A lecture by Hari broadcasted live on YouTube on 2016
one can watch and listen to at: https://youtu.be/crcfqpCqPTE
.That's actually very important for me, if I don't know basically the subject which I'm going to talk about it's very hard for me to speak. I mean I can talk about any old junk but than it will be junk, it will be a wondering discussion, it will be offen various parts of the universe, it may or may not be interesting to you. Stream of consciousness we call it. Which means that it's not really organized, and I really like to be organized. (Hari laughs) I don't mind stream of consciousness if the people I'm talking to like stream of consciousness.
But out of respect, not only for you who are watching this live but, for those who watch the recording it's my responsibility to be organized, to have some kind of a subject and to at least have a general idea of how to move from A to B to C and so on. So that I respect everybody's need for logical progression in discussion. And usually I don't have that much difficulty. I mean, I kind of call out to the energy out there or I stand before the deities and ask them. And within an hour, maybe two hours, something comes and it's really useful, it helps me a lot.
This week it's been very difficult, and I'd like to get into why exactly, but I had a very hard time connecting to anything this week. And I didn't really understand it, I didn't really understand what the difficulty was. I knew there was difficulty, I knew the general environment of the world is very difficult right now, and you all know that, you don't need me to say it.
But why I couldn't come up with a topic, or why I wasn't being given a topic? It disturbed me. I'm not the most confident person anyway and I kind of thought: "Gee, am I losing it? Am I losing my touch? Am I getting to old?" Am I somehow - I mean, you know, I can be paranoid, so I thought of all the horrible things that could be going wrong.
So I got a newsletter, I get a lot of newsletters ---(cannot be understood) and he speaks about the reasons why we have difficulties in our health and he talks a lot about corporate responsibility for our health problems and pesticides, herbicides, GMO things and so on. Or in pharmaceutical products or in ignorance in diagnostics. So he send an email about a newsletter which was interesting, it caught my eye.
.The title was: Could Pain be Contagious Just Like Happiness? Okay we all know empathy, we all know what it means ... you're connected with energies in various ways. If you weren't you wouldn't have anything to do with me because nothing I would say make sense. Because you watch I got your number, we know you are a sensitive person. That's a good thing.
Now people who are empathetic feel pain. You know in the Vaishnava literature it's a Vaishnava is considered para-dukha-dukhi, he feels the pain of others. But he also feels the happiness of others. We all have that quality. That quality is that we feel when others have pain. Now from that point of view for a sensitive person pain is contagious. Meaning that if I have pain you're a sensitive person you'll feel my pain.
What was interesting about this newsletter is that there were researchers who generally don't get involved in these kind of stuff found out by accident - and this is really good... you know when they mess with mice, these poor mice, they have the mice who gets something, than they have what's called a control group the mice who don't get anything. So the mice who get something usually have some effect. And the nature of the effect is measured of the mice who don't get anything. So they're like the baseline and whatever differences are there in the mice who get something, that's considered the statistical significance of change.
Now they found by accident, that levels associated with a certain pain in the mice who got something increased in the mice who didn't get anything. So a very observing lab person started testing that and decided to figure out if there's something real about that. And they discovered that indeed it was an consistent effect that the mice who were not affected by the whatever they injected were consistently experiencing and demonstrating a sympathetic reaction.
Now they haven't proved that it's true in humans - we know it's true - but they showed that it was also related to a biochemical factor. In that particular research it had to do with smell, because the mice are very attuned to smell, and the difference created the reaction. That smell they received the stimulus and reacted. So what they realized was that all of their research about pain, which included pain relievers, could be faulty. Because people who had pain might not have pain simply because of some biochemical or neurological or traumatic stress factor. It could be because somebody else in their family or someone near to them had pain. And this brought up all kinds of issues. If my pain is because I'm feeling somebody else's pain, if I take a pain killer meant to cure the physical condition in somebody else, what effect would that have on me? It may not have any effect.
This opens a whole new way to look at pain and pain killers and prescriptions and things to assist. I thought that was great. That finally they started to understand that every single situation everywhere is unique, that every single thing that we formally took for granted as obvious was not.
So what was also interesting was the next conclusion. That conclusion was happiness, happiness is also contagious. Now I said there were two things I wanted to talk about. And the reason why I felt this issue of pain was so very important for me personally, because like I said that coming up to conclude about a situation or anything that we consider to be important in our lives to speak about, and I always want to speak about something that's important to me, and therefore I consider it important for you. So I need to come up with a subject that has meaning. It can't just be something that I play some jazz here to impress you or to make you think: "Wow! This guy can speak." That's not my point, I have no interest in that.
I mean, I might have interest in that somewhere, that's not the point. I doin't do it for that reason. The reason I do this is to be able to contribute something meaningful. Because it's important for me to contribute something meaningful to you. It's part of my identity, it's part of what makes me feel valuable, I need to feel of value, that I what I do has some value, that it has some significance. It's not just some meaningless activity like moving something from here to there or... It indeed has some real purpose to it. Ihave that kind of idealism to be of service, I like that.
So I've had a difficult week with a lot of physical pain and pain and situations, and I was feeling very heavily like that. And the whole world is feeling like that. In America we're going to have this election next Thursday. I don't even know how to comment on it, you don't need me to comment. You already know about it, everybody knows about it, the whole world knows about it. This whole country is like a - you know when you're making Popcorn in a container, it's like, you know, shaking and all things are popping everywhere. It just goes phi phi ... Welcome to the Popcorn cooker, very big Popcorn cooker called the United States, a lot of Popcorn just bruuh ...
So everybody is affected. You know it doesn't matter whether you care, you don't care, you're for this one you're for that one, everybody's affected. It's just really heavy. And so many people are feeling the pain, many. My dog had (a) problem, our horse last night had problem, all night long. I mean I don't even know how I'm speaking, it's been such stress here. The worst possible thing that could happen to a horse - she's okay - but it was like hours and hours of intense stress like any moment she might ... we don't want to say.
So all this pain is like magnifying and we're giving it to each other, we're sharing it all over the world. We're sharing it, we're just... it's contagious, it's like pain epidemic, everywhere feeling pain, feeling pain. And therefore the second paet, happiness it is being proven, and we know it, happiness is far more powerful than the pain. I don't know how much more powerful, I can't say. It's not quantifiable, we can't like say it's this much, because, you know, we don't know.
But happiness is actually an amazing thing. When you're happy you become healthy. Happy people are healthy, happy people make other people feel good. I know, for example, I'm very attuned to media because like previously I used to be totally into entertainment, singing, theater, lots of theater, moviemaking, not tones but enough. You know before up to the point that I stoped doing that. And even when I joint ISKCON I was doing that, because people said: "Hey, you're good at that," okay I do that. But I love entertainment, I love the media.
But I've seen lately the media has been to much reflecting pain. So a lot of shows, a lot of movies - tonnes of violence, and tonnes of just crazy things going on the screen which just like screw you up enormously. I don't like it. To crazy? Off! I mean I like comedies, no I love comedy. I love to laugh like mad. Just go crazy laughing, fall out of my seat laughing, I love it. I tell you some interesting thing. I mean there's like I hadn't really seen something really, really funny in a long long time when I was a devotee. So I was coming back from India, I don't remember when this was, maybe in the early 90ies or maybe it was in the 80ies I honestly don't know, and I had such a struggle there, it was just so, Oh God! meetings and problems, you know, and the movie came on, it was called: What about Bob?
So the headphones were free in those days and, you know cheap me, I would never spend money on them, but okay let's see. So it's like two in the morning we fly from Delhi, it's in the middle of the night, crazy thing. And everybody in the plain is asleep. I cannot sleep in planes, it's just the way it is. So I'm watching this movie. And it starts off pleasantly enough, but than things start happening in that movie, and if you haven't seen it it's older, but I started laughing so heavily, actually fell out of the seat on the floor. And I had to get myself up, what had happened if you haven't seen it I don't want to tell you.
But they build that movie up to some things which were so hysterical, I lost my mind laughing. It was insanely funny and I just after that movie was over, I just felt so good. It was like the greatest healing, this laughter, this humor, which is like so healing to just laugh. Really laugh out of control because events are being pumped at you in such a sequence, with such timing that you just loose your mind, you have no control over your reactions, you just go insane laughing. That's good.
So this article, it's a good article. Because do you know that they made a study that if you are living within a mile of a happy person your chances of becoming happy increase twenty five percent. And this affect can persist, it can last. So if you want to be of service, the absolute best service you can do for humanity is to be happy.
Formerly we may have thought the best service was to sell somebody a book or tell them something to change their life. And even many of the people doing that themselves were not very happy for various reasons. But experiment has shown the very best thing to help people to be happy is to be happy yourself, it's contagious. And in such a state of happiness people appreciate nature more, they appreciate God more, they feel more gratitude.
Because people who feel pain have a hard time with gratitude. It's like how do you be grateful for feeling pain. I mean it's like going to the dentist office and feeling grateful that he's drilling in your mouth. "Oh I'm so grateful." It's ridiculous. Or sometimes people say, "you should just smile because even a fake smile will help." Nay, it doesn't work, not so.
Really good there's a lot of ... A medical sociologist at Harvard University dr. Nicolas A. Christakis, listen to this one! "Remarkable the happiness of a friend of a friend was found to have a stronger influence on your level of happiness than receiving a five thousand dollar raise in your salary."
I mean that's incredible! Having things, even you win tones of money or you win the World Series or you're a great success at something, or you get the newest iPhone or whatever. This happiness lasts for a very specific period of time and than you revert back to your natural state of happiness or distress or whatever it normally is. That's interesting.
So therefore they were saying that, there's... an important thing we have to do is to be happy. So we have to first of all make happiness our goal in life, to be happy. What's my goal in life? To be happy. Well next question: What does than mean? What makes you happy? I know for sure that which makes you happy and that which makes me happy, not the same. When it comes to food or it comes to even comedy we have very specific tastes. Or goals in life or what we like to see, very specific, very dependent on who we are.
So therefore it's our responsibility. I can't tell you what to do, I can't tell you how to be happy. I can tell you that it's your responsibility to yourself, because you deserve it to be happy. Non only that, it's the best thing you can do for the world. It's the best thing you can do for your neighbors, it's the best thing you can do for your family, it's the best thing you can do for your pets, it's the best thing you can do for the universe to be happy - truly happy not just... and to emanate that happiness as a joyous energy to the world.
You don't have to emanate it. There's not, you don't need to sit there and meditate: "Okay happiness, head down the street and make a left." You don't have to do anything, you just have to be happy. And just by being happy you burn up all that pain that's flying around, because it's everywhere. Pain is everywhere, you don't have to seek it out, you don't have to uncover it, it's everywhere. So you just deal with it by finding out what makes you happy and making that your priority, make happiness a priority.
I'm going to read you this which I think is like... Anyway you have to figure out, you've to schedule your life around things that make you happy. What makes you feel happy is important, you can't just work all the time. You work all the time, you're going to live a life of pain. It's very interesting that happiness is actually also related to gratitude. Now as we said before, if you're living a life of pain you can't be grateful for that. Unless you're a masochist.
Another great movie that I saw long ago on an airplane: "Little Shop of Horrors," it was called. And I remember Steve Martin was the dentist and Bill Murray was the patient. And usually Steve Martin steals all scenes, but Bill Murray was a masochist who was enjoying the pain the dentist gave him. He loved the pain the dentist gave him and the dentist got all screwed up because he was a sadist. So Steve Martin, the sadist, was trying to cause pain and enjoy it but Bill Murray, the masochist, was having such a blast feeling pain. That the two of them were like...
I mean it was the most incredible scene basically you've ever seen in the movies. Where a sadist was screwed up because the masochist was enjoying the sadism more than the sadist was enjoying being sadist. It was like incredible, I mean I loved it. But unless you're that particular masochist, and if you are you've bog problems. You've to address it at totally different way. But unless you're that kind of a masochist nobody feels grateful about pain.
Well, maybe not. What if your feeling of pain, what if your being placed in the pressure cooker of pain is the universe's way of telling you, "idiot, something's wrong, change it." I know there was a person who around here had become seriously in pain and went to get an operation to cut the nerve which was making the pain. And I've said before: "Don't do. that." I didn't said it exactly this way, but God made nerves in a specific way because they have a purpose. The feeling of pain tells you something's wrong, that you have to deal with. It's the nature of this body to wake you up to make a transformation. It's the nature of which it sustains life, because life cannot be sustainable if you cause damage to your body without knowing it.
So this wonderful thing, called the body, has this function in here (shows to the head) to creat pain when something needs to change, to tell you something's wrong, fix it! So it's not that pain is only for masochists, it's for everybody, it's for all of us. And we could be grateful that this pain told us something's wrong, that we've to fix something. We have to put ourselves in a position where that's not that way. From that point of view we can be grateful for the pain. Because the pain led us to correction, which is important. But still we're not grateful while we're feeling the pain, we're grateful for the way in which the pain forces us to make change.
.Now happiness is related to gratefulness in the sense that, when you think about life we can be grateful for a lot of things: We can be grateful for health, we can be grateful for the food we eat. I know amongst the Buddhists, this eating in mindfulness, gratefulness, to be so thankful for the food that we have before us. And if you think about it it's an amazing arrangement in the universe. The sun ... if you put aside this very controversial concept of evolution, although I think that evolution and creation are definitely married together in a manner in which has yet to be fully revealed.
But if you put together a completely mechanistic view of existence, if you understand that how the sun is there, and that sun changes our mood entirely. If there's sun we get, we feel good. Do you know that clinics dealing with addiction or psychological difficulties and problems, during the summer they have way less people there than when the summer is over. The amount of emails and the amount of discussions and problems in the summer changes. As soon as the spring comes everybody heads outside. And they don't bother with problems in this, not as much, I mean maybe to some extend, sure.
The sun it helps, it changes our mood. Not having sun creates a whole other kind of syndrome in our body. We need it and there it is. Think about it. And it's the perfect temperature. Okay we might want it warmer in other places. But for the planet as a whole it's perfect temperature. And the moon an amazing thing that just reflects that with its incredible light. I mean a lot of vegetables grow from the light of the moon, do you know that? Cauliflower, there's a pile of vegetables that grow in the light of the moon - wild. And sun and moon and rain and all of these beautiful trees and plants and flowers and fruits and herbs.
So beautiful what we have been given in nature, gratitude. Gratitude and happiness in it, because once you have gratitude and happiness in it you won't destroy it. ... Gratitude for our consciousness, gratitude for our capacity to feel, gratitude for our capacity to perform acts of kindness, to actually care for other people. We don't have to do like lots of charity if we can't, but even just to compliment somebody, to smile at somebody, to even give just a little bid to somebody especially if they need. Just expressing the kindness that you are, expressing the love that is within because of feeling grateful that you're okay. Gratefulness and happiness are very intimately connected.
And again even if you've got more it doesn't mean you're going to be happier. Even if you've got something whatever feeling temporarily you have about how cool that is and how wonderful you feel and all kinds of endorphins are released for the week, or the day, or the hour, or the minute, it gradually dissipates and you're back to that state that you were in before this event took place.
So the gratefulness should be centered in who we are and the fact that we are connected, the fact that we are always connected under any and all circumstances, no matter what, with the Supreme, with the Divine, with Radha and Krishna, Gaura Nitai or your deity, your God whoever you wish to understand as your God, whether you're a Muslim or a Jew or a Christian or a Buddhist or whatever - you're always connected.And that's like a fundamental principle in all of these spiritual traditions, a Baha'i, or a Sufi or whatever, to feel that connection, that we're always connected.
And not only with the divine but with the divine energies, the nature surrounding us, the devas who are supporting all of this. To feel grateful, to walk out in the full moon and speak with Chandra and thank that deva for this incredible gift of this lunar energy, to thank Surya for that incredible gift of heat and light and all this healing energy, to thank the devas who help and support us.
This idea that if you do that you somehow or another are doing something wrong because you don't only thank God, you know, it's silly. You would thank a person who came up and lifted you of the street if you fell down, why can't you thank the devas? Why can't you feel that intense thankfulness and gratefulness and express it. What about just feeling this gratefulness for the people around you. I know, I feel very, very grateful, like I had a lot of pain last week, I mean even now it's I have a pinched nerve in my back.
So I'm using a cream that I've got in St. Petersburg, it's a Russian product that I've got and I'm using that on my back. And Mahabhuta he send me this divice called Diadance which is a Russian device, this thing is like a miracle. And I'm using something else that Laghini turned me on to vidaphone, my healing is from Russia. Not only that, I'm very very grateful to all of you over there. You listen to what I say, you care about it, you like it. You're not on my case, you're not trying to figure out how I'm whatever. You say, "sure, tell us, be here with us, have fun with us." And I say, yeah, I love it. I mean I'm so grateful.
These years when I was not broadcasting and ... difficult for me, my throat just didn't allow it. I'm grateful for the voice doctor who told me to change my diet to stop this, whatever it was, that was ruining my voice. Okay, I can't talk lots, I can't talk for long time and definitely not regularly, but at least I can do it. And I'm grateful to all of you for being so kind and compassionate and caring that you don't really worry to much that I come up with this fantastic thing to talk about, you just let me speak. I mean I'm really grateful to that. Lot of other people wouldn't be interested, change the subject, move on to other things. You sit there and you listen, how cool is that? I'm applauding you.
I'm grateful to Maha, can you imagine, he is over there, I ruin his Saturday evening and he's got, you know, deal with all this technical difficulties to assist me in this very difficult set up to have an intercontinental simultaneous translation with Russian, and I'm thankful to YouTube can you imagine. They just allow me to do this, I mean free. Of course yeah, the stuff I need here to do that, yeah that cost a pile of money. But I mean to say the actual streaming and broadcasting I don't need a server anymore. Oh you can't imagine how difficult that was, oh, managing a server, oh I hated it.
Everybody can connect through their browser, their telephones, their tablets. It's cool, I'm grateful, I like it. I'm grateful for those of you over there who are working on the building to have those beautiful deities taking care of. Poor Kamalamala he's just like so stressed all the time figuring out how to do it. I mean Yamaraj is keeping me in touch of what's going on. I mean I watched those guys up there painting the building on this scaffolds and stuff, I'm like grateful, the deities are grateful.
I mean we have a really nice thing here amongst us, we have a really good thing. Us people who gather together every now and than and just share this gratefulness for what we have, share this gratefulness for our sensitivity to the divine energy and it's interaction with each other and with the world. And to somehow or another just be happy and share that. Spirituality without demands, without expectations. Life is, we go on the best we can, making the best of what we've got and sharing our gratefulness and happiness for that to anyone we can. Even if you speak with some stranger and just have an interaction, being kind, being carrying.
People respond, everybody's got enough problems, everybody's got enough pain, any chance they get to experience some kind of happiness or experience some kind of kindness randomly, I mean how cool is that. Just for no reason somebody's kind to you, somebody's happy for you, somebody compliments you. So I could go on, there's a whole list of things related to this. But I'm very grateful today for my Russian cream and my Diadence but I don't want to press my luck, I don't want to push it. Because if I sit here longer than I should I'm going to get in trouble. Because sitting, not good.
So I thank you all, I offer you tones of love, I offer you my gratefulness for just being there, that you're there, I mean I just am grateful. You have so many reasons not to be there and still you're there and I'm grateful for that, and I thank you, really deeply thank you. And I will see you again two weeks from today ... And I wish you all luck and love and happiness, lots of happiness and gratitude and therefore great health and always prosperity and good bye for this week. And I'm sorry I'm not doing questions but good bye for this week. Thank you.
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