Swami teaches....Part 44
Bhajans Complement the Stream the River of Life
People read all kinds of sacred books- the Geetha, the Bible, the Quran, the Granth Saheb and others. All these books confine their reachings to specific subjects. They do not cover other subjects related to the physical, the social etc. But the Cosmos itself constitutes the most comprehensive text-book, covering all subjects, the physical, the mundane, the ethical and the spiritual. The cosmos is therefore the best text. There is nothing you cannot learn from the Universe.
Human is no ordinary being. The term Nara applied to human, means Atma (the Spirit). Human is the embodiment of triple entities. He/she has one form in the waking state, another in the dream state and a third in the deep sleep state. Although the waking state is described in many ways, the presiding deity of this is called Vishva. Tiffs Vishva is made up of twenty-five constituents - the five basic elements, the five pranas (life-breaths), the five sense organs, the five Koshas (sheaths), the mind, the intellect, the Will, Ahamkaara (Ego) and the Jeevi (Indwelling Spirit). Together, these twenty-five represent the Lord of the waking state. This Vishva, making use of the sense organs in the waking state experiences the Cosmos as pervaded by the Divine.
In the dream state, the presiding deity is called Thaijasa based on Thejas and has 17 constituents. The five sense organs, the five life-breaths and the five sheaths and the mind and intellect. In the dream state the individual is creating dream experiences, including joy and sorrow. The dream experiences are mental creations of the dreamer.
In the deep sleep state, Prajna is the divine entity. In this state there is only one faculty present: the Prajnaa-shakthi (the power of Awareness). This awareness represents the Supreme Brahma Principle. As the mind and the intellect also absent, the individual is in a state of Supreme Bliss-Sath-Chith-Aanandha (Being-Awareness-Bliss).
Human is thus not one entity but a threefold personality in the three states of consciousness.
The scriptures describe human being as Thungabhadhra. This name is familiarly associated with that of a river. But, in reality Thungabhadhra is the River of Life. 'Bhadhra' means that which is auspicious. 'Thunga' means that which is immense and immeasurable. Thungabhadhra refers to the body which is capable of conferring limitless well-being on mankind. By misusing such a body human is ruining own life and destroying own true humanness.
Today, you have to open your hearts and close your mouths. But people are doing exactly the opposite. This is treason to God. Practise silence as far as possible. The ancient sages practised mounam (absolute silence) as a spiritual discipline. When silence is practised, bliss will manifest itself.
There are four types of persons; the 'dead,' who deny the Lord and declare that they alone exist, independent, free, selfregulating and self-directed; the 'sick,' who call upon the Lord when some calamity befalls them or when they feel temporarily deserted by the usual sources of succour; the 'dull,' who know that God is eternal companion and watchman, but who remember it only off and on when the idea is potent and powerful; and lastly, the 'healthy,' who have steady faith in the Lord and who live in His comforting creative presence always.
In the worship of the Divine, there are two schools of thoughts - those who worship the formless and those who worship the Divine in different forms. The differences over this issue are fruitless. Water that is formless acquire a form when it becomes ice. Vedhaantha has clearly pointed out the futility of this controversy.
Pray to God and draw from Him the magnet of His grace and offer to the world the power of His Divine energy. It is all-powerful, because it is Divine and within you. Whatever you do, have the name of the Lord on your lips and faith in God in your heart. Thereby work will be transformed into worship.
Devotees are inclined to worship the Lord under different names. They consider the names different from each other. They forget that they are all equally, embodiments of the Divine. There should be no feeling of high and low. Only the one who has the feeling of oneness can be called a renunciant. It is wrong to make a distinction between Raama and Shiva as some small-minded devotees do.
The nature of the Divine can only be properly understood, by those who are filled with devotion. There must be yearning for God. The denial of God is a kind of disease. The unbeliever is afflicted by a variety of diseases like pride, envy, anger and greed.
There are some who have one foot on faith and the other on disbelief. For sometime they live with devotion and then they get lost in worldly concerns. The result is they have the worst of both worlds. One should not attempt to ride two horses at the same time. Stick to one thing and pursue it with determination.
Truth is that which is valid for all the three categories of Time - past, present, and the future. Truth is Divine. In the world today both truth and sacrifice are rare. But these two are the proper goals for human existence. It should be realised that the body and all the appurtenances of the mind have been given to enable to achieve spiritual peace. If spiritual bliss is not attained, all other physical attachments are worthless.
If you wish to change the world, these two principles are the recipe. Sathya (Truth) purifies the heart. Thyaaga (sacrifice) transforms the physical environment. By this double transformation the entire world is divinised.
Human has to drive away the cloud of ignorance enveloping the mind by meditating on God. The Vedhaantha persuades to investigate the function of the senses and of the mind which is activated by its capacity to reflect the Atma within. All the inner instruments of knowledge and the inner witness in human are promoters of the highest wisdom, though they are misused, in ignorance, to confound and ruin human's progress. Those who are aware of their being only the indestructible Atma, encased in temporary sheaths, in a ramshackle dwelling house bearing a name and presenting a form, they are unaffected by anything that happens to the sheath or house.
Tastes differ according to temperament and the character one has earned by generations of activity as a living being in this world. The proprietor of a coffee house goes to the nearby druggist for a pill to ward off his headache, and the druggist when he gets a headache goes to the coffee house for a cup of coffee which he thinks will cure him. People are like that; tastes of people differ. The Jnaani says, "Sarvam Brahma mayam:" In God is All;" another, a yogi, says all is energy; a third, who is a bhaktha, says all is the play of the Lord. Each according to his taste and according to his progress in saadhana (spiritual practice). Do not hurry or ridicule them, for they are all pilgrims trudging along the same road.
Actions determine the course of the intellect. In the actions performed by the person, there are two types: the proper and the improper. Person's intellectual tendencies depend on the nature of actions, good or bad. The condition of the intellect is determined by one's actions. The heart is your conscience. When you consult your heart or conscience, it tells you what is right. It is the right preceptor. Then you have Time. It is going in the right direction. In any circumstance you cannot go against Time. Teachers are of two kinds: the painful and the illuminating. Time belongs to the type of teacher who illumines. Time is the devourer of all things in due course. One should act according to the needs of the Time, with full faith in the Lord.
It has been said that in the Kali Age them is no greater spiritual practice than chanting the name of the Lord.
There are four ways of chanting the Lord's name. One is through Keerthana (song). Then there is Sankeerthana (community singing). Another is Dhyaana (meditating on the Divine). The fourth is contemplation of the form of the Divine. In all these, meditating on the name is basic.
By meditating on the Lord, Chaithanya and Meera experienced the ecstatic vision of the Lord within themselves. Both of them were immersed in the feeling of devotion to the Lord. Krishna declared that He is present wherever His devotees sing His glories. The singing must not be merely a musical exercise but express genuine devotion.
By devotional singing one can get merged in the Divine. That is the reason why the Lord is described as Gaanalola or Gaanapriya (Lover of song or one who is charmed by music). It will be befitting if a devotee combines the reciting of the Lord's name with singing and praying for merger with the Divine.
Swami's Grace is ever with you; it is not something that is given or taken; it is given always and accepted by the Consciousness that is aware of its significance. Win the Grace of your own subconscious, so that it may accept the Grace of God which is ever available. God does not deny any one; it is only you, who deny God. When the gift is proffered, you have to do only one little act, so that you may earn it - you have to extend your hand to receive it. The Grace itself will confer on you the faith and the strength, the wisdom and the joy. Swami's first message to humanity was "Maanasa Bhajare." Install the Lord in your heart and offer Him the fruits of your actions and the flowers of your inner thoughts and feelings.
Whenever Niraakaara (formless) becomes Sakaara (one with form), it has to fulfil the Mission and it does so in various ways. You do not know the real reasons behind the actions of the Lord. You even cannot understand the motives of other people who are almost like you in everything, actuated by the same motives and having the same likes and dislikes.
Human too has come for a great destiny, on a sacred mission, endowed with special skills and tendencies to help him/her on; but, human being fritters these precious gifts and crawls on earth from birth to death, worse than any animal. Exercises like Bhajan elevate the mind and exhort the individual to seek and find the source of eternal joy that lies within. Make singinging bhajan pictorially a life-long Bhajan, of adoration, of pilgrimage to the Lord within.
Bhajan is one of the processes by which you can train the mind to expand into eternal values. Bhajan induces in you a desire for experiencing the truth, to glimpse the beauty that is God, to taste the bliss that is the Self. It encourages human to dive into himself and be genuinely his real Self. Once that search is desired, the path is easy. Bhajan which is part of Nagarasankeerthan (moving choirs) gladdens the singer and showers joy to those who listen; it cleanses and purifies the atmosphere by its vital vibrations. It inspires and instructs; it calls and comforts. Hold fast to the God you believe in, despite trials and tests, the ups and downs of life.
The scriptures lay down Bhajan (group devotional singing), Naamasmaran (Remembering God's Name) and Sankeerthan (devotional music) as the Saadhanas (spiritual practices) of this Age. Bhajan is the process of singing your prayers to God, praising His glory and compassion, and pleading that He may fill you with His Grace.
Bhajan has to be a thrilling experience, which must leave the participants full of pure energy and elevated enthusiasm. The Bhajans are sung to parade one's compositions and these are sung during the group sittings, as if they are rehearsed there. Pay attention to the tune, the meaning, the variety, the voice, the raaga, the thaal (the tune and the beat) and other fine points of the Bhajans. If your voice is not pleasant or sweet, keep quiet; that is the best service you can do.
The Bhajans must be sweet to the ear, arousing pictures of the glory and grandeur of Godhead, in the mind of the singers and listeners; they must refer to various Names and Forms of God, so that the Bhajan Sessions might fill every one with ecstasy. Bhajan is a Saadhana for all who share in it; that is why it is prescribed, for every Unit. Realise that there is nothing greater than Bhajan. What bliss is there in Bhajan! What a demonstration of oneness is it when a myriad throats join in uttering the name of God! The vibrations emanating from them make the heart vibrant. If you sing alone in your shrine, the vibrations return to you as reaction. But in community singing, what you have is not a reaction but a wave of vibrations. They enter into the atmosphere and purify the polluted air. The atmosphere today is polluted by bad thoughts and feelings. When you sing the glory of God, the bad germs in the air are destroyed and the air gets purified pictorially by a treatment with antibiotics as it were.
The Bhajan singing time were done in a ritualistic fashion. Greater attention was paid to melody, the beat, the rhythm and the tone. All these are conventional qualities. To elevate the Bhajan singing to a spiritual level what are required are true feeling and ecstasy of devotion. The songs should flow nor from the lips but from the heart.
Once Emperor Akbar asked his court musician how would he account for the fact that a wayside beggar's music moved him more profoundly than the music of the state musician. The latter replied that while the beggar sang from his heart to please God, his music was constrained by the desire to please the Emperor.
It is the devotion and sincerity that matter. Merge your soul in the Bhajans you sing.
The heart is the seat of compassion in human. Conduct your Bhajans singing with a pure unsullied heart, oblivious to all worldly desires. When you chant the Lord's name with a pure heart, you will experience the Divine. How much happier would people be if they devoted a fraction of their time to contemplate the glories of God.
What is the origin of this worldly ritual of Bhajans singing? This shows that there is an element of spirituality even in worldly actions - whether it be the practice of a profession, or a business or the pursuit of knowledge. Worldly activities get sanctified by association with spirituality.
Form the worldly activities arise what are called Praathibhaasika activities (reflections of the worldly activities). The Paaramaarthika (spiritual) is like the ocean. From this arise the waves of Vyaavahaarika (worldly activities). The main characteristics of the ocean are to be found in the waves also like chillness, saltishness, etc. Praathibhaasika is represented by the foam arising from the waves. The foam has all the qualities of the ocean.
Without the ocean, there can be no waves. Without the waves, there can be no foam. It is clear that without the Paaramaarthika (the spiritual) there can be no Vyaavahaarika (worldly) phenomenon. The ocean (Paaramaarthika) is not diminished by evaporation or swollen by the flow of river waters. This equanimity is characteristic of the ocean.
People, however, consider the three states. Paaramaarthika, Vyaavahaarika and Praathibhaasika - as different from each other. But the Vyaavahaarika (worldly activities) should not in any way be divorced from the Paaramaarthika (spiritual). Only then can peace be got from worldly activities. What is the cause of sorrow in this world? It is the result of separating the worldly activities from the spiritual and considering them as distinct from the other. The transient nature of worldly activities is associating them with the spiritual that they acquire sanctity. The spiritual basis of all activity should never be forgotten.
You proceed from 'death' to 'life' and from 'illness' to 'health' by the experience of the buffetings of the World. The World is a very essential part of the curriculum of human; through the agony of search is born the infant, wisdom. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 1. "Maanasa Bhajare," Chapter 1; Sahtya Sai Speaks. Vol. 11. "Life-long bhajan," Chapter 14 and "Bhajan as saadhana," Chapter 37; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "Chant the Name : sing His glory," Chapter 29; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Bhajans and bliss," Chapter 7).
Namaste - Reet
The Human Body has to be Carefully Protected
The body, the sense organs, the mind, the Buddhi (intellect) and the Atma are the five vital elements constituting human.
The body is a chalice, wherein you collect the nectar of Divine Grace. That is the prime purpose for which it has been gifted to you. Raso vai sah, say the Vedhas: "He is sweet-nectar, no less." And When His Grace is showered, the body is thrilled.
The question may legitimately be asked, why or how did this eternal Universal Atmic principle take up residence in this temporary, particularised body box? The Divine Spirit illumines the body though it is compounded of flesh, blood and many impure things. The Atma does not grow with the body's strength nor does it decay owing to the body's weakness. The Atma Principle is not subject to growth or decay.
The body is the instrument for all activity. Every time before you do anything, you have to put to yourself this question: "I am the indwelling divine Atma in this body. As such, is it proper for me to do this action or not?" All the troubles of human are due to the fact that he/she does not know how to make proper use of body. Hence, person is a prey to sorrow and disease. One thing should be remembered: No one can go against the Divine Will. It should be realised that the body functions because of the chaitanya (consciousness) within it. Atmic consciousness animates and activates the body. Just as a magnet attracts iron filings by its magnetic power, the Atma is responsible for the operation of all the organs which are inert by themselves.
God by His very nature attracts human. When the magnet fails to attract the Iron piece, the Iron foolishly concludes that the magnet has lost its power. The real fact is the piece of iron is too thickly covered by rust and dust. It does not realise its own defects; it rushes to blame God (the magnet) or even to deny Him.
Human can realise the mission
on the Earth when he/she knows own Divine nature and when he/she reveres
all others as Divine. And, human has to worship God in the form of
Human. God appears before him as blind beggar, an idiot, a leper, a
child, a decrepit old man, a criminal or a madman. You must see even
behind those veils, the divine embodiment of love, power and wisdom, the
Sai, and worship Him through selfless service.Your heart must melt in
compassion when the eye sees another person suffering. That is the sign
of the Saathwik (pure or noble) individual; the Thaamasik (ignorant)
individual will be indifferent, he/she is too dull, too bovine, to be
affected. The Raajasik (passionate) one will rush to punish the other
one who caused the suffering and might even forget to relieve the misery
of the person affected.
The human body, although it is valueless in itself and is impermanent, has to be carefully protected because it enshrines the Divine Atma. Without a strong physique, human is subject to numerous ailments. The ancient Romans, who were aware of this truth and who were the forerunners of western civilization, displayed deep concern regarding the development of the body.
Another name for the body is Sarira. The word is derived from the term, "Siryathi iti sariraha" (That which is liable to decay).
A third name for the body is Mandir (temple or shrine). It is described as a temple enshrining the eternal divine Atma (individual soul). Viewed as a temple, it has to be regarded as the sacred and pure abode of the Divine.
The body has also been called Kshetra. The Gita enjoins that one should know what is kshetra and who is the Kshetrajna. You are the Knower of the field dwelling within the kshetra (body).
In the case of the human body, you are bound to reap the fruits of the good or the bad thoughts you sow as seeds. You will have cent percent return. As you sow, so will you reap. The crop depends on your thoughts and the harvest will be determined by your actions.
The body is a world in itself. It is not merely the outer form. It is the collective embodiment of various organs and limbs. Each organ has its own beauty, which has to be fostered. A body afflicted with disease is incapable of any resolute action. Pure and sublime ideas can emanate only from a healthy and strong body. The secret of perfect health lies in keeping the mind always cheerful - never worried, never hurried, never borne down by any fear, thought or anxiety.
The mind makes a human. The mind is a conglomeration of thoughts. Thoughts are reflected in actions. The consequences of actions are being experienced as pleasure and pain. Each one should enquire for whose sake he or she is living.
What is required is the awareness of the vicious game that the mind plays. It presents before the attention, one source after another of temporary pleasure. When hunger for food is appeased, it holds before the eye the attraction of the film, it reminds the ear of the charm of music, and it makes the tongue water for the pleasant taste of something that it craves for. The wish becomes very soon the urge for action, the urge soon gathers strength and the yearning becomes uncontrollable. The burden of desires gradually becomes too heavy and human gets dispirited and sad. Train the mind to turn towards the intelligence for inspiration and guidance not towards the senses for adventures and achievements.
Desires when fulfilled breed further desires; when unfulfilled, they lead to further instalments of life, in order to calm the urge. The only method by which the delusion of desire can be destroyed is to dedicate all activities to God and engage in them in a spirit of worship; leaving the consequences to Him and ceasing to attach yourselves to them. Human beings are all, 'living cells' in the body of God, each performing its individual function to promote His Will. If each one does his duty, in the spirit of dedication, the Light can illumine all. But, if the doors of the heart are shut against the light, how can darkness disappear?
Naturally, the worldly life has to be led, with spiritual relation as the goal. As long as you live in the world, you have to conform to the ways of the world. But the ideal must be based on the recognition that nothing belongs to you - neither mother, nor father, kinsmen or wealth. All these are related to the changing body.
However many lives one many have had, the body assumed now is new. The discovery of real Self calls for appropriate enquiry leading to the perception of the Real. Through this perception, human can experience the Cosmos in its entirety. Without going through this process, human remains merely human in form, with no realisation of own true Self.
The progress of the Universe is bound up with the progress of human. Any amount of development in the areas of scientific, economic and social spheres will not be of much use without mental transformation. How can we bring about this transformation? It is by restraining passions and emotions. Since mental tension is most detrimental to human's health, human should learn the art of controlling his passions and emotions, which cause stresses and strains. It is also essential to keep our mind serene and peaceful while eating food. We should not indulge in discussion of topics which will cause agitation and excitement and disturb our mental peace while we are taking food. Mental tension is responsible for ill health.
It is essential to keep the body in good health as long as there is life, just as you must ensure that your boat does not spring a leak till you cross the river. The body has to be kept clean and for this purpose you have to practise chanting the Lord's name and doing japa. The Divine cleanses the heart, when you offer it to God. However, instead of practising right actions and putting the body to proper use, many subject the body to various ordeals in the name of worship and observance of austere penances. Can the Self be realised by starving the body?
When we regard the body as an instrument, we should realise that the prescribed limits for its use have to be observed. Every object in the world is governed by certain regulations. Likewise this body is also subject to restrictions. In our actions, in our speech, in what we see and what we hear, in our thoughts, we must seek to promote purity and sanctity. When this is not done, human becomes a demon.
As the body is a kind of 'Limited Company', limits have to be observed with regard to food, drink, speech and hearing etc. Excesses in these spheres result in great harm.
Every individual thinks that it is enough to take care of him/herself. But individual is a part of society and that he/she should be equally concerned about the welfare of society as a whole.The spirit of cooperation has to be promoted. A balance has to be maintained between individual interests and national interests. Everything in life depends on maintaining the balance. Today this balance has been lost because of excessive knowledge and misuse of technical skills. Every action involves using of energy. If the energy in the body is properly utilised, then balance will be maintained and the body will be in good shape.
The Sanskrith saying declares "Dharmaartha Kaama Mokshaanaam Aarogyam Muulam Uthamam" (For the attainment of the four Purushaarthas, good health is essential). Even though one may have all the wealth in the world, if his health is impaired, he/she is miserable. Good health is the most important acquisition one should aspire for.
Ancient Indians wished to live long for the sake of a Godly life and for that purpose preserved their health in body and mind. Today people look aged by the time they are 60 or 70. You may have read in the Mahabharata that Krishna was 86 years old and Arjuna was 84 at the time of the Kurukshetra war. They were in the vigour of youth and fought great battles. Bhishma, who was the Commander-in-chief of the Kaurava armies, was 116 years of age.
It is essential to observe the principle of moderation in food habits, work and sleep. The Buddha, preached the same principle of moderation to his disciples.
"Be always moderate, never indulge in excess," proclaimed the Buddha. In fact, moderation is the royal road to happiness.
Passions yield only temporary satisfaction, but cause serious emotional disturbances. Hence, it is imperative on the part of human not to yield to any unbecoming passions while taking food. The observance of the three P's, namely, purity, patience, and perseverance, vouchsafes permanent happiness and good health free from diseases.
However, today people go on consuming food at all times, not to mention drinks and snacks in between. With the result that indigestion sets in. Young people should be satisfied with 2000 calories of food per day. This is enough to sustain them. Doctors advise against the consumption of fatty food stuffs which cause increase in weight resulting in susceptibility to cardiac diseases The presence of toxins also inflicts equal damage. So one should eat in moderate quantity the right type of food and avoid intoxicating drinks. The intake of food should be gradually reduced after crossing 50 years.
The modern human, who flouts the principle of moderation in every aspect of life, endangers own health and well-being. The food consumed should be proper, pure and wholesome. But nowadays people eat whatever they get and wherever they get it, and thereby spoil their health.
Food plays a major role in the preservation of health. Care should be taken to see that the food consumed does not have much fat content, for the fats consumed in large quantity are detrimental not only to one's physical health but also to one's mental health. Meat and alcoholic drinks take a heavy toll on human's health, causing many a diseases. Modern human consumes many artificial foodstuffs and a variety of alcoholic drinks. When human observes moderation in diet he/she can be saved from most diseases.
You must seek to know what kind of food you should eat. You should not consume any kind of food merely to appease hunger You must take only Satwic food. Who live on vegetarian food are less prone to diseases while meateaters are subject to various diseases. Doctors speak about proteins in meat. Are there no proteins in vegetables, milk and curds and pulses? Non-vegetarian food not only affects the body but also the mind. Food, Head, God - these three are inter-related. Pictorially, as is your food, so are your thoughts. Research has revealed that non-vegetarian and alcoholic addicts are more prone to heart ailments than vegetarians. If the vegetarian food that is consumed should be a balanced and wholesome, it should contain liberal doses of vitamin C and vitamin E, which are available in vegetables like carrots. The presence of these vitamins prevents heart ailments in a large measure. (The heart is a special organ in the human system. It is pulsating ceaselessly unlike the other organs).
surgery is helpful in so far as it enables the patient to carry on daily
activities and lead a normal life. But, it is wrong to conclude that
surgery is the only way of curing heart diseases. Some of the diseases
can be cured even by medicine. In my opinion, it is the primary
responsibility of every individual to prevent becoming a victim of heart
disease by regulating his food and other habits. Prevention is better
than cure. There will be little room for cardiac ailments if one's food
habits are properly controlled and regulated.
Today there is pollution in everything such as the air we breathe, the water we drink, the sounds that are jarring to the cars and the food we consume. Because of this all round pollution, human's health is affected. Apart from this, human's mind is also polluted making person susceptible to diseases. Human should make an earnest endeavour to lead a serene and pure life. Some germs such as bacteria, viruses also enter the system and cause a lot of damage to the human body. Polluted food also accounts for the spread of these disease carrying germs. Meat, fish, black and red salt, black coffee and tea also cause spread of fluorosis (when water and/or soil is contaminated with fluorides as it is in many places of the Earth) and aggravate it further. Chewing betel leaves also causes tooth decay. Certain drugs sold in the market also aggravate this disease. So to the extent possible you should change your food habits.
There are some types of antidotes that can be consumed with food to prevent fluorosis. You should take sour things like lime, orange and tamarind in greater quantity. You can also take more of tomatoes, potatoes and vegetables with Vitamin C. You should also take more of carrots to build the bones. Intake of such food items in a liberal measure will help to combat the incidence of fluorosis.
from the exercise of such care in the food consumed there should be also
Dhaiva chinthana (contemplation of the Divine). Because people don't
think of God they are subjected to a lot of misery. Without divine
thought, human is harbouring two bad qualities. One is human hides many
defects and evil qualities within. The other is human magnifies even
minor faults in others. Because of such evil qualities among human
beings diseases are also on the increase. (Reet's compilation
from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 13. "The middle path," Chapter 8 and "The
company you seek," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 23. "Sanctify the
body," Chapter 10 and "The abode of the Spirit," Chapter 11; Sathya Sai
Speaks. Vol. 27. "Food, the heart and the mind," Chapter 3 and "Disease
and Divinity," Chapter 5).
Namaste - Reet
Time is the greatest conqueror. Everything material undergoes change; nothing can remain the same. Today merges into tomorrow; it is itself the consequence of yesterday. It is a constant flux, samsaara, the flow of Time, the flood of change.
God as the embodiment of Time, is worshipped by the name Samvathsara (year). This name also means that God contains within Himself everything. God is also known by the name Kaalaathmaka (the Time Spirit). Sankarshana refers to the divine's capacity to attract and transform all beings. All beings, moreover, have emerged from Him.
Time moves fast like a whirlwind. Each one's life span is getting reduced every moment, like a melting block of ice. Time passes even before human realises duties in life. It is the duty of every one to realise the purpose of life and utilise time in the performance of duties to sanctify own existence. Given the will, there is anything that human cannot achieve in this world. But before embarking on any enterprise, human should recognise own abilities and endowments.
When human realises true nature
and own role in life, he/she becomes one with God. This is described in
Vedanta as the Thurija-avastha - the fourth state of consciousness in
which the individual Spirit is one with the Universal. It is a
transcendental state which is beyond the body and the mind - beyond the
waking, dream and deep sleep states.
This vision as radiates to person that the Divine resides in all beings as the Indwelling Spirit. Moreover, He pervades the entire Universe. The Upanishad describes Him as "Narayana who is inside and outside and pervades everything."
Thus every name of the Lord is related to specific attributes and not an expression of the devotee's feelings or fancies. Because of the Divine's myriad attributes, the sages hailed Him as "Om Samvathsaraaya Namah."
As the Creator of the Universe and as the One from whom everything emerged, God is also called Yugadi (The initiator of every Yuga or Aeon).
The Divine Master illumines the
Human being is all the time seeing
the Universe around and yet declares he/she has not seen God. What is the
form of the Cosmos? Is it not Divine? You are seeing the Divine in the
form of the physical Universe. In the Bhagavad Geetha this cosmic form of
the Lord is described as Viswa Viraata Ruupa. It is the whole Cosmos. The
Viswa Viraata Ruupa is the collective form of everything in the Universe.
Manifesting one's inner divinity does not mean producing something new. It
is called Swabhaava (one's true nature) - the Atmic nature. It is the Atma
that confers all powers on human and on whatsoever form in Cosmos. (Swami
advices to read the Bhagavad Geetha; this learning of the Geetha is like
learning eetha (swimming). Eetha saves you from drowning. Geetha saves you
from drowning in the trecherous flood of worldly desire and delusions).
The consequence of karma can be wiped out only through karma, as a thorn can be removed only by means of another. Do good karma to assuage the pain of the bad karma which you have done and from which you suffer now.
The sages of ancient times divided karma into vikarma (that is intentionally done) and akarma (that is done without any intention to gain the consequence). Follow the latter and you will save yourselves from suffering. All other activities - the earning of wealth, of reputation, of fame and publicity - result in suffering. Gain internal peace, internal joy; that can be done only when you act without an eye on the gain. The act must be its own reward; or rather, the act must be according to the prompting of the God within, so that its consequence is left to Him.
Dharma what is the moral code, the experience of sages, the controlling discipline which checks the mind and the senses. There are many such brakes operating on human Vyakthi dharma (controls affecting the individual, as such), Sahaja dharma (controls affecting the nature of human, as human), Aashrama dharma (controls affecting the stage of life, like student householder, ascetic), Vama dharma (controls pertaining to the duties cast upon human as a limb of the community), etc. All these brakes are complementary, they do not cause confusion, they help progress, each in its own way. Besides these, there is also the Visesha dharma (obligations on special occasions or when faced with special situations). You must therefore walk warily towards the Goal.
If you cannot act up to your declarations, keep quiet; do not go about advising and advertise that you are hypocrites. Do not preach dharma (virtue) while decrying it in deed. Dharma is steady, unchanging; it can never decline. What happens is: those who have to practise dharma decline in faith and steadfastness.
Separate yourself from the grief; you are the President of your Realm. The senses and the mind, with all the attendant impulses, desires, attitudes, etc., are your servants, instruments that have to carry out your orders. The body is but an instrument for a high purpose, the realisation of the Glory that fills the Universe, of which you are a fraction.
Like the ass that carries
sandalwood, without knowing anything more than its weight, human too
carries the burden of wordly worries. The senses will drag away from the
higher purpose. Without this mastery over the senses, all the elaborate
Puja (ritual worship), all the long hours of Dhyaana (meditation), all the
vows you observe, are mere mummery.
Where there is Love, there God is certainly evident. Love more and more people, love them more and more intensely; transform the love into service, transform the service into worship; that is the highest saadhana. There is no living being without the spark of love; even a mad man loves something or somebody intensely. But, you must recognise this love as but a reflection of the Premaswaruupa, (the embodiment of Love) that is your reality, to the God who is residing in your heart. Revere others as having God installed in them; revere yourself also as the seat of God. Make your heart pure so He can reside therein.
Be like the lotus, unattached to
the slush where it is born and the water in which it is bred; the merits
and demerits earned in past births is the slush, where the jeevi is born;
maaya or the enticing illusion called world is the water, which sustains;
do not allow that enticement to affect you. Be above and beyond the
earthly attachments like the lotus. Be in the world, but let not the world
be in you. Know that you should not allow the world to get into you and
affect your sense of values.
In whatever way you want others to honour you, or to behave with you, in the same way, you should first behave with others and love and honour them. Then only will those honour you. Besides, if only those who advise others about "Which principles are right, which are true and good, which conduct is best etc," themselves follow the advice they give, there would then be no need for giving that advice to all. Others will learn the lesson simply by observing their actual behaviour. On the other hand, if Vedantha is spoken parrot like to others, without any attempt to put into practice in one's own conduct, it is not only deceiving others, it is even worse: it is deceiving oneself. Therefore you must be, as you want others to be.
The Upanishads say that thunder
teaches Da, Da, Dha...Daya (compassion) to the ogres, Dama (self-control)
to the gods and Dharma to human beings. Now, since human is all three -
part ogre, part god, part human - he/she must practise all three: daya (be
kind to all), dama (be the master of your mind and the senses) and dharma
(be constantly alert on the path of fight); that is the advice given from
the sky in the voice of thunder.
Bhaktas should consider the body as the field, good deeds as seeds and cultivate the Name of the Lord, with the help of the Heart as the ryot, in order to get the harvest, the Lord Himself. How can one get the crop without the cultivation? Like cream in milk, like fire in fuel, the Lord is in everything, more or less. Have full faith in this.
Of the various types of Bhakti, Namasmarana bhakti is the best. In the Kaliyuga, the name is the Path for saving oneself, Jayadeva, Gouranga, Thyagayya, Tukaram, Kabir, Ramdas, all these great Bhaktas attained the Lord through just this one Nama.
With a pure Anthah-karana, uninterruptedly contemplating on God (whatever one may be doing), feeling that everything is the Lord's creation and therefore One, unattached to sense objects, embracing all in equal Love, dedicated to True Speech, this is the characteristic of Bhakti.
When you earn from the Lord the epithet of Bhaktha (God's devotee) you will be equal with Arjuna. It is not enough if you style yourself a devotee of God. He Himself should hail you as His devotee. It is only when your devotion is acknowledged by the Lord that you can call yourself a devotee. If you have not received the acknowledgement, it may mean that you have given the wrong address in your devotion. The correct address of the Lord is Hridayavaasi - the Indweller in the Heart. This means that you must continue with your devotion to God untill your own conscience is satisfied. To achieve this satisfaction you have to purify yourself constantly.
Worship of the Divine must stem from the heart. When devotion flows from the heart, the voice of the Divine can be experienced in silence - Sabda Brahman (sound of the Supreme Spirit). This was the experience of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. When speech is restrained, the voice of the Spirit within makes itself heard. That is subtler than the human breath. It is an experience that can be had every moment of your life.
There is, in this world, no tapas
higher than fortitude, no happiness greater than contentment, no Punya
holier than mercy, no weapon more effective than patience.
Hence the destination for human is the realisation own divinity (the original source). This realisation must come through the Vedantic process of exclusion ("Nethi, nethi" "not this, not this"). "I am not the body. I am not the intellect. I am not the Will. I am not the inner instrument." Human should realise: "I am the Master of all of them." When by this process of elimination human realises true Self, he/she is freed from sorrow.
The most precious and sacred gift
from God is Buddhi (intelligence). The intelligence that should be used
for seeking the Atma (Spirit) is being used by human today to seek Annam
(food). Use the mirror of Buddhi to recognise your true Self. That is
known as Saakshaatkaaram - direct vision of one's true Self. (Reet's
compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "The voice of thunder,"
Chapter 13; "This joy and that," Chapter 17 and "Be above and beyond,"
Chapter 24; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18. "Qualities of the Sadhaka,"
Chapter 20; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "Manifest Your-Divinity," Chapter