Here I would like to show you how Bhagavad Gita can help you attain success in all important areas of your life.
I will start with a little story about a lion - the king of a jungle. Once a lion was walking in the forest and he came across a monkey.
He asked the monkey, “Monkey, who is the king of the jungle?”
The monkey said, “You are sir.”
“That’s right - and you never forget it!” Then he continued, and came across the snake.
“Snake! Who is the king of the jungle?!”
“You are sir.”
“That’s right - and you never forget it!”
Then he came across the elephant, “Elephant, who is the king of the jungle?” - and the elephant just walked by.
The lion got upset. “Elephant, who is the king of the jungle?!”
Elephant just ignored him. And then third time when he asked, the lion got so angry that he actually bit the elephant, and the elephant got angry himself, and took him with his trunk and smashed him several times and threw him against the trunk of a tree.
Then the lion said, “Wait, wait! You don't have to get so angry with me just because you don't know the right answer.”
The moral of the story is that there is always someone higher than me.
WHAT IS SUCCESS?
When you look at your life, what would you consider a success? What is success?
Do you want to be successful on the path devotional service, in spiritual life? Is this the only thing you want to be successful in? Or is there something else? Would like to have a financial success?
Think about it.
Although we are practicing spiritual life we need money to survive. And money, if not misused, is not bad. That's also one area in which you need to be successful in order to function.
Of course if you want to take to spiritual life you don't need so much money and even if you are poor you can practice spiritual life successfully and effectively. But one reason why we need more money is also because we want to spread Krishna consciousness. We want to print more books, we want to open more centres and in that way facilitate people's spiritual life.
So some people want to be successful in relationships, some people want all these areas. I would say success for us is being successful in all these areas. Being successful in relationships with other people, being successful financially, and being healthy. If you neglect one of these areas, it affects other areas. There has to be a balance. This is a big thing now in the professional/business world: work-life balance.
You are working 12 hours a day, you come home very much irritated. Your wife/husband says something and there is a clash. Then you suffer mentally or emotionally; you get a heart attack. So there must be a balance. And for a balance there must be knowledge how to balance, there must be determination to do it and patience. One needs so many things in order to have this balance.
THE BHAGAVAD GITA
The Bhagavad Gita transformed my life and the lives of hundreds of people I know all over the world, my friends and acquaintances. In order to benefit from this book and what is in it, we at least have to give it a chance and be a little open. Of course most of you are devotees, most of you are practising very seriously and you are open but are you getting the most out of this book?
Some of you have seen small books in a market. Nowadays they try to make it very practical, very short, because people do not have so much time to read. They also give you instructions how to get the most out of the book. We should also have a leaflet and give people instructions about how to get the most out of the Bhagavad Gita.
This could inspire them to you it for their own benefit. In order to benefit from this book we first have to be open to it. You may say, “Well I already read it,” but are you really open? So how many of you are ready to be open to the Bhagavad Gita?
This book deals with very important questions in our life. What are the important questions in your life? What would you say?
"How can I be happy by giving a contribution? How can I be happy by giving?"
What other questions are important to you?
We could say that for every one of us, the question that is important is: how can I get what I want? If we get more specific then you can say how can I get this, how can I get that? But that is a very important question to ask.
In order to be able to ask this question, you have to ask yourself another question first.
What is the question before the question "how can I get what I want"?
"What do I want?"
That's a great question in our lives! What is it that I really want? If you clarify what you want then there is a probability or likelihood that you will start working on it and maybe ultimately get it.
How many of you know what you want in life? What is it that you want the most? What is it that you want in general, what is it that you want long-term, what is it that you want short-term?
The beginning of success is to decide what you want.
HOW TO BENEFIT FROM THE BHAGAVAD GITA
Do you want to benefit from this book? Do you want to learn what is in it? Do you want to use it? It is up to you.
If you do not want it, even if you read it, it will not help you. There are two people sitting in the audience listening to maybe some inspirational class who are very wise, who have a very nice wisdom and they react differently to it. One person takes the principles and tools that he or she learns and makes a huge success of his or her life and another does nothing, does not use it. So you can decide in which category you want to be in. Do you want to use things that are given to you for your success or you want to remain indifferent? It is up to you. This book is not very useful if you do not use it.
Sometimes I send free e-books to people. If you want me to send you a free e-book, I have very good books with very good principles. You just e-mail me. But if send you the Gita, you will get a note from me that says: “This book is useless if you do not read it!”
Morever, this book is even more useless if you do not use it, if you do not apply it. And this is where we need assistance: how to apply the principles of the Gita. So that is why we need the help of devotees. They help us to apply the Bhagavad Gita in our lives.
Do you know what are the three most dangerous words in English?
"I know everything."
Yes! Fantastic! "I know everything" or "I know that".
You come to a class and somebody like me is giving a boring class and you are saying, “Yeah Yeah I've heard this already and I know that we are not this body and when is prasadam …”
If you think "I know that"’, you will never learn anything.
Just a few hours ago a devotee came to our center and we asked him, “Why you are coming here?” and he said, “I came here to learn something.”
So if we think "I know that," we will never learn anything. Better attitude is, "I have no idea, I do not know anything." The most knowledgeable and the wisest people of this planet will say that they know very little.
Now, how will you know if you know something? Practically. What will be the proof that you know something?
You know something only if you live it. Not only if you say it, or if you have heard it, or if you agree with it, or if you believe it.
So if we know the Bhagavad Gita but we do not live it, then we do not know it! And the worst thing of all is that we do not benefit from it. That is the worst thing.
It takes a lot of repetition to learn things. Some people learn more quickly than others but we need to be very patient in repeating things and repeating the activities, until it becomes unconscious competence - where you do things perfectly and automatically.
So for this one requires a lot of practice. If you learn a principle from here, try to apply it, then you have a practice. As it is said, practice makes perfect. We attempt to become good at something and then we give up after a few attempts. Some people give up after one attempt, some people even before they have attempted they say, “I can't do it.”
HOW SOON YOU GIVE UP?
So how will they be successful if they give up even before they have tried? Have you had an experience of giving up even before you have even tried?
Let us say I ask some of you, “Tomorrow you are going to give a lecture in public at Dublin University.” What would you say about Krishna?
I can imagine some would say - no way! Why? You think you cannot do it?
“Maybe I can do it but my English is not so perfect, if they ask me some provocative questions my face will go red so I can't do it.”
So they did not even try, they did not even give themselves a chance to try. So similarly if I say can you chant one round a day and you say, “I can't do it.” Immediately giving up. So these are the principles of failure. Opposite of this is success: when you are ready to try.
I teach people, “You come to me and tell me that something does not work, only when you have tried it 108 times first.” and they say, “Wow, I never thought like this.”
Do you know about Edison and his attempts to try to invent the light bulb?
Before Edison invented the right one he discovered 10,000 ways that did not work. When he was on the 5,000 attempt a journalist interviewed him and said, “Mr Edison why are you wasting time, you are wasting people’s time and national resources?” And he said “Young man, you do not understand how things work. I have not failed 5,000 times, I have just discovered 5,000 ways that do not work and I am going to succeed.” And he succeeded. That is called persistence.
So if you are maybe not too successful in your spiritual life, do not give up. Do not give up. Just keep on trying. There is a famous saying, "If at first you do not succeed try again."
That is the common one but I have another one: if at first you do not succeed, ask yourself why. That can help because you can find the causes for not succeeding. Not just like a bull trying to go through the wall! “Okay I will be persistent like anything.” Be more intelligent about the way you are going about being persistent.
When your mind tells you "I know that," you can tell your mind, “Thank you for sharing,” and then you move on to learn something. Be open to learning. This is the principle of success.
I wanted to teach you some more principles and elements of success. As they say there are inner laws of success and they are described in the Bhagavad Gita. One of these laws is that it is not enough to be in the right place at the right time, you also have to be the right person, to be in the right place at the right time, in order to be successful. So this means that one has to have the right character, the right attitude. That is described in the Bhagavad Gita.
Am I doing what successful people do? Successful people are self-disciplined and unsuccessful people are not self-disciplined. They say, “Well I would also like to be rich,”
But are you ready to do what this rich person does?
“Well, I don't know, it's too hard.”
How many of you want to be successful? (Many would say "I".)
Now the difficult question comes: how many of you are ready to pay the price for success?
Many people want to be successful but they are not ready to pay the price for success. So in order to start our road to success, helped with the Bhagavad Gita, we have to ask ourselves some basic questions.
Who are you? What are your beliefs? What are your values? What do you stand for? What are you ready to die for? What are you ready to sacrifice for? Are you ready to act in spite of fear? Are you ready to act in spite of doubt? Are you ready act in spite of anxiety or worry? Are you ready to persist?
If we analyse the lives of those who are successful whether spiritually or materially, we can see that there are some character traits that they have. They are very determined, they are usually moral people, they like to give, they like to help others. These are universal laws of success also given in the Bhagavad Gita. If we follow in the footsteps of those who are successful, we can become successful and it is up to us, it is our choice if we want to do it.
How many of you believe that your inner character will make a big difference in your life and bring you to success?
Bhagavad Gita helps us develop our character. Prabhupada was always proudly speaking about what we are doing for society - we are actually training people of high character. He would always say: they do not eat meat, they do not take intoxication, they do not gamble, they do not have illicit sex. These are the basic principles for a good character and human life but there are other things also.
Study of the Gita is not meant for the recreation of armchair speculators, but for the formation of character.
If you want your life to get better, YOU have to get better. You cannot remain the same or continue doing the same things and expect different results. That is just the law of nature or law of God.
So Bhagavad Gita is giving us very basic principles about how we should develop ourselves, how we should grow. Without growing our life will not be very productive.
ROOTS AND FRUITS
Now just imagine, you have a tree here and there are different fruits. Here is a trunk, branches and roots. So usually when people look at a tree what do they look at?
Fruits. Like nice apples, bananas, guavas. In order to get these fruits what do you have to do with the tree? Water the roots.
So this is what is in the Bhagavad Gita: how to water the roots and ensure you get fruits. But if you do not water the roots there will be no fruits. This is just the law of nature. This is what Bhagavad Gita is teaching us: how to create conditions for your success. And there is a law that if you know it and if you follow it, there will be no failure, you cannot fail.
So this is a very important principle to understand, that if I want to be successful in any area, I have to learn how to do it. Sometimes people come to me and say they want to achieve something. I say do you know how to do it? No.
So what is the next natural question? How to do it! But even before this, the question is: are you willing to learn?
You can learn almost anything if you decide to, how to do things and how to achieve success but are you willing to learn? Are you willing to learn how to become a first-class devotee? Are you willing to learn how to become a successful businessman?
In London we had a meeting amongst our temple leaders, they are mainly managers and our president was teaching us principles of success. He says he was studying turnaround experts. When you come to a company that is in crisis and you analyse what is wrong and how to turn round the whole financial crisis, the common thing they notice is that somewhere at the top there is conflict. There are strained relationships and it shows up in lack of profits. It is a practical consequence.
If you want to have a good relationship with other people, communicate with them, do not avoid them. How can you have a good relationship by not communicating? It is impossible. By not communicating that you care about people, that you value their opinion, you cannot develop a good relationship.
Successful paople do certain things that unsuccessful people do not do. Look at devotees: who is a successful devotee for you and what do they do? You can learn from them.
If you look at the tree, the roots are actually below the ground level, you do not see them. So many people are unsuccessful because they are unconscious. They just deal with what they see. But they do not deal with what is unseen. For example you cannot always see motives of people. Like somebody has a hidden agenda or hidden motives, only later on it becomes obvious that they had a very dubious motive.
CAUSE AND EFFECT
If somebody is curious: what will actually make them successful, what will be the cause of the good effect that I want? We live in a world of cause and effect. Action and reaction. Law of karma. So what are the things that will be the causes of good results? There is a law behind it.
We may say that my life is a product of luck, or of of destiny. That is not true. You mainly can create your own life. You can influence your destiny. To some extent it is true but you can affect it positively. Like if you started to chant Hare Krishna, your karma decreases. Large parts are wiped out. Everybody would like this, especially if the karma is bad.
What are the unseen forces, unseen laws, unseen causes of the visible, tangible effects? That is also explained in the Bhagavad Gita. What are these rules that will bring these wonderful fruits? Would like to have a financial success? In the physical world we see something manifested but what is behind it?
imagine there is a newspaper article, which says, "A great breakthrough – the chicken has come out of the egg." It has broken out of the shell and it is so amazing. And someone might think it is wonderful, but what happened before that, you tell me? What happened before the chicken has come out of the egg?
There is one thing that we know. That the chicken really endeavours to get out of the egg. You see only the end result that this is so wonderful, but there was hard work before that. Similarly, there is one very famous teacher who analysed the best companies in the world but you would be shocked that these companies are not so famous. He analysed their success over the period of thirty years and they are still successful, like Gillette. They measured profits, turnover. They analysed how they have become successful and they said that they have become successful between the period 1960 and 1990. Over 30 years they are working extremely hard to build up this company, every part of this; the management and leadership.
The thing that we can learn from this is that success does not come overnight. One has to work over a period of time and one has to be patient also. The fruits we see in the physical world but the roots are actually in the spiritual area and the emotional area, what is in the mind.
WHERE THE SUCCESS STARTS?
In the London fitness club there is a sign on the wall which says, "The extra mile is between your ears." The way you think affects the results you have in your life. So if you change your thinking, if you change your consciousness, your life will change and your results will change.
One thing that unsuccessful people do is - they make excuses. So my question to you is: do you want to have excuses or results in your life?
You can become expert in making excuses. Maybe you are already an expert. What are your top ten excuses or top one excuse for why you are not the best you can be, or why you are not achieving better results?
"I do not have enough time."
Nice, that is a classic one.
"It is too hard."
"I am not good enough."
"My parents were very incompetent so the genes and environment is not conducive to my growth."
So many things you can say, but if you think deeply, you can see that all these are actually excuses.
What else do unsuccessful people do? They blame others.
Are you good in blaming others?
Another one is justification. Are you good in justifying your own imperfections?
So Bhagavad Gita is teaching us to stop making excuses, stop blaming others and take full responsibility for our lives.
THREE MAGIC WORDS
Three magic words, three secret words for success are: I am responsible.
Who is actually responsible for our conflict? I am responsible. Maybe you are also responsible because you are responsible person but for anything that happens to us, we are responsible. That is according to the laws of nature. We do not get what we do not deserve, according to the Bhagavad Gita.
So once you do this, your road to success starts. As long as you are blaming others and justifying, Blaming your grandparents, your parents, politicians, leaders, teachers, saying that they are wrong and self-centred, you obstruct your own success and happiness.
We can blame the whole universe because it does not make us happy. "Why is everyone not dedicated to making me happy?" That is the question some pople ask. "Why are you people not dedicated to making me happy? Why are you not worshipping me? Why are you not offering the fire and water and incense? Why?"
If one is thinking like this, by default, by the law of nature, one cannot succeed. So if you change the way you think and see things, then there is the likelihood of becoming successful and changing your life.
Do you believe that? Try to see things according to higher knowledge.
YOU ARE NOT THE MIND
Do you know that you can affect the way you think, feel and will and desire - consciously? It is very difficult to accept that. "I do not want to think nonsense but it just comes." Where is it coming from? From the mind.
Well, I can see the thought. Who is it that is seeing these thoughts? Just now I am thinking, "I would like to eat five kilos of prasadam." My mind is saying this but my stomach is saying no, you are torturing me, I cannot digest this much prasadam. So I am well aware of this dialogue going on.
More food, five kilos, my stomach is saying no. So who is observing this? Who is seeing this?
Or how do I feel at the moment? I feel a bit let down by all of you because somehow I am trying to get you very much fired up but you are very quiet!
The problem is that we identify with the mind? We think that we are the mind. But actually we are not, we are spirit soul.
A little story. Once there was a chicken farmer who was also a very a very passionate mountain climber. One day he was climbing the mountain and he came across a nest with three large eggs and the eggs were beautiful, so he was thinking: shall I take one?
He had a henhouse and he was thinking that maybe I can put it there and the chicken can hatch it. But he knew it is illegal, it is unethical and it is not ecological. He was in doubt whether he should do it or not but still he did it. Put in the bag, climbed up to the top and when he came back down to the village he put it in his henhouse.
The chicken enthusiastically laid on it and after some time a creature came out and the chicken was very proud because it was different from other chicken. And this little creature looked at the other chicken and started living with them and identifying with these chicken, thinking that he is a chicken. It was doing what other chickens do, pecking around a courtyard, sometimes trying to fly a few metres like chickens do. They do not fly very much.
For many years this bird lived with the chicken, like a chicken, doing things like them. But one day this bird saw something in the sky and was so impressed, and asked the sister chicken, "What is this? It is so wonderful. It is like poetry in motion."
And the chicken said, "This is an eagle, it is the king of the sky, the king of the birds. And we are not part of his life. We are just meant to do what we are doing here. He can fly so elegantly and so high."
But something was touched in him at that moment. Why? Because he was not a chicken. He was an eagle. So he looked and he was thinking, oh okay, and he continued living for years like a chicken, doing what chickens do. And this eagle - he lived and died as a chicken because it is all he thought he was. A sad story.
So you tell me, what do you find in this story? Is there any message that you are getting?
"He did not try to find out his real identity."
"We develop desire and consciousness according to the association we get."
"He based his life on the false belief that he is a chicken."
"You do not get what you expect and if you identify with a set of restrictions then you will not be able to surpass them."
So it's our choice. If we want to remain where we are, if we are happy with what we have, we can continue as we do. But if we want to soar we can do that to, by learning and applying the timeless success principles given in the Gita.
This book gives even deeper success principles than you can find in other books, because this book is spiritual. So if you use these principles, and get assistance on how to apply them from devotees, then you will highly increase the likelihood of your success.
The opportunity is available so please take it and be happy.