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  • Translator: Sanketh Sampara Reviewer: Queenie Lee

  • One of my friends in Mumbai, a Gujarati gentleman,

  • he purchased a very expensive, high-end, upmarket car:

  • a slick, posh, yellow Lamborghini.

  • You know cars are expensive in Mumbai, things can't get more expensive than that.

  • If you have watched this Hindi movie "Deewar,"

  • Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor.

  • Amitabh Bachchan talking to Shashi Kapoor:

  • (Hindi) "I have a car, a house, money, and servants. What do you have?!"

  • (Laughter)

  • Amitabh replies, "I have a mother."

  • (English) The rhyme of today has changed, ladies and gentlemen.

  • Amitabh says, (Hindi) "I have Lamborghini, I have a Jaguar, I have a Bentley,

  • I have a BMW, I have a Rolls-Royce.

  • What do you have?!"

  • (English) Shashi Kapoor says, "I have parking space!"

  • (Laughter)

  • (Applause) (Cheers)

  • Here in Mumbai, parking space is more expensive than cars.

  • This friend of mine, a Gujarati, purchased a yellow Lamborghini

  • and called me up and said,

  • "Would you like to bless my car?"

  • (Laughter)

  • Now in India, everything gets blessed: babies, marriages, job contracts;

  • all the stuff gets blessed.

  • "So would you like to bless my car, we'll go for an inaugural drive with it."

  • I said, "Well, it's a Lamborghini.

  • When do swamis get to bless Lamborghinis? Come here.

  • (Laughter)

  • The gentlemen drove to our temple in the Lamborghini,

  • and he said, "We'll go on a 15-minutes drive."

  • I sat in the passenger seat,

  • and the gentleman sat in the driver's seat, obviously;

  • he was driving.

  • I was the first one!

  • He didn't even have his wife to drive first.

  • Choose your career wisely, you know!

  • (Laughter) (Applause)

  • This gentleman, we went on a drive.

  • The car encountered a traffic light at Peddar Road.

  • And there was some car standing there;

  • I can't even remember what model, I'm sitting in a Lamborghini.

  • I'm sitting there,

  • and this gentleman in the next car, he turned his head around,

  • and his eyes were, like, big.

  • Never in the streets or roads of Mumbai had he seen a slick, yellow Lamborghini.

  • And his eyes went even bigger when he saw me sitting inside the car!

  • You should have seen the expression on his face,

  • he was, like, "Swamiji, you too?!"

  • (Laughter)

  • I wanted to pull the windscreen down and say, "Man, this is not my car.

  • I'm the blessing man, 15 minutes blessing and it's done!"

  • (Laughter)

  • The 15 minutes drive turned into 35 minutes.

  • I suggested to the gentleman that I need to get back

  • because there's a very important meeting that I need to attend.

  • Ladies and gentlemen, what this man did,

  • when I just suggested I need to get back,

  • shocked me to the core.

  • I believe most of you would be shocked to the core

  • when I tell you what he did.

  • This guy broke down crying like a baby.

  • I don't think any of you would cry

  • the first day when you have possession of a slick, yellow Lamborghini,

  • and you're driving it for the first time.

  • And these were tears of anguish. How do you know what tears they are?

  • When tears are cold, they're tears of joy.

  • When tears are warm, they're tears of pain and anguish.

  • Check it out next time.

  • When someone is crying, don't take a thermometer,

  • "This is tears of joy!"

  • Don't test on others, you can test it for yourself, you know.

  • I asked him what had happened.

  • This man, with great difficulty, spoke up

  • and said, "Just three days back my wife has filed papers for divorce."

  • He was driving a car - fancy car -

  • he loved his wife, his children loved his wife,

  • for some reason the wife had filed papers for divorce.

  • And this fancy Lamborghini, expensive, high-end car

  • couldn't wipe his tears;

  • this fancy, expensive, plush car couldn't bring him any hope.

  • While I was driving with him I was thinking to myself,

  • "God. Look at this gentleman, with all of the achievements that he has:

  • a first-class business, incredible amounts of money,

  • tremendous influence and affluence,

  • and with all of that he had,

  • and the cherry on top of the cake was a Lamborghini:

  • (Laughter)

  • Bugged. No hope.

  • Ladies and gentlemen, therefore I say

  • if you truly want to know how rich you are

  • then count all those things that you have that money cannot buy.

  • Hope, love, respect, dignity, character, integrity, acceptance.

  • Wealth is a very broad term.

  • Money is not wealth. Money is just a part of wealth.

  • And you must have it obviously -

  • all of you are looking forward to having money,

  • and you must obviously have it.

  • But it's just a part of wealth.

  • February 2, 2005,

  • I was lying in a monastery in an ashram on the wooden floor,

  • exhausted, tired from the anxiety last night,

  • and suddenly a fellow monk, one of my friends,

  • came up to me and woke me up

  • saying, "He's leaving. He's leaving!"

  • I got up, gathering myself together, rushing to go to the room,

  • where my dear friend Stoka Krishna Das was leaving his body.

  • Memories were flashing through my mind as I was rushing towards this room.

  • He was a monk with me, we had stayed together.

  • At a certain point, he had decided to move on and get married.

  • He went out.

  • He'd taken a job at the hospital we run, as a librarian.

  • He'd just gotten married; his wife was pregnant.

  • While the wife was pregnant, he was diagnosed with melanoma cancer.

  • He decided that he wanted to leave the body in the monastery

  • where he spent most of his time.

  • We had brought him to our monastery.

  • As the memories flashed in my mind as I was rushing there,

  • I remembered everyday I went to sing God's names to him on the harmonium.

  • My tears filled the eyes.

  • As I cried, seeing a dear friend struggling with melanoma cancer.

  • Every single time I looked at him, my vision was blurred.

  • Because it was someone so dear.

  • Yet, this gentleman was amazing,

  • he had a beaming face,

  • all the excruciating pain that he went through

  • hadn't affected his determined resolve.

  • Yeah, look at his face, look at that smile.

  • No morphine was working on him.

  • I realized: this stuff works.

  • His wife had given birth to a baby girl;

  • they brought the baby girl right next to him.

  • It was the last time she would see him;

  • it was the last time his wife would ever be with him.

  • Ladies and gentlemen,

  • as I walked to the room,

  • my guru Radhanath Swami,

  • the author of the popular book The Journey Home,

  • was right next to him, giving him hope.

  • I was astounded inside the little room, there were so many people.

  • I was standing right next to him with my guru Radhanath Swami,

  • outside were 450 members of our community,

  • all together chanting the names of God.

  • What I saw here was a man who didn't have a Lamborghini.

  • What I saw here was support.

  • What I saw here was people:

  • people who were there to financially support him,

  • people who were there to medically support him,

  • people who were there to spiritually support him,

  • people who were there to emotionally support him.

  • I was amazed

  • at the kind of support this man had.

  • You know something,

  • when you're born, people love you,

  • and when you die, people love you;

  • in between you have to manage.

  • (Laughter)

  • And this man had managed truly well,

  • he'd invested so much in relationships with his people

  • that when he was in dire need

  • people had come to him.

  • Ladies and gentlemen,

  • yes, it is important for us to have support.

  • Wealth doesn't just mean money.

  • Wealth means money plus

  • people and support.

  • One gentleman said,

  • do you know what's the difference between complete and finished?

  • He said if you find the right partner, you're complete;

  • If you find the wrong partner, you're finished.

  • But if you were caught with the wrong one by the right one: completely finished.

  • (Laughter) (Applause) (Cheers)

  • I must tell you: we definitely need partners,

  • we definitely need friends,

  • we definitely need professional therapists,

  • we definitely need people who can support us.

  • Therefore, I say if you wanted to know truly how rich you are,

  • drop a tear and see how many hands come forward to wipe that tear.

  • That's how rich you actually are,

  • that's wealth.

  • (Applause)

  • Sanskrit is an amazing language.

  • If people want to call someone a donkey in Sanskrit,

  • you say Vaishakhnandan.

  • (Laughter)

  • You want to know what you call ice cream in Sanskrit?

  • Dughdasharkarayuktahima ganagolagattu.

  • And if you say mango ice cream, you'd say,

  • Aamra dughdasharkarayuktahima ganagolagattu.

  • It will melt before you place the order!

  • (Laughter)

  • But I'm sure most of us love to eat ice cream. Yes, indeed.

  • People who eat ice cream, it is good to eat ice cream

  • because the ideology behind the ice cream is:

  • enjoy your life before it melts.

  • And then there is a candle where the ideology is:

  • give light to others before it melts.

  • Ladies and gentlemen,

  • yes, the live world is full of ice creams;

  • what we need is candles.

  • Yes, there was a gentleman here in this country, Chennai,

  • Mr. Palam Kalyanasundaram,

  • giving away each of his salary to educate the poor.

  • He was recognized by the U.S., given an award,

  • about five million American dollars, approximately 30 crore Indian Rupees.

  • He gave away all of that money to educate the poor.

  • How many of you are ready to be candles?

  • Contact me later, I need a lot!

  • (Laughter)

  • To be honest, we cannot be that extreme,

  • selfless candles,

  • and just because we can't be candles should we continue being ice creams?

  • Journey means move from being an ice cream to a candle.

  • How many of you like to look beautiful?

  • How many of you like to look handsome?

  • Those who are not raising their hands, they think they're already beautiful.

  • I must tell you,

  • a teacher wrote down on the whiteboard: I am beautiful. "Which tense is it?"

  • The student said,"Past tense, Madam." Visible beauty just goes away.

  • One of my friends, ladies and gentlemen,

  • I'd like to introduce you to a very handsome guy.

  • One of my friends, Prem Raheja, wonderful man,

  • from a well-to-do, high middle-class family.

  • This man,

  • his accountant's daughter stood first in the KEM medical college

  • and wanted to go the U.S to study

  • and didn't have any money, didn't have a sponsor for the visa.

  • He sponsored her visa;

  • paid for her tuition fee, paid for the travel fee,

  • all of his staff, paid for the fees of all the children of his staff,

  • paid for the house of every single staff member,

  • paid for the marriages of the every single person

  • in his staff's family.

  • And what's amazing is no one ever even knew.

  • And there are so many such people across the country and across the world

  • who are trying to move from being an ice cream to being a candle.

  • Ladies and gentlemen,

  • if you truly want to know how handsome you are,

  • just extend your "hand" to "some,"

  • and you will definitely be considered to be extremely handsome.

  • It's not about the looks, which fade,

  • but it's definitely about how we help others.

  • It is important for us

  • that wealth is equal to money + people + purpose in life,

  • to serve, share and contribute.

  • It was July 9, 2009.

  • I had just returned from England, London.