(Maharaja talks about his first trip to Benares)
When I came to Benares I didn’t want to stay in some hotel. Someone invited me to their house and said you can stay at our house no problem. So at night I was sleeping on the roof and everything was fine but at 3am – very loud speakers, at 3am these loud speakers began to play tamboora and mantras. I couldn’t believe it! Coming from the west I was shocked ! 3am in the middle of the night, what is this?!
3 am in the middle of the night -so much noise, the whole town will be awake and everyone was getting up….well no not everyone some were carry on sleeping, I don’t know how slept but they did! Others went to the Ganga. This was my first confrontation with ancient culture of rising early in the morning. the sacred time of bramha muhrta…this is the time when the brahmanans rise. Any ordinary person would think “Oh, three ‘oclock, forget it too early, I’ll sleep three more hours at least, six is also early! Even seven is not bad!”
But no these personalities were performing tapasya. So this is now lost, this is now getting lost very fast. Just somewhere between MTV and Bollywood, this is lost, lost lost lost!
Yes what would we care about such things. Now we are modern..eh..modern, things finish, we don’t care ….Mumbai is now famous, Mumbai is famous for party city! They say world number one party city: Mumbai!
I saw somewhere, some newspaper, international newspaper saying: party city number one, not Riodijenero, not New York, not London, not Paris, not Tokyo, not Amsterdam …..MUMBAI!!! yes yes yes. In Spain they say “night is young” the night is young you know what I mean!
Yes it is one o’clock in the morning , three o’clock in the morning the night is young! The night is young: ‘we carry on!’
‘Who is rising now early in the morning’ yes, anyone who is up at 3am probably stayed up all night! That is the situation in this time and the result is at three o’clock, they are in the mode of ignorance! Tama guna! Completely covered, probably they have taken some substances also that are available in party cities, oh what to do! So then, this is wrong, this is a useless waste of time.
So these temples they offer us shelter, shelter from these lower modes of material nature, that capture us, bring us in deeper and deeper entanglement until every action leading to a reaction of suffering. That is the result of that way of life.
So we must rise early- no later than four. can we do it? Yes we can if we go to bed no later than ten. Why not …then we can do. Then what will we do so early in the morning. Take bath and put tilak and then we chant and the world is asleep except for the party wallas- And we will chant , we don’t care about them, we will chant peacefully, very peacefully.
Nothing to do. too early to call somebody, too early, the phone – you don’t even need to switch it on, no one will call you either, this time is reserved for a very important meeting. You put a sign: ‘Do not disturb, very important meeting in progress, VERY IMPORTANT!!!’
(Kadamba Kanana Swami 14/02/2010)