Swami teaches....Part 74

Links to Swami Teaches - Part 73

 Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 22 - 23 July, 2006


Brahmavidya and the Source Within; Human's Sixteen Potencies. Part 2

There are three stages in spiritual life.

1. Jijnasu - the seeker, curious, inquisitive, earnest, thirsty, enthusiastic.

2. Mumukshu - the sadhak steady, straight, adventurous, hardy. The one who desires liberation.

3. Abhimukha - the realised person, face to face with Reality, strong, intelligent, good, showering Love on all.

The dull inert temper leads human to sloth and slavery; the passionate temper entices to faction, competition, conflict; the balanced unruffled equable temper leads to peace, justice, love and truth. Overcoming the tempers by the development of sadhana, one must discover the Truth of oneself and others, namely, God.

Every individual is a spark of the effulgence of God; God is dancing in every cell of every being. Do not doubt this, or ignore this, or dispute this. This is the Truth; this is the entire Truth; this is the only Truth. The Universe is God. (Loka is Lokesha).

(To run away from the place which you have been assigned is fruitless. You can be engaged in any profession, employed in any job, for all professions are His, all jobs are His. He is the Universal Master, the Universal Provider. And when troubles pile up or disappointment confronts you, be thankful for the toughening it gives to your character for the trial which you are privileged to face. Be calm when anger tries to inflame you. How can you put down fire with fire? Reason out and convince yourself that tolerance, forbearance, love and sweetness can alone ensure peace for yourself and for society).

Sathyakama (noble hermit son of Jabali) approached Pippalada (ancient sage renowned for penance; a great preceptor of spiritual knowledge) and asked the sage: "There are three kinds of knowledge in this world. One is the ordinary kind. The second is called su-jnana (right knowledge, ability to distinguish right from wrong). The third is called vijnana (higher knowledge). What is the difference among these three?"

Pippalada: "There is considerable difference between ordinary knowledge and su-jnana and vijnana. Ordinary knowledge is knowledge got through the body. Su-jnana is what is got through the mind. Vijnana is the knowledge got from the heart. You see various objects like a table, a tumbler, etc. The knowledge got by perceiving objects is ordinary knowledge. Su-jnana relates to the mind. In doing any action, when one considers whether what one is doing is helpful to others, the knowledge on which such action is based is su-jnana.

Based on both these types of knowledge, actions which are in accord with the dictates of one's conscience and which are performed to propitiate God constitute actions based on vijnana (the highest knowledge).

When sage Pippalada was explaining this Sathyakama got up and asked another question: "Swami! All the scriptures have declared that there is a Purushothama (the Highest of all beings) who possesses all the sixteen kalas (potencies). Who is this Purushothama? What are these sixteen kalas? Where are they present?"

Pippalada smilingly replied: "This Purushothama embodying the sixteen potencies does not dwell in any particular spot. It is in every human being and is experiencing bliss in the form of consciousness. He is Sat (Being) Chit (Awareness) and Ananda (Bliss). Sat means that He remains as an unchanging entity. Chit refers to the one who indicates Paripurnatwam (total Awareness). The unity of Sat and Chit is Ananda. Though Sat and Chit have different appellations, their outlook is one and the same. The two are like the right and left eye in a being. They are apparently separate and apart from each other."

So the answer to Sathyakama's question regarding Purushothama is that there is no separate dwelling place for the Supreme. It is through one's actions that one becomes a Purusha or a Purushadhama - a Divine or a despised being. It is one's actions which carry a person to great heights or hurl down to the depths.

The scriptures have declared that the one who possesses in full all the sixteen kalas (potencies) is Purushothama (the Supreme Person). The term is applied to the Avatars (Divine incarnations) who utilise the sixteen potencies for the benefit of others. No Avatar, whether in Bharat or elsewhere, has ever used the five elements, the five senses, the five vital airs or the mind for any selfish purpose.

Even when they go about in daily life like other ordinary beings, in every one of their actions they demonstrate its purity and unchanging truth. (The common people do not recognise this truth).

After this explanation, Pippalada went on to point out to Sathyakama the basic oneness of the eternal and the impermanent. He said that the gross substance is Kshara (perishable or destructible).

That which is related to life is Kshara. Akshara is related to God.

The term Akshara encompasses everything. Akshara contains two terms: A + Kshara. "A" stands for that which is Anantha (infinite), and Aprameya (immeasurable), Anandamaya (filled with Bliss). That is the Atma, the Eternal Self. Kshara represents that which is impermanent, illusory, and perishable. Akshara is the combination of the eternal and the evanescent, the imperishable and the perishable. Akshara has a twofold meaning. It indicates the presence of the impermanent Cosmos within the eternal Omni-Self.

The entire Cosmos, consisting of moving and unmoving objects, emanated from Akshara (the Imperishable Supreme). All that has come from Akshara has the attributes of Akshara. Issuing from Akshara and sustained by Akshara, ultimately everything merges in Akshara. Akshara is the unified expression of the Cosmos. It is the unity of the Everlasting and the ephemeral.

Pippalada asked Sathyakama to recognise the unity of these - Kshara and Akshara. "It is only when you recognise their unity will you be able to make proper use of the sixteen kalas," he said.

(As regards the sixteen kalas, the sastras, puranas and epics have caused confusion in human's mind by varying and misleading interpretations. These sixteen kalas do not exist in a separate place wherefrom they can be obtained).

There are the Pancha Bhuthas (pancha - five, bhuthas - elements), five basic elements - Akasa (space or ether), Vayu (air), Tejas or Agni (fire), Appu or Jala (water), Prithvi (earth).
There are the Pancha Pranas, five vital breaths - Prana (life-breath, life force, vital energy), Apana (the downward air, which goes out through the anus), Samana (digestive air; even breath), Udana (breath that moves upward from the throat) and Vyana (vital air which is diffused throughout the whole body). There are 12 crores of nerves in the human body. The life-breath Vyana pervades the entire nervous system. (It is because of the pervading presence of this divine vital air in all the nerves that the health of the body is maintained). It also contributes to the experience of happiness. The presence of the vital air Vyana in the Sahasrara (the thousand-petalled Head of the Kundalini seated in the brain) accounts for the intelligence in human. When the Kundalini-sakthi rises from the Mooladhara (at the bottom of the spinal column) to the Sahasrara (at the top of the brain), there is a blossoming of the powers in human. The ancient sages were able to harness the power of the Kundalini for great purposes.

There are five Jnanendriyas (Jnanen-driyas), organs of perception - the eyes, the ears, the nose, the mouth and the skin (seeing, hearing, smelling, speaking and touching are the faculties of these organs). With these five, the total goes upto fifteen. There is the mind. With it, we have the sixteen kalas.

Who is a Purusha and a Purushothama? Only those who enjoy these kalas in all their fullness and purity, make use of them properly and experience the bliss of that fullness, have been described as Purusha or Purushothama.

The body is called Pura (a city). The Divine consciousness which pervades the entire body from head to foot is called Purusha. The individual who experiences this consciousness and manifests the individuality is also called Purusha. The Divine power which pervades the entire Cosmos equally, shines equally in everything and proclaims His omnipresence is called Purushothama. Thus, in the individual this power is known as Purusha and in the cosmic manifestation, it is described as Purushothama.

It was repeated many times in different circumstances that every individual has four constituents: The body, the mind, the intelligence (buddhi) and the Atma.

The body is the instrument for discharging one's duties (dharma-sadhanam). The body can act only through the promptings of the mind. But it is the mind that enjoys the results of these actions.

The mind, however, derives only momentary pleasure from the actions of the senses. For instance, when one is hungry, the mind is satisfied if the hunger is appeased for the moment by eating something.

Beyond the mind is the buddhi (intelligence). The last has the power of discrimination. It points out what is wholesome and what is undesirable or bad for the body. When the mind is guided by the buddhi, it experiences genuine joy.

Every action that is done should be preceded by an enquiry as to whether it will lead to good or bad results. When discrimination is not exercised, the mind becomes blind as it were.

It is the Atma that animates the body, and illumines the intelligence. The one who identifies him/herself with the body loses in carnal pleasures. The one who identifies him/herself with the mind experiences sensuous enjoyment. One who bases his/her life on the intelligence achieves intellectual fulfillment. Only the person who bases his/her life on the Atma can experience Ananda (pure bliss). The Atmic vision is the awareness what cannot come through the study of scriptures.

If you wish to make sacred use of the sixteen potencies, direct your vision towards the Atma, not relying on the eyes. Have the conviction that it is because of the spirit within, that you are able to see with your eyes and hear with your ears. Your organs of perception are able to function because of the existence of Prajna (Inner Consciousness). All that is perceived in the external world is the Cosmic manifestation called Viswam. All that is experienced within the dream state and in sleep is due to Prajna (Divine Consciousness).

You have to divinise everything that you see or do by spirituality. Then everything acquires a wholeness and unity.

For instance, there are many rivers with different names and forms. But when they merge in the ocean, their names and forms disappear. They become one with the ocean. Likewise, the five vital airs and the five organs of perception are all different streams. The mind is a mighty river.

When the waters flowing in all these sixteen merge in the Atma, they lose their separate names and forms and achieve the Prajna-principle of the Atma. Thereby, they become pure, unsullied, unchanging and eternal.

How to reach to the stage of utilising fully these sixteen potencies, to be happy and have peace in mind?

Human's prime movement, motion is karma (activity, action). Movement results in energy and matter is pictorially nothing more but condensed energy. Ether, air, fire, land, water - all are the cause as well as the consequence of this incessant movement. All things that move are active, engaged in karma. To live is to change, to move; you may not move the entire body or any of its parts, but still, movement is taking place in you. Food is being digested, blood is being circulated, air is being drawn in, analysed, absorbed and exhaled, impressions are welcomed or resisted and conveyed or rejected.

Life is karma; the body is a karma-kshethra (abode of activity). All living things are engaged in karma offering themselves in sacrificial rite of ceaseless activity. (Swami does not recommend the giving up of karma; for it is not possible).

The three Vedas - Rig, Yajur and Sama Veda in their different rhymes pay homage to the three letters of the Pranava. To experience the truth underlying the Pranava there are three paths. They direct to the Self-realisation and show the way towards utilising these sixteen potencies.

1. Nama-chintana (meditation on the Divine Name). By meditating on the Name of the Lord, worldly pleasures can be enjoyed. These are transient, unreal and momentary. Such ephemeral pleasures are got in the mundane world by reciting the name of the Lord.

2. Bhava (inner ecstasy). Bhavam relates to the consciousness arising from a realisation that there is supreme power that governs the whole of creation - the moving and unmoving objects in the Cosmos. When that consciousness is made the basis of one's entire life, by dwelling in that consciousness, an individual reaches the Chandra-loka (the region of the Moon-god). To realise that at the base of the gross phenomenal world, there is a subtle power is itself a great progress in Bhavam (consciousness). Achieving this consciousness, human enjoys the sovereignty of the mind in Chandra-loka.

3. Sadhana (spiritual discipline). From these experiences, human progresses, through various spiritual exercises, and reaches Suvarloka (the region of the Sun). The Solar region, made up of Vijnana and Prajnana (physical and spiritual knowledge) is Cosmic Consciousness itself. It is the realm of Divya-drishti (Divine vision). The one who attains this region enjoys supreme peace from the Unified Cosmic Consciousness.

Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka and Swarloka are expressions of three sounds A, U, M in the Pranava mantra, Om. The Bhuloka (the physical world) and Bhuvarloka (the Lunar region) are said to be Aparabrahma (regions not related to the Supreme Self - Parabrahma). Swarloka (Celestial plane, heaven) relates to the Parabrahma (the Supreme Self). Bhuloka is gross, Bhuvarloka is subtle. The body is gross. The mind is subtle. They are related to the body and the mind. The Swarloka is related to the Atmic state. Through Nama chintana, Bhavam and Sadhana, human can attain the three worlds. When human combines all three practices, he/she can achieve in addition Paramasanthi (Supreme Peace).

You must not lose heart when you are cannot quickly experience the Divine vision. In such straits, let your mind dwell on the splendour of the Atma and its majesty; that will keep you alert and brave. The antics of the senses and the mind can be arrested by the whip of Atmajnana (wisdom of the true Self).

Do not pore over your griefs. When the mind is unattached to the ups and downs of life, but is able to maintain equanimity under all circumstances, then even physical health can be assured. The mental firmament must be like the sky, which bears no mark of the passage through it of birds or planes or clouds.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "The trail of wings," Chapter 4 and "The tiger in the ring," Chapter 30; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 11. "Bhaarathi-Bhaaratham," Chapter 12; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "Peace through Seva," Chapter 30; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 24. "The sixteen potencies," Chapter 15).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 19 - 21 July, 2006

Brahmavidya and the Source Within; Human's Sixteen Potencies. Part 1

Sathyam (Truth), Jnanam (Knowledge of the Absolute), Anantham (the Infinite), Aksharam (the Imperishable), Paramatma (the Omni-Self), Paratatwam (the Supreme Truth), Brahma (the Absolute), Kshetrajna (the Knower of the Field) - all these terms are synonyms for Atma (the Spirit).

God is described as Sathyam (Truth), Jnanam (Wisdom), Anantham (Infinite), Brahma (the Absolute). Sathyam means that which is unchanging, unaffected by the variations in time. Jnanam means perceiving the One without a second. Anantham means infinite, omnipresent, pervading the entire Cosmos i.e. the Universe. Brahmam means that which permeates everything.

These terms came into vogue depending on the time, the place and the circumstances.

"What is it by knowing which all else can be known?" This was the question which Saunaka put to the sage Angirasa. He asked the sage: ?What is it by seeing which all else can be seen? What is it by experiencing which everything else can be experienced? Please reveal to me the nature of this Divine eternal principle." Angirasa replied: "Only through Brahmavidya (Knowledge of the Supreme) can this be obtained."

The one who has earned the grace of the Divine will be able to gain the goodwill of the world. Once one
comprehends God, everything in the Universe can be comprehended.

All knowledge today is associated with the mundane. In essence all this knowledge is concerned with earning a livelihood. That true education is for the purpose of acquiring supreme wisdom should be recognised. That is the means to acquire Brahmavidya.

Brahmavidya must be distinguished from worldly knowledge. Brahmavidya is beyond the power of the eyes, the ears and the mind. It is concerned with revealing the Spirit.

This was what Angirasa taught to the Saunaka. This episode should not be regarded as an Upanishadic story. The inner meaning of the name Angirasa is he is the one who represents the sixteen potencies flowing as a sweet liquid in every limb of the human body and sustaining it.

The Prajnana-principle in every person is the form of Angirasa. This Prajnana pervades the mind, the intellect, the will, the anthah-karana (inner psycho-somatic fourfold instruments of mind, intellect, memory, and ego) and every part of the body. Hence, it has been declared: "Prajnanam is Brahmam." All the essential truths human seeks to learn are found within him/herself.

There is the Divine power in the human body called Chit-sakthi (the energy consciousness). It is like an electric current. When one body touches another, there is an exchange of energy. (The practice of touching the sacred feet of pious and good people was commended to enable people to get rid of their bad qualities and acquire virtues).

Human is Divinity humanised; in human is concentrated vast power, awaiting manifestation. But, human condemns him/herself into poverty, disease and despair. Human begs for alms from all and sundry and debases the Lord within. Human tells him/herself that God is far away, in an unreachable Heaven. Human exiles him/herself from the Kingdom which is his/her legitimate heritage. Human deludes into the belief that it is he/she who feels, thinks, speaks, and acts. Human curses him/herself as a fool or as a victim of fate, committing wrong with every such imprecation. Examine, each of you, your own minds and avoid this cowardice which denies your birthright.

By means of systematic sadhana it is possible to tap the inner resources that God has endowed human with and elevate yourselves to the purer and happier realm of the Reality.

(Look at the trainers of wild beasts. They bring the tiger, the most ferocious of animals, like a cat into the circus ring, and make it jump through a hoop of fire or lap milk from a plate, face to face with a goat, sitting on a chair. They are able to subdue its ferocity and tame it, reduce it to the position of an unassuming toy. How could they do it? They did sadhana, they made the tiger also go through a regimen of sadhana and they succeeded. If you could succeed with the tiger, can you not succeed with the ferocious denizens of your mind)?

Since Sakthi (Great Universal Power, the Divine energy, strength) is all-pervasive, omnipotent, infinitesimal as well as all-comprehensive, it can be contacted everywhere, in outer nature or inner consciousness. Prahlada (son of the demon king Hiranyakasipu) told his doubting father: "Why doubt, discuss and delay? Seek the Divine energy anywhere. It is near and far, before, behind, beside and inside everything, in the known and the unknown world."

(Forgetting the source within of what person is seeking, human pursues external objects and experiences frustration).

People dare describe the Divine, Her or Him, as thus and thus; that reveals only their faculty to guess. No description can picture the portrait in full. When direct realisation of the Divine is won, the tongue is rendered dumb; the portrait is unlimnable. It is beyond the reach of human intelligence or imagination.

But, human seeks to picture the vast magnificance within a limited frame and locate it in Ayodhya or Dhwaraka or Madurai or some such spot, and give it a Name and a Form, so that human can approach It and adore It. The Name and Form identify It, they do not limit It.

God gives everything, whatever we get is His Grace. You have no right to judge whether what you get is good or bad.

In order to get God so firmly installed, worship of idols or pictures, meditation on His Glory, recitation of His Name are all useful as preliminary sadhana (spiritual effort or practice). Swami won't say that temples or houses of worship, altars-and shrines where God is invoked and adored are wrong or wasteful. Until the letters are learnt, illustrations are necessary in the primers. The letter 'A' is learnt in association with the apple of which a picture is printed above it. On that account, you cannot be constrained to remember that apple whenever you have to think of 'A.'

Have the curtain of "Thought of God" all around you; then, the deadly mosquitoes of desire and distrust cannot harm you. That curtain will confer health on you, through immunity from disease. You will have undisturbed ease, with nothing to pine for, nothing to fear from. You will love all God's creation, you will welcome opportunities to serve and assuage the pain of others.

Swami calls upon to adhere to a new rite, seva (selfless service), a new yagna, sacrifice of the ego, a new ritual of worship, total loving surrender, dedication of all thoughts, words and 'deeds at the Lotus Feet of the Lord and acceptance of all that happens as gifts of Grace from Him.

The ancient sages started with regarding themselves as God's servants and reached the Divine through service.

Be in perpetual contact with God - let the pipe that leads into the tap which is you be connected with the reservoir of His Grace. Without that awareness of the constant presence, any service that you do to others will be dry and barren. Be aware of it; then any little act of service will yield plentiful fruit. God's hands and feet are everywhere. God's eyes, head and face are everywhere. God's ears are all over the Universe. He remains, enveloping all.

(However, since the sight is impaired by doubt, pride, or prejudice you don't see God, who is in you as well as outside you. You long for a thing that is not; you ignore the treasure that is within your grasp. You swear you have no bird in your hand; you struggle for the birds, that you believe, are waiting for you in the bush. The bird in the bush is only the image of the bird you have in your hand but you are unaware of this truth. You have faith in the senses and the knowledge they garner; you have faith in the fancies and fantasies of your mind; you have faith in the syllogisms of your reason; but you have no faith in God who cannot be bound or found by these. So, you fear, you grieve, you doubt).

Today very few are fulfilling their functions properly. There is too much talk and too little of action. Everyone should cultivate the feeling that primarily he/she is a servant, and a "worker." There is no demand on anyone to exert beyond own capacity. There is a golden possibility to realise the omnipresent Divine through service. Engage yourselves in service with a pure heart. This is the path of devotion.

Sankaracharya, who was the authentic exponent of Adwaitha (nondualism), composed the Bhaja Govindam to emphasise the greatness of Bhakti marga (the path of devotion) which is based on dualism. The unique merit of devotion has been expounded by Narada (sage-bard) in his Bhakti Sutras.

Krishna used Arjuna as an instrument to stage His Cosmic play. Today Swami is directing His play with so many thousands of Arjunas. "Be only my instrument, Oh Arjuna."

However, without concentration, no task can be accomplished by human being. To drive a car, shape a pot on a wheel, weave a design, weed a plot of land - all jobs require single-minded attention. To walk along life's highway which is full of hollows and mounds, to talk to one's fellowmen who are of manifold temperaments, all these require concentration. The senses have to be reined in so that they may not distract or disturb; the brain must not go woolgathering; the emotions must not colour or discolour the objectives one seeks. That is the way to succeed in concentration.

Do this concentration of your reality every day in dhyana (meditation) or in dhyana-yoga (yoga of meditation). Follow the same rigorous routine every day - time, place, duration, method, pose, all being unchanged. Then the disturbing factors can be easily humbled and tamed. As Ramakrishna said, do not dig a few feet in a number of different places and moan that you could not strike water. Dig in one place steadily and with faith.

From other side, pictorially the heart is the pot, intelligence is the churning rod, sadhana (spiritual discipline or exercise; self effort) is the process of churning and realisation is the butter gained.

(If you plead that you have no time to spare for japam and dhyanam, it is but laziness that makes you argue so).

Yoga or/and dhyna-yoga is/are the cutting off of all agitations on the lake of one's inner consciousness. Nothing should cause a wave of emotion or passion on the calm surface or in the quiet depths of one's awareness. This state of equanimity is the hall-mark of jnana (spiritual wisdom). Sadhana is the drug and inquiry is the regimen that will cure human of all waywardness and agitation.

When you feel you are all Light, you will have no weight; everything will be bright. (You can have other things besides Light to overcome the darkness). Anything that awakens the awareness of the Universal - the infinite, the immanent, the transcendent, all pervasive, vast, Brahman - is beneficial. You can have some Form of the Universal, like Krishna whose blue colour is redolent with the vast deep sky or sea. Contemplate on that Form, picture it in your mind, spend time slowly and with full attention on that holy picturisation .... (Your attention will wander far in the initial stages, but do not lose heart). It is a very profitable exercise to sublimate your thoughts and feelings. Every minute spent in this dhyana will take you one step nearer the Freedom from bondage.

So, be aware: "I am in the light. The light is in me. The light is me. I am the light." The individual who has realised this truth becomes one with the Brahman and attains a peace in mind.

Human is perpetually engaged in the search for peace. The seeker of peace must search for it not in matham (religion) but in manam (the mind). The search for peace in the external is the cause of all the unrest in the world. Peace has to be established first within one's Self. (But today conflict and disorder are spreading from the individual to the family and right upto the nation).

You must become messengers of peace. You have to begin with yourselves. You can get peace through service. Then there is peace of mind. A peaceful mind is the abode of the Divine Love. However, Love in human has to be fostered by sraddha and prema (dedicated service and love). A human who has tasted the immortal sweetness of the Divine Love will not desire anything else in the world.

Through Love, we must develop the spirit of thyaga (sacrifice) and proceed to Yoga (mergence in the Divine). When you give up what has to be given up, when you know what ought to be known, and reach what should be your destination, you will experience the bliss of Brahman. Attachment to worldly things has to be given up. The basic truths of life are to be known. The goal is unity with the Divine. In that lies the bliss of immortality.

The Cosmos cannot exist apart from the Divine and concequently apart from the Divine Love. The Divine cannot divorce the Cosmos. The devotee creates own image of God. God creates the devotees. The common belief is that all beings including devotees are created by God. But this is not the whole truth. The devotee also by the spiritual sadhana creates God. That is the meaning of the term Sakshatkara (Direct experience of the Divine Form).

Wherefrom does this Divine Form come? It comes from the devotee's intense feeling for a direct vision of God. It is folly for anyone to go in search of God. When God is omnipresent, what is the need for a search? It is a delusion to imagine that human is in quest of God. It is God who is searching for a true devotee.

Human must recognise that God is one, though He may be worshipped with many names. There is a practical illustration for this. A devotee keeps the idol of Krishna before him and performs Sahasranama Archana, reciting the thousand names of the Lord. The names are many but the God that is worshipped is one.

(When you dive into the sea at one place, you are diving into the full, not a fraction, for the sea is the same everywhere. You cannot separate sea it into sections by drawing lines on it. Plunge any where; by the same way you are plunging into the self-same Bliss).


(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "The trail of wings," Chapter 4 and "The tiger in the ring," Chapter 30; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 11. "Bhaarathi-Bhaaratham," Chapter 12; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "Peace through Seva," Chapter 30; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 24. "The sixteen potencies," Chapter 15).

Namaste - Reet

Home Page