Swami teaches....Part 37
Light and Love
Paths to Realise the Divine Power in the Labyrinth of Life
Once upon a time the demons were present in small numbers. But today it is difficult to tell who is a demon and who is a human being. Today, instead of gratitude we have cruelty. People do not hesitate to do harm to those who have done them good. Instead of trying to do good even to those who have done them harm, how wicked it is to do harm to those who have done good to them?
The whole world is ravaged by unrest and fear. Today people mainly suffer from two bad qualities which are undermining their humanness. These are envy and hatred. A beautiful tree with rich foliage can be destroyed by a pest operating at its roots. Envy is such a pest. Envy is a self-consuming malady. It is incurable.
People have to consider seriously the root cause for the chaos, the injustice, the falsehood and the disorder in which the world is caught up today. Seeing bad things, listening to bad things, bad speech, bad thoughts and bad deeds - energy is being wasted in all these five ways.
The old are lost in brooding over the past and lamenting the passing of "the good old days." The young are concerned about planning their future, their jobs, manage, family and so on. Both are ignoring their duties in the present. They do not realise that the present is both a product of the past and the seed for the future. Decide to do your duty in the present.
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 the Supermost Wisdom. 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.
That vision gives immeasurable, inexpressible bliss. Of what avail is all the loud chanting, praying, singing and wailing, when the heart is soiled by egoism and selfish desire? A person behaving so might be taken by ordinary mortals as highly devoted to the spiritual path; but, deep in disturbed consciousness, person will be tormented by anxiety and fear. On the other hand, a person might appear poor, distressed, and depressed, to ordinary mortals; he might not have the exterior demonstration of devotion. But, God would be ever installed in his heart, guiding and guarding him.
Very often it seems, in spite of all efforts, the Divine Grace has forgot human beings. The fault lies in the belief that things happen as a result of human effort and planning, human intelligence and care. No one can succeed in any venture without Divine Grace.
This reminds a story. A poor simple
villager made his first rail journey. He
purchased a ticket and entered a
compartment; he found it occupied
already by a few passengers who had kept
their boxes, bundles and odd items of
luggage on the racks or under the
benches on which they sat. They were
unconcerned with the extra effort that
the engine would have to make to drag
Where the six qualities of zeal, determination, courage, intelligence, ability and heroism are present, there Divine help is manifest.
In any field, at any time, for any person who is endowed with all these six precious qualities, success is assured. All success attends on one with these six qualities. However, these qualities confront various difficulties from time to time. They are stepping stones to one's high achievements. These trials are in the form of losses, troubles, pains, sufferings and calumny. One has to overcome these troubles with courage and self-confidence and go ahead. Without self-confidence the six qualities cannot be acquired.
It may be asked: "What is the benefit one derives from these six good qualities?" The answer is that you will secure both worldly and spiritual benefits from these qualities.
Self-confidence is helpful to secure advancement of the individual, but it is not enough to promote the welfare of the society or the world. A whetstone is used for sharpening the razor and nor for making the stone smoother. Similarly good qualities have to be fostered for refining one's nature. These qualities are essential like the different limbs in a body for its well-being as a whole. Good qualities enable one to lead a good life. But even for the good life a price has to be paid. That price is good conduct what is most essential. Morality is based on good conduct. (People without morals perish. It is the decline in morality that is responsible for many troubles over the planet. Morality cannot be had from the books or from the market. It has to come from the heart). This means that you derive the happiness that results from a good conduct when you discharge your duties. Pleasures are of two kinds: temporary and lasting. Permanent happiness can be got only by performing your duties. First do your duty and then enjoy the fruits.
When human fills the mind what is a bundle of good and bad thoughts with good and pure thoughts, he/she becomes pure and leads a pure life. Sacred, pure and helpful activities constitute right conduct. It is such conduct that is conducive to the blossoming of human excellence. The protective grace of the Divine Will free people from fear.
The only method which you can adopt to escape from the coils of the mind is the cultivation of pure intelligence. This is the sum and substance of all spiritual discipline. And, the intelligence gets cleansed of all partiality and prejudice, hatred and greed, only by the adoration of God through love poured out to all the beings created by God and standing witness to His Glory and Beauty.
The mind should escape from the grips of the senses and yield to the reins of the reasoning faculty, and obey unquestioningly its dictates. The senses are inert, so long as the Self keeps away from inducing the mind to accept the information submitted by them. The eye that sees is inert; all objects 'seen' are inert; only the seer is 'intelligent.' And, the current of intelligence is supplied by the Atma, which is your Reality. Mind has to function with the help of the Divine Consciousness within.
The mind has to be watched vigilantly, and warned against its own tricks. It is a clever actor, embroiling you in many a close adventure. Remember also, the mind is a very talkative imp, it can never keep quiet even for a second. The mind has been holding conversation with itself, when it is supposed to be silent. Give it perpetual tasks. Ask it, to climb a pillar and slide down it, whenever it has no other work. The pillar is Soham, (I am Thath), a manthra that the breath is repeating from birth to death, 'So' when you inhale and 'ham' when you exhale. When that chirp does not emanate from the breath, the body is a corpse. You might forget any other saadhana (spiritual discipline) or any other duty to yourself - but, the breath never.
Philosophy tells that the mind decides, not merely the goodness or badness of a thing or experience, it creates all things and all experiences. Without the mind, there can be no object or feeling or emotion. That is why the mind is helpless when meditation has to be done on the nameless and the formless. Mind clings ever to name-form.
But, God is beyond Name and Form; He is all names and all forms and yet, incomprehensible and mysterious. How then can God be apprehended by means of dhyaana (meditation) on name-form? This is a legitimate question. It can be answered by means of a simile. Water drowns and also helps human to swim. In the same way, name and form which appear to be limitations and handicaps can serve as instruments and helps to transcend Name-Form and realise God.
Everyone has five advisers in life. They are who; when, where, what and how. Before undertaking any action, answers should be got for these five questions. When the correct answers are got, the actions based on them will be the right one. All the instruments for this purpose are available to everyone in his organs of perception and action. In every limb and organ there is a divine power. There is no need to search for the Divine outside yourself. All your powers are Divine potencies. Without understanding own Self, how can one understand the world or achieve anything worthwhile?
You must base your lives on truth and righteousness and should be prepared to face any challenges with courage and confidence. One who is always blissful will overcome all difficulties.
Life is a game, play it!
Society and the world need the inspiring examples of ideal leaders. There are, no doubt, individuals who are exemplars in their particular fields. But it is rare to find any one person who is an ideal in every respect. It is possible for God alone to be such an ideal. For example, Lord Sri Krishna stands out as a unique ideal figure, exemplifying the highest qualities in every respect - social, political, ethical and spiritual.
To set an example in humility and reverence to the world, the Lord Krishna engages Himself in apparently trivial activities and teaches the lessons to be learnt from them. On occasions, the Lord (in human form) can be harsh and relentless. He will declare the truth without mincing words.
Below is a short story about the Lord Krishna's actions on this aspect. Dharmaja wanted to perform Rajasooya Yajna (sacrificial ritual for Paramountcy). Krishna told Dharmaja that if he wanted to perform the this ritual he should first conquer these powerful rulers. (Misinterpreting the purport of Krishna's advice, some people characterised him as an instigator of wars. Krishna did not call on Dharmaja to go to war. All that he told him was about the qualifications required for performing the Rajasooya Yajna). Then, Dharmaja took counsel with his brothers and effected the conquest of powerful rulers Sisupala, Jarasandha and others. When the Rajasooya Yajna began, each of the brothers was allotted a specific function. Krishna also approached Dharmaja respectfully and pleaded for some function to be assigned to him, saying: "As the world sees it, you (Dharmaja) are the Overlord and I am the subject. Hence, please assign to me some task in this Yajna." Dharmaja answered: “I owe everything to you. You are the ruler and I am only your servant." Krishna replied: “What you have said as a devotee is true. But from the worldly point of view, as a king you have to respect the obligations prescribed for the king. You must distinguish your obligations to God and your secular duties as a ruler."
This distinction is as true today as it was in the olden days. Individual Freedom and Fundamental Law are distinct things. Krishna urged that he should be allotted a specific task. Dharmaja said, "Krishna, you take up any assignment that you like." Krishna retorted: “For taking up any assignment of my choice I need not ask you. I wish to do what you would like me to do."
The argument between the two went on for a long while and ultimately Krishna said he would like to be responsible for receiving the scholars and the priests who would be attending the yajna, washing their feet and doing all honours to them.
Here is an illustration of how Krishna set an example in the elimination of the ego. Why should Krishna, who was such a great and powerful personality, take upon himself such a humble task as washing the feet of pandits? The moral is clear. One who aspires to be a leader should show qualities of leadership in every field. It was to serve an example to the world in every sphere that Krishna undertook many tasks and never considered anything as too small or trivial. One should understand the ideals set for humanity by God in His human incarnation and live up to them.
Living in society, you have to understand the interaction between the individual and society. It is a continuous process of give and take. The individual contributes to society and derives benefits from the society. This interaction may be understood from an episode from the life of Einstein.
In the ward in which Einstein was living, there was a girl who was weak in mathematics and was repeatedly failing in that subject. A friend suggested to her that if she went to Einstein, the greatest living mathematician, he would help her to learn the subject well. The girl approached Einstein and he readily agreed to give her tuition everyday. The girl's mother, who had observed her daughter going to the great mathematician for tuition everyday, felt that the little girl was wasting Einstein's time by asking him to teach her elementary mathematics. She went one day to Einstein and apologised to him for her daughter's intrusion on his valuable time. Einstein told her: "Do not think I am just teaching mathematics to her. I am learning as many things from her as I am teaching her."
Einstein was conscious that people who might excel in some subject might be lacking in general knowledge or common sense and knowledge of worldly matters. Even though he was a great scientist, he did not disdain to learn quite a few things from a young school girl. This readiness to learn from any person or source is the real mark of greatness.
The greatness of any individual depends upon the reform of his character. It does not depend upon his power, money or position. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 12. "The Labyrinth," Chapter 50 and "The mind stuff," Chapter 54; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "Become beacon-light," Chapter 17 and "The Avatar as the Ideal," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Let Prema and Thyaaga be your ideals," Chapter 1).
Namaste - Reet
Light and Love
Directions to the students
Students should acquire spiritual knowledge along with secular knowledge. They should also cultivate total awareness. You have to acquire Atma Jnaana (knowledge of the Spirit) along with worldly knowledge. Spiritual knowledge is the adornment for human. It is hidden wealth. It is the basis of fame,' happiness and comforts. It is a teacher for teachers. It is like a third eye for a human. Such sacred knowledge qualifies the person for honour at the courts of kings. It is more precious than riches. Scientific knowledge is subject to continual change, while spiritual knowledge is changeless and will help you to realise the Eternal Truth. The scriptures declare that the whole Cosmos is rooted in righteousness. This is the Truth. The planets, the sun, the moon and the stars are all moving in a set pattern according to their Dharma. You must understand this harmony and unity.
Make use of the things in the world with the awareness that it is all God's creation and you should be grateful to the Divine for everything. Have everything within limits, including your desire for comforts. Even the five elements should be used within limits. Otherwise they will spell danger.
Students acquire human values, in addition to their scholastic, intellectual and other attainments.
Technology has made great strides in modern times. The advances in other fields need no mention. The revolutionary advances in technology have brought about many changes in human's life. The most important change is the decay of morals. Spiritual and ethical values have been undermined. Moral standards have collapsed. Today ideals have been perverted. "Qualities like compassion and goodness have been replaced by unrighteous conduct. (Today, people talk about a new social order and so on. There is no need for a new social system. We need only boys and girls of high character).
Who are responsible for the failure of the educational system? The parents at home tell the children one thing and act differently themselves. Teachers likewise teach one thing and act differently themselves. Leaders also preach one thing and practise another. Students are intelligently observing these double standards. Every student today wants to lead a comfortable life. But they have no idea what comfort really means. They argue that comfort consists in eating, drinking and leading a free and easy life. But spending one's time in this manner is unworthy of a human being.
The educational process should aim at developing character and not merely intellectual abilities. Of what use is it to get a doctorate without character? Education should have a practical bias which will make the student useful for himself and society. You must win fame for the country. You must share in the prosperity of the nation with all others. To whatever country you may belong, cherish 'love for your country. "All are one. Be alike to everyone." Don't give room for differences of race, creed or nation. There is only one God, the Supreme Divinity, that is present in all beings and permeates the entire cosmos. The Divine is present in every atom. Everything in the world is composed of energy and matter. Einstein called it "Supreme Power." Vedic saints described it as Dhivya-Shakthi (Divine Energy).
the Divine is in everything and
everywhere it is not easily
cognisable. The seed sprouts and
grows into a tree. The child grows
into an adult. This is evidence of
Divinity, which is the life force
stimulating the growth.
There is one machine that is more powerful than others. That is the human body. The marvellous powers of the human body are not fully recognized by any one. You should examine your own potentialities. It is human's potent power that has created all the wonderful machines and devices for mankind. All the powers in the world are within you. The outside world is a reflection of your inner being. Various scientists are being praised. But all powers are within you, electrical power, magnetic power, the power of light and fire and radiation. Every human being is a computer. Every individual is mini-generator. Every person is a lamp and a radio station. Just as the most complicated and expensive machine cannot work without power of physical energy, the human machine cannot work without divine energy.
In the cosmic context, the Atma is as unseen sugar what dissolved in water. So the Atma or Paramatma cannot be seen, but has to be experienced. This is cosmic consciousness and is infinite. It is in the form of consciousness in human beings. The infinite, universal Spirit is omnipresent. No one can determine what is good and what is bad in this all-pervading Cosmic spirit. For Divinity there are no such distinctions and no one can attribute such qualities to the Divine.
The sages regarded the body as a shrine in which the Divine is the Indweller. Human is not a fragment of Nature or a combination of the five basic elements (earth, water, fire, air, ether). Human is an "amsa" of the immortal Omni-Self. To reach the Divine within, one has to qualify himself to pass through four gates -Shama, Vicharana, Thripthi and Satsangam (sense-control, enquiry, contentment and the company of the good).
Control over senses is the first gate in Self-realisation. Shama must be taken up early in one's life. One should not wait till old age to embark on this vital exercise.
Shama calls for steadfast faith in God and complete control of the senses and the mind. There are five sense organs and five organs of action, besides the mind, through which these ten function. Once the jnanendriyas (the sense organs) are controlled, it is easy to control the karmendriyas (organs of action). Shama (sense control) makes one a master of mind and indriyas (sense and action organs), instead of being their slaves. Such a person transcends the animal nature and can go forward from the human to the Divine.
Birds, beasts and other creatures are concerned with the enjoyment of external things. Human alone is gifted with the capacity to discriminate between the transient and the permanent and seek what is everlasting. It is the consciousness in the physical body that enables human to enjoy the pleasures derived from the objects experienced through the senses.
The second gate that you have to pass through is Vicharana (enquiry). Human has to distinguish between the Atma and the Anatma (the spirit and the matter), the real and the unreal, good and evil, right and wrong, and then follow the right path. The light of intelligence grasps what is beyond the senses. We have to transcend the senses and reject the ephemeral and the perishable in our Godward journey.
The third gate requires "Tripti" (contentment). At this stage human must learn to be content with what he has and what he gets and look upon whatever he receives as gift from God. When he is satisfied with what he has, he can be happy. When he desires for more, he gets discontented and miserable.
Today there are people who are never content with what they have and are ceaselessly seeking more wealth, position or power. They are perpetually harried by discontent. They claim rights of every kind, but have no awareness of their responsibilities. The contented man is the most praiseworthy person.
The fourth gate to be passed through is Satsangam (the company of good). Youth today are in great need of good company. Students should eschew totally bad company of every kind. You need a lamp to find a way through a dark jungle. Likewise, in the jungle of life, you need the light and guidance of good persons to keep you company on the right path and to take you to the right goal.
In Bharatia culture, the four goals of human existence - Purusharthas - have been declared to be: Dharma (righteousness), Artha (earning of wealth), Kama (fulfilment of desires) and Moksha (liberation).
There are four important qualities which human has to develop if he is to pursue properly the four Purusharthas. These four are: Maitri (friendship), Karuna (kindness or compassion), Muditha (appreciation)and Upeksha (dislike or disinterestedness).
1. Maitri is regarded as mere friendliness. One should not cultivate friendship with all and sundry. Friendship should be cultivated only towards those who are one's equals in age, status, culture, etc. When you try to befriend those above you in status etc., they may try to patronise you. When you do not like to be lorded over, the friendship will break. When you develop friendship with those below you, you may attempt to boss ever them. When they do not acquiesce in this, the friendship will break up.
2.Karuna (kindness or compassion) should be shown towards those who are in a lower position than ourselves in respect; of age, wealth, health, status, education, and the like. Only then compassion becomes meaningful and valuable. Kindness justifies itself in such cases.
3. Muditha (appreciation) relates to the attitude to be shown towards those who are better off than you. You should feel happy when you see such persons. They may look wealthier than you or better placed than you in position and possessions. Muditha means freedom from envy and feeling happy over the better fortunes of others.
4. Upeksha includes two terms Apeksha (liking) and Upeksha (dislike or disinterestedness). We should have no liking for those who indulge in bad deeds or entertain bad thoughts. They should be kept at arm's length. Keep away from all those who are filled with bad thoughts, indulge in bad talk and bad actions. This is Upeksha.
Brahmacharya (Celibacy) is the foundation for the structure of life. The first floor is the stage of Grihastha (householder leading a married life). The second floor is Vaanaprastha (preparatory to renunciation) and the third floor is Sanyaasa (Renunciation).
People think that the world is separate from them. The entire universe is in the heart of each individual.
There are three states of human's consciousness - the waking state, the dream state and the deep sleep state. All the three states are in every individual. The three governing powers in these states are Vishva, Thaijasa and Prajna respectively. The Gaayathri manthra "Om Bhur Bhuvas Suvah" is related to thee three.
All the three worlds are in our heart only. The outside world we see is the material world formed of inert matter. The world that you see is Bhu and the power that causes the movement is: Bhuvah or Praana shakthi (Life-force) which can be termed as Vibration. It is the force of vibration that activates all the limbs of the body. Because of the Prajnaana, which is inside, the Life-force is able to cause vibration and activate the limbs. The source of prajna is Suvaha (Radiation). When you analyse in this manner, it will be seen that Bhur-Bhuvas-Suvah represents the forces of Radiation, Vibration and Materialisation.
It is the existence of these potencies in human that makes human birth precious. Humanness is born with the human being. It is there in everyone. People are not able to understand this truth today.
You are considering the bodies which are different in form as different from you. To do so is sin. You must only see the Aathma in all. "To see diversity is sin" says Vyaasa. He taught the world to see the One in the many. You should follow this principle and develop Prema, the principle of love, towards all.
is directed towards the ephemeral
world it is Anuraaga (attachment).
When it is directed towards God it
is true love. Every individual
should know the difference between
Prema and Anuraaga. Many people
profess that they love God. They may
love God for securing some selfish
material benefits. This is not true
devotion at all. Devotion is not
merely offering several types of
worship or going on pilgrimage.
Unalloyed and true love for love's
sake alone constitutes
devotion. Love is the intimate bond
There is no power greater than Prema (love) in this world because it is selfless and pure. Though several yogas are available for practice, each and every yoga contains an element of selfishness. But prema, is free from selfishness. It is only because of the absence of such selfless love that chaos, conflicts and confusion are prevalent in the world.
The ancient sages, who were doing Thapas and finally had a vision of the Reality, declared that they had realised-the Divine, whose effulgence was that of the sun, beyond the darkness of ignorance. They also taught that God is the embodiment of Truth and had to be experienced as such. Truth issues from Prema. Love shines as the eternal truth in every one's heart. However, it will be dormant in the heart of the selfish. Love cannot co-exist with ego and pomp. Love is the royal path that can take you to the highest state of the Divine.
Real love is beyond the three categories of time past, present and future. Love towards God, the permanent changeless entity, alone is fit to be called Prema.
Don't never forget the meaning of Gaayathri what is pervading everywhere and teaches you the great lesson. It consists of three deities, Gaayathri, Saavithri and Sarasvathi. Hence it is Trinity of the senses, the mind and speech.
Gaayathri has five faces and is the embodiment of all deities. Sthothra (description of the glory), Dhyaana (meditation) and Praarthana (prayer) are all contained in the Gaayathri Manthra. The basis for this is to meditate, pray and experience. It is essential to achieve harmony in thought, word and deed. A prayer become meaningful when you stabilise your mind and turn it towards God.
Every small word or phrase in a manthra has immense inner meaning. It cannot be dismissed as superstition. Upanayanam is a Samskaara (sacrament) that makes a child fit for pursuing the highest wisdom. There is no difference between one child and another at the time of birth. All are born out of the mother's womb only. This is the first stage of life (sudra). The second stage is getting the upadhesha of Gaayathri at the time of Upanayanam, when the child becomes a Dhvija (twice-born) and is then purified. The third stage is Vipra, when one has mastered the study of the Vedhas. The fourth stage is Braahmana when he actually realises the Brahman through the knowledge of the Self. One becomes a Braahmana by action and not by birth.
Gaayathri will protect your body,
make your intellect shine and improve
your power of speech. That is why
Gaayathri is considered to be very
important for this second stage of
life. You should live in accordance with
the Upanishathic prayer' "Sahanaa
Vavathu Sahanou Bhunakthu Sahaveeryam
Karavaavahai" (Let us grow together,
live together and develop love
together). From such living, you get
divinity. The Vedhik saying also
teaches, "Let us live together, strive
together, impart to others what we have
learnt and lead a life of harmony and
unity." (Reet's compilation from, Sathya
Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. 4. "The Four
Gates," Chapter 4; Sathya Sai Speaks.
Vol. 22. "The four qualities," Chapter
13; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 28. 11.
"Nearness to God," Chapter 11;
"Restoration of Moral Values," Chapter
12 and "The quest for Aathma Jnaana,"
Namaste - Reet