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Swami teaches....Part 76

Links to Swami Teaches - Part 75

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 6 - 8 August 2006

Education Has to Promote Prema and Spiritual Insight. Part 2


What is the reason for the vicissitudes in a human's life? The cause is to be found in human's desires.

Doubtless, desires are inescapable. A person, for instance, seeks to achieve some ideals. Another may seek to do well in studies and secure a good job. Yet another may desire to acquire a good name and bring up a good family. There is nothing wrong in such desires. But what we are witnessing in the Kali Yuga is the limitless growth of desires. There should be limits to every desire. There should be a limit even to the pursuit of power and position.

The educated person must serve the people, through sweat and toil. Education has to inspire youth to offer service, to sacrifice and to help. It must not inspire youth to amass money as its goal, and to travel farther and farther to earn more and more of it.

Most people today have lost sense of ethical and spiritual values. Uncontrolled selfishness and insatiable desires are the root cause of the present evils. In the pursuit of worldly objects is there enduring happiness?

Animals eat as much as is required to appease their hunger. Human, however, does not act this way and has limitless desires. Human wishes to accumulate riches to last for generations so that to live in comfort. Worldly comforts cannot be adjured. But the spiritual goal should always be kept in mind. There should be a limit to the enjoyment of sensual pleasures.

Students should realise that true education should inculcate in them the following qualities:

Good thoughts, good speech,good actions, respect for truth, Discipline, devotion and dedication to duty.

Develop morality and good conduct. The sole purpose of education is to develop humility and discipline. Respect your parents and have love for God. This is true education.

Everyone should undertake an enquiry into the ultimate goal of life. For instance, we find that ghee is the ultimate product derived from milk after it goes through the processes of conversion to curds and butter. This process of enquiry is known as Mimamsa (exegetical school of Indian metaphysics, concerning itself chiefly with interpretation of Vedic ritual and the later with the nature of Brahman).

The whole purpose and goal of human life is to know one's true nature. You have to investigate the nature of the "I," which claims ownership of the body, the mind, the senses and other things. If you are not the body, the mind, etc., who are you? Does anyone pursue this line of enquiry?

To experience the proximity of the Divine the easiest path for one and all, for the scholar and illiterate, for the rich and the poor is Namasmarana, remembering constantly the name of the Lord. Sage Veda Vyasa declared that in this Kali Yuga there is nothing greater than chanting the name of the Lord.

There is another way to experience the proximity of the Divine by worship padhukas (sandals of the Lord). Even during the Kritha Yuga * (Golden Age of truth) the sages used to worship padhukas, experience the Divine bliss and share it with others.

In the worship of Dakshinamurthy (dhakshina - fee, offering) adoration of the sandals of the Lord as guru (preceptor) is considered important.

Even Shankaracharya resorted to the worship of the Lord's Feet as essential. In a famous hymn, he extolled the Lord in many ways and declared that he was taking refuge in the Lord's feet (Shambhu). He declared that Shiva's feet were enshrined in his heart and not elsewhere.

The glory of the Lord's feet is demonstrated by a significant episode in the Ramayana. After Rama left for the forest, Bharatha came to him and pleaded earnestly with him to return to Ayodhya. Rama was equally determined not to return. Vasishta (one of the greatest ancient rishis i.e. sages; priest of the solar race of kings; of the two brothers. The sage told Bharatha: "Rama has come to the forest to carry out the command of his father. It is not right on your part to ask him to change his mind. Let us take his padhukas to Ayodhya. Those padhukas will reign over the kingdom." Vasishta gave this timely advice and persuaded Bharatha to take Rama's sandals and install them on the throne in Ayodhya.

These incidents show that the worship of the Lord's feet and of the Lord's sandals has a long antiquity. The sacredness of this worship was propagated to the world by Bharath from ancient times as part of its spiritual message to mankind. In those days it was the practice of the disciples, after the completion of their education at the guru's ashram, to take with them padhukas of the guru to worship them on their return to their homes.

But even the worship of padhukas is an external activity. True devotion calls for the installation of the padhukas in the heart. This means that starting with the external form of worship, we should in due course make it an internal exercise.

Devotees are yearning to realise the Divine by worshipping the Lotus feet and offering their worship to the padhukas. Have the conviction that when you have the sanctified padhukas with you, the Lord is also with you. When you enter the Mandir you leave your shoes out side. But the Lord's feet are present wherever His sandals are kept. Live upto the conviction that the eternal Divine is omnipresent. Maintain purity and harmony in thought, word and deed. That is the way to secure Jnana-shuddhi (the Divine Wisdom).

The entire life should not be spent on only worldly duties. One must progress spiritually from stage to stage. Karma-Upasana-Jnanam (Action-Devotion-Wisdom) - these are the three steps in Self-Realisation.

Of the four goals of human life prescribed by the scriptures, the first is Dharma (Righteousness).

It is the feet in the human body. The entire body rests on the feet. Artha (wealth, prosperity, material object, thing, aim, purpose, desire), the second goal, rests on the feet. Hence, the acquisition of wealth should be based on righteous means. The third goal is Kama (desires). For the fulfillment of desires you need the strength of the arms. Both Kama and Artha are based on Dharma. Moksha (liberation, devoid of delusion). Freedom from bondage is the culmination of a life based on Dharma.

So liberation will not drop from the sky. Nor can it come form the Patala (deepest hell; one of the seven regions under the earth; the abode of serpents and demons; nether world. Nor can it be found on the Earth. Liberation can be attained only when ignorance is dispelled.

Today people have forgotten Dharma and Moksha and are immersed in Artha (acquisition of wealth) and Kama (the pursuit of sensual desires). For the realisation of the goal of human existence, you have to rely on the feet, namely, Dharma, and the head, namely Moksha. This is the meaning of the symbolic description of the Cosmic Person in the Vedas.

In the Gita, the Lord has indicated the qualities which an aspirant should possess to enable him/her to earn the Love of the Lord. Among these qualities, Krishna declared anapeksha (desirelessness) as important. All sensual pleasures are ephemeral. But most people are content with them. Greater than the sensual is the transcendental path, Shreyo marga, which confers lasting bliss.

When one does any action as an offering to God, it gets sanctified. Such an act becomes anapeksha (desireless act).

The second quality is suchi (purity). What is required is both internal and external purity.

The third quality is dhaksha. This means that the spiritual seeker should be steadfast and unwavering in any situation. The student should engage him/herself in service to others and perform actions in a spirit of detachment. Be unaffected by pleasure or pain, gain or loss or what happens in the mundane world.

The fourth quality is udhaseenah - indifference to external happenings.

The fifth quality is freedom from egoism and possessiveness. One should get rid of the idea of doership and ownership.

Today all spiritual exercises are ostensibly undertaken for realising God. But there is no need for undertaking them. Human birth itself is a mark of Divinity. What is essential is to recognise the indwelling Divinity and live on that basis.

In every living being, there are five sheaths Annamaya (food), Pranamaya (vital), Manomaya (the mental), Vijnanamaya (Awareness) and Anandamaya (Bliss). Human alone can recognise the existence of this faculty. Every living being including human is born with Moha (attachment). Human alone has the capacity to attain liberation by getting rid of this Moha. Vijnana (the ability to acquire the highest knowledge) is radiant only in human.

Thus there is a significant difference between human beings and all other living creatures. But the veil of Maya (illusion) envelops human and makes go astray. What is this Maya? It is the combined expression of the three gunas - sathwa, rajas and thamas (the pure, the emotional and the lethargic). The Vedas have declared that it is only when human overcomes the three gunas that he would be able to get rid of Maya (the illusion which makes one see the unreal as real).

The world today is simmering with discord and violence. Fear stalks the land everywhere. To get rid of fear, you have to acquire fearlessness. How is it to be got? When you reduce desires and attachments.

There you see the three worlds; Where the mind is absent There is only a void.

Wherever the mind is not present, there nothing seems to exist. From this, it is clear that the mind is at the root of all perception and is the cause as well as the witness of all that is perceived.

The Vedas declare that wherever the mind wanders, there the three worlds will be perceived. What are these three worlds? All are familiar with the pronouncements in the Gita and in the Gayathri Mantra. The three worlds are: Bhur, Bhuvah, Suvah (the Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka and Svarga). These three are present in human: Adi-bhauthika (pertaining to the physical or material world; the fine spiritual aspect of material objects), Adi-daivika (pertaining to divinity or fate, e.g. natural disasters) and Adi-atmic (pertaining to adi-Atma i.e. the individual soul, spirit, or manifestation of supreme Brahman).

(By Vedas Adi-butha is whole perishable creation; the primordial form of matter; everything that has name and form. Adi-daiva - Divinity or fate, the spiritual substratum of the Cosmos).

All the three worlds are contained in human. In this vast Cosmos, among innumerable living beings the human being studs foremost. Although it has been proclaimed that in all living beings the Divine exists as the Indwelling Spirit, not all living beings can recognise this truth. Only human being has the capacity to recognise it. This unique ability invests human birth with its rare quality, as proclaimed by the Vedas.

These were worshipped as three Goddesses - Dhurga, Lakshmi and Sarasvathi by Indian ancients.

Every form is that of Dhurga - the deity that is associated with shakthi (energy). There is infinite power within human, power that is beyond comprehension and which is Divine. (If human did not have this power, how could astronauts have gone to the Moon)?

What is the power that makes the Earth revolve round itself. It is not any machine or mantra. The power is within the Earth itself. This energy, present in human and in other objects, has been characterised as Cosmic energy. What is this Cosmic power? The Sun derives its energy and effulgence from this Cosmic source. It is the same Cosmic source that accounts for the power of the human mind and the marvellous power of the eye to see the most distant stars.

This boundless power is being recognized and exercised by each one according to the level of person's development. This energy is latent in all beings. Because of human ability to manifest this Divine, boundless Cosmic energy, human is described as a manifestation of the Vyakthi (Divine). Humanness consists in the manifestation of what is hidden and invisible in human.

This energy in human is a Adi Shakthi (Primordial Power). It is termed Om. This power permeates the Prakrithi (physical world) of matter. This is known as Bhur.

There is another power which animates this material substance. This is the power of vibration. It is termed Prana Shakthi (the Life Force). It is this Life Force which activates every part of the human body. This is termed Bhuvah. Lakshmi symbolises this power Lakshmi is the embodiment of that power which enables a human being to see, to hear and to do many things. The Lakshmi Principle accounts for all the good, happy, auspicious happenings in the world.

The third form of energy is symbolized by Sarasvathi. She is regarded as the Vaak-dhevatha (Goddess of Speech). Lakshmi is Prana-swaruupini (the embodiment of the Life Force). Durga
is Shakthi-swvaruupini (the embodiment of physical energy). These three in their unified expression represent the Atmic Principle.

Arjuna saw the Cosmic Form of the Lord (as described in the Gita). All three worlds were seen in that Cosmic form of Krishna. That Lord resides in every human being. He is nearer than one's closest kith and kin and is dearer than anyone else.
* Yuga - era or age. There is a cycle of four yugas: the Kritha Yuga, Thretha Yuga, Dwarapa Yuga and Kali Yuga. Present age is Kali Yuga.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 15. "The foundation stone," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "Power Of Divine Love," Chapter 21; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "Turn your vision towards the Divine," Chapter 28; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "God is the sole refuge," Chapter 33 and "Who is dear to the Lord?" Chapter 48).

Namaste - Reet


Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 3 - 5 August 2006

Education Has to Promote Prema and Spiritual Insight. Part 1

In this vast Universe every creature lives according to the law of its being and people should seek the Divine in all possible ways.

Bharath has been from ancient times teaching many esoteric truths to the world out of its abundant spiritual wealth.

The strident declaration in the Bhagavatham is: "It is natural for every living creature to go back to the source from which it came." You have come from the Atma and you must merge in the Atma. Till the goal is reached you must not treat lightly the sacred journey of life.

People forget the route by which they came and are searching for new paths. Many approach Swami and ask to show a way. Swami answers: "There is need for me to show you a path. You go back by the route you came."

Wherefrom did you come? Not from your mother. Nor from any particular place. The body came from the mother, but the Atma came from the Atma. You are the child of immortality. What is the way to immortality? Removal of immorality is the only way to immortality. If you get rid of evil qualities like attachment, hatred and envy, you will realise immortality and the Lord becomes close to you.

Everything belongs to the Divine. The ancient sages indicated the path to be pursued for truth what immortal and what is not.

Below is an ancient story of a student who used to go to a preceptor's hermitage in a forest for his studies. The guru used to teach the student that there is no use in depending on one's mother, father, brothers, or relations or on wealth and property. All these are transient. He also used to teach him that life is full of sorrow upto the very end and hence he should be always on the alert. The boy told the guru that this teaching might be all right for recluses like the guru, but was irrelevant for ordinary persons like himself. He told the guru: "My parents are exceptional, my wife is good. All of them love me. How can I disown them?"

The guru said, "I shall prove to you the truth of my teaching." He gave a pill to the student and said that after taking it he will become almost lifeless, but he will be conscious of what is happening around him though others will consider him dead. "Then you will know the truth."

The lad returned home, took the pill and dropped dead (as it were). The mother came, called the father and started wailing over the death of the son. The wife came out on hearing her cries and seeing the husband's body started crying. "I am my father's only daughter. If my husband goes, what will happen to me?" Everyone wailing over the body cried: "What is to happen to me?"

Other relatives also gathered and lamented on the death of a young man who was virtuous and spiritually oriented.

At this stage, the preceptor came there. Everybody made way for him. The guru asked the mother, the father and the wife why they were wailing. They all mentioned the grievous loss of they had suffered in the death of the young man. "What will happen to me?" was the refrain of each of them. He asked the mother to fetch a glass of water. He dosed his eyes as if in prayer and then told them: "If anyone drinks this water, that person will die but the young man will be restored to life." He first offered the water to the wife as the one dearest to the young man.

She said: "I am the only child of my parents. If I die they will collapse. Hence I cannot drink the water." The guru said: "Your husband will live. Why don't you give up your life?" She replied: "The dead man is no more in any case. Why should I die?"

The guru next asked the mother. She said: "My daughter has come for confinement. She is helpless. And I have two more young daughters to be married. How can I leave them?" When the father was asked, he replied: "I am the head of the family. If I go only two ladies will be left in the house, my wife and my daughter-in-law. My wife will become a widow. With no male member in the house, they will be helpless. How can I give up my life?"

All the three declined to drink the water. They went inside the house and drew up a master-plan. They came out and said: "Swami! You are immensely compassionate. You have no other attachments. Please drink the water yourself and restore our son's life. We will build a samadhi in marble for you."

At that moment, the guru sprinkled the water on the young man's body. He got up. The guru asked him, "What did your wife say? And your mother and father?" He replied: "They all said, let me die."

Such behaviour is understandable from the worldly aspect but it cannot be termed Love (Prema). It is only attachment. (Such pure Love is limited today by human's self-interest).

As long as one is alive, all seem to love the body. This is also for purely selfish reasons. God alone is utterly selfless. Loving that God, you can lead your lives in the normal way. There is nothing wrong. Whatever you do, treat it as an offering to God. See God in everyone. Don't have ill will towards anyone. Do not have excessive attachment for anyone.

The faith is what is most needed today in this Kali Yuga. It is the loss of faith that is responsible for all the strife and chaos.

One the main purpose of it that purely secular education devoid of roots in spirituality.

As often as possible, when you get the chance, meditate on God. Earn the esteem of society by your service and contemplate about the Divine Love (Prema). It can be applied only to the total Love towards the Divine. It has not come from the world nor has it fallen from the sky. Only the Divine, who is the embodiment of Love, knows its value.

There are many ways of realising God. Among them are: the Shanthi marga (the path of peace); the Sakhya marga (the path of friendship); the Anuraaga marga (the path of attachment); the Vatsalya marga (the path of affectionate love); the Madhura marga (the path of sweetness).

In all these five paths, there is some element of serf-interest. But in the Prema marga (the path of pure Love), there is no trace of self-interest. Hence, all other paths merge in the path of Love. Pure Love is therefore the royal road. The greater your Love for the Divine, the greater is the bliss you experience. The Divine Love is not a commercial commodity to be got in exchange. It is offered spontaneously.

Love of God is greater than nectar. It is called para bhakthi, supremest devotion to the Lord. It transcends also the four Purusharthas (goals of life).

Everyone should realise that the Divine Love is present equally in all beings. But this love assumes many different forms when it is exhibited in different relationships in worldly life. The love between husband and wife is termed moha (infatuation). The love between a mother and child is called vaathsalya (maternal love). The love between kith and kin is called anuraaga (attachment). The love towards God is termed bhakthi (devotion).

Thus, Love is one, but is expressed in many ways. Experiences are varied, but the goal is one. To carry on this life in this phenomenal world, love has assumed these manifold forms. The forms of love keep changing according to one's relationships.

Immediately after birth as an infant child clings to the mother's bosom and considers it as paradise. As child grows, he/she gets interested in education and forgets the mother. In his childhood, one experiences this love in sport and games, in studies and recreation. After completing the education, he/she enters on family life and immerses in sensual pleasures. Later, person gets interested in earning wealth and loses interest in family. Later on person loses interest even in wealth and turns the thoughts towards God. Thus, human exhibits the love for different objects at different stages in life.

Human may love the body, the mind, the buddhi (intellect) or the Antha Karana (inner psycho-somatic fourfold inner instruments of mind, intellect, memory, and ego). Love for the body ends with the death of the body. Love for the mind results in bondage because of the aberrations of the mind. Love for the intellect results in endless speculation and enquiry. Love for the Antha Karana promotes the ego feeling. It encourages dualism (separating human from God). Only the one who realises the oneness with the Atma can experience infinite bliss the Divine Love, what is eternal and unchanging. It is not something which enters your lives midway. It is the Atmic Principle which is always with you at all times.

To regard whatever actions you perform as an offering to God is the best form of sadhana. Whatever good deeds or spiritual acts you may perform, if they are not suffused with the Divine Love they are worthless.

This Love is like a mariner's compass, which always points to the North. Love should direct you Godward in every action that you do. To promote among people Love between humanity and God, the Divine descends on the Earth from time to time to promote the Love Principle.

When one is filled with the Divine Love, One can experience oneness with the Divine. Happiness arises from pure Love which is also the source of Truth, Righteousness, Peace and Forbearance.

Your view of the world depends on the colour of the glasses you wear. When your vision is filled with the Divine Love, the whole creation will appear as Brahma mayam (filled with Divinity). This is what the youth of today needs most.

It is only when impure and unholy thoughts are expelled from the mind that sacred feelings will enter it. To experience lasting bliss the heart has to be sanctified by filling it with Love. Through that Love has to be secured jnana (the highest wisdom).

The foremost goal modern youth should set before themselves is to sow the seeds of Love, rear the plant of forbearance and distribute the fruits of peace to society through dedicated service. The secret of peace is not in the external world but is within each individual.

Today the world is filled with strife. It is not possible to make a distinction between a human being and a demon. Teachers and students primary duty is to uphold the human values of Truth, Righteousness, Right Conduct, Peace and Love. In general the spiritual path is easier than the academic studies.

The institutions imparting learning have succeeded in equipping human with fantastic skills.

Look at the field of atomic engineering or of spatial exploration and conquest. One the other hand, these feats have not resulted in peace, happiness and harmony. Castes, races and classes clash with each other with unremitting hate. Even students and the youth have taken to this dangerous course. Unrest, fear and anxiety are increasing as a result of improper and incomplete education.

Education can yield peace and prosperity only when, along with technical skills and objective information, students are equipped with moral ideals, righteous living and spiritual insight.

The educational institutions do not strengthen and sublimate material and secular instruction into moral and spiritual training. It lays no stress on morals.

As a consequence, products of this process, who have no sense of values, gradually enter the professions and positions of authority in administrations of nations and rise up in time to higher levels. The world has come to the brink of disaster as a result.

Each one desires, to loll on sofas in airconditioned office rooms. Can this be named "pleasure'? Can this be ideal for educated person? No. This state will breed physical and mental illness.

Today, students develop many undesirable qualities like pride, envy and hatred even before they join college. With such polluted minds they view the world in dark colours. This may be illustrated by an episode from the Mahabharatha (the Great Epic in poetic form, by sage Vyasa. It contains the Bhagavad Gita, the metaphysical teaching of Krishna to Arjuna).

One day, Krishna summoned Duryodhana and Dharmaja and asked them to make a study of the people in the kingdom. He asked Duryodhana to find out how many good people existed in the country. He asked Dharmaja to find our how many bad people were there in the kingdom.

Duryodhana went round and reported that he could find no good man anywhere. If them was any good man, that was himself, he said. Dharmaja reported to Krishna that he could find no bad man anywhere in their Dharmic (virtuous) kingdom. He could find some badness only in himself.

The inner significance of this episode is that one sees only a reflection of one's self in the outer world.

Students today strive to achieve wealth, strength and friendship. But in addition to these three, they should also strive to develop divine qualities.

All scholarship is valueless without Self-realisation. Ravana, Bhasmasura and Kamsa were not lacking in scholarship or even religious practices. But all these were related to the Pravrithi-marga (externals) and not to the Nivrithi-marga (cultivation of the spirit inside). Hence their basic demonic qualities did not change.

Only when this is done can human evolve into God who is his/her own reality. This is the bedrock on which you can build the mansion of happiness, this recognition of the Divine, that motivates you from within. The Divine is omnipresent and is in everyone and in every object. This truth has to be realised from the message conveyed by the process of inhaling and exhaling that goes on in everyone 21,600 rimes in a day. Each act of respiration proclaims the message: So-Ham (I am He). With every breath, the message is proclaimed: "I am God."

All things in the world derive their value from the labour and skill of human inspired by the Divine force.

But, how can a student be regarded as a success if, at the end of the course, he or she knocks at the door of every office exhibiting the diploma has secured, and clamouring like a beggar asking for jobs? Education has been conferred on this disgraceful role. Often it is the today's reality.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 15. "The foundation stone," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "Power Of Divine Love," Chapter 21; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "Turn your vision towards the Divine," Chapter 28; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "God is the sole refuge," Chapter 33 and "Who is dear to the Lord?" Chapter 48).

Namaste - Reet

 

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