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DASARA SANDESH


DASSERA (DAY 6) DISCOURSES 

TRUTH IS YOUR VERY LIFE-BREATH

The creation emerges from truth and merges into truth,
Is there a place where truth does not exist?
Visualise such pure and unsullied truth.
(Telugu Poem)

Sathyam Bhruyath, Priyam Bhruyath, Na Bhruyath Sathyamapriyam (speak truth, speak pleasantly and do not speak unpalatable truth). Sathyam Vada, Dharmam Chara (speak truth, practise righteousness). These are the profound teachings of the Vedas. For all living beings, food is most indispensable. Without food, no being can survive. The Sun provides food, in the sense that it brings us rains, which in turn help the crops to grow. The Upanishads declare that food originates from Sathyam (Truth). It consists of three syllables - 'Sath', 'Ya' and 'M'. 'Sath' is life, 'Ya' represents food and 'M', the Sun. Sathyam does not mean merely to say out things as they are seen by the naked eye. The sun provides food which sustains life. The sun, food and life together constitute Sathyam. This is what I mean when I say that the creation emerges from truth and merges into truth." It is Sathyam that satisfies the hunger, gives strength to the body and in fact safeguards and sustains the whole world. This is the inner significance of the word Sathyam.

This can be interpreted in a different way also. Sathya has three syllables in it - 'Sa', 'Tha', 'Ya'. If you read it from right to left, it becomes 'Ya', 'Tha', 'Sa', which means when one follows the path of Yama (control of senses) and Niyama (discipline), and performs Thapas (penance), that is, one has the vision of Sathya Swarupa (embodiment of Truth). Truth is God. Where is truth? It is all-pervasive. It encompasses the entire creation. Trikalabadhyam Sathyam (that which remains unchanged in the modes of perceived time -past, present and future is Truth). Truth is the power that one gets by strictly adhering to Yama and Niyama and performing penance. Such penance leads ultimately to the vision of God.

Sathyam Jnanam Anantham Brahma (Brahman is the embodiment of truth, wisdom and eternity). Truth is wisdom. Advaita Darshanam Jnanam (perception of non-duality is wisdom). There is only one principle in this world and that is Truth. Wisdom is infinite. It is not mere textual knowledge. It has neither a beginning nor an end. Only by following the path of Truth one can experience wisdom. Truth is the essence of the Vedas. In fact, Truth is the origin of the Vedas. In this manner, if you enquire deeply, you will realise that Truth has a number of consistent interpretations.

Sages and saints of yore considered Truth as their very life-breath. All types of wealth and comforts are present in Truth. Hence, truth is not an expression of worldly facts. In ancient times, saints and sages renounced everything and did severe penance to know the nature of truth. Truth is the very expression of Brahman. A deep enquiry reveals that 'Sath' is the fundamental basis of life. Without Sath, Chit (awareness) cannot exist. Sath is the positive power. Chit takes Sath as the basis for its functioning and hence it is not the fundamental principle. It is the complimentary negative in nature. When Sath, the positive, combines with Chit, what results is Ananda (bliss). Sath can also be compared to sugar and Chit, to water. When you add sugar to water, you get syrup. Likewise, Sath and Chit together give bliss. Where is God? In what form does He exist? Just as sugar is present in every drop of syrup, God pervades the entire creation. Sugar and syrup are inseparable. The same can be said of milk and butter. Similarly, God and the universe are inseparable. Our ancient sages realised this truth by performing intense penance for several years. Once a congregation of sages was held to discuss the principle of Divinity. Some of them said that they could not have the vision of God in spite of performing intense penance and undertaking severe austerities. Then one of the sages by name Sathya Swarupa came forward and declared, Vedahametham Purusham Mahantham Adityavarnam Thamasa Parasthath (I know the Supreme Being who shines with the effulgence of the sun and who is beyond primordial darkness). He said, Divinity cannot be explained in words. The sages questioned him, "Where did you see the Supreme Being? Did you see Him during the day or at night? Is it in the waking state or in Thuriya state or in meditation?" They kept on questioning him in this manner. Then Sathya Swarupa replied, "Divinity transcends time and space. It is not limited to any form. It is ageless, it is beyond the duality of day and night. Further he said that the truth was perceived by him by a process of revelation. In the wakeful state we see with our physical eyes. Such physical eyes are not confined to human beings only. Most living things like animals and birds and even worms and insects possess this faculty. Physical eyes can only see physical objects. Seeing physical objects is not a big feat. The eyes of wisdom alone can reveal the subtle internal form. Therefore, Divinity can be seen irrespective of place, time or condition. Why wait, right now you turn your attention inwards and concentrate on that Effulgent Being. Saying thus, Sathya Swarupa placed his thumb on their forehead and at once they had the vision of the Supreme Being. They also started chanting Vedahametham Purusham Mahantham… They asserted to the assembly of saints, scholars and common people that they also had the vision of that Effulgent Being, a being of the effulgence of the sun. Such vision is not confined to special locations; it is available everywhere for the deserving person. That is why it is said, Anoraneeyan Mahato Maheeyan (Brahman is subtler than the subtlest and vaster than the vastest), and is omnipresent.

Bliss is Truth. What is the nature of bliss? The brilliant whiteness of this effulgence is the awareness of bliss. The sages were taught in this manner by direct perception. After all this happened, the sages enquired from the Person as to who he was. Thamasa Parasthath (the one beyond darkness), he replied. In this manner, Divinity pervades this physical universe and is aware of all that is, but it itself is not available for perception by anybody. This is the truth that we have to realise today. Today the world abounds with people with reputation of knowledge and academic excellence. If you go actually into the actual content of their knowledge, you will find nothing worthwhile. They are not aware of their own reality. They cannot see even their physical forms themselves except with the help of a mirror and even the reflection that is seen on the mirror is not true. Everything that you see is actually such reflections only. That is why the Person said, "Adityavarnam Thamasa Parasthath. That is, the brightness of the sun along with an enveloping darkness. It is not possible to conceive of light without darkness. This unity is to be understood. Good and evil are complementary. One cannot appreciate goodness without the existence of evil and evil cannot be judged but against a background of goodness. Hence, it is not possible for you to comprehend my true form." The sages were determined to comprehend this reality. Then the Person said, "All that you see is my form."

Sahasra Seersha Purusha Sahasraksha Sahasra Pad (God has a thousand heads, eyes and feet). How can one visualise with ordinary eyes such a form which has myriad heads, hands, eyes and feet! There is Chaitanya (consciousness) in each of these forms, but you are not able to see it. The Chaitanya in all these forms is one and indivisible. It is rather difficult to understand such spiritual matters. To understand the principle of truth that is hidden in this objective world and visualise the blissful form of divinity is true spirituality. But few are making any effort in this direction. People sit for meditation, close their eyes and start imagining a particular form. But these forms are only reflections and not reality. One should go beyond reflection, reaction and resound and visualise the reality. For example, now I am speaking to you. Where does the sound emanate from? You say, it is from the mouth. But in fact, the sound emanates from the navel. That is reality. Reflection, reaction and resound are concealing the reality. In order to visualise the reality, you should give up Dehabhimana (body attachment) and develop Atmabhimana (yearning for the Self).

Today people have no regard for truth. Many do not really mean what they speak. They have something in their mind but say just the opposite. They manipulate their words according to the person and situation. Truth is that which does not change with time. Truth is one, not two. The Upanishads extolled the principle of Truth in many ways. Truth cannot be described in words. Bliss is its form. When you close your eyes and start contemplating on Truth, you will experience inexpressable bliss. You will start smiling without your knowledge. When you are dual-minded, you cannot experience such bliss. Happiness is union with God and is eternal. Worldly happiness is transient. Such happiness is no happiness at all. You might have noticed, I am always blissful and ever smiling. Did you ever see Me putting on a sour face? Never. What is the source of My happiness? It comes from within. Some people are very moody. They are cheerful one moment and sorrowful the very next moment. One should always be cool and composed. Bliss is something that does not change. It cannot be acquired. It manifests from within when we understand the Upanishadic teachings and put them into practice.

Once, during their exile, Dharmaja and Droupadi were walking through the forest when Droupadi saw a huge fruit on a tree. She wanted to have the fruit since it could make a sumptuous meal for all of them. Responding to Droupadi's wish, Dharmaja brought the fruit down by shooting an arrow. He then tried to lift the fruit but could not; it was very heavy. Meanwhile, Arjuna appeared on the scene and tried to lift the fruit. Dharmaja and Droupadi gave a helping hand but the three of them together still could not lift the fruit. Meanwhile, Bhima, Nakula, and Sahadeva arrived on the spot. Bhima made a sarcastic remark, "It is rather surprising that my younger brother Arjuna, who can lift the Gandiva, is unable to lift this small fruit. Perhaps the Gandiva is made of …" He tried at first quite casually, using just one hand; but the fruit would not budge. He then became serious and used both his hands, but failed. All the six then tried to heave the fruit, but still they could not succeed.

Now there is a story behind this unusual fruit. In this forest there lived a Rishi named Romarishi - meaning the one with long hair. His hair had spread all over the place. It was he who had nursed this tree doing intense penance to attain the fruit. This fruit was known as Amrutaphala, by eating which one would be free from the cycle of birth and death for ever. That was the reason why Romarishi was keen on having it. As the Pandavas were trying desperately to lift the fruit, the Rishi felt the disturbance as strands of his hair were being trodden and pulled. He realised that there was someone trying to steal the fruit and he became very angry. His long sprawling hair then started extending in search of the Pandavas in order to tie them down. Droupadi was frightened by the approaching coils of hair. She prayed, "Oh Krishna, You have been protecting us all along. You must come to our rescue once more. We have no refuge other than You."

In response to her prayer, Krishna appeared there, smiling as usual. He came up with a ruse that would save the Pandavas from the wrath of Romarishi. He said, "If you want to be saved, you have to implicitly obey My command." Then Dharmaja said, "Krishna! Did we ever disobey Your command? We are prepared to do whatever You say." Then Krishna said, "Dharmaja! There is not much time to lose now. You cannot remain here any longer. I will go to Romarishi's ashram at once. All of you come there after five minutes. Whatever will happen there, remain tight-lipped. Be careful and remain silent throughout."

In the meantime, Romarishi was furious with anger. He was about to curse the poachers. At that very moment Krishna entered the ashram of the Rishi. Romarishi hastened to welcome Krishna. He fell at His Feet and said, "Lord, how lucky and fortunate am I to have You visit my humble abode!" The Sage was bubbling with joy. Meanwhile, the Pandavas came to the hermitage in accordance with Krishna's Masterplan. Though Krishna was busy conversing with the sage, He pretended as though He just then noticed the arrival of Pandavas. God's attention is always fixed on His devotees. As soon as Krishna saw the Pandavas, instantly He started prostrating most reverentially before them one by one. He even fell at the feet of Droupadi. The Pandavas were feeling very embarrassed, but remembering Krishna's command, they said nothing. The Rishi was stunned to see all this. He thought in himself: "Krishna is verily God, and He is prostrating before these people. These people must be even greater than Him" So, following Krishna's example, he too fell at the feet of the Pandavas one by one. Having once prostrated, he could no longer curse them to whom salutation has been offered. The Rishi's anger quickly vanished. The Rishi then asked Krishna, "Lord, what is all this mystery? There is none greater than You and yet, You are prostrating before these humans! What is the inner significance of this?" Krishna smiled and replied, "Oh noble one, I dwell in the hearts of My devotees. I am the captive of My devotees. These Pandavas have extraordinary devotion for Me. No matter what the circumstance, they never forget Me. I am under the control of such devotees!" The sage realised the greatness of the Pandavas and said, "Please take this fruit; I do not need it." Droupadi sliced the fruit and offered a piece to Krishna. Then Krishna said, "Are you not aware that I do not eat fruits?" Not only then, even now, I do not eat fruits. Then Droupadi prayed to Krishna to at least touch the fruit with His Divine Hands so that they could have it as Prasadam. Women are endowed with such devotion. It is because of them that men take to the path of devotion. Moved by Krishna's love for His devotees, Romarishi was shedding tears of bliss. Krishna told the sage that his life had found fulfilment. He then placed His hand on the sage, who merged in Krishna. Seeing this, the Pandavas too prayed for merger. They said, "Swami, we have no more desires. We have experienced everything in life. Please grant us too liberation." Then Krishna said, "Your part in this drama of life is not yet over. You have many more things to achieve." A drama consists of many scenes. An actor cannot ask the director to relieve him after the end of the first scene. He cannot leave till the whole play is over. Krishna told the Pandavas, "There is a lot more to be achieved in this drama of life. You have to set an ideal to the world and Dharma has to be established. How can you leave the world without accomplishing your assigned task? Every human is born to understand and experience truth. What is the use of your human birth if you do not achieve this? Play your roles to perfection in this drama of life." Saying so, Krishna disappeared.

When Krishna killed Kamsa, many wicked kings wanted to take revenge on Him. They made several attempts to capture Krishna and harassed the Yadavas endlessly. The Yadavas then prayed to Krishna to come to their rescue. Krishna told them, "Tonight, you sleep in Repalle and tomorrow morning, see for yourself where you will be." When they woke up the next morning, they found themselves in Dwaraka. The mere Will of Krishna transported them even with all their belongings to Dwaraka. In this manner, Krishna performed many stupendous feats.

After the Mahabharata war, Arjuna went to Dwaraka to see Krishna and had not returned for a long time. Mother Kunti became anxious and worried. At last, Arjuna arrived and conveyed the shocking news that Krishna had left for His Divine abode. On hearing this, Kunti at once left her mortal coil, as if she had gone in search of Krishna. She breathed her last by keeping her head on the lap of Dharmaja, who was with her side at that time.


Dharmaja was not in a position to get up. He summoned Bhima and told him to make arrangements for their departure to the forest. He told Arjuna to get things ready for Parikshit's coronation. Nakula and Sahadeva were asked to make preparations for the last rites of mother Kunti. As per the command of Dharmaja, arrangements were made for the Pandavas' departure to the forest, Parikshit's coronation and Kunti's last rites, all at the same time and on the same day. Such a thing is not possible for anyone else.

Parikshit's coronation took place. Immediately, Dharmaja started walking in the northern direction. Droupadi and the four brothers followed him one behind the other. They were not conversing with each other. They did not even look at each other. Gradually, Arjuna, Bhima, Nakula and Sahadeva fell down dead one after the other. But Dharmaja was unperturbed. He continued his journey. He was one who adhered to the path of Truth strictly. Yama Dharmaraja, the Lord of Death followed him in the form of a dog. They reached Yamaloka (the abode of Lord of death). Dharmaja was moved by the pitiable cries of the beings undergoing punishment. As soon as Dharmaja entered Yamaloka, all those beings were at once relieved of their sufferings. They said, "Dharmaja! We have become free from our sins by having your Darshan. Your presence has relieved us of our suffering. Hence, please remain here." Meanwhile, the messengers of heaven wanted to take Dharmaja along with them. But Dharmaja wanted to remain in Yamaloka and wanted to serve the beings there. Such were his noble feelings he had maintained as his life-breath. However, during the war, he uttered, Aswatthama Hathah Kunjaraha (an elephant by name Aswatthama was killed). While saying so, intentionally he uttered the word Kunjaraha (elephant) in a very low tone. Consequently, Dronacharya thought his son Aswatthama was killed, and he too gave up his life. As a result of this sin, Dharmaja had to spend some time in Yamaloka. Yama Dharmaraja extolled the virtues of Dharmaja and sent him to heaven. Today nobody realises the greatness of Sathya and Dharma. Whoever follows the path of Sathya and Dharma will never be put to suffering.

Students!
Sometimes, you may be tempted to utter falsehood. Even if you have to lose your life, never utter a lie. Sathyannasti Paro Dharma (there is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth). Hence, follow the path of truth and revive the ancient glory of Bharat. Do not give room for untruth, unrighteousness and injustice. Truth can transform Earth into heaven and heaven into earth. Hence, consider truth as your very life-breath and experience bliss therefrom. This is the education you are supposed to learn.

Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the bhajan, "Sathyam Jnanam Anantham Brahma …"


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