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Swami teaches....Part 88

 

        

Links to Swami Teaches - Part 87

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 7 - 8 Dec. 2006
The Divine within you

Part 1

When people listened to Swami's discourses and conversations year after year, they have come out of the coils of material desires and have now only one desire: to win mental peace, through a course of strict sadhana. So, they come again and again, to draw inspiration and win instruction for spiritual success. "Discover your own path to enlightnment with diligence," Buddha has said. Swami's Divine illumination and His Teaching are helping to discover the personal spiritual paths for everyone.

However, the strong rule exists: before beginning any spiritual action there is a need to clear the mind of all thoughts which disturb person.

The all-pervading Cosmic Consciousness is termed as Divinity. But, there is none who has seen that omnipresent Divinity. It is only a human being who can contemplate on and realise the Cosmic Person. In fact, human life itself is the manifestation of the Divine power.
There is no one in this world in whose heart God does not dwell as the indweller. Therefore, is meditation required to visualise such an all-pervading and omnipresent God? There are many who teach different techniques of meditation today. However, meditation is meant to acquire purity of the spiritual heart, for, without attaining purity of the heart, the seat of awareness, God cannot be realised.
 

It is essential to note that from the moment television and other virtual entertainments made its appearance, the mind of human has become more polluted. Acts of violence were not so rampant previously, especially among youth. Today T.V. is installed in every hut. For instance, people watch the T.V. even while taking food. The result is that all the foul things seen on the T.V. are being consumed by the viewer. Concentration on the T.V. affects one's view of the world. The scenes, thoughts and actions displayed on the T.V. set fill the minds of the viewers. Unknowingly, agitations and illfeelings enter their minds.

Without discipline (inner and outer), the mind of human is turned into a wild elephant in rut. You have to catch it young and train it so that its strength and skill can be useful and harmless to life around.
 

Discipline comes to the rescue, during crisis, when the world flows towards you, as a dark flood of hate or derision, or when those in whom you put your trust shun contact and shy away. At this period of life, when you are in the flush of youth with your physical, intellectual and mental equipment in perfect trim, you must resolve to keep it running on right; lines, and not injuring itself, or the operators. Discipline must be welcomed; it should not be enforced by an outside agency. It must be spontaneously sought after, and sincerely practised.
 

Discipline and the exercise of authority must be there, but, modified by Love. Without a certain amount of restraint and some use of authority (to press good things on unwilling minds), no progress can be made. (The child has to be persuaded much against its will to eat rice and curry, when it has to be familiarised with them. The sick man has to be reprimanded, if he refuses the drug that can cure him).

Love is not something that waxes and wanes. It is unchanging. It must spread wider and wider till it becomes all-embracing. Such Love is the Divine.


We should realise that one who has given us this human birth may be expected to take care of us in one way or another. It is needless to aspire after wealth, position, fame or power. If you do your duty, all these will come to you of their own accord. Enthrone in your heart the love of God.


Only if there is water in the tank, you can get water in the tap. If the tank is dry, how can you get water from the tap? If you fill the tank of your heart with the Divine Love, you can have love towards everyone and receive love from everyone.


Once that love is enshrined in you, the whole world will be yours. If you are a slave of desire, you are the slave of the world. If you have conquered desire, the world will be at your feet.

Recognise the truth and pursue your studies on this recognition.


Whatever learning one may acquire,

Whatever degrees one may flaunt,
Whatever power or position one may wield,
Whatever japa or worship one may perform,
One cannot achieve awareness
Unless one has deep Love of God.

Love is everything. Truth and Love should be regarded as the two eyes of every person. Truth and Love can be regarded as the distilled essence of all the Sastras. Love is the quintessence of all the Dharma Sastras; it is the goal of all religions. If we drink nectar of Love and Truth, we do not need anything else to sustain us. Love and Truth cannot be taught by gurus or learnt from books. They may be set forth in granthas (books), but you will not experience their gandham (fragrance). They can be acquired only by living them in life.


The Truth that is in all beings is also in you. Search for that; discover that unity; that source of courage, of love, of wisdom. When the Truth is known, faith is rendered firm. When the truth is known that it is a rope, faith in its harmlessness is made firm, and fear that it is a snake disappears. Let people know the Truth; they will then grow in faith and the faith will endow them with great energy and enthusiasm. The rest will follow, and dharma (righteousness) can flourish in this land as well as in the world.

The Gita declares that the Atma residing in all beings is one and the same. Nor is that all. It also declares that all human beings in the world are a fragment of the Divine.


Today the Bhagavad Gita is being preached from street to street. It is revered as a sacred book. Similarly the other sacred books are worshipped as spiritual texts. But is anything being done to practice what the sacred books teach?


(Many eminent persons have declared their belief in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of Man. The Brotherhood of Man is considered a great ideal. The Gita has presented a higher ideal. But we know how brothers fall out, take their differences right up to the Supreme Court and ruin their families. How can the mere fact of being brothers be considered a great virtue in itself?


How many are aware of this truth and how many are living up to this pronouncement? Very few, indeed. In spite of the prodigious propagation of the Gita, how many are practising its teachings? How many are leading exemplary lives? Few. In this situation, it is enough if you adhere to one thing).

I repeat once more: Swami asks thousands times through different aspects to develop the universal outlook that the Spirit that dwells in all beings is one and the same Cosmic Spirit (Cosmic Consciousness). When this consciousness of oneness is realised by all, the world will experience peace and prosperity.


Swami often reiterates that He is God. But, He also reminds that you are also verily God. You should not give scope for any confusion and difference of opinion in this regard. Everyone of you are embodiments of divinity in reality. When you develop such a firm conviction, you can visualise God in every human being. It is only in keeping with this concept that the expression Yad bhavam tad bhavati (as is the feeling, so is the result) asserted in the scriptures. To speak the truth, real Atma Sakshatkara (Self realisation) is the merging of the individual self (Jiva) with Brahman (Supreme Self). Anyone you come across, is verily God. How can there be human beings without such omnipresent divinity?

Thus, all relationships in this world are in fact, Atmic relationships only. The worldly relationships have pictorially born from these relationships. Without Atmic unity diversity cannot exist.


God is pure and attributeless. He assumes a particular form and serves the human beings in many ways. Right from now, realise this truth that all names and forms are His. You can see God anywhere and everywhere.

Whoever it may be, whether one is a devotee or a believer, an aspirant or an unbeliever, his/her actions will determine what rewards or punishments person gets in life. You sometimes think: "The Lord has protected me in this manner or punished me in this way." It is not directly the Lord who has protected you. It is not the function of the Divine. It is your prayer that has protected you. Your good actions have saved you.


Hence, whatever happens to human, good or bad, it is the result of own deeds. God is a witness. God is the cause of creation, protection and mergence.


(Current is flowing in an electric wire. When you switch it on, the light burns, when you switch it off, the light goes. But it is not the light that is coming or going. It is the operation of the switch which brings the light or turns it off. The current is one, but the uses are many and diverse.


In all these ways it discharges a creative function. It also gives protection in various ways through light, fan, etc. But, if out of a mistaken sense of gratitude, you touch a live wire, it will give you a shock, which may even prove fatal).

God acts as creator, protector and destroyer. You must show your gratitude to God by your actions, not by words. You have to learn how to make proper use of the things provided for you. Your good conduct, in the form of God, gives you protection. He is present in you as Prajna (Constant Integrated Awareness). The Vedas have declared: "Prajnanam Brahma," (Consciousness is Supreme Reality).

The Lord who is within you is giving you protection (by digesting the food you eat and nourishing the entire body). If you act against the dictates of your heart and conscience, God will punish you. All that you see outside is only the reflection of your inner being. The good or the bad you experience are the reflection of your feelings. Do not delude yourselves that by merely offering worship in a temple, you have earned the grace of God. If you worship God, but harass the people around you, will you earn the Divine grace? Your prayers earn a plus for you in your spiritual balance sheet. By causing harm to people you earn a minus. The result of this plus and minus is zero. It is, therefore, of primary importance that you should develop a consciousness of the divinity present in all beings.


"Become one with Me; be devoted to Me; sacrifice unto Me; bow down to Me. Thus having made thy heart steadfast in Me, taking Me as the Supreme Goal, thou shalt surely come to Me," the sacred ancient text declares.


Once, thieves broke into the Krishna temple. When Ramakrishna and Mathuranath, known scolar came by there and discovered that Krishna's idol was absolutely bare and that every jewel had been stolen, Mathuranath fell into a rage and began blaming Krishna Himself. "You are adored as the Guardian of the fourteen worlds, but you cannot guard even the jewels on your own body," he said. Ramakrishna reprimanded him soundly for this sacrilege, saying, "Krishna has Lakshmi as His Consort, and for Him your gold and gems are as cheap as dust. What is gold but dust in another form?" He made Mathuranath repent for his silly outburst, making him aware of the true nature of God-head.


If only you surrender your wish and will, your fancies and fantasies to God, He will lead you aright and give you peace and joy.


Leave everything to God; accept whatever happens, as His Will.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 11. "Thirst and quest," Chapter 5 and "Mind'irs, not mandhirs," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 14. "Sneha," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 21. "Conquest Of Desire," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 24. "The human predicament and the Divine," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Triple transformation : Sankraanthi's call," Chapter 3; Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse "Purity of the Heart is True Sadhana." 9th October 2005, Prashanti Nilayam).

Namaste - Reet


Light and Love

Swami teaches... 9 -10 Dec. 2006
The Divine Within You


Part 2

Develop firm faith in the principle of unity in all that you come across in the world. If you do not develop firm faith in this principle, it is possible that you will worship one form of God and hate another. If you are not able to develop such faith, ignore it and do not make it a matter of dispute and strife. Do not ever attribute duality to God. God is always one and only one. When you are able to understand and develop firm faith in the oneness of God, your life will go on smoothly.

You may not be able to understand this principle of oneness of divinity, but in due course when you are able to recognise the principle with a mature mind, you will understand that truth is one, not two. For instance, there are thousands members of Sai virtual groups. Each single member appears to be different. But, they are all members of Sai virtual groups.


For realization the Atmic unity people need different positive and negative experiences in infinite diverse forms (shapes), connections and actions. The realization that Atmic unity is pictorially an endless fractal (by the modern science) what carries on the human existence on the arena of life.

Human is born helpless, and is laid on the lap of society. Society gives him/her a name and a form, a personality, an individuality, an armour of beliefs, a playground of doubts and diversions. Human is the only animal that knows it has to die, and that yearns to survive death or by pass the fangs of death.. Human alone has the strange thirst after the nectar, that confers immortality. That is human's special quest, the quest for the Truth that emancipates.


This birth has been undertaken by every human being for the special mission: the mission of crucifying the ego on the cross of compassion. An opportunity to be of some service to fellowmen comes to you as a gift from God. Serve with that sense of gratitude, for it is God who accepts it from you.

Lead simple lives; do not develop an attraction for high life, gaudy outlandish dress and manners; invite the reverential attention of those who need service. Emphasise simplicity and sincerity, more than pomp and show. Make the mind, the shrine. Have at first mind'irs, then mandhirs. Try to utilise the temples and halls that already exist. Let the temples that are fast being depleted of pilgrims become once again centres of spiritual vibration.


Decorations and detonations tend to draw the mind away from the essential; people indulge in these things more to show themselves off and impress their importance on the public. During the festivals and celebrations, or even in daily life, people should not indulge in exhibitionistic display.


Stir well the sugar of God in the tasteless water of worldly affairs, and it becomes drinkable. Have faith that it is adoration of Swami that you are doing, through the work allotted to you; then, it becomes sadhana (spiritual practice) through which you can win Grace.

The first steps in sadhana are to practise silence. Then, you can more easily recognise the galloping of the mind behind worldly happiness. Restrain its movements; turn it inside, into the calm lake of bliss that lies deep in the heart. Get over fear, by establishing your mind in the One, for fear can arise only when there is another.


The different kinds of sadhana like fasting, meditation, etc., would help to develop one's faith in the omnipresent God who, resides as the indweller in you. People generally think that God gave darshan to such and such person. But the truth is God never gives darshan to people who have no purity of the heart. The moment you attain purity of the heart, the omnipresent God will manifest right in front of you.


There is no need to undertake any complex system of meditation. One can undertake the simple sadhana of constant contemplation on the omnipresent God. Few teach such simple methods nowadays. People listen to and read about several intriguing kinds of meditation and start their sadhana that catches their interest or imagination.

There are three doorways to hell for people: kama (lust), krodha (hatred) and lobha (greed). Desires tend to get out of bounds. Hence it is essential to try to curb them as far as possible. The process of controlling desires is called sadhana.


The literal meaning of sadhana is the effort you make to achieve the object you desire or to reach the goal you have in view. Sadhana is thus the primary means to realise your aim or objective. A second meaning of the term is sa-dhana, that is wealth that is associated with Divinity.


Dhana is described in three ways as aiswarya (treasure), sampath (wealth,excellence, virtue) and dhana (material wealth). All of them refer to the same thing. The wealth will not accompany us when we give up the body. If wealth is lost, it can be regained. If strength is lost, it may be recovered. But if life is lost it cannot be got back.
Hence, while life still remains, one must strive to acquire the Divine wealth that is imperishable and everlasting. Your conduct constitutes this Divine wealth. It is only by the way we live that we can acquire this Divine wealth.

Good conduct alone is our real wealth. Good qualities alone constitute our real aiswarya. An unsullied character, expressing itself in a pure and perfect life, constitutes the most precious riches one can possess. But people today have given up these three and are seeking worldly goods and, immersed in their own concerns, are imagining that they are leading pious lives. The Divine cannot be attained through such delusions.


What great things are you going to achieve during your waking hours, merely for earning a living, while forgetting God?


(Keep the mind busy with these, for once it strays into the by lanes of the world, it will get infected with evil).

Give up pride of your status, wealth, scholarship, or official position. "Can't a big officer, a rich merchant, a great scholar, a highly respected person in society descend to this level of clubbing with this sorrowing human?" Do not ask such silly questions. These qualifications of which you boast will disappear with death or sometimes sooner. The Ananda that you give and the Love that you share will be your lasting possessions.


Guard the tiny flame of sympathy with suffering, from the gusts of cynicism and miserly greed. Service to others is the duty you owe to society, which has given you the culture you fed on the breath you live on the warmth you crave for, and the security you seek.

Understand the deep significance of service; it will lead to your becoming ideal leaders, who are in great need today, all over the world. You fulfil yourselves, by sharing; you empty yourselves by grabbing.


Your eyes give you away easily; look upon all without the guilt of lust or scandal; speak to all, of all with love blooming out of adoration; let your hands give never take what is not yours. Treat the distressed, the diseased, the old, the helpless, the child with great respect, and intelligent consideration.


Every day, when the lady of the house measures the rice for preparing lunch or dinner, let her place a handful in a separate pot, kept for the purpose, with the words, 'For God;' at the end of the week, let her cook that rice separately and give it to as many poor people as the quantity justifies. That will be a daily act of dedicatory service.


(There are many who come forward when there is a call for social service; but, most of them crave for publicity, seeking cameramen whenever they help others and very disappointed when they are not mentioned in newspapers. Such people push themselves forward, and climb into positions of authority, just to parade their importance before the public. They forget that service is worship, that each act of service is a flower placed at the feet of the Lord, and that, if the act is tainted with ego, it is as if the flower is infested with slimy insect pests).


Of course, you should not plunge into action spurred by momentary impulse; ponder deeply over the pros and cons; weigh the expected benefits against the likely harm; then act so that you escape pain and you do not inflict pain. This is true in worldly matters as well as it, the spiritual field.


Society is regarded as an assemblage of heads. This is not exactly so. Society means the unified expression of the collective group. It implies recognition of the duty by everyone in the community to live in harmony with others. It must be realised that individual happiness is dependent on society.

People today are trying to master every kind of knowledge, but they are unable to discover their own true nature. This is what Prahlada told his father Hiranyakasipu when he said that although Hiranyakasipu had conquered all the worlds, he had not conquered his senses. By conquering the worlds one may become the supreme sovereign over them. But one who has mastered the senses is supreme over all rulers, the king of kings, the king maker.

The Taithiriya Upanishad (what is a section of the Krishna Yajur Veda) contains significant message given to the disciples by the preceptor at the end of their education in the preceptor's hermitage. In this message, two paths are indicated: the Preyo-marga and the Sreyo-marga. The Preyo-marga relates to practices which will give pleasure to the senses from time to time. These are momentary, impermanent and unreal. Most people prefer this path of Preyas. Very few seek to follow the Sreyo-marga (the sublime path), which confers permanent and unchanging good. The reason is it takes time to yield the benefits.

People usually are eager to get quick results and does not want to wait. People, as a rule are in a hurry all the time. Even their desires are confined to immediate results. They desire a good name, a good environment and an enjoyable life. They do not seek good knowledge, good conduct or good sense, which are the requisites for following the Sreyo-marga. The path of Preyas (the mundane path) is concerned with achieving temporary name, power and position.


Summoning all the students, the ancient preceptor would address them thus: "Dear students! What is the primary aim of education? It is the cultivation of humility. Character is the life-breath of education." Among them
were injunctions such as "Worship the mother as God. Worship the father as God." They were enjoined not to give up truth in any circumstance and not to forsake righteousness at any time.


Through these teachings, the students of those days were filled with high ideals and were inspired to lead exemplary Godly lives.


Do not hesitate to practice humility and obedience, discipline and compassion. Humility will bring out the true qualities of an educated person. Reverence for elders, loving regard for parents, discriminating between right and wrong, adoring the Lords - these are the hallmarks of humility in an educated person. It is the fragrance of human life.

The another significant message of the Taithiriya Upanishad is the following.


Among the necessities of life food comes first. But a full stomach does not fully satisfy the mind. Person cannot merely rest on a satisfied appetite. Person has to move about and engage him/herself in work. While doing work, one has to ask: "What am I doing? Why am I doing and how am I doing? When one enquires into these questions, he/she can derive meaning and joy from the work. In this way, person recognises the purpose and value of what he is doing.


Realising what is good in own actions, person makes it a part of personal life. Person experiences the joy derived from the actions and shares that joy with others. Starting with food, attaining bliss is the final goal of life.

There is a remarkable feature of this Upanishad. The other Upanishads are relevant to specific categories of people. But the Taithiriya Upanishad is valid for celibates, householders, renunciants and ascetics equally in its message and its practical application. It has thus an appeal and relevance for every human being. Its teachings are essential for persons in the four asramas - stages in life. Everything in it is in the form of a mantras - sacred statements.


Mantra does not merely mean pronouncements like "Om Namassivaya" or "Om Namo Narayanaya." Mantra is that which redeems by contemplation and gets established in the mind by the process of contemplation on it. Mantras are as the spiritual tools which help to solve the difficulties and problems by the help of the Divine within and by the help of the faith to God. In this Upanishad, every utterance has the import of mantra. Every word in it is filled with the power of mantra.


"Sathyam vada. Dharmam chara" (Speak the truth; practise righteousness).
 

"Om iti Brahma" (Om is Brahmam).
 

"Sathyam, Jnanam, Anantham Brahma" (Truth, knowledge, all are Brahamam).
 

"Ekam Sath; Vipraah bahudhaa vadanthi" (The Real is One; the wise call it by many names).
 

"Ekoham bahusyaam" (I am One; let me become many).
 

"Eko vasi sarvabhutha antharaatma" (The One is the Indweller in all beings).


These aphoristic pronouncements acquired the form and power of mantras spread throughout the world and generated bliss among people by raising their consciousness. Swami's Teaching serves the same purpose for individuals who have faith in Swami, in His omnipresent Cosmic Form.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 11. "Thirst and quest," Chapter 5 and "Mind'irs, not mandhirs," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 14. "Sneha," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 21. "Conquest Of Desire," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 24. "The human predicament and the Divine," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Triple transformation : Sankraanthi's call," Chapter 3; Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse "Purity of the Heart is True Sadhana." 9th October 2005, Prashanti Nilayam).


Namaste - Reet


Light and Love

Swami teaches... 11 - 12 Dec. 2006
The Divine Within You

Part 3


People often use two terms 'Deva' (God) and 'Jiva' (individual being). In fact, there is no Jiva at all. All are embodiments of Divinity only.


Since there is no entity other than Brahman in this Universe, is the Vedic declaration. The Upanishads explain our true nature in the Mahavakya Tattwamasi (That Thou Art). In another Mahavakya, they declare Prajnanam Brahma (Brahman is Supreme Consciousness). To whom shall this declaration refer? Again, it is to that God Absolute. Thus, all the Vedas and the Upanishads proclaim the non-dual concept of Jiva and Deva as one and only one.


People often ascribe distinctions between different forms of divinity, for example Rama, Krishna, etc. Since they try to identify themselves with a particular form, they entertain feelings of difference. By doing so, they move away from God and remain as jivas only. All such differences exist in the individuals only. He is in you, you are verily God. If it is not so, why should the Vedas declare Tattwamasi? You develop the firm conviction that you and God are only one. When you attain such a firm conviction, you become one with God and worshipping and praying to God with great love. Continue to love God and develop faith in Him. Only then all your doubts will be cleared and you will be able to understand the nature of divinity in full. Doubt implies duality, that is, a feeling of separation between you and God. In fact, there are no two entities ? God and you. However, when you wish to entangle yourself in worldly matters, duality comes.

There is nothing wrong in studying the scriptures. But you have to put into practice the teachings which you value and obtain different experiences. Confusion results from studying the views of different authors. Hold fast to one belief and adhere to one path. If you persevere in this manner, divinity will manifest itself spontaneously in due course. It is wise to choose Swami for this author. Not only the power of His Teaching and words but also the Divine power of His Cosmic Form guides the spiritual aspirant as his/her faith to Swami, as the Divine Oneness in the heart of seeker the Divine Light.

The right cause for human is to pursue the path of God-realisation - Oneness with Cosmic Consciousness. (If person is unable to do this, he/she should strive at least to behave as a human being).

There is no human being without desire and thirst. It is natural in daily life to have a desire for certain necessities and comforts. Among the necessities for daily living, three are most essential food for sustenance, garments to wear and shelter for dwelling.


The desire for these is natural. Even in this there are two kinds of desires: One is natural. The other is excessive and misdirected desire. "I want a house" is a legitimate desire and one should seek it. But it is greedy to possess two or more houses.


Today greed is more prevalent among people than desire for necessities. With the result that human is afflicted with grief and worry and has become a stranger to contentment.

 
Whenever one is thirsty one has to drink water. When will this thirst end? Thirst will not end as long as life lasts. Even at the moment of death people feel thirsty. But how is the thirst for material things to be quenched? It is possible through the efflux of time to get rid of iron shackles when they get rusty, but it is not easy to get rid of thrishna (desire and thirst).

Thrishna is the cause of limitless desires. If desires are fulfilled, one's ahamkara (ego) gets inflated. If they are not realised hatred develops.

By Upanishad according to thrishna and actions human beings are classified under four categories: daiva (Divine), manava (human), danava (demonic) and pasutva (animal)*. (The description of these categories have explained in previous serial article several months ago. Therefore here they are shortly noted as 'PS').


In these human's categories less or more five kinds of Fire-Principle are present. They are: Udara-Agni, Manda-Agni, Kama-Agni, Soka-Agni and Badavaa-Agni.


Udara-Agni refers to the burning sensation caused by hunger (Fire in the stomach).


Manda-Agni refers to the burning feeling caused by excessive eating resulting in indigestion.
 

Kama-Agni is the burning agony in the mind caused by numerous desires and passions.
 

SokaAgni does not refer only to consuming grief caused by worldly disappointments and losses. It pertains also to the burning sorrow felt by one who is yearning for God thirsting for experiencing oneness with the Divine.
 

(In the Bhagavad Gita the first canto is titled Vishada-Yoga (the Yoga of Despondency). What is this Vishada? Does it relate to any worldly concerns? Is it despondency about the fate of kinsmen and friends? Can such a grief be described as a form of yoga. Clearly this grief is not associated with worldly desires or human relationships? Arjuna's grief arose from out of a concern for dharma (duty) and for God. He realised that in the war (that was about to be waged) many would die. As a consequence of their death, Dharma (righteousness) will suffer a mortal blow. There will be confusion of castes. It was because of his concern for Dharma and his faith in God that Arjuna was grief stricken, his grief turned into a form of yoga (quest for communion with the Divine). Likewise, this Soka-Agni is not consuming sorrow over the lack of worldly possessions. It is a grief felt for the sake of dharma and God).
 

Badavaa-Agni is the burning feeling caused in a person by dire diseases and death.

All these five types of "fire" are related to physical conditions. They have no relation to the Atma (Spirit).The Atma is a witness to all the experiences resulting from these five forms of fires.

The chief quality that distinguishes a human from an animal is awareness of the Atma and wisdom the power of discrimination as to what is permanent and what is transient. When does a human lose this capacity? When he/her is self-centred. It is because social obligations have lost their hold. Morality and integrity have reached their nadir. People are wasting their lives without any awareness of what is society, what is spirituality, what is faith and devotion, what is true friendship, alias sneha, etc.

The word sneha - what is the eighth of nine stages of bhakthi (devotion) described in the Bhagavatha, Bhagavad Gita and other texts - is usually translated as friendship, a term that has been understandably vulgarized by application to certain transitory relationships between living beings.
 

Friends come together as a result of a variety of reasons and circumstances which are mostly of worldly and temporary interest. People who have ample resources gain friends quickly, as do also those who have a great deal of patronage in their hands or can distribute favours. Those in authority also gather friends, who, of course, stay on during fair weather but disappear when the authority fades.
 

Proverb tells that when the lake is full there are also frogs in plenty, but when it runs dry not a single croak is heard.

Friendship ought to be a spiritual bond, a heart to heart kinship based on full understanding of and pure dedication of one to another. Genuine friendship can only be possible between one Atman and another, that is to say, between two persons who have each realized that Atman is the core of their being. (Nowhere on the mundane plane can you get the genuine sneha which is declared as the penultimate stage to total surrender and dedication to God, among the trivial, transitory friendships of worldlings).

Below are some examples of sneha from the Great Epics.

Arjuna and Krishna had this genuine sneha between them. Arjuna saw Krishna as his sakha (friend). The two often ate meals from the same plate, and were ready to help each other under all circumstances. Do not be under the impression that Arjuna was insidiously overpowered by Krishna. He was mature in character, well-versed in the Vedic lore and a redoubtable warrior and bowman full of courage and heroism. Krishna was the Supreme Being, Arjuna the naroththoma (best human). It was a friendship between the embodiment of the highest and the embodiment of the best. Krishna was the Avataric (incarnated) person; Arjuna was the Anandic (blissful) person.
 

Arjuna was often addressed by Krishna as Kuru nandhana. This name has a deep significance. Kuru means act, activity, karma. Nandhana means happy, delighted. Kuru nandhana, therefore, means he who is delighted while engaged in activity. Throughout the eighteen chapters of the Gita, Arjuna is alert and active, participating vigilantly in every turn of argument.
 

The sneha (friendship) stage of Arjuna is the stage when all distinctions between the devotee and God disappear and the two friends are One. When this stage of utter trust, unshakeable faith, and complete absence of doubt, fear and anxiety is reached, the next stage of atmanivedan is natural and easy to cover. This is real friendship to which the youth must aspire. See God in every being and then true sneha will blossom, This type of true sneha can come only when you follow the advice of Krishna. "He who has no trace of hatred towards any creature, who is friendly and compassionate towards all, who is free from the bondage of 'I' and 'mine,' who takes pain and pleasure as equally welcome and who is forbearing in spite of provocation..."

Bhishma (the guardian and patriarch in Mahabharatha, remarkable for his wisdom and unflinching devotion to God) adored Krishna even when He was rushing towards him with His chakra. (disk; wheel; a weapon used by Krishna) to take his life. His sense of saranagathi (total surrender to Divinity) did not desert him at the point of death at the hands of the very person whom he revered as God: "Kill me or save me, I shall not falter in my loyalty," he said.

In the Ramayana, there is a following episode. Rama and Lakshmana were combing the forests to discover where Sita was. They were tired and thirsty. Suddenly, they came upon a clear pool and, while placing their bows on the ground, dropped their arrows which partially sank into the wet bank. After slaking their thirst they put the bows on their shoulders and pulled the arrows out from the bank. Rama noticed a stain of blood at the tip of his arrow and was curious to find out how it came there. Lakshmana discovered a little frog that had been hit by Rama's arrow when he dropped it on the ground.
 

Rama told the wounded frog, "Poor thing! Why did you not cry out when you were hit?" The frog replied, "Whenever in trouble, I cry out to you Rama. But, when Rama Himself inflicts pain, whom am I to cry out to? I accepted it as His Grace."

Develop these qualities in you, for they are the signs of true sneha, for it is only when you are proceeding on the Godward journey along the nine stages of bhakthi.

*PS:
 

1. Of these four categories, the first is the divinely human. "Daivam manusha roopena" the Divine in human form. This means that the Supreme is present as Vishnu in the heart of the human being. The "Divinely human" being is one who is conscious of the Divinity residing within, who dedicates all the actions to the Divine, who recognises the Divinity present equally in all beings and has love and compassion for all living beings and devotes own life to the service of God.
 

2. Manava-manavatwa (human-humanness) calls for a life dedicated to Sathya and Dharma. "Sathya Dharma Bhavo marthyaha" (A human who is devoted to Truth and Righteousness). In this world of delusion, the one who has the sights on Truth and Righteousness, preaches and practises the two virtues and shows love and compassion to the fellow-beings in the conviction that to be truly human is the mark of a human being, is a humane-human being. Such a human engages in charitable activities, harmonizes thoughts, words and deeds and leads a godly life even though living as a householder. Performing his/her duties, such person stands out as an example to the other human beings.

 
3. Manava-danavatva - the demonic human being.The demonic human is one who is addicted to drink, who harasses people, inflicts pain on others for selfish reasons, who is without love or compassion, and who is totally immersed in selfish concerns.
 

4. The fourth category is the Manava-pasutvam (bestial-human being). The human without wisdom is equal to an animal. What is the animal nature? Governed wholly by the senses, considering sensual enjoyment as the sole purpose of the life, leading a sensuous life from birth to death, spending the time in eating and sleeping and forgetting the basic human nature.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 11. "Thirst and quest," Chapter 5 and "Mind'irs, not mandhirs," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 14. "Sneha," Chapter 10; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 21. "Conquest Of Desire," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 24. "The human predicament and the Divine," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 29. "Triple transformation : Sankraanthi's call," Chapter 3; Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The Divine Discourse "Purity of the Heart is True Sadhana." 9th October 2005, Prashanti Nilayam).
 

Namaste - Reet


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