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When receiving guidance, how are we to be clear that it is God talking to us?

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Boston, USA – 16th June 2019, Youth Meet

Madhusudan Sai: It’s a very pertinent question, I had this problem in the beginning, because sometimes when Swami said certain things, I would think, ‘Is it Swami or is it my mind that is speaking? Is it something that I wanted to hear, and so I am hearing it?’
I asked Swami this question once, “Swami how do I know it is You and You alone, and not my mind or my imagination driving this?”

He said, “Do not go by what is happening in your head, go by what is happening in your heart. Do you feel that peace, do you feel that calm, do you feel that rest? If yes, then it is Me.” Sometimes, because we’re attached to an idea, because we want to hear the answer that we want, we come out of meditation more disturbed that when we went in. That is because we were pursuing a certain idea, a certain answer and unless we got that, we were not willing to get up from our meditation.

One day, a boy asked Swami, “Swami, how do I meditate? How do I talk to You every day when I go to the altar and sit down there?” Swami said, “Why is it necessary to talk to Me? Why can you not just sit quietly? If I need to talk to you, I will talk to you.” There is a deep secret in what Swami told that boy. Most of us think that every time we enter our prayer room, we ought to speak to Swami and Swami ought to speak to us. If we have a huge problem at hand, we feel that we must get an answer immediately. However, we fail to realise that He may not be willing to speak to us because He knows we are not ready to follow His guidance.

We may have come with a lot of expectations, so He may choose not to speak and remain quiet. It has happened many times, and even now when I go to Swami, to get an answer to a question, He sometimes does not answer. Then I know that it’s not the right time. If He is not answering and you force your way too far, in desperation to find an answer, your mind may play games to satisfy your urge to know the answer to your question. A surgeon finds it difficult to operate on his own child due to his attachment, but is perfectly fine operating on another person’s child. Similarly, when you are attached to either your problem or someone else’s problem, then you end up going to Swami with your head full of preconceived notions, and your mind will surely play up.

If you are going with complete calm, complete peace and complete detachment, then you are there only to listen to what He has to say. You are not there to ask Him to reinforce your decision. Then the answers will come spontaneously and the only testimony to it being genuine will be the peace that you experience inside. When you come out of the meditation, you will feel so relaxed, so calm and so happy. Whereas, if you are still agitated or disturbed, or if you are not happy after the meditation, then you know that you haven’t experienced Swami. When you are in doubt, stay out. That’s what we say in the stock market, too! (Laughter) When I am in doubt, I don’t open my mouth.

Only when I am calm enough, when I detach myself from my ideas, do I know that the answer will be right. Whatever be the answer, whether it is favourable or unfavourable, pleasant or unpleasant, I simply convey the message. So, when you are in doubt, you really don’t know if it is Swami or your mind, you are still agitated and not at peace, just keep quiet. That’s the best thing to do. When you are again at peace, when you are capable of connecting, then it’s the right time to go back to Swami.

Swami makes it all look so easy, He makes it look like child’s play, that anybody can connect to God, anytime, anywhere. No doubt, God is available to us 24/7, but we need to be in a certain state of mind to be in communion with Him. He makes it sound so easy, that many people take it for granted, in the sense that many just think it’s their right to speak to God, and Swami ought to answer them whenever they ask a question – but it does not happen that way. We need to be very humble, we have to be so silent and still when we go and sit in our shrine room. If He chooses to speak, we will get our answer, otherwise not. If He doesn’t speak, just wait for some time and don’t get agitated or impatient. I have been very careful. Even today, when there is an iota of doubt, when I am not feeling at peace inside, I don’t open my mouth. I know it can lead to confusion and it may not be true, so I just keep quiet. A day or two later, when I understand the problem completely and have no attachment to it, then I go back to Him, and whatever He says after that is the right decision.