Swami teaches....Part 56

Links to Swami Teaches...55

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 17 - 19 February 2006

Practice the Unity that Underlies the Apparent Diversity

Every human being, irrespective of the country, race or period of time in which he is born, comes into the world burdened with three debts. The first debt is owed to the Divine. The second is to the Rishis (sages). The third is to one's parents.

A debt is an obligation arising out of what one has received from others. We can easily identify these debts in the human body different divine forces are present nourishing and protecting it. This divine energy permeates the entire body; it is called the Rasa (Divine Essence). We owe a debt of gratitude to the Divine which has not only endowed us with this precious human body but which also sustains it. We shall be able to enjoy these gifts of the Divine only if we discharge this debt to the Divine. It is by rendering service to other bodies saturated with the same Divine, by doing righteous deeds and consecrating all actions in the service of society.

Next, the debt to the Rishis. By selfless investigations and experiments the sages discovered for mankind the paths to be followed for bettering our lives here and attaining mergence. They have laid down the types of right action that will help human to lead a good and worthy life and successfully strive for Self-realisation. These guidelines and codes of conduct have come down to us in the form of Sastras (spiritual sciences). The sages have taught how man can proceed from the human to the Divine.

The third debt we have to pay is to the debt to the parents. It is by following the example of the parents that a child grows in life.

Yajnas and yagas (Vedhic rituals of sacrifice) are symbolic rituals designed to redeem these three debts. Yajnas are of two kinds: Antaryajna (internal) and Bahir-yajna (external). The internal yajna is the striving to realise the Divinity within. It can be realised only through Dhyana (meditation). The mind is the sacrificial altar. One has to offer as sacrifice on this altar all one's bad qualities. It must be realised that this is not one's first birth in a body; many lives have preceded this. Birth as human is the final stage in the upward evolution of the nearly million species of living beings.

The sole purpose of the internal sacrifice is to see that the mind does not run after the whims and fancies of the senses, like a master pathetically carrying out the dictates of his servants. The human who is a slave of sensual desire is the world's bond-slave. One who has conquered desire is master of this world and the next. It is desire that makes one dependent on others.

(Yajnas and yagas are not undertaken to promote self-interest. They are performed for promoting the welfare of the world. Instead of emphasising the inner meaning and significance of yajnas, most people pay attention to the external features).

The internal yajna has to be performed at all times, in all places and under all circumstances. The sacrificial altar for this yajna is within each one of us. The real purpose of yajnas - to enable human to achieve purity in order to realise Divinity.

You should cultivate an attitude of inseparable attachment to the Lord, who is your very self. If He is a flower, you should feel yourself a bee that sucks its honey; if He is a tree, be a creeper that clings to it; if a cliff, then feel that you are a cascade running over it; if He is the sky, be a tiny star that twinkles in it; above all, be conscious of the truth that you and He are bound by Supreme Love. If you feel this acutely, not with the gross intelligence, but with the subtle intelligence, then, the journey will be quick and the goal can be won.

The sthula buddhi (gross intelligence) keeps you walking but, the subtle intelligence flies you to the destination. The gross is too much weighed down by the body; the subtle transcends the body and lightens the burden.

You have to make yourself transparent, free from wish and will, then only, can the Inner Motivator be seen. You cannot argue that since it is not seen, it is not there. To earn transparency, purity of intention, impulse and instinct is essential; that is achieved by systematic and sincere spiritual discipline.

Take your own name. The name must be resonant of the real Self, not a description of the body, as, for example, the Black man, the Fair man or the Dark man. Have names that are saturated with divinity, like Rama or Lakshmana or Bharatha or Krishna, etc. And know and follow the implications of the name.

By the way, it is essential to repeat that Krishna has given to Himself three vows. They are mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita, for all humanity to read, know, and believe.

1. "For the protection of the good and the punishment of the bad, for the establishment of the Moral Order, I shall concretise Myself, age after age".

2. "Whoever is wholly immersed in My contemplation, with no other thought, I shall be ever with Him and I shall bear the burden of his welfare".

3. "Surrender unto Me, giving up all other duties and obligations; I shall liberate you from all sin; do not grieve."

There is also significant to add some notes about Krishna's image. The hymn describes Krishna as "Kasthuri thilakam". Each of these words has a deep significance.

The thilakam or dot of kasthuri or musk on the forehead of Krishna is the symbol of the Eye of Wisdom, the Inner Eye, like the third eye on the forehead of Shiva. Kasthuri means jnanam or supersensual knowledge or wisdom. Then the hymn speaks of kowsthubha gem on the chest. It indicates the ananda in the heart, the untarnished ananda of the Lord. Next in the poem is the shining pearl on Krishna's nose-ring. It is indicative of the success that attends one-pointed concentration on His Glory for which the tip of the nose is considered by adepts in yoga as a point of help. And, the pearl is, in Hindu mythology, produced out of the rain drop, from the first, pure, unsullied showers that is swallowed by the oyster that has been waiting long for the precious gift from the heavens. It indicates the transforming effect of yearning and the natural thirst for the pure and the true which irks the human heart.

The next item is the Flute in the hand. That reminds all of the need to make oneself into a hollow reed, with no trace of the pith of material greed. Become straight, empty yourself of all obstructing desires and the Lord's breath will flow through you, making sweet music that awakens every soul.

Everyone should realise the integral relationship between Nature, Human and God. This Nara (human) is Narayana - the Supreme Universal Consciousness. If human did not have the cooling power of the Divine, he/she would not be able to bear the heat generated by the body, the mind and the vital air.

Every second is a new moment in your life. Utilise every second to purify your heart and fill it with love. There is no human being in the world without love. (That love expresses itself in many ways). You will then realise that God is yours and you are with love. Purity of mind is an essential for enjoying Divine Bliss as purity of body is essential for bodily health.

To secure the grace of the Divine, it is not necessary to seek wealth, power or position. Purity of mind alone is enough. Every cell of one's body will be filled with the Divine when God is worshipped with pure and single-minded devotion.

The cleansed mind can reflect more clearly the Light of Wisdom; the Light of Wisdom will reveal the Truth and human will be saved from the consequences of the ignorance. The destruction of the insidious poison of egoism is essential for the restoration of health and happiness of the mind.

Higher than all the knowledge that can be acquired in the world is the Atmajnana (knowledge of the Self). It is attained when the ego-sense is destroyed and there is prayerful submission to the Divine. Prayers must issue not from the lips but from the heart. Prayers from the lips are like a telephone number call. They will not reach the person you want. Prayers from the heart are like a "particular person call." They will go straight to God.

Buddha emphasised the need for discrimination. The, first prayer, "Buddham Sharanam Gachchaami" is a call for cultivating wisdom and discrimination, the Buddhi (intellect). The second prayer, "Sangham Sharanam Gachchaami" (I surrender myself to society). The third prayer: "Dharmam Sharanam Gachchaami" (I take refuge in Dharma). To reach your goal, the royal road is Dharma (righteousness). It is when these three are combined - Wisdom, social service and righteousness that there is fulfilment in life. (Prayers, again, are used for seeking fulfilment of material desires. Out of the millions who offer prayers, very few seek God Himself with pure hearts. Many people talk about the "Divine," but are interested in "deep wine." They talk of "compassion," but are concerned only with "fashion." They mouth the word "Cooperation," but indulge only in "operation." Devotion has been reduced to a pompous show).

For spiritual progress three things are essential. A heart free from attachment and hatred, a tongue that is not tainted by untruth, a body not polluted by violence - the one who has these three is of sacred birth. You have to pray incessantly for Divine grace to confer these qualities. Realise that the Divine is within you.

Become the ruler of the senses, not their slave. Be silent yourself; that will induce silence in others. Reduce contacts to the minimum. Carry with you an atmosphere of quiet contemplation, wherever you happen to be. Why did the sages go into the jungle? To sink their minds in the silent calm of the forest; to dwell ever in the thought of God whose voice is heard when all other voices cease. If you close the windows that bring in the other voices, then, your home can be transformed into a Forest of Freedom, a Hermitage of thapas (penance.)

Dwell over on your own Atmic reality; you are pure, you are indestructible; you are unaffected by the ups and downs of life; you are the true, the eternal, the unchanging Brahmam, the entity which is all this. 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.

Character, conduct, daily behaviour, attitude towards others - these are all important, for Dharma (righteousness) what is essentially Social Morality. The Sruthi (holy scripture) says, "On Dharma, the World is installed." Dharma endows human with joy and keeps away grief. Every being in the world, whether it is aware of it or not, is dependent on Dharma, for peace and happiness. All triumphs, whether acknowledged so or not, are earned only through Dharma. Hence, one who is remote from Dharma is also distant from God.

Dharma is classified as general and special by the sages: general, including the virtues of truth, love, charity, etc., which every one has to cultivate and cherish; special, meaning those duties that are incumbent on one, as a result of his social obligations, professional status, etc.

The individual and society are intertwined inextricably. There must be illumination, for both. Ananda (Divine bliss) must surge out of the individual and fill the lake of society, and from thence, stream into the Ocean of Grace. Society is just a name for a group of individuals; but, it has no corporeal body. Individuals are the limbs, that nourish and support the 'corpus' called society.

Society shapes the individual, provides the arena for person's development and sets the ideals before him/herself. When the individual is stronger, more intelligent, more service minded, and more efficient as a worker, society benefits; when society is more aware of its role and of the need to cleanse that role with humility and wisdom, the individual benefits.

In ancient scriptures God is considered and adored as the creator. God created the living creatures but these beings are "creating" God. Hence these beings are also creators. God is not created by Himself. It is the devotees who are "creating" God.

It follows that every being is a creator. Every human being is Divine. But, because of identification with the body, human considers as an ordinary being. The difference between creation and the Creator relates only to the external forms. When the physical form is ignored, what remains is the Spiritual Reality. For all things, the root cause is the human heart. When the idea of oneness gets entrenched in the human heart, the ideal of human unity will be realised.

The One Absolute, who is Being, Awareness and Bliss, is the embodiment of peace in all His forms. All His names are auspicious and He manifests the triune attributes of Truth, Auspiciousness and Beauty.

Sathyam, Shivam, Sundaram - Truth, Goodness and Beauty - these three constitute the essential nature of humanness In ancient times, this was the description given by Plato, the Greek philosopher. The Greeks could see the oneness underlying these three attributes. Plato expatiated on "Truth, Goodness and Beauty." Though there is a difference in the language of the words used, their essential meaning is the same. Such correspondence between concepts in Indian metaphysics and the doctrines of Christianity and other faiths exists in respect of ideas regarding the relationship between human, nature and God.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "Kare kankanam," Chapter 4; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 12. "Nearer and nearer," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16. "The triple debt," Chapter 25 and "Devotion and Divine Grace," Chapter 32; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Transcendental value of Sathya and Dhama," Chapter 5).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 15 - 16 February 2006   

Spiritual Education Opens the Doors of Absolut's Mansion

From ancient times, wise sages and scientists have been investigating the secrets of the Universe and Nature what is a part of the Universe. Everything in the Universe, from subatomic particles to the biggest star, has a form. The Universe contains innumerable objects. Whatever the Divine does, whether it is something small or great, it is for the good of mankind. (By modern science it is today called the Anthropic principle. In general it states that because humans exist, the Universe must have the properties that humans can exist. The term "anthropic principle" was used by professor Brandon Carter about 30 years ago). So by Vedas, Swami and modern science there is a power at work about which we are ignorant. Vedas described it as the Ajnaatha Shakthi (the unknown power). The ancients called it also Dhivya Shakthi (power of God). In all of them, the one unchanging, eternal principle is the Atma. That is Prajnaana. That is Brahman. It is the power of this eternal principle which sustains the evanescent and ever-changing objects of the Universe.

Is it the body that derives joy from looking at a thing of beauty? Or is it the Atma? What is it that relishes the food that is consumed? The body or the spirit? What is it that enjoys fragrance or is moved by companionship? Enquiring in this manner, it will be found that it is the Atma that is the enjoyer. The body by itself is gross and is incapable of experiencing joy. (Body attachment is human and total detachment is divine). In reality, it is the divinity that protects and safeguards human at every step from womb to tomb. No one has the power to protect one?s own self. It must be realised that the Spirit transcends the mind and the intellect and pervades the entire cosmos. The Spirit is the basis for the cognition of the external world and experiencing the inner world.

To deny what is not perceptible by the senses as nonexistent is foolish. Equally, to consider the apparent as the only reality is foolish. For example, you see a tree full of branches. The scientist sees it and says that is the truth. But the spiritual jnani looks at the roots, without which the tree cannot exist. The one who looks at the branches will not see the roots, the one who looks for the roots will not bother about the branches. The question arises: Which are more important, roots or branches? If the roots are there, the tree will remain even if the branches are cut. But if the roots are gone, the tree will not survive.

Einstein, discovered the convertibility of matter and energy and declared that energy is convertible into various forms but cannot be created or destroyed. Einstein felt that the unchanging power that underlies energy may be described as Divine. But he could not go any further as divinity cannot be defined in this way or that as the General or Special Theories of Relativity. The scientists today also conducted numerous experiments and came to the conclusion that there is a unique power, without calling it God. People can call it by any name. But the substance cannot be altered.

The term spirituality is bandied about in various ways. People regard various rituals and forms of worship as spirituality. (Sanathana Dharma has no set pattern. It admits of infinite variety, based on past achievement and present accomplishment. Sanathana Dharma is the only religion that declares that there is no religion that can be labelled 'one and only.' It says that all religions are but facets of the 'one and only.' No religion can claim to represent fully the Universal, Eternal, Truth). Truth relates to the unchanging reality. It is changeless in all the three categories of time - past, present and future. That is Divinity.

Vedas declared: "The Truth is one, it is described variously by the wise." The Vedhanta declared: "Ekameva adhvitheeyam" (Brahmam is only one, without a second). Why did they not stop with saying that Brahmam is only one? Why should they go on to say that there is no second? It is to emphasise the oneness of Brahman that the second statement is added.

Many spiritual seekers undertook various exercises to discover God. At ancient time, some aspirants approached to Buddha and asked him whether he had any awareness of God. On this issue, Buddha remained silent. Later on he told his disciple' "Son, there is no meaning in having controversies over the unknown. Don't go into such questions. Divinity is not perceptible. It is beyond human comprehension, not within the reach of the mind or speech. However, the Divinity that I know has three forms: Truth, Righteousness and Non-violence. First of all, follow the truth and act according to Dharma."

Swami does not insist on all people following one path and accepting one discipline. There are many doors to His Mansion. The main entrance is the overcoming of attachment. This is what Krishna exhorted Arjuna to achieve. Krishna had to demonstrate to him that the kinsmen whom he dreaded to kill, the teachers whom he wished to live, those whom he loved and hated, all were but instruments of His Will. That made Arjuna the recipient of the greatest lesson in history. This lesson is valuable for the theist as well as the atheist, for both have attachment to the consequences of their tasks, an attachment which will colour their eagerness and double the distress when disappointed. Moha-kshaya (overcoming of attachment) is necessary for both Asthikas (theists) and Nasthikas (atheists), in order to secure lasting joy. Both do not take from here any minute portion of their acquisitions, both can earn the gratitude of people only by sacrifice and love.

This does not mean that for obtaining the skill of sacrifice you have to renounce hearth and home and flee to the forest. There is no guarantee that the hearth and home will not follow you into the silence and solitude of the forest; for, if your mind clings to worldly desires, you cannot escape them by simply putting some distance between you and them.

You may be in the jungle, but your mind may wander in the market place. Similarly, you may be in the market place, but by Sadhana you can still secure a patch of peace in the heart in the midst of the busiest thoroughfare.

Culture grows out of the spirit of love. Spirituality implies a power that is associated with love. Most people in the world do not know the true significance of life. Many do not even seem to care about it. One in a million may be concerned about knowing the purpose of life.

When the tree of life sends its roots into the Atmic reality, the unchanging, eternal, universal, immanent entity, it will flourish grandly, yielding fragrant blossoms of loving service, sweet fruits giving nourishment and joy to all, the sweetness of virtue rendering every bite and chew delightful. The Divine is inside, outside and everywhere. The Divine is in the air you breathe and the words you utter. The Divine is in sound as Shabdha Brahman. It is the same Dhivya Shakthi (power that manifests itself as magnetism, electricity, atoms, molecules, photons, gravitation, etc. There is limitless Divine powers latent in the cosmos. (It is the invisible qualities which lend meaning to the visible features. It follows that what is not apparent provides the proof for what is apparent).

The phenomena of the external world are what the eyes see, the ears hear, and the mind cognises. All these are sensory phenomena. The inextricable connection between the phenomenal world outside and the world of consciousness inside eludes the understanding of ordinary people. Immersed in the desire for enjoying worldly pleasures, they do not attempt to discover the boundless joy to be derived from the inner Spirit. This is because all the sense organs are open only to experiences from outside. It is not surprising that the common human being is subject to the outward vision.

Every human has to enquire every moment about the purpose and goal in life. Eating, drinking, sleeping and passing time cannot be the meaning of human life. All these are common to birds and beasts.

Today we find restlessness, anxiety and worry prevalent everywhere. Due to lack of spirituality, human is a victim of depression and disease. Lack of peace of mind results in depression, which in turn leads to disease. Today also everyone talks about his/her rights and "fights" for them. But people are forgetting their duties and responsibilities. Rights and duties are like the positive and negative ends of a battery.

In our daily life, there is an object of general worship. It is wealth. People even consider a hundred rupee note as sacred and press it on their eyes before placing it in the pocket. What is this hundred rupee note? It is made from some pulp. What virtue or merit is there in it? Both theists and atheists value the note for its value as currency.

In spite all of these examples from worldly life, human is endowed with faculties which can enable to rise above the animal to the human and divine level.

Vaak (speech), Manas (mind) and Prana (vital breath) are manifestations of the Atma. Each is related to a state of consciousness. They are: Jagruti (the waking state), Svapna (dream state) and Sushupti (deep sleep). In the Jagruti state human experiences the outer world through the five sense organs. The experience in the waking state is known as Visva. In the dream state the experiencer has tejas (an effulgent form) and is known as Thaijasa. Sushupti is the state of deep sleep. In this state, Prajna (intuited awareness) alone remains. The experience in this state is called Praajna (the Knower). Visva, Thaijasa and Praajna are all different names of the Atma (in the different states of consciousness), according to the different forms assumed by the Atma in the various states. Atma is common to all states of consciousness. The different states of consciousness are mutually exclusive. You cannot experience in one state what you have gone through in another.

The Upanishad declares that Jnana, Vijnana, Prajnana, Sujnana and Ajnana are modifications of one and the same principle of Universal (Cosmic) Consciousness. Prajnana comprehends all that is experienced through impressions received by the sense organs. The eyes, for instance, are like the bulb in a lamp. The bulb cannot emit light. Likewise the eyes cannot see by themselves. It is the Prajnana which sees through the eyes. It is Prajnana that animates sense organs and makes them instruments of the Chaitanya (Consciousness). All our senses function because of the Consciousness that operates in every being.

By merely learning the alphabet, one cannot start writing letters. Letter-writing calls for knowledge of words and sentences. Likewise, knowledge of worldly matters will not enable the understanding of God. Spiritual knowledge is also necessary. So together with academic studies education should cultivate spiritual sadhana. Just as water stored in a reservoir is used for irrigation through canals, the knowledge acquired should be diverted to useful channels for the benefit of society. (How is possible to understand divinity without understanding the importance of human values? First practice human values, then divinity manifests itself).

Education must include the education of the mind of human. It is not merely the acquisition of certain skills by which the materials found in nature can be reshaped into utility products; it is not merely the acquisition of information about the laws of nature. It is the process by which human makes the best of own inner equipment, Anthahkarana (inner consciousness), to know him/herself. It should open inner eye, more than outer; the outer must reveal the glory of God, the inner must reveal the God within.

(In the practice of devotion to God there may be some ludicrous exercises. But even in such exercises, there is a spiritual under-current. For instance, a student may pray to God for passing in his/her examination. A litigant may pray for success in his dispute. Some people pray even for securing a seat in a bus. In this manner people have looked to God for help in trivial and serious matters).

Students must learn to be good and steady Sevaks and Sadhakas (servants and aspirants of spiritual discipline). They have to be taught the Yoga of mind control, not breath control which under incompetent leadership might endanger health. (The body is a shrine and when it moves, the Divine moves with it. Hence the body should be cared for the same way in which an iron safe which is of little value in itself, is safeguarded for the sake of the valuables kept in it).

Children should grow in the awareness of the brotherhood of human and the fatherhood of God. Faith in human involves faith in God; faith in God creates faith in human. Children can be easily made aware of this inner I, which has the body as its apparel; they will grow in mutual love and cooperation with all people of all lands, when they know that colour and caste are but apparel which do not affect the real Reality.

The parents have to be imbued with faith in the basic truths of this Universal Religion, Sanathana Dharma. They must be seen worshipping at the family altar, meditating in silence, forgiving the lapses of others, sympathising with pain and grief.

The teachers should be simple, sincere, straight-forward sadhakas, radiating joy and love. Teacher must be like the rishis (sages) of old; balanced, contended, quiet, calm scholars who have practised self-control and who carry about with them an atmosphere of cool equanimity.

The friends that the child collects at school and around the home have a beneficial or deleterious effect on its growth. (Comics, horror stories, terrorism, gunmen pictures and cinema posters that degrade human into flesh and skin - these drag the prospective hero into a zero. The child learns to worship money and things which money can buy; he/she admires cruelty and cunning, rather than sympathy and love).

You have to read the newspaper to know how mad and foolish the world is; how futile is heroism, how momentary the glory. Use the world as a training ground for sacrifice, service, expansion of the heart, cleansing of the emotions. That is the only value it has.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "The world, a training ground." Chapter 13 and "Precept and example," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "The Human Destiny," Chapter 13; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 28. "Experience the Divine," Chapter 13; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 32, part I "Divinity protects and safeguards man," Chapter 1).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 12 - 14 February 2006

The Roots of Culture, Social and Atmic Consciousness

There was a beggar who once wailed before a rich house for a mouths; the master, reclining in an easy chair, drove him out with harsh abuse. But the beggar persisted. He asked for some stale food. At this, the daughter-in-law, who was at her meals in the inner apartments, replied; "My dear fellow! We are at present eating stale food. The fresh dishes are being cooked." The beggar knew what she meant; he understood that the woman was pointing out that the father-in-law by his insolence and cruelty was preparing for a miserable future, while his present high standard of living was made possible by the merit he acquired through charity in previous lives. We eat stale food, that is to say, the results of the acts in past lives. We also cook our future meals. So, by this service you are preparing for a nice banquet in the future, whatever be the food that you are now eating as a result of past acts.

The processes of creation, survival and dissolution occur according to the injunctions of the Divine. Whether human believes in it or not, this wheel of creation is revolving according to the dictates of the Divine.

Enormous energy and expenses are being devoted for investigating the mysteries of the atom. But there is no comparable concern for developing human behaviour.

In the competition for over-reaching each other, people are immersed in selfishness and are pursuing wrong courses. Politics and economics are bedevilled by crises. The appetite for power and position has become insatiable. What is the reason for the divergence between scientific progress on the one side and the social and moral decline of human on the other?

It is the absence of self-control that is at the root of all the violence and conflict in society today. Self-control implies control over desires. Nothing ennobling can be realised without observing restraint. There is a need to acquire wealth for living. But excessive wealth is harmful. What people have to aim at is not sampada (wealth) but right samskara (conduct).

(King Janaka had all the wealth he needed. Why did he resort to the Sage Yajnavalkya? The reason is that from ancient times it was the practice of the kings to seek the advice and guidance of sages who were the repositories of spiritual wisdom. They realised that human can get enduring peace and happiness only by spiritual realisation and not by any other means).

Mankind's problems today cannot be solved by science and technology alone. Only a transformation in the character of human can serve to solve the present crisis. People should strive to become human and progress towards the Divine. (Human makes no effort to enquire into the concept of samatwa yoga (equality in enjoyment). This feeling of equal enjoyment is conspicuous only among innocent children. Only in the hearts of babes can you notice the sense of enjoyment, of drinking the milk from the mother, rejoicing in the cool breeze and forgetting themselves in the sweet music of the lullabies sung by the mother.

As the child grows, self-interest also grows. The world is full of powerful people, endowed with wealth, great scholars and people with good qualities, but there are few who have realised the Divine Atma).

Students and the whole human society should develop radical social consciousness. It consists spirituality what should not be divorced from culture and social consciousness. When spirituality prevails, every kind of Dharma (right conduct) will prevail. What kind of culture is possible without spirituality? Culture means samskruti (refinement of conduct). Samskruti refers to that which has been refined. There can be no refinement (of conduct) without spirituality. And without refinement there is no culture. Hence, the first step is refinement of conduct, which can be done only through spirituality.

It is not enough to acquire academic knowledge and technical skills, which are all that present day education is concerned with. If there is no love of God, fear of sin, and practice of social ethics, how can there be peace in the world? Scientists and political leaders are teaching all kinds of things to the youth. But of what use are these teachings? Students need the example of leaders and teachers who stand up for integrity and morality.

All things in the world are perishable. But the ideals for which people live and for which they are prepared to give up their lives last for ever. That is the secret of immortality.

Bharat's culture has world-wide spread since it can correct and canalise the human emotions and motives along healthy productive routes. The sages of Bharat, charged with simplicity and sincerity, moved by the urge to expand in love to all beings. They pointed that care of the country is as important as the care of the body. For, happiness and misery, health and disease, pleasure and pain, anxiety and peace are dependent on the health and disease of desha (the nation). Half the cure is effected by kindness, softness and sympathy. Such sacred and basic principles can establish peace and joy in the hearts of all people, all nations. (Today most people are not aware of the pain they cause by angry words, or even by a gesture of contempt or resentment. Always try to put yourselves in the position of the other and, judge your action against that background).

The Atmavaan (Self-realised person) is one who has recognised the Spirit, who is immersed in the bliss of that awareness. In ancient times, many sages experienced the potency, the sweetness and the ineffable joy of this Divine bliss and gave the fruits of their experience to the world. They codified the knowledge contained in the Upanishads and offered it to the people in the world in the concept of Trikonam (Triangle).

The Body is one side of the triangle. The second side is the mind. The third is the Atma. Realise the unity of body, mind and Atma.

The Vedic declaration: Tath-Twam-Asi (That thou art) reflects the truth about this integrating process. Human does not understand the truth about the unity of "This" and "That." Tath means "That," referring to something remote. "This" refers to something that is near. From what is "That" far? From what is "This" near? "That" refers to what is far from our sense organs. "This" refers to what is proximate to our sense organs. The body, which is nearest to the senses, is connected by "This." "That" which is beyond the senses is the Atma.

The role of the mind is to bring together the body that is close to the senses and the Atma that is far from them. Asi in Tath-Twam-Asi refers to the role of the mind in integrating the body and the Atma. (It is the architecture of the mind that matters). "Tath-Twam-Asi" is an aphoristic declaration calling upon everyone to realise the integral unity of body, mind and the Atma and thereby experience the Divine.

The concept of Triangle was explored from another point of view, namely, the Jiva (the individual), God and Nature (the phenomenal universe, Prakriti). The essential nature of these three was described in the terms: Rakti, Bhukti and Mukti. Rakti represents the cosmos. Bhukti (enjoyment) represents the body (which seeks enjoyment). Mukti (liberation) represents Atma.

Another triad that has to be noted consists of Sthoola (gross), Sukshma (subtle) and Kaarana (causal) bodies. The triple concept also contains in the Upanishadic aphorism is that of Past, Present and the Future (the triple aspects of Time). In these different ways, the sages sought to popularise the idea of oneness of body, mind and Atma.

When we breathe in, there is the sound "So" When we exhale, there is the sound ham. Together, "So" and "Ham" contain the Pranava mantra "Om." "So-Ham" ("He is I") conveys the same message as "Tath-Twam-Asi."

Sage Aruni told his son Swethakethu to seek to know That by knowing which all else is known, by having a vision of which everything else can be seen. Thus, there is only one thing which human has to recognise, by knowing which human can understand all other things. That one thing is the Atma-Tatwa - (Atma-Principle).

There is one of the path's to enlightenment, to the Divine where is no need to perform any spiritual exercises. (These are mainly undertaken to secure some mental satisfaction. All these exercises are performed through the mind. How can such exercises control the mind? Can a thief catch himself? Likewise the mind cannot undertake to control itself. The mind has to be negated freedom from thoughts. As thoughts are minimised, the mind loses its power).

When one wants to develop faith in the Self, the potencies of the body, the mind and the Buddhi (intellect) should be diverted towards the Self. Whatever thought arises in the mind, it should be turned towards the Atma. This is real Saayujya (attaining oneness with the Divine). In this mergence, there is the realisation of unity and the feeling of diversity disappears.

That is the import of the Upanishadic saying: "Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavati" (the knower of the Brahmam becomes Brahmam Himself). When all one's thoughts are merged in the Atma, one becomes integrated with the Atma.

An example. When you go to a pilgrim centre and look at the form of the deity in the sanctum, you are conscious only of the form. But when you think of the material from which the idol has been made, you recognise only the stone and not the form. Today you are looking at the world in terms of the names and forms of the objects in it. Hence you see only the hills and dales, mansions and huts, forests and rivers, and so on. But when you try to look at the basis of all of them, you realise the One that underlies all of them. All these are different manifestations of the five elements (ether, air, water, fire and earth). These five elements find their unifying factor in the Atma. Once, therefore, the Atma concept is grasped, the nature of all other objects becomes intelligible. This principle of unity was the perennial message of the ancient sages.

The another example: In the waking state one sees innumerable objects, goes through various experiences. But in the dream state, all the objects are creations of the mind by the dreamer. The pleasures and pains are also self-created experiences. The entire world in the dream state is a self-created mental phenomenon. But when one passes into the deep sleep, all these are absent, person forgets everything and is in a state of Samadhi. The experiencer in the waking state, the dream state and the Sushupti state (deep sleep) is one and the same person. It is this basic unity of the Atma that is conveyed by the dictum: Tath-Twam-Asi. This means that in all the three states, in all the different experiences, the experiencer is one and the same.

The Lord of the Universe permeates the Cosmos and shines in it as the invisible Atmic Consciousness. This is the quintessence of the Upanishads. The truth about the vast Universe of moving and motionless objects is contained in this single pronouncement. Divinity is latent in everything like fire in wood and oil in sesame. Enlarging on this concept, the sages declared: "Isaavaasyam idam Jagat" (The Cosmos is pervaded by the Divine). This all-pervading principle is illustrated by the example of sugar dissolved in water. After the solution, the sugar is not visible and cannot be taken out. But its presence can be experienced by tasting the syrup. By this simple illustration from real life, the ancient sages sought to convey the great truth about the all-pervading nature of the Divine and the unity that underlies the apparent diversity in the Universe. Only the One abides. But it assumes many forms. There is nothing divorced from Divinity. Although everything is Divine, people do not look at the world with the Divine insight but with the worldly vision. As long as one sees with this corporeal vision, the spiritual Reality cannot be understood.

The Vedas declare: "Dooraath doore anthike cha" (Farther than the farthest and very near too). This statement means that the Lord is as far from you as you consider Him to be, and as near as you feel His presence. It is your own feelings which account for the distance. The remoteness or nearness should not be attributed to the Divine, who is Omnipresent. He is present in the subtlest atomic particle and in the vastest object in creation.

The Upanishads have explained in very simple terms the profoundest and most complex ideas. They have indicated to ordinary people how to experience the highest spiritual bliss by simple practices.

Intellect, subconscious mind and heart - these are the three centres in the individual where reside jnana, karma and bhakthi - wisdom, action and devotion.

Below is an example of simple, sincrere and deep devotion.

Once, Krishna pretended to be suffering from headache. His eyes were red and He was in evident distress. The queens rushed about with all kinds of remedies and palliatives. But they were ineffective. At last, they consulted Narada and he went into the sick room to consult Krishna Himself and find out which drug would cure Him.

Krishna directed him to bring the dust of the feet of a true Bhaktha! In a trice, Narada manifested himself in the presence of some celebrated bhakthas of the Lord; but, they were too humble to offer the dust of their feet to be used by their Lord as a drug.
That is also a kind of egoism. "I am low, mean, small, useless, poor, sinful, inferior" - such feelings also are egoistic; when the ego goes, you do not feel either superior or inferior. No one would give the dust wanted by the Lord; they were too worthless, they declared. Narada came back disappointed to the sickbed. Then, Krishna asked him, "Did you try Brindhaavana where the gopees live?" The queens laughed at the suggestion and even Narada asked in dismay, "What do they know of bhakthi (devotion)?" Still, the sage had to hurry thither.

When the gopees heard Krishna was ill and that the dust of their feet might cure Him, without a second thought they shook the dust off their feet and filled his hands with the same. By the time Narada reached Dhwaraka, the head-ache had gone.

Do karma which is approved by the higher wisdom, not karma which is born of ignorance. Then, all karma will be Shivam (auspicious, beneficial, blessed). The experience of that Shivam is what is called Sundaram; for it confers Ananda. That is why Swami's Life is named "Sathyam Shivam Sundaram."

Do karma based on jnana, the jnana that all is One. Let the karma be suffused with bhakthi; that is to say, humility, prema, karuna and ahimsa (love, compassion, non-violence). Mere jnana will make the heart dry; bhakthi makes it soft with sympathy and karma gives the hands something to do, something which will sanctify every one of the minutes that have fallen to your lot to live here.

This is why bhakthi is referred to as upasana, dwelling near, feeling the presence, sharing the sweetness of Divinity. The yearning for upasana prompts you to go on pilgrimages, to construct and renovate temples, to consecrate images. The sixteen items of honouring with which the Lord is worshipped satisfy the mind which craves for personal contact with the Supreme. All this is karma of a high order; they lead to jnana.

At first start with the idea, "I am in the Light;" then the feeling "the light is in me" becomes established. This leads to the conviction, "I am the Light." That is the supreme wisdom.

See yourself in all; love all as yourself. A dog caught in a room whose walls are mirrors sees in all the myriad reflections, rivals, competitors, other dogs which must be barked at.

So, a dog tires by jumping on this reflection and that, and when the images also jump, The dog becomes mad with fury. The wise human, however, sees him/herself everywhere and is at peace: human is happy that there are so many reflections all around.

In the human condition, as long as it is identified with the body, the human level alone is recognized. People are conscious only of the physical human existence, but are not aware of the human qualities. The foremost thing that people today have to recognise and understand are human values. Whatever position one may achieve, whatever one's scholarship or status, the primary requisite is comprehension of what it means to be human. This humanness will grow only in a spiritual, ethical and righteous atmosphere.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "Protection of the devotees," Chapter 16 and "Building or begging?" Chapter 26; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 9. "House and home," Chapter 13 and "Counsel for the chosen," Chapter 19; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 24. "Bhagavan's call to students," Chapter 7 and "Three-in-one," Chapter 9).

Namaste - Reet