Swami teaches....Part 46

Link to Swami Teaches....Part 45

 Sai Ram 
      Light and Love

    Swami teaches... 2 - 3 December  

    All is One Supreme's Manifestation - Experience Its Proximity

    In the world, we are continually experiencing the same round of days and nights.  What is the universe? What is the goal of life? What is its primary purpose? Few care to enquire into this basic question.

    Common folk look at the visible universe as it appears to them physically. This is a common experience. To view the universe as Divine, calls for a supreme exercise in spirituality. "Viswam Vishnuswaroopam" (the Cosmos is a manifestation of the Divine); "Easwarassarvam" (The Lord is everything). On the basis of these Vedic pronouncements, the whole universe should be regarded as a manifestation of God.

     God has been envisaged as the embodiment of Time. God is characterised as the One who holds Time in the womb. He is the source of the Yugas. He presides over Time. He is the Time-Spirit and the container of Time. Time is the devourer of the physical. The Lord is the devourer of Time itself. When there is faith in God, human transcends the physical.

    God is all-pervading, and yet, we have some scientists who assert, ?We have searched all outer space, we have looked for Him on the Moon; no, He is nowhere to be found. He does not exist.? God is all this and more; He is in all this and beyond. He is the inner motivator of the very scientist who ?denies? Him. It has been said: "Pasyannapi na pasyathi moodho" (Even while seeing, the fool does not see). That is, even while seeing God, experiencing God and enjoying God, one says, "I want to see God. " However, everything is Divine. The basic reality is the Atma in everyone. The Vedas have described all as "children of Immortality." People talk about the spirit, but behave in a manner that belies their belief. There should be unity in thought, word and deed. To achieve this triple Unity, one has to understand the truth about the Atma (Spirit). Whatever may be the change in the various reflections there will be no change whatsoever in the original. Remember that you are that changeless original - the Atma. 

    The Divine bliss is described in many ways, but it is one and the same thing. Likewise, God is the one Supreme Who has different names and forms. Vedanta has declared: "Acharam charameva cha" (The One who is non-moving is also moving). This means that He is both unmoving and the moving object. There is an apparent contradiction in this statement: ?God is unmoving; He is also moving." The Vedanta has given a beautiful explanation for this.

    In the dream state, we experience ourselves in all kinds of movements. But the body that is seen in the dream as moving is in fact lying motionless on the bed. The body in the dream is moving. Both the bodies are one and the same. In one state of consciousness it is still and in another it moving.

    Vedanta declares that in the physical state, there is movement but in the Brahmic (spiritual) state, there is steadiness. Hence, the purpose of Dhyana (meditation) is to achieve the Brahmic state of steadiness.     

    There is a Japa (which means constant remembrance of God) that goes on incessantly and automatically within you in the breathing process, whatever be the work in which you are engaged. And that is So-Ham. This is the real Sadhana, because it goes on without any conscious effort on your part.  What is the use of all your intelligence and all your worldly acquisitions when they cannot give you Atma Santhi (the untrammelled peace of the Atma). Experience and contemplate about it.

     (Hence what humans have to examine is how we can lead an ideal, bliss-filled, spiritually-oriented life which will serve as an example to others. People are engaged in sadhana. But when the outcome of these exercises is examined, it is found to be without meaning. All these exercises are purely designed to provide some sort of mental satisfaction and nothing more).

    Since ancient times, the Vedas have been teaching profound truths. They form the basis for a peaceful and prosperous society. (The term 'Veda - refers to 'wisdom', 'discrimination', and 'being'). There are many people who chant the Vedas from dawn to dusk, but few are trying to understand the utility and significance of the Vedas. Sage Vyasa thought that it was well nigh impossible for human to study the infinite Vedas within the limited life-span. Therefore, he classified the Vedas into four broad categories:

   Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, and Atharvana Veda. Yajur Veda was further divided into Krishna Yajur Veda and Shukla Yajur Veda. The vastness of the subject of the Vedas is conveyed by their several other names, such as Sruti, Trayee, Chandas, Swadhyaya, Nigama, Agama, etc. The Vedas also are divided into three Kandas (sections): the Karma Kanda, the Upasana Kanda and the Jnana Kanda. These are associated with three types of yoga: Karma yoga (the yoga of Action), Bhakti yoga (the yoga of Devotion) and Jnana yoga (the yoga of Knowledge or Wisdom).

    Each Veda consists of three parts: Mantras, Brahmanas, and Upanishads, including Aranyakas. The Mantras are the hymns in praise of gods. The Brahmanas deal with the performance of sacrifices - yajnas and the yagas. Aranyakas consist of the Mantras chanted and practiced by the Vanaprasthas in the forest.

    Whatever difficulties or trials may occur, they can be overcome with faith in God. People may not readily accept this, but there is no surer recipe for peace than this faith. Even if they do not have full faith, a small fraction of it will be of help. 

    In giving the duration of the different yugas and estimating the life of Brahma (the Creator) in terms of the yugas, the scriptures have given the life-span of Brahma as extending over many crores of years. As these crores convey no meaning by themselves, the scriptures have described Brahma as Anaadi (without a beginning). Scientists today are trying to fix a date for the beginning of creation. Instead of declaring that creation began so many billions of years ago, is it not more sensible to say that it is Anaadi (beginningless)? By worldly modern views if Brahma is described as Anaadi, it is treated as superstition, but if some fabulous date is given, it becomes science.

    Human's  ego gets puffed up on the basis of knowledge, physical strength, power and position, handsome looks and such other accomplishments. (In ancient Valmiki, Nanda, Kuchela, Sabari, Vidura, and Hanuman are examples of devotees who realised God, but who could boast of no great lineage, wealth or scholarship. Their supreme quality was freedom from ego. Hence, giving up the notions of one's own doership, human must regard God alone as the doer. He is the giver, He is the recipient and He is also the object that is given).

    What is the cause that the differences between person's words, thoughts and deeds are not in accord?      

    There are three causes for this aberration: Mala, Vikshepa and Avarana.

    Mala refers to a mental state comparable to a dust-covered mirror. The mind can see clearly only when the dust is wiped away. The heart that is naturally pure is covered by impurities created by the three gunas - Satwa, Rajas, Tamas. Instead of removing these impurities, human is adding to them.

    Vikshepa refers to the vacillations and unsteadiness of the mind caused by doubts and suspicions arising from attachment and hatred. The root cause of this is the lack of full faith even in him/herself.  Human therefore, has to cultivate firm faith, if not in God, at least in him/herself. Such faith will lead to faith in God, because human being and God are not different.

     Avarana refers to that which envelops man. That is desires. Human is bound by every kind of desire - for wealth, health, power, position, fame, etc. Desires are not bad in themselves. But there should be a limit to all of them. Desires should be gradually reduced. Recognise the Divine in all that you do and dedicate the fruits of your actions to God. It is not the physical form that makes one a human. Without the spirit of enquiry and the practice of right conduct, one does not become a true human being.  

    The scriptures have declared that it is difficult to acquire a human body.

    The deha (body) was acquired by means of the good and bad that was done in the previous birth. They are called collectively, karma. Karma is caused by attachment and hatred, affection and disaffection. They are the products of sheer ignorance (ajnana), ignorance of the unity of all creation including oneself. Ajnana can be removed by acknowledging the universality of God and the merging of your individuality in the Universal.

    First practise the attitude of "Nenu neevaadu" ("I am yours," in Telugu). Let the wave discover and acknowledge that it belongs to the sea. This first step is not as easy as it looks. The wave takes a long time to recognise that vast sea beneath it that gives it its existence. Its ego is so powerful that it will not permit it to be so humble, as to bend before the sea.

    "I am yours."  - the attitude of the kitten to its mother, mewing plaintively for succour and sustenance, removing all trace of the ego.

    The next step is "neevu naavaadu" ("You are mine" in Telugu). The Lord has to take the responsibility of guarding and guiding the individual. 

    The next stage is "neevu nenu" - ("You are I" in Telugu ) - "I" am but the image, you are the Reality. "I" have no separate individuality; there is no duality. All is One. Duality is but delusion.

    The Lord rushes towards the bhakta (devotee) faster than the bhaktha rushes towards Him. If you take one step towards Him, He takes a hundred steps towards you. He will be more than a mother or father. He will foster you from within you, as He has saved and fostered so many saints who have placed faith in Him. 

    One who ought to dedicate life to the pursuit of the Divine and experiences bliss is on the path of Nivrithi marga (the Inward Path). One who makes a slave of his senses and wastes life in the pursuit of the External Path - Pravrithi marga.  Of what avail is the human form if one's actions and thoughts are not conducive to the realisation of personal inherent divinity?  By concerning with the demands of the body, person is perennially filled with discontent and dissatisfaction what affects in two ways.  One is lack of peace of mind. The other is unhappiness resulting from lack of peace.

    What is the root cause of discontentment? It is envy. When envy is eradicated from the heart human will have self-satisfaction what leads to the feeling of equal-mindedness both towards those who are better off you and those who are worse. Such equal-mindedness is a Divine quality. In general there is nothing wrong in aspiring for higher positions when this aspiring dedicated to the Supreme One.  

    Today, we have knowledge of many sorts in the world. These categories of knowledge do not constitute what is regarded as Jnana in Vedantic parlane. Atma Jnana (knowledge of the Spirit)  is true knowledge.   

    Ordinary knowledge may be knowledge of material objects, sensory knowledge, or any other kind of knowledge acquired by investigation. But none of these can be Atma Jnana. In the highest sense Atma (the Spirit) and Jnana (Knowledge) are one and the same.

    That is why the Vedas declared: Sathyam, Jnanam, Anantham Brahma (Brahmam is Truth, Wisdom and Infinite). Truth, Wisdom, Infinity and Brahmam are all different names for the Paramatma (Omni-Self). They are synonymous.

    Jnana is the awareness of Swaswaroopa (one's real nature). Jnana implies freedom from all thoughts.

    Devotion is when self-knowledge becomes one with the Self.

    The Jnana-Marga (the path of Knowledge) calls for the control of thoughts by appropriate efforts. Whether one takes to the Jnana-Marga (the path of Knowledge) or the Bhakti Marga (the path of Devotion), the resulting illumination is the same.

   The Sun's light has been compared to Jnana and the Moon's light to Bhakti. Jnana is effulgent, while Bhakti (Devotion) is blissful. Thus Bhakti and Jnana are the beginning and the end of the same process.

    In the phenomenal world, we recognise three entities - Kartha, Karma and Kriya (the doer, the act of doing and the goal of the action). This is characteristic of devotion. The Sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) is the Kartha (doer). The Sadhana (spiritual exercise) is the Karma (what he does). Getting the vision of the Divine is the Kriya (goal).

    The same process is described as Jnana (knowledge), Jneya (that which is to be known) and Jnatha (the knower). In the highest sense all these are one. They appear in three different, forms at different stages.   (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 3. "You and I," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Eschew envy : Uphold truth," Chapter 2; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Eschew envy : Uphold truth," Chapter 2; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 24. "Time is God," Chapter 1 and "Time and the timeless," Chapter 5; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 32, part 2. "Follow Divine Commands," Chapter 7).  

    Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram 
    Light and Love 

Swami teaches...29 November 2005 

    The Life-Long Learnig to Master the Mind      

      The motto: "I draw you to Me and then re-form and re-shape you. I am a kind of smith who repairs broken, leaky, damaged hardware. I repair broken hearts and fragile minds, warped intellects, feeble resolutions and fading faith" (Sathya Sai Baba).

    It is the human's duty in this life, as also in later lives, to know and experience the Basic Cause of the Universe, the Source of all,  what is Sath-Chith-Aanandha (Being, Awareness, Bliss , Absolute) and human too is a spark of the same Basic Cause.

    (Those who deny God or the Supreme Will or the Basic Cause, can give no really satisfactory justification for their stand; nor can those who assert that there is God. Both have to rely on their own experience. After all how can sweetness be denied by one who refuses to taste sugar? How can one be convinced that sugar is sweet until one tastes it?  

    The wise are buoyed up by the bliss of their genuine awareness; the seekers and aspirants have their urges satisfied by the experiences of people in whom they have faith. The atheists hang on, by the slim thread of reason, to the beliefs they have once entertained. If they had faith in their own selves, they would have inferred that their selves derive strength and joy only from the Overself or God or the Cause of the Universe or the First Source).

    All human's misery is due to separation from that Source of all. The simple truth that everything is permeated by the One has been lost sight of. If human realises that he/she is one with the Omni-self, there will have no cause for sorrow.  When human realises that the Divine is all-pervasive, there will be no room for acquisitive selfishness or divisiveness.  

    The fear and anxiety, the grief and pain, the defeat and distress of human's earthly existence - these are the result of person's identification with falsehood. Human ought to proceed from one truth to another, from one facet of truth to another brighter and clearer one. No one really moves from untruth to truth. What is called untruth is only partial truth, or dulled truth or clouded truth. The ultimate goal is the uncovering of Truth.  

    The Divine assumed a myriad amazing variety of forms in the Universe and taught in the Gita to realise the magnificence of the Divine. Human has been engaged in exploring the infinite wonderful secrets of Nature in this marvellous creation in all possible ways.

    But because of the vagaries of his mind, human has failed to understand the true eternal, spiritual basis underlying everything in the Universe and has lost himself in the pursuit of the external phenomenal world as if it were the only reality. In the process human has failed to realise own true nature and has totally perverted own mind. The root of all trouble is the uncontrolled ill-directed mind. The mind fancies that it can get joy from the objects around, about which the senses give it information. 

    The mind is like a boulder which the intellect transforms into an image, even as a sculptor does. If the intellect allows the senses to dictate the design, the boulder will be shaped into a horrid idol. If, however, the senses are sublimated by the spirit, the image wrought by the intellect will be simply adorable. One must have the mind fully co-operating in the spiritual discipline and not obstructing its progress at every step. The mind can be mastered by Jnana (supreme knowledge) and  should not admit any activity that is contrary to Dharma (righteousness) or injurious to spiritual progress. 

    The mind will disappear as soon as the enquiry starts, for it is like cloth composed of the warp and woof of yarn. Each yarn is a desire, a wish, an attachment. Remove them and the cloth vanishes. Delusion is the cotton, desire is the yarn, mind is the cloth. Through vairagya (detachment) the warp and the woof can be pulled out. The sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) must have as own security personnel, viveka (wisdom) and vairaagya. Then he can move through the world unharmed.

    However, how can you expect quick success in the control of the mind? It is very difficult to overcome its vagaries, for it is many-faced and very adamant.

    If you rub a bit of iron on a hard surface, it develops heat; continue to rub it vigorously; then it can be made red-hot: If you do so with long intervals, the iron bit will become cold and all the effort up till then is a waste. The mind is as iron. The work has to be repeated over again. 

    Samartha Raamadas, while a boy, was going through the bazaar reading books. Some one reprimanded him for reading while walking. He said that Raamadas could read when he reached school. But Raamadas replied, For me, the entire world appears as a school, which I must attend throughout life. I do not see any difference between the school where I learn some lessons and the world where I learn other lessons. The process of learning lasts until death and is resumed at birth. Samsaara (worldly life) is the saara (the essence) of all experiences.

    By the first three primary goals of life - Dharma, Artha and Kama (righteousness, wealth and desire - fulfillment) - the practice of Dharma is the Art of Living. That is why in the Gita Krishna taught Arjuna to give up the fruits of action, not  to give up the body.

    Human's career in this world is a perpetual struggle with the down-dragging impulses and the raising impulses. It is Dharmakshethra, where the Kurukshethra battle is being waged, from birth to death. Life is a game with fire; one has to derive the warmth without getting burnt. One has to use the senses and the intellect wisely, for liberation rather than get entangled in their wiles.   

    The joy one has lost has to be recovered from the inner consciousness which has been covered by the darkness of ignorance. Search for the joy in the inner vision; set it right and you can discover it there.

    Practise the attitude of joy when others are joyful and of grief when others around you are grieved. Let your heart move in sympathy. But the joy and grief have to be translated into service; they should not be mere emotions. It is not by your wearing the 'bush coat' which all others wear that you should demonstrate the principle of equality. That is external uniformity. How are all equal? Because they have all the same Atma within them. Every being has to reach the Goal, however slow they walk or however circuitous their road.   

    To reach the Goal quickly, without passing through the ordeals of the long journey and stopping at one caravanserai after another, passing from birth to birth, learn sadhana - especially, the easiest and the quickest, Namasmarana. So, attach yourself to Swami and the current will flow through you and get things done for your good. The light you get from the current that flows always along the copper wire depends on the power of the bulb you fix. The rain falls of its own accord uniformly on the land; the lands bring forth the fruit according to the quality of soil and seed.

    A little practice will teach to hold fast to the Feet of God, while roaming about in the world doing all duties and carrying all responsibilities as dedicated to Him. No attempt need be made to run away from the duties of one's station and status. Remember, those duties have to be done as worship, as offerings of one's intelligence and skill, qualities and thoughts and feelings to the Feet of the Lord in a spirit of thankfulness for the chance given, without a trace of egoism or a sense of attachment to the fruits of the actions. The obligatory actions have to be carried out, wherever you are, with care and sincerity. They award the needed viveka (wisdom) and vairagya (detachment).   

    Do not worry about the consequences; leave it to God who prompted the act and made it possible. Develop physical health and mental alertness and cleverness in discovering the way to lasting happiness; then you will have attachment, which if turned to God becomes devotion which promotes detachment from all that distracts the mind away from God and leads to liberation. So, with the Lord of the Universe in your heart, you can wander over the entire world. Like a lamp held in the hand which will illumine every foot of the journey, because it will come with you however far you go, the Name of God will illumine every minute of your life. Devotion is not something objective and concrete. It is an inner experience which springs from the heart. As you think, so you become. Hence, the heart must be filled with good feelings. The senses must be engaged in good actions. When the eyes are turned towards God, all creation appears Divine. 

    It is part of human nature to desire to reach the presence of God. For deep within the human heart is the urge to reach the place from which he/she has come, to attain the lost joy and  the missed glory.  Human being is  divine and so it is a matter of the' deep calling unto the deep, of the part calling for the whole, of the sky in the pot yearning for the sky surrounding it. 

    To reach the presence of the source of Bliss, that is, God, you must tread the foot-steps of the great saints and seekers. Practise their teachings, follow their example.  

    Give the world only secondary importance; the primary place should be reserved for loosening its coils. The Jagadjanani (Mother of the Universe) will hurry towards you and caress you only when you cast off the dolls and cry. Yearn from the very depths of the heart, yearn with your whole being. Leave no balance of attachment in the mind. 

    Scientists have to feel the great marvel of energy manipulating both the minutest atom and cell and the vastest, most distant star. They consider the atom as all-important and the Atma as insignificant. This is a tragic reversal of values. As human's knowledge and skills have increased, the moral calibre has declined. To indulge in demoniac actions while having the human form means degrading human nature.   

    Of what use are wealth and position if one has no peace of mind? A quiet conscience is human's brightest jewel. To achieve inner peace, desires have to be subdued. Engage yourselves in service activities in a spirit of dedication. Prepare yourselves for serving the people with God in your hearts and strength in your arms! That sense of real value must influence every choice that you make. The goal is God-realisation, the realisation of the reality over which all this is but appearance. If your heart is filled with love of God, all your feelings are sanctified by that love. Other undesirable thoughts drop away. Everything in the Universe testifies to the glories of God. Everything is a gift from the Divine. 

    The reconstruction of humanity on moral foundations is a world problem today. In all countries the emphasis is on the standard of life, not on the way of living. Once you turn towards the path of worldly happiness, you will be led on and on to greater and greater discontent, competition, pride and jealousy. As long as the ego is dominant, the Atmic consciousness will not develop. The egoist cannot recognise the Atma.  Egoism is the kind of delusion that is based on the misconceived notion that the body is real and permanent. The truth is otherwise.   

    The bubble rises from the water, floats on water bursts and finally merges in the water itself. The bubble is a temporary phase of water with a temporary name and a temporary form. If it should feel that being light and bright, it is separate from water, the idea is a delusion born of ignorance.

    So, too, with human who is Atma (Soul), lives as Atma (Divine Self) and merges in Atman (Infinite Self). Anything conceived besides Atman is false. However, few have solid faith in the Scriptures or in God; very few have the steadiness to stick to Dharma and brave the temptation to stray from the straight path. 

    Just stop for a moment and examine your own experience; whether you are happier when you grow richer and whether you get more peace as and when your wants are satisfied. Then you will bear witness to the truth that an improved standard, of living is no guarantee of happiness. Nor is education or the mastery of information and the acquisition of skills any guarantee of mental equanimity. 

    The majority of persons get glimpses of discrimination and detachment off and on; but they soon forget the call and ignore it and cover it up by excess or excuses. One step forward and one step back - the journey does not take them far. Even if some do take up sadhana, steadiness is absent. Like a ball of thread which slips out of the hand on to the floor, it all comes off because the grasp is not firm. 

    Steady perseverance alone will tame your mind; and it is  through a tamed mind that you can experience God. In this case, you must become your own tutor; train yourself by using the spark of wisdom that has been implanted in you. Once you try with all your might, the Lord's Grace will be there to help you forward.  (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 2. "Steps in Saadhana," Chapter 6; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 6. "The one Purusha," Chapter 36 and  "A constable on each side," Chapter 39; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 14. "At every level of consciousness," Chapter 4; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 21. "Man's Divine Destiny," Chapter 3).

     PS: Now and herafter the spelling of names and other special expressions are coordinated by glossary Vahini  http://www.vahini.org/glossary/s.html . In the original texts (1963 - 2005) the spelling of the same names/words is different.

   Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram 
    Light and Love 

    Swami teaches...30 November 2005   

    Education Expects Self-realisation. Meditation - One of Methods of Self-realisation

    Humans have a great chance, this wonderful world to be used as a gymnasium for the development of mental peace, and as a mint to transmute your base metal into valuable currency.

    Even insects have this sense of gratefulness. Here is a pictorial story about ant and bird. An ant was caught on a dry leaf that was being carried down a flooded river and it called out from its tiny heart to God for succour. Prompted a kite that was flying over the river to dive and rise up, with the leaf on its beak; for He made the bird mistake it for a fish or frog! The bird was sorely disappointed, but, the ant was delighted to land on hard ground. God came as a kite and rescued me, it felt. I must be grateful to the bird, to all birds, it resolved. One day, while on its morning round, it saw a hunter aim an arrow at a bird; it bit the heel of the hunter, just when he was releasing the mortal shaft; the aim failed; the bird flew off, and was saved. The ant had paid its debt.

    God is everywhere, He is everything; so, it appears as if He is nowhere, and He is not in anything. However, you cannot deny Love, or Truth or Wisdom. He is Love, Power, Truth, Wisdom, Beauty. When you accept Love, you accept God.

    Life is relatively real; until death, it appears to be real. For the procession of the bride and groom, the father of the bride had brought an elephant or rather the model of an elephant, correct to the minutest detail; the model was taken by all who saw it to be alive. Then, while all were admiring the wonderful work of art and arguing that it was alive, it exploded, shooting forth lovely little stars and snakes of light that gleamed through the sky. The fireworks are really beautiful. Human is like that elephant, true, until the explosion. Before that explosion happens, human must realise him/herself. The fireworks are desire, anger,delusion, pride and jealousy etc., and they now fill this artificial animal, useful only for the show.

    Human is saved from such calamity by Vedanta, which is like the roar of the lion; it gives Courage and Enterprise; it makes human a hero. It drives cowardice away; instils the highest types of self-confidence. It is the strongest armour against the arrows of fate. It acts like a waterproof against the hailstorms of sensual pleasure. It is a curtain keeping out the mosquitoes of worry, which would otherwise rob you of sleep. With Vedanta-saturated heart, you are a rock on the shore, unaffected by the waves of temptation. Vedanta challenges your spirit of adventure, your own reality. Get into the train of spiritual discipline now; station by station, you will reach the terminus, which is jnana (realisation) of you and of all this.

     Though mankind has achieved incalculable progress in science and technology, but the human's mind is still polluted with greed, envy and gross selfishness. It has grown into demonic proportions. Person has become a puppet, yielding to every pull of the string. Person craves all things that can confer joy and accumulates things that cater to hi/her sense of power. Person examines every item from own selfish point of view. 

    The educated are reacting with envious emotions towards those who have secured jobs; when they are unable to get jobs, they impute motives of nepotism, etc. and develop resentment, anger, and hatred. The system of education is the root cause of the prevalent discontent and resentment.

    Undigested food brings about illness in the body; similarly undigested knowledge imparted by the present day educational system has brought several illnesses in the social organism and the body politic. The disease is promoting contrary feelings that are expressed in mutual conflicts.

     The educational system and also the whole social systems of humanity  must be based on four goals/principles laid down by Swami and by the Vedas. They are Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Santhi (Peace, Equanimity) and Prema (Love). Humanity has to understand the importance of these four goals, accept them, adore them, and practise them in daily life.

    Sathya is the first ideal. It is realised by the sadhana (discipline) of the tongue. The second, Dharma - righteous living, is realised by the sadhana of the body and its components in relation to the society and the objective world which affects person and is affected by person. By his right action and right conduct, person can attain the third goal, Santhi. This can be won by discipline of the mind. Sathya establishes itself on the tongue through Sathwik (pious) sadhana; Dharma is achieved by the exercise of Rajasik (active) regulation; Santhi is the consequence of Thamasik withdrawal and even inactivity. But, Prema is beyond these three modes and beyond thought, word and deed.

    The Divine Prema is not easily comprehensible. To consider it as a method of speech, an attitude of mind or as physical behaviour is to sorely demean it. Prema has no trace of selfishness; it is not bound by motives.

    A system of education needs intelligence (flowers), devotion (thread) and the spirit of renunciation and service (needle) to become beneficial.

    Raising the standard of living must also mean raising ethical, moral and spiritual standards. Then only can education lead to progress in human values and harmony in social life. This is the purpose of which the foundation stone for the school building is laid here today.

    Education must assume full responsibility and enter the moral and spiritual lives of students. The imparting of worldly information and training in technical skills are not enough. Moral and spiritual education has to supplement them.

    (The idea that a posh bungalow, with costly sofas, dining tables etc., is the ideal to be worked for should be given up. This ideal' breeds evil. The ideal should be - hands dedicated to hard work, heads dedicated to service, and hearts filled with compassion). 

    The power of the Spirit is indescribable and limitless. All knowledge which one acquires is of no use if it is not put into practice. It is like a lamp in the hand of a blind man. For example, devotees love to Swami is not enough. It does not mean much at all. What is wanted is the regulation of that love, in the form of virtue and service. If you achieve that, then there is none to equal you.  As the seed, so the sapling; as the status, so the behaviour; as the teacher, so the students.

    At modern age one wakes up, one is keen to know all about what is happening in the U S., Russia, London, Delhi, etc. The person who is so concerned about the news from everywhere, is not aware of the nuisance arising from within himself. However, it is only the person who has transformed himself that can reform, teach others.

    The sage Narada, who was a master of the sixty-four sciences and arts, unable to achieve peace of mind, went to the sage Sanathkumaara to learn about the means of securing tranquillity. Sanathkumaara asked him whether he had tried to find out the truth about himself. Narada confessed that was the one thing he had not learnt. Sanathkumaara then told him that this ignorance was the cause of his lack of mental peace. 

    Who from us can say that he/she has obtained the mental peace what is the spiritual base for self-realisation as realisation the Self? Probably the very few persons can. However, without this awareness the life losses its quality and purpose.  

   The ancient Yoga Sastras (spiritual sciences of divine communion) of Bharath have indicated different methods of self- realisation. Today various types of meditation are being promoted.

    (There is a need to underline that  many persons wrongly equate dhyana (meditation) with concentration. There is no relationship between the two. Concentration is a routine everyday phenomenon. Any form of human activity - reading, walking, or eating is needing concentration what takes place at the lower level of the sense organs).

    Meditation is a process that takes place beyond the senses. Between the concentration at the sensory level and meditation that is above the senses there is a border line where chinthana (contemplation) takes place.  Contemplation is the second half of chith (intelligence), whose other function is discrimination between fight and wrong.

    There is no rose without a thorn. How to get at the flower of Love without touching the thorn of lust is the problem. This is where contemplation is needed. Having plucked the flower, how shall we use it? By offering it to the Divine. Meditation means offering the flower of Love to the Divine. In the rose plant of our body, there is the rose of pure and sacred Love emitting the fragrance of good qualities. Below the rose, however, there are thorns in the form of sensual desires. The purpose of meditation is to separate the rose of selfless Love from the senses and offer it to the Lord.

     Persons (especially young persons) should concentrate on their studies/duties and should not give their minds a free rein. They should devote some time to meditation every morning and evening. Like the river losing itself in the ocean, the mind must merge in the Divine. That blissful state can be realised only through the path of Love. Realisation of the power of Love is the true aim of meditation.

    (Nowadays persons sit for meditation, considering it as a kind of pill which is taken when one has a headache or some other pain. Meditation is not such a simple affair). 

    By Yoga Sastras the awakening of the sleeping Kundalini Shakthi is one of methods of meditation. The Kundalini Shakthi (dormant spiritual energy) is aroused by the process of breath control and is gradually led up to the top where it merges with the Sahasrara (the thousand-petalled lotus seated in the brain). The vital force that is also known as consciousness. To merge this consciousness in the Universal (Cosmic) Consciousness has been described as liberation in Vedanta (the concluding essence of Vedas).

   In the hoary past, sages like Sanathkumaara, Narada and Thumburu engaged themselves in meditation as a means of awakening the Kundalini Shakthi and leading it up to the Sahasrara. Now, meditation should be practised as a means of cultivating pure, selfless love, renouncing all attachments to worldly things.

    Even in sitting for meditation, certain niles have to be observed. The first requisite is to sit in the Padmasana, lotus posture. While seated in this asana (posture), care must be taken to keep the spine straight and steady, without bending this way or that. Some persons bend their necks during meditation. This is very harmful, as the arresting of the rising Kundalini Shakthi at the throat, where some subtle arteries operate, may endanger the entire physical system.

    Many have suffered mental derangement on account of misdirection of the Kundalini Shakthi. During meditation one should not bend backwards. That is also harmful. The cloth one wears during meditation should be tied loosely so that there is no pressure on the waist. The eyes have to be concentrated on the tip of the nose. If the eyes are open, they are likely to turn in different directions and one's attention is likely to get distracted. The eyes should be half open. If they are fully closed, one may be overcome by sleep. (By merely closing one's eyes, one does not engage in meditation. One must feel one's unity with God in one's inner being).

    Before sitting for meditation, the mind should be freed from bad thoughts and filled with sacred thoughts. The eyes should be told to see God. The mind should be restrained from restlessness by making it concentrate on the breathing process and relating inhalation and exhalation to the repetition of the manthra, "So-Ham," "So Ham" ("I am He"). By this process, the life-breath is controlled. This reveals the great, power of Yoga. There is no need to undertake a separate exercise for awakening the Kundalini Shakthi. The process of breath control itself will achieve this purpose.

    Some persons use a Jyothi (lamp) as a basis for meditation. The lamp reveals the oneness that is the basis of the Unity or the Divine as well as the multiplicity that reflects the manifestations of the Divine. In this method, the experience of bliss does not come quickly. 

   There are three stages in this type of meditation: imagining the Form, experiencing the Form and seeing It as a Reality. 

    For instance, if one wishes to meditate upon Swami, one first tries to imagine with the dosed eyes the figure of Swami as seen by him earlier. This figure vanishes within a few moments. In experiencing the figure, the process is longer and the impression also lasts' longer. In this process, one starts envisaging the figure from head to foot and from the feet upwards. Gradually, by this process the picture of Swami gets firmly implanted and becomes an inner reality. While the imagining process gives only a momentary glimpse, the experiencing method leads to the complete identification of the seeker with the Divine Form.

    Awareness of the Divine results in oneness with the Divine. When we are experiencing the Divine Form, what is happening to our mind? The mind experiences every part of Swami from head to foot and ultimately becomes one with the Form.

    It is the process of identification of the mind with the Divine Form that constitutes true meditation. Meditation is not merging the Form in the mind. It is merging the mind in the Form so that the mind as such does not exist.

    While sitting for meditation in a group, one should not be in contact with anyone else. This is highly important. Meditation is like the process of electrifying a wire. If a live wire comes in contact with something, it will produce a shock. During meditation, spiritual energy is generated.

    How is this energy lost? It is lost through finger nails and the hairs on one's body. This was the reason why the ancient yogis (spiritually advanced persons) allowed their nails and hairs to grow freely. Spiritual energy has to be conserved by all possible means. The rishis (saints) practised silence to conserve the energy lost through speech.

    Do not develop too close relationship with one another. Such close relationship results in intimate friendship which produces mutual obligations and expectations. From these arise the sense of ego.

     There is no meaning in doing meditation for two days and giving it up on the third day. Meditation must become an integral part of one's life. Along with it, all the knowledge and skills required for one's profession or vocation should be acquired.

      In the practice of meditation, it should be realised that all cannot follow the same pattern or method. It varies according to the evolution and circumstances of each individual and his or her capacity and earnestness. Some worship the Supreme as the Universal Mother. Some look upon the Almighty as Father. Some regard God as the Supreme Friend. Some devotees approach the Divine as the Beloved or the Master. They did not practise meditation. They felt the presence of God everywhere. Where could they go for meditation? Such was their experience. To the true sadhaka evidence of the omnipresence of God can be found everywhere.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "Kaashi and Badhri," Chapter 6; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 9. "Soldiers and Generals," Chapter 26;  Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 15. "Getting or giving," Chapter 3; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 17. "Students and Saadhana," Chapter 6 and "The journey to God: four stages," Chapter 17).

    Namaste - Reet