Today, in the name of meditation (dhyana),several stunts are being practised. Instead of spending hours in so-called meditation with a mind restlessly hopping from one thought to another like a monkey, it would be better to concentrate on the performance of one’s household, official, and social duties with earnestness and dedication. Is that not meditation? Of what use is it to sit in “meditation” for an hour, when you cannot keep your mind still for a minute? Think about God while carrying on your regular duties. Regard all work as sacred offering to the Divine. See God in everything you do. Instead of following this simple and easy path, people are engaged in all forms of gymnastics and subjecting themselves to various hazards. Devote yourselves to your duties. Meditation is not confined to any one thing. It should permeate every action you do.
Some aspirants wish to seek solitude (ekantham). But being alone is not solitude. People go to Hrishikesh, Haridwar, or Tapovanam in search of solitude. Only those who have not understood the real meaning of solitude will resort to such things. There is real solitude (alone-ness) only when the mind is completely stilled. If while sitting alone in a forest your mind is ruminating on affairs of the world, how can it be called solitude? Without curbing thoughts, loneliness cannot be found anywhere. Either thoughts have to be eliminated or all thoughts should be turned toward the Divine.
Many imagine that they are deriving happiness by enjoying the things of the world. They should examine who is “enjoying” whom. In reality, far from their “enjoying” the things they possess, it is their possessions that are enjoying them. The hatred, anger, envy, and other evils bred by possessions lead only to disease and misery. Why should the body suffer from ills if possessions were really the source of happiness? People are losing real happiness by attachment to things that cannot give them happiness.
Set your sight on the Supreme
Those who have faith in the Gita should note that it has clearly declared that this world is ephemeral and “a vale of tears”, and enduring peace and bliss are not to be found by attachment to it. The source of lasting peace and happiness is within ourselves. That is the Atma(the divine Self). It is by realising it that peace and bliss have to be secured. One must constantly develop the consciousness that the Atmais everything —the doer, the deed, and the outcome thereof. When consciousness is broadened this way, in due course it leads to Self-realisation. If your vision is broad, your destination will also be of the same magnitude. A narrow outlook can lead only to a narrow alley. If you are immersed all the time in the petty trifles of mundane existence, when will you ever understand the Reality, which is beyond the physical and the mental? Set your sight on the Supreme. The illumination will come in a flash.
Everyone should develop the consciousness that “I am Atma.I am Brahma.”When one says, “I am Brahman”it is evident that there is “I” in Brahman. Who is that “I”? “Brahman”means pervasiveness. In declaring, “I am Brahman,”theconsciousness of all-pervasiveness should be developed. Brahman is all-pervasive. It is equally present everywhere. You should regard yourselves as all-pervasive, omni-self. Whatever you do, whatever you see, whatever you speak, saturate it with Divinity so that you may be aware of your Reality.
Find out what you really are
The world will exist for you as long as you have the feeling of duality. In the deep sleep state you enjoy the real bliss. You are not aware at that time of your body, your mind, your feelings, your qualities, or your thoughts, but still you exist. That same pure “you” exists in the waking state, the dream state, and the deep-sleep state. In the gross, the subtle, and the causal states “you” exist. In all these states and stages, it is the Atmicprinciple that remains, without undergoing any change.
The physical body, which performs repetition of the name (japam)or meditation (dhyanam)or various other spiritual practices, is but a water-bubble. The mind, which is based upon this physical body, is but a mad monkey. With the help of this mad monkey mind and this water-bubble body, how can you hope to achieve the permanent Atma? Japa, dhyana, bhajans, austerities, sacrifices —these are all methods for temporarily controlling the mind.
But there is one practice that will have a permanent effect, and that is self-enquiry. You should go on enquiring “Who am I? Who am I?” until you reach the stage where you find out who you really are. The enquiry should go on thus, “Here is my body, my mind, my heart, my feelings, my intellect, my memory power. I am not any of these. Someone has praised me. Someone has censured me. But to whom does this pertain? Only to this physical body.” In this way, you have to develop a sense of detachment and a sacrificing nature. How can a physical body abuse another physical body? That is inert, and this is also inert. How can inert things criticize or admonish? They cannot. How can they even worship anything?. They cannot. But then, can Atma criticize another Atma? That is absurd.
One person who has seen God says, “God exists.” Another person who has not seen God, says, “God does not exist.” If a person has not seen God, how can that person assert that God does not exist? Here, for example, is Nanjundayya. The one who sees Nanjundayya declares that this is Nanjundayya. If you point out Chakravarti to one who knows Nanjundayya, saying, “This is Nanjundayya,” the answer will be, “No, he is not Nanjundayya.” A person who has never seen Nanjundayya cannot say whether Nanjundayya is here or not. Only one who has seen another person is able to declare whether that person is here or not. In the same way, only that person who has seen God and knows God has the authority to declare that God exists. One may assert and the other may negate, but the object itself remains all the same. For both, God exists because all that is there is only this one Atma, this one Brahman. Brahman is Atma,and beyond that nothing else exists.
Faith and God are one and the same
Many people aspire for grace, love, devotion, and humility. All these are forms of the Atma (divine Self). Godis not different from faith. Faith and God are one and the same. Love is God, Devotion is God; they are not different entities. What is the meaning of devotion? Devotion is that which enables the unmanifested divine principle to manifest itself in the inner vision of the devotee. Then, for that devotee, nothing else will exist other than He. To reach that stage you must discharge your duties while keeping the permanent entity constantly in mind. You can cross the vast, deep ocean of worldly existence and enjoy the infinite Divinity that is its reality, with the help of a small boat. That boat is the Name of God. In the beginning of the spiritual journey. the name is the basis for progress, but it should not become life-long support, depending entirely on it alone.
Whatever service you are rendering do not feel that you are serving others, but that you are serving God Himself. While taking a bath or giving one to the children, consider that you are doing the purification ritual of washing God Himself. While serving food, consider that you are offering it to God Himself. While giving food to a beggar, consider that God has come in this form and you are serving Him.
It seems that it is a beggar who is asking, but it is the Atma who is enjoying the food you give. When you are cutting some vegetables for cooking, consider that you are cutting away your desires and ego with the knife of wisdom. While sweeping the floor don’t lament, “O, it keeps getting dirty again and again.” Think rather that you are cleaning your own heart. If you are rolling chapathis at home, consider what joy it is to roll and knead and expand your heart. In this way, you can consider every activity you undertake as being done for the sake of God. Then where is the need for separate meditation, separate penance or separate worship?
Love can accomplish everything in the world
Consider your heart as Atma.Soften it and make it full of compassion. That is the only spiritual exercise you need to perform. Narasimhan has told you that so many people are coming to Prasanthi Nilayam from different parts of the world. What brings them here? Are invitations sent? Does anyone ask them to come? It is only on account of the love that is here and felt heart to heart. Through love you can accomplish anything in the world. Consider love as the Atmaitself. However many scriptures you may read and however many spiritual exercises you may do, if you do not allow your heart to melt with compassion your life will be a sheer waste. All practices have to be directed toward softening your heart so that it will flow with kindness and love. Develop this feeling of compassion and allow it to flow fully and spread among all the peoples of the world.
********************************************************** Love All Serve All Prema and the Triple Purity Sathya Sai Speaks vol 28, chapter 2
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
14 January 1995 Embodiments of divine love!
He who recognises that the Atmain him and in all beings is one and the same dwells in the constant presence of God, whether he is a householder or a renunciant, whether he is alone or in a crowd. Everyone has to recognise the divinity that is inherent in all human beings.
The sage Narada declared: Prema amrithasya svaruupah (Love is the embodiment of ambrosia). In the mundane world, man considers the four goals of life (the four purushaarthas) as the means to liberation (moksha). This is not correct. Righteousness (dharma), material wealth (artha), the satisfaction of desire (kaama) and liberation (moksha) which are considered the four aims of human existence, are not all. There is a fifth aim for mankind which transcends even liberation (moksha). This is Supreme love (Parama-prema). This Love Principle is divine.
Love and God are not distinct from each other. Godis love and love is God. It is only when the truth of this Love Principle is understood that the meaning of human existence can be realised. Says a Telugu poem:
The Sai Lord is the embodiment of Love, Who taught the Love Principle,
Proclaimed the equality of all beings,
And revealed the preciousness of humanness.
In a home where three persons live, if they have harmony amongst them and cooperate with each other, verily that home is heaven itself, where divine bliss reigns. If, on the contrary, the three persons lack harmony and adjustment, dislike each other and behave as enemies, there can be no hell worse than that.
Ancients considered triple unity as a form of yoga
Heaven and hell are dependent on the conduct of people. The body is a home wherein reside three entities called mind (manas), speech (vaak), and limbs (organs of action). True humanness consists in the unity of thought, word, and deed. In Vedanticparlance, this unity was described as thrikaranashuddhi(triple purity). True liberation (moksha) consists in giving expression in words to the thoughts that arise in the mind and to practise what one says. The ancients considered this triple unity as a form of yoga. Manasyekam, vachasyekam, karmanyekam mahaathmaanam(Those whose mind, words, and deeds are in complete accord are high-souled beings). Manas-anyath, vachas-anyath, karmanya-anyath dhuraathmanaam (The wicked are those whose thoughts deviate from their words and actions).
Hence every man should strive to achieve unity in thought, word, and deed. That is the hall-mark of humanness. This profound truth is proclaimed by the Vedanticpronouncement that the body is a temple in which the eternal Atmais the Indweller. The Vedais dualistic. Vedanta is monistic (adhwaita). The essence of Vedanta is the triune unity of thought, word, and deed. In this unity, true bliss can be experienced. It will also demonstrate the spiritual basis of divinity.
Vedantais of no avail if precepts are not practised
There are today countless numbers of scholars who expound the Vedanta, and they have numerous listeners. The outcome of it all is precious little. This is because there is no practice of the teachings of Vedanta. All study of Vedanta is of no avail if the precepts are not practiced.
People have to find out what are the easy methods of putting into practice the precepts of Vedanta. The easiest way is to cultivate harmony in thought, word, and deed. Here is a Telugu poem:
Can the world’s darkness be dispelledby talking about the glory of light?
Can a diseased man’s afflictions berelieved by praising panaceas?
Can a destitute’s poverty be relieved bylistening to thegreatness of wealth?
Can a starving man’s hunger be appeasedby descriptions of delicacies?
Rather than listening to a ton of precept, it is better to practise an ounce of teaching.
What we have to practise today is something very easy and very subtle. The spirit of service is the royal path to be followed. How is this spirit of service to be cultivated? The Gita lays stress on the word friend (suhrith). Who is a true friend? Can he be utterly selfless? Will he help you without expecting any return? Whether it be one’s mother, husband, wife or son, they love you for their own selfish reasons. A totally selfless friend cannot be found in the world. It is hard to find anyone who renders service totally without self-interest.
God alone is totally selfless as friend and benefactor. God has been described as suhrith—afriend who is your alterego.God seeks no reward of any kind There is no trace of self-interest in Him. God alone can be utterly selfless and loving, expecting nothing in return.
Follow the royal road of God’s injunctions
If you ask a friend where he is residing, he will give a certain address. But this address relates only to the residence of the body. The true residence of one is hisAtma(the Self). This Atmais the embodiment of Love. Therefore, you have to dwell in Love and live in Love. You must dedicate your life to that love. If you devote your life to the pursuit of impermanent things, you will only get ephemeral things. You must seek what is lasting and permanent. What is it? It is the injunction of the Lord (Bhagavath-aajna). When you take to the royal road of following God’s injunction, you will realise all your desires.
You must remember, however, that these desires only bind you the more you cherish them. The bonds get reduced when desires are reduced. There must be a limit to desires.
Similarly there must be restraint in developing attachments. There is grief when a person dies in a family. Is death the cause of grief? No. It is the attachment to the dead person that is the cause of grief. The process of getting rid of attachment has been described in Vedantic parlance as vairagya (renunciation).Gradually attachments should be eliminated. In the journey of life the less luggage you carry the greater the comfort you will experience.
It may be asked: “How is it possible to reduce attachments and desires in worldly life?” The answer is: “Carry on your business or other activities in a spirit of dedication to the Divine.” All actions should be done with the conviction that they are dedicated to the Lord. This is an easy path to follow. Consider all actions as actions performed by the power of the Divine, whether it be seeing or hearing or speaking or doing. Without the power of the Divine, can the eyes see or the ears hear?
Divine potency is the source of all talents
The primary requisite for man is to realise the divine potency in him that is the source of all the faculties and talents in him. This is true whether one is an atheist, a theist, or an agnostic. No one in the world can get on without this energy. It may be called by different names. Names are not important. The energy is one. It is this divine energy that directs mankind on the right path. Men should strive to recognise the presence of the Divine even in small things.
In his speech earlier today Anil Kumar spoke about the Sai Organizations. The Sai organizations are carrying on their activities with devotion and dedication. But they do not try to find out what should be the ideal to be achieved. “Are you engaged in this work for your own satisfaction or for the satisfaction of the Divine?” This is the question they should ask themselves.
In this context an incident from the Bible may be recalled. Once, a devotee went to Jesus and asked him: “Oh Lord! What is the power by which one can protect oneself?”
Jesus replied, “Son! When you love God, that power itself will protect you.”
In the BhagavadGita, Arjuna asked Krishna, “What should one do to earn the love of the Lord?”
The Lord replied, “You simpleton! You imagine you are loving God. The truth is Godis seeking a true devotee.”
Crores of people all over the world are in quest of God. But where are they searching for Him? In my view, the very ideal of a quest for God is mistaken. There is no need for you to search for God. Godis omnipresent. He is everywhere. Devotees imagine they are searching for God. This is not true. It is God who is in search of devotees. “Where is the devotee to be found who is pure in thought, word, and deed?” God is searching for such a devotee.
You need not search for God. Godis nearer to you than your mother and father. You yourself are divine. How can you go in search of yourself? This is the mistake you commit. When everything is permeated by the Divine, who is the searcher of the Divine? It is because the world has lacked men who could proclaim this Vedantictruth with authentic experience that it has sunk to such degrading levels.
Best way to love God is to love all, serve all
It is needless to search for God. Verily you are the Divine. Strive to realise this truth. There is a simple and easy way. Have the faith that every human being is an embodiment of the Divine. Love everyone. Serve all. The best way to love God is to love allserve all.
You must love everyone because Godis in everyone. Every human being is a manifestation of God. On the cosmic stage every man identifies himself with the form and name given to him. But he does not realise what is his true form and name.
Last night you witnessed the film in which Anjalidevi acted the role of Sakkubai. In the film, she appeared as Sakkubai and not Anjalidevi. But both are one and the same person. God takes on a human form and appears as a human being. But when the human being recognises his basic divine nature he becomes the Divine. As long as one thinks one is a mere human, one remains a human. But when one considers oneself as Divine with deep conviction, one will be transformed into the Divine.
See the cosmos through the glass of spirituals oneness
Hence, thoughts and feelings determine what you are. Change your thoughts. If you give up your worldly outlook and view the world from the spiritual point of view, the vishvam(world) and the Vishnu (Divine) will become one. Therefore, change your viewpoint. Instead of altering his drishti(vision) man wants to change srishti(creation). No one can change creation. It is one’s vision that has to be changed.
If you wish to experience oneness,, you have to see the cosmos through the glass of spiritual oneness (ekatma-bhava). Otherwise, the world will appear as a bewildering multiplicity because you will be seeing it through the glasses of the three qualities (gunas): purity-calmness (sathwa),restlessness (rajas),and inertia-ignorance (thamas). Put aside these three glasses. Wear the glass of ekatma-bhava,the feeling of unity in spirit, Love is one. “The Supreme is One though, the wise call it by many names.”
The Divine has to proclaim this unity when God comes in human form and lives and moves among human beings. The Divine has no likes or dislikes. He has no distinction of “mine” and “thine”. He is beyond praise or censure. How, then, should the Divine (in human form) conduct Himself? Everyone should understand this.
Swami and devotees
Many bemoan the fact that Swami does not speak to them despite their frequent visits. “Is Swami angry with us?” they ask. These are not mental aberrations. They are due to total ignorance. Such questions arise in their minds only when they have not understood Swami’s real nature. I have no antipathy toward anyone. I do not hate anyone. All are mine. And I belong to everybody. But in dealing with devotees, I have to behave like a doctor who prescribes a specific diet for each patient. For instance, there is a patient suffering from diabetes. He should not consume sweets. If a devotee feels, “I enjoy sweets, why should the Sai Mother prohibit me from eating sweets?”, the answer is that it is for his own good. If Swami did not have the patient’s well-being in view, He would let him suffer by giving him sweets. It is out of love for the devotee that the Sai Mother denies sweets to him. Swami adopts these different regimens in the interest of curing the devotees’ ailments.
There are others with a different kind of grievance. For instance, the students often complain that Swami does not talk to them because He is angry with them. I have no anger toward anyone. Whether you believe it or not, I do not know what anger means. But, occasionally, I appear as if I am very angry. This is unavoidable, because without such assumed behaviour on my part, the students will not heed my words. I tell them to behave in a certain way. Some students heed my words and try to act up to them. Some others go against my injunctions. In such a situation, I have to ensure respect for my words. Of what use is it to speak to those who attach no value to my words? I don’t intend to devalue my words.
Truth is the life of the plighted word. My words bear the imprint of truth. I cannot depart from truth. I don’t speak to those who attach no value to My words. This should be realised by those who complain that Swami does not talk to them. When people heed My words, I am ready to help them in every way and confer happiness on them. I do nothing for my own sake. This is My truth.