Swami teaches....Part 68


Links to Swami Teaches - Part 67 

Sai Ram


     Light and Love

   Swami teaches... 9 - 10 June 2006

    The Golden, Eternal and Timeless Rules of Life.Part 2

     People everywhere are frittering away the precious years in three vain pursuits.

    1. Praising oneself, thrusting one's interests forward, aggrandizement at all costs.

    2. Defaming others, blackening the reputations of others, scandalising the good and fawning upon the bad.

    3. Talking frivolously, or irresponsibly, stoking the fires of hatred or slinging mud, helter skelter, with no care for the injury done.

    People try to know everything about everybody else; but, they do not try to know about themselves. The attempt to know about the knower is called sadhana; knowledge about the knower is Atma Vidya. Human seeks joy in far places and peace in quiet spots; but, the spring of joy is in  heart, the haven of peace is within as human's inner nature. 

   Three categories of people support and sustain human society - those who produce, those who guard and those who guide - the workers, the soldiers and the teachers. A society can be strong only when those who produce the food, clothing and shelter are well equipped and active, when the guardians of law and order and those in charge of the frontiers are patriotic and skilled, and when those who open the eyes of children and unfold their innate richness are full of love and understanding.

    These three are like the three legs of a tripod. But as a mere structure with three legs the tripod cannot be useful and efficient. The people who are the concern and under the care of the three categories form the plank on top of the three. The seat has to be screwed tight to the legs - the screws being peace, love and truth and the process of screwing and tightening being the eager enthusiasm for progress, prosperity, security and unity, the sincere effort to accept and promote the human values - Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Non-violence and Love. These five values are as essential for a full and worthwhile life as a five vital airs or Pranas mentioned in the scriptures.

    The teacher embodies these values and establishes them in society. That is teacher's  opportunity, duty, the justification for profession. Therefore, teacher becomes responsible for the efficiency and excellence of the other two categories also. Teacher has to bear the burden of shaping and perfecting the producers and the guardians too. The peace and prosperity of the world depend on the teacher - his/her personality, character, skill and outlook.

    An example from history. When Kalidasa (Sanskrit dramatist and poet ca 5th century A.D.) was at the court, Emperor Bhoja pitted one famous scholar against another equally famous opponent. When he found that no one failed before the arguments of the other, he invited one pupil each from those taught by the scholars and encouraged them to engage themselves in debate to discover which master-teacher was superior. But they too failed to overcome each other. The thousands who witnessed the end-products of the teaching by the masters acclaimed their greatness in unanimous appreciation.


   "Vidya is That which liberates", say the Upanishads. The teacher should not confine within books; the universe is teacher's text. The teacher teaches not merely by words or through books but more by attitudes and aptitudes, prejudices and preferences, the means and methods he/she employs and conduct and habits. The skill of the teacher is to imbibe and to transmit the knowledge and experience that the Universe is divine, true and holy. A good teacher is perpetual learner; for him/her, Nature or Prakriti is the best teacher.

    (The word Prakriti is usually rendered as Nature to indicate all that the Divine Will has projected. The meaning of the word Prakriti comprises also the physical body, the conduct, the activity, the feeling, the speech and the motives that govern and exemplify it).


    It is instructive (especially for teachers and for spiritual seekers) to pay attention  to the watch around wrist what has also a role of the meaningful symbol teaching sathyam (truth). It warns against evil, and alerts you to be good, so it is sivam (grace, auspiciousness, goodness). It is worn as a jewel so it is sundaram (beauty) too, besides being a instructor and reminder human values.*

    The watch is the symbol of Time. We are powerless before Time but Time's Creator and Director can be won and attained by the wise use of Time. Treat every second as new. Sanctify every moment of your life. This has to be done by realising the unity of Sath (the Divine) and Chith (the individual Consciousness). When this union is achieved, Ananda (Spiritual Bliss) is experienced.

    The watch advises you to watch yourself whether you have the credentials to teach. A hundred eyes will be watching every word and deed of yours to discover whether you have mastered the human values and whether you are practising them.

    And, most important of all, God, the Universal Watcher, is witnessing and weighing your every thought, word and deed. The God in you examines and judges and you are able to acquire selfsatisfaction through sincerity and serenity. Prove your humanness by the practice of the values which are the unique qualities of human.


    If you talk of anything you do not know, it is a matter for ridicule. If you talk about anything you have not experienced, it is reprehensible, for you are cheating your listeners. If you learn the art of public speaking and talk enchantingly using all the skills and frills recommended in the text-books or borrowed from others, it is cheating, nevertheless. Be sincere; be simple, be honest. That is the best recipe for successful speaking.

    Whenever you feel greed or resentment, try to control the emotion. Treat it as you would treat an illness; find the cure and master it.

    Discipline is the mark of intelligent living. Discipline trains to put up with disappointments. The path of life has both ups and downs, that every rose has: its thorn. Now, people want roses without thorns, life has to be one saga of sensual pleasure, a picnic all the time. When this does not happen, you turn wild and start blaming others. If each one cares for own pleasures how can society progress? How can the weak survive? Mine, not thine, this sense of greed is the root of all evil. This distinction is applied even to God - my God, not yours! Your God, not mine!

    Spiritual education in human values teaches to cultivate love towards every one, however distinct the character and capacity of each may be. Emphasise the basic brotherhood among all human beings. Emphasise the Divine Love and stand out as the harbingers of a new age free from selfishness, greed, hatred and violence. Let each of you be light unto himself or herself and thereby be a light unto others.

     Goodness, compassion, tolerance - through these three paths, one can see the Divinity in oneself and others. Sharing can reduce grief and multiply joy. Human is born to share, to serve, to give and not to grab. Human can have the highest joy and can share that joy with others; but human is now having only grief and sharing that grief with others.

     Softness of heart is condemned by people today as weakness, cowardice and want of intelligence. The heart has to be hardened, they say, against pity and charity. But, that way lies war, destruction, downfall.

     Today most people is in the throes of distress and disaster. The morning newspaper is full of murder, massacre, arson and dacoities. The brain and the mind have been polluted to a dangerous extent. Education aims only at providing information and promoting skills. It has not tackled the problem of moral degeneration, of the sublimation of low desires, of sense control and the development of spiritual insight. Such education lead human to the spiritual darkness. 

     (An example for indirect comparison. A king once granted a woodcutter in the forest an extensive sandal wood plantation as gift, in return for an act of hospitality that he had the chance to offer him. The fellow did not realise the value of the wood nor did he investigate the meaning and mode of the fragrance that emanated from the wood; he cut all the trees in a short time and burnt them for selling as charcoal).

   To improve the current sad situation in the world, beside spiritual education in human values everyone have to cultivate a broad mind, a large-hearted outlook. One of the easiest method is to broaden the heart by bhajans or simply by collective singing. Instead of singing by oneself, when devotees sing in groups, a sense of unity develops. By all people singing in unison and all hands clapping together, all hearts become one. This unity is proclaimed by the Vedas by describing the different organs of the Lord as the source of the power in the different sense organs of a human being.

   Narada (sage-bard; famous for creating disputes, resulting in solutions for the spiritual advancement or victory of the virtuous) once asked the Lord Narayana what was His permanent address. Narayana replied: "Wherever my bhaktha (devotee) sings my name, I am present there". Then Narada asked: "There are innumerable places in which the devotees sing your name, how can you be present in all those places at the same time?" 

    Where the singers merely emphasise the tune and the rhythm, He will not be present. It is only when the song is melodious combining the tune, the rhythm and the feeling only there will He be present. The singing must be full of feeling. The Lord loves only the sincerity of feeling and moved only by the feeling that is expressed, not by musical talent as such.


    There was a great musician in Akbar's Court known as Thansen. He used to sing night and day and the music was mellifluous. It was perfect music but there was no deep feeling in his singing. One day Akbar and Thansen were going round the city. Akbar found an old man singing to himself songs in praise of God. Akbar stopped his chariot and went on listening to the song of the devotee and even without his knowing it, tears started flowing from his eyes. His heart was deeply moved. He went some distance and told Thansen: "You have been singing for a long time before me and I have always found your music very sweet to the ears but it has never moved my heart, but the music of this devotee has melted my heart. I wish to know the difference between your singing and the singing of this devotee!" Thansen replied: "Maharaja! I have been singing to please you, but this devotee is singing to please God, that is the difference."

* How WATCH the pictorial pinpointer of human values is?


    W: The first letter reminds us of the sadhana of watching the Word.  Examine the word before the tongue pronounces it. Warn the tongue against relishing faslehood, or indulging in outbursts of vilification and the like. Adhere to Truth, it is the basic human value.

    A: The second letter reminds us of the additional sadhana of watching Action. Be vigilant that every activity conduces to your moral progress, to the welfare of society, that is to say, follows the moral code, Dharma what is another great human value. 

    T: The third letter reminds us an additional sadhana, a third one watching our Thoughts. While adhering to the earlier two, one trains the mind not to react vehemently or vengefully when one is blamed or extolled. Thoughts must reinforce the innate peace and tranquillity which are one's heritage. They should not create anxiety or anger, arrogance or envy, which are alien to the Divine Core of human beings. Thoughts, when watched and warned, promote Santhi, another precious human value. It resides in hearts free from pride and, greed.

    C: The fourth letter teaches us to watch the Character. Character is three quarters of life. The sadhaka has to direct him/herself to the acquisition of the three values already mentioned, through steady vigilance. Character finds expression through inner quality saturated with Love. Love must reach out to all mankind and to God.


    H: The fifth letter instructs us to watch the Heart and the feelings it originates. It reminds us of the human value of Ahimsa (Non-violence).


    (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "The journey in the jungle," Chapter 19 and "Sweetness invisible," Chapter 27; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 12. "Know the Knower," Chapter 13; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 17. "Who is the greatest?" Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 19. "The Mantra round your wrist," Chapter 3; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "Divinise Every Moment," Chapter 1).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram


     Light and Love

   Swami teaches... 6 - 8 June 2006

    The Golden, Eternal and Timeless Rules of Life. Part 1

    An individual has to bear in mind three things.

    One is that which, after it goes, will not come back.

    The second one is that which, after it comes will not leave.

    The third is the one that neither comes nor goes.


    Ignorance is the thing which, once it is gone, will not return. (If it returns, it is "ignorance piled on
ignorance." This has been described in Vedantic parlance as Mithya in Mithya delusion within a delusion).

    That which, when it comes, will not go back is jnana (spiritual wisdom). When this sublime knowledge comes to one, it would not leave him.  Knowledge of Supreme Reality, when once it is acquired, will never go away.  

    That which does not come and does not leave is Atma Thathwa (the Atmic Principle). That which is omnipresent, where can it go? There is no place where the Divine is not present. Where, then, can the Divine come or go?

   Radha (Bhagavad Gita) observed:

   When the whole Universe is the mansion of the Lord,
   Where is the need for a street or a door?
   When the cosmic Lord is shining within,
   Where is the need for a door? 

   For the Divine, there is no coming or going. God transcends such conceptions. He is the Lord of what is called the Kingdom of God. Each one has to acquire the qualification to enter that Kingdom. All are not entitled to enter it. But every human being should aspire to achieve that right.


    Human's nature is to achieve jnana (wisdom). Love is the bloodstream that sustains jnana; peace is the vision that guides and directs human. Human is Atmaswarupa (of the nature of Atma), which is Truth, Beauty, Goodness, Peace and Love. (But human craves against own nature, for the false, the fleeting, the crude, the inert and the chaotic. Human must always have in view God, of whom he/she is an expression).  

    In the Gita, Krishna declares that among the mountains, He is Himagiri, the Himalayas. From this, you should not infer that Krishna was a patriot who spoke about a physical feature of His mother-country. To reach the Himalayas, the abode of the pure, white, cool, snow (symbol of the sathwic virtues) you have to pass through Haridhwar (the gate way of God-awareness) and through Hrishikesha (control of the senses). Then only can you be the liberated soul, which is of the same essence as He and to achieve jnana.


    The Vedanta Sastras (holy scriptures; sacred texts; in general scriptures of spiritual science) are the basic science for the happiness of the individual and of the community of human. Three texts are considered authoritative by the seekers of this Bharath: the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras (spiritual text of Vedantic teachings in short maxims, attributed to sages Badharayana or Vyasa).These three teach the essentials for the higher life of the spirit.


     In order to make these texts clear to the uninitiated, three great commentators, one after the other, wrote elaborate interpretations of these texts, and since each of them had one particular viewpoint, three saw in the selfsame texts three different but not divergent paths to the goal of liberation. Sankaracharya (one of the greatest philosophers and savants of Bharat, lived probably 788 - 820 A.D) elucidated them from the adwaithic (non-dualistic) point of view, Ramanujacharya (11th cent. spiritual teacher believed in a personal God reached by devotion and faith and the everlasting self-identity of the individual soul in communion with God as the goal of life) from the visishthadwaithic (qualified dualistic) and Madhwacharya (13th cent. exponent of dualist philosophy; lived in the South Indian court of Vijayanagar; founder of a sect of Vaishnavas) from the dwaithic (dualistic) point of view.


    The Adhwaitha school of philosophy declares that there is only one entity (Deva) and that the Jivi is a false improvisation which ignorance conceives, because it is not able to realise the Universal which alone exists.There are no two; Adwaitha means 'No-two.'

    Visishthadwaitha, special or peculiar 'no-two-ness,' declares that jivi is a limb of the Universal, a component, but a distinct component of the One.


    The Dwaitha philosophy or the dualistic point of view declares that the Jivi  (individual) is Jivi and Deva (Universal) is Deva and the twain shall ever be only two. 


    All three are genuine paths to the same goal; and, those who follow one cannot change over to another all of a sudden. A car cannot change over to another all of a sudden. A car cannot fly in the air, nor can a plane taxi along the road to the destination. As one's vision gets clearer and sharper, one's knowledge of oneself and the Universal in which individual is involved becomes clearer, sharper and truer, until it becomes the very breath, the very core of own existence.


    The Kannakanda of the Vedas which prescribes yagas and yajnas (Vedic rituals of sacrifice) is designed to secure for human the Grace of God and not, as is often assumed, a happy life in Paradise. The prompting should arise not from desire for Paradise, but from desire to obtain Grace, to dedicate the Yoga to God, leaving the benefits therefrom to the will of the Bestower. The emphasis must be not merely on ritual correctness, but unconditional surrender to the God who is invoked and propitiated in these rituals.

    A celebrated sage once advised an aspirant that he could get God-realisation, in thirty days, if he spent all the twenty-four hours in the contemplation of God. He went to his place, did as he was told and after thirty-six days (he continued for six more days) he hurried to the sage, in great rage, for he was sadly disappointed. The sage asked him for an account of his daily schedule of activity during the thirty-six days. The disciple said, "Well, I rise from bed at four o'clock wash and get ready for dhyana by five, meditate until six, move about until eight, have something to eat, doze off for a few minutes, read a few pages, converse with friends for a while on the happenings in the world, bathe and drink something hot afterwards, etc., etc., with Ramanaama now and then, in the intervals." 

    The sage answered, "Wonderful indeed. I did not anticipate you will behave so crudely. I directed you to use all the twenty-four hours in the contemplation of God, without wasting a single moment. I did not lay down any other schedule. Spend as much time as there is in thirty days, in the unalloyed contemplation of God; you will attain liberation."

   The best method of carrying out the sage's direction is to believe that this body is the residence of God; that the food you take is the offering you make to Him; your act of bathing is the ceremonial bathing of Him who is in you; the ground you walk on is his domain; the joy you gain is his gift; the grief you experience is His lesson. Remember Him ever, in sun and rain. day and night, asleep and awake. That is the unalloyed contemplation the sage advised the pupil to do.

   The consequence of avoiding the knowledge and practice of Vedanta is the increase of three tragedies: papam, thapam, ajnanam (evil deed, suffering and ignorance).

    Without spiritual knowledge life is as a jungle, where there is a great ideal of dry wood which harbours worms and insects. No one cleans the floor of the forest, or cuts away the undergrowth of bush and bramble. To wade through the thorns and the leech-ridden floor of the jungle, one has to wear boots. So too, one has to wear the boots of sense-regulation if one has to pass through the jungle of life, without harming oneself. 

    Reflect and put into practice what you recognise as beneficial in what you have listened to. Practice gives the golden harvest of blissful experience. If you spend all your time in erecting the fence, when are you to raise the crop? When you spend all your time in reading about agriculture and of the excellent crops that can be got by using high yielding strains of seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, etc., but do not plough, or sow, or spray or dig or pull out the weeds, how can the granary be full?     Reading, reciting, listening - these are not enough; practise is what is needed.

    When all who listen to or read spiritual discourses, put into practice a tenth of what they hear or read the spiritual illumination will increase over the world. This must happen, this shall happen. Meanwhile, without losing heart, you should determine your path and pursue it unwaveringly.

   (An example. You have seen hundreds of funerals; but no lesson has been learned. Buddha saw but one. It changed the course of his life and opened a new chapter in the history of the world. The renunciation of the sanyasins, the suffering of the sick, the pitiable condition of the aged - these made profound impression on Buddha. He left his palace, his wife and new born child to seek the remedy for the miseries of life).


     Human being has travelled long enough on the wrong road; it is time now to turn back and move steadily towards the goal. The love that  human has cultivated for people and things has to be sublimated into pure, Divine worship. Convince yourself that the Lord is in you,as the inner nature, as the charioteer, holding the reins of the five horses (the senses) and giving you constant counsel, as the Lord Krishna did when Arjuna prayed to Him, to lead and guide. Then, it becomes easy for you to convince yourself that the self-same charioteer is leading and guiding all other people and even all other beings. When you are established in this faith firmly, you become free of hate and malice, greed and envy, anger and attachment. Do Namasmarana (repeated remembrance of the Lord); taste the sweetness that is in the heart of every one; dwell on His Glory, His Compassion, which those names summarise. Then, it will be easier for you to visualise Him in all, to love Him in all, to adore Him in all.

    Pray to the Lord to strengthen this conviction and this faith; He will open your eyes to the Truth and reveal to you that He is the Sanathana Sarathi, in all. That revelation will confer on you incomparable Ananda, and grant you kinship with Creation's manifoldness.  Know Him as your strength, your breath, your intelligence, your joy. Have faith in God, and in the correctness of moral living.  He will direct you all  towards the highest Goal; the senses, the mind, the subconscious, the unconscious, the intelligence - all. Grace will confer all you need.


    Once a mother-in-law was complaining against the new daughter-in-law that she consumed stealthily quantities of milk, curds, cream, butter and ghee. The girl's brother who heard this story from the lips of the old lady, called her into the presence, and after reprimanding her for her malfeasance, advised her to give up stealing all the items, except milk. "Milk, you can drink any, quantity you like; but, why steal these other by-products?" The mother-in-law, it is needless to say, was not very pleased with advice. So, seek the Lord's Grace, that is enough; it confers all else and leads to the source of innate nature.


    All  beings (animated and unanimated) have an inner nature. Contemplation of a heremit probably helps to spiritual seeker to stick own innate nature.  


    A hermit was one day bathing in the Ganga, when he saw floating downstream on a piece of wood a scorpion. This is God encased in the scorpion form and name, he felt; he wanted to save the scorpion. So, he took it on his palm; but, when it stung him, he dropped it on the waters. Then he was stricken with remorse and so, he lifted it up again. Thus is stung him five or six times; but, he persisted in his mission of mercy and at last, managed to drop it on dry land so that it could go its way, alive and happy. Many people watched his efforts and laughed at him for his stupidly exaggerated sympathy. The hermit told them that the scorpion had taught him a lesson and he was thankful for it. They asked him what it was. He said: "Stick to your innate nature, whatever may happen - that is what it has taught me." Its nature is to sting; it stung, regardless of whom or when.

    Human's innate nature is to be aware of own and all other humans' Divinity and to practice its powers for the benefit of society regardless of whatsoever circumstances.

  (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "The journey in the jungle," Chapter 19 and "Sweetness invisible," Chapter 27; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 12. "Know the Knower," Chapter 13; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 17. "Who is the greatest?" Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 19. "The Mantra round your wrist," Chapter 3; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "Divinise Every Moment," Chapter 1).


      Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 3 - 5 June 2006

The Divine Guidelines - the Basis of Knowledge and Wisdom

God creates the entire Universe from Truth.
Finally everything merges in Truth.
This pure and unsullied Truth
Alone pervades everywhere.

The entire world rests on Truth. Truth is the eternal witness and it cannot be hidden by any one not can it be altered. It is independent and cannot be affected by time and space. God and Truth are not distinct. It is the duty of humans to keep Truth as the ideal and adhere to it at any cost.

Just as the eyes, ears and other limbs are parts of the body, every individual is a part of society. Society is a a limb of Nature and Nature is a limb of God. Human has to realise the integral relationship between him/herself and God.

Through sublime thoughts one can reach the highest state of direct perception of God. It has to be realised within oneself. One cannot visualize Truth or God until he/she achieves harmony in thought, word and deed.

All people everywhere are of one species. Yet, human hates human; one religion is opposed to another; one race feels superior to another; one country avoids contact with another. How does this conflict arise? When one delves deep into this question, the answer becomes clear. Though people are all equally subject to birth, life and death, though all are of one kind, why do they allow the Ananda (Bliss) which is the right of each to slip away through hatred and conflict? The answer has been deluding human being for ages.

All the world's ills arise from the evil thoughts and deeds of people. Human's actions are related to desires and aversions and based on thoughts. Human's desires are infinite. However, person needs things much more satisfying, much more essential, than comfort.

The narrow limited self, the Ego what creats the infinite amount of desires is at the root of the evil. (Here the nature of the food too has a significant role to play. The food - sathwic, rajasic,thamasic - alleviates or arouses, prevents or promotes emotions and passions, it moulds the behaviour, conduct and attitudes of people. For example, pungency in food heightens feelings of pugnacity, aggression and vindictiveness in people, against those who oppose, disagree with or disappoint them. Such people are worse than scorpions and snakes, sharp swords or serrated saws. It is the cause why Swami often underlines the importance of sathwic food and not any kind other food).

One of the key's of Swami's Teaching is to develop human's mind by different and endless approaches towards spiritual awareness.

Every object in the world has its origin in a primary source. It is a Primordial Source, which is responsible for all creation. (Very few care to enquire into the nature of this source).

Samsara (worldly life) is like a tree (created by this source) with roots, branches, flowers and fruits. The mind is the tap-root of this tree. It is when people change their attitude to their mind, (as the source of thoughts and desires) that society will change and the world will be reformed.

The mind has no existence apart from the thoughts that arise through the sense organs. That was why the sages declared: "Thoughts and doubts constitute the essence of the mind." To bring the mind under control we have to free ourselves from the entire process of mental agitation. If we want to take a bath in the sea, which is agitated by waves, we cannot afford to wait till the waves subside and the sea is calm. Likewise, it will be foolish to wait for the agitations in the mind to cease for experiencing Ananda.

Agitations are of the very nature of the mind. The state of cogitation or remembrance is the mind. By constant rumination over one's sensory experiences the mind acquires a form. By relating the experiences to the "I" as the experiencer, the consciousness of a distinctive individual the Ego arises. From that, desires develop and from the desires the mind acquires a form.

Aham ("I"), Ahamkara (Ego) and Atma are closely interconnected.

The Aham ('I') is of two kinds. One that is associated with attachment to the body and the other that dissociates it from the body. Both are "I." But the 'I' that is identified with the body becomes Ahamkara (the Ego). This Ego is not the natural state of Aham. It is by relating itself to a particular form that it becomes Ahamkara. It is pure and unsullied consciousness

But the formless "I" not identified with the body is the Atma. The Indian sages from ancient times have given the highest place of honour and esteem to the word Atma. This is also known as Eruka (Awareness or Consciousness). This awareness finds expression in the term Aham ("I").

The formless Atma has no attributes. But when it is associated with a form it has all attributes. Today people experience only the Aham. ("I") that is identified with the body. They, as a rule, cannot conceive of an "I" without a body. But, by treating the body as the basis, if the vision is turned inward, the Atma can be experienced in due course. This is called Direct Perception of the Self. This means tracking the "I" to its source. A human walking with back to the sun will be treading own shadow. Only when human reverses direction will be able to leave shadow behind. The same process applies to the realisation of the Self. The journey must be directed towards the Self within and away from the external world.

What is needed today in the world is the diverting of the mind from preoccupation with the external world of Nature to the Divinity within. In this way you see the Divine in everything instead of seeing Nature as a physical phenomenon. When you see the external world as a manifestation of God, you will not notice the phenomenal aspect of Prakrithi (Nature).

It is the mind that comes in the way of the proper understanding of Aham. Just as the clouds that arise out of the vapours produced by the sun may hide the Sun for a time, the mind veils the Aham by its thoughts and desires, though the mind arises from the Atma. The Ego operates as an obstacle to the awareness of the Atma.

From the worldly point of view, we have a kartha (doer), the karma (duty) and the kriya (deed). But from the spiritual point of view all three are one and the same - the doer, the duty and the deed.

It is said that Sath-Chith-Ananda (Being-Awareness-Bliss) are the attributes of the Atma (Self). In Swami's view these three are nor three distinct entities. They are not three different states. Chith (Awareness) and Ananda (Bliss) are present in Sath like sugar which is dissolved in water and becomes one with it as syrup.

Our conception of reality is related to the time factor. Time causes great difference between what is directly perceived and what is indirectly experienced. The Atma is the unchanging entity that is able to recognise the changes brought about by time.

The awareness of the unchanging reality underlying the phenomenal world of change is the Atmic principle called Eruka. It is present in every one as the Aham ("I"). But each one views the world from one's particular circumstance, background and experience. The Atmic Principle is explained or described in different ways. There is no connection between its reality and the way it is experienced. The analogies used for explaining the Atmic Principle have their inherent limitations.

(The Sun rises in the East and sets in the West. This is the ordinary experience of human in daily life. The globe revolving round the Sun; neither sunrise nor sunset nor East and West has any reality.

The real truth is one thing and what is apparent from an experience is another. The Earth is revolving at the rate of several hundred miles per minute, people are not conscious of its movement. Our daily life is based on the apparent facts of day-to-day experience).

Everything in creation has five properties. The first three are Sath-Chith-Aanandha (Being, Awareness, Bliss) and the last two are Ruupa and Naama (Form and Name), which are subject to modification but the first three are unchanging characteristics. In the language of Vedanta, the three are named Asthi, Bhathi, and Priya (existence, shining or expressing and loving). They are the innate qualities of every manifestation of the Divine. The last of the three Priya is Ananda i.e. the Divine Bliss. The awareness of this Ananda (Bliss) is the consummation of human life.

The Ananda attained through the objective world or through subjective means is only a fractional expression of the Ananda which mergence in Brahman (Supreme Reality) grants. We speak of hot water, though heat is not a quality of water, fire has given it the heat. So, too Ananda are rendered through the grace of Supreme Divine Bliss (Brahma-Ananda).

The purification of the senses of perception and the senses of action, the mind and the intellect and the sublimation of the Ego-consciousness will happen spontaneously, once the attitude of total surrender is strengthened. (Devotion arises in the constant mind, not in the agitated, kaleidoscopic mind).

Once it is realized that the mind is the cause of "my-ness," and that it is made up of desires, then one will strive to achieve the state of Samadhi (superconscious state of bliss during meditation) in which all agitations in the mind cease. It may be difficult to achieve this state of yogic serenity. An easier way to still the mind is to concentrate all thoughts on God. When that is done, file calmness that comes in the state of Sushupthi (deep sleep) will be realised. It is a state of equanimity in which one looks upon pain and pleasure, joy and grief, with equal indifference, unaffected by them either way. In the same manner the identity of the Jivi (individual Self) and the Brahman (Supreme Self) has to be experienced. (When happens that you feel angry, start reciting some song in praise of the Lord).

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna declares that sacrificing the fruits of your actions is the best and easiest way of realising God.

Even Aadhi Shankara, who was supreme exponent of jnana marga (the path of spiritual wisdom), in his later days came to realise that the bhakthi marga (path of devotion) is the best path for mankind to realise God.

You should, therefore, serve society, help the poor and needy in distress, and thus manifest the human quality of compassion. By doing seva to people, you are doing seva to God. It is by sacrifice only human can manifest humanness and rise to Divine heights. Unfortunately today most people are interested in bhoga (worldly pleasure) which leads to roga (disease).

In reality, there is One, it appears as two. One is Jiva and the other is Deva. The Jiva is absorbed in the external. This is a sign of forgetfulness (marupu). To turn the vision inwards is real awareness (eruka). The process by which the Divinity is realised by thyaga (sacrifice or renunciation of the worldly things) is known as Tarakam. What thyaga does to a human is to eradicate the selfishness.

To understand the true meaning of Paratatwa (Self-realisation), the first step is to grasp the significance of the Love-principle. For everything, Prema (Love) is the basis, the cause and the consummation.

Love is One; it transcends caste, colour and creed, if it has to be genuine. Truth is One; there cannot be two. For two can only be one occurring twice. The goal is One; for, all roads must lead to the One God. Why then should people quarrel and fight over the Eternal and the Absolute?

Without having an inner set of human values (as some inner call) there is impossible to correct mind and sense organs. It is the spiritual path what helps to cultivate the virtues of Truth, Love and Self-sacrifice.

However, even in the spiritual field, there is a wide gap between verbal knowledge and real understanding of spiritual truth. People perform japa, dhyana and bhajana (repetition of sacred formula, meditation, and group singing of devotional songs), but there is often no understanding of their inner purpose or what they are expected to achieve.

The human values must cherish as human's lifebreath. They are: Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Shanthi (Peace orTranquility), Prema (Love) and Ahimsa (Non-violence). Of these five vital principles Prema is the foremost. It is Prema that flows as the under-current for the other four values.

How does it flow this way? When Prema is associated with feelings it produces Shanthi. When Prema animates actions, it results in Dharma. When Prema is combined with understanding it becomes Ahimsa Therefore whenever you feel angry, think of Prema, develop thoughts of love in your heart. You will have peace.

There is no penance equal to peace;
There is no happiness greater than contentment;
There is no worse disease than desire;
There is no righteousness equal to compassion.

Real penance consists in nor leading the life of an ascetic in a forest but in worshipping God in thought, word and deed. Where is the need for any penance to acquire peace if that peace is already present in the heart?

Peace can be got when one's vision is turned inward. How many miserable people are there in the world who have all the comforts they need. Creature comforts cannot be equated with peace.

Contentment, it is said, confers the greatest happiness. It follows that true happiness resides in the heart and everyone should, seek it there. There is no right conduct equal to compassion - for the simple reason that a compassionate heart is the abode of the Divine. Where there is compassion there is no need for other acts of charity.

God is declared to be omnipresent. How do you decide this omnipresence? There is a practical means of deciding this. We are aware of the basic elements - earth, water, fire, air and space with five qualities - smell, fluidity, illumination, touch and sound. The earth has all the five qualities, including primarily smell. Water has fluidity. It is lighter than earth and is mobile. It has four qualities. Fire has three qualities of which form is most prominent. It is lighter than water. Then you have air, which is lighter than fire and has two qualities: touch and vibrant movement. Last comes akasha (ether or space) which is the subtlest of the five elements and is all-pervading. Transcending space is God, who is omnipresent.

When you pursue your enquiry in this manner you find that the different qualities account for feelings and reactions. These qualities have to be brought under control. Simultaneously one has to reduce the burdens of mundane existence and the desires that fill the mind. Spiritual progress is directly related to the reduction of desires. God's Grace goes with human effort.

The Divine power does not operate independent of human effort. Every individual has this Divine power. They are invoking Divine power as an auxiliary to their own power, which comes from the Divine. Failing to recognise their inherent divine power, they attribute it to someone other than themselves.

Some devotees rend to blame Swami if their desires are not fulfilled. When devotees pray with pure hearts, their purity itself helps to bring them relief. But they are thankful to Swami for saving them. Swami is not involved in either of these results. They are the fruits of the devotees efforts and attitudes.

Swami illuminates His Divine vibrations equally over the whole world, over the whole humanity, over the rich and poor, over the young and adults, over the men and women, over the worldly great and not so great persons, over the members of SSO and not members,,,,. All people have an opportunity to be equally in inner connection with this Divine power i.e. Swami's Cosmic Form. How to obtain this skill? Swami Himself has prepared and prepares constantly the guidelines for this in the form of His Teaching.

When your faith in the Divine is total, that faith will help you. Develop that confidence in the Self. People must develop strong faith. That will confer all spiritual experiences. The Upanishads declare: "Arise from the slumber of ignorance and go forward towards awareness of the Self." The Self alone is eternal and changeless. Carry on your normal duties. Spiritualise all actions and treat whatever happens as actions for your good. Learn to experience perennial bliss by seeking union with God.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16. "Food and character," Chapter 19 and "Conquest of the mind," Chapter 26; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18. "Face the challenge of Krodhana," Chapter 8; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "Let Truth prevail," Chapter 24; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Discovering the Aathma," Chapter 28).

Namaste - Reet