By Suresh Bodiwala
CHICAGO: Addressing a diverse audience of more than 500 people at the Drake Hotel in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, Dada J. P. Vaswani enlightened people on life after death, marriage, forgiveness, and the power of thought.
Speaking on the topic, “Stay Connected,” and then answering questions, Dada drew attention to the growing epidemic of loneliness and suggested that the cause of this is because so many of us are not spiritually connected.
He offered several practical suggestions on how to stay connected – the first step of which was to open and close the day with a prayer.
Another recommendation Dada gave was to read some positive literature before going to bed. Dada also advised that to “stay connected” we should try to stay relaxed always and to avoid overwork.
“Remember, work is not the end of life. Work is only a means. Works purifies our antahkaran—the inner instrument,” he explained. “Do your work; it is your duty to do. Beyond that, give time to God.”
To stay connected, Dada advised forgiving “even before forgiveness is asked. This is the mark of the man who actually stays connected. If you don’t forgive, you will lose your piece of mind, and if you lose your peace of mind, the connection breaks.”
In addition, Dada suggested that “whatever be the work that you do…do it in the very best way that you can because it is your offering to the Lord. Give to the world the best that is in you, and the best will return to you.”
Dada’s final practical suggestion is one that he calls us to again and again: help others. “Help as many as you can to lift the load on the rough road of life.”
Following Dada’s talk, the mayor of Oak Brook, Dr. Gopal Lalmalani, moderated a Question & Answer session, which touched on a diversity of themes.
Dada had this advice for an audience member who asked him what to look for in a life partner. “Is your partner a person of faith? Secondly, is he a person of self-control—does he get irritated, does he get angry at the least excuse? Of this always be sure.”
One audience member asked, “When will there be peace in the world?”
To this, Dada answered simply, “When there will be peace in your hearts.”
Dada brought his great sense of humor in his answers, as well.
When one audience member asked him,`How do I deal with liars?’ Dada very seriously and matter-of-factly answered, “Consult a lawyer.” The response earned roars of laughter.
One audience member noted that the expectation in the modern world is for humanity to speed up. However, the scriptures tell us to slow down. This audience member wanted to know how to reconcile these two expectations.
With wit and thoughtfulness, Dada said, “Blend both. Slow down and also move faster. Slow down in matters terrestrial, in matters that belong to this world, slow down,” he said. “But in matters divine, in matters that relate to God, run fast.”
The audience laughed and applauded in agreement.