Swami teaches....Part 16
Swami teaches.... (07 - 08 March 2005)
Food for Mind, Thought and Intellect
Every word, every form used in the Shaasthras has a symbolic meaning, which gives it value. The word "Prapancha" which you use so freely to indicate this "created world" means, "that which is composed of the Panchabhuuthaas - the five elements of earth, fire, water, wind and ether." Take the word "Hrudhayam" used for "the heart". It means Hrudhi (in the heart) ayam (He). That is to say, it means not the organ that pumps blood to all parts or the body, but the seat of God, the altar where Shiva is installed, the niche where the lamp of Jnaana is lit. Again, Shiva does not ride on an animal called in human language, a "bull!" The bull is only a symbol of Dharma standing on the four legs of Sathya, Dharma, Shaanthi and Prema.
It is the divine grace that gives value to life, authenticity to the Shaasthras (scriptures), authority to the recipient. A piece of white paper has no value at all; but send it to the security press and let them convert it into a hundred-rupee note; you value it. Become impressed with the stamp of God; carry His signature; that invests you with value and authority. But first you should become white, tough and strong. Remove all the blemishes that tarnish you.
Naamasmarana is the best means. Only, you do not really believe that it can cure you or save you, that is the tragedy. People believe in the efficacy of only costly brightly packed, widely published drugs; the simple easily available remedy which is in everybody's backyard is ignored as useless.
God has given human a hundred years of life and plenty of work to fill the years with; but you fritter the time away in playful games, in founding and fostering a family; and awake to the fact of preparing for death only when death knocks at the door. You have no time for reciting the name of the Lord or meditating on His form, which is within you. You have time for the club, for a game of cards, for the film show, for wayside chats, for all kinds of trivialities but no time for a little quiet, for a simple item like worship.
You have got to learn that you bind yourself and you liberate yourself. You entangle yourself in the three Gunas and by your struggles, you only pull the world and tighten it round yourself. You are endowed with Viveka, you have a conscience, whispering Dharma into your ear; so you yourselves must choose and select.
Just as you feed the body, and care for its upkeep and repair, the Manas, Chittham and Buddhi (mind, thought and intellect) have also to be fed with good nourishing food. When the morning cup of coffee is missed, you get a headache; what do you get when the morning dose of Japam is missed? At noon, your hunger drags you from the shades of these trees to where food is waiting; nothing so powerful drags you to your shrine-room. When you enter a house, even if it has been unoccupied for months, you can declare, "This is the kitchen," from the sooty walls and the smell of condiments. Similarly, you say, "This is the Puuja room" from the aroma of incense-sticks and flowers that still hovers in the air. Have a separate Puuja room or at least, set apart a small corner for Dhyaanam (meditation), Japam (repetition of Lord's name) and Puuja (ritual worship). Retire there, at least twice a day for some short time; that will be "feeding time" for the spirit.
Sarveshwara Chinthana - allowing the mind to rest on the tree of the glory of God - will give the tired bird some rest to fly again, beating its wings in search of food and happiness. Sathsanga (company of the pious) also acts like a tonic. Try the prescription for some time; it will be rather unpleasant at first. Due to weakness, the mind, like the body, cannot behave steadily and remain firm.
Do not keep the Manas, Buddhi and Chittham (mind, intellect and thought) hungry or underfed; then they will run after all kinds of foul food. Give them proper nourishment and they will perform their functions well. Their function is to illumine the Aathma within. In spite of the Dharmic way of life is dependent on the Guna (quality) of the individual, the Aathma in the individual is the Aathma in all.
When in difficulty, pray for guidance before jumping in any direction. People will give you advice only as far as their cleverness can reach; but the Lord who transforms dullness into intelligence will reveal to you the way out of the dilemma. Ask the Lord and He will answer. The Lord revealed the proper course to the hunter. Finally, he broke the bow and arrow and other deadly weapons as a result of that inspiration.
Do not decry that discipline or the ancient scriptures. They are your authority to confirm Swami's truth; it is through the study of those scriptures that you can picture the grandeur of divinity. Do not decry Vishnu or Shiva for the reason that your devotion is towards some other name and form you seek to honour. If you dishonour a human being, you are dishonouring Swami.
There are many different stories given in the Shaasthras to explain the origin of the Shivaraathri. One of them is that this is the day on which Shiva danced the Thaandava (cosmic dance) in His ecstasy, with all the Gods and sages taking part in the cosmic event.
During Shivaraathri festival is a time to take part in feeding the mind with power of illumination this cosmic dance.
Shiva is inherent in every thought, word and deed, for He is the energy, the power, the intelligence that is behind each of them. All energy, power and intelligence are in you; you need not search for them outside yourselves. God who is manifesting as time, space and causation is in you; why then do you feel weak and helpless? You must first know where you stands and where you should decide to reach.
Just as Om is the verbal symbol of God, the Lingam is the symbolic form of the Godhead. It is just a form. Everything is Maaya (delusion) and to grasp it, you must deal with Maayaa. Otherwise you cannot realise the Maayaa Shakthi (deluding power). God is as immanent in the universe as life is immanent in the egg.
Shiva is known also as Ishwara, the repository of all the resources essential for prosperity. The most important resource is Jnaana (spiritual wisdom). Three kinds of Jnaana are demarcated: Jeevaprajna (concerning the individualised divine), Ishwaraprajna (concerning the cosmic manifestation of the divine) and the Aathmaprajna (concerning the universal absolute of which the individual is the temporary-particular). He is also known as Shankara, and sages have experienced Shiva as conferring Sam or auspiciousness of all kinds, happiness in all ways. Shiva is eternally auspicious; He does not come embodied in other forms, with other names, as often as Vishnu. So, He is not described as Shri Shiva or Shri Shankara or Shri Ishwara. Shri is inherent in His very person and so it is superfluous to add Shri to His name.
The Vibhuuthi Abhisheka has a potent inner meaning connected with Shiva. The Vibhuuthi is the most precious object, in the truly spiritual sense. Shiva burnt the God of desire or Kaama, called Manmatha (for he agitates the mind and confounds the confusion already existing there) into a heap of ashes. Shiva adorned Himself with that ash, and thus He shone in His glory, as the conqueror of desire. When Kaama was destroyed, Prema (love) reigned supreme.
Ash is the ultimate condition of things; it cannot undergo any further change. The Abhisheka with Vibhuuthi is done to inspire you to give up desire and offer Shiva the ashes of its destruction as the most valuable of all the articles you have earned. Ash cannot fade as flowers do in a day or two; it does not dry and disappear or get soiled and unpotable as water does; it will not lose colour as leaves do, in a few hours; it does not rot as fruits do in a few days. Ash is ash for ever and ever.
Shiva has a snake around his neck and hairs. Indians worship of the snake. People laugh at this practice. "Indians offer adoration to snakes, because, in their opinion, they have poison in their fangs!" The truth is quite otherwise. The inner meaning of snake worship is quite different. The spinal column of man ending with the 'thousand petalled lotus' in the brain is very much like a serpent poised on its tail with hood widely spread.
In the science of Kundalini Yoga, the vital energy of human lying dormant like a coiled snake, at the bottom of this column is the lowest Muulaadhaara Chakra (the basal plexus) is awakened and aroused, so that it courses up through six more wheels (centres of superior consciousness) until it reaches the Sahasraara (thousand-petalled lotus energy centre) at the very top of the skull. The passage for the Kundalini is through the Sushumna nerve in the centre of the spinal column. The worship of the snake, ridiculed as superstition, is the symbolic counterpart of this great Yogic Saadhana which confers vigour and vitality.
An additional pictorial explanation concern to snake worship. Thirupathi is holy place of pilgrimage; Lord Venkateshwara, the deity worshipped there is called the Lord of the seven hills, for seven hills have to be climbed before the temple is reached. Obviously the six Chakras (energy centres) and the Sahasraara are indicated here, for in Raajayoga, the supreme is revealed, only when the individual raises the vital energy - the Kundalini Shakthi - up to the seventh stage. One of the hills is named Seshagiri, meaning, snake hill. From the plains, the range gives the appearance of a snake with a raised hood.
Shiva as concrete symbol of God teaches the unity behind the appearance of multiplicity, that is to say, to help realise the Adhwaitha (non-dual nature of existence). Shankara, the greatest expounder of that school of thought, established four seats of practical philosophy called Mutts in the four regions of India. The very first step in the endeavour to realise this unity was, according to him, Upaasana or worship of the concrete symbol of God, which gives one the experience of the ecstasy of union.
One day, Shankara was seated in meditation on the bank of the Ganga river. Suddenly, he exclaimed, "Lord! I am yours; but, surely, you are not mine." His pupil, Thotakacharya was by his side then; he was astonished at this statement, which, according to him, went against the Adhwaithic stand. He asked the explanation. Shankara replied, "The waves belong to the ocean; but, the ocean does not belong to the wave. The wave is the ocean, but the ocean is not the wave." However, both consists of water.
(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse, "The Shiva in All." Prashanthi Nilayam, 20 February 1974. Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse, "You are Freed!" Prashanthi Nilayam, 21 Feb 1974. Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse, "The Broken Bow." Prashanthi Nilayam, 8, 9 and 10 March 1962. Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse, "The Moon and the Mind." Prashanthi Nilayam, 7 February 1959.
Swami teaches.... (09 March 2005)
The Mantra Through the Pure Mind
There are many sorrows and worries in the world of mayaa Reality. Everyone knows theoretically that one is not a body, but carrier of Cosmic consciousness, Atma. From the point of view of atmic Reality grief and pleasure success and wreck are only different roles of Divine cosmic play where people are simultaneously both actors and observers. However to obtain such outlook demands awareness of atmic consciousness up to what the majority of us has not reached yet. So, people again and again address the prayers, mantras, rituals to the Almighty directly of through idols, to have the Divine Grace and protection... Swami stresses that splendour and grace of God can be grasped by a pure mind and a clear vision. Swami speaks and listens to the language of the soul what is equally understandable to all nations on the planet. No one can succeed in any venture without Divine Grace.
The fault lies in the belief that things happen as a result of human effort and planning, human intelligence and care.
The individual born in the lake of Society must swim and float in the calm waters, and joining the river of Progress, merge in the Ocean of Grace. Human has to move from the stance of "I" to the position of "We." However, we can observe the wild dance of ego-stricken individuals, who hate society and behave most unsocially.
Brahmasri Mudigonda Pichayya Shaasthry called life a labyrinth, from which few can escape, though all have entered it easily! The labyrinth was constructed by Kumbhaja, which means, one born in intelligence, Brahman Itself, for, Brahman is Prajnaanam (the Supermost Wisdom). How can a person break through the labyrinth devised by Brahman, when he is overwhelmed by the egoistic pulls? Through the pure mind alone can the chain be broken, the tangle cleared. The pure mind reflects the Reality clearly, the Reality of God that is the basis of One - Self as well as the objective world. God is immanent in every particle everywhere at all times in the Universe.
The Vedhas (ancient spiritual scriptures), the Upanishaths, the Geetha and the Brahma Suuthras have declared that rituals and religious practices will not lead to God-realisation. They are external acts, they are related only to the body. When one is able to get rid of egotism and attachment can one develop the inner vision. Perception of the Unity of the Divine is Wisdom. The sense of duality must be eradicated to realise the oneness of the Absolute.
One of the easiest ways to percept the 'touch' of the Divine is reciting mantra.
Mantra is a compounded set of words pregnant with enormous significance. It emanates from the inner power of human. Filled with such power, the mantra, when it is pronounced properly, brings out the Divine power in human being.
The vibrations produced by the utterance of the mantra, uniting with the Cosmic naadha (primal sound) in the Universe, become one with the Universal Cosmic Consciousness. It is these Cosmic vibrations which assumed the form of the Vedha (sacred revelations of spiritual knowledge).
For all the mantras, the primary mantra, which enshrines the attributeless, Omniself, is the Omkaara. The Omkaara embodies in the form of sound the Supreme Brahman. For this sound, the presiding deity is Saraswathi, the consort of Brahma. It is the union of Brahma and Saraswathi that accounts for all the knowledge in the world.
In Vedas the body is regarded as Brahma and the tongue is regarded as Saraswati and the vibrations emanating from the heart find expression in sound through the union of the body and the tongue. Although there are many letters and words, the fundamental aksharam (letter), which has primacy of place, is the Omkaara. "Om ithyekaaksharam Brahma" (the single letter 'Om' is Brahman Itself), says the Geetha. All other letters and words are linguistic creations. They do not possess the unique sacredness and divine character of 'Om.'
The special significance of 'Om' is not generally recognised or understood. The Mantra Shaasthra (ancient scripture related to sacred formulas) has laid emphasis on the letter 'Om'. It is the manifestation of Brahman as formless sound. It is present in all creation. It is effulgent. It is in all speech as embodiment of the Supreme, the repository of illusory power and embodiment of prosperity.
What is the difference between the Omkaara and all other sounds and words? The Omkaara has a unique, distinctive quality in the way it is pronounced and the goal it represents. When other letters are uttered, the lips, the tongue, the cheeks and the jaws are in action. But when the Omkaara is 'pronounced, none of these move at all. This is a unique characteristic of Omkaara. Hence 'Om' alone can be regarded as Aksharam (imperishable). All the other sounds are expressions of different languages.
The Omkaara is the base for the Vedha. To grasp the full significance of Omkaara, which is allpervasive, it is necessary to bring the sensory organs under control.
The worshipful attitude signified by the term Namah will be lost if the word 'Om' is not used at the beginning of each mantra. It is only when 'Om' is said at the beginning and Namah at the end that the full purport of the mantra will be brought out.
In ordinary parlance Namah is understood to mean namaskaaram (salutation). But it has a wider meaning. It means Prakrithi (the phenomenal world). 'Om' connotes Purusha (Divinity).
The purpose of the manthra is to reveal the connection between Prakrithi and Purusha. Based on the inner significance of this, the Mahaavaakya (great declaration) Thath Thwam Asi (That Thou Art) has to be understood.
If in the manthra Om Keshavaaya Namah the word Keshavaaga is omitted, and Om Namah is uttered, the unity of Shiva-Shakthi (Purusha and Prakrithi) is established and the dualism implicit in the mantra is removed. The manthra states, "I am offering obeisance to Keshava," thereby positing two entities, besides the action of obeisance itself being a third element. To eliminate this dualism, the Manthra Shaasthra laid down that if instead of namah, na mama (not for my sake) is employed, the identity of the worshipper and the worshipped will be established. "Om Keshavaaga, na mama" would mean "for Kesava, not for me." By this process, the ego is destroyed.
In performing Yaagas, Yajnas and other Vedhic rituals, there is the danger that they may become instruments of bondage. We must ensure that in performing these good deeds, we do not develop ego or attachment. Every action done without ego leads to divinity. Ignoring this truth, one indulges in meaningless actions.
People recite the Geetha, achieve proficiency in expounding it, but do not live up to the message. The Geetha is interpreted in many ways, according to one's whims and fancies. The Geetha and other scriptural texts are like the Kalpavriksha (the Wish-fulfilling Tree). They lend themselves to varied interpretations and meanings. But, what matters is not the manifold interpretation, but the understanding derived from actual experience. Without putting into practice the teachings of the Geetha, we cannot derive the bliss that can be got from it. Reciting the Geetha endlessly or listening to it will be of no avail if nothing is done to purify one's heart and get rid of evil qualities like ego, selfishness and pride. It is better to put into practice a single stanza of the Geetha than to get by heart all the 700 slokhas.
(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 17. "Unique significance of Omkaara," Chapter 25 and "Purity of Heart: the path to Divinity," Chapter 24. Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol.12. "The Labyrinth," Chapter 50 and "Sabko sanmathi," Chapter 10.
Swami teaches.... (10 March 2005)
"You are Myself, I am Thyself"
It is said that the other poets and scholars in the court of ancient Emperor Bhoja were green with envy at the quick rise to fame of Kaalidaasa and at the largesses that the Royal patron showered upon him. So, they poisoned the ears of the Emperor against Kaalidaasa and when he challenged Kaalidaasa to disprove the allegations he was alone and helpless against his traducers. Kaalidaasa could appeal only to his other patroness, Kaali maatha, Mother Kaali. He told the king that they could all come to the temple of Kaali and when he prayed to Kaali, to stand witness to his integrity, they could hear the answer that the Goddess would give. He had such faith in his Mother.
The entire court was present next morning at the Temple; Kaalidaasa prayed. Then, in the tense silence, they all could hear a Voice..."Kavirdhandee, Kavirdhandee, Bhavabhoothisthu pandithah" (Dhandi is a poet, Dhandi is a poet; Bhavabhoothi is a Pandith). That was all. No reference was made to Kaalidaasa, when all that was wanted was a judgement about Kaalidaasa and his merits. Kaalidaasa was enraged and shouted Koham rande? (Who am I, you slut?"). Kaali kept calm; Her temper was not roused. After a moment she replied, 'Thwamevaaham, thwamevaaham, thwameva aham, na samshayah" (You are Myself, I am thyself, undoubtedly"). That identity is the destiny of human.
The moon illumines the night. The sun illumines the whole world during the day. But, Dharma (Righteousness) illumines the three worlds. Good character shines as an example to the world. To recognise the inherent divinity in within and lead a sanctified life is the essence of human existence.
Subbaraaya Shaasthry said, the deha (body) has to be used to ascend the ladder of the three gunas, from thamas (inertia) to rajas (activism) and from rajas to sathwa (goodness), so that finny, you may get beyond the ladder into the heights above. The deha was acquired by means of the good and bad that was done in the previous birth. They are called collectively, karma. Karma is caused by attachment and hatred, affection and disaffection. They are the products of sheer ignorance, ignorance of the unity of all creation including oneself. This ajnaana (ignorance) can be removed by Su-jnaana (good knowledge), by acknowledging the universality of God and the merging of your individuality in the Universal.
The mind has four levels of functioning: Manas (the mental), Buddhi
(the intelligence), Chitha (the Will) and the Ahamkara (the Ego).
Although it is the body that performs the actions, it is the mind
that cognises and the Reality is the Atma. All the four are
different forms of the mind. The different terms indicate the
different functions. Vedanta has declared that the mind is the cause
of either bondage or liberation.
There is no difference between Prajnana and Brahman or Truth.
Prajnana is described as Constant Integrated Awareness. This Prajna
is present in all human beings. The first stage to realise this is
that human is no ordinary being. There are in human, Sathya (Truth),
Jnana (Wisdom) and Anantham (the Infinite). "Sathyam, Jnanam,
Anantham Brahma" the ancient sages declared thus the attributes of
Brahman. The Truth referred to here is not about worldly facts. It
refers to Transcendental Truth, which remains the same at all times
and in all places.
All qualities, attitudes, habits that remind you of the Absolute into which you have to merge, draw you away into the relative world of Time and Space with temporary value.
All the joy you crave for, is in you; but, like a one who has vast riches in the iron chest, but, who has no idea where the key is, you suffer. With proper directions, dwelling upon them in the silence of meditation, it is possible to secure the key, open the chest and be rich in joy.
A thousand wise men have poured this into your ears, but their words have fallen on hard ground and refused to sprout. Had they fallen on the soft soil of your heart and been watered by the tears of contrition, certainly they would have germinated and grown. A clean Consciousness is as a lamp and you will be a source of Light. Swami calls to light own lamps.
Like the frog caught and held in the mouth of a cobra which, unaware of its fate, flicks its tongue at a fly, you too are unaware of Death which holds you in its fangs. You seek joy and earn pain, hunt for pleasure and bag grief. You attach yourselves to the body that decays.
human in great distress clamoured for a ticket at the booking office
of the railway station, but the clerk within was helpless, because
the human did not know the name of place wanted to go. Human tries
to escape from anxiety of wordly life, but is not sure, which or
The spiritual teacher (guru) can guide you where to go, which place to seek; but, he cannot make you reach it. The prime task is obtain the skill to overcome the temptations of the senses, to journey inward into the region of the impulses and give them a higher purpose.
In Geetha Bheeshma was in tears on the arrow-bed, when he was about to pass away. Arjuna asked him why and he replied, "I am shedding tears because the miseries undergone by the Paandavas pass through my mind." Then he said, "This is done in order to teach the Kaliyuga a lesson, never to seek power, position or pelf, but to submit to the Will of God, in a completely resigned way, so that you may be ever happy and unmoved."
The Lord rushes towards the bhaktha (devotee) faster than the
bhaktha rushes towards Him. If you take one step towards Him, He
takes a hundred steps towards you! He will foster you from within
you, as He has saved and fostered so many saints who have placed
faith in Him.
(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 6. "The zenith of creation," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol.5. "Shiva in shava," Chapter 8 and "The sun at your doorstep,"
Chapter 2. Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "You and I," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 21. "Live In Truth and Love," Chapter 24).
Swami teaches.... (11 March 2005)
are in Atma, not Vice Versa
When Parmeswara questioned him,
Ganapathi replied: "The whole cosmos is a projection of the
Lord. The Lord is immanent in the universe. When I have gone
round my Divine parents, I have gone round the universe."
Ganapathi also asked them: "Show me any place where you are
not present. You are omnipresent. You are in everything."
We fancy that the Aathma is in us, in each of us. We are in the Aathma, we are all in the Aathma. The Aathma is not in us! All beings are alive and active, moving and resting in the all-pervading Aathma.
The understanding of one's basic
Reality, is the fundamental purpose of education and not the
mere acquisition of information about the external world.
The universe is a great university. By pursuing a variety of studies - literary, scientific, political, economic and other studies - knowledge is acquired, but not peace of mind. Succumbing to insatiable desires, people are losing peace and leading meaningless lives. It is essential to practice spiritual discipline along with academic studies.
With the growth of knowledge, the animal nature in human has diminished. "Daivam maanusha ruupena" (The Divine appears in human form). Hence human being should not be regarded as a mere product of Nature, a creature of the senses and the physical elements. In terms of the corporeal body, all human beings may appear alike. But their thoughts may be different.
On the wheel of Samsaara every nation depends on three sections of its people for its progress - the producers, the protectors and the preceptors. All three are equally important and closely interdependent. Love is a seat placed on the three legs and the nation can be happy and peaceful if all the three sections work together in mutual love for the nation.
There are various reasons for the advent of the Divine in human form. It may be asked what is the karma that accounts for the advent of Avatars. For Divine incarnations karma is not the cause. The evil deeds of the wicked and the good deeds and yearning of the righteous are responsible for the advent of Avatars.
There is a child on the floor. It cannot jump up to the mother. The mother has to bend down, take the child and fondle it. In the same manner, to offer relief to devotees, to protect them and foster them, the Divine comes in the human form. This is described as Avatarana (the descent of God as an incarnation). God comes down from His high level to give joy to His devotees. Human does not try to understand the inner significance of such incarnations but devotion should manifest itself in every action. Everything done out of love for God and as an offering to God becomes devotion. The devotee is filled with love and shares the love with all the others.
Geetha directs to adopt, as the very first Saadhana, the
rule: Adhweshtaa Sarva bhoothaanaam ("Do not hate any
single being"). Devotion arises in the constant mind, not
in the agitated, kaleidoscopic mind. The purification of
the senses of perception and the senses of action, the
mind and the intellect and the sublimation of the
ego-consciousness will happen spontaneously, once the
attitude of total surrender is strengthened. 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. In fact, it is impossible to
measure or compare omnipresent God with anything.
Comparison is possible only when there is a second object.
The Vedas declare: "Ekam eva Advitheeyam." (One alone
without a second).
Everything in creation has five properties. The first three are Sath-Chith-Aanandha (Being, Awareness, Bliss) and the last two are Ruupa and Naama (Form and Name), which are lent to the thing temporarily. They are subject to modification but the first three Being, Awareness, Bliss are inherent, unchanging characteristics. In the language of Vedhaantha, the three are named Asthi, Bhaathi, and Priya (existence, shining or expressing and loving). They are the innate qualities of every manifestation of the Divine.
The awareness of this Aanandha (Bliss) is the goal of human, the consummation of human life. Aanandha attained through the objective world or through subjective means is only a fractional expression of the Aanandha which mergence in Brahman (Supreme Reality) grants. We speak of hot water, though heat is not a quality of water, fire has given it the heat. Likely too, objective Aanandha or subjective Aanandha are rendered so, through the grace of Brahma-aanandha.
The grace of the Ground of all Being
can alone confer Aanandha. The stars are proud that they shed
light on a darkened world but the bright moonlight renders
starlight. The moon's pride is humbled when the sun illumines
the sky. Brahma-aanandha is as the Sun. This does not mean
that one should ignore starlight and moonlight derived from
Nature and from spiritual experiential knowledge. They are
steps, stages, samples.
How, then, can human earn that Awareness, that Aanandha? What Saadhana (spiritual discipline) has he to adopt? Humans all equally subject to birth, life and death, why do they allow the Aanandha which is the right of each to slip away through hatred and conflict? Why is the demon prevailing over the Divine? The answer has been deluding humanity for ages.
The world is experienced by the "I". As long as the "I" dominates the mind, the world is cognised as real. And so long as the "I" is involved with the world, sorrow cannot be eliminated. In the state of deep sleep, there is no consciousness of the "I" and so there is no consciousness of the world too. When the world is absent, sorrow disappears.
The Cosmos is the glorious work of art projected by the Supreme Artist, without a wall or canvas to draw upon, without brushes or colours to paint with. Confronted with a Universe, so difficult to decide whether true or false, some have concluded it is real, some have declared it unreal and some have described it as a mixture of the real and the illusory.
The Vedanta declares: "Brahman is Sathya (Truth); the Cosmos is Mithya (illusory)." Whether the Universe is real or illusory, or whether it is real-unreal need not be your concern. For, the cosmos itself will reveal to you its permanent-cum-transient character. Your primary concern must be to understand whether you are real or unreal or what in you is real and what is unreal. It is only when you have recognised the truth of your own being, that you can recognise the world as illusory and your own reality.
When a river reaches the ocean,
there is only the ocean; the river ceases to exist. Before
it joins the ocean, the river is bound by its banks and it
has a distinct form. But when it merges in the ocean, it
loses its separateness, its form and name and taste. It
becomes the ocean. Likewise, when "human" merges in the
Infinite "I" only the Infinite "I" remains and the limited
human entity disappears.
What is the source of the term "I"? In Sanskrit, "I" is referred to as "Aham", it is like to the word, Atma. Aham arises from the idea of "I". The mind also is a projection of the idea of "I". The mind and the ego are thus related to the Atma as its manifestations. The Atma is the grandfather, Aham is the son and the Mind is the grandson. The ego has emanated from the pure, unchanging, selfless Atma but the ego has birth and growth; it comes and goes. The Atma is changeless, immutable and eternal. From the One unchanging Infinite Atma, the finite and changing ego and the mind, with its diverse feelings and ideas, have emanated. The multiplicity of names and forms can be understood in their true nature only if the truth about their fundamental basis is recognised.
Chaitanyam (Consciousness) is all-pervasive in the cosmos and in the 'individual mind. Human is able to examine and explore the phenomenal universe because of the consciousness that prods him/her.
Nature and the phenomena that comprise it are reflections of inner experience. The world is a beautiful painting, a grand work of art, as it has been said above. The art is outside, but the beauty is experienced by the heart inside us. All investigations of the external world are indeed reflections of mental processes which emerge from the "I" projected by the Atma, a spark of Paramatma. If we concentrate on this basic truth, we can see the Divine basis that sustains everything.
Each one should try to discover for himself the secret of his life and the Universal (Cosmic)Consciousness that is inherent in everyone. The first requisite for each one is to make himself his own guru.
Nature is a preacher; life is a teacher. When this truth is recognised, life becomes meaningful and purposeful. Everyone should strive to unfold the divinity within him and illumine his life.
Knowledge is not to be derived from books alone. Nature is to be accepted as a better instructor. By its forbearance, adherence to its genuineness, unselfish bounty, patience and serenity Nature is continually proclaiming its inherent and real role of preacher of spiritual truths.
Nowadays, we hear of more and more people complaining of tension, as a reaction to frustration, failure and disasters. Tension is caused as a result of the mind indulging in likes and dislikes. It is caused also by the narrow limited self, the ego, the root of the evil. Egoism is an infection that ruins all chances of expanding and elevating one's consciousness.
Human's ego is the cause of this divisive attitude. Who is wrapped up in ego cannot recognise God.
It is difficult indeed to understand the ego - its depth and devious ways. It is an inert entity, that is to say, it cannot know itself nor can it know others. It has no fear; it will not bend before others. It degrades human from the golden glory, which is his due, to the level of lowly dust. Of the traits of ego, pride is the most poisonous. But, the pride of the scholar, the pride of pandiths is so thick that it is impossible for them to get rid of it.
The fully blossomed flower fades and falls apart within hours. Even while a person is proud of his physical strength, mental freshness and intellectual sharpness, old age creeps in, with its debilitating effects. And, wealth? And power over people and things? They are like lightning flashes, illumining only a fraction of a moment. Everyone must be vigilant about the mind, its capabilities and character. It reacts in fifty million different ways. It assumes fifty million forms. Each of these is a wave that agitates.
(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 15. "Love of the Motherland," Chapter 44; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16. "Food and character," Chapter 19; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 19. "Discover your Divine essence," Chapter 12; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 21. "Beyond Degrees: God's Love," Chapter 6 and "Devotion Is The Panacea," Chapter 26).