The Spiritual Journey of a Sai Student – Part 1

On February 11, 2001, Bhagavan visited the Institute Hostel at Prasanthi Nilayam He came around 3.00 pm. The University Brass Band played to welcome the Lord. Swami was visiting the Hostel after a period of three years. Bhagavan had last visited the Institute Hostel on February 15, 1998. The Hostel Warden, Dr. Siva Sankara Sai, gave the Welcome Speech. 

The first programme was a relay speech in many Indian languages. It was initiated by a student in English and was followed by many other speakers in many languages like Hindi, Telugu, Bandla, Nepali, Malayalam, Tamil, etc. This was followed by a quiz on Swami’s life and ‘Kavi Sammelan’ (congregation of poets). After the Kavi Sammelan programme was presented by the students, where the students recited the poems written by them in their mother tongue, Swami blessed the students with His Divine nectarine Discourse. 

Divine Discourse 

Sri Sathya Sai with Warden Dr. Siva Sankar Sai at Sri Sathya Sai Hostel, Prasanthi Nilayam - February 11, 2001
As I hear these beautiful words filled with a lot of inner significance, I have no desire to speak. The power of words and the sweetness of sentences have beautifully brought out the inner meaning of the verses. The boy, who spoke in Tulu language, did very well, with lot of joy and inner significance, spreading bliss to everyone. Who is that boy? 
Get up! Come on! (Swami materialised a chain for the student). 

Chetularanga Shivuni Poojimpaleni,
Noru Novvanga Hari Keerthinuduvadeni
Dayayu Sathyambu Lonuga Dhalapadeni,
Kaluganetiki Thallula Kadupu Chetu

(What is the use of hands that cannot incessantly worship Shiva (God)?
What is the use of a tongue that does not ceaselessly sing the glory of Hari (God)?
What is the use of performing acts devoid of Truth and compassion?
A person without these virtues is verily a burden on the mother who bore him for nine months!) 
These are the words of Potana, which contain the essence of the three Yogas (Karma, Bhakti and Jnana), the three Kandas (sections of the Vedas - Karma, Upasana and Jnana), and the right royal highway for those who seek liberation. Students, one of our students recited a poem written by Potana. 

Palikedidhi Bhagavathamata,
Palikincheduvaadu Raamabhadrundata
Ney Palikina Bhavaharamagunata,
Palikedaverondugaadha Ney Palukaganela?

(That which is spoken is the Bhagavatam,
The One who made me speak/chant this is Lord Rama,
The result of chanting this (Bhagavatamata) is ultimate freedom, the Liberation of the soul,
So, let me sing it, since there is no other story better than this (Bhagavatam).) 

This sheer poetry sprang spontaneously from the throat of Potana. Potana was a great poet, who spread this innate sacred feeling of Bhakti all around the world. Once upon a time, Gajendra, the king of elephants was caught in the jaws of a crocodile. With all its physical might and ego, it struggled for its release thinking that it could escape from the clutches of the crocodile. But after failing in all attempts of using physical strength and intellectual power, Gajendra prayed, “Ravey Eashwara, Kavavey Varada, Rakshinchu Bhadraatmaka” (Please come Eashwara; guard me the One who bestows boons; protect me Lord of Bhadrachalam). At that moment, Lakshmi and Narayana were engaged in a game of chess. Lord Narayana said, “Oh Elephant, Fear Not! Fear Not! I will come and protect you.” In the game of chess that was in progress, Goddess Lakshmi had captured the elephant belonging to Narayana. Lakshmi reasoned to herself that Narayana was scheming to save the elephant that she had trapped. But, as she saw Narayana getting up and rushing away, she was surprised. “Why is the Lord in such a hurry?”, she wondered. She was hesitant and doubtful. From the human perspective, she wished to question. From the perspective of the Divinity, she was well aware and knew the reason. Armed with both perspectives, she followed hesitantly. Potana describes this situation in a very beautiful manner. 

Adigedanani Kaduvadijanu
Adiginathana Magadadugadani Nadayudugun
Vedaveda Chidimudi Thadabada
Nadugidu Nadugidadu Jadimanadugidunedalan

(Apprehensive, whether her husband would respond or not, she (Lakshmi Devi) approached cautiously. It seems, even the hair knot had become loose.
She is in a dilemma whether to question her Lord as to where He is going, and what would He think of her if she asks Him. However, she ends up not asking Him at all.) 

Potana very beautifully describes the intelligent, natural, and intimate feeling with which she spoke. Potana’s Bhagavatam is full of devotion and faith. Potana set an example for the youth, taught the inner significance, sanctified the mind, and lit the flame in their hearts. Today’s youth aim only at academic excellence and thus fail to understand the sweetness and beauty of diction. We find in the poetry of Potana, the harmonious blend of thought, word and deed. In his Bhagavata, he distilled the very essence of the Yogatraya (Karma, Bhakti and Jnana) and served it to the youth.

Saint Potana

The Yogatrayas are revealed in the Kandatrayas (Karma, Upasana, Jnana). In Bhagavad Gita, they are mentioned as Bhakti Sutra, Karma Sutra and Jnana Sutra. All the Vedas, Shastras and the Upanishads extol the Divine element and express it through the methods of Karma, Upasana and Jnana. In the first instance, when the thinking process is on, it should begin with prayer. We should make our hearts pure and sacred. All actions are intended to grant purity of mind. Keeping this in view, Vyasa said, “Yogaha Chitta Vritti Nirodhakaha, Noru Novvanga Hari Keerthinuduvadeni” - Divinity cannot be satisfied merely by words, songs or any other types of descriptions. One should transcend words and body and contemplate on Divinity. Our Siva Sankar Sai (Warden) has said, “Shut your mouth and open your heart.” Today, heart is opened in the Super Specialty Hospital. Mind is to be opened, not the heart. Mind should blossom forth and contemplation of Divine must be done. 

Do you know why these hands are provided? Hands are given not for undertaking all odd and sundry jobs. Hands are given for undertaking Divine worship, charity, selfless activity and for actions that provide succour to the weak. But, hands are being employed for all useless activities. Not even a single activity is of any use. Many become lazy, avoid giving work to hands and starve themselves. God has given two hands and only one stomach. Can’t we fill this one stomach by working hard with these two hands? In this modern world, people are not used to working. They struggle hard to earn money, but do not struggle for the sake of Dharma. They are concerned about themselves, but not about others. In this kind of world, students should be ready to spread the message that they have spoken about. In their hearts, students have many sacred feelings and thoughts. But, they are not able to put them into practice. They will be blissful only when they put these thoughts into practice. It is not enough if you nourish these feelings only as long as you stay in this Hostel and study in our College. Wherever you are, these feelings should be in you, with you and around you as a shadow. As your shadow is always with you, similarly your sacred feelings should also be always with you. The sacred feelings, which arose from you, melted My heart. But, I feel doubtful, whether these are the feelings from your heart or just words. If these words were put into practice, how joyful it would be! In the present condition of this world, you should spread these messages. In the hearts of the children, many tender feelings arise. These thoughts should be translated into appropriate actions. 

Man today, has lost compassion, love, tolerance and sympathy. I often say ‘Life is Love’. But, life is not only Love. Love is a part of life. Compassion, tolerance, sympathy and Ahimsa are aspects of life. These are only aspects, but they don’t have forms. Form is only one and these are only aspects. Therefore, put your good feelings into actions and share with others. You have lot of love for Swami and you feel happy to think about Swami. Swami has thousand times more love for you, but you don’t understand that. To understand this you have to put effort. Then only will you obtain full and complete bliss. It is said in Vedas as ‘Poornamadam, Poornamidam, Poornaat Poornamudachyate’ (This is also full and that is also full. If you remove this fullness from that fullness, what is left is also fullness). You buy a kilo of jaggery in the market and put a small piece of it in tea and the tea becomes sweet. If you put in water, the water becomes sweet. Wherever you put, the sweetness is not affected. But, whatever is left is also Poornam. That is full and this is also full. Therefore, fullness means its sweetness. We see the unfathomable ocean. Even if you taste a drop of water of this fathomless ocean, it will taste salty. Therefore, the taste of the ocean and the drop is the same. That is also ocean and this is also ocean. The taste of the ocean that has come from the ocean is called Poornam. The Divinity in man has emerged from the divinity of God. 

Therefore, ‘Mamaivamsho Jeevaloke Jeevabhootah Sanatanaha’ (All are sparks of the Divine). Forget the feeling that you are Jeeva (individual soul) and He is God. Get it into your mind that Jeeva is God and try to lead a blissful life. There are differences in bodies, but not in Atma. It is the same in everyone. ‘Ekam Sat, Vipraah Bahuda Vadanti’ (Truth is one, the wise refer to it in varied ways). You love yourself, there is nothing like loving God specially. When you stand in front of a mirror, you see your reflection. How many ever mirrors you keep, you see your own reflection. Therefore, all these bodies are like mirrors. Your reflection is seen in those bodies. In this respect, the Vedas say, ‘Deho Devalaya Prokto Jeevo Devah Sanatanaha’ (The same aspect is present in everything). You feel that this body is different from that body. But, some forms are seen to be different. The fault is in the mirror and not in the reflection. In a mirror, you see the reflection of your tall face as round face. Actually, your face is tall and not round. Due to the fault in the mirror, the reflection may change. Reflection may be faulty, but not the object. Therefore, this body may have some defect. All these are made of mud. Mirrors are forms of mud. Due to difference in the mud, the mirror looks defective. 

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