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Swami teaches....Part 6

Link to Swami Teaches....Part 5


Sai Ram

Light and Love

 

Preface

    Swami indicates the significant role of His Teaching to the students - seekers of truth and to all others who are interested in their spiritual development. Let His words be as a preface to the subsequent Swami's lesson for devotees and followers "Swami teaches...".

     All of you have great love and adore Swami but that love and adoration are of no use if you ignore the teachings of Swami. Even if you do not adore, if you believe in the truth of the word and enforce it in your daily life, Swami's grace will always be with you in your life. It is no use if you simply utter the name of the Lord and do not follow the good things that go with the Lord. It is just like uttering the name of penicillin when you are running a high temperature. Only when you take in the penicillin will the temperature come down. When you are hungry, the hunger cannot be satisfied by uttering words like potato and Chapati. If you eat them, it will be satisfied. It is no use if you only read or listen. You must try to remember the teachings, put them into practice and judge for yourself how far you have acted according to the word. 


Swami teaches.... (31 January 2005)

 

    

    Brahman and Humanity - One of the Aspects of Its Expression

 

 

    For the Vedas and the Vedic religion, the word Brahman is synonymous with all the contents thereof. However, many historians who have given the meaning of this from time to time have adopted an alternate path and have also inserted into the commentary their own notions and ideas and have thus made available a distorted version to the people. Although, this word Brahman has got an infinite number of meanings and could be interpreted in an infinite number of ways, these commentators have given it a colour and meaning which, in each case, depended on the individual taste and individual experiences.

 

    There is no escape from accepting that the meaning of the word Brahman contained in the Vedas is the authoritative meaning. Veda is something which does not have its origin in human beings. It has come from sources other than human beings. All history is something that is created by experienced people. But there is no such possibility in the case of the Vedas which have not had their origin in human beings. Because Veda has been obtained merely by listening to sound, it has been referred to as Sruthi. This is something which is directly connected with the Lord taking in and giving out His breath. Such divine breath which constitutes the Vedas is our life. Therefore, any citizen who has faith in the Vedas can really be described as one who has life in him.

     We have to examine where and how this word Brahman occurs in the Vedas and what meaning is conveyed by the word in that context. This has been mentioned in the Sama Veda by equivalents like Brahma and Veda Rupa. Sama Veda has established that the form of Veda is Brahman. In the Rig Veda, it has also been said that the song of Brahman is the essence of Vedas. Again, when we look at this word from the point of view of the Bhagavad Gita, we come to the conclusion that everything in the creation is filled with Brahman.

 

    Vedas have not stopped at this point by merely giving a form and a meaning to this word Brahman. They have also given a more distinctive and special significance for this word Brahman. It has been taught to us that an aspect of the word Brahman means that it is something which has no discernible dimensions and which is limitless. If in this world, we have things that can grow, then the aspect of Brahman has the capacity to grow. The growth capacity of whatever is signified by the word Brahman exceeds the growth capacity of everything that we can comprehend. That aspect which is not discernible and which is beyond our  comprehension and which is infinite has been described by the word Brahman. 

    This Brahman which represents complete growth in all respects has been represented as the characteristic or Purusha. The word Purusha refers to one who has experienced completeness or fullness. Our Purushasuktha has described this aspect of Purusha as something which has one thousand heads, one thousand eyes and one thousand feet. The word 'Sahasra Sirshaha Purushaha' should not be interpreted in a limited way by thinking of only one thousand heads. This really means that thousands and thousands of heads are contained in this aspect of Purusha. When we use the word head, it connotes 'Prajna' or wisdom in this context. The totality of Prajna or the wisdom that is present in all the heads represents the concept of Purusha here.

    We also describe him as 'Sahasrapad' or one who has a thousand feet. What is it that we mean by describing God as one who has a thousand eyes, a thousand feet, and a thousand heads and what benefit do we get by describing him in this manner?

    The totality of the capacity to understand or Prajnana and the totality of brightness and the effulgence and the capacity of locomotion have been given the name Brahman. The ability by which we have our vision and we see, the ability by which we are able to hear, and the ability by which we can have our mind functioning, and the ability by which we can bear the weight of the material body are given to us by God and because all these strengths are given to us by God, God is also referred to as Prajnanam Brahma or the embodiment of wisdom.

     Whether we talk of the Veda or we use the word Brahman or the word Purusha, these are only different names given to the same aspect and to propagate the same idea that is contained in all these words. The words are different but they describe one and the same idea. All the energy that is present in the gross form and also in the minutest and infinitesimally small thing represents the aspect of Brahman.

 

     Brahma has also been described as the carrier of the Brahman. The word Brahma has been understood to connote Manthra.* In this place, the meaning is that the Purusha who is the embodiment of Vedas has the Manthra as his carrier. This is the reason why people in our country have relied on such great men who achieved their greatness on the basis of Manthra. They started learning these Manthras and getting purification for themselves with the help of these great people.

 

    A Manthra has two aspects. The first is 'Manana' or what has been learned has to be taken into your mind. The second is the aspect of 'Trana' that is what has been taken into your mind has to be established firmly therein. By taking the divine into your mind and firmly establishing it therein, if you can carry on your life and do the work that is ordained for you, then your life will be full of happiness.

 

    Brahma as carrier of the Brahman may also to consider as the Divine power.**  The Divinity is the power behind the creation, sustenance and dissolution of every Yuga (aeon).

    The Lord is expressed by four forms as expressions of the different qualities of the Divinity. 

    1. Vasudeva.

    This name signifies that the Lord is immanent in everything in creation and bears within Himself everything in the Cosmos. He is omnipotent. He is resplendent. He remains unmoved in any condition, in any circumstance, while being present in every limb and every cell. Thus, everything is permeated by God and there is nothing outside Him.

    2. Sankarshana.

    This is the One, who at the time of Pralaya (the Great Dissolution), absorbs within Himself the entire Cosmos. The Sankarshana principle is the one which removes misery and confers joy. It is a Divine quality which is present in every human being.

    3. Aniruddha.

    This refers to one who has a unique quality. He confers this quality - Sampada (wealth) on whoever prays to Him. He is the Lord who confers both material and spiritual benefits on those who adore Him. In this aspect, He shines through His effulgence. He Himself is the source of His light and also the light that illumines everything. This principle of Aniruddha is essential for every human being.

    4. Pradyumna.

    He represents the invincible Divine power, which cannot be
overcome by anyone. The Pradyumna principle is all-pervading and omnipresent.

 

    It is the combination of all these four principles which constitute humanness. God (Brahman)is not different from human being. Vasudeva is Paramatma (the Omni-Self). Sankarshana is Jivatma (the individual Soul). Pradyumna is the mind. Aniruddha is Aham (the ego). The union of these four is Manavatva (humanness).

    If any one of these four constituents is absent, a person cannot live in the world. If it is asked whether Ahamkara (egoism) is also essential, the answer is: Aham (the ego) should be present but not Aham-kara (the feeling of egoism, the sense of separate identity associated with the body consciousness). Aham means "I." The "I" should not be identified with the physical form. "Aham Brahmaasmi" (I am the Brahman). "Aham na Dehaasmi" (I am not the body). "Na Aham Jivaasmi" (I am not the jiva - the individual soul). "Aham Aham" (I am I). This Aham is the essence of everything.

    This is the significance of the Vedic pronouncements: "Aham Brahmaasmi," "Prajnanam Brahma" (Prajnana Constant Integrated Awareness--is Brahmam), "Thath-thwam-Asi" (That thou art).

 

    In the world there are many people. Some of them are believers, some of them are nonbelievers and some of them are believing nonbelievers. There are multifarious people, different religions and faith. Truth is something that is common to all of them. People of all countries and all religions must understand that Vedas are something which establish the authority of truth. (Reet's compilation from the Divine Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, "Brahman Denotes The Totality Of Prajna In The World," Summer Course in Spirituality and Indian Culture. May/June 1974, Brindavan. and Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Make every moment holy," Chapter 8).  

   

     *Spelling of names as in original texts.

     ** My additions not directly concern to the compilation in black.


Swami teaches.... (30 January 2005)

 

    Freedom of the Spirit and Samadhi

 

    No one in the world has absolute freedom. Freedom came to be used as a political concept. It was believed that to liberate the country from foreign rule and establish Government by the natives of the country constituted freedom. This is neither individual nor fundamental freedom.

    Freedom and bondage are creations of the mind. When you are not engaged in spiritual enquiry, the mind gets prominence and is the cause of involvement in matters like freedom and bondage, the worldly and the otherworldly, and other dualistic phenomena.

 

    Any talk of freedom in this phenomenal world can only refer to an relative, worldly, insane or egoistic freedom. Talk of freedom may also be used in honorable respect of certain relationships like a parents attitude to their child and others.

    You must recognise that you must accord to others the same amount of freedom which you claim for yourself. Freedom is thus interdependent and cannot be absolute or unrestricted.

 

    In respect of three situations, human being has no freedom: karthavyam (the discharge of duties), nirbandham (actions done under compulsion) and sambandham (obligatory actions arising out of certain relationships).

    If a poor man, unable to get food by begging, resorts to stealing, he cannot claim that he is exercising his freedom to appease his hunger. When he acts against his conscience, how can it be an act of freedom?

     Actions done by the promptings of the mind or the senses cannot be regarded as free actions.

    There are some actions which are done according to the laws of Nature. Even these are not free actions. Person is also subject to rules and regulations laid down by the appropriate authorities. Human life is carried on between these two types of restrictions. In view of this, no one can claim that he is free to act as he pleases.

 

     People talk glibly about free will. There is only one seat of freedom and that is the heart (the spiritual heart). It is permanent and unchanging. As long as a human being is swayed by the mind, there will be differences and distinctions. These are due to the waywardness of the mind and are not indications of individual freedom.

 

    Freedom consists in the spontaneous expression of what comes from the heart in respect of any object or any individual, at any time. But this cannot be described as freedom, because the Divine is One. True freedom can come only when one is free from the impulses of the mind. Only the Divine is free.

 

    Only when unity is achieved will freedom be meaningful. Freedom should express itself from the heart. Heart here does not refer to the physical heart. "Heart" is not related to any particular place, time or individual or a country. Hridayam (heart) refers to that Divine principle which is equally present everywhere, at all times and in all people in every country. The true freedom consists in the recognition of that Divinity by knowing which all else is known.

    Keeping the Atmic consciousness in the forefront, you may perform any act. You will be acting in freedom. There are no two different types of freedom - individual freedom and spiritual freedom. Spirituality itself is freedom. 

 

    There are four stages in the realisation of the Divine what is free.

    Saalokyam (to be in the realm of God),
    Saaroopyam (having the vision of God),

    Saameepyam (proximity to God) and

    Saayujyam (mergence in God).

 

    These appear to be different from each other, but are all merely steps in the realisation of oneness with the Divine.


    The Divine makes no difference between one person and another. All differences of caste or community relate to worldly associations. Even to describe Rama as a Kshatriya, Krishna as a Yadava and Sai Baba as a Kshatriya is a sign of narrow-mindedness. The Divine transcends such distinctions.


    In this vast cosmos, you must develop a universal outlook based on an understanding of the spiritual principle. You cannot aspire for the spiritual from a narrow point of view. All forms of worship and meditation, which are regarded as spiritual exercises, are in fact mental excursions intended to please the mind. God is described as father, mother, brother, friend and so on. But all these are unnecessary epithets if it is recognised that we and God are one.

   

    Spirituality essentially means realising oneness with God. God and you are not separate. Once you acquire this conviction there is no need for any kind of spiritual sadhana.This oneness should not be a mere intellectual concept. It should be a living reality. Then you will experience true freedom - the freedom of the Spirit, divorced from any association with the body and the mind. 

 

    Swami does not know what is grief. Worry is totally alien to me. You should remain unaffected by what others say or do. When someone comes and tells me, "Swami! I am suffering greatly," I reply, "chaala santhosham" (very happy). When some one tells me about the death of a near relation, I say the same thing. I am equal in my response to everything.

    People come to Swami with every conceivable kind of problems and views. On one side are those who adore Swami. On the other side there may be those who deride Swami. The two may be like two hillocks with valleys below them. Both the hillocks and the valleys are the same to me. This is the proper spiritual attitude as one expression of spiritual freedom.

    (Occasionally I appear to be displeased with the behaviour of the students, for example. However, the anger is only apparent externally as some kind medicine. It does not come from inside).

    The freedom is the realisation of oneness with the Divine. Principally the same realisation has attained in Samadhi. Consequently, the state of Samadhi is an expression of atmic spiritual freedom for human being or by other words the experience the Being, the Awareness and the Bliss.*

    What is Samadhi?

    Some devotees claim that they have experienced moments of Samadhi during meditation.

    Samadhi is a much misunderstood word. It is freely misapplied. All kinds of emotional upsurges, attacks of hysteria, nervous breakdowns, neurotic fits are now extolled and exalted as "Samadhi"! In common parlance, in the eyes of worldly people and in the books written by worldly individuals, Samadhi may be described in various ways. One may be in a state of trance during meditation. But this cannot be called Samadhi. It may be an emotional or mystical experience or it may be the result of a fit. It may even be due to weakness. It is not Samadhi.

 

    Deep sleep is often compared to Samadhi, for, the senses, the mind, the reason, are all absent therein; only the ego is immersed in itself. It is in bliss, but, it is not aware of that bliss, for, waking alone gives that knowledge. 

    What is the inner meaning of Samadhi? It is not a state of unconsciousness or some kind of consciousness. Samadhi is "Sama-Dhi" - the state in which the intellect has achieved equanimity. Whether in pleasure and pain, in praise or blame, in gain or loss, in heat or cold, to be able to maintain in equal mind in Samadhi. One who has attained that stage, or realised that he is the One without a second, will be indifferent to fear or favour, to hate or love, to exalt or execrate. Where there is One, how can even thought arise. That is the Sama-Dhee - the being, the awareness and the bliss.

   

     So the conclusion is that Samadhi means merging the mind in the Atma. In that state, there are no two entities. Samadhi is a state of equal-mindedness. In that state there are no dualities like joy and sorrow, profit and loss, sin and merit, Nature and Paramatma. It is the state in which the oneness of everything is experienced. As long as differences and distinctions remain, there is no realisation of Samadhi, no realisation of the real (fundamental) freedom.

(Reet's compilation from,

Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 23. "The Spirit of freedom and freedom of the Spirit," Chapter 21;

Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 11, "Saline turned sweet," Chapter 4;

Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. " Self-control and Self-realisation," Chapter. 21).

 

    * My notes not directly concern to the compilation from Swami's texts in black.


 
Swami teaches.... (29 January 2005)
 
    Self-realisation, Gurus and Yajnas
 

   The Upanishad declares: "Prajnaanam Brahma" (Realisation of Brahman is the highest wisdom). This consummation is attained only through Sathsankalpas (good thoughts).
   

    For this realisation there are unlimited potentialities. For example, in Britain, there was a poor lad who used to make a living by writing addresses on covers for illiterate persons and to give tuitions to children. Each time he wrote an address, he used to say: "May God bless you." He used to tell the young children before they went back to their homes after their lessons: "May God shower His grace on you." He himself had firm faith in God. In course of time, he became the Prime Minister of Britain. He was James Ramsay MacDonald.

    The union of good resolutions with faith in God is like the coming together of the positive and negative ends of electric wires; through this combination, any great thing can be accomplished.
 

    Absorbed in sensual desires and worldly pursuits a person has lost sense of morality and goodness. He/she has lost sight of own divine nature. Greed has turned humans against each other.

    Faith in God is the bed-rock on which one's life should be built. All the scriptures one may read, all the rituals one may practise, the mastery of the Upanishads or the Gita, will be of no avail if there is no deep faith in God. They will be mere physical or intellectual exercises only. They may even strengthen the delusions regarding the body-mind complex.
 

    Without God how can all the marvels in the cosmos be accounted for? Universal Consciousness pervades everything in the Cosmos.

    The Divine is present in everyone. Holding firmly to this belief, one should not cause harm to anyone because he would be causing harm to God who is present in everyone. Today we talk about peace in the world. How can that peace be found outside? It has to be found inside you.

    Real peace can come only when thoughts about the world are replaced by thoughts of God.

    There is a simple five-letter pronouncement. "God is" ("Devudunnaadu," in Telugu). Make this your sheet-anchor. If you go on reciting it, thinking over it, acting up to it and conveying it to others, immersing yourself in the bliss of this experience, you will be making the greatest contribution to the welfare of the world. Proclaim this mantra in all circumstances and at all places with all the conviction and strength you can command.

    You must have the courage and determination to face any kind of problems and difficulties. By propagating this mantra you can promote the love of God and the fear of sin among the people. The mantra "God is" can be more powerful than a mantra based on any particular deity's name. Moreover, mere repetition of any mantra is of little use. Greater than the power of mantra or yantra is the power of a pure heart (chithasuddhi). Your faith must stem from the heart, which is the seat of the Divine.

    Have this five-letter mantra as your constant companion and strengthen your faith in God. This will lead in due course to God-realisation. Unwavering faith in God will promote Atma-sakti (spiritual power) and confer indescribable bliss. Doubts should not be allowed to sprout. Faith is essential for accomplishing anything in life. Without faith, even ordinary things in life are not possible.

 

    The highest realisation consists in using the Buddhi (intelligence) to acquire Vignana (the higher wisdom) and conquering the mind through that wisdom.

 

    There are eight types of Gurus: 1) Bodha Guru; 2) Veda Guru; 3) Nishiddha Guru; 4) Kaamya Guru; 5)
Vaachaka Guru; 6) Soochaka Guru; 7) Kaarana Guru; 8) Vihita Guru.
    1. Bodha Guru teaches the Sastras and encourages the pupil to act upto sastraic injunctions.
    2. The Veda Guru imparts the inner meaning of tie Vedas, establishes the pupil in spiritual truths
and turns his mind towards God.
    3. The Nishiddha Guru imparts knowledge about rites and duties and shows how one's welfare here
and in the hereafter, can be ensured.
    4. The Kaamya Guru makes one engage himself in meritorious deeds to secure happiness in both
the worlds.
    5. The Vaachaka Guru imparts knowledge of Yoga and prepares the disciple for the spiritual life.
    6.The Soochaka Guru teaches how the senses are to be controlled through various types of
discipline.
    7. The Kaarana Guru reveals the unity of the jivi and the Atma.
    8. The Vihita Guru clears all doubts, purifies the mind and shows how Self-realisation can be attained.

    Of these eight Gurus, the Kaarana Guru is the foremost. Through various teachings and practices, he helps the individual to progress from the human to the divine consciousness. Only the divine can act as such a teacher. All other Gurus can be helpful only to a limited extent.

    There are, moreover, persons who claim to be Gurus. They trade in mantras and tantras. Self-realisation is not to be got through mantras or tantras. Only by the purification of the mind can the Omni-self be realised.

    Self-realisation is a process with many angles. Human being as a part of creation is also a product of the process.  

    In the ordinary course of life, a person does many actions which, wittingly or unwittingly, cause harm to other beings. To atone for such actions, five yajnas - propitiatory rites - have been prescribed by the sastras. These are: Deva Yajna, Pitru Yajna, Bhoota Yajna, Manushya Yajna and Rishi Yajna or Brahma Yajna. 

    1. Deva Yajnas: In numerous daily activities like walking, breathing, and others, unconsciously people cause the death of many creatures like ants, insects and micro-organisms. To atone for these sins committed unknowingly, Deva Yajnas, to propitiate various deities, have been prescribed. Moreover, in our body, in every organ and limb, the presiding deities are present in the from of rasa (a subtle fluid). Hence these deities are called Angirasas (the presiding deities of the Angas or limbs). Because these deities in the subtle form protect the organs concerned, gratitude has to be expressed to them in the form of Deva Yajnas. To meditate on the Anga Devas, to worship them and express gratitude to them is one's first duty.

    2. Pitru Yajnas: When a branch is broken, a flower is plucked or a tree is cut down, many small creatures may be losing their lives. Recognising one's responsibility for this loss of lives, one should perform Pitru Yajna (sacrifice to the manes) by way of atonement. In addition, one should remember that he owes his body and all that it contains, as well as the food that has nourished him in childhood, to his parents. The obsequies and ceremonies that are performed after their death are laid down to honour their memory. By performing Pitru Yajnas, the ancestors are propitiated.
 

    3. Bhoota Yajnas: When we take a bath or wash our clothes, or sweep the house, many living creatures may be losing their lives. To atone for the death of such creatures, Bhoota Yajnas (offerings to the Bhoothas) have to be made. This practice has come down from the times of ancient sages. The rishis used to maintain deer, cows, and other animals in their ashrams and look after them with loving care as expression of their love for all living beings. To offer the remains of one's food after a meal to cows or dogs or other creatures is also a form of Bhoota Yajna. By showing love towards living things in this way, some atonement is made for the unconscious harm done to various creatures in daily life.


    4. Manava or Manushya Yajna: These Yajnas or rituals are done to atone for many offences committed against various beings in the course of daily life, in actions done during work or play.


    5. Rishi or Brahma Yajna: Considering human birth as a precious gift, the ancient sages provided
through the scriptures, the Upanishads and the Dharma Sastras, a body of principles for guiding human's  life so that he may strive to attain the true goal of life - namely Self-realisation through four Purusharthas - Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha - as guidelines for humanity. The rishis laid down the royal road of righteous life, for all humanity. It is our duty to show our gratitude to them by meditating on them and offering worship to them through Rishi Yajnas.


    These five types of yajnas have to be performed every day to atone for the sins committed in the course of daily activities. There is no need to have elaborate arrangement for performing these
yajnas. You would do well to remember that there is no greater gift than the gift of food to the hungry, there are no greater gods than one's parents, there is no higher dharma than compassion, no more profitable acquisition than the company of the good, no higher merit than remembering the Lord.
 

    Without a clean heart, all worship is useless. Without spiritual purity, religious observances are valueless. People indulge in high-sounding talk about spiritual matters. But without application in practice,
such talk has no meaning.
(Reet's compilation from, "Sathya Sai Baba.Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 19,"The five-letter Mantra," Chapter 14 and "The five Yajnas," Chapter 21).

 


Swami teaches... (28 January 2005)

 

    Humans' Conducts and Paths to Freedom. Example by Gita

 

    Measure the microcosm, you have measured the macrocosm. The world is a projection of the mind; that is the lesson conveyed by  Vedhas, Shaasthras and Puraanas.

    The same quantity of silver might be shaped into a plate today, a set of spoons tomorrow, a number of cups the day after. The forms get new names; the uses of each are different. When put to use or when silver remains as a silver 'lump' only, in the hands of every one that holds, it or handles it, in the beginning or in the end, it and they are always silver.

    The core, the truth is ever One. In the murky, dusk of ignorance, it appears diverse, that is all for, then, your are led to distinguish and differentiate on the bases of name and form.
 

    There are two sets of rules which regulate human conduct: the one is not concerned with morals  (a-moral) and the is other moral. The a-moral is illustrated by the rule that you have to be at the airport at a particular hour, in order to board a plane. The moral rule is illustrated when the father's property is divided between the sons, half for one and half for the other, equal share for both. From the point of view of dharma (righteousness), equality is seen as the basic principle.

    Human being is respected because of his good qualities, and not because of his material possessions. When we look at poor, helpless or weak people, we should be prepared to give them help with all our strength and effort. All human beings are brothers and are children of one mother - the universal divine mother.

    However, today such insight has not respected by many people. The world is such that if there is a large quantity of water in a tank, many frogs come and gather up in that tank. But once the tank is dried up, all the frogs will disappear and they will not even tell you where they are going. In the same manner, many friends will gather round you, as long as you have wealth and the moment this wealth disappears, the friends also will disappear without telling you. 

    (In fact, wealth must always be regarded as potentially harmful. A wealthy person sometimes becomes afraid, even of his own son).

 

    The true wealth is the wealth of righteousness, of knowledge and of wisdom. That is the reason why Arjuna was called Dhananjaya. This name does not refer to ordinary wealth. This simply means that he had the wealth of wisdom in an ample measure. Arjuna had several other titles which described his great qualities. There are three words which we have to take note of. They are work, worship and wisdom. You should always do good work. You should worship with a pure mind. Wisdom is superior knowledge and you should aspire for acquiring knowledge with wisdom.         

 

    When one proceeds to attain the Aathmic vision, one has to negate everything as Not this, until at the end of the journey, the Aathma alone is cognised. It admits of no definition, no description, no designation, It is the end of enquiry, the summum bonum of all endeavour, the silence that
swallows all speech. The primary seed of knowledge is "I am not the body." 

 

    A person can realise this either by picturing something that is different and distant, and praying to it, adoring it, worshipping it - such ways are useful only up to a limit, to purge the mind of low desires, sensual urges etc., - or by delving into oneself, to reach the truth.
 

    The realisation of the one cannot be won by means of advice, listening to talks and discourses, study of books or austerities. It worried even Naaradha, who approached the sage, Sanathkumaara, for the vision of the Infinite. With this decomposing body and the deteriorating intellect, man cannot experience and contain the boundless surge of bliss that accompanies the realisation that he is the absolute. The wisdom that comes of actual experience is as the rain drop, when compared with sea water which is saline and undrinkable book-knowledge or derived knowledge. Through the inter-action of the rays of the Sun, the salinity was removed and the water that floated into the sky became sweet and sustaining. Saadhana that turns the physical into the meta-physical is the solar action that confers potability.

 

    We know that Krishna and Arjuna were living together for well over eighty years, were meeting each other very often and talking to each other like friends. But at no time in those eighty odd years did Lord Krishna ever try to teach anything of the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. It was only after eighty years of their living together and that too in the battlefield, and that again under some special circumstances, that the Lord wanted to give him the contents of the Bhagavad Gita and give Arjuna a position of authority and competence from where he could do something. We have to enquire into the meaning of all these things. In the Bhagavad Gita, He has also taught that we have to recognise what is called 'Adhikara', or worthy of being entrusted with a task. He also taught us that unless one acquires the qualification, merit and worth, there is no point in teaching the Bhagavad Gita to him. Conveying the contents of the Gita to someone who does not deserve it and who has not yet acquired that merit has no meaning. Each individual gets the right to do something. The recognition of this right or qualification, before action is initiated, is an aspect which is contained in the Bhagavad Gita.

    Bhakthi or devotion is the only path for reaching the divine destination. Bhakthi is the only panacea for all the ills of this world. Bhakthi is the only method for making you realise the truth.

 

    There is the path of a monkey and the path of a cat. The relationship between the baby monkey and its mother monkey is such that no matter where the mother goes, no matter even if the mother is jumping hither and thither, the baby holds fast and clings safely to the mother, going wherever the mother goes. The child has implicit faith in the mother. In this way, just like the young monkey clinging to the mother under all conditions and under all circumstances, we should attach ourselves to God under all conditions and under all circumstances. That is the kind of behaviour we should accept. In this, there is no responsibility of any kind on the part of the mother monkey. The entire responsibility for its conduct rests on the young one.

 

    On the other hand, when we come to see the life of a cat and the kitten, the mother cat takes the entire responsibility for taking the kitten from place to place and looking after them. There is a significance here which we can see; that if you stay where you are, then God Himself will take the responsibility of looking after you.

 

    While the two paths, the path that has been described in the context of a monkey and the path that has been described in the context of a cat, seem to be all right in common parlance and so far as ordinary persons are concerned and in their daily life, they are not so in the case of a person who is devoted and who wants to know the real inner meaning of Atma or the soul. Such a person will have to find a path which is different from these two and superior to these two. To give you the meaning and the character of this devotion, Vivekananda had a good example.

 

    Every person wants and desires that he should get Moksha or liberation, that he should attain that place of Moksha. We may say that liberation is synonymous with freedom. When we desire freedom, it implies that at the moment we are in some kind of bondage. What is that bondage? Your own affection and your people is the bondage. That is the chain which has bound you. This is what you may call affection with some kind of an attachment. When you are tied up with the chain,  there are two ways by which you can free yourself from this chain. One way is to get the strength by which to break the chain. There is a second way and that is to make yourself tiny, smaller and smaller so that you can just slip and get out of the chain which is binding you.

 

    With the exception of these two alternatives, if you want to reach freedom and if you want to get out of the chain, there is no way of doing it. These two can be described as Bhakthi or devotional path and Jnana or the path of knowledge. Bhakthi or devotion means you recognise that there is a master, that you have to put yourself in a humble position and be subservient to the master. You also recognise that your conduct should be such that you please Him and get His grace. This is the procedure for Bhakthi. This is referred to as an attitude of 'Daasoham' or behaviour which by implication proclaims 'I am your servant'. When you are bound by a chain, within that chain if you can tell yourself 'Daasoham, Daasoham', that means you are humble, you are developing humility, your ego is becoming less and less. It shrinks you so much as your humility grows that you can slip and get out of the chain.

    The other path, which is the path of Jnana, is the way or getting out of the chain by telling yourself 'Shivoham, Shivoham'; I am Siva - that means you are expanding, becoming bigger, finally you become so big that you can break the chain and get out. So, to break the chain and free yourself one is the path of Jnana and the other is the path of Bhakthi.

    (Reet's compilation from, "Sathya Sai Speaks." Volume 11, "Saline Turned Sweet," Chapter 4;

    Sathya Sai Baba. Divine Discourse, "Seek Work, Worship and Wisdom - Avoid Wealth, Wine and Women," Summer Course in Spirituality and Indian Culture. Summer Showers in Brindavan. May 1973, Brindavan;  

    Sathya Sai Baba. Divine Discourse, "Lessons from the Gita," Summer Course in Spirituality and Indian Culture. Summer Showers in Brindavan. May 1972, Brindavan).

 

    PS: Spelling of names as in original texts.  

   


    Namaste - Reet

 


to be continued

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