Swami teaches....Part 72

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Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 9 - 10 July, 2006

Salute to Guru Poornima

Surrender to the mystery of the Divine life. Part 2

Brahma-anandam Parama-sukhadam
Kevalam Jnana-murthim
Dvandvathitham Gaganasadrsam
Thath-thwam-asyaadi Lakshyam
Ekam Nithyam Vimalam Achalam
Sarvadhee Sakshi-bhutham
Sadgurum Tham Namaami

On the day of Guru Poornima, when aspirants for spiritual illumination pay homage to the gurus who lead them to the goal, we shall probe into the implications of this authentic summary of the credentials attributed in this verse, to the Sadguru or Proper Preceptor.

Brahma-anandam. The Guru is the embodiment of Brahma-bliss, since he is merged in the Ananda which Brahman is. It is not imported or acquired or attained. It is inherent in every heart. The world, the Cosmos, every particle, is Ananda itself but being ever in it, with it, of it and for it, human is unable to be It, on account of the darkness that misleads and deludes.

The Upanishads attempt to give people a faint idea of the measure of that Brahma-ananda. The Taithireeya Upanishad assumes the height of human Ananda as the unit for estimation. A person having all the desired wealth, all the renown human can earn, all the learning that can be gained, perfect health, perpetual youth, and undisputed sovereignty over the entire globe - his/her Ananda is an understandable base from which to proceed. Hiranyagarbha (the Cosmic Golden Manifestation) is the source of a hundred times more Ananda.

The supremest Ananda, the Brahma-ananda, which is the characteristic of the Guru, is that of Hiranyagarbha.

Human has the potency to elevate him/herself to this Ananda. Only one has to get rid of the obstacles that deny this experience. But, human does not know that all human believes and knows is known only as distorted or deluded. Human's waking experiences from aspect of Atmic reality are as unreal and self-contrived as dream experiences.

The I-sense, the ego, constructs the world it is after. It reduces the Ananda by resorting to polluting desires and actions. When 'I' is eliminated, Ananda is experienced fully. 'I' sets one apart and establishes Dwaita (Duality). No 'I' brings together and establishes Unity, Adwaitha (Non-dualism). 'I' sense arises, persists and disappears. The One is symbolised by OM, the Pranava, the Ever-alive. The Guru who is ever in this consciousness has Brahma-ananda. Such a one is the Guru to be sought.

Parama-sukhadam: The Guru grants the highest joy. Is it physical well-being? Mental poise? Intellectual alertness? Sharpness of the senses? The rishis declare that words return crestfallen after attempting to describe that state. Even the mind with its fast-moving wings of imagination cannot reach that state. The highest joy has its source and spring in the Atma, the spark of the Cosmic Splendour. The person who is ever aware of the Atma within and in all is therefore the Sadguru.

Kevalam: Beyond all limitations of time and place the guru is pure chaithanya, Is-ness; Cosmic Consciousness is all pervasive; that is to say, God alone is the Sadguru.

Jnana- murthim: It is the supreme wisdom, the awareness of the One. And the Sadguru is the embodiment of that wisdom, having unbroken experience of the One. The Jnana-murthi is with you right through, beside you and before you, smoothing the path until the journey ends.

Dvandvaathitham: The Sadguru is unaffected by the inevitable dualities of life: joy and grief, profit and loss, ridicule and respect.

Gaganasadrsam: Untouched by happenings and incidents but forming the perennial base, like the sky enveloping the nature.

Thath-thwam-asyaadi Lakshyam: The living exponent and experiencer of the four crucial axioms of the Vedic thought - That-thwam-asi (That Thou Art), Ayam Atma Brahma (The Self is verily Brahman), Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman) and Prajnanam Brahma (Consciousness is Brahman).

Ekam: The One; though apparently passing through varied experiences and even no experience while awake or dreaming and in deep sleep. The One is unaffected and the Sadguru is firmly established in the One.

Nithyam: Eternal, untouched by time, the Sadguru is eternally pure, aware, serene.

Vimalam: Faultless, nothing can tarnish its purity. The Sadguru has no desire or sense of want. He is perfect.

Achalam: The Sadguru, which is another name meant for God, knows no change in His primal perfection, whatever form he may assume. The Achalam is the unmoving screen.

Sarvadhee: All-pervasive, all-activating intelligence.

Sakshi-bhutham: That which has become the witness of everything, everywhere, like the Sun which activates but is only witness of the activity.

Bhaavaatheetham: He is beyond all urges, emotions, feelings and thoughts.

Trigunarahitham: Not bound by the three modes of qualities that divide living beings into categories - the serene mode, the active mode and the dull. When bound, you are human, when you are free from entanglements and limiting characterisations, you are divine.

Sadgurum: The worthy Guru.

Tham: To Him

Namaami: I offer my reverential homage.

The Guru who deserves homage must possess these attributes. This is only another way of saying that God alone can be the guide, the path and the goal. The genuine Guru must have overcome Maya and the ego; he must be free from desire and need. When a person yearns for some benefit or profit and is engaged in sadhana with that view, he cannot be accepted as Guru.

Your true guru is God alone. He transcends all gunas. He is beyond all forms. He is the only one who can dispel the darkness of ignorance and light the lamp of Supreme Wisdom.

Strengthen your faith in the Atma. Seek to enjoy the Atmic bliss. Strive to develop the conviction: "I am the Atma." i.e. "I am Brahman(m)." When you have grasped this Truth, all other things will be unnecessary.

For experiencing this Guru, there are no restrictions as to time, place or circumstances. Individual who has transcended the limitations of time, everything remains immutable. This spiritual state can be reached only through confidence in the Atma.

He is the One, the God of gods, who is hailed as father, mother, teacher, knowledge and wealth and all else. He is the Supreme whom you must seek by your sadhana. God alone can transform your spiritual efforts into a transcendental experience. You have the vision of the Divine. The vision is within you, because the Divine is omnipresent.

Wherever you may be and whatever you do, regard yourselves as instruments of the Divine and act on that basis. This is the way to experience the Divine all the time at all places.

You are deriving exaltation, while worshipping a carved stone idol in the temple. How much more exalted you should be, while worshipping the self-same God, residing in the temple-hearts of the men and women around. And, not merely in the human frames; in every bird, beast, tree, pebble and speck of dust.

With no ill-will against living being; always engaged in promoting the well being of all beings; considering foe and friend alike - jewels like these contained in the Gita, pointers to the need for Universal Love. The Gita offers plenty such, to help the worldly to swim across the sea of sorrow. In the Gita the Lord lays down the ideal, "Do all acts for Me; become Mine; be devoted to Me, giving up all other attachments."

By declaring that human shall not bear ill-will towards the entire world of living beings, the Gita is positing a lesson with invaluable inner meaning:, that in all beings and even things, there is moving and revolving, as an active illumining Principle, the Divine, appropriately called as Atma. Firmly establish this profound Truth.

Swami indicates four directives for sanctifying lives and purifying mind, so that human being can contact the God within.

1. Give up the company of the wicked;

2. Welcome the chance to be among the good;

3. Do good deeds both day and night.

4. Remember which is lasting, which is not.

God has to accept the devotee as His own. One has to use the talent of discrimination to sift the trash and discard it in preference to the valuable.

Potharaju, the classic Telugu poet, had realised this Truth; so he writes in the Bhagavatha:
Grant me, O Lord,
So ready to reward rigorous self-control!
Grant me, O Lord,
The adoration of Thy Lotus Feet
The comradeship of those who adore
Thy Lotus Feet
And give me compassion,
Deep, vast, unlimited,
Towards all beings in all the worlds.
Love cannot be tarnished by malice or hate.

Love is Divine. Prema (Love) is not affected or modified by considerations of caste or creed, or religion; it cannot be tarnished by envy, malice or hate.

The brighter the manifestation of the Divine Love, the nearer you are to God.

The root of all religions, the substance of all scriptures, the rendezvous of all roads, the inspiration of all individuals is the Principle of Prema (Love). It is the firmest foundation for human's mission of Life. It is the Light that ensures world Peace and world Prosperity.

Swami insists on five points of discipline for the permanent residents of Prasanthi Nilayam. Swami tells about them for the homes and residences of devotees have to be transformed into Prasanthi Nilayams.

They are:

1. Silence. This is the first step in sadhana; it makes the other steps easy. It promotes selfcontrol; it lessens chances of anger, hate, malice, greed, pride. Besides, you can hear His Footsteps, only when silence reigns in the mind.

2. Cleanliness. It is the doorway to Godliness. Inner and outer cleanliness are essential, if you desire to install God in your heart. (However God is in the heart of everyone in hidden form, person has to obtain this awaress as own Self, True Reality. It is pictorially said 'install God in your heart' i.e. be aware that God is in your heart).

3. Service. It saves you from the agony you get when another suffers; it broadens your vision, widens your awareness, deepens your compassion. The most important thing to be noted today is that the body has been given to human for the performance of right action. Perform your duties, without regard to what others say or do. Dedicate your entire time to service and the discharge of your duties.

The reality is cognisable everywhere; it is when you earnestly seek it. You can experience it by performing selflessly your duty to others yourself. Consider social service as service to God. To earn the love of God, this is the easiest way.

From this Guru Poornima dedicate yourselves to service. There is so much to be done by way of service to the people. It is through service life can be made meaningful. One should not feel proud about the position one occupies. The strength derived from wealth or position is undependable. Morality and purity alone can confer real strength.

4. Love. Fill every word and every act with Love. The word that emerges from your tongue shall not stab like the knife, nor wound like the arrow, nor hit like the hammer. It has to be a foundation of sweet nectar, a counsel of consoling Vedantic wisdom, a soft path of blossoms; it must shower peace and joy.

Love for Love's sake; do not manifest it for the sake of material objects or for the fulfillment of worldly desires. Treat every one with the all-inclusive compassion of Love. This constructive sympathy has to become the spontaneous reaction of all humanity.

Love knows no fear. Love shuns falsehood. Love does not crave for praise; that is its strength. Only those who have no Love in them itch for reward and reputation. The reward for Love is Love itself. When you are eager to place offerings before the Lord, instead of transitory materials, let your offering be Love. Love is the very Light of Love; it is the only comprehensive Code of Conduct.

Do not calculate or weigh the reaction, result or reward. Love is no merchandise; do not bargain about its cost. Let it flow clear from the heart, as a stream of Truth, a river of wisdom, full and free, from the heart. This is the highest duty, the noblest Godliness.

Start the day with Love. Live the day with Love. Fill the day with Love. Spend the day with Love. End the day with Love. Love calls; love responds. Live in Love. This is the way to God.

5. Hatelessness. No being is to be looked down upon as secondary, inferior, unimportant, or expendable. Each has its allotted role in the drama designed by the Almighty. Do not slight, insult or injure any being; for, He/she is in every being and your slight becomes a sacrilege.

The human body is described as the Bhautika Sarira (physical body). It establishes all types of relations with the world. This may be described as "Pancheekaranam" (the bonding together of the five components).

The body is the abode of pleasure and pain. It has three forms: sthoola (gross), sookshma (subtle) and kaarana (causal).

There is no relationship between the dream and the waking state. The joys and sorrows experienced in the dream are the stuff of the dream state. It is in the dream state that one goes through the consequences of good and bad actions in previous lives. This means that the experiences are related to the sookshma sarira (subtle body). In this, the mind is the most important factor.

It is the mind that creates everything. Although the mind is one, according to the different functions performed by it, different names are given to it. When it is engaged in the thought process, it is called Manas. When it is engaged in discriminating between what is permanent and what is transient, it is called Buddhi (intelligence). In its role as a reservoir of memory, it is called Chitta. When the mind identifies itself with the body, it is called Ahamkara (ego). The four names are related to the mind and their combined aspect constitutes Antahkarana (the inner instrument). Thus, both the waking and dream states are creations of the mind.

The third state what human experience is sushupti. It means sound sleep. In this state the mind is absent. When the mind is not present the world also is absent. In the absence of the world, there are no experiences of joy and sorrow. The world exists as long as the mind is present. Joy and sorrow are experienced through contact with the world.

There is, however, one other state which transcends these states: the Atmic state. It is because of his identification with the body in the first three states that human forgets own spiritual reality. For all experiences the Atmic principle in everyone is the cause, though the physical forms are varied.

Only by continual practice can you develop this sacred attitude. Fill yourself with self-confidence and courage. Make your life a complete offering to the Divine, who is the real source of all that you are and all that you have. Strengthened by Swami's Grace, encouraged by Swami's Blessings, engage in sadhana (spiritual practice) and achieve success by realising the Goal of Life.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 9. "Guru Poornima," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "Guru God," Chapter 15 and "Labels are libels," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18. "God is the only Sadguru," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Love all : Serve all," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 23. "The Guru within," Chapter 25).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches...7- 8 July, 2006

Salute to Guru Poornima

Surrender to the mystery of the Divine life. Part 1

The full Moon day in July, is dedicated to the memory of sage Vyasa. He is described as an incarnation of Lord Narayana. Vyasa was the great teacher who gave many profound and sacred truths to humanity. Hence his birthday is celebrated as Guru Poornima (the full Moon day dedicated to the preceptor). He set down in writing the Vedas which previously were known only in the form of sound. He codified the Vedas. Sage Vyasa completed the composition of the immortal scripture, the Brahma Sutra. Sutra means string. He revealed that the Brahma principle interpenetrates and holds together the many in the One. Vyasa glorified the Divinity that is equally present in all human beings and propagated this truth to the world. After writing the 18 puranas, he summed up their message in one line: "Paropakaarah punyaaya; paapaaya parapeedanam". (Helping others is meritorious; harming others is sinful). "Help ever; hurt never" is Swami's famous statement.

There are four full Moon days holier than the rest. In the Hindu calendar the full Moon which occurs in the month of Vaisaakha, Ashaada, Sraavana and Magha. This is the month of Ashaada. On the day of Guru Poornima, the Moon is full, fair and cool, its light is fresh, pleasant, clear and peaceful. So the Light of the Mind too has to be pleasing and pure. Guru Poornima is not only a date marked in the calendar. It is all days when the human's mind, whose presiding deity is the Moon, is Poorna (Full), with cool refreshing rays, which it receives, in the first instance, from the Sun (intelligence, discrimination). The mind must derive illumination from the intellect, the discriminative faculty, and not from the senses, which are the deluding forces.

Let the strong breeze of Love scatter the clouds and confer on you the cool glory of moon light. When devotion shines full, the sky in the heart becomes a bowl of beauty and life is transformed into a charming avenue of Ananda.

Guru Poornima it is a name full of meaning. Poornima means, the effulgent full Moon. Poornima refers to the full Moon with all his 16 aspects being illumined by the Sun. Guru means (Gu-ignorance; Ru-destroyer) he, who removes the darkness and delusion from the heart and illumines it with the Higher Wisdom. Guru refers to one who has transcended the gunas and has no form.

The verse which speaks of Guru as Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara is quoted often. (But, the One has not broken into three, one part in charge of creation, another who fosters and maintains and the third who dissolves and destroys).

But, it is capable of a nobler interpretation: "Brahma is the Guru, Vishnu is the Guru, Maheshwara is the Guru, really Parabrahma is the Guru."

On the deeply advanced level of spiritual development do not seek human gurus however great their reputation. They are not beyond the Form; they are still in need of Form, so that they may conceive of Reality. Themselves limited, how can they communicate to you the Unlimited?

The real Guru is the ever-present, ever-compassionate, the Witness who resides in the heart. Pray to the God within you. Accept that as the Guru and you will be illumined. Subordinate the mind to the pure intelligence which is but a reflection of the God within. Then, you have the Guru of Gurus, as Guide. When the Sun rises, the world is blessed with heat and light. When the Guru blesses, the mind gets peace and joy.

Swami notes that from general aspect He is neither Guru nor God in its limited meaning of these words. His Body Form is the Pinpointer to all humanity towards Unity in diversity and He is the Universal Cosmic Teacher. He is the Great One, higher than God, who is called by different names. Swami's Cosmic Form is in our hearts and everywhere in the Universe.

Though human appears in innumerable forms, all these are like the waves appearing on the ocean of Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being-Awareness-Bliss). We are waves; Swami is the Ocean. Know this and be free, be Divine.

/Until you become aware of your own Divinity so long as you are conscious of your distinct individuality (Jivi-thathwa) - so long as you feel you are you and God is God, you cannot but struggle, with some attitudes and objectives. This is the stage called the Sadhaka stage. During that stage, you must endeavour to equip yourself with the above mentioned qualities of Love, Sympathy and Compassion. For, without these, Yoga, union with the Great One and Jnana, the Highest Wisdom cannot be secured/.

To offer fruits, dakshina and other things to a teacher on Guru Poornima day is not the right way of worshipping the guru. Those who accept such gifts are worldly preceptors. Real gurus are to be worshipped by pradakshina, by revering them with heart and soul. The only true Guru is God. He manifests Himself in Nature, which serves as the Cosmic teacher.

Recognise the Divinity that is manifested in the Cosmos. All things in Nature observe their laws with undeviating regularity. The Sun, the Moon, the seasons observe their respective laws. Human alone violates the laws of his being. Animals obey their instincts and have their seasons for regulating their lives.

Human needs to be taught the rules of right living and has to cultivate morality and integrity. There is only one way by which this can be done. It is by pursuing the spiritual path. Without spirituality human cannot discover the Light within.

The Atma, however, is covered in the human being by five sheaths: Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Kosas (sheaths). As a result, the Atma is not easily cognisable. The physical body is the Annamaya kosa (the sheath of food). The sheaths of Pranamaya (life-force), Manomaya (the mental sheath) and the Vijnanamaya (imbued with intelligence) form the sookshma sarira (subtle body). The Anandamaya kosa is the Kaarna sarira (causal or seed body). Although it has the name Anandamaya (blissful), it is not the real bliss.

It is the blissful state of the Atma that is reflected as an image in the sheath of Bliss (the causal). As it was noted above, the mind is like the Moon, which is not self-luminous. The Atma alone is self-effulgent. It is this Light which illumines the body, the mind, the intellect (the buddhi) and the senses and invests them with consciousness.

It is this Chaitanya (Atmic i.e. Cosmic Consciousness) which makes the Cosmos function. For the entire creation, consisting of living and inanimate objects, this consciousness is the basis. All that is experienced by the body and the mind has no real connection with the Atma. Relying on the light coming from the Sun, many people perform different actions. Some may do good deeds and some others may be indulging in bad actions. The Atma is unaffected by the consequences of these actions, just as the Sun is not affected by the activities done with the help of sunlight. The Sun is a witness. Likewise the Atma also is a witness to what is done by the body, mind and other organs.

There is need to have a lamp to see the Sun, there is no need to search for the Atma when it is omnipresent. The Atma shines eternally. Once the delusion goes, human will experience true bliss and understand the Cosmic Reality.

When person uses the term Hridaya, he/she generally considers it as referring to the physical heart in the body. However, Hridaya has no physical limitations. Hridaya in the true sense of the word refers to that which is all-pervading.

In ordinary parlance people use the term Aham ("I") in every context. "I" is basic to everyone, whatever person's status or form. This "I" which is present in everyone is the Atma, which is omnipresent. What people should love and cherish is the Atma and not the body.

Once aspirant directs the mind towards the Atma, he/she has learnt the supreme mantra: "I am the Brahmam." The conclusion is that whatever each of us do, eating or walking or seeing or speaking, let us do it with the Atmic Consciousness.

It is significant to note that there are two "I" in everyone - the one "I" that is associated with the mind and the other that is "I" associated with the Atma. Consciousness of the Atma is the real "I." When this "I" is wrongly associated with the mind, it becomes Ahamkara (the Ego). When the "I" associated with the Atma experiences Atmic bliss, it realises that the Universal or Cosmic or Atmic Consciousness is One, though it may be called by different names. When you eliminate the body consciousness, you will have the consciousness of the Universal within you. Without this consciousness all sadhanas are of no avail.

Without mental transformation all other changes are meaningless. Without changing your qualities, you remain in the same state as before.

Guru Poornima is sacred for many reasons: this day; the seeker who suffers from identification with the false objective world is initiated into the reality of the 'unseen motivator' within; this day; those who have no urge to tread the spiritual path are inspired to seek the bliss which that path will confer; this day, aspirants are helped to achieve the consciousness of the One, which is known by many names and through many forms, in various languages and lands.

With the rise of the Sun, the world is bathed in light and heat. So too, with the oncoming of Guru Poornima the human heart is bathed in peace and security.

The Guru reminds the spiritual seeker of the inevitability of death and the transitory nature of existence upon the Earth. The contemplation of death is the very foundation of spiritual discipline. Without it, human is certain to fall into falsehood, pursuing the objects of sense-pleasure, and trying to accumulate material, worldly riches. Death is no ominous calamity; it is a step into the auspicious brightness beyond. It is inescapable; it cannot be bribed away, adjourned by certificates of good conduct, or testimonials from the great. But, it is possible to escape birth and thereby, escape death. For, birth is the consequence of karma. Do Karma which breeds no consequence, no after-effects which have to be lived through - and you need not be born again. Engage in activity, as duty; or engage in activity, as 'offering of worship to God' - then, such activity will breed no after-effects. This is problem of escaping death, achieving immortality. A strong will here is the best tonic, the will becomes strong when you know that you are a child of immortality or a person who has earned the Grace of the Lord.

(If human embarks on the process of casting off one by one the five sheaths which envelop the Atma, he/she will experience the true Self. This process consists in the practice of Sravana, Manana and Nididhyaasana (hearing, reflection in the mind, and meditation on the Divine). The body, the mind and the senses are merely like the husk which encases the grain. As long as human is enveloped in this husk, he/she cannot escape birth and death).

When acts are done as offering to God, one will not be elated at success or disheartened by failure, for, He prompts, He helps, He grants joy or grief as He wills, as He cares. The doer will have no attachment to the fruit of the deed; so, he will not be bound to its consequence; it will leave no trace on person's personality which will shape beyond death.

When Yaajnavalkya resolved to go into the forest for a life of asceticism, he called his two wives before him and proposed to divide the riches he had earned between them. Before accepting her share, Maithreyi asked her husband whether the riches will help her to realise the Truth and achieve Immortality. When she was told that they were hindrances and not helps, she refused to be burdened. Nachikethas refused the gift of empire, affluence, and years of healthy life. Buddha sought to solve the mystery of suffering; renunciation of attachment was the first step in the sadhana he undertook. They had implicit faith in the existence of God; their lives revolved on the axis of that faith.

Do not cultivate too much attachment to things of the world, which appeal to carnal desires and sensual thirsts. A moment comes when you have to depart empty handed, leaving all that you have laboriously collected. and proudly called your own.

But, now, most people flaunt their faithlessness and delusions into worldly properties; they shout that there is no God, for, they have not found Him during their search. Now, the word God gained currency, because of the existence of God. A word emerges from the tongues of people in order to indicate an object or an idea, which they have cognised. A non-existent entity will not have a label to identify it. Words indicating nonexisting things like 'sky-flower,' 'barren mother,' 'hare-horn,' are only compound words. Every word expresses an experience; every experience is the consequence of a desire; every desire is the progeny of the impact of an object on the senses; the objective world is the superimposition of diversity on the One; this superimposition is Maya. It is a manifestation of Leela (the Divine sport, artfulness), with its halo of meaning clear in the mind and soaking into your acts and feelings. The Guru teaches this and tells to the aspirant how to rend the veil of Maya.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 9. "Guru Poornima," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "Guru God," Chapter 15 and "Labels are libels," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18. "God is the only Sadguru," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Love all : Serve all," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 23. "The Guru within," Chapter 25).

Namaste - Reet