|Date: 10 July 1959||Occasion: Akhanda Bhajan ||Place: Bangalore|
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
You have all tasted the
sweetness of the Name of the Lord for twenty four hours, as Akhanda
bhajana. Akhanda means uninterrupted, without any gap. I am glad you
sang without any gap and also that you selected the Namavalis of the
manifold Forms of God, instead of singing one particular Namam
throughout, as if God had only one facet of Personality. The same man is father
to his children, uncle to his nephews, brother to some, cousin to many others
and son to his parents. So, God too has many aspects and when you conduct
Bhajana, you must try to satisfy all who take part by reminding them of
the manifold manifestations of the Lord, not simply Rama or Krishna or Sairam.
Again,Akhanda bhajana means that it should not be just a twenty-four hour affair or even a seven-day affair; it must go on, from birth to death, this contemplation of the Source and Goal of things. The procession to the cremation ground starts immediately on birth and the beating of the heart is the drumbeat for the march towards that place. Some take a longer route, some reach quickly, but all are on the way. Therefore, Bhajana has to start in childhood and has to continue. It must be the constant companion of man, his solace and strength. Do not postpone it to old age, for it is the essential food for the mind.
You have all been thrilled by this Bhajana here and you are glad that you got the chance to join. But this is just a temporary feeling. You who shared in this glorification of the Lord will tomorrow as enthusiastically join in some other gathering where falsehood and injustice are honored! There is no consistency in your behavior. What you feel as correct and what you do are poles apart. That is not the mark of a Bhaktha. If there is no Sraddha, how can you have Santhi and Santhosha?
People seek frantically for Santhi and Santhosha in a thousand ways along a thousand roads. Dr. Bhagavantham was telling Me just previous to My coming here, at the Tata Institute of Science, that there is something beyond all this objective world, some Mystery which becomes deeper and more mysterious with every advance of science. When one door is opened, ten doors which are closed reveal themselves to the surprised scientist. So real Santhi is to be got only in the depths of the spirit, in the discipline of the mind, in faith in the One Base of all this seeming multiplicity. When that is secured, it is like having gold, you can have any variety of ornament made from it.
It is all a matter of one's own experience. And the joy of that experience, the profound exhilaration which accompanies it cannot be communicated in words. All this Sravanam and Keerthanam is to take you nearer that experience.Sravanam is the medicine that you take internally and Keerthanam is the balm you apply externally. Both are needed. So also Dharma as well as Karma are necessary; Karma is the very foundation of Bhakthi. It is the basement on which devotion is built. Dharma is the attitude in which action is done, the Truth, Prema and Equanimity with which the mind is activated, when it seeks to do things.
Karma has to be done in and through Dharma. Those dominated by Thamas do Karma solely for the sake of the fruits thereof and they resort to all subterfuges in order to gain from it; for them, the end justifies the means. Those dominated by Rajas are proud and pompous and boast that they are the doers, the benefactors and the, experiencers. Those dominated by Satvaguna will do Karma, regardless of the fruits thereof, leaving the result to the Lord, not worrying whether it leads to success or failure, conscious of their duties and never of their rights.
As a matter of fact, there is more joy in the actual doing than in the result that accrues. This must be your experience. All the elaborate arrangements that the master of the house makes for a marriage in the family: the reception, the feeding, the illumination, the music, these are thrilling while they are being planned and executed; but they do not give so much pleasure, once the thing is done. In the end, when the bills comes they might even cause disgust and grief! So it must be easy to discard the fruits of action, provided you spend some thought upon the process of Karma, and the worth of the fruit.
The Jivi has come to this birth in order to reveal the splendor of the spark of Godhead which it is. The body is the wick of the lamp, yearning for God is the ghee which feeds the flame. But like the rat which, attracted by the strong smelling cheap stuff inside the trap, neglects all other articles of food in the granary and falls a prey to its foolishness, man too neglects his real sustenance and wastes his life in pursuit of mortal riches.
You should see and wonder at the Nithyam in all this Anithyam.. This drama has only two actors who play a million roles, Jada and Chaithanya. Just as Violinist Chowdaiah here who played ten ragas now and can play 400 ragas on the four strings, Jada and Chaithanya together play all these roles. Out of a mere 26 letters of the alphabet all the words in the dictionary are formed and millions of books get written, read and understood. But you should see through this drama and discover the Suthradhara who is none else than God.
This can be done through Bhakthi, based on Nishkama karma. Bhakthi is of various types, according to the samskara of the devotee and the state of his mind and the stage of his development. There is the Santha bhakthi of Bhishma, the Vatsalyabhakthi of Yasoda, the Madhura bhakthi of Gouranga and Meera and the Anuraga bhakthi of the Gopis. Of these, the Dasya attitude is the easiest and the best for the majority of aspirants at this time. It means Saranagathi or Prapaththi. It grows out of Santha bhakthi.
Bhakthi has to be developed by several means or indeed by all means. The mind and the buddhi have to be trained and controlled, that is the aim. They can take you as far as the Visishtadwaitha; later, Adwaithic experience depends upon His Grace; the Sayuiyam is in His Hands. The chief means are Sravanam, Keerthanam, Smaranam, Padasevanam, Vandanam, Dasyam, Sneham and Atmanivedanam. Sneham is placed just before Atmanivedanam because, between friends, there is no fear, no doubt or disbelief or hesitation.
It is to clear the path of spiritual progress of Man that the Avathar has come. The Asanthi in which man is immersed has to be curbed. That is what is meant by, "parithranaya sadhoonaam", the saving of Sadhus, the saving of all good jivis from the tentacles of asanthi or grief caused by want of knowledge of the relative unimportance of worldly things. All jivis must get Santhi and Santhosha; that is the mission on which the Lord comes again and again on this Earth. He selects a place full of Pavithratha or holiness and divyathwam or divinity and takes on the human form, so that you may meet Him and talk, understand and appreciate, listen and follow, experience and benefit.
The tragedy is that when Godhead is invisible, formless, you concretize it as you like and pray to it and get consolation and strength out of it; but when it is before you, concretized in human form, you doubt and discuss and deny! People fall before the stone Naga and pour milk on it and wash it lovingly with sacred waters; but when it materializes into an actual cobra, they flee in fear! But a true Bhaktha has no fear or disbelief. Prahlada was shivering at the Narasimha Form when It appeared from the Pillar and when the Lord asked him why, he replied that it was due not to fear at the form of God, for as he said, all forms of His are lovely as they are Divine; it was due to the fear that the Form might soon disappear and he might lose the splendid Vision of the Lord. The father was so full of Rajoguna that he saw the terrible Narasimha Form; but Prahlada did not see it so. To Him, the Lord appeared beautiful and full of Grace, for he was saturated with Bhakthi.
You must dive deep into the sea to get the pearls. What good is it to dabble among the waves near the Shore and swear that the sea has no pearls in it and that all tales of its existence are false! So also if you must realize the full fruit of this Avathar, dive deep and get immersed in Sai Baba. Half-heartedness, hesitation, doubt, cynicism, listening to tales, all are of no avail. Concentrated complete faith - that alone can bring victory. This is true of any worldly activity, is it not? How much more true must it be, therefore, in the spiritual field? But if you have already attached yourselves to some one Name and Form, do not change it, do not choose another in place of the Premaswarupam. A hundred people might come to your house and even treat you with affection, but you do not address them as Papa. Have your mind fixed on One; do not now and then allow clouds of doubt, like '"Is He Great? .... Is He God?" to dim your faith. Be bold. Acknowledge the glory that you have witnessed; proclaim the joy that you have experienced; confess to the Grace that you have earned. When people ask you whether you are going to Puttaparthi, for example, and whether you too are doing Bhajana, say "Yes" proudly, for there is no shame in walking on the right path!
There are some Gurus who insist on implicit obedience, who advise their disciples even to beat any one who cavil at their master! I have contempt for all such and I have come to give them proper advice. The Guru can never usurp the position of Siva; it is better that you have Siva Himself as your Guru, rather than have these power-mad egoistic teachers, who revel in hatred and aggrandizement. Leave all those who cavil severely alone, with their Karma and their Thamasic Ananda. Not merely those who are ignorant of Me, but even those who deride all forms of God and the very idea of God. Develop faith in yourselves, so that you can stand like a rock braving the rushing waters of the flood of negation. That faith will make you forget the changing circumstances of the outer world. Ramadas, when he was put in jail, thanked Rama for the great blessing for he felt that he could now carry on his namasmarana undisturbed by the world, which was mercifully shut off by the high prison walls!
It all depends on the point of view, whether you are happy or unhappy, that colors all attitudes and opinions. Ramadas sang the exploits of Anjaneya in Lanka and, while doing so, he mentioned the white lilies of the island. Anjaneya heard him sing it and immediately took exception to the description. He said that he had never seen a single white flower there; the lilies of Lanka were red, he declared. Ramadas, however, insisted that they were white. Anjaneya got annoyed at the impudence of poets who tried to pit their imagination against firsthand expert witnesses and appealed to Rama for intercession. Rama agreed with Ramadas! He said that Anjaneya saw them red because his eyes were affected by Rajasic Anger at the entire Rakshasa brood!
So, if you have Santhi, the world will appear a quiet peaceful place; if you have Asanthi, the world will be full of Asanthi. Santhi is to be won by Sadhana, not study of books. One judge reads huge big volumes and writes one judgment for a suit; another judge reads the same huge big books and writes quite an opposite judgment for the same suit! Books are just guides for some bit of the road. Afterwards, you have to find the way yourselves and it gets easier as you go. One naya paisa and another make two, four more make an anna, and a hundred make a rupee. The first steps are the most hard; the pilgrimage to Kasi to begin with a first step.
Feed the flame of vairagya with tiny sticks until it grows into a big bonfire; welcome all chances to develop viveka. If you are good for this Loka, then the Lokanatha will shower Love on you. Become a blossom, emanate the fragrance of Seva and Prema; then I shall gladly wear that garland composed of all of you.
Take the name of the Lord and repeat it always. I was listening to the Bhajana you did here yesterday and today. Your voices were low; they could scarce be heard outside this Hall. I know that in a certain institution where they decided to do Akhanda Bhajana, they had to hire a few persons at so much per hour so that their plan could succeed. Do Bhajana with faith and enthusiasm. Let the whole city shake with the devotion you put into every Name that you sing. The Name promotes comradeship and establishes concord; it stills all storms and grants peace.