Swami teaches....Part 48
Swami teaches... 14 -16 December, 2005
The Individual is a Unit in God's Unity
The power of the physical body is like the fire in the cigarette tip while spiritual power is like the forest fire. Once you are advanced in spirituality even the association with evil persons may not affect you. (But, when you have not developed your spiritual power you should avoid bad company just as you spit out unpalatable food even at the first taste). How to develop the spiritual power? There are many ways, however, Swami indicates to the easiest, available to practice to all who have an inner call to this. However, nothing has obtained without serious work.
Devotees often think that meditation is the most powerful and easy way to the Divine proximity. They are generally confused when the result is not achieved. However, even in meditation you will not get the desired communion with God until you attune yourself to the Divine perfectly. Some aspirants mistake concentration for meditation. Concentration is needed for every activity in your daily life.
Meditation, in fact, is transcending the senses and the mind. During meditation, the mind is actively thinking of several things of the past, the present and the future. The thoughts are running fast. Scarcely does any one concentrate on the Divine even though one sits in the Padhmasana (lotus pose) and closes eyes. There is no need for sitting for meditation and wasting time in this manner. One can transform every act in daily life as worship of the Divine.
The criterion for true devotion is not proficiency in scriptures or routine performance of so-called spiritual practices, but the realization of the divinity in oneself as well as in all others which can be attained only through steadfast adherence to truth, purity of heart and universal love.
Since the body is an instrument, you can make God happy through this instrument and enjoy happiness yourself in the process. In this way you practise meditation in your daily duties.
Learn to have single-pointedness. Through that concentration, it is possible to open the inner eye also, clear and complete, so that human may visualise God. By taking to repeating the Name of God and picturing in the mind the glory of God who has that Name, as well as a thousand others, slowly the cataract of the inner eye will disappear and, human can see the God who is in own innermost heart, installed in the altar therein. Resolve now to enter upon this sadhana (spiritual practise) from this moment onwards. To reach the Lord, intelligence, discrimination between the false and the true, the transitory and the eternal, the unreal and the real is very essential.
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. Practise this attitude consistently and you will find great Peace and Happiness welling within you and around you.
These qualities can sprout and grow only when the Reality of Unity is implanted in the consciousness. All living beings, are cells in the Body of God. Their origin, continued existence, and progress are all in God, by God, for God. The relationship with the Lord is described as developing from in the vicinity to nearness, and from Form of the master and then on to absorption into the Form. Upa-vaasa, the word for the vow of fasting, means "living in the proximity of God" (Upa-near; vaasa-living) and so, the vow is meant to liberate you from the worry and bother of preparing and eating food, so that you might dwell more intimately with God. Remember that the purpose of Fast is spending time in the contemplation of God and not simply punishing the body by cutting a meal or a series of meals.
Vows, vigils, fasts, etc. along with all kinds of voluntarily imposed or involuntarily suffered hardships are to be looked upon as promoting spiritual strength, not as weakening physical stamina. (They dig around the roots and make the plant grow fast. They clip the wayward twigs and make the tree tall and truly trim).
Be ever in the consciousness that you are but the shadow of God, His image. Then, no harm can hamper you. God walks along the royal road of truth; the shadow, holding on to Him by the feet, falls on hollow and hill, fire and water, dirt and dust. So, if you hold on the feet, you can be as unaffected as the shadow by the ups and downs of life.
Each person has three sources of power as an individual, as a child or limb of God and as a shrine where Atma is installed. Hanuman once told Rama, "When I feel I am this body You are my Lord; when I feel I am distinct soul, I know I am the reflection and You, the Original; when I know I am the Aathma, I know I am You and You are I."
About 400 years ago, there was a man by name Mansur in the city of Benaras. By virtue of his good samskaras (inherited tendencies) and his preceptor's teachings, he had developed firm faith in the Vedic dictum: "Aham Brahmasmi" (I am God). When people heard him always repeating this aphorism, they questioned him whether he was really God. He used to emphatically tell them thrice, "Yes, I am God." In course of time, he became the target of envy and hatred among the prominent men in Benaras, including Vedic scholars and heads of religious institutions. They went in a body to the King of Benaras and complained against
Mansur, saying that he had no knowledge of Sanskrith or scriptures but was going about shouting, "I am God," thereby insulting eminent scholars and pandits. The King summoned Mansur to his court and asked him, "Who are you?" Promptly came the reply, "I am God." The King got him examined by medical experts and found that he was not insane. Then the King advised him to give up saying "I am God," in view of the complaints from scholars. Mansur firmly refused to obey the King's command and declared that he would sooner give up his life than forswear his unshakable faith and firm conviction in his oneness with the Divine. He questioned the King boldly, "Why do you want me to give up truth? The truth is: I am God; you are God; everyone is God." As he did not change his attitude despite all kinds of persuasions and threats, the King ordered that his hands should be cut off for the offence of disobeying the King. As the King's minions held Mansur tightly and raised their gleaming swords to cut off his hands, Mansur went on boldly shouting aloud: "Aham Brahmasmi" unceasingly and smilingly. After severing both his hands, the executioners went to the King and reported that Mansur was fearlessly and smilingly repeating his declaration even after his hands had been cut off and he was bleeding profusely.
The King went to the scene of Mansur's ordeal and found that the place was reverberating with the sacred sound of "Aham Brahmasmi" coming unceasingly from the tongue of the smiling Mansur as well as from the blood flowing profusely on the ground from his hands. In a short while, Mansur fell down dead with a smiling and calm face and "Aham Brahmasmi" on his lips.
The King was deeply moved and he prostrated at the feet of Mansur. He sent for the scholars, priests, pandits and heads of religious institutions who had complained against the saintly Mansur. On their arrival, he reprimanded them saying, "What is the use of your book learning? You could not recognise or understand the greatness of Mansur. He was a man who established unity in thought, word and deed. You don't practise what you read and teach. You are all a pack of conceited, book-worms, envious of truly great persons. Misled by your complaints, I have committed the sin of virtually murdering such a saintly person. However, he has become a martyr in upholding the highest truth of "Aham Brahmasmi." In order to teach you a lesson and to provide a source of inspiration to you and your progeny, I am building a memorial for Mansur."
Praise and blame are the obverse and reverse of reaction to the great and the sublime. The cinema screen is not affected by the volcanic eruption pictured in the films or by the turbulent sea with mountain high waves. It is neither singed nor does it get wet. (The cinema screen is our Atmic nature).
The paradox of human behaviour is that, having the power of discrimination to identify good and bad, human is not able to get away from bad pursuits. This is due to the weakness of the human mind, which is in turn the result of anger, greed, desire, etc.
To illustrate the disastrous consequences of excessive desire there is a following story. Once a wayfarer, who was making a long journey by foot in the hot sun, was feeling tired and sought the shade of a tree to rest for a while. It so happened that the tree was a wish fulfilling tree. Sitting under its shade, he wished for a cup of cold water for quenching his thirst. To his astonishment a cup of water was placed before him. After quenching his thirst, he felt that it would be good if he could get a bed to recline on and enjoy a siesta. Immediately a bed was provided from nowhere. Then he thought how nice it would be if his wife also was there. In a flash, he found his wife there. At this stage, he had a doubt in his mind as to how his wife, who was far away at home could come there and thought that it might be a demon in her form which might even devour him. As he thought in this manner, the woman turned into a demon and devoured him. This is the result of excessive desire, which is the enemy within you.
In fact, desire is all right as long as it is within reasonable limits. For example, if you feel thirsty, it is a reasonable desire to seek water to quench the thirst. (Not satisfied with water, if one seeks cool drinks it is tantamount to excessive desire).
There are three phases in the act of securing a desired object and enjoying happiness out of it. They are Priyam, Modham and Pramodham. Priyam is the desire to experience happiness from a particular object. Modham is the initial satisfaction derived from getting the desired object. Pramodham is the experience of Ananda or happiness out of the object. It is not enough if you get the object which you desired to have, but you should experience the joy of using it. (For example, you like to taste a mango fruit. The first phase is to buy it, the second is to hold it in hand (possessing it) and the third phase is to eat it. It is only while eating the mango that you derive the fulfilment of your desire).
We all are engaged in our own service. All the items of work are aimed at expanding our heart and purifying it. That is the call of the sages of India and all the scriptures and texts. Power and authority gather unto a person through the work, not through words and professions. Even God is known and adored by His works.
Service of human is equal to service of God. The activity must be based on firm faith in the Divine resident in every being. Give a helping hand to the helpless, who are afflicted with many ailments and handicaps.That is the path of real bhakthi. For, what greater means can there be to please God than pleasing His children? The Purusha Suktha speaks of the Purusha or God as having a thousand heads, a thousand eyes and a thousand feet. Though there are a thousand heads, there is no mention of a thousand hearts, there is only one heart. The same blood circulates through all the heads, eyes, feet and limbs. Service tends to destroy egoism; it confers enormous joy. Seva is the highest of paths of Devotion which wins the Grace of God.
Action can inspire action. Example alone can instruct. Tall talk is, as a rule, a barren exercise. Service activities in all lands can thrive only through selfless dedication. Fanfare is a sign of insincerity. Silent, unsullied work alone can appeal.
You must help others, so that you may repay the service that you received. Do not look on, when you find some one in pain or grief. As far as possible, relieve the pain, console the grief-stricken. A person who works for wages, calculates the reward at so much per hour, receives the wages and quits. But, when one works as part of the worship, glad that one is given the chance to serve as long and as gladly as it possible, one derives maximum Ananda.
Today, we are confronted everywhere by statistics parading quantities and reports in glowing terms. Do not bother about adding to the number or achieving a target. Convince yourselves that life cannot continue long without others serving you and your serving others. Master-servant, ruler-ruled, guru-disciple, employer-employee, parents-children, all these are bound by mutual service. Every one is a sevak. The farmer and labourer whom you serve produce by their toil your food and clothing as their service to you. (Most people are not aware that time sanctified by service offers high rewards to themselves as well as those whom they serve).
It is true that all acts of service are not equally sanctifying or uniform in the benefits they confer. When service is undertaken by power-hungry people, or under compulsion or by imitative urges, it results in more harm than good. Self-aggrandizement or competition or ostentation are motives that will pollute the sacred sadhana of service. The candidate for this sadhana has to avoid Ahamkara (egotism), Adambara (exhibitionism) and Abhimana (favouritism).(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks.Vol. 6. "From Saalokya to Saayujya," Chapter 2; Sathya Sai Speaks.Vol. 8. "The bandage removed from the eye," Chapter 4 and "Share the common treasure," Chapter 43; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 19. "Equipment for service," Chapter 25 Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 26. "The martyrdom of Mansur," Chapter 12; "Sparks from the Divine Anvil," Chapter 13 and "Vision should be good," "Excerpts from Discourse on 5 April 93).
Namaste - Reet
Swami teaches... 12 - 13 December, 2005
The Fundamental Human Values, Dharma, Purity of Heart
Swami asks to describe Him as a Teacher of Truth, as Sathyam (Truth), Shivam (Goodness) and Sundaram (Beauty). Humans reality too is Sathyam, Shivam and Sundaram. The effect of truth on the mind is goodness; the joy that flows from goodness is the genuine Beauty that artists love. The three are really one and indivisible. Experience this Truth; this Truth as Goodness and this Goodness as Beauty. That gives the highest Bliss. Let not lesser ones distract you. Go, straight on the royal road that leads to self-realisation, and don't stray into the bye-lanes of counterfeit bliss.
This does not mean that you have to give up kith and kin and foot it all alone. The community in which you find yourself is the arena where you can win the victory, the gymnasium where you develop the skill to win. The spiritual journey lies through compassion, sympathy, mutual help, and service, and these are fostered by society and are to be used for society.
If you love another person, you will not covet lordship over him; you will not covet his/her property; you will have no envy when he/she prospers, no joy when he/she suffers. Love is the strongest antidote for greed. Love persuades you to consider the distress of the other, whenever you are overcome by it. You are drawn to those who have equal ground for grief. You become engrossed in the sorrow of others and so forget your own.
Love is eternal. You are the embodiment of Love. You are the embodiment of Peace. You are the embodiment of Truth. You are the embodiment of God. It is only when this supreme truth is realised, and our life is based on it, that our love can make our life meaningful and enable us to comprehend the world. Your studies, your conduct, your actions, all that you see, hear and think - all these should be regarded as offerings to the Divine. This is the true meaning of taking refuge in the Divine. All that is seen, heard or experienced should be considered as intimations of the Divine.
God is Truth, Goodness and Beauty, but only those who have had experience of Him can assert so and convince. You may have a pot full of amritha, but unless you place a drop on your tongue, how can you assert about its fragrance and sweetness? Through Swami's devotees a transformation has to be brought about in the minds of people; so devotees responsibility is very great.
How to obtain skill for that? All advices are in Swami's Teaching. When the heart is pure, the Lord resides therein and guides a devotee. Human's purity is manifesting when human relations are based on heart to heart and love to love. (Love today is based on desire for a return benefit. It is filled with fear and anxiety. Thus love is motivated. When love is based on a desire for transient and perishable objects, life will be futile).
At first the guides are for the devotee's own enlightenment through Dharma, fundamental human values, purity of heart and other ancient ever young spiritual truths. Obtaining such Divine qualities devotee can spread them to the other minds through examples, knowledge and his/her unvisible sacred vibrations.
One of the very first principles for devotee's straight living is: Practise silence. For the Voice of God can be heard in the region of your heart only when the tongue is stilled and the storm is stilled, and the waves are calm. Conserve sound, since it is the treasure of the element Akasha (space), an emanation from God Himself. Silence is the speech of the spiritual seeker.
The second sign is cleanliness: not outer cleanliness alone, but, even more, inner. In reality, the outer cleanliness is but the reflection of the inner achievement. There is a strange glow on the face of a guileless person.
The third sign is that the true devotee will have a reverent attitude to the duty he/she is bound with. He/she will carry out every task as if it is an act of worship by which the Lord will be pleased.
Swami compiles nine steps in the pilgrimage of devotee towards the Lord along the path of dedication and surrender. It is for devotee's own transformation and only after that devotee can to seed Swami's Cosmic Truth in the minds of people.
(1) Developing a desire to listen to the glory and grandeur of the handiwork of God and of the various awe-inspiring manifestations of Divinity. This is the starting point. It is by hearing about the Lord again and again, that we can transform ourselves into divinity.
(2) Singing to oneself about the Lord, in praise of His magnificence and manifold exploits.
(3) Dwelling on the Lord in the mind, revelling in the contemplation of His Beauty Majesty and Compassion.
(4) Entering upon the worship of the Lord, by concentrating on honouring the feet or foot-prints.
(5) This develops into a total propitiation of the Lord, and systematic ritualistic worship, in which the aspirant gets inner satisfaction and inspiration.
(6) The aspirant begins to see the favourite Form of God, which he likes to worship, in all beings and all objects, wherever he turns, and so, he develops an attitude of Vandhana (reverence) towards nature and all life.
(7) Established in this bent of mind, he becomes the devoted servant of all, with no sense of superiority or inferiority. That is the stage of service, which every person calling himself a social worker, or volunteer, or sevak has to reach. It is more fruitful than reciting the Name or counting beads, or spending hours in meditation, though one's service will be richer and more satisfying if done on the basis of spiritual discipline. This is a vital step, which presages great spiritual success. Service is Divine. Humility promotes charity and purity.
(8) This takes the seeker so near the Lord that he feels himself to be the confidant and comrade, the companion and friend, the sharer of God's power and mercy of God's triumphs and achievement,
(9) As can be inferred, this is the prelude to the final step of total surrender, yielding fully to the Will of the Lord which the seeker knows through his own purified intuition.
Human is an amalgam of body, mind and spirit. The senses of perception and action, which form the components of the body, are busy contacting the objective world. The mind - consciousness of the various levels, the faculty of reason and the ego - examines, experiences and judges. It decides after discrimination, which word or deed will be beneficial, favourable, fruitful and felicitous. It attempts to separate the good from the bad, the virtuous deed from the sinful action, the true from the false, the permanent from the momentary. But the Spirit or the Self or the Atma is unaffected, stable and foundational.
The feeling 'I' has to be retained until it is submerged in the 'We' and finally in 'He' from whom it was projected at His Will.This is an arduous process, which requires a long journey through compassion, renunciation, rectitude, fortitude and patience. These are the five vital airs which purposeful living needs. All these are subsumed under the word, 'dhama' (control of senses), in the scriptures. These five are the counterparts of Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-violence implies more than the correct reporting of what was seen. It involves the coordination of thought, word and deed and the recognition of the Eternal Witness of all three.
The Witness is the Self, a sport of the Omniself. A boy may wear a brown shirt today, he might have worn a black one yesterday. "A boy in a brown shirt" is a true statement today; "A boy in a black shirt" was a true statement yesterday. This level of truth is known as 'truth for all practical worldly purposes. The coats do change; the body of a boy does change, from day today. But the Witness, the Self, is free from change.
Dharma (right action) is the code of morals that upholds and uplifts human and society. It is the superstructure on Truth. It serves the needs of the time, the society and the goal and is therefore subject to modification. The Dharma of the 'student' is different from that of the 'master of the family' and from the Dharma of the renunciant and the monk. But, through all the stages of life, the Truth, the unchanging Witness persists. Accept Budhi (intellect) as the charioteer, then, the practice of Dharma will lead to success.
The fundamental human values all emanate from Dharma, based on Truth. The enumeration of human values as five - Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-violence - is not fully correct. They are all facets of the foundational humanness. They grow together; they are inter-dependent, they are not separable. Dharma is Love in Action; Love thrives on inner peace, on the absence of inner conflicts.
Do not treat human values as a separate curricular assignment. Then, it will become dry and uninspiring. It must transform the way of life and should not stop with imparting information. It must be imparted more through example and practice rather than by books and formal teaching.
If human behaviour has no such basis, it leads to disaster. Human has dehumanised systematically by neglect of the basic Unity. From slings to arrows, from cannon balls to bombs, from fusion to fission, human has progressed in the art of killing and entered the Darkest Age of history. The greed for wealth and power has overwhelmed the creed of compassion. The law of self-aggrandizement reigns; the law of self-abnegation has receded. When the son is acclaimed as a good fellow, the father congratulates himself; when he is ostracised as a bad fellow, the father condemns others for leading him astray.
The Hindus have been praying since ages for the peace and prosperity of all the worlds. The Vedic seers prayed for the peace and happiness of all mankind, of all animate and inanimate things. Cultivate that Universal vision. Their conception of the Immanence of God is strong and unshakeable. The rituals, ceremonies, vows and rites prescribed in, Hinduism, are all directed to the promotion and well-being of all the worlds.This is the reason why Hinduism is still alive and active.
Since several centuries and millennia, yajnas (Vedhc rite or sacrifice) have been observed in India for the welfare of the world. These yajnas are not performed to benefit an individual, a family, a sect, a caste or those who follow a particular faith. The aim is universal and the beneficiaries are all living beings, for such yajnas calm the elements and propitiate the deities presiding over the earth, water, fire, wind and sky.
Among yajnas, there are two types - the outer and the inner, the outer being a reflection of the inner. The inner yajna is the bird in the hand; the outer, the bird in the bush. But since the sanctified vision and urge are absent today, what is happening is the release of the bird in the hand with the attempt to catch the bird in the bush. The value and significance of the inner yajna have to be understood first. It involves awareness of the Divinity that is dormant but decisive in the very centre of our Reality. Worship It, propitiate It, please It, become It.
The ancient sages, after performing severe penances and making profound enquiries, realised and declared how unique is the human birth. They have known that there is a Supreme Purusha who is effulgent like the Sun and who transcends darkness. The sages drew the inference that the beginning and the end are One, which is the Divine. They declared that this One is the seed of the Cosmos. No seed exists without husk. Because the grain is covered by husk its parts are not visible to us. For the cosmos, Prakrithi (Nature) is the husk. The seed of divinity is within it (and enveloped by it).
Who is it that has created the five elements, the five life-breaths, the five sheaths, the five external sense organs and the five internal sense organs, which are all ceaselessly carrying on their functions according to their prescribed roles. The seasons in their regular cycle are teaching a good lesson to human. Therefore Nature is the demonstrable proof for the existence of God. Nature is not under any obligation to any human, it takes no orders from any human, it operates according to the will of the Divine.
We have to endeavour to get at the truth about Nature. The Upanishads declared: "All this is permeated by the Divine." That means, there is only one thing that is immanent in the entire Universe. If the truths declared by the Upanishads are to be understood, we have to seek the truth of everything in our daily lives. For instance, why has Nature come into being? Nature's role is to help human, the crowning achievement of the evolutionary process, to realise the Divinity immanent in creation.
Human is deriving innumerable debt from Nature, and enjoying the amenities provided by Nature in various ways. But what is the gratitude he is showing to Nature? What gratitude is he offering to the Divine? He is forgetting the Divine who is the provider of everything. That is the reason for his becoming a prey to various difficulties and calamities. While human is receiving countless gifts from Providence, he/she is offering nothing in return to Nature or God. This shows how unnatural and heartless is the behaviour of human being. When we are enjoined to return good for evil, how unbecoming it is to fail even to return good for good? Human is not learning the great lessons Nature.
The artificial instruments produced by human function for a time and then become useless. Scientists today have launched many satellites in space. Sooner or later they cease to function and drop away. No one exactly knows how, when and in what circumstances the planets in nature were created but they have been going round in space ceaselessly and unfailingly for billions of years. Many of the missiles and space instruments produced by scientists are for destructive purposes.
What is the reason for this? The Ego is the cause. The sense of egoism and conceit arising from it is the root cause of the destructive tendencies in human. How long can it last? In a mere fit of sneezing, life may leave this body. What meaning is there in regarding it as permanent?
Let no one be proud about his beauty, strength and youth. The ravages of old age are ahead and will overwhelm him. Even while you feel puffed up by your strength and energy as a youth, age creeps on you irrevocably. Everything is subject to change and decay in this world. Whether it be physical objects or individuals, all are transient and impermanent. Only your purity is permanent. Purity is the essential nature of human.
What thanks are we expressing to God who is providing such essential life-sustaining amenities for meaningful human existence? Can this be a virtue in a human being? Is it a sign of a right education? Is it the mark of a scholar? No. You must show your gratitude with humility and sincerity to whoever has done you any good.
(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "The very breath," Chapter 4 and "The dead satellite," Chapter 7; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 14. "The inner yajna," Chapter 32; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 17. "God knocks, asks and gives," Chapter 20 and "Be human : become human, Chapter 31; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 21. "Nature: God: Man," Chapter 19).
Namaste - Reet
Swami teaches... 10 - 11 December, 2005
The Path of Prema Towards the Cosmic Self
The letter A is the first step in this life-long pilgrimage to the source of life, Light and Love, the Divine, the Truth. It is a pilgrimage that ends when the emerged is merged in that from which it has emerged, when Thou realize that it is That, when Thwam knows that it is Thath. The stow of billions of births and deaths is summarised in the three words Thath Thwam Asi.
Brahman (The Cosmic Self) is described as the embodiment of Cosmic vibrations which permeate the Universe, fill it with effulgence, wisdom and bliss. The Cosmic Spirit is one only, though it may be called by many names and worshipped in varied forms. True spirituality consists in this sense of spiritual Oneness. It can arise only when the attachment to the body is given up. When you develop the conviction that you are the Atma (the Self), then it will be easy to give up attachment to the body. When people in general develop this feeling, there will be a great transformation in the life of mankind.
After years of steady and impartial research, the sages of India have said that education has as its goal the realization of the spiritual Oneness as Atma (the Divine Self) and the manifestation of its inherent attributes of Sath-Chith-Ananda (Being, Awareness and Bliss). When the unchanging, eternal Divinity unites with the changing and inert Prakrithi (Nature), you have Ananda. The Lord is experienced as Sath-Chith-Ananda. What is Sath? Sath is Being, that which is eternally present. This means that even when an object is not there, its qualities are present. These qualities are described as Asthi, Bhathi and Priyam (principles of Existence, Cognisability and Utility). Asthi means existence (the quality of permanence). This may be likened, say, to sugar. In whatever manner sugar may be used, by dissolving it in water or mixing it with flour, its quality of sweetness remains. It is Sath in the sense that it has the unchanging quality of sweetness.
Chith is awareness (or consciousness). Chith is like water. When Sath (as sugar) is combined with Chith (as water) you have neither sugar not water, but syrup. The combination of Sath and Chith results in Ananda (Bliss). Apart from instincts, impulses, emotions and passions which human shares with the boasts, he/she has some unique attributes like the urge to renounce and to serve, to attach himself to Truth, and to cultivate the qualities of tolerance, and forbearance.
The Sastras are only road map towards the path to the Divine Self; they are guide books at best, describing the road and giving the directions for the journey. It is the actual journey that will reveal the hardships, the delays, the landslips and the pot-holes, as well as the beauty of the scenery encountered and the magnificence of the final goal. No second-hand account can equal the first-hand experience. Moreover, the Sastras might speak about a one and the same thing in many different ways, just to elaborate it for better understanding; even the Vedas extol a thing in ten different poetic forms, from different angles and standpoints. You may experience the similar Swami's skill by originals of His Works or even by present serial "Swami teaches..."
The symbols on the Sastras are interpreted differently by different scholars according to their pre-conceived notions, predilections and pet theories. Swami explain sastras as a Premavadhin (expounder of love). He has no conflict with the scholars who adheres to texts or the devotee of reason. If you acquire Prema (love), then you can dispense with the Sastras, for the purpose of all the Sastras is just that: to create the feeling of equal love for all and to negate egoism which stands in the way.
Swami advises to develop Ananda through the cultivation of Prema, which begins in the home and family and spreads to all creatures. If you cannot help another, at least avoid doing him harm or causing him pain. That itself is a great service. Put down the sharp-edged weapon that seeks to analyse and chop the arguments of the opponent, to cut his/her point of view to pieces. Even if you cannot love others, do not hate them or feel envy towards them. Do not misunderstand them motives and scandalise them; if you only knew, their motives might be as noble as yours or their action might be due to ignorance, rather than wickedness or mischief. Take up the sweet pudding of love which spreads joy and wins over recalcitrant hearts. That is Swami's path, the path of Prema.
Treat the others in the same way as you would like them to treat you. Never brood over the past; when grief over-powers you, do not recollect similar incidents in your past experience and add to the sum of your grief; recollect, rather, incidents when grief did not knock at your door, but you were happy instead. Namasmarana is the best antidote for this and if only men and women take up to it, the Lord will come to their rescue. That will instil the faith that everything is God's Will and teach that you have no right to exult or despair.
For realization path of Prema cultivate Neti (the path of straightforwardness) in everything. That will reveal the Atma. Neti will enable you to overcome the three gunas. The treatment you have to give these gunas is to grind them to a paste so that a new taste of Ananda might emerge; just as you grind salt, chillies and tamarind together to get a tasty chutney for your meal. No single guna should dominate; all must be tamed and diverted to fill the lake of Ananda. (It is the internal Ananda that matters, not the external. If the inner poise or inner equilibrium is undisturbed by external ups and downs, that is real success). Of course, you cannot reach the peak in one jump; it is a hard job to negate the evidence of the senses; one has to overcome the tendencies that have grown through hundreds of births. Life one long series of worries from birth to death. But all worries can be overcome by the Love of God.
Do not look upon the objective world as something to be exploited; it is something to be adopted and appreciated. Then, you can derive the maximum Ananda out of the contact. The truth about the individual, the Universe and God discovered by dedicated delving and announced through universal compassion can never be tarnished or argued away. Never yearn for authority over others; recognise the authority of God over all. Be immersed in Ananda, and in Love.
The body, the Sense organs, the mind and the intellect are the instruments for a human being. Only the person who understands the secret of these instruments will be able to comprehend the Atmic Principle. If a person cannot understand the vesture he/she is wearing, how is possible to understand the mystery of the Infinite Indwelling Spirit?
The body at the beginning is a lump of flesh (as foetus). Then it acquires an attractive form. Youth confers on it special charm. In old age it develops deformities. The Scriptures declare that human is endowed with a body primarily to lead a righteous life. The body should be regarded primarily as an instrument for the realisation of the Divine through the nine forms of devotion. All organs are able to function because of this divine energy. The Gita declares that both the body and the Atma are divine.
If you live on the level of the body and the individual, you will be entangled in food, fun and frolic, in ease, envy and pride. Forget it, ignore it, overcome it - you will have peace, joy and calm. In the Divine Path, there is no chance of failure; it is the Path of Love alias Path of Prema
There is deep-rooted unrest today in every individual, because there is no harmony within. The body is the caravanserai, the individual is the pilgrim and the mind is the watchman. The mind seeks happiness; it feels that happiness can be got in this world from fame, riches, land and property, from other individuals or relatives; further, it builds up pictures of heaven where there is more intense happiness for a longer time; at last, it discovers that eternal undiminished happiness can be got only by dwelling on the Reality of one's own Self, which is Ananda Itself.
The the life principle is like the grain covered
up in the husk of maya (delusion), as the rice is enveloped in the
paddy. The maya has to be removed; the life principle has to be
boiled and made soft and assimilated so that it might add to health
and strength. The softened rice can be compared to Paramatma
(Supreme Soul). The mind has to be used for this process. It has to
be fixed in the Sathyam (truth) and the Nithyam (everlasting). To
Budhi (intellect) revels in discussion and disputation; once you yield to the temptation of dialectics, it takes a long time for you to escape from its shackles and efface it and enjoy the bliss which comes from its nullification. You must all the while be aware of the limitation of reason. Logic must give way to Logos and Deduction must yield place to Devotion. Budhi can help you only some distance along the Godward path; the rest is illuminated by intuition.
However, your feelings and emotions warp even your thought processes; and reason is made by them into an untamed bull. Very often, egoism tends to encourage and justify the wildness, for a person is led along the wrong path by very reason, if that is the path person likes. You very often come to the conclusion you want to reach.
The Rudras, in association with the Budhi (the intellect), enter the minds of people and cause them various types of difficulties and worries. Of these difficulties, three types are predominant in the world. They are Adhibhhautika Adhyatmika and Adhidaivika.
Adhibhhautika refers to difficulties caused by the five elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth) and the five sheaths (relating to food, life, mind, awareness and bliss). These sufferings are caused by human beings, animals, insects or other creatures.
Adhyatmika refers to sufferings caused by Vatha (wind), Pitha (bile), and Kapha (phlegm).
Adhidaivika refers to the calamities caused to human by floods and drought, storms and earthquakes and similar natural disasters.
Of all the sufferings endured by human beings, those coming under these three categories are most prominent. All other calamities are encompassed by these three. For all these sufferings the eleven Rudras are the cause. The whole world is permeated by the Rudras. Only Adhidaivika has an element of security.
Whatever emanates from Rudra is fraught with fear. The name itself testifies to the dangerous power implicit in it. Rudra means that which induces fear. The eleven Rudras are dreadful in form. These dreadful entities enter the minds of human beings and subject them to all kinds of afflictions.
Therefore Indriya nigraha (control of the senses) is not that easy. Even if evil impulses coming from external sources are controlled, those arising from within cannot be easily controlled.
(If people cannot give up petty addictions to coffee or betel leaves, how can they acquire control over the senses? In Svaami's view, giving up is easier than holding on to things. It is easier to give up a handkerchief than to hold it in the hand).
While the Rudhras are inflicting sufferings on
mankind in various ways, by the control of the senses, if humans
turn their minds towards God and devote themselves to Godly
pursuits, they will find their path to Moksha (liberation). Moksha
means getting rid of Moha (the delusions relating to the physical).
Three times Santhi, Santhi, Santhi - the prayer is for peace of the body, the mind and the Spirit. Without this triune peace human cannot have real peace. And this threefold peace can be conferred only by God. This means that spirituality is essential for the health of the body, the peace of the mind and the bliss of the Spirit.(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 1. "Tolerance," Chapter 12 and "Neither Scriptures nor Logic," Chapter 20; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 11. "Thou and That," Chapter 39 and "My People," Chapter 41;
Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "God realisation by sense-control," Chapter 9; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "From the corporeal to the Divine," Chapter 24).
Namaste - Reet
Swami teaches... 8 - 9 December, 2005
Aspects of Samskaras for Benefit of Social Service
The conflict between persons who accept God and deny Him, is never ending; it has continued throughout the ages. Denial of the Divine cannot negate it. Logic cannot reveal it. All the tirades now being made on the Divine are from atheists who are opportunists. So your duty is to preserve your equanimity. Be true to yourselves and do not waver.
The two eyes give a picture of a vast expanse of space, but they cannot see the face to which they belong. When you wish to see your face and back, you have to keep one mirror in front and another one behind you, so that in the front mirror you can see the reflection of your back also. So, too, when you desire to know your reality (face) and your future (back), you have to adjust the mirror of 'Selfconfidence' (confidence that you are the Self) in front and the mirror of Divine Grace behind you. Without these two, to affirm that you are aware of your Truth or of your destiny, is sheer fantasy.
The Divine is now denoted by various words that are common currency in limited human vocabularies. They name phenomena revealing the Divine, 'miracles?, ?magic?, 'wonders?, etc..
Of course, human cannot contain in the mind more than person can hold. Human cannot express in words the in-expressible. Only those who have dived deep and contacted the underlying principle of Love, can picture Divinity with some clarity.
The Divine has to reveal Itself through manifestations, largely shaped and modified by the nature of the times, the region and the cultural environment. The signs and wonders that Swami manifests are given names that do not connote the purpose or effect. They can be called chamatkara (miracle), that lead on to samskara (purificating right actions, refinement of character), which in turn urge one on towards paropakara (helping others) and finally result in sakshathkara (divine vision). Together with education Samskara is essential.
Samskaras make human life meaningful and edifying. This can be achieved only by getting rid of all bad qualities and filling one's mind and heart with love and compassion. A life without love is sterile and barren. Whatever one's difficulties or troubles, one should try to help others to the extent possible. Selfless, loving service to others, is the highest form of sadhana. It represents true devotion - Bhakti, the love of God. Although these forms of love are described differently, essentially love is one, Divine in its essence. Love in different contexts is called by different names. The love between a husband and wife is called moham (fascination). The love between mother and children is known as vatsalyam (maternal affection). The love of relatives and friends is described as anuraga (mutual regard). Love of anyone is a recognition of the divinity in everyone, When we become conscious of the omnipresence of divinity, our thoughts, speech and actions will become pure.
One should not be concerned only about one's own welfare, career and prosperity. It is not for the enjoyment of personal possessions and comforts that human has taken birth. Human has greater goal to achieve - oneness with the Divine, which alone can give lasting bliss.
Chamatkara is any act which attracts on account of its inexplicability. This aspect of attraction is Inherent in the Avatar. The very name, Rama, means 'He who pleases or causes delight. Krishna means 'He who attracts, draws towards Himself. This attribute of attractions is a characteristic of Divinity.
The person who has undergone samskara becomes a humble servant of those who need help. The Vedas proclaim that Immortality (the stage when one is merged in the Birthless, Deathless, Universal Entity), is feasible through renunciation and detachment only, and not through rituals, progeny or wealth. Let us consider the chamatkara, acts that attract and cause wonder. You see a flower. You long to hold it in your hand only when its colour or fragrance is attractive. Attraction is the very nature of the Divine
A worthless steel lump is transformed by skilful manipulation and reconstruction into a watch that is worth several hundred rupees; this is the result of samskara, which turned it into a useful tool for indicating time. Thus human can also be transformed into a noble, efficient, happy and disciplined member of society by the implanting of good thoughts, good feelings, good deeds and good emotions.
You may be great scholars or intellectual giants. There are many Nobel laureates. How many remember them? But the great benefactors of mankind, the men of noble qualities, are cherished by all mankind. They have earned their good name by their faith in God, their character, magnanimity and. spirit of sacrifice.
How did a highwayman like Rathnakara become the immortal author of the great epic Ramayana? By continuous chanting of the name of the lord, as taught to him by seven great sages, his face acquired a new effulgence and he could become the sage Valmiki, who is immortalized as the author of the Ramayana. He composed his work to please the Lord.
Take the case of Sage Vyasa. He was the author of eighteen puranas (ancient spiritual epics). He wrote the Mahabharata and many other great works. But it was only when he was filled with divine fervour and wrote the Bhagavatham that he became enshrined in the hearts of the people. Valmiki and Vyasa have become immortal through their devotion.
Pothana, the author of the Telugu Bhagavatham began writing his epic with an invocation in which he declared: "What is being composed is Bhagavatham. The one who inspires the writer is Ramachandhra. Pothana began composing his magnum opus with the feeling that everything he was doing was by the will of Shri Rama.
Four Purusharthas (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha) are regarded in common parlance as the purposes of human life. They are given a worldly meaning. But their real meaning is spiritual. The foremost purpose of the four Purusharthas is to make human realise that the primary duty is to transform from Man (Human being) to Madhava (God, the Lord of the Universe). The word Purusha does not signify the masculine gender as is commonly assumed. It refers to the Atma, the Supreme Consciousness, which has no gender and which is immanent in all beings. (The real meaning of Purusharthas is to make use of the time and the circumstances as they arise for making one's life meaningful and sublime. We have to effect a remarkable spiritual transformation in the world today. When we bring about a great spiritual transformation, then there will be real peace).
The true Dharma of every human being is to make every endeavour to realise the Divine. The process by which this consummation can be reached constitutes Dharma. Dharma should lead to Self-realisation. Similarly, Artha does not mean, as commonly understood, the accumulation of property and wealth. The real wealth that the human should acquire is the wisdom that is related to the Divine. The word Kama is generally associated with worldly desires and sensual pleasures. But, when it is considered as the Purushartha, it relates to the yearning for God and not to mundane desires. The term Moksha is generally understood as referring to the means by which one reaches God or Heaven. But Moksha in the true sense refers to a state in which nothing is lacking and there is no incoming or going out. It is a state without name or form. It is not a specific place to go to. It is the attainment of unity with the Divine.
For every human being, the first task, among the four Purusharthas, must be to determine what is permanent and what is transient and seek the eternal Madhava. The second objective is the acquisition of the Divine Wisdom as the real wealth. The third is to develop faith in God and yearn for realisation of mergence in God. The fourth is Moksha, the state of Self-realisation in which there is no change and there is no movement.
The supreme virtue in a human is to forget the individual differences with others and move with them in a spirit of equality and harmony. Fulfillment in life is not attained by physical health and strength alone. Even when the stomach is full, the mind must get satisfaction. When both the mind and the body are hale and well can one experience happiness.
Human is endowed by Divine grace with physical, mental and spiritual potencies of many kinds. The mind is the source of all powers. Only when the mind is subdued can man realise the Divine.
There are many ways in which the basic human values which are interrelated -Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-violence - can be practised in the day-to-day conduct of business. There are, for example, different aspects of management such as marketing, finance, industrial relations, etc., but the most important aspect is "man-management."
With regards to Truth, it is often said that to be truthful in business will result in loss. This is not so. Though initially there may be some difficulty, in course of time integrity and honesty will bring their own reward. Running a business honestly must be regarded as a form of social service and spiritual sadhana.
In the practice of Dharma, marketing practices should be fair to the consumers and there should be justice in the dealings with the workers.
Prema must express itself in the business world by the executives developing the feeling that all engaged in the business - managers, workers and others - are members of one family. They must develop fraternal feelings towards all. With mutual love and regard, industrial harmony can be achieved.
As regards Ahimsa, in the context of industrial management, it has a wider social meaning than merely avoiding causing harm to others. The avoidance of pollution of the atmosphere or of natural resources like rivers is one of the ways in which an enterprise practises Ahimsa.
For achieving anything, strong determination is necessary. It is comparable to a kind of electrical energy. You must ensure that your vision is pure, sacred and pleasing. Do not taint or pollute your sight by looking at undesirable objects. Do not look at anything with bad thoughts. Then you have circulating in the entire body a magnetic/electromagnetic energy. Although this energy is present throughout the body, its presence is conspicuous in the hand.
Swami directs the young generation to make use of their education for public welfare.
There are no doubt to take up a job for earning a living. See that the work you do justifies the emoluments you get. It is treason to the nation to receive thousands by way of salary and do hardly a few hundred rupees worth of work. Today such disloyal employees are, increasing in numbers all over the world. High salaries and poor turnout are the rule today. Discharge your duties according to your conscience. There is nothing wrong in receiving a high salary provided you do the work to deserve it.
(It is not easy to bring back the glorious days of the past. Young people cannot be aware of the times when a bag of rice could be got for four rupees, when people could go about without any fear of attack and houses could be left unlocked. Today fear stalks the country. No one is safe. For all these evils the insatiable craving for money is responsible. The craving for wealth has led to many other evils like jealousy and pride.The similar problems are in all countries).
God can never give up the devotee. It is the devotee who gives up God. God can never forget the devotee. It is the devotee who forgets God. God is never away from you. Only the devotee is away from God. You think that God is moving away from you. Not at all. Your own feelings are reflected in your utterances. Develop your own good qualities and share them with others and dedicate your activity to social service.(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 13. "Signs and wonders," Chapter 25; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18. "World needs spiritual transformation," Chapter 1 and "Unity : key to rural progress," Chapter 6; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 23. "Human values in business management," Chapter 3; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Learning a lesson from a child," Chapter 2).
PS: Spelling the names as I have already mentioned , by Vahini org. Glossary
Namaste - Reet