Lord Murugan with peacock and vel

Vel puja discourse

Welcome to Skanda Vale, divine friends. Today is a very special day, we do this puja once a year – to the Vel [applause]. So if you did not know that, you are lucky that God has called you to come to Skanda Vale on this particular day. Aro Hara!

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It’s a culmination of a lot of work, of the members of the community and many, many people who have come to support all the activities and the devotion here. The Vel is a very special instrument that belongs to Lord Subramaniam.

Dharma & adharma in Kali Yuga

Subramanian is also known as kali yuga avatar. That means we live in the kali yuga – kali yuga is a time of unprecedented turmoil, destruction, difficulties for human beings. Take a moment to look at the world around you to understand your part of that drama, of divine consciousness, of evolution of human beings.

In our day-to-day lives we are involved in our children, our families, our jobs, our responsibilities, our commitments. Have time to realise that you are part of a vast drama of divine consciousness, beyond the realms of your limited life.

Subramanian, kali yuga avatar, uses his Vel to re-establish dharma in the world. It is His authority to establish Dharma. Dharma has a very particular meaning, it means righteousness, right conduct, it means what we should be doing, how we should be living as human beings. And kali yuga is the period of adharma; it means people have really no idea what their life is about.

Either you belong to that family of consciousness, that family of humanity, who are there as instruments, as servants, as the warriors in Lord Subramaniam’s army to re-establish dharma or you belong to the other side – the world of adharma, illusion. So you need to decide why the Lord has brought has brought you here today. To be part of His army, to be part of His transformation of the human beings.

Dharma for the human being means that you are born for one specific purpose, for no other purpose than to discover your real nature. That is why we are born. The more you discover your real nature, you realise that life is a complete joke, because you have nothing to do with it!

Discriminating the real from unreal

If you look at the sun in the sky, it is providing warmth, sustenance – everything in fact that is required for life on this planet to exist. We look at the world in all it’s diversity, and all it’s colour and all it’s beauty… and all the different manifestations of life in creation. We are enthralled by that.

On this planet all is sustained by the sun, and yet the sun is totally independent of everything that happens on the earth. Do you think it makes any difference to the sun if the earth suddenly disappears? It keeps on shining consistently, unchangingly. God is like that, your own real nature is like that. The source of everything comes from you.

Take this opportunity, whilst following our procession back to the Murugan temple with the Vel, to look both inwardly and outwardly at the same time. You can see we are carrying the Lord’s spear, His authority to establish dharma. But in your mind’s eye, you must look deep within yourself and understand that the Vel is also part of your nature. It is the Shakti of Lord Subramaniam to transform your life, to transform the life of others.

Start with yourself. Divine friends, we are prisoners of our own making. Because from birth to this consciousness we have identified with the world. The objects of the world and your contact with them has created this feeling that you are a human being, living amongst other human beings on a big planet called the earth – and that has been your identity. That is not real, it is not actually who you are.

To find out who you are, you have to use the power of the Vel. The Vel is that Shakti and discrimination – look at it; it is single pointed, it has one direction, it has that discriminative power for you to be able to dismantle the prison that you’ve created for yourself in this life. That is your mind and your attachment to the world, your identification with the world – it is not you. Use that power to extricate yourself from that illusory prison.

Life is going to teach you this whether you like it or not, but if you are clever, if you are intelligent, you will seize this opportunity to take the Lord’s Shakti into your life, and use it to empower your mind to discriminate what is real and what is unreal.

Self enquiry – who are you?

You discover who you are by finding out what you are not. It’s a process of negation. You are not the body, you are not the mind. What is your real nature? Only you can find this out, nobody can tell you. The Lord’s Vel and the Shakti of the Vel is the power that is going to help you discriminate and disregard all those things which actually you are not. Dharma for the human beings is to discover your real nature. Don’t accept anything less than that.

If you think that God is going to give you a comfortable, happy, secure life, you are deluded. He is not going to give you that, because He does not want that for you. Happiness and security for human beings means you fall asleep. It means everything is fine, and you don’t assert anything in your life, and you just bumble along in this deluded state of ignorance.

A little bit of pain and suffering will wake you up! So when something bad happens, when you are challenged in your life, be thankful. Because that is going to wake you up spiritually. There is a very simple secret to living and that is don’t run after anything. You don’t need to run after anything. You are divine by nature.

You, yourself, are the sole support of every living creature. You don’t need any support. Because that divinity within you and also that universal divinity in everything, it is giving you, it is lending existence to every other thing. As soon as you identify with that power within yourself, then what do you need? You may die, but that is just the body that disappears.

Courage and strength is required to make that step. Complete equanimity must be your way of life. Good things will come to you, challenging things will come to you – accept them as equal and complementary things for your journey of evolution. The purpose of your life is something transcendental, it is not to be happy or sad, wealthy or rich, famous or infamous, this is the illusory nature of maha maya – the world. The purpose of your life is to realise that you are something beyond that.

Bhakti yoga & karma yoga

The Lord has given us in His teachings very powerful tools, very powerful methods to extricate ourselves from the illusory world of maha maya. This is bhakti yoga and karma yoga. In this day and age these are disciplines that are going to help us. Karma yoga means service. It means serving God unconditionally without looking for anything. You don’t even look for a thank you because your joy is in the service itself. So serve God.

Find an opportunity to serve all of life unconditionally with the love that emanates from your inner-most being and don’t look for any thank you, don’t look for anyone to acknowledge what you’ve done but recognise that you are serving God within yourself when you do that. And the more all of your energy goes into that service the more you discover your own union with God and you are free.

The other facet of work, bhakti yoga – worship God with all your strength. Guru’s words often echo in my own thoughts, when you work – work, when you play – play, when you eat – eat, when you make love – make love, fully 100%. When you worship God, worship God with all your strength and all your might.

That means taking your mind and revelling in the name of God. We have so many beautiful bhajans, so many names describing the many attributes of the divine. Those are the precious gifts that we can use. Don’t just sing like we are singing a pop song, but take your mind into the vibration of the name of God and recognise that is the only thing you can hang onto in this life. What do you have? What is yours? Nothing… and everything.

You revel in your own mental space, that space within yourself; this is my mind, this is where I dwell, that is the only thing you can call your own. You enjoy having a mind, enjoy yourself, because you have nothing else.

Look at your life dispassionately

Be with yourself always… that self is God. Have confidence in yourself. Self confidence is confidence in God. It is a time to change, time to look at your life dispassionately, and recognise time is slipping away. How long are you going to spend in your life on things which are of no consequence.

There is an opportunity now, the Lord has brought you into this realm of consciousness not for you to have a nice day out in the countryside. Okay, fine enjoy that, but to take away that Shakti, the Lord’s power in the form of the Vel to broaden your horizons and recognise that we are humanity, collectively we are humanity, we are here to help each other, to serve each other, to transform each other’s natures.

And with deep love, with deep compassion, understanding that there is a task for all of you. God will reveal to you what you have to do in your life. He will speak to you deep in the silence of your own thoughts. That is the where you can hear the voice of God.

It is not the prerogative of the Swamis and brothers and sisters… every human being can hear the voice of God, but you must make time to listen to it. That is the challenge that faces all of us. It is very exciting time, but a very difficult time. Without the Lord’s grace, without His support what can we do? Nothing at all.

Skanda Vale is a place like that, we are a family of divine consciousness. With that common understanding we are here for that one purpose, to love. Your real nature is beyond imagination, you cannot understand the nature of God in your mind, but you can understand love. You actually reside in this realm of immense peace, immense stillness – the void of nothingness, of emptiness, of existence itself but you can’t understand that.

As soon as that energy flows into the world it becomes love in action. May your lives be about love in action. Transform first your own life and then go into the world with deep love and serve God. Be the Lord’s warriors in this life. Don’t accept second rate comforts, but dedicate your life to God, surrender your mind to God be part of the nature of God. For that is what you are.

Thank you very much for listening.

Now what are doing next? Going back? I don’t know the programmes, as I haven’t been here [laughter]. 108 names? We are going to do the namavali of Subramaniam, throw a lot of petals around and then the chaos starts!

Download the discourse as an mp3

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