Swami teaches....Part 26
Light and Love
Swami teaches.... (5 - 6 May 2005)
Ways to Overcome Desires,
Life itself is a seesaw, with human sitting on a plank, poised on the round log - Jnaana Shakthi, the basic nature of wisdom. When the plank comes down to one side, it is Icchaa-shakthi - Bhakthi Yoga, emotional adoration; when it comes down on the other side, it is Kriyaa-shakthi - Karma Yoga, activity to adore humans as embodiments of divinity. So long as the seesaw is based on Jnaana (wisdom), one is safe. Jnaana is the awareness that God is all. He is the seed, the Universe is the tree; instincts, impulses, emotions, passions - these are the branches and boughs and twigs; intelligence is the flower; pure unattached consciousness is the fruit; love is the sweetness in the fruit.
The other aspect of seesaw, not based on Jnaana is anger, exultation, pride, self-condemnation, alternating joy and grief.
In order to ensure happiness and peace, people contrive long-time plans, build bridges, dams, factories, etc. and boundlessly use sources of nature. Human is misled into believing that nature is the rival which has to be defeated and conquered; a person struggles and suffers loss and pain in the process. Human being considers it heroic to undergo travail in what he calls conquest of nature. But, when you see everywhere, on every inch of ground, in every being, small or big, the footprint of God, nature is seen in a new vesture of glory, a manifestation that demands worship, rather than exploitation and enslavement.
When knowledge shines, inner and outer natures are both seen as divine. There is nothing that is not 'it'. When this is experienced, love floods the heart and flows towards all. There is no independence; there is only interdependence, for all waves are equally dependent on the sea beneath. You use the word, 'my own'; who is this 'my', who owns you, and whom you own as yourself? It is the divine in you, and in all. Listen to the voice of God, that warns, directs, prompts, and prevents; you cannot then be wrong.
But, without the cleansing of the spirit, the strengthening of detachment, the promotion of compassion and kinship, economic progress promotes only hatred, faction and envy. Self-confidence, self-control and self-knowledge - these alone can lead human to peace and joy.
It may be said that love is a universal virtue and it is being manifested in human relations, more or less, by all. But, it is limited and poisoned by petty considerations and dried up by hatred and envy. Love cannot ignore the divinity in others. Blind men have the right to deny light; but, those with eyes, have no such explanation. When such men swear that they see only the many, and not the one, it is surely the fault of the vision.
The knowledge that you are the architect of your fortune and that you can, by steady effort, rebuild it or foster it, that you are ever laying on or pulling down the structure of your career, will be a great inspiration, provided you welcome it. Nothing ever happens without proper reason, however accidental or mysterious it might appear. The roots go deep and are out of sight.
Vedhaantha is the best and highest food which human can consume; it keeps your propensities pure, your body in perfect trim, your passions well controlled, your emotions clear and lucid, your thoughts simple and sincere. Sathsang (noble company), is more nutritious than fruits and nuts, milk or honey. It will keep you young and fresh, full and free, beyond the disintegrating influence of time and space peace within.
Naaradha learnt from the sage Sanathkumaara that he can acquire Shaanthi (peace) only when he knows that he is Shaanthi and nothing else. A-Shaanthi (restlessness) is something that has possessed him, like a phobia which has no footing. Shake it off; exorcise it. He is free. It is the role that is tragic; not the actor. He has only to remind himself that it is a play and that he is playing the role of a tragic hero! This Naaradha learnt and his equanimity was never again disturbed.
In this Maya Reality vibration, motion, light, darkness - all are intertwined, all are in mutual change.
The Universe is the handiwork of God, and therefore, meaningful and moral. View it as such and derive the utmost benefit. Without dedication, work is like a paper-flower, unfit to be offered to God; cheap, fragranceless, dry, tawdry. Offer God real flowers grown in the garden of your heart, fragrant, beautiful, and delighting. Try to see everyone as a ray of God. Be self-confident, that is to say, have confidence in your Self; for, that Self is divine; it has in it all the strength, all the sweetness of the Atma (true Self), which is but a wave of the ocean of Param-atma (supreme reality).
How to reach to this awareness?
You have three means of understanding: Icchaa-shakthi (the power of the will), Kriyaa-shakthi (the power of action) and Jnaana-shakthi (the power of Knowledge). Direct all three towards God; desire Him, serve Him and know Him. Set before them the goal of God. If your emotions prescribe one direction, guide them in the contrary direction; that is the way to counter their evil.
You cannot destroy anger by anger, cruelty by cruelty, hatred by hatred. Anger can be subdued only by forbearance; cruelty can be overcome only by non-violence, hatred yields only charity and compassion.
When desires make you greedy to posses, it is mind; when love makes you revere and adore, sympathise and serve, then, it is Chittha (consciousness). The mind can be transformed into Chittha, only through Jijnaasa and Saadhana (inquiry and discipline). Jijnaasa is the stage of studentship or apprenticeship; Saadhana is working on a job; and when you go through these two stages, you can afford to be calm, contented, loving all and being loved by all. When you give expression to your innate divinity, it takes the form of love. Raamakrishna Paramahamsa could not even tolerate someone walking on grass; he felt the weight of the feet and the crushing himself.
One of the main tools to the God consciousness is Yajna. It means, any activity dedicated to the glory of God, not merely, this activity prescribed in the ancient scriptures. Activity dedicated to the glory of God is being done, and can be done in all climes, in all realms, by all races. Every activity in the world is God-directed, God-ward moving, whether you know it or not. Only one has to be aware of it and share in the thrill of that knowledge. If God is not the inspirer and motivator, how can the universe be moving in harmony, wheeling so smoothly? Else, there will be chaos, anarchy and an inferno of gamble.
Yajna is a continuous process; every one who lives in the constant presence of God, and does all acts as dedicated to God is engaged in Yajna.
Three processes go together in spiritual discipline, as laid down by the sages; Yajna, Dhaana and Thapas (sacrifice, charity and self-control). Charity and self-control are integral parts of Yagna. That is why Yajna is translated as sacrifice, for, the process of charity or Dhaana is essential in Yajna. Also Thapas, that is to say, strict regulation of emotions and thought-processes, to ensure peace and faith.
There are various Yajnas prescribed by the Vedhas. The Vedhapurusha Yajna, a sacrificial ceremony dedicated to the Purusha. The Vedhapurusha is the supremest person for by His will He manifested Himself as the cosmos and its components, out of Himself. There is nothing that is not He; so, how can you be different? In these matters, faith comes first; it has to. Believe that you are divine; conduct yourselves in accordance with that sovereign status; then, you will be blessed with the experience, the vision, the realisation, the awareness, the bliss. And, as a result, you are merged in that everlasting Aanandha. See the Purushotthama in all Purushas. Purusha means, he who lives in the Pura (port, city, or town). Each one of us is the resident and the sole resident of a distinct house of God. But, the Purushotthama - the supreme resident in all the cities - is God.
Every householder has the duty of performing for his own welfare and the welfare of the society in which he lives, five Yajnas like Pithryajana (Yajna by which the forefathers are worshipped), Rishiyajna (Yajna by which the sages are honoured, that is to say, by the study and practice of their teaching), Bhuuthayajna (Yajna by which the animals and lower-beings are revered, that is to say, by provision of shelters, fodder etc.) and Dhevayajna (worship of God).
You must perform another Yajna too, every day. Pour the egoistic desires and emotions, passions, impulses and acts into the flames of dedication and devotion. In fact, that is real Yajna, of which there are reflections and prompters, guides and prototypes. Peace of mind cannot be gained by wealth or fame or scholarship or skill but by service of the divine forms that move around you with clean mind, pure heart.
There are nine stages of devotion, through which the seeker has to ascend, before he culminates in total surrender and mergence with his divine ideal. Of these, the seventh stage is 'Service of the feet of the Lord!' And you have the good fortune of being considered fit for that stage, now itself. The Lord's feet are million; the feet that are rushing into this campus are those of the Lord. Serve them, so that you can move on into the two further stages and realise you goal.
To realise the one, the universal absolute, which personalises itself into God and creation, there is no discipline more valuable and more effective than Seva. All the 1008 names of the Sahasranaama Archana reach the one. This is the truth you have to realise and cherish as the most precious in life.
Service to those needing help makes you the comrade of all, irrespective of other considerations. Be looking all around you, all the time, even beyond the horizon of your allotted tasks, for any extra chance to serve. An old man may be stranded in the hot sun, a paralytic may be casting his eyes for a chair, a child may be wailing for its parent, a mother may be clamouring for water to slake her thirst, another may be heartbroken for she has not got a vantage point from where she could see what is happening on the Dais - watch for these, and run towards them, with a smile and a word of cheer.
You have to busy yourselves with activity, in order to use time and skill to the best advantage. The dull and the inert will hesitate to be active, for fear of exhaustion or failure, or loss. The emotional, passionate individuals will plunge headlong and crave for quick results and will be disappointed if they do not come in. The balanced persons will be active, because it is their duty, they will not be agitated by anything - failure or success. The godly will take up activity as a means of worshipping God, and they leave the result to God. The godly are following the Saathwik, but, due to sheer ignorance and the unquestioned obedience to the senses, people are suffering pain and grief; that is the sad state of affairs all over the world.
Do not condemn your majesty bewailing, "I am unfortunate, I am despicable, I am downhearted". You are elated, you are enthroned, you are exalted. You are all this; but you are not aware of this, on account of Maya (illusion). Maayaa is like your shadow in the well; if you do not peep into the well, it is not there! It is there, only whenever you peep into it.
The mind is a bundle of resolutions and hesitations, of desires and doubts. When the basis of the ego is removed by spiritual effort heroically directed towards this end, then, all the drama of name and form drifts away into nothingness.
During deep sleep, one is not aware of time, space or causation; the I is not aware of its Aanandha, not aware of itself. It is only after one awakens that one declares, I had a very pleasant sleep. During the dream stage, the mind is active, though the intelligence, the senses, are all dormant. The dream builds a bungalow in a few seconds, and you occupy it and live happily in it, until, in the dream, an earthquake brings it down on your heads, and you flee for sheer life. The entire story of construction, occupation and destruction was the reflection of mental aberration, its Sankalpa (resolve). It is the seat of the ego what plays all sorts of pranks with the mental stuff, during sleep, when the senses and reason are temporarily out of action.
Never stray from the path of right, whatever the trouble or temptation. Do not loosen the grip; do not turn back. Do not allow faith to be upset. If you attach importance to riches or children or fame or fortune, you are hereby announcing that you are devoted, not to God, but to riches, children and the rest. If you are devoted to God, manifest that devotion by manifesting divine qualities, divine virtues, divine love, divine strength. Become Swami, be Swami. Belief in the creator, the designer, the supporter and the disintegrator is a necessary equipment for the pilgrim on the Earth.
(Reet's compilation from,
Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse "Yajna-What It Teaches." Prashanthi Nilayam, 11 Oct 1972;
Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse "The Sea-Saw," Prashanthi Nilayam, 26 Sep 1972;
Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse "Sappers And Miners," Prashanthi Nilayam, 21 Feb 1971;
Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse "Green across the Door," Prashanthi Nilayam, 14 Jan 1971).
Light and Love
Swami teaches.... (7 - 10 May 2005)
The Ideals Laid Down in Swami's Messages
By holding a Veena, will human become a great musician? By holding a pen, will one become a great writer? Can frogs that move around the lotuses in the water, enjoy the honey in the lotuses? Can a stone on which sandalwood paste is made, experience the fragrance of the sandalwood pieces? Can a blind man see his beauty in a mirror?
We think that the world is binding us but the world is lifeless. It is desire that binds us. Those who catch monkeys prepare a pot with a small opening in it and fill it with some sweet. The monkey who desires the food, will put his hand inside the pot and take a big handful of the food. Then the monkey becomes unable to draw his hand out through the opening. Only on releasing the grip on the food will the monkey be able to take his hand out. It is his desire for the food that has bound his hands. Our desires are the sweets in the pot.
People today live a life from which sacredness, modesty and all other good qualities have disappeared.
During the centuries the customs and manners that go with Indian culture make us respected and there is no need to abandon them. Young people with their peculiar dress imitating the westerners, appear just like clowns. There is nothing wrong in wearing rich and beautiful clothing but they should be in harmony with our Indian culture and such as will create respect for our country. There are some bush shirts which are made of cloth used for furniture, bed sheets and so on. When ones walk with such bush shirts, even animals will be afraid.
Indians traditionally look at the forehead of a baby when it is born and if it is very broad, they presume the child is very fortunate. They think that God writes the future on the forehead. But people now try to cover their foreheads with their hair.
To avoid the meaningless and 'brainless' imitations, the heritage of India has to be handed over to the children by the mothers of the land. Discipline and the exercise of authority must be there, but, modified by love. Without a certain amount of restraint and some use of authority (to press good things on unwilling minds), no progress can be made. The child has to be persuaded much against its will to eat rice and curry, when it has to be familiarised with them. The sick man has to be reprimanded, if he refuses the drug that can cure him. Emphasise simplicity and sincerity, more than pomp and show. Make the mind your the shrine. Have on the first place Mind'irs, not Mandhirs.
The spiritual path to the awareness begins from silence and service. Practice silence. Then, you can more easily recognise the galloping of the mind behind worldly happiness. Restrain its movements; turn it inside, into the calm lake of bliss that lies deep in the heart. Get over fear, by establishing your mind in the one, for, fear can arise only when there is another.
A practical example in which the spirit of service can be experienced is the following. Tell this to the all spiritual aspirants. Every day, when the lady of the house measures the rice for preparing lunch or dinner, let her place a handful in a separate pot, kept for the purpose, with the words, 'For God;' at the end of the week, let her cook that rice separately and give it to as many poor people as the quantity justifies. That will be a daily act of dedicatory service. However, it happens that several helpers seeking cameramen whenever they help others and are very disappointed when they are not mentioned in newspapers. Such ones push themselves forward and climb into positions of authority, just to parade their importance before the public. They forget that service is worship, that each act of service is a flower placed at the feet of the Lord, and that, if the act is tainted with ego, it is as if the flower is infested with slimy insect pests.
(One may say that he/she is an atheist and there is no need to follow the spiritual paths. Swami will not accept it if you say that you are an atheist with no faith in the Lord. You believe, yourself, because your Self is God and you have an unshakable faith in God, deep down in you. Faith in yourself and faith in God are identical).
The ideals laid down in Swami's messages always in view, and within the limitations, rules and regulations laid under Swami's guidance and with Swami's blessings.
The only kith and kin the Lord has are the devotees who have dedicated themselves to Him; those who have attuned their heart-strings to His Melody. The Lord who is beyond Time and Space prior to the Beginning and subsequent to the end can never be described in terms of humans worldly actions. Such descriptions cannot make any sense to those who have experienced the Glory that is God. Do not make God modem to suit your fancy. He is neither ancient nor modern; His countenance never changes, nor His Glory. Present Him if you must in a modem manner, in a modem style, so that He might be understood today. If a child is reluctant to swallow a pill, insert it in a plantain and offer him the fruit; he will swallow both fruit and pill. But do not change the pill itself to suit the whims and fancies of the child's taste. Then the illness cannot be cured.
Take the Lord to be your father or mother, but only as a first step to your overstepping that relationship and merging in the absolute. Do not stop on the steps; enter the Mansion to which they lead. The connection with the Soul is the - everlasting unchanging association. As a first step, you use the flower, the lamp, the incense, etc., to worship the Saguna (Form with attributes) form. Soon, your bhakthi moves on to newer forms of dedication, newer offerings, purer and more valuable and worthier of your Lord. At last you feel that you should place before the Lord something more lasting than mere flowers; and something more yours than incense. You feel like purifying yourselves and making your entire life one fragrant flame. That is real worship, real bhakthi. Worship is just a means of educating the emotions. Human impulses and emotions have to be guided and controlled. Human's age long instincts have to be trained and transmuted by contact with higher ideals and powers. When the fruit is ripe, it will fall off the branch of its own accord. Similarly, when renunciation saturates your heart, you lose contact with the world and slip into the lap of the Lord.
The Vedha speaks in hymn after hymn of the Glory of the Lord, known by various names as Indhra, Varuna, Mithra, etc. It is all Upaasana - worship filled with bhakthi, devotion to the Lord, whom the Vedha itself declares as One, "though endowed with a variety of Names." The Bhaagavatha is the Vedhasaara (the essence of Vedha), made available for easy assimilation by all. It is just a limb of the Vedhic literature and as limb it is an inseparable part of the Vedhic tradition.
juveniles are shown pictures and made
to learn names of the objects which
they represent, the Bhaagavatha
teaches the Akshara (Imperishable)
through the Kshara (perishable). You
cannot attain the subtle without
experiencing the gross, without the
instrumentality of the gross.
Most readers by-pass the real meaning of the legends, tales and descriptions given in the ancient scriptures. Brahma's lotus grows in the many petalled Lotus of the Heart, each petal being the direction in which a particular tendency attracts the individual. The Bull on which Shiva is said to ride is the symbol of Dharma or Righteousness which has the four legs, sathya, dharma, shaanthi and prema.
From Paramaatma Moola (Supreme Soul, the Source), Prakrithi (Nature) descended with the emergence of Maaya (illusion). By a combination of the five elements, this tabernacle of Paramaatma (the Divine), that is you, was produced. The entire ladder has now to be climbed up in order to reach the Paramaatma, the Origin of all. There is a regular syllabus for the promotion of the spiritual aspirant, which is given in that form in the Vedha and in an elaborate story form in Bhaagavatha.
When Vedhas are ignored, vedana (pain) is the consequence. The teachings of the Upanishads, the Geetha and Bhaagavatha which give all human activities the correct sense of proportion are invaluable in preserving mental and physical health.
Every one has to go from here when the provisions he has brought or secured have been spent. But by that time, attain the purpose of all this bother of arriving, travelling, accumulating and spending: the realisation of supreme happiness by ending this circle of birth and death. Death is not a deplorable event; it is the journey's end, the owner getting out of the car when the time is out and the goal is reached. It is a consummation, a happy conclusion, or at least it ought to be, if only all are wise enough to treat it as such and be prepared for it.
the sea of Grace, which will not dry;
or learn the art of breaking through
the net of death. It was the sathwa
guna (quality of goodness) that moved
on to the Lord; the rajo guna (quality
of activism) broke the net; the thamo
guna (quality of inertia) got caught.
Grow into the saathwik stage and save
yourself. Discard sloth, denounce
fanaticism and declare yourself a
dedicated servant of the Lord. Then,
Grace will be showered on you.
Reduce your wants; minimise your desires. All these material knick-knacks are short-lived. If you go on heaping desire upon desire, it will be impossible to depart gladly when the call comes. Become rich rather in virtue, in the spirit of service, in devotion to the Higher Power. A strong will is the best tonic; the will becomes strong when you know that you are a child of immortality or a person who has earned the Grace of the Lord. The reinforcements provided by the Lord are the most reliable means of support. When you get them, dishonour, defeat and despairfade away like fog before the sun. Disease too dare not approach you.
Since you cannot swim across the flooded stream, you board a raft. So also, since you cannot master the Nirguna (Formless God), you resort to the Saguna and struggle to swim across to the Nirguna through Araadhana and Upaasana (worship and contemplation).
Those who get their feet worshipped by their devotees and those who think that it is a great boon so to worship them are both lacking in sense. By aspect of Nirguna Paadhapuuja (ritual worship of guru's feet) has an atmosphere of publicity, both for the guru and the sishya; besides, why worship the body which is decaying every moment? Obey your Guru, follow the instructions, progress along the spiritual road, these are the best means of Paadhapuuja; when you achieve some success in these, the craving for Paadhapuuja itself will disappear. Offer the heart, clean and pure, broadened by saadhana to include all living beings in its grasp. Offer this to your real guru what is anybody else than Swami's Omnipresent Form.
For the other ritual it is easy to throw away a few rupees and purchase a few material objects from some shop and throw them into the fire of sacrifice. Swami is going to set you a more difficult task; you cannot escape by doing the easy thing. Swami wants that you should all, when the Poornaahuthi is offered into the fire, stand up and reverentially offer into the same fire everyone of the dhurgunas (bad qualities) that you have - the faults, the failings, the temptations, the transgressions.
It should be known that the realisation of the Reality, through Adhyaathmic saadhana (spiritual discipline) is an arduous enterprise, as fraught with calamity, as playing with fire or duelling with tigers or battling with barbarian hordes. One has to be alert; vigilant and fully trained to meet all emergencies. Many quail before its impossible demands.
If any human possesses Dharma along with wealth, power and riches, there is none greater than this person. However learned we may be, if we have no morality, we shall become into delusion. When bad ideas, which are like seeds in our heart, are not removed, they will grow into big trees. Only who does not succumb to desires, will attain the state of Brahman. (Reet's compilation from,
Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse "Customs and Character," Summer Showers In Brindavan, May 1972, Brindavan;
Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse "Mind'irs, Not Mandhirs, Brindavan, 8 March 1971;
Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 2. "Primers of spiritual education," Chapter 23 and "Poornaahuthi," Chapter 46;
Speaks. Vol. 6. "The supreme
physician," Chapter 29).