Swami teaches....Part 65
Links to Swami Teaches.......64
The basic things we should know are: Karma is the root cause of our birth. The root cause of Karma is sorrow. Ignorance is the cause of sorrow. Ignorance itself is the result of Bhrama (the delusion which makes one regard the real as unreal and the unreal as real). And as long as Bhrama persists, the Brahman cannot be recognised.
Daivapreethi (Love of God) and Papabheethi (fear of
sin) are the two requisites for sanctifying our life. You have to strive
constantly to please your parents. If you do not show your gratitude to
the parents who have brought you up with so much love and labour, to whom
else are you going to be grateful?
The mother bears, fosters and moulds the child into
humanness and, therefore, gratitude is due to her first and foremost. The
mother leads you to the father, the father leads you to the guru and the
guru leads you to God. The mother and father promote the health and
strength of the body; the guru reveals the Inner Reality in the body. (The
person who fails to remember the mother and the motherland with affection
is a veritable demon).
Who are one's parents? Who are one's children, relations or friends? Who are we? What were we in our previous lives? What will be our future? Immersed in thoughts of these impermanent relationships, we are losing sight of the Divine Love that is everlasting and unchanging.
It should be understood that human birth is the progeny of Truth as father and Love as the mother. Even if one's natural parents are absent, one should nor forget the real parents - Truth and Love.
Truth is sacred. It is valid for all time; past,
present and future. It is unchanging. Love is eternal. Can such Truth and
Love beget an unrighteous and evilminded son? It may be asked whether
Truth and Love have begotten only a son and not a daughter. There is a
daughter, who can be identified as Santhi (peace). Hence, among many
qualities wisdom should be the the more essential characteristic quality
of men and among many qualities peace and serenity should be the more
essentially distinguishing quality of women.
Today, when any difficulty arises or when some trouble crops up, love turns into hatred. Love rules without recourse to the sword. It binds without laws. Like the lotus which blooms when the Sun rises, the heart of human blossoms when the Divine Love enters it. Like the glow of the flame in a fire, like the rays of the sun, like waves in the ocean, the Divine Love is the basic quality of a true human being. Ignorance is not the inherent human's characteristic. Person should revel in the ecstasy of the consciousness of the Divine Love.
Here is an episode from the Ramayana which illustrates
how a devotee who seeks nothing but the Love of God is rewarded by the
Lord in ample measure.
(For example, in Bharath and over the world there are
many helpless women who have no means of livelihood. They should be taught
some occupation like tailoring to enable them to earn an income. Slum
dwellers should be helped to keep their huts clean. The environment also
should be cleaned to help the children grow in a pure atmosphere. Proper
housekeeping should also be taught to those people).
Parents must aspire to make their children good persons
(those who see God in human) and not great persons (those who see human in
God). It is well known that a great person has no peace and is always
worried while a good person is peaceful wherever he goes. So, not even in
a dream should a person aspire to be a great person. A person becomes good
when he/she is respected as such in society. Mostly goodness is a natural
quality of a woman while greatness is that of a man.
The term Sthree should not be treated lightly. The Gita
lists seven attributes to the feminine principle fame, wealth, speech,
wisdom, intelligence, fortitude and determination. The Mother principle,
which embodies these seven potencies, is highly sacred. Wherever you turn,
you will see manifestations of the feminine principle in Nature. The
mother stands out as the reflected image of Prakrithi (Nature).
Though the term abala is applied to women in this specific context alone, women are not weak at all in terms of strength or ability. We have innumerable examples of the strength displayed by women in the world. As against three potencies attributed to men, women are said to have seven potencies (according to the Gita).
There are any number of heroic women in recorded history. Though physically women may appear weak, in reality they are full of strength. As the embodiment of the three gunas, women are endowed with exceptional strength. Even in the spiritual field women display their boundless capacity.
Some examples from ancient scriptures. Can you call as
weak Savithri, who made the Lord of Death restore to life her dead
husband? Can Anasuuya, who transformed the Divine Trinity Brahma, Vishnu
and Shiva into three babies and played with them, be called a weak woman?
Sumathee was a great lady who stopped the Sun from rising, because her
husband was predestined to die the next morning. Could she be termed as
week? Can Sita, who shared with Rama all hardships of life in the forest
and achieved ultimate victory, be called weak? Can Gargi, who could carry
on the debate with the Raja yogi Janaka is a dauntless spirit, be called a
The mother is the symbol of the Universal mother and
father of the Dime Lord. (Nature is the mother in whose lap mankind grows.
Though Mother Nature draws attention to God, the children seldom pay heed.
How can they, who do not love the mother that fosters them with affection
and zeal, adore the Master of Nature)?
These titles have more value than socially recognised
titles like Padhma Bhuushan and Padhma Vibhuushan given by the Government.
A lady must look after the home first and then work outside, if necessary.
A house without a mother is like an empty choultry. She can study, get
degrees, enter politics or do any other work but she should not neglect
the home, which is the very foundation of her life. Husband and wife are
both equally responsible for establishing harmony at home.
(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16.
"Revere the mother," Chapter 11 and "Problems of the saadhak," Chapter 12;
Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18. "Revere Truth and Love," Chapter 10; Sathya
Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "Sacred role of mothers," Chapter 13; Sathya Sai
Speaks. Vol. 29. "Heroic mothers and noble sons," Chapter 13; Sathya Sai
Speaks. Vol. 30. "Women's role as Mothers," Chapter 30).
All beings in creation, except human, live according to the laws of Nature and carry out their functions. For the benefit of others alone trees give fruits, rivers carry water and cows yield milk. Likewise the human body is given for rendering help to others. Without any concern for the morrow, they lead their lives, content with whatever they can enjoy. Nature sees to it that they do not lack anything needed for their existence. Human, on the contrary, is never contented. Person yearns for various things and looks upon the desire for these objects as love. But if such attachment to objects is fostered, there is no end to the process.
Such love is based upon self-interest and self-centredness.
It should be clear that what passes for love today in the world is really
selfishness and self-interest. Human has become a plaything of selfish
impulses and a prisoner of own selfishness. People are promoting
dissensions and differences instead of cultivating unity and harmony.
Selfishness is the root cause of these undesirable tendencies.
The day when he had to yield to death arrived, he
called Govindha; the son came near saying, "Father! I am here." He called
Narayana; "I am here father;" he too stood by his bed. He called Rama;
Rama came to him and asked him what he desired to confide in him. Finally
he called Krishna. He too bent low and wished to know what message the
father had for him. He said, "Don't hesitate, tell me what you want to
say." Seeing around him all the four sons, the dying man's mind was seized
with anxiety. He blurted out "All of you are here! Who is in the factory?"
Those were his last words. That was his last thought.
The differences between human and human are growing
continuously. These differences lead to disastrous conflicts. Human's
heart, which ought to be filled with compassion that is natural to it, is
today full of cruelty and bitterness.
Later a second son was born, who was named Subaahu (which meant one with fine arms). Madhalasa again laughed at the naming of the child. The king felt insulted by Madhalasa's behaviour. Sometime later a third son was born. Rithudhvaja told Madhalasa: "You don't like the names given by me for our sons. You better name the third son yourself."
A name has to be given to anyone in the world as a mark of identity. In keeping with this need, Madhalasa named the son, Alarka. The king was angry on hearing the name. He burst forth: "Is this the name that should be given to the scion of a royal family, a warrior's son and belonging to a line of courageous Kshatriyas? What a shame! I will not call him by this name." Alarka means a mad dog. The king asked: Is my son to be called a mad dog? Madhalasa approached the king and said: "A person who does not know his real nature, who has no awareness of his Divinity and who does not know his oneness with the Divine is worse than a mad dog. What value should be attached to the names of persons who have not recognised their true nature? What significance can names have for foolish persons who are not aware of the oneness of the Universe and who do not contemplate on Divinity? The body is human in form. But they are not mere people at all. They are the embodiments of the Atma, the Formless and Attributeless Self. They are pure and unsullied. It is sheer ignorance to give names to the Atma." In view of this belief, Madhalasa started teaching her children from an early age their essential spiritual nature and their inherent Divinity.
So in ancient times, queen Madhalasa was teaching the children from their infancy the greatness of Vairagya (detachment). "Child, you are not a son not am I a mother. Both of us are manifestations of Sath-Chith-Ananda (I am Existence, Knowledge, Bliss). We are like the waves on an ocean, not different from each other. She used to sing a lullaby while putting the children to sleep:
Placing you in the cradle of Omkara
In this manner, the mothers of ancient times taught the Truth about their Divinity to the children and made them aware of their True Nature. Thus the sacred stories of Bharath were taught to the children, who learnt to respect their mothers and fathers and all in the area of creation and to obtain good personal qualities.
By yogis good qualities should be considered as true kinsmen and friends. (Yoga does not consist of meditation and austerities or various forms of breath-control). True Yoga is the mergence of the individual soul in the Omni-Self It is the withdrawal of the senses from external objects and turning them inwards. Yoga implies self-control and renunciation, leading to the experiencing of Ananda (Bliss).
It is Gayatri, the mother of Vedhas, what is the genuine pinpointer to attain Ananda. Gayatri principle can be subdivided into the following four components.
Sathyavathi is represented by the all-pervasive Truth which pervades the entire creation just as butter is present in every drop of milk.
Angavathi underlines that every person is made up of the five elements. Differences are only in the outer forms. Divinity behind the five elements is the same in all.
Anyavathi describes that different forms of the Divine are indicated by corresponding symbols - Rama by the bow, Krishna by the flute or the peacock feather, Sarasvathi by the Veena, Shiva by the damaru (hand-held drum) and Vishnu-by Shankha (Conch), Chakra (Wheel), Gadha (mace) and Padhma (the Lotus Flower). Divine forms have various characteristic symbols but Divinity is the same in all.
Nidhanavathi is represented by the nine paths of
devotion, namely - listening, singing, chanting the name of the Lord,
service, seva to the Lord's feet, adoration, prayer, friendship with God
and surrender to God.
The Atma is like a flame in the body. When it is
covered by the ten senses, its light filters through holes, as it were.
And when it is covered, in addition, with the blanket of attachment to
worldly objects, the effulgence of the Atma (Divine Self) is not visible.
When attachment is given up and the body consciousness goes, the Self is
revealed in all its brightness.
The phenomenal world enables human to participate in mundane activities related to the physical, the social and the natural. But human life should not be confined to these alone. The sensory life is based on the inner life.
Life and the world are like two sides. The world is
external and life is internal. The phenomenal universe is based on the
inner subtle entity.
An able monarch will have his ministers under control; he will direct them along proper lines and maintain the peace and security of the kingdom. On the other hand, a monarch who allows himself to be controlled by the ministers does not deserve the throne; he is spurned and disgraced. His kingdom has no peace and security.
The mind is the monarch in human; the senses are the
ministers. It is the slave of its servants and so, the realm has no peace.
Every sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) who aspires to achieve the expression
and expansion of the Divine has therefore to earn mastery over the senses.
That is the first step. The next one is the conquest of the mind, its
elimination. The third is uprooting the vasanas (innate tendencies), and
the fourth, attainment of jnana (spiritual wisdom). The branches are the
senses; the trunk is the mind; the roots are the innate tendencies. All
three have to be overcome and destroyed, so that the awareness of the
Atmic Reality can be gained.
There is a saying in Telugu: "The proof of the Good is the way they die." Genuine devotion is evidenced during the last moments.
Swami pointed out a small incident concerning the
goodness Easwaramma of The Summer Classes were on at Bangalore. In the
morning at 7, breakfast had to be served to the students. They went round
with Nagara Sankeerthan (street singing of spirituals) and returned. Swami
gave them Dharshan. Then, Swami went for His bath. Meanwhile, Easwaramma
had finished her bath; she drank her coffee as usual quite happily, and
took her seat on the inner verandah. All of a sudden proceeding to the
bathroom, she cried out. "Swami, Swami, Swami," a thrice. At this, Swami
responded: "Coming, Coming." Within that period she breathed her last.
What greater sign of goodness is needed? She had no need to be served and
Namaste - Reet
Right from an early age, students should develop
devotion to God. It will be of immense help in old age. Start early, drive
slowly and reach safely. Take to the right path right from your young age;
otherwise you are bound to repent in your old age. It is difficult to
think of God in old age if person squanders precious time in worldly
matters in the early stages of life. Their hand turns the rosary, mouth
utters ?Ram, Ram, Ram,? but the mind wanders in the market, goes to the
club and starts playing cards as they might have indulged in all this
earlier in life. (Today also several the so-called elders are discouraging
the young from taking to spiritual path).
Saint Thyagaraja said, ?O mind, tell me what gives the real happiness, is it nidhi (wealth) or the Eswara Sannidhi (the Divine proximity)?? Consider Sannidhi (proximity) as your Pennidhi (Great Treasure).
It is useful to remember that there is no need to talk about spirituality which all cannot understand. It is enough to hold on to the principle of Love in daily life. The principle of Love is the same in everybody. One's life will be redeemed once one know that he/she is the spark of the Divine.
To every human born on Earth Truth is the visible
manifestation of God. The entire Cosmos composed of moving and immovable
objects has emerged from Truth, isnsustained by Truth and merges in Truth.
Since times immemorial, Bharat has been the treasure house of spirituality and has been radiating peace and serenity to all the other countries.Remember that Bharatiya culture transcends the limitations of time, space and circumstance. Endeavour to know its unique greatness.
Ancients pursued the four Purusharthas (goals of life) and shared the benefits and joys derived therefrom with others. Of the four Purusharthas - Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha - most of today's people have given up Dharma and Moksha and are only pursuing Artha (material welfare) and Kama (sensual desires). As a consequence, disorder and insecurity have grown in society. The loss of peace and security is the direct result of forgetting Truth and Righteousness.
The Upanishads have expounded the characteristics of Sathya (Truth). "In any circumstances do not give up Truth. Overcome all difficulties by adhering to Truth," is the teaching of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and other texts. "Sathyam vada; Dharmam chara" (Speak the Truth, pursue Righteousness). This is the great pronouncement of the ancient Upanishads and scriptures of Bharatiyas. Truth and Righteousness are the stepping-stones to human greatness. The puranas have also declared: "Sathayameva Jayathe" (Truth alone triumphs). Victory adores Truth, "Sathyaanaasthi Paro Dharma" (There is no greater Dharma than Truth), declare the Puranas.
The same truth was revealed by Bhoodevi (the Goddess of the Earth) in context in the Bhagavatha. Bhoodevi lamented: "Oh Lord! I can bear the burden of any number of sinners. But I cannot bear to carry those who have betrayed Truth."
Students should understand and cherish Bharat's
cultural heritage and to learn how to harmonise this ancient culture with
the needs of the modern world and to lead lives governed by Truth and
Righteousness. Position or power is not important. They are transient. One
should not be proud about wealth, progeny or youthful vigour.
It is not easy for all people to recognise the Truth about God. Socrates was condemned to death for turning the minds of the youth away from worldly concerns to spiritual matters. Socrates preferred to end his life by drinking poison received from the hands of his disciples rather than die at the jailor's hands. This means that more value was attached to spiritual purity than to the physical life.
The saint Thyagaraja lamented: "Oh Rama; the people do
not understand the greatness of the Bhakti marga (path of devotion).
People prefer the Bhukti marga (the path of enjoyment).
It is enough if you have God with you. All the worldly
dharmas are like ten thousand naya paisas. A hundred rupee note is equal
to ten thousand naya paisas. It is rather difficult to bundle up ten
thousand naya paisas and carry them with you. So, offer all ten thousand ?naya
paisas? to God. He will give you a ?hundred rupee note?, which is light in
weight and also safe and secure.
Provoked by Pothana's stubborn attitude and attributing it to Pothana's conceit, Srinatha conveyed his feelings to Singabhupala. The ruler became furious. He sent his soldiers to wrest the Bhagavatham from Pothana. Pothana was prepared even to give up his life, but would not surrender the Bhagavatham. On the orders of the ruler, his men set fire to Pothana's house. Pothana prayed: "Oh Sri Ramachandra! Will you not protect atleast your own life-story, apart from protecting your devotees?" Appealing to Sri Rama to protect the Bhagavatham, Pothana closed his eyes in meditation. Except the Bhagavatham, everything else was consumed by the flames.
Singabhupala heard about this remarkable phenomenon.
From that moment he became a devotee of Rama. It is only when one's
devotion is firm, pure and unwavering that the Lord is ready to extend
every kind of protection.
In what way should you live in the world? You should
enjoy the world with a spiritual outlook. You should realise that you have
come down from the Atma to the realm of Nature. Today the reverse view
prevails among sadhaks. They wrongly think that they are proceeding from
Nature to the Spirit. You have emerged from the Atma and not evolved from
Nature. You are the children of immortality. You are sparks of the Divine.
There are three levels of Akasa (space) in human of which two are Drsya and the Drk is the third.
The first comprises the Earth, the solar system and
billions of heavenly phenomena, reaching out to stars whose light, though
emanated, has not yet reached this globe. This physical space is named
Bhootha Akasa The second level subsumes the first and retains it in a
miniature form. It comprises the area cognised and imagined by the mind
and is therefore named Chittha Akasa (mental space). Even this area is a
dot when compared to the Akasa (space) enfolded by the Atma, named
Chidaakasa (space of Awareness or Consciousness). The two other spaces are
but tiny fragments to the See-er, the Atma, the Brahman. The human being
has this journey, towards the Ananda that Chidaakasa can offer, as the
precious prerogative. Worldly life is pravritti marga (outward path) and
spiritual life is nivritti marga (inward path). The journey does not lead
outward; it has to be inward, towards one's own Reality. (The musk deer
runs around frantically in its search for the source of the fragrance that
fascinates it. When at last it is too exhausted to continue, it discovers
that the source has been within itself all along).
Human expects Ananda in a career, in a job, in business or farming and believes that the satisfaction one derives from these was worthwhile. But, person can soon arrive at lasting Ananda, if his/her career is converted into sadhana, business is transformed into calm serenity and interest in farming is sublimated as cultivating devotion in the well ploughed weedless mental field.
Ananda is all around us and within us. It is own Ananda
that person is receiving back. After a term of deep sleep, human declares
that he/she had unbroken Ananda. The mind and the senses, even the faculty
of reason, had no contact then with any object, nor did they have any
impact from objects. So, the Ananda was derived, during sleep, from within
Once human glimpses this, he/she can experience God in
everything and everyone. "Everywhere His Foot and Hand, His Eye, Head and
Face," is what the Gita states about Him. (Investigators do not visualise
God in all that they study; they see the apparent, not the genuine. So
they are misled into the realm of multiplicity, instead of being led into
the all-comprehensive region of Atmic Light).
1. Naamam means the name of the Lord. It must activate every thought, word and deed and render them full of Love. The name, the sound, is the material which can reveal the non-material, the jada which is the door to the awareness, the Chaitanya enshrined in it. This is the purpose of the sadhana-to recognise both the Kshetra (Field) and the Kshethrajna (the Master and Manipulator of the Field) as the Lord.
2. Daanam, the second sadhana, means gifting, caring
and sharing. The gift of food to the hungry gives immediate contentment
and relieves the pangs of hunger. Annam Brahma (food is Divine) says the
Upanishad. Gifts are to be given without inflating the ego of the giver or
deflating that of the receiver. They should be offered with understanding,
humility and love.
Love is the most direct means of attaining God. Love is the prime feeling of human. All other feelings originate from the Divine Love. Once you understand this, you can understand the entire Universe. Love is within you. The whole world is within you. The power of Love is infinite. None can fathom its depth.
The Divine Love is Nirgunam, Niranjanam, Sanathana Niketanam, Nitya, Shuddha, Buddha, Mukta, Nirmala Swarupinam (attributeless, pure, final abode, eternal, unsullied, enlightened, free and embodiment of sacredness). Such Divine Love is all-pervasive. Love is the magnet that attracts everybody. Love is the cause of attraction between us. You are not merely human beings; you are Virat purushas (Cosmic beings). There is limitless power in each one of you.
(Here is a small example to illustrate the nature of
worldly love. When a young man gets married, he considers his wife as his
very life for the first two or three months. If he happens to find a thorn
on the way while going out for a walk, he pulls her aside immediately with
great concern, fearing that it might prick her feet. After a period of six
months, if the husband finds a thorn on the way while walking together, he
merely cautions her. After one year if the same situation arises he will
shout at her, saying, 'Can't you see? There is a thorn on the road.
Worldly love declines in this manner day by day, but the Divine love will
Light and Love
Experiences in the Spiritual and the Worldly Life
The spiritual life is not a matter of meaningless talk; it is really life lived in the Atma; it is the experience of pure Ananda; it is just another name for the Full Life.
Lord Dakshinamurthy conveyed His message through silence. He seldom resorted to speech. By mere sight He could impart the profoundest truths about the Universe and the Divine. On one occasion, in the course of his travels, He reached the shore of the ocean. He was delighted to listen to the Omkara vibrations coming from the ocean. The ocean represents the Sabda Brahmam (the primal Divine sound). It symbolises the grandeur and majesty of the Divine. Dakshinamurthy drew a lesson from the endless waves reaching the shore from the ocean. He noticed that as soon as some rubbish fell on the ocean, it threw it out on the shore by a series of waves without retaining it even for a brief moment. Dakshinamurthy questioned the ocean: "How selfish you are! You are boundless and fathomless. Can't you make some room for this poor stuff?. It is highly selfish on your part not to tolerate this poor thing despite your vastness."
The ocean gave a fitting answer: "Lord! There is nothing unknown to you. If today I allow this piece of dirt to remain with me, ere long I will be filled with flotsam and jetsam and my entire form will be changed. Hence from the very beginning I have to cast off anything that is dirty and polluting. Only then I can remain pure." (Every object in nature, every incident in time, is really speaking, teaching you a lesson, notice this).
Human's life is bound up with likes and dislikes, with good and bad thoughts, with union and separation. Hence samsara (worldly life) has been compared to a vast ocean on which the waves are constantly bringing about union and separation. The same ocean contains pearls and gems.
Therefore, we have to face and overcome the trials and tribulations of life. Life is full of trials. If these difficulties are not there, life will have little value.
Life has to be lived in love, peace and bliss. Therefore, even while in schools and colleges, boys and girls have to know about the ever-peaceful, ever-blissful, ever-loveful Atma. Raising the standard of living is not as important as raising the level of consciousness.
Accumulation of things is highlighted through education today. But, giving up is equally needed. Renunciation is not a loss; it is highly profitable, for you acquire joy thereby. For, renunciation means freedom, surrender to freedom, surrender to God.
The ancient Indian Dharma based on the Veda and embodying the highest and most lasting wisdom has to be learnt, observed and practised. That will help to lead model lives and lead others to earn peace and calm. You must learn, more than anything else, discipline and patience. Life is an exercise in the sadhana of 'give and take.' Do not derive delight from 'taking' only.
There is a saying: "Anything can be achieved by sadhana." True sadhana means converting bad into good, transforming evil into virtue. This calls for the right use of the mind. Human is not aware of the potentialities of the mind. The powers of the mind are indescribable. In one moment it can encompass the Universe. In another moment it can be a total blank. It can blossom in a moment and wither in a moment. The mind is the cause of both good and bad. Human can achieve nothing without the motive power of the mind.
(Human life today is riddled with many problems. The reason for this is selfinterest. The process of change has to begin in people's minds.Thoughts lead to action and actions account for the state of the world. When the thoughts go astray, the actions are improper. The state of the world, good or ill, depends on the behaviour of individuals).
When human is able to master the senses, and direct them along more beneficent channels - the eye seeing God's footprints in stars and rose-petals, the ear hearing God's voice in the throats of birds and peals of thunder, the tongue tasting God's sweetness in all that appeals to it, the nose discovering fragrance in everything that recalls the glow of God, the sense of touch content to clasp the hand of the forlorn and the distressed as the beloved children of God - then, person can visualise the God installed in the cavity of the heart; that is the lesson the five-hooded Sesha (Divine serpent) imparts. (The five hoods are symbolic of the five senses, which have sinister poisonous potentialities. The eyes draw you away into the realm of fleshy charm and sensual beauty; the ears crave for salacious songs; the tongue overloads your digestive system with highly flavoured food; the nose leads you into jungles and laboratories in search of fragrances and scents; the sense of touch seeks softness in silk and velvet, and flounders human in mire).
Individual undertakes numerous good acts and devotes thought, word and deed to various forms of discipline to realise God. But all these efforts are not bearing the desired fruit, because human has not understood what is true spiritual sadhana* (discipline, spiritual effort). Those who try to follow the nine forms of worship (Sravanam, Kirthanam, etc.) are also failing to attain their objective because they have not grasped the inner meaning of these forms of worship. Can japa, dhyana, bhajans and pious actions be called sadhana? Real sadhana consists in transforming bad into good, converting sorrow into joy.
Here is an illustration from the life of Adi Sankaracharya. When Sankaracharya was in Kasi (Varanasi), at the approach of an untouchable, he said: "You fellow! keep away, keep away!" The other man asked: "Whom do you want to keep away from you? Is it the body? The body is inert. What right has your inert body to ask my inert body to keep away from it? Both are inert. How can one inert object talk to another? Or, is it the case that you want the Atma in me to keep away from you? The Atma in me is the same as the Atma in you. What is it that you want to go away from you?" There was an argument between the two over the body and the Atma at the end of which Sankaracharya realised that the person who had recognised the Atma-principle could be none other than the Lord Himself and prostrated before the man in front of him. At that moment Siva revealed Himself and told Sankaracharya: "It is to remove from your mind your mistaken notions that I had assumed the form of the untouchable."
Hence, you should realise that it is not possible for anyone to know in what form, in what situation, at what time and in what circumstances the Lord appears to teach human how to get rid of bad thoughts, bad qualities and bad actions. Every object carries with it good and bad, gain and loss, the praiseworthy and unworthy and similar pairs of opposites. Separation from good persons causes sorrow. Association with bad people is distressing to them. The most important sadhana for human is to seek the company of the good and eschew association with the evil-minded.
The refinement of life calls for continual sadhana. Gold, taken out as ore from the earth, becomes pure and valuable after refinement. In the same manner, sadhana is necessary to elevate life from the trivial to the sublime. No one is a scholar or a human of virtue at the moment of birth. It is only through various endeavours that one becomes a scholar and a righteous person.
All people are caskets, containing the Divine Glory. But you love some of them as friendly, hate some others as unfriendly, and divide them into camps and companies. When a human is good to you, attribute that goodness to the godliness in this person. When a human is bad to you, be happy that you have given to this person some satisfaction, by becoming the target for the attention. (The sandalwood tree without any feeling of bitterness, imparts its fragrance even to the axe that fells it. Divinity responds in the same manner. Some persons, blinded by their ignorance, arrogance and folly, may say all sorts of things about God. They may even imagine thereby that they have assailed God. But God remains totally unaffected even to such bad and evil-minded persons, He offers His blessings and benediction). If one harms the body, sages are unaffected, because they know that they are not the body. If they try to harm the soul, sages know that it is impossible, for the soul is ever in Bliss.
By means of sadhana, become that type of sage, unaffected by pleasure and pain, loss or gain, victory or defeat. Be a witness, a disinterested witness of all the gyrations of fortune. Inquiry, will reveal to you that they are fleeting fantasies of your mind, and not real. By means of japa and dhyana, you can attain that identity with the Reality, which will convince you of the unreality of all except Brahman i.e. Atma (the Universal Absolute).
Krishna has declared (Gita 12-18),"He who is the same to foe and friend, because he has no preference or prejudice, He who is unruffled by honour and dishonour, who is unaffected by cold and heat, by pleasure and pain, who is free from attachment, such a man of devotion is dear to Me."
All people desire something good. That is due to the inner prompting, the Iccha sakthi (the will power) but he/she cannot fulfill that desire, unless person proceeds according to a plan which can guarantee success. The desire has to be developed into a deed. This requires Kriya sakthi (the power of action). Above all, realisation depends on Jnana sakthi, or the force and clarity of Wisdom, the self-confidence that flows from the mastery of the situation. This is a gift of Grace from God, Who has installed in the heart.
Karma as dictated by duty and the higher impulses is the primary step in the journey to one's Reality. The Karma path can be hailed as the Primary school stage which equips one for the Upasana (worship, devotion, meditation practice, acquisition of the presence of the Lord) or Bhakti Marga, the High school and the College, the jnana path. Jnana can help the awareness of Reality.
There can be no happiness without sorrow, no good without the bad. There is a continuous conflict between good and evil, between happiness and sorrow.Troubles and difficulties are not imposed on you from outside. Grief and trouble arise in the natural course of things.
Happiness and misery are inseparable twins which are inextricably linked to each other. One is the beginning and the other is the culmination. Beginning and end go together. Only the Divine is free from a beginning, a middle or an end, but in worldly affairs, everything that has a beginning, has an end.
In all countries and in every age, human is a social animal. Human's songs and speech, duties and diversions, are determined by society. Society for human is like water for fish: if society rejects or neglects person, he/she cannot survive. (Limits and bounds are essential for smooth social life. So, one would welcome discipline, and not crave for lives that do not honour limits for every facet of behaviour. One reason for indiscipline is the superior role of money in educational institutions).
What a single individual cannot accomplish, a well-knit group or society can achieve. A person walking alone will feel tired and miserable at the end of five miles; but, walking with ten others as a group person would find the five miles a jaunt.
Nothing is impossible of achievement if an organised society is set on achieving it. Even liberation from material entanglement can be won through serving and promoting the progress of society.
Cooperation among people in a society, motivated by spontaneity and by pure intentions, is the hall-mark of seva (service). Seva can be identified by means of two basic characteristics compassion and willingness to sacrifice. Service helps to remove the ego. (A blind person cannot see the Sun. A person filled with ego cannot know own Atma. Egoism dims a human's vision like a film. Does a person, who devotes half time to earning money, spend even a fraction of it on thoughts of God or on activities dedicated to helping others? His/her attachment to every object is rooted in selfishness and love for others is based on self-interest).
Do not pay heed to what others might say when you engage in service activities. When you are doing good acts, why hesitate, why feel ashamed, why fear? When the sevak (helper) becomes the nayak (leader) the world will prosper. Only a kinkara (servant) can grow into a shankara (master). Let Compassion and Sacrifice be your two eyes; let Egolessness be your breath and Love be your tongue. Let Peace reverberate in your ears.
Through very small effort great things can be accomplished. A huge serpent can be destroyed by a large number of small ants.
(Do not consider yourself small. In the world,
difficulties crop up from time to time. Jealousy towards one's betters is
quite common. Crows have animus against the cuckoo. Cranes jeer at swans.
But neither the cuckoo nor the swan is worried. The world has many such
envious beings. Do not allow yourself to be overwhelmed by such
experiences. You have to confront
God will not ask you, when and where did you do service? He will ask, "With what motive did you do it? What was the intention that prompted you?" You may weigh the seva and boast of its quantity. But, God seeks quality, the quality of the heart, the purity of the mind, the holiness of the motive.
The first lesson in seva has to be learnt in the family circle itself. The character of each individual member determines the peace and prosperity of the family; the character of each family is the basic factor that decides the happiness and joy of the community. And, the nation's progress is based on the strength and happiness of the communities which are its components. So, for the welfare of the country and of the entire world, the spirit of service, vital enthusiasm, constructive imagination, pure motivation, and unselfish alertness are all urgently needed.
During the battle of Kurukshetra, which climaxed the Mahabharatha epic, Krishna served as the driver of the chariot of Arjuna throughout the day on the field and when dusk caused the adjournment of the fight, he led the horses to the river, gave them a refreshing bath and applied healing balms to the wounds suffered by them during the fierce fray. He mended the reins and the harness and rendered the chariot battleworthy for another day.
The Lord sets the example for the devotees to follow. He teaches that service done to any living being is offered to Him only and is accepted by Him most joyfully. Service rendered to cattle, to beasts, to people is laudable sadhana.
Krishna says, "I have no need to be engaged in work but I do work in order to activate the world."
PS: * Each religion emphasises one Name and one Form of and recommends them for acceptance. Some even insist that God has no other Name or Form. But, the Reality is beyond name and form, Akshara (the indestructible, eternal) as the characteristic and Om as the Form.
You reach the Akshara stage - the stage of attributeless unity in three steps of sadhana: 1. I am Thine, 2. Thou art mine, and 3.Thou art myself. I is only the reflection of you in this body.
The consummation is reached when duality is superseded. That is why it has been declared, "It is good to be born in a church; but, it is not good, to die in it." That is to say, before life ends one must go beyond the limits set by institutionalised religion and reach the vast limitless expanse of the Atma, which pervades all.
(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 9. "The five hoods," Chapter 11 and "The Achaarya....as God," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 15. "Lessons on seva saadhana," Chapter 31; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "Guidelines for Goodness," Chapter 3; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "God's response," Chapter 11; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 24. "Face the challenges of life," Chapter 18).
Namaste - Reet
Light and Love
Education, Spirituality and Five Life Principles as Life-style
Studies are the roots of the tree of life. (The tree of life is dried up if the roots are eaten up by greed or envy or hate. Education must train children to love, to co-operate, to be brave in the cause of truth, to be helpful, to be sympathetic and to be grateful). The aim of all study should be the cultivation of good qualifies, the development of virtuous habits, the raising of the standard of values, of one's own self-respect. The real subject of study for people is the study of the means of ending death and birth.
The attachments which the individual develops towards kith and kin, the objects of the world, the ideals and the goals, the fancies and fashions - all these form the branches and twigs. The blossoms which the tree produces are the intelligence and its manifestations. The blossoms yield the fruit of Ananda (Joy, Bliss).
The fruit of Ananda confers the sweetness called character. The essence of character is virtue. It is in virtue that the tree of life justifies itself. The root of education fulfils itself in the fruit of virtue. Taps the very spring of eternal Joy and Strength and Wisdom. That is the path of spiritual discipline, steady intellectual and moral discipline. That is the basic, the essential study. The cultured person is the person who has cultured the spirit, not the person who caters to the senses and enslaves himself to their attractions.
When the buddhi (intellect) is thus transmuted, human attains siddhi (fulfilment). The mind has to be hale and hearty, joyous and peaceful, free from agitations and worries. That can be done by the recitation of some holy name or the performance of some holy act which conduces to welfare. This is the study that will confer lasting joy.When moral discipline is absent, human reduces into a brute.
Largely modern education is incomplete and even ineffective if the educated have not known the Reality or at least the means of knowing it. The means of knowing it is to cleanse the intelligence of delusion and deluding prejudices. To cleanse the intelligence, virtue has to be practised, along with reverence, humility and detachment. That is the message of Sanathana Dharma (Eternal Universal Religion), which is the precious gem in the necklace of Mother India. Years ago, the copy books in primary schools had the lines, "Jayaraam Jayaraam Jai Jai Raam," "Suddha Brahma Paraathpara Raam," introducing the children to the glory of the Name of the Lord and the Brahmic substratum of all creation.
(Now, they are taught to sing, "Ding dong bell, pussy is in the well" or, "Baa, Baa, Black sheep, have you any wool?" reducing them to the level of sheep or pussies. The sense of human dignity is destroyed by this tinsel type of education).
Spirituality is a way of life. It is not something separate from life. In order to acquire a worldly degree, you need to study various subjects. But in spirituality there is only one subject and that is love. Human birth is gifted to serve others, not just to eat, drink, sleep, and make merry. The highest sadhana (spiritual practise) is to transform love into service. Human should make proper use of mathi (intellect), gathi (destination), stithi (situation), and sampathi (wealth). Wealth here does not mean worldly treasures. It refers to the power of the senses. This power should be utilised for service of society.
Love is most important in life. Whatever you may say with love, it is bound to be true. Any work you undertake with love is dharma.
Only love has been constantly with you right from birth. It is love that remains with you all the time, not your relatives or friends. This love is God. Love is the binding force that brings together the entire world as one family. Absence of love is the root cause for all the unrest in the world. (Modern youth do have love, but their love is artificial. It is limited up to saying “hello, hello,” and is in fact hollow within).
Human can rise to the level of the Divine through the path of service. It is the best way to understand the innate Divinity. Service should be for self-satisfaction, not for name and fame. Experience the bliss that you derive from selfless service. Share it with others. Before serving others, serve yourself by making your mind broad and pure.
When human is not able to understand humanness, how can he/she understand Divinity? The difference between God and human is very subtle. Human and God are not two different entities; they are nearly one and the same. (By today's modern science human is a holographic pattern of Absolute, Cosmic Consciousness). As long as you do not understand the truth about your real Self, you remain a human being. Once you recognise it, you are God.
The Divine power latent in human in the form of human's consciousness is not found in any other being on the Earth. Since human is unable to understand own Divine nature, he/she is undertaking various spiritual practices such as penance, meditation, and yoga which are as pinpointers towards the Divine Self.
Life on this world is a bubble that is formed in a second and bursts the next second. It is a fair, that lasts a portion of a day. The entire career of a person starts and finishes in a matter of two hours. All the pomp and parahernalia that human seeks and flourishes are of the stuff of dreams. Some of you reading the serial "Swami teaches..." You feel that this is true. But, how long is this true? So long as you are in the waking stage. This night, when you start dreaming, the dream is as real to you as all this. Both are dreams, a night dream and a day dream. Only one idea is permanent, throughout the dream, the deep sleep and the waking, the idea of the 'I.' That 'I' is the truth and nothing else.
The question may arise, if there is only one 'I', which is the Eternal and the Absolute, why do all the individuals have different experiences? The newly educated worry themselves with such questions. For, the same current activates the fan and gives air, illumines the bulb and gives light, heats the stove and cooks, moves the wheel around and works the machine. The instruments are different, but, the inner energiser is the same. Have a powerful bulb, and the light is strong. Change it, it is dim. Name and form are not essential; the inner current is the truth.
Who is this 'I' that seeks happiness and is happy or is not happy? “Who are you?” Why should the body be kept in good trim? Why should human be fed, clothed and housed comfortably? Why should human live well or rather, live at all? Try to think of answers to these questions and enquire into this.
You are the master. Master the mind and be a mastermind. Body, mind and intellect are mere instruments. (Identifying yourself with these instruments is absurd).
Human life is a journey from ‘I’ to ‘We’. This journey is subtle and the goal is very near, but human takes many births to reach the destination. Why should human take such a long time, undergoing hardships, to attain the goal, which is so near?
What is called modern civilisation might give a little more comfort, health and personal happiness, but real mental strength and peace are absent in it. Only virtue and truth can award these two. Modern youth are making every effort to know all that is happening in the world but are not making any effort to understand the fundamental truth of human life. There are thousands of intellectuals, scholars, and eminent educationists in the world today. But all the worldly knowledge and skills will be a mere waste if one does not know oneself. First, know thyself, your Divine Self.
Five life principles (pancha pranas)have to be observed for realising the Divinity. They are: Ahimsa (Nonviolence, Noninjury), Sathya (Truth), Soucham (Purity), Daya (Compassion) and Asthikyam (Faith in God).
Nonviolence (Ahimsa): It is a supreme virtue. But, in daily life, almost at every step some harm or other is being caused. When we breathe in or breathe out, countless microbes perish. Complete nonviolence is not a practicable ideal. What should be ensured is that there is no deliberate causing of injury or harm to anyone.
Truth (Sathya): Truth is Divine. Where there is Truth there is Divinity.
By Ramayana Dushyanta forgot that he had given a ring to Sakuntala when he met her near the sage Kanva's ashram, Sakuntala declared in the open court of the king that Truth was the supreme Dharma and a king should uphold truth at any cost. While the king was ruminating over this exhortation to uphold truth, some fishermen brought to the king a ring which they had found in a fish caught by them. The king then remembered the incidents that happened when he had gone for hunting near sage Kanva's ashram, his encounter with Sakuntala and the ring he had exchanged with her. He accepted Sakuntala as his queen and the child born to them was Bharata, after whom India has been named.
Purity (Soucham): Both internal and external purity are essential. Ancients Indians used clay for cleaning the body. In naturopathy mud bath is used for the treatment of many physical ailments.
The importance of physical cleanliness could be illustrated from a story in the Mahabharata. Once, the disciple of a Guru, after completing his studies, requested the Guru to state what he would like to receive as Guru-dakshina (offering) from the disciple. The Guru asked the disciple to offer the earrings worn by a certain queen. The disciple ascertained who the queen was and went to the king to inform him of the mission on which he had come. The king permitted him to visit the queen's apartments to make his request.
But he could not see the queen anywhere and reported his failure to the king. The king then told him that no person who was physically and mentally impure could see the queen. The disciple then went through a process of purification and was able to see the queen.
Compassion (Daya): Daya is not mere display of kindness or sympathy to someone in distress. It calls for complete identification with the suffering experienced by another and relieving that suffering as a means of relieving the agony experienced by him/herself.
There is the story of a calf which was caught up in a slushy pond while trying to reach a small pool of water. A crowd of urchins were watching with glee the plight of the calf which was unable to move forward because of the slush. An ascetic who was passing by saw the plight of the calf and taking it out of the mud, carried it on his back to the pool of water. The urchins asked him why he had done this, while they were watching to see how the calf was going to get near the water. The sanyasi told them that the sight of the struggling calf caused him great anguish and to relieve himself of his agony, he had gone to the relief of the calf. You must feel you are helping yourself when you are helping another.
Faith in God (Asthikyam): Faith in God implies recognition of the omnipresence, of the Divine in the Universe and seeking to experience that Divinity within one's Self. All troubles should be treated as tests and challenges to be faced with courage and faith.
As example of the test Swami has performed His Great Miracle many years ago. He was very seriously ill eight days. He told that He has taken illness on, in order to save the devotee. He added that this had to happen, this stroke and the cure. He revived and cured Himself by sprinkling water during the Darshan. Swami also declared on the very day when He decided to disclose His Identity, His Mission and His Advent, that He belonged to the Code of conduct and the Bharadhwaja Gothra (lineage).
This Bharadhwaja was a great sage, who studied the Vedas for full one hundred years; but, finding that the Vedas were endless he did thapas for prolonging life, and from Indhra he got two extensions of a century each. Even then, the Vedas could not be completed, so, he asked Indra (the Lord of Demigods and King of heavenly planets) again for another hundred years. Indhra showed him 3 huge mountain ranges and said, "What you have learned in 3 centuries form only 3 handfulIs from out of the 3 ranges, which the Vedas are. So, give up the attempt to exhaust the Vedas. Do a yaga (ritual sacrifice), instead, which I shall teach you: that will give you the fruit of Vedic study, full and complete."
Bharadhwaja decided on performing the yaga; Indra taught him how to do it; all preparations were completed. The sage wanted that Shakthi (Consort of Shiva, also vital core, power) must preside and bless the yaga. He went to Kailaasa (Shiva's mountain abode). Shiva and Shakthi were engaged in a competitive dance, trying to find out who could dance longer. Eight days passed thus, before Shakthi noticed Bharadhwaja standing in the cold. She just cast a smile at him and danced along as before! The sage mistook the smile as a cynical refusal to notice him. He found his left leg, hand and eye put out of action by a stroke. Shiva saw him fall; He came up to him and consoled him. Shiva revived him and cured him, sprinkling water from the Kamandalu. Both Shiva and Shakthi granted the sage boons: They would both attend the yaga, they said.
After the yaga was over, Shiva said that They would take human form and be born in the Bharadhwaja Gothra (lineage) thrice: Shiva alone as Shirdi Sai Baba, Shiva and Shakthi together as Sathya Sai Baba and Shakthi alone as Prema Sai, later. Then Shiva remembered the illness that had suddenly come upon Bharadhwaja at Kailaasa on the eighth day of the waiting in the cold on the ice. He gave another assurance. "As expiation for the neglect which Shakthi showed you at Kailaasa for 8 days, this Shakthi will suffer the stroke for 8 days, when We both take birth as Sathya Sai and, on the 8th day, I shall relieve her from all signs of the disease by sprinkling water, just as I did at Kailaasa to cure your illness."
By this way the assurance given in the Thretha Yuga had to be honoured. So too, the disease had to be gone through, the bhaktha had to be saved, the assurance to be carried out, the mystery had to be cleared, the Divinity had to be more clearly announced by the manifestation of this Grand Miracle.(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "Shiva Shakthi," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 6. "Studies," Chapter 25 and "To the Students," Chapter 26; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 19. "Purity and Unity," Chapter 9 and "Spiritual Pancha Sheela," Chapter 11; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 32, part 2. "Youth should transform the world," Chapter 12).
PS: The spelling by Glossary Vahinis: <http://www.sathyasai.org/refs/vahiniglossary/tentries.htm>
Namaste - Reet
Light and Love
Swami teaches... 23 - 25 April 2006
The Spirit Has to Emanate From the Heart
The Motto - Parable
Granite stones are everywhere
Differences in beliefs and cultural practices among people are well-known. Although climatic conditions may be the same in the various regions of the world, the ways of living and practices of people are diverse. It is not a defect but an ornament.
India is the birthplace of the Vedas and of the Sastras, epics and Puranas that have elaborated the principles enunciated therein for the education of the common person. It is the nursery of music and other fine arts, inspired by the noble passion of consecrating human skills for adoring the Divine and communicating the supersensuous. It is the staff and sustenance of the mystic and the ascetic, the intellectual and the dynamic adorer of God; it is the field where the science of Yoga was cultivated and systematised.
(The intuitive vision of the highly sensitive inner eye of the Indian yogis was able to discover many secrets of the Universe and to peep into the past or the future, as far as they desired. Indian yogi has predicted more than five thousand years ago that India will free itself from the rule of a strange race from the far west, in the year Nandha. India achieved independence from Western rule in the year Nandha. The Bihar earthquake was accurately foretold two years previously, by the Indian astrologers. This prediction has based on intuitive spiritual experience).
The duty of Indians is to foster these traits and sow among human communities the seeds of love, so that they may grow and fill the world with the fragrant blooms of tolerance and reverence. No country can play its role alone and unrelated to the others on the world stage. One bloodstream circulates through all the limbs; one Divine principle circulates through all the lands and peoples.
The transformation of the world is related to the transformation of the individual. The world will change when the individual changes. We tend to attach importance to the external forms of social institutions. We lay stress on the conditions prevailing in the political, economic, social and environmental spheres. Changes in these spheres alone are not enough. Mental and spiritual transformation is more essential.
Whatever one's education, position or intelligence, every one desires two things. To achieve greatness and wishes to be a good individual. No one wishes to be lowly and despised.
( What is the difference between a great person and a good person? Greatness is based on worldly attributes. The great person is able to attract people. The good person tries to sustain him/herself by own efforts. The great person enjoys many luxuries and amenities. The good person experiences the bliss of the Divine. Greatness is often associated with persons who have likes and dislikes, attachments and hatred and who have an inflated ego. Goodness expresses itself in pure joy and unselfish service to others. Greatness has a rajasic quality. Goodness bears a satwic quality).
Education, wealth and strength are necessary for everyone. But the value of each of them depends on the way you use it. When a good person gets the benefit of education, it ripens into wisdom. But when a bad person gets educated, he/she gets immersed in disputations and education itself gets polluted. When a good person gets wealth, it is used for charity and righteous causes. But wealth in the hands of a bad person promotes arrogance and pride and ultimately causes person's downfall. Strength in a good person enables to help the weak and serve the society. Strength in a wicked person encourages to cause harm to people and harass the weak. Thus education, wealth and physical prowess derive their value from the way they are used.
Knowledge is said to be acquired when you pursue the analytical method and divide things, feelings, experiences into categories, pleasant and unpleasant, harmful and beneficial, lasting and temporary. The higher knowledge however unifies, it makes one aware of the one which appears as many, it reveals the truth, on which falsehood is superimposed. To discover this truth, the classic texts have laid down two codes of discipline, one external and the other internal - the outer and the inner. The outer is nishkama-karma (desireless activity) - activity that is engaged in as dedication and worship; or, activity that is gladly carried out, from a sense of duty, regardless of the benefit that may accrue, with no attachment to the fruits thereof. The inner is dhyana (meditation on the splendour of which one is but a spark). Karma (activity) has to be regulated by dharma (righteousness) then it will lead one on to Brahman (the basic truth of the Universe, including oneself).
The Vedas have declared: "Tath Twam Asi," "Aham Brahma-asmi," "So-Ham" ("Thou art that," "I am Brahman," "I am He"). The first sutra (aphorism) in the Brahma Sutras declares: "Athhatho Brahma Jignaasa" (Then thereafter seek to know the Brahman). The Vedic dictum, "So-Ham," is confirmed by the inhaling and exhaling that go on in everyone. But no one believes in it. People believe in the films, in novels and newspapers and many other sources. But one does not believe in the truth of own Atma (Self). As a result, human is growing weaker and losing humanness because of the, lack of faith in own Self.
The cosmic Divine Lord is governed by Truth. That Truth is governed by a Uthama (supremely wise person). Such a noble being is the very embodiment of God. (Do not bend and cringe and barter your self-respect. Do not believe that you are this little lump of body. You are the indestructible, immortal Atma, of the same nature as the Absolute Reality, Brahman itself).
All are ostensibly engaged in the pursuit of Truth, many are devoting their time to God. They go on pilgrimages. But even in these trips, not all of them concentrate their thoughts on God for a few moments. They don't make any internal enquiry.
To seek the Truth and experience God, there is no obligatorily need to go out anywhere. By going to a forest or visiting temples, the inner being is not purified. Renouncing all worldly things, one must explore own inner life. This prescription of sacrifice is what the Vedas recommended for attaining immortality.
Renunciation of desires is not a virtue that can be got by a message from others or as a result of prodding by someone. However many books you may read, or discourses you may listen to, or advice you may receive, the spirit of renunciation has to emanate from the heart within you. (Buddha's father, Suddhodana, tried every conceivable means to prevent his son from developing detachment. But he could not prevent Buddha from renouncing the kingdom and family and leading the life of a renunciant).
The greatest formula that can liberate, cleanse and elevate the mind is the name of Rama. (However, Rama is not to be identified with the hero of the Ramayana, the Divine offspring of Emperor Dasharatha. He was named Rama by the Court Preceptor who said that he had chosen that name since it meant, "He who pleases.") Rama is the free universal Self who pleases. The Self is therefore referred to as Atma-Rama, the Self that confers unending joy. Rama, the mystic potent sound, is born in the navel and it rises up to the tongue and dances gladly thereon.
To realise one's own true Self is Liberation or Moksha. It does not mean attaining some Divine state. Divinity is within you. From this aspect there is no need for any search or for any sadhana. Whatever you do, do it as an offering to God. Do not make a distinction between "my work" and "God's work." When you make a division, you give rise to enmity, because of differences.
Practice is more essential than the mere acquisition of knowledge. Charles Webster Leadbeater, influential theosophical writer (1847?or 1854? -1934) has declared that the correct recital of the Gayatri Mantra with the orthodox modulation of the voice and the higher, lower and even accents can produce experienceable and authentic illumination, whereas incorrect pronunciation and wrong accent result in thickening the darkness. Therefore, instead of scoffing at the disciplines of recitals, meditations, prayers, formulary worship and mantra-utterances, their values have to be accepted and their results tested and confirmed by practice and exercise.
How is one to seek the knowledge of the Brahman? This
quest can begin after one has acquired knowledge of Dharma - that is,
after the stage of Dharma Jijnasa (the Knowledge of Karma) has been
Like underground water, the Divine is there, in everyone, remember. He is the Atma i.e. Brahman of every being. He is not more in a rich being or bigger in a fat being. The sun shines equally on all; His Grace is falling equally on all. It is only you that erect obstacles that prevent the rays of His Grace from warming you.
Kali Yuga is the age of discord. The world is faced with such dangers from man-made calamities. One of these is the thinning of the ozone layer above the Earth. As a result, there is the threat of fire disasters. There is discord everywhere - between husband and wife, between preceptor and pupil, and in every other relationship. What is the reason for this discord? The absence of mutual trust. No one trusts another. As a result, hatred and bitterness are growing in the social, ethical, political, economic and every other field. There is discord even in the scientific field. The lack of trust has blinded people towards each other. People have belief in things which should not be believed, but do not believe that which they ought to believe.
Now most worship and rituals are for the better comfort
and more luxurious consumption of the worshipper him/herself. Devotion has
been vulgarised into a business deal. I shall give you so much, provided
you give me so much in return. If that shrine promises more, this shrine
is given up; if even there, you do not get quick returns, somewhere else,
some other God might be more profitable. That is the way in which worldly
people wander about in their panicky rounds. Today's aspirants
In every human, animality, humanness and Divinity are present. Human, unlike an animal, is endowed with a mind, which confers on him/her Vicharana Shakthi (the power to enquire into the how and why of things). This Divinity has to manifest itself from within. It has to be realised by own efforts. The Atmic Principle is based on an internal source.
Seeds of the search for Bliss are dormant in the hearts of people. Some nurture them; some tend them, until they blossom. Many have not recognised their existence; they cultivate thorns and thistles, trees yielding bitterness and ugly hate.
Human is not merely a creature thrown up by nature in the process of an evolutionary gamble. Individual has a special meaning, a special mission, a unique role. Human is a child of immortality, set in the background of this mortal world, in this mortal flame. Human's mission is to merge in the God from whom he/she has emerged. Heaven is not a supra-terrestrial region of perpetual Spring; it is an inner experience, a state of supreme bliss.
There are four kinds of temples: One, Vidyalaya (the Temple of Learning); second, Bhojanalaya (the Temple of Food); third, Vaidyalaya (the Temple of Healing) and Devalaya (the Temple of God). All the four are equally places of worship for human. But because of the infirmities in human nature, they are not all treated alike. People go to a Bhojanalaya (hotel), eat whatever food they like and come out happy. They go to a Vaidyalaya (hospital), relate their illness to the doctor, and receive the prescribed medicines. In a hospital you can only ask for medical treatment. When you go to a Vidyalaya (an educational institution) you must seek only knowledge in the subjects you are interested in. When people go to a Devalaya (temple of God) they do not always conduct themselves properly. Instead of concentrating the mind on the Divine, the mind is allowed to wander hither and thither and think about useless mundane affairs. With the result that people tend to forget that if they secure the grace of God all other things will be accomplished easily.
Devotion to God is not to be calculated on the basis of the institutions one has started or helped, the temples one has built or renovated, the donations one has given away, nor does it depend on the number of times one has written the Name of the Lord or on the time and energy one has spent in the worship of the Lord. These are not vital at all, no, not even secondary. Devotion is Divine Love, unsullied by any tinge of desire for the benefit that flows from it or the fruit or consequence of that love. It is love that knows no particular reason for its manifestation. It is of the nature of the love of the soul for the Oversoul; the river for the sea; the creeper for the tree, the star for the sky, the spring for the cliff down which it flows. It is not the pickle, which only lends a twang to the tongue and helps you to consume a little more of the food. It is an unchanging attitude, a desirable bent of the mind, standing steady through joy and grief. For the Divine Bliss comes through knowledge of the Self; the Devotee is the true witness.
Krishna Chaitanya once went to the temple of Jagannath, at Puri. He was a handsome youth at that time. He addressed Lord Jagannath in these terms: "Oh Lord! You are not merely Jagannath (the Lord of the world). You are the Lord of all the worlds, of the Cosmos, the Lord of Life, the Lord of the Spirit, the Lord of all embodied beings. You can accomplish anything. I do not seek from you the powers of yoga or physical strength. I seek only the power of your Love. Your love will give me all the strength I need. It will be my real strength."
Hence the only strength we should seek from God is the strength of love. With that strength all the powers can be acquired. Chaitanya declared that: "The Lord is the indweller in my heart" because according to the Lord's own declaration, "My Atma abides in all beings as the indwelling Spirit." He is present everywhere in the Cosmos. He is timeless. You must try to develop the awareness of this omnipresent Divine in your heart. You must consult your conscience and find out whether your devotion is genuine.(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "Amrithasya Puthraah," Chapter 12; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 8. " Unity in unity," Chapter 17 and "Name, the never-failing fountain," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 21. "Wealth Or Grace?" Chapter 20 and "The Great and The Good," Chapter 22; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 26. "Through Self-enquiry to Self-realisation," Chapter 11).
Namaste - Reet