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Swami teaches....Part 14

 

Link to Swami Teaches....Part 13

Swami teaches.... (27 - 28 February 2005)

 

    Eternal Wisdom

   

    Everything that is born must die; everything that is constructed will disintegrate. But you can escape death, by not being born again. When you know that you are the limitless Atma (Self,  the infinite consciousness), then you are no longer subjected to the limitation of birth.

    How to know that? It is the result of a long process of sharpening the intellect and purifying the emotions and the impulses. You may do the most rigorous japa (repetition of holy name or symbols) or practise the direst, of austerities, but if you are not virtuous, all of it is sheer
waste.
    One may study all the text-books of spiritual practice, all the scriptures, but often with no result.  Like land that is parched, the heart may appear to be free from any crop of evil; but when the first showers fall, the seeds and roots underneath the soil change the waste into a carpet of green.

    The see-er should not attach himself to the seen; that is the way to get free. The contact of the senses with the object arouses desire and attachment; this leads to effort and either elation or despair; then, there is the fear of loss or grief at failure and the train of reactions lengthens. With many doors and windows kept open to all the winds that blow, how can the flame of the lamp within survive? That lamp is the mind, which must burn steadily unaffected by the dual demands of the world outside.
    Complete surrender to the Lord is one way of closing the windows and doors.  Complete surrender makes you draw upon the Grace of the Lord for meeting all the crises in your career and so, it renders you heroic, more stalwart, better prepared for the battle.

    Remembrance of the Lord's Name is the best detergent for the mind. It is the means of crossing the sea. The Name is the raft that will take you safely across. The Name will remove the veil of illusion, that now hides the Universal from the Individual. When that veil fades out, human being finds Him/herself before him/herself beholding Universe that is within. Human being has infinite power and infinite potentiality, as a wave of the Ocean of Infinity.

    You may doubt whether such a small word like Raama or Sai or Krishna can take you across the boundless sea of worldly life. People cross vast oceans on a tiny raft; they are able to walk through dark jungles with a tiny lamp in their hands. The Name, even the Pranava (Om) which is smaller, has vast potentialities. The raft need not be as big as the sea.
    The recitation of the Name is like the operation of boring, to tap underground water; it is like the chisel-stroke that will release the image of God imprisoned in the marble. Break the encasement and the Lord will appear.  

    When the Sun is in the sky, the Moon is blazed out of sight. Buddhi, the sharpened intellect, is the Sun; the pale satellite, the Moon, is the Mind. So, give intelligence full prominence; let the mind subserve the dictates of reason, not of passion.
    Be silent yourself; that will induce silence in others. Do not fall into the habit of shouting, talking long and loud. Reduce contacts to the minimum. Carry with you an atmosphere of quiet contemplation, wherever you happen to be.

    There are others who relish disputes and arguments; they are never content with obvious facts; they must create doubts where none existed before, and shake faith. They dispute whether Rama is superior to Krishna, or whether Krishna is a fuller or a lower incarnation of Godhead! People who have not touched the outskirts of the Capital City dare dispute about the appearance and glory of the Emperor, who resides in the Palace in the heart of the City! That is the pitiable state of scholarship today.

    Look inside the event, for the kernel, the meaning. Dwell over on your Atmic reality; you are pure, you are indestructible; you are unaffected by the ups and downs of life; you are the true, the eternal, the unchanging Brahmam, the entity which is all this. You are the same Atma that appears as all this variety. It is the Absolute Reality which you are.

    If you are able to equip your mind with this consciousness you are a Person of Realisation. Else, you are a masquerader. There are three types of minds:

    1. Minds like ginned cotton, ready to receive the spark of highest wisdom and to give up in one instant blaze, the weakness and prejudices of ages.

    2. Minds like dry wood, who succeed but only after some little time.

    3. Minds like green logs, which resist the onslaught of the fire of jnaana with all their might.

    Herds of cattle run towards a mirage to slake their thirst, but you ought to be wiser. You have discrimination (viveka), and renunciation (vairaagya); you can detach yourselves consciously from pursuits which you discover as deleterious. Sit quiet for a few minutes and ponder over the fate of those who run towards the mirage. Are they happy? Have they the strength to bear
distress and distinction, with equanimity? Have they a glimpse of the Beauty, the Truth, the Grandeur of the Universe, the Handiwork of God? Have they the vision of themselves as the centre of the Universe?
     No one is happy if he is immersed in worldly life. Everyone are tossed about on the waves of joy and grief, good or bad. Human being is the target of brickbats or bouquets; the evil around affects peace; anxiety robs of sleep and quiet. 
    The spiritual teacher (guru) can guide you where to go, which place to seek; but, he cannot make you reach it. You have to trudge along the road yourself. 

    There are two kinds of accomplishments: apraaptha praapthi and praaptha praapthi. The acquisition of something which you did not have is apraaptha praapthi. It is praaptha praapthi if you become aware of a thing that you had with you, but imagined that you did not have.

    A friend comes and asks a loan of ten rupees from you, you are sorry that you have not got the tenner and that you are not able to come to his rescue when he is in dire need. An hour later, when you sit down and open the pages of the Geetha, you discover a ten rupee note that you had placed between the leaves long ago and forgotten, How happy you are at this! The Guru asks you to search between the leaves of the book of your heart, and, lo, the treasure is there ready to render you rich beyond compare.

    The fruit won't drop if you mumble mantras under the mango tree; you will have to take a heavy stick and throw it at the bunch. Use the stick of intelligence and throw it at the problem of "you and the world"; that will yield fruit.
    A clean Consciousness is as a lamp; pour into it the oil of Grace; place in it the wick of Selfcontrol; keep in position the chimney of Naamasmarana, so that the gusts of Joy and Grief might not scotch the flame. Light the lamp, with some Mahaavaakya (Great Statement), like Aham Brahmaasmi (Self is Brahman) or Thath thwam asi (Thou art That). Then, you will not only have Light; you will be a source of Light.
    There are only two entities at first: "I" and "You", Thath and Thwam, Aham and Brahma. But a third, this Prakrithi (world), has come between, or rather deludes us as being in between.  Prakrithi is like this middleman. When "I" and "You" have united, Prakrithi disappears. "I" is of the same nature as "You," like the river and the sea, or like the wave and the sea. 

    Go straight along the path of karma (action) and dharma (virtue) towards Brahma (the Supreme Reality); this is your destiny.

    The Upanishads say that thunder teaches Da, Da, Dha...Daya (compassion) to the ogres, Dama (self-control) to the gods and Dharma to people.  Since human being is all three - part ogre, part god, part human all three must be practiced; daya (be kind to all), dama (be the master of your mind and the senses) and dharma (be constantly alert on the path of fight); that is the advice given from the sky in the voice of thunder.

    Dharma is the moral code, the experience of sages, the controlling discipline which checks the mind and the senses. There are many such brakes operating on human being. Vyakthi dharma (controls affecting the individual, as such), Sahaja dharma (controls affecting the nature of human, as human), Aashrama dharma (controls affecting the stage of life, like student householder, ascetic), Vama dharma (controls pertaining to the duties cast upon human as a limb of the community), etc. All these brakes are complementary, they do not cause confusion, they help progress, each in its own way.

    If you can penetrate behind the stone of temples and images of idols and see the Divine Basis, how much easier it is to see the Lord who resides in the heart of every living, every human being? Try to realise that first, so that your faith in this idol and this temple can be well settled. Revere Human; that is the first step towards reverence for God; for, Human being is prathyaksha (perceptible), God is paroksha (imperceptible). (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "The voice of thunder," Chapter 13; "Shiva in shava," Chapter 8;  "Kare kankanam," Chapter 4 and "The sun at your doorstep," Chapter 2).
 

    Namaste - Reet


Swami teaches.... (01 March 2005)

 

    Wealth of Righteousness, Knowledge and Wisdom

 

     Foreword

     Swami's Teaching grasps the radical laws of the Creation and the Universe interpreted to understandable form for human consciousness. These laws remain the same during all the history of humanity. They explain the essence of the human life and destiny  based on Atmic and Maya Realities from the aspect of Nature, human society and spiritual Oneness.

    Swami's Teaching is as alive, concrete example of unity in diversity. He manages the core truth of spiritual education, culture, science and social life from endless aspects. His Works as underline and emphasize that Oneness of Existence appears in boundless variations. (The core remains the same always).

    Thus, Swami's Teaching, beside of its universal educational purposes and power of the Divine vibrations is a real example how the spiritual-scientific outlook of unity in diversity has put into practice by Swami in His Works. (Reet's outlook).

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      People who imbued with a sense of sameness, a sense of oneness, a feeling that each is but an image, a reflection of the same divine principle, they alone are entitled to be called a Samaaja. (This word used in Samskrith for society; the syllable 'Sama' means 'same, equal, undifferentiated'). It is the realisation of the one, which thought it blossoms into the many, does not lose its uniqueness, because the many are but appearances, unreal impositions of name and form on the real - this is the Adwaitha experience. Samaaja prompts in the mind these subtle influences that lead to the Adwaitha goal.

     What can the possession of canvas and paint do, if an artist with vision is not moved to paint? What can the chisel and a lump of marble do with no image formed in the heart of a devoted sculptor? That vision and that image are the sparks of the divine. You are all 'the divine' packed in human skin and bone, the Aathma encased in the evanescent flesh. Know this and you become fearless, happy without limit. This is the higher wisdom, the knowledge of the spirit.

    The lower one is that which adheres to the mind, which cleanses the mind and calms its agitations, which is earned by Japa, Dhyaana, Naamasankeerthan (repetition of holy names or sacred formula, meditation and singing of God's names) and such other meritorious activities.

Voluntary service or seva belongs too to lower wisdom, However, after proper experiences through seva higher wisdom can be gained.

    Seva opens the eyes to the comprehensive unity of creation. When you open the lids, you see the world, the stars, the galaxies that are far out in the depths of space. When you close them, the scene disappears; there is only gloom, emptiness. The eye reveals  as the universe, as vastness, as magnificence, as order, as beauty, as power, as Vishwa-Viraat-Swaruupa (cosmic divine form)! It is as one picture that it appears; it is as one picture that it disappears!

    Likely when you are aware only of your joys and sorrows, your eyes as shut to the joys and sorrows of others; your eyes are closed! 

    Education is essential, if you must be inspired by this high ideal of Seva as Saadhana (spiritual striving). The easiest and the most fruitful expression of Dharma today consists in Seva, service as worship of the divine around you. Dedicate all your skill, talents, wealth and scholarship to the living embodiments of divinity that are around you. That is the Dharmashakthi (power of righteousness) which can draw grace upon you.

    You must also be encouraged to investigate into your own reality and discover your limitless core. Do not entangle yourselves in the relatively real; anchor your life on the absolute. It will make you one with the Lord of the universe. You draw all the love, power and wisdom therefrom.  

    Without the strength that righteous behaviour gives, physical might or even the might of weaponry is nought. Bheema had physical might; he could pulverise mountains. Arjuna had the most dreadful bow of the age and an array of divine arrows. But, both had to be directed and controlled by the dictates of Dharma, so that the Lord Krishna might bless them with victory.  

    The Lord Krishna gave three  vows what are mentioned in the Bhagavad Geetha. They are for all humanity to read, know, and believe.

    1. Parithraanaaya saadhoonaam, vinaasayacha dushkrithaam, dharma samsthaapanaarthaaya sambhavaami yuge yuge - "For the protection of the good and the punishment of the bad, for the establishment of the Moral Order, I shall concretise Myself, age after age".
    2.  Ananyaaschinthayantho maam ye janaah paryupaasathe, theshaam nithya-abhiyukthaanaam yoga kshemam vahaamyaham. - "Whoever is wholly immersed in My contemplation, with no other thought, I shall be ever with Him and I shall bear the burden of his welfare".

    3.  Sarvadharmaan parithyajya maamekam saranam vraja, aham thwaa sarva paapebhyo mokshayishyaami, maasucha - "Surrender unto Me, giving up all other duties and obligations; I shall liberate you from all sin; do not grieve."  

    (The similar issue as Krishna's vows are reflected in Swami's Teaching for benefit of all humanity.

     We see that lords have their duties before humanity as their own paths of Dharma likely as human beings have their paths of Dharma before Lord. Pictorially, both express reciprocal attraction in action on the arena of the Divine play. By modern science it may to express as attraction between the Absolute or Cosmic Consciousness and Its holographic images of infinite structures of fractals).     

     It is hard to follow the path of Dharma only by attraction to external beauty. Rare and costly articles might attract by their external beauty, but to the eye which is illumined by spiritual light they would appear trivial in value. Physical charm and force can never overpower the charm or force of the spirit. 
    Parvathi, the daughter of the monarch of the Himalayas, was the very acme of physical beauty. In spite of this, she had to acquire the quality of Sathwa by destroying the pride in personal beauty and her native egotism through intense asceticism. She had to shine in the beauty of the spirit! The legend relates that Manmatha, the God of Love, who planned to project only the youthful charm of Parvathi for the attention of Shiva, was burnt to ashes. This incident symbolises the fact that divine knowledge (vidya) cannot be gained so long as one is caught up in the coils of the ego. When one equips oneself with Vidya, pride disappears.

    But, these days, conceit and pride are taken as adding charm to the knowledge required. The attraction conferred on a person by scholarship in matters relating to the objective world has to be given up; only thereafter can the genuine innate Divinity manifest itself. The ego in use is the Manmatha, "the agitator of the mind," and that has to be turned into ashes through the impact of divine vision. The divine, the Iswara, will not yield Himself to physical charm, worldly authority, muscular or intellectual or financial power. This is the inner meaning of the Manmatha episode.

    Parvathi underwent extreme austerities and subjected herself (that is to say, her ego-consciousness) to sun and rain, cold and hunger, and thus transformed herself. Finally, Iswara (Shiva) accepted her as half of Himself! This is the stage in spiritual advance called Saayujya (Mergence).    

     The Vedha is the basis of Dharma, which is like the mother in its loving care for man.  The   Paandavas (in Gita) secured divine guidance and won, because they stuck to spiritual joy, ascetic self-control and simplicity and sincerity. To follow the same path is the sign of wisdom. That is the Path of Dharma (virtue) from which mankind has strayed away. Grief is the greatest friend of human, for it opens the eyes and shocks you into the search for the secret of Shaanthi and Santhosha (peace and happiness).

    Some speak of two types of Karma on the path of Dharma: Dhaihika and Daivika (physical and spiritual). But, this division is absurd and even dangerous. All acts and activities are spiritual, the body is but an instrument for spiritual progress and attainment. Modern education emphasises the physical and neglects the spirit, which is crucial.

    The educated person must be capable of imbibing the inner joy of the Atman, irrespective of external circumstances; he must have grasped the purpose of existence; he must be aware of the discipline of Realisation. The Grace of the Lord was the Diploma which was awarded to those who were proficient in the cultivation of morality, the knowledge of the Atman, the sublimation of instincts, good conduct, pure habits, control of the senses, restraint of the mind, and the development of divine qualities. Knowledge can develop discrimination, inspire the springs of service, prompt inquiry into the Reality, promote the search for the Absolute.

    Our wealth is the wealth of righteousness, of knowledge and of wisdom. The last is superior knowledge and you should aspire for acquiring knowledge with wisdom.  However, there are three words, what you must avoid. They are wealth, women and wine. They will, if one is after them, take you to the barbarous depths of human living. 

(Reet's compilation with some own standpoints in brackets from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "Kare kankanam," Chapter 4.

Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse, "Radiate Rays Of Love." Ananthapur, 8 July 1971.

Sathya Sai Baba. "Vidya Vahini." Chapter IV.  Sathya Sai Baba. "Dharma Vahini." Chapter IX.

Sathya Sai Baba.  Discourses of Sathya Sai Baba during Dashara Festival. "Amirtha Vaani." November 1963.
 

    Namaste - Reet


Swami teaches.... (02 March 2005)

 

    Ego and the Medicine Against it - Seva

   
    History informs that in all countries and in every age, human being is a social animal born in society, he/she grows in and through society and the life ends in society itself. Human's songs and speech, duties and diversions, are all determined by society. Society for human being is like water for fish: if society rejects or neglects a person, survival is not possible.  What a single individual cannot accomplish, a well-knit group or society can achieve. A person walking alone will feel tired and miserable at the end of five miles; but, walking with ten others as a group he would find the five miles a jaunt.

    Truth is totality, the One which integrates and includes the many. The sages of yore were not satisfied with one facet of the Truth or one view, not of one God but of That where all streams merge. As Bairagi Shastry told One house cannot become a village, nor one individual, a society, nor one tree, a forest! To be conscious of the totality, one has to fill oneself with the sublime grandeur of the forest, not squat under a single tree. This is the inner purpose which led aspirants and seekers after Truth to the core the Himaalyan forests.
In the sylvan hermitage, the prayer resonant with Yajur Vedha, "Let all be of one mind, of one heart, towards one goal, sustained by one strength" rose more meaningful and more effectively. The present socialist ideal of the unity of mankind is a Vedhic concept; in fact, the Vedhic ideal was even wider and more comprehensive. "Let all the worlds be happy and prosperous," "The world is one family," the Vedhas proclaimed.

    Social living contributes increased happiness and more efficient effort among birds and beasts. They are able to defend themselves from enemies, secure food and shelter, migrate to places beyond great distances when they act as a group. Even ants have learn, that immense benefits are derivable from group activity and social organisation. Monkeys also live in groups for greater security and happier lives.
    Nothing is impossible of achievement if an organised society is set on achieving it. Even liberation from material entanglement (Moksha) can be won through serving and promoting the progress of society. Through the sense of unity, the willingness to sacrifice and the softness of compassion, all objects can be gained.

   The presence of God, the vision of the Absolute, is not a state to be attained or newly achieved. God or the Absolute is the very nature of the Self. The individual is the indivisible God. The Vedhas accost all selves as "children of Immortality," "amruthasya puthraah." They remind every living being of its being the undying Divine. The individual self is the role; the reality is God.
    Every role and action has a method, a mode, a way. The engineer, for example, works according to certain norms, certain principles and processes. These have to be decided upon with reference to the nature of the sub-soil, the type of foundation, the height of the structure, etc.  
    Every object, quality and characteristic of everything, is only an aspect of the one Aathma, the Source and Substance of all. Ego is an appearance on the Aathma as the foam on the edge of the wave. The Aathma can well be devoid of Ego, but the Ego cannot exist without the Aathma as the reality underneath. However, person validates the Ego (Aham), giving it
a form (aakaaram) full of attributes and so, it gets polluted as Egoism (Aham-kaaram). When the Ego is free from the status of 'ism,' it is a facet or factor of the Aathma. Attributes, modes, gunas drag it into the tangle of dualities and so, it gets malefic and sheds its positive, purifying role.

    The 'ism' or mould in which the Ego has hardened tantalises person and blinds the Truth. Shankaraachaarya has described the harm it inflicts and prescribes the recitation of the name of God to defuse the consequence. The pure ego will then merge and lose its identity in the Aathma, which has no birth and no death.  

    When ego is awake, no wisdom can appeal. The ego attacks the sage, the scholar, the teacher and the devout spiritual aspirant, even more than ordinary people. Their ego makes them proclaim that they are the most learned and that they are the ones nearest God. The feeling, is the root cause of one's grief and another's calm. We build a house for ourselves and are happy it is 'ours.' When some one pastes a cinema poster on the wall, we feel 'our house' is tarnished and we even go to court to punish the offender. Some time later we sell 'our house' to someone and move off. After that, even if the house is bombed, we are not in the least worried.
    It was the ego that caused all the worry so long. 

   The more riches you accumulate the more bound you become, the more worry, anxiety and fear you get into. There can be no peace of mind for a person burdened by riches. An educated person must have as the first qualification the virtue, of Shaanthi, that is to say, not being affected by praise or blame, failure or success. It is the ego that makes one feel glad or sad.

    When success comes your way, you become proud and uncontrollable; when defeat encounters you, you become dejected and desperate. It is only spiritual education that can tell you that both success and defeat are inevitable in life and both must be faced with an equal mind.
    Material education leads to desires and attachments. Spiritual education leads to peace and detachment. Material education develops the ego. Spiritual education surrenders the ego at the feet of the Lord. The Yaadhavas had an egoistic attachment to Krishna. They thought of him as a kinsman belonging to them specially; as a result they had to end their days before the passing away of Krishna fighting among themselves. But the gopees (cowherd girls) had surrendered their ego and merged their individuality.

    The other brief example from Geetha.

    When Arjuna reduced to ashes the huge Khandava Forest, his ego did not raise its head. But when he stood before the Kaurava army, the ego told him to flee. He had made enormous preparations for the fray; he had amassed specially destructive weapons after years of austerity and adventure.
    When Krishna offered to mediate with the Kauravas and gain some token of their having yielded to the entreaties of the Paandavas so that war could be averted. Arjuna argued with Him and told Him that His mission was bound to fail: "Can jasmine flowers yield fragrance when thrown into fire? Why waste Your sweet words of persuasion on their deaf ears? Can life-sustaining nectar be got from life-killing poison? You may please yourself by going amidst them."
    Arjuna who was so bold and bellicose, was suddenly attacked by the delusion of egotism. He said, "I have no desire to rule over a burial-ground, I would rather beg and eke out my livelihood than kill these kinsmen of mine." Then Krishna told him in the Geetha, "He who is devoid of the 'I' and 'mine' tendencies, can attain Prashaanthi (the Higher Peace)."
    Therefore control the ego by extending love to every living being.  Ego is lovelessness. No person who is afflicted with ego can feel happy when others are happy and feel miserable when others are miserable or can take positive step to share the happiness and misery of others.

    The ego brings wave after wave of wants and wishes before your attention, and tempts you to attempt to gain them. It is a never ending circle. So try to reduce your wants and expand the range of your love in order to be free from the coils of your ego. Living involves many confrontations, companionships, separations, conflicts and neglects. We have to give up both the types of contacts - viyoga (the repugnant separation) and samyoga (the pleasant union). Attach yourself to God, and the delusion of the world will automatically fall off.  

    When human is aware that the same Divine Consciousness that motivates equally all others, then love ousts the ego into the background and takes charge of one's activities, words and thoughts.

    All our ideas and inferences are but products of the period between birth and death. When the girl you married was seriously ill as a child, you did not worry for she had not become 'yours.'
We ourselves develop this attachment, as a cohesive and stablising factor in life. Love your wife and children and do your duty towards them as a husband and a father. Love will expand your heart so much that you cannot escape from your duties to your kith and kin. 
 

    The Vedhas desire to give up the animalist ego, and its complement, anger. The evils of envy, pride and spite belong to the same brood. These are all 'bestial' though human in appearance. They declare that love, tolerance, compassion, non-attachment, and adherence to truth are the genuine human traits.
    Jesus Christ said, "Ask, it shall be given; Call, it will be answered; Knock, it shall be opened."
 We are asking, we are calling, we are knocking at the door. But, whom are we asking? Whom are we calling? At whose door are we knocking?
    Do you call on God, or on some one ungodly? God will respond when the call arises from the heart. You knock at the door. But, at which door? Keeping the door of your own heart closed, how can your clamour succeed in getting other door opened? Knock at the door of your own heart. God, the resident, will come into view.
 

    The body has to be utilised for service to others. Activity is its main purpose. Krishna says, "I have no need to be engaged in work but I do work in order to activate the world." More aanandha can be won by serving others than what can be got by merely serving oneself. Offer service to some one in need, with a full heart and experience the aanandha that results. It need
not be something big; it can even be small and unnoticed by others. It has to be done to please
the God within you.

    So the first lesson in seva has to be learnt in the family circle itself. Father, mother, brothers, sisters - one must engage in loving service and prepare for the wider seva that awaits outside the home. No one can serve another while his ego is rampant. The attitudes of mutual help and selfless service develop the 'humanness'  and help the unfoldment of the latent divinity.  

    When the sevak (helper) becomes the nayak (leader) the world will prosper. Only a kinkara (servant) can grow into a Shankara (Master). Of course, one has to eliminate the ego totally. However long you may do dhyaana, however constant your japa, a little ego will render them barren of results. Bhajan done with egoistic pride will be as harsh as the crow's caw.

    When you are doing good acts, why hesitate, why feel ashamed, why fear? Let Compassion and Sacrifice be your two eyes; let Egolessness be your breath and Love be your tongue. Let Peace reverberate in your ears. These are the five vital elements you have to live upon. God will not ask you, when and where did you do service? He will ask, "With what motive did you do it? What was the intention that prompted you?" God seeks quality, the quality of the heart, the purity of the mind, the holiness of the motive.

    Krishna was known to all as almighty, all-knowing, all encompassing and all-fulfilling. Yet, the enthusiasm to do seva prompted him to approach Dharmaraaja, the eldest of the Paandava brothers, on the eve of the magnificent Raajsooya Yaaga he had planned to celebrate and offered to take up seva of any kind. He suggested that he might be given the task of cleaning the dining hall after the guests have partaken of the feast! Krishna insisted on outer cleanliness and inner cleansing.

    During the battle of Kurukshetra, which climaxed the Mahaabhaaratha story, Krishna served as the 'driver' of the chariot of Arjuna throughout the day on the field and when dusk caused the adjournment of the fight, he led the horses to the river, gave them a refreshing bath and applied
healing balms to the wounds suffered by them during the fierce fray. He mended the reins and the harness and rendered the chariot battleworthy for another day.
    The Lord sets the example for the devotees to follow. He teaches that service done to any living being is offered to Him only and is accepted by Him most joyfully.
(Reet's compilation with some own standpoints in brackets from, Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 14.  "Enemy number one," Chapter 12; "Why this ashaanthi?" Chapter 17 and  "What is Vidhya?" Chapter 23. Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol.15. "Lessons on seva saadhana," Chapter 31 and  "Significance of Yajnas," Chapter 50).

 

 

    Namaste - Reet


Swami teaches.... (03 March 2005)

 

    Self-Confidence in the Beam of Spiritual Awareness

 

    The conflict between persons who accept God and deny Him, those who declare that God is to be found in this or that place and those who affirm that He can be found nowhere, is never ending; it has continued throughout the ages.  One has to remember that while it is unnecessary to awaken a person already awake and easy to awaken a person who is asleep, we cannot awaken, however much we try, a person not wanting to awaken!

     Nowadays many, many persons who have no experience or knowledge of spiritual science and no conception of the Divine, make pronouncements on such subjects into which they stray. Denial of the Divine cannot negate it. Logic cannot reveal it. All the tirades now being made on the Divine are from atheists who are opportunists. People with a disease in the nose cannot appreciate the fragrance of a flower. Those who cannot appreciate or recognise the Divine are suffering from an Illness which handicaps them to do so.
    It is true that  people have achieved some progress physically and scientifically but not moraliy. Selfishness, ignorance and avidhya (absence of wisdom) are the causes of it. Also absence of self-confidence is the cause of miseries and troubles  in the world.

    Despite all his achievement in the physical world, how far has human been able to develop his human qualities? This is the question facing the world today. If people study the ancient history of Bhaarath, they will realise the importance which the ancients, attached to Truth.

    True education what has spiritual basis should serve to develop a broad outlook and an all-round view of life from ancient times to today.

    The two eyes give a picture of a vast expanse of space, but they cannot see the face to which they belong! They are Important instruments of the body, but they cannot see the entire body. When you wish to see your face and back, you have to keep one mirror in front and another one behind you, so that in the front mirror you can see the reflection of your back also. So, too, when you desire to know your reality (face) and your future (back), you have to adjust the mirror of 'Self-confidence' (confidence that you are the Self) in front and the mirror of Divine Grace behind you. Without these two, to affirm that you are aware of your Truth or of your destiny, is sheer fantasy. 

    The Divine is now denoted by various words that are common currency in limited human vocabularies. They name phenomena revealing the Divine, 'miracles’, ‘magic’, 'wonders’, etc.. Of course, human cannot contain in mind more than there is possible to hold.  It is not possible to express in words the in-expressible. Only those who have dived deep and contacted the underlying principle of Love, can picture Divinity with some clarity.

    The Divine has to reveal Itself largely shaped and modified by the nature of the times, the region and the cultural environment. The signs and wonders that Swami manifests are given names that do not connote the purpose or effect. They can be called chamathkaara, that lead on to samskaara (purificating acts), which in turn urge one on towards paropakaara (helping others) and finally result in saakshaathkaara (divine vision).
    Once the person Is drawn near, the process of samskaara starts. Human being can be transformed into a noble, efficient, happy and disciplined member of society by the implanting of good thoughts, good feelings, good deeds and good emotions. Such transformed persons will spontaneously engage themselves in the task of promoting human welfare. They will be promoters of the Divine ideals.  
 

    Limits and bounds are essential for smooth social life. So, you should welcome discipline, and not crave for lives that do not honour limits for every facet of behaviour. One reason for indiscipline is the superior role of money created business houses, temples of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Riches, instead of remaining temples of Saraswathi, the Goddess of Learning.

    Person may desire something good. The desire has to be developed into a deed. This requires Kriya sakthi or the power of action. Above all, Realisation depends on Jnana sakthi, or the force and clarity of Wisdom, the self-confidence that flows from the mastery of the situation. This is a gift of grace from God, installed in the heart. The Gita asserts that His hands and feet are everywhere; so are His eyes, head and face. When a person denies God, he is denying himself. You must foster faith in God what will plant in you, humility, courage and reverence. One may be a big person and another a beggar. But, theTruth that is underlying in both these persons is the same. If you realise that truth, all will become one.  

    Modern education should not be equated with book knowledge or the acquisition of skills for leading one's life in the world.
    Education should foster morality, righteousness and character and should be the life-breath of human beings. Education makes a seeker of Truth compassionate. The modern student is unable to determine what is the basis of  life and what is important in it.

    Most of the troubles tormenting the world today stem from loss of Aathma-Vishvaasa (self-confidence). Humanity today is plunged in a grave crisis. The eternal verities proclaimed in the scriptures have assumed bizarre forms. Sacred nature is divorced from humanity. The ancient wisdom is in eclipse. Perverted knowledge is growing. In such a situation, how can ethical and spiritual values appeal to youth?    

    First and foremost, cultivate faith. Further, there should be harmony between your thoughts, words and deeds. Where there is no harmony between these three, your behaviour would be demonic. Self-confidence is the foundation for the building of faith and harmony between thoughts, words and deeds; it remains below the surface of the earth. Self-satisfaction represents the walls; self-sacrifice, the roof and selfrealisation, the life. Without the foundation of self-confidence and self-respect self-realisation cannot be achieved. Therefore, build up your self-confidence slowly. Self-respect comes only out of spiritual sadhana and it will continue to be your companion throughout whole life. Therefore, cultivate the divine quality of self-respect, self confidence. 

    Devotion should manifest itself in every action. Everything done out of love for God and as an offering to God becomes devotion. The nine different forms of worship are only means to cultivate devotion. But the goal of all of them is to experience oneness with the Divine.

    God manifests in human in three forms described as, Bhur-Bhuvah-Suvah. Bhu is the padhaartha (material form). Bhuvah is Spandhana Shakthi or Praana Shakthi (Life Principle). Suvah is the form of Prajna. Prajnaa Shakthi is the radiation which, through Praana Shakthi (vibrating power) gives the material form represented by the body. God manifests in all these three forms.
    The Life Force Prajnaa Shakthi (radiation) causes vibration to act. This Prajnaa Shakthi is conscience. It occupies a special place in the body. God, in the form of conscience, activates the body. If only human being understands this truth of spirituality he will never indulge in bad deeds. The human body is bound by time, karma (work) and duty. The body is just an instrument. Everyone has the responsibility to do his duty. Thus Vedas declare.

     In ancient times, even the demons used to study the Vedas. However, they could not comprehend the truth contained in the Vedas and hence led a life of untruth. Demons like Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakasipu and Narakasura were highly learned and well-versed in various disciplines of knowledge. They could reach up to the moon, the sun, and even the stars and could understand their functioning. They had mighty power and knowledge, but they proved futile because of their negative qualities.

    In olden days, people distanced themselves from demons and demonic behaviour. Hiranyakasipu tried his best to stop his son Prahlada from chanting the divine name of Lord Narayana. But Prahlada was always immersed in the contemplation of the Lord. Prahlada was dear to Lord Narayana, whereas his father Hiranyakasipu was dear to demons. He was an emperor of wicked qualities and evil deeds.

    Some people appear to be of sathwic (pious) nature externally, but they are full of wicked qualities. You should beware of them and not join with bad company. Offer them a namaskar (salutation) and move away.  A question may arise here, as to why we should offer our salutations to the evil people. We salute the good people, not to lose their company. We also salute the evil people with a request that they move away from us. One may be highly devoted, one may have mastered the Vedas, but all these will be of little consequence if one doesn’t give up negative qualities.   

    A small example. Years ago, a gentleman came here and proclaimed that Sri Sathya Sai Baba was God. Not only that, he also proclaimed and propagated that not only Sri Sathya Sai Baba, but every living being was permeated by divinity.

    After some time, when some of his desires could not be fulfilled, he propagated that Baba was not God. This type of double-speaking is a demonic quality.

    For Swami there are no bad people. Those who develop negative feelings without enquiring into the good and bad of things in this objective world, will only spoil their own life. All are equally dear to Swami. Some people may have some doubts. But, they must be made to see reason with a proper explanation and counselling. As far as possible, you should not give room for doubts; for, so long as doubts persist, you will not have peace of mind.

    The human values inherent in us must be given expression to. They have to be propagated. They must become part and parcel of our daily life and reflect in our behaviour.

   Knowledge should beget wisdom like the lightning in a cloud. This light should spread all over the world and bring about spiritual unity among humanity. All changes in the educational syllabi or other changes in the economic and political spheres are of little value. There should be change in the mental attitude of the people, as the prelude to a change in the national scene.

   True science should foster the well-being of the people and promote unity amongst them. Unity will lead to purity and both will lead to Divinity. Today  we have only Community (caste). It is this communal feeling that is the cause of conflict. There is a need to underline that Truth and Righteousness are inter-related. Together they constitute humanness. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 13. "Signs and wonders," Chapter 25. Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 21. "Beyond Degrees: God's Love," Chapter 6. Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 26. "Education should develop human values,"  Chapter 35 and "Trust in God: the Sole Protecto," Chapter 14. Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 35."The best way to love God is to love all and serve all," Chapter 21 and "Unity in diversity - the Fundamental Truth," Chapter 18).

 

    Namaste - Reet


Swami teaches.... (04 March 2005)

 

    Improve Your Spiritual Status 

 

    Sage Vyasa has collated the voluminous Vedic scripture under three headings Karma Kaanda, Upasana Kaanda, Jnana Kaanda (branches of Vedas dealing with sacrificial rites, divine adoration and spiritual wisdom). 

    The Veda insists on rites, rituals, ceremonies, etc., but not as mere reward oriented acts. Human being is endowed with the intelligence to pick and choose, to benefit from the past and prepare for the future. Karma has to be an act of worship, an offering to God, a fulfillment of duty. The ancient Indian Dharma based on the Veda and embodying the highest and most lasting wisdom.  Life is an exercise in the sadhana of 'give and take.' 'Give' and you get the right to 'take'. Have a faith in the Self and the Lord's Grace is with you. Below is a brief story what illustrates this.   

    Thenaali Raamakrishna, the famous Andhra poet, humorist and philosopher, once happened to lose his way while traversing an area of thick jungle. (He lived in the reign of the famous Emperor Krishnadheva Raaya, of the Vijayanagar dynasty, about 1500 A.D. He was attached to the Court and was honoured as a wise and quick-witted minister). While Raamakrishna was wandering desperately in the jungle, he saw an old sage. Raamakrishna ran forward and fell at his feet, in reverential homage. He asked the sage how he got caught in that wild forest. The sage said, "The same mysterious force that dragged you here has dragged me too to this spot. The moment when I have to cast away the body I occupied so long, has arrived! I shall initiate you, now, into the manthra which I have recited all these years, as my talisman and treasure." It was the manthra of Mother Kaali, and he whispered it into the ear of Raamakrishna.
    Raamakrishna was overjoyed at the great gift; he retired into a temple of the Mother, deep in the recesses of the jungle and was intent on the meditation of the Mother, propitiated by the manthra. At mid-night one day, the aboriginal Koyas of the forest came into the temple, with a goat which they sought to offer as sacrifice to please Her and propitiate Her. Raamakrishna hid behind the idol and when the knife was about to fall on the neck of the victim, he exclaimed, "I am the Mother of all living Beings, including you. If you kill my child, I will curse you, I cannot bless you!" Believing that it was Kaali that spoke, the Koyas desisted and went away.

    Kaali manifested before Raamakrishna; She asked him what he liked to receive from Her! She was pleased with his saadhana. "Which do you want?" she queried, holding a plate of curdsrice in one hand and a plate of milk-rice in another. He wanted to know the consequences of eating either plate before deciding which plate to ask for. She explained, "The curds-rice will endow you with riches and economic prosperity; the milk-rice will make you a wise scholar. Make your choice."
    Raamakrishna thought within himself, "This not good being a fool in possession of vast riches; nor will scholarship fill the stomach, three times a day."  He asked, "I see two plates before me. Before I make the choice, tell me how each will taste?"
    She laughed and said, "How can I describe the taste and make you understand the difference? You will have to taste them yourself" and gave him both the plates for the purpose.
    Raamakrishna hastily put them both in his mouth and managed to swallow the curds and the milk and the entire quantity of rice from both plates!

    Kaali was mortified and exclaimed that his impertinence called for dire punishment. Raamakrishna accepted his mistake and invited the punishment she proposed to inflict. But, can the Mother's punishment destroy the child, however reprehensible the conduct of the child may be? "My sentence will certainly save you, do not tremble," said Kaali. Then she pronounced: "Become a Vikatakavi." That is to say, "Be a clever clown, having great influence at Court, accumulating much wealth and guiding all those who approach you with good advice."
    You can never know when the Lord's Grace, His Love and Benediction will be showered on you - at what time and at what place and in what circumstances. You cannot see what is happening in the spiritual world, nor can you understand the workings of the Spirit. When you go on performing your duty and enjoying what you do, that itself will confer bliss on you.   

    Swami's world is the world of the Spirit where values are different from ones of common life. If person is happy, with faith in God, (in Self) and fear of sin, that is enough "service," enough kainkaryam for Swami. It pleases Swami.

    God loves those who have the self-confidence and the courage of conviction and who seize every opportunity to improve their spiritual status.
    With Self-confidence, you can accomplish anything and secure joy. Self-confidence  is the foundation for the mansion of Life. You will be able to face any difficulties and overcome them. However long you may live, whatever scientific knowledge you may acquire, whatever positions you may hold, sometime or other you have to know the truth about your Self.
 

    The Self (Spirit) is at the root of everything. Without confidence in the Self, life becomes utterly meaningless. The goal to the Real Self is one, but the paths are many. For instance, Swami is in Puttaparthi. Devotees use many different kinds of transport to come here planes, trains, buses, bicycles and by foot. Whatever the mode of transport, the goal is one. Thus, to realise the Divine, there are many paths. The story-telling below is about some stones on these paths and advices how to remove them.

     Ancients wished to live long for the sake of a Godly life and for that purpose preserved their health in body and mind. Today people look aged by the time they are 60 or 70. Today spiritual strength is totally lacking among the people. Self-confidence is constantly going up and down. There is no steadiness of mind. When the will is weak from moment to moment,
how can there be any firmness in life?

   The spiritual light will be a divine lighthouse for human being. For everyone caught up in the coils of worldly life, this divine light is essential. All the pleasures, positions and riches of the world will not confer on you real peace and security. Only faith in the Self can ensure this. People today has faith in everything except the Spirit.

    The paradox of human existence today is that life is without a head or feet but has only the trunk in the middle. This shows that human is not realising what is most important in life. All the scriptures have declared: "Tath Twain Asi" (That thou art), "Aham Brahmaasmi" (I am the Brahmam), "Prajnaanam Brahma" (Awareness is the Supreme). While these profound truths have been proclaimed by the Vedas, people are not relying on them. Though people talk about self-confidence, they have really no confidence in the Self (the Spirit). 

    Life is also wasted in brooding over the past and worrying about the future. What is the root cause of sorrow and sickness? Not being content with what one has and lamenting over what one does not have, peace of mind is lost. There is no need to enquire into what is past or what is in store in the future. The most important is the Present - which contains the past and the future. It is Self-confidence that leads to the best use of the Present. It is Awareness what creates a motivation for that.

    Awareness means total understanding. All other forms of knowledge are only partial and incomplete. Awareness calls for a total comprehension of the nature of the cosmos. This is called Chith. Only Sath can recognise Chith. Sath means that which is permanent - Being, unchanging and immutable. The unified form of Sath and Chith is Ananda (Bliss).
    Can momentary "bliss" be equated with Ananda? Bliss is that state of joy which is lasting and unchanging. The joy that is experienced from moment to moment can only be termed Santhosham - temporary happiness.  Santhosham is pleasure. Ananda is bliss. This Ananda has been described in many ways as Nithyananda (perennial joy), Paramananda (Supreme bliss), Brahmananda (Divine bliss), etc. In all these states, what is ever-present is Sath-Chith-Ananda (Being-Awareness-Bliss). Being is Awareness and Awareness is Bliss. 
   You must be aware also that in every human being there is a sovereign who presides over all his qualities. That sovereign is the Ego. This sovereign Ego - Ahamkara Chakravarthi suppresses all the good qualities in man.
    Ahamkara - Ego has another meaning. It is the very form of Aham the "I". The egoist is one who identifies the body with his Self. But you are not the body; it is only an instrument. It is an agglomeration of material substances. How can this inert body be equated with the Self? It is the association of consciousness with the body that it is able to undertake various activities.

Ahamkara (the Ego-feeling) is dispelled by the light of Divine knowledge, the effulgence of the Divine is experienced.

    It is Ego what is responsible for the dust of sensual greed in your life path. This anomaly can be prevented, for example, by keeping good company, and putting into practice the axioms of good conduct that one can imbibe from it.

    Hypocrisy is rampant now in the spiritual field more than in any other. The farmer complained aloud: "Only one stranger came into this village yesterday! And, he was a Brahmin! But, my cockerel has been stolen and eaten!" Thus, the Brahmin's vow of vegeterianism was revealed as a hoax. Profess only as much as you can practise; do not blabber more than you are prepared to fulfil. Be sincere and honest to your own conscience.

    Pouring water down the throat can well become torture, if the limit is crossed. So too, there is a limit to the heat you can bear or the sound you can hear, with safety. You cannot breathe comfortably in a typhoon, nor can your ear-drums stand the pressure of an explosion within earshot! Any use of the elements, over and above legitimate bounds, is a sacrilege.

    Water is the emanator of the rasa principle, the taste factor. There must be a balanced equilibrium in the stomach of man of the various tastes - sweet, bitter, salt, acid, sour, acrid, hot, etc. If the balance is upset, by the predominance of any one taste, health suffers a downfall!

    If the emanations from any one of the five elemental components in body are more than tolerable, health will be damaged and saadhana (spiritual practise) will be affected adversely! Treat the elements as if they are the vesture of the Almighty. He is the current that activates everything everywhere.

    The body, the sense organs, the mind, the Buddhi (intellect) and the Atma are the five vital elements constituting man. The universe, including the house within which you dwell - the body, is composed of the five elements: earth, water, fire, wind and ether - elements that act upon the senses as smell, taste, colour, touch and sound. 

   It is essential to be careful with the food you eat. See that it is conducive to your health and happiness. The ancient sages used to eat only once a day. Today people go on consuming food at all times, not to mention drinks and snacks in between.  Anything in excess will cause indigestion and sleeplessness.

   However, human today is subject to more maladies caused by mental worries than by consuming bad food. There should be a limit even to intellectual speculation. Excessive cerebration leads to delusions and mental aberrations. A balance has to be maintained also between individual interests and national interests.

    Everything in life depends on maintaining the balance, whether it be walking, riding a bicycle or driving a car. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 8."The sour and the sweet," Chapter 10. Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 20. "Guidelines for Goodness," Chapter 3. Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 23. "The abode of the Spirit," Chapter 11. Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 24. "Light the lamp within," Chapter 26).

 

    Namaste - Reet

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