Diwali Puja: Shri Lakshmi and Money

Sintra (Portugal)

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Diwali Puja. Sintra, Lisbon (Portugal) – 2 November 1997.

Today, we have gathered here to worship Shri Lakshmi.

In Diwali, in India, they worship Lakshmi because a great rakshasa called Narakasura was killed; also that Lakshmi came out of the sea, at the same time, long time back. 

I mean, I should say, this is like Her different appearances on the same [unsure].geog region. 

Lakshmi is the Goddess which gives us wealth, gives us prosperity. She is very blissful, no doubt. She gives you protection and also She is very humble because She stands on the lotus. She is very light, [which] means She does not put Her pressure on anyone. These are symbols of Shri Lakshmi. But also She is a part of Mahamaya in the modern times only. 

When people get Lakshmi, the money, they don’t understand that She is their Mother firstly, and She is to be respected. 

When this kind of a perverse idea of Shri Lakshmi comes in such countries, such people meet their last end and destruction of the worst type ever. So this Lakshmi has to be used with a big balance, like standing on a lotus and not get into the pond, where there are all kinds of creatures to eat you all. 

You have to stand on the lotus: that means that you are above all the lures of this Maya. 

Also in Sanskrit and in our languages, we call Lakshmi as the Maya. If somebody gets lot of money, they will say, “You got a lot of maya!” Now, this Maya plays the tricks. 

If money, prosperity was the salvation, then there would have been no problems in this world. Because those people who have money always get ruined. If they are not ruined, their children, their grandchildren get ruined.

This principle of Lakshmi within us is very dubious and the allurement is so much that people see somebody having a good car these days, they think, “Aaah! What a man he is!” In any case, he is not going to give you the car! If somebody is having lots of palaces or buildings people start admiring him! 

This is Kali Yuga. They start admiring: “See this man is so rich!” Even [with] clothes: people see you wearing clothes which are very well tailored; might be from some designers [so] they think no end of that man. 

For example, in England, there is another befooling place called ‘Savile Row’. So if you want to buy one suit, you have to pay sometimes £3000. Now, people are so stupid that now if they wear a suit from Savile Row, they put the brand outside: “Savile Row”! 

All such tomfoolery is going on all over the world. The clothes have no meaning, their lifestyle has no meaning. Ultimately they end up in Swiss bank!

The Lakshmi Tattwa of Swiss bank is also now showing its teeth, and if you read what’s happening to them, I mean, they are shaking, they don’t know. They went to this limit that they took the teeth, golden teeth of the Jews! I mean, it’s going too far! All this tomfoolery has been going on. They have military services – why? Who is going to conquer that country? Even Napoleon didn’t do that. And they have made big caves to keep their weapons there. Who is going to attack them? Stupid people! Suffering from ego. But the attack has come and this attack is so serious that they might be completely shattered and destroyed. Now, who falls for this kind of thing, you should see, are the people who are crooks, who are dishonest, who are absolutely adharmis. They can be mafia dons or they can be some thugs, some black marketeers, some smugglers. So, going against the Lakshmi principle are so many these days. 

One fellow who was thrown out of Sahaja Yoga, because he was trying to be very dominating and all that, he said: “That’s better!” I said: “Why?” He’s doing now smuggling, making money out of smuggling and he has become very rich, according to him. But it comes to an end and a very tragic, bad end.

Money is such a lure for human beings that it kills all sense of decency of higher values, everything. 

A brother who is very nice and a good fellow, if he gets money out of proportion by doing hanky-panky, he neglects his mother, father, brothers, sisters, everyone. So I would say, then it comes to that point that Lakshmiji becomes a bhoot then and all Her blessings become a challenge to your dignity.

Now, certain countries, like America which is the area for Shri Krishna, because He’s Kubera, they have no money as such. I have seen [that] they are all poor, they are all indebted. So many Indians went to America and they can’t come to India now. “Why?” “We are indebted.” “Why are you indebted?” “Oh, we get everything free, now, you see, the bank gives us loan. We can have the best lifestyle!” So they will have three Mercedes: “It’s nothing! Three Mercedes is nothing! We should have Rolls Royce’s. We should have this!” For what? What do you get out of it?

Now of course, little bit they are shaken up with the stock exchange and all that nonsense they had started, all this joke and all these very big camouflages. All now are coming out. 

So, this is no Lakshmi, because Lakshmi must give you dignity, prosperity and respect. 

I think Americans understood about it, so they became philanthropist, means they are giving money to people. But to whom did they give money? All the names these people took from South Africa were all given money by the philanthropists of America. 

What has happened to their wisdom? 

That 16-year old boy, he went there and then all ages went there and made a very big money. All this money-making proposition…

Can you give some seat to those musicians?

So what is the matter if there is a blessing of Lakshmi? Why a man who gets the blessing of Lakshmi becomes so funny, so stupid and ultimately ends up his life that people are not there even to pick up his dead body? 

What is the difference between money and Lakshmi? She gives you money, all right, agreed, but when She is giving the money, what happens to that money which comes to you, is a very subtle thing [which] one should understand. 

In India if you give, say, a hundred rupees to your servant, immediately he’ll go to drink somewhere. First idea will come [as to] what he should do: he’ll go for a drink of the hard ones. 

I mean, your vodka is nowhere near that! 

Such hard ones they make in India, you know. 

It is called as ‘haath bhatti’: means ‘made with hands’. So in hundred rupees, they are willing to go. I mean, that means any money you give to them, it spoils their life completely. 

Lakshmi has been given, all right, so what happens to this Lakshmi? She changes Her form and Her form is so bad that you are completely ruined with that! So, now we have to understand what is the way we can use the Lakshmi. 

Supposing I get money then I will go to the market and I’ll see something nice: “Aaah! This is very good for this Sahaja Yogi!” Or I will say, “This will be very handy for our ashram.” Immediately the mind starts working in a very socialistic way, I should say, not individualistic.

For example, I went to Rajasthan and I saw such a lot of sand, just like a big desert, with dunes, everything, and people starving. 

So I said, “How to get money to these people?” 

So, I said, “Let me start a factory, factory with the unbreakable glass,” 

Which they make only in France. They make it very cheap and it’s regarded as a very cheap thing, but not in India. 

In India, if you go to some elite’s house, they’ll offer you tea in these unbreakable things. They think it’s very elite. You know, it depends on what you think about what. And they are very proud of it. 

So, I said, if we make these things in India, these poor people, you know, because there’s so much sand and sand is needed by trucks. So I will utilise this to make this beautiful factory here, and then give them some support to live well.

Now, when I went to one place called as Warana – you all had come also once. There’s a gentleman who was a disciple of Gandhiji and he’s organised this Warana company for distributing milk. 

It became so very rich, so very rich, it’s a co-operative, so he started giving money to all the co-operative people, those who were labour there. 

Now, this labour had never seen that money, so he came to me, touched my feet and said, “Mother, you tell me now, what should I do? I am so unhappy with the development of this Warana, because there are prostitutes who have arrived from Bombay, there are all kinds of hard drinks which have come from Bombay and these people are smoking like hell, they are taking drugs!” 

“Ay?” “Yes! Wherever there is money, the drug goes there. And the children are becoming absolutely useless, they don’t want to study, they even slap their parents!” 

So he said, “This was not Gandhiji’s ideal, now what has happened?” He says, “This is a curse of money.” And he was crying.

Now, how can Lakshmi become a curse? It does! It is in the Nabhi. What a central position it has. And when this Nabhi starts working, it is a very remarkable thing that you feel [like] gobbling the food all the time with this Nabhi. 

I mean, you go on eating, go on eating like mad and then some bhoot comes in to eat also with you inside the Nabhi. 

Then you can eat so much that no human beings can eat like that, except for the people who are rich. 

Then you start a big science or what you can call etiquettes. I don’t want to hurt anybody: I mean, if you are eating well I don’t mind, eat well. But the first part is, because today is Diwali, I’m trying to tell you all these interesting stories.

I went many times for dinner with French diplomats: my goodness! Now, me and my husband don’t drink. So for forty-five minutes they were only discussing what they will have today! Then they remembered [that] yesterday they had that, the day before they had that, so there should be variety. So, then they came down to something, not all of them drinking the same [but] different, different. So, they came to some point: “All right, we’ll have this.” 

But some people asked for something which was not available. So they said, “You have to have it!” and they shouted at them. My goodness! 

They took forty-five minutes to decide what they are going to drink! It’s regarded as French etiquettes, I think. 

And we two [were] chief guests, myself and my husband: looking at this man and looking at that woman, didn’t know what to do with these etiquettes! We were thinking, “Now better go!”

Then came to food. They are so particular: “I like this and I like that!” 

They are worse than Indians, I tell you! And they took at least, at least, eighty minutes to decide what they will eat. Ultimately, they found something nice, each different: and the restaurant people were trying to pamper their ego: “Oh, what a thing you have chosen! This is the best!” (laughter) 

So they started serving. The cheese was smelling so awful, I tell you! We couldn’t bear it, both of us, so my husband told them, “Today is our fasting day for both of us!” (laughter) 

He said, “Why is it a fasting day?” He says, “In India, we have, you know, fasting like this, sometimes we have to fast; today is ours.” 

But I told him, “Here, one day you are saying today is our fasting, but we have to go to so many dinners, what will you do?” 

He said, “Everywhere it’s better to say that we are fasting!” Such a horrible cheese they brought and they started boasting that they have two hundred types of cheese! 

I said, “Two hundred types – of the smelly ones -, from where did you get?” 

They said, “This is French perfection!” See this. I said, “What is this French perfection?” But then, you know, tears came into my eyes. 

CP said, “Why are you crying?” “I’m not crying, but I think what will happen to these people with their cheese? Where will they go? Even if they go to hell, people will throw them away with the smell of the cheese!” (Laughter and applause)

Then I read how this cheese came in. So they said there was a big snowfall and they had put some big, big containers of milk in a cave, and people forgot about it. 

Snowfall was there for twenty days, whatever it was, and they just forgot about it. So, after one year, they got the smell coming out of it; so they went and saw the cheese being formed, can you imagine? This is the beginning of the end.

Actually, one should never eat anything that is kept overnight, normally. 

But now they have got fridges, so you can keep it for two days, three days at the most. Like on the ship they keep it. But this I couldn’t understand that, this cheese, which they told me is very old. I said, “Really?” And they sell it by that, how old it is. And their wines, if they are, say, two hundred years old it is two hundred times more expensive. So, it’s such a bhootish thing to eat all that. 

So, when the Lakshmi goes into the hands of bhoots on a very less level, I should say, then it goes into the heads of people who want to exploit money, exploit the poor people, exploit countries which are downtrodden. They go on like this, collecting money, you know, looting, looting, looting. 

When English came to India, we didn’t know [that] they used to take bribes. On Diwali day if you went there without any present they would say, “Oh, baksheesh? You must give some presents.” 

And what they liked was our country liqueur. I never knew this but later on I came to know, because my husband became a collector of Meerut. And there where bottles of country liqueurs kept in that house! But that house was itself more than hundred years old. Long time back it was kept there still, some of them were there. We could have sent them to England to sell, it would have been a good idea! So, the older it is [they think] it’s better. 

This Lakshmi I think becomes old and dies and there is alakshmi. ‘Alakshmi’ means when you have money and you don’t have the qualities of a person who should have money. 

In that quality of alakshmi, you become very miserly, you don’t want even to help your brothers and sisters, you don’t want to give any money to anyone. And even if you give it, you give it to false gurus and wrong things. This is up to, we can say, is alakshmi. The behaviour becomes very arrogant, so arrogant that you behave like horses! People look like horses: they walk like horses. But I don’t know if horses have ego. 

If you see these people, you just don’t understand what has gone wrong with them.

There is one gentleman who started an aeroplane business, aeroplane business in India. I won’t take his name, but say some ‘Majidiya’ or something. And my granddaughter met him with my grandson-in-law and they were walking like this, talking like this! 

They couldn’t understand these two persons; so, they came and talked to them, “Who are you?” and all that. And then they said, “We are this Majidiya!” So, my granddaughter said, “Who is Majidiya?” My goodness! They fell from heavens! “You don’t know who are Majidiyas? Do you read newspapers or not?” 

Then her husband came in, he said, “I do. Now what do you want to say?”. “We are Majidiyas!” He said, “Who are Majidiyas?” “You don’t know? What sort of business you do? What is this?” Such stupid things they did that these children felt that there’s no use having any business; if business means this kind of behaviour: very indecent, very arrogant. 

They don’t know how to relate to people! 

They don’t know. And after some time, I heard that their business was completely finished, was a flop as they call it: flop.

So now we have to realise that this Lakshmi, how it takes us to wrong things. Firstly, She makes you very egoistical, somehow. The man who has money starts behaving like that. One cannot understand how a person who was normal suddenly becomes like this, starts talking like this! He might earn money even in the horse races! 

Around the Lakshmi is the valency of dharma. There is, around the Lakshmi, the dharma. And this dharma if you cross – that’s the best place where they can cross the dharma – then, you can do whatever you like, which is adharmi, which is irreligious, which is hideous. You have to just cross that limit of dharma, you have to just deviate from dharma.

Now, as I said many a times, that ten valencies human beings have got; but apart from that, there are many dharmas which are surrounding it like angels. Like, first dharma is your love for humanity: is the first dharma.

But if you say from that end when you start, it starts with Stri-dharma, is the dharma of the woman: how she should live, how she should get married, how she should look after her children, what should be her behaviour. All [this] is Stri-dharma.

And then is Patni-dharma, is the wife, wife’s dharma, what should be her dharma. In her dharma she looks nice. If she gives up her dharma then she is a prostitute.

So, then is Pati-dharma: how should be a husband, how he should behave towards his family, how should he pay attention towards his wife, about the whole entire family, the whole parivar (परिवार), as they call it: all the relations and everyone. That is his dharma.

But beyond that is the dharma of Satya-dharma: how much he sticks to truth.

Then the dharma for creativity: in creativity as you know very well these days, with money people are standing on their heads or I don’t know what they are doing, because the amount of nonsense they are producing all over the world in the name of modernism is no way is Kala-dharma, no way.

Then we have also politics, Rajkaran-dharma. Also this dharma is there. Now taking bribes, I mean the kind of things that are going on: corruption, all kinds of things that are going on, competition, fighting and all that. They are falling from their dharma of Rajkaran. Education, same thing; we call it Shiksha-dharma. All such things are dharmas. There’s a kind of a principle which we have to keep otherwise you can topple down from the lotus, and that’s what happens. 

Now we have also Rashtra-dharma. The Rashtra-dharma is [to] your country; there’s a dharma of your Rashtra. When you have to fight for your country, you should. But you should not be aggressive on other countries, not try to dominate other countries, nor you should bring a bad name to your country. It’s very important!

Sahaja Yogis have all these intact, absolutely, because you are standing on the lotuses already. You don’t have this problem; normally not. 

Once in a while there are people who behave like that, but mostly Sahaja yogis don’t fall into these traps; that’s why their Lakshmi Tattwa will definitely improve. They’ll have little problems here and there. But without problems, if you get Lakshmi, you will not have value for Her. So, with little problems, you get the Lakshmi. But Lakshmi doesn’t give you all this imbalance.

Such a man has to be extremely balanced because, beyond that, is the step of Mahalakshmi, where your seeking starts, where you become a seeker. You go beyond Lakshmi principle, and this Mahalakshmi principle starts coming into you.

I would say the Western countries this consumerism has started, and it’s such a funny one: in America, one lady was married to an Indian and he used to tell me how this consumerism works. I said, “How?” He said, “I gave my wife money to buy two shirts for me because I had no shirts. So, she went and bought five skirts.” So, I said, “You have so many skirts, why did you buy the skirts?” 

“Because in this money I could buy five skirts instead of two shirts, so I bought five skirts.” 

So he said, “I can’t wear skirts!” 

“So, how I should correct her?” he said. 

I said, “You do one thing: tell her you want to buy some skirts for her and go and buy five shirts. Then she will realise that if the money was given to her for one purpose, it should be used for that.”

This is a very subtle principle which I follow, because I don’t understand money. 

So, what I do, whatever money I get, I put packets: this is for this, this is for this, this is for this, into packets. 

But I don’t understand, and I don’t write accounts. I am very bad about all that. Somebody else does that. Now, if I spend some money from one pocket for some emergency, then I again fill it back. It’s written there: so much is there, so much is there. So, the money is available at the right time for whatever I want to do and the money is in the packet. 

It is not in the open thing that I can just, “I want to buy a Mercedes. I want to buy a Rolls Royce!” No, nothing doing! It is for some purpose, and there is no need. 

So, when you go to the shop and you see something, you won’t buy it, because that money is not kept for that particular thing. 

For Sahaja Yogis it’s very easy to handle their money with respect. So, you go to any shop, you won’t buy anything.

But my nature also is spontaneous. So, I went to Frankfurt, changing [plane]. They said, “Mother, there is a very nice watch shop.” 

I just thought, “I am going to get three son-in-laws and what am I going to give them?” So, I went to that shop and I found such beautiful, beautiful things. 

But I had not kept any money for the watch; but I said, “I must buy!” 

One of the watches turned out to be a very unique one, I must tell you, which is no more available. 

Because of my eyes, I saw [that] this is something unique. And my son-in-law is so overwhelmed. So overwhelmed. He is quite rich, he has no problems. But he said, “This watch you cannot get it!” Then an article came about that particular watch. So he has kept it with him.

So to have something, it should have a value behind it: that is the dharma part. The value behind it: what is the value? 

When you want to buy something just don’t buy because you are mad: I mean instead of shirts you buy skirts; not that way. 

But anything that has an artistic value or some special value, then you should buy that.

Now this sari I am wearing, it has a special value. Why? Not [just] that it is made with hands, is a very beautiful design it has, no. This was made in a place called Paithan which was the capital of a kingdom which belonged to my forefathers [the] Shalivahanas; and these saris were made there, Paithani. And they used to sell it to people. Now they have becoming expensive [but] in those days they were cheap. Now, it has that value. They were very honest, very religious. They were called Shalivahanas because they used to give shawls to the Goddess. They spread their kingdom very much; and also there is a calendar in their name. But the kind of life they led: they were just very generous people. And they have made beautiful temples, beautiful places for people to rest near the river; I mean, so many beautiful things they have done. 

Apart from that, Rama and Sita, when they went to Dandakaranya, they went to this place, and you have the place where Sita took Her bath, Her bathing place. There’s a little river flowing there, and how it was covered from all the side and how the light was coming – so beautiful.

But whatever Rama had done they redecorated it with the Rajput style art. Then also there was a very beautiful temple, I saw that they had made. Also, I don’t know how, there was some water flowing and there was Shri Mahadeva’s, a big thing, pinda (linga), very big. And also there was a Parvati’s statue. So old as that! I don’t know if it was put by Rama or by my own, you can call them the grand, great, great, great grandparents. But the beauty about that place is that it shows that Sita used to worship Mahadeva. The water was flowing, somehow by nature inside, up there in a stream, and She used to take the water and put it on that pinda. How deep these people were, those who built that temple. 

Such a beautiful temple they have made. So many temples are built like this in India by people who had money; and they believed that if you spend your money in this kind of work, you are blessed. 

I bought a land, near the River Nira — that’s my own name, ‘Nira’ — and this land I just bought it just like that without thinking. And what they told [me was] that their guru, Shalivahana’s guru, was Shandilya, and this place belonged to him, long time back, which was an ashram of Shandilya. Exactly the same [land]. And that land I bought, very surprisingly. 

Then in the newspaper, it came out, everything about that land. And this land was the place where a great devotee of Shri Vishnu, Prahlada (प्रह्लाद), was playing. 

So, you must have heard about Prahlad. His mother had a husband: Hiranyakashipu (हिरण्यकशिपु) was her husband, a horrible rakshasa, so she ran away from there and who helped was Indra. He brought this lady to the place of Guru Shandilya, and Shandilya told Indra, that, “You don’t put any effort for her. I will look after her. And the child that is going to be born to this lady is going to get the avatar of Narasimha.” You know Narasimha is the man and the lion. He said, “How can that be?” He said, “It is so.” So Indra left her there. 

The child was born [and] till five years, that child used to play in that land which I have bought. I mean, I didn’t know about it, but I just saw it; I was surprised. But when the child grew up, up to five years he had to go back to his father. 

I don’t know how many of you read about Prahlada? Raise your hands, I would like to know. Upaar karo (Hindi: lift them), let me see. 

His father tried to kill him and torture him but he had certain boons, so Shri Vishnu appeared as Narasimha, means the lion and the human form. And then He killed this Hiranyakashipu, the father. 

Now, imagine how much, big it was, that thousands of years back this must have happened, and that I should purchase that land. 

And there is a very beautiful temple built about three hundred years back by Maharashtrians. 

So, the story is that Prahlada came into the dream of the people who wanted to build the temple and told them that, “I have already made a statue of Narasimha along the River Nira.” Imagine the name of the river is also mine! “And if you can walk along the banks of Nira River very close to the temple, I have made the statue in sand.” 

It’s a miracle! So, they went there and they saw that statue. They brought it back and installed it in that temple. And it’s still there — made of sand. Also they say there’s a kind of a river or a water flow, a very small one, just like the finger, [that] flows down from the top — God knows how! 

So, now see the value: the value of money which was collected to build this temple had such an old value. So the value is not money. 

This, one should understand. 

What is the value of the thing? If you want to give something to others, then the feelings you have in your heart is the value, and that value is the real Lakshmi.

When you are, say, building a house, the plans you make, the things you do: what is the idea behind and what you are trying to express through that house is the value of that house. 

Once you understand that, you have to buy, with this Lakshmi, or you have to use this Lakshmi for certain value and not for showing off or for money. This superficialness that we have about money itself is like an ordinary glass. But if you put, behind the glass, the mercury, you can see the value.

So, when you start buying something, what is the purpose? Why are you buying? This will determine the value. 

Like, last time I came to Portugal and I said, “We’ll go and buy some terracotta.” 

But they are very expensive. I said, “This is the price.” But I wanted to buy terracotta from Portugal because it’s very rich in that. 

So, we went to one factory, and the factory was quite far out. None of them could find out, but I told them, “It’s here only! Just go and see it.” And then we bought the terracotta. But on our way, I told [them], “Stop. Stop here. Stop!” So, they stopped. There was a shop. I had to buy some things for Sahaja Yogis in India and also for some people in Cabella. 

And that shop had such beautiful cottons. There were Sahaja Yogis from here who saw that. Such beautiful clothes, and I bought a lot of it. I said, “Thank God! The problem [of] presents are finished now for India.” So joy-giving it was. 

Everybody was surprised: “Why suddenly in a place where never Mother has been there, suddenly She finds it?” It has a value because I wanted to buy something for Indians, to be given as presents. So, if your Lakshmi is say, this much, once you add to it a value it becomes so big. 

The sign of a person who is a lakshmipati is this: he should have a house like a lotus in the hands of the Goddess, he should protect people who are depending on him and, from the left hand, he should give. This is the image of the Lakshmi. This is what the Lakshmi is within you. 

If you have these four things in balance, without conditioning, without ego, then you are a Sahaja Yogi, otherwise, you are not.

On a Diwali day, we have to promise ourselves that, whatever we are going to get now, as Lakshmi principle, or as a Lakshmi’s prasad, should be used in getting things which has value. And thus you will learn that you have used your Lakshmi very well. 

And with that, your Mahalakshmi principle will become very strong, will become very strong, by which you will ascend very fast.

Today is the day for us to celebrate the Lakshmi puja. But Lakshmi puja doesn’t mean that you worship money. Money as it is, is the most dangerous thing, and I think it is the hidden weapon of Lakshmi Devi. 

You see, if you try to misuse Her, She goes on punching with it. With one punch, if you don’t realise then She gives you another punch — like that. Then She might little bit twist you, to suggest. She’ll try everything to convince you that what you are doing is nonsense. Ultimately, She sees your destruction completely. 

So Lakshmi, though She is the One who is the giver of boons, giver of everything, you should not be misled by Her Mahamaya character. 

I am your Mother, so I better tell you to be very careful!

Thank you very much.

The wind has stopped!