When the Avatar is incarnate on earth, can His message be received even when one is not in His physical presence?
Yes, God's voice can be heard by man in his heart. It may come in the form of some signs or it may be an inner experience, where God’s approval is felt. More than this, each aspirant can do some introspection as to whether he is practising qualities dear to God. If he is practising, he will get self satisfaction. When one is not satisfied with oneself, how can God be satisfied?

The Bhagavad Gita says, "There is no killer nor killed!" On this basis Arjuna is asked to kill men on the battlefield. On the same logic, can anyone kill anybody he likes to kill?

Bhagavad Gita exhorts all men to follow their Dharma. Arjuna, being a Kshatriya, had to protect Dharma by killing the evil men. It was his duty. Arjuna was made to know the immortal nature of the Spirit and this enabled him to do his duty with efficiency and perfection. One who has the awareness of the spiritual truth will not enter the wrong path and do wrong things according to one's whims and fancies. He will always follow the moral code of conduct.

There is the story of a murderer, who argued with the magistrate, "There is neither any killer nor killed (according to the Gita). Therefore, why do you propose to hang me?" The magistrate paid him back in the same coin, telling him, "You also cannot be killed. Only your body will be hanged!"

What is the difference between Dana (charity) and Thyaga (sacrifice)?

Charity is giving of money, time or energy for a good cause; sacrifice is giving up of one's bad traits and weaknesses. If sacrifice means just the giving up of hearth and home, many people will do it very easily!

The hallmark of true devotion is this sacrifice—the giving up of one's bad traits and weaknesses. A true devotee should not be deterred by adversities in life. The difference between true and false devotion can be discovered only in times of adversity. A ball of iron and a dry leaf look alike when there is no wind. But when the wind blows, the leaf flies away and the iron ball is not even swayed a little. In times of adversity, false devotion disappears; but a true devotee will think, "My difficulties and problems are in no way connected with my devotion to God. These difficulties are like passing clouds, but God is eternal and so is love for God."

Often He prompts you to introspect into the past through some subtle, yet profound experiences. And what comes out is a greater lesson that lessens the negative aspect of your thought process leading you to greater heights in terms of spiritual evolution...

The sun was setting in the late February sky enveloping the Mandir in a golden hue. Prayers from the hearts of the waiting throng had already saturated the air with divine peace and calm.

Amidst the serene setting, I was sitting restless and anxiously waiting for Him to bless the application form (for admission in His Institution). I had a deep rooted feeling that He would bless it and thus give me a sign that He would take me. It was my last darshan, as I was to leave early next day. But till then He didn't even look at me and it appeared to me that He was asking me to wait. How long and what for? He did not say. And this engaged me in a good deal of introspection as I tried to figure out the possible answer. At that time I didn't realise that this is one of the ways the Lord puts us into the repair shop and unearths all our defects, tightens a few screws, gives a new coat of paint and polish so that our journey would be faster, smoother and more pleasant.

I thought about all my bygone years, the amount of grace He had showered on me, all my bad habits and so on. I recollected how He had brought about a total "metamorphosis” in me and took me towards a better life; for instance, He had converted me from a careless arrogant lad, who graduated from an average boy to one who secured the first rank and maintained it for full two years. And all this for what? To fulfill a great dream, which He kindled and fanned the dream to join His Institution. He fostered it to such an extent that I took it for granted that I would get selected.

If all this had really happened and if I had really had so much confidence, why should I ask for a sign and more over why should I fear and worry while I was sitting on the sands? As I was wondering thus, I slowly began to understand. Even though I thought I had given Him everything, I realised that I was still concerned and worried about the result. Then I could clearly hear Swami's sweet voice explain, "My dear, once you desire a thing and pray whole heartedly, leave the rest to Me, not merely the action but also its consequences. Do not have any worry or concern about it. Empty yourself, lessen your luggage and feel light and don't let anything disturb your calm or shake your faith that I will fulfill your heart's desire. For am I not your Mother who takes care to keep Her children ever happy...

With the dawn of this beautiful assurance I pulled myself together and waited. Soon bhajans started. Before long there was an excited hush announcing that Swami had come out. Slowly He moved towards the men's side. He stopped here and there taking a letter or speaking a word or two. He finally stood before me and signed the picture held out by the one sitting next, but appeared not to have noticed my outstretched arm. Then, with a teasing smile playing on His lips, He moved on as if asking me to see for myself how well I understood the lesson. Then (perhaps taking pity on me) He came back two or three steps and touched my paper and raised His hand, showing "Abhaya", smiling all the while. Mercy of Saimata!