Swami teaches....Part 70


Links to Swami Teaches - Part 69

Sai Ram


     Light and Love

   Swami teaches... 29 - 30 June, 2006


   Inner Voice Indicates the Dharma We Must Follow. Part 2


    "Speak the truth, do righteous acts" is the motto of Bharath, as declared in the Vedas. 


      Socrates told his disciples that the Universe is governed by truth, goodness and beauty. These are the same as Sathyam, Shivam Sundaram, the terms used by the Bharatheyas to describe Divinity from time immemorial. The truth that transcends the categories of time is the Real Truth. Human is an embodiment of this Truth. But people have forgotten this today. Truth is not palatable to them, while untruth seems sweet, though it is poisonous.


    What is needed today is a band of sincere sadhaks (spiritual seekers) who long to experience the bliss promised at the end of the spiritual journey; as well as all along the pilgrim road - a band of aspirants who are eager to test the validity of what they are taught to believe, on the touchstone of experience. This is the time  when the thirst is deepest among youth and therefore, the fountain of clear knowledge has to be kept in full flow.

    The Kenopanishad proclaims that the basis of every action should be Truth which is Divine. The rishis did not compile the Upanishads as a pastime. They gave this valuable treasure for the welfare of mankind.


    If you take the Gayatri Mantra, it starts with "Bhur Bhuvah Suvah," in which Bhur is the Bhuloka (this world where we live), Buhvah is the other world and Suvah is the world of Radiation. All the worlds are within every human being. Human is an embodiment of the three phases of time (past, present and future) and the three powers of creation, preservation and dissolution. Human is thus the embodiment of the Prajna (Principle of the Supreme Consciousness, Awareness).

    The five vital airs, prana (life-breath, life force, vital energy), apana (the downward air, which goes out through the anus), udana (breath that moves upward from the throat), samana (digestive air; even breath) and vyana (air  that which is diffused throughout the whole body) are the constituent elements of Naada (the Primordial sound).


    Bindhu represents steadiness of human's body, mind and intellect. Kala represents the Atma. The Eeshavasya Upanishad deals with the different aspects of Naada, Bindhu and Kala. It says that these Three are like a triangle with the Self as the apex and the body and mind as the two points at the base. The body is gross, while the Self is subtle and the mind is a combination of the two. Just as Naada, Bindhu and Kala are everywhere, the mind is also all-pervasive as stated in the Eeshavasya Upanishad. The mind is the cause of pain and pleasure, happiness and misery, bondage and liberation. It should be properly directed towards Prajna. The body is inert matter and cannot function without the Prajna principle, which is radiation. Prana (vibration) animates the whole body. All the three are constituents of Sath-Chith-Ananda.


    Few seek real Ananda; the many are led away by the pseudo-ananda of the senses, the intellect and the mind. Today ideals must become higher and grander. Desires must become more and more selfless and sublime. Attachment must be transmuted into nobler and subtler emotions. Laziness too is the bane of modern civilization; people want rest, they complain of overwork, they talk of being tired.


    Today, human is shaped by the head, rather than the heart. It is cleverness that is admired, that pays. But, peace and joy emanate from the heart not the head. The heart  teaches compassion, awe, reverence, humility, equanimity, sympathy - qualities that bind people in love, and turn them towards righteousness and the source and sustenance of the Universe. 


    The wise will not give place in their hearts to covetousness and possessiveness. Vyasa, who collated the Vedas, composed the aphorisms that demarcate the Divine Principle (the Brahmasutras) and wrote the Mahabharatha reputed to be the fifth Veda, could still not win mental peace. Those were but intellectural feats, flights of poetry and philosophy, but not floweres that blossomed from authentic experience. At last through the prompting of Narada, who taught and practised bhakthi-marga (the path of devotion) he immersed himself in the contemplation and description of the grandeur and glory of Godhead. The Bhagavatha  (a textbook of the Divine Love, the story of Avatars) was the result of this yearning of Vyasa. 


    Love is the seed, courage is the blossom and peace is the fruit, that the sages grew in the garden of their hearts. They toiled for identifying themselves with the Truth, not for painting falsehood with the authenticity of Truth and parading as if they accomplished the mission on which they had come to the Earth.


    Stop a while and examine your habits and activities; analyse them, evaluate them on the touchstone of morality, truth, love and fortitude. Give up all that drags you down into evil, strengthen all that lifts you and takes you nearer to Swami. Do not be disheartened that you have to suffer the consequences of what you have done.


    Be like the tortoise, which can live in water or land. That is to say, cultivate the inner calm that helps you to be with the thought of God, whether you are amidst people or alone.


    The best prescription for living in undiminished Ananda (bliss) is to develop genuine sincerity, and speak what you think, and act what you speak. For a thousand who speak and praise, perhaps one puts this prescription into daily use. A bunch of horses start from the crease for the race, but only one or two are acclaimed as winners.


    The individual is Arjuna; the Universal which inspires him is Krishna. Led by the Universal, the individual has to oppose the attractions and delusions of the manifested, the Maya, the Prakrithi, that is, the Kaurava Hordes. The battle depicted in the epic is the inner battle, between the temporary and the eternal, the particular and the universal, the sensual and the super-sensual, the seen and the seer. The Atma is described as a streak of lightning in the blue cloud; it is a gita (song). Discover that gita, then the purpose of Gita study is fulfilled.

    Every human being is engaged in battle, with insidious internal foes. How can anyone move about, with raised head and proud mien, when his enemies are celebrating their victory inside him? It is a matter of stark humiliation. The forces of lust, greed, anger, hate, pride, malice, envy and avarice are celebrating triumphant victory-dances in the heart while the humbled victim, the prisoner in their hands, expects to be honoured and lionised.


    The internal foes can be destroyed by the light of jnana (the illumination that accompanies the realisation of the Reality). To acquire that illumination, one has to cultivate the spirit of impartial, steady, unfluctuating inquiry, based on the revelations made in the Vedas about the nature of human and God, and the relation between the two. The Vedas have to be studied reverentially, for, they give us the key to this jnana.


    The Veda is the philosopher's stone that turns all metals into gold, all students into sadhakas and all sadhakas into sages. (Unaware of their worth, pandits who have learned the Vedas by rote use it as a means of livelihood, as a fertile field for futile argumentation and dialectics. Their disputations and competitive commentaries have only spread disbelief among the masses, for, they are not impressed by the scholasticism, and sophistry).


    The craving is now for the easy life, the smooth life, the life with less and less of physical hardship; but health, can only come through a keen appetite and strong limbs and deep hunger and strenuous work. Make your thoughts nobler and engage in some hard work. The more idle time you have at your disposal, the greater opportunities you have to stray away from thoughts of seva, of sadhana and of the Inner Truth.


    Whoever speaks, whatever is spoken about the Vedas and Vedanta (the concluding metaphysical part of Vedas), if spoken with reverence and sincere yearning, is worth listening intently.


    Swami notes when He is discoursing, the listeners listen to every word, with marked avidity and enthusiasm. But, when pandits and others are speaking on subjects that are valuable to listeners out of their own deep study and sadhana, Swami does not notice the same avidity and enthusiasm. This is wrong.

    Rain water is rain water whether it falls from a spout, or the caves, or through a canal or sluice. What they speak is also authentic and beneficial. What you should care for and treasure in your memory is the "curative property of the drug," not the label on the bottle or the name and status of the manufacturer or dealer. Benefit from the drug; cure yourself; become illumined; realise your Reality.


    When Rama decided to end His Avatar career and walked into the flooded Sarayu river, a dog too followed the concourse. When asked why it had attached itself to the entourage, it said, "I desire to enter Heaven with you all. I was, in my previous life, a full-fledged yogi; but I slipped and fell from the straight path of self-control, I became the slave of conceit; I expounded the Vedas as my fancy dictated, in strange but attractive ways; so, I have now become this animal that takes delight in barking, biting and baying. The persons who encouraged me then by praise, are now the fleas and flies that crowd on my skin and pester me. Help me, Lord, the escape from this disgrace; I have worked out my karma; I have lived out my sentence." That is the consequence of irreverence shown to the Vedas; study them reverentially and with a view to practice what they teach. Desisting from practice, is itself irreverence.


      The deer in a forest met in a conference and passed a resolution defying hounds and calling upon all deer to stand firm and beat back their attacks. But, even when they were acclaiming the resolution, the hounds bayed and they fled, mover, seconder, supporters all. No one stayed at the place where the conference was held. The conclusion is that words without practice are empty. 


    The truths on which the  the Atma Vidya (the Science of Self-control, of realisation of the Reality,of which the world of duality is an appearance, an efflorescence, is the inner spirit)  is based have to be explained to the people of India as well as to a growing number of outsiders who are eager to benefit by the wisdom, distilled by the sages of India through years of asceticism and inquiry.


    Two examples for inner contemplation.


    There was a monk near Haridhwar who had given up for years both hearth and home and was living on alms; he used to heap all the food he collected on a flat rock that jutted out of the Ganga and used it as a plate from which he took his meal.


    One day, the monk came to his rock and found another monk sitting there, taking food. He got enraged at this trespass on his 'property'. Then the new-comer said, "Alas, you have renounced all sense of 'I and mine'; you have shaved your head so that you may not be recognised by erstwhile companions; you yearn to be free from all bonds; but, you have tied yourself up this rock.  How can you swim across this Sea of Samsara (worldly life of repeated cycles of birth and death) with this rock round your neck?


    Gopichand's mother encouraged him to tread the path of renunciation and fortitude as a preliminary to self-realisation; she tested his accomplishment, after he had been for some years with the sage Bhartruhari: one night, she put on a male dress and laid herself in the place where her son used to sleep. Gopichand grumbled and asked the stranger to find some other place, as that bit of space was 'his.' When she tried to test Bhartruhari in the same manner, the response of that sage was only to remove himself to a distance. He uttered no word. So, she knew that her son had a long, long way to go.


    After reading a few verses of Bhagavad Gita or a few pages of any sacred book, or Swami's Teaching you must spend some time in contemplating on it and concentrating on its meanings. Then, you can draw out its full significance and taste it fully, and benefit from it, without any loss. Manana (deep contemplation) will confirm the fact of God being in every being, bird, beast, tree and, when this awareness is established, you will not be tempted to hate or ridicule or envy any other being in creation. Until you come to this stage, you are only a partial devotee, still a long way to go.

    Since God is in every heart, the Inner Voice is the signal that Dharma (righteousness) gives while approving or disapproving any line of action.  It is the Inner Witness that is the real I, which illumines the eye, the ear, the taste and the touch.


(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 8. "Transmute every minute," Chapter 35 and  "The philosopher's stone," Chapter 36; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "The Inner Witness," Chapter 10 and "The Arjuna attitude," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "The ascent of man," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 26. "Man and the Divine," Excerpts from Discourse on 22-10-1993).

    Namaste - Reet


Sai Ram


  Light and Love

   Swami teaches... 27 - 28 June, 2006

   Inner Voice Indicates the Dharma We Must Follow. Part 1


The Motto:


      Maya creates the Universe; it spreads before the mind the vast paraphernalia of the objective world. It is a dancer, an enchantress who entices the intelligence and traps the senses.


    Eternity extends before human being; space too is horizonless; but, life is short and very unsure. (How transient is human status? How flimsy the bases of authority? How tawdry the signs and symbols of power? Truly, the ego plays all sorts of tricks with human and makes him/her behave most ridiculously and often most dangerously). Therefore, human has to make the best use of the years allotted to him/her in this world, and try to become one with the Absolute, so that these entrances and exits may be ended. That is human's Dharma, the duty for him/herself.


    Know that Dharma and live according to its dictates - that is the meaning and purpose of life. (Every person has to play own role in life. Every person in any field has to uphold certain values appropriate to the role he has taken up). 


     "Sacrifice and share Divinity with every one" is the message of the Upanishads. You should not bother about your close relations alone, as these relationships are only temporary. You should develop Vishva Prema (Universal Love). Love your children but do not get excessively attached to them. You must make use of your body for doing your duty, but do not get too much attached to it.


    The Upanishads exhort human: "Utter Truth; pursue Dharma."  When human visualises the Universe as God, its capacity to colder the dual experience disappears. God is One and Only, it is the transcendent and immanent principle (all pervasive Oneness, Cosmic Consciousness, Absolute, by some serious theories of modern science). So one must endeavour to know God, who is Truth. (But human is content with uttering Dharma, and the killing of Truth. Mere utterance without the intention or effort to practise what is uttered is hypocrisy, which ruins the character and degrades the personality).


    There are five types of human beings. One is the manava-daivatvam (human-divine) type; second, the manava-manavatvam (human-human); third, the manava-danavatvam (humandemonic); fourth, the manava-pashutvam (human-animal); fifth, the manava-henatvam (debased human).

The human-divine type consists of persons who are aware of the divinity in them. They recognise that the Atma is the real Self and regard the body as an instrument for realising the Divine. They strive to lead pure and sacred livers, entertain pure thoughts and engage themselves in acts of charity and righteousness. They concentrate their minds on the Divine and fill their lives with the love of God.

The human-human type are those who discharge their prescribed duties in life according to the various stages (student, householder, forest-dweller and mendicant ) and lead a pure and sanctified life. Such persons strive to adhere to the basic human values of Truth, Righteousness, Peace and Love and thereby live up to their true human nature.


    The term manava i. e. human has two meanings. One is maa (not) nava (new} - one who is not new. This means that human has a long history behind him. The other meaning is: maa-na-va--one who is free from ignorance (maa-ignorance, na-without, va-living/. True humanness consists of turning away from evil courses and pursuing right paths in life.

The human-demonic type of human beings follow evil practices not only in matters relating to food and recreation, but engage themselves in acts of cruelty and violence. They lead lives bereft of morality and justice. They are intensely selfish and have no thought of being helpful to anyone. The demonic quality is identified with selfishness and cruelty. If righteousness is the mark of a truly human person, wickedness is the mark of the demonic being.

The human-animal type of person is concerned only with eating, sleeping and sensuous pleasures. These animal qualities are described in Hindi as "Khaana, Sonaa, Marnaa" (eating, sleeping and dying). These persons have no higher aims in life. Hence, they lead an animal existence.

    5. There is only one thing which is worse than this human-animal existence. That is the
debased human being, who will go to the extent of subjecting him/herself to suffering for the purpose of doing harm to others. Such person will be prepared to lose both eyes to see that the other human loses one. Debased human will do harm to those who have done him/her good. This is the most degraded type of human being.

    The greatness of a human being does not consist in returning good for good. It consists of doing good to one who has done him/her harm.
It is enough if people try to be at least truly human, if they cannot rise to the level of the human-divine. Thereby they may go towards the Divine. Whatever studies you may pursue, whatever degrees you may acquire, never fail to live up to your true human estate. Without developing the true human qualities, all learning is like the howling of jackals in a cemetery. Getting by rote all kinds of knowledge without making any effort to put even a fraction of it into practice is simply an infliction on the memory.

    The Almighty who has made creatures evolve unto human beings comes down as Man, whenever that creature forgets or ignores this basic duty to itself. The rishis of India have, through the process of purifying their intuition, discovered this fact and sensed the message that the Incarnations bring, the Avatars carry.


    You see Avatar Swami very active. Swami is ever engaged in one activity or other for humans benefit.  The reason is Swami must be doing something all the time, for humans' sake, as an example, as an inspiration, as a piece of training. Those who are leading must themselves follow; whose who command must themselves carry out what they expect others to do.


    Several persons holding high positions come to get Swami's blessings for achieving higher positions or for other personal benefits. Big businessmen and traders come to take Swami's blessings and return. Those in the teaching, legal and other professions come to Swami. Theists come to Swami, participate in bhajans etc., and go away. All of them come to Swami to get their desires fulfilled. No one comes to know what Swami wants. How many strive for Swami's sake?

    Everyone comes with selfish motives.
In ancient days the devotees of the Lord sacrificed their lives by engaging themselves this Divine quality of selflessness. You should love all without distinction and serve society.

   You are contemporaries of the Avatar come to guard and guide; you have the capacity to catch the message and canalise it into action and activity. The Message can be grasped only by those who yearn to know the Duty, to which they have to be loyal. Or else, it will sound hollow and mechanical, like the prattle of a phonograph record. But, if the heart is ploughed by that yearning and made ready for the seed, the harvest will certainly follow.


    Arjuna was the brother-in-law of Krishna; he was a close companion and even a chum of the Lord, for many decades. Krishna, remember, was 84 years old, at the time of the Kurukshethra battle, when He served Arjuna as a non-combatant charioteer. But, yet, it was only on that battlefield that the Message of the Bhagavad Gita was imparted to him.  Why? Arjuna developed the requisite attitude for the reception and retention of the Message only then.


     1. Arjuna was puzzled about his duty and was tremendously anxious to get light thrown upon it. He was torn between two paths, and in spite of all his discrimination and detachment he was at a loss to discover what his Dharma was.


     2. Arjuna surrendered his judgement to God, and declared, out of the deepest recesses of his heart, in indescribable agony, "I am your disciple; I dedicate my entire being to your Will; tell me what to do and I shall obey."

    3. Arjuna was overcome by Love, though it took on the colour of egoism and delusion. He felt that it was wrong and useless to kill his kinsmen, to plunge the land in misery, to slaughter the armies ranged against him. He preferred a life sustained on alms to ruling over an empire won by the sword. This compassion, though misplaced and based on an unreal sense of values, had its own appeal, to the Lord, who resolved to transmute it into the renunciation of the attachment to the deed, and the fruits of the deed.

     By the way, Arjuna is also called Partha - son of Earth, a name applicable to all people. It means earthly, earthborn. So, this situation is a reminder to every individual on the Earth. If only you cultivate a deep yearning for guidance about your appropriate Dharma, and if only you surrender your will, your intellect, your emotions, your impulses to the Lord, He will lead you to Himself and endow you with Supreme Bliss.


    Every deed must take human nearer the goal; it must be a step in the pilgrimage to Initial Source. It must cleanse the emotions, correct the attitude, clarify the path and co-operate in the consummation. This has to be the constant care and vigilance of every seeker and aspirant to Bliss.


    Many times in human history, Avatars have come and awakened human. But, the animal past, and the demonic delusion drag him/her into the mire, where human foolishly revels in sensual, physical and transient trivialities.This is a splendid chance to fulfil human existence. The Ananda from kith and kin, from wealth and worldly fame, is but a pale shadow of the Ananda that resides in the spring of heart, where God dwells. Try to contact that spring; go to the very source; be centred in the Atma or; God within.  Real Ananda springs only from eternal Truth. Seek Truth, serve Truth, be Truth.


    Truth will reveal itself when the heart is saturated in Love. Human's nature is fundamentally Truth; human's  breath is fundamentally Love; blood is fundamentally Tolerance. (Falsehood, hatred and faction are characteristics of beastly or demonic natures. They are acquired from society, or ignorance or greed).


    The path of spiritual discipline which is most beneficial to human is laid down in a simple and sweet manner in the great scriptures of ancient India. They explain through example and precept the Divine Principle inherent in the Universe, and inspire mankind to gaze with awe and reverence at the handiwork of God and His inscrutable divine miracles. They prompt human to march along the pilgrim road of sacrifice, in the happy company of sages so that, before the body falls, the Vision of the Eternal can be gained and enshrined in the heart for ever.

    The narratives and descriptions which the ancient scriptures contain purify the iccha shakthi (the urge to desire) latent in human, and sanctify the kriya shakthi (the urge to act), and finally invigorate and clarify the jnana shakthi (the urge to know). By this process, human attains chittha suddhi (the purification of the consciousness). It is only in the consciousness that is so transformed that the Atma can be reflected and understood. (So, every religion has, as its technique, this transformation, this cleansing process. Every religious classic has this as its aim).


     The Vedic invocation says "Puurnamadhah Puurnanuidham," meaning "That is whole and this is whole." This implies that Divinity and humanity are not different. The same constituents are there in both. There is only one Supreme Power which manifests itself in multitudes of forms.


     Without getting rid of ignorance, awareness of the Supreme cannot be experienced. Jnana (the higher knowledge) is the embodiment of the Paramatma (the Oversoul). It is self-effulgent. It is only when human is conscious that he/she is that Knowledge and that Light that he/she can have the adwaithic (oneness with the Divine) experience.

    What is light? It is the means by which we are able to see various objects. During the day we see things by the light of the Sun and at night by the light of the Moon and stars and of lamps. What is it that enables us to know that we are seeing things by sunlight or other sources? It is through the eyes. In the dream state we see many objects although our eyes are closed. Who is the seer in that state and who is the experiencer of the dream? It is the buddhi (the intelligence) that is able to see things by its own tejas (luminosity).


    In the Sushupti (deep sleep) state even the buddhi is not present, but a blissful feeling is experienced. Who is the experiencer of this bliss? That is the Atma (the Indwelling Spirit). "I am the Atma and the Atma is I" is the truth that has to be recognised by everyone. It is the Atma that activates the buddhi, which enables the eyes to perceive objects. It is when this truth is experienced, then alone can human realise the transcendental unity that subsumes everything. For this purpose, an enquiry has to be made into "Adwaitha trayam" (three aspects of nondualism).


    These three are: Bhava-Adwaitham, Kriya-Adwaitham and Padhartha-Adwaitham.

    1. Bhava-Adwaitham is the enquiry which leads to recognition of the common basis of different objects like cloth and thread, namely, cotton.
To recognise the One that underlies the Many is Bhava-Adwaitham. This involves recognition of the one indwelling Spirit which is common to all beings and forms.

    2. Kriya-Adwaitham relates to the performance of actions, with purity of mind, speech and body, in a spirit of dedication to God, to Absolute.

    3. Padhartha-Adwaitham calls for recognition of the elements that are common to all objects and all living things. The pancha pranas (five vital airs) and the pancha bhuthas (five basic elements) - earth, water, fire, and ether) are to be found in all beings.


The understanding of these three aspects of oneness will lead to a realisation of the basic unity of the Cosmos. Failing to see this Divine unity, people  are caught up in differences. There is only One Divine in all things. It is shining effulgently in everyone. But like the ashes that cover the fire in a burning charcoal, this light is covered by human's own ignorance of the light within. To see the fire in the charcoal, the ash covering it has to be blown off.


     Likewise, the light of the Atma in the individual is covered by the sense of separateness and multiplicity. When through sadhana, this feeling of manifoldness goes, the real nature of the Self is recognised.


     The Upanishads point out that there are three entities: the Kshara, Akshara and Kshraakshrara (Immovable, movable and movable-immovable). The movable body houses the immovable Atma. One who understands this principle of Akshara will have nothing to do with the world.

    The body is given only for knowing the Atma principle, but human is using it for other purposes and thus abusing it.


    There are three elements in all actions' the Kartha (doer), Karma (action) and the Kaarana (purpose of the action). The Upanishads declare that if all the three are in harmony one will achieve success.


    All the limbs and sense organs can function only when the life force is there. That is Chaithanya Shakthi. It comes from the Self, which is Prajna, Atma Shakthi or Radiation. The moment one becomes aware of this truth and can be considered to be free from the bondage of the phenomenal world.


(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 8. "Transmute every minute," Chapter 35 and  "The philosopher's stone," Chapter 36; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "The Inner Witness," Chapter 10 and "The Arjuna attitude," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "The ascent of man," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 26. "Man and the Divine," Excerpts from Discourse on 22-10-1993).


    Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 23 - 26 June, 2006

Divert Your Boat of Life Towards the Divine

Unity is Divinity.
Purity is Enlightenment.
Let us live together
Let us experience
The gifts of things together.

The Avatar comes to offer cool comforting drink to parched humanity. Mere repetition of the words, Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi and Prema will not quench the thirst; the words rice, curry and rasam (soup) will not satisfy hunger. How can you get anandam from words? Practise them, that is the message that the Avatar brings.

When the strength that comes from the enthusiastic pursuit of one's profession wanes, when the courage of self-sacrifice is absent, all activity suffers. Have faith in the Lord or the Atmathathwa; it will vitalise you.

Surdas, the great blind singer, devotee of Krishna, had as his ardent listener when he sang Krishna Himself sitting in front of him as a cowherd boy humming in appreciation; Surdas took Him to be a cowherd from the villages around, though he sang that all beings are His Forms. One day, Krishna revealed to him that He was the Hero of his heart. He touched his eyes with His Divine Fingers and He could be seen! From His Lips, he could hear the selfsame strains of the Flute which he was hearing all along, whenever he started meditating on the Lord; he was trying all along to put that music into verse. He then declared that he did not care to see other things with the sight vouchsafed to him; he said the inner eyes were enough. The purified inner vision gives lasting joy and therefore, unfailing health.

God is moved by the devotee's heart-felt song. He becomes one with the devotee. No other form of worship has the same effect of God. It is enough if you do the singing within yourself. Make music the passport to merger with the Divine. Music is the gift of God.

Live always as the servant of the Lord within you, then you will not be tempted into sin or fall into evil. Get into the habit of living in the light of God. It is the habit that rehabilitates the fallen. Have the attitude of saranagathi (absolute self-surrender, seeking refuge at the feet of the Lord). Krishna said, "Let your mind be absorbed in Me."

Treat Swami not as one afar, but as very close to you. Insist, demand, claim Grace from Swami; do not praise, extol and cringe. Bring your hearts to Swami and win Swami's Heart. Not one person is a stranger to Swami. Bring your promises to Swami and Swami shall give you His Promise. But first see that your promise is genuine, sincere; see that your heart is pure; that is enough. Promote with Purity, Patience and Perseverance sacred Love in your hearts. That Love will not only redeem your lives but will promote the well-being of all around you.

From ancient times the sages welcomed this Principle of Love with open arms. Narada declared: "Having gained Divine Love, Parama Prema, a person becomes perfect, immortal and contented. He considered the Divine Love as supreme over all things. Your real sustenance will come from this Divine Love and not from other petty pleasures. It is this microcosmic Love that fills the entire cosmos.

The ancient sages enthroned thyaga (sacrifice) on the highest pedestal. However, when sacrifice reigns, Love will come into its own. All latent potentialities will then manifest themselves. When Love becomes the ruling principle, sorrow and disappointment will disappear. That was why the Vedas declared that sacrifice alone is the key to immortal bliss.

It is most vital for everyone to recognise and practice this Love Principle. At all times love has existed among the good and the bad, in the forest or in a palace, in attachment or in separation, in one's conduct as well as in one's speech, in the mind as well as in action. It is all-pervasive.

Love demonstrates the existence of the Divine. It is the basis for human unity. Only when selfishness goes and faith in the Divine grows will human unity be achieved.

Lost in the transient pleasures of worldly life, human is forgetting the supreme Love Principle. Selfishness has grown and selflessness-has declined. Narrow-mindedness is widespread. Broadness of heart is on the wane. Desires have increased. Ideals are vanishing. Human life is dominated by selfishness and self-interest to experience the wealth, power and joy of worldly life.

However, joy is only a subjective feeling; it is not inherent in the objective world. You are the witness, separate from the scene; you are the seer not the seen.

The screen is the Sathya (truth) and the images that flit across it are Mithya (false); when you see the film you do not see the screen as screen; you forget its existence and you think that there is just the picture and nothing else as its base. But the screen is there all the time and it is only the screen that makes you experience the picture. Narayana is the screen and Prakrithi (objective world) is the film; when the play is on, the screen is the base and Prakrithi (objective world) becomes Narayanamayam (God all-prevading). The screen is sathyam; the story is samsaram (worldly life), for it has only some saram (essence).

Emperor Janaka was listening to the soothing strains of music in the Durbar Hall, and he fell asleep on his throne. Slowly and silently, the courtiers and musicians slid out of the hall leaving him to himself. He had a dream. His kingdom was invaded, over-run, pillaged. He was captured and imprisoned. But he escaped, he was wandering alone, in enemy territory, overcome with hunger and thirst. The jungle was dark. He groaned aloud. The queen heard the groan and woke him. He saw himself as Emperor on the throne, surrounded by servants. Then, a doubt started haunting Janaka: "Which is true, that or this?" While dreaming, the dream was as true as the experience of the palace when awake. This is true, while awake; that was true, while dreaming. Each has only relative value, while at that stage. Nothing is absolutely true, really real. The waking experience is as unreal as the dream experience. When you are in deep sleep, there is no world at all. When you attain the super-conscious fourth stage, the 'I' alone remains, the Universal 'I', which was mistaken even in the sleeping stage as limited and particular.

Plant the seed of the name of the Lord, any one of His thousand names that appeals to you, in the wellprepared soil of your heart and let it sprout in the silence there; water it with love and service to fellowmen; guard it against pests and cattle, the outward dragging emotions and passions, by putting up the fence of japa and dhyana, then you will get the harvest of Ananda.

If you have sincere devotion you will fix the responsibility for your health on Him and He will also accept that responsibility. Do not divorce yourself from Nature. When people pray to God, sometimes doubts may arise as to whether and how the Lord will respond. All doubts disappear when an individual realise that the whole Universe was the mansion of God, the mansion of Cosmic Consciousness..

Human has two varieties of troubles: the physical, due to the imbalance between the three humours vatha, pittha and sleshma (wind, bile and phlegm), and the spiritual, due to the imbalance of the three gunas, sathwa, rajas and thamas (qualities of purity, passion and inertia).

Illness is due to the neglect of some simple rules of healthy eating and drinking and due to the damage caused to the system by evil habits and stupid cravings. Person rains by greed and lust worry and fear; he/she falls an easy prey to insatiable thirst for a happy life.

Coming to the more direct topic of physical ills, you must practise moderation in food, drink, sleep and exercise. Good food taken in moderate quantities, at regular intervals; that is the prescription. Sathwic (pure, wholesome) food promotes self-control and intelligence more than rajasic (passion-producing) and thamasic (impure food).

Regulate food habits; restrain the greed of the tongue. The human body and mind will be healthy only when food is consumed within limits. Excessive eating causes various disorders.

Eat only sathwic or pure food; engage yourselves only in sathwic recreations. Then you can be free from physical and mental ill-health. Bear calumny, loss, disappointment, defeat, boldly and with equanimity; then, no mental depression can over- whelm you.

All that you eat, all that you see, all that you hear, all that you take in through the senses, make a dent on your health. What is the best use to which the body has to be put? For, the body with all its equipment of senses, intellect, feeling and memory, is an instrument, an implement, a chariot which one uses for movement towards a goal. The owner of the chariot is any day more important than the chariot itself; it is for his sake that it has to be kept trim and efficient and in good repair.

There are three types of reactions you usually have from the outer world and three types of people in whom one or the other predominates: the cotton, which gets soaked in whatever it gets immersed; the stone, which escapes from getting affected; and the butter, which is changed by whatever it comes across, even a little warmth.

The "butter" people are moved by instant sympathy, either at another's joy or at his grief. Do not, like some mental patients, be always worrying about some little ailment or another. Have courage, that is the best tonic; do not give up, before you have to. It is not long life that counts.

Even the best of doctors will not be able to save a human when death calls. Death brooks no delay; death accepts no excuse. Death stalks its prey everywhere, at all times with relentless determination. It pursues its victims into hospitals, hill-stations, theaters, aeroplanes, submarines, in fact, no one can escape it or take refuge from its grasp. Do not contemplate on Death; it is just an incident in life; contemplate on God, who is the master of all life - God who is the Indweller in this physical frame. Be aware of Him all through life and offer all your activity - breathing, talking, walking, earning and spending - to Him, for it was by Him and through Him that you were able to do all these things. Once you have offered yourself to God, it must be well with you.

The duration of life is under the control of Him who gave life, the Creator. It does not depend on the calories of food consumed or the quantity of drugs that are injected, or the qualifications of the physician who prescribes the medicines. If one concentrates on the Atma, which has no change or characteristics, no substraction or senility, no decline or damage, human can conquer death. Therefore, the most effective prescription is the injection of Atma-vidhya (knowledge of the Soul as one's real Self).

Health is sought by human, not for its own sake; he/she tries to cure illness, for illness means grief; he tries to secure health, for health is after Ananda (Supreme bliss, unending Divine joy). At all times, through all acts, human seeks only Ananda. A fish thrown on the bank of the lake wriggles and struggles to enter the water again. Human's struggle to get back each for him/herself into Ananda is also of the same nature. Ananda is an inner treasure, won by detachment and discipline. We must have a plan for Ananda, a plan for Shanthi and Santhosha (Peace and Contentment). To purify the inner psychosomatic equipment, Vedas and Sastras prescribe the proper processes. (Some people dismiss the Vedas and Sastras as so many shackles on thought and action, but they are "bunds" which regulate the flow of feelings, emotions and instincts along safe channels).

Every act as an offering to the Lord, without being elated by success or dejected by defeat gives the poise and equanimity needed for sailing through the waters of the ocean of life.

But remember, there should be no begging or bargaining; surrender, submit to His will. Some people bargain with God and promise to give Him this or that costly article or their own hair, if a certain illness is cured or a certain calamity is averted. Lord Venkateshwara or any other form of the Lord does not need the hair of your head, but He wants you to respect the plighted word, to whomsoever given.

So in order to be true to your word and not incur the sin of falsehood and deceit, you have to offer it to Him, whatever the lapse of time. (Shaving off the hair of the head is a sign that you have lost the delusion that it is physical beauty that counts; you make yourselves willfully ugly, so that you can demonstrate that it is inner harmony, inner charm, that really matters. Ascetics too have to shave likewise, in order to escape from a similar delusion, and equip themselves with the proper attitude).

When the mind is controlled, the intelligence is sharpened and purified; you see only the one everywhere, in everything, at all times; then that one becomes the only Truth, which you see, hear and speak of. There is no duty higher than Truth. Do this duty to yourself first; then, consider the rights of others.

Falsehood looks easy and profitable; but, it binds you and pushes you into perdition. Purify your feelings and impulses; do not worry that others are not doing similarly. Each person carries own destiny in own hands. You will not be bound, because others are not freed. You should strive for your salvation, at your own pace, from where you started when you were born into this chance. One coconut garden may have a thousand fruits; the neighbouring garden which belongs to you may have only eight hundred. But, you are rich only to the limit of the number that grew in your garden. You have no right to the fruits grown on another's tree. Earn yourself, for yourself. Two people may have two acres each in the same village; but, they reap different quantities of grain, depending on the skill and attention they bestow, and the quality of the soil, the seeds and the manure they use.

For each person, there is a code of conduct laid down in the Sastras (scriptures), according to age and status, the profession adopted, the stage of spiritual attainment reached, the goal of life accepted, etc. Do not carp at the behaviour of others, or at the efforts they make, to get consolation and courage amidst the turmoils of life, for the path that one has chosen, the Name and the Form of God he prefers. Also do not give up your code of duties and take up that recommended for some one else.

Do not indulge in Namasmarana as a pastime or a fashion or a passing phase, or as the unpleasant part of an imposed time-table, or as a bitter quota to be fulfilled each day. Think of it as a sadhana, to be seriously taken up for the purpose of reducing your attachments to fleeting objects, purifying and strengthening you, and liberating you from the cycle of birth and death. Hold fast to it as the means of rescuing yourself in every way, from the bonds of time and change.

The common excuse for escaping from this urgent duty to oneself is that one has no time for Namasmarana in the hectic schedule of activity that has become the lot of human at the present time. If the burden of a hundred odd jobs can be borne because they are unavoidable, can the extra job of Namasmarana be such an undesirable addition? He who carries a hundred, can surely carry one more. Moreover, this is a continuing basic activity, not part of a schedule of events. It has to become as much a must as breathing; as welcome to the tongue as sugar; as essential for happy living as sleep or food or water. This one ever-present job will alleviate the burden of all the hundred jobs, make them all lighter and more worth-while.

You go to bed on a certain date and day; you awake to find that the date and the day have changed. You have grown a day older; death has come a step nearer. Much water has flowed under the bridge. Similarly, when you go into sleep, great changes happen; you awake to a new date and a new day, with old tendencies and traits still affecting the new embodiment. Life is one long ordeal; know this even when things seem to be quite exhilarating. Any moment the road may turn into a morass, the sky may darken, fortune may turn away.

The most powerful weapon to destroy the forces of evil rampant in the world today is the Divine Love. Unfortunately people are not pursuing the right path to acquire this sacred quality. Love is the seed of love. It is also the branches, the flowers and the fruit. Instead of seeking to know the true nature of the Divine Love, human is engaged in the pursuit of wealth and power. Wealth and power are certainly necessary, but only within limits. The vast ocean, when it swells beyond its bounds, is censured for its misbehaviour.

Everything in the world is governed by the bounds set for it. However, the Divine Love has no limits. "Love is beyond the power of words", declares the sage Narada. The flow of Love is the life-giving water for everyone. How is this Love to be secured by one? Not by japa (chanting the Lord's name) or meditation or by studying the scriptures. God does not dwell in the Vedas or the Puranas. God dwells in the heart and should be sought there. People should close their mouths and open their hearts. Then they will experience the Divine bliss.

Transform the entire life into a saga of Love.

What is the nature of this Love? When praying to God, you should have a feeling of total surrender. Mere expression of desire is not enough. You should endeavour to experience union with the Divine.

There is love of sorts today. It is related to the body consciousness and not to the Self which is the basis. Spiritual Love begins with the concept of Dhaasoham (I am your servant) and culminates in the concept of Soham (He and I are one). Without the feeling of Dhaasoham, you cannot experience the feeling of Soham. Soham is the expression of the Divine oneness. The Atma and I are one. That Atma is Brahma. That is Love. That is Truth. That is Righteousness.

People have been concerned with the four goals of human life - the Purusharthas - Dharma, Artha, Kaama and Moksha (righteousness, wealth, sensuous desires and liberation). But there is a fifth goal: Love. (If one goes on hopping from one Swami to another, from one form of worship to another, one will never experience Love of the Divine). One word, one path - that should be the aim.

People today invest their assets of love in pitiful ventures. Instead they should invest all their love in the Divine bank of devotion. This deposit is not only safe but will yield you increasing returns in terms of bliss. Your heart is the bank where your love for God should be deposited. Deposits elsewhere are insecure. Deposits of money may be in danger of being lost. But the deposit in your heart is immune from any kind of theft or loss. Make your deposit safe by "insuring" it within your heart. This Love has been characterized as Amritha-swarupa (the form of eternal nectar). Everyone should resolve to acquire this nectarine Love. The Divine Love is like a lighthouse beacon.

You do not need any special type of penance or meditation. Meditate on the Divine Love. Even while attending to your daily chores, regard all of them as offerings to the Divine. The Divine Love will not wane like the Moon. Let such steadfast Love be enshrined in your heart. As Tukaram (known 17th century writer who abandoned the world and became a wandering ascetic) said: "Raam in the heart and work in the hand." (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 2. "Mithi and Gathi," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "Japa and bhaja," Chapter 29; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "The code of correct conduct," Chapter 22; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 8. "Die into a new day," Chapter 34; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Fill your hearts with love," Chapter 52).

Namaste - Reet