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Swami teaches....Part 99

 

 

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Light and Love

Swami teaches... 23-25 March 2007

Part 3. The spiritual lesson before Sri Rama Navami celebration


Spirituality is recognizing oneness of all beings. Spirituality also is discovering who you really are.


"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (Galations 5:25).


Here is an example. When we close our eyes, we cannot see anybody. However, the moment we open them we can see the surrounding with trees, street, people… Where have these trees, street, people come from? If you enquire into the truth, you will recognize that your eyes notice all heads. They have not come from anywhere outside.


Spirituality is not merely singing bhajans, performing worship, and going to temples or on pilgrimages or undertaking any other good activity.


To recognize unity in diversity is spirituality. There is only one Atma in all beings. The entire creation has emerged from Love. Therefore, from this aspect there is also no difference between spirituality, educare and religion.

Whatever impression we have about others is a reflection of our feeling towards them. Therefore, you should not find fault with others. You do not have the right to find fault because your assessment of a person is limited to your experience. There are so many aspects concern to the personality of this or that person you do not know. If you want to know a person completely you should investigate into all the aspects of his personality.

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again" (Matthew 7:1-2).

In modern times, people go by the physical appearance and judge people based on their external actions. Hence, defect lies in the vision. When you put on red glasses, everything appears red and when you put on blue glasses, everything appears blue.

 
Here is a ring, a chain and the earrings - all these are different forms of the same gold. If one realises this unifying truth then where is the scope for multiplicity? Therefore, God is One though He may appear to you in different forms.

The Vedas speak of four varnas (social groups). Varnas are directives for the exercise and experience of the rights and responsibilities of individuals in ancient Bharath (India; descendent of Bharath, first emperor of India).They declare that the Brahmin group, the 'intellectuals and the spiritual seekers must serve as the face of society - the face that hears, sees, tastes and 'smells' the changing moods of the community. This group has the duty to warn the community of impending calamity, of oncoming distress and latent drawbacks. They have to guide, lead, counsel, and comfort the rest of the people aright. They represent the Head of the Cosmic Person.


The Kshathriya group is the "arm" of the Cosmic Person. The group consists of the rajasic individuals who equip themselves for guarding the country against internal and external danger. They dedicate their all for the safety and security of the country.


The Vaisya group is the "thigh" of the Cosmic Person - the support and sustenance of the arms and the head. They gather and preserve the where-withal on which the community lives and prospers. They adhere to the limitations imposed on profit and exploitation.


The Shuudhra group is "the feet" of the Cosmic Person, bearing the burden of feeding and fostering the community. The four varnas form one organic whole one indivisible unity. No one can do without the other.
 

On the harmonious cooperation of all the four depends the peace and prosperity of the community. The head is immediately aware of what happens to the feet; the slightest pain anywhere is cognized by the entire body. When a thorn pricks the sole, the eye reprimands itself for not noticing the thorn and warning the foot in time. It sheds tears of repentance. The eye has the responsibility of warning, leading, guiding, and saving the foot. Every caste has to ensure the prosperity and strength of all the rest ones.

When you invite a person into your home, you cannot request him to bring in only his head. The feet too have to be welcomed with equal solicitude. The feet are important. In fact, homage is offered' at the feet of the Lord. The feet of the Lord are the objects of adoration and worship.


The limbs may be different, with distinct names, forms, and functions. But, they function only because of the unceasing grace of one Heart which supplies each with a single stream of blood. The qualities of each limb and its special activity may be different but the same Divine Impulse activates each one. There can be no question of inferior or superior, when all are cooperating in one common endeavor. One Divine Impulse activates all the limbs.


(The pictorial comparison to four social groups is four Yogas - Bhakthi, Jnana, Karma and Raja - all four are needed, and all four contribute to the ultimate victory.


Karma yoga is the earthen lamp;
Bhakthi yoga is the oil in it;
Raja yoga is the wick;
Jnana yoga is the light.)

Caste by Vedas has to be determined on the basis of qualities though a human belonging to a caste can be judged fit or unfit, on the basis of karma. If caste has to be decided on the twin bases of guna and karma (qualities and actions), as evidenced by the character and activities of the individual, a person will have to be labeled differently every hour or every minute.
 

Good karma will lead to the attitude of devotion and dedication, seeing God in all beings, witnessing the hand of God in all happenings. This leads to worship; as a result of worship, breathing of the vital airs, the process of concentration - all set themselves right; and, as the climax of all this sadhana (spiritual practice), the reality is revealed in its full splendor.

The fundamental basis for everything is Love.


"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith" (Galations 5:22).

Do not worry about religion. There is only one religion, the religion of Love.

Religions are many but the path is only one and we need to discover this path. No religion is bad for the one who has a good sense of understanding. Everything in life including all the religions and belief systems of the world are a learning experience, a primary principle of why we are here. Every religion has elements of truth, but the Absolute truth is a thread that runs through all.


You can pray to God - Allah, Jesus, Krishna or Zoroastra. It does not make any difference. Develop virtues and get rid of vices.

Resist the temptation to satisfy the senses, to acquire what the world can give, to accumulate material gains. Set limits to your wants.


There was a pupil once, in the kingdom of Raghu, who asked his preceptor at the conclusion of his studies what dakshina (thanksgiving offering) he would accept from him. Dakshina means offerings made in gratitude for service rendered. The Guru told him that he needed no other dakshina than his gratitude; it was enough if he lived according to his teachings and brought honor to his preceptor thereby. Nevertheless, the pupil insisted that he must indicate his need and tell him some sum of money or gifts that he would accept. Therefore, just to ward him off and get rid of him, the Guru named an impossible sum of money; "You learnt sixteen Vidyas (branches of knowledge) from me; well, bring me sixteen lakhs of gold nishkas (coins)." At this, the pupil went off, to collect the sum.


The disciple went to Emperor Raghu, and got from him the promise that he will fulfill his every desire; then he placed his petition for sixteen lakhs of gold nishkas before him. Raghu was rendered desperate by the vast sum needed; though Emperor, he was too deep in austerity to have the sum on hand. Still, in order to keep his plighted word, he invaded the realm of Kubera (the God of wealth), and brought back as loot enormous stocks of gold. "Take all this and give your preceptor what he has asked for; keep the balance for yourself" the king said.
 

The pupil refused to take a coin more than what he had to offer as dakshina to his Guru. "I have brought them for you; it is all yours, take them," insisted Raghu. But the young man resisted the temptation and stood his ground.

The word 'religion’ consists of two parts' 'Re,' meaning 'again,' and 'ligio' meaning 'come together' or 'unite.' That is to say, "Reuniting with God" is Religion. People consider religion as a bundle of doctrines and of rigorous do's and don'ts prescribed for people. This is totally wrong. All religions have come into existence to make human realize the source from which human has come and to which should return. So the sacred aim of religion is to remind human of own Divine origin and help to lead human back to God. Religion is realization. Religion is realization of your own Self. Only when you realize the truth about yourself, will you stand what religion is.

Life X Infinity is God.
Body X Infinity is Virata Swarupa (the Cosmic Form).

Mind X Infinity is Hiranyagarbha (the Cosmic Consciousness).
 

God, Virata Swarupa and Hiranyagarbha are not distinct entities located in specific places. They are immanent in human.
 

This profound truth is contained in the Upanishadic dictum: "Tat Twam Asi" (That Thou Art). "Uniting That with This" is the meaning of this declaration.


"Prajnanam Brahma" (Brahmam is Cosmic Knowledge) is another declaration which is designed to remind human of own Divine essence and enable to merge in the Divine.


"Ayam Atma Brahma" (This Atma is Brahmam) is another declaration expounding the same basic purpose of religion, namely, to make the individual realise the oneness with the Supreme.


The dictum "Aham Brahmaasmi" ( I am Brahmam, the Absolute), is the final declaration by the Self-realized person.

The essence of the religion of Bharatiyas as proclaimed in the Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana Vedas, is the attainment of the unity of the individual with the Divine by the recognition of human's inherent Divinity. The hymn to this inherent Divinity is the Gayatri Mantra, the cosmic hymn to the Great Oneness. Gayatri does not belong to any particular religion or country. It is only the name and the form of a deity. It represents the three aspects of materialization, vibration and radiation.


These three are present in everyone irrespective of one’s country and religion. In this Mantra, one prays for inspiration and stimulation of one’s intelligence. Swami does not force anyone either to chant it or not to chant it; you can do whatever gives you joy.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "Sai Sankalpam," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 8. "One-fourth and three-fourths," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 14. "Four in One," Chapter 25; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 24. "Ideals of the Rama Avatar," Chapter 6; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 33. "Pari Prashna -The Divine Answers" Chapter 21).
References:

http://www.masterstech-home.com/The_Library/The_Bible/Bible_Chapters/Galations/5.html

Namaste - Reet


Light and Love

Swami teaches... 21-22 March 2007

Part 2. The spiritual lesson before Sri Rama Navami celebration


In the Ramayana, the Gita and in other the ancient scriptures spiritual seekers find the light on the beginning of the path. The Ramayana is as a candle in the dark that shines on our path through its examples and links us to our most human, moral and spiritual reality.
 

Swami brings many examples from the Ramayana as guidelines for our thoughts and actions towards family, relations, and society. Through these examples He as underlines that the meaning of karma is not a punishment and reward system, but rather the operation of the Universe through which we learn by experience from remote past until today. Swami helps us to bring close the Ramayana and makes it easily accessible to everybody.

It is the duty of every one to gather and cherish in hearts the wise words, the drops of amritha (nectar), which pandiths (scholar, wise person) offer from their knowledge and experience. These pandiths are repositories of ancient learning.

At present, in all countries, as a rule, the link between the pandiths and the politicians, the religious heads and the rulers has snapped and each goes his own way, irrespective of what the other thinks or feels.
 

The system of education which promotes an attitude of contempt towards the learning, which does not yield immediate pecuniary benefits, is very largely responsible for this and the fall in the general level of morals. When all are sliding down the easy path of flippancy, those who advise against it and warn the victims about the inevitable disaster are ignored and laughed at. Sunk in the search of pleasures and cheap recreation, people become deaf to the counsels of the past and calls of the sublime.
 

Sai Sankalpam (will, resolve) is to bring together once again the rulers and the pandiths, the guardians of the welfare of the people in the secular and the spiritual fields. Without the cooperative functioning, there can be no progress, no success in the attempt to build up a new world.
 

When plans are laid by the rulers for the uplift of the people and for training the children of the land, Swami wishes that the ancient wisdom of His Motherland and the ancient wisdom of other lands, still preserved and practiced by these pandiths, must be consulted.

Here Dasaratha, Rama's father is an example. When he desired to crown Ramachandra, he consulted the representatives of his people, as well as the pandiths of the court. He placed before the people, not merely his personal wish, but also the reactions of sages like Vasishta to his proposal.

In spite of his noble actions as a ruler, Dasaratha is the symbol for the individual, having ten chariots (senses - five for action, five for knowledge). He listened to the charming voice of delusion, and engineered his own destruction. Kaikeyi, his youngest queen, enticed him into the path of grief. Pravritthi (worldly activity, attachment) must result from nivritthi (spiritual detachment); activity must result from the awareness of detachment.

The whole Ramayana is a great example to the modern civilization. Below are the brief fragments with Swami's explanations from this Great Epic.

Lakshmana as a child raised such a long and loud wailing, one night, that Sumitra (his mother) feared that an evil spirit had possessed him. She hurried to sage Vasishta and asked him to apply some sacred ash to the fore head of the child so that the spirit might leave. Vasishta knew why Lakshmana was weeping so pathetically. He said, "Take the child and put him next to Rama; he will stop wailing." Lakshmana could not bear even as a child a moment's separation from Rama.
 

For each one, the place he/she needs most is the natural habitat. That is the reason why Lakshmana accompanied Rama, when Vishwamitra (sage, known for his efforts to equal Vasishta) led him into his hermitage.

By wish of stepmother Kaikey, Rama might don the bark of trees, wear the mantle of an ascetic, and leave for the forest. There was no such obligation on Lakshmana's part. However, as a younger brother he felt that it was not proper for him to stay and enjoy life in Ayodhya when his brother was leaving for the forest. He was ready to renounce his mother and wife and accompany Rama. Thus, he followed Rama as an ascetic, treating Ayodhya without Rama as a jungle and a forest with Rama as Ayodhya. Indefatigably he served Rama and Sita night and day.

 
(The behavior of brothers today in similar situations would be entirely different. They are likely to indulge in litigation over the sharing of property and lose them all in carrying the dispute up to the Supreme Court. They will not agree to enjoy the property in common and will ruin themselves through litigation).

Lakshmana's mother, Sumitra, when her son fell at her feet and sought her blessings before leaving for the forest with Rama and Sita, rejoiced in giving him her blessings. She told him: "The forest where Rama is will be Ayodhya for you." Will any mother send her son to the forest in this manner? These examples show how pure-hearted were the members of Sri Rama's family.


Take, for instance, the other example of sisters-in-law. In families today, there is no harmony between the wives of brothers. But, look at how Lakshmana's wife, Urmila, behaved. She said: "I would also like to come with you. But if I come, my presence will detract your single-minded service to Rama and Sita. I shall stay back, while you dedicate yourself whole-heartedly to their service." Urmila thus made a greater sacrifice than even Sita.

How did Rama's mother Kausalya bless him when he prostrated before her prior to leaving for the forest? She declared: "May that Dharma for protecting which you are going to the forest protects you always. May you have for your protection all the raksha (amulets) which great mothers gave to their sons when they went out to fight the forces of evil."


Thus, Rama received the blessings of his mother, and all others when he set out for the forest to honor his father's word.


Rama also exemplified the ideal relationship between husband and wife in a family. When Rama decided to leave for the forest, Sita wanted to accompany him. Rama tried in many ways to dissuade her, telling her about the dangers in living in the forest, infested by wild animals and demons on the prowl. Sita replied, "When I am with the lion among men, what can any animal do to me?" Rama argued with her that the rakshasas (demons) were capable of assuming any form and that it would be difficult to safeguard her. Sita retorted, "Can't you, who are the protector of the fourteen worlds, protect a lone Sita!" By these arguments, Sita tried to make Rama agree to her going with him.


Rama then employed a different argument. He told her that she should stay behind to render service to the aged parents. Earlier Sita had listened to the advice Rama had given to his mother Kausalya when she wanted to go with Rama to the forest. Rama had told mother about her duties towards her husband and said that in no circumstance should she leave him and follow Rama. "Your first duty is to serve my father Dasaratha and not come with me," said Rama.


Sita accordingly urged Rama to act up to his own words and take her with him. "You are going to the forest to honor your father's words. I am following you to act up to my husband's words," she said. In this manner, the Ramayana demonstrates the proper relationship between husband and wife and their respective duties.

If you consider the conduct of Bharata (Rama's brother, Kaikeyi's son), you find that even though the kingdom was offered to him by his father and mother, he did not desire to enjoy what belonged by right to the eldest son, Rama. He considered it immoral and opposed to the traditions of the Ikshvaku family to accept the kingdom in such circumstances and firmly renounced it.


When Dasaratha decided to take Kaikeyi as his third wife, with the consent of Kausalya and Sumitra, so that he could have a son to succeed to the throne, Kaikeyi's father imposed a condition that he would offer his daughter in marriage only if the son born to her would be made king, without regard to the claims of the son that might be born to the eldest queen. Dasaratha was not willing to accept this condition, but Kausalya and Sumitra persuaded him to accept it, saying that no one born in the Ikshvaku line would go against dharma.

Bharata not only refused to ascend the throne, but he took a vow to stay out of the capital until Rama returned to the kingdom. He declared he was not prepared to sully the good name of his great ancestors for the sake of the throne. "When Rama has gone to the forest to honor his father's command, I shall also go to the forest," said Bharata. Ultimately, he secured the sandals of Rama, installed them on the throne, and himself led the life of an ascetic in Nandigrama, a village outside the capital. Is it conceivable that anyone would give up a great good fortune that came his way in the manner Bharata did? Will anyone spurn the windfall that comes to him? But, Bharata did not regard the kingdom as a blessing. He felt that it would be infamous to succeed to the throne.

The Great Epics, Vedas, Upanishads, and Sastras are like traffic signs on the road; if they are removed, the journey is rendered slow and difficult, replete with accidents. We have to restore them in interests of humanity itself to protect the dharma and eternal human values through personal examples, knowledge, and education.

It is only ignorance that makes people talk of equality; knowledge reveals basic differences in health, equipment, attitude, and tastes.


By modern science waves of light and other subatomic particles cannot exist in static form, they vibrate and flow and so the Reality of Maya is created as reflection in human's mind, as expression of diversity. We live and all of us have our own 'beings' in the frame of unity in diversity within this great Cosmic Creation - Energy field (Macrocosm) as individuated Energy field (Microcosm).


The new developments in quantum physics, human's consciousness, and spirituality have a strong connective link - the same source what has explained in different ways. They show that the world we see and experience including the deep connection between us as the observers, and what we see within Maya Reality is diversity where practically no equality exist. Behind all this is the single Atmic Reality as the initial Source, what has no time, no space. It simply "Is" and has ever been only "Is."

Swami encourages considering a deeper meaning of life. If you are beginning to think with your heart as well as your mind, it awakens your own true Reality - Self. The knowledge embodied in the Upanishads, Vedas, and Great Epics should be handed down to every one. Bhakthi-directed (devotion-directed) education must take precedence over the bhukthi-directed (enjoyment-directed) schooling that prevails today in most countries of the world.

The word ?education? is derived from the Latin root "educare". While education refers to collection of worldly facts, educare is to bring out from within. Education is for livelihood. Educare is for the ultimate goal of life. It is easy for us to recognize things outside us and difficult to look within. There are many things inside us, which are not manifest. When you join the three letters G, O, D, we get the word GOD. When you look at the letters individually, they have no meaning of their own. Our effort lies in putting together these letters to get the meaning. This is educare. Educare means to bring out from within. Educare means to bring out the Divine Love latent in human. That is why it is said, Love is God, live in Love. Then there would be no conflict in the world and all would live together happily.

Of course, it is not possible to make small children understand the essence of educare. They are too young to understand it. It can be introduced at the college level. However, at school level, we can cultivate good thoughts and good habits among little students. We can also inspire their young hearts by narrating the stories of great persons of their respective lands, and exhorting them to follow the ideals set by them.


For example, if children explain to the parents the meaning of the prayer saying, "Food is given to us by God. Therefore, we must offer it to Him before partaking of it. Then the food becomes Prasadam and will not be tainted by impurities." This is the way to bring the parents on the right path through their children.


Hence, educare must be taught to the parents through their children. Most of parents do not know what educare is. Since you understand what educare is, you should teach them about it through your actions. First, you practice and then set an example. (For example, if you smoke in the class, students will also emulate you and start smoking. If you try to correct them by saying, smoking is bad for health; the students will in turn ask you, "Sir, then why are you smoking)?"

 
If you want to take students into your confidence, you have to approach them with love. You have to point out their mistakes and lead them on the right path.
 

For the progress and prosperity of the nation, teachers should develop love for students and mould their character.
 

The teacher must first have a thorough understanding of own mind before trying to understand the minds of the students. If the teacher's mind is good, the students will reflect it in their behavior. Since the teacher cannot see the student's mind, he/she has to understand it only by observing the student's behavior with his parents, his friends, and his fellow students. Basing on this, he will be able to lead the student on to the right path.


The teacher must advise the student regularly that his/her conduct will be responsible for the name he earns for his parents and the school.
 

In some countries, the concept of kindness and respect for elders is not stressed. The teacher must advise the student that he is born as a human, and that he is neither a ?wild animal? to strike terror in the hearts of people nor a ?domestic animal? (docile person) to be afraid of others. He has no cause to fear nor should he cause fear in others.
 

You should become a 'composer' and not a 'computer'. (Of course, there are benefits accruing from computers. You may use this technology to develop science. You should use it depending on the need). However, firstly, set right the computer that God has given you. That is your head itself.

The Atma is our innermost reality. That is what educare should bring out. Therefore, there is actually no basic difference between the three - educare, spirituality, and religion.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "Sai Sankalpam," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 8. "One-fourth and three-fourths," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 14. "Four in One," Chapter 25; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 24. "Ideals of the Rama Avatar," Chapter 6; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 33. "Pari Prashna -The Divine Answers" Chapter 21).

Namaste - Reet



Light and Love

Swami teaches... 18 - 20 March 2007

Part 1. The spiritual lesson before Sri Rama Navami celebration

The motto:

"Life is a long journey and must not be dismissed in a trivial manner. It must be spent in the most auspicious manner possible. We should aspire for the Divine life and not long life" (Sai Baba).

Celestial spheres are revolving and disintegrating; time is fleeting; age follows age; era succeeds era; bodies that have taken birth, grow and end; but, the urge to sanctify life with good works and good thoughts is nowhere evident; the fragrance of sincere sadhana is not traceable anywhere. Through the process of 'giving up' great things can be achieved. Cultivate detachment, and the Lord will attach Himself to you.
 

The past is beyond recovery; those days are gone. But, tomorrow is coming towards you. There is no need to worry about what awaits us in future. Do whatever you are supposed to, in the best way you can. This will lead you to a brighter future.
 

Future is not sure, it is not in our hands. Present is important. Present is not ordinary present; it is omnipresent.
 

Take care of the present, the future will take care of itself. Resolve to sanctify it with Love, Service, and Sadhana.

From birth, human's activities have to be directed to moral purification and spiritual attainment. The most direct method of spiritual success is Nishkaama karma (desireless action), action without any attention or attachment to the fruit therefore, action as duty, action as dedication, action as worship. But, action and the fruit thereof are not two separate entities, the fruit is the action itself, in its final stage, the climax, the conclusion. The flower is the fruit; the fruit is the flower; one is the beginning, the other is the legitimate end. The flower becomes the fruit. The action becomes the consequence.


One's duty is to act; act well, act within the bounds of morality; act in love; continue acting; the consequences will naturally follow as the fruit follows the flower. The ideals and sacred objectives established in human hearts shine forever.
 

If one has to live up to an ideal, he/she must be prepared to face many ordeals, difficulties, calumnies, trials and tribulations. These ideals have continued up to the present day to glow in the hearts of the people because they have upheld in spite of vicissitudes and ordeals. Eons may come and go, continents may appear and disappear, but ideals and values remain a perennial source of inspiration to the world.
 

What cannot be achieved through physical prowess, the strength of numbers or the power of wealth, can be accomplished through the power of buddhi (intellect). Viveka (wisdom) is the hallmark of intelligence. Human acquires wisdom only by adherence to Truth and the pursuit of Dharma (Righteousness).

The Sun and the Moon are shining in the world. The Sun is regarded as selfluminous. The Moon shines because of the reflected light of the Sun. Light of wisdom is derived from the buddhi. The illumination of the buddhi is due to the Atma (the Indwelling Spirit). Human beings in their ignorance consider only the illumination emanating from wisdom and intelligence, forgetting the basic source of their effulgence, the Atma what is the foundation. It is Brahmam. It is Paratatwa (Supreme Cosmic Principle). It is the Paramatma (Omni-Self). It is the Avataric principle.

The common people can derive no benefit if the Formless Absolute remains in Kailaasa (Shiva's mountain abode) or Vaikunta (Vishnu's heaven). It is not possible, as a rule, to worship the Formless Absolute. Hence, the Rama-Avatar appeared in human form to enable humanity to experience the Formless in a form, which is accessible to them and helpful to them. An Avatar assumes the form that is beneficial to and within the reach of human beings.

An effort must be made to understand the nature of divinity. When God comes in human form, human beings can have the full opportunity to experience and enjoy the Divine. When human life is sublimated, it gets divinised. God is said to reside in every being. Yes, He resides as Prema. (Devoid of Prema, the world becomes a cauldron of misery. It is as water to the fish. Keep a fish in a golden bowl, set with gems; it will struggle in mortal agony to leap back into water).
 

The Divine manifests His powers according to the needs, the circumstances, and the conditions prevailing at a particular time or place.
 

Take, for example, the case of a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He has the power to inflict the supreme penalty on any number of persons, according to the law. He has also the power to protect the rights of citizens. He has both the power to protect and to punish. These powers can be exercised only when he sits in his judicial chair. The same Chief Justice, when he is at home, confers joy on his grandson by letting him ride on his back.
 

By allowing this grandchild to play in this manner, does he forfeit his powers as a Chief Justice? Similarly, the Avatar does not forgo any of His supreme powers merely because He lives and moves among human beings as a man.
 

This phenomenon could be noticed in several instances in the case of the Rama-Avatar. In the Ramayana, Rama is depicted as one who, like other ordinary human beings, experienced the pangs of separation from Sita. For what reason did Rama exhibit such feelings? Rama behaved in this manner to serve as an example to the common people how individuals should behave in similar circumstances.

The foremost lesson to be learnt from the Rama-story is how to foster unity and harmony in a family.
 

What should be the relations between a father and a son, how should a husband and wife conduct themselves, how should brothers behave towards each other, what should be the relations between the rulers and the citizens, how should sisters-in-law conduct themselves - all these are exemplified in the story of the Rama-Avatar.

Rama was prepared to honor a boon given by his father to his step-mother in fulfillment of an old promise. He renounced the throne at the moment of coronation and elected to go to the forest as an exile. Eminently qualified, as he was to become the ruler, nevertheless he chose to go to the forest to honour his father's plighted word. This is a glorious example of an ideal life.
 

(Today people would set at naught promises given by the father and place their self-interest in the forefront).

Rama demonstrated to the world that men born in the Ikshvaku dynasty were unflinching in honoring the pledges of the fathers. Rama was prepared to face any ordeals and troubles in upholding this sacred principle.
 

Rama was ever active in fulfilling the wishes and responding to the opinions of the people. Highly sensitive even to the remarks of a petty washer-man, Rama sent away Sita to the forest out of a feeling that the washer-man's comment might be an indication of the unspoken feelings of many others among his subjects.

Rama stands out as an ideal ruler intensely responsive to the wishes of the people. (Today persons who are incompetent and unworthy are aspiring for positions of power). People of character, who are totally free from self-interest should occupy the seats of power. Rama demonstrated the ideal relations that should exist between the ruler and the ruled.

Egotism is the mightiest enemy that has to be overpowered and destroyed. When Rama was proceeding from one hermitage to another in the forest, the rishis (sages) who were expecting Him to visit them made elaborate preparations to receive Him; they prepared lists of grievances to be presented to Him, and hoped to win His Grace by competitive pomp and adulation, by exhibition of superior asceticism.

The old woman, Sabari, who was the attendant of the sage Mathanga, told by her dying master that Rama will be passing that way and so, she longed in sincere anguish that she must be spared until she could wash the Lotus Feet of Rama with her tears. The sages sneered at her audacity and laughed at her foolish hope.

Rama visited the hermitage of the egotistic ascetics on his way; they read out the verses of welcome they had composed; they presented a petition in which they had listed the atrocities committed by the Rakshasas (demons); they complained that river water - their only source of supply - has contaminated and had become undrinkable. Rama told them in His reply that the water will be rendered pure and potable as soon as they stop reviling Sabari and start appreciating her simple, sincere yearning for God. Shabari had strong and steady faith; that was enough to bring Rama to her lowly hut. Austerity, scholarship, power, authority, experience, riches - these are handicaps that obstruct the acquisition of that simple, sincere faith that God will accept.

To get the attitude of surrender, of dedication, you must have faith in God. This world is His play; it is not an empty dream; it has purpose and use. It is the means, by which one can discover God; see Him in the beauty, the grandeur, the order, the majesty of Nature. These are but shadows of His Glory and His Splendour. Upasana (adoration of God), leads to the knowledge that He is all; when you experience there is no second that is jnana (spiritual wisdom).

Today the people are bedeviled by distrust and suspicion at every step. Different questions are asked out of narrow-minded doubts. There will be no room for such doubts if the infinite nature of the Divine is properly understood. The petty-minded folk who cannot grasp the omni competence of the Divine raise such questions.
 

God can protect as well as punish. In the Ramayana He punished Ravana and Kumbhakarna and crowned Vibhishana as King.

There is a story, which points out the difference between a genuine disciple and others who behave in one way when they are with the preceptor, and differently when they are away from him. The preceptor, when he was nearing his end, sent word to all his old disciples to come to the ashram for a last meeting with them before he passed away. All the disciples had arrived except one who had to come from a long distance. While he was coming, he had to cross a river in spate before reaching the guru's village. Despite warnings from the villagers not to get into the swollen river, he walked on, in his anxiety to reach the guru, reciting the mantra the guru had taught him.
 

Miraculously the river was only knee-deep while he was crossing it. Everybody was struck by the miracle. On reaching the ashram, the other disciples felt that the guru had imparted a different mantra to this disciple, which had enabled him to wade through the swollen river with ease. They even accused the guru of partiality. The guru told them that the mantra imparted to all of them was one and the same, but there was a difference in the spirit in which it was uttered by the disciples and that made all the difference in its protective efficacy. The disciple who had crossed the river was saved by his faith in the guru.

If the name of the Lord is not recited in the proper spirit, of what use is all the sadhana? Faith is the primary requisite. Chanting the name endlessly without faith is utterly useless. If faith is lacking how can Bliss be experienced?
 

Sadhana is only one-fourth of the process; vichara (enquiry) is the other three-fourth. (Insulin injections are but a fourth for the diabetic; the other three-fourths are dietary restrictions, physical exercises and other such disciplines). So too, in the sadhana of Namasmarana (continuous remembrance of Lord's name), two other complementary processes are included: along with the recollection of the Name, the fixation of the mind on the Name, there must also be acquired purity of feeling and dwelling on the meaning of the Name.

Alas' this is the Kali age. People are blind, lacking the eyes of faith. A rich man will trust a gurkha watchman for the safety of his home. One will trust a driver for the safe driving of the car. A person will trust a dhobi for washing valuable clothes. One submits the head for tonsure to a barber wielding a sharp razor. But, unfortunately, in spite of all their studies, educated persons do not have faith in God. People are prepared to place their trust in an array of inferior beings, but have no faith in the Supreme.

"Faith" is not some abstract "belief," faith is rather a very powerful feeling, a knowing and trusting beyond all doubt that we do indeed have God-given powers which will manifest anything at all in accordance with our thoughts.

"And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you" (Matthew.17:20).

Probably the source of our ability to achieve anything is the the Self, Atma. Faith often has misunderstood in the past taken by people to mean that providing they have faith to their chosen religion. However, true faith is belief in the infinite power of the Self, and is not subject to some external influence.


The brain is not the mind; the mind resides in every cell, molecule, atom, subatomic particle and quanta of energy that comprise the energy-information field that constitutes what we perceive with the five physical senses.
 

We can easier perceive the field of energy-information by impressing our wishes on the Self by prayer. However, this prayer is not mechanically reciting a verse either from memory, or from a book, or by repeating words after someone else. Such prayer has very little or no effect. The sincere prayer is not dogmatic, or conforms to the creed or dogma of others, it is rather a science, the awareness that Cosmic Principles of Creation will be influenced the thoughts and emotions behind the prayer. Such prayer is designed to influence to change something in our lives within us.

"Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" (Matthew. 21:22).

Probably the power of Christ was due to the faith that his followers placed in Him. The same words are valid about Krishna, Rama, Swami, and other Avatars. The Avatar incarnates not alone but with His companions devotees who have faith to Him.

"And when He was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, according to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened" (Matthew 9:28-30).
 

The blind man was healed by the power of his faith to Christ.

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Matthew 7:7).

Faith - it is the awareness of our true Reality (Swami's Cosmic Form within) and our infinite powers of the Self as an integral aspect of the Cosmic Consciousness to manage our own life and destiny.

However, before anything can be achieved, there have to be harmony between the mind and Self. The last is always in harmony and never argues about anything; it is the mind (the ego), that needs to be convinced.

Above all, develop faith in the ideals of Rama. Faith in these ideals has been responsible for their survival after eons. Ideals, not ostentation, should be the watchword.
 

The Rama-Era will come into existence from the moment we give up ostentation, develop faith in the Self, and lead a godly life. Then everyone will be a lover of Rama. Rama does not mean the son of Dasaratha. The Atma is Rama and hence Rama is referred to as Atma-Rama.

 

(Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 4. "Sai Sankalpam," Chapter 15; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 8. "One-fourth and three-fourths," Chapter 14; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 14. "Four in One," Chapter 25; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 24. "Ideals of the Rama Avatar," Chapter 6; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 33. "Pari Prashna -The Divine Answers" Chapter 21).

Namaste - Reet


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