Sunday, January 24, 1982
|Sri Sathya Sai Darshan at Sundaram|
|Sri Sathya Sai Darshan at Sundaram|
“The phrase "our country" denotes not the dumb ground but the living beings thereon with whom you are involved. You must grasp this fact. You are ignoring this truth today. Each one must regard the prosperity and joy of others in the community as one's own. Then only will India or any other country deserve that prosperity and joy. One's happiness is bound up with the happiness of Society. One's physical, mental and intellectual strength and skills have to be dedicated, not merely to one's progress, but equally to the progress of society. Members of the Units of the Sathya Sai Organisation must try to benefit themselves and the society through such service. Use the strength, skills, and spirit of service for such work. A machine gets rested if it is not put to use; the human machine too gets rusted if it is not put to constant meaningful work. The pulse is not the correct indicator of your being alive; work, activity that is the evidence and the value of real living.
|Sri Sathya Sai Darshan in Madras|
Character is power more than knowledge
Good conduct has to be the main key to the life of man. It is the 'way of living,' the path of virtue, that keeps one in the memory of people long after death. If it is not the virtuous way, the person is as good as dead. It is often declared that knowledge is power. No. No. Character is power. Nothing can be more powerful on earth than character, Riches, scholarship, status, authority are all frail and flimsy before it. A strong virtuous character cannot be earned from guide books; it is earned only through intimate involvement with society.
There is no dearth of books today; nor is there lack of gurus. Educational institutions spread knowledge all around, To all appearances, the Sun of Knowledge (Jnana Bhaskara), is showering His rays in plenty. But, one can hardly notice those who have imbibed the nectarine wisdom thus offered and dwell in the ecstasy it can confer. The thick binding, encasing the books, seems to prevent wisdom from emerging. The mountain range with lust, anger, hatred, envy and pride as the peaks, shuts out the splendour of the Sun. Charity, compassion, fortitude, sympathy, and sacrifice, arise from the higher levels of consciousness while opposite tendencies breed in the lower levels. The latter cannot confer Ananda; they can only plunge us in grief.
See Nature as a Divine loving entity
Man is not merely flesh and bone. A gramophone record is not merely a circular plate with grooves on. Each groove looks like another groove, lines all over! In every groove are hidden voices, words, songs. In man, too, there is latent the possibility of all types of Karma. Every object, event or experience of ours since childhood lies dormant in us. The rivers, mountains and stars we have looked at are all in us. We have in us the past, the present and even the future. We are all that was, is, and will be.
Offer your body to God as pure as He gave you
In fact, the Cosmos is activated by one single Chaitanya (Consciousness, Intelligence). It is the Sutradhari (Director). Man has only a role to play (Patradhari). That intelligence, the omni-will, urges all men to play roles decided on by it, and to think and work as it directs. The scriptures declare that the Body is the Temple and the I is the God installed therein. Or, you may take it that the body is a vessel for cooking food, given on loan to us for use, while hosting a festival. Can we return it to God, who has loaned it, in a worse condition? Should we not scrub it and clean it and return it bright and free from rust and dust? When the festival of life began and we received the body from Him, it was innocent of evil. It was pure, fresh and bright. Using it we have inflicted dents, leaks and other signs of damage, through lust, greed, hatred, anger and envy. Only the lowest would offer it back in that condition. Offer it as pure as He gave it; you can then be most worthy of Grace.
Remember always the high purpose for which you have come into this world, equipped with potentialities to acquire and utilise all levels of knowledge. Have faith in Divine Grace, the grace of Gopal on the Go (cow), of Pashupati on Pashu (bound animal). Wear the Garland of Devotion Gems round your neck and saturate your thought, word and deed with Divine Love.”
Bhagavan witnessed a fine display of group dances by Bal Vikas students on the 23rd morning.
Thereafter, He gave His Divine Discourse in which He gave the stages of devotion for every spiritual aspirant:
|Sri Sathya Sai with Bal Vikas Students|
“You are all brought here today by bonds of Love. It is only Love that binds one person to another and one thing to another. The entire world is filled with Love. Life devoid of Love can be described as lifeless. In Love, there are three levels. The first is the best and the highest level (Uttama). Men at this level have full faith and belief that God, who is the embodiment of eternal bliss, is present in all beings without exception. They will have the feeling that Ishwara is present everywhere and in everything in the form of Love. For such people, "Adveshta Sarvabhootanam" will be the feeling. They see nothing but love in every being. They see no difference between their "own" people and others. Persons filled with such supreme love will experience bliss. Those at the second level care only for their own good and the welfare of their own kith and kin, their comfort and happiness. They do not care about others, about their merits or their faults. These people can be termed as Madhyama, or middle level persons.
Lowest level of Love
There are others who don't feel happy if they see others happy; in fact they grow jealous of others' happiness. They will always be looking for faults in others and criticizing them. They cannot tolerate other people being happy. Thereby they ruin all aspects of love in themselves. Just as a crow feels jealous when a cuckoo sings well, these people feel jealous at others' attainments. Just as the crow ridicules the swan, these people ridicule good people. They are in the lowest level of love (Adhama).
Although love is present in all these three, they enjoy, experience and use this love in different ways. In every tree of life, love is present in the form of sweet juice in its fruit. But this is covered by a skin called desire. Hence, we are not aware of the sweet juice in the fruit. Only those persons who remove the skin of desire and throw away the hard seeds of anger and jealously, can enjoy the sweet juice of the fruit of Love. When one throws away seeds of likes and dislikes and removes the skin of desire, he can enjoy Parama Prema - Divine Love, which is Rasa Swaroopa (sweetness personified).
|Sri Sathya Sai Speaks at Chennai|
Shravana (listening), manana (digesting what was learnt) and Nidhidhyasana (practicing what was preached and learnt), the rituals connected with Yajna, the visiting of various Kshetras (places) of pilgrimage, and various types of service such as charity (Dana and Dharma) are all classified as Bhautika Bhakti (devotion related to created or living beings). Japa, Tapas and Sandhya rites are all connected with this first type of Bhakti. Constructing temples, consecrating idols, worshiping in temples and rituals connected with these are also Bhautika Bhakti. These are all connected with the 'Jada' (the physical).
The Second Step in the Path of Devotion
Even though one may be immersed in meditation and experiencing visions of such idols, these have to be classified under this first type since all these experiences arise out of the body, mind and intellect, which are transient and not of a permanent nature. This body has to perish and hence experiences arising out of this body will also disappear with' the body. Nevertheless, this type of Bhakti is necessary as the first step.
Travelling on this path, we should slowly march to the second step of Ekaanta Bhakti. Many people think that Ekaanta Bhakti means dedication to one idol or form and experiencing mental vision of that one Form, exclusively in privacy. This is not correct. Ekaanta Bhakti is a subtle state achieved by effective control of the mind and experiencing one's inner self (Antaraatma). It is not correct to think that control of the mind means holding it steady without wandering around. To be able to cleanse the mind of impure thoughts is the correct meaning of 'Ekaanta.' This is a Sadhana (spiritual discipline) to be practiced in a lonely atmosphere, in a quiet place free from noise or disturbance of any kind.
The best time for this practice is from 3:00 am to 5:00 am which is called Brahma Muhurta. Selecting a particular time in this period, closing the door, contacting no one else, one should sit quietly and adjust the rate of inhaling and exhaling of breath. It is important that the pace of inhaling and exhaling must be the same. By gradual practice, the number of breaths per minute must be reduced from eight or ten a minute to two or one. You can take your own time; proceed gradually in the process of reduction of the number of times of inhaling and exhaling. Because of the flow of thoughts in the mind (Sankalpa and Vikalpa - mental resolves and doubts), the breathing also gets affected and disturbed.
Importance of Purity and Steadiness of Mind
To control the breath in this manner and direct it in the proper path, there is a very effective method that can be followed. The tip of the tongue must gently touch the rear of the teeth. When it is kept in this position, the thoughts in the mind become less and one can concentrate on the control of the breath. When you control the Sankalpa and Vikalpa of the mind and detach yourself from thoughts of the body and things around you, you come to the stage when the mind is without thoughts and desires, when it can concentrate on God.
In the state of Ekaanta Bhakti, the mind is dissolved and is in a still stage. God is everywhere in everyone; when the mind is rid of all impurities, God's presence alone is experienced by people with Ekaanta Bhakti. If you take a small tumbler with very little water and place it before the sun, you can see the reflection of the sun in the water. Though the quantity of water is very little, because it is steady and clear, you can see the reflection. On the other hand, if you try to look into the vast expanse of water in the sea nearby, you don't see the reflection because the water is always moving as tides and waves. Nor can you see the reflection of the sun in a well where the water is muddy.
Even in the sacred river Ganges, you can't see the reflection of the sun because it is ever flowing, though the water may be pure and the bed sandy. Similarly, God will not be reflected in a mind full of likes and dislikes and desires or a mind that is disturbed with impure thoughts. If you want to realize the presence of God in the beings, you must recognize the importance of purity and steadiness of mind. When the mind is pure and steady Divinity will be resplendent everywhere.
The Final Stage of Devotion
To experience Divinity in this way Ekaanta Bhakti alone will help you. On any other path you may experience visions of different types. These are nothing but hallucinations and products of imagination. Without virtuous qualities, you cannot control your mind. How can you build a house without brick and mortar? To achieve purity and steadiness of mind, earnest practice is essential. Ekaanta Bhakti is not obtained by locking yourself in a room and worshiping an idol with devotion. This can only be called Ekaaki Bhakti; after all, the idol is only a created object. You should experience your Atma Swaroopa and not a created object. You should have a vision of the Primordial Divinity, whose reflection is your Atma. Worshiping an idol is necessary as a first step. But do not devote all your lifetime on the first step!
By continuous training and practice of Ekaanta Bhakti, you will be able to know the 'Atma' within yourself. The Atma is in you. You can't see it because of impurity and waves of likes and dislikes hovering round. When you remove these impurities, the mind rests in a pure state. At that stage, if you turn your eye inward you will have the vision of Divinity, the 'Sakshatkara'. This is the Ekaanta Bhakti we read about in books. Ekaanta Bhakti is realised only when you turn the vision inward, away from sensory objects and experience the pure Atma. Ekaanta Bhakti is Antar Drishti or inner vision, while Bhautika Bhakti is Bahir Drishti or outer vision.
After earning Bhautika Bhakti and Ekaanta Bhakti, Ananya Bhakti will be easy to attain. We have a feeling that Ananya Bhakti consists in surrendering to God, saying: "I have no saviour other than you." We think that simply by declaring "You are mother, You are father, You are friend and You are my saviour, Oh God of Gods," we have. surrendered and are practicing Ananya Bhakti. This is only oral Ananya Bhakti. Real Ananya Bhakti comes from deep inquiry into the reality of the inner Self...
|Sri Sathya Sai interacting with Devotees at Sundaram during Darshan|
|Sri Sathya Sai leaving Sundaram|