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Swami teaches....Part 90



Links to Swami Teaches - Part 89

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 22 - 24 Dec 2006
Towards Awareness of Cosmic Form of the Divine

Part 1

The motto:
You all are in the Kingdom of Sai!
You all are in Sai's Home!
You all are in Sai's Light!
You all are in Sai's Heart!
I will bless you, I will bless you in
This Holy Night This is your right.
(Sai Baba)

Christ declared to the world three important things:
1. God is one.
2. He is omnipotent.
3. Do not hurt anyone.

God is the indweller in every being. Christ embarked on His mission and went about calling upon people to earn the love of God by developing love towards God. Loving your neighbor is loving God. Whether one gives you something, it is a gift from your own true Self. When you see a lack of God's Love or Grace in any condition, look again more deeper.

For example the Love of the gopees (milk-maids of Dwaraka) about which so much philosophical speculation and analysis was made before you is Sahaja Prema (Love) - the genuine Prema that is beyond physical awareness, that is unaffected by praise or blame. (It is not like the thin filament of oil floating on water, which comes off on the finger when it is touched. It is like the lotus stalk, which penetrates deep down through all the layers of water into the soil underneath; but the leaf floats above, unaffected by the water which gives it the essential environment).

Human should struggle similarly to rise above the sensory world which is inevitable environment; the sensory world tempts you to strive for this triviality and that, but like the gopees, you should discard the hankering and fix your eye on the vitally precious fountain of joy. The gopees had no other goal, no other ideal, no other wish. It was a surrender of the Self - complete unquestioned, unwavering. You must live up to the glory of your inner purity and strength.

When Jesus was born, three kings came from the East to bless the infant in Bethlehem. The first king, seeing the child, declared that he would be a great lover of God. The second one declared that God would immensely, love the child. The third one declared that Jesus is God and God is Jesus. What is the inner meaning of these statements? The first statement implies that all who love God are messengers of God. When God loves a person, he/she becomes a child of God. When a person gives up the sense of dualism and merges own consciousness in the Divine he/she becomes one with the Divine.

People professing different faiths worship God under different names: Vishnu, Siva, Ganesa, Allah, Christ, and others. The truth is there is only one God. People today try to find God in religions. But God is to be found not in mathamu (religions) but in the mathi (mind). It is only when the mind is controlled and purified that God will be recognised.

People claim to make offerings to God without knowing where He is. There is a pretence of offering everything to Brahman, but they do not know where Brahman dwells.

To get rid of such narrow ideas, the first requisite is the cultivation of love. How is love to be promoted? By "giving and forgiving" human develops love within own Self. In relation to God, this implies that you should always have the attitude of offering your heart to God.

(Today, far from having such a sacred attitude what we witness is the habit of "getting and forgetting." Human receives the love, the blessings, and the grace of God, but shows no gratitude and is immersed in own selfish pursuits. People make various efforts to achieve prosperity, success and bliss. However, most people lead a life remote from God).

To start with, human has to recognise what is the goal of life. Seekers in all countries and followers of different religions have enquired into this question of the purpose life. As a result of these enquiries, different religions arose. Jesus is the founder of the Christian faith. For centuries before Christ, Judaism existed as the religion of the Jews. The Jews believed in the coming of the Messiah to protect the people of Israel.

While the Lord is ever by the side of human who is searching for God all over the world. By exploring the external, you can never purify the internal. It is essential to transform the consciousness. Adhering to the righteous path, with a pure heart, you have to divinise your life. All spiritual disciplines have been designed only for this purpose. All the prayers, japas and pujas that are offered are intended only to purify the heart.

All those who have achieved greatness in any field - education, science, economy, etc. - have been able to do so solely because of their conduct. Neither physical strength nor wealth, nor even intellectual ability, can make one respected and honoured. It is the way one lives that confers honour and dignity on him/her. Therefore, it is only through our actions that we should strive to realise the Divine. Without right conduct, all other spiritual practices are of no avail.

The Lord has declared: "I am residing within you in the form of Vaisvanara and am consuming all the offerings you are making. I am digesting everything and providing the sustenance for your body."

God is complete Love incarnate. This Love shines equally in every human being. The way to love God is to love all and serve all.

The fragrance of a flower remains the same whether it is held in the right hand or the left. Likewise God has no distinctions such as the favoured and the excluded. (Everyone apprehends God's powers and attributes according to own limited conceptions and experiences. But narrow-minded persons cannot easily grasp the Divine's equal-mindedness. Indeed, how can a fishmonger know the value of diamonds)?

Different persons, proceeding from their own likes and dislikes, attribute to the Divine the differences existing in their own minds. God has no feelings of difference such as the good and the bad, the likable and the unwanted, the wicked and the virtuous. The sandalwood tree imparts its fragrance even to the axe that fells it. Likewise God is ever prepared to love, foster and protect equally everyone without any distinction.

It would be good to remember in brief the supreme sacrificing spirit of Karna (half-brother of the Pandavas, valiant but unfortunate eldest son of Kunthi by the Sun deity; ally of the Kauravas in the war of Mahabharatha).

Although because of his association with evil minded men, his name got tainted, no one can equal the spirit of sacrifice of Karna.

The great Mahabharatha war came to a close on the seventeenth day with the fall of Karna. The Pandavas were celebrating their great victory over Karna. The Kauravas felt utterly hopeless as Karna was their greatest warrior. The Pandavas rejoiced in the fall of their most powerful opponent. But, Krishna was sitting apart and appeared to be immersed in sadness. Arjuna went to him and asked why he was feeling sad on a day when they should be rejoicing over their victory Krishna told him that Bharath had lost its most heroic warrior that day. The hero who had brought glory and good name to Bharath had fallen. "I feel immensely sad because the country is losing such a great hero."

On hearing these words, Arjuna looked at Krishna with a feeling of amused surprise. He said: "Krishna! To ensure the victory of the Pandavas you chose the role of charioteer. Because of that, Pandavas won their victory. Instead of rejoicing over this victory, why are you feeling sad over the fall of our enemy?"

Krishna replied: "Karna is the very embodiment of sacrifice. Sacrifice is a synonym for Karna. In the entire world you can not find one other man equal in the spirit of sacrifice to Karna. In weal or woe, triumph or defeat he could not forget the quality of sacrifice. Have you got that spirit of sacrifice? No." Krishna then asked Arjuna to follow Him.

Darkness had enveloped the battlefield. Krishna was proceeding with Arjuna. In his sweet voice, Krishna was exclaiming: "Karna! Karna!" Karna was gasping for breath in his last moments. He cried: "Who is calling me? I am here." Following the direction from which the words came, Krishna went near Karna.

Before approaching Karna, Krishna assumed the form of an indigent Brahmin. Karna asked: "Who are you, Sir?" Karna was nearing his last breath. Even at that moment, without any hesitation or faltering in his voice, He put that question to the stranger Krishna, as the Brahmin replied: "For a long time I have been hearing about your reputation as a charitable person. You have acquired fame as dana (charity, giving) as Karna means the great giver. Today, not knowing about your plight, I came to ask you for a gift. You must give me a donation." "Certainly, I shall give you whatever you want," replied Karna. "I have to perform the marriage of my son. I want a small quantity of gold," said Krishna. "Oh what a pity! Please go to my wife, she will give you as much gold as you need," said Karna.

The "Brahmin" broke into laughter He said: "For the sake of a little gold have I to go all the way to Hastinapura? If you say, you are nor in a position to give me what I ask I shall leave you." Karna opened his mouth, showed the gold fillings in his teeth and said: "I shall give this to you. You can take them." Assuming a tone of revulsion, Krishna said: "What is it you suggest? Do you expect me to break your teeth and rake the gold from them? How can I do such a wicked deed? I am a Brahmin."

Karna offers his heart itself to Krishna. Immediately, Karna picked up a stone nearly, knocked out his teeth and offered them to the "Brahmin". Krishna in his guise as "Brahmin" wanted to test Karna further: "What? Are you
giving me as gift teeth dripping with blood? I cannot accept this. I am leaving," He said. Karna pleaded: "Swami, please wait for a moment." Even while He was unable to move, Karna took out his arrow and aimed it at the sky. Immediately rain dropped from the clouds. Cleaning the teeth with the rain water, Karna offered the teeth with both his hands.

Krishna then revealed his original form. Karna asked: "Who are you, Sir?" Krishna said: "I am Krishna. I admire your spirit of sacrifice. In any circumstance you have never given up your spirit of sacrifice. Ask me what you want." Beholding Krishna's beauteous form, Karna said with folded hands "Krishna! Reliever of troubles! Protector of the world! Oh Lord, who holds the Universe in yore palm, what can I seek from you? At riffs moment of my passing, I am fortunate to close my eyes gazing at your Divine form. This is my greatest blessing. This is boon enough for me. You came to me and blessed me with your form. This is enough for me. I offer my salutations to you,"

Arjuna was observing the whole scene. Krishna turned to him and said: "Are you prepared for this kind of sacrifice?" Arjuna bowed his head in silence. The Lord praised the greatness of the quality of sacrifice in man. Of all kinds of sacrifice, the greatest is the sacrifice made for God.

"Oh Lord! That heart which you gave unto me, I am offering to you. What else can I bring to offer at your lotus feet? I prostrate before you. Please accept my offering." This was the prayer addressed by Karna to Krishna.

Plant the seed of the Divine Love in your hearts. From that tree of Love you will have the fruits of faith, sacrifice, forbearance, compassion, devotion and kindness. Face every situation in life, including death, with a smile.

Likewise, in all situations and at all times, your faith in God should never leave you. It should not change according to whether your desires are fulfilled or not. Like your lifebreath, your faith should remain steady, through joy and sorrow, loss and gain, pain and pleasure. Treat whatever happens as good for you. Have that sense of fortitude. When you have faith in the Self, even wild animals will be gentle towards you.

Without spirituality, all worldly accomplishments are worthless. With all his prowess, why did Karna come to a bad end? Because of his association with the evilminded Dhuryodhana (chief and eldest of the evil-minded sons of Dhritharashtra, father of Kauravas). If he had not made common cause with Dhuryodhana, Karna would have become an effulgent star in the firmament. All his native good qualities turned into ashes because of bad association. So your company essentially determines your character.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol.2. "Sprouts of faith," Chapter 51 and "Grief and God," Chapter 52; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Where to find God," Chapter 38; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 28. "From the individual to the Divine," Chapter 33; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Be prepared for a life of sacrifice," Chapter 2).

Namaste - Reet

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 25- 26 Dec 2006
Towards Awareness of Cosmic Form of the Divine

Part 2

Today is the birthday of the founder of a great religion. Christians revere Jesus as a Messenger of God and the Son of God.

Bow to Christ and do something that increases light and life for others. Wherever you may be, go into the society and render social service in all possible ways, with faith in God and in a selfless spirit. The inexhaustible resource of spirit is equal to every demand. Have you ever come to the idea how will the world be better because you have lived?

Every human should recognise that the body has been given to render service to others. You must use the body for promoting the welfare of society. (Of what use is the endless study of books if you do not use your knowledge for the good of others)? A mind that is not utilized for imparting joy to others or a body that is not used for the service of others is totally useless.

All over the world, humanity is racked today by various difficult problems. When one problem is solved, another-series crop up. The reason for this situation is the absence of right relationship between the individual and the society.

At the very outset, we have to take note of four entities.
The first is the power that can solve any problem in a moment. This is Parameshti (the Supreme Self). In the Gita, Krishna advises Arjuna to give up all dharmas and take refuge in Him. The dharmas that are to be given up are related to the body and are the cause of innumerable worries.

As long as you do not understand the workings of Nature, everything will be worry. But once you understand them, you will be always happy. That understanding will lead you to the awareness of Parameshti (the Divine).

The second entity is Shrishti (the created Universe).

The third is Samashti (the collective entity - society or community).

The fourth is Vyakthi (the individual).

These four are not separate entities. A body consists of different organs performing different functions but they are integral parts of one body. Similarly, the primary role of the Supreme Self has to be recognized. It is when the Supreme Self is understood that the secret of creation can be grasped. When this secret is understood, the significance of society will be evident. Then the individual's role can be understood.

How to recognise the Supreme Self? By developing sacred qualities and adoring the Supreme Self, the individual understands the secret of Shrishti (creation) and the importance of society. Today if you want to understand Prakrithi (Nature or the phenomenal Universe), you have to understand Samashti.

The term Samashti encompasses all social organizations. A Samashti is made up of individuals coming together. This union of individuals is essential for realisation of the Divine.

Take, for instance, whatsoever virtual groups of devotees; people from different countries, professing different faiths and belonging to different cultures, have joined with many Sai Groups. What is their common unifying factor? It is the belief in the Sai Principle. All of them are trying to find unity in diversity. To promote unity, the concept of Samashti (collective action) has to be understood.

There are three rules to be observed in promoting collective action.

Speak the truth.
Speak what is pleasant.
Never speak what is true but not pleasing.
Truth is of the highest importance whether we consider morality, worldly life or spiritual progress.

From the ethical point of view you have to speak the truth.
In the context of worldly life, you have to speak what is pleasing.

From the spiritual point of view you have to avoid what is not pleasing even if it is true.

The Gita also teaches that one should not utter words that cause excitement, but speak the truth, which is both pleasing and wholesome. There is no greater quality than truth. Truth is God. Dharma is His ornament. Adhere to these two as the highest attributes of humanness.

There are similarly three concepts in Vedanta relating to what constitutes truth:

Paaramaarthika what relates to the Supreme,
Vyaavaahaarika what relates to worldly existence,
Praathibhasika what relates to the superimposition of the physical on the spiritual.

These three are not at variance from each other. They are the same thing in three different forms like the ocean, the waves and the foam. The same coolness and taste that exist in the ocean are to be found in the wave and the foam.

When you are considering matters relating to the world, you use the term vyaavahaarika. When you are considering experiences relating to the mind, you call them paaramaarthika (concerning the Divine). When you consider matters relating to thoughts and intuition, you describe them as praathibhasika. While the epithets are different, the underlying truth is one and the same.

To know the nature of the Divine, the first step is to understand the social process. Starting with Parameshti (the Divine), you understand Srishti (creation) and become aware of Samashti (the society or community) and realise the role of Vyakthi (the individual). The process of understanding is an integral one related to each other. Without the individual there can be no society. Without society, creation has no meaning. Although different terms have been used in Vedantic parlance to describe the different levels of awareness, the entire understanding of this unifying process is that the individual proceeds from the social to the cosmic and then to the Divine.

The relationship between the individual and God should be properly understood. God is the Samashti (all-embracing whole). The individual has to experience his/her oneness with the universal. This universal has been called the Vishva-Viraata-Svarupam (Cosmic form of the Divine). All the beings you see here are manifestations of the cosmic form. This means that all are inherently Divine. By obsession with the separateness of the individual, one fails to see the wholeness of cosmic essence.

Forget the ego in you and recognise your spiritual essence. It is attachment to the body that is the cause of human's loss of peace. As a result human has created bhinnathvam (divisiveness). Once one knows own true Self, will have no feeling of divisiveness and will recognise the Oneness of all life.

In additional for obtaining spiritual awareness spiritual seeker and student both have to remember five things what are are essential.

First is Vidhya (right education). Vidhya means that which expels darkness (the darkness of ignorance).

Second is Vijnaana (discrimination). This refers to the power to discriminate between the permanent and the transient, the true and the false.

Third is Kramashikshana (discipline). Discipline is not got from books.

Fourth is Dheshaabhimaanam (love for one's country and people).

Fifth is Sathseelam (good character). Only the person endowed with these five qualities can be regarded as a person of virtue.

Using education only for securing a mess of pottage is puerile. You must use your knowledge for bettering the lives of others. Of what use is a mountain of book knowledge, if you cannot secure real happiness as a human being?

Education is the means of unfolding the moral and spiritual potentialities of human.

The social scenario and the educational system today are riddled with many defects. Education today is concerned with imparting worldly knowledge, with no place for ethics or spirituality. It is essential to carry out a total, radical change in the educational system.

There should be a change in the student's approach to the educational process. Every student should acquire a good character, moral values, and develop a spiritual bent of mind.

These three have been held in high esteem from ancient times. (Unfortunately from the beginning of the modern era, morality has disappeared from the scene, righteousness and spirituality have, as a rule, vanished).

It is the Moon that sheds light during the night. During the day the Sun gives light and shows the way. For the three worlds the illumination comes from Dharma (righteousness). A good children is nor only a beacon for family, they are the light for the entire community.

Everybody clamours for peace, saying "I want peace." But can peace be found in the external world, which is only filled with pieces? Peace has to be found within oneself by getting rid of the "I" and desire. Peace is being destroyed by the ego and by insatiable desires also by endless worries of many kinds. People have to reduce desires and cultivate vairagya (detachment) so that they can have real peace of mind.

The Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas and the Great Epics are veritable oceans of supreme wisdom. The Sun turns every day vast quantities of water from the ocean into vapour and gives it back to the Earth in the form of rain to sustain nourishing crops for mankind. Although the amount of water vaporised by the Sun is immense, the ocean's depth does not diminish. Nor does the level of the ocean rise even by a little despite the inflow of waters from the rivers. The immensity of Bharatheeya culture is like the ocean which neither swells nor goes down.

(From days of yore, the sages of Bharath absorbed this culture and propagated it among people and ennobled their lives. Many people in foreign countries have explored the treasures of this vast reservoir of knowledge and benefited from it in many ways).

Ganapathi Sastry told you of the origin and meaning of the Sanathana (ancient) social order, as laid down in the Vedas and the Sastras. Out of the many plausible interpretations of the Sastras, you are prone to attach yourselves to the one that pleases your own prejudices; so it is essential to hear such pandits who know the authentic meaning and who will not deviate from it in order to make the exposition popular.

Listening to such talks should not end with listening only; follow it up with rumination, digestion.

So also, with the talk on the Bhagavatha, cogitate over it within the four walls of your puja room, sitting before the shrine and offering ritual worship. Do not treat the Bhagavatha as a chapter of ancient history; you can experience the thrill now, today, for ever. The Bhagavatha is for all time, for the elevation of human emotions in all climes and places. The Vedas with their meaningful rites and their deeply significant philosophy are valuable for all time.

By ancient legend, once, someone decided to worship the greatest. He fixed upon the earth, but the sea erodes the earth; the sea too is not so great since sage Agasthya drank it up; Agasthya is now a tiny star in the broad sky; but the sky was just enough for one foot of the Trivikrama (three steps form of the Lord) and the Lord is enshrined in the heart of bhaktha (devotee). So he concluded that the bhaktha was the greatest of them all.

Bhakthi (devotion) knows no caste; it saves all, ennobles all. Castes have no superiority or inferiority according to the Vedas. A sugar doll is all sugar. The hymn of Purusha Suuktha speaks of the four castes having come from four parts of His Body. The meaning is that all are equally high born and equally important. (The mouth cannot walk nor can the feet talk. It is the voice that is obeyed and the arm that protects).

Those who felt (and follow the feeling) that fighting is their righteous duty are ksatriyas; all those who feel it their duty to study the Vedas and the Sastras are brahmins - not those who feel it as their right.

Gauthama Buddha's father was so overcome with grief when he saw his son with a begging bowl in the street that he told him thus: "Every one of my ancestors was a King: what misfortune is this that a beggar was born in this line?" Buddha replied, "Every one of my ancestors had a beggar's bowl; I know of no king in my line." The father and the son walked different paths, travelled along divergent routes. The blood of the son when transfused may prove fatal to the father.

Just think for a moment whether the rich are happy, the strong are happy, the highly educated are happy or the clever are happy. No one is happy you will find. If you must be happy, one of two things must happen. All your desires must be fulfilled, or you should not have any desire. Of these, the reduction of desire is the easier path.

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol.2. "Sprouts of faith," Chapter 51 and "Grief and God," Chapter 52; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Where to find God," Chapter 38; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 28. "From the individual to the Divine," Chapter 33; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Be prepared for a life of sacrifice," Chapter 2).

Namaste - Reet

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 27 - 28 Dec 2006
Towards Awareness of Cosmic Form of the Divine

Part 3

In the Great Epics no incident is unconnected with the rest, no happening is without significance.

For example, Parasurama (an incarnation of Vishnu as man, born to destroy the arrogance of the wicked Kshatria kings) exterminated the Ksatriya rulers of his time by systematic campaigns directed against each. How then, why then, did Dasaratha (father of Rama) and Janaka (a self-realized king; Sita's father and Rama's father-in-law) survive? The truth of the matter is: Parasurama made two exceptions under which his victims could save themselves and survive. This secret was known only to these two survivors. He had resolved within himself that he would not kill a bridgegroom or a person engaged in a yaga (oblation, sacrifice, ceremony in which oblations are presented).

So, whenever Parasurama reached the frontiers of their kingdoms and was on the point of crossing them, Janaka got himself initiated in preparation for a yaga and Dasaratha fitted himself out as a bridgegroom about to wed another princess. Of course, this was according to the Divine Plan, for Dasaratha had to live to get Dasarathi and Janaka had to discoverJanaki.

The physical world is just like dreaming where all objects and happenings are interconnected from subatomic particles and energy to galaxies. The way to direct the world is through your imagination and will what is in essence the Divine Will.

The ancients understood the secrets of creation by seeking to understand the Parameshti (Supreme Creator). Through understanding creation, they realised the truth about society and the individual. Self-enquiry is the means to Self-Realisation. Self-enquiry reveals that you are not the body, the senses or the mind. You are their master. You are the Atma (Spirit). The knowledge based on the body is bhouthika jnanam (worldly knowledge). The knowledge based on the mind is sujnanam (rational knowledge). The knowledge based on the heart is' Atma jnanam (spiritual knowledge).

Recognise that the Divinity that is present in everyone is the same. Everyone is oneself, for all belong to an indivisible whole. Do not try to change anyone's mind. Do not ask others to make choices for you, do not make choices for others. The best thing you can do for others is help them make a conscious choice. Service uplifts us, delights us, satiates our hunger, expands our horizons. Service to human is worship of God, in the one who gives and the one who gets, in the helper and the helped.

Don't bother about the past. Concentrate on the present. From now on, all of you should tread a sublime path. Don't give room for mutual jealousy, hatred or ill-feeling. Follow the role' "Help ever, Hurt never."

The fulfilment, of human's life on earth consists in filling himself with the love of God and channelising, that love into acts of service, service of all who are embodiments of God. There is really no 'other' no 'neighbour', as all are expressions of the same Atma.

This was the truth proclaimed by Vedanta. Scientists are now coming to the same view through a different approach. The ancient sages proclaimed the omnipresence of God, many millennia ago.

Ramadhas and Pothana also gave expression to this truth in their poems. Scientists are now declaring that the entire Cosmos is composed of energy and its essence is Oneness on quantum energy level.

Many years ago, at a meeting in the Institute of Science, Bangalore, one scientist referred to the age of the Sun, giving a figure running into billions of years. The ancients referred to the Sun as anaadhi (without beginning), meaning that its origin is indeterminate. By merely assigning a definite number running into billions, has science-made the fact more meaningful than what the sages said? By Swami 'beginningless' is a truer description of the age of the Universe included the Sun, as certain component of the Universe. than the scientists reckoning in billions of years.

During the recent years on this century science has reached to the explanation the endless Universe with all objects in it. (Science never sounded so cool). Big Bang is an episode by the Atmic Divine play only. It is exactly as Swami explained tens years ago.

The current leading theory for the Universe holds that it emerged from a single Big Bang sometime around 13,7 billion to 15,6 (by recent data, 2006) billion years ago, undergoing an early and rapid period of inflation.
Astronomers have in recent years learned that the Universe is not just expanding, but is doing so at an ever-increasing pace. This can't be explained given the known matter and energy that exists. To account for the acceleration, theorists have conjured a product they call dark energy. (No one has seen this dark energy, and scientists don't even know what it is. But they say it's all around us. By Vedas and Swami Atma is above, around and inside; all the Universe is expression of Atma, but it is invisible and there is no physical device to measure it).

The theory of a cyclic Universe was first proposed in 2002 by Paul Steinhardt (Princeton University) and Neil Turok (Cambridge University). In a cyclic Universe, new matter and energy are created about every trillion years when two sheet-like "branes" collide along an extra dimension of space. Branes are predicted by string theory. This theory describes a series of big bangs and equally significant crunches that form a never-ending cycle of rejuvenation and destruction. In this Universe time and never ends. Space and time exist forever. The Big Bang is not the beginning of time. Rather, it is a bridge to a pre-existing contracting era.
(A weak attractive force brings our universe's two branes together in a cosmic collision. Each collision is essentially a new Big Bang that infuses the aging Universe with new matter and energy).

So the theory of cyclic universe, puts the origin of some present-day structures and events prior to the Big Bang. Steinhardt thinks the seeds of galaxy formation were created by instabilities that arose during the last contraction, before the crunch that led to "our" bang.

Steinhardt, Turok and other physicists proposed last year that our Universe might have sprung from the collapse of an extra dimension, an idea they called the Ekpyrotic Universe. (This theory was developed by Neil Turok of Cambridge University, Burt Ovrut of the University of Pennsylvania, and Paul Steinhardt and Justin Khoury of Princeton University).

The version of Ekpyrotic Universe as exciting, plausible and a worthy competitor to a problematic aspect of the Big Bang known as inflation.
The new theory argues that the Universe was created when two parallel membranes ("branes" as authors called) collided cataclysmically after evolving slowly in five-dimensional space over an exceedingly long period of time. The brane collided with ours, releasing energy and heat and leading to the expansion of the Universe. (See the illustration below). (These branes, would have floated like sheets of paper through a fifth dimension. Our conventional view of 3-D physical space, along with time, make up the four known dimensions.)

According to an ancient Vedic cosmological model, the Universe was created in a sudden burst of fire accompanied by primordial sound OM, which echo 'fused' into every structure in this Universe. The modern-day theorists say this ancient idea is not unlike the collision proposed in the new model.

PS: Illustration of Ekpyrotic Universe in action by Robert Roy Britt

(The Ekpyrotic Universe draws its name from the ancient Greek word ekpyrosis, meaning "conflagration," disastrous fire or conflict).
Additional popular information and references:

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol.2. "Sprouts of faith," Chapter 51 and "Grief and God," Chapter 52; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "Where to find God," Chapter 38; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 28. "From the individual to the Divine," Chapter 33; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 30. "Be prepared for a life of sacrifice," Chapter 2).

Namaste - Reet

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