Swami teaches....Part 52

Links to Swami Teaches...51

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 19 - 20 January, 2006

Nature, God, Heritage of Vedas and Sanathana Dharma

A bird swaying on the branch of a tree has no fear because it relies for its safety not on the branch but on its wings. Human, on the contrary, has no confidence in own inner Self. He is dependent on others. He is ready to abuse him/herself for the sake of position or office. It is the attachment to property or position born out of sense of possessiveness that is the cause of human's sorrow and unhappiness.

The mariner uses compass to guide aright amidst the dark storm clouds and raging waves. That compass is a society that is dedicated to the propagation of spiritual discipline. However, the consumer-society is propagating mainly the consumption and diffrent meaningless silly pleasures.

Human being, especially today, is not making efforts to understand the relationship between Prakrithi (Nature, phenomenal world), others human being, society and Paramatma (Supreme Spirit). Humans utilise the natural resources without any limit and create imbalance.

From time immemorial human has been plagued by negative ideas. There is a legendary tale in which one greedy man killed the goose that laid, golden eggs thinking that he can extract all the eggs from it in one lump. Such acts of folly are committed freely by scientists today by exploiting Nature's gifts beyond all limits, creating disastrous imbalance resulting in natural calamities such as earthquakes, spelling danger to humanity. We cannot blame science for this. Those who apply the scientific discoveries without discrimination are to be blamed for this. Thus the relationship of human, Nature and God is very intimate which scientists may not be able to realise.

Nothing good can be achieved without certain restraints. Because of the advancement of technology and provision of excessive comforts, life has become mechanical and spirituality has declined. Science fragments everything to pieces while spirituality builds up unity in diversity. To quote an example you have the ozone layer in the atmosphere which protects the people from the evil effects of solar radiation. Because of the advance of technology, several factories have sprung up causing emission of harmful gases in the atmosphere as a result of which the ozone layer has become thinner and if this goes on unchecked it may have disatrous consequences. The scientists are trying to stop the break up of the ozone layer but they are unable to find a remedy.

The actual cause for this situation is that more carbon-dioxide is let into the atmosphere, which normally is absorbed by the plants and trees which can assimilate the gas and supply oxygen by the natural process of photosynthesis. But, because there is de-forestation to an alarming extent, the extent of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere has considerably increased. The one of possible remedy for this situation is intensive afforestation, growing more trees everywhere and protecting' the existing trees without destroying them for other purposes. However, the real situation today is exactly opposite.

Human has to consider as a limb of the society and help in the welfare of society, just as the organs of one's body are used for one's well-being. Again society is a limb of Prakrithi and Prakrithi is a limb of Paramatma. Thus there is close relationship between human and God. Instead of to protect Nature, human has to exploit it within limits. In order to protect Nature, human has to practise ceiling on desires and spiritual wisdom declared in Vedas and Swami's Teaching.

Spiritual knowledge is like bathing in the ocean, which is equivalent to bathing in all the different sacred rivers. Faith in self and Faith in God is the secret of greatness. (One who has no faith in own Self cannot develop faith in God). The goal of spiritual discipline is liberation, immortality merger with the Divine, getting immersed in the inner and outer glory. When human knows the mind, its composition and behaviour, he/she can know all about the Universe too, for the Universe is only a creation of the mind.

Some people have their minds and senses like cotton balls and a spark of jnana (spiritual knowledge, wisdom) will set them ablaze and they achieve victory. Some others have them like dried faggots; they take longer time, but, victory is certain. Most have minds and senses like green fuel and even the raging fire of jnana may be put out by the onslaught of the moisture contained in them.

Spirituality is not mere worship, japa (mantra, God's name meditation) or dhyana (meditation, equanimity) . These may be good activities but they don't constitute spirituality. The driving away of animal qualities and proceeding from the human to the Divine is real spirituality.

The mind is like a key to the lock of the heart. If you turn it towards God you get liberation; if you turn it towards the world you get into bondage. Prema is the binding factor to unite all humanity together. Therefore, cultivate Prema or Universal Love.

Love all; respect all; serve all. But do not believe all have equal fights, obligations and duties. You cannot say that all cows are equal and purchase them, by the dozen. Some may be dry, some may require more feed, some may give less milk, some may be young, some decrepit - so, you have to distinguish and decide. Not all cars are equal. Nor are all people.

We can distinguish four types among people. The highest type are those who are so good themselves that they are utterly disinclined to note the faults of others, those who, therefore, see everybody as only righteous and virtuous. The middling type are those who see the good as good, and the bad as bad. The lower type are those who accept only the bad and ignore the good. Finally, the lowest, the worst are those who judge the bad alone as good and enforce its acceptance. Strive to rise up to the highest type.

Human is using the body as a toy and plays with it in a mechanical way. The body is functioning through the power of Prajna Shakthi (Integral Awareness) which is directing the functions through the Spandana Shakthi or Prana Shakthi (Pulsatory life force).

Human is functioning by the combination of three forces: Radiation, Vibration and Materiality. The body is just matter only. It is called Prakrithi. Prana Shakthi makes it vibrant. This vibration is directed by the Prajna Shakthi which is consciousness (awareness). Thus human's life is a combination of consciousness, vital force and matter. Without realising this fact, human is always keen on looking after the body alone, with the wrong conception that the body is all powerful.

In Bharath, from ancient times, through the sacred Gayatri mantra, this spiritual awareness has been developed. The manthra "Om Bhur Bhuvas Suvah" represents the three basic principles of the godliness in every one. 'Bhu' means matter. 'Bhuvah' is the Praana Shakthi (the vibrant principle). 'Suvah' is the Prajna Shakthi (awareness). These three constituent forces radiation, vibration and material energy activate the human being.

The Rishis (sages) enjoyed fullness of human life. They experienced this bliss of Universal Love within them and conveyed it to all mankind. They propounded the doctrine of Love which is the means to know one's Inner Reality. The Vedas, which are limitless and which were revealed as illuminations of the Eternal Truth to the Rishis, were codified and presented in three collections of hymns by the sage Vyasa for the benefit of humanity. They are: Rig, Yajur and Sama Veda. The Vedas together with the Brahmanas, the Aranyakas and the Upanishads - provide the guidelines for the proper conduct of the four Ashramas (stages) in life -Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa.

All Bharatiya culture and tradition is based on the authority and message of the Vedas. It flows in eight streams: Sabdabrahmamayee (manifesting as all-pervading Cosmic sound); Charaacharamayee (pervading all moving and unmoving objects); Jyotrimayee (all-pervading effulgence); Vaangmayee (sacred speech); Nityanandamayee (eternal-bliss); Paraatparamayee (embodiment of the Omniwill); Mayamayee (manifestation of Maga) and Srimayee (the embodiment of all prosperity).

In all these different ways, the Vedas, have served to promote the well-being of mankind. Vedic ritualism was regarded as helpful for dealing with worldly concerns, but not of much use with regard to the understanding of the transcendental. The Vedas were useful for achieving mundane and heavenly pleasures and overcoming pain and giving encouragement and support in the pursuit of such objectives. Vedas serve also as essential guides in the pursuit of the four basic goals of human life - Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha (Righteousness, Material well-being, Desire of realisation and Liberation).Their main concern was with the first three Purusharthas - Dharma, Artha and Kama.

Moksha could be attained only through jnana (as distinct from rituals and yajnas performed with Vedic mantras). The spiritual goal transcends worldly objects. It is beyond reason and the bounds set by the sacred texts. It is the concept of Moksha what is related to the concept of Parama Prema (Love for the Supreme). In the process of realising this state of Supreme Love, several opponents have to be overcome. Foremost among these are the six "enemies" - Kama (passion), Krodha (hatred), Lobha (greed), Moha (delusion), Mada (pride), Maatsaryam (envy). (By the way, whether one is good or bad should be judged by one's qualities and not by one's family affinities or form).

Swami underlines that the higher wisdom can be won, not through rituals, wealth or progeny, but through sacrifice or renunciation.

The Vedas contain four Mahavaakyaas: Prajnanam Brahma (knowledge is Brahman), Ayamatma Brahma (This Atma is Brahman), Tath Thwam Asi (That Thou Art) and Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman). The attributeless principle transcends these four declarations. (It is extremely difficult to understand the Divine principle what can confer the eternal bliss. Faith is very essential to experience this).

The Love principle integrates all three guidelines laid down by the Vedas. (The entire humanity should be considered as one brotherhood on the basis of Universal Love). The ancient sages and seers used to pray, ?Salutations to the One who is the embodiment of supreme happiness.? It is inward (nivritti) happiness.

It is extremely difficult to understand the Divine principle what can confer the eternal bliss. Faith is very essential to experience this. However, only the Divine principle, which is attributeless, ancient, eternal, ever new, pure, and unsullied, can explain the inner meanings of the Vedic principles.

Of the three Vedas Rig, Yajur and Sama the Rig Veda contains the essence of all the three. Its principal teaching is Vinaya and Vidheyata (humility and duty). The Yajur Veda enjoins the quality of Dharana (steadfastness). The essential teaching of the Sama Veda is Vignatha (Propriety). This tells you how to conduct yourself with any person, how to behave towards elders and superiors, how to treat guests, how to approach God and what is the right behaviour in any situation. These three Vedas (Trayee) provide the basic rules for right living: Vidheyata (Devotion to duty); Dharana (steadfastness) and Vignata (Propriety).

The sages compendiously described the Vedas as Trayee. Trayee means three. Three is a significant number with sacred associations. The human qualities are three in number: Satwa, Rajas and Thamas. (The three gunas have to be harmonised like the blades of the fan). Three has a sacred significance in worship. In offering bilva leaves to Lord Siva the devotees describe Siva as having three qualities, three weapons and three eyes. Time also has three aspects - past, present and future.

The chaos in the world today is due to people ignoring the present and either brooding over the past which is beyond recall, or speculating about the future, which is unpredictable. What people should be concerned about are their obligations in the present. The present is the product of the past and the future is the result of the present. (Have a time-table for all your daily activities. Set apart half an hour or an hour in the evening for thinking over your problems. You will be able to find solutions for them. If you worry about them all the time you will be wasting your time and not solving them).

The Sanathana Dharma (Eternal Religion) propounded in Hindhuism is, as the Himaalayas, supreme, sovereign, rich, comforting, calm and protective; why then should people crave for volcanoes spitting fire and smoke, raking up the evil passions in human? It is as cleansing as the waters of the Ganga in which no poisonous bacteria can live. Alien cultures cannot suit the people of this land, for they have grown in this atmosphere for centuries; tiffs culture is the best, for people of all climes and stages of life. It is universal; it is for all time.

Regional differences of climate, crops, terrain and history may emphasise some virtues more than others; they may lead to the prescription of some restrictions more than others. But, the common aim of the sages and saints of all lands is to lead human towards God and prevent him from sliding down into the level of the beast. That will makeperson's heart reflect the Lord within. When the road laid down for human's uplift is overgrown with thorny bush and becomes unrecognisable, the Lord Himself takes human form and marks it out again.

Dharma-sthapana, as the restoration of righteousness is called, consists of two operations: the removal of wrong and the establishment of right. At the present time, the one means by which both these can be attained is Namasmarana (recital of God's Name). Dharma is capable of conferring all that human wishes for, here and hereafter. It is the Kaamadhenu (the celestial cow) that grants all boons. With the nama (name of God) as a rope, you can tie her to the post - the tongue; then, you can get from that Kaamadhenu all the good that you crave for. She will rest in your heart-stall. In the beginning, this Namasmarana is best done in company. For, when you do it alone, distracting thoughts will overpower the earnestness. A single fibre of grass has little strength; but twist a large number into a rope, you can bind with it a rogue elephant to a tree. The wild mind can be bound by faith that is confirmed in godly company.

The Dharma (Code of Conduct) for each has to be different for it is decided by changing factors like age, profession, status, authority, scholarship and also by considering whether a person is a male or female, teacher or pupil, master or servant, child or youth, father or son, dependent or free. But the basic principles of Dharma are Sathya, Prema, Sahana and Ahimsa - Truth, Love, Fortitude and Non-violence. The various codes, written or unwritten, are only elaborations of these basic principles.

In addition to this it is significant to remember that you would be accurate always and when you are eager to gain an end, you must be prepared for all the travail, all the obstacles or else, you should not entertain the wish. Below is an instructive story as parable.

There was a Sultan once, who heard of the Mahabharata, which the Hindhus revere as the fifth Veda; he commissioned a Hindu poet of his kingdom to write a Mahabharata, with him as the hero who wins the empire back. He threatened the poet with dire punishment if he did not complete it within a stipulated time. The poet had to agree; but he pretended he was at it, and told the Sultan that he himself is being portrayed as the eldest of the Pandava brothers and the other 'four brothers' were his viziers. He said, that in the Mahabharata he was writing, the enemies of the Sultan were the Kauravas. This made the Sultan very happy and he became restless, to read the epic as soon as it was finished. The poet, however, delayed long. One day when asked the reason, the poet told the Sultan, "Your Majesty! I am awaiting clarification of one simple matter from you; it is giving me a lot of trouble, this problem. The queen is, in my epic, the counterpart of the queen of the eldest of the Pandavas; this is as it should be, since you are eldest of the five heroic brothers. But, in the original Mahabharata, she is the wife of all the brothers. In my poem, your viziers are those brothers; they are allotted those roles in this new version. Now, shall I depict the queen as the wife of the viziers also, or..." The Sultan did not wait to hear the rest; he threw the entire project overboard...and sent the poet way.

The real meaning of brothers and their wife was else. Five brothers are five Pranas (vital airs) in the human body and all of them constitute one entity, and Dhroupadhi, born of Fire, is the energy that activates the body. When this is ignored and the epic is taken as a story of kings and queens and dynastic wars, the meaning is missed.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 8. "A modernised Mahaabhaaratha," Chapter 20 and "Sing the sweet name," Chapter 21; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 19. "Message of the Vedas, Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 26. "The predicament of man today," Chapter 3; Vol. 32, part 2. "Let life be fruitful and meaningful," Chapter 10).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 16 - 18 January, 2006

Paths to the Source of the Divine Oneness

The stars appear as dots of light, for they are at a great distance from us. So too the Lord appears insignificant or ineffective to many, because they are keeping themselves too far from Him. If some people say there is no God, it only means they are at too great a distance to be aware of Him.

In the Gita, the Lord has declared, "I am the seed for all beings." Contemplate for a while on the magnificent multitude of life, all its rich variety of strong and weak, prey and hunter, distressed and delighted, creeping, crawling, flying, floating, walking, hanging, burrowing, diving, swimming - all this uncountable variety of created beings have come out of God and each of them has in its core, again God.

The same sky is over every one's head; the same earth supports every one's feet; the same air enters everyone's lungs. The same God brought all forth, brings up all and brings about the end of this earthly career.

People in India see God in trees, in plants, in birds and beasts; they worship Him everywhere, in all things. Indians are treating the picture as God, and not treating God as a picture. Worship the stone as God, not treat God as stone. Visualise this Immanent Divinity; you become humble, wise, and full of love.

God who is the origin and the goal can be cognised by the pure consciousness, after cleansing of the mind is attained. God is, as the basis, as understanding and understandability, as the source of Divine light, as' Atma. Know that All exists, has awareness and bliss because of the Atma which All is.

Human is the image of God and human must be aware of the image of God that shines in society also. The tiny seed of a banyan tree does not reveal to the human eye or to the microscope, the gigantic tree which it contains. The Divine Energy within it prompts it to expand and become the banyan. Every cell, every spot, every atom is Divine, full of vast destiny.

The entire Cosmos is the body of the Divine and therefore the term Dehi applies to this Cosmic Consciousness. The Atma has effulgence but has no form or name. Forms and names are sustained by the Atma.To realise the nature of this all-pervading Atma, which is the unchanging reality, it is not enough to seek authority from the Sastras (ancient scriptures) alone. The Atma is not realised through Sastras. The realisation of the Self as Atma has to be obtained on the basis of the authority of the Sastras, but through one's own earnest Sadhana. The Vedas, Upanishads, Sastras and Puranas (ancient scriptures of spiritual wisdom, metaphysical treatises and mythological legends) all serve as sign-posts. They show the goal that should be sought, but the journey has to be made by spiritual seekers.

The primary aim should be to become Masters of yourselves, to hold intimate and constant communion with the Divine that is in you as well as in the Universe.

People have specialised in the various methods of worshipping God; there is a host of rites, ceremonials, hymns, festivals, fasts, vows, pilgrimages; but, the best form of worship, the one that will bring the Grace of God in ample measure, is to obey the commands of God. Develop nearness, proximity, kinship with God. Win Him by obedience, loyalty, humility and purity. Make your lives simple; fill the daily tasks with love and mutual co-operation; be tolerant towards the errors and failings of others; look upon them with sympathy and understanding; be calm and without agitation, under all conditions.

The temples help soften the hearts. They instil the virtues of compassion and charity. Greed and cruelty will spread in an atmosphere that has no devotion and adoration to God. Make yourselves into moving temples. Hoowever, all the external symbols are of the inner purpose. The ego-free mind is the altar; offer your activities (with all trace of desire removed) to the fire of renunciation.

Today spiritual efforts, sadhanas have been reduced to external rituals by human in all lands. Morning and evening, and on days set aside as holy, they do puja (ritualistic worship) with special pomp, heaps of flowers, rows of lamps and strings of loud hymns. The impact of these rites is mostly thin and superficial. There are many who spend all their time in preparation for the ritualistic acts or in their actual practice. But what do they gain? They are still afflicted by envy, pride and greed and have no loyalty to truth. They have succeeded only in polluting their years and casting away the ideals laid down in the Vedas.

Of course rituals and prayer are necessary in the early stages. They are the kindergarten of spiritual education. (Prayer does not mean petitioning to God. Prayer is an index of the experience of Atmic bliss. It is a means of sharing this bliss, spreading it all around, being immersed in that bliss). One has to march on from this childhood into the adult journey towards the Atma.This yajna and these rules and regulations regarding rites, have to be transcended and sublimated into thought, word and deed which promote universal reverence, egolessness and equanimity. Through sadhana, samachiththa (mental equanimity) has to be attained egoless, equal mindedness which ensures a pure mind. The criterion of purity is love.

Remember, where there is love, there will be no room for jealousy and hatred and where there is no jealousy and hatred, there is Ananda. There is joy what reveals itself in beauty. It has been well said, "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever." If you see beauty in any thing, you will derive joy from it. But what is the beauty that one should seek which will be the source of permanent joy? God is the embodiment of Beauty that is the source of everlasting joy.

Jealousy expresses itself even in the form of finding faults in the Divine. It manifests itself in many forms. If one has earned a better name than another, jealousy develops towards him. This is a sign of human weakness and promotes demonic qualifies. You must learn to enjoy at another's prosperity and happiness. This is a great virtue.

Once Buddha was approaching a village where there were a number of devotees of Buddha. Some wicked persons confronted Him on the way and abused Buddha in various ways. Buddha sat on a rock nearby without proceeding with his journey. He addressed his traducers: "Dear children, what is the pleasure you derive from abusing me?" Without giving the reasons, they continued abusing in worse terms. Buddha sat down saying, "If abusing me gives you pleasure, enjoy at yourselves." Exhausted by their abuse, they were preparing to leave. At that time, Buddha told them, "I stayed here all the time because if I had gone to the village, my devotees there would not have spared you, if you had indulged in all this abuse before them. I am happy that I could give so much pleasure to all of you," exclaimed Buddha. "You have derived joy from abusing me. So, I am the cause of your joy. To bring comfort and happiness to people, many build choultries, dig wells, or do other charitable acts. But without undertaking any of these acts, I have been able to give great satisfaction to these evil-minded men. This is a great achievement, indeed," observed Buddha.

Buddha also brought home to them another lesson. He asked one of them: "Child! A beggar comes to your house asking for alms: 'Blessed mother, give me food!' You bring some food. If the beggar says, 'This is not the alms I asked for, and I will not accept it.' What will you do?" The man replied: "I will keep back the offering." Buddha said: "In the same manner, you attempted to offer me the alms of your abuse. I did not accept it. To whom does it belong? It remains with you. So, you have only abused yourself, not me," said Buddha.

Similarly, if you criticise someone or hate somebody, if the other person remains unaffected and unperturbed, your criticism and hatred come back to you. Jealousy and hatred do more harm to those who entertain these feelings than to those towards whom these are expressed.

Among bad qualities two are particularly undesirable. They are Asuuya (jealousy) and Dhwesha (hatred). These two bad qualities are like two conspirators, one aids and abets the other in every action. Asuuya is like the pest which attacks the root of a tree. Dhwesha is like the pest which attacks the branches, leaves and flowers. When the two combine, the tree, which may look beautiful and flourishing, is utterly destroyed.

Asuuya attacks a person from inside and is not visible. Dhwesha exhibits itself in open forms. There is hardly anyone who is free from the vice of jealousy. Jealousy may arise even over very trivial matters, and out of jealousy hatred arises.

Once a sage was cultivating a beautiful garden growing a variety of flowers and fruits. Even in him egoism reared its head and in its wake jealousy also took root. When these two were present, hatred also joined the evil brood. Seeing this, the Lord, who felt that a sage wearing the saffron robe and claiming to have renounced all attachments, should not entertain such evil qualities, entered the sage's garden in the guise of an old Brahmana to reform the sage.

The Brahmana saw a tree and praising its beautiful flowers and fruits, he asked the sage who was responsible for raising such a fine garden. The sage replied: "This garden has been created by me by indefatigable efforts, night and day, caring for every plant like a child. Every tree was planted by me and reared by me. All the pruning and laying out of the garden are my handiwork. All these flowers and fruits I am growing for the sake of others," he said.

The Brahmana left and shortly thereafter a cow entered the garden and caused havoc among the flower plants. Seeing this from a distance, the sage hurled a big stick at the cow. The moment the stick hit the cow, the animal died. Meanwhile, the old Braahmana returned and, seeing the dead cow, exclaimed: "What a pity! Who could have killed the poor cow?" The sage replied: "It is all God's Will. Otherwise, will the cow lose its life, even if someone wanted to kill it?"

Immediately the 'Brahmana said: "You reared the garden and you made the flowers bloom. But when the cow dies, God is responsible for its death, is it? You claim credit for all the good things, but when anything untoward happens you attribute it to God. The Brahmana then revealed His true form and said: "I am not a Brahmana. I assumed this form only to remove from you the ego that has taken root in you."

Creation is the projection of Divine Will. It is called Prakrithi (Nature). In every object emanating from Nature the Divine principle exists. It is to proclaim this immanence of the Divine that human has evolved. Consciousness in Nature is not purposeless. When it is filled with ego, it gets deformed. When it is turned towards the Atma, it becomes Divine.

In Nature everything functions according to its specific qualities. Everything behaves according to its specific nature declares the Upanishad. It cannot be altered or destroyed by anyone. This is the inherent attribute of Nature. To bring out this aspect in Nature and make it manifest, all things have been endowed with certain gunas (qualities). They are Satwa (Satwa Guna), Rajas (Rajo Guna) and Tamas (Tamo Guna) - which represent three gunas. To endow nature with these qualities, certain media are necessary. These have been described as Brahma, Vishnu and Easwara (Maheswara) which are not entities with forms.

Nature has to be understood in two ways: one, in relation to the process of creation; the other, in relation to everyday experience. Likewise, when the order of Brahma, Vishnu and Easwara is viewed in relation to creation, it has to be reversed; we have Easwara, Vishnu and Brahma in that order.

To begin with, what does the principle of Easwara signify? The Gita declares: Easwara dwells, Arjuna, in the heart region of all beings. Easwara, therefore means the Lord of the Heart. He illumines the heart of every being. The other name given to Easwara as Lord of the Heart is Atma.

It is from the heart that the mind has emerged. The mind corresponds to the Vishnu principle. Vishnu means one who is all-pervasive. The mind is equally all-pervasive. The mind is the basis of the cosmos. The mind pervades the entire Universe.

Brahma is traditionally described as arising from the navel of Vishnu. It is from the mind that Vaak (speech) has come. Hence Brahma has, among other names, "Sabda Brahmamayee" (Sound as Brahman).

This trinity means that the unity of speech, mind and heart represents the Supreme Atma, which should
be revered as Guru. The import of the unity of the three gunas is indicated in the Gita declaration: "My Atma is the indwelling spirit in all beings". Forgetting this basic principle of Oneness and lost in the wilderness of multiplicity, people are having no peace.
It is on account of the varied functioning of the three gunas that the process of creation, growth and dissolution takes place. The three gunas are the primal source, the basis and the life-breath of the Universe. They are responsible for the manifestations and transformations in Nature. The permutations and combinations of the three gunas in varying proportion account for the infinite diversity in the Cosmos.

Three colours have been ascribed to the three gunas. The Satwa Guna is the attribute of Easwara. In the state of Yoga nidra (yogic sleep) it acquires the chith-shakthi (the power of Awareness) and appears as Suddha-Atma (the Pure Absolute). Hence Satwa represents the Easwara principle. Its colour is white.

The Rajo Guna manifests itself in likes and dislikes. It is a quality associated with Vishnu. Vishnu has been depicted as a deity bearing a conch, the discus, the mace and the lotus. Vishnu has also been described as one who is embellished by decorations. Vishnu also bears the name Viswambhara - one who protects and rules over the Universe. As a Raja (ruler), he has the Rajo Guna. The colour of Rajo Guna is red.

Then, there is Brahma. Brahma represents Tamo Guna. Tamo Guna is associated with irrationality and the darkness of ignorance. It is filled with the sense of possessiveness and attachment. These two impulses account for creation. If there were no sense of 'I' and "Mine," the creative process would not go on. These two are the insignia of Tamo Guna, which is represented by black colour.

White, red and black are the most important colours. Likewise, there are in the world, people with Satwa Guna, Rajo Guna or Tamo Guna and are distinguished by one or other of the three colours.

What is the way to bring about unity in diversity of colours? The ancient sages, after deep enquiry, have indicated five different paths for achieving this objective. They are: Sathyavathi, Angavathi, Ananyavathi, Nidhaanavathi and Swarupaatmaka-jnanam.

1. Sathyavathi sadhana. This sadhana reveals the presence of the Divine in the subtle form everywhere, in everything, in the same manner in which butter is present in milk. The sadhana provides the proof for the view that God is the Universal Indweller abiding in all beings.

2. Angavathi sadhana. There are the five elements: space, air, fire, water and earth. The Divine is present in each of these elements in a specific form. The potencies present in the five elements: Sabda-shakthi (the potency of sound, space), Jiva-shakthi (life-sustaining potency, air), Jaagrata-shakthi (the awakening or warning potency, fire), Prajna-shakthi (Integrated Awareness, water) and Chetana-shakthi (Consciousness, earth). They all are all different forms of the Divine power. Those who are engaged in the Angavathi sadhana regard the five elements as manifestations of the Paramatma (Supreme) and offer worship to them.

3. Anyavathi sadhana. In this sadhana the Divine is worshipped on the basis of certain insignia in a particular form like that of Vishnu or Shiva. Shiva, for instance, is envisaged as a deity with the trident, the damaru, three eyes and is worshipped in this form. Similarly Rama is pictured as one bearing the Kodanda bow and Krishna as the Lord with the flute, wearing a peacock feather on his head. In this manner each deity is distinguished by certain special insignia for purposes of worship.

4. Nidhaanavathi is the common type of sadhana practised by most people today. It comprises the nine types of worship practised by devotees: Sravanam, Kirtanam, Vishnusmaranam, Paadasevanam, Vandanam, Archanam, Daasyam, Sneham and Atmanivedanam.

5. Swarupaatmaka Jnanam. This sadhana aims at achieving the realisation that every individual is the embodiment of the Divine. The Gita declares: ďAll feet are His; all eyes, heads and mouths are His." That means, all human forms are Divine.

What is the use of all the sadhanas you are doing? Only when the underlying unity of three gunas is recognised can you experience the bliss of Self-realisation. Do not imagine that the Divine comes from somewhere to give you darshan. What need is there for One who is Omnipresent to go from place to place? The Divine is beyond coming and going.

There is only one Guru. He is God. That Guru is within you. You are seeking the Guru all over the world. Your gunas (qualities) are in you in the form of Brahma, Vishnu and Easwara (Maheswara), and can protect you, elevate you or ruin you. When you act righteously and pursue the right path, they will protect you by their Vishnutva (Divine potency).

The human filled with good qualities like truth, love, absence of jealousy, ego and hatred, can see God without searching for Him. He becomes a Jnani (a human of spiritual wisdom).

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "Stone as God," not "God as stone," Chapter 8 and "The positive and the negative," Chapter 11; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 14. "Mine and thine," Chapter 35 and "The Truth," Chapter 44; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 17. "Asuuya and dhwesha : the deadly vices," Chapter 19; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 21. "Three In One," Chapter 21).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 14 - 15 January, 2006

For Young Generation: Sports, Sankaranthi and Bharath's Culture

The motto

As the spark that causes the fire, as the driver in the engine drawing a long line of coaches along, as the designer and operator of a system of automatic lights, Swami is here creating and fostering the world, and all its various communities, living and non-living.

The observance of morality in daily life, the divinisation of all actions and thoughts related to life, and adherence to ideals together constitute culture. Samskrit,* Samskriti, Samskara are all terms which have been derived from the roots, Sam and Krit. Bharatiya Samskriti (culture) is a composite of purity, divinity, sublimity and beauty. This combination is reflected in sports and games. Today such a spirit prevails in the sphere of sports, although occasionally there are deviations from it.

In old times sports and athletics were intended mainly to promote health, experience joy and to provide entertainment to the public.Today these objectives are being forgotten. Mostly everything today, as music and sports have commercialized. Self-interest is getting predominant. Consequently, peace and happiness are being lost. When sports become a kind of business, there is no room for human values and peace becomes a casualty. The sacred character of the games and dramas of the past has been tainted by the money nexus.

Sports is an integral part of the scheme of studies in Sathya Sai's institutions, along with various academic subjects like physics and chemistry. Not only should there be participation, but there should also be an awareness of the philosophy and principles governing the sports and games. The aim in sports should not be victory by any means, fair or foul. What is important is the sense of selfsatisfaction derived from playing the game well. (In Sathya Sai's institutions preparation for the sports and games is selfless seva without any funds).

The spirit of harmony and unity displayed in sports is a gratifying example to all. It is a distinctive quality of sports that differences are forgotten and persons engage themselves in games in a divine spirit of friendliness and comraderie.

True humanness blossoms only when the body, the mind and the spirit are developed harmoniously. The enthusiasm and effort which has displayed in sports should also be manifested in the spheres of morality and spirituality.

There is a prayer in the Purusha Sukta which students recite regularly, but they do not understand its full meaning. "Sahaabaavavathu; sahanau bhunakthu; sahaviryam karavaavahai." What is the inner meaning of this mantra? "Let us grow together in harmony; let us move about in friendliness; let us spread together the light that we have gained from our studies. Let us live in harmony without discord. Let us promote in harmony the use of our talents and skills." This is the profound inner meaning of this Vedic hymn.

The time close of Makara Sankramana is the more auspicious for sports. Why?

Every month the Sun moves into a new house in the Zodiac. This movement is called Sankramana. In a year the Sun transits twelve houses of the Zodiac. Of these movements four are important. Makara Sankramana is the first one. It relates to the entry of the Sun into Makara (Capricorn) from Dhanus (Sagittarius). Of the four, the most important and sacred is Makara Sankramana. This marks the apparent movement of the Sun from the South to the North what is considered highly significant, both spiritually and scientifically. The northward movement of the Sun is a call to human beings to turn their vision towards that which is cool, peaceful and unchanging. Sankramana is the time when the inward journey towards a pure and unsullied heart is made. Just as the Sun embarks on northward journey, Sankraanthi is the day on which the intellect should be turned towards the Atma for Self-realisation.This is the period for cherishing sacred thoughts and performing holy deeds).
The Divine is enshrined in one's heart. All external spiritual exercises are of temporary value. They should be internalized to experience lasting bliss. All mental exercises also leave the heart unaffected. In the nine paths of devotion, beginning with listening to sacred things and ending with Atma-nivedhanam (total surrender of the Self), the last is the most important. After that there is no need for any other effort.

In connection with Sankranthi, many auspicious functions are arranged. Newly wedded bridegrooms are invited to the brides houses. Sacred bulls are taken from house to house by traditional performers who relate the Ramayana story with the bulls playing their own role in it. In this way, with songs, plays and discourses, they celebrate the festival. The songs and plays had a sacred role in the celebrations. The sports on this auspicious time help to develop the sense of spiritual oneness. The many in the One - that is the real nature of society. If it is realised, you will find that it is the design of Nature that it should be so, and that it is a sign of advanced culture too.

Sankranthi is related to the entire mankind. Whether people realise it or not, Sankranthi promotes in one and all a feeling of happiness and mental transformation. It illumines the minds of people. It induces the unfoldment of inner feelings and gives the call for total surrender.

For mankind, the Sun is the most important entity in creation. When the Sun is proceeding northwards, why should not humanity direct its vision Godward? Human should abide by the laws of the Creator. Otherwise humanity is doomed.

People today are plagued by a whole battery of troubles from birth to death. How can they hope for happiness amidst this sea of troubles? They have to change their vision, their thoughts, their words and their conduct. This is the meaning of Sankranthi.

All Bharath's festivals as reflexions of its ancient culture, are full of inner significance, imparting bliss, and not ostentatious shows. Every festival has a unique significance of its own.

In a heart that is pure and steady, the sun of Buddhi (the intellect) enters. There is no need to undertake a journey in the external world. The bliss that is experienced within alone is true bliss for human. Only the Atmic principle is pure, permanent and infinite. This has been termed the abode of Moksha (Liberation). You must fill your life with this holy thoughts. That is the purpose of sacred festivals. Youths today should realise that festivals in Bharath are not intended for feasting and pompous celebration but for concentration on devotional activities.

Human engages in many exercises during the life. No single achievement satisfies human or society. Human constantly strives to accomplish more things. Today people seem to revel in dissatisfaction. Youth today do not appear to be seriously concerned about how to face a rapidly changing world. The preparedness to sacrifice everything for achieving a noble objective is hardly present among the young.

Success in life consists in recognizing the truth of one's being. But youth today do not make any effort to find the Truth that is the Eternal Reality. They are prepared to go through any amount of trouble to acquire knowledge that is related to the physical and the transient. Festivals in Bharath have been designed to promote awareness of this truth. Their inner significance as well as their scientific basis have to be understood.

By Vedas - highlights of Bharatheya culture the unique human's characteristics are discrimination, wisdom, detachment - Viveka, Vijnana and Vairagya - and drive at that realisation.

To put it even more plainly, you will derive Ananda only if you succeed in doing three exercises.

(1) Forget the thing that has to be forgotten: Forget the objective world, ignore it, it is only relatively real, not absolutely Real. Remember the first statement in the Vedic prayer - Lead me from the unreal to the Real.

(2) Give up that which has to be given up. Darkness has to be given up, in order to attain Light. You are not the body; you are not just an individual, not just a chance spark or a stray drop. You are a part of the Divine, a fraction of the Fire, a wave of the Ocean. This is the second statement in the Vedic prayer - Lead me from darkness into Light.

(3) You must reach the place which you have to reach, that is, Brahmathathwa. Brahma means, expanse, limitless presence; you have to pass beyond the limit to the limitless. Limit is death; beyond it, unaffected by it, is immortality. So the prayer cited above adds as the third statement - Lead me from death to Immortality.

From the very beginning of your youth age burn the lamp of love inside the niche of your heart and then the nocturnal birds of greed and envy will fly away, unable to bear the light. Prema makes you humble; it makes you bend and bow when you see greatness and glory. An unbending person is infected with egoism of the worst type; remember human is the only animal that can recognise and revere the great and the glorious. Use that capacity and derive the best advantage out of it.

Have faith that Truth will save you in the long run; stick to it, regardless of what might befall. For if you are true, the sense of guilt will not gnaw your insides and cause pain. It is cowardice that makes you hide the truth; it is hatred that sharpens the edge of falsehood.

Use all chances you get to develop your skills and your health and your character. Make lasting friendships. Do not by any action of yours cause pain to another; nor suffer pain yourself, by foolishness or sheer bravado.

In your daily affairs, do not create factions, or revel in hatred. Revere others as having God installed in them; revere yourself also as the seat of God. Make your heart pure so He can reside therein.

Courage is the fertilizer which will make the plant of scholarship grow. The field may be good, but manuring is also necessary.

Human has inside a whole set of animals: the dog, the fox, the ass, the wolf. But one must suppress the tendencies of all these animals and encourage the human qualities of love and friendship to shine forth. Above all, begin the cultivation of virtues; that is more important and beneficial than mere book-learning. That gives real Ananda; that is the essence of all knowledge, the culmination of all learning.

Young people ask why they should not enjoy freedom as the fish, birds and animals do. They should understand that each of these creatures are enjoying freedom in accordance with their own sphere of life. Similarly human should enjoy freedom related to human condition. Enjoy the freedom of a human being. What is the freedom a human can enjoy? He has to adhere to truth. He has to follow righteousness. He has to cultivate love. He has to live in peace. He has to observe non-violence.

Sticking to these five values, human can exercise freedom. These five values are associated with the five elements which make up the cosmos. These five elements may be used in different ways, but they are the basic substances constituting the Universe. Beyond these five, there is only one sixth element, that is, the Anthahkarana, the Inner Motivator, which is identical with the Atmic Principle.

In exercising freedom you should not merely imitate others. Imitation has become a deadly disease among modern youth, in matters of dress or other behaviour. They should consult their conscience in all matters rather than copy others. Films and other special media channels have totally demoralized the people. People today have lost the quality of forbearance. The sages in the past allowed even anthills to grow over them while they were immersed in penance. Today people cannot tolerate the slightest disturbance by a fly or a mosquito.

Students' are observing many things in the world. Their hearts are pure, unsullied and sacred. If these qualities are praised, it is not for proclaiming them to the public, but to infuse enthusiasm in the students and encourage them to do better. When some students came to Swami and exclaimed: "I have secured 'O' grade," Swami told them, "The 'O' grade has been given for your studies, not to you. It is only when you put into practice what you have studied that the 'O' grade or degree will belong to you." Many persons attach the degrees to their names. One is a hero in learning and a zero in practice.

What is required is the application of the knowledge acquired in daily life. Only then the degrees really become yours.You must see how you can make use of your knowledge to make the world better. To ensure peace and prosperity in the world is the highest achievement.

What service are you able to render by your knowledge? You are concerned more about your careers and the earnings which may be got from your degrees. This should not be the main concern of students today. You must consider how far your knowledge is of benefit to society. You must ensure the peace and security of society. That should be the principal aim of the students.

Ten pupils crossed a river, wading to the other bank. In order to find out whether all had arrived safe, one fellow counted the rest and declared there were only nine. Each of the ten counted the rest and everyone agreed there were only nine survivors. One of them had definitely been drowned. So, the ten started wailing aloud in their bereavement, and a passerby was drawn to the group in sympathy. He saw there were ten, all right. The mistake was - the man who counted left himself out; he ignored himself, in counting the rest.

This is the mistake everyone of these encyclopaedic intellects commit; they count everyone except themselves; they know everything except the workings of their own minds, and the methods by which they can attain inner calm. So, you must know who you are, and then, if necessary, try to know about other persons and objects.

* Bharath's entire culture is based on Sanskrit. Culture means that which sanctifies the world, which enhances the greatness and glory of a country and which helps to raise the individual and society to a higher level of existence. Culture contributes to the refinement of life.

The sages prayed for the happiness and well-being of every one on Earth. "Sarve bhadraani pasyanthu" (May all see only what is auspicious). Such were the benedictions pronounced in the Sanskrit language.

Many European languages have a large number of words which are derived from Sanskrit roots. Sanskrit enjoys this privilege of being the ancient mother of many languages.

Max Mueller traced the Sanskrit origin of many English words. After completing a study of the Rig Veda, he inscribed an introduction to his work in Sanskrit in which he described himself as a native of Germany who had received his education at Oxford University. He coined Sanskrit equivalents for Germany and Oxford ("Sarmany" and "Gothirthapura") and Sanskritised his own name as Mokshamula Bhat.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 1. "Courage," Chapter 7; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 11. "Where and why," Chapter 34; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 23. "Sports and Spirituality," Chapter 1; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "Spiritual significance of festivals," Chapter 2; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Triple transformation : Sankraanthi's call," Chapter 3).

Namaste - Reet