Swami teaches....Part 71


Links to Swami Teaches - Part 70

Sai Ram  

     Light and Love

   Swami teaches... 4 - 6 July, 2006

    Keep In Line With the Divine All Through. Part 2

     The motto

    Wear the invisible badge of a volunteer of God at all hours and in all places. Let all the days of living be a continuous offering of Love, as an oil lamp exhausts itself in illumining the surroundings. Bend the body, mend the senses, and end the mind - that is the process of attaining the status of 'the children of immortality,' which the Upanishads have reserved for human. 

    Karma, dharma and brahma (action, virtue, and Supreme Being) are the three stages of spiritual progress. They were all equally important at the proper stage of development.

    While karma (action) is responsible for pleasure, pain, birth, death, etc., kala (time) is also very essential for every karma. Without these two, human cannot exist. However, action is the cause for everything.

    (From ancient scriptures what was the cause for King Harishchandra to become the caretaker of the cremation ground, for the separation of King Nala and his spouse Damayanti, and for the imprisonment and suffering of Sant Ramadas - It was the karma alone).

    As is the karma, so is the consequence thereof. These two are inseparable and interrelated. Time acts as a link between these two. Time is divided into three periods: past, present, and future. Multifarious activities take place in these three periods of time. 

    Have the mirror of bhakthi (devotion), to judge whether actions of dharma are clean and bright and winsome; have the comb of jnana (wisdom, earned by discrimination straightens problems, resolves knots, and smoothes the tangle) to control and channelise the feelings and emotions that are scattered wildly in all directions.

    Little children are trained to walk, by means of a three- wheeled contraption which they hold and push along. The Pranava is such a contraption, with the three wheels of A, U and M, the Omkara Tricycle. Holding it, human can learn to use the two feet of bhakthi and vairagya (detachment). If he/she walks on with the help of the Pranava japa, human can certainly realise the glory of the Brahman, which is the very substance of the Universe. 

     Among the nine steps of devotional progress, the fourth and the fifth highlight the attitude of seva; it is referred to as serving the Feet of the Lord; acts offered at the Feet of the Lord; feeling oneself as the servant of the Lord. Through seva alone can person attain mastery, and through mastery of the senses, the passions and the predilections, can person attain Divinity itself. The spirit of sacrifice is the basic equipment of the sevak. Without the inspiration of the sense of sacrifice, your seva will be hypocrisy, a hollow ritual. 

    Just as two wings are essential for a bird to soar high in the sky, prema (love) and seva (service) are essential for human to reach destination.   

    When you love all and serve all, you are serving yourself most, yourself whom you love most. For God's Grace envelops you then, and you are strengthened beyond all previous experience.

    For whose sake are you rendering service? Is it for Swami's sake? You are serving for yourself. As long as you have the feeling that you are serving others, you are an egotistic person. You think that you are worshipping Swami. It is a great mistake to think so. When the same Atma is present in everyone, who is the worshipper and who is worshipped? In the path of spirituality, it is a mistake to think, "I am your devotee, You are my guru" True wisdom lies in realising that all is one in Atmic Reality. 

    Krishna said to Arjuna: "Arjuna, you call yourself My devotee. When once you have surrendered to Me, then there is no difference between you and Me. So, there is no separate identity of devotee and God."

     Develop bhakthi (devotion) and you are free, for the Lord takes on the burden you carry.

    There was a merchant who asked the sailor about his grand-father and father. It seems they both died on the sea. So the merchant asked the sailor whether he was not afraid of sailing on the sea. The sailor asked the merchant where his forefathers had died. He was told that they had all died in bed, so he too asked the merchant whether he was not afraid to go to bed. Death comes to all, somewhere, somehow; but the wise person achieves the vision ere the end. Have the cool spring of devotion in you; then, the fires of anxiety cannot harm you. Then, every visitation of calamity will take on a new meaning, as a sign of Grace, to harden you, toughen you and make you seasoned timber, for His purpose.

    The Ramayana is the great epic for all who yearn to surrender to God and win Him. From beginning to end, it illustrates the various steps leading to it and the blessedness acquired when one accomplishes it. Lakshmana is a great example: he gave up every object of affection in order to be with the Lord and serve Him.

    Dasaratha had to send Rama to forest for fourteen years as a consequence of his promise to Kaikeyi. Though unused to any form of hardship, Sita had to endure the difficulties of forest life. But Lakshmana had no obligation to go through such an ordeal. Because of his intense devotion to Rama, he also followed Him like a shadow. He brought fruits, flowers, and tubers from the forest to serve Rama and Sita, and himself fasted. Every moment of his life, he spent in the service of Rama.

    Rama's love for Lakshmana too was so intense that when Lakshmana fainted on the battlefield, Rama lamented, "O Lakshmana, I cannot live without you. I may get another mother like Kausalya, a wife like Sita, but not a brother like you."

    It was a divine play enacted by Rama to show to the world the nobility and the greatness of Lakshmana. Such sacred love is like a powerful magnet. Such selfless, unattached love transcends action, space, time, cause, and effect.

    The names of Rama and Lakshmana are inseparable. This happens naturally with no special effort as we always say Rama -Lakshmana. One hardly ever hears the combination Bharata - Rama. Though Bharata's mind was one with Rama, his body was separated from Him by time and distance.

     Bharata resembled Rama in all respects. Bharata asked Rama to return to Ayodhya, but His efforts did not succeed since Rama refused to return. So, Bharata reconciled himself to returning, but stayed outside Ayodhya in Nandigrama. His body was in Nandigrama, but his mind was with Rama. Lakshmana worshipped Rama with body and mind, whereas Bharata's worship was purely mental since his mind was united with Rama. Since Bharata's worship was purely mental, he was a nirgunopasaka.You might have seen in photographs of Rama's coronation that Rama and Bharata have the same blue complexion. Bharata's mind was totally centred on Rama. Because of such intense concentration, both became one.

    There are two modes of perception, direct and indirect (pratyaksha and paroksha). That which is directly perceived (conscious) is pratyaksha, while that which is indirectly perceived (subconscious) is paroksha. This difference between direct and indirect perception is similar to the relation between hypnosis and hypnotism.

    What is hypnotism? A hypnotist has the ability to enter the consciousness of the object irrespective of distance or time. The one who undergoes the experience with mind alone without the body is the hypnotised is similar to indirect perception.

    Hypnosis and hypnotism are not modern terms. These are found in the Vedas. Since people do not know these facts, they find new terms or new words for these concepts. Hypnotism is referred to in the sastras (scriptures) as ateendriya shakti (power beyond the senses). It means that one having this power can converse with one who is in deep sleep. Even the dead will come and converse with one having such power. Not only this, one can enter the mind of another sitting in front of him. One with such powers can perceive a far away object. Ancients possessed such powers. These powers are obtained by karma only. For this, purity of mind, heart, and thoughts is absolutely necessary.  

     Another example of deep devotion. At the time of Krishnavatara, there were two sisters, Radha and Radhika. Radhika was a sagunopasaka and Radha, a nirgunopasaka. Radha constantly chanted the name of Krishna, while Radhika was engrossed in the physical form of Krishna. She was extremely sad because Krishna had gone away to Mathura. She gave up food and drink. She surrendered herself to Krishna. Radha saw this. She had thought that nirgunopasana was superior to sagunopasana, but after seeing the total surrender of Radhika, she realised the greatness of sagunopasana. Both Radha and Radhika prayed to Krishna to dwell permanently in their heart. Such intense devotion is rare these days.  

    Mysterious are the ways of the Divine. It is difficult to comprehend how the Divine grace works. There are innumerable instances of God coming to the rescue of His devotees in times of need. Sant Kabir was a weaver by profession. One day he fell seriously ill and was unable to attend to his duties. The all-merciful Lord, in the form of Kabir, wove yarn and thus came to his rescue.

    Similarly, God came in the form of a potter and helped Gora Kumbhar by making pots Himself, when he was in distress. Sakkubai, an ardent devotee of Lord Panduranga, continuously chanted the Lord's name. One day, she could not perform her daily chores since she was running high temperature. Even under these circumstances, her husband and mother-inlaw would not allow her to take rest. At this juncture, Lord Panduranga assumed the form of Sakkubai and performed all her duties.

    It is indeed difficult to understand how, when, and where God would come to the rescue of His devotees. Absolute faith is essential for God to manifest. However, where the six noble qualities of enthusiasm, determination, courage,intelligence, energy, and valour are evident, God's protection and grace prevail there.

    True devotion lies in having faith and attaining bliss. If you have no faith, how can you have bliss? Many devotees ask Swami, "Swami, I want happiness." Where is this happiness? Can you buy it in the market? No. It is very much in you. You are not able to experience it since you do not have faith in yourself. 

    Question yourself, "Do I exist?" You get the reply, "Yes, I do exist." Have faith in your existence, "I am." That is true faith. You do not need to enquire into the nature of God or to search for Him. Have total faith in Him. 

    Devotees today have some form of divinity in their mind, but they perform rituals in a mechanical way without any consistency. All your charity and worship are of no significance to the Lord. (Show your charity and wealth to the income tax department).

   God needs only your love. There is no tax on love. Offer your love to God. However, Love is not your property. In fact, it is the property of God. Surrender to God what is His.  When you offer all your love to God, He will look after all your needs. 

    Be simple and sincere. It is sheer waste of money to burden the pictures and idols in the shrines and altars of homes with the weight of garlands and to parade costly utensils and vessels and offerings to show off your devotion to the public. This is deception when it is made mainly for exhibition one's devotion; it demeans Divinity, imputing to it the desire for pomp and publicity. Swami  asks only for purity of heart to shower Grace.

    God pervades space and time. All beings are His forms. Realise this truth, transform it into practice, and enjoy the bliss. This is true devotion. You can receive the examples of such devotion from Nature.     

    The trees provide cool shade and sweet fruit equally to all, whether they have fostered them or harmed them. They teach human this lesson of equal mindedness. The mountains, by their indifference to cold or heat, are teaching human that one should bear joy or grief with an equal mind. Pleasure and pain relate only to the body. The Atma is unaffected. This is the lesson to be learnt from the mountains. The birds take no thought for the morrow and are content to live on what they can get. They teach human the lesson of contentment and indifference to the future.

     Although Nature has been teaching these lessons from the beginning of time, human has not learnt to give up the ideas of "my people" and "others" and to develop the sense of oneness and equality of humanity.

    By attachment to the body and developing self-conceit, human forgets the lessons of Nature and wallows in selfishness. We are seeing people being born and people dying. In spite of all that is seen, or heard or experienced, human is unable to get rid of the delusions relating to the body. He does not learn the lesson of the impermanence and fleeting nature of physical existence.

    Prakriti (Nature), which is constantly teaching these lessons, is the true preceptor. The Universe is a University. God is the Cause. The Universe is the result. Nothing can exist in the world without the power of the Divine.

   Nature is like a clean mirror which reflects human's feelings and attitudes. It is own actions and thoughts, whether 'good or bad, which are reflected back to person. 

   The indriyas (sense) may be used for the purpose of increasing spiritual awareness and bliss. When fruit-juice is poured into a cup, the cup does not know its taste; if you hold it in the palm, you do not get the taste. You have to drink it with the straw, the senses; then buddhi (intellect); then the tongue experiences the sweetness. The fruit juice is Prakrithi (the Nature) around us. Prakrithi is just the leela of the Lord, set before you so that you may become aware of His Glory, His splendour.

    If the mind obeys the dictates of buddhi, then, the individual gains. But, if the mind becomes the slave of the senses, then woe be to the individual. When the mind thus follows the outwardbound senses and forgets the Reality, when the individual revels in the dream-world of false fantasy, this Shivathaayi (Divine mother) pats the child and wakes it.    

    How can human serve others or the Lord who is resident in all when the senses drag person away from that service or when passions peep in to tarnish the love that inspires the service? The Lokesha (Lord of the world) is engaged in spreading Ananda in the Loka (world); human should be engaged in spreading Ananda around him/her. That is the way to cooperate and share in the task of the Lord.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "Lakshya puuja," Chapter 17; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 6. "The bottomless pit," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 9. "Mirror and comb," Chapter 12; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Love all : Serve all," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 32, part 2, "Develop intense devotion," Chapter 4).

    Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram  

     Light and Love

   Swami teaches... 1 - 3 July, 2006

    Keep In Line With the Divine All Through. Part 1

    The motto

    The Sai name is proclaimed by trees when they wave their heads. The birds in their chirping call upon people to remember Sai's name. The flowers in spreading their fragrance declare the glory of Sai. The bees when they hum announce the bliss in Sai's name. "Sai!" is the sound that reverberates from the sky and earth. Sai can be experienced everywhere. "Sai" is not one's name. "Sai" is the Indweller reclining in the heart of everyone.

    The beasts held a World Conference to confabulate on the authenticity of human's claim to be the acme of creation and the monarch of all that walks the earth. The Lion presided over the deliberations. The tiger questioned the claims of human; the leopard seconded the resolution of emphatic protest. It made a devastating speech.  "Human is a standing disgrace to animals everywhere. Human manufactures and drinks merrily fatal poisons and is proud of own utter foolishness. Human cheats own kind and spends all energies and resources in devising diabolical weapons to wipe out his sisters and brothers; human prods horses and dogs to run in desperate haste and gambles earnings away, while they gallop along the track; human is cruel, greedy, immoral, insatiable and unashamed. Human sets a bad example to the animal world. Though endowed with superior emotions and intelligence, their behaviour is disgusting and demeaning," he said. "We do not know if and where we will get our next meal; we have no sure place of rest. We have nothing to wrap round ourselves, except the skin. But, yet, the least of us is a far worthier child of God than this monster called human," he concluded.

     The fox rose and added, "We have a season when we mate, but human, I am ashamed to say, has broken all restraints and cares for no rules. Human is a law unto own self and a disaster to the rest." The Lion rose, to sum up the arguments. He agreed with the general trend of the tirade against human, provoked by his undeserved claim to supremacy. But he refused to tar all with the same brush. He distinguished between people who are bestial and worse, and people who have transcended their bestial past, by the proper use of the special gifts of discrimination and detachment. The latter, he said, ought to be revered by all beasts as Masters, while the former deserved severe reprisals and condemnation. 

    Human is the noblest of all animals, the final product of untold ages of progressive evolution; but, human is not consciously striving to live up to own heritage.

    Each human being has struggled upwards from the stone to plant, from plant to animal, from animal to human. Do not slide back into the beast; rise higher to Divinity, shining with the new effulgence of Love. The Divine is the energy that animates, the urge that circulates the blood in your veins, that transmits knowledge and experience through the nerves, that correlates and collects for storage the impressions your senses gather, the conclusions your intelligence garners.

    The great universal power, the Divine energy, Shiva-Shakthi is the conjunction of jada (insentient or inert) and chith (awareness). For example, this also the conjunction of the wire with the current, which activates all the instruments - fan, stove, bulb and radio. The fire-fly too has some power of illumination; it also emits light. We have oil lamp, the electric bulb, the petromax lamp, the Moon, the Sun - all emanate light what we can see.  

     However, the unseen is the basis of the seen. In spite of the warnings administered by countless saints and teachers through the centuries, human has today in this land of Bharath  and other lands forsaken the unseen for the sake of the seen. The unseen alone can confer contentment and courage to face fortune as well as misfortune. Ignoring it has caused the discontent and distress prevalent in every heart and home today. 

     Once a man lost in the jungle was asked to move on in a certain direction; then, after some time, he saw a village; now, that village did not emerge for his sake, just then. He saw what was already there, that is all. So also, Adwaitha (nondualism or monism, the Vedantic doctrine that everything is God) shows you the way to something that is already there, but which you did not recognise so far - namely, your being the unlimited, illimitable Brahman.

    Adi Shankara (celebrated ancient philosopher, preceptor of non-dualistic Vedanta. Defeated all religious opponents in debates throughout India) declared, "Brahma Sathyam; Jagath mithya" - Brahman alone is Real; the world is false. But he did not therefore discard the world as beneath notice. He continued the work of Kumarila Bhatta, harmonised the various schools and sects of those days, established mutts (missions) for the propagation of the Adwaitha doctrine in the four corners of India and then left when he was 32 years old.    

    Adwaitha (Oneness) is expressed in three forms: Bhava-Adwaitha (oneness in mental attitude); Kriya-Adwaitha (oneness expressed in action); Padartha-Adwaitha (oneness as seen in all objects). Only when oneness is experienced in all these forms can Divinity be understood.

    In Bhava-Adwaitha, the unity of the basic substance constituting the Cosmos is perceived as the underlying Reality. In Kriya-Adwaitha, every action is regarded as an offering to the Divine and is thereby divinised. Padartha-Adwaitha implies recognising that every being or every object in the Universe is composed of the same five elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth) which are divine in their origin. As every being is constituted too by these five elements, all beings are essentially one, though having different forms and names. Human equality is based on the oneness of the Divine essence of all human beings.

    Each person has a different conception of God and of goodness, according to upbringing and the state of purification of his/her impulses. All such conceptions are valid; when water is let into the fields, you will find sheets of different shapes - circular, rectangular, oval, square, according to the shape of the fields. The fertility or the quantity of the crops harvested do not vary according to the geometrical correctness of the shapes. How far, how fast you have established attachment to the Lord, that is the test. The rest does not matter.

    The cry of equality now being used as a slogan is a vain and meaningless cry; for, how can people, inheriting a multiplicity of impulses, skills, quailties, tendencies, attitudes, and even diseases from their ancestors and from their past be all of the same stamp? And in spite of all this advertisement for the supposed equality, you find more misunderstandings and factions now than at any previous period of history. Those who promote inequality are those who most loudly proclaim this modem doctrine of equality. There is a need to repeat that humans equality based on the oneness of the Divine essence only and not on the other whatsoever worldly factors, qualities and activities. What we must seek to experience today is unity in diversity.

   Each person has a different version to give, if you ask whether person is happy and why. The same person speaks differently at different times about the acts of the Lord. You see yourself in the outside world; what you like or dislike is your own self.

    Shankara's known statement "Brahma Sathyam, Jagath mithya" (see above) is the essence of the sruthis (holy scriptures). That truth can be cognised by minds trained through dwaithic (dualistic) worship of the personal God, and  visishta-adwaithic emphasis of the jivi as the limb of the Absolute.   More and more people must take up Bhakthi-karma (devotional activity) and slowly ascend to the stage of
full jnana (knowledge of the Supreme One). 

    The ancient sages indicated in the Upanishads and the Brahma Sutras, how this Oneness of the Divine is to be realised. (Unfortunately, these texts came to be interpreted in contradictory and confusing terms, with the result that their basic truth has been forgotten).

    Oneness must express itself in universal Love. Harmony in thought, word and deed is the highest human value. Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema (Truth, Righteousness, Peace and Love) are not mere words. They are fundamental values to be practised in thought, word and deed as far as possible. (It is the divorce between thought, word and deed which is at the root of all the troubles in the world today).   

     It is not necessary to undertake all kinds of sadhanas (spiritual exercises) to recognise the Divine. If the happenings in daily life are properly enquired into, the Atma principle can be recognised easily. 

    The conquest of the senses and of the passions and emotions is a hard process and a slow process, which will be crowned by success only by systematic endeavour.

    Take anger, for example.

    There was once a huge big wrestler who was strutting along a street, proud of his physical strength and his victory over many rivals. As he passed, a middle-aged woman tittered at his size and appearance. The wrestler gnashed his teeth in anger and lunged towards her. The woman ejaculated, that what type of strong man are you, who cannot take a woman's laughter calmly? The wrestler had to hang his head in shame. Sahana (forbearance) is the best sadhana, fortitude is the foremost sadhana.      

    Life is a battlefield, a Dharmaksethra, where duties and desires are always in conflict. Smother the fiery fumes of desire, of hatred and anger that rise up in your hearts, it is sheer cowardice to yield to these enemies that turn you into beasts. When obstacles come, meet them with courage. They harden you, make you tough. 

    Both good and evil have the right to exist. The evil has to be used for the purpose for which it is suited. The bitter green skin of the unripe orange protects the fruits during the ripening period. The skin too gradually takes on some of the sweetness and flavour of the ripening orange; so too, evil has to be slowly transformed into good by the subtle influence of association. 

      Once, to remove the doubts entertained by Dharmaja (eldest of the Pandavas), Krishna explained why He allowed the souls of the vile-minded Sisupala and Danthavakra to merge in Him after he had killed them. Krishna said: "Dharmaja! Your doubts are from your delusion. Praise or blame, good or bad, relate to the body and not to the Atma. Because of identification with the body one experiences troubles. As the body-consciousness grows, the Atma-consciousness declines. Only the mind is responsible for hatred and attachment, for joy and grief. If the mind is transformed, anyone (regardless of his past) can attain me."

    It is the inevitable destiny of everything ultimately to go back to the source from which it came. The body, arising from matter, goes back to matter. The Atma (Spirit) issuing the Divine, goes back to the Divine. The Spirit is pure Consciousness. It ever remains as Consciousness. It is embodiment of Love and Light.

    Another example where evil was mixed with good. 

    Ravana carried away Sita; many wonder why, when he did that nefarious deed, the flames of Divine wrath did not reduce him to ashes, or why the anger of a chaste woman did not consume him. But the consequence of all the penance he had gone through and the boons he had won from the Gods stood as an armour for long.

Ravana must meet his doom through his own folly and wickedness. The Lord is but a witness; He is above all hate and anger, of attachment derived from mine and thine.

    The rakshasas (demons) of Lanka were adepts at yagas (sacrificial rites) and yajnas (ceremonies in which oblations are presented); every home in the island was under a canopy of holy smoke emanating from the sacred fires lit for ritual worship. That was the karma-path for blessedness, but that path without dharma (right action, truth in action, righteousness, morality, virtue, duty, the dictates of God, code of conduct) led Ravana and other demons to destruction also back to the source from which they come.

    (The main thing is the control and the sublimation of the senses. Letting them have their way, by directing them on the objective world of tastes, smells, shapes, melodies and softnesses is to fall into a bottomless pit. It is like locking up the treasure in a golden box with a golden lock).  

    This world is a combination of kala (time), karma (action) and karana (cause). Every action has a reaction. Thus, the time gap between action and reaction may vary depending on the nature of action. But, know for sure that none can escape the consequences of their actions. It is impossible to say when, how, and where one will face the consequences of one's actions.

    Why should one pray, meditate, contemplate on God or engage in good actions when one is anyway bound to face the consequences of one's actions? You may not be able to see the transformation that comes within you by your good actions and prayer. You may not even be able to visualise it with your mind. Yet, this transformation in you is sure to attract God's grace. The benefits derived from prayer or good actions may not be visible to the naked eye. Yet the benefits do accrue in the form of God's grace.

    For every happening in this world, kala, karma, and karana (time, action, and cause) are essential. God acts after taking into consideration the three factors of kala, karma, and karana.

    Some noble truths as examples from the ancient scriptures of Bharat.

    1. Once the demon Dundubhi challenged King Vali for a duel. Vali killed Dundubhi and, in a fit of rage, threw his battered and bruised body at a distance. It so happened that the bleeding body landed on the Rishyamuka Mountain, splashing blood on sage Mathanga, who was deeply engaged in meditation there. Enraged, Mathanga cursed Vali thus: 'Whoever is responsible for this reprehensible act will have his head splintered into pieces if he were to set his foot on this mountain.'

    Who was responsible for all this? It was Vali himself. He could have stopped with the killing of Dundubhi. Instead, he flung the body away, driven by his anger, ego, and hatred. These three evil qualities were responsible for his ruin. 

   2. Ekapada was a great and diligent teacher. But he was a hard taskmaster, too. He would not permit his students to relax at any point of time. His wife was in the family way. The babe in the womb of his wife questioned his father, 'Father, how is it that you go on teaching the students without giving them any break for rest?'

    To this Ekapada replied, 'Students should never be given free time, for an idle mind is a devil's workshop. It leads to many perversions.'

    Furious at the impudence of his son, Ekapada cursed him, 'You have the audacity to question my acts! May you be born as Ashtavakra (one with eight bends in the body).' Ashtavakra had to blame himself for this unfortunate situation because he questioned the propriety of the acts of his father without understanding the reasons behind them. 

     3. Vinatha and Kadru were the two wives of sage Kashyap. While playing a game, they entered into a competition. The terms of the competition were that the loser and her son would serve the winner and her son for the rest of their lives. Kadru emerged victorious. As per the terms of the competition, Vinatha and her son served Kadru and her son.

    One day, Kadru told Vinatha, 'You are like my sister. I will make you free if you procure the amritha bhanda (vessel of nectar) from heaven.' Unable to bear the sufferings of his mother, Garuda undertook this stupendous task and brought amritha bhanda from heaven, thus freeing himself and his mother from bondage. Pleased with the devotion of Garuda, Lord Vishnu showered His grace on him by making him His vehicle. What was the reason behind Garuda becoming the vehicle of Lord Vishnu? It was sathsankalpa (noble resolve) that earned him proximity to the Divine. 

    4. King Shanthanu, father of Bhishma, wanted to marry Sathyavathi, daughter of Dasaraja. In order to fulfil the desire of his father, Bhishma approached Dasaraja and requested him to give Sathyavathi in marriage to his father. Dasaraja agreed on the condition that only the one born to Sathyavathi would be made the crown prince. Consequently, Bhishma took a vow that he would remain unmarried. He earned Divine grace by his devotion to his father. 

     Human's right is to realize own Vishwaswarupa (Cosmic nature); so, don't play about forever in the dehabhava (thought of the body), the consciousness that you are just this five-foot body; transcend the attachment to the family, the home, the village, the community, the district, the state, the nation. You must acquire the freedom of the spirit called Swarajya (Self-rule, dominion over Self).   

    Vishnu, the Preserver in the trinity of Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu, and Shiva (the Destroyer) is the very picture of peaceful calm, though reclining on a thousand-hooded serpent; the snake being the symbol of the objective world with its poisonous fangs. Being in the world but not of it, not bound by it - that is the secret. 

    The poets used to ask for patronage with the word, dehi, which Kalidasa (Sanskrit dramatist and poet ca 5th century A.D.) once interpreted as, they are not asking you; they are addressing you as 'dehi', 'the one with the body', 'the One who has encased Himself in this physical equipment', 'the Atma,'. They are reminding you that you are essentially the dweller in the body, not the body with which you are likely to identify yourself.  

   There should be complete harmony in thoughts, words, and deeds. That is what we mean when we say, 'The proper study of humanity is human.' Axioms like 'Work is Worship,' and 'Duty is God,' are not of modern origin. These were the teachings of our ancient seers, though they used different terms for these.

   The Vedas have described the Divine as the One enveloping the Cosmos i.e. the Universe and existing beyond it. Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara are aspects of the manifestation of Nature. Nature is made up of the three gunas - sathwa (purity, calmness, serenity, joy, strength, goodness; associated with colour white), rajas (passion, activity, restlessness, aggressiveness; associated with colour red), and thamas (dullness, ignorance, delusion, inactivity, passivity, inertia, sloth; associated with colour black) in their myriad combinations.

    In the invocation to the Guru, he is described as Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara and Parabrahma. Brahma who is hailed as the Guru, is the Creator of the Universe. The One who creates, sustains and dissolves the Universe is the Parabrahma (the Omni-Will).

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "Lakshya puuja," Chapter 17; Sathya Sai Speaks.  Vol. 6. "The bottomless pit," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 9. "Mirror and comb," Chapter 12; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Love all : Serve all," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 32, part 2, "Develop intense devotion," Chapter 4).

    Namaste - Reet