Swami teaches....Part 81


Links to Swami Teaches - Part 80

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 22- 25 Sept 2006

Footsteps of Sri Krishna. Part 1

One of the beloved Swami's topics of His Teaching is to introduce different examples, parables, legends from the Mahabharatha ( the great epic by sage Vjasa what describes conflict between the Pandava brothers and their cousins, the 100 Kaurava brothers. It contains the Bhagavad Gita i. e. Song of God, the metaphysical teaching of Krishna to Arjuna), Bhagavatha (a textbook of the Divine love, the story of Avatars, especially Krishna, one of the greatest of eighteen Puraanas) and Ramayana (the great epic by sage Valmiki that narrates the story of Rama). These epics have written many thousands years ago. (By Swami Krishna was born on 20 July, 3227 B.C. - Sai Baba, Summer Showers in Brindavan, 1979, p.159). The facts of actions in detail in these epics have often interpreted differently by different authors. However, the spiritual meaning of these epics is timeless and remains in order today as thousands years ago.

These parts of serial "Swami teaches..." stress mainly to the spiritual significance of the epics based on factual materials by Swami's interpretation.

(The spelling of names here as other serial articles "Swami teaches..." are performed, as a rule, by Glossary of Vahini


Krishna's mystery and miracles are beyond words. He was all things to all people. He is the indweller in the heart of everyone. There is no room for religious differences. Proclaim the message of unity to the whole world.

What is important is the adherence to Krishna's teachings. Krishna is not different from His teachings. The Gita is Krishna and Krishna is Gita.

An ancient legend from the middle of the Dwapara-yuga (era or age; cycle of four yuga: the Kritha-yuga, Thretha-yuga, Dwapara-yuga, Kali-yuga - present yuga) tells the following story.

Unable to bear the atrocities committed on good people by demonic rulers, the Goddess of Earth prayed to the Lord in many ways. Offering solace to the grief-stricken Goddess, the Lord said; "Devi! You may return to the Earth. I shall do what needs to be done. You will be relieved of your Burden." Encouraging her in this way the Lord sent Mother Earth back to the world.

Thereafter, the Lord summoned all the Devas (denizens of the celestial world) and directed them to take birth as Yadavas (members of clan Yadava). The originator of the Yadava clan is Yayathi (eminent king of Lunar dynasty).

His eldest son was known as Yadu. The descendants of Yadu came to be known in course of time as Yadavas. Among the Yadavas, there was a righteous chief Ahuka. The characters figuring in the Krishna legend belong to Ahuka's lineage. Ahuka had two sons Devaka and Ugrasena. Kamsa was the son of Ugrasena. Devaki was the daughter of Devaka. Kamsa had no sister of his own. He had great affection for his cousin Devaki, whom he treated as his own uterine sister.

In the Yadava clan, there was Vasudeva, one of the satraps in the Yadava kingdom. He was known as one who stood by his plighted word.

Ugrasena and Kamsa, after a great deal of search, picked upon Vasudeva as a suitable bridegroom for Devaki. (Vasudeva already had a wife by the name Rohini. In those rimes, there were no restrictions regarding polygamy. Because he had no child through Rohini, Vasudeva agreed to marry Devaki).

After the marriage, Kamsa got ready his chariot to take Vasudeva and Devaki to their home. Kamsa drove the chariot himself with a heavy heart, overwhelmed by the prospect of separation from his beloved cousin.

While the chariot was proceeding in a grand manner, all of a sudden a loud voice was heard from the sky: "You fool! You do not know what is in store for you. The one who will slay you for all your misdeeds will be born as the eighth child of your sister." After saying this, the ethereal spirit vanished.

The moment Kamsa heard these words, he jumped down from the chariot, seized Devaki by the hair, unsheathed his sword to cut off her head. Vasudeva, who was the very embodiment of peace, truth and righteousness, held Kamsa's hands and asked him why he was worried so much over the prospect of death. "Death is inevitable, whether today or in time to come. Kamsa! The ethereal voice declared that death will come to you from the hands of the eighth child (of Devaki) and not immediately. Release the girl whom you had loved as your sister. I shall hand over to you every child that is born to her."

Vasudeva and Devaki reached their home with heavy hearts. As days passed by and Kamsa was immersed in worry about the prospect of death, sage Narada came to him one day. After talking about world affairs in general, before leaving, Naradha told Kamsa: "You are not aware of your real plight. The ethereal voice said that (Devaki's) eighth child will be your slayer. But you cannot know from which of her children death will come to you. You cannot rake a chance with any of them."

From that moment Kamsa's distress and fear increased. He commanded Vasudeva to hand over to him every child. He killed six of the newborn children as they were handed over to him. When Devaki was enceinte for the seventh time, Narayana (God) made all arrangements to carry out His promise to Mother Earth. To promote the welfare of the world, to establish Dharma among mankind, to uphold truth and to instill devotion to God in humanity, the Divine process had to be set in motion. The Devas took birth as Yadavas.

Vishnu summoned His allpervading Yoga Shakthi (The Cosmic Energy), and said "Go forth immediately and enter the womb of Yasoda (adoptive mother of Krishna). Summoning Adhisesha (the Divine Serpent) the Lord directed him to go to Gokulam and to enter the womb of Rohini (Vasudeva's elder wife). "I shall be entering the womb of Devaki."

(In Devaki's seventh pregnancy, the Lord had the foetus transferred to Rohini's womb and Kamsa was informed that Devaki had an abortion. Apprehending danger from Kamsa, Vasudeva arranged to send Rohini to king Nanda's home. She gave life to Balarama, brother of Krishna. Rohini was a sister of Yasoda, Nanda's wife).

Expecting mortal danger to himself from the eighth child of Devaki, Kamsa kept Vasudeva and Devaki in a heavily guarded prison and lock the prison with himself.

Krishna made His advent in her eighth pregnancy. Devaki gave birth to a son on an Ashtami (eighth day after the New Moon). The child that was born was the Lord Himself with all His effulgence and all the insignia of Vishnu. Devaki and Vasudeva folded their hands in adoration, blinded by the effulgence of the Divine child. They felt that their lives had been redeemed by the birth of the Lord, whom they saw with their own eyes. Approaching the baby and caressing his palms and feet, they prayed to the Lord: "Thanks to our good fortune, you have taken birth as our son. But we are not in a position to protect you."

Vasudeva sat beside the child and started praying. Immediately a basket appeared before him. Placing the Divine child in the basket he looked at the prison door. He saw that it was open. He found all the guards sound asleep. As he came out, there was a heavy downpour. The Yamuna was in spate. He prayed to Narayana to see that there was no impediment in the way of his mission to protect the Divine child. The Yamuna gave him passage. He reached Nanda's (king who adopted Krishna as infant) house.

The same day Yasoda had given birth to a child. Yasoda was unconscious. The child was none other than Mayadevi. When she was born, both Nanda and Yasoda were in a state of trance. Leaving the infant Krishna by the side of Yasoda, Vasudeva returned to Mathura with the other child. When Vasudeva left Nanda's house, the child left beside Yasoda uttered a cry. Yasoda and Nanda did not know whether the newborn was a boy or girl. On hearing the child's cry, Yasoda looked at it and found that it was a boy.

Vasudeva took the female child back to his prison. There the child starred crying. On hearing the cry, all the guards woke up and informed Kamsa about the birth of the child. Kamsa, who had been anxiously waiting for the news, rushed to the prison. Seizing the new-born child from Devaki's hands, he flung it up in the air to slay it with his sword. The child, Mayadevi, spoke from above, "You fool! The boy who is going to slay you is already born. He is growing up in a certain place. You cannot escape your destined end." After warning Kamsa about his impending peril, she vanished.

From that moment, Kamsa was engaged in finding out the whereabouts of the child that was to be his slayer. He released Vasudeva and Devaki from prison.

Krishna was born in prison, a fact that teaches us that God has to incarnate or present himself in the dark and narrow prison-house of our hearts, so that we may derive light and earn freedom. Maya is the delusion that hides the truth of Being; it tends to identify one?s truth as the physical body with its appurtenances, and prompts us to cater to the cravings of the body. Human must become aware of God within the cavity of own heart.

Sri Krishna was born as the eighth child of Devaki. This is significant, for samadhi is the eighth stage of spiritual effort, coming after yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, prathyahara, dharana and dhyana. These are known as ashtanga-yoga, the eight-fold discipline (abstension from evildoing, observance, control breath, posture, withdrawal of mind from sense objects, concentration, meditation and absorption in the Atma). The Lord can be visualised only after the seven steps are successfully negotiated and the mind purified in the process.

The childhood episodes relating to Krishna have an esoteric meaning.

Once, Vasudeva and Nanda, as satraps in Kamsa's kingdom, came to Mathura to pay their annual tribute to him. While they were returning, Vasudeva and Nanda were lamenting over their plight. Vasudeva observed that in Repalle (Nanda's place) some inauspicious events seemed to be impending. In Gokulam ('cowvillage'of cowherds on the banks of Yamuna wherein Nanda, Yasoda and Krishna resided) is said, also some untoward events are likely to happen because demoniac elements were all the time moving about actively. The first of them was demonness Puthana. She came to Krishna to feed him and kill him. However, she lost her own life while giving suck to Krishna.
When Krishna was three years old he saw an old lady carrying a basket of fruits from the jungle. Krishna told her he would like to have some fruits. The old woman said he could get them only if he paid the price Krishna innocently asked the meaning of the word price. The woman said that something should be given in return for the fruit. Krishna went in and brought a palmful of rice.

The woman placed the rice in her basket and gave Krishna some fruits. She was charmed by the beauty of the child. As she was returning to her cottage, she felt that the basket was getting heavier. When she placed it down in her hut, she was amazed to find that all the rice grains had turned into precious gems! She thought the child must be divine. Otherwise how could the rice turn into gems? Considering herself supremely lucky, she invited her neighbours to see the miracle.

Once Yashoda, chided Krishna for eating mud (as alleged by Balarama), Krishna replied: "Mother am I a child, or a silly brat or a crazy fool to eat mud?" In this way Krishna, even though he was a child, was affirming His divinity indirectly.

The Divine teaches profound lessons to mankind in this indirect manner. God's actions should be understood not by the external events but by their inner meaning. Moreover, many changes in the ordinary ways of living are necessary to understand the ways of God.

Through saturated with Divinity, this mud-filled body becomes saturated with Divine consciousness - through saturation, this clod becomes God, who dwells up in one's own heart.

Brahman was in existence, well before mind and intelligence came into existence. Brahman cannot be understood by one's mind or intelligence.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "Vamsi Kunj," Chapter 19; Sathya Sai Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "The Rain Clouds," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16. "Why the Avathaar comes," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "The Avatar as the Ideal," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "The glory of Krishna Avathaar," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Krishna's life and message," Chapter 40; Sai Baba. Krishna Was An Infinite Ocean: Gopikas Were Small Tributaries Merging In The Ocean. Summer Showers in Brindavan, Chapter 24. 1978; Divine Discourse by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba "Sri Krishna Janmaashtami," 2003, Prasanthi Nilayam).

PS: The sources are general for all parts of compilation.

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 26- 27 Sept 2006

Footsteps of Sri Krishna. Part 2

Krishna's childhood passed in Gokula (where it is said, he born) , He grew up in Brindavan, He proceeded to Mathura and He established His home finally at Dwaraka. The significance of this to the sadhaka is the following. Let Krishna be born in the Gokula of your Mind; let Him grow and play prankishly in Brindavan of your Heart; let Him then be fixed in the Chiththa (chith-sakthi - power of universal Consciousness) of Mathura; and, finally, let Him rule over this agitationless universal Consciousness as the Lord and Master of Dwaraka (capital of Krishna. After His death the city was swept over by the sea; researchers believe it was situated in the sea just west of Gujarat). The Nirvikalpa (undifferentiated, without ideation) anandam is the final result of His Kingdom established at Dwaraka, in the centre of the waves.

What were Krishna's possessions? Nothing. Born in a prison, he was taken to the house of Nanda (it is said in purpose He was born there) and then he went to Mathura (Krishna's birthplace). He owned nothing. But he became the greatest figure in the world. What does this show? Worldly possessions are not the secret of greatness. Krishna's greatness consisted in His permanent state of the Divine Love, Ananda (Bliss).

The thirst for Krishna is a sign of health in the spiritual field. That thirst can be cultivated by the reading of scriptures, the cultivation of congenial company, lessons from a kind and considerate Guru and regular practice of japam. Once it is acquired, the thirst itself will lead you on to places and persons able to quench it. That is the advantage of spiritual quest; the first step makes the second easy.

In this Kali Yuga, the principle of Prema (the Divine Love) is not in evidence. It is smothered in jealousy, conceit, hatred, fear, falsehood and greed. That is why it is best referred to as the kalaha-yuga (the age of faction), marked by fights between mother and daughter, father and son, teacher and pupil, guru and guru, brother and brother. The recitation of the name of Krishna is the best method for cleansing the mind of all these evil impulses.

You may ask, "If we engage ourselves in this pastime, how can we earn our livelihood?" Well, let me assure you, if you have pure and steady faith in the Lord, He will provide for you, not merely food, but the nectar of immortality. You have that mighty potentiality in you, to discover the Lord within and compel Him to grant you that nectar.

Krishna draws the mind away from sensory desires; that is another way in which the draw operates. He pulls the mind towards him and so, they are pulled away from everything else, for everything else is inferior, less valuable. He satisfies the deepest thirst of human, for peace, joy and wisdom.

In early childhood Krishna was pleading with Yasoda that he should be allowed to go to the forest with other cowherd boys. Thinking that if he was put to sleep he would forget his desire to go to the forest, Yasoda gave him milk. While drinking the milk, he pretended as if he was sleepy. He made a pretence of yawning to indicate his drowsiness. In that wide open mouth of Krishna, Yasoda saw all kinds of things - all the worlds in motion and many deities.

She could not make out what it meant. "Is it a dream or Vishnu's Maya (illustrious power)? My son is an infant. How can all the worlds appear in his tiny mouth? It must be my imagination." Such doubts arise in the minds of those who are caught up in the delusions of the body complex.
Yasoda allowed Krishna to go to the forest with the cowherd boys. Almost every day Krishna encountered some ogre or ogress and slayed them. His playmates used to describe to their elders these exploits of Krishna, how he fought with the demons and finished them off.
Yasoda, however, used to say: "God is taking care of my child." The cowherd boys observed: "When he himself is God, why does he need anybody's protection, oh mother!" Yasoda felt that the boys were naive in their judgment. "Will God come to one's rescue so easily? It is only because of my prayers, my child is protected." With this belief, Yasoda used to perform various rites, when Krishna returned from the forest, to express her gratitude to Providence for saving him from the evil eye and other dangers.

Krishna's leelas (sportive miracles) were intended in one way or another to reveal His divinity. Once Balarama teased Krishna by declaring: "You are not Yasoda's son. This is because Nanda and Yasoda are of fair complexion and your are dark. You must have been born somewhere else." What Balarama said was true and Krishna knew it. But assuming an air of innocence, Krishna went to Yasoda and complained "Mother! Balarama is saying that I am not your son. Tell me the truth." Yasoda replied: "Krishna! What does Balarama know? Don't pay any heed to his words. You are truly my son. The colour given by God is permanent. Colour as such is not important. Many people paint themselves in different ways to conceal their identity. All these are momentary. The colour given by God cannot be changed by anyone. God likes the dark complexion. You have got the colour of the Divine."

By legend there was great rejoicing among the Devas (celestial beings) when they heard about the slaying of many demons on earth by Lord Narayana in His incarnation as Krishna. On hearing these stories, Brahma wanted to verify the truth about Krishna.

That same night Krishna gave a directive to his mares. "Today do not rake the cows for grazing. Let us rake the calves. Come with the calves together with your respective musical instruments. We must spend the day with music." Most of them came with flutes on which they could play well, holding a stick in one hand and a flute in the other. Only two boys brought two mud-pots to be used as drums. (Playing on the mud-pot is known today as Ghatavadhyam. This art is as ancient as the Dwapara Yuga).

The cowherd boys gathered on the bank of the Yamuna with calves. Some of them played on their flutes, some drummed their mud-pots while Krishna danced to the music.

Dama, one of the two intimate friends of Krishna told Krishna that he was feeling hungry and would like to have some palm-fruits from palm trees a little far away. Balarama (elder brother of Krishna, noted for his strength) went near the trees and shook them. All the fruits dropped brown. At that time, a huge donkey appeared there. All were frightened. The donkey was getting bigger and bigger. Balarama seized the donkey by the forelegs and dashed it to the ground. The cowherd boys hailed Balarama as a hero and danced in joy.

Biding his time, Brahma created at that moment a huge cave. He took into the cave all the calves, while the cowherd boys were immersed in merriment. Missing the calves, the boys started searching for them, shouting "Krishna! Krishna!" They all went into the cave. Immediately the mouth of the cave closed in. The boys and the calves were caught inside. They were there for a whole year.

Krishna wanted to teach Brahma a lesson. He took the form of all the calves and all the Gopalas imprisoned in the cave. In the evening Krishna and Balarama took the calves and the boys back to their homes. This went on day after day for a whole year. The elders assumed that the calves and the boys were their own. Brahma wondered what was happening? Had Krishna managed to free the boys and the calves from the cave? When he went into the cave he found all of them inside. He was amazed to find that the same boys and calves were inside as well as outside.

"Oh Krishna! You are subtler than the atom and vaster than the vaste in creation. You dwell in all the myriad species in all the world, how can anyone know you?" Brahma prayed to Krishna to forgive him and released the calves and the boys from the cave.

This episode reveals that the Supreme Lord can assume countless forms. He can assume the form of the entire cosmos. That is why the Upanishad declared "The entire cosmos is dwelt in by God." What is it that is beyond the power of the Supreme Lord? Seeing the Divine in human form people can have doubts whether the incarnation can have such miraculous powers when he has the same body as themselves. They do not perceive the oneness of the Atma. It is difficult to recognise the Divine in the human form.

Viewing things from a worldly point of view people missing the truth. No one can determine the form of the Divine. When he has to demonstrate the nature of Divinity to mankind, He has to come in human form. But human, because of polluted mind is unable to recognise the Divine in human form.

Not recognizing His Divinity many people reviled Krishna calling him a philanderer and a thief. These accusations do not detract from His greatness. People make the same mistake about themselves, forgetting their inherent divinity and identifying themselves with their bodies. Krishna appeared in human form to teach mankind to transcend their body consciousness.

No person afflicted with lust or envy or greed or attachment or egoism can pronounce judgement on the ethereal, formless, nameless principle that concretised as Krishna. There are many subtle truths relating to an incarnation which cannot be easily understood. Merely to describe the various sports and exploits of Krishna as a child is only a pastime. No one can determine or dictate to God how He should act. He can transform anything in a moment.

Krishna is said to have destroyed many wicked persons. But this is not quire correct. It is their own wickedness which destroyed these evil persons.

Today if the Divine wants to punish the wicked and protect the righteous, there will not be even one wholly righteous person. All will qualify for punishment. It is not a question of destroying the wicked. The task today is to transform adharma (unrighteousness) into dharma (righteousness). How is this to be done? Through love alone. Being associated ardently with all living beings winning their love through love, and through a process of correcting their vision and purifying their consciousness, leading them to the realisatlon of the God which is their core - this is the task before human beings.

Human desire is illimitable. It makes you pursue the mirage in the desert; it makes you build castles in the air; it breeds discontent and despair once you succumb to it. But, develop the thirst for Krishna, you discover the cool spring of ananda within you.

Gouranga (name for Chaithanya, fifteenth century Vaishnava mendicant reformer; taught the path of love and devotion to Krishna) the great example of this thirst, is so called because his heart was so pure that it had no touch of blemish at all. He is called Krishna Chaithanya (consciousness, intelligence, spirit), because he lost his chaithanya, that is, became unconscious of the world outside him, when he heard the name Krishna and became Krishna conscious.

Krishna's Message then and as well as now Swami's Teaching and are the same: "Know thyself, that is the only way to know Me."

The Eternal Supreme dwells in the temple of the human body as the newborn jivi (individual or soul). For this reason, all Avatars (Divine incarnations) assume the human form.

In the Gita the Lord has declared that in human is the power of discrimination, the buddhi (intellect). Human cannot achieve greatness by the acquisition of all forms of wealth. It is intelligence that makes human respected. It is to raise human to a higher level that the Divine comes down as Avatar. Avatar means descent. Divinity descends to the human level and teaches how human can divinise him/herself. This is the teaching of the Gita. All the great scriptures, have originated for the same purpose. The scriptures, by themselves, cannot redeem human. They serve only as guideposts. They indicate the roads to be taken to realise the Divine.

The mind must become saturated with devotion to God; the intelligence must be transformed into the splendour of universal wisdom, or jnana (the Divine knowledge); the body must be a willing and efficient instrument for the practice of righteousness. Such a life is indeed the crown and glory of humanity. There is no use asking a doctor to advise you about the plans for the building you propose to raise; nor is it wise to ask the engineer for a balm to assuage pain. Pay attention to Swami's Teaching and learn about at least three principles to guide your lives.

Dharma. What is dharma, why should it be followed, what does it allow, what does it condemn, etc. The Gita is the best text on dharma: the first word in it is dharma and the last word is mama (mine). So, it teaches each student what exactly should to consider as "the dharma which is mine!" Each one must evolve own dharma based on Atmadharma, the faith that the Atma is individuals' true reality.

Bhakthi. Bhakthi (devotion) is like a king, who has two aides-de-camp called jnana (Divine knowledge) and vairagya (non-attachment). Without these two bodyguards, bhakthi is never secure or safe. Bhakthi must be built upon the foundation of jnana; it must flower as "detachment from the world." The jnani is unmoved by agitating feelings and emotions, unshaken by the storms of fortune, good or bad; the vairagi (the detached), is the person who has rid of the three gunas (qualities of the mind); and the bhaktha (devotee) is he who is all prema (love). Bhakthi, jnana and vairagya are three peaks of the same Himaalyan range. Prema creates dhaya (compassion); vairagya induces dhama (tolerance); and, jnana leads you along the path of dharma.

Sadhana. When the house catches fire, you run about in desperate haste to get succour and to put out the flames; but, you do not realise that the fire raging inside you is even more devastating and devouring. You must take up the duty of fire fighting in right earnest and never rest until the flames are put out. Start serving your parents, your teachers, the elders, the poor, the diseased, the distressed. Promote love, concord, co-operation, brotherliness. Join the company of the good, the striving, the yearning sadhakas and you will soon reach the stage of peace within and harmony without.

There is no use merely offering worship to God as God. One should understand the ideals set for humanity by God in His human incarnation and live up to them. Human values have to be fostered. Without human qualities, the mere human form is worthless. By practising human values does man become truly human.

Morality is based on good conduct. Sacred, pure and helpful activities constitute right conduct. It is such conduct that is conducive to the blossoming of human excellence.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "Vamsi Kunj," Chapter 19; Sathya Sai Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "The Rain Clouds," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16. "Why the Avathaar comes," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "The Avatar as the Ideal," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "The glory of Krishna Avathaar," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Krishna's life and message," Chapter 40; Sai Baba. Krishna Was An Infinite Ocean: Gopikas Were Small Tributaries Merging In The Ocean. Summer Showers in Brindavan, Chapter 24. 1978; Divine Discourse by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba "Sri Krishna Janmaashtami,"  2003, Prasanthi Nilayam).

PS: The sources are general for all parts of compilation.

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 28 - 29 Sept 2006

Footsteps of Sri Krishna. Part 3

The essence of all the Vedas and Sastras (ancient sacred scriptures) is single-mindedness. This single-mindedness results in one-pointed devotion to God.

Love of God is the means and the goal. This was the secret revealed by the cowherd boys and maiden. They saw love in everything - in the music of Krishna's flute, which filled the world with love and flooded the parched earth with love.

The Divine is in every one. Only that day when one strives to develop such love for God is the day of Krishna's birth within. Krishna is born in us when we try to develop the Divine love as the means to overcome our bonds.

Krishna attracts people as child, lad and adult not only by the matchless beauty of His form. He attracts people by his music, his dance, his leelas and his words. Child Krishna, by His winsome ways, could turn the anger of the gopis (cowherd maiden) towards him because of his pranks, into an enjoyable joke.

The gopis (cowherd maidens) used to complain to Yashoda about Krishna's pranks. But whatever Krishna said in fun or did as a prank was based on truth. But those who could not understand the inner meaning of His statements used to accuse him of lying. This kind of misunderstanding has been a disease in all yugas (ages). When a gopika complained to Yashoda that Krishna had entered the house of a cowherd at night and played some mischief, Krishna pleaded before his mother how he could have gone out anywhere when he was sleeping beside her. The truth was that Krishna was in both places because of His Divine power.

Once Yasoda appealingly asked Krishna why he was going to the gopis houses to steal their butter when there was so much butter in their own house. The child Krishna replied: "Mother, I am not stealing butter but the hearts of the gopis.Their hearts are pure and full of devotion. Their butter is filled with the devotion with which they churn the buttermilk. Their bangles keep time as they sing Krishna's name while churning. The butter that is got contains the essence of the Vedas." Krishna asked Yasoda whether this kind of churning was taking place in her house?

The symbolic meaning of this action is Krishna's preference for sathwa, represented by the pure white curds and milk.

Krishna had always eluded the gopis after playing his mischief. But once he wanted to provide a clue by which they could trace him. Krishna went into a house stealthily, broke a pot of milk and quietly hid himself. The gopis found that he had broken the pot and tried to trace him. The milk white steps which he had left revealed to them his hide-out. Then, Krishna revealed to them the spiritual truth that if they cling to the feet of the Lord they realise Him. "Follow my footsteps and you shall find me," told Krishna.

You have to enjoy the leelas (frolics) of lad Krishna and realise their inner meaning. For instance, the real meaning of the story about Krishna taking away the clothes of the gopis while they were bathing is that to realise the Lord they have to abandon the attachment to the body, which is the vesture of the Spirit.

Krishna wore silver kankans (bangles) on His wrists, such as cowherd boys wore in those days in that part of the country. But the kankans that Krishna wore were not mere kankans. They had profound implications.

He had taken three vows and the kankans were symbolic of his determination to fulfill them. They were, as mentioned by Him in the Gita:

1, I shall incarnate Myself in every age, to revive and resurrect dharma.
2. I shall bear the burden of ensuring peace and prosperity for all who rely on Me.
3. I shall save all those who surrender whole-heartedly to Me, and I shall liberate, them from the cycle of
birth and death.

He also assured the world that He would come in human form and lead mankind onto the dharmic path, and thus liberate it from its grief and the succession of births and deaths.

Krishna moved among people as an ordinary person, and drew-them to the observance of His prescriptions by means of His Divine Prema. He refrained from parading His Divine Insignia, comprising a Conch, a Wheel, a Mace and a Lotus. He did not wear even a crown. While a boy, he followed the cows into the pastures with just a towel bound round his head.

It was their intense devotion which made Krishna dwell in the hearts of gopis. Once when lad Krishna disappeared from their midst they started searching for him everywhere, among the trees and the bushes of Brindavan, oblivious to everything else. Their appeals to the creepers to tell them whether their Krishna was hiding amongst them night seem hysterical. (It would be a good thing if such hysterical love of God filled people's hearts today). The world will be a calmer.

(There are all kinds of lunatics in the mental hospital, many of whom pose difficult problems for the doctors. If some God-mad devotee sits in a corner chanting God's name, what a relief he would be to doctors. If you develop this kind of sublime madness, you will be supremely fortunate indeed! Only then they will get rid of the mad craving for wealth and the things of the world).

Because of the craze for riches, all other evil qualities like pride, greed, envy and hatred have grown among mankind. Wealth is, indeed, needed, but it is the wealth of Divine Grace and the treasure of Divine Love.

There exist two legends why Krishna in adult age laid His flute aside.

One is connected with Radha (a gopi or cowherd maiden, an ardent devotee of Krishna one of Lakshmi's forms). Krishna churned her heart and gave here the nectar of Divine bliss. Radha had no attachment to any of her kith and kin. Krishna appeared before Radha before she gave up her life and blessed her. Krishna asked Radha what she wanted at the last moment of her life. Radha said: "I don't want anything except to listen to the music of your flute once before I pass on. Distill the essence of the Vedas and make it flow into the eternal music of your flute, Oh Krishna." Krishna took out His flute and played on it and when Radha closed her eyes, He threw it away. He never touched it again. He dedicated the flute to give delight to Radha.

You can understand Radha if you can fathom the depth of that thirst. Radha believed that Krishna is the basis; she did worship to Krishna in a continuous stream; in fact, she is Prakrithi, which is another form of the Lord or Pursuha Himself. The real nature of Radha can be understood by those who have acquired that deep 'distressing' thirst for the Formful Aspect of the Lord, and for the Divine Call that resonates in the heart as the entrancing tune of the Flute.

The other legend is connected with Neeraja.

Swami notes that Neeraja's story is long and not found in books; Swami alone must tell about it, for it is only the Person who has experienced it that can describe it.

A bride called Neeraja came to Gokulam (village of cowherds on the banks of Yamuna wherein Nanda and Krishna resided) as the daughter-in-law of a Gopa family. Her husband and parents-in-law warned her against Krishna and His pranks and threatened her, on pain of dire punishment, to keep away from Him and to avoid Him by every possible means.

It was Govardhana worship day and all the gopas (cowherd boys) and gopis (cowherd maiden) had to go beyond the village limits to circumambulate and worship the Govardhana Hill, a festival they celebrated every year. Neeraja too went with the others and in spite of the severest warning, she peeped into a crowd watching the dance of Radha with Krishna, in a flower bower near the Hill. She was so captivated by the Divine Presence that she was no longer the same person. Another day, while on the Yamuna bank, she saw Krishna fashioning a flute from a reed taken out of vamsi kunj (bamboo bower) and she heard Him play. Oh, it was overwhelmingly ecstatic! It was a call to transcend the material bonds to free oneself from the trammels of earthly endeavours.

In fact, she was the first to hold the reins of Akrura's chariot when he was taking Krishna to Mathura and try to push the vehicle back.

She was driven out of her house by the mother-in-law for that. She was an outcast. The whole village rose up against her; she spent her days in the vamsi kunj, her whole mind fixed on the Lord whom she had installed there. Years passed. Nanda, Yasoda and Radha left the world. She was now 52 years old. One day, she prayed desperately to Krishna.

Krishna responded to her yearning and called her by name, so sweetly that the very Voice filled her with new life. The vamsi kunj was flagrant with Divine glory. Krishna came near and took Neeraja's palm In His Hand. "What do you desire?" asked He.

She asked "What is the purpose of life?" "To merge In God." "Well let me merge in You...but, before that, before my Prema merges in yours, let me hear you play on that flute for a short while." Krishna smiled and gave the excuse that He had not brought His flute. But, seeing Neeraja's yearning, He plucked a reed from the vamsi kunj and broke it right and in a trice converted it into a flute. With Neeraja on his lap, Krishna played so melodiously on the flute that the entire Gokula and even the whole world, was bathed in ecstatic joy. When He stopped, Neeraja had attained final beatitude and was no longer a limited individual gopee separate from Him.Krishna laid aside His flute and said, He will not play on it again.

The mysteries of Krishna served to relieve the distress of the devotees. By legend in the life of saint Meerabai, for instance, when the Rana's sister gave to Meera a cup of milk containing poison, Meera drank it as an offering to Krishna. The result was Krishna absorbed the poison and left the sweet milk alone for Meera. By making an offering of all that you eat to God before taking it, the food gets purified and sanctified.

Krishna during his all life-time in human form changed the hearts of many people through love.

(It may be asked: "Is it not Krishna who killed Kamsa?" Not at all. This is the text-book version. In truth, it was Kamsa's own heated bhrama (delusion) which killed him. He was always haunted by the fear of Krishna. His death was a result and a reaction of that fear. Thoughts determine individual's destiny).

Krishna was leaving Hasthinapura for Dwaraka. He was bidding farewell to all his kinsfolk and taking leave of Dharmaja and others. Everyone silently accepted his decision. The chariot was ready for Krishna's departure. But the Divine can change his mind at any moment. After raking leave of all others he went to Kunthi. (Kunthidevi, sister of Vasudeva and mother of the Pandavas, Krishna's maternal aunt).

She told him: "Krishna! All the troubles we experienced were due to our delusions. If Dharmaja had not been lured by the game of dice, would we have been subject to exile in the forest and all the troubles we went through? Hence my children were the root cause of all our troubles. You are always our protector. During all our troubles I always remembered you. However, having had you with us all these years, we are deeply distressed to see you part from us. I have no power to change your mind. I only pray do not forget this aunt of yours."

After that, Krishna went to Uttara (Abhimanyu's, Arjuna's son's wife). Hearing that Krishna was leaving for Dwaraka, Utthara ran towards Krishna and fell at his feet. "Lord! Since Abhimanyu's death, I have been trying hard to bear the pain that is gnawing at my bosom. There is a fire burning in my womb. You should not leave at all for Dwaraka now. You were the saviour of the Pandavas. The child in my womb is the only hope of the Pandava clan. If anything untoward happens to that child, the Pandava dynasty will be extinguished.

Krishna was immediately moved by Uttara's deep devotion. The journey to Dwaraka was given up. Krishna made a promise to Uttara. "I will not leave for Dwaraka till your child is born," assured Krishna. When the child was born, Krishna named him Pareekshith.

Lord Sri Krishna stands out as a unique ideal figure, exemplifying the highest qualities in every respect - social, political, ethical and spiritual.

To set an example to the world, the Lord engages Himself in apparently trivial activities and teaches the lessons to be learnt from them. God sets an example in humility and reverence. On occasions, the Lord (in human form) can be harsh and relentless. He will declare the truth without mincing words. Here again Krishna provides the example.

Dharmaja (eldest of the Pandava brothers) wanted to perform the Rajasooya Yajna (sacrificial ritual for Paramountcy) after getting the approval of the citizens and the ministers and priests. Dharmaja sought Krishna's blessings for the performance of the yajna. After listening to Dharmaja's proposal, Krishna smiled and said, "Only a supreme sovereign ruler, whose suzerainty is accepted by all rulers in the country, can perform such a yajna. You are not such a sovereign emperor. There are quite a few rulers like Sisupala, Jarasandha and Dhanthavakra, who do not recognise your power. As long as there are such kings, you are not qualified to perform the Rajasooya Yajna."

(Misinterpreting the purport of Krishna's advice, some people characterised him as an instigator of wars. Krishna did not call on Dharmaja to go to war. All that he told him was about the qualifications required for performing the Rajasooya Yajna. Then, Dharmaja took counsel with his brothers and effected the conquest of Sisupala, Jarasandha and others).

When the Pandavas celebrated the Aswamedha and the Rajasooya Yajnas, Krishna asked for some assignment to be given him, so that he might be of service. He submitted Himself to the devotee. When we are filled with devotion, the Lord is ready to serve us as our servant. The Lord is ever prepared to subject Himself to any kind of difficulty or ordeal to protect or help His devotee.

When the Rajasooya Yajna began, each of the brothers was allotted a specific function. Krishna also approached Dharmaja respectfully and pleaded for some function to be assigned to him, saying: "As the world sees it, you (Dharmaja) are the overlord and I am the subject. Hence, please assign to me some task in this Yajna." Dharmaja was distressed at this request, coming as it did from one whom Dharmaja regarded as All-Knowing Omnipresent Lord. Dharmaja said: ?I owe everything to you. You are the ruler and I am only your servant."

Krishna replied: ?What you have said as a devotee is true. But from the worldly point of view, as a king you have to respect the obligations prescribed for the king. You must distinguish your obligations to God and your secular duties as a ruler."

This distinction is as true today as it was in the olden days. Individual freedom and fundamental law are distinct things. What relates to affairs of state should not be linked with one's personal concerns.

Krishna urged that he should be allotted a specific task to be responsible for receiving the scholars and the priests who would be attending the yajna, washing their feet and doing all honours to them.

Here is an illustration of how Krishna set an example in the elimination of the ego. Why should Krishna, who was such a great and powerful personality, take upon himself such a humble task as washing the feet of pandits? One who aspires to be a leader should show qualities of leadership in every field. It was to serve an example to the world in every sphere that Krishna undertook many tasks and never considered anything as too small or trivial.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "Vamsi Kunj," Chapter 19; Sathya Sai Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "The Rain Clouds," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16. "Why the Avathaar comes," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "The Avatar as the Ideal," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "The glory of Krishna Avathaar," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Krishna's life and message," Chapter 40; Sai Baba. Krishna Was An Infinite Ocean: Gopikas Were Small Tributaries Merging In The Ocean. Summer Showers in Brindavan, Chapter 24. 1978; Divine Discourse by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba "Sri Krishna Janmaashtami," 2003, Prasanthi Nilayam).

PS: The sources are general for all parts of compilation.

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 30 Sept - 1 Oct 2006

Footsteps of Sri Krishna. Part 4

The Gita has laid down three directives: do not be afraid of troubles; do not forget God; do not adore what is false. It is by adhering to these three injunctions that countless devotees all through the ages have sought to realise the Divine.

It is very difficult to comprehend the truth about the Divine. The omnipresent Divine is present both in truth and untruth. He is present both in dharma (righteousness) and adharma (unrighteousness). He is present in good and evil. With regard to such an all-pervading Divine, how can anyone determine what is good and what is bad?

From the earliest times people have been proclaiming what is Divine. That the Divine has a form and possesses innumerable auspicious qualities was declared from their experiences. The Cosmos functions on the basis of three types of actions. Creation, sustenance and dissolution are the three processes. The truth of this phenomenon cannot be denied by anyone at any time or place, whether individual is a Vedantin or a scientist, an engineer or a person of the world. While this has enabled people to describe the Divine, it has not served to demonstrate God. But they were able to indicate the means by which one can experience God.

The ways of the Divine are not necessarily intelligible to all. (Today people worship God as God but do not try to understand the ideal human qualities displayed by an Avatar).

It is worth examining in what manner Krishna displayed these marks of human excellence. That Krishna was a war-monger and not a lover of peace has long been a matter for discussion. But Krishna was essentially a lover of peace.

The great Mahabharata war was on. Each of the Pandava brothers was involved in separate encounters. Dharmaja, the eldest brother, was engaged in a fierce battle with Karna. The Pandava forces could not withstand the missiles coming from Kama. The Pandava forces were fleeing. Dharmaja retired to his tent in great anguish, unable to bear reverses in the battle. At that moment Arjuna entered his brother's tent. On seeing him, Dharmaja flew into a rage. Burning with anger, Dharmaja burst out at Arjuna that all his prowess and the power of his mighty bow, Gandiva, had been utterly useless.

Unable to suffer these accusations, Arjuna lifted his Gandiva and was about to strike Dharmaja. At that very moment Krishna appeared there. Krishna tried to pacify Arjuna. He said, "Arjuna! It is not mete that you should raise your arm against your elder brother. The primary trait of brothers is to show respect towards elders and earn their regard. Forgetting your duty you have allowed yourself to be provoked by words and resorted to wrongful action."

He requested Dharmaja to withdraw and gave proper advice to Arjuna on how he should conduct himself.

Assuaged by Krishna's appeal and accepting his wise counsel, Arjuna retired to his tent. Proceeding next to Dharmaja's tent and seeing the agony he was experiencing, Krishna bent down and held Dharmaja's feet. Krishna told him: "Dharmaja! It is not fitting that an elder brother like you should behave in this fashion. It is not right that you should blame your younger brother Arjuna in such strong language. You must go immediately to Arjuna and seek his forgiveness."

"Why should the Almighty Lord Krishna demean Himself in this way?" some critics might ask. But the ideals which the Divine seeks to exemplify for mankind are revealed only through such small incidents.

Krishna through His actions underlines the Divine that shines effulgently in every human being. Recognising the omnipresence of the Divine in all things, the quest for Truth should be undertaken. What is the Truth? Where is it? How to search for that which is everywhere? A distinction must be made between an apparent fact and the unchanging Reality. In daily life the Sun appears to "rise" and "set" everyday, but in reality these apparent phenomena are due to the movement of the Earth round itself and round the Sun. Likewise what is apparently true about you, as is inferred from external observation, is not the real you. It is the effulgent Divine within you.

Before the Kurukshetra war, Krishna was sent as the envoy of the Pandavas to negotiate with Duryodhana and the Kauravas. The Pandavas were devoted to Krishna as much as Krishna loved them. They had no option but to send Krishna as their envoy to the Kauravas.

When Krishna reached Hastinapura, the Kaurava capital, he found that elaborate arrangements had been made for according him a grand welcome. (The Kauravas apparently in their narrowmindedness, hoped to win over Krishna to their side by this show of extravagant hospitality).

When Krishna alighted from the chariot, Duryodhana, Dussasana and others greeted him and invited him to stay in their palatial guest-house and accept their hospitality. Even at that moment Krishna taught them the proprieties governing affairs of state. He said: "Dussasana, I have come as an envoy. It is only after completing my mission as envoy can I accept your hospitality."

After giving this lesson in political proprieties in unmistakable terms, Krishna proceeded to the house of Vidura (father of the Kauravas). Vidura was deeply agitated on seeing Krishna and asked him: "Krishna, you are all-knowing and can see the shape of things, to come. How did the Pandavas agree to send you here? The wicked Kauravas are capable of doing harm to you by all kinds of foul means; knowing all this, why did you come here?"

Krishna replied: "Vidura, in the interest of the people and welfare of the world, I have to undertake such missions." Here Krishna gave an example. Living in society, one has to understand the interaction between the individual and society. It is a continuous process of give and take. The individual contributes to society and derives benefits from the society.

Krishna continued: "I wish to see that no rift develops among the Pandavas and that complete harmony and unity prevail amongst them. Any differences among the Pandavas will be disastrous for the world. I am ready to undertake any mission, however trivial or hazardous."

Krishna then went to the Assembly Hall of the Kauravas. All the sages and other worthies in the hall rose as Krishna entered. Bhishma (the guardian and patriarch of the Kauravas and Pandavas; trapped by his fate to fight on side of evil Kauravas) assisted by Drona and Dhritarashtra, approached Krishna and requested him to take the preeminent seat intended for him. What Krishna said on that occasion is an object-lesson to the world. He said: "Oh King! I shall take my seat only after all the people here have taken their seats. Until then I cannot, take my seat."

When all had resumed their seats, Krishna continued standing and said: "I must first complete the ambassadorial mission on which I have come." He turned to king Dhritarashtra and said: ?Oh King! As stipulated by you, the Pandavas have returned after spending 12 years in exile in the forest and living one year incognito. Today you have to fulfill the pledge you gave to them that you will return their kingdom to them. It is your duty to honour your word."
He told the king: ?The Pandavas are the very embodiment of Dharma. They entertain no feelings of enmity or hatred towards anyone. When I was about to leave for Hastinapura, Dharmaja clasped my hands together and entreated me to inform you that if he had committed any lapse, wittingly or unwittingly, he wished to be forgiven by you. If necessary, he was ready to come in person and seek your forgiveness at your feet. This is the noble and righteous attitude of the Pandavas towards you and your people."

On listening to Krishna, Dhritarashtra said, "Why are the progeny of two brothers. Are not all of them equal in your eyes Krishna? This is one family and one kingdom. Is it proper for you to view the Kauravas in one way and the Pandavas in another way?"

Krishna then explained clearly to Dhritarashtra: "Let me tell you what binds me to the Pandavas. A body has many limbs. In my body, Dharmaja is like the head. Arjuna represents my two arms. Bhima is like my stomach. Nakula and Sahadeva are like my two feet. Krishna is the heart of this body. My relationship with the Pandavas is like that of the heart to the rest of the body."

The moment Duryodana and Dussasana heard these words, they became indignant and their eyes became red with anger. When one is puffed up with pride and physical prowess, one has bloodshot eyes. All the elders in the Assembly were in agreement with Krishna. Dhritarashtra, however, wanted to retire to take rest for a while. He retired to his private chamber. Krishna came there. Holding both his hands, Dhritarashtra pleaded with Krishna: "My sons are wicked fellows. My infatuation for them has blinded my vision. The Pandavas are undoubtedly righteous. Their adherence to truth and justice is exemplary. I am unable to see a way out."

Krishna spoke to Dhritarashtra in strong terms: ?Dhritarashtra! Fondness for sons is a good thing. But excessive attachment to them is likely to prove harmful and dangerous. Krishna said that what is evil should be cast away without any compunction. Krishna advised: "Strive your best to persuade them to return to the right path. But when these attempts fail they should be abandoned."

After these talks, Krishna realised that his mission of parleys for peace would not succeed.

On seeing Krishna back, alighting from the chariot, the Pandavas rejoiced beyond words. They did not ask how his mission had fared. All they were concerned about was the safe return of Krishna. The Lord's love for a devotee is as intense as a devotee's love for the Lord.

Having regard to the well-being of the devotee and the good of the world, Krishna performed actions whether big or small, solely for the good of others.

The greatness of any individual depends upon the reform of his/her character. It does not depend upon power, money or position.

(This interaction may be understood also from an episode from the life of Albert Einstein. In the ward in which Einstein was living, there was a girl who was weak in mathematics and was repeatedly failing in that subject. A friend suggested to her that if she went to Einstein, the greatest living mathematician, he would help her to learn the subject well. The girl approached Einstein and he readily agreed to give her tuition everyday. The girl's mother, who had observed her daughter going to the great mathematician for tuition everyday, felt that the little girl was wasting Einstein's time by asking him to teach her elementary mathematics. She went one day to Einstein and apologised to him for her daughter's intrusion on his valuable time. Einstein told her: "Do not think I am just teaching mathematics to her. I am learning as many things from her as I am teaching her."

Einstein was conscious that people who might excel in some subject might be lacking in general knowledge or common sense and knowledge of worldly matters. This readiness to learn from any person or source is the real mark of greatness).

Correcting the defects among people, directing them on a right path, the Lord Krishna in His human incarnation seeks to raise humanity to the highest level by all methods. Ordinary people may question whether it is proper for God to do certain things and not certain others. From a mundane point of view, things may appear trivial or big. But in the Divine calculus there are no such differences because He views everything with the same Divine Love.

Once Arjuna was disgusted with life and wanted to commit suicide that very night. Krishna, decided to avert this. He went to Arjuna's residence and told him that he wanted to discuss some urgent matter with him and therefore he wanted to dine with him that day. When Subhadra (Arjuna's wife) and others were engaged otherwise, Krishna called Arjuna to a private chamber. As soon as Arjuna was inside, Krishna bolted the door. He then took firm hold of Arjuna's feet. Arjuna immediately burst out: "Swami!" What unworthy act have I done? Why are you acting like this?"
Krishna said: "With all your titles and achievements, it is utterly unbecoming of you to entertain thoughts of suicide. You are foremost among the Pandavas. You acquired the Gandiva (from Shiva) alter going through severe penances and ordeals. You should be the master of your senses and not their slave. Give me a pledge that in no circumstances in the future will you think of suicide. Your life is mine and my life is yours. If you contemplate suicide, you will be guilty of attempting on the life of your dear Krishna."

Arjuna said, "I was ignorant of the subtle truths you have revealed. Please forgive me. Henceforth, in all my life I will not think of any such act." In this manner, Krishna, in His love for the Pandavas, was prepared to go to any length and do even menial act to protect them.

On one other occasion, Krishna was conversing with the Pandava brothers when Arjuna expressed disagreement with certain statements of Krishna. Krishna assumed an angry pose and left the place. Hardly had He gone a short distance when Dharmaja, Bhima and Nakula turned on Arjuna and berated him for insulting Krishna.

Unable to bear this rebuke, Arjuna prayed internally to Krishna. Meanwhile Krishna returned and told the brothers: ?What Arjuna has done is true to human nature. The more intellectual a person is, the more he is subject to these traits. Such persons have no firm belief in anything. Because of your intellect, you Arjuna behaved without understanding what has gone before or what is to come. Henceforth don't rely on your intellect. Carry out the will of the Divine."
The Lord gave Arjuna the assurance: ?Centre your thoughts on Me, be My devotee, worship Me always and I assure you will reach Me."

A distant star like the Pole Star can be pointed to some one by reference to some nearby physical object like a tree. Likewise the Vedas and Scriptures, while not demonstrating the Divine, have helped to indicate the path leading to the realisation of the Divine.

The spectacle of a dense forest confers delight. The sight of all tall mountain excites wonder. Seeing the torrent in a river one rejoices. All these are evidences of the power of the Divine. The stars shine. The planets revolve. The sun blazes forth. The wind blows. All these are signs of the Divine at work. When you see the spark of a fire, you can infer the nature of fire. If you know the nature of a drop of water, you can understand the nature of Ganga. Likewise, if you understand the nature of the atom, you can understand the nature of the objects in the entire Cosmos. Recognising this truth, the Upanishads declared: "The Divine is subtler than the atom and vaster than the vastest."

Divinity is the all-pervading Cosmic Consciousness present in all. The nature of this Consciousness should be understood. It is chith, which illumines every object in creation. Chith illumines what exists and thereby makes it cognisable. Existence is sath. Cognisability is chith. The combination of sath and chith confers thrupthi (satisfaction derived from enjoying the object). The Divine pervades everything inside and outside. Awareness of the Divine will confer bliss.

If people today wish to achieve spiritual bliss, they have to follow three principles.

First, they must know what has to be known.
Second, they must give up what has to be renounced.
Third, they must reach the goal that has to be attained.

What is it that has to be known? What is this world? How long will I live? We see many passing away. Coming and going are continually happening. When the transient nature of the physical world is understood, bliss will be realised.

Next, what is it that you have to give up? The delusion under which what is unreal is considered real and what is real is treated as unreal. People consider that they are in the grip of Maya and that they are caught up in misery. Misery has no limbs to hold you. It is so due to your ignorance. Get rid of this ignorance and you will experience bliss.

What is the goal you have to reach? You have come from the Atma and you have to return to the Atma. This is what the Upanishads sought to convey when they declared: "Asatho maa sadhgarnaya" (Lead me from the unreal to the Real). Where there is truth, untruth exists as its shadow.

"Thamaso maa jyothirgamaya" (Lead me from darkness to Light). What is darkness and what is light? Light alone exists. Darkness is only the absence of light. Discovering the light leads to the elimination of darkness.

"Mrithyor-maa Amritham gamaya" (Lead me from death to Immortality). Birth and death are incidental to the body alone. Your Self has neither birth nor death.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 3. "Vamsi Kunj," Chapter 19; Sathya Sai Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "The Rain Clouds," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 16. "Why the Avathaar comes," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "The Avatar as the Ideal," Chapter 18; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 27. "The glory of Krishna Avathaar," Chapter 23; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Krishna's life and message," Chapter 40; Sai Baba. Krishna Was An Infinite Ocean: Gopikas Were Small Tributaries Merging In The Ocean. Summer Showers in Brindavan, Chapter 24. 1978; Divine Discourse by Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba "Sri Krishna Janmaashtami,"  2003, Prasanthi Nilayam).

PS: The sources are general for all parts of compilation.

Namaste - Reet


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