Swami teaches....Part 40
Pictures of Devi Maa and Bhagavan at Dharmakshetra - Yagna Celebration on account of Navaratri (04.10.2005 to 11.10.2005)
Light and Love
Holy Sacrifice and Awareness on the Divine Road
The yajna (sacrifice, also sacrificial fire) manthras declare that all creation is Brahman. You should revere Nature as Brahman; all this Nature imbued with Brahman, is Brahman, is immanent Brahman. You have to pour into the fire the limited vision and earn in exchange the larger vision. The yajna is saadhana (spiritual exercise) in sacrifice and surrender. Believe that you are the imperishable pure Atma. Then, no gain or loss can affect you; no sense of humiliation or despair can torment you.
The word yajna and the word yaaga are both translated as sacrifice; that is the primary purpose of the yajna. The yajna is an occasion for the fixation of the mind on manthra, that is to say, on the formula or sound symbol that saves (thra) when it is meditated upon (manana). The poet is called manthradhrashta (who sees manthras, through his mystic insight, the discoverer of the secret key to inner peace). The effect of the utterance and glorification of these sound-symbols of the Eternal Absolute is felt all over the world. Good thoughts have a way of purifying and cleansing, of feeding the roots of virtue and love. To judge things dedicated to God, God alone is competent.
You sacrifice riches, comfort, power (all that promotes the ego) and merge in the Infinite. That is the attainment and the end. Yajnas are useful because they support the ideal of sacrifice, and condemn acquisition. They emphasise discipline, rather than distraction. They insist on the concentration of the mind, the tongue and the hand on Godhead. Cynics count the bags of grain, the kilograms of ghee, and the hundredweights of fuel, and ask for more bags and kilograms and hundredweights of contentment, happiness in return. The effects of yajna is something immeasurable, though actual and experienceable.
The grain and ghee offered in the sacred fire to the accompaniment of Vedhic formulae give returns, thousandfold. This Yajna was gone through for the sake of the welfare of the whole world. You should merge your welfare with the welfare of the world. How can you be happy when your neighbour is in misery? Swami calls upon you to give up praying for your own advancement; pray for the peace, prosperity and happiness of all humanity, irrespective of clime or colour.
Pray intensely with faith. Then, Grace will be showered on you. When the heart is soaked in Love, it cannot be contaminated by egoism and its evil consequences. Just as you crave for physical health, which means health for the limbs of the body, you should strive for the health of humanity, which means peace and joy for all sections, in all nations. If you dwell in that wider outlook, you will start feeling less and less for your own troubles and worrying more and more for troubles of others. That is the initial offering of yourself in the great "yajna" called "living."
You must not be a bit of a blotting paper, absorbing all the passions and emotions, all the joys and griefs that the actress Nature demonstrates on the stage of Life. You must be a lotus unfolding its petals when the sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water, which sustains it.
Surrender all that you have - all that you have so far believed to be valuable - in the sacred fire. See them being reduced to ashes before your very eyes; look on it without a quiver. It is a call to dedicate all that you now assess as valuable and desirable to the Divine purpose. The yajna is a symbolic sacrifice, of both earthly riches and heavenly aspirations. This is the most precious activity - this dedication and surrender. People see only the outer ritual, not the inner meaning; so, they concentrate on the external pomp and exaggerate the exhibitionistic aspect by means of competitive pageantry. But when the flames rise high darkness is fully destroyed.
Dharma is the inner voice of God. It is the conscience that has shaped itself as a result of centuries of and generations of asceticism and austerity; it is experience the voice of history, warning you against the breach of its command. Divinity is the magnet; humanity is the iron. Love is the force that brings them together. The inspiration and the channels through which that inspiration can be used, have to arise from your own hearts. There is no room for imitation.
The coconut tree thrives best on the sea coast; the tree of Brahma-thathwa grows best on the soil of prema (love). The region of the heart has to be transformed into a region of compassion.
Human's native characteristic, nature and breath is prema. The fog of desire clouds prema and distorts it. Like the dog which took its image in the canal as another dog and started to bark it off, human too barks at his own image (fellow- beings) who are as much images of Brahman as one oneself is.
Fix your attention on the identity, not the difference. Investigate the Truth as far as your intellect leads you; you will come up against the principle of love. Transmuting humanity into divinity is the task allotted to human; thought, word deed are instruments for this unavoidable destiny. By means of sadhana and deep faith this consummation can be achieved. (But without a clean heart, all worship is useless. Without spiritual purity, religious observances are valueless. People indulge in high-sounding talk about spiritual matters. But without application in practice, such talk has no meaning).
The Vedic manthra with which the offering is given to the Gods is: Thryambakam yajaamahe, sugandhim pushti vardhanam - "I propitiate the three-eyed One, the flagrant, the promoter of strength and sweetness, of light and happiness." The three eyes signify many things, which constitute the Divine: the Sun, Moon, Fire which symbolise heat and light; the Gross, Subtle and Causal, which symbolise the embodiments of the manifold manifestations of the One; Will, Work and Wisdom, which symbolise the operational channels of the One Sovereign Power; Doer, Deed, Duty symbolising the sense of I which is the shadow of the One in the many. The mind is just a pattern of desires, a composite of the warp and woof of plans and resolutions. It has immense potentiality to create manifold images, and so is also called imagination what hides the Truth. Desire creates a mirage where there was none before. Desire imposes beauty where there was none before; it clothes things with desirability. To escape from the clutches of desire, which gives birth to the brood of anger, hatred, malice, greed, envy, faction, falsehood, etc., one has to cleanse his consciousness by prayer and sath karma (good activity, selfless, desireless activity). Seva is the best saadhana for eliminating the nefarious pull of the mind towards desires.
Love expresses itself as Seva; Love grows through Seva; Love is born in the womb of Seva. Treat the person served as your own brother or sister. Your sisters and brothers have different bodies, separate from yours, like these others, haven't they? But, yet, you feel a special attachment to them. Why? It is the consequence of Love. Have the same Love to these others, too. See Swami in all beings, for Swami is there, in all beings. The Avathaar is a Child to the children, a Boy to the boys, a Man among men, a Woman among women, so that the Avathaar's message might reach each heart and receive enthusiastic response, as Aanandha (bliss). Avathaar has come to restore Dharma, and so when human follows Dharma, He is pleased and content. With hands on chest, assert, "I am human; I am saturated with shining humanity, humanness."
God does not draw you near or keep you far, you near Him or keep away from Him. You live according to the highest demands of your nature and you are near Him.
Nature (Prakrithi) is your school, your laboratory, the gateway to liberation, and the panorama of God's manifold majesty. Seek to know the lessons it is ready to teach; all things in Nature are as Brahman as you are. So, any act is Divine; any work is Divine worship; build the mansion of your life on the strong foundation of the faith that all this is Brahman.
First, serve the self; then, help others. This is the highest form of self help, for it leads you to God and you will be a good example to others. Serve, because you must, because your inner impulse asks you to do it, because you get Aanandha out of it. Service at the time when it is most needed is most beneficial. God likes to be worshipped with the flower of compassion.
Swami reveals the advanced aspect of awareness too for spiritual aspirants. He tells that usually most of us seek God in temples and light lamps to see Him more clearly. But learn to see Him in your own heart, in the hearts of all beings.
Monks, Sanyaasins, Heads of Mutts and Monastic Organisations preach in an atmosphere surcharged with pomp, pedantry and publicity, "the Vedhas insist on the dissolution of the ego, the Quoran insists on surrender, the Bible emphasises humility and charity;" but, they wallow in the low desires for pelf, power, name and fame. They aspire for transient trinkets, tawdry fame, and cheap tinsel glories. What they have to teach is simply this: When you feel you are a Jeeva (individual being), you are separated from God; when you feel you are Dheva (Divine), you are one with Him. Call on Him who is Light; ignorance and fear, its consequences, disappear.
Do not imagine that God is residing in Kaashi or Raameshwaram or Puttaparthi. Know that He is in your own heart; evoke Him from there, invoke Him there, and He grants you the Vision, immediately.
You are not Yelliah, Malliah or Pulliah; you are the immortal eternal ever-pure Atma. Gandhi, replied, when Kaarunyaanandha asked for his blessings, "My blessings will not help you at all; win the blessings of the Truth that is your very core! That alone will stand by you, in times of need!" You are Sathya Swaruupa (embodiments of Truth); be true to your own Truth.
The secret of liberation lies, not in the mystic formula that is whispered in the ear and rotated on the rosary, it lies in the stepping out into action, the walking forward in practice, the pious pilgrim route and the triumphant reaching of the Goal. The best Guru is the Divine in you; yearn for hearing His Voice, His Upadhesh. If you seek worldly Gurus, you will have to run from one to another, like a rat caught inside a drum, which flees to the right when the drummer beats on the left and to the left when he beats the right.
Many persons yearn for God, worship God or contemplate on God. God cannot be realised by any of these means. All these activities are based on separating themselves from God. What is needed is a sense of oneness. How is this to be obtained? When you cultivate the feeling: "I and you are one." This oneness is beyond the grasp of the mind and the senses. It is only the Buddhi (Intellect) that can experience what is beyond the senses.
The boulder on the hill from which a portion has been blasted away, to carve an idol for the temple, tells the idol, Thath thwam asi (You and I are the same); that and this are one substance. But, what a difference? The hammer and chisel have made one a thing of beauty and a joy for ever, an inspiration to make life beautiful and holy. You too must subject yourself to the hammer of discipline and the chisel of pain-pleasure, so that you become Divine.
Creation itself is the outcome of action. Human as a part of creation is also a product of the process. Human represents the jiva sakthi (vital force) encased in the body. The body is the result of Karma (deeds in one's previous life). All activities associated with the body, speech and mind are Karma.
In the performance of Karma, five factors are involved. They are: the body, the doer, the sensory organs, the varied actions and the common factor in all beings, the Divine Principle.
There are two types of actions described in the Gita as Swadharma and Paradharma. The last refers to actions related to the physical entity. Such actions are based on likes and dislikes, on ideas of "mine" and "thine." They are fraught with danger and hence the Gita has cautioned against them. We are continually worried about what may happen in the future. All that we do in the present have their consequences in due course. Paradharma is generally regarded as duties related to one's caste, vocation or stage in life and it is considered meritorious to perform these duties. But Swadharma is not related to community, caste or creed. Swadharma enjoys human to perform the duties relating to the Atma as the primary obligation.
In all these actions, there are three categories; Satwic Karma, Rajasic Karma and Tamasic Karma.
Satwic actions are those which are done without any selfish or egoistic motives, with no concern for the fruits and as an offering to the Divine and win the Grace of God.
All actions done out of
self-interest and conceit for the sake of the rewards therefrom are
Rajasic. Most actions done by common people in ordinary daily life belong
to this category. Almost everyone in the world indulges in Rajasic
actions. One must strive to convert them into Satwic-actions.
In the great drama of cosmic life, the Cosmic Director, God, is also an actor. God's actions have to be in accordance with His role in the Cosmic play. There are certain rules as to how one should act according to the time, the place and the circumstances. The Creator has to conform to the rules laid down by Him for creation.
Not recognizing this truth, people who are involved in worldly ways, ask questions as to why in certain situations God did not use his limitless powers to avert certain untoward events. These arise out of a narrow conception of things and concerned, as a rule, themselves and their interests. They do not realise that for God the entire Universe is His temple.
When things are seen with this broad perspective, it will be recognized that anything can happen to anyone at any place or any time. Each one's life will end in the place, the manner and at the time prescribed for him. This is inescapable. This is according to the operation of Nature's law based on the pairs of opposites in life - the concept of duality. There is a continual conflict between these opposites (pleasure and pain, birth and death, etc.).
Jesus Christ declared: "I am the Son of God." But when he was crucified, God did not come to his rescue. Christ even cried out in anguish: "Oh Father, Why are you not coming to save me?" But the Lord acts having regard to the time, place and the circumstances. He accords to each person the honour and esteem that is due to him. Christ became a glorious figure in the moment of his crucifixion.
The noble and the pure have been subject to calumny in all ages. From ancient times to the present, the evil minded have assailed the high-souled people who have sought to serve their fellowmen. Only when these attacks are faced and overcome does the glory of the Divine become manifest. No great individual has ever achieved eminence without overcoming abuse and calumny, trials and tribulations.
The greatest single cause for darkness in the world today is envy. When one is happy and contented, others envy him and strive to ruin his peace of mind. When any one is acclaimed as great, malice moves others to invent calumny, in order to tarnish the reputation. This is the way of the world. Take the divine road; be happy and make others happy. Then, your name will last even after the body disintegrates. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 8. "Inspiration, not imitation," Chapter 40; "Full of fangs," Chapter 41 and "That plus and this minus," Chapter 42; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "The crucial years," Chapter 23 and "The seven-day sacrifice," Chapter 26; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 19. "The five Yajnas," Chapter 21; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 26. "The Divine and destiny," Chapter 26; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "The power that draws devotees," Chapter 41).
Namaste - Reet