Swami teaches....Part 79

Links to Swami Teaches - Part 78

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 15 - 16 Sept 2006

The Precious Pearls for Contemplation and Spiritual Practice. Part 2

Poet-saints like Purandaradas have sung the praise of the Lord Almighty in the following terms: "Who has watered, manured and grown the small shrubs and the gigantic trees in the crevices of the rocks in the mountains? Who has painted the beautiful peacock and its tail with such attractive colours? Who has designed the wonderful combination of a green body and a red beak for the parrot?" The scientist may explain away all such things as the "Law of Nature." But are these scientists able to transcend Nature or to dispense with the materials available in Nature?

The most scientific discoveries is only derived from a combination of the basic materials found in Nature. What scientist may produce, mainly is based on the permutation and combination of the already existing materials, eneries in Nature.


There are nearly 5.08 billion human beings in the world. But it is amazing that in such a huge population, no two persons look exactly alike. The goods manufactured by the modern creators are all alike because they come out of the same mould.

Scientists and technologists, in pursuit of selfish interests as well as of name and fame, very often utterly disregard the security and welfare of the society and the nation, by upsetting the balance in Nature, which results in various accidents, calamities, losses and misery to the public at large. For example, by building gigantic dams and storing huge quantities of water in one place, the Earth goes down in that area and consequently goes up in another area, like a see-saw. The indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources by the scientists and technologists such as various types of mines for extracting minerals, mica, coal, petrol and other oils results in imbalance and pollution of the five major elements, leading to catastrophes like earthquakes, and volcanoes, etc.

The rapid and excessive proliferation of industries, facto-ties, automobiles, etc., with the attendant pollution of the atmosphere is responsible for the increasing incidence of diseases like eosinophilia, asthma, deafness, pneumonia and typhoid, etc. However, science per se is not bad; what is necessary is for human to put it to proper and judicious use.

About fifty years back, scientists believed that them is no greater power than the atomic energy. They expressed the fear that if the atomic power is further split, it will lead to disaster. But now after exploring and experimenting during the last fifty years, the scientists have been able to discover that there are much more greater powers than the atomic power. Similarly, persons who presently have no experience of God may have such experience, say, after ten years.

If science were to foster the all-round development of human, it has to seek the aid of religion. Religion does not mean blind adherence to some beliefs. On the other hand, religion helps human to attain the goal of human life based on discrimination and sacred values. True religion teaches the harmony and unity of all religions. All religions emphasise the human values and serve as beacons for the proper progress and development of mankind.

Einstein, declared that religion without science is lame and science without religion is blind, thereby stressing the need for a judicious combination of science and religion to serve the needs of humanity.

With the passage of time, scientists themselves are veering round to the view that the Universe is being guided and governed by some Divine power.

The sages have laid down three categories which comprise the knowable world: God, Nature and the I. (Iswara, Prakrithi and Jivi). God when seen through the mirror of Nature appears as I. Remove the mirror; there is only God; the image merges in the Original. Human is but the image of God. Even Nature is but an appearance of God; the Reality is He alone. The principle of appearance that deludes as multiple manifestations, is maya. It is not external to God; it is inherent in God, just as all powers are inherent in Him.

When the I image is conceived as distinct, we have dualism or dwaitha. When it is recognised as only an unreal image, but yet, when it is given some relevance as related to the Original, then it is visishta-adwaitha(qualified monism or qualified nondualism. The doctrine that spirits of have a qualified or partial identity with God). When both the I image and the mirror are recognised as illusions and dismissed as such, only One remains - this is the adwaitha (the vision of the One, without a second).

The endeavour has always been to discover the One, which when known, all else can be known. The knowledge that is worth while is the knowledge of Unity not Diversity.

God, as amenable to worship and contemplation, is referred to as Hiranyagarbha - Cosmic Divine mind; Golden Womb, the Origin of Creation, the Immanent Principle that has willed to become manifest and multiple. (The term gold is appropriate, for gold is the one from which multifarious jewels are shaped by the craftsman, to suit the needs, fancy, foibles and fashions of wearers). God too is shaped by human imagination, inclination and intellect into various forms, grand or grotesque, frightening or charming. Human erects these images, and pours out before them fears, fancies, desires, dreads and dreams. Human accepts them as masters, comrades, monarchs, teachers, as the moment dictates. But whatever human may do with God, God is unaffected. He is Gold, which subsists in and through all the jewels.

He is in you, and it is He that has prompted you to project Him into the outer world, as this idol or that image, to listen to your outpouring and give you peace.

Without the inspiration, solace, and joy that He confers from within, you will be raving mad, as one who has lost his moorings and is tossed about, rudderless on a stormy sea. Hold on to Him in the heart, hear Him whisper in the silent words of counsel and consolation. Hold converse with Him, guide your footsteps as He directs, and you reach the goal, safe and soon. The picture before which you sit, the flowers which you place on it, the hymns you recite, the vows you impose on yourselves, the vigils you go through - these are activities that cleanse, that remove obstacles in the way of your getting aware of the God within.

Really speaking, you are He; not this body which you are carrying with you, like the snail, loaded with its own house, the shell. When the fascination for the body goes, the Light of the God within will shine and illumine your thoughts, words and deeds. Krishna says in the Gita that He will release you from bondage, the moment you renounce Sarvadharma - all feelings of obligation and responsibilities, of rights and duties, of 'from me' and 'to me'; that is to say, He requires the renunciation of the identity of the individual with the Body.

The mind that does not know the One is a dry leaf, rising with every gust of wind, and falling when it subsides. But, the mind fixed in the awareness of the One is like a rock, unaffected by doubt, stable, secure.

There is a fine story about Karna (half-brother of the Pandavas).

Karna was applying oil to his head, preliminary to bath, from a jewelled cup. Karna had taken the oil in his right hand and robbed it well into his hair, when Krishna appeared and when Karna rose to revere Him, He said He had come to demand the cup from him as a gift.

'I am surprised that You, the Master of the Universe, have a desire for this paltry thing, but who am I to ask you questions? Here is the cup; I gift it to You, he said, and placed it in the Lord's right hand with his left hand. Krishna took him to task for that error in Dharma, offering a gift with the left hand. But, Karna said, "Pardon me. My fight hand is smeared with oil; I was afraid that if I take time to wash the hand and make it fit to give the cup, wayward mind, which now has agreed to the gift, might discover some argument not to accede to your request; I might therefore be deprived of the unique good fortune, by the fickle mind with which I am burdened. This is the reason why I acted on the moment and passed it on to you, regardless of the breach of a rule of etiquette; please sympathise with me and pardon me", Karna pleaded. Karna knew that the mind was unsteady. But, as Krishna advised Karna, it can be tamed by detachment and discipline.

The mind must become the servant of the intellect, not the slave of the senses. It must discriminate and detach itself from the body.

Arjuna confessed to Krishna that the mind is ever agitated and restless; he said he had failed to calm it. He said it was like the wind, blowing in different directions. Krishna said, "Give it to me!" Easy, is it not? Like the bee which hums until it reaches a flower and starts drinking the nectar, the mind too will clamour, until it settles on the Lotus Feet of the Lord, and then, it is silent, for it is engaged in tasting Divine Nectar. Once it discovers the nectar, it will not flutter any more.

Sudhama (respected minister of a self-realized king; Sita's father and Rama's father-in-law) was asked by the Lord, "Tell me what you need!" He replied, "I need you and you alone," for, that includes all.

The monarchs in the ancient kingdoms of India to seek counsel from some sage, who had no affiliations and prejudices, who therefore knew what best to do, in any crisis. They were men full of love for humanity, compassion for the distressed, and understanding of the motives of the wrong-doers. They were of five grades of spiritual greatness: pandits, rishis, rajarishis, maharishis and brahmarishis.

If the ruler bases his rule on the faith that God resides in all, and that every individual is to be respect as such, then them will be no discontent or discord. That is the Vedantic foundation on which aspects of living have to be built.

Devotion and faith are the result of culture and not mere physical contiguity. A life lived in Love and Humility will gain the respect of all and will also be full of Peace. Do not ask of life only joy and happiness, but, take cheerfully all that comes to you. Have the hardihood to bear sorrow as resignedly as you bear joy. Remember that death is inescapable, that life is but an interlude, that the world is but a caravansarai and, you will get the strength to pass through the pilgrimage of this birth. Human has a duty to recognising that he/she is Divine, and nothing else.

There are four stages in sadhana: the first takes you to Salokya: You have to obey the King's commands, be loyal to him, respect his lightest wish and serve him sincerely, surrendering without any reservation. The next stage is Sameepa (nearest): it is the stage when you are in the palace as one of the couriers or courtiers or chamberlains or servants. You are nearer to Him, and develop Divine qualities. The next stage is Sarupya. The sadhaka imbibes the Form of the Divine, that is to say, he is like the brother or near kinsman of the King, entitled to wear royal robes and paraphernalia. And lastly, we have the Sayujya, when as the Crown Prince, he succeeds to the throne and becomes Monarch himself. The subject is as the limb, the King is as the heart.

Liberation is just the awareness of Truth, the falling off of the scales of delusion from the eye. It is not a special suburb of select souls; it is not a closed monopoly of expert sadhakas. Like the Godavari losing its form, its name and its taste in the sea, liberation dissolves the name and form, aptitudes and attitudes. You are no more a separate, particular, individual. The rain drop has merged in the sea, from where the drop arose. Of course there was no bondage, at any time, and no prison; there was only a fixation in the mind that one was bound, that one was in prison, that one was limited and finite.

To purify the mind and the intellect for the correct reflection of the Truth, the first caution is in regard to food. Indeed, this is a very serious matter for sadhakas.

There lived in Malur, Mysore State, a pious brahmin who was a great scholar. He had an equally pious wife, He was always intent on puja and japa-dhyana and was known far and wide for his virtuous character. One day, a sanyasin (mendicant) called Nithyaananda came to his door seeking alms; so, he was happy beyond measure. He invited the monk to take dinner with him the next day so that he might honour him with due hospitality. He hung green festoons over his doors and made elaborate arrangements for the reception. But, there was a reason that the wife couldn't prepare the food for the honoured guest or for any one else. A neighbour volunteered to cook the meal and she was brought in and introduced into the kitchen. Everything went off well and all were happy as they could be, under the circumstances. Only, the monk was wrung during meals by an overpowering desire to steal the silver cup which the host had placed near his plate. In spite of his best efforts, the evil idea won and the monk hurried to his abode with the cup hidden in the folds of his robe. He could not sleep that night, for his conscience pricked him so. He felt he had brought disgrace on his Guru, and on the rishis (sages) whom he invoked by the mantras he recited. He could not rest until he ran back into the Brahmin's house and, falling at his feet, restored the article with tears of repentance trickling down his cheeks.

Every one wondered how such a saint could stoop so low; then, some one suggested it might be the fault transmitted to the food he ate, by the person who cooked it. And, when they examined the history of the neighbour, they found that she was an irrepressible thief. The thieving tendency had by subtle contact affected the food she prepared. This is the reason why spiritual aspirants are advised to live on fruits and tubers only when they reach a certain stage of spiritual achievement.


(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 2. "The inner temple," Chapter 13; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "Root or rope?" Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 9. "Win the one," Chapter 29; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16. "Ceiling on desires - I" Chapter 3; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "The Mysteries Of Creation," Chapter 17).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 13 - 14 Sept 2006

The Precious Pearls for Contemplation and Spiritual Practice. Part 1.

A king was once out hunting in the forest and while pursuing a fleeing stag, he fell into a forsaken well which was very deep, No one of his retinue knew of his plight, for the stag had taken him far away into the woods, before his men could get trace of him. Luckily, even as he fell, he grasped the root of a tree that was hanging aloof from the side of the well, and thus escaped the death that yawned underneath. After a few agonising hours, he heard some one reciting aloud the names of the Lord, near the mouth of the well. It was a holy man and when he caught the faint echo of the unfortunate king's cry, he let down a rope and called out to the King to hold on to it tight, so that he might be pulled up into safety. The question now before the King - was Root or Rope?

Of course the root helped him to survive, but, it had value only until the rope was offered. It would be folly to stick to the root even after the rope was ready to save. The root must be appreciated, but, thankfulness should not be exaggerated into attachment. Samsara or worldly existence is like the root; the rope is the secret of liberation, through some sacred utterance of Truth, that discloses in a flash the Truth.

Every one is a moving temple with the Lord installed in the shrine of the heart. That shrine has to shine bright and clear. Bodies are all the same, only the intake of current in each is different, though the current is the same.

The woman saint, Meera said, "Braving all hardships, I dived deep into the ocean of the worldly life and at last got hold of the precious pearl in the name of Krishna. If I lose hold of this pearl, I may not get it again. Therefore, Oh Lord! You are my sole refuge." So also students should therefore, try to carefully garner the pearls of precious ideas from Swami's Teaching from the infinite different angles so that they may stand in good stead throughout your life.

The trouble is that knowledge is growing but wisdom lags. The students of today are victims of several doubts, because there is a dearth of capable teachers who can come down to the level of the students and explain things clearly to them. There is an infection of envy, cynicism and conceit everywhere. Human has become the slave of passion and pride.

The six demons - kaama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (attachment), madha (pride) and maathsarya (hate) - pursue you and turn you into wrong paths and make you servile, stupid and sad. That is the life-long war you have to wage. It is not a Seven Years War, or a Thirty Years War; it may be a Hundred Years War, if you live a hundred years. This is a civil war, where vigilance alone can bring dividends.

When one wish is fulfilled, ten rise in its place. Many persons are worse than even a dog, for they forget favours received; they deny the master; they trust the ear, even though the eye belies the ear. They behave as if they have two tongues; whom they praise to the sky today, they belittle and disbelieve the next. The dog knows its master, whatever role the master may put on in the play - king, servant, clown. But, human has no gratitude even for the amritha he/she gets.

Though Narayana (God) is in everyone, the one in the poor people is referred to as Daridra-Narayana (God as poverty). When this Narayana begs for food, you refuse to give him food while you offer food to another person who is already well-fed. You place before God's pictures a lot of food of rich variety as offering. You do this because you know very well that this is coming back to you. So, here too it is self-interest and not sacrifice.

To remove dirt from a white cloth, the dhobi soaks it in water, puts in soap flakes, warms the water and beats it on a stone. He does not make it white; it is white. He only removes the non-whiteness by a certain process. So too, the individual soul is pure; but, it has got soiled. It has to be soaked in Good Conduct and Pure Character; soaped with the Meditation on Godhead; warmed in discriminatory wisdom helped by reason; and beaten on the slab of renunciation.

Curb on excessive talk, curb on excessive desires and expenditure. When you talk of wealth you should be careful to avoid avaricious accumulation and extravagant expenditure. Even in the preparation of food, you should be careful in avoiding wastage. We are only doing a disservice by consuming more food than what is necessary for the body.

Human needs some essential commodities for sustenance and should not aspire for more. We can learn a lesson in this respect from Nature. Only if air is available in sufficient quantity will it be comfortable and good. If it is excessive and there is a gale you will feel uncomfortable. When you are thirsty; you can consume only a limited quantity of water. You can't consume the entire water of the Ganga.

Changes in the pulse rate or blood pressure also indicate disorder. So you find that if you cross the limits even to a little extent it is dangerous or harmful to the body. When your eyes happen to see a flash of lightning or a flash light while taking photographs, they automatically close because they can't withstand such high illumination. Ear drums also cannot tolerate hearing beyond a certain volume and we close our ears. From these we see that our life is a limited company. Similarly our desires also should be limited.

Seconds become hours, hours become years, years make yugas (ages) and so on. Time lost in wasteful pursuits can't be got back by any means. All our activities should be planned for utilising the available time to maximum advantage. So, we should not waste food, money, time and energy. Even in purchase of garlands, you need not waste money. (What God wants is the flower of your heart that is filled with humility and devotion).

What little you do you must do with a good and pure heart. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna has referred to "Pathram, Phalam, Pushpam, Thoyam" (that is, leaf, fruit, flower or water) that can be offered to God. What is 'pathram'? It is not the 'leaf' that you see around you. The inner meaning is that your body itself is the leaf. Flower is not the one in the plants but it is the flower of your heart. 'Phalam' is not the ordinary fruit but the fruit of your mind. 'Thoyam' means water but what is referred to here is not the water from the river or tap. It refers to the tears of joy welling up within you from a sincere and prayerful heart.

Eight types of flowers can be offered to God:

1. Ahimsa (non-violence),
2. Indhriya Nigraha (control of senses),
3. Sarvabhootha Dhaya (compassion towards all beings),
4. Sathyam (truth),
5. Dhyanam (meditation),
6. Shanthi (peace),
7. Vinaya (humility),
8. Bhakthi (devotion).
God appreciates only your motive and not the external things.

Schools, hospitals and factories are multiplying everywhere. But, there is no peace in the heart of human or of society. This is because, there has been no corresponding increase in the moral conduct. A stick will help a person to walk up an incline, but of what use is it to a person whose legs have become defunct? Material prosperity is the stick and virtue the strength of the feet.

(In former days, a newcomer would ask, "Have you a temple in this village?" and, if the answer is "No," he will move on to some other village which has one. Today, however, the question has become, "Have you a cinema hall in this village)?"

One boy came to Swami and said, "Swami! Sankaracharya has declared that Brahman is real and the world is illusory. But Brahman who is said to be real is not to be seen anywhere, while we are vividly experiencing the so-called illusory world in our daily lives with all the attendant gains and losses, joys and sorrows - that too not for one or two years but over a period of several years. So, how can we believe that the world is illusory?" Swami replied, "My dear boy! Don't waste your time in thinking about such questions. Why do you worry yourself about the reality or unreality of Brahman and the world?

You leave that question to them (i.e. to Brahman and the world). First of all, find out the Truth about yourself. You may think that you are real. But that alone is considered as real which does not undergo any change during all the three periods of time viz., past, present and future. In the light of this criterion, since your body undergoes change from moment to moment, and also since it is liable to perish altogether at any time, it is considered illusory. The same is the case with the rest of the world."

Everything in this world undergoes change from time to time and that is the reason why the world is declared to be illusory. Sankaracharya did not say that the world is absolutely unreal. He called it illusory, because it is a mixture of reality and unreality, appearing at one time and disappearing at another time. However, students should understand that there is a substratum of reality underlying the illusory world. This can be illustrated by the silver plate.
This plate can be converted into a cup tomorrow, or into a spoon the day after. But the substance behind these changing names or forms continues to be the changeless silver. Nevertheless the silver and the cup (or plate) cannot be separated from each other. Similarly, the changeless reality of Brahman is the substratum underlying the ever changing, illusory world.

Hence it is necessary that freedom from doubts on the one hand and faith on the other, should constitute the two banks through which the river of your life should flow, so that it may ultimately merge in the ocean of Divine Grace.

Sanathana Dharma has laid down a "thornless path" for the progress of human, from humanity to divinity Thornless or thornful, each has to tread the path, alone and in full confidence.

Truth that is won by one's own struggle with untruth will be lasting treasure; the struggle strengthens one to treasure the treasure, for not all can bear the revolutionary consequences of that possession.

No one can liberate you, for no one has bound you. You hold on to the nettle of worldly pleasure and you weep for pain. Give up the attachment to the senses, then grief and worry can harass you no more.

Engage yourselves in things that will make you immortal, serve your best interests by service to the world. Seek your own reality. That is what a wise individual should do.

Arjuna was the brother-in-law of Krishna; they were great friends too; there was obviously no time to lose, in elaborate explanations and questionings while on the battlefield. Besides, Krishna had undoubtedly the power to transform in a trice the way-ward mind of his kinsman into an illumined instrument for resolute action. But, Krishna did not use the power. He only prescribed the medicine and the regimen; Arjuna had to swallow the drug and follow the regimen himself, in order to be saved. He said, "You are My friend, you are My kinsman, you are now so near to Me that I am now your charioteer, you are also in great distress; I agree that the delusion which has overpowered you must be removed quickly; but, your ajnana (ignorance) must fall off through your own efforts, not through some miracle of My design."

The lighting up of the structures of built temples are but the symbol of the illumination of the individual's heart, the destruction of the darkness of ahamkara and ajnana (egoism and ignorance) so that the Lord might be revealed in all His Glory.

However, modern human has not learnt how to live as human being on the Earth. In this world, birds and beasts lead regulated lives though they lack education; Why does human lack this sense though he/she is endowed with intelligence?


(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 2. "The inner temple," Chapter 13; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "Root or rope?" Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 9. "Win the one," Chapter 29; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16. "Ceiling on desires - I" Chapter 3; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "The Mysteries Of Creation," Chapter 17).

Namaste - Reet

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