Guru Sri Subramanium, the founder of Skanda Vale covers a lot of ground in this temple discourse from 2003. He shares his wisdom and experience on some of the following topics:
- How to cope with physical pain.
- On avoiding false gurus and commercialised religion.
- The trials and tribulations of hard work and selflessness.
- His personal experience of meeting (and living with) Devi, the Divine Mother.
Dealing with pain & suffering
Divine friends, there is a purpose in our birth – to discover our divinity. All of you are divine. Hidden in your physical form is that divinity – Paramatma. That is the voyage of discovery that you are going through; pain and displeasure, learning how to pay your karma, and learning how to tolerate it.
Every single person who approaches me from time to time says “Oh Guru I have got a lot of pain and problems in my body – I can’t cope with it.”
Ah! You do not realise the purpose of that pain and displeasure, and inability to tolerate that pain. Learn to understand the purpose of that pain. I know sometimes you say to yourself “If a little measure of relief is given to me I can accommodate this pain.” That is the moment when you will extend your mind to the Lord, to the Divine Mother and say:
“Devi please help me to tolerate this pain. I don’t want you to take this away from me, but help me to understand the purpose of this pain – so that I can pay my karma in this incarnation. Clear my debt, and then I can come back in the next incarnation to know You better.”
Divine friends, that is how I have gone through many cycles of birth and death, to come to know God. Not believe about God, but come to realise Devi. She is with me, asking me to do a job of work for Her. But that didn’t happen overnight.
[x_image type=”thumbnail” src=”https://www.skandavale.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/skanda-vale-history-guru-mother.jpg” link=”true” href=”#example” info=”popover” info_place=”right” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=”With Guru as a young man in Sri Lanka.” title=”Guru’s mother”]
Guru’s early years
There was a lot of preparation for my mother – who was a great spiritual being, a great seer, to have me as a son. And then, at the early age of nine, the Lord said “Now I want you to take My name, but I want you to do one thing – never take money from anybody. I will give it to you.”
I obeyed that will of the Lord – from the age of nine until now, at seventy-five years old. That is the extent of the relationship between God and me. No belief. An experience, a partnership to fulfil and establish dharma – not adharma.
Human beings find it very difficult when they don’t have a clear mind about where they are going. But neither did I… I didn’t ask the Lord “What do you want me to do?” and mapped out my entire life till now. No!
But I knew that the Lord had something very special for me to do. He sent me to Europe for two years, to see the devastation and destruction of life after WWII. I came to Britain like you, an immigrant. I could have taken a shortcut… but no.
After a little while, I told the Lord “My Lord, it’s a lot of tinsel and trash, I don’t wish to be involved. I would like to return back to You.” And then He said to me “No, you are going to stay and learn how to relate to human beings so that human beings can relate to Me.” And that I have done, I obeyed His will.
So I went to work like every person here in this community. Went to work, and taught people how to meditate. Did pujas, and with the money I earned I fed them, and slowly built up a great force of people and power around me.
Commercialism in religion
At that time in the sixties, there were many yogis, many rogies, bogies, gurus and swamis… all came, and there was one purpose; for them to make money and go back.
And I found that the most objectionable thing that anybody could do – to make money out of people who wanted God. I could see God, and they were trying to sell some mantra that people could repeat, and hope that their karma will be removed from them.
Divine friends your effort makes you want to come here to Skanda Vale. Your effort will be the power that enables you to discover God, and for God to come to you. That is how I have worked, and worked, and worked unceasingly. Every single thing that happens in Skanda Vale today has been designed and fulfilled by God.
[x_image type=”thumbnail” src=”https://www.skandavale.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/skanda-vale-lord-murugan-temple.jpg” link=”true” href=”#example” info=”popover” info_place=”right” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=”Guru was a great devotee of Lord Murugan – the first temple at Skanda Vale was dedicated to Him.” title=”Lord Murugan”]
You know, to be a monk or a nun here in Skanda Vale you have to take the vow of poverty. Not to earn anything, not to own anything… nobody is paid here. We serve God, and the most important qualification for all of them is for them not to believe about God, but to come to realise God and experience God.
Divine friends – all of you have been told to believe about God, and that is why you are disillusioned. You are disillusioned, you say to yourself “Nothing happens! I am going to the temple but nothing happens.”
Because you have handed your desire to pray to a pujari who is making money. He himself doesn’t know God. He himself has no link with God, and you are helping him to sustain this deception called representation to God.
The puja is the one thing that links you to God, but your heart, your action, your desire comes from that innermost beginning of your Paramatma – urging you to go to God, to integrate with God.
[x_blockquote cite=”Guru Sri Subramanium” type=”left”]Divine friends you will never stop. You will never stop; that is the purpose of your birth. Through every single pain and pleasure, you still will be dissatisfied, until one day you will merge with God.[/x_blockquote]
I was a great devotee of Lord Murugan, never Divine Mother, because in my previous incarnation I had a link with the Divine Mother through another great saint. And I thought “This time I am going to spend my time with the Lord who appeared to me, and asked me to establish dharma.”
So I forged ahead and got on with my work here in Skanda Vale, all the time from poverty, to establish a place of worship here today. I have never in my life ever asked any human being for any help whatsoever – for the Lord sent me all the help I need. In this community, I have got engineers, and more professional people will join me as swamis and brothers.
Hard work & selfless service
To be a swami and a brother is not easy, because the Lord keeps you waiting for about two years to come to know what we are about here. And then three years as a novice, and another three years before you become a swami. So you have to learn the trade – surrounding yourself with the vow of poverty and excellence in service to God.
Swami here spends his entire time cooking; cooking for hundreds of pilgrims. We must have had nearly 100,000 people coming this year, and every day he does not know how many people are coming to be fed.
But he never runs short because whilst one pot of rice is boiled, another is on the fire… cooking… feeding. But there is nobody I see going into the kitchen to say “How marvellous you are!”
No – through that service you learn to surrender to God. Through hardship, through great sacrifice, you will learn to come to know God. I have come to know God this way.
[x_image type=”thumbnail” src=”https://www.skandavale.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/skanda-vale-maha-shakti-temple-wide.jpg” link=”true” href=”#example” info=”popover” info_place=”right” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=”Devi in the Shakti Temple at Skanda Vale.” title=”Maha Kali”]
The Divine Mother
Divine friends, for many years I was associated with Lord Murugan. Then came Mother to my room in the night. And I think She thought I was an egocentric maniac; only worshipping the male aspect of God!
So She came one night, and sat on my bed and put Her knee in my back. I still did not know who She was. My egocentric nature as a man did not allow me to concede that this was a woman aspect of the Divine.
So I said “Hey! Why have you come? I would like to see you!” And then She got up and came around, and Her head of hair… they were like tentacles wrapping around every single thing, and She gave me shakti, and the experience of Her physically for me to see. She was Shiva Shakti – this was twelve to fourteen years ago.
There began a change of my character, my manner, from being male orientated to being exceedingly compassionate and loving… and understanding the nature of the evolution of mankind.
[x_blockquote cite=”Guru Sri Subramanium” type=”left”]She is with me, I have no mind but Her mind. I have no thoughts but what She tells me to do in Skanda Vale. Skanda Vale is about Her. She has taken over! Devi has taken over – lock, stock and barrel.[/x_blockquote]
I float around, people come and ask me “How are you?” I say “Fine, because Mother is fine inside me.”
One time, I packed my bags to go to Europe to give a seminar, and I told Her “I am going to Switzerland.” She smiled, and when I got on the plane I was talking to the swamis who were with me, and then suddenly She appeared on the plane, for She was missing me at home!
And so I get shakti from Her, and I start shaking. And Her power comes into my being, and then swami has to explain to the stewardess why I am doing the shake! They couldn’t understand about Mothers shakti.
[x_image type=”thumbnail” src=”https://www.skandavale.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/guru-in-switzerland.jpg” link=”true” href=”#example” info=”popover” info_place=”right” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=”Devotees of Skanda Vale are currently building a Shiva Shakti temple in the Swiss Alps.” title=”Guru in Switzerland”]
And then I go shopping like you everywhere, and I take the shakti and the power of the Devi everywhere I go. And sometimes I am standing in front of a stall shaking, and she says “Are you all right Guru?” I said, “Yes, are you alright?” [laughter]
So remember this – when you say you want to surrender to God, it must not be on your conditions, but on the conditions of Devi, and the Lord Himself. Learn this Sathyam, Dharmam, Shanti, Prema – absolute truth. Develop that, for She is the embodiment of truth.
She knows every single thing that you are involved in. There is nothing that you can separate and try to hide from Her. [Guru sings]
She is absolutely truthful. Not a leaf falls from a tree without Her knowing it. You will slowly grow up in fearlessness, in truth. If somebody asks you a question don’t be fearful – She is listening to you. She loves you. She is compassionate. She is understanding. She is the embodiment of understanding.
There is nothing you can do to turn Her away from you, except to say “I don’t want you.” But then She smiles and says ”Don’t worry, you will come back to me a little bit later, like all children do.” [laughter]
For She is the mother who understands everything. She created you, so what is this drama? The drama is that you are in the world of illusion, attached to maha maya… you do not want God.
Materialism & surrender
What is it that you want? Wealth?
You know, people tie a lot of vows on the Vel. You know what the most fascinating thing is? Not one single per cent, or half a per cent has tied a vow on the Vel that says, “Lord, I want to be liberated. I want You.”
You know what they want? Cars and buses and lorries – every blooming thing you can imagine! Yes – money, money, money, money, money. Yes, maha maya dukha harini.
You are like the monkey. You know when people want to trap monkeys? What they do they make a little box, a heavy one. Put a little hole and put an apple or fruit in the box. And the monkey goes and puts its hand in the box, and he will never let go. That is the world of illusion that you are involved in.
You want God, you say you want God, but you have got your hand in this box and your material desires don’t allow you to let go. Have it but don’t let it possess you, for if you are possessed by materialism you will never come to know God in this incarnation, because you have no time, no space – no care to come to know God.
Now is the day, at the beginning of this Dasara, for us to say to the Divine Mother, “Remove the obstacles that separate me from you my Lady. Enable me to integrate and be liberated in this incarnation.”
Divine friends I pray, I pray that you will be successful in your life. I don’t want anything from you, but there is something I want for you, and that is for you to associate yourself with God.
Not as a belief, I don’t believe about God. None of these people will I encourage to believe about God… but come to experience God.
God is real.
[x_blockquote cite=”Guru Sri Subramanium” type=”left”]If you had experienced Devi, maha shakti… The energy of the whole universe will descend on you when She approaches you and gives you darshan. That is the darshan I want you to receive – and have Her grace for your living.[/x_blockquote]
I bless you that you will grow up not superficially, but with a consciousness to come closer and closer to God. It won’t happen overnight, for you have much to cleanse in yourself.
I have taken this opportunity to talk to you because they are dressing the Lord. Now I can see that they are almost ready, so you will have the darshan of the Lord. What is it you want divine friends? What is it that will give you not pieces of mind, but peace of mind?
I have read only one book in my life – about Lord Rama. All the information, every single thing comes direct from the Lord. All the knowledge I want, everything that established Skanda Vale is about God, from God to you, my Lord.
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