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Swami teaches....Part 12

 

Link to Swami Teaches....Part 11


Swami teaches.... (22 February 2005)
 
   Responsible Role of Women 
 

    All human beings are brothers - sisters and are children of one mother - the Universal Divine Mother. Therefore, we must develop this sacred feeling and try to help everyone

    The progress of the nation, the community and the family, depends on the proper education of women. The country can be lifted to its pristine greatness only through women mastering the Atmavidya, the science of Realisation of the Reality. If the nation must have lasting prosperity and peace, women have to be trained through an educational system which emphasises moral conduct, moral qualities. The cause for the present fall in moral standards and absence of social peace is the neglect of this aspect of women's education.

    Past, present or future, for all time, women are the backbone of progress; the heart of the nation, the very breath. They play the chief role in the dharma of life here below, a key role that is charged with holiness. Her mission is to lay down the canons of rightness and morality. She must provide children with moral and spiritual training. When the mother is imbued with Dharma, the children get the benefit and they get similarly saturated. When she is skilled in morals, the children learn to be moral.  

    The Vedhas declare that the mother and the father have to be revered as divine; they must consider the children too as divine, and foster the blooming of that divine principle. Whether one is doing it sincerely or not can be left to each one's conscience. You are the best judge of your sincerity. The mother's is the first face that the child sees; 'Ma' is the first syllable that its lips utter; it is also the last.

    The role of motherhood is the most glorious and the most responsible. The mother is the pillar of the home, of society, of the nation and so of humanity itself. Mothers should know the secret of mental peace, of inner silence, of spiritual courage, of contentment, which is the greatest wealth, and of Aadhyaathmic (spiritual) discipline which gives lasting joy.

    The mother should teach the children the value of Naamasmarana (remembering God), and of mental and physical cleanliness. She should be like the mother in the story told by Vivekaanandha, who advised her son to call upon Krishna in the woods, while going to school alone and helpless. 

    Female education is needed to sweeten the hearts of the future mothers of this land with humility, faith, discrimination and fear of evil. To light the path they tread towards truth and virtue. Knowledge can develop discrimination, inspire the springs of service, prompt inquiry into the Reality, promote the search for the Absolute. On the other hand, it might feed and strengthen the roots of falsehood, hypocrisy, cruelty and injustice. It might turn Love into poisonous hatred and Truth into a bone of contention. Whatever subject a woman might have studied and mastered, whatever the degree she has won, whatever the status of her husband or of herself, she must hold fast to these truths; real charm consists in good character; morality is the very breath of woman; modesty, the very live force; adherence to truth is her daily duty. The Aanandha that can be derived by unselfish scattering of love is a rare elevating experience. It is a very valuable Saadhana. The ideal of Seva must be inculcated in the hearts of the students and they must acquire not only the enthusiasm to serve but they must earn proficiency in the ways of helpfulness. Modesty and devotion to God are the real jewels for womankind. Women preserve the traditional values of our culture and keep the nation on an even keel. If they fail, it would be famine, not prosperity.                  

    If the women of a country are happy, healthy and holy, the men of that country will be hardy, honest and happy. Thyaagaraaja has sung that even the strongest of heroes are Kaanthadhaasas (swayed by the wishes of women) and hence, every woman has a very crucial role to play in individual and social uplift through obtained skill of  the technique of mental calm and social harmony and service and economic contentedness. Let them develop a dread of falsehood, of sliding into moral error.

Let the girl-students will become aware of the joy that service to those in distress can give, service without a thought of the benefits that may follow from the sympathy shown. Let them learn to lay aside the egoism that poisons the Seva of even veterans in the field, who go about extolling themselves as founders and promoters, for the service of the poor and the maimed, of this institution and that. The joy of the Seva is the act itself. The fruit of the Seva is the removal of egoism, not its multiplication.

    Woman is honoured in India as the Lakshmi of the home, as the Dharmapathni or companion in the pilgrimage towards God and self-realisation, and as the mistress of the house.

   There are some points what need the clarification concern to spiritual activity  of women.

    Are women entitled to seek Brahmavidya? If women do not deserve this knowledge, how did Vishnumurthi teach Bhudevi the mystery of the Gita? How did Parameswara teach Parvathi the Gurugita? "Dharovaacha" "Parvathyuvaacha", such statements reveal that Dhara and Parvathi took part in the discussions and put questions to clarify the points.  The Yogasastra and Manthrasastra were both taught to Parvathi by Iswara. This must therefore be correct, authorised by the Sastras, is it not? 

    In the Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad, it is mentioned that Yajnavalkya taught Maitreyi, the Brahmavidya. 

    In the Brihadaranyaka, there is mention of such effulgent women-sages as Gargi and Maitreyi and in the Mahabharatha, the names of Sulabha and Yogini are found. Women should be inspired by their moral rectitude and their steadfastness and then walk in that path; then, only does the question of reaching that height arise. Choodala, Madalasa and other such women attained Brahmajnana, being in the Grihasthasrama itself. Women can by Sadhana attain that unwavering unequalled auspicious Brahmam; this is made clear in the Yogavasishta and also in the Puranas. Doubts will haunt only those who have not studied the Sastras properly. Novitiates, householders, recluses, all among women, have by their pure hearts and holy conduct, attained the goal. All women should strive to acquire these two. 

    "The Acharya, or the spiritual guide, is ten times more worthy than the teacher of arts and sciences. The Father is ten times worthier than the Acharya, the Mother is a thousand times worthier than the Father". This is the declaration of Manu in the Manusmrithi. That Smrithi is the binding text for all Dharmasastras; it is the very basis.   See what a great honour it pays to the mother! Lakshmi, the patron of Wealth, is a female deity. When addressing letters to women, it is customary to begin, "To... equal to Lakshmi, in every way...". Women are entitled to universal respect. Causative Appearances of God-head like Rama and Krishna, religious teachers like Sankara, Ramanuja and Madhwa, bearers of Wisdom like Buddha, Jesus Christ and Muhammad - were they not all born of women? Their mothers were embodiments of holy glory and they gave the world sons who transformed it. Women who follow in their footsteps and lead pure consecrated lives can claim the right to Brahmajnana, and no one can deny it to them. 

    In fact, the Atma is devoid of all differences as between men and women. It is Nithya, Suddha, Buddha, Swayamjyothi; i.e., it is eternal pure consciousness itself, and self illumining. Women can reach the status of those holy women only when they become aware of the nature of the Atma.

    The patron deities of Vidya (Saraswathi), of Wealth (Lakshmi) and of Jnana (Parvathi) are all women! Therefore, it is unbelievable that women have no right to spiritual discipline, leading to merger with Brahmam and to the final emancipation from bondage. A lion asleep is unaware of its nature. So too, man asleep in the coils of Maya is not aware of his being the Splendourful Atma. In this stage of ignorance, he elaborates more on his prejudices and he gives his likes, the stamp of Sastras! The Sastras will not declare so at any time.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse "Radiate Rays Of Love." Ananthapur, 8 July 1971. Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse "Shikshana." Venkatagiri, 9 September 1958.  Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse "Seek Work, Worship and Wisdom - Avoid Wealth, Wine and Women." Brindavan, Whitefield, May 1973. Sathya Sai Baba. "Dharma Vahini." Chapters  V and IX .


 
Swami teaches.... (20 -21 February 2005)
 
   Duties to Own Self and Ways of These Realisation
 

    Each one's power is within him/her; it is not possible to give such power to another person. One does not have to search for spiritual power, going around the world and spending a lot of money. Be in your own house, develop it in yourself, such spiritual power is in you! 

   You are not one person, but three, the one you think you are (physical); the one others think you are (mental); and the one you really are spiritual is God. When you are able to realise that, and when you are able to develop the spiritual power from within you, then you will see God.

    Know that Sai is Omnipresent and so, He is present in every living thing and you. Adore everyone as you adore Sai. This is easy if you feel that your duty is part of your worship, that you are offering it to the Sai in the other person. Your duty is to your own Self.

    Faith in God is to be translated into action. It is an imperative act of worship to discharge faithfully all one's duties and responsibilities. It will be dangerous if the right work is not done by the right person at the right time. You must be eager to do your duty as best as you can.

    Peace and bliss are within you they are not something which is external to you. You may think of going to the Himaalayas for getting peace. Your body may go to the Himaalayas for getting peace; but your mind may be left behind in the city. How to get peace, where is the help and support to this situation? It is the good company, who can help you.

    The easiest and the most fruitful method of keeping yourself free from dust and rust, is the Sathsang (holy company). The company of the good and the godly will slowly and surely chasten and cleanse the persons prone to stray away from the straight path towards Self- Realisation. Care has to be taken to see that you select and stick to the proper company. The Sathsang you join must be purer, more venerable, and sticking to higher ideals of virtue and truth than you yourselves.

   (When a smoker joins a group of non-smokers, there is every likelihood of his giving up that bad habit; but, when a non-smoker falls into a den of smokers, he is certain to become a victim soon! Such is the subtle influence of the company one keeps. You must take all the trouble and welcome all the patience needed, to seek Sathsang and remain therein).

    Life is like a train journey. Children have a long way to go; but, the elders have to alight from the train pretty son. You must learn to make your journey comfortable and happy. Do not carry heavy unwanted luggage, with you. That' will make the journey miserable. Do not indulge in faultfinding and in picking quarrels with others. Don't desire to have the best things for yourselves only. Share with others around you the good things you are given. Anger, hatred,
envy, jealousy, these are the heavy luggage.  

     Human being sees multiplicity, he engages himself in manifold activities, he is pulled in many directions, he is distracted and distressed. He has no time to meditate on the One Basic Truth. He is confused by the kaleidoscopic transformations. He is tossed between hate and love, attachment and repulsion.

     Many people think that concentration is the same thing as meditation, but there is no such connection between concentration and meditation. Concentration is something which is below your senses, whereas meditation is something which is above your senses. But many are under the false impression that concentration is identical with meditation, and they take to a wrong path. Concentration is something which we use involuntarily in our daily, normal, routine life. If one wants to drive a car, unless one has concentration, one cannot drive a car on the road. All the normal routines, like walking, talking, reading, writing, eating, all these things we do only as result of concentration. 

     What we have to practice is something which is beyond these normal senses. We must rise from being below the senses (that is the state of concentration) to the senses (that is, the middle position, called contemplation); and from there we must rise above the senses, that is called meditation.
    Between concentration and meditation there is border area which covers both and that is the area of contemplation. To be in that area of contemplation is to free yourself of worldly attachments.
    If you break away all the worldly attachments - all the routine attachments in the world - then you will enter the region of contemplation. When you have completely broken away all your attachments, you break through this area of contemplation and you get into the area of meditation.
    These steps can also be described as starting from self-confidence, and then getting self-satisfaction and then self-sacrifice, and the last step is self-realisation. The ultimate step of self-realisation depends upon the base of self-confidence.

    During the meditation aspirants and seekers of spiritual truth must to sit straight and to sit quiet.  When the body is straight and quiet, the mind inside is also straight and quiet. If one cannot control the body, how is possible to control the mind? The basis for the mind wandering is that your physical body is also continually wandering. So the first thing one  has to do is to give up this continual wandering of the physical body.
    The body is a chalice, wherein you collect the nectar of Divine Grace. That is the prime purpose for which it has been gifted to you. For, without a cup or chalice, a casket or jug, how can the nectar be taken? Raso vai sah, say the Vedhas: "He is sweet-nectar, no less." And When His Grace is showered, the body is thrilled. The body has to be kept ever clean and pure, unaffected by dirt, disease, distress, or defeatism.

    Avoid touching others. The meaning of this rule will not be apparent on the surface. But it is highly significant from a deeper sense. The ancient sages used to seek secluded spots and engage themselves in meditation. The mason is there is a divine energy within the body, a kind of current flowing in it.

    When a person is meditating, a divine energy is generated in him. That is the reason why when a person sits in meditation, he uses a wooden plank one inch above the ground, spreads a deer-skin on it and covers it with a cloth. The cloth serves as a cushion protecting the meditator. This kind of meditation is called Sukhadhyana (meditation in comfort). The wooden plank acts as an insulator, preventing the energy from passing down.
    It should be recognised that there is a divine energy in the human body. When this divine energy comes into contact with the body of another person, it is likely to receive the bad thoughts in the latter. If the other person is a good man, you may receive good thoughts from the contact. But you cannot decide who is good and who is bad. Hence, if you sit apart during meditation, you may experience highly elevating thoughts.

    You are affected by whatever you touch. For instance, if you touch fire, it scalds. But when the fire is extinguished, the residue is mere charcoal. When you touch charcoal, your hand becomes black. Thus, in either case, the contact is not beneficial.
    But, what happens when you come into contact with divine fire? All your bad thoughts and bad actions are reduced to ashes. This is the sanctity attaching to the performance of Paadanamaskar (prostrating at the Feet of the Lord). 
 

     Most people live superficial lives. They are like logs of wood tossed up and down by the waves of the sea, insensitive, dull, Thaamasik. Haste lands them in waste; waste increases worry. They have no time to sit and meditate on the reality of their own existence, their own knowledge and their own joy. They don't take even the first step towards their self-inquiry. How then can they derive self-satisfaction, at their vastness, indestructibility, infinite power and wisdom?

      Ignoring the unity of all mankind in the Atma people relish in quarrels and factions and classifies some among his contemporaries as friends and some as foes. It is one's  own likes and dislikes, prejudices and passions that is reflected back, that creates all this reaction of love and hatred, all this resounding echo of factiousness and friction. Friendship and enmity arise from your heart; they are labels fixed by you, not marks which other people are born with. The same person is the thickest friend of one and the mortal enemy of another.
    Of course, it is best that you do not develop too much attachment with others and get entangled either through the silken bonds of friendship or the iron chain of hatred. But, if you ask Me, it is more beneficial to cultivate enemies. Kabeer has stated many times that it is good and very helpful to have an enemy that is ever eager to criticise you for your faults than a friend who will cast a blind eye on them. The faster and fouler his abuse, the sooner and better are your future prospects brightened. The enemy absorbs your sins and their effects.
    Moreover, since you are always aware of the enemy and his tactics, you are alert not to give him any chance to point his finger of scorn at you. He is your censor, corrector and conscience. Be thankful to him who talks ill of you, for surely, he is doing you very great service by examining your every act on the touchstone of morality, truth and righteousness.
(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol 13. "The company you seek," Chapter 15; "The basic error," Chapter 13; "Advice to seekers," Chapter 6 and "Parents beware!" Chapter 3. Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol 25. "The Head and The Heart," Chapter 9).


Swami teaches.... (19 February 2005)

 

    "I am the Atma"

 

     "I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all things. In this universe there is nothing that is not Atma." declares Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.
    Everyone should keep in mind the Atmic Principle what is called Eruka (Awareness). This Awareness produces in every being the sense of "I-ness." It is the mind that continually interposes itself against the Atma.  As long as the mind exists, one cannot comprehend the nature of the Atma or realise the Atma. Only the person who is aware of the Atma in all the different states of consciousness can be said to have direct vision of the Atma(Saakshaatkaara).

     Without the "I", the world will have no existence. If there is no "I," there is no creation. The terms, "I", Atma and Brahmam are all synonymous. The "I" not associated with the mind is Atma. The "I" associated with the mind is mithyaatma (pseudo-self).  What is this "I" ("nenu" in Telugu)? It is the basis (Uniki). Because the same basic entity exists in all beings, it is called
Atma, Brahmam. Another name for it is Hridaya (the spiritual heart). It is also called Aham ("I"). 
    Hridaya is not physical heart and has no physical limitations. Hridaya in the true sense of the word refers to that which is all-pervading.

    There are two "I's" in everyone - the "I" that is associated with the mind and the"I" associated with the Atma. Consciousness of the Atma is the real "I." When this "I" is wrongly associated with the mind, it becomes Ahamkara (the Ego). When the "I" associated with the Atma experiences Atmic bliss, it realises that the universal consciousness is One, though it may be called by different names. When you eliminate the Anaatma-bhaava in you (that is, the body consciousness), you will have the Atma-bhaava (consciousness of the Universal), within you. Without this consciousness all sadhanas are of no avail.
    The water vapour produced by the sun becomes a cloud and hides the sun itself. Likewise, the thoughts arising in the mind conceal the Atma. When the mind is eliminated the Atma alone remains.
 

     It is this Chaitanya (Atmic i.e. Cosmic consciousness) which makes the cosmos function. For the entire creation, consisting of living and inanimate objects, this consciousness is the basis. 
    Consciousness, composed of three aspects, manas (mind), buddhi (intelligence) ahamkara (ego), from where did they originate, how do they grow and where do they merge themselves? That is the Brahmam, Atma. The pandits describe the Supreme as Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being-Awareness-Bliss). This is not correct. He is Sat, He is Chit and He is Ananda. These are not three different qualities of the Divine. He is the embodiment of each of them.

    The Atmic principle is the One that pervades the entire Cosmos. It is the Universal (Cosmic)Consciousness. It is impossible for it to be present in some and not in others.

    When you want to understand the nature of consciousness, you have to understand one part of it, namely, Conscience what is a Witness. It is also known as Awareness. A witness requires a basis for its functioning. That basis is that of which you are "conscious" in the waking state.    There are these three levels of understanding. Being "conscious" (of the objective world), the Conscience and the Consciousness.  

     For the purpose of earning a living, among all embodiments of Atma one may be labourer, or an official, or a trader, or a farmer. These differences are based on the occupations pursued by different persons. They  have no permanent significance.
    Similarly, although the Atma is one and the same in everybody, distinctions are made among different persons on the basis of their physical and other characteristics and their relationships. One's interest in these distinctions is based on one's attachment. For instance, if there is an
accident to an aeroplane, one's interest in the fate of individual passengers is increased if one's kith and kin were travelling by that plane. Otherwise one is interested in the accident only out of curiosity. In the same manner, as long as the Atma is not considered as your own, your interest in the Atma is concerned with mere information. Once you know that the Atma is the Self that is present in everyone, the process of transformation takes place.   

    The primary cause for the chaos of divisions, conflicts, disorder and violence in the world today is the absence of the sense of oneness among men. There is urgent need for cultivating the spirit of love which will serve to promote the feeling of oneness.
    It is not easy for laymen to understand the Vedas. But whether they are understood or not, their truth permeates the universe. They embody the Sabda Brahmam (Cosmic Sound). They are not confined to a particular place, time or person.     

    All that is experienced by the body and the mind has no real connection with the Atma. Relying on the light coming from the Sun, many people perform different actions. Some may do good deeds and some others may be indulging in bad actions. The Atma is unaffected by the consequences of these actions, just as the Sun is not affected by the activities done with the help of sunlight. The Sun is a witness. Likewise the Atma also is a witness to what is done by the body and mind.

    But human, because of  identifying him/herself with the body and other organs, attributes all their activities to the power of the Atma. For all this, the mind is the root cause. It is the mind that assumes these multifarious forms.  

    If the world is to be transformed, we must begin with the individual. To start with, the individual must reform himself. Without the individual realising his true nature, all other accomplishments are of no avail. Turning the mind towards the external world can only breed sorrow. Enduring bliss can be got only by directing the mind towards Atma (God). Without mental transformation all other changes are meaningless. Without changing your qualities, you remain in the same state as before.

    In human being there are sixteen black spots: the six enemies (lust, anger, greed, infatuation, pride and envy), the two Gunas, Rajas and Tamas, and the eight types of mada (conceit) based on lineage and scholarship, wealth, youth, beauty, position and penance. It is only when man gets rid of these sixteen evil traits that he will be able to realise his oneness with
the his poornatva (Divine).

    Today many preceptors are acquiring possessions. In this situation it is difficult to say who are gurus and who are disciples. People today tend to be naive in their actions. Whenever they see some aged persons, they seek some mantra (spiritual message) from them. What is the mantra they really need? It is the understanding of their true nature. This mantra is within them. Each contains within himself the mantra, tantra and yantra (the spiritual message, the method of practising it and the instrument for implementing it). Your process of breathing contains the mantra you need: ôSo-Ham", "I am That," "That is I."  What is the yantra (the instrument)? It is your physical body. What is the tantra? Your heart! When you have in you all the three, why go to anyone for a message?

    Once you direct the mind towards the Atma, you have learnt the supreme mantra: "Aham Brahmaasmi" (I am the Brahmam). Whatever you do, eating or walking or seeing or speaking, do it with the Atmic consciousness.

    Your true guru is God alone. He transcends all gunas. He is beyond all forms. He is the only one who can dispel the darkness of ignorance and light the lamp of Prajnaanam (Supreme Wisdom).
    Do not go in search of gurus. Strengthen your faith in the Atma. Seek to enjoy the Atmic bliss.
Strive to develop the conviction: "I am the Atma." That is the true message. 

    For experiencing this Guru, there are no restrictions as to time, place or circumstances.

    He is the One, the God of gods, who is hailed as father, mother, teacher, knowledge and wealth and all else. He is the Supreme whom you must seek by your sadhana. God alone can transform your spiritual efforts into a transcendental experience. You have the vision of the Divine (saakshaatkaara). The vision does not come from outside. It is within you, because the Divine is omnipresent. God is everywhere. You are God. There is nothing higher in the world than yourself.    

    It is enough if you develop the conviction that you and the Divine are one - "Aham Brahmaasmi." Cultivate steadfast faith in this Divine oneness through love what will lead you to Self-realisation. Firmly believe that the Divine is in everyone and constantly act on this belief. Only by continual practice can you develop this sacred attitude. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol 23. "The Guru within," Chapter 25; "Message of the Vedas," Chapter 24; "Know thyself," Chapter 19).

 

Sai Ram


    Namaste - Reet

 


to be continued

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