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Swami teaches....Part 110

Links to Swami Teaches - Part 109


Swami teaches... Parts 1 -3. Do Your Duty as Dedication to the Divine
 

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 20 - 24 July, 2007

Part 3. Do Your Duty as Dedication to the Divine

There are four yugas (eons), Kritha Yuga, Thretha Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga.


The eons are only measurement of time. This world is termed as Jagam. The last means that the world is a place, where animated and unanimated beings born and die. In this changing world, Brahman (God, Cosmic Consciousness, Atma) is the changeless entity.


Without Time, there is no world. Without the world there is no creation, without creation there is nothing. Every created thing is born of Time. God is the inner motivator of all, the Director of this Play called Life.


One should understand the value of time, each moment of which vanishes faster than lighting.


Human in wasteful, even damaging, task is frittering an enormous quantity of precious time away now. People find time to queue up for hours before cinema booking booths or waiting for a bus to take them there. They have time to play cards and sit at the club table, chatting on trivialities for hours together. This is because people live only on the surface or bottom of things; they are either froth or dregs. They shirk responsibilities. They do not introspect, or think calmly of the end for which they are struggling frantically and flippantly.

Spiritual pursuit is the right way of making use of time and pictorially dedicating this time to the Divine, to the Source. Through good thoughts and good kindly actions, the heart gets pure and holy. It calls for numbing good feelings and doing good deeds without selfish motive, extending love, and compassion towards all beings. This is real sadhana. ('Sa' means Atma and 'dhana' means wealth. By utilizing your time in spiritual pursuits, you can enjoy spiritual wealth).

However, this is the Age of Kali, which is often described as Kalaha Yuga, the age of discord, in which there will be misunderstanding and quarrels between husband and wife, father and son, preceptor and disciple. Today many people indulging in creel deeds, devoid of even a trace of compassion, and behaving worse than birds and beasts. They are attached to their bodies and spend their energy and time to provide comforts for the body.

How long will the body last? It is a bundle of diseases, a repository of filth and foul excreta. It cannot help one to cross the ocean of Samsara (worldly life). It is subject to changes such as childhood, adolescence, youth, adulthood, old age, and finally death. One does not know when, where and how death will occur.


Certainly the body has to be maintained in good condition, for it is only when embodied in this human tabernacle that human can realize God. The body is either strong or weal an efficient instrument or an inefficient one, according to the food, recreations and habits of one's parents.


The body should be regarded as the abode of the spirit and cared for as such. (To ensure perfect health, it is essential to get rid of internal impurities and take in only wholesome food, for example).


In the journey of life, the body is like a cart and the heart is like a horse. Unless you feed the heart well, the journey cannot proceed properly. The heart has to be fed with good fodder in the form of good company, good conduct, and good thoughts. Moreover, whatever is done should be as the dedication to the Divine, offering to God.

Both inner and outer purity are essential for human's physical and mental health. Most people are concerned about external physical cleanliness. (People tend to ignore inner cleanliness in the belief that the heart and mind are not visible to others).

Do external objects and the attraction they exercise over him/her enslave human, or, is it some inner impulse that urges person forward to shackle him/herself to sorrow?

The circumstances of one's birth are a result of past actions. Karma (action), janma (birth), dharma (righteousness), and the marma (secret of life) are all connected with Brahman. They are like the four walls of a building. The first wall is karma (action). One should not act as fancies dictate. Before doing anything, one should consider whether it is proper or improper. Nothing should be done in haste on the impulse of the moment. Only then will one's actions be sathwic and free from rajasic and thamasic stains.

Good actions earn good returns. Bad actions result in bad consequences. That is why the Lord is described as Karmaphala pradhaata (the dispenser of the fruits of action).


For example, when Duryodhana (the eldest of the evil-minded sons of Dhritharashtra, father of Kauravas) sought to disrobe Draupadi, the consort of Pandavas, she prayed to Krishna in various ways. Although Krishna heard her prayers, he could not respond immediately to her calls for help. (The reason is the stem law of Nature. This universal law operates always at all places and at all times. For instance, if a stone is thrown up, it comes down. These are the results of the law of gravitation).

Hearing Draupadi's prayers, Krishna thought for a moment whether she had done any action in the past, which entitled her to secure protection in Duryodhana's assembly hall. (To merit Divine help one must have offered something or the other to God - a leaf, a flower, or a little sacred water. At the mundane level there is a simple role of give-and-take in daily life).


Krishna remembered something that Draupadi had done years ago. Krishna suffered a cut in His little finger while handling sugarcane. Immediately Rukmini sent a maid to fetch bandage cloth. Sathyabhama rushed to bring some cloth to bind the wounded finger. Draupadi who was standing by, without hesitation, tore a piece of cloth of her sari and immediately bandaged Krishna's finger. Although what she gave was only a small bit of her sari, it was a spontaneous act of love and devotion. Krishna decided to make that little piece of cloth an endless sari. He uttered the word "Akshayam" (may it be unending) and Draupadi's sari became endless.

Very often people who experience troubles in life complain: "Why is the Lord subjecting me to trials like these?" The truth is, the Lord neither punishes nor rewards anyone. The devotee has only to do the duty and leave the results to God. If the actions are good, the fruits will also be good. If the actions are bad, the results will be equally bad.


Without examining the nature of one's actions, there is no meaning in blaming God for what one experiences. What we witness today is the tendency to forget one's faults and go about blaming God for one's sufferings. Every action, however small or trivial, has its reaction. Nothing happens without a cause. Every object has its reflection.

One devotee has said to exclaim, "Oh Lord! Among the millions of people, how will your eyes fall on me? You are not looking at me at all. Won't you see me?" The devotee heard a voice saying, "You are immersed in so many activities that you have hardly set your eyes upon Me. You have hardly devoted any thought to Me. Who, then, has forgotten whom? Is it you or me?"

People feel happy when someone gives them something. However, they do not feel equally happy in giving to others. People desire the fruits of good actions, but will not do good actions. They wish to be saved from the consequences of evil deeds, but will not refrain from bad actions. As you sow, so shall you reap, is a relentless law. You cannot escape the consequences of your actions, whether good or bad.


People usually are involved in mundane concerns and are deeply immersed in worldly activities and are forgot the about dedication their duties to the Divine. They worry about some relation or friend in some distant corner of the world, but cannot think of God who is so near to them.

Ask any one the following question.


How do you provide for yourself in your old age? The answer will be, "My children are well placed; I get the interest on my deposits; I have a pension; I have lands from which I can draw what I need," etc. However, no one answers, "I rely on God!" Without faith in God, without the Divine help, how can any of these give succor during the stormy voyage through life's declining years? Faith in God is the secure foundation on which hope has to be built.

An another example from daily life.

When two people meet, it is considered good manners that each should inquire about the health of the other. This is true of the peoples of both East and West. You ask each other, "How do you do?" (regardless of the fact, that both are every moment approaching death, nearer and nearer).


With each exhalation of breath, a fraction of life-span escapes from our hold. So, each should warn the other, remind the other, instruct the other, to use the available present for realizing the God within the Universe and within oneself.

Contemplate the unchanging Glory of God; then, the desire for the transient baubles of the Earth will fade and you can be free.


Prakrithi is Dharaa (Earth, Creation). Think of it always. Long for it. Pine for Dharaa, Dharaa, Dharaa and you find you are pining for Radha, Radha. So, Radha is the Becoming and Krishna is the Being; the desire of the Being to become, the longing for the Become for the being - this is the Radha-Krishna relationship, which has been sung by seers and poets, calumnied and caricatured by ignorant critics, appreciated and apprehended by aspirants, analyzed and realized by sincere scholars of spiritual lore.

You are the image of the Supreme Atma, the image that is reflected in the body that is part of Prakrithi (Nature). Your body is kith and kin of all the objects that surround you in nature; your body is an object among so many. The original Divine Spirit, the individualized spirit, which is the image, and the objective world of which the body is a part are three entities called Iswara (Eeshvara)-Jivi-Prakrithi.

Success in sadhana is won the moment you are able to either deny the objective world as a delusion or recognize it as nothing but the Supreme Spirit itself.


In ordinary day-to-day arithmetic, three minus one is equal to two; but, in the arithmetic of the Atma the three (Iswara-Jivi-Prakrithi) minus one (Prakrithi) is equal to not two, but one (Iswara) for, when the mirror (the Prakrithi) goes, the image (Jivi) also disappears.


When the mirror is eliminated, two entities disappear, the mirror and the reflection it can cast. And you merge in the Divine.


When you see the idol as God, you transmute the stone out of which it is calved, of which it is composed, out of existence; the stone has been eliminated, when you see only God in the shrine.


Purify and cleanse the mind so that wherever you turn, not only in the shrine, not only in the idol, but, in everything, at all times, you will cognize only God; then, the mind becomes your best friend, your most efficient instrument of liberation.

(The mind projects on others its own defects and deficiencies. The mind plays infinite pranks, and so, it is labelled as an ape. The mind also is referred to as a snake. For, it does not move straight. It sizzles over the earth, in a zigzag course. The mind delights in crooked stratagems, and clever contrivances. It avoids the straight path of veracity and sincerity. Again, the snake injects poison, and grabs living beings that come in its way.


Nevertheless, the mind-snake can be charmed into innocence. The snake charmer uses the naadhaswara instrument and when he blows music out of it, the snake sways its hood entranced; so too, the mind will sway in unison with the music that emanates from the Nama-smarana, the recitation of the Name of God).

On spiritual journey, never allow yourself for a moment to believe that you will fail. Say to yourself that he has already succeeded in receiving it. Do not allow you to become flustered, or worried or anxious. Start the day with love. Fill the day with love and end the day with love.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "Thamo gunam, thapo gunam," Chapter 22; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "The miracle of love," Chapter 32 and "The windows of the mind," Chapter 36; Sathya SaiSpeaks. Vol. 10."Beside, behind, before," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "The Lord and the Devotee," Chapter 9; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol.27. "Time is God: make best use of it," Chapter 11).

Namaste - Reet


Swami teaches...15 - 19 July, 2007

Part 2. Do Your Duty as Dedication to the Divine

There are three paths laid down for the awareness of the immanence of the Divine: karma, bhakthi and jnana. These three are not distinct and diverse; they are composite and complementary.


First, engage yourself in Karma-Jijnaasa, (jijnaasa - yearning to know) the discriminating selection of activity; then, you has to enter the region of Dharma-Jijnaasa, the search for the eternal laws of the spirit that mould and shape the waves of consciousness. Last, you penetrate into the problems of liberation through Brahma-Jijnaasa, the sadhana (spiritual discipline) that convinces you of the reality of the One and the unreality of multiplicity, the apparent world based on the real Brahman.

Most devotees are in the first stage, the Karma-Jijnaasa stage, able to distinguish the fight from the wrong so far as your activity is concerned. Nature, the Individual, and God - of these three entities, Karma-Jijnaasa has to consider all three, whereas Dharma-Jijnaasa has to do with the last two and Brahma-Jijnaasa deals only with the last, viz., Brahman.


Remember the last stage, even when you are in the first, for, that is the end of the journey, the Goal. When you have the Goal in view, wherever you are, it will fill you with genuine joy. Do not seek to do things that give you sensual or temporary satisfaction only. Do not crave to do what you like, but train yourself to like what you do, or what you have to do.


The sadhana you should do is to utilize your time in doing good deeds for the benefit of the society at large and not to satisfy your self-interest. Be grateful to those who have helped you to achieve position, power, wealth, and prominence.


(By forgetting the good done by others, the ungrateful person is setting at naught the highest human values and strutting about as a vainglorious creature. Ingratitude is a great sin, which brings in its wake a host of troubles. To forget what one owes to others for own position and prosperity is to forfeit the grace of the Divine).

It is sadhana, when you willingly undertake work that promotes your real welfare. Then only can Nature and the individual self be eliminated and the Brahman alone established in the consciousness.

Alexander Great, during his campaigns in the Punjab, was anxious to see a celebrated sage; he went to the cave where the sage was, and expected that he would be received most thankfully and with demonstrations of welcome. But the sage simply asked him to move aside and go. He was not interested in the famous world-shaker, the Greek conqueror. Alexander threatened to kill the sage and drew his sword. But the sage said calmly, with a laugh "I do not die; I cannot die." That put some sense in Alexander and he put his sword back into the scabbard.

The Creator in the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu (the Preserver), and Shiva (the Destroyer) do not work contrary to each other; they work out the same plan. They are also not different from Rama and Krishna and Swami.


This rupa (form) is that rupa; this upadhi (disguise) and that upadhi are both of the same Maha Sakthi (great universal power, Divine energy, strength).The essential purpose of all this Leela (the Divine play) is Ananda (the Divine Bliss). One carries away when in one upadhi called Brahma, and creates substitutes, when in another upadhi called Krishna - all for the sake of the Ananda it gives to the participants as well as to the onlookers and those who listen to the story later.

This is one way of announcing the Divinity of the Avatar, which has to be done so that people may listen and obey. The common person will sit up in wonder and his/her awe will ripen into faith; later, even if he/her salts discriminating and arguing pro and con, the Avatar will only be glad, for the faith will thus be confirmed.

Cultivate the attitude of the servant of the Lord. In that spirit, you offer service to others, whom you have to adore as embodiments of God. It is this attitude that gives maximum satisfaction to the pining heart.

Taithreya Upanishad states that one should revere one's parents as God. Loving service to one's parents is not only the highest form of spiritual exercise but also closest to God's heart.

 
For instance, by legend saint Pundareeka had impregnable faith in the Vedic injunction to revere the mother and the father that He refused to serve Lord Krishna when He appeared before him to shower His Grace; for, at that time, he was engaged in massaging the feet of his parents. He would not interrupt that service even for a split second to touch the Feet of the Lord.


He explained, "My God is just now here, before me, asking that the feet be massaged. Let this God who has come wait, until these Gods are served. This God has put in His appearance only now, but these have been with me ever since birth. I feel the Divine Presence in them every day of my life, and I recognize them as Divine!"

Few can understand the ways in which devotion manifests itself among the lovers of God. However, humans' relations come and go. However, the association with God is eternal.

Below are another three examples from the past about deepness and beauty of devotion and full dedication to the Divine.
***
Meera was a devotee who had completely merged herself in Krishna consciousness. After her marriage, she requested her husband to build a temple for Krishna. The Rana built for her a temple in marble. Meera spent all the time in the temple singing bhajans (devotional songs) oblivious of the outside world. The Rana, who allowed Meera to carry on her worship of Krishna as agreed to by him before the marriage, got vexed with her complete absorption in Krishna and prohibited her from going to the temple and closed its doors to prevent her from going there.


Meera felt, "The Rana may bar me from the temple which he has built. But who can bar me from seeking the Krishna who resides in the temple of my heart?"


Meera's thoughts were centered on Krishna installed in Dwaraka. She ran towards Dwaraka through forests and hills, defying storm and rain, singing all the way and calling on "Krishna ! Krishna !" Reaching Dwaraka, she entered the temple but found the doors of the sanctum closed.


Despite all her efforts, the doors would not open. She cried out "Oh Krishna ! Do you think with the cymbals in one hand and tambour in the other how can I hold your lotus feet ? See, I am throwing them away. I shall not give you up and you cannot get away from me. Abandoning everything, I will cling to your feet." Crying in anguish, Meera knocked her head against the door of the sanctum. That very moment she fell into a swoon. An effulgent flame emerged from her body and merged into the Krishna idol.


***
Chaithanya (15th century Vaishnava mendicant reformer; taught the path of love and devotion to the Krishna) went to Brindavan, where every particle of dust was sacred for him, since Krishna trod that soil centuries ago. He did not see or hear or touch or smell or taste anything except Krishna at Brindavan. He was rendered so forgetful to the world around him that he ignored the demands of hunger, thirst and social etiquette. He yearned for the consecrated food that was offered to Krishna in the Temple. But, one night, the Lord appeared before him, and admonished him for entertaining that one desire too. When at last, he gave up that desire also and was overwhelmed with the thirst for Him and Him alone, Krishna manifested before him, from within him. The Divine Chaithanya (Consciousness) illuminated the sage Chaithanya in human form.
***


Two gopees (cowherd maiden) were moving about on the sands of the Yamuna, talking about Krishna and lost in the contemplation of His sports and His majesty. Of them, Neeraja had a doubt suddenly arising in her mind. (It was a metaphysical conundrum). "When I practice identity with Krishna and feel that I am Krishna, I am afraid that I will lose the thrill of being with Him, conversing with Him, and hearing His sweet Voice. I long for be distinct from Him, and to taste the Love and Glory that He is." Then, Sarala, her companion, consoled her and said, "No! Your fears are baseless. For, Krishna too is contemplating you and your purity. By the time you are transformed into Krishna on account of the sadhana of identity, Krishna would have become 'you', as a result of His longing for you and so, there need not be any apprehension in your mind or frustration."

Practice contemplation of what you hear or read; that is the best way of showing your gratitude to the Divine. You have another advantage too. With your experience, you can understand the Bhagavatha (a textbook of the Divine love, the story of Avatars, especially Krishna; it describes all the incarnations of Vishnu) better. Swami's nature is too Vishwaprema (all-pervading Love) and Bhagavatha is the story of Vishwaprema.

In the Purusha Shuktha it is declared that Brahmana came out of the face of Cosmic Purusha (Primeval Person, Supreme Spirit, Lord, God). (Brahmana does not mean one that is born in the Brahmana community. It refers to one who has knowledge of Brahman).

Everyone wants to achieve happiness and makes all sorts of efforts for this purpose without knowing where to find it. Happiness is not there in all worldly attainments or possessions. It is only in the heart within. Person is him/herself the embodiment of happiness. Yet, without realizing this, person goes on seeking happiness elsewhere.


Permanent bliss is only within and once you realize that you are the blissful Atma and not the transient body, you will always be happy. Direct your vision inside. Then you will realize that the entire world is a reflection of the Atma within you.


'That' (Brahman) is Whole.
'This' (Creation) is also Whole.
From 'that' Whole 'this' Whole has emerged.
Even though 'this' Whole has come out of 'that' Whole, yet 'that' Whole remains WHOLE only.


What does this mean? From whatever source a thing is born, it retains the quality of the source in full.


This is also the main quality of principle of the holographic Universe by modern science. By this scientific outlook the Universe (and consequently human's consciousness) is only a holographic pattern of Cosmic Consciousness and contains all information what the Initial Source (Brahman, God, Atma, Absolute, etc.) has. This information is, as a rule, in infinite hidden forms and for their activation, the spiritual awareness (as laser beam in physics) is needed.


God is Paripurna Swarupa (Godhead, meaning the fullest full Total Personality). You should engage yourself in wholesome Divine pursuits and fulfill the purpose of this valuable human life. You should thus reflect your Divinity in the human form.


Change your vision, and the world will appear accordingly. Let the eye be charged with the Divine, it will see all as God. It is foolish to try to shape the world; shape yourself as the embodiment of Peace, Love, and Reverence. Then, you will see all as Love and Compassion and Humility. You should not waste time, because a moment gone will not come back.

Swami declares that He is in every one, in every being. So do not hate any one, or cavil at any one. Spread prema always, everywhere. Do not seek to measure or evaluate Swami. He is beyond your understanding. Pray or worship for your own satisfaction and contentment.

 
Swami is everywhere, seeing all things and knowing every activity of yours. You are devoted to Swami and you are eager to be directed and follow the directions to the best of your ability. You desire to utilize the skill and efficiency you have earned for the service of others, because you feel that they are kinsmen of the Swami's family, whether they know it or not.


You can hear Swami's Footsteps, for, Swami walks with you, behind you, beside you. When you cry out in agony, Swami's ear will be there to listen. Ask that Swami should protect you like the apple of the eye; Swami's eye will be there to watch over you and guard you. Have incense and scent-sticks for the puja, and Swami smells them. Swami answers to whatever Name you use; Swami responds to whatever request you make with a pure heart and a sanctified motive.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "Thamo gunam, thapo gunam," Chapter 22; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "The miracle of love," Chapter 32 and "The windows of the mind," Chapter 36; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "Beside, behind, before," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "The Lord and the Devotee," Chapter 9; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol.27. "Time is God: make best use of it," Chapter 11).

Namaste - Reet


Swami teaches...11 - 14 July, 2007

Part 1. Do Your Duty as Dedication to the Divine

When the Sun rises, not all buds of lotus in the lake will open out in full bloom. Only those which are full-grown can blossom; so the rest have to bide their time and grow.
So are with human beings. Some people are on the very beginning on the path of Sathyagraha (the path of the Truth and Love), some are yet far of this path and some are steadily stepping along this path.

You are trying to discover God searching for Him throughout the Universe, but you omit to investigate His existence within yourself, as the very core and keystone of your Being.

Arjuna told Krishna, "I came into this battlefield a brave person. I have now become, a man in distress for I am but an instrument in your hands." Arjuna was an embodiment of the Divine Consciousness, not as he imagined, a mud filed body. He was suffused with Divine Consciousness, not earthly inertia. Only, he was not aware of it.

When you discover yourself all wailing ceases and you attain supreme happiness. This is real self-knowledge. You come to know that you are a spark of the Divine Flame. Very soon, you realize that others too are sparks from the self-same fire. How then can hate, anger, envy, or greed survive in the sunlight of this vision?

You are now having your feet on the very first rung of the ladder, which will take you to the heights of Bliss and Peace. The climb is arduous and full of the dangers of slips. However, you have to bear them in steady perseverance, having in view always the glory of the Goal. (How much agony the stone has to suffer in order that it might be turned into an exquisite entrancing idol).

The saints Jayadheva (Jayadeva, Sanskrit poet; wrote the Gita Govinda, which describes the early life of Krishna), Thukaaraam (Tukaram, well-known Maratha 17th century writer who abandoned the world and became a wandering ascetic), Kabeer (Kabirdas, Kabir - 15th century mystic poet; preached equality before God of all creatures and the religion of love/devotion, which was aimed at the union of the soul with God), Gouranga,(Chaithanya's name - 15th century Vaishnava mendicant reformer; taught the path of love and devotion to the Krishna), Ramakrishna Paramahamsa,1836 -1886 (Raamakrishna Paramahamsa; celebrated mystic, mastered all types of Yoga, Christian and Islamic practices. Swami Vivekananda took his message of universal religion to the West), Raamadhaas (Ramdas; Maratha 17th century saint; author of work on religious duty; guru of the great King Sivaji) - all had to go through travail and tragedy, so that they could see God and merge in Him. They have won permanent niches in the temple of human memory.


The pilgrims on the spiritual path often treat obstacles that come in the way with a certain amount of resentment; but these tests are to be treated as ensuring safety. You drive a nail into the wall to hang a picture thereon; but before hanging the picture, you try to see whether the nail has well driven by shaking it. When you are certain it does not shake even when all your strength is used, you become bold enough to hang the picture on it.

Pandits (scholars) are the instruments through whom you can gather the key to the understanding of the mystery of God; they give you the gist of the Sastras (Holy Scriptures; sacred text; that which commands, orders, directs with authority) in easy, simple style and interpret them in the light of whatever experience they have earned. You have to listen to them with sraddha and bhakthi (faith and devotion), in a mood of humility.


The Sastras lay down steps in sadhana, so that human can have peace, contentment, and joy.

So long as you are entangled in the sensual world, you cannot distinguish the real from the unreal. Nevertheless, you have to discover the real, through discrimination; there is no avoiding that responsibility; you have to do it, now or later. Power, status, wealth, authority - these are useless in this adventure.

 
Since you do not know the real nature of the Self or Atma, you do not recognize the Self at all; when this knowledge is communicated by the Guru or scripture, the ignorance of the Self disappears.

The main requisite for achieving Brahmananda (Supreme Bliss) is a pure heart. Spiritual sadhana begins with the purification of the heart. When the heart is filled with sathwic qualities, it becomes like a milky ocean. Only then does it become a worthy dwelling for the Lord (Vishnu) whose abode is described as Ksheerasagara (the ocean of milk).


(By yielding to thamasic and rajasic impulses, human today has turned the heart into Kshaarasagara i.e. the ocean of salt).

The very first step is to remove the weeds in the garden of your heart, plucking by the roots the briar and bush of lust and greed, of hate and pride and plant in the ground thus cleared the fragrant flower plants of Prema (Love) and the sweet fruit trees of Dharma (Virtue).


Cleanse the heart, by listening to spiritual discourses, by seeking the company and comradeship of righteous, simple, sincere, seekers, by cultivating goodness of character and sweetness of disposition. Fill your hearts with the sweet fragrant waters of the Divine Love. Then, every act of yours, every word of yours (which are like the water drawn from the tank through the taps - tongue, hand, brain, etc.) will be sweet and fragrant.

Remember always: perform selfless service, seek chances of helping others. Never lose an opportunity of using your skills and enthusiasm for the alleviation of sorrow, pain, or distress. You can thereby transform work into worship. (Each one should perpetually examine whether good thoughts and impulses are growing in the heart or whether bad thoughts are getting rooted).

For spiritual growth, nine-fold path of devotion has prescribed for humanity.

Shravanam (hearing God's glory),
Keerthanam (singing His Glory),
Vishnunamasmaranam (remembering the Lord's name constantly),
Padhasevanam (serving the Lotus Feet of the Lord),
Archanam (offering worship),
Vandhanam (prostrating),
Dhaasyam (doing service as a servant to the Lord),
Sneham (worshipping as a friend),
Atma-nivedhanam (total Self-surrender).

You have to listen to the glory of God being chanted, and do service to humanity. You should have the attitude that all are embodiments of God, that the whole Universe is a manifestation of God.


In Vandhanam you should dedicate all the ten organs of perception and action as an offering to God. This is symbolized by bringing both your palms together and offering namaskaram (respectful salutation). Namaskaram also implies that "nothing is mine."


Dhaasyam means that you should render service to humanity considering the persons whom you serve as masters.


Sneham means friendship. It is not the type of friendship that you generally cultivate by saying "hello." You must keep the heart hollow so that it will be filled only by Divine thoughts. (All human relationships are based on the body, while the relationship with God is from heart to heart).


You should avoid following the body or the mind and follow the conscience. The purpose of life is to help others and not to indulge in meaningless sensuous pleasures.


(From dawn to dusk, people mostly are engaged in acts for the sake of maintaining their bodily comforts. What have they achieved by this? Only mental unrest and physical weariness or illness).

Service involves thyaga (sacrifice). You should sacrifice that which you consider very dear to you. (Sacrifice brings about real communion with the Divine while carnal pleasure results only in disease).

Will power motivated by God is the active force available for human's whatsoever uplift. This is called Sankalpa Bala. Develop it by concentration and japa (soft prayer or repetition of the name of God). The mind must be compelled to submit to the dictates of the will. Now, you are easily led astray by the vagaries of the mind. Watch your words, actions, thoughts, character, and heart. If the watch reminds you every second of the need to watch these five, you can be quite happy.

The mind swings like a pendulum between one pleasant object and another. To stop the pendulum, the easiest means is to stop winding. That will put an end to the swing. So too, stop encouraging the mind by following its whims and fancies. (When we beat another or cause harm to one, we justify it as only right and proper; when one beats us or harms us, we revolt and call it wrong and punishable).

The mind is a double-edged sword - it can save, but it can also bind. By learning and practicing the disciplines of yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, prathyahara dharana, dhyana and samadhi (abstention from evil-doing, various observances, postures, control of breath, restraining the sense organs, concentration, meditation, absorption in the Atma), the seeker can overcome and eliminate the mind.

When the mind is eliminated, the reality will become patent. It is like the discovery of the lost "tenth man." Ten friends waded across a river in floods, and when they reached the bank opposite each one took a count and found only nine, for he did not count himself! So, they inferred that "the tenth man" was drowned and began lamenting his loss. Then, a passer-by came along and counted them; he found that all were there; the tenth man too was there; only ignorance had kept him unrecognized.

Ishaavaasya Upanishad mentions that ajnana (ignorance) is the greatest sin. The karpanyadhosha (that the Gita mentions) is another name for the same ajnana. Ajnana afflicts the majority of humanity.


Swami recommends the spiritual seekers have to study the Gita daily. He recommends to read a few slokas and meditate on the meaning yourself; it will dawn on you in the silence of your heart. Each word in the Gita is a gem. No more do you need gemstones for the ear, the nose, and the neck; have the gem of the Gita slokas in your heart, let them activate your intellect and your hands.

Arjuna had the faith to concentrate on the Gita teaching, even in the midst of the battlefield, on the eve of the fight that was to decide the fate of his family. Arjuna had the Lord Himself for company. He had bhakthi enough to compel Krishna to show him the Viswarupa, (Cosmic Form, Form of Creation, name for the Sun) the Viratswarupa (the Cosmic Form of God, Universal Cosmic) Itself.

Krishna aroused the rajasic (passionate) qualities again in Arjuna, by prodding him and laughing at him for his cowardice and un-kshathriya (warrior) attitude of renunciation; thus, the thamasic qualities of sloth and ignorance were removed. Later, Krishna transformed him into a sathwic (noble, pious) hero, fit for the dharma yuddha (war of righteousness) that he was to wage.

The mind is ever unsteady; it has to be educated; its quicksilver quality has to be curbed; it is really Chaithanya-swarupam (embodiment of Cosmic Consciousness) and it will become steady only when it is merged in Chaithanya, that is, the Divine. (It is impossible to be merged in Chaithanya without dedication all human duties to the Divine).


There may be ice on a lake; ice is jada (inert); but, move it all to one side, presses it aside and the sahaja swarupam (usual form) of water, the Chaithanya reveals itself. That Chaithanya has no joy or sorrow. It is ever in perfect equilibrium "I am That" I am not affected, unchanging Wisdom.

Remove the cataract and the vision becomes clear. So too, remove the feeling of inferiority that dwarfs you now; feel that you are Atma-swarupa, Nithya-swarupa, Ananda-swarupa (Absolute, Eternal and Blissful); then, every act of yours becomes dedicated to the Divine as a yajna (sacrifice), as a puja (ritual worship). The ear, the eye, the tongue, the feet all become tools for your uplift, not traps for your destruction. Transform thamogunam (quality of inertia) into thapogunam (quality of austerity) and obtain awareness of your changeless nature.

The human's qualities (sathwic, rajasic, thamasic) depend on the state of senses. The senses are the prime motive forces for the mind and the illusion it suffers from. Five elements affect and attract one of the five senses. Sound (ether), which fascinates the mind through the ear; touch (air) which draws the mind to itself through the skin; form (fire) which manipulates the mind in its favor through the eye; taste (water), which enslaves the mind through the tongue and smell (earth), which attracts the mind through the nose.


Contact with the external world is maintained by the senses for the sake of these experiences - which yield joy or grief. In order to escape being tossed about on the waves of joy and grief, one should cultivate unconcern (upeksha), an attitude of welcoming either, as a sign of Grace.

Shri Ramakrishna said that if you must avoid the sticky fluid in the jackfruit from contacting your fingers when you peel it, you have to apply a few drops of oil on them. So too, said he, "If you do not want the world and its reactions to stick to you, have a few drops of 'unconcern' applied on your mind." This unconcern leads to the deepest yearning for God.

Human is subject to sorrow, from birth to death; joy, or what human calls happiness is an interval between two sorrows that is all. These sorrows arise as a result of three reasons: Adhi-atmic (pertaining to the individual soul, spirit, or manifestation of Supreme Brahman), Adhi-dhaivic (pertaining to divinity or fate), and Adhi-bhauthic (pertaining to the physical or material world; the fine spiritual aspect of material objects).The material objects - that one craves for, endeavors to acquire and laments when lost - are all bhauthic.


The Self is the witness of both, inertia and activity, joy and sorrow, exultation and examination. When you ignore the existence of the witness, when you divorce your daily life away from the awareness of that seat of peace, you invite sorrow to torment you. That is the Adhi-atmic or the spiritual quality, the cross that each person carries along the trail of life.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "Thamo gunam, thapo gunam," Chapter 22; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "The miracle of love," Chapter 32 and "The windows of the mind," Chapter 36; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol.10. "Beside, behind, before," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "The Lord and the Devotee," Chapter 9; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "Time is God: make best use of it," Chapter 11).

Namaste - Reet


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