By Sri-la-Sri Sadhvi Meera Puri

Indians have an inferiority complex about themselves. In fact, we should not feel inferior at all. What we have learned from the West is materialism, which is of little significance. The West has learned a lot from us. The true path in life is the path of self discovery. Turn inward. Try to swim more and more in the internal world. There lies peace and blissfulness. Peace is the most important thing in the world. And the manifestation of peace is love among one another. Love is the essence of the world.There is no other essence. Love means we should try to understand each other’s feelings. What comes in the way of love is the thinking that, “I am extremely intelligent. I am very smart” or, “Only what I say is the truth, and it will remain the truth.” This feeling of “I” is at the root of all problems and misunderstandings.

Today, a lot of bad practices have crept into our society. We are excessively influenced by the West and are getting away from our ground realities. Watching all this happen gives me a lot of pain. We have certain weaknesses. One is that we forget our powers and forget who we are. I never treated myself as a woman. I never labeled myself as a woman or a man. I always thought of myself as a part of Brahman (God). When you gain atma jnana (knowledge of the soul), you are liberated from all this. The problem remains as long as you believe in differences of sex. If we stick to our principles and are totally devoted, then nothing can give us pain, provided you are willing to understand and act accordingly. If we do this, everything is possible. We can be successful. Especially in this human body, which is like a diamond. But the problem is that people do not have a clear-cut aim in life.

Youth are extremely powerful. But they must practice meditation. Whatever they want to do in life, they can do if they meditate and are full of devotion. They will discover special powers that are hidden in them. There is no need for kundalini awakenings. By simple meditation on chosen goals, youth can have even their material ambitions fulfilled very easily. Things that seem very difficult will become easily accessible. They think that earning money is very difficult; similarly winning over people and adjusting to other people is very difficult. They develop misunderstandings with people and find it difficult to adjust to the outside world. Their views do not match with friends and relatives, and due to bickerings with them, their lives become like a hell. If they started doing meditation, all these problems would get solved.

Actually, these are not the real issues in life. There are other subjects about which one must think. The reality of our life is something else which we have forgotten, and we do not even realize it. The essence of life is truth, love and devotion. The youth do not have love or truth, and they do not have the spirit of sacrifice. Yet, without these attributes, they still want to get everything. They want quick results. Without action you are not going to get anything. But if one gradually works for achieving one’s goals, one can do it.

Youth must remember jaisa ann vaisa man, “what you eat so you become.” Jaisa pani, vaisi vani, “your voice becomes like the water you drink.” Jaisi sangat vaisi rangat, “you will become like your companions.” You form the habit of chewing betel leaves by going to the betel shop and picking up the style of those who consume it. I have seen small children eating tobacco in a stylish manner learned from the company of people who consume tobacco.

Goswami Tulsidas said in Ram Charit Manas, “Without the company of good people, one cannot gain wisdom.” And you cannot come into the company of good people without the blessings of God or the satguru. Now it has been further said, “One who has the blessings of guru, parents, saints, Gods, positive mental impressions and the good karmas of innumerable previous births will attain his goal in life. Until all these are available to you, nothing is going to happen. All this can happen in this very birth, but only if we want it. Without practice and devotion, we cannot achieve or perfect anything. Suppose a guru gives you a very powerful guru mantra which you do not repeat. Nothing is going to happen. Until you wake up that mantra by chanting or repetition with devotion, it is like a lifeless body.

In today’s time it is essential to spend a few minutes remembering Him, by chanting a mantra or simply meditating. We will get a lot out of this. We are not going to get anything from any other method. You are not going to get anything out of materialism. Materialism gives one temporary enjoyment. But the fact is that due to their indulgence in material things, people are feeling very frustrated. Those who indulge in sensual or material things say, “We had a lot of fun.” The saints would never use the word fun. They will always say, “It was a blissful experience.” Fun is short-living, but bliss is, or can be, everlasting. Fun is like this world, which itself is short-living. From anand (bliss) you can proceed to the state of param-anand (super bliss). And param-anand will lead you to paramgati (liberation). A godly human life is relevant, as one can obtain a lot through life. But if one is not on the right path, one will not be able to create a peaceful world, even for oneself, let alone talk of world peace, which will remain a distant dream.

SADHVI MEERA PURI, FIRST SRI MAHANT, SOLAH MADHI (SIXTEEN MADHI) JUNA AKHARA, was interviewed by Hinduism Today at the 1998 Kumbha Mela. An accomplished devotional singer, she was initiated into sannyas in 1971 by Anant Shri Vibhushit Param Pujaya Pad Uttam Puri ji Maharaj. She performed sadhana in the jungles of Himanchal Pradesh for 18 years. Now a senior female abbot of the Juna Akhara, she helps to look after the order’s nuns who number in the thousands.