The Dialogue between Dakshina Murthy and the Ocean

Students! In this tender age, you believe that the human nature has no value by itself. Humanness is very valuable; it is sacred, Divine and worth living. It is because we live with petty ideas of selfishness that we are disgusted with our lives. We have to acquire several kinds of learning. In order to realise the true nature of life, we should keep learning something new each moment. No impurities should be allowed into the mind. Even if evil feelings enter our heart, we must try to send them out. Then alone, our pure heart attains the supreme state.
Lord Dakshina Murthy at Prasanthi Nilayam
Dakshina Murthy’s was a silent discourse. It was not in His nature to teach through speeches. With a glance itself, He would let the cosmic principles and spiritual truths unfold. Once upon a time, He was travelling by the seaside. He was greatly elated by the sound of the sea that resounded ‘Om’. Shabda-Brahma (Sound Almighty) is indeed an ocean. But, the waves are the most significant feature of the sea. A poem by Basaveshwara (a Kannada poet) reads that “A lotus is the attraction of the lake, houses are the charm of the hamlet, moon is the charm of the sky, waves are the charm of the sea, character is the charm of man and Vibhuti marks on the forehead is the charm of devotees.” Dakshina Murthy too was convinced that waves add beauty to the sea! What He meant by this was that Divinity is an ocean, which is an ideal for all beings. We can consider this worldly life as the sea. Just as the waves originate incessantly in the sea, one after another, in the worldly life too problems come our way continuously. But then we have a lesson to learn from these troubles and sorrows. Dakshina Murthy illustrated this point using the sea as a model. He watched as a gust of wind brought an amount of waste material and dropped it into the sea. The sea at once sent wave after wave and pushed the waste ashore. Not even for a moment was the sea ready to take the waste inside. Dakshina Murthy was upset at the sight and questioned the sea, “How selfish you are! You possess unfathomably deep and infinitely vast abysses within you. But you cannot tolerate a little amount of waste material dropped into you. How selfish of you, who is so vast, not to accommodate the waste! How narrow minded you are!” The sea gave a wonderful answer to Dakshina Murthy. “Dakshina Murthy! Of course, you know it all. If I accept a little impurity in me, tomorrow all the muck will be dumped into me. It will deform my looks. By and by, the dirt will accumulate and alter my form and nature irrecoverably. So, right from the beginning, if I take care not to allow any impurity into me, I shall remain clean. I shall remain the treasure chest that I have been,” said the sea. Hence, each man should try and repel at once any trace of impure thought that enters his mind. If you neglect it assuming it to be just a small bit, it will grow into a giant and cover up your real Self and it will make you forget your human nature. We must assert our human virtue and let them blossom fully. In this effort, if any bad thoughts, bad feelings or bad ideas arise in us, we must spot them at once and strive to clear them away.

There is a minor solution to every major problem. Little ants come together and kill huge serpents. We should never have any inferiority complex. We must rather build up the strength to do our bit of duty. In this world, bad things happen to the good all the time. Cuckoo’s song is a cacophony to the crows. Swans are ridiculed by the cranes because of their looks. But the former has nothing to lose. Such things are common in this world. In fact, good and bad are always in a pair. We should never go down or bow down. We should face it, fight it out, discover the truth behind all this and emerge victorious. We wish for peace and comfort. How can we get these? Peace and comfort are products of our self-control alone. How can we achieve self-control? In the presence of God alone we can achieve self-control. It is in this context that the Bhagavad Gita answers the one who seeks victory and peace. “O mad being! You aspire for peace and comfort and desire victory. How exactly can you obtain these?”
Yatra Yogeeswarah Krishnoh,
Yatra Partho Dhanurdharah,
Tatra Shri Vijayo Bhuthih,
Dhruva Nitir Matir Mama
Where there is the Lord Krishna and where there is Partha, therein lies the victory. Here Partha means not just Arjuna, but the son of the soil, that is man. Where there is God on man’s side and man on God’s side, victory manifests. Great victory is accrued. So, if you desire success, happiness and comfort, be sure to enthrone God in your heart. If you ask yourself where God is, you will find that He is in your prayers itself. You get your answers from the daily prayers you chant before you partake meals.

As you chant, ‘Bramharpanam…’, you say I am offering to God. But then what’s God’s reply? ‘Aham Vaishwanaro Bhutva…’ – I am in the form of the digestive fire in the bodies of all beings and digest all that they consume. So, if you question yourself where God is, the answer emanates from within, “I am the ‘Vaishwanara’ within”. But you don’t care for this answer. Indeed if our digestive system refuses to function, what would happen to all the food we consume! Who added the digestive and other systems to human body? Who is responsible for births and deaths? Unaware of Him are the foolish men.

Source: Namasmarana: The Boat to Cross Samsara, Discourse 10, My Dear Students Volume 1, Divine Discourse given on June 18, 1989 at Sri Sathya Sai Hostel, Prasanthi Nilayam

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