A Competition I didn’t like, even after I had won it – 20 Jul 14

I would like to tell you of a lecture I had in Copenhagen in 2006. It was, well, a different kind of lecture. Let me tell you why.

I had a friend in Copenhagen. I have told you about him before, I believe. He is a writer and author, a philosopher and quite interesting person. He had invited me to come back in 2006 and he was the one to organize my program that time. More than being my organizer however, he was my friend and I was looking forward to spending some time with him, too, in between work.

I reached Copenhagen in the morning and after having arrived at his home, where I was going to stay, he told me what the program would be. The very first point on that list was a lecture the same evening and he specified a detail: I have planned a lecture of a different style today! I asked what he meant with that and the explanation followed suit:

It would not only be me giving the lecture but also him and another friend of both of us who was quite popular in Copenhagen for his work directly with people and their physical problems. All three of us would speak on the same topic and then the audience – who would actually pay to see these three lectures by different speakers – would then judge on who did it best.

I was totally baffled. It was just a few hours before the lecture and I had never ever talked in a concept like this. I was never into competitions and I had no ambition to win something like a speaking contest! I honestly didn’t like the idea. I imagined it to be strange to compete with two of my friends! Anyway, the arrangement was made and so I thought that it would at least be a first experience of this kind. Something new – let’s do the best out of it!

It happened as it was planned. My friend had papers distributed to the audience with the names of us three speakers on them on which they would in the end give us marks. We then all three gave a lecture on the same topic – I don’t remember what it was – and our listeners got some time to note down their marks. The papers were collected and counted – and it was time for the results:

I won the competition, second was our common friend and the organizer himself came third and last.

I was not surprised – it was my profession after all! As far as the other two were concerned, I think it was just a liking by the crowd. Our common friend had loads of knowledge and although he was not a speaker per se, he was in contact with clients the whole day long. He himself was a writer, a person who generally knows how to express himself in word.

We all laughed and joked about it and the audience also enjoyed how light we took it – at least how we seemed to take it. I had the feeling that my friend’s pride had taken a blow! He showed a smile, pretended to laugh about himself but there was something more! I knew him and could feel that on the inside, he had not expected to reach third.

He could not enjoy this as he should – otherwise I think this whole idea could have been fun in the end!

How much Sex is called an Addiction? – 24 Jun 14

In my lecture about ‘Sex and Freedom’, there was one more question which I found interesting for telling you about. The questioner wanted to know my opinion about the situation when sex becomes unhealthy, when it becomes an addiction.

I actually had to object to the wording of this. In my definition, sex cannot be an addiction. We are talking about feelings and love – what can be the addiction there? If you ask me, whether I am addicted to love, I have to confess that yes, I am. If you ask me whether I am addicted to sex, I would not be able to reply properly – what is the parameter for getting addicted?

There are definitely different parameters for different people – some do it once a week, some seven times a week, some maybe seven times a day! When is it an addiction? Where do you draw the line?

I actually believe that it is not real sex that becomes the addiction. When sex comes to the mind, it can become an addiction. Sex is not a matter of the mind. It is a matter of your heart and your body. It is normal however that the mind gets affected to a certain point because your mind is never separate from your body and feelings. When you bring sex into the mind too much however, I believe that you can get obsessed with it. Porn can thus be an addiction – not sex.

Now if you come to the question of prostitution, I believe that is a fully different matter. I don’t think it is a sex addiction if a man goes to a prostitute for sex. Men want something else when they go and pay for having sex. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to say that a man goes to a prostitute to get love because he wants to have the feeling of being loved. No, I actually think that men go there to give love and money, too. Another need – but it is not actually that much about sex.

Of course, there are cases of mental illness when sex is called an addiction – but I would then not call that sex anymore! It is something that has to do with the mind, less with the body and not with the heart.

You can have another opinion, you can think something completely different but I think on one point you will definitely agree with me: once one has experienced the true love, sensation and joy of good sex, you would love to do it again and again!

What is Love in my Opinion? – 19 Jun 14

In my first lecture on Gran Canaria, I was not only asked what I thought sex was but also the following question:

What is love?

It got quiet in the room and I answered with a few, short sentences:

Love is, when you care for somebody.

When you are happy in making someone else happy.

When you enjoy giving – because taking you enjoy anyway.

When you have such a feeling in your heart that you could just overflow with happiness – that is love!

This was enough answer to the questioner but then there was another person, who wanted to know it a bit more precisely and asked: how can you test whether it is true love in your relationship?

I actually replied that you shouldn’t even try. Love is nothing that you can test. Love is nothing that you can find by a thorough examination. You should not even think in this way! No, instead of worrying whether it is true love, simply enjoy!

I actually believe that love is always true. Just don’t keep the intention of investigating this feeling in every moment, then it will grow and grow. Be honest with your feelings and with your wishes and expectations!

In this honesty, just experience and live!

Enjoy – and love!

What is Sex in my Opinion? – 18 Jun 14

I yesterday started telling you about the first lecture that I had on Gran Canaria. After my lecture, there were a lot of questions in the public to which I gave answers and I believe a few of them could be interesting for you as well.

One man asked ‘What actually is sex?’ and wanted to know how I defined this word. He added that sex, at least in his eyes, could already be in a kiss. But how was it defined in India?

I explained him that my view is in most cases – and especially when it comes to the topic of sex – different from the general Indian opinion. In India, sex is too much of a taboo and I will never agree to all the suppression that happens there! I am only talking about what I personally believe and think.

And I believe the same: sex is not limited to having intercourse! Sex is not equal to penetration! It is not only physical but includes the heart as well! Sex can even take place without the body! A beautiful evening with coffee can give two people the same feeling! A kiss, a touch, a beautiful time can be like having sex as well.

In the lecture, I had talked about celibacy before. I had told that I thought it to be the most unnatural concept of all – and now I just had to ask the audience to see celibacy with this definition of sex. If sex can be just a touch, who can vow to remain celibate? If sex is a wonderful evening with someone you love, how can you say you will never have that?

No, with this definition of sex – and I strongly believe that sex is more than just penetration – there is no question of celibacy at all! And if you think of the idea that celibacy could transcend any energy, that you save energy if you don’t have sex or that staying celibate could give you enlightenment – just try avoiding all kinds of activities that I described above as sex and see what will happen: it will make you sick!

Why don’t you just stop thinking about it and just enjoy it? Be in love, enjoy your time with those around you, enjoy having sex in whatever way you like – sleeping with each other, kissing, hugging or just sitting next to each other and being with each other!

My Answer to the Question ‘Do Men lose Energy when having an Orgasm during Sex?’ – 17 Jun 14

We have been on Gran Canaria for a complete week now already and have had a few very nice programs! The first of these was a lecture that I gave about a very popular topic: Sex and Freedom. I say it is a popular topic because, as always with this topic, the room was full and everyone wanted to know what I had to say about sex. After the lecture, there was time for some questions and answers and in the next days I would like to tell you a bit about this lecture and the questions and answers.

Obviously, one of the issues that I addressed in this lecture, was the concept of celibacy. It is the opposite of freedom, it is suppression of the natural sexual urge and leads to more problems than you can imagine. Sex has been made a taboo by religion and society for thousands of years and they presented celibacy and abstinence as a form of pure living. They presented celibate monks and priests as cleaner, better humans – the result however was uncountable events of sexual harassment, rape and other brutalities done by these ‘pure’ beings! Often onto those who were trusting them, who depended on them. Because the natural urge was suppressed and needed an outlet.

I said all of this during the lecture and then there was a question afterwards: Don’t men lose their energy when they have an orgasm?

I know that this is something that religion has presented as the reason for banning sex in an attempt to control people and even their basic instincts. You have to see it just as that though: a fairy tale that someone told in order to make you behave the way that they want to. A threat to make you afraid which has no base. Doctors have medically proved that it is fully wrong – and you can even experience that yourself!

Have you ever had a great orgasm? What were your feelings? Love, satisfaction, peace, complete happiness! These are not the feelings of someone who just lost all his energy! These are not the feelings of a man who just spent a part of his most precious life juice and thus feels weak! On the contrary – an orgasm fills you with energy!

Of course, if you did some healthy exercise during your sex session, you may feel a bit tired, weak and even like taking a nap – but after that you will feel more powerful, strong and full of energy! As long as you don’t let that such nonsense ideas create guilty feelings about the fact that you just had sex!

Celibacy is the most unnatural concept on earth! So don’t worry, enjoy your sex life and be happy!

Giving a Lecture is different than trying to sell Fish! – 12 Jan 14

In the beginning of 2006, when I was still in Australia, I had an experience which made me realize how commercialized the spiritual scene already was. I was at an esoteric fair – and to the surprise of my organizers, I refused to work there.

To explain the complete story, I have to say that my organizers were themselves, too, going to have a stall at this fair. So when I arrived at their place, they told me that for the weekend they had not planned any workshops but instead wanted to take me to the fair so that I could do my work and help people there. I had already been to similar fairs and was not sure what I should really think of this. I had only ever been a visitor, not a lecturer but I knew that there were well-organized programs running simultaneously to the shopping experience at stalls and stands. So I was once more just open to see whatever would come.

We came to the big building in which this fair was taking place and my organizers straight away took me to their stall which they had already built up the day before. While walking through the hall, I took a look at the other exhibitors and their stalls. People were selling crystals, angel cards, spiritual books, singing bowls and many gift items. There were tarot card readers, clairvoyants and fortune tellers. You could get photographs of your aura, your future predicted in many different ways and even get massages in small cabins, separated by curtains. There was program, too, in a few big side halls where timetables of people’s lectures were announced in front of the door and in small pamphlets. It was a spiritual supermarket, a fair on which the selling and buying of energy was normal to everyone.

The stall of my organizers was pretty big on one of the main paths through the hall. Having arrived there, they finally told me what they were planning. He told me ‘We can separate a small area from our stall with curtains and you can give your individual sessions right here. And we will fix a timing when I will announce your lecture. Whoever is close-by in that time and has interest can just come by here, where you will be speaking!’

I was speechless at first, not sure how to say what I was feeling. In the end I started at what I thought would be obvious: ‘It is quite loud here’ and I went on to explain him that in order to give a counselling session, just a curtain would not be enough to keep out the noise and disturbance of the surrounding, so that someone would be able to relax! Additionally I would not be able to give a lecture like this, like a fisherman praising his fish in the middle of a busy market, trying to shout above the noise! I need to focus and concentrate for a lecture, I need to look in people’s eyes and see their reaction and I need their attention, too! It doesn’t work for me to have passers-by stopping and going on when they notice they are actually not interested! I am not advertising or trying to sell anything!

Someone answered, I hope half in joke, that he thought I was an expert of concentration and would be able to focus anywhere. I told him that he may be a master of this art but I realized my inability to do this. I would well be able to concentrate on myself while in a crowd but when interacting with others, I need to focus on the outside, too, have a feeling for the atmosphere of my audience and simply have to have more peace than in the middle of a busy market hall!

I guess I am just not the right person for this kind of fair!

The religious Preacher Guru – an Interpreter of Scriptures – 27 Aug 12

Last year I wrote a sequence of diary entries about ten different types of followers. Ramona and I have been talking about the people whom they follow, the gurus, and noticed that here, too, you can make a clear separation into separate categories. Today and in the next days I will thus describe five different types of gurus for you.

1. The religious Preacher Guru

This type of guru is one who actually has a very clean image and is respected not only by followers who believe he is holy but by all kinds of religious people who see the knowledge that this guru has – because he has done effort to learn his profession.

These preacher gurus study the scriptures, read them, understand them and then give their interpretation in their programs where they recite the scriptures and explain the meaning of the verses they recite. Their success herein depends on their interpretation, their rhetoric skills and ability to fascinate their audience.

This is what I was doing when I lived the life of a guru myself. I had done my studies, I had learned from my father and had developed my own style of interpretation. My grandfather and father were reciting the poem-like scriptures all alone on stage, singing and chanting in between and that is how I started, too. With growing competition the program got more and more artistic though and at some point I started bringing my band or orchestra with me.

Yes, I would say this preacher guru also has to be an artist to be successful. You can see gurus with bigger followings and gurus with smaller ones. In Vrindavan this kind of preaching is the main business and that is how you can find a lot of preacher gurus here – but they are not all good artists! Those who are only interested in making money buy some cassettes or CDs of other gurus and simply learn by heart what they hear. Then they sit on a stage and repeat. You cannot ask any questions and it is not very artistic – it is just a repetition. But if there is passion, a preacher becomes a performing artist that enchants his audience.

It is a religious audience, interested in the scriptures and the knowledge. They recognize their guru for his intelligence, his wisdom and his knowledge of the scriptures. Most of them are not too focused on a single guru but can listen to different ones to hear different ways of interpretation. If they like a guru’s interpretation and way of performing, though, they can also become official disciples – by a mantra initiation, a tradition in which the guru gives the follower a mantra.

Some popular gurus of this type here in India are for example my grandfather Sri Bindu Ji, Pandit Ram Kinkar Upadhyay, Morari Bapu, Ramesh Bhai Ojha and many more.

So the preacher guru is a guru who has done effort and is known for his knowledge. Tomorrow I will describe a type of guru who is normally a guru because of his inheritance.

A Variety of Experiences in New Zealand – 15 Apr 12

With my lectures and individual sessions at my first station in New Zealand in 2003, I got to know a lot of people from nearby towns and villages, too. There were some yoga teachers among them who invited me to their yoga studios to give lectures and healing sessions in their towns, too. So it was good that I had not fixed further program and had kept some time open for staying and travelling in the area. I had had this kind of experiences in India my whole life long. I had travelled much and often without fixing the time when I would come back and so I trusted that there would be enough program to fill my time in New Zealand, too.

I cannot tell you to how many places I have been in the days and weeks that followed. There were so many different people so that I sometimes changed the place every day. Someone came to a program, said they would love to have me at their place, too, and I said okay, let’s go! They took me along right away or one of the next days. I was just free and open to accept whatever would come.

I made lots of experiences in that time with a lot of people. Once a woman picked me up and took me to her town. It was a drive of two hours. Having arrived there, we parked the car, got out and I was astonished when I saw her simply walking into the house – without a key, she just opened the door. So she had been out of her house for more than four hours to pick me up and she had not locked her door! I was amazed that in this country there was obviously so little crime and so many honest people that it was not necessary to lock your door. She was not afraid of anybody robbing her house and stealing her things!

I remember that I also gave a lecture to the theosophical society of a town. I think it was the man who had invited me to that lecture with whom I had a funny misunderstanding. I stayed with him maybe for a few days and at the first meal together I asked him whether he was vegetarian. He answered ‘No, I like my meat!’. I was very surprised and actually a bit shocked at first thinking ‘What? This man eats his own body?’ When I realized what he actually meant, that he simply liked meat, I had to laugh. My English, although it was getting better every day, made me think he ate himself!

What I do remember very exactly from all my travel in the country during those weeks is that wherever I went, to any town, village or city of which I don’t even remember the names now, there was wonderful and amazing nature. I was fascinated by the amazing landscape and the creation of this world. I can say for sure that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places of this world.

A Chance to see more of the World – Invitations to New Zealand and Fiji – 25 Mar 12

My friends left Vrindavan soon after the Hyderabad program in 2003 and went back to their countries. Soon after, the festival season started. The town started celebrating and we also got ready for Diwali.

After the Diwali celebrations, a couple came to the Ashram. They were of Indian origin but their forefathers had emigrated to Fiji. They themselves had been born in Fiji but had then migrated to New Zealand. They were now on a pilgrimage through Northern India and had of course also come to Vrindavan. They had somewhere heard of our Ashram and so they came and stayed with us.

When we talked about their current country of residence, New Zealand, I told them that in summer I had been in touch over chat with a woman from New Zealand. She had invited me and we had agreed that I would come in December. Hearing this, the Indian couple was very happy and they straight away invited me to come to their home, too. They told me that there were many Indians in Auckland, where they also lived, and that the Indian community would be very happy to have me there. I was happy that I would have another place where I could go when I was in New Zealand.

While talking the man said that he had still many relatives in Fiji and that they would also like to welcome me there. I got to know that there were lots of Hindi-speaking people in Fiji and they told me that about 50% of people there were Indians and many of them would surely love to participate in my program. He spoke with his daughter and her family in Fiji and they repeated the invitation – so I agreed, I would come to New Zealand and go to Fiji from there, too.

Maybe you ask yourself now what kind of program I would give there, as I had just decided not to do this kind of nine-day-lecture-program anymore. In those nine days it was the concept that I started on the first day with the first verses of a scripture and would have to end on the ninth day with the last words. I would include all rituals and ceremonies in my lectures and I would have to talk about the complete scripture, even about parts that I was not convinced of.

Now I wanted to give lectures which were not bound to this kind of schedule. So there would be one topic and I would talk about that. People could ask questions to the scriptures and I would answer. I would pick those topics which I liked and which I loved to talk about. I had done this kind of lectures before, too, and I enjoyed them much more. I would pick parts from different scriptures and was more free than in programs in which I had to stick to only one.

So I told them that I would let them know once I was in New Zealand and that I would come by when I would have time. We did not fix a date but kept it open. In the same way I thought I would also go to Fiji, to their daughter and son-in-law’s family. I was happy that there were new places to go to and I wanted to stay open for further possibilities, too, so I did not fix any specific dates. There could always be someone who is also interested in inviting me. And like this I booked my flights to New Zealand for December 2003, with lots of space free for extra travelling.

Last religious Lecture – another Step leaving Guruism and Religion – 18 Mar 12

So my Danish friend and I had arrived in Hyderabad in the end of September 2003. My group with my musicians and other helpers had already arrived and also my German friend was about to come. The next day my lectures were supposed to start.

It was one of my usual programs which were scheduled for nine days with two lectures every day. There were a couple of ministers at the program, with them of course their security and a lot of other people with spiritual interest. Among all those Indian people there were my German friend and my Danish friend, sitting there, watching me and listening to my Hindi lecture. They did not understand a word of what I said.

After maybe two or three days my Danish friend told me that he had now seen what I was doing here in India. He explained me that he would go and travel for a few days, to see another city of India and then come back before my program was over to fly back to Vrindavan with me. I completely understood – why would he sit for nine days in a program that he did not understand? So he took a flight to Mumbai. He wanted to be back after three days.

My German friend did not seem to mind the Hindi program though. When we talked, he told me that he quite enjoyed it because we included some Kirtan singing and music in between the different parts of my lecture and he could sing along. He simply liked being among all those spiritual people. So he stayed and further enjoyed the atmosphere.

It all happened as planned, the program was good and the people were happy. My Danish friend joined us again before we returned to Vrindavan. Reaching home I made a decision that would be one of the steps of completely finishing my role and image of a guru in India. I decided not to do any such program in India anymore.

Since my time in the cave I had not enjoyed that ‘guruism’ anymore. I had stopped making disciples because of the decision that I would not be a guru anymore. I did however realize that even though I did not want to be a guru, I still had the image of being a guru. I talked with my Danish friend about the program and one thing he said stuck with me. He told me I was like an icon for these people. And it was true!

Even though I had refused the role of being a guru from my inside, I still loved the scriptures and that is why I kept on doing what I had done since my childhood. I had kept on preaching what was written in the scriptures. At that point however I felt that I was not anymore fully convinced with what was written there. And if I was not 100% sure of what was written in those scriptures, how could I tell others to follow them?

You are always in a process of change and at that point I decided that I would not do any religious program of preaching the scriptures anymore. I was not lacking any offers, there were lots of them, but I just did not feel like going anymore and rejected the offers. That was another step on my way away from religion.