The World is one vast community. Every individual in it is a part of this community, bound to it by the bonds of
love. This love is there, deep in the heart of every man. It is the Vishwa-Prema (all encompassing love) that
flows from one spark of the Divine to all other sparks. When the eyes shine illumined by the highest wisdom
of Jnana, they see all as the One. ---- SRI SATHYA SAI BABA ----
The inner meaning of the Navaratri festival was explained by Bhagavan Baba in His discourse in the Prasanthi Mandir on September 27, 1992. In the course of His discourse, Bhagavan Said:
Navaratri means nine nights. Darkness is associated with night. What is the darkness? It is the darkness of ignorance. The purpose of the Navaratri celebration is to enable man to get rid of nine types of darkness which have taken hold of him. When a reference is made to Devi, it signifies the unified form of Druga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. The three together represent Shakti. Shakti is the energy that account for all the phenomena of nature (Prakriti). Nature is energy and the controller of that energy is the Lord.
Nature (Prakriti) is make up of the three qualities, Satwa, Rajas and Tamas. Saraswati represents the Satwa guna, Lakshmi represnets the Rajo Guna and Parvati represents the Tamo Guna. As Prakriti (nature) is made up of these three qualities ( Satwa, Rajas and Tamas), to get control over Nature, man has been offering worship to Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. These are not goddesses but deified symbols of the three qualities.
GOD, MAN AND PRAKRITI
To acquire the grace of the Lord, man has to offer worship at the outset to Prakriti. On the one hand you need human effort and on the other you have to acquire the grace of the Divine. Prakriti (Nature) and Paramaatma (the Omni-Self) are like the negative and positive poles in electricity. However powerful the Lord may be ( as positive pole), there can be no creation without Prakriti ( representing the negative pole). The basis for creation is Prakriti. For instance, how-ever good the seeds you may have with you, without plainting them in ground you cannot reap the fruit. The role of Nature in the creative process in similar.
THE TRIPLE PURITY
When man forgets God and desires to enjoy the benefits of Nature, he becomes ultimately a demon like Ravana who brought about his own destruction. To secure the grace of the Lord, one has to have purity of the heart, purity in speech and purity in action. This triple purity is described in Vedantic parlance as Tripurasundari. Lakshmi, who is the embodiment of all prosperity, is represented by the heart. The mouth represents Saraswati. Purity in action (Kriya Sudhhi) is represented by Durga. The observance of the Navaratri celebration is to get rid of the darkness in which man is enveloped, by cultivating the triple purity of thought, word and deed.
The human body emerged from Nature. Nature has two forms: Aparaa Prakriti and Parra Prakriti. Aparaa Prakriti includes eight forms of wealth (Ashta Aiswarays), and Kama, Krodha, Moha, Lobha, Mada, Maatsarya and the three mental faculties in man: Manas, Chitta and Ahamkaara. Paraa Prakriti ( the higher Nature) represents the consciousness in man. Without the life force (Prana) and consciousness (Chaitanyam) mna is only a corpse. True humanness consists in controlling the five elements which make up the lower Nature (Aparaa Prakriti) and merge in the higher Nature represented by the life force and consciousness (Chaitanyam).
The Navaratri has been divided into three parts: the first three days being dedicated to the worship of Durga, the next three days to the worship of Lakshmi and the last three to the worship of Saraswati. All Hindu festivals have a sacred purpose. Unfortunately, now-a-days the festivals are observed only with external rituals without understanding their inner menaing. In the performance of all forms of worship there shoud be steadiness of mind and body. Only then concentration can be achieved. Today men are unable to maintain steadiness of body and mind.
ADORATION OF NATURE
The basic significance of Devi Navarathri is the adoration of Nature (Prakriti). Devi refers to Bhudevi ( Mother Earth). All the vital requirments of man can be found in the earth. Those who travel to the moon have to carry with them the oxygen, water and food they need from the earth. None of these can be found on the moon.
Students! The progress of modern technology, by polluting the atmosphere with Carbon dioxide smoke, is causing threat to life on earth. This smoke has already created a hole in the ozone ring above the earth which has been serving as a protecting cover against harmful radiation from the sun. If the ozone layer is destroyed the effect of the sun’s rays many be disastrous. All nations are now worried about this threat. All that needs to be done to avert this danger is to reduce the pollution of the atmosphere caused by automobiles and industrial effluents. The uncontrolled development should be in the common interest, to promote the welfare of all.
The Navaratri celebration is an occasion for revering Nature and considering how natural resources can be used properly in the best interests of mankind. Resources like water, air, power and minerals shoud be used properly and not misused or wasted. Economy in the use of every natural resource is vital. Pollution of the air has many evil consequences. The inner significance of obervances like Nagara Sankirtan and bhajans is to fill the atmosphere with sacred vibrations and holy thoughts.
Today we know how radio and television broadcasts are transmitted to all parts of the world by radiowaves. Is it unbelievable that Krishna was able similarly to appear in the homes of Gopikas simultaneously? If a yantra (machine) could achieve such a result, how much power should be attributed to mantra? The power of the divine name and form is all pervading. The electro-magnetic waves in the atmosphere can preserve sounds and forms for all time.
When Swami was recently in Hyderabad, His activities there were seen on the TV in various parts of the country. If a mechanical contrivance could achieve this, is it incredible that much more could be done by the divine power of mantras? What is needed is the power to tune in to the Spirit just as appropriate tuning is needed to receive a radio or TV broadcast. Regard your heart as a radio receiver. Your concentration is the tuning device. You will experience the Divine when you tune your heart properly. This calls for firm, unwavering concentration.
The inauguration of the Navaratri celebrations means that you should use this occasion for offering worship to Nature and resolving to make sacred use of all natural resources.
SPIRITUAL BASIS OF DASARA FESTIVAL In the course of His discourse on Vijayadasami day, Bhagavan called for the observance of festivals like Navaratri as a spiritual exercise rather than as a formal ritual. Bhagavan said:
The Lord created everything from Truth and everything is permeated by Truth. Realise that there is nothing in the world that is not based on Truth and everything is composed of Suddha Satva (the divine essence). Man has forgotten this fact.
Man has emerged from the Divine (Madhava). Forgetting this truth is the delusion (Maya) from which man suffers. A true human being cannot suffer from this delusion.
Embodiment of Divine Love!
Humanness is inextricably linked to divinity and is not separate from it. The same Atma resides in all beings. There are various limbs and organs in the body such as hands, legs, eyes, nose, mouth, ears etc,. All of them are integral parts of the body. There is an intimate connection between these different limbs and the Indweller (Sariri) in the body. The Jivatma is the Indweller. The limbs constitute the body. The relationship between the Indweller and the body is integral. All limbs belong to the individual. Hence the Indweller will not hate any limb. The Indweller (Sariri) will not feel happy if any limb suffers because all limbs belong to him and their experiences are also his.
Likewise, Vishnu pervades the cosmos as His body. All things in the cosmos are limbs of the body of Vishnu. Hence, no one should have any aversion to anything in the universe. He should not hate any one, because the same Divine is present in you and in everything in the universe.
The cosmos has three forms: the gross, the subtel and the causal. The physical universe represents the gross form. The subtle form is the mind and subtler than mind is the Atma.
THE FIVE KOSAS
A human being has five sheaths. These five sheaths have been grouped into three. The gross sheath is the Annamaya (Kosa). The three Kosas, Praanamaya (vital breath), Manomaya ( the mental seath) and the Vijnaanamaya ( the intellectual sheath) together constitute the subtle sheath. The causal sheath is the Anandamaya Kosa( the Bliss sheath). Even the last sheath does not represent total bliss, because there is a higher entity above the Anandamaya Kosa. This is known as Mahakaarana or supracausal entity. This is the Atmic principle.
Because every individual has these three bodies, he is called Tripurasundari. Every human being has these “Tripuras”( three cities). The three puras are the body, the mind and the heart. Since the Prakriti element which is feminine in nature, is present in greater measure in the body, it is termed as Sundari ( a beautiful damsel).
During the Navaratri festival Tripurasundari is worshipped. Unfortunately, from ancient times people have been observing only the external forms of worship without understanding the inner significance of these festivals. The entire cosmos is a temple. The Lord pervades the cosmos. Nature (Prakriti) teaches the spiritual truth about Navaratri. Realise the love of Sai through spiritual practice. The Lord has to be realised through sadhana. Sadhana does not mean adoring God in a particular place or in a particual form. It means thinking of God in all that you do wherever you may be. It may be asked whether this is possible. The answer is that it is possible by dedicating every action to God.
SELF—DECEPTION IN WORSHIP
During Navaratri there is a form of worship called Angaarpana Pooja. In this form of worship,all the limbs of the body are offered to the Divine in spirit of surrender (Saranagati). Surrender means offering everything to the Divine and giving up the idea of separation between oneself and the Divine. There can be no true surrender if there is a sense of separation. There must be the conviction that it is the same Divine who dwells in all being ( Ekam Vasi Sarvabhuta-antaraatma).
In the performance of Angaarpana pooja, there is a form of self deception. When a devotee says, “ Netram samarpayaami” (I offer my eyes to the Lord) and offer only a flower to the Lord, he is indulging in a kind of deception. The proper thing would be to say that he is offering a flower. Actually mantras like “ Netram Samarpayaami” are intended to indicate that one is using his eyes only to see God. The real significance of the mantra is that you think of the divine in whatever you see or do. Therefore, true meaning of the Angaarpana pooja is to declare that you offer all your limbs in the service of the lord. This means that whatever work you do should be done as an offering to God. Now-a-days selfishness is rampant among devotees and they love God not for God’s sake but only to get their selfish desire fulfilled. As long as selfishness prevail, the Divine cannot be understood.
The Navaratri festival should be used as an occasion to examine one’s own nature whether it is human, animal or demonic, and strive to transform the animal nature to the human and divinise the human nature. Wisdom cannot be acquired from outside. It has to be got through inward Sadhana. (Taken from S/S 11/92 P. 267-271)
THE DEVOTEE’S DOUBT AND THE LORD’S GRACE
(Prof. Kasturi, in his autobiography, “ Loving God” describes many occasions on which he had to experience the travail of translating Bhagavan’s discourse. On one occasion, more than the problem of translation, he had to go through a difficult ordeal when he had assured the audience that there would be no rain at a time when dark clouds were covering the entire sky. Narrating what happened on this occasion prof. Kasture writes:
It was an open air gathering in the spacious quadrangle of a bungalow at Madikeri, in the Coorg District. There were more than three thousand men and women eager for Darasan and anxious to listen to Bhagavan’s Message and the bhajan songs He invariably rendered for their benefit. Baba asked me to speak for a few minutes, presumably to raise the curtain. When I stood facing the mike, my eyes discovered on the horizon of hills a heavy phalanx of dark monsoon clouds, emitting ominous grim grunts presaging an attack. The hills were already cowering in fear at the prospect of a terrific aquatic fusillade. I could see many among the audience turn pale at the prospect of being drenched by the downpour I resolved to narrate a story which could assuage their anxiety.
It was about an incident that happened at Puttaparthi. Baba was a thirteen-year old boy. Indra, the God of Skies, desired to send tons of rain hurtling on the village where Baba, the Sai Krishna, was tending cows and calves and children. People ran helter-skelter seeking shelter from the oncoming disaster. Venkamma, the elder sister, was struck with panic. She had planned to build a house and the bricks though piled in the kiln were still wet, awaiting the baking proccess. The rain would certainly ruin mass of misshaped clay. Some one adivsed her to cover the bricks with bundles of dry sugercane leaves, available at Karnatanagapalli, the hamlet facing Puttaparthi from the right bank of the Chithravathi. About fifteen men volunteered to help. They followed Venkamma as she hurried across the sands of the river bed to the cluster of houses. Baba too ran behind them. But He stopped suddenly when He had trekked half the distance. Lifting His flat little right palm up in the air He shouted, “ Venkamma! Vaana raadu!” ( d as soft as th in the ) “ Vaana (rain) raadu ( won’t come)”. It couldn’t. He had willed the clouds away.
I watched the faces shine with faith and courage and sat down well pleased with myself, only to rise soon. For, Baba began his discourse.
As I was talking into the mike, I was frightened to see the clouds descending on the range which shuddered at the thundrous impact. The storm, in a fit of wild frolic, drove the rain down into the foothills. My mind went pit-a pat with confusion.
BABA TO THE RESCUE
Part of me proceeded with the translation while all of me blamed my effrontery at having chosen that story of “Vaana raadu”, The “Vaana” was advancing fast, enveloping the valley, lashing the jungle hiding there. It drenched the hillocks and blitzed the heights on which Madikeri was built. It overwhelmed the bazaar and the bus station, half a kilometre away.
But, Baba spoke on as sweet and serene as ever. Concluding His Discourse with a shower of blessings. He sang three bhajan songs and bidding Ravindra Punja, who came forward with the Arati Plate, to wait and keep the camphor flame aside. He spoke about my duel with a dilemma. I had to render those slow deliberate sentences, too, into Kannada for the benefit of the huge audience.
“ You were assured by Kasturi before I began to talk that the rain would be driven off by me. He was not firm in that faith, though he tried to instil that faith in you. Poor fellow! All the time, he was fearing, worrying, praying, pleading with Me. The rain is now pouring in Mahadevpet. It will reach this place only after twenty minutes.”
I had therefore to make those devotees realise that I was like most others they have known—a pendulum swinging between acceptance and apprehension.
THE TEACHER OF TRUTH
Bhagavan has declared that in this Avatar He has taken on the role of Teacher, the Teacher of Truth. Hence, he is both Rama and Krishna, His story is both the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha. When Baba tells us that His Life is His Message. He is Rama. When He tell us, “ Do as Rama did, but don’t do as Krishna did,” he is warning us against attempting to use mountains as umbrellas! He advises us to ‘ Act as Krishna taught.” “ I can,” He declares, “ lift on My little finger a whole range of peaks. For you, practising one single line of the Githa is enough adventure.”
Baba teaches a special Githa to every seeker and to every caste, class, age, group, profesion ro community. I have listened to His Discourses addressed to children, women and the aged, the blind, the handicapped, students of vedic Patasalas, High schools, Colleges, Technological Institutes. Institutes of Science, Women’s Colleges, Agricultural Universities, Medical Colleges; inmates of Remand Homes, Orphanages, Rescue Homes, Borstal Schools, Reformatories and jails; gatherings of teachers ( Kindergarten, Primary and High Schools). Headmasters, Professors, Psychiatrists, Doctors; Lions and Rotarians; Businessmen, Executives, Head of Religious Orders, workers in factories, labourers on dam sites, miners and farmers, nurses and social service personnel; technicians, researchers in atomic energy: Sappers and Miners; Sainik school boys; Jawans of the Army; Air Force personnel; poets, Pundits, Literati. farmers; fishermen; policemen, pilgrims and monks; journalists and tribals; students of Colleges for Men and Women. I have versified the impressions I gathered while watching the faces of these diverse groups during hundreds of discourse Baba has delivered in villages, towns and citics.
IMPACT OF BABA’S DISCOURSES
The impact of Baba’s discourse on the listeners is profoundly positive.
His talk, they find in cooling, not freezing, Warming, not scorching; raining, not raging;
Healing the ailing and the hearts bewailing’ Soothing, not searing, totally tonic; Balming and calming; bettering, not frittering, Impelling inquiry, compelling ascent, Dispelling dejection, repulsing reluctance, Infusing faith, fusing fissions, defusing revenge, Imposing no doctrine, composing dogma feuds, Informing, so charming, never harming, disarming, Sifting the responding, lifting the despondent, Sound waves spreading Love, speedier than light.
As you hear His words you quietly resolve to take a step forward on the pilgrim road….. Unfold your wings, explore the sky And seek the regions beyond your ken.
He is welcoming all who are thirsting and starving. Or limping and groaning or climbing and sliding, Raising the stooping, bracing the drooping! He open the eyes and strengthens the limb. Awakening the sleeping, the sitting to stand. The standing to walk, the walking to march, The marching to reach, the reaching to merge. (taken from S/S 11/92 p.g. 274 – 276 )
Activities for September Regular Events :- Bhajans Every Sunday :- from 17:00 --- 18:00 P.M.
:- Bhajan Practice :- Sunday 6th & 20th after Bhajans
:- Study Circle :- Sunday 13th after Bhajans
:- Veda Teaching Class :- Every Sunday after Bhajans
All above programs will be held at Sri Sathya Sai Center, Chungwha Apt, Bldg No. 9, Room No. 901, SEOUL. KOREA For more information Cont:
Bro Vashi Kalwani Tel No. 779-0267 & 796-9610
Sis Shim Soon Sub Tel No. 903-6803 for Korean
Published by Sri Sathya Sai Organisation of Korea. C. P. O. BOX 6028, SEOUL. KOREA