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Five elements-The form of Divinity
(Text of the Divine Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 25th October 2001 in Sai Kulwant Hall, as part of the Dasara Celebrations and the Sixth Day of the Veda Purusha Saptaha Jnana Yagna)
"It can be said one's heart symbolises the Vedic dictum, Raso Vai Saha (God is in the form of essence), if one is able to forget all worries and remain cheerful even when one's ambitions and aspirations are not fulfilled."
Embodiments of Love !
Everyone says that God is responsible for creation, sustenance and dissolution of the world. In what forms does God function while performing these three activities? The five elements are the forms of God. Nothing exists without the five elements. God has no single name or form. The five elements constitute divinity. Take for instance the earth. All powers that are immanent in the creation are latent in earth. The earth cannot be depicted in a simple sketch or drawing for various entities like the mountains, hills, rivers, oceans, villages, etc., are present on it. Consequently, the earth is very heavy. The scientists say that the earth rotates. In that case, it is natural for one to think that all the entities on earth must feel this rotation. However, this does not happen. The earth has the power to keep them steady and firm. What will be the plight of passengers if the railway track moves along with the train? The earth contains all powers and materials that are needed for the survival of men and all other beings.
It is the Mother Earth that is the embodiment of all powers that protects and sustains all beings. For all human endeavours, nature is the fundamental basis. If the earth becomes immobile, the whole creation will cease. For the last crores of years, the earth has undergone various changes, causing ups and downs at various places. Initially the surface of the earth was even. Then there were continuous rains for crores of years, which made the surface of earth uneven and caused the formation of oceans. Prior to that no distinguishing features existed on the surface of the earth.
Water is present everywhere in the earth. However, it is manifest in rivers, oceans and the human body. Sweat shows the presence of water in the human body. Without water in the body, man cannot live even for a moment. It is the sustainer of life.
The third element is fire. This is also meant to support and sustain life. It maintains the body temperature at 98.4 degrees Fahrenheit, which is essential for sound health. Moreover, fire is also present in the form of Jatharagni (digestive fire) in the human body. Fire is immanent even in stones which will become apparent when two stones are struck against each other. One can notice the presence of fire even in trees. When two branches rub against each other, fire emanates. There is fire even in the ocean, which is referred to as Badabagni.
The fourth one is air. It is the life of all beings. It is not limited to a particular place. It is all-pervasive.
The Akasa (ether) is the fifth element. It is referred to as Sabda Brahman out of which originated the earth, the air, the water and the fire. These five elements are spread all over the world and they protect and sustain life. They are verily divine. Unable to perceive this truth, man thinks that he is being protected and sustained by God, who according to him has a specific form and dwells in a distant place. Some people say that God is all-pervasive but cannot be seen. It is only their imagination, not the reality.
To recognise and experience divinity, Buddha undertook various spiritual practices. He studied sacred texts, met learned personalities and listened their sermons, but he was not satisfied. Ultimately, he came to the conclusion that the five elements are the very forms of God. They are present in a subtle form in all beings. Our ancients called the Akasa as Atma. Akasam Gaganam Soonyam (Akasa is infinite and formless). The Atma has no specific form. Buddha made concerted efforts to experience the Atma. He turned his vision inward and enquired into the nature of the Atma. Ultimately, he could have the vision of the Atmic effulgence. Effulgence is an aspect of fire. That is why the Atma is referred to as Jyothi Swarupa (embodiment of light). One should contemplate on the divine in the form of light.
Buddha noticed a great deal of diversity and worldliness in the lives of people. People criticize, extol or honour each other. Buddha noticed this and questioned himself. Who criticises and who is criticised? Who worships and who is worshipped? When he enquired on these lines, he could visualise the unity in diversity. The reason for man to develop evil tendencies like anger, jealousy, hatred etc., is that he ignores the unity and perceives only the diversity. In fact, there is no diversity. Ekatma Sarvabhutantaratma (one Atma is present in all beings). Only one mighty power exists in this world. The same was perceived by Einstein.
The divine power has no specific form like that of an object or a being, but it pervades the entire creation. Out of the divine power originated all other powers with various names and forms. There is only one power and that is the Atma. The same Atma exists in the accuser and the accused, the worshipper and the worshipped. One who realises this principle of oneness will never give room to anger or jealousy. Buddha preached that one could get rid of evil qualities only when one realises the principle of unity. There is diversity in the body and the mind, but the Atma is the same in all. The evil qualities like ego, anger, jealousy, aggrandizement arise out of body attachment. Therefore, one has to give up body attachment. Buddha was a prince. He had no dearth of money, comforts and conveniences, yet he was prepared to lead the life of a renunciant as he had given up body attachment. BhikshannamDeharakshartham Vastram Sheeta Nivaranam (food is needed for the sustenance of body and clothes are meant to protect the body from cold). The principle of Atma is the same in rich and poor alike. Once you recognise this principle of unity, you will become divine. That is why the Upanishads exhort man to cultivate the spirit of oneness. Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanthi (Truth is one, but scholars refer to it by many names).
God is the embodiment of Sath-Chit-Ananda. Sath is that which is changeless, Chit is awareness, that which helps man to know the truth. When Sath and Chit come together, Ananda (bliss) results. Bliss is present not only in human beings but also in birds, beasts and insects. All qualities that are present in man exist in other beings also. However, they are unable to express their feelings, as they do not know our language. Though Atma is the same, languages and forms are different. Man is carried away by these differences and forgets the oneness. So long as man is immersed in this Bhrama (delusion), he cannot attain Brahma (Divinity). In order to overcome Bhrama, man has to understand the principle of the five elements. One who understands the principle of the five elements will recognise the underlying unity.
God is the very personification of the five elements. He has no specific name or form. But the scholars, on the basis of the sacred texts and their experience, proclaim, Daivam Manusha Rupena (God takes the form of man). The Vedas declare, Sahasra Seersha Purusha Sahasraksha Sahasra Pad. It does not mean that God is someone who has thousands of heads, eyes and feet. It only means that all heads, eyes and feet are His. Whatever names and forms people attribute to God are only based on their imagination and Ravi Varma's paintings. They do not correspond to the reality. One who has portrayed God in various forms is Ravi Varma and the one who has described Him in various ways is Kavi Varma (poet). It is because of Ravi and Kavi (Artist and poet) that all differences have arisen. One should not go by what Ravi and Kavi imagined. One should give up body attachment and develop attachment to the Spirit. Only then can one realise the truth.
Embodiments of Love !
All five elements are necessary for human existence.
Life cannot exist even if one of them is absent. Man should revere the
five elements to know divinity. Revering the five elements is equivalent
to revering the God. One should make use of the five elements only to
the extent necessary. If you waste or misuse them, it amounts to
misusing divine power. One should not leave the fan or light switched on
unnecessarily as it would amount to misusing divine power. Whoever puts
the five elements to misuse is committing a sin. The main reason for
man's suffering and misery is due to his misuse of the five elements.
Once you realise that they are the forms of the Divine, you will put
them to proper use.
There are crores of cells in a human body. Each cell is suffused with divinity. The tongue has three crores of taste buds and there are lakhs of light rays in our eyes. All these reveal the greatness and grandeur of divinity. It is said, Divinity shines with the effulgence of a crore of suns. This can be understood in a simple way. Here you find many lights glowing. But you should not look at the light with your eyes wide open. You should close your eyes partially. When you do so, you will see rays of light emanating. These light rays are nothing but the reflections of fire. Reflection, reaction and resound of divinity can be recognised in the five elements.
I have explained all these in of scientific terms for the benefit of students assembled here. You don't find any reference to God in modern science. The scientists deem it below their dignity to talk about God. They talk highly of the power of light, heat, laser, etc. In fact, all these have originated from the divine magnetic power. This was recognised by Newton. He was a great scientist and was the first one to make explicit the gravitational power of the earth. This power is not confined to a particular place, but is present all over space. This is the divine power, the power of the Atma. It is referred to as consciousness out of which emerged conscience.
Consciousness is all-pervasive. Just as current is present in each bulb, consciousness is present in each body in the form of conscience. Air is all-pervasive, but you cannot see it or catch hold of it. It has no form, but assumes the form of a balloon when the balloon is filled with it. The all-pervasive air can be compared to consciousness and the air inside the balloon to conscience. As you inflate the balloon more and more and at a certain point it bursts and the air inside becomes one with the air outside. Likewise, conscience merges with consciousness when one overcomes body attachment. Due to his attachment to the body, man has limited will power. God alone has free will.
Newton declared that the nature of gravitational attraction is changeless. It can neither be created nor destroyed. Einstein was a great scientist but was never egoistic. He used to think of God always. Once some Bharatiyas visited Einstein. He took them to his reading room where they found to their surprise many sacred texts like the Upanishads and the Bhagavadgita in his bookshelves. Such a great scientist like Einstein had great faith and reverence towards the Bhagavad-gita and other sacred texts. What the modern scientists have understood is only a fraction of the reality, yet they boast as if they know everything. The moment they receive their Ph.D. degree, they think very highly of themselves. A true scientist is one who does not have ego. Modern scientists know very little and their enquiries and investigations are based on the question, "What is this?" However, the great scientist of olden days enquired and investigated, "What is that?" 'This' refers to whatever is close to the senses and 'that' refers to divinity, which is beyond the senses. Science is below the senses whereas spirituality is beyond the senses. People think that a scientist knows everything. Truly speaking, a scientist who lacks humility and faith is less knowledgeable than an elementary school boy. One who lacks faith is not a scientist at all. In a sense, he is inferior to an animal.
Embodiments of Love !
Divinity is the undercurrent of science and
spirituality. All energies are latent in man. They originate from the
food he partakes of. Tamarind and Lemon contain a lot of Acid. When they
are taken in a limited quantity, they contribute to the strength of the
body. But if they are taken in excess, the health will be affected.
The Upanishads impart many sacred teachings to man. They take man closer to God. 'Upa' means near, 'Ni' means down and 'Shad' means to sit. Being a disciple, one should not sit on the same level as the teacher. One should not be away from the teacher because he speaks softly. So, sit down close to him with obedience and receive his teachings. This is what the term Upanishads mean. Every letter, word and sentence of the Upanishads has profound meaning which cannot be found in a dictionary.
Once in the court of Krishnadevaraya, there was a debate in which the eight scholars of the royal court popularly known as 'Ashta Diggajas' participated. Allasani Peddanna, Nandi Thimmanna,Ramaraja Bhushanudu, Tenali Rama-krishnudu were among them. Peddanna was asking the questions and Ramaraja Bhushanudu was answering them with meanings and interpretations. Ramakrishnudu was watching the proceedings quietly. Krishnadevaraya wanted to know whom among them was the best. He wanted them to frame a meaningful sentence consisting of five letters each letter having the same meaning in five different languages. "Whoever comes out with an answer to this question by seven tomorrow morning will be suitably rewarded", he added.
As his house was far away, Ramakrishna decided to spend the night in his brother-in-law's house. When he was provided with a comfortable bed for the night, Ramakrishna refused to sleep on it. He said, "I have to think of an answer to a question put by the king by tomorrow morning. A bed like this is certain to put me to sleep in no time. So, provide a cot for me in the cow shed." As he was lying on the cot, at one o'clock in the night, one of the cows in the shed gave birth to a calf. Ramakrishna called out to inform his brother-in-law about this. His brother-in-law wanted to know as to which cow had given birth to a calf as he had given different names to his cows like Parvati, Lakshmi, Saraswati, etc. He asked Ramakrishna, "Ye Aav Ra Bava" (which cow is that, Oh brother-in-law). When Ramakrishna heard this, his joy knew no bounds as he had found an answer to the king's question. So, he too repeated the phrase again and again. His brother-in-law thought that Rama-krishna was behaving in this strange manner due to lack of sleep.
The next morning, Ramakrishna went to the royal court and found that no one else had solution to the question. All others were convinced it was not possible to frame such a sentence. Ramakrishna was a great devotee of the Divine Mother. He told the king that with the blessings of the Divine Mother, he had found an answer to the question. "Ye Aav Ra Ba Va" is the answer, he said. Every one was intrigued. Then he explained, " 'Ye' in Marati, 'Aav' in Hindi, 'Ra' in Telugu, 'Ba' in Kannada and 'Va' in Tamil convey the same meaning, i.e., 'come'." Five languages are represented in this sentence. The previous night, Ramakrishna was constantly contemplating on the Divine Mother. It was due to Her divine grace, he found the solution.
The five elements correspond to the five life principles, namely Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana and Samana, which are present in every one. These principles permeate the entire creation right from a Cheema (ant) to Brahma. The process of invoking the life principles is termed 'Pranopasana'. Before the installation of the idol in a temple, Pranopasana (Pranaprathishta) is performed. The life-force is the basis of all living things. So long as there is life in the body, the body is 'Sivam' (one of auspiciousness). Once life departs from the body, the body becomes 'Savam' (corpse). Life is sustained by the five elements. So man should worship the five elements. Different reeds in the harmonium produce different sounds - Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Da, Ni. The air is the basis for all of them. Likewise, there is one fundamental power out of which emerged the entire creation.
Sankaracharya enquired into the nature of this fundamental power and described it as
Sabda Brahmamayi, Characharamayi,Jyothirmayi, Vangmayi,Nityanandamayi, Paratparamayi, Mayamayi and Sreemayi (God is the embodiment of sound, mobility and immobility, light, speech, eternal bliss, supreme majesty, delusion and wealth).
Sound is the main
principle of divinity. Sound pervades the entire universe. That is why
divinity is extolled as Charachara Mayi. It exists in our hearts and is
expressed in the form of speech. Hence, it is called Vang Mayi.
People talk of the Divine Trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, Maheswara, but, nobody has seen them. The forms attributed to them are based on Ravi Varma's paintings and do not conform to the reality. In fact, the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara stand for mother, father and preceptor respectively. Just as Brahma creates everything, the mother gives birth to children. Father takes care of the children, educates them and is responsible for their sustenance. So, he symbolises the Vishnu aspect. Guru symbolises Maheswara as he destroys ignorance and grants wisdom. That is why the Vedas declare Matru Devo Bhava, Pitru Devo Bhava, Acharya Devo Bhava (revere your mother, father and preceptor as God as the tangible forms of divinity). In this manner, our ancients taught and propagated various aspects of divinity.
One should go by one's own experience and not be carried away by the opinions of others. Opinions are based on one's own feelings and differ from person to person.
Sai says 'yes' to those who say yes to Him and 'no' to those who say no. Yes and no pertain to one's own feelings, but for Sai everything is yes, yes, yes.
God always says yes to Sanghika (social), Samskritika (cultural) and
Sanathana (eternal) values. All that is related to the world is bound to
change. What is the point in reposing faith in such fleeting worldly
matters? One should have faith in divinity and contemplate on it, as it
is changeless and eternal. But the foolish without understanding the
ways of divine misinterpret them and talk as they please. Do not pay
heed to what such fools say. One is bound to be ruined if one joins the
company of such wicked people. Hence, it is said,
Tyaja Durjana Samsargam;
Bhaja Sadhu Samagamam;
Kuru Punyam Ahorathram
(keep away from bad company;
be in good company and perform meritorious
deeds day and night).
It is not enough if one keeps oneself away from bad company. One should
join good company. In the word Sathsangha (good company), Sath refers to
that which is changeless, divinity. Sugar gives sweetness to whatever it
is added. It is changeless. Hence, Sath can be compared to sugar. Chit
is Chaitanya, which can be compared to water. When sugar and water are
mixed, we get syrup. Likewise, when Sath and Chit come together what
results is Ananda (bliss). Let the eternal principles of truth be the
undercurrent in all your worldly endeavours. Only then can you attain
Embodiments of Love !
There is no person or place without divinity. Never delude yourself that God is here and He is not there. Wherever you search, you can find Him there.
Sarvata Panipadam Tat Sarvathokshi Siromukham,
Sarvata Sruthimalloke Sarvamavruthya Thishthati
(with hands, feet, eyes, heads, mouth and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire universe).
Be it Quran or Bible or Granth Sahib or the Bhagavadgita, all sacred
texts proclaim the same truth. All religion accepts that the five
elements are divine.
The modern man fragments unity and perceives only diversity, which is a grave mistake. He should make efforts to see the underlying unity in diversity. Only then can he realise the truth. Because of the absence of unity, enmity has found place in human heart. Such a heart is no heart at all. It can be called a stone.
God takes care of all beings. Some frogs get trapped in rocks and remain in them for a long time. They come out only when the rocks are broken. Who gives food to them while they are trapped in the rocks? Even if a plant is watered and manured regularly one cannot be sure that it will grow into a tree. However, we find huge trees growing on the top of bare hills. Who waters and manures them? Who is responsible for their growth? It is God and God alone. He takes care of the needs of all beings all over the world. God has no differences whatsoever, but man has! This is the worst disease that has afflicted man today. He is plagued by doubts. Even a disease like cancer has a cure, but not the disease of doubt. He kills himself with doubts.
Humanness is highly sacred, divine and full of bliss. Having attained such a human birth, why should man give room to worries? Some people always put on a sad face. What a misfortune! One should always be cheerful. Smiling face is an expression of divinity. Happiness is union with God. Man is subjected to misery because he is distancing himself from divinity. Let anything happen. Man should always be happy. He should give up all worries and welcome bliss. It is most essential that students understand this truth and act accordingly. Students! Your age is the most critical period in your life. Start early, drive slowly and reach safely. You should take to spiritual path right from this age. You may do your jobs and earn money. But, you should have a firm resolve to follow the spiritual path. He is truly fortunate who has such strong will.
Buddha was a prince. All palatial comforts and conveniences were at his disposal. But, did he not give up everything and become a renunciant? Rama also did not lack anything. But He was not interested in pleasures and comforts. When mother Kausalya served Him various delicacies in the plate, He would not eat alone. He would eat only in the company of His brothers Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna. Most of the time He would remain in His own world, totally preoccupied. Often He would seem to be writing something in the air. One day Dasaratha summoned Sage Vasishta and asked him if he could explain the reason for Rama's strange behaviour. He sat in meditation for some time and said, "These are the signs of Divinity. He may be conversing with other beings at times. He has no attachment to the body. He has attachment towards the Self. This is the true meaning of Divinity."
When Viswamitra asked Dasaratha to send Rama and Lakshmana with him to protect his Yajna, Dasaratha was very reluctant to do so. However, Rama was prepared to go with him at once. Dasaratha felt that Rama and Lakshmana, being very young, might be afraid of the demons, but Rama said that He had no fear whatsoever. Even Vasishta and Viswamitra told Dasaratha, "Do not get deluded by the feeling that Rama is an ordinary boy. He is God incarnate." Though Viswamitra extolled Rama's Divinity in Dasaratha's presence, later his vision was clouded with the veil of Maya. When they reached the banks of Sarayu river, he told Rama, "You have never seen demons in your life. So, I will teach you two Mantras, Bala and Atibala which will keep you free from sleep and hunger so that You can fight the demons fearlessly." This is the power of Maya. One who had extolled Rama's Divinity earlier considered Him an ordinary boy and taught Him the Mantras.
Whatever God does has a reason. He acts according to the time and situation. Jayamma in her speech mentioned that Swami visits far off places, but He is not coming to Anantapur, which is just 40 miles away. I have no likes or dislikes for any place. For Me time is important. At the appropriate time, I will certainly come. Earlier I used to visit Anantapur every week. Now the situation has changed. Wherever I go, devotees gather in large numbers. My car will be followed by a hundred cars. Who will provide food and shelter for all of them? Swami will feel sad if devotees are put to inconvenience because they are Swami's own reflection. Moreover, there is no proper provision for My stay. That hostel is meant for girls. How can I stay there? I am an ideal human being and ideal in all aspects. I have to demonstrate an ideal to the rest of the world. Considering many such aspects, I am not going there of late. However, when they come here, I speak to them with all love. They feel sad that I am not going there. They pray, "Swami, come at least for a day." I tell them that I will certainly come. I will never tell anyone that I will not come. That is My nature. For everything I say Santhosham, Santhosham (happy, happy). If you say, "Swami, I am having stomach ache," I will say Santhosham. If someone says, "Swami, my child has passed away," I tell them Santhosham. This word comes to Me naturally. Whatever may happen, I am always happy. But not all can understand this. Once a lady devotee came and told Me that her husband had passed away, I told her Chaala Santhosham (very happy). She became angry and said, "Swami what makes You so happy when I am crying over the death of my husband?" I told her, "Mother, I am always happy. That is why I told you so." You always find Me smiling because happiness is My very nature, I am never sad.
Love is My form;
Truth us My breath;
Bliss is My food;
My life is My message;
Expansion is My life;
No reason for love;
No season for love;
No birth, no death
This is My true nature. Under any circumstances, My nature will not
change. I am always blissful. Seeing My blissful state, many people feel
jealous. They wonder, "How is it that Sai Baba is always happy? He
is running many hospitals and educational institutions. He has so many
responsibilities, but He doesn't seem to be worried at all." Where
is the need for worry? Whatever has to happen will happen. Everything
happens as per My Will. So, I have no worry at all. Worry never touched
Me before or would ever touch Me in future. I am always happy. I try to
put on a sad face while talking to a person who is suffering, but I am
not able to do it since happiness is My nature. I need a lot of money as
I have to spend crores of rupees for the social welfare projects that I
have undertaken. However, I have neither worry nor anxiety. Where is the
need to worry when everything happens according to My plan.
I mentioned this in My Krishnashtami message, "To run the hospitals and educational institutions, a few crores of rupees are required every month. As long as I am in this body, there is no problem. Afterwards, who will take care? So, I wanted to set up a corpus fund, so that the interest accrued thereon will take care of the expenses of running the hospitals and educational institutions. These days we find many Swamijis and Mathajis going abroad and begging for money. They go abroad whenever they require money. One can call such people as beggars not 'biggers'. However, I have never resorted to such a degrading practice. So many people come here, but I have never asked anybody for anything. One who asks is not God at all. My work will be done without My asking. As per My Will, the required funds have come. From where have they come? Go and ask in the bank. Why do you ask Me? I do not involve Myself in such matters. I have only one desire, Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavantu (let everyone be happy). Miseries and worries haunt those who have desires. However, I have no desires whatsoever. Hence, I am always blissful. Whatever I Will happens instantly. So, I don't need to worry about anything.
[Bhagavan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, Hari Bhajan Bina Sukha Santhi Nahi … .]
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