Siddheshvari Devi Ji

Q & A with Didi Ji

It is said that there is no such thing as love in this material world. What is LOVE?

Love is not to be confused with attachment of the mind. In the world, we form attachments wherever we experience, or even suspect fulfillment of self-interest. This attachment is erroneously known as love, and it is selfish by nature. True love is never selfish; it is absolutely selfless. A gopi loves Shri Krishna. As she fans her Lord, tears of happiness stream out of her eyes. Now the gopi must wipe her tears, so she curses her own happiness since it has caused an interruption in serving her beloved. Such is the nature of true love.

I am a teenager and I got into an argument with a friend over destiny. She said that destiny does not exist and the reason she gave me was this: let’s say that you smoke or take drugs. You will die sooner due to the effects of nicotine or drugs, or if you eat lots of fattening foods then you will die due to heart attack at an early age. And I agreed to that.
My point was that this is all true but people still live long lives even though they may be eating many unhealthy foods. But then she asked me the reason why people refrain from eating foods that are fattening or doing drugs. If you are going to live the same amount, it shouldn’t matter. And I was completely blank. I am really confused about the whole concept of destiny. I was just wondering if you could clarify my confusion. Thank you Didi Ji.

Death is one of those things that are predestined. Not only death, but the exact moment of death is predestined. Yet we try to be healthy. Why? Let’s say a person is destined to live 65 years. He cannot add to or subtract from years of his life. However, the quality of life for those 65 years will be largely determined by what he eats and drinks and on whether or not he exercises. Other than that, there are many health conscious people who live a very healthy life but die very early. On the other hand, there are many heavy smokers and drinkers who live a very long life. I have met people who have survived 5, 6, even 10 heart attacks. We die when we are meant to die. If you are meant to live 80 years, you certainly don’t want to be sick and in bed most of your life. That’s why we should try to take care of our health.
Even someone who wishes to commit suicide will not die before his time. If it’s not time for him to die, he will not succeed in his efforts to kill himself. There was a neighbor (in my childhood) who tried to commit suicide but succeeded only after numerous attempts.
However, everything in life is not predestined. Here is a brief explanation in 6 simple points:
1. We have performed countless actions in our countless previous lives.
2. Every action has a reaction. The reaction (or fruit) of an action is called Destiny.
3. When we are born, we are given fruits of some (not all) of our previous actions.
4. At the same time, we are free to perform new actions in this life.
5. The actions performed in this life are also being converted into reactions.
6. So, what we go through in life is a reaction of some actions we have performed in the past and some we are performing in the present.
Many people misunderstand what Destiny is. They think, “Everything in life cannot be predestined. What about freedom of will?” They are right; everything in life is not predestined; only some of it is.

I was praying to idol (of Lord Krishna) but now i dropped it as I feel that God cannot be made by human ands as HE is superior. I thought of this when I was travelling through the streets of Tamil Nadu and saw God’s Idol kept for sales on the sides of the roads. So now I light a lamp and pray without an idol. To be frank, I felt happy and satisfied when I prayed to Lord Krishna’s idol and offered flowers. Now I feel that I am not near to my Lord.

The idol of Krishna is a powerful reminder of Lord Krishna. You are not worshipping an idol; you are worshipping God who is omnipresent. As the all-pervading Lord, He is present also in the idol. The idol is of no use if you do not realize God who resides within the idol.
The Vedas state that God is with form as well as without form. They also say that God with form is much easier to meditate upon. God with name and form is most interesting, infinitely beautiful and causelessly merciful. When you worship Krishna taking the help of an idol or even a photo of His, you will be able to practice devotion more effectively. The incense, the flowers, the lighted lamp, the sweet songs of glory for Shri Krishna; these are helpers in devotion. Do not shun them.

My parents hosted a havan performed by two ladies. During the havan, at certain times both ladies seemed like they were ‘spiritually processed.’ I think in Hindi they say “Mataji aye hain.” The occurrence of this made me very curious as to why and how this happens.

Some people say that ‘Mata aati hai,’ i.e. the Divine Mother overtakes them and they become possessed by the divine presence. Some say that Lord Hanuman takes possession of their body. There is no truth in this, since God (in whichever form) appears in or before the devotee who is fully surrendered. And when He does take possession, the devotee become divine through and through. From that point onwards, he will see God everywhere at all times. There is no violent jerking movements of the head and the entire body.
It’s all internal in that your entire way of thinking changes forever. Other than that, a person may shed tears while thinking lovingly about God. Keertans and Bhajans tend to enhance devotional feelings, and tears are an outpouring of that love and devotion. If you are experiencing that, you should try to conceal it. Otherwise, people get disturbed. If a person doesn’t try to hide these feelings, she will end up crying uncontrollably and generally losing control. Having said that, there are times when a person is not able to hide the feelings, and these become evident to everyone. An aspirant should genuinely try to control herself.

How can we be genuinely very happy serving our Guru each moment? Like Maharaj Ji instructed I continue my studies and work, so how can I feel happy to study and work in his service?

Consider your studies and work as your seva which pleases Shri Maharaj Ji very much. At this point in your life, Maharaj Ji is happy if you study diligently. Maharaj Ji always lays emphasis on a good education so that you are not struggling throughout life. Once you are earning good money, you are able to pursue the spiritual path with greater ease. You are able to visit Shri Maharaj Ji’s Ashrams more often and do more monetary seva. Keep in mind that obeying your Guru’s instruction is the biggest seva you can render. This will help you remain happy in His happiness.

How do we move forward from past mistakes?

God and Guru do not look at our past; they only look at our present. So, if you seriously feel remorse for past mistakes and genuinely resolve to no longer committing them you will move forward and ultimately forget about them. Do not allow them to paralyze you so that you are not able to move away from them. It’s not helpful to beat yourself up about them either. You will only feel discouraged. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

How can we realize we are not the body, and dissassociate with bodily pain and pleasure?

We do have a body, and as long as the body remains, we will experience pain and pleasure. The more you realize yourself to be the soul, the more you will disassociate yourself from matters pertaining to the body. However, even an elevated spiritual person experiences physical discomfort and pain, and has to deal with such matters. His attitude towards physical matters, however, changes drastically.