Ashram is a healing place
Definitely there is a different atmosphere in different places. In a restaurant it is different, in a hotel it is different, in a club it is different, at home is different, and in an ashram, church, temple or synagogue it is different. In a temple, ashram, church, or in some other spiritual place, there is a spiritual atmosphere, spiritual energy. Whether you believe it or not.
When you come to such a place, the energy is penetrating, transmitting through your different bodies: the physical body; mental or subtle body; and the causal body. The physical body, the nervous system, glandular system, and all the organs in the body, are influenced by positive energy. It is like a healing process. The mental body, your vrittis (thoughts), become balanced, calm, and you experience moments without stress. There was research work on the two brain hemispheres, about physical and psychological problems. And when they came to the psychological, emotional problems, even to schizophrenia, they came to the conclusion that the best treatment is meditation and prayer in the spiritual places.
So, a mind without stress, a mind without confusions, a mind without fear – that is the result of the positive environment. When you go to the church, nobody needs to tell you to be silent, automatically you are silent. If the astral body is not in harmony with the physical body, then one loses self-control and self-confidence. When the astral body is in disharmony with the physical, mental and causal bodies, then the person becomes nervous and cannot concentrate, cannot sleep, there is a constant anxiety in you, you are living in anxiety.
So, in order to harmonize the astral body, physical body and mental body, you have to go from time to time to some spiritual place and sit down, close your eyes and repeat your mantra, meditate. That is why in every village there is a church, or in India, in every village, there is a temple. That is a place for everyone, and there you will experience peace and harmony. And that is why you should also go to the satsang, that is why the satsang is very important. If you don't go to the satsang, the result will be that you have to face many worldly problems. These three bodies – the physical, mental and subtle bodies – are harmonized in the satsang and in meditation.
The causal body is our desires. There are many kinds of desires. The desire for drinking, desire for eating, desire for walking, for some sport, desire for dancing, for nightclubs, cinema, this and that... there are many desires. Desire for money, for marriage, desire for divorce, many desires. Selfishness, greed which has no end. Desires cannot be fulfilled. When your body cannot go with you, you have desires mentally. Rare are they, rare is that one who can control the desires.
Causal body means the cause of everything. Imagine a fire burning, surrounding you – you are sitting there and can't get out of it. You are suffering, burning in this fire. And there is the way to come out, but somehow, you can't come out. The situation of the person who has disharmony with the causal body is like someone who fell into the fire and is burning. Sometimes you would like to come out of the fire, but then something else happens, similar to the saying, "You come out of the frying pan and fall into the fire." You tried to come out of one desire but you fell into another desire.
The causal body needs purification and knowledge. Definitely we belong to nature, our body belongs to nature; there is no difference between a tree and yourself. Vegetation is influenced by the weather and seasons, and we are also influenced by weather and the seasons. In each of the four seasons, there are changes in the body, changes in tissues, in the blood, in organs, in everything. It is very natural that we have the feelings, that's why there is a causal body. The time will come when you will have no feelings, and that is the time when a doctor will say, "This person has died."
You will only be completely desire-less after the death of this body. But you would be very unhappy without your mental, astral or subtle body, that means you are dead. So you can't be free from all desires. The body has requirements, otherwise, the body can't stay alive. Desires are logical, natural – and fulfilment is also natural. But humans have lost measurement, limitation, they don't know where the limit is. Trees know that very well. Trees know when to give fruits, when to give blossoms, when leaves should fall and so on. Birds and animals know when to give birth to their babies. But the human has lost it.
This is the causal body which causes all these problems. And through this, all of our four bodies are suffering. And through this, is created our jealousy, our anger, our hate, our greediness, our desires. So if you want to control those, then try to purify your causal body. Know the limits of your needs. Mahatma Gandhiji said, "The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not for everyone's greed.“ For a greedy person, there are no limitations.
Therefore, after a long time thinking and analysing different bodies, the wise man created satsang, prayers and meditations. If you go to church, and there is prayer, that is the most beautiful thing that you can experience. So, you should visit whenever you can, for five or ten minutes, just sit there. Or go to the ashram and sit there and repeat your mantra.
Sometimes people are complaining. "I don’t go to the ashram because people are not good, they are like this, they are like that..." First: Are you going for people or for yourself? Second: Are you going to the ashram or to the people? Third: Who are you to judge them that they are not good? And fourth: Why don't you think in another way, that you are not good?
Confucius said, "Don't say that nobody respects you, rather ask yourself if you are that kind of person that people should respect." Your best ID (identification card) is your work and way of living. It is very easy to go there where you like people, but to go there where you don't like people and create harmony, that is something. Everybody can be swimming in nice clean water without sharks or crocodiles, but swimming in a lake where there are sharks and crocodiles, that is the art of swimming. When we think that people are not good, that is the problem with our own thinking.
Visit a holy place, doesn't matter if it's a church, temple, ashram, synagogue or mosque, and sit for a while, just repeat your mantra with open or closed eyes, just relax. That five minutes of meditation in a holy, religious place will give you what six months of therapy can't give you.
And that's why satsang is very important.
When you are disappointed, have lost your confidence, lost hope, there is a lot of gossiping... When one tells you to do this, other to do that, there is fighting, arguing, what to do? What to do in that situation? Mahaprabhuji gave a very clear answer through the bhajan: HAMẼ HĒ KĀMA SATSAṄGA SE, JAGATA BAKE TO BAKANE. My only duty is satsang, if people are gossiping, let's them gossip. Because, for what are you here in this world? For what were you born? What is the aim of your life? Who am I, from where have I come, why have I come and where I am going? What is the purpose of this all? – Only one thing: to know thy self. Atma Gyana.
Without Atma Gyana, there is no end of suffering. When the self-realization takes place, then finally, you are in paramananda. Ananda is happiness, but temporary happiness. Paramananda is everlasting happiness. When you are in paramananda, then the whole of your situation is different. CIDĀNANDA RŪPAḤ ŚIVO’HAM ŚIVO’HAM... Then you realize: I am Chidananda, Chid-Anand, that anand which is param-chaitanya. Shivoham, Shiva, means consciousness, bliss, and liberation. Shiva means the truth, the beauty. Satyam Shivam Sundaram.
At that time all these worldly disturbances will not touch you anymore. When the elephant is walking in the street, you will never see him walking in stress, he walks like the king of the forest. Sometimes people bring an elephant to the city and when he is walking, the dogs are barking. But the elephant is never frightened. Every other creature would be frightened, but not an elephant. It is the divine feeling of the elephant, the joy of the elephant who knows that a dog can't do anything to him. So these worldly problems are like the dogs, barking, but you are the elephant. DIVĀNĀ SATAGURU NĀM KĀ MASTĀNĀ HELĪ
Like the sourness of a lemon spoils the milk, similarly "sourness" of the wise man, his words and holiness, spoils your appetite towards all worldly desires. You can try many things, but they will not become milk again for you. Like it is said in one bhajan, "Now I am overjoyed while drinking the nectar of God's name, now for me all tastes are tasteless." All of you have to achieve that! That is your homework now! Sooner or later you have to pass this examination. That's it.