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Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Answers For
Swami! What is meant by `quest for truth'? How are we to go about this noble
To say that one is involved in the process of search for truth is foolish
and is a sign of ajnana, ignorance. When Sathya, truth, is
everywhere, what is the point of searching for it? Truth is God. God is truth.
God is omniscient. So also truth is everywhere.
sattvamadiye cudarayya (Telugu poem)
the eternal truth, has created the whole universe, which will merge ultimately
in truth. It is the eternal truth.
your eyes you look at your children. With the same eyes you see your wife also.
Your eyes may be the same but your vision; the way you look at different persons
such as mother, wife, and children varies. The feeling with which you look at
everyone is the spirit of the search for truth. This distinguishes feelings from
Search for truth should answer questions like what, when, why, whom, where and
Swami! Nowadays-even devotion has become a matter of convenience and
business, and is expected to yield quick results.
Isn't this wrong in the path of devotion? Are cunning and craft fruitful in
Today, whatever one does and says is all out of selfishness only. If you
develop devotion for getting a job, you are devoted to your employer and not to
God. If you are a devotee with a view to get married, you are devoted to your
wife or husband as the case may be, but not to God.
you notice clearly, you will know there is enough money in this world. There are
many in good positions. There are many influential and reputed people. Should
you pray to God for money, positions, popularity, and influence which are
already available in this world plentifully? You should pray to God for those
which are not available here and are present in and with Him only. Two things
are with God only and are not present elsewhere. What are they? They are Bliss
and Peace. True devotion is what urges you to pray to God for these two divine
unfortunately, today people employ even tricks, backdoor methods and logic in
spiritual fields. Alas! They will never yield good results. Such people will
never succeed. Further they boomerang. God and Mammon can't go together. You
can't buy or sell God. Business on commercial principles and God never go
together. God doesn't want your dhana, money or wealth. He looks into
your dharma, conduct.
In the name of spirituality, it is very unfortunate that people deceive each
other, involve in financial transactions, politicise, manipulate, cheat, scheme,
plot, spend time in gossip and mud slinging activities. Your knacks, tricks and
gimmicks will never work with God. You will never realise God through these
is a small story. A very rich man had a pet dog. One day when a person was
passing along the road, this dog chased him and was about to bite him. Then the
person being totally helpless hit the dog with his stick. The dog died. This
made the rich man very furious and he took the matter to court to sue this
person. There in the court the judge asked the passerby as to why he had hit the
dog resulting in its death. The person said, "Sir! It fell upon me and was
about to bite me. I couldn't do anything. So, I had to hit it with the stick in
my hand and unfortunately the dog died". Then the judge asked the rich man
what he would say in the matter. He said, "Sir! I can understand the
situation. But, why should he hit it on the head? Had he not done so, the dog
wouldn't have died". The judge turned to this person, wanting him to give
the explanation. He said, "Sir! It was about to bite me with its teeth. So
I had to hit it on the head. Had it tried to bite me with the
tail, I would have certainly beaten its tail". So this is a knack or a
trick to escape from the situation. These things are of no use in the spiritual
example, a businessman had to go to a neighboring town on some business. He
called his son and said, "My dear son! You please look after my work
carefully until I return. Be vigilant. Son! You know I do daily puja. You also
see me doing as t ottara puja, repeat 108 precious names of
God. You do it without fail during my absence. I don't want you to
discontinue". The son said, "O.K. father! I will scrupulously follow
your instructions". On his return the businessman enquired of his son if he
had done all the things assigned to him including as t ottara puja.
The son had shown him a paper as proof of his compliance. There, on the paper
his son wrote God's holy name and marked `ditto, ditto'
(‑do‑do‑) so that he did not have to repeat 108 times. Would
this make a genuine as t ottara puja? Do you expect any
positive results out of such tactics?
a merchant went to a Guru and reverentially prayed to him to give him mantra
upadesa, to attain Moksha. Then, the merchant said, "Sir! Can I ask my
assistant to repeat and chant the mantra a thousand times Sahasranama on
my behalf?" The Guru said, "It is useless. What are you talking about?
How do you expect to be benefited when your assistant does the puja on your
behalf? Do you ever ask him to eat when you are hungry? Do you ever ask him to
drink water when you are thirsty? Do you ever ask him to go to a doctor and take
medicine when you are sick? What nonsense are you talking?" This seems to
be the trend in the thinking among modern seekers and aspirants, this is not Bhakti.
path followed with your total virakti, detachment, your Shakti, total
capacity and your anurakti, total love for God is Bhakti, and not yukti, the tricks you adopt.
Swami! Renunciation, we feel, is the most difficult thing. We have so many
attachments and it is not easy to give them up. Kindly
suggest an alternative!
No. No. It is very easy. You are wrong if you say that detachment is
difficult. In fact, it is simpler and easier to be detached than to be attached.
Now look here! I hold this handkerchief in my hand. I hold it tight in my grip.
It is a strain holding it like that for a long time, i.e. holding the
handkerchief in the grip. On the contrary, it is very very easy to simply drop
it. Is it not? Now, you will know that attachment is difficult while detachment
Swami! Many different types of Sadhana are suggested and prescribed for
seekers and aspirants. They are very confusing and
the situation of the present day seekers is that they have almost forgotten what
a spiritual practice is. Most often having taken one path, many drop out or
discontinue. Why? Kindly tell us the truth of the matter?
In my opinion, spirituality is very simple and easy. You may find crushing
the petals of a rose flower difficult. Compared with it spirituality is easier.
But unfortunately, today there is none who knows and teaches Sadhana.
is Sadhana? It is a process of removing anatma, non-self
from Atma, Self. Then, you will have atmanubhavam the experience of the
Self. In other words, the self, spirit, conscience, or Atma is the reality. All
the rest is non-self or `anatma'. This is the purpose of spiritual
pursuit or Sadhana.
also wanted to know why a chosen spiritual path is discontinued. Understand well
that nothing is wrong with Sadhana. The mistake is yours. It is your
weakness. For example, you boarded the Bangalore
bound tram. If you get down in the middle without reaching the destination,
whose fault is it? It is definitely not the mistake of the train. It is your
Swami! We are not able to meditate. We do not know the procedure even. What are
we to do?
When the procedure is not correctly known and you are not able to
concentrate as you meditate, do not waste time. Do some good work. It is
ridiculous sitting down for meditation, while thinking of all sense objects and
sensual pleasures. It is purely a waste of time. In fact, if it is true
meditation, the feeling, "I am meditating", should totally vanish. The
three - `the one that meditates, the one whom you meditate upon' and the
`process of meditation' should be unified. This is called triputi. Always
keep in mind one important thing. You are as much far from me as I am from you.
You should always experience proximity with God and finally identify yourself
with Him. The fruit of your meditation depends on this. With conviction that God
is everywhere and by loving and serving all, giving up selfishness and
self-interest, you will experience the benefit of true meditation and you
will know that your reality is Atma, the self.
example you might remember about meditation. Here are two tumblers of which one
is full of milk that has to be poured out into the other tumbler. What do you
do? You hold the tumbler filled with milk in one hand and the empty tumbler in
the other, and slowly pour milk. The two tumblers should be held tight. If the
tumbler with milk is shaking for any reason, the milk spills out. If the other
tumbler is not held tight, and starts shaking, you can never collect milk. In
other words, both the tumblers must be kept steady. The upper tumbler with milk
is God, who should be pleased with your unflinching devotion while the lower
tumbler, which represents the devotee should have unwavering faith
Swami! My mind is not steady. How am I to do Bhajans? Without steadiness
of the mind, what for are our Bhajans?
The mind is never steady. This is natural. The body may find it easy to be
steady. But, movement and running, the body finds difficult. The condition of
the mind is just the opposite. The mind finds it difficult to be steady, but
easy to run or waver. Body is jada, inert. But the mind is caitanya,
You may lie down on your bed. But your mind will go round all places. Here, one
important point is to be noted. The mind has no independent existence. It
functions through the body only. The mind which goes round different places is
not received and responded to by anyone. No one extends hospitality or responds
to its behavior. It has to come back to the body sometime or other. Therefore,
never stop your sadhana, be it Bhajan or meditation. The mind will
get settled and be steady gradually. Leaves flutter due to wind currents. Once
they stop, leaves become steady and motionless. The same is the case with the
Swami! Some people are not putting in enough effort in matters of spirituality.
They are lazy. Is it proper to be so?
This is not spirituality at all. "Laziness is rust and dust;
Realisation is rest and best". Man is gifted by God with body, mind and
intellect for performing karma, action. It is said, Karmanubandhini manus
yaloke. Human society is bound by action. Karmame karanam narunaku
sukhadukhamilalo (Telugu verse). It is only action that makes you happy or
unhappy. Karma is the cause of janma. For the redemption of life and
following righteousness, one has to take the path of action that gives you the
divine experience, Brahman.
may say that you are not doing any karma. Remember that you can't live for a
moment without karma. Respiration, blood circulation etc., are actions, whether
you know it or not. You eat food while it is God who digests it. One important
thing is, human effort and God's grace are both equally important. These are
like the positive and negative wires through which the current flows. Another
example is the matchbox. In order to light a matchstick, you have to strike it
against the sides of the box.
give you another illustration in support of this. Suppose the cart in which you
are traveling turns upside down. You have to get up slowly and lift a wheel to
set it right. God's grace will add to your effort raising the other wheel so
that the cart comes back to the normal position.
Swami! Some say that satkarma, good action is enough; some argue that
puja is essential, but some hold the view that atmavidya
is the only way to liberation. How are we to coordinate and integrate these
three? Are these not contradictory to each other? Why should these three be
First, be very clear that they are not contradictory. Performance of good
action is karma marga. The three activities you have mentioned are like
three different kinds of travel by train. The first is the direct train that
takes you to your destination. This is jnana marga the path of Wisdom.
The other one is, the train in which you have to change to another at a railway
junction, as it is not a direct train. This is karma marga the path of
there are still other trains to which the carriage you board will be connected,
and you don't have to get down and change it on the way. This is Bhakti marga
the path of devotion. You can view these paths in this way.
example, a mother has three sons. She feeds the youngest, a child all by
herself. But the second son is a grown up boy who will go to the kitchen
straight and will have his food served by the cook. The eldest son being an
adult can serve food for himself and eat it. Similar is the situation here. The
youngest child stands for the path of action, the second son represents the path
of devotion, while the eldest symbolises the path of wisdom.
example, a king had three wives. He had to be away from his kingdom longer than
planned. So he sent a message to his three wives telling them that his return
was delayed and also asking them to inform him as to what he should bring home
for them as gifts. The first wife said that she needed nothing except his safe
return. The second wife who was ailing for quite sometime wanted medicines,
while the third one who was very fond of jewels wanted the latest designs to be
brought. On his return, the king went straight to the first wife and stayed
there. The other two wives came and pleaded with him to visit them also saying,
"Oh King! Your return was already delayed. You. have been spending much
time with your first wife. How about us?" The king replied, "Look!
This one wanted my safe return. So I am with her. But you wanted medicines and
jewels, and accordingly I sent to both of you what you had asked for."
Thus, the first wife who asked for the king himself and none else stands for vairagya,
renunciation. The second wife who wanted medicines represents prakrtika jnana,
material knowledge, while the third one who wanted jewels symbolises prakrtika
bhakti worldly devotion for worldly gains.
different spiritual paths are prescribed and suggested considering the
eligibility, temperament, suitability, capability and the samskaras, vasanas
of the past life of different persons.
same thing I tell my students. There are three `W's. The first `W' indicates
`work', karma marga, the second `W' means `Worship' or `Devotion', Bhakti
marga and the third `W' signifies `Wisdom', jnana marga. These three
are contained in the name of SAI. `S' stands for `Service (karma yoga)
`A' for `Adoration' (Bhakti yoga) and I for `illumination' jnana yoga).
Swami! We want to know how a true experience can be communicated.
Here, there are three steps. First, you should know jnanatum , then see drastum
and experience pravestum.
know a mango. You go to the market where you see it. It is not enough. You
should buy and eat it to experience the taste of it. You can describe what you
know and see. But you can't convey your experience.
instance, if you stand knee-deep in water you can freely talk. If you
stand neck deep in water, you can afford to talk. If you drown yourself totally,
you can't talk. Can you? This is the state of total experience beyond
Swami! What is the cause of agitation? How are we to get rid of it? What changes
are needed to be free from agitation?
Absence of Sathya, truth and dharma, righteousness is responsible for
all agitation today. Therefore, people have lost peace and bliss.
man has faith neither in himself nor in God. He is blind having lost the two
eyes of faith. Human life without faith is a barren land. It is not man manisi
(Telugu) who should change. It is the mind, manasu (Telugu),
that has to change. Niti (morality), riti (conduct), and khyati
(good name) are essential. Truth or Sathya is morality or niti, righteous
conduct or dharma is the way of life or rithi while sacrifice or tyaga is the good name or
khyati that you should get.
man with desires,
man with anger, krodha,
have no friends.
man with greed, lobha,
cut off from bliss, ananda.
Buddha speaks of certain aspects of individual Sadhana. Buddha said, samyakdrrsti,
good vision, is necessary. “Your vision must be pure and sacred". This
will lead to samyak sravanam, good listening. These two great qualities
imprinted in the heart induce samyak bhava, good feeling. This prompts
and promotes samyak kriya, good action. Therefore, at the individual
level, when good vision, good listening, good feeling and good action are
followed, the community will be ideal. There will be no disquiet and agitation.
has to correct one's lapses and mistakes. You should never speak ill of anybody.
There is another episode connected with Buddha. Buddha mercifully accepted the
invitation of a prostitute to dine at her residence. While He was proceeding,
the village head came and objected to His visit to her residence, as she was a
bad character. Buddha caught hold of his right hand and said, "Now, clap
your hands if you can". The village-head said "Oh! Lord! How can
I clap with one hand while you hold my right hand?"
smiling said, "You can't clap with one hand. You have to join both the
hands. Similarly, you have said that the woman is of loose character. Who has
made her like that? Only you people spoiled her". Then the village head and
other elders fell at His feet and followed Buddha. The woman too changed her
behaviour and became His devotee.
that time another significant event happened. One day Buddha was tired and
taking rest. So He asked one of His disciples to address the gathering that
evening on a spiritual topic. The disciple got up, and while speaking in praise
of his master, Buddha, he said, "No master like Buddha was ever born before
him nor would be born later". Everyone clapped. On hearing this, Buddha
came into their midst, and gently said, "How old are you?" How do you
know that no one like your master was born before and would be born in future?
How can you speak about the future? Many noble people lived in the past and are
now living in the present, and also will be born in the future". Thus, He
indicated indirectly the advent of Avatars, divine incarnations.
has to live attached to God anurakti, detached from the world virakti,
with devotion, Bhakti and achieve liberation, mukti, with all
your energies, s’akti. This is the only solution to problems like
agitation, restlessness and conflicts internal or external.
Swami! We have been thinking that all things can be achieved through
Self-confidence. In your discourses today you mentioned Self-protection
and Self-punishment also. Kindly explain these.
Quite often I mention to our boys these things - Self-confidence, Self-satisfaction, Self- sacrifice, and
Self-realisation. In addition to these, Self-protection and
Self-punishment too are necessary. Self-protection is the capacity
to face anything with Self-steadfastness. Then Self-punishment involves
the faculties of examining one's mistakes of one's own accord, and of refraining
from those mistakes through firm resolve. Self-punishment is holding in
check through repentance, possibilities of those mistakes.
Swami! In the classes, we have learnt about self-awareness. How can our tendency
be changed? Kindly teach us the appropriate
I asked you, "What does `self-awareness' mean?" Someone
said, "understanding". This is not the correct answer. This word can
be interpreted in two ways. In the worldly sense, it refers to looking at
oneself, i.e., selfishness. Knowledge concerning this can be called
"self-awareness". Spiritually, its meaning is quite different.
In spiritual terms, all that is, is merely the Self. The key to all actions and
all experiences lies within the Self. The body, mind, senses, and intellect are
just instruments of the Self. Without the Self, these are useless. These are to
the self what the head, leg, hand, and so on are to the body. Now I asked you
what is meant by `tendency'. Someone replied, "attitude", and another
"nature". These are not correct. It is an innate orientation. Tendency
exists in man in three modes. Their names are animal tendency, human tendency,
and divine tendency. Of these, the first runs after sense objects. The second is
marked by discrimination, though coloured by desires. The third is totally
devoid of desires, attachment, and `I' and `Mine'. There may be an attachment
and sense of `I' and `mine' in life, but life is not for the pursuit of these.
asked for an appropriate technique. When I asked for the meaning of that word,
one called it `method,' and another, `procedure.' These two are not correct. The
technique is vidhividhanam. What ought to be done is vidhi. How
to do it is vidhanam. There is only one technique for
Self-awareness. You have to have awareness that you are the Atma, the
Self. I refer to it as Constant-Integrated-Awarensss. This Self or
Atma is truly God. You are the embodiment of God. Here you should remember three
What is it that once it is had, is never lost, what is it? Jnana. In
other words, when jnana occurs, that is, when there is awareness, it
never is lost.
What is it which once lost can never be had again? Ajnana, ignorance.
When once ajnana is lost, you cannot have it again.
What is it that is neither lost nor had? Brahman, Self, Atma, this may be called
Swami! How are we to realise the existence of divinity, and by what intimation
are we to cognise it? Swami is pleased to refer to it
in the charming phrase, "Constant-Integrated-Awareness".
How are we to achieve this Awareness?
The idea that all forms and all names belong to God is verily
Constant-Integrated-Awareness. The experience of sarvan visnumayam
jagat, the world is pervaded by Vishnu, is but
Constant-Integrated-Awareness. God can be experienced in any form,
at any time or place.
life of Tulasidas illustrates this beautifully. He could not recognise God even
when He approached him and talked to him. One day Tulasidas sat under a tree,
grinding a piece of sandalwood on a mortar to prepare the paste. Right then, two
cowherd boys came there and asked him, "Grandfather! Will you give us some
sandal paste?" Then, Tulasidas replied, "My children! I am preparing
this for Lord Sri Ramachandramurthi". Two parrots, perched on a bough of
that tree, observed this, and commented, "For whose sake is all this paste?
Why doesn't he realise it?" Tulasidas heard these, words. He knew the
language of the birds. The next day, while he was preparing the paste, the two
cowherd boys turned up. This time, even without asking him, they took some
sandal paste into their palms, applied it to the forehead, and left. Tulasidas
who had noticed this was dumbfounded. This time too he heard the birds' comments
from the branch of the tree, "Aha! What a wonder! Those for whom the sandal
paste was prepared, had themselves come, and received it! What fortune!" As
he knew the language of the birds, Tulasidas realised that the boys who had
adorned themselves with the paste were, indeed, Rama and Lakshmana. Out of
ignorance, he had at first denied them.
may have heard of Vemana too. He was a thinker who belittled worship offered to
stones and idols. He used to doubt, "God, who pervades the whole world, how
can He be inside stone statues?" He used to make fun of idol worshippers.
One day, his elder brother's daughter, whom he loved dearly, passed away.
Grief-stricken, he kept on gazing at the little girl's picture hanging on
the wall. His elder brother's wife was observing all this. One day, she threw
down the picture. It broke into pieces. This was too much for Vemana to bear.
Then, she said, "My son! My girl is no more, isn't she? Why do you cry over
a broken picture?" Vemana replied, "Mother! Though she is gone, her
picture was here, wasn't it? Looking at it has been some consolation for me.
That is why when it broke into pieces, I am grieving ever more." Then his
elder brother's wife counselled him admirably, "My son! It is very true
that God is present everywhere. But, the devotee delights in seeing Him and
worshipping Him in an idol as well. Just as you consoled yourself looking at the
picture even though she whom you love is no more, the devotee invokes God in an
idol, and offers it worship." Straightaway Vemana grasped her message, and
the secret behind idol worship. In this way, the experience of visualizing the
Supreme Lord in all places, times, and creatures is truly
Constant-Integrated-Awareness. This can also be called the existence and
intimation of Divinity.
Source: SATYOPANISAD VOL - II [Part-III, Chapter-VII] by Anil Kumar Kamaraja