Questions & Answers

The following are copies of e-mails and answers by Guruji, which may be of interest to all. The question e-mails are included in Arial Font for easy identification.

If you have any question, feel free to write.

Dhatu samvat Maagha vadya sapthami (Mar 01, 1997)

Salutations to Aatmaswaroop

Srimad Bhagavad Gita, or Srimad Bhagavatham, or Shri Vishnu Sahasranamam or
Gayathri mantram speak one langualge. "Wake up from the sleep"

What gave you the idea that you are not in satsangh ? You are very much
there. The physical distance is part of the dream in which we are living.
It may be truer to say that your presence is more than many who are only
physically present.

Start chanting Sri Vishnu sahasranama daily. Its benefits are numerous
Gives you health, wealth, importnace, status, knowledge, presence of mind,
fortitude, a clean mind and heart, eventual peace and ultimate good. In
addition satanghis now chant Shiva sahasranama(targert 108 times for
1997), Rama sahasrananama (as we appraoch Ram navami - target 108 times),
and then Aanjaneya sahasranama etc.

Daily reading of one chapter of Gita with meaning (average 6 to 15 minutes)
and one chapter of Srimad Bhagavatha will assure you of knowledge of the


S A Bhandarkar

What is this source?  And also when someone dies the men/boys shaves their
head and they keep a little patch of hair at the back of their head.  What
is the significant of shaving and keeping the patch of hair?

PS:  I would like to get a copy of the Prem Saagar, in Hindi/English if
possible and also the Hanuman jyotish.  Do you know where I can buy these?


the source of all knowledge is brahman; the foundation of knowledge is
atmavidya; the interpretor is one who is established in atmavidya. He is
like a professional gardner who pulls of weeds and prunes existing
plants and sows new seeds. He need not have to go universities to learn
agriculture; often the farmer by experience knows what is right time to
plant and water, than a student of agriculture who has books(secondary
knowledge) as the source.

All sins seems to be in the hairs of the body; so removal of hairs from
the body is considered as a purificatory right. This is done before
upanayanam (giving  of  a new eye - administering knowledge of  gayathri
mantra),  or before shraaddha (purificatory rites for the departed).

shaving the head mustaches and beard have two significances

1. as one of purificatory rites:  before anything auspecious is being
done,  you try to rid yourself of all sins. The other purificatory rites
are aachamana-sipping of water with  Lord's names, atma shuddi-
sprinkling of water on the body, nyasa - consecretion of diffierent
portions of the body, snana - bath etc.

The second significance is to assist each of us to come out of that body
feeling(dehaabhimaana) and make us rest in the ultimate knowledge( that
i am the spirit-atman) temporarily. The priest class always shaved their
heads except for a tuft on top. 'the disfiguring' (like they do the same
for widows) is a silent(now unknown) prayer to the lord that i am with
you and i am yours, and i am no longer interested in decorating myself
to attract others, my life is yours. and hence i keep a small tuft on
top of the head to enable me to tieup the tulsi or flowers offered
(nivedya) to you and which was returned by you (as prasad). In
otherwords, symbolically, i reaffirm that even what i keep ( tuft) will
be used only for your purpose and not mine.

incidentally, (only incidentally) to a unknown visitor, it becomes clear
who are the close relatives and mourners and at once he can communicate
to them without hurting their sensibilities. It is like the christians
wearing a black band or black patch on their shirt/dress to indicate
that they are mourners.

The book you mentioned should be available in Bombay; if you need i can
give you (if you do not have any) a contact no and address who can try
to locate for you.


I am not sure if this is done in India.  When someone dies in Guyana or Guyanese hindu dies, they generally put a  piece of  gold in the corpse's mouth.  No one seem to know why but it is done. Do you have any explanation?  Is it the same in India?  If so, do you know  the  reason why they do it?


coin given in the mouth of the dead body is the dakshina or shulka (tax-
that which is due) for work done. The agni devata to whom the body is
offered for consumtion is offered a dakshina for doing that job. when a
girl is given in marriage at the time of kanyadaan (whne water is poured
on the hands of boy - saying that i am giving this daughter of mine to
you) a kanya shulka is kept (normally five rupees or so);(this shulka
has now bloated into varadakshina). In all pujas the dakshina(money
given for work done) is a must.
In all places generally they put a coin or piece of gold in between the
dead man's lips.

If you rememebr the story of satya hrischandra, when he was in charge of
cremation, his wife taramati who was sold to someone else as a  servant
comes there with the dead body of her son, the great king demads shulka
which she did not have; finally he agrees to take a portion(upper) of
her sari to burn(cremate) his own son; The wporld has yet to see greats
like these who showed unparalleled commitment to duty and truth.

The idea of giving money is to get into our thick heads the futility of
holding on to our wealth; it is these moments you are made to realise
that in parting with money your salvation lies and not in holding on to;
in fact the wealth you have can only be purified if a portion (at least
10% of yrly income) is offered to charitable organisations like
Ramakrisjan mission or chinmaya mission or satya sai mission. we do that

feel free to qn.

It is hard to attain self-realization. 

I do pray to God to help me choose the right guru and
march forward fast and firmly to the goal of life:  self-realization.

Please help me.  Thank you so much.

Loving prostration to Your feet.

With all-consuming desire for Eternal Bliss and with Vedantic love,

Love and blessings

I have gone thru your appeal; there is nothing to worry; understand that
all problems mentioned by you in your email are related to "body"; they
are not "your" problem. You are forever free, in bliss, and truly need
no guru, although you can have one or more; the real guru is sadguru who
is your ownself who has been propelling you towards this giriection.
outer guru is just a prop. it does not matter whom you select; the end
result will be realization which has less to do with your outer guru,
than your inner guru.

keep just one thought in your mind that you are not this body, nor the
student at MIT(except for functional and practical purposes - an assumed
role of aMIT student)you are the soul which is indescribable,
unimaginable,beyond the ken of intellect.

understand that the outer world is a projection of your own self and it
will vanish with you; there is no world(and its problems) besides your
own projection.

since the world is false, and the brahman(atman, or soul) is real; start
focussing all the time on a simple question "who am I"; reject all that
you are not; all that is related to your body; all desires, see them
thru; the futility of achieving any desire; well, there is no need to
suppress any of them; just watch them and disassociate from them, just
like you disassociate from the food once it goes below the throat.

There is nothing for you to do; just keep all the time observing your
thoughts and actions; there is no need tohave any guilt nor any complex;
just apathy. lead a simple life free of wants; be useful to all around
you including creatures, plants and surroundings; hurt none.nowhere need
to go, you will anyway carry the same mind wherever you go. cleanse the
mind of all desires and mind will start getting cleansed up.when we say
desires, all selfish desires.

You have forever been free; all purturbations are in one sense only mock
battles; you have never been bound, except in your false belief that you
There is book titled "Sadhana" by DSL which is the essence of all
disciplines. worth going thru that

more reading will fill the mind with undigested info; whatever we read,
need to put to practice; also pondering on what has been read is

satsangh means company of a great or good soul. when you do not have
satsangh, you have the company of sri satya sai baba (Satya sayee
speaks) and swami sivananda(thru his 300books), thru their books; the
books talk to you and solve almost all questions.

we have satsangh going on thrice a week for the past 18 reading
shree's web page or by emailing your qns you may always keep in touch.

love and blessings

 I would be very grateful if anyone out there can give some information
 regarding the DETAILED meanings and the significances behind the
 rituals, ceremonies  which take place in a Tamil-Hindu wedding. I'd be
 equally obliged if any references (translations in English ) which goes
 in depth regarding the matter.


There is a translation of kannadasan's work called 'arthamulla hindu
matham' which gives explainations for hindu marriage rituals. The book
is available in chennai.

In nut shell, a marriage is a 'daan' a giving of the most precious'gift'
a decorated girl to the ideal person(God) (son in law) and find
fulfilment and earn merit for the wefare ancestors.

In otherwords, all actions of ours(including the giving of a daughter as
gift) is to promote us on the spiritual path.

Feel free to contact

I am looking for information
on the use of a mala in the Hindu faith and if it coincides with
 mantras.  I am not Hindu and would like to learn more about these


the qn is not clear; I guess mala does not mean flower garland, but here
it is meant to be rosary, japamala; Assuming it is japamala, what is the
meaning of the word, coincide ?

All faiths use malas containing beads; hindus generally have 108 beads
in a mala; you chant a name(or mantra) for each bead.

Also what is the meaning of the phrase " these things" mala and mantra ?

some times mala is used for chanting a mantra'. mantra is a name for a
word or phrase which is used to 'cross over' or 'dissolve' the mind. The
purpose of chanting is same in all religions. Only, in Hindu religion,
the end product of chanting and process of how the mantra operates are
very clear, scientific.

mantra means mananaat trayate iti mantraH meaning by constant chanting
you cross over, is called

Feel free to contact

I am currently working on religous studies project. I would be extremly gratefull of any assistance you can offer.

The question: What is Puja? 


Puja is a word in sanskrit language. In this language words are formed with meaning in mind. For instance in the word puja, 'p' stands for 'paapa' meaning sins. 'j' stands for 'janma' means birth. With 'p' it removes all accumulated sins, and with 'j' it makes your life's(birth) purpose fulfilled.

The literal meaning is : worship, honour, adoration, respect, homage

The Lord being not accessible to our eyes, ears, nose, touch and beyond the ken of ordinary (un refined) intellect, the ancients devised a method of bringing Lord within the realm of the senses. This method is to worship Him(Her or It) in an object(photo,water,fire,precious jewel, idol etc) which you can touch, feel, smell,see,feel the taste of. Thus all wandering senses are brought to a focus, by belief(faith) and by daily practice.

Unshakable faith and long practice, evokes and unfolds hitherto unknown dimensions in awareness, which are generally not communicable in the normal way. Remember the British king who sent his friend Becket to sabotage the Church. Once Becket started working for the church, he got convinced and got converted to their line of thinking and found that the king's views were neither noble nor fair.

Brenen writing in 'Power Play' says that the easterners are centuries ahead in the control of mind and related topics. By puja you will be in a position to inject the noblest thoughts in the subconcious. Above all one will succeed in solving the mystery of 'Life'

Feel free to ask

Subject: Ignorance

Salutations and Love to Atmaswaroop

Anyone who is remotely connected to Satsangh activities are not in 'collosal ignorance' they only have a thin veil by removing which knowledge shines forth.

Draw a chalk circle around the hen and it starts imagining that it is imprisoned and stays within the circle. Because we consider ourselves as body and not soul we are entangled in endless problems connected to body. One who has connected oneself with satsangh has now started to wake up from ignorance.

The game is to find out who you are if you are not the body ? Not true, not true, not this not this, whatever you see, hear, touch eat, smell; As desires are witnessed and discovered their relation to body and done with, clarity comes.

Love and salutations

My humble prostration at your Holy feet,
All glories to all great saints,

Namaskar Guruji,

On behalf of millions of other people who read your satsangh, I would like to thank you for allowing us the honour of reading your satsanghs.

I would appreciate it, if Guruji could, perhaps tell me a little bit about Himself, so that I know whose satsangh I have, actually, been reading.

I believe that will help me to say with confidence on what authority I say something lest I quote your satsangh.

your eternal servitor,

Love and Salutations to Atmaswaroop

Speaking in worldly terms and language, (which is not the truth although looks factual ) the Gita and Bhagavatha Satsangh started some 16 years ago, by some devotees ....

The truth of the matter is the satsangh has been there all the time like the subterranian water; the well was dug when the water was needed. It is not important who dug the well and where. Our attention to such so called 'factual' details will keep us in ignorance called 'vismrithi' (forgetfulness of ourself and of true nature of things).

Gurujis is just a name to address someone respectfully (often even when we do not mean ). That someone is anyone and everyone who is drawing the water from the well and serving it to those who are thirsty. The someone need to be nameless. It is important to drink water. The mouth, the cup, the pot, the server are all instruments to complete the process of drinking. In their facelessness lies their true worth. The real Guruji is within, who is known as Sadguru, who guides all the time.

Four blind people touched an elephant. One said the elephant is a pillar. the second who touced its trunk said th elephant is not a pillar, but it is a very thick hanging rope. The third one who was near its stomach said it is a huge pot hanging from up. The fourth one said it is a thin rope with hairs, refering to its tail.

All four continue to fight in the name of relegion, sect. The position we take(devotee, friend, jnani, etc, the language we use divide us. Nobler feelings like universal love, compassion can bridge these differences.

When you buy food from the hotel, it can become yours only after you eat and digest it. Similarly, all quotes remain as quotes till we digest these quotes and make them our own by betting our lives on them or else they remain with us as part of our vocabulary, but not as ourselves.

Please feel free to write

Love and salutations


I am writing to thank you for the enlightening page on Satyanarayan Katha.

I was raised a Catholic but married into Hindu family and have been trying to learn to teach my children! sometimes I am overwhelmed. I have heard this Katha many times but it has never been presented as clearly. I cannot express my gratitute to you fully for your presentation. I recently had a Mundan pooja for my son and just started to understand Satyanarayan Katha.

If you have any suggestions of sites where I can read and learn of other Kathas please email me I will be very grateful, this life seems so short for the amount of love and praise we can give God! I am very interested in learning stories about God so I can tell my children rather than fairy tales!

Many thanks, Jai Shree Ram..

Salutations to you and to your husband; Love to your children.

I am glad you enjoyed Sri Satyanarayana Katha.

I am unaware right now which Katha's are on internet. However, if you are looking for hard copies following info might help

How old are your children ? For those between 3 to 10 , suggest Amar Chitra Katha pictorials; these are like comics or classics in pictures. They say 78 million copies sold so far. First published some 25 years ago. Edited by Anantha Pai and published by India Book House. You may find them in US; Alternately, if you need them to be mailed to you by airmail from Bombay, we can arrange that thru our contact in Bombay. You can also directly order from India Book House Limited, Fleet bldg, Mathuradas Vasanji Rd Marol Naka, Andheri East Mumbai - 400059

For children between 8 to 14 recommend Kamala Subramanium's three books The Ramayana, Srimad Bhagavatham and Mahabharatham. The great authoress has a racy style; the stories are short, the sentences are simple. Average lenght of a story is one page or less. They make excellent bedtime stories. Back in India often these three books have been presented as wedding gift, for they give a healing touch to all marriages when in trouble - which is all the time anyway. Besides silently educating us grownups, gently reminding us of our final destination they make us go slow on our present warpaths and clash of egos. These books are published by Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan. These books do not have pictures.

The Ramakrishna Mission publishes a number of pictorial books for children; There are excellent books for children published by Swami Narayana Movement. All these books are fair priced. An amara Chitra Katha pictorial titled 'Abhimanyu' has 34 color pages, a total of150 pictures is sold for Rs20 (60c)

I know of a family whose three children grewup on these; the son Achuth is in Stanford now and the daughter Sulochana is in final year Medicine. Both opine that these stories gave a good, broad base of culture All three children are vegetarians and do take tea or coffee; they do daily their prayers and chant sahasranamas and ashtotharas.

Please feel free to ask assistance, and give your comments.

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Last changed on February 27, 1997

Last Updated on 07/05/03