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Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Answers For
Spiritualising Our Day-To-Day Life
THE INNER DOOR
Swami! Good company is very essential for everybody. Is it as significant as it
is said to be?
Undoubtedly, good company is very important for every one of you. In fact, you
should also seek the company of good people. You should run away from bad
company. It is the company you join that, decides your life. So, it is said,
"Tell me your company! I shall tell you what you are!" Dust when it is
in association with the wind goes up, but the same dust in association with
water sinks down. Another example for you. In ten cups of milk if you mix one
cup of water, the value of water also will go up. But, on the other hand, in ten
cups of water, if you pour one cup of milk, the milk will lose its value. See,
this explains clearly the importance of the association or the company you keep.
You also hear
in the Mahabharata about Kama, who, in spite of all his excellence in
archery, intelligence, and physical prowess, because of his bad company, has
come to be known as one among the `dustacatustaya', the four wicked ones.
Swami! What is your advice to employees, who struggle to make both ends meet and
wish to follow Swami?
I have advised you a great many times to keep hands in society and head in the
forest. You work well with both your hands. Be very sincere in your work and
serve whole-heartedly. At the same time, keep God as your aim and
objective. You should keep Him in your mind at all times.
mother. She may be very busy with her household work, but she never forgets her
child. She knows when her child will feel hungry and needs to be fed.
You must have
watched the dance programme in our auditorium. The dancer keeps two or three
pots one above the other on the head, and moves her head and limbs precisely to
the rhythm and the drumbeat. To the surprise of the audience all the while the
pots remain exactly one above the other on her head as they were kept just
before the dance performance began. How? The answer is simple. As she dances,
she constantly concentrates on the pots over her head so that the balance is
never lost. Similarly, in your life you may be doing several things. Yet, you
should ever remember God and keep him as your sole aim. Always look up inwardly.
Swami! You are unique in explaining both the components of our life, the
spiritual and the physical. You alone can do it in this world. It is most
necessary that we mix with people, and sometimes even intimately. We have to
interact with one another in our daily life. How are we to speak, and what is
good for us to speak? Kindly tell us about this, Swami!
You think that worldly life and spiritual life are separate entities. They are
not. Spirituality is awareness. It is total knowledge and not pieces or bits of
information. You should always talk sweetly and softly. You can please everyone
with your fine talk. See, when a crow sits on the wall repeating kav, kav
we chase it away, but when a cuckoo repeats kuhu, kuhu, you too start
imitating its sweet sound. Both are birds, but where does the difference lie? It
is only the sound, you see! Similarly your talk makes all the difference. The
crow has not harmed you in the least, nor has the cuckoo rendered any help to
you. It is only the sound that pleases or displeases you. You should speak the
truth, you should talk pleasingly. You cannot always oblige, but you can speak
obligingly. Is it not? Your words should never hurt or harm anyone.
One day, a
hunter was chasing a deer in the forest. A sage who was sitting there saw the
deer running fast to escape the hunter. The hunter in his search for the deer,
saw the sage and asked him if he had seen a deer passing by. In reply, the sage
said, "Oh hunter! The eye that saw the deer passing cannot speak and the
tongue that speaks cannot see. What can I say?" So nothing false was
have heard of the great king Harischandra. By just telling one lie, he could
have easily got back the kingdom that he had lost. By adhering to truth, his son
was brought back to life, and his family reunited. He did not utter a single
lie. He stuck to truth only. So, till this day his name is remembered and it has
come to stay so long as the sun, the moon and this galaxy remain. He is the very
embodiment of truth. So he is called "Satya Harischandra"
aku pran amu satyamu - Truth is the life of speech.
aku pran amu sainyamu -
Army is the life of a fort.
tuku pran amu cevralu -
Signature is the life of an IOU.
not talk too much or excessively. If you do so, society will call you a
chatterbox, a loose tongued man. Ati bhasa mati hani, too much talk turns
you mad. Mitabhasa ati hayi, limited talk makes you very happy as you are
not likely to tell a lie, criticise, gossip, or talk vainly.
your respect if you talk endlessly. You tend to lose your memory as well. You
lose your energy. If you switch on a radio and keep it on high volume for a long
time, many units of electricity are consumed, aren't they? So also, your energy
gets consumed if you keep talking for long.
Note that it
is always in the depth of silence that the voice of God is heard. If anyone
greets you with a `hello,' respond with a `hello'; if anyone says `goodbye', you
also reply in the same way, `goodbye'. That's all. You talk only when it is
necessary and to the extent it is needed.
Swami! Is it not a help to a person if I point out his mistakes?
Thinking of the mistakes of someone else, you also become defective. To face and
to resist a bad man you have to become even worse than him. So, it is a sin to
point out the mistakes of others. If .you point out the mistakes of others, with
one finger, three fingers point towards you. As the saying goes, a street dog is
always in search of slippers. A pig spends its time in gutters. You would also
look like a pig if you go on looking at the faults of others. In a way, a monkey
is much better than a man who finds fault with others. When a monkey finds an
orange fruit, what does it do? It will take away the outer rind and then does
the fruit. Will it not? This sort of separating the good from the bad is called vibhagayoga.
You should give up the bad, the undesirable.
Swami! Now we understand that we are mistaken with regard to our knowledge. You
have explained clearly what awareness is by saying
that it is complete knowledge but not the knowledge of a bit or a piece of
anything. How are we to cultivate this awareness?
Spirituality is very essential for awareness. It is impossible to develop
awareness by any other means. With a spiritual background, things will be very
clear to you. You will then have total understanding, which is awareness.
Otherwise, what you acquire is bookish knowledge, superficial knowledge, general
knowledge but not practical knowledge, which is awareness. This is possible only
in the spiritual path.
example. You sow a seed in the ground. It germinates into a plant. But do you
expect the seed to germinate if it is kept in a tin? Impossible. Similarly, the
plant of awareness grows in the field of spirituality and not in a tin of
worldly pleasures. The awareness then developed is, in fact, true awareness.
Swami! Now it is clear that this sort of "awareness" is not available
in our educational institutions, that awareness is so very important for all
of us. You are the incarnation of God in the present day world. Why don't you,
by your grace, grant us this boon of awareness?
If everything is done by God Himself, what will be there for you to do? How will
you make use of the God-given mind and intellect? Don't you realise that
these divine instruments like the mind and the intellect that you are equipped
with will be a waste, if God does every thing for you? The mother cooks and
serves food. She cannot eat it on behalf of the child! When the child sustains
any injury the mother feels sad. But she cannot bandage herself on behalf of the
sit in front of the plate filled with potato curry and chapatti, you must also
pick them up with your own hands and eat. By simply repeating
"potato,chapatti" will your hunger be appeased? The hand and the mouth
should be put to work. Is it not? Similarly, you should make use of your mind
will be known to you. By your effort, you will win God's grace. With krsi,
effort, one can even become a rishi, a sage. Do your duty thinking at the same
time of the Lord.
Spiritual aspirants observe austerities like upavasa, fasting, jagarana, vigil
and consider them spiritual. We request you to let us know their importance
and inner significance.
The traditions, rituals, and the age-old practices of Bharat have a
meaning and significance. Aspirants undoubtedly get divine experiences. But
today people are after external and pompous rituals without any understanding of
their inner significance. So they have forgotten the very goals and purposes for
which they were originally intended. Almost all the rituals have become
mechanical, monotonous and routine. There is none to explain to them lucidly.
Most people are not aware of the subtleties. So, you don't find anybody
practicing austerities or rituals sincerely. Man need not change. It is the mind
that should change.
are traveling to a distant place and you don't have food to eat on the way: Can
you consider this upavasa, fasting? Will this be of any spiritual use? A
patient doesn't take normal food. Is that fasting? What do you get out of it? To
feel God in you is upavasa and not mere fasting as the literal meaning
goes: Upa, near, vasa, living: In other words, upavasa
means living close to or near God. It means one should turn inward, feel God and
constantly think of Him. This is upavasa in its true sense. Today, we
notice people who fast on the ekadas'i day. But, they eat double the
normal quantity of food the next day. The madhvas (followers of
Madhvacharya) observe Bhisma ekadas'i on which day they fast. They don't,
swallow even their saliva.
In the state
of Karnataka, they say in Kannada, "bida bedi bittu keda bedi"
which means, do not give up and spoil yourself. When you give up anything, don't
pick it up again. It is a bad habit. Instead, what is happening? They get the
flour ready well grinded and preserve the dough for three days, With this they
make nice tasteful dosas, south Indian tiffin. So in Kannada it is said, indu
adide ekadas'i ondu tindu nalavattu dosa, it means, in the name of ekadas'i,
on one fasting day in a month, preparations are made for as many as forty dosas.
Is this upavasa? No, definitely not.
you observe vigil, jagarana? Why is jagarana, keeping awake
throughout the night, observed? It means that you should keep off from your
worldly happiness, sensual pleasures and material comforts. You should be
unmindful of all these mundane matters, but awake or vigilant to the inner core,
the atma. You should be awake in respect of the inner divinity while neglecting
worldly botherations. But what is done in the name of jagarana? They play
cards throughout the night or watch three movies one after the other throughout
the night in the name of jagaran a . Watchmen, nurses in the hospital on duty,
Railway station masters on duty don't sleep in the night. Does it amount to jagarana?
Certainly not! Merely skipping sleep is an external ritual. One should know the
inner reality while observing these rituals. Since they are all done
mechanically, they are made fun of and they look ridiculous in the eyes of
Swami! Some want us to do puja, some suggest dhyana, meditation, a few prescribe
parayana, reading of the scripture and some others assure us of good results
from japa, repetition of God's name. I am confused about what to do and which
one to follow. Kindly tell me the best among these ways to be followed in my
You can follow any of them with total prema, love, nissvardha,
selflessness, chittas'uddhi, purity of your heart, ekagrata, one
pointedness, and saranagati, surrender to realise and experience God.
the path that suits your convenience. Any procedure that appeals to you and
gives you shanti, and ananda can be followed. But never imitate.
Never go by other people's words and paths. You follow your chosen path.
Otherwise, you lose your own way also. Imitation is human. But creation is
example to illustrate that one becomes a loser by following others. There was a
fruit market and it was the season when mangoes were available in plenty. A
shopkeeper got a board specially painted with the words "Good mango fruits
are sold here" and displayed it in front of his shop to promote sales. One
stranger came and said, "Sir! What is it that is written there on the
board? This is a fruit market. Why should you have the word on the board `here'?
It looks silly and superfluous. I suggest you erase this word `here"'. Then
the shopkeeper sent word to the painter and erased that word on the board
Now on the
board, the words "Good mango fruits are sold" were left. Another man
came to the shop and said "What, Sir? You don't look smart and intelligent.
Have you yourself cared to read what is written on the board? This is the mango
season. All the shops are selling mangoes only. Why should you write `mangoes'
especially, as if they are here only? Better you remove the word `mango' from
shopkeeper got it erased with the help of the painter. Now on the board the
words "Good Fruits are sold" were left. Another customer came and
said, "What nonsense is this? Do you find any one selling `bad fruits'? How
funny it looks when you say `good fruits', very silly! Remove those words `good
fruits' from the board.
shopkeeper was convinced and got them erased with the result that only the word
`Are sold' were left on the board. A well wisher of the owner who happened to
pass by looked at the board and was shocked. He said. "What? Are you mad?
Did you read the board? What do you mean by `Are sold'? Are you going to sell
the board or what?" The shopkeeper called for the painter and got the words
`Are sold' removed. Now he was left with a blank board. Finally, the painter
gave the bill with two entries, one for initially painting the letters and the
other for erasing each word at intervals. What happened to the owner of the shop
who paid heed to the words of everyone? He lost both the board and that money.
This will happen to you too, if you adopt other people's ways.
also prescribes a method that suits you. He never wants all and sundry to follow
the same pattern. The methods of sadhana are suggested depending on your
capacity, skill, understanding and the level of your spiritual awareness.
I give you
here a simple illustration from the life of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Once it
so happened, that one disciple by name Brahmananda was crossing the river in a
boat to buy and fetch the requirements for the residents of the asram. He
overheard the conversation going on among others that boarded the same boat. One
said that Ramakrishna was spoiling many youngsters who were wasting their time
by being lazy in the name of devotion and that it was surprising to see them
with shaven heads and wearing ochre robes. Brahmananda felt very sad and shed
tears. He returned to the asram that evening. Ramakrishna asked him what had
happened in the boat while crossing the river. Brahmananda recounted the whole
episode feeling very bad about the remarks made against Ramakrishna and his
disciples. Then Ramakrishna was furious and said, "What Brahmananda! How
could you hear all these remarks! Can you bear when your Guru is criticised like
that? How do you react when your parents are attacked? How could you hear all
Next day, it
was the turn of Vivekananda to go to the market. He boarded the boat and was on
his way. Vivekananda had to hear once again the boatman speaking ill of
Ramakrishna for making youngsters lazy and useless. He could not control his
anger. He got up immediately, held the neck of the boatman and was even ready to
push him into the
evening, as usual in the course of the conversation, Ramakrishna, surrounded by
his young disciples, asked Vivekananda what had happened in the boat. He proudly
reported his reaction to the words of the boatman. Then Ramakrishna said,
"What Naren! Are you not ashamed of your behaviour? Couldn't you control
your anger? What is the use of your sadhana? Is this the way a brahmacari
then asked, "Swami! It is very strange to hear you speak like this. The
other day you were angry with Brahmananda for keeping quiet when we were
criticised. Today when I reacted to the same words, you are blaming me. Why this
difference, Swami?" Ramakrishna smiling said, "A bicycle has two
tyres. There is too much air in the front wheel. A little of it should be let
out. The air is less than necessary in the back wheel. Some more air must be
pumped into it. So also, Brahmananda should have more spirit, while your temper
must be reduced." That's how the individual level is important in the
spiritual path. You shouldn't imitate and follow others blindly.
Bhagawan! In our namavali, series of names of God, we address God by so many
names. We have more than a hundred names `astottara' and a thousand names
‘sahasranama. ‘Of these various names, which is the best and the exact name
All names and forms are His only. There is nothing in the universe, which is not
His. You should consider God as the indweller of your heart hrdayavasi.
Draupadi, when she was being disrobed and humiliated, prayed to Krishna for
help, calling him ` brndavanasancari ' and `mathuranatha
' which caused some delay in Krishna's manifesting to save her. To prove the
truth of her prayerful words,
You sing 'Brndavanasancari
' in your bhajans. Presently I am in Kodaikanal. Are you not wrong?
You sing, prasantivasa, partivihara, `one who is in Prasanti Nilayam,
moves about in Puttaparti', in your bhajans. Is it right? No. I am in
Kodaikanal, not in Parti or Prasanthi. But, if you say ‘Hrdayavasi' the
indweller of your heart, though I may be physically anywhere, you will get
immediate response from me.
Swami! The Gayatri mantra is being chanted over many ages here in this holy
land. But, we hear that women are prohibited from chanting Gayatri and so
are non brahmins. Should we chant that mantra at specific times and not at any
time of our choice and convenience? What is the importance and significance of
Gayatri mantra? We shall indeed be very fortunate to hear from your divine lips
about this subject.
Everyone must chant the Gayatri. It transcends the barriers of caste, community,
sex, nationality, time and space. It is the one mantra that all should
repeatedly chant. There are three main things in the Gayatri mantra.
First of all, you should know that Bhur Bhuvah Suvah in the Gayatri are
not separate worlds. You think, "Bhur Bhuvah Suvah” is three
different worlds. It is a mistake to think so. They are within you. `Gayamulu
' means senses. Since Gayatri deals with sense control, it is called so. The
body has senses of perception and action. This first aspect of Gayatri is called
materialisation or Gayatri.
The body can
function if only there is life in it. The pulsatory activity is due to life.
Therefore, the life principle vibrates in the body, which makes it functional or
operational. This second aspect of Gayatri, which is the life force, is called
vibration or Savitri.
aspect of Gayatri is the primal sound Omkar, which springs upwards from
As we breathe
in, we make the sound `so' and as we breathe out the sound `ham’
is made. The `soham' mantra is repeated everyday 21,600 times in our
respiratory process. In the mantra, `soham', the second sound in `so',
i.e., `o' and the second sound in `ham', `m' together
constitute `om'. This `soham' is repeatedly chanted in all the
three states; waking, dream and deep sleep. The entire alphabet is formed out of
the mother of letters, the primal sound `
illustrate this, I give you a small example. In the English alphabet, we have 26
letters from A to Z. All words and sentences are spoken and written using these
letters only, aren't they? You notice that the harmonium has reeds. As you press
the bellows the air gets in and as you press the reeds, you get musical notes
like sa re ga ma pa dha ni. By means of these seven sounds only,
different tunes or ragas are composed. Are they not? You know the violin. It has
strings on which you can play any tune. So also,`omkar' is the primal,
primordial sound out of which the rest of the sounds originated.
close both your ears tight, you will listen to the Pranava, the `Omkar'
within you. You go very close to an electric pole and listen with your ear
touching it. You will hear that primal sound omkar. This is the sound
(internal) in silence (external). This is the divine sound heard in the depth of
silence, (nis's'abdamuloni s'abdabrahmam, in Telugu). You can hear the
footsteps of God only in silence. This third aspect of Gayatri that pertains to
this omkar, the primordial sound, the speech faculty and the chief source
is known as radiation or Saraswati.
the body level it is Gayatri, materialisation. As the life principle, it is
Savitri, vibration, and finally as the chief source of sound, it is Saraswati,
radiation. These are the three aspects of Gayatri mantra .In other words the atmic
power, divine source, is radiation (Saraswati) that enters the body as vibration
or life principle (Savitri), so that this body made of material becomes
functional which is called materialisation (Gayatri).
Swami! How should we adore you? How should we serve you? We are not able to
decide. Kindly show us the way?
God does not need your service. He does, not require your worship. God desires
from you only one thing and that is love. This love is not your property either.
It is not your ancestral property. This love is not gifted to you by anyone. It
is not a commodity to be manufactured by any company. It is not to be acquired
from a guru. You are born with love. It is the gift of God. Therefore, it must
be given to Him. It is His and so you should return it to Him by loving Him
Take a small
example. On occasions like a wedding ceremony, many people are invited. So, in
order to prepare food on a large scale you need very big utensils. You hire them
for a day or two and return them after use. But they should be returned safe,
cleaned and in perfect condition without any damage. Is it not so? Similarly,
the human heart is a vessel filled with love, gifted by God, and has got to be
returned intact to Him. This is the true form of worship.
How to love
God? The best way to love God is to love all and serve all. When everything is
His, and He being the giver of all that you need, what is it that He wants from
you other than love? A pure heart is the
Swami! Kindly let us know how we can achieve anandaprapti, gaining permanent
happiness, and removal of suffering dukhanivrtti.
These two levels of consciousness are not separate from each other, as you have
stated. When suffering is removed, you derive happiness. Absence of happiness is
the cause of misery. Both are interrelated. Absence of light is darkness: Where
there is light there is no darkness. Absence of one of the two is the presence
of the other. So, if you explore the methods of removing suffering, happiness
naturally and automatically dawns.
investigate the reason for misery, you will know that ignorance is the cause of
all misery. What is responsible for ignorance? It is the ego. What is ego? It is
attachment. What is attachment? It is the body, consciousness. So, misery occurs
due to attachment to the body. But, one can be happy physically as well as
spiritually if one's senses are under one's control. In fact, sadness is not
natural to man. Therefore, methods have to be found out to remove sadness, which
is artificial. Misery can be removed only by prayer and by following the
spiritual path. If idle horses are overfed, they will be still lazier.
Similarly, if you act according to the whims and fancies of your senses, your
senses will get strengthened day by day and ultimately you will cease to be a
three types of miseries - adhyatmika, adhibhautika and adhidaivika.
Adhyatmika miseries are physical and mental. Physical suffering makes you
mentally sick. Your mental irregularities add to your physical sickness.
Therefore, physical and mental sufferings are branded as adhyatmika. The
second one is the suffering called adhibhautika, which is caused due to
snakebite or a scorpion bite or injuries inflicted by animals and other
creatures. The third type of misery called, adhidaivika befalls due to
cyclones, floods, earthquakes, fire accidents and various other natural
you should know that the mind is the cause of both pleasure and pain. If your
mind is positive, it doesn't matter if you are either at your home or in a
forest. You should fill your mind with love. With constant thought of God,
developing more and more of faith in Him, and following the spiritual path, you
can undoubtedly remove your suffering. Of course, control of senses is
understand your true self, atma you will have ananda, bliss. Bliss
is the state, which is above pain and pleasure bliss is non-dual. This is
also called prajña. Since prajna is vast, the scripture says, Prajnanam
Brahma. Prajna is divine. Prajna is uniformly present in the body,
the mind and the intellect. Prajna is also known as antarvani, the
inner voice. By exercising control over external and internal sense, you can
listen to your antarvani. If you follow and act according to your inner
voice, you will be blissful.
or birth is responsible for all misery. Where there is no janma there is
no chance for either pleasure or pain. However, janma is due to karma,
the consequence of past actions. For karma, the causes are raga,
attachment and dvesa, hatred. You take to an activity only if or when you
like it, or prefer it to some other activity, otherwise not. Isn't it? So all
actions are born of either of these two states of mind, raga and dvesa.
They in turn arise out of ahamkara, ego and ajnana, ignorance. Ajnana
is the main cause of misery. Ignorance goes away only if ego is given up. For
ego to be dropped one must rise above attachment and hatred. For these two to
vanish there should be akarma, inaction, because these actions and their
consequences lead to punarjanma. As the Bhajagovindam of Adi
Sankara states: Punarapi jananam punarapi maranam punarapi janani
jathare s'ayanam, "one takes birth life after life, lying in the womb
of the mother, again and again after death." Birth and death are
responsible for all the misery. In fact, one should follow the spiritual path in
life not to be born again. Instead of consuming sugar, you can become sugar
itself! This is the sugar of ananda, bliss. This is the sugar of
liberation. This is the sugar of sayujya, merger with God. Therefore, mukti,
liberation, is the only solution for the alleviation of suffering.
happiness that you get from listening to a person whom you like or on acquiring
an article that you wished to acquire is described as priyam. When you
actually get what you really want, that is called modam, joy The
experience of joy after acquiring what you want is called pramodam,
supreme joy. If anybody starts talking to you about all that you like, you will
be happy. So it is called priyam. If you see or meet those who are dear
to you, you will be extremely happy. This is called modam. On receiving
and possessing what is dearest to you, your experience is described as pramodam.
hear of the divine power from great epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata
and of the lilas of God incarnate and devotion celebrated in Bhagavata,
and other texts, you will be very happy. This is priyam. If you practice
all that you have heard from these immortal books, you will derive a kind of joy
described as modam. If you identify yourself with the divinity and merge
in it, the supreme bliss you get out of it is called pramodam.
So one has
to hear about God, priyam in the first stage, practice all that is heard,
modam in the second stage and finally experience the bliss thereafter, pramodam
in the third stage. This is anandaprapti, the way to be blissful.
Swami! What is to be renounced? What is to be sacrificed?
You do not need to renounce the world. Many people commit a mistake here. You do
not have to sacrifice the world. You have to give up worldly thoughts and
feelings. You must have heard of Ramananda Tirtha, a renunciant. He was married,
and also had a son. He renounced his family. One day when his wife visited him,
he refused to see her and turned his head away. Watching this, the wife said to
him. "Swami! Since you have the feeling that I am your wife, you did not
look at me and turned away your face. I do not have that feeling, not in the
least". It was then she gave him the ochre robes. So, you need not renounce
the world. You need to shed worldly thoughts. You do not have to sacrifice your
properties, but you must establish proper-ties with God.
Swami! What is true happiness? How are we to acquire it?
You should, first of all, know what happiness truly is! I want you to be
blissful and not simply happy. Happiness, as you understand it, is not truly
happiness. In fact, true happiness lies in union with God. This you can develop
by establishing contact with the Divinity within you. In other words, being
aware of the Divinity within you, you can also make yourself happy in the world.
Happiness lies in liking what you should do and not doing what you like.
Swami! We meet some people who are not happy, as if they are denied happiness
once for all. Why should it happen like that?
For all this, understand that the mind is the main cause. If you turn your mind
God wards, you will be happy. If you turn it towards the world, you cannot be
happy for long. See, here you turn the fan towards you. Then you get the breeze.
If you turn it the opposite way, you won't get any breeze. Your getting or not
getting the breeze depends upon the direction in which you turn the fan.
Swami! You want us to look for unity in diversity. You expect us to be aware of
unity in diversity. How is it possible?
It is certainly possible. Everything in this world has five aspects. Among them,
three are changeless while the other two change. The three are
represents paramarthika satya, Spiritual Truth; the waves stand for pratibhasika
satya, superimposed or mistaken identity, while the foam is the vyavaharika
satya, worldly or physical truth.
Swami! Is sadhana a must in every day life? Is it compulsory?
Yes, it is very necessary that you should do it everyday. Don't you wash and
scrub utensils everyday to keep them clean? Until you become steady, develop
unwavering faith and total surrender. It is most necessary to do sadhana everyday.
You see that
the paddy fields are watered everyday. Otherwise, the crops dry up and die. But
tall trees like Eucalyptus, Banyan, Neem and so on, do not need to be watered
everyday. Why? The reason is simple. Their roots go very deep, up to the ground
water level; and draw nourishment for the entire tree. It appears surprising
that small tender plants need water everyday while huge trees do not. Roots of
small plants go a few inches deep and cannot draw water, from the depths. But
trees have roots that spread and go deep to draw, ground water. Similarly, until
the roots of your faith go deep into the ground of your heart, you have to do sadhana
everyday. Your faith today is like the root of a small plant that has not
yet gone deep into your heart and so you should do sadhana everyday.
Swami! Much emphasis is laid on sadhana, spiritual practice. But we find it
tough to do any sadhana. What is the solution?
For achieving or attaining anything in life one needs to do sadhana or
practice. Walking, talking, reading, eating, writing, everything in life you
learn by practice. How does a child walk? It is clearly by practice only.
Singers practice a lot! Driving a motorcar for that matter has to be practised.
You have the steering at one place, the brake at one point, the clutch elsewhere
and so on. Yet, you will be able to drive a car by practice only. So also, sadhana
in the spiritual field.
What is the role of a Guru on the spiritual path?
One should have total faith in the Guru. Suppose you wish to go to a city on a
picnic. You do not know anything about that city, as you have never been there
before. What you do is to take the help of a guide to go round the city. You do
not question the guide at any point since you are totally new to the place. So
also, a Guru who has vast knowledge and experience has to be scrupulously
followed. He should not be questioned, doubted, or disobeyed on any grounds.
You also find
signboards at cross roads indicating directions to different places. This is
your common experience. To reach the place of your choice, you must follow the
directions in the signboard and reach the destination. You don't expect the
signboard to carry you or lift you to that place. You have to go along the way
as directed in the signboard. A Guru similarly shows the spiritual path, teaches
you the techniques to be followed, and explains in detail all that you need on
the spiritual path. You have to work for it and achieve it all by yourself. No
one can do that on your behalf.
`Guru', is a
two-letter word in Telugu - `Gu' and `ru'. The word
has two meanings. `Gu' is darkness (ignorance), `ru' is the light
(wisdom) that dispels this darkness. The second meaning is `gu' stands for gunatita,
one beyond attributes and `ru' for rupavarjita formless. So, Guru is one
who teaches you about divinity which is both attributeless and formless. A true
Guru wishes the best for his disciples. He tells them what is hita, good
and not ista, that which is liked. A true disciple follows the master
Swami! We feel that results are delayed in Sadhana: We do not get quick results,
at least according to our expectations. What do you say, Swami?
You do not have proper, understanding of Sadhana. See, in this world, you
begin your studies from childhood. After the primary school, you go to the
secondary school, college and then to the university. After fifteen years of
intense study and hard work you get a degree. This is your experience. How much
have you worked to get a degree? Have you not taken a long time to get a degree?
For this education and a degree, and to earn your livelihood you strive so much.
Then how long should you take, how much of effort should you put in to earn
God's grace which is the eternal spiritual truth? Just think for yourself. It is
a big mistake to expect quick results in Sadhana.
SATYOPANISAD VOL - II [Part III, Chapter-VII] by Anil Kumar Kamaraja