22. Be and Be Blessed
Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 11 (1971 - 72)
Be and Be Blessed
ACTIVITY is the keynote of the Universe; by activity, all beings are born, by activity, they maintain themselves, and through that activity they: perish. Constant breathing, inhaling and exhaling, keeps the body temperature even and comfortable. The One that is beyond all activity assumed the forms of the five basic elemental materials - sky, earth, air, fire and water - in order to act and activate. To be active, yet, to be always aware that it is all mere acting, is the secret of happiness. That is the Dharma (virtue) which must regulate and sanctify the karma. The achievements of technology which have taken man to the moon are also events in the Cosmic Drama, where the principle performers are only working out His Plan; identification with the adventure and its success or failure will make the performers proud or depressed - states which would not help inner peace and joy. The secret of good karma is, do karma as an act of Worship, a dedicatory rite offered to the source of all energy and intelligence. And, never take the consequence to heart. By this means, one can approximate to the Divine Principle, which is beyond activity.
That Divine Principle is the very core of man. Becoming aware of this Truth is the goal of life; it is source of strength which is unfailing and irresistible. Close your eyes, you feel there is no one else here, though there are thousands. If you suffer from cataract or worse still, if you are blind, you cannot know the truth. So, too, the Divine is here, before you, behind you, inside you, outside you; the intelligence through which you can recognise It is also with you; but, you are either blind, or diseased with defective vision or worse still, wilfully inclined to close your eyes!
Search for the unreal is the root of all fear
You have a bird in your very hand; but, you are wasting your time and energy conspiring to catch the bird hiding in the bush; the notes that make you believe there is a bird in the bush are, you do not know, only the echoes of the notes from the throat of the bird in your own hand! The Guru reveals the Truth and makes you free from the travail and the trial, the search for the bird in the bush. In a flash, you know, and the Knowledge is Bliss. Why crave for the non-existent? Why ignore the 'existent'? That is to say, the Sath? It is the search for the unreal that is the root of all the fear, the sorrow, the sickness of humanity. Learn, while you can, the key which will open the door of escape.
Have all around you the curtain of 'Namajapam' (the vibrant, vigilant repetition of the Name of God, and recapitulation of His Glory); then, unhealthy yearnings for self-aggrandizement will not pester and poison you. Namajapam will not allow you to ignore the essential hollowness of worldly affairs and the essential absurdity of getting too involved in it; you behave as if you ate the designer of your destiny; you are only a wave, formed on the breast of the ocean by storm and surge.
When his dearly loved son, a stripling of sixteen summers, Abhimanyu, was surrounded and cut to pieces by the Kaurava cousins who trapped him in a labyrinth, Arjuna gave vent to his anguish before his eldest brother, Dharmaraja, the consistent follower of righteousness. He placed on him the entire blame for the death of his son; indeed, he said that they could have avoided exile, poverty, infamy, dishonour, disgrace and all the elaborate preparations for the war of vengence had he been cleverer and more adaptable. Dharmaraja sat quiet and silent during the shower of invection. He knew that Arjuna himself, in his cooler moments, will recall the Geetha teaching, that every single happening is His handiwork, that no one is killed or no one kills, if only you know the Truth, that everyone is a puppet in His hands.
Seva fulfils the aims of all paths to God
The quickest and easiest way by which one can realise the basic absurdity of attachment is the path of Seva. Pour out Love, whether it is returned or not, whether it results in success or not. Let Love be ever translated into Seva, into beneficial acts, sweet words of consolation, comfort and courage, and thoughts of sympathy and compassion. I do not declare that other paths like Bhakthi or Jnana are of no use. Worship of God in temples and shrines has its place in sanctifying time and sublimating the instincts and impulses. Inquiry into reality has its use in clearing the fog of doubt. But, activity in the shape of Seva (selfless service) charged with Love fulfils the aims of all paths to Godhead. Sarvathah pani padham, sarvathokshi shiro mukham, says the Geetha. "All hands are His, all feet, all eyes and all faces and mouths are His" He works through all hands, He walks through all feet, He sees through each eye. He eats and speaks through every mouth. Everything is He. Every step is His, every look, every speech, every act is His. That is the lesson that Seva instils. Pray in agony, "Lord! Have you no ears?" and His Ear will be listening. Pray, "Lord! Let me fall at Thy Lotus Feet!" and the Feet will present themselves before you. They are at; all places, at all times. Your call compels the manifestation, that is all.
Attach more value to the kernel, not the husk
When you get a parcel by post, what do you do? You remove the packing and take out the article sent, don't you? Take away the packing and secure the thing of value. You say, "For me peace is required." Remove the packing on both sides of the thing you really want - 'For me' on one side (indicative of egoism) and is required on the other (indicative of desire, want, sense of incompleteness). Don't have egoism and desire; you have Peace! It is the packaging that hinders the securing of the Reality. You attach more value to the husk, not the kernel. A certain village had a few philanthropic people who provided it with a drinking water well, an overhead tank and a distributory system of pipes and taps. They were so pleased with it and so proud of their possession that they decided to invite the Governor of the State to inaugurate the system, by opening one of the taps, on an auspicious day and moment, selected by astrologers. The Governor graciously agreed. The philanthropists were elated; they fitted a length of gold pipe, and had a golden tap made for the occasion. Festoons and flags were hung on the pavilion put up around the tap. Bands of musicians with their complicated and costly instruments were hired from the metropolis. Pandiths (scholars) were gathered from various Pathasalas (traditional schools) to recite Vedhic Hymns as the water would start to flow.
Connect the act of service with love in the heart
There was no dearth of V.I.Ps, that morning; hundreds of cars streamed into the tiny hamlet. The great moment came; the Governor solemnly approached the golden tap. He gave it the right kind of twist; but, no water flowed! The Vedhic recitation rose to the skies; There was no trickle, not even a drop or the sign of one! Everyone wondered why. The well was full, the pump worked well; the tank was not leaky. The golden pipe was there, with the golden tap. What was really the fault, they asked each other. At last someone discovered that the golden pipe had not been connected with the regular supply system; it had not been screwed in. Have you connected your act of service with the reservoir of Love in the heart? Are you doing it with God-consciousness? Or is it merely a superficial ceremonial routine act, done for publicity or personal pride? Really, the power that man holds in himself is unsurpassed; no other created being has it. For he is the living image of God, the precious casket enshrining the Divine Itself. If you are weak, grief-stricken and ignorant, the fault is yours; do not blame others: you have not tapped the spring of God within you. This is the sin-,-the turning of the blind eye to this patent fact. Diagnose the faults in the eye, and have the blind spots or the cataract cured. You can do it, by prayer or by resorting to a Guru. There are three stages in this process of awareness: Jijnasa, Mumukshu and Aroodha - Inquiry, Yearning and Attainment. (1) The period of study, (2) the period of being employed in a job, when what is studied as applied in practice, and (3) the period of life when one lives without care on a well-deserved pension - these can be compared to the three stages mentioned above.
Worldly loss or profit are playthings of a day
You may have a picture or two of the Form of Go you like; "O Lord," you may cry before the picture and prostrate before it, in humility and contrition. It helps to ensure peace of mind. But, do not pray for paltry gains, or petty-vengeances against others! Such prayers will take you away from Grace; you faith will suffer set-backs. Wordly loss and profit are playthings of a day; they are like baubles with which you sport in dreams; when you awake, they are gone! When you are awake into knowledge and awareness of the God in you, they melt away from your consciousness. Why bother with gaining them or losing them? All are of one essence; let this truth be established in your heart. Then there can be no faction, no fear, no fanatic attachment to someone. For want of this vision, we have at present cliques in every family at cross purposes over every matter! The Ramayana and the Mahabharatha hold forth examples of avoiding such situations and establishing Dharma in the home, the village and the nation. Wives like Seetha, husbands like Rama, brothers like Lakshmana and Bharatha, Arjuna and Bheema are delineated therein. Do not try to avoid contact with others or with external nature. Develop a wider, a universal, outlook. Look upon external nature as the vestment of God; it is the expression of the Will of God, it is the manifestation of His glory, His power, His might, His majesty. See these in every blade of grass, in every floral petal, every slice of fruit. Learn lessons from the river, the mountains, the star and the sky.
The message of the seers of India
Through this worshipful attitude to man and beast, plant and stone, you must remove the veils of Thamas (ignorance), Rajas (passion) and even Sathwa (goodness) and achieve equanimity - the stage where judgement itself is given up. Then, you become aware of your own Self, behind and beyond the three veils. Yanna bharathi, thanna bharath, says the scripture. "Where there is no Vidhya, there is no Bharath." Intelligence is the sign of the true son of India; he yearns to discriminate between the Real and the Unreal through purified and clarified intelligence. Discriminate and decide; dive and declare the depth; eat and judge the taste. That has been the message of the seers of India. Mere axioms without the chance to prove their value to oneself were not thrown at the pupils by the ancient preceptors. The pupil was told then that Divinity was dancing in every cell of his; that he can therefore be fearless. Meet hatred with your innate Prema (Love); meet grief with innate Joy; meet anger with the shield of Shanthi (Inner Peace). You are bound to win. Loka is Lokesha: "the Universe is the Universal Principle" manifested in multifarious particulars. Man is Madhava (God) in miniature. The human body has been acquired as a gift in return for the meritorious lives spent by you in the past. The nature of man is genuinely Divine, in the past, present and future, for ever. There was never a time when it was not.
To plead that one has no time for spiritual Sadhana of this type is sheer sloth, sheer cowardice; for, it is an endeavour that can co-exist with other activities and even fertilise those activities into fruition. There is nothing to be gained, except awareness of what already is. Simply BE; that is the state of Bliss, of Peace and Truth and Love.
Do not grieve, nor be the cause of grief. The very embodiment of Anandha (God) is in you, as in others, as in all else. In spite of a multiplicity of containers, the contained is the same. That is the principle of Sath, Chith and Anandha (Being, Awareness, Bliss). The minutest atom, the mightiest star - both are basically one. All are, in truth, Brahman, Divine.
– Sathya Sai Baba