Swami teaches....Part 100

Links to Swami Teaches - Part 99

Light and Love

Swami teaches... 2 - 4 April 2007

Part 3 Divinity Is in Everyone

Iswara (Supreme Being; name for Shiva) is said to have three forms.

The first is Virat-Swarupa (the Cosmic form), the second is Hiranyagarbha (the subtle form) and the third is Avyakrutudu (the Causal entity).

Virat-Swarupa is Viswarupa - the entire manifested Cosmos is His form. All the myriad forms and names in the Universe are contained in His form. This is described as Jagrata-Swarupudu (the Cosmic form as experienced in the waking state).

The second one is Hiranyagarbha, the Divine form as experienced in the dream state. In the waking state, we use our limbs, see with our eyes, and hear with our ears. In the dream state, we perform many actions. What are the hands, which we use, what are the legs, which we walk? What is the mouth that speaks in dreams? When no organs and senses of the body are functioning in the dream state, how do these experiences occur? That is the subtle form of Hiranyagarbha.

Avyakrutudu, the third form, has no specific form and therefore is called Avyakruta. However, Ananda (Bliss) is present. There is consciousness of experience.

You are the same person experiencing the waking state, dreaming in the sleeping state and enjoying the bliss in the deep sleep state. The one entity existing in all three states is the Atma - in the body in the waking state, in the mind in the dream state and in the Chitta (Higher Consciousness) in the deep sleep state. The Iswara Principle unifies all the three entities.

There is no place, object or being where God is not present. You have to correct your outlook and recognize the unity in the apparent diversity as well as the reality of the Supreme power of the Divine will.

There is the legend of Iswara Sankalpa (Will of the Supreme Lord) how nothing could stop its realization. Shiva was every day discoursing on Kailasa to sages and saints and devas in the evening hours. One day, Parvathi (Shiva's consort) suggested that a Hall have be constructed for accommodating them all, so that they could all listen without being affected by the constant fog and mist and cold winds. Shiva did not have the Sankalpa to put it up; still, Parvathi insisted that her idea must be implemented. The astrologer who was consulted before the foundations were dug said that "The stars forecast that the Hall will be consumed by fire, since Shani (Saturn) is not propitious from the very beginning." The Hall was completed, nevertheless.

Now, that set a problem for the Couple. Shiva proposed to ask Shani for the favor of saving the Hall from his anger, though He doubted whether the planet, reputed for his inevitable ire, would ever agree. Parvathi felt deeply hurt and she resolved not to give the tiny tyrant, Shani, the credit for destroying the Hall that She had got built. She swore that instead of giving him the chance to declare arrogantly that he had set fire to the Hall, she would herself set fire to it. Shiva asked her to first await the outcome of His appeal to Shani, for He was Himself proceeding to his headquarters. He told Her, "If Shani agrees to exempt the Hall from his anger, I shall come back and report the good news to you; but if he is adamant, I shall raise My Hand and twirl this Dhakka (double drum). On hearing that signal, you may set fire to the Hall and rob Shani of the credit for doing so."

Parvathi was ready with a burning torch in anticipation of the signal, so that there may not be a moment's chance for the wicked planet to execute his nefarious plan of revenge. Shani, however, agreed to the request made by Shiva; he said that he would not bum down the Hall in Kailasa and Shiva was happy at his reply. So, when Shani prayed that he may be granted one small boon, Shiva agreed and asked him what it was.

It seems Shani had never before seen the famous Dance of Shiva which all the stellar divinities were extolling and Shani craved that Shiva may show him a step-or two. Shiva readily assented and started the Thandava (frantic dance of Shiva), raising His hand and sounding the Dhakka. Listening to the signal, Parvathi applied the torch and the Hall was, as per the Sankalpa of Shiva, burnt to ashes. Divine Sankalpa must be fulfilled. Shani was just a tool in the Divine Plan.

Everyone, without exception as a "Son" or "Daughter" of God has the same powers of creation, but in order to realize those powers, certain principles need to be observed. (However, if your thoughts are not pure, or you wish to others harm, the result will be such that whatever you thought of others will be attracted into your own experience).

"Dharma (Righteousness) is the root of the world", says Shruti (sacred text); so, as Krishna said, when Dharma declines, the Lord incarnates as Human. "The Veda is the root of Dharma," says Shruti. Dharma is the fruit of Veda, which is the Tree. (Now, Veda itself is getting dried up. So, fostering Veda is one of the tasks of the Avatar). The Vedas say, "Srunvantu viswe amrutasya puthraah," (Oh listen! The son of immortality). You are not mere mortals; you are the children of immortality. You should conduct yourself in such a manner that would befit your stature as the children of immortality.

Ekam Sath (Truth is one). Truth is God. The whole world rests on Truth. Creation emerges from Truth and merges into Truth. Is there a place where Truth does not exist?

The Vedas describe this as Ritam. It is the Principle of Oneness (Ekatma swarupa). It is changeless and transcends time, space, and circumstances.

Human attributes various names and forms to such divinity and worships it in various ways. You may call the Lord as Rama, Krishna, Govinda, Swami, or even Cosmic Consciousness, but God is one. Divinity has no specific form. It is changeless and beyond all attributes. In fact, all forms are the forms of Divinity. The fundamental basis for the apparent multiplicity is only the Great One. The Atma is the undercurrent in all names and forms. Atma means the power of consciousness. It is the power of eternal, supreme, spiritual, and non-dual bliss.

(Such principle of unity in multiplicity is forgotten today. All the Upanishads emphasize the principle of unity. However, because of worldly feelings, human views multiplicity in unity).

Realize that the same Atma dwells in one and all. When Atma is present all over, how can it be divided? It is easy to visualize oneness in diversity. When God is omnipresent, what need is there to go in search of God? Do not think that God is in you. You are in God and so too is everyone.

God is the embodiment of eternal bliss. He is wisdom absolute, the One without a second, beyond the pair of opposites, expansive and pervasive like the sky, the goal indicated by the aphorism Tattwamasi, the eternal, pure, unchanging, the witness of all functions of the intellect, beyond all mental conditions and the three qualities of purity, passion, and dullness (sattwa, rajas, and thamas).

Consider everyone as the embodiment of Divinity. Whomever you salute or ridicule, they will reach God. Offer your respects to everybody.

Get up from your bed with a peaceful mind. Think of God. Under all circumstances, do not give room for anger or hatred. You may have to face difficulties and sorrows, but never mind. Be calm and composed. Realize that you are not the body. You are the embodiment of eternal Atma. When you understand this truth, you will not be affected by the physical suffering. The body cannot escape difficulties. Difficulties and suffering are but natural to the human body. Bliss is natural to the Atma. Follow the nature of the Atma.

Human's body is unclean, but yet it craves to achieve both cleanliness and Godliness, because its nature is purity and holiness.

Inner cleanliness should be your main aim. Which do you cleanse more in a drinking vessel, the interior, or the exterior? You may have fine vegetables, excellent tamarind juice, chillies, salt, dal; the cook may be a master of the art; the oven may be the perfect type; but, if the copper vessel is not tinned, the soup will be turned into dangerous stuff that cannot be taken. Virtuous deeds and good habits act to protect from contact with copper.

Until you see the akshara (the unchanging), you must practice the kshara (the changing), which helps you to transcend it. When once you are able to pronounce 'cat', you can give up reading the word as 'c-a-t'.

The aim of all human effort is to achieve this One (Ekam) that lies behind all this plurality. Without achieving it, human can have no peace, within or without.

No amount of repetition of the shanthi mantra is capable of granting that. The guru reveals to the disciple the invisible current that activates the many seemingly distinct instruments, like the bulb, the mike, the fan, etc. Guru is like the stranger who entered the cottage of a poor people and announced that underneath the floor of that hovel, there lies hidden a precious treasure which he can take and own, by a few minutes of digging. The sage Vishwamithra devised the Gayatri mantra* as a fine drug for you what awakens your buddhi and confers upon you wisdom, discrimination, and non-attachment - the three distinguishing marks of humans, elevating them far above other animals.

The Gayatri has the subtle power of removing evil tendencies and implanting virtuous habits. Gayatri means 'that which saves, when repeated'! It is the torch of jnana, given into the hands of these lads venturing into the regions of intellectual inquiry and sensory restrictions.
Supplying the calories for the spirit is as necessary a process for happy living as supplying calories for the body; breakfast, lunch and dinner, Morning worship, Noon worship, and evening worship are equally essential.

Usually human imagines him/herself weak, limited, bound and he/she is so shaped by the mind, which is the source of that imagination. How are you to overcome this bhrama or delusion? If you desire to overtake a train, you must speed in a car or board a plane. No vehicle slower than the train will help. So too, if you intend to overcome the delusion, you must establish yourself in God; the delusion of human-power can be overcome only by the attainment of God-power.

You are enjoying Divine Grace day in and day out. In what way are you showing gratitude to God for all that He has been doing for you? God does not expect anything from you. You have to do your duty by expressing your gratitude to God.

(Some people have wicked feelings within but talk in a pleasing manner in front of others. Such people are verily demons. Demons are known to become powerful at nights. Here, night symbolizes wickedness and darkness of ignorance. When you are immersed in the darkness of ignorance, you will find only wickedness everywhere).

Join hands with your fellow travelers in a spirit of tolerance and love. The Vedas have taught, "May we be protected and nourished together! May we perform heroic deeds! May we be filled with Divine energy! May we never hate one another!.

*"The Deha-maatha (the mother who born the body), the Loka-maatha (the Mother who sustains the Universe) and the Gayatri-maatha (the Mother who saves you from bondage and ignorance) - all three deserve your devotion and worship," declare Vedas.

(Reet's Compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 2. "Shiva sankalpa," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "Recruits for my Army," Chapter 7 and "Shiva in shava," Chapter 8; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "From love : to love" Chapter 5; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 36. "RISE ABOVE BODY CONSCIOUSNESS," Chapter 6).

Namaste - Reet

Swami teaches... 30 March - 1 April 2007

Part 2. Divinity Is in Everyone

In science, when one door is opened, and a passage is revealed, ten doors are discovered in that very passage, and each one of them has to be opened in turn. Science transforms things, rearranges them, studies their composition, regroups their pans, and releases the energy that lies latent in them. Religion begins where science ends.

Desire is a storm,
greed is a whirlpool,
pride is a precipice,
attachment is an avalanche,
egoism is a volcano.
Keep these away so that,
when you recite the name of God
or do meditation,
they do not disturb the equanimity.

Every human and every creature is an embodiment of Love. All the birds, animals, and insects aspire to attain happiness just as human does. They also enjoy happiness. Nevertheless, there is a difference between the happiness they enjoy and the happiness human enjoys. Birds, animals, and insects are neither elated by happiness nor depressed by sorrow. They accept happiness and sorrow with equanimity. Human being, as a rule, lacks such sense of equanimity.

Human feels elated when the desires are fulfilled and frustrated otherwise. Rapacious desire for material or wealth and power over other human beings, and anger are like pests that destroy the tree of human life. One who is filled with anger will find differences and starts developing hatred.

The flames of anger, pride, hatred, and envy are more devastating than other fires; they arise in the mind stealthily and in spurts; they are ever demanding more and more to feed upon. In the Gita fire is called anala, what means "not enough!" Fire never says, "enough" or "I am satisfied." You dread fire when it leaps at a distance; what then is to be said when it is inside your very self? How to put out these awful flames?

The besetting evil in human is the sense of mine, the acquisitive and possessive feeling. This is the cause of all other evils.

Human's wicked thoughts are responsible for the agitation and unrest you find in the world today. In the daily newspapers, you can find many news items that speak volumes about the anger, hatred, and jealousy in and among humans. These evil tendencies are the bitter enemies of humans. People are worried about the harmful effects of certain planets. In fact, desire and anger are the two planets that cause the greatest harm to humanity.

By all means, desires are essential for human. However, excessive desires wreak danger. Without discipline, there can be no well-being. Desires should be under limit. Never translate your thought into action in haste. Take time and enquire whether what you want to do is right or wrong

/In order to get rid of evil thoughts, you should run away from bad company in the first instance. You can pacify hatred and anger that is prevailing in this world by your pleasant talk. You should consider that viswasa (faith) is your true swasa (life-breath)/.

There is bound to be a result for every yours action, however small and insignificant it may be. Suppose that you are mending your clothes with the help of a small needle and thread. The needle may be small, but if it pricks your finger, the result is instantaneous in the form of bleeding. In this case, action and result take place almost simultaneously.

The seed that you sow takes a minimum of one week to grow into a sapling. In the same manner, some actions yield result in a few months, a few years, or a few births. Whoever you are, you have to face the consequences of your actions.

However, you do not need to be depressed and dejected, thinking that you cannot escape from the results of your past evil deeds. You can certainly escape from them if you win the grace of God by developing Love in your heart. You have to undertake sacred activities in order to sanctify your body. First, you should sow the seeds of sacred thoughts within yourself. Human has to develop the consciousness that he/she is Divine. The breath which human inhales and exhales 21,600 times a day conveys the message of "So-ham" (I am He) - the truth about human's Divine reality.

After the rise of Christianity in Rome, the Romans gave a distinctive name to Jesus Christ in recognition of His divinity. He was called "Persona," meaning one who is Divine. The English word "Person" is derived from "Persona."

The Indian term Vyakti is related to the term "Person." Vyakti means the one that makes manifest the unmanifested. What is it that is unmanifest? That is the Atma (the Cosmic Spirit). Human is described as the sacred embodiment of the Divine because he/she manifests the Divinity inherent in him/her.

Every human being is burdened with one body and four births.

The parents endow with the material body, the deha. Your mother bore you in her womb for nine months, gave you birth, and brought you up facing several hardships. How grateful you must be toward your mother for all that she has done for you. In the same manner, your father sacrificed his own comforts and looked after you with love and care. (Your children will treat you in the same manner as you treat your parents).

A child has no sense of cleanliness or definite ideas of right and wrong. By the rite of initiation into spiritual life, when child is taken as a pupil by a guru (teacher), who takes up the responsibility of leading to the goal of human life, pupil becomes dwija, twice born, entering into the second chapter of human career. The guru points out the dweller within the body, the dehi. So, pupil is entitled to be honored as a God, say the Vedas.

When pupil has studied the scriptures by guide of guru, pupil becomes a Vipra (the wise); at last, when as a result of those practices and experiences, pupil visualizes Brahman as immanent in all and becomes Brahmana. A Vipra attains Brahmajnanam and becomes a Brahmana. The first step is the most important step, in the process of self-realization.

To make gold more amenable to the operations attendent on ornament making, it is alloyed to add a little silver or copper; so too in order to manifest the multiple variety of Nature, the Brahmathathwam (essential nature of Brahman) is converted into an alloy, with the addition of a little egoism or Mamakaaram. The guru teaches you to regain the pure unalloyed Brahmam by the processes of sravanam, mananam, and nididhyaasa (listening to, recapitulating and concentrating on God's glories) in the crucible of the intellect. The essential nature of the Self and Brahman are then clearly understood as facets of the same entity.

Sanathana Dharma (the ancient spiritual code) has certain extinguishers tested by experience and guaranteed by sages. They are Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi and Prema. Saturate your heart with these and you are rendered fireproof.

A clean Consciousness is as a lamp; pour into it the oil of the Divine Grace; place in it the wick of Self-control; keep in position the chimney of Namasmarana, so that the gusts of Joy and Grief might not scotch the flame. Light the lamp, with some Mahavakya (Great Statement), like Aham Brahmasmi (Self is Brahman) or Thath thwam asi (Thou art That). Then, you will not only have Light; you will be a source of Light.

Swami calls to light your own lamps. Aspirant has to pull across the sandy waste of Desire, up the blood-red steps of Anger and Hatred, through the cool green spaces of Bliss, to attain the vast silence of Yoga (union with God).
"Sathatham Yoginah" (Always remain as Yogis), it is said. You must strive to cultivate such Love and experience the joy of sharing that Love with others. There is nothing more powerful than Divine Love. Change your vision and the world will appear accordingly. Let the eye be charged with the Divine, it will see all as God. It is foolish to try to shape the world. Shape yourself as the embodiment of Peace, Love, and Reverence. Then you will see all as Love, Compassion, and Humility.

Occasionally one's devotion cools off when one's desires are not fulfilled. Devotion should not be related to physical needs. It is concerned with the heart and should not be affected by vicissitudes relating to the body and the mind. Such devotion has described as Parama Bhakti (Supreme devotion). It may also be described as Ananya Bhakti (one-pointed devotion).

A real devotee is eager to experience the Divine Love and does not seek pomp and show.

On days set apart by tradition for the contemplation of one's own innate Divinity, you must examine your own equipment and decide on what to discard and what to retain. All qualities, attitudes, habits that remind you of the Absolute into which you have to merge, have to be retained and developed; all that draw you away into the relative world of Time and Space, have to be discarded or at least recognized as having but temporary value.

(As if the frog caught and held in the mouth of a cobra, which, unaware of its fate, flicks its tongue at a fly, you too are unaware of Death, which holds you in its fangs. You seek joy and earn pain, hunt for pleasure and bag grief. You attach yourselves to the body that decays and let go the God that lasts. Of course, a thousand wise people have poured this into your ears, but their words have fallen on hard ground and refused to sprout. Had they fallen on the soft soil of your heart and been watered by the tears of contrition, certainly they would have germinated and grown).

All the joy you crave for is in you; but, like a human who has vast riches in the iron chest, but, who has no idea where the key is, you suffer. With proper directions, dwelling upon them in the silence of meditation, it is possible to secure the key, open the chest, and be rich in joy.

People speak about Karma, Yoga, Jnana, and Bhakti in relation to spiritual practice. These are inextricably inter-related. All these forms of Karma are fraught with certain difficulties. To perform sacrifices one must be acquainted with the Vedic texts.

The first among spiritual paths is Karma Marga (the path of action). The votary of this path performs many actions for the welfare of the world. He/she participates in yajnas and yagas (ritualistic sacrifices) and is engaged in service and charitable activities.

The Jnana Marga (the path of knowledge) calls for knowledge of the scriptures and several other kinds of knowledge, which together lead to Atmajnana (Knowledge of the Self). Jnana has defined as the awareness of the One Cosmic Consciousness. It means recognizing unity in diversity.

The path of Yoga, which is concerned with control of the mind, is equally difficult. It calls for rigorous control of the senses. One has to overcome many difficulties, trials, and tribulations. Very few have the mental and spiritual strength to face these difficulties and ordeals. The path of Yoga is thus beset with many hurdles.

Bhakti (the path of devotion) is the easiest path for all. It does not call for mastery of the scriptures. It does not enjoin performance of rituals and sacrifices. The elusive quest for unity in diversity is avoided. By cultivating Love for God, the senses come under natural self-discipline.

True devotion is an expression of gratitude to God for all that He has given us - the human body with its various capacities, the intelligence we are endowed with and the many natural amenities made available to us such as air, water, sunlight, etc.

Contemplate the Atma-linga (spirit of the soul), the Jyothi-linga (the effulgent form); be convinced that the Linga is in every one of you, for it is a mark of the Shiva that resides in the shava (body shell). Allow the vision of the Atma-linga to enter into your inner consciousness and elevate it into Divine heights.

The indweller is Atma, which is your true identity. Hence, do not be worried about your body. If someone were to criticize you, do not be agitated. If he criticizes you loudly, it will vanish into thin air. If he criticizes within him/herself, it will affect him/herself. Neither praise nor censure will come to you. You should not be affected by either. In this manner, you should transcend the dualities of life. You will become a true human being only when your mind is fixed on the true and eternal Atma.

This is your true sadhana. All other sadhanas will prove futile if you do not give up body attachment. Some people keep telling the beads in a mechanical way and say that they are doing sadhana. The rosary will be revolving in their hand and the mind will be roaming in the market. Can this be called japa (chanting)? While doing meditation, your body may be steady, but the mind will be wavering. What is the use of such a sadhana? A true spiritual aspirant is one who has a steady mind and an unwavering vision.

People offer prayers to God. Prayers should not mean petitioning to God for favors. The object of prayer should be to establish God firmly in one's heart. Aim at linking yourself to God and not at seeking favors. Aspire for earning the Love of God. That is real penance. That is why it is said: Looking ahead is Tapas (penance); looking backward is Tamas (ignorance). Tapas does not mean giving up hearth and home and retiring to a forest. It means giving up all bad qualities and striving to live ceaselessly for God's grace. Love is the primary factor in this process.

How can anyone attempt to reveal
the form of the Formless Absolute?
The Atma is the Eternal Formless
Illumining the entire Cosmos.
Brahman is Love incarnate
Love can be realized only through Love.

The Principle of Love is the greatest unifying force, which unites all spiritual practices, all creeds, and all goals of life and all scriptures. The foremost path for the spiritual aspirant is the path of complete surrender to the Lord for earning His Love and Grace.

(Reet's Compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 2. "Shiva sankalpa," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "Recruits for my Army," Chapter 7 and "Shiva in shava," Chapter 8; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "From love : to love" Chapter 5; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 36. "RISE ABOVE BODY CONSCIOUSNESS," Chapter 6).

Namaste - Reet

Swami teaches... 26 - 29 March 2007

Part 1 Divinity Is in Everyone

If you dare seek Swami's Truth, come, surrender unto Swami. Do not allow your faith to falter. Do not become a slave to others, no, not even to God. Test, examine, experience, and then, when you find God, demand as of right. But before you get that right, you should appear for the examination and pass. It is Swami's sankalpa (resolve) that you progress in spiritual development.

However, if you wish to know Swami, you have at first to know who you really are. Look into yourselves. Without understanding who you really are, how you can seek to understand Swami? When your vision is concentrated on the external, how can you understand the inner being?

Narada who moves always by and with the Lord feels that God is beyond his understanding; Balarama who came as His own brother could not fathom His personality.

The Lord is Premaswarupam (Divine Love personified).The earthly father or mother will show Love only so long as you obey them; start going against their wishes and they will go to the extent of even disowning you. The Lord will never disown, for He is your very core, your very basic Reality. You derive from Him the fruit of your labor, of your dhyanam, japam and puja; faith will grow into devotion and thyaga (sacrifice).

The Lord is sweetness, you are sugar;
He is fire, you are fuel;
He has no heart; every heart where He is installed is His.

You may find a human without anger, without truth or without peace, but you cannot find anyone in the world devoid of Love. It is present equally in all human beings as the one effulgent Divine quality.

This Love may be expressed in different ways, but its nature is the same. Human is thus an aspect of the Cosmic Consciousness. Unfortunately, however, because human directs love towards worldly objects, human is unable to recognize own Divinity. Person's mind gets polluted because of association with the external world. As a result: even love gets tainted and person's mind becomes incapable of cherishing the beauteous form of the Lord. Only when person directs selfless Love towards God will he/her be able to experience the Divine within him/herself.

Firm faith is essential for realizing the Self. Faith is the basis of self-confidence, without which nothing can be achieved. The word manava (human) itself means one who has faith. Love is the means through which faith is strengthened.

On the disturbed surface of the pond, the reflection of the Moon is wavy. But on a clear surface, the Moon's reflection is clear and steady. Likewise, in the lake of a human's life, if it is confused and fickle, love also gets distorted.

When the mind is pure, unselfish, and unwavering, the Divine appears in all His purity and fullness. To achieve this state through sincere devotion what consists in offering all your thoughts and actions to God and yearning for His grace. Bhakti has described as the state of non-separation from God. True devotion should not be subject to changes in time, place, and circumstance. Love for the Divine should be present in any situation.

The legend tells that Ambarisha (pious king of the Ikshvaku dynasty) performed a yaga, but at the crucial moment, the animal intended for the sacrifice escaped. Now the priests ordained that to make amends for this sinful neglect, a human being had to be offered as substitute to the Gods. The King promised 1000 cows in exchange for a son, but which father will send a son to death, even when 1000 cows are given in exchange? There were also other conditions: the King's messengers should not ask any one for the son; they should not commit the sin of equating 1000 cows as equal to human being; the father too should not break the sad offer to the son; the offer to immolate himself must come unasked from the son, without any prompting or persuasion; it is only such a son that will be accepted by the Gods.

Now, Sunashepha heard the news by himself and approaching his father, he said he would go, and gladly too. For, what greater good fortune can a mortal expect than ascending to heaven through the sacrificial flame?

Sunashepha persuaded his father that his wish to proceed to the yajna and offer himself was legitimate and approvable, and he left for the capital. On the way, he went to his maternal uncle, sage Vishwamithra, who tried to keep away the boy from the sacrifice. "This is all just foolish superstition; can anyone substitute a man for a cow?" Vishwamithra asked. Sunashepha replied that all people are cattle, for until viveka and vairagya (discrimination and detachment) dawn, they are but animals.

Well, the Lord is not a rock or a stone; His Heart melted at the plight of the boy. Indra (the Lord of the devas i.e. celestials) appeared in the sacrificial fire and departed showering blessings on his head. It was Indhra who had carried away the original cow and elaborated all this plot, to bring Sunashepha and his greatness to light and to bless him.

The other example, exactly opposite.

Ravana and Hiranyaksha were experts in japayajna (Vedhic ritual of sacrifice with pious repetition of sacred mantras) but they never surrendered their ego to God. They did not pluck the weeds of sensory impulses from the fields of their hearts and so they harvested a crop of thorns.

It is not the grandeur of the yaga (ceremonial sacrifice) or the pomp of puja (ritual worship) that pleases the Lord; it is the yearning of the heart; not the sum of all the miles covered by you in pilgrimage or the cost of all the articles you have given in charity. You need not even pray aloud. He will Himself emerge when you yearn for Him.

The one Namaskaram (respectful obeisance) you do, do it with devotion. That is enough. You do not do even that; you do it so callously, so indifferently, so automatically. When you fold both your hands and bring them together, feel that you are offering at the Feet all the actions of the five Karmendhriyas (organs of action) and the five Jnanendhriyas (organs of perception) as indicated by the ten fingers. Again, the purpose of Namaskaram is to touch the Feet (sparshan) of the Lord. The negative pole, Mayashakthi (power of illusion), and the positive pole Mahashakthi (Supreme Divine power) have to meet in order to produce a spiritual current that will flow through you.

/Nowadays devotion is confined to the brief spell spent in the puja room (shrine) or in a temple. During this period, devotion appears to swell within you and you feel you are at peace. However, once outside, the peace is lost and anger takes its place/.

Many persons declare that God is present within them. This statement belittles the Divine. When one holds a flower within the palm, the flower is obviously smaller than the palm. If you say that God is within you, you suggest that you are bigger than God. The truth is, you are in the Divine and not the Divine in you.

Nature is Brahman, mistaken to be Nature, on account of the delusion of Name and Form. However, Brahman is not Nature; it is only the rope, which was mistaken to be the snake. When Wisdom dawns, when Light illumines, the snake disappears and the rope alone remains.

Those who understand the nature of the Divinity can appreciate the ways of the Divine. The Lord has neither agraha (anger) nor anugraha (benevolence). The Divine resorts certain kinds of punishments to make the devotee pursue the right path and enable to lead an ideal life.

Here is a story to illustrate the maxim, "No gains without pains." A gardener used to water the plants in the garden carrying a pot on his head from dawn to dusk. One day, while carrying the pot he got a headache and wanted to lay down the pot and go home. At that moment, the pot taught him a valuable lesson. The pot said: "There can be no fruit without: labor, no pleasure without pain. Learn the lesson from my own story. I was just mere dust and mud, trodden upon by people. The potter gathered that mud, turned it into clay by pressing it under his feet, and made a pot from it by whirling the clay on his wheel. And finally I was placed

in a kiln for firing. Whoever came to buy me, tapped on my sides with strength to test my hardness. It was because I went through all these ordeals that I earned the privilege of dancing on the heads of people. Likewise, only if you are prepared to go through trials and difficulties will you be able to raise yourself in life."

Every human is a prey to one evil quality, a kind of disease for which there is no medicine. That disease is Ahamkara (egoism). The egoism gets into a human's head and plays the devil with him.

(Egoism affects not human beings alone but even birds and beasts. For instance, a dog kept in a rich man's gate barks at every passerby to exhibit its authority. It is an example of egoism in an animal. The dog wants to show that it is the guardian of the house and that no one dare enter it).

If today a human does not know what own "I" signifies, human is in the same position as the dog. Human alone is a jnani (a person of wisdom) who has discovered the truth about him/herself. (One who goes on using the word "I," but does not know who he/she is, is an ajnani i.e. an ignorant person).

Many people come to Swami and ask, "Swami! Show us the way." All that you have to do is to go back to the source from which you came. Where is the need for seeking the way? The Bhagavatha has declared that it is the natural destiny of every living being to go back to the place from which he/she/it came.

Human must seek to know the purpose of life. With all knowledge and intelligence, human should try to rise above the level of the animal to a realization of own divinity.

(A great deal of time is wasted on futile controversies. The educated boast about their scholarship. They should be more concerned about discovering their true nature and living according to it).

The duality of birth and death is experienced in Prakriti (nature), which is the presiding deity of Life Principle. World attracts human and deludes. World is a combination of matter. It is the matter that attracts human. Matter is not permanent; it does not symbolize truth. How can the ephemeral objects confer on you the eternal peace? The transient objects cannot give you everlasting happiness.

For ages, human has been under the delusion that physical and ephemeral objects will give happiness. True happiness results when human recognizes the underlying eternal principle of Atma in this ephemeral world.

Ancients used to contemplate on God and worship Him with the total faith that He was all-pervasive.

According to Bharath's ancient scriptures, gods are 3 crores in number. Who are they? Can there be so many gods? The truth is that the population of the world was 3 crores when those scriptures were written. This declaration was made considering each individual a Divine being. The declaration God has thousands of heads was made prior to this when the population of the world was in the thousands. Today the world population is more than 6 billions. Every one of them is a manifestation of divinity. Every human being is a Divine incarnation.

The Lord has shown in books, illustrations, films and pictures, as well as on the stage. Who among the writers or painters or actors has seen Him? The epics and Puranas relate only an infinitesimal fraction of His Glory; they set limits to the limitless, for words have a limit. /The Puranas and the Ithihasas (ancient legends and history) describe the Lord in manifold ways according to the vyakthi (individual) who is devoted and the Shakthi (power) that is described; but the Vedas and the Sastras do not indulge in such changing moods; they deal with fundamentals. Sometimes, in the confusion of interpretation and re-telling, people miss the road. When the blind lead the blind, both are likely to fall into the well/.

You should not think that God exists separately with a specific form. God is one, but the wise refer to Him by various names. With hands, feet, eyes, heads, mouth and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire Universe. In fact, the entire world is present in your heart. Hence, it is said, God appears in the form of a human being.

Many people recite the sloka in the Gita which says that the Lord will create a Form for Himself and come into human affairs whenever Dharma is in grave peril. You have repeated it so often that it has become meaningless jargon; it has been quoted so often and by so many that it has lost all significance. Only those that are proficient in the Sastras can recognize an Avatar and test the credentials; only they can taste the joy showered by the incarnation.

Who endowed with vision of sacred knowledge, of union with God or of selfless devotion for God can have a glimpse of that Divine Effulgence. The rest only mislead by their claims of authenticity. Those who know will not speak; those who speak do not know, cannot know. (Reet's compilation from, Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 2. "Shiva sankalpa," Chapter 16; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 5. "Recruits for my Army," Chapter 7 and "Shiva in shava," Chapter 8; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 22. "From love: to love" Chapter 5; Sathya Sai Speaks. Vol. 36. "RISE ABOVE BODY CONSCIOUSNESS," Chapter 6).

Namaste - Reet

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