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Swami teaches....Part 10

Link to Swami Teaches....Part 9


Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches.... (14 February 2005)

 

    Spiritual Aspirations Linked with Body


    Human being can use the unique intelligence and memory enshrined in language to widen his vision, to adjust own reactions to nature and society and to benefit by the knowledge and experience of others. He/she can influence society as much as society influences him/her.
     Human alone is capable of awakening the serpent-power of the life-energy that lies dormant in him as the Kundalini Shakthi and elevate it through chakras (higher fields of awareness), up to the thousand-spoked wheel on the very crest of the head. This is the uurdhwa Gathi (the Upward
Path).

    Human must act, speak and think without being deluded by the apparent, in preference to the real. Human ignores the Aathma (Divine Soul), which is the only Reality, and allows himself to be fascinated by Maaya (illusory energy), which scintillates and deceives.

    While on the pilgrimage of life, human's activities are three-fold - Akarma, Sakarma and Nishkaama Karma - the Thaamasik, Raajasik and Saathwik types of Karma.

    Akarma: It starts with high hopes and much fanfare but at the first touch of disappointment, all activity is given up.

    Sakarma: It is undertaken without discrimination. Whatever comes to hand keeps one busy. 
    Nishkaama: It is gladly done as duty, as worship, as grateful homage, with no eye on the benefit therefrom.
    Human has physical urges like hunger and thirst and needs like sleep and exercise. A person may be a scholar in many fields of knowledge or a famous figure crowned with diverse powers, but he cannot escape these urges and needs. Human has also spiritual urges and needs. While the physical urges are transient and temporary, the spiritual ones have deeper sources and longer satisfactions. They clamour for purity and unity.

    Constant recitation or remembrance of one manthra is believed by many to be a method useful for purifying the mind. But, the same manthra cannot serve the purpose for all.
    Those who identify themselves with the body-mind complex need an embodied God, an idol, image or picture, and a  Name to fix on. "Dhaasoham" (I am your servant) will be such a person's spiritual attitude. This manthra will purify and strengthen, also destroy egoist feelings. The constant thought of dependence will destroy pride of power or scholarship or authority over fellow-men, or riches and treasure. Nowadays, ninety-nine out of hundred persons suffer from egotism and they need the curative manthra "Dhaasoham."

    Persons who have attained a higher stage believe that they are jeevis (distinct individuals). For these, the manthra can be "Soham" (I am He) so that the sense of distinctness can be eliminated.
    The next higher stage is the Aathmic. When person reaches this level of consciousness, the idea of 'I' as different from 'He' disappears. That is to say, So (He) and Aham (I) fade away and Soham is elevated into OM. OM or Pranava is the Manthra for persons conscious of the Aathma in them.

    Reputation as a loving lovable person is to be striven for. Such reputation has its origin in little acts of love, tiny upsurges of compassion. When it expands and flows over vast areas, it becomes divine. 

    Falsehood grows quick and wild. When Truth is yet putting on its shoes, Falsehood would have travelled round the globe. Untruth spreads fast; Truth strikes root slowly and in all cases the mind is purified by Truth.

    No one can go against the Divine Will. No one can alter the Lord's law. It should be realised that the body functions because of the chaitanya (consciousness) within it.

    Human's s primary aim should be to achieve Atma Jnana (Self-knowledge). The first step in this quest for Self-Knowledge is to understand the own nature. (It is worth to note that the Atma does not grow with the body's strength nor does it decay owing to the body's weakness).

    When we regard the body as an instrument, we should realise that the prescribed limits for its use have to be observed. In our actions, in our speech, in what we see and what we hear, in our thoughts, we must seek to promote purity and sanctity.  Limits have to be observed with regard to food, drink, speech and hearing etc. Everything in life depends on maintaining the balance. Every action involves using of energy. If the energy in the body is properly utilised, then balance will be maintained and the body will be in good shape.

    Indian ancients wished to live long for the sake of a Godly life and for that purpose preserved their health in body and mind. You may have read in the Mahabharata that Krishna was 86 years old and Arjuna was 84 at the time of the Kurukshetra war. They were in the vigour of youth and fought great battles. Bhishma, who was the Commander-in-chief of the Kaurava armies, was 116 years of age. 

     It is essential to keep the body in good health as long as there is life, just as you must ensure that your boat does not spring a leak till you cross the river. 
    If you are able to grasp the nature of the body, the senses, the mind, the Buddhi, and the Atma, which is the Supreme Witness presiding over all of them, you will be able to master the mystery of the cosmos.  

   Without a strong physique, human is subject to numerous ailments. The ancient Romans, who were aware of this truth and who were the forerunners of western civilization, displayed deep concern regarding the development of the body.
    The body is a world in itself. It is not merely the outer form. It is the collective embodiment of various organs and limbs. Each organ has its own beauty, which has to be fostered.Pure and sublime ideas can emanate only from a healthy and strong body.           

     "Dahyati iti dehah" (The body is that which is burnt). This is the derived meaning of the word deha (the body). But the body experiences burning even when it is alive. This is because of worries. "The body is inert. It is contaminated and riddled with disease. It will not save you from the ocean of birth and death. Therefore, cling to the lotus feet of Hari, Oh mind!" This was the prayer of the sages.

     Another name for the body is Sarira. The word is derived from the term, "Siryathi iti sariraha" (That which is liable to decay). The body is subject to many changes from youth to old age.

     A third name for the body is Mandir (temple or shrine). It is described as a temple enshrining the eternal divine Atma (individual soul). Every time before you do anything, you have to put to yourself this question: "I am the indwelling divine Atma in this body. As such, is it proper for me to do this action or not?"

    The body has also been called Kshetra. The Gita enjoins that one should know what is kshetra and who is the Kshetrajna. You are the Knower of the field dwelling within the kshetra (body). You have to remain as a witness and see that the body is properly used. The holy places are described as Kshetras. Similarly the kshetra of the body is a holy place for good thoughts and good actions.

    The other meaning of the term kshetra is field. In this field of the body, the fruits we reap are dependent on the seeds we sow. In the case of the human body, you are bound to reap the fruits of the good or the bad thoughts you sow as seeds.  As you sow, so will you reap. 

    You must eat Satwic food. Our thoughts are determined by the kind of food we consume.  What is consumed by the mouth is not the only thing that goes into the body. The other sense organs like the eyes, the ears, the nose and the hands also "consume" objects from the outside world. It is the need to get rid of the evils associated with pollution of speech, hearing, sight, thought and action (arising from the misuse of the five sense organs).

    Even the hands must "consume" pure food. This means that you must perform good acts with your hands.    

   You will have to consider seriously what sort of places you should visit, what kind of environment in which you should live and what type of persons with whom you should associate yourselves. You should eschew all bad company, because your thoughts are related to the company you keep.

    You have to do your duty to your kith and kin. But while discharging your duties, you have to keep the Supreme always in mind. The worldly life has to be led, with spiritual relation as the goal. As long as you live in the world, you have to conform to the ways of the world. But the ideal must be based on the recognition that nothing belongs to you - neither mother, nor father,
kinsmen or wealth.
(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16, "The uniqueness of man," Chapter 15 and  "Guidance for the Gurus," Chapter 21. Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 23, "Sanctify the body," Chapter 10 and "The abode of the Spirit," Chapter 11).  
 


Swami teaches.... (13 February 2005)

 

    The Recommendations to Bhakthas, 2

     The Real Teaching (Vidya) directs that the world be dealt with as duty demands in a spirit of detachment, avoiding entanglement.

     Vidya, the Supreme Wisdom, attempts to describe for one the 'characteristics' of Atma. Atma, inmutable and omnipresent has no movement but It is present everywhere. Vidya announces that it is an impossible task to determine It.

    For Maya-constituted beings, there are two Maya gates; the appetite for sex and the appetite of the tongue. These are the causes of all sins; and, sin is the manure on which Maya thrives. All worldly desires are comprehended by these two; so, only those who have mastered these two can be said to have successfully waded through the world. 

    Maya-prapancha or world has to serve only the purpose of just sustaining the body. Whatever activity a person may be engaged in, he must, as automatically as he takes in breath, be contemplating on these lines and should always be aware of this: "I am born to serve God and to realise my true Self". All acts - wearing, eating, walking, studying, serving, moving - should be performed in the belief that they take one into the Lord's Presence and everything should be done in a spirit of dedication to the Lord.

    A farmer clears and levels the land, removes the stones and thorns, ploughs and prepares the field, manures and strengthens the soil, waters and fertilises it, and by sowing, transplanting, weeding, spraying and waiting, he reaps the crop; after winnowing and threshing, he stacks the corn. All these various processes are for the sake of the stomach; so too, one must feel that all the hunger, thirst, joy and sorrow, grief and loss, suffering and anger, food and appetite are but impulses helping us towards attaining the Presence of the Lord. 

    Those who aspire to attain the holy Presence of the Lord must acquire certain habits, disciplines and qualities. The usual, accustomed ways of life will not lead to God. They have to be modified somewhat by means of Sadhana. Whatever Sadhana a person may or may not have, he must practise uninterrupted Naamasmarana.

    All the Sastras teach but this one lesson: since the Lord is the universal Goal and this Journey of Life has Him as the Destination, keep Him constantly in view and subdue the mind which makes you wander from the path. 

    The Kathopanishad exhorts: "Uththishtatha! Jagratha! Praapyavaraan-nibodhatha!!!" Arise, Awake, Get initiated from the great. Those who are agitated by doubts about what to accept and what to reject; those who are blinded by illusion, and those who cannot distinguish between darkness and light, death and immortality, all such should approach great persons who can show the path to understand the eternal Truth, the Self-illumined Basis of all creation.

      Bhakthas should consider the body as the field, good deeds as seeds and cultivate the Name of the Lord, with the help of the Heart as the ryot, in order to get the harvest, the Lord Himself. 

    Even if the attainment of Mukthi (the liberation from the bonds of Ignorance, Ajnana) is not directly realised, four fruits are clearly evident to those who have had the experience. They are The Company of the Great, Truth, Contentment and The Control of the Senses. Through whichever of these gates one may enter, he/she can reach the Lord without fail.  

    Of the various types of Bhakthi, Naamasmarana (remembering of the Name of God) bhakthi is the best. In the Kaliyuga, the Name is the Path for saving oneself. Jayadeva, Gouranga, Thyagayya, Thukaram, Kabir, Ramdas, all these great Bhakthas attained the Lord through just this one Naama. Why speak of a thousand things? Even Prahlada and Dhruva were able to enjoy the Darsan, Sparsan and Sambhashan of the Lord through Naama only. 

    Every person is apt to commit mistakes, without being aware of it. Whatever good deed one might do, there will be mixed with it a minute trace of evil. Efforts should be made that the good is more and bad, less. You must carefully think over the consequences of whatever you do, talk, or execute.  Without yourself honouring and loving others, if you complain that they are not treating you properly, it is surely a wrong conclusion. Besides, if only those who advise others about "Which principles are right, which are true and good, which conduct is best etc", themselves follow the advice they give, there would then be no need for giving that advice at all. Others will learn the lesson simply by observing their actual behaviour.

    It is best that the Sadhaka should be under all circumstances, joyful, smiling and enthusiastic.  This quality of joy at all times is the fruit of the good done in past births. When a person is ever worried, depressed, doubting, he can never attain Bliss, whatever Sadhana he may do. The first task of a Sadhaka is the cultivation of enthusiasm. 
       Every person should so lead his life that no pain is caused by him to any living thing.  It is the supreme and prime duty of every one, who has had the chance of this human birth, to spare a part of his energies occasionally for prayer, repetition of the Lord's Name, meditation etc., and must devote himself to Living with Truth, Rightfulness, Peacefulness and to good works which are of service to others.  

     For the establishment of oneself in the contemplation of the Omnipresent Lord, there is no limitations of time or space. There is nothing like a holy place or a special time for this. Wherever the mind revels in the contemplation of the divine that is the Holy Place! For meditation on God, there is no fixed time or place. When and where the mind so desires, then and there is the time and place.

     The internal foes, the six enemies that operate inside human being, the Arishadvarga (lust, anger, greed, delusion, pride and hate ) can be uprooted only by the teachings of good men, the love of God and knowledge of the Lord, and the company of the Holy and the Great.

    Spiritual elders are the rulers of the internal state; administrative authorities are the rulers of the external state. If both these groups act and direct properly, both states will function to create happiness.  

    If all humanity pray at one time that unrest, injustice, disorder and falsehood might be transformed into peace, truth, love and mutual service, things will certainly become better.

    Ones say that the service of human being is the service of God, that Manavaseva is Madhavaseva. That is a true statement. But though the service of humanity is holy, unless it is merged in the bigger ideal, humans will not benefit, however huge the service.  Whatever is done with the Lord in mind, along the path of truth, and according to the aspects of Dharma, has to be considered as the Seva of the Lord and whatever is done for name and fame and for the fruit thereof shall not be referred to as Madhavaseva.

    All incarnations of the Lord are for the protection and promotion of Sadhus. This word, Sadhu, does not refer to any single religion, caste, or familiy or stage of life, or community or even any single species, like the human! It refers to all religions, all stages of life, all races, and all creatures.

    Sri Krishna Himself has declared in plenty of situations and places that He is the dutiful servant of His devotees. An example of this is His accepting to be the Charioteer of Arjuna. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Baba. Prema Vahini, pp. 45 - 60; Sathya Sai Baba. Vidya Vahini, Chapter 1).


Swami teaches.... (12 February 2005)

 

    The Recommendations to Bhakthas, 1

 

    This material objective world is what becomes visible to our eyes, what pleases our senses, what fascinates our minds and what informs our brain. But in and through this very world, there is one reachable non-material subjective world. When that is known, both worlds reveal themselves as partial expressions of the same indivisible Consciousness (Chaithanya). The two supplement each other into the One Fullness, (Poornam).

    When one attains the Supreme Wisdom or the highest level of Vidya, the distinction between the 'opposites' - Atma and Anatma, Vidya and A-vidya, Vikasa and Vinasa (Growth and Decay) fade away. Mystics and sages have attained that state of Higher Unity. For such sages, from that level, knowledge is as dangerous as non-knowledge. They are aware of the mysterious origins and consequences of both. They are capable of overcoming death through non-knowledge and achieving immortality through knowledge.

 

    The Attributeless Paramaatma incarnates in this world, assuming name and form, and gives scope for all embodied beings to have concrete experience and joy. Through these experiences, the Incarnations facilitate the realisation that Paramaatma is Sarvaantharyaami and Sarvabhoothaantharaatma, All-pervasive, the Inner Atma of every thing in Creation.

    God has no particular name or form. He is pure energy. You should make proper use of your energy. People speak of the Lord as having a particular nature of characteristic, as having a particular form and so on. These statements are true only to the extent that imagination and guesswork can approximate to Truth; they are not the fundamental Truth. They cannot be considered as valid knowledge of the Absolute. 

    In spite of this, however, Bhakthas and aspirants have been framing, each according to the stage of his own inner progress, some form or other of the Divine as the basis of their devotion. They worship Paramathma as existing in some Ayodhya or Dwaraka and nowhere else; as found in places where some image or picture exists and nowhere else. They worship that form itself as Poornam. Of course, it is not wrong to do so. Only, Bhakthas should not proclaim that their belief alone is the Truth, that those names and forms which they have ascribed are the only names and forms of the Divine and that all other forms and names are worthless and inferior. It should be realised that the names and forms which are the ideals of others are as dear and sacred to those others as other names and forms are to oneself.
     When a form is idealised like this, it really becomes a symbol of the Universal; but, how can a mere symbol of the Universal ever become the Universal itself? All forms of the ideal are equally valid and true. Without this, it is impossible to realise the Poornam. All these gross forms of the ideal are fully saturated with the subtle Divine Principle.

    When this All-pervasive, All-inclusive Pure existence is described, the matter and the method depend on the principles of the speaker and the tastes of the listener; when the individual name and form imposed by the Bhaktha are transformed into the Attributeless and the Formless, it is referred to as Brahmam; when this same Brahmam appears with attributes and forms, it is referred to as Rama, Krishna, Vishnu or Siva. Do not the followers of even other religions agree that when the devotee attains the Ecstasy of Mystic Union, all distinction between him/her and God disappears? 

    When name and form are absent, doubt and discussion whether it is masculine, feminine or neutral will not arise at all. Then any description fits. For something that is above and beyond imagination, any name and form can be ascribed. In fact, It has no attribute and no form; it is All-pervasive, Omnipresent. When this Subtle Omnipresence is systematically worshipped through a gross form and as having attributes, the devotee will clearly realise its nature through the Sadhana itself.

    Love, Lover and the Loved, all those are One, and the same. Without Love, there can be no lover. Even if there are both Love and the Lover without the Loved, Love has no function. So there is no difference between these three. In all three, Prema (Love) is discernible as the Sarvaantharyaami. In the entire creation, for all living things, Prema is manifesting itself in various forms. On the basis of this knowledge and experience, the conclusion becomes clear that Paramaatma is Sarvabhoothaantharaatma, the inner Atma of all created things.

    The attitude of the worshipper and the worshipped is the seed of Bhakthi. First, the worshipper's mind is attracted by the special qualities of the object of worship. He tries to acquire for himself these special qualities. This is the Sadhana. In the early stages of Sadhana, the distinction between worshipper and worshipped is full but, as the Sadhana progresses, this feeling will diminish and when attainment is reached, there will be no distinction whatsoever.

     No single moment that is passed by can be turned back. Human being is content with visualising and experiencing evanescent worldly joys. Spending the nights in sleep and the days in eating and drinking, he grows and grows, until, in his old age, Death pursues him. Then, he cannot decide where to go or what to do. How sad it is that this human life, precious as an invaluable diamond that cannot be priced at all, has been cheapened to the status of a worn-out worthless coin!

    Start today the Sadhana that has to be done tomorrow! Start now the Sadhana that has to be done today! One does not know what is in store next moment; therefore, there should be no delay. Physical stamina is also necessary for this Sadhana, and so, the body has to be tended, though over-tending causes damage. To the degree that is essential, it should be looked after with great care. 
     The Lord will protect in all ways and at all times those who worship Him in complete and uncontaminated Bhakthi. The Saguna Bhaktha is like an infant of the Lord; so, it has no strength except the strength of the Lord. For the Jnani, his own strength is enough. Therefore, until one can rely on one's own strength, one must be an infant in the Lord's Hands, as a Saguna Bhaktha. No one can become a Nirguna Bhaktha, without having been a Saguna Bhaktha. So, Bhakthas should grow up like infants in the lap of the mother and thereafter, become Jnanis who can rely on their 'own' strength and be free. Those indeed are really fortunate who grasp this secret of the path of Devotion, who develop one-pointed Bhakthi and strengthen the traits of their character, who transform themselves into infants in the lap of the Lord and who get everything done by him as He wishes.

 

    Those who follow Nine-fold Path* of devotion are of two kinds.

    (1) The followers of the Hard Path (Bhakthi)

    (2) The followers of the Safe and easy Path (Prapatthi).

 

    The discipline of Prapatthi is much superior to the discipline of Bhakthi. The characteristic of Prapatthi is complete self-surrender, in all aspects. For example, to serve Sri Rama, Lakshmana renounced all obstacles in his path, like wealth, wife, mother, home and even sleep and food. And, this, for full fourteen years. He felt that Sri Rama was his all, his happiness and joy, that He would grant him everything that he needed and that his life's purpose was only to follow Him and serve Him, and surrender his will to Him. So, if all burdens are placed on Him and if He is followed ceaselessly and unforgettingly, He will certainly provide everything. This is the nature of the Prapatthi type of devotion. 

    True Bhakti is a spiritual practice based on love. Bhakti is not mere singing of Bhajans, reciting of sacred texts or performing sacred rituals. True Bhakti is the direct flow of selfless and unconditional love from your heart to God. 

    A small example of true Bhakti in action. At the time of Buddha's departure from the physical body, there was a small coin with him, which he had carefully kept in tiny knots of his cloth. Kings and emperors built magnificent monasteries for the Bhikshus (Buddhist monks). This did not delight him much. One day, an old beggar woman came to him and gave this coin with all her heart saying that it was all that she could give. He accepted the coin with both his hands, treasured it for the feeling with which it was given. Even a paisa becomes sacred if it is given with a pure heart. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Baba. Prema Vahini, pp. 30 - 44; Sathya Sai Baba. Vidya Vahini, Chapter 1; Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse, "Buddha and His Gospel of Love," 21 May 2000, Brindavan).

    **"The scriptures recommend nine-fold path of devotion. Sravanam (listening), Kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), Padasevanam (serving the Lotus Feet), Archanam (worship), Vandanam (salutation), Dasyam (servitude), Sneham (friendship), Atmanivedanam (Self-surrender). Even this nine-fold path grants temporary joy. But love is most important in this path. In fact, love should be the undercurrent of all spiritual  endeavors."  (Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse, "Buddha and His Gospel of Love," 21 May 2000, Brindavan).

 


Swami teaches.... (11 February 2005)

 

    Sanathana Dharma - the Divine Illumination

 

    Sanathana Dharma - the Universal eternal ancient Wisdom, the Eternal Law -  is the mother of all religions, all ethical codes and all Dharmas of this world; and Bharatha Desa is the home where the Mother was born.  No other Dharma has or will have Truth and Highest Love, above and beyond that contained in Sanathana Dharma. Sanathana Dharma is the veritable embodiment of Truth.

    The world in its entirety is the Body of the Lord of the world, and this Bharatha Desa is that Body's unique organ, the Eye. It can be said that Bharatha Desa has been beautified by the two eyes; the Vedas and the Sastras.

    Sanathana Dharma, which teaches the truth of all religions and tolerance of all religions, is the Dharma of all mankind. Born in various areas, flowing through various paths, the rivers at last reach the Ocean; so too, born in different lands, practising different ways of Dharma, people reach the Ocean of the presence of the Lord, through different modes of worship. Sanathana Dharma is the central location in which all these various paths, moving in different directions, converge. Followers of the different religions can practise this Sanathana Dharma, by being truthful in speech, by avoiding jealousy and anger, and by acting always with a loving heart. All those who so practise Sanathana Dharma and, without faltering, achieve it, are entitled to be called 'Bharathiyas'.

    The Hindu religion is the only religion that has achieved and maintained the foremost position among all religions from earliest times and established itself permanently. The Hindus have earned their Dharma through the discovery of philosophic principles and through the Vedas. They have drunk deep the essence of the Vedas which are without beginning and without end. A land so holy is a veritable spiritual mine to the world. Just as the bowels of the earth reveal in each area mines of different metals, in Bharatha Desa is found in mine of Sanathana Dharma, the essence of all the principles of all the Sastras, all the Vedas, and all the Upanishads.  
    It is through seers, selfless karmayogis, wise men, realised souls, and Divine personages connected with this religion that spiritual wisdom reinforced by experience flowed all over the country and  progressed throughout the world. But, to whatever land it spread, the 'original home' is Bharatha itself.

      Those who have attained Liberation in this life by adherence to this Sanathana Dharma, who have earned the grace of God, who have understood the nature of Truth, who have achieved Realisation are all Bharathiyas. Bharathiyas have adored those who have reached that holy stage, without distinction of caste, creed, or sex. The holiness of that stage burns to ashes all such limitations. It is only until that stage is reached that it becomes impossible to consider everything as equal. 

     Pictorially through Sanathana Dharma illuminates the source of human activity from which all authority and all power originate is Sarveswara (Almighty, God). 

    Ignoring that omnipotence, to delude one-self that the little power one has acquired is one's own, this indeed is egoism, conceit, pride, Ahamkara. If a person is a genuine vehicle of power, he can be recognized by the characteristics of truth, kindness, love, patience, forbearance and gratefulness. Wherever these reside, Ahamkara cannot subsist, it has no place. 

    The effulgence of the Atma is obscured by Ahamkara. Therefore when Ahamkara is destroyed, all troubles end, all discontents vanish and Bliss is attained. Many an aspirant and recluse, many a sadhaka and sanyasi has allowed all excellences won by long years of struggle and sacrifice to slip away through this attachment to the self. Whatever the wealth of words, whatever the standard of scholarship, it is all a colossal waste. To bring the teachings of the Vedas, Upanishads and the Sastras into one's actual life one has to scotch the feeling, "I know," and open one's eyes to the real Essence and Introspect on it. Then, one can attain Bliss without fail. 
    The Sastras can give only information about doctrines, axioms, rules, regulations and duties. The sublime characteristics of the Vedas and the Upanishads and Sastras are that they give instruction in the methods of attaining peace and liberation. But they are not saturated with these essences of Bliss, so that one can collect them by squeezing the texts. One has to discover the path, the direction and the goal as described in them; one has to tread the path, follow the direction, and reach the goal.

    Aware of all this, if you get immersed in spiritual practice, the world and its worries will not affect you.  Until the reality of Paramatma is known, you are over-powered and stunned by the uproar of the world but once you enter deep into the realm of spiritual endeavour, everything becomes clear and the knowledge of the reality awakens within you.

    Those who seek union with God, those who seek the welfare of the world should discard as worthless both praise and blame, appreciation and derision, prosperity and adversity. They should courageously keep steady faith in their own innate reality and dedicate themselves to spiritual uplift. No one, not even a mahapurusha or avatar can ever escape criticism and blame.

    But they do not yield to threats. The real nature of the mahapurusha or the avatar is realized by those who indulge in criticism or blame only after wading through unbearable trouble and then, they too start to praise. The weakness of ignorance is the cause of this failure.

    Three types can be recognized among those who seek to do good deeds and tread the path of self-realisation.

    1. Those who are too frightened by the troubles, losses, and difficulties, to begin the endeavour; they are of the lowest or adharma type.
    2. Those who, after having depressed and defeated by obstacles and disappointments and who therefore give up, in the middle. They are of the middling, or the madhyama type.
    3. Those who steadfastly adhere to the path with calmness and courage, whatever the nature of the travel, however hard the road; those are, of the highest or the uthama type. This steadfastness, this faith and constancy is the characteristic of the Bhaktha.

    Consider always the faults of others, however big, to be insignificant and negligible. Consider always your own faults, however insignificant and negligible, to be big, and feel sad and repentant. By these means, you avoid developing the bigger faults and defects and you acquire the qualities of brotherliness and forbearance. 
    Try to know the essence of everything; the eternal truth. Try to experience the Love which is Paramatma itself. To experience it is easier by worship.

    There are many who cavil at image worship but its basis is really one's capacity to see the macrocosm in the microcosm. The value of image worship is testified to by experience; it does not depend on one's imaginative faculty. What is found in the Virat Swarupa of the Lord is found, undiminished and unalloyed, in the image Swarupa also. Images serve the same purpose as metaphors, similies etc., in poetry. They illustrate, amplify and make clear.

    Joy comes not through the shape of things but through the relationship established with them. Not any child but her child makes the mother happy.

    With each and everything in the universe, if one establishes the kinship, that Iswara Prema, verily, what an overpowering joy can be experienced! Only those who have felt it can understand. 
    In reality, as a rule, human beings see the shadow and take it to be the substance. They see length, breadth, height and thickness and they jump to the conclusion that they have an object before them. What is cognised as an object, is not real at all; its reality is not cognisable.

    Mud alone is real. The pot-consciousness is born of ignorance regarding mud; mud is the basis, the substance of the pot. How can a pot exist without mud? How can effect exist apart from the cause? The world appears as multiplicity only to the ignorant. The Atman alone is cognised; there is nothing else. That is the Adwaithic experience.

    Keep always before the eye of memory, death which is inevitable, and engage yourself in the journey of life, with good wishes for all, with strict adherence to truth, seeking always the company of the good, and with the mind always fixed on the Lord. Live, avoiding evil deeds, and hateful and harmful thoughts, and do not get attached to the world. If you live thus, your last moment will be pure, sweet and blessed.

    For a drowning man, even a reed is some support. So too, to a person struggling in the Sea of Samsara, a few good words spoken by some one might be of great help. No good deed can go waste. Let it always remind you of God. It is to earn these holy samskaras that one has to maintain the flow of high thoughts and feelings, uninterrupted. 
    The holy stream of good Samskaras* must flow full and steady along the fields of holy thoughts and finally abide in the great Ocean of Bliss at the moment of Death. Worthy indeed is one who reaches such a Goal.

    You must do and earn auspicious Samskaras in order that the bond of Love and Grace may exist and get tightened. (Reet's compilation from Sathya Sai Baba. Prema Vahini, pp. 12 - 29).

   *Samskara - 'impression'; "Every action that you do produces a two-fold effect. It produces an impression in your mind and when you die you carry the Samskara in the Karmashaya or receptacle of works in your subconscious mind. It produces an impression on the world or Akashic records. " (Swami S'ivananda). Samskara is a Sanskrit word, which means to improve, to purify, to refine, to make perfect.


Swami teaches.... (10 February 2005)

 

   Towards Noble Character and Ethical Life

 

     Kaliyuga offers multifarious paths through which human being can acquire discrimination or viveka. Indeed, there is much more misery than in previous ages! The reason lies in human behaviour, in  way of living itself. Some say knowledge is power, but it is not true. Character is Power.

    Buddha, Jesus Christ, Sankaracharya and Vivekananda, great Sages and Saints and Devotees of the Lord, all these are treasured in the memory of people even unto this day. What quality made them all memorable for all time?

    Without character, wealth, education, social status, all these are of no avail. Among the qualities that make up a flawless character, Love, Patience, Forbearance, Steadfastness, Charity - these are the highest, these have to be revered.

    Whatever be the nature of the character, it can certainly be modified by modifying the accustomed process of thought and imagination.

    When I see the heaps of books that lie around everywhere, I feel that the wisdom inside the book cannot succeed in penetrating the heavy binding and emerge into the light. Sun of Wisdom is hidden by these huge heaps of books. Though these books have spread to all corners of the earth, we cannot say that culture has increased or that wisdom has increased.

    An attractive binding and title, a beautiful picture, these are what the reader seeks, viz., transitory pleasure and momentary contentment. Those who seek the highest path and who revel in thoughts of God should strive to read  the life histories of saints and sages and books which help the contemplation of the Divine.

    Each one should ask himself the question: Mahatmas and Mahapurushas were also persons like me; they were also embodied beings. When they could attain perfection, I can also succeed, if I follow their method.

    The first sadhana is search for the faults and weaknesses within thyself and strive to correct them and become perfect.

    Human being has only a short span of life, here upon earth. But, even in this short life one can, by wisely using the time with care, attain Divine Bliss. Human's habits and the behaviours formed out of these habits, and the character into which that behaviour has solidified. Anyone is the creature of character.

    To a superficial observer, the human's life appears as an endless round of eating and drinking, toiling and sleeping. But, verily life has a much greater meaning; a much deeper significance. Life is a sacrifice, a yagna. 

    Before Death, position, pride and power, all vanish. But remember, this body cannot be you. It is for the sake of that Atma Tatwa that you have this body and so in the attempt to realize Parameshwara here and now, you must be prepared to offer this body, at any moment, as a sacrifice. Utilise your authority over this body to foster the welfare of the world.

    When the rains come, earth and sky are one in the sheety downpour. It is indeed a beautiful inspiring scene, a scene by which creation itself is teaching you to become One, in unison with it. There are three lessons that can be learnt - the impermanence of created things, the role of Human being as the servant, and God as the Master. This creation is the wherewithal of the Puja; Human being  is the worshipper, and God, the worshipped.  When one attains this stage of thought, feeling and action, all difference between mine and thine will disappear. 

    ( Unless the Divine comes with a form, no one can develop faith in the Formless. The Divine in human form is the preparation for comprehending the Formless Absolute).

    The life's activities must be saturated with Karma, Bhakthi and Jnana. This is verily the Purushothama Yoga. It has to be acted in practice, not merely spoken in words, Sadhana should be done constantly with ever-expanding heart full of Bhakthi and Jnana.

   Jnana means understanding but, it is not just an intellectual feat. 'Eating' does not mean the placing of food on the tongue. So too understanding or Jnana must permeate and invigorate all the moments of life. It must be expressed through all the organs and sense, through all the Karmendriyas and all the Jnanendriyas.    
    There is no distinction between Bhakthi and Jnana. Just as Suguna becomes Nirguna, Bhakthi too becomes Jnana. I will not agree that Karma, Bhakthi and Jnana are separate. I do not even like to classify one of these as first, the other as the second and next as the third. I will not accept a mixture of all the three or even a samuchchaya, a merger of the three. Karma is Bhakthi and Bhakthi is Jnana: A block of Mysorepak has sweetness, weight and shape; the three cannot be separated, one from the other. Each little part of it has sweetness, weight and shape. So too, the Jiva, the Atma, and the Paramatma are not separate; they are one and the same.

    All Karma done for the sake of three entities is sacrifice, viz., to utilise the world for the worship of the Lord, to establish peace and justice in society and to control and co-ordinate the functions of the body. The first is called Yajna, the second Dana and the third Tapas. All human acts must subserve these three needs. 

    All the wealth that human being acquires is got through speech. Our friendships and relations are established through speech. In human life, speech is extremely vital. When one's speech is pure, he/she gets sanctified. 
    For attaining this stage, an ethical life is the foundation. This ethical life is based upon discrimination between Truth and Falsehood. One should also constantly practise the great lesson that the Body and the Atma are separate. This is a highly beneficial exercise. Such viveka or discrimination is necessary for all aspects of life secular as well as spiritual. It is indispensable for realizing the Truth, the Truth that persists in Creation, Existence and Destruction - the Truth which is God Himself.

    In this material world, one cannot appreciate the value of spiritual endeavour if he has had no experience of such a spiritual life and its purity. The nature and condition of the spiritual path are known only to those who have journeyed along the road. They know that the path of Sathya and Viveka leads to Paramatma.

    Paramatma alone is real. Paramatma is Truth, Paramatma is Love. Meditate on Him as Truth, as Love. By your behaviour, through your way of life, you can realize the Truth, you can realize Paramatma. Your mind will then merge in Paramatma.

   The truth about God cannot be understood by anyone. He is infinitely vast. He is minuter than the atom. No one can know what is the macrocosm and what is the microcosm.  Seek, to understand the ways of God and through devotion and worship strive to experience the Divine.
( Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Baba. Prema Vahini, pp. 1 - 11; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 23, "Revelations about the Sai Avatar," Chapter 28).  

 

    PS: 1. Explanation the terms click:  http://www.vahini.org/glossary/a.html

 

         2. I cannot give any rules and dates concern to "Swami teaches..." I write this as by some intuition impossible to explain in words. In spring, according to my work, I cannot be every day at computer and probably will send 2 - 4 compilations during the week. (These compilations take much time, I must to examine very carefully Swami's texts and to 'transform' what has read into some inner vision ('pictures') what as show me how and what to write. Serial "Swami teaches.."  is as University of Swami's Teaching for myself.


    Namaste - Reet

 


to be continued

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