drinking liquor right afterwards does not please God, for God is not pleased by such empty rituals. You will have to change your entire outlook on life. Today the whole of Rikhia is gathered here, which is why I am saying these things. I am not lecturing on religion, just talking about your own good. This was the first point.
The second point is that we will teach yoga to these children. The necessary arrangements will soon be made. A huge hall is ready in Rikhia and we will teach yoga there. By yoga, I mean asana and pranayama. Through the practice of asana and pranayama, the children will stay healthy and fit, their minds will become alert and sharp, and they will be able to think and decide about their own future. Not to mention beautiful, shining faces! The kanyas who were just dancing looked beautiful, didn’t they?
We will teach yoga to the children. But then don’t start complaining that through yoga Swamiji will make the children sannyasins. In fact, if I could do that, that would be the best thing for you. You wouldn’t have to worry about your daughters’ marriage or dowry. They would stay for free in the ashram. I would feed all of them. Why? Because they are my daughters. You have begotten them by accident. In reality they belong to me. Tell me, who gives all of you new clothes five or six times a year, your father or me?
Kanyas and batuks: You!
And who is arranging for your daily meals here in the ashram, your father or me?
Kanyas and batuks: You!
Who is giving all the books and notebooks for your schooling? Your father or me?
Kanyas and batuks: You!
Did you hear your children’s answer? Therefore, deal with them in a proper manner from now on. Do not slap them. These kids eat all the guavas and mangoes from our trees, but I have told everyone in the ashram, don’t even dare touch these children. If a child makes mischief, think that Kanhaiya has incarnated in your home! If children cannot be mischievous, who can? You? If you are mischievous, the police will catch you and you will go straight to jail. Let the children be naughty. After all, what harm can they do?
Let me tell you about Swami Niranjan. Once when he was six years old, he opened up my tape recorder. In those days, a tape recorder used to be a luxury. When I asked him why he had opened it up, he replied that he was trying to learn the tape recorder’s mechanism! Now what should have I done? Slapped him? Would that have repaired my tape recorder? No, but it would have definitely damaged his tape recorder.
Never ever hit these children or abuse them, otherwise their tape recorder will get damaged and the harmony of your entire family will be shattered. So stop beating your children, and always remember that they are the embodiments of love.