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Date: 16 May 1964  Occasion: Upanaya Ceremony Place: Prasanthi Nilayam


 Divine Discourse
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Today is Sankara Jayanthi --the day commemorating the advent of Sankaracharya, who came to restore dharma; it is also the day on which Brahmopadesam was given here for the boys sitting on this dais, who have come from Bengal, Bombay, Hyderabad, and Bangalore. The Sankara Jayanthi Day was chosen by Me for their initiation into the higher adhyatmic life, for Sankara is an inspiration even today for millions of sadhakas (spiritual aspirants) all over the world, who seek to know the Reality of the Universe and its fundamental Unity. They had this lucky chance of getting initiated here in My Presence by Me, as a result of their own good fortune.

The ceremony of Brahmopadesam is Upanayanam because the word means, "taking near", taking the young aspirant near Brahman, that is to say, introducing him to Brahmajijnasa, the path of Brahma. It is one of the samskaras, that is, rites which reconstruct the personality, reform the mind, purify it, and rebuild it. It makes the person receiving it a dwija, a twice-born! The boy is born first into the world; now, he is born into the sadhaka world. He becomes a brahmachari, a person who walks towards Brahmam. So, it is a very significant day in the lives of these people, a day they must long remember with joy and thankfulness. It is the day when their hearts were turned toward God; and they should try not to run away from God, hereafter; that is a great responsibility.

The initiation was done by the Upadesam of the Gayatri mantra. The mantra is a universal prayer that can be used by men of all climes and creeds, for, it calls upon the glorious power that pervades the Sun and the three words to arouse, awaken, and strengthen the intelligence, so that it may lead to intense sadhana (spiritual discipline) and that sadhana may lead to success.

Every little moment or incident results in sound; only, you may not be able to hear, because the range of your ear is limited. The falling of an eyelid over the eye makes a sound, the dropping of dew on a petal makes a sound. Any little agitation disturbing the calm is bound to produce sound. The sound caused by the primal movement that resulted in the enveloping of Brahman by self evolved maya is the Pranavasabda or Om. The Gayatri is the elaboration of that Pranava, so it is now held so venerable and valuable that initiation into adhyatmic life is achieved by its contemplation.

The sound of a manthra is as valuable as its meaning. Even a poisonous cobra is quietened by music; naadam, sound, has that allaying property. The child in the cradle stops wailing as soon as the lullaby is sung; it may not carry any meaning; it may be a nonsensical rhyme or just a jungle, but, it quietens, soothes the nerves, and induces sleep. In the case of the Gayatri, the meaning too is easy and profound. It does not ask for mercy or pardon; it asks for a clear intellect, so that the Truth may be reflected therein, correctly, without any disfigurement.

The brahmachari has vowed himself into a life of sadhana (spiritual discipline). Now, what are the requisites for sadhana?

First, Faith --faith that can stand the ridicule of the ignorant, the caviling by the worldly, the laughter of the low minded. When someone ridicules, you should argue like this within yourself: Is he ridiculing my body? Well, he is doing what I myself would wish to do; for I, too, want to escape out of this attachment to this body. Is he ridiculing the Atma? Well, he is doing the impossible, for, the Atma is beyond the reach of words or thought; it is unaffected by praise or blame. Say to yourself, "My Atmathathwa is Nischala, it is Nirmala," and carry on.

Second: Do not worry about ups and downs, loss or gain, joy or grief. You are yourself the maker of the ups and downs. If you but care, it can all be one smooth level. You label something as loss and something else as gain. You crave for a thing and when you get it, you call it joy; when you don't, you call it grief. Cut the craving off, and there will be no more swinging from joy to grief.

Third: Reason out and get convinced of the truth, Sarvam Brahmamayam.

You know there are 5 elements or bhuthas, which constitute by their permutations and combinations, the world called Prapancham, the "Five-constituted". Prithivi, the earth-element, has 5 qualities, the maximum, so it is the grossest. It has its own special characteristic of gandha (smell) as well as the characteristic of the other four, namely, sparsa (touch), rasa (taste), rupa (form), and sabda (sound). The next one, jala, the water-element, has only four, its own special one rasa---and rupa, and sabda. So it is subtler than the earth-element. Agni (fire) is subtler still, because apart from its special characteristic of rupa (form), it has only two others, sparsa and sabda. Vayu, the air-element, has sparsa as its special quality and one more quality, sabda. Finally, the lightest and subtlest of all the five, akasa --the Sky-element-- has only one characteristic, its own, namely sabda. Now, God is subtler than even akasa, so He is all-pervading, even more than ether or anything more pervasive than that. His nature is beyond all human vocabulary, beyond all human mathematics. Have this conviction well stabilized in your buddhi (intelligence).

Fourth: Be steady in sadhana (spiritual discipline), and never hesitate once you have decided on it. When the bus is moving on, the dust will be floating behind as a cloud; it is only when it stops with a jerk that the dust will envelop the faces of the passengers. So, keep moving, keep, steadily engaged in sadhana. Then, the cloudy dust of the objective world will not cover your face.

Sankaracharya came for the work of sharmasthapana, but he did not wage a war against the narrow sectarians or the wild theologians who opposed him or the critics who condemned him as a pseudo-Buddhist. He won them over by argument, persuasion, and preaching. He spoke softly, but with conviction. He gave his opponents fair chances to present their cases to the best of their ability and sometimes he even helped them to clarify their own points of view. Through bodha (teaching, understanding) alone can dharma be saved in the modern Kali age. That is why I am engaged in bodha, in this task of re-constructing through Upadesa (teaching).

When you scatter seeds on the surface of the soil, they do not germinate. You have to keep them inside the soil. So too, bodha, if it is scattered on the surface it will not germinate, grow into the tree of knowledge, and yield the fruit of wisdom. Plant it in the heart, water the plant with prema (love), manure it with faith and courage, keep off pests with the insecticides of bhajana (devotional singing) and sathsanga (company of the good), so that you can benefit in the end. You have not yet got started in sadhana; still, you demand santhi (peace); you demand Grace. How is it ever possible? Start! Then, everything will be added unto you.

God gives you whatever you pray for; so, take care. Ask for the right things. There was a man who had four wives; he happened to go to Bombay on some work connected with his business. From there, he wrote to all of them that he was prepared to bring home whatever each of them wanted. So, they all wrote to him giving a list of the things they wanted. The first wife asked for some nice tonics for her health, and rugs and woolen clothing, to be of service whenever she fell ill. The second wife wanted some saris of the latest style, choli pieces, jewelry of the Bombay type, and such other sundry decorative stuff. The third asked him to select for her some religious books, the Jnaneswari, abhangs, Bhakthivijaya, etc. available in Bombay book-shops, as well as pictures of Pandarinath, Bhavani, Sai Baba, etc. The fourth wife had no list at all; she simply wrote, "If you return soon and safe, that is enough for me". She got nothing but his love. The others got big packets containing whatever they had written for. So, think well, discriminate clearly, before you ask, before you pray.

I know how systematic you are all in eating and drinking. You take pretty good care of the body. I do not condemn it; I only want that you should take equally good care of the needs of the spirit also. Take a dose of dhyanam (meditation) and japam (repetition of theName) as the morning breakfast, puja  (worship) and archana (worship, adoration)  as lunch at noon, some sathsanga or sath-chinthana or sath-granthaparayana or namalikhitha as afternoon tea and snacks, an hour of bhajana (devotional singing) as dinner and a small ten-minute manana (reflection, meditation) as the cup of milk before going to bed, that dietary is enough to keep your inner being happy and healthy. That is My advice to you today.