Swami teaches....Part 80

Links to Swami Teaches - Part 79

 Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 20 - 21 Sept 2006

Freedom and Bondage are Creations of the Mind. Part 2

The study of the Vedas is the highest type of learning, since it leads to the conquest of death. All other studies deal with the means of living or the surroundings within which you have to live; they deal with earning and spending, deriving a little pleasure by this trick, escaping a little grief by that other trick. The Vedas show the path to the realm of Eternal Bliss, where there is no birth or death.

People learn details about China, Russia and America; they know about the volcanoes of the Pacific or the islands of the Arctic regions, but, they do not know an iota about the features of their own inner realms.

The five values of Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Shanthi (Peace), Prema (Love) and Ahimsa (Non-violence) are related to different inner instruments and realms of the body.

The value of Truth is expressed through speech or words.


The value of Dharma is expressed through the body. This is related to the Annamaya kosha (physical sheath). Shanthi can be experienced only in the mental plane - Manomaya kosha (mental sheath). For Sathya, Dharma and Shanthi one has to purify the instruments of speech, body and mind.

Prema (Love) comes out of Anandamaya kosha (mental and bliss sheath). Ahimsa (Non-violence) comes from Bliss sheath. Prema flows as an undercurrent in all the inner instruments and purifies them. So all the five values are having relationship with the five sheaths.

By means of dhyana shakthi and prana shakthi, you can experience Divinity in the Bliss sheath, which fosters the five human values.

Shanthi Comes from Manomaya kosha.
Sathya comes from Vijnanamaya kosha.
Dharma comes from Annamaya kosha.
Prema comes from Pranamaya and Manomaya kosha.
Ahimsa comes from Anandhamaya kosha.

In these five sheaths are encased three types of bodies: physical, subtle and causal bodies. Divinity is there in all the sheaths of the body in different forms in action, speech, and feelings.

Most people are aware only of the outermost realm, the Annamaya kosha (the material casement), in which they are housed; even this is just an awareness, not full knowledge. (It is the duty of human to make use of the food created by the Sun to sustain life).

Those who are conscious only of the Annamaya kosha, can claim to be only just Karnaswarupa, not Ramaswarupa (embodiment of desire but not of Rama). That is to say, they will be swayed by every gust of desire; they will scarce be able to control desire and rise to the demands made on nobler virtues by the Divinity latent in them. They will get proper inspiration and instruction to explore and exploit the inner realms only from the Vedas and the Sastras that expound the Vedic truths.

The Karma Kaanda is the biggest part of the Vedhas, because Karma (sanctified activity) is the means by which the tree blossoms and the fruit matures and grows; the Upasana Kaanda (the contemplative portion) deals with the Upasana - method by which the fruit ripens; the Jnana Kaanda describes jnana (spiritual knowledge), the process by which the fruit fills itself with sweetness. The first stage takes the longest time; so, it comprises the largest portion; the second and the third are quicker by comparison. The third stage can be accomplished even apart from the tree by keeping the fruit in a warm place amidst straw or in a hot room.

Human can acquire the sweetness of jnana about true and illusive freedom by keeping himself in satsang (holy company).

A study circle does not mean only just reading and discussing and taking information into the head, but also putting into practice what is learnt. If knowledge is stored in the mind, it causes confusion and confusion leads to blowing of the fuse. How will real jnana develop if there is too much confusion? For instance, if you go on eating all the 24 hours, it will result in indigestion.

What is eaten should be digested and then only you should eat again. In the same way, you should listen in the study circle and put into practice (digest) what you have learnt.

Now what you are doing is only loading and loading and no unloading. How much can you sustain like that? So, you should go on loading and unloading, listening and practising.

Whatever we hear and practise should also be distributed to society at large, such gratitude is very important for human. In the study circle you can learn a lot of things, but the most important thing to be learnt is your own true nature - your Atma-tathwa.

Learning all about external things without knowing your real Self is like studying the branches of a tree, ignoring its roots. There are many fruits on the tree. We can see the fruits. What happens if you water those fruits? They will fall down. But if you water the roots down below, the tree flourishes and will give fruits which can be enjoyed. You have to develop self-knowledge and self-confidence and then you can help others.

Human can acquire the jnana also by remaining in a solitary place, all by himself in dhyana (meditation), for example. But by whatever means, the sweetness (the jnana) cannot be injected from outside; it must grow from within. It is a transformation of the inner nature, won by a struggle with inner foes.

The Guru reveals you to yourself. He trains you to cleanse the mirror of your heart, so that you may be reflected in it, without warp or twist. The spiritual disciple must obey the commands of the Guru, without flinching and to the full.

The child has its tongue and the mother has hers. The mother keeps the child on her lap and pronounces the words so that the child may learn to speak. However busy the mother's tongue may be, the child has to speak through its own tongue. The mother cannot speak for the child and save herself all the bother.

The Guru, too, is like that. He can only repeat, remind, inspire, instruct, persuade, plead; the activity, the disciple must himself initiate.

You should not think that people who have achieved eminence or the high intelligence displayed by some persons owe their accomplishments to some external power. The talents have emerged from within themselves. All that is needed is the external manifestation of the powers within you. The main sadhana you have to do is to control the vagaries of the mind.

Krishna told Arjuna that his mastery of archery was not conferred on him by his preceptor, but the preceptor only drew out the abilities that were already in him. No preceptor can enable a disciple to accomplish what is not potentially within him. When you dig a well and find water at a level of 100 feet, the water was already there. You merely found it by removing the earth above it.

While Anjaneya was bringing the Sanjeevini Mountain, he had to take a course that made the citizens of Nandhigrama see him in the sky; Bharatha, who saw the strange sight of a monkey carrying a hill, brought him down with an arrow and when he learnt that the hill had the drug which could cure Lakshmana who was stricken in battle, Bharatha offered to send the hill quicker to where Rama was, by shooting an arrow which could lift it and carry it fast. But, Anjaneya said, he could fly quicker than any arrow from the bow of the fastest marksman.

Use your fullest powers to grasp the truth. Rely on your own skills, your own force; then, they too will develop to the utmost demand you make of them. That will give you the greatest joy.

In order that the lotus may not go dry, the lake has to be full of water. Love is the water that must fill the heart: hatred will make it a parched waste. Have faith in your own Atma (true Self or Being); that is the medicine. Act always in the spirit of service and kinship with all; that is the regimen.

Impart value to your own words. You are endowed with a pair of eyes, with two ears, but only one tongue. Truth is the life-breath of speech. The ways of the Divine are not easily comprehended. God will not succumb to abuse or feel elated by praise even if the whole world joins in either blame or adoration. When you have the conviction that the Divine is pure and unsullied, you will have no need to worry about any other thing.

Just think of this for a while. You are in this body, in this receptacle, in order to realise the God you really are. This body is the cocoon you have spun round yourselves, by means of your impulses and desires. Use it while it lasts, to grow wings so that you can escape from it. Having come with grief, decide not to go with it, from here. Get rid of it in this life itself.

Grieve for lost chances, lost time; move on, everyday, forward to the Goal. Amidst all these absurd loves and hates, the meaningless game of having and hoarding, losing and lamenting, building and demolishing castles in the air, you have no moment of real calm.

Peace of mind will not descend on you because your room is air-conditioned or your sofa, softcushioned.

It does not depend on your bank-balance; or on the diplomas you have collected. It can come only when, you deny the danava (demon) in you all chances of moving you, when you encourage the Divine in you to manifest Himself. Everything in the Universe is Divine; it is; it shines; it is lovable. It is the same as the Universal, Eternal, Absolute, which is also Sath-Chith-Ananda (Being-Awareness-Bliss).

Some claim that they have experienced moments of Samadhi during meditation. What is Samadhi? In common parlance, in the eyes of worldly people and in the books written by worldly individuals, Samadhi may be described in various ways. One may be in a state of trance during meditation. But this cannot be called Samadhi. It may be an emotional or mystical experience or it may be the result of a fit. It may even be due to weakness.

Samadhi means merging the mind in the Atma. In that state, there are no two entities. Samadhi is a state of equal-mindedness. In that state there are no dualities like joy and sorrow, profit and loss, sin and merit, Nature and Paramatma. It is the state in which the oneness of everything is experienced.

As long as the mind is active, no one can be truly free. In the worldly sense, one may claim that "This is my money. I am giving it to him. He may think that he is acting freely. But this is not real freedom. It is an act of goodwill arising out of the sathwic aspect of the mind. The mind is a mixture of all the gunas (sathwa, rajas, tamas). At various times, different qualities are prominent. If you give a donation in response to the appeal of a human in need, it is a mental reaction to a particular situation and not an exercise of real freedom as oneness with the whole Divine existence.

You are living now, in the dark, in ignorance. The knowledge that you are the Divine Spark, encased in the sheaths of bliss, intelligence, feelings, sensations and organic substances - this knowledge is the Light. You must light your own lamp. You cannot walk in the light of another's lamp. You cannot exist on the money in the purse of another. Have your own money; then alone are you free. Earn knowledge, yourself. Even knowing it is not enough; you must experience it. The well has water; but, that is not enough. It must be brought up in the bucket and used to wash and to quench thirst.


(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "Revealing you to yourself," Chapter 2; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 6. "Unrivalled mastery," Chapter 13; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18. "Practise what you learn," Chapter 5; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 23. "The Spirit of freedom and freedom of the Spirit," Chapter 21; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 26. "The senses and values," Excerpts from Discourse on 12-4-1993).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 17-19 Sept 2006

Freedom and Bondage are Creations of the Mind. Part 1

Happiness that will not be shaken or diminished or modified by good fortune or bad, can come only by the discipline of the mind and faith in a Higher Power that guides all the deeds and words and thoughts of human. The lamp of that spiritual awareness has to be lit and fed, so that the footsteps of human can take that path and proceed unharmed.

The Vedas and Sastras have declared that human can attain that stage of happiness through activity considered as duty, as 'worship' considered as dedication and revelation of the oneness of the Universe, in an intelligence cleared of the dust of doubt and delusion, by that dutifulness and that dedication.

"As in the microcosm, so in the macrocosm" is a scriptural saying. The microcosm is a part. The macrocosm is the universal. In the Upanishads, there is an episode relating to a great pandit, Uddalaka, and his son, Swethakethu. Uddalaka sent his son to another preceptor for studies.

Swethakethu studied under the Guru for 12 years and learnt all the different subjects. Puffed up with pride about his vast learning, he came to his father and told him that he had learnt everything. The father asked him: "Dear Son! Did you study that by knowing which everything else is known?" The lad's conceit was deflated. Of all forms of conceit, the pride in one's scholarship is the silliest. Uddalaka impressed on Swethakethu that Brahmajnana (knowledge of the Atma) was most essential. Try to understand the "I" which is the heart. When anybody asks you, "who are you?" and if you reply, "I don't know," you will be considered a crazy person. How are you better than that person if without finding out who you are, you embark on enquiring into the nature of other things? You have first of all to find out who you really are. If you give your name as Ramayya, you are disclosing the name given to your body. When you say, "I am Ramayya," there is an entity (the "I") which is different from Ramayya. You must try to understand that "I." That "I" is the heart. It is the Atma. It is Brahmam.

In the world, there are all kinds of differences, high and low, good and bad, merit and sin, joy and sorrow, truth and falsehood, and the like. But although these differences are apparent, no differences can be seen in the heart. That which did not exist in the beginning and which will not last for ever has only a brief illusory existence in the middle.

All that is transient and changing is called Mithya. "Ekam Sath" (The Real is only One). Only when there is a second entity can you speak about freedom or bondage. When you are not engaged in spiritual enquiry, the mind gets prominence and is the cause of involvement in matters like freedom and bondage, the worldly and the otherworldly, and other dualistic phenomena.

In respect of three situations, human has no freedom: karthavyam (the discharge of duties), nirbandham (actions done under compulsion) and sambandham (obligatory actions arising out of certain relationships). If a poor man, unable to get food by begging, resorts to stealing, he cannot claim that he is exercising his freedom to appease his hunger. Even if, for his own selfish reasons, he may try to justify the stealing, his conscience will tell him that he is committing wrong. When he acts against his conscience, how can it be an act of freedom?

True freedom can come only when one is free from the impulses of the mind. Only when the will of the Atma prevails can there be real freedom. Actions done by the promptings of the mind or the senses cannot be regarded as free actions. There are some actions which are done according to the laws of Nature. Even these are not free actions. Human is also subject to rules and regulations laid down by the appropriate authorities. Human life is carried on between these two types of restrictions. In view of this, no one can claim that he is free to act as he pleases.

Several people think that freedom consists in speaking out whatever they feel. No one in the world has absolute freedom. Freedom came to be used as a political concept. It was believed that to liberate the country from foreign rule and establish government by the natives of the country constituted freedom. This is neither individual nor fundamental freedom.

You must recognise that you must accord to others the same amount of freedom which you claim for yourself. Freedom in real life is interdependent and cannot be absolute or unrestricted.

Two examples:

Your freedom to use the public road is subject to traffic regulations, which you have to observe.

A man swinging a stick on the top of his terrace may be free to do so. But he cannot do the same thing on the public road lest he should hit someone who has an equal right to the use of the road. If he swings the stick on the road, either he may be arrested by the police or taken to a mental hospital. What a man does in his own house is not freedom but indulging in satisfaction of his wishes. There is a real distinction between the exercise of freedom and the satisfaction of one's desires. The latter is based on self-interest.

True freedom is the spontaneous expression of what comes from the heart in respect of any object or any individual, at any time.

It is not easy for the common people to understand what is spirituality and what is meant by freedom of the individual. People should not think that spirituality means being alone and living in solitude. The aim of spirituality is to sow the seeds of love in all mankind and enable the buds of peace to blossom in their minds. If we seek divinity in this exercise, there will be no room for either spirituality or freedom of the individual.

What were done in the name of freedom were really manifestations of impulses of mind.

Even to describe Rama and Swami as a kshatriya (protector, warrior) and Krishna as a Yadava (Krishna's clan into which Krishna was born, which was founded by Yadu) is a sign of narrow-mindedness.

The Divine transcends such distinctions. Only the Divine is free. But this cannot be described as freedom, because the Divine is One. In what respect did the people acquire freedom? There is no use merely mouthing the word freedom. Only when unity is achieved will freedom be meaningful. Without unity, to talk about freedom means only freedom in words and not in real life. The freedom consists in the recognition of that Divinity by knowing which all else is known.

Freedom should express itself from the spiritual heart.
Today people do not use words in their proper sense.

There is only one seat of freedom and that is the hridaya (the spiritual heart). For instance, the term hridaya is used as relating to the physical heart. But hridaya refers to the spiritual heart, which is common to all. It is present everywhere and has no form. Like sugar in a variety of sweets with different forms, it is present in all beings as one and the same spirit. The Divine makes no difference between one person and another. All differences relate to worldly associations. As long as human is swayed by the mind, there will be differences and distinctions. These are due to the waywardness of the mind and are not indications of individual freedom.

People usually also talk glibly about free will.

For instance, a student seeking an answer for a certain problem has to adopt the proper procedure for approaching the teacher. He should not regard asking the question and obtaining the answer as an exercise in freedom. It is part of your duty as a student. A clear distinction should be made between what has to be done as one's duty and what is obligatory in other contexts.

Keeping the Atmic consciousness in the forefront, you may perform any act. You will be acting in freedom. In whatever way the question of freedom is considered, it will be clear that human is bound from the time of birth. A cow tethered to a post has freedom to move about limited by the length of the rope tied to its neck. A freedom limited in this manner cannot be called freedom. It is not even "limited freedom." It is really a form of restraint.

In this vast Cosmos, you must develop a universal outlook based on an understanding of the spiritual principle. You cannot aspire for the spiritual from a narrow point of view. All forms of worship and meditation, which are regarded as spiritual exercises, are in fact mental excursions intended to please the mind. God is described as father, mother, brother, friend and so on. But all these are unnecessary epithets if it is recognised that we and God are one.

Spirituality essentially means realising oneness with God. God and you are not separate. Once you acquire this conviction there is no need for any kind of spiritual sadhana. This oneness should not be a mere intellectual concept. It should be a living reality. Then you will experience true freedom - the freedom of the Spirit, divorced from any association with the body and the mind. When you experience your inherent divinity, you will be free from sorrows and difficulties. (Human can raise him/herself to a higher level only without the egoistic behaviour).

There are four stages in the realisation of the Divine.

Salokyam (to be in the realm of God),
Saroopyam (having the vision of God),
Sameepyam (proximity to God) and
Sayujyam (mergence in God).

These appear to be different from each other, but are all merely steps in the realisation of oneness with the Divine.

It is interesting to note that God is said to be of blue colour. It does not mean that His skin is bluish. He is the embodiment of wisdom or shining with the light of wisdom. He is also endless like the sky or fathomless like the ocean. Since both are of blue colour God is also described as bluish. He is infinite and fathomless.

The spiritual heart of the human being is like the sky in which the 'Self' is the sun shining constantly. Just as passing clouds obstruct the vision of the Sun temporarily, attachment to world and worries and troubles will obstruct the vision of the inner Self but once the clouds clear, you can have this vision which is resplendent within.

In the Universe the Divinity is the base and the superstructure, the material and the manner, the inner motive and the outer movement. The body is the temple of the Lord; the atmosphere of this temple is by its very nature filled with love for all beings. But human, overpowered by egoism, fouls it with envy and greed and so it festers with disease and distress.

Kaama and krodha (lust and anger) are the two arch-enemies of human which undermine the Divine nature and drag down into the mire.

The Ramayana story is woven round the anger of Manthara and the lust of Surpanakha. The Ramayana of each individual too is woven round these two elemental passions. When the first intimations of these evil influences threaten to invade your mind, stop and inquire coolly into the nature of the urge, the manner of the promptings, the type of the consequences for you and others. Reason out these things, in silence and solitude.

(Instead, everything that tends to increase anxiety and fear, discontent and distress, is being encouraged through films, books, magazines, dramas, paintings, newspapers and all other means of communication, including speeches by agitators. Worry about what might happen to life, reputation, wealth and authority in the very next moment is haunting every one; insecurity stalks the land, torn by hatred and greed. People have lost the comfort of self-reliance; they have no faith in their own strength, and no confidence in others. Human is the most devalued entity today; everything else has risen in value).

The only guarantor of peace for the individual and for society is spiritual progress and spiritual discipline. In India, as well as in other countries, there is to be seen a sad neglect of just these two objectives. Providing housing, clothing and food gives sukha (physical happiness); providing education in skills and imparting information about the world gives a means of livelihood.

Why waste precious time in scandals about others and criticisms of others' behaviour? Cultivating envy, malice, hatred and anger against others is an evil pastime that recoils on oneself. In every one there is resident the self-same Divine spark; so cavilling at the neighbour is tantamount to cavilling at Divinity.


(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "Revealing you to yourself," Chapter 2; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 6. "Unrivalled mastery," Chapter 13; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18. "Practise what you learn," Chapter 5; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 23. "The Spirit of freedom and freedom of the Spirit," Chapter 21; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 26. "The senses and values," Excerpts from Discourse on 12-4-1993).

Namaste - Reet

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