Swami teaches....Part 2
Light and Love
Swami teaches... (12 January 2005)
Purusha, Prakriti, Body and Creation
Purusha stands for a large number of different persons. Prakriti stands for a wide variety of manifestations of the world. You have been taught that just as the manifestations of the material world are very many, so also the manifestations of the Purusha or the soul are manifold. But, if we really enquire into this from the point of view of the meaning which we are aiming at, then Purusha can be only one. The Purusha or the soul is simply the manifestation of the divine. On the other hand, the manifestation of matter, of the material things, is this world. This Prakriti or the world is something which is filled with all the five elements. All these are destructible. They are not permanent. But what is clear, what is clean, what is indestructible and what is effulgent and shining, is only one and that is the soul or Purusha. Srutis have described this soul as something which has no attributes, as something which is superior, as something which is eternal and permanent, as something which does not change at all.
"How does creation go on?" For getting a dream, the cause is your sleep. So also for creation what is called Maya is the cause. For Maya there is no beginning and there is no end. Thus this creation or the world you see around you is something which is related to Maya. Maya always loves the soul, loves the Purusha. It wants to be with Him, wants to reach God. So also the creation wants to reach God all the time. In some Puranas, it is said that Purusha has attached himself to the world. In the material world, although many shapes come about and although we may make a distinction between men and women with many different names, while this distinction can be made in Prakriti, so far as Purusha is concerned there can be no such distinction.
Here, in this world, in the drama of our life on the stage of this world, we are putting on the part of many appearances. In the aspects of either these five elements or the five Kosas or the five Thathwas, all these people are equal and there is no difference. Therefore, when you talk of manhood, what you have to regard as man, as Purusha, is the strength, the energy of Purusha that is contained in him. Thus it is by the coexistence and by the combination of these two, the soul, or the Purusha, and the Prakriti or the world of matter, that creation is going on.
For example, there is a light from the lamp. By the breeze, you will find that light moves a little, hither and thither. If there is a lot of breeze then the light itself will be extinguished. There are so many changes in the lamp. But there is no change at all in the light that is coming from this lamp. To any one who may come here, the lamp is handing on its brightness. In the same manner, God, who has no attributes, is handing his pure effulgence to everyone, irrespective of who he is. Because this aspect of God, which has no attributes, goes and enters some other abode like the body, or divinity gets joined to something else, there the differences appear. But the original divine thing is one and the same and does not change at all.
For such creation there will have to be some one who is responsible. We have seen the mud in the tank. We are also seeing the water in the river. Water alone from the river will not enable you to make a pot or a pan. The mud alone from the tank will not enable you to make a pot or a pan. It is the combination of water and mud that will enable you to create either a pot or a pan. Simply by the combination of water and mud, the pot or the pan is not going to be ready. There has to be a potter who will prepare the pots and pans. Such a potter is God. The energy or the power is the water.
The mud which was got from the tank or the mound or which went into the making of the pot is all the same. But it has taken the shape in one case of the pot, in another case of the mound and in another case of the pit. For the depression, for the mound and for the pot, the root cause is mud.
In course of time, this pot is going to break. In course of time, the mound in front of the potter's house will become smaller and smaller. But the mud remains all the time as mud.
By some desires and by some actions of our parents and also by the Sankalpa or the wish of God, the human body comes into existence. This life, Jiva, can be compared to the mud in the mound which goes on diminishing time after time. Dehatma (the body) is going to be destroyed (as the pot). All human bodies in time are going to be destroyed. Pictorially the mud or the basic constituent of the human body is the Paramatma that is going to go to its original place from which it has emanated. Like the pots and pans which have come from mud, and in course of time after usage they break and go back as mud, so also we have to accept that the contents of all these human bodies which have come from the primary spirit, after they have been used and destroyed, will again return to the source.
What existed before we were born? If it did exist, there is no question of its being born. Suppose we take the view that it did not exist at all. If it did not exist, where is the question of something which did not exist and does not exist being born? How are we to find this out? How do we get the knowledge of what is this 'I'? Those texts which tell us and teach us answers to these questions are called Upanishads and Sastras.
It is not possible to understand yourself, without seeking it from experienced people and without seeking it from Upanishads and without practising what these texts teach. Of course, in this world, we are seeing the five organs, the five Kosas, the five elements and even the Atma or the soul, we are able to realise and see. But those that have to tell you what the paths are which you have to adopt in order that you may realise fully the meaning of these things, are our Sastras that are time-honoured, old and ancient. (Reet's extracts-compilation from: The Divine Discourse Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba, "Purusha and Prakriti." Summer Course in Spirituality and Indian Culture, May 1972, Brindavan).
The compilations "Swami teaches..." are pictorially my experiences, how I understand different episodes from His Teaching. They are far not simple reproductions from His texts but as real living imaginations of Swami's texts through me, how I acknowledge His wisdom. Such is my path to acquire Swami's Teaching as an inner set for me. It is possible, that I am not correctly understand some of His explanations, but I try to do the best on the way to enlightenment as a seeker. (Therefore the reproduction "Swami teaches... without indication the original Swami's source with the note "Reet's extracts-compilation" is not welcome. All notes concern to my interpretation His Teaching are welcome).
Certainly, anyone has his/her own methods. As many followers are, so many different approaches. Mine is only as an example of millions others approaches. Maybe it is inspired someone closer to Swami's Teaching who is on the path of seeking eternal truth.
Namaste - Reet
Swami teaches... (8 January 2005)
Manava, God and Religion
The body (Deha) is like a boat. Our life is like a river and we have to cross that river and reach our destination. Our destination is the destination of divinity. Our life, the present one, is one of living in the contemporary world. In this process of our trying to cross the river of life and reach the destination of divinity, the boat that we have to use, namely, our body, has to be safeguarded and taken great care of.
The indestructible divine strength, which has come into this destructible body, has been called man's soul or the human spirit. Because the body contains this indestructible divine spirit, the live body has also been called 'man'. In the very word Manava, which stands for man, we are able to see the divinity that is present in man.
Manava includes three syllables. The first one 'Ma' stands for Ajnana or ignorance, absence of knowledge.
The second one 'Na' stands for the desire that ignorance and absence of knowledge should disappear.
The third one 'Va' conveys the injunction that one should conduct oneself in a manner as to remove ignorance. /Here is essential to signify the role of religions which really are parts of one and single religion of Prema (Love)/.
The religions of the world have two aspects - philosophy and spiritual path. The first represents the qualities of the head, and the second the qualities of the heart. If there is no heart, there is no use having the head.
Through head we should make all the necessary enquiries relating to philosophy and then should attempt to reach the heart. The first one concerns itself with the information and the second one with the transformation. If we do not gather the information, it is not possible to achieve transformation. Spirituality and philosophy are two things which are closely related to each other and which follow each other.
Our ability to comprehend and acquire complete knowledge is defective and has in many cases disappeared. That is the reason why when we look at a religion, we do not comprehend the whole of it but we take a bit of it and form an opinion.
There is the story of a number of blind men reaching an elephant and touching it. One blind man who happens to touch the trunk of the elephant gets the feeling that it is like a big root of a big tree, and therefore, he thinks that the elephant is like the root of a tree. Another blind man just happens to touch one of the legs and he feels that it is like a pillar and concludes that an elephant is like a pillar. Another blind man happens to touch the ear of the elephant and he thinks that it is like a big fan and so concludes that the elephant is in the shape of a big fan. Another blind man touches the stomach or the tummy of the elephant and thinks that it is a huge wall and concludes that an elephant looks like a big wall. Thus each one of these people, having touched only a part of the elephant, comes to the conclusion based on the impression which that part has created, that the elephant looks like that particular part.
Thus, when people of different countries look at any world religion, each one who looks only at a part of a world religion thinks that religion is only that part. The real religion is a combination of all the individual components, which each one of them is getting at. This religion is in essence like sacred Prema or love. It is essential to develop the feeling of Prema which is the highest experience proclaimed by Vedas and the other sacred texts. It is much more sacred and sanctifying to fill our hearts with Prema than to fill our heads with all kinds of books on spiritual matters.
God is one for all the Universe and concequently for human beings. God is beyond and above all five senses of perception and five elements earth, water, fire, air and sky (space). He has none of the five qualities or attributes of matter. He is present everywhere. It does not matter whether you look at this description from a spiritual angle or from a scientific angle, the truth of the statement which has now been made will have to be accepted by everyone. That is why God is described as 'Anoraniyaan, Mahato Mahiyaan'. This statement means that God is like an infinitesimal being amongst the infinitely small ones. God is like an infinite being amongst the infinitely large ones. (Reet's extracts-compilation from: The Divine Discourse Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba, "Vedic Truths belong to the Whole World," Summer Course in Spirituality and Indian Culture, May 1972, Brindavan).
PS: Reet's notes in brackets in black.
(The next "Swami teaches..." after some days)
Swami teaches... (7 January 2005)
Man has known about everything else, except death. Why should a person die? The answer is: in order that he may not die again. He is born, so that he may not get born again. Having been born, man earns and acquires land, riches, materials, grain, articles of comfort and luxury, which he feels will give him happiness and which therefore become the object of his struggle. But, the object of realising God is forgotten. You are listening to Me and what do you get when you so listen? Well, what do you give Me in return? Give Me the Aacharana (following, observing) of what I am telling you; practise what I teach, that is enough.
Man should not die like a cat or a dog. He should leave the world better and happier than when he came into it. He must get away, full of gratitude for the chance given to him to see God in everything that he saw, heard, touched, smelt and tasted. He must remember the Lord, with his last breadth.
When you are engaged in the various duties and obligations of the world, never allow your attention to stray away from God, the Goal. Be always attentive to the signs of His glory and His mercy and His omnipresence. So, cultivate the habit of remembering the Lord with every breath; then only can you remember Him with the last breath.
Death will not give any advance intimation, or say, 'Ready' and wait until you are ready. Therefore, be ready always, so that you may produce a good impression with His name on your lips and His form in your cleansed heart.
Death is considered as something to be afraid of; as something that should not be spoken about in happy circumstances! But, death is neither good nor bad. You have no choice in the matter. You can't get it sooner if you welcome it; nor can you avoid it if you condemn it as bad.
Each body has the Purusha [He who is in this Pura (fortified town), body] in it and the entire universe has the Purushotthama immanent in it. What dies is the body, not the occupant of the body, the Purusha. The faith that you have, the Purusha in you, will cleanse the mind of all evil and the senses of all evil propensities. The vessel too must be clean, not merely the drink.
(Extracts-compilation by Reet* from: The Divine Discourse Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba,
"Purusha and Purushotthama," 20 October 1963, Prashanthi Nilayam).
*In fact, name is not essential. It is added as there is a responsibility to work with Swami's texts. I am aware of this responsibility.
Swami teaches... (6 January 2005)
Karma and secret of life
The art of engaging in Karma (action) without getting involved is the thing that has to be learnt. Karma has to be done, because it is part of one's nature, not out of any external compulsion. Suurya (sun) is a Sahaja karmachaari (worker by nature). He draws the vapours of water high up to form clouds which pours back as rain; no one taught Him to do this. When you do the Sahaja karma (action dictated by nature), it won't be a burden. It is when you go contrary to it and do something out of the way that you feel the misery.
The Dharma-karmas (virtuous actions) have to be done; there is no escape. Fleeing to the forest is no solution, for it only gives the situation a new turn. Your body may be in the jungle but, your mind will wander in the market-place! There was a Saadhaka (spiritual seeker) once who was initiated by a Yogi into some Manthram (holy words); he wanted to meditate on it undisturbed and he found his home too full of distraction. He fled to the forest and discovered a convenient tree, under which he could meditate. Before long, the birds roosting on its branches started to clamour aloud and they showered on his head their droppings. He was greatly incensed. "Have I no place where I can commune with God", he cried. "Children at home; birds and bats in the jungle!"
After the third attempt he was too interupted. At last the seeker understood that Karma has to be carried through in the objective world itself and there is no use trying to shake it off in a huff.
Let your boat be on the waters, but do not allow the waters to enter the boat. Be in the world, but, not of it. That is the secret of a successful life.
Desire leads to ultimate ruin. It grows upon each satisfaction and becomes a monster that devours the victim himself. Try to reduce your desires, go on reducing them.
The chain of desire binds one to the point of suffocation. Control, curb your tendency to wish for this and that. Tell the Lord, "You are enough for me. I do not wish for anything else."
Death is but a passage from this life to the next; it is the change from old clothes to new, as the Geetha says. Sharanaagathi is the main gate to enter the mansion of Mukthi (liberation from birth-death cycle). It has four floors: Dhyaana, Karma, Bhakthi and Jnaana (meditation, activism, devotion and spiritual knowledge). Each floor rests upon the one beneath and the topmost one cannot be reached without ascending the first three. (Extracts-compilation from: The Divine Discourse Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba, "The Geetha Balance," 24 October 1963, Prashanthi Nilayam).
Swami teaches... (5 January 2005)
Science and Spirituality
The fundamental difference between science and spirituality is: Science is concerned with investigating the external phenomenal universe. Spirituality is engaged in exploring the inner workings of the Divine. The scientist is one who has an external vision. The one who has an internal vision is a saint.
The scientist is the one who enquires into the nature of srishti (creation). The saint is one who seeks to know the Creator. The scientist is preoccupied only with studying creation. However, once you understand the Creator, you can understand the whole of creation.
Scientists today are accomplishing any number of things. But they are unable to recognise the divine potency that exists in the human being. All human beings are made up of the same (principal) elements, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon, individuals vary in their mental and other qualities. What is the reason for these innumerable differences? What is the (initial) force that is behind these genetic differences? How do the scientists account for them? When they are able to understand the reason for these infinite differences, the scientists will achieve fullness in their knowledge. The truth is, no one can determine the magnitude or range of the powers of the Divine.
An example of the difference between scientific truth and spiritual truth.
If you draw the figure of a circle, that which ends wherefrom it started in the full circle has been described as Poornam (the full or the whole). The Full Circle represents spirituality. For in it the end and the beginning are the same. Spirituality knows no difference between beginning and end. The very term Aadhyaatma means that which has no beginning or end.
To understand what is science, you cut the full circle into two halves. The left half is a semicircle which resembles the English letter "C." "C" is science, it begins at one point and ends at another. Between these two points there is a big gap, which is called agamyagocharam. It is beyond reach, invisible and incomprehensible.
Matter and Spirit may be regarded as two semicircles. The two parts have been described in Vedantic parlance as Prakruthi and Paramatma. Scientists are investigating matter and are ignoring the Spirit. (Today by holistic scientists the first steps for integration of science with spirituality have done).
What is the new discovery that scientists have made today? All their discoveries are of what already existed. Gravity ,for example has existed from the beginning of creation. Newton sought to find out the laws governing gravitation. He did not discover the phenomenon anew. He only found out what already existed.
Scientists hold the view that matter is convertible into energy and vice versa. But, in fact, the two are not separate. They are inseparably interlinked and interdependent. The attempts to divide matter and energy have given rise to many doubts and confusions.
Likewise, matter and energy have existed from the time of creation. Both are comprehended by the mind only. Mind is the cause of experiencing joy or sorrow and for comprehending matter and energy. Recognising this quality of the mind, the sages declared: "The mind is the cause of liberation or bondage for humanity."
Them are two concepts - Drishti (seeing) and Drishyam (that which is seen). It is because of the power of sight that we are able to see the visible objects. It is because the objects are there, we are able to see them. There is thus an inextricable relationship between seeing and what is seen. Today, it is because we separate seeing from the things seen that sorrow arises. Seeing and that which is seen should become one.
(The theories of modern physics have reached near to this concept through Principle of Uncertainity and its applications defined by Werner Heisenberg,1901 - 1976; Nobel price in physics 1932, realized that the uncertainty relations had profound implications and argued that such concepts, for example, as orbits of electrons do not exist in nature unless and until we observe them).
Creation (the phenomenal universe) is within the comprehension of the senses. All that we hear, see and experience are within the purview of our senses. We refer to all these things as "this," "this" and "this" (idam). But what is beyond the senses is referred to as "that." The term "that" refers to something which is distant, what is beyond the senses.
What is beyond the senses has been called Aadhyatmic (spiritual). What is below the senses has been called Bhouthik (elemental, constituted by the five elements). We are simultaneously below the senses and above the senses. Below the senses is the body. Beyond the senses is the Hridaya (the spiritual heart). The eternal Hridaya is encased within the perishable body. This indicates our true form.
(Holistic scientists understand the need of spirituality as a prime part of science. Einstein in his letter to Max Born,1926 wrote, "The theory yields a lot, but it hardly brings us any closer to the secret of the Old One."
By quantum physics no one can calculate the precise future motion of a particle, but only a range of possibilities for the future motion of the particle. It is because this activity is closer to the laws of spiritual world what is beyond the actions of senses in the Maya Reality.
By this brief "Swami teaches..." Swami He as underlines the urgent need of integration science and spirituality. Without it science may cause (and jet caused) many disasters for humanity.
(Reet 's brief compilation by "Sathya Sai Speaks." Volume 21, "The Scientist and the Saint," Chapter 13).
PS: Reet's notes in brackets in black.
Werner Heisenberg, Gesammelte Werke, (Ordnung der Wirklichkeit). Abteilung C, Piper Verlag, Munchen ISBN 3-492-02925-6.
Swami teaches... (4 January 2005)
Principal positions of Vedas
The Vedas are the most ancient among the world's scriptures. They are a vast storehouse of wisdom. They enabled man to have an over-view of the universe. Historically, they are the earliest known book of knowledge. They are the roots of human culture and striving. All knowledge, all the principles of right living, all qualities are derived from the Vedas.
"I am in the Light. I am the Light. The Light is in Me. The Light is Myself." When this awareness arises in the heart, it will lead to oneness with Brahmam.
Whether humans are understood Vedas or not, their truth permeates the universe. It is not easy for common people to understand the Vedas, Vyasa codified them in four groups. They have been propagated and practised in three sections.
The Karma Kanda (dealing with
Jnana Kanda (dealing with the path of Knowledge).
The Upanishads have offered three kinds of yoga for mankind: Karma Yoga, Upasana Yoga and Jnana Yoga. As regards Upasana Yoga, what is required is wholehearted devotion to God, with purity in thought, word and deed. Love must be for its own sake. Jnana Yoga declares, "Sarvam Vishnumayam Jagath" (The cosmos is pervaded everywhere by the Lord). Everything is a manifestation of God. Though names and forms and thoughts and actions may be different, all of them are like waves on the ocean of Sat-Chit-Ananda (Being-Awareness-Bliss) what is present in everyone in a subtle form. This awareness is Jnana.
The Gita emerged from the Upanishads. It expounds the Karma, Upaasana and Jnana (the threefold path) in three sections of six cantos each. Thus from the Vedas to the Upanishads and then to the Gita the eternal teachings has come to divinise mankind. The Gita belongs to all mankind. It is the Voice of God.
The Vedas have indicated what are to be followed and what are to be avoided.
Great care has to be taken in reciting the Vedic hymns, observing the rules regarding accent, pause and rhythm. The gurus of those days were utterly selfless, pure-hearted and dedicated to the Divine. They were filled with love for the disciples and dedicated their lives to imparting Vedic knowledge to the students.
Unfortunately today people follow what is prohibited and have given up what should be followed.Faith in God has been replaced by disrespect for reverence and righteousness. Atheism is rampant and preceptors are not honoured. Devotion is at a discount and the ancient wisdom is being given up these days. (Compilation Reet by "Sathya Sai Speaks." Volume 23, Chapter 24. i.e. Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba. Valedictory Discourse at the Summer Course in the Brindavan Campus on 3 June1990
Swami teaches... (3 January 2005)
Be vigilant, be steady, be earnest
Krishna declares, "Samoham Sarvabhuutheshu" - "I am equal in all beings. I behave equally with all. I have no love or hate, no partiality or prejudice. Joy and grief are brought on by you on yourselves, not by me on you, through attachment or want of it." When such is His declaration a doubt may arise in your minds: Why did He also announce that He would be incarnating in every age, in order to foster the good and punish the wicked? How is it that He talks of good and bad men? Does it not mean that He likes some and dislikes other? Are not all parts of Him? Are not the waves parts of the ocean?
Man has to engage himself in activity, for his upkeep, as well as for the sake of happiness. Use the activity to earn what is really good. Seek something supreme, something of the highest value, something that is beyond diminution and decline - that is true Bhakthi (devotion). Bhakthi is the love and longing directed to the attainment of such a goal. The means adopted for this are Karma (activity). Karma becomes Karma Yoga, when activity is disciplined, dedicated and demarcated with skill. True love directed towards God can reveal His reality, and grant the highest Jnaana (supreme wisdom).
Bhakthi can flow along two paths: Saguna Bhakthi and Nirguna Bhakthi. When you feel that God is far away, far higher, far beyond you and when you plead for mercy, petition for grace, and pray for boons, it is Saguna - you adore Him as Lord and master, as guardian and saviour; you go through the ceremonials of praise, propitiation and prostration, submission and service. But when you practise the discipline of seeing Him in all beings, as the core of every cell or atom, alive and aware, and experience unity with all creation (for creation is but His body and you are also in it and of it) then, it is Nirguna. The Nirguna is the contemplation on the sugar; the Saguna is the adoration of some one sugar doll, which has caught your fancy and attracted your love and loyalty.
Let every act of yours stand as your credential when you quit the world. Let no single act be a drag, or a debit. Soak every moment in love, that is to say, in God. Of what avail is it to spend hours in Dhyaan (meditation), if, when you rise and move amongst men, you spread anger, inflict resentment by your words and deeds?
Be vigilant, be steady, be earnest. The steady person earns wisdom. By the absence of careful tending, a spark can be nursed into a huge conflagration; by vigilant care, even a conflagration can be reduced to a splutter. (Compilation and extracts from Discourse of Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba, "Choose your God." 23 November 1973, Prashanthi Nilayam).
Swami teaches... (25 December 2004).
Swami's Directions to Youth
What does the priest do in the temple every day? He cleans the utensils and sacred vessels in the shrine. He sweeps the room and washes the altar. The senses are the utensils for the puuja of the God within; they have to be cleaned and assiduously kept free from dirt. Inner cleanliness is Godliness. That is possible only through sense-control, and mind-control; or what amounts to the same saadhana, dedication of all desires and activities to God.
When God is recognised as dwelling within, every one will perform his duty as an act of worship. Children have to revere their parents, that is their duty. Parents have to bring up their children as bright and willing citizens capable of earning their own food and helping others in distress. There is also another responsibility that devolves upon the parent. He must live the householder's life, as laid down in the Dharma Shaasthras (Scriptures on Righteousness), so that a picture of a pure happy life may be imprinted on the young mind.
Do not lean upon others; lean on your own strength and skill. Live on your own earnings, your own resources. Self-reliance is the best food for growing young men.
Do not imagine that it will be possible for you to live happily, without any anxiety or bother. Do not build castles in the air, and hope to live in them. There is no bee without the sting; cleverness consists in gathering the honey nevertheless. Troubles and travail will haunt you, but you must not allow them to deflect you from the path of duty and dedication.
Man is the image of God; when you injure His image, when you discard him, or dishonour him, or keep him at arm's length, how can God confer Grace on you? Annie Besant said once that more than man seeking God, it is truer to say that God is ever seeking man, a man who loves and serves His Children, and treats them as endearingly as He does.
Food got by foul means, clothing procured through falsehood, these will only injure you. Do not think that ease and comfort are the main things in life. Disappointment, disease, distress are the lot of all, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, young and old. Let not your pure, immaculate hearts be rendered dirty by falsehood and wrong. Do not soil your tongue using it for uttering dirty words. Utter the name of God. All evil thoughts, and wicked plans and plots will disappear like fog before the Sun when the Name of God is remembered sincerely. (Compilation with extracts from "Sathya Sai Speaks," Volume 12, Chapter 14, pp. 37 - 41).
Namaste - Reet
to be continued