Swami teaches....Part 73

Links to Swami Teaches - Part 72 

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 15 - 18 July, 2006
The Knowledge of the Supreme. Guru and Teacher. Part 2

The motto:

Throw off all burdens, become light, and trip across the Sea of Samsara, with one step on one crest and another on the next.

A true Guru is required to reveal the real nature of formless and attributeless Divinity. He is like an ophthalmic surgeon. The latter removes the film in the patient's eye and restores the natural vision. The Guru also should remove the veil of ignorance and attachment that blurs the vision of the disciple. Such a Guru has been equated with the Trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The devotee who regards God Himself as his Guru will not have any difficulties.

Consider Guru as your everything. In this world, everything is a manifestation of Divinity. All are embodiments of Divinity. In fact, all that you see is nothing but the Divine Cosmic Form (Viswa Virat Swarupa). With thousands of heads, thousands of feet and thousands of eyes, Divinity pervades everything. This means all the heads, all the feet and all the eyes that we see in this world belong to God. When this Vedic statement, Sahasra Seersha... was made, the population of the world was only a few thousands, but now it runs into a few hundred crores. Divinity is not restricted to a particular place. God is here, God is there and He is everywhere. He inspires, He helps, He executes, He enjoys, He is pleased, He reaps, He sowed. He alone exists, for, all this manifoldness is but He, seen through the mirror of Nature.

The Universe is an expression of five elements and three qualities - sathwa, rajas and thamas. Every human being is an embodiment of these five elements and three qualities.

1. No one can comprehend the power of these five elements.

Having been born, human lives for a few years, and ultimately gives up his body. The five elements are responsible for birth, growth and death. The five elements are spread right from both microcosm and macrocosm.

Having understood the significance of the five elements well, Buddha made concerted efforts to gain control over his five senses. He taught Buddham Saranam Gachhami, Sangham Saranam Gachhami. He used his intellect to understand the truth and shared his wisdom with society.

First of all, he exercised control over his vision. Among the five senses of perception, the eyes are endowed with immense power.

Whatever be the spiritual practices that one may undertake, one cannot derive their benefit without having control over one's vision. All the sadhanas like japa, thapa and dhyana confer only temporary satisfaction. These practices cannot help you to have control over your vision. In fact, the entire srushti (creation) is based on your drishti (vision).

Along with control over vision, one needs to have control over one's tongue. As human has become a slave to the taste and spoils the tongue. Not merely that one makes the tongue utter unsacred words, but also hurts others' feelings by using harsh words. Likewise, all the senses are losing their power as they are being put to misuse.

(When you become angry, you lose all your power of discrimination and behave in an inhuman manner. Whenever you are angry, sit quietly in one place and drink cold water. Chant the Divine Name. Then your anger will gradually subside. If your anger persists, go to a place of solitude and walk briskly for half a mile. There are many easy paths to control one's anger. But people, especially the youth today are not making any effort to control their anger. When they get angry, they take it as an opportunity to hurl abuses at others).

In fact others are not others but your own Self as the same principle of Atma is present in all. The one who causes pain and the one who suffers from it are one and the same.

Spiritual practices will yield greater rewards if senses are kept under control. Then eyes attain the sacred power by which aspirant will be able to visualise the Divine Cosmic Form.

Why did the ancient sages and seers go to forests to spend their lives in solitude? It is only to control their senses. The sins that you have piled up may not be visible to the naked eye, but they are sure to put you to suffering. That which is not seen will make you eat the fruits of your action. O human, understand this secret of karma (action).

( Usually the sins committed by the parents will certainly affect their children too.

For example, when Subhadra was in the family way, one day Arjuna was describing to her the intricacies involved in entering the Padmavyuha (lotus maze). He had described to her in detail how to enter the Padmavyuha and when he was about to tell her how to come out of it, Krishna appeared on the scene and took away Arjuna saying, 'This is not the proper time to talk about these matters. It is not Subhadra but the child in her womb who has been listening to you all along.'

That is the reason why Abhimanyu knew only to enter the Padmavyuha and did not know how to get out of it.

As a result, he was caught in the maze, and ultimately he was killed).

Senses are like life principles for everybody. Sages like Valmiki, Vyasa and great devotees like Potana composed sacred texts and sanctified their lives. One can visualise the Divine manifestations and become Divine only through sacred use of the senses.

One can enjoy the state of bliss by controlling own desires. One who craves fulfillment of desires is always restless. Desires correspond to pravritti (outward path) what are distancing person from nivritti (inward path).

Buddha visited many noble souls, studied sacred texts and undertook various sadhanas. Later, he realised that all those related to pravritti (outward path). He understood that whatever sadhana was done with this ephemeral body would yield fleeting happiness only. True and eternal bliss will result only when sadhana is done with pure and internal feelings.

When Buddha started exercising control over his senses, he experienced infinite bliss, which he could not contain in himself. He hugged his cousin, "Ananda, who was by his side then and said, Ananda, I haveattained the state of Nirvana and am unable to contain the bliss within me. I am ready to give up this mortal coil." On hearing this, Ananda started shedding tears.

Then Buddha said, "Oh simpleton, instead of rejoicing over my attaining this state of bliss, why are you grieving over it?"

As you are immersed in worldliness, you are distancing yourself from immortality. But you will not be troubled by desire once you understand the inner meaning of life. These qualities is possible to transcend when human recognizes these qualities that he/she can go beyond them.

2. For all ordinary persons, three qualities as five elements are essential.

Human cannot live without sleep and cannot perform any action without prior enquiry. Thought must precede any action. Sleep, enquiry and mentation are thamasic qualities.

Human cannot carry on the normal daily life without rajasic activities. All desires arise from the rajasic quality. Even the yearning for God is a rajasic quality. There is a Telugu saying: "No one can have the desire for liberation without experiencing other desires." Desires may be diverse, but their essential nature is the same. Qualities like anger, jealousy, hatred, pride and pompousness are rajasic in nature. Like the river Sarasvathi which is said to flow unseen between the rivers Ganga and Yamuna, the sathwic quality is also present in a subtle form as the undercurrent between the thamasic and rajasic qualities. To develop the sathwic quality, the thamasic quality is an accessory and the rajasic quality is a necessary stage. When one goes beyond these two, the full nature of the sathwic quality manifests itself.

How does one get over the thamasic quality? There is the example of Rathnakara, who was originally a highway robber harassing and plundering wayfarers. Absence of compassion and consideration for others is the mark of thamasic nature. Such a person was transformed into a great sage by the contact and teaching of the seven sages (Vasishta and others). He became an immortal poet, the author of the Ramayana, the epic story of the Rama Avatar. The company of the good was responsible for the transformation of Rathnakara into the sage, Valmiki.

Valmiki and Vyasa, by their penance, transcended the three qualities, experienced the Divine and acquired the capacity to envision the three categories of time - the past, the present and the future - thereby they became immortal poets.

For every transformation the Divine Grace is the cause.

The sage who exemplifies the transformation from the rajasic to sathwic quality is Vishvamithra. He, who was steeped in rajasic tendencies, became a great Rajarishi and later a Brahmarishi. His antipathy to sage Vasishta went to the extent of even contemplating the destruction of the sage. Vishvamithra was hovering near the ashram when he overheard a conversation between Vasishta and his spouse, Aurndhathi. Arundhathi expressed her admiration for the beautiful unblemished light the fullmoon was shedding that night. Immediately Vasishta observed: "Tonight's fullmoon is shining untainted like the pure penance of Vishvamithra."

On hearing these words, Vishvamithra realised how mistaken he was regarding Vasishta and rushed into the ashram, fell at the feet of Vasishta and prayed to forgive him. Vasishta lifted Vishvamithra and hailed him as Brahmarishi (a sage who has realised the Supreme Self).

Vishvamithra could not contain himself and asked Vasishta on what grounds he was calling Vishvamithra a Brahmarishi. Vasishta said: "Vishvamithra! Hitherto you were filled with self-conceit. You are born with ego, grew with ego, and never bowed your head to any one. Today you put an end to your ego and fell at my feet. This is the significance of egolessness. A Brahmarishi is one who is free from egoism, acquisitiveness, pride and arrogance.

A rishi is not one who is a great scholar or a ritualist, but one who is free from evil tendencies. The transformation of Rathnakara from a highwayman to a sage, who could compose the Ramayana, was possible because of his association with great risihis. He practised wholeheartedly what the sages taught him. He lost his body consciousness in the contemplation of the name of Rama to such an extent that an ant-hill rose over him from which vibration of Rama's name could be heard.

Coming to the sathwic quality, it should be noted that its main characteristic is a perennial state of peace. (You may have light without oil, fire without smoke, breeze without a bearer fanning you, a chillness in the air of your room in the sizzling heat of summer - but, unless you are at peace with yourselves and with those around you, your pulse will be quick and your blood will be racing in rage and rancour).

Other characteristics are forbearance, compassion, truth and similar virtues. The sathwic person converts any action of anger into an act of love.

A sculptor converts a block of stone into a beautiful idol. Language expresses the feeling in appropriate speech. Character takes a human on the righteous path. It is the teacher who moulds the young generation into exemplary human beings.

Those good men and women who
Teach children how to act righteously
in the future ahead of them,
And promote the spirit of
equality and affection,
Are alone real teachers.

The welfare of the individual, society and the nations is based on the observance of human values.

Teachers illumine the nation by promoting great ideals. They are responsible for the blossoming of ideals in the young. They awaken in children the Prajna (integrated awareness) which is subtle and hard to recognise. They draw our the latent potentialities in the students.

Teachers are beacon-lights in idealism. It is only when the light, of the teacher shines effulgently that the light among students can-shine.

Teachers are like guide-posts. It is only when you play this role well that you will have done your duty by the boys and girls to divinise their lives. Although secular education may appear necessary for mundane existence, the importance of a spiritual basis for it should be recognised. However, the responsibility for imparting a spiritual orientation to education rests not only on teachers, but also on the parents as well as the authorities.

In this context, students have to cultivate three qualities.
1. One must cherish the well-being of everyone in the world.
2. One must be interested in all knowledge.
3. One must foster all good qualities.

Students should be taught to use properly, all the talents and qualities given by God to them. They should learn the lessons which Nature provides by way of selfless service. Student has not only to acquire knowledge, but wisdom. He/she has to combine good qualities with good practices. Book knowledge has to be translated into good deeds.

Right education leads to refinement of conduct. Proper education brings about association with good people. The company of the good is peace itself.

Education confers humility. Humility does not mean mere bending of the head. Only an attitude of mind free from egoism, ostentation and attachment can be called humility.

Whatever trouble you may face, you must learn to feel happy in any circumstance. If you are string by a scorpion, you must console yourself that you were not bitten by a snake, and when you are bitten by a snake, you must console yourself that it has not proved fatal. Even if you are not able to own a vehicle, be happy that you have got your legs intact to enable you to walk. Even if you are not a millionaire, be happy that you have enough resources to feed yourself and your family. This is the way to experience joy even while in adverse circumstances.

Ceiling on desires is a must for leading a peaceful and meaningful life. Sense-control is an essential requisite for students who are in the vulnerable stage of succumbing to the temptations of sensual pleasures.You must curb the desire to seek more and more wealth and turn your effort to realise the Reality within. In pursuing this effort, you must avoid waste of food, money, time, energy and knowledge as all these are Forms of God. Unnecessary talk should be avoided as this results in waste of energy and reduction of memory power.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "Objective, not object," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16. "Let God Be Your Guru," Chapter 17; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "Spiritual orientation to education," Chapter 20; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Bhagavaan deplores devotees' lapses," Chapter 26; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 33. "I And You Are One," Chapter 13).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 11 - 14 July, 2006
The Knowledge of the Supreme. Guru and Teacher. Part 1

The motto:

Throw off all burdens, become light, and trip across the Sea of Samsara, with one step on one crest and another on the next.

The dominion of Atma, i.e. Brahman (God) is horizonless; it envelops space and even beyond it. Nature is the vesture of God; immortality has put on the raiment of death; old age is latent in the new born child; darkness is sleeping in the womb of light and light is latent in the night. Reality is the basis, the unrecognised basis, of all this glamour and glitter of Appearance. The ocean of purity from which the nectar of immortality was churned threw forth the poison of Halahala, which threatened to destroy the three worlds.

Self-realisation is the path to immortality. Human's life is a bridge between this world and the Divine. The language of Pranava (Om) is the only medium for conversing with the Atma (the Divine Self). By wearing the garb of this body, made up of bone and flesh, encasing the Atma that is pure and eternal, human imagines that happiness lies in the physical environment. This is a delusion.

There are two kinds of knowledge which human can seek in quest for happiness and Self-realisation. One is Loka jnana (worldly knowledge). This relates to knowledge of music and the fine arts, of the physical Universe, botany, chemistry, mathematics, and the like. All this knowledge is of use for earning a living. All of it relates to matters which are ever changing and perishable. The other kind of knowledge is Brahma jnana (knowledge of the Supreme). Krishna declared: "Among various kinds of knowledge, I am Knowledge of the Spirit". This knowledge reveals that the origin, growth and dissolution of the Cosmos are due to Brahman (Supreme Reality). The Upanishads (Vedic metaphysical treatises) have described it as Akshayya (imperishable) Brahman i.e. Atma.

The Atma when it is believed is in the core of every one, will produce sympathetic vibrations in you, so that when the other is happy, you are happy and when other is in misery, you feel it to the same extent. That is Prema i.e. Love at its highest and sincerest. It will blossom into peace and calm.

Human today needs this Supreme knowledge. There are three steps leading to this knowledge. One is "Bhavam" (heart felt feeling). The second is "Sadhana" (spiritual effort). The third is "Upasana" (adoration).

In the first step the thought of Brahman i.e. Atma should be firmly established in the heart. When this is done, one has to look upon the whole Universe as a manifestation of the Divine. All that is beautiful and great in Nature - the lofty mountains, the vast oceans, the stars in the sky must be regarded as proclaiming the glory and power of the Divine. The sweet fragrance of flowers, the delectable juice of fruits should be regarded as tokens of God's love and compassion. The entire Universe must be considered as the temple of God.

The second step is Sadhana. It does not consist merely in bhajans (group singing of devotional songs), keerthans (spiritual compositions), japa (recitation of holy names) and dhyana (meditation). All these are auxiliaries. The primary requisite is concentration on the Pranava (Om).

That Om represents the concretised Divine principle that is immanent in the Universe, that moves the dew to drop, the lotus to bloom, the butterfly to flit and the Sun to rise, that is all the power, all the wisdom, all the love, all the miracle that ever was, is and will be.

(There are seven crores of names for God all of which have to be uttered with Pranava at the beginning. To utter the God's name without the Pranava is like using a revolver without cartridges. By meditating on the Pranava, one can glimpse the nature of the Supreme Reality, according to the Upanishads).

The third step is Upasana (the Divine adoration). Upasana means approaching near the Divine. Upasana is often equated with fasting. This is not correct. There is a bliss that is greater than food. When one is immersed in that bliss the bliss of Brahma-ananda (divine bliss of rapture), one gives up food of one's own accord. (To subject oneself to fasting as a compulsory regimen is not Upasana, but mere starvation).

The external world will reflect your thoughts. If you view the world with love, it will appear as filled with love. If you view it with hatred, everything will appear antagonistic to you. Eyes filled with love shine with brightness and cheerfulness. Eyes filled with hatred appear bloodshot and fearful. Our thoughts determine our good and bad actions. (Do not hate other names or other forms of the same Supra-Cosmic Magnificence, the Purushotthama. For, hate breeds fear, hate is the seedbed of anxiety, scandal and falsehood. It drains your mind of peace).

The spark of Love in you has to be cherished and fed so that it may reach God; then, every being will be God, every act will be Divine; every reaction you get from the outside world will be charged with Prema and sweetened with that nectar. You love the God in all beings and the God in all beings responds with love.

God resounds, reacts, reflects. He gives you back ten times the love that you offer Him. Yearn, dedicate, surrender. Keep steadily on, do not move forward two steps today and retrace them tomorrow. The ants, poor little weak things, they move one behind the other in an unbroken stream, conscious of the goal and of nothing else, overcoming obstacles that come in the way.

Swami has been propagating the message of Love for many years in every His Discourse. He stresses that you need not cultivate anything but Love. That will be equal to any amount of penance you can possibly do. Learn to respect all. Only then will you earn the grace of the Divine who is the Indweller in all beings. Harming living beings and worshipping inanimate idols, what kind of devotion is this? (Bullocks which work night and day are whipped, but a stone idol of Nandhi is adored by going round it. This is stony devotion. Not devotion from the heart).

Several years ago Swami has resolved not to give Namaskar, to anybody. He explained that devotees may do Namaskar to their parents as the same Atma is present in Swami, and everyone else. But wherever you are, you can offer Namaskar mentally. That gives to Swami happiness. You do not know how great this Ananda is. Just as a small piece of wood becomes fire when it comes into contact with fire, so also when you are close to Swami mentally, you become Divine. Your mind will be illumined and will dispel the darkness of ignorance in you.

The Kannada saint, Basavanna, sang that God is won, neither by nadha (melody) nor by veda (knowledge), but by bhakthi (devotion, dedication). Mere formal worship or mumbling of hymns or mechanical routine performance of rituals cannot induce God to reside in the heart. Such a heart is encumbered by trivia, by lumber, by cobwebs and impediments.

(There are some who worship Swami's picture with great gusto, but, if the buffalo which was yielding two seers of milk per day starts giving one, they attribute it to the picture and the puja, and they turn the picture to the wall and rue the day when they brought it home).

All have to realise that relationship between devotees or followers and Swami is not related only to the physical body. The body is a passing thing. You should concentrate on the attainment of that which is permanent and beyond the limitations of time and space.

(Looking at things externally, Swami's Darshan will be before you only for a short time. But you must retain permanently what you have seen with the outward looking eyes. What you see externally is a burden. When you have made it a part of yourself it ceases to be a burden. It is like the food which a traveller carries. As long as the food remains outside it is a burden. But when traveller has eaten it, he/she gets stronger and there is no burden).

In the heart of every human being, there is jnana-agni (fire of wisdom). That fire signifies a pure heart. (Today we are not able to see that fire because the heart is enveloped by the ash of worldly desires. When the ash is blown away, the fire will be visible).

Tens years ago Swami told that He does not appreciate Adambara-bhakthi (pompous parading of devotion); He appreciates Ananda-bhakthi (devotion that is too deep for words and too intense to care for publicity).

The stamp of bhakthi is what makes the prayer reach the destination, God; not the festoons, the fanfare, the heap of flowers or the festive nature of the feast-offerings. The simple sincere heart is the stamp, which makes the prayer travel fast. The Brahman experience is not to be got by the mastery of various sadhanas. It is only when the heart is purified that divinity can be realised. Everything is for the attainment of the Supreme to be utilised for that high purpose. Nothing is to be used as itself, for itself.

Focus the heart correctly and click the switch of intelligence; that is the way of getting a clear Swami's picture imprinted in your heart.

Develop the inner eye, not the exterior sight. Grow in faith; that will make you an iron ball that cannot be lifted by any gust of wind. Develop a sense of proportion, a due sense of values. Love the things of the world with the love that is their due, and not more.

There is an example-parable from Ramayana. Suka, the purest of the sages and the wisest, was teaching a number of disciples including the wise emperor, Janaka. One day, Suka started his discourse late, for, Janaka had not yet come. The others resented the extra attachment that Suka bestowed on Janaka; they ascribed it to the fact that he was emperor of the realm; they felt that their Guru was unfortunately moved by these mundane considerations. Suka knew how their imagination was weaving falsehoods and prejudices. So, he derided to exercise this envy from their hearts. After Janaka came and the discourse lasted for some time, Suka so managed with his mystic powers that they could see in the far distance, near the horizon, the City of Mithila, the capital of the empire, caught in flames and crumbling in the conflagration. The disciples were listening to that the Atma alone is real and that all else is appearance, imposed on the Atma, by the fog of illusion and ignorance. Every other disciple ran off, leaving the class and the preceptor, each to his own cell, afraid that the oncoming fire will burn his clothes or books. But, Janaka whose capital city was being reduced to ashes sat unmoved for he knew that what was being consumed by fire was only appearance and not reality. Suka himself asked Janaka to go and assess the damage and try to save what can be saved from the fire. But Janaka replied that his treasure was the jnana he was getting from his master and that he was unconcerned about the objective world, approachable by external instruments of knowledge. At this, Suka revealed that the fire was a make-believe created by him to tell others the depth of real scholarship earned by Janaka, in contrast to their superficial learning.

As long as we are involved with external appearances, we have to carry the burden of doubts and weakness of faith. We will not be able to get rid of involvement in unnecessary things. Faith is like a live volcano. No seed will sprout on such a volcano. Doubts are like seeds. If the doubts multiply, it means that your faith is weak and unstable. It is like an extinct volcano. If your faith is strong, no doubts will crop up.

The Divine shows you the path to Self-realisation. Your doubts arise or disappear because of your past karma (action). Get rid of all your doubts.

From time to time, God subjects devotees to various tests. These are intended to strengthen the faith. Krishna pointed out to Arjuna a bird on a tree and asked him whether it was a peacock. Arjuna said: "Yes, my Lord". "No, no. It is a dove," observed Krishna. Arjuna immediately said: "Yes, it is a dove." Krishna then said: "You senseless fellow. It is not a dove but a crow!" "Yes, it is a crow," said Arjuna. Krishna then told Arjuna: "You have non power of discrimination at all. You cannot decide whether it is a peacock, dove or crow and only say 'yes' to whatever I say. Should you not have this much of understanding." Arjuna replied: "Krishna, if one does not know your real nature, one may attempt to agree or disagree with you. But I have understood the truth about you. If I declare that it is not a peacock, a dove or a crow, you have the power to turn it into a peacock, a dove or a crow." When Arjuna displayed such implicit faith in Krishna, he felt that Arjuna was fit to receive the message of the Gita. Hence He told him "Be thou my instrument."

Even when the Divine appears in human form and is near in various ways to people, few are able to recognise Divinity in the physical form. It is not easy to recognise the nature of the Divine through the corporeal form alone.

When the child Krishna was brought before his mother Yashodha and accused of eating mud, Krishna protested to his mother that he was not an infant, or a naughty boy or a madcap to eat mud. Krishna then revealed to His mother His divinity.

The Avatar is not to be judged by reference to age or actions. (Even Avatars have not been free from such feeble tactics from small people. Krishna was scandalised as a thief who killed Sathraajith and stole the Shymanthaka gem, which Sathraajith wore, while out hunting in the forest. He set out to prove the traducers wrong. He found that he had been slain by a lion and that the gem was in the cave of a bear which had tied it up above the cradle of the tiny child-bear so that it may watch its brilliance and play. Do not yield to the temptation to cast mud on the reputation of others; it is a heinous pastime, fraught with disaster. Ridicule and contempt must be met with joyous unconcern).

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "Objective, not object," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16. 'Let God Be Your Guru,' Chapter 17; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "Spiritual orientation to education," Chapter 20; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Bhagavaan deplores devotees' lapses," Chapter 26; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 33. "I And You Are One," Chapter 13).

Namaste - Reet