|Date: 23 May 2002||Occasion: Summary of Evening Discourse||Place: Brindavan|
of Divine Discourse
at the Summer Course
(Evening, 23 May 2002)
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Our warden has asked me to speak about the three 'akasas' today. It is said, "Aakasam Gaganam Soonyam (ether (akasa) is total emptiness)". It may hence mean that I am not expected to speak anything today!
Akasa is not just the sky that you see above, with the sun, moon, and stars. It is much more than that. It is classified into three categories. (1) Bhutakasa, (2) Chittakasa, and (3) Chidakasa.
(1) Bhutakasa is the entire cosmos. It spans the entire physical plane that you see and can investigate. It includes the sun, stars, moon, galaxies, and every thing seen. The sun that showers its rays on the earth is at a distance of 9,11,00,000 miles from the earth. There are several thousands suns more out there that appear as small stars because they are so far away from earth. The light from these stars travel at a speed of 16,000 crore miles per second. Some of the light rays have not even reached earth yet! This should give an idea of the expanse of Bhutakasa. All the suns radiate a brilliant amounts of energy. It is the power of Atma that causes this brilliance.
(2) Chittakasa is the cosmic mind. All that you visualize and see in the Bhutakasa appears just as a tiny blip on the Chittakasa. For example, you have seen a huge mountain. When you close your eyes and think of the scene, you instantly see it in your mind. Chittakasa hence contains within itself the entire constituents of the Bhutakasa in a subtle form. One can say that it contains the reflection of Bhutakasa.
(3) Chidakasa is the Atma itself. Bhutakasa is associated with the physical plane; Chittakasa is associated with the subtle plane. Chidaksa is beyond all these planes of existence. It has neither form nor attribute. It is pure bliss --unalloyed, untainted, beyond comprehension and the reach of knowledge. He that understands this truth will experience pure bliss. Chidakasa can be only experienced, and not understood. Scientists may conduct any number of investigations. It can take them only up to Chittakasa and not a step beyond.
Hence, Bhutakasa is reflected in Chittakasa . Chittakasa is contained in Chidakasa . This may be explained as follows:
The one you think you are: This is Bhutakasa , because it constitutes what you see, hear, feel, sense, and experience in the physical world.The letter 'I' is the true definition of Atma. It is just one letter and has nothing attached to it. One may call anybody by name and ask, 'who is so-and-so?' Invariably, the answer is 'I' from one and all. The letter 'I' therefore indicates unity in diversity. It represents the truth. As is said, "Truth is one; scholars interpret it in different ways (Ekam sath viprah bahuda vadanti)."
The one others think you are: This is Chittakasa, since it is what others think of you based on the mind's projections and impressions.
The one you really are: This is Chidakasa. You are really the Atma.
The Vedanta declares "Aham Brahmasmi". Here, Aham (I) comes first and Brahma follows. Hence, everything, including Brahma, originates from 'I'. This 'I' cannot be explained by scholarship or knowledge. It is also not right to associate 'I' with the names given to the body. The body, at birth, had no name. Yet it existed! So how is it to be correctly described? The worldly names are attached artificially to help identify you in this physical plane. They are not born with you and can never identify your true Divine Self.
Aham does not mean ego. Ego is when 'I' is attached and experienced with the body. Your true identity from the time of birth till death and beyond is Aham --I. Once you realize this Truth, there is nothing else left to learn, because Aham is its own identification.
Chidakasa is beyond reflection, reaction and resound. A story is told about a bangle seller in Uttar Pradesh. He sold bangles to a divine form that appeared from the river Ganges. Further, she guided him to collect the money from a particular person, whose name and address she gave, and disappeared. It turned out that this was the house of a devotee of Mother Ganga! He hurried to the spot and pleaded again and again that the mother appear in her physical form. All that appeared was a hand with the new bangles. A soft voice said, "Son! I do not have any physical form, so I can't show you any. All forms are mine, and I assume the form that the devotee prays for. I really have no form or attributes. I showed you my hand as proof that I indeed bought the bangles!"
God appears in any form that the devotee desires. Divinity has no name, form, or shape. When you think of Divinity, think of the Atma. You may say that you have seen Rama, Krishna, or Sai Baba --it is all illusion (bhrama). As long as you have this bhrama and associate God with physical forms, you will never realize "Brahma". You must not determine to see the form. Instead, consider all forms as His and recognize that truth.
Bhutakasa is not the absolute. Whatever is in the physical plane is temporary and will be destroyed sometime or the other. It is only the bliss (ananda) of realization that stays with you all the time. Ananda or bliss is not the same as laughter! Laughter is prahasana --a loud guffaw. God always has only hasana --a blissful, soundless, delicate smile. It is this hasana that confers bliss on all.
What is the true gift you must give God? Only gratitude. Today, you are all taking free education, medical help, and water from me. So many of you are also taking plenty of happiness from me. All I expect is your gratitude. Never fail to express your gratitude to anyone who helps you. An ungrateful wretch will suffer sorrow all through. There will be no end to his cycle of rebirth. He will never taste success and will suffer pain and agony.
The gratitude I expect from you is your own happiness. Always be cheerful and spread good cheer. Real gratitude is to take bliss from God and share it with others. It is 'to give and take'. It is no gratitude if you aim to please only God. God is happy if you make everyone else happy. Obstacles, pitfalls, and problems in life are like passing clouds. If you determine not to be bowled over by them, you are a true devotee.
Forget the body and think of the Atma.
As illustrated in 'Tat Twam Asi' --'that' must combine with 'this' to give
Atma --'thou art that'.