Swami teaches....Part 82


Links to Swami Teaches - Part 81

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 2 - 3 Oct 2006

Educational Contemplation Through Examples of Vedas and Great Epics. Part 1

The completion of the Veda Purusha Yajna with the performance of final offering in the ritual fire means the offering which you have to make in the Yajna is that of your bad thoughts, bad desires and actions. This is more important than anything else.

The true meaning of seven-day sacrificial rituals is realisation of the Brahman. To recognise the omni-Self that is in every being is Self-realisation.

A small example for this.

In a hillock, there is a rock. A sculptor goes to the rock and attempts to chisel out a figure. When he chisels a figure out of the rock, small bits of the rock fall out. The small pieces of rock and the beautiful idol have come from the same source.

Only the sculptor gave a beautiful form to the idol and it is worshipped as being Divine. The only difference between the small pieces of rock and the idol is in the form and the name. Atma is present in all the jivas is one and the same as the Divine Aspect.

People during their lifetime are experiencing three stages: the waking stage, the dream stage and the deep sleep stage. They have been quoting various shlokas from the scriptures to establish that they are the witness, and not the participants and that they have only to wake up from the slumber of ignorance to realise this. During day, you are engrossed in what may be called day-dreams, at night you are either dreaming or lying dormant, with only the 'I' consciousness alive, but, not aware even of that.

This fundamental ignorance called Maya plays many tricks. It makes you believe the rope to be snake and you shiver and run away. It makes you imagine a lake of water where we have only the hot sands of the desert, and you run towards it with your dry tongue, to allay thirst. And you call it, "maya," "through me," "for me," identifying yourselves with it, as if it is real and beneficial. The moment you realise it is Maya (illusory), it ceases to bother you.

The dog will stop barking at its own shadow in the stream, when it knows that it is not another dog, but is only itself. All are shadows, and so, whom are we to hate and whom are we to prefer? What is the attitude of the wise? "Give up attachment, give up entanglements, that alone grants freedom," say the Vedas. Renounce the idea of your being separate; see in all beings, yourself; and yourself in all beings. That is the highest renunciation, the renunciation of the sense of ego, which makes you cling to this temporary habitation, this bundle of bone and flesh, this shell with a Name and Form.

The inherent nature of fire is 'to bum'; of water, 'to wet'; of stone, 'to be heavy.' The nature of human consists in the yearning 'to know.' This attribute has come into human from the moment of birth to play the present role. You are now believing that you are the role. And, enjoying and suffering as a result of that belief. Just as you get cured of the bite you get from a snake in your dream as soon as you wake up, so too, when you awake from Maya, and become yourself, the fear and grief will disappear. When an actor weeps or laughs on the stage, he watches own weeping or laughing and tries to make it more realistic and effective. So too, be the witness of your activities and thoughts; keep afar and away, without attachment or disgust.

God within you will be guiding and inspiring you, to discharge your duty. Truth is God, and work is worship. By unselfish service, strict adherence to duty, and dedication to the cause of peace you are promoting the welfare of all humanity.

God will not merely speak and guide from the heart; He will Himself be the Heart, provided you pray to Him to bless you so.

The body is referred to in the Gita as kshethram, that is to say, a holy place where God is installed. The body-kshethram is Dharmakshethram as well as Kurukshethram, the abode, of virtue and of Activity. God in the Kshethram is the Kshethrajna (Divine knower), the Shivam (eternally good) without whom the body is but shavam (corpse). Therefore, be ever aware of the God who is the real 'you,' and seek solace, sustenance, and guidance from Him through prayer.

All Avatars teach, as the first step in the long road of sadhana (spiritual discipline or exercise; self effort) the giving up of attachment. In the Dwapara-yuga, Krishna taught Arjuna to give up attachment to the objective world.
In each Yuga, the Avatar come to redeem, revive and rebuild. At the present time, Mahashakthi (Super Power), Mayashakthi (Power of Illusion) and Yogashakthi (Power of Vision with God) have come, all together, in one Human Form; your endeavour should be to draw near and earn Grace therefrom.

In olden days there was an ascetic once, who had given up all attachment. He was going along a Himalayan track, when the wind blew his hair on his face and blocked his vision. So, he turned and walked in the opposite direction. He was not attached to any direction or place.

You need not run away to a cave in the Himalayas for sadhana; you can be where you are, carrying out whatever duties life has cast on you. Only, feel in the cave of your heart that He is the doer and enjoyer; that you see because He is the power behind the eye. The Atma is the cell, in this torch (body), wherein the eye is the bulb and the intellect, the switch.

God is your guardian, when you sleep; when you are helpless; even when you have forgotten or neglected or discarded Him. God has no need for the things you offer, or promise to offer. He is ever content, ever blissful, ever full, ever free. Do your duty to yourself - that is enough offering for Him.

Human race is a balanced blend of truth, morality, and sacrifice. (Loss of these qualities is the cause of chaotic conditions in the world).

The higher you go, the cooler is the atmosphere. The lower you come, the hotter it is. So, keep mind cold and calm by means of dhyana and japam, acquire the wisdom of eternal Atma i.e. Brahman which holographic pattern you are (by intertwined with spirituality modern science).

Today, science has achieved great advancement. Many scientific and technological disciplines are taught to students. Is this knowledge imparted by society for the benefit of society or for the name and fame of the students? Having become great intellectuals, is there any genuine transformation in them? Why does ajnana (ignorance) persist on such a large scale today?

The fact is much of the progress in science today is confined to satisfying human's selfish desires and not for promoting the general well-being of the world. Is it a sign of true progress if a country arms itself to the teeth to destroy another? Is this an index of scientific advance? What are present-day scientists and technologists are doing? Most of them assert that all that is on the Earth is for the use and exploitation. Indiscriminate mining of all kinds of minerals and ores is carried on for socalled benefit of mankind. Systematic removal of material from one side causes imbalance. The loss of balance is the cause of natural disasters which are increasing day by day. Human is polluting the oceans with industrial and urban waste. Water pollution has reached a stage where people are forced to drink polluted water.

(Any student of elementary chemistry will say that water is formed by combining two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen. You even know how to synthesize them. But are you making enough effort to see that water is evenly distributed to all the members of the society)?

Today people almost worship science and technology. What is this science and technology that people are so proud about? All this knowledge is already within human being. Proper enquiry and discrimination will reveal all these truths.

Perpetually people are concerned about wealth, family and children. There are fleeting moments of devotion, but these are more demonstrative than genuine expressions of faith in God. Such artificial expressions of devotion serve only to confirm the atheists in their disbelief.

Swami does not want to know that you have listened or have read His Teaching well. He wants to know that you have thoroughly transformed yourselves. If the ground is not wet, what is the use in saying there has been a downpour.

Develop fraternal feelings towards all. Differences of opinion can be resolved by compromise. If egoistic pride is given up, difficulties can be overcome. Live up to Swami's Teaching as far as possible and thereby redeem your lives. Which kind are the powers that call people to such activity directed by Swami. How to develop such powers?

Churchill once said, "People have conquered all, but they have not conquered themselves."

Scientific education of today teaches everything about the external world, leaving out the knowledge of the Self. Science asks the questions, "What? and How?" and seeks to get the answers from the objective world of Name and Form, the world one can see, hear, taste, touch and smell, the world one can categorise through reason. But the science of the spirit asks the question, "Why? For what purpose?" It discovers that Maya is the answer for the 'Why'. Sheer delight, at confusing reason, through the illusion of manifoldness. Ice and steam are but water, though they appear so different in every way; diamond is but carbon; jewels are but gold; pots are but clay. Go into the truth and you see the One behind the manifold. Brahman, Atma alone is the One; all else is the superimposition of name and form upon its Sath-Chith-Ananda (Being-Awareness-Bliss) essence.

Fill the consciousness with the thought of the One, it will get saturated in Ananda; fill it with ideas of the many, it will get befouled by hate and partiality, prejudice and envy. The world is the creation of your mind; go into deep sleep; it is negated. (That is why sleep is said to be a form of samadhi, when the intellect becomes balanced, merged in equanimity).

The main knowledge is to know own reality among other human beings realities as expression of One and alone Atma, Brahman. It is the first 'A' of education, that is 'animating' all the aspects of human activity.

(For this purpose in Vedic culture many different rites are performing. For example, Veda Purusha Sapthaha Jnana Yajna what has been performed several days ago).

Spiritual science helps you to develop and sharpen your intellect. You must know that knowledge that comes from within is at the top level. At the second level is skill; at the third is balance; and at the fourth is insight. Swami tells you to convert your knowledge into skill, not to kill it. When knowledge is killed, imbalance ensues.

Therefore Swami never says you should not have modern education. Why would Swami make such an inhibition? All that is said is that along with this worldly study, pursue also an enquiry into the principle of your Self (Atma -Thathwa; the last word means principle, truth, essence). This was the basis of the ancient education system.

Individual is endowed with all types of potentialities - physical, mental, spiritual, and ethical. The true aim of education is to make explicit the innate powers of human. These are of two types. One relates to the knowledge of external things, and the organ that manifests this power is the head (brain). The organ that enables one to bring out the inner knowledge is the heart. The former relates to physical existence while the latter to higher learning or living in its true sense. Life will become ideal only when both these types of knowledge are made to manifest in harmony.

(Ignorance is very close to knowledge, just as darkness is under a source of light. You imagine that technical knowledge has made rapid strides. You also believe that science has made great progress. But the fact is that side by side with the growth of physical knowledge without spiritual knowledge, ignorance has also grown enormously).

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "Three-in-one now," Chapter 25; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "Maaya and mayaa," Chapter 27; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 12. "Dedicated for defence," Chapter 1; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "Transformation is what I want," Chapter 25; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Krishna's life and message," Chapter 40; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 32. Part 2. "True education liberates," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Baba. Summer Showers in Brindavan, 174 - 181; 1978).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 4 - 5 Oct 2006

Educational contemplation through examples of Vedas and Great Epics. Part 2

The knowledge emanating from the head, viz. reading, writing, etc., helps you to earn a living. It is knowledge, that which has gone into books from someone's head and back into another's head from the books. Apart from this bookish knowledge, one must have general knowledge. Besides, one must attain knowledge of discrimination, which helps one to discriminate between good and bad and right and wrong. But above all, one should attain practical knowledge, which comes only after getting the knowledge of discrimination.

Due to his obsession with external knowledge, human today is immersed in self-interest and forgets his responsibilities to society. When you engage yourselves in the welfare of society, your welfare is automatically ensured.

Sri Aurobindo once told the students of Calcutta University, "Students! Why do you acquire this knowledge? Is your learning only for your selfish ends? You have acquired all these skills expense of society. If you do not repay your debt to your community by using your talent for society, it is better you burn your books."

Human excellence will blossom when the relationship and balance between the physical and the spiritual aspects is intimately established. The purpose of education is to produce happy blend of the physical and spiritual knowledge and help human excellence to blossom. Thus, the aim of education is total development of individual.

In olden days, each university in India specialized in one area of knowledge and imparted the knowledge of the highest quality to its students. For example, the university in Kasi (Benaras) specialized in grammar in all its manifold aspects so that the acquired knowledge could become useful and practical in day-to-day life. The Amarakosa - probably first of existing lexicons in Sanskrit - was a subject of study and even through this study of grammar the teachers of those days were preparing their students for immortality. In these universities, each student was himself a great scholar.

Who were the teachers? Often, the resident preceptor was himself the faculty and indeed the Vice Chancellor. The whole process of education was carried out independently, without any interference or control by any government or other agency. Saraswathi, the goddess of learning, was honored and given complete freedom. The students received her boundless grace to attain high standards of excellence.

Generally, the teachers did not take any salaries for teaching, nor did the students pay any fees. After completing their studies, the students made appropriate offerings to the preceptor and prayed for his parting advice.
There was no fixed timetable for the teaching; the preceptor taught as and when he was so inclined, as the spirit moved him. The classes were held in natural environment on the banks of holy rivers, under shady trees, or in temple verandahs in a pure and sacred atmosphere.

For instance, Krishna and Kuchela (a poor brachmin, classmate of Krishna) were taught in the forest. The friendship developed during that study was long lasting. True friendship is like a single life embodied in two bodies.
(Today the true friendship is rare. If you have money in your pocket, there will be many who will be hailing you, "hello, hello." If there is no money, then "hello" becomes "hollow", and all friends desert you.

The programs on the television are very attractive, but you must realize that they are shown to you not for your gain but for the gain of sponsors and advertisers. Watch only such programs that are related to education, or those dedicated to moral values).

Today's education requires huge edifices. An enormous number and variety of equipments and implements are necessary, and huge effort, physical and monetary, is required for these. There were no such requirements of equipments or grand buildings in olden days. Even in the famous universities like Ujjaini and Takshashila, there were no large buildings or edifices like those of today.

There is no comparison between the teachers and students of those days and those of present times.

Today, there are textbooks galore and numerous "notes" thereon, but there are few that study. In the days of yore, there was no paper or ink.

Teaching was carried out by oral communication from the teacher. The students were so receptive that they absorbed all instructions and retained them in their memory. Words emanating from the heart of the preceptor were imprinted on the hearts of the students.

(Students today cannot remember what they have studied just an hour earlier. Why are the students of today so short of memory? The students today have a wavering mind, which is the cause of their short memory and poor retentive power).

Education in those days included the techniques of controlling the mind and of developing sacred qualities. However, this eternal truth has been forgotten today. The practice of compassion and love is absent in daily life.

Some people even make fun of the brahmins when they chant mantras. Each mantra is potent, and all our ancient traditions are meaningful. Even now, on holy days, we hang mango leaves on our doors and gates. It is not merely a sign of auspiciousness; it provides healthy environment too. The sudden influx of a large number of guests causes an increase in carbon dioxide. The green leaves help in reducing the carbon dioxide level and increase the oxygen in the place. Some people may ask why we should have green leaves; will plastic leaves not be better? Can the plastic leaves and flowers absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen?

Never forget culture of your country. Don't criticize the culture of other countries.

Tens years ago (when students used ink to write their homeworks) there was an old man who followed his rituals strictly and performed his prayers (Sandhya Vandanam) in the prescribed manner early in the morning and at sunset. He had a grandson who used to sit in the verandah doing his day's homework, dipping his pen in the inkbottle every time he wrote a few lines. As he was busy with his study, his grandfather came out and sat on a little stool and started chanting the mantras, "Kesavaya Namah, Madhavaya Namah, Govindaya Namah," etc.

Taking water from a little vessel, he sipped half a spoonful at a time with each mantra as per the ritual.

The modern lad stopped his study and started watching his grandfather. He started thinking, what a foolish thing his grandfather was doing. If he wanted to drink water why did he not drink it all in one gulp straight from the vessel? He stopped his work and asked his grandfather, "Grandfather, why are you drinking water sip by sip? Why don't you drink it in one gulp from the vessel if you are thirsty?"

The old man was an intelligent person and knew the modern mind. He said, "My boy, you do your work in your way, I shall do mine in my way."

But modern lads have the habit of arguing with elders. So, the boy questioned his grandfather again.

When pestered further by his grandson, the old man shot back, "You simpleton, you dip your pen in the ink bottle every time you write a few words; why don't you just pour the bottle of ink over the paper and be done with it".

The grandfather continued, "Dear boy, you have to dip the pen in ink to write every word. Only then will it be neat. When I chant a mantra and take water, it reaches the particular deity whose name is chanted. When you write a letter and write address correctly on the cover, it will reach the right person".

Similarly, the mantras are addressed to the respective deities. If you don't understand, you should keep quiet.

Every individual would try seriously to understand the significance of the ancient culture and never forget its cultural values without to strive to acquire the status of a great person. Always strive to become a good person.

Ravana was a great man. Rama is the example par excellence of a good man. Both had mastered the same studies: but how different were their natures. Ravana, though endowed with extraordinary learning, was himself destroyed and was the cause of the destruction of his entire clan, because of one bad quality of desire. Hiranyakasipu, the master of all the five elements, was ruined by his evil quality of anger. Duryodhana was ruined by greed. He refused to give even five villages to the Pandavas. All these persons not only destroyed themselves, they were the cause of the utter destruction of their entire clans. (Even one evil trait is enough to cause ruin. Then imagine how much worse a fate one will be faced with if one has all six evil qualities of lust, anger, greed, pride, envy, and hatred).

Without these eternal human values, of what use is your education? It is therefore necessary to include these ancient values in our modern education system.

Along with intellectual acumen, you must have the right virtues connected with ties of spiritual insight is the wealth that you should go after. In the absence of virtue, wealth merely makes bloat with pride and ostentation, destroys humanness, and eclipses human values. What should a learned person bring out? He should manifest the qualities of compassion, love, forbearance, peace, kindness, etc., which come from the heart. But, today, there is no compassion, there is only fashion.

Good behavior, good intellect, commitment to truth, devotion, discipline, sense of duty - these are the six aims of education.

You are writing a large number of good books and giving discourses to spread the message of love and service. It is not enough if these are propagated; you should put into practice what you learn.

In general, modern education does not fulfil the aim of life. You gather graduate and postgraduate degrees, but these are mere burdens on your minds. What comfort do you derive from these degrees?

Penniless, illiterate persons go to sleep without a care in the world. But educated persons with many degrees to their credit, acquired at great cost, wander about hunting for a job, almost facing starvation.

Educated person should be transformed to become compassionate. Just as you try hard to sharpen your intellect, you should broaden your heart also. If this fact is not realized, of what use is your intelligence and learning? With proper education, both the mind and heart should be transformed.

Sathya (truth) and Dharma (righteousness) were the guiding principles for all students. Besides, vocational training for various trades like carpentry, pottery, blacksmithy, etc. was given so that the pupils may be trained for life and may become capable of earning their livelihood in a righteous way.

It is significant to repeat that education is not solely for the purpose of earning a living. It must lead you to experience bliss. Of what use are the job and the wealth if there is no happiness? Modern human is in constant search for wealth. Just as the Earth revolves round the Sun, human is going round money. (Even a beggar can get money. Is that sort of income worth acquiring)

Human is an amalgam of humanity, animality and Divinity. It is a tragedy if person cannot get rid of the animality, it is a greater tragedy if person cannot cultivate own Divinity.
What will happen to you when you become a decrepit old person, when your body becomes weak, legs stagger and vision fails, and you are no better than a leather puppet and are an object of ridicule for the world.

It is imperative that you imbibe the Divine qualities. You should grow up as an intelligent, sensible, and compassionate person with human qualities.

When you see an evil person, you will become aware of your own bad qualities. When you see a good man, your own goodness will come to your mind. Thus, your good or bad qualities have intimate common relationship with others. All people are bound together by their innate common qualities. It is necessary to unify all humanity. When such unity is achieved, then the divinity immanent in human beings will manifest.

Do not hate anybody. While helping, you need not discriminate. Help anybody in need. But you must keep in your heart good people only. That is why I say, "You cannot always oblige, but you can always speak obligingly." Do not make friends indiscriminately. Always enquire into the good and evil in your fellowmen and then choose your company.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "Three-in-one now," Chapter 25; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "Maaya and mayaa," Chapter 27; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 12. "Dedicated for defence," Chapter 1; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "Transformation is what I want," Chapter 25; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Krishna's life and message," Chapter 40; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 32. Part 2. "True education liberates," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Baba. Summer Showers in Brindavan, 174 - 181; 1978).

Namaste - Reet

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 6 -7 Oct 2006

Educational Contemplation Through Examples of Vedas and Great Epics. Part 3

Let's turn our minds towards contemplation of the Rama and Krishna Avatars, their leelas (the Divine plays) and miracle powers. It is one of the surest method of cultivating the Divine in human, as the lesson of spiritual science through examples.

The Ramayana is intended to promote the reign of Truth and Righteousness on the Earth. Krishna was intended to give a perennial message to the world. He sought nothing for himself. He kept nothing for himself. He gave away everything to the people. He slayed his maternal uncle, Kamsa. He installed on the throne Kamsa's father Ugrasena. He befriended the Pandavas, defeated the Kauravas and crowned Dharmaja as the emperor. He did not make himself king. He was a king without a crown. He was the king of kings. He had no kingdom of his own. But he ruled over the hearts of the millions. It is this profound truth that is proclaimed by the Krishna-thathwa (Krishna's principle, truth, essence).

If you recognise the distinction, between Krishna and Rama, you will appreciate better the nature of Krishna. Krishna always smiled at the outset and carried out his task later. For Rama, the deed came first and then the smile. Krishna made women cry. Rama wept for the sake of women. Rama went into the battle only after-having a strong cause for it. Krishna first provoked the conflict and then determined its outcome. The Krishna principle revels in delight. The Rama principle is based on the concept of obligation. The ways of Avatars' actions are different, however, the final aim is the same - help to rise human's spirituality to the higher level through the power of their names, different examples, actions and statements, rites, parables and mysteries.

The Name is redolent with the Divine Glory; so when it is turned over in the mind it transmutes it into an instrument for liberation from delusion. Take the name, Navaneethachora (Butter-thief) that is used for Krishna. It does not mean a person who runs away with the butter that gopis have stored. It is not the stuff called butter, that is got by churning curdled milk, that He stole. It is the butter of Faith, won by the churning process called 'yearning,' from the curdled milk called, 'worldly experiences.' He covets only this 'butter.' When Yasoda chided the child Krishna for this 'theft,' He replied, " But Mother, they like me for stealing it; they are sorry if I do not; they churn it not; they churn it in the hope that I will steal it; when I steal, their hearts are illumined and they awake."

Among all the wondrous adventures that astounded people during His childhood, which revealed to them the Divinity that had come among them, the Kaalinga episode is most meaningful. The serpent Kaalinga was poisoning the waters of the Yamuna and the atmosphere over it, with its breath; all who approached that area, fell dead. But, Krishna, the Divine Boy, jumped into the depths, forced the foul snake to rise above the level of the river, and leaping on its rapid range of hoods, He danced upon them with His tender lotus feet. The pressure of those soft silken soles was enough to force the deadly poison out from the fangs of the monstrous cobra and render it harmless for ever. The Kaalinga episode is a valuable lesson in spiritual sadhana.

In the Manasa-sarovar (the deep placid mind-lake) of every one, there lurks a poisonous cobra, with six hoods - lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride and hate - infesting the air and destroying all who near it. The name of the Lord, when it dives into the depths, forces it to come up to the surface, so that it may be destroyed. So allow the Divine in you, to Lord over the mind; let Him trample on the hissing hoods, and tame the vicious vipe; let it vomit the venom, become pious and sweet. This is the sadhana the episode teaches, the duty it enjoins.

Like all avatars, Krishna announced His advent to the world, bit by bit, step by step, testing every time how far the reality will be accepted by the masses. The signs and miracles were intended, then as now, to proclaim the Avatar. Even while in the cradle, Yasoda had a surprise from the child one day. She was singing lullabies and relating stories to send the child to sleep. One day, she told the Ramayana story - how Dhasharatha had four sons, how the eldest son, Rama, grew; how Rama was about to be enthroned as Crown Prince; how his step-mother persuaded his father to send him as an exile into forest for fourteen years; how a golden deer appeared before his dearly beloved wife; how he pursued wicked Ravana who had played this trick to get Rama out of the way, came to the hermitage at that time and carried her away to his island kingdom. As she said this, the child seemed to be terribly angry. It held forth Its hand, and cried, "Lakshman! Give Me My bow and arrow." The mother remembered that Lakshmana was the brother who accompanied Rama to the forest and she was convinced that He who was Rama had come as Krishna to the world again.

Another meaningful story is devotion of gopis that is the example of gopies fusion into Oneness with God in full. Inner feeling of Oneness is the initial point of Atmic consciousness. From this the spiritual education begins all other types of education are likely buildings on this base.

Gopala (cowherd boy) Krishna left gopis (cowherd maiden) and the Gokula and reached Madhura. The whole of Gokula was suffering from the pangs of separation. Every day, the gopikas were looking at the path along which Gopala might return. They were waiting to have his vision. Madhava (God, name for Krishna), who knew the minds of the gopikas, sent his friend Uddhava to console them.

As soon as gopikas realised that Krishna had not come, but sent his friend to console them they fell on the ground. At that time, Uddhava came out and wanted to give them news of Krishna. Their minds did not agree to a direct conversation with Uddhava. They took a Bee i.e. Bhramara (the word Bhramara is a Sanskrit word for bee and this episode is known as Bhramara Gita) as an intermediary.

Uddhava tried to explain to the gopikas that Krishna is God himself and that He has no qualities and that He is omnipresent. He advised them that since Krishna was omnipresent, there was no need for them to feel sorry that he was away.

However, from the very beginning, the gopikas were used to worshiping the pure, clean sathwik form of Krishna. Having been used to worshiping a form, they could not readily agree to think of Krishna as a formless Divine aspect.

Gopikas long for Krisha's form and addressing the Bee the following: "Oh, Bhramara! He may be a great Yogeswara to the Yogis, but to us, he is Nanda Kisora and we want him in the form in which we know him. We do not want him in the form of a Yogeswara". Will it be possible to get rid of all the darkness in the world by simply bringing a message about some brilliant light.

"Oh, Bee, by simply bringing in messages, is our sorrow going to be diminished?". By the pangs of separation from Krishna, our hearts have become heavy and we have become weak. Oh, Bee, we need Gopala, but not the message. Do what you may, bring Gopala to us and show him to us. We heard that you are a friend of Gopala. We also heard that Krishna will readily accept a friend's advice. Please go back to Madhura and make efforts to bring Krishna to Gokula."

Another gopika took up the conversation and said, "We have only one mind, and even that mind has gone with Gopala. We do not have another mind to listen to you and appreciate that aspect of formless Divinity that you are preaching. If we had more minds than one, we would have gladly listened to you, but now it is not possible for us to listen at all".

To this, Uddhava said, "Gopikas, at least, listen to the message that God has sent, read the note that I have brought and send a reply." The gopikas then said, "Gokulam is a small village, there are no big schools here. We are illiterate and cannot read the note. For one who is used to enjoying what is immortal, a letter does not mean anything."

Another gopika said, "By the suffering of separation, our bodies have become hot and unbearable and it is possible that because of this heat, the letter may get burnt. Alternatively, the letter may get drenched by the tears of sorrow from our eyes. In either case, it will not be possible for us to read the letter sent by Krishna.?

When he heard these sacred thoughts of the gopikas, several ideas were sprouting in the mind of Uddhava. He was a great scholar, but he did not realise the intensity of the suffering of the gopikas. Within himself, he tried to understand each and every word uttered by the gopikas and gave it a sacred Vedic meaning.

Gopikas after having surrendered themselves to one aspect, Krishna's form, they would not worship any other aspect. Uddhava recognised that there is a high level of concentration on the object.

Gopikas attention was directed towards Atma only. Since the gopikas were habituated to worship a form, they had secured this easily.

Uddhava recognised the ideas that were in the gopikas minds and could understand their suffering. They said, "Oh, Bee! Our mind is able to picture all the mischievous things that Krishna did. Although in the superficial form, Krishna and we are different, yet, we are identical so far as our ideas are concerned. You may teach us many kinds of worship involving the formless aspect. It will not appeal to us. It is easy to preach - anyone can do so - but it is difficult to put it into practice. We have been waiting for Krishna's return".

The mind of human beings has three states- state of nothingness, state of thinking of diverse things and state of concentration. It is very difficult to attain the state of concentration. It will come only after a lot of effort. Amongst the people who could reach the state of concentration, the gopikas were at the highest level.

(Today, people have several minds, several offerings, several paths, several ideas and thoughts. (There is nothing to say about the mind's third state of concentration). People are living in diversity and have become distant from oneness).

Whatever be the difficulties through which they had to pass, the gopikas exhibited only one mind and only one objective.They said, they would wait for Krishna till eternity with their eyes looking to him. By showing such determination, the gopikas were showing the ideal Saguna (with qualities, with form, materialized) path for humanity towards Atmic conciousness. (The other is Nirguna path - without qualities, attributeless, formless - what is more difficult to follow and worship).

Here is important to note that if we look at Bhagavatha and interpret what is contained therein superficially, we will misunderstand it greatly.

Parikshith (Emperor of Kuru dynasty; grandson of Arjuna) asked the sage Suka if there was a possibility of the gopikas attaining salvation if they go along the path which they were following. He asked how the gopikas, who attached importance to body consciousness and worshipped a form, get salvation. To this, Suka replied, "If you completely and unwaveringly believe that Krishna is God, you will then accept a form. He is of infinite number of forms and is like an infinite ocean. You may compare gopikas to small tributaries or canals. They may have some aspects of attachment. But, once this small tributary gets into the ocean, will the ocean be polluted or will the tributary be purified?"

God is like the infinite ocean. If the individual goes and merges him/herself into the infinite Divine, he/she will also become the Divine. So, do not pay attention to the ideas and thoughts of human, but pay attention to desire of going and merging with the Divine.

(Those of you who make an effort to spend at least a part of your time with the thought of the Divine, will surely take the sacred path. If you spend all your life in earning money and thinking of your family and your relations, what kind of help will you get from such thoughts after your death.)

That is why Suka advised Parikshith to spend the last days of his life in listening to Bhagavatha. The whole of Bhagavatha consists of methods of making life sacred. You must make every effort to make good use of this opportunity).

Before every incarnation, two collaborators for the task on which the incarnation comes, also appear - the Mayashakthi (deluding power) and Yogashakthi (power of comunion with the Divine). Maya comes as the elder sister to warn the wicked; Yoga comes as the elder brother, to enthuse and keep constant company. Maya thrust Kamsa deeper and deeper into perdition, so that his downfall will be more terrible and educative. But, in this Kali Yuga, the wicked have to be reformed and reconstructed, through love and compassion. The only weapon which can transform the vile and the vicious is the Name of the Lord uttered with Love.

The advice to all people of Kali Yuga: try to live in the present. The present is not just ordinary present, it is omnipresent. The future is the consequence of the present. The present is the consequence of the past. The tree of the past gives the seed of the present, which grows into the tree of the future.

Between the tree of the past and the tree of the future, the present is the seed, which is of utmost significance. It gets sustenance from neethi (morality). Without neethi, the human race is bound to be ruined, and even its existence is impossible.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 7. "Three-in-one now," Chapter 25; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 10. "Maaya and mayaa," Chapter 27; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 12. "Dedicated for defence," Chapter 1; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 20. "Transformation is what I want," Chapter 25; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Krishna's life and message," Chapter 40; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 32. Part 2. "True education liberates," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Baba. Summer Showers in Brindavan, 174 - 181; 1978).

Namaste - Reet