You have to finally make a firm resolve “I am I.” Do not identify yourself with the body and say, “I am a child,” “I am a young man,” “I am an old man,” etc. These differences relate to the age factor. What is the next stage after old age? Nobody knows. But the “I” principle exists in the child, youth, and old age. This is the fundamental and changeless principle. Therefore, when someone enquires who you are, you reply, “I am I.” If the person is unable to understand this principle, do not bother; hold on to your principle. Only when you develop such firm conviction will you be able to achieve anything in life. The philosophical concepts can be explained in ever so many ways. They contain several meanings.
On 20 October 1940, I made a declaration for the first time revealing my true identity thus:
Know that I am Sai in reality,
Cast off your worldly relationships,
Give up your efforts to restrain Me,
The worldly attachments can no longer bind Me,
None, however great he may be, can hold Me.
Since I made this declaration on the 20 October, people celebrate this day in a big way. We should not give too much importance to the dates and try to celebrate them —Birthday, Avatar Declaration Day, etc.
Once, Rukmini, the consort of Lord Krishna, invited Him to her palace saying, “Swami! Today is my birthday. Please come for dinner.”
Sathyabhama, another consort of Krishna, who was present on that occasion, was angry. She argued, “If today is your birthday, this is also the day on which I entered the in-laws’ house. Krishna tied the nuptial knot round my neck on this day. Therefore, He should visit my house only, on this day.”
Thus, the day turned out to be a day of quarrel between the two consorts. Lord Krishna, however was prepared to visit both houses. He does not differentiate between them. Thus, one has to recognise the principle of unity in Divinity.
********************************************************** Recognise the Fundamental Principle of Oneness Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Prasanthi Nilayam, 21 March 2004 Good and bad coexist.
None can separate them.
But one with sraddha (steadfast faith) will always experience goodness.
What else is to be conveyed to this august assembly?
Embodiments of Love!
Today marks the beginning of another new year. Many new years have gone by, but there is no change in the life of man. Why? The reason is that man is not making efforts to experience the principle of Divinity, which is present in all in the form of love. Love is the true form of God. It is your foremost duty to recognise this eternal principle of love.
Today you are in search of Divinity. Where is the need to search for that which is everywhere at all times? You are in search of God because you are unaware that God is always with you and in you. You are trying to have the vision of God through meditation. However, do not be satisfied by merely performing such spiritual practices. What is meditation? Adherence to truth is true meditation. The eternal, immortal, wonderful, and blissful principle of Divinity is present everywhere. You should make efforts to realise this truth. This is the royal path to attain the goal of life.
Recognise your innate Divinity
People are making efforts to realise truth, but their efforts are not yielding the desired result. Divinity is the very embodiment of eternal bliss and is present in all of us. How can you visualise it? Firstly, understand that there is nothing superior to truth in this world. Your foremost duty is to recognise the principle of truth that is present in you. But you are forgetting your innate divinity. You are undertaking a number of spiritual practices (sadhanas) to experience Divinity. In fact, you do not need to perform any special spiritual practices to have the vision of God, who is always with you, in you, above you, around you.
Embodiments of Love!
It is a sign of ignorance to search for God, who is all-pervasive. People perform various spiritual practices such as yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi to have the experience of divinity. What is meant by samadhi? It should be termed sama-dhi, meaning equanimity in all situations. Equanimity is, in fact, present in every individual. It is a misconception to think that only those who perform spiritual exercises are capable of attaining it.
Do you go about searching for yourself in the outside world? Such a person can only be called foolish. In fact, you are distancing yourself from your own sacred Self by searching for it outside. This mad search will not lead you anywhere. You are endowed with the sacred principle of love. Wherefrom does it come? Where does it go? It neither comes nor goes. It is always present in you. You waste your time just in the name of doing spiritual practices. Instead, realise the truth: “I am I.” All spiritual practices become superfluous for one who realises this truth.
Where does this “I” come from? It is in you. Without realizing this truth, you search for it outside. It is therefore necessary for every human being to recognize this truth. He is a true spiritual aspirant (sadhaka) who realises the divinity present within him. Those who search for it outside follow the wrong path.
Many people made efforts to fathom the Krishna Principle (Krishna Tattwa) but none could succeed. Where is Krishna? Where is God? God is present within you. Do you ever go in the street and ask others, “Have you seen me?” Try to look within and realise this sacred principle of “I”. You can know it the moment you turn your vision inward. You see all external objects except your true Self when you see with open eyes. Once, Arjuna asked Krishna about his true identity. Krishna said, “Arjuna! I am yours and you are Mine. You and I are one.” We should try to realise this principle of unity.
Give up false identification with the body
The boy who spoke earlier said that he was doing spiritual exercises to attain the vision of God. One need not search for God in some distant corner. Sarvata Panipadam Tat, Sarvatokshi Siromukham, Sarvata Sruthimalloke, Sarvamavritya Tishthati (With hands, feet, eyes, ears, heads, and mouth pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe). Where is the need to search for God when He is present everywhere? Whatever you see is permeated by God. There is no place or form in which God is not present.
God is love and love is God.
You can connect yourself with God only through love.
Develop love and achieve the supreme state of equanimity.
God is present everywhere as truth. The same truth is present in you. Some people think that Lord Krishna was born at a particular place and He left His mortal coil at such and such place. No! This is a misconception. Krishna is everywhere. Whatever you see, it is Krishna. Krishna is in every form, and all forms are divine. Only the names change; God is only one. Instead of searching for God outside, close your eyes and see within to know the Divinity immanent in you. Enquire who you are. Do not identify yourself with the body.
Only when you identify yourself with the body does the question of “I” and “you” arise. When this “I” and “you” merge into one, there will be unity. But people are unable to forget “I” and “mine”. Right from your birth, you are accustomed to identifying yourself with the body. Therefore, you are unable to give up your false identification with the body. Once you realise that the same Atma is immanent in every individual, the differences of “I” and “you” will vanish.
Embodiments of Love!
Love, truth, peace, and divinity are not different from each other. They are all one. You will be able to realise this truth only when you strengthen the spirit of unity. Love is not something that is acquired from outside. It emerges from within. When you develop and expand love, you will be able to realise the truth that all are one.
(Bhagavan showed His handkerchief) What is this? This is a cloth. It is made up of thread. Thread, in turn, is made out of cotton. Cotton is the basis of the cloth, but cloth is made by weaving the threads. Similarly, the mind is also made up of the threads of resolutions and aberrations (sankalpas and vikalpas). You should know your real identity by transcending the mind.
Embodiments of Love!
You have to enquire as to what extent you have understood the principle of love, which is uniformly present in all. Man is carried away by his identification with the body, so he perceives diversity in creation. In fact, it is unity alone that is behind the apparent diversity. Whatever differences are there, they are only the creations of your mind. If you want to eliminate these differences and realise the principle of unity in diversity, you have to realise your true nature. You experience diversity when you turn your perception away from this fact of unity. Recognise the principle of unity. You are God. God is not separate from you. It is a mistake to consider yourself separate from God. This difference is the result of your deluded vision. When you rectify this defect in your vision, you will realise “I am I”.
When you identify Sai Baba with the physical form, you become separate from Him. It is only these feelings of identification with the physical form that create differences between individuals. The feelings of “I” and “mine” are behind all this multiplicity of forms. If you stand before a mirror, you see your image. Even if there are many mirrors, you see the same image. Though the mirrors are many, the image is one. Realise this oneness behind multiplicity.
Embodiments of Love! Students! Boys and Girls!
Try to know the fundamental principle of oneness. If you know this, everything else will become known to you. This world has a plethora of forms but there is one divinity, which permeates all these forms. Know this truth. Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanti (Truth is one, but wise men call it by many names). You see diversity due to the effect of illusion (maya). There exists only unity everywhere, not diversity. It is your illusion that causes diversity. Forget this diversity and contemplate on divinity. You may ascribe any number of names and forms to God but God is one.
At one time, Radha realised her oneness with Krishna. But later she was overcome by delusion and started considering herself different from Krishna. This feeling of separateness is a big mistake. Reminding Radha of her true identity, Narada told her that she had no separate identity. It was her mistake that she had identified herself with her name, he said. He added that she was not separate from Krishna, and she was, in fact, Krishna.
Embodiments of Love!
Whatever you see, whomever you come across, consider every form as nothing but the manifestation of divinity. Do not entertain differences of “I” and “you”. You look into a mirror and say that you are in the mirror. In fact, you are not in the mirror. It is only your reflection that appears in the mirror. When you go behind the hill and shout “Oh!”, you will hear the echo of your voice. You may think that someone is shouting at you with the same intensity. But it is not so. That voice is yours and nobody else’s. Similarly, all that you see in the world is only your reaction, reflection, and resound.
It is a mistake to consider the reflection as reality. When you understand the true nature of the reflection, you will know the truth of oneness. Here is a small example. Once, a young cowherd took his cattle to the forest for grazing. While the cattle were grazing, he began singing loudly. The song created an echo from the hills. The innocent boy thought that someone was imitating to make fun of him. He grew angry. After he returned home, he told his mother, “Mother! I will not take the cattle to the forest tomorrow. There is someone in the forest who is imitating whatever I sing. I feel humiliated.”
The mother said that she would accompany him to the forest the next day. He took her behind the hills and started singing loudly. Again, an echo of the song was heard.
The mother said, “Son, it is not that someone else is repeating your song to make fun of you. Whatever you sing, its echo is being heard by you.” Similarly, you should understand that everything in this world is your own reflection, reaction, and resound.
Understand the Principle of Unity
If you want to see God, firmly believe that you are not the body. You identify yourself with the body due to your illusion. Students should try to understand this clearly. All that is seen outside is only a reflection and not the reality.
You see Sai Baba in front of you. You identify Sai Baba with the body. But I am not the body. You and I are one. Once you understand this truth clearly, there will be no difference whatsoever.
If you slap someone on the cheek, it amounts to slapping yourself. If you abuse others, it amounts to abusing yourself. You are bound to face the consequences of your actions. You are the cause of your happiness or suffering. Others are not responsible for it. In fact, there are no others. All are one. It is your own thinking that creates the feeling of separateness in you. You should make efforts to understand your true identity.
You are the very embodiment of love. The principle of love is one and the same in all. You share your love with your children, parents, and spouse. The feeling toward each of them is different but the fundamental principle of love is the same. You should recognize this fundamental truth. The fundamental truth is one without a second. That is the Atma.
Embodiments of Divine Atma!
The Atma is one, not two. Once you recognize the truth that the same Atma is present in all, you will be free from all differences and conflicts. Develop firm faith that the same Self is present in all. Understand this principle of unity. Only then can you experience truth. All the students have immense love for Me. They are happy that Baba loves them. Understand that it is only Baba who loves all. (Loud prolonged applause.)
You see differences in individuals. But in My view, all are one. I am you and you are I. Have firm faith in this unity. Only then can you transcend duality. When you enquire deeply, you will be able to understand this truth. Have patience. Do not feel disappointed that you are unable to have the vision of God. When you understand the principle of unity and hold on to it firmly, you become Sai Baba yourself.
You are “divine”. But you are unable to realise it because you are intoxicated with the “deep wine” of worldly desires. All are the embodiments of divinity. I am not different from you and you are not different from Me. We are one. When you go on contemplating on this thought of unity with the Divine, you become one with Him. Then, all differences will disappear and you will attain the experience of unity with God.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Prasanthi Nilayam, 30 March 1987
The Cosmos is a manifestation of the Divine. They are foolish who, while seeing the handiworks of the Divine everywhere, think that there is no God. Without recognising the omnipresence of God, men seek God somewhere or the other. This reflects the dualistic attitude of the persons who identify themselves with the body and alienate themselves from God. While God is omnipresent and can be recognised in the divine manifestations of nature, the body consciousness prevents men from experiencing oneness with the Divine.
How is God to be experienced? The first requisite is purity of heart. All religions have affirmed the basic importance of purity. The aim of all spiritual practices (sadhanas)is to achieve peace. Compassion toward all beings is devotion to God.
God cannot be experienced through the ostentatious observance of rituals and worship. Where there is pomp and show there can be no divinity. The bliss of the Divine cannot be found there. As a seed will not sprout on the rocky ground, the bliss of the Divine cannot be realised by worship devoid of humility and sincerity.
Allspiritual practices are not pursued for realising the Atma(divine Self). There is no need to seek the Atma, which is all pervasive and present everywhere. Spiritual practicesare performed to get rid of the anatma(that which bars the vision of the Atma). Man forgets his real nature and loses himself in the consciousness of what he is not. He forgets that he is theAtma in reality.
In the state of deep sleep, one is totally unaware of one’s name, form, position, etc. But on waking,one realises that the “I”, of which one is conscious in the waking state, was present in deep sleep too. The purpose of all spiritual practicesis to discover the nature of the “I” that is experienced in all different states of waking, dreaming, and deep sleep.
Atmais the basis for everything
Man identifies himself with a particular name and form and builds up all relations on that basis. But how real and permanent are these names and forms? They are all projections of the mind and have an existence only as long as the mind and body remain. The heart represents the Atma. It is self-effulgent. The light from the heart (Atma)illumines the mind and enables it to see the external world. Without this illumination the mind cannot comprehend the world.
The mind is like the moon, which receives its light from the sun. It has no light of its own. It shines because of the light from the Atma. When the sun shines, the moon is hardly visible. Likewise, when there is awareness of the Atma, the mind is not perceivable. The Atma is the basis for everything.
Men are naive in imagining that the Atmais inside the body. The truth is: the body, the mind, the entire cosmos is in the Atma. The Atma cannot be inside anything else. It is the All. It is the everything. Those who perform japa,dhyana,or puja(reciting God’s name, meditation, worship), conceiving God as separate from themselves, are victims of dualism. Whatever their scholarship, they are ignorant of their own true nature when they alienate God from themselves. God is in the heart of man.
Essential objective of spiritual quest
All man’s spiritual exercises are at the mental level. By these means, the Atma cannot be realised. The Vedashave declared:Yathovaachonivarthantheaprapyamanasasah (Whence mind and speech turn back, unable to reach it). Neither the mind nor speech can comprehend the nature of the Atma. The mind is turned toward the external by the sense organs. Only by withdrawing it from the sense objects can it be made to develop an inner vision (antarmukham).
The “I” principle is present everywhere. It begins with the Divine itself. The first word was Aham (“I”). Even the Pranava(“Om”) came after Aham.Before all creation, Aham alone existed. That Ahambecame the many. One who realises the oneness of what he regards as his “I” with the cosmic Aham alone knows his Reality. The universal “I” appears under different names and forms in different bodies owing to time and circumstance. Even the same person goes through many changes in form and relationships in life. But the “I” remains unchanged. It is like an actor wearing different disguises, but himself remaining one and the same. The realisation of the unchanging and universal character of the “I” (the Atma) is the essential objective of the spiritual quest.
Austerities must result in softening of heart
The sense of duality arises when the “I” (Aham) assumes a specific form and name. Ahamkara (theego-sense) is the result of this change in form. Only when one dissociates oneself from name and form can one discover one’s true divine self. To forget one’s essential divinity and identify oneself with a changing and impermanent form is the cause of bondage and sorrow. It is the mind that is the cause of this wrongful identification, because of its involvement with the external world and the impressions received through the senses. When the workings of the mind are understood, the reality of the Atma, which is beyond the mind, will be experienced as the One omnipresent, immutable principle.
Duality is an obvious fact of every day life. All sastras, puranas, and ithihasas (spiritual sciences, epics, and ancient legends) have recognised this duality and sought to regulate men’s lives on that basis. As long as men are engaged in activity in the phenomenal world in any capacity, the dualistic attitude is inescapable. All scriptural injunctions are designed to regulate men’s conduct in the phenomenal and the temporal world. The Vedasattach great importance to time. The sastrasprescribe duties in relation to time, circumstance and situation. The science of astrology prescribes what should be done according to changes in time. The almanac (panchanga) indicates what are likely to happen on the basis of astrological data. During this new year, Prabhava, the indications are encouraging. Out of the nine planets (grahas), seven are favourably disposed. The moon is the ruling planet for the year. Mars (Kuja) is the Minister. Their influence is powerful this year. Saturn (Sani is weak. There will be no scarcity of food and water this year. Food production will increase substantially.
However beneficial the changes may be in the sphere of natural forces, without a change in men’s outlook and conduct, they will be of no use. Many persons claim that they are observing rigorous austerities (tapas). What is the outcome of these austerities? Only when their hearts soften and they show compassion toward the ailing and the helpless will their penance have any meaning. A compassion-filled heart is the real fruit of tapas.All spiritual practicesperformed by a hard-hearted person are utterly futile.
Meditation is implied in all daily chores
Many undertake meditation as a spiritual exercise and expend many hours on it, But, in fact, meditation is implicit in almost every act that is done from morning till night. Meditation (in the sense of concentration) is implied in all the daily chores like eating, going to work, and attending to business. One is meditating while reading or playing or shopping.
Without concentration no activity of any kind can be done. When concentration is on God, it becomes spiritual meditation. Does such meditation call for a specific time or place? There is no special technique for meditation. By giving meditation some special names, people are forgetting its real significance. For instance, if people do not listen with dhyana(one-pointed attention) to Swami’s discourse, they will not remember what Swami said. Even listening calls for dhyanaIt has no specific form. No dhyana is possible with a wandering mind.