You Deserve the Best

“What is the best from your perspective? It’s always going to be a statement of your consciousness state.”

Thom Knoles

Sacrificing the comforts of life is often seen as part of the “spiritual path,” so it might seem unusual to hear from a Vedic master that, “You deserve the best.”

Yet this is one of the key teachings of Swami Bramhananda Saraswati, Thom’s master’s master, also referred to as Guru Deva.

In this episode, Thom clarifies the meaning and intent of Guru Deva’s quote, reconciling the notion of deserving the best with the “pervasive guilt” that often holds us back from claiming or accepting the best. It’s an episode you deserve to listen to…

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Episode Highlights


Your Birthright



In the Best Interests of All



Pervasive Guilt Consciousness



Living Your Best – Tat Wale Baba



A Dark Cave in the Jungle



As You Sow, So Shall You Reap



Lean Into the Best


Jai Guru Deva


You Deserve the Best

[00:45] Your Birthright

Jai Guru Deva. Thank you for listening to my podcast, The Vedic Worldview. I’m Thom Knoles.

I’d like to spend a few minutes doing a close examination of a quote that is from Swami Brahmananda Sarasvati, as told to me, and many others who were listening at the time, by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, my master. Swami Brahmananda Sarasvati is the proper long name for the man whom we refer to by the shorter title, Guru Deva.

And the quote goes like this, “You deserve the best. Never feel unworthy or not justified in having the best. I tell you this is your heritage, but you have to accept it. You have to expect it. You have to claim it. To do so is not demanding too much.”

And so this is roughly a translation into English, of a phrase spoken by Guru Deva in Hindi, and which was mentioned to me and the people who Maharishi was training on many occasions, and it rather became something of a gold standard by which you operate.

So then, if one is sitting in a quandary about whether one should travel in a more health bringing vehicle or one that may or may not actually start or make the distance, then one might quietly have that thought, “You deserve the best. Not to feel unworthy, not justified in having the best. The heritage.”

The heritage part means it’s your birthright. “I tell you this is your heritage that means your birthright. But you have to accept it. You have to expect it. You have to claim it.” Now, what does it mean?

[02:38] In the Best Interests of All

I mean, what if somebody is a heroin addict, and thinks to themselves, “Do I go for the low-grade heroin? Or do I go for the high-grade heroin? Oh well, I’ve heard Guru Deva’s famous quote, I deserve the best, don’t feel unworthy or not justified.Let’s go for the high-grade heroin.

Now, I can’t afford it, so in order to get my hands on that, I may have to engage in some antisocial activity. And am I going to engage in the antisocial activity that yields the larger amount of money or engage in the antisocial activity that yields the smaller amount? Well, I deserve the best. Let’s go for the maximum yield from the antisocial activity.”

You see the point I’m making. We have to put some kind of moral limit on you deserve the best, and we also have to question whether or not it is in the best interests of you not to fit in with the broader community’s sense of what is right if that’s going to end up, in the end, yielding the best for you.

And, of course, in the ridiculous example that I just gave, it certainly would not. “I deserve the best. Should I go out and become heavily indebted in order to obtain the best?” Well, we have to ask the question about the sustainability of the concept of “best.”

[04:12] Pervasive Guilt Consciousness

So the idea, you deserve the best, is basically an idea to take us away from that kind of pervasive guilt consciousness, which seems to be rather a block for many people when they’re in the process of developing themselves fully spiritually.

There may come some point where they think to themself, “I actually don’t deserve any more than, you know, a certain thing. I’m going to self-administer my karma and make a decision about myself that I’m not very worthy.” We see this embedded throughout the religious traditions of our cultures. One very famous and very beautifully sung hymn that is commonly sung by the members of the Christian community, “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” I’m a wretch requiring salvation. This is the antithesis of the worldview of Guru Deva.

From Guru Deva’s perspective, we should always have a sense of what the best is, but we also need to have and surrender to the possibility that what we consider best might actually be not what other people would consider best for us.

[05:37] Living Your Best – Tat Wale Baba

I’ve mentioned on another occasion that my great admiration went out to Tat Wale Baba, a famous yogi who lived in the Himalayas, who is reputed to have passed away only after 130 years.

I personally can attest to him having been alive for at least a hundred years because I knew people whose great-grandfathers considered Tat Wale Baba to be their Guru, and yet he only ever looked like he was about 40 years of age, and beautiful physique, in the high sixes of feet in height, perhaps approaching seven feet tall, with a long mass of thick hair, coming down in matted locks, the full length of his body when he would stand, and then reaching the floor, and dragging on the ground behind him, two or three feet.

I never saw him, even in cold environments, even in cold snowy environments, wearing anything more than his hair, not even a shawl, and, if it was in a socially appropriate setting, he would wear a loincloth but actually favored going completely naked.

He lived in a cave, and, like most caves, let’s not over-romanticize caves. They’re filled with bats, they’re filled with anything that can crawl on eight legs or on six legs, or on a thousand legs in the case of a millipede, or a hundred legs in the case of a centipede. They are dank. They’re damp. They’re dark. He considered that to be absolutely the best.

He didn’t eat cordon bleu food like some of us might consider the best to be. He ate what could be dug up from the ground, tubers, and turnip-like things, things like swede. Things like roots that were edible, and then the fruits and flowers, and various kinds of leaves that grew above the ground, made up his diet.

[07:46] A Dark Cave in the Jungle

He had beautiful teeth. When he smiled, he had the kind of smile that would be an advertisement for any dentist showing what they could do for you, keeping your smile healthy to a hundred and thirty years.

And a quick and ready wit. Was the wisest and most deeply knowing man, the embodiment of knowingness who, I would say he ran a close second to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi himself in terms of his presence. You could feel his presence around.

Barefooted, of course, and experiencing the best. What was the best for him? A dank, dark cave, slotted in the hillside of the jungle, just above the river Ganges in Rishikesh. If any of my listeners right now spent one night in that cave, you would rapidly be thinking of your home, your bed, your linen sheets, your grilled cheese sandwich, whatever it is you favor for your lunch, proper food, and all of that.

I did sample at his offering some of the tubers, and I was polite about it, let’s put it that way. It wasn’t what I considered to be the best.

So, what is the best from your perspective? It’s always going to be a statement of your consciousness state. You deserve the best. Well, what is the best? What is your consciousness state?

[09:19] As You Sow, So Shall You Reap

Of course, in the Vedic worldview, we have to be cognizant of the fact that it’s not considered to be the best or worthy of our birthright to cut across the interests of others in order to obtain a particular kind of experience. What might that experience be? It could be large-scale possessions like a dwelling or a floating palace like a yacht, or it could be something far less ostentatious and opulent than that.

But if obtaining those things has cut across the interests of others, it’s not actually the best. Why? Because as you sow, so shall you reap.

But when faced with choices that none of which cut across the interests of others, we can say, “Well, what are my options here? Do I deserve second best? Do I deserve third best? Fourth best? Fifteenth best?” Where would you like to stop?

No, actually, if it’s possible to have it, it’s good for us to aspire to whatever we consider to be the best. For me, wearing clothes , fantastic. I never want to, as far as I can tell right now, I’m an ancient old man, I’m not quite as old as Tat Wale Baba, but ancient enough.

I don’t think I’ll ever opt for the best being complete nudity in a dank cave slotted in the hillside above the Ganges river in Rishikesh eating tubers. That doesn’t seem for me, for my particular storyline, which is favored by The Universe, to be the way.

[11:08] Lean Into the Best

To be walking barefooted, absolutely everywhere, even in the middle of winter, I don’t consider that to be the best, but Tat Wale Baba did. So what is the best? The best is basically a statement of your consciousness state.

And by the way, it’s not the best if it can bring harm to anyone, either now, or any time in the future, or locally, or in any place of the earth. We don’t consider it to be the best if it brings harm.

The best is the best based upon what your state of consciousness is channeling right now to fulfill your personal role in the evolution of things. Lean into the best. Don’t lean into second-best, third-best, fourth-best, but be cognizant of the interests of others. Social relevance is part of our consideration when we think of what is the best.

Jai Guru Deva. 

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