Swami teaches....Part 47
Swami teaches... 6 - 7 December 2005
Take Into Head That Is Useful and Transmit It to the Heart
People today receives all kinds of knowledge. Whatever one reads, whatever one hears, one fills the mind with all sorts of things about the world. Probably many wake up in the morning and start reading the news from newspaper. However, without love in the heart, person is only another newspaper with no significant internal values. It is not enough if one has the human form or even the basic human equipment - physical, mental and emotional. One must bring it to perfection, as a sculptor does, after the stone is brought to crude shape. Human must be aware of kinship with God, of own immense potentiality.
The chief duty of human is investigation into Truth. It can be won thorough dedication and devotion. And they are dependent on the Grace of God, which is showered on hearts saturated with Love.
The question, "Where does God exist," is often trotted out by people nowadays. By unceasing recitation of the Name of God, Prahlaadha knew that God is everywhere; it is not correct to assert, "He is only here" or that "He is not there." The realisation of this Truth can come after intense sadhana (spiritual practice). You may see all kinds of attractive articles in a departmental store; they cannot be yours merely for the asking. Only those articles for which you pay the price can be secured by you.
God is in your own inner altar. Human being suffers being unable to discover Him there, and draw peace and joy from that discovery. A dhobi, standing knee-deep in a flowing river, washing clothes therein, died of thirst, because he failed to realise that life-giving water was within reach. He need only bend and drink.
Of course, you have to be in the world, but the attention has to be fixed on God, the God within. Butter is in every drop of milk; chicken is in every part of the egg. So too, God is in every part of the Universe. He is the strength; He is the substance; He is the sustenance.
Do not pay more attention to the outside world than necessary; but, concentrate more on the inner springs of joy. In a car, the wheels that are underneath are the outer wheels; pay more attention to the wheel inside; the wheel that guides and turns the outer wheels. The driver of the car is inside; you, too, must care more for the inner motivator. If you are master of your feelings and impulses, you can be anywhere, engaged in any profession.
When you are earnest God will guide you, either from within or from without, through some one He will send or through illumination from within.
Repeat Soham (I am He), with every breath: 'So' when you take in and 'ham', when you exhale, 'So' means He and 'ham,' means I and when you complete the inhalation and exhalations, feel that 'So' namely, the Lord, and 'ham', namely, 'I' i.e., (you) are One. Later, after long practice, the idea of He and I as two separate entities will disappear and there will be no more So and ham.
This Soham-recitation is a good means of restraining the mind. Let the mind be ever attached to the Lord; then, it will not flee, as it fancies, towards all directions. That is the meaning of the exhortation of Krishna: "Sharvadharmaan parithyajya maam ekam sharanam vraja" - "Giving up all other activities, surrender fully to me." Place the mind completely at His service. Then, He will save you from falling.
Mana eva manushyaanaam kaaranam bandha mokshayoh - "the mind binds and the mind liberates". So train the mind and win. It is a wild elephant, which can be tamed with the goad of Soham, as God's echo. Do not feed it with conceit, hate, envy and greed.
"Who is God?" Once individual has discovered who he/she is, there is no need to know who is God, for, both are the same. When you come to know that God is in you, you will value yourself much more, for when a human knows that the piece of 'glass' he has picked up is a diamond, he will keep it in an iron safe, for better security.
The best sadhana (spiritual practice) is to discover own Atmic reality and to recognise own kinship in the Atmic fold with all others. The body has to be kept trim until this is achieved; its purpose too is just this. Keep it light and bright. It is a boat which can take you across the sea of illusion, of false multiplicity.
In the human body, there are two important organs. One is the heart and the other is the head. All the actions in the world, all their consequences, originate in the head. All that you think, all that you do, all your achievements, gains and losses, are all related to the head (to thoughts). All that comes out of the head relates to the phenomenal world, grows from it and ultimately merges in it. But, feelings like .peace, kindness, compassion, forbearance and love emanate from the heart and transcend external phenomena. (The rulers who frame and foster the educational system pay attention to the physical and intellectual training of the youth; they forget the attention must also be paid to mental, moral and spiritual development, so that an integrated personality can emerge. In all countries, it is the same).
Humanity has achieved today tremendous progress through science. Astonishing advances have been made in areas like plastics, computers, electronics and exploration of space. On the other hand, in the sphere of ethics, the picture is depressing. The world is confronted with grave economic and political problems. International, racial, religious, caste and communal differences, inter-state conflicts. How has mankind fallen to this egregious depth of ethical and spiritual degradation?
There has been any amount of transformation in the political, social and scientific fields. But all this development is of no avail if there is no commensurate transformation in the mental outlook of the people. Ethical transformation depends on social transformation. Social transformation is related to spiritual change. Without tends to spiritual transformation, social progress tends to become inimical to human advancement. Spiritual transformation is the basis for ethical transformation.
In the field of science today, there is great emphasis on research and discovery. But unless the results of research are applied in practice, it will be an expensive futility. Swami gave an example that years ago He attended a symposium in Bombay on "Science and Spirituality." A prominent scientist said that the nuclear arsenals of the Big Powers contained enough atom bombs to destroy the world ten times over. What is the sense in building up such arsenals? If you have destroyed the world once, what is there left for the other bombs to destroy?
Those engaged in research seem to be more concerned about boosting their name and fame by their research than about promoting public well-being through the results of their research. Nor do they seem to be bothered about the harmful consequences of their discoveries. To destroy a million persons by a single bomb is no great thing. To do good to a single individual in the world is more praise-worthy.
The scientific knowledge we acquire must be used for the benefit of our fellow-men. (The journey into the inner consciousness to calm the storms that rage there is more important than the journey to the Moon or Mars. The latter may be more spectacular, but, the former is the more beneficial). The pursuit of the Science of the Supreme Spirit is more essential than involvement with the Physical Sciences. In every object in the Universe there is a Supreme Principle. The physical object is Matter. The Supreme Principle within it is Energy. There is no matter without energy or energy without matter. The Vedas proclaimed this by saying that the Supreme is in the subtlest of the subtle and the vastest of the vast.
If the Five Elements (Space, Air, Fire, Water,Earth) that constitute the natural environment are kept in balance, the world is in a healthy state. If this balance is upset or if the elements are polluted, then the country suffers in various ways. If the products of science and technology result in upsetting the balance of Nature and pollute the atmosphere or the rivers and the seas, many harmful consequences follow.
Pollution gives rise to many new diseases. Today even pure air has become a rare commodity. Even earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are often caused by the unsettling of the ecological balance in nature.
The Prana (life-breath) comes from the Sun. The Vyana comes from air. The Apana comes from the Earth. Udhana comes from fire. The Samana comes from space. Because of these five breaths functioning in us, we are able to live healthily. There are about 72,000 blood-vessels in a human being. When air is polluted, the entire circulatory system is polluted.
Some kind of cleaning powder is used for cleaning vessels. Similarly prayer is the means of cleansing the heart. When the heart is filled with all kinds of worldly desires, there is no room in it for spiritual effort. A pictorial example to this statement.
Zoroaster, one day, asked the Prince of Iran, "Go, light this lamp, from yonder flame." The lamp could not be lit; for the wick was soaked in water. Then Zoroaster said, "Your mind is so soaked in desire that it cannot receive the wisdom it needs; dry it in the sun of detachment."
Today there seems to be no limit to human's desires. From ancient to present age Food, Head and God are the three whose unity will divinise human being. Even Sathwik food (food. which is conducive to the promotion of good qualities) should be consumed in moderation.
Human possesses five organs of perception: the mouth, the ears, the eyes, the nose and the skin. What is regarded as Sathwik food is taken through the mouth. But what kind of food are the other senses consuming?
The eyes are "consuming" Rajasik food (seeing ugly and undesirable things). Ignore such things as much as it possible.
What is it that the ears hear? They are listening to different scandals, idle gossips, bad stories about others. Transforming oneself, one should share good thoughts with others.
Now about speech. The tongue has a double function: speech and taste.
The tongue is prone to indulge in several undesirable activities: talking ill of others, talking excessively, idle gossip and the like. Of the four kinds of misbehaviour by the tongue, the first is excessive talking with others. Talking endlessly with all kinds of persons is an evil. The second evil tendency is abusing others. The third evil is making fun of others. The fourth is indulging in falsehood.
The tongue is the cause of human's greatness or downfall. There must be harmony between speech and action.
There is the sense of touch. Avoid touching others. It is highly significant from a deeper sense. The ancient sages used to seek secluded spots and engage themselves in meditation. There is a divine energy within the body, a kind of current flowing in it. When this divine energy comes into contact with the body of another person, it is likely to receive the bad thoughts in the latter. If the other person is a good person, you may receive good thoughts from the contact. But you cannot decide who is good and who is bad.
When a person is meditating, a divine energy is generated in him. The Earth also has an energy (gravitational energy) which attracts objects towards itself. That is the reason when a person sits in meditation, he/she uses a wooden plank one inch above the ground, spreads a deer-skin on it and covers it with a cloth. The cloth serves as a cushion protecting the meditator from any pricks from the deerskin. The wooden plank acts as an insulator, preventing the energy from passing down.
The Vedas and Sastras of India were not collected or compiled by fools or knaves, they were put together by people, who gave up the attractions of comfortable life, they retired into the forests, so that they could concentrate on the solution of the problems that challenged them. In every statement in the Vedas and Sastras, you get the genuine ring of actual experience and personal thrill.
Do not sit on the bank of the river and pronounce judgements of the depth of the waters, or their taste to potability. Step down and examine for yourselves; that is the sign of the sincere seeker of Truth. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "The wheels: outer and inner," Chapter 31; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "Milk and Water ," Chapter 1 and "The wheel and its hub," Chapter 26; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16. "Develop devotion to Dharma," Chapter 13; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "The Head and The Heart," Chapter 9).
Namaste - Reet
Swami teaches... 4 - 5 December 2005
Through Education and Detachment Towards the Cosmic Divine
"Truth is the ornament for the neck." "Charity is the ornament for the hand." "Listening to sacred scriptures is the ornament for the ears." What other ornaments does a human need if he/she had these three? So says a Sanskrith saying.
The ornaments which people wear today are a source of fear. But if the ornaments of truth, charity, and listening to sacred discourses are worn, there is no cause for fear. This is called Abhaya (fearlessness). The most important element in human's existence is sankalpa (firm thought). As are the 'thoughts, so is the speech. As is the speech so are the actions. The harmony of these three will lead to the experience of Divinity. All beings are manifestations of the Cosmic Divine. The forms are different but the spirit that animates them is One, like the current that illumines bulbs of different colours and wattage. Human has to express the Divine potencies. For this, human has to acquire Atmic knowledge (Knowledge of the Divine Self). Spiritual enlightenment is as important as academic knowledge. All other branches are like rivers which merge in the ocean of Spiritual Knowledge.
The world today is immersed in fear and suffering. The way to get rid of fear is to cultivate Vairagya (non-attachment). Where there is no attachment, there is no fear. Only through nonattachment and renunciation can one acquire the competence to experience inner illumination.
Renunciation does not mean giving up property and society and betaking oneself to the forest. What is called for is renunciation of all evil tendencies. That is Yoga. In the Gita three paths have been indicated. Mathkarmakrit Mathparamo Madhbhaktah ("Who works for me only, who looks on me as the only refuge, and is devoted to Me"), says Krishna. Here, Matkarmakrit ("Who works for Me") does not mean doing service to Krishna. The "Me" represents the Cosmic Being. Because everything in the universe is permeated by the Divine, one who is enjoined to do service to all as the primary duty. All actions have to be done in society. You have to serve your country. God's grace will certainly be your support when you are on the march together to reveal the Atmic spring of strength to people suffering from weakness. "Together"! That is the key to success.
It is an axiom that no one can give up completely all social relations or actions. Hence, one should dedicate all actions to the Divine and thereby develop the sense of detachment. Remember, whatever you do, deem it as God's work. This can be applied to every ordinary act in daily life, whether it is sweeping the floor, or preparing chappathis or cutting vegetables. Everyone of these acts can be turned into a spiritual exercise by the spirit in which you do it.
To remove the chaos and violence prevailing in society today, you have to become Karmayogis and devote all your knowledge, abilities and energies to the transformation of society. It is not wealth that is important. Character counts.
Recognise society as a form of God, recognise what exists as Omnipresence in society and thereby acquire good qualities in serving society. Forget the agitations in the world. Then you can have peace, joy and bliss.
The educational system must decide to direct as young so adult students to the achievement of the Divinity latent in each one. Striving towards such a goal is an essential step, for ensuring social, national and world peace and prosperity.
Humanity is like a train full of passengers, moving in one direction. Some alight at the little halt, some get off the station after that. Some alight a little further off. But, young persons travel longest. So, intensive care must be accorded to the problem of their education. Their lives must be made happier, more full of activity and contentment, more useful to the human community and this can happen when the Divinity in them is allowed to blossom. The nation is-looking forward to these young men and women to realise its dreams of unity, integrity and prosperity; these bright young people have to confer confidence and courage, joy and enthusiasm.
Education is not to be taken as a process of filling an empty sack and pouring out its contents, making the sack empty again. It is not the head that has to be filled through education. It is the heart that has to be cleansed, expanded and illumined. Education is for 'life', not, for a 'living'.
The sign of the educated human is humility. The educated person must realise that he/she has more obligations than privileges, more duties than fights. He should be delighted to serve, and not desire to dominate. Service makes life worthwhile; service is the best way to use one's skills, intelligence, strength and resources.
The life must be saturated with cooperative activity, social service, eager search for truth and readiness to sacrifice one's interests for the good of those who are less fortunate. Moral and spiritual values have to be honoured as much as, if not more than, economic and material values. Life must be a harmonious blend of these values with emphasis on moral strength. It is the best, when the seeds of enlightened life have been sown in young age.
The emotions that spring from the minds of youth have to be canalised and sublimated, while they are yet elementary and in the nascent stage. When teachers and parents neglect it, youth runs amok and ruins its own destiny. At the present time, youth is exploding and running into extreme actions of arson and acts of disorder. But the more dangerous results are not so clearly recognised. The students, for example, are injuring themselves their careers and their usefulness to the community even more lastingly. They waste a great deal of hard-earned money; they waste something that cannot be recovered later, namely, Time; they have their minds polluted by hatred.
Students first duty is to spend the time for study; after completing the present task of acquiring knowledge they can take part in different activities, and distinguish themselves as leaders and pleaders. Now, they have to acquire skills, insight, balance and the spirit of service. Everyone has to cultivate right habits even in ordinary routine actions like sitting, do not be sloppy and indifferent. If your back is bent when you sit, the Sushumna nadi (which runs through the spinal column) gets bent and this will produce harmful consequences including loss of memory power. Avoid also unnecessary talks and purposeless association with anyone.
The world's progress depends on the wisdom and altruism of those whom the people trust and follow. The leaders and guides should accept this responsibility and duty. They must be aware, all the time, of the Indweller and instruct others about the same.
If you want to transform the world, to promote all-round prosperity in the country, to make the prayer that "all people should be happy" become a reality, develop faith in the Self. Never forget God. Without God there is no universe. Let the non-believers have their way. But they have no right to question the beliefs of others. To ask for physical proofs of the existence of experience like bliss or love or for subtle things like the fragrance of a flower is impracticable. To deny the reality of love on the ground that it has no recognizable form is meaningless.
Through education, you have to interpret the knowledge of Nature and its components, and the knowledge of human with its various victories and failures. Of course, Nature is the best teacher; so be vigilant to imbibe useful and lasting lessons from Her.
At present, since education has spread widely and since education has meant mainly book-learning, people have become cynical. They doubt even the simplest statement and revel in wild discussions.
Being in the world and bound by the distractions it presents before our sense, one cannot renounce and become free. How can a person standing on a rock succeed in pushing it aside? One has to come down the rock and try. One must be free from the bonds of attachment to the worldly things and thoughts as they all are dedicated to God. So one should not be remiss in discharging one's duties and responsibilities. The proper fulfilment of duties is part of the spiritual discipline necessary for getting enlightenment.
The Cosmos which is the Brahman is the effect produced by Karma (action). Every act is an expression of the power of the Divine Will. In the individual this power is projected through the body. Sadhana (spiritual effort) is the method by which that projection is purified and sanctified.
Drive away the divisive forces that keep human away from human, and prevent hearty co-operation and mutual help. Inculcate discipline in the field of Sadhana also and insist on people performing their duty to themselves and to their destiny. Devotion is like the head; duty is the trunk; discipline is the feet. Let devotion be linked with duty and led by discipline; then, success is certain.
Devotion should not be confined to the four walls of the shrine-room, or the few minutes you perform meditation. It is a fulltime Sadhana (spiritual discipline). Your devotion has to be expressed as worship of every one, as a living embodiment of Divinity. Practise that broad, inclusive type of Love. You can see the Moon only with the help of Moonlight. You can see God only through the rays of Love, the one Quality of Love, expresses itself as attachment to things, affection towards kith and kin, desire for objects, love in human relations, reverence towards the great, and devotion to God. Cultivate Love and all its aspects will be fed and fostered. (How can you derive the direct happiness by showing love and reverence to a stone idol, that does not respond or reflect the feelings? This happiness is the reflection of your own faith). Living beings will return appreciation and gratitude and wish you well. You can see joy growing in their faces.
A lamp has a unique power, which is not possessed by any other object. It dispels darkness. Another notable quality of the lamp is that the flame goes upwards - the path of the Brahman. The sinful path leads downwards.The light of the lamp, however, can only dispel the darkness outside but cannot remove the darkness that envelops the heart as a result of attachments and aversions carried from previous lives.
Even as a lamp needs a container, oil, wick and a match stick to light it, for lighting the inner flame, one needs a container in the form of Vairagya (renunciation), Bhakti (the oil of devotion), the wick of mental concentration and Tathvajnana (the match stick of true awareness). Even if any of these four is lacking, the light of Self cannot be lit.
Do not tell Swami you do not care for spiritual bliss, that you are satisfied with delusion and are not willing to undergo the rigours of sleeplessness. Believe me, your basic nature abhors this dull dreary routine of eating, drinking and sleeping. It seeks something it knows it has lost: Inward contentment. It seeks liberation from the bondage to the trivial and the temporary. Everyone craves for it in his heart of hearts and longs for stepping along the path of Dharma (Righteousness). And it is available only in one shop: Contemplation of the highest Self, the basis of all this appearance. Where is this Righteousness? It is in your conduct, your thoughts, words and deeds. Righteousness dwells in your heart. When the impulses arising from the heart are expressed in words, that is Sathya. To put into action your words is Dharma.
God welcomed the urge to manifest the Cosmos. You must feel the need to blossom and expand. Derive Ananda in the process, possess it and share it, in order to increase it. The Upanishads proclaim the message of courage, of strength. Give up the idea that you are weak and helpless. The Atma cannot be gained by the weak. Believe that you have in you the strength and skill you need. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 12. " Valour of the Spirit," Chapter 5 and "Drastic overhaul," Chapter 11; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "Together! All together!" Chapter 2 and "Light the lamp in your hearts," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 28. "Manifest Divine Qualities," Chapter 18).
Namaste - Reet