Light and Love
Swami indicates the significant role of His Teaching to the students - seekers of truth and to all others who are interested in their spiritual development. Let His words be as a preface to the subsequent Swami's lesson for devotees and followers "Swami teaches...".
All of you have great love and adore Swami but that love and adoration are of no use if you ignore the teachings of Swami. Even if you do not adore, if you believe in the truth of the word and enforce it in your daily life, Swami's grace will always be with you in your life. It is no use if you simply utter the name of the Lord and do not follow the good things that go with the Lord. It is just like uttering the name of penicillin when you are running a high temperature. Only when you take in the penicillin will the temperature come down. When you are hungry, the hunger cannot be satisfied by uttering words like potato and Chapati. If you eat them, it will be satisfied. It is no use if you only read or listen. You must try to remember the teachings, put them into practice and judge for yourself how far you have acted according to the word.
Swami teaches... (19 January 2005)
Vedic Truth of the Objective World Logic and intellectual investigation can give only partial accounts of the Truth. Everything in creation has many phases and many angles. Reason can observe only from one angle; it can see only one phase. The intellect that has been purified and clarified through the activities (Karma) laid down in the Vedas can succeed in observing both phases. Without undergoing the process of purification and clarification, Reason can work only within the bounds of the materialist world. So, the conclusions that it presents before us can only be partially true. But, the intellect subjected to the processes of cleansing and sharpening in the Vedic way can serve us by presenting a picture of the full Truth of the objective world.
The Universe is the Macrocosmos; the Individual Being is the Microcosmos. But, the basic Truth of both is One, the same. That One is independent and unrelated to any other fact or thing. When That is realised in this manner, it can be called Brahmam. When it enters the awareness as the Universe, it is referred to as Parabrahmam. The basic truth of the Universe is Atma. The basic Truth of the Individual is also Atma. All that appear as different from Atma are of the region of 'delusion' or Mithya. The last implies a condition which, until inquiry, appears real but, on inquiry, is known to be unreal. It is only an appearance, this universe and its supposed basis - an appearance caused by Ignorance or Maya. The power that deludes us into believing that the created cosmos is true and real is also an emanation from the Atma. When this power operates and the Atma is clothed with it, it is referred to as Paramatma.
The Lord is the eternal Witness, the Power that presides over every act. Looked at from this point of view, one has to realise and declare that the Lord and the Individual are bound inextricably together. In the absence of living beings, there can be no Lord. So, the Lord, it can be said, manifested the Universe, in order to provide living beings with fields of activity and in order to grant them the consequences of those actions.
The Universe is for each Jivi its own mental picture and nothing else, fundamentally. So, unless one unravels the mind and its processes, the Brahma principle is difficult to understand. Those who have not understood the real nature of the sky will mistake it as a dome of smoke and dust; so too, the Atma is mistaken, through non-awareness of reality, to be enclosed in and embodied as intellect or Buddhi, to be involved in activity, to be caught up in the twin bonds of joy and sorrow, and to be embroiled in happiness and misery and also in bondage and liberation.
From the angle of change (Vyavahara), the higher Truth will naturally appear as different, though they are inextricably inter-related. One space (air) exists in houses, lakes, hills etc. - which are shapes and forms, with distinct names attached to them and different modes of behaviour and use. Individual beings (jivas) too have different names and forms, peculiarities and specialities of use and behaviour; but, like the string that holds the beads, passing in and through each and holding them together, the Super-Consciousness in all individuals is One.
What is it that, if known, everything else can be known? When the Atma is known, declare the scriptures (Sruthi), everything can be known. The Jagath (the Cosmos) is only relatively real; it is partly false explained the sacred Sruthi texts and allied sacred literature like Smrithis, Ithihasas and Puranas.
"Why worry how the Cosmos was born or when it will die? Worry rather about yourself." That is the lesson emphasised by the scriptures. "Know Thyself." Once you know yourself, everything else will be automatically clear.
The Jivi cannot avoid inquiring into the origins of the Universe which he encounters. The Sruthi answers such inquiry in words that give temporary relief. The Universe originates through illusion or Maya. Just as the dream has no order or law, the Universe also is too full of mystery and Maya.
There is another problem that generally worries a human being, how did this ignorance happen? The solution has been provided by the sage-preceptor, Vasishta, to Sri Ramachandra. "Rama!" he said, "Rather than entangling yourselves in the inquiry regarding how Ignorance entered Man, I would exhort you to be engaged in efforts to get rid of it".
This lesson is directed not only to Rama but to all mankind. It helps all who do not possess the realisation of the Truth behind the objective world. Ajnana or Ignorance is the name given to ignoring what is one's own inner experience - that the universe is an ever-changing phenomenon. (Reet's compilation from: Sathya Sai Baba. Sathya Sai Vahini "The Primal Purpose," pp. 105-110).
Swami teaches... (18 January 2005)
How to Be in Accord with a Symphony of Joy and Sorrow?
All human beings born in this Kali Yuga are getting confused because they do not know how to differentiate between good and evil, between sin and virtue and between joy and sorrow. The sense of discrimination is being put to a severe test in us because what seems to be good at one time, seems to be bad at another time; what seems to be desirable at one time, seems undesirable at another, what seems to be conducive to our health at one time, seems to be dangerous to our health at another and so on.
From the same heart we find two emotions, one anger and the other mercy. Some people argue that man is born just for the gratification of his senses. Some people think that they should amass food and wealth for the sake of joy and happiness only. A human being is not born to go in quest of food but to go in quest of the Atma.
We should develop intelligence, because our intelligence enables us to distinguish good from bad through the process of constant thought and discrimination. The discourses of elders and the messages of great books point out the great principle of finding unity in diversity. But this principle remains only theoretical if it is not implemented in our daily lives. If we want to recognise unity in diversity, we must first know the meaning of these words. We may glibly say that the elimination of sorrow and acquisition of joy is the simple path which leads to spiritual illumination.
However, life is a symphony of joy and sorrow, a mixture of pleasure and pain. It is not possible for us to have joy without sorrow or sorrow without joy. Therefore, one must cultivate the attitude of equanimity towards joy and sorrow.
Human life is made up of several stages. Birth, growth, ageing, getting debilitated and death are the various stages of the changing body. In this field which is full of change, the principle which remains unchanged is divinity. Why do we nourish and protect the body which is the Kshetra? Kshetragna (Paramatma) is residing in this body. These are referred to in the Gita as 'Kshetra' and 'Kshetragna'. 'Kshetra' is the body which is the field and the 'Kshetragna' is Paramatma.
It is said that this body is your temple and within this body God, the eternal principle dwells. But today this body has unfortunately degenerated into a dwelling place of the devil. You must understand the difference between the dwelling place of God and the dwelling place of the devil. If you do not kindle the flame of pure thoughts in the temple of your body, then bats will befoul it and it will be densely dark. Kindle the flame of love, the flame of knowledge and the flame of devotion in your hearts.
Always avoid bad friends and fill your minds with noble and elevating things. When you get up in the morning, sit on your bed and think of the Lord. As soon as you get up, throw your troubles and burdens at the feet of the Lord and pray to Him to guide you through life and give you only good thoughts and noble ideas which always serve as uplifting factors in life. When you go back to bed at night, imagine that to be a state of death. Tell yourself that during the day, you have acted according to the Lord's orders. Ask for forgiveness if there is anything wrong and ask to be led on the path of righteousness. If you begin and end your day with such prayers, it will help you reach higher attitudes of living.
When you take food, all the evils are eliminated if you offer the first morsel to God. The food then becomes Prasad of the Lord bestowed on man. It may not be possible to insist that the vessel be pure, that the man who cooks the food be pure and that the food be pure, but if you offer the first morsel to God, it becomes utterly pure.
Always try to help those who are in distress, those who are suffering and the poor. Once upon a time, there lived in Tamil Nadu a poet and holy man who used to sit on a veranda in his house in front of the Lord's picture and chant beautiful songs. One day, it was raining heavily and he sought shelter in another little veranda in the village. One other man came and asked him if he could also take shelter there. The Bhakta said he could. He said, "There was place only for me to stretch out, but now that you are here we will sit up." Later, another man came and asked for shelter. The Bhakta consented saying, "There was place for the two of us to sit. Now that you also have come, let us all stand." He thus taught the principle of helping one another and not sending anyone away who needed help. Such is a tiny example how to practice in daily life the great principle of finding Iswara (i. e. God, Paraatma, Atma) in every creature. (Reet's compilation from: Divine Discourse of Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba "Pleasure and Pain" during the Summer Course in Spirituality and Indian Culture. May 1972, Brindavan).
Swami teaches... (17 January 2005)
Wisdom and Knowledge - Bridge to Happiness
All humanity long for and ceaselessly search happiness without knowing exactly the essential component of it.
Before seeking happiness through the senses, the mind and the intellect, one has to examine whether he/she is a bundle of sense, or a mind playing with them or an intellect that rationalises the mental cravings. The body is the gross body; the water which it is intended to contain and carry is the subtle body; the reality of the potter who shaped it and willed it is the causal body. The three bodies which each has are called respectively Sthuula (gross), Suukshma (subtle) and Karana (causal).
There are three stages of wisdom correlated to those three bodies: Jnaana, Sujnaana and Vijnaana. Knowledge that is gained by the analysis of the objective world and the similarities of the behaviour of its components is Jnaana. When this knowledge is further studied and practised to subserve the best interests of the individual society, it becomes Sujnaana, or beneficial wisdom. The intentions and urges that arise from the purified consciousness saturated with the divine qualities emanating from the sage is Vijnaana, the highest wisdom. It is to be noted that the word Vijnaana is often misused to indicate mere Jnaana, or coordinated information, analysed information about sense perceptions arising out of contact with the material objective world.
In fact, there is a great difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is something which is related only to the head. It is possible that by conducting some enquiries and by working with some special types of machines, one can reach an important position in the matter of acquiring knowledge. One has to say that to some extent, this is simply book knowledge. Just by such an acquisition, our capacity to comprehend truth is not going to improve. What we call knowledge is the essence of all sciences. Wisdom, on the other hand, is something which we acquire as a result of practice. Knowledge acquired from books differs very much from knowledge acquired from experience. Wisdom is acquired from experience.
In order that you may clearly understand these things, let us take the case of a very large ocean. If we take water from that ocean and put it in our mouth, we will get the taste of its being very salty. If the same salt water is converted into water vapour by the heat of the sun, constituted into clouds and then comes back as rain on the earth, that water will be very sweet. This can be compared to wisdom born out of experience. It is only when we take the matter that is contained in the ocean of books or scriptures and use our Buddhi, the intelligence, which can be compared to the sun's heat and convert it into clouds, which can be compared to Prema or love, then only, like the water that results after the rain, our knowledge will be sweet and this will be called wisdom. In every effort and in every thing that we do, cleansing or purification is very essential.
In no human endeavour can we bypass this process of purification. Once the intelligence is purified and dedicated to spiritual effort, there should be no slipping back whatever the obstacle, whatever the temptation.
If you really want to assess the human beings and assign values, you have to see and assess how these different persons are behaving, what their character is, what changes have come about in them after birth and what are the paths which they are following. If therefore, one wishes to change him/herself, to turn to the spiritual path, there is a need to take great care about the way in which one behaves.
Intelligence, intellect, intuition - these three govern the thoughts and actions of human being. One leads to another. (These three channel a human being to obtain skills through knowledge and to transform the obtained knowledge to wisdom).
The whole duty of humans is to engage in good acts with the gross body, scatter good thoughts and good influences to other human beings and environment with his/her subtle body, and earn self-realisation and bliss through his/her causal body. (Reet's compilation from: Divine Discourse of Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba "The Three Bodies" 23 November 1972, Prashanthi Nilayam and The Divine Discourse Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba, "Vedic Truths belong to the Whole World," Summer Course in Spirituality and Indian Culture, May 1972, Brindavan).
My thoughts, not exactly concern to Swami's text in brackets.
Swami teaches... (16 January 2005)
Four Purusharthas (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha)
The Makara month is holier than all the other months. All auspicious ceremonies and activities are embarked upon only from this month. Now it is the beginning of Makaramaasa (when the Sun enters the constellation Capricorn). The entry of the Sun into Makararasi (Capricorn) heralds the beginning of a great change from this day. That time is merged by Nature what wears the garb of Supreme Peace on the holy day of Sankaranthi what means San (coming together), Kranthi (a big change). Kranthi also means knowledge of the past, present and future. It can apply to God, who presides over time, space and causation.
Sankaranthi marks the entry into a Divine phase. It signifies the attempt to turn man's mind towards God.
It is a time, appointed by Nature to contemplate and experience the purposes of human life.
Four Purusharthas (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha) are regarded in common parlance as the purposes of human life. They are given a worldly meaning.
The real meaning of Purusharthas is
to make use of the time and the circumstances as they arise
for making one's life meaningful and sublime. We have to
effect a remarkable spiritual transformation in the world
today. Only then the observance of Makara Sankaranthi has a
meaning. External changes with no change in one's outlook and
attitude will not signify Kranthi
The word Purusha does not signify the masculine gender as is commonly assumed. It refers to the Atma, the Supreme Consciousness, which has no gender and which is immanent in all beings. Of the two terms Purusha and Prakriti, the latter represents the gross element in Nature. It refers also to the body. Purusha is the Consciousness, the Indweller in the body. The two are interdependent. The sastras have declared that the body is jada (gross) and the Atma is chaitanya (consciousness) and that the body is feminine. Every being can be considered as made up of both elements and therefore everyone irrespective of sex, is entitled to pursue the Purusharthas.
Of the four Purusharthas the first, Dharma, is regarded in common usage as referring to actions like charity and perform other good deeds. But these relate only to external actions. The true Dharma of every human being is to make every endeavour to realise the Divine. The process by which this consummation can be reached constitutes Dharma what should lead to Self-realisation.
The second - Artha does not mean, as
commonly understood, the accumulation of property and wealth.
They may well become anartha (calamitous). They are not
lasting. The acquisition of
The third - Kama is generally associated with worldly desires and sensual pleasures. But, when it is considered as the Purushartha - as one of the purposes of life - it relates to the yearning for God and not to mundane desires.
The fourth - Moksha is generally understood as referring to the means by which one reaches God or Heaven. But one can be in Heaven only for the period earned by one's meritorious deeds and at the end will have to be reborn again. But Moksha in the true sense refers to a state in which nothing is lacking and there is no incoming or going out. It is a state without name or form. It is not a specific place to go to. It is the attainment of unity with the Diane.
However, a human being is not allowed to know his glory, by the six thieves who hide in his mind - lusty desire, anger, greed, undue attachment, pride and hatred. So long as these beasts occupy the heart, man cannot escape being a beast. There are also eight waves of pride which obstruct his attempt to know himself - the pride of caste, of physical strength, of scholarship, of youth, of wealth, of personal charm, of overlordship and one's spiritual attainments.
Being a human, what does one aspire for? Absence of grief and presence of Ananda and freedom to follow one's will. Grief and joy are like night and day, inevitable phases of life. Freedom for one's will can cause disaster to oneself and others. A human being must know that he/she is the Atma; that knowledge is all that is needed for one's Ananda.
The basic principles of the human nature are Truth, Righteousness, Peace, Non-violence and Prema For the first four, the last value, Prema (Love), is the life-giving spring. When action is saturated with Truth, it becomes Dharma (Righteousness). When all actions are right, Peace reigns and one's mind is free from traces of violence. Love is the sustenance for all the four. These values are the goals, the bases, the roots, the keys of human progress. They can be achieved most quickly by Prema.
Love as thought is Sathya,
as action it is Dharma,
as feeling it is Shanthi and
as understanding it is Ahimsa (Non-violence).
These authentic human values cannot be learnt from books or from lessons given by teachers or gifted by elders. They can be acquired only by experience and example.
In addition, it is good to know that in arithmetic three minus one is two. But in the mathematics of the spirit, three minus one is one. God mirrored in Nature is seen as the Image, Human Being. There are three entities here, but remove the mirror and what remains is not two but only One, the One God.
(Reet's compilation from: Sathya Sai Baba Speaks. Volume 18. Chapters 1 "World needs spiritual transformation" and 13 "Live the values and lead the children").
Swami teaches... (15 January 2005)
Spiritual Truths of Vidya
Nothing is uncaused in the universe. Every being, object, incident has been caused by the primal cause and its direction or guidance. The Shaasthras (spiritual sciences) yearn for the discovery of that unseen principle.
Life is as a dream. In the dream, you experience joy and grief; but when you realise that both joy and grief are unreal, when you awake into the consciousness of the Aathma, you will no more have the thrill of joy or the despondency of pain.
Human being alone has the ability to understand the phenomenal world around him. He can grasp the ways and waywardness of the world; he can delve into its evolution and involution, its contraction and expansion. Therefore, he has to give it only a relative value, and follow as his only goal, the search for the Aathma and the attainment of the Aathma. Boundless spiritual potential is in every being and expresses itself as Jnaana (supreme wisdom).
A person is not just the body, with its limbs and other mechanisms. The Aathma is the divine person. The soul is the personality. And the person realises Aanandha only when the Aathma is cognised. This achievement cannot be won through riches or authority of office, scholarship or status, fame or force. The mind is the architect of your progress or decline. For the fool, the mind is a formidable dinosaur; for the intelligent, the mind is an angle. The Vedhas teach how to purify the mind and render it a useful tool.
The Pandiths and scholars must teach the people the principle of the Aathma, and themselves shine as inspirers through their own practice of what they teach. Immersed in Sath-Chith-Aanandha (sheer bliss in the total awareness of the supreme reality) themselves, they must communicate that joy and that wisdom to others. Plant in every heart the seed of truth.
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Jayadeva, Gouranga, Tukaram, Tulsidas, Ramdas, Kabirdas, Saradadevi, Meera, Sakkubai, Mallamma - those holy persons spoke what they had in their hearts, exactly as they felt or experienced. They had not mastered the objective commentaries and elucidations of the many sciences and scriptural texts; yet, this day they are adored by followers of all faiths, adherents of all creeds and natives of all lands. The reason obviously lies in their unshaken faith in the Atma, won through the purification of the mind. Vidya alone conferred on them the purity and the clarity.
When the mind is thus polished clean, the effect will be, as the poet says, "A Mahatma has as his sign, one thought, one word, one deed." These three being in harmony is the best proof of the worth of man.
This unique worth is now being disclaimed by man through his own volition. For, he is unaware of Atma Vidya. Human being has thrown his "humanness" into the crater of cruelty forgetting his best interests, under the influence of hatred, envy, conceit and power. He has cast aside the expanse of his culture. As a result peace has flown from the heart of man, from the fold of society and the boundaries of nations.
The truth that spiritual, moral and behavioral values are the very crown of human achievement however, today it is not recognised in most cases. Often educated scholars speeches from bookish platforms where practice is paralysed. It is easy to advise in a million ways without even one thing has practiced.
Every event in the world has a special cause that brought it about, namely, knowledge. Of course, without things to be known, there can be no knowledge. Knowledge itself is of two kinds: patent and latent, direct and indirect, Pratyaksha and Paroksha, real and apparent. Pratyaksha or A-paroksha, (the patent knowledge) is gained through the ear and other sense organs and through the words of others. The paroksha (for the latent), the real knowledge, knows no plurality; it analyses and understands the attractions and objects which haunt the mind. It purifies the mind and widens the vision of the heart.
Your nature is revealed by your acts, your gestures, your looks, your speech, your feeding habits, your dress, your gait. Therefore, pay attention to ensure that your speech, your movements, your thoughts, your behaviour are all right and full of love, sathwic, and devoid of wildness and waywardness.
You have to develop the humility to believe that you have much good to learn from others. Your enthusiasm, your strong ambition, your resolution, your capacity to work, your store of knowledge, your wisdom - these have to be related to all others and not utilised for you alone.
(Reet's compilation from: Sathya Sai Baba. Divine Discourse "To three Pandits," 3 Dec 1972, Prasanthi Nilayam and Sathya Sai Baba. Vidya Vahini, Chapter I, pp. 6 - 7; Chapter VIII, p. 29).
Swami teaches... (14 January 2005)
Science and the Aspect of Brahman
The motion of the sun, the moon and the earth takes place regularly and without faltering. The creation of this infinite world, the creation of the sun and the moon who are moving so regularly or the generation of a steady heat in a human body, the functioning of the lungs are such mysteries that unquestionably there is a divine hand of creation behind them. The divine strength or the divine aspect of all these things is Brahman.
Human beings have been able to go up to a certain point, using their intelligence. However, trying to reach to more proper explanations they meet a limitation and that they cannot go beyond that point. We must make an attempt to understand and search for the truth and put it into practice. Even today what the scientists have really learnt is a very small fraction of what there is to learn but the pride they have accumulated after having learnt such a small fraction is out of all proportion. The decisions which the scientists are arriving at as a result of their work are being altered in a short time by the scientists themselves. They are criticising and changing the very same conclusions which they arrive at and there is no scientist who can say that this is the final stage and there is no more to be done. Ultimately they reach a stage where by their inner vision they are able to say that this is the truth and signify the aspect of the Atma and realise what ultimate truth is.
The scientists of today are devoted to a machine philosophy. Their knowledge is something which is accumulated from studies of the external. It is not something which is generated from within as an essence. Those who are devoted to machines and those who stuff information from outside into one's self are scientists and those who develop the inner strength and who are devoted to the strength of Mantra are saints. This difference between a scientist and a saint is very deep and is one of essence. It is very difficult to understand this basic difference. That which is the basis for everything and that which constitutes the power and the strength which is at the base of all this creation is Brahman.
Do not cultivate the habit of building castles in the air and get tired by thinking that you will do this and that, you will achieve this and that. The fruits that you get will correspond to whatever seeds you plant. If the seed is one thing and if you have the ambition to get a different fruit, how is it possible? You may be very clever but all the cleverness is of no avail if you are not giving up your mean qualities. Whatever good or bad you may have done, the aspect of Brahman is not going to break the good and bad into separate parts. Everyone wears round his neck the invisible garland what consists of all the good and all the bad that you have done.
Brahman is present in your own heart and is functioning as a witnessing consciousness all through. Whether any one sees it or not, the aspect of Brahman which has been described as one which has thousands of heads and thousands of eyes is always watching you and the good and bad that you do. Without recognising and understanding this basic truth that Brahman is always with you, you spend a great deal of time and energy thinking that God is somewhere and that you should find Him elsewhere and outside of your heart.
We think that our mind, thought and body have been surrendered to the Lord. This in fact is not true and is in the direction of deceiving the Lord. Your mind is not under your own control and under such circumstances how can you hold it and give it to the Lord. You have no control over your own body. This word surrender conveys that there is someone who gives and someone who accepts and that you are surrendering to someone. There is a feeling of duality implied in this word surrender. A man with a dual mind is half-blind. In this manner, while he remains with this dual thought, how can he recognise the non-dual aspect.
The true meaning of surrender is the recognition of the fact that in everyone and everywhere God is present. The recognition of the presence of God in all Jivas is the true meaning of the word surrender. We should perform all the tasks enjoined upon us as our duty and it is not right to neglect our duty and sit idly and say that you have surrendered everything to the Lord. If you have the feeling that all the work that you do is to please God, then that is the right aspect of surrender or Sarangathi. It cannot be the meaning of surrender to give the consequences of all the bad that you do to God and take the consequences of all the good that you do to yourself.
The unity that is present in the diversity is the aspect of Brahman. To develop faith in this statement from the bottom of your heart is also an aspect of surrender. Therefore if you want to understand the meaning and significance of the word Brahman, you have to put in a considerable amount of effort and care and you have to understand and listen to what is being said with much care and attention. To be able to develop concentration, but the learning and the type of education that mostly exists in consumer society is giving to the students habits which are contrary to these requirements.
(The task of Swami's devotees is to improve this situation on area of education with deeds. Never is late to begin.
Swami explains that , "...Difference between a scientist and a saint is very deep and is one of essence." However, when most of the scientists will reach to the path of Advaita, it would be a real spiritual strengh for true spiritual development of whole human society. The modern science has done the first steps).
(Compilation from: Sathya Sai Baba. Divine Discourses "Brahman Denotes the Totality of Prajna in the World." Summer Showers in Brindavan, May/June 1974).
Swami teaches... (13 January 2005)
A human being as lifelong student
The world itself is a great teacher, a constant guide and inspiration. That is the reason why a human being is surrounded and sustained by the world. Every bird, every animal, every tree, mountain and star, each tiny worm, gives a lesson if he/she has the will and the thirst to learn. These make the world a veritable university for human beings; it is a Gurukul (sacred commune of preceptor with disciples) where one is a pupil from birth to death.
The gross body has its characteristics - height, weight, girth, proportion, name, caste, sect, nationality; it is a pot, a container, it is devised, designed; it disintegrates; it is destroyed. It cannot be 'you'. The subtle body is like the water in the pot; that too is poured by some one. It does not originate therein; it is no essential part of it; it is not its Dharma. So it too is not 'you.' The causal body is affected by attachment and detachment, the world and its objects, through reaction and reflection. So, it too cannot be 'you'. 'You' are beyond all three. You are not limited by these three containers - one within the other, one finer than the other.
There are five sheaths within which the "I" shines. The Anna-maya Kosha (the material sheath), is the gross body. The subtle body consists of the next three sheaths, Praana-maya (the vital sheath), Mano-maya Kosha (the mental sheath) and Vijnaana-maya (the intellectual sheath). The causal body is the Anandha-maya Kosha (bliss conscious sheath). Even this is a limitation, a phase, a characteristic. The "I" has no such bounds or bondage. The Guru who can make you cognise this "I" is your own mind. Turn it towards intelligence and Aanandha, you are in the right path; turn it towards the vital, the material, you slide down the path of perdition.
Sit calm a few moments; you can yourself judge your attainments in this line. If you are dually minded, you are half blind still. If you see only the one, your vision is clearest; seeing double is a sign of optical disease. See only the one, the eternal, the true, the divine. Rise up to the divine; don't bring down Godhead to your human and even animal levels. Do not worship God as the picture before you, but, worship the picture before you as God, because God is in everything and can be grasped through every single symbol. There is nothing wherein He is not; there is on might or right, apart from Him.
You may have vast scholarship, fame and fortune. But, the bee can give you a lesson on how to be free from torment. The tree can teach you forbearance and tolerance. It offers shade to all, irrespective of age, sex or religion, nationality or economic status. It helps with fruit and shade even the foe who lays his axe on its trunk! The dog can teach you lessons in faith, selfless service and the process of dedication.
Watch the waves rolling one behind the other towards the shore! You will notice the waves bringing with them bits of flotsam and jetsam, bottles and twigs, logs and pieces of wreckage to be deposited on land. There is a constant struggle evident to maintain a clean face - a laudable Saadhana, which a human being can well adopt.
On the surface, the sea appears restless, and full of fury. But, down below, it is established in peace. Again, consider the quietness of the depths, the Prashaanthi (serenity) that reigns in the inner regions of its consciousness.
It is instructive to notice expressions of innumerable forms of Nature and to obtain the skill to accept many of them as the teacher. (Reet's brief compilation from: The Divine Discourse Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba, "Lessons from the Sea." 26 July 1972, Prashanthi Nilayam).
Namaste - Reet
to be continued