|Date: 28 Oct 2003||Occasion: Vice Chancellor's Conference||Place: Prasanthi Nilayam|
One may master all forms of knowledge,
One may vanquish one's adversaries in debate,
One may fight with valour and courage in the battlefield,
One may be an emperor reigning over vast kingdoms,
One may offer cows and gold as an act of charity,
One may count the countless stars in the sky,
One may tell the names of different living creatures on the earth,
One may be an expert in eight-limbed (ashtanga) yoga,
One may reach even the moon,
But it is near impossible to control the body, mind and senses,
Turn the vision inward,
And achieve the supreme state of equanimity of the mind.
Embodiments of Love!
Today, a number of discussions and deliberations are being held in the field of education. First and foremost, we must try to recognize the true meaning of education. One may read all the available books and elucidate the meaning contained in these books. But that does not entitle one to be called an educated person. There are several highly educated people today in the world. But what transformation and discriminatory power have they achieved on account of their education? What benefit has accrued to the world on account of these so called educated people? None tries to understand and evaluate this aspect. It is only when an educated person looks inward that they will be able to realize the true meaning and philosophy underlying education. In contrast to this situation, people are applying their intelligence in worldly matters.
There are, however, some who enquire into the nature of Atma Tattwa (Atmic Principle). Realising the importance of an enquiry into the nature of Atma Tattwa, we have introduced this concept in the M.B.A. course in Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. The letters M.B.A. stand for understanding the nature of the mind (M), the physical body (B), and the Atma (A). It is easier to understand the nature of the mind and body. But, to understand the nature of the Atma is not that easy. No one can understand what Atma is. It has no form. It is pure consciousness. Even the educated people are unable to understand that the Atma Tattwa is consciousness. Most of them are able to go up to the stage of conscious. Some others are able to reach the next stage of conscience. The sum and substance of all this is that man today is unable to understand the Atma Tattwa, The pure consciousness. Only when one is able to understand the conscious can one understand what conscience is. Again, it is only when one is able to understand conscience that one can really understand the principle of consciousness. Thus all the three categories of conscious, conscience, and consciousness are interlinked.
You may feel that spirituality is too abstract and not easily understandable. The Atma Tattwa cannot be understood and realized by merely developing material knowledge. In fact, Atma Tattwa is beyond the scope of material knowledge. It is transcendental. It is fundamental knowledge. It is at the base of all physical, material and secular knowledge.Dear Students!
You may be under the mistaken impression that spirituality is that which cannot be understood. But, this is not correct. Spirituality is consciousness, which has an inner meaning. What is awareness? Our normal understanding of this term is awareness about a particular object or aspect. Take for instance (showing a handkerchief), this object. When a question is put as to what it is; the answer comes that it is a handkerchief. This knowledge about the object is considered to be awareness. Again, when I question you (showing a flower) what it is, you reply that it is a flower. This is also considered to be an awareness. All these are the outer forms of different material objects. This is a cloth (showing the handkerchief). What is the basis for this cloth? The thread. Again, what is the basis for this thread? The cotton. Thus this cloth cannot be made without the thread and cotton. The cotton is the fundamental object that forms the basis for the thread and the cloth. Unfortunately, today we are only recognizing the cloth, but not the fundamental object of cotton, the basis for the cloth. Therefore, what is of paramount importance today is to recognize the Atma Tattwa that is at the root of all knowledge. If one is able to realize this Atma Tattwa, he can easily realize every other aspect.
What is Atma Tattwa? For example, we have the physical body. This body has several limbs, which function continuously. But what makes the limbs in the body function? We hold a particular object, say, a flower with one hand. What gives power to the hand to hold the flower? We smell the flower. From where did we get this power of smelling? We do not make any effort to understand and recognize the inner source of all these powers; i.e. the Atma Tattwa. We say this is my hand, my leg, my finger, my head, etc. But, who are you? This "you" has to be understood first, so that you can say my hand, my leg, my finger, my head, etc. Whose head is this? Whose leg is this? Unless you understand this aspect how can you say "I" and "Mine"? Vedantha is that knowledge which is concerned about "who are you?" and "who am I?" But none makes any effort to enquire into themself "who am I?" The fundamental question for the basis for everything in this universe is: "Who am I?" If one has understood this "I", one would have understood everything else. Spirituality is not something ununderstandable or a futile exercise. There is a fundamental principle in this universe, which is the prime mover. We must make efforts to understand that fundamental principle.
Embodiments of Love!
What is Love? What is its nature? From where does it originate? Can
a human being live without
love? Impossible. That is why, it is said, "Love is God; Live in Love".
One has to understand this
principle of Love, which is the basis for everything in this universe.
Without Love, there cannot
be life in this world.
here is an underlying power that permeates the entire universe. That
Truth. What is Truth? Truth is said to be "Trikalabadhyam Sathyam" --It is
present in all the
periods of time: past, present, and future. However, we cannot come to
a conclusion only on account
of that dictum. Sathyam
(Truth) is that which transcends time. There is no tangible form for
concept of Truth. But there is meaning.
We say, "Truth is God, Love is God". We go on repeating
the word "God". We make use of this word "God" in different
circumstances. Even an atheist says
"Oh! My God!", whenever he commits a mistake. People use this word
"God" even without knowing its
meaning. However, none can define the term properly. Similarly, none
can define the term "Truth".
The most appropriate method would be by one's own experience. How can
one correctly describe that
experience? For example, one can go on repeating 1 + 1 = 2, 2 + 2 = 4,
and 2 - 1 = 1, etc., ad
infinitum. One can only repeat plus and minus, no one can define the
basis for the calculations.
are able to give names of different objects in this world. But we are
not making any effort to
understand the true nature of these objects. The whole world is full of
material objects. This is
a material world. However, there is something beyond this material
world. That is, "Buddhi
grahyamatheendriyam (that which is unintelligible and beyond the
grasp of the intellect)". That is
transcendental. We can count the objects in this world and say that
there are so many crores of
objects. What is there beyond that number? Thus, when you go on
enquiring, you will end up
The fact is that there is a fundamental principle that is present in every human being. When you say "Love is God", that "Love" is everywhere, omnipresent. This fundamental principle of Love is present in every human being, nay, in every living being. When you say "Truth is in me" and "I am Truth", what does it mean? What is that "I" and "Me"? If you analyse carefully, this "I" in you is also the "I" in others. This is the only Truth. This Truth can be understood only by spiritual enquiry. And that too by a steady and sincere enquiry into one's own nature. Few undertake such an enquiry today. We are making use of several terms in a casual manner, without understanding their real meaning .Embodiments of Love!
You need not have to waste your time, however, in trying to
understand some abstract concepts that you are unable to comprehend.
You just develop firm faith in the existence of God. You
firmly believe that there is God and you are God. We cannot understand
anything without developing
faith. Hence, first and foremost, develop firm faith in the concept of
"I". Only then can you
understand the second concept "you".
A small example. When "I" and "you" join together, it becomes
"we". However, "we" + "He" becomes only "He", who exists forever. The
"I" and "you" change
constantly. When you are a child you say, "I am a boy". When you are a
youth, you say, "I am a man".
Similarly, when you are old, you say, "I am an old man". Thus, you are
undergoing constant changes
in different stages of life. Hence, there is no use in sticking on to
this changing principle.
Attach yourself to the changeless principle, i.e. "He". That "He" is
God. That "He" is present in
you, him, and every person. "He is everywhere --within you, above you,
below you and around
you". Therefore this "He" principle represents the omnipresent Divinity.
People should develop
firm faith in such a Divine Principle. Suppose you say "I love Him" and
none else. How can this
be true? It means that you do not love yourself. When you say "this is
my body", can you believe
this body? You cannot, since it undergoes constant changes and is
perishable. However, the
non-dual principle of Atma
Tattwa immanent in the body is eternal and transcendental. It has no
other name, except "Atma".
Then, the question arises as to who has given that name. In fact, this
name did not come from somebody. The Atma is omnipresent. "He" is
everywhere. How can one give a
name to such an all-pervading Atma
Tattwa? It is only a futile exercise. Do not waste your time in
this futile exercise. Develop firm faith in this omnipresent Atma Tattwa and propagate it.
faith is awareness. Without that awareness you cannot exist.
This is a rose flower (showing a rose
flower). You have recognized it as such. But, who gave that name to
this flower? You do not know.
You simply repeat a name that is given to a flower in the English
language. Thus, we go on
repeating the words without understanding the underlying Truth. Hence,
first and foremost, one has
to turn his vision inward and meditate upon the Atma Tattwa present in one. This Atma Tattwa can
be realized only by constant sadhana
(spiritual practice). It is only after realizing this Atma Tattwa can one enter
into any discussion.
Also understand the nature of the physical body. The physical body
of various limbs. In all these limbs, you will find the principle of
"I", immanent. That is why,
you say that this is my body, my hand, my finger, etc. When you go on
enquiring into the nature of
the body, you will realize that the same principle of "I" is present in
all the limbs. It is very
difficult to understand the spiritual concepts. But you should not give
up your sadhana on that
score. On the other hand it has to be pursued vigorously.
It is futile to run after the worldly objects. If you are able to understand the Atma Tattwa, it amounts to understanding everything else. If you go on enquiring "who am I", you will ultimately realize the Truth that the "I" principle is nothing but the Atma Tattwa. Develop firm faith in that Atma Tattwa. Several people give different names to the principle of Atma Tattwa. But it has no name and form at all. It is beyond all names and forms. It is transcendental. The power of consciousness immanent in man is not to be found anywhere else. One has to understand and realize this consciousness. This is possible only by constant sadhana and enquiry.Embodiments of Love!
You students cannot understand spiritual concepts so easily. However, if you develop firm faith, you will be able to understand these things easily. But today people have become blind having lost the eyes of faith. What is Prema (Love)? You do not know. What is darkness? Is there anybody today who has seen darkness? Just close your eyes. What do you see? You reply that you are seeing darkness. It means that you are able to see and recognize darkness. Otherwise, how can you say that it is darkness? Therefore, it is established that there is a basis for everything in this world. In order to realize the Truth, one has to develop faith. You carry on your life's journey with firm faith as your guide. You are going somewhere; unless you know where you are going, how can you reach your destination? Hence, make a firm resolve that you are going to the Mandir. Only then can you reach the Mandir.. Similarly, first and foremost, make Atma Tattwa as your goal in life's journey.Embodiments of Love!
You are not able to understand what real Prema (love) is. You love the
physical body and its
beauty. You love wealth. You love the external form. You love one's
outward behaviour. Wherefrom
do all these things come? What is the basis for all these aspects? How
long will these external
forms remain? All of them undergo changes continuously. What is the use
of clinging to these
changing external forms? You must direct your love to the changeless
principle of Atma Tattwa. The Atma Tattwa does not undergo any
change, whatsoever. Nothing can be added to it nor deleted from
it. Therefore, you must develop firm faith in such a changeless
You often say that you
love so and so very much. But, what do you know of him? Do you love his
physical form? Did you
develop liking for his behaviour? Do you love his sweet disposition?
What has drawn you
to him? In fact, all these factors are only transitory. There is,
however, one quality in you that
is responsible for all this. That is love. That love of God. Love is
His form. Hence, you
cultivate love for love's sake. There cannot be life without love.
A small example to illustrate the point. A mother had a son. He is 20 years old. After some time, the son died. Then, the mother was wailing over the body of the son "Oh! Son! I was able to live as long as you were alive. How can I live now?" Such type of grief is the result of attachment of the mother developed toward the physical form of the son. It is not true love. What is important is love, but not love for the physical form. Only those who are able to love for love's sake can attain real love. Those who love the physical body do so as long as the body is present. Thereafter, the love ebbs away. Therefore, love for love's sake. Such love is life. That life is God. That is Atma Tattwa, verily. Atma Tattwa is the only reality.
Embodiments of Love!
You have to seek love through love only. The gopikas (cowherd maids) prayed thus:
Oh Krishna, play your sweet flute and
sow the seeds of love in the desert of loveless hearts.
Let the rain of love fall on earth and
make the rivers of love flow.
The rivers of love must flow continuously. It is enough if you can understand the one principle of love. This love is everything. Treat this love as the be-all and end-all of your life. Do not direct your love toward material objects. If you continue to love for love's sake, then such a love will be eternal. It is not the body that is to be loved, but the principle of love. All the names and forms are evanescent and impermanent. We should not love such things. Love directed toward such things is physical, whereas love for love's sake is eternal. Consider Truth as Truth. You should not associate Truth with material objects. Similarly, love should not be associated with material objects. Love is simply love. As such, love is God. You must attain Divinity with such love.
You encounter several appointments (expectations) and
disappointments in life. When you have an
appointment, you will have a disappointment also when it is not
fulfilled. Therefore, do not have
appointments (desires) at all. Then, there is no scope for
Do not give importance
to the form. In fact, your Atma
Tattwa represents your
true form. Do not confine Divinity to a
particular name and form. The names like Rama, Krishna, and Govinda are
only names attributed by man
to God. They are not innate. Not much of importance can be attached to
them. However, one has to
take a particular name in the initial stages of his spiritual quest.
For instance, it is necessary
to acquire different types of education. It is also necessary to
realize the essence of all education. That is, of course, the Truth.
But how long? Until you experience that essence. Once
you experience the essence of knowledge, even that vanishes. Hence, do
not depend upon the name
Truth is Truth. That is the only Truth. It has no form. Love is God.
Love has no form.
Cultivate such Divine Love. God exists. There can be no doubt about it.
If God does not exist,
there is no scope for nature to exist. From an experience of prakrithi (nature) emerges
apprehension of Paramathma
(the supreme self). From Paramathma,
the realization of Paratattwa
(Supreme Reality) springs. That Paratattwa
is Atma Tattwa. Therefore, always love
Do not confine your love to the particular, which is always susceptible
Time permitting, I will discuss this Prema Tattwa (Principle of Love) in greater detail. When students are able to understand the nature of this divine love, there can be no scope for disappointment. They are always engrossed in appointment and disappointment. Love has only a name, but no form. You can direct that love toward any form.
Embodiments of Love!
God can be attained only through one route. That is Love. That is
Truth. Do not confine the
principle "I" to a particular form. A small example. Janakiramaiah
(younger brother of Swami's
physical body) died recently. There are several people who loved him.
They have been making
obituary references every day in the newspapers, saying "Janakiramaiah!
You have left your mortal
coil, leaving us alone. Please take birth again, so that we can love
necessary for Janakiramaiah to take birth once again in order that
these people may love him? Is
that what these people wish for? Should we confine our entire life to
birth and death only?
In fact, both birth and death are unreal. Where there is birth, there is death, surely. The twin stages of life, i.e. birth and death, are only for the body, not for the Atma. We have to direct our love toward the Eternal Atma Tattwa, not the body which is subject to birth and death. I often address you as "Bangaru!" What is the underlying meaning in addressing you in that manner? Gold as a metal does not perish. Its shape changes when it is melted and made into different types of ornaments. You, as gold may take different forms, but your Atma Tattwa does not undergo any change. You have to strive to attain the changeless principle of Atma Tattwa, but not the changing forms. I address you as "Bangaru!", reminding you of your real nature, i.e. the changeless Atma Tattwa. Gold is always gold. It is Truth. It is eternal. You have to always crave for attaining such an eternal reality. Keeping this aspect in view only, Adi Shankara in his famous "Bhaja Govindam" sang thus:
Jananam Punarapi Maranam
Punarapi Janani Jathare Sayanam
Iha Samsare Bahu Dustare
Kripayapare Pahi Murare.
I am caught up in this cycle of birth and death;
time and again, I experience 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.)
We have to crave for that principle which has no birth and death. Why should we wish to be born again?
Embodiments of Love!
There is Divine Love in you, which has neither birth nor death. You direct your love toward that Divine Love. That love is always with you. If you cultivate such love, you will always remain as embodiments of love. Have firm faith in this Divine Love. Do not believe the worldly love, lest you should be deceived. The worldly love is like passing clouds. Such clouds come and go. They are not permanent. Love the eternal love. That is the Atma Tattwa. Love that Atma Tattwa.
People who wish to enter the spiritual field and to know the path that leads to Divinity, please come to Me. I will explain. Do not be deceived by worldly love, which causes only disappointment. Cultivate such type of love that will not cause disappointment. Pursue any type of education, but understand the inner meaning of education. Then put it into practice; experience and enjoy that essence of that education. Do not be disappointed by directing your love toward all and sundry. Several students are being disappointed in that manner. In the end, they are unable to love anybody. That is not the right way. Love the principle of Love itself, which is Divine and Eternal. The more you love that Divine Love, the more it grows.Embodiments of Love!
I always address you as "Embodiments of Love!" Cultivate only such type of love. When you cultivate such love, it will, in turn, protect you. That is what is meant by the saying, "with you, in you, and around you".
(Bhagawan concluded the Divine Discourse with the bhajan, "Prema Muditha Manase Kaho")
(The Programme ended with singing of the National Anthem.)