Swami teaches....Part 51
Links to Swami Teaches...50
Swami teaches... 11 - 13 January, 2006
The True Education, Good Company, Prayer and Meditation
All kinds of titles are conferred on people today. But the title which all of you should aim at is that you are Children of Immortality.
Human has infinite power and infinite potentiality, for he/she is a wave of the Ocean of Infinity. You can be aware of this, if you only dare reason a bit. The fruit won't drop if you mumble mantras under the mango tree; you will have to take a heavy stick and throw it at the bunch. Use the stick of intelligence and throw it at the problem of "you and the world"; that will yield fruit.
The reality is Paramatma (Super Consciousness, Cosmic Consciousness, Atma as the Divine Principle) only and all this manifested from It, of It, by It. For there was nothing other than It. This body is like the earthen lamp, in which the impulses inherited from previous births are the oil and the ego is the wick. When Jnana lights it up, the oil is consumed more and more quickly and the lamp burns brighter and brighter. Finally, when all the oil is exhausted, the wick too is burnt out. The earthen lamp is then thrown away and becomes dust.
The lesson that the Atma resident in everyone is the real core of the Universe and that It is the supreme sovereign of the Cosmos will certainly bring together all mankind and ensure peace and harmony among the nations. Of what avail is life when the Truth is not known? Why deprive children of this great treasure and look on, when they lead dry fallow lives? Teachers, parents and every person has to try to know own Truth and lead children into that awareness.
What is happening today is quite the opposite. Parents, teachers and leaders are inflaming the passions of young minds and encouraging them to indulge in violent deeds. The very people who preach the message of peace, who talk of the basic principle of child education, who harp on love, harmony and mutual love, and who elaborate on the principles of social progress and national uplift are themselves undermining these hopes by their example.
Children are wayward and vile, today, since they have no other examples to follow. Learn the lessons of duty, devotion and discipline from the lips of these children; let each child be a ray of sunshine in the home, shedding light and love.
Education is a process of culture. One has to plant healthy and potent seeds in the inner field, so that a plentiful harvest of valuable fruits can be gained. A great deal of discrimination and preparation have to precede the sowing. What is happening today is indiscriminate choice of seeds leading to a harvest of disturbance - contingency that can be avoided only by rigorous inquiry into values and their promotion.
The ancients esteemed only that system of education which promoted control of the senses. Control of the senses is called Dhama (in metaphysical parlance). The vicissitudes of time, place and circumstances have resulted in the term Dhama getting reversed in today's student community into the term Madha (arrogance). The reason is the disappearance of humility and reverence from the students.
In the old days, students who achieved self-control received a diploma in true education called Sakshara. The inner significance of this title is that the recipient is one who has mastered senses and recognised own inherent Divinity. When Dhama (self-control) turns into Madha (conceit), Sakshara gets reversed and we have Rakshasa (demonic activity) in its place. (For instance, the advance of science and technology - as the result of education - has enabled human to produce weapons of mass annihilation).
It is not enough if one becomes a mere scholar. Even if one has mastered all the scriptures, if he lacks humility and reverence and has no self-control, the ancients regarded such learning as Rakshasa Vidya (demonic knowledge). During Vedic times, the people believed in human values, had faith in God and led pure and sacred lives. The guidelines were prescribed by the great grandfather of a long series of grand-fathers, the Sage Manu, the ancestral lawgiver after whom 'man'(human) is referred to as Manuja (the child of Manu). Truth sustains the world and protects mankind. It is at the basis of justice and morality, peace and purity, faith and freedom. It has to be revered and activated by human at all times, under all conditions.
In order to solve many problems that arise when one practises the sadhana of Truth, Manu directed not to speak out unpleasant truth or pleasant falsehood. When it becomes necessary to reveal an unpleasant truth, one has to soften and sweeten its impact by consciously charging it with love, sympathy, and understanding.
Attention to selfish interests will obstruct the path of Truth. Note how great persons honoured their promises and compare it with the fate of promises today. Now, they appear as if they are inscribed on water. Students must free themselves from this hypocrisy. The Vow of Truth should never be broken. The person who is wedded to Truth and Love would need nothing more for peace and happiness. When Creation is witnessed through these values, it becomes a holy scripture, an inspiring lesson and guide.
Today the educational process mainly is more concerned with imparting bookish knowledge, while education itself is sought only as a means for earning a living. This link between education and employment should be severed. Education should be the means for acquiring Vijnana (wisdom).
The world today consists of two types of persons: those who are consumed by excessive desires and those who have no desires. The desireless person treats with indifference all worldly things. The desire-filled person will not be satisfied even if he is offered a mountain of gold. In the Ramayana there was a demonic character named Kabandha, who had his head in his stomach and who used his long arms to catch whatever object he could to fill his stomach. In the world today, three-fourths of the people appear to be Kabandhas and not truly educated persons. In all their actions - whether in sports or other fields - they are concerned with selfish interests. (Person needs the body for performing actions. But if the actions are done without using the discriminating power of the mind, person will be behaving like an animal, which acts on impulse. Moreover, if the mind, without relying on the eternal and ever-pure Atma, follows the demands of the body and the senses, the actions will be demonic).
If there is real faith and devotion in a human, the senses will be powerless. Students should examine before they do anything whether it is good or bad, fight or wrong, and act according to the dictates of their conscience. Even in respect of the conscience, certain facts should be borne in mind. The promptings of intellectual reasoning should not be identified with the dictates of the conscience. The directives should come from the heart.
When you dive deep into a problem and enquire whether what you should do is in the interest of your friends and society in general, your conscience will give you the right answer. You should not be guided by intellectual reasoning which has a selfish element in it. You should be guided by a concern for the collective interests of society at large. That alone is the true voice of conscience. This kind of broad social conscience should be developed through education.
A variety of gymnastic feats, games and sports have a value of their own in the physical field, there is something greater than all of them. Life is a game, play it! Treat life itself as a big game. Good thoughts, good speech and good actions are the disciplines required in this game. When so much practice and effort are required to achieve success in games like tennis, how much more effort is needed to succeed in the game of life. In this game, if you wish to achieve a good name, uphold your ideals, and realise the Divine.
Many students and devotees feel that it is human to err and that Bhagavan should forgive their lapses. If they are truly human, they should not commit mistakes at all. Even if sometimes a mistake is committed, wittingly or unwittingly, it should not be repeated again. It is a grievous error to think that it is natural for a human being to err. Every student, teacher, adult or young should realise, "I am not weak. I am not an animal. I am not a demon. I am a human being." No one should attempt to justify own weaknesses and lapses as natural to a human being. They should be regarded as signs of mental debility.
There are today two aspects relating to human which have to be considered. One relates to a person's rights. The other relates to one's duties. Most people are concerned only about their rights and engage themselves in struggles to secure them. But they do not recognise their responsibilities. In all the different fields - social, political, economic and even spiritual - people do not recognise their responsibilities and duties. They want high positions and emoluments.
The spiritual teacher (guru) can guide you where to go, which place to seek; but, he cannot make you reach it. You have to trudge along the road yourself. The teacher might take special classes and give special coaching; but, learning has to be accomplished by the pupil himself. The Guru asks you to search between the leaves of the book of your heart, and, lo, the treasure is there ready to render you rich beyond compare. Professional teachers direction of teaching students at schools, kindergardens, universities would be nearly equal with gurus.
(The patient must take the medicine, not the doctor; the doctor only prescribes and persuades. The aspiring disciple and student must have an inkling already of the Truth; or else, he cannot master the secret. The telegram is sent in the Morse Code; so the person who sends as well asone who receives must be aware of the code).
Swami always insists seeking, and remaining, in good company, the association with the holy. Being in the midst of such spiritual heroes, you can fight against evil with greater chance of success.
Once when Garuda (the celestial bird of Lord Vishnu), the sworn enemy of snakes, went to kailasa (abode of Lord Shiva), he saw the snakes that Shiva wore round His neck, His arms, His waist and Feet; the snakes were safe now and they hissed with their puffed hoods at the celestial bird which could not do them any harm, since they were in such Divine Company.
Garuda said, "Well! Glide down from that Body and I shall kill every one of you!" That is the value of being in good company, for the spiritual practitioner. For the one who has reached success also, holy company is valuable, for it is like keeping a pot of water inside a tank of water; there will not be any loss through evaporation.
If the spiritually advanced person lives among worldly people, the chances of union with God evaporating into enjoyment are very great.
Being in company of the holy is like the bit and bridle for the wanton steed, the anicut and canals for the raging flood. The value of holy places, consists in just this; kindred spirits congregate there and contribute to the deepening of spiritual yearning. If in any place, you do not find such an atmosphere, avoid it and move on, until you secure it.
Prayer and meditation are too the true helpers to obtain the value based education under the guide of spiritual art. Prayer makes you a supplicant at the Feet of God; meditation induces God to come down to you and inspires you to raise yourselves to Him. It tends to make you come together, not place one in a lower level and the other on a higher. Dhyana (meditation) is the royal road to liberation from bondage, though by prayer too, you earn the same fruit. Meditation needs concentration, after controlling the claims of the senses. You have to picture before your inner eye the Form on which you have elected to contemplate. You can elect to meditate on a Flame, a steady straight Flame of Light. Picture it as spreading on all sides, becoming bigger and bigger; enveloping all and growing in you, until there is nothing else except light. In the glory of that all-enveloping Light, all hate and envy, which are the evil progeny of darkness, will vanish.
If you have Swami as the object of meditation, sit in a comfortable pose, which is neither irksome nor flopping, let your mind dwell for some time on some good hymns or incidents from the sacred stories, so that the senses escaping into the tangles of worldly worries may be quietened and subdued. Then, with the Name on the tongue, try to draw with the brush of your emotion and the hand of your intellect, a picture of Swami, slowly, from the cluster of hair to the face and neck downwards, spending time in contemplating each as it is getting drawn and when the picture is full, start from the feet up to the head again, so that your attention is never for a moment diverted from the Form. (Do not change the pose in which you have started picturing; do not draw today Swami sitting and tomorrow Swami standing or walking or talking).
Convince yourselves that the light within you is spreading all around you, encompassing all, lighting millions of lamps in all lands and climes. Remove the hardness, the imperviousness that hides and smothers the light inside you; that is the most difficult and the most essential task for the aspirant. The Light of Self will shine only when the false idea of body is absent.
When you have finished your meditation, do not get up all of a sudden. Loosen the tension slowly, massage the joints a little if necessary, after you have got rid of the tension, sit quietly at the same place and recall to your mind once again the thrill of Dhyana and repeat Om, Shanthi (peace), Shanthi, Shanthi, feeling the Peace within you.
The word Shanthi is pronounced three times at the end of every prayer, ritual or offering.
The first Shanthi means: "May we enjoy peace for the body." It means that the body should not get heated by feelings of jealousy, hatred, attachments and the like. Whatever news you receive about any event, you should receive it with calmness and serenity.
The second Shanthi pertains to the mind. You should not get worked up when someone says something about you which is not true. You must simply dismiss it as something which does not concern you. If you get angry or irritated, you are losing your peace of mind.
The third Shanthi refers to peace of the soul. This peace has to be realised through love. This world has to be brought back on to the rails and it is love and peace alone which can achieve this. Fill your thoughts, actions, emotions with love, truth and peace.
Shanthi is the flagrant flower which is born out of pure Love. It is the fragrance which is delved as a result of one's good deeds.Shanti is something which swells from within you.
Saint Thyagaraja proclaimed to the world in his song that there can be no happiness without peace. Such a peace can be got only through achieving equal-mindedness on all occasions, whether one is subjected to pleasure or pain, praise or blame, gain or loss. One should not be affected by criticism arising out of ill-will, envy or hatred. Reacting to such criticism in a like manner will destroy one's peace of mind. We should ignore baseless criticisms motivated by ill-will or jealousy. We should be true to our own good nature and maintain our equanimity.
The ancient sages divinised their lives by control of the senses, by observing spiritual discipline and by successfully carrying on their daily avocations. These are the means by which men and women can transform themselves into sages. Spiritual education is greater than all other types of education. This was declared by Krishna in the Gita. Rivers are distinct in their names and forms, but when they merge in the ocean, they become one. Likewise, all kinds of studies and practices, when they are merged in the ocean of spiritual knowledge, become one.(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "The sun at your doorstep," Chapter 2; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "Lamps lit from the same flame," Chapter 3; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 13. "Give them their due," Chapter 7; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18. "Truth and Love - the goals," Chapter 26 and "The quest for peace," Chapter 27; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "How To Be Near and Dear To God," Chapter 3).
Namaste - Reet
Swami teaches... 8 - 10 January, 2006
Be Rich in Virtue, in Faith and Devotion
A tree has a trunk covered with bark and myriad roots to feed it and hold it firm. It has branches spreading in all directions, tapering into twigs. It has millions of leaves which breathe and borrow energy from the Sun. It fulfills itself by attracting bees to fertilise the flowers into seeds. All this variety of colour, fragrance, taste, smell and softness, of strength and toughness and tenderness has emanated from one single seed. All creation has emanated similarly from God.
In the phenomenal world, the physical body has parents. When this is viewed from the spiritual standpoint, the true relations for the real and permanent human spirit are indicated in the opening verse.
"Sathyam maatha" (Truth is the mother). It is the same over all the three categories of time past, present and the future. Such truth is one's real and lasting mother. "Jnanam pithaa" (Wisdom is the father). What is this wisdom? Perception of oneness is true spiritual wisdom. The wisdom that makes one aware of unity alone is wisdom.
"Dharma bhraatha" (Righteousness is the brother). Between brothers are differences of opinion. But righteousness which is unvarying and ever the same is one's true everlasting brother. Righteousness is Divine.
"Dhaya sakhaa" (Compassion is friend). There is no greater quality than compassion. It is compassion, which redeems human life. Whether one is a deity or a demon, compassion alone can ennoble person. Hence, one's true friend is compassion. "Shaanthih pathni" (Peace is wife). One cannot have a greater wife than peace. Peace is the greatest blessing.
"Kshama Puthraah" (Forbearance is the son). People believe that the son will help them in this world. But it is not a son who redeems a person. God is the only redeemer. Forbearance is a divine quality.
These qualities will help to obtain awareness of the Divine Grace and to develop faith, devotion and discipline.
The ocean is boundless and as old as time. It has, in its womb, chaotic whirlpools, raging currents, and it has a face with furious moods. No one can hope to sail over it from one shore to another land-bank, without a sturdy reliable boat. So too, human requires the sturdy boat of Divine Grace to cross the raging ocean of this Samsara (ever-changing, ever agitated flow of life). Samsara Ocean is vast and full of mystery. Human emerges from the ocean of Divinity and his/her destiny is to merge in it. This is the Truth. This is the Reality. That Thou Art. Be firm in that faith.
When you belch, you get the taste of the food you have eaten; the quality of the bread depends upon the quality of the flour; as the steadfastness in faith is, so is the devotion; as the devotion is, so is the realisation. As your sadhana (spiritual effort) is, so will be the truth revealed to you.
On Samsara Ocean one has to clarify and purify the past impressions. Time is the gift that God has blessed human with, for this purpose. So, human should use it as an instrument for the clarification and the purification. It is not possible without virtuous living and kindness towards all beings. Thus, the mind will be rendered harmless, beneficent and even of great help in one's spiritual pilgrimage. Through the purified mind, one can transmute into the Divine.
The Sanathana Dharma (the Eternal Religion) which is the basis of Bharathiya culture is the essence of the lessons enunciated in all the Vedic texts. This Dharma (righteousness) is the source and spring of various systems of philosophy, codes of morality and even of the different forms and streams of literature. Through these means the Dharma has taught that human cannot live in peace, until he/she knows what ought to be known, he/she casts away what has to be cast away, and reaches the goal he/she has to reach. Knowledge has its consummation in the discovery of Truth, which survives Past, Present and Future and remain always unaffected. The four Vedas teach who and what we really are and how we are related to the world around us. This is the greatest gift that the Vedas offer. This is the end of all enquiry, the aim of all scientific search.
God cannot be perceived by the spiritually blind, just as a blind man cannot understand what is meant by the whiteness of milk. God is infinite bliss. He is formless, but He can assume any form He wills. How can anyone attempt to describe the nature of God? He is formless. He is the source of all energy. He is effulgent. Eight kinds of potencies have been attributed to God. He is the source of all sound, all motion, all light, all speech, all bliss, all excellence, all illusion and all prosperity. The Universe is permeated by the Divine. Vishnu is the cause. Nature is the effect. The Divine is the embodiment of Cause and Effect.
As God is formless, to become one with God, we have to become formless. It means that we have to get rid of the attachment to the body. This is achieved through dhyana (meditation). While retaining attachment to the body one cannot hope to achieve oneness with God merely by praying for it.
As God is the embodiment of effulgence, you have to make your life effulgent to experience God. You have to realise that the light of your life has come from that Param-Jyothi (supreme source of all light). This individual flame should merge in the Supreme Divine effulgence from which all other lights have emanated. Meditating on the Param-Jyothi, the individual has to merge his individual effulgence in the Supreme effulgence.
To perceive God the first need is to develop the spirit of sacrifice and get rid of attachment and possessiveness. (It is obvious that insatiable desires fills person's whole being. The numbers of such persons are growing without limit. How can they achieve anything great in life? Their daily round of activities consists of reading newspapers, watching TV programmes and listening to the radio. Every moment their attachment to castes, creed and parochial interests is growing).
One's actions determine one's future. Actions are of three kinds, Thoughts are one kind. Giving expression to them is another. Acting according to one's words is the third. The mind is responsible for thoughts, the tongue for speech and the hands for actions. The combination of thought, word and deed represents the human state. No one can escape from the consequences of own deeds.
The results of one's actions are realised over different periods of time. In some cases, the results are immediate, as, for instance, when one slips and sustains a fall. In some cases, the results occur after a few minutes or hours. For example, the food you take in the morning is digested after two hours. When you sow a seed in the ground, it takes some months or years to grow into a tree and yield fruits. Some fools imagine that they can get away with bad deeds because the consequences are not immediate. But the consequences are bound to occur some time or other.
So everyone has to face the consequences of own actions, though person may not know how, when or where these consequences may occur. Person can reverse the consequences of bad actions by performing good deeds and invoking God's help.
By spiritual laws all are entitled to receive God's grace according to their merits. It is like drawing upon a bank according to what you have deposited with it. There are three ways of getting money from a bank. One is drawing on your deposit. In spiritual terms, this means realising the fruits of your past actions. The second means is raising a loan on the security of your assets. This corresponds to the grace you get by your current good deeds. The third means to get money from a bank is to have a good surety to the loan you wish to raise from the bank. Spiritually, this corresponds to securing God's grace through the medium of a guru (preceptor). Who is the guru? He is the Divine dispeller of the darkness within you. The Divine Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshvara) have been described as gurus. This implies that the Divine should be regarded as the supreme preceptor, who can destroy the darkness of ignorance.
The first step to the higher spiritual consciousness is to recognize the role of body as instrument.
(Attachment to the body complex implies accumulation and acquisition of things that cater to its needs and greeds. Accumulation promotes exploitation and has no limit; the thirst increases with each gulp. It always asks for more. Can a lake be filled with a drizzle? Can saliva slake the thirst)?
There is in every person the ever-free, ever-unattached, ever-pure Atma. The Atma latent and patent in every one is identical with the Cosmic Divine Consciousness, the Paramatma (Supreme Self), the Brahman (Absolute Reality), the Cosmic Awareness. It is Sath-Chith-Ananda; its nature can only be described as Being-Awareness-Bliss. The Vedas also refer to it as Truth- Wisdom-Infinity. Yoga (Divine Communion) awakens when the world is viewed with glorious unconcern. This is the source of supreme Ananda (Divine Bliss).
Speech, Mind and Breath are the three most vital instruments for adoration and awareness of Truth and Knowledge. Among the Vedas the Rig-veda highlights speech; the Yajur-veda highlights the mind; the Sama-veda highlights breath. Just as these three elements pervade the world, the three Vedas reveal three-fold Cosmic principle which is the reality of every atom in the Universe. They do this in simple language, using easily understandable similies and metaphors. The Vedas prescribe the ceremonies, rites, rituals and actions necessary for the prosperity and progress of mankind, here and hereafter.
Activity finds fulfillment when wisdom dawns. Karma (sanctified activity) is the path by which Jnana (spiritual wisdom) is attained. Wisdom in action is the highest Karma. Worthwhile activity must result in purifying the mind. Therefore, no one, not even a recluse or monk can desist from engaging in good deeds. These deeds must originate spontaneously and should not leave any trace of pride in the mind.
When the attention is diverted from the 'body-mind-senses complex' the splendour of Atma becomes brighter and brighter. The body seeks gathering and possessing; the Atma seeks giving and showering Light, Love and Grace. Attachment to the upadhi (sheath) is the greatest obstacle for samadhi (communion with Divinity) which is the ultimate goal of a spiritual aspirant. Samadhi is equal mindedness in all situations - whether of pain or pleasure, loss or gain. This state of mind is conducive to the development of extraordinary powers.
The Gita recommends 'inaction in action' and asserts that 'inaction is the most rewarding action' for those who strive for supreme peace. This attitude is named Karma Sanyasa (non-attachment to action). Action or activity is generally associated with the body only, but the mind is also busy with the world. The Atma is the unaffected witness. So, the secret of 'inaction in action' lies in taking refuge in the Atma and in recognising all living beings as fundamentally Atma.
Today people are propagating Vedanta in various ways. This propaganda is exciting the minds of the people. It is perturbing the hearts of people. Life is filled with doubts. Human today does not require a ideology but needs sense-control. Without control of the senses, a human cannot become spiritual. But human is engaged in a futile search for something he/she does not know. The world is full of such aimless seekers. They are forgetting the Eternal reality in the concern for transient worldly objects. (A stomachful of food, an eyeful of sleep, a home full of children's laughter - these, according to most people, are the highest levels of happiness. But this refers only to the interval between birth and death. What of the before and after)?
The world is in dire distress today. It can be saved by dedicated people setting an example of high morality, selfless service and Universal Love. For human life morality is the life breath. Morality makes humanness blossom. Persons who have dedicated their lives to spiritual search and success have to discover the Atma in themselves and others. The discovery will confer sympathy and compassion and promote loving service. Equipped with a calm and serene temper, adhering always to the Truth, human must involve him/herself in society with full faith in God as Protector and Provider.
Install God in your heart. Strive to strengthen this sense of oneness with the Divine. The light of the Divine is within you. This is the Light of Love and of bliss. Realising that God dwells within you, you must treat God as the universal Guru, as the preceptor for mankind, irrespective of differences in names. (You may learn from anyone, but dedicate all your knowledge to God. Place your entire trust in God. Before performing any act utter a prayer offering it to God).
The vibrations that emanate from the heart will elevate you spiritually and confer Divine wisdom. This wisdom has been defined as Prajnana. To acquire such wisdom you have to keep your mind pure as a mirror, using earnestness as a cloth, dipping it in the water of Love and wiping the dust on the mirror (in the form of bad qualities). This wisdom cannot be acquired from books. It has to be got through self-examination and self-correction.
Share with others the knowledge and skills you have earned, the ideas and ideals you have benefited and the joy you have won by discipline and dedication. Sharing will not diminish them or devalue them but they will shine better and put on added splendour. The water in the well rises as more and more of it is drawn. Likewise, the more you share your wealth and joy, they will multiply. Hence, share your endowments with others.
Consider the reality of the things from which one derives joy. Each one of them is saturated with the Divine Principle. The rain that falls, the Sun that shines, the Moon that cools, the rivers that flow are all for all. The Divine is the basis for everything, objective as well as subjective.
When the waters of the lake are agitated, the moon reflected in its depths appears agitated and wavy but the planet up in the sky is unaffected by what happens to its image. So, too, the mind wavers and wobbles but the Atma is calm and unconcerned. The world too is governed by the principle of mutual attraction.
Scientists, after long investigations, have discovered that the whole universe is made up of atoms. The Vedantins (spiritualists) on their part, declared that everything is permeated by the Divine. The terms used are different but the meaning is the same. Energy is Brahman and Brahman is energy. The Universe is filled with energy. All that you, see and all that you do are energy. You observe an object. You see an individual. Both the object and the individual are manifestations of energy.
What the scientists call 'matter' in essence is nothing but energy. An object appears as matter. But it turns into energy later on. Hence, all the forms and names you see are manifestations of energy. What is this energy? It is something, which you cannot see or conceive in the mind. It is Divine. Every physical object has a base. There is bioelectrical energy in human. Likewise, there is radiation energy in human. There must be a basis for all energies in the Universe. You see that in the world every object is based on some other object. God (Absolute) is the base for all the energies in the Universe. The Vedantis called this energy as Atheetha shakthi (transcendental energy).
The holistic science has termed it Super power or Absolute. The names used may vary, but the substance is one and the same. In every human there is numerous latent potencies. How is the presence of this energy to be recognized? The Vedantis described the process of recognition as involving manasika shakthi (will power), dharana shakthi (concentration), jnana shakthi (meditation) and samadhi (deep awareness). By these four processes, one can experience Atma shakthi (power of the Spirit). This means that in the final analysis, every individual, every object and every form of energy becomes one with the Divine. Every being and every, object in the world is a carrier of the Divine energy. It cannot be destroyed. But it can be changed from one form of energy to another, but it cannot be destroyed. This indestructible character is Divine.
The Atma is universal magnet which attracts everything. The Divine Love is the basis of all these forms of attraction. It is present everywhere including every human being. Every child bears the imprint of its parents. As all human beings have come from God, they should carry the marks of the Creator.(Reet's compilation from. Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 12. "Body without heart," Chapter 20; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16. "Your Divine destiny," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "Loving service forever," Chapter 1; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 28. "The Divine dispeller of darkness," Chapter 20; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Manifest the Divine within you," Chapter 18).
Namaste - Reet
Swami teaches... 5 - 7 January, 2006
Advices to the Year 2006 as Spiritual Passport
New year has begun. With sacred feelings and divine thoughts, cultivate the spirit of love in you. God is not found separately in a temple or in an Ashram, etc. Learn today to fill your heart with love and adorn your hand with the ornament of sacrifice. Sacrifice is the jewel for the hands. Truth is the necklace one should wear. You must develop the habit of adorning these jewels in the new year.
In this year try to drive away bad thoughts, breed good feelings, and spend time in contemplation of God. When you tread this path, you can achieve anything. What we encounter depends on our thoughts. Good thoughts are like radio waves. These waves should spread through love, not through publicity. Godís grace destroys mountains of sins and confers peace.
Many people expect the new year to confer happiness and prosperity on them. But in fact, new year only confers on you the results of your past actions. In order to atone your past sins, you have to cultivate sacred qualities and involve yourself in sacred activities more and more in the new year. Bliss is within, it originates from your sacred feelings. None can take away the bliss from you and you cannot obtain it from outside.
With purity of heart, steadiness of mind and selfless actions, one can become the recipient of Divine grace, which will remove any amount of sufferings in a trice. People are deluded thinking that they get pain and pleasure from the external world. In fact, they result from own feelings.
Today human is changing, but not human's mind. Years are rolling by, but feelings have not become pure. Due to the impact of the Kali Age, humanís thoughts, words and deeds are not in harmony with each other. Sankalpamoolam Idam Jagat (thoughts form the basis of the entire world). Some people feel their expectations are not fructifying in spite of their best efforts. This is mainly due to absence of purity in their feelings and intentions and due to the lack of will power. Today human wavers every moment. Only Godís grace can help human to overcome it. God dwells inside and outside every living thing. Hence nothing can be hidden from Him. God dwells in all beings in one and the same form. God is One and indivisible. God manifests on the basis of the feelings of the devotee. If you pray to God with purity of heart and love, you will experience God.
Bhakthi (devotion) will force God to give you Himself as the gift.
New year does not bring happiness or sorrow with it. Destiny does not change with the change in year. Along with the change in year, your actions too should change for the better. Years come and go, so also pleasure and pain. Nothing confers permanent bliss except the experience of the Atma.
The Sun shines over the water in the lake, in a well, in a vessel, in a river or over the ocean. Although the Sun is one, he is reflected in different ways.
When a strong wind blows, the clouds are dispelled and the Sun is visible. Similarly, when the winds of love and faith blow, the clouds of doubt and egoism are scattered and God reveals Himself. To get rid of this disbelief and egoism, certain spiritual disciplines have to be observed.
In the Kali Yuga, one is asked to rely more on Namasmarana (repeated remembrance of God) for liberation. Why is it considered enough for the people of this Kali Age? For, other sadhanas are fraught with difficulties. They need rigorous discipline and much preliminary effort. Again, there is another advantage in Namasmarana: as soon as the Name is uttered, the owner of the Name comes into view. When you think of the Form, the Name may not always accompany; you may not be able to identify. But take the Name, and the Form automatically appears before the mental eye.
Just consider this - the form changes from age to age, from one appearance to another. Rama and Krishna were different in form; even their deeds were distinct. But still, people agree when you say that both are identical. The Name has the association of all the special fragrance of the Leela (Divine play) and the Mahima (Power) and the Upadhesha (spiritual instruction). Each one has a special attachment to one Name out of many, suited to the temperament and the Samskara, the inherited instincts and tendencies shaped in previous births.
Keep the Name lit on the tongue; it will illumine your interior and also the exterior. It will cleanse your mind, as well as minds of those who hear the Name when you recite it. Keeping it on the tongue is like keeping a lamp lit on the door-step at the entrance to your house.
Choose the Name that captivates your heart, that pleases you. Why run after riches when all the pleasure and satisfaction that riches can offer and even a hundredfold, can be got by dwelling on the Name? The Lord has said that where His Name is sung, "thathra thish-tthaami," ("there I sit"). So, the tongue is enough to win Him, the tongue that speaks the language of the pure mind.
Namasmarana is the best sadhana (spiritual effort). That is the highest japam, the most profitable thapas. Fill the Name with your Love, whenever you repeat it; saturate it with devotion. That is the easiest path for all of you.
A mere five-minute inquiry will convince you that you are not the body, or the senses, the mind or the intelligence, the name or the form, but that you are the Atma Itself, the same Atma that appears as all this variety.
The Name is enough to give you all the results of every type of sadhana. This is accepted by all the Sastras and all the sadhakas (spiritual aspirants) who have left accounts of their struggle and success. Moreover, the Name is capable of being recited and meditated upon by all, equally. Of course, the Name is a limitation of the Universal; it identifies the un-identifiable, through one of its aspects. Take the Upadhi (disguise) as a means of saving yourself; take it as a boat that will take you across the sea of birth and death.
Reduce the luggage you carry about, when on the journey of life. Remember, all that is not 'you' is luggage. Learn this lesson watching the great, who are humble and simple. Offer to God the clear calm Manasa lake; or even if the mind is wayward and freakish like the monkey, offer it to God.
Love your religion, so that you may practise it with greater faith, and, when each one practises his/her religion with faith, there can be no hatred in the world.
Human being is the Divine poured into the human mould, just as everything else, alive or inert, is; but, it is the privilege of human alone, to be able to become aware of this precious truth. This is the message of the Upanishads. This message is echoed by the scriptures, and in the declarations of countless saints. Human can derive Ananda (Divine Bliss) through the contemplation of his Divinity, or the Divine as represented by all that he sees, hears, tastes, touches or smells outside himself.
Recognising the immanence of the Divine, one has to dedicate all acts to the Divine. What is the act, when you analyse it deeply? It is the manipulation of the Divine by the Divine, for the sake of the Divine through the skill endowed by the Divine; there is no I or mine in it, except the Universal 'I' and the Divine 'My'.
Dedication is to be carried out in various ways. Take the food that we consume. Offer it to God, before you partake of it. Then it is rendered pure and potent. Any act done for the glorification of God is thereby rendered pure and potent. It is incapable of harming the doer, the beneficiary, or society, for, it is saturated with Love, which is God. God is the director of this puppet show, the manipulator of the strings. Go behind the screen and see Him. It is now hiding Him; you have only to peep behind a flower, peer behind a cloud, to see Him pulling the string, to show us the beauty, to show us the darkness of heavy moisture. So also, you have only to peep behind your thoughts, to peer behind your feelings; you will find there the Inner Motivator.
In this context, three concepts have to be understood: Jnanam, Jneyam and Jnanagamyam (knowledge, that which is to be known, and the fruit of knowledge). These have been expounded under different names in Vedantic parlance. The primary requisite in the quest for Jnana (supreme knowledge) is intense yearning. The second requisite is the undertaking of spiritual exercises. Thereby one achieves the fitness for acquiring the knowledge. When one discharges one's duties properly, observes the prescribed rules, engages himself in selfless activities, does the work with discipline and devotion and, on reaching superannuation one is bound to experience peace and happiness. In the spiritual field, the acquisition of intense interest represents the stage of studentship. (But interest alone is not enough. Efforts to realise the spiritual objective have to be made. Only then the fruit of Jnana, in the form of Realisation of the Divine, is secured. The pursuit of Jnana calls for Bhakti) . Jneya (the object to be known) corresponds to the office to be occupied. Pension corresponds to Jnanaphala (the fruit or fulfilment of knowledge). These three stages can be compared to Sat-Chit-Ananda. Bliss is the fulfilment of what began with studentship.
The person who accepts God as a friend and is guided by His advice can understand the full meaning of Divine friendship. Seek to acquire the friendship of God, than whom there is no greater friend in the world.
Faith of this nature alone constitutes true Jnana.
You have to make friendship with Sath, the eternal
truth. Sath means Being, the ever-existent God. The worldly friends and
enemies change with the passage of time, but Sath is the true and eternal
friend. There is nothing great in going round the world and getting
accolades. Life bereft of sacrifice is inhuman. The Vedas said: "One can
attain immortality neither by rituals nor by progeny nor wealth; only
sacrifice confers immortality.Ē
Human needs a healthy body for a healthy mind, filled with good thoughts. Thoughts are the permanent asset of human. Thoughts are based on feelings and feelings on the mind. As the thoughts, so the mind.
Sacred thoughts, good words, and noble deeds are the true human values. In this ephemeral and transient world, human always aspires for peace and security. But money, education, position of authority and physical comforts cannot confer peace and security.
Ancient Indian seers used to partake of food with the feeling that food is Brahma, the essence is Vishnu, and the one who partakes of it is Siva. Such a feeling would foster pure and sacred thoughts in us.
A true human being is one with a good mind. The qualities of a good mind are: it has the brightness of the Sun and coolness of the moon; it makes one utter sacred words and confers peace on society. Human has originated from Nature. Earth sustains life. Sun gives light. Trees give oxygen. Water quenches our thirst and air helps us (and other living beings included plants) to live. Having been born as a human being, why it is so difficult to practice human values?
Every human being has the evil tendencies of kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), etc. in him. The great epics, Ramayana, Bhagavata, and Mahabharata, teach good lessons to control lust, greed and anger.
Ravana, who had mastered all sixty-four branches of knowledge and was a great scholar and a mighty warrior, lost his life and caused the ruination of his entire clan because of lust. It is not enough if you merely read the Ramayana; you should grasp its real significance.
Hiranyakasipu was a great scientist. He had control over all five elements, but he became a victim of his anger. His anger was directed at God Himself. Ultimately, what happened? He ruined himself. He subjected his son to all sorts of trials and tribulations and sought to kill him by many means, like throwing him from the hilltop, casting him into the sea, putting him in a pit of poisonous snakes and making elephants trample upon him. Because Prahlada was chanting the name of Narayana (God) ceaselessly, all the obstacles became Narayana for him and he came out unscathed.
Human leads a life of delusion because he/she sees diversity in unity and has lost the sense of discrimination. Hunman faces many hardships to carry on with the sojourn of own life. But life is transient. To lead such an ephemeral life, why should one take to wrong path and get deluded? So long as one is alive, one should make proper use of the Mathi (mind), Gathi (destiny), Stithi (position) and Sampatthi (wealth) that God has bestowed on him/her.(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3."Shivam, not shavam, Chapter 13; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 9. "Forsake the fete of fancy," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 24. "God as friend," Chapter 2; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 32. Part 1. "Start New Year with spirit of love," Chapter 7; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 33. "Good Thoughts Herald New Year," Chapter 1).
Namaste - Reet
Swami teaches... 3 - 4 January 2006
Human's Progress Needs in Internal Change of Mind
You see a plane zooming in the sky; some one tells you that it is flown by a pilot, but, you refuse to believe, because you do not see him from where you are. Is this correct? You must go into the plane to see the pilot; you cannot deny his existence, standing on the ground. You have to guess that the plane must have a pilot.
So too seeing the Universe, you have to guess the existence of God, not deny Him because you are not able to see him. People do not believe in God, but, they believe newspapers and the news they publish about things they do not see or cannot see.
Even if human does not attempt to seek God, he can at least seek to get peace, joy, happiness and independence. (Atheism is not more profitable than theism. The atheist simply transfers the burden from the head to the shoulders, denying that there is no head. The burden has to be borne, but only with greater hardship).
Those who deny God are denying themselves and their glory. All have Love in their hearts, in some form or other, either towards the children or the poor or their work or goal. That Love is God, the spark of the Godly in them. They have ananda (bliss), however small or temporary, and that is a spark of God and the Godly. They have peace, detachment, sympathy. All these are reflections of the Divine on the mirror of their minds. These are all mental excellences, revealed through an appreciation of the advantages of virtue.
Person differs from person, in this struggle against the inner foes. Each gets the result that his/her sadhana deserves, that person acts in this and previous births deserve. Life is not a mechanical formula, where 2 plus 2 always make 4. To some, it may be 3, to others, 5. It depends on how each values the 2. Moreover, in the spiritual path, each one has to move forward from where one already is, according to own pace, the light of the lamp which each one holds in his own hand. The demons were too conceited to bend before the Lord; they put too much trust in arms and number; they ignored the subtler and stronger forces of the spirit, which could carry mountains, bridges, oceans and annihilate the anger of the elements.
1. You must strive to diagnose your own character and discover the faults that are infesting it. This self-examination is necessary to bring to light the defects that might undermine one's spiritual career.
2, Discover for yourself your stage of spiritual development, to which class in the school you would fit in. Ponder over your present condition, direction of movement, capabilities and inclinations. Then determine to proceed from that class to the next higher one. Then, enter upon the path of sadhana step by step, so that you approach the goal faster every day, every hour, every minute. Strive your best and you will win the Grace of God. Do not bargain or despair. One step at a time is enough, provided it is towards the goal, not away from it. Beware of the pride of wealth, of scholarship, of status, that drag you into egoism.
3. Do not condemn the mind as a monkey (however, where senses where out of own control, mind acts as monkey-mind and leads to delusion). In essence it is a fine instrument with which you can win liberation. But it depends on how you manipulate it. It will carry out your orders to the minutest detail. It will lead you along the royal road, right up to the door of Self-realisation. Or it will make you wander about in the blind alleys, where every step lands you in dirt.
4. Consider the true nature bhoga or luxury, a thing that drags people away into excitement and insane pursuits. All the variety in taste, colour, smell of the multiform items of food is, when you consider it fairly and squarely, a mere drug to cure the illness of hunger; all the drinks that has invented are but drugs to alleviate the illness of thirst. Person suffers from the fever of the senses and tries the quack remedies of recreations, pleasures, picnics, banquets, dances etc., only to find that the fever does not subside. The fever can subside only when the hidden virus is rendered ineffective. That virus will die only when the rays of jnana (spiritual wisdom) fall upon it.
5, Life is a campaign against foes, it is a battle with obstacles, temptations, hardships, hesitations. These foes are within and so, the battle has to be incessant and perpetual. Like the virus that thrives on the bloodstream, the vices of lust, greed, hate, malice, pride and envy sap the energy and faith of human.
(There are two things that draw human's mind, hitha and priya (the beneficial and the pleasant). Prefer the beneficial to the pleasant, for the pleasant might lead you down the sliding path into the bottomless pit. The true doctor is interested in curing you of all illness and so, he advises hitha to restore your health; Swami's Teaching is such a doctor).
6. You must learn how to know others and more than that, how to know yourselves. You are most curious about others. But, you do not know your own lineage, property, your heritage and status. You are Manuja, born of Manu (the first earthly creature created from Brahma), the person who laid down the moral code which is your property. You have the Lord installed in your heart and so, you are essentially Divine.
The Divine can be known only by those who know the signs, the characteristics, the special excellences, by a study of the scriptures. There is a special science relating to that. Simply because you have a tongue and can wag, do not cast aspersions against the path of God or against the Divine.
There was a great Pandith well versed in Sanathana Dharma and deeply attached to its practice. He sent his son overseas for higher education. He took him to the temple of his family deity, Kalimaatha, and with tears of gratitude in his eyes, he showered on his head the sacred prasad of Kalimaatha. He wrote to him often, pleading that he should keep up the rites of worship, even in the strange lands to which he had gone.
After some years, the boy returned by plane, in outlandish clothes, but the pious father believed that his deeper convictions had not altered. He took him first to the temple of Kalimaatha, for he felt that he had returned safe and strong as a result of Her Blessings. He begged the son to pray. He was shocked to hear the boy address the Goddess, "Hello, Mrs. Shiva! How do you do?" The old man's heart broke at the discovery that his son had cut himself away from the sustaining principles of Sanathana Dharma with its cardinal principles are sathya, dharma, santhi and prema (truth, virtue, peace and love).
Human's progress depends on strength of mind and purity of feelings. His mental condition and the actions which rise from feelings, these two decide whether one will be bound or free, happy or miserable, rising or falling. These sankalpas (thoughts) motivate the senses and initiate activities that reveal their real nature. When a pebble is dropped into a well, the ripple causes further ripples and the entire surface is affected. So too, when an intention enters the mind, the waves it causes envelop the body and prompts many activities.
When the will is pure, activities are also pure. So, one has to be vigilant. As soon as an intention is formed in the mind, examine it to find out whether it deserves to be put into action or whether it is unworthy to be acted upon. The intellect must be called in to conduct this examination.
Evil company is easily secured; good company has to be sought and struggled for. To fall is quite easy; to climb requires strength of will. Therefore, human is tempted to choose the easier path. The objective world is an image, a reflection. When you take a shave standing before a mirror, you do not apply the razor to the image. You apply it to the actual face. God is reflected in the mirror (the objective world). You can see His image in human and beast and bird, in plant and tree and grass, in every cell and atom. But human is enamoured of the mirror and of the reflections, not knowing the original which is imaged therein.
Being extraordinary, human is now descending to levels which are below ordinary. Like the animals of the desert, human is running towards the mirage to slake his thirst. He claims to have mastered the senses and all low desires but they sprout at the first chance, like grass after the first shower after summer.
Why must human live for years - a burden on earth, so much of rice or wheat consumed year after year, with no return in joy or peace to him/herself or others? Unable to grasp that Supreme Power, and to understand its manifestations, human envelopes in doubt and delusion. Pain puts a stop to joy; joy is but the absence of pain.
Human does not realise that the end of this cycle of birth and death is in own hands. The tree came from the seed and the seed from the tree and so on, from the beginning of time. You may not know which came first, tree or seed; but, you can easily put an end to the cycle, by frying the seed.
What exactly is the aim and purpose of all the Sastras (scriptures), the Bhagavatham (containing tales about Avataras of Vishnu), the Puraanas (mythological tales), these discourses, and other sacred texts? It is to tell human the truth about him/herself. That is not the desire of the sages who wrote down these annals and their own experiences. You know only the present, what is happening before your eyes; you do not know that the Present is related to the Past and is preparing the course of the Future.
Vidhya (knowledge) as the truth about him/herself must awaken the latent consciousness and become aware of the Atma that underlies all its levels.
How can one earn Vidhya? Of course, human's present situation and status are determined by acts and thoughts in the past. The dog has to lap water with its tongue, even if it tries to quench its thirst at a flooded river. It cannot drink deep mouthfuls. Human has to formulate plans, respecting the limitations he/she has imposed. Whether in a holy place or in vile surroundings, whether in an urban complex or in a rural homestead, attitude and behaviour will only be in accordance with the bent of mind one has earned already.
On the vast ocean, countless waves are continually forming and disappearing. Each wave has its own form and shines in many colours. But none of them is separate from the ocean. Likewise, all the myriad beings in the world have their different names and forms but are all tiny droplets from the infinite ocean of Sat-Chit-Ananda (The Cosmic Being-Awareness-Bliss).
All beings are akin to the Atma declare the Bharatiya scriptures. They have affirmed that the Atma principle is immanent in all beings as sparks of the Divine. Our sense organs are not the Atma. Through the senses, things can be seen or touched. But Atma is separate from the senses. Only the divine Spirit - Atma possesses all the potencies of the senses.
The Atma has been described as "Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram" Truth, Goodness and Beauty. From a worldly point of view, these three qualities appear to be different from each other. But there can be no Sivam (Goodness) without Sathyam (Truth). Without Sathyam (Truth) there is no Sundaram (Beauty). Beauty imparts effulgence to an object. Truth reveals its real nature. The unity of these three aspects reveals the Divinity of the Atma. That Atma is the embodiment of Bliss, of Peace, of Love but, without knowing that all these exist in oneself, human seeks them from outside. The Atma is the source and spring of all joy and peace; this has to be cognised and dwelt upon.
By ancient Wisdom the knowledge of the Atma is the Light which will disperse the darkness as well as the doubts and diversities which it creates. Without this knowledge, human is lost in the wilderness and behaves as if one has lost all memory.
By pictorial expression it is the Atmic Sweetness that illumines the world. This Beauty, Sweetness and Bliss are all within you. When you turn your mind to God, the whole Universe will wear a new aspect.
Without this internal change, all changes in the external physical world are of no avail. Only when the individual changes, the world will change. Through knowledge, you acquire humility. Through humility you become worthy of responsibility. Through responsible positions you get wealth. Through wealth you must practice righteousness. Righteousness ensures your well-being in this world and the one beyond it.
The kings in ancient times had for their counsellors great sages, men of virtue and wisdom, who gave the right advice to the rulers. The sages were adepts in the practice of mantras and yantras. Pursuing Brahma-Vidya (the knowledge of the Spirit), they acquired great powers through mantras. They were endowed with these powers because they knew how to use them for righteous purposes. The yantras (weapons) which they wielded were surcharged with the potency of mantras and hence had tremendous power. These weapons were used for the good of the world.
Just as the times have changed and conditions of living have changed, the rigours of sadhana have also to be modified. Doing severe thapas (penance) was a great and rare achievement in those days; now, repeating the Name of the Lord (Namasmarana) is becoming as difficult a thapas.
Hence, it is said that Namasmarana (remembrance) is enough; that can be done along with all other activities of living. It is the inner purity that matters, not the outer movement of the lips. To evoke the Divine in you, there is no better method than Namasmarana. You can limit by name and form that with Form and attributes for the sake of visualising it. Then, by slow stages, you will find that particular Form enclosing all beings and therefore assuming a Universal nature. It will gradually drop its boundaries of time and space and like the blueness of Krishna, pervade the sky and sea and become a symbol for the depth of Eternity.
This is an exercise that can be practised at all times and places by all, irrespective of creed or caste or sex or age or economic and social status. It will keep you in constant touch with the Infinite.
Without surrender, there can be no liberation. So long as you cling to the narrow "I," the four prison walls will close in on you. Cross out the "I" and you are free. How to kill the "I?" Place it at the feet of the Lord and say, "You", not "I" Associate always with the vast, the unlimited, the Divine; dream and plan to merge with the Absolute; fill your ears with the call from the beyond and the boundless.
Transcend the walls, the bars and bolts, the locks and chains. You can do so easily by fixing your mind on your own infinity.(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 2. "Mahaashakthi," Chapter 1 and "The prison walls," Chapter 38; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 6. "Please man; please God," Chapter 4 and Vol. 6. "The inner wheel," Chapter 7; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "The Mani Mantapa," Chapter 5; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 15. "Two kingdoms with one king," Chapter 36; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Power of the spirit," Chapter 22).
Namaste - Reet