Reincarnation and non-attachment

Guru: Now suppose in this birth I am fond of this bottle. With my last breath, I think of this bottle and I die with the consciousness that it is this bottle that means more to me than anything else. Then I return with the immense power of this thought or desire for this bottle. I will hover around this bottle after I have gone physically but this bottle does not belong to me and the impasse of the desire for this bottle holds me in the world till the desire ebbs away.

That is why we say to people that you can have beautiful things but associate with life at a level where you can detach yourself easily. So that if by chance I have to die, I am not going to return worrying about the bottle that doesn’t belong to me because somebody else has taken possession of it. He or she is going to do what they want with it and I will be running around in circles thinking, “That’s my bottle, what on earth are you doing with it?”

Don’t let material objects own you

That is what happens to human beings when they die. They return to their homes to the valuables they possessed and longed for, and they look around and find that these possessions are no longer within their control. Very soon after their death, their valuables are thrown away. 

Reincarnation for that human being takes longer; until the person realises they can have many beautiful things in life but they are only for you to use now. Use them wisely, make a lot of money, and be successful. But with your success, you must know that you are living in a transient state, an impermanent state.

All the material things are there for you to advance in your life; you have earned them through your positive karma. I am going to give you a very good example. Having created a monastery and being responsible for it with all its trimmings, trappings, and temples; with all the animals and everything, people say to me, “Guruji, what an amazing place”, and I say, “No, no, no, nothing to do with me. It is divine work.”

Swami drove me down from my place to the temple at the bottom so that I could take the car to come to Switzerland and when I got into the car he looked at me and said, “You are not even here now. You have already packed up and left Skanda Vale. I can feel that you are not involved in Skanda Vale at all.” I said, “I am ready to die anytime. If the Lord wants me to go it’s O.K. I have finished my job. I am not going to hang around looking at what you people are going to do here. This is your job now. If the Lord wants me to return to Skanda Vale then I will carry on my duty, but I am not presumptuous enough to think that I am indispensable. I don’t feel that anything in Skanda Vale is mine, no way, no way. It is a job I am doing. I am ready to go. This is also borrowed. That is why the Lord gave me an option, by making me lImy baggage.” (Guru lost his baggage on the way to Switzerland)

Whilst travelling to France, I was thinking I will stink by the time I’ve finished if my baggage doesn’t come because I have no robes. But isn’t it fun? It is terribly funny. I have all those lovely things wrapped up, and I have nothing to wear. How lovely! I will be coming in a sheet tomorrow, one sheet around me, one sheet over me. Why not? Why not?

Free, free yourself from the bondage to all the things that surround you in your life. Don’t be governed by these things.

You must be able to say, “O.K, if I have it fine, if I don’t have it fine, it doesn’t matter.” This is the feeling about reincarnation. That is about death. Free yourself, and don’t return. I see people whom I have known for a long time and I have blessed them, and after they go they hang around for their possessions. I constantly tell them, “Go away, what on earth are you doing here?”

This is nothing to do with you, this is a temporary job that we are doing. Learn that in your life. It is very beautiful when you are free, that is real spiritual freedom – to have it or not, and not to worry about the things that surround other people. They are obsessed with it. I want you to be free all the time, enjoy. I am not telling you to give all your beautiful things away, no, no, no. Have them, but don’t let them govern and possess you. Very important. 

What about being attached to other people?

Devotee: I think it is quite easy to feel unattached to material things, but you can also be attached to a person. How do we cope with that?

Guru: Keep on being attached to me, no problem. I understand that this is what graduation means. When you start on [this spiritual] journey you are attached. Then slowly you learn that you cannot possess another human being. It is just like a mother giving birth to a child. She has every right to say, “It is my child”, for she carried the child for nine months, nurtured it, and brought it up. But it isn’t your child. You are given the child for a particular period and it is your responsibility to look after that child, to care for that child, and to help that child to freedom. Then you will be happy.

But if you are possessive of that child then you will be the unhappiest human being because you want that child to do the things you want.

You know damn well that that child is not going to do what you say. That child is free and if you bring it up properly with deep love and care, and if you have a continuous interaction in the early stages of the child’s life, then you will enjoy the benefits of that relationship as you grow up. You must be able to say, “’Yes, I have given you all love,” and enjoy the fruits of that love. I am free to see that you are free. This is the freedom I want to give you.

I want you to be free. Not governed and controlled, badgered and bullied into believing – that is not spirituality. That is when you will find it intolerable to advance spiritually, it is important.

If you have a partner, I want partners to have such understanding. Don’t possess your partner. If you want one way to get rid of your partner soon, it is to possess that person. Equally, do not neglect your partner. Spend a lot of time, giving of yourself, and caring for your partner. It is very important.

If you begin that relationship you will enjoy standing back and allowing things to happen, sometimes mischievously knowing what is happening, I don’t want to know. I arrive in a situation sometimes in Skanda Vale, and I know what is happening around me but I am blindfolded. I refuse to see or be involved. I pretend. I walk in, and I say (in a sweet voice) “Hello, how are you?” then I go around quietly giving them more love, more care, and more understanding. Why should I make it more difficult for somebody? I understand how difficult it is for people to advance spiritually. Why should I put more obstacles in the lives of people? No way. Love is selflessness. That is what I want you to cultivate.


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