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Swami teaches....Part 116

Links to Swami Teaches - Part 115

Light and Love
 
 Swami teaches... 7 - 8th January 2008
 
  Part 3. The inner vision is important
 
   
  Using our intellect to plan out an action whose fruits would benefit someone else, as is the case in the action of an old man who plants a tree whose fruits will be enjoyed by the future generations, can be called Buddhi yoga (communion through intellect). In Buddhi yoga we enquire into the consequences of our actions, and thereby base our actions on the reasoning power of our intellect. Intellect goes far above the narrow selfish considerations of the lower mind and senses. But even here there is still a tinge of selfishness.   

   No ordinary person will be able to perform actions completely without desire. We will have to orient our actions and our desires towards the purpose of seeking and experiencing God. When that sacred orientation becomes the basis of all our activities, then such karma belongs to the A-sakthi yoga.
 
  The highest level of action leads us on the path of our goal. But involved herein will be the spell of Maya (worldly illusion, mistaking the transient for the real; non-awareness of actuality, appearances masquerading as reality).
 

  There are two powerful sakthis that make up Maya: one is avarana (veiling power) and the other is vikshepa (projecting power). There is no particular form and shape for these two.

  Avarana refers to that which veils or covers. If it does not have form itself, by what means does it cover? How can it be removed? These questions cannot be easily answered. Maya is mysterious and inexplicable. 

  In what circumstances does this delusion exert its influence on us? It is during twilight or in the dark that we imagine that we see a snake when there is only a rope there. It is through darkness that the delusion comes and envelops us. The delusion beclouds human's mind and covers clear perception. 

  In the light of awareness delusion disappears. That which exists will always exist; it will never cease to exist. It remains forever unchanged.

  It is only the delusion covering it which comes and goes. The form that this delusion takes in the mind is vikshepa the second powerful sakthi of Maya. Vikshepa is the projection that is super imposed on the unchanging basis. (In this case the projection was pictorially the snake instead of rope, what we noticed in darkness. Another time it will be something else).

  Moods, pains, pleasures all come and go. They are something like relatives that come to visit us, but they do not stay permanently. In the same way, this Maya comes and goes as a delusion for human beings. The delusion in our mind which covers the rope and hides from view is avarana, the veiling power.

 The illusion which has been projected by our mind on to the rope is vikshepa, the projecting power. With the help of the light we see the rope as a rope, and the snake vanishes.

  These two aspects of Maya have come in the darkness and disappeared in the light. Maya has no beginning. But it can permanently come to an end. When the light of wisdom shines on it, Maya will finally disappear; then One Unchanging Atmic Reality will stand revealed what is the base for A-sakthi yoga.
 
  From another angle there is no royal road for human life other than through Karma yoga, through the path of dedicated action. We will be able to enter into Bhakti yoga, the path of devotion only after we have laid a firm foundation through good actions. And only after we have purified our feelings and developed our devotion will we be able to enter into the area of wisdom and proceed on the highest path of Jnana yoga. A-sakthi yoga and Jnana yoga are practically the same.

  However, there is nothing that cannot be achieved in the world through Love. Some things may be achieved by other means, but through Love even the Divine can be held in the palm of one's hand.
   
  What is the ultimate nature of reality of humans activities, knowledge?
 
  Without Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi and Prema
  all knowledge is useless;
  Without these four, all charity and righteous
  acts are of no use;
  Without these four, the value of
  all good deeds is zero;
  Without these four, the exercise
  of power is profitless.

 Many lectures are given today about the Divine as the embodiment of Truth and Righteousness. Have they tried to practice even a small fragment of this teaching? Have they made the slightest attempt to secure a vision of this Truth? To preach without practice is repugnant to spirituality.
 
   Every individual should try to practice and protect Truth and Righteousness. A few drops of nectar on the tongue will work wonders, but of what use are barrels of nectar which remain untouched? The nation will not be protected by an army or by the most modern weapons. If the people safeguard Truth and Righteousness, the latter will protect the nation and the world.

  Many years ago, Sri K.M. Munshi convened a conference of intellectuals in Mumbai to be addressed by Swami. He was the chief guest at the meeting.

  Many questions were put to Swami.

  One member of the audience asked Swami whether it was not necessary for India to equip itself with atom bombs in view of the fact that both affluent America and Communist Russia had huge piles of atom bombs.

  Swami replied - "What folly is this! When there are millions in the country who lack food, clothing and shelter, the provision of these necessities is the most urgent task and not the manufacturing of atom bombs. Of what use are bombs when you cannot feed the people?"

 "How are we to meet an attack from outside?" one participant asked. Swami's finished His reply with words: “Our country's name is Bharath. If  Bharath upholds Dharma, America and Russia will have to respect Bharath. Confronted by Dharma, anyone however powerful, will be cut to size.

  When Swami gave this reply, the entire gathering cheered Him for fifteen minutes.

Thereafter Swami told them. "It is not enough to clap your hands; open the taps of your minds. There is no use merely applauding my words."
 
  For all the confusion and conflict prevailing in the world today, it is the feelings and thoughts of people that are responsible. What one gets in life mostly is dependent on what one has earned by own actions. This is called fate. This is by its nature temporary. What is got as the fruit of a past action will not last long because our lifetime is limited. 

 The scriptures have declared that human's mind is the cause of bondage or liberation. Hence, the mind should be concentrated on actions of service to others. It should be devoted to concern for the welfare of the world.
 
  Together with the growth of one's wealth, one's spirit of sacrifice should grow commensurately. Increase in wealth should bring about an increase in generosity. (Now in the world wealth increases but not, as a rule, magnanimity).
 
  Greed for power converted people into demons. Power carries with it limits and obligations.

  There are five kinds of power.

  Power of knowledge, intellectual power, power of fame, power of character, and power of sacrifice. Only the person who has all these five attributes should aspire for a position of authority.

  Those who seek positions of authority should recognize their obligations. Nothing great can be achieved without restraint.

  Pandits from the past like Potharaju, Thyagaraju and Goparaju (Ramdhas) experienced bliss by their spiritual austerities. They sought no positions of power. They were content to seek the grace of the Divine.

  Owing to the influence of the Kali age today, even spiritual seekers are eager to earn wealth and positions.

  However, what is consciousness with all its qualities (good and not so good) also wealth and positions in the mirror of modern quantum science and neuroscience?
 
  There are many scientists who have reached quite close (only close, science without Atmic awareness never will reach to Truth ) to Atmic Oneness through analyses of human consciousness as the main creator of the inner vision. (Nowadays, consciousness are generally attributed to physical processes in the brain, but exactly how chemical and electrical signals between trillions of brain cells called neurons are transformed into thoughts, emotions and a sense of Self is still unknown).

 There will be strong correlations between what's in the brain and consciousness. By David Chalmers, a philosophy professor and Director of the Center for Consciousness at the Australian National University the question is what kind of explanation that will give you. By him we want explanation - how and why do brain process give rise to consciousness? That's remains by science even today the big mystery.

  Science has nearly solved the problems that deal with functions and behaviors associated with consciousness and include for example the questions about perception and how does the brain bind different kinds of sensory information together to produce the illusion of a seamless experience. By Chalmers the finally unsolved problem is that of subjective experience. The subjective nature of consciousness prevents it from being explained in terms of simpler components, a method used to great success in other areas of science. The physical world, which can be divided into individual atoms, subatomic particles, living cells, crystals, etc. consciousness is an irreducible aspect of the Universe, like space and time and mass. So from this statement has concluded that Consciousness is a holographic pattern of Atma, God, Absolute, Swami's Cosmic form...

  According to this view, a theory of consciousness would not explain what consciousness is or how it arose; instead, it would try to explain the relationship between consciousness and everything else in the world. (But, not every scientist is support this idea).

   From aspect of physics, Roger Penrose, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University, believes that quantum mechanics, the rules governing the physical world at the subatomic level, might play an important role in consciousness. 

  When small cannot get any smaller, you enter the quantum world of quarks, photons, and space-time foam. Let's look at this indivisible side of nature.

 Each atom has a nucleus of protons and neutrons, with tiny electrons buzzing around. Both protons and neutrons contain three quarks.

  But the dissection stops there: electrons and quarks are the smallest pieces of ordinary matter.

  How small are they? The electron is sometimes said be a few femtometers across (about a trillionth of a hair's width), but this is misleading. Now has detected Electrons and quarks are more like puffy clouds than rigid balls.

  This puffiness is the result of unavoidable quantum uncertainty: You can't precisely know a particle's motion and position at the same time. If you try to hold a quark still, you would have almost no idea where it is.

  Such slipperiness makes exact size measurements meaningless. Are quantum effects constantly carving us into innumerable copies, each copy inhabiting a different version of the Universe? Or do all those other worlds pop out of existence as mere might-have-been? Do our own consciousness surf on quantum waves and is a part of that quantum ocean? Alias:

  More effulgent than the Sun,
  Purer and whiter than snow,
  Subtler than space,
  The Supreme Self pervades everything,
  There is no difference
  Between you and Brahman.
  What greater truth can I convey
  To all of you assembled here?

  The Lord, when He has assumed a role in the Cosmic play, has to act in each situation according to what is appropriate to it and according to the rules of the game.

  When an actor in a play is assigned a certain role, he studies the entire play, but while acting his role, he has to play his part alone in each scene as required in the play and not all the roles that he knows. He has to suit his actions to the demands of his role in each scene in the play.

  Let's play this Cosmic play with Swami and be happy.

(Reet's compilation from,  Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 11. "Liberation from bondage," Chapter 17; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 17. " Divinity of Avathaar," Chapter 26 and "Uphold Sai ideals," Chapter 28; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 20. "Developing the inner vision," Chapter 11; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "The Avathaar and the devotees," Chapter 31; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Render unto God what is His," Chapter 19).
 
     Namaste - Reet


 Swami teaches... 4 - 6th January 2008
 
  Part 2. The inner vision is important
 
    Humans undergo to the different aspects of development: social, moral, cognitive, emotional, ethical, spiritual, etc. These aspects of development are attempts to discover meaning in our existence on the different levels and states.

  On one hand, human being has a certain amount (limited) of control over  his/her existence, while in other hand human being is a subject to forces he/she can’t predict or control and find peace in mind without spiritual awareness.
 
  Many spiritual aspirants have gone through long and arduous disciplines in order to win the dearest ambition of entering the kingdom where there is no bondage. There are others who have ventured with reason as their sole guide, into the realms of the inner consciousness and discovered that liberation consists in realizing the reality that is behind all the transient and manifold phenomena.

  But, the experiences of these heroic persons are discarded as the vapourings of crazy individuals, by those who live on the flimsy surface of the first of the five sheaths of human personality, the annamaya kosha (physical sheath). They identify the body as themselves and do not delve behind the falsehood into the realm of Truth.

   The reason behind their attitude is - they do not grasp the fact that Vedanta reveals only the genuine history of each one of them. It but seeks to hold before every one the true picture of him/herself, devoid of deficiencies or exaggerations.

  Moksha (liberation) is no special and exclusive heaven into which one has to earn admission; it is not a special status or acquisition or possession. It is just the removal of the false notion that we are bound and limited by the body, the senses, the intellect, the mind, the ego and other fancies. 
 
  What exactly is the bond which one has to free himself from? The bonds have been forged by fear and anxiety, produced by desire which holds one in its grip. Fundamentally, fear arises because you feel there is before you, another, a second. If there is no second, whom can one fear? The first person is the seer, the I; the second is "all other beings and things," which are seen, observed, Nature.
 
  People are engaged in the pursuit of wealth and position, but not in the quest of the Divine. They forget that lasting happiness and peace cannot be got by wealth, scholarship or position.

  Wherever you turn, you see in the world only unrest and disorder. There is little trace of unity, harmony and brotherliness. Unrest and confusion prevail at every level from the individual to the nation as a whole. These conflicts are due to the craze for power, insatiable desires and intense selfishness.

  Moreover, the growth of unrest and chaos in society is also due to the weakness of government, the decline of truth and righteousness and the failure of people in the mass to discharge their respective duties.

  Everyone talks about the presence of the Divine, who is the embodiment of Truth and Righteousness. People speak about the Omnipresence and Omniscience of God. But few care to understand what this means, to experience it and to live according to it.

  People are consumed by a limitless passion for wealth and power. (No doubt money is necessary for meeting one's daily needs. But even here there should be a limit).

  The vast ocean, when it swells beyond its bounds, causes disaster. Wealth is essential but within limits. When there is excessive wealth, many dangers ensue. With excessive wealth human turns arrogant and loses the sense of discrimination between right and wrong.

  The educated person fights for rights, without regard to the duties to be discharged. Rights and duties are inseparably inter-related. Love is the connecting link between the two.
 
  The Avatar (an incarnation of God, taking a form according to the age in which the incarnation occurs; special manifestation of God on the Earth) has come to call your attention to the profundity and profitableness of the Dharma (Righteousness).
 
   An example from the Gita. Exhorting Arjuna to see everything is the Atma (the Divine soul), Krishna revealed to him His Vishwarupa (Cosmic Divine Form), all the forms seen in the Cosmos, wherefrom they have come. Krishna revealed that all of them were in Him.

  He told Arjuna: "I am in the tree that you see. I am in the ocean. I am in the earth. See Me in everything." 

  Asthi, bhathi , priyam (existence, effulgence and bliss) are the characteristics of the Divine. They are the basis of everything in the Universe.

  When they are associated with name and form, they acquire a five- fold character. Hence all' things in creation are known as Panchaka (objects with five attributes). The world is described as Prapancha because it makes known these five attributes in creation.

  For the evolution of the Cosmos, the pancha bhuthas (five elements, ether, air, fire, water and earth) are needed.

  To nourish five elements, the pancha koshas (five sheaths) have to be developed. The sheaths have to be sustained by the pancha pranas (five vital airs). These five vital airs arise from the One that is their source. They originate by the Will of the Chaithanya (the Divine Principle). There is nothing in the Universe without this Chaithanya. From the minutest particle in its most subtle form to the vastest in its amplitude, the Divine pervades the Universe.

    In this context, the difference between Divinity (as Universal, Cosmic Consciousness) and the Avatar (the Divine in human form) should be understood. The Para Brahman (the Omniself) is not subject to change. The Avatar has name and form and is liable to change by its own Will. The Omniself has no name or form.
 
  Name and form do not circumscribe the total fullness of the Divinity the Avatar manifests.

  How can the all-knowing, all-powerful, Omnipresent Lord flee from anywhere? Where can He hide Himself? This is fanciful.

  When one has faith in the ways of the Lord and abides by the will of the Lord, the Lord can be understood and experienced.

  Name and form are the self-chosen attributes of the infinite, eternal, ever pure, Universal Cosmic Consciousness.
 
  According to Shikshavalli (in the Thaithariya Upanishad) vidhya (learning, spiritual knowledge) is not mere mastery of letters. Vidhya should blend harmoniously with life and lend meaning and purpose to it. It is said: "Learning is that which liberates."

  By Shikshavalli there are four samhithas (collections of methodically arranged texts; beneficial Divine instructions)  - Loka Samhitha, Aloka Samhitha, Vijnana Samhitha and Prajnana Samhitha.

  Loka Samhitha describes the Earth three lokas (worlds) and the stellar galaxies. It is Vaagu (wind) that binds the Earth and the stellar galaxies, giving rise to the creation of akasha (space). The principle of mutual attraction governs the galaxies and the Earth.

   There are seven kinds of winds that circulate between the Earth and three worlds. Shikshavalli teaches that a harmonious bond between three worlds and the Earth is ensured by the presence of these seven winds. It is due to this intimate bond that the ocean swells and sways at the sight of the Moon and the clouds. 

  The second Aloka Samhitha, is also known as Jyothi Samhitha. This describes the presence of fire and the Sun and the connecting bond between two. Cosmic radiation establishes a link between fire on the Earth and the rays from the Sun, causing the creation of water in the process. The Samhitha testifies that one who understands the nature of water can cognise the nature of the Universe as well.

  The second teaching of this Samhitha is that there is a link between the Sun and the human's heart. The statements ancient Sacred Divine revelations in the Veda bring out the connection between the Moon and the mind and the Sun and eye-sight.

  The third Vijnana Samhitha, expounds the conjunction between the teacher and the student. It stresses, the importance of spiritual education, in addition to secular education through the education of the heart. 

  These injunctions are the following.
  Speak Sathya (truth).
  Observe Dharma (code of righteousness).
  Foster knowledge with diligence.
  Abstain from vicious deeds.
  Perform worthy acts.
  Respect most meticulously the regulations laid down by society for leading a disciplined life in the community.
  Practice charity as a householder according to your capacity.
  Show reverence and obedience to elders.
  Exercise extreme vigilance with regard to your duties and relationship with your kith and kin and fellow - human beings.

  After imparting these instructions, Vijnana Samhitha lays down that these teachings constitute the eternal commandments for the conduct of human.

  So, do not serve for the sake of reward, attracting attention, or earning gratitude, or from a sense of pride at your own superiority in skill, wealth, status or authority. Serve because you are urged by Love.  

  The most important consideration is not the work that we do or not do, but how effectively we have been able to uproot and destroy the Vasanas (deep-seated tendencies) which lie hidden in our heart. The removal of these impurities, which have encased themselves so deeply, is the principal objective of all sadhana or spiritual practice.

  This is also the goal of all yoga to cleanse ourselves of all trace of the twin evils of attachment and hatred, which have harbored themselves within us.
 
  The Gita teaches A-sakthi yoga, the yoga of disinterestedness or impersonal action, in which we remain totally indifferent to any personal interest in the work that we do and in the results that accrue from it.

  A-sakthi yoga goes even beyond the practice of Nishkama karma what is the stage in which all our actions are performed without desiring or expecting any fruits from our labors. No person will be able to reach the stage of Nishkama karma as long as his/her vasanas (impressions), which have arisen from past actions, are impediments to spiritual progress.

  A person must first remove the bad qualities which are associated with bad actions, by replacing them with good qualities which are associated with good actions. Then when person is firmly established in the stage of selfless service and can go to the stage of Nishkama karma. From there person will rise to the stage of A-sakthi yoga.

  The Gita asserts that the true purity of the heart can be achieved only by dedicating all our actions to the Lord.

  For example, when food is eaten after having been cooked and prepared in a number of different ways, it is still just ordinary food, and we are subject to the good or the bad effects of eating that food. However, if this food before being consumed is offered to God, then it becomes prasadam (blessed food), which becomes the sacred gift of the Lord. 

  By the same token, all the activities performed during the day fall into the category of ordinary karma. But when we perform these same actions, even if they are simple acts, with the intention of making them an offering to God, devoting their results not to our own pleasure but the pleasure of the Lord, then they become Karma yoga (communion through selfless action) as well as a yajna (holy sacrifice). 
 
  A-sakthi yoga is not easily accessible to ordinary people. But with whole-hearted effort and God's Grace, seemingly impossible things can be achieved. If we persist in our efforts then with practice we will be able to reach this high level of A-sakthi yoga in all our activities.

  To succeed in this, the inner vision must be developed. However, the inner vision is very rare among humans; even the greatest pandits and scholars are steeped only in the outer vision.

  Here is a story that illustrates this.

  Once upon a time, King Janaka called an assembly of great scholars. The assembly was composed of such giants that there was no room at all for ordinary people to enter in. The daily meetings were presided over by King Janaka himself, and of the highly select group in attendance, only the most outstanding and accomplished were given the opportunity to speak and present their views.

  It was to this magnificent and august assembly that Ashtavakra, young in age, devoid of formal scholarship and twisted in physical form, sought to gain admission. But who would permit Ashtavakra to enter? He did not have any credentials or any recommendation whatsoever. The only help he had was his deep faith in God.

   For three days Ashtavakra waited at the gate of King Janaka's palace. Ashtavakra was not prepared to give up his resolution to join the assembly and participate in it. He waited at the gate patiently day after day. There was one observant and sympathetic old scholar who noticed Ashtavakra standing by that gate, whenever he entered and exited through it, morning and evening. The kindly old scholar informed King Janaka that there was a young boy outside, waiting for some days to enter the assembly, although he did not have any of the usual qualifications necessary for being inside. 

  King Janaka directed his assistants to find the boy and bring him to the assembly hall. Shortly after King Janaka had taken his seat, and the meeting began in the solemn and sacred atmosphere befitting such an august assembly, Ashtavakra entered the hall. The moment they saw the young boy with such crooked form come to take part in the assembly, most of the great scholars began to laugh.

 King Janaka who was keenly observing Ashtavakra as he entered, did not laugh. Ashtavakra looked carefully around the hall, and then quite inexplicably started laughing even louder than the scholars seated there. This loud burst of laughter from Ashtavakra was quite inadmissible and greatly surprised the scholars; it became a real problem for them. "Why should this uncouth stripling be laughing at us?" they thought. "There certainly is reason enough for our laughter, considering how funny he looks, but there is nothing at all strange about us, so what conceivable reason does he have for all this laughter?" They were very much puzzled and irritated by what they considered the boy's impertinence.

  One of the scholars asked, "Oh stranger, who are you? We do not know you. When we looked at you as you came in, your form made us laugh. In response to our laughter you are laughing even more loudly. What is the reason for this? What strikes you so funny about all the renowned scholars seated here that you have not even for a moment stopped laughing."

  Ashtavakra replied, "Well, Sir, I entered this gathering thinking it to be sacred assembly convened by the famous Emperor Janaka to discuss the holy scriptures. I waited patiently for many days and then entered this hall thinking that the greatest living scholars would be assembled here. I looked forward to being in the company of such sacred souls. But, alas, I find nothing but cobblers here, only shoemakers, who stitch chappals and work with leather." When they heard this all the scholars became furious, feeling greatly insulted by Ashtavarka for using such an abusive word. 

 Ashtavakra continued in the same vein, "Only cobblers, only people who work with hides and skins will think about the worth of a particular skin; others will not be bothered about it. All of you are laughing at my skin and have obviously decided it is not worth much, but not even one of you has made an effort to know about my scholarship. Pandits should have a capacity to look inward, but you only seem to care about the outer covering."  

   The scholars hung their heads in shame. King Janaka who understood very well what Ashtavakra was saying, invited him to take a seat in the assembly, and subsequently bestowed numerous honors upon him. 

  As was the case then, so is the case now throughout the world. However great we may be, we have developed only the external vision. We do not bother to cultivate the inner vision. When we examine a person we pay attention only to his physical features, his wealth, his status, his education, his degrees and so on. On the other hand when God examines a person, He looks at the purity of his heart. He pays attention to the peace that is within him. It is such inner vision that we must develop.
 
   By practicing patience and forbearance we will be able to acquire all the other important spiritual qualities, such as mind control, renunciation, endurance and concentration. This will bring a state of inner purity and abiding peace. The Lord is ever present both inside and out. Therefore, both inner and the outer, the entire place where the Lord is to be found, must be purified and sanctified. Then the indwelling God will protect you wherever you go.

(Reet's compilation from,  Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 11. "Liberation from bondage," Chapter 17; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 17. " Divinity of Avathaar," Chapter 26 and "Uphold Sai ideals," Chapter 28; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 20. "Developing the inner vision," Chapter 11; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "The Avathaar and the devotees," Chapter 31; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Render unto God what is His," Chapter 19).
 
    Namaste - Reet


 Swami teaches... 1st - 3rd January 2008
 
  Part 1. The inner vision is important
 
  Foreword

  After more than bi-monthly break the serial "Swami Teaches..." proceeds. I am compiling this serial by some inner call what appears from nowhere and this spark is impossible to command. During the break this inner call has let me to know, that I myself would try to practice Swami's directions among teachers-specialists, co-workers, friends... This inner call also as has let me know, that I should not hurry up and should more deeply contemplate about each Swami's word because this serial (as seva) may be helpful at the first stage of development for those who have chosen a way of spiritual progress through Atmic Awareness by Swami's Teaching. (In reality Swami has a huge wings and aspects of teachings, advices and directions what I have generalized into one expression as the whole, reflection the Great One -  "Swami's Teaching").  

  Below I try to express feelings based on my tiny experiences of Swami's directions through Swami's Works, modern scientific outlooks and my opinions. However, my words are too poor to share these feelings; but I try. Never is too late to learn and experience.

  The seedling wants water and manure, to grow and yield rich harvest. The tiny sapling of spiritual yearning for liberation from bondage also needs these two.

  Krishna said, "Arjuna, you yourself must purify your heart and remove the veil of ignorance that is beclouding you. Take to the path of righteous action, work for the welfare of the world and dedicate your every act to Me, who am your very Self, residing in your heart."

  The body is the temple of the Lord; keep it in good and strong condition. (It is damaged by food and drink of the rajasic ad thamasic behavior).
 
  Who am I? Why am I here? What is death and when it happen? What is consciousness? How do I relate to the world, and to other people?  What is right and what is wrong? What is happiness from different aspects, etc....?

  The spiritual development leads us to look at things and circumstances from a new perspective.

  The highest wisdom is the awareness of the Unity, the One, which is all this. There is only One Brahman.
 
 When you are in bed, asleep, dreaming and wandering through varied escapades and experiences, what has happened to the body which you had fostered as you yourself? And while in deep sleep, where have all the levels of consciousness taken refuge? Sleep is short death: death is a long sleep.
 
  But, the Ananda is not known at the time of sleep. It is only after waking that you declare I enjoyed fine sleep. If only you were aware of the Ananda, sleep will be samadhi, for, it is Ananda unalloyed. So also, in the waking stage, you have knowledge, but, no Ananda.
 

  If you can experience the knowledge of the waking stage and the Ananda of the sleeping stage, both at the same time and to the full, that is Moksha. That is true liberation. Then you have consciousness, knowledge and bliss, unalloyed; you are Sath-Chith-Ananda itself, pure and simple.

  You must watch for the moment when the wakeful stage passes into the sleeping stage and concentrate on that moment purifying it of all the agitations and thought which mar the wisdom and the Ananda. 

  Of course it is difficult in the beginning. There is nothing that you cannot gain by practice. You have learnt the highly complicated and strange skills of walking erect, of writing scripts and reading them and interpreting them, all by practice, haven't you?  

  You realize this when you are in deep sleep, when all thought, feeling, emotion, passion, attachment, knowledge cease - only the I remaining, and the happiness of being only the I, experience of being “one with” everything. 

  The Cosmos has no duality. Divinity is the union of Prakrithi and Paramatma. The Divine manifests in human as an individual entity. We must recognize the Infinite in the individual.  God must be seen in the infinity of the Cosmos - in the Omnipresence of the Divine.

  This stage is often spoken of as “enlightenment” or “self-realization.” (Few individuals experienced unity with everything in the Universe - a cosmic, outlook).

  Let Swami's serious, illustrative and pictorial Teaching from heart to heart more largely enables devotees to obtain this Cosmic, Universal Atmic outlook.
 
   By modern neuroscience and psychology (see reference) there are many ways to slice the developmental steps. In general there are four basic divisions: preconventional, conventional, post conventional, and unitive. 

  Each level represents a way of thinking, being and doing.

  Thinking would include how you think about your experience, how you structure it inside your mind, how you explain it and make sense of it – how you create a mental map of reality.

  Being would include how you feel about things, how you deal with your feelings, how wide your awareness is and what you choose to pay attention to, and how you experience and process whatever is going on around you – how you feel.

  Doing would include how you interact, what needs you act upon, what ends you try to achieve, how you see the purpose of your life, and what role others play in your life.
 
  Preconventional thinking, the first perspective, is very egocentric. It’s all about me. It’s very body oriented (as opposed to mind-oriented, as in the second perspective). The preconventional perspective is impulsive and opportunistic. It’s all about me, and my needs, now. The preconventional way of looking at time is narrow–it’s all about what happens now. There’s little or no ability to delay gratification, and little if any ability to take the role of others, to realize that other people have their own needs and their own agenda. It’s just me, looking out at the world and trying to get what I want or need.

  (Most people at this stage are children, but about 10% of adults are at this stage of development).
 
  At the next developmental level, the conventional perspective things are more about us, about our group. You’re either with us, like us…or you aren’t. The way we think is the right way, and the way others think is, well, wrong.

  A person at the conventional level is capable of introspection, of symbolic and abstract thinking, of the ability to follow the rules of the group and to assume a certain role in the group. This is the beginning of the creation of a true independent self. 

  People at this level of development answer the existential questions the point of view of rationality, cause and effect, subject-object thinking, and materialism (if you can’t see it and measure it, it doesn’t exist). Metaphysical explanations, popular at the preconventional level, are seen as fluffy and irrational. Life is very concrete at this stage. (About 75% of adults are this stage).
 
  At the next stage, post conventional, it’s about all of us. The idea that all men and women are created equal. Another post conventional realization is that what something means depends on one’s personal perspective. 

  At the post conventional stage what an object or an action means comes from the observer, and varies depending on who is doing the observing. There is an assumption that truth is relative rather than fixed. From this systems view of things, everything is interdependent. (About 14% of adults are at this post conventional level).
 
  The fourth stage, could be termed unitive. Those at this stage come to realize that all objects, including the Self, the ego, and even the idea of three-dimensional space and time - are human-made constructs, based on abstractions of human's level. There is an awareness that language presupposes many things that may not be true about reality.

  They are actually one thing, not two. In fact, all polarities created by the mind and arise together: up makes no sense without down, good makes no sense without bad, me makes no sense without not-me.

  At this stage of development allows the person to stand aside and be an observer. A person at this level realizes that the mental map we make of reality isn’t reality itself but illusion. (About 1% of adults are this stage).

  This standpoints modern neuroscience and psychology have reached quite close to Vedic and Swami's ones.

  "The integral knowledge is something that is already there in integral reality: it is not a new or still non-existing thing that has to be created, acquired, learned, invented or built up by the mind; it must rather be discovered or uncovered, it is a Truth that is self-revealed to a spiritual endeavor: for it is there veiled in our deeper and greater self; it is the very stuff of our own spiritual consciousness, and it is by awaking to it even in our surface self that we have to possess it" (Aurobindo, The Life Divine).
 
  The objective world is the illusion caused by ignorance, which makes one ignore the One that is only apparent as Many. Ignorance causes the identification with the Mine. So, when some one attached to us dies, we feel broken-hearted, whereas, when some one who is not in the circle of kith or kin dies, we are not affected at all. It is the sense of I and Mine that causes grief and fear.

 The Divine is the basis for everything. (Human, however, is filled with the conceit that he/she is the one who is doing everything).
 
  The ancient sages and savants offered all their knowledge and scholarship as an offering to God. They did not regard knowledge as a means of acquiring wealth. What is the proper offering to God? It is said, patram, pushpam, phalam, toyam (a leaf, a flower, a fruit and water). What are these? Your body is the leaf; your heart is the flower, your mind is the fruit and the tears of bliss is the water.

  In the days of Rama everyone was filled with a spirit of sacrifice and faith. Before leaving for the forest, Rama gave away all his personal possessions as gifts. Sacrifice is the essence of the Rama Principle.
 
  To develop the spirit of sacrifice the first requisite is firm faith in God what is feeding through unconditional Love.

  There is no living being without the spark of love; even a mad person loves something or somebody intensely.

  But, you must recognize this love as but a reflection of the Embodiment of Love, that is your reality, of the God who is residing in your heart. Recognize that spring, rely on it more and more, develop its possibilities, try to irrigate the whole world with it, discard all touch of self from it, do not seek anything in return for it from those to whom you extend it.

 One of the most important of all spiritual principles is service to others what finally leads the realizing God within and Unconditional Love.  

  What is Swami's directive? What is it that Swami desires? Only one thing: Love, Love, Love.

  Unconditional Service, is born out of unconditional Love and unconditional Faith and in the knowledge of Self, God within. In order to acquire true faith, we have to work at it. Not physical work, but true inner work realizing God within. 

  True faith and peace in mind is an intimate connection with the Self what is within and through us as channels of expression and experience of Swami within. See the truth that will set you free. It is within you, feel it.
 
  Several people came to Swami asking for peace. Swami tells them, “Son, peace is not outside, what you find outside are only pieces.” You are the embodiment of peace, you are the embodiment of God, you are the embodiment of truth and you are the embodiment of dharma (righteousness). When you are yourself the personification of peace, why are you looking for it outside?

  Every individual is a part of the Great One. Humans are channels of expression and experience of Atma, of what humans are integral aspects, by modern science - holographic patterns.
 
  "Strange is our situation here upon Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to Divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know - that man is here for the sake of other men"  (Albert Einstein).  

  Service is an energy in and of itself. So service for the sake of service, or in the hope of being rewarded by a benevolent deity is, as a rule, ineffective.

  It is not the physical action of service that matters - it is rather the feelings, emotions that are behind it.
   
  Today the mission of the masses is often to amass wealth and material possessions as a first priority, often even if it means adversely affecting others. The primary reason for this is the flawed thinking that the only way abundance and happiness may be attained is through physical effort and often manipulation of others. 

  Most people of today believe in what they read in novels and newspapers, what they see in films, and even in the whimsical words of a passerby. But they have no trust to the words of the Veda Matha (Divine Vedic Mother), who has taught the four great truths:
 
  "Thath thwam asi, Prajnanam Brahma, Aham Brahmasmi, Ayam Atma Brahma" (Thou Art That, Consciousness is Brahman, I am Divine, This Self is the Omni-Self), which declare: "You are Brahman (Absolute Truth) itself."
 
  (Reet's compilation from,  Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 11. "Liberation from bondage," Chapter 17; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 17. " Divinity of Avathaar," Chapter 26 and "Uphold Sai ideals," Chapter 28; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 20. "Developing the inner vision," Chapter 11; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "The Avathaar and the devotees," Chapter 31; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Render unto God what is His," Chapter 19).

  References:

  Anderson S.W., Bechara A., Damasio H., Tranel D., Damasio A.R. Impairment of social and moral behavior related to early damage in human prefrontal cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 1999, 2, 1032-1037.

   Adolps R., Tranel D., Damasio A.R. The human amygdala in social judgement. Nature 1998, 393, 470-473.
 
  The note:

  In all serials USA English is used.
  The spelling of most names is by Glossary for the Vahinis


 Namaste - Reet


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