Guruji: “Struggle is never-ending. I think if the struggle in life went away, we would die of boredom! Only when you relax for a moment after the struggle is over, you feel real happiness. Then new struggle begins, with new challenges. When that finishes, you feel happy again. But the feeling becomes grander and grander with each challenge.
“If you sit around doing nothing, without any struggle, then there’s nothing else but boredom. The more opposition you face, the more positive, extra-ordinary development of your personality happens. If there are two men, one who has struggled and one who hasn’t, the one who has struggled would be more knowledgeable. And to rise or to develop, you do have to struggle.”
Q: “Milarepa’s story is so inspiring! And it’s not like he had signs from his childhood that he’s going to be a great soul.”
Guruji: “His story is very inspiring. The biggest thing is the feeling of revenge that was borne in him. That feeling gave him so much strength that not only he took revenge upon his enemies, but also used the same strength to gain knowledge and self-realization. A weak person can’t even exact revenge. They say things like ‘whatever god wants will happen’ to excuse themselves. He at least took proper revenge. And when he felt guilty about killing so many innocent people, the power that he had developed to take the revenge, he was able to use it positively. That’s why he is a legendary figure today. The feeling of revenge gives a lot of energy.”
Guruji: “Of course! Take Ravana out of Rama’s life, what will be left? Or take Kansa out of Krishna’s life, Krishna won’t be Krishna anymore. These are the highlights of their lives. This means that the feeling of revenge is what brings meaning in life (laughs).
“Main point is that opposition should be there. Without any opposition, how will you be refined? How will you prove that I can face any kind of opposition and come out a winner? Even in bodybuilding, the training principle is called Progressive Resistance. Only by increasing resistance you develop further. So is with life.
“Now even local people (in Govardhan) have started taking notice of me. They have always been taking notice, but now finally it’s going in positive direction. Some news reporters had come, they gave us good coverage in local newspapers, about rudraksha and kalpa-vraksha trees in the campus. People are totally stunned reading about it. Last Monday they even published about Shiva-linga.”
Q: “Aren’t people resistant to change?”
Guruji: “In the beginning everybody is resistant to change. If you tell them a new thing, the first response is always, ‘No, how can that be possible?’. It’s the same situation world over.
“That’s when I thought it was futile to explain. There were a lot of quarrels with the local people in the beginning, so I stopped talking to them. Now these days they are very anxious that I talk to them, let them inside the academy campus. I don’t pay any heed to them.
“All in all it has only benefited me. All these difficulties have developed one aspect of my personality which probably would never have developed. If somebody is coming to fight you, you could only do two things: come out to face them or bow down before them and run away. And if you bow down, you’d never be able to face yourself in a mirror again, if you have even a little bit of self-respect. I took a stand and challenged them to do whatever they could.
“Once about 60-70 people came to fight. I was by myself and with didi [Guruji’s sister, Mataji]. We both faced them, and they all ran away ultimately. That boosted our confidence significantly.”
Q: “What did they want?”
Guruji: “One thing was that when I came here, they got jealous that I bought such a big place and they couldn’t. And then I stopped their ‘free for fall’ (using campus grounds for ‘morning rituals’). So they picked a petty excuse and came to fight. My servants and the watchmen all ran away, only didi and I were left behind. And the furious face and anger that I must have developed – only they saw it, I can only imagine – all of them got scared and ran away.”
Q: “Did you get very angry?”
Guruji: “Very angry. I was ready to do anything. If someone keeps irritating you for no reason, then ultimately you can’t control the anger. Though one should have tremendous amount of self-control. If you have extraordinary physical strength, much more than average, that you can lift a man with one hand, and you lose control in the middle of a mob, only the mob will be on the losing end. The consequences may be serious. And here an average man is pretty pathetic, no more than 50-60kgs.
“These kinds of confrontations kept on going. Now we haven’t had one in a few years. Whoever came to openly fight me, they all died mysteriously. And this also created a different type of reputation. If our count is correct, so far 46 man have died in the last 9 years. It’s been very peaceful since then. I didn’t understand in the beginning what was happening. When I understood, I withdrew myself. Stayed inside and didn’t engage in fight with them.
“The main point is if you have to do a big task, a proportionally strong opposition also comes. If you are able to face it, things get progressively smother.”
Q: “Does somebody keep testing whether you can take this opposition or not?”
Guruji: “Think of it this way: I was introduced as an antibiotic drug here. An infection was spreading on a certain portion of Mother Earth, and I was introduced as with anti-bacterial properties to eliminate the infection. Struggle was inevitable. And what are we in the eyes of Mother Earth, nothing more than virus or bacterias.
“We can see the difference in 9 years. The entire area has changed. Goverdhan Parikrama has gone beyond everybody’s wildest dreams! This Guru Purnima, more than 10 million people crossed in 24 hours. Management was very good. After that, suddenly a very eerie silence has spread everywhere. No noise of quarrels, loud speakers, etc. Also, government is taking over management of temples so all the pandas [rowdy caretakers of Hindu temples] are in shock – their source of income is gone. Things are getting better.
“It has been a remarkable series of changes. Government’s attention is now finally here. Electricity used to be out for 5 days, which is almost inconceivable in the western society. Now government has ordered 24-hour electric supply, especially in Goverdhan. Tourist department gave a proposal for 66 million rupees for facelift of our campus. They’ll do the lighting, full repair, and water supply. We’ll only have to pay the bill. Agreement is between myself – the owner of the property – and the governor of UP, that archeological department will look after this property. It is the first time ever in India an agreement like this has been made between a private property owner, archeological department, and the state government.
“It took a very long time and a lot of effort, but things are looking better. We had come in absolute opposition – no friendly person around at all! Nothing beyond thorny bushes and cactus.
Q: “You have set a big example.”
Guruji: “I haven’t set this example for anyone else. It’s ultimately for my own development. The place started looking better, status increased. All my disciples got inspired, their confidence increased. Because what I have done I have taught everyone. No more, no less. Anybody can do anything. The basic thing is that the man should be prepared. There’s an English saying: Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. You have to prepare yourself. And with proper preparation, the team that forms will be of specialists. And ultimately team only performs.”
[20100711-2] Recorded: Oct 2002