|Date: 19 Oct 2004||Occasion: Dasara||Place: Prasanthi Nilayam|
has to face the consequences of their own karma.
Who has made the bats to hang from the branches of a tree
with their heads downwards?
It is their fate.
Likewise, nobody can escape from the consequences of karma.
Karma (destiny) has neither feet nor eyes nor mouth. But man cannot escape from it. That is why our ancients declared that one cannot escape the consequences of one's own actions. Karma does not conform to your likes and dislikes. Something happens not merely because of your desire, and similarly something is not averted because you do not desire it. Karma follows its own course. Your thoughts and desires cause the illusion that things happen because of your will.
The world is full of mystery and wonder. It is nothing but a manifestation of the five elements. It undergoes changes with the passage of time. Likewise, the physical body, which is also made up of five elements, is subject to changes. Only the Indweller is permanent.
Embodiments of Love!
It is not possible for anybody to go against the Will of God. The
ways of God are beyond the grasp of human understanding. God can make
things appear that do not exist in reality. Likewise, what appears to
the eye may vanish in a trice by God's Will. How can anybody understand
such mysterious happenings?
It is not possible for anybody to protect the physical body forever.
It remains as long as it is destined to be. Once its purpose is served,
the body will perish. Nobody has any control over death. It is decided
at the time of birth itself. The date of departure is written on the
body when it comes into the world. It is not possible for man to
comprehend the way the universe functions.
Each person's experience is unique. Why does the bat hangs from the
branch of a tree with its head downward? Nobody can explain this
phenomenon. Who is responsible for such wonders and mysteries that we
witness in this world? What each one has to do, when, where and how,
all is predestined. Man has no control over it. Everything happens
according to Divine Will and His command. It is the primary duty of man
to obey the Divine command implicitly. Everything in this world,
visible or imperceptible happens according to Divine Will.
One need not pay heed to what others say when it comes to obeying God's command. You have to obey the divine command in letter and spirit without adding any commas and full stops by yourself. Unfortunately, today nobody is making any effort to understand the mysteries of God's creation. Scientists boast of having unraveled the mysteries of creation, but they do not have true experience of the reality behind the phenomena. Each and every activity that takes place in this universe is full of wonder. When you observe carefully you will be able to perceive the unseen hand of God at work.
Embodiments of Love!
One should obey the divine command with total faith and without any
disputation pro and contra. Markandeya was born as the result of a boon
granted by Easwara to his parents. Easwara asked his parents whether
they wanted a virtuous son with a short life span or a son not so
virtuous but who would live long. The parents opted for a virtuous son.
Accordingly, Markandeya was born. He was one of good thought, good
behaviour, and good conduct. Easwara informed his parents that he would
live only for sixteen years. Nevertheless, the parents were overjoyed
as they had been blessed with a virtuous son.
Years rolled by and Markandeya entered his sixteenth year.
Remembering the words of Easwara, his parents became grief-stricken.
His mother would often shed tears thinking of the imminent death of her
son. Markandeya could not understand the cause of her grief and
wondered why she was shedding tears. One day, he found his parents
steeped in sorrow. On enquiry, they revealed that his death was
imminent as per the Divine Will, and that was the cause of their sorrow.
Markandeya felt sorry that Easwara's Will was not revealed to him
till then because of which he had wasted the precious time allotted to
him. He did not want to waste time any longer. He had an early bath,
went to the temple of Easwara, and started chanting the sacred Siva
Panchakshari Mantra, Namah Sivaya,
with all sincerity and devotion. He lost himself in the contemplation
of Easwara. He did not expect any reward for his prayers. He considered
it his primary duty to contemplate on God.
The following day was supposed to be the last day of his earthly
sojourn. Hence, he remained in the temple. Since he had not returned
home, His parents went to the temple and sat at its entrance. They were
shedding tears, thinking of the impending end of Markandeya's life. As
willed by the Lord, Markandeya left his mortal coil the moment he
completed his sixteenth year. His parents were in a sea of sorrow. As
Markandeya left his mortal body in the external world, his jiva (soul) reached Lord Siva
in the divine world. The Lord was immensely pleased with the sincere
devotion of Markandeya. He said, "Markandeya! Today marks the
completion of your sixteenth year. You have come to Me in a happy frame
of mind. You have bowed down to My Will with implicit faith and
obedience. I am pleased with your devotion."
As Easwara was speaking to Markandeya in this manner, Mother Parvati
intervened and said, "Oh Lord! Why don't You send him back to his
parents, since he has obeyed Your command implicitly." Easwara wanted
Parvati also to accompany Him. Together they infused life into the body
The parents' joy knew no bounds when they noticed some movement in
Markandeya's body. He got up and said, "My dear mother and father, Lord
Easwara and Mother Parvati have brought me back to life. I will stay
with you as long as you want me. Let us entertain noble thoughts and
undertake good deeds. I will discharge my duties as your son and give
Accompanying his parents, Markandeya went home. The people of the village were struck with wonder when they came to know that Markandeya was brought back to life by Lord Easwara and Mother Parvati. Markandeya narrated to them in detail all that had happened in the divine world.
God responds to the prayers of devotees and comes to their rescue only when they have purity of heart. One with a pure heart can even alter the sankalpa (will) of God. The story of Markandeya bears ample testimony to this. Markandeya had no desires. He made sacred use of the time granted to him. It is the primary duty of devotees to cultivate noble thoughts and perform sacred actions. Markandeya remained a chiranjeevi (immortal), served his parents, and gave them immense happiness. In the normal course, God's Will cannot be altered. But, sometimes God does change His sankalpa in answer to the prayers of a devotee who is sincere and pure at heart. The devotee has the power to change the Will of God. Devotion does not mean mere vocal expression of prayers; one should have purity of heart.
Adi Sankara was born in Kerala during the 7th century A.D. and propagated the essence of all scriptures to mankind. But he left his body at an early age of 32 years. Ramanujacharya was born in 11th century A.D. and propagated the efficacy of the Divine Name. That was the time when devotion to God was on the decline. It was because of Ramanujacharya's teachings that people developed devotion and a sense of surrender to God. Madhwacharya was born during 13th century A.D. and propagated the principle of dvaitha (dualism). Even He taught that the jiva (individual soul) and Deva (universal soul) are not different from each other in essence. However, the underlying principle in all the three systems of philosophy as propagated by Adi Sankara, Ramanujacharya, and Madhwacharya is one and the same. The same principle of Atma is present in all beings. It is referred to as Easwaratwa (divinity). The divine incarnations such as Rama and Krishna can be recognised by their divine forms. Every incarnation has a particular form. But Easwaratwa has no form. It represents the principle of truth that is present in all beings. It is responsible for srushti, sthiti, and laya (creation, sustenance, and dissolution).
Easwaratwa, which has
no specific form, is symbolised in the form of a Linga. It is usually placed on
a horizontal base, which is known as Panavatta. Do you know what it
looks like? (At this, Bhagawan with a wave of His hand materialised a Linga with Panavatta.)
Lord Easwara exhorted Markandeya and his parents to sanctify their time in the contemplation of God. He materialised a Linga like this and gave it to Markandeya's parents. They sanctified their lives by worshipping the Linga. Linga represents the Atmic principle, which is present in all. It is not possible for anyone to understand or estimate the divine power. The principle of Atma is changeless. It can assume any form in accordance with the feelings of devotees. Linga is not something that man has made for worship. It is the direct manifestation of Divinity (Sakshat-akara). This truth was very well understood by Markandeya and his father Mrukanda, and hence they worshipped divinity in the form of a Linga.
Every living being comprises three aspects: sthula, sukshm, and karana (gross, subtle, and causal). The physical form represents the gross aspect. The same principle of divinity is present in all three levels. Without thread, there can be no cloth. Without silver, there can be no plate. Without clay, pot cannot be made. Likewise, without Brahma (Divinity), there can be no world. Without the creator, there can be no creation. The creator can be compared to thread and the creation to cloth. The creator is the embodiment of gross, subtle, and causal aspects. When you contemplate on God, you should transcend the mind. By merely having threads, one cannot make cloth. They have to be interwoven. Likewise, both self-effort and divine grace are essential in order to achieve the desired result.
Sukshma sarira (subtle
body) is the source from which our words and deeds originate. Our
students are chanting the Vedas
everyday. Each mantra is attributed to a particular form of divinity.
It is necessary that one knows all the mantras. If one wants to purify
one's thoughts and understand one's true Self, one should take Vedas as the basis. Unable to
understand this truth, many students are behaving like thieves when it
comes to chanting the Vedic
One who does something wrong and feigns ignorance is a thief.
Likewise, one who has the ability to chant the Vedas but does not do so
full-throated and wholeheartedly can also be called a thief. All
students can chant the Vedas,
but some of them are not joining others in chanting. They are not
making proper use of whatever they have learnt. They are keeping to
themselves all that they have learnt.
I am observing the students as they chant the Vedas. Having learnt the
mantras, they are expected to chant them. But some of them are keeping
silent. In a way, they are resorting to vidya choratwam and daiva droham (theft of
knowledge and betrayal of God). In this manner, the educated are
becoming traitors and betrayers. Only those who chant wholeheartedly
whatever they have learnt are eligible for Sakshatkara (God-realisation).
When the students chant the mantras, ladies sitting on the other side also join them. They have every right to chant the Vedas. None can deny them their right. They feel inspired to chant the Vedas. when they see our students chant. There are many small children sitting here. Who has taught them the Vedas? They hear attentively while the senior students chant the mantras and learn them by heart. However, there are some educated persons who sit by the side of Veda-chanting boys and yet remain tight-lipped. I am observing them. What is the use of sitting with Veda group if they do not make efforts to learn and chant them? They are bigger thieves. They listen to Vedic chants but do not participate in them. One should listen and also chant the mantras in order to experience divinity.
The Vedas are the very
form of God. There are many mantras to propitiate the pancha bhutas (five elements).
The five elements are our very life-breath. They sustain our life. The
world itself is a manifestation of the five elements. But people forget
to express their gratitude to the five elements. What a sin it is! We
fill our minds with unnecessary information and consequently fail to
give due respect to the five elements.
Everyone should necessarily learn the Vedas, contemplate on them, and chant them wholeheartedly. There is no point in merely learning the Vedas if you do not chant them. There are some who chant the mantras when they are here but forget them when they go outside. You may go anywhere, but you should repeat the mantras at least in your mind. You should never become a vidya drohi (one who does not do justice to the knowledge acquired). A vidya drohi will become daiva drohi also and will ultimately miss the chance to become recipient of God's grace.
Students may commit mistakes without their knowledge. But once they
realise their mistake they should not repeat it. Whatever mantras you
hear today, you should be able to chant them tomorrow. When all people
chant the mantras in unison and in perfect harmony, Brahman will
manifest right in front of you. Our ancient sages and seers declared, Vedahametham Purusham Mahantham
Adityavarnam Thamasa Parasthath (I have visualised that Supreme
Being, who shines with the effulgence of a billion suns and who is
beyond thamas - the
darkness of ignorance).
The sound of the Vedas,
is highly sacred. It is extolled as sabda brahmamayi, characharamayi,
jyotirmayi,vangmayi, nityanandamayi, paratparamayi, mayamayi,
and sreemayi (embodiment
of sound, mobility and immobility, light, speech, eternal bliss,
perfection, delusion, and wealth). It is compulsory for everyone to
learn the Vedas. If it is
not possible, at least one should chant the Name of God.
Whatever Vedic mantras
you learn, you should be able to chant them properly. Otherwise, you
don't need to learn them at all! I have seen many boys, who learn the Vedas here but forget them when
they go to Bangalore. They chant one or two mantras to satisfy the
elders who visit that place. It is not for publicity but for your own
benefit of experiencing bliss that you should chant the Vedas,.
The three aspects, namely, karma,
upasana, and jnana (work, worship, and
wisdom) may be compared to chanting, practising, and experiencing
bliss. You should transcend vijnanamaya
kosha (wisdom sheath) and enter anandamaya kosha (bliss
sheath). Karma leads to upasana, which in turn leads to
jnana (wisdom). Once you
attain jnana, you will
experience peace and bliss. Everything depends on karma.
You should not chant the mantras in a mechanical way just because
others are chanting. You should assimilate and digest them. Why do you
eat food? Is it to preserve it in the stomach? No. The food partaken
should be digested and the essence should be supplied to all parts of
the body. In the same manner, you should understand and assimilate the Vedic knowledge and derive
strength from it. It should be expressed in your thoughts, words, and
deeds. You should take part in the propagation of the Vedas and share your joy with
People say God is all-pervasive. He is present everywhere in the form of five elements. Each element represents a form of divinity. All the five elements together constitute the form of the Atma. When you realise this truth, you will experience divine bliss.
Embodiments of Love! Students!
Whatever you have learnt here, share it with others. It is not
enough if you share it with others, you too should put your knowledge
into practice and derive benefit therefrom. We prepare many delicious
items at home and serve them to the guests. Is it not necessary that we
should also partake of them? Likewise, we should digest the Vedic knowledge we have
acquired and also share it with others.
All types of knowledge have originated from the Vedas. That is why the Veda is extolled as sarva vijnana sampatti (the
treasure chest of knowledge). But unfortunately, we are not making
proper use of such a treasure. Share your knowledge to the extent you
have acquired. Never forget what you have learnt. With sincere effort,
you will certainly be able to attain Sakshatkara. How did Markandeya
attain Sakshatkara? He
repeated the Panchakshari mantra, forgetting himself. As a result, Lord
Easwara appeared before him and showered His grace. Those of you who
wish to have the vision of God should digest the Vedic wisdom you have acquired
and share it with others.