Kalluri Veerabhadhra Sastry declared now that the Ritual Sacrifices for Self Enlightenment, which started on the 20th, had ended, but there is no conclusion for the sacrifice (Yajna). All life is a sacrifice. When does the sacrifice meet its conclusion (Samapti)? I shall tell you. Sama means Brahma; Apti means Prapti, attainment, reaching. When Brahma is attained, that day, that moment, the sacrifice that is life can be said to have ended, not until then. Today, this conclusion marks only the end of these rituals. Carry on the sacrifice, wherever you are, by means of listening, contemplation, and deep meditation.
Sastry today described the story of Rukmini Kalyana. Now, this is not simply the story of a marriage. It is the union of Purusha (the Supreme Spirit) with Prakriti (creation, the objective world) itself. The Brahmin intermediary is the symbol of Vedic authority through which alone the merging of the two is known. Rukmini is the individual self (Jiva), and Krishna is the Supreme Self (Paramatma). She is suffering from the rules and restrictions imposed by objective world; egoism is her brother, worldliness is her father. But, on account of her good conduct, her mind rested on God. So she was able to plan a method of reaching God.
One is born to serve out one’s sentence
Rukmini’s prayers, repentance, yearning, and steadfastness were rewarded. Her observance of the age-old code of good conduct at last saved her, for she went out for the worship of the universal mother Goddess (Gauri Puja) before the marriage rite. In that temple, she was immersed in the worship of God, so she was liberated from the bonds by the God who was lying in wait! The parents and brother and all the relatives objected, but an individual is born to work out their destiny, not to act a role in someone else’s drama. One is born to serve out one’s sentence; when the sentence ends, one is free. You shall not remain in prison on the pretext that a dear comrade is still in! Just think of this fact: Rukmini had not met Krishna before; there was no preliminary wooing. The soul yearned, and it won. They had met in the realm of the spirit.
This is no ordinary marriage, though the people who write about it and describe it in divine stories speak of it as the romantic adventure of a wilful girl and a young, care-free bravado! It is the merging of That with This (Tat, the Godhead, with Twam). The same thing is referred to as “this” if it is near and as “that” if it is far. “This” is there (that is, when it is not here but there). That (Tat, the Godhead) is the same as this (Twam), only it is far away. Why is it far away? Because it is beyond the reach of the intellect, the senses, and words.
Words are inadequate to communicate one’s experience of the Godhead. In fact, even the attempt is beyond the fortunate sage.
Conception of Brahman depends on one’s experience
Two pilgrims were passing through a forest and sitting under a tree. They were talking about the debt people owed to several “mothers”. One of them detailed a list of such “mothers”: the mother that gave birth, mother cow, motherland, and mother scriptures.
The talk drifted toward the importance of cow worship (Gau-Puja), and they began discussing what exactly is meant by the word go, which means a cow. There ensued a debate about its characteristics: a tail, two horns, four legs, an udder, etc. They rose up and wandered long to discover an animal with those items and at last espied a buffalo, which they worshipped to their heart’s content. So, the conception of Brahman will also depend on each one’s equipment and experience, but that does not mean that there are so many different Brahmans. A man is called daddy, son, uncle, grandfather, cousin, nephew and husband, but that does not make him more than one individual!
|Prasanthi Vidwan Mahasabha in the 1960s|
Our Vidwan Mahasabha (Society of Pandits) will establish this truth in the minds of all. It is not out to condemn any faith or attract people into a new faith. It will be engaged in fostering the positive attitude in spiritual effort. As Sanatana Dharma (the ancient, eternal, universal religion) has always done, the Society will encourage all to move forward from wherever they are in the direction of the Lord, whom they are free to picture in whatever Form they like. No harsh word is to be used when referring to another’s faith, for faith is a precious plant, and harshness might make it wither. Know the truth; experience the bliss (Ananda), that is the message that these Pandits (Vidwans) will carry.
Those who say that Ananda is the essential nature of man have the responsibility to be full of bliss themselves. You enquire of people the reason why they look depressed, and you are not worried if they look happy. Why? Because depression is unnatural; it is against one’s essential nature. Water is cool; that is its nature. So, the hot spring in front of the temple of Badrinath by the side of the ice-cold Alakananda river is looked upon with wonder. Be yourself, what you tell the other man to be. People will follow only the person who speaks out of personal experience.
Spiritual sciences (Shastras) are based on spiritual aspirant’s experience Some people were on this bank of the river. Since they were strangers, they sought information whether the river could be crossed at that point and how. A lame fellow said, “It is dangerous to cross at this point; go further down.” They did not believe him, for he could not have waded through! A blind man said, “You can cross, but keep more to the left for some distance and move to the right afterward.” They did not follow his advice, for he could not have known; he must have been led by someone else. At last a man came who volunteered to take them across. “I have crossed often; I live on the other bank, and I own lands on this side.” So they followed him with confidence and reached the other bank safely.
A little boy is taught names and facts by the elders. It calls a thing a dog; another thing a tree; a third thing a stone. When asked, it says that is a man. How does it know? Because it has been told so. The characteristics of animals, plants, trees, birds, and human beings have been taught by the elders, and the child believes them and takes them on trust. Then why can’t you also believe in God? You are told that also. For thousands of years you have been told that there is God, with many characteristics by which you can visualise Him.
The Shastras (spiritual sciences) declare that the signs of God are such and such. The Shastras are based on the experience of spiritual aspirants, and they have as much authenticity as anything else. Many things are taken on trust, depending on the reliability, the impartiality, the attainments of the people saying them. The Rishis are impartial; they have no intention to deceive or mislead.
Love alone can understand love
If you feel that you too must have the experience or else you will not believe, well, come and experience.
There is no use simply coming one day and going away the next day, saying, “I have seen Sathya Sai Baba. He wears a fine long gown and He has wonderful hair.” If you spend the time lounging in the hotels here or playing cards or listening to tales, how can you understand? Determine to discover, decide to learn, dive deep, and then you will know.
Thousands have come now, and in the years gone by, many have no desire to know. Many who have the desire are unaware of the fact that they must pay more attention to actual experience of the mind, not to the sense impressions. You may be staring at something, but if your mind is not focused on it, you cannot cognise it. If your body is in this auditorium, your ear in the hotel, and your eye all round the compound, how can anything be learnt?
Prema alone can understand love. Love is the manner of speaking, truth the substance, Dharma the language, Shanti the result aimed at. As a matter of fact, I am the Embodiment of Love.
I do not need any rest in My efforts to give you Ananda. All this sacrifice (Yajna), this gathering of Pandits, this Vidwan Mahasabha (Society of Pandits), is for your bliss.
Join this great task of establishment of righteousness
If all this arrangement is done somewhere else, what a great noise it would have made! People would have scoured the land with lists of likely donors, worried this person and that, and finally boasted of their achievements. But here, only just a few know about this. It was all a case of the Will Power (Sankalpa) working itself by the force of its own goodness. And what do you bring to Me? Only tears! Tears of grief when you come and tears of bliss when you go!
I am unattached to any event or plan. I am not worried at all by fear of failure, for I know that My plan must succeed. This Prasanthi Vidwan Mahasabha (Society of Pandits) is also not something new; it is eternal (Sanatanam). Only, it is now once again set on the age-old mission. This work of establishment of Dharma is being done over and over again. You have now the chance to share in it, so join this great task and make your lives worthwhile.
These evening discourses of Pandits and My own discourses have to stop from tomorrow, for I must start meeting those of you who have brought huge loads of grief, discontents, difficulties, and problems for My attention. That is also My work and I shall gladly attend to it.
Source: Divine Discourse on October 28, 1963 at Prasanthi Nilayam