Sri Sathya Sai gives The Soham Mantra and Its Inner Significance

When you play the harmonium and the seven notes, there is a small difference between each of the notes. However, the air which is the basis of each of these notes is the same. The tongues may speak differently, but the sound is one. It is the omnipresent sound – Om. Om Ekaksharam Brahma – That Om syllable is Brahman. How can you say that? Our inhalation and exhalation goes on as So-Ham. In waking state it is ‘Soham’. In the sleep state, the ‘S’ from ‘So’ is deducted and it becomes ‘O’. In ‘Ham’, ‘H’ gets removed. It becomes ‘M’. Thus these two ‘O’ and ‘M’ become Om. Many people while doing this ‘Om’ in their sleeping state, even snore! This ‘Om’ sound is the chariot of Saraswati (Saraswati Vahanam). Soham is also called Hamsa Gayatri. 

What do you mean by Saraswati? It is the presiding deity of the word – Vak Devata Swarupini. You can only speak when there is breath. Without the respiratory process, there is no word, no sound, no speech. The presiding deity of the word – Saraswati moves on the chariot of inhalation and exhalation of the individual. This is Hamsa Gayatri. Hamsa means a swan. What is the meaning of the Hamsa (swan)? It separates the body feeling (Deha) and the Divine feeling (Atma). It separates the ephemeral from the permanent, the milk and water. As it separates the milk and water, it is called swan. But the scientists say that this is all mad faith. They say that the Paramahamsas have given this name Hamsa to this bird which separates milk from water. The Yogis are called Paramahamsa. 

Who is a Paramahamsa? The one who has given up the body feeling, and has full faith in the Divine feeling. It is detachment from the body and attachment to the Brahman. Therefore, the Hamsa stands for the attachment to the Brahman and the detachment from the body. Where is this swan? It is present in Manasa Sarovar – the lake of the mind. It is not the Manasa Sarovar that is in the Himalayas. This swan is present in the lake of the human mind. From where has this swan acquired this power? Our scientists say that the swan has got an acid in its beak. As a result, on contact with the milk, it is able to separate it from water. This is a material aspect and has nothing to do with spirituality. They call it a law of nature. This is the truth. But, who put this acid at the tip of the beak of the swan? They can’t explain that and hence stop their discussion there. 

In spirituality, the question is put as to who put the acid there? The scientists can’t answer as to why the acid is present only at the beak of the swan and not in any other animal. It is the secret of the creation and the Creator. The swan dwells only in cold areas. Similarly, it is only in the peaceful mind that this swan of discrimination lives. It does not live in the hot places. What are these hot places? Worldly desires are the hot places. It does not exist where worldly desires are present. When we continue to enquire like this, we realise that all this Rutam. Truth is not apparent. It is everywhere. The good and bad come from truth. That Truth is God. Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma – Everything is Brahman. The whole world is pervaded by this transcendental truth. One may possess great fame, education and knowledge, but without putting it into action, it is all useless. Preserve truth in your heart.

Detachment from the World is for Attachment to God

In ancient times, people used to give up bad company. By watching, talking and interacting with bad people, they would also get spoilt, and therefore the sages went off to the forest. Modern people call it as an act of cowardice. But the people of those times were more intelligent and wise. They wanted to be away from such society. If you meet anyone, they will ask, “How are your wife and children?” They didn’t want the burden of a family and the associated attachments and therefore sought detachment by going into the forest. They left the society to give up bad company and live in the good company of saints and sages in the forests. These sages and saints would always speak good things and would speak only of the Atmic nature. They practiced to reach the true Self. All their activities were based on Truth. 

The diversity of this world, will never let you get away from these attachments and will never give you liberation. However, in this modern age, is it possible to gain liberation? It is possible. How? If you do every act feeling that everything is God, then your acts will get sanctified. You should think that whatever you eat is God, and the one who eats is also God. The whole world is full of food. The body is also food. The body came from food. Thus, food (body) is consuming food. Similarly it is Brahman that is experiencing Brahman. If we think in this direction, how easy it is! The forms may be different, but everything is Brahman. It is not enough if you say that everything is Brahman. These days a lot of people say many things as truth. But believing it we may be betrayed. You should not believe empty words. It should be converted into actions. 

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