|Date: 10 Oct 2002||Occasion: Dasara (day 2)||Place: Prasanthi Nilayam|
All the names and forms are but the manifestations of the Supreme Being,
who is Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute and non-dual.
He is the embodiment of Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram
(Truth, Goodness, Beauty).
The cosmos is an object of awe and mystery.
The leelas of the Lord are most wonderful and sacred in all the three worlds.
They are like sickles that cut the creepers of worldly bondage.
Unity is indispensable, be it for the wealth and prosperity of a nation
or peace and happiness in a family. The whole world will be plunged into
unrest and chaos in the absence of unity. Unity confers peace and bliss.
Disunity leads to discontent and restlessness and makes one forget
divinity. Peace is what man has to aspire and pray for. In fact, one
does not need to go in search of peace. You are yourself the embodiment
of peace. Sarva rupa dharam santham (Every human form is the very
personification of peace). Sarva nama dharam sivam (All names are
But this awareness of such sacred truths is not present in modern man. People are not ready to believe that man is the embodiment of peace. Does anybody know where peace exists? Man is going all over the world in search of peace, since he is not aware that it is present within himself. He is like a foolish person who searches for his spectacles while wearing them all the time right over his nose. What is the reason for all the troubles, anxieties, and unrest that man is facing today? The reason is that he has forgotten his true Self and is identifying himself with something that he is not. Every man aspires for peace. Is it not a sign of one's ignorance to look for peace elsewhere when one is himself the embodiment of peace?
One day, Sankaracharya was on his way to the Ganges along with his
disciples. He found a brahmin sitting under a tree and repeating the
rules of Panini's grammar, "Dukrun karane, dukrun karane? " He was
trying to master Panini's grammar to become a great scholar. On being
questioned by Sankara, the brahmin replied that he wanted to exhibit his
scholarship in the royal court and obtain liberal material rewards.
Sankara asked, "What are you going to do with the wealth? " The brahmin said that he would enjoy all the comforts and luxuries so long as he was alive. Sankara questioned him further, "After death, what will happen to your wealth? Will you be able to remember whatever you are learning now? " The brahmin had no answer to this. Then Sankara said, "Oh simpleton, try to understand the divine principle that is always within you --before your birth, in this birth, and after your death. "
Bhaja Govindam, Bhaja Govindam Govindam Bhaja Mooda Mathe Samprapthe Sannihithe Kale Nahi Nahi Rakshati Dukrun Karane.
Oh foolish man, chant the name of Govinda, the rules of grammar will not come to your rescue when the end approaches.
No one accompanied you at the time of birth nor will anyone follow you after your death. You have come all alone and will go back in the same way.
Punarapi Jananam Punarapi Maranam Punarapi Janani Jathare Sayanam Iha Samsare Bahu Dustare Kripayapare Pahi Murare.
(Oh Lord! I am caught up in this cycle of birth and death; time and again, I am experiencing the agony of staying in the mother's womb. It is very difficult to cross this ocean of worldly life. Please take me across this ocean and grant me liberation.)
A person is on his deathbed. He is surrounded by his near and dear ones who are wailing over his imminent death. He opens his eyes and asks, "Why do you all cry? " They say, "You are going to leave this world once for all. That makes us feel sad. " He realises that all the material wealth he has acquired has to be left behind and he has to go empty-handed. It is then that one realises the folly of the pursuit of material possessions.
He alone is a human being who enquires into his true nature. He asks
others, "Who are you? ", but does not know, "Who am I? " It is the symptom
of the delusion that is the root cause of all grief. Prior to birth, in
what way is one related to another? After death, who will follow whom?
Physical relationship is impermanent. Ultimately, each one is left to
himself; nobody will accompany another. Taking such transient and
ephemeral world to be real, man is leading a life of delusion. He should
make an effort to understand his true identity and experience peace.
Being unaware of the fact that peace is within, man is searching for
You cannot experience peace in the external world. Wherever you go, you find only unrest and agitation. The peace that you aspire for is very much in you. The divine principle in you is verily the embodiment of peace. Forgetting such reality, you are craving for non-lasting peace in the external world. Stop searching for peace outside. Turn inward and try to experience peace, which is your very form.
Whatever you seek in the external world is present in you. There is nothing outside which is not within. When you open your eyes, you are able to see thousands of heads. Once you close your eyes, you cannot see anyone. From this, it is clear that all that you see with your physical eyes is transient. As long as the physical eyes are functional, you are able to see the world. Once they become non-functional, you cannot see anything. But there is something that you can see whether you open your eyes or close them. That is Divinity. It is changeless and eternal. It has neither birth nor death. In fact, you are the embodiment of such a divine principle. Understand this truth.
Embodiments of Love!
Love is your true nature. Nothing can exist in this world without love. You are an embodiment of love. Forgetting such reality, you are craving mundane things. What you have to aspire for and what you have to experience and enjoy in this world is love and love alone. Other than love, nothing is permanent.
First of all, you have to enquire into your true identity which is love. Love is present in all names and forms. It is eternal, non-dual and blissful. Man is selective in his love, he lavishes it on the near and dear ones but is indifferent about others. As long as he is immersed in such a dualistic feeling, he cannot experience non-dual bliss. A man with a dual mind is half blind. You should identify yourself with others and experience unity. Advaita darshanam jnanam (perception of non-duality is supreme wisdom). Man is the embodiment of wisdom. But, he has forgotten this reality and is deluded by the transient and ephemeral forms. He reposes his faith in the physical body and craves for worldly gains.
Give up body attachment. Understand the truth that all are in you and you are in all. The Atma that dwells in you is the same as the one that dwells in others. Visualise such oneness and experience bliss. Since you are unable to experience this oneness, you are giving room to hatred and jealousy.
There was a dog in search of food. It found a dry bone and started biting it. After some time, a piece of the bone pierced its gums and blood started oozing out. The dog was happily licking its own blood thinking that it was oozing from the bone it had bitten. In the same manner, man forgets his innate bliss and is under the delusion that he is able to derive happiness from the external world. In fact, all that he fancies that he is experiencing in the external world originate from within him. Pain or pleasure is the result of his own imagination. It is said, "Pleasure is an interval between two pains. " Pleasure and pain are within, not outside. All that is seen is only a reflection, the reality is within. Hence, Vedanta exhorts man, "Know thyself. "
Once, an I.C.S officer camped in a village. Some villagers cautioned him the house in which he was lodged was a haunted one. The officer wanted to investigate the veracity of their statement. He put off the main light and switched on the bed lamp. He reclined on the bed keeping one leg over the other. He was shaking his legs and was lost in thought. Suddenly, he noticed a giant shadow of his legs on the wall. The shadow moved as he shook his legs. The foolish officer mistook it for a ghost and was fear-stricken. Likewise, man is put to suffering because of his own delusion. In fact, nothing other than Divinity exists in this world. All are essentially divine. Ekam sath viprah bahudha vadanti (Truth is one, but the wise call it by different names). Have firm faith in this principle of unity in diversity. Only then will you be free from worries and fear.
Embodiments of Love!
You may ask, how one can visualise unity. Gradually, reduce your dehabhimanam (body attachment) and develop Atmabhimanam (love for the Self). In every human being, there exists the eternal truth in the form of love. Love is God, God is love. Hence, strengthen the love in your self. Love alone can confer peace and courage on you.
You see many forms in nature, each unique in its own way. No two forms are alike. Bear this truth in mind always. Enquire, why God has given you this body. What are you supposed to achieve with this? What is the purpose of human birth? Is it to study or to play sports and games or to learn fine arts or to amass riches? No. You are born to know your Self. Hence, question yourself, "Who am I? " Once you know who you really are, you would have known everything else.
Embodiments of sacred Atma!
It is rather difficult to know about others but there is nothing simpler than knowing your own Self. Hence, undertake spiritual practices that help you to know your Self. Due to defects in your food and habits, sometimes, your body is afflicted with ailments. Do not be unduly worried about it. First and foremost, understand the purpose of life. Students come here to acquire education. They should understand the purpose of their stay and make efforts in the right direction. Only then will they be able to realise their goal. But man has forgotten the purpose for which he is born and is immersed in vain pursuits. Man can know the truth only when he develops love.
As you can see, there are a number of bulbs glowing in this hall. Bulbs are different but the current is the same. Likewise, it is the same Atmic principle which makes different bodies function. It is the same Atma that makes the eyes see and the ears hear. That is divinity, that is chaitanya (awareness). It is not confined to a particular place; it neither comes nor goes. It is present everywhere at all times.
One should not entertain doubts or misunderstanding in the spiritual path. As long as there are doubts, one can never experience truth. Faith is very essential. One without faith is equivalent to a blind person. Saint Surdas said, "Oh Lord! Having eyes, people have become blind, since they are not interested in seeing your beautiful form. Having ears, they have become deaf, since they are not interested in listening to your melodious voice. They have forgotten God and are craving for worldly life. " Do not depend on the physical eyes, develop divine vision. Turn your mind toward the divine light that is present in one and all. The same is proclaimed by Adi Sankara in his famous song Bhaja Govindam. Think of God, sing His glory. In fact, God is not separate from you. You are God yourself. I and You are one. Give up the feeling that God is different from you and that you are His devotee.
The arishadvargas (six inner enemies --desire, anger, greed, pride,
infatuation, and jealousy) are responsible for man's misconduct and
suffering. Even animals have these evil qualities. If man behaves in the
same way as animals, in what way is he superior to them? Man is endowed
with prajnana. The Vedas say Prajnanam Brahma (Brahman is Supreme
Consciousness). When he makes proper use of his intellect, he will not
suffer. All matters relating to the world are like passing clouds. Why
should he get attached to them and worry about them? He should hold on
to the Atmicmic principle which is changeless and divine. Brahmavid
Brahmaiva Bhavathi (The knower of Brahman becomes verily Brahman).
As I mentioned yesterday, every being has the spark of divinity within. Lord Krishna said, Mamaivamsho jeevaloke jeevabhuta sanathana (The eternal Atma in all beings is a part of My Being). Such being the case, how is it that man is facing hardships and misery? The reason is that he has filled his heart with bestial tendencies. He has to drive them out and cleanse his heart. Here is a tumbler filled with water. If you want to fill it with milk, the water has to be poured out. Likewise, in order to fill your heart with noble feelings, you have to get rid of the evil qualities in the first instance.
In order to fill his small stomach, man is trying to earn lakhs of
rupees. Does he make use of all the money he earns to fill his stomach?
No. He neither spends it nor gives it in charity to others.
Without understanding the temporal nature of life, he is undergoing
various ordeals. Body is momentary. It is like a water bubble. Mind is
like a mad monkey. Hence, do not follow the body, do not follow the
mind. Follow the conscience. Follow the principle of love. This is the
education that you have to acquire.
What is the use of acquiring
if it cannot lead you to immortality?
Acquire the knowledge that will make you immortal.
What is the purpose of education? Is it only to feed your stomach? Even an uneducated beggar feeds his stomach. Hence, the purpose of education is not just to feed your stomach but to fill your heart with love and compassion. Hri + Daya (compassion) = Hridaya (heart). That which is filled with compassion is Hridaya.
You are studying various subjects that are related to this physical world. Along with worldly education, you should acquire spiritual knowledge also. Only then can you experience eternal bliss. Worldly education is meant for life here; spiritual knowledge, for life hereafter.
A short while ago, you listened to Rasgotra. He said some very valuable ideas. His educational accomplishments are unparalleled. He has held positions of eminence. He has everything that one could ask for. Then why does he come here? He comes here to experience Swami's love. In fact, if you already had that love within you, you would not have come here. You do not have that love. You do not have peace. That is why you come here. You should pray to God for that which is not with you and which God alone can confer on you.
There was a businessman by name Patel. He was very affluent and had all
worldly comforts. One day a friend of his came to his house. At that
time, Patel was in his puja room. His friend had to wait for a long
time. When Patel at last emerged from the puja room, his friend
confronted him with a question: "Patel, you are leading a luxurious
life. You do not lack anything. Then what for are you praying to God?
Why do you pray so long? "
Patel smiled at his query and said, "Sir, I do
not pray for worldly possessions because I already have them. I pray to
God for that which is not with me. "
His friend was surprised. He asked, "What is it that you do not have? " Patel said, "I lack peace and love. They are with God only. I pray to God to grant me peace and love. " One can earn and acquire all worldly possessions by one's own efforts. But one cannot earn peace and love from the world. God alone can grant them. When you have sugar, you can prepare any type of sweet. Similarly, when you have love, you can achieve anything. Hence pray to God for His love.
Bhagawan concluded His discourse with the bhajan, "Prema mudita manase kaho ".