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God is the essence of Life
(Text of the Divine Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 24th October 2001 in Sai Kulwant Hall, as part of the Dasara Celebrations and the Fifth Day of the Veda Purusha Saptaha Jnana Yagna)
Where is the need to amass excessive riches? It is better that one controls one's desires and be satisfied with a small income. In this dualistic world, there is no total happiness or total misery.
Embodiments of Love !
Since ancient times, the Upanishads have been imparting sacred teachings to man, which is testimony to the rich cultural heritage of Bharat. The message of the Upanishads is eternal and immortal. They declare, Raso Vai Saha (God is the essence of all). Just as sugar is present in every drop of syrup, butter in every drop of milk, Divinity pervades every atom and every cell of the creation. However, not all can comprehend this sacred principle and the existence of Divinity. Few can understand the mysteries of Divinity, which pervades everything right from microcosm to macrocosm. The Upanishads reveal many secrets which otherwise would remain unknown to man. Just as one can experience the presence of sweetness in sugarcane, hot taste in chillies, sour taste in lemon, fragrance in flower, the existence of Divinity can be experienced in the entire creation. No scientist or engineer can understand this principle of immanence. All these are direct proofs of the existence of Divinity. One should make efforts to recognise this principle. One experiences overwhelming joy when one sees a river in full flow, a lake filled to its brim or a well-grown crop. They are all direct evidences of God's existence. However, man is not able to understand this.
Right from birth to death, man undergoes various experiences. But, he is deluded with the feeling that he is the doer and the cause for all experiences. How can one, who does not understand his own true nature, comprehend the transcendental principle of the divine? All that one sees, hears, experiences and enjoys point to the existence of God. Man should make every effort to understand the divine principle. Today man is exploring everything except the divine principle. He spends any amount of time to understand things like computer, television, telephone, etc., but can not spare time to know God.
The Upanishads say, know thyself. If you do not know who you are, how can you know others? Man questions others, "Who are you?" but does not ask himself "Who am I?" The modern man is making efforts to know what is happening in the world. He can tell in detail about the happenings in America, Britain, Pakistan, etc., but he does not know what is happening within himself. If someone were to ask him, "Who are you?" He introduces himself by his name, profession and the place he belongs to. One who identifies oneself with the body gives such answers. However, these answers are superficial and do not bear evidence to the fundamental reality.
The Bhagawad Gita says Kshetrajnam Chapi Mam Viddhi (I am the cogniser in all beings). You are Kshetrajna (cognising entity), not the Kshetra (body). You mention your name, age, profession and native place while introducing yourself. However, all these relate only to the body, not to the indweller. It is like giving the name and address of the house ignoring the person who lives in it. Body is like a house; you are the indweller. You are not making any effort to understand this truth. When someone asks about your identity, you should say with conviction, I am the Atma. This is the correct answer.
What is meant by the term Atma or Kshetrajna? It is Chaitanya (consciousness). The Vedas refer to this as Aham (I). This principle of I is common to all. If I were to ask, "Who is Ramayya?", one bearing this name will get up and say 'I'. Be he Ramayya, Krishnayya, Govinda or anybody for that matter, each one refers to himself as 'I'. It means each one identifies the principle of 'I' with the name given to the body. One says, 'I am Rama', 'I am Krishna', 'I am Govinda'. Rama, Krishna and Govinda sound different, but the principle of 'I' is the same in all of them. This refer to the true Self of each individual. You are not the body; you are the Self within. The Upanishads remove the doubts of man by giving such messages.
There is some power in man, which cannot be perceived or understood. The westerners refer to this transcendental power as Neotics. This can be understood as the consciousness that pervades every being from top to toe. It has the magnetic power and it can be neither created nor destroyed.
Consciousness has neither birth nor death. It has neither beginning nor end. It is present in all beings as the eternal witness.
The great scientist Newton proclaimed the same truth. He was the one who
discovered that the earth has magnetic power. It is not limited to a
particular place, but is present all over. Einstein said even matter
apart from all other forms of energy such as, magnetic energy can be
converted into electric energy which in turn can be changed into light
energy and heat energy. In this manner, one may change the form of
energy, but none can create or destroy it.
None can comprehend the Divine principle. How can one explain the process of the birth of a bird? Who has placed it in the egg and how does the young one know how to break open the shell and come out? A gigantic tree with all its branches and fruits is contained in a tiny seed. How can one understand this? All these point towards the existence of God.
Brahman is subtler than the subtlest, vaster than the vastest. He is the eternal witness and pervades the entire universe in the form of Atma, the seed of creation.
can explain the process of a bird coming out of the egg and a tree
sprouting from a tiny seed. One may interpret this according to one's
own imagination, but these interpretations not true.
A drop of water reminds one of the river Ganges. One may think that there is a lot of difference between a drop of water and the river Ganges, but the difference is only in the quantity. Many drops of rainwater form a stream. Many streams form a river. All the rivers ultimately merge in the ocean. Hence, one can conclude that an ocean is nothing but a accumulation of water drops. God is present in the drop as well as in the mighty ocean. A spark of fire develops into a conflagration. In this creation, we find entities not conspicuous assume gigantic proportions. In every change that takes place in the world, we can understand God's existence. If you want to see God, can see Him in every object of the universe. Pashyannapi Cha Napashyathi Moodho (he is a fool who sees yet does not see). You are seeing God all the time, yet you feel that you have not seen Him. Can there be a greater fool? Who is responsible for man's birth and growth? You think food is responsible, but who has created food? If you enquire on these lines, you will ultimately realise the fundamental basis.
The heat of the sunlight transforms sea water into vapours which form clouds. As wind blows on the clouds, it starts raining. Rain drops form a stream. Streams form rivers which ultimately become one with the ocean. Thus, we see that the rivers, which are born out of the sea ultimately, merge in it. This is what the Vedanta says, "It is quite natural for man to go back to his place of origin." Man is not attempting to understand this truth. Man knows neither his place of origin nor does he know his destination. What will happen to a letter that does not contain the 'from' address or the 'to' address? It goes to the dead letter office. Man should know his 'from' address or at least his 'to' address. But today man does not know both. What is the fate of such a person? He gets trapped in the cycle of birth and death.
Punarapi Jananam Punarapi Maranam (to be born and to die again and again). Is this what a human being supposed to do? Man is born and he dies any number of times, yet he fails to know his place of origin or destination. Such a person can be compared to a burglar. How can one say so? Here is a small example. A burglar was to undergo imprisonment for three months. After the term of his punishment was over, the Jail Superintendent told him to pack his things or belongings and be ready as he was to be released on the following day. The burglar replied, "Sir, why should I take my things? Let them be here, anyway I am going to come back soon." It means he did not want to give up the habit of burgling. The same can be said of the modern man. He does not know his destination, but he knows that he will be born again. He does not realise the value of human birth. The Atma is the place of man's origin and his destination. Having attained human birth, man should know this truth. The principle of Atma is beyond human comprehension. Yatho Vacho Nivarthanthe Aprapya Manasa Saha (whence the words along with the mind rebound in futility without comprehending Divinity). One can attain Divinity by performing meritorious deeds. Wicked deeds will take him to hell. One should perform good actions and say with confidence that he will go to heaven. Such a person is dear to God. God loves one who has faith. Unless you have faith that so and so is your mother, you cannot love her.
Where there is faith, there is love;
One who lacks faith can never understand God. Yad Bhavam Tad
Bhavathi (as are the thoughts so will be the result). How can one
who has no faith in himself trust others? What is the use of one's life
if one cannot believe anybody? So, first and foremost, develop
self-confidence. When you have self-confidence, you will love society.
One who loves society will be loved by God. If you do not love society,
how can you expect society to love you? Build the mansion of your life
on the firm foundation of self-confidence. On the foundation of
self-confidence, you can raise the walls of self-satisfaction. On the
walls of self-satisfaction, you can lay the roof of self-sacrifice. Only
then can you lead a life of self-realisation.
Self is the Atma. One who lacks self-confidence is like doubting Thomas. He cannot achieve anything in life. One should develop firm faith. In the modern world, people have lost the eyes of faith. The one without faith can be compared to a blind man. Today man believes in all that he reads in newspapers. All this news is mere nuisance. Each one writes according to his feelings. You should listen to the news that emanates from the heart and develop heart-to-heart connection with God. In news, you have good as well as bad items. But, most of the news is only 'gas'. Man gets carried away by such news, which ruins his life. One should not pollute one 's heart by paying heed to unsacred things. Wherever you are, your safety is assured if you keep your heart pure.
As I told you in the beginning, one does not need great wealth to carry on with one's life. If desires are kept under check, even a small income is sufficient enough to lead a happy life. But today man is not making any effort to control his senses. One should put his senses to proper use to attain happiness. What for the eyes given to you? Is it to look at anything and everything? No. Eyes are given to have the vision of God. You know why feet are given to you. Is it to roam here and there? No. They are meant to circumambulate the temple. You know why God has given you ears. Is it to listen to vain gossip? No. They are meant to listen to divine glory.
"Today people are prepared to listen to vain gossip but when the sacred stories of the Lord are narrated, their ears get clogged. People are never tired of going to cinemas but their eyes find it very difficult to concentrate on the beautiful form of the Lord even for a minute."
It is essential that man understands the purpose for which God has
given him the limbs. He should make proper use of his senses. This was
the sadhana Buddha practised and propagated. In the beginning, he
studied many sacred texts, met many noble souls and listened to their
discourses. But he could not get the desired happiness out of them. Then
he gave up all practices and enquired whether he was putting his senses
to proper use. He realised that all spiritual practices will prove
futile if one does not make proper use of the senses. First, he
developed Samyak Dristi (sacred vision) which paved way to Samyak Bhavam
(sacred feelings), Samyak Vaak (sacred speech), Samyak Karma (sacred
action) and Samyak Jeevitham (sacred life). True spiritual practice lies
in controlling one's senses. This was the main teaching of Buddha.
In Shirdi, there was a devotee by name Chandubai Patel. Mahalsapathi, Chandolkar, Chandubai Patel were of the same group. Chandubai Patel was a great devotee and one of affluence. One day a businessman went to meet Chandubai Patel, who was in the Puja room at that time. He had to wait for a long time to meet him. When ultimately Chandubai Patel emerged from the Puja room, the businessman asked him, "Patel, you have all the comforts and conveniences at your disposal. You are healthy, wealthy and blessed with good children. You do not lack anything. Then why are you praying to God?" Chandubai Patel replied, "I pray to God not for the sake of health, wealth and possessions. Why should I pray for something which I already have? I am not a fool to do so. I am asking God for something which I don't have." Surprised at this reply, the businessman asked, "Is there anything that you lack?" Then Chandubai said, "I have all the comforts and conveniences, but I don't have peace of mind and bliss. God is the embodiment of peace. He is the only one who can grant peace. So, I am praying to God to grant me peace and bliss." This incident was an eye-opener for the businessman. Man should pray to God to grant him something, which he does not have. He has everything at his disposal except peace and bliss. He can achieve anything in life, but God alone can grant him peace and bliss. The businessman recognised this truth.
Mere repetition of God's name is not enough. One should participate in His work. Once Vibhishana asked Hanuman, "I love Lord Rama wholeheartedly and chant His name 24 hours a day. How is it that He has not showered His grace on me so far?" Hanuman replied, "Oh simpleton, no doubt you are chanting Rama's name, but are you taking part in His work? It is almost ten months since Sita was brought to Lanka. Have you made any effort for her release?" Listening to Hanuman's advice, Vibhishana went to Rama and offered himself at His service. Along with repetition of God's name, one should participate in service activities also.
Chandubai Patel, being an ardent devotee of Baba, used to visit Shirdi frequently. He used to give food to many people with the feeling that Baba is present in all. Easwara Sarva Bhutanam (God is the indweller in all beings). He used to give food even to dogs. God is present even in a dog. One who has inner vision will see GOD even in DOG. Seeing dog as a mere dog is Maya and visualising God in it is liberation. Chandubai Patel could see Baba in every being. He had such faith and devotion towards Baba.
Nana too was a great devotee of Baba. He considered Baba as his very life. But he had certain family responsibilities. Baba Himself had told him to be with his family and discharge his responsibilities. His daughter-in-law was in the family way and was suffering from labour pains. He prayed to Baba wholeheartedly to protect her. He could not leave her and proceed to Shirdi as he was the only male member in the house. He prayed, "Baba, You are our sole refuge. You alone can protect us." Baba heard his prayer and immediately called one of His devotees, gave him Vibhuti and told him to go and give it to Nana. In the normal course, it would have taken one and half days for that person to reach Nana's village. But Baba, with His Divine Will made things happen quickly.
When that person reached Nana's village, a Tonga (horse-drawn carriage) was waiting for him. The Tonga took him to Nana's house. He told Nana, "Baba has sent me here. He gave this Prasadam for your daughter-in-law." Nana's joy knew no bounds. He immediately mixed the Prasadam in water and gave it to his daughter-in-law. Within a minute, she delivered a male child. When Nana came out and saw, there was no Tonga or the person who drove it. He searched in the entire village, but could not find him. Then, he realised that this was Baba's Leela. He named his grandson as Baba. Baba enacted many such dramas in order to save His devotees. Baba is the best actor in every drama.
The ways of God are mysterious. One day when Kasturi, Lokanatham and Surayya were by My side, all of a sudden I left My body. They were ardent devotees and had total faith in Me. Every day they used to be with Me till I retired for the day. When I left the body, they started shedding tears. Lokanatham fell at My feet and started crying bitterly. But Kasturi knew that I had gone somewhere in response to the prayer of a devotee. So, he infused courage in them, saying, "Do not cry. In fact, you should be happy about it. Someone must be crying somewhere. Swami has gone to wipe those tears of his devotee." After two hours, I entered the body. Then Kasturi pleaded with Me, "Swami, we have no right to stop You from going to the rescue of Your devotees. But when You go, please do not leave Your body like this. In fact, You don't need to leave Your body and go. You can be here and save Your devotees all over the world." That day, I gave word to Kasturi and Surayya that I will do as per their request. I told them that whenever needed I might leave the body and go, but still there will be life in it. To this day, I am keeping up My word. Many such mysterious events are taking place.
The stories of the Lord are most wonderful and sacred in all the three worlds. They are like sickles that cut the creepers of worldly bondage.
is impossible to describe the glories of the Lord.
The Veda declares that God is in the form of Rasa (essence) in every being. Without the Rasa, man becomes Neerasa (weak). One who recognises the latent divinity does not require anybody's help. One who does not have faith craves for help from others. There is no point in helping such a person. It is like decorating a dead body! One should have firm faith in Divinity. It is because of such faith Savitri brought her dead husband back to life; Chandramati could extinguish the forest fire; Sita could come out of blazing fire unscathed; Damayanti could reduce a wicked hunter to ashes. All these women of chastity and virtue belong to this land of Bharat. Since ancient times, Bharat has occupied the position of a teacher to the rest of the world. Having been born and brought up in such a sacred land, it is a shame on Bharatiyas if they do not understand and adhere to their sacred culture. Today the behaviour of some of the Bharatiyas is contrary to their culture. They are behaving like birds and beasts. How can such people attain God? Today man's behaviour is worse than that of animals and demons. Earlier, Srinivas in his speech mentioned the name Mahishaasura Mardhini (the slayer of demon Mahishaasura). Today we have Manishaasuras (demons in the form of human beings). Manishi (man) is behaving like an Asura (demon). Mahishaasura Mardhini is one who slays demonic qualities in oneself and fosters divinity.
Embodiments of Love !
You do not know how sacred is the history of Bharat. If you do not understand, ask Me, I shall enlighten you. I will not only tell you the meaning, but also help you. But nobody is prepared to ask. Students are reading mechanically and learning things by rote. The so-called educated are also doing the same. What is the point in acquiring degrees if one cannot understand simple things? They are not making any effort to understand their innate divinity. One who understands this and acts accordingly alone is a true human being. Get rid of animal and demonic qualities from you. Foster purity and divinity. Love is the basis for all this.
[Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, "Prema Mudita Manase Kaho… "]
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