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Swami teaches....Part 27

 

 

Link to Swami Teaches....Part 26

 

Light and Love 

Swami teaches.... (11 - 12 May 2005)

    Vedhapursha Jnaana Yajna Leads to Sadguru

    Human being is now able to soar into outer space and reach up to the Moon; Earth and sky are his playgrounds. But, though he is intelligent enough to sail through space and under the sea and shoot bombs across continents, he is not moral enough to live at peace with his neighbour. Human being slaughters own brethren and sisters, steals, plots full conspiracies, revels in lies and breaks the law, and destroys peace in own heart and in society. Everywhere there is the dark cloud of anxiety, fear, discontent and agony, disturbing the rich as well as the poor nations of the world.

    In this condition, typical to Kali Yuga, we have Dharma, in plenty, in books and perhaps, even in the words we speak. But, without the strength derived from dedication and faith, and from purity of character and conduct, Dharma is powerless to earn the Grace of God. That is the situation in which we are today. But, there is no reason to lose heart. When the ignorance that has enveloped it is removed, Dharma will again shine forth and sustain the world. The Vedhapurusha Jnaana Yajna is one of the means to make Dharma shine. (About Vedhapurusha Jnaana Yajna was also briefly mentioned in previous serials 'Swami teaches...').  The Vedhapursha Jnaana Yajna is the sum and substance of all  five types of Yajnas, and elaborate paraphrase of the rite. 

    The sages of India laid down that all activity has to be done as a yajna, as offerings for the glory of God, in an atmosphere of thankfulness and awe, of humility and holiness. The goal of all activity was idealised as the happiness and peace of all living beings.  The foundation for real peace is, according to the Vedhas, the quality of Maithree, which means amicability, friendship, compassion, kindness. It can also be taken to mean, "my three," that is to say, my word, deed and thought shall be in accordance with thy word, thought and deed.  That is to say, we shall speak, think and act together, without friction or faction, in the atmosphere of love and understanding.

    By Vedhas immortality is achieved not by adventurous deeds, not by brilliant progeny, not by vast treasures, but, only by the practice of renunciation and sharing.

    Below is a brief description five types of Yajnas that have been prescribed for human being, to make an aspirant  approximate to God. For these, there is no need to have intermediary priests, or costly materials, or elaborate ceremonies. Every householder can perform these and achieve the fruits.
    1. Dheva Yajna (Yajna for the Gods). This means that one dedicates all thoughts, words and deeds for the glorification of God.
    2. Pithru Yajna (Yajna for the manes) : The offering of food or consecrated water in the name of the deceased father, grandfather, great grandfather, and of the mother, grandmother and great grandmother. There are those who laugh, ridiculing this rite, saying that such offerings cannot reach them. But, the manthras uttered during the offerings reveal that these deceased ancestors are addressed as identifiable with Gods and the rite is highly sublimated. This is the way to express gratitude to the persons who brought us into this world.
    3. Brahma Yajna (Yajan for the sages and spiritual lore): This is to be performed by the study of the scriptures, the Shaasthras or other sacred texts, which arouse tile craving for liberation.
    4. Manushya Yajna (Yajna for mankind): This is done by means of hospitality to guests, the relief of sickness, pain and poverty.
    5. Bhuutha Yajna (Yajna for living beings): This entails kindness to animals, especially domestic animals that yield milk and slave for us in the field as draught animals. It includes pets, cats and dogs, sheep and all things that creep and crawl, including even ants. The heaping of grains over anthills in order to feed them is done as an expiation for the destruction of such ants
as might have taken shelter in the fuel that we burn.

     The Rig Vedha is the Vedha full of prayers to God for the realisation of the aims of life; the Yajur Vedha describes the ceremonial and ritual aspects of worship; the Sama Vedha extols the Gods through song and poetry; the Atharva Vedha gives the secret formulae for preserving health and security of body and community.

    Each individual is born with the question "Koham" on its lips. "Who am I" is the question which presses on every breast. And the answer is given by every breath - Soham (He am I), the inhalation whispering 'So' and the exhalation, 'Ham'.  But, the question is brushed aside by the mind, impatient to dabble in the toyland it pictures the world to be; the answer is denied admission into the understanding, by the ego, which derives temporary pleasure thereby. Realise that your breath is answering the question correctly and live in the consciousness that you are a wave of the He, that is, the Infinite (Cosmic) Consciousness, that is God.

    The five-element human's body equipped with five senses has as its life-breath the five-lettered formula, enshrined in the Namaka section of the Yajur Veda "Namah Si-vaa-ya". It is a basic mantra which means "that which can save, when meditated upon." Every mantra has a seedsound (bijaakshara) which precedes it and provides it with additional potency. Sound emanated first through the will of God. So the bijaakshara is fundamental for the mantra and its efficacy.The bijaakshara for the fivelettered Namah Sivaya is the Vedic sound, 'Om'.

   'Sivaaya' in the mantra means 'to Siva'.  Siva is the five-element-lord and so He has all the power and wealth the five can yield to human who is too a composite of the five. This mantra  confers good fortune, wealth, prosperity and happiness. Pandits have commented on this formula and explained it in various ways. But, the formula contains a more universal and abstract concept. It has to be pronounced always with 'Om'.    

   There are potent mantras that can transform personality and bring Grace to the aspirant. 'Om' (AUM, the Pranava) is one such. Raama is another mantra, having the same numerological vibrations: A equalling 0, U equalling 2 and M equalling 5, so that AUM is 7, whereas R is 2, A is 0 and M is 5, so that Raama too is 7, a very seminal number, with the important spiritual tonalities.   

   Human has the potency to elevate him/herself to Ananda. Only one has to get rid of the obstacles that deny this experience. The I-sense, the ego, constructs the world it is after. It shatters the One into many and takes pride in deceiving itself. When 'I' is eliminated, Ananda is experienced fully. One becomes truly and genuinely One's Self when this 'I' does not intrude. 'I' sets one apart and establishes Dwaita (Duality). No 'I' brings together and establishes Unity, One-without-a-second, A-dwaitha (Non-dualism). 'I' sense arises, persists and disappears. The One-without-a-second is A-Kshara, it is symbolised by 'Om', the Pranava, the ever-alive. The Guru who is ever in this consciousness is the embodiment of Brahma-Bliss, since he is merged in the Ananda which Brahman is. It is not imported or acquired or attained. It is inherent in every heart. The world, the cosmos, every particle, is Ananda itself but being ever in it, with it, of it and forit, human is unable to be It, on account of the darkness that misleads and deludes.

    The Guru grants the highest joy. What exactly constitutes this joy? Is it physical well-being? Mental poise? Intellectual alertness? Sharpness of the senses? No. The rishis declare that words return crestfallen after attempting to describe that state. Even the mind with its fast-moving wings of imagination cannot reach that state. The highest joy has its source and spring in the Atma, the spark of the Cosmic Splendour, Awareness. The person who is ever aware of the Atma within and in all is therefore the Sadguru.

    Below are several essential qualities, attributes and expressions concern to Sadguru.

    1. Embodiment of Wisdom - Jnaana Murthim: What is meant by Jnaana? "Advaitha Darsanam Jnanam": the awareness of the One, without a second, is Jnanam (the supreme wisdom). And the Sadguru is the embodiment of that wisdom, having unbroken experience of the One. Those who are commonly known as gurus are signposts.  But the Jnaanamurthi is with you right through, beside you and before you, smoothing the path until the journey ends in him.
    2. Dvandvaathitham: The Sadguru is unaffected by the inevitable dualities of life: joy and grief, profit and loss, ridicule and respect.
    3. Gaganasadrsam: Untouched by happenings and incidents but forming the perennial base, like the sky enveloping the nature.
    4. Thath-thwam-asyaadi-Lakshyam: The living exponent and experiencer of the four crucial axioms of the Vedic thought--That-thwam-asi (That Thou Art), Ayam Atma Brahma (The Self is verily Brahman), Aham Brahmaasmi (I am Brahman) and Prajnaanam Brahma (Consciousness is Brahman).
    5. Ekam: The One; though apparently passing through varied experiences and even no experience while awake or dreaming and in deep sleep, The One is unaffected and remains as One - the guru is firmly established in the One.
    6. Nithyam: Eternal, untouched by time, the Sadguru is eternally pure, aware, serene.
    7. Vimalam: Faultless, nothing can tarnish its purity. The Guru has no desire or sense of want. He is perfect.
    8. The Eternal Witness, Achalam: The Sadguru, which is another name meant for God, knows no change in his primal perfection, whatever form he may assume. The Achalam is the unmoving screen.
    9. Sarvadhee: All-pervasive, all-activating intelligence.
  10. Saakshi Bhutham: That which has become the witness of everything, everywhere, like the sun which activates but is only witness of the activity.
    12. Bhaavaatheetham: He is beyond all urges, emotions, feelings and thoughts.
    13. Trigunarahitham: Not bound by the three modes of qualities that divide living beings into categories - the serene mode, the active mode and the dull. When bound, you are human, when you are free from entanglements and limiting characterisations, you are divine.
    14. Sadgurum: The worthy Guru.
    15. Tham: To Him
    16. Namaami: I offer my reverential homage.

     Beyond all limitations of time and place the Guru is pure chaithanya, Is-ness; his consciousness is all pervasive.  Who is a genuine Guru? The Guru who deserves homage must possess these attributes. This is only another way of saying that God alone can be the guide, the path and the goal. The genuine Guru must have overcome Maya and the ego; he must be free from desire and need. The verse which speaks of Guru as Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara is quoted often. But, the One has not broken into three, one part in charge of creation, another who fosters and maintains and the third who dissolves and destroys. The Pranava mantra 'Om' (AUM) is symbol of the One. Brahma is A, Vishnu is U and Shiva is M and all three are indivisibly united in 'Om'. The problem this verse poses is whether Guru is God or God is Guru. The answer is - God is Guru, the ever-present, ever compassionate, the Witness who resides in the heart.

    Human is consumed by time; God is the master of time. So, take refuge in God. Let God be your Guru, your path, your Lord. Adore Him, obey His commands, offer Him your grateful homage, hold Him fast in your memory. This is the easiest way to realise Him as your own reality. This is the one and only way. God alone is the Sadguru.     

    You may say that you will not believe in God unless you have clear experience personally about Him. You  take many things on trust; it is impossible to insist on personal experience for everything which we have to believe, if life has to run smooth. Take this also on trust for, many sages, saints, scientists, have accepted it and experienced it. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "Light, love, joy," Chapter 22 and  "My three," Chapter 29; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol.18. "God is the only Sadguru," Chapter 14 and  "Significance of Ganesa worship," Chapter 21).  


Swami teaches.... (13 - 14 May 2005)  

      Food, Sacrifice, Seva and Smarana    

    Human's activity is dependent on the quality and quantity of energy and biochemical/chemical components received from food. It is important to correct the habits of dietary before steps towards spiritual development. Without energetic harmony received from food (as also from water and air) between body, spirit and Nature path of Vedhas and Swami's Teaching is hard to follow. The most external of the five sheaths that enclose the Aathmic core - the Annamaya kosha (physical sheath), has impact on all the remaining four - the Praanamaya, the Manomaya, the Vijnaanamaya and the Aanandhamaya (the vital, mental, wisdom and bliss sheaths or coverings). The Annamaya Kosha is the sheath, consisting of the flesh and bone, built by the food that is consumed by the individual. Food is an important factor which determines the alertness and sloth, the worry and calm, the brightness and dullness. The Vedic scriptures classify food as Saathwik, Raajasik and Thaamasik and relate these types to the three mental modes (gunas) of the same names.

    Human boils, fries, melts, mixes and adopts various methods of cooking in order to satisfy the cravings of the tongue, the eye and the nose. As a consequence, the food value of these articles are either reduced or destroyed. When the seeds are fried, they do not sprout; that is clear proof that the 'life-force' is eliminated.

   Therefore, uncooked raw pulses just sprouting, are to be preferred. Also nuts and fruits. The coconut, offered to the Gods, is a good Saathwik (pure) food, having good percentage of protein besides fat, starch and minerals. Food having too much salt or pepper is Raajasik (passion rousing) and should be avoided; so also too much fat and starch, which are Thaamasik (disposed to inactivity) in their effects on the body, should be avoided.

    An intake of too much food is also harmful. We have air all around us but we do not breathe in more than we need. The lake is full but we drink only as much as the thirst craves for. But overeating has become a social evil, fashionable habit. The stomach cries out, 'Enough,' but the tongue insists on
more, and human becomes the helpless target of disease. Moderate food is the best medicine to avoid bodily life.

    The type of food that you consume decides the degree of concentration you can command; its quality and quantity decide how much your self-control is lessened or heightened. Polluted air and water are full of maleficent viruses and germs and have to be avoided at all costs. There are four pollutions against which anyone has to be vigilant - of the body (removable by water); of the mind (removable by truthfulness), of reason (removable by correct knowledge) and of the self (removable by yearning for God). 

     The Vedhas have in view is to make human Divine, through a series of spiritual exercises. They lead human from the animal stage, when one believes is being body suffering hunger, thirst and desires into the state of human-ness,  far higher than an animal and later, the Vedhas persuade human to use the intelligence and discrimination to sublimate  passions and emotions to the Divine level where human being is in eternal bliss.
     The cosmic principle is amenable to the mystic formulae and sound patterns that the manthras of the Vedhas represent; the four fundamental urges of human (Dharma, to be righteous; Artha, to earn and accumulate; Kaama, to desire and get the desires fulfilled and Moksha, to expand and get liberated from the 'here and now' into the ever and everywhere') get sanctified and sustained by the Vedhic path.

    The individual 'I' believes it is limited; but, that is an illusion. It is the same Universal Spirit, imagining itself to be limited. This awareness can come to human either through a flash of intellectual analysis or a flash of Universal Love. The awareness is an act of identification which involves and insists on Love.

    Your lives are essentially of the nature of Shaanthi (Peace); your Nature is essentially Love; your hearts are saturated with Truth. Rid yourselves of the impediments that prevent their manifestation; you do not make any attempt towards this, and so, there is no peace or love or truth in the home, the community, the nation and the world. The Divine must be revered at all times; what pleases the Divine must be understood and followed.

    When you yearn to transform the human into the Divine, you must pull down the pieces through detachment, melt them in the sacred fire of jnaana (spiritual knowledge, wisdom), and pour the mind stuff into the mould bhakthi. Then, the entire consciousness takes on the Divine Name, Form and Substance. Then, whatever is spoken or done or thought assumes the splendour and purity of the Divine.

    However, there can be no progress without yajna (sacrifice, also holy ritual). By Vedhas Yajna maintains the order of the Universe. The highest and the most fruitful sacrifice is that of the ego. Crucify it and be free. Dedicate it to God and be rich beyond all dreams. Prepare yourself for this supreme status, by engaging in holy karma, that is to say, karma cleansed in the crucible of dharma, and attain Brahman (the One Indivisible Absolute), which appears as all this multifarious Universe.

    The word yajna and the word yaaga are both translated as sacrifice. Yajnas are useful because they support the ideal of sacrifice, and condemn acquisition. They emphasise discipline, rather than distraction. They insist on the concentration of the mind, the tongue and the hand on Godhead. The effects of yajna on the character and the consciousness cannot be measured or weighing in metres or grams. It is something
immeasurable, though actual and experienceable. The grain and ghee offered in the sacred fire to the accompaniment of Vedhic formulae cleanse and strengthen the atmosphere all over the world. Otherwise, the Avathar will not encourage or revive these Yajnas.

    This Yajna was gone through for the sake of the welfare of the whole world. You should merge your welfare with the welfare of the world. How can you be happy when your neighbour is in misery? Therefore, I call upon you to give up praying for your own advancement; pray for the peace, prosperity and happiness of all humanity, irrespective of clime or colour.

     Pray intensely and with faith.  When the heart is soaked in Love, it cannot be contaminated by egoism and its evil consequences. Just as you crave for physical health, which means health for the limbs of the body, you should strive for the health of humanity, which means peace and joy for all sections, in all nations. If you dwell in that wider outlook, you will start feeling less and less for your own troubles and worrying more and more for troubles of others. That is the initial offering of yourself in the great "yajna" called "living."

    Ignore the temporary and trivial Name and Form of the embodiment of the Divine spirit; then, all distinctions of worm and wolf, of atom and avathaar, disappear and the knowledge that basic Truth is One is realised.  It is the One that is all this. It is the integer 'I' that fills the zeros after it with value and validity. The realisation of the function of the 'I' and the ignoring of all the zeros that come after it, is the end and aim of human endeavour. When the mind is unruffled and the intelligence is sharpened, this realisation will take place, without further effort.

    Through the discipline of selfless service, it is possible to cognise the One of which the many are appearances.  He who serves a master with his eye on the pay packet cannot be called a sevak. He is the servant of the pay packet. Service has to be rendered either from a supreme sense of duty or as a humble dedicatory offering to the Highest, or in a spirit of total surrender to the Will of God leaving all thought of the consequence to His Grace. Done with these pure motives, the act of service will develop detachments, but, will not encourage sloppishness.

    You say, "Thank you," when someone offers you a cup of coffee; how much more grateful should you be to God, who gave you this wonder-filled world to live in and this elaborately equipped body to know it and use it, for realising the grandeur of the Creator of both. Don't you feel that the master of the house will be pleased when you give him due homage and reverence, obedience and honour? What, then, about the Master of the Universe; the vast unfathornable firmament and the vast inscrutable infinitesimal.

     As a sign of this deed of surrender and in order to sustain it, nothing more is enjoined than constant remembrance of the Name. Smarana (remembering) is enough. Bhajan extolling the Names which summarise the Glory must become an unbroken stream of Bliss on your tongues and in your hearts; it must confer on you the uninterrupted awareness of Soham - of the Unity of I and He, of This with That. It is called unbroken japa of the Hamsa manthra, Soham (inner sacred sound formula).

    Smarana is the surest means of mastering the wiles of the mind.  The Upanishaths declare that God is  the ten-inch-symbol of the kaala (time), desha (space) - manifestation of divinity, as described by Sage Kapila, the incarnation of Naaraayana Himself.         

    Have faith in God; He sees everything; He is everywhere; He is all-powerful.  God  listens to the agony of the heart. He is in every heart. He is all this. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "The seven-day sacrifice," Chapter 26 and "Feast of Grace," Chapter 36; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol.12. "You are freed! "Chapter 28 and "The Vedhic rite," Chapter 46; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 14. "Food and health," Chapter 31).

    Namaste - Reet

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