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THE knowledge derived through the mind utilising the senses is always incomplete, but the knowledge that is earned through the Buddhi or intellect, illuminated by the Atma, is full, freeing and revealing the Truth. The first is termed "Manojnana" and the second "Atmajnana". "Manojnana" informs that you are distinct from others; that God is at Kailas, Tirupathi, Kasi, or Prasanthinilayam. But Names, Forms and Temples are only for the Kindergarten stage.
THE prayer that rose from millions in this country from all its temples, yapiaskas, theerthas, holy sea fronts, shrines and altars for centuries has been, "Sarve janaah Sukine bhavanthu", Let all the peoples of the World be happy and prosperous. "Samastha Lokaah Sukino Bhavanthu", May all the Worlds have peace and prosperity. So pray for all humanity, for the welfare and happiness, the peace and progress of Russia, China, Africa, Pakistan and all the countries of the World and all beings everywhere.
YEARN to fill your heart with Him, not with you. Your yearning must be warm, so warm that it can be called "Thapas" (Heat). Become hot (earnest). Now it is only a lukewarm longing, a surface activity. Examine yourselves how far you have filled your heart within. Measure the heights you have reached with the yardstick of virtue, serenity, fortitude and equanimity. You now become easy victims of lust, anger, malice, envy and the rest of that evil brood; the atmosphere of the heart is polluted by the ego-fumes.
MAN has all the resources he needs himself. He can tap them by identifying them and manifesting them and by sharing them with others. He is Sath-Chith-Ananda; he is Siva-Sakthi Swarup, Matter-Energy. When man extols himself, he is extolling God. Do not cultivate the conviction that you are mere men; be assured that you are destined for Divinity. When Divinity takes on the human form, as described in the Ramayana, the Mahabaratha and the Bhagavatha, one has to interpret the actions as providing examples and lessons and not as human stories enacted for entertainment.
THE five Pandava brothers are five qualities in human character, all observing the norms set by the eldest, which is the noblest and the most righteous. Rama is the example of uncompromising adherence to the principle of Righteousness, regardless of the temptation to bypass it. Rama was charged with a Love that transcended all considerations of advantage, Caste or Creed and extended it to animals and birds, human and subhuman beings. Love is the key to open the doors locked by egoism and greed.
WE have at present persons who pride themselves on their encyclopedic scholarship and technical skills; they claim to know the innermost secrets of Nature; they fly into outer space and even land on the moon. But ask them if they have "Ananda" and can stay in "Ananda". They will reply that they have not yet experienced it. If they know everything worth knowing, why have they missed this? It is clear that they are suffering from some delusion.
BE eager to confer consolation and courage; be anxious to be of help. Watch for the chance. Snatch each opportunity to expand yourself by sympathy, to enlarge the horizon of Love by understanding and prayer. Do not keep another at arm's length, saying "My God is different from yours or my God is opposite to yours". It can never be so. Paramatma, the Name for God, does not mean a strange God but the Supreme God. Who can vouchsafe for the correctness of the picture which you now worship as the picture of Rama or Krishna? The poet described and the painter delineated, but both rely on their imagination rather than on actual authentic vision.
CYNICS question the validity of the type of adoration and say that it will only confirm faith in a superstition. "Can God be a stone, or a piece of paper?", they ask. This attitude is not correct. By adhering to the traditionally laid down ritual worship many aspirants have attained the vision of the Omnipresent and stayed in that Incommunicable Bliss.
IN fact, Puja (formal worship at regular hours), with the recitation of hymns and songs, is the very first step in the spiritual pilgrimage. Many seekers have undoubtedly achieved an awareness of God by years of asceticism among jungle caves. But starting early with puja and continuing with scrupulous care, the rites of archana, bhajana and aradhana (offering of flowers with the repetition of God's Name, singing His Glory and adoring Him as a living presence), are more fruitful and satisfying.
PUJA, Japa, Archana and Aradhana are the letters of the Spiritual Alphabet. The collection of the various items (lamps, camphor, flowers, plates, caps, a bell and the book) are necessary for precious hours-long concentration on the Divine. The Puja itself may take another hour or two of concentrated and devout attention, and the performer rises up after the recitations and meditations as a stronger and steadier pilgrim on the path.
THE sixteen modes of worship, laid down in the Shastras to make the aspirant aware that he is the very presence, and that every gesture and movement of his has to be motivated by devotion and dedication, ensure the purification of the mind of men from ego and all its brood of blemishes. This is "Chittha Suddhi", the cleansing of all levels of one's consciousness.
PUJA or archana offered without a purified heart is a sheer waste of time. But even a short sincere session of Puja, spent in Divine Awareness, yields much fruit. Thiru Thondar, a Tamil Saint, confessed that he had engaged himself in worship of the Lord's idol in order to cleanse his mind. The material and the Form are inseparable, but the seeker must dwell on the Form which he desires to be manifested in all its Glory rather than on the material.
WHAT exactly is implied by "Adhyatmic"? Is Bhajan or congregational prayer "Adhyatmic"? Or does it involve "Japa" or "Dhyana"? Or does it denote religious rituals and ceremonies? Or does it extend to pilgrimages and holy places? No. These are only beneficial acts. "Adhyatmic", in its real sense, relates to two progressive achievements or at least to sincere attempts towards those two achievements: elimination of the animal traits still clinging to man and unification with the Divine.
DHYANA is interrupted in most cases by worry and anxiety regarding one's kith and kin, and one's earnings and riches. Since all are manifestations of Maya, which is natural to Brahmam or Paramathmam, the Paramathmam or Lord, in whom you take refuge, will certainly free you from fear. Why? You are, each one, the Atman and nothing else. This is the reason why I begin the Discourse, addressing you as "Divyatmaswarupas"!
THE mind is the altar. Place the animal which is to be offered as oblation (the evil aspects of your character, behaviour, attitude etc.) and sacrifice it to the deity involved. Though born as a human, man is burdened by animal instincts and impulses that have attached themselves to him during his previous lives as an animal. He has passed through many an animal existence and each has left its mark on his mental makeup like a scar on the skin when a wound has healed.
BUDDHI is the only instrument for realisation. Jnana alone can grant the Vision, the ultimate Truth. That is why the Gayatri, a Vedic prayer to the Light that fills the Universe to illuminate the intelligence, is a prayer for prompting the spirit of inquiry and for illuminating the path by the inner light of the Spirit.
YOUR devotion to God is best expressed by achieving the control of the senses. For the senses rush towards the temporary and the tawdry; and they foul the heart. I require from each of you no other gift, no more valuable offering than the heart I have endowed you with. Give Me that heart, as pure as when I gave it to you, full of the nectar of Love I filled it with.
IT is certainly wasteful to spend precious time in mere study without any attempt to translate it into action. You need not give your word to Me now, but try to put into practice at least a few of the good things that appeal to you and that are helpful in giving you peace and contentment. To evoke the Divine in you, there is no better method than Namasmarana.
YOU must take every step in Sadhana or in Samsara, only after deep deliberation and satisfying yourself that it will be for your good. Otherwise, it will be like the story of the weeping city. One day, a close female attendant of the Queen came to the palace weeping in great sorrow, and so the Queen began to shed tears. Seeing the Queen in tears, the entire Zannan wept and the weeping spread to the male attendants also. The King, finding the queen inconsolably sad, also wept profusely in sympathy, and the sight made the entire city weep loudly without end. At last, one sensible person set in motion an inquiry, which passed through person after person until the Queen herself was accosted. She said that her attendant was in sore grief, and when she, a washer-woman by caste, was interrogated, she confessed that it was all due to the sudden demise of her favourite ass. Reason out; discriminate; and do not rush to conclusion or be led away by mere hear-say.
WHEN you scatter seeds on the surface of the soil, they do not germinate; you have to keep them inside the soil. So too, Bodha, if scattered on the surface, will not germinate, grow into the tree of knowledge and yield the fruit of wisdom. Plant it in the heart; water the plant with Prema; and measure it with Faith and Courage. Keep off pests with the insecticides of Bhajan and Sathsang, so that you may benefit in the end.
KARMA must not be felt as a burden, for that feeling is a sure sign, indicating that it is against the grain. No Karma which helps your progress will weigh heavily on you. It is only when you go counter to your inner-most nature that you feel it as a burden. A time comes when you look back on your achievement and sigh at the futility of it all. Entrust your mind to the Lord before it is too late, and let Him shape it as He wills.
WHOM the Muslims adore as Allah, the Christians as Jehovah, the Vaishnavas as Phullajaakshe and the Saivites as Sambhu, who grants in answer to their several prayers, health, prosperity, and happiness to all wherever they may be, He is the One God of all mankind.
FOOD and recreational habits are the two main causes for ill-health. Great care has to be bestowed to ensure that injurious tendencies do not affect these two. At present, drugs have multiplied and hospitals have been established in every nook and corner, ill-health is also widespread. This situation is attributable to the spread of deleterious food habits and pastimes.
TO remove the evils of Egoism, Service is the most efficient instrument. Service will also impress on the person doing the Service, the Unity of all mankind. He who dedicates his time, skill and strength to Service will never meet with defeat, distress or disappointment, for Service is its own reward. His word will be ever sweet and soft and his gestures ever revered and humble. He will have no foe, no fatigue and no fear.
THE Scriptures proclaim that health is the very root of all endeavours in the four fields of human achievement: Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. Without health, man cannot brave temptations, earn a decent living, fulfill his basic needs or succeed in spiritual Sadhana. Man can engage himself in obligatory and optional functions only if he is healthy.
THE same Divine Compassion that blessed Dhruva, saved Gajendra, restored Kuchela and stood by Prahlada, has come to the Earth as the Refuge of the refuge-less, as the Lord of Peace, Harmony and Righteousness, as the Lord of all the Worlds, as the Sath Chith-Anandamurthi, as the Puttaparthi Sathya Sai Sath-Chakravarthi, the king of kings.
INDIA is the land where the ideals of service, renunciation and spiritual endeavour were born and have flourished. It is only recently that India fell under the impact of alien cultures which highlighted material comfort, physical luxury, sensual liberty, and exterior display; and that Indians have trodden the wrong path of exploitation and violence, idleness and pompousness. With the spread of alien cultures and alien ways of thought and life, diseases too have multiplied and mental imbalances have increased.
DO not try to delve into Me; develop Faith and Sraddha and derive Ananda through Prema. That is the utmost you can do; do that and benefit. Do not run after all and sundry who blabber textbook stuff and wear the cloak of fakir hood. Examine, judge and admire. Examine the daily conduct, the motive, the outlook, the trend of the advice and the coordination between what is said and what is done.
WITHOUT surrender there can be no liberation. So long as you cling to the narrow "I", the four prison walls will close in on you. Cross out the "I" and you are free. How to kill the "I"? Place it at the feet of the Lord and say "You", not "I" - and you are free of the burden that is cursing you. Associate always with the Niranjana, the vast, the unlimited, the Divine; dream and plan to merge with the Absolute; fill your ears with the call from the Beyond and the Boundless. Transcend the walls, the bars and bolts, the locks and chains. You can do so easily by fixing your mind on your own Infinity.
I HAD to do My Dharma; and every act of Mine has its significance which you cannot understand. You are in the dark and you fear more. You cannot notice the heaps of earth and the pits on the road. You cannot even know that the road is smooth and fine. There is no fault or partiality in creation; be confirmed in that. Then you will no more waver in your faith. If God's creation was faulty, all would have suffered equally.
LAKSHMI or wealth accrues by fair means as well as foul; money is earned by gambling, by various forms of deceit; by highway robbery; by high and low; by all and sundry. Worship Lakshya. I shall appreciate you! Keep the Lakshya, the Goal of expanding your Love till it embraces all beings, until it sees every being as your mind's eye; then, Lakshmi will, of her own accord, favour you to the extent necessary for realising the Goal. Never doubt that. Never falter.
YOU do not know the Gem shining inside you, the Divinity whose effulgence is your intellect and whose reflection is the Prema you evince. You know many things other than this, but not this essential thing; you do not know where such and such a scholar lives in Venkatagiri, but you know where such and such a film star lives in Madras: This is something to be ashamed of, this loss of the sense of values. You must recognise the Higher, the Highest.
YOU believe that those who have no faith in the Vedas and the Shastras and those who do not aver that there is some Omnipresent, Omniscient Being, are Nasthikas. But let me tell you, those who revere their Parents and foster them, and those who love and protect with care their brothers and sisters, are Theists. Asthikas believe in Gratitude, Love, Affection, Duty, and Dharma and these qualities are enough to save them from perdition.
THE Truth can flash only in a mind clear of all blemishes. The first blemish that I would like to warn you against is: "inability to bear the success of others". Envy is the greatest of the sins. Vanity, envy and egoism are kin. They cut at the root of man's real nature. To feel proud that you are a Bhakta is also a blot. Though you may be a mountain, you must feel you are a mound; and you should not pretend to be a mountain.
ALL men are kin, they are of the same likeness, the same build; moulded out of the same material, with the same Divine essence in each. Service to man will help your Divinity to blossom, for it will gladden your heart and make you feel that life has been worthwhile. Service to man is service to God, for He is in every man and every living being and in every stone and stump. Offer your talents at the feet of God; let every act be a flower, free from creeping worms of envy and egoism and full of the fragrance of love and sacrifice.
WHAT exactly is a dream? It is a dream within a dream. It is a dream which unfolds before you even while you are "awake" in another dream. It tries to shed some light, some joy, some courage, some faith, some hope, and some meaning on the dream called Life. Naturally, man has to seek all means of discovering the meaning of Life, for without knowing it, he is lost; he wanders from birth to birth, receiving knock after knock and is seldom the better for all the experience.
WHERE you go to a temple, you see the idol within but your thoughts are with your footwear that you had to keep outside the gate. These are matters that reveal the concentration that you are capable of. Every little point has to be taken care of, lest the benefit of the Sadhana will be lost. You cannot get liberation by merely coming here; you cannot get it even by Dharsan, Sparsan, and Sambashan. You will have to follow the instructions, the Ajna, the Order and the Directions.
MOKSHA or Liberation results from the breaking of the Mind with all its vagaries and wishes. You have to break your Mind but, how can you do it, when the fibrous armour of sensual desires encompasses it? Remove it and dedicate the Mind to God and smash it in His presence. That moment you are free.
ONE should accept the body as the "Tantra", one's own breath as the "Mantra", and one's heart as the "Yantra". There is no need to seek them outside oneself. When all words emanating from you are sweet, your breath becomes Rig Veda. When you restrict what you listen to and prefer only sweet speech, all that you hear becomes Sama Gana. When you do only sweet deeds, all that you do is Yajur Homa. Then, you will be performing every day the Vedapurusha Yajna, the Yajna which propitiates the Veda.
THE vehicle of human life is drawn by two wheels by the senses, which are driven by Buddhi, with Viveka and Vairagya as the reins, the two wheels being the Kala Chakra and the Karma Chakra. The spokes of the wheel are the rules of Dharma, bound by the rim of Prema. The self is the Rider and he will not come to harm if the axle is Sathya and the goal is Shanti.
THE Gita is for saving all and granting them liberation. Gita, in Telugu, means a line; it draws a line across and cancels the series of births and deaths; it teaches you to stand erect, unafraid, along the straight path of Dharma, along the line laid down.
HAVING been born, man earns and acquires land, riches, materials, grains and articles of comforts and luxury, which he feels will give him happiness and which, therefore, become the object of his struggle. But the object of realising God is forgotten. You may ask: why should anyone seek good company, do good deeds, and direct his mind towards good thoughts? You are listening to Me and what do you get when you so listen? You agree that I am giving you Anandam. What do you give Me in return? Give Me the Aacharana of what I am telling you, practice what I teach, that is enough. That is all I ask for.
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