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Swami teaches....Part 38

 

Link to Swami Teaches....Part 37

Sai Ram

 

     Light and Love


    Swami teaches...
 11 - 12 September 2005

     Religions, Beliefs and Sai (Cosmic) Religion

     Most of humans live in dire distress, in hate and anxiety, daggers drawn, brother against brother, just for a morsel of food. "Brothers and Sisters!" has become just a conventional form of address when a person gets up to speak; it does not come from the heart.

    The feeling of superiority and inferiority based on possessions and material consideration has resulted in the unrest that has engulfed the countries today. Human is today afraid  that the house in which one lives has no deep foundation and so, it may fall any moment.                       

   The prime cause for the increasing hatred between human beings, is the avarice that has infected the individual. It has' destroyed contentment, created factions, brought about splits and multiplied misery all round. Removing the head is not the remedy for headache. Removing religion from the curriculum of life is not the remedy for rivalry between religious communities. The spiritual is the only strong foundation for the house in which human has to spend own life.

 

    Religions attempt to implant holy ideals in the human heart. But human's egoistic craving for power and competitive success has, in most cases, persuaded to use religion as an instrument of torture and persecution. Instead of uniting mankind in a common endeavour, it has become a system of walled enclosures, guarded by hate and fanaticism. So each religion is an armed camp sunk in self aggrandizement, trying to wean others into itself and preventing defections from itself. Religion, therefore, is being condemned as the root of chaos and conflict. In spite of great progress in many other areas of life, religious animosity is aflame even today in many parts of the world.
 

    It has to be emphasised that religion is not the root cause of this state of affairs. The factional fights and fanatic hatred are due to the unruly ego that is given free play. Religion strives to destroy just this vicious tendency. So it has to be supported, not condemned. What has to be condemned is the narrow, perverted attitude of hating those who do not agree with you or who hold different opinions of the mysterious force that animates the universe.

 

    Religious wars and conflicts breed in the slime of ignorance and avarice. When people are blind to the truth that the human family is one indivisible Unity, they grope in the dark and are afraid of strange touch. It is not advisable to engage in campaigns of vilification or exaggerated propagation of any religion with a view to draw votaries. If only each one lives up to the ideals propounded by the founders of one's religion, unaffected by greed or hate, the world will be a happier and more peaceful habitation for people.

 

    The cultivation of love, alone, can convince human of this truth that there is only the caste of Humanity, and only one religion - the religion of Love. Since no religion upholds violence or despises love, it is wrong to ascribe the chaos to religion.
 

      The word generally used for religion is matha; the word to indicate the mind is mathi. Putting the two together it can be said that matha is primarily engaged or ought to be engaged in straightening and strengthening the mathi. The goal, the purpose, the key, the essence of all creeds, faiths and religions is to purify the mind and insist on the practice of high moral virtues. But this was soon ignored and importance came to be attached to superficial conformity and outer purity. The craving for personal aggrandizement and power made every sect, faith and religion, rigid and dry.

 

    There is a great need today to discover the inner spring of all faiths, the spring that fertilises the outer rites and ceremonies. The awareness of God, which is the very purpose of human existence, has to happen - however long the time taken, however difficult the process.

 

    When a religion wants to extend its influence it has to resort to vilification of other religions and exaggeration of its own excellence. Pomp and publicity become more important than practice and faith. But Swami wants that the votaries of each religion must cultivate faith in its own excellence and realise their validity by their own intense practice. That is the Sai religion, the religion that feeds and fosters all religions and emphasises their common Greatness. 

 

    When  life is based on the faith that all are endowed with the same Divine Spark, there will not be fear and hatred any more, in human relations. If only people becomes aware of his potentiality, there is nothing impossible for him. Grace, once gained, can ensure plenty and prosperity.

 

    The religion of the Hindhus stressed the Unity of all creation and declared that the diversity we experience is not a true picture. 
 

     During the history the one Vedhic religion became the parent of a number of sects and sets of belief, like Gaanaapaathya (centering around the concept of Ganapathi), Shaaktheya (centering around the concept of Cosmic Energy as the expression of the Divine), Soura (centering around the Sun as the source, sustenance and goal of spiritual achievement), Chaarvaka (centering around the concept of pleasure and material prosperity) and Veerasaiva (centering around Shiva as the inner motivator of all beings). Every one of these sects, and many more besides, elaborated their own rituals and modes of worship, their own priorities in spiritual attainment and their own body of doctrines about the individual, the objective world and God.

  

      Islam has the Shia and Sunni sects; Christianity has Catholics and Protestants. But however deep the cleavage, no sect denies God and no sect extols violence and falsehood. Names may be different, the facets emphasised may be different, but the Almighty Providence is denoted as Absolute and Eternal. 

 

      Buddhism analysed the vagaries of the mind which lead human into the whirlpools of desires; he analysed the ways of reason, too and spotted the areas where prejudice takes root; above all, he preached surrender to dharma (righteousness), to compassion and to Buddha (the Enlightened One).

 

     Zoraastrianism, the Paarsi religion, was founded by Zoraaster, who wanted that human should ever have the Fire of Wisdom blazing in consciousness so that evil thoughts and tendencies might be reduced to ashes. It has to infuse all thoughts, words and deeds with the illumination of virtue and vigour, it must destroy all worldly desire and render human pure for entry into the heaven of freedom. Adoration, meditation and acts of selfless service are essential for the dawn of enlightenment.

 

     The yaaga (spiritual worship) is prescribed by the Karma Kaanda (ritual action path) of the Vedhas, in order to sanctify Time and fulfill the goal of human, come embodied into the world.

    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. 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. 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. When the ignorance that has enveloped it is removed, Dharma will shine forth and sustain the world. By Vedhas the Vedhapurusha Jnaana Yajna what is the sum and substance of five types* of Yajnas, is one of the means to make Dharma shine.
 

   The Sai religion, if the name of religion in its literal sense of binding human to God is accepted, is the essence of all faiths and religions with different sects on the Earth, including those like Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, etc. It is truly Cosmic religion. The motive behind the formation and propagation of all these different faiths is the same. The founders and propagators were all persons filled with love and wisdom. None had the design to divide, disturb, or destroy. They sought to train the passions and the emotions, to educate the impulses and instincts and direct the faculty of reason to paths beneficial to the individual and society. They knew that the mind, which is the breeding ground of desire and attachment, ambition and aspiration, has to be cleansed and properly oriented.

    The holy duty of human being is to be ever aware of the Aathman (Divine spirit) that is installed in every living being. This is the basis of the brotherhood of human and the Fatherhood of God.  The individual is the same as the Universal. There is never any two; all are One, the omnipresent Cosmic Consciousness, the Formless, Nameless, Impersonal, Attributeless Being. (The latest discoveries of modern science have reached very close this).

 

    When you seek joy from something outside you, remember that a far greater joy lies in wait within your own inner consciousness. Faith in the Almighty God is the impregnable armour that the saadhaka can wear; and peoples of all lands are saadhakas, whether they know it or not. Pray until God relents; do not turn away sadly if God does not shower Grace when you expect it.

 

    The reality which sustains the Cosmos and the Cell is one one, the all-pervasive Consciousness, named Brahmam. When this infinite vastness is spoken of in relation to Cosmos (Jagath, the Superflux), It is the Paramatma (the Overself) and it is the Atma (the Self) when it is conceded as the core of individual beings. All three are one entity, but they 'appear' different and delude the short-sighted. This characteristic is known as Maya. The Reality is Sath (Existence, Is-ness), Chith (Knowledge, Awareness, Consciousness) and Ananda (Bliss). The appearance or the power of diversification uses the three gunas or modes to embody itself differently. The gunas are satwa (serenity), rajas (activity) and tamas (inertia). The gunas urge human towards either knowing or desiring or working.

 

    When the "urge to become," namely Maya impels Brahmam to project itself, it appears as Eswara or God when associated with satwa guna, as Jivi (human and living beings) when associated with rajo guna and as Prakriti (Nature) when associated with tamo guna. Brahmam is the basis of all three. 

 

    Maya is the mirror in which Brahmam is reflected as Personalised God, Human being and Nature. We are able to know Brahmam, through Nature, which is saturated with it or identifiable with it. God is above and beyond human traits and characteristics known as gunas. 

 

    Faith in Atma (God) can grant wisdom, which is knowledge of the Highest. Now, seekers of knowledge are concerned only with what they think they are and what others think they are, ignoring the genuine quest of what they really are.  They are caught in the coils of anxiety, fear and misery. They are fascinated by the trivial tinsel that they see. Pasu (animal) is the name given to such beings who put faith in pasyathi (what is seen).

 

    This faith in God can ensure equanimity and balance. Knowledge must develop into skill, which must be directed and regulated by a sense of balance. Or else, skill degenerates into 'kill'.

 

   The Samathvam (equal-mindedness, equanimity, sense of balance, unaffectedness) is the awareness of the unity of the river and the sea, the indvidual self with the Omniself, the Atma with the Paramatma. Reaching the Source is the Destiny; desire to flow steadily and straight towards the Source is Devotion.

 

     To make a cup of coffee, it is not enough to have decoction in one cup and milk in another. You have to pour one into the other and mix well. Mix the decoction of the sense-control, detachment with the milk of devotion, steadfastness. And you will get the drink that satisfies.

 

    Though education by itself cannot confer Atmaananda on you, you have to acquire education, in order to serve the world. The process of teaching and learning should not be reduced to vomitting what the teacher has learned and the student consuming what has thus been vomitted. It has to be creative, positive, productive.


    Produce, put your knowledge into practice and produce things that can fulfill essential, elevating needs - domestic furniture, agricultural implements, school accessories, home building materials, clothing fabrics, etc., etc. Expand your heart; let your love enfold more and more of fellowmen.

 

    The scientist investigates all that is perceptible by the senses. But, the saint travels beyond the realm of the senses, the intellect and even the imagination, into the regions touched by rarefied intuition. You must try to understand both realms and appreciate the value of both disciplines.
 

    Briefly about Vedantic philosophy of ancient India what is an essenttial part of Sai's cosmic religion.    

 

   There are three streams or spiritual understandings, which define Human's relationship with God. They are known as Adwaita or Non-Dualism, Vishishtadwaita or Qualified Non-Dualism and Dwaita or Dualism. In deep essence they are one and the same, but expressions of human's relationship with God are in  different level directed to the people with different state of spiritual development.

 

     According to Adwaita the Ultimate Reality of everything is Brahman, the non-dual pure consciousness. The Universe of beings and things is merely an appearance of Brahman in time and space as it was mentioned above. The individual soul and Brahman are absolutely non-different. The liberation is union with Brahman attained through Self-knowledge. This is the highest path that human beings can follow.

 

  Adwaita philosophy did not encourage or inspire devotion to a Personal God. There was no room for surrender to a master figure. However, Adwaita was an experience not easily accessible to ordinary people.

 

    The chief exponent of Vishishtadwaita or Qualified Non-Dualism is Ramanuja. He interpreted the basic texts religious scriptures from a new point of view and discovered that human can realise God through worship, using the gift of Nature as instrument. God is the kernel, the shell is human and the fibrous stuff is Nature (as in the coconut). They are intimately intertwined, as limbs in the body, parts with their own peculiar characteristics. Human, Nature and God are One without a Second (Adwaita) in a special and unique sense (Visishta).  So Qualified Non-Dualism maintains that Brahman, though non-dual pure consciousness, transforms Itself into God. God is the whole and the individual soul is the part.  The masses who longed for the removal of an inner thirst had to be led, step by step.

 

          Ordinary people would put their faith in a compassionate, all-knowing, all powerful God to whom they can pray and offer life and love following the directions of Dwaita or Dualism. This spiritual stream believes that God is a personal being who creates the Universe and the world of souls. The creation is real and the created beings and things are different from and dependent on God. The chief exponent of Dualism is Madhva (whose original name was Ananadatheertha). He declared that human is totally distinct from God, that human is neither God nor Divine. Human's highest destiny is to serve God. Longing for the service, yearning to see and fill one's eyes with the beauty and majesty of the Lord - that is the most potent Sadhana. This process of devotion and dedication is the royal road, the smoothest path, to spiritual success.
 

    Human believes that he/she is real, Nature is Real and God is a figment of the imagination. But God is the seed which has expressed itself as Nature, of which the human body is a part. Just as in every fruit that the tree yields, the primal seed is evident, Paramatma (the Cosmic Consciousness) is the core of every being too.


     * These five types of Yajnas has explained in previous "Swami teaches..." several months ago. Here they have repeated in short.

    1. Dheva Yajna (Yajna for the Gods). This means the surrender of all one's acts at the feet of God; it means that one dedicates all his 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 ancestors who are addressed as identifiable with Gods (Vasu, Rudhra and Aadhithya). Offering the tribute of gratitude is the essence of Pithru Yajna.
    3. Brahma Yajna (Yajna for the sages and spiritual lore). This is to be performed by the study of the different sacred texts and scriptures.

    4. Manushya Yajna (Yajna for mankind).

    5. Bhuutha Yajna (Yajna for living beings).

     These five types of Yajnas to make human approximate to God. For these, there is no need to have intermediary priests, or costly materials, or elaborate ceremonies. Every householder can perform these.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10 "Whom to serve?" Chapter 20 and  "Light, love, joy," Chapter 22; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 13. "The Sai Religion," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18. "The Royal Road to God," Chapter 18 and  "The Yoga of Samathvam," Chapter 19).

   

     PS: The great teachers of Hinduism are Sri Rama (of the Ramayana), Sri Krishna (of the Bhagavad Gita), Sri Sankaracharya (A.D. 788-820), Sri Ramanuja (A.D. 1017-1137), Sri Madhva (A.D. 1199-1276), Sri Chaitanya (A.D. 1485-1533), and in modern times, Sri Ramakrishna (A.D. 1836-1886), and Swami Vivekananda (A.D. 1863-1902).

 

     (Probably the next article "Swami teaches..." on the beginning of October, 2005).
 

     Namaste - Reet


Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 9 - 10 September 2005
Potencies of Oneness

The coming together of Brahman and Maaya results in emergence of the Brihath-Swaruupa (the Cosmic Form of the Lord). Brihath-Swaruupa is the all-pervading energy. In every human being, both Divinity and the Maaya principle are immanent. How is this to be comprehended? Sath-Chith-Aanandha represent the Divine. The names and forms which human perceives are expressions of the Maaya principle.


To neutralise Maaya, you have to prove your oneness with the Divine. This has been proclaimed in the Upanishathik saying: "Adhvaitha dharshanam Jnaanam" (The Supreme knowledge is the perception of the non-dual unity). This is the path of knowledge. The other path is that of devotion. Imagine that the master resides in the upper floor of the house. You are outside the gate, guarded by a mastiff called Maaya. How, then, are you to approach the master, the Paramaathma? The Lord comes down to help you when you chant His name at all times. Here you offer every act to God.
 

All this is necessary till you secure God's grace. Thereafter, they are unnecessary.

On the ocean, the wind is the cause of waves, on the ocean of Sath-Chith-Aanandha (Being-Awareness-Bliss), the wind of Maaya gives rise to the innumerable living creatures as waves. The Vedhas distinguish three entities - the sea, the wave and the foam. The sea is the Kootastha, the Unchanging Base, the Omniself, the Paramaathma. The wave that emerges from it and merges in it is the jeevaathma (the particularised, individualised form of the Paramaathma). The foam that forms on the crest of the wave and dissolves in it is the dehaathma (the body consciousness, producing the illusion of distinction from both wave and sea, though essentially it too is the sea).

From ancient times Bhaarath has been famous for its exposition of the four Purushaarthas (the four goals of life - Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha, about which have mentioned in the previous article "Swami teaches...") and the teachings of the Vedhas and Vedhaangas. The Vedhas embody the sublime truths experienced by the sages and the seers.
 

The Vedhas are known by nine names. The first is Shruthi - that is, what is learnt by listening. This was necessary in ancient times when printing of books was unknown. The others are: Anushravana, Aamnaaya, Samaamnaaya, Chandhas, Adhyaasa, Gamana, Nigama, Aagama. Nigama and Aagama refer to the breathing process of the Divine.
 

All the Vedhas relate to the affairs of the phenomenal world. Each Vedha has a Samhitha (collection) made up of Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishaths. All these lay down the practices that should be observed in the stages of Grihastha (householder) and Vaanaprastha (hermit leading an ascetic life). The practices were intended to control the mind. They are not designed to enable one to have direct experience of God.

It is Vedhaantha that deals with the question of Self-Realisation. For the spiritual journey, it is the guide-post and the destination. Vedhaantha in its essence is extremely simple. It is easier to grasp than butter. To experience God you have to apply the heat of Jnaana-Agni (the fire of spiritual knowledge) to the heart filled with love. You must come near to God and become dear to Him through your love. When that happens desires disappear.
In fact all are the Divine itself. Instead of being a lover, whose love is confined to a few, become love itself so that you can love all. This is the supreme truth proclaimed by Vedhaantha (Vedhic metaphysics).
 

There are three essential things to be understood regarding Vedhaantha. First is Thaarakam. Second is Saankhya. Third is Amanaskam.
 

Thaarakam calls for the understanding of four, principles: Kesari, Dhesari, Madhyama and Bhagavathi. Thaarakam calls for the investigation of five mudhras (ritualistic hand gestures) and after realising their spiritual insignificance, concentrate on Sath-Chith-Aanandha and merge the mind in the bliss of that experience.
 

A pictorial example expression of Thaarakam. Till the child in the womb is four months and nine days old, the foetus is just a round mass of jelly. Then a force of vibration enters the embryo. That is the Brahman principle. That is the Praana-Thathva (Life Principle). From that moment the child in the womb starts moving. Simultaneously the Brahman Principle enters the foetus. The combination of the two in the body is Thaarakam. This is one of the secret doctrines of Vedhaantha.
 

Saankhya envisages twenty five entities made up of the five sense organs, the five sheaths, the five life-breaths, the five elements, the mind, the body, the intellect, the inner motivator and the individual soul. This system of yoga calls, for an enquiry into the reality of each of these entities leading to the discovery that the Reality, Sath-Chith-Aanandha, is beyond all these and to recognise one's identity with this transcendental Aathma. This calls for an exploring of both the external world and the internal world of mind and spirit.
Amanaskam means the realisation that the entire universe is nothing but Brahman, which is the only Reality. When there is this realisation of Brahman the One - even the mind ceases to exist. It is only the operations of the mind that result in the perception of diversity in the Universe. When oneness is experienced, there is no mind at all. All is Brahman in that state of consciousness. There is room only for Prema (Love) in this state.


 

Unless you brighten your vision with Love, you cannot see the Truth. Love helps you to see God in everyone and everywhere. The Jagath (the Universe) is not false, it is not a trap; it is the splendour of God, His reflection. It is His own substance, manifesting as multiplicity, as latent or potent energy or matter. You must realise that whatever scriptures one may master or whatever power and wealth one many acquire, without love one cannot achieve liberation. Turn your vision inward. It is when you look inward that you will recognise your true form. You should realise what is most precious within you. The three processes of Thaarakam, Saankhya and Amanaskam are extremely precious spiritual gems. They are within you, but you are not aware of their existence, because you have not related yourself to the owner, the Master within you. That owner is the Paramaathma (the Supreme self).

The Jagath has to be used to instruct you on the glory and the power of God. There are four stages in the journey towards this goal; each one is called a loka, a region which you reach.


The first is A-vidhya loka (the region of ignorance and delusion) from which you start, prompted by the chain of grief and pain it inflicts on you. The second is the Vidhyaloka, where you penetrate into the intellectual plane and are able to distinguish between the true and false, the kernel and the husk. The third is the Aanandhaloka, where you are immersed in bliss, at the glimpse of the eternal source of power and peace. And, lastly, you have the Go-loka, where the Go-paala reigns, and all the go's (jeevas, sparks from the Divine), waves of the ocean of love are one in ecstasy and enlightenment.
 

Unless you have love, you cannot claim kinship with the votaries of God; mere ritualistic exactitude or pompous adoration, or loud acciamation will not entitle you to enter the portals of Go-loka. Love is the bridge which helps passage from birth to death to deathlessness, from death to birthlessness. When you rise from the jeeva-sense to the Dheva-sense (human-ness to God-ness), then, there is no more birth or death.

What exactly is the aim and purpose of all the sastras, the Bhaagavatam, the Puraanas, these discourses and the harikathas? It is to tell human the truth about himself. That is not the desire of the Sages who wrote down these annals and their own experiences. You know only the present and what is happening before your eyes. You do not know that the present is related to the past and is preparing the course for the future.
 

Sparks emanating from fire are neither different from it, nor identical with it. So, too the jeeva (individualised being) is neither different from Brahman, nor identical with it.
 

Jeeva and Brahman become identical only when liberation is achieved. Until the sea is reached, the river remains as river. It has a different name and a distinct form. So too, the jeeva so long as it is involved with the physical case, the senses, the mind and the instruments of consciousness, it does not merge in God. It remains apart.
 

The Aathma is ever self-contained, self-sufficient. The material world exists on account of the other. The Aathma is the basic Unity which assumes the appearance of diversity, the world. Its immanence is the unifying Truth, evident as the Divine in all beings. The Aathma illumines all objects; it needs no other source of illumination to shine. So the Aathma is self-luminous. It shines in all; you have only to open your eyes and know it. It is the seer of the Universe. For the Aathma, the entire Cosmos is an object that is seen. It is the duty of every one to live in the awareness of this Truth.

Do not derive contentment simply adoring God's pictures and images, and reading or reciting hymns or songs of praise. Do not cage God in a picture-frame; do not confine Him in an idol. He is all forms. His is all names. He is the Reality of all beings.
 

Be with others; in others; for others. Be with all, for all, in all. But, nevertheless, be unattached, be the unfailing source of Love. Therein lies success in spiritual endeavour, the triumph of spiritual discipline. Thus is Swami in you manifested; thus is the world fostered; Swami within; thus is the heart purified.

However, there are questions raised. Of what relation is the spirit and its glory with society and its tangles and trickeries? Spiritual endeavour must aim at individual illumination, social betterment and the divinisation of the human community. While in society, the divinity inherent in human can blossom more quickly, more widely, more fragrantly.
 

Society is not another concrete composite collective body. It is the expansion and expression of the Divine in each of its components, denotable and enjoyable as One. Society is the awareness of this cognisible Divinity. So, the one should not flee from the many; the individual is not harmed by society. One should rather see the many in a new light - the light which reveals that society is but God, who activates and prompts the composite whole. All human beings are kith and kin, one family, one aspiration, one attempt at one acquisition. They are all equally Divine, all form the Universal Body of the One God.
 

Society does not happen when people gather by chance, or get together with no common goal of good. The many-faceted skills and intelligences that are contributed by the many must flow pure and clear, untarnished by egoistic desires along the channel of the spirit; then, they will feed the roots of truth and goodness; they will ensure peace, for, all ideas, of high and low will disappear. This is the criterion for a stable society; not, mere numbers.
Understand the Aathma or God which is your core; that will establish Shaanthi in you and you can share that Shaanthi with others. Society is the reflection of the God whose nature is Aanandha. Adore society as the Divine Body; that is the Truth, the eternal Vision.
 

You are a guru unto yourself. All potencies are within you. You have to feel at all times your inherent divinity, which is also present in everyone.
You may ask whether you can ever acquire the powers possessed by Swami. That power is latent in you. But you are not aware of it. You want to experience bliss. If you truly follow Swami you will discover that bliss within you and all around you, wherever you go. You cannot find that bliss in the physical world. It is wholly within you. Consider yourself as Brahman (Divine) at all times and in all situations. You will thereby become one with the Divine.When you help or feed someone you must feel that the Divine in you is feeding the Divine in others.
 

The truth is you are part of the Samashti (collective). This collective is a part of Srishti (creation). Beyond creation is Pushti (the cosmic energy). Transcending that energy is Parameshtthi (the Supreme Omni Self).

How do you realise the presence of the Divine within you?

Shankaraachaarya once poured out his heart in prayer, to have three errors pardoned by God. "Lord", he said, "Knowing that you are beyond the intellect and even beyond imagination, I am committing the error of meditating on you. Knowing that you are indescribable by word, I am trying to describe your glory. Knowing that you are everywhere and I have been preaching so, yet I have come on pilgrimage to Kasi. My action belies my speech." Beware of this great error that is prevalent - saying one thing and endeavouring to achieve the opposite.
 

The supremest result of spiritual effort is "beyond the reach of speech, thought and imagination," as the Vedhas declare.
 

The Vedhas use two words to indicate that goal: Nithya and Swaagatha. Nithya means that which undergoes no change, in the past, present and future. Swaagatha means that which, from one unchanging position, illumines the awareness (jnaana prakaash) for all from everywhere. The Sun spreads its splendour in all directions. The Aathma, likewise, awakens all by the light of wisdom.
 

The Sun has two properties: light and heat. The Aathma too can be viewed in two aspects: Swaruupa and Swabhaava - its "It-ness" and "the effect of Its Itness." The innate truth or Swaruupa is known as dharmi and its effect or quality or Swabhaava is known as dharma. When one is aware of the dharma, person can be said to have attained the the transformation resulting from the knowledge of the Aathma Swabhaava or dharma.
 

The Swaruupa of the Aathma is Anu or Atomic. This subtlest Anu, Aathma, is in all things and its quality is therefore evident everywhere. It occupies all, but it cannot be occupied by any other. The Aathma-principle, the Brahman-principle, is immanent in all things in the Universe, but nothing can penetrate it.
 

There is nothing in the Universe devoid of this Anu force. This quality of the Anu is cognisable in all things as the dharma. The human body too is no exception to this. The Atomic or Anu is immanent in it and so, we are the embodiments of Aathma, of Aathmic energy. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 11. "Raso vai sah," Chapter 31 and "Society, the Reality," Chapter 33; Sathya Sai Speaks. Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 15. "Awake! arise!" Chapter 35; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Seek the guru within you," Chapter 30 and "The message of Vedhaantha," Chapter 31).

Namaste - Reet


Sai Ram

 

     Light and Love


    Swami teaches...
  

    Spiritual Virtue to Travel Light....5 - 8 September 2005

    This objective world is as ageless as God. Who knows when God resolved upon the Universe? It is as beginningless as God; we cannot determine when it came into being but we can determine when it will end, at least for each of us. 

    The purpose of the ancient religions of India are to plant the seeds of Love in the human heart so that they may sprout into saplings of endurance, and blossom into tolerance, yielding ultimately the fruits of Peace. The pinnacle of Indian thought in Adhwaitha, the experience of the One, of the negation of duality. Bhaarath has, from time immemorial, sought to infuse in the individual, the lesson that human can be free only when he realises the identity with all beings. Human is kin to all, that is the teaching of Sanaathana Dharma (eteral religion).

    Samskrithi, the word for culture and cultivation, is derived from the word, samskaara, which means the dual process of removing the dust and dirt from the mind and planting the virtues of Sathya, Dharma, Shaanthi and Prema. Know that envy is the stickiest dirt. The toughest fibre is anger, it is the stickiest dust. When you get angry, you forget mother, father and teacher; you descend to the lowest depths. You lose all discrimination in the excitement; even Hanumantha set fire to the whole of Lanka when he was incensed by the demons who set fire to the tip of his tail; he lost sight of the fact that Seetha was in the Ashokavana.

    Samskaara is also the name for certain obligatory rites of initiation and purification prescribed by the Vedhas for the spiritual upliftment. Their number is forty-eight in all; but, they could be reduced to ten and, if needed, even to one; the final and fulfilling One, of recognising one's identity with Maadhava or Shiva or Brahman. Nara (human) is but Naaraayana (God); Jeeva (individual soul) is Brahman, seen through the limitations of primal ignorance.

    Proceed along that path, inspite of halts and handicaps, inspite of the approval or disapproval of kith and kin, of praise or blame from society. What exactly is praise or blame? Sound waves coming from across the air; waves that strike your ear. Let them strike only the outer ear.

    Have Love towards the Lord, but do not become depressed with envy when others also love him or get attached to Him. Develop close association with Him and He will reveal Himself to you. If you have the capacity to draw the Lord to yourself, He will Himself come to you and be with you. Be like the flute, a hollow reed, straight, light, with no substance to hinder His breath. He will breathe divine music through you, playing upon you with a delicate touch. In His hand, the infinitesimal will be transmuted into the Infinite, the anu (light atom) will be transformed into the ghana (heavy solid).

    You may benefit from God, but you cannot explain Him. You may benefit from electricity, and use it in a thousand ways, but you cannot explore and completely explain its mystery.  Usually you give the brain more value than it deserves. The Parathathwa (Supreme Truth) is beyond the reach of the brain; standing on the rock, you cannot lift it! Standing in Maayaa, you cannot discard it.
 

     In your heart of hems, you know that you are the Pure, the Full, the Eternal. You are the limitless, timeless, spaceless Aathma, the changeless, characteristicless Self. That Aathma persists in your dreams, in deep sleep, in the varied activities of the waking stage. It persists during childhood, youth, middle age, old age and senility. It is the entity which declares itself as I: I slept, I dreamt, I awoke, I was a child, I am too old to walk erect, etc. My eye, my word, my idea, my plan, my resolution, my experience, you say; thereby, you announce that you are not any of these. You are separate from these, but yet, you are involved with them. How to experience the Aathma? What is Sathya and what is Dharma? The Raamaayana and the Bhaagavatha reveal this knowledge, through story and example, so that any one, however poor or illiterate he may be, can understand it and practise it and benefit by it.

 

    For those who know, Sai Raama, Krishna Vishnu, all are One; the distinction is only in the Upaadhi (the form and the name). The power, the glory, the mission, the message are all the same, though the particular achievements may be different, according to the needs and purposes of the age. 

    If only the culture of India, which is based on the Vedhas and expounded in the Raamaayana and the Bhaagavatha, is practised with a true understanding of its value, people can ensure for themselves perpetual joy or bliss.  Walk in the path laid down in the Raamaayana, and Mahaabhaaratha and the Bhaagavatha. All the teaching you need for liberation from grief and worry, you can get there. 

    You will have to re-live, for example, the Bhaagavatha in your own experience; become a Nandha or Yashodha fondling the child Krishna; become a Gopee yearning for the company of the Lord, as the soul craves for the Supersoul, as the river craves for the sea; become one with the cows whom He tended, or the boys with whom He played, or the Murali (flute) which He breathed through to give the world the music that captivates.

    Revere Knowledge as you revere your father, adore Love as you adore your mother, move fondly with Dharma, as if it is your own brother; confide in Dhaya (compassion) as if it is your dearest friend; have Shaantham (calmness) as your better half; treat Sahana (fortitude), as if it is your own beloved son. These are your genuine kith and kin. Move with them, live with them, do not forsake or neglect them. Living with these kinsmen is the best recipe. That is the best atmosphere to ensure the discipline and detachment needed for mind control. Mere prayer will not do. You will have to swallow and digest the morsel that is put into the mouth; repetition of the name of the dish is of no use. Hearing discourses and nodding approval or clapping in appreciation are not enough. 

    Whichever the book, whoever the guru, whatever the institution, the goal is the same. The path is the ancient one, laid down by the saintly pioneers. Or, you can picture it as a fourstoreyed mansion, the ground floor being Karma Yoga (union with God through action) and the succeeding ones being bhakthi, jnaana and vairaagya (devotion, spiritual knowledge and nonattachment).

    When it is just a nascent fruit, it is karma. That is, the activity that all are capable of, and so it is the first step in saadhana as well. When it matures and is rendered free from egoism and greed, it becomes worship, and so, it leads one on to the second floor, bhakthi. When it is ripe and sweet, that is to say, when the bhaktha (devotee) achieves complete self-surrender, then, it is the acquisition of jnaana; when the fruit drops from the tree, it marks full detachment (vairaagya); the fourth floor of God's mansion is then reached.
 

    Prema (divine love) is the motive power in Karma Yoga; it is the very breath of Bhakthi Yoga. Bhakthi can grow only on prepared ground. (The method of preparation is given in the Vedhas, which speak also of things that have to be avoided). It is universal and infinite in Jnaana; it sees the Lord everywhere and in everything, when vairaagya has been achieved. More about vairaagya. When you go to a temple you break a coconut before the idol. Now, if you try to break the nut as it has fallen from the tree, will it break? No. Moksha (liberation) results from the breaking of the mind with all its vagaries and wishes. Remove them and dedicate the mind to God and smash it in His presence. That moment, you are free. So the final consummation is moksha; that is the very crux of the problem of life. Moksha means liberation from bondage to both joy and grief, which are the obverse and reverse of the same coin. Moksha is the recognition of the truth; but, though it is so simple, it required the cultivation of viveka, vairaagya and vichakshana (discrimination, detachment and ability).

    Viveka is necessary to decide what is dharma. Each one must decide for himself the dharma one must choose for uplift; this required viveka, the recognition of the permanently beneficial source of pure and lasting joy.

    Virtue is the life-breath actions dedicated to God; character is the backbone. Without that, no meritorious act will fructify. A characterless human is like a pot with many holes, useless for carrying water, or storing it. Renounce and win peace; have and win troubles. Below are several pictorial comparisons and directions to obtain spiritual virtue for meaningful and happy life dedicated to God. 

    The eagle is pestered by crows so long as it has a fish in its beak. They swish past that so they could steal the fish out of its mouth. They pursue the bird wherever it sits for a little rest. At last, it gives up the attachment to the fish and drops it from its beak; the crows fly behind it and leave the eagle free. So leave off sense pleasures and the crows of pride, envy, malice, and hatred will fly away, for they want only carrion.

    The snake moves in curves, not in a straight line; human too, following the senses has to move in a crooked path. Human has greater poison within than the snake; venom is to be found in eyes, tongue,  hands, mind, heart, thoughts - whereas the cobra has it only in its fangs. The cobra raises its hood and sways in joy when it hears music; so too human when  realises the stage of niruvikalpa - steady unchanging establishment in the Ultimate Reality - dances in heavenly bliss.

     A millionaire pays income-tax with tears in his eyes; a headmaster joyfully gives up the furniture and laboratory appliances of his school when he is transferred to some other place. Why? Because the headmaster knows that he is only the caretaker, not the owner. He is not attached to these articles; he knows that they belong to the government. So, too, feel that your family, your house, your fields your car, are all the Lord's property and that you are only the trustee; be rely to give them up without a murmur at a moment's notice.

    The eye, the ear and the tongue lead to anxiety and malice. It is even difficult to put into practice even the truths of which you are intellectually convinced. That it is not what you hear that is beneficial, but what you put into daily practice. Develop renunciation about your own needs and wishes. When you pile up things in your apartments, you only promote darkness and dust; so also, do not collect and store too many materials in your mind. Travel light.

    Have just enough to sustain life and maintain health. Life becomes too difficult to bear if you put into it too much of "desire." Do not run after fashion and public approval and strain your resources, beyond repair. Keep to your own dharma and the code of rules that regulate life or the stage you have reached.

    Do not place your needs first, your joy first. Consider the needs of others, the aanandha of others, as even more important.

    Worship in any temple, any form, under any name. Make your house itself a mandhir, meditate in your own shrineroom. Sing bhajans in your own home; above all, be an example to others by means of sweet speech, humility, reverence to elders, truthfulness, faith and steadfastness.

    The Lord looks for sincerity, simplicity and steady joy in the contemplation of His name and form.  If you lose yourself in the depths of unconsciousness after a bout of drink, you will not be counted as a person who has achieved Samaadhi. Who has an eye on the profit one can derive from service to God, cannot be a true devotee. They praise Raama to the skies one day and decry Him the next, if their fortune gets dry.

 

    Very often individuals (and even institutions) trespass into the realm of others, compete with fellow workers, and sometimes try to establish superiority, by means fair or foul. Power and position have to be deserved, before they are desired. Learning the technique of service, cultivating the impulse to serve, these are steps in equipping a person for leadership.

    Those of you who have had the privilege of serving your unfortunate brothers and sisters will stand witness that there is no discipline equal to Service to smother the ego and to fill the heart with genuine joy.  Attune your hems so that it will vibrate in sympathy with the woes and joys of your fellowmen. Feed the hungry, the ones who have not had so far the delight that a full meal alone can give.

 

    The laws governing Nature were made by God and everyone is subject to them. The body is subject to the laws of Nature. Even the Divine has to submit Himself to His own laws governing Nature. If the mind had been all time dwelling on the pain, the pain would have been greater. The best medicine for the pain is diverting the mind. The pain can be mitigated by prayer and by diverting the mind. 

    If you have the Grace of God, no graham can harm you; maleficent influences even from the most powerful combination of planets with which the astrologers terrify you will disappear in a trice.  Now, engage yourself in spiritual discipline, spiritual thoughts, spiritual company.

   Past Is past, It won't come.
   Future, you are not sure of.
   The given moment is now (Present).
   This Present is Omnipresent.

   So, let the past go its way. Have faith in any one Name and the Form indicated by that name. If you revere Shiva and hate Vishnu, the plus and the minus cancel out and the net result is zero. You can never attain the Lord through hatred of one or more of His many Forms and Names. Avoid factions, quarrelling, hating, scorning, fault-finding; they recoil on you. You find fault in others because you have faults in you. Remember every one is a pilgrim towards the same goal; some travel by one road, some by another. Raavana, Sisupaala, Danthavakra - they too reached the feet of the Lord, by inviting Him to end their earthly careers. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "Be a care taker," Chapter 28; "Genuine kinsmen," Chapter 30 and "How old are you really?" Chapter 31; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 9.  "Elephants and the Lion," Chapter 18. Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 21. "The Divine and The Devotee," Chapter 23).

 

    Namaste - Reet

 

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