by Christopher Greenwood
Day 63 Lesson – Living Humility
Good morning everybody. I hope you’re doing well today.
Yesterday after packing, we said our goodbyes to the entrepreneurs’ group, who we’d spoken to and stayed with the night before. Everyone was really glad to meet Mohanji. Many of them had been hearing his voice and messages each day through the 4 am Club. (Mohanji records an inspirational message on a topic daily for the 4 am club members, a process that’s been on for a year now.)
The Q&A yesterday was very practical, around business life, even spirituality. What Mohanji had provided the day before gave them plenty to think about and contemplate on. Recently, Mohanji had conducted a ten-session boot camp with the Invest in Awareness team and with all the heads of the Mohanji platforms. This talk was a condensed version of all of that.
Later that night, when Mohanji went to rest, Madhu and I stayed there with the group listening to them. They spent several hours discussing the topics that Mohanji had spoken about, how they could implement them, which showed how much it was valued, and how practical it was. In the morning, we said our goodbyes and departed. We joined our host as we visited his business locations in the local area and later a steel factory.
Travelling and being with Mohanji, you get to witness him interacting with many people, very different people from all walks of life. I have witnessed him interacting with drivers, local workers, accommodation staff, businessmen, serious entrepreneurs with large portfolios of businesses, priests, farmers, seekers, all people of various stature and positions.
What is admirable is that he meets people as they are, beyond the status, beyond the role, beyond the position. You can see him develop genuine heartfelt connections, especially with those who are kind and sincere. He connects to the person as they are, he gives everybody time, and he doesn’t position himself as a very high person, which makes him very approachable by all. He lives humility.
Travelling and witnessing this is a real practical lesson for me about humility and also elegance. Contrary to this would be comparison, arrogance and pride, which doesn’t even come into the equation. Even though Mohanji has a definite status and stature in the world, he’s completely consistent with being humble and meeting everybody as they are.
For example, yesterday in the morning, we had been staying at a very nice mountaintop retreat in nature. By mid-morning, we were having tea with our host – a serious businessman. We were at his home, which was hugely impressive and beautiful. Then by lunch, we were at a steel factory, having lunch in the canteen, with the local staff there. Wherever Mohanji is, he’s completely comfortable, and this goes for the accommodation wherever he is put up. His requirements are very minimal. He’s often well supported with friends and associates where he goes, who really look after him. Although he doesn’t outwardly ask, it’s gifted.
Yesterday, we were at the steel factory, and it was a full tour. It was a large complex, so it lasted the whole afternoon, which meant we wouldn’t be back in time for food. So we had to pick something up on the way back. Mohanji being very practical, no pretensions – if we’re hungry, we need to get some food, so we stopped at a very bare-bones eating place, which I doubt many people would even take Mohanji to. But for him, there wasn’t even a thought; he’s not thinking about that. He’s not thinking: Okay, I’ll be humble, I’ll just cope. It’s just simply how he is – living humility all the time, and this was the same for our host too, who’s a serious businessman of stature, yet he was also completely fine there.
It was an experience to be part of this, witnessing humility in action, in all situations, just living it. My take away from this is how to practically live humility, that there is no need to position above anyone, to have pretence, arrogance or pride. Life and interactions have an elegant quality if you can live with humility and it actually becomes smooth; it flows.
I hope you have a great day ahead, and speak to you very soon.
Day 64 Lesson – Respect
Good morning everybody. I hope you’re doing well.
Last night we arrived at Guruvayur after attending the Nila River Aarti event, in which Mohanji was the main guest. It was a really beautiful event and also a momentous ceremony. I heard and understood that it was the first time an event like that had taken place in South India. They normally do this in North India, the Aarti to the river (like Ganga Aarti), but this was the first time here in South India.
Earlier in the morning, we had had breakfast on the benches outside. Where we’re staying, there’s a nice open area that looks out onto the fields. Breakfast was very good; it consisted of the typical South Indian dishes of dosa, vada, and some other things like Pongal – all very tasty.
Over breakfast, we were discussing the plan for the day and the evening, as we will be travelling from that location and staying over. We had to plan and prepare for our stay in Guruvayur, and then Mohanji began to share more details about the importance of this Aarti event – it was the first of its kind in South India, and the main essence of the ceremony was to show respect to the river.
He talked more about respect being the core teaching or the core aspect of the tradition, which is why such importance is placed on respecting all beings, and all aspects of life. He explained that when we have respect for everything in our life, we begin to live in harmony with nature. If people truly respect life, this will bring peace because people will be aware that everything has its relevance and its place.
The worship of the river, in particular, is showing respect to water bodies that support all life on Earth and also the life within us. If we respect something, then we won’t treat it badly. In the same way, when we respect the river, we won’t dump waste, pollute it or destroy it as we understand its importance and the interrelatedness of our own life in connection with that water element. So, respect is very integral. The ceremony was the beginning of a tradition of respect for the river, which gives sustenance to so many states, particularly Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
This conversation gave me a chance to reflect on my own level of respect for the things I often take for granted, such as water, which I often overlook, even though I know it is vital for our lives. Do I treat it with the respect it deserves? Am I wasteful? I realized that it’s very easy to become absent-minded about this. I know now that I can always take steps to become more conscious of my use of water, to treat it with due respect. I have shared this in a previous message that in Mohanji’s home, there’s a strong emphasis placed on making sure there’s no waste, whether it’s food, electricity, or even water. Everything is well respected.
On the way to the event (it was maybe about two hours from where we were), we were travelling through Palakkad, which is Mohanji’s hometown, and as we were driving, Mohanji said to me, “Look, here is the spot where Ammu lost her life in a tragic road accident at the age of four.” Ammu was his daughter. I knew about this story, and as we got closer and he pointed out the spot, this made it very visceral and real. He pointed out the spot where the bus had stopped, where they got off the bus, the house which they were going to, where it happened, the hospital where she was first taken, which couldn’t accept her because they were not equipped to handle any emergencies and how they had to rush to a second hospital where they admitted her but unfortunately, the doctors said that there wasn’t anything more that they could do to help.
This was 20 years ago, and I’m sure driving past that place would have brought back a lot of painful memories for Mohanji. He had said before that this was a big loss in his life, and everybody was devastated, though it’s one that had inspired all the charitable activities. He turned it into the inspiration to create Ammucare Charitable Trust, which provides assistance and is helping the helpless millions of people across many states in India. There were no words for me to say at that time, but it made me aware of those painful memories that are still something that Mohanji carries.
After a short distance, maybe 10 minutes, we reached the location where Mohanji was received well with a garland. I hadn’t been a photographer before in my life, but on this trip, I’ve been thrown completely into it. You have to be really alert and very quick to get into the right position to take the photos quickly, especially when Mohanji was being received, and it all happened very quickly.
There was time for people to come and meet Mohanji. Many offered their pranams; they wanted to talk to him, take his blessings, and also his pictures. After some time, the procession to the Shiva temple began, and we walked in line behind Mohanji and the musicians. There was a big crowd, and after taking the blessings of Lord Shiva, Mohanji gave a Satsang on the importance of the Aarti event and sharing this message of respect, respecting the water bodies, respecting all elements that makeup Earth and our bodies.
Soon it was time to move to the ghat where the Aarti was to take place. (Ghats are like steps walking down to the river.) It was a wonderful ceremony to watch with all the steps at the ghat being lit up with small lamps. We were listening to the Aarti song, which had been composed by Devadas and also sung partly by Jyoti Bahl, who is a family member.
The pictures of the Nila River Aarti event can be viewed in the link below.
We stayed for some time as people greeted and spoke with Mohanji, then we were on our way very quickly to Guruvayur, where we are currently. The pace has been very quick, and right now, we’re getting ready for the darshan of Lord Krishna in the form of a young boy of eight years old. However, I won’t be going in because it’s not possible for Westerners.
I hope you have a great day ahead and speak to you all very soon.
|| JAI BRAHMARISHI MOHANJI ||
Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 3rd October 2021
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