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Swami teaches....Part 24

 

Link to Swami Teaches....Part 23

 

Sai Ram

 

    Light and Love

 

    Swami teaches.... (21- 22 April 2005)

 

   Divinity - the Fundamental Principle, Follow It

   

    The Universe is visible to the naked eye. It consists of mobile and immobile objects called Prapancha, since it is a manifestation of the Pancha Bhutas (five elements: earth, water, air, fire and ether). There is no world without the five elements. It is on this basis that Divinity is extolled as the embodiment of sound, mobility and immobility, light, speech, eternal bliss, supreme majesty, delusion, and wealth These are the attributes of the five elements, which sustain the world. The Spirit or the Atma, which is the very form of God, is not visible to the naked eye, but the Five Elements can be seen, heard, felt, and experienced by one and all. 

    The Viswa (Universe,Totality, Whole creation ) is made up of five elements. The Veda says, with thousands of heads, thousands of feet and thousands of eyes, Divinity pervades everything. Humanity are humans only in form, but divine in spirit. Body is like a water bubble. Do not follow the body and the mind; follow the conscience. Conscience is the Atma (Self). As long as you live in this world, you have to discharge your duties using your body and the mind as instruments for the Divine Self. 

 

    The Vedas describe divinity as that which does not move but appears to be moving and that which exists everywhere but cannot be perceived. It is tantamount to somebody going in search of  own self elsewhere. Human does not realise that the five elements present in him/her are the very forms of Divine. The life principle that flows through each and every nerve of the body is verily divine. The life principle that sustains our body is Prajnana. On this basis, it is said, Prajnanam Brahma.

    The same thing is reflected in another divine axiom, Ayam Atma Brahma. It can be interpreted as 'I am Atma and Brahma'. The third one is Tat Twam Asi. Tat denotes that which is outside, and Twam stands for innate divinity. It means that the same divinity is present within and without. That which is seen, heard and experienced outside is nothing but the reflection, resound and reaction of the inner being. When reality is within, why crave for its reflection outside?

    Sanathana Dharma (the Eternal Religion) is the essence of the lessons enunciated in all the Vedic texts. This Dharma (righteousness) is the source and spring of various systems of philosophy, codes of morality and even of the different forms and streams of literature. Through these means the Dharma has taught that human being cannot live in peace, until one knows what ought to be known, one casts away what has to be cast away, and reaches the goal one has to reach.  The four Vedas teach us who and what we really are and how we are related to the world around us. This is the greatest gift that the Vedas offer. This is the end of all enquiry, the aim of all scientific search.  

    Speech, Mind and Breath are the three most vital instruments for adoration and awareness of Truth and Knowledge. Among the Vedas the Rig-veda highlights speech; the Yajur-veda highlights the mind; the Sama-veda highlights breath. Just as these three elements pervade the world, the three Vedas reveal three-fold Cosmic principle which is the reality of every atom in the Universe. They do this in simple language, using easily understandable similies and metaphors. The Vedas prescribe the ceremonies, rites, rituals and actions necessary for the prosperity and progress of mankind, here and hereafter.

    Vedic hymns are not intended for empty worship by rituals. They have been recorded by sages to help, practise and to experience. The sages had recognised this factor and therefore, the Vedas have survived untarnished until today. Their practice became Yajnas (sacrificial rituals). Their prayers became songs.


    Vedas extol in their hymns time as Kalaya Namah, Kala Kalaya Namah, Kaladarpa Damanaya Namah, Kalateetaya Namah, Kalaswarupaya Namah, Kalaniyamitaya Namah (Salutations to the embodiment of time, to the one who has conquered time, to the one who transcends time and to the one who ordains time). Human is the embodiment of time, the master of time. In Vedic times, the population was in thousands and our ancients considered that all heads, all eyes and all feet belonged to the Purusha (the Cosmic Being). The ancient sages and seers stressed on the need for unity and cooperation among the human beings what is the essence of human life. Such divine principle of unity is forgotten today.

   

   The motto of Bharatiyas has been from ancient times Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu (May all the people of the world be happy). To experience true happiness, person should develop firm faith. Where there is faith, there is love. Through love person can practise righteousness. Righteousness leads to truth, which in turn leads to God who is the basis of bliss. Truth is the basis of God. Righteousness is the basis of truth. Love is the basis of righteousness. Faith is the basis of love. (But people today have no faith in themselves.  Human has progressed in the worldly sense, but morally has regressed. People are not able to give up his narrow-mindedness and criticism of others. Today human has become as a bundle of desires. Ages have gone by and the world has undergone change but there is no transformation in the human heart. The number of noble souls who visualise unity in diversity is on the decline). 

 

   The ancient sages and seers stressed on the need to have faith. But today, people have become blind having lost the eyes of faith. What are the two eyes of man? One is the Sastra (scriptures) and the other is Dharma (righteousness). Do you know why God has given you the eyes? They  are given also in purpose to see God. But there are some people who close their eyes and start meditating even while sitting in front of God. Such meditation is false piety. People who close their eyes in front of God might have been blind in their previous births or will certainly become blind in the coming births. Open not only the physical eyes, but also the eye of wisdom.

    Since ancient times, the Bharatiyas never considered God as a separate entity. They believed in the Vedic statement: Sahasra Seersha Purusha Sahasraksha Sahasra Pad (God has thousands of heads, eyes and feet). 

    All the sacred texts have described God as having human form. It does not mean that God is confined to a human form. But human cannot visualise God in any form other than a human being. Pictorially, if a buffalo wants to worship God, it can think of Him only as another buffalo having a gigantic form. Similarly, a frog thinks of God as another gigantic frog. In reality God is present all over. Each form is composed of five elements. Develop faith that God is in the form of five elements. All forms that are attributed to Him are human's own creations and imaginations. God is depicted to be having four hands. If God were really to be born with four hands, people would certainly put Him in exhibition. What is the inner meaning of God having four hands? It is to make you understand that God is the master of sound, time, power, and heart that He is depicted to be having these insignia in His hands.

    God is filled with broad feelings. It is not possible for anybody to comprehend God's Will. Unable to understand the Divine Will, people forget the reality and lead themselves into difficulties. They are carried away by worldly objects and ignore Divinity. Take Divinity as the fundamental principle. You are the embodiment of Prajnana. (Consciousness, Knowledge) what is within you. It is not something that you acquire after you are born. It is with you right from your birth. This knowledge is with you always and it shows you the right path.

   

    The most important is to have faith in own Self. Develop self-confidence what is the foundation, self-satisfaction is the wall, self-sacrifice is the roof and self-realisation is life. No one can live in a building without roof. Roof cannot be laid without walls, and walls cannot be raised without foundation. So, self-confidence, self-satisfaction, self-sacrifice are veryessential for self-realisation. When you undertake any task with a sacred heart, you will certainly meet with success. Swami is the living proof for this. Swami does not expects anything from anybody. He derives one benefit, i.e., He feels happy when everybody is happy.

 

    Sage Vyasa has given the essence of eighteen Puranas in two sentences, Paropakara Punyaya, Papaya Parapeedanam (one attains merit by serving others and commits sin by hurting them). When you help others, you will receive help tenfold. If you harm others, you will be put to harm ten times more. Keep this in mind. Sanctify all the limbs of the body in selfless activities. But it is not that easy to practice. There is always some self-interest in whatever human does. Self-interest is also necessary, but it should be within certain limits. 

    Knowledge has its consummation in the discovery of Truth. Truth which survives Past, Present and Future unaffected. Truth and Spiritual Wisdom are without end, eternal and limitless. The Vedas are vocal expressions of both these.

    What is Adhyatmika (spirituality)? It is not just contemplating on the primordial Spirit. Spirituality lies in destroying the bestial nature and rising to the level of Divine. But instead of ascending to Divinity, human being  is degenerating to animality. One should have the total faith that there is God within anyone.

           

    There was a person named Antony, who used to make violins for his livelihood. He used to take one full year to make one violin. Once his friends chided him saying, "Antony, if you take one full year to make one violin, how will you be able to support your family?" Antony replied, "Brothers, what I am doing is God's work, who is the embodiment of perfection." That is why Antony Stradivary's violins became very famous.  

  

   Gratitude and honour  what felt Stradivary to God, is the most fundamental virtue of man. People while performing Suryanamaskaras, extol the Sun god in various ways. The effulgence of the Sun god is present in our eyes in a subtle form. One without the sense of gratitude can be called a blind person. Whoever he/she may be, one should always remain grateful to one's benefactor.

 

    The Gita recommends 'inaction in action' and asserts that 'inaction is the most rewarding action' for those who strive for supreme peace. This attitude is named Karma Sanyasa (non-attachment to action).  Action or activity is generally associated with the body only, but the mind is also busy with the world. The Atma alone is the unaffected witness. So, the secret of 'inaction in action' lies in taking refuge in the Atma and in recognising all living beings as fundamentally Atma. The wise acts solely for the promotion of peace and goodwill in the human community with no consideration of I and Mine. The ego is deep rooted in human during countless previous lives. It grows fast in this life also, seeking sensual pleasure, possessions in plenty, applause and appreciation, authority over others, fame and fortune. It can be removed only by relentless enquiry into our Reality.

    The body needs a second principle to guide it but that principle, the Atma (Eternal Spirit) is One without a second. When the attention is diverted from the 'body-mind-senses complex' the splendour of Atma becomes brighter and brighter. The body seeks gathering and possessing; the Atma seeks giving and showering Light, Love and Grace. Attachment to the upadhi (sheath) is
the greatest obstacle for samadhi (communion with Divinity) which is the ultimate goal of a spiritual aspirant. Wisdom dawns when one realises, that the body is the place of temporary habitation.

    Activity finds fulfillment when wisdom dawns. Karma  is the path by which spiritual wisdom is attained.   Wisdom in action is the highest Karma. Worthwhile activity must result in purifying the mind. 

 

    You probably know Adi Sankara  a great scholar in all forms of knowledge. Yet he propagated the path of devotion. Once while he was going to the river Ganges with his disciple, he noticed a person sitting under a tree and trying to learn the concepts of Panini's grammar by rote. He turned to man: "Oh foolish man, chant the name of Govinda, the rules of Panini grammar will not come to your rescue when the end approaches."

    Sankara authored many Vedantic texts, but ultimately he also took to the path of devotion. Namasmarana (chanting of God's Name) is the easiest path to liberation. This was his teaching. Persons who have dedicated their lives to spiritual search and success have to discover the Atma in themselves and others. The discovery will confer sympathy and compassion and promote loving service.

   

    A tree has a trunk covered with bark and myriad roots to feed it and hold it firm. It has branches spreading in all directions, tapering into twigs. It has millions of leaves which breathe and borrow energy from the Sun. It fulfills itself by attracting bees to fertilise the flowers into seeds. All this variety of colour, fragrance, taste, smell and softness, of strength and toughness and tenderness has emanated from one single seed. All creation has emanated similarly from God. This is the Reality inherent in all.  Be firm in that faith. (Reet's compilation from: The Divine Discourse by  Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba "The Life Principles of Man."  9 October 2001,  Prashanthi Nilayam; The Divine Discourse by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on the occasion of Ugadi Festival. 13 April 2002, Brindavan,Whitefield;  Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "Loving service forever," Chapter 1). 

 

   Namaste - Reet


Sai Ram

 

    Light and Love

 

    Swami teaches.... (23 - 25 April 2005)

 

   True Desire and Action has Spiritual Relationship 

 

    As long as the indweller God resides in the body, it will be full of fragrance and full of life. Without the indweller the body is a reprehensible thing. The process of transforming a body with such repugnant qualities into an instrument for serving humanity and realizing the divinity can provide great joy and inner satisfaction. But human thinks of the body only as a means for giving  physical pleasure, and  uses it primarily in self-defeating ways. Krishna told Arjuna, "The body has been given in order to understand the indweller. Arjuna, use your body only for that sacred purpose. Animals and birds have not been given this discriminating power."

    You have to use all your powers to understand the principles which constitute human nature. First, you must understand the power of worldly desire which makes you give up all your resolutions. Of course, there must be desires. Without desires you cannot live for even a moment. But you must use all your desires for good. Your desires should be to help others. That constitutes living as a true human being.

    Since you are born in society, since you live in society and get so many benefits from society you have to serve society. In serving society, you will be serving the Lord. Be it a small job or a big job, do it  for the sake of the Lord. Whatever work you do must be converted into divine work. It must be transformed into worship. When you see the Lord everywhere in everyone, then you will be doing everything with God- i.e. Atmic consciousness.

    When one is deluded by the mere external world and when one does not attain success in such external desires, faith in the Lord diminishes. So, give up such desires. Desire only for the spiritual relationship; then you won't become the target of doubts and difficulties. The important thing for this is faith in the Lord; without that, you start doubting everything, big and small.

    It is in the field of action or karma that you most patently reveal your character and the type of human being you are. That is why so much importance has been given to performing all your actions without attachment to the fruits. Just as a mirror can show you the type of your face, so your actions will reveal the type of your inner feelings. People's actions will unmistakably reveal their inner nature. Is in a person is predominantly satvik, rajasic, or tamasic in nature, whether his/her inner being is serene and selfless, or desire-ridden and quick to react negatively, or slothful, vicious and mean you can decide by his/her actions.

    The Gita declares that human life lies in action; you would not even be able to sustain the body if you abstained from all actions. Therefore, every ordinary human being, as well as every spiritual aspirant, should enter into the field of activities and work. But the actions which you perform must be sacred actions; they must conform to the principle of dharma.

    The Gita has not commanded you to renounce everything, detach yourself from all worldly possessions and interests, and go to the forest. Rather, the Gita has shown that an important duty and responsibility of every human being is to undertake useful activities in the world. It means engaging yourself in selfless and sacred actions that promote the welfare of fellow human beings.

    You have to practice such ideal actions without selfish motive. They must originate not from the compulsive drive of desire, but from the peaceful quality in your heart, devoid of self-interest and attachment to the fruits. Ordinary people will not be able to perform actions completely without desire. You will have to orient desires and actions the purpose of seeking and experiencing God. That will lead you  on the path to your goal of becoming one with the divinity.

    The sum and substance of all this is that you should offer up your mind to the Lord. Do not allow your mind to follow desires. Offer all these desires up to the Lord and follow only His dictates. Until you have done that, pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow and all the other pairs of opposites will be present within you. If you want to become free of these opposites and treat all things equally, you have to become mindless. As long as you retain the mind, rajas and tamas will not leave you. So long as you have rajas and tamas, you will have no steadiness. Why is the mind so unsteady, constantly hopping from place to place? It is because of desires. These desires all relate to the body. The body is like a vessel; the mind may be compared to the water inside. If the vessel is steady then the water remains steady. In steady water you will be able to see your own image. In moving water your image will be blurred and indistinct.

    You have to practice the truths that are contained in the great statements made in the Gita after realizing their inner significance. The Gita has been given to the entire world where Arjuna is as the medium, as the representative humanity.

   To follow these teachings you have to gradually reduce your desires and wants, and gain an understanding of the principle of the Atma what will bring to a permanent state of contentment. Just by memorizing the 700 verses of the Gita you will not be able to experience the great truths that are hidden there. These deeper truths will reveal themselves in the circumstances of daily life.

 

    The practical purpose for daily life serves Swami's program "Ceiling on Desires" decided on at the Tenth All India Conference of Sathya Sai Organisations. There are four components in the term "Ceiling on Desires."

    1. Curb on excessive talk,
    2. Curb on excessive desires and expenditure,

    3. Control of consumption of food,

    4. Check on waste of energy.

    Human needs some essential commodities for the sustenance.  We can learn a lesson in this respect from Nature. If in air is about 21 % oxygen, it is comfortable and good for breathing. In other cases you will feel uncomfortable. When you are thirsty, you can consume only a limited quantity of water. You can't consume the entire water of the Ganga!  We take only as much as is needed for the sustenance of the body. In Nature is a limit for everything; the human body is not an exception. When eyes happen to see a flash light, they shut automatically.  Ear drums cannot tolerate hearing beyond a certain volume.  

 

   For Maya-constituted beings, there are two Maya gates; the appetite for sex and the appetite of the tongue. These two have to be conquered by everyone; so long as they persist, they cause sorrow.

   All worldly desires are comprehended by these two; so, only those who have mastered these two can be said to have successfully waded through the world.  World has to serve only the purpose of just sustaining the body. Those aspiring for Liberation have to subdue the senses. "Food for guarding the body, dress to ward off the cold", says the Uttara Gita. You should not only practise yourself but teach others also about ceiling on desires and to obtain the state of contentment. 

    Do not encourage the multiplication of desires. Be satisfied with whatever you have been given. Not running after worldly enjoyments. You have enjoyed so many luxuries and so many sensual things in your life but you have not gained peace and fulfillment from them. Give up chasing after them and you will gain contentment.  

   Even in purchase of garlands, you need not waste money. What God wants is the flower of your heart that is filled with humility and devotion.

    Eight types of flowers can be offered to God, viz, Ahimsa (Non-violence),Indhriya Nigraha (Control of senses), Sarvabhootha Dhaya (Compassion towards all beings),  Sathyam (Truth), Dhyaanam (Meditation),  Shaanthi (Peace),  Vinaya (Humility), and Bhakthi (Devotion).

 

    Swami feels concerned about the excessive money that is spent the expensive huge garlands offered to Swami on every occasion and also the use of flowers for decorating the path. Devotees may show their affection by handing over one flower and spend the money wasted on garlands for helping the poor people in distress. God appreciates only motive and not the external things. What little you do you must do with a good and pure heart.

    Krishna has referred to "Pathram, Phalam, Pushpam, Thoyam" (that is, leaf, fruit, flower or water) that can be offered to God. Leaf is not that you see around you. The body itself is the leaf. Flower is the flower of your heart, fruit is the fruit of your mind.  Water refers to the tears of joy welling up within you from a sincere and prayerful heart.

 

   Keep your desires and your greed under control and be ever content. This will earn for you the love of God. That you love God is not of much use unless you get His love directed towards you. There is no point in shouting and saying that God is yours. You have to aspire to hear from God the declaration that you are His. That is the most important thing you must achieve in this life.

 

    All actions take a time. You should be careful about 'time', which is the yardstick of life. Seconds become hours, hours become years, years make yugas (ages) and so on. Time lost in wasteful pursuits can't be got back by any means. All activities should be planned for utilising the available time to maximum advantage. So, we should not waste food, money, time and energy.  

    

    Time as a stream what is not limited; similarly humans desires also should be limited. To collect unwanted and and unnecessary things is a wasting of money and not more. Misuse of money is a great evil. When you talk of wealth you should be careful to avoid avaricious accumulation and extravagant expenditure. Even in the preparation of food, you should be careful in avoiding wastage. It is disservice to consume more food than is necessary for the body. Desire breeds more desire. If a person  by chance gets the 1000 rupees, he desires to have a million rupees. Then he would aspire to become a major property owner. From a property owner he would want to become a legislator and then a minister and then the prime minister. You must learn how to gain contentment from whatever you have, being satisfied with whatever wealth you have been given. Your responsibility is to take care of the possessions you have received through the grace of God, and be happy.

 

    The heart of a person who does not have contentment is like a bamboo basket riddled with holes. When you are suffering from pangs of desire and greed, all your contentment leaks away before you even have a chance to fulfill your desires. When contentment leaves your heart, discontent takes its place.

   Human should not have any desires separate from the one desire to fully surrender to God. Surrender means implicitly following the commands given to you by the Lord, whose directions will be clearly heard when He is enshrined in your heart.

 

    Krishna taught surrender as the highest and most important stage of devotion. Once you have surrendered yourself fully to the Lord, you will gain His grace.  He will shelter you and protect you from all harm.  But, surrender does not mean giving up your discriminating faculty. You must discern what are desires and what is truly divine, and surrender all your worldly desires, offering them to the divine. 

 

     A farmer, for example, clears and levels the land, removes the stones and thorns, ploughs and prepares the field, manures and strengthens the soil, waters and fertilises it, and by sowing, transplanting, weeding, spraying and waiting, he reaps the crop; after winnowing and threshing, he stacks the corn. All these various processes are for the sake of the stomach; so too, one must feel that all the hunger, thirst, joy and sorrow, grief and loss, suffering and anger, food and appetite are but impulses helping us towards attaining the Presence of the Lord.  

    Many and many an idea takes shape in the human heart; they wander to the very ends of the eight directions. Some of these are mutually supporting; some are mutually destructive. But without leaving them free, they must all be canalised and disciplined to subserve some high purpose. You must have the cleverness needed for this canalisation. It is not merely cleverness in the use of external things; it lies more in the control and subjugation of the mental faculties: This is essential for the blossoming of the Atma. For understanding the faculties of your own mind, you must move with elders experienced in that line or in the sublimation of the vagaries of the mind.

   Until you intelligently fix upon a certain direction for all your thoughts and activities, you will be only building shadowy castles in the air and roaming about in them. Why, even your senses will be pursuing contradictory paths and distracting your attention to such an extent, that you cannot easily come to a decision regarding the ideal. They make you feel that their paths are the best; but, you should always strive to change the course of the senses and the imagination, to subjects and desires that are conducive to the ideal, whatever be the difficulty, however serious the crisis. That is the sign of real intelligence; that is the road to real Santhi.

   Every one has, by virtue of human nature itself, the discrimination needed to strive for the ideal. You should not allow the slightest idea of neglect to hinder you, or stand in your way. The Santhi based on Jnana can arise only out of actual experience; the end and the consequence of each and every act is and must be Jnana. The Progress of the individual consists in activity, done with discrimination.

   An example. Even if a person has all the means of comfortable travel cars, planes or other conveniences, he/she has perforce to walk, in spite of everything, for the sake of health.  Whoever one  is, whatever the Sadhana one is engaged in, he/she has perforce to experience the activity and learn the consequence for the sake of his mental health. Otherwise, mental weakness cannot be cured.

 

    For the establishment of oneself in the contemplation of the Omnipresent Lord, there is no limitations of time or space. There is nothing like a holy place or a special time for this. Wherever the mind revels in the contemplation of the divine that is the Holy Place.  

    For meditation on God, there is no fixed time or place. When and where the mind so desires, then and there is the time and place.

    The world can achieve prosperity through disciplined souls whose hearts are pure and who represent the salt of the earth. Everyone should pray, from this very minute, for the advent of such men and try to deserve the blessings of the great and endeavour to forget the sufferings of the day in the attempt to promote the welfare of the world.

 

(Reet's compilation from,

Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol.16. "Ceiling on desires" Chapter 3;

Sathya Sai Baba. Sathya Sai Vahini. Chapter "Colour and Caste;"

Sathya Sai Baba. Prema Vahini. Chapters "The Harvest of a Sadhaka" and  "Sat-Sankalpa is the Path for Attaining the Presence;" 

Sathya Sai Baba. Prashanthi Vahini. Page 40;  

Sai Baba Gita. Part One - Path of Devotion. Chapter IV  "Inner Inquiry. The Path of Wisdom."

Part Two - Path of Wisdom. Chapter XXI "To Know the Divinity Is to Become the Divinity," Chapter XXIII "Limit Desires, Be Ever Content and You Will Be Dear to God" and Chapter XXX "To Become Free - Surrender Your Mind to God."

Part Three - Path of Action. Chapter XXXIII "Developing the Inner Vision"). 


Swami teaches.... (26-28 April 2005) 

   Step-by-Step Knowledge Acquired by Dhyana  

    Of all the workshops in the world, the workshop of the body is the most wonderful, because it is the tabernacle of the Lord. By regulating diet and avoiding certain bad habits, is possible to preserve health. Moderate food, and food of the Saathwik type, will promote mental poise and physical happiness.   Moderation in food, moderation in talk, and in desires and pursuits; contentment with what little can be got by honest labour, eagerness to serve others and to impart joy to all - these are the most powerful of all the tonics and health-preserves known to the science of health, the Sanathana 'Aayur-Vedha', the Vedha of the full life.

     When the mind gets peace, the body also will have health. Who craves for good health must pay attention to the emotions, feelings and motives that animate the individual. Just as you give clothes for a wash, you have to wash the mind free from dirt again and again. It should be a daily process; you should see that no dirt settles upon the mind, you should move about in such company that dirt is avoided. Falsehood, injustice, indiscipline, cruelty, hate - these form the dirt, truth, righteousness, peace, love - these form the clean elements. If you inhale the pure air of these latter, your mind will be free from evil bacilli and you will be mentally sturdy and physically strong.

    Your heart should be like glass, with the spiritual light inside illuminating the world outside; the world outside reacting on the inner urges and making them lean towards service, sympathy and mutual help.  

    In such body's factory the impulses are sublimated into vows, the impurities are weeded out, beneficent desires are shaped and good imaginings are brought about.

    A legend tells that once, someone decided to worship the greatest. He fixed upon the earth, but the sea erodes the earth; the sea too is not so great since sage Agasthya drank it up; Agasthya is now a tiny star in the broad sky; but the sky was just enough for one foot of the Thrivikrama form of the Lord; and the Lord is enshrined in the heart of Bhaktha (devotee). So he concluded that the Bhaktha was the greatest of them all.   

     In all effort, if you trust in a higher power which is ready to come to your help, work is made easy. This comes out of Bhakthi, reliance on the Lord, the source of all power. Have faith in the Lord and his grace. Try to earn it by using the intelligence and the conscience with which He has endowed you. 

    Vedhaanthic texts are matters of careful well-timed regulated discipline; it cannot be got by spurts and skips; it has to be climbed step-by-step, each step being used as a foothold for the next. The virtues have to be cultivated in the home; each member sharing in the joy with the rest, each one seeking for opportunities for helping others. 

    The aim of Sadhana is to remove the motive, the wish, the Vasana or attachment, (the yearning for the fruit).

     Develop self-reliance; that is the best tonic. You have been born because you did not pass in certain subjects; there is some balance of experience which you must acquire to complete the course. If you get convinced that your true nature is the Atma, then you have finished the course and 'passed'.

    For reaching that stage, you should start with the cultivation of the feeling of kinship with all beings. You can begin with little things; you can avoid causing annoyance to others. Even if you are unable or unwilling to do service to others, at least, if you desist from causing harm, that is meritorious service indeed.  For example, take the words you speak. Purification of words leads to cleansing of the mind. That is why Swami insists on quiet , sweet and little talk with no anger, no heat, no hate. Such talk will cause no quarrel, no blood-pressure and no factions. Respect the sincerity of the others; respect  elders and persons with more experience than you. 

    Sadhakas, Yogis and Sanyasis have to climb a ladder, the steps of which are Savitharka, Nirvitharka, Savichara, Nirvichara, Sammatha; etc., that is to say, Argumentation, No-argumentation, Analysis, Non-analysis, Agreement, etc. The knowledge of the world is not real knowledge. It is relative knowledge; the knowledge of the non-real. The knowledge of the eternal Absolute is the Real knowledge. That is acquired by Dhyana (meditation).

    He who has subdued his mind will be the same, in good times and in bad. It is only when the mind is associated with the senses and the body that it is affected and agitated and modified. When one takes in an intoxicant, one is not aware of pain, is it not? How does this happen? The mind is then detached from the body and so it is not bothered by physical pain or discomfort. Similarly, the Jnani too has immersed his mind in the Atma; he can establish mental peace and quiet by disciplining the mind.     

     The Jnani gets full Bliss from own Atma and does not seek it anywhere outside. In fact, he/she will have no desire or plan to find joy in anything external and satisfies with the inner joy. Who has known Brahmam becomes Brahmam Itself, who has attained the Brahmam Principle has become the Highest. All bubbles are but the same water; so also, all the multiplicity of name and form, all this created world, are but the same Brahmam.  As all rivers flow into the sea and get lost, so also all desires get lost in the effulgent consciousness of the Realised soul. That is what is termed the Vision of the Atma (Brahman). It is stable, unshakable, fixed, the witness of all change in space and time, unaffected by the transformations. Atma belongs to neither sex, has no mind, no senses, no form. Not only that; it has no Prana, even! It cannot be said to be alive or dead.  The Atma is in all living things, in the ant as well as in the elephant. The whole world is enveloped and sustained by this subtle Atma.  In the heart and centre of every Jivi, Paramatma exists, pictorially, minuter than the minutest molecule, larger than the largest conceivable object, smaller than the smallest, greater than the greatest. 

    The Atman is not these five senses, nor buddhi (intellect), nor the Pranas nor the life-force; it can only be described as what it is not, not by what it is. No one can say It is thus etc. The Atman cannot be communicated by words; it is impossible to describe.  

    Liberation from the tentacles of the mind can be got by the acquisition of Brahmajnana, the knowledge of the Absolute. This type of liberation is the genuine Swarajya, self-rule. This is the genuine Moksha. Whoever grasps the reality behind all this passing show, he will be troubled by instinct or impulse or any other urge; he will be the master of the real wisdom.         

    Jnani strives for Santhi what is the innate nature of human. Santhi is the force, which comes to the aid of those who try to develop Viveka, Vairagya and Vichakshana (Discrimination, Renunciation and Keenness of Intellect). It is but a phase of the Atma itself. Just as the Atma, it too has no beginning or end; no blemish can mar it; it is equaled only by itself; it cannot be compared with any other. Ananda too is the human's innate nature. It is not something lifeless and inactive. It is another name for purposeful living. Santhi is the authority under which the rule of Ananda prevails. It lays down the limits and laws for all activities. It can only be experienced, personally, through the natural state of Jnana. He who grasps that which is deathless, that which can not be destroyed, that which is not modified, he is the enjoyer of Santhi.

    Santhi is a shoreless ocean: It is the Light that illumines the world. Having it, is having all. It confers knowledge of both this world and that. It leads to the understanding of Brahman, the very fulfillment of human life, which Vedantha tries to teach.

    Pure love can emanate only from a heart immersed in Santhi, for it is an atmosphere that pervades and purifies. Santhi is not a conviction arrived at by means of logic. It is the Discipline of all disciplined lives. The mind from the prime aspect is as a blank sheet of white paper when human being is born.  As soon as thinking, feeling and acting starts, the process of tarnishing the mind also starts, the body depends on Prana; it depends on the mind and the desires that agitate the mind. Right and Truth are befogged by the needs of manners, fashion, convention, custom etc. and the individual is thrown into a crowd. His solitariness is invaded and taken away.    

    Impulses and desires have to be suppressed in order to get mastery over the mind. Desires excite the mind and make it rush towards the senses, as a dog runs behind its master. The Jiva falls into the meshes of Maya produced by the illusion-creating senses and the pleasure-pursuing mind.  
    By uninterrupted attention and discipline and by the practice of renunciation, it is possible to control mind only by  Dhyanam (meditation, fixing of the buddhi on the Divine). All other methods are as useless, as is the attempt to bind a wide elephant in a rut by means of a thin and tiny thread. Dhyanam is essential to immerse the mind in the Atma. Never lose heart. Be patient and persevering; final success will be yours.

   Sensual exultation and divine exhilaration might appear the same, in their external manifestations, to the untrained eye. But, when the senses are transcended, when the individual and the universal have merged into one thought and consciousness, when all awareness of the body has been negated.

    Swami explains: "A knife in the hands of a murderer is fraught with danger to all. A knife in the hands of a surgeon confers freedom from pain, though in both cases there is a hand that holds the knife. Also the acts of those whose self is centred in the body are to be condemned; those of people whose self is centred in the Atma or inner reality are highly beneficent and praiseworthy." 

    As a result of meditation on the Paramatma the mind will withdraw from sense-objects and the sensory world. Just at that time, Buddhi must assert its authority and command the Manas (mind) not to entertain any feeling except the thought of the Fundamental Basis. When its basic truth is known, the mind will not be deluded by the Evanescent, the Untrue, and the Unblissful.  It will welcome the blossoming of Joy, Happiness and Truth; it will not be affected by sorrow and grief.  Prakriti and Prana are indestructible.  Everything which is the product of the mingling of these two has a new value inherent in it. Human's life also assumes a new splendour when one realises and visualises the Satchidananda through mind and intellect  purified and transformed by means of Dhyanam (meditation). 

    Dhyanam should be performed enthusiastically, with full faith and care, and strictly according to the disciplines laid down. If this is done, it will bestow not only all happiness and all victory but even the vision of the Lord. Dhyanam is bound to the science of Vedantha and also to the science of Nature or Prakriti. These two are different only in one respect. The students of Prakriti are immersed in the objects of Life; the students of Vedantha are immersed in the basic truth of Life. If one desires to transform one's life, internal as well as external, into one of Splendour, Dhyanam is the best Sadhana that he can adopt. 

    The mind is so influenced by the passion for objective pleasure and delusion of ignorance that it pursues with amazing quickness the fleeting objects of the world; so it has to be again and again led on towards higher ideals. Of course, this is difficult at first; but with persistent training the mind can be tamed; then it will get fixed in the perpetual enjoyment of the Pranava, Om. The mind can be trained by following the methods of quiet persuasion, the promise of attractive inducements, the practice of withdrawing the senses from the outer world, the endurance of pain and travail, the cultivation of sincerity and constancy and the acquisition of mental equipoise.

    Very often, with the progress of Dhyana, new desires and new resolutions arise in the mind. But one need not despair: the mind can be broken, provided one takes up the task in right earnest and follows a regular routine of training. The final result of this training is Nirvikalpa Samadhi or the Unlimited, Unmodified Bliss-Consciousness. 
    For those established in this real Jnana (awareness of Brahman, the Universal Absolute), there is no past, there is no future; all ages are to them in the present, in the actual moment of experience. Just as soap is necessary to make this external body clean, to clean the interior Manas (mind), Japa, Dhyana, Smarana, etc., are needed. As food and drink are needed to keep the body strong, the Contemplation of the Lord, the meditation on the Atma, are needed to give strength to the Manas.  When the waves of desire agitate on the waters of the Manas, how can one see the Atma? The tottering causes the waves. So feed the mind with the contemplation of the Lord. Clean it with the meditation of the Atma. Dhyana and Sadhana alone can clean the depths of the mind and give it strength. Without purity and strength, the Atma recedes into the distance. 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Baba. Jnana Vahini. Pages 5 - 7;

Sathya Sai Baba. Prashanthi Vahini. Page 4; Sathya Sai Baba. Dhyana Vahini. Page 4 and 17 - 37; Sathya Sai Baba-Bhagavatha Vahini. Chapter XXXIV -Krishnavatara;

The Divine Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba. "Grief and God." Prashanthi Nilayam, 26 November 1962;

The Divine Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba. "The best Tonic." Sathya Sai Hospital, Prashanthi Nilayam, 21 September 1960).
 

   
 

Namaste Reet

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