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Swami teaches....Part 107

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Light and Love

Swami teaches... 15 -18 June 2007

Part 3. Guidelines for Spiritual Lifestyle

Human has to make up from the sleep of ignorance and realize own Divine essence Sath-Chith-Ananda. To the extent worldly desires are reduced, to the same extent bliss will be experienced. Simultaneously with the control of desires, people should get rid of ahamkara (egoism). If there is devotion, all other things will come easily.

The very first thing one has to do is to destroy the animal nature. Without eliminating the animal nature, all rituals and acts of charity are of no avail. Without the conquest of animal nature, all forms of external worship are of no use.


For example, people participate in bhajans. This is doubtless a good act, but it is only an auxiliary element in spiritual discipline. Without removing the animal nature, a singer of bhajans continues to be spiritually blind. Participation in bhajans and performing of worship should lead to the elimination of animal qualifies.


Here is one other example to illustrate this point from another angle.

In temples of Easwara (or Shiva), you find Nandi (image of bull) in front of the deity. What is the inner significance of this? The usual reply you get is that Nandi is the vahana (vehicle) of Easwara; as if He could not afford to have a better vehicle than a bull. However, the truth is that just as the Lingam is the symbol of the Lord (Easwara), Nandi (bull) is the symbol for Jiva (individual soul).


There are some more meanings for this symbolism. For instance, it is said that no one should stand between Easwara and Nandi. One should have the vision of Easwara by looking through the space in between the two ears of Nandi. The underlying idea is that through the sadhana of using its ears to listen about Easwara alone, the animality in the bull becomes transformed into divinity and because of its merger with Easwara it is called Nande-Easwara (Bull-God). Thus, the lesson of the symbolism is that human should also try to merge with God, by following the example of the Nandi.


Nandi could become Easwara, only because it turned its attention to God. Similarly, Hanuman, the monkey, and Garuda, the bird, became dear to the Lord. Therefore, if you get rid of your animality, you will become Pashupathi (the Lord of all beings).

Education alone does not make one a good son or daughter. One should be good in the actions and behavior. Jnana (knowledge) does not a mere acquaintance with books. Nor is it worldly knowledge. Only the person who has recognized the oneness of the Jiviatma (individual Spirit) and the Universal Spirit is a real jnani (one who possesses the Supreme Wisdom). True wisdom consists in the awareness of the rarity of the individual and the collective whole. Whatever the creed, whatever the country or nationality, Truth is one. The Omni Self is one only.

The sacred books of the different religions - whether it be the Vedas, the Bible or the Koran - are intended to promote spiritual practices and not be used for ritualistic reading. (Even eminent scholars often treat these scriptures only as texts for ritualistic recitation). Whatever be the number of religions, their goal is one and the same.

("In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1:1-3).*

In the world, the different nations and countries have diverse forms and names. Nevertheless, the Divine in all of them is one and the same. The Indwelling Spirit is the same in all beings. The Divine energy is common to all, like the current which activates all bulbs, fans etc. All individuals shall come together like the flowers in a bouquet. All people on the Earth are as one bouquet. (Not realizing this, you perceive unity as diversity). The differences among human beings are the result of the differences in their capacities. When one is immersed in thoughts of God, his/her capacity will grow.

The same feeling of love permeates every human being. Nevertheless, depending upon the mental make-up, the state, and destiny of different human beings assumes different forms.

 

We should take everyone into our fold. In fact, that is Swami's way. However, some people may not agree. That is due to their lack of maturity, the reflection of their inner feelings. God assumes different forms in consonance with the inner feelings of the devotees. By whatever name and form the human beings contemplate on God, He will appear to them in the same name and form.

In this Age of Kali even good appears to be bad. The same individual loves one and hates another. He develops enmity with one and friendship with another. This sort of friendship or enmity is not something that it has acquired from outside. Such feelings are of his/her heart. When you consider someone as your ?enemy?, one becomes so. On the other hand, when you consider someone as your ?friend?, one becomes a friend.

Thus, human develops a number of relationships based on names and forms. It is the mind that is responsible for so many changes in the world.
 

Human, per se is faultless. It is love that permeates all human beings. It is true that human beings exhibit qualities like anger, hatred, jealousy, pomp, etc., sometimes. Nevertheless, they do not affect God. God is beyond gunas (attributes), whereas human beings are with gunas. Good and bad are only in a human being, not in God.
 

To carry on daily life in the world people pursue many vocations. However, does all this constitute real living?

People today are filled with fear because they have no confidence in themselves. A bird can brave a storm because it has faith in its wings. However, human succumbs to the slightest reverses of fortune because he/she does not rely on the power of the Spirit.
 

People have to rely primarily on the power of the Divine. With confidence in the Self, they should devote themselves to good deeds. This is the purpose of life.

The pompous person
with unclear mind
what chance has he
of realizing the true Self?

An intellect pure alone
is able to comprehend
the true principle of Self
No more is there to be said on this.
(Telugu poem)

Human's thoughts, words, and deeds must be suffused with love. Only then, person will experience peace. When person's behavior and talk is bad, how can he/she expect peace to reign in heart? Swami's famous saying declares, "Peace is not in the outside world. It is very much in individual's heart. There are only pieces outside, not peace."

All histories are sacred - whether they pertain to Bharath, Islam, Christian or others. It is in their followers that you find all sorts of omissions and commissions. That is why the hatred between one religion and another is ever on the increase.
 

However, there is nothing wrong with the religions per se. People should recognize this fact and conduct themselves accordingly. Good and bad are creations of your mind only.
 

Good qualities can be acquired by practice. The practice may be difficult, like moving an object uphill. The sadhana (spiritual practice) must be done with full faith and no doubts. To experience God certain disciplines are required.


To realize God you have to be good. This means that one has to cultivate good qualities like reverence for parents, humility, respect for teachers and elders.

How did Rama achieve such greatness? By carrying out the injunctions of his father. Rama also exemplified friendliness and brotherliness. He moved among the people with a sense of endearment. He identified the people's welfare with his own well-being.

What is meant by Rama Charithra (History of Rama)? What Rama did during His lifetime is His Charithra or History. Practicing, experiencing, enjoying bliss, and sharing the bliss with others - is Charithra. How Rama mastered His senses and mind during all the vicissitudes of life, how He was neither elated by pleasure nor depressed by pain, how He accepted His exile into the forest with the same happy countenance with which he had prepared Himself for His coronation. This story of His which describes His equanimity under all circumstances of pleasure or pain and loss or gain.
 

Try to understand the correct meaning of what is recorded in the Charithra or history of Bharath which is highly sacred. Charithra (history) is derived from "charayalu" (the actual actions) of people but not from mere writings or discourses.

The ways of the Divine should be properly understood. God exists not for one nation or one community. Each one gets the reward according to his deserts, as are the actions, so are the fruits thereof.
 

Swami does not tire to repeat that truth is very much in every individual. Truth, righteousness, peace, love, and non-violence are the innate qualities of a human being.
 

It is enough if you put into practice at least one aspect of what you have read. That will help in every way.
 

You may pursue any type of education; but, do not forget the human values. Truth, righteousness, peace, love, and non-violence are the five human values to be cultivated by a human being.
 

Truth is eternal and will earn eternal peace for you.
 

Hence, before doing anything, one should consider whether it is right or wrong. One should see that no harm occurs to anyone on account of one's actions.

Swami mentions an example of actual action from the history - the spontaneous magnanimity of Karna (half-brother of Pandavas. Valiant, but unfortunate eldest son of Kunthi by the Sun deity. Ally of the Kauravas in the war with Pandavas).

Krishna had contrived to bring home to Arjuna the extent to which Karna was prepared to sacrifice himself to satisfy any one who came to him for help.


Krishna assumed the form of a form of the hermit Brahmana and came to Karna on the battlefield asking for some gold. As the only way he could satisfy the Brahmana was to pull out his two golden teeth to give them to him, Karna did not hesitate to do so. He got them washed in Ganga water aiming an arrow at the ground and making the river spout forth.
 

Arjuna, who had a high opinion of his own prowess and devotion to Krishna, felt humbled at the sight of Karna's boundless generosity.

The lesson is that one should try to understand everything thoroughly, and not rash forward blindly into all matters, thoughts and deeds. Then you will gain "practical knowledge," and that will guide you along the desirable and sacred path. You will find guideposts here and there on the roadside, to indicate which path you should take to reach any particular place. The ups and downs in the path can be experienced only by those who tread the path, but not by the guidepost.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 2. "The Name of Naaraayana," Chapter 9; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "Rise From Animality To Divinity," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "The four beacons," Chapter 20 and "As you sow, so shall you reap," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Purity--the path to Liberation," Chapter 13;

http://www.sssbpt.org/Pages/Prasanthi_Nilayam/Christmas2006_Discourse.html)

 

*The original the New Testament in Greek uses the word "logos" as opposed to "word". In modern Greek "logos" literally means "word"; in Ancient Greek "logos" also means "thought".

Namaste - Reet


Swami teaches... 11 -14 June 2007

Part 2. Guidelines for Spiritual Lifestyle

What is it that people need today? These are three things: A heart pure and white like the moon, speech soft and sweet like butter, a face that is loving and kind. (These are mostly lacking in the world today. The entire atmosphere is frightening).

People have to strive to base their lives on neethi and nijaayathi (morality and integrity), which alone can lead to Nirvana (liberation). They should become, as Jesus said, messengers of God and light the lamp of the Divine in their minds.


It is not enough to read the lives of avatars and messias. People must gradually outgrow their material attachments and develop Divine Love. (When the mind is filled with love, it achieves fullness as full moon is).

Three words describe the primary obligations of human: preethi, bheethi and neethi. Preethi pertains to the dhaiva preethi (love of God). Bheethi is related to the papa bheethi (fear of sin). Neethi is related to sangha neethi (morality in society). If these three are observed, there will be peace and non-violence. Love of God is the basis for all human values. It is the index of human's Divinity as proclaimed by the scriptures.

You can gain all things through love alone. Love can win over even the strongest of enemies. True love is desireless and natural. It is based on the Atmic relationship.


(A small example for such love: a mother is walking along the street, carrying her young baby. If you happen to be walking behind them, that child will smile on seeing you, and naturally, you will also smile at the child. Who is that child and who are you? Although them is no relationship whatsoever between the two of you, the child is able to make you smile. What a profound bliss would you experience in such love).


Develop greater love in your heart. As your love grows, the Spirit in you will shine brighter. Life is associated with love, not hatred.
 

(Today, wherever you see there is mostly hatred, hatred, hatred! Being born as human being, it is not proper to possess animal qualities, throwing to wind the human qualities. Sometimes, the animals even seem better than human beings do in this regard).

Three great enemies of human are kaama (desire), krodha (anger) and lobha (greed). Desire destroys devotion, anger annihilates wisdom, and greed poisons every action. These three vices are destructive of sath-karma (good deeds), upasana (devotion) and jnana (spiritual wisdom). The only cure for them is to burn them in the fire of Divine Love.

People have to reach to the truth that there is no difference between one aspect of God and another. There is no room for higher and lower among the aspects of Godhead; there is no room for inferior or superior in status among the various sections of mankind.


A sugar doll is sweet all through; the limbs are as much sugar as the head. Once you are established in the Divine Love (Prema), you will not notice these differences any more; they will appear silly, stupid, and meaningless. (When there is no Prema, egoism has the upper hand; quarrels about your being superior and others being inferior rise up their heads).

Realize God through the Divine Love. There is nothing greater than that. Such is also the message of Tulsidas (author of the greatest medieval devotional poetical work concerning the acts of Rama).

How is God to be experienced? God is present in everyone like butter in milk. Your heart is the container. Love is the milk present in the heart. When this love is offered to the Lord, it acts as the churning process for getting butter. There is then the direct experience of the Divine.


God is also like milk, which, when added to the decoction, becomes coffee. The same milk can become a sweet pudding too. All the changes that are taking place in the human beings are only due to their gunas.
 

Human's dharma is threefold. It relates to body, mind and Atma. Good deeds, good thoughts, and Godly experience of bliss are the expressions of this triple dharma. The reference to the light that illumines the three worlds should be understood in this way.

There are three kinds of light. The lamp in a house illumines only the house. The light that burns inside a home is comparable to self-interest. The Moon at night gives his light to the world, although it is a dim light. The light coming from the Moon may be compared for the benefit of others. But the Sun who illumines the day sheds his effulgence everywhere. The light of the Sun is the effulgence of Truth.

From early times Bharatheyas were worshippers of the Sun-God. They offered Surya-namaskar (salutations to the Sun).


The good-intentioned and righteous persons will welcome the advent of the full Moon. Light of the Moon is the reflection of sunlight. The hearts of good persons, filled with good feelings, are cool like the Moon. Poets are inspired to pour forth the joy in their hearts at the sight of the Moon. On the day of the Purnima (full-moon) human's heart is also pure and bright. The Vedas declare that the Moon emerged from the mind of the Virat-Purusha (Cosmic Divinity; Lord in His form as the physical manifested Cosmos, Cosmic Person) and the Sun emerged from his eye.

The human mind is a reflection of the Moon. Moonlight dispels the darkness of ignorance, drives away fear, and confers peace and joy.


During the day, the Sun affords light to the world. Without the Sun, the world will cease to exist. The Sun is the visible deity for the world. Without the Sun, there can be no life on the Earth.
 

It is the Sun's power that helps to purify the heart. Hence, for the planet Earth the Sun is the visible manifestation of God.

Bharath was contributing to the security and prosperity of the world from ancient times by its adherence to the spiritual path. From then to this day, the message, "Let all the people of the world be happy" has been the ideal of Bharath. Many persons in various places, at various times, immersed themselves in experiencing the joy of the spirit.

Try to understand what it is, that brings thousands of people to pilgrims from far off places through tortuous mountain roads, to the sacred temples? There is a faith that heartens them.
 

Temples are intended to instruct people in the art of removing the veil of attachment that lies over their heart. That is the reason why sage Thyagaraja cried at the temple in Thirupathi, "Remove the veil within me, the veil of pride and hate."
 

Plant that faith in your heart; you will then find that your whole life changes for the better. Take the name of Narayana on your tongue and become aware of its sweetness; you will find a new meaning in every act of yours.

Today, because of the influence of modernism and modernity, young generation mostly treats with levity the very term spirituality and spiritual activity.


There is a reason for this attitude. Over the centuries, the people were mouthing spiritual sayings, parrot-like, without understanding their meanings, with the result that students (and also older generation) today are mostly unable to understand the true meaning of spirituality. (Even scholars and people of spiritual eminence have been unable to convey the spiritual message to the young people of today in a manner that is meaningful to them and appeals to their hearts).
 

The spiritual propaganda that is carried on today is divorced from practice, with the result that spirituality has made little impact on the youth today. The young do not get a compelling vision of spiritual truths. Here is an illustration.


In ancient times, people used to perform yagas and yajnas (religious sacrifices). These sacrifices were being performed according to the rules laid down in the scriptures. However, while conforming to the prescribed procedures, few understood the inner meaning of these sacrifices. All their lives were spent in external observances. In the performance of sacrifice, they used to offer cows or other dumb animals as sacrifice and propagated the view that such offerings were in accordance with spiritual injunctions. This was a great mistake.


The real meaning of animal sacrifice is the sacrifice of the animal nature in human. Everyone has to get rid of egoism and the sense of "mine". Without sacrificing these animal tendencies, sacrificing dumb animals is unworthy of human beings.

Ancients used to perform Aswamedha Yaga (Horse Sacrifice). What does the "Horse Sacrifice" mean? By aswam (horse) is meant that which is restless and also runs fast while riding thereon. The horse is an animal which represents the unsteady mind. (The word medha in Aswamedha literally means the mind). Human's mind is both restless and very fast moving. Thus to perform the Horse Sacrifice really means to offer the unsteady mind to God.
 

That is why Arjuna complained to Krishna (during the Gita dialogue) that the mind is restless, strong, obstinate, and dangerous. Such a highly fickle mind, which is comparable to the horse (an animal), should be surrendered to God as a sacrificial offering. This is the real meaning behind the Horse Sacrifice. (But nowadays everyone is misguided by the outer meaning only, and nobody takes the trouble of knowing the inner meaning).


Some may try to argue that in olden days animals were sacrificed during yajnas and yagas. However, they are not correct. Only a few ignorant pandits (scholars) and misguided elders used to indulge in animal sacrifice. Those who recognized the inner meaning of this ritual used to give prime importance to the sacrifice of the beastly qualities in human while performing such religious ceremonies.


Sacrificing your ego is sathwic (pure and noble), while sacrificing any animal is thamasic (impure and ignoble).

What does animal nature mean when it is used with reference to the sacrifice of animals? Pashuthva (animal nature) refers to Jiva thathwa (one's way of life). The manner of living in which the identification of the body with the Self (the "I") is prevalent is pashuthva (animal existence). This is the mark of the animal nature in human.

The word bali is used with references to the sacrifices in yagas. What is the bali that is to offered in the sacrifice? It is the offering of one's bad qualities and bad thoughts as an offering to the Divine. How can one offer bad things to God? God alone can accept such offerings and give good things in return. No one else in the world will accept the bad and give what is good in return. This kind of exchange is possible only for the Divine. An example for this from ordinary life.

There is a soiled and tattered currency note with you. No one is prepared to accept it from you. However, when it is tendered to the reserve bank, which issued it, it is bound to accept it and issue a new note in return. Likewise, Almighty is the Spiritual Reserve Bank that will accept the soiled notes of your mind and give in return good currency (in the form of good thoughts).
 

Spirituality, thus, means transforming one's life into an ideal one by offering one's bad qualities to the Lord and receiving from Him good qualities in return.

The impression that is conveyed to the young people is that spirituality consists solely in good actions like performing bhajans, offering puja (worship), reciting the names of the Lord, going on pilgrimages, and visiting temples. The primary reason for this is the failure on the part of the propagators to comprehend the profound message of the Vedas and Vedangas and realize the underlying truths embedded in the Great Epics and Puranas.
 

Young people (and also many the old ones) usually imagine that spirituality means meditation on God, bathing in sacred waters, and visiting holy shrines. Nevertheless, spirituality means destroying the animal nature in human and realizing the individual's Divine consciousness. Spirituality calls for the recognition of the manifold capacities manifesting in human as emanating from the spirit and not from the mind. It means developing the faith that all powers come from the Divine.

Spirituality does not mean proceeding from the human to the Divine. It seeks to unfold the Divinity in human. Spirituality does not mean passing from the mundane to the Divine. Spirituality means making human manifest the Divinity in him/her.

People today have the wrong impression that spirituality is concerned with the journey from the mundane world to the higher realm and vice versa.
 

Spirituality is the realization of the role of the Spirit in daily life. It is a way of life; it is a style of life. Our entire life is bound up with the Spirit. All the human's powers are derived from the Spirit.
 

Nor does spirituality mean leading a lonely and secluded life. True spirituality calls for the recognition of the oneness of all humanity, to demonstrate the spiritual truth underlying the Divine unity.
 

Our entire life is bound up with the spiritual. Whatever one says, whatever one does, whatever one thinks, all of it is related to the Spirit. Spirituality is the expression of the promptings of the Inner Spirit.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 2. "The Name of Naaraayana," Chapter 9; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "Rise From Animality To Divinity," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "The four beacons," Chapter 20 and "As you sow, so shall you reap," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Purity--the path to Liberation," Chapter 13;

http://www.sssbpt.org/Pages/Prasanthi_Nilayam/Christmas2006_Discourse.html).
Namaste - Reet


Swami teaches... 4 - 10 June 2007

Part 1. Guidelines for Spiritual Lifestyle

Snowy peaks of mountains teach human to be as pure and unblemished as their whiteness. The silence of valleys is very inspiring; when the heart is free from agitation, the tongue is dumb and the ear has rest. That is why in olden times, and even today, sadhakas (spiritual aspirants) came to solitary places and did penance. The sages and saints have carried with them the silence of hills, the warm affection of the hot springs, the spirit of sacrifice.

Nevertheless, it is, no use searching for silence with a noisy storm raging inside. You are where your mind is, not where your body rests. You should not give room to different fanciful desires, which will sap your mental powers. Do not entertain all sorts of unrealistic and imaginary aspirations. What is supremely important is the present.


A person visited Kasi (Benares), Prayag, Haridwar, etc. Although tired with the daylong journey, person could not sleep during the nights. During the daytime, he used to have darshan of beautiful images of Gods and Goddesses and bathe in the sacred waters of holy rivers. Person was happy that by these religious activities own sins were being washed away. However, when person investigated into the reason for his/her not getting sleep during the nights, person found that there were lots of bugs in his bedding. In the same manner, in our bedstead called the body there are any number of bugs, namely, endless desires of various types. As long as these desires are there, one cannot escape from miseries wherever one might go. As a human grows older, the desires also grow, instead of diminishing.

All the pains and pleasures human experiences are the results of own actions and not due to any act of the Divine. God is only a witness, like a postman. He delivers to you whatever letter is addressed to you. The grief or joy you derive from the contents of the letter is your own.


However, there is the operation of special grace on certain occasions. When you pray to God with a pure heart, without a trace of selfishness and with sacred feelings, God confers special favor. Moreover, when a person has done some unique act of sacrifice in a previous life or at any time in the past, the Divine confers an appropriate reward for it at the proper time.


Krishna came to the rescue of Draupadi (wife of Pandavas) when Duryodhana (chief of the evil-minded sons of Dhritharashtra) attempted to disrobe her, by making her sari endless, in return for the readiness with which Draupadi tore off a piece from her sari to bind the bleeding finger of Krishna.


We can experience God?s Love only with love from our side. Love and peace are the most essential qualities for a human being. A millionaire may build several residences, purchase a number of cars and have several conveniences. However, whomever you come across, they say that they have no peace. Of what use are all this wealth, comforts, and conveniences, if there is no peace within?

There was a rich landlord who went in search of some land. He has a desire to purchase an additional piece of land. Having come to know of this man's efforts, a person came to him and advised, "Sir! You may please go to the Himalayan region where plenty of land is available free of cost." This man went to the Himalayas and contacted the king of that region. The king told him: "I promise to give you all that land which you cover by walking from sunrise to sunset." The landlord was very happy. Next morning, he set on his expedition, enthusiastically. In fact, he began to run greedily with a view to acquire more land. It was sunset. He was very tired and weak. Yet, he did not give up his greed. Just when he was at a distance of six feet before his final goal, he swooned and fell down. The king came to that spot, saw his condition, and commented: "Alas! What this man requires now is only six feet land!"


(Running towards pleasures and fleeing from pain is characteristic of animalism. Animal rashes towards you when you show it the green grass in your hand, but it will run away from you when you show it the cane in your hand. Thus, attraction to what appears to be good and repulsion from what appears to be bad is the nature of animals).

No one can separate pain from pleasure, sorrow from joy, or loss from gain since they are inextricably intertwined. We can never find anywhere unadulterated pleasure or pain separate from each other. The fruit of pain is pleasure and vice versa.


Birth and death are the root causes for joy and sorrow. Nevertheless, for whom are these births and deaths? Death is for that which is born, and birth is for that which has died. If there is no birth, there is no death. This body is the root cause for birth and death as well as for Ahamkara and Mamakara (the feelings of "I" and "Mine").

You should not be misguided by the worldly and superficial meanings, and forget the inner meanings. This is the crux of spirituality. The waywardness of your mind prevails in the gross state of wakefulness as well as in the subtle state of dreaming.


You should not become a victim of the feelings of anger, hatred, ego, or pride, which may arise in you. When such feelings arise in you, sit silently for a few minutes. Instead of doing so, you must not give vent to your anger by scolding or beating others as you like.


As soon as you get angry, you should immediately leave that place, go out into the open, and quietly walk a furlong.


An easier method than this is to stand before a mirror and look into your own angry face. You will dislike your own face and look upon it with disgust or aversion. Then try to laugh heartily and your anger will leave you.


If you find it difficult even to do this, go into your bathroom and turn the water tap on. To the accompaniment of the tune of the sound created by the water flowing from the tap, begin to sing a good song.


Or else, drink a glass of cold water. Like this, you have to seek ways and means of regaining a calm and peaceful mood.

The less you talk, the more will become your mental power. With the increase in your mental capacity, there will be increase in your power of discrimination too. Consequently, you will give up "individual discrimination" and resort to "fundamental discrimination." Because of this, you will begin to consider the good of the world at large rather than your own individual welfare.

All sorrow is related to the body and worldly desires. You experience desires in the waking state. In the deep sleep state one is totally unaware of even the body and of the phenomenal world. Hence there is no sorrow in that state.
By constant contemplation on God the mind should be turned away from mundane desires. That is the way to get rid of both pain and pleasure.

Like the Ganga rushing towards the sea from where its waters are derived, the Jivi (individual soul) must hurry towards Brahman (Supreme Spirit, Atman) from which it has separated. The Ganga does not allow any obstacle to stop its course. You too should proceed, laughing, roiling, and tripping gladly over rock and boulder of life towards the goal, the source.

Today mainly the form fascinates us. This transient form is tormenting us, which is but a reflection. We are to take cognizance not of the form but of our Divine source. Atma (Self) is our source, which is also called Adi-atma, (Adhi-aathma) -pertaining to the individual soul, spirit, or manifestation of Supreme Paramatma. Adi + Atma, i.e., Atma (that is truly Adi, the beginning, or source). Hence, we should get back to our source. Then alone can we experience total (unalloyed) bliss.


If you bring a fish and keep it in a gold vessel studded with all the nine precious gems, it will not at all feel happy. On the contrary, it will struggle restlessly to get back to its source, namely, water. So also, we have strayed away from Atma, our source. Having been enticed by the worldly pleasures like wealth, gold, vehicles, and other properties, we are forgetting our very source. When we deeply ponder over this matter, the fish seems to be more intelligent than human. That fish has not forgotten its source, while human who, despite all his/her education, intelligence, culture and sophistication, has forgotten the source.

Our bodies are like vessels. Whatever changes the vessels may undergo, our source will never change. For example, a silver plate, a silver tumbler, and a silver box--the names and forms of these three articles are different. However, when any one of these three articles is melted, what remains is silver alone. Similarly, whatever names and forms we may assume, the common substratum of all these forms will continue to be the same Atma that is changeless.

How can a human who is not aware of own humanness recognize the Divinity within him/her? Hence the first requisite is the recognition by everyone of own human essence.


Basing on this truth, Buddha declared that everyone should cultivate at the outset a samyag-dhrishti (pure vision). Buddha's emphasis was entirely on purity in every aspect of daily life.
 

The second quality that is needed is samyag-sankalpa (pure thoughts). Only the person who has developed purity in vision can have purity in thoughts.


The third requirement for everyone, along with purity in vision and thought, is samyag-karma (pure deeds). Through pure deeds person is able to recognize own human essence.
 

By the capacity, for developing good vision, entertaining good thoughts and performing good deeds, person has the power to transform humanness into Divinity
 

A fourth requirement is samyag-shruthi (listening to sacred words). The fifth quality prescribed by Buddha is samyag-jivanam (living a pure life). True living means making one's life meaningful by ideal actions. Human's life must be governed by idealism in action.
 

Buddha declared that everyone should aim at samyag-sadhana (achievement of the highest good). True sadhana is the eradication of all evil in a human. Study of sacred texts, meditation, and penance do not constitute the whole of sadhana. To remove all the impurities in the mind is real sadhana.
 

After this comes what Buddha called samyag-samadhi or Nirvana (pure realization or liberation, freedom from the bondage of mundane existence).


Samadhi means treating pleasure and pain, gain and loss alike. To look upon light and darkness, pleasure and pain, profit and loss, fame and censure with an equal mind is Samadhi. Buddha termed this equal mindedness as Nirvana.


At the very outset, one has to keep the tongue pure. This was referred to as samyag-vaak (purity in speech). The tongue has to be sanctified by refraining from falsehood, slander and abusive speech.
 

Next is samyag-dharshanam (seeing only things that are holy). You must see only things that please your conscience. Seeing all worldly things is not proper seeing at all.

Buddha declared Ahimsa (non-harming) as the supreme good. Hence, he declared, "Ahimsa Paramodharmah" (Non-hurting is the Supreme Dharma). No one should cause hurt to others by speech, action or in any other way. According to him, true Dharma (Righteousness) consists in refraining from causing harm to anyone in thought, word, or deed. In general, Buddha taught one great, truth to the world. People should bear in mind that non-harming is the supreme virtue.

Buddha taught that people should adhere to truth and uphold it. Among Buddha's teachings, the foremost were Sathya (Truth) and Dharma (Righteousness). The light that illumines the three worlds is Righteousness.


What is this Dharma? Dharma is that which upholds everything. This means that without Dharma the Cosmos cannot exist. There can be no life without the sustaining power of Dharma. Every object in the Universe is governed by its Dharma (the law of its being).
 

For instance, there is fire. What is its Dharma? The capacity to bum is the basic trait of fire. When the burning power is lost, it ceases to be fire. Likewise, the Dharma of ice is coldness. When ice loses its coldness, it ceases to be ice. For human, the Dharma is Righteousness. Righteousness implies harmony in thought, word, and deed. The unity of body, speech, and mind promotes purity and sacredness in human. This triune purity constitutes humanness. All human's actions should be pure and according to the dictates of the conscience.

Buddha asked himself, "What is this life? Birth is misery. There is misery at the end of life. Happiness is not to be found in any of the things of the world. Everything is fleeting. Nirvana is the only truth. It is the sense of oneness with all life. To turn the mind towards that which is permanent is Nirvana.

However, Buddha also declared, "Hands in the society, head in the forest." He renounced everything to think about promoting the wellbeing of society.


The Buddhist prayer must be properly understood. "Buddham sharanam gachchaami, Dharmam sharanam gachchaami, Sangham sharanam gachchaami," the real meaning of the prayer is, ?You must divert your Buddhi (mind, intellect) towards Dharma (right conduct). And the right conduct should aim at serving society. When this is done, society gets purified.?

PS 1. Buddha was totally opposed to anyone being forced to lead a worldly life against his will. When Buddha was going round begging for alms as a mendicant, his father, Shuddhodhana, called him and said, "Son! Why are you going about as a beggar? I am a king and you are leading the life of a beggar. This is not proper at all." Buddha gave him a fitting reply. "Sir, you are Brahman and I am Brahman. You are not father and I am not son. In the phenomenal world, you belong to the lineage of rulers. I belong to the lineage of renunciants. All those who follow my ideals are all renunciants. Your lineage is based on attachment. My lineage is based on renunciation. To those who have attachment, it becomes a disease. To the renunciants, detachment becomes the means to Nirvana."

PS 2. When Buddha was born, a renowned astrologer had predicted that he would be either a great king or a great renunciant.
 

The name given to Buddha at the time of birth was Sarvartha Siddha. Buddha's mother Maaya Dhevi passed away on the seventh day after his birth. Shuddhodhana's second wife Gauthami, brought up the child. Because he was brought up by Gauthami, he was named Gauthama Buddha.
 

His father Shuddhodhana, tried to protect son from all external worldly influences by keeping him in the palace and not even sending him to school. Shuddhodhana got his son married to Yashodhara, daughter of his brother-in-law, Shuddhabuddha. He apprehended that his son might become a recluse and turn away from the world.
 

Nevertheless, Buddha did not feel that a married life was the proper thing for him. Buddha felt that man was bound by various attachments in worldly life. Friends and relations were the cause of this bondage. Various human relationships were the cause of sorrow in the world. So he declared, "All is sorrow and everything in this life is momentary and perishable."
 

Parents were subjecting their children to various kinds of bonds and making their lives miserable. As soon as the children come of age, the parents are keen to get them married. They do not know what happiness have they derived from their own married life physically, mentally or otherwise?
 

No person, however intelligent, thinks about this matter. Buddha felt intensely unhappy that his parents and others combined to commit him to the bondage of married life. At the age of 28, he gave up everything and turned a renunciant. One day, at midnight, Buddha left the palace, giving up his wife and young son, Rahul.

Buddha sought to find out why the mind gets disturbed. He could not bear the sight of anyone in pain. He was saddened at the sight of the old ill-treating the young, of men in authority harassing the people and the big fish swallowing the small ones. He was deeply grieved at the sight of persons afflicted with old age. He was intrigued at the sight of a dead body. None of these natural happenings gave him peace of mind. Buddha considered the movements of the planets and the Sun and the stars as natural phenomena. He undertook many spiritual exercises to find out what transcended these natural phenomena. Failing to find the answers by these exercises, he approached many great elders to find the answers. None could give him satisfactory answers. Ultimately he reached Gaya and sat trader a banyan tree to meditate on the problems that worried him.


Because Buddha did not interest himself in the study of the Vedas or in the performance of yagas and yajnas, he was dubbed an atheist. This is utterly wrong. Buddha was a pure hearted person. Buddha decided to renounce everything in quest of the truth about human existence.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 2. "The Name of Naaraayana," Chapter 9; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "Rise From Animality To Divinity," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "The four beacons," Chapter 20 and "As you sow, so shall you reap," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Purity--the path to Liberation," Chapter 13;

http://www.sssbpt.org/Pages/Prasanthi_Nilayam/Christmas2006_Discourse.html)

Namaste - Reet


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