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Sometimes, there is a battle between the mind and the heart. How can we be clear in those moments, so that we can hear You more clearly in our hearts?

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Public Satsang at Newport Coast, California – 23 June 2017

Swami: The only time you go wrong is when you forget God. If you keep remembering God all the time, you cannot go wrong. It can happen sometimes, especially with the ego which has not yet been tamed, which has not been brought to a good understanding of how it should be. Sometimes ego arises and God is forgotten. What you can do in such times is to just leave, sit down in a quiet corner and breathe deeply. The breath and the mind are closely connected. If you breathe slowly, your mind will calm down. When evil rises, anger rises, jealousy rises, all the negative qualities rise, the breath starts going faster and faster – but, when you are calm, peaceful and surrendered, you breathe very slowly.

What you should immediately do in such situations, is to go to a corner away from the company in which you have developed this ego. Go away and then breathe deeply. What does the breath say? It says, “Soham, Soham, Soham – I am God, I am God, I am God.” Focus on that. ‘I am God, I am God. Can God think like this? I am God, I am God. Should God speak like this? I am God. Would God behave like this? I am God. Would God be like this?’

Go on thinking like that. Slowly, your mind will calm down, all the noise will disappear and the voice from within will be heard.
Immediately leave the company or situation which has caused the ego to rise, go to a quiet corner and perform this exercise. Sarvada sarvakaleshu sarvatra hari chintanam – all the time, always, everywhere, keep thinking of God. The moment you forget God, all the troubles begin. Once you remember God, where is the question of any trouble, or of any wrong things happening?

In everything, try to think, ‘What is God trying to teach me? What is God trying to do to me? What does He expect from me?’ Any number of situations might be difficult, but it is natural, is it not? When you study in the first class, you will be taught ‘ABCD’. When you go to the second, they will teach you how to write words, such as, ‘A-P-P-L-E – apple’. Then, when you go the third class, you must learn to write sentences, such as, “I want to eat an apple.” In the fourth class, you must write a story about apples. In the fifth class, they will tell you to not only write a story, but to write a poem about apples!

This way, you are prompted to learn more and more things. If you say, “I have studied in the first class and know the ABCDs, so I don’t want to study any further! I don’t want any tests! I don’t want any progress!” it would not be acceptable. In spirituality as well, you must progress. God will give you a small situation; perhaps, you may fail the first time. The next time, you may conquer it. When you have done so, He will give you a more difficult situation, which you must also overcome. This way, in every step, you must grow spiritually.

What happens in the physical world also happens in the spiritual world. Once you learn something, God will teach you the next lesson. Every time He is going to teach you the next lesson, He will give a small test to see whether the previous lesson has been learnt well or not. What is wrong in that? Whenever a lesson comes like that and a test follows, you must think to yourself, ‘God is sending me a test. I better be smart enough to get good marks and not fail!’ Truly speaking, God’s test will come as a surprise test, with no announcement. (Laughter) That is why I say, “Always be ready.” Always be ready for God.

Nobody knows when God will come, what He will teach or how He will test. He alone knows! Therefore, always be ready for God. Always be prepared. Every time a test comes, you should feel very happy. You should think, ‘God thinks I have learnt enough; that He is placing a test to check on it. If I pass this test, He will teach me much more. I will become wiser and more capable. That is a good thing!’ You should think this way even in the most difficult situations.