On the occasion of Reverend Dada J P Vaswani's 93rd birthday, he shares some pearls of spiritual wisdom with Manoj Khatri.
MK: You are in your '90s and last year you went through a physical ordeal and bounced back. Tell us the secret of your resilience.
Dada: The secret is a simple one. It is the realisation that I am not alone. I feel as though I am sitting in the lap of the Mother Divine. She takes care of me. She gives me the strength and the wisdom to smile and to thank Her—whatever be the condition through which I am passing. May she continue to keep me by her side, always.
MK: If you had to name one quality that has kept you going through the tremendous physical pain and bodily suffering over the last one year or so, what would that be?
Dada: There is no quality in me. It is all due to the grace of Guru and God.
MK: Is pain necessary for growth? There are millions of people out there, suffering with all kinds of health problems. What would be your message to them about enduring pain—physical and emotional?
Dada: If you are suffering from pain—physical or emotional—hand it over to the Lord, saying: “Lord, let me suffer, so that the suffering of some may be reduced.” This will help you to grow spiritually.
MK: Your teachings [and the teachings of many saints] are so simple and easy. For example, you have talked about consulting ‘the four doctors’. Yet, people are always struggling to be healthy and happy. It’s almost as if people revel in sadness and illness… Why do we find it so difficult to adopt such simple ideas in our lives? And how do we change this tendency?
Dada: Our civilisation loves complication. We do not wish to touch simple solutions. We have grown in the belief that we will get nothing if we walk the simple way. We asked Gurudev Sadhu Vaswani once:“The Gita speaks of three margas—karma marga, gyan marga, bhakti marga. Which is your way?” He answered: “None of these. My marga is the Alpa marga, the little, the simple way.” He who walks the simple way makes God real to himself in his daily life. To most of us, God is only a word. We need to make God real. Therefore, we need to turn to God again and again.
MK: Coming to current affairs…these days, crime and corruption seems to have become the norm. How should one stay hopeful in spite of being surrounded by “bad news” everywhere and at all times?
Dada: The Chinese have a proverb which says: All around you, there may be darkness and you see the darkness growing. Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle. Each one of us can light a small candle. When many small candles are kindled, the darkness will disappear.
MK: You see God in everyone… including those who do all kinds of harm to others. How should our readers cultivate this ability?
Dada: I cannot say that I see God in everyone. I am but trying to see God in everyone. This is a gift which the Guru and God can give. Keep praying for it, constantly.
MK: Finally, as a blessing for readers of Complete Wellbeing, please offer one spiritual advice that we may commit to our memory so that when we are faced with sudden pain or crisis in our lives, we can remember it and stay hopeful…
Dada: When I am passing through one such period, I say to myself: By God's grace, this, too, shall pass away! It gives me hope; it fills me with strength and courage.
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