Didi's Talk – Mekong University_

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					                                            Sudesh Didi’s Talk
                                                      on

                                    “Culture and Creativity”
                 Cambodian Mekong University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
                                           Wednesday 18th July 2007
                                                 (Transcript)


Good afternoon, I would like to greet you with another greeting that I really like to
greet with that, and that is cool, peaceful afternoon with “Om Shanti”. “Shanti” means
“peace” and “Om” means “eternal culture”, the nature of the existence of human
beings; that is “I am”. “Om” means “I Am”. So you, you are existing, you are here, I
am here, we are here. The awareness is the awareness of our original culture, our
nature. What is the meaning of “culture”? Is it when I know how to dance, how to
think, how express my self with a lot of creativity. I can dress up in a colourful dress;
I can perform a nice performance from different countries. Is this called “culture”?
That is performance of the culture. What is culture? “Performance” is: you perform
something which has given you inspiration, has given you some guidance in the past.
So we have been revising our culture to maintain our ancient wisdom from the old
time.


In English one expression is used, “culture”, it is like when we make yoghurt at home.
In India we make yoghurt at home and it is very tasty. This yoghurt is prepared with
milk. Milk is changed into yogurt only when a little bit of culture is mixed in it. And
that culture is old yoghurt from yesterday or the day before yesterday. One or two
spoons of yoghurt from yesterday are mixed into the new milk. That part is called
yoghurt. Do you understand? “Yoghurt” means something from the past which gives
life to the present. This is called “culture”. Is it clear? Something from the past
making the present fresh.


So in our history from different countries, nations, families’, kingdoms, we have been
learning something which is remembered or kept in the name or the form of the
property of the country and that is called a “museum”. What is in the museum? What
do they show in the museum? Today I went to see the museum and that is old
history. Many of the statues are broken. Many of the remaining pots are not
complete. And it is the history of the statues in stone, cement, wood, bronze. Now
many things are prepared in a kind of metal or in the form of shells, and in the future

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that will become part of the museum. So “museum” means something which had
been at that time in existence in order to give inspiration to others. It was created in
the form of pictures or statues.


“Culture” is more connected with character, character of the people, the personality of
the people of that time or that place, in other words you can also call it “civilisation”.
Where people lived in that manner, they were civilised, and they had to face a
situation where their qualities were expressed. Their skills were used to show what
they have in their practical life. They have been shown later on, when it is
demonstrated, or picture are created, or addition to it like when you are showing in
the history something written. A writer writes his impressions, his experience, or a
poet expresses her feelings in the poem. Then if that story, poem or drama is made
into the form of a drama, a story is expressed in the form of drama; there would be
some addition in it. Then not only what happened in life, in behaviour, in interaction
with each other, or in relationship with each other, or in a situation of that time, but
how they were managing and what kind of life they lived. They wore dresses for at
that time they showed the dress of the people, the ornaments of the people. So it
(culture) means “character” as the whole of the person, the inner personality and
what was in the surroundings in nature, what kind of weather it was, what kind of
houses were built, what kind of dresses they used to wear, what kind of creativity
they had.


Is it “that necessity is the mother of invention”? So they invented what was needed at
that time and specialities are expressed in natural nature, in order to offer some, to
inspire others of their speciality. Then when these pictures are made, drama makes
drama, then the artist makes a picture, so the artist wants to put everything in one
picture; action, dress, ornament, character. These are symbolic aspects. They show
the culture and the personality of the people of that time. So I want to take one
example: old culture, faith from fifteen centuries ago. What they have shown in the
Ramayana, or they show in a picture of Buddha. Buddha is seated on a lotus flower, a
big lotus flower. Now, is it really possible that a person with flesh and bones can sit
on the lotus flower? The flower will break, and one does not feel like sitting on a
flower. Even if it is there by mistake, you want to give it more respect.


The meaning is, behind that was a culture, the people of that time, before Buddha, at
Buddha’s time, their personality, their spirituality was a higher level, very much

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connected within the quality of nature. And just like in nature, nature expresses itself
in abundance. Nature is not selfish. Nature expresses without any discrimination. Not
that it gives more or less to this person. And so this life in a seed the whole tree is
merged in it. It is “creativity”, but a gardener has to plant the seed, the farmer has to
plant the seed to see what grows out of the tree. Now in our internal being, our self,
as I said I would like to say the existence of ourself is culture.


Each one of you is a living seed. When I saw you, one image came in my mind, and
that was, I see each one of you like a shining star not in the dark night, but in the sun
light. Each one is a sparkling diamond, a valuable jewel. This scene reminded me of
my own university time. It reminded me of a dreaming that I had when I was of your
age. And so I am very happy that I am here with my old friends, with my old friends
means my inner friend, my desire for study, my desire to know what is in the world,
my desire to serve people, my desire to help others, to create such a beautiful future,
and for my inner friend has awakened me, seeing you.


And so this is also a culture inside if we want to express ourselves, and that is why I
said this is also afternoon, good afternoon, I greet with you with eternal culture of
self, the awareness of the self. And so I was saying that the picture has been shown
of Buddha, seated on a lotus flower, how can a person sit on a lotus. But their nature
is connected with the nature. They wanted to show the nature of their personality was
so close to the natural nature of the elements that they could give what was inside
without any discrimination, without any limitation. For example the flower grows in a
garden, a rose garden or any flower garden. If a foreigner comes, a Cambodian
comes, would the garden flowers say I love my Cambodian people, want to give more
fragrance to them than to other people? No. The fragrance will remain the same for
everyone.


The ocean maintains its coolness, freshness for a student or a professor, for a mother
or a child, for a husband or a wife, for a brother or a sister. Whoever goes in that
environment will have the same quality of that element; have the same experience,
the freshness. If someone accepts and appreciates or does not appreciate their
quality, the nature remains totally unaffected, doesn’t get upset and doesn’t get
disturbed. So they show the statue, stable, detached, unshakable, that is the
meaning of their faith. They were stable in their character and there was strength in
their personality. For example the sun is shining and it is very nice to have the light,

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but because of too much light, we have drawn the curtains. The sun doesn’t get
upset. I give you light, I give you energy and you insult me by pulling the curtains.
The sun never gets upset. So the meaning is that the elements are always detached
and stable in their personality. They have always kept it in their life, in every
situation, so they want to show the kind of people holding these four ornaments,
Buddha sitting on a lotus flower, or maintaining his state of blessings, harmony, and
keeping always the vision of focusing the mind above.


Vishnu holds four ornaments. The name Vishnu is the same word used here, also in
the museum. Vishnu has four arms, Durga has eight arms. OK, is it possible: Eight
arms, four arms and holding these ornaments? Once all these qualities were in their
actions. That was their culture and they could express what ever harmony they had
with the elements. The living light of the lotus flower means the lotus flower stays in
the mud grows in water, but the water does not touch the flower, the flower remains
clean. The flower does not destroy its own clean gentleness. So lotus eyes, lotus
heart, lotus mouth, lotus hand, lotus life, that was their culture. Means they live like a
lotus uninfluenced and untouched by the situation. It is not that I have to go
somewhere in a jungle and stay up in a mountain and then I can live a life. No! Life is
here. I have to deal with the situations of being in this world. But my heart should
remain clean. My vision should be always picking up the virtues from others. If I am
always criticising others, if I am always blaming others, or if I am always finding fault
in others, I am collecting rubbish and I am making my heart dirty. The dirt would be
jealousy and so my life is not a lotus like life. So they have shown in Vishnu’s hand a
lotus, they have shown the same Indian culture in Buddha’s hand, the lotus.


Shiva’s third eye opened. What does it mean? We see with these two eyes but if these
are not the eyes which we see, we are only conscious of matter. We have to see
everything, with the inner eye, and that is benevolent. With inner eye we can see and
understand the inner feelings of the other person and I can also express my inner
feelings with love and mercy, and this is why they say that the third eye is opened
and all that is negative and dangerous was destroyed. Means that there are certain
situations, but when we turn within we see this inner eye that is the light of the self,
the light of love. What is inner light? This light is OK, you can see. But inner light:
light means light. With that we can see, for when we see inside, the eternal light, and
within each individual person, that is the true culture of all of us. Ancient culture,
eternal culture, and that is wisdom. “Knowledge put into practise is called wisdom”.

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We have information of many centuries. Information does not make us wise. We are
aware, we can talk about it. Understanding information then gives the impression that
we understand what is happening around us. Understanding becomes knowledge. I
know, knowledge, understanding. When I understand something, I want to practise it.
When I practise it, that then becomes my experience. Experience is expressed, and
that expression becomes the system. That I expressed, I like in the same way,
somebody expresses his feelings through poetry, somebody expresses in the form of
drama, and somebody expresses his behaviour. That is expressed and people follow
it. It becomes a culture, it becomes a system, later on it becomes a ritual, but
originally it is “culture”. It’s a state in life itself. You want to keep it. Now it is a
culture here.


I came from Germany, I came to Korea, I saw something there and I came to
Thailand, I also noticed there. What I saw, everywhere in front of the house was a
spirit house? So I noticed here as well. What does it mean? It is a memory of the
ancient. The spirit (house), it means the life you want to keep remembering, it
protects us. Past memories, past qualities protect us. But we keep it in the house
outside, with the memory, with the feeling, with that faith. So if faith is filled in it,
fear, feelings are filled in it, devotion is filled in it. All these are the inner things.


And so what is it that we are seeing something with the inner eye, inner light. An
inner light of each individual which becomes a culture, an original culture, one of
knowledge, peace, love, purity (purity is free from pollution), and happiness. This is
expressed in different forms: knowledge, peace, love, purity and happiness. But is
this joy expressed in different form? Then some people make it in the form of
pictures, some make it in the form of history and drama. So the creativity is created,
and “creativity means to make the best use of whatever is available at that time”, and
also expressed what you experience in arts.


What is creativity? Your skills and specialities should be expressed with enthusiasm.
They should be useful for others. They should be useful for the own self. When we are
aware of our own eternal, internal qualities, we are able to become creators, not only
creators; we are the sustainers of that as well. So this is why they call it Brahma -
creator, Vishnu - sustainer, and Shankar - destroyer, but benevolent with the third
eye to make everyone aware of the truth of benevolence. So this has become in the

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form of pictures. But what I want to say, all of you, all of us, are an example and
sample for the future. Whatever culture you have in your own self, your inner energy,
it is going to be an inspiration for others.


There are two things. One is to guide others by doing something. You show someone:
that is more like instruction, not necessary that you practise yourself. You lead it by
instructing it. But something you have experienced, practised: that in your life, what
you have experienced, you become an example for others. Example means, others
see you and they get the encouragement, they are filled with enthusiasm, for you are
in that way a creator for them. Your life is creativity for them because you are
encouraging them.


Another level of culture, that is creativity for the self and others, that you pick up
inspiration for others, .Even if they don’t have that enthusiasm, they don’t have the
ability, but they want to bring that, they are able to see that, just let me try and open
my own seed of life. As I said, each one of us is a living seed. Maybe in the seed if I
look at it, it’s nothing invisible. But as a gardener and I look at it with those eyes,
inner eye, the eye of experience, then I am able to see there is a whole tree in it. And
this tree has many-many fruits and this tree is selfless. The tree never eats its own
fruit. The river never drinks its own water.


So these qualities, these divine dynasties, culture: is not that they are in abundance.
Whatever spiritual qualities they had they were giving, being full in them selves. Like
the flower can give the fragrance to others: only when the inner fragrance is there. If
the seed is roasted in fire it will never grow. If it is eaten by an insect, it is not a
future culture. And so if I have not lived these qualities of knowledge, love, purity,
happiness, wisdom; and if I have not lived them in harmony with the elements, I can
not be cultured.


And this is why in the museum, I thought they show the four arms of Vishnu are the
four elements: the sun in the disk, the culture in water, the mace – air, and lotus
flower – detachment and purity, living in the world, living in the earth, detached from
the world upon us. So earth, water, fire and air: the mace, lotus, sun, they have
shown in this way, but the inner culture was “swadharshan”, the disk of self
realisation. When I have this realisation, it becomes my imprint personality in my life,
and I am able to inspire others.

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There are many things I have been talking of today, keeping time in my mind, I
would like you if you like to ask any questions, and if time allows, can ask some
questions.


What is the real meaning of wisdom, faith and peace? I would like you to describe the
meaning of these three words, and what are the characteristics of achievement


Peace – peace is always connected with the mind. This is peace of mind. It is not
called peace of head, peace of heart or peace of hand. And mind is the creativity;
mind is the creator of thought. Creativity of the thought is created by the mind. Good
thoughts, right thoughts, negative or positive, what ever, good or bad: thinking is
creativity of the mind. And it is said “As you think so shall you become”. So mind, it is
the nature of the mind to think, for example you are asked not to think, is it possible
that you do not think? I should not think, I should not think, but I am thinking
because it is the nature of the mind to think; the faith in myself is, if I believe my
mind is positive. I have to believe the quality, the nature of my mind. My mind is not
always my enemy, my mind is not always mischief, my mind is a very-very (good)
friend of me, because it wants me to be peaceful. So to believe that the original
nature of the mind is positive, when I begin to think about others, I bring the
influence of others in me and it becomes polluted and impure. Bad feelings, wrong
feelings, negative feelings, are called impurity, polluted. But really I don’t want that. I
want to be free from that. That is why I say I don’t want to think bad things. So
positive pure and powerful thought; these are the three qualities of peace. I would
like to say, see your self, all of you. You are a peace flower, a living flower. Buddha or
Krishna in the museum, are shown seated on the lotus flower, and what my wish is
that all of you are peace flowers. And you are presenting peace flowers with five
petals. P, E, A, C, E.


PEACE means:


P – Positive, Pure and Powerful thinking.


E – I need to educate myself. It is an education, I need to exercise, and by educating
myself, learning from the situation, exercising because I am a student, I exercise and
then I experience it. So E is education, exercise, experience .I want to experience it,

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it is not I keep quiet, I keep my mouth shut, and inside I am fighting, that is not
peace. Peace is not an absence of violence. Peace is absence of inner disturbance.
Peace begins with the mind, so it is a positive experience.


A – PEACE, third petal is A. A is the awareness, I am aware. Peace is not passivity,
peace is not waiting behind and I stop everything, I do nothing. No! It is the
awareness of the action I am performing. A is activity, peace in action, and when I
am keeping my mind peaceful in action, I am aware of what I am doing. I am able to
feed the speciality of others, in a very peaceful state of mind and appreciate others.
So A is appreciation. I appreciate how good this behaviour is, what kind of people
they are. So I am able to appreciate their speciality. Peace in action, activity,
awareness of my own thinking, actions, reactions and appreciation of others; and
peace is for acceptance. OK, I can see the action of others that I don’t like, but I want
to help them not by fighting, I need to accept what they are, then help them to
change. I can appreciate a rose flower by accepting ten forms of it. A rose flower has
fragrance but ten forms are there. I accept them by appreciating their own. So when I
see this speciality of others, I can accept and have faith that this person can change.
This person has an ability to transform himself/herself. So acceptance is there.


PEAC, that which is C - clarity, in a peaceful state of mind, you are clean, clear
water. Mind is a lake, the thought, but then thoughts are very clear and with clarity
you are able to see, to have a clear vision. You are able to keep your mind clear, cool.
So this clarity and coolness, you are not emotional, because otherwise mind creates
emotion, you have courage and confidence. It is C. With courage and confidence, with
a clear mind, you are able to do your actions.


Petal E – is the energy, eternity within you, energy which connects you inside, this
expresses itself, this is called enlightenment. Energy which enlightens you: because
you are able to see with the inner light, the energy, enlightening energy. Petal E, the
next petal is easy. Peace makes everything easy: easy and everything. E –
enlightenment, easy and everything.


This is the flower PEACE.




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Faith is to believe that if these qualities are in me, they are natural, and I am an
eternal being, the energy, the living force, living life, is eternal. I believe these
qualities are there in me.


Wisdom is that I accept. Wisdom is to put knowledge into practice. Wisdom is to
make wrong things into right. Wisdom is if others are not accepting, you don’t have to
be intolerant. Wisdom maintains your self respect. Do with humility and patience.
Then whatever you want to do, whatever creativity you have, you will be able to do it
because it is maturity. Wisdom is maturity. This is why people say, wise people, old
people. Maturity is there. It is an exercise that you have put into practical life,
experienced it and that is why it is called wisdom. “Knowledge in practice is wisdom”.
Learning from my own mistakes is wisdom.


Faith is not blind faith. Faith is trust in my self and trust in others. This is also faith.


OK, next question.


I have two questions. 1) The world is only one world, so why do we have different
cultures? 2) What can I do to reduce stress in my mind?


Very good questions! The world is one, but it is a variety. We are not living at one
place. The world is one but there are five continents, and it is the law of nature that if
it is one thing, you would accept, but you would like to have variety. You eat every
day how many things? You drink water, you eat food, you eat rice, you eat
vegetables, and you eat a variety of foods. One earth produces many fruits. Variety -
one garden, one soil, variety of kinds of flowers. There are two different types or
levels of energy, as we see here. One is the energy of nature; the other is the energy
of human beings. The energy of nature is variety. Nature itself is variety with five
different elements; earth, water, fire, air and ether. Even in earth, there are many
varieties underneath. In the earth itself: E.A.R.T.H. In water, different creatures,
different animals. In the air is different variety. So in the elements it self is variety,
but these elements do not think. Its expression is there, creativity is in human beings.
Nature expresses itself naturally. Human beings are creative. From nature, from the
variety, they make more variety: that is why they are called creative. Mixing different
aspects of elements is called creativity. What is creativity? Because all this creativity
of nature is expressing itself, but we create, we re-shape them. Re-shaping is also

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called creativity. Re-designing is also called creativity. Designing is beauty, but why
don’t we like different cultures, because of our human nature. Have I answered your
question?
Human nature, the real nature of the self, the inner energy became influenced by
matter. The living being; the nature of the seed; the living seed; which in spiritual
language is called “soul”, “life”. This life energy, we connected with matter, became
influenced by matter, the variety. Then we became possessive, taking the benefit of
nature. Because nature is selfless, we became possessive. We started misusing
matter. We became so attached to it that we wanted to call it my own, and then we
thought it is my private thing, we wanted to make it a secret. We created new
languages. In order to keep my secret, in order to make this belong to me only, this
is mere selfish nature. Created in this aspect is not really culture. We call it culture, in
order to keep it. But in certain things we wanted to call it our own, we put barriers
and in this way we begin to fight with each other.


Something which belonged to everyone, I thought it was mine. In this way, we
created limitation, and this became like a variety-variety, conflict. Instead of beauty,
it became ugly. Instead of having everything, result is nothing. There is no happiness
in life. Just like in nature, you can enjoy as much sunshine as you want in cold
weather. So if you can enjoy as much as you want in the ocean, you can swim, the
ocean will never tell you anything , but if you go to bath in front of the hotel, then
they will send you a bill for using the water. The sun will never send you a bill, but
the people connected to the electricity, or even if it is solar energy, they will send you
bills. So human beings, their possessive nature spoil the culture, otherwise the
variety was good. It is creativity of human beings. It was good expression of the
qualities, but in other words, not knowledge, ignorance and negative forces, desire,
greed, attachment, ego, possessiveness, fear, this created the variety, not real
culture. This variety now is not so comfortable, though original culture was
comfortable.


The second question is: how to bring concentration or make the mind free from
tension that we create? When we begin to look at others; we have expectations; we
have expectations of our own self; and so our energy gets diverted. When we have
expectations; this one is doing that; they should be doing that; so their expectations I
can not fulfil; I forget what I can do. I am capable to do; I am capable to keep my
concentration; and able to keep my clarity; but I have expectations that others

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should appreciate me; they should respect me; they should have faith in me. Though
I had faith in me, because I want others to give me this, instead of maintaining my
self respect, I begin to ask for respect. Instead of having faith in myself, I want
others to have faith in me; and in this way, by forgetting my own self, my true power
is covered, diverted. This is why, if they cannot fulfil these expectations, there is
tension.


Another thing is that I take responsibility which is not my responsibility, I want others
to change. ”Why are they doing this? They should not be doing this!” I desire to help
them; but I am doing it in a way of criticism and I know that they would not like it.
Inside there is a fear or a feeling that they won’t do it, they can not do it, or I can not
help them, so we take extra burden. This burden and bondage makes us heavy and
so we do not feel ourselves easy. So what is important is “self respect”. Let me do
what I can do, with that faith, with confidence in myself, not with ego, with humility,
and wait for the right time to do it. I do not have to copy anybody. What happens
when we loose patience with our own self? We have to be a good farmer. A farmer
knows the seed has potential in it, he waters it, and he is patient. He knows that
something will come out. He has to be careful so that any weeds growing in it has to
be pulled out and he scares the birds and animals to not eat the sprouts. Criticisms,
corrections, defects of others are trying to uproot me. I don’t want to be uprooted. I
want to be a tree. Deep within, my roots go deeper. I have my self respect, patience,
and understanding of my own self, free of expectations. OK!


Question: You said “necessity is the mother of creativity”. 1) So what does this
mean? The next question is: 2) Is it only necessity that makes the creativity or is of
creativity?


This is an old saying: “Necessity is the mother of invention”, but now I was saying it,
when we use it for physical things; that was necessity. If I need to drink water I use
my hand, but if I want to travel and to take water somewhere, I need a glass, so I
created a glass. I need to cook, so I create some kind of electricity. According to the
needs for ones physical body, these material objects were created. But now, I am
speaking about another aspect. Now is the necessity that what we had before and we
lost, we need to recreate it. It is re-discovery and re-creation. This is a kind of re-
creation using two words. Now is not the rediscovery, recreation, real culture. What
do we need now? The things we experienced before were real culture. It was

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harmony, happiness, stability, inner strength. The inner values that we had
experienced in our life, which were, you can call it, real human greatness, which was
so clear that I did not have any fear. This is once again rediscovery.


Now there are two aspects of discovery. One is the discovery that my qualities are
covered and I have to open. These qualities: peace, love, wisdom, happiness,
harmony, good wishes, good feeling, feeling free, freedom for my self, freedom for
others; not with violence, but with love; not with physical weapons but with internal
power; not with competition but with a natural speciality expressing itself, with
uniqueness. Competition can not bring newness. Competition breaks quality and
limitation in quality. Here I don’t want to compete with anyone. I am my own unique
seed; I am a unique living seed. And so now it is necessary, now there is the need to
experience myself, as I did before. I have forgotten; you have forgotten what we are
looking for.


What are we looking for? We are looking for harmony. We are looking for love and
respect, selfless love. We are looking for freedom. We are looking for a completely
virtuous form of being non violent. We want to experience our dignity, spirituality,
divinity, royalty and purity. This is called “divinity”, “oneness”, oneness in everything,
one world kingdom, one world language, one world nation, one world. This is variety.
Variety is variety, beauty is variety. We are looking for that because we had this
experience, but it is lost now. We are looking for something. What does it mean when
I am searching for something? I can not search for something which I have not lost.
We have lost it. We have lost our original culture. And if we have lost it, it means we
have to find it.


I can not move something without carrying it. I had a purse, I lost it. So I had these
qualities in me, all virtues, completely viceless, with divinity, with spirituality, with
purity, with dignity, with royalty. I had this, you had this all, and this is what we have
to recreate; re-creation. Then I call it re-creation if it is doing with joy. Re-creation is
recreation as well, with joy. And that is called culture we have expressed in dance, we
have expressed in drama, because we do it with joy, not with bad feeling. “Why did it
happen? How could it happen? It should not have happened”. We are blocking our
energy again; unblocking myself; opening myself. This is like the opening of a lotus
flower. Let me breathe again, this openness in me. Re-discovery, discover, re-cover in
the sense that we had become sick, we have to be free from that sickness. Recovery

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means becoming healthy again and discovery means go deep down within your self.
Open the lock of your mind, dig down deep within you, go into the depths of the sea
of your love; lake of your life; of joy. Otherwise what has happened? We are lost! So
we have to discover again, recover again our original qualities and that is why it is a
new way of invention, like joy, so that we can make the future. Without asking, we
are presenting it. It is a presentation, not even a need but a present, a gift for the
future world. Gift is not needed, but it is presented. It should be a present for my self
and for others.


Om Shanti!


You are living flowers, yes? Yes!




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