Swami teaches....Part 50


Link to Swami Teaches....Part 49

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 1 - 2 January 2006

How Is Possible to Understand the Infinite Divinity?

The Lord of the Universe permeates the entire Cosmos Remaining invisible in the visible Universe, The Cosmic Consciousness illumines everything

The phenomenal world that is perceived by us is called Vishvam (the cosmos). This Cosmos is Kaaryam (action or effect). Every action is preceded by a cause. This cause is God. Hence, God and the Cosmos are related as Cause and Effect. The relationship is interdependent and inseparable.

There is no specific proof for the Divine. He is called Aprameya (immeasurable). For such an infinite being Time is the proof and Time is the basis. God is adored as "Samvathsaraya Namah." "Samvathsara" means Daivasvaruupam (the form of the Divine).

The mere passage of 365 days does not amount to Samvathsara. Samvathsara refers to one who is the Kaalaatma (Time-Spirit). Spirit means Brahman (the Supreme Absolute, Atma). The Brahman Principle refers to the Chaithanyam (Cosmic Consciousness), that is omnipresent. Brahman (Atma) has no specific form. It is present in all human beings as Consciousness.

How is the Brahman (Atma) experienced? It is the consciousness that is experienced in the interval between one sankalpa (thought) and another.

This may be illustrated by an example. Once, a person holding a time-piece in hand and listening to the endless tick-tick of the second-hand, asked the time-piece whether it has any rest at all. The time-piece announced: ?You simpleton! I have all the rest I need. It is the interval between one tick and another!" The "rest" is' given by the "Rest watch." "Watch" means "look out." Seeing the watch, you have to look at the "rest" indicated by it. This is the way lessons are learnt in their spiritual journey.

To recognise the Brahman, human has to comprehend the nature of that which transcends Time. Time is consuming the body. God is the Consumer of Time itself. Hence, the Vedhas have declared that Time is powerless against those who have taken refuge in the Over-Lord of Time.

Time has no relations or friends. Time is not subordinate to anyone. All are subject to Time. Hence, if one has to realise the Divine, who is the Lord of Time, one has to carry out His injunctions. God looks with love only at such a person. One has to have a broad mind in order to understand the infinite Divinity.

Texts on devotion dwell at great length on the worship of the Personal and the Impersonal God,or of the Form-full and the Formless God. This problem too is considered and solved in the Bhagavad Gita. So long as human is afflicted with the delusion that he/she is the body and so long as he/she is attached to it and attracted by it, he/she cannot conceive the abstract, impersonal and formless entity. Nor can human stay without interruption on the Personal as the ultimate basis. Human has need for both the Form and the Formless. They are as the two wings for a bird, the two wheels for the cart and the two legs of the human being. Both are valuable and valid for the devoted seeker, though Personal is not as lasting as the Impersonal.

A pictorial example. In order to make a child understand that the word 'chair', you have to draw the picture of a chair and write the letters underneath. When once a child has learnt to identify the the temporary form, the chair with the the formless eternal - the word, the picture is eliminated; the word remains. The word, hence forward, represents the thing, the concrete material visible thing. If no chair existed, the word chair could not have emerged. (The objection may be raised that words like sky-flowers or castles-in-the-air do not denote any concrete tangible reality. But these are not words, they are compounds, artificial strings of words).

The word God emerged to indicate an entity that was experienced. A 'nothing', 'nonexisting being' needs no name. The name is evidence of the thing. The word God is evidence of the Divine Phenomenon.

Consider another example of Form and No-form. Take this pillow. You described it as cotton enclosed in a cloth bag. I disclose that the cloth too is cotton. The shapeless, formless cotton has become yarn and by dealing with the yarn as warp and wool the cloth has put in form for the bag and the pillow.

From the Form to the Formless, from the Formless to the Form both processes are possible and progressive. The Personal God is an expression, a symbol, a representation of the Impersonal God. The Impersonal does personate and assumes Form and Attributes. This is the very Nature of the Divine.

Through listening to the glories of God, you become avid to praise Him; serve Him and His devotees, worship Him as if He is present before you, and be in His company all your life, with no other thought than that joy. For such dedicated seekers all else will seem bitter and unattractive. Such is the path of Bhakthi (devotion).

But most devotees seek health, wealth, power and fame from God, which are all trivial assets yielding momentary pleasure. Divine Grace can confer the most precious gift of His Love. Human may assert with the pride of achievement that he/she loves God. That takes him only half-way through. But how can human become 'dear' to God? Does God respond with me priyo narah, (he is dear to me)? Only then can human claim to have achieved Grace.

The true devotee has six qualities that is dear to God. It is such a devotee whom God loves.

Anapekshah: In this world, human, with the body, senses and mind cannot be free from desires. But how is to become Anapeksha (free from expectation)? When one performs actions, regarding him/herself, as the doer, the actions become fetters that bind person. All actions which are performed with the feeling that they are intended as offerings to please the Divine, do not lead to bondage. They become Anapeksha (desireless actions). One has to recognise that it is the Divine principle in all beings which is getting all actions done through human beings as instruments. As long as human regards as the doer and enjoyer one cannot escape from the consequences of actions.

Shuchih: This refers to purity. For the proper enjoyment of all things, purity of mind is essential. Whatever sacred acts you may do in the external world, if you have no purity of mind and heart, all of them are valueless. The food cooked in an untinned vessel will be spoilt even if all the ingredients are good. Likewise, in the vessel of the heart, the inside must be purified by Prema (love). Then, all that one consumes will be wholesome. Hence, purity is vital for all aspirants. Actions done with an impure heart can only produce undesirable results.

Whatever good results you want to secure in the external world, inner purity is the basis.

Dakshah: This refers to the determination that is needed to accomplish anything. One must have the fortitude and resoluteness to achieve one's purpose, whatever might be the obstacles in the way. Daksha signifies this quality of unwavering determination in the devotee.

Udhaaseenah: One who is unaffected by whatever happens. This means that one should be totally free from selfishness. One must consider the performance of duties as the sole purpose of existence. The human body is the result of past actions. The body is the primary requisite for the performance of Dharma (right action).

Indifferent to fame or blame, not seeking power or position, one should perform one's duties selflessly. Do not be swayed by any consideration other than your duty. Whether it be in a political organisation or in regard to a personal matter, or in relation to national issues, you should act according to the dictates of your conscience, without any other concern.

(One can become a courageous leader only if he performs the duties in this spirit. All actions must be done in a spirit of service. Only one who serves is fit to become a leader).

Gathavyathah: Vyathah refers to anguish in the mind. Falling a prey to mental anguish, human is totally confused. Human has a tendency to brood over the past. Of what use it is to worry about what has happened? Nor should one worry about the future which is unknown and uncertain. Bear in mind only the present. The present is the product of the past and the parent of the future. When you act properly in the present, the future will take care of itself. Do what is appropriate for the present moment. If there are no expectations, there will be no disappointments. This is the way to get rid of mental anguish - Gathavyathah.

Sarvaarambha-parithyaagee: This means do not give room for ostentation in any of your undertakings. The world today is immersed in ostentation and egoism. What does it matter whether the world praises you or decries you? For instance, why should a devotee show off the devotion to earn the approbation of others? Devotion must be for pleasing the Lord and not for earning the approval of the world. In the spiritual path, what matters is the inner joy you experience. That is the key to self-satisfaction. Sarvaarambha parithyaagee means one who is prepared to relinquish all his possessions and acquisitions including wealth, knowledge and strength.

Human is redeemed by the six qualities mentioned in the above mentioned Gita shloka. Without cultivating these qualities, without cherishing such pure feelings, what is the use of immersing one's self in so-called devotion? It is only a hallucination, which cannot lead human to the experience of the Divine.

The Gita also emphasises two qualifications: ever contented and with firm resolve. Devotee has to be contented and cheerful always, without regard for the changing tides of fortune. It should not be a pose, a passing phase, an artificial, superficial show. The devotee therefore must desist from attempts to earn joy or avoid grief and to be unconcerned with ups and downs.The devotee welcomes gratefully whatever happens or is given to him/her by the Divine Will, to which he/she has surrendered own will.

Firm resolve is the other requisite. Of course, all people possess this qualification; it is an asset that assures survival, and secures popularity and pre-eminence. Those who climb Himalayan peaks derive the tenacious courage, that sustains them, from the firmness of their resolve not to turn back. Others exhibit their heroism in crossing tumultuous oceans alone. Some others resolve on exploring fearful forests. Firmness of resolution, bravery and skill are utilised even for merciless torture of others to rob them of their riches. (Ignoring their inner divinity and setting aside their human-ness, some people descend to demonic levels and become fanatically cruel). We have to conclude that firm resolve can serve good purposes as well as evil.

For example, Valmiki, when he was a robber Ratnakara, used his courage and adventurousness in vicious and wicked ways. Contact with the Seven Sages and their teachings made him direct the same qualities towards Rama. He was transformed so completely that he became the author of the Ramayana.

In the pilgrimage of life Truth is, what is one and the same for all countries in all periods of time. Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness), and Thyaga (sacrifice) constitute humanness. Sathya is Neethi (morality), Dharma is Reethi (code of conduct), and Thyaga is Khyathi (reputation). The combination of all these three qualities of human race. When Neethi and Reethi declines in a person, or a society, or a nation, that person, society or nation faces destruction. The loss of morality may even result in the destruction of an entire civilisation built up through centuries.

It is seva taken up as sadhana what teaches fortitude, humanity and experience of human values equally in all countries. Krishna- Avatar demonstrated the supreme importance of seva. He attended the sacrifice and asked to be allotted some service. He preferred the service of removing the leaves on which food was served for the thousands who were fed every day.

Nature sets an ideal to the entire humanity to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice and lead a spiritual life. The world is temporary and full of misery, so contemplate on God. Under these circumstances, why is human not able to cultivate the spirit of sacrifice?

Since there is no end to desires, human is subjected to endless misery. In order to get rid of his misery, human should follow the ideals of Nature. Nature is the best preacher. Nature is endowed with two aspects. One is related to the worldly view and the other to the spiritual view. All that you see, hear, and think is related to the physical world. The unmanifest principle of the Atma is the basis for this manifest Nature what is as mansion. You can see its grandeur and beauty of Nature, but not its foundation. The body can be compared to a mansion and the mind to its foundation. Just as the mansion is based on its foundation, likewise the body is based on the mind. If the mind is steady, so too is the body, and vice versa.

Every nation in the world has developed its institutions and way of life on the basis of its cultural traditions, its system of values, and its historic circumstances. These institutions and value systems cannot be transplanted to other countries whose history, culture and circumstances are different. There is no meaning in one country simply imitating or copying the management practices of another. What is good or suitable for one country need not necessarily be good for another. However, there are some things which are common to all business organisations in any country. These relate to such matters as accounts, production procedures, maintenance of statistics, materials management and the like what in general concern to business ethics and human relations.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 8. "Ask the right question," Chapter 1 and "The Super-emperor," Chapter 2; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 19. "Near and Dear," Chapter 16 and "Give due place for Indian values," Chapter 17; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 26. "Purity - the path to Divinity," Chapter 1; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 32. Part 2. "Recognise the principle of ?I?," Chapter 3).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 30 - 31 December, 2005

Dedicated to the Embodyments of the Divine Atma

For each individual, there is a New Year Day, a day which marks the completion of revolution round the Sun, that is to say, the awakened effulgent Intelligence, capable of conferring on individual discrimination and detachment. Ardent seekers have sought the key to all knowledge, the One thing that, if known, all else is known, namely the Divine, that is latent in every atom of the Universe; they have described It as something that is beyond words, beyond the ken of human imagination and understanding.

Today civilisation and culture are bound up with knowledge of the physical universe. The scientists or realists believe that the Universe is a conglomeration of atoms in varying patterns which have assumed manifold forms and names. But this is only partially true. The the spiritually oriented point out to the materially oriented, that a firm base is essential for all these transformations to happen. The Universe must have fundamental principle or a basic force or energy or phenomenon; as basic as clay is to the pot. That fundamental principle is, according to spiritual point of view, the Atma (Divine spirit). This knowledge leads to the unfolding of the Spirit and the sublimation of life. It should serve to promote ethical values to lead a well-regulated and disciplined life.

( In the world there is a great deal of talk about freedom. Largeness of heart, refinement of sensibilities and purity of the mind constitute true freedom. Freedom does not mean living as you please. Selfcontrol, self-satisfaction and self-knowledge constitute together the supreme expression of freedom. Freedom today has been equated with license. This is a travesty of freedom).

All things seen as objects lose their identity in the bottomless pool of time. Human is engaged in fallow pursuits and nefarious tactics, which fail to provide the key to the Absolute and the Eternal. Does the key exist in the outer world or in the inner? So long as human embroils him/herself in the 'Seen,' impossible to see the 'See-er.' So long as attention is caught by the flowers in garland, one cannot cognise the string that holds them together. Inquiry is essential to discover the base which upholds the garland. So too, inquiry alone can bring into human experience the Atmic base which upholds the objective sensory world.

There has been several exlanation of Atmic Reality and concern to It expressions from different angles. There is another one, more proper.

Atma alone is the ever-full and ever-fresh spring of bliss. Atma, persists unchanged, however many changes the thing motivated by It might undergo.The Atma contacts the senses of perception and affects the mind; it awakens the intellect to discriminate and decide upon the lines of action. Atma activates the instruments of thought, speech and action, of expression and communication. Each cell is motivated by the Atma; it is in each of them, as well as in every spot of space. When we realise it as such, it is experienced as effulgent, total splendrous light; endless, incomparable, unique light. The ancient seers ignored the world as irrelevant; and immersed themselves in inner inquiry until they contacted the Universal Atma and filled themselves with Ananda(Bliss). They were blessed with Universal vision, absolute delight and eternal wisdom.

The Atmic energy as the Basic Truth motivates every Being in the Universe - human, animal, bird, worm, tree and grass, the stars, planets and galaxies. (Of course, the Universe in which we exist is cognised by our senses and we take it as true and real. But it cannot be accepted as Basic Truth, for anything that changes does not deserve to be so called. Also, it appears differently to different living beings at different levels of consciousness).

The Atma cannot be grasped through metaphors and examples. How can the limited comprehend the Unlimited, the now measure the Ever, the wayward understand the Stable? Every one has the thirst to realise It and be with It. Thousands proclaim the glory of the Atma but only a handful strive to attain it. (Since devotees stop halfway and start extolling the Guru and his teachings rather than experiencing their value and validity, the Atma and the Infinite bliss It can confer, remain undiscovered by aspirants).

There are three inextricably interdependent - the body (with all the powers of consciousness enclosed in it), the Universe and the Atma, either individualised or universally immanent.

Both materialism and spiritualism seek the fundamental Universal base; one discovers it in matter, the other in the Spirit. The Atma takes on a form and body to experience and cognise the Jagath (Universe), just as cotton takes on the form of yarn to be cognised and experienced as cloth. The cloth is both, the yarn and the cotton. Cotton is pictorially the fundamental base, the Atma.

There is another way of understanding and interpreting this process. In the Upanishads five characteristics of the Universe are mentioned - asthi (being), bhathi (awareness), priyam (bliss), naama (name) and ruupa (form). Of these, the last two are temporary, and therefore, trivial. The first three are the three facets of the everlasting
truth, the Atma.

The categories of Being-Awareness-Bliss (Sath-Chith-Ananda) are also co-related in Vedanta with bhotha akasha, chiththa akasha and chith akasha respectively. Akasha is the name for sphere of consciousness. Bhotha akasha is outer Cosmic consciousness; chiththa akasha is the inner consciousness of the chiththa (seat of intellect), the centre of discrimination in living beings, while chith akasha is the pure, unalloyed consciousness that flows from the Atma. The bhotha akasha is the vast limitless space in which the Sun and planets are but tiny knots of energy. It is so extensive that the light from some of its stars, millions of light years away, has not yet reached the Earth. The chiththa akasha subsumes such an immeasurable bhotha akasha, for the consciousness illumines and becomes aware of all that exists.

While the chiththa akasha is contemplated, he is aware that he is the vehicle of consciousness, the Chith. While he is saturated with the awareness of the chith akasha - he effulgence of the Atma - he is the embodiment of Ananda the third facet of the Atma. When the consciousness is turned inwards, the ultimate state of Atma Ananda (Soulful Bliss) is attained.

The splendour of the Atma reveals all things, illumines all things. The Atma, however, is Self-Revealing, Self-illumining. It shines everywhere, in all things. In spite of any number of changes, the individual persists. Within the child, which unfolds into the boy, the youth and the middle-aged man, old age is ever dormant. So, too, it is the chith akasha which unfolds into the chiththa akasha and finally into bhotha akasha (the objective Universe).

For example, when some one photographs Swami, He appears as a very small Swami in the negative.

But we can enlarge it to the size we desire to have. Swami in the big photo and Swami in the small one are the same. Can you assert that this five-foot three inches body, alone, is Swami and that the figure in that tiny picture is not? The anu (lightest) and ghana (heaviest) are both true. They are the same, but looked at from different angles.

Withdraw from the outer to the inner and learn to visualise the Inner Motivator, the Atma, that is the lesson which the seers and scriptures teach. To engage ourselves in the purificatory exercises, to pursue the inquiry into the reality of God, Nature and Human, and to experience the ecstatic delight of that discovery, the body is very necessary. It has got to be kept healthy and alert, free from passion and sloth, balanced and expectant of victory.

For human beings, as a rule, is best, that the Divine is pictured in the human form, so that human can easily comprehend It and approach It and derive Bliss out of that contemplation. Human can conceive human qualities and human attainments, though person can multiply them to the maximum and allow the resultant quantum to fill and overflow ones heart.

Be happy that you have within you the source of power, wisdom and joy. Announce that you are unconquerable and free, that you cannot be tempted or frightened into wrong. So long as a trace of 'I-am-the-body' consciousness persists in you, you have yourself to search for God; you have to approach the mirror, the mirror will not proceed towards you, to show you, as you really are.

You sit before the idol and offer praise, the incense of worship, but you do not now try to grasp the significance of the Divine that you see in the idol. Inquire into the Will of God, discover the Commands of God, guess what will please Him most, and regulate your life accordingly. Let this be your New Year Resolution. Do not get caught in the sticky tangles of outer Nature. Do not harden your heart through greed and hate. Soften it with Love. Cleanse it through pure habits of living and thinking. Use it as the shrine, wherein you instal your God.

Consider for a while the fate of the rulers of all realms, the leaders of armies and nations, the Presidents and Prime Ministers, emerging-from oblivion and merging in the same - did any one of these carry with them when they passed away any portion of their wealth or possession. When one dies, another takes his place; when he dies, still another is ready to assume the role. And all are equally forgotten - except those who have heroically realised the Atma and raised themselves to the Divine State. So, believe that the struggle for status, for power, of fame and for wealth is not commendable at all.

Emperor Janaka, too, on one occasion told himself, "My great-grandfathers, grandfathers and father commanded vast wealth and spent their lives in unstinted luxury. But they have all become the dust out of which they had emerged. Then why should he hanker after these petty pleasures? Let me use this life, this physical machine, for realising the ultimate goal, the basic Truth, the fundamental Atma." Consequent on this firm resolution, Janaka was able to succeed in the arena of spiritual endeavour. The poet sings, "Janaka had God ever in his thoughts, even while engaged in discharging his daily duties as an Emperor. And, by this Raja Yoga (Royal path of Divine communion), he attained the supreme stage, liberation, from bondage to the individual self."

Once a great Maharaja (ruler) held a big exhibition of paintings and art products. The finest works of art were on display. The exhibition was open to one and all. The Maharaja announced that anyone could walk in and take away whatever one liked. Large numbers of men and women went to the exhibition and took back with them whatever they fancied.

Among them was a lady. She saw everything in the exhibition. She came out through the main door without taking anything with her. The Maharaja noticed that of all the persons visiting the exhibition she was the only one to come out empty-handed. He was curious to know what the reason for this was. He asked the lady: "Madam, how is it you have found nothing to interest you in the exhibition? She replied: "There are innumerable desirable things in the exhibition." The Maharaja asked: "But was them nothing which you wanted?" "No," she said. The Maharaja said "If that is so, tell me what you desire and I shall give it to you." She said: "Maharaja, will you promise to give me what I want? Is your offer genuine? Will you keep your word?" "Certainly," replied the Maharaja. "If that is so, I want only you," said the lady. True to his word the Maharaja surrendered himself to her. When the Maharaja himself became hers, all that was in the exhibition also became hers.

This Cosmos is a vast exhibition. All are entering this exhibition and taking whatever they choose. Some seek jobs, others wealth and so on. When you have entered the Cosmic exhibition, you must seek the Divine. Then, the whole Universe becomes yours. There is no meaning in going after one thing after another. There is no end to that process. There is no satisfaction in that. What you acquire today, loses its charm the next day and you desire something new. But once the Divine is attained, all things are obtained.

(In the cosmic exhibition, you are seeing, hearing and experiencing innumerable things. You experience joy, depression, confusion and disappointment. You have no contentment and continually experiencing loss. There is no limit to desires. One feels hungry, another is thirsty. If the thirsty one is offered water, one is not satisfied, one wants a cool drink. When one is given a cool drink, one wants ice cream. And so on. There is no end to desires for material things in the world).

It is naive to think that one alone is the doer of one's actions. All the things in the world are not intended for the exclusive enjoyment of any single person. They are to be shared by all. It is when attachment to the fruits of one's actions is discarded that the action becomes yoga (Divine communion). When devotees are united by the sense of Divine kinship, they will act with Love towards all. The bliss that is derived from such service is incomparable. It is a spiritual experience.

In the world today one does not see anywhere unity or love. Life appears to be a totally mechanical affair. Person does not mean merely the external appearance of a human being. Today we believe in things which should not be believed and have no belief in the things in which we ought to believe. People as forget to have have faith in themselves. The Divine aspect of human's personality will encourage humility, truthfulness, love, fortitude, detachment and eagerness to serve. Let's cherish the manifestations of these qualities and practice these whenever there is a chance.

The Upanishads address individuals as "Amrthasya Puthraah!" ("Children of Immortality.") Try to deserve that honour, to achieve that height. Learn to use all your skills, all your intelligence, all your time for attaining that victory. You are Gods in human form, for only Gods can be immortal. The body is only an instrument to discover the indweller.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "Revolutions, resolutions," Chapter 2; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 14. "The next step," Chapter 33 and "The three Aakaashas," Chapter 36; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 17. "Service without distinctions," Chapter 27; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 21. "Seek Ye First," Chapter 11 and "Let Your Light Shine," Chapter 15).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 27 - 29 December, 2005

Medicine for the Mind

On the New 2006 Year resolve that you will start every day with Love, spend the day with Love, fill the day with Love, and end the day with Love. There should be no difference of caste, creed, colour, religion or nationality. You must wish everyone to be happy. The country will prosper and the world will prosper and everyone will be happy. Being a human, you should make others happy. Let your heart is full of Love. You should share it with others. You must share your Love with at least five persons per day. You should practise, experience and share with others this Divine Love.

We are now bidding farewell to the year 2005 and welcoming 2006. There is an intimate relationship between the two. We give send-off to one while we welcome the other one. In the same way we should bid farewell to bad qualities and welcome good divine qualities.

You may offer all your bad qualities to God. There is nothing wrong in this. It is only God who can take them and bestow His grace on you to foster good qualities. For example, suppose you have a soiled, torn and mutilated hundred rupee currency note, no one will accept it. But, if the number is intact, the Reserve Bank will accept it and give a good note of same value in return. Similarly God only will accept the bad qualities provided they are offered with sincere devotion and repentance and shower His Grace on you.

Give away 'Love' to all; give up the ego; display heroism in service; with compassion to fellowmen, feel your intimate kinship with them. Visualise the Atma that illumines all; derive unending Bliss therefrom.

All who come embodied are Avatars, that is to say, advents of the Divine, manifestations of God. What, then, is the special feature of Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Christ? Why do you celebrate their birthdays with such reverential enthusiasm? The speciality is this: they are aware; you are unaware of the Atma which is the Truth.

What is Atma? (One may call Atma by other names as Brahman, God, Absolute, Cosmic Consciousness, Swami's Omnipresent Form, the Great Oneness, Universal Soul, Primal Cause... the meaning of all are practically the same with very little differences according to the context where they are used). There are nothing in the arena of Creation what is not expression of Atma. Human beings, the other bodies, animated or unanimated, atoms and galaxies may be different but the Atma is one. It cannot be fragmented and always remains uneffected.

One moon is reflected in hundreds of thousands of pots. There is only one Atma which is reflected in the infinite numbers of beings. You place one before zero, the zero gets value. World is zero, Sun is zero, Moon is Zero. Actually all existence is like zero only. It gets value because of the Atma behind them. Human's biggest folly is forgetting own divinity. All should realise that they come "from God." Of all forms of knowledge, the one that is most beneficial is practical knowledge which is relevant to everyone. You have to act on the conviction that the same Divine Spirit, Atma dwells in one and all.

The Atma has no modification or mood. It is the individualised embodiment that undergoes modifications and is caught in moods. Once you know that you are in essence the Atma,what is your inner Reality, you too will be unaffected. The individual also cannot be alone, separate from the rest. 'I' seeks other 'I's and seeks to become We. (But, it usually strays from I to They. And does not reach the God, We).

The wise are those who know the Atma (the Divine Self). They distinguish between That and This, Thath and Thwam, the Absolute and the Relative, the Universal and Particular, that is falsely conceived as separate from the Universal.

Human being is not just the body, with its limbs and other mechanisms but Atma, the Divine Person. The soul is the Personality. And the person realises Ananda only when the Atma is cognised. This achievement cannot be won through riches or authority of office, scholarship or status, fame or force.

Human alone has the ability to understand the phenomenal world around. Human can grasp the ways and waywardness of the world; human can delve into its evolution and involution, its contraction and expansion. Therefore, human has to give it only a relative value, and follow as human's only goal, the search for the Atma and the attainment of the Atma. And, the search has to be through continuous, consistent sadhana. Boundless spiritual potential is encased in every being and expresses itself as Jnana (Supreme Wisdom).

Life is as a dream. In the dream, you experience joy and grief; but when you realise that both joy and grief are unreal, when you awake into the consciousness of the Atma, you will no more have the thrill of joy or the despondency of pain. You will not have any longer fear or anxiety, fear of death or anxiety about the future.

A wise human being keeps reason sharp and clear, and sees things as they really are and listens to the advice what is known to all devotees as Swami's sacred saying.
Life is a Challenge, Meet it;
Life is Love, Share it;
Life is a Dream, Realise it;
Life a Game, Play it.

Life is the Lion's march across the forest, fearless, masterful and victorious. The roar of the lion makes all the denizens scamper in panic; so too the Halo of Wisdom scatters the dark brood of fear and doubt.

Life sweeps along like a wild typhoon; the allotted years do melt like snow before the Sun, remember it.

When death comes one must be glad to meet it since he comes for the last time and there will be no more birth. Human weeps when he/she is born; Human should not weep when he/she dies. Human must die triumphant over death. Otherwise, human lives only to consume tons of food, as a burden upon the Earth. You seek to escape pain and grief; but, they are inescapable.

Nothing is uncaused in the Universe. Every being, object, incident has been caused by the Primal Cause and its direction or guidance' The Sastras (spiritual sciences) yearn for the discovery of that unseen Principle. It is the non-dual state as in the outer world, so within. Recognise the fact that the whole Universe is within you. You have all the powers in you. They are derived from the Divine Spirit within you. It is the Divinity which endows you with a free will.

Today people read all kinds of books and go after all sorts of "great persons." They do not enquire about what constitutes greatness. Realise that there is no one greater than each of you. But you have not discovered the real truth about yourself, like an elephant that does not know its own strength. A mahout with a goad is able to control it.

If you want to realise God, if you wish to experience the Divinity within you, if you want to know your true Self, you have to develop pure, unsullied Love. It is this that binds all people.

Anyone cannot understand God and His Secret without first understanding themselves. To grasp Swami's meaning, you have to tear into tatters the doubts and theories you now have and cultivate Prema (Love), for the embodiment of Love can be understood only through Love. The essential nature of Love is sacrifice and faith. It is Love that brings even a person far away closer and more intimate to you. It is Love that drives away the feeling of separateness and promotes the feeling of oneness. Love also raises a person from the animal to the human. Prema (Love) is the Prana (Life Force) Love and life are inter-related and intimately connected.

In this worldly life love is manifesting in several forms known to all. This love based on physical relationships arises our of selfish motives and self-interest. The Divine is Love for the sake of Love alone. This is called Bhakthi (devotion). One characteristic of this Love is to give and not to receive. Secondly, Love knows no fear. Thirdly, it is only for Love's sake and not for selfish motive.

(Love for the God should not degenerate into fanaticism and hatred of other names and forms. This type of cancer is affecting even eminent people nowadays. Believe that all who revere the God and walk in fear of sin are your brothers, your nearest kith and kin).

For experiences the bliss of the Divine the prime requisite is Kshama (forgiveness). Human is embodiment of the quality of Kshama. There is nothing in this world that you cannot achieve with this quality. Hence, faith is supremely important. This faith can be acquired and strengthened through Love.

A person who has this attitude of Kshama can be considered to be endowed with sacred Love. This cannot be learned from textbooks. Not can it be acquired from preceptors not from any one else. It is to be cultivated by oneself in rimes of difficulties, trials and tribulations that one is forced to meet. Only when we face problems and difficulties that cause grief and misery this quality of forbearance and forgiveness has the scope for taking root. When you are confronted with problems and difficulties you should not get upset, and become victims of depression which is a sign of weakness. You are embodiments of strength and not weakness. Therefore, in times of despair, you should be filled with the feeling of forbearance and be ready to forgive and forget.

This quality of Kshama (forgiveness) is the greatest power for a human being. If one loses this quality, he/she
becomes demonic.
Kshama is Sathyam, Truth
Kshama is Dharma, Virtue
Kshama is Ahimsa, Non-Violence
Kshama is Yajna, Sacrifice
Kshama is Santhosha, Happiness
Kshama is Dhaya, Compassion
Kshama is everything in the world.

Today we find jealousy and hatred dancing like devils all over the world. People with jealousy and hatred are pursuing the wicked path and bringing ruin on themselves. One may raise the question as to how to get over these dangerous pests of jealousy and hatred. This is possible when you make all the sense organs function in unison. If you look at the functions of the sense organs you may notice that even if one organ stops functioning in harmony; life will be limping. When mind conceives a thought, all the organs are co-ordinating to get the thought executed. If senses do not follow thoughts, life will become miserable. When there is forbearance, all organs co-ordinate harmoniously and work in unison.

A pictorial example. Tongue is the one that tastes the food and passes only palatable items of food inside which is converted by the internal organs into energy giving blood. The tongue does not retain it. But for this vital part played by the tongue, the other organs would not be able to function at all. When the other organs became jealous of the tongue and stopped sending food with a view to harm it, they spelt their own ruin by such action, as they could not function when there was no food and consequently no supply of energy for these organs to function. Similarly jealousy on the part of a person ultimately results in own ruin. Anger begets anger and jealousy begets jealousy.

Examine the thing which you do not like very closely and with great care. Do not jump to conclusions, favourable or unfavourable. Focus all your powers of observation and judgement on one topic and it will surely stand revealed.

Individual can and should be the Master of his mind. The mind is the architect of your progress or decline. If you have faith, more than half the battle is won.

(For the fool, the mind is a formidable dinosaur; for the intelligent, the mind is an angel. The trained mind is torn by fear; the pure elevated mind is placid and unruffled).

The world itself is subject to constant agitation; how can your plan to lead a quiet contented peaceful life upon it succeed? It is like trying to float without any heaving or falling while being tossed about on the waves of the sea. Under such conditions, the best thing is to recognise the fact and not to worry about the unavoidable.

The life is a mixture of sorrow and joy just as day and night.

In this arena of Maya to obtain peace in mind, human's primary duty is to surrender to God. "Surrender" means attaining the state in which the devotee feels the oneness with God. If you have God with you, all other things are got easily. People should strive for God-Realisation because they came from God and should go back to Him.

You may begin worshipping God with specific form and name. But when you are faced with difficulties you experience God as a helper. In different ways the devotee has to develop the relationship to God.

There is the story of a rich man with four wives, who expressed what they wanted him to get for them during a trip abroad. The first wife, who was spiritually enlightened, prayed for his safe return. The second wife wanted him to bring some sacred books. The third wife, who was ailing wanted him to get some medicines. The fourth wife, who was a "modern", asked him to get her sarees and jewellery. The merchant on his return gave the three wives what they wanted and stayed with the first wife because she had no other desire except to have him back.

God responds to devotees in the same manner. To those who aspire for wealth, He gives wealth. Those who seek knowledge, He will help them to acquire it. Those who are ailing and who pray to God will get the relief they pray for. God builds hospitals for their treatment. Those who pray to God for oneness with Him, will realise Him. This is the way God responds to the four kinds of devotees.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 1. "Manushya and manas," Chapter 25; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 11. "Play the game," Chapter 50 and "To three Pandiths," Chapter 53; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "Cultivate forgiveness and love," Chapter 1; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "The devotee's ordeals and God's grace," Chapter 49 and "Realise God through love," Chapter 53).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 24 - 26 December 2005

Atma - the Cause of Internal and External World

The Cosmos has one Source, one Support, one End. That is an eternal entity, self sufficient, totally luminous. The Chandogya Upanishad reveals that though we deal with different numbers as three, five, seven, nine, eleven, thirteen, fifteen, seventeen, nineteen and twenty-one, there is only One in reality, the Brahman.

Multiplicity is how the One appears when It assumes Name and Form. Then It becomes the Jagath, the Flux, the Cosmos, the Universe. God was alone before the Cosmos appeared. He dissolves and draws it into Himself.

Nature - outer and inner - is ruled by the Sovereign Atma, the Universal Soul, the Paramatma. So, if you earn the Grace of the Paramatma, Nature becomes your docile instrument. Nature appears to be capable of giving stability, joy and peace; but, these are really the qualities of the Sovereign Atma, or the Paramatma. Prakruthi (Nature) is the embodiment of the Divine. Human perceives Nature and experiences Nature, but he/she is usually unable to recognise the Divinity in Nature. To see the external manifestations of the Divine and yet fail to recognise the Divine is a sign of stupidity.

Human sees Nature in the form of the Universe, which is Virata-Swaroopa (Cosmic form of Vishnu) i.e. Cosmic Form of Swami. He has not any particular form or abode. He is you and you are He. The day you recognise this, you will comprehend God. If you want to see the Divine in you, you have to use your Buddhi (intellect), just as you need a mirror to see your own eyes, which are able to see everything else in the world.

God is nearer to you than your own mother. With purity of heart, you can experience the Divine within through your intellect. The Gita declares that everlasting bliss can be secured by the Buddhi by transcending the senses. Happiness cannot be derived through the senses. Person can realise this only through the Buddhi.

One should strive to turn the Buddhi towards the Atma (the Divine). True sadhana (spiritual striving) consists in turning the tongue towards the mind, the mind towards the Buddhi and the Buddhi towards the Atma. (The individual as well as the World humans percept are based on the mind. The mind is the source of all thoughts and because different persons have different thoughts, there are differences amongst them).

The mind assumes four forms: Manas, Buddhi, Chitta and Ahamkara. (mind, intelligence, memory and ego). According to the function that is performed, the particular name is given.

The same Brahmin, when he is performing in a temple, is called a priestly poojari (Brahmin); when he is working in the kitchen, he is called a Brahmin cook; when teaching students, he is called a Brahmin teacher, etc. In the same manner when the mind is engaged in thought processes, it is called Manas. When it is engaged in the process of enquiry and discrimination between right and wrong, it is called Buddhi. The third name is Chitta, the will or the decision-making agency. It has the function of memory. When the mind identifies itself with the body in action it is called Ahamkara (I am the doer).

The mind, although one, displays these varied forms on account of the different roles it assumes. The mind is the cause of all things. The whole cosmos is a projection of the mind. "Yad bhaavam tad bhavati" (As a person thinks so he becomes). What is the mind? It is a bundle of thoughts. The good and bad things in the world are dependent on human's actions. What we enjoy or suffer in this world are the consequences of these actions.

The sense organs are subtler than the body. The mind is subtler than the sense organs. The Buddhi (intellect) is subtler than the mind. Subtler than all of them is the Atma. They will have to come under the sway of the Atma.

In the Kathopanishad, the body is compared to a chariot, the senses to horses, the mind to the reins and the Buddhi to the charioteer. What is the role of the mind in this analogy? The reins (mind) are between the horses and the charioteer. This means that the mind is between the senses and the Buddhi. If the mind follows the dictates of the Buddhi, it will be safe. If it gives free rein to the senses, it will be a bond-slave of the senses and as a result experiences sorrow. What is happening today is the misuse of the body and violence to the Atma.

Allowing the senses free rein is the Pravritti Marga (the external path). Controlling the senses is the Nivritti Marga (the internal path).

The five sense organs subject human to different kinds of troubles. In the case of animals each sense perception affects only one animal. For instance, the deer is affected by sound. On hearing certain sounds the deer gets frightened. The elephant is influenced by touch. The touch of the mahout's goad makes it obey him. The moth is a victim of sight. It is attracted by a flame and falls in the fire. The fish is a victim of taste. Attracted by the taste of a worm it swallows the bait and is caught. The bee is attracted by smell and falls a victim to this temptation. Each of these is subject to the power of one of the five sense perceptions. But human is a victim to all the five allurements.

No one tries to find out what is the base for the senses. Nor does one seek to know who is the enjoyer of the pleasures derived through the senses. Is it the body or the senses or the Atma which derives pleasures from consuming food, or seeing a beautiful sight or smelling a fragrant object? It is not the body, much less the sense organs. It is the Atma, which fosters, presides and rules over all of them, that is the root cause. The Atma is the basis for the external world and is the motivator of the internal world. When the cardinal role of the Atma is understood as the root cause of everything, the temporary and transient sense organs will cease to have dominance over us.

When the senses are associated with worldly objects, they can give rise to pleasure as well as pain. For instance someone outside is abusing you; as long as the abuse is outside the range of your sense organs, you are not affected by what is said. But if the abusive words reach your ears, you get excited and enraged. What is the reason for this excitement and anger? As long as there was no contact between the external happenings and the sense organs, the individual was unruffled.

To take an opposite example: some one is praising you, expatiating on your great qualities. As long as the words of praise have not reached your ears, you derive no joy nor do you feel a sense of endearment. But once you have heard the words of praise, you rejoice in them and develop a love for the speaker.

(With a small flame we can kindle a big fire. For instance, the power of speech is like the flame. With its fire we can do many things. By controlling speech you can acquire the capacity to master the world. Speech can be employed for blessing one or blaming one. "A slip of the foot may not cause much harm. But a slip of the tongue may take you to hell," says a proverb. When the tongue is used recklessly, it can cause great pain to the heart. There is no doctor who can heal the wound caused by a harsh word).

What is the reason for disliking one or loving another? It is the contact with the things in the external world. In the alternative, if the individual is able to treat good and bad, the pleasant and the unpleasant, with equanimity, he will remain unaffected by the impressions received by the senses.

Human should seek the bliss that is real and lasting and this can be got through the Buddhi. The Thaitthireeya Upanishad has expounded the nature of the Buddhi in detail. Comparing Buddhi to a bird, the Upanishad has described its head as Sraddha (earnestness). The two wings of the bird are Sathya and Ritha (unity in thought, word and deed). Yoga is its tail. The body is Mahath-Thathwa. The five constituents - Sraddha, Sathya, Ritha, Yoga and Mahath Thathwa are parts of Buddhi.

Among these Sraddha comes first. Human cannot accomplish any undertaking without Sraddha (earnest endeavour). All daily actions like eating and walking are prompted by Sraddha. Nor is that all. The Gita has declared that Sraddha as well as Buddhi are forms of the Lord. It is associated with Sraddha, Sathyam (Truth), Ritham (the Cosmic Order), Yoga and Mahath (the Supreme Principle).

Without Buddhi, with its five important associates indicated above, all mental faculties are useless like a fruit without juice, a tree without fruit, a temple without a lamp. Most intellectuals today, not realising the supremacy of the Buddhi and relying only on their intelligence, are ignoring their inherent divinity. Buddhi is the divine element in human, which is shining effulgently always.

What passes for the intellect today is divorced from the Divine and is not Buddhi in its real sense. This intellect is limited in its capacity and is motivated by Self-interest. Hence the Buddhi's power of discrimination is used by human for selfish purposes.

Instead of paying attention to God, Nature and Human, in that order, people today are concerned most with themselves, more with Nature and very much less with God. From birth to death, from dawn till night, human pursues fleeting pleasures by the exploitation, the despoiling, the desecration of Nature, ignoring the truth that it is the property of God the Creator, and any injury caused to it is a sacrilege which merits dire punishment.

All the days of life, people are active in worshiping their bodies and minds, catering to the senses, submitting to the clamour of carnal desires, earning the wherewithal to feed themselves. They have no time to spare for meditation on God and adore the beauty of Nature. How can people secure peace of mind, when they have no contact with the Vast, the Timeless, the Almighty Providence?

Society is the expression of Divinity into manifold phases, with its love, its ardour, its eagerness to comfort and console. A chance conglomeration of humans does not become a society. It has to be welded into a unity by the consciousness of kinship of God, by the sharing of each other's joys and sorrows, and the cultivation of Samarasa (empathy). The individual has to manifest through word and deed, the Ananda (Divine bliss) inherent in him/her and in society.

When you separate yourself as an individual, envy, resentment, jealousy and pride start defiling you. Love alone can weld you into kinship with all. You are Shivasakthi - the latent-patent, positive-negative, inert-alert principle. Be ever cognisant of this secret truth about yourself.

Living beings are as pictures moving on the screen; the screen which is unaffected by the emotions, the raging fire or roaring floods that pass over it, is the Paramatma. The worldly will be fascinated by the pictures, which through delusion, appear as if they are all real living incidents; the wise will concentrate on the screen, which is pure, white and clear.

But, the Universe around is a pleasant garden full of charming patches of many-hued flowers filled with fragrance and nectarine elixir - each flower-bed being a Religion, which attracts the loyalty of millions of seekers. The garden too is God; God dances in that garden at His own handiwork, gladdening the flowers with the magic melody of the flute. If you utter "God, God," and inflict pain on human, you will be spumed as a cheat. You need not cry out God, God! But, if you confer joy on other human, God will respond with His presence, though uninvited.

Expand yourselves; do not contract into your own tiny individuality. Expand into Universal Love, unshaken equanimity, and ever-active virtue. That is the Path which will bring out the Divinity in you to the fullest.

There is a great deal of useless discussion and controversy about the paths to attain God; some demarcate three paths, Bhakthi, Karma and Jnana. But there need be no controversy on their relative efficacy. They are like the confluence of the three holy rivers at Prayaag, the Ganga, the Yamuna, and the unseen underground Saraswathi. Ganga is the Bhakthi-marga (the path of devotion) - surrender, control of selfish, sensual pursuits; Yamuna is the Karma-marga (path of ritual and ceremonial worship, of dedicatory acts) - engaging in activities, irrespective of the benefits therefrom, doing all duties as worship, eliminating all attachment, all pride; Saraswathi is the Jnana-marga (the path of knowledge; of acquiring true awareness of the Reality) - cognising that ideas of bondage are all delusion that One is ever Free, devoid of change, full of Ananda. The three paths are like the wheels of a tricycle. Bhakthi and Jnana are two wheels in one line at the back and the forward one is Karma.

Instead of relying upon mere enthusiasm to show the path to attain God, it is better that the spiritual aspirant receives guidance and explanations from a preceptor during the early stages.

Here is an example. In the years gone by, every village home was stocked full of paddy bags, and so, the rats too inevitably infested every home. In one such home, they were celebrating every Full Moon Day the rite called Sathyanarayana Puja. This required the collection of good quantity of milk and ghee, the previous night itself. The rats attracted cats and the cats often preferred milk and ghee to the rodent food they are accustomed to. So, the milk and ghee were carefully kept in places unreachable to the cats. But, during the celebrations on the sacred day, the milk and ghee had to be kept open and available for use in vessels around the shrine. That was the chance for the depredatory cat; so, the master of the house caught the cat by the neck and put it under a heavy basket, and placed a stone on it, so that it could not play any mischief with the holy offerings. This was done so consistently every Full Moon Day as a safety measure in one home that the children and grandchildren felt that, puja or no puja, no Full Moon Day should pass without a cat being imprisoned under a weighted basket.

They started searching for a cat and bring it home, so that the 'ritual of the cat and basket' could be observed without fail.

The original meaning and purpose was lost during the passage of time and later generations were burdened with a belief that danger lurks if a cat is not dealt with, as their forefathers did. From being an insufferable nuisance, the cat rose to a new status of importance.

Doing, awareness and being are the three important aspects of human. Body, mind and Atma have different names and characteristics, but it is their joint role which helps human to divinise. Their alienation from each other degrades human to the animal level.

Two things are vital in a human's life: Sathya (Truth) and Ritha (Unity in thought, word and deed). In most people today, this triple unity is absent. One reason for this is that people have allowed their intellect to be polluted, as in the case of a lamp in which the chimney is covered by soot from the flame inside and dust from outside. In the case of the Buddhi (intellect), the soot comes from Ahamkara (ego) and the dust from Mamakara (mine-ness). These two reduce the effulgence of the intellect.

Before undertaking any action, one should utter the prayer: "May my actions be holy. May my speech be helpful to others and not cause any pain to them. May all my thoughts be sacred, godly and purposeful." The rulers and people in ancient days used to sanctify their lives by such prayerful actions.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "The tricycle," Chapter 35; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 12. "The garden of God," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18. "God, Nature and Man," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 23. "Royal road to realisation," Chapter 13 and "The human chariot," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "Let Your Buddhi Shine," Chapter 33).

Namaste - Reet