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Swami teaches....Part 84

 

   

Links to Swami Teaches - Part 83

Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches...20 - 25 Oct. 2006
Part 1. Towards the Visible Kalpatharu

The motto:

"You must see, hear, study, observe, experience and reflect. You will learn then that I am Love (Prema); that I give only one thing, Bliss (Ananda) through Love. My task is to grant solace, courage, and Peace (Shanthi). That is to say, my characteristics are the ancient, authentic ones. Only the manifested form is new."
Sathya Sai Baba

In the field of the heart grows a kalpatharu (wish fulfilling tree). Around it all kinds of shrubs have grown. If the shrubs are cleared, the wish-fulfilling tree will be visible.

During the ages avatars and saints have taught people how was possible to see this wish-fulfilling tree. At present time Swami teaches humanity how to manage and enjoy the illumination of kalpatharu within and to share its light with other human beings.

From the heart emanate good qualities as kindness, compassion, sympathy, non-violence and equal-mindedness and also evil qualities like anger, envy, hatred, cruelty, greed. Human has the power of discrimination through buddhi (intellect) to decide what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil. Human has also to cultivate the spirit of enquiry to be convinced what is right or wrong and live up to the convictions. By the unity of these three, the light of spiritual wisdom illumines the heart. The mere presence of the light is not enough. We should seek to go forward with the help of that illumination.

Divinity is in the microcosm and in the macrocosm. Everything is a combination of atoms and vibrations, energy from level of galaxies to atoms and subatomic particles. Whatever you study is only about the physical world and the gross matter. If you want real lasting happiness you can get it only by union with God what is your wish fulfilling tree.

The Hindu sastras (ancient scriptures) have declared that the heart is the abode of God. The sacred Upanishads (Vedic metaphysical treatises) have referred to the heart as a cave in which the Divine dwells. It is stated in the Bible that the human with a pure heart can see God. The Muslims regard the heart as located between the two fingers of God. The Guru of the Sikhs, Nanak declared that only a human with a pure heart can be regarded as a true Sikh.

The various faiths have affirmed that the heart is the abode of God and the body has been described as the temple of God.

The sadhus (the saints and mystics) have defined the heart in another way. Treating the Omkar mantra as a rocking cradle the Mahavakya (Divine maxim on Absolute Reality), "Thath Thwam Asi" ("That Thou art") as a bed and Chaithanyam (the Universal Consciousness) as a baby, the great souls of the seven worlds have sung lullabies to the Lord. For them the heart is the cradle of the Lord, as the veritable dwelling of the Divine.

Many great souls have experienced the heart as a lotus. Although rooted in mire, and growing up in muddy water, the lotus shines in purity. When the lotus opens its petals and looks up it seems to be saying: "O Lord, please come and dwell in me." Though surrounded by polluted water it is not polluted by it. Though you are living in a corrupt world and are born in the mire of an unrighteous society you must turn your mind towards God and make your heart a shrine for God. This is the message of the lotus to human beings.

Eternal Spirit remains with you. It is timeless and has no age. You must regard the body also as the temple of the Spirit; bear in mind that Divinity is ever within you and also within other humans. When you realise this truth can you begin to experience the Divine.

Swami's famous quotation "God is One. Love is God. Live in Love" has a deep meaning. Only by this means can humanity, despite the many divisions that exist at present, be unified. Absorb the teachings of all great seers, prophets from the past and Swami. (Everyone is entitled to accept what is good from any source).

The other Swami's famous well known quotation declares that "There is only one caste, the caste of humanity. There is only one religion, the religion of Love. There is only one language, the language of the heart. There is only one God, He is omnipresent."

These two Swami's Divine directions guide all the diverse communities in the nations should be united. Mankind should become one family. All religions, all scriptures, all spiritual teachings point only to one truth - the unity of Divinity. You may profess whatever faith you like. But you should not disparage another's beliefs. It is a travesty of devotion.

No religion should allow decrying of other faiths. It is not a religion at all that cavils at other religions. It is a form of arrogance. The great saints who worshipped Christ or Rama or Krishna or Buddha or other founders of religion were inspired by their profound teachings. But how many of the followers of these faiths live up to these teachings today? If the teachings of the founder of a religion are not followed, can it be called a religion? Those who, in the name of religion, further their selfish interests are bringing discredit on the founder of the religion.

(We also see many people who out of selfishness are not only ungrateful to their community, their parents and their gurus, but even to God).

It is said that atom bombs will reduce the world to ashes. But those who are promoting religious bigotry and hatred are doing worse damage than what the atom bombs can do. They are destroying the love and compassion in human hearts. They are breaking up mankind into fragments. There is no greater sin than this.

What the world needs today is the redeeming and unifying force of love which continually expands and embraces more and more people. By giving up narrow ideas regarding one's religion, nation or caste, by developing a broad outlook and cultivating the company of the good, you can elevate your life and make it meaningful and satisfying.

The role of company is significant.

In the Ramayana, we see that by his association with Hanuman, Vibhishana, the brother of Ravana, was transformed into a devotee of the Lord. On the other hand, Kaikeyi, because of the influences of the evil-minded Manthara, brought infamy and widowhood upon herself and estranged herself from her noble son Bharata.

Association with the evil-minded can lead to endless troubles. Pay any price to avoid the company of the bad. The company of the good takes you near to God. Sadhana makes you dear to the Lord. When you are near and dear you become one with God. When you have realised God, you have secured everything.

Without God, everything else is valueless.

In the Treta Yuga, Sri Rama came to establish the reign of Sathya and Dharma (Truth and Righteousness). In the Dwapara Yuga, Sri Krishna came with the mission to promote Prema and Shanthi (Love and Peace). In the Kali Yuga the present yuga, Sathya Dharma Shanthi and Prema are the purposes of the Divine Mission. When you adhere and follow to these four principles, Ahimsa (Non-violence) issues as a natural result. You should join good company which will help you to entertain sacred thoughts to be translated into action.

Mere intellect without practical action is valueless. Only thought that is combined with action deserves to be esteemed. It is not possible for any one to determine whether one is good or bad by examining person's heart. You have to judge by person's actions and behaviour.

(Sacred scriptures are worshipped in shrines today. But people are forgetting the purposes for which these sacred books came into existence. By a mere study of books no change can take place in our lives. What is studied must be put into practice. Knowledge that is not put into practice is like food that is not digested).

The entire cosmos is governed by action. In such a context there is no purpose in indulging in intellectual speculation without putting knowledge into practice.

The Gita also lays stress on the doctrine of action. Krishna declared: "There is nothing I need in this world for which I must strive. Nevertheless I am continuously engaged in action because if I, who am to stand out as an example to the world, do not perform actions, the people of the world will renounce activities."

Moreover, if thoughts are not translated into deeds they will develop into a kind of disease. Desires continually crop up in human who is always wanting something. Human yearns for various things. When the yearning is turned towards God and becomes an intense longing for spiritual attainments, it is called Prema or selfless Love. It is not related to the mind. It springs from the heart. That is why divinity can be realised only through the heart.

There are many examples to illustrate this truth. Look at the love of the gopis. When their mothers-in-law beat them or their husbands abused them they did not breathe a word, they did not complain, because they carried the image of Krishna in their hearts. Would it have been possible for them to put up with all the troubles inflicted on them if their love for Krishna was mere sensuous love? They were unlettered simple village folk but their love for the Lord was so transcendent, pure and unalloyed devotion.

Every good thought must spur one to action. For instance when a sadhaka sings a hymn he/she must feel immersed in its meaning and become one with it. It is the heart that brings about such a feeling of oneness. God resides in the heart. He is beyond the reach of external objects.

(Many modern people shed copious tears for achieving wealth, health, position and fame. People are carried away by the stream of their tears. Do they shed a single tear for getting the grace of God or winning His love)?

The Bharatiya Culture which laid emphasis on four the basic aims of life - Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha, looked upon life as a journey to the Divine - the attainment of Moksha (Liberation).

Forgetting the great truths given to the world by Bharatiya sages and seers, people are leading utterly meaningless lives, unaware of the potentiality of the human to become the Divine.

(There is, for instance, the simple gesture of folding hands when one greets another in offering "Namaskar." What is the inner significance of this gesture? For one thing, the coming together of the two palms is a demonstration of the unity that subsumes the multiplicity. For another, it represents the offering of the five sense organs and the five organs of action to the Lord as an act of surrender).

The word Dharma, which is really bound up with an infinite variety of meanings, is being inadequately described by one word, duty, in modem age. Duty is something which is connected with an individual, a predicament, or with a particular time or country. On the other hand, Dharma is eternal, the same for everyone, everywhere. It expresses the significance of the inner Atma. The birth place of Dharma is the heart. What emanates from the heart as a pure idea, when translated into righteous actions will be called dharma.

In reality Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi, Prema and Ahimsa - five human values should be deemed as the five-fold life breaths or Pancha Pranas (five vital airs of the human body). Since the values constitute the life-breath, one who does not radiate the value in his actions is deemed to be lifeless.

There is no greater Dharma than Truth (Sathya). The mansion of Dharma is raised on the foundation of Truth. Though people may follow several spiritual paths, Truth is the most important of all anywhere and at any time, for any individual. It is only from Truth that all creation has originated, including human beings. The whole creation merges back into Truth.

The Upanishad says: "Sathyam Bruyaath" (speak truth). This is the physical aspect of the directive. "Priyam Bruyaath." This is the dharmic or virtuous aspect which means you should speak Truth in a nice and palatable way.
Next is "Na Bruyaath Sathyam apriyam." This is the spiritual aspect. You should avoid speaking even truth when it is not pleasing the person. At the same time, simply because it satisfies the other person, don't speak untruth.

Truth is changeless and eternal. (This conviction is not traceable among persons in the modern world). Use your own intelligence and hold fast to the truth. Do not become slaves of others. You must use your own capacity for enquiry and discrimination. You must arrive at the truth for yourself and put it into practice.

The famous scientist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) invented great scientific truths. But, in the last stage of his life he began to study Bhagavad Gita and other sacred scriptures and realising the Truth what reflects from his statements. Some of them:

1. "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed."

2. "Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose.... From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men - above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received."

3. "Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value."

4. "Quantum mechanics is very impressive. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory produces a good deal but it hardly brings us closer to the secret of the Old One (God R.P.). I am at all events convinced that He does not play dice."

The meaning of the last famous single sentence ("God does not play dice") separate from context is difficult to understand. This quotation is from Einstein's letter to other famous physicist Max Born.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 17. "The bliss of Divine love," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18. "One God : basic truth of all faiths," Chapter 30; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 19. "The immoral Bhaktas," Chapter 22; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "Purify The World By Sankeerthana," Chapter 8; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Adhere to Truth: Realise Divinity within," Chapter 16).

Namaste - Reet


Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches...26 - 29 Oct. 2006
Part 2. Towards the Visible Kalpatharu

The daily chores are repeated endlessly - bathing and eating and sleeping. But there is no (or nearly no) yearning to see the Unseen Divine. It is only when you develop that desire will your life become meaningful. It is that that will give you peace. However, Sage Vasishta says, "O! Rama! The boundless ocean can be drunk dry by man with great ease. The enormous Sumeru mountain can be plucked from the face of the earth with great ease. The flames of a huge conflagration can be swallowed with great ease. But controlling the mind is far more difficult than all these." Therefore, if one succeeds in overwhelming the mind, one achieves the awareness of the Atma. The bliss that one earns afterwards is the highest kind of happiness.

You do not seek that which should be sought, do not experience that which has to be experienced, you are plunged in grief and do not have peace of mind. That is why the Upanishads declared: "Lead me from the unreal to the Real, from darkness to Light, from death to Immortality." The meaning of this prayer is that human should realise the permanent unchanging Reality, Atma that underlies the changing appearances of the phenomenal world, shed the ignorance of own true nature and seek oneness with the Immortal Atma that resides in the body which is subject to decay and death.

The spiritual quest does not mean merely engaging oneself in meditation, japa (repetition of Lord's Name or some sacred formula) and the like. It embraces all activities aimed at realising the Atma which has assumed a human form.

Modern boys ask, "Where is God? I want to see and catch Him." You are aware of air because without air you cannot survive. Can you see or catch it? Similarly God is everywhere. Though you cannot see Him, you cannot live without God what is Cosmic Consciousness.

Consciousness which is all-pervasive and in all beings can be comprehended only by human beings.

It is Divinity from this you get conscience which is limited to body. The word 'conscious' is related to senses. Consciousness is everywhere. All these three are in human. From the body identification you have to rise to pure Atma (Cosmic Consciousness). Conscience warns you when you move on the wrong path. You. should not entertain any thoughts which do not conform to the dictates of your conscience. As you feel so you become.

Your troubles are often self-created. If you develop firm faith in God and surrender to His Will, He Will not fail you. This is the concept of saranagathi (absolute Self-surrender, submission to the Will of the Divine). The bliss that can be derived from this surrender to God cannot be got through any other means.

Today several scientists of modern science too has made some steps towards Atma. Human consciousness by modern science is a holographic projection originating from the Source, Absolute, Atma, Brahman, God... (Names are different for the same Great One). Swami has repeated this Truth, as a rule, in every His Discourse by different angles and in different contexts.

Our troubles and joys by some insights of modern science are infinite number of possible projections, or "quantum probabilities", and that projection can be changed by the power of discrimination and detachment as being a witness, an observer.

However, in society today largely spirituality is being reviled. People say often they have no shanthi (peace), no clear insight of their own true reality, Self. Is is because of multiplying the infinite number desires. One who is bereft of desires is peaceful. You must breed only good thoughts and progress forward transcending all thoughts and reaching a state of ending the mind which is but a conglomeration of thoughts.

Where is the initial point for spiritual development? By ancient saints and Swami it is the body.

The body must be regarded as the base for spiritual activity. With it as the basis, you must engage yourself in spiritual activity. By seeking the higher spiritual knowledge can human rise above the level of the animal. The animal is concerned only with the present. Human alone can realise that the present is the product of the past and that the future will be determined by what one does in the present. This requires steadfastness and determination to adhere to the path of righteousness whatever may be the difficulties.

You must ask yourselves how far the studies and actions have helped to transform your lives. You will find that there has been no significant change. But you need not wait to assess the fruits of your actions. It is enough if you realise what is your duty and decide to carry it out regardless of consequences. Especially youth should turn their minds away from distractions and concentrate on practising human values.

You must make continuous effort to cultivate your heart and mind on right lines. Karma Yoga and Jnana Yoga are considered important for this purpose. But these disciplines are not easy to practise.

Bhakti (devotion to the Lord) Yoga, the path of devotion, is the easiest, holiest and superior to these. The devotee seeks to enjoy the bliss of continuous contemplation of the Divine and does not even desire Moksha mergence in the Divine.

Devotion means giving up all other desires and dedicating all actions and thoughts to God. When you love God with this consciousness, the love results in Self-realisation.

Bhakti calls for utilising the mind, speech and body to worship the Lord. It represents total Love. Devotion and Love are inseparable and interdependent.

Narada declared that worshipping the Lord with boundless love is bhakti. Vyasa held that performing worship with love and adoration is bhakti. Garga rishi declared that serving the Lord with purity of mind, speech and body is bhakti. Yajnavalkya (Great Upanishadic personage, priest and guru of King Janaka in Ramayana) held that true bhakti consists in controlling the mind, turning it inwards and enjoying the bliss of communion with the Divine.

Another view of bhakti is concentration of the mind on God and experiencing oneness with the Divine.

Although many sages have expressed different views about the nature of bhakti, the basic characteristic of devotion is Love. So the essence of Bhakti is Love and not formal exercises in japa or worship of various kinds.

Love is present in every human being in however small a measure.

Ordinarily people regard offering worship to God, reciting His name and meditating on Him as constituting bhakti. True devotion really means installing the Divine in the heart and enjoying the bliss of that experience. It is the mystic union of the individual soul and the Universal. When the devotee prays ardently from the depths of the heart and love gushes forth, bhakti is manifested. Winning love through love is the vital aspect of devotion. Prayer does not mean merely appealing to God for favours. It is a means of conveying to God one's troubles, desires and aspirations and offering all one's merits and the fruits of one's actions to God. The basic quality of devotion is the yearning for realising oneness with the Divine.

Devotion is of two kinds. One is acquiring knowledge about God and transforming oneself thereby. This is a natural process by which one starts with the physical, proceeds to the mental and ultimately attains the spiritual goal of mergence in the Divine. But in taking to this path of knowledge, only the individual concerned can benefit.

In the second kind of devotion, the devotee not only benefits himself, but shares his experience with others and benefits them also.

Such a devotee not only saves himself but helps others to save themselves.

What kind of devotion do you experience, respected reader of this compilation by Swami?

Love is flowing in an endless stream through humanity all the time. God is the master of Time. The same individual passes through stages when he is termed as child, adult, old person, etc, due to the passage of time. There is nothing more precious in the world than Time. People tend to waste their time in selfish pursuits instead of devoting it to selfless service. They are eager to receive help from others, but have no desire to render help.

(By the way, there are two types of human beings - the degraded and the sublime. The degraded are those who seek or receive things from others and not only forget to repay the obligation, but even try to harm those who have helped them. The sublime are those whose natural trait is to go to the help of others. If they give a word they will try to honour it whatever the difficulties and obstacles).

Love of the Divine is not developed by secular education or scriptural studies. It springs from the heart. One who is filled with Love of the Divine will not be attracted by anything, else in the world. Nor will he submit to anything demeaning or unworthy.

Nine ways of expressing devotion to God and attaining Him have been described by the sages. (These nine ways have described in the earlier compilations of the serial too. However, here they are described in the other context and from other angles).

1. Sravanam (listening to God's glories). King Parikshit, the moment he learnt that he had been cursed by Sringi to meet with death in seven days, summoned all the sages to ascertain how best he could utilise every moment of the remaining life span given to him.

When the Sage Suka entered the assemblage, the king requested him to redeem his life by converting what was a curse into a blessing. Suka taught the king continuously night and day all about the Supreme Lord and His incarnations and glories. Listening to Suka's words, Parikshit was immersed in an ocean of bliss. All the sages present felt equally ecstatic. By enjoying the stories about the Lord, Parikshit was filled with devotion and experienced the Lord within him. He exemplifies how devotion can find the highest expression in merely listening to the glories of the Lord. (This story have briefly described in the previous serial "Rainbow of Divine Leelas).

2. Keerthanam (singing the glories of God). Sage Suka taught how by listening to the exploits of the Lord, singing His glories and constantly reciting His name, the supreme goal of God realisation can be achieved. Suka experienced the bliss of union with the Brahman by revelling in singing His glories.

This way, expressing the devotion to the Lord has a broader meaning of bhajans singing.

Devotion, the sages felt, should not be solely for achieving individual salvation. It should find expression in some kind of collective action.

Offering worship or prayer in seclusion and for one's own sake savours of some kind of selfishness. The ancients felt that the Divine cannot be attained by one who is self-centered.

The Indian sages valued community prayers for the welfare of the world as good for the individual and the world. In the year 1459 A.D., Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru, started the practice of bhajans (community singing).

It should be note a big difference between Keerthanam (individual singing the Glory of the Lord) and Sankeerthanam (collectictive singing the Glory of the Lord) Keerthanam is an individual affair. It is singing by an individual for the fulfilment of his/her prayers. Sankeerthanam aims at the well-being of the whole Universe. Namely this method of singing bhajans was first initiated by Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

Sankeerthana aims at demonstrating unity in diversity. When all the participants combine to sing in unison with one voice, it is described as Sankeerthana.

Sankeerthana is of four kinds:

a. Guna Sankeerthana applies to the kind of bhajan in which the devotee recites the auspicious qualities of the Divine, experiences oneness with the Divine, and acquires the Godly qualities.

b. Leela Sankeerthana refers to the enjoyment by the devotee of the sacred sport of the Divine in ecstatic dancing and singing and being totally absorbed in it. This is exemplified by the Gita Govindam of Jayadeva (Sanskrit poet; wrote the Gita Govinda, which describes the early life of Krishna).

c. Bhaava Sankeerthana is illustrated by Radha and Meera, who express their different feelings towards God and identifies themselves with the Divine in every mood of devotion. In general they expressed their devotion in the five forms of santha (serenity), sakhya (friendliness), vaatsalya (eternal love), anuraaga (affection) and madhura (sweetness).

d. Naama Sankeerthana: Chaithanya was the exponent of this form of Keerthana. "All names are yours. There is nothing which does not bear the imprint of your name or form" Chaithanya revelled in singing the name of the Lord as signifying all that was beautiful and glorious in the whole Universe.

What then is the essence of Sankeerthana? Its essential purpose is to earn the love of God. Combining one's voice, tune, feeling and rhythm to the appropriate beat of the song, the devotee should immerse in the singing. Harmonising the feeling with devotion and Love, the sacred words of the song should be an outpouring of love towards God.

When the song is rendered without understanding the meaning of the words and without any inner feeling or genuine love for God, it is a mechanical performance. bhaava (feeling), raaga (melody) and thaala (rhythm) are the essentials for proper singing.

Even the name Bharath signifies the combination of these three elements. (Bha-Ra-Tha). In every action in daily life, the combination of these three elements should be observed. This rule can be applied even to one's studies.

Bhaava, in relation to study of a subject, means understanding the subject thoroughly. Raaga implies cultivating a love for the subject and Thaala means expressing one's knowledge coherently and clearly.

If you have devotional feeling, it should be expressed by the tongue joining in the bhajan. Only then can it be called Sankeerthana - singing in unison with others. Even non-believers and agnostics nod their heads in appreciation when they listen to devotional music.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 17. "The bliss of Divine love," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18. "One God : basic truth of all faiths," Chapter 30; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 19. "The immoral Bhaktas," Chapter 22; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "Purify The World By Sankeerthana," Chapter 8; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Adhere to Truth: Realise Divinity within," Chapter 16; Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba. Vidya Vahini. Chapter XI).


Namaste - Reet


Sai Ram

Light and Love

Swami teaches...30 Oct. - 1 Nov. 2006
Part 3. Towards the Visible Kalpatharu

It was in this spirit of intense love for the Lord and pure devotion that bhajans were started in the past. The feelings expressed in the bhajans should melt the hearts of the participants and move them to their depths.

The practice of bhajans singing gathered momentum over the years and in 1798, the great South Indian saint-composer Tyagaraja invested bhajans with raga and tala (musical form and rhythm). When bhajans were first introduced in villages, Tyagaraja began with the song: "Come, all ye blessed ones, come, and let us join in singing the glory of Sri Rama".

Today, all the five elements in the world--space, air, fire, water and the earth--are polluted. You cannot get pure water or pure air. The sounds you hear are impure. The Earth is polluted. The Kali Yuga has become Kalmasha Yuga (the age of impurity). To purify all this the means is chanting the names of the Lord.

We always chant at the end of all prayers and bhajans: "Om Shanthi! Shanthi! Shanthi! Why are we mentioning Shanthi three times? It is to invoke peace for body, mind and Atma (Inner Self). Atma Shanthi can, not be there without Shanthi of body and mind. Hence we invoke peace of all the three entities because we are not one but three persons in one. The one that we think we are - at the physical (body) plane; the one others think we are - mind; the one we really are - Atma.

Let's continue to the other ways with the next ways of expressing devotion to God have been described by the sages.

3. Vishnusmaranam (ever remembering the Lord). Prahlada (son of the demon king Hiranyakasipu. As a boy, he was beaten, trampled, and cast into fire and water; but he saw only God everywhere) is the supreme example of the devotee who always centered his thoughts on Vishnu regardless of whether he was subject to pain or pleasure. Prahlada was fully conscious that the body composed of the five elements was perishable while the Indweller was eternal. All his thoughts were ever concentrated on God and repetition of the Name of God saved him. (By legend once God Narayana/Vishnu Himself appeared in man-lion form from within a pillar to destroy the demon king).

4. Paadasevanam (worshipping the Lord's feet). Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, is the supreme example of one who dedicated herself totally to the worship of the Lord's feet, regarding the Feet as the source of the entire creation, holding them supremely sacred owing to their being washed by Brahma himself, wondering at them as feet which had measured the whole Cosmos, and venerating them as all-pervading.

5. Archanam (offering daily worship). Emperor Prithu (Emperor of great virtue, born in the line of Druva, grandson of Brahma - the Creator in the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva; as a child, he performed severe penance and attained self-renunciation) stands out as the exemplar of this type of devotion. In all circumstances, Prithu adhered to the worship of Hari (destroyer of sins; name for God Vishnu as his primary occupation). He saw the Lord in everything in the whole Universe.

6. Vandanam (prostration). Akrura (Kamsa's messenger, see "Swami teaches... Rainbow of Divine Leelas," part 3) is an illustrious example of a devotee who sanctified his life by constantly prostrating before the Lord and offering obeisance to Him with humility and purity. Vandanam does not mean merely folding the palms together and offering salutations. It means offering to the Lord all that the the sense organs and the organs of action do in a spirit of total surrender. Akrura worshipped the Lord in this spirit of total submission to the Divine will.

7. Daasyam (dedicated service). Hanuman is the great exemplar of this type of devotion. Concentrating on the name of Rama and rendering service to Rama were Hanuman's preoccupation all the time. He was a master of the 64 sciences and arts. Rama described him as a hero of peace, who possessed immense strength and wisdom. While building the bridge to Lanka, Hanuman hurled rocks into the sea uttering the name of Rama and they rose to the surface. Each hair of Hanuman was echoing the name of Rama. By his devoted services to the Lord he 'redeemed his life and became immortal.

8. Sneham (affection, tenderness, friendliness) or Maithri (affection for the name of God, comradeship with the good). The great exemplar of this kind of devotion is Arjuna. Arjuna and Krishna lived together closely. He experienced innumerable troubles and was subjected to calumny and abuse. But through all these experiences, he did not allow his faith in Krishna to waver. Looking upon Krishna as friend, kinsman Arjuna relied on Krishna for everything. Krishna, for his part, was even ready to act as Arjuna's charioteer in battle. Arjuna made Krishna the charioteer of his life.

9. Atmanivedanam (total surrender) or Atmaarpanam (surrender of the Self). Emperor Bali, the grandson of Prahlada, was an example of a devotee who completely surrendered to the Lord, offered everything he possessed to the Lord and thereby sanctified his life. He was prepared to offer his head to the Lord and go down to the nether-world.

Worship should be offered to the Divine who resides in all beings. Dedicate all actions to the Lord. This is the highest knowledge. It is the summum bonum of existence. Love should become a way of life. That alone is true devotion.

There is yet another special form of glorifying the name of the Lord. This is Naamalikhitam (writing the Name of the Lord). Contemplating on the name of the Lord mentally, uttering the name by mouth and writing the name by hand serve to perform Trikarana Suddhi (purify the mind, the speech and the action).

The name of the Lord has been glorified in different ways all over the world. The Sanskrit poet Jayadeva was one who enjoyed always the leelas (sport) of the Divine, experienced the presence of the Divine within him, felt that he had no use for anything other than God's love, merged his love in Divine Love and thereby became the very embodiment of Divine Love.

Buddha undertook spiritual pursuits and finally felt sorry that he had wasted his life in such external pursuits while he had the Lord and the Wholeness within himself.

The recitation of the names of the Lord will help to purify the atmosphere as a result of the sacred sound waves getting absorbed in the atmosphere. In the same manner, the evil thoughts arising in the mind should be diverted; and it should be filled with pure, Godly thoughts by reciting the Divine name.

Experiments in Russia and other countries have demonstrated the relationship between the food one consumes and one's mental attitudes. It was found, for instance, that a child which had been fed on apple juice while it was growing in the womb, exhibited a love for apples after birth. These facts indirectly show the significance and power of mental activity.

Meditation on God is one of the steps for achieving steadiness of mind. Concentration is needed for every action such as walking on road, talking, reading, etc. You must concentrate with single minded devotion on God.

Performing work as worship is also tantamount to meditation. Having full faith in the Divinity within is self-confidence. This is the foundation on which the walls of self-satisfaction have to be raised with self-sacrifice as roof, so that the mansion of Self- Realisation is complete.

You will realise that the body, mind and intellect are only your instruments. The single letter "I" is the Inner self or Atma while the three letter 'eye' refers to the body. You are the master and should make use of these instruments.

The conclusion from three parts.

Dharma is the weapon. Sathya is the attitude. Truth and Love is common to all peoples in the world (mostly in hidden form yet). To speak the truth, be devoted to the Self, Atma, real Atma Sakshatkara (realisation of the Self) is the merging of the individual self (Jiva) with Brahman, God (Supreme Self). If peoples of planet practise Sathya and Dharma, they have no need to have bombs. They will learn to enjoy the Divine radiation of Kalpatharu what appears to become visible then.

This statement is nice to illustrate with philosopher's Thomas Paine (1737-1809) known quotation "The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 17. "The bliss of Divine love," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 18. "One God : basic truth of all faiths," Chapter 30; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 19. "The immoral Bhaktas," Chapter 22; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 25. "Purify The World By Sankeerthana," Chapter 8; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Adhere to Truth: Realise Divinity within," Chapter 16; Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse "Purity of the Heart is True Sadhana." 9th October 2005, Prashanti Nilayam).

PS: Reference:
http://casweb.ou.edu/lgibbs/india/encyclopedia/akrura.htm


Namaste - Reet

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