I wanted to serve God spiritually. God said, "No, I want you to serve Me physically as well." I never, never imagined that I would enter into the weightlifting world. Weightlifting I most sincerely hated. I thought that only brainless people do weightlifting! That was my firm conviction. So God said, "All right, then you be one of those brainless people!"
Now I have come to learn that inside weightlifting there is heart involved. That is why so many world figures, university professors and so forth, come to be lifted, because they see that what we are doing is all heart, all heart.
This weightlifting has connected the spiritual and the physical. That is why we have been so successful. Over 7,000 people I have now lifted. Our programme is called "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart." Two simple words are most important: 'lift' and 'oneness'. We all want to be lifted. How? On the strength of oneness.
So here the physical and the spiritual can go together, of course if we get unconditional Grace from the highest Absolute Supreme. Otherwise, some individuals are only for the physical; spirituality is not involved in their life. And again, others care only for the spiritual aspect. Either they are afraid of uniting the physical and the spiritual, or it is beneath their dignity to enter into the physical. There are very few spiritual figures who try to combine the spiritual and the physical. I happen to be one of those.
Spirit and matter must go together. Without matter, divinity cannot be manifested. The physical is the foundation. Similarly, without spirituality, matter is useless. Matter and spirit need each other. Matter, let us say, is the temple and the spirit is the shrine. Again, inside matter, spirit is always inherent. Otherwise, spirit could not have manifested if it was not already there.
Our philosophy is that we do not have to become a world champion, but physical fitness is of paramount importance, along with our prayers and meditations. If we are wise, then let us pay most sincere attention to the physical, the way we pay attention to the spiritual. Otherwise, physical ailments will not allow us to pray and meditate. The physical and the spiritual must go side by side.
True, I am saying they must go side by side, but I will never tell you to give fifty per cent of your attention to the spiritual and fifty per cent to the physical — never, never! Eighty per cent you can take as spiritual and twenty per cent as physical. But if you give one hundred per cent to the spiritual, then your physical existence will be totally useless, and if you give one hundred per cent to the physical, then you will be bankrupt spiritually.
I have some students who give much more importance to the physical and neglect the spiritual. I feel sorry. They are making an Himalayan blunder. Luckily there are very few of that type. And again, there are others who pay no attention either to the physical or to the spiritual. They are wallowing in the pleasures of lethargy. Luckily I am not one of those. So I beg them to at least pay attention to one of the two, either the physical or the spiritual.
There should be a balance, balance, balance.