Shivananda is a sadhu. He belongs to the Ramanandi sect that was created based on the teachings of the philosopher Ramananda. His appearance, a deep blue, submerges us in a unique calm. His benevolence towards others is only comparable to his kindness and his witty sense of humour.
Will you tell me your story?
Huy! That's very old. I've been traveling through India and Nepal for the past 30 years. Searching.
And what have you found?
Authentic shadus (teachers). Those that live in caves or in the forest and those that noone can find. Now there are a lot of lies, shadus that start communities to make money. Sacred men don't want anything. They don't need anything.
Only to ask themselves for the meaning of life.
And what is the meaning of life?
One day you're born and another you die. According to how you've worked in this life is how the next one will be for you. You can be born a man of virtue, animal or thing. If you don't have internal power, you will be something that isn't good for anything.
When did you begin to search for God?
The different religions are like ice and water. Ice is water and water is ice. Each religion calls God by some name, but who knows what that real name is! People give God a name but they don't look for what's behind the name.
Do you know it?
I feel that there is a very big force, but I don't know anything else. I believe that God has placed within each person a power to connect with him, and that one only achieves this through meditation. But don't expect great things from meditation. It only gives you a small light. For me, God doesn't have a name.
Humans we are unmediated. Half of our head is sacred, in the other half live the demons. The gods and the demons are inside each one of us.
They could sign a non-aggression pact.
Love and compassion are a sacred work. Anger is the work of the devil. Our job is to fight against the inner demons.
Have you been able to get rid of them?
He, he, he. I try to, I want to give them a kick, but the only thing I can do is to not listen to them. For 15 years now I haven't eaten during the day, only a little bit at night.
That's how you get rid of the demons?
Yes, life isn't possible if one doesn't know how to control THEMSELF, and the first thing that one has to control is food. Meat is very hot and it excites the mind, it nourishes the demons and doesn't allow you to be calm, safe. Do you want me to say it in Spanish?
"Comer más, cagar más", je, je, je.
That's because the body is the temple of the soul?
If there isn't soul, there isn't life. When one dies they aren't anyone, they're dead, they lose their name. When you're born you don't have a name either, parents are the ones that give you a name that represents you. God doesn't make temples nor mosques: people build them, they do the same thing with their children.
We want to conquer the beyond.
People only worry about the house and car. But nobody thinks that they must maintain the heart healthy, that one has to clean their heart before the car. I find it very strange they don't realize that later they have to leave everything here.
There are bad people that have a good life.
People aren't bad, they do a bad job.
Fine, but there are people that have a good reward for their bad work.
People who live dependent on money are never happy. Money is very hot, it takes away your peace. I haven't wanted to constuct my life around it, he, he, he.
You are very drastic.
I simply take myself seriously and that seems like madness. But what is crazy is the world: money and power are the only things that are valued.
It hasn't always been that way?
Now there are too many powerful people that live off of the work of others. They are all cowshit. Politics means money. Politics are bullshit.
The human being is stupid?
You have a strange sense of humour.
A sense of humour is very good for the chest and also for the head. He who has a clean heart, laughs.
What do you want them to do with your body when you die?
I'm not going to see it, it doesn't matter to me. He, he, he.
Have you been happy?
Yes, sure, sure, very happy. I've never been sad, I don't know very well what it is.
What is the most important thing that your teacher taught you?
To kick out the devils. Demons chain you. It's an endless cycle, Necessities create more necessities.
What do you do for everyone else?
If you want to eat, you have to pick food up with your hands and guide it to your mouth: nobody else is going to come and give you food, he, he, he.
But aren't we all the same soul!?
Only one hand but five fingers and all different. It's very strange, but all of us are a family and all diferent. Each one chooses their path. It only makes sense to give if it makes you happy.
But people ask you for advice.
Yes, but I have never been a teacher. I am a student, I'm always learning. Simply with looking one learns. Looking calmly. What does a mountain do? What does the sea do? What does a flower do? What do birds do?. And you, what do you do? Everything is very misterious, it's like a miracle. Nature is a very good teacher.
What do you need to learn?
Life. I don't know anything, I don't understand anything.
Interview by IMA SANCHÍS - La Vanguardia 05-11-2003
ShangaIndia, 2010 C.I.F: G36500031
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