Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 5 (1965)
The basic hypocrisy

This day, as well as yesterday, Pandits spoke to you about Sanathana Dharma (Eternal Religion) and its greatness. I too shall speak only about that, for there is nothing more important than that Dharma for material and spiritual happiness. Sanathana Dharma calls on you to revere the Acharya, for he is seeking to save you from disaster, the flood of birth and death into which you are slipping, through ignorance. You have to learn eetha (swimming) to escape from the swollen river; Geetha or the Lord's teaching you have to learn to escape form the swirling torrent of birth-death. The guru points out the guri (goal) to you; he reveals the Atmathathwam (Reality of Self). A man struggling in a bog cannot be saved by another who is also caught in its slime. Only one standing on firm ground can pull him out. So the guru must have a secure footing, above and beyond the slush of samsara (worldly way). The rishis or sages struggled with themselves and elevated themselves into the purer regions of thought, to discover their own truth. They felt the thrill of that discovery and sang of the freedom they gained. These songs serve as sign-posts and all who derive benefit therefrom have to acknowledge the debt. How to repay the rishi-rna, the debt of the rishis? By study, by reflection on what they have sung of their liberation, by practising the sadhana they adopted, by proving them right out of your own experience.
The three debts to be discharged
There are also three other Rnas (debts), mentioned in the scriptures - Pithr-rna, Mathr-rna and Deva-rna - the debt to the father, to the mother and to the Gods. Once there was a great sage named Uddalaka, famous for his scholarship. He had a son, Shwethakethu, and a daughter Sujatha. Among his disciples was Kaholaka, a young man who was well behaved, virtuous, devoted to the teacher and earnest in his studies. But he could not keep pace with the other bright lads and so became the target for taunts. The Guru loved him all the more on account of this. Sympathy with his lot grew into Grace; Grace resulted in the Guru offering his own daughter in marriage to Kaholaka! While Sujatha was pregnant, Kaholaka recited the Vedas as laid down in the Disciplinary Rules, but within hearing of the child growing in the womb. It heard the recitation but, since it was already aware of the correct pronunciation of every syllable, whenever Kaholaka spelt a syllable wrong, it squirmed in distress. So, when the baby was born, it had eight bends, crooked in eight places, in fact! Naturally, he was named Ashtavakra. (Eight Bends) When Ashtavakra was still in the womb, Sujatha had persuaded her husband to seek some monetary help from King Janaka to relieve their dire poverty and when Kaholaka went to Mithila, in the midst of a big yaga (ceremonial sacrifice) which the king was celebrating, he had to stay on till it was finished; later, he was forced by circumstances to join a competitive disputation with a celebrated scholar called Vanadena, and accept the terms laid down by the challenger, namely, whoever gets defeated in argument was to be thrown into the sea. Meanwhile, Ashtavakra, in spite of his physical deformity, became an erudite Pandit full of intricate scholarship, even while in his teens. His father's fate was kept from the lad by both Sujatha and Shwethakethu for many years, but, one day, he was taunted by some one as one who was ignorant of his father's fate and the sad tale was revealed to the son. Immediately, he proceeded to Mithila and sought entrance into the audience-hall of King Janaka. The guards laughed when he wanted them to report to the King that a Vedhic scholar eager for disputation with the court pandits had come. They slighted him for his tender age, but he said that age was no criterion. At last, he pleaded that his deformity, at least, entitled him to hospitality and sympathy.
Parents should encourage their sons by good example
Janaka was struck by the boy's persistence and courage; he ordered that he should be admitted and arranged for the disputation the boy sought! If I start telling you the absurd questions that the court pandits teased him with and the replies with which Ashtavakra sparred them with, it will take so much time that perhaps we will have to sit beyond Shivarathri even! Janaka tried his best to dissuade him; he told him that he was too young to risk death in the sea. But, Ashtavakra argued that Atmavidya does not take account of the deha thathwam, the physical principle of the body. Vanadena entered the fray with the deformed lad resplendent with spiritual scholarship; to the great astonishment of all, the boy gained the upper hand; the aged pandit squirmed under the questions; he failed; he had to be thrown into the sea; the deformed son of Kaholaka had triumphed over the victor who had consigned his father to the waves. The mother was delighted that her son had discharged the debt, and retrieved the honour of the line. The father must encourage the son by example more than by precept. Prahlada told his father that only the parent who directs his progeny to God deserves obedience and respect. All others are, so far as the sons are concerned, human ogres like Hiranyakashipu. There are some parents who are sorry that their sons are coming to Puttaparthi and who dread that they would start doing puja or japam or Narnasmana, and give up the habits of smoking or drinking or gambling, which they have learnt from their fathers! Such people do not know the value of sathsanga (spiritual company), for peace and happiness. They fail to equip their children or themselves with armour against the blows of fate or fortune.
Dive deep into your own Divinity
The Gayathri manthra develops the dheesakthi (power of discrimination) and, so its consequence will be the giving up of evil company, and the seeking of kindred souls. If sathsang is not available, you can keep company with your own higher impulses and noble thoughts. Dive deep into your own divinity. The crocodile is happy and unharmed and it is undefeatable, in the depths of the lake or river. Once it sprawls on land, it becomes the plaything of man, an easy target for death. The depths: they are your refuge; the source of your strength. Do not stray into the shallows or the sands.
You know that the Garuda bird feeds on snakes. Well, once the Garuda went to Mount Kailasa to pay respects to Shiva, who wears snakes on His head, arms, wrists, neck, waist and ankles. When the snakes saw Garuda, they were unafraid; they even dared put out their forked tongues at Garuda and challenged it to come near them. That was the extent of the courage lent to them by the place where they had established themselves. So, establish yourselves in the Atma; no worry or grief or pride can harm you then. Several types of prema were spoken about today, but all types are based on the 'I' feeling; it is like a drama in a film story, a plot within a plot. You must feel that all this is just a passing show, that you are the central figure, the only figure, the entire figure. Thathwam asi: That thou art. That is this. The external world is fundamentally One, is really Brahmam, appearing as many. Thwam is you, yourself. And, what does the experience of all the sages tell him? What is the profound discovery embodied in the wisdom of the Vedas? Thath is thwam, thwam is Thath; there is no second, there is only One.
Play your role as the puppet does
If you act or feel or talk contrary to your nature you demean yourself; you deny your reality. The Brahmathathwam (Reality of Brahmam) is Vimalam, Achalam - Pure, Unshakable; be pure and unshakable. It is thriguna rahitham, devoid of the three qualities: dull, active or balanced; it is pure consciousness. You too must not be agitated by the storms of feeling, or the fog of dullness and sloth. Play your role, as a puppet does; the unseen Director unfolds the drama, which He has willed.
Once it happened that a village drama, Harishchandra, was put on boards, with Harishchandra and his son, Lohithasya, selected from one of the two rival factions and Chandramathi being acted by a man from the other! Lohithasya fell dead, bitten by a cobra, as required by the drama and Chandramathi the mother had to wail. Every one expected the actor to do that very realistically; but, since the boy belonged to the rival party, Chandramathi refused to weep! This led to a minor riot. The 'puppets' had deluded themselves into attachment. They had failed to remember that they were acting 'roles'. This is the basic hypocrisy; claiming to be a character in the play, but, not speaking the lines; exhibiting emotions, going through the movements and not making the role a success.
Many pandits claim to be exponents of the Vedas and Shastras, but it is not what they teach that tells, but how they live. Many sing the glory of the Lord, but, few live in His constant Presence and in the constant awareness of that Glory that fills the Universe. Udipi Krishna!, they sing; but, they don't make their hearts Udipi, so that Krishna may come and be installed therein.
Revere all human beings as your Lord
There are certain special hours when you have to perform Sandhya and repeat Gayathri. This is very good discipline. Just before the Sun rises, the morning rite has to be gone through. Jonnalagadda Sathyanarayanamurthy described very poetically the calmness, the colour, the eloquent silence of those hours, the waking birds and flowers, the earth that thrills to the touch of dew - that is the time when you too should acclaim the rising Sun with the Gayathri. Yesterday, one speaker described the Gayathri as equal to Rama nama, today another Shastry said it was the elaboration of Krishna nama and the Bhagavatha. I ask you to fix your mind on any name of the Lord that brings up into your consciousness the Glory and the Grace of the Lord. Also, train your hands to do acts that serve the Lord that is shining in every being. All men are He; He shaves as the barber, He makes pots as the potter; He starches and irons clothes as the dhobi. He prompts, He inspires, He devises, He fulfils. You take a sheet of paper on which My Form is printed, as Myself; you revere It; you fall to the ground before It in reverence; why cannot you then revere all human beings, believing that I am in each of them, in an even clearer Form?
The Gayathri is a prayer for the development of your Intellect, so that you might reach this Vision. So let Me advise the elders who are here, this. You have brought your sons or grandsons or wards for Upanayanam and Gayathri upadesham here to My presence. You are happy at their fortune; but, they will repeat the Manthra only if you too repeat it, sincerely. And it is good for you also. Repent, therefore, that you have given up taking that priceless drug; start from today the Sandhyavandanam (worship of Sun God). Learn it from your son or grandson, keeping aside your sense of superiority. When you have the royal road to reach the Goal, why scramble through thorny jungle tracks? Do the Sandhya as prescribed, and you will not be shaken by any storm. You need not flee to a Himalayan valley; you can make your heart that Valley, by the discipline of the Sandhya.
It will surely help you
to achieve the goal
Every religion looks for God
and they look far and wide,
but man should know
that God is Omnipresent
and resides in the heart of man.
– Sri Sathya Sai Baba
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