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Swami teaches....Part 58

Links to Swami Teaches...57

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 10 - 11 March 2006

Vedic Statements of Truth

Since ancient times, Bharat has radiated peace and happiness to the rest of the world with its power of spirituality. All the aspects of the culture of Bharat are suffused with divinity.

Human's life is like an ocean full of opposite waves of union and separation, joy and sorrow. These waves co-exist; in fact one cannot exist without the other. So, one has to be equal-minded. Spirituality is the lighthouse to the people who are traveling in the ocean of Samsara. Spirituality does not mean rituals and worship alone. Spirituality is that which demonstrates unity in multiplicity. That is why since time immemorial, the Bharatiyas have prayed for the welfare of all people in the world.

People feel helpless before the flood of falsehood, injustice and violence. They can be saved by the four-fold refuge of Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi and Prema (Truth, Righteousness, Peace and Love).The enthusiasm which is aroused by the study of Vedic scriptures and books related to them should not fade away, like the boiling over of milk on the stove. (After a few minutes of bubbling over, the milk starts cooling off. When one reaches home, after listening to a discourse or finished the reading Swami's Teaching, the fervour derived from the message fades into nothingness and one slides back into the fateful routine.

The sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) must crave for deeper impression that Swami is ever beside human, within as Conscience, without as Companion and Guide.

The Sastras (Vedic scriptures) prescribe yama (various forms of abstention from evil-doing), niyama (disciplined observances), asana (physical posture), pranayama (control of breath), prathyahara (withdrawal of the mind from sense objects), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (super-conscious state of absorption in the Atma), etc., as limbs of Yoga; besides japam (repetition of Lord's name or mystic formulae), shravanam (listening to God's glory), mananam (recapitulation of what was heard), nidhidhhyasana (constant musing on God's glory), etc. - all these experiences have the same aim - of merging the individual soul with Paramatma. All the manifold rules, regulations, limitations, directions, do's and don'ts have prescribed for reaching to the spiritual enlightenment.

Spiritual sadhana is like a duel with a tiger, Maya (world illusion); it is like playing with fire, Maya. By means of the hammer strokes of joy and grief, the iron piece is shaped into a hollow vessel, so that it may not sink in the sea of Maya.

However, on the spiritual path, japa and dhyana are not that always important. Purity of mind is most important and then you do not need to undertake spiritual practice.

If you have selfless love and pure mind, you need not be afraid of anything. Even if the sky were to fall on your head, be fearless. Never be afraid of following the truth. Your heart is the source of peace, truth, righteousness and love. You don't get peace in the bazaar, you get only pieces.

This world is the jungle in which you roam; fear is the lion, which drives you up the tree of samsara - worldly activities. Anxiety is the bear that terrifies you and dogs your steps in samsara, so, you slide down into attachments and binding deeds, through the twin roots of hope and despair. The two rats are day and night, which eat away the span of life. Meanwhile, you try to snatch a little joy from the sweet drops of egoism and 'mine-feeling.'

You have forgotten love and are hankering after all worldly things. Wherever you go it is only money, money, money. Everyone is interested in amassing wealth. But will the wealth accompany you when you leave this world? If you earn the wealth of pure love, you are the richest person in the world.

In an empty mind, you can put anything. But how do you empty a brain that is filled with all kinds of rubbish? And without emptying it, how can you find place for pure thoughts? Your hearts are filled with all kinds of feelings. How can you fill them with the nectar of the Vedas?

The Vedas seek to promote good thoughts; eliminate ideas of evil. If the injunctions given in the Vedas and Sastras are followed by mankind, they will be freed from affliction. When Sri Krishna declared in the Gita that the Lord descends as Avatar to punish the wicked and protect the good, it does not mean that the Avatars purpose is to destroy evil-doers. Evil refers to bad thoughts. These thoughts are in everyone. It is these that have to be destroyed.

The Vedas, the Gita, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavatha contain the message of God; they should be taken to the doors of every human. Sadhaka must be fed on it, so that the seeker may grow in health and strength, courage and confidence; because this is something which once you get, you can never lose. It is Jnana (Self-Knowledge, Knowledge of the Self). There is another thing which if you once lose, you can never get back; that is Maya. There is a third thing, which you can never get, for it is You yourself; you can never lose also, for it is You yourself that is Brahman.

Use your intelligence and you will arrive at the correct interpretation of the manifoldness of the Universe. Science is fast approaching the view that basically the Universe is One. Only, intelligence has to be rid of prejudice and cleverness.

Prajnanam Brahma (the constant integrated awareness is Brahma), says the Veda. It is that by which the intelligence integrates, that by which the senses co-operate in bringing about workable conclusions.

The physical body and the Prajnana are related through the senses and the intelligence. When human and God operate together, like the positive and the negative, Prajnana, the current, is generated. It is this Prajnanam that establishes in you the conviction, Aham Brahmasmi, I am Brahman. Aham has merged in Brahman and there is only one entity, Brahman.


The Sama Veda has the great statement, Thath thwam asi (That thou art) - which is beyond name and form is You, who now pitiably differentiate yourself and feel distinct, by means of name and form, two transient changing insignia of individuality.

"Among the Vedas, I am the Sama Veda," proclaimed the Gitacharya Sri Krishna. "The essence of the Sama hymns is Udgitha," declares the Chandogya Upanishad. Udgitha means the Pranava (Om). The essence of the Sama Veda is the Pranava. Omkara (the sacred syllable Om) is the supreme mantra in the Vedas.

The single syllable "Om" is pre-eminent among the letters of the alphabet. It symbolises the Paramatma (Supreme Omni-Self).

(The sage Vyasa first taught the Sama Veda to Maharishi Jaimini. From Jaimini, it was taught to a succession of disciples and in the process it developed many branches. Out of the one thousand branches which stemmed from the Veda, today only three have survived among its practioners. The others have been lost by the ravages of time.

These three branches are: Kouthuma, which is followed by Nagar Brahmanas in Gujarat; Raanaayani, with its adherents in Maharashtra; Jaimini, followed by a section in Karnataka. There are no big differences between them).

The Pranava has been equated with the Brahman (the Cosmic Self). The Vedic dictum, Ayam Atma Brahma (This Atma is Brahman) points out that Atma and Brahman are one and the same. Hence Om, Brahman and Atma signify the same entity.

Every human being experiences four states of consciousness in daily life; Jagrata (the waking state), Swapna (dream state), Sushupti (deep sleep) and Turiya (the highest state of consciousness).

The waking state is the state in which one sees and experiences the phenomenal world. Without the Atma, the waking state or experience of the phenomenal world cannot exist. Hence the Atma in this state is known as Viswa. It is also called Vaiswanara or Viraatpurusha. Krishna is stated to have revealed to Arjuna His Viswaroopa (Cosmic Form). This really means that Krishna showed to Arjuna that the Divine is present everywhere in all things at all times.

The Atma that appears in the waking state as the phenomenal cosmos in its gross form, appears in the dream state in its sookshma (subtle) form. The objects and forms that are experienced in the dream state have a reality only in that state. Each person creates own dream state and experiences his/her dreams. There is a light that shines in a dream state. This is known as Tejas. The Atma as the experiencer in this state is known as Taijasa (the effulgent). That entity is described as Taijasa because it is present as an inner light during the dream state. In the state of deep sleep (Sushupti) the experience of the waking and the dream states are absent. All the senses are merged in the mind and nothing can be seen or imagined. In this state Prajna (integrated awareness) alone exists and the breathing process remains. It is because of Prajna that one is aware of continuity of being in deep sleep state and and experiences a feeling of bliss.

Prajna is the permanent entity that exists equally in the waking state as the body, in the senses as the Antahkarana (the Inner Motivator) and in the deep sleep state as Atma. It is characterised as Constant Integrated Awareness. It is not different from Brahman or Atma. A doubt may arise that neither Brahman nor Atma is visible. But by understanding the Pranava, the identity of the Brahman and Atma can be experienced.

The fourth state is Turiya. This is a state of complete ineffable Bliss in which the Universal Consciousness alone is experienced. It is beyond description.

How do we cognise the Pranava and hear this primordial sound? It is not perceivable. It is like something to be absorbed. All that is seen in the visible universe, all that is heard in the realm of sound, all the multifarious experiences of the heart - all of them are subsumed by the Pranava.

Like the four states of consciousness, the Omkara has also four constituents. These are: A-kara, U-kara, Ma-kara and Adhiratha (the humming sound - mm...). A-kara is the first and foremost sound of Omkara. It is the first letter of the alphabet. In the waking state, it is regarded as a manifestation of the Viraatpurusha and is personified as Viswa, the ruling power and sustainer of the phenomenal world.

U-kara is the syllable representing the dream state. It is the second sound of Omkara. It has the form of Tejas or effulgence. It illumines everything and dispels every kind of darkness. The third sound is Ma. It represents the state of Prajna (Integrated Consciousness). It reveals the inner meaning of everything. It is also known as the unifying entity, Antaryami (the Inner Controller), the the Atmic coordinator. After the "A", "U" and "Ma" are combined, the fourth sound emerges. That is the sound that is heard in Turiya state. It is the vibration "mm .... ", known as Adhiratha.

Because Omkara has four sounds, it is viewed as the four-faced Brahma. It is also described as Sabda-Brahmam, the Brahman in the form of cosmic sound.The Sabda-Brahmam contains Gaana-Brahmam (the Brahman as music). The Sabda-Brahmam pervades everywhere. (The allpervasive character of Sabda-Brahmam is first among eight cosmic powers attributed to the Divine).

The cosmic power of the sound can be known when the Sama Veda and Pranava are properly understood. This knowledge cannot be got by external exploration. It has to be got from within. The first requisite is to acquire the faith that the Lord, who is manifest in Cosmic Sound, is present within as Pranavakara (the form of Pranava).

For nourishing this faith, it is necessary to abjure impurity in speech. There is great energy in the power of speech. This is the great message of the Sama Veda. It proclaims the divinity and delight that are inherent in words and sounds that are sacred and pure.

However, only reading the sacred texts such as the Vedas, the Upanishads, and Sastras does not confer the vision of Brahma. Narada had studied the four Vedas and six Sastras. He was a great exponent of the Brahma Sutras and the Upanishads. In spite of all this, he could neither attain peace nor get rid of his delusion. So he approached the sages Sanaka, Sanandana, and Sanat Kumara and requested them to grant him peace and wisdom.
Sanat Kumara asked Narada what made him feel that he deserved to attain peace and wisdom. Narada replied that he had studied the four Vedas, the six Sastras, the Upanishads, and the Brahma Sutras.
Then Sanat Kumara said, 'Narada, it is a mistake to think that mere study of the Vedas and Sastras can confer peace and wisdom. One has to practice the teachings of the Vedas and Sastras in order to experience bliss.'

The Vedas teach that all the education that human acquires should be utilised for the welfare of society. Family are dependent on society and the world at large. Society is a limb of mankind. Mankind is a limb of nature. Nature is a limb of God. When you are surrounded by impurity, how can you get purity? When purity manifests from within, you can experience its reflection, reaction and resound in the external world. First and foremost, you have to infuse purity in society.

You are born and brought up in society. Then why do you not work for the welfare of society? All the wealth that you have earned has come from society. You should show your gratitude to society. The world is facing problems because human shows gratitude to the own desires, not to society.

The lesser the desires, the greater the happiness will be, the lesser your sorrows. Excessive desires lead to the ruination of will power (ichcha shakthi). Decline in will power leads to loss of power of action (kriya shakthi). Develop unity of ichcha shakthi, kriya shakthi, and jnana shakthi (power of wisdom). Will power will increase only when desires are reduced. Excessive desires spoil health and cause depression in the mind. Reducing desires amounts to reducing the burden on the mind. Less luggage, more comfort makes travel a pleasure.

In Tamil, there is a sacred book named Thirukural, which is equivalent to the Vedas. It was written by Thiruvalluvar. He took to the path of spirituality, worked for the welfare of humanity, and led a disciplined and peaceful life. He used to ask his wife to keep a cup of water and a needle by his side while he ate his food. As per the command of her husband, his wife did accordingly day after day, but not even once did she find him putting them to use while having food. When his wife asked him for the reason, he replied, 'I don't want to waste even a single grain of rice. The purpose of this needle is to pick up the grain of rice if it were to fall outside my plate and to wash it clean with water before putting it back in the plate. So far I have not used this needle, since I have been very careful not to spill rice grains.'

So modest and disciplined were the desires of saint Thiruvalluvar.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. The Mighty Mahaavaakya," Chapter 11; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "Foster the Vedas," Chapter 23 and "Pranavopaasana," Chapter 24; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 32, part 1. "Do Sadhana with pure Feelings," Chapter 9; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 33. "Cultivate Love And Become Divine " Chapter10).

Namaste - Reet


Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 7 - 9 March 2006

The Divine Cosmic Unity that subsumes the Multiplicity

There is enormous interest, not only in India, but all over the world in the methods adopted by the rishis (sages) of this land to acquire Shanthi (Peace), through Prema (Love) and through Yoga, Dharma and Sathya (communion with God, Truth).

Life is a series of ups and downs. India has taught and practised the art of smooth travel, for centuries. Learn that art and be at peace. (Youth is eager to share the heritage of the past, so that they may build a better future for themselves).

When a tree first shoots forth from the seed, it comes up with a stem and two incipient leaves. But, later, when it grows, the trunk is one, and the branches are many. God, the same God, feeds the spiritual hunger of all nations and all faiths, through the common sustenance of truth, virtue, humility and sacrifice. That is the declaration of Vedas and related to them sacred scripures of the past.

The Vedas teach human that all are kin; that all are divine. They emphasise that God is Love. It is only in the contemplation of the beauty, majesty and omnipresence of God that one can be at peace.

(No one knows exactly when the Vedas were collated in their present form. Some scientist surmised that it must have happened about 13,000 years ago; others bring the date down to 6,000 years ago, but, all are agreed that it was beyond at least 4,000 years. And, Buddha is a historical figure, who lived about 2,500 years ago. Christ was born 2006 years ago, and Islam was formed 600 years later. So, chronologically as well as logically, the inference is correct, that the Vedic Dharma is the grandfather, Buddhism is the Son, Christianity the grandson, and Islam the great-grandson. The ancestral property of which all are co-sharers is the same).

The Sastras (Vedic scriptures) declare that the essence of all the 18 Puranas (legends, belonging to ancient times, for example Srimad Bhagavatam),so highly revered in India, is Merit. It is when you do good to another; sin is when you do evil to another. When you are fixed in this path, you will welcome all faiths and religions as kith and kin; all faiths attempt to trainman along this path. The seeds of all these are in the Sanathana Dharma of the Vedanta (concluding philosophical portion of sacred scriptures).That Dharma examines all possible approaches to the Divine and arranges them in the order in which they can be utilised by the aspirant, according to the level of equipment and attainment.

The young generation has to preserve this valuable heritage, to propagate it, and save the world from the waves of hatred and violence.

Let's look in brief what teaches us the Vedic scriptures.

The Universe does not exist apart from God. The Prasnopanishad (one of the Upanishads' - the phylosophical sections of the Veda's, intended to understand the personal character of the Absolute Truth. There are 108 Upanishads) expatiates on this cosmic unity. In every object there is a Divine element. Without this Divine basis, no object will be cognisable. The Divine is the basis of the physical substance. The Prasnopanishad has pointed out how the essential one-ness of Shiva-Shakthi represents the unity of the Divine. Hence, there is no basic difference between the revelation of the scriptures and the discoveries of science.

For living creatures Prakrithi (Nature) is the Mother, the Feminine principle, the Maya (illusory energy). She is the great teacher. If you do not learn the lessons well, Nature punishes you. She is a stern merciless instructress; but, if you learn well, she will lead you proudly to the Presence of the Supreme Person. The commands of Prakrithi given for your good are called Dharma. Have that Dharma as the witness of all your thoughts, words and deeds. Be guided every instant by the dictates of that Dharma, and success will be yours.

A living creature proclaims its existence by the Life-principle in it. There is life in matter and matter in life. This truth has been recognised by the Vedic sages and modem scientists in the concept of the convertibility of matter and energy.

Generally it is considered that the natural sciences are concerned only with matter. Metaphysics is regarded as being concerned with things spiritual. But the physical and the metaphysical are inextricably-related to each other. The unique greatness of the Upanishads consists in proclaiming this basic unity.

It is unfortunate that in these days the Upanishads are regarded as spiritual texts which are not concerned with physical phenomena. Many consider that spirituality has no concern with mundane affairs. Equally, they consider that there is no connection between the physical world and the realm of the Spirit.

This is a grievous mistake. One is the base and the other is sustained by it. One is prana (life) and the other is the prani (living being). The cosmos is the synthesis in consciousness of these two (spirit and matter).

To ignore this Universe and to concern yourself with only the Spirit is a form of narrow mindedness. The Divine and the Universe are intimately interrelated. If the phenomenal world did not exist, one cannot understand anything. Basing yourself on the physical world, you have to aspire for realising the Divine.

Once upon a time, six young students, who were keen to learn about the mystery of existence and the true purpose of human birth and to investigate the goals of life, came to the sage Pippalada. Prostrating before the sage in all humility, they asked the sage: "Oh Maharishi! What is the cause of creation and of the Cosmos? What is the primary purpose of human life?" Pippalada said: "It is your good fortune that you have developed this desire for the highest wisdom. But, for undertaking any task, one has to have the minimum competence. Without that competence, even the answers I give will be beyond your comprehension. Therefore, while your desire is commendable, you have to prepare yourselves at the outset by preliminary studies relating to the processes of investigating the truth about the real and the unreal. You must cultivate patience to discover the purpose of life.

Sage explained to the students that in the Universe, both matter and chaitanya (consciousness) are self-existing. The unity of these two accounts for the creative process. The Sun is ever shining effulgently. For every object on the Earth whether it is a tree or a mountain or a living creature, the Sun's rays are essential for its existence. These rays contain the Life-Force. It is through this Life-Force that creation goes on. It is this Life-Force that sustains the cosmos. On the Earth the Sun is the primary cause of creation, growth and dissolution.

In his answers to the questions put by the six students who approached him, the sage Pippalada revealed to them what were the primary goals of life and how they should conduct themselves. In this Kali age, owing to the perversions of time, place and circumstances, students are prone to ignore the promptings of their inner conscience and act in response to external impressions. The external environment is highly polluted. But if you keep your hearts pure, you can cleanse these impurities and transform the environment. At the basis of all these is the awareness of the Self, the Atma-principle. Pippalada taught the students that this awareness should be their primary objective. In that awareness, the identification with the body consciousness goes and the oneness of the Atma in all is realised. This is the message of the Prasnopanishad.

Little children must be taught with the help of big letters scrawled on boards and slates. Temples, images and Saligrams (crystal stones) are the slates and boards, for children in spiritual progress, But, even if you play with a toy elephant you cannot get the experience of contacting a live elephant, can you? The Formless God-head can be understood by you only when you have rendered yourself Formless. When you are in the world of gunas (qualities), you have to attach yourself only to a Saguna Lord (God with attributes).

Principle of unity in diversity is clearly expounded in the Kathopanishad. This Upanishad has compared the human body to a chariot and the Atma (Indwelling Spirit) to the charioteer and pointed out that human existence is a journey in this chariot. The body and the Spirit are integrally related to each other. (But human in own ignorance has separated the one from the other and developed divisive tendencies. The result is that two forces are operating within human. One is the Demonic impulse. The other is the Divine impulse).

The unity that subsumes the multiplicity will become apparent if an objective, pure and selfless enquiry is made. Historically, socially, biologically and scientifically it is evident that food and drink are common to all human beings. A rich person may appease hunger by a wide range of delicious dishes. A beggar satisfies hunger by whatever he can get. Hunger, however, is common to a millionaire and a pauper. Equally common are sleep and fear, for all human beings. A rich person may sleep in comfort on a luxurious couch. A beggar may sleep soundly on hard ground. The place of sleep may vary, but sleep itself is common to both. More than all these, the most important experiences that are common to all equally are birth and death. This is an index of the unifying principle for humanity.

(Unfortunately people today misuse the God-given potencies within and thereby ruin themselves and cause harm to the world. The reason for this is the encouragement of divisive forces in the place of unity, and the growth of the acquisitive tendency.

Today divisive tendencies are rampant. There is discord between humans. The world is turning into a kind of mad-house. All nations seem to be afflicted with some kind of lunacy. To kill one man they are prepared to sacrifice a hundred lives. They have no regard for life. But it is not easy to escape from the consequences of one's actions. But there is no need for despair. If one earns even a grain of grace from the Divine, a mountain of sins can be reduced to ashes. But without heart-felt penitence, this will not happen).

Contemplation on the Divine is the key to all happiness and prosperity. Among the myriad names of the Lord, the most significant is Sath-Chith-Ananda. This means that the cosmos is the embodiment of Sath-Chith-Ananda (Being-Awareness-Bliss) and vice versa. They are inextricably united.

Everything in the Universe, from an ant to the Absolute, is a manifestation of Sath-Chith-Ananda. Sath is that which transcends the three categories of time past, present, and future. Chith refers to Paripurna-jnana (total awareness). Where these two are shining in unison, there is the Bliss Divine. (Fire has three qualities: heat, light and redness. These are not separate from each other. Likewise, the Divine is the unified form of Sath-Chith-Ananda). You are the embodiment of Sath-Chith-Ananda. Everything around you is a manifestation of Sath-Chith-Ananda.

A blind man knows that the world exists, but is unable to see it. Likewise, people believe from the teachings of the Vedic scriptures and of the learned ones that Sath-Chith-Ananda exists, but very few have direct experience of the Divine. The Upanishads have declared that what does not exist cannot be made to exist. What exists cannot be wished away.

Chandramouli Sastra (Vedic scripture) was telling about the mantras, which when repeated in faith and with full knowledge of implications, can endow you with mysterious experiences of the Divine. That is to say, the mantra enables you to be in the proximity of the Divine that is drawn near by the potency of the formula when charged with your own mental current.

What is mantra? 'Man' it is manana (continued reflection on latent meanings), 'tra' it is thraana (the act of saving, of enabling one to cross over sorrow). What are the conditions under which the mind can charge the mantra with the required potency? The first and foremost one is one-pointedness.

The more easier to achieve this potency is the incessant remembrance of God through the Name of the Lord. It does not need any special time or extra allotment of time; it can be done always, in the waking stage, whether you are bathing or eating, walking or sitting. The Name of the Lord when uttered with sincere joy has great influence on the mind. It is like moonlight, for the waves of the inner ocean in marl for, it is God echoing from within, the call of go from without.

Most of the Names of the Divine have but two letters or syllables; the significance of the number, two, (Rama, Krishna, Hara, Hari, Datta, Shakthi, Kaali, etc.) is, that the first syllable represents Agni (Fire principle), which burns up accumulated demerit or sin, and the second, represents the Amritha principle, the Restorative, the Refreshing, the Reformation force. The two processes are necessary; removal of obstructions and construction of the structure.

Let the Love for the Lord grow in you, as in Bharatha in Ramayana's epic. Let that sense of adoration, which discarded even a throne, flourish in you. (However, that faith to the can come only slowly, by association with the godly, by reading the lives and experiences of godly persons, and by gaining experience oneself).When you will obtain this skill, you can be of great use to your country, your cults, your society, your religion and your community. Or else, all this bother that you have undergone, to attend Satsangh, to listen to spiritual discourse, to meet spiritual masters, study spiritual texts, etc, will be a colossal exercise in futility.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "Sathyam, Shivam, Sundharam," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 9. "Sign and symptom of glory," Chapter 22 and "Exercise in futility," Chapter 24; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 24. "The Divine and the Cosmos," Chapter 12 and "Honour the plighted word," Chapter 22).

Namaste - Reet


Sai Ram

 

Light and Love

 

Swami teaches... 5 - 6 March 2006

 

Worship Through Good Qualities Directs to the Omnipresence Divine

 

There is a distinctive type of devotion by which you worship God with a good, clean mind and good conduct. It is a superior type of worship - to worship God through good qualities, good conduct, good thoughts and good company. The scriptures have described this kind of worship as worship through good qualities what are picorially precious flowers the God.

 

The first flower with which we can worship God is ahimsa - non-violence. The second flower is dhama (control of senses). The third flower is dhaya (compassion to all living beings). The fourth one is kshama (forbearance). The fifth flower is shanthi (peace). The sixth flower is thapas (penance). The seventh one is the flower of dhyana (meditation). The eighth is the flower of Sathya (Truth). The inner meaning of this statement is that God will shower grace on you if you worship Him through these eight flowers.

 

The flower of truth is the form of divinity. Truth is that which does not change at any time. In the world, we experience truths of a relative nature.

 

The flowers in nature fade always, drop down, lose fragrance. The natural flowers which you are using for worship have not been created by you. You are bringing flowers which have been created by the sankalpa (will) of God. What is the greatness in using the flowers created by God and giving them back to God Himself.

From the tree of your life, to pick out such fruits which you have protected and which you have grown in the form of good qualities and offering them to God, there is some distinctiveness in that. In order to promote good qualities, you have to undergo several troubles. It is through these good qualities that your mind can also acquire the Divine concentration.

 

(Today, meditation is taking many forms. To sit in padmasana (lotus posture) and to make the Kundalini shakthi rise from basal plexus to Sahasrara (the cranium) is not dhyana). True dhyana consists in recognising the presence of God in all types of work. God is the indweller of all.

 

All are sacred because the same God shines in every one's heart. All the names of God are full of chaithanya (divine power). God's name is omnipotent and self-effulgent. The birth-right of every human are freedom and fearlessness.

 

(A hermit once met the Cholera Goddess on the road, returning from a village where she had thinned the population. He asked her how many she had taken into her lap. She replied, "Only ten." But, really speaking, the casualties were a hundred. She explained, "I killed only ten; the rest died out of fear!" It is because this single aim of the Divine essence has been given up, that all this confusion, has come about).

 

Fearlessness is the hall-mark of divinity. One can become fearless through thyga (renunciation or sacrifice). You must recognise that the Atmic power is behind all thoughts. God has no distinctions of caste and creed. There is no caste for any of the five elements, earth, water, fire, air and sky, all of which have emanated from God.

 

To practice fearlessness, before you undertake to do any work, you should regard that work as God.

 

The Upanishads are teaching: "The work I have to do, I regard as God and make obeisance to God in that form". The harmonium player will make obeisance to the harmonium before he starts. A dancer before she begins her dance will make obeisance to her gungroo.

 

The significance of all this is the faith and belief that God is present in all things. Thus to regard the entire creation as the form of God and to perform your duty in that spirit is meditation.
When you enter society, recognise society as a form of God, recognise what exists as omnipresence in society and thereby acquire good qualities in serving society.

 

The main aim of culture is to cultivate mental calm, mental courage, to make every one feel kinship with every one else. There is a general neglect of the higher aspects of culture. People know the details of the personal lives of film stars. They do not care for the pandith toiling in the same street; they do not know the names of the poets and the painters of their own town. That is the tragedy of the educated classes; they have no sense of values.

 

Boast of your inner Divinity which is your greatest treasure. Do not lower your ideals for the sake of cheap fame or vulgarise public taste. Instead of worldly enjoyment of sex, give bliss of the Self. Contribute to the expansion of love, the purification of motives, the enlargement of sympathy, the tolerance of difference, the respect for individual striving.
 

Your hearts must become kondas, that is, huge mountain peaks, and on the top, as in Arunagiri, the Jyothi (light) of knowledge must shine like a beacon. Learn, experience, and be happy. Control, canalise and secure. It does not even matter if you have no faith in God. Have faith in yourselves, that is enough. For, who are you, really? Each of you is Divinity, whether you know it or not.

 

The body consciousness is the product of Maya (illusion) or ignorance. It is not easy to get rid of this Maya.

 

There is a story to illustrate the hold of Maya. Once, the Lord summoned Maya and told her: "Maya! I am acquiring a great deal of bad name on account of you. Everyone blames God as Mayopadhi (wearing the disguise of Maya). I am getting into disrepute because you are always following me. Hence do not any longer remain with me. Get away from me." In all humility, Maya bowed to the Lord and said: "Oh Lord! I shall certainly carry out your command. But, please tell me any place where you are not present and I shall go there." The Lord had a hearty laugh and said: "There is no place where I am not present. You and I are twins I put you this poser only to get your reply." So Atmic and Maya realities are twins, always connected with each other.

 

At present, half a life-time of human is spent in eating and sleeping. Much of the remainder is wasted in useless talk and simian pranks or in back-biting and slanderous gossip. Little time is devoted to thinking about how one can improve him/herself or serve others. Usually no attempt is made to understand the purpose of life. Human has to discover, as enjoined in the Bhagavatam (devotee of God), how one can get back to the source from which human being came. This is the natural destiny of all beings. The secret of human existence is to know how to make the best use of time to realise one's Divine destiny.

 

How to perform this realisation? One of the way's is to collect and store your good qualities in imaginable siritual bank.

 

Banks help to keep money safe when you deposit it with them. But money helps you in worldly distress. You accumulate it with great care, by thousands of acts of denial, denying yourselves this comfort or that convenience, saving in this item and that, spending less and earning more; but a day comes when you have to leave the pile and go, emptyhanded.

 

There is another spiritual bank which receives deposits and maintains accounts strictly and confidentially. That deposit, growing by your spiritual efforts, will give you joy and peace. Dharma and sathya and prema are the currency accepted by that other bank. All acts, words and feelings ringing with the purity of these metals will be accepted as deposits.

 

The common bank will not give loans to all and sundry; its help is only for those who are credit-worthy, who have impressed by their industry and integrity that they will make good use of the money and keep their word. Spiritual bank too will save from distress and grief those who have sathya, dharma, shanthi and prema. Common bank will help only in proportion to the deposits that stand in your name; spiritual bank too deals like that. The consequences of the meritorious activities of previous births can be drawn upon now; but unless you have them, no cheque will be honoured. Moreover, only those who have the account can operate. Each must have a separate account in own name; one brother cannot draw on the account of another brother; the wife cannot draw on the account of the husband.
 

Common bank will give loans if you mortgage your house or lands, property that has come down to you from your ancestors, gold jewellery that has come to you from your mothers, etc. Spiritual bank also will allow you to draw upon the accounts of previous births, and deposits made then. That is why you find some people, who are obviously wicked and cruel, mean and miserly, yet leading happy lives, free from pain and grief. They have drawn upon deposits made in the past. They are entitled to that happiness.
 

Common banks have safe deposit vaults, where customers can keep their valuables, jewels, legal documents and other things like silver and gold, which attract thieves; they can then be free from worry; they can sleep in peace. Spiritual bank, dealing with spiritual accounts, has also a safe deposit vault. Surrender your jewels of intelligence, cleverness, capacity to serve and the gem that you most value, namely, your EGO to the care of God; then, you can be happy.

 

Common bank deals with one type of dhanam; spiritual bank deals with another. (Dhanam means any valued possession, an object of affection). This dhanam (money) and the rest can be earned by any one; even black marketeers and dacoits, crooks and pirates can amass money. But dhanam which is acceptable in spiritual bank comes only to those who struggle to be virtuous and detached, humble and holy. The most valued possession in spiritual bank is self-knowledge and sense-control.

 

(In many cases modern human has no idea of sense-control, no conception of self restraint and leads the life of a libertine. The aim of sense-control is to achieve one-pointed concentration. It helps also to steady the mind. Without mental steadiness human gets dehumanised).

 

Broadening your heart and making it bigger and bigger, you should make it as big as God Himself. Though beginning with the ideas of 'I' and 'mine', if you ultimately move on to the place that "all are mine", "all are one," gradually you will become broader in your vision and you burst and merge into God who is omnipresent.

 

Many individuals today declare that God is omnipresent. But how many individuals having realised the truth of this omnipresence? It is not clear whether they are using this word with any understanding of its meaning or experience of its truth or out of ignorance. Every student similarly speaks breezily about Swami's omnipresence and omniscience. It may be based on book-knowledge. Many who use that epithet today are simply mouthing what seems expedient for the occasion. You can find God everywhere today, but you can find few true devotees of God.  God's omnipresence is certainly true. But one gets the right to speak about it only when one has experienced it at least to a small extent. Even if a few drops of nectar are swallowed, a modicum of purity may be achieved. Hence, one should strive, in however small measure, to experience the omnipresence of God.

 

The tree is sustained by its roots. It is only when you look after the roots, you will have the tree and its fruits. When you nourish the roots by supplying manure and water, the tree comes up well. Likewise, it is only when you realise that the entire cosmos is sustained by the Divine that you can experience the omnipresence of the Divine.

 

Some high-souled beings have striven to experience the omnipresence of the Divine. But the prevailing social and educational consumer-society's system cannot enable to get this experience. This is because most people have lost the capacity to control the senses, which is the prerequisite for experiencing the Divine.

 

In the Andhra country, there were three "Rajus" - Potharaju, Thyagaraju and Goparaju. All the three were spiritual giants. Potharaju is Pothana, the great author of the Telugu Bhagavatam. Pothana dedicated his work to the Lord, his Bhagavatam has earned undying fame. From the moment he started composing the Bhagavatam, Pothana recognised that it was entirely the work of Sri Rama and should be dedicated to Him as a pious offering. He regarded Rama as the inspirer of the poem.
 

Thyagaraju, the saint-composer lived upto his name by renouncing all worldly things. He declared that God alone was all that he needed.
 

The third devotee is Goparaju, who worshipped Sri Rama installed in the Bhadrachalam temple. He offered all his earnings and possessions to Sri Rama.

 

These three saints had recognised the omnipresence of God. They are verily Bhagavathas - devotees of God.

 

The Bhagavathas of the old days lived a care-free life, placing their full trust in God as the supreme protector. Because of this faith, they were fully competent to declare that God is omnipresent.

 

One's life becomes sanctified by treasuring God's name in one's heart with a feeling of intense love. In the absence of such love, all so-called spiritual practices will prove futile. Various spiritual disciplines are necessary only for the purification of the heart. Once the heart becomes pure, there is no further need for study of the scriptures or spiritual practices.
 

God does not care for how long and in what ways you have practised sadhana (spiritual discipline). What He wants is sincere, wholehearted and intense love for Him.
 

Recognise the difference between the Divine and the human. Divinity, although all-knowing and all-powerful, acts as if, It does not know anything. The human being, totally ignorant and incompetent, pretends to be all-knowing and all-powerful.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. Beacons of light, Chapter 7; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 6. "This bank and that bank," Chapter 19; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 15. "The flowers that God loves," Chapter 9; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Experiencing the Omnipresence," Chapter 12; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 26. "Chaithanya and the 'Outcast,'" Chapter 9).

Namaste - Reet


Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 3 - 4 March 2006

The Earnest Seeker Gets Knowledge of the Self

There are two concepts - Drishti (seeing) and Drishyam (that which is seen). It is because of the power of sight that we are able to see the visible objects. It is because the objects are there, we are able to see them. There is thus an inextricable relationship between seeing and what is seen. The physicists of modern time declare that there is an inextricable relationship between the devices by which properties and behaviour of elementary particles are studied and the observer (physicist).

Creation (the phenomenal universe) is within the comprehension of the senses. All that we hear, see and experience are within the purview of our senses. We refer to all these things as "this." But what is beyond the senses is referred to as "that." "This" to refer to things which are within the purview of the senses; "That" refers to what is beyond the senses.

What is beyond the senses has been called Adhyatmic (spiritual). What is below the senses has been called Bhouthik (elemental, constituted by the five elements). We are simultaneously below the senses and above the senses. Below the senses is the body. Beyond the senses is the Hridaya (the spiritual heart). The eternal Hridaya is encased within the perishable body.

Human can delve, not only into the secrets of nature, but into own mystery and discover God, who is behind both Nature and him/herself. Human can install in the heart the Shivam - the motivator of all creation, all existence and all dissolution.

Kaivalyam is the state in which the Divine is experienced as all-comprehensive, as Will, as Activity, as Bliss, as Intelligence, as Existence. Suppress your thamas (ignorance), sublimate your rajas (passions) and cultivate sathwa (purity of heart) in order to be established in Kaivalyam. (What is purity? This has been characterised as Shakthi (energy, power). Purity has been described as the state of desirelessness in human).

The experiencer is the inner I, which is the reflection of the Atma. When the senses are out of action, that I will shine in its full glory. (The senses are one's deadly foes; for, they drag your attention away from the source of joy inside you, to objects outside you).

Have the Name of God on your tongue, in your breath, ever. That will evoke His Form, as the inner core of every thing, thought or turn of events. That will provide you with His company, contact with His unfailing energy and bliss.

That is the Sathsanga (good association) that gives you maximum benefit. Converse with God who is in you; derive courage and consolation from Him. He is the Guru most interested in your progress.

However, human denies the innate excellence of the world around. Human refuses to see in it the handiwork of God, evident in beauty, harmony, melody, truth, goodness, love, sympathy, law and learning, in everything that strikes the eye and fills the mind. Human prides in his/her blindness and raises it into a philosophy called atheism.

People say that all this is the subtle effect of time.

Well, what exactly is time? Time is but the deepening of the root, the ripening of the fruit, the mellowing of a habit into a tradition. Without these, time is but a turn of the wheel. Time has endowed India with a precious heritage: sahana (tolerance of diversity); sathyam (ad-herence to truth); maathrubhavam (reverence towards the Mother, as the real educator and as gratitude for the gift of birth); dharma (the fundamental prop of stable society, like integrity, service, compassion, etc).

(But today is obvious that the Kalpavriksha (Wish-fulfilling tree of Heaven) in the human heart is being suffocated by wild greenery and bushy briars. Remove this stifling undergrowth and the tree will grow and yield fruit).

See God in every one you meet; see God in everything you handle. His Mystery is immanent in all that is material and non-material. It has been discovered that all existence in the Universe is an expression of God's Mystery. Derive joy from the springs of joy within you and without you; advance, do not stand still or recede.

Rejoice that it is given to you to recognise God in all and welcome all chances to sing His Glory, to hear His chronicle, to share His presence with others. God has His hands in all handiworks; His feet on all attitudes, His eyes beyond all horizons, His face before every face.

All worldly knowledge is concerned with sustaining life. Scientists today are accomplishing any number of things. But they are unable jet to recognise the divine potency that exists in the human being. Here is an example. Although all human beings are made up of the same elements, individuals vary in their mental and other qualities. What is the force that is behind these genetic differences? How do the scientists account for them? When they are able to understand the reason for these infinite differences, the scientists will achieve fullness in their knowledge. The truth is, no one can exactly determine the magnitude or range of the powers of the Divine.

The scientist is the one who enquires into the nature of srishti (creation). The saint is one who seeks to know the Creator. The scientist is preoccupied only with studying creation. What about the Creator? Once you understand the Creator, you can understand the whole of creation. That was why Saint Thyagaraja said: "Rama, If I have your anugraha (grace) all the grahas (planets) will be within my grasp." Therefore, if you comprehend the Creator, you can know all about creation.

When knowledge of the Spirit which is the basis of all other knowledge of the sciences and the arts is acquired, it is easy to get any kind of knowledge.

This is what the sages of India did; they sought to know that which if known, all else can be known. The expression of that discovery, in practical life, is Love; for, it is Love that creates, sustains and engulfs all. Without Love, no one can claim to have succeeded in deciphering God and His handiwork, the Universe. Love - that is the direction indicated by the sages. Love can grow only in a well-ploughed heart, free from brambles. So, the heart has to be prepared by means of Namasmarana (constant recital of the Name); it can well be called a yoga, like bhakthi or jnana or karma (devotion, wisdom, action). It can be called "The path of Consciousness-cleansing."

Of all categories of knowledge, the highest is Atma Jnana (the knowledge of the Self). Worldly knowledge may bring you fame and prosperity. But only Atma Jnana can confer the peace that passeth understanding. Atma Jnana is that which reveals the unity in multiplicity, the eternal in the perishable. One who has attained Atma Jnana is all-knowing. "Tarati sokam Atmavith" ("the knower of the Self overcomes sorrow"), says the Upanishad. Atma Jnana can be got only by faith. Develop faith in yourself and faith in God. This is the secret of greatness.

The primary requisite is unqualified and unshakable faith in God. One-pointed devotion promotes spiritual earnestness. The earnest devotee needs no other qualification except deep faith. He needs no other knowledge, no title to lineage or wealth. He may belong to any caste or community. Valimiki, Nanda, Kuchela, Dhruva, Gajendra, Sabari, Vidura and Hanuman are examples of devotees who got God's grace through their deep devotion, without any other special qualification.

Narada declared that worshipping the Lord with boundless love is Bhakti. Vyasa held that performing worship with love and adoration is Bhakti. Garga Rishi declared that serving the Lord with purity of mind, speech and body is Bhakti. Yajnavalkya held that true Bhakti consists in controlling the mind, turning it inwards and enjoying the bliss of communion with the Divine.

Another view of Bhakti is concentration of the mind on God and experiencing oneness with the Divine.

Although many sages have expressed different views about the nature of Bhakti, the basic characteristic of devotion is Love.

Ordinarily people regard offering worship to God, reciting His name and meditating on Him as constituting Bhakti. True devotion really means installing the Divine in the heart and enjoying the bliss of that experience. It is the mystic union of the individual soul and the Universal.

To realise God it is not necessary to have wealth, gold or other emblems of affluence. Nor is great scholarship necessary. All that is needed is pure, selfless devotion.

Among all forms of Sadhana, Bhakti (devotion to the Lord) is the easiest and holiest. Bhakti calls for utilising the mind, speech and body to worship the Lord. It represents total love. Devotion and love are inseparable and interdependent.

Devotion is of two kinds. One is acquiring knowledge about God and transforming oneself thereby. This is a natural process by which one starts with the physical, proceeds to the mental and ultimately attains the spiritual goal of mergence in the Divine. But in taking to this path of knowledge, only the individual concerned can benefit.

In the second type of devotion, the devotee not only benefits, but shares the experience with others and benefits them also.

Many high-souled men and great rulers practised these different ways of devotion in the past. Devotion, the sages felt, should not be solely for achieving individual salvation. It should find expression in some kind of collective action.

The ancients felt that the Divine cannot be attained by one who is self-centered. The Indian sages valued community prayers for the welfare of the world as good for the individual and the world. In the year 1459 A.D., Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru, started the practice of bhajans (community singing). This practice gathered momentum over the years and in 1798, the great South Indian saint-composer Tyagaraja invested bhajans with musical form and rhythm. Bhajans are intended to harmonise the feelings, the singing, and the rhythmic beats of the participants so that they experience in unison the oneness of the Divine. Such bhajans are considered spiritually efficacious.

It was in this spirit of intense love for the Lord and pure devotion that bhajans were started in the past. The feelings expressed in the bhajans should melt the hearts of the participants and move them to their depths.

The spiritual quest is open to everyone according to his/her capacity and aspirations. However, certain rules and obligations have been laid down for observance by everyone. These are: 1) Naimithika Karmas; 2) Kaamya Karmas; 3) Nishiddha Karmas and 4) Praayaschitta Karmas. All the four are obligatory for all persons.
Naimithika Karmas: These are duties to be discharged as instruments. These relate to the performance of certain vows or special ceremonies during certain periods or on special occasions.

Kaamya Karmas: These relate to rituals performed for the achievement of specific objectives like seasonal rains, growth of crops, relief from famine, domestic happiness, peace in society, or attaining heaven. All the prayers that are offered for the good of one's family or the world are in this category.

Nishiddha Karmas: These relate to acts which are to be eschewed. For instance, the spiritual aspirant has to observe certain regulations regarding food. He must totally eschew rajasic food like alcoholic drinks and meat. The taboos regarding food have to be observed strictly so that one's life may be cleansed of all impurities.

Praayaschitha Karmas: These karmas have to be done purely by way of expiation for offences committed knowingly or unwittingly. The ancient sages prescribed these practices as a result of their experiences and the benefits and solace they derived therefrom. Experimenting with different practices they indicated those which were most efficacious and necessary. These include pilgrimages to holy shrines and bathing in sacred rivers.

PS: All the ills of human today are due to the fact that his mind is never restful and quiet. The mind is preoccupied with worries. Even an inanimate machine needs some period of rest. But no rest is given to the mind.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 8. "The inner I," Chapter 7, "Chiththa shuddhi yoga," Chapter 11 and "Offering poison," Chapter 12; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 19. "Atma Jnana," Chapter 20 and "The immoral Bhaktas," Chapter 22; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 21. "The Scientist and The Saint," Chapter 13).

Namaste - Reet


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