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Swami teaches....Part 39

 

Link to Swami Teaches....Part 38

Sai Ram

Light and Love


Swami teaches... 20 - 26 September 2005

Outlook Below the Mind and Beyond the Mind

Motto: The Jnaani says, "Sarvam Brahma mayam" (God is All); another, a Yogi, says all is Energy; a third, who is a Bhaktha says all is the play of Bhagavaan. Each according to his taste and according to his progress in spiritual saadhana. Do not blame or ridicule them, for they are all pilgrims trudging along the same road. Sathya Sai Baba

The world attracts in innumerable ways. Either in speculation or in exploration, human being cannot go beyond the Universe. Whatever knowledge one acquires, however much one develops the powers of understanding, knowledge is confined to things of this world and does not go beyond it. One can know about the objects in creation, but cannot understand the Supreme Principle that is at the base of all creation.

Physics is concerned with the physical properties of material objects. Chemistry teaches the composition and qualities of created things. Botany deals with plants and trees found in nature. Zoology is concerned with the study of living beings and etc. The knowledge that is gathered by the analysis of physical objects or through the senses is one aspects of the mind. However, human being does not know what is own future, what is in store the next moment.

Individuals are prepared to engage themselves in various activities for the sake of their own personal comfort and for the acquisition of wealth and position and for ensuring the good of their kith and kin. But few of them are prepared to make any efforts or sacrifice for the general good of society.

It is known from ancient times that good conduct and character are the most essential requisites for a human. They are the basis for the spiritual life. If the spiritual aspect is neglected, one becomes an artificial, mechanical being with no genuine human quality. Spirituality reveals the basic principle that is immanent in everything and sustains the entire Cosmos.

Huge amount people today lack a broad-minded Universal outlook. All actions done by human today are intended to satisfy the mind. They are too much self-centred and, like frogs in a well, are preoccupied only with their narrow selfish interests.

The primary cause for the chaos of divisions, conflicts, disorder and violence in the world today is the absence of the sense of oneness among people. You must realise the unity that underlies the apparent diversity. All the myriad forms you see are reflections in a mirror of your own image. All the sadhanas you do are of little use for realising the Atma. They may help to tranquilise the mind. But what you have to do is to eliminate the thought process of the mind altogether. Only those sadhanas which aim at eliminating the mind will be of use in the Atmic quest.

Some people resort to meditation in the belief that there is some power greater than themselves which they must experience. People also undertake arduous exercises to realise some secret, mysterious and marvellous power other than themselves. This is action born of ignorance. There is nothing higher in the world than yourself. But belief in the existence of such a power is a creation of your mind. There is nothing in the world separate from you. For all worldly things there is a Kartha (a creator), Karma (causal action) and Kriya (the end product). In the sphere of the spiritual, however, there is only the Kartha (Creator). The Atmic principle, which represents the unity of all these three, is the One that pervades the entire Cosmos. It is the Universal (Cosmic)consciousness.

It is this Cosmic Consciousness that has been presented to the common people as Sat-Chit- Ananda so that they can comprehend its nature. The Vedantins looked upon these three as reflections of each other. These three have also been called Asthi, Bhaati and Priyam in Vedantic parlance. In fact, all three are one and the same. The Atma (Spirit) has no form. It is capable of assuming the form of the container which it fills.

When you want to understand the nature of consciousness, you have to understand one part of it, namely, Conscience. Conscience is a Witness. It is also known as Awareness. A witness requires a basis for its functioning. That basis is that of which you are "conscious" in the waking state. There are these three levels of understanding. Being "conscious" (of the objective world), the Conscience and the Consciousness. The first state is related to the senses. Conscience is related to the mind. Consciousness is related to the Atma (the Spirit).

If you seek to know where is the Atma, it is the Chaitanya (Consciousness) between one state of consciousness and another. There is a state which is between waking and sleep. The yogis have observed this phenomenon. That which is conscious between the waking and sleeping states is the Atmic principle. The waking state represents the Rajo guna. Sleep represents the Tamo guna. In between is the Satwa guna - that is the Atmic Consciousness.

"I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all things," declares Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. All that you see in the cosmos - the moving and stationary objects - is a manifestation of the Atma. In the spiritual realm, what you hear at every step is the Atma. What is seen is Atma. What is heard is Atma. What makes you forget is also Atma.

Krishna declared to Arjuna: "In this Universe there is anything that is not Atma." The Atma is one and the same in everybody, distinctions are made among different persons on the basis of their physical and other characteristics and their relationships.

In reality, all efforts made for experiencing Atmic bliss are aberrations of the mind. Seeking liberation human adores a myriad deities. Of what avail is all this, when all the different religions have declared that there is only One God.

What human needs today is to take the resolve to realise the Atma. It is Atma-jnana (Knowledge of the Self). The first aim of human existence should be to experience Atma-Ananda (Atmic Bliss). This Atma is called Eruka (Awareness). This Awareness produces in every being the sense of "I-ness." "I" that the whole process of creation began. If there is no "I," there is no creation. The terms, "I", Atma and Brahmam are all synonymous. How can you discover your source or your true Self by searching for it elsewhere (than within you)?

To know your own Self, why do you need any assistance?

The "I" not associated with the mind is Atma. The "I" associated with the mind is mithyaatma (pseudo-self).

As long as the mind exists, desires will persist. When desires are present, attachments and possessiveness cannot be got rid of. When you examine the activities of the mind, with a view to finding out whether they are leading you to bondage or to liberation, you will find that they are only leading you to bondage.

All that human does - seeing, hearing, experiencing and doing - are all mental delusions caused by association with the body. The mind is dependent on the body. The mind experiences all that relates to the world made up of Pancha Bhutas (the five elements) through the sense organs. The mind sees the world through the eyes, hears through the ears and so on... If you look at things below the mind, you perceive the phenomenal world. All knowledge and experiences are associated with the mind externally.

Five types of Dharma (duties) have been laid down for human. One is Kula Dharma (duties relating to his occupational group). The second is Dhesha Dharma (duty to the nation). The third is Matha Dharma (duties pertaining to his religion). The fourth is Gana Dharma (duties relating to society). The fifth is Aapath Dharma (the duty when he faces danger).


All these five types of duties are related to one's life in the phenomenal world and are not concerned with the Atma. All these duties have penalties for their violation. They should be considered as essential corrective measures conducive to one's good/.

In the Gita has declared that the Cosmos is a combination of the Kshetra and Kshetrajna (the Field and the Knower of the Field). True knowledge consists in the awareness of the relationship between Kshetra and Kshetrajna.
The human body, which is called Kshetra, is a reflection of Prakriti (Nature). All the conscious and inert objects in the Cosmos are immanent in the human body. The Cosmos itself is a reflection of the human's inner Being.

It is not enough to recognise the role of the body, the senses, the mind and the intellect. There is within the body the Kshetrajna, the Indwelling Knower, who oversees these agencies. If you understand the Kshetrajna (knower) in the kshetra, there will be no need to enquire about the kshetra (the body, etc). If you look beyond the mind, you recognise the Atma.

To know the Kshetrajna you have to acquire Jnana (the Supreme Knowledge). This transcends every other kind of knowledge, which is related to the physical and the phenomenal. Atma and Jnana are principally one, though called by different names.

Jnana which is known when the senses are brought under control by the mind, the mind itself ceases to function. It disappears as it were. Then human experiences a profound silence. That stillness resulting from the absence of the mind is true Knowledge. This knowledge cannot be acquired by intellectual ability or mental agility. Nor can it be acquired by following an example. It is not something new to be got. It is like the ashes which cover a burning charcoal or like the moss which covers a sheet of water. The ashes have come from the charcoal. The moss has originated from the water.

Atma Jnana (Knowledge of the Self) is not obtainable through books. Nor can preceptors impart it. It is not even given by the Paramatma (the Supreme Self). You are yourself the Paramatma, the Jnana, the Atma. How does this Atma exist in all beings? How is this Jnana present in everyone? When you meditate on this in solitude, a permanent, unchanging sound arises from the mind. In all human beings there is one unchanging and indivisible Divine entity (the Inner Voice).

The body undergoes change from infancy to old age, but the Inner Voice remains unchanged. The Inner Voice has no change in the gross or subtle states of the body. It is the divine Inner Voice issuing from the Atma-tatwa (Atma Principle) what cannot be realised through scholarship or dialectics. However great a pandit might be, he would not be able to see an object if he is blind. Even a great scholar proficient in all the scriptures will not able to see objects of the phenomenal world in his dream state. But the human that is awake, whether a scholar or not, can see the objects in the world. In the same manner, the Atmasakthi (the power of the Spirit) which cannot be readily recognised, will be evident to one who has attained Atmic knowledge through purity of the mind.

The aspirant who seeks to experience the Atma will not be able to have it by performing worldly actions. Irrespective of whether there is a body or not, whether there is a mind or not, the Atma is present. To realise the Atma, physical prowess is of no avail. It is only by developing the sense of spiritual oneness that the Atmic Consciousness can be realised. There is no need for a body or mind to experience the Divine. But till this is properly understood, good care has to be taken of the body, the senses, the mind and the intellect.

There is no difference between Bhakti (devotion) and Jnana (knowledge of the Spirit).

There were two brothers, Jnaanadheva and Bhakthidheva. Both were going on a journey. On the way, they felt thirsty. Bhakthidheva asked Jnaanadheva, "I am thirsty but I cannot see water anywhere." Jnaanadheva said: "Let us see whether there is any well nearby." After going some distance, they noticed an old well with water deep at the bottom. Jnaanadheva declared: that through wisdom anything can be accomplished. He immediately assumed the form of a bird, flew down to the water in the well, quenched his thirst and came up. Jnaanadheva had the ability to assume any form because of the supreme knowledge of the Self.

Bhakthidheva could not get down into the well. He sat near the well and prayed to God with intense love. After sometime, the water in the well rose to the level of his feet. Noting the wetness of his feet, he opened his eyes and saw that the water in the well had overflowed.

Jnaana requires a change in one's form. Bhakthi needs no such change. Intense loving devotion will suffice. What the devotee needs will come running to him. There is nothing greater than devotion. Through loving devotion, the Lord can be made captive. Devotional Love is itself God.

Devotion is easier than Jnaana maarga (the path of Knowledge). Through devotion, constant chanting of the name and loving remembrance of God, anything can be accomplished. When you love God with all your heart, the bliss you experience is unexcelled. This was the experience of the Gopikas. This has been described as the fifth Purushaartha, the experience of union with God - Supreme devotion.

Among the nine forms of devotion, the foremost is the cultivation of the sakhya (friendship) of God. Friendship is followed by total surrender to the Divine.

The human of faith need not worry about who will take care of him if he devotes all his time to thoughts of the Divine. The Lord who is the universal provider will take care of his devotees. This faith in the Lord was emphatically proclaimed by Purandharadhaasa in his songs.

When you develop the feeling of spiritual oneness of all beings, you become one with the Divine. Do not consider God as distant from you. Do not also entertain the crazy notion that if you worship Him, He will appear before you. Offer yourself to Him and in a moment you will experience Him within you. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 17. "Devotion without discipline is valueless," Chapter 4; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 23. "Know thyself," Chapter 19 and "Kshetra and Kshetrajna," Chapter 20; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 26. "The Divine and destiny," Chapter 26; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Jnaana and Bhakthi," Chapter 37 and "The power that draws devotees," Chapter 41).

Namaste - Reet


Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 13 - 19 September 2005

Experience the Divine by the Vision Inwards

The motto: You must see, hear, study, observe, experience and reflect; only then can you understand Me.
Sathya Sai Baba

This is tragic: when good things are spoken, usually people find it difficult to pay attention; but when demeaning, distracting things are spoken, the ears are on the alert.

Many modern films pollute human minds; they teach crime, violence and greed; they destroy the basic humanness and degrade it into bestiality. Many novels too corrupts equally, with salacious pictures of bestiality.

Attachment, affection, interest - these will create prejudice, partiality, illusion, they hide the Truth; they dull the intelligence. One does not become a Yogi to have affection; one must be free from favourites, fancies and fondness. Once you attach yourself to some person or habit or mannerism, it will be difficult for you to shake them off.

Human should be the master of own behaviour; one should not be led away by the impulse of the moment. One should so carry on the daily tasks that does not make others suffer or suffer him/herself. That is the sign of intelligent living. In this spiritual sphere of mental peace and inner joy, the responsibility for success or failure is entirely one's own. Do not add fuel to the fire of the senses. The negative Shakthi (power) and the positive Shakthi both together will give the Light.

Life is a struggle between the forces of good and evil, of joy and grief, of success and failure. The doubt may arise whether, in the face of this perpetual fight, human can ever escape from the bonds of duality. Is it after all a vain hope, or a tantalising prospect or is it the sport of God?

The Universe is a University for those who care to watch and learn. Awareness is life; so, the farmer, the carpenter, the smith, the sculptor, the merchant, all have the need to be aware of their duties and their responsibilities, their skills and standards, which education must foster and fix.

Spiritual education is not a distinct and separate discipline; it is part and parcel of all types and levels of education, In fact, it is the very foundation on which a lasting edifice can be built. Secular and spiritual education are like the two halves in the seeds of pulses; the germ that sprouts is in between; It is fed by both. All worldly knowledge and physical prowess are of no avail if there is no spiritual strength. This is illustrated by the lives of Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaaksha in the Bhaagavatham, of Karna and the Kauravas in the Mahaabhaaratha and of Raavana in the Raamaayana.

It is doubtless essential to acquire skills of various kinds. But they have to be used for the realisation of the four main goals of human life, described compendiously as the Purushaarthas. /The term Purusha has to be properly understood. In-common parlance, it is applied to a male person. But Purusha refers to the Jeeva, the Aathma, Praana and the Brahman. It is the Chaithanya (awareness or consciousness) in every being, as distinct from Prakrithi, which represents the body (and the phenomenal universe). Prakrithi represents the feminine principle, while consciousness represents the male aspect. Purusha applies to both man and woman)/. The four main goals are: Dharma (righteousness), Artha (wealth), Kaama (desire) and Moksha (liberation).

1. Among the Purushaarthas, the first goal of life is Dharma. Dharma is commonly understood as referring to activities like going on pilgrimages, offering charity and performing good acts. But these activities serve only to provide mental satisfaction and do not lead to the Divine. But Dharma is the very embodiment of Divinity. All efforts to achieve oneness with the Divine can alone be termed Dharma. Dharma (Righteousness) is the root of human life. Its importance is not realised just as people looking at the fruit of a tree do not recognise the roots from which the tree and its fruits derive their sustenance. The tree has grown because of the water supplied at its root. Karma is the tree and the fruit you see in the tree is the result of your karma. What is it based upon? That is the marma (the secret). It is the unseen Dharma that is the secret. It is the unseen root of the tree. The meaning of this marma is that we should follow Dharma which determines the nature of the fruit borne by the tree.

2. Artha is ordinarily understood as referring to wealth. But what is the wealth that one should really seek? It is the wealth of Jnaana, the wealth of Brahma Jnaana (Divine Wisdom). Pursuit of this knowledge is the real quest for wealth, not the pursuit of money and possessions.

3 - 4. Kaama is not mere fulfillment of worldly desires, which are transient and momentary. The desire should be for Moksha, which means liberation from attachment to all worldly objects and cultivating attachment to the Divine.

People today engage themselves in many outward spiritual practices. These must be internalised. The scholar may expound the texts, but lacks the internal experience. One who has mastered the Vedhas may be able to explain the words, but cannot recognise the Vedha Purusha, the Supreme Person hailed by the Vedhas.

Many read the Raamaayana as a daily ritual. But how many carry out the commands of their fathers? How many practise the virtue of fraternal affection and love proclaimed in the Raamaayana? Is there anyone standing for the gospel of Dharma as upheld by Shri Raama? Of what use is it endlessly to listen to discourses without putting anything into practice? Also the Geetha is being read and expounded all the time. But simply reciting the Geetha is valueless. What is meant by practice? Direct your sacred love rewards God. Get immersed in that Love. There is no need for any severe spiritual exercise. You can experience the entire cosmos within your heart.

To proceed on one's life's journey successfully is like driving a car safely. This requires right understanding of how to handle the switch, the steering wheel, the gears and the brakes. One should also follow the Vedhic Maxim; "Sathyam Vadha, Dharmam Chara." It is an injunction to human to speak the Truth and practise right conduct. This will help to be true to person's conscience.

It is God within that inspires you to good acts, that warns you against the bad. Listen to that Voice. Obey that Voice and you will not come to any harm. Act according to the promptings of your conscience and concentrate on the present, which is a product of the past and the parent of the future. How can human exist without God? There can be no people without the inner kinship that God ensures for each. He is the Brahmasuuthra - the Brahman String, invisible, but inevitable.

From the most ancient times, people have been engaged in the search for God. The questions, "Who is God?" and "What is the means to realise God?", are not of today. They have been there from the earliest times and have agitated mankind ceaselessly.

Scientists employ all kinds of instruments and declare that they have not found God anywhere. But the saints, seeing God with the inner vision, see Him everywhere. They use the power of manthra to see God; they see God through the lens of Love. The ancient sages, however, regarded realisation of the Divine as their main goal and practised various austerities. There after, they went out into the world and proclaimed: Vedhaaham etham Purusham mahaantham" (We have experienced the effulgent, all-pervading Supreme Divine). Where did they experience Him? They declared: ?We have found Him beyond the darkness, beyond the mind and the senses, in our hearts."

A few yogis, who comprehended the nature of the Divine and who felt that the purpose of human existence is to seek the Divine, undertook various spiritual exercises to discover how to achieve this objective. The purpose of human life is to realise the Divine. The ancient sages, recognizing this truth, pursued different kinds of penances to experience the Divine. Some of them, feeling that the task was beyond their powers, gave up the quest in the middle. Some others, recognizing that this was the sole purpose of human life persevered in their efforts with determination. When human sets heart upon achieving anything, there is nothing impossible.

When some people ask you, "Can you show God?" you should reply: ?You are God; that is why you are able to talk and act." There is nothing in the world other than God. Swami told that once a person came to Him and argued that there was no God and he was not prepared to believe in one. Swami asked has he faith at least in yourself? You have faith in your judgement, your intelligence, your ability, because God within you tells you not to falter or fear. That assurance wells from within, from your basic truth, which is otherwise called God. It does not matter if you do not call it God; it is enough if you believe in Yourself; that is the real test of theism. Such was Swami's answer.

Hence the scriptures declare, "The body is the temple of God in which the individual Spirit dwells as the Ancient One." The Spirit (as consciousness) resides in the earthly body. The body is of the earth, earthy.

The Aathma is consciousness. Humanness is the coming together of the mundane and the spiritual consciousness. It is a combination of good and evil. It is a mixture of the transient and the eternal.

The body is a Kshethra (shrine). The Indweller is the Kshethrajna (Knower). The source of Bliss, the Spirit, is within himself. Kith and kin are outside one, but God is within the body. It is a waste of time to try to secure in one way or other a direct vision of God. God is manifesting Himself in the heart of everyone. Forgetting the God who is nearest and closest to them, people are trying to seek for an invisible God elsewhere "Dhaivam maanusha ruupena" (God appears in human form). It is sheer human fancy to imagine that God is effulgent light or that he has four arms with conch and discus, and dwells in some remote place.

However, a person who is attached to the body cannot, as a rule, experience a formless, incorporeal God. Hence, as long as one has attachment to the body, one must adore God in a physical form. When people worship Dhurga, Lakshmi Sarasvathi, and other deities, gods externally in pictures or icons, they are giving physical forms to the subtle potencies that are within them. When a person goes to a temple, he/she doses eyes in front of the idol, because what person seeks is an internal vision of God and not a sight of the external form of the idol.

This is the Life Principle and with this you can lead a purposeful life. You must understand your Dharma without which you cannot act in the right manner. You are the master with the intellect and mind as instruments.

Human is unlike animals whose vertebral column is horizontal. Human can stand erect on his two legs. Animals have instincts but no mind or intellect. What is the difference between human and birds and beasts? Can eating, drinking, sleeping and ultimately dying, be the be-all and end-all of human life? All these are common to animals and human beings. What, then, is the difference? Although human is endowed with intelligence, discrimination and wisdom, without endeavouring to know the truth, human regards physical phenomena as the only reality, and forgets the main goal of life.

Human is swayed by the delusion that life is meant to enjoy; eat, drink, and sleep. There is no attempt to understand the purpose for which human being is born in this world. Though person attempts to pursue right action, he/she fails because of greed, ambition, lust and other temptations.

This is due to the delusion caused by Maya what is a strange phenomenon that envelops human in spite of all precautions. It is like a shadow that chases one everywhere. The shadow's size depends very much upon the direction of the light. When one moves towards the light and comes under it, the shadow disappears and there is no Maya.

The mysteries of creation are marvellous. When two persons meet at any time or place, the differences between them are patent. Their forms and manners differ. They differ in their cleverness and intelligence. Their opinions also vary. Without understanding what underlies these differences, the materialist thinkers emphasize the differences. At present good persons who realise the unity behind the apparent diversity are dwindling in numbers from day to day.

If one enquires into the matter with a pure and unselfish mind, one will see what is common to all beings. Birth and death are common to all. Hunger and thirst are experienced by every person. These are truths that apply to all persons, whether they are destitutes or millionaires, whether they are scholars or ignorant men.

Every human being has a body and a Spirit. Consequently everyone enjoys a certain degree of freedom. This is described as "Free Will." Not comprehending the nature of this freedom, people tend to stress the differences rather than the unifying factors.

All things, good and bad, in the world are related to human's actions. Your well-being is based on your conduct. Your wealth is dependent on your actions. You will secure peace and prosperity when your conduct is good. This calls for Sahana (forbearance). Forbearance is not a sign of weakness or cowardice. No other weapon has the power of forbearance. It should not be used only as an individual instrument. It has to be experienced collectively also. That is the reason why the scripture has commended collective forbearance at the very outset of the spiritual quest.

The ability to practice and experience forbearance depends on the state of the mind what in turn depends on the nature of the thoughts with which it is filled, even as the smell of a paper depends on what is wrapped up in it, flowers, fish or potato chips. The same mind is responsible for either animal or divine behaviour. The mind is the mischief-maker; it jumps from doubt to doubt; it puts obstacles in the way. It weaves a net and gets entangled in it. It is ever discontented; it runs after a hundred things and away from another hundred.

Purify your minds. Shed jealousy and hatred. Chanting God's name will confer bliss on you. You are unable to understand the inner feelings of joy that the chanting of the Divine name will yield. You should identify yourself with the  Divine vibrations which are like electric waves creating boundless energy. Remember also that speech constitutes the wealth of the world. Speech promotes friendship and kinship. Speech, also leads the way to death. Speech is endowed with immense power. The power and potentialities of speech represent the human's Divine feelings. (Hence, one has to be very vigilant in speech).

In all lands the true sense of values has to be restored, and faith in the divinity of human being has to be implanted. This is the work for which Swami has come. The world has to be saved from the consequences of limited knowledge, and from the blinding pride that precedes a fall.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 2. "Believe in yourself," Chapter 3; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 13. "My wish, My vow," Chapter 17; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 26. "The Divine and destiny," Chapter 26; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "Sathya and Dharma : bases of life," Chapter 8 and "Divine potencies in man," Chapter 27).

Namaste - Reet

 

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