Amongst the millions of planetary systems in the galaxies of our infinite Universe, our planet is the only one that is known to be inhabited; and the most ancient civilization on this planet had its origins in Sindh. The inhabitants were peace-loving and highly evolved, rich in wealth and culture and so they became target of repeated onslaughts by invaders, who plundered Sindh, time and again, bringing untold misery and suffering to its natives.
God, in His wisdom has always been forthcoming in providing relief and alleviating the sufferings of the inhabitants of Sindh, thus enabling them to tread on the path of humanity. The Hindus believe that God-the Almighty and formless, attains human form and comes in our midst as an ‘avtaar’ to guide his children towards the right and spiritual path. The current generation is blessed with the presence of Dada Jashan Vaswani, who through his spiritual presence and knowledge has given succor to millions who have strayed and guided them towards the path of salvation. We are indeed honoured to have him amidst us today.
At the outset, Dada, can you elaborate when and how was “Sadhu Vaswani Mission” started?
In 1929, God’s will brought Sadhu T. L. Vaswani to Hyderabad (Sindh) after his elder brother Shri P.L. Vaswani passed away in Karachi. Sadhu T. L. Vaswani decided to stay in Hyderabad, his birthplace. This turned out to be a momentous decision for the saints and hundreds of eager disciples who would now come to him in ever increasing numbers. The Brahmo Samaj, the Guru Sangat and the Theosophical Society of Hyderabad invited him to deliver lectures and conduct classes: Gita class, Isa class, Sunday class in their halls. To these classes flocked several aspiring seekers, many of whom would become lifelong followers and devout disciples of Sadhu Vaswani. Two of them were Mrs. Parpati Malkani and Kumari Shanti Makhijani. Shanti’s father, at her behest, offered a hall where Sadhu Vaswani could hold his satsang (fellowship meetings). And so began Sakhi Satsang, the seed from which sprouted the Mission.
After the partition, God’s will brought Sadhu Vaswani and his band of dedicated workers and ardent admirers to India. They chose Punyabhoomi Pune, as their base. When Sadhu Vaswani dropped his physical body on January 16, 1966, the Mission was renamed as the Sadhu Vaswani Mission. The Sadhu Vaswani Medical Complex in Pune is a state of the art medical facility that provides first class care to the patients and offers subsidies and free treatment to poor patients. In 1933, Sadhu Vaswani founded the “Mira Movement” in Education which centered on character-building, spiritual awakening and service. Today, the Sadhu Vaswani Mission runs schools and colleges for girls in Pune where over 6,000 students receive education that stretches from the pre-primary to post- graduate level. Along with academic excellence, education is structured to nurture the nascent spirituality in every child and encourages each to participate in humanitarian.
How can common man find the right path?
My advice to such a man would be: “Live not for self alone, but live for others also. Share a part of what has been given to you with those who are less fortunate and whose need is greater than yours.
It has been said that God is formless and beyond all ‘captures’. In that case how can one see Him or have His Darshan?
God can be seen. He can be touched and felt and heard and spoken to. He is more real than the physical forms and objects we see with our eyes open. But for this, we need to open the Third Eye. For this we need to live a life of sadhana (spiritual discipline). At the present moment, our hearts are not pure. They are stained, soiled, smudged, tainted with many taints which we have accumulated through many births. They need to be cleansed. Hence, the need for sadhana in our life. Gurudev Sadhu Vaswani indicated to us a shortcut to God. He said: “If you wish to see God, you must cleanse your hearts. Therefore, awaken within you, deep longing, yearning for God.”
With the turning of ages, several things have changed including man’s faith in God. How to reinstate that faith?
We live in an age of science, an age of reason. So many things in which man believed blindly are regarded as superstitions. In the coming age, I believe, science and spirituality will be wedded together and a new rennaisance of faith will arise. True faith is believing what we cannot see. In the new age, man will realise that there are many things which our eyes cannot see. Our eyes have limited vision, limited to the spectrum we call VIBGYOR. There are vast regions of ultra violet and infra-red which we cannot see. When science proves this and many other things, real faith, true faith, solid faith will be born and man will learn to walk in the light of faith.
To what extent is there truth in the theory of reincarnation?
It is commonly said, “he that is born must die. The theory of reincarnation says he that dies must be reborn. For life is endless, undying.” The Law of Karma states: “As you sow, so shall you reap! We have to be reborn a number of times to reap what we have sown. All around us there is inequality. This inequality can be explained only when we accept the theory of reincarnation. Everyone gets (reaps) what he has sown. There are many cases of reincarnation. Several years ago, a book was published in America. The title of the book was,“Twelve Cases of Reincarnation”. The book is written by a team of scientists. Recently, I read a book concerning the work of Dr. Stevenson, who is working as a Professor of Psychology in the University of Virginia, in America. He has investigated over 1,600 cases in Britain, Europe, America and the Far East in all of which, children claim to remember specific details of their earlier lives. With the help of a network of informants, in many countries, he has discovered that the cases are, on an average, 90 percent correct with regard to historical facts. He has found that such children, between the ages of two to four, start to tell their parents that they remember having lived another life before birth.
A common man in everyday life is confronted with multiple problems so much so that he is tired of facing these and gives up even the desire of the destination. Any advice for such persons?
Life is full of incidents, both pleasant and unpleasant. When an unpleasant thing happens, we are apt to lose our balance; this creates a negative emotion which expresses itself in a feeling of sadness or depression. An effective way of dealing with such a situation is to go to the root of the matter and, “let go” what is causing the negative emotion. The more we let go, the more do we conserve our energies for the constructive and creative tasks of life. What are problems? They are steps on the ladder of evolution Problems do not come to us by accident. Problems are deliberately thrown in our way by a beneficiant Providence for our own good. What would life be without problems? Problems are like a knife. If you hold them by the blade, they will cut your fingers. If you hold them by the handle, you can do so many things with their help.
Is it true that only unsuccessful people and failures feel comfort in ‘satsang’?
The word satsang means, sat sang, fellowship with truth. Truth transcends success and failure. It elevates you to transcendental heights. Satsang has rightly been called the door to the Kingdom of Heaven. If you enter this Kingdom you go beyond dwanda, pairs of opposites, such as success and failure, profit and loss, praise and censure, health and sickness, light and darkness, heat and cold.
How can we implement religion in our daily life?
To be able to implement religion in daily life, let us, among other things, do the following:
*Never miss our daily appointment with God.
*Accept every experience, pleasant or unpleasant, as prasadam out of the Holy Hands of God. 3. Experience everything but expect nothing.
*Grow in the spirit of reverence for all life. Regard all life as sacred.
*Always adopt a positive attitude.
*Help as many as you can to lift the load on the rough road of life.
Gita mentions something to the effect that everyone is subservient to his own nature, in other words slave of his own nature. How far is it true?
The Bhagavad Gita points to the truth that man, as he is made, is controlled by gunas. But, the essential message of the Gita is that man is a master of himself. The Gita speaks of tri- gunatita the man who transcends the three gunas. Sri Krishna’s word to his dear, devoted, disciple Arjuna is: “Utthishta! Paramtapah.” “Stand up, o scorcher of foes!” The Gita is a scripture not of failure or defeat but of triumph and victory. The man of the Gita stands up as a hero on the battlefield of life.
Change is the only constant thing in life. In your view what are the good and bad changes affecting today’s society.
The root of all the bad changes is that society has turned away from God. God is the Source of Light. If we turn our back to God, we will walk in the darkness which is our own shadow. If we walk with our face turned to God, our shadow will fall behind us and we shall always walk in the Light. All we have to do is to, ‘Turn to God!’
Evil has existed through ages? Is it eternal? Will it ever end? Since centuries people have been trying to eradicate evil from the earth but have not succeeded, should these efforts be continued?
Evil is darkness. It does not have any real substance. It cannot last forever. A room may have been in darkness for a hundred years, go and strike a match and kindle a flame, the darkness will vanish instantaneously. Darkness has no substance. It is only absence of light. Likewise, evil has no substance, it is only a shadow. It will vanish the moment the Kingdom of Heaven descends on earth.