Swami teaches....Part 77
Links to Swami Teaches - Part 76
Light and Love
Swami teaches... 5 - 6 Sept 2006
Advices to Realize Human Values and Innate Divinity, Part 1
Whatever you hold, once you have
Work in the spirit of love; it leads you on to worship, that is to say, work without any regard to the proportion of benefit you derive from it; work, since it is your duty; work, since you love to work, work since that is the way you can offer God the gratitude for the skills God has endowed upon you.If this is remembered and practised by every human being however placed, wherever placed, work will give happiness, contentment and peace, both to the person concerned and to the society of which humans are limbs.
Who can say, how can we judge, whose share in the erection is more important and whose is less? The work of each is essential and valuable, so far as his/her share of the responsibility extends.
Each limb of body must act effectively at the exact juncture to meet the duty entrusted to it and accepted by it, so that the body may live in health and in tip-top efficiency, alert with all its skills and potentialities. This is true also of the enterprises which person undertakes with others. Each one must resolve to use own skill and intelligence for the discharge of his/her obligations.
This kind of work leads to wisdom. Wisdom means the recognition of the immanence of the Divine in every being. (Food, sleep, fear and progeny are common to mankind and animals. Only human is endowed with wisdom. Who is the richest person in the world? He/she who has much satisfaction and outlook of Oneness of all existence. Who is the poorest person in the world? The one who has too many material substances and selfish desires).
Of what avail is a car, a bank deposit, a bungalow in a posh extension? If you have all these but no love in your heart, the heart becomes a dark deserted temple, where the bats of lust and anger breed in everlasting night.
Factional interests today are predominant and the competitive struggle is on, in all fields - in labour, politics, administration, commerce and agriculture, etc. That is the reason why anxiety and insecurity stalk the countries and people have to go about their business, with death or disaster threatening them round every corner. An ominous uncertainty shadows them, at every turn. And, human thought turns to violence and revolution, as the obvious cure. But, that can never cure; it can only worsen the illness. Excitement blinds the reasoning faculty.
Passion, violence, and cruelty create more problems, without solving any. Ability as well as willingness to discharge duties and to bear burdens - these alone entitle people to hold authority over others.
When you pay undue attention to differences, spasms of hatred, anger, malice and envy overwhelm you. Anger rushes blood to the brain; the temperature rises; the composition of the blood changes; toxins enter into it in such quantities that it injures the nerves, and make you old before your time.
Desire to which you are too fondly attached breeds anger and its nefarious brood. Discard it and you can have perpetual youth. The Ananda that the Atma can manifest will keep age and aging away.
Rama learnt from Vasishta the method of conquering desire and he demonstrated by his equanimity that he could go into long exile, with as much exaltation as he could go towards the throne for his coronation. 'Rama' means the Joy that comes of Love. He loved bird and beast, demon and sage, to prove to the world that God saves those who love His children.
Vedanta says, love everybody, but do not trust anybody. The reason is that the human body is temporary.
The body is valued and considered to be Sivam (auspicious) as long as there is life in it. It becomes savam (dead body) and absolutely useless the moment Life Principle forsakes it.
Mind is a bundle of thoughts and impulses. So, all that is related to the mind is subject to change. Only the Atma is true and eternal.
In the field of spirituality, you cannot attain anything if you do not have faith and determination. When you go to the market, you cannot get even a small handkerchief if you do not pay a certain amount of money. Likewise, you cannot attain Divine grace unless you offer your love to God. Develop the faith that God is. You have to grow in faith in order to develop love.
God is also like a business man. What sort of business is He engaged in? Not worldly business, purely spiritual. He receives your love and showers His grace on you. Surrender all your thoughts and worries to God and receive bliss in return. This is the business you are supposed to do with God.
But in this Kali Age, people are engaged in a different type of business with God. Students go to temple and pray, ?O God, I will offer two coconuts if You make me pass the examination.? What will God do with your coconuts?
In Andhra Pradesh, there is a very famous pilgrimage center named Tirupati, where Lord Venkateswara is the presiding deity. Some people go there and pray, ?Swami, I will offer my hair to You if I win the lottery.? They do not realize that God is not in need of their dirty hair.
You have to offer all your wicked qualities and wicked thoughts to God and receive sacred qualities and sacred thoughts in return.
Fill your life with love and take to the path of spirituality. Spirituality does not mean outward worship and rituals alone. You should have the feeling of worship within. You may also do it externally if you are interested. There is nothing wrong in it. But it will be a futile exercise if it is not done with the proper feelings. All these rituals should awaken the spiritual awareness in you.
So, in order to experience bliss, one has to make friendship with God. All of you are aware how the worldly friends are. As long as there is water in the tank, you find thousands of frogs living there. But all the frogs desert the pond once it gets dried up. Likewise, all worldly friends swarm around you saying hello, hello as long as you are in position of authority and have wealth. Once you lose both, none will look at your face even to say goodbye. But friendship with God is true and eternal. God is always with you in times of both pain and pleasure. When you install God in your heart, there is no room in it for anything else. (But today's aspirants treat the heart as a musical chair. They go from one "swami" to another and shift from one kind of sadhana to another. Of what avail is this kind of merry-go-round)?
Consider, whether you earn any lasting joy at all from your toil from the time of your waking in the morning to that of going to sleep at night, a toil incessant and limitless, a toil which often does not leave you even a moment's interval to call to mind the glow and grandeur of God? No wonder that even though God is everywhere, those who have seen Him are few and far between.
Thousands there are who extol the beauty and majesty of God in glamorous prose or poetry, but a counted few are the souls that share His Grace.
There were three Andhra mystics who had nectar on their tongues, so to speak, and so were able to sing of the ecstasy they experienced, the God they realized. They were, as you may guess, Potharaaju (Potharaja), Goparaaju (Gopharaja) and Thyaagaraaju (Thyagaraja). They were aware of the Divine Principle, the warp and woof, the cause and effect, the beginning and end of the entire cosmos.
Thyagaraaju sang ecstatically about the glorious achievements of the Lord. Thyaagraaju could have easily bided beside the thrones of rulers for the asking of it. He could have received invaluable gifts from royal patrons. But he refused the honours his contemporaries were prepared to heap on him. He said, "O mind, tell me if it is the treasures bequeathed by high dignitories or the Divine Presence of Rama in the heart that can give unalloyed joy?" The emissaries from the palace had to return, carrying back with them the presents they had brought.
Potharaaju also had the same attitude towards worldly riches for he too was immersed in Divine delight. His brother-in-law. Shreenatha, once advised him to dedicate the great Telugu epic poem, Bhagavatham, to the ruler of the kingdom, for the king would shower diamonds on him and free him from poverty for ever. Potharaaju replied "Rather than wed this lovely, tender, angelic maid of poetry to wealthy barbarians to earn polluted food in return, I would gladly feed myself, my wife and children on what I can find of fruits and roots in the jungles. I will dedicate this epic only to God, who inspired me and bestowed song upon my lips. No one else deserves this offering.
Goparaaju built the temple at Bhadhraachalam. Today it is difficult to find people who would refrain from unscrupulously misappropriating temple funds. But Goparaaju used his life and his means, even the lives and means of his kith and kin, for rebuilding and renovating the Rama temple at Bhadhraachalam.
Such great persons are found not only in Andhra Pradesh, but in other regions too. The culture of India has extolled such embodiments of devotion and held them up as examples before the common human being.
You must read about these saints, revere them and follow in their footsteps. To do this, you must also keep yourselves in good company. You must choose friends who by their company would help in raising your aptitudes.
Swami desires that students will learn stories from the scriptures, the epics and the lives of saints belonging to all religions. Children must also be taught habits of cleanliness and mutual help and cooperation. They will also learn habits of discipline, for, these alone can ensure happiness, individual and social.
The school is a house of God. Treat it as a holy place where Saraswathi, the deity presiding over knowledge and the arts, is present and is worshipped. Then, in that atmosphere of veneration, the pupils will mould themselves into worthy examples for the entire world. He will be prompting the pupils to accord their conduct with the sacred atmosphere of the school.
Worldly knowledge is required, but that is not the be all and end all of human life. Worldly knowledge is for the happiness in this world and spiritual knowledge is for the happiness thereafter.
Along with the secular knowledge, one has to make an effort to imbibe cultural, moral and spiritual human values too. It is because of the growth of worldly knowledge without these values that human has become a repository of doubts.
You need to develop general knowledge and discrimination knowledge also. Only then you will attain practical knowledge. But, today very few seem to be having practical knowledge. Most of the people are wasting their lives in acquiring superficial knowledge.
Rama and Ravana were equally proficient in 36 forms of knowledge. But sage Valmiki, the composer of the Ramayana, portrayed Ravana as a fool and Rama as a noble one because Ravana misused his knowledge, whereas Rama put his knowledge to proper use. Ravana became the root cause for the death of his sons and brothers, because he was unable to control his lust.
Be warned of falling into the easy path of moving with the current. Heroism demands that you should promote your individuality and follow the ideals you deem best. Do not imitate others through sheer laziness of thought. Aim high and do not be disheartened if you miss your mark. Better it is to fail in shooting a tiger than to succeed in shooting a sparrow.
Once you have placed an ideal before you or set a goal, stick to it through gain and loss. In this phenomenal world, life is like a water bubble. No one can tell when, where and how this bubble will burst.The primary goal of a human being is to realise own inherent Divinity and redeem life by that realization.
Attach yourself to the Highest, call it by any name, conceive it in any form. But, remember, without Dharma you cannot attain it.
Since ancient times, the Bharatiyas worshipped earth, trees, anthills, and mountains because they believed that God is everywhere and in everything. Now human is losing faith in these ancient values.
The culture of Bharat is based on dharma. The word 'dharm' has been misinterpreted as religion. Dharma is like a vast ocean, whereas religion is like a pond. The culture of Bharat is pure, unsullied, eternal, and immortal.
The culture of Bharat does not
give scope for differences based on caste, creed, color, religion, and
nationality. It says,
Let us share the knowledge and improve upon it.
Let us live in amity and peace without any differences whatsoever.
It speaks of the principle of equanimity. It says, Loka samastha sukhino bhavantu. (May the whole world be happy).
(The same principle was stated by Jesus also. He said, "All are one, my dear son, be alike to everyone." In fact, the underlying principle of all the religions is one and the same. But, people have forgotten this unity and have become narrow-minded).(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 11. "Nut and bolt," Chapter 1 and "This and that," Chapter 11; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 14. "Love must win," Chapter 8; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 28. "Fight the forces of evil," Chapter 28; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 32, part 1. "Glory of Bharatiya Culture," Chapter 5).
Namaste - Reet
Light and Love
Advices to Realize Human Values and Innate Divinity, Part 2
From ancient times Bharat has upheld high spiritual ideals and proclaimed the principle of universal well-being. "May the people of all the worlds be happy." The ancient sages led lives based on these sacred ideals. Right from ancient times, Bharat has been in the vanguard of human values, namely, Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema, and Ahimsa.
In order to experience the light of love, one must cultivate truth, righteousness, and peace. These values cannot be acquired from outside. They are innate and inborn. (Modern human being is human only in form, but far not in behaviour).
There is no greater virtue than Truth. Truth is not limited to one nation or one people. It belongs to all mankind. Truth sustains the Cosmos. Follow the path of Truth. Speak the Truth. That is the foremost spiritual exercise. Fill every cell in your body with the spirit of Truth.
Ancient sages spoke of Sathyanveshana (search for Truth). Why should one search for Truth, which is all-pervasive? The eyes that see your mother, your wife, your daughter, and your daughter-in-law are the same, but the feelings with which you see them vary. Here Sathyanveshana refers to the enquiry into the feelings that you should have when you look at each of them.
Since time immemorial, the culture of Bharat (India) has propagated three important values concern tothe Truth. Speak the truth. This is the moral value. Speak in a pleasing way. This is the social value. Do not speak unpleasant truth. This is the spiritual value.
There is no need to fear if you are following the Truth.
Follow the master
Your conscience is your master, so follow your conscience. Life is a game, play it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is love, enjoy it.
The righteous acts performed by one and the reputation earned by one, these two alone endure for ever, as long as the Sun last.
What human needs to cultivate today is also the value of the ever brilliant and effulgent Self - own innate Divinity. Human today has forgotten the true Self and is getting carried away by illusion. What is the reason? A small example to illustrate this. Pure gold shines brilliantly and has a very high value. However, when it gets alloyed with metals like silver, copper, brass, etc., it loses not only its identity but also its value. Similarly, human, who can be compared to pure gold, has lost the true identity and also the value as his/her mind is polluted with worldly thoughts and unsacred feelings. Human has lost the humanness because of bad thoughts and bad company Human is subjected to misery because he/she lacks faith in the Self.
Immersed in endless worldly desires people have become strangers to the Divine. Human has become a plaything in the hands of Selfishness. Consequently human has forfeited peace of mind. People desire the fruits of good deeds without doing good deeds and want to avoid the consequences of bad actions while indulging in them. People today are keen to secure shortcuts for achieving anything. This is not so easy.
Evil thoughts and evil actions are rampant everywhere. You cannot remain a mere witness to these happenings. Placing your faith in God, you have to fight evil forces as a human being. You have to demonstrate your human estate. You have to earn a name as a good person. That alone counts. All other acquisitions are worthless.
What are punya karmas (virtuous deeds, good works, meritorious actions)? Vyasa defined them as actions to help others. These are secular interpretations of the terms punya and papa (also papa-karma, evil deeds, demerit, sin). Real punya is the endeavour to recognise one's true Self. When human realises that the bliss he/she seeks is within, that is punya (meritorious). To realise that the same Atma that is in all others is within me and is in all living beings is punya. This spiritual oneness is meritorious. This oneness of Spirit has to be experienced.
This is possible to cultivate the value of Self when human makes proper use of five elements and five senses. The primary duty of human lies not in protecting own wealth and valuables but in conserving five elements and protecting the five senses from evil effects.
The same message was propagated by Gautama Buddha. In the beginning, he studied many scriptures, approached many preceptors, and undertook various types of spiritual exercises. Ultimately, he realized that proper utilization of five senses would alone confer peace of mind. First and foremost, he stressed on the importance of right vision. All that you see, be it good or bad, gets imprinted in your heart forever. So, see no evil; see what is good. Hear no evil; hear what is good. This is called right listening. Right vision and right listening will lead to right feelings. Human life is based on feelings.
Buddha was in a state of supreme bliss at the time of attaining Nirvana. That state could be described as ever blissful, granting happiness, embodiment of wisdom, beyond duality, infinite as the sky, primordial, final goal, one, eternal, pure, immutable, omnipresent witness, beyond emotions, devoid of the three gunas (qualities).
When Buddha was at the verge of attaining Nirvana, his stepbrother Ananda, who was by his side, started shedding tears. Seeing this Buddha smiled and said, "My dear one, it is rather surprising that you should feel sad about my attaining the state of highest bliss. Instead you should also try to attain this state of supreme bliss by controlling your senses".
The Vedas prescribe forms of worship through rites and formulae for different Names and Forms of the single Godhead, so that people of different stages of growth and different standard of intellectual attainment can draw inspiration therefrom. The Unity of all the names and forms was, however, emphasised throughout. Each name and form when it was adored was described as All-powerful, All-knowing. All-pervasive, etc, so that worshippers may be led through every door to the self-same entity that subsumes all. But, the shortsightedness of human won over this largehearted view; the Names and Forms were taken as essentially distinct and each became the centre of a sect, creed, with all its divisive consequences.
The real harvest of Ananda for which the spiritual operations of rites and mantras (sacred formulae) were gone through has been neglected, while the weeds of calumny, cynicism and conflict have grown wild over the fields.
The evil influence of kama (lust) is at the bottom of this tragedy. The Gita laid down that even the Vedas have to be transcended, whenever they seek to foster desires and cater to transient urges.
The Gita asks you to be not Balavaan (possessor of physical prowess), not Dhanavaan (possessor of a comfortable bank balance) but, Atmavaan (having the prowess arising out of the awareness that you are the Atma, which can remain unaffected by fame or shame, grief or joy and all the buffetings of the dualities of the world).
Another word in the same sloka (verse) is nir-yogakshema. It points the way to lasting happiness - never being concerned with the earning of happiness and the maintenance of happiness, but, just being oneself. Being established in the Atma, never worried about how to be happy (for the Atma is ever blissful), this is the prescription of the Gita.
In chapter 5, sloka 28, the Gita says that the muni (ascetic) who is eager to attain liberation must be the master of senses, mind and intellect and has also to give up raaga (likes and dislikes and preferences), bhaya (fear, at something unpleasant or undesirable happening) and krodha (resentment, anger, at those who cause disappointment or grief or loss). The sloka goes on to say that such a person is already liberated; he/she has nothing else to do.
The regulation and restriction of the senses purify the intellect, which then can boldly and quickly investigate into the real nature of the subject-object relationship, the 'I'-other relationship, and discovering that all is 'I' (the One), attains peace, prashanthi (unruffled peace). A single seed of desire if it gets stuck in the soil of the heart, is very difficult to dislodge. Desire can be suppressed and mastered only by attachment to God and love for all beings, prompting sacrifice of joys and comfort for others.
The Divine is so distinct and distinguished from the mortal and the bound. Train your minds to follow not the devious, but, the Divine path, of which Swami is revealing to you the trail.
A clean uncontaminated mind is like a fully blossomed fragrant rose. But the evil mind stinks, and is avoided by kith and kin; it infects those who contact it. Waves move out from the mind in ever-widening circles and affect all those who draw near. Let your mind have no waves; let it be silent, level, calm. Dive into the depth of silence to hear the Cosmic Om.
Sound is of three kinds: Samanya, Varna and Mooka.
1. Samanya (the common): the sound produced by things falling, or breaking apart or fusing, all the sounds of the objective world, of rain and thunder, of rivers gurgling, of valcanoes and earthquakes and the like, even the dropping of dew on a tender petal of rose, the sailing of a feather from a bird's wing through the air.
2. Varna (the spoken word): this carries a specific meaning and is armed with intention, to inform, or instruct or inspire. This is the flow of the heart-beat of one into the heart of another.
3. Mooka (the sound of silence): when one dives into the depth of that silence, one hears oneself, the primeval Cosmic Om, the Pranava that emanates from the prana (the vital vibration) that fills the Universe.
To hear that sound, one has to approach, as near as possible, the core of one's being. That is why the Upanishad calls itself so; it urges you to go near, delve deep, dive to the very floor of the lake. Upa means 'near'; 'nishath' means sitting. Go and sit near, so that you can hear the whisper of the Super Soul to the soul.
There are two ways of accosting God. One is in the manner of the beginner, of the devotee who is still in the elementary stage. Devotee rhapsodizes, "Lord! You are the embodiment of mercy, you are embodiment of the Divine bliss), you are All-powerful," and hopes thereby to win God's Grace. But the dearer the devotee holds God, the more this distance disappears. It is just as when an acquaintance visits you, you welcome him with a hand shake and smiles which are largely artificial. But when an old friend drops in, you receive him with an informal hello and show him a seat with a twinkle in your eye and warmth in your heart. In the flood of formal praise, love is mostly absent. As it happens, in dealing with the personal God, love is the preeminent requisite. Therefore have faith, have patience and do acts of love and service. Love will be rewarded with Love a thousand-fold.
Saguna and Nirguna (with Form and Formless) aspects of God create the same doubt in the minds of sadhak, whether they can both be true. It is like hardened ghee and liquid ghee. Ice and water are the same; water takes the form of the vessel which contains it. It is formless. But, there is no distinction between ice and water. In sadhana, the saguna worship and the nirguna meditation are like the right and left feet for the journey.
Human has not come into this world to strut about for a while on the stage, consuming food and gaily gallivanting. Human comes into the world so that he/she may bask in the Presence of God, through the exercise of love and the cultivation of love.
The Earth is a great enterprise, a busy factory, where the product is love. By means of sadhana (spiritual practice), it is possible to produce love and export it to millions and millions of people, in need of it. The more it is shared the deeper it becomes, the sweeter its taste, and the vaster the joy. By means of love, one can approach God. If you deny God angrily, you are drying up the strings of love in your heart. If you declaim that God is nowhere, you are installing night in your heart and making it ready for dark schemes and misdeeds.
Once upon a time, a monk wearing the ochre robe chanced to enter a village full of atheists; he fell in with a gang of defiant youth who challenged him to show them that the God whom he was adoring actually existed. He said, he can; but before doing so, he asked for a cup of milk.
When the milk was placed before him, he did not drink it; but, sat, looking at it, long and silently, with increasing curiosity. The youth became impatient; their clamour became insistent. The monk told them, "Wait a minute, I am told that there is butter in milk; but, I must say, this cup does not have it, for, I do not see any of it, however hard I look into it." The fellows laughed at his innocence and said, "Silly man! Don't rush into such absurd conclusions. Milk has butter in every drop; that is what makes it so nourishing. If you must see it as a separate concrete entity, you have to boil the milk, cool it, add sour curd, wait for some hours for it to curdle, then, churn it, and roll the butter that floats into a ball." "Ah," said the monk, "that makes my task of showing you God much easier! God is in every thing, being, atom of the Universe; it is because of this that they exist, and we can recognise them and enjoy them. To see Him as a concrete entity, you have to follow a prescribed procedure, earnestly, strictly and sincerely. Then, at the end of it all, you can experience His Grace and His Glory."
The Divine is everywhere above, around, below, beside; near as well as far. The Vedas say, Anoraneeyan Mahatomaheeyan (God is smaller than the smallest atom and bigger than the biggest object). For cognising it, you require not a yanthra (machine) but a manthra (mystical formula, potent with psychological undertone). Dhyana (meditation) is the fixing of the exact location of the station in the band; love is the correct tuning in; realising the reality and the bliss it confers is the happy clear listening.
The nature we have around us and with us is the vesture of God. We have evidence of His beauty, goodness, wisdom and power, all around us, wherever we turn our eyes. But, the art of recognising Him is strange to us and so, we deny Him, and live on in darkness.
Everyone seeks and strives to be at peace with him/herself and with society (the community in which one has to live) and find the fulfilment. Person has tried to get this peace, by accumulating wealth, which gives power over others and the ability to command the conveniences and comforts which will confer peace. Person has sought to hoist to positions of authority and influence so that person can shape events suited to his/her aims and fancies. But, person has realised that both these paths are beset with fear, and the peace that he/she secures thereby is liable to quick and sometimes violent extinction.
How then can human achieve peace? Only through Love. Santhi (peace) is the fruit of the tree of life; without it, the tree is a barren stump. The fruit is encased in a bitter skin, you must have noticed, so that the sweet juice may be preserved and guarded against marauders; you have to remove the skin, before tasting the sweetness within. The thick rind is symbolic of the six evil passions that encase the loving human's heart. They are lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and hate. Those who can remove the rind and contact the sweetness within, through hard consistent discipline attain the peace we all desire; that peace is everlasting, unchanging, overwhelming.
(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 11. "Nut and bolt," Chapter 1 and "This and that," Chapter 11; Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol. 14. "Love must win," Chapter 8; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 28. "Fight the forces of evil," Chapter 28; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 32, part 1. "Glory of Bharatiya Culture," Chapter 5).
Namaste - Reet