|Date: 2 April 2003
|Place: Prasanthi Nilayam
Fear of sin has declined; wicked deeds have become the order of the day.
Devotion to the Lord has become extinct.
Evil actions, which cannot be described in words, are on the rise.
Understand that only chanting the Divine Name
can confer peace and happiness on you.
Embodiments of Love!
The duality of birth and death is experienced in prakriti (nature), which is the presiding deity of life principle. World attracts man and deludes him. padartha (matter) is the basis for prapancha (world). World is a combination of matter. The sum and substance is, it is the matter that attracts man. Matter is not permanent; it does not symbolise truth. How can the ephemeral objects confer on you the eternal peace? Yad drishyam thannasyam (all that is seen is bound to perish). Whatever is seen by the eye will undergo change with the passage of time. Such transient objects cannot give you everlasting happiness.
'Aham yetat na (I am not this).' It is the
fundamental principle of wisdom. The principle of Parabrahma
has no specific form. In Vedic parlance,
'Aham means Atma.
'Aham yetat na' means, I am not the body which
is momentary and ephemeral. The letter 'I' 'Aham)
symbolises the eternal Atmic principle.
We see various objects in this world and are deluded that they are permanent. It is a grave mistake. Whatever is seen by the eyes is impermanent. Even our body is seen by the eyes; hence, it is also not permanent. It is a sign of ignorance to identify oneself with the body. For ages, man has been under the delusion that physical and ephemeral objects will give him happiness. True happiness results when man recognises the underlying eternal principle of Atma in this ephemeral world.
Lord Krishna declared in the Bhagavadgita,
Mamaivamsho Jeevaloke Jeevabhuta Sanathana (all
beings are a part of My Being). Hence, every man is a spark of Divinity.
Such being the case, how can man be called a mere mortal? Our ancients used
to contemplate on God and worship Him with the total faith that He was all-pervasive.
According to our ancient scriptures, gods are 3 crores in number. Who are they? Can there be so many gods? The truth is that the population of the world was 3 crores when those scriptures were written. This declaration was made considering each individual a divine being. The declaration Sahasra seersha Purusha (God has thousands of heads) was made prior to this when the population of the world was in the thousands. Today the world population is 580 crores. Every one of them is a manifestation of divinity. Every human being is a divine incarnation. Why is man wasting such a sacred and precious human birth? You should not think that God exists separately with a specific form. Ekam Sath Viprah Bahudha Vadanti (God is one, but the wise refer to Him by various names). 'Aham, the principle of Atma that is present in all of us, is God. So, every individual is God Himself.
If you question where God is, some people say that He is present in their heart. It is not a proper answer. When you say the kerchief is in your hand, you are bigger than the kerchief. Likewise, when you say God is in you, it means you are superior to God! Hence, it is not proper to say that God is in you. The truth is, you are God. Everything is in you.
Sarvatah panipadam Tat sarvathokshi siromukham,
sarvatah sruthimalloke sarvamavruthya tishthati (with hands, feet,
eyes, heads, mouth and ears pervading everything, He permeates the entire
universe). In fact, the entire world is present in your heart. Hence, it
is said, Daivam manusha rupena (God appears
in the form of a human being).
You would have seen many pictures of Divine personalities like Rama and
Krishna. They are depicted only in the form of human beings. But man today
has forgotten the innate divinity in humanity. He is in search of God thinking
that He is at a higher level. That is why he is unable to realise the truth.
Ekam Sath (Truth is one). The Vedas describe
this as Ritam. It is the principle of oneness
(Ekatma swarupa). It is changeless and transcends
time, space, and circumstances. It is present in one and all. Man attributes
various names and forms to such divinity and worships it in various ways.
Divinity has no specific form. It is changeless and beyond all attributes.
In fact, all forms are the forms of divinity. Such principle of unity in multiplicity is forgotten today. All the Upanishads emphasise the principle of unity. But because of worldly feelings, man views multiplicity in unity. He is not making any effort to visualise unity in diversity. Man should undertake such spiritual practice that will enable him to visualise unity.
The fundamental basis for the apparent multiplicity is only one. You see a number of bulbs here. All are illumined by the same current. If you put off the main switch, none of the bulbs will glow. Likewise, the Atma is the undercurrent in all names and forms. Atma means the power of consciousness. It is the power of nityananda, Brahmananda, yogananda and advaitananda (eternal, supreme, spiritual, and non-dual bliss). Man is not making any effort to know the principle of non-dualism. He is carried away by multiplicity and thus is leading a life of ignorance.
Embodiments of Love!
Realise that the same Atma dwells in one and all. Do not entertain evil qualities like anger and hatred. Develop love and experience bliss. Share it with others. In fact, love is your swabhava (innate nature), bliss is your swabhava. But today people are deluded by worldly prabhava and thereby are forgetting their swabhava. This is the year of Swabhanu. Swa' means Atma. Hence, swabhava means Atmic feeling. You should develop such feeling. Swabhava also symbolises chaitanya shakti (the power of consciousness). It is present everywhere, in you, with you, around you, above you, and below you. When Atma is present all over, how can it be divided? Never fragment the principle of oneness. In fact, it is very easy to visualise oneness in diversity. Do not think that God is in you. You are in God and so too is everyone.
Today, fear of sin has declined in man.
That is why he is taking to evil ways
without being bothered about the consequences.
Due to the absence of fear of sin and love for God,
humanness has declined in human beings.
This is detrimental to universal peace.
Sincw man does not have fear of sin, he is unable to manifest his innate divinity. The same divinity is present in one and all. Truth is one and Truth is God. The whole world rests on Truth.
Creation emerges from truth and merges into truth,
Is there a place where truth does not exist?
Visualise such pure and unsullied truth. (Telugu Poem)
You don't need to search for the principle of Truth, It is all-pervasive. Wherever you see, there is truth. But you are not making efforts to visualise truth. If only you make a sincere attempt, you can visualise truth everywhere. Sathyam bruyath, priyam bruyath, na bruyath sathyamapriyam (speak truth, speak pleasantly, and do not speak unpalatable truth). Truth should be uttered in a pleasing manner. It should not hurt the feelings of others. People say God is all-pervasive. No doubt, He is present everywhere. But He manifests Himself wherever truth is spoken in a sweet and pleasant manner. Truth that is spoken in a harsh manner cannot be called truth at all.
Every man and every creature is an embodiment of love. All the birds, animals, and insects aspire to attain happiness just as man does. They also enjoy happiness. But there is a difference between the happiness they enjoy and the happiness man enjoys. Birds, animals,nd insects are neither elated by happiness nor depressed by sorrow. They accept happiness and sorrow with equanimity. But man lacks such sense of equanimity. He feels elated when his desires are fulfilled and frustrated otherwise. Desire and anger are like pests that destroy the tree of human life. Today desire and anger have become rampant in man. One who is filled with anger will find differences and starts developing hatred. In the daily newspaper, you find many news items that speak volumes about the anger, hatred, and jealousy in man. These evil tendencies are the bitter enemies of man. People are worried about the harmful effects of certain planets. In fact, desire and anger are the two planets that cause the greatest harm to mankind. Yes, desires are essential for man. But excessive desires wreak danger. Na sreyo niyamam vina (without discipline, there can be no well being). Desires should be under limit. Man sometimes has love in him and at other times goes into a fit of anger. Such a tendency is the result of improper food and habits. Never translate your thought into action in haste. Take time and enquire whether what you want to do is right or wrong.
Today the New Year has commenced. People celebrate the arrival of New Year with all festivity and gaiety. But their enthusiasm and happiness is only short lived. It is not the way to celebrate the arrival of New Year. Your happiness should remain forever. True happiness is not something that comes and goes like a passing cloud. At the time of birth, your heart is pure and you are full of bliss. You should retain such purity of heart for the rest of your life and enjoy everlasting happiness.
When one emerges from the womb of one's mother,
one does not find any garland round one's neck.
There are no jewels made of pearls,
nor are there glittering golden ornaments.
There are no chains studded with precious stones
like emerald and diamond.
But there IS a chain round your neck.
Brahma strings together the consequences of your past deeds,
makes it into a garland, and
puts it round your neck at the time of your birth.
There is bound to be a result for every action of yours, however small
and insignificant it may be. Suppose that you are mending your clothes with
the help of a small needle and thread. The needle may be small, but if it
pricks your finger, the result is instantaneous in the form of bleeding.
In this case, action and result take place almost simultaneously. The food
you consume takes at least two hours to get digested. Here there is a gap
of two hours between the action and result. The seed that you sow takes a
minimum of one week to grow into a sapling. In the same manner, some actions
yield result in a few months or a few years or a few births.
Whoever your are, you have to face the consequences of your actions. However, you don't need to be depressed and dejected, thinking that you cannot escape from the results of your past evil deeds. You can certainly escape from them if you win the grace of God by developing love in your heart. All the results are based on your thoughts and actions. You have to undertake sacred activities in order to sanctify your body. There is no point in undertaking good deeds with evil intentions. The seed that you sow within will germinate into a 'tree' and yield 'fruits'. Some people have evil motives within but put on a veil of goodness. Such pretentious attitudes will never yield positive results. First, you should sow the seeds of sacred thoughts within.
You may be speculating as to what this New Year has in store for you.
You have to undertake sacred actions if you want to enjoy peace and happiness.
You should join satsanga. Satsanga means to join the company of 'Sath', which is changeless in all the three periods
of time. Satsanga does not merely mean
doing bhajans and listening to spiritual discourses.
Bhadram pashyantu, bhadram
srunvantu, and bhadram kurvantu (see
good, hear good, and do good). These are the three important mantras that
emperor Manu has given to mankind. The teachings of Manu form the basis for
dharmasasthra. Man should strictly adhere to
these three mantras in his daily life. Nothing else is required to redeem
The Vedas say, Srunvantu viswe amrutasya puthraah (Oh listen! The son of immortality). You are not mere mortals; you are the children of immortality. You should conduct yourself in such a manner that would befit your stature as the children of immortality.
Man's wicked thoughts are responsible for the agitation and unrest you find in the world today. In order to get rid of evil thoughts, you should run away from bad company in the first instance. You should join good company. Then you will see only goodness in everyone around you. If you come across a person who hates you, do not reciprocate the evil feeling. Tension will mount when you show anger and hatred toward each other. Instead you greet him with love. Then he too will reciprocate the feeling of love and become your friend. Speech plays a vital role in strengthening the bond of friendship. Hence, speak softly and sweetly. You can pacify hatred and anger that is prevailing in this world by your pleasant talk. Love begets love.
Where there is confidence, there is love,
Where there is love, there is peace,
Where there is peace, there is truth,
Where there is truth, there is God,
Where there is God, there is bliss.
In order to enjoy peace, you should give up hatred and develop self-confidence. You should consider that viswasa (faith) is your true swasa (life-breath).
You are enjoying divine grace day in and day out. In what way are you showing gratitude to God for all that He has been doing for you? God does not expect anything from you. But you have to do your duty by expressing your gratitude. An ungrateful person is worse than a cruel animal. It is because of your parents that you have come up in life. Matru Devo bhava, pitru Devo bhava (revere your mother and father God). Your mother bore you in her womb for nine months, gave you birth, and brought you up facing several hardships. How grateful you must be toward your mother for all that she has done for you! In the same manner, your father sacrificed his own comforts and looked after you with love and care. In what way are you expressing your gratitude to your father? Your children will treat you in the same manner as you treat your parents.
Some people have wicked feelings withi,n but talk in a pleasing manner in front of others. Such people are verily demons. Demons are known to become powerful at nights. Here, night symbolises wickedness and darkness of ignorance. Daylight symbolises sujnana and night stands for ajnana. When you are immersed in the darkness of ignorance, you will find only wickedness everywhere. Such a person cannot be called a human being, he is verily a demon. Jantunam nara janma durlabham (out of all living beings, human birth is the rarest). Having attained such a sacred human birth, it is rather unfortunate that man is behaving like a demon. Even animals express their love and gratitude toward their master, but man has sense of gratitude in him. Having been born as a human being, he should conduct himself as is expected of him and sanctify his life.
Embodiments of Love!
Love all. Let there not be even a trace of hatred in you. Join hands with your fellowmen in a spirit of tolerance and love. The Vedas have taught, Saha navavatu. Saha nau bhunaktu. Saha veeryam karavavahai. Tejaswi-navadhitamastu. Ma vidvishavahai (May we be protected and nourished together! May we perform heroic deeds! May we be filled with divine energy! May we never hate one another!). Such sacred teachings of the Vedas have been forgotten. On the other hand, man is developing evil tendencies. Such a behaviour is not befitting the stature of a man.
Bliss is man's true nature. Hence, he should always have a cheerful countenance. May all of you lead a blissful life in this New Year! May you fill your life with love! May you develop unity and friendship! True bliss lies in unity. God is the embodiment of bliss.
Nityanandam, Parama Sukhadam, Kevalam Jnanamurtim, Dwandwateetam, Gagana Sadrisham, Tattwamasyadi Lakshyam, Ekam, Nityam, Vimalam, Achalam, Sarvadhee Sakshibhutam, Bhavateetam, Trigunarahitam (God is the embodiment of eternal bliss, He is wisdom absolute, the One without a second, beyond the pair of opposites, expansive and pervasive like the sky, the goal indicated by the aphorism Tattwamasi, the eternal, pure, unchanging, the witness of all functions of the intellect, beyond all mental conditions and the three qualities of purity, passion, and dullness (sattwa, rajas, and thamas).
In spite of being endowed with such sacred bliss, why should man give room to wickedness and misery. This is contrary to human nature. Consider everyone as the embodiment of divinity. Whomever you salute or ridicule, they will reach God. Offer your respects to everybody. Share your love with one and all. Never hate anybody. The hatred in you will come back to you as reflection and put you to suffering.
Hence, embodiments of love, develop love in you. Experience love and share it with others. This is the most important message of this New Year, Swabhanu. You are not merely mortals. You are the sparks of divine. You should lead your life in such a manner. It is only when you understand your divine origin, will your thoughts, words, and deeds become sacred.
Examine and enquire for yourself
what great happiness you have achieve
by spending all the time from dawn to dusk
in making efforts to fill your belly
while forgetting God.
Get up from your bed with a peaceful mind. Think of God. There are some people who get up from bed with a disturbed and agitated mind. If the parents criticise each other as soon as they get up from bed, the children will go a step further and will start beating each other up when they wake up in the morning. The children will naturally try to emulate their parents. Hence, parents should set an example to their children. They should teach them by practice, not merely by precept.
Under all circumstances, do not give room for anger or hatred. You may have to face some difficulties and sorrows, but never mind. Be calm and composed. What did I tell you in the beginning? 'Aham yetat na'. Realise that you are not the body. You are the embodiment of eternal Atma. When you understand this truth, you will not be affected by the physical suffering. Since you are aware, I am showing you this by example. I know that I am not the body. Hence, I do not care for any sufferings that afflict this body. The physical body of man is bound to be afflicted by disease and suffering at some point of time in his life. One should not be unduly worried about it. In fact, the body is born and brought up through various difficulties. It cannot escape difficulties. But you should not care for them. Difficulties and suffering are but natural to the human body. Bliss is natural to the Atma. Follow the nature of the Atma and not of the body. Give up body attachment.
This body is a den of dirt and prone to diseases;
it undergoes change from time to time.
It cannot cross the ocean of samsara.
Oh mind! Do not be under the delusion
that body is permanent.
Instead take refuge at the Divine Lotus Feet.
Why do you worry about such an ephemeral body? Instead, think of God. The physical suffering comes and goes like a passing cloud. That is the nature of human body (pravritti). The nature of Atma (nivritti) is to treat dualities of life with equanimity. Troubles of the body come and go. In spite of the pain, I am going around as usual. There is no change in My daily routine. I do not care for this pain. You will be put to suffering only when you identify yourself with the body. I am not the body. When you say this is my kerchief, you are different from it. Whatever may happen to the kerchief, you will not be affected. In the same manner, you should not be affected by the physical suffering.
The body is made up of five elements and
is bound to perish sooner or later,
but the indweller has neither birth nor death.
He has no attachment whatsoever.
Truly speaking, the indweller is verily God Himself,
who is in the form of the Atma.
The indweller is Atma, which is your true identity. Hence, do not be worried about your body. If someone were to criticise you, do not be agitated. If he criticises you loudly, it will vanish into thin air. If he criticises within himself, it will affect himself. In fact, neither praise nor censure will come to you. You should not be affected by either. In this manner, you should transcend the dualities of life. You will become a true human being only when your mind is fixed on the true and eternal Atma.
Today marks the beginning of a very sacred year. Accordingly, you should develop sacred thoughts. Not only in this year, but throughout your life, you should cultivate sacred thoughts. The body is made of five elements, so it is bound to suffer. You should not be affected by it. This is your true sadhana. All other sadhanas will prove futile if you do not give up body attachment. Some people keep telling the beads in a mechanical way and say that they are doing sadhana. The rosary will be revolving in their hand and the mind will be roaming in the market. Can this be called japa (chanting)? While doing meditation, your body may be steady, but the mind will be wavering. What is the use of such a sadhana? A true spiritual aspirant is one who has a steady mind and an unwavering vision. Unsteady mind is the nature of a monkey. But today man is developing monkey-mind. He should fill his heart with kindness for he belongs to mankind.
Bhagawan sang the bhajan, "Prema mudita manse kaho" and then continued the discourse.
Embodiments of Love!
When you sing bhajans, maintain the
proper rhythm by clapping your hands. The clapping should be done according
to the bhajan. Bhajan
should be sung with proper tune and wholeheartedly. The three syllables in
the name Bha-ra-ta stand for bhava (feeling), raga
(tune) and tala (beat). It means Bharatiyas (Indians) are those who sing the glory
of God with bhava, raga, and tala.
Today there are many singers who, while singing Thyagaraja
kritis, play tala on their lap.
They should join both hands and clap.
The five fingers of one hand symbolise karmendriyas
(senses of action) and that of other hand stand for jnanendriyas (senses of perception). When you sing
the glory of God, there should be harmony between these two. If they are
not harmonised, even your feelings will not be steady.
It was Guru Nanak who introduced the concept of community singing in Punjab. All should sing the divine glory in unison. This was the ideal propagated by our ancients. But today, people have brushed aside such ideal and are acting as per their whims and fancies. All our actions should be pleasing unto God. You may call Him Rama, Krishna, Govinda, but God is one. Develop the feeling of oneness and attain the vision of the divine Atma.