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Splendor of Divinity

(Divine Discourse delivered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba duringSummer Course  on 18th May 2000 At Brindavan )

God controls the entire creation while Truth holds sway over God; but Truth itself is subservient to a noble one; such a noble one is the embodiment of Divinity! 

(Sanskrit Verse)

Embodiments of Love!

An individual has many experiences in the waking state and other distinct experiences in the dream state. In this latter state, he creates everything he experiences - feelings, pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow. In the deep sleep state, he is oblivious to everything worldly or imaginary and becomes one with Primary Consciousness. Thus, under three different circumstances, the same person has three different types of experiences. Experiences may vary but the Transcendental Being within is eternal and not subject to any change. A garland drawn on a piece of paper will never move, shake or wobble. The paper itself might get tossed violently by gusts of wind but the garland would always remain firm on the paper and not undergo any relative movement. Likewise, although the external circumstances and thoughts of an individual may undergo changes, the Divinity imprinted within will ever remain steady, constant and never undergo any change. All aspirants must cultivate clear vision and steady mind.

Body is the Reservoir of Auspiciousness

The human body may be compared to a bamboo pole. The bamboo has many joints that interrupt its smoothness. For the human being, the six evils, namely, Kama (desire), Krodha (anger), Lobha (greed), Moha (attachment), Mada (pride), Matsarya (jealousy) represent the bends or the joints.

The human body has been referred to as Tungabhadra. Tunga means infinite and Bhadra means auspiciousness. Thus, when one uses the word Tungabhadra for the human body, it means that the body is the reservoir of infinite auspiciousness. Everyone must therefore carefully introspect to check whether this sacred gift called the body is being properly used or is misused and mishandled.

It was sage Narada who gave this name Tungabhadra to the human body. People often mistake Narada to be Kalahapriya (one who foments trouble). This is not correct; such a view is an imagined and a distorted one. Narada is the sage who has shown the path that can put an end to all sorrow. He radiates knowledge. Narada is endowed with the knowledge of the three periods of time the past, present and future. He is dear to Narayana. He gave this unusual name Tungabhadra to the human body after deep enquiry. Tungabhadra is that which gives limitless bliss and auspiciousness. You have to make every effort to understand the sanctity behind this name, use the body only for noble and sacred purposes and derive bliss thereof. Human life should not be looked at from just a worldly, material and physical perspective. Through intense enquiry, sages of yore unraveled the deeper significance of human existence. Man today faces misery because he does not make proper use of his body and does not lead his life as he ought to, that is to say, in the service of humanity. Totally preoccupied with himself and his family, he has no thought for the community or society he lives in. It is only when man becomes concerned with society that he will begin to understand why the human body has been called Tungabhadra.

See God in Man

Embodiments of Love!

You are undoubtedly aware that human life is the noblest and the most precious of all. That is why the Vedas declare: Janthunam Nara Janma Durlabham (it is a rare blessing to be born as a human). You must really appreciate how rare and precious human birth is.

Man is called Nara. This word has two syllables, 'Na' and 'Ra'. 'Na' means 'no', and 'Ra' means 'death'. Thus, Nara means one who is deathless, imperishable and immortal. If you examine deeply, you will discover that the three words Nara, Narada and Narayana, all represent the same thing. Narada (the sage) is the one who shows Narayana (God) to Nara (man). What a lofty meaning this word Nara has! You must ponder over the fact that man who is intrinsically sacred is now wasting and ruining his invaluable existence. God is not really separate from man. Narada recognized the identity of man with God and declared that God is not outside but within man. He described the relationship between man and God in these words:

Yallabdhwapuman, Iccharamo Bhavati,
Trupto Bhavati, Matto Bhavati, Atmaramo Bhavati.

(After attaining God, man gets total satisfaction, fulfillment, ecstasy and bliss).

Man is not really different from the Indweller, and the individual is God Himself. Goodness lies in seeing Narayana (God) in Nara (man). On the other hand, man today revels in seeing God as man. Such perception arises from utter lack of faith and deluded thinking. People think that it is important to achieve greatness; however, it is far more important to be good than to be great. The truly good one sees God in every human being. The evil one, on the other hand, reduces even the Divine to mundane levels. Such a one can be described as Ravana. Ravana considered God as an ordinary human, quite in contrast to Narada who always saw Narayana in Nara. Every individual has divine power latent within.

Attachment Leads to Misery

Students must carefully examine all such matters thoroughly. They must go into the deeper aspects of the subjects they read. Take the Ramayana, for example. This epic reveals how unity can lead to bliss. On the other hand, disunity leads only to unhappiness and sorrow. Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrughna achieved great renown in the world on account of their unity. Contrast this with Vali and Sugriva. They too were brothers but both had to undergo suffering on account of lack of unity. The Pandavas too illustrate how unity is strength. All the four younger brothers always bowed to the command of Dharmaraja, the eldest brother; they never went against his advice. The glorious example set by them in the Dwapar Yuga continues to remain a shining beacon even in this Kali Yuga. Disunity, discord and disaffection between brothers invariably produce pain and suffering. Unity, on the other hand, always paves the way for happiness.

The scriptures offer many ideals for people to live by. Ravana realized his folly in the end. He said, "O people of this world! By yielding to lust and anger, I have brought ruin to one and all, including my family. I could not conquer hatred and jealousy and thereby lost all my relatives. Unable to understand the fundamental truth, I lost my kingdom too. Do not repeat my mistake '' This was the warning given by Ravana just prior to his death. Noble souls are very powerful because they completely grasp the basic truth. Ravana was mighty. He was one of great penance. He had acquired multiple capabilities - physical, mental and even spiritual. But ultimately, of what use were all these various achievements? Of no use at all. Becoming a slave of attachment and hatred, he had, in the end, to suffer and perish. There was not a trace of love in him. If, on the other hand, one imbibes love in one's heart, one can emerge victorious even under the most adverse circumstances.

The scriptures hail man as Amrutasya Putra (son of immortality). Unable to understand this truth, man has degenerated into Anrutasya Putra (son of falsehood). Man should conduct himself in accordance with his true nature as the child of immortality and not of falsehood. You should not only love God but become God Himself. Only when you experience love, you would begin to get a feel of who God is. Where is God? If you believe that God is far from you, He is definitely far away. But if you earnestly believe that God is very intimate and that He is your greatest friend, then He is as close to you as you are to yourself. It is a big mistake to believe that God exists only in a temple or a sacred place or in a pilgrim center. All this has been explained very clearly by noble men who have experienced Divinity within. Traditional and ritualistic practices are certainly needed to start with. It is like learning the alphabet first when one learns a language. Once you have learnt the alphabet a, b, c, d, etc., you can learn words like God. After learning words, one can form sentences. Once one can read sentences, one can then read an entire book. In the same way, wise men of the past initiated people to the concept of Divinity by advising them to visit temples, holy places, etc., This is rather like learning the alphabet. All such practices were recommended as spiritual drill for the ordinary people and beginners on the spiritual path. But practicing rituals without understanding their real meaning becomes an obstacle in spiritual growth.

Unfolding Divine Mysteries

For every spiritual practice, there is an inner meaning, however trivial the practice might seem. Sainath (Physics Lecturer of the Institute who spoke earlier) mentioned that even apparently simple things that Swami says are full of deeper meaning. He is speaking from personal experience. Sainath, Dilip, Satyajit, Patle, Srinivas, all these boys who serve Swami, stay with Him in the Poornachandra Auditorium. At night, they sleep not far away from Swami, and nothing escapes their attention.

On occasions, departed souls come to have Swami's Darshan both during the day as well as night. Those who left their bodies 50 to 60 years ago also come to visit Swami. One morning, Swami returned to the Auditorium as usual after morning Bhajans. It was around ten o'clock, and Swami went upstairs. Sitting there in the chamber was Easwaramma, the mother of Swami's body. Swami asked her, "Why do you come like this? What would people say? Don't come like this" She replied, "Swami, I am Your mother. What do You know about the love of a mother? Only a mother can understand my feelings. I am a mother and You are God full of love for all. A mother cannot understand God's love and God cannot understand a mother's love! I have come here in order to tell You something." Swami then told her, "Say quickly whatever it is that you want to; I am in a hurry." Easwaramma pleaded, "Swami, I don't know what to do because You are always in a hurry! Please relax, spare me a few moments, and listen carefully to what I have to say." Swami asked her to tell what she wanted to say. Then she said, "The situation in the outside world today is not very good. Everywhere, it is bad thoughts, bad actions and evil manipulations. You believe that people who come here are all full of love for You. It is natural for You to think so but in my opinion, this is not always the case. When You give Darshan, so many people offer handkerchief to You. This frightens me. Please accept handkerchief only from those in whom You have complete trust; ignore the rest." Swami then asked, "Why are you making such a request?" And she replied, "For You, all are equal. Everyone is Your child. However, some people are wicked. The handkerchief they offer may have poison and when You wipe Your face, the poison may enter Your mouth." Swami then said, "All right, to satisfy you, I shall henceforth be very selective."

Some days after this, Swami was resting at night. The boys serving Swami were all sleeping nearby. Around 1 a.m., the mother of this body once again made a visit. Swami motioned her to the bathroom, where the conversation took place. She began to speak loudly and Swami cautioned her, saying, "Shh! Speak softly; the boys are all sleeping nearby. If they wake up, they will know about your visit." Easwaramma said in reply, "Swami, why should I be afraid of them? Only those who have done something wrong need to be scared. I have not done anything wrong. I have come here only out of my love for You and nothing else" Swami then said, "All right, now tell me what it is that you have come for." She then said, "Swami, yesterday was a festival day and You wore a new Dhoti. To properly secure it, You went looking for a belt. You did not like any of those brought to You because they all were rather ornamental." What she said was correct, and Swami did ask the boys for a belt. Easwaramma then continued, "Swami, why do You have to ask others? You gave me a chain just before I died. Here it is; take it and use it as a belt." The day prior to her death, Swami had materialized a gold chain for Easwaramma and placed it round her neck because she liked such things. Next day, she gave up her body calling, "Swami, Swami!" After her demise, her body was taken to Puttaparthi. Just before that, Swami told Ramabrahmam (who was the caretaker in Brindavan at that time), "Eswaramma liked that chain very much. Let her be buried along with the chain". So, the chain was not removed from the body. This was the chain she was now offering to Swami. To send her back, Swami accepted the chain. Meanwhile, Sainath woke up. Even at the slightest sound these boys wake up! Sainath began to wonder, "I am hearing voices. How could anyone have entered Swami's room? All the doors have been locked; and the keys are with me. How could anyone get inside?" Slowly the boys came near Swami. They were all scared but Satyajit picked up courage and gently asked, "Swami we heard voices. Who was that?" Swami first said, "That is none of your business". But seeing their concern for Swami's safety, Swami revealed who had come. Swami said, "The one who came was the mother of this body. She passed away over thirty years ago". These boys are all in their mid-twenties or so. The boys then wanted to know what Swami's mother had given to Him. Swami showed them the chain; they all saw it. Later, Swami gave the chain to one of the boys and it is still with him.

On another occasion, a lady in Simla suffered a massive heart attack. She had lost her husband and had two small children to look after. She was suffering intense pain and on account of her children deep mental anguish as well. It was 2 a.m. Swami left the body in order to save her. This body then collapsed and fell down, hitting the floor with a big bang. The boys heard the sound and rushed inside. They saw the body on the floor, seemingly lifeless. There was no movement at all. They tried to lift the head but could not. Imagine this; four or five young men, all so strong, could not lift this little head! They brought towels to wipe the wounds, if any, but there was no sign of any bleeding. Slowly they understood; Swami was away on an extra-corporeal trip in order to save somebody. They just sat there and waited for Swami to return. When the task was completed, Swami re-entered the body, and the boys were very happy.

The boys staying with Swami have had many such experiences. They are all extremely devoted to Swami. They never waste a single moment and rush to Swami's side the moment their work is over. This is true of those working in the Institute and of those serving in the Super Specialty Hospital. On festival days when they feel that Swami may retire early, the hospital boys come back ahead of schedule without having their meals. If Swami asks them about food, they reply that they are not hungry. But Swami does not accept such replies and arranges food for them. All these boys are very devoted to Swami, and Sainath is one of them. Swami does not wish to give publicity to these boys but at the same time, the world must know about loving care they take of Swami.

God Needs no Decoration

It is not possible to enumerate or describe the kind of experiences one can have with God. Man and God are not separate from each other. Drawing attention to this, Sainath quoted the saying: "You and I are one". Even this is not the best way of putting it correctly as 'You' is not different from 'I'. There is only 'I' and no 'You'! You are I and I am You! God is present in everything in the creation. Deho Devalaya Prokto, Jeevo Deva Sanathana (the body is the temple and the Indweller is God.)

It is popularly said that Lord Vishnu bears the conch, the discus, the mace and the lotus. What is the inner meaning of the words conch and discus? Conch symbolizes sound, and discus symbolizes time. Therefore, when people say that Vishnu has the conch and the discus, it really means that God is the Supreme Master of sound and time. One should not imagine God to be separate from oneself. All the powers inherent in the body are really under the control of God, who is actually within. Therefore, do not think God is separate from you, do not give Him a separate form and do not start decorating that form.

About thirty years ago, on the loving insistence of Burgula Ramakrishna Rao, Swami went to the holy city of Tirupati, where Lord Venkateswara is the presiding deity. At the temple, Swami was received in the traditional style with full honors, and was conducted into the sanctum sanctorum, where the idol of the deity is installed. Mr. Anna Rao was the Chief Executive Officer of the temple at that time. Swami told Anna Rao, "Why do you disfigure this beautiful idol with so many decorations and ornaments? If the jewelry is removed, the Lord would look far more majestic." Burgula Ramakrishna Rao added, "Swami, I too do not like all these decorations but people always do such things for their own pleasure" Swami then remarked, "It is better to leave the idol in its natural form" Anna Rao listened to all this but was unable to do anything. Decoration of the idol is not the proper way to see beauty in God and experience joy. Inner beauty is what gives true Ananda (bliss), and this bliss is the Makaranda (nectar) of life.

God needs no decoration. However, the human form that enshrines Divinity has to be given due respect and treated accordingly. As Swami mentioned earlier, the human body has been given the name Tungabhadra. Is it then proper to display it or treat it in an improper and inauspicious manner? Everything that Swami does has its own inner significance. Swami wears a long robe not for decoration, but to cover the body completely so that no part of the body is exposed. However, it is not possible to cover the hands, feet and face. Sometimes, My hair partially covers My face. But what can I do about it? An Avatar's body comes with brilliant effulgence of its own from His very birth. In fact, every being has divine effulgence within. People eat when they are hungry and drink water only when they are thirsty. One cries only at times of sorrow and smiles only when happy. For every action, there is a specific reason.

God always Helps His Devotees

The three P's, namely, purity, patience, and perseverance are very important. Swami is the Embodiment of Purity. Whatever Swami does is always for others and never for Himself. The purity present in Swami cannot be seen anywhere else; and no one can find even an iota of impurity in Swami. It is this purity that draws people in thousands from all over the world to Swami. No invitation is ever sent to people to come here, and yet they come in such large numbers. Such is the magnetism of a truly pure body.

Swami is also very patient. Mountains may move but Swami's heart is ever unruffled and peaceful. However, at times, Swami may pretend to be angry. This tactic is used solely to improve and correct the people who are going astray. Such methods become necessary because people do not always respond to nice words of advice! When Swami gently asks people to sit down, they do not listen but when He raises His voice, there is instant obedience!

Voice and tone modulation can be useful and effective. This at times can even save the lives of people. Once during the Kurukshetra war, Aswatthama, the son of Dronacharya, took a terrible vow to annihilate all the Pandavas. Coming to know of this, Draupadi prayed to Krishna to save the Pandavas. The Leelas of the Lord are not only wonderful but also most mysterious. God enacts dramas and even changes the scenes in His play for the welfare and safety of His devotees. In this instance, the Lord saved the Pandavas with a delicate touch that He alone is capable of.

He went to meet sage Durvasa, who was immensely delighted to receive Krishna. The sage then asked, "Lord, what brought You to my humble Ashram?" Krishna smiled and said, "I have a small job for you." The sage was happy and said, "I am at Your service. You just have to command." Krishna then said, "Good! Tonight, you have to save the Pandavas." Durvasa was puzzled and asked, "Lord, it is You who protect everything in creation. Who am I to do that job?" Krishna replied, "That is a different matter. But for this job, you will be My instrument. I extend protection in many different ways. On this occasion, you have to do something specific as per My instructions." Durvasa wanted to know what it was and Krishna continued, "Dig a pit, ask the Pandavas to hide themselves in it, cover it with planks, grass and mud, and then take your seat on the cover so prepared. The enemies of the Pandavas may come and ask you about the whereabouts of the Pandavas. They may say, you know the past, present and future. Please tell us where the Pandavas are hiding" Durvasa intervened and said, "Lord, I cannot tell a lie." Krishna countered, "Did I ask you to utter falsehood? I am Myself the Embodiment of Truth, and I will always ask you to speak only the truth. However, you are at liberty to change your voice suitably to achieve the desired effect. I am sure you understand." The sage nodded and smiled.

Some time later, after the Pandavas had been hidden away, Aswatthama came there, exactly as Krishna had foreseen. Durvasa was sitting with his eyes closed. Bowing to the sage, Aswatthama sought, in a most humble manner, some information concerning the whereabouts of the Pandavas. Durvasa slowly opened his eyes; they were flaming. Angrily he roared, "Yes, the Pandavas are here, right beneath me." Besides anger, there was also much sarcasm in the sage's voice. Aswatthama was frightened because the sage was well known for fiery temper and his propensity to curse those whom he was angry with. Promptly, he fled from the scene, and the Pandavas were duly saved. All Avatars employ such techniques, and Swami too does the same when required.

In the Rama Avatar, it was the day scheduled for the coronation of Rama. Rama had just met Kaikeyi and returned to His palace, where Sita was busy getting dressed for the big occasion. Smiling broadly, Rama told Sita, "Listen to this, for it is very important. I have to leave Ayodhya immediately. On account of a promise given earlier by My father, I have to go in exile to the forest". Sita said, "You are going to the forest? In that case, I too will come with You." Rama replied, "No, you cannot. The forest is not a fit place for you to live in. You will constantly face danger from the demons and the wild animals." Sita then said, "What! You are the protector of the whole world. Will You not protect me? I do not believe that; it is simply that You do not want me to accompany You! But I am determined to follow You?". Rama tried hard to dissuade Sita from going with Him but she was adamant. Speaking sternly, Rama then said, "If you come, it would mean more trouble for Me; you would just be adding to My burden. I have to go to the forest by way of obeying My father's command. What role do you have in this? Why do you have to come?". Rama then prepared to leave the premises when Sita asked, "Where are You going now?" Rama replied, "I am going to see My mother in order to bid her goodbye." Sita said, "I shall come with You" and Rama agreed. Together they went to Kausalya's palace.

Kausalya was in tears. She lamented, "O my dear son, I was so happy thinking that You are going to be crowned. But in a few short moments, destiny has taken such a shocking turn. After You leave, I cannot remain here in Ayodhya even for a second. So, I too will come with You to the forest." Rama softly replied, "Father is old and also somewhat disabled. You cannot leave him in this condition. For a woman, husband is God. Your prime duty is to serve him" Sita heard all this. She was very intelligent! On return to their abode, Sita opened the topic again and told Rama, "l am coming with You". Rama tersely replied, "Not possible" It was now Sita's turn to raise her voice and she said, "You told Your mother that husband is God. In that case, is not my husband God for me? You are Ramachandra, the moon and I, Sita, am the moonlight. The moon and its light can never be separated. Moonlight has to be where the moon is. It is unthinkable that Rama is in the forest and Sita is in Ayodhya. I am coming with You!" Rama had to yield to this powerful and indisputable argument!

Commence Spiritual Practice at an Early Age

As Swami said earlier, never utter falsehood. But, for the sake of the welfare of others, you can adopt other suitable strategies to achieve the desired goal. Sarvaloka Hithe Ratah (one should be engaged in the welfare of all). Sarvajnanopsampannah (one should master all forms of knowledge), Sarvasamudhita Gunaihi (one should be the embodiment of all virtues); The key to these three cardinal principles, namely, well-being, wisdom and virtue, is contained in three P's - purity, patience and perseverance. In the strict pursuit of the three P's, Swami remains unmatched in the entire world. Whatever Swami does is always for the good, welfare, joy, and comfort of others, and not for Himself. Never does Swami do anything for His personal benefit or advantage. From top to toe, there is no trace of selfishness in Swami, and there is no place for it either. Everything that Swami does is always for you and you alone.

Embodiments of Love, Boys and Girls!

It is not possible to understand God. People may declare that they understand so but the very next minute, they are full of doubts and confusion. Such vacillations are due to tendencies acquired over many births. Influences of the past can and do hamper spiritual progress. Hence, transformation does not come easily; it has to happen slowly but steadily. That is why Swami repeatedly says: "Start early, drive slowly, reach safely." Yours is the right age to make a serious start and to begin spiritual practice. Always remain calm and peaceful. Do not defile your purity. Purity and patience would automatically make perseverance quite easy.

Swami always addresses you as Premaswarupulara (embodiments of love). Swami is ever full of love and that is why His words too are always saturated with love. Swami expects all of you to actually become what He hails you as. You should ensure that your love does not ever get diminished or diluted under any circumstances whatsoever. If you live like that, Swami is ready to grant you whatever you want! Students of today will become the leaders of tomorrow and the emancipators of this country. You must therefore drive away all bad feelings, cultivate virtues and have sacred vision. Be ever careful about what you say and let there be no room for untruthful and improper words. Such ideal behavior would bring great joy to your parents. It is your duty to make them happy. Remember, Mathru Devo Bhava, Pithru Devo Bhava (revere the mother and father as God). All parents love their children. Your parents care for you as much Swami's parents cared for Him. It is therefore your duty to bring Ananda (bliss) to them in every possible way.

[Bhagavan concluded His Divine Discourse with the Bhajan, "Bhava Bhaya Harana"]

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