Lessons living with Mohanji – Days 197 & 198

by Christopher Greenwood

Day 197 – Dare to be Different 

Yesterday, Mohanji attended a fantastic panel discussion here in Belgrade, which was organised by the Vlade and Ana Divac Foundation. This panel discussion was really good. The title of it was: ‘The role of an individual in overcoming conflicts in a polarised society’. Many distinguished guests attended. There was an NBA Hall of Famer, a motivational speaker, the head of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, and a Harvard professor. Obviously, Mohanji was there too, and many other guests, and Vlade Divac too.

Here is the link to the whole event. Mohanji’s speaking time starts at 19:08


Mohanji’s speaking slot opened by answering a question from the host, who shared Mohanji’s quote: “Dare to be different. That is your signature in the world,” and he asked, “Is it easy to be different in today’s world?”

The answer to this question was a good one for me, so I wanted to share this, almost in its entirety, because it also left me with a question that I will share in this morning’s message. So, it’s dare to be different; that’s your signature in the world, and how easy is it actually to be different in today’s world. Mohanji answered this nicely actually. He started by saying that the whole world is actually unique. All creations are unique; we’re all unique. So, we’re already different by birth; by nature, we’re neither higher nor lower nor equal to anyone else, which is a really good reminder.

Our thumb impression is unique; our eye retina is unique. So, each of us has something unique with an amazing potential for expression in the world. But we refuse to accept that, and society, how it’s constructed; mainly, its education is provided to compete and compare. And this could be for positions, money, space, or anything, but that’s the predominant teaching, to beat the other. And then this is where all the other divisions happened. Then we become attached to the positions and the relations. So, if anything becomes a threat to those or affects those things that we’re attached to, we become upset. So, Mohanji also explained that, now, within the world, fear is given in bulk to people, with COVID especially. With all the changes and all the turbulences, there’s a really destabilising atmosphere in the world at the moment. So, there’s a big fear also of losing those positions and relations. But we forget, as he reminded us very nicely, that we are all here on a tourist visa. We came with nothing; we leave with nothing. Everything is temporary.

So, in also explaining this, against the quote, we realise that there is something beyond all these things, and we realise what we are, minus all these temporary attachments. There’s a power there, where there’s no need for fear. And this gives us that dare or that Lion’s heart to face the world. So he explained the real reason, or the fundamental reason that you can trace it back to, is that there are polarities in the world because of that education, wherein we’re taught to compare and beat and win against the opponent. But the real victory is winning over ourselves. So this statement left me contemplating yesterday and this morning, so I know what that means for me. And so, I’ll save any explanation of what I think and leave this space so that you also can think about what that means for you, winning over yourself. Daring to be different because that’s your signature in the world. Hope you have a great day ahead.

Day 198 – The benefit of extreme action 

Mohanji’s mode of work is extreme action. We were speaking the other day, just a general conversation and Mohanji shared a story that made me laugh. It was at a time when we were passing through the security at Delhi airport, and the security guard asked him what he does as a job, and he told him that he teaches meditations and yoga, so the guard said, “Oh, so basically, you do nothing.” Then Mohanji asked, “Well, how many hours do you work? Eight? Well, I’m pretty much working 24 hours,” and I think the conversation shifted slowly.

But this was a good prompt to share a bit more of my understanding, now that I’ve spent more time with Mohanji, about the benefit of being in the presence of that state, of that energy of extreme action, even though it can be quite demanding. It’s related to the guṇas that we are made up of: the tamasic – the sort of slow sluggishness, the laziness – rajasic action; and sattva – the peaceful, stable state. I’ve shared before that the pace of working with Mohanji is really relentless; it’s constant. There’s not much time to think. The level of activity is so high that there’s very little time to think, in fact, and what I’ve learned and confirmed with Mohanji is that that’s exactly the point. Because when you’re working with Mohanji, and also he said, any other Master for that matter, you’re pushed into a state of hyper action. Because you need to move from the usual easy, sluggish, downward energy, or tamas, which is your procrastination, laziness, doubting, criticising, gossiping, comparing, all that type of stuff, and shift into a mode of action, where you’re beginning to do things.

That’s like a momentum building up over time, one activity, another activity, another, and then another, so that it’s really speeding up that state of action, and the idea is that it becomes so intense that eventually it becomes a state of sattva, where it’s an extreme action, but actually inside, you’re completely calm. Things are happening, but you’re not fully attached to them. So, until you’ve reached that state, there are obviously peaks and troughs; you’ll move up into a state of action, where things are really going well, and then fall back down to tamas. In the presence of Mohanji, that’s when the butt-kicking happens, and your butt is kicked so that you get moving again and are pushed up into that rajasic state.

So, that’s generally the benefit of being with a master because that happens much more frequently. Why is it a benefit? For many, it seems like hard work, which it is, because it can be quite demanding. But what’s actually happening is that tamasic tendencies – your laziness, heaviness, being caught up in emotions – bind you to mindsets, and also, ownership is more. Being pushed into that action, there’s no time to think, and when there’s no time to think, there’s very little emotion attached to the activity. There’s very little ownership attached to activity too, and the lack of emotion and lack of ownership means that there’s not much karma that you’re accruing from the work that you’re doing. So, it’s heavy and quick purification whilst not acquiring anything more.

That’s one of the benefits, but at the same time, it’s challenging. This was a different perspective on being with Mohanji, the work, and the pace, with the ultimate goal being to move up towards a more peaceful state of sattva.


Edited & Published by – Testimonials Team, 12th February 2023


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