Swami teaches....Part 108

Links to Swami Teaches - Part 107

Swami teaches... Parts 1 -3. For the young generation

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 29 - 30 June 2007

Part 3. For the Young Generation

From Atmic aspect in this world, there is nothing like merit or sin, happiness or sorrow. Mantras, yajnas and yagas are mere rituals. God alone pervades everything. True humanness lies in understanding the significance of truth and righteousness and putting them into practice. Truth is referred to as neeti (morality), righteousness relates to reeti and sacrifice confers khyati (reputation). Manavajathi (human race) is the combination of neeti, reeti, and khyati.

A small example from Ramayana.

When Lava and Kusa asked Valmiki why he described Ravana as murkha (a senseless man), although he was the master of all the Vedas and Sastras, while describing Rama as a high-souled person, he said, "Ravana was a well-versed scholar, but did not practice what he knew. Rama was a jnani (a wise one) who lived up to what he had learnt. By controlling His senses, Rama led a life of truth an righteousness." Education should be used for promoting the welfare of others. Ravana sought only his own pleasure. Rama dedicated His life for the welfare of all.

Unfortunately, righteousness, truth, and morality (all three) are rare in the present day world. Today human has become weak because he lacks sense control through the mind. Instead of ascending to Daivatwam (Divinity), he has degenerated to the state of Deenatwam (helplessness).

Spiritual outlook of discrimination should be exercised objectively to determine what is permanent and what is transient, what is good and what is bad. Only then can human discover the Sath-Chith-Ananda (reality of the Bliss) that is within him/her. The failure to realize this arises from defective vision.

Swami has underlined in various contexts that the body comes alone and goes alone only. It is natural for the body to have birth, growth, and death. What is it that human has achieved during the course of life if he/she cries at birth, and also at death? Having been born crying, human should leave the world smiling.

What is death? It is just the change of dress. Body is like a dress. After death, you change over to another dress.

The body is made up of five elements and is bound to perish sooner or later, but the indweller has neither birth nor death. The indweller has no attachment whatsoever and is the eternal witness. Nobody should have body attachment as the main purpose of existence.

It is inescapable destiny of every one to fulfill him/herself. Every living being has to attain fullness in the end.

Each one is at present at a particular stage of this march, as a result of the activities engaged in during previous lives and the feelings he entertained in the past. The future is being built at present by the activities engaged in now and the feelings that urge and shape them. That is to say, what we do, feel or think about, at present - these are the basic reasons for the good fortune or bad fortune, which is in store.

In this life you wading through joy and grief, person has sore need of some one to whom he/she can communicate the feelings. Person has sore need of some one, with whom he/she can share own discoveries and depressions, the moments of bliss and sorrow, to be by his/her side while trekking the hard road to truth and peace, encouraging and enthusing person towards the goal.

Who is one's true friend? Who is one's false, fake friend? As understood today, friendship and friends are far of ideal. Friends who can confer real counsel, comfort and consolation are precious gifts, rarely found today.

A friendship knit by monetary bonds is disrupted as soon as you ask the loan to be repaid. How can friendship be cemented by words or by coins? Heart must understand heart, heart must be drawn to heart, if friendship must last. Friendship must bind two hearts and affect both of them beneficially, whatever may happen to either - loss or gain, pain or pleasure, good fortune or bad.

The bond must survive all the blows of fate, and be unaffected by time, place and circumstance. Each must correct the other; for each knows that they come from sympathy and love. Each must be vigilant that the other does not slide from the ideal, cultivate habits that are deleterious, or hide thoughts and plans that are productive of evil. The honor of each is in the safe keeping of the other. Each trusts the other and places reliance on the other's watchful love. Only those deserve the name "friends" - who help in uplifting life, cleansing ideals, elevating emotions and strengthening resolves.

Those who drag you into pomp, pedantry, paltry entertainment, and petty pranks are enemies, not friends. Friends cannot be got by social status, financial squander mania, outer scintillation and verbal assertions. See into the very soul, the inner motives and motivator, the deeper aspirations and achievements, and then, yield your loyalty to such.

Friendship is the expression of unshakeable love, love that is noble, pure, and free from desire or egoism.

Such was the friendship between Kuchela and his classmate Krishna. How could the friendship between these two survive the immense gap between their worldly positions and their spiritual status? Krishna was God incarnate. Kuchela was a man. Krishna was a ruler, a kingmaker, an unsurpassed hero, monarch, and preceptor. Kuchela was so poor that he was ever at his wit's end to procure his next meal. They had studied together for a few years at the hermitage of the sage Sandeepani. That had sown the seed of friendship.

So, his wife sent him to Krishna, assuring him that he would not be turned from the door. Kuchela agreed to proceed but he hesitated long to send word that he had come, even when the guardsmen enquired why he had come and who he was. How could he, a broken, bent, befogged beggar dare stand before the Lord in His palatial Hall with its jeweled throne, and announce himself as a 'friend'? He was aghast at his own audacity.

However, all his fears melted away, when Krishna recognized him and came forward to receive him warmly and with evident joy. Krishna also blessed his wife with enormous wealth and comfort, peace, prosperity, in quantity much more than ever she hoped and or prayed. No one asked Hint for it; but His love took that shape, His Grace awarded them the happiness. However, Kuchela was ever content with the friendship of Krishna; he never desired anything other than that. He was overwhelmed with delight when he experienced the compassion and love of the Lord.

The feeling of friendship must activate every nerve, permeate every blood cell, and purify every emotional wave; it has no place for the slightest trace of egotism. You cannot elevate the companionship, which seeks to exploit or fleece for personal benefit into the noble quality of friendship. Perhaps, the only friend who can pass this rigorous test is God. (Parents, friends, relatives, house and wealth are all temporary. Be aware of this truth).

So have above all, God, as your unfailing guide and friend. The heart of the Gopees had struck deep roots in the love of Krishna and when Akrura came to Gokul to take Krishna with him to Mathura, the Gopees struggled heroically, to keep Him with themselves. They held on to the steeds of the chariot; they gripped the wheels and sought to prevent them from moving.

To understand and practice this noble emotion, the Bhagavad Gita is an invaluable guide.

When Arjuna was dispirited and dejected, Krishna injected courage and a high sense of duty into him and helped him avoid disgraceful defeat. Moreover, Arjuna, too like a good friend, took the advice in good spirit, with the full confidence that Krishna meant well by him. We know how confident Arjuna was of the wisdom and power inherent in Krishna. Krishna gave Arjuna the choice, "To help you in battle, you can have either my entire army or me alone, unarmed and determined not to fight in spite of any provocation." Arjuna did not hesitate to decide which of these two he wanted. He chose the unarmed Krishna, and prayed that He might be his charioteer, during the days when he rode into the field.

How can you attain God's grace? Affix the signature of Love on the check of sacrifice and surrender it to Him. God is the Manager of the Bank of Love. You have deposited your money in His bank. Here 'money' does not mean currency notes. It is the 'money' of the Truth, Wisdom, and Righteousness stored in the Bank of Love.

There is no Divinity greater than Love. When you fill your heart with the Divine Love, your thoughts, vision, words, and deeds will be suffused with love. (Because you are not filling your heart with Love, many evil qualities are finding their way into it and destroying your very humanness).

Below is (as an example) an episode in the great Indian epic Ramayana. It shows how deep was Rama's feeling of Rama's Righteousness, Truth, and Wisdom created from the endless source of the Divine Love within Rama.

Rama reveals the truth about Himself and His mission in answer to sage Vasishta. When Rama was staying in Chitrakuta (mountain on the banks of the Mandakini River, where Rama and Sita were some time in exile). Bharata and Satrughna, with all the royal paraphernalia, went to see Him and appeal to Him to return to Ayodhya (city where Rama was born) as He alone, as the eldest son and the pre-eminent amongst them, was competent to rule the kingdom. Bharata declared that Rama alone was fit to rule. In reply to Bharata's entreaties, Rama said: "Dear brother! The plighted word is most sacred. It is our very life. I will joyfully give up My life rather than go back on My word."

The sage Jabali who was present there, was eager to persuade Rama to return to the kingdom even by using specious arguments and appearing as an atheist. He told Rama: "Ramachandra! You appear to me to be stubborn and irrational. Is there any meaning in your trying to act up to the words of an old king who was the victim of the selfish vile wishes of Kaikeyi (Rama's stepmother)? How can you say Dasaratha (Rama's father; the name means "ten chariot hero") was a good man? He parted with the son for the sake of the wife. This is highly improper.

Dasaratha is gone. Why do you wish to adhere to words of one who is no more?" Rama replied to the sage, "The body is perishable and may go at any time. However, the promised word remains. Truth has no form. It is eternal and omnipresent. It stands unchanged in the past, the present, and the future. I cannot be a party to the destruction of that Truth," declared Rama.

Jabali returned to the argument again. He said, "Is it foolish to let go of the bird in the hand in the hope of getting two in the bush? You are concerned about the promises made by a dead man. Your concern must be to protect the truth of the living."

Realizing the difficulty of carrying on the argument with Rama in this way, sage Vasishta intervened with the object of somehow inducing Rama to return to the kingdom. He said, "Ramachandra! There are three teachers - the mother, the father, and the preceptor. You left for the forest on the words of your stepmother. I am your preceptor. Your preceptor is eminent because he practices what he teaches. You must: heed the words of the preceptor." To this Rama replied, "You have been the preceptor not only for my father, but for my ancestors and hence worthy of all honor and reverence. Nevertheless, the mother who bore me and nourished me and the father who reared me and made a man of me, take precedence over the preceptor, who comes later. If the mother had not given me my body and the father had not protected me, how could the preceptor figure in my life? Only after the mother and father have shaped the son can the preceptor illumine his mind with knowledge.

At this stage, Jabali came forward and uttered the mantras: "Maathru deco bhava! Pitru deco bhava! Acharya deco bhava!" (Regard the mother as God, the father as God and the preceptor as God). At that moment, three deities appeared on the scene. Rama observed that the God who is present in all three is one and the same God and revealed His identity as the Divine in the human form. It was then that Vasishta declared, "Ramo Vigrahavaan Dharmah" (Rama is the very embodiment of Truth and Righteousness).

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "The pleasant and the profitable," Chapter 5; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 12. "Love is the key," Chapter 15 and "Friends you need," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Become ideal citizens," Chapter 3; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 33. "Attain God's Grace," Chapter 9;

Namaste - Reet

Swami teaches... 26 - 28 June 2007

Part 2. For the Young Generation

Long time ago, there was a person who had three friends. Quite by accident, he has charged for some crime and a warrant was issued against him by the court. He approached one friend and asked him to bear witness to his innocence. He said, "I will not move out of this house; I can help you only from within this." The second friend said, "I can go only up to the porch of the court. I will not enter the witness box." The third friend said, "Come, I shall speak for you, wherever you want me to." The first friend is the property and possessions, which can bear witness only from within the house. The second is the kinsmen, the members of the family, who come as far as the cemetery but would not accompany the person to the Judgment Seat. The third, friend is the fair name earned by one's virtues and service, which persist even after the death and burial; they stand witness for ages, and announce the innocence and greatness of the individual.

The good deeds and thoughts that one welcomes and entertains during the years of life will stand in good stead, firm, like a good friend, when one is nearing the end. Therefore, young men and women must resolve to engage yourselves in acts that promote your peace and progress and the peace and progress of all mankind. Do not damage your future by pursuing temporary benefits and selfish aggrandizement.

You have to recognize:

1. That which once comes, then never goes,
2. Once goes, then never comes back,
3. Neither comes nor goes.

The first is jnana (wisdom), the second is ajnana (ignorance), and the third is the principle of the Atma.

All people have to reach the goal, traveling along the path of wisdom. This knowledge comes as soon as you look into yourselves and analyze your own experience. But, in order to get the craving for that analysis, you have to educate yourselves into the attitude.

Developing good habits, avoiding bad ones, mixing in the company of the pious, being active in good deeds, serving those in distress - these are all steps that will lead you into the glorious path of Self-knowledge. You can, even now, take to this discipline and save yourselves from grief and distress.

Students must win a fair name for yourself, your parents, and school by your earnestness in study and enthusiasm to serve others. Your parents are bearing great hardships to keep you here in comfort; they are sending you hard-earned cash, expecting you to study well and support them. First, pay back the debt of love to them; do not behave in such a way that they repent the day when they put you to school. All other debts come later, even the debt to the motherland or mother-tongue.

Keep parents free from worry; show them the gratitude they deserve; return them the love they pour freely into your hearts. Remember always that it is easy to do what is pleasant; but it is difficult to be engaged in what is beneficial. Not all that is pleasant is profitable. Success comes to those who give up the path strewn with roses, and brave the hammer-blows and sword thrusts of the path fraught with danger. No road is strewn with rose petals.

Charge your spiritual batteries by joining good company. Life is a battlefield, a Dharmakshethra, where duties and desires are always in conflict. Smother the fiery fumes of desire, of hatred and anger that rise up in your hearts; it is sheer cowardice to yield to these enemies that turn you into beasts. When obstacles come, meet them with courage. They harden you and make you tough.

The best way to get rid of weakness is to strike at the very taproot of the tree - the mistake that you are the body, with this name and this form, these senses, this intelligence and this mind. These are all the luggage you carry.

You say, my nose my mind, my hand, my reason, just as you say, my book, my umbrella? Who is this 'I' that calls all these 'mine'? That is the real 'you'. That 'I' cannot be harmed; it does not change, it knows no death or birth. Learn the discipline that makes you aware of this truth and you will be ever free and bold. That is real vidya (knowledge), the Atmavidya, which the sages have gathered for you.

Gautama Buddha undertook various spiritual practices in order to realize his true Self. He studied the Vedas and sacred texts. He met many elderly wise men and tried to know the truth from them. Nevertheless, none of these practices could show him the path to Nirvana. Ultimately, he realized that Nirvana lay in making use of the five senses of speech, touch, vision, taste and smell in a sacred manner. He could realize the truth only by renouncing everything and by recognizing unity in the plurality of the world. He could know the ultimate truth by sacrifice.

He understood that japa (soft prayer or repetition of the name of God), dhyana, (meditation), yoga* yajna, (holy ritual, sacrifice, or rite; also, personification of rite), etc., were mere physical activities. These spiritual practices are needed for those who are attached to the body. One who is attached to the Self need not undertake any of these practices.

(When you understand that all are one, there will be no chance to get agitated. All bodies are like mirrors, showing you your own reflection in them. How can you be angry with your own reflection)?

The Vedas declare, 'Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanthi' (truth is one, but scholars refer to it by many names). See the world with the vision of truth. All are one; all are essentially Divine. Give up multiplicity to attain unity. The Vedanta declares that the Atmic principle is the underlying unity in diversity. (Bulbs are many but the same current flows in all of them. Likewise, the Atmic principle exists in all). Humans' ultimate goal is to realize the innate Atmic principle, which is the same in all.

(Human's inability to understand this principle of unity is the cause of his/her ignorance).

Buddha taught that Nirvana (inner freedom, liberation from cycle of birth and death) could be attained only by cultivating samyak drishti (sacred vision), samyak vak (sacred speech), samyak sravanam (sacred listening), samyak bhavam (sacred feeling) and samyak kriya (sacred action).

You can understand unity in diversity only when you at first develop sacred vision. Samyak drishti makes you realize the presence of Divinity in all.

(Usually ignorant people are unable to understand the Divine principle. They feel that they can experience God mainly through meditation what is something near to concentration. Nevertheless, concentration does not become meditation. One should go beyond concentration, which means the mind should become still. You should be free from thoughts. That is true meditation for obtaining skill to have sacred vision).

True humanness lies in understanding unity in multiplicity. Swami stresses this many times in many different contexts.

Buddha stressed also the need for samyak vak (sacred speech). Anudvegakaram Vakyam Sathyam Priya-hitham Cha Yat (one should speak only those words, which cause no annoyance to others and which are truthful, agreeable, and wholesome).

Whatever you speak should not cause any disturbance to others. It should be truthful as well as pleasing. You cannot always oblige but you can speak always obligingly. Sacred speech is the manifestation of divinity. That is known as samyak vak. (However, people often use the God-given faculty of speech to criticize and hurt others. However, ears should listen to only those things that are related to the Atmic principle. Only the vibrations of the soul should percolate through the ears).

Divinity is represented in eight forms, namely, Sabda Brahmamayi, Characharamayi, Jyothirmayi, Vaangmayi, Nityanandamayi, Paratparamayi, Mayamayi and Srimayi (God is the embodiment of sound, mobility and immobility, light, speech, eternal bliss, supreme majesty, delusion and wealth).

Along with samyak drishti and samyak vak, you should also have samyak sravanam (sacred listening), samyak bhavam (sacred feeling) and samyak kriya (sacred action).

The heart is like a vessel. Fill it with the qualities of truth, love, and sacrifice. Then you do not need to ask for peace; it will automatically manifest from within. You cannot acquire them from outside. Everything is the reflection of the inner being.

Every person aspires to attain Nirvana (liberation). What is the effort that person is putting in? Person has deposited the merits accrued over the past lives. God even gives 'interest' over the 'principal amount'. All that you need to do is to submit the sacrifice with the signature of the Divine Love. Sacrifice bereft of love is useless.

When you have one pointed devotion towards the Lord, you see Him everywhere. When your thoughts, vision and words are sacred, you are verily God yourself. Then, you do not need to search for God.

Below is a pictorial example from Gita. The Gopikas used to go to Yashoda's house to light their lamps. They had the belief that their families would be sanctified if they brought light from Yashoda's house, which was blessed with the advent of Krishna. Once a newly wed Gopika named Suguna went to Yashoda's house to light her lamp. As she was doing so, she had the vision of Krishna in the flame. She was so lost in the enchanting form of Krishna that she had no awareness of her hand getting burnt. Yashoda smelt that something was burning and came running to the spot. She immediately pulled Suguna's hand out of the flame. She was astonished that though her hand was getting burnt, Suguna did not feel any pain and was in a world of her own. When she was asked to explain her strange behavior, Suguna revealed that she had the vision of Krishna in the flame and forgot herself completely.

A heart saturated with love of God can never entertain thoughts of violence. It is sheer hypocrisy, to kneel before God and, then, force people to kneel before you. God is Love, God is Peace: God is Strength. How can a person be in contact with God, and yet, be proud and acrimonious? Agitated and angry? Weak and vacillating?

A tree is judged by its fruit. Leaders of peoples have to develop this universal feeling of Love, not limited to political boundaries which change from decade to decade, or religious labels which are affixed and erased to suit temporary needs.

Culture is the consequence of the co-mingling of hearts and heads. A group of individuals, who are charged with hatred or contempt of each other, cannot produce any beneficial effect on any of its components; a common outlook, or rather, a common inlook, is the essential factor, Sama-chintha - the sameness of beliefs, opinions and attitudes - is the prime factor. This sama-chintha must result in a flood of Ananda that envelops and inspires the entire group. If the individual knows he/she is Divine and that all else are equally so, that consciousness is the best bond for society, that Ananda is the best atmosphere to sustain the society. How can a person who knows that all are Divine keep away from the God? This awareness is so thrilling, so satisfying, so uplifting, that such society is the noblest sathsang (holy company) human can ever come into.

God is showering His Love and Grace on everyone, but the unfortunate ones are unable to receive them. Their feelings do not match with God's feelings. They do not understand God's Will and unable to receive God's Love and Compassion because they have filled their mind with worldly feelings.

If you want to receive something sacred, give up all that is unsacred. Yad Bhavam Tad Bhavati (as you think so you become).

You aspire to see God, talk to Him and touch Him. None can describe the bliss that one experiences when one has the Darshan, Sparshan and Sambashan (sight, touch and talk) of God. In fact, you see God in the form of people all around you. Your vision becomes sanctified only when you develop the feeling that all are the embodiments of God. Everything in this creation is sacred. All that you see is only the manifestation of God. You see God in the form of the world, yet you feel that you have not seen Him. God has no specific form or dwelling place. He is the eternal witness and is present in all forms. You can progress on the spiritual path only when you have such a feeling.

Shutting yourself in a room and offering incense and flowers to a picture or image of God, singing or reciting His glory are very poor substitutes for the discipline that will liberate you from ignorance. All beings are images of God; all people are His pictures; then, why shut yourselves in? All creation is marching on a pilgrimage to Him; why then behave as if you are trekking it alone? You believe that the time spent in church or temple or the domestic shrine in adoration and in ritual worship is devoted to God and the rest is spent for other purposes. Nevertheless, you cannot demarcate and delimit the realms of God and human like that.

Do not confine God to the form of Vishnu or Krishna that you find in Ravi Varma's paintings. They are all pictures born out of the painter's imagination. In reality, God is the Cosmic Being. Easwara Sarva Bhutanam (God is the indweller of all beings). Isavasyam idam Sarvam (the entire universe is permeated by God). Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma (verily all this is Brahman).

* Yoga does not mean only controlling the breathing process or body exercises (as already has mentioned in part 1). You should inhale good feelings, and exhale bad feelings.

Yoga's definitions:

1. Union of the individual Self or Atma with the Supreme Being or Universal Self.
2. A spiritual discipline or exercise aimed at control of the senses.
3. Science of the Divine communion.
4. Patanjali's Yoga-sutras define yoga as a series of eight spiritual steps leading to union with God. (This is different from "The eightfold path of yoga" by Swami in "Prasanthi Vahini").

No single definition of the word 'yoga' suffices.

The complete and easily understandable is "The eightfold path of yoga" by Swami.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "The pleasant and the profitable," Chapter 5; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 12. "Love is the key," Chapter 15 and "Friends you need," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Become ideal citizens," Chapter 3; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 33. "Attain God's Grace," Chapter 9;

Namaste - Reet

Swami teaches... 19 - 25 June 2007

Part 1. For the Young Generation

The motto:

Through sacrifice and love I am neither merit nor sin, neither happiness nor misery.
I am none of these either--places of pilgrimage, scriptures or yajnas (sacrifices).
I am not the food, the consumer of food, or the process of eating.
I am the Atman, the very embodiment of Divinity. I am Shiva Himself.
(Sanskrit verse)

Swami's mission is to spread Ananda.

Students are Swami's life breath and wealth. Setting students on the right path is one of the main Swami's interests. The following serial's "Swami teaches..." article is for the youth with the aim to put into practice the principles that Swami has taught.

It is enough for Swami if student earns the approbation and regard of others. If you live up to Swami's teachings, you will be able to lead exemplary lives. When you develop the main stream of true human's life - the human values of sathya, dharma, santhi, prema and ahimsa, you will attain exalted position and people will respect you wherever you go.

Education should be for leading a good life and not merely for earning a living. Human has a higher destiny than mere living.

During the studies, students have to learn how to lead a life of righteousness. You pursue your studies with diligence and devote your nights and days to acquire knowledge. Nevertheless, what efforts are you making to earn Divine Love and Grace?

Are you enquiring into the purpose of education? Do you recognize the need for Self-realization and control of the senses? Education should be for developing concentration of the mind and not only collection of facts.

Your conduct will determine your destiny. Have a wide-ranging mind. (For example, sage Narada was a master of 64 sciences). You have to make a distinction between knowledge and wisdom.

There is no harm in aspiring for a good job or a position of honor and fame. However, many ordeals have to be overcome to achieve them. One must develop the fortitude to face all challenges by strengthening one's faith in God.

The studies may not reveal all kinds of problems you may have to face in the outside world. You have to deal with different kinds of people, workers, managers, and the public. You have to know how to understand them and how to covey to them your ideas. Engage yourselves in your duties with faith in God. Be fearless. God is with you. Proceed on life's journey with courage.

Before completing education and entering the vast stage of life, students have to learn certain basic things.

The most important among them is control of the mind. Only then will senses be under control.

The human's mind has to be a garden of many-colored flowers, filled with various kinds of joy. (Krishna will certainly delight in dancing there and playing on the enchanting flute in the bowers of that garden). All kinds of good and bad thoughts occur in the mind. The nature of the mind is determined by the nature of thoughts. Keeping the mind away from all that is bad, you should accept only that which is good.

You should give utmost importance to the mind. One who considers the mind as the basis of owns life is a true human being. You should make your mind the centre of your awareness and the basis of every aspect of your life.

Fill your minds with noble thoughts. Develop the convictions that you are the embodiments of the Divine. The air around you is neither visible nor can be grasped. Can you deny its presence? Can you survive for a moment without it?

Likewise, the one who denies the existence of God is denying very own existence.

Human today is conscious of the Annamaya (physical) and Pranamaya (vital) principles relating to own existence. Human has not developed even up to the stage of realizing the significance of the mind. The body represents Annamaya. Activity and motion of the body are to the Pranamaya. The third element is Manomaya (the mental). The fourth is Vijnanamaya (Constant Integrated Awareness). Beyond this awareness is Ananda (the state of Supreme Bliss).

In the great journey of life, human has passed, only two stations. He has not tried to go beyond them to the mental and other stages. It is after passing the Vijnanamaya stage that human can experience Ananda.

Human can derive Ananda (the Divine Bliss) and maintain it only through association with other human beings. To divest oneself of all contacts with others, and tread a lonely path is a sign of weakness, of fear - not of courage. Lively association alone produces morality, justice, compassion, sympathy, love, tolerance, equanimity, and many other qualities that toughen and train character, and mould the individual's personality.

Whatever is born is transient. Only one thing remains forever and that is the Self. The mind, in fact, is of the nature of the Self. (Swami often have called mind pictorially 'monkey mind'. He uses this expression in the context when human's mind is not under control and 'dances' from idea to idea or from place to place. However, really you belong to humanity and have nothing to do with monkey mind in the exact meaning of this word).

There are many persons who have mastered various forms of knowledge and are engaged in mighty tasks. However, they cannot be called human beings in the true sense of the term if they have no control over their five senses.

Having undertaken various types of spiritual practices for a long time, Buddha felt sad that he had wasted a lot of time without attaining the desired result. He realized that one could attain Divinity only by making proper use and control of five senses. God has given five senses equally to all, be they rich or poor. You can see the manifestation of God when you use your senses in a sacred way.

Your innate nature is always pure. You pollute it because you follow the worldly path and fill your heart only with worldly feelings. The heart is always pure, steady, and selfless. Hridaya (heart) is that which is full of compassion.

Instead of experiencing such eternal bliss, modern person is getting carried away by sensual pleasures. Most people misusing the senses for the sake of comforts and worldly happiness and also polluting own mind because of the evil vision. Human is subjected to hardships because of the unsacred vision what destroys person's humanness itself. (What is the use of being born as a human being if you get carried away by sensual pleasures like dogs and monkeys? A monkey also experiences the same type of sensual pleasure that you indulge in).

Many people also are taking to meaningless practices in the name of Yoga. What is Yoga? Controlling the vagaries of the mind is Yoga. Without controlling the mind, if you merely perform physical exercise, it amounts to roga (disease).

Society is the school where this lesson is taught to those who earnestly seek. The sages of Bharath resorted to the hermitages in the forests, and mixed with the steadfast seekers who taught scholastic discussion and disciplinary practices. They drew inspiration and instruction from each other, and learnt the Truth that this Universe is enveloped in God that God is the string on which the worlds are strung. God is the Great One, and that He is known and can be known through various names
and forms.

When Divinity takes on the human form as described in the Ramayana, the Mahabharatha, and the Bhagavatha, one has to interpret the actions as providing examples and lessons, and not as human stories enacted for entertainment.

For example, five Pandava brothers are five qualities in human character, all observing the norms set by the eldest, which is the noblest and the most righteous. Rama is the example of the uncompromising adherent of the principle of righteousness, whatever be the temptation to bypass it. Rama was charged with a love that transcended all considerations of advantage, of caste or creed, and extended to animals and birds, human beings. Love is the key to open the doors locked by egoism and greed.

Human has all the resources he/she needs. Human can tap them by identifying them and manifesting them, and by sharing them with others. Human being is Sath, Chith and Ananda (Being, Awareness, Bliss Absolute); Human being is Shiva-Shakthi Swarupa (form of the Divine energy). When human extols him/herself, human is extolling God. Do not cultivate the conviction that you are mere people; be assured that you are destined for Divinity.

When human gives up his/her conceit and becomes Nature's pupil, rather than its tyrannical master, human can hear Nature's voice advising, admonishing, and illuminating.

In all countries of the world, there are good and bad people, scholars and illiterates, the affluent and the destitute. The one thing that is common to all of them is their inner essence - Sath, Chith and Ananda. All the scriptures have described the Divine as Sath-Chith-Ananda. Every object, every being, and every individual in the phenomenal world have these triune attributes. (However, in the inert objects only the first two - Sath and Chith can be recognized. Only in animate beings can this quality be found manifest. This bliss however, is of a transient nature).

There are two categories of bliss in the world Sadhana-Janya Ananda (Acquired bliss) and Swatas-Siddha Ananda (Self-generating bliss).

Acquired bliss is associated with sensory objects. It arises and vanishes from time to time. It does not endure. For instance, when hunger is appeased, there is happiness for the moment. Nevertheless, it ceases after a time. This applies to all objects in the world. What is experienced when they are enjoyed is evanescent. This type of joy has described as acquired or derived happiness. As it is got and lost by human effort, it is not true bliss.

Human, however, seeks lasting Ananda. Human being is filled with Bliss and is the embodiment of Bliss. Why, then, does human not experience it? This is because, even though human is the embodiment of Bliss, unaware of his/her true nature human is obsessed with the external world and fails to experience the Self-generating bliss. Human imagines that the source of joy lies in Nature (the phenomenal world).

The Bliss that is all pervasive in the cosmos is also within human. Nevertheless, as in the case of butter that is present in every drop of milk but which can be seen only after the milk is curdled and the buttermilk is churned, this inner Bliss can be experienced only after the right effort is made.

Buddha understood that all we experience through the senses is useless and leads to bondage.

Ultimately, he realized Atmic unity and attained the state of Nirvana.

Today human aspires to attain mukthi. What is mukthi? It is not the attainment of a heavenly abode. Mukthi means freedom from suffering. You need to have mukthi at three levels - body, mind, and soul. For example, you are hungry. When you eat food, your hunger is satiated. This is also a kind of mukthi. You are suffering from a disease. You take a medicine and get cured. This is also mukthi. All this is related to the body.

At the mental level, mukthi means controlling the vagaries of the mind. However, true liberation lies in understanding the principle of the Atma, which neither comes nor goes. This is termed as Nirvana.

People aspire to attain Nirvana. In order to attain Nirvana, one should have a pure heart. True Nirvana lies in having love for God, fear of sin and morality in society.

You have to discover the unity that subsumes the diversity in the Universe. What is this unity? It is the mentioned above Sath-Chith-Ananda. Sath is Being, 'that' which exists. Chith is Awareness, the quality that enables cognition. If a thing did not exist, it cannot be cognized. If it cannot be cognized, it cannot: be experienced or enjoyed.

Here is the cosmos. How do you know about its existence? You can see the things in it, hear the sounds, have impressions in the mind about them and be moved in your hearts by them. How can you deny their existence?

You have to understand the relation between existence and experience on the different levels.

For instance, on the body level, you feel hungry. You take food and the hunger is appeased. If food did not exist in the world, hunger would be out of place. If hunger did not exist, food would be unnecessary.

In this context it may be asked, which comes first: hunger or food? You may consider that hunger comes first. However, food came into existence first, and then hunger was caused.

Human is able to protect the body because of the existence of food and hunger. It is said: food is for the protection of the body. Hence, you should regard food as necessary for living and not live for the sake of food.

From this aspect, students should recognize the value of good health.

PS: Mere age does not make a person young. The great Mahabharata warrior, Bhishma (the guardian and patriarch of the Kauravas and Pandavas, remarkable for his wisdom and unflinching devotion to God) fought on the battlefield when he was 116 years old.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "The pleasant and the profitable," Chapter 5; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 12. "Love is the key," Chapter 15 and "Friends you need," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Become ideal citizens," Chapter 3; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 33. "Attain God's Grace," Chapter 9;

Namaste - Reet

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